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The Pahoa Senior Center Opens

The long awaited opening of the Pahoa Senior Center became a reality today as close to two hundred community members came together to help launch the opening of the center today.

Mayor Kenoi and Fred Blas as well as many other current and former politicians were on hand today.

The location of the new center is next to the Pahoa Community Center at the old Pahoa Fire Station that has been remodeled by many folks that volunteered their time and money to get this to become a reality.

Folks got to tour the facility and everyone was impressed with what had been accomplished.

Mayor Kenoi told me that he was willing to work with Oceanic Cable to help get internet services provided to the center… as Oceanic has been looking at projects such as this to possibly help out with.

It was great to see so many folks come out in support… especially 106 year old Pahoa resident Saramae Landers.

The center even has a small kitchen!

I sure hope that the facility is taken care of… it is something that this community has needed for a long time… and yes… Elvis was in the house.

Mayor Billy Kenoi and Puna Councilman Fred Blas welcomed more than 200 people, many of them area seniors. The Senior Center, in the heart of Pāhoa, is the former Pāhoa Fire Station which Hawai‘i Carpenters Union apprentices and County personnel transformed into a community gathering place. The station was vacated when Pāhoa’s firefighters moved to a new $5.3 million fire station in 2009.

The convenient location in the center of town will be used to provide a variety of classes and programs offered by the Department of Parks and Recreation’s Elderly Activities Division, including Senior ID, Senior Employment, and the RSVP volunteer program.

It’s the most beautiful facility of its kind on the island, Councilman Blas told the audience members.

“Our seniors can play, can work and can enjoy our center,” he said, adding Mayor Kenoi’s can-do attitude is responsible for completing the renovation project that frees up the Pāhoa Community Center for keiki Summer Fun Programs and other activities.

Mayor Kenoi said he’s proud of the County’s senior programs and the hard working employees who make them and projects like the Pāhoa Senior Center possible.

“Our senior programs in every community – Ka‘ū, Kohala, Kona, Hilo, Waimea, Puna – are fantastic programs because of fantastic people. It makes you really proud,” Mayor Kenoi said.

“All of this that we’re here today to celebrate is because of the wonderful people, both in the County and in the community, all working together. When people put aside differences and we work together to take care of our kūpuna, it’s a good thing,” Mayor Kenoi said, noting he’s proud to be from Puna.

He credited Councilman Blas, along with former Councilwoman Emily Nae‘ole and former Councilman Gary Safarik, for having helped deliver the improved services to Puna’s seniors.

Noting it was a day to give, Mayor Kenoi said work has started to develop a $5.5 million, 56-acre Pāhoa Regional Park that will be the “nicest on the island.”

Among those publically recognized was Puna’s own living legend – and the most senior member of the Pāhoa Senior Club – Saramae Landers, 106 years young.

Father Joey Ranjo of Sacred Heart Church delivered the blessing, while Dan Nicks aka “Elvis Presley,” Puna Men’s Chorus, Ernie Cruz, Alu Like Senior Group and the Pāhoa Senior Ukulele Class under the direction of Nohealani Sarong entertained the crowd.

The No. 1 Chinese BBQ, L&L Drive-Inn, Luquins Mexican Restaurant, Bryson’s Cinders, Paul’s Repair Service and Gas Station, Pāhoa Cash & Carry Store, Sanford’s Service Center Inc., Madie Greene, and Councilman Blas all donated food for the event. Stanley Oishi from Big Rock Anthurium furnished flowers, while Nā Kāne volunteers helped with the event.

For more information, please contact Jason Armstrong, Public Information Officer, at 345-9105, or jarmstrong@co.hi.hawaii.us.

Public Invited to Dedication of New Pahoa Senior Center

Puna’s kupuna will have a new gathering place starting June 18, when Mayor Billy Kenoi, Puna Councilman Fred Blas and other dignitaries welcome them into the Pāhoa Senior Center.

The public is invited to Monday’s 10 a.m. dedication ceremony that will feature a formal blessing by
Father Joey Ranjo of Sacred Heart Church, live entertainment and food donated by area businesses.

Volunteer apprentices from the Hawai‘i Carpenters Union teamed with Department of Parks and Recreation carpenters, plumbers and electricians to convert the former Pāhoa Fire Station into a convenient location in the center of Pāhoa.

Seniors, who have been using the adjacent Pāhoa Community Center, now can go to the new facility to enroll in weekday classes ranging from foreign language to dancing, sign up for the nutrition program and obtain picture identifications. Booths showcasing Senior ID, Senior Employment, RSVP and various other services will be assembled for public benefit during Monday’s dedication ceremony.

“It’s an honor and privilege to present this new facility to our cherished kupuna,” Mayor Kenoi said.
“Mahalo to the Hawai‘i Carpenters Union apprentices and Department of Parks and Recreation maintenance staff for working together to complete this project, along with the many Pāhoa businesses, groups and volunteers who have made generous donations for the dedication ceremony.”

The No. 1 Chinese BBQ, L&L Drive-Inn, Luquins Mexican Restaurant, Bryson’s Cinders, Paul’s Repair Service and Gas Station, Pāhoa Cash & Carry Store, Sanford’s Service Center Inc., Madie Greene, and Councilman Blas all donated food for the event. Also, Dan Nicks AKA “Elvis Presley,” the Puna Men’s Chorus, Ernie Cruz, the Alu Like Senior Group, and the Pāhoa Senior Center ukulele class instructed by Nohealani Sarong will entertain the attendees. Stanley Oishi from Big Rock Anthurium is providing flowers, while na kane volunteers are helping with the event.

