• Dear Editor,

    I’d like to congratulate the powers that be on Hawaii’s insidious medical marijuana dispensary bill!  We have made it so restrictive that we are discriminating against over 13,000 people.  This is a bad law, and all in the legislature have shown your true colors, besides Senator Ruderman.

    It is amazing and apparent how the lobbyists and police control the legislature, and the only thing we can hope is the Governor vetoes it as being bad for the people of Hawaii.

    The overburdonsome regulations will bite you in the okole!  Oh wait, I forgot that is your plan to keep it as illegal as you can to generate crime, unaffordable prices are sure to be the norm, as is the continuation of the black market.

    Good Job (NOT),

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

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  • 07 May 2015 /  Uncategorized

     On the last day of the 2015 regular session, the House passed on final reading HB321, CD1, which creates a statewide distribution system for medical marijuana and establishes the parameters for individuals and entities to apply to set up the dispensaries. The bill has also passed the senate and now goes to the governor, who can either sign it, veto it or allow it to pass into law without his signature.

    “There are n estimated 13,000 qualifying patients throughout the state who are desperately looking to find a safe, reliable and convenient access to medical marijuana.  This bill is a reasonable and compassionate response to the needs of our citizens,” said Rep. Della Au Belatti (D-Makiki, Tantalus, Papakolea, McCully Pawaa, Manoa), who co-introduced the bill along with House Speaker Joseph M. Souki (Kahakuloa, Waihee, Waiehu, Puuohala, Wailuku, Waikapu).  Both are long-time supporters of medical marijuana dispensaries. Marijuana use for medicinal purposes has been legal since 2000, but until  now there has been no system to distribute it to patients aside from grow-your-own.

  • 07 May 2015 /  Uncategorized

    Seventy-five percent of the beef produced in Hawaii is raised on the Big Island. But local beef producers, especially small farmers and ranchers, who want to sell their beef here sometimes face a challenge in getting it slaughtered locally.

    To ease that challenge, a new producer-owned cooperative called Hawai‘i Island Meat (HIM) is bringing in the island’s first mobile slaughter unit to process pigs, sheep, goats, and cattle. The unit will open for business on the island in early 2016. HIM will hold two free informational workshops for producers interested in the service. The workshops will be held in Hilo from 5 to 6 p.m. on Sunday, May 17, at the Komohana Agricultural Research Station, 875 Komohana St., and in Pahala from 5 to 6 p.m. on Sunday, June 14, at the Pahala Community Center,  96-1149 Kamani St.

    “Like their counterparts in the continental United States, many meat producers on Hawai‘i Island face significant barriers to starting and maintaining their businesses,” notes a press release from HIM. “Despite its abundant ranch lands and ranching operations, the island currently imports 17 percent of its beef and more than 95 percent of its pork, lamb, and goat products due to competition from imported meat products, high operational costs, and insufficient access to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) inspected slaughterhouses.”

    The island currently has two USDA-certified slaughterhouses: Kulana Foods in Hilo and a state-owned facility that is  leased to Hawai’i Beef Producers, a partnership between David DeLuz Sr. and a group of ranchers. The state-owned facility recently underwent a $4.5 million expansion. Despite that, when a task force assembled by the Big Island Resource Conservation & Development Council, Hawai‘i Small Business Development Center, and The Kohala Center asked Big Island ranchers about a mobile slaughter unit,  “90 percent of those surveyed said they were interested in using the unit and 70 percent committed to investing their own money in the project.” In response to those numbers, HIM was formed.  The cooperative’s 36-foot-long mobile unit will bring USDA-inspected slaughter services directly to ranches and regional docking sites around the island, reducing stress on the animals and the quality of the meat by cutting long transport trips. The unit can slaughter and process eight to 10 head of cattle, 15 pigs, and 30 lambs or goats per day.

     “Not only will the mobile slaughter unit help to revitalize family ranching operations on Hawai‘i Island, it will increase the amount of healthy, locally grown protein available to our communities, and can be part of the solution to reduce the island’s population of feral and invasive cattle, pigs, sheep, and goats,” said Melanie Bondera, cooperative business development specialist at The Kohala Center. “Locally produced meats are also in high demand by island residents, visitors, and gourmet chefs, so the increased availability will contribute positively to farm-to-fork programs and our local economy.”

