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Hirono, Kim and Kenoi Announce Expanded Social Security Services at West Hawaii Civic Center

After working for 16 months to increase Social Security Administration (SSA) service for West Hawaii residents, Senator Mazie K. Hirono joined SSA Regional Commissioner Grace Kim and Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi to announce expanded Social Security services for residents at the West Hawaii Civic Center.

West Hawaii Civic Center

West Hawaii Civic Center

In November, the Social Security Administration announced it would end monthly Kona office hours due to budget constraints, forcing West Hawaii kupuna to make a four-hour roundtrip drive to meet with representatives.

Beginning August 22, residents will be able to go the West Hawaii Civic Center on the second and fourth Thursday of each month from 9am to 1pm to meet with SSA representatives using the new video conferencing system.

“This announcement is great news for Hawaii Island kupuna and shows that when we work together, we can make meaningful differences in people’s lives,” Hirono said. “This video conferencing service will greatly ease the ability of our kupuna to receive the Social Security services they have earned. I greatly appreciate the efforts of the Social Security Administration, Mayor Kenoi, as well as AARP Hawaii, the Hawaii Executive Office on Aging’s Sage PLUS program, and Hawaiian Telcom for getting this done.”

Hirono led the effort to coordinate with Hawaii County and a number of volunteer groups, including the Hawaii Island state librarians, AARP Hawaii, Sage PLUS, RSVP, and Medicare Patrol – to make the video conferencing service a reality for West Hawaii residents. At the urging of West Hawaii constituents and AARP Hawaii, Hirono initially contacted the SSA in April 2012 to address reports of crowding and long lines at the SSA monthly contact stations and to urge the agency to expand its monthly face-to-face Kona visits by Hilo SSA staff.

After the SSA announced it would end these monthly visits, Hirono continued to push for video conferencing services that wouldn’t require Hilo SSA staff to travel to Kona and worked closely with community leaders to execute a formal agreement and coordinate the location, service dates, and technical installation.

At today’s event, Hirono joined SSA Regional Commissioner Barbara Kim Stanton and Mayor Kenoi to thank the volunteer groups and Hawaiian Telcom for their partnership in bringing this valuable service to the West Hawaii community.

“Mahalo to all the partners for working together to help our West Hawai’i seniors access the Social Security services they depend upon. We’re happy to welcome this valuable community service to the West Hawai’i Civic Center,” said Mayor Billy Kenoi.

“Assistance made available via this video conferencing arrangement will be an economic lifeline for West Hawaii residents,” said AARP Hawaii State Director Barbara Kim Stanton. “Nearly a third of older Hawaii residents rely on Social Security for 50 percent or more of their family income. Our low- and middle-income seniors are even more reliant on Social Security’s earned benefit, typically receiving nearly three-quarters of their income from this vital program.

“AARP Hawaii is enormously grateful for the leadership and commitment of our community partners – the Social Security Administration, Mayor Billy Kenoi, and especially Senator Mazie Hirono, for responding to and working with AARP volunteers to make this service a reality,” Stanton added.

While Pamela Cunningham of the Hawaii Executive Office on Aging said, “The Executive Office on Aging’s Sage PLUS Program is inspired by the community volunteers and agencies of West Hawaii that have committed to this program to help their neighbors.”

“We’re proud to be helping as the technology partner on this innovative solution enabling West Hawaii residents to communicate ‘face-to-face’ with the Social Security Administration,” said Paul Krueger, Hawaiian Telcom’s Vice President – Sales & Product Marketing.

Mayor Kenoi Proclaims First Week of August as Orchid Week – Annual Hilo Orchid Society Show Coming Up

Mayor Billy Kenoi has issued a proclamation naming the first week of August as  “Orchid Week” in recognition of the value orchids have to the people, culture, and economy of the County of Hawai‘i.

Kenoi explains that Hawai’i Island is known as the Orchid Island, and that “the orchid industry… spreads Aloha throughout the world.”

In the proclamation, the mayor encourages people “to enjoy the 60th Annual Hilo Orchid Society Show and the beauty of the many varieties of orchids grown on Hawai‘i Island” over the weekend of August 3-5.

