Waikoloa Floods… WHERE is Our Civil Defense?

I just blogged earlier today about the Big Islands $40,000 Civil Defense phone plan that Australia is adopting… where was the Civil Defense plan tonight?

The Waikoloa area of the Big Island is getting hit hard with rains.

Our own county civil defense on the Big Island has given no warning that I can find.

The message on their current site is still from the October flooding.

I noticed a Tweet from KWXX that state the following:

All roads that were closed due to flooding in West Hawaii are open! NWS says we may have same weather again 2morrow.

Of course you also won’t read anything about this until tomorrow in the local papers.

The best coverage that I’m sure we will see of this is online over at Hawaii24/7 where he has posted video and pictures of the flooding.

WHERE is our civil defense warnings? Oahu gets them when impending rains may create flooding situations.

What Marines REALLY Do When They Train on Mauna Kea

Hat tip to BIVN:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D3tfsyPVSAc&hl=en&fs=1]

spongebob

“We salute you Spongebob”

Hawaii Considers Marijuana Stamps???

Kudos to Nancy Cook Lauer over at All Hawaii News for blogging about the legislatures considering “Marijuana Stamps”.

The Hawaii House today advanced a bill that would issue cannabis distribution stamps to participants in the state’s medical marijuana program…

…Under the program, a farmer puts up some land for secure growing facilities and a certified facilitator serves as the go-between from farmer to user. Users are issued stamps at a cost of no more than 50 cents per gram of marijuana…

Full Blog here

In a poll I ran before the elections this year:

22 people said that police should make marijuana one of the lowest priorities while only 6 people said No, that it was a drug.

[polldaddy poll=”854570″]

Legisature Makes it Easier to Submit Testimony Online

Hat tip to Georgette Deemer over at the Hawaii House Blog.  She alerts us to how easy it is to submit testimony to the Legislature now.

Submitting testimony to the Hawaii State Legislature is now as simple as a click of a mouse. If you go to the capitol website, you will be able to choose your bill number, select the committee hearing and date, upload your testimony, and click to submit. Just go to the Bill Status & Documents page, scroll down to the hearing notices, and click on Submit testimony online…

More Here

Project Niu

Project Niu is a K-12 science curriculum that provides students and teachers with hands-on, project-based experiences with the technologies used in remotely monitoring the ocean. Through deploying and tracking a high tech “message in a bottle” as it drifts out to sea, students develop an understanding of mankind’s impact on the watershed while forming personal connections to the environment. The Project Niu team includes engineers and scientists at Archinoetics, LLC and is sponsored by NOAA’s B-WET Hawaii Program.

—————————————–

“On January 30, 2009, Project Niu deployed three satellite-tracked ocean drifters into the Pacific Ocean from Honolulu, Hawaii to help K-12 students learn about marine debris and mankind’s impact on the oceans…

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yx6l-NUg41M&hl=en&fs=1]

…The drifter devices are each called “Niu”, which is the Hawaiian word for “coconut”, because they will float on the surface and be carried like currents, much like coconuts do. The difference is that these coconuts are equipped with satellite modems, GPS modules, temperature sensors, accelerometers to measure wave height, digital cameras, and an array of other sensors. Students will be monitoring where the Niu devices go with the currents, knowing full well that marine debris (a fancy phrase that often just means “trash”) follows the same path out to sea. The students have all seen the impact of plastic and derelict fishing gear on marine animals, so now they are seeing firsthand how pollution can reach distant uninhabited islands, like those in the Northwest Hawaiian Islands.”

You can track the “Niu” floaters here.

Here is the current location of the four floaters.

Niu Melemele:

Drifting course of "Niu Melemele"

Drifting course of "Niu Melemele"

Niu Oma`oma`o:

Drifting course of "Niu Oma`oma`o"

Drifting course of "Niu Oma`oma`o"

Niu Poni:

Drifting course of "Niu Poni"

Drifting course of "Niu Poni"

Niu `Alani:

Drifting course of "Niu `Alani"

Drifting course of "Niu `Alani"

For more information on the project, check out the website here.


Australian Officials to Use Phone Alert System Similar to Big Islands

The recent disaster of the Fires in Australia have lead officials to look back at the Big Island Phone Alert system.

In October of last year, the Big Island Civil Defense implemented a phone alert system throughout the Big Island of Hawaii.

