In brief | Big Island & State | 5-8-14


Police seek missing Kailua-Kona man

Kona Police are requesting the public’s assistance in locating 33-year-old Arthur Medina who was reported missing Tuesday.

Medina was said to have left his residence in Kailua-Kona, dropped off his children in the morning and proceeded to work in Waimea. According to his employer, Medina never showed up for work Tuesday.

Medina’s vehicle was found to be in an accident near the Puuanahulu area with damages, but Medina was not within the vehicle.

An initial search of this location was conducted by police without success.

Medina is described as a “local” male with a heavy build and tan complexion. He is 5 feet 5 inches tall, weighing 200 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. He has a large tattoo on his upper chest of wings and a spider in the middle and a large tattoo on his mid upper back area.

Police ask anyone with information on his whereabouts to call the nonemergency line at 935-3311.

Those who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Volcano charter school gets $618K for new campus

The Friends of the Volcano School of Arts &Sciences on Hawaii Island will receive $618,000 in capital improvement grant funding, Gov. Neil Abercrombie announced Wednesday.

Identified by the state Legislature, these funds will finance the planning and design needed to construct a new campus for the Volcano School of Arts &Sciences in Volcano Village. The campus will be built on a 3.5-acre site it is currently leasing from the state Department of Education for its fifth- through eighth-grade classes.

“When this project is complete, the Volcano community will finally have a permanent education facility at a consolidated public charter school,” Abercrombie said. “In the meantime, this grant will generate immediate employment opportunities on the Big Island.”

This project will allow the school to consolidate its kindergarten through fourth-grade classes, currently meeting on Old Volcano Road, with grades five to eight. The nonprofit Friends of the Volcano School of Arts &Sciences is expected to fund the construction phase of the project privately through donations, foundation grants, loans and possible federal assistance.

One-way traffic pattern scheduled for Hilo run

To accommodate runners and walkers at the Hilo Medical Center Employees 5K Fun Run &2.5K Walk, there will be a temporary one-way traffic pattern on Banyan Drive, according to the Hawaii Police Department.

Traffic will be allowed to flow in the northeasterly direction on Banyan Drive between both sides of Lihiwai Street. The one-way traffic pattern will be in effect from 8:15 and 9:15 a.m. Saturday. In addition, parking will be allowed only on one side of Banyan Drive to coincide with the traffic pattern.

Hilo park to close for fire ant control

The county Department of Parks and Recreation will close Hilo’s Richardson Ocean Park, weather permitting, at 2 p.m. today for maintenance personnel to apply another round of baiting treatments designed to combat fire ant infestations. The park will reopen at 7 a.m. Friday.

For more information, contact spokesman Jason Armstrong at 345-9105 or jarmstrong@co.hawaii.hi.us.

Health providers reminded about deaf patients’ rights

HONOLULU — The Hawaii Civil Rights Commission and the Disability and Communication Access Board Wednesday announced a joint public education effort to inform patients who are deaf, hard of hearing and deaf blind and use sign language as well as health care providers of their legal rights and responsibilities. Under state and federal law, health care providers have an obligation to provide auxiliary aids and services for patients who have disabilities, including qualified sign language interpreters when needed to provide effective communication.

One to 2 percent of people in Hawaii are deaf, hard of hearing or deaf blind. A majority of them use American Sign Language to communicate. Using American Sign Language interpreters, they have full access to information and services, including health care services. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act and Hawaii state civil rights law, they have the right to effective communication in medical and health care services.

“We receive a high volume of requests for information and assistance regarding the provision of sign language interpreters and the highest number relate to health care settings,” said Francine Wai, executive director of the Disability and Communication Access Board. “All health care providers in Hawaii, from hospitals to community clinics and small practitioner doctor offices, are legally obligated to provide auxiliary aids and services, including sign language interpreters, at no cost for patients who are deaf, hard of hearing and deaf blind.”

Hawaii Civil Rights Commission Executive Director Bill Hoshijo added: “Deaf patients have come forward to report that doctors’ offices have denied requests for sign language interpreters, citing cost or asking the patient to secure coverage and payment for those services, which does not comply with state or federal law. Unfortunately, many health care providers and patients are not aware of their obligations and rights in this area.

“Deaf, hard of hearing and deaf blind patients are being denied sign language interpreters needed to effectively communicate. As a direct consequence, they cannot communicate their health problems to the health care provider, cannot obtain critical information like diagnoses and prognoses, and cannot give informed consent. Too often, this results in a denial of services based on disability.”

