Hawaii House Minority Caucus to Introduce “Silver Alert System” Bill… The Video

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rRiqhXtzsTA&hl=en&fs=1]

Props… Capsun’s Corner! Slops… Myself!

A while back I started checking out the blog Capsun’s Corner.

He’s a fairly new blogger like myself, but remains active blogging and has blogged everyday since he started his blog.

He lives over on Oahu and blogs on a number of things.  He’s a former UH Student Regent for the UH System and has some pretty good insights.

I’m adding his blog to my ‘Roll now.

He’s got a “gig” on his blog he likes to write called “Props and Slops” where he gives his take on the good and bad things that come to his mind.

I’m giving his blog a Prop.

The SLOP comes from me for failing to realize that this is a former BIG ISLAND BOY!

Welcome to the ‘Roll Capsun.

Check out Capsun’s Corner for his “corner” of the world.

Pesticides From Mac Nut Farm Believed to be Linked to Two-Headed Fish

I’ll file this under the strange and weird.  Let’s hope the Mac Nut farms in Hawaii are not using the same pesticides!

Toxic chemical contamination was the likely cause of fatal fish mutations in northern Australia in which thousands of bass larvae spawned with two heads, an expert said Wednesday…

…Tests had excluded the presence of a virus or bacteria, leading Landos to suspect that pesticides from a neighbouring macadamia nut farm were to blame…

More Here

Hawaii Cop to Get His Ring Back After 20 Year Old Burglary

A few months after he graduated from a California police academy, someone broke into David Reyes’ home and stole his class ring.

David Reyes' 1988 Police Academy ring, which was lost or stolen years ago and turned up this week at the Leon Jewelry store in Hialeah.

David Reyes' 1988 Police Academy ring, which was lost or stolen years ago and turned up this week at the Leon Jewelry store in Hialeah, Florida.

That was in 1988. Reyes, now 47, long ago gave up on seeing the ring again.

But now, thanks to two Hialeah (Florida) detectives, Reyes will soon get back his gold ring inset with a blue stone.

Reyes spoke to a detective who ”told me he had my ring. I couldn’t even believe it,” Reyes said by telephone Tuesday from his home in Mililani, Hawaii, more than 4,800 miles from Hialeah. “I don’t know how it got all the way across the country….

More Here

(From the Archive) Keola Beamer on Sesame Street… Oscar the Grouch on Hot Lava

Someone is digging out some old Sesame Street Clips from the past.  I don’t know who it is, but they are a big fan of Sesame Street.

This clip has Keola Beamer playing the nose flute:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UhLmDSJpaWY&hl=en&fs=1]

And this clip has Oscar the Grouch complaining as usual… this time about hot lava:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4mDRaQ08K0M&hl=en&fs=1]

Removal of Popular Teacher Prompts Protest at Honoka’a School Complex

…The press release also claims that the “recent removal of a popular teacher was the last straw, bringing the parents to the streets to air their anger and frustration…

For video of protest and more info see BIVN.

And This Little Piggy Went Wee Wee Into the Bushes

Just got back from feeding the dogs up at the farm. I’m always seeing pigs up there.

If this pig wasn’t pregnant… I swear we would be eating it soon enough.

It’s such a friendly buggah too!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BmPXm2IZKxI&hl=en&fs=1]

Council on Revenues Testimony at Today’s Legislature

Here is a link to todays testimony on Council on Revenues.

Warning (7MB PDF FILE)

Kudos to Dan Seto

Pahoa Weed & Seed: More on Bike Patrol

I blogged previously that Pahoa would be getting a “Bike Patrol” with funds from the Weed and Seed money.

I just got back from the weed and seed meeting held at the community center, and it turns out that the Bike Patrol will be used more for special assignments instead of an actual Block Watch.

$4500 is being moved from “Crime Mapping Software”, that the officers at the meeting said is no longer needed with the technology we have today, to the Bike Patrol. Training will begin soon.

Also, if anyone knows an area within Pahoa Town, that the Weed & Seed committee could store a 20′ Matson container, they are looking for a place to store one.

Who is the Big Islands First Blogger?

This is a question that has puzzled me for a while now.

I remember reading Larry O’brien’s blog a few years ago but it kind of didn’t catch my attention to much at the time.

