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Wednesday, April 05, 2023

Kaʻū News Briefs, Wednesday, April 5, 2023

'IKE HANA NO'EAU, EXPERIENCE THE SKILLFUL WORK video series, Season Two, was launched on Wednesday, ahead of the 2023 Merrie Monarch Festival. Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park reports that the first new talk story video is released a few days ahead of the 2023 Merrie Monarch Festival.  This year's new "talk story" documentaries enable a friendly connection to Hawaiian culture and share insights unknown to many.
    Hoʻokupu is the first episode for Season 2023. It features Hawaiʻi Island Kumu Hula and Executive Director of the Edith Kanakaʻole Foundation, Huihui Kanahele-Mossman. She explains how the Hawaiian practice of hoʻokupu is not just an offering of gratitude or thanks, but an intimate practice of creating growth and recognition between an individual and place. All too often, visitors to Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park unknowingly leave offerings at the crater's edge that can degrade the environment and threaten native species. She suggests that people who do not know the cultural protocols of hoʻokupu should not do it. Respecting traditional practices is an easy and powerful way to support the indigenous people of Hawaiʻi.
    'Ohi Wai is the second episode. It features lava tubes, their importance to Hawaiian people and their role in native ecosystems. Former park ranger and naturalist Bobby Camara shares how Hawaiians gathered wai (water) in (ipu) gourds as it dripped through lava tube ceilings, making life sustainable in the most arid of environments. Park archeologist Summer Roper-Todd is also interviewed in this documentary that will be released in May.
   Season Two of ʻIke Hana Noʻeau was produced by Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park rangers and filmed on location in the park. The videos are about 12 minutes in duration and accessible for everyone with audio description and closed captions in English and ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi (Hawaiian language).
   The videos are free on the park website and YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/@hawaiivolcanoesnps8141
    Season One episodes, entitled Ipu Heke 'Ole - Single Gourd Drum, Kae La'i - Tea Leaf Garland, and Ku'i Kalo - Pund Taro into Poi,  can be viewed on the same webpage. 
A Kupu leader gives his message.
KUPU/NPS photo
    Big Island Television, which airs in more than 6,000 hotel rooms on the island of Hawaiʻi and on Spectrum Channel 130, will also broadcast the Season Two ʻIke Hana Noʻeau videos to a wide audience.
    The park's non-profit partners, the Friends of Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park and the Hawaiʻi Pacific Parks Association, helped support and fund the ʻIke Hana Noʻeau video project.
    The park statement says the videos were created  for everyone, including kānaka maʻoli wanting to learn or reconnect to their culture, park visitors, local residents, educators and students.

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A Kupu student gives her message.
KUPU/NPS photo
KUPU AND ITS WORK AT HAWAI'I VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK are spotlighted as National Park Week approaches starting April 22. A message from Hawai'i Volcanoes notes that Kupu is a non-profit organization based on Oʻahu that operates statewide to help connect people with careers in conservation and sustainability. Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park has been partnered with Kupu for nearly a decade, serving as a host site. The park provides members with mentorship and training in various program areas, from Interpretation & Education to Natural Resources Management and everything in between. 
    The Park also provided these faces of some of the Kupu members at work in the park now. 
To find out how Kaʻū youth can sign up to work with Kupu, see https://www.kupuhawaii.org/

The County recently posted No Dumping signs along an Ocean View Road and is warning
of stiffer penalties being approved, including forfeiture of vehicles used for illegal dumping.
Photo from County of Hawai'i Department of Environmental Management

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ANYONE CAUGHT DOING ILLEGAL DUMPING MAY HAVE TO FORFEIT THEIR VEHICLE used to the dumping, in addition to the hefty penalties already stipulated in state law. That is according to Senate Bill 966 HD1, which sailed through the Senate earlier this year, emerged from its final House committee, and with minimal additional amendments could become law this July.
    The bill adds the following language to the felony and misdemeanor categories of disposal of solid waste violations: “Any vehicle owned and operated by the person in the commission of the offense shall be subject to forfeiture pursuant to chapter 712A.” The Department of Health supports this measure

