Zero Waste Public Input Meeting in Pahoa… Pictures & Video

“Zero Waste” (Taxonomy) is a philosophy and a way of life that promotes the goal to reduce the amount of material we throw away. Through small shifts in our daily activities, we can greatly reduce how much rubbish we generate, protecting Hawai’i Island’s natural environment, preserving our resources, and saving our community tax dollars.”

Tonight was Pahoa’s turn to have “Public Input” on the Counties Zero Waste Implementation Plan.

zerowaste-002

I asked Dr. James Weatherford for a brief summary of what Zero Waste meant for Pahoa and this was his response:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M3GkuVJgVN0&hl=en&fs=1]

The meeting was filled with about 20 – 25 people.  Former Council Bob Jacobson is one of the spearheaders of this plan and he took notes for the group.

Former Councilman Bob Jacobson

Former Councilman Bob Jacobson

Councilwoman Emily Naeole showed up about half way through the meeting because she had prior arrangements, however, legislative aide R.J. Hampton sat in for her and took notes while she was gone.

Legislative Aide RJ Hampton listens to Paul J. Buklarewicz of Recycle Hawaii

Legislative Aide RJ Hampton listens to Paul J. Buklarewicz of Recycle Hawaii

The Mayors office of course is very interested in what is going on these days.

Hunter Bishop, Public Relations Specialist to the Mayor for the County of Hawaii Listens to the Plan

Hunter Bishop, Public Relations Specialist to the Mayor, Listens to the Plan

An example was shown of just how much garbage could actually be reused.

Just some of the tons of rubbish dumped

Just some of the tons of rubbish dumped

Community members were given a chance to give their public input, but many choose to remain quiet.

Community members listen intently

Community members listen intently

Here are some things you can do to reach our Zero Waste goal (from the Hawaii Zero Waste website):

  1. Buy products that can be reused or recycled.
  2. Avoid buying items that are made of or packaged in non-recyclable materials, for example, styrofoam.
  3. Ask your favorite take-out restaurant to use biodegradable containers and utensils. Take them home and compost them.
  4. Products and packaging can be redesigned to use less materials, last longer and not create pollution. Hawai’i residents can choose to buy these products. This will encourage producers to offer products with less overall packaging and use more recyclable and recycled-content materials.
  5. When you go to a store take reusable shopping bags.
  6. Buy products in bulk or with less packaging.
  7. Recycle used materials.
  8. Take your green waste to be made into mulch.

I’m hoping to get the power point presentation mailed to me.  When/if I receive it… I’ll post it then.

BIVN has video of Thursdays Hilo meeting here.


Honolulu Star-Bulletin to Become “Tabloid”

Honolulu Star-Bulletin Converting From Newspaper to Tabloid

The Honolulu Star-Bulletin is converting from a broadsheet newspaper to a tabloid and taking steps to deal with the recession…

…The newspaper will lay off 17 newsroom employees and an undetermined number of employees elsewhere in the company, Oahu Publications Inc. There will also be a wage freeze.

In addition, the Star-Bulletin will close its neighbor island bureaus, on Maui, Kauai and the Big Island. Neighbor island news will continue to be covered, by reporters on Oahu and wire services…

More here

I’ve been saying for a long time that newspapers are a thing of the past.

People just don’t want to come to grips with it.

In 1998, I remember being told by a Professor that with the onslaught of Digital Media, things like newspapers will be a thing of the past.  This was more then 10 years ago now folks.

A few months ago I blogged about the HawaiiFreePress converting to an online format.  Yesterday, I blogged about the University of Hawaii’s Student Newspaper moving to youtube.  There are plenty of examples both nationally and locally.

I really feel sorry for those that are getting laid off now… or those that may get laid off in the near future.

Former Hawaii Tribune Herald reporter Dave Smith posted on Punaweb:

…Even more unfortunately, veteran journalist Rod Thompson, who has been manning the Big Isle bureau for many years, may be among the casualties. I hope not, as he has broad institutional perspective of the issues here, including those in Puna…”

Of course this is the same Mr. Smith that commented on my blog a while back: :roll:

Damon, are you trying to become the National Enquirer of the local blogosphere?

