Filed under: Announcements, Big Island, Community, Hawaii, Hawaii County Public Notices, Kenoi | Tagged: County of Hawaii, Open Space and Natural Resources Preservation Commission, PONC, Public Access | Leave a Comment »
Public Invited To Suggest Properties For Public Access, Open Space and Natural Resources Preservation Commission Purchase
The County of Hawai’i sold $98.8 million in bonds in a sale that closed Feb. 12, obtaining funding for new projects and refinancing old loans and bonds in a move that will save taxpayers about $8.5 million over the life of the bonds.
The County’s ratings were affirmed in January by all three major rating agencies: Aa2 from Moody’s, AA- from Standard & Poor’s, and AA- from Fitch. These positive ratings, which recognize the County’s strong fiscal position and effective management, allowed the County to achieve a very favorable combined interest rate of 2.58% on these new bonds.
“Our County found itself in a great position – with a trio of positive ratings and the excellent market conditions for municipal bonds, we could refinance some of our pre-existing obligations for a lower cost,” said Finance Director Nancy Crawford. “The savings we realize with this bond issuance will free up resources to do more for the people of Hawai‘i Island.”
In addition to refinancing previous loans and bonds, $27.5 million in new money was obtained to fund projects previously authorized by the County Council. Some of these projects include the improvements to the Edith Kanaka’ole Stadium in Hilo, the La’aloa Avenue Extension in Kona, and an islandwide public safety radio upgrade.
“We’re pleased that we were able to leverage our County’s strong financial position to save our taxpayers money. It is truly a credit to the hard work of our employees and our finance team for managing our resources wisely,” said Mayor Billy Kenoi. “We’re excited to have funds available to invest in projects that will upgrade our public facilities, better connect our communities, and keep our island safe.”
County of Hawaii: “Technical Challenges Initially With Our Siren System During Last Night’s Tsunami Warning”
The tsunami advisory for the State of Hawai‘i ended this morning at 3:58 a.m. following a magnitude 7.7 earthquake in the Queen Charlotte Islands region off the coast of Canada at 5:04 p.m. HST. We are grateful this morning to report that through the coordination of our first responders and the cooperation of the community, all of our shoreline and low-lying areas were evacuated safely during last night’s tsunami warning. We have received no reports of injury or serious property damage.
Although there were technical challenges initially with our siren system during last night’s tsunami warning, the challenges were addressed. The sirens are just one facet of our comprehensive emergency notification strategy, which includes sounding sirens, sending phone, text, and email alerts through mass notification systems, Civil Defense messages on radio and television stations, and manual notification by Police, Fire, and Civil Air Patrol.
Police and Fire personnel were deployed immediately to shoreline areas to notify people of the evacuation. Two fire helicopters, a privately contracted helicopter, and a Civil Air Patrol plane were in the air to monitor the shoreline and further notify people in difficult to access shoreline areas and ensure that the areas were clear.
Our human response was executed according to plan. In spite of the technical challenges earlier in the evening, we were able to safely execute a complete island-wide evacuation of shoreline and low-lying areas by 10:05 p.m.
During our next monthly siren test on Nov. 1, we will be stationing personnel at all sirens to ensure that they are operating as expected in concert with Hawai‘i State Civil Defense. State Civil Defense owns the sirens and takes care of repairs, while Hawai‘i County Civil Defense coordinates the operation of the sirens and conducts monthly tests.
Filed under: aloha, Announcements, Big Island, Earthquakes, Environment, Hawaii, Hawaii County Public Notices, Hilo, National Affairs, State Affairs, Technology | Tagged: Civil Defense Sirens, County of Hawaii, Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, Tsunami Response, Tsunami warning system | Leave a Comment »
Children 7 to 14 years old are invited to enter the Keiki Triathlon to be held Saturday, October 20, at the Kona Community Aquatic Center and Maka‘eo Park in Kailua-Kona.
Entry forms will be accepted through Friday, October 12. The triathlon will start at 8:30 a.m. on October 20.
A link to the entry form is available at hawaiicounty.gov under the Department of Parks and Recreation’s October events. Forms also may be obtained island-wide at the department’s Recreation Division facilities, swimming pools and many gymnasiums. There is a $5 per-child entry fee to participate in the Keiki Triathlon.
To ensure the athletes’ safety, enrollment will be limited to the first 30 children who sign up in each of the four age-group categories or a maximum 120 total racers. All participants must supply their own bicycle, helmet, swim goggles and other equipment.
Completed entry forms and payment should be mailed to the Recreation Division, 799 Pi‘ilani Street, Hilo, HI 96720.
