• 24 Nov 2014 /  Education, environment
    From Robert Petricci:
    The second PPA and HSCA Alternative Energy Forum is this Wednesday November 26th from 1-4pm at Kalani Honua in lower Puna, .

    The panelists are Henry Curtis of Life of The Land in Honolulu, Hawaii State Senator Russell Ruderman, Mark Glick the Administrator at the State Energy Office, Will Rolston Hawaii County Energy Coordinator, Tom Travis  PPA, Lorn Douglas HSCA, Kawaiki Stevens Off Grid Solar, and HELCO’s alternative energy spokesperson. We are very grateful to have such knowledgeable experts and dedicated panelist come to Puna to discuss the future of energy in one of the most sustainably progressive communities in the state

    Last year the forum was well attended and we had an informative and interesting discussion, with everything that is happening in lower Puna, in Hawaii, and around the planet at the PUC, and legislature in Honolulu, energy wise, we hope this year will be even better.

    For more information call 936-5239

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  • 24 Nov 2014 /  Uncategorized

    Hawai`i is known for its high cost of living.  But its consumers are among the nation’s thriftiest. The 808 State ranked 44th among the 50 states and the District of Columbia in a survey of “states with the biggest spenders” by the economic Web site Wallet Hub. The survey looked at a number of different facets of consumer spending, as well as other factors such as the number of car per household and the amount of auto and credit card debt, and then adjusted for income level and cost of living in each state. Despite the state’s high priced gas and electricity, Hawaii consumers ranked 51st in personal spending on gasoline and “other energy goods”–perhaps because it’s tough to take a long car trip on any island but the Big Island.  Hawaii residents also ranked 51st in personal spending on health care and in the “All Other Consumption” category, 50th in average home size, and 49th in auto and credit card debt.

    Hawaii does rank Number One, however in one unfortunate category: percentage of residents who spend more than they earn.

    The top state for big-spending consumers, surprisingly, was relatively impoverished Mississippi, followed by Idaho, New Mexico, Alabama and Utah. Total consumer debt as of June, noted Wallet Hub, stood at $11.63 trillion.

    The raw figures tell a different story, however.  Before being adjusted for income and cost of living, Hawaii ranks in the middle of the pack, in a four-way tie with Louisiana, Rhode Island and New Mexico for 28th place.

    Wallet Hub noted that a recent spate of good economic news had enhanced what economists call the “wealth effect”: consumers spend more when they perceive that they are making more money.  Perhaps, in Hawaii, the opposite is happening: the high cost of living here leaves us with less to spend and makes us more aware that we have to spend it wisely.

    Hawaii’s adjusted rankings in various categories:

    • 43rd – Personal Expenditure on Food & Beverages
    • 51st – Personal Expenditure on Gasoline & Other Energy Goods
    • 26th – Personal Expenditure on Housing & Utilities
    • 51st – Personal Expenditure on Health Care
    • 51st – Personal Expenditure on All Other Consumption
    • 33rd – Number of Cars per Household
    • 49th – Auto & Credit Card Debt
    • 47th – Annual Consumer Savings Account Averages
    • 50th – Average Home Square Footage

     

  • 24 Nov 2014 /  BULLETINS, Crime, news

     

    From Hawaii Police Department:

     

    Two Big Island men have been charged with felonies  last week after an illegal weapon was offered for sale online.

    Undercover police officers responded to an ad offering a firearm for sale and were informed by the seller that the weapon was a sawed-off shotgun. The undercover officers arranged for a meeting with the seller.

    On Thursday, the undercover officers met with two men in the Lakeland subdivision in Kamuela, arrested them and recovered the illegal firearm.

    Arrested on suspicion of weapons offenses were 23-year-old Ryne Wamil of Kawaihae and 21-year-old Austin Silva of Kamuela. They were taken to the Hilo police cellblock while detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section continued the investigation.

    Later Thursday, detectives charged Wamil with possession of a modified weapon, unloaded firearm and registration mandatory of a firearm. His bail was set at $4,500 [corrected amount].

