• 11 Jul 2015 /  BULLETINS, Crime, Economics, news, Uncategorized
    If you get a phone call from someone who says you owe money on your water bill ad demands payment by phone, hang up, whether you actually owe money or not.  It’s a scam.
    Both the Hawaii County Department of Water Supply (DWS) and the Hawaii Police Department have issued a press releases warning the public of the scam. The DWS says it’s received reports from residents who have experienced such calls from someone claiming to be from the DWS.

    “The individuals call Water Supply customers and threaten to shut off water service because of a past due water bill,” says the water department’s release. “The DWS would like to inform the public that these calls are fraudulent and an attempt to receive payment over the phone.”

    Anyone who receives such a call should report it tothe Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311. Members of the community may also call the DWS Office at 961-8050 to file an additional report.

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  • 10 Jul 2015 /  Uncategorized

    Pacific Tsunami Warning Center reports an earthquake with magnitude 7.0 occurred in the Solomon Islands at approximately 6:13p.m.HST.  Based on all available data, a pacific wide destructive tsunami has not been generated and no tsunami threat to Hawaii.  Repeat, no tsunami threat to Hawaii.

  • 08 Jul 2015 /  commentary, Hawaiian culture, letters, news

    To:  Interested Parties
    From:  Lanny Sinkin, Ali’i Mana’o Nui, Kingdom of Hawai’i

    On Thursday, July 2, I received an email informing me that Office of Mauna Kea Management Rangers were allowing those engaged in spiritual practice on Mauna a Wakea to ascend the Mountain only at 1:00 p.m. each day, limiting the number of people that could ascend to ten, and requiring a Ranger be present to accompany the practitioners.

    Meanwhile cars and trucks of non-practitioners traveled up and down the Mountain with no restrictions.

    I went to the 9,000 foot level and interviewed various Protectors who confirmed what I had been told.

    I had no question that the restrictions amounted to an unconstitutional restriction on the rights to religious practice guaranteed by the First Amendment and that the allowing of non-practitioners to ascend the Mountain constituted discrimination against the spiritual practitioners in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment guarantee of equality before the law.

    I discussed the situation with the Kahuna of the Temple of Lono.  He agreed to pursue legal action to stop the latest instance of persecution of the traditional faith by the State.  I prepared pleadings to request a Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction prohibiting the enforcement of the unconstitutional restrictions.  The Federal Court in Honolulu was closed on Friday through Sunday, so I came to Honolulu today to file the action.

    Attached are the cover letter to the Attorney General and the pleadings I filed today.  United States District Court, Honolulu  CV 15 00254.

    Judge Watson did not have time to address the TRO today.  I am expecting to hear from him tomorrow.

     

    –Lanny  Sinkin

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  • 07 Jul 2015 /  business, Economics, news

     

    A financial Web site called money-rates.com has named Hawaii the worst state in the Union to make a living.

    To establish those ratings, the site looked at five factors: average wages, state tax rates, the cost of living, the unemployment rate, and the incidence of workplace accidents and work-related health problems.  The three “best places to make a living,” according to the survey, were Texas, Washington and Wyoming, all of which have no state income tax at all.

    In determining Hawaii’s low status, the site said, “Cost of living is the main issue. Hawaii has the highest cost of living of any state. One of the biggest reasons why cost of living is so great in the state is higher than average housing expenses. According to Zillow, the median home value of a house in Hawaii is $537,300, which could price some buyers out of the market. Additionally,  salaries in the state do not compensate for its high cost of living – the average wage in Hawaii is about typical for the rest of the nation. Hawaii has one of the highest income tax rates of any state. Adjusted for taxes and the cost of living, workers in Hawaii get the equivalent value of just 55 cents for every dollar they make.”

    The bad news about Hawaii was picked up by nationwide sites such as such as USA Today as well as some local news sources in Hawaii. But those sites missed the other side of the coin:  money-rates.com, in another analysis, has rated Hawaii as the nation’s  best place to retire.  In that survey, it took into account not just state income tax rates, but other tax forms such as property tax.

