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Tuesday, May 07, 2024

Kaʻū News Briefs May 7, 2024

Award ceremonies last Saturday, honoring Kaʻū High tenth grader Megan Pierpoint, right, and
other younger winners in the Maunakea Coin Contest. Photo from Maunakea Observatories

MEGAN PIERPOINT WON THE 2024 MAUNAKEA COIN CONTEST, reports social studies teacher and mentor David Santos. The tenth grader at Kaʻū High & Pahala Elementary was given the award last Saturday at AstroDay at Prince Kuhio Plaza in Hilo. The Maunakea Coin Contest was initiated by an astronomer related to Subaru Telescope in 2011, and the Maunakea Astronomy Outreach Committee has led the contest. See https://www.maunakeaobservatories.org/coincontest./

    The annual Maunakea Coin Contest is open to all Big Island students in grades K to 12, including homeschooled children with separate categories for the keiki and older students. Students are asked to make a drawing for a design that can go on a bronze collector’s coin, available at the First Light Bookstore at the Visitor Information Station on Maunakea. Aluminum versions are available at Maunakea Astronomy Outreach Committee events throughout the year. The designs submitted for each year’s contest represent Maunakea and include different aspects of the mountain: its natural resources, astronomy, and culture.
    Sponsors of the event include KTA Super Stores, ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawai‘i, Galaxy Garden/Paleaku Gardens Peace Sanctuary, East Hawai‘i Cultural Center, and Maunakea Observatories.

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THE SUDDEN PASSING OF STAR ALAMEDA, WIFE OF MAYORAL CANDIDATE DR. KIMO ALAMEDA is a tragedy that struck the Alameda 'Ohana last Friday, May 3. She was found
Dr. Kimo Alameda and his wife who died suddenly
on Friday morning. Photo from Alameda famil

unresponsive in the morning. Valiant efforts by family and Hawai'i County EMS personnel were unable to revive her, says a statement from the family.
    Star Alameda accompanied her husband to their mayoral campaign events throughout Kaʻū, serving up food to community members and meeting people. The family statement says:
    "Star was immensely proud of her seven children, one grandchild, and her large extended island 'ohana. Before joining her husband on the campaign, she taught reading at E. B. DeSilva Elementary and volunteered as a Sunday school teacher at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Star was well-known in her community for her kindness, generosity, and love of children. 'Gentle and soft-hearted,' 'a spiritual giant,' 'humble and sweet,' 'approachable and dedicated' are a few of the hundreds of comments on their Facebook page.
    "My mom was everything to us. Always putting the needs of others before her own. We are super sad, but we know she is still guiding us and my dad to do good and to be happy," shared Angel Alameda, the eldest of the seven children.
    Kimo Alameda said, "Star was the light of my life and the backbone of our family. Through everything, she stood right by my side as my number one supporter and advisor. Her memory will continue to shine on to everyone who was lucky enough to know her."
    When asked about the campaign, he stated that he intends to continue, but "my immediate focus right now is to be with my family as we remember Star. I want to thank everybody for the outpouring of prayers and aloha during this difficult time."
    Born in Hilo, Star was the daughter of the late Herbert Ishibashi and is survived by her mother Mona Ishibashi, brothers Sky (Tina) Ishibashi, Herbert Pua (Gloria) Ishibashi, and sister Roxy Tubbs. Star's children are Angel Alameda, Kekaulike Alameda, Seizen (Tavita) Ika, Kekaukahi Alameda, Kekaulana Alameda, Kira Alameda, and Kimo Alameda Jr.
    Updates on any services or arrangements will be forthcoming, says the family statement.

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A POLICEMAN WHO DIED IN 1916 will be added to this island's Memorial Wall for fallen police officers during Police Hawai'i Police Department recently learned that Hilo Police Officer Michol Octobre was murdered in a shootout with a suspect in Kalopa on December 8, 1916.
    An HPD statement says, "Hilo and Kalopa were gripped by fear as a serial killer, Maxime Bondad, terrorized the community. Officer Octobre, undercover as a laborer, embarked on a dangerous mission to locate Bondad. His dedication led to a crucial lead – Bondad's suspected hiding place.
    "With Deputy Sheriff Rickard by his side, Officer Octobre bravely ascended the Kalopa hillside. Despite the risk, he attempted a peaceful resolution by calling out to Bondad. This courageous act tragically went unanswered. A single gunshot shattered the quiet. Bondad, who was hidden in the brush, shot and fatally wounded Officer Octobre. Officers returned gunfire and killed Bondad where he hid.

