Response to Exploding Tea Bag… One Free Box of Tea From TAZO

About a week ago, I blogged that a tea bag exploded in the Microwave as I was warming up the water.   I sent the following letter off to Starbucks officials (Starbucks is the distributor for TAZO)


Aloha, I was brewing a cup of the Tazo in the microwave. I took the staple off and the label off and I microwaved it in a microwave safe cup for 1:00 minute. When I came back to get my cup of tea, I was in horror to find that my tea bag had exploded in the microwave. I have blogged about the incident on my blog here: And many people in Hawaii have been emailing me about this incident. Do you folks have any comment on the incident? I can only imagine had I opened the microwave as the tea bag was exploding and had some of the explosion go into my eye or something. Damon Tucker Pahoa, Hawaii


This is the response I just received from them:


Hello Damon,

Thank you for writing to Tazo.  I am sorry to hear about your experience with our filterbag envelopes.

In order to ensure the freshness of our teas, there is a protective barrier in each envelope.  Sometimes this can make the envelopes hard to open, even with the notch that is provided. But we are always working to enhance our products and we appreciate your comments.

As a sign of our appreciation, we would like to send you a coupon good for a replacement box of tea. If you let me know your box’s lot number (located on the bottom of the box below the bar code and starting with the letter “L”) and your address, I will get it off to you as soon as possible.  It would also be helpful if you could tell me where you purchased the tea.

Thank you again for contacting Tazo. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Kind regards,

Alison M.

Tazo Customer Relations

Getting Support From Other Bloggers on Police Incident… Mahalo

The other day I blogged about my incident at the Pahoa Post Office.

I have received numerous support through email, comments on my blog, as well as in person about the situation that occurred Christmas Eve.

What is even more interesting, is the way other bloggers have actually blogged about the incident in ways that I could never fathom.

Oahu Blogger Ian Lind says “Ho! Ho! Ho!”

Kauai Attorney, Charley Foster, asked the same question I did “Is it illegal to take pictures outside federal buildings.

Editor and Publisher of Parx News Net writes about my situation like it’s a script straight out of  CSI in “Tracking Trouble“.   However, from reading his blog, it does seem that he likes to be hypocritical of the police often.

I really appreciate the support from everyone on this issue.

It was never my intention to make a mountain out of a molehill.

I hope the police understand the rights of us citizens.

I’m still contemplating filing a report with the police commission and Mayor Kenoi’s office.

Thanks once again to the other bloggers who are also sticking their neck out on the line to report about things… It’s not like I was trying to make an issue… I only became an issue and that’s not what my intent was.

Executive Assistant Craig Kawaguchi to Attend Washington DC Mayoral Conference With Kenoi… Kenoi Seeking Tickets for Obama Inauguration

Today’s Hawaii Tribune Herald reported that Mayor Billy Kenoi would be attending the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Washington on Jan. 17-19.  I think it’s good that our Mayor represents the Big Island in a conference like this.

“…Hunter Bishop, the mayor’s public relations specialist, said Kenoi plans to attend the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Washington on Jan. 17-19.

Takaba, however, said it is uncertain whether Kenoi will be able to attend the inauguration of Obama, the first Hawaii-born person elected president, because he lacks tickets.

The estimated cost of Kenoi’s trip — including airfare, hotel and meals — is $2,650, Takaba said, and will be paid for with taxpayer dollars. Kenoi also plans to bring an executive assistant on the trip, so the total cost will be about $5,300, Takaba said…”

I found it curious that the newspaper did not report who the executive assistant was that might be going on the trip.  I had a sneaky suspicion that it might have been Mr. Bishop himself, since he was quoted in the paper.

I emailed Mr. Bishop and asked who the assistant was that would be going and what their responsibilities would be.

Mr. Bishops reply:

Craig (Kawaguchi) is an Executive Assistant to the Mayor assigned to projects included in the economic stimulus package. He will assist the Mayor in Washington , D.C. , in getting Hawaii County its fair share of the federal economic stimulus package through working with the U.S. Conference of Mayors.”

I think that it is money well spent by our county to have Mayor Kenoi as well as Mr. Kawaguchi attending this conference.

I listed the counties wish list on the left hand side in the “Say Community” section of my blog.