    “As you might expect, Hawaii scored well for its climate, but that was not its greatest strength,” noted the site. “The category in which Hawaii ranked No. 1 out of all 50 states was life expectancy for people at age 65 today. There is just something about the place that agrees with people. One caution is that Hawaii has the highest cost of living of all 50 states, but it does somewhat offset that by having the lowest property taxes as a percentage of property value.”

    Factors included in  “Best Place to Retire” analysis included the number of seniors in the state’s population (“just for how many of their peers seniors can expect to find in different states, but also how well each state is attracting older residents”), the state’s economic climate (“taxes, cost of living and unemployment”), the state’s rates of violent and property crimes, the weather, and senior life expectancy rates.

    Money-rates.com is a financial Web site aimed primarily at investors; its aim, according to its masthead, is to “find you the best bank rates.”

     

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  • 07 Jul 2015 /  Island Events, news

    The 28th Annual Richardson Roughwater Swim will be held Sunday, July 26, at Richardson Ocean Park in the Keaukaha area of Hilo.

    Sponsored by the Hawaii County Department of Parks and Recreation, the 1-mile-long race is designed for strong, experienced swimmers. Competitors may experience ocean swells, powerful currents and waves breaking over the outside reef.

    Those who register by Friday, July 17 get a discounted rate of $15 per person. A late-entry fee of $25 per swimmer will apply after that deadline.

    Entry forms are available at all County of Hawai‘i swimming pools and the Department’s Recreation Office located within Aunty Sally Kaleohano’s L?‘au Hale at 799 Pi‘ilani Street in Hilo.

    For more information call 961-8694 from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. weekdays.

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  • recycled-fish-net-ocean-trash-sneakers-adidas-4The UN-affiliated environmental organization Parley for the Ocean has teamed up with Adidas Shoe to create a prototype running shoe that it claims is made from recycled plastic ocean debris. The shoe, made from materials collected off the coast of West Africa by a Sea Shepherd expedition to shadow illegal trawling activity there, features a surface made from blue plastic monofilament used in fishing lines and netting worldwide. It made its public debut at the New York kickoff party for the UN-sponsored Parley for the Ocean talks, which bring together public and private sector participants in an effort to turn around the rapid decline of the world’s oceans.

    “2048 seems to be the overall accepted deadline [according to scientists] for the collapse of all commercial fisheries, and already by 2025 all the coral reef ecosystems in the world will be gone. Leading environmentalists already see the end of most sea life happening in 6–16 years,” notes the Parley for the Oceans Web site. “Diminishment of biodiversity in our ocean is the single greatest threat to the survival of humanity. With diminishment of species in our oceans comes diminishment of the quality of life for humanity. What are the causes of this continuing mass extinction and imminent threat to our collective survival?”

    The site notes several major factors in the oceans’ decline, including commercial overfishing, climate change, ocean acidification, and pollution with plastic and chemicals. Plastics have become a major problem; they make up a large part of the Texas-sized “garbage patch” of floating debris that has formed in the Pacific between California and Hawaii, for instance, and local groups annually haul tons of it from remote Kamilo beach on the Big Island, where it has actually begun to form plastic sand.

    “Artists, musicians, actors, directors, fashion designers, journalists, architects, product inventors, and scientists have the tools to mold the reality we live in and to develop alternative business models and ecologically sensible products to give us earthlings an alternative choice, an everyday option to change something,” it notes. “To succeed, we need to find ways to synchronize the economic system of mankind with the ecosystem of nature. And make environmental protection fiscally lucrative for pacesetting major companies. Parley has been created to accelerate a process of change that is already in progress.”

    The new shoe, whose innovative design even got spread in the avante-garde art site thisiscollosalcom, is just one small example of what can be don toward that “synchronization.” A company called GStar RAW, in collaboration with musician Pharrell Williams, already produces a line of “denim” clothing made from fibers extracted from marine debris. Parley for the Ocean founder Cyrill Gutsch told the Web site takepart.com, “Realistically we will retrieve around 10,000 tons of plastic this year from shorelines and by retrieving discarded fishing nets, which we do in collaboration with Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.”

