Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs Wednesday, May 10, 2017


Ka’u’s finest were on hand to welcome community members to join them for coffee and cookies at the Na’alehu
farmers’ market outside Ace Hardware on Wednesday. From left to right are Officers Bill Doar, Douglas
Phillips, “Danny,” Aron Tomota, Clayton Tayamen, and Capt. Kenneth Quiocho. Photo by Ann Bosted
COPS WITH COFFEE were met by Ka’u residents in Na’alehu on Wednesday. Public and police officers enjoyed the the opportunity to talk story in an informal setting while sipping coffee and eating cookies. The event, billed as National Coffee With A Cop Day, was the first ever held in Ka’u.
     Ka’u police set up a shade shelter, tables and chairs and plugged in a coffee machine to welcome shoppers at the weekly Na’alehu farmers’ market to sit down and relax. Captain Kenneth Quiocho, who has been the leader of the district’s police force since the beginning of March, was clearly pleased with the community’s response.
     “People came up to talk to us about their concerns about crime and other police matters, which was what we hoped would happen,” he explained. “They also let us know that we are doing a good job, which we appreciated”.
     Asked to comment on the reduction of burglaries in Ocean View, Quiocho said: “I am very happy with the part the community has played in that. We are getting together and working together and being successful”. Reported burglaries in Ocean View numbered 21 in January, 11 in February, three in March and four in April. Quiocho added that the police and the community still have a lot of work to do there.

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A POLICE CRACK DOWN ON CRIME was reported by  Ocean View’s community policing officers, Aron Tomota and Clayton Tayamen, during the May Neighborhood Watch meeting. The police officers reported to residents on the results, saying that burglaries in Hawai`i Ocean View Estates had been reduced from 21 in January, to 11 in February to 3 in March and then 4 in April. (For more on the crack down, please read the April 18  Ka`u News Briefs.) Tomota reported that in April there were no reports of stolen vehicles or car break ins. There were, however, 5 assaults, 3 criminal property damage and 10 cases of theft reported.
     Neighborhood Watch meetings are held at the Ocean View Community Center on the first Thursday of each month, starting at 6 p.m.

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ABANDONED VEHICLES CONTRIBUTE TO COUNTY COFFERS, according to Tiffany Wallace, the Abandoned Vehicle Coordinator, who told a recent Ocean View meeting that a new program allows those vehicles in good condition to be auctioned by the county.
      She cautioned those at the meeting against parking or abandoning vehicles in public roadways for more than 24 hours, as the bill for the fines, towing and storage can amount to $1,000. The vehicles can also be auctioned off.

Abandoned vehicles draw fines, towing and storage that can add up to $1000. Photo by Ann Bosted.
     “We have had three auctions so far,” she said, noting that “Maui has a similar program which has proved to be successful. “Our first auction was in October 2015 and we sold 66 vehicles for a total of $21,208. Our second auction was February 2016, where 31 vehicles were auctioned for $14,149 and our most recent auction in October moved 39 vehicles for $12,912.” The income from auction helps recoup the cost of hauling away abandoned vehicles.
     Wallace and her colleague, Juliana Holzman, were invited to attend a monthly Ocean View Neighborhood Watch meeting, to inform the 30 attendees of how the county deals with the growing problems of abandoned vehicles on public and private roads. They cautioned that dumping vehicles anywhere is a crime, and the owner of the vehicle can be fined and will be required to pay all the charges associated with removing and disposing of the vehicle.
     Owners of inoperable cars should take them to a scrap metal operator, such as Big Island Scrap Metal (854-4530) in Kona and Kea’au.
     “You need to report any vehicle that is parked on a roadway,” Wallace told the community. “The sooner the better, so we can get it removed before it becomes an eyesore. You should dial the police non-emergency number, 935-3311 and report the specific location, the license plate number, make of the vehicle, its color and how long it has been parked.”
    After reporting the abandoned vehicle to the police non-emergency line an officer is dispatched to see if the vehicle is still there. The car must be in the easement of a public road to be tagged with a warning. The owner is advised to move the vehicle within 24 hours. If the vehicle is not moved in that time, the police make a report.
    After the police officer’s report is approved, it is sent to Traffic Services Section of the police department. The TSS then forwards the report to the Abandoned Vehicles Program (phone 961-8552), within the County Department of Environmental Management.
While derelict vehicles can be sold for scrap metal, vehicles that run can be auctioned off
by the County of Hawai`i. Photo by Ann Bosted
       The Abandoned Vehicles Coordinator then makes arrangements for the vehicle to be towed within 72 hours. If it is derelict, it is taken to a waste metal recovery site, otherwise it is impounded and the owner is notified. The registered owner is then charged for the towing and storage of the vehicle.
    “If the owner does not reclaim the car within ten days, it can be auctioned”, explained Wallace.
    Asked about inoperable vehicles stored on private property, Wallace referred The Ka’u Calendar to the County Planning Department. A spokesman for that department said that the limit is set by area. If the department receives a complaint, officials will follow it up in the order in which it comes in. The Planning Department’s number is 323-4770, ask for zoning violations.
    Generally, if inoperable cars cover more than 200 square feet, the owners are violating the junkyard zoning regulation. Junkyards are permitted uses in industrial areas, but not agricultural or rural areas. The owners can be ordered to remove the cars, but this is done after considering each individual case. Generally, two cars cover about 200 square feet, so, depending on the size of the vehicle, three cars can be over the limit.
     If investigators find that the owner of the lot is in violation of the zoning regulation, the owner will be asked to remove the vehicles. If the owner does not comply, the Planning Department issues a formal notice of violation, with an order to remove the offending vehicles. If the violation continues, the owner of the lot can be fined up to $100 per day, until the violation is ended.
    Vehicles abandoned on private roads are also considered a violation and the County can order the association to remove them at the association’s expense.

