University of Hawaii Swim Team Performs Haka at Conference USA Swimming and Diving Championships

Well it looks like the University of Hawaii Swim Team has taken a page out of the University of Hawaii’s Football playbook and has learned the “Haka” and performed it recently:

University of Hawai’i Warrior Swim Team performing the Haka at the 2011 Conference USA swimming and Diving Championships in Huston Texas on Thursday Night to open the meet.


Bluegrass Meets Pili Grass on the Big Island

Media Release:

Take five bluegrass musicians from across America, add one Grammy Award-winning Hawaiian slack key artist and you’ve got Bluegrass Meets Pili Grass. The Olowalu Outfit brings a mix of original and traditional bluegrass songs to the Big Island, where they’ll join Keoki Kahumoku in a week-long event featuring concerts and music workshops with all of theartists.

Enjoy the driving rhythm, soaring fiddling, hot picking, and sweet, tight harmonies of bluegrass music with musicians hailing from Appalachia, the West Coast, and Alaska. Music from Olowalu Outfit’s members Tyson Alteri, Chase Christie, Kate Hamre, Katy Rexford, and Rion Schmidt honors the first generation masters while bringing a fresh new energy to bluegrass and folk music.

Fifth generation slack-key guitarist Keoki Kahumoku began performing with his father, George Kahumoku, Jr., and his uncle, Moses Kahumoku, in 1990 at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel on the Big Island of Hawaii. Today, he’s a five-time Grammy winner with a passion for sharing the music of the islands.

Together on the Big Island for the first time, the Olowalu Outfit and Keoki Kahumoku present Bluegrass Meets Pili Grass, inviting music lovers and amateur musicians to enjoy concerts atvarious venues around the Big Island or to participate in several workshops.  For more information, artist bios, and photos, please visit or call 960-8385.

Complete schedule of events:

Complete schedule of events:


  • Friday, March 11 at Hana Hou Restaurant in Naalehu, 5:30-8pm. Special menu featuring BBQ style ribs, chicken, and chili. For more information call 929-9717.
  • Saturday, March 12 at Pahala Plantation House in Pahala, 7-9pm. For more information call 928-9811.
  • Sunday, March 13 at St. Jude’s Episcopal Church in Ocean View for a morning service with Robert Domingos, 9am. Potluck lunch and music following service. For more information call 960-8385.
  • Sunday, March 13 at Laupahoehoe State Park for the annual Tsunami Memorial, 5-6pm. For moreinformation call 960-8385.
  • Tuesday, March 15 at Pakini Grill in Waimea, 8-10pm. For more information call 885-3333.
  • Thursday, March 17 at Blue Dragon Coastal Cuisine and Musiquarium in Kawaihae, 6-9:30pm. For more information call 882-7771.
  • Friday, March 18 at Queen Emma Community Center at Christ Church in Kealakekua, 7-9pm. Formore information call 323-8204 or 323-3429.
  • Saturday, March 19 at Malama Honaunau Event at Pu’u Honua O Honaunau (City of Refuge),11am-12pm. Event is from 10-4. For more information call 960-8385.
  • Saturday, March 19 at Imiloa Astronomy Center with Brittni Paiva, 7-9pm. For more information call 969-9700 or 960-8385.


  • Saturday March 12: Classes at Pahala Plantation House featuring bluegrass fiddle, mandolin, bass,and guitar as well as Hawaiian slack key guitar and ukulele. Morning session, 9-11am and afternoon session, 1-3pm/$15.00 per session. For more information call 960-8385.
  • Tuesday March 15 through Friday March 18: Aloha Bluegrass Academy for keiki, Queen EmmaCommunity Center at Christ Church in Kealakekua featuring bluegrass fiddle, mandolin, bass, and guitar as well as Hawaiian slack key guitar and ukulele. Sessions held daily from 10am-3pm. Early-bird registration $175; after March 4, $200. For more information call 323-8204 or 323-3429 or
  • Wednesday, March 16: Adult Bluegrass Workshop, Queen Emma Community Center at ChristChurch in Kealakekua featuring bluegrass fiddle, mandolin, bass, and guitar as well as Hawaiian slack key guitar and ukulele. 7-9pm followed by a jam session. $30 includes two classes. For more information call 323-8204 or 323-3429 or

The Band:

The Olowalu Outfit

Hailing from both Appalachia and the West Coast, the Olowalu Outfit plays a mix of original and traditional songs that honor the first generation masters while bringing afresh new energy to bluegrass and folk music. All the basic ingredients of great bluegrass are there – driving rhythm, soaring fiddling, hot picking, and sweet, tight harmonies. But what really grabs you is the passion and excitement they express through their music. All members of the Olowalu Outfit have been teaching bluegrass and folk music on Maui for the past five years, and are excited to share some of the musical traditions of the mainland with Hawaiian audiences.