    Takepart.com also reported that Parley, working Sea Shepherd, has “already started collecting plastic in China, Australia, Hawaii, and the East and West Coasts of the United States. Collection will begin soon in Brazil, Mexico, the Maldives, Greece, France, and the United Kingdom.”

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  • 05 Jul 2015 /  Uncategorized

    TBhandari and Paulhe Indian Classical Music Circle of Hawaii will be presenting a series of concerts and workshops to raise money to help Nepal rebuild after the disastrous earthquakes that struck the impoverished Himalayan nation last April and May. The statewide concert tour, featuring sarangi virtuoso Parashuram Bhandari, tabla maestro Daniel Paul, and tanpura artist Babette Ackin will come to Waimea’s Kahilu Theater at 7 p.m on Friday, July 10 and Hilo High School’s Performing Arts Center at 7 p.m. on July 11.

    Bhandari, who hails from Nepal, is a master of the sarangi, an instrument whose name means “hundred colors”: it is bowed on three melody strings with thirty-six sympathetic strings underneath, giving it a haunting cello-like resonance and bright reverberating echo. Bhandari’s music ranges from the wildly exuberant to hauntingly delicate, presented with the rhythmic power that is his signature.

    Daniel Paul is a graduate from the Ali Akbar College of Music, a Fulbright India Scholar and long-time tabla accompanist to Grammy nominee Jai Uttal. Together in a time honored tradition whose roots go back thousands of years, Parashuram and Daniel will present an evening meditation of melodies and rhythms from Nepal and India. Tickets are a minimum $20 a the door—larger donations are welcome.

    On Saturday, July 11 from 10 a.m. to noon, Bandari and Paul will conduct an “Introduction to Raga for Kirtan Lovers” Workshop at Kalani Retreat Center in Pahoa. Workshop minimum donation: $20; Raga is Music for the Soul. Participnts will earn how tradition, mood, raag (melody) and tal (rhythm) create this transcendent form. Rare workshop opportunity to learn about raga melody and rhythms (how to count the 16 beat cycle) with two masters, sarangi virtuoso Parashuram Bhandari of Nepal and tabla maestro Daniel Paul. Especially for kirtan lovers, experience how raga, kirtan, bhajan, meditation, devotion all spring from one source. No prior music experience is necessary;  Singers, dancers and non-musical people are welcome.  A minimum of ten reservations is needed for the workshop to go forward.

    Proceeds from the concerts and workshop will go to the The Nepal Foundation and Society of Nepalese in Hawaii for relief to areas stricken by the earthquakes of April 25 and May 12 of this year, which caused over 6,000 deaths and 7,000 injuries, and flattened more than 90 percent of homes and buildings in villages near the temblor epicenters.
    For more information, go to
    www.parashurambhandari.com
    www.tabladaniel.com
    kalani.com/events/upcoming

  •  

    Dear Governor Ige,

    Because we are Hawaiian Cultural Practitioners and are fairly well-acquainted with Mauna Kea, on April 8, 2015, Paul Neves and I guided you and your party to the summit of Mauna Kea. I have made pilgrimages to the summit a few times since that momentous trip up there with you.

    One of my primary activities of my cultural practice is to walk in the footsteps of my ancestors – and i have walked over many parts of Mauna Kea, including having my cultural hiking group – Huaka’i i na ‘Aina Mauna – in 2002 – hike from sea level at Koholalele Landing, at Kukaiau, on the Hamakua coast, to the summit of Mauna Kea, following the Umikoa Trail, then descending the Skyline Trail, crossing Pohakuloa Training Area and following the Kona Highway to the vicinity of Pu’uAnahulu, then hiking the Pu’uAnahulu-Kiholo Trail back to sea level at Luahinewai, at Kiholo Bay on the Kona coast.

