Looks Like Ripping Off the Taxpayers is Fairly Easy to Do on This Island… Half Million on Videotaping… Where is the Footage?

I’ve been complaining for a long time about why aren’t the county council meetings being streamed live on the internet.  About a week or so… a few creative minds proved that it can be done for free very easily.

I previously blogged about the company “Out of the Sea Media” receiving a very large contract to do the Hawaii County Council Meetings.

Out of the Sea Media Arts has a large contract with the county council to videotape and then return a copy of the tape to the county in a DVD format.  To do this… it doesn’t take much money at all… but what I found interesting… is all the other nice lucrative projects this same company has landed in the last two years…

…Goodenow said the county’s contract with Out of the Sea Media Arts, a private video production company, totaled $131,000 for each of the past two fiscal years. He said $140,000 had been earmarked for videos of this year’s meetings

Well I just noticed that this same company landed a few other LARGE Contracts by the county and  with a quick scan of things… they appear to be doing quite a few easy projects that wouldn’t cost much to do.

Here is a few of the Professional Services awarded to the following company during the last couple of years:

This video work is very easy to do and our county is paying a ridiculous price to this company for these services…

11/8/07 Recycle Hawaii; Out of the Sea Media Arts; Gershman, Brickner & Bratton $170,000.00

10/29/08 Recycle Hawaii; Out of the Sea Media Arts; Gershman, Brickner & Bratton $36,000.00

1/22/09 Recycle Hawaii; Out of the Sea Media Arts; Gershman, Brickner & Bratton Inc. $171,035.00

7/1/09 Out of the Sea Media Arts, Inc.; Recycle Hawaii; Gershman, Brickner & Bratton Inc. $131,450.00

http://www.co.hawaii.hi.us/purchasing/prof_services_awarded.htm

I’ll be straight up… this is very easy work… and I’m very jealous I can’t land these 6 figure contracts on a regular basis for doing very simple work.

A Look Ahead… Neil Abercrombie Assistant on Healthcare

Legislative forecast on healthcare legislation with Congressman Neil Abercrombie and his Legislative Assistant for Healthcare, Rose Hacking.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bLUJU3EkZ0&hl=en&fs=1&]

Congresswoman Mazie Hirono Delivers Health Care Reform Update

Congresswoman Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) meets with the Honolulu Japanese Chamber of Commerce government affairs committee to discuss the ongoing effort to reform Americas health care system.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mkn5XT74Rrs&hl=en&fs=1&]

Jury Pool… Not Again! Well I Guess I Could Use the Money this Time

So I got the letter as I’m sure many folks in the community got today… that the State is looking to pool a jury together for a trial.

jury duty

The last time I got one of these, I was living on Oahu about 4-5 years ago.

I didn’t think there would be a chance in hell that I would even be questioned because there was 150 called to be on a jury of 12… (update… just opened the envelope and it’s just a notification telling me I may be selected for a jury pool in the next year)

I kid you not… I was the 12th jury member selected.

The trial was a very interesting trial and dealed with a suicide that happened at a psych ward in a hospital on Oahu where the plaintiffs were trying to sue a doctor for malpractice for failing to stop a suicide in his care.

The case lasted about 9 days and we found the doctor innocent of all charges.

What really irked me… is that I didn’t even get Jury Duty pay… because I was a State/Government Employee… and while you get time off to do your  civic duty… you don’t get compensated.

Then when you get back to your work… you end up being flooded with work trying to catch up on things.

There are many ways to avoid jury duty… I could have been lame and unhonest… but heck… it was a good experience at the time.

Now I’m unemployed and I could use that $35.00 bucks a day and gas mileage or whatever it is they pay folks to sit on Jury now.

Can you believe that… $35.00 a day????

What’s worst… is you are pretty much stuck there in that jury chair until the judge dismisses you.

No wonder why so many folks look at ways to get out of jury duty.  I kind of look at it as my civic responsibility… However, I think the jury needs to be compensated a bit more for their time.

Groundbreaking Begins on “Helene Hale” Gymnasium in Pahoa

Today was the long anticipated groundbreaking of the “Helen Hale” Gymnasium that will be located on the Pahoa High and Intermediate Campus.

Legislative Aide RJ Hampton, Mayor Bill Kenoi, Senator Russell Kokubun,  Helene Hale, Representative Faye Hanohano and the Principal of Pahoa High break ground on the new gymnasium while Councilwoman Emily Naeole says a prayer in the background.

Legislative Aide RJ Hampton, Mayor Bill Kenoi, Senator Russell Kokubun, Helene Hale, Representative Faye Hanohano and the Principal Dean Cevallos of Pahoa High break ground on the new gymnasium while Councilwoman Emily Naeole says a prayer in the background.

Many dignitaries in attendance talked about how long this process has taken and all were very thankful that the process has finally started.

gym side shot

Helene Hale, who is a legend around this area, really pushed for this gymnasium many years ago and even today she was very greatful and joked that she was at least happy she was able to see the groundbreaking before she goes on to the next part of her life.

Emily Naeole, Helene Halel and Faye Hanohano all looking lovely

Emily Naeole, Helene Halel and Faye Hanohano all looking lovely

Community members from all parts of Puna came out to support this great project as most locals from around here… are actually graduates or attended Pahoa School at one time or another in their lives.

Maddie Greene, Fred Blas and Johnna Medeiros

Maddie Greene, Fred Blas and Johnna Medeiros

Even our own elected official Emily Naeole graduated from Pahoa and Rep. Faye Hanohano was at Pahoa before transferring to Oahu to attend Kamehameha.

Cousins Emily Naeole and Faye Hanohano talk about how long they have waited for this day

Cousins Emily Naeole and Faye Hanohano talk about how long they have waited for this day

The students of Pahoa are one of the last schools to get a gym built.  My wife played many volleyball and basketball games in the old gym and it has many memories… but the school outgrew that gym a long time ago and this is definitely a good thing.

Vice-Principal and Principal of Pahoa High and Intermediate

Vice-Principal and Principal of Pahoa High and Intermediate

I’m glad I could be there for this historic groundbreaking.

I heard it will be done in several phases.  The first phase will not include locker rooms, however the second phase of it will have locker rooms.

You can click on the pictures below for a larger view and Big Island Video News has video of the event as well posted here:

Wordless Wednesday – A Leaning Tree

If a tree falls in Pahoa and no one is around to hear it... does it make a noise?

If a tree falls in Pahoa and no one is around to hear it... does it make a noise?