I’m a WINNER in Wiki Wiki Mart’s Twitter Tweepstakes

I mentioned on August 5th that I was going to do everything in my power to win Wiki Wiki Mart/SureSave Market’s Twitter Tweepstakes contest.

I’ve just been informed by @wikiwikimart that I won the grand prize of two round trip tickets to a neighbor island by entering their twitter tweepstakes contest!

MAHALO Wiki Wiki Mart and SureSave grocery stores of Hawaii.

Wiki Wiki Mart and SureSave

Alien vs. Predator on the Big Island?

No… it’s not what you are thinking.  It is looking like the Big Island may be used as a filming location for parts of the filming of Predator 4.

predator

Tim Ryan is reporting over at his blog Reel Hawaii:

Scouts for 20th Century Fox’s $40-million creature feature are back on the Big Island for their third week of scouting Hawaii most of it where a lot of jungles have been looked at. The production would film for 18 days with an October start if the Hawaii portion is a go. That decision is expected to be made very soon…Some Hawaii production execs are being contacted about availability…

This will be the  alien-hunter franchise’s first solo outing since 1990. The dreadlocked menace, who first appeared in a Central American jungle stalking Arnold Schwarzenegger and friends in 1987, has had other two solo features…

Full Article Here

The Best Preschool on the Big Island Has Openings

sign

The Montessori Country School in Pahoa still has room for more friends!  The school offers quality childcare and education to children ages 2 through 6 years.  Their Toddler, Preschool and Kindergarten Programs have been serving Puna’s youngest children for the past 25 years. Limited spaces are available NOW and enrollment is open throughout the school year. MCS welcomes Childcare Connection, Open Doors and Pauahi Keiki Scholarship assistance programs.  If you would like to schedule a visit to the school or pick up an application packet, please call 965-9994.

mcsparade

*Side note… My son attended Montessori and enjoyed all three years that he attended.  My wife and I personally attribute his testing scores that got him into Kamehameha Schools directly to this school.  If/when my wife and I ever have another child… we will definitely send them to Montessori.

My son enjoyed the school so much… that even now that he is in Kamehameha as a kindergartner… he still often asks to go back to Montessori just to hang out.

One of my son’s favorite excursion that he did with the school, was going to the Imiloa Astronomy center that I blogged about here.

Montessori at Imiloa

Cruz Ohana Rocks Pahoa Village Cafe… Tonight Prime Rib Dinner With the Ohana

Jon Cruz and Pahoa Village Cafe Manager Jose

Jon Cruz and Pahoa Village Cafe Manager Jose

Last night at the Pahoa Village Cafe, the Cruz ohana rocked the house to a full house.

cruz2

Tonight at 6 Pm, the Cruz family invites folks to a Prime Rib All You Can Eat Luncheon and concert at the Pahoa Village Cafe.

primerib

The place was truly rocking last night and the Cruz ohana put on an excellent show as usual.

Jammin

And in case you didn’t know it… The several members of the Cruz family are very active in Social Media even having Twitter and Facebook accounts.

Uncle Tweeting?

Uncle Tweeting?

I wish that I had looked at the settings on my camera as I didn’t have them on the right settings.  I actually took quite a few pictures… but I’ve only compressed about a third of them.

Naeole w/ Uncle

Of course Pahoa always has it’s usual folks that tend to take up the dance floor all to themselves at times.

Dancer

You can click on the images below for a larger view and don’t forget about the Prime Rib dinner and concert tonight:

The Wedding, the Man and a Change in Plans

Last night at the Pahoa Village Cafe, I had the opportunity to finally meet the groom, and all I can say… Is “Everyone Loves Ray”.

As I mentioned before, 5th District Councilwoman Emily Naeole is getting married in a few months.  I previously stated that she was going to be getting married on October 17th, however, another event is taking place on this date and it is now pushed back to the 24th of October.

So let’s meet the groom:

Raymond Beason

Raymond Beason

Raymond Beason comes from Louisianna and is quite a well known dude there.

