Citizen Groups Sue Wespac, NOAA and DCC

A lawsuit seeking basic government documents has been filed in Federal District Court against the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the U.S. Department of Commerce by the Conservation Council for Hawaii, The Hawaiian-Environmental Alliance, KAHEA; and the LOST FISH Coalition.

The lawsuit was filed to gain access to documents requested by the plaintiffs in a Nov. 14, 2007, Freedom of Information Act request submitted to Wespac seeking basic budget, grant, and contract information.

“In addition to shedding light on the long-hidden and most basic internal operations of this controversial federal entity, the documents may also shed light on how Wespac funds may have been used in what appears to be various lobbying campaigns to influence state and federal legislative and executive branch decisions related to marine conservation in Western Pacific waters,” said Tina Owens of the LOST FISH Coalition…

More here

Rep. Hanohano to Chair Info Meeting on Medical Cannabis Wednesday

Public Safety Chair Faye Hanohano will hold info meeting with experts on medical cannabis, Wed, 10:00 a.m. State Capitol, Room 312.

Hat tip to Georgette Deemer

Here is some of the PENDING legislation:

Senate Bill 418 and House Bill 967:

Amends the term “medical marijuana” to “medical cannabis”; transfers the administration of the program from the department of public safety to the department of health; authorizes a registration fee of $50; establishes the medical cannabis advisory board; provides for the department of health to license producers to dispense medical cannabis.

Senate Bill 44:

Amends the term “medical marijuana” to “medical cannabis”; transfers the administration of the State’s program for the medical use of marijuana from the department of public safety to the department of health.

House Bill 227 and Senate Bill 400:

Decriminalizes possession of less than 1 ounce of marijuana and makes the possession a civil violation subject to a fine of not more than $100.

House Bill 305:

Provides the authority, procedures, and licensing, related to the production of industrial hemp in the State.

Senate Bill 589:

Establishes new recordkeeping requirements and establishes penalties; amends and adds definitions; requires physical examination of patient by physician; and increases penalties relating to medical marijuana.



Tsunami Exercise Designed to Tighten Civil Defense Procedures

Media Release – Pictures Provided by County

A tsunami wasn’t really on the way, but the County was preparing for one anyway on Tuesday morning. It was Hawaii County’s first island-wide tsunami alert exercise, a test of the county’s response to a tsunami warning.

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A few minor glitches occurred, but that was part of the exercise. “If we find out where the glitches are now, we can have them straightened out for when the real event occurs,” said County Civil Defense Director Quince Mento.

The County’s Civil Defense, Police, Fire and Public Works departments became busy shortly after 8 a.m. with a simulated warning that a potentially destructive tsunami was on its way from Alaska.

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Works Department employee Sean Knell plants a warning flag at the corner of Kinoole and Mamo streets in downtown

County crews delivered barricades and flag markers to each intersection around the island where traffic would normally be turned away from the designated Tsunami Inundation Zones. Police officers delivered 1,200 flyers to motorists informing them of the exercise and explaining what would have happened had it been a real alert.

“The safety of our island residents is our number one priority and I want to commend Quince Mento and everyone involved for their efforts to ensure that we are prepared in the event of an emergency,” said Mayor Billy Kenoi. “With exercises like this, we can be assured that our County public safety agencies are doing all they can to protect our residents and our community.”

Minute-by minute developments in the exercise were posted in a Web log that can be viewed by State Civil Defense officials on Oahu, a feature that helps state authorities keep track of events on the Big Island and more rapidly respond to any calls for assistance.

Workers in the Civil Defense command post included representatives from nine county departments including police and fire as well as The American Red Cross, the Civil Air Patrol, an organization of ham radio operators, the Hawaii National Guard and a number of state agencies.

As part of the exercise, police around the island simulated “drive through notifications,” traveling the routes they would drive to issue warnings using the public address systems on their vehicles.

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County Police Officer John Stewart handing a motorist a flyer explaining the tsunami exercise at the corner of Kinoole and Ponohawai streets in downtown Hilo

Off-duty dispatchers from the Fire Department dispatch center also simulated shifting their dispatch operation to the Civil Defense command post, a step that would be necessary in a real emergency because the Fire dispatch center is in the tsunami evacuation area.

The county’s new City Watch electronic notification system was used to notify county agencies that the alert was in effect. Mento said a few problems – state highway officials were left off the list, for example — were identified and will be addressed.

Once Civil Defense officials received word that all barricades were delivered to the key intersections and that the intersections were staffed by police officers, the exercise was declared over at 9:45 a.m.

Agencies and departments will be reviewing their response procedures internally in preparation for a county-wide review of the exercise in about 10 days, Mento said.

The Helicopter that Brought News of Statehood to Hawaii… The Video

*Statehood Day bump*

Just saw this cool clip on youtube:

I was just a little girl of 4 years when my mother took this movie of a helicopter landing in Honolulu with news of statehood for Hawaii. In 2009, it will be the 50th anniversary of statehood. My dad, a sailor with the US Navy was stationed in Hawaii for several years, both before and after statehood. Warning- little haole girls cannot hula.”