Tyson Alteri -Mandolin, lead and harmony vocals

Tyson Alteri, originally from upstate New York, grew up surrounded by many kinds of music. Tyson’s extended family listened to, and played everything from delta blues to bigband swing; his Grandma Bea was an opera singer at Julliard who presented the national anthem at many a ball game (including for the Yankees.) Tyson has been playing music, specifically on the guitar since he was 12. He first fell in love with bluegrass in Alaska when he met climbers that liked to play bluegrass. His keen musical interests have led him to Spain to study Flamenco and to Cuba to learn Son Cubanos. Tyson co-founded the2009 Rockygrass band competition winners 49 Special and played the festival in 2010. Tyson now resides in Nashville, Tennessee.

Chase Christie – Guitar, lead and harmony vocals

Chase was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska. He grew up listening mostly to classical music and playing piano, but by time high school rolled around, he was more interested in playing rock n’ roll with his friends. For reasons still not fully understood, this developed into a love for acoustic music, and bluegrass in particular. Because his grandmother lived in Kihei all of his life, Chase developed an early love for Hawaiian culture and music and few things compare to the joy he feels playing his tenor ukulele. He now lives in the Bay Area and plays with his country band, The Whisky Richards, and enjoys traveling around the country and beyond, teaching camps and playing music.

Kate Hamre – Bass, lead and harmony vocals

Kate grew up in Anchorage, Alaska listening to her parents and friends play bluegrass, old tyme, and folk music. At the age of 14, she joined Bearfoot, a nationally touring band, and played festival such as Merlefest, Greyfox, Wintergrass, Rockygrass,and Telluride to name a few. As a Compass recording artist, Bearfoot cut their 4th album, called “Doors and Windows” in April 2009, which quickly rose to #1 in the Billboard Bluegrass Charts. Kate is also the director of the renowned bluegrass music education program, “Bluegrass Camps for Kids”, which has taught thousands of children internationally in the last decade. Kate has a B.S. in Elementary Education through the University of Idaho and is now teaching in San Francisco after leaving Bearfoot last April.

Katy RexfordFiddle, lead and harmony vocals

Katy grew up in North Carolina and began her musical career playing violin in her public school orchestra at age 8. She played her first fiddle tune that year and won first prize in the school talent show, setting her on a path to explore as many styles of traditional fiddle music as possible, including old time, country blues, Irish, Cajun, western swing,and many more. Now residing in San Francisco, Katy plays and sings with the honky-tonk band the Whisky Richards and Misisipi Rider. She has played and toured with Boz Scaggs, Michelle Shocked, Del Williams, Jesse Jay Harris, and more.

Rion SchmidtBanjo, lead and harmony vocals

Rion Schmidt was born in Cordova, Alaska, and has traveled to the Hawaiian Islands five times to teach bluegrass music camps for kids. He likes long walks on the beach, and tiki torch dinners. Rion is a 15 year veteran of the banjo and has been teaching for 10years. His style of driving bluegrass banjo, was honed in the rugged mountains of Alaska among the glaciers and grizzlies, and although he now resides in Northern California, he dreams of someday building a lonely cabin among the towering spruce trees of his home.

Man Wanted By the Courts Found in the Hawaii Tribune Obituaries… Someone Failed!

This just cracks me up and I’m sorry for the family involved but it’s just too funny not to blog about.

In yesterday’s Hawaii Tribune Herald, February 27, 2011, on the inside of the front page ran the following obituary:

See below for circled close-up

Here is what is circled in red:

Obituary for John Fairlie Penku Sr., 50 of Mountain View

Now you go to the back page and you see the following in the Big Island Report:

I recognize this name

And a closer look and we see:

Failure to Appear

So let me do the work for the Hawaii Police Department.  You can quit looking for the dude… you aren’t going to find him!

