Pa’i Foundation Receives $150,000 Grant From the National Endowment for the Arts

Media Release:

PA‘I FOUNDATION, whose mission is to preserve and perpetuate Hawaiian cultural traditions for future generations, has received a $150,000 “Our Town” grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to support the development of plans for a Traditional Hawaiian Cultural Center and related programming that showcases and supports contemporary Native Hawaiian visual artists and traditional cultural practitioners.  The cultural center will include classroom space, performance space for hula, music and other traditional practices, and live/work spaces for artists and their families.  The project is a partnership with “Artspace,” a national developer of creative art spaces and affordable housing for artists.

NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman announced the grant winners earlier today in Washington, D.C.  PA‘I Foundation is one of 51 inaugural “Our Town” Grant recipients, and the only one from Hawai‘i.  In total, over $6.5 million are being invested into communities around the country to support the arts as part of a community revitalization strategy.  The grants range from $25,000 to $250,000.

“We are extremely thrilled and proud to be among the first recipients of the Our Town Grant,” said Vicky Holt Takamine, PA‘I Foundation Executive Director and Kumu Hula.  “We would like to say ‘Mahalo Nui’ to the National Endowment for the Arts, our partners at ‘Artspace,’ and Mayor Peter Carlisle for providing a letter of support which was critical to our selection.  We will use these grant funds to support the development of Ola Ka ‘Ilima (Creative Art Spaces).”

NEA created the “Our Town” Grants because art works to improve the lives of America’s citizens in many ways.  Communities across our nation are using smart design and leveraging the arts to create livable, sustainable neighborhoods with enhanced quality of life, increased creative activity, distinct identities, a sense of place, and vibrant local economies.  The NEA defines these efforts as Creative Placemaking.

“Our Town” is the NEA’s latest investment in “Creative Placemaking,” through which partners from both public and private sectors come together to shape the social, physical, and economic character of a neighborhood, town, city, or region around arts and cultural activities.

“Our Town” invests in creative and innovative projects in which communities, together with their arts and design organizations and artists, are looking to increase their livability, and specifically are seeking to:

  • Improve their quality of life.
  • Encourage creative activity.
  • Create community identity and a sense of place.
  • Revitalize local economies.

The Hawai‘i project, developed by Artspace in partnership with PA‘I Foundation, will include a cultural market survey to assess the size and specific uses of the project.  It is anticipated that there will be about 40 units of affordable live/work space for artists and their families at the center. The site for the center has not been selected, as yet.

“We’re delighted to see the PA‘I Foundation receive this award from the NEA,” said Rebecca Driscoll, Artspace Board Chair. “The Our Town program is further evidence of the strong national leadership of the NEA in making creative placemaking a reality in communities all across America.”

For a complete list of “Our Town” Grant recipients, please go to www.arts.gov.

ABOUT THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS
The National Endowment for the Arts was established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government.  To date, the NEA has awarded more than $4 billion to support artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities.  The NEA extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector.  For more information, please visit www.arts.gov.

ABOUT PA‘I FOUNDATION
PA‘I Foundation, organized in 2001, is a 501 c 3 organization whose mission is to preserve and perpetuate Hawaiian cultural traditions for future generations.  The goal of PA‘I Foundation is to establish a cultural center on O’ahu to better serve the broader Hawaiian community.  PA‘I Foundation is the non-profit organization of Pua Ali’i ‘Ilima, a halau hula founded by Kumu Hula Vicky Holt Takamine in 1977.  While the organization is centered around and supported by halau members, the purpose of PA‘I Foundation is not centered around servicing the needs of the halau, but to address and serve the needs of Native Hawaiians and those who make Hawai’i their home.  For more information, please visit www.paifoundation.org.

Hawaii Police Department Backpack Drive Happening Now

Media Release:

Once again, the Hawai’i Police Department is proud to be a participant in a backpack drive to assist children less fortunate in these hard economic times. All police stations around the island will double as drop-off points between July and September for those interested in helping children in need.

