DPW Noelani Whittington “I’m NOT ROB TUCKER” of PunaWeb! Grubbing and Grading… Hokulia… 1.5 Billion? Other Blogs Thrown Under the Bus

I knew there had to be more to this then was first reported by the Tribune Herald.

With the recent release to Aaron over at the Kona blog of the full memo of what Noelani Whittington actually wrote… we find out that she is really mixed up… adding in PunaWeb, Poinography and the Hawaii Blog into the mix of Blackballed Blogs that was not even reported in the Tribune Herald piece.  (Of course we never get the full story in our local papers but at least they alerted us “Citizen Journalists” as Noelani likes to say… of this stupid directive)

I  think I’ve figured it out and I think I know exactly how my name got tossed into this whole mess with the Department of Public Works blackballing bloggers since I NEVER HAVE TALKED TO THE DPW in phone conversations or e-mail.

These individuals are Aaron Stene and Damon Tucker. Their e-mail addresses are aaronstene@hawaiiantel.net or damontucker@yahoo.com

Their blogs are: Kona blog, Poinography, Puna Web, and Hawaii Blog

Here is the deal… Rob Tucker, Punaweb Moderator/Admin, asks the  DPW for information a lot from what I can tell, and I think Noelani had a Brain Fart and mistakenly thought me and Rob were some how related.

Rob not only runs Punaweb, he is also President of Friends of Puna Future a “Political Action” group, that I’m a member of.

Friends of Puna’s Future (FoPF) is a nonprofit 501(c)4 (applied) organization comprised of concerned Puna residents, businesses and associations working together to lobby for long overdue changes in the Puna district.

He is very active in the Puna community thus her other response:

They will ask for information about:
* Palani Road-why the delays? Mamalahoa by-pass-the Coupe case, opening the entire by-pass, Grace Church moving the utility poles and why the delay?
* Traffic in Puna, anything about Puna and DPW

Do you think I hit the nail on the head with this one guys?

I did see the following posts Rob made on Punaweb, about DPW that could upset them:

The county G&G changes are undertaken separately by Public Works. There appears to be ongoing pressure from the status quo (established building industry and land owners and the folks who insist on the right to destroy their land because they can and they don’t want any regulations) to make the upgrades to the code as complex as possible and in so doing minimize the attention span of the community.

or this:

Some interesting reportage of last night’s public meeting on the G&G ordinance from Kristine Kubat

This whole thread is pretty degrading to DPW as well…

Hawaii County has long been twenty years behind the times……

…One key example was the Hokulia Project in Kona. This $1.5 billion development of gated mansions started out with heavy unregulated grading. Heavy rains caused massive amounts of silt to run off into the ocean and buried a living reef. Not something that you can clean up with a broom and dustpan… Rob Tucker

Things that make you go Hmm…

My guess… Noelani spending to much time pleasure reading my blog and just tossed my name in to give me some extra readers… Thanks Noelani! :roll:

Noelani… don’t take your dislike for “Puna Web” for my blog please!  (By the way… it’s PUNAWEB with out spaces)

Big Island Highway Modernization Plan

Hat tip to RJ Mendoza for pointing this site out to me:

Highways Modernization Plan: Hawaii Projects


Hawaii Projects Map (PDF)
Highways Modernization Plan Project List (PDF)
Informational Presentation (PDF)

Informational Presentation (PDF)


Project Reference # Project Title

Estimated Project Cost
(in millions)

S2-201 Highway Roadway Safety Improvements at Various Locations $0.300
S2-202 Keaau-Pahoa Road Safety Improvements, Vicinity of Volcano Road to Pahoa-Kapoho Road $5.000
Subtotal – HSIP $5.300
S3-201 Hawaii Belt Road, Hilea Stream Bridge Replacement $20.000
S3-202 Bridge Rehabilitation, Replacement or Seismic Retrofit includes $6.420
S3-202A Hawaii Belt Road, Pahoehoe Stream Bridge Replacement
S3-202B Kawaihae Road, Waiaka Stream Bridge Replacement and Realignment of Approaches
Subtotal – Bridge Program $26.420
S4-201 Hawaii Belt Road, Rockfall Protection, Phases I & II $16.000
S4-202 Hawaii Belt Road, Rockfall Protection at Various Locations $20.000
Subtotal – Rockfall & Slope Stabilization Program $36.000
S5-201 Hilo Bayfront Highway, Shoreline Protection $2.260
S5-202 East Hawaii, Shoreline Protection $10.000
Subtotal – Shoreline Protection Program $12.260
S6-201 Guardrail and Shoulder Improvements $7.329
Subtotal – Guardrail & Shoulder Improvement Program $7.329
TOTAL – SAFETY PROGRAMS (11 projects) $87.309