Nicknamed the “butterfly orchid,” this Psychopsis Mendenhall ‘Hildos’ is one of many blooms that may be seen during the Hilo Orchid Society’s 60th Annual Orchid Show and Sale. The show is themed “Islands of Orchids,” and runs August 3-5 at the Edith Kanaka‘ole Stadium in Hilo. Photo Credit: Lawrence Kuekes

This is the largest orchid show in the state, and is sanctioned by the American Orchid Society.  The orchids will be judged by American Orchid Society accredited orchid judges.  Ribbon judging of the orchid plants will also be conducted by the Hilo Orchid Society members.

The show takes place at the Edith Kanaka‘ole Stadium in Hilo.  Hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday, August 3; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, August 4; and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday, August 5.  Daily admission is a $5 donation, with keiki ages 12 and under admitted free.  For more information, call (808) 333-1852 or visit www.hiloorchidsociety.org.

The night before the show opens, the Hilo Orchid Society presents a benefit Preview Party to kick off the show.  Held from 6 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, August 2, the gala event features wine and beer tasting, tea and coffee sampling, delicious catered food spreads, musical entertainment, and orchid pre-sales.

Tickets for the Preview Party are $65 ($25 of which is tax deductible) and benefit both the Hilo Orchid Society scholarship fund and the non-profit Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center.  Get tickets in advance from The Most Irresistible Shop, Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center, or by calling Julie Mitchell at (808) 935-7844 x 116.


Whereas, Hawai’i Island is known as the Orchid Island; and

Whereas, the appreciation of orchids is broadly based in Hawai’i; and

Whereas, education about the cultivation and culture of orchids continues to expand here on Hawai’i Island; and

Whereas, the production of orchids is an important part of our economy, both in local potted plant sales, cut flowers, and as a major export; and

Whereas, Hawai’i Island’s orchid exports account for more than 80% of all orchid plants and flowers shipped from the State of Hawai’i and

Whereas, the orchid industry creates jobs and income, and spreads Aloha throughout the world; and

Whereas, the Annual Hilo Orchid Society Show attracts visitors each year from across the State, the Mainland and overseas; and

Whereas, the 60th Annual Orchid Show, whose theme is “Islands of Orchids,” will be held August 3-5, 2012 at the Edith Kanaka’ole Multi-Purpose Stadium,

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BILLY KENOI, Mayor of the County of Hawai’i, do hereby proclaim the first week of August, 2012, which includes the weekend of August 3-5, 2012 as


In the County of Hawai’i and encourage our people to enjoy the 60th Annual Hilo Orchid Society Show and the beauty of the many varieties of orchids grown on Hawai’i Island.

Hawaii County Mayoral Race… A Poll

Former Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim filed his official nomination papers to run for Hawaii County Mayor again which really throws an interesting twist into the mayoral race.

Many have speculated that if Kim did enter… it would cause many folks to not vote for Mayor Kenoi.

With the possible split of votes… this could very well open the door for Councilman Dominic Yagong to just slide in there as the elected mayor.

If the elections were held today, who would you vote for?

[polldaddy poll=6287836]

Mayor Kenoi in Washington D.C. for the United States Conference of Mayors

Mayor Kenoi is in Washington, D.C. to participate in the 80th winter meeting of the United States Conference of Mayors

The Hawaii Island’s Mayors at last years United States Conference of Mayors

Press Release:

In the midst of the Republican Presidential primaries, more than 250 of the nation’s mayors will convene in Washington, D.C. next week for the 80th Winter Meeting of The U.S. Conference of Mayors at the Capital Hilton Hotel. The mayors will meet with Administration officials to push for a bipartisan agenda that confronts the double-digit unemployment plaguing much of main street America, and challenge Congress to act on job creation, transportation and public safety. The mayors will also express disappointment that Washington is not listening to the needs of the nation’s Metro regions, which have thus far been absent from the presidential debates. Highlighting the session will be the release of an economic report with 2012 employment forecasts, followed by an official address from USCM President Mayor Villaraigosa on The State of America’s Cities, and then a reception at the White House.

