Kaiholena North Purchased for $6.5 Million… How Come I Never Heard About This?

I may totally be off base here… but did I miss something recently?  I’ve been very busy… but geez!

I just took a look at the Public Access, Open Space and Natural Resources Preservation Fund Accounting report for July of 2010 that came from the August meeting and I seem to be caught off guard by a very large purchase that I haven’t heard of.

In December of 2009, the Preservation Fund had over $10 million in it after an accumulation of three years.  One month later, the fund was down to $4.4 million.

A quick look at the sheet shows that the purchase was the Kaiholena North Purchase.

I just haven’t heard anything about this in the last few years.  There was this preservation plan put forth back in 2005 so it does look like it’s a pretty important piece of property.

County to Receive $5 Million Grant for One-Stop Transportation Facility and ADA Compliant Buses

Media Release:

Hawaii and Kauai County will receive $5.925 million to build a transit facility and buy new buses, Senator Daniel K. Inouye announced today.

Hawaii County will receive the bulk of the money, $4 million to construct a one-stop transportation facility in Hilo and $1 million for the purchase of Americans with Disability Act compliant new buses.

Kauai will receive $925,000 to purchase new buses.

The funds are provided by a grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

“The safe and timely transportation of our residents and visitors is critical to maintaining a healthy economy.  These funds will help people on Kauai and the Big Island get to and from work while reducing traffic congestion and limiting the impact fossil fuels have on the environment, ” said Senator Inouye.

Better Place, Sheraton Waikiki and Hawaiian Electric Partner on EV Charge Network in Hawaii

Media Release:

Better Place announced today the start of its initial deployment of EV infrastructure in Hawaii, with the launch of a project to incorporate its electric-vehicle infrastructure in Honolulu, in partnership with Kyo-ya Hotels & Resorts’ Sheraton Waikiki Resort and Hawaiian Electric Company. The project will start with a small number of charge spots in Waikiki and around Oahu and includes seven electric vehicles. Better Place will manage the charging of the vehicles via a network operations center located in Palo Alto, California.

“Hawaii’s commitment to being a world leader in renewable energy, as demonstrated by the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative, aligns very strongly with our mission to help end the world’s reliance on oil,” said Jason Wolf, Vice President of Better Place’s North American Operations. “This project marks the beginning of our initial, pre-commercial infrastructure deployment in Hawaii. It supports the state’s goal of leading the nation in renewable energy use, which Better Place will integrate into the grid via electric cars.”

Better Place was among five clean-energy companies awarded funding from the Hawaii Renewable Energy Development Venture (HREDV), a project of the local nonprofit Pacific International Center for High Technology Research that allocates U.S. Department of Energy funds.

“The role of HREDV is to accelerate commercialization of these clean-tech projects so that private investors and customers can follow with increased confidence,” said HREDV project director Maurice Kaya. “The winning companies showed how their technologies could be game-changers in Hawaii and demonstrated strong technical and management expertise to execute the projects and manage federal funds…”

Continue reading

Cirque Du Soleil Coming to Honolulu

Island Family Magazine got a sneak preview of the upcoming Cirque Du Soleil tour coming to Honolulu, Hawaii (Oct. 15-31, 2010). Video taken by Island Family Magazine’s Associate Editor Sherie Char.

The Swarm is Gone! Mahalo to “Best Big Island Bees”

A few months ago I blogged about the swarm of bees in my backyard and posted this video of them swarming:

Well today, thanks to “Best Big Island Bees” and an “intern”, the bees were finally removed.

They had gotten in between two walls on an outside shed making them very hard to access.

More than three 5 gallon buckets of honeycomb were taken away!

The amount of bees estimated that he was able to capture and move was estimated at over 40,000.  The actual number of the nest itself was probably at least double that!

I’d like to thank Best Big Island Bees for removing this hive!

Newly Discovered Planet May Have Water on Its Surface

Press Release:

A team of astronomers that includes the University of Hawaii’s Nader Haghighipour has announced the discovery of a planet that could have liquid water on its surface.

This artist's conception shows the inner four planets of the Gliese 581 system and their host star, a red dwarf star only 20 light-years away from Earth. The large planet in the foreground is the newly discovered GJ 581g, an Earth-size planet that orbits in the star's habitable zone. Artwork by Lynette Cook.