Project Reference # Project Title

Estimated Project Cost
(in millions)

C1-201 Intersection Operational Improvements to Reduce Congestion $11.085
C1-202 Queen Kaahumanu Highway, Keahole Airport to Kawaihae Harbor $0.780
C1-203 Hawaii Belt Road, Mud Lane to the Kamuela Race Track (Waimea Bypass) $48.000
C1-204 Puainako Street Widening, Kanoelehua Avenue to Komohana Street, Phase I & II $1.500
C1-205 Kealakehe Parkway Extension, Keanalehu Drive to Kealakaa Street $1.808
C1-206 Keaau-Pahoa Road Shoulder Lane Conversion, Keaau Bypass Road to Shower Drive $15.900
C1-207 Keaau-Pahoa Rd Improvements, Keaau to Pahoa, Phases 1 & 2 $3.000
C1-208 Kuakini Highway Widening, Henry Street to Kamehameha III Road $84.000
C1-209A Kawaihae Road Bypass, Waimea to Kawaihae, Phase 1 $61.100
C1-209B Kawaihae Road Bypass, Waimea to Kawaihae, Phase 2 $61.100
Subtotal – Capacity Program $288.273
TOTAL – CONGESTION PROGRAMS (10 projects) $288.273


Project Reference # Project Title

Estimated Project Cost
(in millions)

P1-201 Pavement Preservation, Hawaii $40.000
Subtotal – Pavement Preservation $40.000
P2-201 Akoni Pule Highway Realignment and Widening at Aamakao Gulch $7.020
Subtotal – Rehabilitation Program $7.020
P3-201 Drainage Improvements $15.000
Subtotal – Drainage Improvement Program $15.000
P6-201 Asphalt overlays, asphalt cold planing and paving (in-kind) and re-striping $63.200
Subtotal – Special Maintenance Program $63.200
P7-201 Pavement sealing, pothole patching and crack filling $21.000
Subtotal – Special Maintenance Program $21.000


Project Reference # Project Title

Estimated Project Cost
(in millions)

O3-201 Hawaii District Baseyard Improvements $2.910
TOTAL – OTHER PROGRAMS (1 project) $2.910
TOTAL – HAWAII (27 projects) $524.712
Questions? Comments? Send an e-mail to: dotpao@hawaii.gov

Poinography Blog Was Also on the Blackball List

Just noticed this snippet of the memo’s that Noelani Whittington sent out blackballing us, and it also mentions the Poinography Blog over on Oahu!  How crazy is that?

…These individuals are Aaron Stene and Damon Tucker. Their e-mail addresses are aaronstene@hawaiiantel.net or damontucker@yahoo.com

Their blogs are: Kona blog, Poinography, Puna Web, and Hawaii Blog…

* Point for Noelani if she can tell me Mr. Poinography’s First Name.
* Extra Point for his Last Name and Email Address.

Department of Public Works Spokesperson Noelani Whittington’s INFAMOUS Memo(s) BLACKBALLING Me, Aaron and Dave

Kudos to Aaron for posting the following memo’s from Noelani Whittington at the Department of Public Works regarding the Blackballing of Aaron, Dave and Myself.

There are three separate documents.  I separated each of them by lines.

And once again, before reading this… REMEMBER… I HAVE NEVER CONTACTED THE DPW FOR ANYTHING IN MY LIFE!  If there is a public record of me Emailing them as Noelani Claims… I’d really love to see this.  Just another fabrication as I have never called or emailed that office!

And by the way Noelani… My blog is called “Damon Tucker’s Weblog”.  The “Hawaii Blog” is another blog on another island.  Get your blogs straight before you start Blackballing them at least!


Policy for procedures for Citizen Journalists

Avoid a citizen journalist?

Citizen journalists are a new breed of bloggers who use the internet to express their opinions about DPW projects.  They are not journalists.  They write what they think

Blogging reaches 120 million viewers daily.

These individuals are Aaron Stene and Damon Tucker. Their e-mail addresses are aaronstene@hawaiiantel.net or damontucker@yahoo.com

Their blogs are: Kona blog, Poinography, Puna Web, and Hawaii Blog

How do we identify them?

They contact us by e-mail using their e-mail addresses. Rarely do they call us.

They never identify or consider themselves as a “citizen journalist.”

Procedure to handle a Citizen Journalist

1. Stop. Do not give out information.

2.      Refer their e-mail inquiries to the Public Information office.

3.      Insert this message, “please contact our public information office at 557-6437 or by e-mail at nwhittington@co.hawaii.i.us.”

