Monday Town Hall


I hope this finds you well on this sunny Tuesday I would like to invite you to an important community meeting I am hosting to give you the opportunity to speak with me or just listen about the recent decision I made to refrain from legislating until the county attorney can assure me that I am not committing war crimes.

This meeting stems from an announcement that I made on August 21st stating that I had come to understand that I may be in violation of my oath of office to uphold the U.S. Constitution and may be incurring criminal liability under both U.S. federal law and international law.

To ensure all of your questions will be answered my attorney who I worked with to draft the letter to our county attorney will also be present along with Dr. Keanu Sai. Dr. Sai, a Puna constituent, is a scholar and expert in international law as well as United States constitutional law. Heʻs been admitted as an expert in international law and the continued existence of the Hawaiian Kingdom in several criminal and civil court cases in the State of Hawai‘i. Dr. Sai is serving as the lead agent for the Hawaiian Kingdom in international arbitration proceedings before the Permanent Court of Arbitration at the Hague, Netherlands.

I want to be transparent in my reasoning and explain what prompted me to take this action so will be providing copies of the letter from the United Nations Human Rights Council, and other relevant handouts, and educate you on your status as a protected person. I would also like to share the work I have been doing to continue to represent and advocate on behalf of our district. Time will be reserved for your questions, feedback, and comments on this profoundly implicating topic. Snacks will be provided.

Date: Monday, September 24th

Time: 6pm to 7:30pm

Place: Kea`au Community Center (16-186 Pili Mua St.)

Hope to see you there.


Jen Ruggles

Hawaii County Council

District 5, Puna


Final Meeting for Pahoa Scholarship Fundraiser-Wednesday 9-20 at 8:30 am

Aloha All,

Tomorrow is the final organizational meeting for the biggest fundraiser of the year for the Pahoa Schools Scholarship Fund….the steak and vegan feast.

Please step up and get involved, if only thru your credit card. This is important stuff.

Attached you will find the poster for the event…..Saturday, September 30th, at Sacred Heart Church from 10am to 2pm…. full steak or vegan lasagna meal for only $15.

You can purchase or donate at:

Mahalo Nui to Leslie at Kaleos Bar and Grill for her most-generous donation of $5,000 to the scholarship fund….helping graduating Seniors from HAAS, KUA O KA LA and Pahoa…..PLEASE step up and help the keiki…

My most sincere thanks for your consideration…this is important stuff…

Mahalo Nui….

Mark Hinshaw


Pahoa Booster Club and Scholarship Fund

County Council and Committee Meetings – Kona Sept 19 & 20

Agendas for the upcoming meetings


You’ll find below links to the agendas for the 4 Committee Meetings of the County Council to be held in Kailua-Kona at the County’s West Hawaii chambers. The Committee Meetings on on Tuesday, Sept. 19th and the Council meeting is on Wednesday, Sept. 20th. You can also testify remotely by email to counciltestimony and from any of the remote video conferencing sites (Pahoa Council Office, Waimea Council Office, Kohala, and Na`alehu.

Bill 13 – The limited polystyrene ban is up for its 2nd read on Wed. Sept 20th. It passed first read with a 7:2 vote, so let’s hope it fares as well on its second read!

Eileen O’Hara, Councilmember
Hawaii County Council, Dist 4

Tuesday Sept 19th Committee Agendas & Times
Planning Committee – 9:00 AM
Human Services and Social Services Committee – 9:30 AM
Agriculture, Water and Energy Sustainability Committee – 10:30 AM
Finance Committee – 1:00 PM

Wednesday Sept. 20th County Council Meeting
Council Meeting – 9:00 AM

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District 4 Hawaii Council · 25 Aupuni st. Hilo, HI 96720 · Hilo, Hi 96720 · USA

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Farmer’s Markets in our Public Parks

Aloha e Kakou,

Councilmember Jen Ruggles will be taking testimony on Bill 47, a proposed Bill that would expand Farmer’s Markets to our Public Parks around the Island, including Pahoa’s new park. Currently only Kailua-Kona, Waimea and Honoka’a parks are allowed to have farmer’s markets. This needs to be expanded to include most all of our Parks. This allows locally grown produce to be sold locally within our communities.

