***Commentary***Big Island, Small World, Mele Kalikimaka just the same

 

By Baron Sekiya

By Baron Sekiya/www.Hawaii247.com

Thanks to Baron Sekiya with www.Hawaii247.com for allowing me to re-post this photo of Suez “Suzzy” Mielke and her two-year-old Kaimalia with Santa at the Keauhou Shopping Center recently. (See 

http://www.hawaii247.com/2008/12/06/hawaii-montessori-school-at-kona-9th-annual-winterfest/)

This photo is representative of what a Big Island, small world we are living upon.  I received this photo in an email from Suez Mielke, wishing me and everybody on her email list a Merry Christmas.  The email had been forwarded to Suzzy Mielke by Shannon Rudolph, who had seen it posted on www.Hawaii247.com and recognized Suzzy Mielke and her daughter. I know Shannon Rudolph, at least in cyberspace.  She has included me on her mass email list for some time now, at least since the Hawaii County Council was taking up the issue of depleted uranium on and around the Pohakuloa Training Area.  I have known and have been friends with Suzzy Mielke since 2001, when she roomed with a guy I used to date in Kona.  She and I have mutual friends in both Kona and Puna.

Baron Sekiya, who took the widely circulated photo of Suzzy Mielke and her daughter, is a former colleague of mine at the West Hawaii Today who is now running the blog/cyber publication, www.Hawaii247.com. 

What’s that saying, there are sixth degrees of separation?  Oftentimes, I find less. I think it’s more like, we are all interconnected. 

In any event, let me take this opportunity to wish everyone a happy holiday — whether it’s Hanukkah or Christmas — and a Merry 2009.

***Commentary*** US Attorney Ed Kubo Honors Pahoa Community Members

 

Ed Kubo awards Hawaii County Prosectuor Jay Kimura

Ed Kubo awards Hawaii County Prosectuor Jay Kimura

Greene, Kubo, Medeiros

Greene, Kubo, Medeiros


The night before Chris Randrup’s bullet-ridden body was discovered at MacKenzie State Park in Puna, U.S. Attorney Ed Kubo was in Pahoa to honor Hawaii County Prosecutor Jay Kimura, Pahoa Weed and Seed members, and Puna Councilwoman Emily Naeole for their efforts to make our community safer with less crime and drugs. Ed Kubo gave Jay Kimura a special Project Safe Neighborhoods award.  Ed Kubo was reportedly on island to attend Police Chief Lawrence Mahuna’s retirement party, and wanted to give kudos to the Puna folks he has worked with since 2003.  Since Ed Kubo is a political appointee, he may or may not have a job after the presidential inauguration in January.  Pictured is Ed Kubo flanked by Pahoa Weed and Seed Chairwoman Madie Greene and Site Coordinator Johnna Medeiros.  (Both women are wearing t-shirts especially created for the Puna Weed and Seed Youth Committee’s Wrestling and Baseball Clinics for Puna youth.) 

 Mahalo to Puna Councilwoman Emily Naeole’s legislative aide RJ Hampton and Pahoa Weed and Seed member Rene Siracusa for providing information and photographs relating to this event honoring our prosecutor, councilwoman and community members who are working to address our drug and crime problem.  It’s unfortunate that the commendation from our state’s highest-ranking law enforcement authority has been eclipsed by a tragic murder, reminding us that the effort to make our community safer and free of violence and drugs is very much a work in progress.

 

 

***Commentary***Murder Victim Is My Friend’s Brother

Yesterday I railed on the Hawaii Tribune-Herald for putting a Puna murder story on the back page in the “Big Island Report” section.  Today the story is front page above the fold, identifying the victim as my friend Alison’s brother, Hans Christian Randrup, 27, of Leilani Estates.  

Chris Randrup’s bullet-riddled body was found at MacKenzie State Park, where an adaptation of “The Tempest” is being filmed.  Police have no suspects or motive at this point, and an investigation is continuing.  Anyone with information about this crime should immediately call Detective Rio Amon-Wilkins of the Criminal Investigation Section in Hilo at 961-2386.