    Silva was charged with promoting a dangerous drug and possessing drug paraphernalia after police found a glass smoking pipe on his person. His bail was set at $4,000. He was not charged on the weapons offenses pending further investigation.

    http://s3.amazonaws.com/nixle/uploads/pub_media/user5252-1416856958-media1

    Silva

    http://s3.amazonaws.com/nixle/uploads/pub_media/user5252-1416856970-media2

    Wamil

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  • 23 Nov 2014 /  Uncategorized

    From Cathey Tarleton:

    Is there a new “Buddhist beat?” What can be done to keep Buddhism relevant for Hawaii today? Dr. George Tanabe, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Religion at UH Manoa will examine these issues in a two-lecture series, in North and West Hawai‘i, open to all. On Thursday, Dec. 4 at NHERC in Honokaa, 6:30-8:30 p.m. “Is Buddhism in Hawaii Headed for Extinction?” For info call Honokaa Hongwanji, 775-7232. On Friday, Dec. 5 at Kona Hongwanji, Kealakekua: “Where’s the Beat in Buddhism? New Dharma Music.” For info call Rev. Bruce, 323-2993. Admission is free and light refreshments will be served.

  • 23 Nov 2014 /  BULLETINS, Closures, Lava Reports, news

    The lava flow remains active, but well upslope of Pahoa, prompting the county finally to “initiate” opening the closed section of Old Government Road, a.k.a. Pahoa Village Road, that’s been closed between Apa`a Street and Post Office Road. But the the road may still be closed to through traffic for a few more days.

    “The reopening of the Pahoa Village Road will be initiated starting tomorrow Monday, November 24th, and may take a few days to complete,” said County Civil Service in its morning report. “Utility crews will begin to remove the protection placed around the utility poles and this work will require the road to remain closed while equipment is operating in the area. ”    Mayor Billy Kenoi, at a lava briefing last week, expressed a belief that the road would be reopened by Thanksgiving.

    Hawaiian Volcano Observatory and Civil Defense staff reported new lava activity in the flow near Pahoa, but  breakouts continue in the mauka portion of the flow’s tube system. According to HVO, the lowermost active breakout had pushed to within about 3.6 miles mauka of Apaa`a Street, near the old True Geothermal drilling site in Wao Kele O Puna Forest Reserve.

    This morning’s Volcano Watch column, written by HVO staff, noted such interruptions were “typical” of pahoehoe flows, and that while the current stalling of the flow near Pahoa was “good news in the short term,” the flow still represented “a potential hazard to downslope communities. ”  The column also noted that it was “unclear how far lava will be able to reoccuyp the tube or where renewed surface flows might head.”

    Below: false-color image from NASA’s Earth Observing 1 satellite shows high-temperature areas indicating active lava breakouts in red.  Photo courtesy of Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.

    http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/multimedia/uploads/multimediaFile-1012.jpg

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  •  

    The Hawaii State Land Use Review Task Force is preparing to hold a series of meetings throughout the state to gather public input on the state’s land use regulations and process. The Hawaii County meetings will be held, Tuesday, December 2 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the county’s Aupuni Center Conference Room in Hilo and Wednesday, December 3, from 6 to 8 p.m at the Kona Natural Energy Lab Conference Room.“These meetings may be of particular interest to land owners, developers, farmers, conservation groups, planners and others who have had or will have experience with State land use, district boundary amendments, and special permit matters,” notes the Hawaii Office of Planning’s Web site.But some conservationists worry that the hearings may be the beginning of another attempt to abolish or defang the state’s Land Use Commission. Public testimony and contested case hearings before the Commission have played key roles in stopping development projects at O‘oma, Pohue Bay, Keopuka and other areas on this island.
    “I hear this ‘review’ of land use laws is supposed to happen every 5 years but hasn’t happened in decades – some people think this is yet another attempt to do away with the Land Use Commission/LUC – which would be a bad deal if you have a bad council and county administration,” noted Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation attorney David Kimo Frankel, in a widely-circulated e-mail.
    Conservation groups are heavily outvoted on the Commission, and Native Hawaiians are represented only by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs member; farmers are represented only by Farm Bureau. Consumer groups, homeowners, community associations and organic farmers have no representatives on the task force, which consists of representatives from twelve state and county agencies, the State Senate and House of Representatives, the Waikiki Improvement Association, Farm Bureau, the Hawaii Chamber of Commerce, the Hawaii Chapters of the American Planning Association and the American Institution of Architects, the Building Industry Association of Hawaii, The Hawaii Sierra Club, the Outdoor Circle, OHA, and the Land Use Research Foundation, or LURF, which represents 21 large landowning and development corporations.
    Among the things that Frankel says the Task Force is “pushing” are the conversion of the LUC from “quasi-judicial” to “quasi-legislative”–which could eliminate contested case hearings; the conversion of “non-productive” ag lands to easier-to-develop “rural” or “urban” categories, and the idea that the LUC may not be needed at all.

