• Still trying to find the time to sit down and write a summation of the Big Island Chronicle Candidates Forum and Debates held Saturday, Aug. 7, 2010 at the Akebono Theater.  In the meantime, I want to point out to you that Dave Corrigan, with Big Island Video News, has coverage of the event posted on his blog and I strongly urge you to check it out here and here. Mahalo nui loa, Dave! A round of applause for Big Island Video News! Baron Sekiya of Hawaii247.com also videoed some of the forum and debates and, when that coverage is up on that site, I’ll let you know.

    You can also check out the live blogging from Bruce Albrecht at the event here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here (more links when I have time). I can’t thank everyone enough for the participation and all the help that went into making this a very successful and informative event. Individual thank yous will be saved for my summation to come. Folks interested in local politics should know Malama O Puna is hosting a candidates’ debate at the Pahoa Neighborhood Facility (Puna Community Center) at 6 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2010.

    Below are my lengthy notes written up during the event:

    “ALOHA attendees!
    Welcome to the Big Island Chronicle Political Forum and Debates…
    Here’s the scoop:
    Sign up for a Big Island Chronicle Voter’s Guide, which will also be published in the Big Island Weekly.
    All your questions not asked today will be asked and answered of the candidates in this guide.
    Did you submit your question(s)? Do so up front…
    REDISTRICTING maps are up front as well… Grab some crayons and envision what your Council District will look like next year after the Reapportionment Commission decides the District’s fate… Redistricting will be one of the most important issues in the coming Council term… This is your opportunity to become educated on this important issue.
    PASTRIES and coffee and other yumminess is available up front courtesy of Pahoa Museum.  Please be sure to donate for your pastries and refreshments. All donations benefit the museum and help us compensate Salvatore Luquin for use of the theater.
    And, as you can see we are running late… ENJOY YOURSELF. Dance if you want.
    Folks, we have live coverage on the blog as of now… Thank you, Bruce Albrecht… need tech advice call Bruce at 960-6574…
    Just a few more minutes to allow things to be set up, folks.  Have fun. Eat pastries and donate…
    FYI  The SORBET AND LILIKOI JUICE at the concession stand are awesome… Donate and have some yourself…
    Will the state senatorial candidates please make their way up to the front…?
    STATE SENATE District 2
    Mike Hale… wants to help small business, environment, education… notjust for youth, but for adults as well… technology…
    Russell Kokubun … state senate… lived in volcano for 32 years… started off as a farmer in volcano… through community activism… county council then state… real privilege to be of service to this comm and state
    Lee McIntosh… small business owner… Discovery Harbor since 2005… interested in helping community solve problems
    Tim Waugh… Hilo… public school educated… former corrections officer… pastor now… coached… assist volleyball coach Kea’au… more involved more thoughts out there…
    candidate introductions 1 minute
    1. What can you do to help resolve the transportation problems in Puna?
    Hale: biggest problem in Puna… down here in Pahoa… no emergency road… needs to be built… put in… whether use Railroad… already set up… Shipman said would give land to help (?) also need lights. got some worst safety intersections in all of the state of Hawaii… getting neglected.  fasted growing area in Puna… and Ka’u as well… member of Mainstreet Pahoa Assn had discussion of safety issues in Past… No sidewalks in Pahoa… need to get these things taken care of…
    Kokubun: Hwy 130 is first priority for Puna… state hwy needs to be improved… fact is, population is growing… a lot of times… government is behind the eight ball instead of being up front… planning for hwy 130 as well as alternate route… key is implementation… can’t just spend time planning… Know Shower for bypass hwy… but that is such a small part needs to be extended into Pahoa… to me that needs to happen… frankly, I know people not wanting to see not much bigger road, but for amount of traffic… ability to happen sooner… my opinion… four lane hwy, but additional safety measures need to accompany… lights… turn outs… not impede the flow… alternate route also needs to be looked out… people talk about one way in and one way out of Pahoa… same can be said for much of island…
    McIntosh: I believe roads are important responsibility of state and county… just in talking with people of Puna district… good idea for state to get to get alternate route… working with people in district id which roads would be best… I feel know some improvements… state wants to put in stop lights… people want roundabouts… feel state should allow roundabouts if that is what people want.
    Waugh: Roads… all these things are great idea… way overdue… infrastructure should be put in years ago… think Railroad is viable option… problem is got to find the revenue to pay for it… state itself is in crisis… need to get Federal help… like the four lane hwy… people will be opposed to it no matter what you do… going to have to have some kind of medical facility out here… maybe state run… too many people dying on highways… women in labor and childbirth… not enough time to get to hospital… got to get money
    2. What is your position on the regulation or lack thereof of marijuana or cannabis?
    Kokubun: past session Senate passed a bill to house… comfort places very much modeled like what is going on in Calif. With Obama admin taking position not seeking prosecution for medical marijuana… think the problem there is that the supply… how do you get people access to that prescriptive drug… tried to experimental farm on Oahu… grow marijuana for medicinal purposes… that did not work out… looking more what works now with respect Cal
    McIntosh: Marijuana is really an issue would have to change the federal laws with congressional reps and senators… don’t believe the state should make laws that oppose… congressional laws(?) puts in opposition to the federal govenrment…
    Waugh: think if you prescribed something you should be able to use it… Trying to model after Cal… Hawaii should lead instead of follow… should pitch ideas to community to see how can do better… what saying about federal… not going to prosecute.. still have ability to prosecute… change in admin can … hawaii got to lead… as in other things… Hawaii’s laws should protect Hawaii’s people… need to get on board with that… experimental farms… think gentlemen farms does better than experimental farms… got to have doctors prescribe what can be used…
    Hale: med marijuana is a no brainer… if doctor prescribes it and it is taken away… should be going to jail… Hale is running as Republican and for legalization of marijuana… caveat. protect citizens… secondhand smoke bothers Hale a lot… not acceptable, especially with marijuana… Away from kids… can’t even keep alcohol and cigs away from kids… need mari away from kids… no mari and driving… Let people decide for themselves…
    3. Two part question on education:  1. what are your thoughts about local school boards?  2.  How will you work to ensure equal funding for public charter schools?
    McIntosh: For the school boards Mc believe good step and right direction took in 2004… able to help alleviate some of the furlough fridays in schools and I feel that the state should work with the school boards in expanding their authority… and funding for the school charter… public charter schools… Mc feels it should be equal for both the public and charter rather than sliding scale where charter schools get less funding.
    Waugh: Think we need to get back to one of things I believe in readjust state income tax system… repeal state personal income tax… general excise tax increase… tax dedicated to autonomous DOE… more funding DOE can run itself better… filter down to schools… adequate funding to each school… no parity in school in Pahoa versus school in Hilo… $100 million backlog in repairs in schools… if kids aren’t safe in schools… need to adjust tax system to ensure equity… then local school boards… child in downtown Hilo is way different than kid in Pahoa…  Money is big thing… always going to be an issue… charter schools.
    .. lose a lot of kids in shuffle… some kids are more agriculturally sensitive… some more technical… some born to be mechanics… if try and make everyone learn calculus… get these things in right perspective so everyone gets education (applause)
    Hale: a lot to say about education… home school 15 year old son… did it all my own home school in last year and a half… working with home school in Pohoiki… home schooled daughter last two years.. just graduated from Hilo High with honors… not a big fan of public schools… charter schools are best in state… son wants to go to HAAS… can’t get in… why are charter schools getting half the funding?  Have another home school program through HAAS… need to model throughout state… need to make effective by using technology… all teaching should be filmed and put on Internet… use same money using now… film and put on Internet… attend UH yourself and get credit for it… not that much money yourself (applause) more ideas on education… one ideas… education to two year degree at least… can’t do that with current system… less tuition for life skills courses… farming… technology… teaching people to be a mechanic… they’ll be a mechanic… teach them technology… like computers…
    Kokubun: education great equalizer… better understanding of lifeskills or can’t compete in global market… with respect to local school boards… regions to determine what is going on… right now education complex area… moving toward more self determination with current structure… think we are moving toward technology focus… lots of distance learning… need to reach out even further… at high school level as well… Charter School… need to create more equity… reason for inequity currently… hidden behind facilities cost… because when charter schools came into being didn’t utilize state facilities… left up to their own… Working hard to change that… Kokubun working with Volcano public charter school… recently assumed parcel for the Keakealani (?sp) education system… Difficult time finding a place… able to make match… working with them to find additional funding to begin campus development… would like that to be a model for other charter schools… one of the impediments (no child left behind)
    4. What is your first planned piece of legislation should you be elected to the State House/State Senate, and why?
    Waugh: Take a real hard look at taxes, try and fix problem with taxes… get money where needs to be… going to harp on this until elected… repeal income tax and increase general tax… look at tax structure… so nobody can really deduct their way out of paying taxes… that has to be the tradeoff… first order of business is taking a look at that…
    Hale: voucher system (education?) first piece of legislation… PACE … Property asssessed voluntary tax… get our homes off of oil right now… within a couple of years… influx of money in our economy as well… paid for by a bond… no additional tax… bond pays for your home to get solar power… immediately take effect of reduced HELCO bill… saving money for property tax bill… that’s first piece… lots of other ideas…
    (applause)
    Kokubun: Health care… diminishing number of physicians and specialists… rural residency program is what pushing… grads from John A. Burns school of medicine… where do residency is where end up practicing… something just got started… done on shoestring… first piece of legislation… provide for dedicated funding source for that program… need to recruit more physicians and nurses. .. that program will help do that…
