Hilo News — ‘Resolving Life’s Problems Through Buddhism’ At Hilo Betsuin July 26

(Media release) — Rev. Marvin Harada of the Orange County Buddhist Temple will speak at the BSC Satellite Summer Session on July 26, 2014, at the Hilo Betsuin, 398 Kilauea Avenue, 9:30 AM – 12:30 PM. He will be speaking on the topic, “Resolving Life’s Problems Through Buddhism.” He will be discussing the following areas: 1. The matter of life and death; 2. Relationships; 3. Work issues; 4. Self-esteem.

Rev. Harada states, “We all face problems in life. Some of our problems are big problems. Some of our problems are little problems. Sometimes little problems don’t get resolved, and they become big problems. Big or small, there isn’t anyone who can say they don’t face problems in life. Buddhists over the many centuries have resolved the greatest issues of life…”

Marvin Harada is the minister at Orange County Buddhist Temple where he has been serving since 1986. His is also co-director for the Center for Buddhist Education for the Buddhist Churches of America. He is the author of Discovering Buddhism in Everyday Life (2011). Event is free and open to the public.

Guest Column — Preparing for Climate Change, An Overview

By Richard Ha

I was asked to speak (recently) at the Hawai‘i State Association of Counties 2014 Annual Conference, which was held in Waikiki. I spoke on the panel called Preparing for Climate Change, and here’s what I said:

Aloha everyone. Thanks for inviting me.

Food security has to do with farmers farming. If the farmers make money, the farmers will farm!

The Hawaiian side of our family is Kamahele, from lower Puna. All the Kamaheles are related. The Okinawa side of our family is Higa. The Korean side of our family is the Ha name. It’s about all of us in Hawaii. Not just a few of us!

I write an ag and energy blog , hahaha.hamakuasprings.com. It stands for three generations of us.

What is the difference between climate and weather? Neil DeGrasse Tyson, on Cosmos, describes it like the guy strolling down the beach with his dog. The dog running back and forth is the weather. The guy walking along the beach is climate.

Background: 35 years farming, more than 100 million pounds of fruits and vegetables. We farm 600 fee-simple acres which the family and 70 workers farm. Not having any money, we started out by trading chicken manure for banana keiki and went on to become the largest banana farm in the U.S. We were green farmers early. In 1992, we were first banana farm in the world certified Eco-OK by the Rainforest Alliance. In 2008, we were one of six national finalists for the Patrick Madden SARE award. We were one of the first farms in Hawai‘i to be food-safety certified.

When we needed to find a solution for a disease problem, we took a class in tissue culture and tried to culture the plants in our back bedroom. But there was too much contamination, from cat hair maybe. So we made our own tissue culture lab. We have our own hydroelectric plant, which provides all our electricity. Our trucks and tractors operate with fuel from Hawai‘i biodiesel.

My pop told me that, “Get a thousand reasons why no can.” I’m only looking for the one reason why CAN.

As we stroll along the climate change beach, there are two things that we notice.

The first is energy. Without energy, work stops. Petroleum products are finite and costs will rise. Farmers’ costs will rise and farmers’ customers’ costs will rise. How can we dodge the bullet?

I attended five Peak Oil conferences. The world has been using twice and three times as much oil as we have been finding. So the price is going to keep on going up. It will increase farmers’ costs and will increase the farmers’ customers’ costs. We need to do something that will help all of us, not just a few of us. Something that can help future generations cope.

That something is hydrogen. The geothermal plant can be curtailed at 70 MW per day. That’s throwing away 70 MW of electricity every night. The new eucalyptus chip plant Hu Honua can be curtailed by 10 MW for ten hours per night. The key to hydrogen is electricity cost. On the mainland it is made from natural gas. Here it can be made from running electricity through water. We are throwing away lots of electricity at night. We know that oil and gas prices will be steadily going up in the future. Hydrogen from our renewable resources will become more and more attractive as oil and gas prices rise. At some point we will have an advantage to the rest of the world. And as a bonus, hydrogen combined with nitrogen in the air will produce nitrogen fertilizer.

You may be interested to know the inside scoop about the lawsuit that Big Island farmers brought against the County.