They will ask for information about:

  • Palani Road-why the delays? Mamalahoa by-pass-the Coupe case, opening the entire by-pass, Grace Church moving the utility poles and why the delay?
  • Traffic in Puna, anything about Puna and DPW

Issued: November 16, 2008


Policy and Procedure for Photographers or Videographers on County property

Procedure for filming at base yards and at road projects

1)     Stop them.

2)     Ask them to follow you to your office, or to your car

3)     Call 557-6437.  Public Information will take over from here.

Who should know about this procedure? Supervisors and front desk staff,


1)     Photographers or Videographers must be accompanied by someone from the Public Information office.

2)     Public Information will check their credentials and verify their assignment with their respective boss.

3)     Public Information limits their access to a specific area and respects the privacy of the staff not to be filmed

4)     The photographers are: Baron Sekiya for West Hawaii Today; Will from the Tribune Herald-, Daryl Lee, free-lancer for KITV, KGMB, KHNL, KHON, and The Honolulu Advertiser.  Daryl also films for DPW on assignment.

5) NOT PERMITTED is Dave Corrigan for Big Island Video news.com

Internal procedure:

Public Information will:

1)     ask the photographer to stop because of privacy issues with staff

2)      that prior arrangements are made

3)     Inform the division chief of the situation then the DPW director

Issued November 16, 2008

Videographers have a new blog, big island video news.com.  Dave Corrigan is the principal behind this operation.


Remember that media lives for a crisis. They will want to keep it going. Try to make it a one-day story. A crisis throws Public Works into an arena of public opinion, where bloggers, citizen journalists, (referred as social media) and traditional media are the judge and the jury, influencing the readers to form opinions.

Procedure to maintain the crisis:

1.       If you or a staff receives the call.

a.       Take the information; name affiliation, (who are you with?) best number to call you.

b.       What is your deadline?

c.       Citizen journalists will not identify themselves.  In this case, take their name and e-mail address.

2.       Staff refers the message immediately to their division chief.

3.       Division chief calls the Director and Public Information Officer (PIO) and provides details of the situation.

4.       Division chiefs, (if more than one division is involved) the DPW director, or other department directors, PIO and individuals involved meet to get the facts, discuss situation and agree on the best course of action.

a. Anyone implicated in the situation are not to speak to the media.

5.       PIO prepares a statement for the media.

6.       A memo may be generated to the staff to inform them of the situation

What’s at stake? Jobs and the reputations of good people are at stake and at the very worst if the situation continues to fester, public opinion could ask for them to step down from their positions.  It is humiliating for anyone to read in the paper, that punishment should include firing the individuals. We can at least try to minimize some of the damage by acting swiftly.

Negative behaviors that won’t help Public Works — Arrogance, no concern. ●Blame shifting ●Inconsistency ●Little or no preparation ● minimize the impact. ●No admission of responsibility

Establish trust

  • Provide advance information.
  • Ask for input from staff and those involved
  • Listen carefully.
  • Demonstrate that you’ve heard, i.e., change your plans.
  • Stay in touch.
  • Speak in plain language.
  • Bring involuntary participants into the decision-making process.
    • Make public acknowledgement and take responsibility.

Illustrate your credibility:

1.       Prepare to talk openly.

2.       Reveal what the public should know, even if they don’t ask.

3.       Explain problems and changes quickly.

4.       Answer all questions, even those that victims wouldn’t think to ask.

5.       Cooperate with the traditional and social media, recognizing that employees and the general public have a higher priority.

6.       Respect and seek to work with employees and opponents.

  1. The Bottom Line: Act Fast

It is often better to act quickly and make mistakes than to fail to act until it’s too late or the action becomes a meaningless gesture. In fact, solving problems and “winning” in crisis situations is a function of speed, of decision making, of action, of reaction, of collaboration, of swiftly applied common sense. Timidity and hesitation are the parents of defeat.

  • Far more is lost by refusing to speak to the media than is risked by doing so.
  • A vacuum of information breeds media hostility and public loss of confidence.
  • The public trust is affected; and something must be done to remediate the situation.
  • Communicate in ways that meet community standards
  • Don’t discuss cause or fault.

Hawaii County “Site Map” of Their Website

I bugged the County at the end of last year to change their website and get it updated.

At the beginning of the year I got the following reply from Hunter Bishop:

…Anyway, since becoming county public relations specialist in December, I and others have been designing a new site that should address your concerns and be online sometime this month…

I’m still waiting for the county to update it’s website but I figured I’d point people to a better place to seek county information then what is presently given and that is the COUNTY SITE MAP of the website.

Hawaii County Seeking Police Helicopter Services and Bus Washer(s) Among Other Things

Hawaii County released it’s most recent online data of the “Status of Bids and Proposals“.