    McIntosh: Will help introduce all issues on my platform… Focus on balancing budget without raising taxes or fees… looking for (inaudible)
    5. Why should constituents vote for you?
    Hale: not afraid Right now is key… to making these things happen… last fourty years people saying got to fix this problem… now here now… got to do it… will wear tie and suit and try to make people rspect me and I will try and fight for Puna for island for earth.
    Kokubun: my vision for Hawaii… keys for me are that we are way too dependent on imports… rely so much on fossil fuel for imports… food sec urity perspective… these issues need to be at the forefront… something I’m committed to on a political level and on a personal level…
    McIntosh: Help people solve problems… learned how to work and relate with different people… willing to take a stand for my issues that I believe in… life liberty limited government… responisbility… fiscal
    Waugh: Why vote for me… dad from mainland… mom from here… not rich… serve community… not out of touch… understand how all these things work… understand how solutions work… part of people who protested geothermal… sympathize with those people… public school educated… child graduated from Kam School this year… been through every kind of experience you can think of… not going to be unaccessible… you will have a sympathetic ear… bring to table solutions kind of guy…
    One more question… folks please be patient… we are all volunteers… one lady was just asked to leave because she would not accept the fact that we cannot predict how long each of these sessions are going to take… It’s time for people to sit back and relax and listen and not anticipate the future… LISTEN…
    And yes I will ask people to leave whether or not you are my elder… we are all volunteers… You can have a free pastry… well nothing is free… donation…
    Again, last question for state senatorial candidates:
    6. Two part question: Is there any legislation currently on the books that you are going to seek to repeal?  If so, which one(s) and why?
    Kokubun: doesn’t come to mind exactly what I would repeal…
    McIntosh: two issues come to mind: statute bans tasers and stun guns… need to defend self and property… also, another one would be statute carrying permits… simpler for people to protect themselves…
    Waugh; Hard to say what want to repeal unless community has something want repeal… one law might work for some people and not others… don’t know what should be repeled unless brought to our attention…
    Hale: Patriot Act, come on? Looking at other candidates… We can make it illegal for them to do it for us in our state… When Patriot Act came out… went to work and then a few months later Patriot Act… part of our deal was to read and agree to Patriot Act as a financial advisor… if anyone comes to you for $10K… got to find out where money is coming from… huge injustice for the people… we need to let higher ups know don’t appreciate… one thing commend Kokubun on is 2050 sustainability project… that’s great but I may be dead… I’m saying Sustainability 2012… we need to make changes now, right this second..
    Russell: Peter: Question is, would you support bringing Civil Unions bill back during next legislative session and what would vote be:
    Lee McIntosh : support trad marriage… wouldn’t vote for civil unions… notes the ballot initiative… really in order to change that need a constitutional amendment
    Waugh: Pastor… expected to answer a certain way… way I look at this thing… majority based voting… shouldn’t take personal belief system in… if majority of people want… vote that way… have personal opinions but this is govenrment for the people and by the people (applause)
    Hale: two separate issues: civil unions is a partnership between two people… got to look at it from that perspective…
    whatever that partnership needs to be… two people need to have that right… look at partnerships equally. (APPLAUSE)
    Kokubun: point well taken. Civil unions do not equal marriage. Legislature understood marriage between man and woman.  The point is equal rights for people and that is what civil unions address… not just for homosexuals, heterosexuals as well… has to be unrelated… idea being so many benefits that people should enjoy when they are legal couple in a civil union… doesn’t impede on the church…
    (APPLAUSE)
    Question from audience: Why is the public voice regarding GMO being ignored and how would you help the voice of the people be respected re: GMOs…?
    Waugh: Anytime play with nature going to get what not expect… play with cultural things, that’s not going to work for anybody… original structure, trying to improve it, you may deform it… goes back to what the people want… integrity needs to be kept…
    Hale: GMOs in Hawaii is not tested enough… found seeds blowing over… same with corn… not tested enough… diversified ag should be focus… not changing the structure of plants… have food system in place… who is to say how it is going to affect us in 20 years… may be place in lab, but not our farms…
    People need to be taught more farming as individuals… skills learning to farm…
    Kokubun: At least the Senate listened to some of the comments about GMOs… passed bill out re: taro… taro because of cultural significance decided shouldn’t be tampered at all… in discussion, gathered that papaya could have been destroyed without GMOs… important for our economy in Hawaii… federal courts actually found that have to reveal where field testing plots are located… other issue that we could utilize that we could bring clarity to this GMO and non-GMO issue is labeling… for some it’s about labeling non versus GMO…
    Because premium product… might be better way to ID those products with choices in market…
    McIntosh: solutions should be addressed from facts… GMO industry and organic individuals (inaudible)
    Medical marijuana two part: Do you support licensed dispensaries?  Do you support increasing patient to caregiver ratio and the number of plants and dry medicine?
    Hale: Yes and yes… and yes…  Wondering where Monsanto is company rep… wondering how they have effect… RJ Reynolds… supporting other candidates (? clarity needed)
    Kokubun: Dispensaries re: Cali laws… ratio to patient caregiver… no opinion (? Inaudible) Question of dispensaries may not require restriction of how many plants…
    McIntosh: doesn’t support dispensaries… Cali is mentioned as model… right now counties and cities are in process of banning… trying to get rid… claimed they are fronts for drug trafficking…
    see no point in expanding on state law concerning amount of plants… when in violation of fed law
    Waugh: Dispensaries are a good place to start… if you are going to do a state law… needs to be exempt from state law… 10 plants… smoker what would that consist of… med marijuana… what would that consist of… if you cross over to commercial promotion… feds will come and you will go to prison… need to get away from fears… I’m all for whatever you do in your house is your house… need to regulate on a minimal level…
    Going to stop this part of questioning… 15 minute break… Please enjoy yourself and eat pastries and refreshments… and please don’t be angry about us being behind schedule…
    15 minutes of dancing
    1 minute introductions:
    James Weatherford  — Aloha JW… with Elizabeth… reside in Paradise Park… have farms in PP and in Pahoa… jamesweatherford.com
    Emily Naeole-Beason — Aloha.. ENB… live in Maku’u Hawaiian Homestead… mom of four children. three daughter s and one son… born and raised here. lived in Opihikao… going for third term… going to take realm.
    Barbara Lively — lived here 25 years… four children here… last one going through Pahoa school… just a real person from here… raising family… real struggles families face here… offer self as option…
    Fred Blas (NO SHOW)
    1. When elected, what is your first planned piece of legislation?
    Weatherford: First work on actions items in PCDP… action items brought through from several hundred people in community… very good reflections of needs. Pahoa Business incubator…
    give community exactly what we need in terms of growing entrepeneurs in Pahoa… building local community… providing the ability to organize village centers in outlying communities to bring commercial and business to areas. Downzoning of agricultural lands… build local economy… will keep us from subdividing agricultural land so that won’t be too small for agricultural enterprizes…
    Naeole-Beason: Because working on legislation already at this time, a lot of things… five or six things on platter… one of them is renovating old fire station to become senior citizen home for seniors… Working with Mayor Kenoi… supporting that mana’o… seniors… three different groups… excited about this project… another project… horseshoe pit right in front of skatepark… so our people can go enjoy themselves… we need to create things for people to do instead of getting into drugs… doing a dog park… on baseball field behind the skate park… waiting for Paradise Park to give us 20 acres… meeting with Paradise Park… playground set for that community… playground set at Pohoiki… on beautiful grassy area for children of district… a lot of things coming down the pike… hard worker… a lot of push… to get things done… want opportunity to continue to serve…
    Lively: Hard to follow that one… knew this was going to happen. Weatherford and Lively think a like… want to fix lowest law enforcement… when voters voters to passed that here… should have been a no-brainer… but police and prosecutors not able to honor that… totally understand that there’s problem with initiative itself… want to start right away fixing it… another citizen’s initiative walked all over… 2 percent land fund…
    2. Why should constituents vote for you?
    Naeole-Beason: Reason people vote… nui ke aloha… have style of love… maybe people might not like my attitude about akua upstairs… depend on him all time… see Mr. Loren Baker shaking his head… that’s his kuleana… moku puni hawaii nei… island of Hawaii… trying to keep the best aloha I can… if people angry… not my problem, it’s theirs… hear people honking their horns… nobody can stop me… it’s in my blood… it’s in my koko… some may not agree with what I do… but others do… feel like will get a chance to represent again… about love… no lie… make nui ke aloha… think will get it again…
    Lively:  Appreciate it, thank you… Seriously think the voters out here believe will do a good job… all offering… not better than anyone else… my ideas are not exclusive… ideas are similar to others… All challenges in my life I face with respect, dignity, understand and compassion, if can deal with a person like that I’m your woman.
    Weatherford: Can’t say I’m your woman.  Feel blessed stand before now… thirty years experience… wide range of experience… Farmer… agricultural… legislative process. rural development… had opportunity to work in transportation… several years of experience working in legislative levels… unique experience… I’m the only candidate who has never accepted any private campaign contributions…
    3. As council member, what is your role in government?
    Lively: My feelings on what a good leader is… what my role in government is… as a good leader, I need to be a good listener, I need to listen and I really need to hear them… my role in government is a conduit… I work for you… I represent you… That’s my role… a good leader will be able to work with all of the people… pretty sure that will be my role in gov.
    Weatherford:  Clearly council members represent people… 16,000 people in district… according to County Charter, function of County Council is to set policy… Mayor is tasked with implementing policy and representing government agencies… As leader, will set policy.  Will lead by example… I think our Council needs to demonstrate working within the bounds of all laws… need to be able to demonstrate we are listening… What we can’t be doing as council members or as a Council body… Cannot say do as I say not as I do… law abiding, ethical, implementing
