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Councilman Ilagan to Introduce Bill 185 – Certified Organic Bill

On Tuesday, February 4, Councilman Ilagan will be introducing Bill 185, which further defines agricultural tax incentives to include an organic produce provision. This bill will be heard in the Finance Committee scheduled to begin at 3:45 p.m.

Click to read the proposed bill

Click to read the proposed bill

Encouraging the growing certified organic industry is a positive step forward in helping Hawaii County move towards the goal of food self-sufficiency. In conjunction with conventional farming operations, we need to explore and promote all means possible for reducing the amount of food and agricultural products imported into the state.

Bill 185 is a step along this path. Supporting local agricultural activity is not only an economic benefit but can also significantly reduce the threat of importing pests, and lower the possibility of introducing diseases that can threaten native plants and locally produced foods. A thriving agricultural industry is an important part of our island lifestyle, and helping farmers from different agriculture fields will bring us closer to realizing food self-sufficiency on the Big Island.

Highlights of Bill 185:

  1. Certified organic farmers are assessed at the same value as pasture and slow rotation forestry, which is the lowest assessed value per acre for agricultural use.
  2. A certified organic tax relief is based on more intensive agricultural use with limited County agency oversight due to third party enforcement and site inspections.
  3. A tax incentive for certified organic operations will help to enable new farmers to start, and established small farms to continue farming.
  4. Annual recertification process for certified organic operations encourages farmers to continue farming land for intensive agriculture use.
  5. Tax breaks will lessen the burden of certification costs which ranges from a few hundred to several thousand dollars, and relatively high production costs due to the increased labor requirements.
  6. Approximately 200 growers are certified organic farmers in Hawai’i, and the median size is 5 acres on the Big Island, according to the 2007 Agriculture Census.
  7. Encourages the establishment of high value niche market products.

For more information call (808) 961-8825, or visit http://puna4.com

Hawaii County Council District 4 Office Moving – New Office Will Now Be in District 4

The Hawaii County Council District 4 office that has been located in the Pahoa Shopping Center for the last four years is moving to the old Pahoa Police Station.

Since the County of Hawaii already owned the old Pahoa Police Station it makes sense for the county to quit paying rent on a place at the shopping center and move into a vacant building  that is actually in District 4 instead of District 5.

County workers move furniture from the old office

County workers move furniture from the old office

A note on Councilman Ilagans door read “If you are in need of assistance during the week of August 26th, please contact the Hilo County Council Office at (808) 961-8255.  Please Leave us a message at this number until our temporary office is set up at the Hilo County Building. Mahalo”.

District 4 Office Closure Note

Back in 2010 I asked if anyone knew what would be happening with the old police station… Now I guess we know!

New District 4 Office

New District 4 Office

Located at 15-2879 Old Government Road (Main Street Pahoa) the new office has lots of parking available.

A sneak peak inside the office

A sneak peak inside the office

The county workers that were on hand moving furniture into the office did not know when the councilman would physically move into the new office, however, they mentioned I could call his office and ask them… but I’m not too worried about it.

Councilman Ilagan’s Statement About Yesterday’s Puna Geothermal Venture Steam Release

At approximately 4 p.m. on March 13, Puna Geothermal Venture (PGV), tripped off line and experienced a steam release. The steam was released through the plant’s Emergency Steam Release System, which abates hydrogen sulfide emissions.


Council Member Greggor Ilagan of District 4, went directly from Hilo’s County Council Meeting to the PGV site in Puna Wednesday afternoon. Council Member Ilagan discussed the plant’s steam release with staff of PGV, which included Operation Manager, William E. Wiebe, and Plant Manager Cliff Townsend.

“Everyone worked together quickly and effectively. PGV’s safety mechanisms were put into action immediately, the public was notified, and the appropriate authorities took action. I feel it’s better to be overly cautious than unprepared” said Council Member Ilagan.

PGV staff monitored the facility and surrounding area throughout the late afternoon and into the evening. The Fire Department’s personnel also assisted in these efforts. “Everything went well…precautionary procedures were implemented early on. The community did a great job. Those that were concerned chose to leave and seek information,” said Darryl Oliveira, Director of Civil Defense.

The Pahoa Community Center, with direction from the Department of Parks and Recreation, opened their doors for those who preferred to remain outside of the area. According to Ken Nagasawa, Director of the Pahoa Community Center, “just one” couple arrived in the evening after the center had been notified to “stand down,” at approximately 6:45 p.m.