Confirmed Speakers Include:

  • TUESDAY: U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, Newark Mayor Cory Booker, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Louisville (KY) Mayor Greg Fischer
  • WEDNESDAY: HUD Sec. Shaun Donovan, Education Sec. Arne Duncan, Transportation Sec. Ray LaHood, Agriculture Sec. Tom Vilsack, Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (CA), Congressman Barney Frank (MA), Congressman Frank Pallone (NJ), Consumer Fin. Protection Bureau Dir. Richard Cordray, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, Huffington Post Editor-in-Chief Arianna Huffington, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Indianapolis Mayor Gregory Ballard, Charleston Mayor Joe Riley, Columbus (OH) Mayor Mike Coleman, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay, BSG President Joel Benenson
  • THURSDAY: Health and Human Services Sec. Kathleen Sebelius, NYT Columnist Thomas Friedman, Vice Chairman Edelman Steve Schmidt, Former WH Comm. Dir. Anita Dunn,  POLITICO WH reporter Mike Allen, Americans for the Arts President and CEO Bob Lynch, Brookings Institute Dir. Bruce Katz, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, Houston Mayor Annise Parker, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, Green Bay Mayor James Schmitt, Jacksonville (FL) Mayor Alvin Brown, Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, Boston Mayor Tom Menino, Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin, Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx, Louisville, KY Mayor Greg Fischer
  • FRIDAY: U.S. Trade Rep. Ron Kirk, Presidential Sr. Advisor David Plouffe, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster, Oakland Mayor Jean Quan, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson


Mayor Billy Kenoi to Unveil First Increment of the $43.9 Million Kamakoa Nui Community in Waikoloa on Friday

Mayor Billy Kenoi on Friday, Nov. 18 will unveil the first increment of an attractive new community in Waikoloa that will provide affordable home ownership opportunities near West Hawai‘i employment hubs. At the same time, the mayor will open the gates to a new community park in Waikoloa.

The initial offering of eight homes within the $43.9 million Kamakoa Nui community will feature bungalows and single-family homes. The homes were designed by MVE Pacific, and prices for the new units will range from $240,000 to $325,000.

This single-family home is one of four model homes already built at the Kamakoa Nui Workforce Housing Community in Waikoloa. The community will be blessed Friday, Nov. 18, 2011. Mayor Billy Kenoi and honored guests will be on hand to untie the maile lei to Kamakoa Nui, and the county park which will be opened to the public on that day as well.

Construction of four single-family model homes is complete, with pre-sales of homes in the first increment scheduled to begin next month.

“Our working families deserve this opportunity for home ownership in a desirable, well-planned community that is close to work and recreational facilities,” said Mayor Kenoi, who will untie the maile lei at the park at 10 a.m. and do the same for the model homes about a half an hour later.

“This project benefits the hard-working hotel employees, teachers, firefighters, police officers and others who want their own home in West Hawai‘i. This is an affordable community where they can live comfortably and raise their families.”

The 23 bungalows will be one and two-story units with two or three bedrooms, two baths or two-and-a-half baths, and 1,108 to 1482 square feet of living space.

The 68 one and two-story single-family homes will have three bedrooms, and buyers will have a choice between two baths or two-and-a-half baths. The homes will have 1,361 square feet to 1,512 square feet of living space including lanais.

Kamakoa Nui is being developed by the County of Hawai‘i, and will eventually grow into a diverse community of about 1,200 rental and for-sale homes on 268 acres in Waikoloa.

“I am delighted that the model homes of the Kamakoa Nui housing project are complete,” said Steve Arnett, county Housing Administrator. “I am so proud of my staff who implemented the plans and specs to completion, specifically Dan Russell, Michael Prinslow and Annie Bailey.”

The first phase of Kamakoa Nui will include a new 12-acre county park in Waikoloa. The park features a baseball diamond designed for youth baseball and senior softball games. It will also include a new high school-regulation soccer field that can double as a Pop Warner football field.

“Kamakoa Nui Park and Housing Project is another example of Mayor Billy Kenoi’s administration working together focusing on ‘laulima’ to accomplish great things for island residents,” said Parks and Recreation Director Bob Fitzgerald.