Sponsored by the County of Hawai‘i Department of Parks and Recreation and the Hawai‘i Isle Police Activities League (HI-PAL), the inaugural Keiki Triathlon will consist of a 100-yard swim, 3.2-mile bicycle course and a 1.0 mile run; children in the 7-8 age-group category will race half those distances.
Medals will be awarded to the top three finishers, both boys and girls, in each age category, while all keiki who complete the course will receive commemorative certificates.
For more information, please contact Jason Armstrong, Public Information Officer, at 345-9105 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The County of Hawai‘i today held a blessing and recognition ceremony at the former Bank of Hawai‘i branch in Kohala, which will now be used by the Department of Parks and Recreation and the Office of Aging for expanded senior citizens programs.
Mayor Billy Kenoi with Senior VP Art Taniguchi, Senior VP Roberta Chu, and Branch Manager Jeff Craft of Bank of Hawaiʻi.
53rd Annual Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament – First Time Teams from Portugal and Russia Expected
In the summertime…..the fish are biting.
An unforgettable week of famous deep-sea fishing in Kona awaits anglers from around the world as teams gather for the 53rd running of the Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament August 13-17 2012. This summer, HIBT anglers, aboard some of sportfishing’s finest fleet of vessels, will fish for prized Pacific blue marlin and a chance of capturing the HIBT’s prestigious Governor’s trophy.
Kona’s billfishing water is considered unique for two reasons, calm seas and big marlin. And summertime in Kona is where the billfishing action is. Just ask last year’s winning team. Port Vila Game Fishing Club of Vanuatu prevailed and captured the 2011 HIBT Governor’s Trophy, earning them first place. Port Vila’s lead going into Day 5 was strong enough to hold off several other teams high on the scoreboard, finishing the 2011 HIBT with an even 2,000 points.
The 2012 HIBT scoreboard promises to bring much anticipated excitement. Expect even more fishing action as teams return to fish HIBT from Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, Vanuatu and teams from across the USA. However, don’t underestimate angler skill as the 2012 HIBT welcomes new teams to the Tournament including Portugal and Russia.
For more information, to register a 2012 Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament team and IGFA world-record rules, log onto www.hibtfishing.com.
The Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament is underwritten by the generosity of the County of Hawaii and sponsored in part by KWXX Radio and numerous corporate and community donors.
2013 HIBT August 4-10, including five days of fishing August 5-9
2014 HIBT July 27-August 2, including five days of fishing July 28-August 1
Here is a video recap of the 2011 tournament:
Filed under: aloha, Announcements, Big Island, Hawaii, Kona, Sports, Tourism | Tagged: 53rd Annual Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament, County of Hawaii, Fishing, International Game Fish Association | 2 Comments »
In ancient times Moku Ola, also known as Coconut Island, was considered a safe haven, a place for healing and refuge. Today, the Hawai’i County park hosts an array of events from family picnics, to celebrations of King Kamehameha. A relative newcomer; the World Peace Festival, first produced in 2010, is scheduled for Saturday, October 1 from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. “Moku Ola continues to be a sacred place, held in the hearts of many as a peaceful refuge. It is the perfect location for the festival, a multi-cultural event dedicated to peace and harmony,” said coordinator Desiree Moana Cruz.
Hawai’i County is presenting the festival in partnership with the Hilo Downtown Improvement Association (HDIA) with sponsorship support from the International Committee of Artists for Peace (ICAP) assisted by Sokka Gakkai International. The free family event offers a global line-up of Hawai’i Island talent including traditional Hawaiian Slack key stylings from Na Hoku Hanohano and GRAMMY Award winner Sonny Lim, exciting percussion from Hui Okinawa’s Kobudo Taiko Troupe, fun Kachi Kachi music performed by El Leo-The Jarican Express, riveting Tahitian dance and music of Merahi o Tapiti, a Chuukese warriors dance performance by members of Micronesians United-Big Island, and the dynamic UH-Hilo Samoan Club-Tupulaga o Samoa Mo A Taeao. Soka Gakkai International youth and women’s division participants will also offer a range of cultural dances.
“We are featuring a wonderfully diverse line up of some of the best talent on the island for a entertaining and inspiring day full of peace and joy.” said Cruz. “And there will be a free Jumping Castle and Water Slide for keiki, information booths, displays, artists and craftspeople selling their works plus a variety of ‘ono food booths. The public is invited to attend.”
- Hawaii County Police Officer Jeremy “Scotty” Lewis Recognized as Officer of the Year (damontucker.com)
- Parade Honoring the 2011 Senior Little League World Series Champions Held Today (damontucker.com)
- Hawaii County Staff to Explain and Clarify Proposed Building Code Changes (damontucker.com)
- Historical Map Donated to Hawaii County (damontucker.com)
- Hawaii County Police Chief Harry S. Kubojiri Promoting Major Paul Kealoha to Assistant Chief (damontucker.com)
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 email@example.com.
