Puna News — Body Found In Ocean Fronting The Lava Was Brittany Jane Royal; Boaz Johnson, Who Was Camping With Her, Wanted For Questioning

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Brittany Jane Royal

(Media release) — Hawaii Island police are renewing their request for information about a 22-year-old Alaska man who was reported missing.

Boaz D. Johnson of Petersburg, Alaska, last spoke to his family at noon Monday (May 27).user5252-1369953325-media1_54587b_192_240_PrsMe_

Johnson is also wanted for questioning in connection with the death of 25-year-old Brittany-Jane Royal, whose body was found Tuesday (May 28) in waters off Kalapana. Royal and Johnson had reportedly been camping together before her death, which is being investigated as a murder.  Read more

Kona News — Help Police Solve Sexual Assault Case

user5252-1370034696-media1_ffffff_192_240_PrsMe_-1(Media release) — Hawaii Island police are investigating a sexual assault late Wednesday night (May 29) in Kona.

An adult female was walking west on Loloku Street in the old industrial area of Kailua-Kona at about 9:30 p.m. when an unknown man grabbed her from behind, punched her, dragged her off the north shoulder of the road and sexually assaulted her. He then ran in the mauka direction on Loloku Street.

Police are looking for anyone who passed the area and saw a struggle on the shoulder of the road near a car dealership or saw a man running in that area. Read more

Missing People — Have You Seen Boaz Johnson?

(Media release) — Hawaiuser5252-1369953325-media1_54587b_192_240_PrsMe_i Island police are searching for a 22-year-old Alaska man who was reported missing. 
Boaz D. Johnson of Petersburg, Alaska, last spoke to his family at noon Monday (May 27). He was reportedly in Puna.

He is described as Caucasian, 5-foot-6 or 5-foot-7, 145 pounds with short brown hair and blue eyes.

Police ask that anyone with information on his whereabouts contact Detective Fetuutuunai Amuimuia at 961-2278 or famuimuia@co.hawaii.hi.us.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

(Submitted by Hawaii Police Department via Nixle.)

Hawaii News — Commissary Cash for Christie; ‘Bring Roger Home’ Fundraiser is June 15

(Editor’s note: Keane Carlin is a summer intern with Big Island chornicle. A version of this story appears in the latest print edition of BIC, which starts circulating today.)

By Keane Carlin

Come July, Cannabis Church Rev. Roger Christie will have spent three years in federal prison on O`ahu. With no bail, trial or end in sight, the Hawaii Libertarian Party has helped to organize a “Bring Roger Home” fundraiser.

Aaron Anderson, a longtime friend of Roger’s and supporter of the state’s Libertarian Party, has agreed to host the fundraiser at his Growing Family Farm on Pohoiki Road.

A half-dozen local bands, including Love Machine and Terrapin Station, will perform at the fundraiser, and vendors will sell food.  State Senator Russell Ruderman, D-Puna, Ka’u, who doubles as the guitar player and vocalist in Terrapin Station, will say a few words about what he has been doing for Roger’s cause.

In April, during his freshman legislative session, Ruderman sought from the U.S. Attorney’s Office and was granted permission to meet with Roger at the Federal Detention Center in Honolulu. State Sen. Will Espero, chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Safety, Intergovernmental, and Military Affairs, accompanied Ruderman in the meeting with Roger.

Admission for the Bring Roger Home Fundraiser will be $15 and will go directly to Roger.  The money will most likely be used for commissary, to get Roger more than the bare minimum one receives in federal prison, Anderson said.   Read more

Hawaii News — Libertarian Party statement regarding Roger Christie

(Editor’s note: The following Libertarian Party of Hawaii statement regarding Roger Christie appears in the latest print edition of Big Island Chronicle, which starts circulating today.)

The Libertarian Party of Hawaii has taken a great deal of interest in the efforts to achieve justice for Roger Christie.  Roger has been connected to the LP for many years and with its efforts to legalize marijuana in Hawaii.  He was a LP candidate for office more than once.  Aside from the direct connection, Libertarians believe the issue of Roger’s long term incarceration, without access to bail or trial, speaks for itself.  This is why such a diverse group of people have come forward to protest what is widely seen as a gross violation of this man’s constitutional rights.  In addition to support from the Libertarian Party, Republican Sam Slom and Democrat Russell Ruderman co–introduced two resolutions calling for Roger’s release in the recent Hawaii legislative session.  Support has come from Republicans such as John Carroll and Harry Kim as well as the Hawaii Progressive Democrats, from a resolution passed by the Hawaii Democratic Party at its 2012 convention, and from the Green Party’s Kelly Greenwell, a former Big Island Council member.