Larry is shaking his finger “at the trio of Big Island bloggers who have been spending the past week time criticizing each other: Stop it right now. Don’t make me stop this car!”

I had to laugh a bit at that. I think he may think there is more animosity then there really is… at least on my part.

Larry’s been blogging on the Big Island since 2002 so he does know a thing or two about blogs.

So now I’m in search for the first Big Island Blogger.

I have the feeling it will lead me to Ryan Ozawa at Hawaiiweblog as I remember him and his future wife writing journals online all the way back to 1996 when they were students at UH Hilo, although they weren’t called blogs at the time.

Anyone know of any long time bloggers on this island that have blogged longer then 5 – 6 years?

Kenoi’s Testimony at Todays Legislature

Mayor Kenoi Giving Testimony to the Legislature

Mayor Kenoi Giving Testimony to the Legislature from http://www.allhawaiinews.com/

Good afternoon Senator Kim, Representative Oshiro and distinguished members of the House Finance Committee and the Senate Ways and Means Committee. I greatly appreciate the opportunity to appear before all of you to share our priorities on issues important to the County of Hawai’i. We look forward to working with all of you throughout the legislative session.

These are challenging times, but as we confront the economic obstacles before us, it is essential that we work together in a partnership between the state, the counties, the federal government and the private sector to meet the growing needs of our communities. As you know, we submitted requests for federal assistance we hope will be included in the federal stimulus program being formulated by President-elect Obama and the United States Congress. We must also work collaboratively here at home to find resources to shelter our most vulnerable residents from the economic storm, and to position ourselves to take full advantage of the brighter long-term future we all know is ahead.

Like the other counties, we are trying to cope with both a projected reduction in property tax collections, a decline in the transient accommodations tax, and increases in expenses in the coming fiscal year. To deal with this budget crisis we have imposed a temporary suspension of hiring, excluding only essential public safety personnel such as police, fire and civil defense employees.

We are requesting state assistance for projects that can be quickly implemented to create jobs to help our local economy, and we are working with state and county departments to identify where we can combine our efforts to provide the greatest benefit for our citizens.

PRIORITY PROJECTS

Transit Expansion, $4 million

Residents of Hawaii County face difficult challenges commuting for work, school, health and recreational purposes, due in part to the distances they must travel to their destinations, fuel costs and lack of transportation alternatives. Providing public transportation and reducing the cost of travel is one of the few ways we can reduce the cost of living for our residents and help them to weather challenging economic times. We are seeking $2 million to purchase six additional 40-foot buses, and $2 million to begin work on a badly needed transit base yard including a maintenance and repair facility and fueling station. Expanding transportation services will improve the quality of life of our residents and visitors by providing greater access to jobs and educational institutions, easier access to healthcare facilities, and transportation for our youth to after-school facilities.

Safe Haven After School Program, $600,000

There is a consensus that our island lacks positive educational and recreational activities for our youth in the after school and evening hours. Today there is no “A-Plus” Program for teenagers, but our schools can be a positive place for our kids beyond the traditional school day. The Safe Haven After School Program would establish safe, structured and supervised after-school learning environments for our youth. It will allow our communities to take responsibility for our children, for our schools and for our communities’ health and safety.

Big Island Juvenile Intake and Assessment Center, $1.6 million

These centers are proposed to provide a single point of entry for intake, assessment and case management of delinquent and at-risk youth. Start-up funding is requested for a pilot site in Pahoa that will serve about 40 youth per month over the next two years, with future sites proposed for Naalehu, Waimea, Kailua-Kona and Hilo. A survey of Big Island police found that officers often have no good options when dealing with arrested juveniles who need supervision, but cannot go home, and who do not need secure custody. Existing programs are fragmented, and may not accept youth who are disruptive or are under the influence of alcohol or drugs.  Effectively intervening and providing services to these at-risk youth can keep them from graduating into the adult correctional system, and will save the state money in the long run.

Mid-Level Road (Ane Keohokalole Highway), Kona, $15 million

We offer our strong support to the state Department of Transportation’s request for design and construction money for the Mid-Level road, a project that is part of the Hawaii County General Plan and the Community Development Plan. It would relieve congestion on the crowded Queen Kaahumanu Highway by linking Henry Street, Palani Road and the Kealakehe Parkway. It would also provide access to a 300-acre state parcel at Keahuolu designated for a badly needed state affordable housing project, and provide access for additional development of the Villages of Laiopua on Hawaiian Home Lands.

