|R.I.P. means Rest In Peace and was painted on Hwy 11 by friends the car crash victim. Photo by Bobby Tucker|
THE DEADLY CRASH ON HWY 11,allegedly related to full-moon midnight car racing, between Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park and Pahala is the subject of a community outreach to find out more about the accident and to discourage racing on the highways. The latest theory is that the crash on June 12 was precipitated by an earlier accident the same night at milepost 31, also involving car racing. Allegedly, two youth in the first racecar called for help from their friends. Their friends raced to help them, crashing themselves into the lava between mileposts 35 and 36 on Hwy 11.
Coincidentally, drivers of an ambulance, which happened to be transporting a patient from Ka’u Hospital to Hilo, discovered the fatal accident near milepost 35 around 1:30 a.m. and called for more help. When the Medic 19 ambulance from Kilauea Military Camp was approaching the crash site, they came first upon the earlier accident and found two unharmed men. Medic 19 proceeded to the second accident and found the passenger, 20-year old Bryson Areola of Keaau, dead at the scene. Driver, 19-year old Julien Quiocho of Hilo, was airlifted to Queen’s Medical Center on O'ahu with reportedly serious brain and spinal injuries.
Police and National Park officials are encouraging all the community to help discourage racing. Apparently, when no races are scheduled at the track in Hilo, some of the racers dive to the straight-aways on county and state roads in Kapoho and Ka`u, usually on a full moon weekend.
In lieu of specific evidence surrounding the crash, rangers believe the victims may have speeding and lost control of the vehicle, causing them to crash. Their bodies were thrown from their vehicle into the lava field. The victims may also have been under the influence of alcohol. However, HVNP and HPD officials are still investigating. Anyone who may have witnessed the accident or have any information about the incident is encouraged to call 985-6001.
HAWAI`I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK has hired 12 of the 22 Ka`u High School juniors and seniors trained this spring for summer employment. Kupono McDaniel, Supervisor Ranger, said that 17 of the 22 students completed the training program and the top 12 individuals were selected. The hired students are approved for 24 hours a week or paid employment for a duration of eight weeks. McDaniel hopes the other five trainees will be hired on by other non-profit organizations in Ka`u or become volunteer rangers at the park.
|Daniel Elmore, of Ocean View, guides visitors at Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park |
during last year's Summer Youth Employment Program.
Mentoring the students is Gorge Zamudio, of Ocean View, a participant in last year’s Summer Youth Employment Program. He is now a full-time employee through a Hawai`i based non-profit called KUPU, which empowers youth through environmental stewardship. Permanent rangers mentor new hires while the park’s five new university student hires cover the front desk. There are three student temporary employees, two from University of Hawai`i-Hilo and one from Hilo Community College. Two additional U.H.–Hilo interns were hired through KUPU. For more information about the program call McDaniel at 985-6015.
NOONE WILL HAVE to worry about going to county offices and finding them closed on a Friday. Furlough Fridays are pau, the last one shutting down county offices just last week. With the new fiscal year arriving July 1, county workers will have their regular schedule and pay restored. The Furlough Fridays were enacted to save about $7 million a year through cutting worker wages and reducing utility bills. The County Council wanted to continue Furlough Fridays, with Chairman Dominic Yagong saying it was the best option for cutting the budget again next year.
THE COUNTY COUNCIL plans an emergency meeting this Friday to go over Mayor Billy Kenoi’s veto of the County Council budget and to consider the possibility of hiring an outside attorney. The mayor claimed the council’s version of the budget is fraught with illegalities. Since the mayor and the council have the same attorney, there is confusion on why this possible problem was not handled by county attorneys before the budget was passed and vetoed. Council Chair Dominic Yagong has long contended that the mayor and council need independent attorneys to avoid a conflict of interest and potential allegiance to either the administration or council when representing both arms of county government.
|Rep. Bob Herkes and his Nene goose are regulars at July 4 parades in Volcano and and Na`alehu.|
Photo by Julia Neal
THE JULY 2 AND 4 INDEPENDENCE DAY PARADES, first in Na`alehu, then in Volcano are open for participants. Community groups, clubs, schools, ranches, farms and other businesses are invited to represent their interests.
The Na`alehu Parade on Saturday, July 2 at 11 a.m. is sponsored by O Ka`u Kakou and the deadline to enter is July 1 by calling 929-9872. The parade will include the Hawai‘i County Band, Ka‘u Hospital, KAHU Radio, Summer Fun, Boys & Girls Club, and 18 riders on horseback representing the Paniolo community.
|Summer Fun marches in the July 2 Independence parade in Na`alehu. Photo by Julia Neal|
The Volcano Independence Day Parade, on Monday, July 4, at 9 a.m., is sponsored by the Volcano Community Association. It starts at the Volcano Post Office and winds up at Cooper Center for food, entertainment, crafts and displays. To participate in the parade, show up 8 a.m. at Volcano Post Office or call 967-7800. Among the participants are Volcano Art Center, Hawai`i County Band, Volcano School of Arts and Science, Volcano Rotary, floats, antique cars, fire engines, bicycles, horses, animals in costumes, dancers and musicians.