The Groom and Bride

The Groom and Bride

I spoke with him for a few minutes outside of Pahoa Village Cafe all by himself without Auntie being around and he sure does seem to be in love with her and is very excited about the upcoming wedding.

Emily Naeole and Raymond Beason

Emily Naeole and Raymond Beason

Well, from what I remember… he is a bit older then Ms. Naeole… but he sure doesn’t act that way… as you can see the two of them dancing away below:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DA2DpODCs1c&hl=en&fs=1&]

Brian Viloria Retains Title

Picture by Big Island's Own ESPN Josh on the Radio

Picture by Big Island's Own ESPN Josh on the Radio

Brian Viloria defended his title tonight at the Blaisdell defeating Jesus Aribe by decision.

Here are Viloria’s tweets leading up to the fight:

  1. Getting ready for battle. I feel like a caged up beast right now! Let me out…NOW! about 4 hours ago from twidroid

  2. The most dangerous man is one with his soul on fire! about 12 hours ago from twidroid

  3. I am going to fuck this dude up for even threatening to take what’s mine, and for what I sweat, bled and cried for!! Let’s GO! about 12 hours ago from twidroid

  4. I feel good this morning. This is it. This is why I put all those hours of hard work into. All that for what’s going down tonight! about 12 hours ago from twidroid

  5. Preeparing for second weigh in. IBF rules say that I can’t be 10 pounds over my division limit. Other than that, thanks for the GL’s tweeps! about 12 hours ago from twidroid

  6. Goodnight tweeps. Tomorrow is a big day! about 22 hours ago from twidroid

And here is some Tweets from Team Viloria before the fight:

  1. http://twitpic.com/ft8dx – Champ is working the mits and warmaing up! about 4 hours ago from TwitPic

  2. http://twitpic.com/ft7x7 – More behind the scenes! about 4 hours ago from TwitPic

  3. http://twitpic.com/ft7ju – Team Viloria!!! about 4 hours ago from TwitPic

  4. http://twitpic.com/ft7da – The excitment is here.. @BrianViloria lacing up!!!! about 4 hours ago from TwitPic

  5. http://twitpic.com/ft72b – @BrianViloria getting instructions from the ref. about 4 hours ago from TwitPic

Coming Soon to Pahoa: Bindi Indian & Mediterranean Organic Food

I mentioned about a week ago that Pahoa was getting a Giovanni Shrimp restaurant modeled after the North Shore Shrimp trucks on Oahu.

Giovanni's

Well I just noticed that Pahoa is getting another restaurant or food store as well.

Bind1

It’s located right in the heart of Pahoa town.

Bindi

No one was around to ask any questions, so I don’t know when they are actually opening.

The Pahoa Gym… It’s No “Gold’s Gym”

Well I will file this one under the learn something new everyday category.

I made it into the Pahoa Village Cafe today to talk to Jose the manager about some upcoming stuff that was happening, like tonights Cruz Family Party that will be happening.

Cruz Concert

Anyrate, as I was leaving, I noticed the following sign on the gate between Pahoa Village Cafe and the Sukothai Restaraunt:

gym1

So I scoped out the place from a distance…

gym2

And then decided to check it out by walking down the corridor between the two restaraunts.

gym3

I went past the doors above and then to the left was a door that was cracked and had the following sign on the door.

gym4

Well I didn’t want to work out and I just wanted to check out the place and since the door was opened… I walked right in and found this.

gym5

It was actually quite a decent little facility with free weights and all

gym6

It was weird that no one was around and so I snapped this final picture before going to the front to ask the bar manager about the place.

gym7

What Jose informed me was that the “Gym” was not affiliated with the restaurant and that the hours were from 8am – 8pm Mondays – Fridays.

He believes the monthly membership cost was about $20- $25 a month, however he was not sure.

There were no contact numbers and I was amazed that I could just walk in the place like this… But you know, this is Pahoa.

Wanted: Big Island Locals for Grassroots’ “Adopt a Visitor” Program

Big Island resident Tim Sullivan has been quite successful in bridging the gap between many Japanese visitors that come to Hawaii and local community groups and projects that have happened on the Big Island.