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lGEYAZUH5hA&hl=en&fs=1]

Army Helicopter Emergency Lands in Kapiolani Park… Video

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KfHi4oGGisM&hl=en&fs=1]

Valentine’s Day Dance and Romance in Ka’u

danceandromance

County Moves to Adopt Resolution to Ban Food Paper and Compostable Organics from the Landfills by 2012

I just noticed the following resolution that Councilman Jacobsen introduced was recently adoped:  Res. 826-08

Urges the Director of the Department of Environmental Management to Develop an Ordinance and Implement a Plan to Prohibit Food Paper and Compostable Organics from Hawaii County Landfills by 2012  {Proposes that the County ban food paper and compostable organics from the County landfills by 2012 and encourages the use of compostable organics and urges the Environmental Management Department to develop a plan to achieve the goals stated in this resolution and to present its findings to the Council within six months upon the passage of this measure.}

You can view the recent council meeting minutes by clicking here. (Server seems to be acting up now)

Tomorrow: Informational Meeting on Rat Lungworm… Zsolt Halda Released From Hospital

Hat tip to Richard Ha:

Rat Lungworm Meeting this Saturday, Jan. 31, at noon at SPACE in Kalapana Seaview Estates. We hope to have many well-informed people attending as the purpose of this meeting is informational. Zsolt Halda, who has just been released from the hospital, will be there.

*update*

Jane Whitefield gives us these directions to SPACE, which is hosting the Rat Lungworm meeting mentioned here this Saturday, 1/31/09:

You drive down Hwy. 130 toward Kalapana. When you dead end at the lava, turn left. This is Hwy. 137. Drive toward Kehena and Kalapana Seaview Estates (it’s probably a 10-minute drive and very hilly, but overlooks the ocean – Spectacular!). Turn left into Seaview. Travel up the entrance road until you see the sign on the right that says “SPACE,” with a hand pointing to the left. Follow that to the entrance and parking lot.

She tells us, too, that there is a Yahoo group called Parasites out of Paradise if anyone is interested in learning more.

There is some other good information that is coming out now.

I previously blogged about this here, here and here.

NO Apartments Being Built in Pahoa: Correction!

Yesterday, I posted a blog mentioning that there would be some new apartments going up across from Paul’s Service station.  I was told the wrong thing by the person that was working on the site.

The following is an email I received from the owner of the lot:

To correct the record, though, whomever told you apartments are being built there was misinformed. The rumor mill about something being built on those lots is remarkable- we have even heard a Taco Bell is being built there! But, no, we are just having the lots cleaned up and doing some landscaping to beautify them a bit. Trash used to be dumped there such that rubbish was present which kids might have been cut on. Last year there was some fresh garbage and empty bottles laying around from where someone camping back in there was making a mess. Also seemed to be quite a few mosquitoes and rats and suchlike in the thick undergrowth, so we are just cleaning it all up to be good neighbors and constructive members of the Puna community. The fence we put up for safety, in case anyone stumbled while walking along near the edge of the drop-off just across from Paul’s. No plans at the moment for building anything in particular on those lots.

If you haven’t noticed, across from Paul’s Service station, they have begun excavating a puka.

misc-026

There was a guy working there today and he informed me that it’s going to be a “fourplex”. *However* I have found out differently now.

misc-024

The guy working there said that there was plans for 17 parking stalls on different levels of the parking lot.

misc-023

I myself think the corner is a pretty dangerous corner and it should be interesting with more in and out traffic located right at this spot as there already is a lot of traffic here.

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I apologize for any confusion and I guess I need to check my sources a bit better then just relying upon the people on site.

100,000

I never thought this day would come! 100,000 “Hits” on my blog by people other then me! I only started blogging in August and I really didn’t know what I was getting myself into… I still don’t at times. ;)

I really wanted to start a blog a long time ago, but I never really thought I had anything to talk about. You know, I still feel that same way.

I often find myself wondering what to blog about… and then something will pop into my head, and I’ll blog about it. Never in my wildest dreams did I think other people would want to read what I’ve written or posted.

There are some people I’d like to especially thank:

My wife for putting up with me and my son for inspiring me as well as my mother for giving me the opportunity to go back to college and actually learn the skills that it takes to write a blog or accumulate the information that I do.

All the other bloggers that have linked my blog to them. I’m linked by many people that I don’t put on my blogroll for one reason or another, mainly it’s because I like to only keep a few blogs on my ‘roll at a time.

But the people I’d like to thank the most… is you folks who read my blog and actually return for a second visit.

Hope you folks are all still around for the next 100,000!

damon

Mahalo,

Damon

Council Lady Naeole Talks About Her Recent Trip to Washington DC… Video

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8kxcrGUFobs&hl=en&fs=1]