County Ag Development Plan Sessions Scheduled

From the Mayor’s Office:

The public will have a final opportunity in late October and November to provide input into the 2009 County of Hawai‘i Agricultural Development Plan, being prepared for the Hawai‘i County Department of Research and Development by Agricon Hawaii LLC and The Kohala Center.

The Kohala Center is conducting the island-wide listening sessions prior to finalizing the plan, which is intended to guide the revitalization of agriculture as a basis for Hawai‘i Island’s economic development by focusing  on measures designed  to increase the production of food for local consumption and support the growth of export products.

The preliminary draft of the plan will be available for review at by October 10. After the fall round of public sessions, The Kohala Center will incorporate public input and present the final draft to the County of Hawai‘i Department of Research and Development in early December 2009.

In addition to attending a listening session, the public can provide suggestions and comments to Guy Kaulukukui, director of The Kohala Center’s Food Self-Reliance Program, at or 808-887-6411.

Dates and locations for the upcoming public listening sessions, all of which will be from 6–8 p.m. are:

  • Tuesday, Oct. 20, Kohala High School Cafeteria;
  • Wednesday, Oct. 21, Kona Outdoor Circle;
  • Thursday, Oct. 22, Waimea Community Center;
  • Tuesday, Oct. 27, Pahala Community Center;
  • Wednesday, Oct. 28, Aupuni Conference Room, County of Hawai‘i Building in Hilo;
  • Thursday, Oct. 29, Pa‘auilo School Cafeteria;
  • Wednesday, Nov. 4, Pahoa Community Center.

Saturday – Protest of Stryker and Other Live-Fire Training at Pohakuloa


On Saturday, October 10th, at  10:00 am at the Mauna Kea State Park, folks will be meeting to protest the Strykers and other live -fire training at Pohakuloa.

Car pools will leave 9AM from the Hilo Bayfront parking lot at Pauahi and Kamehameha Ave

More info here:  “Protest of Stryker and Other Live-Fire Training at Pohakuloa

Big Island Firefighter Recruits Graduated

The Hawaii Fire Department held commencement exercises for its 38th Fire Fighter Recruit Class on Saturday, September 19, 2009, at the Hilo Yacht Club in Hilo…

fire recruit classThe new Fire Fighters are:  Jason Habu, West Hawthorne, Paul Higgins, Roland Laliberte, Jeffrey Maki, Andrew Miller, Tyler Nagamine, Christopher Olayon, Jared Spencer, Waylen Towata, and Damien-Joseph Wengler-Ioane.

Full article here: Firefighter Recruits Graduated

Kona ‘Charrette’ Applies Community Development Goals


From the Mayors Office:

Honokohau Village, a 40-acre site that includes the new West Hawai`i Civic Center now under construction, is currently the focus of a new planning process in Kona.

The Village is the first major project to be planned under the award-winning Kona Community Development Plan, enacted into law in September of 2008. During a multi-day public “charrette,” residents and community leaders, developers and builders, County officials and staff will get to see how new guidelines apply to a real project in a real place.

“This is a whole new way of planning,” says Margaret K. Masunaga, deputy director, County of Hawai`i Planning Department. “That’s what makes this so exciting. We’ll use this experience to learn from and to teach one another,” says Masunaga, who lives in Captain Cook, South Kona, on a Kona coffee farm.

“By the time we’re finished, we’ll all know exactly what it means when we say ‘TOD’ and what the term implies for development in Kona,” says Masunaga.

TOD stands for Transit-Oriented Development, a neighborhood development approach encouraged under the new Kona CDP. The transit orientation comes into play when development can be designed to make the most of not only personal automobile travel, but also biking, walking, and transit. A TOD maximizes the advantages of mobility choices so that people representing a wide range of ages, abilities, and incomes can share the advantages of living, working, and playing in a compact, walkable community.

The Kona CDP provides much more than guidance for TODs. It sets goals for putting Kona-appropriate development in the right places, in the right scale for those places, and in the right relationships to surroundings. The upcoming Kona charrette will customize Village Design Guidelines described in general in the Kona CDP specifically for the 40-acre, transit-oriented site around the West Hawai`i Civic Center.

“So we’re not just talking about planning for transit, walking, biking, and cars,” says Masunuga. “We’ll also use the charrette to set standards for Honokohau Village that will include building setbacks and heights, the width of streets and sidewalks, the mix of building types, allowable density ranges, and the placement of public parks and other open space. The result will be a village design that encourages a true neighborhood atmosphere.”

