Puna News — Puna Music Festival is May 19-28

Mark your calendar for May 19-28 for the Puna Music Festival —  over a week of entertainment throughout lower Puna, including an open concert with Paula Fuga at Pohoiki from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday, May 20, 2012 and “Pahoa Night Music” with Medicine For The People at Akebono Theater at 8 p.m., Friday, May 25.

For more information about the Puna Musical Festival, the complete individual concerts and their venues and the accompanying workshops and “intensives” at Kalani, visit punamusicfestival.com.

Sports — Vulcans In Pahoa

University of Hawaii Hilo Vulcans past and present players Andrew Gipson (L), Â Andrew Papenfus, Matt Holmes, Â CJ Brown, Paul Batausa, Kiel Myers, Brandon James, Vince Sanekane, Mike Melonas, Myke Hearn, Â Josh Figuera, and Assistant Coach Tai Ando are depicted. Â Terrel Mack is missing; he is behind two players and is out of the picture. Photos by Tiffany Edwards Hunt. All rights reserved. Use with permission only.

Earlier this month the University of Hawaii Hilo Vulcans visited Pahoa High School, as an effort to reach out to the island community.

Vince Sanekane, one of the visiting Vulcan team players, graduated from Pahoa High School in 2007.

“It’s always fun to come back to my old school,” Sanekane said. “It’s humbling to know I came from such a small town and made my own paths, went to college, played basketball, and I’m going to graduate at the end of this semester. It’s great to bring my teammates and see all the students marvel at their height and abilities. It never disappoints, always a great experience to be back.”

Hilo News — Reed’s Bay Beach Park Has Reopened

A thoroughly renovated Reed’s Bay Beach Park was officially reopened this past Saturday morning during a blessing ceremony that attracted about 100 park users, dignitaries and passers-by to the popular Hilo facility. Mayor Billy Kenoi joined other elected officials in welcoming people back to the Banyan Drive park, upgraded for safety and accessibility. — Photo and text by T. Ilihia Gionson, executive assistant to the mayor.


Hawaii News — 29 People Arrested In The Last Week For Drunk Driving

(Media release) — During the week of April 23, 2012, through April 29, 2012, Big Island police arrested 29 motorists for drunk driving. Ten of the drivers were involved in traffic crashes. Two were under the age of 21.

So far this year, there have been 471 DUI arrests compared with 459 during the same period last year, an increase of 2.6 percent. Read more

Puna News — California Visitors Report ‘Hot Ponds’ Robbery

(Media release) — Police are investigating a robbery that occurred late Sunday night (April 29) in the Puna District.

At about 12:36 a.m. Monday, police received a report from a 30-year-old female visitor from California. She reported that last night at about 11:30 p.m., she and a 26-year-old male companion, also from California, were parked in a rented silver Jeep Patriot in the area of the Ahalanui Park in lower Puna. They were awakened by a rock shattering a window of the Jeep. The rock struck the 26-year-old passenger, who declined treatment for minor injuries.

The victims were apparently blinded by a bright light used by one suspect and it appeared that at least one more suspect was present during the incident. Read more

Transportation — An Update On The Pahoa Village Roundabout

(Following is an update from Sal Panem, who leads the Department of Transportation on Hawaii Island, regarding the roundabout project at Old Government Road (Also known as Pahoa Village Road.)
As I mentioned, we completed the negotiation with the design consultant and the contract is currently being drafted.  Once we execute the contract, the design NTP (notice to proceed) can be issued.  We anticipate that we will be purchasing additional right of way and we will need to clear all the environmental permits.  Although it is a tight schedule, we hope to complete the design by December this year and construction next year at an estimated cost of $2.5M.

Other projects we have is the Kea’au-Pahoa Shoulder Lane Conversion.  Phase I of this project is to convert the existing Kea’au bound lane into a full time travel lane.  We will also be widening the Waipahoehoe bridge and convert the existing Pahoa bound lane into a temporary shoulder lane to be used only during the afternoon peak traffic.  Phase II is to install the traffic signal at Shower Drive intersection.
We anticipate to advertise the Phase I of this project by August 2012 and Phase II in December 2014.  Construction of Phase I will be early 2013.  Estimated cost of this project is $21M for Phase I and about $3M for Phase II.
This is all I have for now.  As I get updated by the project managers, I will pass it on to you for your readers.
Sal Panem, Department of Transportion lead Hawaii District engineer

Waimea News — Facilitated Discussion About NHCH Women’s Center Maternal Care Program Tuesday

(Media release) — Waimea and North Hawai’i residents are invited to a facilitated discussion about the future of North Hawai’i Community Hospital’s Waimea Women’s Center and its maternal care program at 5:30 p.m., Tues., May 1, 2012 at Parker School Theatre.

Coordinated by Waimea Community Association, the meeting will begin with Friends of the Community Hospital ‘Ohana, a grass-roots community organization, who will address community and health provider concerns about the future of the Center and also highlight the positive impact the Center has had on Big Island women’s healthcare over the last several years.

Then, Ken Wood, NHCH’s Chief Executive Officer, and other members of the hospital’s administrative team will present data from their recent examination of the benefits and costs of the Center and its maternal care program.  Read more

Guest Column — Do The Math

By Edward Gutteling, M.D.
“ I’m trying to think, but nuttin’ happens ! ”
Curly Howard,  The Three Stooges: Calling All Curs, 1939
All too often it seems our political leaders take actions that just don’t add up.  Perhaps they didn’t think it through all the way themselves, or perhaps they really did but they are deliberately hoping we don’t figure it out on our own.

Take for example the recent proud purchase of 5 Chevy Volt cars for the County of Hawaii by Mayor Kenoi. A recent news article shows him standing like a proud papa next to the shiny cars at the formal blessing and display ceremony, proclaiming “It couldn’t come at a better time, when we look at rising fuel prices….Hopefully we can grow the electric fleet and have it be the county fleet.”

These plug-in-electric / gas hybrids cost us $47,000 each, totaling $235,000 for five. They can go about 30 miles on electric power alone, then need recharging. When the gas engine kicks in, they get about 37mpg and require premium gas. Recharging the 16 kwH battery daily at our highest-in-the-nation electric rates, about 40 cent / kwH, costs about $6.40 / day.

For less than half the purchase price ($21,000) , a comparable sized and powered Chevy Cruze uses regular gas and gets about 30 mpg. Lets take an extreme case, and say gas is $5.00/gallon. That means that the Volt costs $1.40/day more than the Cruze to drive 30 miles, and costs twice as much to buy. For the same cost we could have had eleven Chevy Cruze, and saved on operating costs as well.

And we’re supposed to be proud and pleased about this? For spending more and getting less?
Somehow the thrill of being “green”, and “independence from foreign oil” doesn’t quite add up. Read more

Obituaries — Alice Harriett Patterson Has Passed Away At 94

Alice Harriett Patterson, 94, of Kea’au, passed away April 24, 2012, at Hale Pu’u Honua Care Home in Hawaiian Paradise Park.  Born in Dayton, Ohio she served in the Navy during World War II as an Aviation Machinist’s Mate First Class, and retired as a homemaker.  Services will be held at the Grace Baptist Church Saturday, April 28, 2012.  Visitation 3:30pm, service at 4:00pm.  She is survived by her sons Gary (Susan) Patterson of Vancouver, Washington, Jeffrey Patterson of La Mesa, California;  two grandchildren.  Arrangements by Borthwick Hawaii Funeral Home, Hilo.