Governor Abercrombie Announces Appointments Relating To Energy, Human Resources, Health

Governor Neil Abercrombie today announced the following appointments:

  • Michael Champley as commissioner to the Public Utilities Commission (PUC)
  • Barbara Krieg as Director of the Department of Human Resources and Development (DHRD)
  • David Sakamoto as Deputy Director of Health of the Department of Health (DOH)
Michael Champley begins serving on the PUC on an interim basis immediately. His appointment is subject to Senate confirmation.
Mr. Champley has over 40 years of experience analyzing, integrating and managing complex economic, public policy and technical issues confronting an evolving regulated energy utility industry.  Mr. Champley, 63, is currently a Maui-based senior energy consultant focused on clean energy resource integration in Hawai’i supporting clients including the Blue Planet Foundation.  Prior to re-locating to Hawai’i, Mr. Champley was a senior executive with DTE Energy, a major electric and gas energy company where he held various executive positions including Senior Vice President-Regulatory Affairs and Senior Vice President-Power Supply.  Mr. Champley holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Dayton and a MBA from Indiana University with emphasis in Finance and Public Utility Economics and Regulation.
Barbara Krieg will serve as Interim Director of the Department of Human Resources and Development (DHRD) effective September 16, 2011.  She replaces DHRD Director Sunshine Topping. Ms. Krieg, 53, is currently DHRD’s Deputy Director.  Her appointment to Director is subject to Senate confirmation.
David Sakamoto, M.D. will start as Deputy Director of Health on October 10th. Dr. Sakamoto, 61, was recently a co-researcher on the Hawai’i Physician Workforce Assessment project at the John A. Burns School of Medicine; and administrator for the State Health Planning & Development Agency. Other positions previously held include Vice President of Quality Management at St. Francis Medical Center – West and Risk Manager at Wahiawa General Hospital.  Dr. Sakamoto received his medical degree from the University of Illinois, Abraham Lincoln School of Medicine.  He holds a BS in Chemistry from the University of Illinois, Urbana and a MBA from the University of Hawai’i.

Can a Blogger Be Sued for Posting a Hawaii County Police Media Release?

I posted the following Police MEDIA RELEASE to my blog back on February 25th of 2009 and this Angelo Scrigna character has been pretty much trying to tell me to remove it from my blog ever since I posted it.

Tonight he is still telling me to remove it:

Dear MANAGEMENT
There is a post on you page of me that includes my ex girlfriend, my kid pictures of me and alot of false accusation, this pertains to a case that was in family court which your firm desires to make a mockery of.
I am writing to you to give you official notice to cease and desist from using nay images of Angelo Scrigna or Sundown Scrigna on your web site.
To date there has been no conviction and the case was dismissed hence your page gives viewers another impression.
Please remove all articles of Angelo Scrigna from your page or we shall have no other relief but to file federal charges for defamation of character, compensatory damages and punitive damages.
Regards, Angelo Scrigna

I told him that I would remove it when the Hawaii Police Department removed their initial release about it.

Here is the post in question copied and pasted here:

Pahoa Brothers Sought by Police

Posted on February 25, 2009 by Damon | Edit

The Hawai’i Police Department is searching for two brothers wanted for questioning in connection with violation of order and harassing phone call investigations.

Angelo Scrigna

Angelo Scrigna is wanted for violating a restraining order. He is described as Caucasian, 6-feet tall, approximately 160 pounds with hazel eyes and brown hair.

Sundown Scrigna is wanted for questioning about phone calls and has an outstanding restraining order. He is described as Caucasian, 6-foot 2, approximately 160 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes.

The Scrigna brothers were last seen in the Pāhoa area of the Puna District.

Police ask that anyone with information on their whereabouts call Officer Joseph Stender at 887-3080 or the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311. Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

It’s still posted on the Hawaii County Police website under their media release archive which dates back to 1999.

I don’t think I really have anything to worry about in the fact that I just republished what was public information and it’s still posted on the Police department’s website.

I told Mr. Scrigna I would remove it from my site when the police do.

My question is… can a blogger be sued for posting what a police department releases even if the police department may be incorrect in their initial assessment of the crime?

It is listed on the police departments site as a “MEDIA RELEASE”.  I would think that Mr. Scrigna needs to ask the Police Department to have it removed, then I would have no problem removing it myself.

For what it’s worth… I think Mr. Scrigna has changed his last name to “Jock” or something as that is the last name his latest e-mail came from.