- 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)
Tomorrow the County of Hawaii Will Enter Into a Sister City Relationship with the Island of Kumejima, Okinawa, Japan
The County of Hawaii will enter into a Sister City Relationship with the island of Kumejima, Okinawa, Japan on Sunday during a Ocean Thermal Energy Workshop (OTEC) at the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii (NELHA).
The signing ceremony will take place at noon. The Mayor of Kumejima, Choukou Taira, and County of Hawaii Mayor Billy Kenoi will enter into the agreement, which will stress economic ties rather than the traditional cultural bonds of sister city relationships.
Kumejima is an island about 50 miles east of Naha, Okinawa. Much like Hawaii Island of about 20 years ago, Kumejima’s economy is based on the visitor industry and sugar cane, known as sato kibi in Japan.
Kumejima, which has a climate and appearance similar to Kauai, also shares another similarity with Hawaii Island, a deep sea pipeline which has allowed aquaculture to blossom on the island, which is about the same size as Molokai.
In November, public and private officials visited Kumejima to take part in an OTEC Workshop, where the possibility of a partnership between Kumejima and Hawaii Island was discussed. This pact, which could result in the establishment of a demonstration plant at NELHA using the 55-inch pipelines already installed at the facility on Keahole Point, will be further discussed at the workshop by Japanese and American officials.
It was during this visit in November that the governments of Kumejima and Hawaii County realized that a sister city relationship would be a natural extension of the proposed natural energy partnership taking place at the time.
“We are honored to enter into this agreement with Kumejima,” said Mayor Kenoi. “The similarities between our islands are striking, including the fact that we are both outlying islands of island groups far away from their mainland countries. I think we can learn many things from each other as we both strive to break our dependence on fossil fuels.”
OTEC technology, which was successfully tested off Keahole Point in the 1970s, uses the temperature difference of deep sea and surface water to make a working fluid — in this case ammonia — to “boil.”
The boiling fluid releases “steam” which is used to drive a turbine.
Intensive OTEC research is now taking place in a number of places in the world, including NELHA, where Lockheed-Martin recently blessed a facility, and at Saga University in Saga, Japan, where scientists are generating electricity using a small demonstration unit.
“OTEC has the potential to provide virtually inexhaustible, clean energy in the equatorial regions of the earth,” said Kenoi. “This is an opportunity for Hawaii Island to play a role in furthering a technology that could have worldwide implications.”
- Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi Asks County Residents to “Stop and Remember” (damontucker.com)
- Hawaii County Mayor Poll: Kenoi vs. Yagong (damontucker.com)
- Reeds Bay Closed Until the New Year for Construction Activities (damontucker.com)
- Mayor Kenoi Launches Solar Powered Green Government Initiative (damontucker.com)
The County of Hawai`i is inviting farmers, ranchers and other interested applicants to bid on long-term leases for 718 acres of county-owned lands at Pa`auilo.
The 16 parcels of land range from less than 13 acres to nearly 110 acres, and are available for 10-year leases. The minimum rental price will be $11.63 per acre per year, which is based on an outside market appraisal of the land.
“We are pleased to be offering these lands up to the community to put them back into productive agricultural use,” said County of Hawai`i Mayor Billy Kenoi. “These lands have been sitting idle since the county first acquired them about 16 years ago, and we believe putting these lands back into production will provide a welcome boost to our agricultural sector.”
The county will host an informational open house at Pa `auilo Gym from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on September 1 to discuss the details of the new leasing program, and to answer questions from the public.
All proposals by bidders must comply with the current agricultural zoning on the Pa`auilo lands, and must meet the terms of Hawai`i County Council Resolution 38-11. All proposals must be received by the county by 4:30 p.m. on October 14, 2011.
For more information, please visit www.co.hawaii.hi.us, or contact the county Property Management Division at (808) 961-8069.
- Hawaii County Mayor Poll: Kenoi vs. Yagong (damontucker.com)
- Mayor Kenoi Calls Key Council Budget Amendments Illegal and Vetoes Bill 29 (damontucker.com)
The Hawaii County Cost of Government Commission has released the latest “DRAFT REPORT” for Cost of Government Commission Agendas and Minutes, this afternoon.
It looks like Hawaii County might finally be getting serious about technology!
As the Commission investigated how our County government could reduce costs and enhance revenues, we found that changing the way we do business as a County is imperative if we are to move fully into the 21st century. Just as innovation and adaptability are the action words for private enterprise, these same concepts must motivate the public sector if we are to contain the costs of County government yet still provide essential services to support the quality of life its citizen’s desire.
