Hawai‘i County Healthcare Conference Convenes August 13

From the Mayors Office:

Hawaii County ’s 2010 Healthcare Conference: “Building a Healthier Future Together,” will convene on Friday, August 13, 2010 at the Waikoloa Beach Marriott.

The free, public day-long conference is being organized by the Office of Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi and will focus on community building and collaboration for improving our island’s health and healthcare services.

Several hundred attendees representing healthcare providers and the community at large will discuss solutions to Hawaii Island ’s most pressing healthcare challenges – access to care and an acute shortage of healthcare providers.

Industry leaders will discuss the local impacts of national healthcare reform and how native Alaskans integrated culture into their healthcare delivery system to achieve better health outcomes.

Mayor Kenoi also will introduce the Hawaii County Beacon Community Grant, a $16 million federally funded initiative to accelerate the use of health information and technology in an effort to reduce costs and improve the quality of health care and overall health on Hawaii Island .

Attendance at the conference is free thanks to the sponsorship of Hawaii Island’s community hospitals, health plans and Hawaii County . The public may attend. Media are welcome.

For more information, call 961-8366 or email: HawaiiHealth2010@gmail.com. Registration forms (attached) should be submitted by Wednesday, July 28, 2010.

Jumping Out of an Airplane at 13,000 Feet with Skydive Hawaii

Well I had quite the weekend that’s for sure!

Besides going up in a C-17 and watching a military aerial drop over the Big Island on Friday, then on Saturday going up in a C-2A COD and landing on the Aircraft Carrier USS Ronald Reagan and then catapulting off the buggah… I think I forgot to mention something!

On Thursday, I went SKYDIVING again with Skydive Hawaii!

I was suppose to get pictures and a movie taken of me… but for some reason the pictures didn’t get taken (I didn’t mind as this was completely free and even the cameraman was risking his life to videotape me!)

If you want to see pictures from my first jump that I took on the the first of the year, you can click here.

Here is a short video I took from the DVD that they gave me on Thursday.  If it looks grainy it’s because I videotaped the DVD from my TV so that I could upload it to youtube as I wasn’t able to digitize the DVD they gave me.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ox2SbAUx5Hs&hl=en_US&fs=1]

Wordless Wednesday – The Moose Omelette

Seen on the menu outside of Moose McGilligudy’s in Waikiki!

Another Highway 130 Wreck

Well it seems like I’m driving by a wreck about once every couple of days of late.

It looked to me as though the truck rear ended the white car.

The State does know this is a dangerous highway.  I’m waiting for someone to sue the State for the design of some of the intersections.

More Never Released Pictures of the Aftermath of the 1960 Hilo Tsunami

Charles Hansen has sent me more pictures of the aftermath of the 1960 Hilo Tsunami.

I’ve enclosed his thoughts of the events below the pictures:

Huge slabs of broken concrete litter the street.

These parking meters were bent toward the ocean, apparently from the backwash, as I walked by.

Young boys casually walk past the damaged Hilo Iron Works building possible unaware of the magnitude of what has happened.

A man stands not far from a large tree that was snapped like a toothpick some 15′ above the ground. The newspaper reported that many of the boat owners took to the open waters of the ocean to avoid being swept ashore.

This home apparently was torn from it’s foundation.

Huge boulders were strewn about the streets.

I’d like to say Mahalo to Mr. Hansen for sending these pictures.  I’ll be posting more over the next few days.

Landing on the Aircraft Carrier USS Ronald Reagan and Catapulting Off!

As I’ve mentioned previously, I had quite an exciting weekend and the fun didn’t end with the C-17 ride on Friday as part of the 2010 Pacific Rim Exercises.

On Saturday, the US NAVY gave me the the opportunity to land on the Aircraft Carrier USS Ronald Reagan and to get catapulted off of the buggah!

I knew for a few weeks now that I would be having a pretty wild weekend this weekend but I didn’t expect it to be this crazy.  I didn’t even find out until a few weeks ago that I was selected to go on the ship as a “Distinguished Visitor”.

The group of social media folks that were selected all gathered at the Pearl Harbor Pass and ID office at 9:00 on Saturday for what would turn out to be an all day “mission”.

We then boarded vans which took us out to the Hickam Combat Squadron Station.

Once we got there, they explained about the C-2A Greyhound Plane (Carrier On-Board Delivery – C.O.D) that would be taking us out to the USS Ronald Reagan as a group of 24 folks.

We had to wear protective cranial caps and goggles…

As well as salt water activated life jackets in case the plane went down in the water.