A while back, he and I exchanged some dialog about tourism here on the Big Island and a way to possibly get folks to come to the Big Island and see the Big Island in a real way… not just some touristy way.

He brought up the subject again today in his blog posting “Straddling Paradigms: Redistribution of Wealth Through Grassroots’ Capitalism” where he ask the 5 following questions based on Peter Apo’s Pono Prism:

  1. How does the activity make Hawaii a better place?
  2. How does the activity create opportunities for prosperity for all segments of the community?
  3. How does the activity help connect the community’s past to its future?
  4. How does the activity bring dignity to the community and the people who live around it?
  5. How does the activity insure that the people who live in and around it can continue to live there?

Tim has some great answers to these questions that you can view on his blog.

He also surprised me by his apparent willingness to possibly embrace Social-Media and online tools such as Facebook and Twitter.

…Love it or hate it, on-line social media looks like it’s here to stay. Most folks I know seem to be passionately for or against: got some friends who believe Facebook is the Devil (digitally) incarnate, and others who swear by it (my two sons included)…

Well with the recent announcement that the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau is in Los Angeles next week promoting Hawaii in the following fashion:

…To activate the social media network in Los Angeles, HVCB will be reaching out to bloggers, podcasters, and emerging media enthusiasts to assist them in developing content about the islands to share with their audiences. On the evening of September 2, HVCB and Marriott Resorts Hawaii will co-host a “tweetup” (gathering of Twitter users) at The Whisper Restaurant and Lounge at The Grove to further promote Hawaii’s uniqueness as a vacation destination to the area’s most active new media users…

I think now is a good time to really look at what we folks locally at a grassroots level can do to help our islands economy out in the long run.

Not only that… I need a job!

So go check out his post and be sure to get all the way down to “The Bottom Line“.

Councilwoman Naeole Wedding Date Set

Councilwoman Naeole will be getting married on Saturday, October 17th.

From what I have heard, the public will be invited to her wedding at Pohoiki beach in Puna, Hawaii.

I do know the name of gentleman she is marrying, but I’m holding off on releasing the name until I get the correct spelling for everyone.

Naeole Husband?

Naeole Husband? (Blogger Rendition)

They have been seen spotted in public holding hands and cuddling in public, and I can’t wait to give more details on this big event that will be happening on the 17th of October.

Mark your calendars… this will be a day that the Big Island does not forget, as I have heard from legislative aide RJ Hampton that a portion of roads will actually be blocked off for the ceremony.

More information… plus a picture of Ms. Naeole’s future husband coming soon.

I’m stoked for Ms. Naeole as I think we all deserve love in our lives!

Midsummer Nights Dream Fashion Show at Miss M on the Big Island

If you missed it, here is your chance to see the Midsummer Nights Fashion Show at Miss M! It was a fabulous night, with enticing Sweet Nectars, Love potions and exclusive showings by: Kristen Robinson, Jessica Ferber, Wendy Glez and Audrey Acosta Designs.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MfGpzLoz1kU&hl=en&fs=1&]

Ninja Melk

Here is the full copy of Ninja Melk, the youtube video recently made by former Hilo resident Ryan Higa Aka Nigahiga.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uIz3cb_igD4&hl=en&fs=1&]

Austal Builder Bob Browning’s Admission on Superferry Bankruptcy “…it did position us for a much more lucrative contract with the Navy.”

Superferry1

Interview from Finance Magazine 8/28/09:

Clive Tompkins: Hello Clive Tompkins reporting for the Finance News Network. Joining me for the first time from ship-builder Austal Ltd (ASX:ASB), is CEO Bob Browning. Bob welcome to FNN. You’ve just released your full year results to June 30 with net profit down 82 per cent to $9.2 million on revenue of $500 million, can you explain the result?

Bob Browning: Sure, and it’s important to realise that the impact in our income statement was really some accounting treatments, non-cash write-downs. Our underlying business would have produced about $38.5 million this year which was ahead of analyst expectations but we had the Hawaii Super Ferry write-down and a derivative instrument that we put in place on a multi-ship program that has locked in a big upside for that program going forward from a commercial basis.