Congresswoman Hirono Speaks Against Bill H.R. 2587 That Weakens American Workers’ Fundamental Rights

Congresswoman Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) took to the House floor in opposition to H.R. 2587, a measure that takes aim at middle class families by removing protections for American workers and enabling corporations to move their manufacturing jobs out of the United States.

[youtube=http://youtu.be/gMAWWHxLGuk]

Training Offered Next Week on the Big Island for Federal Grant Applicants

Seal of the United States Department of Housin...

Image via Wikipedia

Non-profits and other organizations interested in pursuing federal funding for projects that benefit low- and moderate-income households are invited to special training sessions on September 22 and 23.

The Office of Housing and Community Development (OHCD) along with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Community Planning and Development (CPD Honolulu Office) are coordinating the workshops on the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME Investment Partnerships programs.

HOME Investment Partnerships provide federal funding to assist in developing housing including rental units for very low-income households and individuals, and also to provide rental subsidies. CDBG funding can be used to build projects that benefit low- and moderate-income households and individuals.

Eligible applicants may include public agencies, private non-profit organizations, community-based development organizations, developers, community housing development organizations or other private organizations.

The workshops will provide an overview of the programs including their objectives; the kinds of projects that may be eligible; some of the steps applicants must follow; the reporting requirements; and availability of funding for the programs for 2012.

Mark Chandler, Director of CPD Honolulu will conduct the workshops in Hilo on September 22 at the OHCD Existing Housing Division Conference Room at 1990 Kinoole Street, Room #104 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

A second workshop will be offered in Kona on September 23 at the West Hawai`i Civic Center (Community Meeting Hale, 1st Floor) located at 74-5044 Ane Keohokalole Hwy. from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Paradise Lost: Hawaii’s Twenty Years of Failed Juvenile Corrections Reform

This video is about the history of the Hawaii’s Youth Correctional Facility (HYCF).

Hawaii Youth Correction Facility

Hawaii Youth Correction Facility

The facility is a youth correctional facility that is located in Maunawili, O’ahu and house both male and female youths.

[youtube=http://youtu.be/Q3Nny-ae6GM]

There have been consistent problems that have plagued this facility. These issues have been recorded on special reports such as those made by the State of Hawaii and the Nation. This video focuses on the issues surrounding staffing, training, abuse, and excessive use of force, which have been the key issues in the history of the HYCF.

Source: Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice (CJCJ)

Big Island Police Investigate Possible Drowning in Hilo

Big Island police are investigating a possible drowning in Hilo on Tuesday Wednesday (September 14) as a coroner’s inquest.

The man who died has been identified as 20-year-old Brystan Alidon of Hilo.

On Tuesday, South Hilo patrol officers responded to a 12:43 p.m. report of a swimmer in distress off shore at Pauka’a. Fire Department personnel also responded and were able to retrieve Alidon’s body. He was officially pronounced dead at 2 p.m. at Hilo Medical Center.

State Expands Opportunities for Hawai’i Children to Attend Preschool

The state Department of Education (DOE) is committing $6 million over the next three years for early childhood education as a part of its Race to the Top initiatives, Governor Neil Abercrombie announced today. As a result, about 800 additional Hawai’i children in low-income areas will be subsidized to attend preschool.

Recipient Ming Aila

The subsidies will benefit pre-K students living in the “Zones of School Innovation,” which are the Nanakuli/Wai’anae and Ka’u/Kea’au/Pahoa areas. The DOE is implementing many school improvement initiatives in these “Zones,” which will provide the public with a preview of the transformation that will be possible in all of Hawai’i’s schools.

At a press conference this morning at Wai’anae Early Learning Center – where 14 students are already receiving state subsidies this year – Governor Abercrombie reiterated the importance of investing in Hawai’i’s youngest children.

“The New Day Plan is about investing in the strength of Hawai’i’s people, and supporting our youngest children is one of the best investments we can make,” said Governor Abercrombie. “We are giving more students the opportunity to go to preschool and establishing the foundation for learning.”

About 75 children in the Zones of School Innovation are enrolled in preschools through the Preschool Open Doors, a statewide program administered by PATCH for the state Department of Human Services. With this additional funding, more children in the Zones of School Innovation will be able to participate in the program this year.

Superintendent of Schools Kathryn Matayoshi announced that PATCH is accepting applications for children to receive preschool subsidies.  Participating in early childhood programs, such as preschool, helps young children prepare to enter kindergarten.

“Providing our keiki with a seamless transition from pre-K to kindergarten is an invaluable first step in setting the foundation for future academic success,” Superintendent Matayoshi said.

