VP Biden and President Obama: Talking Jobs with Americas Mayors

Vice President Biden and President Obama speak to the U.S. Conference of Mayors about sustaining economic growth and creating new jobs in communities large and small. January 21, 2010.


Teach for America – Hawaii


Civil Unions bill Passes Hawaii Senate With a Super Majority of 18 out of 25

As Tweeted by Senator J. Kalani English:

  1. Civil Unions bill passes Hawaiian Senate with a super majority of 18 out of 25. half a minute ago from Echofon
  2. We are voting right now on civil unions bill. Each Senator is called by name; we must vote, yes or no. We are at the moment of truth! 2 minutes ago from Echofon

  3. We are at the edge of history as the Hawaiian Senate votes on civil unions now. 3 minutes ago from Echofon

  4. We will vote very soon on civil unions! 7 minutes ago from Echofon

Mayor Kenoi Greets President Obama at 78th Winter Meeting of the US Conference of Mayors

Yesterday I blogged about Mayor Kenoi being in Washington DC for the 78th Winter Meeting of the US Conference of Mayors. Well it looks like he got to meet the man himself:

Photos from the 78th Winter Meeting of the US Conference of Mayors

Tonight: Rage 4 Haiti

Funny Friday – Volcom Pigeon

Learn how to speak pidgin with the Volcom Pigeon as he talks story about creedling around town. Featuring the Volcom Pigeon, Sista, Haole Tourists, Bruce Irons and the Kanaka’s. Animated in Hawaii by DrewtoonZ.


Feral Friday

Mayor Kenoi Supports Withdrawal of Spigot Bill

Councilman Enriques to convene task on free water issues…
From the Mayor’s Office:

Mayor Billy Kenoi is supporting a request to withdraw the administration’s proposal to regulate the use of public County water spigots on Friday’s Hawai‘i County Council agenda.

The administration submitted Bill 189 to prevent abuse of the free water provided by the County at 15 public spigots located around the island.

The County provides the water for personal, non-commercial use. Residents are encouraged to limit their use to 50 gallons per person per day for personal, non-commercial use, but currently no restrictions apply to the intended use or amount of water that an individual may take from the spigots.

The County has received reports of people taking amounts far in excess of 50 gallons and using the free water for agricultural and commercial purposes. The County pays for the water that is provided free at the spigots.

Bill 189 was intended to prevent abuse of the free public water in fairness to all residents of the County. But concerns raised in a January 14, 2010 letter from 6th District Councilman Guy Enriques prompted Mayor Kenoi to support the request that the Bill be postponed for further review.

Councilman Enriques asked Council Chairman J Yoshimoto on January 14, 2010 to postpone discussion of the Bill on the Council’s Friday, January 22 agenda, based on “heavy public response after the presentation at the Finance Committee on January 5,

2010, (which) brought forward many questions about the rights, costs and accessibility of water.”

“Furthermore,” Enriques wrote, “Bill 189 comes at an inappropriate time with the current drought coupled with the economic downturn dramatically increasing the spigot use in every district.”

Kenoi responded to Enriques in a letter delivered today.

“Having heard from your constituents in Council District 6, who are the largest consumers of water from public spigots in the County, I respect your concerns,” Kenoi wrote. Mayor Kenoi concurred with Enriques’ request, “provided that (Enriques) convene a task force involving residents, stakeholders and the Hawai‘i County Civil Defense to explore a fair and equitable management solution for our County spigots.

“I appreciate Councilman Enriques’ understanding of his district’s residents and their concerns and accept his offer to convene a task force to look into the complex issues regarding the spigots before we move forward with this proposal,” Kenoi said.

“We should give our residents a better opportunity to present alternative ideas and solutions with the intent that a new bill will be submitted for the Council’s consideration following further review of the important issues involved.”

Hawaii County Puts Historic Banyan on Chopping Block

Editorial By Sydney Ross Singer:

There was a time, not long ago, when environmentalists protected trees from being cut down by developers. Now, trees need to be protected from environmentalists cutting them down.

A case in point is a beautiful, majestic banyan tree that graces Reed’s Bay Beach Park, in Hilo. This area of Hilo boasts numerous banyan trees, many named after famous people and planted over 70 years ago in their honor. In 1934, Princess Kawananakoa planted a banyan here. In fact, the street these are on is called Banyan Drive.