    Naeole-Beason: One of my roles is to be able to work with rest of my colleagues… try my best, sometimes rocky roads… it’s about personalities… Cannot control anybody else’s… can only control mine… Need to work with administration… Think doing really well working with department heads… Getting stuff done in Puna… so long saying we’ve been neglected… Been here 50 years… recognize Gary Safarik for what he has done… Went to weddings and funerals and baby lu’aus… go to all the functions that people have… people are like my ohana… when I do things for district and for this island, I am a leader and I have to work really hard… when people come into my office, people come in for all kinds of things… put our work down and listen… Yes, what kind of help do you need?  Let’s work on it… Work with administration and colleagues… sometimes have to beg for certain things from certain people… think good leader… hearing the horns every afternoon… know good leader
    4. What is your position on the Sunshine Law?
    Weatherford: First of all it’s the law and anybody who takes an oath for Council office must obey the law. Very much in favor of the spirit of the Open Meetings Law. What that means is you as the one represented have a right to know what is going on… have a duty to know… when things are being taken up in government… very much in favor of Sunshine Law… against suggestion need to be repealed… disappointed in Council members for not abiding by Sunshine Law… need to be proud of law… out of respect for people and daily operations and conduct, know what is going on in government… with relationships with council members, cannot have meetings behind closed doors… Want to set a good example for fellow council members… transparency is important.
    Naeole-Beason: Glad office is in Pahoa… when whole thing came down about Sunshine Law… I was in Pahoa… not in Hilo… nobody seen me and I never talk to nobody… believe in Sunshine Law… need to be open about our community… even though negative things came out in newspaper, I know that I was never involved… Don’t like to lie… connection upstairs… very simple mana’o.
    Lively: Like James, totally support the Sunshine Law… Steering committee member for PCDP… Want to say the Sunshine Law not only outlines how elected officials deal with each other in public meetings, also outlines process for how you folks engage with leaders… Sunshine Law outlines other boards and commissions… Support Sunshine Law… say don’t ever keep light out…
    5. How would you address police protection or lack thereof in Puna?
    Naeole-Beason: Sometimes we have problems when our people call police. I have security guards at Comm Ctr… starting 2009… now security guards at Pohoiki… one at community ctr. lunchtime until 9 p.m…. act like police lady, just council lady… Security guards note they call police and they never come… feel like not a lot of police for all different realms… have ladies in ofc call and check why never come… a lot of problems with lack of police… trying to figure out with our population why we can’t have more police… Right now, talking with mayor and chief of Police to see what we can do to better police officers and have more come to Puna… All about bumping shoulders, got to really work it. If you like anything, you got to work hard. Nice to work closely with Mayor Billy Kenoi and dept heads.
    Lively: It might be true we don’t have enough police. But we now have more than we ever have. Not sure that the answer is not just police officers… upset to find out there were robberies in Paradise Park when had tsunami scare… there should be enhanced sentencing for criminals who operate in those type of situations. Point is we may or may not need more police officers, but we need to look at the other end of equation, who is getting busted and what is their sentencing… know about 20 percent of people committing 80 percent of crimes… Need to address prosecutions and sentences… something we can put to police officers in way sending reports up to prosecutors and then prosecutors choosing to prosecute or not.
    Weatherford: Police are one of the core services of the County. First thing want to do re: police protection… want police to commit to enforcement of life and property are key enforcement priorities. One of the ways to look at what our police services are doing… want to know what equipment is used for… want to see that it is focused on protection of life and property.. what we see in terms of problems… in general… people getting mugged in this parking lot… burglaries and home invasions… things seeing need help badly… Think we need more officers on ground… But we need more qualitative aspects addressed… their equipment, what they are trained to do… Voters voted for lowest law enforcement priority… finally have a great deal of trouble… have a problem with using public funding to pay for private security officers… don’t like the idea. If a private business wants to hire security, but I have problem with public funds going to security…
    Naeole-Beason: At comm ctr: had someone die re: fight… after that security guard…
    6. Three part question: What areas is the County government doing well? What areas are in need of improvement? How would you seek to remedy?
    Lively: Take the leap and say, I have to appreciate Planning Department efforts to put forward CDP… Puna’s first to be done… going to be implemented… Let me step back… County had to, it was required… Each District is different… each planning group going through different bug… Engaging public… putting together diverse steering groups and then implementation team… Improvement: County Council is still kind of a joke itself. The way they work with each other, the way they deal with the public… How would I seek to remedy? Of course, here I am!
    Weatherford: Doing well: one of the best fire department in country… EMS inside fire department… neighbors house caught on fire two years ago… July 17, 2007… within three minutes fire department on scene… excellent fire department… What needs improvement: When first decided to run for Council: Building Codes… Think our Building and Zoning Codes need a complete overhaul. In terms of Building Code, need alternatives suitable for tropical island… Coming from grassroots, folks in Mexico (etc.) working on eco-villages… housing and living arrangements that are now required by Building Code… need to take a serious look and make changes… bring forth ideas from other folks in other places… More suitable for our tropical island and climate.
    Naeole-Beason: Agree with James re: Fire Dept. Son in law works at Fire (Pahoa) John Botelho… Chief is awesome… Mana’o to him is Bruddah anything you want, I’ll vote for it. Blessing of Pahoa Fire Station was an awesome gathering that day.  Two years ago put on my cement post my address so anytime emergency people come they can read them. They do a lot for our community, the fire department. Right now working on 2009 Building Code… RJ and Sativa and I… somebody redflagged me… something going down that passed that shouldn’t pass… double windows and double walls… What? We don’t need all that… Weather too hot or too cold on mainland, why need that… Don’t need that here… Put forward changes to Building Code. But Warren Lee put it back… trying to work with Lee to get changes to Building Code implemented. Team working together… all about red flags… when people red flag us we’re paying attention. My heart is really for the people. In this district, not a lot of rich people. Don’t want our people to suffer anymore… Re: Puna CDP… went with Tiff to mtg. heard about kanaka code… implemented legislation to allow for indigenous building… ie. grass shacks… people cannot afford big box houses.
    7.  Puna redistricting will be one of the key issues in the next Council term.  Currently, the reapportionment commission is exempt from the Sunshine Law.  What will you do to ensure that Puna is well represented?
    (Last question… next up people’s questions… )
    Weatherford: Discussed earlier that Tiff mentioned… reapportionment committee will be meeting behind closed doors. initiative previously supported by Council… will do what can to repeal that… This district stands to have the most impact… Substantial population increase… Know that some of my neighbors in Paradise Park… keen to vote for me and then they found out in Hilo District… other friends in Hawaiian Acres… wanted to vote for me but in another district entirely. All government decisions need to be done in the open… with light shining in… Ready to ensure that of redistricting.
    Naeole-Beason: Reapportionment. Have hanai mama Athena Peanut. Last time commission going… She attended a lot of meetings… Explaining to me why we have to do certain things.  As Makua (parent), look to people of wisdom… mentors… friend since the 1990s… she was explaining to me what and what was going on with this situation…  Paradise Park in Naeole-Beason district… Orchidland in Yoshimoto’s district… Jams people up… I believe we are a big district and we need to figure this one out… Like I said, never went to those meetings… Glad Grandma Athena did, so she can explain to me what and what… Not most brilliant person but willing to listen… a lot of counterparts explain… feel we need to take care of this… if two people fighting for this Puna District, maybe we can have more things… for 50 years, watch what came in and what never come… That’s why scrapper… because I need what I need. People have gone through some suffering and when they suffer Isuffer. My heart feels for people… Hope this new commission coming in can help us figure out and I’ll be supporting it.
    Lively: I live in Ainaloa. Talk about ridiculous redistricting lines. One side of road is one district and the other side is the other district… All for the Charter change… this is a people issue. This is a people accessing their government issue… (re: Sunshine Law for reapportionment commission)
    Next up: people’s questions… Time permitting Peter… let’s not anger anyone…
    Road improvements by working with county and state:
    Naeole-Beason: State takes so long… when I am out their waving people yelling our road our road… Did put in legislation for contra flow…  but state never listen to me… But tried my best… Meeting and talking about this whole Highway 130 from Kea’au to Pahoa… Different levels, different movement… Some 35 mph and some 50 mph… mana’o different… Keauhou… Wal-mart… street lights on every intersection… think how the hell they get street lights and we no more street lights… Different mana’o in Kona than in Puna… When Kea’au bypass came in… three lights came in… how come rest of Paradise Park, Kaloli, Paradise… Boy killed with his dad on motor bike… wrote to Honolulu. all the people in higher levels… what’s up? Move… Hello? Anybody home?  What’s up?! Need some results… It is a hard thing but it’s not my kuleana… Wish it was, could move stuff a little faster… Got to work together… Honolulu gang and us…
    Lively: State does have a plan. They are going to unveil that plan. Working for over 18 months putting that plan to fruition… Lively was one of the paid facilitators… Used method called “Context Sensitive Solutions”… engaged people who used the roadway everyday… not just paid consultants coming from Iowa or somewhere… Bus drivers, children, soccer moms, bike riders… all the people who use the roads… believe it is a comprehensive and good plan. Sorry taking so long.