    I am desirous to ascend Mauna Kea again – but I hear that you have illegally placed certain restrictions on cultural practitioners (such as me) to be able to go up the Mountain only at 1 p.m. on a daily basis in a group of less than 10.  And I understand that the reason for this restriction is that you have declared the road to be unsafe, making it a public safety issue.  But what I don’t understand is that the observatory people have access to go up and down the Mountain.- with no limitations.  It seems to me that if the road is unsafe for cultural practitioners, that it would be unsafe for astronomers and the public.  Do they sign disclaimers or something of that sort – to be able to do what they are being allowed to do?  If so, I’m willing to sign a disclaimer too.  In other words, I’m willing to disclaim the risk of using the road that you have declared to be unsafe.  However, I hear that there are no restrictions for cultural practitioners who are willing to hike.

    Well, back to my wanting to ascend the Mountain.

    Despite having a hypertensive condition, and suffering from a side effect of gout, I thought I’d visit the summit area on Sunday, leaving the HalePohaku Visitors’ Center area at 5 a.m.  As you are a relatively young man compared to my being 79 years old – I would love to have you share the hike up the Mountain with me.  We can do this by ourselves – and you can give your bodyguards the day off – as there won’t be any of those “unruly,” young Protectors on the road that is being restricted to them.  And since they will be escorted up the mountain by one of the Mauna Kea rangers when they can come up at 1 p.m., things should be quite secure.  And since there will be just you and me – we’ll be able to enjoy the spirituality and serenity of the Mountain in peace and quiet.  Lake Waiau should be at its shimmering best.  Even if we take our time moving at a leisurely pace, going up to an altitude of 13,000 feet, we should be back to the Visitors’ Center before 10 p.m.

    There is only one problem – and that is that if my feet swell excessively because of my medications and subsequent water retention – that I’ll have to abort any further ascent at that point – and start down.  Will that be OK with you?

    Can I look forward to your timely appearance at 5 a.m. on Sunday morning as we engage in this wonderful cultural (we don’t have to call it religious) activity?  Please make sure, though, that you have good hiking boots, some energetic food and snacks and warm clothes (in case the weather should turn a bit cold).

    Thanks.  I’m looking forward to spend a very nice and pleasant day with you.

    ku ching

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  • 05 Jul 2015 /  Uncategorized
    After holding a successful summer health fair in Kapa`au last month, Hamakua-Kohala Health (HKH) is celebrating the award of a significant grant from HMSA. The HMSA Foundation has awarded the Center a the grant to fund the position of Patient Care Coordinator (PCC).
    “The PCC is an essential function of primary health care,” said Irene Carpenter, Chief Executive Officer. “They provide a bridge across multiple systems, such as schools, health care providers, etc., and also coordinate appointments, referral forms, transportation, and more.”
    “The Patient Care Coordinator also communicates effectively with providers, patients and families across the health system, and among the multiple technical systems,” said Carpenter. “This proactive holistic approach has been shown to result in healthier patients and families.”
    Hamakua-Kohala Health was formed to povide “primary care that is accessible, affordable, continuous, comprehensive, family centered, coordinated, compassionate, and culturally sensitive.” In addition, the Center assists with support services, including the Amazing Tooth Bus, and offers sliding fee scales to help provide services for low-income and uninsured patients. The 340B program provides discounted medication to patients that qualify. For more information, please visit www.HamakuaHealth.org, or call 808-775-7204.

  • 04 Jul 2015 /  letters

    Dear Editor,

    This bill is very bad, it is not for the people of Hawaii.  This bill is so over regulated and the compliance terms are so over-kill that any medical marijuana product sold there will be unaffordable for the common person, much less sick people who lived on fixed incomes.  

    I have a feeling the legislation has been severely influenced by large corporations who have several million available to invest and the criminal and legal profession who still wants to make arrests, prosecute and jail people for cannabis.

