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A newsletter from the office of Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi December 2011


In This Edition

Alliance encourages shoppers to help friends and neighbors by keeping more money on the island.
32 decorated Christmas trees, including these, adorned the atrium of the Hawaii County Building.

Think Local, Buy Local Month - 2

The 16th annual motorcade and toy drive brought Christmas to needy keiki on Hawaii Island.

Toys for Tots Rumbles On - 3

From Dec. 15 23, the Hawaii County Building in Hilo lit up with the Magic of Christmas. The centerpiece of the affair was the atrium of the building, adorned with 32 Christmas trees and other lights and decorations. Each department got to decorate one or more trees to share their holiday spirit with members of the community.

Magic of Christmas comes to County Building

Two new housing projects opened in the last month join the West Hawaii Emergency Shelter to cover a spectrum of housing challenges.

Homes For The Holidays - 4

Every weeknight, a different County department hosted an open house with entertainment and refreshments for the whole community. Evening entertainment included Braddah Waltah, Aunty Darlene Ahuna, Hlau Kou Lima Nani with Kumu Iwalani Kalima, EDGE, Island Harmony, and the Ol School Band.

Santa Claus joined in the festivities on two nights of the Magic of Christmas.

In addition to the evening festivities, school groups stopped by the building through the week and a half as part of their rounds of Christmas caroling around town. Groups included several grades from Ka Umeke Keo, the Hawaiian immersion public charter school from Keaukaha, and keiki and parents from the YWCA Preschool in Downtown Hilo. We wanted to invite our citizens to celebrate the joy of the holiday season. Im so glad that hundreds of folks, from keiki to kupuna, were able to enjoy the Hawaii County Building, where their government works hard every day for them, said Mayor Kenoi.

The annual Employee Recognition program celebrates excellent public service by our employees.

County Employees Recognized - 7

Keiki from Ka Umeke Keo were among those who brought joyous carols to the building.

Holomua December 2011

Mayor proclaims December Think Local, Buy Local Month

Calling it an opportunity to help our neighbors, Mayor Kenoi on Dec. 1 proclaimed December as Think Local, Buy Local month on Hawaii Island. All were talking about here is helping each other, said Kenoi, who read the proclamation on Dec. 1 at the historic Mooheau Bandstand in Downtown Hilo. Helping each other is one of those values which we treasure here in Hilo, he said, joined to mark the event by the Hilo Downtown Improvement Association, Hawaii Alliance for a Local Economy and local business owners. The Alliance developed this pilot public education initiative which highlights how purchasing locally made and grown products and shopping at locally owned businesses can benefit the island community, environment and economy. The Think Local, Buy Local initiative is being launched in downtown Hilo in partnership with the Hilo Downtown Improvement Association and 40 locally owned businesses. Participating Hilo

Mayor Kenoi reads a proclamation declaring December Think Local, Buy Local Month in Hawaii County in a ceremony at the Mooheau Bandstand on Dec. 1.

Signs like this one are displayed in the windows of merchants participating in the Think Local, Buy Local initiative in Hawaii County.

businesses are displaying Think Local, are $5 and are available at the Hilo Buy Local window signs and highlighting Information Center at the Mooheau Bus Made on Hawaii Island products. Station, Palace Theatre, Diabolik Surf and Glass and Basically Books. Think Local, A 2010 national report on buy local Buy Local is launching in downtown campaigns found that communities with Hilo and expanding island-wide. an active buy local campaign experienced Instead of a discount button, businesses markedly stronger revenue growth outside of the downtown Hilo area will compared to communities without such be offering coupons online at www. a campaign and independent retailers in to incentivize buy local communities saw a 5.2 percent residents to think and buy local this increase in holiday sales, while those holiday season. elsewhere reported an average gain of less than 1 percent. During the holiday season, Local businesses have always been the the Think Local, Buy Local campaign will backbone of our economy, said Mayor be focusing attention on Hawaii Island Kenoi.During these challenging economic grown and made products and locally times, a renewed focus on products and owned businesses. food produced on Hawaii Island and on island-owned businesses is good for our A cornerstone of the initiative is the economy and our community. Think Local, Buy Local button which offers Hawaii Island residents discounts To learn more and to participate in the at participating locally owned businesses initiative, visit throughout the holiday season. Buttons or call Andrea Dean at 960-3727.

