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Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Kaʻū News Briefs March 27, 2024

‘Ahi, giclée by Dietrich Varez, the artist honored with March 28 declared as Dietrich Varez Day and a special presentation at Volcano Art Center on April 7.
DIETRICH VAREZ DAY IS MARCH 28. In honor of the late artist's birthday, Mayor Mitch Roth signed a proclamation and Volcano Art Center extends an invitation to a free program in April to share life, art and legacy of the renowned printmaker, painter and author. The Varez Legacy program will be a movie screening and talk-story event on Sunday, April 7 at Volcano Art Center's Niaulani Campus at 19-4074 Old Volcano Rd. in Volcano Village.
        The free event highlighting Varez's connections to Hawaiʻi's people, stories, and places will begin
with a Spectrum Documentary filmed in 1983 that focuses on the Volcano Art Center and features Varez
1801 eruption with Pele and Kamehameha.
Art by Dietrich Varez
and his wife Linda and volcano artist Chiu Leong. The 25 minute film looks back in time when Dietrich was prolifically producing new prints year after year, signing each image by hand. The film is available through VAC's Heritage and Archive Program which catalogues an extensive collection of archive material including photographs, imagery, audio and films.
    After the film screening, a panel discussion will reveal the man behind the iconic images. It will include leader Desiree Moana Cruz and participants who worked closely with artist. Volcano Art Center encourages all those who have been touched by his story to attend the event which will be held in Dietrich Varez Hall at VAC's Niaulani Campus.
    The Varez Legacy Program also invites participants to visit the free exhibition titled Dietrich Varez Legacy: The Expanded Collection, at VAC Gallery in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. Featuring unpublished works recently made available through the Varez Family Estate, the exhibit runs through May 26, 9 a.m -5 p.m., daily. For more information call (808) 967-7565 or visit the exhibition online at https://volcanoartcenter.org/product-category/featured-exhibit/the-dietrich-varez-legacy-expanded-collection/
    A statement from VAC says, "A true artist for the people, Varez carved a deep understanding and appreciation of Hawaiian values and lifestyle that can be learned and perpetuated through his art. The event is funded by a grant from the Hawaiʻi Council for the Humanities, through support from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Visit www.volcanoartcenter.org."

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DR. KIMO ALAMEDA, CANDIDATE FOR MAYOR OF HAWAI'I COUNTY, will talk story with Kaʻū residents at Pāhala  Community Center this Thursday, March 28 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. He will also provide dinner. He said he asks the public to ask the tough questions and "hear for yourself why Dr. Kimo for Mayor." 
    Alameda is former administrator of Bay Clinic and worked in the Mayor Billy Kenoi administration. He had this to say on Wednesday evening ahead of his Talk Story on Thursday in Pāhala:
    "I'd like to ask that the people in Pāhala and surrounding areas come out to hear my story. I'm not your traditional politician. I've never ran for office before but I did run a major county department, several state departments, and the largest health center on the island. I come to Pāhala  humbled with an open heart, hearing what I can do for the community and for you.
    "As an extension of our gratitude, my wife and I will be preparing dinner for attendees and we will also have a few prize giveaways.
    "For those who already know me and my track record in serving this island, please come and let's sign wave together right up the street from the event at 5 p.m. I'll bring the signs and the shirts. You just bring yourself and a double shaka."

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar. See upcoming events, print edition and archive at kaunews.com. See 7,500 copies the mail and on stands.

