My Top Adventures of 2010… Numbers 2 and 1

If you have been following my blog, then you will know that I have been counting down the top adventures that I got to go on this year.

So today I post #2 adventure which was having the opportunity to go up in a C-17 Military transport plane.

Me in front of the C-17 I would later fly in

Simulating an aerial drop over the Big Island…

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Brc-OgHxNYg]

Getting escorted by F-16’s

and then sitting in the cockpit of the plane when we landed!

The very next day… brought me to my #1 Adventure that I got to do this year and that was Landing on the aircraft Carrier USS Ronald Reagan and Catapulting off!

The USS Ronald Reagan

This was definitely the highlight of the year as they literally caught us by a wire as we landed on the carrier… but only after we missed catching the wire the first time!

We missed the wire on our first approach and had to gun it off the end and try it again where we were successful on the second attempt.

It was an awesome experience as when we were leaving… they actually catapulted us off in a COD Jet.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZpeeNl8pD0g]

Out of all the folks that got to go… I was the only one brave enough to ask the Commander of the USS Ronald Reagan for a Commanders Coin and he gave me one!

This was a great trip and I’m sure it’s a once in a lifetime that an ordinary joe blow like me… gets invited on these buggahs… So a big Mahalo to the Captain Kenneth Norton and the US Pacific Fleet for having me aboard!

New Years Eve Party at Pahoa Village Cafe Tonight

Former Councilwoman Naeole’s Aides Causing Troubles With Obama’s Security Detail? RJ Hampton and Sativa WTF!!!

Well the legislative aides to former councilwoman Emily Naeole, RJ Hampton and Sativa Jones Sultan,  sure caused a problem with President Obama’s Secret Service detail today!

According to KITV News 4:

“…OK, you know it Obama we’re OK with you, you OK with us,” Hampton said on the tape, provided to KITV. “We just wanted to get a glimpse of you but we’re moving on because this is a private street and we don’t want to make anybody nervous. Aloha!” She waved to the Secret Service agents at the barricade as she climbed back into the car…

Sativa then allegedly had her finger damaged by the door KITV Reports:

“…He grabbed it out of my hand and then he slammed it on top of the car,” Jones said. She said the camera was damaged – the automatic lens cover no longer worked.

Jones’ fingers were gashed by the sharp edge on the camera mount. She said the officer appeared shaken by what he’d done and courteously showed her how to complain, writing his name and badge number on a card with contact information for the Honolulu Police Commission…

So much for Obama being your “Wizard of Oz” RJ!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JI6-I7owLf8]

…Asked if it was legal for police officers to stop someone from videotaping an officer in a public place, the department said citizens are allowed to video in public places.The Secret Service Office in Honolulu did not respond to telephone and e-mail requests for comment.

*Update*

I don’t want to sound like Hampton and Sativa were causing troubles by the “Headline”… Only wanted to say they, Hampton and Sativa, were giving them (the secret service) grief.  Grief at times can be a good thing from a public’s perspective.  I just believe there is a time and a place for it.

Hampton and Sativa are two former government workers who I believe should know better then to try and approach the POTUS in this manner.

To be quite frank… why would these two from Puna on a complete different island here in Hawaii, make an unsolicited attempt to meet with the president?

What group are they representing?  I’ve never heard of this “We Are Change Hawaii”… When did this start up?  I mean they were just legislative aides until recently?

Trust me… I’ve still got people out there trying to line me up with a chance to at least see the president this weekend… but I’m not about to go driving up to his private residence with camera in tow!

Top 10 Adventures in 2010… Honorable Mentions

Before announcing the final two top adventures I had the opportunity to go on this year,  I thought I would list some honorable mentions!

I really tried to go on at least one adventure each month this year and sometimes found myself going on more.  However, I only gave myself a top 10 list so here are some of the honorable mentions.

– Having the opportunity to cover the Red Bull Cliff Diving Championships was pretty cool… I only give this an honorable mention because I really didn’t do much traveling for this and it came here.

Orlando Duque looks off the Red Bull Platform

– Checking out the Honoka’a Peace Parade and Staying at the Waianuhea Bed and Breakfast was a nice weekend retreat!