Mahalo to Rod Thompson of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin for the initial byline story detailing police’s discovery of Chris Randrup’s body. See /www.starbulletin.com/news/hawaiinews/20081213_Body_with_gunshots_found_at_Big_Island_beach_park.html

Also, mahalo to John Burnett for your follow-up report in today’s Tribune-Herald identifying the discovered body as Chris Randrup’s. 

I just want to remind the Tribune-Herald, and any other community newspaper for that matter, every dead body is someone’s brother, sister, uncle, auntie, cousin, son, daughter… Please be respectful of that fact.  Treat all murders like you would want your own to be treated.  A story about a bullet-ridden body being found at a state park where a movie is being made has no business on the back page.  

I ask the same question I did a day ago: Police, why are thugs being left to rule Puna?

It would be irresponsible journalism for me to repeat the hearsay, but suffice it to say, Chris Randrup fell victim to thuggery.  I hope his death was not in vain.  Something must be done about the pervasive violence in Puna and throughout the islands. There are people who actually think they can load a series of bullets into a 27-year-old and dump his body over a sea cliff without consequence. 

My deepest condolences to Alison Randrup and her family.  I am so sorry for your loss.

***Commentary*** Police: Why Are The Thugs Being Left To Rule Puna?

I don’t know if you saw today’s Hawaii Tribune-Herald story but, tucked away on the back page, above the continuation of the front-page story about the new police chief’s $15,000 raise, there is a brief entitled, “Man Shot to Death in Puna.”

Here is the first paragraph, “A body of a caucasion male with multiple gunshot wounds was found Friday afternoon along the Puna shoreline area of Mackenzie State Park.”

Why that didn’t make the front page along with new Chief Harry Kubojiri’s raise to $114,768 per year is beyond me.  For news of a murder victim found in Puna to not be a byline story and to be relegated to the back page is an indication that our local newspaper is out of whack and not in touch with the community it serves.

Let me remind everyone who hasn’t been following the Big Island Weekly’s coverage:  there is an independent film being made at Mackenzie State Park.  Can you imagine the movie makers reaction to the discovery of a bullet-ridden body in the vicinity of their movie set?  How is that going to sit with them?  

The fact that we have yet another murder victim in Puna is also an indicator of what has been observed for some time now: the lack of police presence out in this rural district has allowed thuggery to prevail.  

Within the last couple of months someone was beaten to death in Pahoa town.  I’m sure you can tell me even more stories to confirm that thugs are ruling Puna largely without any consequences. 

Police, and particularly our new Chief Harry Kubojiri who just got a hefty raise within the first week of being at the helm, please do something about this thuggery in Puna.  It’s really very frightening as a resident and a business owner.

BREAKING NEWS — Mayor Billy Kenoi, With Congressional Delegation’s Help, Pursues Obama’s Federal Economic Stimulus Package With $487.1 Million Request For Road, Sewer And Transit Projects That Could Create 3,000 Construction Jobs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 11, 2008

 

Contact Person:            Hunter Bishop, Public Relations Specialist

 

COUNTY TARGETS FUNDS FROM ECONOMIC STIMULUS PACKAGE

 

The County of Hawaii has submitted a list of road, sewer, transit and other projects to the federal government for funding under President-elect Barack Obama’s proposed economic stimulus package.

 

The projects, worth an estimated $487.1 million, would create nearly 3,000 construction jobs in Hawaii County if all are funded.

 

The list of projects is a result of close collaboration with Senator Daniel Inouye, Congressman Neil Abercrombie and Congresswomen Mazie Hirono, said Hawaii County Mayor William P. “Billy” Kenoi.

 

“We’re working very closely with our Congressional delegation in seeing that several of these projects get funded,” said Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi. “We won’t get everything we want, but we will continue to vigorously advocate for funding of jobs and projects that will improve the quality of life for all residents of the Big Island.”