We are asking for a lot from Obama, so spending a little to get a lot is a good investment in my mind.

County Response to Supreme Court Ruling on Hokulia Bypass

Attorneys for the County of Hawaii are very pleased with Wednesday’s 85-page state Supreme Court ruling on condemnation actions regarding the Hokulia bypass in West Hawaii.

The Supreme Court ruling Wednesday held that the County’s successful second condemnation of property was legal and not barred by the doctrine called “abatement.”  Had the Supreme Court ruled otherwise, there would have been significant delays in the opening of the Hokuli’a bypass.

The case has been returned by the Supreme Court to the Circuit Court in Kona for Third Circuit Court Judge Ronald Ibarra to make additional findings on two other issues.  Judge Ibarra had previously ruled there was a legitimate public purpose in the County’s condemnation of this property.  One of the findings Judge Ibarra must now make is whether the County’s condemnation was a pretext to conferring a private benefit on Oceanside, the developer of the project, as alleged by the landowners.  After Judge Ibarra makes these findings, another judgment will be issued.  If this judgment is entered in favor of the County, the condemnation will stand and the project will continue to move forward as planned.

Attorneys for the County of Hawaii are currently reviewing Wednesday’s 85-page state Supreme Court ruling on condemnation actions regarding the Hokulia bypass in West Hawaii.

The Supreme Court ruling Wednesday said the case should be returned to Third Circuit Court Judge Ronald Ibarra to consider the landowners’ defense that the land sought by the County through condemnation was for a purpose other than the public interest.

“The decision of the Court does not appear to be fatal as to the bypass road but will require some additional factual findings of the Court before another judgment is filed,” said deputy Corporation Counsel Michael Udovic Wednesday afternoon. “Needless to say we are carefully reading the opinion to distill salient issues.”

Deputy Corporation Counsel Joseph Kamelamela, lead counsel for the County in this case, is off island and has been notified. He will return on Monday.

“There may be additional proceedings, at this time it is too early to tell,” Udovic said. “We will be reviewing the opinion carefully in the next few days.”

Corporation Counsel Lincoln Ashida said only one of the three decisions by the Supreme Court Wednesday was a final decision on whether the first condemnation action in the case abated the second, and that was issued in favor of the County. On the other two, the Supreme Court simply remanded the case back to Judge Ibarra, Ashida said.

“If Judge Ibarra supplements the record with appropriate findings and the Supreme Court believes they are adequate, (and) assuming Judge Ibarra enters findings and orders consistent with what he did earlier, all three issues may be resolved in favor of the County,” Ashida said. “In sum, it is too early to tell.”

Ashida said the major story is that the County prevailed on the abatement issue. “Had we not won the abatement issue, the project would have been halted.”

“So long as Judge Ibarra enters findings consistent with what he did previously, and the Coupes’ attorneys are not able to prove to Judge Ibarra’s satisfaction that the public purpose established by the County was a pretext to give Oceanside a private benefit, the Coupes will not prevail,” Ashida said.

Councilman Charles Djou on “Dumping” His Staff… “For Liability Reasons… I Have No Comment…”

I emailed Honolulu Councilman Charles Djou yesterday and asked him why he “Dumped” his staff the other day.  Mr. Djou knows I have my blog and I have emailed him over the last couple years about different issues that have come up.  I was surprised at his most recent reply to me regarding this issue as he gave a very cryptic response:

Aloha Damon.  For liability reasons, I will not discuss any internal  personnel actions.  I have no comment on any personal decisions my staff or I make on employment matters.  If you are asking in your capacity as a prospective employer, I would be happy to discuss this matter with you confidentially in person.  I am sorry I can not be more forthcoming and I hope you understand.

Charles K. Djou

I’m not sure where he got the “prospective employer” from. ;)

Radio Station LAVA 105.3 Airing Community “Island Issues” and Seeking Questions

Island Issues is broadcast around the island on Sunday mornings at 6:30 a.m on KOA Country (KKOA-Volcano, 107.7 FM, Hawaii Island’s Country Station) and at 8:00 a.m. on LAVA 105 (KBGX-Kea’au, 105.3 FM, Hawaii Islands Oldies Station)

This coming Monday (Dec. 15th), they will be taping an episode with Council Chair John Yoshimoto.

