Hughisms — Confused Puna

By Hugh Clark
1. Is or is not Ilagan a rep of area he allegedly stood up? Is this a tempest or a break down? I am confused. (I thought last fall he was not ready for Prime time.)
2. Have you talked to Hanohano, the Puna lawmaker, about
her judgement in using “Jap” and other other abusive racial slurs, as reported page 1 today, in hybrid and for which she is allegedly apologizing. (Hello, anyone home there?)
If she did, she is in deep kim chee. Has Aunty Emily joined her cousin’s staff?
No wonder few take Puna seriously…

Imagine it was just Sunday many of us honored Helene Hale who spent a lifetime battling racism.
She held seat before Hanohano, which seems like a bizarre contrast to this (gal).
 (Hugh Clark is a retired Honolulu Advertiser reporter.)

Politics — Staff Shakeup In Councilman Greggor Ilagan’s Hilo Office

Puna Councilman Greggor Ilagan has had a staff shakeup in recent days.

Ilagan dismissed his legislative aide Pua Brown, a former part-time per diem judge and kumu hula, confirmed Michael Pankowski, Ilagan’s aide who mans the Pahoa office.  Ilagan’s new legislative aide is Kristin Hashimoto, a state worker and writer who most recently did freelance writing for Pacific Media Group (see bigislandnow), Pankowski said.

Neither Brown nor Hashimoto could immediately be reached. Ilagan is en route to Washington, D.C., with four other council members, for the National Association of Counties conference.  He isn’t expected to return to the island until March 10.

Hawaii News — HELCO Issues RFP Seeking Additional Geothermal Energy for Hawaii Island

(Media release) —  Hawaii Electric Light Company today issued a Geothermal Request for Proposals (Geothermal RFP). The company is seeking to add up to 50 megawatts (MW) of geothermal energy from geothermal resource developers at prices not tied to the cost of oil to help lower electricity costs for customers. The added power must also blend operationally with other resources, including renewable energy from wind, solar, biomass and hydro. Read more

Politics — Five Council Members Heading Out For $8,000 NaCo Junket

Five of our nine Hawaii County council members will head to Washington, D.C., later this week for a National Association of Counties conference slated for March 2 to March 6.  The trip will cost county taxpayers approximately $8,000, according to the Hawaii County Councilman chairman.

Newly elected council members Karen Eoff and Dru Kanuha, both of Kona, Greggor Ilagan,of Puna, and Valerie Poindexter, of Hamakua, will join Dennis “Fresh” Onishi, of Hilo, for the legislative conference, said Hawaii County Council Chairman J Yoshimoto, acknowledging he opted to approve the travel requests.  Historically not as many as five council members have traveled together for a NaCo conference. Still, Yoshimoto was hopeful the council members going to the conference, which will feature, among other noteworthy speakers, Washington Post Associate Editor Bob Woodward. Yoshimoto noted the common problems municipalities share, and his hope that the conference will give the freshman council members some ideas to put forth here on the island.

Council members will bunk together to save taxpayers’ money on their upcoming trip to Washington, D.C.

Yoshimoto said the men will bunk in one room, and the women, another, in order to save taxpayers’ money.  The plane tickets cost approximately one thousand dollars a piece, and the total cost for each room stay will be $1,500.  Then there will be the council members’ travel expenses to factor. The opening session of the legislative conference is Monday, March 4. Click here for the program.

Politics — Greggor Ilagan Blew Off Pahoa Community Meeting Today

Greggor Ilagan at the Hawaii County Building in Hilo Tuesday

Newly elected Puna councilman Greggor Ilagan didn’t show up for a community in Pahoa this morning.  Approximately 11 people sat at Luquin’s Mexican Restaurant waiting for Ilagan to attend a joint Mainstreet Pahoa Association and Pahoa Regional Town Center Steering Committee meeting.  Actually, those present represented Mainstreet Pahoa, the Pahoa Regional Town Center Steering Committee, the Puna Traffic Safety Committee, the Hawaii County Transportation Commission, Malama O Puna, Kokua Pahoa and the County of Hawaii Planning Department.  I showed up specifically because I had been told Ilagan was going to address the group.  But after about 9:15 a.m., Mark Hinshaw, who chairs both Mainstreet Pahoa and the Pahoa Regional Town Center Steering Committee, called Ilagan’s Pahoa office and Council aide Mike Pankowski told him Ilagan opted to go to his Hilo office rather than attend the Pahoa meeting.  Not only was I appalled by the no show, I couldn’t believe what Pankowski told Hinshaw.  I decided to seek Ilagan out myself.  I called his Hilo office and got his voice mail.  So, then I decided to pay him a surprise visit.  Rather than mess around with any formality, I made my way straight up to the offices of council representatives and stood in the window staring at Ilagan as I called Pankowski on the phone to inform him I couldn’t get Ilagan on the phone in Hilo.  Ilagan saw me in the window and came outside.  That is when I took the photo you see above.  Ilagan gave me one of the lamest excuses ever — he opted not to attend the meeting this morning in Pahoa because he had to get something to “the courier” and “Legislative Research Branch” and he needed “to meet someone in Hilo.” As I prodded, it was obvious that what he was telling me was a sham, and that he simply didn’t care to attend the Mainstreet Pahoa or Pahoa Town Center Steering Committee meeting.  As we were talking and I explained to him who was present waiting for him (including Larry Brown, of the Planning Department, there on the County of Hawaii’s dime), I flashed on the likelihood that Ilagan could be ignorant about the purpose of both organizations and that the Pahoa Town Center Steering Committee is actually related to the Puna Community Development Plan.  It is possible that Ilagan knows nothing about the latter.  He is a freshman council member and had virtually nothing to do with politics before he campaigned for public office.