 

The mayor met with his cabinet heads and county staff Monday to determine which pending projects would be most likely to be funded under the criteria established for the funding requests. Infrastructure projects that are ready or near ready to go, and the creation of jobs, were among the highest priorities in the selection of projects for the list.

 

The County’s list of proposed projects to be funded with federal funds includes new fire stations in Makalei ($9 million) and Captain Cook ($18 million), and a police station in Puna ($4.6 million).

 

Alii Parkway would get $15 million to construct a 4.5 mile long, two-lane highway extending Queen Kaahumanu Highway, just south of Kona Hillcrest subdivision, to Alii Drive near the Keauhou Shopping Center. And $17 million is being requested for the Laaloa Avenue extension in Kona.

 

Ten million dollars is being requested to improve safety and reduce traffic congestion by

widening Mamalahoa Highway at the Kamamalu intersection.

 

Also on the list is $9 million to replace the Lindsey Road Bridge in Waimea.

 

Also being requested is $15 million for a new Puna gymnasium and ball fields, $2 million for planning an alternate access road in Puna, and $10 million for a new 20-acre park in the Hawaiian Paradise Park subdivision.

 

Also requested is $6 million for Hawaiian Ocean View Estates to get a new community center and hurricane shelter.

 

Another request is for $7.5 million to repair, renovate and upgrade existing County swimming pools around the island.

 

New bus stops and shelters would be built island-wide with a $1.2 million request.

 

The single largest single-project amount, $89 million, would upgrade the land-mobile radio system used by County police and other public safety agencies. The County is mandated by the Federal Communications Commission to replace its current VHF radio system by 2012.

 

Other major items on the list include $26.4 million for the elimination of the County’s large capacity cesspools in Naalehu and Pahala. The projects are mandated by the federal Environmental Protection Administration.

 

The request from Mayor Kenoi comes as the U.S. Conference of Mayors announced this week it has identified nearly 11,400 public works projects in 427 cities that are “ready to go” and could stimulate the national economy.

 

President-elect Obama has said public works spending would be a cornerstone of his economic development plan by creating millions of jobs nationwide with the largest investment in our national infrastructure since the creation of the federal highway system in the 1950s.

 

The conference is urging the U.S. Congress to fund the projects immediately, and estimates the effort would create more than 800,000 jobs across the country in 2009 and 2010.

 

The Hawaii County projects and those supported by the Conference of Mayors include requests to fund improvements in infrastructure; energy and green jobs projects; transit equipment and infrastructure; public housing modernization; water and wastewater infrastructure; and improvements in city streets and road infrastructure.

 

The conference predicts that federal investments in these areas will “improve the infrastructure that the private sector needs to succeed, help the small businesses of Main Street America, and produce lasting economic and environmental benefits for the nation.”

 

President-elect Obama has announced a goal of creating 2.5 million jobs by 2011, and described a two-year initiative to repair and upgrade the nation’s aging infrastructure.

BREAKING NEWS — Former Solid Waste Division Chief Lono Tyson Named Environmental Management Director

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 11, 2008

 

Contact person:            Kevin Dayton, 961-8508

 

Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi has named Lono Tyson as the new director of the county Department of Environmental Management effective January 2, 2009.

 

The appointment fills another key slot in the mayor’s cabinet. Kenoi was sworn in as mayor on Dec. 1.

 

Tyson, 44, was solid waste division chief for the county’s Department of Environmental Management from 2003 to 2005 before leaving to live in Australia with his wife and family. Since leaving the Big Island, he has been employed as principal engineer for the international professional services company GHD based in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

 

Tyson has more than 15 years of experience in waste management including planning, engineering, design, permitting, construction, operation and maintenance of solid waste, wastewater, and other civil engineering projects.

 

“I am honored that we were able to get someone of Mr. Tyson’s experience, education and background to serve in this position,” Kenoi said. “He has experience both in government and outside of government.”