    Weatherford: Community input process thumbs up… recently accepting comments for draft environmental assessment… Big big money projects may or may not be the right course… think need to address things without spending tens of millions of dollars… one of alternatives proposed… focus on way traffic flows and safety… certainly been involved and pointed out can’t have unrealistic expectations… Three community associations along Hwy 130 intend to bring together to address issues… Hawaiian Paradise Park, Ainaloa, and Maku’u comm associations… intend to work with them to address issues… emergency resolution… I believe we have an emergency on our highway… if you go to the top you get more done more quickly… we need to go to the governor and say we have an emergency situation… loss of life and loss of property… work with three comm represented along highway… introduce emergency resolution… recognizing that resolutions are a little too much on Council… but emergency resolution is a little different…
    Highway 130… what are you going to do for the traffic mess at Woodland Center?
    Lively: Thinking a little bit of information goes a long way… have to believe the developers and planners have a plan… what I’m fearing they aren’t just letting us know what that plan is… if the consultant, the developer, the engineer, the owner would just have a little meeting like this… cookies and coffee and maps…
    Weatherford: first things first: Development taken place there has not followed due process… approvement for rezoning didn’t follow construction… ? clarify…
    before development allowed to open need to ensure traffic is resolved… INgress and Egress issues… drop off… guard rail issues… many people in Pahoa eagerly awaiting Woodland Center to open… no one wants to see injury or death… business plan for decades… can wait another month or two for the traffic issues to be addressed… good lesson for continued development. Safety first, business next.
    Naeole-Beason: Mtg. couple of days ago mtg. with Bobby Jean. $400K put in by Woodland Center for a light at Kahakai… know got to try to figure out… have been working with the state and the county to figure this out… try to pop in and listen to mana’o… Want to make sure everything is safe… intersection by Malama Market is not best thing going … Everytime hear a poof! run outside and get the camera, take pictures of the accident… Reference to Peter Gonsalves who lost his leg in a car crash at that intersection.  Need street lights through that corridor… Not expertise… need to work with County and State folks to see what is pono for our community.
    Lively: Kala mai… Besides the immediate traffic issue there… my concern is that Pahoa Village is going to suffer a loss of commercial activities… traffic, even foot traffic if there is not proper signage indicating Pahoa Village (applause)
    Puna has elderly population two or three times greater than per capita…. ?
    Weatherford: a lot of folks in Puna some blessed to grow old here… some who chose to grow old here… with elderly hope to do same with young people… hui them together and find out from folks using services what is their desire for service… we are making progress on Hawaiian Paradise Park park… as a result of comm association and mayor’s office working together… Want to find out needs of elderly: recreation? meals on wheels? safety and security?
    (applause)
    Naeole-Beason: Yesterday at community center, went to say hi to kupuna involved in nutrition program. They are very excited about old fire station to be transformed. Yesterday Caucasion man came to look on board for activities for seniors… list of activities for seniors in Kea’au and Hilo… not much here… Takes somebody to start kicking… unless someone grumbles. Naeole-Beason to get on it on Monday… Senior programs, esp. up here in Pahoa, we don’t have that much… Like Weatherford talked about HPP park… mayor said some people came to see me to see if they can work around Naeole-Beason, mayor doesn’t work like that… wants to work with Council representative… Mayor and Naeole-Beason had a meeting with HPP community to say, hey, we are waiting to id parcel… Cannot work with the wind. We need a body.  Need green light on the parcel. As a Native Hawaiian, kupuna is so important…
    Heart is for kupuna. remember my grandpa and grandmas and all aunties and uncles…
    Lively: Paradise Park senior group… her crew… seniors seem to be informed group who know exactly what they need and what they want… have real good plans on how to get exactly what they need… trend for elder care and elder activities is growing here… we would be foolish not to try and economically benefit somehow…
    What do you think is the one critically important issue in this district:
    Naeole-Beason: on street five weeks. stand by bottleneck… The road… everybody pounding. People trying to show the love… but very concerned. Highway 130… Calling out to Russell Kokubun… All abou kakou working together… it’s about everybody working together to make corridor safe… Ainaloa death… a lot of issues that go on on Highway 130… biggest struggles right now… Cannot tell people to stop coming in… got to deal with the influx of population… infrastructure needs… think need to move faster… wants to show Russell what mean about Kona having and Puna not… People complain about highway, she says try talk to Faye (or Russell) please check the other guys out… I want to help, but they’re (state) in command…
    Lively: yes, the road. But not for me. Big issue: Economic Development. We need jobs out here. I have five kids. four in work force. Last one in high school… they could work in village centers.  We need local jobs… implement Community Development Plan. There are lots of ideas in plan that could help with small business development… cottage industries. Jobs, jobs, jobs.
    Weatherford. Good point… Saw two things when first running for Council: Good government… talk ed about Sunshine Law and council conduct. Other issue is sustainable livelihood… Right now people driving into Hilo, even Waikoloa or Kona, I want to create opportunities for families to have a livelihood in Puna… Need more commercial services… Example I always use: Cannot buy a good pair of steel toed work boots in Puna… Cannot buy blue jeans (can buy board shorts and slippers at Jeff Hunt Surfboards, but nothing for the working man — well, Aloha shirts)
    Need a lot more for enterprises in Puna… Jobs… we need jobs that people are creating here… not just employment opportunities, but livelihood opportunities…
    Peter, let’s break for 15 minutes please…
    Just about to reconvene… folks… Calling Fred Blas to give him one more chance to get here this afternoon… no answer… leaving message…
    Does anyone know what is up with Faye Hanohano…? As it stands now, she is a no show…
    State Rep. District 4
    Faye Hanohano no show
    Anthony (Tony) Marzi — Aloha… Thank you to Tiff… Anthony Marzi… state House District 4… lived in Puna entire life… running for public ofice to change expectations… Department of Education four years… reclaim ownership over district and way of life… energy security… growing our own food… autonomy in education system
    Marlene Hapai — Landowner and resident of Hawaiian Acres since early 1970s… professor emeritus in biology… worked for university for a long time… degrees in biology, ecology and physiology… Assistant director of (inaudible.)
    PLEASE SPEAK UP, MARLENE…
    Solomon Singer — Candidate who is 18, youngest candidate in country. I’ve been home schooled so I have unique unique interest in this kind of thing… IN my recent experience running for office here… politics… poli-many tics… inaudible.. . learning weird stuff… a lot of experience… wanting to work with people. Non partisan… for the people… not representing you, but representing the whole community…
    ALOHA…
    1 minute introductions…
    1. What can you do to help resolve the transportation problems in Puna?
    Hapai: Would like to address that by first voicing state of emergency… whole transportation problem is really a health and safety problem… health and safety is the paramount issue for the state. first thing would ask for money for in this district. Not only lack of safety… traffic… everything that goes with it… not being addressed…
    Singer: Transportation is one very important issue.  At environmental assessment comment period, one thing gathered, nothing being done for years ahead for now… still in process of planning… so frustrating to see something that needs to be done right now… seen friends in fatal car crashes… people not being listened to by their government.  Would like to ask the people here, what do you feel is the most important issue to deal with this road.  Would you like to see traffic lights? Roundabouts? Four lane highways? Posing it to people. Man says Moratorium on construction… quality of life is decreasing… What trying to show is people need to be involved… Reason running. State highway is perfect example… everyone is having a problem communicating what they need.  A major issue.  We need to have the community involved more.
    Marzi: Transportation is probably the no. 1 issue. Attended STIP meetings… there are people who want to participate… drive to work everything single day.  Most effective thing we can do as representative… bet that voice between legislature… department of transportation and constituency… funding for projects coming down the pike… what can look at is stagger county and state employees so using roads at different times… look at why people are commuting… not enough goods and services in the district itself… look at why commuting… why no jobs… larger economic development issues… Re-emphasize the point about honoring that meaningful dialgoue being that bridge between DOT, legisl and comm
    2. What is your position on the regulation or lack thereof of marijuana or cannabis?
    Singer: Drug free… Now, regarding marijuana… no violence, no negative effects, to have marijuana criminalized… so if you own it, known to smoke it… I fully support legalization… At this point, we need education for everyone involved. This is a medication… Re: Dispensaries… If someone can’t grow their own need access for medicine… Growing marijuana… agriculture… There is potential tax revenue to be gained from marijuana… All education, public transportation, after school… funding…
    MarZi: From perspective of someone who doesn’t use drugs, important to add that regulation of marijuana and any form of regulation, alcohol and tobacco, a law that takes decent people and turns them into criminals… the penalty should fit the crime… Understand it is a federal issue. Medicinal cannabis, supply issue, those should all be addressed at state level.
    Hapai: Almost drug free… Little bit of wine now and then… Was Solomon’s age when cannabis first came to me… passing joints… left… never been a smoker… know people who smoke for medicinal purposes or socially. I myself don’t have desire. For thos who want to smoke marijuana, if we are going to regulate it or legalize it, like alcohol. Have some time of regulation. Started out as a high school teacher (on mainland), had students whose families were using mairjuana.  What hit me at that point, attitude was, “I don’t care.” That disturbed her… Thought for the young people something that should be at an older age… Something we should have a little more input on…
    3. Two part question on education:  1. what are your thoughts about local school boards?  2.  How will you work to ensure equal funding for public charter schools?
    Marzi: Think core of that is looking at barriers that different tiers education offers. Complex level and above that state level. IN system where have structure from top down, people ID ways to manage… Administrators dictate school… Not enough self determination… If localized school boards… works very well in 49 other states… equal funding for charter schools… had private school background, public school, also home schooled… it’s about alternative mechanisms to educate yourself.  To not have an equal funding source for charter schools is problematic.  Point is students should get what they need. They aren’t getting that without equal funding.
    Don’t think we can be held to the influences and directives of special interests… Need to be listen to teachers and shareholders…
