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Was It Really Necessary to Have Two Siren Blasts Each Time?

I think the Big Island folks that were in charge of this recent tsunami evacuation did a pretty good job of keeping folks informed of things.

I will say that other islands seemed to have much more information available to them as even Mayor Mufi Hanneman was using social media to send out messages!

I understand the need to alert folks of an upcoming tsunami, but was it really necessary to blasts the sirens for as long as they did and have them doubled up like they were?

I’m still worried that at some point folks might just become a bit to complacent about the sirens.

There was a lesson to be learned in the Aesop’s Fable “The Boy Who Cried Wolf“.

Koa Puna Hanging at Pahoa Village Cafe!

What Tsunami?

A Tsunami of Cars in Pahoa Town Today

I have never seen Pahoa town as crazy as it was today.

I didn’t have my camera with me when I went to Black Rock Cafe this morning… however, this is what I saw when I came back…  courtesy of a friend of mine.

Gas line into Pahoa earlier this am

Cell Phone and Driving Law… A Twist No One Probably Knows About!

I just noticed from the latest Hawaii County Police Commission Meeting Minutes (Chief’s Report)  that there is a twist in the cell phone and driving law.

If you are pulled over and on the phone… YOUR ENGINE MUST BE OFF OR YOU CAN STILL BE CITED FOR A TICKET.

“…Regarding the cell phone ban, when pulled over to use the phone, the vehicle’s engine must be turned off. The commission asked that they put out a press release about this…”

Time Lapse of the Hilo Bay Tsunami Today



Hawaii County Civil Defense Message:

Entry to all coastal areas is now prohibited.  First Wave estimated time of arrival 11:00 am.  Oceancraft well off shore not at risk.

Thank you for a successful evacuation.


There will be siren intervals counting down to the actual waves that are expected to hit.

Siren Schedule 7:00, 8:00, 9:00, 10:00 and 10:30

Hawaii County Civil Defense has asked folks to be evacuated

HAWAII COUNTY CIVIL DEFENSE: Evacuations Ordered for No Later than 10:00 AM

6:15 AM (Hawaii Time):

“TSUNAMI WARNING IN EFFECT. All in evacuation zones are ordered to evacuate no later than 10:00 AM. Stay off Roads. Listen to Radio for Updates. Stay Off Roads.

Yes I Know We Are Under a Tsunami Advisory



Doing too much…

nuff said!

Submarine Cable Linking Tahiti to Hawaii Landing in Kona

Media Release:

Hawai‘i County Mayor Billy Kenoi and dignitaries from Tahiti will participate in the landing of a submarine cable linking the two countries a cultural ceremony and other festivities will mark the historic event.

WHO: Edouard Fritch, Vice President of the Government of French Polynesia; Senator Richard Tuheiava (French Polynesia); Mayor Billy Kenoi, County of Hawai‘i; Teva Rohfritsch, Economic Restructuring Minister of French Polynesia; Senator Kalani English (Hawai‘i); Francois Voirin, Chairman of the board, Office des Postes et Telecommunications (OPT); Manfred Chave, OPT General Manager; Jean-Claude Teriierooiterai, Chairman Tahiti Nui Telecom.

DATE: Monday, February, March 1, 2010

TIME: 7:30 A.M. Welcoming remarks; 9 a.m. Greeting ceremony at Spencer Beach; 10 a.m. Festivities at Pu’ukohola National Park.

LOCATION: Pu‘ukohola National Park, Spencer Beach

PARKING: Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel from 6:30 – 4 p.m. There will be a shuttle to transport media to the park. There is limited parking available on site.

A Two Newspaper State?

I’m probably the last person in the local blog scene to comment on the purchase of the Honolulu Advertiser by Star Bulletin owner David Black.

My Comment… No Comment!

Another sad day for many journalists… the end of newspapers is happening slowly and sadly.

I predict many Star-Bulletin layoffs and I see more news getting “Fronted” by folks who don’t understand news and are more out to just “Break News” instead of really investigating things.

So be it…

I predict the Big Island will be a one newspaper island within three years and then eventually I don’t believe this island will have a newspaper.

It will be dominated by an Online presence.

Pierre… can you hear the Big Island yet?

Not Easy Being Named Kermit! Kermit Apio at The Great American Comedy Festival!


Commentary: Teen, Drug & Human Trafficking Concerns in Hilo

Commentary submitted on behalf of Brenda Olcott, mother of the child that I reported missing on my blog two days before police put out a missing child report, but removed after she was found:

Aloha Mayor Kenoi and Ms. Shigemura,

As Mayor Kenoi requested in an informal conversation with me, I would like to arrange a meeting with him to discuss my experiences surrounding my daughter’s abduction in November and to share lessons learned so that another child and family can be spared this tragic life changing event.  Thank you for your help raising awareness about human trafficking and youth drug abuse by arranging for this conversation.  I hope that this email will help provide background for why this conversation is so important.

