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Big Island of Hawaii News, 04 June 2013 through 05 June 2013. Post #2084


The views expressed in this Hawaii news summary are mine unless otherwise stated.

Big Island of Hawaii News is covering these Hawaii stories through Wednesday, 05 June 2013:


5.3 magnitude shaker rolls across Hawaii Island.

Marijuana conviction overturned.

Military exercise will provide free medical services to the Ocean View Estates area.

Waikoloa recognized on FAA maps.

Suspect in hammer attack claims self-defense.

Governor most likely will sign marijuana bills.

DETAILS ( with sources cited):

(Hawaii Police Department/U.S. Geological Survey).   A 5.3 magnitude earthquake rattled through Hawaii Island at approximately 2:40 Tuesday afternoon.  According to the U.S. Geological Survey the temblor was centered 34 miles southeast of Pahala at a depth of 25 miles.  Hawaii County Civil Defense Administrator Darryl Oliveira said no tsunami was generated by the shaker.  As of late Tuesday afternoon, there were no reports of damage.  The earthquake was felt on Oahu and Maui.

(Stephens Media).  According to reporter Nancy Cook Lauer, the Hawaii Supreme Court has rejected the conviction of a Hookena medical marijuana patient who was arrested at the Kona International Airport when he tried to board a plane with his marijuana stash.

In its 30-page ruling issued last Friday, Hawaii Supreme Court justices ordered a lower court to reverse its decision against Geoffrey Woodhall, adding that state law, “while unclear and contradictory, nonetheless allows for the transport of marijuana by individuals carrying a state ‘blue card’ certifying they are medical marijuana patients.”

Court justices based their decision on Chapter 329, Part IX, which “does not clearly carry out its purpose, leaving qualified patients vulnerable to prosecution… it is especially unclear how medical marijuana is transported to the homes of qualified patients in the first instance, or by qualified patients anywhere outside their home.”

(Hawaii Tribune-Herald).  Thanks to a large, joint military training exercise on Hawaii Island, basic medical and dental services will be offered to resident in Ka’u and Ocean View, beginning Tuesday, 04 June 2013.  Organizers of the nine-day event tell reporter Colin Stewart that military personnel will provide basic medical services to “between 6,000 and 10,000 resident in the medically under served region of East Hawaii, saving them a combined value of between $2.5 million and $3 million.”

Air Force Reserve Colonel Jerry Arends, the mission director for Tropic Care 2013, told reporter Stewart “that’s only in billable charges…there’s other savings, including how much people save by not flying to Oahu or Maui for treatment.”

The Tropic Care 2013 exercise will operate two separate sites on Hawaii Island.  One site will be located at Ka’u High and Pahala Elementary School and the other at the Ocean View Community Center, “as part of a larger exercise that will also help communities on Maui, Molokai, and Lanai.”

(Hawaii Tribune-Herald).   The mapping experts at the Federal Aviation Agency have finally recognized Waikoloa on its flight maps.  Previously, the West Hawaii community was designated only as a settlement.

According to reporter Tom Callis, “the town of about 6,300 people now appears as a splotch of yellow much like Kailua-Kona, Hilo, Waimea and other populated areas.”  Callis says the new FAA designation will not put any additional restrictions on aircraft flying above or near the community.

Hawaii Island state Representative Cindy Evans says the new designation “could make it more clear to pilots that they need to be mindful of residents there.”

(Hawaii Tribune-Herald).  A former Hilo mortician accused of attacking a Hilo coin and antique dealer with a hammer took the stand in his own defense Monday in an attempted murder trial.  According to reporter John Burnett, Robert Diego admitted hitting  Donald Nigro with a hammer on 13 June 2011 in Nigro’s Hualalai Street apartment.    Diego said he was “protecting” himself from Nigro.  Diego said he felt bad about the incident and considered himself lucky that Nigro “came out of the hospital within three days.”

Despite his appearance on the witness stand, his testimony has not yet explained why he felt compelled to defend himself with a hammer.  Earlier, Diego’s attorney William Heflin  said Nigro “grabbed Diego’s crotch and was trying to assault him sexually”, a charge denied by Nigro.

(Stephens Media).  According to Hawaii Island state Senator Josh Green, Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie will most likely sign two bills aimed at making marijuana a “more mainstream medicine’.  Green, a physician, has been working on changing the state’s 13-year-old medical marijuana law.

Green tells reporter Nancy Cook Lauer that “the fundamental purpose is to make medical marijuana a health issue rather than a publilc safety issue…I just really want to put it into mainstream medicine.”

One of the bills, HB 668, would transfer administration of the medical marijuana program from the Department of Public Safety tot he Department of Health by 01 January 2015.  The other measure, SB 642, would increase the amount of marijuana allowed for each patient, but “requires the patient’s primary care physician to certify the need for medical marijuana.”  Currently, any physician is permitted to certify the need for the medical marijuana “blue card.”


Hilo and vicinity–some sunshine with a few scattered showers.

Kailua-Kona and vicinity–Partly cloudy with a few upslope showers south of Captain Cook.

Highs near 84.  Lows near 66. Winds shifting to the east northeast, 6 to 12 mph, by Wednesday morning.

Sunrise Wednesday–5:41 a.m.  Sunset Wednesday–6:57 p.m.  Total hours of daylight Wednesday–13 hours, 16 minutes, and 32 seconds.


Hilo High Tide–12:22 a.m./2:03 p.m.  Hilo Low Tide–6:47 a.m./8:29 p.m.

Kailua-Kona High Tide–1:00 a.m./2:41 p.m.  Kailua-Kona Low Tide–7:24 a.m./9:06 p.m.


Hapuna Beach breaks–flat.  Kona and Banyans–1 to 3 feet.  Ka’u and Pohoiki–3 to 5 feet.  Hamakua, including Kolekole Beach Park–3 to 5 feet.  Hilo and Honolii–2 to 4 feet.


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