There is still a limited amount of time to submit questions for this program with Chairman Yoshimoto that will Air on December 21st.  (You will need to email Sherry Bracken by the end of today for Yoshimoto questions.  Questions submitted will not be guaranteed to be asked)

Host Sherry Bracken welcomes your suggestions and questions–email her at

For more information on upcoming shows Go to the Island Issues website, and click on Upcoming Shows to see who upcoming guests will be.

The following is the question that I submitted for Council Chair Yoshimoto, which was based upon the new council rules that testifiers would only be given three minutes to testify… and council members would not have a chance to respond until all people testifying gave their testimony:

How will the general public know and the council members confirm or verify mis-information or mis-representation of testimony if the council members cannot question the testifier immediately after their testimony is given?

Because once the testifier has completed testimony, and he or she leaves the council room, there is no protocol for requiring the testifier to stick around and answer questions the council members may have.


Damon Tucker
Pahoa, Hawaii

County of Hawaii Inaugural Ceremonies 2008

I just got back from the County of Hawaii Inaugural Ceremonies.

My son was with me, so I didn’t really get to ask to many questions of anyone.

I did see lots of people from the media, so I’m sure this will be covered by them.

Here are some pictures I snapped from the event:

Oahu Mayor Mufi Hanneman and My Son

Oahu Mayor Mufi Hanneman and My Son

Walking the Red Carpet

Walking the Red Carpet

Mayor Kenoi Outside the Civic

Mayor Kenoi Outside the Civic

Singing National Anthem

Singing National Anthem

Emily Naeole Walks the Red Carpet

Emily Naeole Walks the Red Carpet

Mayor Kenoi Takes Office

Mayor Kenoi Takes Office

Crowd Shot

Crowd Shot

Senate President Colleen Hanabusa

Senate President Colleen Hanabusa



I would have stuck around longer, but it’s kind of hard attending these type of functions with a 4 year old saying… “Can we go now Dad!” every 20 Seconds!

With the economy being where it is now, and the island in the shape that it is now, this should be an interesting Council and County Government.

(No sign of Hunter Bishop… Although I did hear that he was going to be there… Where’s Waldo?)

Video Courtesy of BIVN:


Council Meetings to Crack Down on Testimony Time Limits

One of the primary reasons that I would submit written testimony when I want to provide testimony is because I’m often afraid that I will get cut off before I get through saying what I want to say.

Another reason I hate to attend meetings, is because sometimes peoples testimony just goes on and on and on and on… you know what I mean?

It looks like next years council is going to be even more strict on the amount of time given to people who want to testify before the council.

Outgoing Council Chairman Pete Hoffmann allowed people who appeared during public comment periods to speak for three minutes with an additional minute to summarize.

But incoming Chairman J Yoshimoto says he will adhere to current rules that permit no more than three minutes per speaker

More Here

Re-Broadcast of Tuesdays Island Wide Mayoral Debates

Hat tip to Leslie Wilcox:

If you missed last night’s unprecedented  television event on KGMB9, PBS Hawaii invites you over to our channel to watch a re-broadcast  in primetime Saturday evening (Nov. 1) from 6:30 to 9pm.

Questions Being Accepted for Kenoi – Pilago LIVE PBS Debate

*Bump* I think we all know by now that Kenoi has cancelled this debate tonight… however, Angel Pilago will still be live tonight.

(Originally Posted 10/8)

I just received this from Jeff at PBS:

Aloha. I’m the website guy at PBS Hawaii, and I just wanted to let you know that the candidates are scheduled to appear together on the Thursday, October 30th episode of Island Insights (live at 7:30 pm.) You and your readers can send in questions ahead of time to They can also call in questions during the live program. They should be aware that we sometimes get a very large number of questions, so we may not be able to get to everything, but we do our best. The webpage for Island Insights is at

Jeff… Do you have the number where we can call in during the show?

TONIGHT: First Ever Inter-Island Mayoral Debates Live On Air and Online: Pilago and Kenoi Included

*bump* Thanks Bishop for the reminder.