The Libertarian Party, like the Green Party, offers voters an alternative to the limiting model often called the “two party system.”  Libertarians are united by an agreement that people should not initiate force or engage in fraud to achieve their social or political goals.  This tends to lead to supporting what outsiders often see as an odd assembly of issues that are not consistent with modern ideas of liberalism of conservatism.  To paraphrase Libertarian Presidential nominee Gary Johnson at their 2012 national convention; “where else will you find a candidate who favors both gun rights and gay rights?”  Read more

Letters — Where’s Roger?

Where’s Roger? Why, he is in Federal Prison on Oahu . He has been held there without trial or bail for three yrs. because he is a Danger to the status quo political institutions and their supporters.

I feel we need to get this information out on a national scale so here we are starting local and working towards a brighter future for our governments antique drug war mentality. I have no idea as to how many folks are into this issue so lets get together for a day of good music, good food and good friends. The only thing we know is he needs money to get the attention he deserves.

I feel we should do what we always do. Let’s party. Lets take a look at eachother  and talk story till we see what to do next. Please bring your manoa and positive vibes. Liberty Lifeskills Learning Center and the Libertarian Party of Hawaii are sponsoring this event to bring more focus to this Freedom of religion issue so we can move forward with confidence and victory. For me this is the sacred work. Remember, Freedom of religion includes freedom from religion.

We have a great day planned for us all to relax, talk story, boogie and feel like part of the solution. We plan to have a video camera set up to record your message too Roger personally. Happy birthday Roger. When you get out we will do this again to celebrate a new beginning.

Aaron Anderson

Chief Steward

Politics — About Administrative Changes At The County Level

6a00d8341c613853ef00e5514978d38834-800wiCommentary: I had part of this story a week ago, and I sat on it to be Mrs. Nice Girl, waiting for a release that never came. Then I got scooped.  No more of that — going with scoops when I get them. — Tiffany Edwards Hunt

You can read Nancy Cook Lauer’s piece for Stephens Media here. But basically the story is, effective June 3, the new County of Hawaii Planning Director will be Duane Kanuha. Kanuha worked as a planner, served as deputy Planning Director for four years and was Planning Director for 2 years under Bernard Akana.

And Bobby Jean Leithead-Todd, who has in recent years been serving as the Planning Director, will go back to heading the Department of Environmental Management.  She was the director of that department in 2007 and 2008, at the tail-end of the Kim administration, after Barbara Bell.

 

The new Deputy Planning Director will be former West Hawaii Today reporter Bobby Command, who, for several years has been working as the mayor’s executive assistant. Clarisse Nunokawa, who currently works in the Office of Aging, has been appointed as an executive assistant to replace Command. Donn Mende, a banker by trade, has been appointed as the deputy director of Research and Development. The current deputy director of that department, Laverne Omori, will serve as the director.

 

Hawaii News — Electronic Legislature; The social media come of age in Hawaii politics

keyboard_sketch(Editor’s note: A version of this story appears in the latest print edition of Big Island Chronicle, which starts circulating Friday.)

By Alan McNarie

The Hawaii State Legislature is finally in recess after a fairly momentous session. It began with the overthrow of House Speaker Calvin Say, and culminated with the demise of the heavily criticized Public Land Development Corporation but the rise of “mini-PLDCs” for the development of harbors, submarine lands and Department of Education-controlled properties. Big Island legislator Faye Hanohano was castigated for using racial epithets to express her displeasure with the scarcity of art by Native Hawaiian artists in the state’s collections; Malama Solomon drew fire for her gruff handling of PLDC opponents, and fired back by calling for a police investigation of a “threatening” e-mail. Freshman Big Island legislators Nicole Lowen and Russell Ruderman made their presence felt in the progressive wing of the state’s Democratic Party. O`ahu Sen. Clayton Hee sabotaged the renewal of the state’s journalistic shield law, and had a hand in the last-minute scuttling of campaign finance reform.

But perhaps the biggest story of this legislative session was the rise of three major new players in state politics: Facebook, Twitter and You-Tube. The social media finally came into their own in Hawai`i, and the legislature may never be the same.

