• 05 Mar 2015 /  BULLETINS, Crime, meeting notice, news

    From Hawaii County Police Department:

    The Hawai?i Police Department will hold a community meeting on Tuesday, March 17, from 12 to 2 p.m. at Cooper Center in Volcano Village.

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

    The Puna event continues district community meetings, which are rotated throughout the eight police districts on Hawai?i Island. To aid police commanders in focusing on specific community concerns, they ask that participation in this meeting be limited to persons who live or work in the Puna District.

    Those interested in participating but unable to attend may e-mail their concerns or comments to copsysop@hawaiipolice.com.

    For more information, you may call Captain Samuel Jelsma at 965-2716.

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  • A series of  protest and educational  events are  being planned to coincide with talks scheduled to take place at the Waikoloa Beach Marriott on the  Trans-Pacific Partnership, a new trade agreement that would further lower trade barriers between at least twelve countries around the Pacific Rim. The talks, scheduled to take place March 9 through 15, will involve trade and industry representatives to work out details  preceding a ministerial-level meeting in April. At least 12 countries –The U.S., Japan, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Chile, Singapore, Vietnam, Mexico and Canada–have been participating in the talks, though South Korea and additional Latin American countries have made noises about joining.  The Obama Administration, at its official Web site on the talks, calls the TPP the “cornerstone” of its trade policy and maintains that in addition to attempting to open  more markets to U.S.-made products, the administration is negotiating for “robust environment standards and commitments from member countries”  and “strong and enforceable labor standards” in all the signatory nations.  But opponents claim that the treaty will lead to the export of millions of American jobs, strengthen pharmaceutical monopolies, encourage the privatization of lands and resources used by indigenous peoples, and erode national sovereignty in favor of corporate power.

    Protest groups plan to place peaceful pickets around the resort throughout the week, culminating in a peaceful protest rally n Saturday, March 14, from 11. a.m. to 1 p.m.  They  have also  scheduled events with “educational speakers” at the Hilo Women’s Club on Wednesday, March 11, at 6 p.m.,  and at the West Hawaii Civic Center Council Chambers in Kono on Friday, March 13, at 6 p.m.   Among those speaking will be a representative from Global Access to Medicine;  The Third World Network, and  Unite Here, Local 5; as well as Palekapu Dedman of the Pele Defense Fund and Dr. Jane Kelsey from the University University of Auckland, New Zealand.

    For more information about the proposed treaty, visit the Obama Administration’s TTP Web site.   For a good independent overview of the issues involved, see this article in Salon.  For more information about the protests, contact or visit:

    Malu ‘Aina Center For Non-violent Education & Action
    P.O. Box 489 Ola’a (Kurtistown) Hawai’i 96760
    Phone 808-966-7622
    Email ja@malu-aina.org www.malu-aina.org




    –Alan McNarie

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  • 02 Mar 2015 /  Crime, news


    From the Hawai’i CountyPolice Department:

    Hawa’i Island police are investigating an officer involved shooting in downtown Hilo just before midnight Saturday (February 28).

    At approximately 11:57 p.m., South Hilo Patrol officers were just leaving the area of the Kilauea Avenue extension in a marked police subsidized vehicle that was stopped at the Mamo Street intersection when a silver late-model Chevy compact four-door sedan sped toward them in a threatening manner, striking the police vehicle. The suspect’s car continued northbound on the Kilauea Avenue extension and struck a parked car, injuring a 27-year-old O’okala woman standing next to it.

    Both officers exited the police vehicle, at which time the suspect’s car reversed toward the officers. In response, both officers discharged their service weapons toward the suspect’s car.

    The car continued northbound on the Kilauea Avenue extension, turned left on Haili Street and then made its way onto Kinoole Street heading south. Officers pursued the suspect’s car and stopped it at the intersection of Haihai Street and Kinoole Street, where they arrested 31-year-old James Salai of Hilo on suspicion of terroristic threatening. He was taken by ambulance to Hilo Medical Center for treatment of apparent gunshot wounds and later transferred to The Queen’s Medical Center on Oahu in critical condition.

    Neither officer, a 32-year-old with 7 1/2 years experience and a 28-year-old with six months experience, was injured.

    As is standard practice in any officer involved shooting, the Area I Criminal Investigations Section will conduct a criminal investigation into the shooting and the Office of Professional Standards will conduct an administrative investigation.

    Police ask anyone who witnessed the incident to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 or contact Detective Wendall Carter at 961-2378 or wcarter@co.hawaii.hi.us.

    Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the island wide 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.

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  • 02 Mar 2015 /  Uncategorized

    From the Hawaii County Police Department:

    A Michigan man died early Sunday (March 1) from a vehicle-bicycle crash in South Kohala.

    He has been identified as 63-year-old Jeffrey C. Surnow of West Bloomfield, Michigan.

    Police have determined that Surnow was riding a bicycle east on Waikoloa Road near the 11-mile marker when he was hit by a vehicle driven in the same direction by an on-duty police officer assigned to the South Kohala District. The officer who struck Surnow reported the crash around 6:25 a.m. Sunday.

    Surnow was taken to North Kohala Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 10:25 a.m.

    Traffic Enforcement Unit officers initiated a negligent homicide investigation and arrested the officer, 30-year-old Jody Buddemeyer, on suspicion of negligent homicide. He was later released pending further investigation.

    The Office of Professional Standards will conduct an administrative investigation as is standard practice in any officer-involved fatality. The officer was placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

    Police ask anyone who witnessed the crash to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 or Officer Christopher Kapua-Allison at 326-4646, extension 229.

    Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the island wide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.







  • 28 Feb 2015 /  BULLETINS, Crime, news

    From Hawaii County Police Department:



    Shortly before 10 a.m. Wednesday, Hawai’i Island police arrested a man and a woman Wednesday (February 25) after receiving a report of a burglary in progress. concerned citizens saw suspicious activity at a Pahoa home on Oneloa Street. They confronted a man and woman who were reportedly loading items into a car and then call the police.

    At 10:10 a.m., police arrested 31-year-old Naomi R. Fenenbock of P?hoa and 37-year-old Blane A. Gracida of Hilo. The two were taken to the Hilo police cellblock while detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section continued the investigation.



    At 9 p.m. Thursday, detectives charged them both with first-degree burglary and set their bail at $25,000 each. They remained at the cell block until their initial court appearance on Friday (February 27).

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  • 27 Feb 2015 /  Elections, news, politics

    The following individuals and groups donated $6,000 to Gov. Ige’s campaign. The list isn’t complete yet; we’ve had a chance to go through Ige’s 2,014 files so far. You can find the names of additional $6,000 donors who gave in concert with others in their organization or family, as well as a few people who exceeded the $6,000 legal limit forindividual  campaign contributions to a gubernatorial candidate, in Gov. Ige’s Super-6k club, which we published yesterday.