Bill 47 was introduced by County Council Chair Valerie Poindexter and Seconded by Vice-Chair Karen Eoff.

We ask that you take a couple of minutes and support this very important Bill 47. You may write a simple letter of support to: Counciltestimony

Time is of the essence. All testimony must be submitted by July 5th. Following is the Agenda for the Parks and Rec Committee chaired by Jen Ruggles.

Mahalo for your consideration.

Mark Hinshaw


Pahoa Regional Town Center Planning Committee

Hawaii County Committee & Council Meeting May 2-3

Attached are the agendas for the Hawaii County Council Committees & Meeting for May 2nd and May 3rd. These meetings will be held in Kona although you can testify remotely from the Hilo County Bldg., the Pahoa Satellite office, and from Ka`u and Kohala as noted in the attached agendas. You can also email or mail in testimony. I have 4 Resolutions for Contingency funds pending at the May 3rd Council meeting:

  • support the Police Football Clinic & Youth Football Tournament,

  • provide funding for the Bodacious Ladies Feeding program,

  • funding for Big Island Invasive Species Committee, and

  • funding to Rainbow Friends for spay and neuter clinics.

Council will have meetings in Hilo May 16 & 17.
Planning Committee Agenda (2:00PM 5/2/17)
Finance Committee Agenda (2:30PM 5/2/17)
Council Agenda (9:00AM- 5/3/17)

Eileen O’Hara, Councilmember, Dist. 4
(808) 965-2712

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Rat Lungworm Disease Prevention Tips For Tourists in Hawaii

There has been a spike in confirmed rat lungworm cases recently in Hawaii. Puna, on the Big Island,  has been dealing with threats of rat lungworm disease since 2004, and now Maui has seen recent cases of rat lungworm disease (tragically, two of these recent cases was a couple on their honeymoon!). The introduction of the invasive semi-slug species in Puna is correlated with rat lungworm disease cases.

Rat lungworm is a parasite that humans can contract by ingesting infected slugs and snails. The rat lungworm parasite lives out its life cycle between rats and slugs and snails. The slugs eat rat poop which contains the parasite, and in turn, the rats eat slugs/snails. When a human gets infected, the parasite travels up the spinal cord into the brain where it lives out its life cycle (i.e., you have worms growing in your brain trying to find a way out). There is no cure and it is difficult to diagnose, and it is thought that there are many unreported or unconfirmed cases. Symptoms can be debilitating and severe- and can even lead to death or permanent disability. The disease can cause meningitis, excruciating nerve pain, paralyses, inability to urinate, and more.

Luckily, with a little bit of awareness, rat lungworm disease can be relatively easy to prevent. Here are some tips/info for avoiding rat lungworm disease during your Hawaii vacation:

  • If you prepare your own food and eat raw local greens, thoroughly wash and check each INDIVIDUAL leaf  for slug slime or slugs. Those of you staying in vacation rentals with kitchens will need to have extra awareness if you prepare your own meals.
    • Remove each leaf by hand- do not cut first- you can accidentally cut a little slug in half and not notice it that way. Baby slugs are very tiny and hard to spot. Rinse, repeat, and rinse again with potable water.
    • Some greens like kale are really difficult to clean thoroughly- I would recommend not eating kale raw unless if you are meticulous about checking every little fold in the greens.
    • Washing with vinegar does NOT kill the parasite.
    • Some have recommended soaking greens in ice water before cleaning, which helps harden any slugs and makes them fall off. Couldn’t hurt to try, as long as you wash each leaf by hand after.
    • Wash any fruits or vegetables you eat- don’t eat fruit right off the tree or veggies right from the garden.
    • Always wash with potable water. If you are staying at a vacation rental that is on catchment water, don’t use it as drinking water. Buy bottled water or refill water jugs with city water (there are public water stations around that you can fill up at).
  • Cooking or freezing greens kills the parasite. If you’re into kale smoothies, why not just throw your kale into the freezer for a day? Then you’ll know for sure that it is safe to ingest. Or, cook them! This way you can still eat healthy and also rest assured that you will not have any risk of rat lungworm disease.
  • Do not handle slugs with your bare hands or walk barefoot in the jungle. We know that the parasite can travel through abrasions on the skin, so theoretically, if you have cuts on your hands and you handle a slug and the slime goes into your cut, you could be infected. A small number of the parasites can be found in the slime of slugs and snails.
  • Be careful eating salads at restaurants and any potlucks/gatherings. You might want to ask the waiter if they use local greens and if they use rat lungworm prevention strategies. Most typical restaurants will use greens from Costco which are imported from the mainland, so the risk of contamination is a lot less.
  • Don’t stress out too much about it or cancel your trip! If you are aware, you can avoid the parasite. The State of Hawaii Department of Heath has not done a good job at helping spread awareness of this terrible parasite which they should be ashamed of. If tourists are aware of the parasite, they can know to take necessary precautions!

