A Darker View With an Awesome Clip of “Mini Avalanche” ON TOP of Keck 2 Observatory

I just checked out The Darker View, and Andrew has posted an awesome video that he was able to capture at just the right moment of a mini avalanche on top of the Keck 2 Observatory.

Check out this clip here.

I commented that he should submit it somewhere!

Rat Lungworm Lands Puna Resident in Coma on Oahu… Two Other Sick in Puna… Others Uninsured

Just noticed this in the Starbulletin:

Just realized that reader Harry clued me into this the other day. The problem was, he gave me the link to the HFP blog and I generally avoid that blog so I skipped over it casually w/out reading the article in full.

A rare ailment that comes from eating poorly washed local produce has hit three Big Island residents in recent weeks, causing extreme pain and hospitalization.

The ailment, rat lungworm disease, is caused by a parasitic worm carried by slugs or snails…

…Halda said he and a friend, Silka Strauch, who live in Black Sands between Pahoa and Kalapana, have been eating raw vegetables and taking precautions by cleaning the produce with a peroxide rinse.

Siltka Strauch

Silka Strauch

He suspects they may have accidentally consumed tiny larvae of slugs lodged in the deep folds of peppers.

Halda said Strauch came down with agonizing pain, but no one at Hilo Medical Center could find anything wrong with her initially and she was not admitted to the hospital.

“I had to take her home … three separate times,” he said. “No one should have to be turned away.”

Halda said Strauch was unable to walk and had pain so intense that even the slightest touch hurt her.

“You couldn’t even put a sheet on her,” he said.

He said Strauch was admitted to the hospital on Dec. 8, and he was admitted on Dec. 15.

Strauch has been in a coma for several days, he said…

A 24-year-old Puna man was admitted to Hilo Medical Center with a case last week.

She said others have contracted the disease but have not gone to the hospital because they do not have medical insurance

More Here


AT&T to Lay Down Fifth Trans-Oceanic Cable?

The goal of the project is to improve communications between the West Coast of the U.S., Hawaii and Asia.

Scott McFarlin, project manager for the AT&T Asia-America Gateway Fiber Optic Cable Project, explained, “Put it down under the sea floor wherever they can. If they hit bedrock, sometimes it’ll lay above, but there’s not that much area that’s like that. And then it gets out past 1,000 fathoms and just lays across the ocean out to Hawaii…
If approved, construction would begin in the next six months and last for about six weeks.”

More Here and Here

Fitzgerald Named to Head Department of Parks and Recreation

Media Release

Fitzgerald named to head Department of Parks and Recreation

Longtime high school football coach and resort executive Bob Fitzgerald has been named by Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi to be the County’s new Director of Parks and Recreation.

Fitzgerald brings the combination of a strong business sense and a passion for youth sports to the Kenoi administration that will serve the recreational needs of Big Island residents well, said Mayor Kenoi.

“I am really honored that someone of the caliber of Bob Fitzgerald has made this commitment to serve the people of Hawaii County,” said Kenoi.

A Kealakekua resident, Fitzgerald will be leaving his position at Wyndham Vacation Resorts where, as sales manager, he recruited, trained, and managed 50 sales and marketing professionals and 50 support staff, generating millions in annual timeshare sales.

As successful as he is in business, he has excelled as an advocate for youth sports in West Hawaii.

Fitzgerald moved to Kona in 1978 to start a family flower business, but after working as a Special Education teacher for a short time at Konawaena High School, he was asked to help out with the football team. He then contributed to 12 BIIF championships and started the Ellison Onizuka Memorial football game and the Macadamia Nut Bowl, which evolved into the “Neighbor Island Playoffs.”

In 1992, he took the Konawaena championship high school football team to its first ever out-of-state exhibition games in Alaska and brought numerous football clinics to the Big Island through the University of Hawaii’s football staff for the benefit of all football age groups in West Hawaii. He coached the Kona Ikaika semi-pro football team from 1996 to 2002.

Fitzgerald’s love of sports and kids eventually led him to serve on the board of directors of the West Hawaii Youth Council, where he helped secure government and private funding for the construction of the Old Kona Airport baseball parks, soccer and football fields, and roller hockey rink.

Fitzgerald believes strongly that athletics is a primary means of helping island youth and he views sports as the gateway to success for kids.

Over the past six years, while working at Wyndham, Fitzgerald still managed to contribute as an assistant coach for HPA for two championship years and for the 2008 championship Konawaena football team.

