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August 18, 2016 - The fourth annual Keith Dinsmoor Trophy Regatta was held in the waters off Lahaina near Mala Wharf in West Maui on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 13 and 14.  Representing the Hawaii Kai Boat Club, this year's overall winner was Gavin Ball. [Lahaina News

August 17, 2016 - Civil Beat's long-read on toxoplasmosis highlights the danger feral cat feces pose to endangered species.  At least eight critically endangered Hawaiian monk seals, two spinner dolphins, nene geese and native birds over the past 15 years have died from the parasitic disease.  At issue is whether the current policy of Trap-Neuter-Release (TNR) is working with just 10,000 cats sterilized of an estimated population of 300,000.  Hawaii Kai's feral cat colony was featured prominently throughout the article. [Civil Beat]

August 16, 2016 - ProService Hawaii, a staffing company headquartered in Hawaii Kai, is buying HiHR, the human resources arm of The Hawaii Group.  The purchase will boost ProService's total of worksite employees served to more than 30,000, the two companies said Monday. [PBN]

August 15, 2016 - The State Health Department traced the Hepatitis A outbreak to raw scallops consumed at Genki Sushi restaurants.  All locations, including the restaurant in Aina Haina, were ordered closed until further notice [Civil Beat]

August 15, 2016 - KITV weighs in on the contest between Hawaii Kai's incumbent State Senator Sam Slom and challenger Stanley Chang.  [KITV]

August 15, 2016 - A Hawaii Kai man has been charged with murder in a Makiki stabbing. [Star Advertiser]

August 13, 2016 - Hahaione PTSA has set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for playground repairs following last week's vandalism.

eo waimanalo feed supply storefront

Because I'm told that fish don't count, our family's first "real" pet is a rabbit.  He's a Netherland Dwarf, a tiny little black creature that lives in a three-story one-of-a-kind apartment.  I've always bought partial bales of Timothy hay for him on Amazon.  It seemed like a good deal, usually about $30 for ten pounds.  That was before I discovered Waimanalo Feed Supply.

I pass by the store all the time.  It's just 20 minutes from Hawaii Kai and on the way to multiple destinations on the Windward side.  It's right next to Shima's supermarket and near the Jack-in-the-Box.  There is ample parking right in front of the store.  Inside, you'll find a variety of pretty much everything.  Most of it pertains to animals, but if you're short on time, you can also buy your laundry soap there, or perhaps a can of SPAM.

Long story short, I bought a 3 pound bag of Timothy hay for $5.10 including tax.  Just to show you how much hay that is, I took a picture right next to our diminutive pet.  

eo waimanalo feed hay

Waimanalo Feed Supply is open Monday through Saturday, closed Sunday.  Be sure to check out their website for holidays and hours.

 

August 11, 2016 - Vandals damaged Hahaione Elementary School's playground over the August 6 weekend.  The $45,000 structure, paid for with community donations, will have to be removed at a cost of $20,000. [HNN]

 

August 11, 2016 - Kila Ka‘aihue tells Hawaii Prep World how uncanny timing delivered him  from Iolani grad to MLB player to Head Coach for Kaiser High School's baseball team. [Hawaii Prep World]

 

August 9, 2016 - Niu Valley Middle School has been selected as one of 28 schools in the R.E.A.C.H program. R.E.A.C.H.’s mission is to ensure all public school students in grades 6 to 8 receive the academic and community-based support they need to stay on track toward high school graduation by engaging them in a broad-base of programs and activities, outside of regular instructional hours, in the areas of academic enrichment, arts and culture, and athletics. [Governor's News Release]

 

 

As most kama'aina know, credit union membership is a must here in the Islands; service is more personal and consumer value can't be beat.  Although membership is often limited to certain groups, many credit unions have a special loophole through which average residents can apply.  

eo hawaii executive plazaHawaii State Federal Credit Union (HSFCU) has announced it will open a new branch at the Hawaii Kai Executive Plaza, 6700 Kalanianaole Hwy # 110, the location HawaiiUSA Credit Union once occupied.

As far as accesibility, credit unions have fewer branches overall when compared to banks.  However, they participate in a code sharing program that allows members to bank at any NCUA institution.  They also have other types of reciprocal arrangements.  For instance, HSFCU has an ATM agreement with Bank of Hawaii and members can access their money at Bank of Hawaii ATMs without extra charges.

I'm told that the Hawaii Kai branch is scheduled to open in early September, but may open slightly earlier in a soft opening.  For those who want to know how to become a member, check out their FAQs on membership eligibility.  Generally speaking, it's open to State and County employees.  However, HSFCU's resident entryway is Friends of the Library membership.  If you become a member of Friends of the Library of Hawaii, you can apply for HSFCU membership too.

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.”

 

The Hawaii Kai Goodwill donation shack has been removed from the Park and Ride near the Dog Park.  I spoke to Goodwill, and there is no intent to bring it back.  It was communicated to Goodwill that the Hawaii Kai community took issue with it, so it is permanently closed.

 

I've updated the Recycling page.