O’ahu COVID-19 Death Brings State Total to 19

The Hawai‘i Department of Health is reporting the 19th COVID-19 death today of an elderly adult on O‘ahu who was hospitalized with multiple underlying health issues. Governor David Ige expressed his condolences to the family and friends for their loss.

“Every COVID-19 death is an emotional reminder of the need for all of us to be vigilant and wear a face covering when outside our homes, physically distance ourselves from others and wash hands frequently,” said Gov. Ige. “It’s about protecting each other and allowing the state to reopen safely. We all have a stake in this and now is the most critical time to wear a mask.”

“As the state continues to reopen businesses and rebuild the economy, controlling the spread of COVID-19 will be the key to moving forward,” said Health Director Bruce Anderson. “Controlling the spread of the virus requires everyone to wear a face covering whenever they are out and avoid crowded places, closed spaces, and close contact with those outside of their household.”

An additional 29 new positive cases today bring the state’s cumulative total to 975 cases.

There were 25 cases diagnosed on O‘ahu, 2 cases on Maui, 1 case on Hawai‘i Island, and 1 case is out of state. At least 5 cases represent 3 new events and possible clusters. Cases on O‘ahu are from various areas including Honolulu, Kailua, Mililani, Pearl City, Wahiawa, Waialua, Waianae, Kaneohe, Waimanalo and Waipahu.

Mayor Caldwell: Concerns & Suggestions About State’s 6th Supplemental Proclamation

From Mayor Kirk Caldwell:

“We agree with many of the actions taken today including the opening of beaches for exercise, and the extension of the 14 day travel quarantine.

However, as noted in the attached letter, we have concerns that the action taken today will affect the City and County of Honolulu’s ability to act quickly and deliberately during this crisis. The City and County of Honolulu and I as Mayor agree on the need for greater consistency and coordination of decision-making between the State and all four counties.

As Mayor of the City and County of Honolulu, I will continue to make decisions based on science, data, and informed by medical professionals, along with nationwide best practices. We will work diligently to provide the Governor and HI-EMA with sufficient advance review of any orders or proclamations that we plan to issue that directly impact our residents. I look forward to the Governor’s expedited review and approval without delay so that we can continue to stay ahead of this pandemic.

The re-opening of Honolulu’s economy must be done in a deliberate way, with continued coordination between the counties and our state government. The City and County of Honolulu is committed to continuing to do this.”

Cruise Ships to Refuel & Restock in Honolulu

The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) Harbors Division is preparing to accept two cruise ship arrivals at Honolulu Harbor in order for the vessels to refuel and restock on food and supplies. However, passengers will not be allowed to leave the ship. All cruise ships are on a 30-day pause in operations that took effect March 14, 2020. At the time of the directive pausing operations, these two ships, the Maasdam operated by Holland American Line and the Norwegian Jewel operated by Norwegian Cruise Line, were already at sea.

“The health and safety of all people in Hawaii is always at the forefront of operational decisions. Presently, all state resources are focused and directed towards containing the spread of COVID-19. Allowing more than 2,500 passengers and crew to disembark will further strain these resources,” said Director Jade Butay, Hawaii Department of Transportation. “HDOT and the State are allowing the ships to dock at Honolulu Harbor so they may refuel and restock. Neither ship had originally planned to make Hawaii its final port and both will carry on to mainland destinations, where more resources can be marshalled to handle the passengers and crew properly.”

On Tuesday, the Governor announced the State’s 15 Days to Slow the Spread effort. As part of this announcement, he directed visitors to consider postponing their travel to Hawaii for at least 30 days. Pursuant to the Governor’s announcement, HDOT made the decision to deny the two requests to allow passengers and crew to disembark.

The Maasdam is scheduled to arrive at Honolulu Harbor Pier 2 on Friday, March 20. It is scheduled to depart the following day. There are approximately 850 passengers onboard.

The Norwegian Jewel is scheduled to arrive Sunday, March 22. It has approximately 1,700 passengers on board.

There have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 on either ship.

There are 16 cruise ships that have canceled scheduled visits to Hawaii during the 30 day suspension in operations. For information regarding the Cruise Lines International Association’s (CLIA) directive please click here.

For additional transportation related information and resources please visit the HDOT COVID-19 webpage by clicking here.

Coast Guard Seeks Public’s Assistance With Investigation in Honolulu

The Coast Guard and other local law enforcement are seeking the public’s assistance to identify a man observed discharging a weapon at an intersection in Waikiki in July of 2018. 

