***Commentary*** Honk For Hawaii’s Civil Union Legislation!

Image courtesy of Revbenita

In the eleventh hour, Hawaii State House of Representatives voted 31-20 in favor of a civil unions bill. The Senate passed the bill in January, but stalled in the House. Democratic House Majority Leader Blake Oshiro motioned to reconsider the bill that seemed unlikely to resurface this session.  The rest is history.

Big Island Chronicle applauds the bill’s passage, having previously expressed support for Hawaii granting gay and lesbian couples the same rights and benefits the state provides married heterosexual couples. Hopefully, Gov. Linda Lingle will act as a progressive and tolerant Republican by choosing  to not veto the legislation. We all have a basic human right to equality. Discrimination of one’s sexual orientation should not be tolerated. We should all speak up in favor of civil unions and any other measure that affords people their liberties. Honk for the State House of Representatives!

KONA BULLETIN — Eight-Year-Old Boy Missing In Kailua-Kona

(Media Release) — Police are searching for a missing 8-year-old boy in Kailua-Kona.  The boy is described as local, thin, who is 4’3″, weighs 70 pounds, and has short black hair.  He was last seen wearing blue jean shorts, a blue T0shirt with a skull design. He was last seen in Kailua-Kona village walking alone near Wal-Mart.  Call police at (808) 935-3311 with any information on the boy’s whereabouts.

Hawaii News — Mayor Reacts To Japan Airlines Suspension Of Direct Flights To Kona

Japan Airlines intends to suspend its Narita to Kona route in October as part of its bankruptcy reorganization plan. (Image courtesy of Follow The Money)

(Media release) — Mayor Billy Kenoi convened a special meeting this week between the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, the County, the State Tourism Liaison and other major stakeholders such as the hotels and tour wholesale companies to pursue a strategy to respond to the flight suspension of Japan Airlines to Kona.

“Direct flights are critical to the well-being of our working families and small businesses, and we will work with all of the major players to preserve this vital component of our economy,” Mayor Kenoi said. “Kona is the only airport outside of Honolulu that receives international direct flights, and it is important that we develop a strategy that helps us preserve the federal infrastructure that is now in place in Kona to serve international arrivals.” Read more

Letters — Regarding The Land Fund

St. John's Valdosta Blog

Dear editor:

The Charter Commission has submitted their charter amendments to the council for comments (as required by the Hawaii County Charter). The Council’s comments are due to the Charter Commission by mid-May. The following resolutions are recommendations to the CHARTER COMMISSION about what will be placed on the ballot.  The following THREE Resolutions recommending changes in the 1% Land Fund Charter amendment will be heard on Wednesday, May 5th at 9:45 at the Sheraton Keauhou.

We recommend that you support Resolution #335.  We have been working with Dominic Yagong and his staff to bring forward this resolution. Read more

Guest Column — Regarding The Right To Bear Arms

Image courtesy of Breakdown of America

Dr. Ed Gutteling

Last Sunday, Dr Thomas Burnett gave the monthly address to the Conservative Forum for Hawaii, entitled “The 2nd Amendment: Constitutional Issues.” Speaking in Hilo at the Naniloa Hotel’s Polynesian Room, Dr. Burnett explored the subject of Americans’ right to arm themselves.

In the spirit of the non-partisan nature of the Conservative Forum, Dr. Burnett declared he was neither a conservative nor a liberal, and refused labels. He voted for Obama, but on questioning said he did not have confidence that his Attorney General Eric Holder would respect the constitutional right of citizens to arm themselves. He emphasized that he is truly an independent thinker.

He made the point that the 2nd Amendment is frequently misinterpreted.

As written, the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution of the United States stipulates:

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

Two words are especially misinterpreted: “militia” and “well regulated.” Read more

Hawaii News — Be On Alert For Scam Artists

Image courtesy of the Dark Knight unofficial movie blog

(Media release) — Big Island Police are warning members of the public to be aware that scam artists are still sending letters and e-mails advising people that they have won a prize.

The scam usually asks the victim to send an amount of money to someone so they can claim a much larger amount. This is a scam that has been circulating for years. In one variant, the suspect sends the intended victim a check for one amount asking that a different amount (usually slightly smaller) be sent somewhere for fees or taxes. Read more

Letters — Road Safety, Fuel Taxes And The Politics Of Road Maintenance

Dear editor:

Resolution 321-10 (Grant-in-Aid program for private road maintenance) is presently before the County Finance Committee and it is a county wide issue. Ending fifty years of county neglect  is not going to be smooth and it is not going to be easy.