“We now have additional field space in Waikoloa to schedule more practice and game time for teams participating in sports such as soccer and baseball. There will now be a home field for the possible start up of a new Pop Warner football team in Waikoloa.”

This bungalow-style home is one of four model homes already built at the Kamakoa Nui Workforce Housing Community in Waikoloa. The community will be blessed Friday, Nov. 18, 2011. Mayor Billy Kenoi and honored guests will be on hand to untie the maile lei to Kamakoa Nui, and the county park which will be opened to the public on that day as well.

The park also includes a comfort station, event lawn and parking, and a private group is developing a skateboard park on a designated portion of the park site.

Hawaii County has contracted with Aldridge Associates, a real estate brokerage firm specializing in the Waikoloa market, to market the first increment of the project. The project will offer financing to qualified buyers with a down payment of up to 5 percent of the sales price.

To qualify, buyers should live within a 30-mile radius of Kamakoa Nui and have an income of 70 percent of the area median income (AMI). Potential buyers must also live in the homes and cannot have owned a home within the last three years.

To discourage speculation and help to keep the units affordable, owners who re-sell their units at Kamakoa Nui within 15 years of their initial purchase will be required to share any windfall profits from the re-sales with the county. After 15 years, all restrictions on re-sales are satisfied.

Mayor Kenoi, Mufi Hanneman and Hawaii Hotel Association to Distribute Charity Walk Funds

The Honorable Billy Kenoi, Mayor of Hawai`i County along with Mufi Hannemann, President & CEO of the Hawai`i Hotel and Lodging Association will be distributing the 2011 Charity Walk checks at a reception to be held Saturday, September 10th at 2:00 p.m. in the Koa Room at the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel.  Approximately 60 Island of Hawai`i non-profit organizations will receive the more than $154,000 which was raised at the 33rd annual Visitor Industry Charity Walk held at the Mauna Lani Resort on Saturday, May 14, 2011.


The CHARITY WALK is a statewide event that occurs simultaneously on Oahu, Maui, the Big Island and Kauai on the 3rd Saturday in May. In 2011, more than 10, 900, walkers raised $1,155,100 and helped over 220 of our local charities. In 1974, the Hawai’i Hotel Association sponsored a charitable “Superwalk” to benefit one major charitable organization. In 1978, the Hawai’i Hotel Association members voted to extend the reach of support offered by the Walk’s fund-raising capability. The Visitor Industry CHARITY WALK is the result of this decision. Over the years, the HHLA’s annual walk has grown to become one of the largest single-day fundraising events by a non-profit organization in the State of Hawaii . Since its inception in 1978, over $23 million has been raised, helping hundreds of local charities throughout the State.

Candidate Maile David Defeats Kenoi Administration in Attempt to Remove her from Ballot


..The Third Circuit Court has ruled in favor of Maile David and against the Kenoi’s administration’s attempts to remove her from the ballot.

The court rejected County Corporation Counsel Lincoln Ashida’s legal argument that Ms. David had to register 90 days before the election.  Ms. David registered to vote 86 days before the election, though she had been a District 6 resident since 2008.

Mayor Kenoi Presents Honokohau Plan at National Institute on City Design

From The Mayors Office:

Mayor Billy Kenoi was among eight U.S. mayors selected to attend the 47th National Session of the Mayors’ Institute on City Design, August 4-6, 2010, in Los Angeles.

The event was a National Endowment for the Arts leadership initiative in partnership with the American Architectural Foundation and the United States Conference of Mayors. All expenses for the trip to Los Angeles are paid by the Mayor’s Institute.

The two-and-a-half day symposium offered mayors a better understanding of urban design, and provided an opportunity to learn how to approach unique design challenges. Eight urban design professionals also participated in the symposium.

Mayor Kenoi presented a case study from Hawaii County, soliciting responses from the other mayors and designers on conceptualizing new ways of solving design issues. The mayors were expected to return to their communities with a better understanding of design and the design process.