Here are just a couple things I noticed:

So much for the Peaceful Sky Initiative:

Request For Proposal: RFP 2511


Question Deadline: MARCH 18, 2009 RFP Deadline: THURSDAY, APRIL 2, 2009

Contact Person:

(808) 961-8440

I used to wash cars fairly decently… I wonder if I should put a bid in for this:

BID NO. IFB 2486


Question Deadline: MARCH 17, 2009 Bid Opening: TUESDAY, MARCH 21, 2009 @ 2:00PM:

Contact Person:

(808) 961-8441

You can see these as well as back Bids and Proposals here.

Hawaii Near the Top of “Well Being” List

Interesting post by EmpowHer:

States in the West tend to have the highest levels of well-being, while those in the South and Midwest tend to have the lowest levels, according to a survey that included more than 350,000 adults.

Utah, Hawaii and Wyoming topped the United States in well-being, while West Virginia, Kentucky and Mississippi were at the bottom, United Press International reported.

The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, released Tuesday, asked respondents about six categories of well-being, including health behaviors, physical health, emotional health, work environment, and access to basic necessities.

According to the survey, the economic crisis caused the lives of more than 24 million Americans to shift from “thriving” to “struggling” in 2008.

Island Fever: Puainako “Several Years Before $50 Million Project Gets Under Way”

I blogged the other day about how I thought Puainako was poorly constructed to begin with.

The other day,  I had the chance to drive by and took this video, the music playing on my ipod at the time was “Island Fever“…  how appropriate huh?


Aaron over at the Kona Blog made a comment on my blog that led me to this Hawaii Tribune article published 3/3/09 “Lawmakers Talk Puainako Extension” by Peter Sur.

It mentions:

It could be several years before $50 million project gets under way in Hilo…

…For those hoping that the Puainako project would get under way soon, Tamura had other news: “It’s over the horizon…”

To view the rest of the article, click here.

Build For the Future Through Home Ownership

Media Release:

Anyone interested in planning for the future, building assets and preparing for home ownership is urged to attend one of a series of County-sponsored informational meetings about Section 8 Family Self-Sufficiency & Homeownership Option Programs that are being held throughout 2009.

Meetings will be held in Hilo at 1990 Kino`ole Street, Suite 104 – Conference Room, at 4 p.m. on each of the following Tuesdays: March 17, April 21, May 19, June 16, July 21, August 18, September 15, October 20, November 17 and December 15.

Meetings also will be held in the Kona Mayor’s office, 75-5706 Kuakini Highway, Suite 103 (enter through the office’s back door) at 3 p.m. on the following Mondays: May 18, August 17, and November 16.

These informational meetings are sponsored by the Hawaii County Office of Housing and Community Development. To register, call Glen at 959-7476.

Launch Party… “Big Island on the Cheap” Giving Away Prizes

Today is the official “Launch” of the  Big Island on the Cheap website that I have been featuring in the right column.

Every day for a week we’ll post a new giveaway, so keep checking back. Enter from anywhere in the U.S.; prizes will be mailed. You can also earn an extra entry in one of the contests by subscribing via email or feed, and then you’ll never miss a Big Island On The Cheap deal.

So check out Big Island on the Cheap and try to win yourself a free prize this week.

*COUGH* Wheres my prize for being the first subscriber to your feed.

Creeping at Keaau Bypass

Yes folks… traffic was moving so slow, that I could take pictures, make a movie, drive and flip a bird at a few rude drivers all at the same time.




The Landmark that tells you that you have made it through the Keaau Bottleneck:


Tonight: Educational & Informational Meeting on Eucalyptus Plantations in Hamakua


Today: March For Clean Elections


Demonstration and March to the State Building For Clean Elections

Rain or Shine

1:30pm gather on Library Lanai

2:00pm March to State Bldg.

[We can get you back to campus by 3:15.]

Wear red, white & blue.

Bring drums, horns, pots & pans, bells, flags, brooms, mops, balloons, etc.

Bring friends.

*Big Island students organized and won the Clean Elections Reform in the 2008 Legislature. This program provides political candidates with an option to campaign WITHOUT needing to accept money from corporate and other special interest groups.

Already implemented in Maine, Arizona, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, North Carolina, Connecticut, Portland Oregon…Hawaii became the 9th State to enact this important anti-corruption legislation. Candidates who campaign using public funds can spend more time listening to their constituents and less time fundraising.

IT CUTS BIG $ OUT OF ELECTIONS/GOVERNMENT. Do not let our legislators postpone this successful clean government reform. Hawaii’s taxpayers have donated $3 to this reform for years. There is now $5,500,000 in the Hawaii fund for public funding of campaigns. The Big Island Pilot Program will be fully financed by merely the interest gathered on this account!