Why? Clarity: Farmers are law-abiding citizens and we play by the rules. We thought that  the Feds and the State had jurisdiction. We want clarity about the rules of the game.

Equal treatment: Only Big Island farmers are prohibited from using biotech solutions that all our competitors can use. How is that equal? It’s discriminatory against local farmers.

 

When the law was first proposed, they wanted to ban all GMOs. We asked what are papaya farmers supposed to do? They said, we can help them get new jobs, to transition. We were speechless. It was as if they were just another commodity. So farmers and ranchers got together and ran a convoy around the County building in protest. Then they said they would give the Rainbow papaya farmers a break. I was there when the papaya farmers had a vote to accept the grandfather clause for Rainbow papayas. There were a lot of young, second- and third-generation farmers there in the room.

In the end, the papaya farmers said, We are not going to abandon our friends who supported us when we needed help. That is not who we are. Then they voted unanimously to reject the offer. I was there and being a Vietnam vet, where the unspoken rule was we all come back or no one comes back, I could not have been prouder of the papaya farmers. That explains why the Big Island farmers are tight. Old-fashioned values.

The rubbah slippah folks absolutely get all of this.

So who are these farmers? I am one. I don’t grow GMOs. It isn’t about me. I’ll make 70 this year and, like almost all the farmers, have never sued anyone. But there comes a time when you have to stand up for what is right.

The group we formed, Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United, grows more than 90 percent of the farm value on the Big Island.

This is about food security. The GMO portion of food security is small. This is not about large corporations. It is about local farmers. It is not about organics; we need everybody.

But organics only supply 4 percent of the national food supply and maybe 1 percent of Hawai‘i’s. Our organic farmers are not threatened by modern farming. Hawaii organic farmers are threatened by mainland, industrial-scale organic farms. That is why there are hardly any locally grown organics in the retail stores. It’s about cost of production. Also, on the mainland winter kills off the bad bugs and weeds and the organic farmers can outrun the bugs through the early part of summer. Hawai‘i farmers don’t have winter to help us.

Most importantly, this is about pro-science and anti-science. That is why farmers are stepping up. We know that science is self-correcting. It gives us a solid frame of reference. You don’t end up fooling yourself. In all of Hawai‘i’s history, now is no time to be fooling ourselves.

My pop told me that there were a thousand reasons why No Can. He said, look for the one reason why Can! He said to look for two solutions to every problem and one more, just in case.

He would pound the dinner table and dishes would bounce in the air and he would point in the air and say, “Not no can. CAN!”

We can have a better world for future generations. It’s all common sense and attitude.

(Richard Ha is a farmer in Hamakua.)

Hilo News — US Senate Forum Is July 2

Unknown(Media release) — A U.S. Senate Candidate Forum featuring U.S. Senator Brian Schatz and U.S. Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa will be held on Wednesday, July 2, 2014, from 6:30 p.m. until 8 p.m. at Sangha Hall, 424 Kilauea Avenue in Hilo. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. The forum is sponsored by the Hawai‘i Island Chamber of Commerce, Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Hawaii, Hawaii Island REALTORS®, Hawaii Island Contractors’ Association, Kanoelehua Industrial Area Association and the Hawaii Island Portuguese Chamber of Commerce. This public forum is open to the community free of charge.  It is the only U. S. Senate Forum scheduled for Hawaii Island in advance of the Primary Election on August 9.  The winner of the Democratic Primary will advance to the General Election on November 4 and face Republican, Libertarian, and Nonpartisan candidates.

The sponsoring organizations have organized this important opportunity to educate their members and the public about the issues relevant to the U.S. Senate, the candidates’ backgrounds, and how well they will meet the needs of the people of Hawai‘i Island and our state. The forum will be moderated by Sherry Bracken, Public Affairs Director, Mahalo Broadcasting and host of the Sunday interview show Island Issues for LAVA 105.3 fm and on KKOA 107.7 fm.  She also reports on Hawai‘i Island news for Hawaii Public Radio. Questions will not be taken from the audience at the forum but the public is invited to submit questions in advance to admin@hicc.biz and to info@lava105.com Sign waving will not be allowed on the Sangha Hall/ Hilo Hongwanji property and campaign signs will not be allowed in the hall.