    This law is discriminatory against regular Hawaii residents from the amount of money needed too pre-qualify down to the idiotic micro-management requirements from seed to plant to consumer.  I beg you Mr. Ige, please VETO HB321!  

    Very sincerely,

    Sara Steiner
    P.O. Box 2011
    Pahoa, HI 96778

  • 01 Jul 2015 /  letters

    The recent Supreme Court ruling that the U.S. Constitution provides same-sex couples the right to marry is an historic victory not only for gay and lesbian Americans but for all Americans who cherish equality, liberty, and justice for all.

    Reassuringly, this ruling bears witness that “equal justice under law”—words that are etched into stone on the front of the Supreme Court—has at long last triumphed over discrimination and inequity.

    With the landmark ruling, same-sex marriage now becomes legal in all 50 states. My guess is we’ll get used to it in no time.

     

     

    Michael Ra Bouchard, Ph.D.

    Clinical Sexologist

    Pahoa , Hawaii

     

  • 26 Jun 2015 /  commentary, Energy, letters

    Dear Editor:

    The purpose of the Big Island Community Coalition is to work towards reduced electrical energy costs on the Island of Hawaii – where we pay up to four times the national average for our power.  We are particularly sensitive to electric power rates as very high rates serve essentially as a regressive tax on our population while greatly reducing the probability of generating jobs in any sector that is dependent on electricity.

    There are occasions when events are so alarming that groups such as ours feel compelled to move beyond our primary task.  This is such a time.

    We have observed with increasing alarm as our community has taken steps that inexorably blunt the forward movement of our economy and even move us backwards.  These include:

    1.     Anti-Geothermal activists encouraged County government to ban nighttime drilling, effectively stopping expansion of a major source of renewable and inexpensive electric power beyond already-existing permits.  This action was taken despite the existing plant meeting all applicable noise standards.  It appears that government officials took this action without first going to the site to verify that the noise was disruptive.  Once they did go to the site, some years later, government found that the noise was less than other environmental sounds (i.e., coqui frogs) and essentially no more than typical background noise.

    2.     Anti-GMO activists lobbied to stop any new GMO products from being grown on the island – despite the fact that the vast majority of scientific, peer-reviewed studies found such products to be as safe, and in some cases more nutritious, as their non-GMO counterparts.  Legislation even prohibited GMO flowers – not consumed by anyone – from being grown on the island.  Thus family farmers lost the most effective new tools needed to reduce pesticide and herbicide usage while increasing productivity needed to keep their farms competitive.

    3.     Now we have anti-Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) activists taking steps to stop construction of the most advanced telescope in the world.  If successful in stopping TMT, despite its sponsors following every legal requirement over a seven-year period, we will lose our world leading advantage in understanding the universe.

    All of these actions share similar characteristics:

    ·      The arguments used to justify such actions are consistently anti-scientific.

    ·      “Anti” groups often obscure the lack of scientific evidence to support their position by using emotional pleas intended to incite fear.

    ·      The only “win” for many of these groups is to completely stop, thereby making them completely unwilling to consider any facts that refute their position or to make any reasonable compromise.

    ·      Long-term consequences are significant both culturally and economically.

    Cultures that survive and thrive embrace new technologies carefully, thoughtfully and steadily.  Cultures and economies that thrive are innovative beccause they generate ideas and solutions, solve problems and take calculated but careful risks.

    Cultures that fall backwards are those that fear advancement, fear change and cling to a mythicized view of yesteryear.  The net result is loss of their brightest and most hard working youth.  Those youth that remain find fewer and fewer jobs – those jobs having greatly diminished economic value and lower wages.  The downward spiral becomes inexorable.

    As we look to tomorrow, we need to ask ourselves whether we wish to give our children the exciting and invigorating job market typified by Silicon Valley or a job market that is much closer to the poorer regions of third world countries.  It is up to us to point one way or another.  Driving TMT out will be one more major step to cultural and economic poverty.