    We’ll add more names in later installments. The name, cumulative donation, profession and company (if given) and address in each entry are as listed in Ige’s campaign contributions files from the Campaign Spending Commission; they’re often followed by a brief  summary of what we’ve found out, if anything, from other sources.

    –Alan McNarie

    The $6,000 Club

    Choy, Michael K. $6,000
    Kendall Law Group, LLP
    3232 McKinney Ave. Ste. 700
    Dallas TX 75204
    Texas tort law firm. Specialties inc. suing corporations on behalf of stockholders and employees.

    Rae, David $6,000
    Aina Nui
    92-4998 Limukele St.
    Kapolei HI 96707
    Senior Vice President at Kapolei Development, a James Campbell Company

    De Crecy, Eudes Francois $6,000
    6716 SW 100th Lane
    Gaines, FL 32608
    Holds at least six biotech patents, mostly for using microorganisms to convert organic materials to biofuel.

    Okimoto, Nancy $6,000
    98-1748 Kupukupu St.
    Aiea HI 96701

    Wuh, Hank $6,000
    Skai Ventures, LLC
    650 Iwilei Rd, #218
    Honolulu HI 96817
    Skai Ventures is a high tech venture capital group

    Lanai Resorts $6,000
    733 Bishop Street, #2000
    Honolulu HI 96813

    Nohara, Rodney H. $6,000
    Jayar Construction, Inc
    2656 Kaaipu Avenue
    Honolulu HI 96822

    Hyun, Sam Kyu $6,000
    MCE International, Inc.
    1360 S, Beretania St., Suite 400
    Honolulu HI 96814
    “Mechanical Consulting Engineers”

    Fukumoto, Neal S. $6,000
    Wesley R Segawa & Associates
    3345 Hoolulu Street
    Honolulu HI 96815
    Hilo civil engineering firm

    McCully, James $6,000
    40 Kamehameha
    Hilo HI 96720
    Also a developer, with shopping center project in Kea’au

    Banister, Scott $6,000
    PO Box 997
    Half Moon Bay CA 94019
    Bannister made millions by helping to create software such as Listbot and ClickTrade. He co-owns Zivity, “The world’s biggest community of artistic nude, glamour, and pin-up photography.” Marijuana activist and self-professed fan of Ayn Rand; he and his wife Cyan normally donate to libertarian candidates Rand Paul.

    International Association of Fire Fighters $6,000
    1750 New York Avenue NW
    Washington DC 20006

    The firefighters actually had donated more than the legal limit at one point, but the Ige campaign returned the excess.

    Unite Here Local 5 $6,000
    1050 Queen Street, Suite 100
    Honolulu HI 96814
    Hotel Worker’s union

    Pacific Renal Care Foundation $6,000
    2226 Liliha Street, Ste 226
    Honolulu HI 96817

    Parsons Brinckerhoff Inc Group PAC $6,000
    One Penn Plaza
    New York NY 10119
    Engineering and construction group.

    Hirono, Mazie K $6,000
    U.S. Congress
    U.S. Senator
    2443 Halekoa Drive
    Honolulu, HI 96821

    Hawaii Committee on Political Education $6,000
    320 Ward Avenue, #209
    Honolulu, HI 96814
    AFL-CIO political action committee

    HGEA PAC $6,000
    P.O. Box 2930
    Honolulu, HI 96802
    Hawaii Government Employee’s Association

    Local 1 PAC $6,000
    2251 North School Street
    Honolulu, HI 96819
    Mason’s Union Local 1 Local 630

    The NEA Fund for Children and Public Education $6,000
    1201 16th Street, NW, #421
    Washington DC 20036
    National Education Association PAC

    ILWU Local 142 PAC $6,000
    451 Atkinson Drive
    Honolulu HI 96814
    International Longshore and Warehouse Union. Also represents many other workers in professions including agricultural and tourism; one of the oldest ad largest unions in Hawaii.

    Island Insurance $6,000
    P.O. Box 1520
    Honolulu HI 96806

    “The State’s largest locally-owned property and casualty insurance carrier”


    Guerrero, Peter C. $6,000
    Department of Public Safety
    Deputy Sheriff
    1442 Mokuna Place, C-1
    Honolulu HI 96816

    In 2009, Guerrero, a native of Guam, sued the State of Hawaii for discriminatory practices he had experienced while on the job.


    Michael K. Livingston $6,000
    Davis, Levin and Livingston
    25 Lumahai Street
    Honolulu, HI 96825

    Law firm whose specialties include personal injury, consumer rights and construction law.

    Mattoch, Ian L. $6,000
    Law Offices of Ian L. Mattoch
    737 Bishop Street, #1835
    Honolulu, HI 96813

    Paitners [sic] Union Local 1791 $6,000
    2240 Young Street
    Honolulu HI 96826
    Painter’s Union Local 1791

    Dean, John $6,000
    Central Pacific Bank
    302 Old La Honda Road
    Woodside CA 94062
    Dean is Central Pacific’s CEO.

    Central Pacific billed the Ige campaign for numerous services.


    Blind Vendors Ohana $6,000
    300 Rodgers Boulevard, #56
    Honolulu, HI 96819
    “Blind Vendors Ohana, Inc. is an organization of diverse and dedicated people, committed to operating “World Class” vending facilities for the benefit of the traveling public, foreign visitors, and others who use the Honolulu International Airport.”

    Iwamoto, Kim Coco $6,000
    Not employed
    Not employed
    P.O. Box 235191
    Honolulu HI 96823
    Appointed by then-Governor Neil Abercrombie to serve until 2016 on the Hawaii Civil Rights Commission. Former two-term member of the Hawaii Board of Education. While she was on the BOE, Hawaii News Now called her “the nation’s highest elected office holder, who also happens to be transgendered.”

    Floro, Frank C. $6,000
    Ke’aki Technologies
    1177 Queen Street #3002
    Honolulu HI 96814
    Ke`aki Technologies is “a provider of government biomedical research, information technology, and professional services.”

    Glen S. Fukushima $6,000
    Center for American Progress
    Senior Fellow
    1111 23rd St. NW Ste 5A
    Washington DC 20037
    “Building on the achievements of progressive pioneers such as Teddy Roosevelt and Martin Luther King, our work addresses 21st century challenges such as energy, national security, economic growth and opportunity, immigration, education, and health care. We develop new policy ideas, critique the policy that stems from conservative values, challenge the media to cover the issues that truly matter, and shape the national debate.”