The Hawaiian Delegation marches through the parade

Here’s a short video from the Waianuhea Inn:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8LzFgndig_8]

– While my trip to California was more of a work related thing… I did have fun at Magic Mountain with my brother when I was there.

X-2 The Ride

– I’ve got to include my stays at the Hilton Waikoloa Village as some of my great adventures!

Not tall enough for the waterslide yet

– Of course most of the times when I go to Oahu… I stay at the Waikiki Resort Hotel so I gotta give them thanks as well!

– I have to say that Ziplining this year with a group of media folks at Big Island Eco Adventure was a blast as well!

Ziplining at Big Island Eco Adventures

– Of course my trip to Vegas was an adventure… although it was a costly one!

Viva Las Vegas

Getting a first hand look at the US Navy’s Blue Angels was pretty cool… although I’m bummed I didn’t get to go up in one of them!

I’m sure I missed a few other adventures I’ve taken this year but I can always change this post later.

Stay tuned for my top two adventures tomorrow!

New Hours at County HI-5 Redemption Centers

The County of Hawai`i’s HI5 Redemption Centers will be temporarily changing the hours of operation as they transition to a new contractor.  The Arc of Hilo will continue to operate the redemption centers during this transition period. The change in hours will be effective beginning January 1 through March 31, 2011.

HI5 Redemption Sites          Days                 Hours of Operation

Hāwī Transfer Station            Saturday ONLY                  8:30am – 3:30pm

Hilo Transfer Station              Mon/ Tues/ Thur/ Fri/ Sat  8am – 4:30pm

Honoka‘a Transfer Station     Saturday & Sunday           8:30am – 1:30pm

Kea`au Transfer Station        Mon/ Wed/ Fri/ Sat/ Sun   8:30am – 3:30pm

Kealakehe Transfer Station   Mon/ Wed/ Fri/ Sat/ Sun   8am – 4:30pm

Keauhou  Transfer Station     Saturday & Sunday          8:30am – 3:30pm

Pāhoa Transfer Station          Sunday ONLY                   8:30am – 3:30pm

Puakō Transfer Station          Sunday ONLY                   8:30am – 3:30pm

Waimea Transfer Station       Sat/Sun/Wed                   8am – 4:30pm

Wai‘ōhinu Transfer Station    Saturday & Sunday          8:30am – 3:30pm

**Redemption Centers closed daily from 1:00-1:30pm for lunch (except Honoka‘a).**

Other HI5 Redemption Centers on Hawai`i Island are available through:

  • Atlas Recycling, call 935-9328
  • Reynolds Recycling, call 347-0837

We thank you for your patience during the transition.  Please call our Recycling Specialists at 961-8549 for information about the HI5 program or visit: www.hi5deposit.com or www.hawaiizerowaste.org

Happy New Year!  Please remember to drink responsibly and to redeem and recycle all your bottles and cans.

Maku’u Farmers Market Opens Lot for Weekday Park and Ride

I just got the following sent to me by County Councilman Fred Blas’s Aide Gwen Kupahu:

Here! Here!

“MAKU’U FARMERS MARKET”

PARK & RIDE – MONDAY-FRIDAY

6:00 am to 6:00 pm

Contact: Paula Kekahuna

Phone: 965-1441

Wordless Wednesday – Seeking “David” From Punaluu in 1937

I noticed this on youtube today and thought I might be able to help the buggah find this guy.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=30QCSWl8Kas]

This is from a home movie taken by my great uncle in 1937 on a Hawaii vacation. If you know anything about David, please send me an email at ccowan@memphismachinery.com.

Some Big Island Firework Laws are a Bit Strange

I didn’t realize you can’t set off fireworks on a street or sidewalk on the Big Island and heck… I give sparklers to my son all the time and on occasion will let him light a fountain!

And why only from 9 at night until 1:00 am?  My son’s bed time is 8:00!  I posted the police reminder below and highlighted things in red that I may have been in violation of at some point in my life.

Media Release:

Police are reminding the public that fireworks may be set off only between 9 p.m. New Year’s Eve (Friday, December 31) and 1 a.m. New Year’s Day (Saturday, January 1). It is against the law to set off fireworks at any other time during the holiday season.

