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Friday, March 10, 2023

Kaʻū News Briefs, Friday, March 10, 2023

Aerial photo showing the location of the building that formerly housed the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory within Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Photo taken on July 13, 2018, during the Kīlauea summit collapse sequence. An open house regarding the new headquarters to be built will be held Wednesday, March 15 in Hilo. See more below. USGS photo.

OCEAN VIEW FUGITIVE RONALD PATRICK KEAHONUI KAHIHIKOLO remained on the run from police on Friday night as Hawai‘i Island police detectives investigated an officer-involved shooting tragedy in Kona.
    The shooting and the chase followed a Tuesday morning incident when Ka‘ū patrol officers responded to a report of a 42-year-old woman who had been shot during a domestic dispute in the 92-2000 block of Outrigger Drive in Ocean View. The woman sought medical attention for the gunshot wound at the Ocean View Fire Station and was taken to the Kona Community Hospital for treatment, where she remains in stable condition. Detectives with the Area II Juvenile Aid Section identified the suspect as 44-year-old Kahihikolo. He is wanted for attempted murder in connection with this incident and for outstanding bench warrants.
Ronald Patrick Keahonui Kahihikolo, of Ocean
View, remained on the run Friday night.
Photo from Hawai'i Police Department
 Continuing their investigation Friday morning, plainclothes Area II vice detectives received information that Kahihikolo was in the Kona area, and in the company of several individuals who were in possession of two stolen vehicles, a silver Chevy Malibu and a white Dodge sedan.
    The police report says: "As vice detectives began canvassing the area, officers observed the Chevy Malibu traveling southbound on Kamakaeha Avenue. As the Malibu came to a stop at the intersection of Kamakaeha Avenue and Palani Road, detectives attempted to contact the vehicle’s occupants. Ignoring the officers’ lawful commands to show them his hands, the male driver began reaching for an object. Fearing for their safety, two detectives discharged their duty weapons, striking the driver.
    "The driver then drove the vehicle across all lanes of Palani Road and down an embankment before coming to a stop. Detectives followed the vehicle down the embankment. When detectives arrived at the vehicle they observed that the driver had injuries and immediately started life-saving measures, unfortunately he died at the scene. Investigators later recovered multiple firearms from within the vehicle."
    The identity of the driver is being withheld, pending notification of next of kin. A passenger in the vehicle, 26-year-old Jacqueline Keanaaina, of Kailua-Kona, suffered minor injuries in the traffic crash and was treated at the scene by Hawaii Fire Department medics. She was then arrested for an outstanding warrant and transported to the Kealakehe Police Station.
     One detective sustained minor injuries and was provided with first aid at the scene.
     Police report that as these events were unfolding, the white Dodge sedan believed to be driven by Kahihikolo was seen traveling northbound towards Waimea. Police pursued Kahihikolo through the Waimea area and he exited Highway 19 near the 40-mile marker, in lower Kalopa in Hāmākua. Kahihikolo was last seen on foot wearing a plaid shirt and jeans in the area of Highway 19 near the 40 mile marker in a secluded area near a gulch.
    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”.
    This afternoon police reported they were still searching for Kahihikolo, who is considered armed and dangerous. "Please avoid the area while police search for him and report any suspicious activity in the area by calling 911. Detectives from the Area II Criminal Investigation Section are continuing this investigation."
     Regarding the shooting, the Office of Professional Standards has initiated an internal administrative investigation. The involved detectives are 25-year and 13-year veterans, respectively, and will be placed on administrative leave pending an internal review of this incident. "This investigation remains continuing and updates will be provided as they become available."
    Police ask anyone with information to contact the police department’s non-emergency number at (808) 935-3311, or Area II Criminal Investigation Section Detective Jason Foxworthy, via email at Jason.Foxworthy@hawaiicounty.gov or at (808) 326-4646 ext. 281.
    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 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.

