Best of Hawaii 2009… You Decide

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…Ten lucky readers will be selected to win an Aloha Shoyu gift pack of Aloha Shoyu products and Aloha Teriyaki Glaze recipes.

You can enter either by mail or on the Web—not both please. To enter by mail, download the official form, print out and mail.

Mail-in Entry: Download official entry form

Please mail by June 12, 2009 to: BEST of HAWAII Magazine, 1000 Bishop Street, Suite 405, Honolulu, HI 96813. Photocopied ballots are accepted.

Hōkūle’a: World Oceans Day

In celebration of World Oceans Day, Hōkūle’a crew members share some of their footage from the recent trip to the protected atoll, Palmyra. Home to a myriad of species, the intact coral reef system of Palmyra offers a lesson on how our oceans can rebound with just a little care.

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

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zjZ3knDnqfs&hl=en&fs=1&]

King’s Day Bash ’09

Kings Day Bash '09

Former University of Hawaii-Hilo’s Interim Vice Chancellor to Lead Homeland Security Research Center

In a joint announcement made by the USC Viterbi School of Engineering and the School of Policy, Planning, and Development, Stephen C. Hora was named the new director of USC’s Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events (CREATE), the nation’s first Department of Homeland Security Research Center of Excellence.

Stephen C. Hora

Stephen C. Hora

Established in 2004 and renewed in 2007, CREATE supports research in response to the threat of terrorism. A model of interdisciplinary collaboration – thus the engineering-planning and policy partnership – CREATE continues to break new ground in applying advanced risk, decision and economic analysis and modeling tools to evaluate the costs and consequences of terrorism.

Hora is a prominent decision analyst who has led several CREATE studies and is an experienced academic leader who served as the University of Hawaii-Hilo’s interim vice chancellor for academic affairs from 2005-07. He is a professor of management science and statistics at UH-Hilo. He earned both his Doctor of Business Administration and his bachelor’s degree from USC. He will hold a research professor appointment at USC.

The Department of Homeland Security selected USC as the site for CREATE from among 71 competing proposals. CREATE develops predictive models that gauge how and where terrorist events might occur, estimates the economic consequences of such attacks and identifies where the country’s vulnerabilities reside. A study by the center helped California strategically allocate infrastructure protection funds received from the Department of Homeland Security.

In addition, a CREATE-funded research team led by USC professor Milind Tambe developed randomization software for vehicle checkpoints at airports with significant success.

To date, CREATE has generated 256 publications and reports on biological threats, border security and seaport vulnerabilities.

Big Island 43% Growth Rate By 2025

…The Big Island is expected to grow even faster. The island — identified in the study as the “Hilo area” — ranked 37th out of 250 U.S. metros, with a 43 percent projected growth rate by 2025. The Big Island is expected to grow from 164,462 residents in 2005 to 235,367 in 2025.

The forecasts are based on U.S. Census Bureau population data and existing rates of growth.

More Here

Are You Jalousie… Nah I’m a Louver

In the Pacific Northwest, it gets too cold to have the type of windows that many places here in Hawaii have. I remember actually putting plastic sheeting over our glass windows to create a thermal barrier during the really cold months… and It would still be cold inside of our houses w/out the heat on!

I’ve seen many places with only screens as their windows. The one common thing you do see here in Hawaii, is Jalousies.

Vinyl Jalousies both open and closed

Vinyl Jalousies both open and closed

There are all kinds of Jalousies the ones above are a vinyl material made to look like wood.

Wood Jalousies

Wood Jalousies

There are wood Jalousies that are susceptible to termites and wood rot.

Glass Jalousie

Glass Jalousie

Of course there are also the very prevalent glass jalousies.  It’s always good to have an extra supply of these on hand.

The weird thing about Jalousies… is I always thought they were the same thing as Louver. Aren’t they the same?

Why do we call them Louvers or Jalousies? I really don’t know. I even tried to look up the real differences between them. It just seems like Louvers is just kind of a romantic word for Jalousies.

Jalousie windows:

…Jalousie windows are best-suited for porches that are not climate-controlled and are in mild-winter climates, and thus were very common on mid-20th-century homes in Florida and the deep South. They have the advantage that they can remain open during heavy rains and yet (because the glass louvers protrude outward) keep most of the rain from entering in through the windows (another reason for their popularity in these warm, wet climates). They are also still in use and extremely common in Hawaii

Louvers:

A louver (American English) or louvre (British English), from the French l’ouvert; “the open one”) is a window, blind or shutter with horizontal or, less often, vertical slats, that are angled to admit light and air, but to keep out rain, direct sunshine, and noise…

Are you a Jalousie or a Louver person?