As the Commission gathered input from departments, legislators and County employees, we found that many excellent suggestions to save costs and enhance revenues were not being taken into consideration. The lack of flexibility in the negotiation of union contracts prevents the application of reasonable and efficient cost saving measures. The absence of a county-wide technology plan reduces the efficiencies of operations. A resistance to adoption of simple cost saving measures such as online approvals and electronic signatures makes the County’s contracting process slow and unresponsive. Continuing practices such as extending homeowner exemptions to unpermitted buildings not only short changes the County coffers, but encourages unsafe and unsanitary living conditions while forcing all the County’s residents to pay higher tax rates to fund this practice.
The Commission decided to tackle its mandate by looking not only at ways to reduce the costs of government, but also by identifying ways to enhance revenues. Are building permit fees too low? Could the County charge user fees for services that are currently offered for free? We looked at what services really are the responsibility of the County to provide and how we can continue to support the needs of the island’s population and visitors without being forced to reduce public services to an unacceptable level. This Commission served during an especially difficult economic downturn as reflected by furlough days and implementation of other drastic measures to contain costs, yet the recommendations provided herein should be guiding principles for our County government even when the economy is expanding.
We organized our efforts to address a theme which was to identify the essential services of County government. We then identified three overarching issues that the County must address: Technology, Contracting, Collections and Fees. The Commission organized into subcommittees and solicited input from all of the County’s workforce, its elected and appointed officials, and members of other Boards and Commission. We used the information and feedback to develop the recommendations in this report. The specific recommendations of the Commission are presented in a top down manner. First we present county-wide actions that need to be addressed. Then we provide recommendations specific to some of the County’s departments. Lastly we address changes that impact the rank and file workers of the County. The bottom line for our findings is that the way we do business as a local government has to change.
You can read the full draft report here: Hawaii County Draft Report County Cost of Government Commission
Festival Director Leo Sears addressed the group around 10:00 and folks started in on their food.
Anna Akaka, wife of Danny Akaka, Jr., lead off the opening pule and blessed the crowd and the filmmakers for making it a great festival this year.
Golden Honu Award recipient Kristina Anapau and her boyfriend Moran Cerf were in attendance.
Mr. Sears began by thanking the Sponsors of the Festival such as the Fairmont Orchid, the Shops at Mauna Lani, the County of Hawaii and John Mason with the Hawaii County Film Office, “Redeeming Light International” as well as others were also thanked.
Kenwood Vineyards was recognized as a “big sponsor” since they have sponsored the festival for so many years.
Naketha Mattocks was recognized for her support and workshop that she put on called “The Inside Pitch” and Ron Osborn was recognized for his continual work with the festival.
Mayor Kenoi was on hand and signed a bottle of wine that all of the celebrities and filmmakers signed that would be auctioned off later for the Wounded Warriors project.
Actress Sarah Wayne Callies who was the recipient of the “No Ka Oi” award earlier in the week was also present.
An autographed picture of Kristina Anapau was auctioned off for charity as well and I just had to drop the big bucks to keep my son happy!
I’d like to thank all those that worked so hard to put this on and especially thank Leo Sears for working so hard at ensuring such a smooth festival happens.
Twelve films received Golden Honu Awards at the 6thAnnual Big Island Film Festival today. Best Feature went to “Queen of the Lot,” starring Tanna Frederick and Noah Wyle, written and directed by Henry Jaglom, produced by Rosemary Marks.
Celebrity actresses Sarah Wayne Callies (“The Walking Dead”) and Hilo’s own Kristina Anapau (“Black Swan”) were present to receive special “No Ka Oi” awards from Big Island Film Festival Executive Director Leo Sears.
Winners were selected from 63 entries from across the country and around the world, including 10 made in Hawai’i. The made-on-Maui film, “Get A Job,” starring Willie K, Eric Gilliom, Augie T, Henry Kapono and many other top Hawaiian entertainers, won 2011 Audience Choice Feature.
