Hawaii Island News, 31 August 2010


According to “West Hawaii Today”, Hawaii County residents are subsidizing cell phones used in the re-election campaigns of five of the nine County Council members.  Council members Emily Naeole-Beason, Guy Enriques, Donald Ikeda, J. Yoshimoto, and Dennis Onishi listed their county-subsidized cell phones as the contact numbers when they filed election papers.  Taxpayers chip in around $8,000 a year for the phones.  County Clerk Ken Goodenow says council members are required to estimate the percentage of their total bill that’s used for county business when they file for reimbursement.  Corporation Counsel Linclom Ashida says he can’t talk about specific cases, but he said the county considers the cell phones to be owned by council members, but county use is subsidized by the county.

Registered voters may vote early for the primary election now through Thursday, September 16th.  The Hilo absentee walk in site is now back in the Hawaii County Council Building on the first floor.  In Kona, the elections office isin the Alii Plaza building.  You may vote absentee at these sites Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Waimea, Pahala, and North Kohala sites and hours of operation remain the same.  For details, call 961-8277.

A stubborn brush fire continues to burn near the Pohakuloa Training Area and the Mauna Kea Recreation Area.  Army Public Relations Officer Mike Egami tells “West Hawaii Today” that approximately 1,367 acres have been scorched by the fire.  Egami says the fire is about 70 percent contained.  Fire engines continue to mop up and patrol flat areas along the Saddle Road.  Saddle Road is open with detours.  Speed limint in the detour area is 35 mph.

A community meeting will be held today, 6 p.m., at the Pahoa Community Center to discuss the ongoing mangrove eradication project at several public and private properties on Hawaii Island, including the Wai’ Opae Marine Life Conservation District, Isaac Hale Park at Pohoiki, and Onehakakaha Beach Park in Hilo.  Mayor Billy Kenoi has called the meeting to allow residents to make any comments they may have regarding this project.  For details, call the Mayor’s Office at 961-8565.

The Malu ‘ Aina Center for Non-vilent Education & Action will hold a press conference outside the Pohakuloa Training Area Main Gate today at 1:15 p.m.  The press conference will raise questions about the “By Invitation Only” meeting inside PTA at 2 p.m.  Malu ‘Aina spokesman Jim Alterini says he wants to know why the meeting on depleted uranium was not held in Hilo and Kailua-Kona.  Albertini also wants to know what kind of air monitoring was done during the recent brush fire around KTA to detect possible airborne particles of depleted uranium.

(AP).  Federal officials say a rare deep diving whale rescued from Maui has died.  Marine mammal response coordinator David Scholfield of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says the male Blainville’s beaked whale was very sick.  A necropsy performed after animal’s death Sunday showed it had moderate pneumonia, a severe gastronintestinal problem, and kidney disease.  It was found stranded on August 16th.  The mammal treatment facility is located at UH-Hilo.

The state Department of Transportation will hold a public information meeting from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Kealakehe High School cafeteria to discuss the continuing widening project along the Queen Kaahumanu Highway.  Goodfellow Brothers, Incorporated won the $76 million contract to widen 5.2 miles of highway from the Kealakehe Parkway to the Kona International Airport.  The project will take about two years to finish.

(AP).  Efforts are underway to have Barack Obama select his native Hawaii as the home of his presidential library.  State lawmakers supported the proposal this past legislative session.  An now University of Hawaii officials are pressing ahead with creating working groups to sutdy such issues as where a suitable site would be located.  Some Obama supporters on the mainland want the library located in Chicago.

(AP).  Governor Linda Lingle is calling on supporters of the Waipio Little League baseball team to help cover the travel expenses of player families.  Lingle noted that player families have each reportedly spent more than $10,000 for weeks of travel, lodging, and meals as the team made its way through the initial rounds of the Little League World Series.  Waipio lost to Japan in the championship game, 4-1.

(AP).  The state Department of Health has launched this year’s Protect Hawaii’s Keiki:  Stop flu at School program.  It offers free flu vaccines to 333 public, private, and charter schools this fall.  Now in its fourth year, the voluntary statewide program is designed to prevent the spread of flu among school children and their families.  Parent and guardian information packets and consent forms are being sent home with children attending participating schools.

Community news:  Give the “Gift of Life” at the Kohala High School Blood Drive on Monday, September 6th, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m, at the school cafeteria.  The event is an Eagle Scout project of Albert Santiago III.  Participants at this blood drive will receive a coupon for a free pint of Baskin-Robbins Ice Cream.  To reserve your time, call Albert at  889-5218.

Community news:  The Akaka Falls Lions Club is sponsoring a Diabetes Conference at Hilo High School on September 4th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m..  Registration and free health screenings begin at 8:00 a.m.  For details, call Tracy at 933-0548.

Community news:  Craft and Food Booth Vendor applications for the “He Hal’ia Aloha o Lili’uokalani Festival” are now available.  The festival will be held on Sunday, September 26th, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Queen Lili’uokalani Gardens.  For details, call 961-8706.

Russ Roberts, News Director

Hawaii Island News, 30 August 2010


A wildfire that has been burning near the Pohakuloa Training Area for a week is now 70 percent contained.  According to “Hawaii News Now”, the fire has scorched nearly 1,400 acres in the PTA area.  Last week, police arrested and charged the suspected arnsonist, 31-year old Christopher Pratt.  The Mauna Kea Recreation Area is closed until further notice.  The Saddle Road is open but with a detour being used to reroute traffic near the fire.

The Malu ‘Aina Center for Non-violent Education & Action will hold a community forum on depleted uranium tonight from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Keaau Commuity Center.  The event is free and open to everyone.  The Army declined an invitation to attend the community meeting.  The Malu ‘Aina group will also hold a press conference outside the Pohakuloa Training Area Main Gate on Tuesday, August 31st at 1:15 p.m.  The press conference will raise questions about the “By Invitation Only” meeting inside PTA at 2 p.m.

A proposal to amend the Puna Community Development Plan will be the subject of a public hearing today (Monday), 6 p.m., at the Keaau Middle School cafeteria.  Members of the County Council’s Planning Committee tell the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” that they are seeking public comments on Draft 2 of Bill 194, which deals with the location of regional and village town centers.  The Puna Development Plan addresses a variety of community issues, ranging from protection of watersheds to where infrastructure is needed.