HOLOMUA is published by the Office of Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi.

East Hawaii: 25 Aupuni St. in the Hawaii County Building - 961-8211 West Hawaii: 74-5044 Ane Keohoklole Hwy. in the West Hawaii Civic Center - 323-4444
Email us at For the latest from the Mayor, visit us at Like us on Facebook at Follow us on Twitter @MayorKenoi Art on the cover of this issue: by Bruce Omori of Extreme Exposure

First Light

From the office of Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi

December marks the retirement of Hawaii County Civil Defense Administrator Quince Mento and the Department of Water Supplys Manager and Chief Engineer Milton Pavao. Mento has been working in public safety on Oahu and Hawaii Island for 29 years, three and a half as head of Hawaii County Civil Defense. In his place, John Drummond, an administrative officer at Civil Defense, will serve as interim administrator. It has been an honor and privilege serving with Quince, said Mayor Kenoi. He is going to be sorely missed and its going to be tough to fill his shoes. We expect to have a new administrator in place by mid-January. Pavao has been with the Department of Water Supply for 39 years. Quirino Antonio was recently named by the County Water Board as his replacement. Antonio has been with the Department for 37 years, and has been deputy since 1995. Mahalo to Milton for his 39 years of service to our island, Kenoi said. Thanks to Quirinos experience, this should be a seamless transition.

Mento, Pavao retire from Civil Defense, Water

Mayor Kenoi talking story with Mark Rolfing of Global Golf Adventure.

Toys for Tots brightens holidays for keiki

Golf enthusiasts across the U.S. will get an hour-long tour of Hawaii on Christmas day, when a special episode of Global Golf Adventure with Mark Rolfing airs nationally on NBC. Last month, Rolfing sat down with Mayor Kenoi to talk story about what makes Hawaii Island so special, and why its a great place to come golf. To see some familiar places and familiar faces, tune in to NBC on December 25!

Island golf to be featured on NBC Christmas Day

Hundreds of motorcycles and classic cars rumbled around Hilo on December 11 to make Christmas bright for keiki on Hawaii Island. The 16th annual Toys for Tots Motorcade & Rally went on despite the days heavy rain and some permit discrepancies that threatened to shut the event down. This couldnt have happened without the tremendous support of Mayor Billy Kenoi. Christmas is on again for the needy children of the Big Island, said Ellsworth Fontes, president of the Rock & Roll Motorcycle Club. In the spirit of Christmas, Im happy that it all worked out. Above, Mayor Kenoi gives a bike to Michael as Santa looks on. At right, Mayor Kenoi leads the motorcade down Lihiwai St.

The Departments of Environmental Management and Public Works are teaming up to support Treecycling, responsible disposal of your Christmas tree. Please help keep our island green and recycle your holiday tree and greenery. After Christmas through January 15, drop your trees at any of eight County recycle and transfer stations: Hilo, Puak, Kailua-Kona, Honokaa, Keaau, Keauhou, Waimea and Waihinu. Trees and greenery should be free of all decorations, lights, tinsel and ornaments. Please do not drop off artificial or flocked trees. Chipping the trees and making the material available for use in gardens will allow the county to divert thousands of trees from our landfills and add valuable mulch to island soils. Information about the Countys Treecycling Program and additional recycling and solid waste programs is available online at For further information, please contact the Solid Waste Division at 961-8270.

Treecycling to be offered through January 15

Holomua December 2011

From the office of Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi


More West Hawaii families will have roofs over their heads this holiday season, thanks to two new housing projects dedicated by the County of Hawaii in the last month.

The $1.8 million, 31 bed West Hawaii Emergency Shelter was opened to serve the homeless in West Hawaii in October 2010.

Housing Admin. Steve Arnett, Mayor Kenoi, Pastor Sonny Shimaoka, and Deputy Managing Director Wally Lau at Ulu Wini.

Aunty Elizabeth Maluihi Lee and HOPE Services Carol Ignacio untie the maile lei to open N Kahua Hale O Ulu Wini.

