Former Stephens Newspapers Now on Twitter

Well of course our local Big Island Newspapers STILL don’t get it.

I’ve been communicating with a former Stephens Newspaper editor via Twitter… The Bellingham Herald and they were full on stoked to be able to join the “Twitter World”.

The Bellingham Herald Building

The Bellingham Herald Building

When will our local papers get with it?

Sink or swim papers… giving you a short time.

Online sites like Hawaii247.0rg can provide much better and more timely sources then our own papers.

We can watch timely videos of Big Island things via Big Island Video News.

We can also now find online information about up to date things in almost every part of the Big Island via the FBI Blogs.

Some folks have asked why I “Hate” the local papers… I’ve never said I “Hate” the local papers.  Most of the folks that work there are great folks.

I hate the fact that the news we receive from them isn’t even “News” most of the time.

I haven’t read one thing in a local paper recently that I can’t find out more information about the actual event/article online then I do in our own papers.

You look inside of the papers… it’s all AP generated stuff that’s even more old news.

Why even call our local “Newspapers” … NEWSpapers…

I think I might just start tagging them as “Old news is better then no News” type of “Rags”.

Which does really suck.

As much as I hate to admit it… I am a news junky… it sucks… I can find news and “CREATE” news on my own now because are local agencies just don’t get it yet.

FAQ’s About the Mokulele and Mesa Joint Venture

Go

Why has Mesa Airlines entered in to a joint-venture with Mokulele Airlines?
How will the new joint-venture work?
Will both the go! and Mokulele Reservations and Customer Care centers continue to operate?
Will the go! and Mokulele websites and reservations numbers continue to operate?
Which aircraft will be flown by the new joint-venture between Mesa Airlines (dba go!) and Mokulele Airlines?
Where do customers go to book Mokulele Express flights to/from Moloka’i?
Where will customers who book flights on go! or Mokulele Airlines check-in once the joint-venture is in effect beginning October 15, 2009?
The new venture will operate single class aircraft. What about the passengers who purchased a first class ticket before October 13, 2009?
Will the Ali’i Lounge continue to operate at Honolulu’s Inter-Island Terminal?
What will happen to passengers that have purchased Ali’i Club memberships or Ali’i Rewards memberships?
Are the Likiki Lele Coupon Books still valid for travel on flights operated by the new joint-venture?
How early do I need to arrive at the airport prior to the scheduled departure time?
How far is the Commuter Terminal from the Interisland Terminal?
Do I need to confirm my reservation?
What if I need to change my reservation?
Does go! Mokulele offer seat assignments?
Are the go! Mokulele flight departure times the same?
Do I have to pay for bags?
What are the carry-on bag requirements for flights operated by Mesa Airlines?
What if I have a surfboard?
What if I have a connection to another airline?
What happens to my Alaska Airlines Miles?
Will I earn Alaska Airlines Miles on go!?
Will I earn go!Miles for a ticket originally purchased on Mokulele?
Can I get a refund for my Mokulele ticket?

Mokulele Airlines Enters Joint Venture with Mesa Air Group

Media Release:

Today, Mokulele Airlines announced an agreement to form a joint venture with Mesa Air Group, Inc. in which the two companies will partner to provide low-fare inter-island air service. The joint venture will provide inter-island air service under both the Mokulele and go! brands, which will create Hawaii’s second-largest inter-island airline and its only low-cost carrier.

mokulele

Existing reservations booked on both airlines will be honored. Passengers will continue to book travel on both Mokulele (www.mokuleleairlines.com) and go! (www.iflygo.com) websites and check-in for jet services at the newly co-branded go!/Mokulele ticket counters, enjoying the added benefit of seamless travel to destinations served by both airlines. Mokulele jet routes currently operated by Republic Airways’ Shuttle America subsidiary will be transitioned to jet service provided by Mesa Airlines beginning Thursday (October 15) this week. Mokulele Express operating scheduled service in the Mokulele Cessna Caravan fleet between Honolulu-Moloka’i, Kahului-Moloka’i and Kona-Kahului remains unchanged.

“Mokulele’s mission has always been to provide affordable, reliable inter-island air service to both local travelers here in Hawaii and to the many who come to visit this beautiful state,” said Scott Durgin, CEO of Mokulele Airlines. “Unfortunately, the global economic crisis has dramatically decreased air travel and tourism, and these effects have been sorely felt in Hawaii. The agreement will allow us to continue offering a low-fare schedule, one that is appropriate to the level of demand in the market today.”

