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Monday, June 26, 2023

Kaʻū News Briefs, Monday, June 26, 2023

The children of famous taiko drummer Takumi Sato joined him at Nāʻālehu Hongwanji on Saturday. Photo by Robin Sato
A TAIKO DRUMMING FAMILY TRAVELING THE U.S. STOPPED IN KAʻŪ to give a performance on Saturday at Nāʻālehu Hongwanji. Sponsored by Pāhala Hongwanji Taiko, the free performance to spread peace and hope was 232nd of 1,000 planned for the next five years across the country. Led by acclaimed taiko drummer Takumi Sato, the group includes his three children and is called the Peaceful Forest Ensemble. 
Takumi Sato and family take taiko to Nāʻālehu Hongwanji.
Photo by Robin Sato
    They were accompanied by the Kato lion, who nibbled the attendees to ward off bad luck give them good health. Guests also picked up sushi made by 
Pāhala Hongwanji Taiko, which is expanding through buying new instruments and opening up classes for children.
    Takumi Kato is winner of a grand prize in the Odaiko Division of the Tokyo International Japanese Drum Contest,  He performed the dedication of Ise Jingu Shrine and has performed for the Japanese Emperor, the Royal family, and the Prime Minister of Japan. Currently. Originally from Japan Kato recently moved to Ohai, CA.
    To donate to the Peaceful Forest Ensemble tour, see https://www.gofundme.com/f/sharing-art-of-japanese-taiko-by-1000-performs.

Kato Lion gently bites Charlie Sakamoto to ward off bad luck and encourage good health. Photo by Robin Sato

THE NEW MASS TRANSIT ADMINISTRATOR FOR HAWAI'I COUNTY is Victor Kandle. The County of Hawaiʻi issued a statement Monday, saying that "Victor brings well-rounded and valuable expertise to his new role, including a wealth of knowledge and experience in program management, customer service, and transit control."
Victor Kandle is new administrator for 
Hele On and all of the other Mass Transit
services for the County of Hawai'i
Photo from Hawai'i County
    Kandle comes to Hawaiʻi Island by way of Portland, OR, where he dedicated 20 years of his career to leadership roles at TriMet, the city's mass transit agency. He came on board for Hawai'i Island on June 16 to oversee Hele On and other transportation services. His background in command center operations and transit control within bus and train transit systems positions him "to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the County's transportation services. His Incident Management, FEMA Contingency Planning, CDL, and Management Training certifications further reinforce his qualifications for this position," says the statement from the County.
    "We are thrilled to welcome Victor Kandle as the new Administrator for the County of Hawaiʻi Mass Transit Agency," stated Mayor Mitch Roth. "His impressive skill set and industry knowledge make him an invaluable asset to our team. Under his leadership, we are confident that our transportation services will continue to meet the needs of our growing community, helping us to forge a sustainable and equitable island where our keiki can thrive and succeed for generations to come."

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PET SAFETY TIPS FOR FOURTH OF JULY were offered Monday by Hawai'i County Animal Control Services: Keep pets secured inside. Pets tied up outside can panic due to the loud noise and may break their tie-out or jump over a fence to escape the noise. Make pets are microchipped and the current owner information is updated, to help increase the chances of reunification. Go to my24pet.com to register pets' microchips. Thunder shirts, favorite treats, and crating, are all ways to help keep pets calm. Check with the veterinarian about anxiety medications for dogs. Check yard for fireworks debris before allowing pets to explore the area.
    What To Do When Finding a Stray Animal or Lose a Pet: People who find healthy stray animals are encouraged to have the animal scanned for a microchip by a County of Hawai‘i Animal Control Officer, at a veterinarian’s office, or by a local rescue group. If a found animal is microchipped, veterinarians can try to find its owner by searching for microchip on my24pet.com.
Hawai'i County Animal Control & Protection Agency released tips and this image to help pets during Fourth of July
    People who find a healthy stray animal or who lose a pet are encouraged to post it as lost / found on https://lost.petcolove.org/. Petco Love Lost is a searchable national database that uses patented facial recognition technology to make finding lost pets quicker and easier. This simple-to-use tool is easily accessible to participating animal organizations nationwide, as well as any pet parent or person who finds a lost pet. Uploaded photos of a missing dog or cat are immediately used to search the data base to determine whether the lost pet is at a participating shelter or with a neighbor in the community.
    There are a handful of organizations across the island using this technology, including Hawai‘i County Animal Control & Protection Agency, Hawai‘i Animal Kuleana Alliance, and Hawai‘i Island Humane Society.
Hawai'i County Animal Control & Protection Agency transitions from Hawai'i Police Department to
an independent County of Hawai'i Agency on July 1. Photo from County of Hawai'i

    Hawai‘i County Animal Control asks the public to please kokua this July Fourth by following the rules regarding fireworks to reduce the risk of injuries to people and pets alike. As a reminder, as of July 1, Hawai‘i County Animal Control Services will transition to become the Animal Control and Protection Agency, and will no longer be under the management of the police department. 
    Earlier this year, Hawai‘i County Council passed Bill 22, creating a new Animal Control and Protection Agency, which will fall under the Office of Management (Mayor’s Office.) HPD stated that it wants to assure the public that animal control services will continue in much the same way while it transitions to a new agency.
   The phone numbers for animal control services will remain the same with (808) 327-3558 serving as the phone number for lost pets and non-emergencies. For animal emergencies, such as injured animals, any animal that is a public safety risk, animal cruelty, and situations in which an animal’s owner has been arrested or died with no family to pick up the animal, people can continue to call the Police Dispatch number at (808) 935-3311.
    Those who come across a deceased animal on a county road are asked to call Department of Public Works Highways Division at (808) 961-8349. If the deceased animal is on a state Highway or road, call the State Department of Transportation Highways Division at (808) 933-8866.

