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.
Hawaii 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.
I'm going to call my first attempt at livestreaming a flop: A disaster: A good idea whose time has not yet come.
Livestreaming has been in the news quite a bit lately, from the House Democrats' sit-in to the Minnesota police shooting of Philando Castile. In the first example, on June 22, 2016, House of Representative Democrats staged a sit-in to force a vote on gun control. CSPAN would normally have broadcast it, but -- CSPAN directives are given by House staffers: that is, the controlling Republican majority. They ordered the cameras turned off. Democrats responded by livestreaming video through Periscope while posting updates through Facebook. In the second example, Philando Castile, an unarmed black man, was shot dead at a traffic stop. His girlfriend had the livestream video running the whole time, from the confrontation to his death. The video added additional evidence to U.S. outrage over black deaths at the hands of law enforcement and sparked yet more protests and calls for action.
My own experience pales in comparison.
First, I thought I'd shoot the opening before the start of the ESSA Town Hall meeting at Kalani. That left me walking with the phone in front of me, talking to myself. I grabbed a quick glimpse of a what was still a nearly empty school cafeteria. Then, I moved to a corner of the courtyard to continue to talk to myself. No one. No one joined the stream. . .then one. . .he/she said "Hi." This was my highlight. I was about to reply. Then the phone rang. It was my husband. I purposely hung up on him, not knowing if this was being caught live. He called again. I answered. "Yes." He said, "I'm at Costco. Need anything?" To this day, I have not yet reviewed what was captured on the livestream. I guess the world can know we have stocked up on milk.
Next, on to the live notetaking during the meeting. I would call that a measured success. I rigged up a clipboard with a makeshift phone holder, connected a bluetooth keyboard and typed as the meeting went on. I'd say they're among the better notes I've taken and best of all, they're done and posted all in one step. You can review the first draft at EastOahu96825.com/gpublic, where I keep all of the Google Drive public documents related to this site. The [direct link] is here. I'll use those notes to write a short review of the meeting soon.
I had promised a follow-up livestream through Periscope, but alas, I had problems connecting at the coffee shop my friend and I stopped at. Truthfully, I was pretty much done with the humbling experience of livestreaming, at least for now.
Your presence is requested.
Reminder reposted here:
ESSA TOWN HALL MEETING -
If you can't make it, I will livestream just before the event at around 5:45 pm, and also following, at around 8 pm. You can watch it through Periscope, or through my Twitter feed. This is my first time working with the technology, so please bear with me as I do my best.
I will also attempt to report live via Google Docs. I'm not sure if I'll be able to do it, but if you want to follow along & possibly comment, the link is here. [ESSA Town Hall, Aug. 10, 2016 at Kalani HS]
Pre-reading materials are available through http://eastoahu96825.com/gpublic
From time to time, I receive a surplus of chives from friends and neighbors. I also, from time to time, crave chive kim chee. It's the ultimate in local smelly fermented food. Once you've had some, you'll be hooked. Just make sure everyone else tries it too so that no one can complain about the aroma. In any case, it's too much work to make kim chee from scratch, so I just buy a huge tub of won bok kim chee from Costco, eat a little to make room for the chives, blanch the chives, then let it sit for at least a day. Voila! Chive kim chee.
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.”