***Commentary*** My Last Writing Of 2009

Time to start finger pecking. This is my last blog entry of 2009.. I imagined I would first handwrite notes for what I wanted to write. But lounging to journal is such a rarity for me these days. I’m in constant service — to my daughter, to my husband, to our business, to my extended family and friends. I feel selfish taking time to read a few chapters in a book, let alone write.
Those who know me know that, in the time since I first took classes from Dr. Manu Meyer, annually I choose a word for the year ahead.
In 2009, I chose creativity. Looking back on the last year, I can see how fitting the word truly was for me.
For 2010, I’m choosing efficiency.
As a friend suggested, “it’s not about working harder, but smarter.”
I want to get more organized, more punctual, more concise.
I can’t stand feeling like the white rabbit in Alice and Wonderland. “I’m late! I’m late!” While I seem to like order, I’ve had too much chaos. While I naturally prefer to have a place for things, things have seemed out of place.
I don’t want to spend the next year lost in a sea of post-it notes, crying over losing one or another piece of information because I haven’t figured out a clear or concise way to collect my data.
The word chosen, I should list some resolutions floating in my mind.
Chief on the list is to hone in on being an awesome mom, wife and manager. There is always room for improvement. Improving my mothering, partnership, and birg household and shop management is followed by perfecting my surfing. I really, really would love to walk the nose in this lifetime, if not this year. But that would mean some beachtime.
I am hoping 2010 makes for some prosperous times for our store, with plenty of customers and helpers committed to the cause.
Another resolution is to ensure that we live closer to our work, that we stop literally and metaphorically driving down and up the same potholes everyday. The fact is, we need to live on the same property as our store, and I need to figure out how to make that happen.
Also on the list is yogatime. I hope for the day when I can do yoga nearly as often as I did before I became a wife and mother. I really would like to turn on that Richard Freeman DVD I got for Xmas, and revisit the asanas I once knew by heart. Now, I just need to take the time.
I must see my mainland family, including my father, in 2010. I really want my daughter to know her papa other than seeing him in pictures. Hopefully my cousin who graduates from high school this coming semester will come out this summer like she said she would. It will be nice to introduce her to the tropics and the magic of this island.
Since I’m writing out all my thoughts, maybe this will be the year we go for baby number two. I’m not sure about that, though, because I’m still really conflicted about where I’d want to give birth.
I really would love to give birth in Puna. I’d like to see Puna, or Hilo even, embrace midwifery and establish a birth center.
Nearly two years later, I’m grateful for the experience I had giving birth with the assistance of a midwife at the North Hawaii Community Hospital. In my mind, it is ridiculous that I had to leave the district of Puna and pass through the Districts of Hilo and Hamakua to have natural childbirth. My labor probably wouldn’t have lasted three days had I not have done so much traveling. Thank goodness for the Hapuna Prince! 🙂 Hey, I just had an epiphany. Maybe one of the hotels would want to convert to a birth center:) what a thought!
Let’s see, what else… I guess I’m not going to have too many expectations for the year ahead and the decade to come.
Generally, I want to be able to provide my child with great experiences and teach her to be a good person and citizen. I want her to be civic-minded and not too materialistic. Hopefully, when she is ten, I can tell you I succeeded in raising a fine girl with ethics, morals, manners, and plenty of talent.
In the year to come, I’m hoping to introduce her to dance classes and maybe the Montessori school in Pahoa if they come to allow for part-time enrollment. I’m not ready to send her off for a full day, just a few hours of socialization and honing in on the ABCs and 123s.
Regarding my lifelong love of journalism, well, I promise to work hard as the vice president of the Big Island Press Club. I really would love to see us bring back the Imu. That requires some clever writing to roast. I’ll commit to doing that. I am looking forward to serving on the press club board this year.
Along with the press club, I’d like to stay regularly writing for the Weekly and my very own Chronicle.
I have some story ideas I would like to pursue thus year and, for my blog, I want to do a redesign that will surely impress. But the latter will require some more advertisers to justify the expense.
Also in 2010, I’d really like to take Jeff Hunt Surfboards online. The time is now for an e-store, just need the write computer program, the funds for that expense, and the time for the data entry.
Speaking of time, one of my Christmas presents was a Rip Curl watch that I hope will help me ti be punctual and efficient with my time.
I could list on and on, but at some point it becomes a matter of manifesting destiny.
I wish you all a happy new year a prosperous and joyful decade to come. Kiss a face, hug a bod, be grateful for your breath, your body, this life. This is it, people. Make the most of it. 🙂
Mahalo nui loa for taking the time to read this blog in the last year. I remain committed to provide, news, opinion, and the forum for a public conversation. Just know that this for me is a family business. Take (Your) Daughter To Work Day is everyday at my house. I blog when the child naps or goes down for the night.
How could I forget, my gawd. In 2010, I hope for a reliable home Internet provider. As I write, I’m finger-pecking on my iPhone, ‘cuz my home Internet is down. This is the case, in spite of a 30-foot antenna on our roof.
Hopefully, my technology problem can get worked out in the year ahead.
In any event, a hui hou! See you next year! 🙂

