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Tuesday, March 07, 2023

Kaʻū News Briefs, Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Nā'ālehu Theatre on Tuesday morning, after demolition crew took it down. Photo by John Replogle
The 1925 iconic front of Nā'ālehu Theatre, which served as a movie, performance
and education venue, and community radio station for decades. Photo by Bob Martin
NĀ'ĀLEHU THEATRE IS DOWN. The 10,000 sq. ft. building makai of Hwy 11 next to Nā'ālehu Shopping Center, near the U.S. Post Office and library, was been abandoned for years.     
    Community efforts to lease, buy and restore it wound up  unsuccessful. 
    A demolition crew came to Nā'ālehu on Monday and Tuesday. The work that took the building down was accomplished in a few hours on Tuesday morning with big machines and many workers.
     The adjacent shopping center is slated for improvements with the possibility of reopening a supermarket there, possibly a KTA. The Nā'ālehu Theatre site had been fenced and a demolition permit acquired from the County of Hawai'i. 
Nā'ālehu Theatre on Monday afternoon, before being razed on Tuesday. Photo by Bob Martin

Remains of Nā'ālehu Theatre after the building was torn down on Tuesday morning.
Photo from Chelsae-Lynn Rosario Kobzi

WHILE HORNITOS GLOWED MONDAY NIGHT ON THE FLOOR OF HALEMA'UMAU, active lava went missing on Tuesday, halting the nightly show since Jan. 5. According to the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory report: On Monday morning, small ooze-outs of lava were flowing sluggishly in the footprint of the inactive western lava lake, within the basin that remained from the end of the 2021–2022 eruption. Ooze-out activity diminished in the afternoon, and on Tuesday no active lava was observed in Halemaʻumaʻu crater. 
No lava on the floor of Halema'u as the crater goes quiet.
USGS webcam image at 6:20 p.m. Tuesday
    Monitoring data also suggest that no new lava is being emplaced under the crusted crater floor, but it is possible that previously accumulated lava may feed further ooze-outs at the surface. Several hornitos on the crater floor are still glowing in overnight webcam views, but these are not erupting any lava. The recent reduction in activity is related to a large deflationary tilt signal that began on February 17. A live-stream video of the inactive western lava lake area is available at youtube.com.
      Summit Observations: Following a large deflationary tilt signal that began on February 17 and lasted until early February 19, summit tiltmeters have tracked several smaller deflation/inflation 
events. Over the course of these DI events there has been a slight increase in net tilt, but the summit remains deflated compared to the period leading up to February 17. 
    "Eruptive activity on the Halemaʻumaʻu crater floor may resume if the summit re-inflates to the prior level. Volcanic tremor has dropped slightly in recent weeks, approaching background level," USGS concludes. 

A COCKFIGHT WITH 800 PEOPLE IN ATTENDANCE netted the arrest of one Ocean View man and three from Kamuela last Saturday. The venue was in Kealakekua, with FBI agents and police on scene. Hawai'i Police Department reported Monday that 23 year old Chaddy Aukai, of Ocean View. was arrested and charged with possessing a ghost gun, which is an illegal weapon, assembled without serial numbers and registration. He was also charged with place to keep a firearm. His bail is $4,000.
    James Medeiros, 32, of Kamuela, was arrested for third-degree promotion of a dangerous drug. His bail was set at $2,000. Kapono Hookahi, 31, of Kamuela, was arrested for place to keep a firearm and place to keep ammunition. His bail was set at $2,500. Eizan-James Medeiros, 21, of Kamuela, was arrested for two counts of place to keep a firearm and one count of possession of a ghost gun. His bail was set at $12,000. All four men posted bail and are scheduled for Kona District Court on April 6.  HPD reported that
    Hawaiʻi police officers and FBI agents executed the search warrant at 1:40 p.m. on Saturday on a 500-acre parcel in Kealakekua.
    Police recovered approximately 14 live chickens and chicken boxes, extensive cockfighting paraphernalia, four dead chickens, three unregistered loaded pistols, ammunition and a loaded .22 caliber long rifle from the premises. Police also seized small amounts of cocaine and marijuana, $8,000 in US currency and two pickup trucks for forfeiture.
    The police report says, "The investigation into this operation and its organizers is ongoing at this time. Police ask that anyone who has information about the event to please contact Detective Grad Elarionoff at 808-326-4646 ext. 312, or by email at Grad.Elarionoff@hawaiicounty.gov. Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide Crime Stoppers number at 808-961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

The FBI and Hawai'i Police Department are teamed up to bust cockfights and arrest attendees for a variety of offenses. They
 broke up a cockfight with some 800 people on Saturday. Photo from Pacific News