On Tuesday, Oct. 28, KGMB9 and will present the first inter-island mayoral debate live on air and online. Joining candidates Bernard Carvalho and JoAnn Yukimura from Kauai, Honolulu City Councilmember Ann Kobayashi and incumbent Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann, Angel Pilago and Billy Kenoi will face off on O`ahu at the Hawai`i Theatre from 6:30-9 p.m. The event will be hosted by KGMB9’s Keahi Tucker and Kim Gennaula and moderated by the host station and campaign debate partner, the Honolulu Advertiser.

Tips to the BIW

TODAY: Big Island Election Debates at UH at Hilo


Presented by UHH Poli-Sci Club
Monday. October 27 @ UHH Campus Center Plaza
11:45-12:00 Club set-up
12:00-12:10 Club opening speech
format: All candidates will briefly introduce him or herself prior to
the debate.  All questions will be asked from the public.  A time
keeper must notify the candidates when there is only 2 minutes left.
12:10-12:30 Ted Hong vs. Dwight Takamine SD1
12:30-12:50 Andy Baclig vs. Dennis Onishi   CD4
12:50-01:10 Emily Naeole vs. Gary Safarik   CD5
01:10-01:30 Billy Kenoi vs. Angel Pilago      Mayor  BILLY KENOI HAS CANCELLED HIS COMMITMENT
01:30-02:00 Club closing speech/clean up
*students please contact the disbility service for special assistance.
**visitor parking permit is $3 per car at the security gate.
***if one candidate for the race is absent then other candidate will
alone answer all the questions from the public.
POC Jet Heng 854-4899

Kenoi Cancels UH Hilo Debate? … Yet Another Broken Commitment?

I just got notice in an email, that Billy Kenoi has cancelled the UH Hilo debate that was scheduled for tomorrow:

Oct. 27 – HILO: Monday –2008 Big island Election Debates

Poli-Sci Club @ UHH Campus Center Plaza 12Noon-2PM

Billy Kenoi has cancelled

If this is true, then this would make the second debate that he committed to be in, that he has pulled out of.

From the Archives: Safarik… “It’s Funded. It’s Not Just a Pipe Dream” – Kenoi… “Puna Gets Attention Because of Negative Socioeconomic Factors”

I was just reading through some back articles on Pahoa and Puna issues and I came across something of interest in this September 12, 2003 Starbulletin Article that mentioned both Safarik and Kenoi.

…County Councilman Gary Safarik has obtained $1.25 million to start a 10-year-old concept called “Pahoa Resource Park” in the middle of the town. It will include an outdoor amphitheater, an information kiosk, public restrooms, a farmer’s market with permanent structures and a police substation.

It’s funded. It’s not just a pipe dream,” Safarik said

So what became of this… or was it a “Pipe Dream?”


And in the same article:

…Billy Kenoi, Mayor Kim’s drug coordinator, said ice is a problem everywhere on the Big Island, but Puna gets attention because of negative socioeconomic factors

Well Ice is still a problem and so are the socioeconomic factors.  What did you do with all that money and how effective was it?

Interesting article, more here

Pilago vs. Kenoi: The Recent Debate on Video

Big Island Video News has done it again providing coverage of the recent debate between Pilago and Kenoi.

You can see the debate in whole here (Scroll down to see parts of the debate)

Pilago vs. Kenoi DEBATE TONIGHT

Thursday, October 16, Kealakehe High School, 6 p.m., for a
moderated  mayoral candidate forum between Angel Pilago and Billy Kenoi.
The event  begins at 5 p.m. with the award-winning culinary class from
Kealakehe High  selling lasagna (both vegetarian and regular) as a
fund raiser to go to  state and national competitions.  Not mandatory, but
if you plan to  eat please let the Kona Kohala Chamber know at 329-1758.
The students have  promised to have ample supplies of lasagna.  They will
also sell  water.
The forum will air live on LAVA 105.3 FM islandwide and  also online from 6 pm til 7:30 for those who cannot attend  in person.
Following our debate, there will be a discussion of one ballot  issue,
whether to have or not have a Constitutional Convention starting at  7:35
pm.  The forum is pau at 8 p.m.
As a reminder, the forum  organizers (Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce, Kona, Outdoor Circle, PATH,  Kona Board of Realtors, Hawaii Island Board of
) request no  campaign signs at the forum.  However, feel free to
wear campaign  attire.  You may direct questions about the forum to our
campaign  office or to Kona-Kohala Chamber at 329-1758 or email