     

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  • 20 Nov 2014 /  Uncategorized

    imageEditor,

    As Pahoa languishes under the auspices of protection from the lava, I would like to make the people aware of the tragedy that is happening now that our precious town has been severed in half.

    Businesses on the lower east side of Pahoa are dying.  Tourists don’t know that Pahoa is not Malama and Longs Marketplaces, so they do not go there.  We want to see the lava.  Elected Officials do not respond to [the] multitude of safety, dead business, other complaints.  Mothers and babies now walk in dark on [the] highway to find nonexistent bus stops…  Even police and national guard at roadblocks admit [the] problem.

    –Sara Steiner

    Pahoa

     

  • 20 Nov 2014 /  commentary, news, sports, Uncategorized

    by J. D. Wacker

    “Once you’re a champion, you’re a champion forever,” Mayor Billy Kenoi addressed the Puna Panthers Pop Warner Midget Team prior to their championship game Saturday, November 1. His words became reality that night as the Panthers brought down the undefeated Westside Eagles, 20-18, on the wet and muddy field at Wong Stadium. However, as they raised their trophy high, and the rain continued to fall, they all knew that their recent victory was only a peak of what was a turbulent season for these young men, one young lady, their coaches, their families, and their community.
    Registrations, fee collections, the beginning of school, medical exams, league requirements, report cards, fundraising, birth certificates, scheduling, age and weight restrictions, transportation, etc., etc. are all part of organizing a team and can take its toll on any team. The Puna Panthers endured much more.
    Struggling economically, the Puna District is not exactly a Dallas suburb with multi-million dollar sports complexes where youth and high school football stadiums are more plush than most universities and rival some professional fields. Assembling a competitive team from an area of low incomes and population is no easy task in itself. This task was initiated five years ago by Keven Lee and is carried today by his father, Kel Lee, the team’s head coach and association president. He has the support of his wife Jackie, daughter Dayna, and his grandson Randen (his defensive coach). Also, he has devoted assistant coaches Kaipo Like and Jimmy and JayDeen Brown and medical assistant Ariel Brown at his side along with many others. Working a table on the corner in Pahoa, and working the phone and internet, Dayna worked tirelessly in the summer months to greet and welcome young athletes with dreams of putting on their cleats and pads and becoming Puna Panthers. Many had played together before, either in Pop Warner or flag football or both, but some new faces joined the team and were quickly made part of the family.
    Practices started on the hot afternoons in early August at the field at Hawaiian Beaches Park. Heads-Up training, initiated by the NFL, was the first step in the program, as it was with all Pop Warner teams. Immediately, it was clear there was a generous supply of young talent on the midget squad (ages 12-15). But, then everything changed August 7th with the arrival of Hurricane Iselle. With trees and power lines down and heavy traffic made it difficult for the players who reside primarily in the worst hit neighborhoods from HPP to Hawaiian Beaches, Hawaiian Shores, Nanawale and Leilani Estates, and Kapoho to get rides to practice, but they did. Lack of power for up to three weeks meant getting home quickly after practice to bathe in makeshift showers and do their homework before dark. Their field suffered some damage to its fences and driveways which all needed to be repaired prior to their upcoming games. Routine maintenance to the fields had to wait for weeks until cleanup from the storm was under control. The grass grew a little longer than normal as the team and its leaders continued to balance rebuilding their lives and building a team for the next several weeks.
    Sunday, September 7, brought their first challenge on the field from the Champion Panaewa Ali’i. In front of a large crowd of excited fans, the Panthers started their season right with a 38-14 victory with an impressive mix of running and passing attacks. The Panthers followed that more wins, travelling to an all-out war on the field with the Wailoa Razorbacks, a rainy day battle with the Keaukaha Warriors, and a visit to the Ali’i, emerging with an undefeated 4-0 record. During this period, another foe began marching its way toward their town, their homes, and their field: the June 27th lava flow.
    It was decided early that in order to avoid potential problems posed by the lava flow to reschedule all remaining games away from the Panthers’ Hawaiian Beaches field. So, their first game with the Ali’i became their only home game of the season and the Panthers would play the remainder of their games on the road. Throughout the season, the players and their families, coaches and staff faced the endless stay-or-go decision. Some moved and some stayed, but most faced hours of sorting and packing in preparation for moving. A few packed, moved their belongings to storage, and then moved back when the front stalled as rents on top of house payments became more than they could bare. Many have found themselves making payments on two homes as they wait for the lava to decide how they will proceed with their lives. But yet, somehow the Panther Nation prevailed and began to grow stronger. Maybe it was, in part, from Auntie Doreen’s (Coach Brown’s wife’s) cooking for concessions. Certainly, questions and predictions about the flow were heard off the field between parents and friends, but there was always an underlying source of energy that was drawing the Panthers closer together.
    At 4-0, the Panthers were on top of their Big Island Eastern Division. The other teams shared wins and losses and it looked as if the team would cruise to a division title. That was not how the fierce Wailoa Razorbacks saw the future, however. They clawed and scratched, but the Panthers were not up to the challenge from the Razorbacks and suffered their first loss of the season, 27-18. At the end of what was another war on the field, the Panthers were tired and dejected. They felt as if they had let their coaches and their Puna community down, and most of all themselves down. Tears fell, but they knew that they could do better. After a few days of practice, they realized that the loss was a learning experience and would only make them stronger. They returned to the field the following week to start a new winning streak with a convincing 41-21 win over Keaukaha.
