Letters — Mike Hale Challenges Russell Kokubun To Debate

Russell Kokubun

Mike Hale

Open letter to Sen. Russell Kokubun from Republican candidate Mike Hale:

The issues of our District are business environment and education. (BEE) sustainable. It’s time for our representation to wake up and see the huge inequities and prejudice that our district is subject to. I ask that you, Mr. Kokobun, schedule some time on our island to discuss the issues with myself and his constituents.
Expect to respond to:
Why have you accepted money for your campaigns from Monsanto, R J Reynolds, and Dupont?
Why are over ninety percent of your campaign contributions from companies off of this island?
How often do you personally experience the problems on our island?
Problems including but not limited to: traffic; lack of decent medical care; unemployment; water shortages; invasion of privacy; prejudice; lack of education for our people and children; indifference from state government because we are a rural and economically challenged area in the outer islands
WHY are YOU not outraged by these issues?
What have you done in the last 10 years to solve these issues? And why has there been no real improvement?
Doing business in Hawaii has been rated near the worst in the nation for over 10 years. Education in Hawaii has been rated near worst in the nation for over 10 years. Education money spent in Hawaii is near the highest in the nation yet we have the least amount of school days.
Roads, water, internet and basic infrastucture. Sustainability of power, food, and economy — those are our needs.

<strong>Let’s get together and Discuss some solutions</strong>
I’m here to help!  I don’t mind that you repeated many of my answers at our first forum (they are good ideas), so let’s get together again and come up with some viable solutions to our needs and concerns. I also would appreciate your insight into the difficulties of the office once elected.
I am motivated. I will represent our district. I am outraged. I will not accept money from profiteering corporations in order to seduce a positive vote.
Lets get our people further educated and give them access to all of their needs. Lets give our people the tools they need to survive in the wireless information age.
Mike Hale
(808) 936 6347

Guest Column — A Breakdown Of How Acupuncture Works

Kim Gitzel

By Kim Gitzel

So in my initial article I shared with you my journey into Oriental Medicine.  But what exactly is acupuncture anyhow? Here’s a quick and simple breakdown:

Acupuncture works on the vast network of electro-magnetic fields and pathways of the human body.   Your acupuncturist inserts very thin needles through the skin.  By stimulating these  “acu-points,” found at specific areas along well-defined pathways of the body, physiological effects occur, which essentially stimulates the body’s natural healing abilities.  Stimulation of the appropriate acu-points through treatments helps to restore sufficient, continuous, and even flow of Qi (vital energy) and other nutrients throughout the body.

Modern research shows that acupuncture stimulates the release of endorphins, serotonins and other neuro-chemicals that promote circulation and hormonal balance as well as reduce pain and inflammation. The aim of acupuncture is not only to eliminate or alleviate symptoms but to treat the underlying cause and improve the quality of life.  Patients may experience a sense of well-being and relaxation during treatment.  Acupuncture is an extremely safe treatment strategy, and has proven effective in treating hundreds of different ailments.  One of the greatest advantages of acupuncture is the absence of undesirable side effects. Read more

***Commentary*** Congratulations To Island Naturals For Keeping It Green Hawaii Award

Kudos to Island Naturals, this blog’s first sponsor, for being among the businesses and schools that received from Recycle Hawaii and Earthy Friendly Schools Hawaii a Keeping It Green Hawaii Award.  Such awards highlight green projects and activities of schools, organizations, businesses and government agencies — particularly those that promote recycling, resource awareness and sustainable practices here.

Island Naturals was among four businesses that received the Keeping It Green Hawaii Award, and then received the top model award for having within its company a “Green Team”  that coordinates recycling efforts and initiatives, such as offering to customers the highest rebate for use of reusable shopping bags. Tha natural food store, which has locations in Hilo, Pahoa, and Kona, offers organic locally grown produce, solar panels at its new Hilo store and a cooling system at that store that is so efficient it saves 30 percent of energy compared to a standard system.  Island Naturals also uses compostable take-out containers, sends produce waste to a farm-based experimental composting operation and offers kitchen scraps to a pig farm.  Way to go, Island Naturals and its leader, Russell Ruderman!

Guest Column — Green Business Tools: Hawaiian Eco Suppliers Take Advantage

Check out the Hawaii Green Pages by clicking here

The door opens to Hawaii — collaborations in many forms

By Delia Montgomery

Thankfully, green businesses are launching new sites and existing ones are growing stronger. That’s not referring to your general e-commerce though. The focus is on suppliers and wholesalers. In fact, there’s a digital world of creativity going on to publish eco-conscious companies into complimentary directories.

Think free green pages versus conventional yellow pages. Tool sites not only serve the public, but they strengthen business-to-business (a/k/a B2B) networking capabilities impressively. The door opens to Hawaii collaborations in many forms.