(Thanks to Craig Watanabe for the heads up on this)

Former Big Island Resident on Surviving the Trials and Tribulations of Caregiving Through Poetry

Reprinted with permission from Author Guy Aoki.  Originally posted in the Rafu Shimpo

One of the fondest traditions of my life was going to my grandma’s house in Pahoa for the major occasions: Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s. It was where our Hilo uncles, aunties, and cousins — and eventually, their children — gathered and grew up through the years. And we had a lot of fun with our “hip grandma,” who had a great sense of humor and always seemed so sharp and healthy (she never got sick), toiling away in the vanda fields into her 80s. I’d hoped to be as “with it” as her if I reached that age.

This past Friday, Feb. 4, marked the 100th anniversary of her birth.

In Pahoa: standing left to right: Paul Kakugawa, author Frances Kakugawa, Albert Kakugawa, Matsue Kakugawa, Sadaichi Kakugawa; sitting: Janet Aoki.

By 1995, it was clear Matsue Kakugawa had Alzheimer’s. She repeated questions she’d just asked seconds ago, eventually became hostile, accused her children of stealing her money, and woke up in the middle of the night thinking it was time to go to work. Her three Hilo children and their spouses took turns sleeping over at her house for a year-and-a-half. When it became difficult to continue, my Aunty Fran took her to live with her in Honolulu for another year-and-a-half.

Though she’d admitted having difficulty facing negative situations, Frances Kakugawa somehow managed to become a caregiver on a daily basis coming face-to-face with the obscene: feces splattered around a room, clothes soaked in urine, a mother whose mind was no longer there. Still, she kept her sanity, finding sanctuary in poetry. After all, between 1970 and 1976, she’d published four books of poems (“Sand Grains,” “White Ginger Blossom,” “Golden Spike,” “The Path of Butterflies”) but, as much as I’d encouraged her to “maintain your following” by writing more books, she didn’t have the initiative. Until faced with my grandma’s disease.

It became a way to deal with the stresses, laugh at the absurdity of it all, and feel sorry for herself. In Honolulu, she began organizing monthly support groups for the Alzheimer’s Association where she encouraged many of the locals to write about their feelings as they took care of their parents. Some wrote in journal form — which was rather easily transformed into poetry — while others wrote poetry from the get go, surprised at their skills as many had never seriously attempted the art form before.

The point was not to become the next Keating or Kipling, but to cathartically express all aspects of their emotions without judgment, shame or guilt and to be better able to carry on when returning to their duties at home.

My grandma spent her last year-and-a-half in Kuakini Medical Center. In December 2001, in her hospital room, I played a studio recording I’d made of “Hey Thief,” a song inspired by my aunty’s poem of the same name, the “thief” being Alzheimer’s. Matsue Kakugawa died a few weeks later on Jan. 16, 2002, 19 days before her 91st birthday. We played the song again at her funeral.

At Kuakini Medical Center on Dec. 21, 2001: Guy Aoki, Matsue Kakugawa, and Frances Kakugawa.

The poetry of Frances Kakugawa and members of her support group gave birth to 2002’s “Mosaic Moon:  Caregiving Through Poetry,” her first book in decades. Whereas that volume focused more on the trials and tribulations of caring for relatives with Alzheimer’s, her latest, “Breaking the Silence: A Caregiver’s Voice,” deals a little more lightly on the subject and includes work from five fellow caregivers who came to her monthly support groups in Honolulu and Sacramento (where she now lives) and helped not only Alzheimer’s patients but those suffering from stroke and cancer. It also deals with carrying on after relatives die.

(Full disclosure: The book is dedicated to me and my fellow cousins; heck, this entire article is a conflict of interest!)

As always, there is humor as in this untitled piece by Red Slider:

Caregiver: I sifted through the ashes today and, indeed found that the hand of God was in there, after all.”

Social Worker: “And what did you do then?”

Caregiver: “Handed Him a subpoena for a product liability lawsuit.”

