Author Archives: ohara4puna

Eileen Ohara and Madie Greene Comparison

Eileen Ohara and Madie Greene Differ on Core Issues

Hawaii County Council District 4 Puna Candidates Eileen Ohara and Madie Greene differ on environment, roads, campaign contributions, and experience.

Comparison between Eileen Ohara and Madie Greene.

The most recent campaign contributions report was due Oct. 31st. Contributions to candidate Eileen Ohara and Madie Greene indicate how the different candidates will govern Puna. Greene received 93% of her contributions in large donations averaging over $500 each. These contributions came from corporate donors, land use planners and attorneys, and unions. On the other hand, Ohara received 57% of her contributions from small individual donations in amounts of $100 or less, with the rest coming from the candidate, family, friends, and a partial public funding match only eligible to a grassroots type of campaign.

Greene received funding from W. H. Shipman which controls part of the easement on the Railroad right of way that could be used to create an alternative route into Lower Puna.  Shipman has been very vocal in opposing the project. Ms. Greene has stated publicly in the Na Leo political forum that she is opposed to pursuing an alternative access road for Lower Puna. Further, at the Malama O Puna forum she stated that roads in Puna would not be a top priority. With HWY 130 serving as the only access into Lower Puna, plus a burgeoning population anticipated to increase by 50% in the next 25 years, Ohara feels we cannot wait any longer to address what is becoming a health and safety issue for our district. “Shipman has demonstrated that their priority is not in alignment with the needs of the community. It is time for that to change,” Ohara said.

In this campaign contribution report, Ms. Greene also received a sizable donation from the parent company (Ormat) of Puna Geothermal Ventures (PGV) demonstrating her alliance with those entities. She publicly stated that she supports geothermal development in Puna.  Ohara has concerns about future geothermal development in Puna. “We need to address current operational deficiencies at PGV related to air and underground water quality monitoring, and consider additional provisions to ensure the safety of human and environmental health is not adversely affected by this industrial operation.” Ohara said.

Ohara and Greene differ on other environmental issues as well. Ohara supported the Styrofoam ban (Bill 140) that came before the County Council this year. The legislation would have eliminated the use of Styrofoam take-out containers in the County. In her interview with the Hawaii Tribune Herald published Sunday, Oct. 23rd, Greene states she opposed the ban.  In that same interview, Greene came out against the Sunshine Law which applies to County Council members’ interactions outside of a formal meeting. Her lack of understanding of the importance of proper protocols in setting public policy reflects her lack of experience working in the government sector.  Ohara has considerable experience working in government and teaches public policy at the college level.

Polls are open for walk-in voting from now until Saturday, November 5 at the Aupuni Center next to the Department of Motor Vehicles across from Bank of Hawaii in Hilo. Please vote for Eileen Ohara.


On The Issues: Roads

Puna Candidates Discuss Roads

Candidates Eileen Ohara and Madie Greene discuss roads in Puna.

Moderator Rene Syracusa asked candidates whether dealing with roads in limbo in Lower Puna would be a priority if elected. Roads in limbo is a technical term that Ohara explains in her response. It is a different issue than dealing with private subdivision roads.

Ohara said, “road access in Lower Puna is one of the main issues that voters bring up.  We are the fastest growing district in the State and it is anticipated that the population in Lower Puna will grow from 22,000 people currently, to over 30,000 by 2040. With only one road in and out of the district, it is a top priority to deal with Puna roads now, as we cannot continue to put this issue off.  Aside from increased travel times on HWY 130 during commuting hours, we are often unable to get in or out of Lower Puna because of traffic accidents, flooding, and other types of road closures. Improving road connectivity is a top priority for me and an issue that I’ve been involved with for many decades.”

On The Issues: Solid Waste

County Council Candidates Discuss Solid Waste Solutions

Candidates Eileen Ohara and Madie Greene discuss solutions to the Hilo landfill set to expire in the next 2 years.

The Hilo landfill has almost reached its maximum allowed height as permitted by state and federal law.

Eileen Ohara was Hawaii County’s first recycling coordinator in 2003 and designed the enhancement of the 21 island transfer stations allowing for recycling. “We have done everything mechanically possible to extend its life.  The County invested in a multi-million dollar building at the Hilo landfill intended to sort our waste by removing recyclable items such as paper, cardboard, and metals and compacting the rest for hauling to West Hawaii’s landfill which is large enough to handle the entire island’s waste for 75 years at least. Yet this facility isn’t being used for its original purpose!” she said.

cartoon of surfer catching a wave and then a wave coming from the trash at the landfill


UH Hilo Candidate Forum

Candidate Forum Held At UH Hilo

On October 13, 2016 Young Democrats of Hawaii and Global HOPE held a candidate forum for state and county races.