    The mobile slaughterhouse was made possible with funding from the Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture. For more information, see HawaiiIslandMeat.com or email HawaiiIslandMeat@gmail.com.

  • 05 May 2015 /  BULLETINS, politics, State Legislature

    As the close of session quickly approaches, the House today approved bills that address a wide range of issues. Among measures that passed final reading in the House were those increasing the tax state credit for low-income residents; providing additional funds for preschool for low-income families; requiring health insurers to provide coverage for children with autism; making sex trafficking a Class A felony; and establishing an affirmative consent task force to review and make recommendations on the University of Hawaii’s executive policy on domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.

    HB500, CD1, the state budget bill, appropriates funds for operating and capital improvement costs of the Executive Branch for the current biennium, fiscal years FY2015-2016 and FY2016-2017, will now go to the Governor for his signature. The bill includes nearly $6.6 billion in general funds for FY2015-2016 and $6.862 billion in general funds for FY2016-2017.

    In crafting the budget, House Finance Chair Rep. Sylvia Luke (Makiki, Punchbowl, Nuuanu, Dowsett Highlands, Pacific Heights, Pauoa) looked to create a “better budget” in four ways, by: (1) limiting growth in the budget, (2) fueling economic growth through selective tax credits, (3) investing in people who need help the most, and (4) reducing the state’s unfunded liabilities and building up its Rainy Day funds.

    Earlier, the House passed and sent on to the Governor a bill that raised the smoking age in Hawaii to 21. The bill also banned the sale and use of e-cigarettes in public places to anyone under 21.

    Highlights of the measures passed include:

    EDUCATION
    SB64, CD1, makes an appropriation of $6,000,000 for the Preschool Open Doors Program.

    HB820, CD1, establishes the Executive Office on Early Learning Public Prekindergarten Program to be administered by the Executive Office on Early Learning and provided through Department of Education public schools and public charter schools. Read the rest of this entry »

  • 05 May 2015 /  Arts, news, public notice

    From Kilauea Drama and Entertainment Network:

    KDEN announces auditions for Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “The King and I”. Auditions will be held on Monday and Tuesday, May 18 & 19 at 6:30 pm, in KMC’s Kilauea Theater in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The show will be directed by Suzi Bond, with musical direction by Kait Wilson and choreography by Carmen Richardson. Pedro Ka’awaloa will conduct the orchestra. Jonathan Sudler is designing the set and costume construction will be lead by Helie Rock.

    The story of “The King and I” is based on the 1944 novel “Anna and the King of Siam” by Margaret Landon.English widow, Anna Leonowens, and her young son arrive at the Royal Palace in Bangkok, having been summoned by the King to serve as tutor to his many children and wives. The King is largely considered to be a barbarian by those in the West, and he seeks Anna’s assistance in changing his image, if not his ways. With both keeping a firm grip on their respective traditions and values, Anna and the King grow to understand and, eventually, respect one another, in a truly unique love story.

    KDEN’s summer musical is a family affair with parts available for all ages. Principal parts are available for 3 women, 2 men, and 2 boys. There are featured roles for 2 men and a singing-dancing ensemble consisting of Royal Dancers, Wives, Children, Priests and Amazons. Auditoneers should be prepared to sing with accompaniment and dance some. Dress comfortably to be able to move freely on the stage. There will be some line readings for those interested in the lead roles.
    For more information, please contact KDEN at 982-7344 or email us at kden73@aol.com. The show will run July 10 – 26, 2015, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 and Sundays at 2:30. Please join us for a summer of fun

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  • House Bill 321, which would establish seven marijuana dispensaries across the state,  is back from the dead.  After an impasse that nearly killed the bill, the House and Senate conferees at the Hawaii State Legislature  have advanced it  for a vote by the full legislature for a floor vote.

    HB321, CD1 would establish a medical marijuana dispensary system and provide a total of eight dispensary licenses statewide, three in Honolulu, two on Maui County and Hawaii Island, and one on Kauai.  Each dispensary licensee would have the option to open up to two retail locations.  If the bill passes, the state will begin taking licensee applications from would-be dispensaries from January 11 to 29, 2016. The dispensaries would would begin selling medical marijuana and related products to qualifying patients or primary caregivers on July 15, 2016.