    With renewed energy and a solid 5-1 record, the Panthers were poised to finish their regular season against Panaewa. This time, Hurricane Ana had other plans. Once again, with their lives sitting in the crosshairs of another violent storm, Pahoa and its Puna Panthers were in disbelief. They were just beginning to recover from the effects of what was technically “Tropical Storm” Iselle, and now Ana was on her way toward them. The game, whose outcome was meaningless to both teams’ post-season eligibility, was cancelled. On October 18th, Ana decided to spare Puna, for the most part, but still managed to add to what had already been a very stressful season. Starting August 1st, the Panthers’ season had experienced five wins, one loss, almost two hurricanes, and a continuing lava flow, all in the matter of a span of only a little more than two months.
    From the start, the photographers from Paradise Photo and Design, Dave and J.D. Wacker of Keaau, who photograph several area events including Big Island Pop Warner football, knew the Panthers were special. They saw the talent, but they also saw the bond this team was forming. Every team has cheers and chants, but when the Panthers came together before every practice and every game and recited their prayer and chant, it was clear they meant what they said. It was more than just words. “Love on three- LOVE! Pride on three- PRIDE! PUNA STRONG! PUNA STRONG! PUNA STRONG!” ended the cheer. J.D. Wacker captured their energy on a video titled, “Puna Strong”, and shared it on Facebook. Within only a few days, the video had been seen and shared by over 6000 people from Pahoa to around the world. The Online Panther Nation had organized, and a never-ending list of shouts of encouragement began to accumulate. It was becoming more and more apparent that nothing, not hurricanes, not lava, nothing was going to take away the heart of the team and its community.
    Besides its heart, the team enjoyed the talents of its players and the strength and conditioning established by their coaches. Two of its captains, brothers Kahiau and Keahi Walker, passed by oncoming blockers with their blazing speed to make an infinite number of tackles. The relentless endurance and determination of another captain, Keala Harris, troubled their opposition has he ran, took powerful hits and scored touchdowns on offense, while delivering one hit after another on defense. Finally, Captain Junior Santiago, led his team by leaving defenders in the dust and in the mud as he travelled down the field and repeatedly finding himself in the endzone. Quarterback Kaimi Like maintained control of the offense, threw several passes for long gains to several receivers, including Kepa La’a. Many opponents felt what it was like to be “hit by a girl” as defensive lineman Tiana Jones collected a long list of tackles. A strong offensive line and defensive line led the way for many others as they gained yards and gang tackled throughout the season. This combination of heart and talent plus a steady education from their coaches had prepared the Panther Midgets as they entered the 2014 Big Island Pop Warner Playoffs as East Side Champions.
    The first round of playoffs meant a first seed and a longer trip for the Panthers to the Kealakehe High School Field, outside Kona, to face the Kau Lions. The Lions put up a good fight, but the talent-laden Panthers were too much for them. The Panthers returned home victorious, winning 26-15. The undefeated Westside Eagles beat the Keaukaha Warriors to earn their chance to face the Panthers in the Big Island Pop Warner Midget Championship, November 1st, at Wong Stadium in Hilo.
    The lava flow made another impact on the Panthers’ season. In the week leading up to the championship game, some schools in Pahoa were closed temporarily and some were closed permanently. Some players were forced to leave their schools, and some were separated from their friends and regular teachers. All suffered from the unknown effects of what may come, but they still kept a positive attitude as they prepared for the upcoming game.
    A day’s worth of rain the day before left the field at Wong Stadium saturated and slippery. Two mud pits protruded into the field as three prior championship games and the island’s punt, pass, and kick competition set the stage for the finale between the Eagles and the Panthers. Clearing skies allowed some of the muddy field to dry, but as the teams started their battle, the clouds and rain returned and stayed for most of the game. Prior to taking the field, the Panthers were inspired by a surprise guest in their locker room, Puna’s own very energetic Mayor Billy Kenoi urged the team to “Play the best game of their lives,” “win it for Puna,” and “at the end of the day, SMILE, and enjoy the moment!”
    Confident, the Panthers took the field and joined together with their team prayer and Puna Jacks chant in front of the stadium crowd. Both teams were ready to play. One confrontation found a pack of Panther players on top of one Eagle in the middle of one of the pits of mud. The Eagles set the pace in the first half and led 12-8. Both teams hit hard and both teams suffered injuries, including the Panthers’ Kahiau Walker who suffered a broken wrist. As the rain continued to fall at halftime, the Panthers were visibly bothered by the loss of their teammate. As the teams returned for the second half, the weather continued to worsen and the lights were turned on to illuminate the combat which was beginning to resemble a late-season NFL game with muddied uniforms, dirty arms, hands, and legs. Eventually, injuries and time took its toll on the resilient Eagles who managed to score once more. The months of conditioning along with cheers of “Puna Strong” pushed the Panthers into the end zone twice. The extra points scored on a kick by Keahi Walker made the difference, and the Panthers held on to win, 20-18.
    Candy lei adorned the Panther players along with their championship medals. An icewater bath adorned Coach Kel Lee as the rain still fell, but no spirits were dampened. Together, they received their first Big Island Pop Warner Midget Champion Trophy, which at about five feet tall was easy to see as it was raised by the team before its faithful group of Puna fans. After all they had endured, the Panthers proved that love and pride together are strong and can conquer all, and that they were truly “The Pride of Puna”.
    Images from the Panthers’ Championship Season and other Big Island Pop Warner Teams may be viewed by visiting www.paradisephotoanddesign.com, and clicking the blue Facebook link. Several albums contain images from the season.

