• 30 Dec 2012 /  Uncategorized

    “Sovereignty means to me, I’m home. I’m home in the heart
    of my people where my family is. That’s what it means to me, my land,
    and all that goes with being free. That’s what sovereignty means to me.”

    Uncle Sam Kaleleiki

    We love you Uncle Sam Kaleleiki.

    Uncle Sam Kaleleiki has served in the military of what he thought was his country and after coming home he started learning the truth about what happened to his real Country, Hawaii and how it is still Occupied illegally today by the CORPORATE DE FACTO UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT. Active in the “Lawful Hawaii Government” he fights tirelessly for the rights of the Hawaii people and is trying to reverse the wrong of what the USA has done to the Country of Hawaii.

    Uncle Sam’s dream is to be a good steward of property and to use the property to help his fellow man. This property would provide a safe and secure place for local Hawaiians to talk story; continue the oral cultural history; display their handiwork; share with the general public the products and wisdom of traditional and customary Hawaiian hunting; fishing; gathering; growing food; mauka to makai resource management practices; craftsmanship; arts; medicine; history; spirituality and holistic housing. Methods that blends both the old ways with the new ways that serve humankind and humankind is not made a slave too.

    We are manifesting that this dream will soon be a reality by asking that all make a small contribution. For every dollar raised towards the $16,000 figure it will be backed one for one by us and possibly if the donated amount gets close enough we will still make up the difference! Yes Uncle Sam is also putting up his own money into this community opportunity. Of course larger donations would be appreciated as well. By the inch it’s a cinch!

    The land has a prominent location where all can see the wonderful works and fruit that will come forth. Having control of this land will be another step forward in Uncle Sam’s efforts to use the land to help people where the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) is trying to stop him. (In his current situation he cannot.) see http://www.bigislandchronicle.com/?s=uncle+sam&Submit.x=0&Submit.y=0

    Contributions can be mailed to Kayleen Kameda/KR Hunt P.O. Box 492658, Keaau, Hi 96749 or by PayPal at WeloveyouUncleSam@Yahoo.com You can contact us about the debt elimination program at the same e-mail address. Checks should be made payable to Kayleen Kameda or Sam Kaleleiki and please put in the memo Uncle Sam’s Dream. . We will notify you by whatever means you provide us should we receive a check from you.

    Let’s help Uncle Sam Kaleleiki get a special gift that will benefit all of us in the long run.

    Much Mahalo,

    Mikki & Kr

  • 16 Sep 2012 /  Uncategorized

    “Sovereignty means to me, I’m home. I’m home in the heart of my people where my family is.  That’s what it means to me, my land, and all that goes with being free. That’s what sovereignty means to me. — Uncle Sam Kaleleiki

    Uncle Sam Kaleleiki  is volunteering the use of this property to provide a safe and secure place for local Hawaiians to talk story, continue the oral cultural history, display their handiwork, and share with the general public the products and wisdom of traditional and customary Hawaiian hunting, fishing, gathering, mauka to makai resource management practices, craftsmanship, arts, medicine, history, and spirituality.. The market and cultural center also provides an environment for cross-generational transmission of cultural knowledge, as everyone from kupuna to keiki is welcome here.  Without this market and cultural center, cultural practitioners would often find themselves relegated to unsafe roadside easements, just trying to earn a modest living for their families. Many do not have the funds to pay for the typical spaces seen at local farmer’s markets.  Keeping cultural practitioners and tradespeople out of harm’s way on the roadside is of primary importance.

    Uncle Sam is a good neighbor and does not compete with the Sunday farmer’s market held at the nearby Maku’u Marketplace, and is a positive role model in the community. The market and cultural center is established to enable Hawaiians to help Hawaiians, not only to put a little extra in their wallets to provide for their families, but also to help Hawaiian people overcome drug and alcohol abuse, to retain and transmit cultural values and knowledge to all generations, and to become more productive so they can take care of their families. The practice of ho’oponopono is taught and practiced here.

    Recently, Uncle Sam was served notice by the East Hawaii DHHL Superintendent, Louis Hao, to cease operating the market and cultural center. Uncle Sam has said he will continue operating while simultaneously getting permission to operate legally. He says, “I never turn my back on a Hawaiian”. We ask that all Hawaiians (kanaka maoli, kanaka e, and malihini who aloha Hawai’i and her people) to return this concern and support. We also ask that state officials connected with administering DHHL (Governor Abercrombie, Lt. Governor Schatz, DHHL Dir. Jobie Masagatani, DHHL Chair Albert Nahale-a, East Hawaii Branch DHHL Director, DHHL Supt Louis Hao) not to obstruct Hawaiians Helping Hawaiians on Hawaiian Lands.  Most importantly, please come down to Uncle Sam’s and show your support in person, hang out, talk story, and enjoy the traditions of old Hawai’i.