The planet, which is probably 30 percent larger than Earth, was discovered using one of the telescopes of the W. M. Keck Observatory on Mauna Kea. It orbits a relatively small star, Gliese 581, that is 20 light-years from Earth in the constellation Libra.

“By determining the orbit of this planet, we can deduce that its surface temperature is similar to that of Earth,” said Haghighipour. This means that at least some of any water on the surface of the planet and in its atmosphere will be in liquid form rather than ice or vapor. The discovery of liquid water in space is an important step in the search for extraterrestrial life.

The team estimates that the new planet, called Gliese 581g, has a mass three to four times that of Earth, and orbits its star in just under 37 Earth days. Its mass indicates that it is probably a rocky planet with enough gravity to hold on to its atmosphere. It is one of six known planets orbiting the star.

To discover the planet, the team looked for the tiny changes in the star’s velocity that arise from the gravitational tugs of its planets. They used 238 separate observations of Gliese 581 taken over a period of 11 years.

Haghighipour said that the team is keeping tabs on many nearby stars using the Keck Observatory. “As we collect more and more data about how these stars are moving, we expect to find many more planets with potentially Earth-like conditions,” he said. He noted that to learn more about the conditions on these planets would take even bigger telescopes, such at the Thirty Meter Telescope planned for Mauna Kea.

The team that made the discovery is led by Steven Vogt of the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) and Paul Butler of the Carnegie Institution of Washington. Other team members include UCSC associate research scientist Eugenio Rivera, and Gregory Henry and Michael Williamson of Tennessee State University.

This research was supported by grants from the National Science Foundation, NASA, and the NASA Astrobiology Institute.

Candidates Abercrombie & Aiona – Djou & Hanabusa Will Appear on PBS Hawaii October 14th

Media Release:

In an unprecedented edition of Insights on PBS Hawaii , host Dan Boylan will be joined by the leading candidates for Governor and U.S. Congress for two back-to-back conversations.  Candidates Abercrombie and Aiona will be first to join Boylan for a conversation beginning at 7PM on Thursday, October 14.   Without interruption for commercials or station breaks, for the next 45 minutes these candidates will answer Boylan’s questions as well as questions submitted by the public via phone, email and a live Insights blog forum.

Immediately following Abercrombie and Aiona, the leading candidates for Hawaii ’s 1st Congressional district, Charles Djou and Colleen Hanabusa, will sit down with Boylan for their turn answering questions in the same live conversation format.

“The format is civil discourse.  Disarmingly simple–and yet the exchanges are sometimes profound,” said Leslie Wilcox , PBS Hawaii President and CEO.

“We should expect our leaders of differing perspectives to disagree in a civilized manner, and to truly listen instead of just waiting to speak. We ask that candidates show the sense of respect and fairness that governs normal conversation.”

To accommodate the earlier 7PM start time of this special 90-minute edition of Insights , PBS NewsHour will move to 6PM on this night only.  Insights’ encore broadcasts will be scheduled on Friday night, October 15th at 9:30PM and Sunday afternoon, October 17th at 3PM.  The entire program will be available online at www.pbshawaii.org on Friday morning following Thursday’s live broadcast.

Wordless Wednesday – Blooming Bananas

County Finance Team Earns High Honors

From the Mayor’s Office:

Nancy Crawford

Hawaii County Director of Finance Nancy Crawford and county Controller Kay Oshiro each have been awarded a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) for their work on the county’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR).

Kay Oshiro

The Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting, and its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by government and its management personnel.

“Our county is truly blessed to have highly talented and dedicated public servants who continue to do such an outstanding job in these challenging economic times,” said Mayor Billy Kenoi. “I’m very pleased and certainly not surprised that such a high-caliber professional organization has recognized the result of their hard work and long hours spent in service to our county.”

The CAFR was judged by an impartial panel to meet the high standards of the program including demonstrating a constructive “spirit of transparency and full disclosure” to clearly communicate its financial story and motivate potential user groups to read the CAFR. The 138-page report can be viewed on the County Web site at http://www.hawaii-county.com/finance/cafr.htm.

The GFOA established the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting Program (CAFR Program) in 1945 to encourage and assist state and local governments to go beyond the minimum requirements of generally accepted accounting principles and then to recognize individual governments that succeed in achieving that goal. Reports submitted to the CAFR Program are reviewed by selected members of the GFOA professional staff and the GFOA Special Review Committee, which comprises individuals with expertise in public-sector financial reporting and includes financial statement preparers, independent auditors, academics and other finance professionals.