2024 SUMMER FUN IS OPEN FOR REGISTRATION IN KAʻŪ. Venues will be Nā'ālehu Community Center and Robert N. Herkes Gymnasium in Pāhala. For more on the Pāhala program, call Nona Makuakane at 808-928-3102. For Nā'ālehu, call Elijah Navarro at 808-939-2510.
    County of Hawai'i Department of Parks & Recreation announces its 2024 Summer Fun Programs will provide recreational opportunities for teens and youth at locations island-wide during summer break.
   "We take pride in offering our keiki a safe and enjoyable environment for play and learning during their summer break," said Mayor Mitch Roth. "These programs are a lifeline for many working parents who would otherwise face challenges in finding appropriate care for their children. By providing these opportunities, we are not only enhancing the lives of our young ones but also bolstering the overall health of our families and communities."
    The offerings include 16 Summer Fun Programs for elementary-aged children who have completed Kindergarten to 6th grade, five teen enrichment programs, and two specialized enrichment programs. All summer programs will be in operation from June 12 to July 19.
    "It is so important for keiki and teens to engage in healthy, safe, and fun activities during the summer months," said Maurice Messina, Director of Parks & recreation. "With our 2024 Summer Fun Programs, we are proud to offer a range of affordable recreational opportunities to support Hawai'i County youth and their families."
    The programs include arts and crafts projects, indoor and outdoor games, sports, music, dance, special events, and excursions.
    Detailed information about program hours, registration dates, cost, and age groups can be found online at https://www.parks.hawaiicounty.gov/facilities-parks/recreation. For more information, please contact the respective Hawai'i County Recreation Division facilities listed in the program flyers.
    Other locations for Summer Fun around the island are: 
    Hilo District Sites: Kawānanakoa Gym, Pana'ewa Park, Andrews Gym,  Hilo Armory, Waiākea Uka Gym and Pi'ihonua Gym
    Hāmākua District Sites: Pāpa'ikou Gym and Honoka'a Sports Complex
    North & South Kohala District Sites: Spencer "Kalani" Schutte District Park in Waimea, Hisaoka Gym in Kohala, Pu'u Nui Park in Waikōloa
   North & South Kona District Sites: Kekuaokalani Gym in Kailua-Kona
   Puna & Ka'ū District Sites: Nā'ālehu Community Center, Rep. Robert N. Herkes Gymnasium in Pāhala, Kea'au Armory, William "Billy" Kenoi Park in Pāhoa,
    TEEN PROGRAMS:Programs for teenagers will be offered at the Pu'u'eo Community Center in Wainaku; Pāpa'ikou Gym; Shipman Park in Kea'au; Hale Hālāwai in Kona; and Spencer "Kalani" Schutte District Park in Waimea.
    SPECIALIZED PROGRAMS:The 'Ike Kai program will engage children, ages 8-12, in lessons about the ocean. This specialized program will be held at the Richardson Ocean Center with three two-week sessions available. The 'Ike Pono-Hāmākua program will host children Kindergarten to 6th Grade with one 3-week session at Kula'imano Community Center and one at Pāpaʻaloa Annex.

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DORSON "BUDDY" BEHRENDT OF OCEAN VIEW was arrested in Ka‘ū on Saturday, March 23. The Hawai‘i Police Department previously issued a media release requesting the public’s assistance locating Behrendt after he was indicted for the shooting of a 53-year-old Ocean View man last October. Behrendt was also wanted on a warrant issued by the Kona District Court in December 2023 for violating his terms and conditions of release on bail.
Buddy Behrendt arrested. HPD photo
    Behrendt was taken into custody after Ka‘ū patrol officers conducting area checks observed him crouched down behind a parked vehicle on a public roadway near the intersection of Paradise Parkway and Luau Drive. When police tried to contact Behrendt, he attempted to flee and was taken into custody after a brief foot chase.
    Upon being taken into custody, Behrendt was found to be in possession of 1.4 grams of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia.
    He was subsequently charged with one count of violating his terms and conditions of release on bail, third-degree promotion of a dangerous drug, and possessing drug paraphernalia. His bail for those offenses was set at $6,000.
    Behrendt’s bail was set at an additional $500,000 after he was indicted for one count each of: second-degree attempted murder, first-degree attempted robbery,
two counts of carrying or using a firearm in the commission of a felony. His total bail is set at $506,000.
    The indictment was obtained after Behrendt was arrested on October 30, 2023, for a shooting that occurred on October 15, 2023, in Ocean View and he was subsequently released on his own recognizance.
    Behrendt was scheduled to make his initial court appearance on Monday, March 25, 2024, in both District and Circuit courts in Kona.

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HPD ARRESTED 19 FOR DUI, during the week of March 18, through March 24. Hawai‘i Island police arrested the motorists for driving under the influence of an intoxicant. Eleven were involved in a traffic

accident. Two of the drivers were under the age of 21.
    So far this year, there have been 216 DUI arrests compared with 245 during the same period last year, a decrease of 11.8 percent.
    Hawai'i Police Department’s Traffic Services Section reviewed all updated crashes and found 224 major crashes so far this year, compared with 217 during the same time last year, an increase of 3.2 percent.
    To date, there have been 10 fatal crashes, resulting in 11 fatalities (one of which had multiple deaths), compared with four fatal crashes, resulting in five fatalities (one of which had multiple deaths) for the same time last year. This represents an increase of 150 percent for fatal crashes and 120 percent for fatalities.
  In 2024, the non-traffic fatality count (not on a public roadway) is zero compared to zero non-traffic fatalities for the same time last year.
    HPD promises that DUI roadblocks and patrols will continue island wide.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar. See upcoming events, print edition and archive at kaunews.com. See 7,500 copies the mail and on stands.