HEALTH CARE

We also continue to be deeply concerned about the status of healthcare on the Big Island and the shortage of physicians. The Legislature wisely appropriated funding in Act 277 in 2007, joining in a partnership with HMSA Foundation and the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare to fund a residency program on the Big Island to encourage physicians to take up practice here.

As you know, funding for the residency program was never released by the administration, but the worsening physician shortage cannot wait. We ask that the Legislature renew the appropriations in Act 277 to finance the expansion of the family medicine residency program of the John A. Burns School of Medicine to provide rural primary health care services, and give the badly needed Big Island residency program another chance.

Kona Community Hospital Emergency Room, $10 million

(Hawaii Health Systems Corporation)

The Kona Community Hospital Emergency Room was built to accommodate 10,000 patient visits per year, and is now seeing 18,500 visits per year. The emergency department needs to be expanded and modernized to improve patient access, flow and privacy to provide for a better working environment for staff, and the county would like to support HHSC’s request for this essential improvement.

Hilo Medical Center Cardiovascular Laboratory, $9.5 million

(Hawaii Health Systems Corporation)

This facility is needed to help with the recruitment of cardiologists and other specialists to care for a growing population, and is also an important investment to help make the state hospital system more self-sufficient. East Hawai’i has very high rates of diabetes and obesity, conditions that are linked to heart disease, but has only three cardiologists available to serve a growing population. One of those three physicians is about to retire, which will make the shortage more acute. Building a cardiovascular laboratory will help attract the needed specialists and deliver critically needed health care services, and it will also help with HHSC’s bottom line. Nationally, cardiovascular services account for about 25 percent of most hospitals’ income, but account for far less at Hilo Medical Center because the hospital does not have the facilities necessary to provide these specialized services.

HIGHER EDUCATION

Our proposals this year stress higher education projects as part of a strategy to develop university and community college infrastructure to help our campuses to grow and train our residents to fill the jobs of the future. As an important part of this effort, we ask that the Legislature this year support state plans for the long-awaited permanent community college site in West Hawai’i.

College of Pharmacy Modules, $4 million

Additional funding is needed to construct modules to house classrooms, teaching labs and related workspace for the college under construction in the University of Hawaii at Hilo Research Park. The additional space will help the college meet the requirements of the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education. The Legislature has already provided $6 million for this project, and the additional money is needed to meet additional space requirements.

Science and Technology Building Sewer Line, $5 million

Work on the Science and Technology Building is scheduled to begin this month, and this sewer line is needed to service the new facility. The line would begin on Lanikaula Street below the bridge on Kumukoa Street and extend from campus down Lanikaula and along Manono Street to a pump station near the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium. This line is essential to complete the project.

Kawili Street Widening, $8 million

Improvements to Kawili Street will begin this month including addition of signal lights, but further widening of Kawili Street from Kinoole Street to Puainako Street and additional bike lanes are necessary to accommodate the growing campus and the planned China-U.S. Center.

DISASTER SHELTER

Community Center and Disaster Shelter, Hawaiian Ocean View Estates, $6 million

This project would provide space for education, health, social and cultural programs for youth and seniors in a fast growing rural community. It would also provide a hurricane and natural disaster shelter for an isolated area. About 5,000 people live in the surrounding area, and are some 30 miles from the nearest state-approved shelter.

DRINKING WATER

North Kona Water System Improvements, $12 million

The county supports the Department of Water Supply’s plans to improve the quality and reliability of the North Kona water system by constructing two new wells with tanks and 7,000 feet of transmission water lines. The department has already allocated $30 million to serve the current and future needs of this region to shift from low-level water sources to higher elevation sources, and to accommodate new development.

Ahualoa Production Well, $9 million

The county supports these Department of Water Supply improvements to the Hamakua Water System by outfitting the existing Ahualoa well with a pump and motor, water tank and 19,000 feet of transmission line to supply drinking water to the Honokaa area. The project is essential to relieving existing water sources that are near their production capacities.

Waimea Water Treatment Plant Reservoir, $500,000

The county supports the Department of Water Supply request for design money for a 5 million gallon reservoir at the Waimea treatment plant in South Kohala. This would replace a 4 million gallon structure damaged in the Oct. 15, 2006 earthquake that has been temporarily patched. The only permanent solution is a new reservoir that can withstand intense earthquake activity.