“This was a wonderful opportunity to meet with some of the best urban design professionals and mayors in the country,” said Mayor Kenoi. “There’s much to learn about making Hawaii County a better place to live through better design and planning and I was honored to be selected to represent our island at this symposium.”

Hawaii County’s design case study was the Honokohau TOD (Transit-Oriented Development) site plan, which is anchored by the new Ane Keohokalole Highway, new mass transit routes and the new West Hawai‘i Civic Center currently under construction.

TOD is a neighborhood development approach encouraged under the new, award-winning Kona Community Development Plan, using transit design that makes the most of not only personal automobile travel, but also biking, walking and transit systems.

The county is looking to provide alternatives to private transportation as a central theme to ensure the sustainability of both the village and the island, and the symposium was designed to explore strategies for the County to influence the design and construction of what will be Hawaii County’s next town.

The consolidation of municipal services as the central piece in a new transit-oriented development will be a first for Hawaii County. The site is located about five miles north of downtown Kona and about a mile from Kealakehe High School.

Mayor Kenoi is the first mayor of Hawaii County to attend the Mayors’ Institute on City Design.

Other mayors selected to attend this year included Antonio R. Villaraigosa of Los Angeles, host of the Institute; Sam Adams of Portland, Oregon; Ralph Becker of Salt Lake City, Utah; Richard J. Berry of Albuquerque, New Mexico; Bob Foster of Long Beach, California; Ann Johnston of Stockton, California; and Jim Suttle of Omaha, Nebraska.

For more information on the Mayors’ Institute on City Design, visit the website at www.micd.org.

For more information on the Honokohau Village TOD, visit the website atp http://honokohauvillage.com/.

Kona CDP Wins Planning Award

From the Mayors Office:

Margaret Masunaga, left, Bobby Jean Leithead Todd, right, and Mayor Billy Keno

Margaret Masunaga, left, Bobby Jean Leithead Todd, right, and Mayor Billy Kenoi

The Kona Community Development Plan has won the 2009 Outstanding Planning Award from the American Planning Association’s Hawai’i Chapter.

The plan took three years to complete and was officially adopted last year as the district’s guideline for future development.

The award will be presented Thursday at a luncheon of the 2009 Hawai’i Congress of Planning Officials conference, which will be held September 23-25, 2009, at the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel.

“Receiving this recognition from the state’s professional planners is special to us,” says Mayor Billy Kenoi, “because it affirms the County of Hawai’i’s commitment to planning for the future in collaboration with our communities.

“Special mahalo to the Kona CDP Steering Committee, who reached out to over 800 residents for input on the long range plans of how they wanted 800 miles of land in Kona to look in the future,” the mayor said.  “Planning the entire area allowed keeping South Kona more rural with the coffee farms and agriculture, expansion in the area of North Kona in the area of the West Hawaii Civic Center, construction of the Ane Keohokalole Highway (Mid-Level Road), and Honokohau Village Transit-Oriented Development (TOD).”

Mandated by the Hawai’i County General Plan, the Kona CDP was initiated by the Planning Department in 2005 in order to create a regional plan for the specific areas of North and South Kona.  The community outreach was unprecedented and innovative.  The prime private contractor prepared the Kona CDP was Wilson Okamoto Corporation, which provided planning and engineering services.  ACP Planning and Visioning led the community participation process together with the Environmental Simulation Center supporting the community mapping workshops.  Also contributing were The Conservation Fund on “green infrastructure” and David Paul Rosen & Associates on affordable housing.

Deputy Planning Director Margaret Masunaga, a Captain Cook resident, said, “The Kona CDP Steering Committee, Nancy Pisicchio and Wilson Okamoto Corporation, planned an entire area in one cohesive way and see the ‘forest for the trees.’  It is my hope that we change with a vision that moves away from gated communities with only one way in and out of a subdivision.

“I envision Kona to be a place where local residents and newcomers live together in harmony, support each other as neighbors, where we interact and participate in our Kona community, embrace our diversity, preserve our Hawaiian culture and natural resources and enjoy the island way of life.  This is what Hawai’i is all about.”