Why You Should Visit Puna During your Big Island Vacation

The following is a guest post by Megan Chingari over at To see the original post, click here

When people visit the Big Island, they typically spend most of their time in Kona, where all the swanky resorts and powdery-white sand beaches are. There’s certainly nothing wrong with getting fancy and kicking back in luxury if that’s your style, but, if you’re the type of person who wants to experience some of the “real”  Hawaii on your Big Island vacation, you must check out Puna! I can understand why Puna (which is a large district located in the south-eastern side of the island) is hastily overlooked by many tourists who don’t know any better: There are no white sand beaches or hotels, no major touristy attractions. So, what is there to do or see? Why should you go there? Well, let me tell you my 7 favorite activities in Puna!

1. The drive down Red Road. This 15 mile road is one of the most scenic roads on the island. The road follows along the shoreline, at times snaking through thick jungle where you can find giant mango, coconut, native hala, and noni trees. You will have many opportunities to enjoy scenic overlooks and places to explore (like Mackenzie beach park, which has lava tubes and steam vents), and it is also the route to lots of other key attractions. It was when I was driving on this road for my very first time, watching the sun reflecting off of the rolling waves, when I spontaneously decided I would be moving to the Big Island. This drive does that to people!

The Red Road begins where highway 132 meets highway 137 (AKA the four corners). Coming from Pahoa, take highway 132 until you reach the Four Corners intersection, then take a right. You are now on the official “Red Road” drive.

Red Road (photo credit
Red Road (photo credit
Native Hala Trees (AKA Tourist Pineapple, because tourists frequently mistake the weird fruits that grow on them as pineapples)
Native Hala Trees (AKA Tourist Pineapple, because tourists frequently mistake the weird fruits that grow on them as pineapples)
  • 2. Kehena Black Sand Beach!  Striking black sand, steep jungle cliffs draped with ancient-looking vines,  possibilities of swimming with friendly dolphins, and oh yeah– all the naked hippies, combine to make Kehena a beach like none other. Every Sunday, Kehena beach transforms into a party and drum circle. If you’re into it, I suggest getting butt naked and dancing in the center of the drum circle. It’s really fun. Not really into the “hippie scene?” That’s okay, you can just observe the action, or, come on a weekday when there are less people. Swimming at Kehena can be a bit sketchy, so please be a strong swimmer if you decide to go in. There have been deaths almost every year of people who swim out too far and then get pulled away by the current and drown. Friendly dolphins are known to come close to the shore, so it is possible to swim with them.


  • 3. Ahalanui Hot Pond. Ahh, the hot pond. My favoritePuna has the only natural hot springs in all of Hawaii, and while there are several smaller hot springs to soak in nearby, this one is the best. It’s right on the shore, so you can enjoy the ocean vibes while swimming in the warm water of the hot pond. Often, curious little fish will come nibble at you (it doesn’t hurt, just tickles). Want to know a secret? The best time to come to the hot pond is at night, preferably when it’s a full moon. It’s technically closed at night…but, well, that doesn’t deter locals from enjoying it then.  At night its less crowded and it’s just awesome in general to be swimming in a warm, relaxing pool with the moonlight bouncing off the waves and palm trees.  Don’t tell anyone  I told you ;).