Kenoi Cancels PBS Debate

I mentioned earlier that there would be a debate between Kenoi and Pilago on PBS.  It appears something has come up for Kenoi or he is just chickening out. ;)

I just received the following from Jeff at PBS:

I was just told that Bill Kenoi has cancelled his scheduled appearance on the 10/30 Island Insights program. As of right now, Angel Pilago is still scheduled to appear on the program, and viewers can still send in questions, but unless something changes, the format will be more of a question and answer session with Mr. Pilago and Dan Boylan.

For viewers who want to call in, we will be posting the numbers on-screen during the broadcast.

PBS Hawaii

Big Island Mayoral Debate October 16th – Public Invited

The public is invited to a debate between mayoral candidates Angel Pilago and Billy Kenoi on Thursday, October 16, starting at 6 pm at Kealakehe High School Cafeteria. The questions asked of the candidates will be intended to help the audience determine which of these men has the background, experience, education, willingness, leadership skills, and capability to lead our county through challenging times. Moderator Sherry Bracken (of Hawaii Public Radio and host of Island Issues on LAVA 105.3 FM and KKOA 107.7 FM) will ask the questions, some of which will be in debate format. The candidates will be given the opportunity to respond to their opponents’ statements and rebut those responses for some of the questions.

Starting at 5pm, the Kealakehe High Culinary Arts students, who won the island competition and went to the state competition last year, will offer their special lasagnas (vegetarian and non-vegetarian), plus foccacia bread – proceeds will go into a nonprofit fund to send them to the state competition again. They’ll also sell water. Helpful, but not mandatory: please let them know if you plan to eat by calling Kona Kohala Chamber of Commerce, 329-1758. For those not able to be part of the live audience, the debate will also air live islandwide on LAVA 105.3 FM and online at starting at 6 p.m.

Following the Mayor Debate, there will be a review of the reasons to vote for or against having a Constitutional Convention, an item on the November 4 ballot. Mark Spengler from Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce will be speaking for the initiative. Florence Kong Kee of Hawaii Alliance, an organization created to defeat the Constitutional Convention question, will speak against the initiative. The Con Con review will last from 7:35 p.m. until 8. Following the forum, both Mayor candidates will be available for informal talk story with audience members.

Na Leo O Hawaii and Big Island Video News will both film the debate.

It will be available on public access television within a week of the event. It will also be available online after the forum at

This forum is sponsored by Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce, Kona Outdoor Circle, PATH, Hawaii Island Board of Realtors, and Kona Board of Realtors.

Please direct any questions to Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce,

329-1758 or via email to

Council Member Naeole Taking Up Two New Resolutions… Contra-flow and Waste Management Shift

I got this email from Tiffany Edwards Hunt regarding some up coming resolutions:

“…Emily has two resolutions being taken up at committee level in a
couple of weeks: one calling for a reversible lane on Hwy 130 and
another calling for the state to create legislation shifting the waste
management burden
to producers and manufacturers…”

I like the Contra flow idea a lot and think it could be done fairly rapidly and very easily.  I used to live on Kapiolani Blvd.  on Oahu, and it was contra-flowed M-F both in the mornings and evenings.

I’m interested to learn more about this Waste Management resolution.

I’m still also taking comments on the H-130 Project.

Think About This as You Watch the VP Debate Tonight

You are the Boss of the Presidential Selection Committee . . . which team would you hire?

Educational Background:


Columbia University – B.A. Political Science with a Specialization in International Relations.
Harvard – Juris Doctor (J.D.) Magna Cum Laude

& Biden:

University of Delaware – B.A. in history and B.A. in political science.
Syracuse University College of Law – Juris Doctor (J.D. )


United States Naval Academy –  Class rank 894 out of 899

& Palin:

University of Hawaii Hilo – Less then 3 weeks (no records to prove she was here)

Hawaii Pacific University – 1 semester
North Idaho College – 2 semesters – general study
University of Idaho – 2 semesters – journalism
Matanuska-Susitna College – 1 semester
University of Idaho – 3 semesters – B.A. in journalism

Tips to Larry Geller