AN ATTEMPTED MURDER INVESTIGATION FOLLOWING A SHOOTING IN OCEAN VIEW on Tuesday morning has been launched by Hawai'i Island police. HPD asks for the public’s assistance in locating the suspect, 44-year-old Ronald Patrick Keahonui Kahihikolo.
Ronald Patrick Keahonui Kahihikolo is 
sought by police for attempted murder
Tuesday morning in Ocean View.
HPD photo
    Shortly after 7 a.m., Ka‘ū patrol officers responded to a report of a woman who had been shot during a domestic dispute in the 92-2000 block of Outrigger Drive in Ocean View. The 42-year-old woman sought medical attention for the gunshot wound at the Ocean View Fire Station. She was subsequently transported to the Kona Community Hospital for treatment where she remains in stable condition.
    Area II Juvenile Aid Section personnel are continuing this investigation.
    Kahihikolo is wanted for attempted murder in connection with this incident and for numerous outstanding bench warrants. He is described as 5 feet 7 inches tall, 215 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes and has a distinctive tattoo on his right cheek near his eye that reads “greed”.
    Police caution members of the public not to approach Kahihikolo and to immediately contact police if they see him.
   Police ask anyone with information on this incident, or who has information on Kahihikolo’s whereabouts, to contact the police department’s non-emergency number at (808) 935-3311, or Detective Blayne Matsui at (808) 326-4646 ext. 304, or via email at blayne.matsui@hawaiicounty.gov.
    Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide Crime Stoppers number at (808) 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers does not record any calls or subscribe to caller ID.

    The County of Hawaiʻi Mass Transit Agency, in partnership with National Safe Place Network, is expanding the Safe Place to include The Salvation Army Family Intervention Services. As a newly designated Safe Place, Salvation Army Family Intervention Services will display the yellow and black Safe Place sign, which signifies immediate help and safety for youth. These signs are also installed on all 55 Hele-On buses operating across the island.
     “Ensuring our keiki have places where they can feel safe and protected is integral to a sustainable Hawaiʻi Island where our keiki can thrive and succeed for generations,” said Mayor Mitch Roth. “That’s why we made our buses safe places and why we’re proud to partner with organizations islandwide that have a proven track record of providing critical services for our community. Our partnership with The Salvation Army Family Intervention Services exemplifies that.”
    Over 1.5 million youth run away from home yearly due to abuse, neglect, family conflicts, and other issues. The Safe Place program is an option for young people who feel they have nowhere to turn.
    Hawaiʻi County’s Safe Place initiative, operated by the County of Hawaiʻi Mass Transit Agency, is part of a national network of Safe Place programs in 38 states. Over 20,000 community businesses and organizations nationwide display the Safe Place sign, making help readily available for youth in need.

The printing of Hawai'i on the left is the correct lettering. Those with the lettering on the right
are encouraged to return their licenses and Ids for new ones. Images from County of Hawai'i 

MISPRINTED DRIVERS LICENSES AND STATE ID CARDS were sent to 353 Hawai'i Island residents, according to a statement released by Hawai'i County on Tuesday. The error is that the large "Hawaiʻi" text on the front of the cards was printed in a different style than on the rest of the cards issued. It was a mistake at the  print shop contracted by state Department of Transportation.
    The county encourages those who received cards in February to check for the error. County of Hawaiʻi Vehicle Registration & Licensing Division sent out letters detailing the process to change the cards by March 20. Those who didn't receive the letter and have questions can call 808-961-2335 for assistance.
    "The County of Hawaiʻi apologizes for the inconvenience and will continue to work with the State to ensure similar issues are mitigated in the future," says the statement.


St. Jude's Hot Meals are free to those in need on Saturdays from 9 a.m. until food runs out, no later than noon. Volunteers from the community are welcome to help and can contact Karen at pooch53@gmail.com. Location is 96-8606 Paradise Circle Drive in Ocean View. Those in need can also take hot showers from 9 a.m. to noon and use the computer lab from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Free Meals Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays are served from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Nā'ālehu Hongwanji. Volunteers prepare the food provided by 'O Ka'ū Kākou with fresh produce from its gardens on the farm of Eva Liu, who supports the project. Other community members also make donations and approximately 150 meals are served each day.


Volcano Evening Market, Cooper Center, Volcano Village, Thursdays, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., with live music, artisan crafts, ono grinds, and fresh produce. See facebook.com.

Volcano Swap Meet, fourth Saturday of the month from 8 a.m. to noon. Large variety of vendors with numerous products. Tools, clothes, books, toys, local made healing extract and creams, antiques, jewelry, gemstones, crystals, food, music, plants, fruits, and vegetables. Also offered are cakes, coffee, and shave ice. Live music.                                                                                                                                  Volcano Farmers Market, Cooper Center, Volcano Village on Sundays, 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., with local produce, baked goods, food to go, island beef and Ka'ū Coffee. EBT is used for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly Food Stamps. Call 808-967-7800.

O Ka'ū Kākou Market, Nā'ālehu, Wednesdays, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Contact Nadine Ebert at 808-938-5124 or June Domondon 808-938-4875. See facebook.com/OKauKakouMarket.

Ocean View Community Market, Saturdays and Wednesdays, 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., corner Kona Dr. Drive and Hwy 11, near Thai Grindz. Masks mandatory. 100-person limit, social distancing required. Gate unlocked for vendors at 5:30 a.m., $15 dollars, no rez needed. Parking in the upper lot. Vendors must provide their own sanitizer. Food vendor permits required. Carpooling is encouraged.