The Coast Guard Investigative Service (CGIS) is working jointly with the Honolulu Police Department and others in the case. They are releasing these images to generate new leads in the case. 

On July 30, 2018, the man was observed driving a white Toyota Camry and reportedly fired a gun at another vehicle while at the intersection of Kaiolu St. and Ala Wai Blvd. around 6:30 p.m. 

Witnesses, including a Coast Guard member, described the man as a 20 to 30-year-old white male with sandy colored hair and noticeable acne or acne scars on his face. He was reportedly thin and wearing spike style gauge earrings in both ears. 

The vehicle was reported as a white Toyota Camry, 2015 to 2017 model year, with tinted windows, alloy wheels and a Hawaii license plate. 

Anyone with information is asked to contact the CGIS Resident Agent Office in Honolulu at 808-306-3543. Callers may remain anonymous if they choose. Officials are offering up to $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the man described. 

AirAsia X Touches Down in Honolulu – Inaugural Flight Marks Successful Entry Into the U.S.

Flight D7 001 from long-haul low-cost carrier AirAsia X landed at Honolulu International Airport on June 28, marking the airline’s first foray into the US.

(PRNewsfoto/AirAsia X)

The four times weekly route departed from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for Honolulu, Hawaii via Osaka, Japan.

The successful inaugural flight was followed by a celebration and press conference event at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, graced by State of Hawaii Chief of Staff Mike McCartney; Malaysian Ambassador to the US HE Tan Sri Dr Zulhasnan Rafique; Hawaii Tourism Authority President and CEO George D. Szigeti; AirAsia X Chairperson Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz and AirAsia X CEO Benyamin Ismail.

AirAsia X Chairperson Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz said, “We are here to democratize air travel for everyone so flying long haul would no longer be a luxury only a few could enjoy. This landmark route to Hawaii is a bold new chapter in that quest to help more people travel farther for less. But this is just the beginning, and soon our guests will be able to enjoy flights to even more destinations in the US as we continue to grow our international footprint.”

Last week, AirAsia was named the World’s Best Low Cost Airline for the ninth straight years while AirAsia X won the World’s Best Low Cost Airline Premium Cabin and Premium Seat awards for the fifth consecutive year at the Skytrax World Airline Awards held at the Paris Air Show.

“We are deeply honored AirAsia X has chosen Honolulu as its initial destination to expand service in the United States and appreciate how this route strengthens our ties with the people and culture of Malaysia,” said George D. Szigeti, President and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority. “AirAsia X customers in Kuala Lumpur and Osaka will enjoy the convenience of this direct service and how it connects them with the welcoming aloha spirit of the Hawaiian culture, the spectacular natural beauty of our islands, and the diversity of Asia Pacific influences that enriches the experience of being in Hawaii.”

To celebrate the inaugural flight, AirAsia X will be offering one-way fares from as low as USD189* for a standard seat or USD799* for the award-winning Premium Flatbed from Honolulu to Kuala Lumpur; or USD149* for a standard seat or USD699* for the Premium Flatbed from Honolulu to Osaka. These promotional fares are available on airasia.com now through July 2 for travel between October 1, 2017 and August 28, 2018.

The capital city of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur is known around the world for its iconic, modern skyline featuring the Petronas Twin Towers. The city is a major shopping haven for tourists and its multi-cultural culinary scene attracts visitors from across the globe. Outside the city limits, Kuala Lumpur serves as a gateway to the UNESCO Heritage Site of Melaka, just about two hour’s drive away from the airport. No matter what your interests, it all happens in Kuala Lumpur.

Osaka is Japan’s third largest city located in the Kansai region. A city that loves to eat, Osaka’s unofficial slogan is kuidaore. which literally means ‘eat until you drop.’ Takoyaki (octopus balls), Okonomiyaki (pan-fried batter cake), udon and other traditional Japanese culinary are some of the must-try food in Osaka. Visitor can stroll along the river at Dotombori and take a selfie with the famous Glico billboard, visit the majestic Osaka Castle, enjoy the thrills at Universal Studio Japan and many more.

* One-way all-in fare inclusive of taxes and fees. Terms and conditions apply.

Flight Schedule for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (KUL) to Honolulu, Hawaii (HNL) via Osaka, Japan (KIX)

Note: All times listed are local unless otherwise stated.