Eugenia Mitchell gave up her partnership at a law firm to care for her mother. In “The Bull Fighter,” she finds comic relief in trying to get her mother dressed:

I am the torero.
I hold not a cape, but her coat,
a bright French blue
instead of Spanish red…
I move the sleeve towards its position.
I follow her restless right arm.
I feint slightly to her left
drawing her toward me.
Quickly, I reverse,
pushing the sleeve
toward her arm again.
But there are the moments when she can no longer stand it (“Have I Given Up?”):
I am tired of living her anxiety…
as she shuffles around the house
lifting every object with shaking hands and
placing it
somewhere more precarious for it
and more perilous for her…
as she yanks the power cords from their hiding place
behind the furniture
and lays new traps to trip herself…
I can’t stand it
I have to stand it
I would rather be screaming

“Breaking the Silence” also gives expression to those whose own voices have become lost in the haze of this disease. After her mother died, Kakugawa continued to visit Alzheimer’s patients at Kuakini. In “Dear Mrs. Kono,” she writes of a 102-year-old woman who doesn’t speak and receives no visitors:

Today, I visited her floor
She took my hand
And held it tightly
And wouldn’t let go.
“Do you remember me?”
I asked in Japanese.
She nodded, nodded, nodded nonstop,
Her fingers curled tightly into mine
As if a lifeline ran between us.
Her eyes filled with tears
When I kissed the top of her head.

One of the saddest stories involves “Nora,” a Nisei caregiver less than 4’10” tall who had to care for her parents, parents-in-law, and husband. Kakugawa encouraged her to break out of the restrictions of her Japanese culture by spreading her wings and discovering life on her own not attached to her deadbeat husband. Then she learned she had fourth-stage ovarian cancer and had six months to live.

In the back of her book, Kakugawa offers a mini-course on how anyone can write about their experiences (or even run their own support group). In response to those who fear, “I don’t know where to begin,” she suggests, “Instead of writing about the overall role of caregiving, zero in on one aspect: a feeling, a thought, or an event. Instead of writing about a whole forest of trees, go for that one blade of grass. Reach deep down into yourself at the gut level, see what’s there, and write about that.”

Even with the oppressive disease dissolving pieces of their minds, the real personalities of Alzheimer’s victims still resurface from time to time. Before she left for Honolulu, my grandmother stood in front of the butsudan, looked at the ihai with her husband’s name on it (he died in 1962) and said mournfully, “Otosan. You’re probably laughing at me.” As Kakugawa recounts in the beginning of her book, my grandmother, just days before she died, told Rev. Bruce Nakamura, “Please don’t let me be forgotten.”

Don’t worry, Grandma, they’re just starting to know you.

To buy autographed copies of “Breaking the Silence” ($15.95), go to It’s also available at major bookstores, local shops, and (which also sells Kakugawa’s past works and out-of-print ’70s poetry books).  To reach the author for lectures and workshops, or to just say hi, contact her at For more info on her life and work, go to

Till next time, keep your eyes and ears open. And start writing poetry.


Guy Aoki, co-founder of the Media Action Network for Asian Americans, writes from Glendale. He can be reached by e-mail. Opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.

Next Saturday: Reggae Inna Di Jungle II

What the Hecht on the 2% Land Fund

Debbie Hecht

Commentary by Debbie Hecht:

I think it is important to know, prior to receiving the Mayor’s budget,  and to remember that we have the commitment of 6 council members, who support reinstating the 2% amount of our property taxes to the Land Fund. (see attached 5 pledges and an email from Angel Pilago)

There are many properties to still be acquired and  there is still $3.5 million in the fund that the Kenoi administration has not spent.  Kaiholena south is still for sale which would help to secure the Kohala coast. There are other properties that the council has set aside for sale too. Reports and the financial data are available at:

We hope that the Mayor and council continue to honor 57% of voters who voted in 2006 to set aside 2% of our taxes to preserve our open spaces.  In 2010, again,   57.5% of voters  voted to set aside a minimum of 1% of our property taxes as a  charter amendment (which the Mayor and council cannot change without a vote of the people).  This consistent vote of 57% of voters on our island was in a serious recession.  Many people doubted that we would continue steadfast  in our commitment to acquire  the great places that make our island one of the most beautiful places in the world AND also could be the foundation for an eco-tourism industry on this island.   The vote in 2010 of 57.5% occurred even after the Mayor raised our property taxes.

We ask our elected officials to PLEASE honor the vote of 57% of voters on this island and reinstate the 2% amount so we can save Hawaii Island’s great places.



Hawaii Lawmakers Visit Puna Geothermal Venture

This weekend a group of lawmakers have been touring the Big Island and this afternoon they came out to Puna on the East Side of the Big Island to visit the Puna Geothermal plant known as Puna Geothermal Venture.

The entrance to the facility

They arrived in several car loads shortly after 4:00.

The legislators arrive

I’m not sure exactly how the group came together other then the fact that they were coming to the Big Island to see sustainable projects and Richard Ha seemed to be coordinating a lot of the efforts.