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P.S. Damon Dollars are still available. :roll:

forecast


County Notifies Developers of Kamakoa Housing Project They Are in Default

Media Release

The county Office of the Corporation Counsel today formally notified the entities overseeing development of the Kamakoa at Waikoloa workforce housing project they are in default of their financing and development agreements with the county.

The county offered Waikoloa Workforce Housing LLC (WWH) and its parent company Hawaii Island Housing Trust (HIHT) 60 days to cure their defaults. The letter by Corporation Counsel Lincoln Ashida further advised WWH and HIHT that the county will not accept any proposal for the project that relies on additional funding or guarantees from the county other than what was previously agreed to.

“Simply stated, if the entities responsible for delivering this project cannot perform their obligations under their agreements with the county, the county must protect its taxpayers by enforcing the county’s rights under those agreements,” Ashida said.

The letter urged WWH to stop all work on Kamakoa except for the on-site construction that is already underway. On-site work is now being done under a contract with Isemoto Contracting Co. with funds supplied by the county, and that work will be completed. The Isemoto contract includes installing roads, waterlines, sewer lines, house pads, and other infrastructure for the project.

In the face of feasibility and financing difficulties, WWH and UniDev LLC (UniDev) each recently formulated a new proposal to try to advance the project. Without making a determination with regard to the viability or desirability of those proposals, Ashida stated that both plans amount to “a significant departure” from the parameters set forth in the financing agreement WWH entered into with the County last June. UniDev is the owner’s representative and is tasked with arranging financing and managing design and construction of the project on behalf of WWH.

Neither of the recently revised plans for the project proposed by WWH and UniDev adhered to the agreed-upon construction schedule; neither plan included clear provisions for the financing of a park and other community facilities that were required; and the UniDev plan proposed extensive use of rent-to-own housing units that were never contemplated by the agreement or the previous plans for the project.

“We are absolutely committed to ensuring housing that is affordable to working families in the area is constructed on this site,” said Housing Administrator Stephen J. Arnett. “Unfortunately, the project as it was originally planned simply no longer appears viable. We appreciate the hard work that the managers and staff of WWH and the board of HIHT have put into this project to try to make it work, but it is time to take a hard, realistic look at the problems confronting this development.”

The Kamakoa project was announced in 2005 as a development of 1,200 affordable workforce units, including for-sale homes and rentals on 268 acres of county-owned land in northwest of Waikoloa Village. UniDev and its plan for the site were selected after UniDev responded to a request for proposals. The non-profit Hawai’i Island Housing Trust was subsequently formed and took title to the land. Its for-profit subsidiary, Waikoloa Workforce Housing LLC, was created with the responsibility of developing the project, utilizing the expertise and management capabilities of UniDev.

In order to ensure that rents on the rental units in the project would be truly affordable and to support public facilities in the project and the related infrastructure, the county agreed to make $40 million in county funds available to WWH under several financing agreements.

Ground was broken last year on Phase 1A of the project on about 50 acres. The $28 million contract WWH has with Isemoto covers grubbing and grading, roads, water lines, sewer lines, sidewalks, house pads and other infrastructure for about 200 units, as well as preparation of the park site. Funds have also been used for design and engineering expenses and homeownership counseling.

The viability of the project as it was originally proposed has been called into question by a series of events both inside and outside of Hawai’i County, Arnett explained:

  • Infrastructure for the project such as roads and water lines was ultimately to be financed with community facilities district bonds that would be repaid over time through special assessments levied on the homeowners who bought into the project. The viability of that plan has been called into question by the recent upheaval in the bond and financial markets upon which the community facilities district financing is dependent.
  • A crucial attraction for the project was zero-down loans for working families to finance leasehold units ranging in price from about $230,000 to $377,000, but recent events in the state and national economies have reduced the number of potential buyers who can qualify for such loans. Adding to the uncertainty is the fact that families buying into the project would be required to pay significant charges for the community facilities district assessments and common area maintenance charges in addition to the principal and interest payments on their mortgages.
  • The project was originally proposed as a development that would rely on private financing with no cash contributions by the county. When it became apparent that the proposed financing would be insufficient to allow for the facilities and rental affordability desired for the project, the county agreed to commit up to $40 million to the project.  To date, the entire investment in the project, including land and cash, has been by the county. Private financing that was necessary to actually begin constructing homes has not materialized.

