Tag Archives: reporter Nancy Cook Lauer

County seeks zoning variance as golf building crowds road | Hawaii Tribune-Herald


Traffic whizzes along the narrow two-lane Haihai Street as construction equipment stirs the dust Friday at the site of a $17.5 million upgrade to the island’s only county-owned golf course.

Source: County seeks zoning variance as golf building crowds road | Hawaii Tribune-Herald (http://hawaiitribune-herald.com/news/local-news/county-seeks-zoning-variance-as-golf-course-building-crowds-road).

Accessed on 15 October 2016, 16:00 hrs, UTC.

Reporter:  Nancy Cook Lauer (“West Hawaii Today”).

Please click link to read the full story.

Comment:

According to reporter Nancy Cook Lauer, the Hawaii County Department of Parks and Recreation “is seeking an after-the-fact variance to allow for a 10-foot setback instead of the required 20 feet” for a maintenance building at the Hilo Municipal Golf Course bordering Haihai Street.  In addition, Parks and Recreation officials wants an 8-foot-high concrete block shielding a fuel tank covered by the requested variance.  The block extends more than 42 feet from the side of the golf cart storage building, which is more than allowed by the 20-foot setback rule.

Letters were sent to area property owners telling them about the proposed variance request.  The public has until 14 November 2016 to send comments to Planning Department.  Department director Duane Kanuha will make a decision about the variance by 21 November 2016.


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Opinions expressed in this blog are mine unless otherwise stated.

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Until next time,

Russ Roberts

Hawaii News Digest

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Kim continues to fill his Cabinet | Hawaii Tribune-Herald


Mayor-elect Harry Kim has tapped another old hand for his Cabinet.

Source: Kim continues to fill his Cabinet | Hawaii Tribune-Herald (http://hawaiitribune-herald.com/news/local-news/kim-continues-to-fill-his-cabinet).

Accessed on 14 October 2016, 15:30 hrs, UTC.

Reporter:  Nancy Cook Lauer (“West Hawaii Today”).

Please click link to read the full story.

Comment:

Mayor-elect Harry Kim continues to fill his cabinet with familiar faces.  The latest appointee is Frank DeMarco, who will become the director of the Department of Public Works after confirmation by the Hawaii County Council. DeMarco has been with county government since 2007, where he worked on floodplain management. He also served briefly in Mayor Billy Kenoi’s cabinet as Environmental Management director in 2010 and 2011.

Another former Kim appointee is Dianne Ley, who will head the Department of Research and Development.

Neil Gyotoku, a former acting Hawaii County Civil Defense administrator, will head the Department of Housing and Community Development.

Kim said he’s received around 200 resumes from people seeking county employment.


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Opinions expressed in this blog are mine unless otherwise stated.

Thanks for joining us today!

Until next time,

Russ Roberts

Hawaii News Digest

 

Onishi wants to consult for county | Hawaii Tribune-Herald


After almost 30 years of government work, Hilo County Councilman Dennis “Fresh” Onishi is ready to start his own business once he leaves the council in December.

Source: Onishi wants to consult for county | Hawaii Tribune-Herald (http://hawaiitribune-herald.com/news/local-news/onishi-wants-consult-county).

Accessed on 12 October 2016, 15:40 hrs, UTC.

Reporter:  Nancy Cook Lauer (“West Hawaii Today”).

Please click link to read the full story.

Comment:

When he leaves the Hawaii County Council in December 2016, Dennis “Fresh” Onishi wants to become as a planning consultant for Hawaii County.

In his request to the Hawaii County Board of Ethics, Onishi asked for an advisory opinion on his request to be a “specialist who provides guidance at the initial stages of a project, including securing of planning permission, coordinating the input of consultants,…and county departments…”

According to reporter Nancy Cook Lauer, Onishi asked for the ethics ruling because “the county forbids former officers or employees from assisting or representing others for a fee ‘in relation to any specific application or pending legislation with which the former officer or employee, in the course of the former officer or employee’s official duties with the county…had been directly concerned…had under active consideration or had obtained information which by law is not available to the general public’ for 12 months after leaving office.”

After a closed hearing with Onishi, the Hawaii County Board of Ethics postponed action until Onishi leaves office.  The issue will be discussed at the board’s 06 December 2016 meeting.


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Opinions expressed in this blog are mine unless otherwise stated.

Thanks for joining us today!

Until next time,

Russ Roberts

Hawaii News Digest

Improvements, but no lifeguards, for Kekaha Kai park | Hawaii Tribune-Herald


The state Department of Land and Natural Resources reissued a finding of no significant environmental impact for the second phase of improvements to Kekaha Kai State Park.

Source: Improvements, but no lifeguards, for Kekaha Kai park | Hawaii Tribune-Herald (http://hawaiitribune-herald.com/news/local-news/improvements-no-lifeguards-kekaha-kai-park).

Accessed on 11 October 2016, 15:50 hrs, UTC.

Reporter:  Nancy Cook Lauer (“West Hawaii Today”).

Please click link to read the full story.

Comment:

Now that the state Department of Land and Natural Resources has found “no significant environmental impact” for the second phase of improvements to Kekaha Kai State Park, upgrades can continue at the popular ocean recreation site along the Kona Coast.