Honolulu Selected for “Local Foods, Local Places” Federal Initiative

On behalf of the White House Rural Council, six federal agencies joined to announce 27 communities selected to participate in Local Foods, Local Places, a federal initiative that helps communities increase economic opportunities for local farmers and related businesses, create vibrant places, and promote childhood wellness by improving access to healthy local food.

Local Foods Local Places

“Local Foods, Local Places helps people access healthy local food and supports new businesses in neighborhoods that need investment,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “The program is good for the environment, public health and the economy. By helping bring healthy local food to market and offering new walking and biking options, Local Foods, Local Places can help improve air quality, support local economies, and protect undeveloped green space.”

Honolulu was one of the cities selected in 2016 from EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region:

Honolulu, Hawaii – The Hawaii Community Development Authority will focus their Local Foods, Local Places efforts on plans to identify food-based projects that will spur greater investment and stewardship in the Kakaako Makai community; enhance local food production; integrate food security initiatives with community and transit-oriented development planning; and reduce stormwater runoff and vulnerability to sea level rise.

The selected communities were chosen from more than 300 applicants.

Each Local Foods, Local Places partner community works with a team of experts who help community members recognize local assets and opportunities, set goals for revitalizing downtowns and neighborhoods, develop an implementation plan, and identify targeted resources from the participating federal agencies to help implement those plans.

Local Foods, Local Places is a partnership among the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Transportation, the Appalachian Regional Commission, and the Delta Regional Authority. The initiative was launched in 2014 and has already helped 26 communities make a difference in people’s lives.

Local Food, Local Places is one of the administration’s community-based initiatives in action across the country. In these places federal experts are working side by side with residents and local leaders to create customized solutions; bolstering coordination across agencies and improving how we interact with communities as a ‘one Government’ partner; and relying on valuable data to help inform solutions and evaluate what is working and what is not.

A complete list of communities participating in the Local Food, Local Places Initiative can be found at http://www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/local-foods-local-places-summary-reports

Tomorrow – Former Top Honolulu Catholic Bishop to be Accused of Abuse and Sex Assault

Former Top Catholic official accused of abuse, Victim speaks publicly for the first time. He says he was 7 when ex-Honolulu bishop molested him, New lawsuit is one of more than two dozen filed since 2012

Joseph Ferrario

Joseph Ferrario


Holding signs and childhood photos at a news conference, a third alleged child sexual abuse victim of a now-deceased Honolulu Catholic bishop will speak publicly about his abuse for the first time. He’ll discuss why he’s filing a civil abuse and cover up lawsuit, and

  • how he tried to warn neighbors and reach out to other survivors,
  • how church officials flew to his home and tried to silence him, and
  • how he hopes to encourage other survivors to reach out, and get help.


Tuesday, December 10, 2013 at 11 am


7 Waterfront Plaza, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Suite 400 in Honolulu


The alleged victim and another abuse victim who is a leader of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPNetwork.org), the nation’s largest support group for men and women sexually abused as children in religious and institutional settings.


A third alleged victim of a former Honolulu Bishop Honolulu Catholic Bishop Joseph Ferrario is filing a lawsuit and coming forward publicly saying that the cleric sexually abused him.

The man, who now lives in Las Vegas, was a seven-year-old student at Kailua’s St. Anthony’s grade school in 1975 when, he says, then Fr. Ferrario began to groom and sexually molest him during and after school hours. Ferrario allegedly assaulted the boy in rooms on church property for roughly three years.

The alleged victim is the third man to come forward and file a lawsuit accusing Ferrario of abuse. In 2012, former St. Anthony’s parishioner Mark Pinkosh came forward and accused Ferrario and Kailua priest Joseph Henry. Ferrario was first sued for child sex crimes in 1993 by a now-deceased Honolulu man David Figueroa.

All three boys were allegedly molested during roughly the same time period at St. Anthony’s.

Copies of the lawsuit and photos will be available at the event.

The victims are represented by attorneys Mike Reck (714) 742-6593, mreck@andersonadvocates.comand Mark Gallagher (808) 779-5012, mgallagher@hawaiiantel.net


Public Invited to Community Town Hall Meeting With Sen. Russell Ruderman

The public is invited to join Senator Russell Ruderman as he hosts a Community Talk Story Session in Kea‘au to discuss state legislation, community priorities, and how the public can participate in the legislative process with a look towards the upcoming 2014 Legislative Session.