“This is an example of the kind of investment our state needs to ensure our families can afford to send their child to preschool,” said Terry Lock, the Governor’s Coordinator on Early Childhood. “We will be continuing to look for partnerships among government agencies, nonprofits, businesses and other community programs to help our youngest children.”

Families can apply for subsidies for their three- and four-year-old via PATCH’s website, www.patchhawaii.org, or by calling 808-791-2130 or 1-800-746-5620.

[youtube=http://youtu.be/VH9HtvVwmzY]

Governor Abercrombie visits Wai’anae Early Education Center to announce that The state Department of Education (DOE) is committing $6 million over the next three years for early childhood education as a part of its Race to the Top initiatives. As a result, about 800 additional Hawai’i children in low-income areas will be subsidized to attend preschool.

3.5 Magnitude Earthquake Rocks the Big Island a Few Minutes Ago

Map of Hawaii highlighting Hawaii County

Image via Wikipedia

Magnitude 3.5
Date-Time
Location 20.171°N, 155.486°W
Depth 28.4 km (17.6 miles)
Region HAWAII REGION, HAWAII
Distances
  • 11 km (7 miles) ENE (57°) from Kukuihaele, HI
  • 11 km (7 miles) NNW (347°) from Honokaa, HI
  • 19 km (12 miles) NW (320°) from Paauilo, HI
  • 25 km (16 miles) NE (50°) from Waimea, HI
  • 67 km (41 miles) NW (321°) from Hilo, HI
  • 274 km (170 miles) ESE (117°) from Honolulu, HI
Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 6.3 km (3.9 miles); depth +/- 10 km (6.2 miles)
Parameters Nph= 25, Dmin=46 km, Rmss=0.28 sec, Gp=288°,
M-type=duration magnitude (Md), Version=1
Source
Event ID hv60266342

Big Island Resident Wins National Jenny Jones “Meet Your Heroes” Contest

Big Island resident Kehaulani Costa was recently awared $5,000 in the Jenny Jones Meet Your Heroes Contest.

Kehaulani “Kehau” Costa is a working mom with four young boys ages 12, 8, 6, and 4 months. She works full time as the office administrator at Malamalama Waldorf School in Keaau, Hawaii, a small Pre-K through 8th grade school in one of the most economically disadvantaged districts in Hawaii. Malamalama means “Light of Knowledge” in the Hawaiian language. Kehau’s goal is to start a music program at the school where all the children can learn to play the ukulele. “The ukulele is such a beautiful instrument and is very unique to Hawaii,” she wrote in her application. “When a child learns to play the ukulele, they also learn about Hawaii’s language, culture and spirit of aloha.”

Kehaulani will use the $5,000 to purchase 30 ukuleles, hard-shell cases, and music books so students can learn about Hawaii’s music, language, & culture.

This is what Jenny Jones said today about contacting Kehaulani about her winning notification:

I was able to make a surprise phone call to Kehau thanks to School Board President, Eric Cox, and fellow employee, Veda Soberman. They had assembled all the students outdoors for a pep rally for their annual walk-a-thon to raise money for the school and I called in during the assembly. Kehau was surprised when I asked for her and she asked me if I was really Jenny Jones. Then I gave everyone the good news to a big round of applause from all the students. Kehau told me that special people like me are called “aunties” and then had all the children give me a big “Aloha!”

County of Hawaii Redistricting Meetings

Map of Hawaii highlighting Hawaii County

Image via Wikipedia

Here is some information on upcoming redistricting public hearings and regular meetings that are open to the public. If you have any questions about these meetings, please contact Karen Eoff at (808) 323-4264 or by email at keoff@co.hawaii.hi.us.

