About The Kaʻū Calendar

Saturday, June 15, 2024

Kaʻū News Briefs June 15, 2024


FOUR CANDIDATES FOR HAWAI'I MAYOR were guests Thursday on the PBS Hawai'i public affairs program Insights Hawai'i, hosted by Junji De Neis. The program can be watched at https://www.pbs
    Friday, Aug. 10 is election day. It is a nonpartisan election. If no candidate wins a majority, there will be a runoff between the top two in the November General Election.
    The four candidates are: C. Kimo Alameda, Breeani R. P. Kobayashi, Mitch Roth and Seaula Tupa'i, Jr. The three other candidates, not on the PBS show, are Daniel H. Cunningham, Kavin H. Kahikina and
Yumi T.R. Kawano.
    Roth is running for his second term. He is a graduate of University of Hawai'i Manoa with a law degree from Whittier Law School in California. He served for eight years as the elected prosecuting attorney for

Hawai'i County.
    Tupa'i, Jr. grew up in California and received a Masters Degree at University of Washington and moved to Hilo in 2007 where he is Senior Pastor of Overcoming Faith Center in Hilo. He ran for Lt. Governor in 2020.
   Alameda grew up on this island and has a doctorate from University of Nebraska in Lincoln. He was executive director of Bay Clinic, and Hawai'i County Office of Aging and led the Fentanyl Task Force.
    Kobayshi grew up on this island and has a Masters of Business Administration from University of
Seaula Tupa'i, Jr.

Phoenix. She is General Manager of SCT Hilo Hotel, Executive Director of nonprofit Hawai'i Rise Foundation and owner of Keaukaha General Store.
She said she wants to be Mayor because change is needed. "The best time for change is immediately, the second best time is now. I'm ready to take on this kuleana. Sometimes you don't get to choose your kuleana...That responsibility and kuleana chooses you. I am ready to take it on."
    Alameda said there are 200,000 people on the Big Island so that's 200,000 issues.... they have all kinds of issues. I'm running for the people. We need a little bit more energy, a little bit more outside of the box thinking. He said he has served in state government for 15 years, county government for five years
    Tupa'i, Jr. said, "I feel like I'm a change candidate." He said he is
Breeani Kobayashi
involved with "a different demographic" and they are looking for something different.
    Roth reviewed his record and described "some amazing successes." He said homelessness dropped 29 percent, the largest decrease in the state and one of the largest in the country. He pointed to the county building permitting system going from the worst in the country to best in the state. The Mayor said tat affordable housing in the pipeline has gone from about 1,243 to over 8,200 units.
    The host of Insights Hawai'i asked each candidate to name the most important issue.
    Alameda said that he worked for the Billy Kenoi administration, which helped tee up the programs for homeless people. He also said that the housing shortage could be solved more quickly by giving provisional approvals to all permits. "Put the burden on the county not the
Dr. Kimo Alameda
construction industry. Right now we are holding the construction industry and the contractors hostage while they wait for their permits and the longer you wait for your permit, the more costly a home would become.".... He said, let the contractors get started, that's plumbers, contractors, drywallers, "then you get the economy booming again." The county can call the contractors if any problem. 
      Tupai said the most important issue is the rise in crime and said the police force has to be expanded. We have to protect the people of Hawai'i. Their safety and security and their safety should be the most priority for us."He said there is only one officer for over 4,000 people. The national average is 2.5 officers to oversee 1,000 persons. He said the county needs to establish more incentives to become police officers. He said his campaign team won't go into Ocean View neighborhoods for fear of crime. Those campaigning stay at shopping centers. He noted that criminals are arrested and released immediately. "We need a stronger show of force and we have to be for the rule of law."
      Kobayahi said the biggest issue is "the government is not reflecting the needs of the people...We talk about affordable housing. We talk about homelessness.....These have been long standing issues that we've
Mayor Mitch Roth
struggled with... We need creative solutions, we need bold ideas, we need to be listening to our community... She said after listening and understanding the needs of community, "reflect that in everything we do in government... take an upstream approach to understand the root causes of issues is really important, to have more data driven research to understand where the problems lie and to be really strategic and anyalytical in the solutions."
    Roth said what keeps him up at night "is our infrastructure, in particular our Hilo waste water facility... We now have a situation with spongey concrete... We're one major earthquake away from possibly putting millions of gallons of raw sewage out into the bay out at Keokaha. That's a very important community... It affects the whole state." 
   He also said he is concerned about the families leaving Hawai. "As we lose our Hawaiians, we lose our culture. As we lose our culture, we lose our identity and then we become someplace else." He noted that there are more Hawaiians living outside Hawai'i than here. He talked about affordable housing.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see
facebook.com/kaucalendar. See upcoming events, print edition and archive at kaunews.com. Support this news service with advertising at kaunews.com. 7,500 copies in the mail and on stands.

To register to vote of track the ballot go to https://www.elections.hawaiicounty.gov/home-elections.

HAWAI'I VOTERS CAN ENROLL FOR BALLOT NOTIFICATIONS ahead of the 2024 Elections. Voters who sign-up will be notified about the status of their mail ballot“We encourage all voters to sign up for ballot notifications,” said Chief Election Officer Scott Nago, “this will let voters know when to expect their mail ballot packet to be delivered as well if their voted ballot has been received and accepted for counting.”
    Voters have the option to receive alerts by text, email, or a phone message. Once signed up, voters will be notified when their ballot has been mailed and received. Reminders will also be sent to voters to return their ballot as the deadline nears or if there is an issue with their return envelope.
    Voters who choose not to sign up for ballot notifications will still be able to track their ballot by going to elections.hawaii.gov or by contacting their County Elections Division.
    Hawai'i voters can expect to receive their Primary Election ballot in the mail by July 23, 2024. For official election information, visit elections.hawaii.gov or call (808) 453-VOTE (8683). To register to vote or to sign up to follow the ballot, go to https://www.elections.hawaiicounty.gov/home-elections.

Saturday evening view from webcam of upper Southwest Rift Zone of Kīlauea, view is to the south. Image from USGS

HAWAI'I VOLCANOES OBSERVATORY REPORTS Summit and Upper Rift Zone Observations: Rates of seismicity beneath the summit, upper East Rift Zone, and upper Southwest Rift Zone were slightly elevated over the past day. About 25 earthquakes occurred over the past 24 hours. Earthquakes were mostly located beneath the south caldera region and upper East Rift Zone, at depths of 1.5-3 km (1–1.8 miles), with magnitudes under M2.5. Inflationary ground deformation of the summit continued over the past day. The Uēkahuna tiltmeter northwest of the summit recorded overall inflation of approximately 3 microradians over the past 24 hours. The Sand Hill tiltmeter southwest of the summit recorded approximately 3 microradians of inflation over the past 24 hours. The most recent summit SO2 emission rate measured was approximately 50 t/d on June 10, 2024; accordingly, total SO2 emissions from the summit and recent eruption site are likely less than 200 t/d.

To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar. See upcoming events, print edition and archive at kaunews.com. Support this news service with advertising at kaunews.com. 7,500 copies in the mail and on stands.