Crawford has been with the county Department of Finance for nine years, serving as Deputy to former Director Bill Takaba and currently as Director. She began her career with the County in the Department of Public Works where she worked for six years. Prior to moving to Hawaii, Crawford was a hospital controller and a CPA in Colorado.

Oshiro was named controller in January 2009 after serving as an accountant for the Hawaii County Police Department. She was previously a budget specialist for the County of Maui, assistant controller at Kaanapali Beach Hotel, and an auditor with Deloitte & Touche LLP.

The GFOA is a nonprofit professional association serving approximately 17,500 government finance professionals with offices in Chicago, IL, and Washington, D.C.

$1.5 Million Released for Kealakehe Community Center

From the Hawaii House  Blog:

Rep. Denny Coffman today praised the release of $1.526 million in design and planning funds to Laiopua 2020, an organization under the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL), to build a new community center and medical clinic in Kealakehe.

“This project was my number one capital improvement priority during the 2010 legislative session,” said Rep. Coffman (District 6 –North Kona, Keauhou, Kailua-Kona, Honokohau.)  “In addition to creating construction jobs and permanent employment, the Laiopua Community Center will provide core government service facilities in a key location of the Kailua-Kona community. I want to thank my legislative colleagues for including this project in the CIP budget during a year when we face many fiscal challenges, and applaud the Governor for releasing the funds.”

The site is next door to the 1,500-student Kealakehe High School and nearby to the 800-student Kealakehe Intermediate School and the 1,000-student Kealakehe Elementary School.  On the immediate north side of this 26-acre community complex, is over 325 Native Hawaiian homes with another 900 homes in the planning stage.  On the immediate south side of the community complex is the planned Kamakana Villages Project; a 2,300-unit affordable housing development being planned by Hawaii Housing Finance & Development Corporation (HHFDC) and developed by Forest City.

According to DHHL, groundbreaking is anticipated to take place in July 2011.  The community center is currently planned to include a computer lab and learning center, audio-visual center, after school and summer enrichment programs, culinary program and community kitchen, and space for community meetings and gatherings.  In addition, the community center will include space for social service programs related to existing agencies.

“When completed, this project will provide childcare, healthcare, Hawaiian cultural, recreation and family support services,” continued Rep. Coffman.  “The Big Island team of legislators believe that this is a model community project in the right place at the right time.”

Pissed Off in Hawaii

This is hilarious:

Tiger and Rose illustrate the sorts of things that can piss you off in Hawaii.

Warning:  Strong Language

Hawaii Social Media Summit

I’m not able to attend this… but I have no problem lending them a hand on promoting it.

Census Bureau Releases 2009 American Community Survey Data

Media Release:

The U.S. Census Bureau today released the results of the 2009 American Community Survey (ACS), one of a series of data products the Census Bureau is releasing in the coming months that provides information on the nation’s population. Today’s release is based on survey responses collected over the course of the 2009 calendar year and provides data about the nation’s socioeconomic, housing and demographic characteristics. The first set of 2010 Census data, including the nation’s population and congressional apportionment figures for the states, will be released by the end of 2010, as required by law.

“Collectively, ACS and census data are critical components of the nation’s information infrastructure, providing data essential to our economy and our communities,” Census Bureau director Robert Groves said. “ACS data are required by numerous federal programs and for planning and decision making at the state and federal level. ACS data help communities and businesses create jobs, plan for the future, establish new businesses and improve our economy.”

Focusing on the population’s characteristics, the ACS complements, but is different from, the 2010 Census population data. As a complete count of the population, the 2010 Census data are critical for people who need to know how many people live in the United States and where they live. The ACS data, on the other hand, are based on a sample survey of the nation and describe how we live by providing estimates of key social, economic and housing characteristics.

Today’s release covers more than 40 topics, such as income, educational attainment, housing and family structure for all geographies with populations of 65,000 or more.

In December, the Census Bureau will release the first set of ACS statistics for all geographic areas, regardless of size, using data collected between 2005 and 2009. A third set of 2009 statistics covering all areas with populations of 20,000 or more will be released in January 11, 2011, based on data collected between 2007 and 2009.

