Center Offers Mediation Training

Hilo’s Ku`ikahi Mediation Center still has room for more enrollees in its next Basic Mediation Training, which will take place over two weekends, September 12-13 and 19-20, at the Aging and Disability Resource Center, 1225 Kinoole St., Hilo. The 30-hour training session, which runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays, “offers instruction in the process of mediation and how to apply advanced communication skills–such as active listening, summarizing and reframing, and using open-ended questions–in order to help people resolve their differences.” Participants learn how to use mediation techniques to manage and resolve conflict, communicate more effectively, become more effective negotiators and problem solvers, and contribute to conflict resolution in their homes, business places and communities.
“People in conflict often focus on each other as the problem, going head to head. Mediation helps people focus on the issues, not on each other, so they can see that they have a joint problem to solve,” noted an e-mail flyer on the training. “Whether you want to improve your peacemaking and communication skills or want to become a mediator, this training gives you the tools you need to start resolving conflict in a peaceful and lasting way.
No particular background or personality is needed–all are welcome!”
The course will be taught by Diane Petropulos & Catherine Lampton. Cost, including training materials, is $295 but partial scholarships are available; to get an application form, e-mail For more information, call (808) 935-7844
ext. 9.

HVNP Summit Stewardship Programs Need Volunteers

From Jessica Ferracane at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park:

Hawaii National Park, Hawai‘i – Help protect the native Hawaiian rainforest at the summit of K?lauea by volunteering for “Stewardship at the Summit” programs in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, now through June 2015.

Stewardship at the Summit begins at 9 a.m. and ends at noon. The dates from April through June are: April 2, 11, 17, and 24; May 1, 8, 20 and 30; and June 5, 13, and 19.

Volunteers help remove invasive, non-native plant species that prevent native species from growing. Meet project leaders Paul and Jane Field at K?lauea Visitor Center at 9 a.m. on any of the above dates. Wear sturdy hiking shoes and long pants. Bring a hat, rain gear, day pack, snacks and water. Gloves and tools are provided. No advance registration is required, and there is no cost to participate, but park entrance fees apply.

Volunteers have dedicated 4,271 hours of their time, and have restored more than 25 acres of native rainforest within the national park, since 2012. Countless Himalayan ginger, faya, strawberry guava, and other invasive, non-native plants that threaten the native understory near the summit of K?lauea volcano have been removed. In their place, once-shaded ‘ama‘u and h?pu‘u tree ferns have re-emerged, and pa‘iniu, k?wa‘u, and other important native plants are returning to the stewardship plots.

Fuel Up for a Good Cause: Minit Stops Sponsor Mediation Center

Hilo, Hawai‘i – March 23, 2015 – This April, May, and June, the general public can support the non-profit Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center by purchasing gasoline at any Ohana Fuels (Minit Stop) in East Hawai‘i.

The participating Minit Stop stations include two in Hilo at the corners of Highway 11 and Puainako Street and Highway 11 and Leilani Street.  The third is located in Laupahoehoe on Highway 19, the fourth in Kea‘au on Orchidland Drive (off Highway 130).

 According to Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center’s press release, the center “empowers people to come together–to talk and to listen, to explore options, and to find their own best solutions.  To achieve this mission, Ku’ikahi offers mediation, facilitation, and training to strengthen the ability of diverse individuals and groups to resolve interpersonal conflicts and community issues. 

 For more information, visit or

Northwest Hawaiian Islands Advisory Council Needs Two Kanaka Maoli Members

From the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration:

NOAA’s Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve, part of Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, is seeking applicants for two seats on its advisory council.  The council ensures public participation in reserve management and provides advice and recommendations to the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries regarding the reserve.

“Community representatives on our advisory council are an extremely important part of our team,” said David Swatland, acting superintendent for Papah?naumoku?kea Marine National Monument.  “Their input is an integral part of managing this special place.”

The reserve is accepting applications for the following seats: Native Hawaiian elder (alternate) and Native Hawaiian (alternate).

