• East Oahu News - Friday Update 08/19/2017

    Aug 18 - Kaiser High School in Hawaii Kai has forfeited its first two football games due to a shrinking roster.  Hawaii Prep World highlights some of the issues affecting both the team and Hawaii high school football overall. [Hawaii Prep World

    Aug 18 -  Chef Eric Oto has lived, learned and worked his whole life on Oahu. This month he debuts in his new post as chef de cuisine for Hoku's, Kahala Hotel and Resort's signature restaurant. Oto, a graduate of the culinary program at Oahu's Leeward Community College, worked his way up at Halekulani, becoming sous chef at Orchids restaurant. He then moved on to Four Seasons Ko Olina, where he helped open the Ko Olina Fish House as the sous chef. [Travel Weekly]

    Aug 15 - Following community outcry, the Kahala Hotel has pulled its environmental impact assessment regarding expansion of its wedding venue to shoreline areas. [HNN]

    Aug 14 - Middle school charter SEEQS began instruction at their new location, shared with them via generous consent of Kaimuki High School.  [Civil Beat]

    Aug 14 - The derelict home in Kaimuki that caused concern among neighbors has now been replaced by a new two-story home and new owners.  Honolulu City Councilmember Ann Kobayashi spoke to KHON2 regarding the subsequent ordinance and lessons learned. [KHON2]

    Aug 13 - Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii posted surveillance images online over the weekend of a man they believe stole a drone from their Kaimuki home office. The organization said the apparent robbery took place on Monday Aug. 7 just after 7:30 p.m. [HNN]

    Aug 12 - The Medical Examiner identified the fisherman swept away from the shores near the Kahala Hotel as Matthew Mabida-Bridges, 30, of Honolulu. Mabida-Bridges and his companion were fishing Aug 11 when a large wave knocked them off their feet.  [Star-Advertiser]

    Aug 11 - The Honolulu Police Department (HPD) has been ramping up its patrol of parking lots in the Makapuu area following a rash of vehicle break-ins. [HNN]

  • Neighborhood Board Elimination Proposal: does it spell the end for citizen democracy on Oahu?

    Neighborhood Boards are for busybodies, whiners, and otherwise unstable people.

    It's a commonly held notion, given Proposal #30 made by a private citizen on October 22, 2015.  Sadly, a small part of me believes it is true, although not for any reason that criticizes the individuals that tirelessly serve on it, nor because I believe that there is anything inherently wrong with those that seek a more grassroots community. 

    From the start, the intention was for the betterment of kama'aina.  In fact, it was voters that decided in 1973 to form neighborhood boards.  Yet somehow, on June 9 of this year, a meeting was to be held to discuss eliminating these very boards altogether. [Proposed Agenda]

    A little sleuthing (well -- given the state of the NCO website -- a lot of sleuthing) has uncovered that the initial suggestion of board elimination was brought about by Proposal #30 and acted upon by the Neighborhood Board Commission.  I am admittely a bit of a democracy voyeur when it comes to reading these documents first-hand.  I excerpt some of my favorite lines from the proposal here:

    I request the Charter Commission to research board membership . . .[and] consider the individuals who are voted to the boards. I believe some have mental issues, like there was one board member who claimed he was a law enforcement professional but admitted his police application was rejected, but since he always wanted to be a police officer, that was his profession.

    I believe it is a waste of resources to have police and fire officials, who are required to attend, provide reports, many times giving common sense reports like, "turn pot handles away from the front of the stove". . .

    Ultimately, this citizen suggested eliminating the neighborhood boards altogether.  This suggestion somehow found its way through a special committee of the Neighborhood Board Commission, which in turn -- without ever having consulted elected Neighborhood Board Members -- opted to hold a special meeting to discuss putting it on a ballot for citizen vote.

    This is where the whole process takes a somewhat Kafkaesque turn.  On one hand, a portion of hearing the citizen voice worked.  After all, it was a private citizen who asked for the matter to be taken up.  And to this citizen's credit, there were some very valid points made, including, "Over the years, interest in these boards have dwindled where several boards do not have a sufficient number of members to even make a quorum. Another problem has been that through interpretation, the boards have expanded their advisory role to voice concerns directly related to pure state issues. Boards have also directly interfered with private matters and one board was sued."