  • 26 Feb 2015 /  Education, Elections, news, Uncategorized

    Six thousand dollars is the most that any individual is allowed to give to a candidate in the governor’s race, under Hawaii’s state campaign finance laws. But that doesn’t mean that several individuals related to the same company—or their spouses or siblings—can’t legally give $6,000 each, so long as they don’t get the company to give them the money and they don’t conspire together to give it as a group.
    We named some of these “Super $6,000 groups” as a sidebar to a story in our February 2014 print edition. But then we discovered that the search program that we used had only identified a fraction of Ige’s $6,OOO donors, and hadn’t identified members of the same organizations who gave smaller amounts. So we’ve gone back doing it the old-fashioned way: campaign report file by campaign report file, line by line. And what we found was a bit dismaying.
    First, let this be said: Ige drew massive grassroots support, with hundreds of donors who contributed between $25 and $1500. And in some of the the remaining big-ticket cases, it may well simply be that two individuals in the same household were just supporting their political convictions as individuals. Former Governor Ben Cayetano donated $6,000 to Ige, for instance, and his wife Vicky chipped in another $5,000. But others just don’t pass the “smell test”: they do business with the state and present potential conflicts of interest for the Governor. And some simply seem to stretch the rules. The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, for instance, contributed $6k through their national PAC, $6K through a local PAC, $6k through an organization called Hawaii Electricians Marketing Enhancement Plan, which operates out of the same room as one of the IBEW local chapters, and yet another $6K through yet another local. Ige, himself an electrical engineer, managed to get four times the love from different branches of the same organization.
    The biggest Super $6K Club member by far that we’ve found is a company Called Aviation and Professional Services or AvAirpro Services or AVAirpro Services, which says on its Web site that it provides consulting and services to Honolulu Airport. Its officers and their wives apparently fattened Gov. Ige’s campaign war chest by $60,000 in a single day. And they apparently weren’t donating out of deep political conviction, either—several of them also gave to former Governor Neil Abercrombie, whom Ige defeated in the primary.
    We also found a number of instances in which Ige’s campaign committee actually named persons and organizations that had donated more than $6,000 individually, in clear violation of the law. In some cases, we found records showing that the Ige campaign had returned the excess—but not all, or even the majority of such cases.
    We’re still far from finding all of Gov. Ige’s Super $6,000 contributors. The Governor’s campaign finance files are massive; so far, we’ve only gotten back to his committee’s August 10-October 20, 2014 general election repot. And the data is often incomplete; the majority of donors don’t even give their job description or business affiliation, for instance, though most of the $6k donors do—and some have filed information that’s vague or misleading, such as donating in a bloc with members of one company but giving a position in another organization with which they may hae an affiliation. But here’s what we’ve got so far. Each name is followed by the information from his, her or the organization’s entry in Ige’s campaign contribution report, often followed by a summay what we’ve found out about them so far from other sources.
    At very least, the list below gives some idea of some of the people and groups who thought Ige was the right man to represent their interests in the Governor’s office.

    AVAirpros Services $60,000 total
    A.k.a. AvAir Pros, Airport and Aviation Professionals Inc
    ‘…providing professional consulting and management services to airlines and airports throughout the US including…Honolulu”—from their Web site. They have office in Honolulu and an office lease from the DLNR at the Khului Airport on Maui.

    Aoki, Rodrick S. $6,000
    1530 Haku St., Apt. A
    Honolulu HI 96819

    Ogawa, Alan $6,000
    AVAirpros Services
    1759 Dixon Street
    Redondo Beach CA 90278-282

    Ogawa, Atsuko $6,000
    Information pending
    1759 Dixon Street
    Redondo Beach CA 90278-282

    Demkovich, Paul B. $6,000
    AVAirpro Service
    9629 Wilshire Lakes Blvd
    Naples FL 34109

    Demkovich, Sheila $6,000
    Information Pending
    9629 Wilshire Lakes Blvd
    Naples FL 34109

    Salomon, Luis $6,000
    Airport and Aviation Professionals
    10049 Boca Avenue S
    Naples FL 34109

    Casto, Gregory A. $6,000
    Vice President
    915 6th Street S.
    Naples FL 34109-6907

    Chivington, Steven P. $6,000
    Airport and Aviation Professionals Inc.
    4220 Herschel Ave. Apt 802
    Dallas TX 75219

    Strohm, Phillip A. $6,000
    Meristern LLP
    Senior Advisor
    110 E Center Street No. 2314
    Madison SD 57042-2908
    Strohm’s $6K contribution was listed amidst all of the others from AVAirpros on 10/14/2014. We found one Web site that referred to Strohm as an advisor to a company called “Meristem (not Meristern) LLP.” But other sites, including Strohm’s own LinkIn page, say he’s “CEO AvAirPros, Naples, Florida” Bizapedia.com names Strohm as a “principle” in the company.

    Strohm, Nancy F. $6,000
    Pending Information
    110 E Center Street No. 2314
    Madison SD 57042-2908
    Also filed the same day, between Aoki and Ogawa’s names, was Nancy, who share’s Phillip’s South Dakota address: Also filed that day were Sheila Demkovich and Atsuko Ogawa, who also share last names and home addresses with AVAirPro executives and list their company affiliations and jobs as “Pending Information” and “Pending.”

    SSFM International $35,200 total
    Engineering firm

    Kawachika, Norman M $6,000
    SSFM International
    Project Manager
    2943 Lowrey Avenue
    Honolulu HI 96822

    Matsumoto, Michael P. $6,200
    SSFM International
    333 Kupu Place
    Honolulu HI 96817

    Matsumoto, Theolinda O. $6,000
    333 Kupu Place
    Honolulu HI 96817

    Stacey Miyamoto $6,000
    SSFM International
    P.O. Box 256603
    Honolulu HI 96825

    Matsuoka, Corey M. $5,000
    SSFM International
    Executive VP
    2737 Dow Street
    Honolulu HI 96817

    Lee Takushi $ 6,000
    SSFM International
    VP Project Management
    5332 Poola Street
    Honolulu HI 96821

    Mitsunaga and Associates $28,000 total
    Architectural, engineering and construction firm.

    Mitsunaga, Dennis $6,000
    Mitsunaga and Associates
    747 Amana Street, #216
    Honolulu HI 96814

    Fujii, Aaron $6,000
    Mitsunaga and Associates
    2724A Kaaipu Avenue
    Honolulu HI 96822

    Mitsunaga, Chan Ok $6,000
    Mitsunaga and Associates
    747 Amana Street, #216
    Honolulu HI 96814

    Okino, Glenn M. $6,000
    Mitsunaga Construction Inc
    2251 A Aulii Street
    Honolulu HI 96817

    Arnold T. Koya $1,000
    Mitsunaga and Associates
    1226 Alexander Street, #1401
    Honolulu HI 96826

    Mitsunaga, Lois L. $1,000
    Mitsunaga and Associates
    415 South Street, #2803
    Honolulu HI 96813

    Otani, Terri Ann $1,000
    Mitsunaga and Associates
    Office Manager
    3050 Ala Poha Place, E7
    Honolulu HI 96818

    Longline fishermen and supporting companies $33,000 total?
    Contributions from these five businesses and their officers were all clustered together in the Ige organization’s records on the same day. All are related to Honolulu’s longline fishing industry; three share the same address, and a fourth is located next door. We’re not sure if they’re all closely enough related to qualify for the Super-$6K club together, but they do seem to have donated as a unified bloc.