2011 Big Island Film Festival Golden Honu Awards:
Actress “No Ka Oi” - Sarah Wayne Callies
Actress “No Ka Oi” – Kristina Anapau
The Barbara Award – “Regular Kids”
Best Family Short – “The Green Tie Affair”
Best Animated Short – “Bait”
Best Hawaiian Short – “Layover, On the Shore”
Best Foreign Short – “Futility”
Best Student Short – “Thief”
Best Short – “Wounded”
Best Family Feature – “Trainmaster II: Jeremiah’s Treasure”
“Best Student Feature” – “Farmer’s Tan”
Best Hawaiian Feature – “Get A Job”
Best Foreign Feature – “The Drummond Will”
Best Feature – “Queen of the Lot”
Audience Choice Short – “The Historian Paradox”
Audience Choice Feature – “Get A Job”
Some of the winners that were present to receive their awards:
- 2011 Big Island Film Festival… And the Winners Are (damontucker.com)
- “Reception and Salute” to Local Girl Kristina Anapau at the Big Island Film Festival (damontucker.com)
- “Reception and Salute” to Sarah Wayne Callies at the Big Island Film Festival (damontucker.com)
- Mayor Kenoi Kicks Off the 2011 Big Island Film Festival (damontucker.com)
- Local Girl Kristina Anapau to Receive Golden Honu Award for Acting at Big Island Film Festival Tonight (damontucker.com)
Filed under: aloha, Announcements, Big Island, Comedy, Entertainment, Hawaii, Kenoi, Movies and Film, Television, Tourism | Tagged: 2011 Big Island Film Festival Winners, Bait, Big Island Film Festival, County of Hawaii, Farmer's Tan, Futility, Get a Job, Kenwood Vineyards, Kristina Anapau, Layover on the Shore, Leo Sears, Mayor Billy Kenoi, Queen of the Lot, Regular Kids, Sarah Wayne Callies, The Drummond Will, The Green Tie Affair, The Historian Paradox, Thief, Trainmaster II: Jeremiah’s Treasure, Wounded | 3 Comments »
State’s First Government Operation Emissions Inventory
The County of Hawai ‘i has released the state’s first government operation greenhouse gas emissions inventory. Prepared by a group of county employees with the assistance of the Department of Research and Development, the study quantifies emissions created by county government during the delivery of services to the public.
Hawai‘i County’s first carbon footprint will serve as baseline which officials can use to track the effectiveness of energy, waste and emission reduction efforts. The release of this study puts the County of Hawaii at the forefront of climate protection strategies in the state.
“You can’t manage what you don’t measure,” said Mayor Billy Kenoi. “The threats posed by our dependence on fossil fuels and climate change continue to grow, but in difficult economic times it is essential that our efforts to reduce our energy use, waste, and emissions are targeted to where they will be most cost effective. This inventory provides a roadmap for these actions and shows county government is leading by example.”
The study found that in Fiscal Year 2007-2008, providing services such as public safety, parks and recreation, water delivery, solid waste disposal and wastewater services produced 134,130 metric tons of carbon emissions or the equivalent to using 311,930 barrels of oil.
Delivery of water to residents via electric pumps was the largest contributor of greenhouse gases emissions, representing 40 percent of the county’s total carbon footprint. The county’s solid waste facilities released 31 percent of direct greenhouse gases, followed by County Mass Transit and fleets (12 percent of total direct emissions) and county buildings and facilities (5 percent).
When combined, wastewater, streetlights and commuting employees accounted for the remaining 12 percent. Overall, the county spent $33 million to pay for electricity and fuel in Fiscal Year 2007-2008. This represents 7 percent of the island’s usage of electricity.
“Accounting for local government operation’s fossil fuel use and its associated financial and environmental costs are the first step to understand local government’s contribution to climate change,” said Alex Frost, coordinator of the group known as the Mayor’s Green Team. “The report provides an initial baseline to develop benchmarks and metrics to track results and help identify strategic opportunities that will save money and reduce pollution.”
The calculation of greenhouse gas emissions was conducted with ICLEI – Local Government for Sustainability USA’s Clean Air and Climate Protection software (CACP). The findings will be included in the Mayor’s Vision 20/15: Green Government Action Plan to be released in May.
This plan identifies programs and projects that can be used by county government to save money through the reduction of emissions, waste and energy usage.
Results of the current inventory and sustainability assessments conducted by Mayor’s Green Team can be downloaded at http://www.hawaiicountyrandd.net/hcrc/green-government.
Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi and Mayor Sadaji Akutsu of Shibukawa , Japan, reaffirmed a sister-city relationship between Shibukawa and the County of Hawaii in a ceremony in Hilo on Jan. 14, 2011.
The sister-city relationship was established in 1997 to promote friendship and good will between the peoples of Ikaho-Machi and the County of Hawaii . In 2006, Ikaho-Machi, along with the villages of Komochi, Onogami, Akagi and Kitatachibana, were merged into the expanded City of Shibukawa .
Sister cities share in the coordination and planning of official visits, and promote the exchange of cultural, trade, agricultural, scientific and educational opportunities. The people of Shibukawa and the Island of Hawaii have enjoyed an active and productive Sister City relationship since 1997.