“Bob Fitzgerald’s decades of experience in business and management and his outstanding work with the West Hawaii Youth Council, investing many years creating excellent recreational opportunities for our kids, will be a real asset to our administration,” Kenoi said.

As a strong advocate for more youth programs during his recent campaign, Mayor Kenoi looks forward to Fitzgerald working with the state Department of Education to provide “Safe Havens” for extended after-school activities for kids in public school gyms, playgrounds and pools.

“His enthusiasm, intensity and dedication to our island’s youth athletic programs as well as his business acumen will combine to serve the people of Hawaii County well as head of the Parks and Recreation Department,” Kenoi said.

Fitzgerald, a California native and 30-year Hawaii County resident, played football for two years on a scholarship at Colorado State University and was graduated with a major in Environmental Planning and minor in Political Science from San Diego State University in 1976.

“I have always dreamed of an opportunity to put some of my recreational ideas for this island into action,” Fitzgerald said

The Department of Parks and Recreation provides a wide variety of active recreational and cultural programs and services for the residents of Hawaii County at 140 facilities throughout the island, including swimming pools, golf courses, a zoo and equestrian center. The department also administers operations of the County Band, the Alae and Veterans’ cemeteries, and is responsible for elderly programs for nutrition, senior employment, retired volunteers and coordinated chore and transportation services for senior citizens. The department has approximately 450 employees.

TAZO Arrives… Apologies From Starbucks

A few weeks ago I blogged about how a TAZO tea bag exploded in the microwave when I was trying to brew some tea.

That night I fired off an email to the company, which happens to be Starbucks, telling of the incident.

They sent a response to the incident, that sort of addressed the problem and said they would send a coupon for a free box of tea.

Well the coupon arrived today as well as an apology for the incident:

One Free Box of Tazo up to $5.99 in purchase price

One Free Box of Tazo up to $5.99 in purchase price

I guess this is Starbucks way of repaying me for the $1,000 + I’ve spent there over the years.

Pahoa Students Accept Check From Samsung… Picture

A few weeks ago I mentioned that Pahoa High and Intermediate came in first place in Samsungs Hope for Education Essay Contest. The Starbulletin ran a feature on it the other day.

Here is a picture of the kids and their teacher accepting the check from Samsung:

Johnathan Viernes, Isaiah Ekau

(Front Row L to R): Principal Dean Cevallos, District Superintendent Mary Correa, Kandra Patacsil, Bobbie Echiverri, Teacher Nominator Suzanne Nozaki, Lupe Koniseti, Ariel Brown, Vice Principal Sandra Haiku, Vice Principal Darlene Bee. (Back Row L to R): Johnathan Viernes, Isaiah Ekau

Teacher Suzanne Nozaki’s essay was selected as one of 30 First Prize national winners in the Samsung Hope for Educational essay contest.  Nozaki selected Pahoa High & Intermediate School as the recipient of the national award of $61,000 in Samsung Technology, Microsoft Software and DIRECTV educational programming packages.

Essays were submitted by thousands of schools through students, teachers and parents who want to give their community schools a chance to benefit from this unique program.

Samsung’s Hope for Education, which began in 2004, is a philanthropic program designed to support education for U.S. elementary, middle and high school students by providing new digital technologies and software. More than 280 U.S. schools have benefited from more than $9 million in Samsung Technology and Microsoft software since the program’s inception.

“With programs like Hope for Education, we have the opportunity to help bridge the technology gap that many of our schools face,” said D.J. Oh, president and CEO, Samsung Electronics America. “The students of Pahoa High & Intermediate School will certainly benefit from these new products and technology. It will allow them to reach new frontiers via the Internet and through the software, cash grants and educational television programming packages that Microsoft and DIRECTV will be providing.”

New Police Chief on Violating Personal Rights

Just saw this interesting article in the Starbulletin:

…He (new police Chief Kubojiri) also said he would be “as transparent as possible without violating anyone’s personal rights or the law…”

Maybe I should discuss the post office incident with him?

More Then Half on Superferry Vomit… Cars Damaged on Latest Superferry Trip

Just noticed this article on a Superferry trip this weekend:

…That passenger said, she and more than half the passengers were vomiting at the end of the three hour trip…Vehicles on the bottom deck shifted and 13 of them had minor damage.

Reminds me of this “Got Barf Bag” blog I posted a month ago with a video on it.