 

“As a Native Hawaiian engineer, I think he can serve as a very good role model to a lot of our students and future leaders here in the County of Hawaii, demonstrating that they too can be engineers and leaders in county government,” Kenoi said.

 

Tyson has more than a decade of private sector experience, and served as landfill engineer for the Salinas Valley Solid Waste Authority, and as waste management engineer for the state of California’s Environmental Protection Agency.

 

Most recently in his work for GHD, he served as procurement manager for the construction of a waste reduction technology facility in south Sydney. He was also technical advisor for the construction, expansion and rehabilitation of landfills, as well as the design, construction, and operation of waste transfer stations and recycling centers throughout Australia and Chile.

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                                                            (more)

 

 

 

 

 

Tyson was born and raised in Arcadia, Calif., and has a bachelor of science degree in engineering technology (construction) from California State Polytechnic University in Pomona, Calif.

 

“Just over five years ago I came to the Big Island to gain insight into my Hawaiian roots and to share my experiences with those who were interested in preserving the aina,” Tyson said. “I see this as an opportunity to complete unfinished business and to share my love of the islands and its people with my family. I look forward to assisting the County in developing and implementing sustainable solutions for managing our solid waste and wastewater.  It is my hope that we all work together to remove the barriers that divide us as Hawaiians and prevent us from moving forward together towards our shared goal of preserving this beautiful gift called Hawai’i.”

 

The Department of Environmental Management is responsible for all matters relating to sewer operation and maintenance of five sewer systems as well as solid waste disposal and landfill programs, vehicle disposal, and all other environmental projects including county recycling programs. The department also provides key support during Civil Defense emergencies.

 

***Commentary*** Car Talk: Looking For My Mom’s Old Squarebird

 

1947 Buick

1947 Buick

Check out this old Buick I saw in Pahoa Town the other day. They sure don’t make cars like they used to.  Readers, something many people don’t know is that I am smitten with old cars.  So is my husband, Jeff.  His favorite is the 1960 Cadillac.   I like old Cadillacs, too, but I am also into T-birds.  I’ll tell you a little story close to my heart:  About 50 years ago, my mom bought herself a brand-new Squarebird and had it scalloped by the famed Larry Watson, of California.  She sold it a few years later to a man who ended up storing away the car in a warehouse in Southern California for years and years.  A few years back, a car magazine wrote a story about the Squarebird and referred to the fact that this Southern California man had preserved it all this time after buying it from my mother (Jeannie Caussey Beaumont).  A friend of the family told my uncle about the article and the reference to my mother by name, but we have never been able to track down the article ourselves, much less the name of the man or what town in California where he and the car reside.  In 2006, I spent a lot of time on a car aficionados web forum (www.jalopyjournal.com). I called myself, “T-Bird Huntress.”  I was so enthusiastic about finding the car that I annoyed some of the regulars with too many entries reminding them I was trying to find the Squarebird and/or Larry Watson who did the amazing paint job way back when.  Needless to say, it is my dream to track down this car.  My mom died 13 years ago, so it would really be something special to meet the car that has outlived her.  People ask me what I’ll do if I find Squarebird. Am I going to try and buy it?  I don’t know, maybe.  Then again, the practical side of me wonders what I’d do with an old Squarebird. It probably just takes regular gasoline, and where do you find regular gasoline in the 21st century?  At the very least, it would be nice to take some pictures sitting on top of the hood of the car just like my mom did way back in the day.  Anyway, this old Buick I saw in Pahoa town made me think about my hunt for my mom’s old car.  If you’re ever in California, and you see an old Squarebird, remember I told you I’m on the lookout for a certain one.  

Squarebird

Squarebird

Hilo Public Service Announcement: Yield and Right-Of-Way At “Four-Mile” Bridge Will Be Reversed As of Monday, Dec. 15

The county Department of Public Works wants motorists to be advised that the yield and right-of-way at “Four-Mile” bridge on Kilauea Avenue adjacent to Haihai Street in South Hilo will be reversed as of Monday, Dec. 15.