Most of the green business tool sites offer more than free directory listings. Of course fees typically apply for more, but expect far better prices than print advertising, which is literary becoming antiquated, and especially for small enterprises. Following are free-listing examples. Read more

Hilo News — Conservative Forum Learns How State Managed Historically Worst Financial Crisis

(Media release) — Linda Smith, Senior Policy Advisor to Governor Linda Lingle, gave the September address to the Conservative Forum for Hawaii on  “The State Economy: how this administration managed the worst fiscal crisis in state history without raising taxes.”

Smith sketched out the ugly financial truth that slammed Hawaii in 2008, when the global financial crisis came home here. The State Council on Revenues was projecting a 2009 budget gap of $3 billion due to declining tax revenues, a huge blow when the annual operating budget was $5.2 billion. Not only that, they projected that 2008 revenues would remain depressed and not return to 2008 levels until at least 2012. The outlook was grim.

She also mapped out in brief the last 10-year history of the state finances. From 1999 to 2009, the state revenues grew $1.76 billion. Where did all that money go? How come it wasn’t spent repairing and maintaining schools, and highways, and harbors and other needed projects? What happened to all that money?
78% of the increase went to cumulative collective bargaining agreements totaling $1.37 billion. In the last 10 years, only 22% of the increase in tax revenues to the state was spent on non-personnel areas. Sixty percent of the entire state operating budget is related to personnel costs: wages, benefits and pensions. 55% of the operating budget is for education (DOE and UH). If significant savings were to be found, these obviously had to be significant factors to be addressed, as non-personnel and non-education were not the major budget areas. Read more

***Commentary*** Council District 6 Candidate Brittany Smart To Be The First On BIC’S ‘Hot Seat’

Mark your calendar for noon, Saturday, Oct. 9, 2010. Council District 6 candidate Brittany Smart has agreed to be the first on Big Island Chronicle's "Hot Seat."

Inspired by the former Honolulu Advertiser’s “On The Hot Seat,” Big Island Chronicle will commence a “Hot Seat” virtual political forum in coming weeks.  What that means is that a politician, political candidate or notable figure in our island community will be asked to sit for an hour with me, Tiffany Edwards Hunt, and field questions from Big Island Chronicle readers via the blog. In anticipation of two runoffs at the County Council level in the General Election, I have extended invitations to Council District 5 Incumbent Emily Naeole-Beason; Naeole-Beason’s contender, Fred Blas; Council District 6 Incumbent Guy Enriques; and Enriques’ contender, Brittany Smart.  To date, Smart has been the only political candidate to respond and to accept the invitation.

Smart’s “Hot Seat” with the Big Island Chronicle will be held at noon, Saturday, Oct. 9, 2010.  She and I will sit at the Hilo Coffee Mill and, you, the reader, will sit at home, at a friend’s house, or at a coffee shop and interact with Smart and I via the blog for one hour.  You can ask your questions then, or you can ask them now in comments on this thread.  Whatever questions Smart does not get to in that hour frame, she will have the option of submitting answers later.  I ask that you keep your questions focused on issues that are within the purview of the Hawaii County Council.

Mahalo to Smart for being so open to being on the Hot Seat and to interact with the public in such a format.  Mahalo, also, to Hilo Coffee Mill, which will facilitate the space for the forum.  Hilo Coffee Mill co-owner Katherine Patton emphasizes that, in holding the space for this “Hot Seat” or any other down the road, neither she or Hilo Coffee Mill is endorsing a particular candidate or taking a stand on a particular issue.  Hilo Coffee Mill is, quite simply, hosting us.  I am only telling you where we will be, so you can envision where we are going to be.  You don’t really have to show up.  You are encouraged to participate via cyberspace.  But please do patronize Hilo Coffee Mill.  What a great place in Upper Puna to get  a cup of coffee, egg sandwich (the Mill Works is the bomb diggity), or a dozen free-range eggs from chickens you can see roaming all over the Mill grounds.

Letters — Regarding The Politics Of Birth Here

Scott Rothstein art

Hello there, first of all I came across your story as I was looking for the number for Pahoa Women’s Center. I am from Maui, but was living in Hawaiian Shores from Nov. 2008 to July 2009.  I was 20 wks. pregnant with my 4th child at the time of the move, and from my experiences with normal Ob/gyns…I really wanted to have a midwife, but not have a homebirth just because of “what ifs”.  Knowing that Hilo Hospital, along with pretty much ALL hospitals nationwide do not “accept” midwifes at there facility…my only other option was Waimea Women’s Center.  Yes it’s a long drive and all, and it takes a toll on your wallet and engine, but you gotta do what you gotta do when it comes to what you want. Thankfully, the Pahoa Women’s Center opened up in March of 09, so Waimea Center said that I can go there for my weekly appointments.  I was really grateful that they opened when they did, as I was getting really tired at the end of my pregnancy.