Richard Ha talks to Senator Donovan Dela Cruz

The lawmakers started the day with a tour of Mauna Kea and by the end of the afternoon it looked like many of them were pretty tired as the presentation on PGV began.

Inside the control room

We watched a 12 minute video on how geothermal energy was produced followed by a slide show presentation on some of the facts about the plant itself.

Plant Manager Michael Kaleikini fielded questions about PGV to the lawmakers

Ormat Technologies, Inc.  a world leader in geothermal development, acquired Puna Geothermal Venture in June 2004 and launched a $32 million upgrade to existing technologies.  Improvements were made in noise reduction and 100 percent of its excess fluids are injected back to the earth’s interior without exposure to the open air.”

Not sure what these are... but they looked cool

…The seven senators and two representatives on Saturday will visit Mauna Kea, Kamuela Vacuum Cooling Plant, Puna Geothermal Venture’s power plant in Pohoiki and Hilo small businesses.

Then on Sunday, they’ll see Green Point Nursery, Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center, Hu Honua bioenergy power plant and Hamakua Springs Farms… Washington Examiner

The lawmakers were running short on time so we didn’t get to tour the entire facility and I only took a few pictures of the facility.

More interesting stuff

They really didn’t want folks taking pictures of the plant and I may have to take a few of these down in the next few days if Ormat throws a hissy fit.

Anyone know what Halon 1301 is?

I’m glad the lawmakers had a chance to come over here.  I will say that it sounds like Senator Malama Solomon is not real happy with the place and you will be hearing more from her on this soon enough… but so be it.

Richard Ha and Senator Malama Solomon share a moment

I was glad to see our own State Senator Faye Hanohano there as she literally lives within a few miles from the place and really seemed to have a grasp on a lot of things that were being said.

Kaleikini and Senator Hanohano talk about geothermal

Click here for more information on Puna Geothermal Venture.

For further reading, see Richards post “About Geothermal Operations & Safety Concerns”

“There have been questions about general safety issues regarding geothermal. I asked Mike Kaleikini, Puna Geothermal Venture’s (PGV) Operations Manager, what safety requirements exist that PGV must comply with…. ” Ha continues on his site Ha! Ha! Ha!

KWXX Gets Pre-Fight Phone Call From BJ Penn

BJ Penn calls Kat & Keala (From KWXX FM) a few hours before the weigh in for UFC 127 from Australia to talk story about the fight!


Video Courtesy of KWXXFM

Mesa Emerges from Bankruptcy

From Aviation Online:

Phoenix-based Mesa Air Group expected to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy in February, after the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York in late January approved its reorganization plan.

Mesa listed as its main restructuring accomplishments the extension of its code-share agreement with US Airways through September 2015, the elimination of more than 100 aircraft leases and financings that contributed to the “deleveraging” of its balance sheet by $700 million in capitalized leases and $50 million in debt; the restructuring of aircraft leases and financings for its fleet of Bombardier CRJ200s and Dash 8s, resulting in flexibility and no long-term lease exposure on the 50-seat CRJ200s; and its emergence as a private company, issuing new notes, common stock and warrants to its creditors.

During its restructuring, Mesa cut the size of its fleet from 178 airplanes to 76 CRJ700 and CRJ900 regional jets, while losing a long fight to maintain its Delta Connection code-share contract. The plan cedes control of the carrier to unsecured creditors and grants US Airways a 10-percent stake in the regional group. Mesa and its various units operate as US Airways Express, United Express and go!Mokulele in Hawaii.

Mayor Kenoi Talk Story Session at the Pahoa Community Center

There will be a community meeting with Mayor Billy Kenoi at the Pahoa Community Center on Wednesday, March 2nd at 6:30 pm.

Mayor Kenoi and his cabinet are scheduled to be there for a talk story session.

Congresswoman Hirono Statement Supporting Planned Parenthood

Congresswoman Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) states her opposition to a House Republican amendment to the 2011 federal spending bill that would prohibit Planned Parenthood from receiving any federal funds. As a result, Planned Parenthood would be disqualified from receiving Title X family-planning grants and other health related program funds, which poses a threat to women’s health.


Congresswoman Hirono Statement Against Gutting Davis-Bacon Act

Congresswoman Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) states her opposition to an amendment in the House Republican spending bill that would strip away wage protections provided in the Davis-Bacon Act. Enacted in 1931, the Davis-Bacon Act ensures that workers on federal construction contracts receive at least the prevailing wage for construction jobs.


