***Commentary*** Help Win $250K From Pepsi For Our Island Community

Image courtesy of Antique Emporium of Deadwood, South Dakota.

As you’re probably aware by now, Pepsi, in lieu of advertising in the last Super Bowl, has launched the Pepsi. Co. Refresh Project, which offers $1.3 million dollars every month for ideas that support local communities.

Our retired County building inspector Nani Masaki put together a proposal for Pepsi, requesting $250,ooo from the Pepsi Refresh grant to pay for solar to heat the Hilo and Pahoa pools, to subsidize the County’s free Hele-On bus service, and to provide hygiene items and other basic essentials to homeless shelters and faith-based organization that provide to those in need.  Pepsi gave the grant request an initial okay, but to actually be funded the idea needs to get the most internet votes.

To support this Masaki’s cause, you’ll need to log onto http://www.refresheverything.com/solarshowers to get more information, register and vote. The project will be listed for a month, beginning tomorrow, Sunday, Aug. 1, 2010. Everyone who registers can vote everyday for up to 10 ideas, from Aug. 1 – 31, 2010.  Help Masaki get the most votes.  Tell all your friends and family to vote.  Link this commentary to your Facebook page. Email it to everyone in your address book. Circulate the message as wide and as far as you can.  Where there is a will there is a way!   If you have any questions, contact Masaki at kenani@hawaii.rr.com.

***Commentary*** Kelly Greenwell Versus The Public’s Right To Know

This morning after seeing the headline front page above the fold in the Hawaii Tribune-Herald, I couldn’t get North Kona Councilman Kelly Greenwell out of my mind.
The guy is trying out for the new lead role headlining the “We’re Walking On Sunshine” band comprised of other members of the Hawaii County Council that give a rat’s ass about the public’s right to know.
According to the Tribune-Herald report,Greenwell has introduced a resolution calling for the Council to spend money hiring legal counsel to explore a proposal to the State Legislature to exempt the Council from the state’s Sunshine Law.
That law, also known as the open meetings law, ensures the public is properly noticed about public meetings and that our lawmakers at the County level are doing the public’s business in public.
Shamefully, our State Legislature exempted itself from the Sunshine Law. Our County Council wants to follow state legislators’ lead.
This is wrong and would be to our detriment. As is, we barely know what is going on with our elected officials. They hardly communicate with the public, except to litter our mailbox with pamplets claiming term accomplishments during election season. If we lose the Sunshine Law, the dark drapes will be completely drawn and we will have no way to peer in and find out what those we elected to serve us are up to.
I don’t know what is wrong with Greenwell.
Ever since that notorious illegal Council reorganization that cost us taxpayers nearly $50,000 in legal fees (due to a challenge by West Hawaii Today), Greenwell has dogged the Sunshine Law.
Does Greenwell not recall that he once was an outsider to County government? The Sunshine Law requires accountability from our lawmakers, and apparently some of our elected officials think they shouldn’t be accountable to those who made them who they are today.
Greenwell blames the Sunshine Law on the fact that none of our nine council members have accomplished anything meaningful this term. I laughed outloud when I read that lame justification.
Please, voters, can we get serious with our candidates for public office? To have this guy waste taxpayers’ dollars trying to make a pitch for Council members to be exempt from the Sunshine Law, what a joke. What a waste of time and public resources. More meaninglessness.

*** Commentary *** There’s No Aloha In The F Bomb

We have a neighbor who can be heard dropping the F bomb and other vulgarities every day.  She has such a loud and resounding voice that you have to remind yourself that she isn’t yelling at you, she is yelling at her boyfriend and her husband and one of the many children that reside in the house with her.  Having seen her outside with her children one day, I learned that the youngest of her children is about four months old.  Every day that I hear her screaming and yelling her vulgarities I think of that infant and the other children, and I think of my own child who is having to listen to her as well.

Yesterday I reached the point where I had enough of the woman’s ugliness. My 87-year-old friend visited and she and and my 2-year-old child sat on the couch underneath an open window on the side facing the vulgar neighbor’s house.  The woman screamed and yelled and emotionally vomited on her family.  As I went to close our window, I gently called out to her, “Please stop dropping the F bombs.  We have a small child and we don’t like that over here.”

The woman hollered back at me, “Mind your own F—n business!” Read more

Dispatches From Curt — Female Leaders In Judiciary And Anticipated Post Scripts

Hawaii Chief Justice nominee Katherine Leonard (L) and Gov. Linda Lingle.Â

By Curtis Narimatsu

Katherine Leonard will be the first female chief justice of the Hawai’i Supreme Court and the first to ascend to such position from UH Law School.   A centrist like Gov. Lingle, Katherine will steer clear of controversy.   Just the same, California will see the nation’s first Filipina/female chief justice, Tani Cantil-Sakauye, whose father toiled in the canefields of Hawai’i.  (See San Jose Mercury News report here.)

