Filipino Friday – Hawaii County Delegation in the Philippines

Mayor Kenoi returned home from the Philippines today and posted the following on his Facebook page:

The Hawaii County Delegation

Mayor Kenoi said the following on his facebook page:

Here’s a photo of our delegation on our first day in the Philippines, on our trip to see how the people there are using natural assets similar to ours on Hawaiʻi Island. From left, Lito Ilagan of the Kona Visayan Club who helped connect Ormoc City and Hawaiʻi County; Randy Kurohara, Director of County Research & Development; Richard Ha and Wally Ishibashi of the Geothermal Working Group; Rose Bautista, County Immigration Specialist; Mike Kaleikini of Puna Geothermal Venture; Jane Clement of the Kona Visayan Club; Councilman Angel Pilago and his wife Nita; Jay Ignacio of HELCO; Paulette Cainglit, our Sister City Coordinator; Dr. Bruce Matthews of UH Hilo; and Dutch Kuyper of Parker Ranch. Also in our delegation but missing from this photo was Will Rolston, County Energy Coordinator, and Dr. Sonny Genio of the Kona Visayan Club.

Councilwoman Brittany Smart to Run for Hawaii State House of Representative District 3 Seat

Brittany Smart announced today that she be seeking the Hawaii State House of Representative District 3 seat. “Due to Mr. Herkes’ announcement to run for the Hawaii State Senate, there is now an open House seat.

Councilwoman Brittany Smart

District 3’s representative at the State legislature needs to have an understanding of the unique challenges that this community faces. Due to my experience as a Councilmember, I believe I am able to accurately represent this area.”

Ms. Smart wanted to sincerely thank all of her constituents for their support throughout her Council term. At the encouragement of her constituency, Ms. Smart seriously began considering a run for the State House. “I am deeply humbled by the outpouring of requests for me to continue representing my constituents at the next level.”

Congressional Candidate Bob Marx on the Honolulu Rail Project

Bob Marx, the lone neighbor island candidate for Hawai‘i’s 2nd Congressional District, calls the proposed Honolulu Rail Project (HART) irresponsible.

Congressional Candidate Bob Marx

Speaking to a group of students near the University of Hawai‘i – Hilo, Marx stated: “I stand with former Governor Cayetano in his opposition to the proposed Honolulu Rail Project. Increasing the debt for Honolulu and writing it off on rural Oahu, the neighbor islands, and our future generations is not only fiscally irresponsible but impractical.”

According to newly released Fitch Ratings and Moody’s Investors Services, Hawai‘i ranks first in the amount of debt as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product and second in debt per capita: almost $8000 for every man, woman and child in the state.

“As usual, the City of Honolulu will again ask the rest of the State to pick up its tab on bloated spending projects. Importing steel from Europe will not create jobs for Hawai‘i. Working class people on Oahu have been hit hard enough already by the economic downturn, and raising taxes on them is not the solution. As a small business owner, I know the devastating effect that even a 1/2 percent excise tax increase can have on a business.”

General excise taxes are paid by businesses on gross receipts, not on revenue. Therefore, even businesses that are losing money would be asked to pay more. Documents presented by former Governor Cayetano and his supporters at a press conference yesterday outlined the questionable nature of the project’s proposed job creation statistics.

And just how will a Honolulu rail project help citizens living on the neighbor islands and the rest of Oahu? “Former Mayor Hannemann already hit rural Oahu with a 1/2 percent tax increase to fund Honolulu projects, and then abandoned them to pursue his political ambitions. It’s no secret where his priorities lie,” Marx added.

A lawsuit filed in 2011 by former Governor Cayetano and Hawai‘i’s Thousand Friends states that the city’s jobs forecasts are very misleading. Marx agrees, saying: “The lack of foresight for this project rests not on the hands of Mayor Carlisle but on his predecessor. Mayor Carlisle has been forced to make tough decisions, including reducing Police, Flood Control, and Erosion Protection budgets.

“This was Mufi’s project, and was poorly handled from the onset. Now he wants the voters of Hawai‘i’s 2nd Congressional District to give him the reigns to mismanage the neighbor islands as well.”

Bob Marx is a Democratic Candidate for Hawai‘i’s 2nd Congressional District.

Kona to Receive Funds for Healthcare Facility Improvement Projects

Part of the more than $27.7 million of funds released by Governor Neil Abercrombie for various Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) will benefit several healthcare facilities in Kona.

“The improvements to the Kona Health Center and Kona Community Hospital will elevate the level of healthcare for all of Kona’s residents,” said Representative Denny Coffman (District 6 -North Kona, Keauhou, Kailua-Kona, Honokohau).

Representative Cindy Evans (District 7 – North Kona, South Kohala) said that “Public Safety is one of the highest duties of government.  These new generators are necessary for the continuum of service.”

