Mayor Kenoi’s Assistant “The Days of Running the County from 25 Aupuni Street are Over… Cookies and Coffee Were Paid for by Donations from Cabinet Members”

Videos courtesy of ArtTV via Randy Magnus Youtube channel:

My Yearly Mayor’s Rant:

Mayor Kenoi delivered the State of the County address twice on the same day last week… once in Kona and then again later in the day in Hilo.

Being that the Mayors Office  recently got equipment to make videos and are supposedly learning to use technology… I question why they don’t just do these type of things online.

I mean gas is pretty expensive these days and time is money as well… but being a government employee… I do understand the perks of getting things like mileage and travel expenses.  :roll:

If you go the Governors website… you can simply  click on the link and watch the State of the State Address that was done on January 24th.

On Big Island Video News I left the following comment:

I wonder exactly why he needed to deliver the State of the County Address Twice… when this is suppose to be a time of cost reductions?

Interestingly enough, Mayor Kenoi’s Executive Assistant Bobby Command returned the following comment:

Aloha Damon: The days of running the county from 25 Aupuni Street are over. This mayor has shown time and time again through his actions that he is the leader of the entire island, and not just Hilo. Community meetings, cabinet-level leaders from all over the island, being at as many places as possible throughout the week. It was delivered in Kona because it was the right thing to do. Also, FYI , the cookies and coffee were paid for by donations from cabinet members.

I still wonder why the State of the County wasn’t just done once… but no biggie. What I think is funny, is Bobby Command stating “The days of running the county from 25 Aupuni Street are over.”

I laugh because who wants to work at a place with a leaking roof anyhow?

“…County Public Works Director Warren Lee told the Hawaii Tribune-Herald that the new roof won’t be accepted as “complete” until the leak issue is resolved. Only then will the 10-year warranty start.”

Has anyone ever watched the Mayor Kenoi show.. or less yet would they admit to it? Is it even still on?

Hamakua Youth Center Holds Successful Fundraiser

Media Release:

The Hamakua Youth Center warmed the hearts of many North Hawaii residents with a wonderful afternoon of culture, music, and food at Waianuhea Bed and Breakfast recently. A fundraiser for the program, the event offered community members a chance to meet some of the youth and leaders from the center.

Hula performed at the Waianuhea Bed and Breakfast (Photo credit: Phyllis Tarail)

Music courtesy of Lorna Lim, Ed Yap, and Brad Bordessa set the stage for a relaxing day as guests socialized over pupus in the gorgeous Ahualoa setting. Hamakua Youth Center staff, student and adult participants, and HYC Board of Directors came together to share their experience with the Center, stressing just how important it is to the youth and the entire community. As keiki and adults mingled throughout the day it was evident that the Center is much more than just another community program. The youth call it “Our House” and suitably, all participants are considered part of the ‘ohana.

Brad Bordessa, Lorna Lim, Ed Yap (Photo credit: Kris Bordessa)

The Hamakua Youth Center offers cultural programs as well as a drop-in program. While the cultural programs are funded primarily from grants, the afterschool drop-in program is supported almost entirely by local sources. The drop-in program at the Center offers essential services to the youth of Hamakua. It’s a place of respite for latchkey kids waiting for parents to come home from work; a place for students to get help with homework and enjoy a healthy meal, as well as a place to connect with social services when necessary. The cultural programs allow students to learn skills, rituals, and traditions based in Hawaiian culture through hands-on lessons.

Fundraiser attendees got to see some of the Center’s hula participants in action as Lanakila Mangauil brought his dancers – both keiki and adult – on stage under a beautiful blue sky. The crowd especially enjoyed the dancers’ presentation of Hi‘ilawe, and later, the chance to see Lanakila dance while Honi Pahio, program coordinator, surprised everyone with her beautiful vocals.

The front of the Waianuhea Bed and Breakfast

Long time Hamakua Youth Center supporter, Carol Salsbury Colbertson, and her husband Mike Colbertson graciously donated the use of Waianuhea Bed and Breakfast and provided refreshments. Their willingness to host the event along with the generous support of the community brings the Center very close to reaching its financial goal. For more information or to offer your support to the Center, visit http://hamakuayouthcenter.wordpress.com.

Syd Singer Spreading More Rumors

Commentary by Syd Singer:

The list of what can be called “invasive” is growing. It now includes everything, even native species. Only humans are excluded from the definition. Funny, because we humans are the real cause of all the problems and admittedly are the most invasive species of them all.

 

Sydney Ross Singer - Director, Good Shepherd Foundation

The Department of Land and Natural Resources Office of Conservation and Coastal Lands (DLNR OCCL) is proposing new Administrative Rules for chapter 13-5 to make it easier to kill anything you don’t like on any of the 2,000,000 acres of conservation lands statewide. And you will be able to kill anything, anywhere, on any numbers of acres, using poisons and biocontrol insects, fungi, or pathogens.

It would seem that the so-called “Silent Invasion” of invasive plants and animals can now be solved with pesticides and pestilence. We are going from Silent Invasion to Silent Spring.

And the goal is no longer to protect endangered species, or even native species. The goal is to protect “native ecosystems”. You know, those mythical, Edenic places where nothing ever changes and there is no impact from mankind’s interference.

But climates do change. The conditions of the past are not coming back. Modern civilization is not going away. And you cannot recreate Eden with poisons and pestilence.