Mayor Kenoi said the reaffirmation will “continue the meaningful interaction that has characterized the relationship for well over a decade. In addition to the reciprocal benefits enjoyed by our two communities, we share a larger, international benefit in setting an example of friendship and good will for the world to see and emulate.”
Mayors Kenoi and Mayor Akutusu also committed to develop a stronger economic relationship between the Sister Cities.“Mayor Akutsu and I held economic discussions over two nights, agreeing to joint tourism and agricultural promotions and to have our chambers of commerce explore new opportunities over the next year,” Mayor Kenoi said. “These times require more than just goodwill. We need to promote positive economic relations that benefit both sides.”
Ikaho, now part of Shibukawa, is home to the world’s largest hula festival with more than 4,000 participants. In 2002, organizers of the festival obtained permission from the late Dottie Thompson, former director the Hilo ’s Merrie Monarch Festival, to name the Japanese festival in honor of Hawaii ’s Merrie Monarch King David Kalakaua.
Since then, representatives of the “Ikaho Hawaiian Festival, King Kalakaua, the Merrie Monarch,” attend the Merrie Monarch Festival in Hilo each year and invite the winning halau to perform at their Ikaho festival the following August.
Ikaho is about 3 ½ miles by bus from Tokyo ’s Narita Airport and is well-known as a hot spa resort area that attracts many visitors, including members of the Japanese Royal Family.
County Of Hawai‘i Acquires Pāo‘o Partnership With State and Trust for Public Land Conserves Shoreline Kohala Land
The County of Hawai‘i, the Trust for Public Land (TPL), and the State of Hawai‘i Legacy Land Conservation Program announced today the County’s successful acquisition of Pāo‘o, a 10.67-acre coastal parcel in Kohala near the County’s recent Kaiholena acquisition.
“With the acquisition of Pāo‘o, in addition to our earlier purchase of Kaiholena, we are putting together the largest and most significant shoreline access park in the state, rich in local historic and cultural significance, and with tremendous recreational opportunities for the benefit our Hawaii Island families,” said Mayor Billy Kenoi. “I’m extremely pleased that our partnership with the Trust for Public Land and state Legacy Land Conservation Commission has resulted in this acquisition of Pao`o, which demonstrates our commitment to work closely with state and private agencies to preserve our important lands for future generations.”
The property at Pāo‘o includes over 27 cultural and historical sites that are part of an extensive series of traditional Hawaiian fishing villages located along the Kohala coast, including the villages at the nearby Lapakahi State Historical Park listed on the State and National Historic Registers. The Hawai‘i County Public Access, Open Space, and Natural Resources Preservation Commission (PONC) ranked this property #2 on its priority list for acquisition. The property is also located along the Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail, a network of trails stretching 175 miles along the coastline of the island of Hawai‘i.
Funds for the $1.89 million purchase price came from the State of Hawai‘i Legacy Land Conservation Program administered by the State Department of Land and Natural Resources and the County PONC fund. $945,000 of the purchase price came from the State Legacy Land Conservation Program, which was created in 2005 and sets aside 10% of the state conveyance tax for real estate sold in Hawai‘i for land conservation. $945,000 of PONC monies were tapped for the County’s purchase. The PONC fund was created in 2006 and sets aside 2% of real property taxes for land conservation.
Laura Thielen, Director of the Department of Land and Natural Resources, which administers the State Legacy Land Conservation Program, stated, ” It is part of DLNR’s mission to protect Hawaii’s unique natural, cultural and historic resources; as a funding partner in this acquisition, the State has helped to place the lands in the hands of a partner that will work with surrounding community to steward and protect these resources..”
In cooperation with the County, the TPL secured private financing and purchased the property in April 2010 from the private landowner, Aloha Properties, LLC, in order to take the property off the market and ensure that the County would be able to acquire the property. TPL also assisted the County in applying for $945,000 from the State Legacy Land Conservation Program. TPL’s Hawaiian Islands Program Director, Lea Hong, stated: ” Pāo‘o is an amazing cultural legacy for the Big Island and the entire State of Hawai‘i. The Trust for Public Land was happy to work with the landowner, the County, and the State Legacy Land Commission, to voluntarily conserve Pāo‘o where the public can enjoy continued access to the shoreline, and where important cultural sites can be treasured and conserved. We look forward to continuing to work with the County and the State to conserve special places throughout Hawai‘i Island.”
Filed under: Announcements, Big Island, Community, County Council, Economy, Environment, Hawaii, Kenoi, Kona, Something New? | Tagged: Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail, County of Hawaii, Kaiholena, Kohala Hawaii, Lapakahi State Historical Park, Pāo‘o, Trust for Public Land | Leave a Comment »
From the Mayor’s Office:
U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye will be in Hilo on Saturday to present a check to the County of Hawaii representing $7.2 million in federal grants for six new 45-passenger buses and major improvements to the county’s Mass Transit Agency facilities.
