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Is the Census Count Finished or Pau…. NO!

I keep getting this question… is the census count finished.

What I can tell folks… is there is ONE MORE operation that will be done during the month of July.

This operation will be sending enumerators out to verify the vacant and deleted properties and also add on any housing units that may have been overlooked or deleted in the previous operation for one reason or another.

I’m sworn by  oath not to mention the protocol that the census uses to get it’s figures… however, I think I can legally say that I don’t think this method is the best available now that we are in the year 2010.

Hawaii County Shareride Taxi Program Information

Media Release:

In an effort to raise awareness about the dangers of drinking and driving, and to promote the Hawai’i County shared ride taxi program, the Impaired Driving Task force recently developed two new posters. With the help of various county agencies, community organizations and private professionals, pictures were shot at two prominent Hilo locations. The resulting posters are now in the process of being printed and distributed to schools, hospitals, doctor’s offices and places of social gathering.

Shared ride taxi coupons are available for purchase all year long at the Mass Transit Agency, 1266 Kamehameha Avenue, Room A2, Hilo or at the Downtown Improvement Association, 329 Kamehameha Avenue, Hilo.

The coupons are subsidized by the county, allowing the taxi companies to receive reasonable payment for providing cab rides while giving the customer a reduced rate. The most economical package is a booklet of 15 coupons for $30. Also available are booklets with 10 coupons for $20 and 5 coupons for $15.

One coupon is good for four miles of travel and two coupons are good for nine miles of travel, provided the travel is within urban Hilo or Kailua-Kona. Any distance beyond that covered by the coupons must be paid for in cash.

Eight taxi companies participate in the program. They are Ace One Taxi, Ali’i Taxi, Bay City Taxi, Bobby Taxi, Hot Lava Taxi, Marthysha’s Taxi and Percy’s Taxi in Hilo and J & A Taxi in Kailua-Kona.

For more information about purchasing discount taxi coupons, call the Mass Transit Agency at 961-8744.

Please remember, it only takes 2-3 drinks to exceed the legal limit of 0.08 percent blood alcohol content – so don’t take a chance – take a taxi!

For more information about the Impaired Driving Task Force, you may call Coordinator Dieter H. Blattler at 961-2226.

Voyagers: The First Hawaiians – The Premiere

Autographed copy of the DVD!

So a couple weekends ago I got to go to the Hilton Waikoloa Village for a weekend get away.

On Saturday night, my wife and I were lucky enough to attend the premiere of “VOYAGERS: The First Hawaiians”.  It’s a film produced by Paul Csige based on the book that Herb Kawainui Kane wrote.

Herb Kawainui Kane and his wife along with film maker Paul Csige and his wife

I felt very honored as my ohana was given VIP seating up front so my son my nephew wouldn’t have any problems viewing the film.

The movie begins with a trailer about Mauna Kea

I knew things were about to begin, when two guys came out on the top of the roof of the stage and started blowing conch shells.

What a cool way to start the production!

The evening started out with a Pule (a Hawaiian Prayer)

A Pule

Then we had some entertainment from a local dance group.

Entertainment

An intense glare

One for the ladies as well

Then dignitaries were honored on stage with Herb and Paul

Dignitaries on stage

The Hilton Waikoloa Staff then surprised the audience with free popcorn and then the movie began.

Here is a short clip from it that can give you the general feel of the movie:

“In 1976 a voyaging canoe set sail from Hawaii to Tahiti for the first time in over 600 years.  Accompanying these mariners aboard their historic voyage was a a single book.

Over 30 years later, the tale told in those pages comes to life through the images of Herb Kawaianui Kane and the vision of Filmmaker Paul Cisge.”

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L76UFz8Gneg&hl=en_US&fs=1&]

New Law Benefits Taxpayers, Avoids Future Refund Delays

Media Release:

Governor Lingle today signed into law HB1948, a bill that requires the Department of Taxation to provide refunds to taxpayers in a timely manner.  The legislation, now Act 171, states that the department must provide refunds within 90 days from the date the tax return is filed, or the due date of the tax return, whichever is later.

“One of the main benefits is that the state must pay interest to the taxpayer if the return is not paid within the required time frame,” said Rep. Pono Chong, the introducer of the bill.  “The legislature was concerned that using the refunds as a way to balance the budget was merely delaying our fiscal responsibility.  In addition, I think most taxpayers understand that the overpayment to the government is their money and they expect a return in a reasonable period.

