September Specials on the Big Island

Don’t let the end of summer get you down – it’s summery year-round on Hawai’i, the Big Island. A slew of special offers, new direct flights, and a cornucopia of fall specials make it easy to fall for Hawai’i’s biggest (and best) island, in a big way.

BIVB

ADVENTURES, ACTIVITIES & EVENTS

Alaska Airlines Adds More Nonstop Flights to Kona International Airport! New daily nonstop flights from San Jose and Oakland, CA are en route to Kona, as Alaska Airlines increases its airlift to Hawai’i starting Mar. 12, 2012. Currently, the airline serves Kona with three flights a week between Oakland and Kona, and four flights a week between San Jose and Kona. Savvy travelers can fly for as little as $179 each way if they act fast: book by Sept. 3 for travel from Mar. 12 – June 9, 2012. A complete list of fares and daily routes is available at www.alaskaair.com or by calling (800) 252-7522.

Vote for Hawai’i Island! To celebrate its 30th anniversary, ISLANDS magazine is having a cover contest! Log onto http://www.islands.com/gallery/30-years-covers?pnid=128407&page=,5 and cast your vote for Hawai’i, the Big Island today! The island with the most votes will be featured as the cover photo for the December 2012 issue. Hurry, voting ends on Sept. 21. The Big Island graced the February 1991 cover, and it’s time to do it again!

Kohala Canopy Adventure Swings Into Action. Hawaii Forest & Trail and Kohala Zipline present a new, exciting adventure, the Kohala Canopy Adventure. Kohala Zipline, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hawaii Forest & Trail, opens Sept. 3. Built on Hawaii Forest & Trail’s 18 years of experience, this nature-based elevated inspiration is perched amongst the trees of Hālawa Gulch and features suspension bridges, soaring tree platforms and thrilling ziplines. Exclusive features, such as WhisperLines™ and smooth-stop braking, ensure guest safety and comfort and deliver an unforgettable experience. Visit www.kohalazipline.com.

Zoom and Smell the Flowers! Botanical World’s new Segway of Hawaii tours let riders glide silently through the lush rainforest, waterfalls and exquisite gardens at its World Botanical Gardens north of Hilo. Certified Segway guides train and assist visitors to ride the stand-up, two-wheeled electric transporters, with 30-minute to two-hour-plus tours available. Combine a Segway Botanical Tour with a Zip Isle Zip Line tour and double up on fun and save on admission. Reservations recommended, visit www.botanicalworld.com or call toll-free (888) 947-4753 for information. 

Ocean Sports announces its newest “twist” in water fitness activities: Aqua Hula! Under the guidance of an expert kumu hula (instructor), you’ll learn and perform authentic hula dance moves in this easy-to-follow, no-impact, shallow-water workout. Routines are set to lovely, lively Hawaiian music, and no experience is required. Classes offered daily at the Hilton Waikoloa Village, Mon.- Fri. For information or reservations, call (808) 886-6666, ext. 103, or visit www.hawaiioceansports.com.

Hawaii Island Retreat in North Kohala is expanding the natural spa services at its new Maluhia Spa. The new Papaya Delight body treatment is a highly exfoliating and healing treatment that begins with roasted ground papaya seeds to exfoliate and polish the skin, followed by a mask of fresh organic papaya, goat yogurt, honey, and geranium oil.  Once the mask is removed, a massage with papaya-pineapple lotion leaves the skin silky smooth and dewy fresh.  Call (808) 889-6336 to schedule an appointment.

The Spa Without Walls at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i introduces two new treatments from Hawaiian Rainforest Naturals, the Hiwahiwa and the Kane which incorporate lotions and essences drawn from flowers from Hawai’i Island. The 50-minute treatments, tailored specifically for The Spa Without Walls, are being offered for $159 in any one of the award-winning Spa’s waterfall or oceanfront hale.  Offer is exclusive of tax & gratuity and valid until Dec. 21, 2011.  Call (808) 887-7540 for more information and reservations.

Sportfishing Charter “Super Saver” Upgrade Offers. Book a half-day fishing charter with Kona’s Humdinger Sportfishing, and get upgraded to a ¾ day fishing charter, plus take an additional $100 off. This special price of $500 saves anglers $300! Or, book a ¾ day, get upgraded to a full-day charter, and receive $100 off for a total of $700, saving anglers $300. Six-passenger maximum, payment due in full at time of booking, and charter must be taken by May 15, 2012. For details, visit www.humdingersportfishing.com, or call (808) 325-3449.

