Reapportionment Group Appointed; Hilo Tabbed as Drunkest U.S. City; Oscar Buzz for ‘The Descendants’

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Eight members of the nine-member Hawaii 2011 Reapportionment Commission have been appointed, with the bipartisan group including a former Democratic legislator and the head of the Republican Party of Hawaii.

The commission is to consider district lines for legislative seats to make sure each is roughly equivalent in size. The members include:


House Speaker Calvin Say appointed Clarice Hashimoto, a former Democratic state Representative and Harold S. Masumoto, former head of the Research Corp. of the University of Hawaii and former state Planning Director.

Senate President Shan Tsutsui appointed attorney Lorrie Lee Stone and Anthony Takitani, an attorney who heads a Maui law firm with state Rep. Gilbert Keith-Agaran.

The House Minority appointed Dylan Nonaka, executive director of the Hawaii Republican Party, and Terry E. Thomason, who is an attorney at the Honolulu law firm of Alston, Hunt, Floyd & Ing.

Senate Minority leader Sam Slom appointed Elizabeth N. Moore of Kahala Associates Real Estate.

Slom also appointed Calvert Chipchase IV, a partner with the law firm of Cades Schutte LLP who had served as chief of staff for Congressman Charles Djou.

The commission members are to select a ninth member who is to serve as commission chair.

Hilo, Kapaa Cited as Having Drinking Problems, part of The family of websites, has crowned Hilo as the “drunkest” city in the country, with Kapaa, Kauai coming in second.

The website said it crunched Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data from 180 cities to find those with the most people who admitted being heavy drinkers.

It also looked at numbers for binge drinkers or those with men who said they had five or more drinks on one or more occasions. For women it was four or more.

MainStreet then ranked cities by totaling the percentage of heavy and binge drinkers.

“Like Kapaa, Hilo may not be a household name in the Mainland U.S., but the residents in these two cities may be able to drink the rest of the country under the table, for better or worse,” the website noted. It reported heavy drinkers were 9 percent of Hilo’s population, while binge drinkers represented 21.7 percent.

“For the city of Kapaa in particular, it’s all too telling that a simple search for the phrase “Kapaa alcohol” on Google doesn’t turn up a list of fun bars to hang out at but rather a long list of drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers.”

MainStreet reported Kapaa’s heavy drinkers were 11.1 percent of the population. Binge drinkers were 19.4 percent.

NMFS looking at Kona Blue Permit for Offshore Fish Farm Pens

The National Marine Fisheries Service is taking comments on a plan by Kona Blue Water Farms to test the raising of its Kona Kampachi fish in a new type of pen that is tethered to a boat instead of the sea floor.

Kona Blue’s test calls for using two 27-foot diameter pens that would be towed at least three nautical miles off of Kawaihae Harbor by an 80-foot schooner. For the next 10 months the Kampachi (amberjack) would be raised in the pens attached to the boat.

Kona Blue anticipates harvesting 20,000 pounds of fish from the pens. The NMFS said it is considering a permit for the operation that would be in effect for one year.

Kona Blue Water’s application can be seen at

‘The Descendants’ set for December Release, Positioning it for Oscars

Fox Searchlight will release “The Descendants,” a movie set in Hawaii that stars George Clooney, on Dec. 16.

Various movie pundits say the release date raises speculation that the picture will be in the running for next year’s Oscars.

The picture was made from a novel of the same name by Honolulu writer Kaui Hart Hemmings and is a tale of a Hawaii landowner as he deals with family troubles. The movie was directed by Alexander Payne, best known for the critically acclaimed “Sideways.”

Hawaii Chefs No Longer in Running for James Beard Awards

Kevin Chong of Chef Mavro in Honolulu and Sheldon Simeon of Star Noodle in Lahaina unfortunately didn’t make the finalist cut for the 2011 James Beard Foundation Awards.

Chong had been nominated for Best Chef in the Pacific and Simeon for Rising Star Chef of the Year awards when the semifinalists were announced.

Star Noodle also had been nominated as a semifinalist in the Best New Restaurant category but was not on the final list.