Recalling a discussion at the beginning of his term, I told the people at Housing that at the end of the day, lets see if we can make a difference at every part of the housing spectrum in West Hawaii, and they delivered, said Mayor Billy Kenoi. Now, a trio of housing projects are built, helping those across the spectrum of housing need. Groundbreakings are cool, but the untying of the maile is much better. In October 2010, the County opened the $1.8 million West Hawaii Emergency Shelter at 74-5593 Pwai Place. The shelter provides services to help the homeless stabilize and get ready for self-sufficiency, offering employment and housing search assistance, budgeting and life skills training and other classes along with guidance to help them connect with off-site community resources. The $1.77 million facility, opened in October 2010, has a total of 31 beds for single men and women with bathrooms, showers, laundry facilities, a common kitchen, and meeting areas.

For families ready to make the transition into more permanent shelter, the County dedicated the $12.4 million first phase of N Kahua Hale O Ulu Wini on November 22. In Honokhau Mauka, above the Kaloko Industrial Area, N Kahua Hale O Ulu Wini is a unique complex that combines low-income rental units with units for homeless families who can stay as long as two years in return for a fee or in-kind services, determined on a case-by-case basis. HOPE Services, which will operate the complex under contract with the County, will also provide case management, mail and computer access along with an array of on-site social services such as employment and life skills training, mental health services, counseling, and childcare. Brandee Menino, executive director of HOPE Services, said that the programs at N Kahua Hale O Ulu Wini will help families to be ready to rent or own a home of their own. We want them not only to survive, she said. We want them to thrive.
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Four model homes, including this one, and a community park were recently dedicated at Kamakoa Nui, a new workforce housing development in Waikoloa.

Holomua December 2011

The Kamakoa Nui community offers stunning views of Alenuihh Channel and Maui in the distance. The new park, pictured here, is ready to welcome the first families that will move in. This is where our kids get away from gangs and drugs, said Mayor Kenoi. Instead of inviting our families to live here and then building a park, I said lets build the park first; lets build a strong and safe community and then invite our families to live here.

HOMES FOR THE HOLIDAYS: Trio of housing projects built in West Hawaii continued from 5
Aunty Elizabeth Maluihi Lee, who grew up mauka of Ulu Wini, gave the complex its name, which describes the complex as a foundation upon which families can build their lives. Aunty said she enjoyed the area in her youth, listening to the wind blowing through the trees and the sounds of animals as she walked down to the shoreline via a nearby trail. Back then, there was lehua, lama and some kukui, Aunty Elizabeth said, noting that most of the native forest in the areas has disappeared. But the buildings are growing now, taking their place, she said. They are reviving the life of Ulu Wini. In addition to the living units, the complex features a community center with laundry facilities, a common kitchen, meeting area, and a dividable multi-purpose room for classes and meetings. The complex is powered with solar energy, and an on-site wastewater treatment plant will produce 80 percent of the water needed for irrigation of the grounds. The transitional units of N Kahua Hale O Ulu Wini replace the former Kawaihae Transitional Housing. The structures from that temporary facility have been moved to Phoa, where they will be remodeled and used for housing there. Further up the coast in Waikoloa, four model homes and a park were dedicated on November 18 in a new workforce housing community called Kamakoa Nui. Targeting first-time home buyers who make a little less or slightly more than the area median income, Kamakoa Nui will eventually consist of about 1,200 fee-simple homes and rentals on 268 acres just north of Waikoloa Elementary School. The first batch of homes in Kamakoa Nui, about two dozen, are being sold from $240,000 to $325,000 by Aldridge and Associates. To qualify, buyers should work within a 30-mile radius of Kamakoa Nui and have an income between 80-140 percent of the area median income. Potential buyers must also live in the homes and cannot have owned a home within the last three years. To discourage speculation, owners who re-sell their units at Kamakoa Nui within 15 years of their initial purchase will be required to share any windfall profits from the re-sales with the County. Steve Arnett, director of the Office of Housing and Community Development, said Kamakoa Nui was handed to the Kenoi Administration three years ago under a dark cloud with the project stalled, under legal scrutiny, and with much higher projected home prices. Arnett said Mayor Kenoi empowered him to make tough decisions that were necessary for success. What you see here is the result of that direction by our mayor. Taking care of the most vulnerable in our community was a priority for Mayor Kenois administration. Its not about plumbing or electrical or construction, he said. Its about children who can come home after school and not be embarrassed about where they live, or where they lay down at night, that our kpuna can feel good that their families are in a safe and healthy place.

A look down the center of Phase 1 of N Kahua Hale O Ulu Wini.