Some of the fallen police officers memorialized on the wall. HPD photos
    "Officer Michol Octobre, and all heroes whose names grace this wall, deserve our deepest gratitude, utmost respect, and a promise: We will never forget. Police Week is a nationally recognized week of activities in support of police work and in recognition of officers who have died or been disabled in the line of duty. In 1962, President John F. Kennedy proclaimed every May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week it falls in as National Police Week. In Hawaiʻi County, Police Week activities will take place from Sunday, May 12, through Friday, May 18.
The public is invited to attend formal Police Week ceremonies on Monday, May 13, at 10 a.m., at Hilo police station and Friday, May 17, at 11 a.m. at West Hawaii Civic Center. Both ceremonies include pre-ceremony entertainment and a tribute to Hawaiʻi County officers who gave their lives in the line of duty. Police will pay tribute to:                                                                                      

    Police Captain T. Simeona, who gave his life in 1890.
   Officer Manuel Cadinha, who gave his life in 1918.
    Officer William “Red” Oili, who gave his life in 1936.
    Officer Ronald “Shige” Jitchaku, who gave his life in 1990.
    Officer Kenneth Keliipio, who gave his life in 1997.
    Park Ranger Steve Makuakane-Jarrell, who gave his life in 1999.
    Officer Bronson Kaimana Kaliloa, who gave his life in 2018.
    During Police Week, members of the public are encouraged to attend station tours at the Hilo and Kona Police stations on Friday, May 17, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Please call Sergeant Amy Omaya at (808) 961-2264 to schedule an appointment.
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DANGERS OF FENTANYL ARE SHARED BY Hawai‘i Police Department, which provides monthly updates on the amount of fentanyl related arrests (possession/distribution) in Hawai‘i County and the quantity of fentanyl recovered for the preceding month.
    During  April, there were six fentanyl related arrests, five in Area I (east Hawai‘i) and one in Area II (west Hawai‘i). Police recovered 142.17 grams of illicit fentanyl last month, including 14.77 grams in Area I and 127.4 grams in Area II.
    According to the Drug Enforcement Agency, two milligrams of illicit fentanyl, equal to a couple grains of salt, is a lethal dose. The 142.17 total grams of illicit fentanyl recovered by HPD in March was enough to kill over 50,000 Hawai‘i Island residents. In the first quarter of 2024, HPD recovered 297.91 grams of illicit fentanyl, enough to kill 148,955 Hawai‘i Island residents.
Image from Hawai'i Police Department
    HPD also recovered a total of 80.5 fentanyl pills, with 80.5 pills recovered in Area I and zero recovered in Area II. An HPD statement says, "
    Hawai‘i Police Department is committed to fighting drugs on island and apprehending those that distribute and sell illegal narcotics. In recent years, the use of illicit fentanyl has reached epidemic proportions on the mainland and Hawai‘i. Criminal drug networks are mixing this dangerous synthetic opioid into illegal counterfeit pills and selling them as legitimate prescription pills, often with deadly consequences.
    For fentanyl safety tips, how to recognize fentanyl poisoning, and more, go to HPD’s website: https://www.hawaiipolice.com/services/crime-tips#fentanyl.
    Those with information relating to illicit drug use and distribution, as well as vice issues such as prostitution, gambling, and other related crimes, HPD encourages calling  East Hawaiʻi and West Hawaiʻi Vice Sections 24-hour anonymous vice/drug tip hotlines at (808) 329-“ZERO-ICE” (808) 329-0423 with infopertaining to districts of Kaʻū, Kona, South Kohala, and North Kohala, and (808) 934-“VICE” (808) 934-8423 with info pertaining to districts of Puna, South Hilo, North Hilo, and Hāmākua.
    Those who call will be asked to provide information, without giving their name, address or telephone number. All information is kept confidential and within the Criminal Investigation Division. Information is cross-referenced, allowing detectives to determine if additional information related to the criminal activity about which you are calling has been reported in the past. Even “small” bits of information can at times provide detectives with the “missing link” that allows them to take action, according to HPD.