Five years ago when my father became pastor of Church of the Holy Cross, we chose to call Hilo our home because I wanted my daughter to grow up in a nurturing community. I went to work for Hospice of Hilo and became active in the community, giving back through volunteer work with the YWCA and Hilo Jaycees.  Representing the YWCA, I have repeatedly advocated on Capitol Hill for VOCA and helped to secure appropriations for the YWCA sex assault services in Hawaii.  Aware of the many issues facing our youth and families, I worked with United Way to begin dialogue between the Boys & Girls Club, YMCA and YWCA to identify ways these organizations can effectively work together in developing youth programs.  I care a great deal about our community.

*****, my 15 year old daughter, also dove into community activities.  In addition to volunteering with me at the YWCA and with Jaycees, she played soccer, danced, and volunteered at Imiloa.  This past fall she enthusiastically started 9th grade at Hilo High School.  A good student, she was quickly befriended by a group that had more than friendship in mind.  We have since learned that one of the “friends” she made is actually a scout for an active drug and prostitution ring.  We have learned that (she) was recruited, introduced to meth, taken away at night while we slept and returned before we woke up, until the night she wasn’t returned.

Following hundreds of leads, she was found 3 days later through a grassroots community effort.  The night she came home was the first time we had seen her high.  She thinks she was gone a few hours.  During the search we learned that there were rumored plans to take her off island and sell her into prostitution.  At 48 hours missing, friends hoping she would be alive began to look for her body. In the three days her appearance was transformed, her hair was cut and colored, her clothes discarded and replaced, and she lost 10 pounds.  She returned to us addicted to over 15 different drugs.  She was offered money for sex and her organs.  Her one call home she was told to keep short so that it would not be traced.  Healing is now a very long journey.  She is now in an 18 month program which is focusing on trauma recovery, helping her find sobriety and to cope with the experience of multiple rapes and violence.  The drug addiction she battles most now is “4-MMC” which kept her functional and numb.  This drug, created in Israel in 2007 and now banned in many countries, is being produced on our island.  It’s my understanding that the plan is to sell this synthetic meth-cocaine compound from our community to the world.

During the experience I was told by police officers that runaways are “unofficially the lowest priority” because it is such a chronic issue.  We were told no action would really be taken for 30 days.  This message was reiterated by community members and other families who had experienced the same response by police.  It is definitely a chronic issue (2008 HPD numbers attached). It is one that can be addressed.  We have had an extensive interview with Captain Medeiros at HPD to share our experience.  Addressed effectively, treating disappearances as a “high priority” would send a message of deterrence to both youth and perpetrators.   In this, case, it would have sent a message to the perpetrators that you cannot just take a child.  I understand that the official policy is to treat runaways as a high priority, to question circumstances.  It is a policy that needs to be practice.  Days after she was returned, a 14 year old girl disappeared under eerily similar circumstances.  It took 3 weeks to find her.

When an arrest was made in (My Daughters) case, the only charge was “custodial interference.”  Although we had passed on all information learned during the search, there was very little follow up.  The woman pleaded “no contest” and was sentenced to one year probation and 60 days with credit for 16 days served and 44 days stayed.  She was fined $130 ($55 to the Crime Victim Compensation Fund and $75 probation fee).  (My Daughters) recovery is a lifetime.   Rehabilitation will cost about $140,000.  We requested a temporary restraining order while She was missing, it was denied and we were never notified.  I only learned of the sentencing when I initiated a call to the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney to inquire what was happening with our case.  It was a week after the sentencing took place and she had been released, we had received no notification of any kind.

During the course of recovering my missing daughter, we learned that there are weekly meth “parties” in the greater Hilo area.

There are opportunities to learn from this nightmare that can save other families.  It begins with awareness and dialogue.

Thank you for the opportunity to help our community become more responsive and not so conducive to the actions which have torn our family apart.  I look forward to meeting with you soon so that we can further discuss how these concerns might be addressed in our community.



Big Island Fiber Initiative

Media Release:

On February 10th, 2010, Google announced “Google Fiber”, an experimental project in which it will install fiber high speed interconnects to a selected area in the United States. The fiber internet connection will provide up to 1 Gigabit per second internet connection to homes in the selected communities. Thats over 100 time faster than the fastest internet currently available to the residents of Hawaii.

The Google trial will provide this connection to at least 50,000 users with a maximum of 500,000 users. That equates to everyone on the Big Island!

Google has asked that local governments and residents express their interest in receiving the Google Fiber project in their area. We have established a website that will help provide information necessary for residents of the Big Island as well as city, state, and county officials in contacting Google and voicing our desire for ultra-fast high speed internet on the Big Island.

Please help by forwarding this email to everyone you know, and ask them to vote for the Big Island. Instructions on how to contact Google are listed on the website.


