***Commentary*** The Madness Continues; Another Council Reorganization Set For Wednesday

The Hawaii County Council’s Aug. 5 regular meeting agenda includes legislation to reinstate the reorganization they will be rescinding at a judge’s request the day beforehand.
It never ceases to amaze me how we can have elected officials so completely out of touch with reality.
Here we have a pending Office of Information opinion and the adjudication of a civil lawsuit involving West Hawaii Today, and council members remain hell-bent to reorganize. Why don’t these people get that that the public that they represent are not interested with their power plays. Rather than be wrapped up in whose name appears first on the County Council stationary, we would like our elected officials to concentrate on more meaningful endeavors. Surely, our council members, with salaries at or surpassing $50,000 per year, have some public policies they could implement. What about those National Association of Counties and Hawaii State Association of Counties conferences that councilmembers have to spend thousands of dollars to attend? Havent they learned anything about how to write and implement public policy? Why the relentless need to be engaged in power plays?
Enlighten me. Is there any logic why council members would resubmit legislation for the same reorganization plan that has led to widespread public opposition and a legal challenge by the newspaper?
Is this the Council majority’s way of saving face? Council members rigidly sticking to their principles,even if it means driving the whole organization into the ground. Isn’t it a wonder to see how narrow-minded people can be so caught up in their idea of right and wrong that they refuse to step out of the way for something else better for the group. Wow, what leadership.

Hāmākua News — CDP Planning Process Gets Underway



(Media release) —  With funds allocated to the Hāmākua Community Development Plan (CDP) project by the County of Hawai‘i at the start of the new fiscal year on July 1, 2009, the CDP planning process is getting underway.  

Community facilitators have enlisted the kokua of three contract community liaisons to assist with community engagement and initial community input collection.  Community liaisons will be responsible for identifying and supporting facilitators, coordinating small group talk story meetings, and ensuring input is correctly recorded and transmitted to the County.  For more information on how to be a contract community liaison, please contact Frecia Basilio, Resource Center Specialist at the Hawaii County Resource Center by phone at (808) 961-8085 or via email at fbasilio@co.hawaii.hi.us.

CDP kick-off meetings will soon be held in Rural South Hilo, North Hilo, and Hāmākua.   Read more

***Commentary*** UH Football Coach McMackin’s Gay Slur And How He Can Save His Career From It

Now that a mortified University of Hawaii Football Coach Greg McMackin is being pounded with replays of his gay slur at the Western Athletic Conference’s annual football media preview in Salt Lake City Thursday, I’m sure he wishes he would have described the Notre Dame’s chant for the Warriors differently.  

“I know most of the coaches in the country are rooting for us to beat Notre Dame. Charlie gives this talk, ‘We do something special at Notre Dame,’ and (the players) get up and they do this little cheer … this little faggot dance. Don’t write that ‘faggot’ down. I was misquoted. Just please … cover for me. Go ahead, say ‘faggot dance.’ No. Please cover for me on that, too — right Karl? I’ll deny it. Anything else?”

The gay pride flag reportedly debuted at the 1978 San Francisco Gay and Lesbian Freedom Parade

A merciless media was quick to jump all over McMackin’s slur and his apology to the team, to Hawaii and to WAC.  I’m sure it is going to be awhile before the networks let the issue go. Day after day they will afflict on Coach McMackin, making him work for every penny of that $1.1 million annual salary that he gets. Just as well. Read more

***Commentary*** CARS Program Suspended; County Could Follow Fed’s Lead With Cash Incentive For Clunkers

Last weekend, in offering news about the federal government’s Cash Allowance Rebate System (CARS), I posted a photo of the remnants of a Toyota dumped in a Puna subdivision.  A couple of days ago, I passed by the area and was overjoyed to discover the Toyota had been hauled away.  Then, much to my dismay, this morning another Toyota was dumped in its place. This latest illegal dumping came within hours of news that the federal government suspended the CARS, or “cash for clunkers” program.  Apparently, the short-lived program has been such a success, officials fear the $1 billion allocated is already exhausted.  While I’m glad the program was successful, I’m disappointed it didn’t last longer.  I had hope that such a program might mean that those of us who reside in rural subdivisions would be navigating our way around less dumped clunkers and remnants thereof. Perhaps our county could follow the lead of our federal government, and come up with a cash incentive that motivates people to push or pull their rundown vehicles as far as the transfer station or the landfill.

Volcano News — ‘Photographing Your Artwork’ Workshop Is Among The Art Center Events In August


Robert Frutos

Robert Frutos

(Media release) — The Volcano Art Center announces the new workshop “Photographing Your Artwork” with Robert Frutos from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 15, 2009. This hands-on workshop explores how to photograph one’s own artwork (or the artwork of others) for personal and professional use.