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FIREWORKS PERMITS BECOME AVAILABLE THIS THURSDAY. Hawaiʻi County Fire Chief Kazuo Todd announced on Monday that firework permits will be available for purchase beginning 8 p.m., Thursday, June 29, until Tuesday, July 4, at 8 p.m. pm. Firework permits and firecrackers can be obtained exclusively from two designated locations: TNT Tent @ Safeway Parking Lot, 381 E. Makaala Street, Hilo and TNT Tent @ Walmart Parking Lot, 75-1015 Henry Street, Kona.
    Each permit costs $25, enabling the holder to purchase up to 5,000 individual firecrackers. Permits will

Fire Chief Kazuo Todd issues some safety tips
for the Fourth of July holidays. Photo from HFD
be issued to individuals 18 or older and are non-transferable and non-refundable. Notably, novelties and paperless firecrackers do not require permits.
     Individuals with valid permits can set off firecrackers and consumer fireworks during the approved hours of 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. on July 4. However, the Fire Chief emphasizes that buying, selling, possessing, or setting off any Aerial Luminary Device, including Sky Lanterns and Hawaiʻi Lanterns, is illegal. He said that individuals possessing such devices are encouraged to contact Fireworks Auditor Shonne Sasaki at 808-323-4760 for proper disposal with amnesty.
    To ensure public safety, the Hawaiʻi Fire Department reminds everyone of the following illegal activities: Removing the contents from any firework(s); throwing firework(s) from a vehicle; setting off firework(s) outside the approved time period or within 1,000 feet of hospitals, nursing homes, homes for the elderly, animal hospitals, schools, highways, parks, or churches during service times; and selling, giving, or possessing firework(s) for minors, and minors setting off or igniting firework(s) without adult supervision.
    The Fire Department also urges the public to take these precautions to prevent fires and injuries caused by firework(s): Ensure that a water hose is connected to a water source or have a fire extinguisher readily available and wet down the surrounding brush before setting off firework(s). Ensure children playing with firework(s) are always under adult supervision, as even the smallest fireworks can cause serious injuries. Set off firework(s) in a safe area away from dry grass, buildings, vehicles, and flammable materials. Dispose of used firework(s) properly by soaking them in water before disposal.
    Hawaiʻi Fire Department will conduct a collection of unused and unwanted firework(s) after Fourth of July holiday. Individuals interested in disposing of firework(s) can contact Fireworks Auditor Shonne Sasaki at 808-323-4760 for information on pick-up and drop-off locations. Local fire stations are not designated drop-off points for firework(s).
    For more information on purchasing fireworks permits, safe use of firework(s), or firework(s) disposal, please contact Fireworks Auditor Shonne Sasaki at 808-323-4760.

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Hawai'i Police Department's Criminal Investigations Section Area I, made the announcement Monday after charging and arresting 55-year-old Jonathan Edward Kirkpatrick.
    HPD reported that the charges stem from Thursday, June, 22 at 7:10 p.m. when an off-duty police officer observed a pickup truck strike a pole in a drive-thru in Kea'au. Noticing the pickup driver slumped over and fearing he was suffering a medical condition, the off-duty officer contacted the
Johnathan Kirkpatrick
driver to render assistance. However, the off-duty officer determined the man was not suffering a medical condition. As uniform officers arrived, a check on the pickup truck revealed that it was reported stolen on Friday, June 16, from a residence in the Hawaiian Paradise Park. The driver, identified as Jonathan Kirkpatrick, was arrested for unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle (auto theft) and two outstanding bench warrants. The stolen vehicle was recovered and transported to the Hawai‘i Police Department’s secured vehicle warehouse.
    Detectives with HPD’s Area I Criminal Investigation Section obtained and executed a search warrant on the pickup truck, recovering more than 29 grams of fentanyl, 9 grams of methamphetamine, 76 grams of marijuana, a loaded .357 magnum revolver, 12 rounds of .357 ammunition, three rounds of .22 ammunition, and a digital scale.
    After conferring with the County Prosecutor’s Office on Friday, June 23, detectives with the Area I Criminal Investigation Section charged Kirkpatrick with the following offenses: Unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle (auto theft); three counts of second-degree promotion of a dangerous drug
second-degree promotion of a detrimental drug; two counts of ownership prohibited; possession of loaded firearm on a highway; two counts of place to keep; and possession of firearm with intent facilitate the commission of a felony drug offense. His total bail was set at $237,000.
    Kirkpatrick is being held at HPD’s East Hawai’i Detention Center pending his initial court appearance scheduled for Monday June 26.
    Those with information regarding this crime can also contact Detective Jeremy Kubojiri at jeremy.kubojiri@hawaiicounty.gov. Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at (808) 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Kaʻū News Briefs, Sunday, June 25, 2023