Man Robbed of Hashish After Getting Off Bus

Media Release:

Big Island police are looking for witnesses who were riding a Hele-On bus shortly before one of the riders was robbed after exiting.

A 35-year-old Kailua-Kona man reported that he boarded a southbound bus on Ali’i Drive in Kailua-Kona at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday. He got off on Hawaii Belt Road just north of Haukapila Street.

Three men reportedly followed him off the bus, pushed him to the ground, stole his backpack containing the drug hashish and fled on foot. The victim sustained abrasions to his legs from the struggle.

Police want to question Hele-On passengers who witnessed the actions of any of the four men before they exited the bus. Passengers are asked to call Detective Sharlotte Bird at 326-4646, extension 228, or the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Hawaii Census Numbers… Big Island Has Largest Population Percentage Increase at 24.5%

Media Release:

The U.S. Census Bureau today released more detailed 2010 Census population totals and demographic characteristics to the governor and leadership of the state legislature in Hawaii. These data provide the first look at population counts for small areas and race, Hispanic origin, voting age and housing unit data released from the 2010 Census.

The official 2010 Census Redistricting Data Summary File can be used to redraw federal, state and local legislative districts under Public Law 94-171. The census data are used by state officials to realign congressional and state legislative districts in their states, taking into account population shifts since the 2000 Census.

Data for Hawaii show that the five most populous places and their 2010 Census counts are Urban Honolulu, 337,256; East Honolulu, 49,914; Pearl City, 47,698; Hilo, 43,263; and Kailua, 38,635. Pearl City grew by 54.0 percent since the 2000 Census. Hilo grew by 6.1 percent and Kailua grew by 5.8 percent. Percent change data are not available for Urban Honolulu and East Honolulu census designated places because they were established after the 2000 Census.

The largest county is Honolulu, with a population of 953,207. Its population grew by 8.8 percent since 2000. The state’s other four counties include Hawaii, with a population of 185,079 (increase of 24.5 percent); Maui, 154,834 (increase of 20.9 percent); Kauai, 67,091 (increase of 14.8 percent); and Kalawao, 90 (decrease of 38.8 percent).

The redistricting file consists of five detailed tables: the first shows the population by race, including six single race groups and 57 multiple race groups (63 total race categories); the second shows the Hispanic or Latino population as well as the non-Hispanic or Latino population cross-tabulated by the 63 race categories. These tabulations are repeated in the third and fourth tables for the population 18 years and over and are for the resident population of the United States. The fifth table provides counts of housing units and their occupancy status.

These five detailed tables are available to the public online via FTP download at–PL_94-171/ and will be available within 24 hours at  (Access 2003 or Access 2007 shells or SAS scripts are provided to assist with importing and accessing the summary file data from the FTP site.  These shells and scripts can be found at  This Web page also contains special instructions for linking data downloaded from FactFinder and/or the FTP site with the Census Bureau’s geographic products.)

By April 1, all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico will receive these data for the following areas: state, congressional districts (for 111th Congress), counties, minor civil divisions, state legislative districts, places, school districts, census tracts, block groups and blocks, and if applicable, American Indian and Alaska Native areas and Hawaiian home lands. In addition, data are available for the 46 states that voluntarily provided voting districts to the Census Bureau’s Redistricting Data Program. Unique geographies for the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico are also available.

KapohoKine Partners With Honoli’i Mountain Outpost… Zipline Adventures to Begin Again Soon

Well as many of the readers of this blog know I was let down recently when KapohoKine ended there partnership with Umauma Ziplines… I’m stoked to hear that KapohoKine will again be offering Zipline tours soon at a new location near Honoli’i.

The following was posted today:

So, it’s official!

Our new zip line partner is Honolii Mountain Outpost.  Our old zip partners at Big Island Zipline Adventures couldn’t reach a reasonable agreement with the owners at the zip course they operated and were subsequently shut out in December.  Big Island Zipline Adventures was shuttered, and we and our guests were left without a zip line.