Clive Tompkins: Given the substantial hit you took to your bottom-line on the Hawaii Super Ferry contract, are you going to change the way you get paid for similar deals?

Bob Browning: Sure, yeah the Hawaii Super Ferry contract really was quite unusual. We were actually helping that company get started and put $30 million of mezzanine debt into the business which then allowed us to contract to build two large catamaran ferries for them. And strategically was important because it allowed us to build our workforce up in Mobile, Alabama which then allowed us to win the Joint High Speed Vessel program which is a very close derivative to that whole forum. So while it was unfortunate that Hawaii Super Ferry filed for Chapter 11, it was an unusual thing that we normally wouldn’t do, but it did position us for a much more lucrative contract with the Navy.

Clive Tompkins: Austal has built a global dominance producing and selling car and passenger fast ferries, but has also been producing a fair number of military vessels, where do you get the bulk of your work from these days?

Bob Browning: Right now it comes primarily from the commercial side of the industry in large catamaran ferries down to passenger ferries. If we fast forward upwards of two years I would expects about two thirds of our income from multi-ship U.S. Navy awards going forward.

Clive Tompkins: And is this a conscious decision, or have you just followed the work flow?

Bob Browning: It really was a conscious decision. We were actually prevented form operating or selling in the United States through some protectionist legislation called the Jones Act, and so the establishment of our facility in Mobile Alabama was designed to allow us to produce ships for that market. We then saw an opportunity with a vessel we produced for a customer in the Canary Islands that we thought an adaptation of that would fit the Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship program and were successful in winning that contract.

Clive Tompkins: The global financial crisis has seen a lot of companies back-peddling, how has Austal been affected?

Bob Browning: It clearly had an impact on our Australian operations with the commercial sales, while the pipeline was quite full, it was taking longer for customers to get the financing that they needed and get to the decision point to actually buy a vessel. So the first half of our fiscal year we had a real trough in the order book. We’re seeing that coming good now, we’ve had three large orders here in calendar year 2009, and clearly the strongest part of our business, the U.S. Navy business, coming forward will take a lot of that volatility out of our business.

Clive Tompkins: So how many months work do you have?

Bob Browning: In the Australian operations we have an order book that will take us out to 2011. In the Navy, because these are multi-ship programs, we’re going to be building vessels just for these two programs for the next eight or nine years.

Clive Tompkins: And what other metrics does a ship-builder monitor in terms of performance?

Bob Browning: If there’s one thing the ship-building industry has its metrics. We measure everything from our cost performance indices, how are we doing against the planned cost for the ship. Schedule performance indices, are we going to deliver the ship on time. Our EBIT margins obviously are very important, do we have the workforce lined up to handle the order book that’s in place, it’s a constant balancing act.

Clive Tompkins: What about margins, are they coming under pressure as government finances are being strained?

Bob Browning: Not so much because of government finances, in fact that’s actually been a more stable piece of our business. The margins of late have come under a bit of pressure because of the first-in-class Littoral Combat Ship that we built. It was a cost plus contract where we earned a fee, but as the cost of the vessel goes up the EBIT margins get squeezed a bit. That’s unique to that one vessel, the vessel’s we build going forward are on a fixed fee contract and are much more predictable in terms of the earnings.

Clive Tompkins: Turning to your work with the U.S. Navy, you’ve just received funding to purchase equipment another two Joint High Speed Vessels. Without actually receiving the contract to build at this stage, how significant is this?

Bob Browning: It’s very significant. It’s a 10 ship program, and so the Navy allowing us to go out and buy the water jets and diesel engines and reduction gears, the big equipment for vessels two and three, is a very clear signal they intend to award those contracts. And so when you add that program up with Littoral Combat Ship program we could be sitting here a year from now and we’ll have $1.5 billion of ships in the order book.

Clive Tompkins: And is this normal to be awarded funding in advance of receiving a contract?

Bob Browning: It’s somewhat unusual. The Navy saw an opportunity to save some money in the cost of this equipment by ordering a bit sooner, more importantly for us it’s a clear signal you know the Navy is not going to order this kind of equipment if they aren’t going to award the rest of the ship. And so we see it as a very significant event in terms of the surety of the next two vessels coming to us.