In addition to the ACS data released today on the Census Bureau website, the Census Bureau is releasing a set of briefs on seven topics: poverty, median household income by state, men’s and women’s earnings by state, food stamp/Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program receipt

by state, health insurance coverage among children, disability among the working age population and usual hours worked (see: http://www.census.gov/acs/www/data_documentation/2009_release/). Thirteen additional briefs based on today’s data will be released on this website on October 12.

2009 ACS Highlights

Median Household Income

  • Real median household income in the United States fell between 2008 and 2009 — decreasing by 2.9 percent from $51,726 to $50,221.
  • Between 2008 and 2009, real median household income decreased in 34 states and increased in one: North Dakota.

Poverty

  • Thirty-one states saw increases in both the number and percentage of people in poverty between 2008 and 2009.
  • No state had a statistically significant decline in either the number in poverty or the poverty rate.

Health Insurance

  • Between 2008 and 2009, the percentage of insured children in the United States increased from 90.3 percent to 91.0 percent, with 1.1 million more insured children in 2009.
  • In 2009, the uninsured rate for children under 19 in the United States was 9.0 percent, and the uninsured rate in the states ranged from 18.4 percent in Nevada to 1.5 percent in Massachusetts.
  • Between 2008 and 2009, the uninsured rate for children decreased in the United States as well as in 17 states.  The uninsured rate increased in two states (Alaska and Minnesota) and was not statistically different in 32 states and Puerto Rico.
  • Between 2008 and 2009, the percentage of uninsured increased from 14.6 percent to 15.1 percent, with 2.2 million more uninsured in 2009. The percentage of uninsured increased in 26 states, decreased in three states (Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico) and did not change significantly in 22 states.

Industry and Occupation

  • Work hours in the United States fell by about 36 minutes per week from 39.0 hours in 2008 to 38.4 hours in 2009.
  • Work hours fell in 46 of the 50 most populous U.S. metro areas between 2008 and 2009.
  • Workers in construction, extraction, maintenance and repair occupations worked about 63 minutes less per week in 2009 than in 2008.
  • Self-employed workers experienced a greater reduction in work hours between 2008 and 2009 than workers in other types of employment. Workers who were self-employed in their own unincorporated businesses worked 66 minutes less per week in 2009, while those self-employed in their own incorporated businesses worked 49 minutes less in 2009.

Journey to Work

  • In 2009, the New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island metropolitan area had the highest percentage of workers who commuted by public transportation at 30.5 percent, followed by the San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont metro area, where 14.6 percent of workers commuted by public transportation.

Home Values

  • In 2009, the median property value for owner-occupied homes in the United States was $185,200.
  • After adjusting for inflation, the median property value decreased in the United States by 5.8 percent between 2008 and 2009.
  • Five of the 10 highest median property values among the 50 most populous metro areas were in California: San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara ($638,300), San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont ($591,600), Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana ($463,600), San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos ($417,700) and Sacramento-Arden-Arcade-Roseville ($298,000).
  • Between 2008 and 2009, the percentage change in home values in the 366 metro areas ranged from a decline of 34.0 percent in Merced, Calif., to an increase of 19.7 percent in Hattiesburg, Miss.

Rental Housing Costs

  • Nationwide, nearly two in five renter households (42.5 percent) experienced housing costs that consumed 35 percent or more of their incomes.
  • Housing cost burdens ranged from a low of 23.2 percent of renting households in the Casper, Wyo., metro area to a high of 62.8 percent of renting households in the College Station-Bryan, Texas, metro area.
  • Double digit rental vacancy rates characterized the following 12 of the 50 most populous metro areas:  Jacksonville, Fla.; Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, Ga.; Memphis, Tenn.-Miss.-Ark.; Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Ariz.; Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Fla.; Orlando-Kissimmee, Fla.; Houston-Sugarland-Baytown, Texas; Las Vegas-Paradise, Nev.; Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas; San Antonio, Texas; Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, Fla.; and Detroit-Warren-Livonia, Mich.
  • Among the 50 most populous metro areas, the Pittsburgh, Pa., metro area had the lowest median gross rent ($643).  Pittsburgh was followed by Buffalo-Niagara Falls, N.Y.; Louisville/Jefferson County, Ky.-Ind.; Cincinnati-Middletown, Ohio-Ky.-Ind.; Oklahoma City, Okla.; and Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor, Ohio, where rents were between $652 and $706.  The St. Louis, Mo.-Ill., metro area rounded out the most affordable markets with a median gross rent of $732.
  • The San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif. metro area, with a gross rent of $1,414, was the most expensive rental market among the 50 most populous metro areas. Following San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, was the San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, Calif., metro area and the Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, D.C.-Va.-Md.-W.Va., metro area, both with median gross rent of $1,303.  The fourth highest median gross rent was in the San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, Calif., metro area ($1,224); the fifth highest median gross rent was in the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, Calif., metro area ($1,197).  Rounding out the top seven most expensive metro areas were New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, N.Y.-N.J.-Pa. ($1,125) and Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, Mass.-N.H. ($1,123), which were not significantly different from each other.