At a recent public hearing in Hilo regarding the proposed rule changes, Sam Lemmo, who runs the DLNR OCCL, admitted that their new definition of “invasive species” is controversial. The old definition of an invasive species was an alien species that is a threat to human health, the environment, or the economy. The proposed new definition is this: “Invasive species” means any plant, plant pest, noxious weed, microorganism, biological control organism, or animal than can directly or indirectly injure or cause damage to the environment or to the interests of agriculture, horticulture, aquaculture, animal or public health, native species, natural resources, irrigation, or navigation, or otherwise defined in §520A-2, HRS.”

Deciding on “what belongs” in Hawaii was always a value judgment. Once you single out any plant or animal for extermination it is a slippery slope. And the definition of invasive has definitely slipped down the slope. Now, even native species can be called invasive.

According to the proposed rules, anyone wanting to poison, chainsaw, or release biocontrol agents against any species that that person believes qualifies under the “invasive” definition can do so WITHOUT A PERMIT OR EVEN LETTING THE DLNR KNOW.

This means all birds are invasive if they eat anything agricultural or compete in any way with any native species or bird or insect. Cats, dogs, pigs, sheep, goats, wild horses and donkeys, can all be poisoned or infected with biocontrol agents without a permit or review. Native species can be killed if they affect the interests of agriculture. Native fish can be poisoned if they compete with farmed fish. Coral can be killed if it interferes with the interests of navigation.

According to Sam Lemmo, his OCCL office is short staffed and cannot be burdened with every request for landscaping on conservation lands, even those in the protective subzone, which includes our most pristine coastlines and forests. The new rules will make it easier for the DLNR staff.

But what will it do to the environment, and to those who love it?

Essentially, the DLNR is saying to kill first and answer questions later, if anyone catches you. Of course, the damage will already have been done. And it is hard to see anyone being prosecuted since the rules give a green light to do whatever you want against whatever you don’t like.

As for environmental assessments bringing transparency and accountability to the process, the DLNR is currently requesting the Environmental Council to allow ALL invasive species control or eradication on any DLNR lands to be exempted from needing an environmental assessment or public comment, with the implicit assumption that anything done to kill an invasive is good, even if it uses poisons, bulldozers, and biocontrol. (The request for this exemption has not yet been reviewed by the Environmental Council as of February 1, 2011.)

Never mind the complex interaction between species. Never mind what the public thinks or values. The new catch phrase in environmental circles is “habitat restoration”. The new enemy is anything that “doesn’t belong”. The new targets are anything nonnative, or even native if it is not in the “proper balance”. Nothing can change from the way it was in the past. And the way to make the future the same as the past is with poisons and pestilence.

Of course, pestilence caused by biocontrol may itself need to be controlled with poisons, since many attacked species are desirable, such as fruit trees and ornamentals, and there is no guarantee that biocontrol will not start attacking other nontarget species. So the real weapon in this environmental war centers on killing with chemicals.

Following the money, it is easy to see where these proposed rule changes originated. In the days of Silent Spring, environmentalists awakened an awareness of chemical hazards. To recapture its market, chemical companies conceived a new poster child to promote its poisons – invasive species.

Now, decades later, Monsanto, Dow Elanco, and other agrochemical giants control our environmental and agricultural policy on state and federal levels. Active members of invasive species committees, Monsanto and Dow contribute generously to the Nature Conservancy and other environmental groups, politicians, and heavily lobby government agencies.

It is not surprising that Hawaii does virtually no inspections of agricultural products entering the state. We treat exports for pests, but not imports. This makes no sense for a place that decries invasive species and boasts numerous endangered species. But it makes sense when you realize that prevention brings less revenue than treatment. Those who sell the treatments are clearly invested in problems.

Beware of the chemical-environmental complex.

These companies are the only ones that will profit from this environmental war encouraged by the proposed DLNR rule changes.

In the dark, misty parking lot at the end of the public hearing on these rule changes, I ran into Sam Lemmo, and he made some revealing admissions. He said he was surrounded by people pressuring him to make these rule changes to make eradications easier, and resistance to the proposed rules was making his job difficult, because it wasn’t his decision to make. He reflected for a moment and then said, “I used to be an environmentalist. I guess you can say I sold out.”

He turned and walked to his car as he added, “Don’t trust me”.

I hope he was kidding.

The DLNR OCCL is still accepting comments on its proposed rule changes and holding public hearings. Speak up now, before it becomes necessary to wear a chemical resistant suit to take a hike in the poisoned park. Send comments now to Samuel Lemmo, Administrator, Office of Conservation and Coastal Lands, Kalanimoku Bldg., 1151 Punchbowl St., Honolulu, Hawaii 96813.

Here is the schedule of the hearings:

  • January 31, 2011 Kaunakakai, Molokai: Mitchell Pauole Center, 90 Ainoa St.
  • February 1, 2011 Lihue, Kauai: LihueLibrary, 4344 Hardy St.
  • February 7, 2011 Kona, Hawaii: Mayor’s Conf. Room, 75-5706 Kuakini Hwy, Rm 103
  • February 9, 2011 Honolulu, Oahu: Kalanimoku Bldg., 1151 Punchbowl St., Rm 132

Or write your comments and send to:

William J. Alia, Jr. Chairman

Department of Land and Natural Resources

Samuel Lemmo, Administrator

Office of Conservation and Coastal Lands

Kalanimoku Bldg.

1151 Punchbowl St.

Honolulu, Hawaii 96813