Clive Tompkins: And have you done work with other Navies?

Bob Browning: We have. We built 14 Armidale Class Patrol Boats for the Royal Australian Navy. We finished the delivery of the last of those vessels up last fiscal year. We have built patrol boats for the likes of Yemen and Kuwait. We are currently building coast guard vessels for the Maltese Coast Guard, and we’ll deliver six patrol boats to the Trinidad Navy as well later this year. So Austal is creating a global awareness in terms of patrol boats in the international market.

Clive Tompkins: And onto your competition. Who are your main competitors?

Bob Browning: Our competition depends upon the type of vessel we’re building, as you can imagine. With the U.S. Navy the only competitor we have there is with Littoral Combat Ship program in which Lockheed Martin is a team that’s building a very different style of vessel. While it’s a competitor we expect the Navy to split that contract and we’ll build probably 25 to 27 of our version of the LCS and Lockheed will build 25 to 27 of their version. When you get to commercial car passenger ferries probably our most significant competitor would be Damen out of the Scandinavian area and Incat in Tasmania actually. So it really varies depending on the whole form that we’re building.

Clive Tompkins: How difficult is it for other ship builders to enter your key markets?

Bob Browning: I think we’ve got a strong barrier to entry into our business, particularly in the United States, there’s no other builder of aluminium vessels in the U.S. of our size. We are the largest in terms of market share for large catamaran fast ferries in the world. And it’s a unique skill building with aluminium. We think it’s going to continue to be a strength for us because the operating costs on these vessels are far less, being a lighter material it takes less power to move them at the same speed.

Clive Tompkins: Last question. Bob where do you see Austral in 12 to 18 months?

Bob Browning: It will be a rapidly growing business. As I mentioned earlier we will have $1.5 billion worth of ships in the order book within a year. But that number is going to continue to grow because the Navy is accelerating their acquisition schedule, it appears to us, in vessels. And so that’s going to translate to a much more stable order book, and we believe the market then will be able to see out beyond 12 months which then translates hopefully to a re-rating of the stock. So we‘re feeling very, very good that this is a big inflection point for the company into the future.

Clive Tompkins: Bob Browning thanks for introducing Austal.

Bob Browning: My pleasure.

VIDEO OF INTERVIEW HERE:

http://www.finnewsnetwork.com/archives/finance_news_network12266.html

MAYORS JOIN SPECIAL CAMPAIGN TO PROMOTE HAWAII TOURISM

From the Mayor’s Office:

Hawaii’s four county mayors will join state and county tourism officials next week for a special marketing campaign in Los Angeles to promote Hawaii as a wonderful visitor destination.

The special promotional campaign is entitled “Hawaii: A Thousand Reasons to Smile,” and was organized by the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau, its Island Chapters and the mayors. Events in Los Angeles will begin on September 1. Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann, Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi, Maui County Mayor Charmaine Tavares and Kauai County Mayor Bernard Carvalho are participating to demonstrate how important the industry is to our economy and its workforce.

“We are so grateful to the mayors for their support of Hawaii’s tourism industry,” said John Monahan, President and CEO of the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau. “This is the first time all the county mayors have participated together at an HVCB media launch event, and their presence will add enormous value toward the success of our promotional efforts.”

The campaign is designed to remind major media outlets and potential visitors that Hawaii is a beautiful and safe destination with a rich culture and fascinating history, and offers good value to travelers who have many other options.

“For the first time, all Hawaii’s mayors are working together to support a major visitor industry event,” Honolulu Mayor Hannemann said. “We all know how important the industry is to our economy, and we know that we are more effective leaders when we work together toward a common goal. Having participated in the debut of this campaign in San Francisco earlier this year with entertainer Willie K. and the HVCB, I know it is proving successful and beneficial for Hawaii.”

The mayors said they strongly agree that leaders must work together on this issue.