Durgin added, “I want to offer my sincerest gratitude to the employees of Mokulele, who worked so hard to build up this company and worked tirelessly as a team to create new alliances and collaborations that will serve us well in the long term. We are grateful for the many loyal customers who were quick to return, having experienced the exceptional travel experience our staff provide. We made tremendous strides during extremely daunting economic and industry conditions but those same conditions necessitate the steps we are announcing today to position the Mokulele brand for future success as a key component of Hawaii’s second-largest airline operation.”

Commenting on how this will affect employees, Durgin said, “We are jointly taking a close look at how we can create greater efficiencies in the combined operation and deploy our workforce in ways that make for a viable second airline. We are working very hard to preserve every job,” he added.

Mesa Air Group Chairman and CEO, Jonathan Ornstein said, “We are pleased to partner with Mokulele in launching this joint venture. We look forward to building on this strategic partnership, which will create opportunities for future growth of both the go! and Mokulele brands.”

About Mokulele Airlines

Mokulele Airlines was founded in 1998 as Mokulele Flight Service Inc. The airline operates scheduled U.S. carrier service to six cities in Hawaii and also offers tour flights and inter-island cargo service. Mokulele employs approximately 160 associates and sells tickets directly to passengers via its website www.mokuleleairlines.com and through its Honolulu reservations center at 808-426-7070.

One Freaky Cloud: The Halo Cloud in Russia

How is this trippy looking cloud this guy posted on youtube!  They are calling it the “Halo Cloud” or the “Moscow Cloud”.

Halo Cloud

Meteorologist say it’s an optical effect.

MMA Fighter Oleg Taktarov Arrives in Hilo Meets with BJ Penn

MMA Fighter and Hollywood actor Oleg Taktarov is in Hilo training with BJ Penn for a while.

oleg_taktarov

I just noticed the following youtube clip was uploaded by BJ himself:

Big Island Live Agriculture Talk Show with Jon Biloon Every Week

Every Tuesday at 7:00 pm HST Master Gardener Jon Biloon discusses agriculture and politics on www.Bigislandlive.com.

billoon

Jon Biloon

Jon will take questions from the home audience during the broadcast. For the past few decades Mr. Biloon has taught guerilla gardening techniques and consulted farmers on a wide variety of issues.

Previously, Jon hosted a talk show on Big Island Radio station KCOF 105.5 FM and then developed a following after being featured on www.coasttocoastam.com, one of the largest radio talk shows in the world.

Now Master Gardener Jon Biloon is ready to engage the audience sharing his personal knowledge and experience on how to live a more sustainable healthy lifestyle. Be sure to tune into the show every week on Big Island Live.

2009 – 2010 Hawaii County Charter Review and Proposed Ammendments

2009 – 2010 Charter Review

This year is the fourth ten-year review of our County Charter.
The Mayor has appointed an 11 member Commission which is beginning the review process.
The Commission is seeking input from County agencies and any interested citizen or organization.
The Commission plans to hold meetings for the remainder of 2009 and early 2010, after which the proposed amendments will be acted upon by the voters in an election in the year 2010.

All Meetings are open to the public.

Documents:

Public Hearings Notice

Current County Charter

Proposed Ammendments:

CA-1 Water Supply Replaces Manager with Manager Chief Engineer
CA-2 Data Systems Move to Article VI
CA-3 Fire Department Move To Article VII
CA-4 Civil Service Amendment
CA-5 Merit Appeals Board Amendment
CA-6 Removal of Directors Serving Under Commissions Amendment
CA-7 Recall Procedure Amendment.pdf
CA-8 Claims and Annual Reports
CA-9 Special Meeting Notice Requirement Amendment
CA-10 Adds to the Powers Duties and Functions of DEM Amendment
CA-11 Director of DEM Amendment
CA-12 Initiation of Amendments or Revisions Amendment
CA-13 Mandatory Charter Review Amendment

charter

Tonight: Talk Story with Mayor Kenoi in Holualoa

talkstory

Mayor Billy Kenoi will be conducting a talk story tonight to hear community concerns in Holualoa,  6-8 PM.

Plan “Bee”: Hawaii Government Stings Honey Bees

The following letter was sent to me by Sydney Ross Singer

In case you haven’t heard the buzz, the honey bee in Hawaii is gravely threatened by a newly introduced parasite, the varroa mite, which can wipe out our bee population within a few years, and is spreading across the state.

Bees with varroa mite

The question is, should we save the honey bees, or is the mite doing us a favor?

If you ask residents, farmers, and beekeepers, the honey bee is a blessing in Hawaii. They provide delicious honey, they help pollinate all sorts of fruit trees and crops, and they are interesting creatures to raise as a hobby. For most people, our islands would surely be less sweet without honey bees.

