***Commentary*** As Our Trash Cans Fill; Rumors And Notes On Rubbish And Recycling

Tin can image courtesy of Paint Drop Palette

Word is, Mayor Billy Kenoi is looking to make the transfer station hours more convenient for the real world.  I couldn’t get Hunter Bishop, executive assistant to the mayor, or Desiree Cruz, public information specialist, to confirm the rumor that the hours will be from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., but I’m pretty confident we are going to hear word soon that the hours will be expanded. Recall the hours were drastically reduced on Dec. 1, then slightly expanded for commuters in March.

“Hi Tiff,

We are working on new hours to make the transfer stations more accessible for people. No details yet…” Hunter wrote me this week in response to my inquiry.  He also wouldn’t confirm that at least two other Environmental Management administrators from other islands are vying for the Environmental Management director post being vacated by Lono Tyson. “On the DEM position, I don’t have any info to release on applicants,” Hunter wrote.  All I got from Desiree in answer to both my questions on the new transfer station hours and the DEM applicants was, “Not sure yet. Don’t know.” Drats. Word is, Suzanne Jones is among the applicants.  If that is truly the case, I would tell Billy Kenoi, Pick her! Read more

Hawaii News — County Environmental Management Director Resigns

Lono Tyson

(Media release) — Mayor Billy Kenoi has accepted the resignation of Hawai‘i County Director of Environmental Management (DEM), Lono Tyson, effective June 30, 2010.

Tyson was Mayor Kenoi’s choice for the DEM director job from the beginning of his administration on December 1, 2008.

Tyson had served Hawai`i County previously as Solid Waste Division Chief from September 2003 to July 2005, when he moved to Australia with his future wife. Mayor Kenoi asked him to return as DEM director in December 2008.

Tyson and his wife decided to move back to Australia to be closer to their family. Read more

Hawaii News — County First To Receive Zero-Interest Federal Stimulus Loan

(Media release) — The County of Hawai’i Department of Environmental Management has become the first department in the state of Hawai’i to receive a binding commitment for a zero-interest loan with principal forgiveness for a wastewater project funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, also known as the federal stimulus bill.

The $1.1 million in stimulus funds will be used to build a sewer collection system to allow the County to retire two large capacity cesspools in Hilo’s Komohana Heights subdivision. Construction on the project began in September, and is scheduled to be completed this month.

The stimulus money is technically a zero-interest “loan” made by the Clean Water State Revolving Fund, but funding through that particular fund under the stimulus bill includes provisions for principal forgiveness, meaning the “loan” never needs to be repaid. Read more

***Commentary*** The Wedding Puna Residents Will Be Talking About For A While

prayerThe setting beneath the kamani trees fronting “Shacks” surf spot at Isaac Kepo’okalani Hale Beach Park, Puna Councilwoman Emily Naeole married Raymond Beason on Saturday morning, Oct. 24, 2009.

The bride donned a purple velvet gown and the groom wore a matching purple velvet vest along with his cowboy garb.  The minister who married them was Auntie Em’s son-in-law Rudy Valentino.  He amused the crowd gathered for the wedding ceremony, making sure Emily knew she was vowing to “submit” to Raymond in marriage and that Raymond knew he was taking Emily to be his wife “name in the newspaper” and all.

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***Commentary*** Reflections On Mayor’s Pahoa Talk Story

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

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

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

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

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

GUEST COLUMN — Vote No On Resolution 66-09, A Call For Statewide Collaboration On A ‘Single Solid Waste Proposal’

(James Weatherford lives in Hawaii because he loves it.  This is the second time he has lived here and this time it is by design and with dedication. From the time he left Hawaii in 1975 to his and his wife Elizabeth’s permanent return in 2001, he studied, received university degrees, and worked in various aspects of agriculture. A former legislative aide to then-Councilman Bob Jacobson, James Weatherford is interested in island politics but his heart lies with his and Elizabeth’s organic farm in Puna.)

The first item on the Council’s Agenda in Kona, 9 a.m. (next) Wednesday, May 6, 2009, is Resolution 66-09.

The title of the Resolution indicates the intended outcome is for all four Counties, “Hawai`i, Maui, Kauai, and the City and County of Honolulu, to collaborate and pursue a single solid waste proposal.”

I am urging my Council member and all members of the Council to vote NO on Resolution 66-09, because in both intent and content I find it without merit. 

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