KOHALA BLOG: A Kohala point of view by one of its residents: Margaret Wille. In my opinion...

Waikoloa News

Stephie Steans is president of the Waikoloa Seniors Club.  Here are a couple photos of their 2-18 meeting... and what a food fest they put on.  Each meeting - held on the third monday of the month - includes a speaker and plans for various activities.

Here are some important folks from Waikoloa whose testimony before the County Council made a big difference in the two proposed developments planned for the Paniolo and Waikoloa Road intersection -- Riverbend - the proposed commerical center and Waikoloa Mauka - a large residential development.... more on this in a future blog. 


Kawaihae Harbor shower - removed by the State: NOT OK.

According to the coconut wireless, the state has removed the shower that had been located at the harbor -- so that it would not interfere with the handicap parking on the left side of the photo... This situation is not okay...

All recreational activities seem to be as risk -- as the harbor is being taken over by commercial and military interests.

We need to take a stand so that this does not happen.

Sakura Ceremony at the Consulate General of Japan's home in Honolulu.

I was an honored guest at the Sakura ceremony held on February 15th at the home of the consulate general of Japan.  Sakura is the tradition of promoting friendship though gifts of cherry trees.   I met the consulate general when we both spoke about this tradition at the Waimea Cherry Blossom Festival held earlier this month.   Russell Kokubon - Director of Dept of Agriculture and Ann Kobayashi, Councilmember on the Honolulu City and County Council were also in attendance.  More on this when I have time.

County Council Agendas for 1/22 and 1/23 2013: Come to a Council Meeting and Make Your Voice Heard !!


The agenda's for the Kona 1/22 Council Committee meeting and the 1/23 Council meeting are attached below.  Come and let us know your concerns and your suggestions.

Appointment of Wally Lau as Managing Director:

Appointment of Michael Sumja to the Salary Commission:

Discussing my  Hi-5 Reso with DEM staff:

Dec 15 2012 Kona and Waikoloa parades Parade: Photos and Merry Christmas.

The Kona Parade

here I am  with councimembers Dru Kanuha and Karen Eoff:



HERE I AM STARTING UP THE WAIKOLOA PARADE (handed out leaflets for Waikoloa Community Youth group headed up by Chris Kutler.  Following the parade they had 90 hits on their website up from a nominal number.

New County Council Meets 12-3-12: Important Revisions to Council Rules Passed At First Meeting

Here are some important Council Procedural Rules passed at our first Council meeting held following the Inauguration.  I proposed these amendments at our organizational meeting held prior to the inauguration.  To get them on the agenda for the first meeting, Chairperson J Yoshimoto introduced them under his name (since I was not yet on the Council to place them on the agenda). These revisions can be summed up as promoting greater accountabily and transparency and efficiency of proceedings.

1.  Amends Rule No. 2 (Meetings), Section 1.

“1.  Regular Council Meetings.  The Council shall meet regularly at least twice in every month at the place and time designated by the Council.  Whenever possible, the meetings will be scheduled on the first and third Wednesday of each month.  The Council shall hold an equal number of meetings in East and West Hawai‘i[.To the extent possible public testimony shall begin at the time designated on the agenda.  Absent extenuating circumstances, ceremonial and other matters customarily handled in advance of Statements from the Public shall be handled prior to the time stated in the agenda for public testimony and shall be placed on the agenda.


Justification includes: Accountability to the public in terms of when public testimony commences.


2.  Amends Rule No. 2 (Meetings), Section 6(a)(1).

“6. Videoconference Meetings.

(a)  The Committees and Council may hold videoconference meetings provided that:


(1)     If a Council Member wishes to attend a meeting via videoconference, a written request shall be submitted to the Council or Committee Chairperson as well as simultaneously to all members of the Council, and approval obtained prior to the agenda deadline for that meeting.  The Chairperson shall handle the request in the following manner:


(A)     The request shall only be granted for compelling, urgent or

unusual  circumstances;

(B)    The request shall be read on the record prior to public testimony and be recorded in the minutes;

(C)    In case an emergency unexpectedly necessitates missing a Council or  Committee meeting, the Council Member shall advise the Chairperson 

         and the other Council Members as soon as possible; and

(D)  The Chairperson of the meeting shall make an announcement prior to public testimony to explain the reason for the Council Member’s absence.

Justification includes: The norm should be in person meetings -- presence promotes better working relationships among councilmembers, which contributes to a more effective and productive Council. Also having all councilmembers in the same location increases Accountability to those who want to testify in person to all members.


Amends Rule No. 2 (Meetings), Section 9.

“9.  Attendance.   If a Council Member is unable to attend a meeting, prior written notice shall be given to the Council or Committee Chairperson with the reason for absence clearly explained.  Repeated absences from in-person attendance by any Council Member may be cause for censure.


 Justification includes: The public has the right to expect attendance by all councilmembers unless there is good reason for absences.

Amends Rule No. 10 (Voting), Section 6.

“6.  No member shall refrain from voting unless excused by the Chairperson for a stated conflict of interest or is otherwise excused as provided herein.  Unless a member is excused from voting, silence shall be recorded as an affirmative vote.”

            Justification includes: The public has the right to expect all councilmembers to vote unless there is a conflict of interest or     
            some other allowable justification.

  Amends Rule No. 11 (Disclosure of Interest), Section 2(b).

“2.    Any member who has a substantial financial and/or personal interest directly affected in any action proposed or pending before the Council or a Committee shall refrain from deliberating on said action and shall be excused from voting on the matter thereon. 

(a)   “Substantial” means an interest which is sufficient in magnitude to influence one’s official action.

(b)  “Financial interest” means an interest held by a Council Member, his or her spouse, [or dependent children] domestic partner, children, siblings, parents, grandparents, or grandchildren, which is

(1)    an ownership interest in a business,

(2)    a creditor interest in an insolvent business,

(3)    an employment, or prospective employment, for which negotiations have begun,

(4)    an ownership interest in real or personal property,

(5)    a loan or other debtor interest, or

(6)    a directorship or officership in a business.”

                Justification includes: Provides more accountability and transparency by the councilmembers concerning disclosure of family member financial interests in the matter before the Council.

 Amends Rule No. 13 (Public Statements and Testimony), Section 3.

“3.  Oral Testimony.  Oral statements from any member of the public shall abide by the following:  . . . .


(c)     Persons sharing the same or similar points of view may testify as a group with one spokesperson who shall list the names of all persons in the group in attendance and may state their home community or district, and that listing of names shall not be considered as part of the time allotted for public testimony.

(d)    During public testimony, Council Members may ask the testifier a specific question, as opposed to making any comment of approval or disapproval or otherwise, and may request submission of specified additional information.

 Justification includes: 1.) Gives the public the option of testifying as a group; 2) Allows Councilmembers the opportunity to ask questions for clarification or for more information during the period of public testimony.
portion of the proceeding.

“6.  All certificates [which do not have a major impact or which do not affect a significant number of people, and are received less than six (6) days before the regular meeting date of the Council, may be considered at such meeting] shall be submitted no less than seven (7) days prior to the scheduled meeting date and shall be placed on the agenda prior to Statements from the Public, as provided above in Rule No. 16.


               Justification includes: Establishes that certificates are to be placed on the agenda so that the public has notice of this
               portion of the proceeding.

Having Fun At County Inauguration: photos Dec 3 2012

First here is repeat of the Inauguration ceremony -- see section #4 for County Council swearing in.

Then see fun photos.. me with friends,  fellow councilmembers,  mayor kenoi, and county prosecutor Mitch Roth.






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