Jameson’s By the Sea seafood restaurant in Kailua-Kona served it last meal on Saturday after more than 20 years of service to West Hawaii.  Owner Ed Greene told the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” he is uncertain if he will reopen in the future.  Greene says he hopes he can reopen by December after completing some refurbishing work in the kitchen and in front of the house.

According to “West Hawaii Today”, police department firings are on the upswing.  Following a year when no police officers were dismissed, the Hawaiii County Police Department fired one officer in 2009 and at least one more so far this year.  An officer was fired in 2009 for failing to pass a mandatory drug test.  In addition, one officer was suspended 16 days for failing to follow report-writing procedures, one was suspended for 10 days for falsification of records, and another for 10 days for giving a false report.  Twelve other officers received from one to five days suspension for offenses ranging from feigning illness to mistreating a prisoner.

(AP).  Mufi Hannemann and Neil Abercrombie are set to meet in the last statewide televised gubernatorial candidate debate before the September 18th primary election.  The two Democrats will go toe-to-toe during the 90-minute debate, to be aired on KGMB-TV and KHNL-TV tonight at 6:30.  They’ll also meeti in a candidate forum Tuesday.  Republican candidate and likely nominee Lt. Governor James “Duke” Aiona, Jr. won’t take part in either debate.

(AP).  Hawaii has won $75 million in federal education funding because its application for the money improved more than any other state’s.  Hawaii rose from 22nd place to third place between the first round of “Race to the Top” awards in March and the second round announced last week.  Hawaii gained nearly 100 points on its second-round application.  The U.S. Education Secretary says the elimination of teacher furloughs helped secure the federal money.

Community news:  The County of Hawaii Elections Division is recruiting Precinct Official Workers island-wide to assist with the 2010 Primary and General Elections.  Precinct Officials will be paid $85 per Election Day worked.  For more information, call 933-1591.

Community news:  On Saturday, September 4th, team “Hawaiian Monk Seal” from the Marine Mammal Center will compete in the Maui Channel Swim to support the center’s efforts to raise funds to build an urgently needed hospital for monk seals in Kailua-Kona.  The goal of the swim is to raise $11,000 and to save furture populations of monk seals.  For details, call (415)-289-7367.

Community news:  The Life Care Center of Hilo presents the 12th Annual “Early Signs Health Fair” on Saturday, September 11th, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.  The event will feature selected health screenings, activity demonstrations, and special guest speakers.  For details, call Chris at 959-9151.

Community news:  Goodwill Industries of Hawaii is offering a Business Training Course which will teach you the skills necessary to start your own business.  The course is FREE to qualified individuals and begins Tuesday, September 14th, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m, at the Goodwill Career Center, 200 Kanoelehua Avenue in Hilo.  For details, call  934-8118.

Community news:  Expand your family support circle by attending free parent education classes at Konawaena Elementary School.  Nurturing families of Hawaii in Kona will begin a new 12-week afternoon session on Wednesday, September 15th.  For details, call Carol at 640-1866.

Please send me your community notes at least two weeks before your event.  You can send your notes by fax at 935-0396 or to my e-mail address–rroberts@pacificradiogroup.com.

Russ Roberts, News Director

Hawaii Island News, Sunday p.m., 29 August 2010


According to “West Hawaii Today”, police department firings are on the upswing.  Following a year when no police officers were released, the Hawaii County Police Department fired one officer in 2009 and at least one more so far this year.  An officer was fired in 2009 for failing to pass a mandatory drug test.  In addition, one officer was suspended 16 days for failing to follow report-writing procedures, one was suspended for 10 days forfalsification of records, and another for 10 days for giving a false report.  Twelve officers received from one to five days suspension for offenses ranging from feigning illness to mistreatin a prisoner.

The Coast Guard tells “Hawaii 24/7″ that it has suspended the search for a possible swimmer in distress in Kakapa Bay on the Big Island.  Active searching was suspended at approximately 5:58 Friday afternoon, pending any further developments.  The Hawaii County Fire Department also conducted shoreline searches with a rescue boat, a helicopter, and crews on shore.  There have been no reports of a missing person to the Coast Guard or to local authorities.

A proposal to amend the Puna Community Development Plan will be the subject of a public meeting Monday, 6 p.m., at the Keaau Middle School cafeteria.  Members of the County Council’s Planning Committee tell the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” that they are seeking public comments on Draft 2 of Bill 194, which deals with the location of regional and village town centers.  The Puna Development Plan addresses a variety of community issues, ranging from protection of watersheds to where infrastructure is needed.

A popular Kailua-Kona seafood restaurant closed its doors Saturday after more than 20 years of service to the West Hawaii Community.  Ed Greene, the owner of Jameson’s By the Sea, tells the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” he is uncertain if he will reopen in the future.  Greene says he hopes he can reopen by December after completing some refurbishing work in the kitchen and in front of the house.

(AP).  Hawaii was able to win $75 million in federal education funding because its application for the money improved more than any other state’s.  Hawaii rose from 22nd place to third place between the first round of “Race to the Top” awards in March and the second round announced last week.  Hawaii gained nearly 100 points on its second-round application.  U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said the elimination of the unpopular teacher furloughs earlier this year also was a factor in the awarding of more federal money to Hawaiil.

Hawaii Sports Notes over the weekend.  Michelle Wie on Sunday captured her second LPGA Tour victory at the CN Canadian Open.  According to KITV 4 news, Wie carded five birdies and three bogeys to shoot a 2-under par 70.  She earned the three-shot victory over Kristy McPherson, Suzann Pettersen, Jiyai Shiu, and Jee Young Lee.

Little League World Series.  Tokyo, Japan defeated Waipahu, Hawaii by a score of 4-1 to take the title.

BIIF football (Friday games).  Honokaa 41, Ka’u 14; Hilo 35, Lethbridge, Alberta (Canada) 21.

