Guest Column — Old News Is Better Than Recent News In Regards To Health Status

By Dane Silva

A few weeks ago, I was sorting through my storage boxes when I came across some old files that I had collected while a member of the Native Hawaiian Community Caring Health Task Force for the big island of Hawai’i. There were over 60 of us back then. Today the number of surviving task force members have dwindled as chronic inflammation and diseases wreaked havoc on our lifestyles and lifespans.

We had been planning to create a health care system that would improve the health status of Native Hawaiians (NH). That led us to document the health statistics of Hawaiians across the State of Hawai’i, as a part of an initial grant proposal. That was a couple of decades ago. The old laser printed files still looked crisp after decades of storage.

In 1987, the major health issues afflicting Hawaiians were heart disease and cancer, according to the Office of Technology and Assessment, U.S. Congress, April, 1987. Native Hawaiians led the numbers of deaths attributed to heart diseases, cancer, stroke, infectious diseases and diabetes mellitus.  Read more

Public Hearing of the Hawaii County Redistricting Commission Tue Oct 11th

FoPF Revised Plan 27

by Delia Montgomery, FoPF Secretary


 Support Revised Redistricting Plan 27!

6pm TUE OCT 11th
(a/k/a Pahoa Community Center)
2pm SAT Oct 15th

Puna deserves two council representatives who will give their full attention to Puna. This means no more than two council districts encompassing all of the towns and communities of Puna. These two districts must include the town of Kea’au, the town of Volcano, the town of Pahoa and the communities between these towns and south of them. Of the six redistricting plans now advancing, none have managed this basic requirement. All advancing plans either send Volcano back to Ka’u or put Kea’au in the South Hilo district.” ― Friends of Puna’s Future for Revised Plan 27

Aloha Puna Neighbors,

Redistricting is now on the front burner.  6 Plans (from among many more submitted) have gotten the nod from the redistricting commission to advance.

None of these plans include what Puna wants and needs!

For this reason, Friends of Puna’s Future will present Revised Plan 27 before the Redistricting Commission during a PUBLIC HEARING at the Pahoa Neighborhood Facility, Tuesday October 11th, 6:00 p.m.  If we can demonstrate strong public support, there is an excellent chance Revised Plan 27 – calling for 2 unified Puna Districts and 2 County Council Representatives –  will be added to the list of redistricting contenders.  A second PUBLIC HEARING scheduled at the Kea’au Community Center, Saturday October 15th, at 2:00 p.m. will allow Puna to solidify their position in favor of Plan 27.

The upcoming PUBLIC HEARINGS present the best chance Puna has to meet the essential goals of 2 Council Members & a unified 2-District Puna.

If we miss this opportunity now, we have to wait 10 more years for the next one!

This is where we work together …
Show up at Puna’s TWO Public Hearings 10/11 & 10/15
Send emails to our Redistricting Commissioners … beginning NOW

We need a crowd of Puna’s citizens to testify in favor of Plan 27 at the two upcoming public hearings – AND we need an email blitz from Puna’s public to the redistricting commissioners over the next two weeks.  We hope we may join together to realize this important goal for Puna.


Friends of Puna’s Future
Board of Directors

Address written testimony in favor of Plan 27 to our Redistricting Commissioners**
and submit it to the Commission Secretary, Karen Eoff:
By email:
By Fax: 808-329-4786
By US Mail:
Karen Eoff
Secretary, Hawai‘i Redistricting Commission
West Hawaii Civic Center Building A
74-5044 Ane Keohokalole Highway
Kailua-Kona, Hawai‘i 9674
**Joseph Carvalho; Patrick Kahawaiolaa; Craig “Bo” Kahui; Dru Mamo Kanuha; Jeffrey Melrose; John “Mike” Middlesworth; Valerie Poindexter; Rene Siracusa; Linda Ugalde

Read more

Love and the Big Island — Out With a Bang

by RJ Kaleohano Mendoza

Pele is spitting me out.

If you recall a little less than a year ago, I was certain that I was going to leave this island. This was the by-product attitude of a “divorce” that I experienced. Then, I met someone else and decided that it was possible for me to remain here, not only in the state of Hawaii, but on the Big Island, in general.

But unfortunately, it’s not going to end that way.

I made the no-doubt difficult decision to relocate back to New York when I came back from my holiday in New York. I will be leaving the islands at the conclusion of this Spring Semester. I will be participating in the National Student Exchange, and have was placed at my first choice- the City University of New York (CUNY)- Queens College.

This lovely island is not without it’s shortcomings (but what place isn’t?) and of certainly has too much charm and attractive qualities that would take too much time to list. But after careful consideration of the direction I wish my life to follow, going back to New York is the best option at this time.

Instead of moping and feeling irritated that I am stuck in a place that I no longer wish to reside in, I’m going out with a bang. A real bang. Which is to say, that my co-sidekick (we are each other’s sidekicks) Dee and I have been frequently indulging in academics, drinking and dancing. Sometimes, all at once.

