Around the Island Newscast | Hawaii Island | Nov. 23, 2011
Residents of Hilo and the surrounding districts had a chance to voice their opinion on the final draft of the proposed district map on Tuesday evening.
Members of the County Redistricting Commission sat through the testimony here in the Hilo council chamber, in what will be the last public hearing before the map is finalized on Nov. 30th.
The map was an exercise in compromise in many ways. The fast-growing Puna got its two dedicated districts and will therefor have two council representatives going forward. But it does not look like they will be getting Volcano Village back. That town – traditionally considered a part of Puna – will remain in Ka’u.
The current Hamakua district avoided any dramatic cuts, and all the towns that made up the district before will continue to cast votes for shared representation.
The redrawing of the lines in Hilo is creating some political match-ups for council incumbents.
Current District 3 councilmember J Yoshimoto and District 4 councilmember Dennis Fresh Onishi will be based out of the same district once the new boundaries are established… that means they will go head to head for the same seat in the upcoming election, if they both run for the office.
On Tuesday, the county unveiled the first 40 units of Na Kaulana O Ulu Wini, also known as the Kaloko Transitional Housing project.
Located off Hina-Lani Street, the project will eventually become a 96-unit, service enriched project, and will provide case management, mail & computer access, employment and life skills training, mental health services, counseling and childcare.
The complex was built by the county’s Office of Housing and Community Development, and oversight of the various on-site resources will be provided by the procured program operator, HOPE Services Hawaii, formerly the Care-A-Van program of the Diocese of Honolulu. The transitional component replaces the former Kawaihae Transitional Housing Project, which had to be shut down because of its use of large-capacity cesspools.
The county says the transitional component of the program will house and serve families impacted by homelessness and earning less than 30 percent of the county’s adjusted median income, or AMI, while the rental component will house families earning less than 50 percent of the county’s AMI. The project and programs will give preference to families experiencing homelessness.
It was an emotional day for those involved.
A big donation will help a Waimea-based charter school create a media studio.
Parker School has announced that it has received a $50,000 grant from the First Hawaiian Bank Foundation.
that will be used for the creation of a new middle and upper school media studio. On Monday, November 21, Victoria Hasty, vice-president of First Hawaiian Bank and Harold Hughes, vice-president and area manager of the Kamuela branch of First Hawaiian Bank, visited the school and presented the check to headmaster Carl Sturges.
The facility is expected to be completed in the summer of 2012 and will be named the First Hawaiian Bank Media Studio, according to Carl Sturges, Parker School headmaster.
For the media studio, an existing building on Parker’s upper campus will be renovated and the 475 square foot space will be equipped with video conferencing and podcasting equipment, still photography cameras, a SmartBoard, film editing resources and a conference table.
There will be a floating lantern ceremony at Punaluu on Saturday, part of a Community Thanksgiving potluck. The event, sponsored by Ka`u Rural Health Community Association in partnership with the American Cancer Society and HMSA, takes place from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Ka’u’s famous Black Sands Beach.
Registration is required, and donations will be used for a college scholarship fund for students enrolled in health careers. There will be Taiko drummers, music, cultural dance, interfaith chants and prayers, followed by a lantern release into the ocean. For more information, call Ka`u Resource and Distance Learning Center at 928-0101.
Tim Bryan brings us this special report on a difference in philosophy here on Hawaii Island… the state wants to shoot sheep and goats from helicopters in order to protect the forest, but many local hunters are opposed to the measure. It all came to a head during a recent series of DLNR meetings on the island.