The first rumblings of the cyber-revolution in Hawaii came with the Occupied movement. Activists such as Kerri Peterson Marks began taking their laptops to public meetings and doing live Webcasts; suddenly the public could get a first-hand look at what was happening instantly, or call it up on You-Tube later, instead of driving to the meeting or waiting for Oceanic Time Warner’s delayed and irregular public access broadcasts.

“It takes the county and the state ten days to download links, and mine were available immediately,” says Peterson-Marks, who says she has “almost 800 videos up there now with 45,000 page views.”

The social media, she says, offer a “new paradigm for political activism.”  Read more

Hawaii News — On Cruise Control; About Cruise Ships Leaving Hilo Harbor Without Tug Assistance

Grand Princess route(Editor’s note: The following story appears in the latest print edition of Big Island Chronicle, which starts circulating Friday.)

By Tiffany Edwards Hunt

The cruise industry is coming out of its high season with about $100,000 cost savings involving Hilo Harbor, thanks to an October 2012 agreement with the Hawaii Ocean Safety Team (HOST).

Cruise ships leaving Hilo Harbor didn’t pay for tug assistance between late October and May, confirmed Robin Bond, chairman of the volunteer HOST committee.  Now that the cruising season over, though, the state goes back to following HOST’s Safe Operating Practice (SOP) .

The SOP is the agreement made between the cruise lines, harbor pilots, tugboat operators, and the government regulators, which are the state Department of Transportation Harbors Division and the U.S. Coast Guard.

DOT has had a set of rules for cruise ships since the ’40s-’50s, but harbor pilots were said to have put their foot down and called for HOST’s SOP, which was first adopted in 1997.  HOST is a compilation of about 20 groups with an interest in the ocean who give recommendations to the state, according to Bond.  Bond himself is a retired City and County of Honolulu worker focused on beaches.

The minutes for HOST’s monthly meetings are posted on hosthawaii.org.

In October, at the recommendation of a lobbyist for the Cruise Lines International Association North West and Canada, HOST agreed upon a temporary exemption for cruise ships leaving Hilo Harbor Pier One, Bond said.  Read more

***Commentary*** Regarding The Shield Law and Sunscreen

(Editor’s note: The following commentary appears in the latest print edition of Big Island Chronicle, which starts circulating Friday.)

By Tiffany Edwards Hunt

Aloha — We are one issue away from celebrating one year in print. I must express my gratitude for your readership and for advertisers who appreciate independent journalism.

Since my last edition, Stephens Media executives cut loose Reed Flickinger, the West Hawaii Today editor. David Bock, the Hawaii Tribune-Herald editor, was named “roving” news director, supposedly to oversee both daily newspapers and the weekly. I wrote about that on my website when the story first broke, and I am republishing it here because I want you all to know we have a journalism crisis here. We have one company trying to run three different newspapers to maximize ad revenue, yet a rapidly dwindling staff resulting in bare-bones news content.

People are so busy trying to make ends meet, they likely aren’t following the news, and surely not looking too closely at the Hawaii State Legislature. Unfortunately this island’s delegation didn’t do much to write home about, and some of their actions were pretty shameful. First, I will start with House Bill 622, pertaining to the journalists’ Shield Law. Sadly, our own Senators Gil Kahele and Malama Solomon sided with Sen. Clayton Hee in his effort to erode what once was lauded as the best Shield Law in the country. I cannot understand why — and neither Solomon or Kahele have responded to my repeated phone and email inquiries. Know what the Shield Law is? Turn to my story about the cruise ship industry successfully convincing regulators not to require tugboat assistance coming out of Hilo Harbor this past season. You wouldn’t know any of the details of that story if I wouldn’t have had anonymous sources confide in me. With the Shield Law sunseting on June 30, thanks to our neanderthal legislators, if I am hauled into court for that story, I will have to share all my notes and potentially reveal my sources for that story. Why do you suppose those people are anonymous? They are afraid of retribution for speaking out. What do you think pulling out the Shield Law rug out from under journalists’ feet does? It has a chilling effect. So, that is one reason I give our legislators a failing grade for their work this past session. Read more

Guest Column — Custodial Interference Update

By Anonymous

Some of you may recall me and my child’s separation which began 16 months ago. After handing off my child to her mother at the Hilo airport — as they departed on an agreed upon visit to my child’s maternal grandparent’s home on the mainland — my child’s mother chose to not return our child. This has been utterly devastating. Any parent with a normal and vital bond to his/her child perhaps needs no further description of the profound pain of having a child taken in this way. More importantly, I now contemplate the emotional damage to my child resulting from this neglect of our parent/child bond. Suffice to say that giving up — just throwing my hands up and declaring “Oh well, my beloved three and half year old child will be just fine” — this simply isn’t an option. Just as when your child comes to you with any other physical or emotional injury, a functional parent assists his/her child in healing.