While the creation of an Ad-Hoc committee,  which will work out the ways and means of helping maintain miles and miles of substandard roads, is pending I thought it time to discuss some real time aspects of the proposal.  Some interesting perspectives have been brought forth which are worthy of consideration.

This whole path has been a learning one.  Very few citizens dig very deeply into the collection, distribution and use of gasoline taxes.  So as Friends of Puna’s Future (FoPF) has researched the subject there has been a learning curve.  Interesting things are discovered.  I share some of them with you here. Read more

Hawaii News — Apply For The Hawaiʻi Island Leadership Series — Ulumau — By June 16

(Media release) — Applications for the 2010-2011 Session of The Hawaiʻi Island Leadership Series — Ulumau — are now available on-line at www.ulumau.org. Deadline for all applications is June 15, 2010, with enrollment limited to 16 participants.

The Hawaiʻi Island Leadership Series — Ulumau — expands the ranks of community leadership by providing a broad range of leaders with the knowledge and incentive to confront the needs of the island. The Series begins in September with an orientation, followed by a two-day opening retreat. From October through May, classes meet in full-day sessions once per month, at locations around Hawai‘i Island, to provide working knowledge of pertinent issues facing the communities. Read more

Guest Column — Quality Of Life

Image courtesy of Bruce Markow

By Dr. Thomas Burnett

(1) I have no terminal disease or remarkable physical impairment.  I am healthy and not overweight.

(2) I have a warm, dry, safe place to sleep.

(3) I have an elegant sufficiency of food.

(4) I collect more than enough clean, fresh water.

Today, as at the end of every month, my bank balance is zero. I have no savings or investments. That is purely by choice. Read more

East Hawaii News — Post Legislative Session Community Meeting Tuesday

Among the highlights of this legislative session: lawmakers raided $67 million from the Hurricane Relief Fund to halt the administration's plan for Furlough Fridays next school year. (Image courtesy of the Senate Majority Caucus Blog)

(Media release) — East Hawaii senators and representatives will host a post session wrap-up community meeting in Hilo at 6 p.m., Tuesday, May 4, 2010 at UH-Hilo.

Senator Dwight Takamine (Senate District 1) and Senator Russell Kokubun (Senate District 2), and Representatives Jerry Chang(House District 2), Clift Tsuji (House District 3 ), and Faye Hanohano(House District 4) are expected to provide residents a summary of the work accomplished during this legislative session. Read more

Dispatches From Curt — Early Telephones; Ancient Block Ice-Making Plants; Wailuku River Bridges; And Other Musings

Electric Crank Wall Telephone Box image courtesy of ioffer.com

By Curtis Narimatsu

Early Telephones

In 1882 Elmer Richards started the Hilo and Hawaii Telephone and Telegraph Co., noted especially for extending phone service to Chun Afong’s palatial estate at Pepe’ekeo Point area. Of course, by 1885 phone lines extended out to Kawaihae, and by 1891 phone lines extended out to Ka’u/Wai’ohinu. By 1895 West Hawai’i was linked up, and by 1901 so was the 25 mile Kapoho line. In 1913 Honolulu’s Mutual Telephone Co. started buying out Big Island interests. Hand-crank phones were replaced by dial telephones starting in 1930, but the last hand-crank phones were not replaced until 1957 in the Kapoho and Waimea areas. Read more

Puna News — Arson Suspected In Hawaiian Paradise Park Fire

Image courtesy of WFXL Fox 31

(Media release) — Big Island police are asking for information about a fire Monday, April 26, 2010, in the Hawaiian Paradise Park subdivision of Puna.

Responding to a 6:29 p.m. call of a structure fire, Puna patrol officers discovered the house at 15-1587 30th Avenue to be fully engulfed in flames.

Police detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section responded to the scene and are continuing the investigation in cooperation with the Hawai’i County Fire Department. The fire appears to have been set intentionally.   Read more

Waikoloa News — Michael Bonelli Charged With Three Felonies In Medical Marijuana Theft

Michael Bonelli

(Media release) — Big Island police have charged a Waikoloa man in connection with a robbery in Waimea last week.

Detectives from the Area II Criminal Investigations Section charged 21-year-old Michael Bonelli at 10:40 a.m., today, Tuesday, April 27, 2010 with second-degree robbery, first-degree burglary and second-degree theft.

A 38-year-old Kamuela man reported that he returned home after his morning walk Thursday morning, April 22 to find a male intruder, who threatened him with physical harm and removed two medical marijuana plants from his house. Read more