    “I’m excited we will launch dispensaries in 2016,” wrote Sen. Josh Green (D-Kona), who heads the Senate Health Committee.  “The final draft included some provisions I fought for such as reciprocity with other states, the ability for ALL doctors to authorize MM cards and PTSD as an approved condition. I hope that all of the licenses ultimately are awarded to qualified, well intentioned local people who put Hawaii patient concerns first. We’ll have several dispensaries on Big Island in the coming years.”

    But Green reportedly got into an impasse between himself and House Health Committee Chair Della Au Belatti that nearly killed the bill.   The dispute was over how licenses for the dispensaries would be issued–Green favored awarding them on a first come, first served basis. The bill moved forward after he was excused as conference committee representative and replaced by Sen. Will Espero (D-Ewa), the Senate Health Committee’s vice chair.  In place of the “first come first served” language, the current bill calls for the Department of Health to set up “a selection process and criteria based on merit for verified applicants.”

    Asked how the deadlock was resolved, Green told the Chronicle, “We had the public safety chair  [Sen. Greg Takayama, D-Pearl City) decide that point. I contributed the health features of the bill,’  Green told the Chronicle.

    “That was the real sticking point between Josh and Della. Josh wanted first come, first served. Josh wasn’t going to budge,” Rep. Richard Creagan (D-South Kona, Ka’u, Volcano) told the Chronicle.  “Della and Josh had worked very hard on it, but they just couldn’t get it across the finish line.”

    “It’s been a long haul, to get this bill to this point, going to back to last session when we deferred an earlier effort to provide legal access to medical marijuana,” Belatti said.  “Because of a number of issues, including those relating to the safety and security of the dispensaries, we sought more studied input so that we would be on firm ground when drafting this year’s measure… If we were intensely focused on seeing this measure passed this session, can you imagine how patients who require medical marijuana to get by each day must have felt?  Some have waited 15 years for this day to come,” said Belatti.

    Creagan who vice-chairs the House Health Committee, and who, like Green, is a certified emergency room physician,  noted,  “I don’t think anybody is overjoyed with this bill, but at least we have a bill.It’s not greatly changed from what it was Friday before the impasse, but it’s improved compared to the earlier versions….that the current version of the bill does eliminate a proposed 45 percent excise tax on medical marijuana, reducing it to “Just a normal excise tax, like anything else.” And the new bill, he said, would allow prescriptions by doctors other than primary care physicians, and will expand the definition of ailments for which marijuana can be described to include post-traumatic stress syndrome. Other condition such as insomnia and anxiety disorders may be added later: “The Health Dept. will be able to add conditions, and they said they would be working on that.“

    The bill would not pre-empt the option of patients growing their own plants, he said. He suspected the dispensary prices would actually be higher than street prices on the Big Island. But, he believed, “One of the things medical dispensaries will do is that the strains will be better characterized.”
    Creagan said he thought the bill will benefit O`ahu more than the big Island. “Probably more people on Oahu will use the dispensaries, because it will e easier and more convenient, and people on Oahu have more money,’ he commented. The big Island is actually in pretty good shape, because most people can get a hold of marijuana pretty easily anyway. Oahu—it’s just harder to grow it over there… People have an easier time to grow it on the Big Island, and a lot of people know how to grow it on the Big Island. ”

    Creagan said he didn’t know much about the medical marijuana issue initially, but he’d gotten educated on it by talking to his constituents. Having the dispensary option, he believed, would make physicians more comfortable, and would help the process of “normalizing” the idea of medical marijuana use.

    “I think that we’re just getting comfortable with the idea that marijuana is beneficial and safe, and is more safe than most prescription medication, he said, and noted that “ People are realizing that there was all this misinformation and misconceptions, and are now much more comfortable that marijuana is a a acceptable thing. He noted, for instance that the notion that marijuana was addictive had been fostered by a law enforcement system that mandated “drug treatment programs” for those caught using: “People got out of legal entanglements by agreeing to go to drug treatment programs…there was noway they were addictive, but it was just an easy way to get out of trouble with the law.”