The sad fact of the matter is that my child, still detained on the mainland — due in large part to lack of enforcement of a crime against a child — will soon be facing her second Fatherless Day. Read more

Puna News — Police: Jane Doe was strangled, murder investigation underway

Hawai?i Island police have reclassified a coroner’s inquest case to a murder in connection with the discovery of a body Tuesday (May 28) in waters off Kalapana in the Puna District.

An autopsy conducted Wednesday (May 29) determined that the female victim died of strangulation and that the manner of death was homicide.

Police have not yet identified the body, described as that of a Caucasian woman possibly in her late 20s or early 30s, about 5-foot-4 to 5-foot-8 with a slim build, short brown hair and a tattoo of “Veritas” on her lower back.

Detectives from the Criminal Investigations Section are continuing the investigation.

Police ask that anyone who may know the victim or have information on this case contact Detective Robert Almeida at 961-2386orralmeida@co.hawaii.hi.us or Detective Fetuutuunai Amuimuia at961-2278 orfamuimuia@co.hawaii.hi.us.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Hawaii News — GMO Uprising; Public Favors Council Legislation Banning GMO Crops

GMO color

Tiffany Edwards Hunt photo

By Alan McNarie

One thing seemed very clear after the County Council’s Committee on Public Safety and Mass Transit meeting on May 14: the genetically modified crop industry has a horrible image problem on the Island of Hawai`i.  On the agenda that day was Bill 79, which would ban the growing of any genetically modified organisms not already cultivated on the island. So many residents signed up to speak on the bill that the committee had to suspend its usual order of business, postponing its actual discussion of the bill until May 29 and borrowing time from other committees in order to hear the all the testimony. Nearly all those who spoke favored the ban;  the few opposing it said they represented the Farm Bureau, the commercial seed industry or in the commercial papaya industry, which relies on a genetically modified cultivar called “Rainbow.”

The Rainbow papaya, engineered by UH-Manoa and Cornell scientists to combat the papaya ringspot virus, is the poster child of the GMO industry. When the variety first came out, industry-sponsored ads in magazines such as National Geographic praised the fruit for “saving Hawaii’s papaya industry.”

“Rainbow papaya is one of our most fantastic and incredible scientific innovations in the world. Your rainbow papaya is held above all other technology enhancements,” gushed Alicia Maluafiti of the Hawaii Crop Improvement Association, a seed industry trade organization that represents chemical/biotech giants Dow Agroscience, Monsanto, Pioneer Hybrid, Syngenta and BASF. Read more

Hawaii News — Sunday Talk will discuss ‘advancement’ for all residents, not just Hawaiians

(Media release) — Dr. Kelii Akina, former OHA trustee candidate and now the new CEO of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, will be presenting “E Hana Kakou: The Advancement of Native Hawaiians and All Residents of the Aloha State,” at the Conservative Forum for Hawaii, Sunday, June 2, 2 p.m., at the Naniloa Hotel Crown Room in Hilo.

In an April 2013 newspaper article, Dr. Akina wrote: “The Grassroot Institute is a strong advocate for the constitutional rights and liberties of all people including Native Hawaiians and promotes the value of “E hana kakou”– all people in Hawaii working together for a better economy, government and society. Hawaiians are rejecting an effort to impose a narrow political agenda on their community, choosing instead to affirm the Aloha spirit as the basis for society.” Read more

Puna News — Help Police Identify Woman’s Body Found In The Ocean Fronting Lava Viewing Area

(Media release) — Hawaii Island police are investigating the discovery of a body in waters off Kalapana in the Puna district.

At 6:28 a.m. Tuesday (May 28), personnel from the Hawaii Police Department and Hawaii Fire Department responded to a report of a body caught in a fishing line from a nearby fishing boat in the ocean off one of the lava viewing areas. Another vessel in the area contacted authorities and remained with the body until divers from the Fire Department and their helicopter recovered the remains and met with police at a temporary landing zone.

Detectives from the Area 1 Criminal Investigations Section responded to the location and are continuing the investigation, which is classified as a coroners inquest.

The body is that of a Caucasian female possibly in her late 20s or early 30s, about 5-foot-4 to 5-foot-8 with a slim build, short brown hair and a tattoo of “Veritas” on her lower back. Read more