BIIF football (Saturday games).  HPA 66, Kohala 0; Kamehameha-Hawaii 41, Konawaena 0; Kealakehe 38, Waiakea 23.

Ultimate Fighting Championship.  Defending UFC Lightweight Champion Frankie Edgar won a five-round unanimous decision over Hilo’s B.J. Penn Saturday night at the TD Garden.  Edgar is now 13-1, while Pen slips to 15-7-1.

Community news:  A community meeting will be held Tuesday, August 31st, 6 p.m., at the Pahoa Community Center to discuss the ongoing mangrove eradication project at several public and private properties on the Island of Hawaii, including the Wai’ Opae Marine Life Conservation District, Isaac Hale Beach Park at Pohoiki, and Onekahakaha Beach Park in Hilo.  Mayor Billy Kenoi has called the meeting to allow resident to make any comments they may have regarding this project.  For details, call the Mayor’s Office at 961-8565.

Community news:  The County of Hawaii Elections Division is recruiting Precinct Official Workers island-wide to assist with the 2010 Primary and General Elections.  Precinct Officials will be paid $85 per Election Day worked.  For details, call the Elections Division at 933-1591.

Russ Roberts, News Director

Hawaii Island News, 28 August 2010


Hawaii Pacific University economist Leroy Laney told those attending the 36th Annual First Hawaiian Bank Economic Outlook Fourm at the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel that the Big Island has it the economic bottom.  Laney said an economic recovery is now underway or at least imminent for the Big Island economy.   Laney told the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” that residents shouldn’t expect a rapid snapback, but at least the signs are favorable.

A final push for approval of the Thirty Meter Telescope is now underway.  The Mauna Kea Management Board will give its recommendation on approving a draft of the conservation district use application sometime before Wednesday.  TMT representative Sandra Dawson tells the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald”  a favorable recommendation on the permit will allow the University of Hawaii to submit the application to the Department of Land and Natural Resources.  Dawson believes the DLNR will then schedule at least two public hearings on the application.

Approximately 300 people attended a Gubernatorial Forum Thursday evening at the Kealakehe High School Cafeteria.  Five governor hopefuls explored a variety of proposals, ranging from building a new Kona airport to making power companies public.  Former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann vowed to improve the Kona International Airport and to build a post office, fire station, and even some lodging.  Former Congressman Neil Abercrombie told the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” that he supported modernizatrion plans for Hawaii Island, but only if they meet community needs.

(AP).  Officials say a rare Blainville’s beaked whale rescued on Maui earlier this month is progressing in its recovery.  Volunteers from the University of Hawaii at Hilo are tending to the 1,800-pound whale at a school facility on the Big Island.  The whale was rescued in shallow waters August 16th from South Maui.  Beaked whales are deep-water swimmers that are rarely seen.

A community meeting will be held Tuesday, August 31st, 6 p.m., at the Pahoa Community Center to discuss the ongoing mangrove eradication project at several public and private properties on the Island of Hawaii, including the Wai’ Opae Marine Life Conservation District, Isaac Hale Beach Park at Pohoiki, and Onekahakaha Beach Park in Hilo.  Mayor Billy Kenoi has called the meeting to allow residents to make any comments they may have regarding the project.  For details, call the Mayor’s Office at 961-8565.

More than 150 firefighters are still battling a stubborn brush fire near the Pohakauloa Training Area.  The Department of Land and Natural Resources says the blaze has burned about 1,400 acres so far.  Fire crews have contained approximately 60 percent of the fire.  Saddle Road remains open with detours, while the Mauna Kea State Recreation Area remains closed.  There is a speed limit of 35 mph on the detour road.

The new owners of the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel tell the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” they are in for the long haul.  Last month,  investors led by Castle Resorts & Hotels bought the hotel from CarVal Investors for $17.3 million.  Castle’s Chief Operating Officer, Alan Matson, says the company has been a part of the Hilo community for many years and it plans to continue to invest in the hotel.

A popular Kailua-Kona restaurant is  shutting down today after more than 20 years of service to West Hawaii.  Ed Greene, who owns Jameson’s By the Sea, tells the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” he hopes he can reopen the seafood restaurant after completing some refurbishing work in the kitchen and front of the house.  Greene says there is a possiblility the restaurant will reopen in December.

Community news:  Need Ohana?  Expand your family support circle by attending free parent education classes at Konawaena Elementary School.  Nurturing Families of Hawaii in Kona will begin a new 12-week afternoon session starting Wednesday, September 15th.  Free potluck dinner and free childcare provided.  To register, call Carol at 640-1866.

Community news:  Thinking about starting your own business and don’t know where to start?  Goodwill Industries of Hawaii’s Malama Moe program offers a Business Training Course which will teach you the skills necessary to start your own business.  The course is free to qualified individuals and begins with an orientation on Tuesday, September 14th from 5-8 p.m. at the Goodwill Center at 200 Kanoelehua Avenue.  For details, call 934-8118.

Community news:  The County of Hawaii Elections Division is recruiting Precinct Official Workers island-wide to assist with the 2010 Primary and General Elections.  Precinct Officials will be paid $85 per Election Day worked.  For details, call 933-1591.

BIIF pre-season football scores (Friday games):  Honokaa 41, Kau 14; Hilo 35, Lethbridge (Alberta, Canada) 21.  Today’s games:  Kealakehe at Waiakea (jv at 1 p.m…varsity follows the jv game); Kamehameha-Hawaii at Konawaena (jv at 1 p.m…varsity follows the jv game); HPA at Kohala (2 p.m.).

Community news:  The Big Island Auto Club presents the Labor Day Drags September 4th and September 5th at the Hilo Drag Strip.  This is the biggest race of the year and will feature the Door Slammer Shoot Out, Pro-Gas events, bracket races, motorcyle races, and junior dragster competition.  Gates open 7:00 a.m. both days.

Community news:  The Labor Day weekend will also feature the 36th Annual Parker Ranch Round-Up Rodeo at the Parker Ranch Arena, with events starting at 12 noon.  In addition to the traditional rodeo events, such as bull riding, barrel racing, and double mugging, there will be a horse sale on September 5th at 10 a.m.  For details, call 885-2323.