The annual Hawai’i APA awards are given to recognize individuals, communities, and organizations whose work exemplifies the planning profession’s highest goals and ideals.  The awards program serves to raise public awareness of the benefits of good planning by showcasing significant contributions that planning practitioners, professionals, and community groups make to the State of Hawaii.

For more information, call Margaret Masunaga at 987-1046.

Mayor Kenoi Helps Kick Off National Training Workshops for Pacific Community Coalitions

Media Release:

On August 20 and 21 representatives from community coalitions on 4 Hawaiian Islands, Guam, Palau, American Samoa and Los Angeles gathered at the Waikoloa Beach Marriott for high-quality training by Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA).  The mission: to support the work these diverse groups are doing now, and to help them target strategic solutions for their community’s problems related to drug and alcohol abuse.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), provides the federal funding for Drug Free Coalitions, and works in conjunction with CADCA. Based in the Washington D.C. area, CADCA was formed in 1992. CADCA Institute provides training and technical assistance, public policy advocacy, media strategies and marketing programs, conferences and special events to community coalitions around the world.

Beth Mehau, Mayor Billy Kenoi and Hamakua Youth Center representative Lanakila Mangauil

Beth Mehau, Mayor Billy Kenoi and Hamakua Youth Center representative Lanakila Mangauil

About 50 people attended the training program, which included 2 days of workshops plus one-on-one mentoring sessions, and access to individual telephone conferencing for a year.  Mayor Billy Kenoi helped kick off the workshops, sponsored by the North Hawaii Drug-Free Coalition (NHDFC) and others.  Kenoi has been active in drug-free issues since 2000, when he served as Mayor Harry Kim’s Executive Assistant/Anti-drug Coordinator.

“It is nice to see CADCA and North Hawaii Drug-Free Coalition bringing technology and assistance to Hawaii Island … so we all can continue to work for drug-free communities,” said Kenoi.  “I am proud that on this Island, everyone in every geographic region is committed to cooperation and collaborative effort.”

“The more we put aside ego and competing ideologies the better we work together, the better we do at creating our goal, which is safe and healthy drug-free communities in Hawaii.  If our children are healthy and safe, families healthy and safe, certainly our community will be healthy and safe as well,” said Kenoi.

Event coordinator for NHDFC, Beth Mehau has been working for 5 years to bring the CADCA training here.  “Finally our island people are communicating with each other in a common language that will help identify common problems and be able to share resources while gaining compassion for the differences, allowing us to better understand how we may serve each other.”

According to Mehau, CADCA gifted all the training, while NHDFC and the Drug-Free Coalition on Oahu were able to find resources to assist with transportation.  “Waikoloa Beach Marriott has really been a partner in this,” she said. “SAHMSA allowed Drug Free Coalitions to revise their remaining federal budgets to help get people here—and a county grant from Healing Our Island helped with some of the expenses.”

Nine participants from American Samoa came to Hawaii for the training.  Underage drinking is a big issue, there as here, where social norms and family gatherings make access easier.  Aloha Nuusila, of the Saole Coalition said, “I am finding this very enlightening.  I am an instructor at the community college back home, and I know by the end of the meeting we will be doing a lot more when we go home.”

Joelle Aoki, Executive Director of Coalition for a Drug-Free Lanai, has been involved for almost 20 years.   “The Community wanted to form a grassroots organization to deal with the drug and alcohol problem,” she said.  The island experienced a significant increase in alcohol and drug abuse during the transition from agriculture to tourism.  One contributing factor, according to Aoki, is the lack of parental supervision as people move from plantation hours to resort hours.

“We need to increase ownership {of community problems},” says NHDFC’s Program Co-Coordinator Jan Sears.  “The three questions people can ask are: ‘How does it affect me, what am I going to have to do differently and how can I help in my own way?’  For NHDFC, we may be asking everybody to speak up.  Speak up if you see kids drinking or smoking.  Take on the community role of keeping an eye on the kids next door.”

Lanakila Mangauil, of the Hamakua Youth Center was one of the original members of NHDFC’s youth task force.  “He eats, sleeps and breathes community service,” said Mehau.  Mangauil, a graduate of Kanu O Ka ‘Āina started teaching hula and oli to younger students voluntarily while he was still in high school.