    Signed,

    Big Island Community Coalition

    Richard Ha, President,

    David DeLuz Jr., Rockne Freitas, Michelle Galimba, Wallace Ishibashi, Noe Kalipi, H.R “Monty” Richards, William Walter

  • 26 Jun 2015 /  Arts, Island Art, Island Events, news

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  • The 2015 Hawai‘i Belly Dance Convention will bring performers and teachers from near and far to Honolulu to share the beauty and drama of Middle Eastern dance October 8-12.
     
    “This year will be the best yet, bringing some of the best belly dancers in the world to Honolulu to share their knowledge and passion with dancers and dance lovers alike,” said convention founder Malia Delapenia. “We hope you’ll join us this October.”
     
    Featured visiting performers and instructors include Moria Chappell, a tribal fusion belly dancer from Washington DC; Shahrzad, an Oriental belly dancer from Virginia, and belly dance royalty Princess Farhana from Los Angeles as well as Andrea Aranda from San Francisco and Draconis from Texas.
     
    Festivities start on October 8 with the no-host HBDC Welcome Gathering from 3:00 – 6:00 p.m. at the beachside Hau Tree Bar at Waikiki’s Hilton Hawaiian Village (2005 Kalia Road).
     
    The dancing kicks off with the Shimmy Showcase Gala on Friday, October 9 at the Honolulu Museum of Art’s Doris Duke Theatre (900 S. Beretania Street). The Shimmy Showcase is an opportunity for convention participants to see their teachers in action, and for everyone to appreciate the art of Middle Eastern dance. The two shows will be preceded by a no-host reception with special preview performances. “Essence” the 6 p.m. show, will be a family-friendly show that traces the once traditional movements of belly dance to its contemporary existence. “The Reveal” will continue the modern exploration with more edgy, sensual, fusion performances for an audience 18 years and older at 8 p.m.
     
    The Shimmy with Aloha Workshops, now in their eighth year, will be held at the Neal Blaisdell Center on Saturday and Sunday, October 10 and 11. The workshops will cover topics ranging from Folkloric Dance (Shaabi, Egyptian Saidi, and Lebanese Dabke) to tribal and modern fusion belly dance techniques. The teachers bring decades of experience to each workshop, and offerings will be available for belly dancers at all levels of experience. 
     
    Individual workshops are $35-$70. New for 2015, a free Beginners of Belly Dance class will be taught on Sunday from 12:30-1:15 p.m. All ages and levels of experience are welcome and encouraged to share in the love of the art.
     
    Just outside the Shimmy with Aloha Workshops at the Neal Blaisdell Center, a marketplace will be set up with belly dance costumes, dance wear, and other Middle Eastern artisans from around the world. Many of these products are not available locally most of the year. The Middle Eastern marketplace will be open to the public from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday and 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Sunday, October 10 and 11.
     
    Following the Sunday workshops, an official HBDC VIP After Party will be held at Bar 35 in Chinatown (35 North Hotel St.) from 8:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m. The after party will feature belly dance and burlesque performances by Lorien Archambeault from California, Nizana from Florida, Vila Donovan, and many more surprises. 
     
    The final day of this year’s HBDC, Monday, October 12 will begin with a half day of outdoor adventures with friends old and new. Participants can learn to surf, paddle board, take a ride on a canoe, or just kick back under an umbrella. Waikiki Beach Services is offering a discount for HBDC participants from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.. Book your activities on HawaiiBellyDanceConvention.com.
     
    The closing event is new for this year: Reflection is an intimate night of performances and commentary, an opportunity for professional feedback from HBDC’s visiting instructors. From 5:00 – 7:30 p.m. at the Ong King Art Center in Chinatown (184 N King St.), dancers can participate in a question and answer session with the visiting instructors and get feedback on their own performances. This years panel will include Shahrzad Raqs, Moria Chappell, Princess Farhana, and Marshal Bodiker. This forum is open to the public. Dancers wishing to perform must apply. Forms are available on HawaiiBellyDanceConvention.com.