The bottom line is, ignorant or not, if Greggor didn’t want to attend, he should have canceled the meeting before he occurred.

Madie Greene, who has announced she intends to run for the Council District 4 seat against Ilagan in the next election, sits on both Mainstreet Pahoa and Pahoa Regional Town Center Steering Committee. It’s possible that Ilagan didn’t want to face her in the meeting this morning.

But the fact is, most of those people in that room this morning are Pahoa merchants, and I know of at least four people who delayed opening their businesses this morning so they could hear what Ilagan has to say.  Ilagan cost merchants some money this morning and, if he continues to behave that way, he is going to pay in the long run.  Puna is quite a fickle place.  Since Helene Hale lost her Council seat to Al Smith in 1994, Puna has had a problem committing to council members.  There is a trend in Puna where people are elected to the County Council in order to elect someone else out.  If Ilagan doesn’t play his cards right, you can guarantee that he’s going to be a one-term councilman.  I honestly believe that Ilagan, who was a college student when he declared his candidacy, didn’t expect to win the Puna Council seat.  As the accidental councilman, he needs to prove to the constituency that he really wants to be a leader.  Standing up members of the community for a meeting is ineffective leadership, to say the least.

We in Puna, and in Pahoa, deserve better.  Hopefully, when Ilagan returns from his junket to Washington, D.C., for the National Association of Counties (he and four other council members leave Thursday — see subsequent thread), he’ll try to make good with Mainstreet Pahoa and the Pahoa Regional Town Center Steering Committee.  He obviously needs the education these groups can offer.

Mainstreet Pahoa Association and Regional Town Center Steering Committee members wait for Greggor Ilagan Tuesday morning.

Hawaii News — Looking For Marketing Tips? Sign Up For Upcoming Workshop


HILO, HI—February 25, 2013—Learn to be your own marketing designer using software readily available on your computer!


Hawaii TechWorks, a program of the East Hawaii Community Development Corporation (EHCDC), is sponsoring a series of three Effective Marketing Publications workshops that will each build upon each other:


Workshop 1: Designing a Postcard Reminder Read more

Letters — New Pahoa Restaurant Seeks Local Produce


    Below is a message that I hope you can spread with everyone that you know who may have produce and see the win-win in it for all of us if their produce helped make healthy meals for Puna.

There will be an awesome new restaurant opening at the old KFC building in Pahoa, has a name, Mauka Makai, and an owner, chef Thomas Aiu and his wife, and they are ready to find out what produce is available in the area to use to make healthy meals, in what once was a fast food restaurant.


If you are interested in seeing how your produce could be used (and featured) at Mauka Makai, please get back with me or Thomas by so we can arrange to talk story and bring your goods to the table.


We are all in this for the long haul as a first step to helping to make Puna: Thrive! Mahalo for you time and support



Mahalo nui,

p.s. please forward to all farmers:-)

Kona News — Police Investigate Toddler Drowning

(Media release) — Hawai?i Island police are investigating the death of a toddler in Kailua-Kona as a public accident.

Responding to an 8:58 a.m. call Friday (February 22) Kona patrol officers made contact with a 30-year-old woman on Lamaokeola Street in Kailua-Kona, who reported that she had been watching her 18-month-old son play in a vacant lot. She reportedly turned away for a few seconds. When she looked back, her son was missing.

After searching for 10-15 minutes, the woman found her son floating face down in a plastic tank filled with water. The child was unresponsive when the woman removed him from the tank.

The woman attempted cardio-pulmonary resuscitation until Fire Department rescue personnel arrived. They took the boy to Kona Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 9:37 a.m. An autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death.

