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Senator Hirono Attends Dedication of Daniel K. Inouye Highway New Phase Completion

Senator Mazie K. Hirono yesterday dedicated a new phase of the Daniel K. Inouye Highway, formerly known as Saddle Road.

Mayor Harry Kim and Senator Mazie Hirono at the Saddle Road dedication.

Yesterday’s ceremony marked the completion of the Saddle Road Improvement Project. Construction on the Daniel K. Inouye Highway began in 2004, and the project’s completion creates the shortest route between East and West Hawaii Island.  (*Editors Note… the project will be extended all the way down to the Queen Kaahumanu Highway)

“This project has been in the making for decades, and it’s only through coordination between federal, state, and local governments, and the Hawaii Island community that we were able to complete the Daniel K. Inouye Highway,” said Senator Hirono. “Saddle Road was one of the most dangerous roads in the state, but now we have a roadway that will reduce accidents, save lives, and fulfill Senator Inouye’s vision to connect East and West Hawaii.”

Harry Kim Wins Hawaii County Mayoral Race

Harry Kim wins Hawaii County Mayoral Race.

With 42 of 43 precincts reporting… the math makes it impossible for Wally Lau to come back.

Harry Kim New MayorUPDATE:
The last precinct has reported and it is officially now official:

Kim official

Commentary – Former Mayor Harry Kim on House Bill 106

I have just been informed that HB106, calling for the repeal of Act 97, will not be scheduled for a hearing in the Senate. The bill will die if it is not scheduled for hearing by Monday, March 18. If that happens, then Act 97 will govern the development of the geothermal industry in this state.

HB 106

It is so very difficult to understand or accept that despite all of the support and testimony for HB106 for the repeal of Act 97 by people of Maui, Hawaii Island, Kauai and Oahu, which includes the County governments of Maui and Hawaii Island, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Sierra Club, Hawaii’s Thousand Friends, and many others, HB106 may not be given even an opportunity to be heard by the Senate.

It has not been an easy task to convince people that this was not about a position for or against the development of the geothermal industry. This was about doing it right, with the concerns of the people and the environment being addressed.

What does Act 97 do?

  • Allows geothermal exploration and development in all state land use categories: conservation, urban, rural, and agricultural (including ceded lands).
  • Eliminates entirely the County government’s approval and review process over geothermal development. With this goes the entire permit process and people’s opportunity for meaningful input.
  • Allows geothermal power plants to be built anywhere in urban, agricultural and rural districts without a County land use permit or public hearing because it is a right by law of Act 97.
  • Allows geothermal exploratory and development drilling in all state land use categories of conservation, urban, rural, and agricultural land with only a BLNR permit.
  • Reinforces the elimination of the people’s right to a contested case hearing.
  • States that geothermal exploration and development are permissible in all conservation, agricultural, urban and rural zones; i.e. anywhere in the state.

It is noted that the sponsors of Act 97 originally attempted to exempt exploratory geothermal wells from Ch. 343, the state EIS/EA laws. Due to opposition, they sought an exemption from EIS/EA requirements from the Office of Environmental Quality Control in May 2012, but fortunately, this effort failed. Imagine what it would be today if this had passed. Imagine the only notification that the public would have of geothermal drilling would be waking up in the morning and seeing the drilling rig! It is of concern that the supporters of Act 97 may try again.

I consider Act 97 a huge threat to Hawaii’s people and its environment. I believe that Act 97 shows a blatant disregard for the community, the environment, local units of government, and the County and State laws of zoning and land use.

It is difficult to understand or accept that sweeping land use changes were made without any care or mention of people, of land, or of lifestyle. I ask for understanding that the sadness expressed here is not just about the development of the geothermal industry. This is about the relationship between the people and their government. This is about a hope for a government that is an extension of the people, and not for special interests or financial gain. It is asked that you become aware that if Act 97 is not repealed, it will open the way to an open door policy for the development of the geothermal industry including “enhanced geothermal systems (EGS)” or “fracking,” which is now being explored by the State of Hawaii. As stated, this is not about being for or against geothermal, this is about doing it right, with the greatest care of impact on environment and people.