Currently, Puna-bound drivers yield to oncoming traffic. Once the reversal is in place, the Hilo-bound drivers will yield to oncoming traffic.

The reversal will prevent the congestion caused by southbound vehicles waiting to cross the bridge and blocking the intersection of Haihai Street, preventing left turns both into Haihai from Kilauea and from Haihai onto Kilauea.

The road on the south side of the bridge has been widened four feet to give a wider lane to vehicles waiting at the new yield sign.

Construction signs will be posted on both sides of the bridge while county crews will change the signs and markings. The work is expected to be completed on Monday.

 

For information on ongoing construction work for buildings and roads around the island,

go to www.co.hawaii.hi.us, click on media releases and scroll to Public Works.

Four-Mile

Four-Mile

Hilo news — Hilo Bayfront Trails Master Plan Underway

The Hilo Bayfront Trails Master Plan is underway and set to be complete in late January or early February, according to a Hawaii Tribune-Herald article by Peter Sur published on Thursday, Dec. 11.

 The plan, estimated to cost $16 million to date, is “something that’s been talked about for many, many years,” according to Beth Dykstra, the grants coordinator for the county Research and Development.  

The immediate plan is for pedestrians and bicyclists to have a path from Hilo Harbor to the Wailuku River, with hopes paths to ultimately be expanded to Honolii surf spot and Richardson’s beach near the end of Kanoelehua Avenue in Keaukaha. 

Also proposed is a boardwalk for Kanakea Pond (“Ice Pond”), a footbridge for Mohouli Pond on the southwestern edge of Waiakea Pond, and the network of paths around Waiakea Pond to be improved to 12-foot “shared use” pathways, according to Peter Sur’s article. 

Wednesday night was the third and final public meeting for residents to weigh in the plan being prepared by the Honolulu-based planning firm Helber, Hastert and Fee.

ISLAND NEWS — Bills For Island Traffic, Highway, Transit Improvements and Kona Community Plan On Council’s Agenda Next Week

Bills to be taken up at the first meeting of the newly elected Hawaii County Council are largely about making budget amendments for road improvements and community development plan.  

On the agenda for the 9 a.m., Wednesday, Dec. 17 meeting at the Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort and Spa is Bill 396, appropriating $1,567,394 for traffic division, highway maintenance and transit projects islandwide — Hilo, Hāmākua, Ka‘ū, Puna, North and South Kohala and North and South Kona.  The appropriation is a result of $3,307,209.24 remaining in the Highway Fund balance when the 2007-08 fiscal year ended on June 30th.  According to Bill 396, the remaining $1,739,815.24 will be held in reserve. 

There is Bill 8 authorizing a $686,000 federal grant to pay for the Palani Road Safety Improvement Project, which has been in the works for several years.  The project realigns the eastern terminus of Kealaka’a Street to intersect with Palani Road at Palihiolo Street.

There is also Bill 387 calling for $275,000 caqlling for $275,000 in general obligation bonds to pay for the implementation of the Kona Community Development Plan, i.e., helping to fund listed projects in which their design is complete.

BREAKING NEWS — Ethics Board Clears County Attorney Lincoln Ashida

The county Board of Ethics dismissed an ethics complaint filed against County Attorney Lincoln Ashida by former Ethics Board Chairman and Council District 5 candidate Wayne “the Big Dog” Joseph in a hearing Wednesday.  The vote was 5-0 to clear Lincoln of any wrongdoing.

Wayne alleged Lincoln violated certain sections of the county Ethics Code when, just before the Primary election, he made email remarks to then-blogger Hunter Bishop critical of both Wayne and Puna Councilwoman Emily Naeole and praising their opponent Gary Safarik.