The Area II Criminal Investigations Section is continuing the investigation. Police do not suspect foul play.

Letters — About The Cancellation Of Jim Albertini’s Speech At Hilo High School

Open Letter to Hilo High School Principal Dircks and the State DOE,

I think this retraction of an invitation to Jim Albertini to speak on the Military in Hawaii and other related issues is reprehensible and a return to the darkest days of the Vietnam War era censorship. It is a bucking in to fear of contrary ideas, patriotic extremism and denial of free speech.
What happened to “thought provoking” dialogue and presentations in and educational environment? Does the Principal and DOE buckle under one person’s reactionary views? Is the Principal and DOE so fearful of ideas that they must be arbitrarily and capriciously censored from the students? Where is Hilo High’s and the DOE’s written policy on denial of speakers like Mr. Albertini?
This arbitrary edict of banishment is shameful on the part of the Hilo High School administration and reflects poorly on the State DOE system.
Please have someone with better training in civics and administration review this decision. Or do we have to resort to pickets and teach-ins again?
Nelson Ho
Conscientious Objector during the Vietnam War
Past Deputy Director in Hi. County Government 2004-2008

Letters — Support Legislation To Move Medical Marijuana Program From Public Safety To Health Department

Aloha everyone,

The House Finance Committee has scheduled a hearing for HB 668, H.D. 1, a bill that would move the jurisdiction of the medical cannabis program from the Department of Public Safety to the Department of Health.  You may have already testified on this bill when it was heard in the House Health Committee. Note that this one is HB 668, House Draft 1 as there were a few changes made. You can recycle your prior testimony if you like by just changing the details of the hearing (Committee, time, chair etc.) and you may want to include the financially-oriented talking points (follow. ) Read more

Hawaii News — DUI Arrests And Accidents Are Down By 19 Percent

During the week of Feb. 11, 2013, through Feb. 17, 2013, Hawai?i Island police arrested 20 motorists for drunk driving. Nine of the drivers were involved in traffic crashes.

So far this year, there have been147 DUI arrests compared with 183 during the same period last year, a decrease of 19.7 percent.

There have been 159 major accidents so far this year compared with 197 during the same period last year, a decrease of 19.3 percent.

So far this year, there were eight traffic fatalities on Hawai?i Island compared with two during the same period last year, an increase of 400 percent.

DUI roadblocks and patrols will continue island wide.

(Submitted by Hawaii Police Department via Nixle.)

***Commentary*** In Support Of Breastfeeding In Public

Time to bust out warrior mama to show my support for a mother harassed for breastfeeding in public on Oahu. Those of you who think women should cover up to breastfeed should eat your next meal under a blanket. This is the 21st century where men shave their abs and women walk around in thong bikinis and take pole dancing classes for exercise. Yet people still have a problem with women feeding their babies in public. I personally find it appalling that women continue to be harassed for earnestly trying to feed their children in the natural and most nurturing way possible. Do you know how difficult it is to try and keep everything all tucked in and organized while you’re trying to feed your baby? It’s not like women are actively trying to give people titty shots. They’re trying to feed their babies and keep them from being fussy — because the other aspect of this is the harassment over fussy babies. The judgment and criticism is absolutely ridiculous. Here’s some for the weirdos who look down on breastfeeding: Get some freakin’ therapy! — Tiffany Edwards Hunt

Island Art — Introduction Of Bub n’da Smack Dab

Out of the jungles of Puna, Hawaii come a dynamic world pop quartet with their debut EP, “Memoirs of a Lemon Squeezy Kid.” Bub n’da Smack Dab Invites you on a balloon ride around the world where each of the ten stops is a musical adventure featuring the regional vibrations of that port city.
Weighing anchor in Southern California, then south to Brazil, drift across the Atlantic to Africa, north to the Ukraine — following the jet stream west to the U.K., Iceland, New York, Chicago, Seattle and finally landing in Hilo, Hawaii.
Treat your ears and your imagination to this eclectic collection of music as we laugh & sing & dance & play around the world in song with, “Memoirs of a Lemon Squeezy Kid” by Bub n’da Smack Dab. Available at, iTunes and with links from our Facebook page.

Letters — Marijuana Cures MRSA?!

Aloha Tiffany,

I had just sent this to your email address, but had a period after “com”,
so I’m resending, in case the original doesn’t get to you.

I recently saw drug resistant staph, MERSA, reduced overnight by ninety
percent, using raw, non-psychoactive, marijuana.  After the initial
treatment with cannabis, the patient finished it off in a few days, using
an antibiotic, under a doctor’s supervision.   The astounding overnight
healing of a MERSA infected abscess, was documented with photo’s, that
were shown to the patients astounded and delighted.

Lee Eisenstein