At this time, efforts are being made to see how we can ensure that a hearing will be scheduled on HB106 in spite of efforts to kill the bill. It is probable, due to the lateness of this writing, that the deadline of March 18 will have passed. If you are reading this before the deadline of March 18, I ask that you contact the following Senators and ask that HB106 be scheduled for hearing: Senator Malama Solomon, Chair of the Committee on Water and Land (808-586-7335); Senator Mike Gabbard, Chair of the Committee on Energy and Environment (808-586-6830), and Senator Will Espero, Chair of the Committee on Public Safety, Intergovernmental and Military Affairs (808-586-6360).

HB106, that calls for the repeal of Act 97, needs your help. This Act is a blatant disrespect of people, local units of government, of lifestyle, and impact on environment. It is hoped that our government will be of fairness and do what is right by law and a sense of what is right.

Harry Kim


Harry Kim Says “Mahalo Nui Loa” to His Facebook Friends and Posts to YouTube

Harry Kim just posted the following on Facebook:


Aloha all, thank you for your kind messages of support, and I am sorry to be back on Facebook so late in the day, but it has been very busy.

I had a late lunch today with family and a nephew and his wife who came from San Diego just to be here with me and participate in one day of sign waving. Words cannot express the kind of feelings that you have because people do this for you. My nephew’s mother (my sister) revealed to me that a her son, who is in his 40s, said he could not sleep last night because of his concern for me.

I want you all to know that I cannot remember feeling within myself such deep sadness as felt last night and through most of this day. In trying to understand why I feel this way, I truly believe it is because of the great disappointment within myself that in failing to win, I have caused so much deep sadness to those who worked so hard and gave of their time, their resources, and above all, love and hope for a good result.

I wish-I so very much wish-I could take away everyone’s disappointment and sadness. I am also going to post a message I just sent to friends who have been helping, and it conveys some of the things I am feeling.
If all these words seem like rambling, it is because I don’t know how to express truly what I feel. Thank you for your kindness and support the past few months, and thank you for letting me love you.

Much aloha,

And he just posted this on YouTube:

Here is the message mentioned in the “Mahalo Nui Loa” post below:

I am about to prepare a brief video and written message for Facebook. I don’t know what I’m going to say, but I do know what I feel and what I’m trying to say.

I had a talk with my family this morning, and because of their sadness, like me and you, the following was said:

I told family to understand what I truly feel at this time. A real sadness, not for me, but a hurt deep inside for all those who worked so hard because of their belief in what was right. I do know I lost an election, but I do know I won everything else. I won so many new friends, I was given so much love and warmth from people and campaign workers. I have gained so much, and none of us lost any of the highest values of integrity, of trust, of goodness towards each other. Others may have won an election but at times I do wonder what have they lost. Like some of you, I am also very saddened that we place values on materialism, power, money and other fleeting things rather than the most important, which is goodness to each other and the care of each other and the place we call home.

I wish I could take away everyone’s disappointment and sadness. I wish I could hold every one of you until sadness ebbs away and is replaced with just the sheer joy that you have given me. We will keep trying in our ways to make this a better place.

I had a call this morning from a very dear old Hawaiian friend named Robert Keliihoomalu, and he said with feelings and words that express what I want to say. Mahalo Nui Loa for being a friend and I love you all.

Much aloha,


Harry Kim on Last Week’s Tsunami Warning: Escape Routes in Puna “…I am satisfied with what is there”

Harry Kim just posted the following on his facebook page following his silence about the the whole situation:


To those who have asked for comments on the last tsunami incident: I have not said anything, and will not comment because I believe that would be inappropriate and non-productive for me to say anything at this time. Any comments would be based on what has appeared in the media, not knowing the specifics of the situation, and would be just Monday night quarterbacking. I do hope that the authorities from the state to the county will review the entire event. I hope you understand that any comment by me would not in any way be productive in the only important mission at this time, and that is to make things better.

To Bill Daly – On your specific question on escape routes in lower Puna during tsunami incidents, I am satisfied with what is there. The major issue for residents is to be very familiar with their routes, and even practice evacuation. The available routes to safety are a short distance in all areas of Puna, and what is important that the residents be familiar with what is closest to them.