The forum will air live on radio station LAVA 105.3 fm  from 6:30 p.m. until 8 p.m.  It will also stream live at  www.hawaii247.com.   Food, snacks and drinks will be available for sale at the event as a benefit for Friends of Hilo High Baseball.   Hawaii Public Radio will also air the forum in its entirety on its HPR-1 program stream on Thursday, July 3, at 6:00 p.m.  In East Hawai’i, HPR 1 is at 91.1 fm, and in West Hawai’i, it will air on 90.7 fm.  Na Leo ‘O Hawai’i will film for later broadcast on its Hawai’i Island stations. It will also be featured on bigislandvideonews.com.

The League of Women Voters will be at the forum to provide voter registration.

For more information, please call the Hawai‘i Island Chamber of Commerce at (808) 935-7178.

Puna News — Police Community Meeting Is July 15

(Media release) — The Hawaii Police Department will hold a community meeting on Tuesday, July 15, from noon to 2 p.m. at the Kea?au Community Center, located at 16-192 Pili Mua Street (off Old Volcano Highway).

The purpose of the meeting is to allow the public to meet the Police Department’s command staff and to discuss concerns with the police chief and commanders who oversee police operations in the Puna District.

This Puna event continues the district community meetings, which are rotated throughout the eight police districts on the Big Island. To aid police commanders in focusing on specific concerns, it is requested that participation be limited to persons who live or work in the Puna District.

Those interested in participating but unable to attend may call Captain Samuel Jelsma at 965-2716, stop by the P?hoa police station, or e-mail their concerns or comments tocopsysop@hawaiipolice.com.

Letters — PGV Community Meeting Is June 30

Aloha mai kakou,

As part of PGV and Ormat’s ongoing commitment to provide regular educational outreach, we have scheduled our next quarterly meeting as follows:

Logistical details:
Date: Monday, June 30, 2014
Time: 5 – 7 PM
Place: Pahoa High School Cafeteria

Topics being reviewed:
2014 Year in review
Updates on activities associated with the facility
Discussion on participation and support for the Health Assessment Working Group

There will be some time set aside for a question and answering session.

If you can make it, we look forward to seeing you there, if no can, then we’ll invite you for the next go-round.

Mahalo, Mike

Michael L Kaleikini
Puna Geothermal Venture
Senior Director for Hawaiian Affairs

Hawaii News — Police Take Another Look At Sommer Ferreira’s Death Three Years Ago

Media Release

Police have reclassified a death that occurred three year ago from a coroner’s inquest case to a murder.

On September 20, 2011, police were called to a Wainaku residence for a report of a woman found lifeless in the laundry room area of the home.

Upon arrival, police discovered the body of 20-year-old Sommer Ferreira. An initial inquiry was conducted into the cause of her death. Based on the circumstances at the time of the incident, no foul play was suspected.

After receiving recent information about the death, detectives reopened the case and conducted further investigation. A suspect has been identified, and the case has been routed to the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney for further review and disposition.

Snorkel Bob Foundation, U.S. Humane Society Launch Reef Protection Effort

The Snorkel Bob Foundation has announced a grant of $31,650 to match funds committed by The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) for a campaign to protect Hawaii reefs and wildlife from aquarium-trade collectors.

Snorkel Bob Foundation Executive Director Robert Wintner explained the objective of the funding: “Underwater was under the radar to most people in Hawaii until our campaigns in the legislature and at County levels around Hawaii. Every campaign requires educational outreach that opens eyes and hearts around Hawaii. Hawaii Island County Council got it right, passing a resolution for a statewide ban on the trade. The council affirmed, ‘…in a cultural and environmentally driven tourism economy the continued protection of our reefs and reef inhabitants enhances the overall cultural experience and brings millions of tourism dollars into State coffers.’” Wintner said many people around the Hawaiian Islands know that Kona is the hub of aquarium extraction in the Islands. Now they’re learning of the animal cruelty aspect of the aquarium collecting business at the county level.”