    However, in this very spirit of democracy, a singular citizen voice needs wider validation before being applied to all.  It was a referendum that brought about the boards.  Only a community vote could be applied to remove it.  Thankfully, the meeting to discuss board elimination was postponed indefinitely.  It doesn't take a genius to see that no one is going to vote to eliminate these boards that might one day be useful to them, even if they've never been to a meeting in their lifetime.

    Returning to the Charter Commission's agenda however, it was not necessarily their intent to remove citizen voice.  The higher calling from a May 16 meeting was the question of: “Should the City increase citizen participation in the decision of government though the use of electronic communication, such as television, Internet, and email, and eliminate the Neighborhood Board System?"

    It's an interesting proposal -- one that they've shown no proficiency in to date.  1.  They put out the proposal on a site prohibiting robots, the ones that index the web so that others can search it.  2.  They changed the link so that there is no permanent record of it existing, and 3. No one put so much as a courtesy advance communication out to ANY of the neighborhood boards so that they knew this October 22, 2015 proposal was in the pipeline.

    It's really the third sin that gets me hot under the collar.  In any case, it's pretty clear that citizens should reject the idea of board elimination until we find a better solution for broad community input.

    As for the initial idea that boards are made up of individuals that defy the definition of an average citizen -- it's true, and for both positive and less positive reasons.  I can rattle off a list of bizarre interactions that have taken place -- and that's just from reading the minutes, not having actually attended.  Yet, at the same time, I can also cite proactive interactions that won't cross your radar because the issue was taken care of before it became a bigger issue. Just remember, “It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government, except all those others that have been tried.”

     

  • Early Voting Locations on Oahu, August 1 - August 11, 2016

    Beginning today, if you are registered to vote in Hawaii, you may cast your vote at any early voting location through August 11.  Oahu early voting locations are

  • Oahu Recycling: Everything is Biodegradable When Burned

    eo sodacanholder recycle

    I've seen it time and time again: friends cutting six-pack soda rings so that no marine animal will be harmed.

    Only thing is: we burn our Oahu trash, so none of it ends up in landfills.

    If you think about it, it's probably the best solution for our island state.  Our trash is reduced to just 10 percent of its initial volume.  Metals, both ferrous and other, are sorted and recovered both before and after the incineration process.  The power that is produced is also captured and sold to Hawaiian Electric as alternate energy power.  The City and County of Honolulu has coined it H-Power.

    As I contemplate the implications while drinking a cup of Keurig coffee, I'm relieved.  No longer will I live with the guilt of non-biodegradable coffee pods or strangled marine mammals.  

    For those interested in the process, check out two videos from Opala.Org, the City's website.

     

     

  • Should Honolulu Neighborhood Boards be Eliminated?

    From Honolulu.gov

    ----------------------------------------------------

    June 3, 2016 

    On May 16, 2016 a Permitted Interaction Group of the Honolulu Charter Commission recommended that the Charter Commission place on the general election ballot the following question: “Should the City increase citizen participation in the decision of government though the use of electronic communication, such as television, Internet, and email, and eliminate the Neighborhood Board System?’

    The Charter Commission will be considering this recommendation at their meeting on Thursday, June 9, 2016 at 3:30 p.m. View the agenda here: AGENDA

    If you had previously submitted testimony ahead of the May 26 Charter Commission meeting that was cancelled, your testimony was kept and will be provided to the Charter Commissioners for their consideration. You do not need to resubmit it.

    Testimony may be submitted online.  Testimony may also be emailed.  Please be sure to indicate you are testifying on agenda item four (IV).

     

     

  • Costco or Sam's Club: Selection and Quality: An Oahu Overview (Part 2 of 2)

    Continued from part 1: Costco or Sam's Club: Convenience and Price: An Oahu Overview (Part 1 of 2)

    Selection

    To be fair, most of my Costco experience comes from the Hawaii Kai store.  The Costco Iwilei store has a broader and wider selection of goods than the Hawaii Kai one.  It is, after all, the Costco store with the highest sales worldwide.  With regard to Sam's Club, I've frequented both their Keeaumoku and Pearl City locations and they're a tad more identical to each other than the Costco locations which can vary in size.