“We are disappointed that the original vision for the project is in jeopardy, but we will do what it takes to ensure that the interests of the taxpayers are protected and the people of Hawai‘i County ultimately get the affordable housing they need,” Arnett said.

—————–

COUNTY OF HAWAI‘I
OFFICE OF THE CORPORATION COUNSEL


Dear Mr. Dougall and Mr. Hendricks:

RE: Kamakoa at Waikoloa Project

On behalf of the County of Hawai‘i, I would first like to thank you for all of your efforts in connection with the Kamakoa at Waikoloa project. It has been a challenging project since its inception, but the County was hopeful that it would result in a unique and vibrant workforce community for the citizens of the Island of Hawai‘i. The plan for the Kamakoa at Waikoloa project (the “Project”), as detailed by UniDev, LLC (together with UniDev Hawai‘i, LLC, “UniDev”) was uniquely attractive and valuable because it promised to deliver a large-scale, high quality, perpetually-affordable workforce project on a timely basis with minimal financial risk to the County. Unfortunately, it has recently become apparent that Hawaii Island Housing Trust (“HIHT”), Waikoloa Workforce Housing, LLC (“WWH”) and UniDev are no longer able to deliver that project.
Without making a determination with regard to the viability or desirability of the most recent proposals from WWH and UniDev, it is clear that each such proposal is a significant departure from what was bargained for under that certain Development Financing Agreement dated June 12, 2008 (the “Financing Agreement”) and that certain Amended and Restated Development Agreement dated July 15, 2008 by and between the County, HIHT and WWH (the “Development Agreement”). The County believes that the alternative proposal made to the County by WWH on or around November 17, 2008 is a clear and unequivocal communication that WWH is unable to deliver the Project as contemplated by the Financing Agreement and Development Agreement. However, to ensure that there is no misunderstanding with respect to your ability to meet your obligations under the aforementioned agreements, the County desires to give you an opportunity to cure the above-referenced default in accordance with the notice and cure provisions of the Financing Agreement and Development Agreement. Accordingly, the County hereby provides you with formal notice pursuant to Section 5.1(b) of the Financing Agreement that the inability to develop the Project in accordance with the Project Guidelines is a default under the Financing Agreement. Specifically, your revised proposal does not clearly provide for the community facilities as set forth on Exhibit F4 to the Financing Agreement, does not conform to the financing plan set forth on Exhibit F9 and does not conform to the construction schedule set forth in Exhibit F10. Although you have already rejected the proposal made by UniDev, we note for the record that the adoption of UniDev’s proposal would also represent a default due to its failure to comply with the Project Guidelines. Specifically, that proposal fails to provide for the community facilities set forth on Exhibit F4, fails to offer the super-affordable units and the unit mix set forth on Exhibits F5 and F9, fails to conform to the types of products (providing rent-to-own units in place of many for-sale units) contemplated by Exhibits F6 and F9 and deviates from the construction cost and debt service analysis (though sufficient back-up documentation has not been provided for a full evaluation) set forth on Exhibit F9. Additionally, the County’s assessment of the UniDev proposal leads us to believe that further financial risk on the part of the County would be required in excess of that contemplated by the Financing Agreement and Development Agreement. As provided by Section 5.1(b) of the Financing Agreement, you have thirty (30) days from the date of this notice to cure the aforementioned default. If you are unable to do so, the County may exercise its rights and remedies under Section 5.2 of the Financing Agreement. Additionally, the inability to comply with the terms of the Financing Agreement is a default under Section 3.3(b) of the Development Agreement. Pursuant to section 5.1(b) of the Development Agreement, you have sixty (60) days to cure such default, after which time the County may exercise the rights and remedies as set forth in Section 1.2 of the Development Agreement.