“We seek to stop the atrocious mortality I have seen in reef wildlife shipments,” said Humane Society International Executive Director Teresa Telecky. “Polling shows that Hawaii residents overwhelmingly want the aquarium trade to end. Barring that, they strongly support county action such as the landmark anti-cruelty law Maui County enacted which ended harmful practices that sacrificed wildlife well-being to a business bottom line. Ending the waste of wildlife will lead to healthier reefs and more fish up and down the food chain.”

Big Island fisherman and Aquarium trade opponent Mike Nakachi said, “I’m an endemic species here on Hawaii Island. I served on a fisheries council for fifteen years and saw nothing but aquarium collectors take over and call the shots. It’s not right. I’m grateful that two outstanding organizations on Hawaii Island will now enable meaningful management to a Hawaii public trust.”

The Snorkel Bob Foundation also works in conjunction with Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, where Wintner is also national vice president. “Both organizations were represented on the Kona Coast last month, when an aquarium collector attacked a woman with a GoPro camera, ripping out her air supply at 5 feet [in depth]. That Big Island county prosecutor is currently investigating that attack, and so is, presumably, DLNR,” said Wintner.

Wintner also announced “another gift to the people of Hawaii Island, a big screen virtual reef TV, on loan, to demonstrate the fragile beauty of Hawaii’s coral reefs and wildlife. The video reef system will show Big Island reefs and critters at home in the wild, with reef cam footage provided by UNtanked. The TV and reef cam footage will be on display in the Kona County Council office reception area. The video features native reef species on West Hawaii reefs, their natural homes.

UNtanked inventor Shawn Verne said, “Unlike fish captured and shipped in the aquarium trade, no wildlife is harmed in the UNtanked virtual aquarium system.” UNtanked also plays on multiple screens throughout the recently dedicated, $331 million NOAA Daniel K. Inouye Regional Center on Ford Island in Honolulu.

Hawaii Island County Council Vice-chair Karen Eoff, representing North Kona, said, “Our coral reefs are among Hawaii’s most precious resources. Having the large screen virtual reef displayed in our lobby allows people to experience and appreciate the beauty of the fish and wildlife in West Hawai’i in their natural environment. We need to do all we can to protect our fragile reef ecosystems.”

Letters — Pahoa Boosters’ First Work Party – Let Football Prepping Begin!

Aloha Boosters and Friends,

Pahoa High AD Dr. Clemente Hudson and Principal Darlene Bee are in the selection process for the football coach, Pahoa High has declared for 8 man football, there is a game schedule out, and players are already signing up. We saw kids playing football on the field the other day!

Doc Hudson has given us his initial wish list:
– Prep and paint the goal posts – will need man lift boom
– Weed whack the border track
– Paint the border track
– Pressure wash the bleachers
– Paint the bleachers
– Move the two containers 90 degrees so that the long sides face the roads
– Prep and paint the containers
– Create a mural on the container for Home of the Daggers
– Spread gravel to level out playing field
– Consider possibility of contructing new bleachers or install bleachers in approved grant proposal
– Get the scoreboard up and running and looking good

The Booster Club needs your help to plan this event. We need contractors and business people who understand the job requirements and can plan for the equipment, tools, supplies and safety equipment, and create assignments that involve younger as well as older students and their parents in meaningful contributions. And make it fun!

We’d like to plan a meeting of professionals out on the field in early July, no later than July 8. If you want to participate in this effort, please respond with two days that would work for you between July 1 and July 8. Please share this email with other professionals that you know who would come out for this event. We’ll choose the day that the most people can attend to do a walk through the field with Doc Hudson. And I’m sure that he is willing to discuss this with anyone who has questions.

We’ve chosen July 12 and/or 19 for our work day(s) as we want to be in front of the July 24 cut off day for our commitment payment for football. Doc is already recruiting kids and interviewing coaches. He is confident that these dates give him enough time to rally the team.

The Booster Club has limited funds to cover costs and we will absolutely welcome your contributions. If we fall short of what is needed, the Boosters are committed to go out to find the donations that we need.

The governor will be watching us. We need him to releases the grant funds approved by the legislature as soon as possible!

I hope to be flooded with responses!

Nancy
Nancy Jean Kramer MBA, CPA

Hawaii News — Help Police Identify Couple Involved In Theft Identification

imageMedia Release

Hawai?i Island police are requesting the public’s help in identifying a man and a woman wanted for questioning in a theft that occurred on May 6 in Hilo.