Labor Force Participation

  • The labor force participation rate for men 16 to 24 decreased nationally from 61.5 percent in 2008 to 59.2 percent in 2009, while for women this age the rate decreased from 60.4 percent to 58.7 percent.
  • For men 25 to 54, the national labor force participation rate decreased from 88.5 percent in 2008 to 87.9 percent in 2009, while women in this group experienced an increase from 77.0 percent to 77.1 percent.
  • For men 55 and older, the national labor force participation rate remained unchanged (at 45.2 percent) from 2008 to 2009, while the rate for women increased from 32.8 percent to 33.2 percent.

Disability

  • In 2009, 19.5 million people, or 9.9 percent of the civilian noninstitutionalized population age 16 to 64, had a disability. Between 2008 and 2009, both the number and percent of people with disabilities did not change.
  • In 2009, West Virginia had the highest disability prevalence rate for people age 16 to 64 at 16.8 percent. Hawaii has the lowest prevalence rate, not different from California, Colorado, Illinois, Minnesota, New Jersey, and Utah.
  • About 34.7 percent of people with disabilities were employed compared with 71.9 percent of people without a disability. North Dakota had the highest employment-to-population ratio for people with disabilities, not different from Wyoming.
  • The District of  Columbia had the lowest employment-to-population ratio for people with disabilities, not different from Alabama, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia.

Education — Science and Technology

  • A new question in the 2009 American Community Survey asked respondents with bachelor’s degrees about their undergraduate major:
  • The estimated number of people in the United States 25 and over with a bachelor’s degree or higher was 56.3 million. Of this group, 20.5 million, or 36.4 percent, held at least one science and engineering degree.
  • The percentages of all bachelor’s degrees in the science and engineering fields were 28 percent or less in Mississippi, North Dakota and Puerto Rico, and as high as 51 percent in the District of Columbia.

Foreign-Born

  • According to the 2009 ACS, 38.5 million of the 307 million residents in the United States were foreign-born, representing 12.5 percent of the total population. In 2008, there were 38 million foreign-born in the United States, also making up 12.5 percent of the total population. The number of foreign-born in the United States increased between 2008 and 2009, in contrast to 2007-2008, when the number of foreign-born did not change significantly.

Language by Hispanic Origin and Race

  • Overall, among the major race groups and Hispanic origin, non-Hispanic whites had the lowest proportion (6 percent) of people who spoke a language other than English at home, and Asians alone and Hispanics had the highest proportion (77 percent and 76 percent, respectively).
  • Hispanics were much more likely to speak a language other than English at home (76 percent) compared with non-Hispanics (10 percent). Among the selected Hispanic detailed groups, Dominicans, Salvadorans and Guatemalans, each around 92 percent, were among the top three groups with the highest percent who spoke a language other than English at home. This was followed by Colombians (87 percent), Cubans (82 percent), Mexicans (76 percent) and Puerto Ricans (66 percent).

The Older Population

  • People 60 and over were more likely than the total population to have a disability. In 2009, 32.4 percent of the civilian noninstitutionalized population 60 and over reported having a disability compared with 12.0 percent of the total civilian noninstitutionalized population.
  • Approximately one quarter (27.1 percent) of the population 60 and over reported being in the labor force, an increase from 26.7 percent in 2008.

ABOUT THE AMERICAN COMMUNITY SURVEY

The American Community Survey is the successor to the former census “long form” that historically produced demographic, housing and socioeconomic data for the nation as part of the once-a-decade census. The decennial census program, which includes the ACS and the 2010 Census, serves as the basis for the allocation of more than $400 billion in federal funds to state, local and tribal governments every year.  These vital data also guide planning in the private sector as well as the work done by policymakers at all levels of government and in communities of all sizes. All survey responses are strictly confidential and protected by law.

