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December 27 - In a November newsletter, State Representative Gene Ward published a map of homeless' whereabouts in Hawaii Kai.  Several weeks later, it sparked the outrage of individuals and organizations, including the American Civil Liberties' Union (ACLU) which expressed its concern in the following statement:

Publishing a map of "reported homeless events" in public areas only serves to move us further away from addressing the causes of homelessness. Instead, it is an open invitation to further profile, dehumanize and harass those that have nowhere to go except our parks, sidewalks and shared public spaces. The Constitution protects the rights of the poor and homeless against government policies that target them unfairly or criminalize their mere existence.

Despite strife on both sides, all concede that to date no prohibited actions have taken place. [HNN]

December 25 - Hiker dies after being rescued Christmas morning on Koko Crater trail. The man was found in cardiac arrest.  [Star-Advertiser]

December 23 - Man dies after being found unresponsive in waters at Hanauma Bay [KHON]

December 20 - Three ambitious Kalani High students will conduct sophisticated astronomical research using some of the world’s most powerful telescopes. The aspiring astronomers were awarded time to use two Maunakea observatories as a part of the Maunakea Scholars program. [HI DOE]

Publishing a map of "reported homeless events" in public areas only serves to move us further away from addressing the causes of homelessness. Instead, it is an open invitation to further profile, dehumanize and harass those that have nowhere to go except our parks, sidewalks and shared public spaces. The Constitution protects the rights of the poor and homeless against government policies that target them unfairly or criminalize their mere existence.

December 20 - Massage Envy, with 3 other locations on Oahu, is looking to expand to the Aina Haina Shopping Center.  The company offers massage and spa services. [PBN]

December 19 -  Rodney Padilla, 21, and Lawrence Martens, 19, both lance corporals assigned to the Marine Corps Air Station were found dead at Maunalua Bay Beach Park, 36 years ago.  A new tip has led to the reopening of this cold case. In addition to new information, new technology has made solving the murder more feasible.  The reward has been upped to $16,000.  Anyone with information is urged to call Honolulu CrimeStoppers at 955-8300. [KHON]

December 18 - Bank of Hawaii continues work on a newly relocated Hawaii Kai branch to open in March 2017, as well as a renovated in-store branch at Safeway Hawaii Kai. [Star-Advertiser - Library Card required]

December 13 - Website reveals 13 runners with Boston Marathon qualifiying times who did not pass through the designated checkpoints before crossing the finish line at the December 11 Honolulu Marathon.  For most individuals, alleged cheating is of little consequence, as the Honolulu Marathon invites all runners regardless of ability.  However, some runners may be using their times as qualifiers for other venues. [MarathonInvestigation.com]

December 14 -  From Kokua Line, Two people in blue embroidered uniforms with laminated badges were going door to door in our Hawaii Kai neighborhood saying they were promoting fire safety and were doing free checks of extinguishers and fire alarms inside the home. The next day they called, trying to set up an appointment and when refused promptly hung up. Who are these people?

Answer: Kokua Line received phone calls from other readers asking about the same or similar door-to-door crews in different Oahu neighborhoods. Thet are not affilicated with the HFD, said spokesman, Fire Capt. David Jenkins. [Star-Advertiser - library card req.]

This website also notes that this is similar to a scam where individuals were going door-to-door posing as HPD and asking for entry to residents' homes.  [Oct 2016 News] Please do not let unknown individuals into your home; call 911 to report the incident promptly.

December 13 - Police are investigating an armed robbery at The Shack, a Hawaii Kai Shopping Center restaurant.  Two suspects were detained and another fled by motorcycle.  The robbery took place at 1:15 in the morning, just as employees were closing the store. [HNN] [KHON/YouTube]

December 11 - Honolulu Marathon, Hawaii Kai Footage [heeman3/YouTube]

December 10 - Hawaii Kai Boat Parade 2016 Footage [KHON/YouTube] [Brian Farr/YouTube]

December 9 - CrimeStoppers and the Honolulu Police Department are seeking the public’s assistance in finding a robbery suspect who walks with a distinct waddle. The suspect robbed the Bank of Hawaii branch in Kaimuki, 3600 Waialae Avenue, on Friday, Dec. 9, at 11:39 a.m. [KHON]

December 9 - There is a traffic advisory for Sunday, December 11.  The Honolulu Marathon will close certain streets in Hawaii Kai, and East Oahu.  For details and times, check the [Honolulu Marathon] website.