    Pacific Fishing and Supply Inc. $6,000
    504 N. Nimitz Hwy
    Honolulu HI 96817
    Has approx. eight long-line commercial fishing vessels registered in its name.

    Vessel Management Associates, Inc. $6000
    1133 N. Nimitz Hwy
    Honolulu HI 96817
    Has at least six registered long-line commercial fishing vessels.

    POP Fishing and Marine $6,000
    1133 N. Nimitz Hwy
    Honolulu HI 96817
    Commercial fishing supply company.

    NICOS LLC $2,000
    1133 N. Nimitz Hwy
    Honolulu HI 96817

    United Fishing Agency, Ltd. $6,000
    1131 N. Nimitz Highway
    Honolulu HI 96817
    Runs Honolulu fish market

    Goto, Michael K. $1,000
    Executive Assistant
    United Fishing Agency
    876 Curtis Street, Apt 2802
    Honolulu HI 96813

    Cook, James $6000
    POP Fishing and Marine
    Vise President
    46045 Lilipuna Road
    Kaneohe HI 96744

    International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers $24,000 Total
    IBEW PAC Educational Fund $6,000
    900 Seventh St.
    Washington, DC 20001
    IBEW LOCAL UNION 1357 PAC $6,000
    2305 S. Beretania Street, #206
    Honolulu HI 96826-1432

    1935 Hau Street, Room 300
    Honolulu HI 96819
    Hawaii Electricians Marketing Enhancement Plan. Note that it shows the same street address and room number as IBEW Local 1186, below

    LOCAL UNION 1186 IBEW $6,000
    1935 Hau Street, Room 300
    Honolulu HI 96819-5003
    Thornton & Naumes $20,000 total
    a.k.a. Thorton Naumes, The Thornton Law Firm. Boston tort law firm. “The firm has represented more than 20,000 victims of asbestos and toxic exposure, defective products, financial fraud, and personal injury accidents throughout Boston, the state of Massachusetts, and across the country.” Appears to specialize in industrial torts such as asbestos-related illnesses,

    Michael Thornton $6,000
    Thornton Naumes
    100 Summer Street
    Boston, MA 02110

    Bradley, Garrett $6,000
    Massachusetts State Legislature
    state legislator
    11 Blaisdell Rd.
    Hingman, MA 02043
    Garrett is also an attorney at Thornton and Naumes.

    Donohue, Joseph $1,000
    Information Pending
    Information Pending
    7 Fairway Drive
    Andover MA 01810
    The Thornton Law Firm Web site lists Donohue as an attorney with the firm

    McMorris, David $2,000
    Thornton and Naumes
    100 Summer Street
    Boston MA 02110

    Strouss, David $2000
    Thornton and Naumes
    100 Summer Street
    Boston MA 02110

    Wainwright, Andrew $1,000
    Thornton Law Firm
    45 Greenbrook Road
    S Hamilton MA 01982

    Lesser, Michael $1,000
    Thornton Law Firm
    100 Summer Street
    Boston MA 02110

    Roberts Hawaii $24,000 total.
    Bus company. In adddition to its well known tour bus operationns, it supplies school buses for Hawaii DOT and drivers for the County’s Hele On Bus.

    Iwamoto, Arlene
    680 Iwilei Road, Suite 700
    Honolulu HI 96817

    Iwamoto, Robert Jr.
    Roberts Hawaii
    680 Iwilei Road, Suite 700
    Honolulu HI 96817

    Iwamoto, Tiffany S.
    621 Ulili Street
    Honolulu HI 96816

    Iwamoto, Chad
    Roberts Hawaii
    621 Ulili Street
    Honolulu HI 96816

    eWorld Enterprise Solutions, Inc. 20,000 Total
    “eWorld Enterprise Solutions, Inc. (eWorldES) provides services for mid-sized and larger organizations in the public and private sector.” Among the company’s recent accomplishments: “Developing a Health and Human Services benefit tracking application”

    Mizokawa, Steven M. $4,000
    eWorld Enterprise Solutions, Inc.
    Vice President
    3444 Pinao Street
    Honolulu HI 96822

    Bongco, Joel M. $4,000
    eWorld Enterprise
    95-116 Lalei Place
    Mililani HI 96789

    Yoshimi, Garret $4,000
    eWorld Enterprise
    VP, COO
    98-1941 Kaahumau Street. Apt T
    Aiea HI 96701-1857

    Senda, Dean $4,000
    eWorld Enterprise
    VP, CFO
    3143 E. Manoa Road
    Honolulu HI 96822

    Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP $15,000 total
    “BLB&G is widely recognized as one of the leading law firms worldwide advising institutional investors on issues related to corporate governance, shareholder rights, and securities litigation. We have also prosecuted some of the most significant employment discrimination, civil rights and consumer protection cases on record.” Contributions from the firm’s members at addresses across the country were all recorded together on 10/15/2014. But we should note that these contributions are probably like pocket money to this firm, which has won billions in securities litigation against major corporations such as Worldcom, Cendant and Bank of America.

    Berger, Max W. $3,000
    Bernestein [sic] Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP
    181 East 65th Street
    New York NY 10065

    Lebovitch, Mark $1.250
    Bernestein [sic] Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP
    42 Clive Hills Road
    Short Hills NJ 07078

    Graziano, Salvatore J. $1,500
    Bernestein [sic] Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP
    85 Remsen Street
    Brooklyn NY 11201

    Silk, Gerald H. $1,500
    Bernestein [sic] Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP

    17 Burgess Raod [sic]
    Scarsdale NY 10583
    Gelderman, G. Anthony III $5,000
    Bernestein [sic] Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP
    2727 Prytania Street Suite 14

    New Orleans LA 70130
    Stickney, David R. $1,250
    Bernestein [sic] Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP
    PO Box 17
    Rancho Santa Fe CA 92067

    Nicholas, Blair $1,500
    Bernestein [sic] Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP
    3177 Wildflower Summit
    Encinitas CA 92024

    R. M. Towill $14,950 Total
    Engineering firm.

    Yamamoto, James H. $6,000
    R.M. Towill
    Vice President & Senior Product Manager
    3528 Kepuhi Street
    Honolulu HI 96815

    Collins, Lam D. $2,550
    R. M. Towill
    95-217 Polie Place
    Mililani HI 96789

    Hiyakumoto, Greg H. $1,700
    R M. Towill
    PO Box 2930
    Aiea HI 96701

    Tanoue, David K. $2,500
    R. M. Towill
    600 Queen Street, #2906
    Honolulu HI 96813

    Tsutsui, Roy T. $2,500
    R. M. Towill
    2809 Kalawao Street
    Honolulu HI 96822

    Nan, Inc. $1,200
    Construction and general contracting firm. Often gets bids for state highways.