As is the case with all surveys, statistics from sample surveys are subject to sampling and nonsampling error. All comparisons made in the reports have been tested and found to be statistically significant at the 90 percent confidence level, unless otherwise noted. Please consult the data tables for specific margins of error. For more information, go to http://www.census.gov/acs/www/data_documentation/documentation_main/.

Changes in survey design from year to year can affect results. See http://www.census.gov/acs/www/data_documentation/2009_release/ for more information on changes affecting the 2009 data. See http://www.census.gov/acs/www/guidance_for_data_users/comparing_2009/ for guidance on comparing 2009 ACS data with data from previous years and the 2000 Census.

Visit “American FactFinder,” the Census Bureau’s online data tool, to obtain ACS 2009 data for the nation, all states and the District of Columbia, all congressional districts, approximately

800 counties, and 500 metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas, among others.

Senator Ige Awarded with First Ever State Technology Innovator Award


Congrats to Senator David Ige:

… Sen. David Y. Ige is Hawaii’s first Senate technology leader and has spent the last 25 years blending his service as a Hawaii state legislator with his career as an engineer and IT professional to advance the state’s technology policy agenda, according to a NASCIO press release (http://www.nascio.org/awards/sti/). He was instrumental early in his public service career in creating the Hawaii Information Network Corp. as the statewide entity responsible for the development of IT infrastructure and industry expansion…

More Here: NASCIO to Honor State Technology Innovators

Kuha’o Designs (‘Aha’i ‘Olelo Ola 27 Kep. 2010)

Rep. Herkes Requests Attorney General Review of HHSC Loan to Alii Health Center

From the Hawaii House Communication Office:

State Representative Robert Herkes has sent a letter to Governor Lingle requesting that the Attorney General review and issue a legal opinion on a case involving the Hawaii Health System Corporation (HHSC) and the Alii Health Center in Kailua-Kona.

At issue is a loan of $2.9 million from Kona Hospital, which is part of the HHSC system, to the Alii Health Center, which is a private, non-profit facility. The Alii Health Center is not part of the Kona Hospital, but is a subsidiary of HHSC and falls under the jurisdiction of the West Hawaii Regional Board (WHRB) of HHSC. Over the past few years, the board has taken action to forgive parts of the loan, now totaling about $1.4 million of the loan. HHSC recently told the Governor that the board will be reviewing the legality of its actions.

“It hardly seems appropriate for the WHRB to investigate its own actions, and then report back to you as to whether or not it has broken the law,” said Rep. Herkes in his letter to Governor Lingle. “It would seem more appropriate to place the task of issuing a legal opinion regarding this matter in the hands of the Attorney General.”

Herkes added that the former chief development officer for the Kona Hospital Foundation (KHF) has been indicted on theft and forgery counts related to her work for the KHF, and suggests that the Attorney General could broaden the scope of the review and examine this issue as well.

You can read Rep. Herkes Letter Here: HHSC letter WHRB investigation-1

New Herb Kane Artwork Collection at King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel

The Kamakahonu National Historic Landmark is n...

Image via Wikipedia

Media Release:

King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel has yet another reason to be proud. Earlier this year, new life was infused into the hotel with the completion of a $35 million dollar renovation. Now, highly acclaimed Hawaiian Historian/Artist Herb Kawainui Kane brings Hawaiian history to life at the hotel via 40 signed and numbered limited-edition giclees, the largest single hotel collection of his work. The artwork is a sequence that depicts early Hawaiian lifestyles and legends, through modern day. Portraits of ali’i (royalty), gods and goddesses, voyages, entertainers and more share stories of Hawai’i’s vibrantly rich past, and present.

The giclees of paintings are prominently displayed throughout the lobby breezeway, between the main lobby and the west tower. The new collection joins an original by Kane that was restored during the renovation – an oil depicting Kamehameha I, his family, and advisors at Kamakahonu, the bay that fronts the hotel. A few other original pieces that have been a part of the lobby display for decades include a treasured feather cape or ahu’ula, feathered helmet or mahi’ole, feather lei, war weapons, and lei niho palaoa (lei of braided human hair and a whale or walrus tooth, usually worn only by royalty).

“We are so excited and honored to be able to showcase some of Herb Kane’s most brilliant pieces,” said Jak Hu, general manager of the hotel. “Walking through the display is like taking a journey back in time, one in which Herb Kane has been able to capture on canvas.”