Letters — Introduction From A Council District 5 Candidate

(Editor’s Note: Following is a campaign-related letter from James Weatherford, Ph.D., who intends to run for the Hawaii County Council District 5 seat currently occupied by Emily Naeole-Beason.  Big Island Chronicle is publishing the following letter as an introduction to Weatherford as a political candidate in the campaign season to come.  Those  intending to seek public office in Hawaii County are encouraged to write introductory letters to be published here.  Introductions aside, those who wish to publicize their campaign on this blog should buy an ad.  Email newswoman@mac.com for ad rates.)

James Weatherford

James Weatherford


My name is James Weatherford and I will be a candidate for Hawaii County Council District 5 in 2010. With my wife, Elizabeth, I reside in Hawaiian Paradise Park.

The Council can make a positive difference in what matters to us all. As a Councilor, I will be a creative and productive force in helping to bring that difference to materialize.

My approach on the Council will be to apply the work ethic I learned as a child doing farm chores and applied in more than 20 years of public service in agriculture and rural development, mass transit, economic analysis, and education.

My priority on the Council will be good government for Hawaii County and sustainable livelihood in Puna. I will get to work on this on Day One, because I have a clear awareness of persisting and emerging issues, a sound grasp of the nature of alternatives available to successfully contend with the issues, and a well-grounded understanding of the role of the Council in implementing appropriate measures. Read more

Hugh-isms — Fiscal Responsibility, Maui Style

Hugh Clark

Hugh Clark

It may not be the sour economy after all, but Gov. Lyndy’s bad investments has cost us Hawaii folk nearly $1 billion (that’s one thousand, million bucks for those who are not accountants), according to Tuesday’ poorly reported (not reported at all in Trib or WHT or Star-Bulletin) the joint legislative money committees learned on Tuesday.

Her present shortfall is about $1.2 billiion, so $975 million of this crisis problem is of her own making. I find that appalling and certainly not the business-like government she had promised voters in  2002 and again in 2006.

Sounds a lot more like that religious zealot at Central Pacific Bank who left it struggling to survive after gambling heavy in Callifornia’s failed real estate market and then zipping out of town with a $5 million parachute after squandering the retirement assets of good, loyal, long-term employees.

Yet she has the gall to assert the proposed  BOE-Teacher Union compromise to restore a basic learning schedule is somehow not doable. “Not a credible plan.” she keeps saying. I, for one, do not believe she has rationale for this denial. Read more

Hawaii News — County To Receive $123K In Federal Funds For Emergency Food And Shelter Programs

(Media release) — Congresswoman Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) today announced the awarding of $485,827 in U.S. Department of Homeland Security grant funding to help island agencies feed the hungry, shelter the homeless as well as prevent hunger and homelessness during next fiscal year.

This federal grant is being awarded through the Department Homeland Security’s Emergency Food and Shelter (EFS) Program.

Of the federal funds allocated to the State of Hawaii, $123,116 has been awarded to the County of Hawaii. The remaining $362,711 in grants will be utilized by the State’s Set-Aside Committee. Read more

Kona News — Pool Closed Tuesday And Wednesday

(Media release) — The County of Hawaii Department of Parks and Recreation announces that the Kona Community Aquatic Center at Kailua Park will be closed on Tuesday, January 5 and Wednesday, January 6 for repairs.  The pool will reopen on Thursday, January 7.

The staff of the Department of Parks and Recreation thanks all patrons for their understanding and patience during this required closure.  Please call (808) 961-8694 for further information.

