Hawaii Corporation Counsel Lincoln Ashida Thoughts on Bloggers

I just received this email along with Tiffany and Aaron from Hawaii Corporation Counsel Lincoln Ashida regarding our blogs:

lincoln

“Here are some recent posts that may interest you:

www.hawaii-county.com/cc/director.htm

I am also intrigued by the work you all do in managing your blogs.  No disrespect to our local dailies, but your articles seem to generate more thoughtful and respectful (i.e., credible) comments from your readership.  I think blogs are part of the new age of credible information; at some point I would like to put together a training for our legal staff and eventually our County on the benefits of blogs in getting a good pulse on our community.

Linc

Lincoln S. T. Ashida,Corporation Counsel

County of Hawai`i

Email: Lashida@co.hawaii.hi.us

Website:  www.co.hawaii.hi.us/cc/home.htm”

Why thank you very much Mr. Ashida. I’m glad you recognize the work that we put into out blogs.

Please also visit the FBI Blogs (From Big Island Blogs) for other great Big Island Blogs as well.
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MAYOR KENOI SEEKS AMENDMENTS TO COUNTY CODE OF ETHICS

Media Release

Hawai’i County Mayor Billy Kenoi announced today the initiation of a joint project with the County Board of Ethics to review County operations and submit major amendments to the County Code of Ethics.

Recent local media articles have called into question the appropriateness of the conduct of some County employees.  Although many of these issues, such as the sale/lease back of a County bulldozer, the Saddle Road tack coat dispute, and most recently the County contract for drywell cleaning, predate Mayor Kenoi’s administration, the Mayor emphasized the need for proactive measures to address conflicts of interest and even the appearance of impropriety.

“We are committed to a fair and open procurement process, and we want to avoid any perception that the process improperly favors any vendor,” Mayor Kenoi said. “Having county employees contract to sell goods and services to their own departments undermines public confidence in the fairness of the system, and it should not continue,” he added, noting that changes approved by the Council would apply to future contracts.

The Mayor’s Office will work directly with Ethics Board Chairman John Dill and his fellow Board members in reviewing present County operations and making warranted amendments to the Code.  All amendments will then be formally submitted to the Hawai‘i County Council, which is solely responsible for the passage of legislation in our County.

“The focus will be on service to our community,” said Ethics Board Chairman Dill.  “We want to do what is right for our community.  The people of the County of Hawai‘i deserve nothing less.”

An issue arose earlier this month after a vendor criticized the bid specifications in an invitation for competitive bids for a contract to clean county drywells for the Department of Public Works. The drywell contract is currently held by Kama’aina Pumping Inc. The president of Kama’aina, a current County employee, sought the assistance of the Board of Ethics in 2003 to determine whether a conflict of interest existed.  The Board in 2003 (different members from the current Board) applied existing law and determined no conflict of interest existed so long as the County employee had no direct involvement in the private contract.

Stressing that there was no evidence of wrongdoing, Mayor Kenoi said he will first ask that the Ethics Code be amended to specifically ban county workers in the future from contracting to sell goods or services to their own departments if certain criteria are met. The objective of the change is to boost public confidence in the procurement process, he said, noting that laws need to change in order to address the changing times.

Space Tourism with Reps. McKelvey and Ward

rocketplane

I’ve been talking about rocketplanes and space tourism a bit. It’s good to see our Reps. talking about the possibility:

Space Tourism with Representatives Angus McKelvey and Gene Ward Ph.D. Guests John Strom, VP of Business Development Enterprise Honolulu and Jim Crisafulli, Director of the Office of Aerospace Development, Strategic Industries Division, DBEDT/State of Hawaii

Part I:

Part II:

Part III:

Part IV:

Two Cases Swine Flu Confirmed on Big Island

…The two cases that live on the island of Hawai‘i are school-aged children that are not attending school at this time. One acquired their illness while traveling in another state, the other had contact with a confirmed case…

More Here

Chef Mark… Try Balut While You’re Here

Chef Mark  Tafoya creates food and travel videos for Culinary Media Network and is a personal chef in New York City.

Chef Mark Tafoya

Chef Mark Tafoya

He is also one of the Bloggers coming to Hawaii with the So Much More Hawaii campaign that the Hawaii Tourism Authority is hosting.

On twitter this morning he tweeted:

I’m headed to Hawaii tomorrow to discover what the locals REALLY eat!

I gave him this reply

Hope you get to experience Poi, Opihi, Poke, etc…. but can I suggest you stay away from the “Balut” … lol

Mark’s response

I didn’t know that Balut was big in Hawaii. Thought that was a Filipino thing.

Well Mark, Balut is not a “Big Thing” in Hawaii… But I have seen it in the grocery stores!

balut

I found this little blurb about Balut in Hawaii:

In the Filipino community in Hawaii, “baluts ” are considered a real culinary delicacy. The preparation of the balut eggs involves the incubation of fresh fertilized chicken eggs for approximately 7 days. The eggs are then boiled for approximately 30 minutes and best when eaten hot as you would eat a hard boiled eggs. Duck eggs may be substituted if you have an available source. However, chicken eggs are preferable because of the prestigious position chickens hold in the Filipino communities as witnessed by the popularity of the infamous “cock fights”. Baluts are generally available at these festive events…