This particular banyan can be seen as you enter Banyan drive, and is the centerpiece of Reeds Bay Park. This tree should be listed as one of the most beautiful banyan specimens, indeed one of the most beautiful trees of any kind. The size of a three story house, it offers needed shade, its roots keep the shoreline intact, and it creates a magical, almost mystical ambiance that delights residents and tourists. Planted in the 1930’s, it has survived four tsunamis…

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Hawaii Mayors in Washington DC Now

Mayor Kenoi along with Mayors Mufi Hanneman, Bernard P. Carvalho Jr. and Charmaine Tavares are all attending the 78th Winter Meeting of the US Conference of Mayors in Washington DC right now.

The Hawaii Mayors surround US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan

Media Release:

More than 230 of the nation’s mayors, led by U.S. Conference of Mayors President Burnsville, MN, Mayor Elizabeth Kautz, will convene for the 78th Winter Meeting of The U.S. Conference of Mayors on Wednesday, January 20-Friday, January 22, at the Capital Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C.

The nation’s mayors will meet with the Obama Administration and Congress to advocate for a national bipartisan political agenda that confronts the unemployment that still exists on main street America, the need for a federal/city partnership on climate protection and energy with block grants to cities producing green jobs, and a more balanced transportation bill next year that recognizes the necessity to modernize the current transportation system in order to daily move goods, services and people in our metro areas of the nation.

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Soul Surfer Begins Shooting in Hawaii Next Week – The Bethany Hamilton Story

Bethany Hamilton, the surfer on the North Shore of Oahu who lost her arm to a shark bite is about to have a Major Hollywood movie made about her story.

Carrie Underwood, Dennis Quaid, Helen Hunt and others are scheduled to be part of the film which begins filming next week on the North Shore of Oahu.

Filmmaker Kevin Sorbo tweeted out the following a few days ago:

  1. i am so happy to be doing this movie. great story of overcoming tragedy. 5:23 AM Jan 16th from web
  2. Check this video out — Bethany Hamilton Tells Her Story…. http://youtu.be/duelon0MF2o i will meet her next week. 5:23 AM Jan 16th from web

  3. name of movie is ‘soul surfer’. touching story. i will be starring with dennis quaid, helen hunt, carrie underwood, anna sophia robb. 5:18 AM Jan 16th from web

  4. i am showing you this video because i will be shooting Bethany’s movie in hawaii. 6 week shoot in hawaii. start shooting jan. 25. 5:16 AM Jan 16th from web

  5. Check this video out — Heart of a Soul Surfer: The Bethany Hamilton Story http://youtu.be/nnrpFWcFFxc 5:15 AM Jan 16th from web

  6. just booked a movie in hawaii…..details to follow! 2:55 PM Jan 15th from web

Today: Public Meeting on Puna Community Development Plan Action Committee

DATE: Thursday, January 21, 2010

TIME: 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

PLACE: Kea‘au Community Center





Testimony shall be limited to items on the agenda. Persons wishing to provide oral testimony are asked to submit a completed request form to the meeting Recorder prior to the completion of each Public Testimony portion of the meeting. Oral testimony shall be limited to three (3) minutes in length per agenda item during the Public Testimony portion of the meeting or immediately prior to an agenda item, subject to the discretion of the Chair.


December 18, 2009 meeting




1. Planning Director BJ Leithead Todd: Meet and welcome the Action Committee. Review the Action Committees roles and responsibilities and the CDP amendment procedure process. (40 min)

2. Action Item 3.1.3.(B) item 4 and 3.2.3 (E): Discuss making a recommendation to the County Council to submit a resolution to the State House and Senate proposing legislation enabling the County to retain lots delinquent in property taxes. (20 min)

3. Sub-Committee Reports: Each sub-committee shall report on how they intend to proceed and ideas for prioritizing action items. (40 min)

4. Action Committee Support Budget: Discussion on requesting funds for FY 2010 – 2011 to provide continued staff support services to the Action Committee. (20 min)

5. Action Committee Workshops: Action Committee to discuss the need for educational workshops, determining level of interest, workshop topics and workshop dates. (10 min)



Identify agenda items for the next meeting.

Monettes’ Hawaii for Haiti Benefit Dinner

Media Release:

Monettes restaurant at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel presents “Hawaii for Haiti” a special benefit dinner celebrating the people and flavors of Haiti on

Monday, January 25 from 6-9 pm. Proceeds from the dinner will be donated to the group

“Doctors Without Borders” to support its efforts in providing emergency medical care to the earthquake victims.