In light of the above-described defaults and until such defaults are cured, the County urges you to cause all work on the Project, other than work that is directly related to on-site construction of Phase 1A, to be ceased immediately. We further wish to advise you that the County will not consider as a cure any plan that involves the provision by the County of additional funds to HIHT, WWH, or its contractors in excess of those already obligated under the existing agreements, will require the guarantee by the County of any financing, or will expose the County to further financial risk of any kind. Please conduct your operations and inform your consultants and contractors accordingly.

Sincerely,

LINCOLN S.T. ASHIDA

Corporation Counsel

Hawaiian Airlines Jet Loses Power to One Engine on Mainland Trip… Lands Safely in Oregon

A Hawaiian Airlines flight from Maui to Portland with about 200 passengers lost power in one engine, but it landed safely last night at Portland International Airport.

More Here

Tomorrow: Department of Parks and Recreation Announces Track Meets

Media Release

The Dept. of Parks and Recreation has scheduled its 2009 Track & Field program for
February 7 & 21, 2009, at both East and West Hawaii sites simultaneously. The
Konawaena High School Track Oval will be utilized for the West Hawaii meets, while
the site for the East Hawaii meets will be at the Keaau High School Track Oval.
February 7, 2009, will be for the Age Group Track and Field meet. February 21, 2009, will be the All Comers Track and Field meet. The exponent meet will not be used this year.
1. Participants will be limited to 3 events, one of which shall be a field event. Relays
are included in the events. Be sure chosen events are listed in participants
division. Any participant competing in excess of three events will automatically
be disqualified from those events.
2. Once again only registered coaches and athletes of individual events will be
allowed on the track once the meet begins. Coaches will be given passes to enter
the oval. Passes must be turned in once the meet is over. 5 passes maximum. 2
coaches per event.
Enclosed in packet are:
1. Entry forms for girls and boys for the Age Group and All Comers Meets.
2. Waiver forms, which can be duplicated, for each participant.
3. Reminders.
For more information please call Mason Souza at 961-8735 ext. 25, or email at
msouza@co.hawaii.hi.us
Packets can be accessed by going on-line: http://co.hawaii.hi.us/parks/recreation.htm


YOUTH TRACK AND FIELD
The Department of Parks and Recreation will be hosting its annual track and field meets for youngsters 6 through 14 years of age. The schedule is as follows:
Age Group Track & Field meet
Dates: Saturday, February 7, 2009
Sites: West Hawaii – Konawaena High School track oval
East Hawaii – Keaau High School track oval
All Comers Track & Field meet
Dates: Saturday, February 21, 2009
Sites: West Hawaii – Konawaena High School track oval
East Hawaii – Keaau High School track oval
Time for both meets:
9:00 am – Start of field events
10:30 am – Approximate starting time for track events. Track & field
events will run simultaneously.
All students should check with their school first to see if a track program is offered.

For More Information,  Sign Ups and Coaches Meeting information click here.

Washington State Legislatures Introduce “Memorial” Asking Obama for State Sovereignty

Washington State has now become the ninth State to introduce legislation that would make their State a Sovereign state.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8m6FWZSiT8E&hl=en&fs=1]

House Joint Memorial 4009:
Claiming state sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment.

…That the State of Washington hereby claims sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States over all powers not otherwise enumerated and granted to the federal government 3 by the Constitution of the United States; and

(2) That this serve as a Notice and Demand to the federal government to maintain the balance of powers where the Constitution of the United States established it and to cease and desist, effective immediately, any and all mandates that are beyond the scope of its constitutionally delegated powers.

BE IT RESOLVED, That copies of this Memorial be immediately transmitted to the Honorable Barack Obama, President of the United States, the President of the United States Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives of each state’s legislature of the United States of America, and each member of Congress from the State of  Washington.

Full Bill