  • $4,116,000  – Department of Health facilities, statewide – Design, construction and works of art for additional health and safety improvement projects at various sites, including:  Diamond Health Center, Irwin Health Center, Hilo Environmental Health Services Waiakea Health Center, Kalaupapa Settlement, Kamauleule Building, Keakealani State Office Building, Kinau Hale, Kona Health Center, Lanakila Health Center, Lanakila Multi-Purpose Senior Center, Leeward Health Center, Lihue Health Center, and Windward Health Center.
  • $1,050,000 – Kona Community Hospital, Hawaii Island – Design, construction and works of art as part of the installation of two new generators.


2012 Big Island Film Festival Announces Official Selections – 57 Films From Hawaii and Around the World Selected

What do a mysterious silver case, super-competitive Scrabble and a secret drug underground have in common?  They’re some of the subjects of this year’s Official Selections for Big Island Film Festival, May 24-28.

Folks enjoy some of the outdoor movies at the Shops at Mauna Lani

Now in its 7thyear, the Big Island Film Festival (BIFF) delivers unique entertainment for film lovers of all ages, with free family films at The Shops at Mauna Lani, daytime movies and nightly double features at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i and much more.

BIFF 2012 will showcase 57 films from around the world, including nine from Hawai‘i, four of those from the Big Island.  Along with short and feature-length narrative films, BIFF will for the first time spotlight two documentary films: “Aunty Nona Beamer – Malama Ko Aloha (Keep Your Love)” and “Family of the Wa‘a,” both near and dear to the hearts of Big Island fans.

“We think it’s important to show these two documentaries due to their cultural significance,” said Executive Director Leo Sears.  “’Aunty Nona Beamer – Malama Ko Aloha (Keep Your Love)’ shares the story and the music of the legendary Beamer ‘ohana—Aunty Nona, Keola, and so many more talented musicians. It’s a beautiful film by Award Winning Film Producer Kenneth Burgmaier.  The Beamer family is planning to attend, so we hope the community will come to The Shops at Mauna Lani, show their support and enjoy the film.”

The second documentary, “Family of the Wa‘a,” chronicles a canoe voyage of over 1,750 miles across the Hawaiian archipelago.  “Chris Luedi, General Manager of The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai’i, was one of the paddlers on that journey,” said Sears, “And it’s an honor for us to share their amazing story at BIFF 2012.”  Luedi is a committed student of Hawaiian language and culture, who opened last year’s BIFF alongside historian Danny Kaniela Akaka, with an authentic chant and blowing of the pū (conch shell).

“Aunty Nona Beamer – Malama Ko Aloha (Keep Your Love) screens Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. at The Shops at Mauna Lani (free).  “The Family of the Wa‘a” screens Sunday night (approximately 9:30 p.m., as the second feature at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i Plantation Estate (adults $15, kama‘āina $10, late film only $7.50).

During BIFF 2012, a variety of narrative feature films full of surprises, action, romance and lots of laughs will be screened Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  Just a sampling:

  • “The Silver Case” is a complex thriller from Italy, starring Eric Roberts (“The Young and the Restless,” “Heroes,” “Crash”).  It follows the trail of a silver attaché case, as it passes hand-to-hand through murders and mysteries to its inevitable end.
  • The moving Native American family drama “Shouting Secrets” is rich in tradition and redemption.  It stars Chaske Spencer (“The Twilight Saga”), Q‘oriana Kilcher (“Princess Ka‘iulani”), and Tantoo Cardinal (“Blackstone,” “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman”).
  • “Irvine Welsh’s Ecstasy” walks the dark and gritty path of a loveable drug-runner between Scotland and Amsterdam, starring Adam Sinclair (“The Day of the Triffids,” “Painkiller Jane,” Kristina Kreuk (“Chuck,” “Smallville”) and Billy Boyd (“Lord of the Rings”).
  • Even the short cartoon “Cadaver” has voices the audience will recognize:  Christopher Lloyd and Kathy Bates.

The 2012 Official Selections are:

“A Finger, Two Dots Then Me”
“Ad & Subtract”
“Anos Despues”
“Aunty Nona Beamer – Malama Ko Aloha (Keep Your Love)”
“Bunker 731”
“Buzkashi Boys”
“Children of the Air”
“Citizen Jia Li”
“Dancing Freak”
“Dissolving Destinies”
“Easy Street”
“Election Day”
“Family of the Wa‘a”
“French Immersion”
“Giant Monsters Attack Hawai’i”
“Hi, Honey”
“Incest! The Musical”
“Irvine Welsh’s Ecstasy”
“Just Like Her”
“Life Through A Lens”
“Love & Other Unstable States of Matter”
“Miss Minoes”
“Mr. Babbo”
“Nobody’s Child”
“Over the Line”
“PORK … a short film”
“Scenen (Act 1, Scene 1)”
“Searching for Sonny”
“Shouting Secrets”
“Silver Case”
“Steve Phoenix-The Untold Story”
“Subjective Expressions”
“The Ballad of Sandeep”
“The Darkest Game”
“The Glue King & His Castle”
“The Italian Key”
“The Potstickers”
“The Sea Is All I Know”
“Todd & the Book of Pure Evil, Episode: See You Later”
“Viewer Discretion Advised (Tape 96)”
“Waking Up”
“Welcoming Departure”
The Big Island “Talk Story” Film Festival is a celebration of independent narrative films and filmmaking, taking place May 24-28, 2012. Major sponsors include The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i and The Shops at Mauna Lani and Hawaii Tourism Authority/Hawai’i County CPEP.