  • 4. Uncle Robert’s Night Market. Located at the end of the Red Road on Hawaiian Homeland property, Uncle Robert’s night market is the happenin’ place to be on a Wednesday night. Arrive before it gets dark and take a stroll on the lava field trail to the black sand beach. At the market, you’ll find a tempting array of local foods, live music, a kava bar, and, naturally, a welcome center for space aliens (really). Get euphoric on some kava and talk story with the new friends you will be sure to meet. This market is a favorite activity for locals, and those lucky tourists who stumble upon it will certainly regard it as one of the highlights of their Big Island trip. Every Wednesday night starting around 5pm.
Uncle Robert's Night Market (Hawaii Tribune Herald photo credit)
Uncle Robert’s Night Market (Hawaii Tribune Herald photo credit)
  • 5. Maku’u Farmer’s Market. While the Hilo Farmer’s Market was recently ranked the #1 best farmer’s market in the U.S., locals know that Maku’u Farmer’s Market is even better.  It’s less touristy than Hilo Farmer’s Market and has a wider variety of vendors. It’s a big social event for the community. You can find all sorts of interesting local-made crafts, affordable tropical produce, and delicious food options. I highly recommend trying the green papaya salad from the small stand near the stage. As a green papaya salad connoisseur, I can attest that they sell the best green papaya salad in existence. If you’re feeling adventurous, stop by the smoothie stand and treat yourself to a Durian smoothie (smelliest fruit in the world). When: Sundays from 7am-2pm. Where: Right off Highway 130, several miles north of Pahoa. You can’t miss it.
    Maku'u Market (photo credit
    Maku’u Market (photo credit
  • 6. Snorkeling at Kapoho Tidepools  Kapoho tidepools is one of the best snorkeling spots in all of Hawaii. You will see hundreds of tropical reef fish and impressive coral formations. Often, snorkelers can spot giant sea turtles or eels. Bring a beach chair or towel to sit on, because the shore is lava and kind of uncomfortable to sit on.
Kapoho Tide pools from above (Photo credit
  • 7. Pahoa!  Pahoa is an eclectic little town full of colorful characters (such as the “chicken man”, who is always riding his bike around with his pet chickens on the handlebars) and great restaurants. In 2014, it  almost  won the title of “Coolest Small Town in the U.S.A.” from Budget Travels. Just recently, Pahoa made international news as a lava flow crept dangerously close, threatening to destroy the town and block access to the rest of the island. After months of stressful uncertainty, the lava decided to stop just several hundreds of feet from the town’s main shopping center (whewWell, it did take out one house and a road). Driving down Pahoa Village Road, you will notice some of the power line poles wrapped in gravel and cement. This was an experiment done in anticipation of the impending lava in an attempt protect the town’s power grid. I recommend having dinner at either Kaleo’s or Ning’s Thai (both in downtown). Kaleo’s serves excellent island fusion-type cuisine (the Kalbi ribs and coconut shrimp are my favorite!). Ning’s is a great option if you are in the mood for some Thai food (try the pineapple curry). For breakfast/coffee, check out the Tin Shack Bakery, or Black Rock Cafe.
The Chicken Man of Pahoa

Downtown Pahoa

Anticipating the lava
Anticipating the lava
Smoke rising from fire caused by the Lava flow, behind Malama Market in Pahoa
Smoke rising from fire caused by the Lava flow, behind Malama Market in Pahoa

These are my favorite things about Puna. Did I leave anything out (I totally did! These are just my top seven! There’s a lot more to do, such as Lava Tree Park, Pohoiki, Mermaid Ponds, Shipman Beach hike, Green Lake, and the giant arch)


  •   Where to stay?  There are no hotels in Puna, but there are many vacation rentals and some hostels. Check out or
  • If you only have one day to spend in Puna, I would suggest going on either a Wednesday or  a Sunday, so you can hit up either the Maku’u or Uncle Robert’s markets.
  • Be aware that there are not gas stations in lower Puna besides the three in Pahoa. Before heading to the Red Road, make sure you have enough gas.
  • Don’t lather yourself in sunscreen and then go swimming in the hot pond or tide pools. Sunscreen kills coral and is dangerous to ocean life. Plus, no one wants to swim around in smelly, oily sunscreen floating on the surface.
  • If you buy salad greens from the market, make sure to wash them well and check them thoroughly for slugs. Rat-lungworm parasite is found on the slime of slugs and can be deadly.
  • It rains a lot on this side of the island. Just go with it, and bring an umbrella or rain gear if you don’t want to get wet.
  • Bring sturdy shoes for walking over old lava flows or rocky shorelines.
  • Enjoy yourself! Go with the flow!


