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Why Mayor Kim Doesn’t Use a Government (.gov) Domain

The other day I was looking at Hawaii County Mayor Kim’s website and noticed that it didn’t have a .gov extension like all the other mayors in the State of Hawaii as well as many other mayors across the mainland and asked some of our local council members to look into why the Mayor wasn’t using a .gov account.

Councilwoman Karen Eoff inquired with the counties IT Director (Jules Ung) about the domain and she stated the following regarding the use of the domain:

Aloha Karen,

http://hawaiicountymayor.com/ is a domain that was registered and established by the previous administration.

When the new administration came on board in December 2016, site stats indicated over 2000 views that month with referrals from a variety of local sites including the Visitor’s Bureau, real estate businesses, local media, and search engines. From an SEO perspective it was beneficial to leverage the reach and rankings of the existing site to reach the broadest audience.

The current platform of http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/ is not dynamic and is incapable of hosting a blog.  So, the Mayor’s blog is utilizing WordPress at the .com site which for many bloggers is the preferred platform with convenient features.

Currently, plans are developing to move the County Website to a new secure, dynamic platform which can accommodate the Mayor’s Blog, as ideally, it would be an extension of the http://www.hawaiicounty.gov site.

Great questions and valid concerns from Damon.

mahalo,

Jules

Mayor Kim Writes in Opposition to Mandating Fire Sprinklers in All New One and Two Family Dwellings

Dear Ms. Marrone,

Subject: Opposition to Mandating Fire Sprinklers in All New One and Two Family Dwellings

The County of Hawaii supports the efforts of BIA Hawaii to remove Section 3 (the Sunset provision) of Act 83, SLH 2012. Removal of the sunset provision in this Act would prohibit the Counties from requiring the installation or retrofitting of automatic fire sprinklers or an automatic fire sprinkler system in most new construction of one or two family residential dwellings, which is currently mandated in the International Residential Code (IRC).

We understand and respect the position of the Fire Fighters in our community and remain committed to preventing loss of life and property through financially sensible building codes and ongoing community education.

At the same time, we in Hawaii are concerned about the dramatic increase in housing prices, especially for our first time home buyers and families. Adding the cost of a new automatic fire sprinkler system and required upgrades to water meters will add to the already high prices of housing in Hawaii.

We firmly believe that there are more cost effective methods of addressing the concerns raised by the fire protection organizations. These methods will not only protect fire fighters and homeowners but will NOT significantly increase the price of a new home in Hawaii.

As such, we are in full support of the proposed amendment to Act 83, SLH 2012 to delete the sunset provision of the bill.

Sincerely,

Mayor Harry Kim

Rescued Hawaiian Short-Eared Owl Killed In Auto Collision

A young Pueo, or Hawaiian Short-eared Owl, rescued in late March, was killed by a car on the highway between Waimea and Hanapepe two months after it had been released. The owl was originally spotted on March 22, 2017 by Dr. André Raine of the Kaua‘i Endangered Seabird Recovery Project (KESRP), who found it on the side of the road in Ele ele where it had also been struck by a car. He took the injured Pueo to the Save our Shearwaters (SOS) facility at the Kaua‘i Humane Society for treatment and rehabilitation.

Raine said, “This is a sad end to a successful rehabilitation story, which involved the hard work of the dedicated staff at SOS and the Hawaii Wildlife Center who were successful in returning this young bird to health and releasing it back into the wild in late April. Tragically, as with so many of our endangered native birds, the Pueo was struck again by an automobile – this time fatally. This serves as yet another reminder for all of us who drive on Kauai’s roads, that we need to slow down and be aware of owls, Nene, fledgling seabirds and other birds that may be feeding or flying alongside or near roads and highways.”

Tracy Anderson of SOS, who examined the dead owl, said that the injuries were consistent with being struck by a vehicle. The bird was found 6 miles (as the bird flies) from the release location and was in good body condition which meant that she had been hunting and feeding successfully post-release. Owls are often attracted to roadsides by rats and mice, which in turn are attracted by the easy pickings of food scraps and rubbish discarded by people. Anderson reminds people, “The act of throwing trash out your car window not only impacts the environment visually, but can have direct and detrimental effects on wild birds like pueo and nene.”

Over the past few months a public education campaign was initiated by DLNR and other partners to encourage people to watch for nene (native Hawaiian goose and Hawai‘i State Bird) alongside roadways. This included a public service announcement (PSA) that aired repeatedly on Kaua‘i’s cable television system, news releases and videos, and additional roadside signage in areas where nene are frequently spotted.

This is not the only Pueo found dead on the roads – two more dead Pueo were found on the same day as the rehabilitated bird in other parts of the island.

