BJ Penn Flying to London to Back Hilo’s Troy Mandaloniz

I just read on Dayton Morinaga’s blog that BJ Penn is heading to London for UFC 95 that will be happening on February 21st.

He will be helping Hilo’s own Troy Mandaloniz in the corner during the fight against England’s Paul Kelly at UFC 95.

Hilo's Troy Mandaloniz

Hilo's Troy Mandaloniz

VS.

England's Paul Kelly

England's Paul Kelly

If I can find a link to get the Free UFC 95 fight like I did for the BJ Penn vs. GSP fight, I will post the link.

Amazing Race Season 14 Ends in Maui… Stuntman From Hawaii on Show

amazingrace

…The teams began their trek toward one million dollars in Los Angeles, California and end in Maui, Hawaii. The concept is pretty simple: be the first one to the elimination check point and get the prize; be the last one at an elimination check point and your out…

The Teams:

Amanda (23 – Sales Representative) and Kris (24 – Student) – San Diego – Dating

Brad (52 – Distribution Dispatcher) and Victoria (47 –Tax Manager – Columbus, Ohio – Married

Cara (26 – Law Student) and Jaime (29 – Former Police Officer) – Florida – Former Miami Dolphin Cheerleaders

Christie (37 – Flight Attendant) and Jodi (40 – Flight Attendant) – Oklahoma/Texas – Flight Attendants

Jennifer (26 – Student) and Preston (28 – Software Engineer) – Columbia, SC – Dating

LaKisha (28 – Program Coordinator) and Jennifer (24 – Marketing Assistant) – New York/Kentucky – Sisters

Linda (52 – Customer Service Supervisor) and Steve (42 – Carpenter) – Martinsville, Va. – Married

Margie (50 – Clinical Research Associate) and Luke (22 – College Graduate) – Denver, Colo. – Mother/Son

Mark (48 – Stuntman/Jockey) and Michael (51 – Stuntman/Actor) – California/Hawaii – Brothers/Stuntmen (see youtube clip below)

Mel (68 – Writer/Clergyman) and Mike (38 – Writer/Producer/Actor) – Santa Monica, Cali. – Father/Son

Tammy (26 – Lawyer) and Victor (35 – Lawyer) – California – Siblings/Lawyers

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8y4CQ3yJ2ac&hl=en&fs=1]

Summary of Highway 130 Meeting – Statements from HDOT Officials and Community Response (Day 2)

PURPOSE:

• 1) Provide technical discussion on various elements; 2) Screen reasonable set of alternatives from the “Universe of Alternatives” for the project; and 3) Prepare for Public Informational Meeting.


SUMMARY OF MEETING:
I. Welcome and Remarks – Jiro Sumada, Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) Deputy Director Mr. Sumada opened the meeting. He emphasized that the budget is not locked in stone and that the Keaau-Pahoa Road Improvement’s project will be competing with other projects. Practicalities must be accepted; furthermore, the community will be setting the priorities.

Mr. Robert Taira addressed the issue of the Puna Makai Alternate Route (PMAR). It was stated that HDOT supports the PMAR. It was noted that this project will not be a typical project, and the Environmental Impact Statement will be complex. It is possible the project will take twenty years due to objections by stakeholder. The PMAR is looked at as a long-term solution that will be addressed by the County of Hawaii while the Keaau-Pahoa Road Improvements project will be a mid-term project addressed by HDOT.


Mr. Ken Tatsuguchi followed up on the suggestion of replenishing KPAG Members. At this time, the KPAG has good forward momentum. Replacing KPAG Members will be considered after the Public Informational Meeting.

The following representatives of the project team were present:

Hawai‘i State Department of Transportation (HDOT) – Ken Tatsuguchi, Nelson Sagum, and Dina Lau with the Planning Branch; Robert Taira from the Hawaii District Office; and Peter Chan with the Traffic Branch;
SSFM International, Inc. – Cheryl Soon, Robin Barnes, Austen Drake, Heather Forester, Jo-Anna Herkes, and Genevieve Runningwind; Learning Unlimited – Facilitators Barbara Lively and Diane Gentry; and Geometrician Associates – Ron Terry.

