Damon… “Did You Stop Taking Pictures of Highway 130 Accidents”?

Someone asked if I was still taking pictures of Hawaii 130 accidents and wrecks.

In case anyone is wondering why I haven’t been posting accidents and/or pictures of Hawaii 130 accidents on my website anymore, it’s not because they aren’t happening anymore… it’s just that I now have a small fear of taking pictures of police officers on duty.

Hopefully I will get over this fear soon… but until then, I don’t think I will be trying to take any more pictures of Highway 130 accidents.

The attention has been brought and Senator Kahele publicly thanked my website for the work I’ve done on the project… Hopefully folks will understand that changes are coming soon to Highway 130… However, I won’t be taking many pictures of things until I feel more comfortable taking pictures of police officers in public.

USDA Approves Value-Added Producer Grants to Five Hawaii Agribusinesses

The USDA approved value-added producer grants to five Hawaii agribusinesses.

They are:

News Release:

Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan today announced that USDA has selected 298 recipients in 44 states and Puerto Rico to receive business development assistance through the Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program. Merrigan made the announcement in Chicago after keynoting the “Local/Regional Food System Conference” hosted at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

“In his State of the Union address last week President Obama was clear that we need to do more to create jobs and promote economic growth. These projects will provide financial returns and help create jobs for agricultural producers, businesses and families across the country,” Merrigan said. “This funding will promote small business expansion and entrepreneurship opportunities by providing local businesses with access capital, technical assistance and new markets for products and services.”

For example, Living Water Farms, Inc. is a three-year-old family company that focuses on the production of hydroponic greens for specialty markets in the Midwest. Located in Strawn, two hours south of Chicago’s Loop, three generations of the Kilgus family are part of a group called Stewards of the Land which was organized to market produce from small farms. The hydroponic complex was developed to supply fresh produce year-round. The current market includes Illinois supermarkets, restaurants in Chicago and St. Louis and a Midwest college food service program. The grant will help them evaluate their brand and expand distribution to other restaurants, specialty retail and institutional outlets.

One of the examples of how an award can make an impact is Agriberry LLC, located near Mechanicsville, Virginia. Agriberry is the dream of Anne and Chuck Geyer whose vision is to establish a consumer supported summer berry farm and become an agricultural training facility for first-time workers. They realized the region’s demand for an assortment of fresh, local, seasonal berries and fruits. With the assistance of a working capital value-added grant, Agriberry has now expanded to over 35 acres of red raspberries, and other fruit. They hire a number of local workers each growing season.

Green Mountain Organic Creamery, LLC in North Ferrisburgh, Vt., will receive a working capital grant to market certified organic, bottled pasteurized milk, butter, ice cream and other dairy products. Owners Cheryl and John DeVos founded the dairy to provide local, organic dairy products to the community and throughout the Northeast. Green Mountain was recognized as the Vermont Dairy of the Year in 2011.

For a complete list of recipients receiving grants please click here. Funding of individual recipients is contingent upon their meeting the conditions of the grant agreement.

The Value-Added Producer Grants announced today total more than $40.2 million. Funds may be used for feasibility studies or business plans, working capital for marketing value-added agricultural products and for farm-based renewable energy projects. Eligible applicants include independent producers, farmer and rancher cooperatives, agricultural producer groups, and majority-controlled producer-based business ventures. Value-added products are created when a producer increases the consumer value of an agricultural commodity in the production or processing stage.

USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, administers and manages housing, business and community infrastructure and facility programs through a national network of state and local offices. Rural Development has an active portfolio of more than $155 billion in affordable loans and loan guarantees. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America. Further information on rural programs is available at a local USDA Rural Development office or by visiting USDA Rural Development’s web site at http://www.rurdev.usda.gov.


The Best 2012 Superbowl Commercial -The Bark Side: Volkswagen

Well I’ve viewed as many 2012 Superbowl Commercials that I can find and this has to be the best one:

A canine chorus barks a familiar tune in a Pre Game Day teaser.


Watch the 2012 Game Day commercial, it will all make sense: http://vwoa.us/dogstrikesback

Coast Guard Signs Memorandom of Agreement with County of Hawaii

Rear Admiral Charles Ray 
of the United States Coast Guard was in Hilo yesterday to meet with Mayor Billy Kenoi to sign a Memorandum of Agreement with the County of Hawai‘i. The agreement formalizes the protocol through which the Hawai‘i County Fire Department will coordinate search and rescue operations with the U.S. Coast Guard.

The agreement is similar to those in place with Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park and the Army’s Pōhakuloa Training Area, to formalize the working relationship between those first responders and the Hawai‘i County Fire Department.

“The ocean is such a vast area for any one boat or helicopter to search. The more resources we can tap, the more area we can cover sooner, and the better the chances are of finding someone alive,” said Battalion Chief Gerald Kosaki of the Hawai‘i County Fire Department. Battalion Chief Kosaki is responsible for, among other things, the department’s Search & Rescue operations. “We’re very fortunate to have the Coast Guard’s support when anyone needs assistance off the shores of Hawai‘i Island.”

More Here: Search & Rescue agreement signed by County, Coast Guard

The Hilton Waikoloa Village… See Why It’s My Favorite Resort in Hawaii

Explore Hilton Waikoloa Village and Hawaii Island in this brief video to see what makes this such a special place


2012 University of Hawaii Distinguished Alumni Awards

The University of Hawai‘i Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes outstanding alumni who have used their education to excel professionally, provide inspirational leadership to others, and provide service for the benefit of UH and the community. This year’s honorees will be recognized on Thurs., May 10, at the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel at a dinner in their honor. Sen. Daniel K. Inouye is honorary chair of the event.

The honorees are:

2012 Distinguished Alumni Award

  • Robert Alm, JD (BA ’73 Mānoa) – Executive Vice President, Hawaiian Electric Company
  • Frederick D.S. Choi, PhD (BBA ’65, MBA ’68 Mānoa) – Dean Emeritus & Distinguished Service Professor of Business, New York University Stern School of Business
  • Patrick H. DeLeon, PhD, JD (MPH ’73 Mānoa) – Professor and Retired Chief of Staff for Sen. Daniel K. Inouye

2012 UH Founders Alumni Association Lifetime Achievement Award

  • Ted T. Tsukiyama, JD (Attended ’39-’41, ’46 Mānoa) – Attorney, Arbitrator, Historian and 442nd Veteran

2012 UH Alumni Association President’s Award