Kane said it’s fitting that the collection dwells in Kona, in particular, the same area where Hawai’i’s most illustrious ruler, King Kamehameha the Great, last resided.

“Kamakahonu, the site of the King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel, is historically signficant. I couldn’t think of a better place to house this collection,” said Kane. “If my art can contribute to the comprehension and understanding of Hawai’i’s past, I have succeeded.”

Herb Kawainui Kane
Born in 1928, Kane was raised in Waipi’o Valley and Hilo, Hawai’i Island and in Wisconsin. Mr. Kane studied at the University of Chicago and at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where he obtained a Masters Degree in 1953, and an honorary doctorate in 2008. A multi-faceted artist, Kane’s career includes advertising art, publishing art, architectural design, painting, writing, and sculpture. He has published several books, and is one of the founders of Polynesian Voyaging Society. He currently resides in rural South Kona. For more information, please visit www.herbkanestudio.com.

King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel sits adjacent to the National Historic Landmark Ahu’ena Heiau, Kamehameha I’s personal and final residence, and the center of political power in the Hawaiian Kingdom. Kamehameha used this site as a gathering place for his kāhuna (priests) and advisors to counsel and guide both he and his successor, Kamehameha II (Liholiho). For reservations or more information, visit www.konabeachhotel.com, or find us on Facebook®.

The 2010 Aloha Festival Parade… Where Did All the Floats Go?

The Aloha Festival Parade in Waikiki is normally one of the most colorful parades in the nation, but this year… I have to ask… what happened to all the floats?

Last year there were 14 floats according to the Star-Advertiser.  This year there was only 5!

I have to wonder if the economy is taking away from this parade as it does cost a lot of time and money to put together a nice float. 

The Star-Advertiser said there was 5 floats… but as I look back over my pictures… I think they may have mistaken a few pooper scooper’s as floats.

Of course there was lots of equestrian units as well!

While the horse were adorned with much flowers… I had to feel sorry for them a bit as it was a hot day!

While I felt sorry for the horses… the folks I really felt sorry for… were the kids in all the marching bands that walked from Ala Moana Park all the way to Kapiolani Park!

I couldn’t imagine carrying this thing for nearly 3 to 4 miles in the blazing sun!

Feel free to click on the pictures above or below for larger images:

Media Day at the 2010 Kaneohe Air Show… Meet the Blue Angels

The Marine Corp Base of Hawaii presented their annual Kaneohe Bay Airshow this past weekend and I was thrilled to be asked to come to the Media and Family day that would happen on Friday before the actual show.

…During its history, 26 Blue Angels pilots have been killed in air show or training accidents.[13] Through the 2006 season there have been 262 pilots in the squadron’s history,[14] giving the job a 10% fatality rate

I actually got the invitation from someone who represents the media for the Pacific Armed Forces and they were trying to arrange a flight on the Blue Angels “Fat Albert” plane for a few others as well as myself.

I didn’t find out until we met as a group at the entrance gate that the Fat Albert ride hadn’t panned out… so I was a bit bummed.

Friday was basically an actual “dress rehearsal” for the actual airshow and they did everything including having the Skydive Hawaii jump team jump with the American Flag as the Marine Corp Band played the American Anthem.

The show began with some smaller acrobatic planes that were doing things that planes just shouldn’t be able to do!

But then it picked up with some Red Bull Skydivers…

… and this crazy ass Red Bull stunt helicopter that is one of the only helicopters in the world that can do the aerial stunts that it was doing.  Have you ever seen a helicopter fly upside down?

The military showed off some of it’s planes and tactics they use in the field.

It was totally realistic and things got a bit crazy with live drills and all!

At times, I felt like I was just a bit too close to the action!

This totally shocked all of us and we could feel the heat from the explosion all the way across the runway!

When they brought in the C-17… it sure reminded me of the time I got to ride in the cockpit of one of them.

I was thinking of going to the actual airshow on the weekend but I didn’t and instead I attended a few other things… Maybe someday I’ll get lucky enough to get a ride in the back seat of one of these buggahs!

I do find it a bit funny that I tried to take a picture of the entrance gate to the facility and a Military Police officer came over and made me DELETE THE PICTURE from my camera!

So I just did a simple google search and found this image… let the threats begin!

You can click on the pictures above or below for a larger view:

Its Miss Hawaii 2010

Miss Hawaii 2010 at the parade!