Mason Chock chosen for Council

SOURCE: Brad Parsons (
SUBHEAD: By 4-2 the Kauai Council names Chock to vacant seat ahead of veto override vote.

[IB Publisher's note: Tomorrow, Saturday, November 16th 2013 at 11:00am the Kauai County Council will vote on the GMO-Pesticide regulation bill. A truly historic moment on Kauai where the people finally pushed back on the plantation owners... in this case the big-Ag chemical GMO companies poisoning our ohana and aina.]

By Rosemarie Bernardo on 15 November 2013 in Island Breath -

Image above: Mason Chock selected for Kauai County Council. From (

The Kauai County Council today picked Mason Chock in a 4-2 vote to fill the seat vacated by former Vice Chairwoman Nadine Nakamura.

In today's special Council meeting, Chock and KipuKai Kualii were nominated from among 18 applicants.

Council Chairman Jay Furfaro, councilwoman JoAnn Yukimura and councilmen Gary Hooser and Tim Bynum voted for Chock while Councilmen Mel Rapozo and Ross Kagawa voted for Kualii, who served as a council member from April 2011 to December 2012.

A new council member was selected to fill the seat vacated by Nakamura who resigned October 31st to serve as managing director of the Kauai County under the Mayor/.

The decision to name Chock comes a day after the Council delayed action on a controversial pesticide measure Thursday afternoon, failing to line up enough votes to override Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr.'s veto.

The Council is scheduled to reconvene Saturday to again consider an override.

Chock Picked for Council--Fufaro swings vote

By Joan Conrow on 15 November 2013 for Kauai Eclectic - 

Mason Chock is the newest member of the Kauai County Council. He will finish out the term of Nadine Nakamura, who left to work as the mayor's top aide.

Mason will be sworn in this afternoon, and then immediately take the hot seat tomorrow morning, when the Council will again take up the issue of the mayor's veto of Bill 2491. Mason has indicated he will vote for an override, giving the Council the five-member majority it was lacking yesterday.

The vote was headed toward a deadlock between Mason and former Councilman KipuKai Kualii, who came in eighth in the last election. Councilmembers JoAnn Yukimura, Gary Hooser and Tim Bynum favored Mason, while Mel Rapozo and Ross Kagawa wanted KipuKai.

A tie would have left the decision up to Mayor Bernard Carvalho, which prompted Council Chair Jay Furfaro to pick Mason.

“I want to make sure the decision is made at this table,” Jay said. “I had a good relationship with KipuKai...but I can't end today's session with a 3-3 deadlock with the vote going to the mayor.”

Though casting his vote for Mason, Jay promised he would help KipuKai in the next election.

Mason is the president of Kupu A'e, Kauai Team Challenge, and the former director of Leadership Kauai.

He's a really neat guy. I had the pleasure of doing a story on him a few years back, and thought I'd share it with you here:
Mason Chock never expected he’d be forced into a career change at age 30.

But when the helicopter he was riding in crashed into the side of Waialeale during a search and rescue mission five years ago, Chock’s days as a firefighter were over.

He just didn’t realize it at the time. Chock, accustomed to being super fit as a member of the fire department’s rescue team, was certain he’d bounce right back from his injuries.

He didn’t. Instead, the crash left him with three crushed vertebrate, chronic pain, and serious depression as Chock faced a lifetime of physical limitation and the tough question: now what?

“It was a heartbreak for me because I fully intended to stay a fireman,” says Chock, who retired in 2005 after 11 years with the fire department. “It was a big blow. It was hard coming to terms with this is where you are now, and this is where you’re going to be.

“But it was a wake up call, too, a whole process of transition,” he adds. “There are no accidents, only lessons to learn. If we just realize they’re all lessons, we can move forward.”

For Chock, that meant figuring out a way “to find beauty and fulfillment in other things,” and he had an inkling it involved helping others.

While boarding at Kamehameha School — a tradition passed down from his parents and now being carried out by the eldest of his own two sons— Chock found he enjoyed interacting with people and went on to earn a business degree at the University of Hawaii, planning to become an entrepreneur.
Instead, he joined the fire department, where he discovered “how rewarding it is to serve the community,” and began volunteering with various culturally-based youth education programs, including Waipa and Kanuikapono.

After his accident, Jessica Higa approached him about creating the Kauai Team Challenge, a program that teaches confidence- and team-building skills through the use of a ropes course. It employed some of the same skills Chock had learned as a rescue worker, so he helped Higa set up a course at Waipa and he took a group of orphans from the Queen Liliuokalani Children’s Center through it.

“That’s where I really got the interaction with the children,” he says. “That really, really intrigued me. I could see the transformation in them right in front of me. It was a very satisfying and rewarding experience.”

While continuing to work with Kauai Team Challenge, Chock also began running a federally funded pilot program that provides mentoring for children of prisoners. Leadership Kauai tapped Chock to run its new youth program, Pi`ina Hoku, which places the same emphasis on values, leadership skills and service as its adult program.

Chock was first exposed to the program when its adult members came through his ropes course. “I was really attracted to Leadership Kauai,” he says. “I was intrigued by the diversity, the principles of leadership, the focus on values and also the cultural aspects. You really get an understanding of why people view things the way they do.”

Chock, who was born and mostly reared on Kauai, says kids also need “more role models,” and he’s aware that he is one. “They look at me and they see themselves. They know that I’ve gone through the same things they have. I don’t give them any excuses. I don’t baby the kids in my programs. I teach them they’ve got responsibilities, too.”

Besides his work with youth, Chock has an active real estate license and is co-owner of a promotional products company. He also raises Hawaiian herbs for medicinal use and loves to dive and get in the water whenever he can.

1 comment :

Mauibrad said...

This Chock dude looks like he's gonna be a good one.

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