It is unlawful for any person without a valid permit to set off aerial fireworks. Persons who violate this law could be found guilty of a misdemeanor or Class C felony.

Also be aware that it is against the law:

  • to sell or give fireworks to minors
  • for a minor to possess or set off fireworks unless under the immediate supervision of a parent or guardian
  • to throw ignited fireworks at a person or animal
  • to throw ignited fireworks from a vehicle, at a vehicle or into a vehicle
  • to set off fireworks in a vehicle
  • to throw ignited fireworks from above the first floor of a building
  • to set off fireworks above the first floor of a building
  • to set off fireworks within 1,000 feet of a hospital, convalescent home, zoo, animal shelter or animal  hospital
  • to set off fireworks on school property
  • to set off fireworks on a street or sidewalk
  • to set off fireworks in a park or public beach
  • to set off fireworks within 50 feet of a cane field
  • to set off fireworks within 500 feet of a hotel

Persons who violate the above laws could face a fine of up to $2,000 for each violation.

To learn more about fireworks laws on line, go to the Hawaii Revised Statutes at www.capitol.hawaii.gov/hrscurrent and read HRS 132D-5 and HRS 132D-14.

The employees of the Hawai’i Police Department wish the public a safe and happy New Year.

Big Island Street Lights vs. Mauna Kea Astronomers… Round 2?

I see that street lights and the problems they pose here on the island are finally getting some attention!  The Tribune Herald reports in it’s article today County weighs LED streetlights:

The latest bright idea from Hawaii County’s senior traffic engineer aims to make nighttime driving safer and slash electricity use without blinding astronomers.

More then two years ago I asked what could be done to help improve lighting on the Big Island roads.

I sent Big Island astronomer Andrew Cooper the  following letter on September 8, 2008:

Dear Andrew,

With today’s technology and the High Powered telescopes that you folks have atop Mauna Kea… is it really necessary that the street lights be so dim over the entire island that it makes for driving on the roads dangerous?

Many lives have been lost because of the road conditions on these islands and I’m convinced that lighting at nights is part of the problem.

Any pertinent information would help as I research ways to make these roads safer.

Cooper quickly responded stating:

The streetlights do have an impact on the telescopes.  There is a reason my website is called “A Darker View”, the impacts of light on astronomical observation is significant.  Astronomers come to Hawai’i to  escape the massive lighting found around major metro areas, there are few places in the mainland US unaffected by artificial light.  The enormous amount of electric outdoor lighting has an impact on our lives, our pocket books, on our health and on wildlife.  Many of these impacts are quite negative.  We are in love with electric light and we use it extravagantly.  I am not saying turn all the lights off, we need to consider safety, but better design and better lights can reduce the need for light and increase safety.  Use it where we need it and not everywhere.

http://data.nextrionet.com/site/idsa/2001cinzanofirstworldatlas.pdf

Astronomers prefer that the streetlights that are installed be low pressure sodium (LPS), these are the yellow lights installed for all civic lighting in Hawai’i.  These have two big advantages, they emit on a single wavelength allowing astronomers to filter that wavelength out of the data.  They are also far more power efficient to run, emitting more light per watt than competing halide or mercury lights.  This saves
the County of Hawai’i and the taxpayers, who must pay the power bill for all of these lights, an enormous amount of money.

http://www.darksky.org/mc/page.do?sitePageId=59499

A couple other advantages to LPS, the bulbs last longer and keep a good light output until failure (competing technologies dim with age) and the yellow light output (589nm) is nearer the peak photopic sensitivity of the human eye, meaning we see better with less light and energy.  The situation with respect to lighting type and effectiveness in safety is complex and depends on a lot of factors.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sodium_vapor_lamp
http://patmullins.com/img/lumeneff.pdf

It may be more a case of badly designed and poorly chosen lights.  Many of the lights I do see on the island are older, inefficient designs.  A modern light is much better at putting its light where needed, on the ground and on the road and not all across the neighborhood around it. The differences are primarily in the reflector and lens design, the newer lights were designed on computer optical CAD software that takes
the guesswork out of the equation.  These lights give better
illumination on the road for the same amount of power and light.