I ended up looking like this

We all boarded the plane and then took off for the Aircraft Carrier which was located about 150 – 200 miles North of Oahu.

About an hour into the ride, my ears started to pop so I knew that we were starting to descend.

I knew to brace myself for the landing as we were going to be hooked by the tail of the plane and then stopped immediately and it was quite an exciting landing as on the first pass by… we missed the dang cord that was suppose to hook us!

So the pilot gunned it and we flew off the end of the Aircraft Carrier and made a second pass where the pilot successfully landed the plane and caught the wire that was suppose to catch us the first time.  I think I jinxed us as I actually asked what the percentage of chance that could possibly happen and they said very little like maybe 5% of the times a plane misses.  Well of course I was on the plane that missed!

When they finally opened the doors of the plane we were in… this is what I had a chance to see right off the bat.

I took this video of the other folks on the flight getting off the “COD”

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q9kQbYSTTfM&hl=en_US&fs=1]

As they quickly rushed us off the flight deck… I took this one last picture of the control tower and bridges.

They brought us into the ship and we got out of our cranials and life jackets and then quickly we were brought to the Commanders “Port Quarters” where we were introduced the ships Commanding Officer – Kenneth J. Norton, CAPT, USN (Far Right).

Commanding Officer Norton gives a brief run down of things

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0172T5gOSbo&hl=en_US&fs=1]

So after talking with the Commander for a while, it was time for a tour of the ship… or so I thought, but, what really happened is they brought us into one of the cafeterias on the ships and we had a great lunch.

It was then time to tour the ship…  We started by checking out the room and museum that was devoted to former President Ronald Reagan.  This plaque of Ronald Reagan is actually attached to a piece of the former Berlin Wall.

After spending some time in that room learning more about who the ship was named after we moved on to the “hangar” of the ship where I took the following pictures.

You can see more Hangar shots in the picture gallery below.

So after checking out the hangar, we then checked out the room where they do a lot of stuff such as re-enlisting folks and honoring them with honors.  I figured I’d honor myself.

After that, we headed straight to the Combat Direction Center and after our tour guide had made sure that the place was “Sanitized from media folks” we were offered a first hand look at the place and were even allowed to take pictures of the place.

After that, we checked out the Flight Operations room.

We then put on cranials, goggles and life jackets again as we headed out on to the flight deck to watch some catapult lift offs and then some “recovery” of planes.

We headed out on to the flight deck and this is what I saw:

And here is a short video of one of the jets getting catapulted off the ship.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZpeeNl8pD0g&hl=en_US&fs=1]

After they launched about a dozen or so planes off the carrier, it was time for a “recovery” stage, where the planes would land on the plane and then get caught by these cords that were across the carrier.

And here is a short clip of a jet landing and getting hooked as you can see… I’m REALLY CLOSE TO WHERE THESE BUGGAHS ARE LANDING!

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

After being on deck for about half an hour watching jets take off and land, we moved back inside of the ship and went up to the Flight Control Deck where they explained the coordination of the planes once they were on the deck.

We then went all the way up to the Bridge of the ship where the Commander spends most of his time and he briefed us on a few things.

I decided I would pirate the ship for a few minutes and I asked the Commander if I could sit in his chair and he let me!

The tour of the ship was getting ready to wind down so we went back down to the Commanding Officers “Port” Room where Captain Norton explained to us the importance and significance of the USS Ronald Reagan.

He mentioned that the average age of the folks working aboard was only 22 years of age and that he was very impressed with the folks that have been entering the military during this last generation.

He emphasized that these kids joining the military now a days… have  basically spent their entire lives living in a country that has been at war during the last two decades and that there is a strong sense of patriotism amongst the kids and that he was really honored to be part of a “National Treasure”  the USS Ronald Reagan.

I remembered from the USS Chung Hoon tour that I took, that most Commanders have “Coins” made that they give to dignitaries… So of course when no was looking… I asked the Commander if he had a coin… And HE TOOK OUT THE ONLY ONE THAT HE HAD IN HIS DESK… Folded it up in his hands… then shook my hand… and the next thing I knew… I was the only member of this trip that received a Commanding Officers Coin!

Commanding Officer Norton then presented us all with a certificate recognizing us as Honary Naval Aviators as well as a nice picture of the ship (top picture) as well as a picture of him with us.

We then prepared to get catapulted off of the Aircraft carrier going from 0 to 150 MPH in less then three seconds.  We watched a short video on how to prepare and what to expect during the catapult and then made our way to the plane.  We braced ourselves for the ride and before we new it we were flying off the end of the Aircraft Carrier!