    Contact info for DHHL: P.O. Box 1879, Honolulu, Hawaii  96805 or (808) 620-9590 or (East Hawaii District Office) 160 Baker Ave., Hilo, Hawaii  96720 or (808) 974-4250.

    For Gov. Abercrombie: Executive Chambers, State Capitol, Honolulu, Hawai’i  96813 or (808) 586-0034

    See: www.change.org/petitions/hawaii-governor-lt-governor-and-dhhl-directors-chairs-and-staff-support-uncle-sam-s-market-and-cultural-center-in-puna-district-hawai-i

    — Lance Duncan

  • 17 Oct 2010 /  commentary, Guest cartoon, politics

    Tomas Belsky cartoon


  • 15 Aug 2010 /  commentary, Guest cartoon, politics

    Tomas Belsky illustration and text

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  • 20 Jun 2012 /  Obituaries

    Arsenio “Uncle LC” “Pops” Julian, Sr., 92, of Pahoa, he passed away on Wednesday, June 13, 2012 at Hilo Medical Center. He was born on October 23, 1919 in Bo. Bugasi, Banna, Ilocos Norte, PI; he was a Boiler Room Operator for Puna Sugar Company and member of the Pahoa Sacred Heart Catholic Church. Read the rest of this entry »

  • 25 Jul 2010 /  feature, Island Events, KEIKI, news, sports, surf

    George "Boogie" Kalama

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

    By Tiffany Edwards Hunt

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Rodney Joseph and Malu Motta

    Ethan "Malu" Motta

    Ethan "Malu" Motta

    (Editor’s note:  Today Ethan “Malu” Motta and his cousin Rodney Joseph Jr. were found guilty of the murder of Lepo Utu Taliese and Romilius Corpuz Jr, members of a rival protection gang, and extortion to a racketeering enterprise, which involved the collection of money from illegal gambling games in Honolulu in 2003 and 2004.)

    Rodney Joseph

    Rodney JosephÂ

    Attorney Reggie Minn of the Korean Minn sportsters was Hilo gov’t attorney some 33 yrs. ago, very aggressive [what clients like], attorney for alleged hitman Rodney Joseph.  Keaukaha’s Malu Motta pulled out all stops by getting Gotti’s son’s attorney.  Needed local attorney like Brook Hart to co-counsel to add jury insight/comprehension.  Unlike past mob/syndicate cases [shakedowns/extortion], this current case is about muscle, not ownership, meaning that mob power/control of the past not evident w/Joseph-Motta.   — Curt


    Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hanneman

    Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hanneman

    Honolulu mayor Mufi a fearless leader w/a vision to bring Hawai`i into the forefront of 21st century progress, ergo rail transport.  Had Mufi no guts, Mufi could’ve just sat on his laurels like Harry Kim did for eight no-nothing years, “business as usual/status quo.”  But credit Mufi for making a difference a la demagogue Fasi [The Bus/satellite city halls-home rule].   Remember when local solon Richard Jitchaku ran our disaster relief efforts post-1960 tsunami? Yes, Richard for Richard, as seen via Richard’s isolation of Hawaii Pest Control’s Ed Wence Sr. [tsunami victim tax credit application].  But Richard was a do-er, as evidenced via Richard’s sponsorship of Lincoln Wrecker projects [Waiakea Pirates turned off by Richard’s autocratic ways]. Read the rest of this entry »

  • The Community Relations Meeting that was scheduled for Feb. 27th was
    canceled due to the tsunami warning.  It has been rescheduled for this
    coming Saturday, March 6th at 10 a.m.

    We plan to discuss issues such as how
    SPACE got here, what SPACE is doing, future SPACE plans, community
    impacts, sustainability, finances.  Invited guests include Emily Naeole,
    Faye Hanohano, Uncle Sam, Uncle Robert.  The meeting will be
    professionally moderated.

    SPACE is temporarily canceling the on-going weekly Farmers Markets and
    Night Bazaars.  The last Night Bazaar was February 24, 2010 and the last
    Farmers Market was  February 27th, 2010.  SPACE was notified by the Hawaii
    County Planning Department that a “cease and desist order” is pending.  We
    plan to resume these activities as soon as we receive permission from the
    County to do so.

    Because SPACE provides services and activities beyond the Special Use
    Permit we were granted by Hawai`i County in 2001, we are in
    “non-compliance” with a number of government rules and regulations.  The
    original permit for SPACE activities was based on a vision for a community
    arts center that provided a home for the Hiccup Circus. However, motivated
    by the need for more local services, the facility has evolved over time to
    provide a variety of functions that enrich our community.   We need your
    help to let the County know that the many services we now provide at SPACE
    are in the best interests of our community – and moreover, satisfy a need
    that the County (and other governmental bodies) has been unable or
    unwilling to provide to lower Puna residents.