“The safe and timely transportation of our residents and visitors is critical to maintaining a healthy economy,” said Senator Inouye. “These funds will help people on the Big Island get to and from work while reducing traffic congestion and limiting the impact fossil fuels have on the environment.”
A $5 million State of Good Repair Grant from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), a division of the U.S. Department of Transportation, includes $4 million for new administration offices and base yard for the County’s Mass Transit Agency in Hilo.
The new County mass transit offices will provide easy access to a central location where the public can visit or call to obtain transit services and information. The base yard will enable the county to better house and maintain the transit agency’s growing fleet of buses.
The State of Good Repair Grant also includes $1 million for the purchase of three new 45-passenger buses with wheelchair access, bicycle racks and passenger security features that will continue to improve the County’s free, island-wide bus services for island residents.
An additional $2.2 million federal earmark from the FTA’s transit capital investment program will be used to purchase four additional new 45-passenger buses for the County’s transportation fleet. The grant will also used to purchase bus stop and bus shelter materials.
“This $7.2 million grant is a huge appropriation for our County and recognizes our efforts at building and enhancing the largest transportation system in the State of Hawaii,” said Mayor Kenoi. “We are very grateful for the help provided by our senior Senator Inouye and his staff in obtaining this valuable assistance for our residents.”
The county’s free, island-wide bus system is rapidly growing. In Fiscal Year 2009-2010, 1.1 million passengers boarded Hawaiian Island’s Hele-On buses, an 18 percent increase from the previous year.
“The new buses and the administrative and base yard improvements will have a tremendous positive impact on our mass transit system, allowing more people to use the system and to help us address increasing demand for our services,” said Tom Brown, Mass Transit Agency director.
“The growing demands of our residents traveling between East and West Hawaii, connecting the Ka`u and Ocean View districts with Hilo and Kona, North Kohala and Kona, and between upper and lower Puna to Hilo, will be addressed with the new buses,” Brown said. “Helping to get our people to work, school, medical appointments, and recreation activities improves their quality of life.”
“With the generous support from Senator Inouye,” said Mayor Kenoi, “we are continuing to follow through on our commitment to expand our transit system.”
The grant will be presented in a brief ceremony at 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 16, in the front of the Hawaii County Building at 25 Aupuni St., Hilo.
Filed under: aloha, Announcements, Big Island, Hawaii, Highway 130, Hilo, National Affairs, Something New?, State Affairs, Transportation | Tagged: County of Hawaii, Federal Transit Administration, Hawaii, Public transport, United States Department of Transportation | 1 Comment »
Domain names in the .com and .net domains can now be registered with many different competing registrars. Go to http://www.internic.net for detailed information. Domain Name: HAWAII-COUNTY.COM Registrar: NETWORK SOLUTIONS, LLC. Whois Server: whois.networksolutions.com Referral URL: http://www.networksolutions.com Name Server: NS.HAWAIIHISPEED.NET Name Server: NS.PACIFICPROTECH.COM Name Server: NS1.HAWAIIHISPEED.NET Name Server: NS1.PACIFICPROTECH.COM Status: clientTransferProhibited Updated Date: 12-jun-2008 Creation Date: 27-jul-1998 Expiration Date: 26-jul-2013
Network Solutions was originally set up to give government and military places free IP addresses and URL’s but in more recent years it has become a private company.
They pretty much hijacked the domain name before anyone on this Island even knew what a domain name was and I guess the county has just run with it ever since then.
Now you can use your credit card to make purchases through the site… but user beware:
In August 2009, Network Solutions notified customers that its “secure” servers were breached, and led to the exposure of names, address, and credit card numbers of 573,928 people who made purchases on Web sites hosted by the company. Susan Wade, a spokesperson for Network Solutions, said, “We really feel terrible about this.” At the time of this writing, NSI does not know how their servers were compromised.
You can learn more about the controversies that Network Solutions has had in the past here.
I still don’t understand why Hawaii County doesn’t have a .gov domain like most other government offices? I do see that http://hawaiicounty.gov is available. :roll:
Commentary by Syd Singer:
A public meeting was scheduled by Mayor Kenoi to discuss the controversial mangrove eradication and poisoning project that has now left over 30 acres of mangroves dead and rotting along the Puna coastline. The meeting, scheduled for July 31 at the Pahoa Community Center, was the first chance given to the public to comment on and question the project.
But the meeting never happened. Malama o Puna, the organization spearheading the poisoning, backed out at the last minute, causing the County to cancel the meeting, according to Hunter Bishop, spokesperson for Mayor Kenoi.