“I’m ‘opio,” he said.  “My birthright is to teach the generation below me and to keep learning from the one in front of me.”  After participating in a National Youth Culture Exchange program with Native American youth in Arizona, California and Hawaii, Mangauil was inspired to do more at home.  “Everybody is responsible for their own communities, he said, “especially our young men.”

“This inspiration is critical,” said Mehau.  “I ask myself ‘What causes people to have passion and desire for altruistic behavior in times like these?’ Right now more than ever we need this invigoration.”  Mehau and NHDFC would like to bring in CADCA’s technology track and youth track programs, to keep the momentum going and take our communities to the next level.

For more information or to help advance the causes of a safe, healthy and drug free Hawaii, please visit http://www.fivemountains.org/nhdfc.

The Mayors of Hawaii in Los Angeles

Mayors from the Hawaiian Islands with HVCB's John Monahan in LA to share aloha from Hawaii!

Mayors from the Hawaiian Islands with HVCB's John Monahan in LA to share aloha from Hawaii!

Picture from @Starwood Hawaii Hotels


From the Mayor’s Office:

Hawaii’s four county mayors will join state and county tourism officials next week for a special marketing campaign in Los Angeles to promote Hawaii as a wonderful visitor destination.

The special promotional campaign is entitled “Hawaii: A Thousand Reasons to Smile,” and was organized by the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau, its Island Chapters and the mayors. Events in Los Angeles will begin on September 1. Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann, Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi, Maui County Mayor Charmaine Tavares and Kauai County Mayor Bernard Carvalho are participating to demonstrate how important the industry is to our economy and its workforce.

“We are so grateful to the mayors for their support of Hawaii’s tourism industry,” said John Monahan, President and CEO of the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau. “This is the first time all the county mayors have participated together at an HVCB media launch event, and their presence will add enormous value toward the success of our promotional efforts.”

The campaign is designed to remind major media outlets and potential visitors that Hawaii is a beautiful and safe destination with a rich culture and fascinating history, and offers good value to travelers who have many other options.

“For the first time, all Hawaii’s mayors are working together to support a major visitor industry event,” Honolulu Mayor Hannemann said. “We all know how important the industry is to our economy, and we know that we are more effective leaders when we work together toward a common goal. Having participated in the debut of this campaign in San Francisco earlier this year with entertainer Willie K. and the HVCB, I know it is proving successful and beneficial for Hawaii.”

The mayors said they strongly agree that leaders must work together on this issue.

“It’s important to be active in promoting our main economic engine, tourism,” said Maui County Mayor Tavares. “This is a unique opportunity to help showcase our wonderful state and each of our beautiful islands. Having all four of Hawaii’s mayors in a united effort speaks volumes about how important tourism is to our economic recovery. As we capture the attention of vacationers and business travelers, we will help draw their interest to Hawaii.”

Hawaii County Mayor Kenoi said, “Hawaii has so much to offer as a visitor destination, and reductions in hotel room rates and air fares make this the ideal time to experience all that Hawaii has to offer. We will be reminding travelers that whether they want to experience the power of erupting Kilauea Volcano, relax on beautiful Waikiki Beach or experience Native Hawaiian culture and traditions, there is no better time than now to bring your friends and family to the Islands of Hawaii.”

Kauai County Mayor Carvalho said, “Every destination is competing for scarce visitor dollars. We absolutely must be out in the marketplace with a compelling and unique message.  The Mayors are more than happy to support this effort because it should translate into more jobs more revenues for our businesses.”

The campaign will highlight Hawaii’s culture, its myths and legends, culinary trends and entertainment, and will feature lunch and dinner kickoff events with travel industry media professionals, and intimate “talk story” sessions with Hawaii representatives.

County Events Celebrate 50th Anniversary of Statehood in Hilo and Kona

From the Mayor’s Office:

The County of Hawai‘i will celebrate Hawai‘i’s 50th anniversary of statehood with a special concert and celebration Friday, August 14, 2009, at Afook Chinen Civic Auditorium from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. A similar celebration will be held in Kona on August 23.