Big Island Eco Adventures II is now open and ready to rock! Experience breathtaking mountains and gulches of North Kohala and soar on eight exhilarating zipline runs, ranging from 700 to 2,000 feet. Test your courage on a 200-foot suspension bridge overlooking a beautiful fern grotto. Enjoy light, local snacks at the Mango Hut, and zip out to finish the tour with views of Waianaia Gulch and the Pacific Ocean. Call (808) 889-5111 or visit www.thebigislandzipline.com.

Five-hour O‘ahu-to-Big Island Private Airplane/Helicopter Adventure. Private parties from one to six people start their day on O’ahu by boarding a private airplane with Makani Kai headed for Hawai’i, the Big Island. After arriving, they climb aboard with Paradise Helicopters to enjoy flightseeing over Hawai’i’s biggest island, with highlights like Kīlauea volcano, and landing in a secluded valley on the Hāmākua Coast for a Hawaiian-themed picnic lunch. Contact Rob Payesko, (808) 329-6601, or email rob@paradisecopters.com.

Manta Mama. A manta ray fondly called “Big Bertha” recently gave birth. Her underwater courtship and 13-month gestation period was chronicled by Fair Wind Big Island Ocean Guides’ videographer James L. Wing. Big Bertha’s underbelly markings and her 15-foot wing span make her easily recognizable among the giant rays often observed during Fair Wind’s nighttime Manta Snorkel and Dive adventure just offshore from Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort & Spa. Watch the video at www.mantarayshawaii.com and learn more at www.Fair-Wind.com.

The renowned Volcano Art Center presents “Dia De Los Muertos: Grievin’ and Groovin’ Fiesta, Procession and Art Exhibit,” Nov. 1-2. This two-day celebration honoring the dearly departed represents art, writing, and movement based on mortality and the passage of time. Based on the actual dates of the traditional celebration, it will close in a full fiesta on the evening of the second day. Visit www.volcanoartcenter.org for details, or to participate, contact Anne at community@volcanoartcenter.org.

Looking for more to do? Click www.bigisland.org/calendar for detailed information about additional Hawai’i Island happenings throughout 2011, like the 41st Annual Kona Coffee Cultural Festival:

Praised for its fine, aromatic and memorable taste, Kona coffee is celebrated at the 41st annual Kona Coffee Cultural Festival Nov. 4-13. The award-winning, 10-day festival is recognized as the oldest and one of the most successful food festivals in Hawai’i, honors Kona’s cultural heritage and recognizes the accomplishments of Kona coffee pioneers, farmers and artisans. www.konacoffeefest.com.

ACCOMMODATIONS

Mark your calendar for the 2011 Kona Surf Film Festival happening Dec. 2 and 3 at The Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows. The Fest is an epic weekend of international surf films, live music, local art and design and awesome food and drinks.  The weekend will benefit the Seathos Foundation, which promotes education and awareness of the human impact on the world’s oceans. Enjoy special festival room rates starting from $199 a night. For more information visit www.maunalani.com.

Guests at the Outrigger Royal Sea Cliff have a new evening activity to enjoy: movies under the stars. Every Thursday, between 7:15 and 9 p.m., the resort offers “Movie Night Under the Sea Cliff Stars” with movies either filmed in Hawai’i or about Hawai’i. Recent viewings have included Lilo and Stitch, The Ride, Soul Surfer, and Blue Hawaii. There’s even a concession stand with freshly popped popcorn and M&Ms to enjoy. Find out more at  www.outriggerroyalseacliff.com.

Vacation Homes for the Holidays. Need a holiday getaway? Hawaii Vacation Rentals, Inc. has availability in Puakō during the holidays in beautiful beach cottages and luxurious homes. Puakō is a charming residential beach community on the sunny Kohala Coast, nestled between the Mauna Kea and Mauna Lani resorts. Visit www.vacationbigisland.com  or call (800) 332-7081.