VOLCANO WATCH FOCUSES ON THE NEW HEADQUARTERS OF HAWAIIAN VOLCANO OBSERVATORY and invites the public to a gathering. This week's article by USGS scientists and affiliates notes the informal open house on Wednesday, March 15 about the proposed new building in Hilo and draft Environmental Assessment. The event will be hosted from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Hawaiian Volcano Observatory offices in the Iron Works building at 1266 Kamehameha Avenue-Suite C in Hilo.
    Members of the public are invited to come learn about this project and the proposed new building.
Many locals and visitors remember visiting Jaggar Museum on the rim of Kīlauea caldera (Kaluapele) in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Prior to 2018, HVO operated from buildings next to the museum. Visitors could sometimes see HVO scientists doing their work to monitor volcanoes and earthquakes in order to reduce their impacts on communities in Hawai’i.
    The HVO buildings in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park were damaged beyond repair in 2018 as Kīlauea summit partially collapsed during the lower East Rift Zone eruption. HVO has moved to multiple temporary homes since then.
    Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park houses another USGS group—the Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center (PIERC). PIERC focuses on the study of biological resources in Hawai‘i and other locations in the Pacific, promoting management and conservation.
Aerial photo showing the location of the building that formerly housed the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory within Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Photo taken on July 19, 2022, after eruptions had partially filled in the collapsed area. An open
house regarding the new buildings will be held Wednesday, March 15 in Hilo. 
USGS Photo

    HVO and PIERC have different but related missions. While HVO falls under the Natural Hazards Mission Area of the USGS, PIERC is in the Ecosystems Mission Area. Under the umbrella of USGS, both groups strive to better understand the complex natural world in the context of the policy and hazards posed. Geologists at HVO study the volcanoes that make up the Hawaiian Islands and biologists at PIERC study the ecosystems on them.
    A new building for both HVO and PIERC has been proposed to be located on 6.8 acres of State-owned land on Nowelo Street in Hilo. The proposed location is near the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo (UHH) campus and other science-oriented organizations, such as the ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center. This will allow for more interactive work between scientists and will more opportunities for UHH faculty and students to collaborate with both HVO and PIERC.
Proposed new Hawaiian Volcano Observatory building in Hilo on state land at
 University of Hawai'i. 
Photo from Draft Environmental Assessment
    Because the project involves the use of State of Hawai‘i lands, an Environmental Assessment and Anticipated Finding of No Significant Impacts has been prepared for the project in accordance with Hawai‘i Revised Statutes (HRS) Chapter 343 and Chapter 11-200.1 Hawai‘i Administrative Rules. Environmental Assessments evaluate the potential impacts of a project to the surrounding environment.
    The Environmental Assessment also meets the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act. Information on how to review the draft environmental assessment for the new USGS building, and provide feedback, is available here: https://www.usgs.gov/observatories/hvo/news/public-input-sought-environmental-assessment-proposed-usgs-facility-hilo.
    During the open house on March 15, we’ll have informative displays and USGS Project Team members will be present to answer your questions about the project. USGS scientists from both HVO and PIERC will also be present to answer questions about these organizations and the work they do.
    Island of Hawai‘i residents live in a dynamic environment, with active volcanoes and a changing climate impacting our diverse ecosystems. The new USGS facility in Hilo will provide a cutting-edge space for HVO and PIERC scientists to do their work on these fundamental aspects of Hawaii nei. The USGS looks forward to hosting the open house on March 15 and we appreciate feedback from the community. Questions about the draft environmental assessment can be sent to jsizemore@usgs.gov.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar. See latest print edition at kaucalendar.com, in the mail and on stands.

PANIOLO LIFE INCLUDING MUSIC OF KUPA LANDING near Ho'okena where cowboys swam cattle out to boats to be shipped to other islands, were center stage at the 103rd annual Kamehameha Schools Song Contest on Friday night. The theme is Nā Mele Paniolo, Songs of the Hawaiian Cowboy. The presentation includes music, hula, history. It also features memories of renowned Hawai'i Island and Parker Ranch veterinarian, Dr. Billy Bergin, who has written about paniolo life in Kaʻū and the Hawaiian cultural traditions of raising cattle at Kapāpala Ranch, Ka Lae and all across Kaʻū.
     See the program this  Saturday March 18 at 2 p.m. on KHNL and Friday, March 24 at 7 p.m. on KGMB. See more at https://www.ksbe.edu/songcontest.

In the mail and on stands.


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.