Candidates are selected based on their expertise and experience in relation to the seat for which they are applying, community and professional affiliations, and views regarding the protection and management of marine resources. Applicants who are chosen as members or alternates should expect to serve a two-year term or until a different advisory body is created pursuant to Papah?naumoku?kea Marine National Monument’s management plan.

The advisory council consists of 15 primary and alternate members representing a variety of public interest groups, including conservation, education, research, and ocean-related commercial and recreational activities, as well as the Native Hawaiian community. It also includes 10 governmental seats representing: Department of Defense, Department of the Interior, Department of State, Marine Mammal Commission, National Marine Fisheries Service, National Science Foundation, U.S. Coast Guard, Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council, Papah?naumoku?kea Marine National Monument and Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary.

Applications are due March 31. To receive an application kit, or for further information, please contact Hoku Johnson, acting deputy superintendent, via email at; by phone at ; or by mail at Hoku Johnson, NOAA Inouye Regional Center, NOS/ONMS/PMNM 1845 Wasp Blvd., Building 176, Honolulu HI 96818. Application kits can also be downloaded at:

West Hawaii Phone Glitches Again May Compromise 911 Calls

For the second time in a week, problems with the phone system in West Hawaii may be compromising residents abilities to use the emergency 911 phone number

According to the  Hawaii Police Department, “Due to issues with phone services in West Hawaii, 911 and calls to the Police may be affected. It is requested that those needing police assistance who are having trouble making phone contact go to the nearest police station.”


Puna News — Island Naturals Kick-Starts PCMC Emergency Room Building Fund With $1,000 Donation

Kai Sorte, Island Naturals Pahoa manager (L), Russell Ruderman, owner of Island Naturals stores islandwide and State Senate District 2 candidate, Dr. Hart Miller, Puna Community Medical Center Clinic Director Dan Domizio, PCMC Board President Rene Siracusa, Richard Bidleman, PCMC Board Treasurer Steve Sparks, 106-year-old Saramae Landers (front left) and Sara Burgess pose with an over-sized $1,000 check Island Naturals presented to PCMC on Thursday in front of the PCMC clinic located in the Pahoa Marketplace. The check kick-starts a PCMC emergency room building fund. Photo and text by Tiffany Edwards Hunt. All rights reserved. Use with permission only.

Island Naturals owner Russell Ruderman, who is also a candidate for State Senate District 2, has kick-started the Puna Community Medical Center emergency room building fund with a $1,000 donation.  He and Kai Sorte, the Pahoa Island Naturals store manager, presented an over-sized check to Puna Community Medical Center staff and board members today.

“We’re happy to support the Puna Community Medical Center.  We’re especially happy to help kickstart the building fund for the new clinic to be built, including the emergency room services,” Ruderman said. “We’re hoping everybody else in the community will help create this new wonderful facility.”  He expressed how “proud” he and others with Island Naturals are of the clinic that started a few years ago and stayed in business through the community’s donations.

Dan Domizio, PCMC’s clinic director, described Island Naturals’ donation as a “good kickstart for this project that this community needs.”

“Two or three or four years from now, two million dollars from now, we’ll have this facility that everybody needs.  It feels good to be here,” Domizio said.

Domizio accepted Island Naturals’ check, along with Dr. Hart Miller, who works at the clinic.

“I’m excited to be part of this opportunity to promote health care in Puna and help to build our comprehensive medical center, starting with the emergency department,” Miller said, noting it will be built “from the ground up, step by step, community support the whole way.”

“We’ve been going in groups all around Puna talking about our plans for ultimately a comprehensive a medical center and more immediately an emergency room,” said Rene Siracusa, PCMC board president.  “And everybody in Puna agrees we need it and everybody wants to get involved in one way or another.   Read more

Politics — Hawaiian Shores Candidate Forum Is July 28

CANDIDATE FORUM!  SAT, July 28th 11 am to 3 pm. Hawaiian Shores Park: 15-2793 Honu St., Pahoa. Senate #2 and House #4 candidate forum at 11 am.  Mayor, Prosecutor, and Council District #4 forum at 1 pm.  Hotdog/soda fundraiser.  Sponsor: Hawaiian Shores Community Assn (965-8140); Facilitator: League of Women Voters.  Open to the public. — Eileen O’Hara

Island Events — ‘Once In A Blue Moon’ Event Raises Funds For PCMC

(Media release)— “Once in a blue moon” means rarely, almost never.  Look at your calendar for August and you will see that we will soon be having just such a rare celestial event on Friday, Aug. 31, 2012.