Enjoy the warmth of Hawai’i Island at Prince Resorts Hawaii with up to $100 daily resort credit used toward dining, golf, spa and more. Mauna Kea Beach Hotel is offering $399 per room per night for mountain view accommodations with $100 daily resort credit. Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel is offering a $199 per room per night for terrace accommodations with $50 daily resort credit. Offers valid Oct. 1 – Dec. 17, 2011. For reservations or information, call (866) Prince-6 or visit www.PrinceResortsHawaii.com/fall.

Hale Makamae Bed & Breakfast in Puna offers warm hospitality, classic aloha spirit, plus a fall special! Enjoy a 10 percent discount for new bookings, valid now through Nov. 15, 2011, and mention the 2011 Fall Special. Comfortable, spacious suites are surrounded by two acres of serene tropical gardens. Families welcome, gourmet breakfast included, free Wi-Fi. Ten minutes to the lava flow, 30 minutes to Hilo and Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, five minutes to Pāhoa. Visit www.bnb-aloha.com for more info.

Hilton Waikoloa Village has a new name for its children’s program: Club Keiki. Club Keiki (formerly known as Camp Menehune), prides itself in providing a safe and fun environment for children five to 12 with day and night camp activities.  Each day includes themed crafts, games and water activities. Club Keiki counselors tell stories of the islands and teach children about Hawaiian culture. For information, call (808) 886-1234, ext. 1202 or visit www.hiltonwaikoloavillage.com.

Castle’s “Fall for Hawai‘i” Sale. Let Castle Resorts & Hotels help you Fall for Hawai’i for the first time, or all over again! Castle’s fall specials offer 55 percent off select hotels and condominium resorts on Hawai’i, the Big Island. Castle’s outstanding collection offers properties with full kitchens, washer/dryers, oceanfront swimming pools, restaurants, fitness centers and more. Visit www.castleresorts.com, or call (800) 545-3510 to learn more.

Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort & Spa is ideal for families, romantics, ocean lovers and island adventurers. It is also ideal when booking a room now through Dec. 23, 2011 at rates starting as low $129 per night. The “Book Now & Save” rate is non-changeable, non-refundable and subject to availability at time of booking. Applicable state taxes and daily resort service fee not included. Book online at www.SheratonKeauhou.com/specials.

Bougainvillea Bed and Breakfast in Ocean View offers a room, restaurant offer and three nights for two people at $89/night. Try the new eatery, Rock Island Roadhouse, with a $25 coupon, and enjoy remarkable food and reasonable prices in a pleasing, enjoyable setting. Offer valid now through Dec. 15, 2011. Call (808) 929-7089, and visit www.bougainvilleabedandbreakfast.com.

Aston Hotels & Resorts offer the Sweet Suite package for golf enthusiasts. Package includes two rounds of golf, plus cart, at the Waikoloa Beach Golf Course (Beach or Kings Course) and accommodations at the Aston Shores at Waikoloa with starting rates from $234 per night or Aston Waikoloa Colony Villas starting at $243 per night. Visit www.AstonHotels.com or call (866) 774-2924.

Four Seasons Resort Hualālai to Plant 500,000 Trees. Four Seasons Resort Hualālai at Historic Ka’upulehu, the first and only AAA Five-Diamond and Forbes Five-Star resort on Hawai’i Island, has partnered with Hawaiian Legacy Hardwoods in planting up to 500,000 “legacy” koa trees in native Hawaiian forests. This initiative is part of a global effort of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts to plant 10 million trees around the world, in recognition of the company’s 50th birthday. More information available at  http://press.fourseasons.com/hualalai/hotel-news/four-seasons-resort-hualalai-to-plant-500-000-trees/.

TASTY TIDBITS

Wine Grapes Grown With Ocean Water? The innovators at the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawai’i (NELHA) in Kona are successfully growing Isabella-variety wine grapes with ocean water, and have been since 1997. Deep cold ocean water is used to create 24/7 condensate drip irrigation and nurtures three crops per year. This unique, patented technology was developed at NELHA, and has also been used to grow a variety of temperate crops in the tropics. Visit these one-of-a-kind wine grapes at the Gateway Center at NELHA,  www.energyfuturehawaii.org.

AKA Sushi is a new little eatery in Waimea, located in the Waimea Shopping Center in the heart of town. Kyaw Mo and his wife Akiko are the proprietors of this 22-seat sushi specialty restaurant. Traditional nigiri sushi, sashimi, special rolls and hand rolls are all part of the menu; rice bowls and salads with somen noodles, too. Open for lunch and dinner, Tues.-Sat., 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., (808) 887-2320. Email:  bigakasushi@yahoo.com.