Lately, we’ve been known to be spotted at Pahoa Village Cafe, and quite by accident- Karma HI (the former Water and Ice Lounge). The circumstances for us frequenting Pahoa Village Cafe on Saturday nights, are selfish. Well, at least for me, because it’s “Gay Pride Night” on Saturdays. And as for Karma HI- well, the first time we went there it was quite by accident, with tons of questionable behavior occurring on my part- which is the result of too much to drink, and a loss of inhibitions and common sense.

Out of fear of retaliation, or at the very least, embarrassing the innocent, I won’t get into too much detail about my escapades at Karma HI, or what happened last weekend- when Dee, another friend and myself found ourselves heading to the West Side of the island. It’s a complicated story, but one that will give me fond memories as long as I can remember.

Despite some of the painful memories and reminders that this island has for me, the one thing that outshines them all is the amazing people and relationships that I have cultivated (that didn’t fail.) In any case, what I am trying to say is that I am going to make the most of the time I have left on this island. I’m not leaving because it hurts too much to stay, or because I am miserable, or because I hate this place- because none of the above is true. I’m going because it is my choice, and there are options available elsewhere that are not available here.

I will be granted my degree from UH-Hilo, though… I wasn’t going to not have that. Despite what education snobs may think- it means a lot to me to complete my studies at a place where everybody apparently knows my name. (Long story, I don’t want to get into it.)

The strangest part is- while I was clumsily trying to light a cigarette the other night at Karma HI, a girl came up to me and said “HEY! Don’t you write that website column? “I Love the Big Island” or something?”

Almost famous.

(RJ Kaleohano Mendoza is a freelance writer and a student at the University of Hawaii at Hilo.)




*** Commentary *** — ‘Coconut Wireless Sounds Off’ And Other Thoughts About The Vacant Senate Seats

Tom Lackey cartoon

Tom Lackey has his opinion as to who should replace Russell Kokubun for State Senate District 2, now that Gov. Neil Abercrombie has appointed Kokubun to lead the state Department of Agriculture.  Not only is Gary Safarik’s hat in the ring, we also have some others in Puna, like Russell Ruderman, owner of Island Natural health food stores, and, now, according to the local newspaper today, our Puna State Representative Faye Hanohano.

For the State Senate District 1 seat being vacated by Dwight Takamine to head the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, vying for the position are former Mayor Lorraine Inouye, State Rep. Mark Nakashima and, now, according to the newspaper, Hilo Councilman Donald Ikeda.

My neighbor was over today talking to me about the newspaper article and expressing her own fascination with the people coming out to say they would be vying for the vacant Senate seats. Read more

*** Commentary*** — And The New Hawaii County Council Chairman Is…

"We're Off To See The Mayor" by Tom Lackey

… Dominic Yagong.

He was first elected to the Hawaii County Council to represent Hamakua in 1996, so I personally believe it is about time Yagong serve as chairman.  His vice chairman will be Pete Hoffmann, of Kohala. Fitting, since Hoffmann lost his chairmanship to soon-to-be former Puna Councilwoman Emily Naeole in highly controversial Council reorganization last year.

The new leadership was decided at a meeting in Kona with the new Council majority today, Yagong told the Big Island Chronicle.  Present were Yagong, Brenda Ford, of South Kona, Angel Pilago, of North Kona, Hoffmann, Brittany Smart, newly elected to represent Upper Puna, Ka’u and South Kona, and Fred Blas, newly elected to represent Lower Puna. The new Council is sworn into office on Dec. 6.

Ford will chair the Finance Committee and Yagong will serve as that committee’s vice chair.  This is also fitting, since Yagong lost chairmanship of the Finance Committee in last year’s reorganization.

Hoffmann will chair the Planning Committee and Pilago will serve as that committee’s vice chair. Hoffmann will chair Housing and Blas will serve as that committee’s vice chair.

Smart will serve as the chair of Environmental Management and Pilago will serve as that committee’s vice chair.

New committees were decided upon at today’s meeting, including the Human Services, Social Services and Public Safety Committee, of which Pilago will serve as chair and J Yoshimoto, the soon-to-be unseated Council Chairman, has been asked to serve as the committee’s chair. Read more

Guest Cartoon — ‘News Woman To Save The Day’

Tom Lackey cartoon

Aloha Tiff,

See the kind of stuff that I get myself into when I have too much time on my hands. As I have always said everything that I do is just for the fun that I get out of it.

I plan to put some commentary to this toon on my site something like:

Beware Puna because in the shadows lurks a super woman that will break loose and toss her bonnet in the political ring. She is only being held back now by the fact that she is Hapai with her second child. This community spirited cartoon like super hero wants a piece and a say in how Puna should develop, [or something like that]

The Lack