The following members were present:
Larry Brown County of Hawaii Project Manager for PRCP and PCDP
Fred Blas Resident of Pahoa
Susan Cordell Hawaiian Paradise Park Resident
Oliver English W.H. Shipman, Limited
Neil Erickson Architect, Planner, Community Service Member, and Cyclist
Dina Lau HDOT
Keith Lawrence Sitting in for Frank Lawrence
Manny Mattos Resident & Retired Police Officer
Council Member, District 5
Jon Olson Puna Traffic Safety Committee & PCDP Chairman & Sierra Club
Big Island Chapter, Moku Loa Group
Wesley Owens VP of Orchidland Association and Cyclist
Jennifer Perry Resident of Kapoho and Produce and Flower Transporter
Nelson Sagum HDOT
Elizabeth Salfen PCDP Community Liaison & PMAR Working Committee; and
Weed and Seed
Damon Tucker Friends of Puna’s Future

Absent Members included: Faye Hanohano and Emily Naeole.

Members that have resigned include: Kehaulani Costa, Bill Davis, Lorraine Godoy, Malcolm Saxby, and Roy Takemoto.

Friends of the Advisory Group and public participants in attendance included: Francis Malawi, Gail Clarke, Bobby Lee Jr., Kimo Lee, Frankie Stapleton, Elizabeth Weatherford, and Tim Rees.

II. KPAG Meeting #4 Day One Re-cap – Cheryl Soon, SSFM International, Inc. Project Manager Ms. Soon announced the results of the Purpose and Need priority voting (Attachment 1). The KPAG has agreed that the Purpose and Need statement is in accordance with what has been discussed at previous meetings; 15 yes, 0 no, and 1 abstained. Minor revisions
were made based on comments received before the voting (Attachment 2).
A map displaying the Puna Makai Alternate Route (PMAR) was sent out in the mailer was replaced with a more accurate version developed by the County of Hawaii for the Puna Makai Alternate Route (Attachment 3). The steps for creating a transportation project were discussed (Attachment 4). It was noted that the PMAR would not likely be built in 10 years, could be built in 20 years, and probably would take 30 years.

III. Traffic Forecasts and Level of Service (LOS) – Cheryl Soon, SSFM International, Inc. Project Manager The Level of Service (LOS) diagrams were explained (No attachment – LOS diagram will be revised and redistributed based on an inconsistency in the data). Each diagram shows a
two lane highway with no improvements, except the shoulder lane conversion project.

LOS of E or F signifies that something needs to be done with the road section. Once a set of reasonable alternatives has been determined, LOS can be calculated for each of those as well.

IV. Current Accident Data – Dina Lau and Peter Chan, HDOT

Accident data was presented to the KPAG (Attachment 5). The accident data was derived by police reports of accidents occurring within 75 feet of an intersection. It was noted that accident rates rise with an increase in traffic. Other patterns can be looked at to create an accident reconstruction. Factors such as design, driver, vehicle, and weather can influence an accident. Intersections with higher numbers of accidents should be focused
on.

The KPAG asked when the Quick Fix Task Force will be implementing the proposed strategies.

It was stated that the strategies will be implemented beginning in January.
V. Design Guidelines – Robin Barnes and Austen Drake, SSFM International, Inc.
An overview of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Green Book Standards were given (Attachment 6). The standards described apply to all states.

VI. Screening for a Reasonable Set of Alternatives from the Universe – Breakout Groups The KPAG was divided into 3 groups to discuss alternatives for the project.

Each group reported back with their findings (Attachment 7).

VII. Questions and Comment: Open to all Attendees

The following questions were received:


A. Gail Clarke of Pahoa asked, “What is the process to get signage to slow traffic during school day peaks at this intersection? What about crosswalks?

RESPONSE: HDOT requested further information be sent to the Hawaii
District Office.

B. Elizabeth Weatherford of Hawaiian Paradise Park asked, “What is cost in dollars of roundabout vs. cost of signalized intersection. (Please provide information to allow for some understanding of ANNUAL or MONTHLY COST of electricity service to signal.)