I wasn’t allowed to hold my camera during the catapult as we were instructed to put our arms across our chest… but I’m sure the look on my face must have been hilarious!  Talk about an adrenaline rush!!!

County Councilman Greenwell Cuffed and Stuffed

Commentary by Councilmember Kelly Greenwell:

On Saturday, July 17, 2010 at approximately 1:00p.m., six or eight vehicles, one of which was mine, were traveling north on the Queen Kaahumanu Highway just beyond the Makala Blvd. intersection, where the speed limit increases from 35 to 45 mph (we at the County Council approved this increase perhaps a year ago). We were being scanned by a police officer parked on the rise eight or nine hundred yards beyond the intersection, near the old 35 mph sign which was supposed to be removed when the new 45 mph sign was installed. For whatever reason, he chose to focus on my car and flagged me down individually. I demanded to know what the reason was and why he chose me, and after identifying myself as the Councilmember from District 8, I attempted to get out of the car to discuss what is an apparent speed trap.

About an hour later, I’m in the police station handcuffed and being booked for a list of charges never disclosed. I’m sure they will include resisting arrest and perhaps disobeying the threats or “orders” of a police officer.

So, what happened?

Perhaps I was recognized as the Councilmember opposing the police for what I believe to be barbaric tactics in subduing the marijuana advocates over the last several years or for their refusal to obey the law which restricts the prosecution for possession of marijuana.

Perhaps I was recognized as the advocate for civil behavior by police officers, opposing the increasing harsh and militant tactics of the present force.

Or perhaps it was simply me.

What was really the crime? That I took issue with being singled out for going 51 in a 45 mph speed zone, or maybe it was that a patrol officer was using an anomaly in posted signage to trap motorists from his vantage point when he should have been traveling with the traffic? Was it that as a traffic officer he should have been aware that highway speed is first a function of traffic flow? Or could it be that a 70 year old man, elected to the County Council by the people of the 8th District to watch over the conduct of all County Departments(including the Police), doing the job he was hired to do, was threatened with a laser gun (lethal to him because of his Epilepsy) if he didn’t lie down on the pavement and allow the officer to handcuff him (I wouldn’t do that) or because he had to sit handcuffed in a cage in the back of a police cruiser for a half hour with no air and all the windows sealed?

Or was it that when I asked that the pills to control my Epileptic seizures be retrieved from my car in the event that my stress level required them, this request, while responded to, was ultimately ignored. Was it that I, a person so proud of his community record be given the option of leaving his hands shackled behind him or tethered to a post like a goat while being booked as a criminal? Or is the crime that the ethics of a modern police department is now merely about control rather than being there to help?

Or maybe there was really no crime at all, maybe I have been trying to live in a world that no longer exists, maybe seventy years is too long to live in one place.

Kelly Greenwell

County Council Member

District 8

75-5706 Hanama Place

#109

Kailua-Kona, HI

96740

808-327-3642

kgreenwell@co.hawaii.hi.us

MORE NEVER RELEASED PICTURES OF THE HILO TSUNAMI AFTERMATH!

I’ve been receiving more photographs of the aftermath of the 1960 Hilo Tsunami that have never been released before… so I’m opening up a new tab for these pictures as they come in at the top of my site in case anyone misses any of them.

This is part III of photos being sent to me about the 1960 aftermath of the Hilo Tsunami. Feel free to click on the tab above to view more pictures:

Large boulders, mud, silt and debris covered the main shopping district street.

Main street Hilo, several young boys examine one of many new Plymouth’s that were washed from their showroom. The Hilo Theater is in the background left.

It was reported that curious onlookers went to this bridge to watch the incoming tsunami (Bob Lawson worked w/ Mr. Hansen on these)

We had been shopping in these shops the day before. Now the shopkeepers were trying to salvage what remained of their goods. The streets were littered with debris and electrical wires.

We had shopped in this store the day before. The store had been full of goods neatly stacked on shelving, in rows, 6′ high. I noticed that a few, apparently untouched, items remained on high shelves (see left and right walls).

South view, looking toward the Hilo Theater

Aloha Damon,
You will notice that I have included a few photos that are copyrighted “Bob Lawson.”
Bob Lawson was my partner that day. We have always shared pictures and especially when they included us. If you see his copyright…and in that picture is someone carrying a camera, or two, or three camera’s…well that be me! I believe there will be a total of three pictures like that in the entire set. In addition and at my request, Bob did send one additional photo to ad to my submissions.