    Hapai: Cost is a major factor… experience with DOE and university… faced both times with working within a system. And there have been many times brought to us the question of localize… University brought up many times… campus for UH Hilo instead of being part of University of Hawaii… Going to speak in favor of keeping DOE as one system.  Once start parceling out you have duplication of services… Happened with community college separating from UH-Hilo… As soon as separated, suddenly had teachers teaching same classes… duplication of services… If we can find out where the weaknesses are… work with our educational system… what doing now with Act 54… reinventing education system.
    Doesn’t mean can’t have school community boards… need local input… Just assume try and make what we have work.
    As far as charter schools, when you look at the state of Hawaii’s budget, we are already operating to a budget of $20 million dollars… 20 percent is for education.  A big chunk. there is no reason we cannot have an equal amount in services for charter schools… Our budget has doubled in the last eight years… We have money for charter schools to have what they need. We also need to start looking at ways we can cut back.
    Singer: Home schooled his whole life.  Interesting insight.  Teach at Kua O Ka La and HAAS honey bee work… with the education system… it’s really important to see what is going on with way things are working. Public charter schools are important. Kids are really receptive.  Been to Pahoa school, that’s a nightmare… for question of, if they need more funding, absolutely.  Just as important, if not more important, than the public schools… smaller, more high tech… public school is this large education system… need to improve the quality of that as well… Need equity of charter schools…
    Local school boards are great… Friend who is 30 plus year teacher here and on mainland… designed to tailor education system to community’s needs…
    4. What is your first planned piece of legislation should you be elected to the State House, and why?
    Singer: Non partisan… As a Non partisan, several problems… automatically go to General election… primary election for multiple people… as a Non partisan… no party affiliation… shouldn’t have to compete in Primary… So, that’s not the case… law requires 10 percent of total votes cast are required for me to get past the primary… Will be the first candidate to get past the Primary. Two party politics come into play… Makes it difficult for non Partisans and those from other parties fail in Primary… Preventing people like me from getting into office without representing Political Party… any non partisan should be able to bypass primary… votes cannot be mixed and matched  that’s another problem… vote can’t be cast any differently than Non partisan…As Non partisan, answering to people, not parties…
    wants term limits for everyone involved in any elected office (applause)
    Marzi: No. 1 issue facing state. Overdependence on oil for energy… 51 barrels of oil in 2005… 50 percent gross national product… unless produce own clean and renewable energy, never will be sustainable… Property assessment/clean energy bill… solar energy on your house and then tax breaks on assessment (clarify?)
    Win win for everyone to pursue that bill that failed in Ways and Means Committee
    (applause)
    Hapai: First piece of legislation would be to apply the Sunshine Law to legislature (applause) as well as all other bodies. Have been on the Board of Regents.  Have to follow Sunshine Law. Know it can be done.  Opens up the process for everyone to listen and to provide testimony.  Feel it is a workable process. Will put confidence back in to our voters…
    Will second motion on term limits…
    5. Why should constituents vote for you?
    Marzi: Software engineer, worked for DOE, energy consultant… success has been find creative solutions… implement for the benefit of everyone… Feel that is an effective legislator… seek creative solutions, run a clean campaign… as a representative, think way do business is important… surround yourself with smart people… Build a good team… Unique situation where most people on career path I’m on end up leaving island… Think need to create jobs to increase quality of life where people want to live here and can
    Hapai: Heard so much about putting people’s first. That is my slogan. Despite the fact that I carry an R, as a Republican, if I strictly represent Republican voters I would not be here… supposed 280 republicans in this district… Husband started out as a representative when he was Anthony’s age at 25… knows how important it is to support all parties… Time to be an informed candidate. Have to change. Change the Legislature… Term Limits. Sunshine Law. Time from economic perspective to look at cutting the Legislature… Nebraska has one body legislature — 49 legislators… works very well.
    Fill those extra offices with other state offices that are having to rent.
    increasing population… Education… when you look at Legis… can’t name educators, because I don’t know who they are. We need some.  It makes it easier to help with the problem when you have a strong knowledge base… Economic side, creative solutions.  Would like to see the whole state budget done using a developmental model… Look at new, developing and mature. Reallocate monies accordingly. (applause)
    Singer: See things from where coming from here. Home-schooled. 18 years old. Put myself through school, with parents teaching me along way. Professional horse trainer, pilot, commercial radio operator, sustainability expert — coach people on renewable energy… come from that kind… live on sustainability preserve in Puna… milk goats every morning… make our own water, food, electricity… we live sustainable… So learning exactly what needs to happen.  We should be a model for sustainability, for the world. 98 percent of food is imported.  98 percent of electricity from coal.  This kind of thing needs to stop. This community should be a world leader.  Because coming from that background that is what I am.  I am sustainable. When electing me, electing my parents (who are advisors), my friends, everyone who has been involved… You’ll be voting for you… A vote for me is a vote for you… As a Non partisan representative, I’ll be for the people, for you. Monthly meetings…
    (applause)
    6. Three part question: Is there any legislation currently on the books that you are going to seek to repeal?  If so, which one(s) and why?
    Hapai: not knowledgeable about which laws are in need of repealing… Already mentioned need for modification of Sunshine Law… have Legislature apply to Sunshine Law… Want to make sure that people regain their trust in government…
    Singer: As I mentioned before, a voting law for Non partisans is a serious issue that needs to be faced right now.  This legislative season dealing with same old Party politics… impossible having legislature governed by two party politics… lack of Sunshine Law… these kinds of things need to be fixed… Over $2,000 donated to one of these candidates from Monsanto… it’s Clift Tsuji… nobody running against him because they don’t have a chance… all his buddies keeping him elected.  Focus on reforming… having government answer to people.
    Corruptions, wasting money left and right, can’t do anything with the way it’s working now. Mediate between two parties and get them happy with each other.  Lead with people in people’s pocket… running campaign efficiently like government should be… spent $1,500… giving out coupons to save people money… recyclable materials (applause)
    Marzi: Net metering laws need to be reformed… Department of Health certification requirement… Campaign contributions… clean elections… less incentives for constituents to donate to candidates because less tax breaks… Taxes introduced last session. Eocnomics proves you cannot tax away recession (applause)
    last question… we need to get our people’s questions after… a couple or a few…
    7. Two part question: What is your stance on civil unions? If elected, would you re-introduce legislation to this effect?
    Singer: Yes and yes. I am in full support of Civil Unions… What’s going on in debates… People want to get married for legal security and (?)
    I’m in full support of civil unions… shouldn’t be man and wife… you are person and person… legally marrying someone because you love them and you want to be legally connected… In Hawaii, if we legalized civil unions, you know how many people who would come here to get married?  That kind of base of people to come in here to get married… not only great thing to do democratically as a democratic society of people wanting to get married… also economically… reintroducing Bill 444… not saying great bill in itself… needs modification… but would reintroduce… rights for blacks… rights for Latinos… we need to give everyone equality in Hawaii. We are state of aloha. Where is the aloha?
    (applause)
    Marzi: one of those issues that divides community.  Issue is civil marriage… that marriage itself is a religious institution… Needs to be a separation between the two… Legal status… independent relationships… Supports civil unions but wants to reaffirm the institution of marriage…
    Hapai: One of the most difficult issues, this is probably one of the most polarizing pieces of legislation… Thought about this long and hard… having taught ecology, I kind of bounced back to — this is the creative problem solving  — bounced back to environmental impact statement… Go through so much for our natural environment… maybe it’s time for us, because there is such a (?) maybe it’s time for us to do a social environmental impact statement… take any action that is affecting society what is a positive and negative effect on each component of society… Just like an EIS, what do they do next? Take the negative and say what are the alternatives?  Before introduce any legislation that has so polarized our community, would like to have a big picture of all the different components, effects — let’s look at it holistically…
    Community question(s):?
    How would you prevent traffic mess at Woodland Center/Highway 130?
    Marzi: These intersections… we have some of the most deadly in state. As new development comes, planning department is a shareholder… state how improve intersection certainly has a hand in that… There needs to be a clear assessment of the impact. Have to understand what type of traffic flow to expect… one of the things that is paramount, public safety needs to be addressed… Unacceptable for us to put that behind the fact that we want to have more economic development… Public safety, understand what is important to address problem, making sure responsible parties, Woodland Center, is being held accountable.
    Hapai: traffic situation need for it to be conveyed to state that this is an emergency. Monies can be reallocated. Not difficult to put in stoplights… When put in Imiloa… had traffic light installed… Once again, stop lights over there… Think there is a plan, problem is the plan never gets implemented… IN meantime, you have safety issues…
    Singer: That one intersection, Mike personally almost had a truck totaled at that intersection (referring to MIke Metcalf) Need to have a temporarily light installed… timed light at that intersection… put that there… Put another light where that new thing is coming in to Woodland Center… Temporary lights right now… open up end of straightaway out to highway (across from Kahakai Boulevard)… Whole center will be damaged by business if there is a crash.  Need to fix that, like tomorrow.  Couple of those emergency lights are in Hilo… Jurisdiction problem with County and State (not communicating well enough with each other)… Give each one a job and say get on it… ASAP… dangerous situation
    (applause)
    Last question before 10 minute break
    Cannabis… Would you introduce legislation to reclassify cannabis and decriminalize it for small amounts?
    Hapai: I don’t think I would be the one to introduce the legislation.  But given the proper data to show that would be the thing to do, I would support it… Need data though…
