Seattle Aquarium Visit

Seattle Aquarium


February 3rd at 6 pm at the Hokuloa Church

Aquarium biologists participate in the 8th annual reef survey comparing protected and non protected areas and measuring coral health

Every winter beginning in 2009 in late January or early February, four fortunate Seattle Aquarium biologists travel to the west coast of Hawaii to conduct annual reef surveys. Centered in Puako, the sites are located in both marine protected (Puako and Old Kona Airport) and non-protected areas (Mahukona). Fish are counted from the underwater video files and the data is used to determine significant changes in species diversity or abundance over time and between protected and non-protected areas. The video data is also used to compare percent coral cover in the different reef sites and to document the relative health of the corals or percent bleaching. 2016 marks the Seattle Aquarium’s eight year partnering with Humboldt State University and Hawaii’s Division of Aquatic Resources on these annual surveys.

Please join us February 3rd at 6 pm at the Hokuloa Church in Puako to hear about the results of the Seattle Aquarium’s coral reef research, our work with coral growth, and coral bleaching events.

Seattle Aquarium


A great time had by all and their presentation at the church was very informative!

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Marie Addario

Puako Speeders, We need Your help

23 January 2016

Aloha Puako Residents,

We’ve noticed over the last few months a tremendous increase in speeding along Puako Beach Drive. It seems to peak on weekends and during times of good surf. It is an issue of serious concern throughout our neighborhood.

In the last few weeks we have contacted Margaret Wille (our county council representative) and attended the 1/12/16 NKTSC meeting (North Kohala Traffic Safety Committee) where we learned the following:

*Ron Thiel (traffic division chief for Hawaii County) suggested a trial speed hump to test on Puako Beach Drive (permanent installation requires 67% approval from the Community).

*Our new community police liaison is Officer Kelena Hookano, ph.# 887-3080, hours: 6:45am-3:30pm

*Community Traffic Awareness Program member Officer May Lee has informed us that the starting point for police action must begin with our Puako Neighborhood Watch members working with police officers flagging speeders. The next stage is issuing citations by the police, then, if justified, installing the “Stealth Box” (it records # of vehicles & their speed).

* Residents are asked to provide testimony at County Council meeting Feb.2 – you need not be present to provide testimony, you can fax:  to (808) 961-8912 or email: or by mail:  County Clerk’s Office at 25 Aupuni Street, Hilo, Hawai’i 96720 expressing your concerns about speeding in Puako.

* Residents submit speeding form when you see speeding violators… See attached. Form a “text group” wherein a member of this group identifies a speeder & immediately sends text to group so all members will call in speeding report to police.

What you can do: 

  1. Let us know if you’d like a test speed hump
  2. Would you be willing to help on a “flagging day”?
  3. Attend a Neighborhood Watch meeting with a police representative (date to be announced)
  4. Provide testimony on 2/2/2016
  5. Complete the speeding form when witnessing speeders
  6. Use this forum for any suggestions you might have in dealing with this issue


Jill and Steve Eitel

Speeding Report form for Police



Puako Speeders

The following is a recent email we sent to Margaret Wille, who serves on our County Council. Wille was out of town but her office sent the response that follows our email posted here. We are hoping that by posting this there will be a healthy representation from the Puako community to attend this meeting of the Kohala Traffic Safety Committee on Jan12th. Lots of residents are concerned and frustrated with the ever-increasing speeding here. This meeting will hopefully offer some solutions.We have a dear friend and neighbor who just lost her dog to a speeding car 2 days ago. It would be a relief to get this situation under control before we hear the horrific news that a child has been hit.

Please continue to call the police whenever you encounter speeders,and, if possible, provide them with a license plate number. We are organizing a group text at our end of the street so that when a speeder races down our roadway, a group text is sent out and all parties on the group text then call the police. We are hoping that the more we alert the police to our speeding problem, the more we will see police presence here in Puako.This has been a on-going problem for years and will not end until the community stands together and asks for more police presence.

I want to be perfectly clear that we are not targeting surfers, it’s a simple fact that when there is surf, there is more traffic and more speeding.

There is lots of information available on the internet if you google, “neighborhood speeders”…


Date: December 10, 2015 at 8:45:18 AM HST
Subject: Puako speeders

The speeding is at its worst on the weekends and whenever there is surf. The folks congregate at Paniau, at the end of Puako Beach Drive, and party on the weekends; and/or if the surf is up there’s always absolutely insane speeding. We’re not talking about a few miles over the 25 mph speed limit. We are talking about racing up the roadway here, up to 60 miles per hour or more. This is a disaster waiting to happen. It is incredible there has not been a fatality to date.  If we stand out in the road and give these speeders the hand signal to slow down, we all get the middle finger back and/or a confrontation.

The most opportune time for a police presence and/or a radar trap would be just as it’s getting dark – that’s when the drivers race out of here after surfing and partying all day. It’s so interesting that any time one drives through Waimea, for instance, there are police using radar and pulling people over all over town.  This partying and speeding has been a normal occurrence  in this little community for years now. Seldom do you see the presence of a police cruiser here, and if you do it’s a quick drive up and down the street – never a stop and inspection of Paniau, which is what it’s going to take to get some control over things here.
If what we hear is true – the police are spread too thin -is there a possibility of having even a fake camera placed here with a sign saying that the driver’s speed is being monitored??? Anything at this point would be helpful! Again, we are living here with a disaster waiting to happen.


The South Kohala Traffic Safety Committee will meet on Jan. 12th
at the Waimea Civic Center 4:00 pm – this would be a good meeting to attend
regarding the speeding issues in Puakō and to garner support from this group.
If you can’t make this meeting – would you be able to make the February meeting?

Let us know and mahalo,

Donni Sheather
808 887-2069

Stephen Eitel