From the office of Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi

We commend and congratulate each of you for your dedicated commitment to serving the people of Hawaii County. My sincere thanks to all of the nominees for your contribution to the quality of life that we all enjoy on our beautiful island. Keep up the great work!

County employees recognized for excellent public service

Michael Okumoto, Treasurer, Finance
Mike is a very supportive and encouraging manager. He is always looking out for the County, trying to keep costs down and revenues up. His work to set up the BAN program is just one example where the County has saved money and is more efficient.

County employees nominated as part of the Employee Recognition Program pose for a photo at the recognition ceremony held Nov. 22.

Manager of the Year

Lorraine Acdal, Special Assistant, County Clerk Daryn Arai, Planning Program Manager, Planning Officer Clarence Davies III, Police Crestita Hudman, Customer Service Supervisor, Water Bernadette Johansen, Van Driver, Parks & Recreation Gemmaima Manzano, Senior Account Clerk, Pros. Attorney David Mellom, Credit & Collection Clerk, Water Officer Joseph William Passmore, Police Scott Robertson, Lead Transfer Station Attendant, Env. Man. Kaycie Saiki, Administrative Specialist, Mayors Office Hans Santiago, Tax Maps & Records Supervisor, Planning Sharon Sasahara, Records Clerk, Police Deborah Sewell, Account Clerk, Public Works Kevan Tomono, Automotive Mechanic, Public Works Naomi Varize, Human Resources Technician, Public Works Ramsey Young, Zoning Clerk, Planning

And the nominees are

Lieutenant Randal Ishii, Police Dept.

Trustworthy, a good listener, hard worker, reliable and ambitious are just some qualities that Lt. Ishii possesses. It is through his leadership that the implementation of the Records Scanning Project, which moved older police report hard copies to electronic versions, was able to take place.

Supervisor of the Year

Thomas Clark, EMS Storekeeper, Fire Dept.

Thomas is conscientious, dependable, dedicated, and a team player. Since he came on board in March 2008, Tom has been an asset to the Hawaii Fire Department, County of Hawaii, and the people of Hawaii Island.

Employee of the Year

Mahalo to Roberta Chu, Douglas Espejo, and Karen Zelko for serving on our Employee Recognition Selection Committee!

Holomua December 2011

Kenoi ohana spreads holiday cheer in parades

NELHA pushing to rekindle ocean thermal energy development

Mayor Kenoi congratulated Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority for its push to rekindle the development of ocean thermal energy conversion technology (OTEC) at the Kehole Point facility in Kona. NELHAs November request for information resulted in four responses, with the Board of Directors selecting OTEC International to build a onemegawatt demonstration plant that will produce electricity using the temperature difference of deep sea and surface waters. The 55-inch pipelines, worth $20 million and completed in 2006, were installed for this purpose. We are very pleased that OTEC has returned to its rightful place and will be further advanced right here on the Island of Hawaii, said Mayor Kenoi. Weve been actively engaged in trying to attract OTEC back to Hawaii Island, and we hope this is a step in that direction. In September, the County produced and facilitated an Ocean Energy Workshop focused on bringing OTEC developers and ocean scientists together to discuss issues such as finance, environment, technology and implementation. Soon after, NELHA released a request for information (RFI) to see what developers are interested in financing and building the one-megawatt demonstration project. We have always believed that NELHA represents a unique asset to the Island and County of Hawaii, said Mayor Kenoi.

Mayor Kenoi and his family marched in the Dec. 3 Phoa Christmas Parade, pictured here, as well as the Nov. 26 Hilo and Dec. 3 Waimea parades. From left, Mayor Billy Kenoi, sons Liam and Justin, daughter Mahina, and wife Takako.

Happy Holidays from the Mayors Office!

Back: T. Ilihia Gionson, Mayor Billy Kenoi, Kalani Kahalioumi, Desiree Moana Cruz. Middle: Charmaine Shigemura, Karen Teshima, Vicky Gapasen, Managing Director Bill Takaba, Rochelle Pacheco, Lisa Robertson, Deputy Managing Director Wally Lau. Front: Kaycie Saiki, Clarysse Nunokawa, Irma Sumera, Paulette Cainglit, Rose Bautista. Missing: Bobby Command, Barbara Kossow, Megan Mitchell.

We have supported NELHA since its inception in 1974 and I do not think that this opportunity would have emerged so quickly without the great partnership between County of Hawaii and NELHA.