    Singer: Small amounts are a really dumb thing to arrest someone on… If keep it need a medical marijuana card… dumb too… because we can tax it… huge pile of potential tax revenue and huge amount of criminals… (speculation on what happened in Roger Christie case) people are scared… decriminalized instantly… tobacco… if you grow it in your backyard can use it… if you sell it on the streets… jail…
    Marijuana should be sold at Cash and Carry… along with marijuana cookies…
    Marzi: spend so much money incarcerating people for small amounts… in a large part, see that regulation is a detriment… in many situations turns decent people into criminals… think should have well thought out strategy toward decriminalization…
    Let’s break. I need to go to the bathroom.
    Welcome back… This is the debate portion… Toni Robert, our moderator, will give you the run-down.
    First up, two minutes of platforms…
    State folks… LONG AND HOT DAY… YAY!
    Tim Waugh: reform government through tax reform… repealing state income tax… general excise tax increase for DOE
    Mike Hale: www.michaelhale.com… Business, environment, education. Businesses in this area. saw report this is worst place to do business in nation… Want people to want to do business here. Environment is one of biggest assets. Need to protect it more and respect it.  Education is key to everything.  Teach businesses to improve their business through education…
    Russell Kokubun: For Big Island, all those three elements should be integrated. Environment is one of the keys to how special Big Island is.  All know the various threats to our environment.  when you talk about education. Huge opportunity to create curriculum… environmental resource management. Huge opportunity for jobs to be created to enhance our environment.
    Lee McIntosh: retain marriage in the traditional sense (one man and woman), TAT untapped at County level, retain core government services at state level (inaudible)
    Solomon Singer: I believe in freedom. I feel blessed to live in society where a person can run for office regardless of race, sexual orientation, age, income level… Strong society takes strong families. I believe in education. Knowledge is the key to self reliance and success. Believe in sustainability. Taking care of own basic needs is important for all of us.  I believe in public service. Everyone has something of value to offer. What we need to do is share more.  The stronger our community, the more we share… So much knowledge, just in this room right here. I believe in having faith. Faith in our humanity, leaders, and way of life. Need faithful leaders.
    Marlene Hapai: pledge on her pamphlet. Her platform is reform, legislative reform, reducing size of Legislature, making it accountable to Sunshine Law… Also economic reform… fiscal responsibility to reduce budget… reallocate… Look at growth related model for budget… need more equitable distribution… Would like to reduce health care costs to bring the doctors back… Education system in state… Charter schools, private schools… need a statewide collaborative model incorporating all… urgency in response to Puna’s needs because they are related to health and safety (applause)
    Anthony Marzi: realize many people in Puna and many in room are willing to engage in political process.  Needs to be a bridge so that their voices are heard… through building that bridge… emphasizing transportation and infrastructure…
    Look at energy security, our food security, need for our island to be sustainable and a leader in these areas is crucial…
    Meaningful contributors to society — teach youth that concept… generational improvements…
    ENVIRONMENT
    Marzi: at large issue… energy reliance on fossil fuels. Many people talk about need to be independent of oil… Fossil fuel power plants in state… looking to long term… Life cycle of planet… key… Clean Energy Bill… wants that to happen to allow solar and tax breaks for doing so…
    Delicate environment…
    Educate people on being participants… Concern with the entities who introduce invasive species… make them accountable…
    Hapai: making preservation, Puna’s natural and historic environment should be incorporated into economic development. Our environment is a key for economic development… As read Puna Community Development Plan, many many environmental issues… just saw little Museum today… wouldn’t it be wonderful to have the Puna Preservation Society… People coming in and not knowing how to preserve the environment… need more education at that level…
    Singer: Distressing to see so many people focused on invasive species. think about it. We are invasive too.  For us to have audacity to say I’m sorry, let’s removable… Sad to see people all powerful and godlike. We have been here for a short time in relation to history of world.  How the world existed without people to protect people.  Have this feeling like we need to protect… Use trees to build our houses… incorporate the environment… Invasive species people like Sierra Club, all these parties, orginally designed to protect environment, have switched to wanting to kill environment to protect it… Comparing this to Nazi-ism…
    Need to have a positive outlook…
    Lee McIntosh: I feel the EIS is a good thing, but State needs to look at how to shorten the process to six months or less… makes development slow, and very expensive. Speaking on sustainability: If we are to work on (sustainability), we need water (for agriculture). Address how Constitution treats the water for the island.
    Russell Kokubun: Used to take my family camping, with population growth got to point not allowed to access certain areas.  Drive with daughters and they would say, remember that beach? Remember going to that cabin in the mountains?  One of the accomplishments I treasure the most:
    Legacy Lands Conservation Fund…
    Mike Hale: Thank candidates for face to face, including Kokubun for flying over from Oahu… notes he is the vp for Pahoa Mainstreet Association… as far as environment, Sarah, who is with Museum and who is helping with candidate forum, spearheading community gardens… while planting… got stung by stinging nettle caterpillar… hurts… releasing another animal to kill the other animal there’s so many dangers… study they do usually not enough… Preserving the environment is very important… Need more signage… example: reef. Honu… how to respect the environment…
    Tim Waugh: Senator talking about back in the day. Camping. Turtles. People used to eat turtles. Now can’t touch them anymore.  Understand that reef fish are disappearing…
    Farming… ag lands… people are farming more grass than they are vegetables… address all of these things… check rivers, check oceans.  the air, not much we can do with the air right now.  Because of vog, feel like having asthma attack. Heart goes out to kids will never enjoy what we did as kids… Balance, the ecosystem is real different. One more thing about coqui frogs… protect coqui frogs in Puerto Rico… different than coqui here…
    Hale: Geothermal plant. I am for the Geothermal plant. Think should build another one.  Problem is, mile away from my house (NIMBY) Drilling sideways under house… Hale wants to know why Kokubun got it in my backyard and not miles away from the public… (Nanawale and Leilani Estates)  Applaud you from getting it out of your backyard, but now in my home…
    Kokubun: Project in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park was separate from PGV… pristine forest… Kokubun was president of Volcano Village Community Association. Raised questions on permitting.  Ultimate reason opted not to drill… initial site was where Pu’u O’o Vent… not aware of the slant drilling at PGV… don’t believe can go into other people’s properties (?) agree with geothermal… needs to be well managed and properly sited… PGV, no opportunity for public input… geothermal working group is a chance for more opportunity for more public education…
    Hale: Additional drilling goes to slant drilling. And they drill for miles. Feel additional drilling should be done — and it should be done away from people…
    McIntosh: Alternative would be nuclear reactor. (Audience member: What?!) Have different types. Some that are safe…  Know banned in State Constitution, but maybe an alternative that Hawaii could look at…
    Singer: Why aren’t we using more resources that we have? We have strawberry guava that is supposedly choking out native forest. Growing everywhere. Why don’t we use that?  We import wood chips.  Use resources that we have — Albizia, strawberry guava… people yelling and screaming about how terrible they are… but give people jobs… to cut down these trees and create wood chips… Invasive species is a terrible thing, why don’t we use it?  Engaging candidates in that question…
    Hapai: Biological control… slowing growth for other species to grow… what happened was that didn’t work… defoliating caterpillar… then fungus… three prong attack on pretty little ornamental… interesting point… 25 years later… teacher came to me and said want to do science project.  Said let’s see if plant worked on 25 years ago was there again… Replaced by miconia… when we remove, if we want to remove, got to have in mind what we want to replace (Solomon gives double thumbs up and says excellent)
    Marzi: true fact, interesting point on biological control.  Long history of unforeseen impacts. As far as industries that are developed from invasive species… left up to the entrepreneur… Why are we not using those? We should look to examples in other parts of world, where species are from, if we can’t eradicate, invest in it… Be mindful of impact of anything we do…
    Waugh: Landfill problem. We are running out of space for landfills… Festering wound of old landfill. what put in there 50 to 75 years ago that may be infiltrating the water system…
    New topic: economic development
    Hapai: Managed growth and development in Puna. Using our resources wisely… increasing productivity… and revenue… more revenue… more taxes… more money coming back to us (at State level) Puna CDP a lot of time put in to it, when associate dean at Manoa, inherited strategic plan… this is what college wants… what I would like to do is introduced legislation for a growth model.  Looked at and identified as a developing community. Establish a task force with legislature and PCDP group. Hire a project manager. Often, things don’t go anywhere when there’s no one in charge. Village centers.
    Singer: Economic development is important. So many jobs are not being used and generated in Puna for a variety of reasons. Renewable energies… Inventor… Have an invention for alcohol producer from wood. That’s a job. Sell biofuel. Coquis. How terrible coquis are. We are actually damaging economy by thinking of coquis as a nuisance. What we can do is talk up the coquis… Model after Puerto Rico… either we are super sensitive hearing or we are just like them (?) and brainwashed to hate them. Since we got them, might as well start loving them, and talking them up. Speculating about Puerto Rico.
    McIntosh: Development. Preserve them as they wish to by cutting regulations and red tape… Not raising taxes to balance budget.
    Kokubun: Hawaii much more self sufficient. Cannot continue to have so much imported… Self-sufficient. Water is key… Agriculture… Natural resource management. Areas that set Big Island apart. Very unique… Think can create jobs along those lines…
    Hale: Small business helping small business. We are the worst, or second worst… to conduct business… We need to make it easier to conduct business… Help people start up and promote business. Do a class and not overexert yourself.  Education is a key to getting out of that… If going to support a key business, it ought to be a business that is bringing money in to our economy…  Sustainability. can’t be in 2050… 2012. 2020… needs to be sooner… food sustainability… this island is key for it…
    We got it all. Be the first. Then move on to Maui.