The Hawai’i County Civil Defense Agency has just acquired a new Mass Emergency Notification System, which allows for County agencies to easily notify the public in the event of emergencies.

The City Watch is an electronic notification system that can notify residents about evacuations or other emergency measures via phone or email…

…The pilot stage of the project will be free to the County, and subsequent years the County will pay an annual fee of approximately $40,000. The system is used in numerous communities, notably in California amid the recent spate of wildfires…

KINGLAKE, Australia (AP) — The federal government said Thursday it will clear away hurdles that have stalled a nationwide fire alert telephone system, after thousands of people were caught by surprise by the most deadly wildfires in Australia’s history…
…Attorney General Robert McClelland said the plan had been raised in 2004 under the previous government, but state officials had failed to agree on details and no steps have been taken to change privacy laws that bar emergency services from accessing the national telephone number data base.

“Clearly a warning system would be useful,” McClelland told Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio. He said had advocated a system that sends a barrage of automated messages to all phones in a targeted geographic area since he saw a similar system in action in Hawaii

More Here

Maui No Ka Oi! Free Twestival Tickets

Wow… Liza over at A Maui Blog is offering tickets to the Twestival for some lucky Oahu residents because she isn’t able to make it herself due to unforeseen circumstances

twestival-2_300x2501

I highly suggest if you live on Oahu and your a Twitter user… and you’re broke like me but want to attend the Twestival on Oahu… go check out her blog ASAP she only has a few left.

Council Members Comments on Zero Waste Plan for Big Island… Administering and Funding Integrated Solid Waste Management Plan Update

On February 3rd, the Council Representatives listened to probably the same thing I listened to at the Pahoa meeting for public input on the Counties Zero Waste plan.

This is what three of the Council members commented on the plan according to the minutes of the meeting:

Pete Hoffman – doesn’t want two plans (Zero Waste and Integrated Solid Waste Management Plan). If conflict, he thought County should follow ISWMP.
Brenda Ford – how will the two plans be integrated? Mike explained that he met with consultants for both plans for 3 hours today. Some options are already in both plans and some are not. We’ll work through how best exactly to reconcile and come up with an implementation plan supported by SWAC, public and Council.
Pete Hoffmann – supports the zw philosophy but doesn’t want two plans. Also, he’s not in favor of experimental alternative technologies. Is trucking waste from East to West Hawaii still on the table? *Dan said yes, which will no doubt be opposed by many stakeholders.

Dan elaborated a bit on how the remaining chapters of the plan would come together and how the details of integrating the zw and ISWMP efforts would take place.

You can view the Counties Updated (Feb 2-3, 2009) Integrated Solid Waste Management Plan Here

Waiakea Fire Station to Get Donated 2008 Toyota Truck

I’m sure the county will pass Res.  53-09 on February 18th,  which would allow the Waiakea Fire Station to receive this donation.

The Daniel R. Sayre Memorial Foundation has donated a 2008 Toyota Tacoma Crew Cab,  4 door 4 wheel drive pick-up truck to the Waiakea Fire Station.  The value of the truck was $28,856.02.

sayre

The Daniel R. Sayre Memorial Foundation is dedicated to providing essential life-saving equipment and training needed by the Hawaii Fire Department here on the Big Island of Hawaii. We feel that meeting this need is something that all of us, as a community, have an obligation to meet.

The Sayre’s gave a check for $80,206 to Chief Daryl Oliveira in 2006. In 2007 the Sayre’s and the Malkin’s donated a total of $90,000 to the Hawaii Fire Department.

The Foundation was started ten years ago by Dr. Frank Sayre and Laura Mallery-Sayre when the Sayre’s lost their son Danny in a hiking accident and experienced first-hand the heroism and perilous nature of the work that the Hawaii Fire Department experiences on a regular basis.

Unfortunately they did not have rappelling ropes long enough to reach the bottom of the valley.   So Hawaii Fire Department Personnel took their helicopter down into the Polulu Valley at great personal risk.

Stripper & Investment Property in Hawaii Leads to Possible Ethics Charges Against Former Florida Judge Stringer

A state commission will meet next week to discuss whether it should continue pursuing ethics charges against Judge Thomas E. Stringer Sr. now that he has resigned from the 2nd District Court of Appeal.