KUDOS

Hawai’i Island Is #1! In its August issue, the readers of Travel +Leisure voted Hawai’i, the Big Island the top Hawaiian Island, and ranked the island No. 7 on the list of Top Islands Overall in the World’s Best Awards 2011 readers’ survey. Hawai’i Island is also home to the top resort hotel in the state: the Four Seasons Resort Hualālai is ranked No. 1 on the World’s Best Awards 2011 list of Top Resorts in Hawai’i! We’re still celebrating, and if you missed the news, read all about it here: http://media.gohawaii.com/big-island/press-room/news-releases/-articles-/2011/08/191086_1108250248-632.

Mountain Thunder Has Done It Again! Mountain Thunder Coffee Plantation earned two gold medals at the Kona Coffee Council’s prestigious Cream of the Crop competition in August, one for “Chef’s Choice,” and the other for “People’s Choice.” On Sept. 4, Mountain Thunder will again be crowned Best of the West by readers of the West Hawaii Today newspaper. Visit the family-owned Cloud Forest Kona coffee plantation and mill for a free tour, or schedule a VIP tour and call (808) 345-6600. Japanese tours on Tuesday and Friday. Visit www.mountainthunder.com.

What the Hecht? Debbie Hecht on the 2% Charter Amendment

Debbie Hecht

Debbie Hecht

Guest Commentary by Debbie Hecht:

Council member Brenda Ford will be proposing   CHANGES to the THE OPEN SPACE CHARTER AMENDMENT to be heard on September 7  in Hilo, at the 2:30 Finance Committee. The next time will be September 21st  in Kona, October 5 in Hilo and October 19 in Kona.

SAVE THESE DATES TO TESTIFY-If the charter amendment fails at first reading the matter is finished so please show up for the committee hearing and the 1st reading. we will keep you posted!

WE NEED YOUR HELP TO GET THIS ON THE BALLOT FOR 2012—-It is required to get this proposed charter amendment through the committee and 3 readings to get this on the ballot to let the voters decide ONCE AGAIN.

Charter amendments need 6 council members to vote YES

so please Ask THE COUNCIL MEMBERS:    Let the people decide at the polls in 2012 whether or not to make deposits of 2% of our property taxes to the land fund.

WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP to secure 6 VOTES:

**   Call and email the council members:  Cut and paste the following email list:

<bsmart@co.hawaii.hi.us>, <dikeda@co.hawaii.hi.us>, <donishi@co.hawaii.hi.us>, <fblas@co.hawaii.hi.us>, <jyoshimoto@co.hawaii.hi.us>, <wkenoi@co.hawaii.hi.us>, “Brenda Ford” <bford@co.hawaii.hi.us>, “Dominic Yagong” <dyagong@co.hawaii.hi.us>, “Pete Hoffmann” <phoffmann@co.hawaii.hi.us>, “Pilago, Angel” <apilago@co.hawaii.hi.us>, <counciltestimony@co.hawaii.hi.us>,

Click here to find the council members PHONE numbers:

http://www.hawaii-county.com/council/districts.htm

WHY DO WE NEED A 2% CHARTER AMENDMENT?

1.       WE will be assured that 2% of our property taxes will be deposited each year at budget time.  Remember the Mayor and Council suspended deposits to the fund from 2009 to 2o11, which meant we did not have $8 million to acquire land during that time. They would be required by law to deposit the 2% amount.  AND they cannot change the law!

2.            Charter amendments can only be changed by a vote of the people, not the council or Mayor.

3.            Remember 2% of our property taxes is approximately $4 million per year. The great “gift” of the land fund is to obtain matching funds.  $4 million becomes $8 million if the county gets dollar-for-dollar matching funds. So far the county has obtained $2.145 in matching funds.

4.            There are still MANY properties our communities want to acquire – see the list below compiled from the Public Access and Open Space Commission’s recommended List of properties sent to the Mayor further down in this article.

5.            With a 2% charter amendment in place we won’t waste citizens time in going to council meetings during budget hearings to testify AND we won’t waste council member’s time having to listen to testimony.