“Galleries and competitions are now requesting digital format submissions over slides,” said Frutos, a professional photographer. “Learn how to capture artwork and get it right!” Artists utilizing any medium — from paintings, prints, and collage to sculpture, jewelry, and ceramics — can effectively photograph their work in a digital format. Participants learn to capture the needed images for portfolios, gallery review, juried shows, Web sites, and marketing, as well as for making photographic prints or greeting cards from original art. Read more

Hilo News — HCRA State Championship Canoe Races Saturday

(Media release) — The Moku O Hawai’i Outrigger Association will host the 2009 Hawaii Canoe Racing Association (HCRA) State Championship on Saturday, Aug. 1, 2009 at the Hilo Bay Canoe area. Opening ceremony will begin at 7:30 am and races will follow throughout the day.

A total of 57 halau from throughout the state are expected to participate in this year’s state championship. Approximately 4,000 paddlers will compete in age group categories starting at 12 and under up through the kupuna 50, 55 and 60+ age groups. A total of 38 races are scheduled in male and female events. A special exhibition featuring young alternate paddlers 12 years of age and under is set to begin at 8:30 am with the HCRA Championship Event to follow at 9 a.m. Read more

Guest Column — Lesson Learned In Richardson’s Rough Water 1-Mile Swim: Don’t Wear New Fins

Richardson's Rough Water 1 Mile Swim (Photo by Sofia Wilt)

Richardson's Rough Water 1-Mile Swim / Photo By Sofia Wilt

By Sofia Wilt

Last weekend I participated in the annual Richardson’s Rough Water 1 Mile Swim. I’ve been swimming since I was seven, did some years on swim team in my teens, swim almost every day (minus those cold winter months) and this was the first time I’ve ever done it. As as a pool swimmer mostly, you get to tune off your brain and keep only a portion of it active to count laps and can drift off into daydreaming. Ocean swimming, while easier because of the enhanced buoyancy, requires a different level of attention. There are waves, strong currents or potentially scary fish, etc. to encounter unlike in the safety of the chlorine-laden pool waters. In the ocean don’t let your mind drift off too much, of the current could suck you away. When I decided to do the race I knew I had to find some friends to do a little training in the open water. As luck would have it, deciding to do this swim had me reconnect with a girlfriend I hadn’t seen in a while and in the process also became closer friends with a woman I only sort of knew. Those two ladies are bad-ass open water mermaids.

Read more

Island News — Big Island Live Broadcasting Network Set To Launch Saturday


Pohakuloa Training Area.  Tune into Big Island Live Broadcasting Network at 5 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 1, 2009 for an interview with depleted uranium expert Dr. Lorrin Pang

Pohakuloa Training Area. Tune into Big Island Live Broadcasting Network at 5 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 1, 2009 for an interview with depleted uranium expert Dr. Lorrin Pang

(Media release) — Big Island residents will be able to receive news, information and entertainment live and in real time starting at 5 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 1, 2009 when Big Island Live Broadcasting Network (BILB) launches its premier broadcast via the internet on www.bigislandlive.com.

The unified multimedia network will be using cutting edge technology allowing the home audience to call in and interact with the shows at (808) 987-8610.  BILB Network programming will air on the internet, cable TV and on Public Access stations throughout the state.

Saturday’s broadcast commences with an interview with the state’s (notable commentator) on depleted uranium (DU), Dr. Lorrin Pang. The public and press will be able to question Dr. Pang about his thoughts on DU and the testing being conducted at the Pohakuloa Training Area on the Big Island. Read more

Dispatches From Curt — Politics Not For The Faint Of Heart; George W. Bush & Harry Truman; Westernization; And Time Immemorial


Sen. Hiram Fong was the first Asian American to serve in the U.S. Senate. Click here to visit a website in his honor.

Sen. Hiram Fong was the first Asian American to serve in the U.S. Senate (1959-1977). Click here to visit a website in his honor.

By Curtis Narimatsu

Politics Not For The Faint Of Heart

Politics are not for the “faint-hearted” — which tells you why everyday people loathe politics. Unfortunately, in more instances than not, obsessive ego gratification/selfishness result in smears [bend the truth]/outright lies to beat the foe.  John Waihe`e [our worst fiscal Governor] beat Heftel [D.C. car accident wee hrs. of morning] via libel anonymous letter accusing Heftel of being homo/adulterer.  Heftel was a much better solon than Waihe`e ever could’ve aspired to be. 