On the other hand, if you ask some conservationists who only value “native” species and wish to eradicate introduced ones, the honey bee is an invasive species curse in Hawaii. They compete with native pollinators, and they pollinate alien plant species that are encroaching on native forests. For these people, conservation would best be served by the eradication of the honey bee.

Unfortunately, the Hawaii government holds both of these opinions. And this spells doom for the honey bee.

According to Lyle Wong of the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (DOA), who is leading efforts on the Big Island to stem the spread of the varroa mite, the Hawaii government is not sure whether to regard the honey bee as a friend or foe (personal communication).

The DOA acknowledges the importance of the honey bee in agriculture, and that most farmers rely on feral, or wild, honey bees to pollinate their crops. On the other hand, the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), which works closely with the DOA, considers the honey bee as an invasive species, and thinks Hawaii would be better off without them.

This ambivalence towards the honey bee is also reflected in the fact that the DOA lists the honey bee as an agricultural pest for control or eradication. http://hawaii.gov/hdoa/admin-rules/subtitle-6-division-of-plant-industry/AR-69A.pdf

Add to this the fact that the varroa mite is considered a form of biocontrol against wild honey bees. http://www.columbia.edu/itc/cerc/danoff-burg/invasion_bio/inv_spp_summ/varroa_destructor.html

This is from a wikipedia entry: As an invasive species, feral honey bees have become a significant environmental problem in places where they are not native. Imported bees may compete with and displace native bees and birds, and may also promote the reproduction of invasive plants that native pollinators do not visit. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_honey_bee

The loss of the honey bee will accomplish what the DOA and DLNR, along with the US Forest Service, had in mind for strawberry guava biocontrol. They proposed releasing an alien scale insect to attack the strawberry guava to reduce its fruit production in order to slow its spread in the forests. That proposal has been made moot by the introduction of the varroa mite. The loss of honey bees mean less strawberry guava fruit. No need for the scale now that the mite is here.

The announcement of the invasion of the varroa mite on the Big Island came two weeks after the Hawaii County Council chastised the federal and state governments for their biocontrol plan for strawberry guava. Some people believe the varroa mite could have been secretly released by zealous biocontrol proponents who wish to see the demise of the honey bee in order to reduce the spread of guava, strawberry guava, and other “weed” trees. Since the scale insect release plan was being attacked, could the deliberate release of the varroa mite on the Big Island have been “Plan Bee”?

Whether it happened by design or through incompetence, the varroa mite was not stopped in Hilo, where it was first discovered. Now, the mite is expected to infest the entire Big Island, as it has Oahu.

Meanwhile, the DOA is killing healthy honey bees in swarm traps around the Big Island, certainly not a sign of friendship or support for the bees. According to Lyle Wong, the bees are killed to see if they had mites. However, there are effective nonlethal methods to tell this, as beekeepers will attest. Nevertheless, over 350 healthy bee hives have been killed around Hilo, and healthy bees are still being killed in swarm traps on the Kona side.

Why have swarm traps? It helps to see if the mite has arrived in that area by inspecting the bees in the trap. Of course, there is nothing that this information tells you beyond the fact that the mite has arrived.

So why kill the bees in the traps if they are healthy? It’s because it is just easier for the government workers to bag the swarm traps and kill all the bees instead of moving the bees to a hive and letting them live.

This disregard for the honey bees should not be a surprise given the way the state regards the bee. But it has stirred the anger of some local bee lovers who want to save the bees, and move healthy bee swarms from the traps into hives that can be given to residents and farmers who want bees. However, the DOA is resisting these efforts to save the healthy bees, insisting on killing them.

It is also important to have as many healthy bee hives as possible to allow the bees to evolve and adapt to the mite.

In fact, natural selection could ultimately create a resistant honey bee that could survive this mite attack. But until that happens, we will see our food supply reduced. Beekeepers will have to manage their hives for mites and sell pollination services to large farm operations, as is now required on the Mainland as a result of varroa mite destruction of wild bee populations. Meanwhile, our wildlife will suffer from lack of fruit, causing some wildlife, such as pigs and birds, to encroach on backyards and farms to find food. Hunters and gatherers from the wild will find less game and fruit. Our wild food resources, as well as our gardens and orchards, will suffer.

Less honey. Less fruit. Less abundance. Life will not be as sweet in the islands.

But not everyone will lament. The DLNR will celebrate, along with all the invasive species committees and councils, with their state, federal and private alliances, all dedicated to eliminating non-native species from Hawaii. They will call the elimination of the honey bee “sweet”.

But it is all the rest of us who will get stung.

Sydney Ross Singer
Director, Good Shepherd Foundation, Inc.
P.O. Box 1880, Pahoa, Hi 96778
808-935-5563