 

DIDN’T WE ALREADY VOTE ON THIS?  Yes, twice!! Once in 2006 as an ordinance for 2% of our property taxes to be set aside, which was later suspended by the council and Mayor.  Again, in 2010  for a 1% charter amendment which is only for $2 million per year.  57% of us voted twice to support these measures!!

 Properties Acquired by the County since 2006* costing Hawaii County $11,297,000:

1.       Waipio Look out for  $902,145. (Hamakua Coast)   (No matching funds)

2.            Kawa Bay (Puna)  $1.9 million County with $1.2 from the State Legacy Lands and funds from US Fish and Wildlife Service to protect the endangered Hawksbill Turtle

3.            Kaiholena North (Kohala)   $6.55 million with no matching funds

4.            Pao’o  (Kohala)  $945, 000.00 with $945,000. From NOAA

2% Land Fund Top Picks by the Public Access, Open Space and Natural Resources Commission

SUSPENDING DEPOSITS TO THE FUND: As you can see there are still many properties to be acquired, costing millions of dollars.  The county’s suspending deposits to the fund for two years  (2009-2100) really slowed down the acquisition program.

The following properties were on the Commission’s recommended list to the Mayor from 2001-2010, but have not been acquired. 

Pohoiki Bay  (Puna), Keawenui Access Easement  (Kohala), Hamakua Springs Agricultural Conservation Easement (Hamakua), Hapu‘u to Kapanai‘a Cultural Corridor (North Kohala), Kawa  (Ka’u), Kingman Trust (Kona), Kahuku Coastal Property (Ka’u), Kaiholena-south  (Kohala), Kukuipahu-Ha‘ena Corridor (Kohala), Mahukona  (Kohala), Honolulu Landing (Puna), Wai’ele  (Puna), Puapua’a (Kona), O’oma II (Kona)

* The Open Space Commission’s Annual Reports and the Financial Data can be found at

http://www.hawaii-county.com/finance/ponc.htm

To be PROPOSED by Council member Brenda Ford:

Bill 87 Draft 1-

The 2% for the Land Fund Charter Amendment

Changes are highlighted to the existing charter amendment are in yellow.

(Note: stricken or crossed out material is from the existing charter amendment that is to be changed, underlined material is new material to change the existing charter amendment)

AN ORDINANCE TO INITIATE A CHARTER AMENDMENT TO ARTICLE X, FINANCIAL PROCEDURES, SECTION 10 -15, OF THE HAWAII COUNTY CHARTER (2010 EDITION), REGARDING THE PUBLIC ACCESS, OPEN SPACE, AND NATURAL RESOURCES PRESERVATION FUND.

BE IT ORDAINED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE COUNTY OF HAWAII:

SECTION 1. Article X, Financial Procedures, Section 10 -15, of the Hawai`i County

Charter (2010 Edition), relating to the Public Access, Open Space, and Natural Resources Preservation Fund, is amended to read as follows:

Section 10 -15. Public Access, Open Space, and Natural Resources Preservation Fund.

a) In adopting each fiscal year’ s operating budget [and capital program], the council shall appropriate a minimum of [one] two percent of the certified real property tax revenues, including penalty and interest, to a fund known as the public access, open space, and natural resources preservation fund. Deposits to the fund shall occur at a minimum, on a quarterly basis.

b) Funding shall consist of a minimum of [one] two percent of actual revenue received in the fiscal year. Additional revenue may consist of grants and private contributions intended for the purpose of this section, voluntary contributions of any amount as specified on the real property tax bill, proceeds from the sale of general obligation bonds authorized and issued for the purpose of this section, council appropriations for the purpose of this section, [and grants and private contributions intended for the purpose of this section,] and any other source of revenue.

c) Monies in this fund shall be used solely to:

1) Purchase or otherwise acquire lands [or property entitlement:] and easements in the County of Hawaii for public outdoor recreation and education, including:

A) Access to beaches and mountains;

B) Preservation of historic or culturally important land areas and sites;

C) Protection of natural resources, significant habitat or eco- systems, including buffer zones;

D) Protection of watershed lands to preserve water quality and water supply.