Conventional planning approaches often complicate community-building goals. “In the not so distant past,” says Masunaga, “we planned subdivisions that were disconnected from one another and where people without access to automobiles were isolated. The disconnections affected all sorts of other things, including infrastructure investment, environmental protection, and public services like police and fire fighting. “

“One of my dreams,” Masunaga says, “is that my seven-year-old daughter will be able to safely walk just about anywhere she needs to go for her daily needs. That’s not possible in most places in Kona now.

“Mahalo nui loa to everyone who made the Kona CDP a reality. Now we can implement the policies to guide the Planning Department and the Planning Director on how we want Kona to look like in the next 20 years and into the next generation.”

Spy Seeking Hawaiian Island Bombshells


The search begins now! Spy is scouring the islands, asking questions and taking names (taking photos in fact), searching for the 1st Spy Hawaiian Bombshell Model. This November, among the lush tropics, one lucky beauty will lock down a one-year modeling contract with Spy and say “Aloha” to her place in the modeling world.

The winner will be invited to participate in the 2010 Spy global ad campaign photo shoot, during the 2009 Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii. This winner will be chosen from a combination of at least three current photos plus a video or written submission of “why” she should be chosen as the 1st Spy Hawaiian Bombshell.

The winner will be selected by the Spy family of both professional surf athletes and staff.  The model’s look must align to the Spy brand by exuding a healthy lifestyle connecting to the women’s market by adding a fresh, alluring image to Spy’s game.

The winner will receive a published photo in connection with Spy’s 2010 global ad campaign, an image CD from the photo shoot and global exposure through Spy’s website.  Photo shoot accommodations and Hawaii interisland transportation will be provided.  A prize pack, consisting of a year’s supply of sunglasses, sandals and swimwear, valued at $2000 is included.

The winner will be considered for additional future modeling opportunities within Spy.  The winner must be 18 years or older, currently residing in Hawaii and available during the photo shoot dates, which will be released by November 10th, 2009.  For more details and complete rules and regulations, please visit

Western Association of Schools and Colleges Invite Folks to New Online Forum


The recession and government budget cuts in Hawaii and California have affected each of our WASC-accredited institutions differently. Now that fall enrollment is settled, we are interested in learning about the impact of the recession and budget reductions on your institution. We are primarily interested in learning:

What specific actions have been taken for this fiscal year?
What actions do you anticipate will be needed for next year?
Are there ways that WASC should respond – either through dissemination of information, issuance of public statements, specific advisories, etc?

Ralph Wolff, President and Executive Director of WASC has created an online forum in order to facilitate a discussion on the topic.


US Grant Awarded to Explore Laupahoehoe School Conversion


Media Release:

Laupahoehoe Alumni/Community Association (LACA) dba Save/Improve LHES has been awarded a 3 year U.S. Department of Education grant of up to $150 K per year to continue the process of converting Laupahoehoe High & Elementary School (LHES) to a public charter school. This funding will support planning activities for approximately 12-18 months and implementation tasks for 18-24 months. In a highly competitive process, the U.S. DOE Charter Schools Program awarded only 17 – 23 grants nationwide for this purpose. Save/Improve LHES was the only Hawai`i applicant to be funded this year.

The overall goal of Save/Improve LHES is to convert the existing K-12 DOE school (Laupahoehoe High and Elementary School) to a K-12 public charter school and to create an innovative educational program, open to all students, that will insure success for a diverse student population using a Community School Model and Project-Based Learning curriculum approach.

Two circumstances led Save/Improve LHES to advance conversion of Laupahoehoe High & Elementary School to a public charter school.  First, declining enrollment at LHES has lowered its revenue, resulting in staff layoffs and reduced electives and after-school options for students. Second, the Hawai`i Department of Education has placed LHES on its study list for closure. Given these scenarios, converting LHES to a public charter school emerged as a viable alternative to losing the school, and an opportunity to bring new and innovative educational and enrichment programs to the students as well as other resources the community deems important.

With this end in mind and the financial and programmatic support from the U.S. DOE, Save/Improve LHES plans to involve teachers, school staff, and parents in preparing a draft Detailed Implementation Plan (DIP) for a conversion public charter school, and initiate an open, community process to refine the DIP and leverage support and enthusiasm for the plan. A DIP must be prepared in order for a charter school applicant to receive permission to operate a charter school. The DIP would outline the curriculum, electives, after-school activities and other aspects relating to operation of a public charter school.  Save/Improve LHES encourages community members, school staff, teachers, and parents to get involved for the future of our school, our children and our community.