***Commentary***Reluctant To Testify, But Not In Favor of Proposed Grading and Grubbing Ordinance

A Council Committee Will Take Up the proposed grading and grubbing ordinance at 1 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 16 in West Hawaii

Revision to Chapter 10, Erosion and Sedimentation Control (Bill 373) is on the Public Works and Intergovernmental Relations Committee Agenda

Next week the County Council will take up Bill 373 at committee level and I am debating whether I want to make the trek into Hilo to testify.  This is one bill that I feel strongly about, but I’m still reeling from the last time I tried to publicly weigh in on this one.  Actually, the joint planning and public works meeting in Pahoa in mid-November was one of the few times I have signed up to state my opinion publicly at a meeting.

I have been dialoguing with friends about this proposed grading and grubbing ordinance and the consensus in my circle is that we aren’t too keen on it.  My friend Andrew Plack has made a point of studying the ordinance, and has been educating some of us about what he has learned.

Andrew and I were set to attend the Pahoa public meting together but, at the last minute, he responded to a tragedy involving a mutual friend and couldn’t attend. I agreed to attend the meeting on behalf of both our families. When I arrived at the Pahoa Community Center for the meeting, I saw on the agenda that public testimony was near last on the order of business. Before the meeting started, I told facilitator Brad Kurokawa that I couldn’t stay the duration of the meeting because I wanted to get home in time for my baby’s bedtime.  Nights are not good times for me to be out and about as the mother of a breastfed infant.

The meeting commenced and, immediately, a contingency of attendees seemed bent on being mad at Brad Kurokawa, of the Department of Planning, and Galen Kuba, of the Department of Public Works.  Not wanting to waste my time watching these people beat up on the county guys, I offered my public testimony.

When I told the group that I was going to spare them my original intent to read excerpts from the Constitution and Declaration of Independence, I got the crowd to loosen up a bit and laugh.  But as soon as I started saying things like, “You can tell an engineer drafted this bill” and “this is not about big developers, it’s about the little people” and “the proposal will cost people $20,000 to $30,000 more to build a house on their lot,” I could feel the daggers.  I started to make a point, saying, “I believe in laissez faire,” and a woman interjected with a holler, “You’re a Libertarian,” interrupting my train of thought.  I tried to reason, telling the crowd that my husband and I tried to buy the parcel next to ours when it came up for sale, worried that anyone else who bought it might disrupt our pristine wilderness of beloved Ohia.  I tried to assure the crowd I am a “treehugger” in that I don’t want to see the native forest replaced with lawns.  I don’t want Puna or the rest of the island to lose its natural beauty and look like Anywhere, California.  As I explained how somebody else bought the property next door,  and my philosophy precludes me from marching over to make sure my new neighbor doesn’t bull doze all three acres of the parcel, a woman shouted out something like, “What about when your neighbor’s action results in your own land flooding?!”  I stopped my testimony and told the woman, “I’m not going to get into a tit for tat with people in the audience, I’m merely trying to state my opinion for the public record.” It was chaos after that, with people shouting at Brad Kurokawa and Galen Kuba for allowing me to testify before the agenda called for testimony. At that point, I walked out of the meeting in total disgust at the bad behavior of the attendees.

Needless to say, I have an opinion about Bill 373, but I don’t feel like being lambasted for it.

For the record, I’m not a Libertarian.  I don’t believe in the privatization of EVERYTHING, like our national parks, roads and bridges.  I’m not one of those people that can be put into a box and labeled according to my political party.  But I’ve just read all of Objectivist Ayn Rand’s books, and I find myself leaning toward Libertarian principles, particularly when it comes to land use. It’s a tricky situation, trying to control erosion and flooding at the same time you respect the rights of a private property owner.  I think we do need some kind of legislation to put pin-to-pin grading in check, but having a home builder get an engineer to do any clearing on a parcel over 15,000 square feet?  That’s excessive government, and I can’t stand quietly and let that happen.  We can’t talk about the need to grow our own food and be “sustainable” or the need for “affordable housing” and come up with legislation like that. 