Chef de Cuisine Matthew Zubrod has created a five-course menu focusing on Haitian and Caribbean cuisine as a tribute to that island nation, while incorporating some of his signature dishes.

“Since I’m unable to cook directly for the victims of this natural disaster, I’m cooking to raise donations for the care they desperately need,” Zubrod said.

Proprietors Mark and Scott Monette said, “Our restaurant exists on the Big Island in big part due to the 2006 earthquake here that so badly damaged Mauna Kea Beach Hotel. That earthquake led to a multi-million renovation of this legendary property and provided the opportunity for us to do business here.”  And so, they said, we feel a strong connection to what’s happened in Haiti and we believe the opportunity for re-building an even stronger, re-structured, modernized Haiti exists and hope that will be the end story of this tragic event. We are happy to do what we can to assist the Haitian people in their time of need.

Highlights of Chef Zubrod’s “Hawaii for Haiti” menu include: Conch Chowder, Cod Fritters, Rum Marinated Shrimp on Sugarcane Skewers,  Jerk Spiced Pork Chop with Red Beans and Rice, and Rum Raisin Cake.  Options are offered within each course, providing an opportunity to sample some of Monettes featured selections, including Prime Filet with Garlic Spinach and Potato Puree, Butternut Squash Soup, and a popular duo – Tuna Tartare and Sashimi with Grilled Sesame Oil. The evening, including the five-course dinner and live music,  is priced at $85 per person with 20% of the proceeds (pre-tax and gratuity) benefitting Doctors Without Borders. Reserve your seat by phoning 808/443-2850.

Monettes was founded by brothers Mark and Scott Monette in Spring 2009.  The brothers also own and operate the award-winning Flag Staff House in Boulder, CO.  Monettes Artisan Steak and Fish features the finest meats and freshest seafood in one of the world’s most beautiful tropical settings. It is all delivered with the warm, professional service the Monette family has become known for over their 38 years in the restaurant business.  For more information, please visit www.monetteshawaii.com

Mayor Kenoi, BJ Penn and Others on Voting in 2010 – Young Voter Registration Program


New York Times to Charge Readers for Online Content

I new this was coming… and it will only be a matter of times before our local newspapers try to do this as well.

I don’t see anyone on the Big Island that would buy this online content… especially with our local papers.

America’s most popular newspaper website today announced that the era of free online journalism is drawing to a close. The New York Times, the so-called grey lady of US media, has become the biggest publisher yet to set out plans for a paywall around its digital offering, abandoning the once unshakeable orthodoxy that internet users will not pay for news…

More Here: New York Times to Charge Readers for Online Content

Ack… Why Didn’t I Pull a U-Turn?

Dang nabbit… I saw the Google car yesterday, and I have been wanting to talk to the driver ever since I found out the “Google Street View Car” was on the Big Island.

I was driving up Highway 11 and I saw it coming into town… had I not been going 55 MPH and not late for where I was going… I would have trailed that buggah.

I’m telling you now… before this Google Car leaves the Big Island… I will do my best to try and get a picture of it here!

Damon Tucker = Google Car Stalker… LOL

Wordless Wednesday – Accidental Shadow

This was an accidental picture that got taken when I was looking at my camera. It turned out kind of cool for an accident!

OHA Grants $1.24 Million to Na Pua Noeau

UH Hilo News:

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs has awarded a services grant of $1,243,336 to the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Na Pua No‘eau, the education-based resource center for Hawaiian children in grades K-12.

The grant will allow Na Pua No‘eau to provide a continuum of program and events to help students with an effective transition from high school to college.

“This is Na Pua No‘eau’s 20th year of operation,” said Na Pua No‘eau Director Dr. David Sing. “We cherish our partnership with the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and are grateful for OHA’s long-term commitment to provide its beneficiaries opportunities to reach their highest potential and to promote the teaching of Hawaiian culture, language and history.

“That partnership allows Hawaiian students from throughout the state opportunities to raise their achievement and aspirations, and to strengthen their knowledge and practice of their Hawaiian cultural heritage,” Sing added.

“Hug It Forward” Hits Honolulu


Click to go to Hug It Forward Homepage

The Disney Resort on Oahu Gets a Name… “Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa”

The Disney Resort being built in Hawaii now has a name: Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa. The video below is a first look at what the new Resort will look like.