    You can help in the following ways:
    – sign our on-line petition on paper here at SPACE or online at
    – call or write an email or letter to Mayor Billy Kenoi asking him to
    remove the “cease and desist” order at:
    Aupuni Center
    25 Aupuni St.
    Hilo, HI 96720
    (please send us a copy, too!)
    – come to the Community Relations Meeting on March 6th at 10 a.m.

    Jenna Way


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  • Art by Miriam Levenstein

    Art by Miriam Levenstein

    By Curtis Narimatsu

    Kevin Hickman Steadman’s extraordinary “Gerbil Wheels” book backdrops Kevin’s Alaska fishing cruise where he reminisces about life and history.

    “Gerbil Wheels” published in October 2009 by Kevin Hickman Steadman (born December 7, 1953) denotes running for fun and pleasure, as with a runner’s high, and Kevin’s extraordinary run into life’s unseen horizons reveals secrets about ourselves which only audacious exploration brings. Kevin picked his book title “Gerbil Wheels” from waitress Dawn on the Tustumena ship during Kevin’s week long Alaska fishing trip with his dad. This fishing trip is the backdrop for Kevin’s wondrous reminiscences on his family and on history. Dawn repeated what Dawn’s mother said when Dawn was a child, “If you don’t do anything adventurous, the days, weeks, and months mix together to become years, and it’s like a gerbil’s wheel; you can’t tell one year from the next. But by doing exciting things, you can remember different years and parts of your life. It may not be for everyone, but it makes sense to me.” (page 175 of Gerbil Wheels)

    The irony of Gerbil Wheels is its contradiction, what Gerbils love is not what we perceive — life almost always is opaque, not crystal clear. Read the rest of this entry »

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  • 01 Oct 2009 /  commentary, politics

    Mayor Billy Kenoi (L) gives the shaka with Uncle Sam K.

    Mayor Billy Kenoi (L) gives the shaka with Uncle Sam K.

    I went to Mayor Billy Kenoi’s Talk Story in Pahoa last night, and I’m just now getting a chance to tell you about it.  I’ve been busy taking care of my family and working at the surf shop, and I wanted to take some time to reflect on the meeting.  About a hundred people attended the meeting at the Pahoa Neighborhood Facility, also known as Pahoa Community Center.  It was quite impressive to see in Puna so many department heads, police officers, and about a hundred people packed inside the small room where the meeting was held.  I didn’t understand why the biggest room in the Community Center wasn’t used.

    As I’ve told you when I roasted him and his staff for buying ads in the island dailies, the mayor is hosting a series of talk stories in island communities through mid-November.  The next talk story is at 6 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2009 at Laupahoehoe School.

    Among those in attendance were Puna Councilwoman Emily Naeole, of course, along with State Rep. Faye Hanohano, Fred Blas, of Hawaiian Beaches, the Republican candidate who unsucessfully challenged Hanohano in the last election, Roger Christie, a mayoral candidate from the last election who leads THC Ministry, and Kaniu Kinimaka-Stocksdale, who has twice ran for Council District 5.   Read the rest of this entry »

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  • 19 Feb 2009 /  commentary

    Hawaii Tribune-Herald reporter Bret Yager’s front-page report today on the number of Big Island residents using food stamps, or “electronic benefit transfer (EBT),” the electronic method for distributing the federal Food Stamp Program benefits, being on the rise is not really a surprise.

    Standing in line behind EBT users at the grocery store and observing more and more friends and acquaintances on the program, you get a sense the numbers have increased.  But actually seeing the numbers in black and white is pretty concerning, and Department of Human Services and senators encouragement of more people to take advantage of these forms of public assistance is even more concerning. Read the rest of this entry »

  • 25 Jul 2014 /  politics

    What do you think are the most important issues for your district, and what would you do about them?
    Many residents of Representative District 5 earn a living directly or indirectly from Tourism and Hospitality. Our residents commute long distances to the resorts in Kona and Kohala. We need rest stations with modern, clean sanitary facilities to serve our residents and visitors alike.
    Once past Manuka State Wayside there is not another public restroom for 30 miles (at Kealakekua Ranch Center in Captain Cook, if it is OPEN) and 16 miles to Waiohinu Park, which although a blessing for local residents, is not really up to standards for our tourists.
    Medical services are sparse, with Kona Community Hospital servicing both North and South Kona and Ka’u. Our CMHC (Community Mental Health Center) remains unstaffed by a psychiatrist. My constituents worry that if a new hospital is developed for North Kona that vital services at the Kealakekua location may be lost. It is important to preserve these services so that our residents are not forced to drive to Hilo, or fly to Oahu.