One component of the park that remains unresolved is the adding of lifeguards “to the increasingly popular but risky Kua Bay”.  The state has yet to release $200,000 for lifeguards.  North Kona Councilwoman Karen Eoff and Hawaii Island state Representative Cindy Evans vowed “to keep working to get lifeguards at the beach.


For the latest Hawaii Island, state of Hawaii, national, and sports news, please check out the blog sidebars. These news feeds are updated daily.

Opinions expressed in this blog are mine unless otherwise stated.

Thanks for joining us today!

Until next time,

Russ Roberts

Hawaii News Digest

Yokoyama’s ‘lifetime legacy’ honored | Hawaii Tribune-Herald


Local political powerhouse George Yokoyama received a special gift Monday night for his 90th birthday — a key to the county.

Source: Yokoyama’s ‘lifetime legacy’ honored | Hawaii Tribune-Herald (http://hawaiitribune-herald.com/news/local-news/yokoyama-s-lifetime-legacy-honored).

Accessed on 21 September 2016, 12:05 hrs, UTC.

Reporter:  Nancy Cook Lauer (“West Hawaii Today”).

Please click link to read the full story.

Comment:

On Monday, 19 September 2016, 90-year-old community activist George Yokoyama was given “a key to the county.”  This award for outstanding community service has been given only three time during Mayor Billie Kenoi’s administration.  The special gift was bestowed on Yokoyama at the Hilo Yacht Club for  “his four decades of service to the Hawaii Economic Opportunity Council, a nonprofit aimed at helping low-income individuals become self-sufficient.”

Hawaii Island State Representative Cindy Evans said “One thing about George, he knows how to ask for money,” a talent which has “brought almost $100 million in state and federal grant money to the Big Island.”

Yokoyama seemed a bit surprised by the honor and by all of the attention. Although Yokoyama no longer directs the daily activities of the HCEOC, he still maintains an office there and advises those pursuing grants for the nonprofit organization.


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Opinions expressed in this blog are mine unless otherwise stated.

Thanks for joining us today!

Until next time,

Russ Roberts

Hawaii News Digest

More overtime; Costs adding up for Hilo golf course project | Hawaii Tribune-Herald


Parks and Recreation officials told a County Council panel Tuesday that contractors on a second project in addition to the Ka‘u gym are likely to receive county-subsidized overtime pay to hasten completion.

Source: More overtime; Costs adding up for Hilo golf course project | Hawaii Tribune-Herald (http://hawaiitribune-herald.com/news/local-news/more-over-time-cots-adding-golf-coure-project).

Accessed on 21 September 2016, 21:50 hrs, UTC.

Reporter:  Nancy Cook Lauer.

Please click link to read the full story.

Comment:

According to Deputy Director James Komata, the contractor for the Hilo Municipal Golf Course project and Hawaii County are discussing how to speed up the work “that could result in the county paying overtime on the $17 million Hilo Municipal Golf Course project.”

Komata told members of the Hawaii County Council that completing the work as soon as possible is necessary because of “loss of revenue for the county and concessionaires, as well as dangerous conditions when golfers try to maneuver around heavy equipment.”

Despite the various reasons given for requesting overtime pay, Hilo Councilman Aaron Chung said “I don’t buy it…I don’t see what the rush is…from a fiscal standpoint, I don’t really like the idea of paying contractors overtime.”

Outgoing Kohala Councilwoman Margaret Willie said she sympathized with county officials who want the project done before leaving office.  However, she added that “The administration shouldn’t be focusing on paying more t get things done during this administration.”


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Opinions expressed in this blog are mine unless otherwise stated.

Thanks for joining us today!

Until next time,

Russ Roberts

Hawaii News Digest

OT adds up as county rushes to meet mayor’s deadline | Hawaii Tribune-Herald


PAHALA — The screech of steel on steel echoed through the cavernous Ka‘u gym Saturday, as contractors worked overtime to meet an Oct. 4 deadline.

Source: OT adds up as county rushes to meet mayor’s deadline | Hawaii Tribune-Herald (http://hawaiitribune-herald.com/news/local-news/ot-adds-county-rushes-meet-mayor-s-deadline).

Accessed on 18 September 2016, 15:30 hrs, UTC.

Reporter:  Nancy Cook Lauer (“West Hawaii Today”).

Please click link to read the full story.

Comment:

Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi wants the trouble-plagued Ka’u Gym project done by 04 October 2016. He has authorized overtime and the spending of an additional $228,000 to have the facility dedicated before he leaves office in December 2016.  At one time, the mayor fired and later rehired three county engineers in an attempt to get the long-delayed facility built.

The new Ka’u Gym includes a variety of features, including “an auxiliary building, athletic courts, multipurpose rooms, restrooms, lobby, concession area, storage rooms, a locker and shower room…” and “will feature three NCAA regulation size courts.”  The gym will also serve as an emergency shelter, accommodating up to 1,928 people.


For the latest Hawaii Island, state of Hawaii, national, and sports news, please check out the blog sidebars. These news feeds are updated daily.

Opinions expressed in this blog are mine unless otherwise stated.

Thanks for joining us today!

Until next time,

Russ Roberts

Hawaii News Digest