    There are a couple of areas that Costco and Sam's Club differ in selection.  Costco has a wider variety of wine, a number of which falls in the under $10 category.  It also, coincidentally, has a wider variety of cheese; one presumes to go with the wider selection of wine.  In terms of other alcohol, both Costco and Sam's Club carry a wider variety than than most grocery stores.  Sam's Club has a wider variety of snacks than Costco.  This can be important if you're a Little League mom, or if you regularly need to contribute to the church potluck.  My son's eyes nearly popped out when he saw that he had a choice of not one type of Kit Kat, but four.  To be honest, the snack chip selection at Sam's Club is also jaw-dropping.  I like that they do sell boxes of one flavor rather than a variety pack.  With variety packs there's always one flavor no one likes, so that ends us sitting in the box while the kids have a fit because the ones they like are gone.

    If you're a business owner you'll appreciate the office supply section at Sam's Club.  It's bigger than Costco and carries daily supplies such as file folders in a variety of colors, envelopes of varying sizes and even different types of paper, like cardstock.  If you're a convenience store owner, you'll also appreciate the wider variety of beverages at Sam's Club.

    When it comes to produce, both Costco and Sam's Club keep a good stock of staples on hand like carrots, potatoes and celery.  Costco seems to pay more mind to organic offerings, whereas Sam's has a wider variety of unexciting but necessary vegetables like whole green onions and sliced cabbage for coleslaw.  Sam's Club also seems to keep more types of potatoes on hand than Costco.  Sam's usually has Yukon Gold, red, white, sweet and heirloom potatoes on hand in addition to Russets.  I'm not much of a potato person, but it's hard not to notice.

    As for the bakery, both offer nearly the same items.  Sam's Club seems to have more locally baked outside vendor products than Costco, for instance their hamburger and hot dog bun brand is Love's.  Sam's also seems to have more tortilla products, including larger flour tortillas for wraps.  The edge does go to Costco for In-house baked products, as they seem to have more of them -- in particular, varieties of cakes and pies.  Having said that, I like Sam's birthday cakes more.  I believe they still do buttercream frosting on it.  

    One of the areas that Costco does excel over Sam's Club is their limited-time, limited-quantity offerings.  By this, I mean items like furniture and clothing.  Costco is quite adept at picking out and merchandising attractive pieces for sale.  I don't necessarily get that same vibe from Sam's Club.  It seems to me that Costco sacrificed some of its floor space for these goods over the everyday, practical item shelves that define Sam's Club.

    One area I don't have enough knowledge of, is their tire departments.  Both Costco and Sam's have them, and both offer installation too.

    And as a last note, because my family seems to eat more pizza than any other family I know, Sam's Club's take and bake pizza is just $6.98 and is preferred over the Costco take and bake which is $8.99.  I believe they are roughly the same size.  

    Quality

    I'm going to give this one to Costco, only because if you don't like what you bought, Costco has the most flexible return policy anywhere.  In fact, if you don't like your membership, they'll even give you back the prorated portion of it.  Costco also has a program that automatically extends the warranty on a number of electronic items such as televisions and computers. With their new Citibank VISA you may be able to extend the warranty on all your purchases without an extra fee.

    As for individual items carried at both retailers, each has good quality tried-and-true products.  I guess that's what happens when you're Walmart and Costco, the number one and number two retailers in the country.  Surveys occasionally have the Sam's Club brand surpassing Costco in satisfaction surveys and both are always near the top of the major retail brands when it comes to customer satisfaction.

    Conclusion

    At the start of this two part article, I stated that the number one consideration to take into account when picking a membership is convenience.  If you live near Costco, pick it.  If you live near Sam's Club, pick it instead.  

    I'll end this with a bit of nostalgia.  I remember how hard it was to make ends meet before warehouse clubs.  Even after the advent of their arrival, I recall thawing a five-pound brick of NIQF (not-individually-quick-frozen) chicken thighs, splitting it into 3 or so portions and making food for the rest of the week with it.  Milk?  Out of the question.  My husband recalls growing up on Milkman (powdered milk) and going to a friend's house to snag the real stuff out of the refrigerator.  