    J.D. Wacker
    Paradise Photo and Design
    jd@paradisephotoanddesign.com
    808.982.3858

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  • 20 Nov 2014 /  BULLETINS, food, news

    Aloha Lehua Café and Hui Aloha `O Puna Makai are seeking donations of food, cash and paper goods for their ongoing efforts to feed those in need in Puna. The café and the nonprofit are partnering to supply Thanksgiving dinners to the Puna community on November 26th. They’ve gotten 13 turkeys so far, and will be serving at the café from 4:30 until the food runs out, according to Luana Jones of Hui Aloha `O Puna Makai.
    The partnership also providing a monthly food pantry on the last Monday of each month at 1 p.m. at the café, and have tentatively scheduled a hot soup kitchen in January of 2005. The café has also been designated an emergency food pantry.
    Donations can be dropped off at the café, which is located in the Woodland Center at Kahakai Boulevard. For further information, contact Lori King at 808-313-9920.

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  • 19 Nov 2014 /  Education, environment, news

    Ocean Aware Hawaii, a coalition of marine conservation organizations, will offer its inaugural Ocean Awareness Training on Hawai‘i in Kailua-Kona in early December. The course, which includes three classroom sessions and a three-hour field project, will provide multi-disciplinary knowledge of Hawai‘i’s unique marine environment from instructors including university scientists, government agency staff environmental educators and conservation practitioners. In place of tuition, the organization is collecting a “suggested donation” of $10.