    What do you think are the most important issues for the Island of Hawaii as a whole, and what would you do about them?
    Quality educations for our children, along with viable career opportunities, are of paramount importance. As a DOE high school teacher I have seen firsthand what is referred to as a “brain drain”. Our keiki, after graduating from university are not inclined to return to our district but opt rather to live in more inviting and exciting locations that offer opportunities not found here. In the next few years many of our local doctors will have retired. We are already desperately short of these professionals.
    Even though our state senator and our state representative are M.D.s, I do not believe that they have done enough to procure doctors for our district.

    If not covered above, what are your views on:

    1. What can the state do to make the island’s power grid more compatible with solar energy?
    Solar is very important as a source of alternative renewable energy and a source of employment. The state should require HELCO to work with residents so that everyone is treated fairly. Owners of solar panels that provide HELCO with energy should be paid a fair rate for the electricity they provide to the grid and not be taken advantage of by the “monopoly”. It seems as if our “monopoly” electric company is reluctant facilitate solar and work with its customers. They already charge some of the highest KW rates in the nation.

    2. Do you believe that Big Island farmland should be used to produce biofuels for the military?
    NO. When I moved here in 1987 I wrote letters to the Editor of West Hawaii Today opposing the proposed rocket launching facility (supported by Mufi Hanneman, Bob Herkes, and Malama Solomon) as incompatible with our local lifestyles and our tourist industry. I feel the same way about biofuels.
    Our farmland should be put into the production of food for the residents of the State of Hawaii. We already import massive quantities of food and fuel, but perishable items like fruits and vegetables would be fresher and healthier than those that spend many days being shipped for all over the world. “Freshness” is not a factor that affects fuels at all.

    3. Do you believe biofuel production for civilian electricity and transportation should be expanded on the Big Island?
    I do not support the $400 million Biofuel plant proposed by Dr. Chiogiogi’s consortium. It is incompatible with our local lifestyles, tourism and ecotourism, and would be located in the middle of Volcanoes National Park, the #1 visitor destination in the state. However, I do believe that we should recycle the massive amounts of cooking oil used commercially by restaurants and hotels and blend it into biodiesel for use in transportation.

    4. Do you believe geothermal production should be expanded on the Big Island? If it is expanded, what can the state to do make geothermal production safer?
    Expansion of geothermal would lessen our dependence on imported oil, diesel, which HELCO currently burns to generate electricity. Geothermal does not produce the pollution now being emitted by HELCO’s diesel generators.
    Although some groups are opposed to geothermal it is a viable and renewable source of energy that lessens our dependence on imported petroleum products. Buffer safety zones need to be maintained so that no neighbors are not in close proximity. The state needs to have regulations in place mandating safe practices, and then follow this up with meaningful inspections by qualified professionals. (I once worked for James Pflueger, whose dam broke on Kauai. I feel that the state was negligent in inspecting that dam. If they had done their jobs correctly lives would not have been lost.)

    5. Do you believe the state should invest in an undersea power cable to transport Big Island-generated energy to O`ahu?
    NO. It does not seem practical or cost effective. Until we stop all burning of fossil fuels on the Big Island we will need as much alternative energy as possible here on the Big Island.
    O’ahu’s H-Power plant (garbage to energy) produces 8% of O’ahu’s electricity. Instead of sending them electricity, we should consider shipping them our garbage to fuel their H-Power plant and thus reduce what we have to now haul to our landfills.

    6. What can be done to make the state, as a whole, use less energy?
    The state should ban or tax heavily inefficient technologies that waste energy. I have heard that halogen lamps are very wasteful, to the point where they have actually cancelled out any gains made from the use of efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs.
    7. Do you accept campaign contributions from HECO, HELCO, petroleum companies or other companies with a commercial interest in energy?
    No. I would consider accepting contributions from alternative renewable energy producers. In District 5 we have a wind farm near South Point. I believe solar electricity farms could provide us with additional electricity for our homes and businesses.
    1. What can the state do to encourage more local food production for local markets?
    Small businesses are the engine that propels our economy. My next-door neighbor has an organic aquaponic farm that runs efficiently while conserving water. Establishing tax credits for farmers who invest in the necessary infrastructure would help to develop this type of operation. We should discourage “mono-crop” production and encourage diversity. My family in Waimea raises heirloom tomatoes and peppers which they sell at local farmers’ markets.

    2. Do you support the labeling of genetically modified foods?
    Yes. And I vote with my wallet by purchasing foods that are labeled “Non-GMO”. But many foods certainly contain GMO’s without our knowledge. For instance, we all love Best Foods Mayonnaise, but I am fairly certain that the soybean and other oils used in its production are GMO. Without labelling, who knows?