    Milkman powdered milk
    Growing up in Hawaii do you remember Milkman powdered milk?

     

  • 2016 Summer movies for $1 at Consolidated Theatres - Koko Marina

    Consolidated Theatres has announced its lineup of $1 summer movies for the Keiki Hui Club.  Movies take place throughout June and July on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 10:00am.  Tickets can also be purchased in advance at the box office.  Save your ticket too. Some Koko Marina merchants will also offer a discount to moviegoers with recent ticket stubs.

    [Click here and search events for Wednesday and Thursday}

    June 1 & 2 - Lego Movie

    June 8 & 9 - Hotel Transylvania 2

    June 15 & 16 - How to Train Your Dragon 2

    June 22 & 23 - Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip

    June 29 & 30 - Minions

    July 6 & 7 - The Peanuts Movie

    July 13 & 14 - Home

    July 20 & 21 - Mr. Peabody and Sherman

    July 27 & 28 - The Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out of Water

  • Summertime 2016 Dollar Movie Schedule for Windward Mall Regal Theatres

     

     

    Theater Location Distance Start Date  
    Regal Windward Stadium 10 Kaneohe, HI 10.9 May 31  
    All movies start at 10AM and are rated G or PG View theater details
    Week Dates Movies
    Week 1 Tue May 31 
    Wed June 1
    The Lego Movie
    Max
    ***BOTH MOVIES PLAY ON BOTH DAYS***
    Week 2 Tue June 7 
    Wed June 8
    Goosebumps
    Iron Giant: Signature Edition
    ***BOTH MOVIES PLAY ON BOTH DAYS***
    Week 3 Tue June 14 
    Wed June 15
    Pan
    The Smurfs 2
    ***BOTH MOVIES PLAY ON BOTH DAYS***
    Week 4 Tue June 21 
    Wed June 22
    Despicable Me 2
    Home
    ***BOTH MOVIES PLAY ON BOTH DAYS***
    Week 5 Tue June 28 
    Wed June 29
    Minions
    The Peanuts Movie
    ***BOTH MOVIES PLAY ON BOTH DAYS***
    Week 6 Tue July 5 
    Wed July 6
    Alvin & The Chipmunks: The Road Chip
    Curious George
    ***BOTH MOVIES PLAY ON BOTH DAYS***
    Week 7 Tue July 12 
    Wed July 13
    The Book of Life
    Hotel Transylvania 2
    ***BOTH MOVIES PLAY ON BOTH DAYS***
    Week 8 Tue July 19 
    Wed July 20
    Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2
    Shaun The Sheep
    ***BOTH MOVIES PLAY ON BOTH DAYS***
    Week 9 Tue July 26 
    Wed July 27
    The Croods
    Dr. Suess' The Lorax
    ***BOTH MOVIES PLAY ON BOTH DAYS***
             
  • East Oahu News - Friday Update 4/1/2016

    On March 30, 2016 Representative Gene Ward announced the defeat of House Resolution 21 and related HCR54.  The measure sought to exchange Bishop Estate lands with Hawaiian Homelands and would directly impact the status of the Great Lawn fronting Maunalua Bay by potentially making it available to development. [Gene Ward via Twitter] [Gene Ward on measure]

    Wind and weather conditions brought down power on March 25, 2016.  Outages were reported islandwide, including Aina Haina, Niu Valley and Hawaii Kai.  Three generating units and the H-Power plant went down briefly, prompting Hawaiian Electric to issue a conservation order for a brief period of time. [Hawaii News Now]

    Unnamed Honolulu City Spokesperson nixes North Shore playground built by volunteers.  Cites decade-long Niu Valley process as proper and states that Niu Valley playground is slated for Summer 2016 completion. [KHON]

    After a brief health scare earlier this month, Sam Slom (R-Hawaii Kai) was back on the job voting against a measure to reduce state judges'  retirement benefits. He was joined in his dissent by State Senators Maile Shimabukuro and Laura Thielen [CivilBeat]