Special guests at the Hilo event will include former mayors of Hawai‘i County and dignitaries. The Makaha Sons will be the featured entertainers, and admission is free.

“We are looking forward with special anticipation to this celebration,” said Hawai‘i County Mayor Billy Kenoi. “Everyone on the program has helped make our county what it is today, and their contributions over the first half-century of statehood will help to move us through the next 50 years.

“We owe these people a tremendous debt of gratitude, and on this special anniversary we wish to honor them with an expression of our thanks for their significant community service.”

Also on the Hilo program are Halau O Ke ‘Ānuenue, Big Island Portuguese Cultural Club, Hui Okinawa Taiko KoBuDo, Marie Onomura, Hawai‘i County Band, Hui Okinawa Shishimai, El-Leo The Jarican Express, Pam Ahuna, Waiākea High School NJROTC and Big Island Filipino Community Council.

In addition, 10 time capsules will be buried at locations around the Island of Hawai‘i with items that represent what life is like today for those who will open the capsules upon the 75th anniversary of statehood. The time capsules were provided by the Hawai‘i 50th Anniversary of Statehood Commission.

Suggestions for items to place inside the time capsules include a copy of the local newspaper, submissions from local schools, a proclamation from the mayor, or even a can of Spam.

“These time capsules are a way for us to reach out and touch future residents of our state, and share with them the Hawai‘i of 2009,” said Kippen de Alba Chu, chair of the 50th Anniversary of Statehood Commission.

A second county celebration of the statehood anniversary will be held in Kona in conjunction with Kokua Kailua on Kona’s Ali’i Drive. That event will be from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday, August 23, with entertainment by Na Lei o Kaholoku and Makaha Sons, and a welcome message by Mayor Kenoi.

Ali`i Drive will be open to pedestrians only to allow visitors and residents to enjoy the restaurants, music, merchants and artists. Co-sponsors are the County of Hawai‘i, Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce, Destination Kona Coast, Hulihe`e Palace, Kailua Village Business Improvement District, Kailua Village Merchants Association and Pacific Radio Group.

Funding for the event is being provided by the state through the 50th Anniversary of Statehood Commission.

Is Mayor Kenoi in Hot Water Over The Internet Scandal?

I’ve been mentioning on a lot of different blogs about some of the ramifications that this Internet Scandal that Councilman Yagong has pretty much triggered.

I believe Mayor Kenoi himself may be in a bit of hot water.

Aaron Stene follows the Hawaii Free Press and brought my attention to the following article about his domain that he used for his political race this year against Angel Pilago.

His Domain clearly states that it’s registered under a county email address as well as the mailing address for the Hawaii County Building:

Registered through: GoDaddy.com, Inc. (http://www.godaddy.com)
Created on: 16-Apr-07
Expires on: 16-Apr-09
Last Updated on: 16-Apr-08

Technical Contact:
Kenoi, William wkenoi@co.hawaii.hi.us
25 Aupuni St.

Hilo, Hawaii 96720
United States
(808) 961-8211

About 3 – 4 months later, County of Hawaii Office of the Corporation Counsel sent this memo to ALL COUNTY EMPLOYEES VIA EMAIL and it clearly states:

1 Candidate walk-throughs on County premises are strictly prohibited
2 County email accounts must not be used for campaign purposes
3 The distribution of campaign literature on County premises is strictly prohibited
4 The sale or distribution of fundraiser or other tickets even
complimentary ones on County premises is strictly prohibited

So do you think Mr. Kenoi will punish himself?  Is it also considered distribution from a county building if he registered the building as well?

Hawai’i County Mayor Billy Kenoi has acknowledged that his office is investigating “very serious” and possibly illegal abuse of Internet access on county computers.

Kenoi said the investigation goes back to January 2008 and includes the potentially illegal use of county computers for political activity, as well as other serious abuses.

From what I can tell… Last Updated April 16, 2008 would fall under that time period.

Mayor Kenoi Interview at Hat’s Off for American Red Cross Event

DJ Josh Pacheco (@joshontheradio)  interviews Mayor Kenoi at Hat’s Off for American Red Cross event