C-17′s and F-16′s… This Isn’t Your Typical Bingo Game

What a great weekend I had over on Oahu.  I got to do some things that I’m sure I’ll probably never get another chance in the world to do again and I’m very thankful to the RIMPAC Countries that are participating in the exercises this year.

On Friday, I got to fly in an C-17 Military Transport jet!

We began the morning at Hickam Air Force Base at 4:45 AM so that we could be briefed on exactly what we were going to be doing and to learn about the general features of the plane we would be flying in.

We then gathered on a bus where we took a short ride out to the airfield.

We arrived at one of the two C-17′s and they brought us inside where we had some photo opportunities of the inside of the plane before taking off.

During the briefing, they told us that they would be flying over the Big Island and simulating a drop of supplies.

We took our places in our chairs and then settled in for the flight to the Big Island.

Once we got over the Big Island, the C-17 opened the back of it’s body open and we were flying with it just wide open… it was a rather scary feeling and I was glad that I was firmly planted in my seat with seat belt strapped as tight as I could make it.

Here’s a short clip of the back section opening up in mid-air.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Brc-OgHxNYg&hl=en_US&fs=1]

So when we got to the “drop zone” which was basically this area on top of the Big Island…

… They launched the stuff out the back and here is a quick clip of that!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9dFx2opX57g&hl=en_US&fs=1]

They closed up the back of the plane and then prepared for a quick touch down in Kona.  What they didn’t tell me… was that I was going to be allowed in the cockpit of the plane WHEN IT LANDED IN KONA!

It was just me, the two pilots…

… and Ian Kitiyama!

We landed in Kona and although I was back on the Big Island.. this little trip was only half over!  Here is the landing from my vantage point in the cockpit.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EvXsxfK0WEI&hl=en_US&fs=1]

They opened up the back of the plane once we were on the ground, but we had to stay in the plane so this is when we had our “sack lunches” that we paid $4.25 for.

After being on the ground for about 15- 20 minutes, we took our places back in our chairs and prepared to return home.

Well about half way back to Oahu, they opened up the back of the plane and all of a sudden out of nowhere, came four F-16′s fighter jets that were there to either simulate an attack or to simulate what would happen if the plane was being attacked upon.

Here’s a short clip of what that felt like:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9skLiik4WP8&hl=en_US&fs=1]

Well after being up in the air for about 3 hours in total both going to Kona and returning to Hickam, I knew that I had an amazing experience that will live with me for the rest of  my life!

We got back on the bus from the airfield and returned to the Hickam Squadron Command post.

They led us back to their little courtyard where we had the opportunity to ask questions of the crew about what just took place and a little further time to talk to the folks that actually flew the planes and participated in the exercise.

When all was said and done, they gave us the biographies of those that were done and they gave us this “coin” as a token of appreciation:

Psst… good to finally meet you in person Justin!

Click on the pictures below or above for a larger view:

Honary Naval Aviator for a Day

Oh my god!!! I got tailhooked today on the USS Ronald Reagan Aircraft Carrier! Pictures and movies to come when I return home!

Landing a C-17

Wow… I got the chance to sit in the cockpit this morning of C-17 Air Force Jet.

Less yet!!! I got to stay in the cockpit while we landed in Kona.

More to come soon… blogging from my phone now.

Not Your Every Day Flight

OMG I’m flying to Kona and back to drop off military supplies.

Waikoloa Entertainment and KWXX-FM Present Hawai’i’s Very Own Best Selling Singer Live in Concert, Keali’i Reichel

Media Release:

For the first time in Big Island history, Waikoloa Entertainment and KWXX present the entire stage production including, full band and award-winning Hula Halau with Hawai’i’s very own Grammy nominated, best selling singer, songwriter and musician; Keali’i Reichel, on Saturday, July 24 at 8:00pm at the Hilton Waikoloa Village.

Born and raised in Maui, Keali’i has played for huge crowds all over America for many years including headlining such prestigious venues as New York’s Carnegie Hall and the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. He has also opened concerts for musical superstars such as Bonnie Raitt, LeAnn Rimes, Celine Dion and Sting. Keali’i has sold well over a million records just in Hawaii and has become a Hawaiian cultural icon promoting Hawaiian language and culture to a new generation of Islanders.

As Keali’i was growing up in Lahaina, he spent weekends and summers at his grandmother’s house in Pa`ia on the windward side of the island. His passion for the language and culture of Hawai’i led him to become the founding director for Punana Leo O Maui, the Hawaiian language immersion school. He has taught Hawaiian culture and language at Maui Community College, and he was the Cultural Resource Specialist and Curator at the Bailey House Museum in Wailuku.