Please send me your community news at least two weeks before your event.  You can send items by fax at 935-0396 or by e-mail at rroberts@pacificradiogroup.com.

Russ Roberts, News Director

Russ Roberts, News Director

Hawaii Island News, 27 August 2010


Hawaii Pacific University economics professor Leroy Laney told those attending the 36th Annual First Hawaiian Bank Economic Outlook Forum at the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel that the Big Island has hit the economic bottom.  Laney said an economic recovery is now underway or at least imminent for the Big Island economy.  Laney told the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” that residents should not expect a rapid snapback, but at least the signs are favorable.

A final push for approval of the Thirty Meter Telescope is now underway.  The Mauna Kea Management Board will give its recommendation on approving a draft of the conservation district use application sometime before Wednesday.  TMT representative Sandra Dawson tells the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” a favorable recommendation on the permit will allow the University of Hawaii to submit the application to the Department of Land and Natural Resources.  Dawson believes the DLNR will then schedule at least two public hearings on the application.

Approximately 300 people attended a Gubernatorial Forum Thursday evening at the Kealakehe High School Cafeteria.  Five governor hopefuls explored a variety of proposals, ranging from building a new Kona airport to making power companies public.  Former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann vowed to improve the Kona International Airport and to build a post office, fire station, and even some lodging.  Former Congressman Neil Abercrombie told the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” that he supported modernization plans for Hawaii, but only if they meet community needs.

More than 150 firefighters are still battling a stubborn brush fire near the Pohakuloa Training Area.  The Department of Land and Natural Resources says the blaze has burned about 1,400 acres so far.  Fire crews have contained approximately 60 percent of the fire.  Saddle Road remains open with detours, while the Mauna Kea State Recreation Area remains closed.

On Wednesday, a Kona jury convicted Faustino Transfiguracion of felony sexual assaults against five children.  The sexual assaults spanned nearly a decade.  The children, who were between 5 and 14 when they were assaulted, ranged in age from 9 to 17 when they testified at trial.  The jury returned guilty verdicts on five charges after a five week trial in the courtroom of Judge Elizabeth Strance.

Despite a successful marketing campaign that filled Japan Air Lines flights to Kona this spring, JAL executives this week confirmed the airline will suspend its direct Narita-to-Kona flights on October 29th.  Hawaii County and its visitor industry partners have responded with a new promotional campaign called “E Komo Mai Kona” to entice visitors from Japan to continue making Kona as their destination after the direct flights end.  The promotional campaign will begin offering its discounted packages November 1st to encourage visitors to travel to Kona via Honolulu.  Mayor Billy Kenoi said Kona will be partly cushioned from the impact by the recent increases in domestic direct-flights seats to Kona from Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, and Delta Airlines.

(AP).  Volunteers from UH-Hilo continue to tend a rare Blainville’s  beaked whale rescued on Maui earlier this month.  The 14-foot-long, 1,900 pound whale was reported in guarded condition Wednesday at the Hawaii Cetacean Rehabilitation Facility on the Big Island.  NOAA Marine Mammal Response Coordinator David Scholfield says 15 to 20 volunteers are working around the clock to help save the whale.  Scholfield says he’s unsure of the whale’s prognosis, in part, because it remains willing to eat solid food.

Community news:  A community meeting will be held Tuesday, August 31st, 6 p.m., at the Pahoa Community Center to discuss the ongoing mangrove eradication project at several public and private properties on the Island of Hawaii, including the Wai’ Opae Marine Life Conservation District, Isaac Hale Beach Park at Pohoiki, and Onekahakaha Beach Park in Hilo.  Mayor Billy Kenoi has called the meeting to allow residents to make any comments they may have regarding this project.  For details, call 961-8565.

Community news:  The County of Hawaii Elections Division is recruiting Precinct Official Workers island-wide to assist with the 2010 Primary and General Elections.  Precinct Officials will be paid $85 per Election Day worked.  For details, call  933-1591.

Community news:  The East Hawaii Academy of Sports–Puna Dodgers are having a carwash fundraiser this Sunday, August 29th, from 7:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., at the “Jus Cruzin’ Coffee” location near the new Hilo Court Building.  All proceeds will benefit the keiki for the upcoming baseball season.  Children from age 4 to 12 are welcome to participate in the program.  Donations in any amount will be accepted this Sunday.

Community news:  The Ho’okena Elementary School Parent Teacher Organization announces a change in the pick-up day for its Portuguese Sausage Fundraiser which ends today.  Families may pick-up their sausage packs at Ho’okena Elementary School on Tuesday, August 31st, from 2:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.  For details, call 238-2269.

Community news:  Five Mountains’ TAKE IT OFF HAWAII is back and better than ever.  This FREE 10-week program begins September 6th and ends on November 14th.  This is a fun opportunity to team up with your friends and family and make positve lifestyle changes.  For details, call 887-1281.

Community news:  Malama Ka’u on Sunday, September 5th, at the Hoolaulea at Honuapo.  Ono grinds, music, hula, games for the kids, and slack key artist Cyril Pahinui are all part of the fun-filled day to support Honuapo Park.  Things get underway at 10 a.m.  For details, call 929-9891.

Please send me your community news items at least two weeks before your event.  You can send you items by fax at 035-0396 or by e-mail to:  rroberts@pacificradiogroup.com.

Russ Roberts, News Director.

Hawaii Island News, 26 August 2010


Firefighters continue to battle a brushfire near the Pohakuloa Training Area.  Although the Saddle Road is open, Hawaii County Civil Defense reminds drivers that the speed limit through the detour road is 35 miles per hour.  This is also a no stopping zone.  There is limited visibility because of smoke in the area.  Those with breathing problems are urged to use the air conditioning system in their vehicle.

(AP).  A 31-year-old man has been arrested in connection with a Big Island brush fire that’s burned 1,300 acres–or more than 2 square miles.  Big Island police say the unidentified Papaikou man was found near the blaze Sunday, taken to the hospital for treatment, and arrested Monday on suspicion of first-degree arson.