Kona News — Magic Sands Parking Lot To Be Closed Tuesday

(Media release) — The County of Hawai‘i Department of Parks and Recreation announces that the Magic Sands Parking Lot will be closed on Tuesday, January 5, from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., while employees work to replace the existing lifeguard tower. For information, call Clayton Honma, Deputy Director, Department of Parks and Recreation at (808) 961-8311.

Hawaii News — ‘Āhalanui Park, Isaac Kepo’okalani Hale Memorial Park, Kahalu‘u Beach Park And Spencer Park Maintenance Schedule For 2010

(Media release) — The County Department of Parks and Recreation has announced the general maintenance schedule for ‘Āhalanui Park, Isaac Kepo’okalani Hale Memorial Park, Kahalu‘u Beach Park and Spencer Park at ‘Ōhai‘ula Beach for the calendar year 2010.

These periodic short-term closures are necessary to accomplish larger scale maintenance activities without putting the public at unnecessary risk or inconvenience. Read more

Hawaii News — Hawaii Forest Industry Association Receives Grant

Nathan Yuen photo

Nathan Yuen photo

(Media release) — The Hawaii Forest Industry Association has been awarded a $5,000 grant from Hawaii County’s Department of Research and Development to elevate the awareness of koa through a campaign entitled Koa: Standing the Test of Time.

With grant monies, HFIA has already begun evaluating existing collateral of its Hawaii’s WoodTM branding program and making recommendations to revise materials to better encompass more information about koa and other Hawaiian hardwoods.

“Koa’s unsurpassed beauty and durability means it has become a luxury status symbol and highly desired by woodcrafters,” explained HFIA Executive Director Heather Gallo. “By broadening and building the awareness of koa, in part through this grant for which HFIA is grateful, we can do our part to help koa ‘stand the test of time.’” Read more

Island News — County Human Resources Director Mike Ben Retires, Replaced By Ron Takahashi

Mike Ben

Mike Ben

(Media release) — Michael R. Ben, director of Human Resources for the county, is retiring from government service effective today, Thursday, Dec. 31, 2009.  Ben has served 17 years as director beginning June 1992, after having served as deputy director since October 1988.  He has more than 35 years of government service including 21 years with the County and 14 years with the State of Hawai‘i.

Ben’s career paralleled the growth of public sector collective bargaining in Hawai‘i, and had been the county’s chief negotiating spokesperson on collective bargaining matters.  As administrative head of the county’s Department of Human Resources, Ben was responsible for recruitment and examination for county civil service positions, compensation and benefits for employees, employee and labor relations, health and safety of employees, employee and organizational development, and equal opportunity both in employment, and access to County facilities and activities. Read more

Dispatches From Curt — RIP Stanley Hara

Stanley Hara (image courtesy of the University of Hawaii-Hilo)

Stanley Hara (image courtesy of the University of Hawaii-Hilo)

Stanley Hara respectfully told Gov. Sam Wilder King in 1953,  “You haven’t seen the last of me, Mr. Governor,” when King rejected farm produce outfit headed by Stanley to ship island produce to Mainland during winter months.  King was for Big 5, not grassroot joes like Stan, which is when Kazuhisa Abe had 30 yr. old Stan run for House [Dem Revolution 1954].

Abe/Stan got big boost from Jack Hall’s ILWU – until hothead Eddie De Mello [Hilo dock clerk] wrongfully told members that Stan cozied up w/Big 5 via watered-down work comp law 1956. As Stan intones, politics are the art of compromise, & Gov. King vetoed record # of Dem Bills, unequalled to date — so Stan/solons had to get half a loaf instead of none.  Faladoo/noisebox Eddie De Mello was incapable of comprehending politics.  When George Martin came along, the ILWU was in much better hands.   Everyone respected George Martin.  Stan credits Masato Doi/Vince Esposito for polishing up Stan on legislative procedure, topped by Stan’s alter ego Abe.

Stan said that Abe galvanized Territory-wide [primary upgrade to Manoa] enrichment of university role/function, while Tommy Sakakihara compelled expansion of UH-Hilo.  Abe unrelentingly told Manoa’s boss Holmes to updraft UH’s calibre/fiscal needs. Gerald De Mello should’ve enshrined Stan into UH-Hilo’s hall of honor/fame at the outset [I exhorted Gerald to do so, which Gerald did long after Gerald’s cronies were installed].   Read more

Hilo News — Police Investigate What They Believe Was An Attempted Murder And Suicide In Pi’ihonua Last Night

(Media release) — Big Island police are investigating a shooting in Pi’ihonua last night (December 30) that left a man dead and his estranged female companion in critical condition. 