    Shin, Nan C. $6,000
    3170 Noela St.
    Honolulu HI 96815

    Shin, Mariko K. $6,000
    3170 Noela St.
    Honolulu HI 96815
    May be the wife of Patrick Shin of Nan, Inc. Was jointly named with him and the company in at least one legal proceeding.

    Demattei Wong Associates $12,000 total
    California based architectural firm.

    Demattei, Anthony
    Demattei Wong Associates
    2129 Queens Ln
    San Mateo CA 94402

    Wong, Wesley
    Demattei Wong Associates
    3522 Gillon Ave.
    Dallas TX 75205

    Hawaii Laborer’s International Union, Local 368 $6,000-12,000
    Local 368 donated money both through its own PAC and through a “cooperative trust fund” with contractors who employed its members. Local 368 “represents members working in construction, environmental remediation, maintenance, food service, health care, clerical and other occupations, as well as in state, local and municipal government jobs and as mail handlers in the U.S. Postal Service.”

    Hawaii Laborer’s PAC
    1617 Palama Street
    Honolulu, HI 96817

    Hawaii Laborers and Employers Cooperation and Educ [sic]
    1440 Kapiolani Boulevard, #800
    Honolulu HI 96814
    Hawaii Laborers and Employers Cooperation and Education Trust Fund, “…a partnership between the 5,000 Statewide union members of the Hawaii Laborers’ Union, Local 368 and its over 250+ signatory union contractors. The underlying principle of Hawaii LECET is through this labor and management partnership, the organized sector of the construction industry can grow and prosper. This creates opportunities for our signatory contractors and jobs for our highly trained and skilled membership.

    Fluid Technologies Inc. $11,000 total
    “Fluid Technologies, has partnered with Corix Water Systems to offer safe, cost-effective and sustainable water, wastewater and energy utility infrastructure solutions for the State of Hawaii.”
    Choy, Michael K.
    Fluid Technologies Inc.
    1211 Lunaai Street
    Kailua HI 96734

    Shitabata, Darren $5,000
    Fluid Technologies
    95-1066 Hoalia Street
    Mililani HI 96789
    The Cayetanos $11,000 total

    Cayetano, Benjamin
    1926 Okoa Place
    Honolulu, HI 96821
    Former governor.

    Vicky Cayetano $5,000
    United Laundry Services
    P.O. Box 161060
    Honolulu, HI 96816

    Richard Gushman $8,000 total
    Gushman, Richard $8,000
    Self Employed
    3300 Pacific Heights Rd.
    Aiea, HI 3300 Pacific Heights Rd.
    How Gushman got away with this, we’re not sure. Apparently he made more than one donation and they totaled up to $8,000, and the Ige campaign dutifully reported it. We haven’t yet found an entry in the campaign records saying that the excess had been returned. From Pacific Business News: “Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc. has named Richard W. Gushman II to its board of directors. Gushman is the owner and president of the Hawaii-based real estate development firm, DGM Group. He also is the majority owner and managing general partner of Summit Financial Resources of Salt Lake City.”

    Myra and Thomas Kosasa $12,000 total
    Kosasa, Myrah I.
    Bradley Pacific Aviation
    1319 Punahou Street, #1040
    Honolulu HI 96826

    Kosasa, Thomas S.
    1319 Punahou Street, #1040
    Honolulu HI 96826

    Kosasa, Paul J. $7,250.00
    ABC Stores
    1087 Waiholo Street
    Honolulu HI 96821
    Like Gushman, Kosasa’s total donations reported by Ige’s campaign committee exceeded the $6,000 limit. We don’t know if he’s related to Thomas and Myra, directly above.

    University of Hawaii Professional Assembly $7,000 Total
    Union representing UH faculty. The above figure represents only donations by the union and its executive director; we didn’t track contributions by individual teachers.
    University of Hawaii Professional Assembly
    1017 Palm Drive
    Hononlulu, HI 96814

    J.N. Musto $1000
    University of Hawaii Professional Assembly
    Executive Director
    47-635 Nukupuu Street
    Kaneohe, HI 96744

    Former $6,000 Club Members

    Hawaii Fire Fighters Association $6,000
    2305 South Beretania Street, #202
    Honolulu HI 96826
    According to Ige’s campaign spending records, the sum of the Fire Fighter’s contributions as if 10/08/2014 was $6,250. The campaign authorized refund of the excess $250 on the same day.

    Outrigger Enterprises $6,000
    2375 Kuhio Avenue
    Honolulu HI 96815
    The Ige campaign reported that in addition to $2,000 in earlier donations, Outrigger added $6,000 on 10/17/2014, putting it $2,000 over the spending limit. The campaign authorized return of the excess on 10/21/2014.

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  • 24 Feb 2015 /  Arts, news

    From Alice Moon for The Makery:

    The Makery in Hilo is pleased to welcome guest artist Linda Kane to the Gallery & Gift Shop with an opening reception during downtown Hilo’s First Friday, March 6 from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.. The show “Between Worlds” spans 25 years of Linda Kane’s work and will remain in the gallery through March 27. Her works include pre-photoshop manipulated photographs, dioramas in tribute to her favorite artists, and mixed media driftwood sculptures of goddesses and other spirit figures.

    The title “Between Worlds” was chosen because art is an intermediary between the human imagination and reality, and this show in particular focuses on the space between: between this world and the next, between nature and humankind, between the east and the west, between the flesh and the spirit, between the familiar and the mysterious. Kane’s intention is to take the viewers to places they have never been, or places they may have forgotten.

    Linda Kane’s photography has been in a number of shows in Hawaii and was widely shown in Northern California before her move to the Hilo area in 2004. After coming to Hawaii she expanded her interests to film, and released her feature documentary “Nona Beamer: A Legacy of Aloha” several years ago. She is currently filming a documentary on the Star of the Sea Painted Church in Kalapana and collecting interesting driftwood for more sculptures.


    The Makery, located at 126 Keawe Street in downtown Hilo empowers creativity and provides vocational training to the community with access to hand tools, conventional machines, computer aided design (CAD) programs, and computer numerically controlled (CNC) machines, supported by expert instructors and mentors. The purpose of The Makery is to empower people who live in Hawaii to create and manufacture products here in Hawaii, using Hawaiian materials and resources. For more information, email themakeryhilo@gmail.com or call (808) 933-8571


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  • 23 Feb 2015 /  Island Events, meeting notice

    Dear Editor,

    In commiserating on wanting to be a more effective letter writer, I thought online course, but a friend suggested Volcano author Tom Peek.  I emailed and he said he would be open to a Pahoa workshop.  I am putting out feelers for persons interested in attending a Tom Peek workshop in Pahoa- directly related to effective letter writing (150, 300 and 600 words specifically) sometime in later March perhaps?  This will not turn into a political debate at all, this is strictly about how to distill your thoughts into a couple of lines or paragraphs only.  Once we have taken our course, perhaps those interested can together and start a little Pahoa political rag with cartoons and art and of course online submissions to BigIslandChronicle!.