Backpacks have been identified as the most requested non-food item for charities in Hawai’i. The donated backpacks will be distributed to children at women’s shelters, homeless shelters and transitional housing facilities around the Big Island.

This is the third consecutive year the Police Department has worked in partnership with HOPE Services Hawai’i (formerly known as the Office of Social Ministry) and From Kids For Kids in the collection and distribution of these items.

Hope Services Hawai’i provides a continuum of homeless and transitional programs from outreach to emergency shelters, including permanent supportive housing placements.

From Kids For Kids was founded in 2006 by Big Island resident Nani Welch-Keliihoomalu, then 10, who was responsible for distributing backpacks containing books, clothing, art and school supplies.

Police Chief Kubojiri again offers police stations as drop-off points to make it convenient for anyone who wishes to donate backpacks for the project. “I humbly ask those of you who have backpacks your child is no longer using to consider donating them to this worthy cause,” Kubojiri said. “I know that the continuing economic downturn across our nation affects all of us, but I also know that the aloha spirit is alive and well when it comes to opening our hearts and lending a helping hand.”

Congresswoman Hirono Defends Social Security from Republican Attack

[youtube=http://youtu.be/BoyWrtPN2h0]

Congresswoman Mazie Hirono, speaking on the House floor, opposes efforts by House Republicans to gut services American families rely on, including Social Security. Today, nearly 55 million Americans rely on Social Security, including 214,000 in Hawaii. The program is vital to women, particularly single women, who disproportionately face poverty in old age.

Landmark Legal Agreement May Add Hawaiian Honeycreeper and 70 Other Hawaii Animals to Federal Endangered Species List

Media Release:

A landmark legal agreement was finalized today between the Center for Biological Diversity and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service requiring the agency to make initial or final decisions on whether to add hundreds of imperiled plants and animals to the federal endangered species list by 2018.

In return, the Center will withdraw its legal opposition to a May 2011 agreement between the agency and another conservation group, which the Center argued was too weak, unenforceable and missing key species in need of protection.

The agreement was jointly submitted today to U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan (Washington, D.C.) for approval.

“Today’s agreement will fast-track protection for 757 of America’s most imperiled but least protected species. The walrus, wolverine, golden trout and Miami blue butterfly will go extinct if we don’t take action right away to save them,” said Kierán Suckling, executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity.

The Center wrote scientific listing petitions and/or filed lawsuits to protect the 757 species as part of its decade-long campaign to safeguard 1,000 of America’s most imperiled, least protected species. Spanning every taxonomic group, the species protected by today’s agreement include 26 birds, 31 mammals, 67 fish, 13 reptiles, 42 amphibians, 197 plants and 381 invertebrates.

They occur in all 50 states and several Pacific island territories. The top three states in the agreement are Alabama, Georgia and Florida, with 149, 121 and 115 species respectively. Hawaii has 70, Nevada 54, California 51, Washington 36, Arizona 31, Oregon 24, Texas 22 and New Mexico 18.

“The Southeast, West Coast, Hawaii and Southwest are America’s extinction hot spots,” said Suckling. “Most of the species lost in the past century lived there, and most of those threatened with extinction in the next decade live there as well.”

Individual species included in today’s agreement include the walrus, wolverine, Mexican gray wolf, New England cottontail rabbit, three species of sage grouse, scarlet Hawaiian honeycreeper (‘I’iwi), California golden trout, Miami blue butterfly and Rio Grande cutthroat trout — as well as 403 southeastern river-dependent species, 42 Great Basin springsnails and 32 Pacific Northwest mollusks.

While today’s agreement encompasses nearly all the species on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s official list of “candidates” for Endangered Species Act protection, two-thirds of the species in the agreement (499) are not on the list. This corresponds with the conclusion of numerous scientists and scientific societies that the extinction crisis is vastly greater than existing federal priority systems and budgets.