    3. Do you support increased regulation, at the state level, of genetically modified seed production?
    Yes. Monsanto and other huge corporations can afford to pay any price for farmland thus pricing our local farmers out of the market. In addition, on the mainland and in Canada these corporations have been very heavy-handed when their GMO pollen has “infected” neighboring farmland and they have vast resources to sue small farmers and effectively drive them out of business.

    4. Do you support increased regulation, at the state level, of pesticides?
    Yes. Pesticide, insecticide and herbicide application has increased dramatically in past decades, along with overall cancer rates. These new classes of chemicals are now water-soluble and much more concentrated than previous products. Honeybee populations have been decimated by the use of neonicotinoids which are concentrated in the pollens that they collect and consume.

    5. Do support regulation of pesticides and/or gm crops at the county level?

    Housing, employment and homelessness
    1. How can the state encourage the building of affordable housing?
    The state was in the “subdivision” business and that was deemed illegal (the state turned over their development in Kona to the DHHL). The state should encourage the development of small, comfortable, energy efficient homes. This is an issue that is quite important. I myself would like to purchase an affordable house with county water! There certainly is no shortage of million dollar homes but there is definitely a shortage of homes for the average working resident.
    I believe that the county is the driving force and that they should develop some formula that would create attractive affordable housing for our ohana and not just developments for billionaires…
    2. Historically, planning for housing and jobs on this island has not been conducted with energy sustainability in mind, as evidenced by the long commute between more affordable housing in East Hawaii and jobs at the resort nodes in West Hawaii. What can the state do to put people and jobs closer together?
    I worked at the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel in 1987 and I was one of the first employees to live at La’ilani, a large apartment complex that the developer of the hotel agreed to build as a condition when they developed the resort. Although it was still 30 miles from the resort, this affordable housing was in a desirable area, close to stores and recreational activities in Kailua-Kona. More agreements like that one would help employees live closer to their jobs.

    3. How can the state get more homeless people into housing without taking their things or putting them in prison?
    It is true that the homeless in Hawaii are treated quite badly and rather than receiving help they are often the subjects of laws and regulations that seek to make them “disappear”. I believe this to be more of an issue at the county level, and mainly on Oahu. The state could do more to find these people housing and do more to address the mental illness and drug addiction that many suffer from. I mentioned previously that Mental Health Services in District 5 are nearly non-existent due to a lack of doctors.
    Crime and prison reform…

    1. What’s the best way to relieve the overcrowding of Hawaii’s prison system?
    Non-violent offenders who committed victimless crimes should, whether through parole or probation, be released to their `ohana if possible, or to some other community based program. Rehabilitation and re-entry into society should take priority over our current strategy of merely punishing offenders and then turning them loose on our streets.

    2. Do you favor the building of a privately-owned prison in Hawaii? Would you support the building of such a prison on the Big Island?
    This has been proposed before and my constituents in District 5 have opposed any such facility. They do not want prisoners from the other islands incarcerated here.

    3. Do you favor the establishment of a Pu`uhonua with a program based on ho`oponopono within the state correctional system? If so, should that program be limited only to kanaka maoli or open to all prisoners?
    This seems to be an excellent way to rehabilitate prisoners and prepare them to be productive members of society. More prisoners would be served if it were open to all offenders since Kanaka Maoli account for only a fraction of those incarcerated.

    4. Do you favor the legalization of marijuana? Why or why not?
    I do favor the legalization of marijuana and recognize it as a potential for state revenue akin to beer and wine.
    I believe that countless lives have been ruined due to the criminalization of marijuana. Precious resources have been squandered prosecuting and imprisoning our citizens for what is a victimless crime, not to mention the costs associated with helicopter-based eradication efforts. Prior to 1933 marijuana was legal, and the push to criminalize marijuana was actually a form of racism directed at Mexicans residing in Arizona.

    1. Do you support the current house leadership, or would you favor a change?
    I am running as a non-partisan. Although I do favor change, given the Democratic “super-majority”, I am not optimistic that any meaningful change is forthcoming.

    2. Do you accept campaign contributions from outside your district?
    I have not yet accepted a contribution from outside of my district.
    I will accept contributions from Residents of Hawaii outside of my district, especially from my ohana here on the Big Island. I asked my cousins in Waimea, who raise heirloom tomatoes, to support me. I am from an old kama’aina family. My grandfather had 9 brothers and sisters, and my grandmother had 9 brothers and sisters. So, I have hundreds of cousins from my 18 great aunts and uncles who I hope will contribute to my campaign.

    3. Do you support publicly funded elections?
    Yes. If I can raise $1500 from residents of Hawaii the state will contribute $2712 to my campaign. This will help me to purchase signs and other campaign materials. In order to receive those funds I have agreed to campaign spending limits, which for District 5 is just over $18,000.00.