The bill also requires that all general revenues collected from an increase of any general excise or use tax be used first to pay tax refunds delayed from fiscal years 2010 and 2011.  The law goes into effect on July 1, 2010.

Kaloko Ground Breaking to be Celebrated Next Week

From the Mayors Office:

County of Hawai‘i Office of Housing and Community Development and its partners will celebrate the groundbreaking of the Kaloko Housing Project at the project site on Hina Lani Street at 3 p.m. on Monday, June 28.

The Kaloko Housing Project will be a 96-unit complex, and will replace the Ka Hale O Kawaihae Transitional Housing Program.  The initial phases of the Kaloko complex will include 12 transitional housing apartments and 28 apartments for low‑income residents.

The Kaloko Housing Project will serve low-income families with children.  The transitional units will serve only homeless families, while the rentals will serve low-income families with a preference for families that are homeless or at risk for homelessness.

This is the second project to break ground in Kona in the past year that will assist in housing the homeless. The Office of Housing and Community Development broke ground in June 2009 for its first emergency shelter for the homeless in West Hawai‘i. The 31-bed emergency shelter in the Kailua-Kona old industrial area is scheduled for completion in October 2010.

Senator Akaka on Remembering Chief Justice William S. Richardson

U.S. Senator Daniel K. Akaka remarks on the passing of William S. Richardson, former Chief Justice of the Hawaii Supreme Court and a close personal friend of Senator Akaka.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NvMxZsaQk1E&hl=en_US&fs=1&]

Public Comments Being Accepted on Draft EA Posting on Strawberry Guava Impacts and Proposed Biocontrol Insect

Media Release:

The draft EA for the release of a natural predator (Tectococcus ovatus, a Brazilian scale insect) is open for public comment today (June 23) through July 23, 2010.

Strawberry guava is well-known as an ornamental plant that was introduced to Hawaiʻi from Brazil in 1825. Its fruit are a tangy trail-side snack for some, and the wood is free and plentiful. However, strawberry guava is also a fast-growing tree from Brazil that is spreading in forests statewide, forming dense thickets, outcompeting and replacing virtually all other native and non-native plants, and reducing surface and drinking water.

Continue reading

Wordless Wednesday – A Swarm of Bees

I knew I had a beehive in my back storage shed for awhile now.  Yesterday about 1:00 in the afternoon I heard this loud buzzing sound.  I looked out my window and saw a swarm of bees flying around.

A swarm of bees

I took the above picture and then switched my camera over to video mode and caught the following video.  I stopped recording when bees started to come after me!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cWOQDmoiBxQ&hl=en_US&fs=1&]

Fred Blas is Now a Candidate for County Council

I  got notification that Fred Blas has decided not to run for Hawaii House 4th District, “…Long story short why he changed his mind”.

However, he is now jumping in the County Council District 5 Race.

A quick run through Pahoa this morning and I noticed that all of his campaign signs have already been switched to show the new office he is seeking.

This certainly will be an interesting race.  We have the incumbent Emily Naeole, James Weatherford, Barbara Lively and now Fred Blas all running for the same position!

Interestingly enough, Loren Baker has pulled out of the race for health reasons.

Public Works Employee With 15 Traffic Infractions Hits Bicyclist

Ok… Noelani Whittington please explain this one.

How is Chris Michael Domino still allowed to even drive a county vehicle with so many violations?

Hawaii County officials are investigating a county Public Works employee accused of hitting a bicyclist while driving a county vehicle with a suspended license.

Hawaii County Corporation Counsel Lincoln Ashida confirmed the investigation and arrest of 34-year-old Chris Michael Domino, who faces several charges related to Thursday’s collision…

Records show Domino has been cited at least 15 times for various traffic infractions dating to 1996.

More Here: Big Island Worker Investigated for Collision

Third Eye Blind Coming to the Big Island for 2nd Annual Don the Beachcomber Mai Tai Festival

I’m stoked that Third Eye Blind will be playing at the Royal Kona Resort during the 2nd Annual Mai Tai Festival that is coming up in August!

Click for tickets

This song was stuck in my head for a few months!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lh5_Wdd80lE&hl=en_US&fs=1&]

Hawaii Census Data Release – Big Island Shows the Most Growth

The state of Hawaii grew 6.9 percent in the past decade, according to a U.S. Census Bureau report released Tuesday.