    Also new for this year, attendees can save over $100 and gain admission to all HBDC events with the All Access Pass. The $415 pass includes VIP access to the Shimmy Showcase Gala, Shimmy with Aloha Workshops, HBDC VIP After Party, and Reflection.
     
    For more information, to purchase tickets for the Shimmy Showcase, or to register for workshops or other convention events, visit HawaiiBellyDanceConvention.com or call (808) 234-1006.
     

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  • 23 Jun 2015 /  Crime, news

    Police have determined that  23-year old man who died following a motorcycle crash Tuesday night (June 16) in Volcano was riding a non-street-legal dirt bike with no headlights at the time of the accident, which occurred  near the 25-mile marker in the Volcano area of Puna.

    Responding to an 8:34 p.m. call, police found  that the rider,  who has been identified as Ronson Bento of Volcano, was riding
    a 2003 Honda XR100R dirt bike, heading north on Route 11 with no lights on when it struck a southbound 2005 Dodge Caravan that was making a left turn onto Nahelenani Street. Bento, who was not wearing a helmet, was thrown from his bike in the crash. He was taken to Hilo Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 9:30 p.m.

    The driver of the van, a 48-year-old Volcano woman, was not injured in the crash.

    The dirt bike had no license plate and was not equipped with features to be lawfully operated on a public highway.

    It is undetermined if speed or alcohol were factors in the collision.

    Police have initiated a standard negligent homicide case and are continuing the investigation. They ask anyone who may have witnessed the crash or operation of the dirt bike prior to the collision to call Officer William Brown at 965-2716.

    This is the 12th traffic fatality this year compared with seven at this time last year.

  • 22 Jun 2015 /  Arts, news

    The national Native Arts and Cultures Foundation(NACF) has awarded fellowships to three Big Island Kanaka Maoli artists.  Robi Kahakalau and Kaumakaiwa Kanakaole have won awards for music. Bernice Akamine, who is from O‘ahu but now lives on Hawai‘i, Island, received an award for visual arts.
    The fellowships recognize native artists whose works to date exemplify great strength and creativity in the fields of visual arts, dance, music, and traditional arts. Over 150 artists applied for the fellowships in the state this year; 12 fellowships were awarded.

    “NACF is proud to be honoring twelve talented k?naka maoli. The rigor and commitment reflected in their body of work–and in all the work we reviewed–made me wish we could have given awards to every one of the applicants,” said Lulani Arquette who is Native Hawaiian and the President/CEO of NACF.

    Kahakalau, a N? H?k? Hanohano award-winning singer and musician, will use her fellowship to compose a collection of music and an accompanying curriculum to teach Native Hawaiian pre-school age children language and heritage through music. This “Music Energizes Language Education” (MELE) collection will include a teaching module for 20 Native Hawaiian language songs focused on specific topics.

    Janaka‘ole, an openly transgender recording artist and kumu hula, grounded in the traditions of hula and ha‘a, composes mele oli, and choreographs performances for H?lau O Kekuhi. Her fellowship will allow the N? H?k? Hanohano award winning performer to create a series of hula and ha‘a presentations based on the rituals of the goddess Pele tradition from the Malaeha’aho’a text. She will choreograph, collaborate, and compose new chant verses and stage presentations with her family that will be ready to tour in 2016.

    Akamine is known for the abstract glass sculptures and vessels she creates with smooth flowing lines, often covered with a form-fitted skin of texture and color. She will use her fellowship to complete Kalo, a traveling installation of 79 plants made of stone and newsprint to be exhibited in honor of Queen Lili‘uokalani of Hawai’i. A kumu in the methods of creating and using waiho‘olu‘u, or natural plant dyes, and beaten-bark kapa cloth, the artist will create newsprint petals on each plant featuring handwritten renditions of each island’s Native boundaries or ahupua‘a on one side, with copies of the hundreds of signed petitions against the U.S. annexation of Hawaii on the other. After exhibiting in Hawai’i and beyond, the artist will give the plants to the 23 listed Homestead Associations and 10 Native Hawaiian centers in community colleges and universities across the state.

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