“Scientists and conservationists have a critical role to play in identifying endangered species and developing plans and priorities to save them. The extinction crisis is too big — too pressing — to rely on government agencies alone,” said Suckling.

Lists of the 757 species broken down by state, taxonomy, name and schedule of protection are available at http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/programs/biodiversity/species_agreement/index.html. Highlighted species are below.

Species Highlights

American wolverine: A bear-like carnivore, the American wolverine is the largest member of the weasel family. It lives in mountainous areas of the West, where it depends on late-spring snowpacks for denning. The primary threats to its existence are shrinking snowpacks related to global warming, excessive trapping and harassment by snowmobiles.

The Center for Biological Diversity and allies petitioned to list the wolverine as an endangered species in 1994. It was placed on the candidate list in 2010. Under today’s agreement, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will propose it for protection (or determine it does not qualify) in 2013 and finalize the decision in 2014 if warranted.

Pacific walrus: A large, ice-loving, tusk-bearing pinniped, the Pacific walrus plays a major role in the culture and religion of many northern peoples. Like the polar bear, it is threatened by the rapid and accelerating loss of Arctic sea ice and oil drilling.

The Center for Biological Diversity petitioned to list it as an endangered species in 2007. It was placed on the candidate list in 2011. Under today’s agreement, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will propose it for protection (or determine it does not qualify) in 2017 and finalize the decision in 2018 if warranted.

Mexican gray wolf: Exterminated from, then reintroduced to the Southwest, the Mexican gray wolf lives in remote forests and mountains along the Arizona/New Mexico border. It is threatened by legal and illegal killing, which has hampered the federal recovery program, keeping the species down to 50 wild animals.

The Center for Biological Diversity and allies petitioned to list it as an endangered species separate from other wolves in 2009. It is not on the candidate list. Under today’s agreement, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will propose it for protection (or determine it does not qualify) in 2012 and finalize the decision in 2013 if warranted.

Black-footed albatross: A large, dark-plumed seabird that lives in northwestern Hawaii, the black-footed albatross is threatened by longline swordfish fisheries, which kill it as bycatch.

The Center for Biological Diversity and allies petitioned to list this albatross as an endangered species in 2004. It is not on the candidate list. Under today’s agreement, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will propose it for protection, determine it does not qualify, or find that it is warranted but precluded for protection in 2011.

Rio Grande cutthroat trout: Characterized by deep crimson slashes on its throat — hence the name “cutthroat” — the Rio Grande cutthroat is New Mexico’s state fish. It formerly occurred throughout high-elevation streams in the Rio Grande Basin of New Mexico and southern Colorado. Logging, road building, grazing, pollution and exotic species have pushed it to the brink of extinction.

The Center for Biological Diversity petitioned to list it as an endangered species in 1998. It was placed on the candidate list in 2008. Under today’s agreement, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will propose it for protection (or determine it does not qualify) in 2014 and finalize the decision in 2015 if warranted.

403 Southeast aquatic species: The southeastern United States contains the richest aquatic biodiversity in the nation, harboring 62 percent of the country’s fish species (493 species), 91 percent of its mussels (269 species) and 48 percent of its dragonflies and damselflies (241 species). Unfortunately, the wholesale destruction, diversion, pollution and development of the Southeast’s rivers have made the region America’s aquatic extinction capital.

In 2010, the Center completed a 1,145-page, peer-reviewed petition to list 403 Southeast aquatic species as endangered, including the Florida sandhill crane, MacGillivray’s seaside sparrow, Alabama map turtle, Oklahoma salamander, West Virginia spring salamander, Tennessee cave salamander, black warrior waterdog, Cape Sable orchid, clam-shell orchid, Florida bog frog, Lower Florida Keys striped mud turtle, eastern black rail and streamside salamander.