RESPONSE: This question is off topic and will not be addressed at this
time.

C. Elizabeth Weatherford of Hawaiian Paradise Park asked, “Regarding Alternate Routes Page – blue banner PEAR!!…floodplain “will require bridge and culverts.” ARE dry wells used, can they be used to address flooding, higher up the watershed?”

RESPONSE: This question is off topic and will not be addressed at this
time.

D. Frankie Stapleton of Nanawale Estates asked, “Where is the representation on this panel of the low income people of lower Puna who have NO motorized vehicles, grandparents raising a passel of youngsters and no dependable vehicles, who can’t…? Is there anyone on the KPAG who does not drive a car or bike?”


RESPONSE: The KPAG is addressing the needs of people in this group.


E. Elizabeth Weatherford of Hawaiian Paradise Park asked, “Will bus shelters be placed near safety-improved intersections such that transit riders will be able to cross road safely?”

RESPONSE: Yes

For more info on the project, click here

Summary of Highway 130 Meeting – Statements from HDOT Officials (Day 1)

I meant to post this when it got posted on the KPAG website.  I see that the summaries of more recent meetings have still not been posted.

The December meeting was held over two days and lasted about 7 hours in total time.  As soon as they have posted the most recent January meeting, I will also post the summary here as well.

PURPOSE:
• 1) Complete Purpose and Need Statement; 2) Refine and confirm the “Universe of Alternatives” for the project; and 3) Provide technical discussion on various elements.
SUMMARY OF MEETING:
I. Welcome and Remarks – Jiro Sumada, Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) Deputy Director Mr. Sumada opened the meeting. He reminded the Kea‘au-Pāhoa Advisory Group (KPAG) and participating public that if there are additional ideas or comments that come up after the meeting, they can be submitted via the project website (http://www.keaaupahoa.com/).

The following representatives of the project team were present:
Hawai‘i State Department of Transportation (HDOT) – Ken Tatsuguchi, Robert Miyasaki, Stanley Tamura, Nelson Sagum, and Dina Lau with the Planning Branch; Robert Taira from the Hawaii District Office; and Peter Chan with the Traffic Branch; SSFM International, Inc. – Cheryl Soon, Robin Barnes, Austen Drake, Heather Forester, and Genevieve Runningwind; Learning Unlimited – Facilitators Barbara Lively and Diane Gentry; and Geometrician Associates – Ron Terry.
The following members were present:
Name Group
Larry Brown County of Hawaii Project Manager for PRCP and PCDP
Oliver English W.H. Shipman, Limited
Neil Erickson Architect, Planner, Community Service Member, and Cyclist
Dina Lau HDOT
Keith Lawrence Sitting in for Frank Lawrence
Manny Mattos Resident & Retired Police Officer
Jon Olson Puna Traffic Safety Committee & PCDP Chairman & Sierra Club
Big Island Chapter, Moku Loa Group
Wesley Owens VP of Orchidland Association and Cyclist
Jennifer Perry Resident of Kapoho and Produce and Flower Transporter
Nelson Sagum HDOT
Elizabeth Salfen PCDP Community Liaison & PMAR Working Committee; and
Weed and Seed
Damon Tucker Friends of Puna’s Future
Absent Members included: Fred Blas, Susan Cordell, Faye Hanohano, and Emily Naeole.
Members that have resigned include: Kehaulani Costa, Bill Davis, Lorraine Godoy, Malcolm Saxby, and Roy Takemoto.
Friends of the Advisory Group and public participants in attendance included: Maritta Arita, Gail Clarke, Rob Tucker, Hunter Bishop, J Yoshimoto, Sanoe Kauhane, Bobby Lee Jr., Kimo Lee, Kristin Wohlschlagel, Frankie Stapleton, Elizabeth Weatherford, and Tim Rees.
II. KPAG Meeting #3 Re-cap – Cheryl Soon, SSFM International, Inc. Project
Manager Ms. Soon revisited the Environmental Review Process and Process for Developing Alternatives (Attachment 1). The KPAG is currently defining criteria for selecting a reasonable set of alternatives.

