“Big Island of Hawaii News” is tracking these Hawaii Island stories through Wednesday, 18 July 2012:
1. Council candidates collect $250,000 in election funding.
2. County will consider more visibility on social sites.
3. Money sought for control of invasive species.
4. Motocyclist dies after crash.
5. Man found guilty in child sex abuse case.
Those are the headlines. Here are the details with sources cited:
(Hawaii Tribune-Herald). As the 11 August primary election approaches, candidates for the Hawaii County Council are using more than 250,000 to run for office. Much of the money is coming from public financing. According to reporter Peter Sur, the 6th District’s Maile David, Brenda Ford, and Bradley Westervelt, who each got more than $41,000 in public funds for their efforts, have collected the most cash for the upcoming election. David and Westervelt each reported more than $24,000 cash on hand with less than a month to go before the election. While some candidates seem to have sufficient cash to last through the primary election, others have nearly exhausted their funds. Puna Councilman Fred Blas is one candidate whose money is just about gone. He began the year with $589 om the bank and has accepted two $500 donations. After all expenses are accounted for, Blas says he is running a deficit of $2,961. His wife, Betty, adds that “we haven’t had any fundraisers.” Campaign cash has been tight for Blas, who doesn’t believe in having taxpayers support political campaigns.
MORE SOCIAL PRESENCE FOR HAWAII COUNTY
(Hawaii Tribune-Herald). Ka’u Councilwoman Brittany Smart has proposed that Hawaii County launch its first Facebook pages to encourage more citizen participation in local government. Under a proposal introduced by Smart on Monday, the county’s Legislative Branch, which includes the Clerk’s Office and various council offices, would be able to manage their own accounts on popular social media sites, such as Facebook. Smart tells reporter Tom Callis the purpose of her effort is to provide the county another way to communicate with residents. Smart adds that the internet giant Facebook is already being looked at as a natural starting point, and she expects to launch a site for her Sixth District once the document is approved. The policy only needs approval from the county clerk and the council chairman. As of today, County Clerk Jamae Kawauchi has given her blessing to the project, while Council Chairman Dominic Yagong is still considering the measure. Smart plans to brief the council’s Government Relations Committee on Wednesday.
INVASIVE SPECIES FUNDS
(Associated Press). Organizations trying to control or eradicate species from coqui frogs to fire ants and fountain grass are asking the Hawaii Invasive Species Council for $2.9 million in funding for the current fiscal year–including some $260,000 to fight axis deer on the Big Island and Maui. Budget cuts have left the council with only $1.8 million to distribute, meaning that not everyone will get what they asked for. Further, federal funding the groups had been relying on in recent years is drying up, leaving them more reliant on the council to keep their operations running. The team combating pest in Maui County is asking for $400,000 to fight dozens of invasive plants, coqui frogs, and others. On Hawaii Island, those fighting invasive species asked the council for $400,000 to survey and control 11 plant species, including mangrove. In addition, the Big Island Invasive Species Committee want funds to help eliminate Axis deer before they become established.
ACCIDENT KILLS MOTORCYCLIST
(Hawaii Police Department/Hawaii Tribune-Herald). A Waikoloa man died Sunday from injuries he sustained Friday night when his Honda motorcycle sideswiped a south bound Toyota four-door sedan on the Mamalahoa Highway north of Puuanahulu in North Kona. Police identified the victim as 41-year-old Randall C. Guadiz. Guadiz was flown to The Queen’s Medical Center in Honolulu, where he died Sunday evening. The driver of the sedan, 45-year-old Jocelyne Ngirblekuu of Mountain View, California wasn’t injured. Police don’t know if alcohol or drugs were involved, but they suspect that speed was a factor inthe fatal accident. Police have opened a negligent homicide investigation and have ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.
MAN GUILTY IN CHILD SEX ABUSE CASE
(Hawaii Tribune-Herald). On Friday, a Kona jury convicted 39-year-old Derek Cavillis of Kealakekua of sexually assaulting two children over a 10-year period. Cavillis is scheduled to be sentenced 10 September at 9 a.m. before Circuit Judge Elizabeth Stance. Cavillis faces a possible 140 years in prison if he is sentenced to consecutive terms for six counts of first-degree sex assault andfour counts of third-degree sex assault. During the trial, the children testified that they had been sexually assaulted repeatedly while there were between the ages of 5 and 8. According to court documents, the children had remained silent for several years because of pressure and threats by Cavillis. Cavillis recanted his earlier testimony, claiming that he had been high on methamphetamine when he confessed and that his confessions weren’t accurate.
HAWAII ISLAND WEATHER FORECAST THROUGH WEDNESDAY, 18 July 2012:
Hilo and vicinity–Partly cloudy with passing showers. Some rain at night.
Kailua-Kona and vicinity–Partly sunny with a few upslope showers.
Highs near 79. Lows near 69. Winds shifting to the northeast, 6 to 12 mph, by Wednesday.
Sunrise Wednesday–5:51 a.m. Sunset Wednesday–7:02 p.m. Total hours of daylight Wednesday–13 hours, 10 minutes, and 15 seconds.
HAWAII ISLAND TIDES FOR WEDNESDAY, 18 July 2012:
Hilo High Tide–2:12 a.m./3:24 p.m. Hilo Low Tide–8:16 a.m./9:37 p.m.
Kailua-Kona High Tide–2:50 a.m./4:02 p.m. Kailua-Kona Low Tide–8:53 a.m./10:34 p.m.
HAWAII ISLAND SURF FORECAST THROUGH WEDNESDAY, 18 July 2012:
Hapuna Beach breaks–flat. Kona and Banyans–1 to 2 feet. Ka’u and Pohoiki–5 to 6 feet. Hamakua-5 to 6 feet. Hilo and Honolii–4 to 5.
For a complete summary of state news, check out the right hand sidebar under “Hawaii News Now.”
A readers’s poll can also be found in the sidebar.
OTHER HAWAII ISLAND NEWS SOURCES:
Big Island Now, Hawaii 24/7, Big Island Video News, and Big Island Chronicle.
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Thanks for joining us today!
Russ Roberts, PRG HAWAII NEWS WITH RUSS ROBERTS
Laupahoehoe, Hawaii–along the beautiful Hamakua Coast.