Only 18 of Southeast aquatic species are on the candidate list. Under today’s agreement, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will issue initial listing decisions on all 403 plants and animals in 2011.

Pacific fisher: A cat-like relative of minks and otters, the fisher is the only animal that regularly preys on porcupines. It lives in old-growth forests in California, Oregon and Washington, where it is threatened by logging.

The Center for Biological Diversity petitioned to list the fisher as an endangered species in 2000. It was placed on the candidate list in 2004. Under today’s agreement, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will propose it for protection (or determine it does not qualify) in 2014 and finalize the decision in 2015 if warranted.

Cactus ferruginous pygmy owl: A tiny desert raptor, active in the daytime, the cactus ferruginous pygmy owl lives in southern Arizona and northern Mexico. It is threatened by urban sprawl and nearly extirpated from Arizona.

The Center for Biological Diversity petitioned to list it as an endangered species in 1992. It was protected in 1997, then delisted on technical grounds in 2006. The Center repetitioned to protect it in 2007. It is not on the candidate list. Under today’s agreement, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will propose it for protection (or determine it does not qualify) in 2011 and finalize the decision in 2012 if warranted.

42 Great Basin springsnails: Living in isolated springs of the Great Basin and Mojave deserts, springsnails play important ecological roles cycling nutrients, filtering water and providing food to other animals. Many are threatened by a Southern Nevada Water Authority plan to pump remote, desert groundwater to Las Vegas.

In 2009, the Center for Biological Diversity petitioned to list 42 springsnails as endangered species, including the duckwater pyrg, Big Warm Spring pyrg and Moapa pebblesnail. None are on the candidate list. Under today’s agreement, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will issue initial listing decisions on all 42 species in 2011.

Scarlet Hawaiian honeycreeper (ʻIʻiwi):

Scarlet Hawaiian honeycreeper (ʻIʻiwi): This bright-red bird hovers like a hummingbird and has long been featured in the folklore and songs of native Hawaiians. It is threatened by climate change, which is causing mosquitoes that carry introduced diseases — including avian pox and malaria — to move into the honeycreeper’s higher-elevations refuges. It has been eliminated from low elevations on all islands by these diseases.

The Center for Biological Diversity petitioned to list it as an endangered species in 2010. It is not on the candidate list. Under today’s agreement, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will propose it for protection (or determine it does not qualify) in 2016 and finalize the decision in 2017 if warranted.

Ashy storm petrel: A small, soot-colored seabird that lives off coastal waters from California to Baja, Mexico, the ashy storm petrel looks like it’s walking on the ocean surface when it feeds. It is threatened by warming oceans, sea-level rise and ocean acidification.

The Center for Biological Diversity petitioned to list it as an endangered species in 2007. It is not on the candidate list. Under today’s agreement, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will propose it for protection (or determine it does not qualify) in 2013 and finalize the decision in 2014 if warranted.

Greater and Mono Basin sage grouse: Sage grouse are showy, ground-dwelling birds that perform elaborate mating dances, with males puffing up giant air sacks on their chests. The Mono Basin sage grouse lives in Nevada and California. The greater sage grouse lives throughout much of the Interior West. Both are threatened by oil and gas drilling, livestock grazing, development and off-road vehicles.

The Center for Biological Diversity and allies petitioned to list the Mono Basin sage grouse as an endangered species in 2005. It was placed on the candidate list in 2010. Under today’s agreement, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will propose it for protection (or determine it does not qualify) in 2013 and finalize the decision in 2014 if warranted.

The greater sage grouse was petitioned for listing in 2002 and placed on the candidate list in 2010. Under today’s agreement, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will propose it for protection (or determine it does not qualify) in 2015 and finalize the decision in 2016 if warranted.

Miami blue butterfly: An ethereal beauty native to South Florida and possibly the most endangered insect in the United States, the Miami blue was thought extinct after Hurricane Andrew in 1992 but rediscovered in 1999. It is threatened by habitat loss and pesticide spraying.