For more information, please contact Jason Armstrong, Public Information Officer, at 345-9105, or jarmstrong@co.hi.hawaii.us.

Dog Whisperer Carl Oggus to Speak About Dangerous and Vicious Dogs in Pahoa

Councilmember Fred Blas is hosting a public meeting on Wednesday, April 25, 2012 to discuss “Dangerous and Vicious Dogs” at Pahoa Community Center from 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm.

Speaker: Carl Oguss Dog Psychology (the Pahoa Dog Whisperer recently featured in the Wall Street Journal)

Click to read the Wall Street Journal Article on Mr. Oguss

Public testimony will be taken with a three minute limit per individual

Pahoa Community Comes Out in Support of New Community Park

Tuesday night at the Pahoa Community Center, Councilman Fred Blas and members of the Hawaii County Parks Department discussed plans for the proposed 56 Acre Community Park that will be located in Pahoa.

The Pahoa Community Center was packed with community members

Parks official talked about the plans for the 56 acre park that included three multi-use covered tennis courts.

Park officials show the blueprint to the multi-use tennis courts

Folks talked about how the parks gave their children opportunity to expand and how the Pahoa community badly needed the facility.  In this video, community leader Aunty Maave talks about how much this is needed.

[youtube=http://youtu.be/lHUz2BJ9oaA]

I asked County Council Candidate James Weatherford what he thought of the proposal and he said:

Pahoa and the surrounding Puna communities need recreation facilities that offer well-rounded opportunities —  indoor and outdoor activities, sports and arts, for families young and old and in between.

The proposed indoor playcourts and athletic field fulfill part of that need.

The perimeter trail, the arts and cultural center, and the keiki play area identified as community priorities are also part of that need and must be funded sooner rather than later.

Community members listen to the presentation and testimony

It seemed as though all of the speakers were very much in support of the park, although one resident discussed the concerns that there was no plans for restrooms which brought a silence to the crowd.

Community member Rene Siracusa spoke up in favor of the park

Hundreds Attend Mountain View Gym Grand Re-Opening

Hundreds attended the grand re-opening of the Mt.View Gym on the Big Island. The Mt. View Gym has been closed due to hazardous lead paint.

Mayor Kenoi at Mt. View Gymnasium opening

Mayor Kenoi at Mt. View Gymnasium opening

It was a collaborative effort from Hawaii County’s Mayor’s office, Parks and Recreation, Hawaii County Council, Community organizations and community volunteers that helped to make this day possible.

[youtube=http://youtu.be/CeheQqr4w30]

The Mt. View Gym has been a center of activities since it’s opening in 1938. Long time resident of Mt. View, Mr. Elpidio Calip, shared his memories of honing his basketball skills in the 1960’s. The gym was closed in May, 2009.

Fred Blas on Winning the Hawaii County Council District 5 Race

Fred Blas talks about last nights election victory in the Hawaii County Council District 5 Race:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b6L_GfFCuRA]

Hawaiian Beaches Action Team in Action

Fred Blas and the Hawaiian Beaches Action Team were in Pahoa today

I drove through Pahoa about 6:30 am and I happened to notice that the Hawaiian Beaches Action Team was out picking up trash, weed whacking bushes and just in general working to help clean up the town.

Mahalo to Fred Blas and the Hawaiian Beaches Action Team for volunteering their time to work outside of their own district.

Fred Blas Enters the Race for State House District 4

Fred Blas sent me the following:

“I have made a decision to run for State House of Representatives Dtst 4. Our district needs a change. Thank you very much.”

Fred Blas – “Puna Panthers Undefeated… Next Home Game This Wednesday May 5th”

I just got an update on the Puna Panthers Pop Warner football program:

Our Puna Panthers ages 10-13, won their 4th game in a row, beating Waiakea at Hilo Bay Front last Sunday.They are now 4-0. Congratulations to the team (since most of these players have never played football before). Let’s support our Pahoa High School Volleyball Team–they are playing their first playoff game this Wed, May 5th, 6pm at Pahoa High School. Go Daggers.

Fred Blas,
Hawaiian Beaches Action Team

Blas Keeps Building Bus Stops for a Better Community

Hat tip to Jon over at Punaonline,

I noticed that Fred Blas and his Hawaiian Beach Action Team has installed another bus stop for the keiki.

They are doing this without help from the county and it’s a great service to the community:

anotherbusstop1

I know this is the second one they have built for sure, but I think they have built at least three in the last few months.  I’m sure someone will correct me if I’m wrong.

Here is another picture of one that they fixed-up a few weeks ago courtesy of Punaonline:

blasstop

Hawaiian Beaches Action Team Working Hard for the Community

The Hawaiian Beaches Action Team has been doing quite a bit for the Puna community of late with little or NO press at all.

pcmc-0862

I’m not real familiar with this great crew of people but I do believe it’s steer headed by former House Candidate Fred Blas.

blas

This past weekend, the team held the very successful Ohana Fun day at Kurtistown Park.  They even gave away child booster seats at the event!
ohanaday1

Other recent actions by the Hawaiian Beaches Action Team are building this bus stop for the keiki to be protected by the rain when waiting for the buses off of Kahakai.

busstop

I think most of us all remember the old Pahoa Town Sign that was in front of the church off the main drag through town that kept getting the “P” ripped off so the sign would constantly say “ahoa”.

Well the action team has even stepped up to the plate and recently worked on upkeep of the beautiful new signs that Pahoa has now.

pahoasign

I’d just like to say Mahalo to Fred Blas and the Hawaiian Beaches Action Team for not only making a difference in Hawaiian Beaches… but for Puna in general.

Hat tip to a Texan in Hawaii.