Police ask anyone with information about the persons in the surveillance image to call Officer Jacob Obermiller at 961-2213 or the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential

Hawaii News — Ohana Ho’opakele’s Motion for Summary Judgment against the State of Hawaii to block the reopening of Kulani Correctional Facility (KCF) is set for hearing

On Friday, June 20, 2014 at 9 AM Ohana Ho’opakele’s Motion for Summary Judgment (MSJ) against the State of Hawaii is set for hearing before Hilo Circuit Judge Glenn S. Hara. The (MSJ) is to prevent the State of Hawaii from reopening the Kulani Correctional Facility (KCF). The MSJ charges the state with failure to properly address issues required by State environmental law, including Act 117 passed in 2012 which directed the State Department of Public Safety (DPS) to work with Ohana Ho’opakele and others to establish a Pu’uhonua at the former KCF unless a better site can be found.

Ohana Ho’opakele will be represented before the court by its attorney who also represents two pa’ahao (incarcerated) plaintiffs as well. Ohana Ho’opakele Plaintiffs, Ralph Palikapu Dedman, Ronald Fujiyoshi, Samuel Kaleleiki, Luella Nohea Crutcher, and James Albertini, have asked the court for an order to require the appearances of the incarcerated plaintiffs, Cedric Ah Sing and Van Kahumoku, in the proceedings.

Ohana Ho’opakele President, Palikapu Dedman, says that DPS director, Ted Sakai, “has not taken seriously the requirements of the law in dealing with environmental impacts, especially to native Hawaiians who disproportionately make up more than 60% of Hawaii’s prison population. This is a violation of environmental law and Hawaiian civil rights. Furthermore, Sakai has not proceeded in good faith to follow Act 117 signed into law by Governor Abercrombie designating Kulani to be a Pu’uhonua, not a prison. The State should not be opposed to Kulani being converted to a Pu’uhonua instead of a prison. It would be a feather in the Governor’s hat if he brought prisoners back to a Pu’uhonua rather than a prison. Supporting a Pu’uhonua at Kulani would get the Governor votes. The disproportionate number of Hawaiians in prisons should be a key Governor’s campaign issue. You can’t keep oppressing Hawaiians and expect the Hawaiian vote.”

Dedman says, “Ohana Ho’opakele is asking the court to restrain the DPS from reopening KCF as a prison and require the State to complete a full Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that addresses Hawaiian concerns and Act 117 calling for a Pu’uhonua at Kulani. A Pu’uhonua is an answer to deal with the disproportionate number of native Hawaiians in the prison system in Hawai`i.”

Dedman says, “There are nearly 6000 people locked up under the DPS. More than 3000 are Hawaiians. Ohana Ho’opakele, with the backing of Act 117, is only asking that Kulani, instead of being reopened as a prison, become a model Pu’uhonua for 200 carefully screened pa’ahao with one year left on their sentence. Pu’uhonua is based on healing. Prisons are based on punishment and are proven failures and a waste of taxpayer’s money. In 2014 the DPS budget is $249 million or $41,000 per prisoner. The number of people incarcerated keeps increasing. Hawaii incarceration rates increased 709% between 1980 and 2008. And now the State is inviting the Private Prison Industrial Complex to Hawaii to profit off the misery of Hawaiians and further fleece the taxpayer.”

Dedman says “The State of Hawaii has an obligation under the Hawaii State Constitution (Article 12, Section 7) to stand up for justice for Native Hawaiians. A Pu’uhonua at Kulani, not a prison, is a step toward justice that needs to be taken now. That’s what this lawsuit is all about.”

Ohana Ho’opakele officers and supporters will be outside the entrance to the Hilo Court House at the Kanawai Mamalahoe sculpture “Law of the Splintered Paddle” and available for comment at 8 AM Friday, June 20, 2014.