California Chief Justice nominee Tani Cantil-Sakauye

According to the news report, Cantil-Sakauye would also become the youngest member of the current court at the age of 50. She also may be the court’s first trained blackjack dealer, having worked such a job to pay for law school years back.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger chose Cantil-Sakauye to succeed Chief Justice Ronald George, who is ending his 14-year-career as California’s chief justice.  Cantil-Sakauye, a judge for 20 years, is a Sacramento appeals court justice.

(Curtis Narimatsu is a lifelong resident of Hilo who writes about the forgotten past such as the old plantation days & untold heroes.)

Letters — Free Roger Christie And Decriminalize Marijuana

Dear editor,

I am writing to you in support of Roger Christie and the decriminalization of cannabis/marijuana. Roger was arrested by federal agents on July 9th for growing, processing and distributing marijuana and is now being held in custody without bail.  U.S. District Judge Alan Kay said that Roger is “a danger to society.”  Federal authoities seem to think that they have made a major dent in the Big Island’s marijuana trade.  U.S. Attorney Florence Nakakuni thinks the case has far reaching impact. Robin Dinlocker, assistant special agent in charge of the DEA said “the availability of marijuana state-wide could take a significant hit as a result of the indictments.”  Roger is a peaceful man, and I have known him for over 20 years. Read more

Hawaii News — Nominations Sought For Women’s Hall Of Fame Awards

(Media release) — The Hawaii County Committee on the Status of Women is seeking nominations for the seventh annual Women’s Hall of Fame awards to be announced at a banquet on Saturday, Sept. 25, 2010, at the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel.

Nominees must be a woman residing in the County of Hawaii who has made contributions and is committed to community service, is an outstanding role model to women and children, exemplifies high moral character and conduct and embodies excellence or has made significant contributions in her field of endeavor. Read more

***Commentary*** Fred Blas And Community Servants On A Mission To Clean Up Pahoa Village Road

Photo by Tiffany Edwards Hunt. All rights reserved. Use with permission only.

On Friday, Fred Blas, one of the Hawaii County Council District 5 candidates, led those having to do community service on a cleanup of Pahoa Village Road.  They took a moment from picking up trash and weed-eating to pose for the picture above.  Kudos to them for actively seeking to improve Pahoa’s image.

Island Art — Art Day Group Exhibit At Pahoa Museum Through Oct. 23

Photo courtesy of Ken Charon

(Media release) — The artist’s group known as Art Day Group is showing a selection of their art works in an exhibition at the Pahoa Museum for the next three months.

Art Day Group was started over 15 years ago by Barry Wilkinson and Sara Steiner-Jackson as a way to encourage themselves and others to dedicate one day a week to creating art in a communal setting. The group meets every Friday at Ahalanui Park warm pond pavilion in Lower Puna and is open to art lovers of all ages. “It seemed like a good match to have our new exhibit at the museum,” says exhibit organizer Ken Charon.

Pahoa Museum emphasizes Lower Puna and an all-encompassing “healthy living culture.”

Art Day Group includes Barry Wilkinson, Sara Steiner-Jackson, Ken Charon, Rebecca Rosen Charon, MoonStar Rae, Jack Marshall, Paul Boylen, Linda Stevens, Kerri Ligatich, Bruce Black, John Mydock, Isla Harmon, Diane Cohen, Kat Alvarez, Irma Melo, Michael Donenfeld, Ann Rathbun, Vince Callager and children’s work by Jolina and Hasya Garber.

The Pahoa Museum, located in historic downtown Pahoa, is open Monday through Saturday.  Call Sarah Williams at (808) 430-1573 for details.

Island Art — Vintage Bikinis Available At Jeff Hunt Surfboards

Photo by Tiffany Edwards Hunt. All rights reserved. Use with permission only.

Jeff Hunt Surfboards in Pahoa is carrying a limited collection of vintage Jacqueline Kaleikini bikinis.  The Tahitian born Kaleikini, who is married to entertainer Danny Kaleikini, is known as Hawaii’s first bikini designer.  In the 1960s in Waikiki, she sewed custom bikinis for $10.  Her shop, which also offered muumuu and lavalava or pareo, was located in Hilton Hawaiian Vilage.  Today these vintage bikinis are a treasure, reminiscent of a bygone era in fashion and in Hawaii.

