Hawaii Tourism Authority Hiring Mainland Bloggers

Now this pisses me off!

…Visitor Arrivals to Hawaii have been down for more than a year straight. But as summer approaches, the tourism industry is hoping for a rebound. Everything from billboards to blogs are being used to keep Hawaii on the map….
…”Next will be to get that message onto the world wide web. HTA plans on hiring notable internet bloggers to tour the islands and spread the aloha…”

More Here

Now why the heck is the Hawaii Tourism Authority going to Hire notable Mainland Bloggers when we have Notable bloggers right here in Hawaii that could say the same damn thing.

What in the heck is all the money that is being sunk in to the HTA’s Website being spent for?

I just sent the following email off to the HTA and I look forward to seeing what type of response I get:

Aloha,

My name is Damon Tucker and I’m a “Blogger” here on the Big Island. I have my personal blog as well as administer a blog site called “FBI Blogs” (See Below).

On KHON2 News on Monday, May 4th 10:00 show, you mentioned the following:

“…Next will be to get that message onto the world wide web. HTA plans on hiring notable internet bloggers to tour the islands and spread the aloha…”

I would like to know why you are hiring mainland bloggers when we have excellent talented bloggers right here in Hawaii?

I would like to know what you are offering these bloggers with our tax payer money.

Furthermore, I would like to be considered as a blogger for one of these positions.

Sincerely,

Damon Tucker
Pahoa, Hawaii

FBI Blogs Redesign

So I’ve changed up the FBI Blogs a bit.

I’m not sure how much I like it… but at least the links are more visible and it gives it more of a “News Format”.

You can check out the new design on the FBI Blogs here.

Puna Sustainability Expo Saturday

punasustainability1

Puna people are adept at creating ways to live lighter on the land, reducing dependence on imported products and services and developing skills and techniques to ensure sustainability.

The Puna Sustainability Expo, Saturday, May 9 in Pahoa, will display many skills and products at work in Puna today. Learn about: gardening and tropical agriculture, water, recycling, shelter, green building systems, green jobs, solar and geothermal energy, transportation, traditional knowledge, herbal medicine.

WHAT:  Puna Sustainability Expo

WHEN:  Saturday, May 9th

9 am to 5 pm

WHERE:    Old maile packing shed on Pahoa Village Road (opp. Pahoa Feed and Fertilizer)

Attendance is free. All are welcome. Plenty parking.

Participants include: Friendly Aquaponics, EM Awareness, Sierra Club, Recycle Hawaii,  Quad Lock Green Building Systems, Solar Refrigeration, Kangen Water, Gaia Yoga, Eco Village, Hamakua Springs Farm, Hawaii Organic Farmers Association (HOFA), Master Gardeners, UH Hilo Tropical AG, Island Naturals, Pancho’s Solar Electric, Malama O Puna, Jon Olson’s Passive Solar Panels, Pahoa Feed and Fetilizer, Pahoa Weed and Seed, and many more.

Hosted by the Kanaka Council and Malama O Puna, with support from the Healing Our Island Community Fund and Puna Geothermal Venture.

U.S. Attorney Ed Kubo Honored

Mayor Billy Kenoi presented U.S. Attorney Ed Kubo with a Ko‘a wood key to Hawai‘i County Monday in a ceremony at the County’s Aupuni Center conference room in Hilo.

U.S. Attorney Ed Kubo accepts the key to Hawai‘i County from Mayor Billy Kenoi.

U.S. Attorney Ed Kubo accepts the key to Hawai‘i County from Mayor Billy Kenoi.

Kubo, who was named U.S. Attorney in Honolulu by President George W. Bush in 2001, has worked tirelessly to fight crime in Hawai‘i County, Kenoi said. Practicing the concept of Lokahi, or unity, Kubo brought all sectors of the community – law enforcement, community leaders, businesses, educators, faith-based organizations and volunteers – together to attack crime.

Kubo speaks the gathering as, from left, County Prosecutor Jay Kimura , Mayor Kenoi, and County Police Chief Harry Kubojiri look on.

Kubo speaks the gathering as, from left, County Prosecutor Jay Kimura , Mayor Kenoi, and County Police Chief Harry Kubojiri look on.

“Ed Kubo has served the County of Hawai‘i in a way that no other U.S. Attorney has before him,” said Mayor Kenoi, reading from a proclamation designating Ed Kubo Day in the County. Kenoi noted that Kubo has “significantly expanded the presence of his office on our island and established the first office of the federal bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms in Hawai‘i County.”

Kubo also was the first U.S. Attorney to visit the town of Pāhoa, in the District of Puna, where he recognized the need for resources to combat rampant drug activity in the community and successfully committed his office to help take back the streets from the criminals. He was instrumental in establishing the first federally designated Weed and Seed on a Neighbor Island in 2007 with awards of $190,000 in grants to Pāhoa Weed and Seed, which has improved the safety and morale of the community significantly.