We started looking around and found a new location at the gorgeous Honolii Mountain Outpost.  We’ve partnered up with them and are preparing to bring back our Zipline Through Paradise, safer and better than ever!  The new course will have a bunch of cool features and surprises that we’ll be able to tell you about in the coming months as we get more information from Honolii Mountain Outpost.  The property boasts amazing views of Mauna Kea summit and the Pacific Ocean with native koa forest and current agriculture projects thrown in for good measure.  It sits on the lower flanks of Mauna Kea between 900′ and 1700′ in elevation.  For now, here are some pictures from the property, which is 564 acres just outside of Hilo:

Click here to view more pictures and see the actual release that was published today.

Hawaii State Census Numbers Released

2010 Hawaii State Census Numbers:

(UPDATE… Please Note… the above data was pulled from however I actually got it through an RSS feed that Hawaii Free Press put out and I picked it up on )

See the comments on this post for the dialog between me and Michael Levine from Hawaii Civil Beat.  I guess he is pissed and thinks I pulled the data from their site.

Department of Public Works Hawaii Starts Tweeting

I just noticed that the Department of Public Works Hawaii has started a twitter account and is tweeting road work being done on Hawaii County roads.

A quick look at their first few tweets looks like this:

Public Works HI
dpwhi Public Works HI
Delays on Palani Road at the Henry Street Intersection on Friday. Helco crews are working in the area.
Public Works HI
dpwhi Public Works HI
The road closure at Kamakaeha is part of the offsite improvements to the Ane Keohokalole hwy, also known as the mid-level road.
Public Works HI
dpwhi Public Works HI
Closure of Kamakaeha Street expected to last from Monday, Feb 14 to March 7, 2011.
Public Works HI
dpwhi Public Works HI
Motorists are asked to use Makala Blvd. to go to Makalapua Center due to to the closure of Kamakaeha between Makala Blvd and Palani Road.

You can check out their twitter feed here: Department of Public Works Hawaii

Wordless Wednesday – Refrigerator Science Project

Well I was cleaning out my refrigerator and I came across this and I have no idea what it is… or what it was!

Needless to say… it’s become a “science project”!

What was in this jar?

11th Annual Great Waikoloa Ukulele Festival

Hot licks, cool music and great ‘ukulele giveaways

Media Release:

Waikoloa Beach Resort will present the 11thth Annual Great Waikoloa ‘Ukulele Festival, Saturday March 5, 1:00-7:00 p.m. at Queens’ MarketPlace.  With Hawaii’s “Ambassador of Aloha” Danny Kaleikini as Master of Ceremonies, the Festival spotlights ten different performances on two stages, a free workshop with Roy Sakuma and chance to win one of seven top of the line ‘ukulele from Kala ‘Ukulele, KoAloha, Kamaka ‘Ukulele, Kanile‘a ‘Ukulele, MGM ‘Ukulele, Ko‘olau Pono Guitar and ‘Ukulele Company and the ‘Ukulele Festival-Hawaii.  Lei-making, ‘umeke making (decorated gourd bowl), ‘ukulele demonstrations and lessons will be offered throughout the afternoon.

Sakuma and wife Kathy created the first annual ‘Ukulele Festival in 1971, while Roy was a maintenance worker for the City and County of Honolulu.   Today, their efforts have grown into a series of events on four islands, with over 20,000 participants.  The original ‘Ukulele Festival at Kapi‘olani Bandstand in Waikiki, hosts a performance by an 800-member ‘ukulele orchestra every July.  Their 501 (c)(3) nonprofit, ‘Ukulele Festival Hawaii, was established in 2004, “To bring laughter, love and hope to children and adults throughout Hawaii and the world through the music of the ‘ukulele.”

Appearing with Sakuma at the Waikoloa ‘Ukulele Festival will be Roy’s protégée Nelly Toyama-Baduria, his mentor for over 50 years Herb “Ohta-san” Ohta and jazz guitartist Nando Suan.  In addition, Horace Dudoit, Chris Kamaka and Glen Smith, members of the Grammy-nominated band Ho‘okena make a special appearance.

Sponsors include Waikoloa Beach Resort, Queens’ MarketPlace, ‘Ukulele Festival Hawaii, ‘ukulele companies Kala ‘Ukulele, KoAloha, Kamaka ‘Ukulele, Kanile‘a ‘Ukulele, MGM ‘Ukulele, Ko‘olau Pono Guitar & ‘Ukulele Company and the ‘Ukulele Festival-Hawaii, in addition to Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort and Spa and Roberts Hawaii.  For more information, call Queens’ MarketPlace office at 886-8822 or visit

Schedule of events, Saturday, March 5

Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort and Spa:

  • 10:00 a.m.-Noon  ‘Ukulele Workshop. BYOU (bring your own ‘ukulele).  Free.