Feature — An Overview Of Uncle Boogie’s Pohoiki Bay Surfing Classic

George "Boogie" Kalama

(Editor’s note: A version of this story appeared in the July 7, 2010 edition of the Big Island Weekly.)

By Tiffany Edwards Hunt

To imagine what Uncle Boogie’s Pohoiki Bay Surfing Classic was like over July Fourth weekend is to envision what the surf-side village of Kalapana must have been like before the lava took it away in the early 1990s.

The massive lawn of the newly renovated Isaac Kepo’okalani Hale Beach Bark was filled with families camping out under tarps and in tents.  Nevermind the occasional rain and persistent wind.  The two-to-three-foot-average waves kept the surfers in the water, from morning to night.

“Aloha kekahi i kekahi,” George “Boogie” Kalama repeatedly told participants.  Whether it was Boogie’s constant reminders or the fact that participants truly embodied the true sense of the Hawaiian term for Love One Another, the love was flowing at Pohoiki.

Those who camped out at Pohoiki and participated in Uncle Boogie’s Surfing Classic embodied not only the true meaning of aloha, but also ohana.

Whether they were related or not, they treated each other like family.

Sure, they were gathered for a surf competition, but the competitiveness appeared to be a minimum outside of the water.

Participants shared meals and tasks, like preparing the maile leaf leis that were to be given to the first through fourth place winners of each division. Read more

Feature — Results Of Uncle Boogie’s Pohoiki Bay Surfing Classic

Women’s open longboard
Manu Napeahi, first place
Tianna McGuire, second place
Alexandra Miller, third place
Cathy Wilson, fourth place
Women’s open shortboard
Shrutti Kartik, first place
Cathy Wilson, second place
Annessa Klipper, third place
Christina Wilson, fourth place
Junior men’s longboard
Kiko Napeahi, first place
Hanal’e McGuire, second place
Krispin Nakoa, third place
Akila Weber, fourth place Read more

PUNA BULLETIN — Look Out For Jeff Hunt Surfboards Shoplifters

A woman who identified herself as "Stacy Adems-Kawa" (above and to the right) stole from Jeff Hunt Surfboards within the last couple of hours.

Within the last couple of hours the women depicted in these photographs were caught on surveillance stealing approximately $150 worth of merchandise from Jeff Hunt Surfboards in Pahoa.  A police report is pending.  One of the women put a couple of items on hold identifying herself as Stacy Adems-Kawa.  Given the fact that she has been caught red-handed sticking unpaid items into her black purse, I am not convinced that that is her real name.  (No worries, Stacy, our video surveillance is so good, I know every brand of every item you and your girlfriend five-fingered. Redemption will come.)

 Unidentified shoplifterÂ

I am confident that, by posting photographs of these women thieves, I will be able to positively identify them for prosecution for theft.  Any information you can provide would be most helpful.  Thefts like what just occurred this afternoon make it very difficult for small businesses like ours to survive and thrive.

Kona News — Undercover Sting Results In Marijuana-Related Arrest

(Media release) — Officers from the Area II Vice Section arrested a Kailua-Kona man Thursday afternoon, July 22, 2010 for marijuana offenses.

Within the past week, investigators received information of a person selling marijuana in the Kailua-Kona area. An undercover sting lead to the purchase of marijuana on two separate occassions from 57-year-old Robert Starling. A total of 184.7 grams (6.5 ounces) of marijuana was sold to police during the operation. The potential street value of the marijuana was estimated at $2,600.

Starling was charged late Thursday afternoon with two counts each of promoting a detrimental drug and possession of drug paraphernalia. His bail was set at $8,000.
(Submitted by Hawaii Police Department via Nixle.)

Island Art — The New Quilt

Used with permission from Herb Kawainui Kane

By Herb Kawainui Kane

This seems appropriate now because the indefatigable census takers, still chasing privacy freaks in the hills of Kona, are ending their crusade this weekend.

Ten years ago, the U.S. Census Bureau used this painting as a poster for the 2000 Census, distributed for display to all U.S. Post Offices. So why use a painting of a little girl learning Hawaiian quiltmaking from her grandmother?
The full image was used across the poster with the headline, GENERATIONS ARE COUNTING ON YOU. A very limited number of the actual Census Posters are available as an exclusive offer to this list. Grab your signed copy now for just $30.

(Herb Kawainui Kane, of South Kona, a Living Treasure of Hawaii, is an artist, author, and historian whose interest is in Hawaii and the South Pacific and who, among other things, was the general designer and builder of the sailing canoe Hokule’a and served as its first captain. To see more of his work, visit www.herbkanestudio.com)