    He credited the legislator’s leaders for saving the bill.  When the deadlock occurred he said,  “The leadership recognized that it was more important not to let the bill die for relatively minor reasons.”

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  • Dear Senator Espero, other Legislators,

    The reason you are having so much trouble with the dispensary bill is it is not good for the people of Hawaii. To tell you the truth, the amendments ruin it, and make compliance unaffordable and discriminatory for all but multimillionaires with health licenses.

    For one, the definition of a “person” needs to be an actual person, not some shady LLC set up to steal profits from Hawaii residents. One license for one aspect (grow, manufacture, dispense) for one person. Give as many Hawaii residents (not big mainland growers, dispensary owners, pharmaceutical or tobacco companies) a chance to make a good living and people and the State of Hawaii will benefit from your aloha.

    Two, if you feel in your heart that sick cancer patients on chemotherapy deserve a bit of chocolate or brownie to take their medicine, then give them the “edibles” from SB 682.

    Three, throw away all the amendments (both House and Senate) and revert back to the original HB321. We can’t handle the overkill in compliances, there is a higher price for every unnecessary and burdensome requirement.

    Unfortunately, the police, judicial system and NED are still in the grip of “reefer madness,” a self-perpetuating industry of prison for profit and stealing peoples assets through property forfeiture. Remember, the police and narcotics enforcement divisions should be focused on the extreme problems of ice, heroin, cocaine, meth, and other actual crimes like theft, robbery, assault: crimes with actual victims, not the cannabis plant. Please also remind yourself they are not doctors, and they have no business lobbying against laws aimed at giving people access to an allowed plant of their choice.

    You as our law makers have got to rise above the money hungry crowd, and do what is right for the 13,000+ medical cannabis patients in the State of Aloha!

    Thank you for your attention to this matter!

    Sara Steiner
    Pahoa, Hawaii

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  • 04 May 2015 /  Education

    From UH Hilo:

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  • 02 May 2015 /  Uncategorized

    Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park’s current artist-Rick San Nicolas displays his  feather cloak and helmet_creditChristaSadlerin-residence, feather artist Rick Makanaaloha Kia‘imeaokekanaka San Nicolas, is holding an open house Monday through Friday, now through May 16 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the 1932 Administration Building (also called the ‘Ohi‘a Wing).

    San Nicolas will also participate in the park’s upcoming BioBlitz and Biodiversity & Cultural Festival, Friday and Saturday, May 15 and 16, from the ‘?hi‘a Wing, located between K?lauea Visitor Center and Volcano House.

    Rick Makanaaloha Kia‘imeaokekanaka San Nicolas was recently bestowed the title of Ke Kumu Hulu Nui (feather master of ancient Hawaiian featherwork) by revered Kumu Hula (hula master) Kaha‘i Topolinski. Early on, San Nicolas knew his calling was to learn from the most noted Hawaiian experts of this heritage art. His featherwork replicates the work of ancient Hawaiian masters whose finely crafted regalia were worn by Hawaiian royalty and warriors. He has honed his featherwork through research, talking to kupuna (honored elders), and by listening intently to all who want to share their story, traditions, and process. Through their dedication, San Nicolas helps perpetuate the art of feather lei making for generations to come. More of his work is also on exhibit at Volcano House.

    The National Parks Arts Foundation, now in its second year of working with the National Park Service at Hawai‘i Volcanoes, coordinates the park’s artist-in-residence program. The National Parks Arts Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)3 supported by donations from the public. To help fund upcoming artist-in-residence programs in a number of parks, call , email admin@nationalparksartsfoundation.org, and visit www.nationalparksartsfoundation.org.

  • 02 May 2015 /  business, Crime, news

    The Hawai?i Island police Deartment has issued a  warning to the public about scams known as “advance fee schemes,” in which the victim pays money to someone in anticipation of receiving something of greater value—such as a loan, contract, investment, or gift—and then receives little or nothing in return.