(2) Pay the principal, interest and premium, if any, due with respect to bonds issued in whole for the purpose of this fund.

d) Any balance remaining in the fund at the end of any fiscal year shall not lapse, but shall remain in the fund accumulating interest from year to year. The moneys in this fund shall not be used for any purpose except those listed in this section.

e) The council shall by ordinance establish procedures for the administration and expenditure of moneys in this fund.

f) This fund shall be used for acquisition of land and easements and shall not be used for development, maintenance or for any purpose other than as provided in this section.

g) The highest and best use of this fund is to leverage the money in the fund by attracting matching funds, although, matching funds are not required in every purchase.

h) Any land acquired with this fund shall contain the following restrictive covenant in its recorded deed of conveyance: ” This land was acquired with moneys from the Public Access, Open Space, and Natural Resources Preservation Fund. It shall be held in perpetuity for the use and enjoyment of the people of Hawai` i County and may not be sold, mortgaged, traded or transferred in any way.”

i) Any easement acquired with this fund shall contain the following restrictive covenant in its recorded deed of conveyance: ” This easement was acquired with moneys from the Public Access, Open Space, and Natural Resources Preservation Fund. It shall be held in perpetuity for the use and enjoyment of the people of Hawai` i County and may not be sold, mortgaged, traded or transferred in any way.”

SECTION 2. Charter material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New charter material is underscored. When revising, compiling, or printing these charter provisions for inclusion in the Charter of the County of Hawai` i, the reviser need not include the brackets, bracketed material, or underscoring.

SECTION 3. If any provision of this ordinance, or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of the ordinance, which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end, the provisions of this ordinance are severable.

SECTION 4. Upon adoption of this ordinance, this council, by appropriate resolution,

Shall provide that this amendment be submitted to the electorate of Hawaii County for approval in the 2012 general election.

SECTION 5. The charter amendment proposed in this ordinance shall take effect upon its approval by a majority of voters voting on this legislation in the 2012 General Election, as duly certified. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a), proration of the deposits affected by this legislation shall begin on November 7, 2012.

Please call with questions:

Debbie Hecht

Campaign Coordinator, Save Our Lands Citizens Committee

 

International Bee Conference Coming to the Big Island of Hawaii

Hawaii’s “idyllic days” as a beekeeper’s paradise are over, according to Danielle Downey, state apiculture specialist,  leading to a “crash mobilization of Hawaiian beekeepers and supporters of the industry who are fighting for the survival of their bees.” In line with that mobilization, the international Western Apicultural Society is holding its annual conference Sept. 12-Sept. 15 at Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel in South Kohala.

Big Island Bee Conference

Puna beekeeper Jenn Rasmussen checks a hive for the invasive small hive beetle. Apiary recovery following assaults by Varroa mite and small hive beetles will be a focus of the Sept. 12-15 Western Apicultural Society's annual conference at the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel. The public is invited.

Downey is one of several nationally known apiary specialists speaking at the four-day conference that will focus on new research and bee colony recovery; the state of Hawaii beekeeping, its problems and successes; and alternatives to conventional beekeeping, according to Jenny Bach, WAS first vice president and one of the conference organizers.

“Beekeepers are scrambling to save their operations in the face of massive and sudden losses,” Downey said, adding there is “no easy fix” for honey farmers, queen breeders, or agricultural interests who are wondering what happens if they lose their crops’ pollinators.

Big Island Bee Conference

Larry Connor, PhD., will speak at the Western Apicultural Society's annual conference to be held Sept. 12-15 at the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel. The beekeeping columnist and Wicwas Press publisher will also present a day-long masters' workshop in Hawi on Sept. 16 on rebuilding the apiary after losses.

Bee specialists coming from the Mainland to give conference presentations include Jim Bach, president of Apiary Inspectors of America and for 25 years, the Washington State Apiculture specialist; Dewey Caron, PhD., University of Delaware Emeritus Professor of Entomology & Wildlife Ecology and affiliate faculty with Oregon State University, Corvallis’s Horticulture Dept. and a continuing researcher into Africanized bees in the Americas; Christi Heintz, pollination research manager for Project Apis m. (PAm) and the Almond Board of California; and Larry Connor, PhD., Wicwas Press publisher and columnist for both the American Bee Journal and Bee Culture Magazine. Other mainland speakers will be Randy Oliver, beekeeper and researcher who maintains the website http://scientificbeekeeping.com/; Serge Labesque, natural beekeeper in Sonoma County, CA.,  who teaches beekeeping at Santa Rosa Junior College and 2006 recipient of the WAS Thurber Award for Inventiveness; Sam Comfort, owner of Anarchy Apiaries who practices treatment-free beekeeping; and David Barnes. an expert on Varroa mite and small hive beetle control from Florida. Eric Mussen, PhD., University of California-Davis extension apiculturalist and five-time WAS president, will give welcoming remarks the evening of Sept. 12.