Another Pueo, also likely hurt in a car-bird collision on O‘ahu’s North Shore earlier this year could not be rehabilitated and had to be put to sleep. An entire family of nene depicted in a DLNR video, resting and feeding near the Hanalei River Bridge on Kaua‘i were also killed by a car.

Raine, Anderson, and others who work with native, wild birds agree that if drivers slow down and pay close attention in areas populated by birds, this will help reduce the number of deadly collisions between birds and cars.

McDonald’s of Hawaii Will Begin Selling the Signature Sriracha Sandwich on Aug. 1

McDonald’s is spicing things up this summer. The company is pleased to announce the newest member of the Signature Crafted Recipes lineup, the Signature Sriracha sandwich. The Signature Sriracha features Sriracha Mac Sauce, crispy onions, baby greens, tomato and white cheddar cheese on your choice of bun and protein.

McDonald’s of Hawaii will begin selling the Signature Sriracha sandwich on Aug. 1. To get people excited for the launch, from Aug. 3 through Aug. 5, customers who purchase any Signature Crafted Recipes sandwich will receive a free medium fry and medium soft drink at participating restaurants. No coupon is needed to redeem this offer.

Additionally, for a limited time, customers also can purchase a 20-piece Chicken McNuggets for only $5 with the limited edition Sriracha Mac dipping sauce.

McDonald’s will be hosting a Hot Sriracha Summer Sweepstakes on their 74 Facebook pages and Twitter page (@McDonaldsHawaii). Starting Aug. 1, the first five people who comment on any of the 74 Facebook pages and the first five people who Tweet to @McDonaldsHawaii using the hashtags #HotSrirachaSummerHawaii and #Sweepstakes, will win a Hot Sriracha Summer prize pack.

Maui Man Charged with 13 Leash Law Violations and Failing to Register a Dog

52-year old Maui resident Mark Simonds was charged today with thirteen (13) violations of the Maui County Code’s leash laws and one count of failing to properly register one of his dogs.

Click to read full report

According to the complaint, Simonds failed to keep his two dogs under restraint, as required by law. The violations occurred at various times between August 2016 and May 2017. The complaint also alleges that one of his dogs was not properly licensed.

The applicable sections of the Maui County Code, as described in the complaint, are punishable by up to a $500 fine for each violation.

The case was referred to the Department of the Attorney General by the Prosecuting Attorney of the County of Maui.

Simonds is presumed innocent unless and until he is found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Nicholas Comerford to Serve as Dean of UH Manoa College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources

Nicholas Comerford will start his new role as dean of the UH Mānoa College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources and director for Research and Cooperative Extension effective September 1, 2017.

Nicholas Comerford

Comerford is currently director of North Florida Research and Education Center, University of Florida, where he also is a professor in the Soil and Water Science Department. He oversees 2,300 acres of infrastructure, along with research and extension programs of faculty representing nine campus departments. In his early career, Comerford was employed as a forest soil specialist by the State of Washington, mapping forested soils in the foothills of Mount Rainier and along the Skagit River Valley.

Comerford’s research expertise is in the area of forest soils, with an emphasis in tropical and subtropical regions. His work concentrated on soil-tree root interactions, the measurement and modeling of soil nutrient bioavailability and general aspects of forest soil management. As an active member of the Soil Science Society of America, he was elected president of the society and served in that capacity in 2010. Comerford was a past board member and chair of the related Alliance of Crop, Soil and Environmental Science Societies (ACCESS) Corporation.

Comerford earned his PhD in Silviculture and Forest Influences from the State University of New York and Syracuse University, his master’s degree in Forestry from the University of Maine, and his bachelor’s degree in Forestry from the University of Illinois.

Said UH Mānoa Interim Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Michael Bruno, “We are very excited about Dr. Comerford joining the leadership team at Mānoa. His impressive and varied accomplishments in the field, his expertise in tropical soils science, and his experience working closely with both faculty and the community via vibrant extension programs all add up to a terrific background for the new dean of CTAHR.”

For more information about the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, see https://www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/site.

Hawaii Department of Health Fines Aloha Petroleum, LTD., $200,000 for Fuel Tank Violations

The Hawaii State Department of Health Underground Storage Tank (UST) Section has issued a Notice of Violation against Aloha Petroleum, Ltd., the registered owner and operator of four 10,000-gallon underground storage tanks at its fuel service station located at 3203 Monsarrat Avenue in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Aloha Petroleum has been cited for failing to notify the department of a suspected fuel release within 24 hours of discovery, failing to conduct a timely investigation of the release, and deficiencies related to its release detection monitoring and record keeping system.

Aloha Petroleum has been assessed a $200,000 penalty and may request a hearing to contest the allegations and order.

DOH regulates USTs that hold petroleum or hazardous substances. Failure on the part of UST owners and operators to timely report suspected releases, unusual operating conditions and the loss of product may result in increased clean-up costs for petroleum contamination to the environment.