Hawaii Army National Guard helicopters are helping to fight the brush fire near PTA and Mauna Kea State Park.  One UH–60M Blackhawk helicopter assisted efforts on Tuesday and two more were called up Wednesday.  About ten soldiers from Company C, 1st Battalion, 207th Aviation Regiment based out of Hilo were put on State Active Duty.  The one Blackhawk that assisted on Tuesday dropped more than 13,000 gallons of water on the fire.

(AP).  The mayors of Kauai and the Big Island have endorsed former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann in his bid for the Democratic nomination for governor.  Big Island Mayor Billy Kenoi and Kauai Mayor Bernard Carvalho, Jr. made their announcement while alongside Hannemann Wednesday at Honolulu City Hall.

Speaking of the gubernatorial races, our station has a preference poll covering this race.  You can reach our polls at–answers.polldaddy.com/prgnewshawaii.

North Kona Councilman Kelly Greenwell will have to get another judge in his attempt to clear himself of several traffic violations following a July 17th traffic stop and arrest.  According to “West Hawaii Today”, Judge Elizabeth Strance recused herself because one of her court employees, Maile David, once worked for Greenwell.  Before Judge Strance transferred the case to Judge Ronald Ibarra, Greenwell made a motion to have her dismiss the charges, saying his case should be negotiated with the county prosecutor to avoid a trial.  Judge Strance told Greenwell he should get an attorney to represent him in court.

Parks and Recreation Director Bob Fitzgerald tells “West Hawaii Today” that a lifeguard shortage at the Puna District’s only swimming pool is being offset with temporary hires and staffing reassignments.  Fitzgerald says unexpected closures have ended at the Pahoa Community Aquatic Center, which is now open daily, excluding holidays.  Councilwoman Emily Naeole-Beason says the temporary measures fall short of keeping the pool fully operational.  She wants two additional lifeguards hired.  Fitzgerald says he must get approval from Mayor Billy Kenoi to retain two of the extra lifeguards the department hired for the summer months.

Metcalf West will soon unveil what it is calling a first-of-its-kind photovoltaic system in Hawaii.  According to “Pacific Business News”, the blessing of the 22-kilowatt system will take place August 31st, with Governor Linda Lingle and Big Island Mayor Billy Kenoi scheduled to be in attendance.  Designed and implemented by Skyline Solar, the PV system is comprise of solar arrays and has been installed at Metcalf’s headquarters in Kailua-Kona.  Metcalf’s system, installed at a cost of $200,000, is comprised of 14 solar arrays.  The arrays are approximately 20 feet long each, and is height adjustable.  The Skyline system features the ability to track the sun’s movement, thereby gaining more direct light and yielding more energy.

Community news:  You’re invited to a nonpartisan Governor Candidate Forum this evening at 6 at the Kealakehe High School Cafeteria.   Before the forum begins, Tante’s Restaurant will be selling food to benefit Rotary and the Kealakehe High School Culinary Arts Program.   Candidates coming are Democrats Neir Abercrombie and Mufi Hannemann, Republican John Carroll, and Nonpartisan Candidate Tony Clapps.  Lt. Governor “Duke” Aiona declined, saying he will not participate in debates or forums before the primary election.  For details, call 329-1758.

Community news:  The Ho’okena Elementary School Parent Teacher Organization announces a change in the pick-up day for its Portuguese sausage fundraising campaign which ends this Friday.  Families may pick-up their sausage packs at Ho’okena Elementary School on Tuesday, August 31st, from 2:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m..  For details, call Keoki at 238-2269.

Community news:  A community meeting will be held Tuesday, August 31st, 6 p.m., at the Pahoa Community Center to discuss the ongoing mangrove eradication project at several public and private properties on the Island of Hawaii, including the Wai’ Opae Marine Life Conservation District, Isaac Hale Beach Park at Pohoiki, and Onekahakaha Beach Park in Hilo.  Mayor Billy Kenoi has called the meeting to allow residents to make any comments they may have regarding this subject.  For details, call the Mayor’s Office at 961-8565.

Community news:  Four UH-Hilo students set sail from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada this Friday, as participants in the Semester at Sea Program.  Rachel Cabanilla, Bria Calloway, Kaipo Dye, and Nicole Pasalo will drop anchor at 11 countries in Europe, Asia, and Africa before returning to the U.S.  Each student received a $13,437 scholarship from the Institute for Shipboard Education.  To learn more about this program, call Carolina Lam at 933-8809.

Community news:  The County of Hawaii Elections Division is recruiting Precinct Official Workers island-wide to assist with the 2010 Primary and General Elections.  Precinct Officials will be paid $85 per Election Day worked.  For details, call 933-1591.

And, finally, from the police blotter:  On August 25th at 1:30 p.m., detectives from the Area II Criminal Investigation Section charged Dustin Kaneta-Ogata of Kailua-Kona with first degree terroristic threatening and reckless endangering.  Kaneta-Ogata was arrested on August 23rd after witnesses said the 30-year old man fired a shotgun from his balcony following an altercation with neighbors.  He is being held at the Kona police cellblock in lieu of $4,000 pending his initial court appearance.

Please send me your community notes at least two weeks before your event. You can send items to our fax line at 935-0396.  You can also send community news to my e-mail–rroberts@pacificradiogroup.com.

Russ Roberts, News Director.

Hawaii Island News, 25 August 2010


Police and fire officials opened the Saddle Road this morning at 5:30.  Traffic will be routed onto the old section of the road from mile post 29 to mile post 34.  Meanwhile, fire crews continued to battle a brush fire that has consumed more than 1,300 acres of state land near the Pohakuloa Training Area.

Hawaii Island police have arrested a 31-year old Papaikou man for first degree arson stemming from an investigation into the cause of a large brush fire in the Pohakuloa Area.  Christopher M. Pratt was located in close proximity to the fire upn firefighters’ initial arrival to combat the fire.  Pratt was taken to the Hilo Medical Center for treatment.  He was taken into police custody following his release from the medical center.  Pratt was later released pending further investigation.

(AP).  A woman has died after being pulled from a swimming pool at King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel in Kailua-Kona.  Fire officials say the woman was poolside by the time rescue and emergency medical units arrived at the hotel Monday night.  The woman was pronounced dead at the Kona Community Hospital.