In addition to Downey, Hawaii-based speakers will be Patricia Couvillon, PhD., University of Hawaii-Manoa associate professor in the Pacific Biosciences Research Center and the Department of Psychology, a 30-year researcher into the learning and cognition across species; Ethel Villalobos, PhD., University of Hawaii Honeybee Project researcher on sustainable methods for Varroa mite and small hive beetle management; Michael Kliks, PhD., owner of Manoa Honey Company, former consultant to the World Health Organization and president of the Hawaii Beekeepers Association; Jenny Bach, owner of Bee Love Apiaries in Pepe’ekeo and founder and director of the Honeybee Education Program and Honeybees for Farmers Project; Cary Dizon, Glenwood beekeeper and president of the Big Island Beekeepers Association; Ron Hanson, owner of Puna’s Best Big Island Bees and trainer of beginning beekeepers; and Scott Nikaido of the UH Bee Lab.

Big Island Bee Conference

Volcano encaustic artist John Matsushita will demonstrate painting with bees' wax Sept. 14 at the Western Apicultural Soceity conference at the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel. The public is invited to take part in the 2nd annual Hawaiian Natural Honey Challenge that evening at the hotel.

Conference field trips on Sept. 14 will offer a choice of excursions to a Kona queen bee farm in Captain Cook or Volcano Island Honey Company on the Hamakua Coast. Exhibits and a silent auction will be featured throughout the four days.

BIBA’s 2nd annual Hawaiian Natural Honey Challenge will be held in conjunction with the conference, with the public tasting and awards announcement at the hotel scheduled for 7-9 p.m. Sept. 14.

The public is invited to the WAS conference. Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel is offering a special conference and room rate of $159 a day; daily registration is $45 and includes lunch and refreshments. Registration forms are available at http://groups.ucanr.org/WAS/files/83704.pdf or by calling conference organizer Cary Dizon at 966-7421.

“It is indeed a very interesting time for apiculture in Hawaii,” Downey said, “so we hope you will join us for the WAS meeting to witness Hawaii’s unique beekeeping situation as it is coming through this crisis.”

The public may register for daily attendance at: http://www.bibahawaiibees.or/News/WASRegistrationform.pdf or for the entire conference at: http://www.bibahawaiibees.org/News/WASHotelResRev.pdf.

Two beekeeping workshops are scheduled on the Friday and Saturday, Sept. 16 and 17, following the WAS conference.

Author and publisher  Larry Connor will offer a day-long class, “Master Class: Rebuilding the Apiary After Losses,” from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, Sept. 16. This post-conference workshop will take place at Ka Hana No’eau farm near Hawi. The workshop fee is $50 and includes a copy of Connor’s book, Increase Essentials. For more information or to register, see http://www.wicwaspress.com/.

A two-day workshop of hands-on training with top-bar hives and in-class lectures by Sam Comfort  of Anarchy Apiaries, focusing on natural beekeeping practices will take place at Pu’u Wa’aWa’a Ranch in North Kona. There is an $85 fee for that workshop (some scholarships available); contact mail@beelovehawaii.com or call 640-0278 to register.

WAS is a non-profit organization designed to meet the educational needs of all beekeepers in western North American, including the western U.S. states; the Canadian provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, the Yukon; and the states of northern Mexico.

Big Island Police Searching for Missing 52-Year-Old Kona Man

No picture released for missing man

9/2/11 UPDATE: Big Island police have located 52-year-old Charles Vorhees of Kailua-Kona who was reported missing.

He was located in good health Friday morning (September 2) in Kailua-Kona.

Big Island police are searching for a 52-year-old Kona man reported as missing.

Charles Voorhees was last seen leaving his Kailua-Kona home at 1:30 p.m. Saturday (August 27).