I Want a 32-Gig iPhone

I could do some damage with the new iPhone that is coming out:

iphone3g

…Apple unveiled two new models of the iPhone — the 3G S — that will sport a faster processor and sought-after features like an internal compass, a video camera and an improved photo camera. A 16-gigabyte version of the 3G S will cost $199 and a 32-gigabyte model will be $299. The 8-gigabyte iPhone 3G, which came out last year, will be cut to $99 from $199…

Unfortunately, I have two more months left on my T-Mobile contract before I can switch my numbers w/out a large penalty and have to pay off the contract.

I’ve waited long enough… I can wait another couple more months.

Hawaii Corporation Counsel: County Internet Records, Not “Scandal”

The following is cut and pasted from the “Desk of Lincoln Ashida“:

County internet records, not “scandal”

Lincoln Ashida

On April 17, 2009, we explained why the County’s internet use records must remain confidential while an ongoing investigation is being conducted into allegations of inappropriate use. Monitoring of County employee internet use has been an ongoing effort for some time. Unfortunately, this process became publicly known as the “County internet scandal” when a Council member opted to report to the media that he had not been granted access to the individual reports for each County department. Sharing of confidential and sensitive information within the County is done on a “need to know” basis. In fact, the internet use reports for our County have not even been shared with the Mayor, but only with the department head of each County department or agency, per the requirements of the County’s existing policy. The Council member averred that his unsubstantiated claim of internet abuse (i.e., excessive web surfing during work hours) had a direct relationship to a lack of productivity, and this was an issue that should be addressed by the Council in their review of the County’s operating budget.

A review of the records from the major departments in our County reveals no evidence of widespread illegal or highly inappropriate internet use. For those isolated cases where there has been inappropriate use, department heads are authorized to conduct their own internal investigation and mete out discipline where appropriate. This is exactly why there were objections to having the Council member peruse these reports. Representatives of the legislative branch are not the appointing or supervising authority of administration employees (and vice versa), and lack jurisdiction to mete out discipline if warranted. You may view the Corporation Counsel’s internet use records for the calendar year 2008 here.

Earlier this week, a summary report on internet use for 2008 was sent to each department head. The department head must decide whether there is any information in these reports that must be redacted before they are released publicly. For example, the Civil Defense Agency has already pointed out that a secure website periodically accessed by them through the Fire Department (this site is identified by a numeric code) contains highly sensitive information and should not be released for fear of creating unwarranted widespread public panic since the information contained therein may not be the most current or updated. It is not a matter of playing “hide the ball.” It is a matter of making sure the County executes its responsibility of ensuring only credible information is released to the public in a timely manner, and to prevent “hackers” and other persons with nefarious interests to create public panic.

Once any redactions to these summaries are completed, the reports will be available to the public for their inspection and review.

Having accepted the Council member’s recommendation, the County’s Department of Data Systems is also compiling detailed reports for the top internet users in each department. These separate reports are not all completed. They will be forwarded to the respective department head for review. The department head may then review the reports and conduct additional investigation if warranted. If it is determined the nature of the sites visited and/or their duration are inappropriate, discipline may be meted out to the employee, along with other corrective action. The reason this must be done on a case-by-case basis is there may be a legitimate work-related reason for visiting certain sites, or for using the internet for extended periods of time. The productivity of the particular employee will also be a factor. Is the employee getting their work done or are they asking for overtime? The software used by the County has its natural limitations; it can only tell you what sites were visited and for how long the internet was being accessed; it can never tell you whether the employee was actively navigating the internet during those times (the internet could have been minimized on their screen) or what else the employee may have been doing. To this end, there is no substitute for each department having appropriate accountability safeguards such as supervision, timesheets, and progress monitoring.

If discipline is meted out by a department head, the detailed internet use records for that particular employee may be withheld from public inspection. State law allows the employer to withhold this information since it involves the significant privacy interest of the employee.

If no discipline is meted out, the detailed report should be released, together with any redactions consistent with protecting the identity of secured sites as explained above.

When will all this happen? Data Systems reports the individual summaries take anywhere between 5-8 hours per employee to run. But since this is an ongoing process, and we recognize and respect the request for information made by the Hawai‘i Tribune-Herald newspaper, the reports will be released once the department head has an opportunity to determine whether discipline is warranted.

When I was a youngster in the 1980’s, “Scandal” was a rock band I listened to on MTV. More appropriately Merriam-Webster defines scandal as “loss of or damage to reputation caused by actual or apparent violation of morality or propriety.” Perhaps an even more appropriate definition by Merriam-Webster is “malicious or defamatory gossip.” The rush to judgment by some in the local media in labeling this investigation as a “scandal” was made without responsible attention to the establishment of underlying facts to support such a claim.

As ever, if you have any comments or questions on the above or any matter, please feel free to email our office at Lashida@co.hawaii.hi.us, or call me at (808) 961-8304, extension 118. This message was posted on June 3, 2009, at 2:00 p.m.