(AP).  Hawaii County Councilwoman Emily Naeole-Beason is denying a domestic abuse allegation by her estranged husband.  “West Hawaii Today” reported on Tuesday that Hawaii County police will investigate a complaint Raymond Beason filed against his wife with police in Alaska,  Through her attorney, Brian De Lima, Naeole-Beason said she “never laid a finger on her husband” and also questioned the timing of the allegation.

(AP).  Hawaii is one of nine states and the District of Columbia that will share in more than $4 billion in federal “Race to the Top” grant money.  Governor Linda Lingle says Hawaii will get $75 million to refore the state’s public education system that was plagued by teacher furloughs.

(AP).  A California man has been sentenced to 27 years in federal prison for charges related to the largest drug bust ever on Maui.  Fifty-year-old Eustorgio Flores had faced a maximum sentence of life in prison when he was sentenced  yesterday.  A Fresno jurry convicted him in April.  The  recipient of the drug shipments was Patrick Aniban, who received a 20-year sentence after authorities seized six pound of meth and 18 pounds of cocaine at his Maui home.

(AP).  Seven projects have been approved for Legacy Land Conservation Program funding.  The Department of Land and Natural Resources announced Monday that $3 million from the State Land Conservation Fund will be used for land acquisition.  Seven state, county, and nonprofit applicants will receive grant funds for the permanent protection of lands having archaeological, cultural, and natural resource value.  The money will be used to acquire about 752 acres of land on the Big Island, Molokai, Kauai, and Oahu.

Community news:  The County of Hawaii Elections Division is recruiting Precinct Offical Workers island-wide to assist with the 2010 Primary and General Elections.  Precinct Officials will be paid $85 per Election Day worked.  For details, call 933-1591.

Community news:  You are invited to join UH-Hilo’s Women’s Center as it celebrates 20 years of empowering and supporting students.  The celebration will be held on Tuesday, September 7th, 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in UCB 127.  State Senator Coleen Hanabusa will be the keynote speaker.  For more information, call 974-7306.

Community news:  Five Mountains’ “Take it off Hawaii” is back and better than ever.  This FREE, 10-week program begins September 6th and ends November 14th.  This is a fun opportunity to team up with your friends and family and make positive lifestyle changes.  At the end of last year’s program, participants celebrated lower blood pressure, higher energy levels, and a collective weight loss of more than a thousand pounds.  For details, call 887-1281.

Community news:  The Keio University High School Judo Team is now visiting Hawaii Island.  The team is holding a training camp through August 27th (Friday).  The Keio Team will also participate in the Waiakea Judo Tournament from August 28th (Saturday) from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.  For details, call Greg Yonemori at 936-3028.

Community news:  Honokaa High and Intermediate School invites you to enjoy its 2010 “Believe in Magic” Homecoming Parade on Tuesday, September 14th, beginning at 4 p.m.  The parade will begin at the school and proceed through town, up Plumeria Street, across Akia Street, and then back to the school campus.  Roads will reopen at 5 p.m.

Community news:  An expert from the UH-Hilo Small Business Development Center will conduct a workshop on September 15th from 9-11 a.m. for those interested in starting their own business.  The workshop will be held at the North Hawaii Educational & Research Center at the former site of the Honokaa Hospital.  Tuition is $25 and the registration deadline is September 13th.  For details, call 933-0776.

Community news:  You’re invited to a nonpartisan Governor Candidate Forum on Thursday, August 26th, at Kealakehe High School Cafeteria.  Food sales at 5 p.m. by Tante’s Restaurant will benefit Rotary and the Kealakehe High School Culinary Program.  The forum starts at  6 p.m.  For details, call 329-1758.

Community news:  The Big Island Auto Club presents the Labor Day Drag Races at the Hilo Drag Strip on September 4th and September 5th.  This is the biggest race of the year, attracting some of the fastest cars in the state.  Featured events include the Door Slammer Shoot-Out, Pro-Gas racing, and ET Bracket Racing.  Gates open at 7 a.m. both days.

Please send me your community news items at least two weeks before your event.  You can send items to our fax line–935-0396 or to my e-mail–rroberts@pacificradiogroup.com.

A list of station news polls can be found at:  answers.polldaddy.com/prgnewshawaii.  Your vote will be anonymous.

Russ Roberts, News Director.

Hawaii Island News, 24 August 2010


(AP).  The Army says a wildfire has burned 2,000 acres–or more than 3.1 square miles–at Pohakuloa Training Area on the Big Island.  U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii says the fire on the slopes of Mauna Kea is about 55 percent contained.  Three helicopters are batling the blaze while five bulldozers are cutting firebreaks.  The Saddle Road is closed.

The Hawaii County Police Department has told “West Hawaii Today” that it has received notice of a complaint filed against Puna Councilwoman Emily Naeole-Beason in Juneau, Alaska, by her estranged husband, Raymond Beason.  Beason told the Kailua-Kona based newspaper that his complaint included charges of domestic abuse, threats, and defamation.  Beason says he wants the marriage annulled, but he lacks the move to move the issue.  “West Hawaii Today” was unable to verify two of Beason’s allegaitons on Monday.

Alii Drive property owners, West Hawaii surfers, and other Hawaii Island residents will ask the Leeward Planning Commission to reject a special management area permit application at a hearing on Friday.  According to “West Hawaii Today”, developer William Foulk is proposing a 16-unit condo complex, with four stories above groound and an underground parking area on the north side of Holualoa Bay, facing Lyman’s surf spot.  Don Crumarine, a California resident whose parents bought a neighboring piece of land in the 1960s, told “West Hawaii Today” that some kind of scaled down structure would be more appropriate for the area.

The Hawaii County Fire Department held a traditional Hawaiian Blessing on Monday for its new McDonnald-Douglas 500-D helicopter.  Fire Chief Darryl Oliveira told the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” the new helicopter will replace Chopper One, the existing search-and-rescue helicopter.  Oliveira called the new helicopter an essential piece of equipment for the fire department.