    Please contact me only about the workshop by email at saralegal@live.com.   


    Sara Steiner

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  • Dear Editor,

    Shame on Rep. Clift Tsuji from Hawaii island for killing the bill for pesticide buffer zones around schools, HB1514. What kind of person won’t protect kids from pesticide poisoning?  And it’s reported that as House Ag committee chair, he even cut off testimony from people who flew from neighbor islands to testify. How low can a politician go?  Tsuji unfortunately has become a mascot for corporate special interests, even given the dubious distinction of Biotech legislator of the year.  He should now be given the “poison award” by school children throughout Hawaii.  As a former banker, now politician, Tsuji deserves to be publicly shamed and exposed as a legislator that acts against the common good, including children’s health and safety.

    Jim Albertini

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  • 21 Feb 2015 /  Economics, Energy, environment, news

    (From our print edition)

    ,by Alan McNarie

    Late last month, Mayor Billy Kenoi’s administration withdrew its Request for Proposals for a garbage-to-energy plant. Department of Environmental Management Director Bobby Jean Leithead-Todd told the Chronicle that Kenoi didn’t intend to revisit his decision during his term in office. But the question remains: what to do with all that garbage?
    In killing the incinerator, the administration cited the decreasing cost of oil, which has dropped from over $100 per barrel to less than $50 in recent months. It also noted the uncertainty about the future of the Hawaii Electric Light Company, which may be bought out by a Florida corporation named NextEra Energy. The administration did not cite the heavy grassroots opposition that had gathered against the proposal, spawning Web sites, Facebook pages and at least two online petitions that had gathered over 2,000 signatures. Opponents criticized the project’s estimated $100 million price tag and its proposed location on Hawaiian Homelands in Keaukaha. They also argued that the county simply didn’t produce enough garbage for the plant to operate economically.
    “Since the County does not produce enough garbage to meet its quota, it will be required to pay off the incinerator company for the garbage it cannot produce—to [the] tune of millions of dollars per year!” contended one petition, in part.
    According to Councilmember Margaret Wille, that drain could have been compounded by the county’s contract with Waste Management, Inc., which requires the county to pay for a minimum tonnage of garbage tipped per day at West Hawaii’s Pu`uanahulu Landfill, whether it generates that much trash or not. The incinerator, Wille told the Chronicle, would have made “two things that we’re on the hook for forever.”
    The incinerator announcement came in the wake of headlines, only days before, that the county had cancelled $100,000 contract with the nonprofit Recycle Hawaii to conduct recycling education. County officials denied allegations that the cancellation was a retaliation against incinerator opponents; the administration claimed it simply had other uses for the money. Leithead-Todd told the Chronicle that her department had experienced some “expenditures that were not in our budget,” for instance, including the need to haul green waste from certain areas of the island to Hilo in order to avoid contaminating coffee-growing regions with an invasive beetle, and the need to evacuate, then re-occupy, Pahoa’s transfer station/recycling center because of nearby lava. While the county hoped to recoup some of its volcano-related expenses from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, she said, “I can’t count on getting that money from FEMA this year.”
    Buklarewicz said the county had renewed Recycle Hawaii’s contract to run the County’s recycling centers for another year.
    With the incinerator dead and the county’s Hilo landfill years overdue to close—although the County also hopes the federal Environmental Protection Agency will grant permission to extend the landfill’s life yet again by steepening the slopes allowed for the landfill’s sides—it still appears that some sort of recycling/waste diversion program will be vital to the county’s future. Both Buklarewicz and Wille are pushing for an educational component in that program. Buklarewicz hopes to renegotiate a contract, possibly with an emphasis on zero-waste school programs similar to one already underway at Hawai‘i Preparatory Academy in Waimea, where garbage from the cafeteria, for example, is turned into compost for gardening. Wille has written a resolution urging the Mayor to issue a new request for proposals for one or more recycling education contracts. As of the deadline for this article, that resolution was scheduled to receive its first hearing on February 17.
    “In my opinion, the zero waste programs that fail are the ones that don’t have a strong education component,” Wille believes.
    She’s also introducing a “whole package” of waste reduction bills at the Council on March 3. Within reasonable transition periods, she hopes to get all plastic foam and green waste diverted from the landfill to recycled uses. Other bills would require contractors to provide recycling services and give the Director of Environmental Management more leeway to divert waste from the Hilo Landfill to the Kona side—something now allowed only in emergencies, but which Wille believes should be possible in other circumstances, such as to avoid penalty fees.
    “I don’t want to be paying penalties where if we brought another seven tons over there, there wouldn’t be penalties,” she contends.
    Leithead-Todd is also working on new diversion measures, including a “multi-year contract to do composting,” which may include using a portable tub grinder that could be moved around to various locations to grind up the mulch and compost in place, instead of trucking it to a composting center. The county will also be establishing another geen waste mulching facility in May at the Waimea Transfer station. It will pay for these new green waste services, in part, with a new $21.25 per ton tipping fee that will begin on March 1 for green waste from commercial operators at the Hilo and Pu‘uanahulu landfills which will be the only places that accept commercial loads of greenwaste, though residents can continue to drop off non-commercial greenwaste for free at Hilo, Pu‘uanahulu, Kealakehe, Ke’ei, Puak?, P?hoa and Kea‘au. The county currently pays more than $1.6 million a year to recycle green waste—organic matter such as cut grass and tree branches—into mulch.
    Another huge component of the county’s waste stream is consumer packaging: all those brightly colored, advertising-covered boxes, cartons, cans, bottles, bags and wrappers that fill retail shelves and cross fast-food counters.
    Bularewicz notes that over the years, county diversion programs have been pulling a greater and greater variety of materials from that waste stream. But he also acknowledges that most of that material now goes to China for reprocessing—burning fuel and aborting potential U.S. jobs. Wille talks about providing “incentives” and “disincentives” such as tax breaks and fees to make companies take responsibility for the costs of their packaging. Some big companies, such as Wal-Mart, are already taking back their cardboard shipping boxes—but not consumer packaging. Others, such as McDonalds, are switching from plastic packaging to biodegradable paper—McDonalds has even started using 100 percent recycled paper napkins. But many local drive-ins are still passing out plastic foam. Hawai’i’s HI-5 program and bag ban have made significant inroads in the waste stream—but persuading mainstream companies to convert to bulk bins, such as local natural food stores use, and reusable containers like the glass bottles that local soda companies once distributed seems a more distant goal.
    But perhaps a goal worth pursuing. Getting garbage out of the waste stream could be easier if less garbage was coming in.

  • 20 Feb 2015 /  politics, State Legislature

    One of the most intractable of problems, in a state where campaign contributions are dominated by the real estate and construction industries, is affordable housing.  State Representative Mark Hashem (D-O`ahu) who chairs the House Committee on Housing,  notes that 40 percent of the state’s homeless are working people who simply can’t afford housing–no surprise, he says, since  “In 2011, a study prepared for the Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corporation (HHFDC) noted that 50,000 new units will need to be built between 2012 and 2016 to meet the demand generated by changing demographics and economic conditions”–a challenge, he says, that the state has been “woefully inadequate” in addressing.