    4. If elected, on which committees would you most want to serve?
    The committees of most importance to District 5, in my opinion, are:
    Tourism Committee
    Agriculture Committee
    Ocean, Marine Resources, Hawaiian Affairs Committee
    Water & Land Committee.
    I would be honored to serve on any one of them


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  • 30 May 2013 /  Uncategorized

    By Anonymous

    Some of you may recall me and my child’s separation which began 16 months ago. After handing off my child to her mother at the Hilo airport — as they departed on an agreed upon visit to my child’s maternal grandparent’s home on the mainland — my child’s mother chose to not return our child. This has been utterly devastating. Any parent with a normal and vital bond to his/her child perhaps needs no further description of the profound pain of having a child taken in this way. More importantly, I now contemplate the emotional damage to my child resulting from this neglect of our parent/child bond. Suffice to say that giving up — just throwing my hands up and declaring “Oh well, my beloved three and half year old child will be just fine” — this simply isn’t an option. Just as when your child comes to you with any other physical or emotional injury, a functional parent assists his/her child in healing.

    The sad fact of the matter is that my child, still detained on the mainland — due in large part to lack of enforcement of a crime against a child — will soon be facing her second Fatherless Day. Read the rest of this entry »

  • 28 Apr 2013 /  Uncategorized


    I wanted to take this opportunity to provide some factual background information and to update you on the status of the Kohanaiki Shoreline Park, which will soon be dedicated to the County of Hawai‘i.

    The park has been completed and the bathrooms and showers are now open to the public.  A new public access suitable for vehicular use has been completed from Queen Ka’ahumanu Highway, and then continues laterally along the shoreline going south to and beyond all the popular surfing spots and camping beaches.

    Road and Parking:  The roadway and the parking areas are constructed according to a “Good Faith Agreement” negotiated in 2003 and under the direction of DLNR, the Army Corps of Engineers and the SMA permit.  The jeep trail was specifically required by DLNR to be converted to pedestrian access once the park road was complete to protect the beach and oceanfront from the negative impact of vehicular use.  Public access continues along the entire shoreline, with vehicular access to the turn-around south of the main bay, and from there, pedestrian (and bicycle) access to the National Park border along the Ala Kahakai trail.

    Read the rest of this entry »

  • 01 Feb 2013 /  Uncategorized

    Hawaii politician Helene Eleanor Hilyer Hale passed away of natural causes this evening (Feb. 1, 2013) in her South Hilo home. She was 94.

    Hale was born in Minneapolis, Minn., March 23, 1918 to attorney Gale Hilyer and housewife Ellen Harris Hilyer.  She was the oldest of three children, and outlived both her younger siblings.

    Hale graduated from the University of Minnesota, as did her father and grandfather.  Her grandfather was the first African American to graduate from that college.

    As a “colored” teacher with a master’s degree in English in 1940, she was unable to land a job.

    She headed to the South, where, in Nashville, Tenn., she taught at the Agricultural and Industrial College. There, she met her first husband William Jennings Hale Jr.. Together, they became affiliated with the Fellowship of Reconciliation, an organization committed to peace, justice and non-violence, which established what we know today as the American Civil Liberties Union.

    The couple went to New York City, where their daughter Indira Karma Hale was born in 1943.

    The Hales ultimately headed west, and Helene Hale continued her education at Claremont College. Between 1945 and 1947, she taught English and sociology at San Diego State College.  There, she met poet Don Blanding, and his reading of a poem about Kona inspired her relocate to Hawaii. Hale, having endured racism amongst her family and in the communities she lived in on the mainland, appreciated the various ethnicities here.

    From 1947 to 1950, she taught English, drama, speech and social studies at Konawaena Intermediate and High School in Kealakekua. On a subsequent job application she wrote: “did not find the principal compatible.”  In fact, the principal had criticized her for being an agitator for setting up voting booths to teach her schoolchildren in her social studies class about secret voting.  Those who knew Hale know that the superintendent had told her, “Mrs. Hale, you would do well to just teach and keep your mouth shut.”  She quit, vowing never to keep her mouth shut for anyone.

    Between 1950 and 1955, Hale worked for The Book House for Children, selling books and managing three to five saleswomen.  The door-to-door sales work inspired her to run for public office. In 1954, she was elected to the Board of Supervisors, defeating republican incumbent Thomas “Lofty” Cook by a narrow 212-vote margin with 12,309 votes.

    The Hales lived on a coffee farm in Kona, calling it “Opihihale.” They moved to Hilo after Hale entered politics, reserving Opihihale for their retreats.

    In July 1956, Hale gave birth to William Jasper Kona Hale at the Hilo Medical Center.