A 32-year old Hilo man accused of dragging a polcie officer with a stolen car and causing a vilent crash has a new trial date of January 10th in Hilo.  Alexander Borero III has pleaded not guilty  to attempted first-degree murder, first-degree negligent injury, and other offenses.  Deputy Prosecutor Rick Damerville told the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” that the trial would take about two weeks.

The Ane Keohokalole Highway (the mid-level road) achieved a milestone Monday as heavy equpment from Nan Hawaii, Incorporated cleared vegetation and connected the three-mile $35 million throughfare to Palani Road.  Since ground was broken on March 30th, work continues at a rapid rate and on schedule to be completed in two years.  Except for a small detour near Kealakehe High School, residents have been unaffected by the work.  According to the Mayor’s Office, the Mid-Level Road lays the groundwork for the orderly expansion of Kailua-Kona by creating affordable housing opportunities, facilitating homesteads for Native Hawaiians, and for furthering the goals of the Kona Community Development Plan.

Community news:  Your’re invited to a nonpartisan Governor Candidate Forum on Thursday, August 26th, at Kealakehe High School Cafeteria.  Food sales start at 5 by Tante’s Restaurant to benefit Rotary and the Kealakehe Culinary Program.  The forum begins promptly at 6 p.m. and will continue to 8 p.m.  You’re also invited to a candidate fourm for County Council candidates running in District 7 on Tuesday, August 31st at Kealakehe High School.  For details on these public forums, call Sherry at 334-1521.

Community news:  The 36th Annual Parker Ranch Round-Up Club Labor Day Rodeo is coming to the Parker Ranch Arena, September 4th and September 5th at 12 noon.  For details, call 885-2323.

Community news:  The Big Island Auto Club presents the Biggest Drag Race of the Year–the Labor Day Drags and Door Slammer Shoot-Out on September 4th and September 5th at the Hilo Drag Strip.  Gates open at 7 a.m.

Community news:  An expert from the UH-Hilo Small Business Development Center will conduct a workshop on September 15th from 9-11 a.m. for those interested in fulfilling the dream of going into business for themselves.  The workshop will be held at the North Hawaii Educational and Research Center, at the former Honokaa Hospital.  Tuition is $25.  Registration deadline is September 13th.  For details, call 933-0776.

Community news:  Honokaa High and Intermediate School presents its “Believe in Magic” Homecoming parade on Tuesday, September 14th, beginning at 4 p.m.  The parade will begin at the school and proceed through town up Plumeria Street, across Akia Street, and back to the school.  Road should reopen at 5 p.m.

Please send me your community notes at least two weeks before your event.  You can send community items by fax at 935-0396 or by e-mail to rroberts@pacificradiogroup.com.

You’re invited to participate in our station news polls, which run at the end of the regular news summary and the community news.  Today’s question focuses on the way we vote–should we adopt a mail-in ballot system for all elections?  The poll follows.

Hawaii Island News, 23 August 2010


Travel on the Saddle Road should be avoided today.  Firecrews are still battling a stubborn brushfire near the Pohakuloa Training Area.  Last night, the fire  jumped three firebreaks and was moving towards Mauna Kea Park.  The road is temporarily closed.  Police have established Roadblocks at mile post 8 in Hilo and at the intersection of Hwy 190 and Saddle Road outside of Waimea.  Please use alternative routes.

The Hawaii Newspaper Guild and the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” newspaper have signed a contract after nearly six years of negotiations.  The two-year agreement covers all employees at the Hilo newspapaer except pressmen, who are covered by a separate contract, and managers.  The contract provides the first wage increases for employees at the newspaper since January 1st, 2002.  During the course of the drawn-out negotiations, an administrative judge of the National Labor Relations Board found the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” guilty of 12 unfair labor practice charges.

The U.S. Army will release a report on August 31st detailing the risks associated with depleated uranium at the Pohakuloa Training Area.  It is not known when the after-the-fact license the army needs to possess and handle the material will be given.  Jim Albertini of the Malu Aina Center for Non-violent Education and Action, tells the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” that  the Army should hold presentations in more accessible areas and incorporate more community representatives in the review process.

According to the Associated Press, financial fraud charges against the former president of the World Botanical Gardens have been dismissed.  Pepeekeo residents Walter and Linda Wagner were indicted in 2008 on charges that they allegedly used deception to gain control of property worth more than $20,000 belonging to World Botanical Gardens.  Deputy Prosecutor Jason Skier said the case was dismissed without prejudice due to a technicality.  The Wagners could be recharged.

The husband of Puna councilwoman Emily Naeole tells “West Hawaii Today” that he has left Hawaii Island for Juneau, Alaska, claiming his estranged wife beat him, forced him to turn over his monthly Social Security check and, after he left the state, sent a man to threaten him.  Raymond Beason says he plans to file police reports in Alaska and Hawaii about the threats.. Beason also plans to show threatening text messages he allegedly received from his wife.

Community news:  You could be part of fulfilling a dream for someone in    your community by becoming a Habitat for Humanity West Hawaii volunteer.  Habitat is recruiting volunteers, skilled and unskilled, for builds on Hawaiian Home Lands in Kawaihae.  For details, call Margo at 331-8010.

Community news:  Malama Ka’u on Sunday, September 5th at the Hoolaulea at Honuapo.  There will be ono grinds, music, hula, games for the kids, and slack key guitarist Cyril Pahinui.  The event runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  The family-oriented event will raise funds to protect the 223-acre park, a sanctuary for sea turtles, monk seals, and Hawaiian water birds.  For details, call 929-9891.

Community news:  Parents of the Kona Aerials Competitive Gymnastics Team will hold a benefit fundraiser on Sunday, August 28th, from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the “Big White Tent” across the Honokahau Small Boat Harbor.  A pancake breakfast will be offered for only $5.00.  For details, call the gym at 327-4313.

Community news:  A sixth grade student at Chiefess Kapiolani Elementary School needs your help in realizing an opportunity of a lifetime.  Molini Vaka has been nominated to represent her shcool and community as a member of the Junior National Young Leaders Conference in Washington, D.C., beginning on October 2nd.  This outstanding honor student and her family are trying to raise funds to cover expenses for this prestigious leadership experience.  You can send donations in any amount to”  P.O. Box 10492, Hilo, Hawaii, 96720.