***Commentary*** Pahoa Is Getting Ready For Football

imageI am a board member of the Pahoa Booster Club who helped prepare the grant in aid application that has resulted in $92,000 going toward the reinstatement of football at Pahoa High and Intermediate School. At our meeting yesterday, representatives from Sports Line gave a presentation on the equipment we will be purchasing for the 8-man football team. It all became very real and exciting that we will see football in Pahoa this fall. We have a new interim athletic director at Pahoa High and Intermediate School, Dr. Clemente Hudson. He has asked that we help him get the word out to prospective football players to come by his office or call him at 313-4242. There is a classified ad running this week for a football coach and, once the coach is in place, the team can start practice. — Tiffany Edwards Hunt

Guest Column — Recollection Of A Prior Incineration Attempt

By Dr. James Weatherford

The County is taking steps toward having a waste-to energy facility on this island. This has been tried before. The story below is shared, as being central to my experience in that previous effort and my doubts about the current effort.

It was October, 2006. We were enjoying our new little house. After some morning work in the garden, I came into the house to have a drink of water and cool off.

The telephone rang, I answered, and Mayor Harry Kim greeted me on the other end. I had been making noise, publicly, about his plans for a waste-to-energy facility not being a good idea. The Mayor and I had had some heated conversations in his office about his plans and my opposition to those plans. Among other things, the legal and engineering consultants, paid $1.5 million by the County, had fed the Mayor and Council with considerable misinformation.

On the telephone, the Mayor asked me to keep an “open mind” and said he wanted to send me to attend the Waste to Energy Research and Technology Conference in New York City. The conference began in three days. Of course, I said I would go.

The next afternoon I went to a meeting in the Mayor’s Office. DH and AE were also there. They worked in the Mayor’s Administration and would be attending the conference with me. DH (no doubt, at the Mayor’s behest) was substantially responsible for the highly flawed process that had brought the County to being ready to invest in waste-to-energy.

Flights were already booked. DH had the County charge card and would be taking care of the lodging in NYC. Because of the very short time line, the Mayor said a check could not be cut, and therefore the travelers would be cash-advanced funds to cover meals. The Hilo Three — JW, DH, and AE — left the Mayor’s Office each with cash — hundreds in crisp $20-bills — in hand, and flew out of Hilo the next day.

In NYC, The Hilo Three checked into clean, mid-priced, adequate accommodation, 2 blocks from the conference at Columbia University.

The sessions at the conference were informative. JW learnt a lot that reinforced doubts that waste-to-energy was suitable for Hawaii Island, and heard nothing that suggested Mayor Kim’s plan was a good one.

In addition to the sessions, JW had the opportunity to talk with several of the other attendees, mostly private sector and academic professionals involved in waste-to-energy, as well as a few public sector employees. JW seemed to be the only attendee who was a private citizen with doubts about, much less opposition to, waste-to-energy in their home community. Major sponsors for the conference were companies that build and operate waste-to-energy facilities.

One of the County’s consultants, RS, an attorney, invited The Hilo Three to meet him at his corporate office at 5:30pm for a view of New York Harbor. Address: 145th Floor, One Exchange Plaza. For dinner after that, RS had made reservations at an Italian restaurant nearby to their office.

JW accepted the invitation to see the harbor. His co-travelers had other plans, but agreed to join JW with RS for dinner.

After the last conference session for the day, and before heading to view the harbor, JW met in the hotel lobby briefly with DH and AE; and reminded them that everyone received a cash-advance at the Mayor’s Office back in Hilo, so, they all three could and would each pay for their own dinner.

JW traveled alone on the subway. The people of New York City were friendly and helpful with directions. From the stop where he got off the subway, JW walked up Wall Street, which was mostly quiet because the market had already closed for the day.

On the 145th floor of One Exchange Plaza, JW introduced himself and asked the receptionist for RS. A smiling young attorney, in three-piece suit, emerged through thick wooden doors and introduced himself as someone who works for RS. The young attorney then led JW over to a window higher and wider than JW’s little house in Puna. The view of the harbor was indeed awesome. Bridges. Ferries. Barges. What’s that way down there? It’s very small…it looks like the Statue of Liberty … oh, it IS the Statue of Liberty!

Take-home lesson: from an executive suite on Wall Street, liberty is a very small thing.

RS, DH, and AE were waiting at the restaurant when JW and the young attorney arrived. The dinner was exquisite. Not since leaving Adelaide, South Australia more than five years previous had JW eaten in a genuine, white-table-cloth, Italian Restaurant with Italian-speaking-staff. His tab was well over $100, before tip. JW had the roll of twenties from the Mayor’s Office.

