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Mayor Kenoi and Mayor Akutsu Sign New Sister City Pact

Media Release:

Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi and Mayor Sadaji Akutsu of Shibukawa , Japan, reaffirmed a sister-city relationship between Shibukawa and the County of Hawaii in a ceremony in Hilo on Jan. 14, 2011.

Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi and Mayor Sadaji Akutsu of Shibukawa , Japan, reaffirmed a sister-city relationship between Shibukawa and the County of Hawaii in a ceremony in Hilo on Jan. 14, 2011

The sister-city relationship was established in 1997 to promote friendship and good will between the peoples of Ikaho-Machi and the County of Hawaii . In 2006, Ikaho-Machi, along with the villages of Komochi, Onogami, Akagi and Kitatachibana, were merged into the expanded City of Shibukawa .

Sister cities share in the coordination and planning of official visits, and promote the exchange of cultural, trade, agricultural, scientific and educational opportunities. The people of Shibukawa and the Island of Hawaii have enjoyed an active and productive Sister City relationship since 1997.

Mayor Kenoi said the reaffirmation will “continue the meaningful interaction that has characterized the relationship for well over a decade. In addition to the reciprocal benefits enjoyed by our two communities, we share a larger, international benefit in setting an example of friendship and good will for the world to see and emulate.”

Mayor Billy Kenoi, left, shakes hands with Mayor Sadaji Akutsu of Shibukawa, Japan

Mayors Kenoi and Mayor Akutusu also committed to develop a stronger economic relationship between the Sister Cities.“Mayor Akutsu and I held economic discussions over two nights, agreeing to joint tourism and agricultural promotions and to have our chambers of commerce explore new opportunities over the next year,” Mayor Kenoi said. “These times require more than just goodwill. We need to promote positive economic relations that benefit both sides.”

Ikaho, now part of Shibukawa, is home to the world’s largest hula festival with more than 4,000 participants. In 2002, organizers of the festival obtained permission from the late Dottie Thompson, former director the Hilo ’s Merrie Monarch Festival, to name the Japanese festival in honor of Hawaii ’s Merrie Monarch King David Kalakaua.

Since then, representatives of the “Ikaho Hawaiian Festival, King Kalakaua, the Merrie Monarch,” attend the Merrie Monarch Festival in Hilo each year and invite the winning halau to perform at their Ikaho festival the following August.

Ikaho is about 3 ½ miles by bus from Tokyo ’s Narita Airport and is well-known as a hot spa resort area that attracts many visitors, including members of the Japanese Royal Family.

Hawaii County Community Satisfaction Survey 2010…The Results

Media Release:

Chief Harry Kubojiri wishes to thank the members of the public who participated in the Hawai’i Police Department’s Community Satisfaction Survey during December 2010.

Click Here to view the survey summary (RESULTS) or on the Police Department’s website at www.hawaiipolice.com.

The chief and his staff are in the process of analyzing all the individual comments so the Police Department can identify common concerns. The chief will then respond to the most common concerns expressed by community members who participated in the survey. The responses to the public’s comments/questions will be posted (along with the questions) on the Police Department’s website.

Chief Kubojiri said the survey and follow-up analysis are tools to assist him in

  • identifying problem areas the community is experiencing with the Police Department
  • determining if he can rectify those issues through specific training of Police Department personnel
  • making changes to policies and procedures if necessary
  • clarifying misinformation about laws and/or police practices

“Your input is a key component in helping us achieve the Police Department’s core value of Community Satisfaction,” Kubojiri said. “We thank you again for taking time out of your busy schedules to participate in our survey and helping us improve our services to the community.”

In addition to processing comments from the survey, the Police Department will continue to hold monthly public meetings around the island to respond to concerns from the public. Chief Kubojiri encourages community members to attend these public meetings or communicate their concerns or comments using the “Feedback” link on the Police Department’s website.

Why the Kona Blog Wasn’t On List of Invitees for HSPJ Excellence in Journalism Awards

I was curious to know why some blogs and websites were invited to participate in the Hawaii Society of Professional Journalist Excellence in Journalism Awards and in particular I was curious to know why the Kona Blog written by Aaron Stene was left out of the loop.

I even had a brief conversation with Aaron on facebook trying to figure out why he wasn’t part of it and Stene left the following comment on my blog about the situation:

I’d like to know why my blog wasn’t included on this list. The SPJ did e-mail me and asked that I submit articles for consideration. I respectfully declined.

I wonder if she wasn’t clear about this and it precluded my consideration?

I need to back Aaron up on this as even the letter that I received was very vague and I didn’t understand much about the awards or what they were asking of us bloggers.  The letter I received read:


We are taking the Excellence in Journalism contest online. The entries will be made over the Internet and the judges will review the stories online.

We have designated you as the contact for the entries. If you would want someone else to handle your entries, please send me his or her name and email address.

If you do not wish to participate, please let me know so I don’t bother you.

You may submit entries from now until March 15.

We have made many changes in this year’s contest, including an increase in the number of Internet categories.

Attached are detailed instructions in text format or Microsoft Word.

Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions.

So I myself was confused about the above email invite and sent back an email stating:

What specifically are you asking of me?

So then I actually called the representative on the phone and got some things clarified and then I was given a password to the site that actually worked.

Today I just got this email from the same representative of the HSPJ:

I got a query from Aaron Stene, who asked why I removed his Kona blog from a list of nominations for our awards program (based on your blog).

The people listed on the drop-down are people we are asking to see if they want to enter the SPJ contest. Aaron said he didn’t want to participate so I removed him.

Again, we are not nominating anyone. We are inviting people to enter.

If you could clarify that those Big Island sites were invited to enter, that would be great. The Kona blog was invited too, but declined.

Senator Solomon Introduces Senate Bill 3 – Relating to a State Lottery

Malama Solomon

Well newly appointed Senator Malama Solomon has already introduced a bill along with Senator Brickwood Galuteria that some would call pretty controversial.

Senate Bill 3 Relating to a State Lottery which the description states:

Requires DBEDT to investigate the possibility for Hawaii to participate in the multi-state Powerball lottery operated by the Multi-State Lottery Association or the Mega Millions lottery operated by the Mega Millions consortium, or both. Report to legislature.

I myself have no problem with a lottery here in Hawaii.

I’m a firm believer in folks should be allowed to make their own foolish choices on their own… my as well have the fools benefit society with their decisions on how they spend their money.