Archive for the ‘Community’ Category

Earthquake – 5 Weeks Later


Finally made it to the Big Island this week for a short Thanksgiving visit with my family. Flew into Hilo on Tuesday, drove up the Hamakua Coast to Honokaa.

After talking to my mom, it was learned that people on the Hilo side did not get the severe impact of the October 15 earthquake that others on the West side of the island did.

Driving over, I did not notice much damage along Highway 19 except for the collapsed portion of a small bridge outside of Kukuiau and Pauuilo. That bridge is now only passable one lane at a time. The state has set up a temporary traffic light to regulate vehicles. Hopefully a permanent fix is coming soon.

On Street Parking in Jeopardy

One of the most precious commodities in Honolulu and any other city is the availability of on-street parking. On-street parking in residential neighborhoods and business areas benefit all. Small businesses depend on the availability of on-street parking as part of their business plans, especially those located in buildings with no on-site parking.

A new City Charter amendment mandating that the City Transportation Department adopt a sweeping “pedestrian and bicycle friendly” stance into all planning is a bad idea. Most people like pedestrian and bicycle friendly neighborhoods and that is fine. However this should mandate should not be made as part of our city charter. Instead planning for pedestrian and bicycle access should be made on a case-by-case basis as it is now.

City Charter Amendment #8 should be defeated. Vote “no”.

E-Waste Day

It was E-Waste day at the University of Hawaii today. This day was set aside by the U.H., the State Department of Education and Apple Computer. The public had a chance to get rid of their e-waste and not worry about sending it off to the landfill. Supposedly the e-waste collected will be shipped off to the mainland or somewhere, and have their components recycled.

It was a good opportunity for me to get rid of some of my household clutter. Among the items that I finally got around to letting go were the following:

Macintosh II computer, Macintosh Centris 650 computer, Sony Betamax VCR, Sony single play CD component player and various miscellaneous electronics and computer items.

Now I have more room. Next I need to get rid of some of my old books and perhaps my “newer” old computers such as my Powercenter 150 and Power Mac 9500. I also have perfectly fine Mac SE and Mac Plus compters lying around. Anyone interested in buying these? I may sell them for a song.

There is talk that some people would like to see a computer recycling tax be levied upon the consumers of Hawaii for every computer or TV they purchase. This is a bad, bad idea. Hawaii already has one of the highest tax burdens in the nation. We are already being taxed for way too many consumer transactions. The general excise tax is going to rise on January 1. Do we need a computer tax or as proponents would like to refer to it, a “computer recycling fee”? No!

Volunteer and corporate efforts such as today’s E-Waste day are great ideas and should be implemented more often. A mandatory new tax is not. It will only add to the cost of living and doing business in Hawaii.



This afternoon/evening we start our annual Mau’i County Fair.

The rides and attractions in the midway are, as usual, from E.K. Fernandez Shows.

Festivities start with a parade to the fairgrounds along Ka’ahumanu Avenue, from the community college in Kahului.

I attended one year. Lots of fun for wide-eyed keiki’s but I personally found the entire affair rather trite and boring.

Teens and “tweens” find it a great place for our society’s courtship rituals. Just like every other place in the USA.

The weather should be pretty pleasant tonight and Friday. Saturday and Sunday are still in doubt but will probably be okay.

It runs through Sunday, for those who are interested.

Never Forget: 9 – 11

Honolulu's 9-11 Observance

Hundreds of people observed the 9-11 terrorist attacks of 2001 at Honolulu’s first “Walk for Remembrance”. The observance sponsored by Mayor Mufi Hannemann’s office featured several Hawaii leaders including Governor Linda Lingle, Congressman Neil Abercrombie, state legislators and others. The public was also in attendance.

Participants walked from Honolulu’s Police headquarters on South Beretania Street, through Kakaako. They stopped at the main offices of the Honolulu Fire Department and moved on to the Honolulu Federal Building before ending at Honolulu Hale for an extended ceremony. You could not help but feel a renewed sense of patriotism as we were all gathered there listening to the words of tribute from various community leaders. I am reminded of the events of 9-11-2001 as if they just occurred yesterday.

It is a good time to reflect and celebrate your freedom on this, one of America’s most sacred days to observe patriotism. God Bless America!

Additional Links:

  • Honoring America’s First Responders,, 9-11-06
  • First Responders 5 Years Later,, 9-11-06
  • Patriot Day 2006, by President George W. Bush, 9-11-06
  • A Walk to Remember, Honolulu, 9-11-06
  • Ache of Sept. 11 hasn’t faded for Islanders, Honolulu Advertiser, 9-11-06
  • Additional Photos from my website:

    Honolulu's 9-11 Observance

    Honolulu's 9-11 Observance

    Honolulu's 9-11 Observance

    Honolulu's 9-11 Observance

    Click on each photo to see a larger version.