It was petitioned for listing as an endangered species in 2000 and placed on the candidate list in 2005. The Center for Biological Diversity petitioned to list it on an emergency basis in 2011. Under today’s agreement, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will propose it for protection (or determine it does not qualify) in 2012 and finalize the decision in 2013 if warranted.

Oregon spotted frog: The Oregon spotted frog lives in wetlands from southernmost British Columbia through Washington and Oregon to northernmost California. It is threatened by habitat destruction and exotic species.

The Oregon spotted frog was placed on the candidate in 1991. The Center for Biological Diversity petitioned to list it as an endangered species in 2004. Under today’s agreement, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will propose it for protection (or determine it does not qualify) in 2013 and finalize the decision in 2014 if warranted.

32 Pacific Northwest mollusks: The Pacific Northwest is home to a unique diversity of mollusks found nowhere else on Earth. With colorful names like the evening fieldslug, cinnamon juga and masked duskysnail, these species recycle nutrients, filter water and provide important prey for birds, amphibians and other animals. Many species threatened by logging, pollution and urban sprawl.

In 2008, the Center for Biological Diversity petitioned to list 32 Washington, Oregon and Northern California mollusks as endangered species. None are on the candidate list. Under today’s agreement, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will issue initial listing decisions on all 32 species in 2011.

Hawaii’s List:

Hawaii

A’e
Aiea
Ala’ala’wai’nui’
Alani (Melicope christophersenii)
Alani (Melicope hiiakae)
Alani (Melicope makahae)
Anchialine pool shrimp (Metabetaeus lohena)
Anchialine pool shrimp (Palaemonella burnsi)
Anchialine pool shrimp (Procaris hawaiana)
Anchialine pool shrimp (Vetericaris chaceorum)
‘Anunu
Awikiwiki
Band-rumped storm petrel, Hawaii population
Blackline megalagrion damselfly
Bracted phyllostegia
Christella boydiae
Crimson Hawaiian damselfly
‘Ena’ena
Haha (Cyanea asplenifolia)
Haha (Cyanea calycina)
Haha (Cyanea kunthiana)
Haha (Cyanea lanceolata)
Haha (Cyanea obtusa)
Haha (Cyanea tritomantha)
Ha’iwale (Cyrtandra filipes)
Ha’iwale (Cyrtandra kaulantha)
Ha’iwale (Cyrtandra oxybapha)
Ha’iwale (Cyrtandra sessilis)
Hala pepe (Pleomele fernaldii)
Hala pepe (Pleomele forbesii)
Hawaiian fescue
Holei
Hulumoa
Kampuaa’a
Kaulu
Kolea (Myrsine fosbergii)
Kolea (Myrsine vaccinioides)
Ko’oko’olau (Bidens amplectens)
Ko’oko’olau (Bidens campylotheca ssp. paihoiensis)
Ko’oko’olau (Bidens campylotheca ssp. pentamera)
Ko’oko’olau (Bidens conjuncta)
Ko’oko’olau (Bidens micrantha ssp. ctenophylla)
Kopiko
Lanai tree snail (Partulina semicarinata)
Lanai tree snail (Partulina variabilis)
Makou (Ranunculus hawaiensis)
Makou (Ranunculus mauiensis)
Many-flowered phyllostegia
Ma’oli’oli (Schiedea pubescens)
Ma’oli’oli (Schiedea salicaria)
Nanu
Newcomb’s tree snail
Nohoanu (Geranium hanaense)
Nohoanu (Geranium hillebrandii)
Oceanic Hawaiian damselfly
Ohe
Orangeblack Hawaiian megalagrion damselfly
Platydesma cornuta var. cornuta
Platydesma cornuta var. decurrens
Pomace fly
Popolo
Reedgrass (Calamagrostis expansa)
Reedgrass (Calamagrostis hillebrandii)
Remy pilokea
Scarlet Hawaiian honeycreeper
Stenogyne cranwelliae
Takeuch’s lip fern
Wawae ‘iole (Microlepia strigosa var. mauiensis)
Wawae ‘iole (Phlegmariurus stemmermanniae)
Wekiu bug