  • September 23, 2011, (Friday) – WHCC, Kona @ 10:00 a.m. – Regular Meeting
  • October 1, 2011 (Saturday) 9:00 a.m. @ Pāpa‛aloa Gym, 35-1994 Government Main Road, Laupahoehoe, HI 96764 – Pub. Hearing
  •  October 1, 2011 (Saturday) 2:00 p.m. @ Waimea Community Center, 65-1260 Kawaihae Road, Kamuela, HI, 96743 – Pub. Hearing
  •  October 6, 2011 (Thursday) 6:00 p.m. @ Kamana Senior Center, 127 Kamana Street, Room 1, Hilo, HI 96720 – Pub. Hearing
  •  October 11, 2011 (Tuesday) 6:00 p.m. @ Pāhoa Neighborhood Center, 15-2710 Kauhale Road, Pāhoa, HI 96788 – Pub. Hearing
  •  October 12, 2011 (Wednesday) 6:00 p.m. @ Nā‘ālehu Comm. Cntr, 95-5635 Mamalahoa Hwy, Nā‘ālehu, HI 96772 – Pub. Hearing
  •  October 15, 2011 (Saturday) 9:00 a.m. @ Hilo Council Chambers, 25 Aupuni Street, Hilo, HI 96720 – Pub. Hearing
  •  October 15, 2011 (Saturday) 2:00 p.m. @ Kea‘au Community Center, 16-186 Pili Mua Street, Kea‘au, HI 96749 – Pub. Hearing
  •  October 17, 2011 (Monday) 6:00 p.m. @ WHCC, 74-5044 Ane Keohokālole Hwy. Kailua-Kona, HI 96740 – Pub. Hearing
  •  October 20, 2011 (Thursday) 6:00 p.m. @ Yano Hall, 82-6156 Mamalahoa Hwy. Captain Cook, HI 96704 – Pub. Hearing – PLEASE NOTE:  CORRECTION TO OCTOBER 20TH PUBLIC HEARING AT YANO HALL MEETING TIME IS 6:00 PM (NOT 2:00 PM AS PREVIOUSLY WRITTEN)
  •  October 21, 2011, (Friday) – Hilo, @ 10:00 a.m. – Regular Meeting
  •  November 3, 2011, (Thursday) – Hilo, @ 10:00 a.m. – Regular Meeting
  •  November 10, 2011, (Thursday) – Hilo, @ 10:00 a.m. – Regular Meeting (Decide on Draft Plan)
  •  November 21, 2011 (Monday) 6:00 p.m. @ WHCC, 74-5044 Ane Keohokālole Hwy. Kailua-Kona, HI 96740 – Pub. Hearing
  •  November 22, 2011 (Tuesday) 6:00 p.m. @ Hilo Council Chambers, 25 Aupuni Street, Hilo, HI 96720 – Pub. Hearing
  •  November 30, 2011, (Wednesday) – 10:00 a.m. – Regular Meeting (Decide on Final Plan)

Fairmont Orchid Showcases Newest Exhibit “Spiraling Artifacts”

The Big Island of Hawaii is an exotic haven that nurtures creativity and The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai`i taps this wellspring of talent by partnering with the Pacific Island Printmakers to showcase Lisa Louise Adams’ newest exhibit “Spiraling Artifacts” in the Luana Lounge Art Gallery on Thursday, September 22, with an artist’s reception to be held from 5:30 p.m.-7:00 p.m.

UpThrust Etching

The third quarterly showing combines Adams ’ many interests and incorporates handmade papers, numerous printmaking techniques, hand stitching, beading, encaustic and watercolor.  The spiral is an important symbol, starting with something small and expanding outward, returning to the same, but different place, a bit of a metaphor for life.

Fragment of Joy

Lisa lives in Volcano with her family, making paintings, prints, books, quilts, and pottery.  Her work has been featured in numerous invitational and juried exhibitions locally, nationally and internationally since 1987.  Lisa studied art at nine Universities and recently earned her Masters in Education for her thesis on “The Importance of the Arts in Education.”

 

Spherical Reflection

The Lounge’s contemporary residential décor rambles through indoor/outdoor seating areas, interior bar and lanai overlooking the grounds and the blue Pacific.  Paired with a refreshingly eclectic Hawai`i Island-inspired menu of pupu (appetizers), dessert tapas and Hawaiian tunes designed to put guests at ease, the resort embodies the Hawaiian translation of Luana (to be at leisure, enjoy pleasant surroundings and associates, live in comfort and ease, enjoy oneself, relax and be content).  Come and experience luana, complimentary refreshments and valet parking.

3.2 Earthquake Shakes Volcano Area of Big Island this Morning

This map shows the incorporated and unincorpor...

Image via Wikipedia

Magnitude 3.2
Date-Time
Location 19.338°N, 155.179°W
Depth 9.1 km (5.7 miles)
Region ISLAND OF HAWAII, HAWAII
Distances
  • 14 km (8 miles) SSE (155°) from Volcano, HI
  • 16 km (10 miles) SSW (199°) from Fern Forest, HI
  • 19 km (12 miles) SSW (204°) from Eden Roc, HI
  • 37 km (23 miles) SW (231°) from Hawaiian Beaches, HI
  • 42 km (26 miles) SSW (193°) from Hilo, HI
  • 352 km (219 miles) SE (128°) from Honolulu, HI
Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 0.3 km (0.2 miles); depth +/- 0.3 km (0.2 miles)
Parameters Nph= 76, Dmin=4 km, Rmss=0.13 sec, Gp= 79°,
M-type=duration magnitude (Md), Version=1
Source
Event ID hv60266242