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“Is hiring process for Hawaii Police Chief transparent if 40 applicants remain anonymous?”

Views expressed in this Hawaii Island News summary are those of the reporters and correspondents.  Accessed on 16 December 2022, 1942 UTC.

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Aloha Friday Big Island,

Today, the Hawaiʻi County Police Commission discusses the four finalists for police chief at a public meeting in Hilo. We have a story about the transparency of the process if the other 40 applicants remain anonymous.

The body of a man discovered on Hilo Bay shoreline has been identified; the state Department of Land and Natural Resources is stepping up patrols of closed areas of Mauna Loa for public safety; friends of Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge are near its donation goal of $1 million; and First Hawaiian has a new vice chairman and CFO.

In sports, the accolades keep coming for UH-Hilo’s star soccer player Daelenn Tokunaga. The United Soccer Coaches Division II Women’s Soccer named Tokunaga as its National Scholar Athlete of the Year.

For the community, we have stories about Hanukkah celebrations and another coffee with a cop event in Waimea. Enjoy the weekend.

As always, mahalo for your readership.


Is hiring process for Hawaiʻi Police Chief transparent if 40 applicants remain anonymous? By Tiffany DeMasters

The Hawai‘i County Police Commission Chair John Bertsch said transparency was paramount in the process to hire the next police chief. But while four finalists for the position are being interviewed at public meetings, it is unlikely the public will ever know the identities of the other 40 applicants.

“Why is the public not allowed to see if there was some ‘Super Star’ candidate that had not reached ‘final four’ status … and the reason for it?” asked Sam Thomas, retired Hawai’i Police Department Assistant Chief of Operations, in a letter to the commission.





Body discovered on Hilo Bay shoreline identified

The body of a middle-aged man discovered Sunday along the Hilo Bay shoreline near Isles in Hilo has been identified.





UH-Hilo’s Tokunaga named National Scholar Athlete of the Year; Lillie selected to All-American Third Team

Fifth-year University of Hawai‘i at Hilo senior and soon-to-be graduate Daelenn Tokunaga has received another honor for her standout performance during the Vulcans women’s soccer squad’s 2022 season, just days before walking across the stage for fall commencement.

The United Soccer Coaches Division II Women’s Soccer named Tokunaga as its National Scholar Athlete of the Year.





DLNR officers stepping up patrol of closed areas on Mauna Loa

The public viewing area and traffic mitigation route set up to view the lava flows from Mauna Loa while it was erupting will close at midnight Thursday and enforcement officers with the Hawai‘i Department of Land and Natural Resources will be stepping up their patrols of closed areas.

“As the Mauna Loa eruption and lava flow has ended, and the government response is being demobilized, there remains concerns that with the public viewing area closing some people may decide to walk in and enter closed areas,” Chief Jason Redulla with the Land Department’s Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement said.





Everybody welcome at Ahava ‘Aina Festival of Lights Hanukkah celebration in Hilo By Nathan Christophel

Rachel Short was a yoga teacher before she was a rabbi, so she is aware of the light everyone possesses inside and how that light is meant to be shared, especially during Hanukkah — a celebration of light and miracles.

“From the miracle of Judah and the Maccabees defeating the Syrian army to the miracle of one night’s worth of oil burning for eight nights, Hanukkah is the celebration of the miraculous,” Short said. “We all have a light within, and when we come together as one, that light shines even stronger.”





Hanukkah Menorah on display for first time as part of holiday open house at County Building in Hilo

Hawai‘i County is celebrating the Season of Light with a Big Island nonprofit whose mission is to heal the world and build the first Jewish cultural community center and synagogue in East Hawai‘i.

For the first time, a Hanukkah Menorah was displayed at the Hawai‘i County Building on Aupuni Street in Hilo as part of the “Magic of the Season” Holiday Open House. The 8-foot tall menorah provided by Rabbi Rachel Short and the congregation of Ahava ‘Aina is part of a larger display that includes various Christmas trees, cartoon characters and Christmas decorations.





Kona Beth Shalom to host Chanukah Celebration

The Big Island is invited to celebrate the Season of Light later this month in West Hawai’i.

Congregation Kona Beth Shalom will host its free community Chanukah Celebration from 2 to 4 p.m. on Dec. 20 at the Hawaiian Queen Coffee Garden.





Friends of Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge nears its $1 million donation goal

The Friends of Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge are $85,000 away from reaching their goal for the 2022 fall Endowment Campaign. Their goal for the year was to reach $1 million in donations since the inception of the Endowment in 2015.

Located on high on the windward slopes of Mauna Kea, the Hakalau Forest unit consists of 32,830 acres of some of the finest remaining stands of native montane rain forest in Hawai‘i and habitat for 29 critically endangered species including seven birds, one insect, one mammal and 20 plants found nowhere else in the world.





First Hawaiian appoints new Vice Chairman and Chief Financial Officer

First Hawaiian, Inc., the parent company of First Hawaiian Bank, has appointed James M. Moses as Vice Chairman and Chief Financial Officer of First Hawaiian, Inc. and First Hawaiian Bank, effective Jan. 3, 2023.

“Jamie brings more than 20 years of diverse banking experience to the team,” said Bob Harrison, First Hawaiian Chairman, President and CEO.





South Kohala community invited to Coffee with a Cop in Waimea

South Kohala residents are invited to come have a cup of joe and a discussion with their community police officers in Waimea.

Hawai‘i Police Department’s South Kohala Community Policing Section invites the community to Coffee with a Cop from 7 to 10 a.m. on Dec. 16 at Starbucks in the Parker Ranch Center. The ever-popular event is an opportunity for community members to engage with their district police officers one-on-one.





Maui residents vow to pursue legal action over massive Nāpili home

Owned by developer Greg Brown, the eight-bedroom, 45-foot-tall house at 5385 Lower Honoapiʻilani Road drew strong community opposition in 2021 over its height and its intended short-term rental use. The unfinished, two-story home originally called for two rooftop pools, eight bedrooms, eight bathrooms, along with multiple dens and media rooms. 



Report: Maui home prices drop, but high interest rates deter buyers, developments

Nationally, applications for new mortgages have fallen by more than 40%, and figures for Hawaiʻi showed a 56% year-over-year drop in October. 




Kauai Weather Forecast for December 16, 2022

A front moving down the island chain from the northwest will continue to bring unsettled weather to the state into Saturday. Showers, along with some… 



4.0 earthquake in Alenuihaha Channel; NO tsunami expected for Kaua’i

Although some areas of Hawai’i may have experienced shaking from the earthquake in the Pacific Ocean, no tsunami is expected for the Hawaiian Islands. 




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