https://secure.ge-lightingsystems.com/gels01/r2/productcentral/htmls/5_23.html

Better lights for reducing glare and reducing light pollution are full cutoff types.  I see a lot of the non-cutoff types where glare is a problem, look for a big glass dome hanging below the light fixture, full cutoff does not have this.  Without the full cutoff you see the light, which is bright, but everything else, including the road below is dim in comparison, this is a glare problem.  Full cutoff also has the advantage of not shining in the windows of surrounding homes.

http://www.darksky.org/mc/page.do?sitePageId=59804

I have felt that many streets on the island, particularly in residential neighborhoods are badly over-lit.  There is quite a bit of research that shows that too much light at night messes with our hormonal cycles needed for good sleep, particularly with melatonin, with a range of health impacts.  Getting county lights out of the neighborhoods and onto the streets and critical intersections would help without increasing the power bills.  But considering the many people who do not understand the
issues, and are in love with light for all the wrong reasons, this is unlikely.

http://data.nextrionet.com/site/idsa/breastcancerstevens.pdf
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17805428?ordinalpos=1&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum

Sorry about the long message, a bit of a pet peeve subject.  But much of the astronomy community, amateur and professional is a little sensitive on this subject.

Andrew Cooper

A couple of days later I posted this:

I drove home tonight along H-130 during the evening time for the first time in a while.  I’ve been thinking about H-130 for awhile and what we can do to make it safer.

H-130 Needs more lighting.

I emailed Andrew Cooper the other day and he gave me reasonings for the street lights on this island  here and here.

While I take his scientific knowledge as a great learning tool… as the layman that I am… I just can’t take this as a reason to why we should continue risking lives here on the island.

I understand the bulbs could be different… I understand it’s a touchy subject to the scientific community…

But when the Scientific Community starts losing family members on Big Island roads due to poor lighting… maybe they will listen?

I’m not saying we need bright lights all over the place… but on a main Highway such as H-130 something needs to be done to improve the lighting… immediately.

Big Dog’s New Year’s Day Resolution 5K Run/Walk Coming up Saturday

"I'm looking for participants for my New Year's Day Resolution Run/Walk - need some volunteers as well. If you can help please shoot me an email." Wayne Joseph

Media Release:

Coming up on New Year’s Day, Jan. 1, is the second annual Big Dog’s Resolution Run/Walk starting at 9 am from the parking area of Coconut Island at 9 am.

The 3.1 mile event is free and open to anyone interested in kicking off the New Year in a healthy way.

Keith Aoki from Anheuser-Busch will supply free Vidration sports drinks, while supplies last to those participating in the event and the Big Dog will have post race snacks available.   For more information call the Big Dog at 969-7400…….

Join Big Dog’s Big Island Running Club – FREE membership

Start 2011 with a healthy jog or walk and resolve to make the new year the best ever!

Email the Big Dog at waiakeabigdog@aol.com

Top 10 Adventures in 2010… Numbers 4 and 3

Continuing on with my top 10 adventures in 2010 today brings us to adventures 4 and 3.

Coming in at #4 was getting a chance to go out to sea with the US Navy Destroyer USS CHUNG-HOON

At the helm of the USS Chung-Hoon

A group of us got to go out to sea with the sailors of the USS Chung-Hoon on their family day… despite the fact that I don’t have any family members aboard the Chung-Hoon I was well accepted on board.

Playing with toys?

I had no idea that when we were out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean that a submarine would submerge next to us… that was pretty thrilling!

This tripped me out!

Like to say thanks to the folks at US Pacific Command for hooking me up with this trip… despite the fact that I got seasick on it and felt like I had sea legs for the next 24 hours!

Coming in at #3 was a Snorkeling trip off the Kona Coast with Fairwind Cruises Hula Kai where I got to use a sea rocket!

The Boat

The sea rocket that I got to use was incredible as it literally propelled me through the water so I didn’t have to use much energy trying to swim.

A "Sea Rocket"

Not only did they feed us breakfast… but they also fed us lunch… which unfortunately for me, kept me out of the water for a bit of time because I didn’t want to cramp up.