In terms of percentage growth, Hawaii County showed the most, at 19.6 percent, followed by Maui County at 13.3 percent. Kauai County had a population growth of 10.4 percent in the past decade.

Honolulu was ranked as the 50th largest incorporated area in the United States in 2009 with a population of 374,701. That ranking is unchanged from 2008…

The Hawaii “Safety Check”

What’s the deal with Hawaii’s requirement of defacing your car with a damn sticker on it?

Everything that is needed should and can be acquired by DMV and Motor Vehicle Registration.

I myself know of folks banking off fake safety check stations.

One more bogus thing we have to pay in Hawaii because of lack of automation and knowledge of the basic thing called a COMPUTER!

Pau… For Nau

For those of you that know what I’ve been doing for the last few months… I can let you know that I’m “pau for nau”.

We have one more operation that will begin in July… after that operation… I’ll be “pau for gaud”.

It’s been a nice little gig of work… definitely interesting. Some of my co-workers have called this a “Sociology Experiment being done to see how far they can push people”.

I guess folks can push me pretty far before I break… as I’m just pau for now.

Why Is the County Wasting More Money on Vehicle Registration Offices?

From the Hawaii Tribune:

…Hawaii County would open a Waimea vehicle registration and driver’s licensing office and double the size of its prosecutors office there under a proposal from Mayor Billy Kenoi’s administration.…”

Why open an office and have staff work at an office that could be done online for much less cost?

Vehicle registration is done online across America. Yet we need to spend more money getting space and man power to man an office that will only be available 32 hours a week some weeks (furloughs)?

I thought the idea was to start getting people off the roads and quit wasting gas? Why wait in line somewhere when it can be done online?

I’m tired of the same old excuse… “Not everyone has internet”.

Not everyone has TAX MONEY TO BE WASTED ON THINGS!

Hands Across the Sand… Ending Hawaii’s Dependence on Imported Fossil Fuels – Demonstration June 26th

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r54kRnZ1b2k&hl=en_US&fs=1&]

Media Release:

Hands Across The Sand is an international effort planned for this coming Saturday, June 26 in which people are saying NO to Offshore Oil Drilling, YES to Clean Energy Sources, by joining hands and forming lines on beaches all across the globe (see handsacrossthesand.org for details).

The Hilo event is planned for earlier in the day from the other Hawaii sites (Waikiki and Laniakea on Oahu, Hapuna in West Hawaii) because Moku O Hawaii’s Keaukaha Canoe Regatta will be taking place all day long along Hilo’s Bayfront.

Moku O Hawaii OCRA has graciously agreed to join our effort and  we’re going to gather at 7:30 a.m. Saturday, on the seashore closest to Pauahi Street in Hilo, with our ceremony taking place at 8 a.m. The event itself is only planned for 15 minutes.

The public is invited to take part…Anybody can join this one-day movement!

The action will be part of a global message being sent to the leaders of the world. We are sending a message to end the use of fossil fuels and take a stand for clean, indigenous, renewable energy resources to secure a sustainable future for Hawai’i.

Hawai’i imports over 40 million barrels of oil each year to power our homes, our cars and bring us our food. We are so dependent on burning fossil fuels that we demand it daily at a cheap price. However, the recent BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has brought international attention to the true cost of our addiction to oil.

It is estimated that over 100,000 barrels of oil are flowing into the Gulf of Mexico every day. Hawaii currently imports about 110,000 barrels of oil every day. If one of our supertankers were to spill off our shores, the environmental and economic damage would be catastrophic.

This situation is real for Hawai’i, and we need to stand together now and end our dependence on imported fossil fuels. We have all of the alternatives we need here in our islands, now we must make a commitment to getting back to our roots and take on a challenge that future generations will be proud of.

Contact Frankie Stapleton at 965-8945 for more information.

Anuhea Jenkins Playing in Bellingham!!!

To all my former friends in Bellingham… please check out Anuhea Jenkins playing at the Wild Buffalo!

She just won two Na Hoku Awards and I think you folks would enjoy this show!

Big Islands Own Malika Dudley and Zac Efron

"Zac Efron at Taste of Chocolate... I snagged the money shot! ;)" Malika Dudley

It’s nice to know that Zac Efron and Big Island’s own Malika Dudley were “able to meet” at the Taste of Chocolate over on Oahu.