Questions were accepted from KPAG Members.
The first question asked was, is the KPAG looking at short term or long term goals?

It was stated that the KPAG’s primary function is to look at long term goals, but some immediate action is included. Ideally, one would want each goal to build on another. The most prominent project that is going on concurrently is the morning shoulder lane conversion. There is still discussion if the project will produce a permanent lane improvement or a shoulder improvement.

The second question asked was, how flexible is the budget for the Kea‘au-Pahoa Road Improvements project?

It was stated that there is currently no cash in hand for the
construction of the project, but the first year of the project is likely to be funded.

III. Purpose and Need and Criteria for Selection – Diane Gentry, Facilitator
A packet showing the progression of the Purpose and Need Statement was distributed (Attachment 2). KPAG Members deliberated the content and wording; furthermore, a revised version of the document will be presented at part two of KPAG Meeting #4 to be held Tuesday, December 9, 2008. Then KPAG members were asked to vote next to the purpose and need category that was most important to them.
IV. “Universe of Alternatives” Work Session
KPAG Members and Friends broke into three groups. Each group was to use the various matrices (Attachment 4) to refine and confirm the Universe of Alternatives. Matrices included: 1) Elements of alternatives; 2) Alternatives developed by breakout groups; 3) Combination Alternatives 4) Universe of Elements by section of the road.

After discussion was complete, a representative from each group was selected to report back. Matrices will be revised to reflect the discussions; furthermore, a revised version of the document will be presented at part two of KPAG Meeting #4 to be held Tuesday, December 9, 2008.

V. Intersection Treatments
Mr. Robert Miyasaki with the HDOT, Highways Division, Planning Branch presented on intersection improvements that included traditional intersection treatments and roundabouts (Attachment 4). All intersection treatments, including roundabouts, will be considered for the Keaau-Pahoa Road.

VI. Questions and Comment: Open to all Attendees
The following questions were received:
A. Bobby Lee Jr. of Hilo asked, “Will driveways left-turn be slow, into and out of private driveways?”
RESPONSE: Yes.
B. Frankie Stapleton of Nanawale Estates asked, “Have any of the DOT planners
read the 5 or 6 specific points in the Puna CDP report regarding park-n-ride
facilities?”
RESPONSE: Yes.

C. Tim Rees, a Puna resident, asked, “I heard the County recently received a grant for an intermodal Transportation Planning position to specifically address and advise on pedestrian pathways, bicycle pathways, etc. on transportation projects. Will that person be interacting as an active participant in this group?”
RESPONSE: No one from that specific group has been contacted. HDOT
has a bicycle and pedestrian coordinator.

(there were also 4 pages of attatchments that we received at the meeting that were not on the website)

For more info on the project, click here

Hawaii One of Only 3 States to Have State Championships for Girls Wrestling

Did you know that Hawaii is one of only 3 states in the nation to have a State Championship for Girls Wrestling?  The other states are Texas and Washington.

I remember the first time our school wrestled a school with a girl on their team.  No one wanted to wrestle the girl.  I’ve seen some of the girls wrestle here in Hawaii… and I’m sure they could take out a lot of the guys!

Survey on Hawaii County Police Department Response to Property Crimes

A non scientific survey is currently being conducted to evaluate the Hawaii County Police Departments response to property crimes.

It’s only 9 questions long and you can complete the survey here.

The person conducting the survey, says:

The survey is not very scientific and was sort of thrown together… the survey is completely anonymous — I have no idea who is taking it and don’t want to know.”


New Bus Schedule for Puna Residents

I just noticed that there appears to be a new bus schedule for the bus that travels Pahoa/Pohoiki/Hilo Route effective 2/17/09.

You can see the new schedule here.

“The Ledge” SB456 – Relating to Discrimination

You can see previous episodes of “The Ledge” here.

SB456
RELATING TO DISCRIMINATION.
Discrimination in Real Property Transactions; Source of Income
Prohibits discrimination in real property transactions based on lawful source of income.

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