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HOME HERBALIST WORKSHOP WITH HEATHER PENFIELD is Saturday May 11 from 9 a.m. - 11 a.m. at Volcano Arts Center Niaulani Campus in Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park. Learn germ boosting powers of plants & herbs and discover how to use them, learn the art of making effective remedies at home. Watch how products are made from start to finish. Includes: class handout with recipes and samples. Class fee is $60/$55 for VAC members plus a $20 supply fee. Register at https://volcanoartcenter.org/classes-and-workshops/registration-workshops-classes/.

NA'OHULELUA HISTORICAL GARDEN, NURSERY & NATIVE PROPAGATION CENTER IS OPEN Saturday, May 11, Sunday May 19 and Saturday May 25 from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. at 94-6488 Kama'ōa Road, Nāʻālehu. Offering rare & endangered native Hawaiian plants, several varieties of organic Moringa "The Miracle Tree" & more, ready to plant. A Mission of Alanui 'O Ka'ū a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Organization. Private appointments, special orders, volunteer opportunities and other inquiries text (808) 256-3193.

ZENTANGLE® RIXTY VARIATIONS WORKSHOP WITH IRIS THORNTON is Saturday, May 11 from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. at Volcano Arts Center Niaulani Campus in Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park. Zentangle is an easy-to-learn fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns. Rixty is a simple and dynamic tangle that is odd and familiar at the same time. This class is open to all levels, no Zentangle or art experience necessary. Students are encouraged to bring snacks/beverages to share. Cost is $35/$30 VAC members plus a $15 supply and facility fee. Register at https://volcanoartcenter.org/classes-and-workshops/registration-workshops-classes/.

HULA KAHIKO UNDER THE DIRECTION OF KUMU KINI KAʻAWA is Saturday, May 11 from 10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. at Volcano Arts Center in Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park. This performance is part of a year-round series sponsored by the Volcano Art Center. Presented authentically in an outdoor setting, rain or shine without electronic amplification. Audience members are encouraged to bring sun/rain gear and sitting mats. For more information call (808) 967-7565.

SOUTH HAWAI`I SYMPHONY PRESENTS: MOTHERS' APPRECIATION CONCERT. Saturday, May 11 from 2 p.m. at Discovery Harbour Community Center, 94-1604 Makali`i St, Nāʻālehu. With classical pieces by Mozart and Shubert and popular music from movies such as Star Wars, Ben Hur, Harry Potter, E.T. and more. Farley Sangels will conduct 15-piece orchestra. Free event. Donations welcome.

JAZZ IN THE FOREST: "TAKE A GIANT STEP OUTSIDE YOUR MIND – A HISTORY OF JAZZ GUITAR MUSIC" is Saturday, May 11 from 5:30 p.m. - 7 p.m. at Volcano Arts Center Niaulani Campus in Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park. Featuring internationally known and respected guitarist and vocalist Benny Yutake, along with JP and the Jazztones featuring JP Thoma on saxophones and clarinet, Joey Carroll on vocals, acoustic as well as electric bass, and Owen Matsui on percussion. Tickets are $25 for VAC members and $30 for non-members. Purchase tickets at www.volcanoartcenter.org, or at VAC's Administration Office in Volcano Village.

MOTHER'S DAY CONCERT: FEATURING THE VOLCANO CHAMBER PLAYERS is Sunday, May 12 from 4 p.m. - 6 p.m. at Volcano Art Center's Dietrich Varez Hall in Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park. The concert is a special tribute to mothers. Beverages and pupu will be available for purchase. Tickets available at https://volcanoartcenter.org/classes-and-workshops/purchase-tickets-to-vac-events/.

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7,500 copies the mail and on stands.