“It’s important to be active in promoting our main economic engine, tourism,” said Maui County Mayor Tavares. “This is a unique opportunity to help showcase our wonderful state and each of our beautiful islands. Having all four of Hawaii’s mayors in a united effort speaks volumes about how important tourism is to our economic recovery. As we capture the attention of vacationers and business travelers, we will help draw their interest to Hawaii.”

Hawaii County Mayor Kenoi said, “Hawaii has so much to offer as a visitor destination, and reductions in hotel room rates and air fares make this the ideal time to experience all that Hawaii has to offer. We will be reminding travelers that whether they want to experience the power of erupting Kilauea Volcano, relax on beautiful Waikiki Beach or experience Native Hawaiian culture and traditions, there is no better time than now to bring your friends and family to the Islands of Hawaii.”

Kauai County Mayor Carvalho said, “Every destination is competing for scarce visitor dollars. We absolutely must be out in the marketplace with a compelling and unique message.  The Mayors are more than happy to support this effort because it should translate into more jobs more revenues for our businesses.”

The campaign will highlight Hawaii’s culture, its myths and legends, culinary trends and entertainment, and will feature lunch and dinner kickoff events with travel industry media professionals, and intimate “talk story” sessions with Hawaii representatives.

RIP Brett Allsop

Brett and his daughter from his Facebook Page

Brett and his daughter from his Facebook Page

I’m very saddened to hear that one of my friends from High School died in a car accident last week:

The Bellingham Herald, August 19, 2009:

Well-known Bellingham businessman Brett Allsop was killed after his car ran off Northshore Road, rolled over and struck a tree Tuesday night, Aug. 18.

Allsop, 38, was the chairman and co-founder of the online business Yapta and vice-president of the electronics division of his family’s business, Allsop Inc.

He was driving a 2007 BMW 328 east on Northshore at about 10:15 p.m. Approaching a corner, his car went off the road. Allsop, who was wearing a seat belt, died at the scene. It was unknown Wednesday if drugs or alcohol were involved, said Washington State Trooper Keith Leary. An autopsy is scheduled for later this week.

Allsop was a father of two and part of the well-known Allsop family, whose 44-year-old global business makes a variety of products such as laptop cases and cell phone accessories.

The Allsops were grieving Wednesday and did not want to be interviewed. But they issued this statement: “Brett was a great son, father, and family friend. He was a man who loved his children, family and community. He lived each day with compassion and spirit.”

Brett will indeed be missed, said Bruce MacCormack, chairman of the Bellingham Angels Group that funded Allsop’s online business, Yapta. “I am incredibly saddened by the news,” MacCormack said. “He was such a smart young man.”

Allsop graduated from Sehome High School in 1989. He was the first Sehome boy to win an individual cross country championship, taking the 1987 2A state meet title and helping his team to a second-place finish, according to teammate Kevin Ryan.

Allsop entered into the world of entrepreneurship soon after graduating from Stanford University. In 1994 he helped start and operate Fogdog, an online sporting goods retailer, with some of his college friends.

In 2007 he co-founded Yapta, an online air travel service that helps consumers find the lowest prices for an airplane ticket.

“As a company, we’re all shocked at the news and grieving the loss of Brett,” said Jeff Pecor, senior communications director of Yapta, in an email. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Allsop family.”

Paul Grey, a board member of the Technology Alliance Group and a local business consultant, said Allsop had a brilliant mind when it came to creating and building businesses.

“He had a knack for turning an idea into a profitable company,” Grey said. “More importantly, he was a high-quality, genuine person. He was a good listener and had a lot of wisdom to impart.”

Anna Ehnmark, executive director at TAG, said he was a role model for the local technology industry because of his experience at creating and growing companies.

“He had a lot to teach us, and we all admired him for his support of the local high-tech community,” Ehnmark said.

Clips From the Hawaii Council on Revenues Meeting Today

The Hawaii Council on Revenues met on August 27, 2009 to forecast revenue projections for the fiscal year 2010 to be some additional $98 million less adding to the sum of $786 to be a shortfall of $884 million.