Aloha, Harry

Videos From Monday’s Mayoral and Prosecuting Attorney Debates

On Monday evening at Kealakehe High School, debates were held between Mayor Kenoi and Candidate Harry Kim for the Hawaii County Mayor’s race.

Part I:


Part II:


The candidates for Hawaii County Prosecutor also debated on Monday:


Video’s from the KLEI youtube channel.

I’m still running the following polls:

TONIGHT – Mayoral and County Prosecutor Debates on the Radio

Mayor Candidates and County Prosecutor Candidates will debate tonight from 6 p.m. til 8:15 p.m. at the  Kealakehe High School Cafeteria and will be broadcast live on the radio at LAVA 105.3 fm. 

Candidates for Mayor,  Mayor Billy Kenoi and former Mayor Harry Kim, and Candidates for Prosecutor, Lincoln Ashida and Mitch Roth have agreed to attend.

Food sales by Kealakehe High Principal Wil Murakami and School Community Council at 5:15 p.m. featuring Chinese Chicken Salad and homemade cookies.

The moderator for tonight’s debates is Sherry Bracken.

Here are a couple polls that I’m running in these races:

Where the Votes Came From in Key Big Island Races – You Draw Your Own Conclusion

Jared Kuroiwa pointed me to a couple graphs and links that showed where the votes came in from on some of the key races.

In the Big Island Mayoral race… this is what the graph looked like:

For more details on this map see here: http://brchawaii.com/map.php/?r=1&contest=139&type=race&width=1708&Height=960

Senate District 2:

For more details on this graph see here:  http://brchawaii.com/map.php/?r=1&contest=11&type=race&width=1708&Height=960

And the map that Loraine Inouye may find interesting in that she is contesting the results is the following graph:

More details on this map here: http://brchawaii.com/map.php/?r=1&contest=16&type=race&width=1708&Height=960

Now if you compare the above maps with the actual voter turnout in certain precincts… Well I will let you draw your own conclusions:

To really see this graph in details (some of the precincts don’t show because the map is not zoomed in enough) click here: http://brchawaii.com/map.php/?r=1&contest=139&type=&width=1708&Height=960

Mayoral Candidate Harry Kim Getting Into Social Media

Well you know times are changing when former Mayor Harry Kim is using social media as a campaign tool as he runs for mayor again.

A few days ago he “friended” me on Facebook through his Facebook page: Harry Kim

And today I noticed that on July 9th he set up a Youtube Channel: Harry Kim

Candidate’s Forum Tonight at Aunty Sally’s Luau Hale

Candidate’s forum tonight, Tuesday July 10th at Aunty Sally’s Luau Hale from 5-9pm. We will have voter registration info, info tables from many different organizations, and light refreshments will be served.

At least 26 candidates have agreed to attend so far, including Wendell Ka’ehu’ae’a, Russell Ruderman, Bob Marx, John Carroll, Lorraine Rodero Inouye, Brittany Smart, Denny Coffman, Harry Kim, Dominic Yagong, Lincoln Ashida, Paul Dolan, Ken Goodenow, James Weatherford, Zendo Kern, Karen Eoff, Chelsea Yagong, and many MORE! Candidates will be making short speeches and will be available for informal talk story sessions. A town hall forum will begin at 7:30. Please bring your questions and a friend! Check this web site for more info http://7wiseideas.org/

Sponsored by Occupy Hilo, Pele Defense Fund, Puna Pono Alliance, Ohana Ho’opakele, Malu Aina, Aloha Uprising, Na Kupuna Moku o Keawe, Heiau o Lono, Na Koa Lohe o Ke Akua, and MKrug

Mayoral Candidates on Radio and Online Shows

Three of the six Hawaii County mayoral candidates will be guests for one-on-one interviews on the Sunday morning radio and online show, Island Issues, with host Sherry Bracken.

The interviews are all on Sunday mornings, at 6:30 a.m. on KKOA 107.7 fm and online, www.koacountry.com, and at 8 a.m. on LAVA 105.3 fm and online, www.lava1053.com.  The interviews are then posted to the news web site, www.bigislandnewscenter.com, they’re posted down on the right along with the most recent Island Issues programs for online listening or downloading.