    “In one recent case, a 62-year-old Kona woman received a check for more than $6,000 that appeared to be from a known legitimate bank. Along with the check was a letter claiming she had won money in a lottery and advising her to deposit the check into her bank account and then wire a fee to the sender. The woman was suspicious and took the check to her bank, where she learned that it was counterfeit,” noted the HPD bulletin.  It noted that such schemes “can include claims of winnings, gifts, investments, loans or other proposed opportunities. The common factor is that the victim pays money to someone with an expectation of receiving something of greater value but doesn’t receive it. ”

    According to FBI, “The variety of advance fee schemes is limited only by the imagination of the con artists who offer them. They may involve the sale of products or services, the offering of investments, lottery winnings, “found money,” or many other “opportunities.” Clever con artists will offer to find financing arrangements for their clients who pay a “finder’s fee” in advance. They require their clients to sign contracts in which they agree to pay the fee when they are introduced to the financing source. Victims often learn that they are ineligible for financing only after they have paid the “finder” according to the contract. Such agreements may be legal unless it can be shown that the “finder” never had the intention or the ability to provide financing for the victims.

    Those who receive a suspicious check should take it to their financial institution to verify its authenticity. Recipients of questionable checks should not send any fee money until the check clears the bank. In general, if receive a check from someone or some company you never heard of, or for a lottery or contest you never entered, you should consider it suspicious.

    “The public should be particularly leery of companies that have only a Post Office Box number rather than a street address and don’t have a direct telephone line that is answered when called. The public is advised that if they are unfamiliar with a business they should check with the State Department of Consumer Affairs or the Better Business Bureau to see if it is legitimate and reputable,” advises HPD.  Unfortunately, this may put businesses in many smaller Big Island communities at a disadvantage, since the post office doesn’t supply to-the-address mail delivery.

    The FBI suggested the following tips for avoiding advance fee schemes:

    • Know who you are dealing with. If you have not heard of a person or company that you intend to do business with, learn more about them. Depending on the amount of money that you plan on spending, you may want to visit the business location, check with the Better Business Bureau, or consult with your bank, an attorney, or the police.
    • Make sure you fully understand any business agreement that you enter into. If the terms are complex, have them reviewed by a competent attorney.
    • Be wary of businesses that operate out of post office boxes or mail drops and do not have a street address. Also be suspicious when dealing with persons who do not have a direct telephone line and who are never in when you call, but always return your call later.
    • Be wary of business deals that require you to sign nondisclosure or non-circumvention agreements that are designed to prevent you from independently verifying the bona fides of the people with whom you intend to do business. Con artists often use non-circumvention agreements to threaten their victims with civil suit if they report their losses to law enforcement.

     

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  • 01 May 2015 /  news

    Fulfilling the County of Hawai‘i’s pledge to expand healthy recreational opportunities for the families of Lower Puna, construction on the $22.3 million P?hoa District Park has resumed. Park construction was paused in 2014 due to a rapidly advancing lava flow threatening P?hoa. After the lava flow threat level was downgraded, and after consultation with the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory and Hawai‘i County Civil Defense, the park project was given the green light to resume.

    “Our commitment to the families of Puna remains strong,” said Mayor Billy Kenoi. “One of our priorities has always been to create more safe places for our kids to stay active and healthy. In collaboration with our Hawai‘i County Council, we are pleased to move forward with this project that will provide access to positive recreation for Hawai‘i Island’s fastest-growing communities.”

    When complete, this 29-acre first phase of the P?hoa District Park will include a covered play court building, two baseball fields, two multipurpose fields, a playground, concession building, comfort station, accessible walkways, and ample parking. These features will complement P?hoa’s existing recreational facilities that include the P?hoa Community Aquatic Center, P?hoa Neighborhood Facility, and P?hoa Skate Park.

    The park is also adjacent to the P?hoa Senior Center, which reverted to its previous use as a fire station during the lava flow threat. That facility is currently being converted back into a senior center, housing senior activities for k?puna in Lower Puna.

    The Puna Community Development Plan, adopted by the Hawai‘i County Council in 2008, identified the need for a district park in Lower Puna. A comprehensive planning process involving the community, the County, and project designers began in 2012 to ensure these new facilities reflect the recreational needs of Puna’s residents.

    For more information, please contact Jason Armstrong, Public Information Officer, at (808) 961-8311 or jarmstrong@hawaiicounty.gov.