In 1980 He founded his own hula school, Halau Ke’alaokamaile and has won numerous awards over the years. In 1994 he independently produced and released a collection of Hawaiian traditional and contemporary songs and chants entitled “Kawaipunahele” (RIAA Certified Gold Record). His subsequent music releases, “Lei Hali`a” (1995), “E O Mai” (1997), “Melelana” (1999), and “Ke`alaokamaile” (2003), Kamahiwa I (2005), Kamahiwa II (2009) have cemented his place in the Hawaiian music industry. All told, he has been awarded 25 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards, and his consistent placement in Billboard Magazine’s World Music and Heatseeker Charts has garnered him international attention.

Tickets go on sale Saturday June 19th at 10:00am HST and are priced at $79 for Reserved seating (only sold online), $59 Resort Guests general admission and a special Kama’aina  rate of $39 available to locals  with a valid Hawaii license. Ticket prices do not include taxes and fees and can be purchased by calling Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000 or online at www.waikoloanights.com or www.ticketmaster.com. Tickets are also available at the following local outlets: CD Wizard- Hilo, Big Island Surf – Hilo, Big Island Surf – Waimea – Persimmon at Queens’ MarketPlace and Kona Wine market in the Kona Commons. Tickets are also available at the new Ticketmaster outlets at Wal-Mart in Kona and Hilo.

Exclusively for Keali’i Reichel concertgoers, Hilton Waikoloa Village is offering special kama’aina room packages, starting at $219 per room, per night, based on double occupancy for stays on Saturday, July 24, 2010.  Packages include resort view accommodations and two general admission tickets to the concert. A limited number of VIP ticket packages are also available starting at $299 per room. To book a stay at Hilton Waikoloa Village under the Kealii Reichel Concert Kama’aina package deal, visit http://www.hiltonwaikoloavillage.com/kamaainaspecials/. Under reservation details, select Kealii Reichel. Hawaii ID is required at check-in for both packages.

About Waikoloa Beach Resort
Waikoloa Beach Resort is the gathering place of the spectacular sunny Kohala Coast situated on 1,350 beautiful acres. Waikoloa Beach Resort offers two championship golf courses – the challenging Kings’ Course and the sporty Beach Course, two world-class hotels, the Hilton Waikoloa Village and Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa. For shopping, dining and entertainment, the successful Kings’ Shops recently welcomed the Queens’ MarketPlace in 2007 making Waikoloa Beach Resort the resort shopping destination of West Hawaii and the Kohala Coast. For more information about Waikoloa Beach Resort, call (808) 886-2055 or visit www.waikoloabeachresort.com.

One Down Two to Go!

I just went parachuting with Skydive Hawaii. I have a great video I will be posting later.

In the meantime… check out this suite that The Waikiki Joy Hotel has hooked me up with for the weekend!

I have a jacuzzi in my room!

MORE NEWLY RELEASED Photos of the Aftermath of the 1960 Hilo Tsunami

I put a video up the other day that former Navy Military Photographer Charles Hansen put together of some of the pictures that he took of the aftermath of the  1960 Hilo Tsunami.  (He was granted access as a military photographer)

Mr. Hansen has been kind enough to grant me access to more of his photographs he recently decided to start digitizing.  You may click on the images for larger images, but you may not reproduce these images per Mr. Hansen.

Here is the first batch of pictures he has sent in along with the dialog that went along with the pictures.  Hopefully he will continue to send them as he has time.

This was the military rest camp where we stayed located up in the mountains

This was my first observations of the damage that had been caused hours before. This seemed to be the highest point that the wave reached. At the time, I wondered what the damage on the lower ground would be like

Citizens were milling about with great concern and anguish. Officials were probing the debris looking for missing persons

We moved closer to the center of town to get a closer look. There was security (National Guard?) preventing entry and what appeared to be officials that were making reports of the damage

We were able to gain access to the main destruction zone. It was an erie experience as we had been shopping in this same area the day before and now it looked as if a huge bomb had exploded. The main street next to the waterfront was filled with sand, silt, seaweed and huge boulders. I remember that there were many unbroken bottles of wine and beverage laying in the silt. These bent parking meters signaled me that there had been a night of horror.

MORE TO COME

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

County Gets $115M in Stimulus Funds… Projected Impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 on the County of Hawai’i

From the Mayors Office:

$115 MILLION AND COUNTING

Highways

Ane Keohokalole Highway, also known as Mid-Level Road will receive up to $35 million in ARRA funding. When completed, Mid-Level Road will parallel Queen Ka’ahumanu Highway from Henry Street to an area mauka of the Kona airport.