Ruderman Town Hall Meeting

The talk story will be held at the Kea‘au Community Center on Thursday, December 12th at 6pm.  Please join your senator for a lively session to provide your feedback in this democratic process.

For more information, please call Senator Ruderman’s office in Honolulu at (808) 586-6890 or toll free at 974-4000 (then enter 66890) or by email: senruderman@capitol.hawaii.gov.

This event is open to the public and light refreshments will be served.

The Largest Women’s Rights Movement in Decades is Coming to Honolulu

A monumental uprising is on the horizon. Thousands of men, women and children will gather on September 2nd , as part of a national movement at Kapiolani Park – corner of Paki Ave and Monsarrat Ave.

Improving Birth

The rallies are being hosted in over 100 major cities, coast to coast, for Improving Birth’s “National Rally for Change on Labor Day”. Thanks to the intricate nature of social media, ImprovingBirth.org has been able to organize a massive movement to bring awareness to the lack of evidence-based maternity care in the US. With supporters like talk show host Ricki Lake and sponsors such as “InternationalCesareanAwarenessNetwork” and the “AmericanAssociationofBirthCenters,” this is sure to be an impactful event.

Much of scientific evidence takes an average of 20 to 30 years to become standard practice in our maternity care system; this is an unacceptable time table especially when talking about the wellbeing of mothers and babies. Until we get it right, we are needlessly subjecting mothers and babies to major abdominal surgery, the long term side effects that go along with that and the unnecessary risk of death for both.

“Despite the dire situation, this is not a protest,” says Dawn Thompson, founder of ImprovingBirth. “It is a public awareness campaign to bring attention to the outdated practices that have been proven time and again to not be what is best for mothers and babies.”

Ina May Gaskin, Midwife and Right Livelihood Award winner, says “We need medical practice standards at both the federal and the state level that would address C-sections performed without medical justification and assure more mother-friendly births and fewer medical interventions during labor.” This is just one of the six steps Gaskin believes to be essential in obtaining better maternal healthcare.

Improving Birth was founded with the vision of encouraging hospital administrators to review their birth-specific policies and procedures. We ask that they implement incentive programs for doctors and nurses to get up-to-date information and education about the most current care practices.  The U.S. outspends every country in the world for maternity care, and yet we rank #49 for maternal mortality rates.  In fact, Amnesty International reports that “women in the US face a greater risk of maternal death than nearly all European countries, as well as Canada and several countries in Asia and the Middle East.”

We Can Do Better.

For more information about the National Rally for change, visit www.ImprovingBirth.org


Wordless Wednesday – Mocha Girls in Hawaii

The ever popular girl group the Mocha Girls will be at Hawaiian Brians Showroom in Honolulu on Friday:

The hottest and most talented girl group in the music biz today in spite of the tough race for recognition.. With so many groups similar to MOCHA GIRLS coming out nowadays, their 2009 BEST DANCE ALBUM AWARD from PMPC Star Awards for Music have proven that they are the best sing and dance group today.


They can certainly turn everybody in the party mood once they hit the center stage. Their repertoire is a mix of everything from current hits and the best of new wave down to the memorable music of the 70’s.

The Mocha Girls

The group consists of 5 Girls namely Mae, Franz, Chloe, Yumi and their lead Singer MOCHA. They perform with a live band called ICE.

Kona Peace Day Friday – Honoka’a Peace Day Saturday

Kona Peace Day debuts with suggested personal activities and free public events in conjunction with the annual United Nations International Day of Peace on September 21.

The non-profit Pacific Rim Education Foundation (PREF) is organizing the inaugural event.

Kona Peace Day begins at noon HST with A Minute of Silence, A Moment of Peace. The action is part of a worldwide wave of persons spending one minute of silence at noon in each time zone. A number of Kona houses of worship are invited to ring their bells at noon.

PREF suggest participants perform a small act of Service for Peace by reaching out to someone in your immediate environment and contacting someone with whom you’ve had a difficulty in a Reconciliation for Peace. Also, consider dedicating you spiritual practice to peace.

Free public events include a 5 p.m. Yoga for Peace class led by Marya Mann on the oceanfront lawn at Courtyard King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel. Participants should bring their own mat or towel.

A Gather for Peace potluck dinner and discussion is 7 p.m. at the Kona Outdoor Circle, 76-6280 Kuakini Highway in Kailua. Bring a dish to share and enjoy a brief Peace Talk by Rev. Virginia Barnes of the Aloha Center for Spiritual Living. RSVP to Betsy, 987-6510.