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  • 30 Apr 2015 /  commentary, environment, letters, politics

    I’ve followed the Thirty Meter Telescope public vetting process over the past seven years. The unprecedented public protests against this project caused me to write this commentary.

    The public had equal opportunity to give comments about this telescope
    project. It underwent an extended contested case hearing process before the Board of Land and Natural Resources granted the conservation district use permit in 2013. In addition, Governor Lingle accepted the FEIS in 2010. There was a 60 day window to contest the FEIS after acceptance. No one stepped forward to do this during that window.

    The hearing officer determined the Thirty Meter Telescope met all eight criteria to develop their project in the conservation district. In addition, he noted the Hawaii Administrative Rules #13-5-24c permits the construction of astronomy facilities in the conservation district, as long there is a management plan in place.

    In short, the Thirty Meter Telescope Corporation has bent over backwards
    to address all concerns about their project over the last seven years.
    This is why it would be huge mistake to revoke their vested permits after they’ve been granted. The TMT relied on these permits to start construction on their telescope.

    The possible revocation of their legally obtained permits would bring up eerie parallels to the Hokuli’a project in South Kona. Judge Ibarra invalidated their permits after four years of construction and after Oceanside spent 350 million dollars on their project. However, the big difference between these two project is the fact TMT followed the law when obtaining their entitlements, Oceanside (Hokuli’a) did not.

    Judge Ibarra placed an injunction on Hokulia project for 2.5 years until a settlement agreement allowed construction to resume in 2006. I foresee a similar scenario happening with the TMT project. The Mauna Kea stakeholders need to reach a global settlement that would allow construction to resume on this telescope.

    The Mauna Kea Comprehensive Management Plan contains an excellent framework to get this process started. For example, the TMT will be last new telescope on Mauna Kea. All new telescope projects after the TMT will recycle existing sites. However, I believe any global settlement needs to go further.

    The University Hawaii and the other owners of the Mauna Kea telescopes
    should reevaluate the telescope decommissioning plan for the science reserve area. The Hawaii Tribune Herald reported the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope, James Maxwell Clerk Telescope and Very Low Baseline Array are facing possible decommissioning before the Mauna Kea science reserve master lease expires in 2033. This is on top of the scheduled decommissioning of the Caltech Submillimeter Observatory slated to begin 2016.

    The University of Hawaii also needs to indefinitely delay any attempts to extend the master lease for the science reserve area. The current lease expires in 2033, which means all telescopes on Mauna Kea face decommissioning between 2025 and 2033.

    The university naturally wants the lease extended another 65 years.I believe more discussion between all Mauna Kea stakeholders is necessary before this proposal moves forward. If this doesn’t happen, the University of Hawaii risks turning an ugly situation into something uglier.

    Mauna Kea’s telescopes have contributed 92 million dollars of direct economic impact in Hawaii County per year. This figure cannot be understated. If all the Mauna Kea telescopes were removed, it would be a huge economic hit to this island.

    This is another reason why all the Mauna Kea stakeholders need to come to together and discuss a mutually agreeable plan for Mauna Kea’s future. These discussion need to occur in a face to face environment and not through social media. The latter has poisoned all civil discussion regarding the Thirty Meter Telescope project and future of Mauna Kea.

    Aaron Stene
    Kailua-Kona

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  • 30 Apr 2015 /  Uncategorized

    PMF2015

  • 29 Apr 2015 /  Education, History

    From Larry Czerwonka Publishing:

    Second Grade students at Kalaianaole Elementary in Papaikou have teamed up with Larry Czerwonka Publishing to release their book, “A Day at the Hawai‘i Plantation Museum.” The book is a collaborative effort of writing, illustrations, and photographs between about 25 students, alumni, and teachers, along with the staff and volunteers at the Hawai‘i Plantation Museum (hawaiiplantationmuseum.org).

    The hope is that this book will inform and educate readers about plantation life and maybe spark some conversations at home about a way of life that was once common on Hawai‘i Island. The book tells the reader some of the history and cultures of plantation life as seen through the eyes of the students. “We wanted to not only show the students photographs and items from the plantations, but we also wanted them to interview people about Plantation Life. We also encouraged the students to ask family members what they recall about growing up in and around the plantation,” says Cynthia Inouye, who is the students’ second grade teacher.