Community news:  The state Department of Transportation will hold a public informational meeting regarding the second phase of the Queen Kaahumanu Highway Widening Project on Wednesday, September 1st, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., at the Kealakehe High School cafeteria.  The project, which is scheduled to break ground this fall, will consist of 5.2 miles of widening the existing two-lane highway into a four-lane divided highway from Kealakehe Parkway to the Kona International Airport.  For information on the project, call the hotline at 1-888-440-7988.

Please send me your community notes at least two weeks before your event. You can send community news items by fax at 935-0396 or to my e-mail–rroberts@pacificradiogroup.com.

You are invited to participate in our station’s news polls.  A list of previous polls can be found at:  polldaddy.com/prgnewshawaii.  Our lastest polls concern the privatization of certain county roads in the Ka’u District and a gubernatorial preference poll.  Your vote will be anonymous.

Russ Roberts, News Director.

Hawaii Island News, Sunday afternoon-evening, 22 August 2010


As of early Sunday evening, fire crews were still fighting a stubborn brushfire near mile post 33 along the Saddle Road.  This is an area near the Pohakuloa Training Area.  Police have closed Saddle Road at the 8 mile post just above the top entrance of Kaumana City subdivision, and Saddle Road and Route 190 intersection near Waimea.  Motorists are advised to use alternate routes if possible. 

The long-awaited $9 million dollar Makalei Fire Station moved a step closer to reality on Friday with the release of a federal environmental assessment that projects the facility to be operational by spring of 2012.  According to “West Hawaii Today”, if there are no unfavorable comments to the assessment, $4.1 million in federal stimulus funds will be available for the project.  The 11,000 square-foot fire station will be located on a 2.8 acre parcel mauka of the Mamalahoa Highway, just east of Makalei Drive in North Kona.

Hawaii Island police have told KITV 4 news that a 30-year old Big Island man was recovering this weekend after being stabbed multiple times at Sand Island on Oahu.  Police said the incident occurred around 4:30 a.m. Saturday while the victim drove his girlfriend to work at Wong’s Meat Market.  The girlfriend told police that the unidentified suspect had been harassing her at work.  Police said the accused assailant will be arrested on second-degree assault charges when he is released from the Queen’s Medical Center.

Hawaii grocery stores have been fielding scores of calls from customers concerned about the national salmonella outbreak that has sickened an estimated 2,000 people and led to the recall of nearly half a billion shell eggs from a pair of Iowa producers.  According to the “Honolulu Star-Advertiser”, there has been no confirmed case of the tainted eggs being sold in Hawaii.  Safeway, which markets the Lucerne brand, confirmed that none of the egg shipments received in Hawaii is part of the recall.

The husband of Puna councilwoman Emily Naeole tells “West Hawaii Today” that he has fled to Juneau, Alaska, claiming his estranged wife beat him, forced him to turn over his monthly Social Security check and, after he left the state, sent a man to threaten him.  Raymond Beason says he plans to file police reports in Alaska and Hawaii about the threats.  Beason also plans to show threatening text messages he allegedly received from his wife.

A Hilo grand jury has indicted 18-year old Dylan Galigo of Kailua-Kona for an alleged air gun attack against a Waiakea High School teacher on August 7th at the intersection of Mohouli and Komohana streets.  Tom Murphy, who teaches electronics and advises the school’s robotics team, tells the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” that he was hit with a plastic pellet fired from a CO2 cartridge.  Murphy said anyone with information in the case should call police.

Although Rose Tseng is no longer the UH-Hilo Chancellor, she will be paid until her sabbatical is over on June 30th, 2011.  Gerad De Mello, the UH-Hilo relations director, tells the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” that board policy allows Tseng to receive her executive salary.  Tseng says she wants to return to UH-Hilo to help new chancellor Donald Straney adjust to the demands of the position and to maintain the university contacts she formed during her recent tenure as chancellor.

In a prepared release, the Army says Oahu-based military units will convoy between the Pohkuloa Training Area and Kawaihae Harbor, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, now through the end of August.  The convoys are traveling on Saddle Road, the Mamalahoa Highway, Waikoloa Road, and the Queen Kaahumanu Highway.  For details, call Mike Egami at 656-3152.

The U.S. Army will release a report on August 31st detailing the risks associated with depleated uranium at the Pohakuloa Training Area.  It is not known when the after-the-fact license the army needs to possess and handle the material will be granted.  Depleated uranium was used in weapons training during the 1960s.  Jim Albertini of the Malu Aina Center for Non-violent Education and Action, tells the “Hawaii Tribune-Herald” that the Army should hold presentations in more accessible areas and should balance the briefings with community representatives.

Community news:  Parents of the Kona Aerials Competitive Gymnastics Team will hold a fundraiser on Sunday, August 29th, 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the “Big White Tent” across the Honokahau Small Boat Harbor.  The girls are selling $5.00 tickets for a Pancake breakfast at the tent.  For details, call the gym at 327-4313.

Community news:  Malama Ka’u on Sunday, September 5th at the Hoolaulea at Honuapo.  There will be ono grinds, music, hula, games for the kids, and a special performance by slack key artist Cyril Pahinui, beginning at 10 a.m.  Funds raised will help protect the 223-acre park, which is a sanctuary for sea turtles, monk seals, and Hawaiian water birds.  For details, call 929-9891.

Community news:  You could be a part of fulfilling a dream for someone in your community by becoming a Habitat for Humanity West Hawaii volunteer.  Habitat for Humanity is recruiting volunteers, skilled and unskilled, for builds on Hawaiian Home Lands in Kawaihae.  For details, call Margo at 331-8010.

PLease send me your community notes at least two weeks ahead of time to our fax line at 935-0396 or to my e-mail:  rroberts@pacificradiogroup.com.

You are invited to participate in our station news polls.  Our recent polls have asked you to weigh in on the candidates for governor and proposals to privatize county roads in the Ka’u District.  A list of recent polls can be found at:  answers.polldaddy.com/prgnewshawaii.

Russ Roberts, News Director

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