U.S. Attorney Ed Kubo displays his key to the County, surrounded by Hawai‘i County police officers, Prosecutor Jay Kimura and Mayor Billy Kenoi.

U.S. Attorney Ed Kubo displays his key to the County, surrounded by Hawai‘i County police officers, Prosecutor Jay Kimura and Mayor Billy Kenoi.

Kenoi cited Kubo’s “deep sense of compassion and concern for all communities within his jurisdiction, while at the same time maintaining a tough stance against crime.”

County Police Chief Harry Kubojiri and Prosecutor Jay Kimura also lauded Kubo’s

contributions to crime prevention on the Big Island while many of the County’s Department heads, police officers and other County officials looked on.

Kubo, upon accepting the key, said he always stands ready to help the County in any way he can. Kubo also said he intends to retire to Hawai‘i County.

“We don’t give many of these out,” said Kenoi, after presenting the key to Kubo. “But you deserve it.”

Thief Steals Catchment Tank!

The Hawai’i Police Department is investigating the theft of a water catchment tank in North Hilo.

The 20,000 gallon galvanized tank was stolen from Ka’awali’i sometime between April 25 and May 3. The tank’s liner was left behind.

Police ask that anyone with any information about this case or anyone who knows about someone trying to buy a liner for a galvanized catchment tank call Officer Edmundo Palacol at 962-2120 or the Police Department’s non-emergency number at 935-3311. Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Mazie Hirono’s Floor Speech on Energy Self-Sufficiency

Congresswoman Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) speaks on the House Floor in support of The American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES), a comprehensive approach to America’s energy policy that charts a new course towards a clean energy economy.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qAgxjsg_9aY&hl=en&fs=1]

Mayor Kenoi to Hold Press Conference Tomorrow

Changes in the administration’s proposed  budget for the 2009-2010 fiscal year budget for the County of Hawai‘i will be the topic or a press conference to be held at 9:30 a.m., Tuesday, May 5.

Mayor Billy Kenoi will present an overview of his budget proposal reflecting changes from the initial proposal submitted to the Hawai‘i County Council on February 27, 2009.

The press conference will held in the Mayor’s Hilo office at 891 Ululani Street. All media are invited to attend.

Please call if you have any questions.

State Highway Improvement Bill Scrapped… So Much for $524 Million for the Big Island

The Hawaii Legislature has killed the $4.2 billion highway modernization plan rolled out by the governor and influential legislative leaders earlier this year.

Senate Bill 1611, which was supported by Republican Gov. Linda Lingle and top Senate Democrats, failed to pass a conference committee deadline Friday.

SB 1611 called for increasing the state fuel tax, vehicle weight tax, registration fees and rental vehicle surcharges over the next several years.

State officials said SB 1611 would cost the average Hawaii driver about $170 more a year. No one is saying why the bill died, but it’s likely that neither Lingle nor legislators had the desire to push a package of tax increases on top of the ones already proposed by the Legislature to balance the state budget.

Many Hawaii businesses, especially those that rely on vehicle fleets, opposed the measure.

But Hawaii Department of Transportation officials said the tax and fee increase would actually save business money by reducing travel time and maintenance costs.

The money raised by the tax and fee hikes would be supported by $1.5 billion from the state highway budget and $500 million in federal funds.

One sticking point over SB 1611 was whether the increases would go into effect only after the state experienced two consecutive quarters of at least 1 percent economic growth, pushing off the start to at least 2011.

Lingle advocated that position, but some lawmakers said it was not practical.

The highways modernization plan listed 183 projects on Hawaii’s six largest islands. They include widening of highways, building bypasses, and protecting shorelines.

The bill could be revived during the 2010 legislative session.

UH Professor Dr. Yanjun Sun Severes All Ties to Chinese Communist Party

Dr. Yanjun Sun, a visiting professor of Psychology of Religion at the University of Hawaii who just recently left China, has publicly severed all his ties to the Chinese Communist Party. Now, on a trip to Washington, DC, he is reaching out to policy-makers and the media to explain the importance of this growing movement to renounce communism and to detail his knowledge of the persecution of religious groups in China.

Dr. Yanjun Sun

Dr. Yanjun Sun

“The sciences, including psychology, are destined to serve the advancement of humankind. However, under a dictatorship, science becomes the accomplice of tyrannical ruling. This is the deepest shame of scientific professionals. A scientist can apply professional knowledge in doing good things as well as in doing evil things, and because of this, a scientist has to be responsible for his or her conduct to make sure that what he or she is doing is beneficial to human society,” states Dr. Sun.

“I cannot accept that the Chinese government has mobilized the entire state-run machinery to persecute peaceful religious groups like the Falun Gong in their efforts to control the population. The Chinese communist regime has brutally persecuted those Falun Gong adherents who persist their faith of Truth, Compassion, and Tolerance [the founding principles of the Falun Gong spiritual practice]. Over the past ten years, the Chinese communist regime has employed multiple defamatory and slanderous campaigns against Falun Gong, and they have committed the crime of genocide against adherents of this peaceful practice.”

