Governor Neil Abercrombie – “Our Public Employees”

Media Release:
Over the past few years, government employees have been making large sacrifices to help the state through difficult fiscal times.  We must never forget that public employees are our neighbors, friends, and family members.  Public employees are a cornerstone of Hawai’i, contributing our share of taxes and keeping our economy and communities thriving.
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Government employees provide valuable services that have real impacts on people and businesses.  That is why I have consistently opposed furloughs and periodic shutdowns of classrooms and government offices.  Furloughs cost the public and public employees loss of critical services, productivity and morale.
In working with public employees, I have confidence that our plans will lead to an economic recovery in Hawai’i. However, we are still living in challenging fiscal times, and with the start of the new fiscal year on July 1, we must implement the state budget as passed by the State Legislature.
It is important to remember that the state budget reflects a 5 percent temporary pay reduction and 50/50 split on health care premiums and those cost reductions are to be distributed throughout all state agencies.
This budget reflects the goal of shared sacrifice that we laid out in the very beginning of our administration. While some believe this is not enough and others feel it is too much, I believe these targets are a reasonable basis that recognizes the value of your work while living within our means.
In our continuing dialogue, we remain committed to our employees, working with the public unions, and steadfast in facing our challenges together. We look forward to the start of the new fiscal year as we continue to build economic momentum, improve state government, and invest in Hawai’i’s future.

Imua Hawaii!

Waikoloa Teen Receives Science Scholarship

Media Release:

Tawny Bright of Waikoloa is the recipient of the annual Aviles and Stover Fund for Science. Established by the medical practice of Dr. John D. Stover, D.D.S, M.D, Ph.D., the $1,000 annual, four-year scholarship is awarded to a Parker School student interested in science.

Tawny Bright

Tawny Bright

A sophomore, Bright was chosen by a school committee and received the scholarship at a recent academic awards ceremony in the Parker School Theatre. Fond of travelling, the teen says she loves to study art, history and science. “I am extremely grateful for the Aviles and Stover Fund for Science Award and look forward to continuing my studies at Parker School,” says the 15-year-old Bright.

“We continue awarding this scholarship as a permanent way to support education, particularly the sciences,” adds Dr. Stover, a triple-board certified surgeon who resides in Waikoloa.

With medical offices in Hilo, Kona and Waimea, Dr. Stover’s Cosmetic Centers of Hawaii offers a broad menu of cosmetic services and products: oral and maxillofacial surgery, facial and general cosmetic surgery, non-surgical cosmetic procedures and cosmetic skin care.

A Big Island resident since 2001, Dr. Stover is a strong supporter of arts organizations, both in schools and in the public sector. His benefactors include the Kahilu Theatre Foundation, Theatre Arts Conservatory, UH Performing Arts Center, Kona Music Society, Friends of the Palace Theatre, Kamuela Philharmonic, Hawaii Performing Arts Festival, Prince Dance and Kanilehua Chorale.

“We hope the award encourages students to go into the sciences, and perhaps medicine,” shares Bayardo Aviles, Stover health care administrator.

Find Dr. Stover’s services at Cosmetic Centers of Hawaii. They are at three convenient islandwide locations: 784 Kinoole St. in Hilo, (808) 969-1818; 64-1035 Mamalahoa Hwy. in Waimea, (808) 885-4503 and 81-6627 Mamalahoa Hwy., Suite 101 in Kealakekua, (808) 323-2600. For info, visit drjohnstover.com.

Susan Hunt Named New CEO of Hawai’i Island Beacon Community

Media Release:

Hawai’i County Mayor Billy Kenoi is pleased to welcome Susan Hunt, the new Chief Executive Officer of the Hawai’i Island Beacon Community (HIBC).  Hunt brings a wealth of experience in the Healthcare field as the former Chief Executive Officer of Hamakua Health Center Inc. – a federally qualified community health center, where she was responsible for all aspects of clinical quality and business operations.  Since 1998, she has served as Managing Member of LPSR Properties, LLC where she coordinated land acquisition, financing and construction project management for Hale Ola Pono Health Center , located in Kamuela , Hawai’i .  She also served for four years as Executive Director of North Hawai’i Women and Children’s Services also located in Kamuela.

“Susan’s solid educational background, proven leadership and strong professional experience in the local business community make her a perfect fit to lead HIBC as we  strive toward improvements in quality health care and health care accessibility for all of our County of Hawai’i residents,” stated Mayor Kenoi.

The Hawai’i Island Beacon Community is a consortium of healthcare and community leaders that was created to improve healthcare quality, efficiency, and population health on the Big Island .  Hawai’i County was awarded $16,091,390 in federal stimulus funds, and is one of 17 communities across the nation chosen to demonstrate measurable improvements in health and healthcare through IT-enabled clinical transformation.  The College of Pharmacy at the University of Hawai’i at Hilo serves as the administrative core for this community grant.

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Volcano House Concession Requirements Not Met – National Park Service Re-Soliciting Bids

Media Release:

The National Park Service (NPS) will be re-soliciting the Volcano House concession prospectus because the proposals received did not meet critical requirements for the concession contract. All proposals received in response to this solicitation were considered non-responsive and/or not qualified. Cindy Orlando, Superintendent at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park states that “the Director of the NPS must, by law, reject proposals where the concessioner is not qualified or the proposal is non-responsive to the requirements of the Volcano House Prospectus”.