December 9 - Hawaii Kai NOAA weather transmitter will be down intermittently on Dec 10 and 13 [NOAA]

December 8 - Police arrest man in Kahala after assault; burglary spree [Star-Advertiser]

December 8 - Several community groups are coordinating an effort against the rise of East Oahu burglaries. "Our community has really mobilized to put a stop to this," said Ed Miner, President of the Maunalua Triangle-Koko Kai Association.  He invites others to email him for more information. [Star-Advertiser - Library Card required]

December 6 - Governor David Ige's office has released a Working Draft of Hawaii's Blueprint for Education and continues to seek public input. [Hawaii.gov]

December 5 - YouTube user video of fight outside The Shack, Hawaii Kai [YouTube]

December 4 - Bureaucratic tie-ups are costing Ka Iwi preservation group $7,300 in interest.  Livable Hawaii Kai, which purchased the land with a combination of resident donations and State and City pledged money, is still waiting for both the State government and the City government to release pledged money. [Star Advertiser - Library card required]

December 4 - Islands, Hawaii Kai specifically, under flash flood watch. [Star-Advertiser]

December 3 - Civil Beat and KITV video piece on Hanauma Bay funding issue (1min, 40sec) [KITV]

Hawaii Kai Farmers' Market Options

With the exception of the Saturday farmer's market at Kapiolani Community College (KCC), Oahu's selection for farm to table agriculture has shrunk.  Fewer farmers are finding it profitable to attend these markets and as interest dwindles, the audience likewise gets smaller.  It's a self-fulfilling outcome.

Still, Costco can't fulfill all of a household's food needs.  I often find myself needing fresh Thai basil or a bundle of cilantro.  If I'm feeling ambitious, I'll make the trek to KCC on Saturday morning.  More likely than not, however, I'll end up going to my favorite open market: the City's one-hour event at the Hawaii Kai Park and ride.

The City's People's Open Market runs from 1pm to 2pm on Saturdays in Hawaii Kai, at the Park and Ride near the dog park.  Parking is ample and the selection is usually pretty good: mostly food staples like the type you can get in Chinatown.  On a typical Saturday you can buy daikon, chinese parsley, chives, watercress and any other number of those vegetables not easily obtained.

I also like the Friends of Kaiser High School farmer's market on Tuesdays.  It runs from 4pm to 7pm at the school's parking lot.  Again, there is ample parking and access is fairly good.  Selection at Kaiser's farmer's market is limited.  Kay's produce stand is always there, however.  I highly recommend it for its fresh basil.  Without fail, the basil is fresh and full.  You can choose from either sweet or Thai basil.

Olay Thai restaurant also has a booth at Kaiser High School's market.  If you're having a craving for a Thai plate lunch, sticky rice, spring rolls, green papaya salad or an iced coffee, this is the place to go  There's a regular following of customers who have made it part of their routine.

Recenly added, Kaiser also has fresh Waimanalo eggs directly from the farm, as well as rice milled that day or the day before.

Finally, if you're looking for those Chinatown-like vegetables and can't make it to the Saturday open market, the Hawaii Kai Towne Center also hosts a stand behind Panda Express, facing the marina.  It runs on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays from 7:30 a.m.– 3:00 p.m.  I haven't visited it in a while, but the last time I was there, the stand had about two dozen or so different items, including ripe papaya.

November 30 - Friends of Hanauma Bay claims that despite a court order, Honolulu City and County continues to misappropritate funds. The latest feud continues a long string of complaints by the non-profit group.  Among allegations, that the City has purchased equipment for other venues with the funds, otherwise improperly allocated money from the earmarked money and kept accrued interest from it.  These complaints date back many administrations, including during the terms of mayors Peter Carlisle, Mufi Hannemann and Jeremy Harris. [Civil Beat]

November 29 - The State of Hawaii is seeking to remove some mid-block crosswalks in East Oahu in an effort to force pedestrians to use crosswalks with stop lights. In a proposal being considered now, three crosswalks along a quarter-mile stretch of Kalanianaole Highway between Aina Haina Park and Waialae Iki Park (Waa Street and Kaai Street) would be removed. [HNN]

November 28 - Hope remains for reopening Kaimuki's Queen Theater. Some people would love to see the venerable Kaimuki venue reopen for live shows or classes and have even formed a Friends of Queen Theater organization. But the theater’s reclusive owner, Narciso Yu Jr., is said to be reluctant to sell the space. Nonetheless, a pair of artists who know him personally have been working to scrape together enough cash to reopen the theater. Support for the project by nearby businesses appears enthusiastic. [Civil Beat]

November 27 - This month Green Energy Market Securitization (GEMS) made its largest loan, $861,500, to help pay for two solar systems at an apartment complex called 7000 Hawaii Kai Drive. State lawmakers created the Green Energy Market Securitization, or GEMS, program in 2013 to make rooftop solar systems more affordable. The 7000 Hawaii Kai Drive loan is the first large-scale loan of its type for the GEMS program. Prior loans had been scarce, mainly going to already affluent household borrowers. The apartments at 7000 Hawaii Kai Drive aren't powered by the new solar system, just the common areas, including stairwells, pools, the lobby and the elevators. Renters still pay Hawaiian Electric Co. for the electricity they use in their home. [Star-Advertiser - library card required]