He is described as Caucasian, 6-feet tall, 250 pounds with blue eyes and short brown hair. He was last seen wearing gray shorts and an orange T-shirt and driving a 2002 Dodge pickup truck, license plate VNZ 397.

Police ask that anyone with information on his whereabouts call 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.

Steven Lindburg Appointed as Area Managing Director and Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort General Manager

Pyramid Kona Management LLC has appointed veteran hotelier and Certified Hotel Administrator Steven Lindburg as Area Managing Director and General Manager of Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort & Spa, a 22-acre oceanfront resort on Hawaii, the Big Island.

Area Managing Director and General Manager Steven Lindburg

Area Managing Director and General Manager Steven Lindburg

With more than 25 years experience in the hotel and resort industry, Lindburg will oversee all aspects of operations at Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort & Spa, including the resort’s upcoming multi-million dollar guest room and public areas reinvigoration.

“Steve brings valuable experience to Sheraton Keauhou Bay that will play a key role in exciting plans ahead for this jewel on the Kona Coast,” said Jim Dina, Chief Operating Officer, Pyramid Hotel Group. “His background garnered from other excellent hotels means guests can soon expect his mark on high levels of customer service and unique amenities while he oversees planned enhancements to the resort.”

“This is the perfect opportunity to refine an oceanfront gem in ways that match its spectacular setting and better engage the heartfelt spirits of our associates,” said Lindburg. “I’m excited to turn my attention from ski to sea and ensure that all of us at Sheraton Keauhou Bay play active and rewarding roles in the Kona community that resonate with our guests and area residents.”

Lindburg was most recently General Manager at the Waldorf Astoria Park City, Utah where he was active as Board Chairman of the Utah Office of Tourism and served on the Utah Olympic Bid Committee. Previously, he spent 16 years as General Manager at the Hilton Salt Lake City Center hotel. Lindburg has also held a number of tourism and business development positions including with the Salt Lake City Convention & Visitors Bureau and with civic and hotel associations. He was named Utah Hotel & Lodging Association’s General Manager of the Year in 2007. Lindburg, a native of New Jersey, attended Oregon State University and is married with two grown children. To his list of hobbies including skiing he now adds “beach time.”

Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort & Spa was recently purchased by Kona Surf Partners LLC. Pyramid Resort Group was retained to manage the 519-room Kona Coast property as a Sheraton under a franchise agreement with Starwood Hotels.

Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort & Spa has added new cultural activities for guests and the public to enjoy including complimentary twice-weekly guided tours of the cultural preserve area adjacent to the resort. The tours enhance guests’ appreciation and understanding of the area’s importance in Hawaiian history.

Other guest activities now include lei making, hula and story-telling around a shoreline fire pit while enjoying s’mores. Daily pastimes vary and might also include rubber duckie races down the slide, water volleyball, and arts and crafts. Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort & Spa debuted a new teens-only hangout called Club Le’ale’a (“fun”) with Xbox and Wii games. The resort has also revamped their locally-focused menus to better showcase the island’s bounty.

Keauhou means “new beginnings” and these programming additions along with the appointment of Steven Lindburg as Area Managing Director and General Manager are among many exciting changes expected in the coming months to Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort & Spa. Learn more at www.SheratonKeauhou.com.

Arson Suspected in Supsicious Kona Fire

Big Island police have initiated an arson investigation in connection with a suspicious fire early Wednesday (August 31) in Kona.


At 1:20 a.m. Wednesday, Police and firefighters responded to a report of a loud explosion and flames shooting 15-20 feet into the air from a home on Kahulani Street in Kaloko Mauka.

When firefighters arrived, the garage was engulfed in flames. A pickup truck was parked in the garage. The occupant was not home.

After firefighters extinguished the fire, a Hawaiʻi Fire Department inspector determined with the assistance of a scent-discriminating canine that the fire was suspicious in nature.

No one was injured in the fire. Damages have not yet been determined.

Police ask that anyone with information about this case call Detective Walter Ah Mow at 326-4646, extension 238, 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.

Oceanic President Talks About Broadband in Hawaii Including Roadrunner Extreme

Oceanic Time Warner Cable President Bob Barlow

Oceanic Time Warner Cable President Bob Barlow

Oceanic Time Warner Cable President Bob Barlow talks about broadband in Hawaii, including Road Runner Standard, Turbo, Extreme and Wideband.

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