Brenda Iokepa-Moses, Deputy Director of
Department of Environmental Management.
"as it provides other options for penalties to deter illegal dumping,” DOH said in its written testimony supporting the bill. 
    In Ka‘ū, where illegal dumping is an ongoing problem, the County of Hawai‘i has limited authority to clean up messes on private roads, but this bill could help crack down on the worst offenders, said Brenda Iokepa-Moses, Deputy Director of the Department of Environmental Management. “Illegal dumping and the abuse of our ‘āina by certain individuals is costing taxpayer money in cleanps,” Iokepa-Moses said. 
    She said DEM has been receiving complaints of illegal dumping by residents on private roads near the Ocean View Transfer Station, but because the roads are privately owned, DEM has limited ability to respond to the dumping. “Roads in Ocean View have historically been used and abused as illegal dumping spots event prior to the transfer station coming on line." Rather, she said, "The focus should be on police enforcement and by people taking pride in keeping Ka‘ū clean by stopping illegal dumping."
    Ocean View Transfer Station’s days of operations are Sunday, Tuesday, and Friday, as it has been for years, but people continue to leave trash at and near the transfer station on the off-days, instead of waiting a day or two.
    Wai‘ōhinu Transfer Station is open Monday, Thursday, and Saturday.
    Pāhala Transfer Station is open Sunday, Tuesday, and Friday. 
    All three sites have operating hours of 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
    Transfer stations are for residential household waste only, Iokepa-Moses said, adding that DEM does not have the resources to be the cleanup agency for other people’s messes.
    “We are working with Council Member Michelle Galimba and the Department of Health to find solutions to remediate this problem,” the Deputy Director said.
    To report illegal dumping, contact the Police Department’s nonemergency number at (808) 935-3311 or to leave an anonymous tip that could result in a reward of up to $1,000, call Crime Stoppers at (808) 961-8300.
    As a reminder, littering is a violation punishable by up to a $1,000 fine or up to 200 hours of community service, or both, for each offense, and the violator shall be responsible for the removal, or the cost of removal, of the litter.
   Illegal disposal more than 1 cubic yard of solid waste but less than 10 cubic yards is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a $25,000 fine.
    Disposal of more than 10 cubic yards of solid waste is Class C felony punishable by up to a $50,000 fine.

OPERATION KEIKI SHIELD LED TO GRAND GRAND JURY INDICTMENTS OF FOUR MEN FOR CHILD SEX SOLICITATION ON THIS ISLAND. The indictments, handed down on Wednesday stem from Keiki Shield's investigators who posed as underage youth as part of the multi-agency undercover operation designed to identify and arrest individuals using the internet to facilitate sexual crimes against children. 
     Between Friday, March 31, and Sunday, April 2, 2023, Hawai'i Police Department partnered with Hawaii County Prosecutor’s Office and Hawai'i Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, comprised of personnel and law enforcement officers from Honolulu Police Department, Maui Police Department, Department of Attorney General, Homeland Security Investigations, and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service to conduct Operation Keiki Shield.
   Operation Keiki Shield brings together local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies tasked with the investigation and prosecution of internet-facilitated crimes against children. The sting operation took place in Kona via the internet with investigators posing as underage teens.
    During the operation, the following suspects were arrested and charged in Kona: 
    Micaiah Hoomaikai Smith, age 31, was charged with first-degree electronic enticement of a child and attempted promoting pornography for minors. His bail was set at $15,000 and he was released after posting bail.
    Joseph Michael Marshall, age 42, was charged with first-degree electronic enticement of a child. His bail was set at $10,000 and he was given supervised release.
    Vincent Antonio, age 36, was charged with first-degree electronic enticement of a child. His bail was set at $10,000 and he was given supervised release.
    Ryen Knapp, age 40, was charged with first-degree electronic enticement of a child, endangering the welfare of minor. His bail was set at $50,000 and he was released after posting bail. 
    Further proceedings will be heard in Circuit Court.

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ATTEMPTED MURDER, RECKLESS ENDANGERING and other charges came with the arrest of Ocean View resident, 44-year-old Rilson Rodrigues. Charges include attempted murder and reckless endangering, following a domestic dispute in Ocean View on Sunday, April 2.
    Charges against Rodrigues stem from an incident reported shortly after 11:00 a.m. on Sunday when Ka‘ū patrol officers responded to a residence in the 92-8000 block of Tiki Lane in the Hawaiian Ocean View Estates subdivision after a 40-year-old woman reported being in a verbal dispute with Rodrigues. The woman told police that as she tried to leave the area in a vehicle, Rodrigues jumped on the hood of
Rilson Rodrigues, of Ocean View, is 
being held for attempted murder.
Photo from Hawai'i Police Department
 the vehicle and damaged the front windshield. He then retrieved a rifle from another vehicle and fired the weapon multiple times towards the woman, striking the vehicle while she was in it. The victim was not struck by the gunfire and did not receive any injuries during the incident. Rodrigues fled the area in a maroon-colored sedan.
    Detectives with the Area II Juvenile Aid Section took over the investigation and, with the assistance of Ka‘ū patrol officers, were able to locate and arrest Rodrigues later that evening. The maroon-colored sedan was also recovered and after executing a search warrant, detectives recovered a loaded .22 caliber rifle and ammunition from within the vehicle.
   On Tuesday afternoon, April 4, after conferring with the County Prosecutor’s Office, Rodrigues was charged with one count each of: Second-degree attempted murder; first-degree reckless endangering; first-degree terroristic threatening; first-degree criminal property damage; and two counts of ownership prohibited. Bail for these offenses was set at $145,000.
    In addition, Rodrigues, who had been previously released on bail for a separate, unrelated offense, was also taken into custody for discharge of sureties after that bail obligation was recalled. Following this, Rodrigues was transported to the Hilo Community Correctional Facility where he remained in custody until his initial arraignment on Wednesday.
    Police are asking anyone who may have information relative to this incident to contact the police department’s non-emergency number at (808) 935-3311, or Detective Scott Dewey at (808) 326-4646, ext. 303 or email at Scott.Dewey@hawaiicounty.gov.