ASSISTANCE TO FARMERS

The recent surge in fuel prices has driven up the cost of fertilizers, feed and shipping, putting a big squeeze on the finances of our Big Island farmers and threatening to put many out of business. At the same time the rise in food prices underscores our need to grow more of our own food. Agriculture preserves open space and is an important economic driver in our state, generating about 14,000 jobs statewide and farm revenues that topped $576 million in 2005.

If farmers and ranchers are forced out of business in the current economic downturn, we lose more than just farming and its supporting sectors. We also lose the economic “ripple effect” from keeping food expenditures in state; we risk the deterioration of agricultural infrastructure that will be too expensive to replace; and ultimately irreplaceable crop lands will be given up to urban and other uses. We ask that you keep Hawai’i’s farmers in mind this session, and help transform Hawai’i’s agricultural sector to increase our food and energy self-sufficiency.

Purchasing Preference

Hawai’i Department of Agriculture has proposed amendments to the state Procurement Code to afford Hawai’i grown and raised products a 15 percent price preference when competing to provide food products to state agencies. That would be an increase from the current 10 percent preference. We support this change as a way to make Hawai’i farmers and ranchers more competitive with outside suppliers, keep dollars in the local economy, and advance our efforts at food security.

Agricultural Shipping Rates

We understand the Hawaii Farm Bureau has proposed giving the Public Utilities Commission authority to set discounted agricultural rates for industries that are regulated by the PUC, including transportation industries that serve agricultural areas by importing feed, fiber or fertilizer. The discounted rates would be designed to benefit Hawai’i agricultural producers. We believe this proposal deserves serious consideration by the Legislature as one way to provide meaningful assistance to our farmers at a time when the state has few resources.

The County of Hawai’i looks forward to working with all of you, our distinguished state legislators, as we navigate the challenging and uncertain economic obstacles that lie ahead. I would like to thank all of you for your support and your commitment to our children, our families, and our community.

Billy Kenoi

Mayor

Parents Demonstrating Outside Honoka’a School Now

I don’t know what’s up right now… but apparently there are some parents holding a demonstration outside of Honoka’a School.

BIVN will be having a video of this coming up soon I guess according to a recent twitter.

Kenoi at Legislature Today Talking About Cost Saving Measures

I just read a Twit from Georgette Deemer of the Hawaii House Blog.

On her blog, she mentions the following meeting today:

House/Senate Informational Briefing: The Counties provide testimony on their proposed budgets to House Finance and Senate Ways and Means. 10:00 a.m. – 12 noon, State Capitol, Auditorium.

Her recent twit stated that both Kevin Dayton and Billy Kenoi are at the Legislature now:

…Mayor Kenoi at the podium now talking about cost saving measures…

*Update* Testimony Here

Hawaii Case Now Linked to National Peanut Butter Salmonella Scare

Hawaii now has its first confirmed case of salmonella poisoning linked to the national peanut butter scare.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a breakdown of the number of cases in each of 42 states involved in a nationwide outbreak of salmonella poisoning that has stricken at least 399 people: California, 55; Ohio, 53; Massachusetts, 39; Minnesota, 30; Michigan 20; New Jersey 13; New York, 12; Pennsylvania 12; Virginia 12; Washington 11; Idaho, 10; North Dakota, 10; New Hampshire, 10; Colorado, 9; Tennessee, 9; Arizona, 8; Missouri, 8; Maryland, 7; Connecticut, 6; Nevada, 6; Georgia, 5; Oregon, 5; Texas, 5; Illinois, 4; Vermont, 4; Arkansas, 3; Indiana, 3; Kentucky, 3; Maine, 3; Rhode Island, 3; Utah, 3; Wisconsin, 3; Kansas, 2; Oklahoma, 2; South Dakota, 2; West Virginia, 2; Wyoming, 2; Alabama, 1; Hawaii, 1; Iowa, 1; Nebraska, 1; North Carolina, 1.

Your Energy Bill: The Poll

I’m curious how much people are spending on their electric bills these days.

[polldaddy poll=”1272347″]

Kona to Get Dormitory for Homeless

Hawai’i County plans to expand services provided by The Friendly Place in North Kona to include a 31-bed dormitory for homeless people…

More here