When you say they are “limited” with services, what exactly do you mean?  From what I know, it is a Community Clinic and it is funded by the Government.  When you really think about it, it isn’t the clinics fault that they don’t have the ultrasound machine, it’s the program that is funding them.  Roxanne (was) the head of Hawaii’s midwife team, and tried and is trying really hard to make midwifery services available to people like us. If anything we should be finding out who is supposed to be funding this Center and harass them.  As you should know, most doctors “look down” upon midwives, so if doctors look down upon them don’t you think the program that suppose to be funding this “midwife” center doesn’t really give a damn whether it thrives or not?   You can try all you want to get midwifery services at the Hilo Hospital or elsewhere, but I really think you’d be wasting your time and causing yourself unnecessary stress, unless maybe you get a whole bunch load of women to sign a petition or something, than you’d have some sort of backup. Read more

Puna News — Puna Panthers Play Oct. 10

Shoff Illustrated image

Show your team spirit! Come out to the Pahoa High School football field at 2 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 10, 2010 and support the Puna Panthers.  There will be tackle football games slated through 3:30 p.m. with the mitey mites (8 to 9 year olds), pee wees (9 to 12 year olds), and midgets (12 to 15 year olds). For more information, call Kevin Lee at (808) 443-6586 or Fred Blas at (808) 965-6339.

*** Commentary*** Pahoa Post Office Driveway To Close For Project Re-Do

Just learned today that the newly renovated Pahoa Post Office driveway is going to have to close again because of problems with the slope of the handicap parking stall.  Apparently, Stan’s Contracting is the contractor for the project, but that part of the project involving the handicap parking stall was subcontracted out to Yamada & Sons.  The slope of handicap parking stall is a degree off from Code, a source tells me.  The project has been in the works since this spring. Work on the driveway had to stop for a few months because the plans needed to be reconfigured to factor in the proximity of Post Office Road to what is now the egress. To date, Stan’s Contracting has not called Big Island Chronicle back to detail the cost of the publicly funded project that has had multiple re-dos.

Guest Column — A ‘Greganalysis’ Of Malama Center/Woodland Center Traffic Impacts On Pahoa

Image courtesy of Go!

By Greg Henkel

It has been stated that the new Woodland Center, when operational, could make the area’s traffic woes worse by a magnitude of ten. The people making such statements have qualified the statistic by saying: “I’ve heard” or “It’s been said”.

Not seeing any serious studies done on the situation, I’ve decided to conduct my own informal “Greganalysis” of the potential traffic impacts.

Here are some numbers I came up with:

MALAMA CENTER

Business spaces………25

Parking Stalls……….250

Exits…………………..1

WOODLAND CENTER

Business spaces………..4

Parking Stalls……….150

Exits………………..…3 Read more

Puna News — Bay Clinic To Sponsor ‘Healthy Keiki Day’ Saturday

Image courtesy of the City and County of Broomfield, Colo.

(Media release) — To raise awareness about the importance of National Child Health Day, the Bay Clinic Family Health Centers will sponsor its first annual Healthy Keiki Day on Saturday, Oct. 2, 2010.  This free community festival will be held at the Keaau Community Center, located behind the police station at 16-186 Pili Mua Street, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Healthy Keiki Day will be filled with fun, food, entertainment, and the chance for families to learn everything they need to know to help keep their children healthy, happy and safe all year long.

Celebrated the first Monday each October, National Child Health Day is an annual observance created to bring to light the many issues related to the development and well-being of children. In his 2009 Child Health Day Proclamation, President Barack Obama stated that “healthy children are better equipped to combat illness and to perform well in school, impacting their development well into adulthood. On Child Health Day, we recognize the fundamental importance of health care for our Nation’s children, and dedicate our collective energies to support their needs and those of their families.”

The Bay Clinic’s Healthy Keiki Day hopes to lead the charge in providing easy access to the resources and providers that families need.   Read more

Guest Column — Agriculture Initiatives

Pete Hoffmann

By Pete Hoffmann

The primary elections are behind us, and while not everyone is free from the prospects of sign-waving, fund-raising and candidate forums, some of us are free to focus fully on other items that have direct impact on the taxpayers.  In that context, I think it’s time to focus a spotlight on agriculture in general and our County’s initiatives in particular.  After all, I’ve heard that a few of us really think agricultural self-sufficiency is not simply an election ‘buzzword’.

As another Council term begins in December, perhaps together we can energize some agricultural initiatives and make effective progress in the near term.  If we are committed to this topic, more action is definitely required by the administration and Council.  Progress to date has been ‘glacial’ when it should be aggressive.   Forward movement has been isolated when it could be better coordinated.  Improvements have been talked about when they should be implemented.  The following lists a number of so-called initiatives for consideration, and although they probably can’t be consolidated as an  agricultural cure-all, each represents an ingredient of the solution that the County can build on towards the goal of self-sufficiency. Read more