The first phase would extend from Palani Road at Henry Street to Kealakehe Parkway. This road is critical because it will open up new portions of the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands Villages of La’i ‘Opua that will provide more than 700 units for Hawaiian Homesteaders. It will also open lands slated for a state affordable housing project at Keahuolu that will eventually provide about 2,200 homes.

Health Information Exchange

The University of Hawai`i at Hilo College of Pharmacy was awarded $16 million in stimulus funding through the Beacon Community Program for a health records pilot project that will develop a regional electronic records system with tele-monitoring tools to improve access to medical specialists for patients with chronic diseases.

Mass Transit

Stimulus funding for mass transit in Hawai`i County was $977,000, which was used to buy two 49-passenger buses and to pay for new bus shelters.

State Highways in Hawai`i County

The state is spending $4 million in Hawai`i County on maintenance of bridges on Hawai’i Belt Road including the Kukuaiu, Kuwaikahi, Ninole and Maulua Bridges.

Police and Prosecutors

Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant funding under ARRA of $366,489 will be divided between police and prosecutors. Prosecutors will use about half of this money to upgrade their computer server and network. Police will use the balance to fund two evidence specialist positions.

Job Training

ARRA boosted Workforce Investment Grant funding in 2009 and 2010 to the County by $1.3 million to train adults, dislocated workers and youth. The expanded programs were used to develop a youth summer internship program to serve 268 economically disadvantaged in-school and out-of-school youth; to provide job training to an additional 100 adult participants; and to train another 210 dislocated workers. All funding has been encumbered; most of the funding for youth training has been spent; and portions of the funding allocated for adults and dislocated workers has been spent.

An additional $1.1 million ARRA Work Force Development Grant was received in 2010 through the state Department of Human Services and directed to state Department of Labor in County of Hawai`i to employ more than 400 youths ages 14 to 23 this summer at government agencies and non-profit organizations.

Federal Parks in Hawai’i County

ARRA will fund nearly $8 million in work in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, including a new $6.6 million Emergency Operations Center. Another $81,000 will be spent on projects at Kaloko-Honokohau and Puuhonua o Honaunau.

Also benefiting from the stimulus package is the Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge, which will receive $590,000 for construction of a new storage and maintenance building.

Fire

The department has been awarded more than $4 million in stimulus funding for additional equipment and to help finance construction of the Makalei Fire Station at Kalaoa in North Kona. A federal environmental assessment is being prepared, and bidding for the construction phase is planned for later this summer.

Habitat Restoration

Kohala Watershed Partnership received $2.69 million through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to fence and plant native vegetation on the leeward coast of Kohala Mountain to prevent erosion and improve the condition of the Pelekane Bay coral reef habitat.

Homeless Prevention and Job Training

The non-profit Office of Social Ministry has been awarded $707,850 in ARRA funding over three years for “rapid re-housing” and prevention of homelessness. This will allow OSM to pay housing subsidies, pay housing deposits and assist with utilities in some cases to assist the homeless or populations at risk for becoming homeless.

Water Projects

ARRA is expected to provide more than $4.74 million to the Department of Water Supply for Drinking Water projects, and the money has been encumbered for  construction of the Ahualoa Production Well and one million gallon reservoir to improve water service to the Honoka`a area. Construction is 50 percent complete, and the scheduled completion date is August 30, 2010.

Wastewater Funding

The county expects $7.5 million in ARRA funding for sewers. Department of Environmental Management plans to spend $1.02 million on the federally mandated projects to shut down large capacity cesspools in the Queen Liliu`okalani Village Subdivision, $5.33 million for closure of large capacity cesspools in Honoka`a, and $1.09 million in ARRA funds for construction of the Komohana Heights large capacity cesspool replacement project.

Community Development Block Grant

ARRA will provide $647,364 in block grant funding to be used in part for solar hot water retrofits of senior housing units in Waimea to save energy and cut utility costs. The balance of that money will be used to finance site preparation work for the first Neighbor Island hospice in-patient facility, a 12-bed facility being planned by Hospice of Hilo. All funds have been encumbered, and 60 percent have been spent.

Energy Efficiency in Federal Buildings

The Hilo federal building will receive another $5.3 million ARRA funding for upgrades for a seismic retrofit, improved access for persons with disabilities and historic preservation work.  

Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants

County of Hawai`i will receive $737,800 under this new program, and plans to spend money on projects such as installing energy efficient street lights, residential energy audits, a public education program on energy efficiency, and conservation programs for county facilities.