    Participants will learn about current ocean conservation efforts and opportunities to get involved. The program is open to the public – no prior experience is required–but those who participate will be expected to attend the full course.

    Classes will be held at West Hawai’i Civic Center in Kailua-Kona on Friday, December 5, Thursday, December 11 and Monday, December 15, 2014 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

     

    Register today by visiting us online at http://oceanawarehawaii.org.

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  • 17 Nov 2014 /  BULLETINS, news

    A fire that started in the green waste section of the Pu`uanahulu landfill facility on the Kona side on Saturday is “still smoking” today, according to Department of Environmental Management head Bobby Jean Leithead Todd, who noted that crews were “still spraying water on perimeter then using [bull]dozers to move away the wet greenwaste. Then we douse with more water. Then move to separate area. Then all over again until we get it all.”

    “The fire activity is limited to the green waste and there is no threat of a runaway fire.  Department personnel are on scene and the fire is contained and will be allowed to burn itself out. Smoke conditions are varying and motorists in the area are advised to drive with caution,” stated County Civil Defense, in a notice yesterday. Those with respiratory conditions that could be aggravated by smoke may wish to avoid the area.

    The Puuanahulu landfill is located on  the  mauka side of the Queen Kaahumanu Highwaysouth of the Waikoloa Beach Drive intersection.

     

  • 17 Nov 2014 /  Uncategorized

    From Hawaii Island United Way:

    ANNOUNCEMENT AND REQUEST
    Agencies, Businesses, and Organizations

    Is your Agency, Business, or Organization able to help Hawai’i Island communities, even in a small way, in a disaster? If you are, please take a moment to complete our Resource Survey at this link

    resource.lavasurvey.org

    This survey will help us plan and moblilize responders in times of need. There are plenty of selections, from shelters to translations services, to counselling, heavy lifting, and food preparation and distribution.

    Please take a moment to help us help Hawai’i Island!
    This survey is a joint project of Hawaii VOAD (Volunteer Agencies Active in Disasters) and Hawai’i Island United Way. Mahalo!

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  • 14 Nov 2014 /  Uncategorized

     

    (Media Release) — Hawaii Island police are continuing their search for a missing 44-year-old Keaau man.

    Thursday (November 13), detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section, Vice Section and Juvenile Aid Section continued their search for Jeffrey Everett Meek, who was last seen in the Pepeekeo area last Saturday (November 8). The efforts included both ground and aerial searches, which were aided by use of a Hawaii Fire Department helicopter.

    Search efforts continued along the shoreline Friday morning (November 14), again aided by the Fire Department’s chopper.

    Detectives have recovered items that are believed to belong to Meek but his whereabouts remain unknown. News reports about “pinging” the location of his cell phone were based on the family’s use of a website that has a disclaimer stating that the information may not be accurate. Police are using more reliable methods to track the location of the phone.

    Meek is described as Caucasian, 5-foot-8, 185 pounds with blue eyes and balding brown hair. He usually wears a white cowboy hat and blue jeans. He was last seen operating a 1986 faded blue Ford pickup truck, which police have since recovered.

    Police ask anyone who may have seen Meek and his truck on November 8 or who may have information or know his whereabouts to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 or contact Detective Wendall Carter at 961-2378 or wcarter@co.hawaii.hi.us.

    Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 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

  • 14 Nov 2014 /  BULLETINS, environment, Lava Reports, news

    The lava tongue that broke into the former Pahoa transfer station/recycling and reuse center has apparently stalled short of the buildings, for now. County Civil Defense reported this morning that the breakout at the station “has stopped flowing and is not active at this time.”  Civil Defense also noted that no asphalt was burning, for now  But other breakouts were still burning vegetation in the area of the cemetery below Apa`a Street, upslope of the recycling center and  from the large finger of the flow that is still coming down, now about 300 yards above Apa`a Street. Light south winds are continuing to blow moderate to heavy smoke in the direction of Ainaloa, Hawaiian Paradise Park and Kea’au.  The Weather Service has forecast that those winds would continue for the next two days.