In addition, peace enthusiasts can participate in the 22nd annual Candlelight Peace Walk 7 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 23. It steps off from the lawn at Huggo’s restaurant and proceeds to Kailua Pier.

Peace Day participants are encouraged to share their Peace Day efforts on Facebook at Prefpeace Pacific Rim Education Foundation.

Honoka’a’s Peace Day Festival and Parade will be the following day.  More information here: Honoka’a Peace Day Festival


Sex Trafficking in Hawaii – On the Streets and Behind the Headlines

The other day I posted a video that Malia Zimmerman of the Hawaii Reporter posted entitled “Jana’s Story: Life as an Underage Sex Trafficking Victim in Honolulu”.

KHON2 News just reported on Emergency responders train to help sex trafficking victims.

…”Well I know they learned of the magnitude of the problem. And I think that is the most valuable thing that’s heart wrenching to hear how widespread this problem is in Hawaii,” said Yamamoto.

“Prostitution is inherently detrimental to women and children. Okay there is no legislating it. There is no regulating it, you can’t fix it, it’s just the way it is,” said Xian.

But you can fight it, with lots of soldiers on the street knowing what to look for.

Tonight I will post Matt Levi’s special on “Sex Trafficking in Hawaii” that was just posted a few months ago:


Matt Levi looks into the world of sex trafficking in Hawaii. We meet a former victim and speak with experts in the field.

Honolulu “Smart Parking Meters” – Installations to Begin June 1st

The City and County of Honolulu is piloting 110 new card and coin accepting parking meters around Honolulu Hale to provide more parking payment options for customers. These state-of-the art meters are solar powered, accept payment by phone, and are paired with vehicle detection sensors to gather valuable data about parking occupancy. Meter installation will begin June 1, 2012 and will be located in the following areas: Honolulu Civic Center Garage, S. King St. and Punchbowl Ave. near the state capitol building, and Honolulu Police Department.

A smart parking meter

“I am excited about this technology which will raise the existing system to state-of-the art standards. Its benefits include user convenience, improved revenues, controls and efficient management. As we roll out the pilot project phase, we encourage our parking customers to provide us feedback to ensure its successful implementation later in the year.” Said Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle

Click here to see how the Smart Parking Meters work.

Police on the Big Island and Oahu Must Have Warrant or Probable Cause to Track Cell Phones

According to an article in Fierce Homeland Security Hawaii County and Honolulu County are two places in America where the police must have a warrant or a probable cause to track your cell phone.

…ACLU chapters sent more than 380 requests under transparent government laws, although it did not receive responses back from all of them. Of the 200 that submitted documents, 190 showed evidence that they engaged in cell phone tracking of some sort. Only six agencies responded that in order to track cell phones, they must first get a warrant or have probable cause: County of Hawai’i, Hawaii; Honolulu, Hawaii; Wichita, Kan.; Lexington, Ky.; Lincoln, Neb.; and North Las Vegas, Nev. …

Here is the full press release from the American Civil Liberties Union:

Many of the approximately 200 law enforcement agencies responding to public record requests by the American Civil Liberties Union track cell phones without a warrant, according to documents newly released by the ACLU.

A small number of agencies, such as in North Las Vegas and Wichita, said they do obtain warrants based on probable cause before tracking. Others, such as the Kentucky State Police, said they use varying legal standards, such as a warrant or a less-strict subpoena. The result is unclear or inconsistent legal standards from town to town that frequently fall short of probable cause.

“What we have learned is disturbing. The government should have to get a warrant before tracking cell phones. That is what is necessary to protect Americans’ privacy, and it is also what is required under the Constitution,” said Catherine Crump, staff attorney for the ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project. “The fact that some law enforcement agencies do get warrants shows that a probable cause requirement is a completely reasonable and workable policy, allowing police to protect both public safety and privacy.”

Last August, in an unprecedented effort to penetrate the secrecy around the policies, 35 ACLU affiliates around the country filed over 380 requests under states’ freedom of information laws. The ACLU asked state and local law enforcement agencies about their policies, procedures and practices for tracking cell phones.

The responses varied widely, and many agencies did not respond at all. The documents included statements of policy, memos, police requests to cell phone companies (sometimes in the form of a subpoena or warrant), and invoices and manuals from cell phone companies explaining their procedures and prices for turning over location data.