For complete schedule information and tickets, visit

Victim Speaks Up About Colt Brennan Car Wreck Accident – “My Two Cents”

On November 19, 2010 a terrible car accident happened involving former University of Hawaii Quarterback Colt Brennan and his girlfriend Shakti Stream where their car was involved in a wreck with Big Island Doctor Theresa Wang that left Brennan with broken ribs and injuries to his head and Dr. Wang with serious injuries to her head and body.

Brennan has seemingly recovered from from the accident now that he has been signed on to play with a Canadian Football League team.  Brennan and his girlfriend Stream were a bit more lucky then Dr. Wang was according to KHON 2 News:

…”Two months at Queen’s Medical Center, three months at Craig Hospital in Denver, and four months at Center for Neural Skills in Bakersfield, California. It’s just been a whirlwind,” described Chen.

“David has been amazing. He is an amazing caregiver, amazing husband and friend of the community,” said family member Darrin Gee.

Their world was turned upside down in an instant last November. An SUV driven by Brennan’s girlfriend, Shakti Stream, crossed the center line and slammed into Wang’s sedan. She suffered a serious head injury and several broken bones. The couple’s faith helped to sustain them, and they’re looking forward to being back at Waikoloa Community Church on Sunday…

A clip from Dr. Wang's Facebook page

The last few days I’ve had a chance to get to know Dr. Wang a bit further through Facebook and email correspondence and she has given me the following account of what she can remember about the incident.

How are you doing in your recovery?

Astounding! I have progress from being wheel chair dependent most of the time to now walking with the assistance of a cane  and without if needed! My physical therapy sessions are progressing from daily to once every two weeks with doing home exercises. That is the physical side of things. Cognitively I am doing better in that I can follow most of a movie and am able to read a book, the newspaper and remember what I have read. I still need reminders for taking medications and a way to check off that I have taken the meds. I was started on HCG and that has helped a lot with my physical and cognitive improvement. It is expensive but I am thankful that UHA is covering the cost and the company Genentech has a co payment reimbursement plan for it.

What do you remember of the accident?

Nothing in fact a lot of my memories for even before the accident has been erased although some is percolating back since I came home to Hawaii and also read a diary that I usually keep.

How has your life changed since the accident?

It has been turned upside down then right-side up. Financially we are not doing well and it doesn’t look like I will be going back to practice medicine but we both have found peace and cherish the good in each other as well as the world. If doomsday was to come tomorrow I would have no regrets on what we have done in our lives and I would be confident in the thought that I would see my husband in the afterlife. I do struggle from time to time with anger and frustration with Colt and Shakti but when I calmed down I realize that both of them are simply kids who are trying to make it big in their lives. I’m more concern with Colt as he is in a field that will only continue to aggravate his head injury.

Has Colt and/or Shakti contacted you personally and if so…do they remain in contact?

Colt has not but his father has and I did reply back to him. His father is a very gracious man and has been following my blogsite which incidentally is written by my husband and I just provide the entertainment value:). Shakti has written to my husband and from what I can recall..she is getting treatment for her broken collar bone through Alohacare and has gone to Honolulu for care covered by Alohacare. We do not remain in contact with Shakti.

What have you learned about this accident that folks don’t know that needs to be put out there?

Do you mean what have I learned from this accident? About this accident …most folks know it all simply because it was such a public accident and I think people knew more than I did about the details. I’m actually learning more details from the oddest places …at the rehab place I attend, from other patients there, from flight attendants on Hawaiian airlines because they knew Shakti in school and even at the opening ceremony at West Hawaii Community Health Center (my previous employer). Most people knew the two were arguing at the time. I did get to see the police photos of my car and the ouside was really mangled up so I was shocked by how intact the interior was. If I saw only the interior and knew nothing about the accident I would not believe that the car was in an accident. It was a SAAB and I bought it after my Trooper Isuzu was totaled by a woman who ran a red light and was driving a Parisian plus speeding. I had bought the SAAB for its concentration on safety. I’m really happy to see that the automobile industry is focused on safety features. Of course the industry can’t protect us from everything especially ourselves when we do stupid things like drink and drive, running red lights or texting or driving distracted. Personally, I feel a fund should be started where people who receive tickets for violating those laws must also contribute to above the actual ticket costs and then victims can tap into this fund for their financial needs. 

Lawsuits is typically a dirty word and I, as a physician am not keen on it but sometimes there is a more practical need for it. My lawyer Ian Mattoch is a sweet man who is working hard for the brain injured and it is an area that is overlooked by the medical field, government and health industry. It is becoming more prevalent and more attention should be brought to the public awareness even more so than cancer or AIDS!

My two cents… Theresa Wang

Dr. Theresa Wang and Brother Noland

Click to learn more about Dr. Wang's story

Wordless Thursday – A Chrome Car

This is the car that every lady that loves mirrors would dream about!

A “Chrome Car”!