Health Care

Hawai`i Island health care clinics will also receive funding under ARRA, including $253,278 for the Bay Clinic with its facilities in Kea`au, Pahoa, Ka`u and Hilo; another $174,263 for the Hamakua Health Center; and $162,502 for the West Hawai`i Community Health Center in Kailua-Kona. The Native Hawaiian health care program Hui Malama Ola Na Oiwi in Hilo will also receive $110,430 under the stimulus package.

West Hawai`i Community Health Center will also receive $471,620 in construction funding to renovate the lower level of the center’s Kuakini Highway clinic, and the Hamakua Health Center will receive an additional $270,480 to renovate its Hamakua clinic.

Health Care Information Technology

In addition to the operating funding listed above, Bay Clinic will receive an $805,000 two-year ARRA grant to support health information technology improvements including hardware, a data center and enhancements to electronic practice management.

Meals for the Elderly

More than $80,419 is being provided under ARRA for additional meals for the elderly.

Emergency Food Assistance

More than $54,000 in stimulus funding is being provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to The Food Basket, Office of Social Ministry, Salvation Army and various churches for hot meals and food pantry items.

Pu`u Wa`awa`a Firebreak

ARRA funding includes $138,000 for the state Department of Land and Natural Resources to improve and expand firebreaks at this 43,000-acre forest reserve, which is now overgrown with invasive fountain grass.

Military Spending

About $2.58 million in stimulus funds will be used to install photovoltaic power systems at Bradshaw Airfield and other facilities at Pohakuloa Training Area.

Volcano Monitoring Equipment

Another $3.3 million in ARRA funding has been allotted to upgrade existing U.S. Geological Survey equipment at Hawai`i Volcanoes Observatory. Most of this money has been spent, and the observatory is creating five temporary positions to assist with the equipment upgrades.

Airport Security Improvements

A total of $2.31 million in ARRA funding has been allocated to allow the federal Transportation Security Administration to make security improvements at Hilo airport and Lihue airport on Kaua`i, including purchase of upgraded explosive detection systems and advanced technology x-ray units. The exact amount allocated to Hilo airport will not be made public.

Violence against women

ARRA funding has been provided to County prosecutors through the federal Office on Violence Against Women via a 2009 STOP Violence Against Women grant of $81,680 for domestic violence prosecution.  That sum will provide funding for salaries and fringes for one deputy prosecuting attorney for the period from July 1, 2010 through March 31, 2011.

Victims of Crime Act

Additional ARRA funding of $99,567 is being provided through the fiscal year 2009 Victims of Crime Act Victim Assistance Program-Recovery.  This funding will maintain core services provided to victims of violent crimes especially in the areas of child abuse, sexual assault, homicide and domestic violence.  Two direct service providers receive these funds for programs, and one victim counselor position in the County prosecutor’s office is partially funded. The grant period is from January 1, 2010 to March 31, 2011.

Public Housing

A total of $3.6 million in stimulus funding has been contracted for improvements to the state’s Kaimalino and Kealakehe public housing projects in North Kona and the Hale Hauoli senior housing project in Hamakua. The North Kona work will include re-roofing, floor repairs, replacement of ramps and stairways, sidewalk repairs and parking lot improvements. The work at Hale Hauoli includes renovations, re-roofing and painting.

Law Enforcement Assistance

A total of $99,000 in ARRA funding is being provided through the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant State Solicitation process for a court house booking project.  These funds will provide post-conviction penal summons booking at the Hilo and Kona Court Houses, providing new equipment to enable state Sheriffs to “book” or process individuals at the court house instead of requiring convicted offenders to report to the police station for fingerprinting, mug-shot and entry into the criminal justice system database.

Homeowner energy retrofits

The Hawai’i County Economic Opportunity Council was a sub-recipient (primary recipient was Maui Economic Opportunity Council) of $837,000 in ARRA funding to weatherize homes in the County of Hawai’i. Under this program, HCEOC hired contractors to remove electric water heaters from the homes of 97 low-income residents and install solar water heaters in those homes. Weatherization also included installation of energy efficient lighting, low-flow shower heads and “smart” power strips. As part of this project, the contractors hired low-income residents to train them on the installation of water heaters.

Drop-out Prevention and LAMP Program

Hawai’i County Economic Opportunity Council also received $1 million more in stimulus funding that was used to continue drop-out prevention programs across the County of Hawai’i ($275,000); and to continue the Language Arts Multi-Cultural Program (LAMP) outreach program to assist the Micronesian population by stressing the importance of education; to assist in the search for work; and to connect families with social services ($350,000).