Candidates Moana Keli’i, Eileen Ohara, Mark Nakashima, Byron Young, Kealoha Pisciotta, and Joy SanBuenaventura attended the forum as panelists. Donovan Shouse and Shannon Matson moderated the event.

Panelists asked a variety of questions ranging from how candidates will address the expiring landfill in Hilo and how they will support student rights.

A “lightening round” of 6 questions were asked where candidates could only answer ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ Candidates were then given 90 seconds to clarify their answers. For entire forum see video below.

flyer for candidates held at UH Hilo October 13, 2016


img_2413-copy img_2398-copy img_2387-copy img_2382-copy img_2379-copy Joy SanBuenaventura img_2333-copy img_2334-copy img_2338-copy img_2342-copy img_2345-copy Eileen Ohara and Noelie Rodriguez img_2323-copy

On The Issues: Styrofoam Ban

Puna Candidates Discuss Styrofoam Ban

Hawaii County Council candidates Eileen Ohara and Madie Greene share their thoughts on banning polystyrene (styrofoam) on the island.

A bird eating styrofoam floating in the ocean

The Hawaii County Council recently defeated a measure that would have banned the sale of styrofoam containers on the island. Similar legislation had been enacted in many municipalities across the country.

Styrofoam is one form of plastic that is not recyclable in a cost effective, environmentally safe manner.  It creates major negative impacts because it is not absorbed naturally and breaks into tiny pieces that eventually make it into streams and the ocean.  These small pieces of Styrofoam are eaten by birds, fish, and marine animals who can’t digest the material causing mal-nutrition and death.

Candidate Eileen Ohara said, “We need to remove this material from our island’s environment. Given the amount of litter on our island that is Styrofoam, a ban on take-out containers seems a good place to start as the financial impact on consumers is minimal.”

Ohara would have supported the legislation banning styrofoam while her opponent, Madie Green, would have opposed it.

Please watch the short video for more on this topic.

From the Malama O Puna Candidate Forum July 14, 2016

VIDEO: Styrofoam – Hilo, Puna Council Candidates (6/14)

From the Chamber of Commerce Candidate Forum October 5, 2016

Be in a movie- Casting Call this Sunday in Hilo

Casting Call for Feature Film in Hilo This Sunday

The Director David L. Cunningham will be filming The Medicine Runner this month on Hawaii Island.

Casting call for David L. Cunningham film on The Big Island.

The film is looking to cast men, women, and families ages 5-85 for speaking roles, featured extras, and extras especially those of Japanese decent. If you speak Japanese that is a plus, but not required. 

The casting call will be at the Naniloa Hotel at 93 Banyan Drive in Hilo in the Hoomalimali Room from 1-3pm. Please park across the street at the golf parking. For more information check out the Facebook Page. If you cannot make the casting call you can still submit your picture, height, weight, contact information, and any acting experience you have to:

David L. Cunningham is an international filmmaker known for striking visuals, authentic performances and dynamic subject matters.
For more than two decades, Cunningham has directed big budget Studio films (Fox, Disney, ABC), experimental and pioneering independent features, as well as hard hitting documentaries. He is also an entrepreneur having founded more than a dozen companies in the creative industries including the award-winning content machine Global Virtual Studio (GVS). Cunningham is known for his social impact initiatives as the creator of several nation changing campaigns with focuses on indigenous rights, human trafficking and orphans with special needs.

David was born in Lausanne, Switzerland to American parents, Loren and Darlene Cunningham, who are pioneers of the University of the Nations (also known as YWAM) with over 600 campuses around the world in 160 nations. At age three David’s family moved to Hawai’i Island to open a University of the Nations campus in Kailua-Kona which became David’s long time home. Cunningham is a graduate of Konawaena High School and studied film at the University of Southern California (USC) .

Cunningham has had the privilege to direct a wide range of today’s finest actors including Harvey Keitel, Edward James Olmos, Mark Strong, Robert Carlyle, Kiefer Sutherland, Ian McShane, Christopher Eccleston, Idris Elba, Donnie Wahlberg and Alexander Ludwig. Cunningham is best known for the gritty WW2 Drama, To End All Wars (20th Century Fox), and the Primetime Emmy Winning and controversial miniseries on ABC, Path to 9/11. With a budget of $45M and total viewership of approximately 23 million, Path to 9/11 was considered a breakthrough in the miniseries format.

Based out of Kona, Hawai’i, Cunningham founded Honua Studios in partnership with the County and State of Hawai’i. Honua Studios is the second largest studio in the State and includes the state’s largest green screen stage, sound, post and VFX facilities. Honua Studios is also the main hub of Global Virtual Studio (GVS).

Global Virtual Studio is a content creation machine. Under Cunningham’s leadership GVS develops and produces content for a variety of platforms from graphic novels to major feature films. GVS has key hubs in Kona, Honolulu and Los Angeles with a network of artists and facilities in 15 countries.