    No Cabins on Ka Iwi

    No Cabins on Ka Iwi

    Opposition to QRM development proposal across the Ka Iwi shoreline in East Honolulu remains high. Yesterday several dozen people who oppose the development of 180 cabins and a commercial recreation resort on preservation zoned land rallied at Honolulu Hale to voice their opposition to the proposed project. This latest rally is the continuation of several public gatherings in which people don’t support development.

    While I don’t live in the Hawaii Kai area, I too am opposed to this development proposal. The land out there is quite dry, rocky and arid… did I say dry? There is also no infrastructure to support such a development, though I have heard that the developer would put in their own infrastructure.

    Still the place is one of the last pieces of open space on East Oahu. It is also a flashpoint for previous, and successful protests against development. Anyone remember the “Save Sandy Beach” effort in the 1980s? That became a successful campaign in halting the development of high end, near beachfront homes across from the popular body surfing spot. As I recall the issue was put on the ballot and people ended up voting against the development.

    Additional Links:

    We’re Looking for Bloggers

    The Metroblogging Hawaii website is looking for a few Hawaii based bloggers to write about Honolulu or anywhere else in the State.

    You can write about anything that occurs in Hawaii. Photos are great too. While the newer entries are somewhat newsy and political, just about any subject is open. Food has been very popular here in the recent past, and so has music. Since I am not a social butterfly as many others, gaps in those areas can be filled with new bloggers. Also if you like to go hiking, snorkeling, sailing, surfing or just hanging out in Hawaii, tell us your stories. Again photos are nice too. This after all is Hawaii.

    Also if you are a Flickr user, there is a Flickr Metroblogging Hawaii group that you can join and have your photos syndicated to this site (look on the right hand side of this post). Metroblogging Hawaii also has a MySpace presence (though I haven’t checked it) where you can link your MySpace to the Metroblog MySpace page.


    Go to the Metroblog website to view blogs from different cities and places around the world to get an idea of what’s happening and what you could be posting here. Hawaii is a great place, and this offers another avenue to share it.

    For more info:

    The only requirement is that you reside in the city you are blogging from (and in Hawaii’s case anywhere within the state)…. Here is the link to the application form:

    Hurry because I think there is only a limited time for enrollment.

    Charter Amendment For Increased Property Taxes

    An article at HawaiiReporter’s website outlines a Honolulu City Charter proposal that would mandate a certain percentage of property taxes be dedicated to “the acquisition or preservation of watersheds, drinking water sources, beaches, coastal areas and other natural, cultural and historical sites.” According to the article’s author Lowell Kalapa of the Tax Foundation of Hawaii, this proposed requirement will guarantee regular increases to Honolulu’s already high property taxes that people have been complaining about for several years.

    Kalapa also states “backers of the amendment obviously did not think the issue of preservation of natural resources could persuade enough voters to adopt the provision and therefore earmarked an equal amount to provide and maintain affordable housing for low-income families. The provision, to be considered by the Honolulu voters, will earmark one percent of real property tax collections for these purposes with the windfall to be divided equally between natural resource preservation and affordable housing.”

    Why should our money be earmarked for such purposes? Kalapa says this kind of funding is “poor public policy” as it “”restricts budget flexibility, creates inefficiencies and lessens accountability.”

    Read the article. If you are concerned about this charter amendment proposal taking away more of your hard earned money, be sure to vote this amendment down.

    Remember we are already paying some of the highest taxes in the State of Hawaii. Next year the General Excise Tax increases another 12.5% (thanks Governor Lingle) to pay for rail, the container redemption tax is slated to go up later this year and the state has a budget surplus that should be returned to the taxpayers. We cannot continue down this long and spiraling road of more tax increases to save property that is not ours or build homes that we won’t live in.

    Relevant Links:

    Friends of the Library Book Sale

    Friends of the Library Book Sale

    The 59th annual Hawaii Friends of the Library used book sale commenced on Saturday and will last for an entire week until this coming Saturday. More than 100,000 books, records, tapes, videos, CDs, DVDs, maps, and magazines are on sale, the proceeds of which benefit the Hawaii State Public Library System. The book sale is always a hit and draws thousands of bookworms and bargain hunters from all over the island, state and even the mainland. Unfortunately for the first time in its history, the state’s general excise tax is now being applied to purchases and being passed on to consumers.

    The book sale is held in Honolulu at the McKinley High School cafeteria.

    Anti-Smoking March

    Anti-Smoking March

    I was on my way to lunch this afternoon in downtown Honolulu when I happen to come across this small group of student marchers who were rallying against smoking. The Hawaii State Legislature passed a tougher smoking law that will ban the practice in most public places. The cigarette tax will also be increasing this year.

    Shot with fixed focused Sony Cybershot U30 mini digital.

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