I took this picture from her facebook account with her permission.  No rumors to be heard here… go away if your looking for something that’s not.

Red Bull Cliff Diving Series Ends in Hilo


Ok… so I’m very interested in where in Hilo they could stage a Red Bull Cliff Diving Series.

I believe Rainbow Falls is not even close to being high enough of a jump and I have heard from the grapevine that the cliff is on someones private property.

Anyone hear where this is gonna be at?

There is a Hawaii resident, Orlando Duque, that is competing in it right now!

The Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series 2010 grand final will take place in the land of the sport’s origin, Hawaii. The venue this time is Hilo – the largest town on the island of Hawaii, and the second largest settlement in the state. The town overlooks Hilo Bay, and is near to two shield volcanoes, Mauna Loa, considered active, and Mauna Kea, a dormant volcano upon which some of the best ground-based astronomical observatories are placed. A natural waterfall will be the scene where the 2010 winner is crowned.

What the Hecht… Commentary by Debbie Hecht

Commentary from Debbie Hecht:

Aloha 2% supporters:

BILL 263- 2% Land Fund charter amendment will be heard on Wednesday, June 23rd in Hilo at the council chambers at 10:45. A big Mahalo to Council member Pete Hoffman for introducing this Bill. Video conferencing will be available from Waimea and Kona.  To put a charter amendment on the ballot, 3 readings are required and we need 6 votes at each reading.

PLEASE EMAIL THE COUNCIL IF YOU CANNOT ATTEND.

Remember it’s an election year and your voice can be heard LOUDLY!  Please email the entire list or call your council member- the email list and a link to their phone numbers are below.

TALKING POINTS:

  1. This is a simple matter.  Put the 2% LAND FUND on the ballot along with the 1% Land Fund charter amendment being introduced by the Charter commission and LET THE PEOPLE DECIDE.
  2. The 2% Land Fund was approved by 63% of voters in 2006.
  3. The Land Fund is successful! The following parcels have been purchased with 2% land fund monies:  Waipio Lookout, Kawa Bay- Ka’u (2 parcels, one is under negotiation), Kaiholena (150 acres) and Pao’o In North Kohala.
  4. 1% of property taxes is approximately $2 million per year, 2% is $4 miliion per year. Land is expensive on Hawaii Island; we need 2% or $4 million to attract dollar for dollar matching funds.
  5. This will not take effect until July 1, 2011, so the council’s suspension of the funds will be honored, and not affect the budget.

AN OVERVIEW OF BILL 263:

  • 2% of property taxes shall be placed in the fund at least twice per year in an interest bearing account.
    Describes the purpose for the acquisition of land.
  • Fund shall be used for acquisition only.
  • Highest and best use of the fund is to attract matching funds.
  • A covenant shall be recorded and run with the land that will say:  “These lands were purchased with moneys from the Public access and Open Space and Natural Resources Preservation Fund.  It shall e held in perpetuity for the use and enjoyment of the people of Hawai’i County. This land may not be sold, mortgaged, traded or transferred in any way.”

To read the bill, click here: http://records.co.hawaii.hi.us/weblink/0/doc/739778/Page1.aspx

CUT AND PASTE THIS EMAIL LIST: <dikeda@co.hawaii.hi.us>, <donishi@co.hawaii.hi.us>, <enaeole@co.hawaii.hi.us>, <counciltestimony@co.hawaii.hi.us>,  <dyagong@co.hawaii.hi.us>, <genriques@co.hawaii.hi.us>, <bford@co.hawaii.hi.us>, <kgreenwell@co.hawaii.hi.us>, <jyoshimoto@co.hawaii.hi.us>, <phoffmann@co.hawaii.hi.us>

FOR YOUR COUNCIL MEMBERS PHONE NUMBER CLICK HERE:

http://www.hawaii-county.com/council/districts.htm

Department of Land and Natural resources will be holding information meetings on proposed CONSERVATION DISTRICT rule amendments:

Kona July 6, 2010 at the Mayor’s Conference Room 75-5706 Kuakini Hwy. Room 103- 6:00 pm

Hilo- July 7, 2010 at the Hilo State Office building 75 Aupuni St. Room C –  6:00 pm

ARE YOU REGISTERED TO VOTE?

  • Did you get the yellow postcard verifying that you are registered to vote?
  • If not,  print out the attached, fill out the form and mail it in TODAY!

Mahalo for your help and support!

Debbie