The documents provide an eye-opening view of police surveillance of Americans. In Wilson County, N.C., police obtain cell phone tracking data where it is “relevant and material” to an ongoing investigation – a standard much lower than probable cause. Police in Lincoln, Neb., without demonstrating probable cause, obtain even GPS location data, which is more precise than cell tower location information. In Tucson, Ariz., police sometimes obtain cell phones numbers for all of the phones at a particular location at a certain time (this practice is known as a “tower dump”).

The ACLU supports bipartisan legislation currently pending in both the House of Representatives and the Senate that would address this problem called the Geolocation Privacy and Surveillance (GPS) Act. It would require law enforcement officers to obtain a warrant to access location information from cell phones or GPS devices. It would also mandate that private telecommunications companies obtain their customers’ consent before collecting location data. At least 11 state legislatures are also considering bills related to location tracking.

The U.S. Supreme Court in January held in U.S. v. Jones, that prolonged location tracking is a search under the Fourth Amendment, but the effects of that ruling on law enforcement have yet to be seen.

A detailed analysis of the documents is available at:

Links to the documents are available in an interactive map at:

More information is available at:

Go!Mokulele Makes it Official… Enters Mainland Market

It’s official… Go!Mokulele Airlines enters mainland market with flights from Rockford, Illinois to Honolulu!

London and Honolulu are officially added to the list of Rockford Airport destinations…

…Flight Attendant Anita Jalbert said, “Going to be able to fly to Honolulu out of Rockford, this is such a great airport! This is so exciting!”…

…She said, “It’s a wonderful flight. You have a meal, and a movie, and just the landing in Hawaii… you step off and you feel the warm breeze and the smell of the orchids and the smell of plumerias… it’s just going to be wonderful!”

Many feel the best part is having the convenience and hassle-free arrival home.

A rep from Mokulele Airlines tells us they are very excited for their new destination. They plan to share ballpark how much flights will cost and flight times sometime this week.

Full article here: RFD to Fly to London and Honolulu

Video of President Obama’s Press Conference at the APEC Summit

President Obama makes remarks and takes questions about progress made at the 19th annual Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation leader’s summit. November 13, 2011.


Obama to Meet with Canada Prime Minister and Mexico President for the North American Leaders’s Summit in Honolulu

President Obama will host Prime Minister Stephen Harper of Canada and President Felipe Calderon of Mexico for the North American Leaders’ Summit in Honolulu, Hawaii on November 13, 2011.

US President Barack Obama (R) shakes hands with Mexican President Felipe Calderón (AFP/File, Mandel Ngan)

The meeting will build on wide-ranging, on-going cooperation among the United States, Canada, and Mexico with a particular focus on competitiveness, citizen security, energy and climate change, and North America’s role in the Americas as well as in global economic, political, and security issues.  The last North American Leaders’ Summit was hosted by President Calderon in Guadalajara in August 2009

Lawmakers Told by Governor’s & Mayor’s Office that Roundup of Homeless Will Not Occur Prior to the APEC Summit

Media Release:

The House Human Services chair, Rep. John Mizuno, announced today that the state and county (Honolulu) will not seek a “sweep” or “roundup” of the homeless in Waikiki prior to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in November 2011.



In November, Waikiki will be the center stage for the APEC Summit, before 21 APEC nations and 2,500 journalists.  In an effort to avoid a possible sweep or roundup of homeless in preparation for APEC, the House Committees on Housing and Human Services held a legislative briefing today seeking to secure a plan for a safe zone for the homeless.

During the briefing, Mufi Hannemann (former Mayor of Honolulu), representing the Hotel & Lodging Association, concurred with lawmakers that a “sweep” of homeless in the Waikiki area prior to APEC would look bad for Hawaii.  Mr. Hannemann also pledged support by the hotel association to lawmakers and stakeholders in finding both a short-term and long-term solution to reducing homelessness.



At the briefing, Rep. Mizuno read the email from Chad Buck, the Owner and CEO of the Hawaii Foodservice Alliance and the biggest individual donor (over 400,000 lbs.) of food to the Hawaii Food Bank:  “I support this effort to provide a safe zone for our homeless citizens in need and applaud the efforts by Representative Mizuno to reach out to coordinate the efforts from government, non-profits and the business community. As a business owner and resident, I recognize that the homeless issues that we face will only be solved when we stop relying on just the government. If businesses, non-profits, faith based initiatives and government agencies all join hands, the solutions will come both for the short and long term.”