    The idea to write a book started after Cynthia Inouye attended a meeting where Larry Czerwonka talked about his publishing company and how they had a program for helping teachers and students write and publish books.

    “I love giving back,” says Publisher Larry Czerwonka. “Helping students go from being readers to published authors is something I am very passionate about.” Everyone involved in the project says the book will do more than just record a social studies assignment. “We believe this book will inspire students to ask more questions about how things used to be,” says Jean Wence, a retired teacher involved with the project. “There is a wealth of knowledge in our kupuna not just about how things were but about many other things as well. We hope this experience gets the students excited about talking story with their elders.” “

    A Day at the Hawai‘i Plantation Museum” at larryczerwonka.com/books/museum.asp or by using the Bitly link: bit.ly/1yzeNXe

  • 27 Apr 2015 /  environment, news, Police, Uncategorized

    A visitor at the Jaggar Museum overlook was Tased and arrested by by a park ranger after allegedly using a drone illegally within park boundaries.  At around 10 p.m. on Saturday, April 25,  a park ranger  observed Travis RaySan ders, a 35-year-old Pahoa resident, operating a small quad-copter drone at the overlook next to Jaggar Museum. According to National Park spokesperson Jessica Ferracane, the ranger “contacted” the individual, who refused to identify himself and attempted to flee the scene. The Officer then used his Taser to subdue the suspect and took him into custody.  He was arrested for failure to comply with a lawful order and for interfering with agency functions, and taken for the night to the county detention center.  He was released on signature bond on Sunday morning. The the drone was returned to suspect’s family.

    According to Ferracane,  the National Park System released rules last June making it illegal to operate an unmanned flying vehicle in any national park. The penalty for violating that rule is up to  six months in jail and a $5,000 fine

     

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  • 27 Apr 2015 /  news

    From the National Park Service:

    Thousands of additional visitors are flocking to Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park to witness the large lava lake steadily rise at the summit of K?lauea volcano.

    Over the last several days, visitors waited up to 30 minutes or longer to park. To ease traffic once the Jaggar Museum and K?lauea Overlook parking lots fill up, rangers are currently redirecting vehicles during peak visitation hours to park at the K?lauea Military Camp ball field. From there, visitors can hike one mile to the Jaggar Museum observation deck, the closest and best vantage point to view the spectacular lava lake.

    “Visitors should come prepared to ensure a safe and enjoyable park experience,” said Superintendent Cindy Orlando. “We encourage people to avoid peak hours, and arrive after 10 p.m. and before 4 a.m. if possible, or they will likely wait in line for parking. The park remains open 24 hours a day,” she said.

    Tips for an optimal viewing experience:

    • Be prepared to hike one mile each way between K?lauea Military Camp ball field and the Jaggar Museum observation deck on Crater Rim Trail. Wear sturdy closed-toe shoes, bring rain gear, water, binoculars, a flashlight, and extra batteries.
    • Carpool if possible to reduce the number of vehicles in the parking areas.
    • As a courtesy to other visitors, no “tailgating” in the Jaggar Museum or K?lauea Overlook parking lots. Choose another picnic location so others have a chance to view the eruption.
    • To observe viewing and weather conditions, monitor the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory webcams. The KI camera provides a panoramic view of Halema‘uma‘u Crater from HVO.
    • High levels of dangerous sulfur dioxide (SO2) gas and volcanic ash can be blown over Jaggar Museum by southerly winds. These gases are a danger to everyone, particularly to people with heart or respiratory problems, young children and pregnant women. K?lauea Visitor Center offers updates on air quality 24 hours a day, and visitors can monitor the Hawaii SO2 network website.

    In addition, the public is reminded that park entrance fees apply and that the use of unmanned aircraft (drones) is prohibited in all national parks.

    The Jaggar Museum has a limited number of parking stalls for handicapped persons. If those stalls are full, then those driving with  handicapped or elderly passengers or with small children can either drop them off in the Jagger parking lot or ask for assistance with one of the rangers on duty.

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