Here are some clips from today’s meeting:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UK1NcFCxDkU&hl=en&fs=1&]

Creditors to Vote on Hawaiian Telcom Plan

The Associated Press

A U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge has approved the disclosure statement for Hawaiian Telcom’s reorganization plan.

Thursday’s decision by Judge Lloyd King means creditors of the largest telephone company in Hawaii will get to vote on the $460 million plan beginning next week. The judge also scheduled a confirmation hearing for Oct. 7.

Hawaiian Telcom filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Dec. 1. It wants to emerge from bankruptcy in March.

The company is proposing a stand-alone plan that would reduce its debt by nearly $800 million.

A rival $400 million offer from Sandwich Isles Communications Inc. is also before the court. But Sandwich Isles hasn’t filed its own reorganization plan.

Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau Looking at Online Media and Bloggers to Bolster Travel to Hawaii… “Hawaii: A Thousand Reasons to Smile”

Hawaii’s largest source market for visitors – Los Angeles – is going to hear a lot about Hawaii’s multitude of charms in an intensive campaign blitz throughout September led by the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau (HVCB) and launched with the help of Hawaii’s four island mayors…

…Underlining its strongest-ever presence in this vital market, HVCB is meeting with more than 60 online and traditional media to further bolster travel to Hawaii. Led by Hawaii’s four county mayors – Bernard Carvalho, Jr. of Kauai; Mufi Hannemann of Honolulu; Charmaine Tavares of Maui; and William Kenoi of the Big Island – HVCB and the island chapters will host two media events at the W Los Angeles – Westwood on September 1 and 2. Chef Jon Matsubara of Azure at The Royal Hawaiian will prepare the Hawaii-inspired menu, while Grammy Award-winning musician George Kahumoku provides the entertainment. The events also offer media attendees the opportunity to dig deeper into the destination through “talk story” sessions with local culinary expert and author Joan Namkoong, cultural specialist Celine Piilani Nelsen, and Kahumoku…

…To activate the social media network in Los Angeles, HVCB will be reaching out to bloggers, podcasters, and emerging media enthusiasts to assist them in developing content about the islands to share with their audiences. On the evening of September 2, HVCB and Marriott Resorts Hawaii will co-host a “tweetup” (gathering of Twitter users) at The Whisper Restaurant and Lounge at The Grove to further promote Hawaii’s uniqueness as a vacation destination to the area’s most active new media users.

Throughout September, Los Angeles-based travel bloggers will also be visiting Hawaii to experience the islands first-hand. Stories of their travels here will be shared with readers on their blogs, as well as HVCB’s new SoMuchMoreHawaii.com blogsite

Full article Here

Here are some of my previous posts the last time the mainland bloggers came for the So Much More Hawaii tour:

  • So Much More Hawaii: Lucky We Live in Hawaii
  • So Much More Hawaii: Breakfast with the Mainland Bloggers at the Waikoloa
  • So Much More Hawaii: Fine Art at the Waikoloa
  • So Much More Hawaii: The Halls of the Waikoloa
  • So Much More Hawaii: Mainland Bloggers Check In to Waikoloa
  • So Much More Hawaii: Pools of the Waikoloa
  • So Much More Hawaii: Japanese Wood Dolls at the Waikoloa
  • So Much More Hawaii: Catching up from the Waikoloa Bloggers Meet Up
  • So Much More Hawaii: Seafood Bar Tweet up.w/ Mainland Bloggers
  • So Much More Hawaii: Mahalo Traci! The Power of Twitter
  • Breakthrough to a New You

    Spend half a day with 3 of Hawaii’s most inspiring speakers in an intimate setting. Do more than listen, participate in the discussion and leave with a game plan and new ideas for your life….


    steve snyder


    michael benner


    larry czerwonka

    Saturday September 5th
    9am – 1 pm
    Hilo Woman’s Club
    7 Lele Street, Hilo, Hawaii

    Click Here for more information:

    “BREAKTHROUGH to a New You”

    Bug Plan Squashed on Big Island

    Editorial by Syd Singer, Director, Good Shepherd Foundation, Pahoa, Hawaii:

    Hawaii’s first resolution to ban biocontrol was approved 6-3 by the Hawaii County Council on August 19th. The ban is on any use of biocontrol targeting relatives of the o’hia tree, the primary tree of our native forests, which includes the strawberry guava, paperbark trees, guava, eucalyptus, and other members of the myrtle family.