But two instances of “distancing” are not only tolerated but instructive.   1.) Moses Co. salesman Norman Tsuji urged his fellow entrepreneur Jimmy Kealoha to run vs. Gov. Quinn 1962 GOP primary.  Jimmy 1908-1983 was Quinn’s Lt. Gov.  Jimmy ate the ego lure, & the disastrous GOP primary resulted in Quinn’s loss to Norm’s “silent hero” Jack Burns. Jimmy’s temptation/vanity, Norm’s akamai purpose [Burns victory].   2.) Had Ed Case drilled TIME Mag’s judgment on languished Akaka 2006 Dem primary, Case would’ve beaten Akaka. Time Mag is reputable a la U.S. News and World Report.  No slander/libel here, just reputable opinion of Time Mag to pickback on top of.   Reprise 1964, when usually collegial/super soulful chap Hiram Fong felt backstabbed by Tom Gill [who ran vs. Fong U.S. Senate].  Fong ingeniously listed Gill’s no-shows in Gill’s U.S. House Chamber, suggesting Gill’s laziness-hypocrisy.   Read more

Island News — Hawaii County Council Special Meeting To Rescind Reorganization Is Aug. 4

The Hawaii County Council has announced a special meeting Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2009 to discuss Res. 217-09, which rescinds a June 16, 2009 reorganization. 

The 9 a.m. special meeting will be held in the Council Chambers on the second floor of the Ben Franklin Building. Click here to see the agenda.

Introduced by Council Chair J Yoshimoto, Res. 217-09, “Reverts the Council Vice Chair, Committee Chairs, and Committee Vice Chairs Back to Their Assignments Before the Adoption of Resolution No. 200-09 and 201-09.”

Following the adoption of those resolutions on June 16, 2009, the West Hawaii Today filed a lawsuit against the Hawaii County Council alleging a Sunshine Law violation and calling for the reorganization to be considered null and void.   Read more

***Commentary*** Back To Square One; A Call For Puna CDP Action Committee Applicants

As you know, Mayor Billy Kenoi has been choosy about his nominees to the Puna Community Development Plan (CDP) Action Committee. He publicly announced that he is seeking to diversify the group.  I can see his point.  But, now that I’ve read a letter from county Planner Larry Brown stating that the Planning Director has re-opened the application period for the action committee, I need to make a point. 

When you’re talking about a long-term plan for the Puna District, as in the case with the CDP, you want applicants who have a deep love and commitment to the district. But you are also talking about people making a four-year, six-hour-per-week volunteer commitment to a committee.   Read more

Puna News — Reminder: Pahoa Surf Film Festival Is Aug. 28


To commemorate Pahoa’s centennial year, Jeff Hunt Surfboards and LuQuin’s Mexican Restaurant have teamed up to host the Pahoa Surf Film Festival to be held at the Akebono Theater  at 6 p.m. Proceeds from the $5 tickets will go to Mainstreet Pahoa Association.  
“This surf film fest is about showcasing the eclectic town of Pahoa.  At the same time, it is about building community, rounding up folks with a common interest in surfing and gathering them together in town’s historic theater,” said Tiffany Edwards Hunt, co-owner of Jeff Hunt Surfboards and vice president of Mainstreet Pahoa Association.  “We are hoping this film fest is so successful that it becomes an annual event for the Puna community to anticipate.”
For the event, Salvatore LuQuin has offered the use of Akebono Theater and LuQuin’s Mexican Restaurant will provide the concessions.   Read more

Puna News — Reminder: ‘King Of The Vert’ Skateboard Contest Is Saturday

The “King of the Vert” skateboarding contest, an anti-drunk driving awareness project, will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 1, 2009 at at Pāhoa Skate Park (check-in starts at 9:30 a.m.).  

Hawai’i Broadcast Media Center and Healing Our Island is coordinating the event, which along with a message against drunk driving, is promoting sustainability and a clean aina.  Competitors, in lieu of an entry fee, are asked to bring some form of recyclable trash.  Sponsors include Big Island Designs, 808 Framers, Roots Skatepark, Oasis Skateboards, and Jeff Hunt Surfboards.  

The contest will be preceded by a 10:30 a.m. blessing of the skateboard park by Puna Councilwoman Emily Naeole, according to a release issued by the Mayor’s Office today.  For more information about the skateboard contest, contact Adam Palumbo at (808) 938-8593 or email info@bigislanddesigns.com.

*** Commentary *** Gov. Shinokea or Gov. Shikea?

Word is, Gov. Linda Lingle will appeal a ruling by Circuit Judge Karl Sakamoto that bars her from unilaterally furloughing Hawaii Government Employees Association workers for three days per month.  

“The state will shortly file an appeal and will seek expedited consideration of that appeal,”  Attorney General Mark Bennett told the Associated Press. “Gov. Linda Lingle continues to believe that her furlough plan was the best way to address the state’s fiscal crisis.”

You know, in reading the coverage of Judge Sakamoto’s ruling, which states “furloughs must be negotiated,” and in thinking the judge will probably rule the same way in lawsuits brought by the Hawaii State Teachers Association and United Public Workers, it’s clear the governor needs to focus her energy on negotiation. Read more