Kumu Lori Lei returned to Kaʻū, accompanied by musicians Gene Akamu and Dane Sesson. They played
for dancers of her Hula Studio at the M
ālama Nā Keiki Festival. Photo by Julia Neal

LORI LEI SHIRAKAWA KATAHARA returned to Kaʻū with her halau on Saturday to join in Hui Mālama Ola Nā 'Oiwi's Sixth Annual Mālama Nā Keiki Festival. It was held at Pāhala Community Center. Accompanying her were musicians Dane Sesson and Gene Akamu. Keiki and young ladies performed hula under the direction of Kumu Lorie Lei, who is known for the hula studio in Wai'ohinu that she stewarded for decades. Now based in Hilo, she returns to Kaʻū to perform at special events and to work with students.

Lori Lei's Hula Studio was back in Kaʻū this weekend. Photo by Julia Neal
HUI MALAMA 'OLA NA 'OIWI'S MALAMA NA KEIKI FESTIVAL filled Pāhala Community Center on Saturday. 
    The event was designed for young families, expecting and first-time mothers and for women considering pregnancy. 
     Many keiki came with families to enjoy the fun and education day that included makahiki games, prizes, make and take crafts, growing your own plants and a bicycle that powered a blender make smoothies. Pāhala Fire Department joined in with demonstrations for the keiki. Mamaki tea tasting and growing instructions, along with native Hawaiian plant displays were offered.
      Many service providers offered help and education in health and nutrition, early learning, housing, mental health and legal counseling, and training in using a car seat safely. Programs that provide free diapers for new mothers and literacy training hosted interactive displays. Pāhala Elementary was also on hand. Police photographed and provided keiki IDs.

Da Bux, which provides fresh vegetables and fruit
at a discount through Mālama Market in Ocean 
View, as well as KTA in Hilo may work on expanding
to the smaller stores in Kaʻū. Photo by Julia Neal
DA BUX AND THE FOOD BASKET came to Kaʻū on Saturday for Hui Malama 'Ola Nā 'Oiwi's Malāma Nā Keiki Festival in Hawai'i. The programs brought shelf-stable and fresh foods to give. Da Bux representatives explained that the program can provide grocers with 50 percent of the cost of fresh fruits and vegetables to keep them affordable for families who qualify for SNAP, the government's Supplemental Nutrition Program, formerly known as food stamps.          .
     The only store with Da Bux in all of Kaʻū is Mālama Market in Ocean View. Some grocers in Kaʻū talked to Da Bux representatives about expanding into small local stores to support the distribution of fresh, healthy foods to families, along with supporting local famers and the small stores themselves. 
    Da Bux is funded through private donations, foundations, USDA and other agencies.
    This summer there is Kaukau 4 Keiki, providing free food for children during the school 
Growing mamaki tea, which is also a favorite 
food of the endangered Kamehameha butterfly,
was don display with tasting at the Keiki Festival.
Photo by Julia Neal
break. Year round there is the monthly Food Basket and Kupuna free food programs and meals programs for seniors.

THE GOVERNOR IS IN COLORADO. Gov. Josh Green, M.D. traveled to the mainland and is in Boulder, Colo., from Saturday, June 24 through Wednesday, June 28, to attend the 2023 Western Governors Association Annual Meeting.
    Green is meeting with other governors and their special guests in public conversations about the most significant issues facing the region.
     Hawai'i's governor was set to participate in conversations about matters such as geothermal energy use, water, ecosystem restoration, and health care.
    Green is scheduled to return to Honolulu on Wednesday, June 28. Lt. Governor Sylvia Luke is serving as acting governor while the Governor is out of state.
Native Hawaiian plants on display at Hui Mālama
 Festival. Photo by Julia Neal

GOV. JOSH GREEN'S EXPERIENCE AS A DOCTOR IN KAʻŪ influences his actions as a governor, he told the Kona Kohala Chamber of Commerce last week. According to a story in the Hawai'i Tribune Herald, Green told the story of coming to Kaʻū after his residency to serve some 8,000 people. He said, "Those months and years are what got into my blood. I saw limited access to trauma services an in the rural parts of our state, which is all of the Big Island." He linked his approach to serving in an Emergency Room to his approach at serving as Governor. "They come in, you deal with it, find a solution and move on. That is basically the role I am using to run our government now."
    Green noted that there is a 40 percent shortage of health care workers on the Neighbor Island, with about half that on O'ahu. The Governor noted the new Hawai'i Health Corp, which offers educational loan forgiveness to providers who practice here, from doctors to nurses, physician's assistants to nurse practitioners and social workers to psychologists. Naturopaths are also on the list.

Literacy was big at the Keiki Festival, sponsored by Hui Mālama on Saturday.
Photo by Julia Neal