Here’s a quick video of what I got to do!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmDbn5Q1hTE]

I’d like to thank Fair Wind Cruises for this opportunity of a lifetime!

Aron Abrams Dies on the Big Island of Hawaii

Wow… Aron Abrams passes away on the Big Island and NO one notices who he is!

Big Island police are investigating the Christmas Day discovery of a body in West Hawai’i as a coroner’s inquest.

At 7:45 a.m. Saturday (December 25), police and fire personnel responded to a report of a body at a Waikoloa resort.

The body was identified as 50-year-old Aron Abrams of Los Angeles.

An autopsy to determine the exact cause of death is scheduled for Friday.

Detectives from the Area II Criminal Investigations Section are continuing the investigation.

From his IMDB records:

Aron Abrams


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Hide HideShow ShowProducer (6 titles)
2009 King of the Hill (TV series) (consulting producer – 3 episodes) 

To Sirloin with Love (2009) (consulting producer)
Bad News Bill (2009) (consulting producer)
2009 Glenn Martin DDS (TV series) (consulting producer)
2007 I’m in Hell (TV movie) (executive producer)
2005-2006 Everybody Hates Chris (TV series) (co-executive producer – 10 episodes) 

Everybody Hates Drew (2006) (co-executive producer)
Everybody Hates Corleone (2006) (co-executive producer)
Everybody Hates Valentine’s Day (2006) (co-executive producer)
Everybody Hates Greg (2005) (co-executive producer)
Everybody Hates Food Stamps (2005) (co-executive producer)
Grounded for Life (TV series) (supervising producer – 33 episodes, 2001-2005) (co-executive producer – 6 episodes, 2003) (producer – 3 episodes, 2001) 

Oh, What a Knight (2005) (supervising producer)
Part Time Lover (2004) (supervising producer)
Been Caught Stealing (2003) (supervising producer)
Baby Come Back (2003) (supervising producer)
SAT and Sympathy (2003) (supervising producer)
3rd Rock from the Sun (TV series) (co-producer – 16 episodes, 1999-2000) (producer – 1 episode, 2001) 

Mary Loves Scoochie: Part 2 (2001) (producer)
Dick Solomon’s Day Off (2000) (co-producer)
Frankie Goes to Rutherford (2000) (co-producer)
Shall We Dick? (2000) (co-producer)
Dick Strikes Out (2000) (co-producer)
Hide HideShow ShowWriter (10 titles)
2010 Glenn Martin DDS (TV series) 

Jackie of All Trades (2010) (written by)
The Tooth Shall Set You Free (2010) (written by)
2007 I’m in Hell (TV movie) (writer)
2005-2006 Everybody Hates Chris (TV series) 

Everybody Hates Drew (2006) (teleplay)
Everybody Hates Picture Day (2006) (story)
Everybody Hates Basketball (2005) (written by)
2004-2005 King of the Hill (TV series) 

Harlottown (2005) (writer)
Hank’s Back (2004) (writer)
2001-2003 Grounded for Life (TV series) 

SAT and Sympathy (2003) (written by)
Claudia in Disguise (With Glasses) (2003) (written by)
Tonight’s the Night (2003) (written by)
Don’t Fear the Reefer (2002) (written by)
Don’t Let Me Download (2001) (written by)
2000-2001 3rd Rock from the Sun (TV series) 

Mary Loves Scoochie: Part 1 (2001) (writer)
Glengarry Glen Dick (2001) (writer)
B.D.O.C. (2000) (writer)
1999 Big Wolf on Campus (TV series) 

The Bookmobile (1999) (writer)
1998-1999 Maggie (TV series) 

Don’t Quit Your Day Job (1999) (writer)
Black and White (1998) (writer)
1997 Fired Up (TV series) 

Ten Grand a Dance (1997) (teleplay)
Beat the Clock (1997) (writer)
Swallow Your Bliss (1997) (writer)
The Rules (1997) (writer)
1996 Bunk Bed Brothers (TV movie) (writer)
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1997 Fired Up (TV series) (story editor)

A Darkerview on “Ziplinegate” Oh the IRONY!