    Hale defied the gender barrier, serving four terms on the Board of Supervisors, the last couple of years as the chief executive officer of the County of Hawaii, which is the territorial equivalent for the mayor’s position today.  During her tenure in office, she was credited for the initiating astronomy development on Mauna Kea, erecting the first sewage treatment plant to clean up Hilo Bay, and establishing the Merrie Monarch hula festival.

    In 1965 she managed her own advertising and public relations firm, and published a tourist guide entitled, “Volcano (Orchid) Isle Guide.” She had a brief stint producing her own television show. In 1967, she obtained a diploma from the North American School of Advertising. That same year, she divorced William Hale.

    Helene Hale with kumu hula George Naope.

    Between 1966-1967, Hale taught English at the University of Hawaii.

    Hale also served as a real estate broker and, at one time, was president of Hawaii Isle Realty.

    In 1978, she married Hilo businessman Richard Kiyota. That same year she was elected as a delegate from the Hilo district to attend the State Constitutional Convention.

    She then ran for Hawaii County Council and was elected in 1980, serving 10 years as a council member between 1980 and 1994. Among her achievements during that stint in public office was the establishment of the Ahalanui Hot Ponds and building of the Pahoa Community Aquatic Center.

    “We may be the Big Island, but that does not mean we have to prostitute ourselves for ‘big’ money,” Helene stated in 1992, when philosophizing about geothermal energy.

    In 2000, at the age of 82, with the campaign slogan, “Recycle Helene Hale,” she was elected to the state House of Representatives.

    U.S. Rep. Patsy Mink was among Hale’s many friends, and Mink once publicly described Hale as politician she “most admired” in Hawaii.

    Hale served six years in the state Legislature, retiring at the age of 88. But that was not before she lobbied the school board and incorporated in the State House budget funds for what ultimately became the $8.6 million Helene Hale Gymnasium at Pahoa High and Intermediate School.

    Hale mentored many women and politicians.  She was among the first African Americans elected to office in Hawaii and the first woman to hold an executive position in local government since Queen Liliuokalani.

    She was the first woman in Hawaii to be on the cover of Ebony Magazine, described in that April 1963 issue as “Hawaii’s Top Woman Politician.”

    “Violating virtually all established rules of the ‘Big Island’ political game, she stubbornly refused to promise her supporters patronage, instead promised to get rid of certain ‘unnecessary jobs,'” Ebony Magazine described Hale, offering the headline: “Minnesota born ex-teacher upsets island’s political apple cart with maverick campaign.”

    Her uncle Ralph Johnson Bunche won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1950 for his work drafting armistice agreements between the Arabs and Israelis in the Middle East, which ultimately ended the first Arab-Israeli war.

    In 2008, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People awarded Hale with the NAACP Lifetime Achievement Award and gave a scholarship in her honor.

    Lawrence Fuchs, in his book, “Hawaii Pono,” published in 1984, credited Hale for being among the politicians who “heralded the emergent democracy of Kona.”

    Hale served on a plethora of organizations.  Among the highlights: she was president of the Hilo Business and Professional Women’s Club (1979-1981 and 1987-1988); president of the Big Island Local Development Corporation (1965 to 1994); president of the Mauna Kea Foundation, an organization formed to support the astronomy industry; president of Hawaii Island Board of Realtors (1973); Realtor of the year (1975); past president of Hawaii Island YWCA Board of Directors; member of the YWCA Advisory Committee; past co-president of Hawaii County League of Women Voters; board director for the Family Community Leadership Advisory Committee; board director of Mainstreet Pahoa Association; president and founding member of the Hawaii Island chapter of the United Nations Association.  She was a member of the Hawaii Conservation Council, Big Island Press Club, Big Island Alliance for Mentally Ill, Anela Street Kumiai, Chinese-American Friendship Association, Hilo Medical Center Association, and the Democratic Party.

    Hale said she became a Democrat in college, having benefited from New Deal programs such as the National Youth Administration Act. “In my opinion it was the Democratic Party that showed compassion and offered solutions for those caught up in the Great Depression.”

    Hale was proud to call herself a politician, in the sense that she was a stateswoman, made hard decisions, was keen on leading, focused on promoting tolerance and equality, despised incompetency and bureacracy.

    She loved to travel, and considered herself “a citizen of the world,” spreading the spirit of aloha.  Among the highlights of her extensive world travels: meeting the queen of Tonga and attending both the Beijing Women’s Conference and the World Youth Congress in Morocco. She was a member of the Association of Pacific Island Legislatures, and enjoyed her travels in that capacity.

    Hale was the grand dame of Hawaii Island politics, being the go-to woman for any aspiring politician and institutional knowledge on political history here.  She was an avid reader, and was particularly interested in non-fiction writings, had numerous magazine subscriptions, and perused the newspaper daily.  She enjoyed crosswords and Scrabble. She also enjoyed writing and public speaking.