    But this year it’s been members of the State Senate who seem to be taking the lead on this issue, with Hashem often the sole introducer of House companion bills for the Senate Initiatives. At least 22 bills related to housing and homelessness  have been introduced, from routine funding authorizations to a bill, sponsored by Puna Sen. Russell Ruderman, that would make it easier to build housing for agricultural workers, to a measure co-sponsored by Big Island Senators Lorraine Inouye and Mark Nakashima, that would legalize, for the first time, trailer parks in the state. While some county measures, especially on O`ahu, have been criticized for criminalizing homelessness, the state bills generally emphasize promoting more affordable housing–although one make it easier for the state to confiscate property of public housing tenants, especially if they’re evicted for some reason.

    By far the most active of Big Island legislators in this area is Sen. Josh Green, whose deep pockets from medical industry contributions may make him  less susceptible to pressure from the real estate industry.  Green has introduced or co-introduced no fewer than nine bills in this session’s “Joint Package of Bills to Address Affordable Housing and the Homeless.”

    Below are the bills officially tagged as part of that package, along with Big Island legislators who’ve placed their names on the bills as introducers. To follow or testify on any of these bills, click on the underlined links.


    Priority Bills

    Bill Number



    Relating to Affordable Housing
    Authorizes the issuance of general obligation bonds and the appropriation of funds for deposit into the rental housing trust fund and the dwelling unit revolving fund to finance affordable rental housing development and infrastructure development. Appropriates funds for the construction of micro apartment housing units. Appropriates funds to the department of human services to continue to administer housing first programs for chronically homeless.

    Big Island sponsor: Sen. Josh Green


    Relating to Public Housing

    Appropriates funds for the plans, design, construction, and equipment to develop, upgrade, or renovate public housing facilities in the State.

    Big Island sponsor: Sen. Lorraine Inouye.



    Relating to the Hawaii Public Housing Authority
    Authorizes the issuance of general obligation bonds and appropriates funds for the redevelopment, design, and construction of the Hawaii public housing authority administrative offices, the creation of public housing and affordable rental housing, and the development of a small commercial space at the Hawaii public housing authority’s North School street location.

    Big Island sponsor: Sen. Josh Green



    Relating to the Hawaii Public Housing Authority

    Authorizes the issuance of general obligation bonds to the Hawaii public housing authority to leverage funds for the redevelopment of the Mayor Wright Homes property. Requires dollar-for-dollar matching with private or federal funds before appropriations shall be made available.

    Big Island sponsor: Sen. Josh Green



    Relating to the Hawaii Public Housing Authority

    Authorizes the issuance of general obligation bonds and appropriates funds for the redevelopment, design, and construction of the Hawaii public housing authority’s Kuhio Homes and Kuhio Park Terrace low-rise properties.

    Big Island sponsor: Sen. Josh Green


    Relating to Rental Housing

    Allows a portion of conveyance tax revenues dedicated to the rental housing trust fund to be monetized to increase the amount of funding for the rental housing trust fund. Authorizes the issuance of revenue bonds to finance the rental housing trust fund.

    No Big Island sponsors.


    Relating to Mixed-Use Residential Projects

    Authorizes the issuance of general obligation bonds and the appropriation of funds for the planning, design, and construction of the juvenile services center portion of the mixed-use project at 902 Alder street, Honolulu, Oahu.

    No Big Island sponsors.



    (Women’s Caucus)

    Relating to Housing

    Amends income tax credit for low-income household renters to adjust for inflation. Applies to taxable years beginning after 12/31/2015.

    Big Island sponsor: Sen. Lorraine Inouye; Reps. Cindy Evans, Joy SanBuenaventura, Nicole Lowen



    Relating to Taxation

    Imposes a conveyance tax on the conveyance of a controlling interest of an entity that has an interest in real property in the State. Applies to conveyances occurring after 06/30/2015. Effective 07/01/2015.

    Big Island sponsor: Sen. Josh Green



    Relating to Farm Worker Housing

    Allows one or more employee dwellings to be built on an agricultural park lot or non-agricultural park lot that is leased by a long-term lessee with lease terms of at least thirty-five years and a lot size of at least five acres, with restrictions. Appropriates an unspecified amount from the general fund to be expended by the department of agriculture to develop farm worker housing.

    Big Island sponsor: Sen. Russell Ruderman

    Other bills:

    SB156/HB274Authorizes the issuance of general obligation bonds for the rental housing trust fund and new public housing redevelopment.

    Big Island Sponsor: Sen. Josh Green

    SB478 - Establishes 30 permanent full-time equivalent multi-skilled worker civil service positions in the Hawaii public housing authority to assist and support public housing operations statewide.

    Big Island sponsor: Sen. Lorraine Inouye

    SB972 – Makes permanent the exemption from state civil service persons hired or contracted to repair and maintain vacant state housing units. Effective June 30, 2015.

    No Big Island sponsors.

    SB124/HB768 – Expands the Hawaii Public Housing Authority’s authority to dispose of property seized, abandoned or remaining upon eviction in and around federal, elder or elderly, or state low-income housing projects.

    Big Island sponsors: Sens. Gil Kahele, Russell Ruderman

    SB123/HB767 – Clarifies trespassing in the second degree at Hawaii Public Housing Authority housing projects as a nonresident who enters or remains unlawfully or without authorization on the property. The Hawaii Public Housing Authority is required to post signs notifying trespassers of illegal entry.

     Big Island sponsors: Sens. Josh Green, Gil Kahele, Russell Ruderman

    SB971 – Ensures that certain eligible housing projects will remain affordable for certain minimum periods in order to be certified for exemption from general excise taxes.

    No Big Island sponsors

    SB974 - Authorizes the rental housing trust fund (RHTF) to be used for spaces for public uses within mixed-use residential developments in which the residential component consists of rental housing units. Establishes a separate mixed-use residential development subaccount within the RHTF to make loans or grants for the development, pre-development, construction, acquisition, preservation, and substantial rehabilitation of spaces for public uses within mixed-use residential developments in which the residential component consists of rental housing units. Clarifies that assistance from the RHTF may be made for new construction, rehabilitation, or preservation of spaces for public uses in mixed-use residential developments. Makes appropriation from general fund for deposit into the mixed use residential development account.

    No Big Island sponsors

    SB975 - Adds a preference for rental housing trust fund project applicants that receive federal low-income housing tax credits. Takes effect on 1/1/2016.

    No Big Island sponsors.

    SB155/HB766 – Making an appropriation for the construction of micro apartment housing units.

    Big Island sponsor: Sen. Josh Green

    HB765 - Appropriates funds to the department of human services to continue to administer housing first programs for chronically homeless individuals.

     No Big Island sponsors.

