Aloha Exchange Club Announces “Officer of the Month” for September

The Aloha Exchange Club of East Hawaiʻi recognized Officer Roylen Valera on Thursday (September 22) as “Officer of the Month” for September.

Officer Roylen Valera

Aloha Exchange board member Joey Estrella presents an 'Officer of the Month' award to Officer Roylen Valera.

Valera, a patrol officer in the Hāmākua District, was honored for his extensive involvement in community activities in the Hāmākua and North Hilo Districts.

His activities include the Honokaʻa Relay for Life, The Laupāhoehoe Point Drug Free Bash and the recent Laupāhoehoe Celebrating Families Pool Bash. In addition, Valera volunteers to give station tours to school children and safety presentations in the community. He also assists in a leadership camp given by Honokaʻa High School. Valera, who is a resident of the Hāmākua Coast,  serves on several area boards, such as the Hāmākua Drug Free Committee.

As “Officer of the Month,” Valera is eligible for “Officer of the Year.”

The East Hawaiʻi “Officer of the Month” award is a project of the Aloha Exchange Club of Hilo.

Big Island Police Investigating Theft of Large Solar Panels from FAA Navigation Facility in Puna

Hawaii County Police Department

Big Island police are investigating the theft of large solar panels from a Federal Aviation Administration navigation facility in Puna.

FAA towers located just north of the Maku'u Farmers Market

The facility is located on Highway 130 just past the 7-mile marker in the vicinity of Makuʻu Farm Lots. It is one of several in Hawaiʻi that send signals to commercial airlines flying in the Pacific Region.

Sometime between September 13 and September 17, unknown persons stole 12 panels and damaged two.

Between September 18 and September 22, the thieves used a vehicle to ram the front gate and remove 10 additional panels.

Police ask that anyone with information about these cases call Officer Matthew Bartz at 965-2716 or the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311.

16th Annual Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range Schedule

Next week TODAY, Friday, September 30th, the 16th Annual Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range will be taking place at the Hilton Waikoloa Village Resort.

Taste of the Hawaiian Range

Happy attendees enjoy the oxtail dish prepared by Chef Daniel Thiebaut at last year's Taste of the Hawaiian Range

Here is the schedule for the event:

1:30 PM Pork Industry Seminar – Location: Kohala 1 & 2

Geared for culinary students and food industry professionals.  Pork producer Lloyd Case joins Tom Asano of Hilo’s Kulana Foods and Hilton Waikoloa Village Executive Chef Charles Charbonneau to discuss the traditional cultural protocol and growing commercial use of feral and domestic hog in the Hawai‘i food service industry.

Taste of the Hawaiian Range

Don't miss Cooking Grass-Fed Beef 101 at 3 p.m.; last year's presenter was James Beard Award winner Chef Mavro

3 PM Seminar: “How to Cook Grass-Fed Beef 101” – Location: Kohala 3 & 4

This year’s staged cooking demonstration headlines two presenters. KTA’s Derek Kurisu of TV’s “Living in Paradise” and Chef Scott Hiraishi of Sam Choy’s Kai Lanai present tips for preparing and using forage-fed beef cuts. Open to the public, ticketed attendees receive take-away recipes. Derek, who founded KTA’s locally sourced Mountain Apple Brand, will demonstrate how to prepare Shortribs Delight and bone a chuckroll. Chef Hiraishi will detail how to deliciously use oxtail.

5 PM: Agriculture Festival Trade Show, Pre-Taste for VIPs and Media Blessing of Food and Chefs – Location: Grand Ballroom

Wholesale buyers and media have a pre-Taste opportunity to meet the people growing and producing Hawai‘i’s food. Vendors represent a wide range of products and  agricultural enterprise such as coffee, tea, honey, goat cheese, meat, produce, herbs and specialty items. Also at the expo are representatives of various agriculture-related associations and projects. Vendor and educational booths remain open during 6-8 p.m. Taste, with a blessing at 5:45 p.m.

Taste of the Hawaiian Range

Meet the local people who are growing our food, like Maureen Datta of Adaptations, at gaily decorated display booths.

6-8 PM: Mealani A Taste of the Hawaiian Range -Location: Grand Ballroom and Lagoon Lanai

35 top chefs dazzle ticketed diners during the Taste “grazing” extravaganza. Taste features heavy sampling of delectable dishes using local grass-fed beef, pork, wild boar, mutton, goat and lamb—plus a bounty of fresh, island-grown fruit and veggies. In addition, attendees talk story with Hawai‘i’s food producers at gaily-decorated vendor booths.

Tickets prices for the evening Taste and Cooking 101 demo are conveniently sold online at tickets remain priced at $40 presale and $60 at the door, while the fee for the cooking demo is $10. The above link also lists ticket sale locations.

The Hilton Waikoloa Village offers Taste of the Hawaiian Range Kama‘aina Room and Ticket Packages (code TST) starting at $229 plus tax for one night stay on Sept. 30 and two event tickets. Pre- or post-night accommodations are available starting from $149 per night (code MTH). Visit or phone 808-886-1234 and ask for the “Taste of the Hawaiian Room Deal” specials.

University of Hawaii to Receive $3.4 Million for Low-Income Students

The University of Hawaii will receive $3,425,674.00 to increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education, Senators Daniel K. Akaka and Daniel K. Inouye announced today.  The funds come from a grant administered by the U.S. Department of Education through the Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP).

Gear Up Hawaii
Senator Akaka said: “A quality education is the cornerstone to building a future for our students and our country.  As economic hardships hit households and states tighten budgets across the country, it is important that we continue to make investments in education.  With this funding, GEAR UP will help to ensure that our disadvantaged and low-income students are better prepared to take advantage of higher education.”

Senator Inouye said: “I am very pleased that these funds will be used to help prepare students for college. Providing a quality education for our children is the greatest investment we can make in our future.  Unfortunately, about 80,000 public school kids in Hawaii live at or below 185 percent of the federal poverty level. The only way to break this debilitating cycle is to teach our young people that education is the way out of poverty, and provide them the means to attain that education so they may improve themselves and our communities.”

GEAR UP provides six-year grants to states and partnerships to provide services at high-poverty middle and high schools.  GEAR UP grantees serve a group of students beginning no later than the seventh grade and follow them through high school.  GEAR UP funds are also used to provide college scholarships to low-income students.

Through the partnership of the University of Hawaii, the Hawaii Department of Education, local community organizations, government agencies, and businesses, GEAR UP in Hawaii will provide services to nearly 21,000 students between 2011 and 2017.

For more information on GEAR UP in Hawaii please visit:

Big Island Police Searching for Missing 32-Year-Old Man

*UPDATE* Big Island police have located 32-year-old Daryl Kinchoy, who was reported as missing. He was found unharmed in Kailua-Kona on Friday morning.

Big Island are searching for a 32-year-old man reported as missing.

Daryl Kinchoy

Daryl Kinchoy

Daryl Kinchoy was last heard from at his Waikoloa Village home around noon on Wednesday (September 21).

He is described as 5-foot-7, 215 pounds with a dark complexion and dark hair.

Police ask that anyone with information on his whereabouts 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.

Sneak Peak – Sacred Spaces and Power Places in Hawaii

Sacred Spaces and power places in Hawaii

Sneak peak of Carolyn Cobelo’s new documentary film on the Sacred Spaces and power places in Hawaii.


Carolyn will be hosting a 4-day spiritual retreat & sacred spaces travel tour in Hawaii in early 2012 called “The Celebration.” To get all the details of Carolyn’s spiritual retreats, sign up for the mailing list at

The entire film will be available on Nov. 1st for download on Amazon.