Lifelong Kona Resident Announces Run for County Council Seat

Bronsten “Kalei” Kossow will run for Kanuha’s vacant District 7 seat on the Hawai‘i County Counil. Courtesy photo.

Bronsten “Kalei” Kossow has announced he will run for Dru Mamo Kanuha’s vacant seat on the Hawai‘i County Council.

Kanuha’s open seat represents District 7, which includes Kealakekua, Kona Scenic, Kainaliu, Honalo, Keauhou, Kahalu‘u, Hōlualoa, Kona Hillcrest, Pualani Estates, Sunset View, Kuakini Heights, Kona Vistas, Ali‘i Heights and Kona Industrial.

Kossow is a lifelong resident of Kona who attended Hōlualoa Elementary and Kealakehe Intermediate Schools before graduating from Makua Lani Christian School. While a junior in high school, he earned his Eagle Scout award, and soon after received the Honor of Vigil.

A former Boy Scout lodge-vice chief for Hawai‘i Island, Kossow has served as an assistant scoutmaster with Boy Scout Troop 79, and a section-vice chief for the Pacific Region. He is currently working toward his Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science with the University of Hawai‘i.

“I am proud to be born and raised in this beautiful community,” Kossow said. “I am eager to jump into the conversation and continue the discussion of the current issues that our community is facing such as: creating efficiency in government; pushing for temporary housing for our homeless, working with both County and State agencies to expand the services to those who need assistance; investing in a long-term plan to implement Kona water well security; striving for renewable and alternative energy sources; and enhancing agriculture development for food sustainability.”

Kossow is also a member of St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church, a former paraprofessional for Aloha Council, and current finance chair for Kona Coast Boy Scouts of America. He is also a game management advisory commissioner for Hawai‘i County District 7, as well as a flight coordinator for Paradise Helicopters.

The 2012 County of Hawaii Executive & Legislative Inaugural Ceremonies

Today the 2012 County of Hawaii Executive & Legislative Inaugural Ceremonies was held at the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium in Hilo, Hawaii.

2012 Hawaii County Inauguration 042

[youtube=http://youtu.be/iiyhqxVeU24]

Six new County Council Members and three returning Council Members were sworn into office today.

2012 Hawaii County Inauguration 070

The invocation and was done by Pastor Sheldon Lacsina and the Administration of Oaths by The Honorable Judge Greg Nakamura.

2012 Hawaii County Inauguration 025

Mayor Kenoi was sworn in to office and gave a speech where he thanked everyone for getting him to where he’s.

2012 Hawaii County Inauguration 047

Mitch Roth was then sworn in as Prosecuting Attorney and wished that his mother could be there to see his dream come true but unfortunately she is having medical problems and is on the mainland.

2012 Hawaii County Inauguration 052The Kamehameha Schools Concert Glee was on hand to do a musical rendering.

2012 Hawaii County Inauguration 009

Here is a quick look at our new Hawaii County Council:

2012 Hawaii County Inauguration 002

District I – Valerie T. Poindexter

2012 Hawaii County Inauguration 004

District II – J Yoshimoto

2012 Hawaii County Inauguration 007

District III – Dennis “Fresh” Onishi

2012 Hawaii County Inauguration 006

District IV – Greggor Ilagan

2012 Hawaii County Inauguration 003

District V – Zendo Kern

2012 Hawaii County Inauguration 079

District VI – Brenda Ford

2012 Hawaii County Inauguration 008

District VII – Dru Mamo Kanuha

2012 Hawaii County Inauguration 101

District VIII – Karen Eoff

2012 Hawaii County Inauguration 010

District IX – Margaret Wille

Dru Mamo Kanuha Announces Candidacy for Hawaii County Council District 7

Lifetime Hawaii Island resident Dru Mamo Kanuha has announced he will run for the newly-created County Council District 7, representing downtown Kailua Village and the Kona area from roughly Kainaliu north to Kona’s Old Airport.

Dru Mamo Kanuha announces his candidacy for Hawaii County Council District 7

Kanuha was born in Kealakekua and raised near the shore, in the ahupua’a of Holualoa. His father, Jerome Kanuha, was also born and raised in Kailua-Kona. His mother, Debbie Kanuha, was born in Pennsylvania, raised in Redondo Beach, California and has been in Kona for more than 40 years. The Kanuha family has lived for generations in the Keopu ahupua’a that extends from Kailua Bay through the area now known as Emma’s Square and mauka, and is known for their stewardship of Kona lands.

Kanuha attended Mokuaikaua Church pre-school, Kahakai Elementary School, and Kealakehe Intermediate and High School. Kanuha graduated from the University of San Diego in 2002 with a B.A. in Political Science, and a minor in Business Administration.

Kanuha says he’s been interested in serving the people of Hawaii Island in a leadership role since he was a boy, and attended many public meetings about roads, infrastructure, and development with his father while he was still in high school. Kanuha feels the time is right for him to represent the people of Kona and West Hawaii on the County Council. He says recent divisiveness on the County Council has concerned many citizens. He says he feels he can help the County Council regain a sense of looking out for the entire island as a whole, even though his primary focus will be the new Kona District 7.

Kanuha has been involved in public service for more than a decade. He has taught free tennis lessons to children every summer at the Old Kona Airport, worked with the Kealakehe High School Waveriders Against Drugs, and cleaned rubbish off beaches. Kanuha also served on the Hawaii Island Burial Council from 2010 to 2011 as the Kona Representative. Over the past year he served on the Hawaii Island Redistricting Commission, representing (the current) Kona District 7. Kanuha also serves on the Board of Director for Kai ‘O Pua Canoe Club, one of the oldest Canoe Clubs in the state with a membership of over 300, and in which his great-grandfather had a founding role.

Kanuha is employed by Kamehameha Schools-Land Assets Division, Hawaii Island, focusing on water and agricultural resources. In this capacity, he supports community outreach, promoting agricultural related events that support Kamehameha Schools’ Strategic Agricultural Plan. Previously Kanuha worked for Judiciary and Labor Chairman Clayton Hee as a Legislative Aide at the Hawaii State Capitol.

Kanuha is a founding member of The Betty Kanuha Foundation, Inc., which was formed in 2001 as a tribute to his grandmother. The Betty Kanuha Foundation is a non-profit organization that supports literacy and cultural programs for the youth of Hawaii Island. In the past 11 years, the Foundation has given over $250,000 to the West Hawaii Community, in the form of start-up reading programs, computers for classrooms, athletic programs for schools, scholarships for pre and post high school students, repairing the aging Simmons field at the Old Kona Airport, and holding eight consecutive years of the free “Kalae Iki” Youth Baseball Clinic for island boys and girls. The Foundation has also supported the continued restoration of Keolonahihi Heiau, beach cleanups, and numerous other programs aimed at cultural and educational opportunities for Kona Youth.