    Taken steps to reduce my carbon footprint… House off gas in best way can afford. Propane. Cannot afford solar right now. Need PACE.
    Kokubun. Clarify Hawaii 2050. Not year. Concept to think beyond our lifetime. For us in Legislature, a lot of times thinking about this term or the next term, a limited context. I’m not going to be around in 2050. I know that. But my kids are and grandkids are.
    Waugh. Everyone has good ideas. Tuition waiver.. discounts. Son headed to Manoa… $19,000 bill… for local institution… That is something we need to take a look at … If had accessibility to higher education can choose field… Strong foundation to move on and start business and be productive.
    Marzi: Vision for economic development. Every dollar we export is a lost opportunity to invest in local business. Two indicators: What is our tourism rate this month or this year? How is our housing market?  Need to be emphasizing different areas of our economy…
    Education is expensive.  When started at UH-Hilo… Think need to be able to support our students so they can attend school here and to support our local economy. Need a better educated public that will in turn have income increased…
    Russell: Sunshine Law… very protracted time frame… try our best… everything we do is up on our website, how deal with transparency…
    McIntosh: question for Hale: how will you subsidize all these programs that you want to implement? Got to pay for it somehow… Hale… all my businesses done out of pocket… I have a business mind. That’s how I figure it out. Education part: make education cheaper… ONLINE emphasis… simple… as far as supplementing businesses that are bringing money in… not taxing more… just not taxing additionally… With federal money, will require being able to obtain that and make it available (McIntosh to Hale) understand online classes, will require costs, where going to host, how going to host…
    Singer: I feel very very sad that Hawaii is hardest state in union to create a small business… open bidding is a major problem… some contractors getting same bid over and over… draining the state… look into efficiency problems with government… look at ways can obtain resources cheaper… get the money going farther… sorry state going under and no longer going to function if don’t raise taxes — should be last resort… taxes 15 percent higher than anywhere (?)  That kind of thing has got to stop. Should lower the taxes because we make government more efficient. Taxes should be last priority and lowest thing…
    Making small businesses almost impossible to start up in Hawaii… People are going to Las Vegas to start up businesses rather than Hawaii (?)]
    Hapai: Good points. Tap into concern about efficiency… Lack of efficiency of a lot of our builders is causing buildings to cost more. As mentioned earlier, director who built Imiloa Astronomy Center.
    For some reason, look at a lot of these people, get bids, less for the same price or more… If people cannot follow through what say going to do should be penalized.
    Marzi: wonderful facility Imiloa. Agree with Solomon on taxes.  Never taxed our way out of recession.  If we look at government efficiency, look at government procurement, the bidding process, far more than private sector. Not fair to taxpayers and local business.
    Very important to save money more than ever…
    Waugh: Ge tax… tradeoff… A lot of things… Solomon young guy. Not too many people in this room belong to unions. Unions are a way of life in Hawaii. Union steward for a long time.  Unions are here to stay.  Making government efficient, must acknowledge unions. Government streamline requires contending with unions.
    Hale: Here for over 10 years and all those 10 years Hawaii has reputation of worst state to conduct business. Have to make it better. Kokubun’s business record online is low rating… If get re-elected, please make it better to do business in Hawaii, in Puna… I love Hawaii great place to be. I have a passion to do this job for you guys. Want to do it, not afraid.
    15 minute break. County Council debate.
    Broader picture later:
    Rules: Two minute platform introductions…
    James Weatherford: Two specific things near and dear to my heart: One is good government and sustainable livelihood.  I declared to be a County Council candidate last year on June 17… after violation of Sunshine Law… intend County Council to be open and responsive to what the community has to say… want to see road safety… More online services at the County level.  Our highest law enforcement priority being the protection of life and property. This isn’t just asking some big company to come in and give us jobs… Maku’u Market and SPACE market have demonstrated there are a lot of people with innovative ideas
    Barbara Lively: Smelling cheeseburgers and we are all salivating…
    Malasadas up front…
    James and Barbara are very like-minded. Jobs are big for her.  As steering committee member for PCDP, no. 1 issue was protecting the environment. All for protecting the environment as well. Things we can do that will kind of kill three birds with one stone.  Protect environment by allowing entrepreneurship at home… Need jobs here. Tax incentives from federal level and state level. Most tax support, i.e., breaks, goes to businesses with 50 or more employees. Concept of small business doesn’t match reality of what we have here… We need to look at that…
    Lively: There are some things can do to help economic development. Zoning barriers. Zoning changes we can consider to help people do things want to do at home. Extends to community associations and what they’d like to be able to do… Not every community wants a strip mall.  We need to support what the people want…
    Weatherford: Barbara and I are like-minded… difference is experience and I want to apply it. Want sustainability… want children to be taught sustainability and how to apply it… (?)  What our economy is based on: natural resources, blessed with those here. Need to do a lot more with agricultural and native forest areas.  Eco-tourism. Other resources we must engage here is the people. Our human resources… Skills training. 10 year old at lemonade stand or quilt maker… need to work with people…
    What I bring to this, a lot of experience. working with rural communities, farmers, rural educators… want to see Puna be able to take care of Puna.  Have opportunity…
    Weatherford: What happens when go into a store nearby… every dollar spend locally, 40 to 45 cents of dollar stays in local economy… go into chain store and spend dollar, 15 cents of it, about one-third of it, stays in the local community. That’s why want to focus on local economy.
    WASTE. mentioned once today. Have got to turn what we call waste management into resource management… Generate income into our local economy.
    Lively: In case anyone didn’t understand is that I’m not a farmer. James has got all of that on me. Sorry. I’m just a consumer.
    Environment.
    Lively: I love the environment. Who doesn’t? Love Coqui. Assimilated. Husband can’t stand them. Environment key points ided in PCDP.  People spoke loud and clear that is what want preserved in Puna.  Not just about preservation but getting more land preserved… keep in public use. Keep open spaces. Even mention of tax incentives to dissuade people from cutting lots. One of the state people said earlier that people just don’t know.  Bob Jacobson wanted to try and get informational pamphlets on what people could expect of their land… Wasn’t able to do that… Will try to do that.
    Weatherford: Resources for economic development: Forest and conservation areas and our coastal areas. Those areas are key… Another one deals with energy. Solar water heater. Photovoltaic electricity on house… In terms of energy and protecting environment, conservation and more efficient use of (energy).
    Waste: Environmental issue that County must deal with. Something the state requires the County to deal with. Not an issue of us jumping into other jurisdictions. Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.  County can lead by example. First thing try to do is walk the talk… County of Hawaii is number one purchaser of electricity on this island…
    County government, leading by example, on environmental issues, is absolutely key… Responsible for water use on island…
    Waste, in county government’s own operations, got to walk the talk and lead by example. Neighborhood Center across the street… cannot throw away Hi-5 in recyclable receptacle… Need to change the do as I say not as I do mentality at County level.
    Lively: He is absolutely right County needs to lead by example. County Council tried to get the whole County to recycle… Jacobson initiative. That failed. Community Center (Neighborhood Facility) is not only facility that doesn’t offer recyclable receptacles.
    Transportation:
    Lively: think getting bus into Airport, period, is very important. Can’t believe we don’t have a bus going into Airport… We have no bus going into the airport here. Supposedly there’s some desire to protect the people who hold licenses for taxi cabs.  I don’t buy that. That’s ridiculous. Think it’s a different customer base.
    What need to do is get transportation commission to believe that and to tell the Transportation director, who doesn’t listen to any of the council members, to do that.
    In door to door, one of the big things that comes up, is the roads within the subdivisions. Excited when Yagong introduced legislation to address fuel tax within subdivisions… KNow there are problems within subdivisions lives in Ainaloa… door to door… for subdivisions with road corporations and road entities. thank you to them.
    Weatherford: One of the things that came out of the PCDP, number one is road safety. We have despicable amount of road crashes, fatalities and injuries.
    Pretty expensive for County emergency services. Want to see more bicycle and pedestrian access. Reduce the need for long distance transportation. Need to develop our local economy.  We don’t have to go to Hilo to do everything — to buy a pair of shoelaces, etc.
    Buses into subdivisions.  Feeder bus routes actually make system work. Very much in favor of new Puna-Hilo parkway. Need to make buses go into airport.
    Lively: five kids. Married over 30 years. raising kids here. Went to university/community college here. Lived life. Still living life… served community. Facilitator/organizer/worked as a legislative assistant. Political science degree.
    Weatherford: Why vote for me: I want to bring to you what I think very relevant experience… my education… After serving in US Navy, attended Hilo College in 1974 and 1975… went on to work in ag extension… farmers… good primer for this community.
    PhD… rural development and policy. Teaching jobs… worked in reforming rules in ag…
    Kentucky farm… to senior policy analyst in government…
    Transportation. experience there.
    Lively: Can’t top his experience, education, land ownership. Can’t match any of that.  While he is amazing at facts… but what I’m interested in how does that endear people to work with you? How does that equate to a working relationship with people? While I’m in awe of all the pala pala you’ve managed to accumulate through the years (a little less than half his age)
    good leadership for us is about working with the other Council members, it’s about working with each other…
    Weatherford: experience in policy work… worked as agricultural extension agent… interact with farmers. listen to what they had to say… policy area… worked on many controversial issues… grain trading… issues where people might have adversarial attitude… worked with them, always being very honest. never being deceptive. Have experience in bringing people along… In addition to technical and scientific expertise, experience working with people.
    Lively: Good answer. Voters here spoke loud and clear when voted out the last person who looked like him and thought like him… spoke loud and clear when voting in the last person…

