The Friday Night Click

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Mayor Kenoi Urges Council to Reject County Land Sale Bill

Mayor Kenoi urges council to reject county land sale bill

From the Mayors Office:

Mayor Billy Kenoi today called on the Hawai’i County Council to reject Bill 132 when the council Finance Committee considers the measure next week. Bill 132 would require the County Council approve each county land sale two times, adding a new bureaucratic layer to the process.

“This issue is about fiscal responsibility,” Mayor Kenoi said. “Because of the difficult economic times, we proposed selling a portion of the Hamakua lands that have sat unused for 15 years. The sale was part of a budget process designed to avoid raising taxes, avoid cuts in non-profit agencies, maintain free bus service,  and protect essential services such as police and fire protection. In June, the County Council agreed with this proposal, and voted 8-1 for a budget that included revenue from a Hamakua land sale.”

“Now, some members of the County Council have apparently changed their minds. We are well into the fiscal year and are committed to the budget the council adopted, but the council is considering a bill that will make it far more difficult if not impossible to sell the unused land and balance the budget,” Mayor Kenoi said.

“The Hamakua lands are zoned for agricultural uses today, and will remain agricultural lands after the sale. Putting those lands in private hands will allow them to become productive again, which will generate agricultural activity and create jobs for our community. As an added benefit, the new owners will be obligated to pay property taxes on the Hamakua lands, which will further help balance the county’s budget going forward in a challenging economic environment,” Mayor Kenoi said.

“If the Hamakua land sale must be canceled because of Bill 132, that will open up an $8.2 million deficit in the current year’s budget, triggering dramatic and painful cuts in services,” Mayor Kenoi said. “There is no sign that the council members advocating this bill have any sort of plan to make up for that lost revenue.”

“This is bad and unnecessary legislation because the buyer, price and potential land uses in any public land sale are already public record by law,” Mayor Kenoi said. “The council already authorizes county land sales by resolution before the land is put on the market. The council is well aware of all possible uses of the lands under existing zoning, and the council has complete control over any rezoning that might be proposed in the future. This ensures the Hamakua lands will remain zoned for agriculture and will be used for agricultural activities in the future.

“The public has had ample opportunity to provide testimony through the budget hearing process. Appropriate safeguards are already in place to protect the public interest.”

“Bill 132 will create enormous uncertainty,” Mayor Kenoi said. “The competitive bid process is customarily used to ensure a fair and equitable outcome, but some on the council now want the authority to overrule that process and jeopardize a fair and equitable outcome.”

“The proposed ordinance is an unnecessary and bureaucratic add-on to an open and transparent process. It will jeopardize the county budget and finances,” Mayor Kenoi said. “This administration’s commitment is to reduce the size and barriers in government, not to erect them as Bill 132 does.”

US Office of Travel Promotion Created

akaka

A bill that establishes a non-profit corporation to promote US leisure, business, and scholarly travel to foreign visitors passed the US Senate today.

The Travel Promotion Act of 2009, co-sponsored and supported by Senators Daniel K. Inouye and Daniel K. Akaka, is aimed at promoting foreign travel and tourism to the United States…

…“Tourism and the conventions, meetings, and incentive industry are crucial to Hawaii’s economy, but they are vulnerable to international events and fluctuations,” said Senator Akaka. “This legislation would encourage people to visit the US by helping potential visitors navigate tightened post-9/11 travel policies and by competing with other countries’ marketing campaigns. Promoting international travel is a solid investment in our economy….

Full article: Senate Passes Travel Promotion Act With Hawaii Senator’s Support

Kokua Kailua Sunday, September 20

Media Release:

Kokua Kailua Hulihee Palace Concert and Village Stroll welcomes residents and visitors on Sunday, September 20, 2009 to Historic Kailua Village.

kona
Alii Drive is converted into a festive pedestrian walkway from until 6:00 p.m.

Hulihee Palace hosts their monthly free concert honoring Queen Liliuokalani at 4:00 p.m.

Concert goers may bring their own beach mat or chair and utilize the free chair check at Emma’s Square for hands-free shopping and dining in the Village during Kokua Kailua which always features vendors, local artists and participating merchants offering special kamaaina discounts.

Kokua Kailua Hulihee Palace Concert and Village Stroll is sponsored by the Kailua Village Business Improvement District, the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce, Destination Kona Coast, Kailua Village Merchants Association, Hulihee Palace and Pacific Radio Group. The program is designed to rally support for merchants and restaurants and to remind residents to shop, dine and buy local.

The next Kokua Kailua Hulihee Palace Concert and Village Stroll date is Sunday, October 18, 2009.

Volunteers are always needed and appreciated to assist with closing and re-opening the road. If you are able to help so that these events can continue, please contact Marie Aguilar at 334-0562 or Dorlene Kolina Chao at 936-9202.

We Will Never Forget

Twin Towers Sunrise

Win Hawaiian Home Essay Contest: No Refunds Given Yet

As expected, it looks like the  “Win Hawaiian Home Essay Contestwas and still is a SCAM.  Big Island Chronicle legitimized this contest originally on December 10th of last year…. and they are still waiting on checks… Pfft.

scamhouse

I even warned Tiffany that same day that she should pull her blog posting, however, she insisted the contest was legit.

I just received the following comment:

So far they are not returning any entry fees. Sheri is stating “they are waiting for checks to arrive, before they can return any fees” Yep, I think we got duped on this one! I’m going to contact the local authorities, file a dispute with paypal and my credit card company. Has anyone else got a refund? The best part is that you can easily refund money back through paypal but they are obviously choosing not to go that route.


But hey… if you want to Buy or rent the house … you still can because it’s still on the market.