    While the resolution is non-binding, it comes as a blow to the US Forest Service, the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources, and the Hawaii Department of Agriculture, which have been proposing the experimental infestation of the entire state of Hawaii with an alien scale insect, called Tectococcus ovatus, for the management of strawberry guava.

    Biocontrol researchers deliberately infest the environment with biological “agents”, which are alien insects, fungi, bacteria, viruses and other pathogens, used to attack targeted “weed” species. The goal is to make these weeds sick, slowing their growth and spread.

    Unfortunately, introducing any alien species can cause unpredictable impacts on the environment. Introduced species, for example, are known to evolve and adapt to using new food sources, and can do so rapidly and unpredictably. This makes using biocontrol a risky gamble that Big Island residents are not willing to take.

    Big Island Councilmember Kelly Greenwell introduced Resolution 80-09 banning biocontrol against relatives of the o’hia to protect the o’hia tree. Relatives of targeted species are the most likely to be attacked as the biocontrol “agent” seeks new food sources, making the o’hia vulnerable to attack by any biocontrol release against any tree in the myrtle family, of which the o’hia is a member.

    The public has been strongly opposed to the proposed scale insect attack on the strawberry guava, with over 6,000 residents on the Big Island signing a petition opposing the release.

    Private property owners who enjoy having strawberry guava for its wood, fruit, and beauty would have to spray pesticides to try controlling the scale on their property, or bulldoze and replace the infested trees with scale resistant species, according to the US Forest Service, the lead agency proposing this biocontrol experiment. Property damage compensation has not been addressed, and could amount to hundreds of millions of dollars in damage. See www.BioDamage.com for more details.

    Other residents express health concerns over the proposed insect infestation. Trillions of insect eggs and crawling nymphs, which would be floating in the air and dispersed with the wind, along with the tiny flying males, could create a health hazard when contacted by the skin or inhaled, especially for asthmatics and people with allergies to chitin, a common allergen associated with insects. This problem could be especially bad in residential areas, such as lower Puna, where strawberry guava is prevalent and insect infestations could be astronomical, especially since there are no predators for this alien insect in Hawaii to control its numbers.

    Hunters are concerned about the impact of reduced fruit for pigs and other wildlife. Farmers are concerned that the scale insect could start attacking commercial crops. And many environmentalists fear the introduction of any alien species could result in a new invasive species problem, especially with insects and fungi whose impact is difficult to follow, and impossible to reverse or stop.

    The proposed attack on strawberry guava also came at a time when people are unemployed and are especially grateful for having free, wild food. An attempt last spring to ban the biocontrol of food plants was made by Big Island Senator Takamine and Representative Nakashima. Unfortunately, SB 108 and HCR 249 were never allowed to get a hearing by committee chairs.

    According to critics, the basic problem with biocontrol is that it spreads onto private property, its impact is unpredictable, it is a living organism that can evolve and adapt rapidly, and after release there is no turning back. The environment is changed, forever.

    Fortunately, there are alternatives to biocontrol, which were raised at several County Council meetings. The University of Hawaii has patented a clean process for converting green matter into biochar, a valuable soil amendment, as well as a clean process for creating carbon, also in high demand commercially. Instead of considering strawberry guava, guava, ironwood, albesia, and other non-native trees as “weeds”, we can now treat them as resources. Creating an industry to harvest, process, and sell wood products from our forests can help conservation efforts while creating jobs and opportunities. It also avoids the risks caused by releasing alien species.

    Residents have expressed their disapproval of using biocontrol against the strawberry guava and other myrtles. It remains to be seen whether or not the state and federal agencies proposing these biocontrol experiments will respect and abide by the will of the County Council. The basic question is whether the future of our island will be determined by federal and state government biocontrol researchers, or by the people.

    For more information, see the website www.SaveTheGuava.com.