    Friends of Hanauma Bay has staved off a proposal to allow Roberts Hawaii to transport busloads of tourists to the site while screening the mandatory video in its buses.  The proposal is believed to have been a means for circumventing limitations on daily visitors to the park. [Friends of Hanauma Bay] [Civil Beat]

    From February 2016 Minutes of the Hawaii Kai Neighborhood Board:

    • A traffic sign "Yield to Pedestrians" will be installed at Keahole Street and Hawaii Kai Drive.  The sign is the City's response to the Board's intersection concerns.  The Board had proposed a more concrete solution, such as a turn lane.
    • A bill to form a Maunalua Bay advisory committee has been deferred.
    • Regulations are in place for homeowners to keep vegetation from hindering public access to beaches.  These rules pertain to areas such as Portlock.
    • Hahaione Elementary School Principal Shannon Goo is being recognized for the school's prestigious "Blue Ribbon" status.
    • Despite concerns over the appearance of the Hawaii Kai Shopping Center and its maintenance, the Board stressed that the land is private property and not within the jurisdiction of the Board.
    • The Board has moved to support Senate Bill 2358 which would require proof by City contractors of legal dumping.
    [Neighborhood Board Minutes - PDF]

    Four Niu Valley Middle School students were among the finalists for the 2016 'Olelo video contest.  Over 900 competed.  Here are their entries:

     

     

  • NOAA's Proposed Changes to Humpback Sanctuary Rules - What it Means for Maunalua Bay

    I read about NOAA's proposed changes to the The Hawaiian Islands National Marine Sanctuary three months ago.  I knew about the informational meeting held on April 28 in Niu Valley.  In fact, I posted it to the event calendar, as I always do when there is an event relevant to the East Oahu area.  So, imagine my amazement upon reading that Robin Jones, vice president of the Hawaii Kai Marina Association, which represents three Hawaii Kai shopping centers and about 2,000 commercial operators and residents, only heard about the planned designation last month.  Really?

    Truth is, I skimmed through the proposal in March and found nothing extraordinary about it.  In short, there are four proposals currently on the table, one of them being status quo.  Only two proposals, albeit including the recommended one, directly impacts Maunalua Bay,  

    ,

    Under proposals 3 and 4, the following area is added to the designation 

    Again, it is important to note that this affects just two of the four scenarios put forth by NOAA.  The newly added Special Sanctuary Management Area (SSMA) would differ from the current designation only in a few ways.  Notably, none of the changes would adversely affect Maunalua Bay users other than those that might remove signage, introduce invasive species, or chase whales. Admittedly, the proposal could affect fireworks launched from the Bay, but as Civil Beat reports, Malia Chow, sanctuary superintendent for the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary said that if the regulations are adopted, NOAA may still allow fireworks.  Overall, NOAA's goal in issuing these proposals is more administrative than anything.  The primary purpose for proposals 2-4 is to streamline jurisdiction and remove overlapping authorities.

    My take on Saturday's protesters is that they are well-meaning citizens spurred into action by Hawaii Kai Marina business owners with self-serving motives.  I personally think that NOAA's overall plan for proposal 3 is prudent and I will submit my comments accordingly.

     

     

     

  • Summer School Programs on Oahu

    Hawaii's schools have notoriously short summer breaks.  For public schools, the school year ends at the end of May and reconvenes in the later part of July.  Many parents ask what options are available.  I've begun compiling an informal listing of programs and links which can be found here.

    http://eastoahu96825.com/index.php/education/summer-school-oahu

    You'll also find access through the top menu as a subcategory under Education.

     

  • Too Much Homework in Hawaii?

    An often cited study warns against too much homework.  "Our findings on the effects of homework challenge the traditional assumption that homework is inherently good" wrote Denise Pope, a senior lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Education and a co-author of a study published in the Journal of Experimental Education, [article by Clifton B. Parker]

    While excessive homework may be a issue, the bigger question is how much homework is too much, and does it apply to Hawaii schoolchildren?  Schools in the above study averaged more than three hours per day.  The lowest school mean was 2.38 hours per night and the highest was 3.59.  On the surface, there appears to be a large disconnect between the Silicon Valley culture and Hawaii: I can't fathom my children studying an average of three hours a day outside of school.

    Surprisingly, it appears that one Hawaii school does.