Thank you,

Big Island Internet Initiative

Gag Me… I’m Not a Reporter!!! The Republican Governors Association… Ack!

I just got the following in my email… looks like the candidates have me on their list!  :roll:

I will reiterate once again to the two folks that read this blog… that I’m going to do my best not to be political with MY BLOG!

Folks please remember if I do get a PR from a candidate that does not mean I endorse that candidate.

I’m not playing those stupid games that newspapers try and do at times.  Its up to you folks as voters to decide who the best candidate is.

(Obviously I’m not a republican… but I wouldn’t call myself a democrat either)

Reporters –

Allow me to introduce myself.  My name is Tim Murtaugh, and for the 2010 election cycle I will be your media contact for the Republican Governors Association.

Between now and November, we will be paying close attention to Hawaii’s race for governor.

If you have any questions or need any information at any time, please do not hesitate to call or e-mail.

Here is my contact information:

Tim Murtaugh (pronounced Mer’-taw)

Direct Line: (202) *** – ****

E-Mail: tmurtaugh@rga.org

I look forward to working with you.

Tim Murtaugh

Director of Political Communications

Republican Governors Association

1747 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Suite 250

Washington, DC  20006

(202) 662-4140


Anthony Marzi to Run for Hawaii Senate District 4 Seat Again?

A little birdie told me that Anthony Marzi will be a candidate for Hawaii Senate District 4 again this year.

I wish Mr. Marzi the best of luck as I think he’s a very bright young man.

Mr. Marzi, if you read my blog, feel free to confirm or deny this little bird that I overheard.

Planning Commission Considers New Guidelines for Downtown Hilo

Media Release:

The Windward Planning Commission is about to consider a package of zoning code changes that evolved from the community’s vision for Downtown Hilo. Planners have spent nearly six years in consultation with residents, business owners and others, and this package is one product of those meetings designed to guide future development of the historic Downtown area.

The proposed changes are an effort to preserve the old town ambiance of Downtown Hilo with its views of Hilo Bay, while positioning the area for redevelopment that respects and compliments Hilo’s historic roots. The plan will help preserve the feel of the most pedestrian-friendly neighborhood on the island, while encouraging property owners to incorporate landscaping, lighting and other improvements into their projects to make downtown more safe and attractive.

“These changes have been carefully thought out by people who live, work and visit downtown, and they will serve as a guide to make this special area even more inviting and unique,” said County of Hawai‘i Planning Director Bobby Jean Leithead Todd. “We want to encourage investment in Downtown Hilo while preserving the special character of the area, and this plan accomplishes that.”

In keeping with the effort to encourage a pedestrian-friendly environment and to preserve the existing scale of development, the proposed changes would reduce the existing 120-foot height limit. The new height limits would be 60 feet for makai areas below Kino’ole Street, and 80 feet for areas set further back from Hilo Bay. By comparison, the Bayshore Towers complex near the shoreline is 145.13 feet tall, and the tallest building in the central downtown area today is the 62-foot Hawaiian Telephone Company Hilo Building.

At the same time, the allowable low-rise development density would be increased by about 35 percent to allow for an additional 15 units per acre throughout the Downtown Hilo area…

Continue reading

Pedestrian Safety Class Offered in Hilo

Media Release:

The Traffic Division of the Department of Public Works and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) will host a public education workshop on designing streets for pedestrian safety with a focus on “enhancing pedestrian crossings.” The all-day class is set for Tuesday, March 16, in Hilo at the Aupuni Conference room of the County’s Kaiko`o office complex.

Peter Eun, a safety engineer, and Craig Allred, a transportation specialist assigned to the FHWA Resource Center’s Safety & Design Team, who assist with designing and planning pedestrian safety programs nation-wide, will conduct the workshop.

The workshop curriculum will cover best practices and research applied to planning and designing roadways and U.S. standards for pedestrian safety at crosswalks. Eun & Allred will share research by the Transportation Research Board (TRB).  The workshop will also discuss sidewalks, human behavior of both drivers and pedestrians, the latest guidelines of marked versus unmarked crosswalks, lighting, new technology in improving safety at crossings, innovative techniques for pedestrian signals, road diets, and proper designs for roundabouts…

Continue reading

Happy Birthday Larry Czerwonka

We here on the Big Island are blessed to have one of the greatest online coders in the world living here on the Big Island.

Happy Birthday Larry Czerwonka!

Thanks for inspiring me… some day I’ll be able to learn more then I already know and I appreciate all the guidance you have given me.

Happy Birthday… what??? 32?

So We Had Another Earthquake… Lucky We Live in Paradise

I was on the road today when I got the civil defense message that there was a 3.4 earthquake registered off Kalapana today.

Living here in Hawaii close to all the possible natural disasters that could possibly happen here… I still honestly can say there is no better place in the world to be… lucky we live in paradise!