County Council Chair Dominic Yagong:  Sunday, June 17
Mayor Billy Kenoi:  Sunday, June 24
Former Mayor Harry Kim:  Sunday, July 15

In addition, the Mayor candidates will be at at least three forums around the island.

Thursday evening, July 5, Sangha Hall, 6 p.m.  This is a moderated forum sponsored by Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce, Japanese Chamber of Commerce, Hawaii Contractors Association, Kanoelehua Industrial Area Association, and Hawaii Island Board of Realtors.  Admission by ticket only, call Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce.

Monday evening, July 9, Kealakehe High Cafeteria, 6 p.m.  This is a moderated forum sponsored by Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce, Kohala Coast Resort Association, West Hawaii Today, Kealakehe High, and others. County Prosecutor candidates will be part of forum too.  Free admission, no tickets needed, food sales in advance at 5:15 by Kealakehe High Parent Teacher Organization.

Thursday evening, July 12, Waimea Middle School Cafeteria, 5:15.  Each candidate will get opening remarks and then it will be a “speed dating” format where candidates go from table to table.  Also County Prosecutor, State House, State Senate.  Sponsored by Waimea Community Association and 11 other organizations. Free admission, public is invited.  Snacks available.

Former Blogger Aaron Stene Blasts Mayoral Candidate Harry Kim

Former Kona blogger Aaron Stene sent me the following commentary on his thoughts regarding Harry Kim entering the Mayoral race:

Harry Kim’s last minute entrance into the 2012 Hawaii County Mayor race was very disappointing. I wasn’t impressed by his eight year tenure as Mayor from 2000 until 2008. He dramatically increased the size of county government during this time. The county budget doubled over eight years. In addition, 442 additional employees were added.

Mr. Kim’s administration also tried execute poorly vetted proposals and directives. The Department of Public Works’s public information officer attempted to enforce a directive, which would’ve blackballed me and two other people from directly communicating with public works employees. I regularly e-mailed the Department of Public Works, so I  could  keep tabs on  roadway projects. However, these individuals likely found my inquiries intrusive and irritating. They concocted this directive in response.

This directive was the tip of the iceberg. His administration also advocated the construction of an ill  advised waste to energy plant in Hilo near DHHL homesteads during the latter half of his term.

The lack of managerial supervision also plagued certain departments, such as DPW during Mr. Kim’s administration. The HMP Inc. tack coat procurement scandal likely would’ve never happened if there was stronger oversight in place.

These frequent blunders marred his eight year term, so I strongly doubt Harry Kim is up to the task of leading Hawaii County for another four years.

Aaron Stene

Here is a copy of that memo that was sent out to folks in Hawaii County Government blackballing not only Aaron… but ME by Harry Kim’s Department of Public Works Director Noelani Whittington!

Policy for procedures for Citizen Journalists

Avoid a citizen journalist?

Citizen journalists are a new breed of bloggers who use the internet to express their opinions about DPW projects.  They are not journalists.  They write what they think

Blogging reaches 120 million viewers daily.

These individuals are Aaron Stene and Damon Tucker. Their e-mail addresses are aaronstene@****** or damontucker@ ******

Their blogs are: Kona blog, Poinography, Puna Web, and Hawaii Blog

How do we identify them?

They contact us by e-mail using their e-mail addresses. Rarely do they call us.

They never identify or consider themselves as a “citizen journalist.”

Procedure to handle a Citizen Journalist

  1. 1.      Stop. Do not give out information.
  2. Refer their e-mail inquiries to the Public Information office.
  3. Insert this message, “please contact our public information office at 557-6437 or by e-mail at nwhittington@co.hawaii.i.us.”

They will ask for information about:

  • Palani Road—why the delays?  Mamalahoa by-pass-the Coupe case, opening the entire by-pass, Grace Church moving the utility poles and why the delay?
  • Traffic in Puna, anything about Puna and DPW……….

 Issued: November 16, 2008

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]

50 Voices of Statehood… Harry Kim and Others… Videos

Just found the Youtube site where they are loading up the 50 Voices of Statehood videos.

I’ll just post a couple here and then direct you over to the rest of them:











It appears that they are loading them up now as I blog this… so you can go check out the site where they are being loaded at here:

“Fifty Voices of Statehood”