Geez… I don’t know what I’ve gotten myself involved in… but I’ll be posting more comments on this entire situation going on with the possible lawsuit against my blog when I know more status about it.

In the meantime, I’ll throw the attention to the latest blogger to give attention to this matter and that is Andrew Cooper over at The Darker View where he states in his post “Blogging and Libel“:

“…The ironic part is that Damon had previously given a great deal of positive press to this operation. This top banner on his blog even features a photo of Damon riding the Umauma zipline!..”

Damn Andrew… you really know where to sock me in the gut huh? Just teasing as I’ve previously stated this is one of the best pictures of me taken ever!

I’ll be changing my header in the next few days due to the recent things that have happened in the last few days.

A Big Sigh of Relief… Or Should I Say a Big Scratch of Relief!

Well I can tell that I take after my mom and that I don’t go to doctors unless I’m on my death bed!

This being said… If you feel unhealthy… you should get medical treatment.

About 4 months ago I developed a rash near my waistline and I just figured it would go away.  Unfortunately for me… I guess when I was sleeping at night… it would get itchy and I would scratch the rash at night when I was sleeping without knowing it thus making it worse each night.

I really just thought I had a bad rash and thought it would go away…  but it just kept getting worse.   Despite the fact that I had insurance… I was convinced that I could heal myself somehow!

Well, my body has proved me wrong… and finally today I went to see a doctor and it turns out I got Nickel Dermatitis apparently from a pair of pants that I have.

I’ve been given lotions and itch relief medicine and the doctor said that I should be over the infection w/ in a few weeks!

The reason why I call this a big “relief”… is that my family does have a history with skin cancer… and that’s probably why I waited so long in the first place to see what this dang rash was… was the fear that I may have gotten skin cancer… a big relief heading into the new years!

Top 10 Adventures in 2010… Numbers 6 and 5

Continuing on with my top 10 adventures in 2010 today brings us to adventures 6 and 5.

Coming in at #6 was having the chance to get up on stage with Third Eye Blind after the Don the Beach Comber’s Mai Tai Festival and Battle of the BBQ Contest at the Royal Kona Resort.

Not only did I get to watch them rehearse during their sound check I actually went on stage for about five minutes and caught some great pictures from that perspective.

The concert was actually after the Mai Tai Festival where Oahu bartender Christian Self walked away with a $10,000 check for the best Mai Tai.

It was a great day in that earlier folks had the chance to stuff themselves at the BBQ cook-off!

I’d like to thank the folks at The Royal Kona Resort for hooking me up with the above weekend!

Coming in at #5 was getting the opportunity to go up in a helicopter with Televisions own Howard Dicus and his wife and a Hawaii News Now cameraman.

Me, Howard Dicus and wife Bernadette and the Hawaii News Now Camerman

This was an awesome trip provided by Paradise Helicopters and the Big Island Visitors Bureau where we got a 3 hour customized tour of the Big Island! We started off down the Hamakua coast and made it almost as far as Waimea.

Just one of many waterfalls and valleys we got to see.

We then headed south and when we got to the active lava flows, we flew with the doors off of the helicopter so we could totally feel the heat of the lava flows.

Pu`u `O`o Crater

This was the first time that I had ever flew on a helicopter so it was quite an experience for me.

Howard on the other hand seemed like an old pro about it and even wrote on his blog posting “Up, up and away  over the Big Island“:

Many people say they won’t ride a helicopter because it scares them, but I have got to tell you that I find helicopter tours smoother and they provide better viewing of Hawaii’s beautiful scenery.

Bernadette and I took our first helicopter tour with Blue Hawaiian on Maui last year, and Thursday we toured part of the Big Island with Cal Dorn, owner of Paradise Helicopters. With us was Damon Tucker, who writes one of my favorite Hawaii-based blog…

Got Windmills – “…Don’t Mess With Hawai`i Bloggers”

I’m very thankful of the support I’ve been receiving regarding the Texas attorney who is thinking of suing my blog for my write up on December 8th about the Umauma Ziplines.

Andy Parx of Got Windmills today wrote a post entitled “My Oh My What a Wonderful Day” where he describes one of the oldest tricks in the books that lawyers like to scare people with and that is the cease and desist letter.