    Posted by Tiffany Edwards Hunt @ 12:18 pm

    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

16 Responses

WP_Blue_Mist
  • James Weatherford Says:

    Thanks for doing this mega task.

    To be sure I had heard it correctly, I checked your notes and found that indeed my hearing had not failed me.

    Barbara Lively stated that she and I “…are very like-minded.” Then she went on to say that we “…think a like…”

    However, I pointed out that, while we may be like-minded, a big difference is that I have more experience to put to work in Council. Barbara then said, “Voters here spoke loud and clear when voted out the last person who looked like him [referring to me, James Weatherford] and thought like him…” What is that supposed to mean?

  • Tiffany Edwards Hunt Says:

    Hi James,

    The latter comment, I think the last comment of the day, was VERY disappointing to hear. I couldn’t believe it was said. I actually would like Barbara Lively to expound on that. In my mind, we shouldn’t be electing anyone into office who want to perpetuate racism. To be honest, I felt that comment was very racist. This is 2010. Most of us are comprised of mixed races and descents.

    Also, regarding the reference that you are like Gary Safarik, I couldn’t disagree more. First of all, Safarik is Czech and Greek. Didn’t you say you are part Creek Indian, James?

    Safarik’s ethnic background is not only different than yours, I think his politics are as well.

    I was very disappointed that Lively through that b.s. out there, because I otherwise like her.

    On a separate note, I have to say that all you politicians lining up on the side of Highway 130 is totally annoying. I was thinking about sign-waving for one of my favorite candidates, but decided against it when I saw everyone lined up yesterday.

    First, it’s a major distraction and a safety hazard and I think there should be a law against it.

    Second, it’s just totally annoying. We drivers are slowed to a crawl trying to merge from multiple lanes into one, thinking about how LAME our State Departmemt of Transportation is, and here are our political candidates and supporters are smiling and waving us.

    I can’t help think, when I see you folks smiling and waving at us, you’re all co
    pletely worthless.

    Then, I’m also hot and tired and annoyed that I’m trying to navigate a total ness of a bottleneck.

    I think it is terrible that politicians wave like that on the side of the road.

    I can’t even believe Faye Hanohano has the nerve to stand there, when she has done nothing to help with the mess.

    Where is the reversible or contraflow lane, Faye?!

    Would someone please introduce legislation banning politicians from waving on the side of the road?

    Politicians should win elections by door-to-door campaigning and engaging in community forums and debates, not distracting drivers like clowns.

  • Jerry Carr Says:

    Race and ethnicity are never far below the surface in Big Island politics . . . and just about anywhere else in Hawaii. Although repugnant, it’s sort of refreshing that someone comes virtually right out in the open with a remark like that. It brings home the reality. In this case it’s Barbara Lively, someone who, IMHO, does not have a real shot at getting elected. It’s the ones who feel the same way, but are smart enough not to say it openly that really worry me. Unfortunately, quite a few of this latter, sneakier group manage to get elected.

    As for sign waving, all I can say is “choose your battles wisely.” I agree that it is quite annoying and even potentially dangerous, but it isn’t going to change anytime soon. I try to use that indignant energy to pursue something more attainable that won’t get me accused of trying to destroy aloha.

  • Shadybrady Says:

    I’ve felt the same way about political sign wavers for years. My knee-jerk impulse is to veer off the road and see how many of these irritants I might be able to eliminate from the gene pool with the bumper of my truck, (no reflection on Mr. Weatherford). It is sad that this is the depth to which our electoral process has degenerated.

  • James Weatherford Says:

    Tiff and Jerry,

    Thanks for the feedback re sign waving.

    As a driver, I live with it.
    As a voter, I’ve never used it to decide who to or not to vote for.
    As a volunteer on other candidates’ campaigns in previous elections, I have never taken the opportunity to do it.
    As a candidate, I have been persuaded by a majority of supporters that sign waving is essential to be seen and be recognized (which are necessary steps in raising awareness and getting people to act on a voting preference).
    Lots of folks seem to have come to expect it. The response to my campaign has been better each time.
    About Keaau bypass as a sign waving place. Not my favorite. Indeed, have been looking for better places and would welcome creative suggestions.

  • James Weatherford Says:

    Yes, Tiff, I am descended from the Creek (‘Muscogee’) tribe, and have Anglo and Franco ancestors.
    Besides really not seeing how Gary and I look much alike, much less how we think alike, what seemed most perplexing was for Barbara to claim at one point the she and I “think alike” and then to try and put me down because I “think like” someone else (presumably Gary Safarik).

    Anyway, ever onward …

  • James Weatherford Says:

    …it occurs to me that more opportunities for voters to become aware of candidates — such as the forum last Saturday, and the one this Wednesday, 6pm, Pahoa Neighborhood Center — would obviate the need to do sign waving.
    :)

  • Toni Says:

    Tiffany was great at catching the highlights. I was just saying yesterday I was shocked and taken aback by the statements made at the end. It was not only all that she said, the highlights of which are above, but the body language that went with the words. I understood it might have been a defensive knee jerk but when you panned the audience still sitting there at the end of the day they looked alot like the ‘grey haired’ man as opposed to the current district rep who ‘looks like Barbara’. Wrong crowd to make that analogy too. And at the end of the day, that particular closing comment might have undone all the positive she brought to the table all the rest of the day. Fortunately, by then, much of the crowd had departed and will only remember her positive testimony.

    I am always surprised when I hear any sort of comment alluding to ethnicity which might be construed as a negative when everyone generally comments to the beauty of diversity. I think the one thing that will work in Barbara’s favor is the fact that her mentor and strong supporter for the district 5 seat is a man who himself has ‘grey hair’ and was voted out from his district and replaced with Guy, someone who looks like Barbara.

    I enjoyed listening to both James and Barbara.

    There was a candidate from each group whose energy was big … Solomon, Michael and Barbara.

    Now, if Barbara meant James and Gary resemble each other based on ‘gender’ and she and Emily resemble each other based on ‘gender’ then I am good with that!! :)

  • Toni Says:

    Just a plug for our forum tomorrow afternoon at 4P here in Hawaiian Shores [ http://www.write-matters.com ] where the 4 State House reps will face off once again. Setting is outside.. just off pool side….at the Hawaiian Shores Community Recreational facility on Honu Street. Turn right on Honu off Kahakai Blvd .. proceed through the stop sign…the park is half way down the street on the left. We will be taking questions from the audience…written down and submitted… Hope to see you there…

  • Tiffany Edwards Hunt Says:

    Toni,

    Do you have any use for the signs with all the candidates’ names? I don’t want to have to throw them away… I also called Rene Siracusa to see if she can use them for the Wednesday forum…

  • Toni Says:

    Hi Tiff, Thank you so much for offering…I am actually making the signs for tomorrow’s event and then we will have no further forums in our area. Perhaps Renee can use them. I truly appreciate your off though.

  • Matt Says:

    certainly, if you look at all the candidates who were there during the day, it really was quite a rainbow of different people…young, old, some born and raised in the islands, some not…a wide range of ethnic back grounds too…not too many other places would have that kind of melting pot…one of the things that make this place special…

  • Rene Siracusa Says:

    Creek vs. Greek: a one-letter misunderstanding?

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