Perhaps, before we go passing legislation like Bill 373, we should identify bioreserve zones where we don’t want to see any pin-to-pin grading at all. At least that way, if you own property in the bioreserve zone and you would prefer to live on a gravel lot rather than being surrounded by Ohias, you can sell your lot and move out of the bioreserve zone.  Just a thought.  And another thought before concluding: I think more than new laws, we really do need to TRULY enforce the laws we have on the books.  I’d like to hear your thoughts on the proposed grading and grubbing ordinance before next week’s Public Works and Intergovernmental Relations Committee meeting.  

Puna Feature — Puna Couple Offers Home As Prize In Essay Contest

 

          

Seaview's Castle

Castle

Sweetheart Cottage

Sweetheart Cottage

John Williams and [Sheri – corrected spelling 12/11] Smith are thinking creatively.  To raise funds for the dream home that John has been building for them in Kehena for the last several years, the couple plans to sell a separate house in an essay contest.

The house they are offering as a prize in their contest is “the sweetheart cottage.” The house the couple is raising funds for is the castle fronting Seaview Estates that has been in the works for years.

The couple is sponsoring Essay 101, which involves submitting a 101-word essay for a $101 entry fee.  To win the house named for its designed details, your essay can be on one of the following subjects: “aloha” or “mahalo.”

John built the sweetheart cottage with the specific goal of selling it immediately to raise funds for the castle’s completion.  The couple hopes to someday turn the Seaview Estates fortress into a vacation rental or bed and breakfast. (See www.castleinhawaii.com.) 

To win the sweetheart cottage, you can be from anywhere in the world and speak any language.  You just need to be at least 21 years old and write your essay in English.  The deadline for your essay to be submitted online or via post is May 1, 2009.

For more details about the essay contest and the sweetheart cottage, visit www.WinHawaiianHome.com.

 

 

***Commentary*** Puna Council District 5 Helpers Already At Work Without Official Go-Ahead

Word is, and it was my observation as I was out the door, helpers for the new Council District 5 legislative aide are at work before their “internships” have been officially approved by County Clerk Kenny Goodenow and Council Chairman J Yoshimoto. 

A written request for Legislative Aide Roxanne “RJ” Hampton to have her domestic partner, Sheryle Sulton aka “Sativa” aka “Juliette,” and Emily’s campaign treasurer, Cherish Almeida, work in the office with her has been submitted for both Kenny’s and J’s approvals.  

But, the fact is, Sheryle aka Sativa aka Juliette and Cherish, have been working in the Pahoa Council Office and going out-and-about representing Puna Councilwoman Emily Naeole before having either Kenny’s or J’s go-ahead.  They’re on the county computers in the Pahoa office, they’re answering the phones, and they’re even representing Auntie at public meetings.  Last night, Cherish went to the Department of Land and Natural Resources meeting on upcoming Pohoiki boat ramp improvements on Emily’s behalf.

This is totally inappropriate.  It’s stuff like this where you get the expression, “cart before the horse.”

I told RJ on one of the few occasions where we met that her job as Auntie’s right-hand woman is to ensure that Auntie walks the straight and narrow and doesn’t end up before the Ethics board.  I’m not convinced she truly listened to the advice I gave her. 

I just want to remind Auntie, RJ, Sheryle aka Sativa aka Juliette, and Cherish that the lease for the Pahoa Council office is for just one year.  It is crucial that we have a Pahoa Council Office in order to allow residents more accessibility and convenience when it comes to county government and the County Council.  I ask you all, for the sake of the district, please don’t blow it.  Cross your Ts and dot your Is.  Do not try and circumvent the process because, in the end, your legislation to renew the lease for Pahoa Council Office will take at least five votes to prevail.  Cherish and Sheryle aka Sativa aka Juliette, wait until you have the official go-ahead to be “interns” before you go working on county computers, answering phones and representing Auntie at meetings.