Parx writes more about the differences between journalist and bloggers stating:

… With the advent of “bloggers” the question is whether, when they engage in the act of reporting, they are de facto journalists. While many of the more stogy practitioners may argue for all sorts of self-serving and exclusionary rules for what a journalist is or isn’t, there’s still “no license required. ”

In fact, after much debate our own Hawai`i state reporters’ “shield law” essentially defines a reporter by the act of reporting- something bloggers do every day whether, like Ian they consider themselves journalists or, like Damon and Larry, not.

In this case Damon simply reported on the situation, citing and naming his source. Whether or not “The Umauma Experience” is actually safe or not his report is true in that the story is that two co-owners are alleging they are not safe.

And in libel cases, truth is the ultimate defense…

I just wanted to say thanks for all the support that I have been getting on this. I really didn’t want to stir the pot so much as to just let folks know that KapohoKine was opening a new zipline course. In the course of things… I guess we all may learn a lesson or two.

I really like the way Parx finished his post….

“…The other lesson may be that, even if you’re from Texas, don’t mess with Hawai`i bloggers.”

Bay Clinic Rolls Out New Electronic System

Media Release:

As of January 1st, Bay Clinic will undergo a major transition in the way it manages its business. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, commonly known as the Stimulus Package, provided Bay Clinic and other community health centers throughout the country with funding to help upgrade information technology systems.  One of Bay Clinic’s four stimulus-funded programs targeted for overhaul is its Practice Management system. Currently, Bay Clinic manages all aspects of its business including patient scheduling and billing with a software program created in the early 1990’s. “Despite the fact that technology has advanced dramatically over the past few decades, we simply could not afford to update our software programs until now” stated Paul Strauss, Bay Clinic CEO.

The new software program which cost nearly $300,000 manages patient flow, including scheduling of appointments, accounts receivable, collections, registration, data reporting, and insurance managed care. It also helps track referrals to specialists. It is a NextGen product that can fully integrate with Bay Clinic’s Electronic Health Record system for improved efficiency and data collection. Once implemented, the new system is expected to improve patient service as well as support the vital business functions of the organization.

When asked how this will impact patients, Jason Ferreira, Bay Clinic’s Health Information Technology Director said “ultimately, we will have updated information on the 16,000 patients we serve which will improve patient registration and appointment scheduling, but any change of this magnitude will cause some delays at first. So, we’re asking for patience for the next 30 to 60 days as we complete the transition”.

“One way patients can help”, said Sarah Nae’ole, who is helping to coordinate the transition “is if patients can bring their I.D.’s and insurance cards to their appointments and if they are uninsured, then some form of income verification so that they can receive discounted services if they qualify.”

Bay Clinic is making new patient registration forms on their website at www.bayclinic.org to help expedite the process. People can print them out and bring them to their appointments.

Bay Clinic already has an Electronic Health Record system that was implemented in 2006 and is a member of the Hawaii County Beacon Community for Health Information Exchange. The new electronic practice management system nearly completes Bay Clinic’s electronic health information technology infrastructure. According to the Health and Human Services Secretary, Kathleen Sibelius, Health Information Technology has bipartisan support due to its ability to improve quality and ultimately lower costs. In early 2011, Bay Clinic will be implementing an Electronic Dental Record system, also funded by the Stimulus Act, to complete their transition to a fully electronic health care environment.

Founded as a grass roots women’s health clinic at Hilo Bay front, Bay Clinic has grown into one of the largest nonprofit providers of health care on the Island with a mission to provide high quality health care regardless of ability to pay. For more information, please email madams@bayclinic.org.

Disappeared News on the Zipline Post Threat

I wanted to thank another blogger that I noticed has posted his thoughts on the recent news that I may be sued by a Texas attorney for my thoughts about the Umauma Ziplines and KapohoKine going separate ways.