RS suggested a tour of the city, and pulled out his corporate plastic to pay for everyone’s dinner. Across the table, DH glowered, and sputtered, “JW says we have to pay for our own.” RS insisted he be allowed to pay. JW asked the waiter for a separate check, and paid his tab in cash, with a 25% cash tip for the waiter.

RS took The Hilo Three on a great tour of the city. Times Square. Greenwich Village. In a bar with folk singing, RS offered to buy JW a drink. “No thank you, Ric.” JW turned to listen to the guy with the guitar and RS went to the bar to buy DH and AE a round. JW went to the other end of the bar, ordered a glass of port for this chilly October evening in Manhattan, paid for it himself with a $20-bill, left the change for the bartender, put $20 in the singer’s (empty) jar, and sat down to enjoy the music.

After more strolling and sight-seeing, with midnight less than an hour away, RS took The Hilo Three into a coffee house.

Chocolate cake and coffee – something JW really enjoys. RS insists he be allowed to buy just this. “Whatever, Ric.” RS paid. The cake arrived. And, RS immediately started working on JW, about how he shouldn’t be so hard on the engineering consultants because it could hurt their reputation. After a few bites of cake and comments exchanged around the table where JW found no support, RS, the lawyer, pressed his point. JW thanked RS for the cake, pushed it away less than half-eaten, stood and headed for the door. RS caught up at the door and suggested maybe he had pushed too hard. “Whatever, Ric.” It was clear to JW why he had been brought to New York City – to be bought.

Epilogue: Back in Hilo, 19 months later, the Hawaii County Council voted down a proposal for Hawaii County to borrow $125.5 million for a waste-to-energy facility.

(Dr. James Weatherford lives in Puna with his wife.)

Hawaii News — Mauna Kea State Park To Close July 1

(Media release) — Mauna Kea State Park will be closed for renovation starting Tuesday, July 1, and remain closed until further notice.

However, temporary restrooms will be provided to accommodate the public. They will be kept open around the clock and located at the administrative building fronting the park’s main entrance.

The shutdown is needed to expedite the work and ensure the public’s safety while the park’s restrooms, parking lot and picnic area are refurbished. Maintenance crews will be using heavy equipment to improve the park located near the 34-mile marker of the Daniel K. Inouye Highway, also known as Saddle Road.

Work will be performed by the Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation with support from the Department of Public Works. On July 1, Hawai‘i County will assume responsibility for Mauna Kea State Park. Plans call for renaming the park Mauna Kea Recreation Area.

The public will be notified when the park is reopened. Until then, no camping reservations will be taken and permits required for overnight use will not be issued.

The Department of Parks and Recreation apologizes for any inconvenience caused by the temporary closure of Mauna Kea State Park and requests the public’s patience and understanding while it implements these critical improvements for the benefit of residents and visitors.

For more information, please contact Jason Armstrong, Public Information Officer, at 961-8311 or jarmstrong@co.hawaii.hi.us.

Puna News — SPACE Farmers Market To Move To Uncle Robert’s Awa Club

(media release) — Due to a variety of financial, physical, administrative, and bureaucratic reasons, SPACE Farmers’ Market will be relocating to a new venue starting July 5th: Uncle Robert’s Awa Club in Kalapana. The relocated market will be dubbed the “Outer SPACE Ho’olaule’a.” The new hours will be 7 am – 12 noon on Saturdays.
!The current SPACE Market will remain “as is” at SPACE for the month of June. There will not be any missed Saturdays between the move. The relocated market will continue on July 5th at Uncle’s.
The Seaview Performing Arts Center for Education (S.P.A.C.E.) is focused on creatively promoting sustainable local community. SPACE is located next to Bellyacres, an artistic eco village, adjacent to Kalapana Seaview Estates in Puna Makai on the Big Island of Hawaii, USA. This colorful community arts center is the home of the renowned HICCUP Circus, and is managed by Hawaii’s Volcano Circus, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.
For more information about SPACE, please visit hawaiispace.com.
(Submitted by Dena Smith.)