    Below: Hawaii Volcano photos taken yesterday at the recycling center. Upper photo: terminus of the flow. ” There are no active toes of lava in the image, but the lava is still hot enough to burn the asphalt beneath, creating visible white smoke.” Lower photo:  Pele at the gates.

    http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/multimedia/uploads/multimediaFile-986.jpg

     

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  • 14 Nov 2014 /  Education, Elections, news, politics

    From Noelie Rodriguez:

    A panel will discuss Clean Elections and Transparency in a forum on
    Thursday November 20 at 6:30 p.m.  in UCB 100 on the University of Hawaii
    Hilo (UHH) campus.  The featured speaker will be Carmille Lim the
    Director of Hawai’i Common Cause.  Also speaking will be Susan Dursin
    from The League of Women Voters and Chris Yuen, attorney, former board
    member of The Hawaii Elections Project.

    In 2008, UHH students played a leading role in the Legislature to pass
    the  Big Island Clean Elections Pilot Program passed, which allowed
    Council candidates who qualified to campaign with public funding
    instead of depending on campaign contributions from special interest
    donors.  The Pilot ran successfully in the 2010 and 2012 County
    Council races but has since ended.  (The public program was funded by
    the $3 voluntary check off on our tax forms, which does not reduce an
    individual’s filed personal income tax.)

    Since the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United ruling, big,
    special-interest money has been flooding into political campaigns.
    According to the Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission, in 2012, over $4
    million was spent on Hawaii campaigns by independent groups. In the
    2014 election , a single “independent” group, funded almost entirely
    by Monsanto and Dow Chemical spent $8 million on a ballot initiative
    campaign.

    Nationwide, many Americans believe that the influx of special interest
    money in elections threatens the integrity of our democracy.  As an
    antidote to big money funding their bid for office, with Clean
    Elections, candidates have the option of running on public funding so
    that they will be more likely to be answerable to their constituents
    rather than to their rich campaign donors.

    The 2014 Legislature failed to continue the funding of the Big Island
    Clean Elections Pilot Program and ultimately killed a bill which
    promoted a statewide Clean Elections program.  However, in 2013, the
    Legislature passed a bill which would require stronger disclosures for
    independent groups seeking to influence our elections. The forum will
    discuss how the 2015 legislature can continue to combat the corrosive
    effects of outside money in Hawaii’s elections.

    The event is sponsored by Common Cause Hawaii, Global HOPE, and the
    nationwide student group, Democracy Matters.

    The panel discussion is free and the public is encouraged to attend.
    Parking on the UHH campus is free in the evening.

    For more information phone Noelie Rodriguez, 934-2635 or 963-6966.

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  • 13 Nov 2014 /  BULLETINS

    From Hawaii Police Department:

    A  22-year-old man faces enhanced penalties for allegedly committing crimes during an emergency declaration.

    At 6:50 a.m. Wednesday (November 12), police responded to a report of a burglary in progress in the Hawaiian Paradise Park subdivision in Puna.

    A 60-year-old woman reported that she saw a woman on her property on 3rd Avenue off Kaloli Street and then saw a man attempting to steal her pickup truck. When she confronted them, they fled on foot before officers arrived. Police determined that the man had attempted to break into the house before being confronted by the victim.

    http://s3.amazonaws.com/nixle/uploads/pub_media/user5252-1415915158-media1

    Hernandez

    A short time later, police located the man on 1st Avenue and the woman on 2nd Avenue. They were identified as 22-year-old Sebastian Hernandez of Kea’au and 25-year-old Olivia Medeiros of Mountain View. Both were arrested and taken to the Hilo police cellblock while detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section continued the investigation.

    Wednesday afternoon, Medeiros was released pending further investigation. Hernandez was charged with unauthorized entry of a motor vehicle and attempted burglary of a dwelling during an emergency declaration, which enhances the attempted burglary from a B felony to an A felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison with no possibility of probation. He was also charged with contempt of court for an unrelated matter. His bail was set at $12,300. He remained at the cellblock until his initial court appearance on Thursday (November 13).

    On September 4, Mayor Billy Kenoi proclaimed a state of emergency for the Puna District under Act 111 of the 2014 Hawai‘i State Legislature. As a result, the classifications of certain crimes are elevated while the emergency proclamation is in effect. Other crimes, including unauthorized entry of a motor vehicle, carry enhanced sentencing.