South Hilo Patrol officers were called to the Manaolana Place home of 28-year-old Harry Batalona just after 7 p.m. last night for the reported shooting. 

Fire department personnel took both people to Hilo Medical Center, where Batalona, suffering a gunshot wound to the head, was pronounced dead shortly after arrival. 

The woman, identified as 24-year-old Jolene Medeiros of a different Hilo address, arrived at the hospital with multiple gunshot wounds. She is listed in critical condition.   

Preliminary results of an autopsy performed on Batalona this morning (December 31) indicated that he died of a single, self-inflicted gunshot to the head.       

Detectives with the Criminal Investigation Section are continuing this investigation classified as an attempted murder and suicide.

Astrological Forecast — 2010: Tighter Controls, Increased ‘Security,’ And More Reasons To Be Detained

(Editor’s Note: Norma Jean Ream is a 30-year astrologer who resides in Puna. For more information about Ream or her astrological work, visit www.astrologyhawaii.com.)

By Norma Jean Ream

My December article on my blog, Sirius Star Talk, addressed the issue that even though the White House is talking about creating jobs, there is not going to be a surge of people returning to the regular workforce any time soon.

In an article titled “Brace for a Jobless Decade”, appearing December 28 on www.CommonDreams.org Mary Bottari, Director of Center for Media and Democracy, wrote:

“While the stimulus package passed by Congress was big and slowed the pace of job loss, the problem was even bigger. The Economic Policy Institute estimates that the Obama stimulus bill has created or saved between 170,000 and 235,000 jobs per month starting in the second quarter of 2009. Yet, Princeton economist Paul Krugman says that the country would have to produce an additional 300,000 jobs per month for five years to achieve full employment.

Unfortunately, the economy is weak and far from producing such spectacular numbers.  Economist David Levy, says the country faces a new era of chronically high unemployment, averaging 8 percent or more over the next decade. He calls it the “New Abnormal.”

The astrological factors we face going into the next decade are the dynamic phases of several long cycles that historically show theses periods to be about great social and civil changes. Read more

Hawi News — Lighthouse Liquors Set To Host Grand Opening Friday

(Media release) — The charming community of North Kohala is now home to a totally new shopping experience. Known as Kohahla Spirits for more than 25 years, the completely remodeled Lighthouse Liquors in the center of Hawi Town will hold its grand opening on Fri., Jan. 1, upon opening at 11 a.m., after the store blessing. The grand-opening gala includes live music throughout the day, and a vodka education seminar featuring a build-your-own Bloody Mary bar.

Anyone familiar with the previous store will immediately notice the major renovation: wooden flooring and beautiful sapele mahogany accents, deep red walls, a massive 18-foot walk-in cooler housing more than 130 different beers, and a selection of liquor and wine as diverse as Kohala’s residents. Staffed by the outgoing and knowledgeable owners whose enthusiasm complements the makeover, local patrons are guaranteed an upbeat and informative shopping experience. Read more

Kukuiheale News — ‘An Enchanted Evening Under the Blue Moon’ Is Thursday


Leanne Venier art. To see more, visit www.leannevenier.com.

(Media Release) — Never underestimate the power of two determined women. The conversation went something like this: “We have to do something to procure funds to get this program going. I know but what can we do? We could ask the community for help.”

That was just six weeks ago when Lauren Rainer and Kristin Dobson of Sundays Child Foundation were brainstorming on ways to get going their much-needed  programs, which will provide education and healing to children in foster care and resource families. The Kamali’i Ohana Project is currently underway in response to shelter and care for abused children on the Island of Hawaii, but they are still desperately in need of funding.

Sundays Child Foundation is a relatively new nonprofit and like all nonprofits these days, it is confronted with the challenges of raising funds to provide their services. In the face of what is being termed as “the worst economy this nation has seen in decades,” these two women are plowing ahead with their intention to show children in foster care that there still is hope, and they are not the forgotten ones who fall through the cracks of our decaying social system.

At 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 31, 2009, Lauren and Kristin, on behalf of Sundays Child Foundation, will be hosting a gala fundraising event to raise awareness of the needs for this grossly underserved group. The event, “An Enchanted Evening Under the Blue Moon,” is a formal affair with live entertainment provided by Uncle Boogie and Grady Keystone, & a local keiki halau. Read more