The NPS issued the Prospectus for the Volcano House operation on December 10, 2009, requesting proposals for visitor services that included: overnight accommodations, food, beverage, retail, campground and related services. Due to several amendments, the closing date was extended to September 1, 2010. All proposals were reviewed by the NPS Pacific West Regional Office in Oakland Calif. and subsequently sent to the Director of NPS in Washington D.C. for final review and action.

Currently, the NPS is in the process of revising and finalizing a prospectus for re-solicitation in July 2011which will include a timeline for new proposals. This opportunity will be posted on the Federal Business Opportunities website, www.fbo.gov, as well as the NPS Commercial Services website, www.concessions.nps.gov.

For further information contact Walt Poole at 808-985-6027 or walt_poole@nps.gov

Bank of Hawaii Gets International Commercial Lien Filed Against Them for Close to 10 Billion Dollars

I’m just passing this on and haven’t looked to much into it at all:

Guest Commentary from Gordon Ito:

The Bank of Hawaii Corporation has just had (6-26-11) an International Commercial lien filed on public record for its admitted fraud in handling a customer account, the amount of the lien is $9,905,000,000.00 thats right Nine Billion Nine hundred five million. The creditor says the bank in its filed papers admitted the Debt is owed, The Secured Party Liabillant is also considering filing of a Bankruptcy petition on behalf of the Bank, to protect his Largest secured party creditor position, as the Perfected lien Claim is approximate to the total admitted assets of the Bank. to view the lien go here; http://www.getnotice.info/PBL/PBLBHAW0001.htm

Gordon Ito, Hawaii

Councilman Pete Hoffman Observations on the Results of the Budget Struggles

Councilman Pete Hoffman

Councilman Pete Hoffman

Media Release:

Happy New Fiscal Year (2011-2012) to you all. The County has managed to stumble into July and has survived the budget struggles of the past two months. Permit me a few observations on the results and the process:

  • The Mayor’s 5 May becomes effective today, 1 July. It is a balanced budget, but doesn’t save anything as far as expenses are concerned. It defers some liabilities. There’s nothing wrong with that, so long as the total deferments are not too large, and we don’t encourage this as a habit. I think we are reasonably on solid ground at least in this fiscal year, but we shouldn’t use GASB-45 as a ‘bill-payer’ again next year. One can only wonder why the Mayor would use GASB-45 deferments as the centerpiece of his budget balancing act this year, when he was so stubbornly opposed to this same suggestion that I made previously? If we had adopted this recommendation, we might not have had to raise property tax rates.
  • Unlike a few of my Council colleagues who expressed indignation at the Corporation Counsel’s letters about the amended budget, I see this as another example of mayoral politics. Let’s face it, the Mayor won this battle, let’s move on. No one associated with the budget process or with the County Charter can find anything illegal in what the Council did. Unprecedented perhaps, but hardly illegal. County residents were treated to some political ‘smoke and mirrors’ and as a result the veto could not be overridden.
  • It’s hard to fathom why the Mayor could not or would not exercise some discretion on the Council’s amended budget. There seemed to be at least a few Council amendments that should have been ‘saved’. But it appears to many that the Mayor’s message is simply: “do it my way or not at all”. Sad to think this poses as effective leadership for our County. Of course, we can revisit some of the issues during the coming months (the Police radio proposal for example), but why go through the process once again? This is not the spirit of cooperation anticipated from the Mayor nor is it good management. County residents deserve better.
  • I am pleased to see that the Mayor is recommending some flexibility in regard to furloughs in the coming years. Both the Council and administration are not willing as yet to face the 800-pound gorilla in the room, i.e. reductions in staff. If economic conditions do not improve, this must be addressed. Let me repeat, I do not advocate any reductions at this time, however, it is utter nonsense to talk about real savings if we do not include a reduction in personnel costs from that equation. Furloughs seem to be one alternative. Some won’t admit it, but the County’s ‘Furlough Friday Program’ of the past two years brought savings to County taxpayers, did not result in any significant reduction in County services, and County employees retained their jobs, and perhaps as important, their medical and other benefits. I believe this is the direction the County must pursue and I’m pleased to see the Mayor make the effort.
  • There is another aspect of the budget battle that should be mentioned. It came up briefly in yesterday’s Council discussions, but I think it failed to register on many. The Council had recommended that any savings that might occur in the on-going union negotiations be used to offset the GASB-45 deferment. It is unknown if any reductions in salaries/personnel costs will be achieved in this fiscal year. The mayor’s budget fully funded the current payroll scale for all County employees so there is some hope that actual expenses will be less. I trust that if some savings are realized, the Mayor will act on the Council’s recommendation and some payment made to the GASB-45 account.

In summary, let’s get on with business. There’s much to be done and although this budget is finished, the County’s economic distress remains. I continue to hope that when addressing these issues in the coming months, ALL will emphasize leadership and the best interests of our County residents and leave politics and political agendas behind. I trust I am not too optimistic.

PETE HOFFMANN

3.1 Magnitude Earthquake Shakes Kona Coast

Magnitude 3.1
Date-Time
Location 19.812°N, 156.141°W
Depth 13.3 km (8.3 miles)
Region HAWAII REGION, HAWAII
Distances
  • 17 km (11 miles) NW (305°) from Kalaoa, HI
  • 24 km (15 miles) NW (321°) from Kailua, HI
  • 28 km (18 miles) NW (320°) from Holualoa, HI
  • 111 km (69 miles) W (276°) from Hilo, HI
  • 242 km (150 miles) SE (133°) from Honolulu, HI