The agencies have developed educational materials for health care providers and patients to help address the need for public education as well as the consequences of unlawful denial of requests for sign language interpreters. For more information, visit health.hawaii.gov/dcab/communication-access.

Preliminary design concepts for Daniel K. Inouye Center unveiled

The University of Hawaii Wednesday unveiled preliminary design concepts for the future Daniel K. Inouye Center for Democratic Leadership, which will be located at the current Henke Hall site on the University of Hawaii at Manoa campus. The concepts, which incorporated input from a diverse group of public-private partners, community leaders, and university campus experts, can be viewed online at go.hawaii.edu/3O.

The preliminary concepts demonstrated design options to meet the current and future needs of UH Manoa students, the campus, as well as the surrounding community. Included in the presentation were a variety of space options for student innovation zones, civic engagement areas and archival preservation sections.

“The DKI Center is an excellent example of the dynamic possibilities that can arise out of a public-private partnership,” said UH Interim President David Lassner. “The features and functionalities envisioned for the center, particularly the student innovation zones and civic engagement areas, will create exciting, new learning environments that will encourage and foster meaningful discussions on a variety of topics. When completed, the center will play a key role in UH’s commitment to providing opportunities that transform lives for students and their families through higher education and scholarship.”

The preliminary design concepts are part of the predesign phase for the center. During this phase, key parameters and objectives of the design are researched and defined, including site analyses, functions, room types and systems.

“Although conceptual in nature at this point, Clifford Planning &Architecture and Pei Cobb Freed &Partners are excited to share with you the initial design ideas,” Janine S. Clifford, the project’s architect of record and principal of local firm Clifford Planning &Architecture. “These ideas incorporate many of the form and functional requirements that were raised during our community-based workshop for the center, and integrate them into an exciting design concept that maximizes unique sustainable features such as the use of trade winds for natural ventilation. At the conclusion of this phase, the project will enter the formal design process and work on actual schematic design will begin.”

A final design plan, which may incorporate features from various preliminary concepts, will be developed and presented for additional feedback at a later date.

Correctional officers, police week observances set

HONOLULU — Gov. Neil Abercrombie and Lt. Gov. Shan S. Tsutsui have proclaimed May 4 through 10 “Correctional Officers and Employees Week” and May 11 through 17 “Police Week” in Hawaii. The two proclamations were presented by Acting Gov. Tsutsui to the Department of Public Safety’s Corrections and Law Enforcement Divisions, which oversees state corrections and law enforcement with the Corrections Division, Sheriff Division and Narcotics Enforcement Division.

“We commend all those who currently serve in the corrections and law enforcement profession, those who have served and those who have been lost in pursuit of these most honorable professions,” Acting Gov. Tsutsui said.

Public Safety Director Ted Sakai added: “Many of our department’s personnel risk their lives every day to keep our communities safe. We honor these men and women for their devotion, bravery, and ongoing commitment to being the change that they would like to see in the world.”

In 1984, President Ronald Reagan designated this week as National Correctional Officers and Employees Week under Proclamation 5187. It is designed to provide correctional employees the respect and recognition they deserve.

“Correctional officers and employees serve admirably in correctional facilities across the state as role models and change agents,” said Deputy Director of Corrections Max Otani. “Their job isn’t simply to secure the facility and the people in it. Correctional officers and employees teach, train and mentor inmates every day all while promoting a safe and secure environment.”

In 1962, President Kennedy proclaimed May 15 as National Peace Officers Memorial Day and the calendar week in which May 15 falls as National Police Week. National Police Week pays special recognition to those law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty for the safety and protection of others as well as the family members, friends and fellow officers they left behind.

“Since 1845, the members of the Hawaii State Sheriff Division have played an essential role in safeguarding the rights and freedoms of the State of Hawaii,” said Deputy Director for Law Enforcement Shawn Tsuha, “These men and women are always on watch and most deserving of our respect and our gratitude.”

This year, the names of 286 officers killed in the line of duty are being added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C. Hawaii Law Enforcement Memorial Foundation continues to work toward funding the construction of a monument in Hawaii to honor law enforcement officers from city, county, state, military and federal agencies who have died in the line of duty while serving the people of Hawaii. Currently, more than 60 names have been identified for placement on the Hawaii memorial.

By local and wire sources