    In 1996, Hale’s daughter Indira and Judge Marcus Tucker donated a collection of books on outstanding African American women to honor their mothers at the Burnett Library in Long Beach, Calif.  In 2005, Indira gave a collection of books to the Hilo Public Library, officially establishing the Helene Hale Collection: International Women of Courage.  Both of these library collections were ultimately endowed by her late daughter.

    Hale was preceded in death by her parents, siblings, husband, and her two children. She is survived by granddaughter, Angelique Kaiulani Tucker Stephens, of Hollywood, Calif.; son-in-law Judge Marcus Tucker, of Long Beach, Calif.; niece Barbara Hilyer and her husband John Daggett, of Portland; nephew ret. Judge Bruce Hilyer, of Seattle, Wash.; grand nieces and a grand nephew.

    Among Hale’s legacy will be the Helene Hale Scholarship Fund to be administered by the University of Hawaii Hilo. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in her name to the “University of Hawaii Foundation” to benefit either ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center, the Helene Hale Scholarship Endowment, or the UH Hilo Public History Enrichment Fund (which will be archiving Hale’s public papers). Donations may be mailed to UH Hilo Office of Development at 200 W. Kawili St., Hilo, HI  96720.

    Or, donations may be made in Hale’s name to any of the numerous organizations that Hale was affiliated with through the course of her extensive career.

    A tribute to Hale’s life will be held in Hilo at a time to be announced.

  • 08 Jan 2013 /  Uncategorized

    (Editor’s note: Following is an exchange between retired newspaper reporters Hugh Clark and Rod Thompson regarding gun violence in Hawaii County and the general subject of gun control, republished here with permission.

    From Hugh:
    OK, it is time to talk about guns — idiots who have them and abuse them. Yes, guns do not kill — just the morons holding them.
    I am not talking about Aurora, Colorado, times two nor poor Newtown, Conn., but our own Big Island.
    Despite fools worrying that Hawaii’s relatively strict gun rules, laws are poorly enforced (you may be more likely to get a ticket for a seat belt infraction than a gun law violation).
    In the past three weeks, we have witnessed:
    * An accused Ocean View resident from Ka’u who apparently carried his heat 70 miles from there to Hio’s Kanoelehua Industrial Area where he was busted for shooting his weapon Dec. 13. Cause? undisclosed thus far.
    * The murder on the Bayfront Highway near Hilo’s Mo’oheau Park Dec. 29 whose shooter remains unknown, as best the public now knows.
    * The fool in North Kona who was wandering down the roadway with a loaded shotgun New Year’s Day. Hardly on a family hunting trip. The defense of his dumb act on [this] blog was astounding.
    * Finally, we have two veteran policemen shot by a guy with what appears to have been an ambush a la Rochester, N.Y., near Wailoa River Jan. 2 at one-time fine dining spot know as the Tropics Lanai — converted into a succession of seedy Korean bars.
    The perpetrator, whose motive is unclear, was busted but not before he shot himself and cost us all thousands in medical bills. Neither he nor his family likely will ever pay those expenses. Plus our county is on the hook for surgical operations, hospitalization and subsequent loss of services by his two victims. (Will their working life ever be the same?)
    Does this sound like Columbine or some southern town rife with gun-toting nuts?
    I submit we have a real problem that cries out for a serious crack down.
    With the legislative session about to commence, now is a right time for a serious reaction/reflection. Even if some wacko ex-West Hawaii councilman contends Hawaii’s controls are too stiff…
    From Rod:
    Hugh, I agree completely with your taking seemingly isolated incidents and showing a pattern of increased gun violence right here in Hawaii County. On the other hand, your commentary certainly qualifies as a “Hughism” in so far as it refers to “idiots,” “morons,” and “fools” in the first three paragraphs before getting to the substance of the problem. If there is any hope of achieving some change in gun availability in Hawaii County, it is unwise to make every gun owner feel like he or she is being labeled an idiot, moron, and fool. If there is any slim hope of change, it must include making responsible gun owners feel that they can be part of the solution. Finally, it’s easy to call for a “crackdown,” but it strikes me as enormously difficult for police to do that without violating Constitutional guarantees of unreasonable searches.
    From Hugh:
    Yep, I was intolerant and deliberately so.
    I believe time for rationale discussion about the NRA is over. The 2nd amendment did not give the right to every loony to pack a pistol — let alone a knockoff AK 47. We have become daffy and enough is way too much.
    As for cop intrusion and Constitutional rights, I much prefer they break into my house, or yours, seeking an illegal weapon versus marijuana or pills.
    Further, quoting Bill of Rights, what “well regulated militia” did any of these dudes belong to, do you think?