Professor Sun decided to take action after reading Nine Commentaries on Chinese Communist Party, an editorial series published by a US-based Chinese newspaper that details the atrocities committed by the Chinese Communist Party in history as well as today, highlighting issues like the oppression of Falun Gong. He has now openly renounced his membership in the Chinese Communist Party and all of its related organizations. To date 53 million Chinese people have made similar statements through both formal and informal means. More details can be found at www.TheEpochTimes.com.

On Monday, May 4, Dr. Sun will present what he knows about the ongoing oppression of religious practices in China. He will also be available for interview. Joining Dr. Sun will be Dr. Wenyi Wang, who will make an announcement on  the formation of  the Foundation to Support Chinese to Quit the Chinese Communist Party.

———————————

From Epoch Times:

Undertaking religious studies under an atheist communist regime may sound like a contradiction, but Sun Yanjun, a professor of the psychology of religion, said it is just another method the Chinese regime uses to control people.

“In order to have power in hand the regime must control tightly the ideology. And if they want to control people’s minds they have to control religion,” Sun said through a translator. “The Chinese Communist Party is a dictatorship; it is ruled through tyranny.”

Sun taught religious studies at Capital Normal University in Beijing. He said within every university is a Communist Party branch department and an executive Party department—the ultimate controlling forces of the university.

“In China everything serves the Party, and even when we give a lecture, the students are used as spies and messengers. If you say something outside the Party, they will report it to the executive and branch departments at the university.”

He said the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) set up religious studies in universities in order to get ideas on how to manage or control religions. The research he and his colleagues undertook is used to determine the policy of control or to directly influence public opinion through propaganda.

Control Over Religion

Religion has played a major role in the CCP’s battle for control of the Chinese people since the Party seized rule in 1949. It was strategic in that traditional Chinese society was based on a belief in the divine and China itself was once called “Shen Zhou” or “Land of the Divine.”

Communist ideology is based on atheism and in 1950, after the CCP gained control of China, local governments were instructed to disband groups of Catholics, Taoists, and Buddhists. The CCP ordered all members of these churches, temples, and religious societies to register with government agencies and to repent for their involvement.

“In China even though freedom of religion is in the law, only those religions controlled by the CCP can survive,” Sun said. The CCP elects its own priests and cardinals—over the Vatican’s objections—and the next Dalai Lama has already been appointed by the regime.

Fake Research Articles

Sun said he was requested to write “research papers” about religions, a propaganda exercise which became more pronounced following the regime’s clampdown on Falun Gong.

“When the persecution of Falun Gong started in 1999, because my major research focus was on the psychology of religion, I was requested several times to criticize Falun Gong and the practice,” he said. The requests came from the administration manager of the university, and the branch and executive branch of the Party.

“They said if I can write such an article it would be considered part of research and could be published. If I didn’t write it, it would affect my career and promotion,” Sun said.

“In my specialty it’s not difficult to publish an article, even within a week. I could publish some data between a Falun Gong practitioner and a non-practitioner, and use some psychological parameters to ‘prove’ the Falun Gong practitioner has some psychological problem. Once a paper like this is published it can have a very big impact.”

Sun refused to write the articles “because of the experience I had with my colleagues and professors who practiced Falun Gong. I always felt they were very compassionate, and it did not feel right to write defamatory articles.”

But some of his colleagues succumbed to the pressure and the financial lure, and wrote such articles. Grant applications and academic status were often affected by compliance to such requests from the Party.

“I personally believe religion is a good thing for people,” Sun said. “So I told my colleagues it is too unfair to attack a religious group.”

At other times he was requested to write defamatory articles about the Tibetan religion. “They also asked me once to write against some of the Christian organizations. I didn’t.”

Loss and Gain

Sun, who follows the teachings of Confucius, said he was motivated to sever all ties with the CCP last year.

“The  academic study of religion should not be used for tyranny,” he said. “I cannot always live my life under the shadow of deception.”

Sun was teaching in Hawaii at the time, and his public renunciation of the Party meant he had to give up his job and his title of professor at the same time. He also had to apply for asylum—the likelihood of torture was high should he return to China—and to leave behind his wife and family.

He has no regrets. “The decision to quit the CCP is the proudest thing I have done so far in my life.”

Sun renounced membership from the CCP after reading the “Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party” once he was in Hawaii and was free of the Internet blockade.

“Meng Zi [also known as Mencius] said, ‘if you don’t have compassion, you are not a human being. If you don’t know right and wrong, you are not a human being. If you cannot be tolerant, you are not a human being. If you don’t know shame you are not a human being.’

“After I knew so much truth about the CCP, and if I tied my fate to the CCP, I am not qualified to be a human being either.”

Sun hopes his wife can join him in Hawaii sometime soon. In the meantime, he is working on some of the original scriptures by Meng Zi.