Hawaii Coffee Association Results – 3rd Annual Hawaii Statewide Cupping Competion

Media Release:

The Hawaii Coffee Association crowned its third Grand Champion of Hawaiian Coffee at its 16th Annual Conference and Trade Show at the Hilton Waikoloa Village located on Kona’s Gold Coast. The HCA joined with Coffee Fest, a national coffee industry trade show, to co-host the three-day event.

Rusty’s Hawaiian 100% Ka’u Coffee received top honors for the second consecutive year in the competition between coffees entered from each growing origin in Hawaii. The coffees were ‘cupped’ and scored from a pool of 58 premium Hawaiian coffees from eight districts by a panel of six notable coffee industry professionals using standardized blind procedures. Awards were given to the top three entries from each origin as well as the Grand Champion award.

Lorie Obra of Rusty’s Hawaiian accepted the coveted HCA award presented by witty commentator and keynote speaker Howard Dicus. Lorie passionately expressed simultaneous joy and sorrow adding that she was emotionally torn between sadness and elation because her late husband and farm namesake, Rusty, could not share the award while expressing joy over realizing his dream. “This is for my late husband, our farm, the Ka’u district, the HCA and all Hawaii coffees from across the state,” Obra said.

The expanded cupping panel included Shawn Hamilton of Java City Roasters, Warren Muller of Inter American Coffee, Paul Thornton of Coffee Bean International, Lindsey Bolger of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Jay Isais and Jesse Martinez of Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. Four of the six are licensed coffee graders. None are based in Hawaii to help ensure impartiality. “The cup quality and diversity has improved every year,” said chief judge Hamilton. “We’re experiencing flavors that would never have been associated with Hawaiian coffee in years past. Everyone is upping their game.”

HCA members re-elected Tom Greenwell as president at their annual member meeting. The conference also featured an industry trade show, guest speakers, growers’ reports, diverse educational seminars, a hands-on cupping workshop and a latte art competition.

Coffee cupping is a combination of art and science where coffees are evaluated and scored based on subtle characteristics including, flavor, aroma, ‘mouth-feel,” acidity, sweetness and aftertaste.

The Hawaii Coffee Association’s mission is to represent all sectors of the Hawaii coffee industry, including growers, millers, wholesalers, roasters and retailers.  The HCA’s primary objective is to increase awareness and consumption of Hawaiian coffees.  A major component of HCA’s work is the continuing education of members and consumers. This annual conference has continued to grow each year and has gained increased international attention.

For more information visit Hawaii Coffee Association’s website at www.hawaiicoffeeassociation.com

CUPPING RESULTS FOR HCA  3RD ANNUAL HAWAII 2011 STATEWIDE CUPPING COMPETITION

GRAND CHAMPION – RUSTY’S HAWAIIAN – LORI OBRA

HAMAKUA

1.     Hawaii White Mountain LLC

HAWAII

1.     Hilo Coffee Mill

2.     Makana Gardens

3.    Manny’s Brew Coffee Co

KAUAI

1.     Moloa’a Bay Coffee

2.     Kauai Coffee Company

KA’U

1.     Rusty’s Hawaiian

2.     JN Coffee Farm

3.     Ali`i Hawaiian Hula Hands Coffee

KONA

1.     Greenwell Farms

2.     Hawaiian Queen Coffee

3.     Arianna Farms `Ono Kona Coffee

MAUI

1.     Shim Coffee & Protea Farm

2.     Keokea Farms

3.     Punawai Farms

MOLOKAI

1.     Coffees of Hawaii

OAHU

1.     Waialua Estate Coffee

2.     Pavaraga – HARC