At the briefing, Marc Alexander, State Homeless Coordinator & Bridget Palmer Holthus, Deputy Director of the Honolulu Department of Community Services, both confirmed their focus in reducing homelessness was on 1)  Affordable Housing, 2) Permanent Housing Solutions for homeless, and 3) Job Development.

“Today was extremely important, because we obtained a commitment from the Governor’s Office and Mayor’s Office that no “sweep” or “roundup” of the homeless in Waikiki will occur prior to or during APEC, said Rep. Mizuno. “Moreover, we confirmed support from the hotel industry and a major food distributor willing to help government in its efforts to reducing homelessness.  Today we gained concurrence with state, county, non-profits, private businesses, and faith based organizations willing to work together to better address homelessness.  A viable solution for our “safe zones” for homeless will be to expand our current homeless shelters, possibly in Kakaako and Kalaeloa, to accept some of the estimated 200 homeless in Waikiki.  These shelters provide homeless with a secured facility to sleep at night, showers, restrooms, meals, healthcare, and workforce development.”

“We have homeless with a mental illness and/or drug addiction who will refuse to go to a shelter and some are homeless by choice, so realistically we will always have a percentage of chronically homeless,” added Rep. Mizuno.  “Working together in a coordinated effort with all the stakeholders allows us greater ability to prove assistance to homeless who desire to transition back into the community.  We offer hope to those that seek it.”

Honolulu Rail Follies – Sumitomo Appeals Honolulu Transit Core System’s DBOM Contract Award with DCCA

Media Release:

After a careful review of the City’s denial of its protest of the Honolulu High Capacity Transit Corridor Project Core Systems Design/Build/Operate/Maintain (DBOM) award, Sumitomo Corporation of America (SCOA) has decided to appeal the decision by the City and ask for an impartial hearing from the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA).

Sumitomo remains very interested in the Honolulu rail project and wants to be the company that builds this system. Emphasizing this, Gino Antoniello, VP, Transportation Systems and Equipment for SCOA explained: “Our protest–a first for us–was prompted by the conviction that our bid was improperly passed over in favor of another vendor with less experience and a questionable track record that lacked the proper legal qualifications to undertake a project of this scope.  Simply speaking, their bid does not meet all the specification requirements and adds up to less value with a significantly higher price tag overall – an extra $900 million more that will be taken out of the pockets of Honolulu taxpayers.”  In contrast, SCOA’s proposal meets all the specification requirements, makes no conditions and provides the best value to the City and its taxpayers.

Explaining the company’s decision to proceed to the next step in the process, Mr. Antoniello added, “We embarked on this protest reluctantly, one to protect our good name and standing in the industry, but most importantly, because we owe it to all our local partners and contractors, including WASA Electric with whom we have worked over the past two years to ensure we would not just be building a world class transit system, but we would be creating a new industry with long term jobs for the State of Hawaii.   This flawed decision by the City to reject our protest, not only hurts Sumitomo, but it jeopardizes the livelihood of our local partners, and the community with whom we have built lasting relationships.

“Sumitomo has a stellar performance record both in the U.S. and internationally,” states Antoniello.  “With a history that dates back 400 years, the company has the corporate longevity and financial stability that ensures our clients predictability and reliability.  This is important in projects with timelines that span decades and involve many subcontractors.   As the prime contractor we manage all of that and we have never had a legal conflict, frivolous lawsuits, or any pursuit of liquidated damages with a client.  With an impeccable track record we have strong customer references and a very high rate of repeat business.”

Antoniello stressed that in starting down this protest path, the company did so with a readiness to go all the way.   “We are confident that we will prevail and we respect the appeal process, and look forward to an impartial review and outcome by the DCCA.”

The Best City to Watch People “Make-Out” – Honolulu Ranks Number One In Public Displays of Affection

Want to see a couple making out?  Well it looks like Honolulu is the city to do it according to Chemistry.com.

If you’re the kind of person who cringes when people kiss, don’t go to Honolulu…you won’t fit in at all.

For the Hawaiian city has topped a list of U.S. places where people feel the most comfortable with public displays of affection or PDA…  More Here

It seems natural to me though if you think about it.  There are so many people that come here on romantic vacations and honeymoons.

Plus it’s much more easy to make out with your spouse when you know that you aren’t being watched by someone you may know. :roll:

What happens in Honolulu… stays In Honolulu!