Queen’s MarketPlace:

  • 2:00-6:00 p.m.  ‘Ukulele Making Demonstration by Bob Gleason of Pegasus Guitars & ‘Ukuleles
  • 2:00-6:00 p.m.  ‘Ukulele Lessons with Auntie Marjorie Spencer
  • 2:00-6:00 p.m.  Lei-Making with the Ladies of the Ka‘ahumanu Society
  • 2:00-6:00 p.m.  ‘Umeke Making with Auntie Donna Jensen

Island Gourmet Markets Stage

  • 1:00 p.m.  Auntie Lani Lee & Na Kupuna O Kona Ali‘i
  • 2:00 p.m.  Roy Sakuma’s Super Keiki and Nelly Toyama-Baduria
  • 3:00 p.m.  Herb Ohta and Nando Suan
  • 4:00 p.m.  John Keawe
  • 5:00 p.m.  ‘Ukulele Lehulehu

Coronation Pavilion

  • 2:00 p.m.  The Kupuka‘a’s
  • 3:00 p.m.  Kris Fuchigami
  • 4:00 p.m.  Roy Sakuma’s Super Keiki and Nelly Toyama-Baduria
  • 5:00 p.m.  Herb Ohta and Nando Suan
  • 6:00 p.m.  Chris Kamaka, Horace Dudoit and Glen Smith of Ho‘okena

Since it opened in 2007, Queens’ MarketPlace in Waikoloa Beach Resort has earned a reputation among visitors and kama’āina as “the gathering place of the Kohala Coast,” full of shopping opportunities, services and great food, along with entertainment and arts programs, movies under the stars and contemporary concerts in Waikoloa Bowl at Queens’ Gardens.  For more information, visit or call 886-8822

HIKI NŌ Premieres Monday on PBS Hawaii

Hawaii Students from 55 Public, Private and Charter Schools Deliver an Historic Launch Season of Programming  from the Nation’s First Statewide

Media Release:

They’re on the verge of making history. Several hundred students from Kauai, Niihau, Oahu, Maui, Molokai, Lanai and Hawaii Island are working feverishly on their first newscasts – their opportunity to tell the stories of their communities to a statewide television audience and on the worldwide web.

With the guidance of their teachers and support from the PBS Hawaii team – Hiki Nō Executive Producer Robert Pennybacker , Managing Editor Sue Yim, and Producer/Editor Lawrence Pacheco – these students are creating the first statewide student news network in the nation.  Each newscast will be produced by an average of nine school teams.

The Bank of Hawaii Foundation donated $100,000 and will be the exclusive Hiki Nō broadcast and webcast underwriter.  “There are stories unique to every community on every island, and Hiki Nō allows students to share their perspectives on community issues with all of us,” said Donna Tanoue, President of the Bank of Hawaii Foundation.  “We’re looking forward to seeing students tell their stories their way.”

Leslie Wilcox, PBS Hawaii President & CEO, said, “We deeply appreciate the Bank of Hawaii Foundation’s investment in the future, giving students across the state equal access to a powerful learning vehicle for 21st-century skills. The program builds critical thinking and teamwork, and we’ll see collaborative leaders emerge.”

In this first season, Hiki Nō will air every Monday at 5 PM, starting February 28, with encores scheduled for Mondays @ 5 pm, Tuesdays @ 12:30 pm, Fridays @ 9:30 pm, Saturdays @ 12:30 pm, and Sundays @ 3:00 pm.  Hiki Nō programs will also be available at

Participation in Hiki Nō is open to all middle and high schools in the state at no cost. School teams producing the debut newscast are:

  • Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School , Kauai
  • Kalani High School , East Honolulu
  • Kamehameha Schools Kapālama High School
  • Kawananakoa Middle School, Nuuanu
  • Konawaena High School , West Hawaii Island
  • Maui High School, Kahului
  • Maui Waena Intermediate School, Kahului
  • Sacred Hearts Academy , Kaimuki
  • Waipahu High School , Central Oahu

Major Development Funding for Hiki Nō is from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, The Clarence T.C. Ching Foundation, Hawaii Community Foundation, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation, W.K. Kellogg Foundation and citizens of Hawaii .

For more information on Hiki Nō go to or contact Susan Yim , Managing Editor for Hiki Nō at