Other HCEOC programs funded with this stimulus money are the HCEOC ride-to-work program providing transportation services to low-income residents to help them reach their jobs ($260,000); tuition assistance for 200 low-income high school students to pay for summer school to allow the students to obtain their diplomas or certificates ($61,000); and financial management, budgeting and other assistance for Micronesian residents ($37,000)

Agricultural Product Development Center

The Arc of Hilo has obtained $99,200 in federal stimulus funding to design and construct a commercial kitchen that will function as a business incubator for businesses that need a place to cook or process value-added agricultural products for local sale or export. Participants will pay a membership fee to use the kitchen.

Small business loans

To date, www.recovery.gov has listed $2.637 million in Small Business Administration loans funded with stimulus monies that were made to small businesses in the County of Hawai`i.

Senior housing

A total of $3.3 million in stimulus funding is being provided through a HUD Tax Credit Assistance Program grant to the Hawai`i Housing Finance and Development Corporation  for the Ainakea Senior Residence, a 30-unit senior rental housing complex in North Kohala.

Wordless Wednesday – Dippers

Hand Dipped at Big Island Candies!

Blog For Fun or Blog For Profit… That’s An Easy One!

I’m reflecting on a statement someone said:

“…Unfortunately, without the carrot of furthering one’s POV, people won’t (nor shouldn’t) work for free. You and Tiff blog because you have an equity stake in your respective operations that you hope will be financially profitable in the future. Without that equity stake, people won’t work for free. Would a carpenter labor, without compensation, to build a house unless he could a) live in the house he build, or b) sell it at a profit in the future…”

Anyone that knows me… knows that I don’t blog for profit… nor have I ever intended to blog for profit.

If profit comes my way… I’m not gonna turn it down! :roll: Along those lines, I don’t blog for the trips and things I get… I blog because I like to blog.

If you create a “blog” to try and make profit… I really doubt it will work. If you blog… and then profit from it… more power to you.

Free Mango Festival July 31

Media Release:

Mango season hails the arrival of summer and the exotic, luscious fruit is celebrated Saturday, July 31 at the Hawaii Healing Garden Mango Festival.  The 10 a.m.-5 p.m. free event is held on the scenic, palm-fringed Garden Lawn of the Keauhou Beach Resort.

The all-day family fun festival showcases Hawaii’s delicious and diverse mangos, and attendees will be able to peel, cut or bite their way into more than 20 varieties of the most widely produced and consumed fruit in the world.

Presented by HawaiiHealth Guide.com and The Sanctuary of Mana Ke‘a Gardens, the Mango Festival celebrates all things mango with a day filled with mango-themed activities, presentations, food and fun on two stages.

Event organizer Randyl Rupar says the festival opens with a pule and stories of Keauhou by Kumu Hula Keala Ching and Hawaiian dance by Ka Pa Hula Na Wai Iwi Ola. The non-stop entertainment lineup continues with Kahikina Nahenahe  ukulele group accompanied by hula; Aunty Tutu’s Lindsey Ohana & Friends, Bernice and Manuel Roberto on soothing flute and harp; an eco-fashion show starring apparel and accessories from Divine Goods, Mango Songs by Stuheart, musical stylings by Jan Orbom and Bolo Mikiela Rodrigues on his trademark “ukeitar.”

The presentation stage offers educational demonstrations and talk story with local experts on growing and using mango. Ken Love, executive director of the Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers, will share mango varieties and research while CTHAR’s Ty McDonald will discuss mango grafting.

Chef Hector Wong of myyellowkitchen.com will do a culinary presentation and Smita Patel will discuss how to preserve mango for year-round use as chutney and jams. David Bruce Leonard LAc will discuss healing plants of Hawaii.

In addition, the festival offers a Green Healthy Living outdoor expo featuring natural products, medicinal plants, arts and crafts, massage, health and wellness practitioners, keiki activities, plus mango tasting, healthy foods and organic farm produce. A silent auction benefits future Hawaii Healing Garden festivals…

Event schedule and volunteer information is available on-line at http://www.HawaiiHealingGarden.com or by calling 808-638-0888 on Oahu, or the Sanctuary of Mana Kea Gardens in Kona at 808-936-5233

3.1 Earthquake Rocks Pu’u’O’o

A minor earthquake occurred at 7:22:35 PM (HST) on Tuesday, July 13, 2010 .
The magnitude 3.1 event occurred 6 km (4 miles) SE of Pu`u `O`o Crater.
The hypocentral depth is 9 km ( 6 miles).

More Here