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REP. TULSI GABBARD WEIGHED IN WEDNESDAY ON FIRED FBI DIRECTOR James Comey. She said that "his abrupt firing further undermines the American people's trust in the FBI and its investigation. Two things need to happen now: We need a non-partisan FBI Director who can be trusted by all the American people," and "The investigation into the Trump campaign and Russia must be carried forward in a fair, non-partisan, thorough way. This is why I've long called for an independent commission or special prosecutor to conduct this investigation in a way that is transparent," said Gabbard.
James Comey, left, was investigating the Trump campaign's connections
to Russian influence when Pres. Donald Trump fired him on Tuesday.
Photos from CNN

SEN. MAZIE HIRONO RENEWED HER CALL FOR SPECIAL INVESTIGATOR: "President Trump thinks that firing FBI Director James Comey is not a big deal. The president’s shibai arguments for Comey’s firing can’t disguise this blatant attempt to slow down the FBI’s investigation into Russian interference with our election and the Trump team’s ties to Russia’s efforts. As we say in Hawai`i, it’s all for show.
     "Every hour, it seems like there are new revelations -- grand juries, subpoenas, even (Trump Chief of Staff) Sean Spicer hiding in the bushes to avoid answering questions. What’s clear is that we can’t take Trump and his administration at their word.
     "For months, I have called for an independent investigation of the Trump administration’s ties with the Russian government. This latest Trump action only points to the importance of a special prosecutor to get to the bottom of the Russia/Trump matter.
     "Join me -- and thousands across the country -- in calling for a special prosecutor to investigate the Trump administration’s ties with the Russian government. This is an unprecedented situation and the Russian attack on our democracy cannot be allowed to stand. Our country’s future is at stake.
     "Join the fight to protect our democracy. Call for a special prosecutor to investigate the Trump administration’s ties to Russia.

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"EVERY PATRIOTIC AMERICAN SHOULD DEMAND A SPECIAL PROSECUTOR," tweeted Sen. Brian Schatz on Wednesday. "We need Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rosenstean to come to the Hill to explain what happened and in what order. Lots of mind-bending explanations. Sometimes things are not what they appear to be. This is not one of those times."

RUDY GUILIANI COULD BE THE NEXT FBI DIRECTOR, cautioned the Democratic National Committee in a statement from Chair Tom Perez on Wednesday. "Now that Donald Trump has fired James Comey, he gets to appoint the next FBI Director to a 10-year term. He could pick anyone -- even, for example, a former campaign surrogate like Rudy Giuliani, who spent last night praising Trump's decision from (where else?) the lobby of Trump's new Washington hotel.
     "And the only check on Donald Trump's appointment would be the Senate GOP -- the same senators who rushed through the confirmations of Jeff Sessions, Betsy DeVos, and Neil Gorsuch. "That's why we must have an independent investigation into Trump and Russia led by a special prosecutor -- someone whose loyalties will be to the American people, not Donald Trump.
     "This investigation isn't about politics. It's about our national security, the integrity of our elections, and the future of our democracy. We cannot allow it to be buried by a corrupt administration and complicit Republican leaders in Congress.
    "Senator Ron Wyden said it best last night: 'in America, the truth always comes out.' This independent investigation is how we make that happen."

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A DAMAGED FIBER OPTIC CABLE took down cell phone, internet and phone service for most residents on the westside of the island today, from Kona to Ka`u. Hawai`i County Civil Defense reported the outage at 10:40 a.m., stating that  "Hawaiian Telcom reports a fiber optic break in the area of Hwy 190 and Hwy 200 (Daniel K. Inouye junction).  Communications will be affected along the western portion of the island from Ka`u through Kona. If you are unable to access the counties 911 system and require medical, fire or police please go directly to your nearest police or fire station for assistance. Crews are on scene to repair the break.  
     At 1 p.m. Civil Defense reported that repairs were made and service restored, including all 911 lines.

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VOLCANO SCHOOL OF THE ARTS & SCIENCES Theater Night on Thursday, May 11 at 6 p.. at Kilauea Millitary Camp's Kilauea Theater. Under direction of KDEN's Suzi Bond, each class presents a one-act play. Free. Park entrance fees may apply.
Miss Ka`u Coffee Rochelle Koi
will pass the torch on Saturday.
Photo by Pam Taylor

RED CROSS VOLUNTEER MEETING, Thursday, May 11 at 7 p.m. HOVE Maintenance Corp. office. 929-9953.

MANAGING RAPID OHI'A DEATH at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Friday, May 12 at 5:30 p.m. at Cooper Center in Volcano Village. ‘Ōhi‘a, Metrosideros polymorpha, the keystone Hawaiian forest species, is under attack by Rapid ‘Ōhi‘a Death, or ROD. The park is working with partners, land managers, scientists, and outreach specialists throughout Hawai‘i to respond to this threat. Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park Ecologist David Benitez will share the lessons learned since ROD was first identified in 2014, and discuss managing ROD within and beyond park boundaries. Free.

MISS KA`U COFFEE ROCHELLE KOI will pass the crown to a new Miss Ka`u Coffee this Saturday night at Ka`u Coffee Mill with the show and pageant starting at 6 p.m. Competitors will vy for Miss Ka`u Coffee, Junior Miss Ka`u Coffee, Miss Peaberry and Ka`u Coffee Flower in a pageant directed by Ka`u Coffee farmer Trini Marques. The pageant begins two weeks of Ka`u Coffee Festival events. See www.kaucoffeefest.com.

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