The Hawaiian Electric Light Company (HELCO), released a statement at 6:45 p.m. on March 13, which explained that power to 20,095 customers in the Waikoloa, Waika, Kailua, Kaloko, Captain Cook, Kuakini, Waiakea Uka and lower Puna, which included the PGV plant, was interrupted when HELCO’s transmission line tripped open. The PGV plant tripped off line following HELCO’s power interruption. HELCO continues to investigate the exact cause of the event.

“I’d like to thank Civil Defense, Fire Department, Department of Parks and Recreation, and staff of the Pahoa Community Center for their swift execution of contingency plans.” Council Member Ilagan continued, “To the residents of Puna and Hawai’i County, thank you for maintaining calm with Aloha, during this event.”


The 2012 County of Hawaii Executive & Legislative Inaugural Ceremonies

Today the 2012 County of Hawaii Executive & Legislative Inaugural Ceremonies was held at the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium in Hilo, Hawaii.

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Six new County Council Members and three returning Council Members were sworn into office today.

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The invocation and was done by Pastor Sheldon Lacsina and the Administration of Oaths by The Honorable Judge Greg Nakamura.

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Mayor Kenoi was sworn in to office and gave a speech where he thanked everyone for getting him to where he’s.

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Mitch Roth was then sworn in as Prosecuting Attorney and wished that his mother could be there to see his dream come true but unfortunately she is having medical problems and is on the mainland.

2012 Hawaii County Inauguration 052The Kamehameha Schools Concert Glee was on hand to do a musical rendering.

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Here is a quick look at our new Hawaii County Council:

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District I – Valerie T. Poindexter

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District II – J Yoshimoto

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District III – Dennis “Fresh” Onishi

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District IV – Greggor Ilagan

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District V – Zendo Kern

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District VI – Brenda Ford

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District VII – Dru Mamo Kanuha

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District VIII – Karen Eoff

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District IX – Margaret Wille

County Council Candidate Greggor Ilagan’s Campaign Begins

Greggor Ilagan’s campaign kickoff Sunday (June 17) was a big success. Several hundred people came to the event throughout the afternoon, enjoying free food and great entertainment. The event marked Ilagan’s 26th birthday and included a salute to Fathers for Father’s Day. “We had a great turn-out” Ilagan said, “We invited everyone and hoped for the best.”

Ilagan is running for the 4th District Council seat. His goal is to make the County more responsive to Puna’s needs, as well as to recognize and encourage the potential within our island community.

Entertainment ranged from a magician and singers to various Hulas and Filipino cultural dances. With a full cross cultural buffet line one guest remarked “It’s like an international festival. You wouldn’t see this anywhere else”.

The Kick Off was held at the HPP activity center and was open to all.

Commentary: Council Candidate Ilagan – “The Big Picture”

Greggor Ilagan – “The Big Picture”

In unity there is strength, and in unity there are also solutions. That is why as your council member an important action I plan to take is to start bringing people together. Each private subdivision has its challenges. I am open to listen to each one of them. That is the first step to seeing the big picture, as well as finding all the pieces.

I will set up regular meetings to invite subdivision members to share concerns and solutions. The meetings should accomplish a number of things. The boards will be aware of each other’s concerns and the solutions they have come up with. Other benefits could include combined purchasing power to lower cost and shared experienced with the quality of service providers.

Being part of a cohesive community not only increases the effectiveness in operations but also improves the quality of life for everyone involved. To focus on the big picture, as your council member I will not only be your representative in the county government but also an active advocate at the state and national level.

Greggor Ilagan

Hawaii Energy Workshop at Maku’u Farmers Market

Rising energy costs are a burden on most families in Puna. Learning how to budget, as well as, ways to save on electricity usage can keep more money in people’s pocket. To some the hardest part is where to start.

County Council 4 Candidate, Greggor Ilagan, is happy to announce that Maku`u Farmers Market is facilitating a free workshop on Mar 27, 2012 from 5:30pm to 7:30pm instructed by Helen Wai from Hawaii Energy.

Hawaii Energy is the state energy conservation and efficiency program implemented to help reduce Hawaii’s dependence on foreign oil. The workshop provides a hands-on approach to teach families how to budget and save money on their energy bill. In addition, a free advance power strip is given to each household that attend while supplies last.

These classes in Puna are being coordinated by Greggor Ilagan of HPP.

Future workshops at Sure Foundation Church and Solid Rock ministries are being scheduled.