Around the Island Newscast | Hawaii Island | Nov. 29, 2019
December will be “Think Local, Buy Local” month here on Hawaii Island, and today Mayor Billy Kenoi will read a proclamation at the Mo‘oheau Bandstand in Hilo to mark the occasion.
The mayor will be joined by Randy Kurohara, director of the Department of Research and Development, Hilo Downtown Improvement Association, Hawai‘i Alliance for a Local Economy and local business owners. The event is free and open to the public.
The Hawaii Alliance for a Local Economy (or ‘HALE’) under the auspices of Sustain Hawaii is working under contract with the county to develop and launch a pilot public education initiative which highlights how purchasing locally made and grown products and shopping at locally owned businesses can benefit the community, environment and economy.
40 locally owned businesses in Downtown hilo are already participating… A cornerstone of the initiative is the Black and White Night/Think Local, Buy Local button which offers Hawai‘i Island residents discounts at participating locally owned businesses throughout the holiday season.
Think Local, Buy Local is launching in downtown Hilo and expanding island-wide.
The county says a national study done in 2010 shows that such “buy local” campaigns boost revenue by as much as 5% over the holidays.
Visit www.ThinkLocalBuyLocal.org for more information on this initiative.
In Kona, a draft environmental assessment for the reconstruction of a previously existing storage and restroom building at The Living Stones Congregational Church on Alii Drive, just south of Royal Poinciana Drive.
The structure will be 16 feet in height and encompass approximately 1,152 square feet when completed.
The proposed structure is designed to be similar in character to the adjacent Church through the use of similar construction, materials, and colors.
The building will be used for a meeting hall, Sunday school, and storage facility for the Church and the restrooms will be upgraded to be ADA compliant.
The Church has a new 65-year lease for this State-owned property. The site is listed on the State‟s Register of Historic Places.
The county may have closed on the sale of Kawa, but Abel Simeona Lui has not given up on his claim to the land.
On Tuesday, Lui will reportedly be back in 3rd District Court in Kona. Lui hopes to remain on the land that he says was deeded to his great-great-grandfather, Timoteo Keawe, in a royal grant under the Hawaiian Kingdom.
Lui says the county-recognized owner, the Edmund Olson Trust, does not have title to the land. He has been living on the property for years, most recently creating this settlement on the side of the Highway fronting the popular beach.
The county has purchased the more than 550 acres of undeveloped shoreline from Olson for the purpose of keeping it in open space for the use of island residents and visitors. A public-private partnership consisting of the County, the State Legacy Land Conservation Program under the State Department of Land and Natural Resources, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Recovery Land Acquisition Program, The Trust for Public Land, and many community members and stakeholders, made the $3.9 million purchase possible.
A draft environmental assessment for an existing 82.4-foot long, 2 to 4-foot high wall in a shoreline setback in Puako is available for comment.
The Doris M. Scharpf Trust is requesting that the County of Hawai‘i approve “after-the-fact” permits for the wall on the property containing a single-family home occupied by Doris Scharpf.
The wall was in place when the current owners purchased the property. The draft EA is part of a settlement from a County enforcement action. According to the document, the Trust can apply for permits necessary to realign and legalize the wall. The wall is fully contained within the State Land Use Urban District. The entire wall is mauka of the shoreline but within the shoreline setback.
Funding cuts for the telescopes on Mauna Kea have been making news headlines this week.
Over the weekend, Peter Sur of the Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported that reductions to the budgets of at least two different government funded observatories are already forcing some staff reductions.
Four or five positions are expected to be dropped… these are Hilo jobs that will be consolidated on the mainland.
The 8-meter Gemini Telescope, operating one in Hawaii and one in Chile, is facing a 23% reduction in its $40 million budget when the United Kingdom withdraws its stake in the project in 2012. New partners will not be able to join Gemini until 2016, when the next operating agreement is negotiated.
Also facing big cuts: the Joint Astronomy Centre, which administers the 15-meter James Clerk Maxwell Telescope and the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope.
Last August, the Netherlands – partners in the project with Canada and the United Kingdom – announced it would be withdrawing its 20 percent stake in JCMT by March 2013.
It will be an important evening coming up for the Waimea Community Association on Thursday, December 1st…
Two men from diverse backgrounds – attorney Brian DeLima and retiring South Kohala Police Capt. James Sanborn – will top the agenda for the Waimea Town Meeting, which will be held at 5 p.m., at Parker School Theatre — a different time and place than usual for the association.
The meeting begins a half hour earlier than usual, to accommodate a 6:30 p.m. lighting of the giant Norfolk Pine Tree fronting Parker School’s historic Barbara Hall.
Everyone is invited to both the Town Meeting and 2nd Annual Lokahi Giving Tree Lighting, which will include caroling, storytelling about Waimea Christmases Past and the start of the in-gathering of “absolute necessities” for Hawai’i Island families.
Hawaii County Police have arrested a Puna man who was wanted on suspicion of first-degree burglary.
Police located 24-year-old Turner Kaimana Au on Saturday morning, November 26th, when South Hilo patrol officers stopped him for a traffic violation.
Au was released Sunday afternoon while detectives continue their investigation.
Police are now asking for the community’s help in locating another man wanted for questioning in connection with this investigation. Detectives are seeking 28-year-old Justin E. Fergerstrom, who was last known to reside in Hilo. He is also wanted for an unrelated bench warrant.
Fergerstrom is described as 5-foot-8, about 150 pound with black hair and brown eyes.
Police ask that anyone with information on his whereabouts call Detective John Rodrigues Jr. at 961-2382 or the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311.
Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.
FEATURE: In today’s feature story, Sherry Bracken reports on the resurgent controversy surrounding the practise of aquarium fish collecting off the shores of Hawaii Island… and how recent incidents have lead to a new outlook on the future of the industry.