To commemorate this unusual phenomenon, Puna will be doing something equally rare.

The volunteers of the Puna Community Medical Center will launch their Emergency Room Building Fund with a fun event under the stars (and the moon, of course).  Once in a blue moon the Puna community builds something special, rare and unprecedented – this time we will unite to build an emergency room in Pahoa.  It will take all of us to do it, but we will surely arrange to have fun in the process. Read more

Big Island Press Club — Who, Me? Member of The Year? A Pat On The Back For The Media Symposium

(Media release) — The Big Island Press Club on Saturday recognized Member of the Year Tiffany Edwards Hunt, publisher of the World Wide Web Log Big Island Chronicle, for her role in organizing a media symposium at the University of Hawaii at Hilo last year.

We also recognized Rod Thompson, treasurer and retired Star-Bulletin reporter, for organizing the Project of the Year, a Halloween get-together at his house at his own expense.

The honors were presented at the Hilo Yacht Club during the Annual Dinner, which was attended by more than 30 people. Dr. John Pezzuto, founding dean of the University of Hawaii at Hilo College of Pharmacy, gave the keynote address, which touched on the role of the pharmacy college in the community and the results of his research regarding the compound reservatrol.

(Submitted by Peter Sur.)

Hawaii News — ‘End The War on Drugs’ Hilo Talk Showing On Channel 54 And Internet

(Media release) — Neill Franklin,  retired Maryland policeman and  head of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, visited Hilo Feb. 3, speaking to the Rotary Club, to several elected officials, and at a public event in the East Hawai’i Cultural Center.  The event at the EHCC was recorded by Island Eyes Video, edited to an hour length and will be shown on Cable TV channel 54 the following times:
Sat., 3/3 @ 3pm
Tues., 3/6 @ 6pm
Thurs., 3/8 @ 6pm
Wed., 3/14 @ 9pm
Sat., 3/17 @ 8pm
Tues., 3/20 @ 6pm

The video may also be viewed on line at: 

The call to end the War on Drugs is  coming from many quarters.  This past summer, June, 2011, the Global Commission on Drug Policy, an alliance of world leaders, declared the War on Drugs “a resounding failure”!  The alliance included former Secretary of State George Shultz, former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Paul Volcker, former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan,  President of Greece, ex-Presidents of Columbia and Mexico, and head of Virgin Airlines, Sir Richard Branson, among others.  
       Their recommendations to the UN:
• End the criminalization of drug users who “do no harm to others;”
• Use legal regulation to wrestle controls from criminals;
• Institute addiction treatment programs if needed. 

 Following this presentation to the UN, Former President Jimmy Carter supported these reforms in a New York Times editorial, June 16, 2011, titled “Call Off the Global Drug War.” 
(Submitted by Mary Marvin Porter.)

Puna News — Mainstreet Pahoa Association’s Annual Meeting Is March 21

Mainstreet Pahoa Association will hold its annual meeting at 6 p.m., Wednesday, March 21, 2012 at the Pahoa Neighborhood Facility (Pahoa Community Center, 15-302 Kauhale St.) A membership drive is planned, along with the nomination and election of the board’s president, vice president, secretary, treasurer and directors for the next year. Those interested in becoming members should plan to attend or email for an application.  Yearly dues to the association are $20.

Mainstreet Pahoa Association was founded in 1992 to establish and maintain Pahoa Village as the social, cultural and commercial center of lower Puna. The organization is dedicated to preserving Pahoa’s quality of life and enhancing its economic vitality.