Larry Geller of Disappeared News posted a blog entitled “Hawaii should regulate potentially hazardous recreational activities like ziplines” where he expands on Ian Linds thoughts and goes even further by saying:

…Anything that could be called a “death slide” would, you’d think, be inspected regularly by some government body. Apparently not…

Geller concludes:

…Damon and Ian have provided a public service by posting information on their findings. At least those who Google for information on ziplines in Hawaii will possibly hit one of the articles. But for those who don’t Google, some official procedures and protocols need to be put in place to protect the unsuspecting public from the effects of “allegedly substandard and rusting” facilities anywhere in Hawaii.

Ian Lind and Andy Parx Defends My Post About My Zipline Experience

I mentioned the other day that a Texas attorney was going to attempt to sue me for a blog posting I made on the Umauma Ziplines and the cancellation of my trip that I had planned due to safety concerns.

I’ve gotten a lot of support in the comments on that post as well as email comments from others supporting me.

I had to laugh at Kauai Blogger Andy Parx email to me suggesting I tell him the following:

I’d tell him to go f**k himself and take it up with the people who said it. All you did was quote them. These kinds of letters are bluffs. They don’t want a lawsuit- all that would do is put the guy’s quote in the mainstream media.
Tell him to f**k off and that you “welcome a lawsuit where we can air the issue of the safety of their ziplines before the community and in the mainstream press”.  That’ll scare ’em off.

I was even more stoked when former Honolulu Star-Bulletin Investigative Reporter Ian Lind posted the following blog on his site today “Big Island blogger faces legal pressure to withdraw reporting on zipline safety concerns” where Ian was able to find out some other things about the attorney’s client C.L. Carlile Enterprises, L.P.  that is attempting to in essence… censor me.

“…And just who is this Carlile Enterprises?

It’s involved in real estate, oil and gas back in Texas, and is owned by Cleo Carlile, who splits time between the big TX and Hawaii. Carlile Enterprises also owns several pieces of former sugar land along the Hamakua Coast of the Big Island, and is the landowner offering the “Umauma Experience”, as well as owner of the zipline facilities there, including platforms, cables, rain shelters, and a new building for a kitchen and gift shop…”

Ian continues on about what the safety and certification process that may or may not happen with the zipline industry here in Hawaii and then goes on to say:

…Mr. Carlile and his company may have a beef with his former business partners, but it seems to me that his Texas attorney is off-base for this ill-considered attack on a local blogger.

Damon reported the dispute over safety issues in a straightforward and responsible manner. This was not a story that he was reporting, but a direct consumer experience he shared via his blog. And it happens to involve matters of public health and safety, and should have alerted the mainstream media to potential safety and regulatory issues in this relatively new recreational sport. There are obviously more sides to the story which need to be covered, but Damon deserves credit for flagging the issues and sharing them…

I’d like to thank Ian and Andy as well as the others that are supporting me in my effort to blog about my daily experiences. I hate it when folks take things so seriously that they go out of their way to actually stop me from doing something on my own personal blog!

I’m sorry if their business has been affected by what I wrote but that’s not my fault! I should be allowed and entitled to write freely about the experiences I have without being threatened by big money attorneys and their clients that don’t act responsibly!

Diversion of Lava Flows by Aerial Bombing — Lessons from Mauna Loa Volcano

The folks over at the Pacific Aviation Museum just posted this on Facebook and I thought it needed to be given a bit more attention.

I always thought that the lava flows were pretty much unstoppable but this seems to prove otherwise.

I would have no problem with the military dropping a few bombs above Hilo if it meant saving the entire town!

…Explosives were first suggested as a means to divert lava flows threatening Hilo, Hawaii during the eruption of 1881. They were first used in 1935, without significant success, when the Army Air Force bombed an active pahoehoe channel and tube system on Mauna Loa’s north flank. Channel walls of a Mauna Loa flow were also bombed in 1942, but again there were no significant effects. The locations of the 1935 and 1942 bomb impact areas were determined and are shown for the first time, and the bombing effects are documented. Three days after the 1942 bombing the spatter cone surrounding the principal vent partially collapsed by natural processes, and caused the main flow advancing on Hilo to cease movement. This suggested that spatter cones might be a suitable target for future lava diversion attempts

You can read the full abstract here: Diversion of Lava Flows by Aerial Bombing – Lessons from Mauna Loa Volcano, Hawaii.