    SB763/HB1265 – Requires and appropriates funds for the department of land and natural resources, in consultation with the department of human services, to establish mobile home parks throughout the State for individuals whose family income is no more than 250 per cent of the federal poverty level. Allows private sector to develop mobile home parks.

    Big Island sponsor: Sen. Lorraine Inouye, Rep. Mark Nakashima

    SB1362 – Restricts the ability of the Hawaii housing finance and development corporation to use the rental assistance revolving fund for projects relating to affordable rental housing.

    Big Island sponsors: Sens. Josh Green, Lorraine Inouye, Gil Kahele.


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  • 20 Feb 2015 /  Uncategorized

    Lynn DeCoite, who was appointed by Governor David Ige to complete the current term of the late Mele Carroll, will be sworn in during the regular session of the House at noon on February 20.  She will represent District 13, which includes Haiku, Hana, Kaupo, Kipahulu, Nahiku and Paia on Maui, and the islands of Kahoolawe, Lanai, Molokai and Molokini.  A brief ceremony will be conducted by Hawaii Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald.

    DeCoite, a Molokai farmer and rancher, has has been praised by Ige for her roots in the community but has been criticized for leasing land to Monsanto for the growing of genetically modified seed–see the story below.

  • Governor David Ige, already under fire for choosing Castle & Cooke lobbyist Carleton Ching to head the Department of Land and Natural Resources,  has made two more controversial appointments. The day after State Representative Mele Carroll (East Maui, Molokai, Lanai) passed away from cancer, Ige has nominated Maui rancher and farmer Lynn DeCoite to take her place. DeCoite owns L&R Farm Enterprises and R.J.’s Snacks and co-owns the V-8 Ranch on Molokai; she’s served as chair of the Farm Service Agency (Maui County) and president of the Molokai Homestead Farmer’s Alliance, and is a former board member of the Molokai Planning Commission.

    “I’m confident Ms. DeCoite knows the issues facing the district and will listen to her constituents to address their concerns…She has deep roots in the community and is committed to overcoming the challenges by forming partnerships and working collaboratively,” Ige said in his press release about the nomination.

    Carroll had resigned her House seat on February 1 due to her worsening medical condition.  DeCoite was one of three names suggested to the governor by a Democratic Party committee to fill the vacant seat.

    But the nomination has already drawn fire from the anti-GMO organization Babes Against Biotech.

    “We have been aware for some time that L&R Farms, owned by Mrs. Decoite, is under contract with Monsanto to grow seed corn. Lynn herself confirmed this to our Maui Chapter Coordinator over an extensive phone conversation in March of last year; it is not something she is ashamed to admit,” pointed out a statement from Babes Against Biotech, which called her nomination “another political powder keg. This nomination would create an even larger firestorm of public criticism and discontent, than his highly contentious nomination of Carleton Ching to lead the Department of Land and Natural Resources.”

    Also yesterday, the Molokai News reported that Ige had nominated Glenn Hong, president of Hawaiian Tug & Barge Corp. and Young Brothers Ltd., to the state’s Board of Agriculture.  A fair percentage of the cargo that Hong’s companies haul consists of meat, eggs and produce imported from California, Chile and elsewhere.

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  • 19 Feb 2015 /  Uncategorized

    (Media release) — Marking 20 years of celebrating Hawai‘i’s local products and the people who produce them, Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range is Friday, Oct. 9 at the Hilton Waikoloa Village. Attendees will enjoy delectable dishes using pasture-raised beef, pork, lamb, goat, mutton and wild boar — plus a cornucopia of fresh island fruit, veggies, honey, spices and beverages.

    While confirmations are still coming in for the nearly 40 invited restaurants and their chefs, the culinary lineup already reads like a who’s who of good eats. Headliners for the Taste evening gala to date include Bravo’s “Top Chef” Fan Favorite Sheldon Simeona of Maui’s Migrant Restaurant; Kevin Hanney of Oahu’s 12th Avenue Grill, the 2015 Hale Aina Best Restaurant of the Year; and the host of TV’s “Family Ingredients,” Ed Kenny of Honolulu’s Town Restaurant.

    Hawaii Regional Cuisine founders Roy Yamaguchi and Peter Merriman will lead the pre-gala’s educational offerings, which are open to the public. Chef Yamaguchi of Roy’s instructs the 2015 edition of Cooking Pasture-Raised Beef 101 at 3 p.m. while Peter Merriman of Merriman’s Restaurants offers an informative presentation geared for college culinary students at 1:30 p.m.

    The time for this year’s Taste gala is 6-8 p.m. and the annual agricultural showcase will again sprawl both inside and out of the Hilton Waikoloa Village. Culinary adventure seekers can taste and enjoy all the cuts of pasture-raised beef— everything from tongue to tail — prepared expertly by Hawai‘i chefs.  Enjoy familiar cuts like sirloin tip and ribs, plus beef cheek and the infamous “rocky mountain oysters” or bull testicles.

    While “tasting,” attendees can meet Hawai‘i’s food producers at booths and talk story with the ranchers and farmers who make a living growing our food. They can also enjoy exhibits presenting topics related to local agriculture and food sustainability, including the University of Hawai’i’s Mealani Research Station—where Taste began!

    Anniversary festivities will include honoring the event’s 20-year participants and others who have been major Taste supporters.

    “We had 16 participating restaurants at the first Taste,” shares Dr. Russell Nagata, event chairperson and administrator of Hawai‘i County Extension Services for the University of Hawai‘i College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR). “We invited all of them, who are still in operation, to participate in our anniversary event.”

    Pre-sale tickets for Taste are $45 and $60 at the door. Entry to Cooking 101 is $10 while the 1:30 p.m. class is free. Tickets go on sale in July at island-wide locations and online. Watch for ticket giveaways on Facebook at Taste of the Hawaiian Range and Twitter #TasteHI.

    For general event information, phone (808) 969-8228.

    Anyone who requires an auxiliary aid or service for effective communication or a modification of policies and procedures to participate in this event should contact Russell Nagata at 808-969-8228 no later than Sept. 7.

  • 18 Feb 2015 /  Uncategorized

    Editor’s note: The Hawaii State Legislature is taking up a number of medical marijuana bills this session, including those that would establish dispensaries in the islands to ensure safe access to marijuana for medical users. Following is one user’s open letter pressing the Hawaii Department of Health’s position against such legislation.

    Dear Department of Health,

    I am a bonafide medical marijuana patient on the Big Island.  Pahoa Family Health Center (Bay Clinic) has been my “primary care provider” for the last 30 years if I needed one.  I began experiencing back pain about 12 years ago and increasing, finally diagnosed as degenerative disc disease through an MRI in 2010.  At that time I asked my doctor to recommend cannabis, as I did not want to be exposed to side effects from the hydrocodone and other codeine type pain killers.  I was informed that they were not allowed to recommend because they accept federal funding.  Read the rest of this entry »