Celebration for Madie Greene-July 30th-6 pm-Akebono Theater-Luquins Taco Buffet + Entertainment

Aloha Friends and Community Members,

We cordially invite you to attend a Mahalo Event for Madie Greene this coming Saturday at the Akebono Theater, next to Luquins, 6 pm with awesome entertainment and taco buffet.

All are welcome, so please share with your friends and neighbors.

We hope to see you all there….

Friends of Madie Greene, Candidate for County Council District 4.

Mainstreet Pahoa’s Annual Membership Meeting-Wednesday, March 30th, 6 p.m. at Aloha Lehua Cafe in Pahoa

Aloha Kakou,

This year’s Annual Meeting of Mainstreet Pahoa Association will be held on Wednesday, March 30th, 6 p.m. at Aloha Lehua Café, next to Long’s Drugs in Pahoa. We are excited that Lori is hosting the event and will be closing the restaurant to the general public. Currently we have over 30 attendees and are hoping for another 30 or so. It is a no host dinner, Mainstreet will provide Aloha Lehua’s award winning Hawaiian Nachos for pupus and it is a byob event. Here is the link to their restaurant and menu. They also have nightly specials. Come hungry!!

Those that have rsvp’d me are:

Cindy Orlando-Superintendent of Hawai’i Volcano’s National Park

Ross Birch-Head of Hawai’i Island Visitors Bureau

Senator Russell Ruderman’s office

Representative Joy SanBuenaventura’s office

Councilmember Greggor Ilagan

Councilmember Danny Paleka

Community Police Officer Davy Kamali’i

Mike Kaleikini-Manager of Puna Geothermal Ventures

Rene Siracusa-President of Puna Community Medical Center

Madie Greene-President of Kokua Pahoa

Matt Purvis-Owner of Tin Shack Bakery and President of Mainstreet Pahoa Association

Alan Lakritz-Incoming President of Pahoa Rotary Club and Board Member of Mainstreet

Gilbert Aguinaldo-President of Big Island Electric

Bill Parecki-Broker at Savio Realty and Board Member of Mainstreet

Dennis Kitsman-Island Naturals and Board Member of Mainstreet

Mark Hinshaw-Chair of Pahoa Regional Town Center Steering Committee

Jon Olson-Pahoa Regional Town Center Steering Committee

Tiki DeGenero-Executive Director of Kalani Retreat

Nancy DeMello-Owner of Habitat Tattoo and Board Member of Mainstreet

Jeff Gray-Owner of Netcom Enterprises

Tanya Aynessazian-Project Manager of

Agenda items will include website

Homeless and Loitering Committee

Pahoa Holiday Parade and Second Saturdays Art and Music Walk

Pahoa Booster Club

By-Law Changes

Legislative Updates for Pahoa

Pahoa Design District

Election of Officers

We hope to see more of you rsvp me for this evening of good fun and all things Pahoa!!!

No be shy, come on out and enjoy …a good time will be had by all….

Ps. Bring your checkbook J This is the beginning of our 2016 Membership Drive

A hui hou…


Mark Hinshaw



Pahoa Regional Town Center Planning Committee-Chair

County of Hawai’i Planning Department


Mainstreet Pahoa Association



Kalapana Seaview Neighborhood Watch

Community-Police Liaison


Community Emergency Response Team

County of Hawai’i Civil Defense

Final 2015 Pahoa Holiday Parade Posters for Press Release

Aloha All,

Attached please find the FINAL VERSION of the 2015 Pahoa Holiday Parade Poster. Your help and assistance is vital to the success of our annual Parade. Please print up a few of these and post them in key locations that you feel people will read them, whether that be on your website, blog, school, business, church, community, etc.

Mahalo nui for your participation in this awesome annual event for our Pahoa town. This year we will have three drones overhead equipped with GoPro cameras and a film crew on the ground to share with the World what an awesome place we live.

I mua Pahoa and Puna!!!

A hui hou….