The public is left with an ugly, poisoned shoreline and still without any voice on the issue.
The 30 acres of mangroves now stand dead and defoliated along the sensitive Big Island coastline, left to rot over the years and blighting what had been beautiful, treasured areas. Wai Opae (which is the popular snorkeling area in Kapoho), Pohoiki (also called Isaac Hale Beach Park), Paki Bay, and Onekahakaha Beach Park in Hilo have all been poisoned.
There was no public hearing or public comment period allowed for this mangrove eradication project, which was done with the cooperation of the DLNR, County of Hawaii, and Big Island Invasive Species Committee. There was no environmental assessment or environmental impact statement prepared. For most residents who frequent these areas, awareness of the project began when they noticed the mangroves were dying and brown scum was floating on the water. Heaps of dead leaves from the defoliated trees still line the high tide mark.
A public protest against the mangrove poisoning was held in January, 2010, and the controversy was reported in the media. But Malama o Puna refused to stop the poisoning.
A citizen lawsuit was filed in February to get an injunction to stop the poisoning until an environmental assessment was done. Despite requests that they stop their work, Malama o Puna continued with their poisoning, killing 7 acres of mangroves at Pohoiki and 3-4 acres of mangroves at Onekahakaha Beach Park in Hilo while the lawsuit proceeded.
A ruling has just been made on the lawsuit, which continues in Third Circuit Court in Hilo. The Court has ruled that it is too late to sue Malama o Puna for not doing an environmental assessment. This does not mean Malama o Puna did not have to do an environmental assessment. It just means that it was too late to have the issue considered by the Court.
Attorneys for defendants Malama o Puna, DLNR, and County of Hawaii tried to get the case dismissed, claiming that private citizens cannot sue for violations of the Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act, or Hawaii Pesticide law. But the Court reaffirmed that the public has a right to a clean and healthy environment, as provided in the Hawaii Constitution Article Xl, Section 9, and that all citizens have a right to sue to protect those environmental rights.
The lawsuit now will focus on whether Malama o Puna violated clean water regulations and threatened endangered species that are known to use the poisoned areas. No further hearings are scheduled at this time.
Ironically, mangroves may be the best species for Hawaii’s subsiding coastline, especially given the climate change predictions coming from the Hawaii government and environmental groups that the oceans are rising. Mangroves protect the shoreline from erosion, storm surge, and tsunamis. In fact, mangroves have been shown to save lives.
Unfortunately, while recognizing climate change is the environmental issue of our time, some environmental groups and government agencies have not yet realized the implications climate change has for “invasive” species control. Climate change is an inconvenient truth for those who want to save native species that thrived in the past but which may not survive in today’s and tomorrow’s altered environment. Introduced species which grow well here may belong to the Hawaii of the future. Today’s “invasive” species may become tomorrow’s “invaluable” species.
This especially applies to mangroves, considered by the Nature Conservancy in its Summer, 2010 magazine as one of the most valuable and beneficial species in the world. Mangroves may prove critical to shoreline protection in Hawaii as the oceans rise and the land sinks.
While their presence in Hawaii is controversial, as is the use of powerful poisons to kill the mangroves and leave them rotting along the shoreline, the public will not have an opportunity to comment on this eradication. And while the County meeting was too little, too late, it was at least an attempt to include the public. But now, even that attempt has been poisoned.
For more information, see www.mangrovelawsuit.com.
Sydney Ross Singer
P.O. Box 1880, Pahoa, Hawai 96778
From the Mayors Office:
A proclamation naming July 26, 2010, Americans with Disabilities Act Awareness Day in the County of Hawai’i was presented Friday to Paige De Lima and Wes Tanigawa in the Mayor’s Office in Hilo.
De Lima and Tanigawa are the new chair and vice chair, respectively, of the Mayor’s Committee on People with Disabilities.
The committee, whose members have a significant interest in aiding people with disabilities, advises the Mayor and provides guidelines to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities.
County Managing Director William Takaba made the presentation.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed on July 26, 1990, to ensure the civil rights of individuals with disabilities. The proclamation also recognizes the partnership that the County of Hawaii has established with Hawai’i Centers for Independent Living and the ARC of Hilo in the development and operation of the Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC).
The Abled Artists Show will be celebrating the anniversary of the ADA in Prince Kuhio Plaza on Saturday, July 24, starting at 10 a.m. Disability Rights Hawai‘i has its regular meeting scheduled for Tuesday July 27, noon to 2 p.m. at the ADRC in Hilo with invited speakers on various disability topics. The public is invited to these meetings.
(Editor’s Note… All folks with Disabilities please avoid the Pahoa Post Office for the sake of your own safety)