Former Florida Judge Thomas E. Stringer Sr

Former Florida Judge Thomas E. Stringer Sr

Stringer, 64, was scheduled to give a deposition Friday to state Judicial Qualifications Commission prosecutors about his financial dealings with a stripper. But Brooke Kennerly, executive director of the JQC, said today that Stringer’s deposition has been canceled, pending further talks by the commission on how it wants to proceed…

The potential for the ethics charges to disappear doesn’t sit well with Christy Yamanaka, the 48-year-old New York City stripper at the center of the JQC’s probe…

…Last year, Stringer denied any wrongdoing after Yamanaka told reporters he owed her money form an investment on property they shared in Hawaii.

yamanaka

Christy Yamanaka and Judge Thomas E. Stringer Sr. pictured below the investment property in Hawaii

The ethics charges accuse Stringer of providing the stripper with access to bank accounts opened in his name so she could hide assets and income from creditors…

More Here

Pahoa Pool Closed for Three Days Next Week

Media Release

The County of Hawaii Department of Parks and Recreation announces that the Pahoa Aquatic Center will be closed to the public on Wednesday, February 18, 2009 thru Friday, February 20, 2009 and will re-open on Saturday, February 21, 2009 at 9:00 am.

Montessori Country School at the Pahoa Aquatic Center

Montessori Country School at the Pahoa Aquatic Center

This short-term closure is necessary for department staff and engineering consultants to conduct necessary extended period monitoring and tests at the facility that require the pumps to be placed offline.  These tests and observations are intended to confirm that upcoming improvements proposed for the facility will successfully address the recurring power and water loss problems that have resulted in the numerous unscheduled closures experienced there since the pool was opened in May 1997.  Aquatics staff will also implement its regular monthly maintenance operations during this closure.

The staff of the Department of Parks and Recreation thanks all patrons for their understanding and patience during this required closure.

*Update #2* Should Gambling Be Legalized in Hawaii?… POLL

*Update #2*

Now the results have swung a bit more here are the current results:

Yes 63% (17 votes)
No 30% (8 votes)
Only on Hawaiian Homelands 7% (2 votes)
Total Votes: 27

Voting is still open for those who haven’t voted.  The voting service that I’m using only allows one vote per IP address, so sorry to those with multiple people in their house who may read my blog.

*Update*
Interesting results coming in.  Just one vote separates the main two choices.  Poll will remain open for about a week and I’ll bump this every few days just in case you don’t get a chance to see it the first few times it’s listed.

[polldaddy poll=”1358404″]

Are We Safer Now Then 10 Years Ago?… Poll

We all know the correlation between the tanking economy and rising crime rates.

When I moved from the Big Island to Oahu about 15 years ago, I noticed that the police record in the local papers only had about 5-10 names in them each day.  Now that I have moved back to the Big Island,  it seems like every time I check the police report, there is at least 20 plus names listed for various things.

Of course on Oahu, there are so many crimes being committed each and every hour,  they could never list all the names in a paper format.

So I ask… do you feel safer now then you did 10 years ago in general?

[polldaddy poll=”1361742″]

Domestic Violence Action Center in Honolulu Receives $325,000 Grant From The Kresge Foundation

The Domestic Violence Action Center in Honolulu was the recipient of a $325,000 grant from The Kresge Foundation.

The state of the economy did not deter the trustees of The Kresge Foundation from awarding $63.6 million in grants at its fourth-quarter board meeting in December, making the quarter, together with the $181 million in grants for 2008 as a whole, the most generous in the foundation’s 85-year history…

More here

About The Kresge Foundation:

The foundation was established by Sebastian Spering Kresge in 1924 “for the promotion of human progress.” With an initial gift of $1.6 million, he launched what would become one of the nation’s largest philanthropic organizations.

Sebastian Spering Kresge

Sebastian Spering Kresge

Mauna Kea Beach Hotel to Get New Restaurant

The owners of Boulder’s venerable mountainside Flagstaff House restaurant said Wednesday they are opening a restaurant and bar at a Hawaii beach hotel.

Chef Mark Monette

Chef Mark Monette

Monettes — named for the Flagstaff House owners, brothers Mark and Scott Monette — is slated to open in March at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, in Kamuela on the island of Hawaii.

Monettes in Flagstaff

Monettes in Boulder, Colorado

More Here