Coming Up – Kahumoku ‘Ohana Hawaiian Music and Lifestyle Workshop

Amateur musicians can indulge their love of Hawaiian music at the Kahumoku ‘Ohana Music and Lifestyle Workshop to be held on the Big Island of Hawai‘i in early November. Featuring award-winning musicians like Herb Ohta, Jr, Sonny Lim, Reverend Dennis Kamakahi, and James Hill, the weeklong event is an opportunity for attendees to learn from the masters. Daily ‘ukulele and slack key guitar classes cover beginning and advanced music theory, strumming, and picking skills. Other classes feature lessons in song writing, steel guitar, and stick bass.

Kahumoku Ohana

The event’s organizer, five-time Grammy award winner, Keoki Kahumoku, shares his music and knowledge of the Hawaiian culture from the heart. His wish is to ho‘omau – or share the tradition – of Hawaiian slack-key guitar and ‘ukulele.

“If each student takes what he learns and shares it with one other person, the music is perpetuated,” he says earnestly.

While music is the focus of the workshop, the Kahumoku family works to perpetuate other Hawaiian traditions as well. Each morning, students gather to practice a traditional chant, or oli, written specifically to honor this event. Meals introduce visitors to island fare with dishes like kalua pork, sashimi, poi, and laulau. Other cultural opportunities include Hawaiian language, hula, lei making, lauhala weaving, and traditional food preparation. The event closes with a community concert and makahiki events.

The Kahumoku ‘Ohana Music and Lifestyles Workshop will be held November 5-12, 2011 at the Pahala Plantation. For more information or to register, please visit To schedule an interview with Keoki Kahumoku, contact Tiffany Crosson at (808) 938-6582.

Threats to Kamehameha School Security Staff on Internet Social Networking Site Lead to Arrest of Hilo Man

Hilo detectives charged a Hilo man Tuesday evening (October 25) in connection with a series of threats made against security staff at the Kamehameha Schools’ Keaʻau campus via an internet social networking website Monday night (October 24).

Jeremy J. Costa

Jeremy J. Costa

At approximately 7:45 Tuesday morning, South Hilo patrol officers arrested 18-year-old Jeremy J. Costa of Hilo for terroristic threatening in connection with a report of his threatening to go to the school and harm the security staff there. The threats included references to the Virginia Tech attack and urged readers to have their cameras ready. Word of the threats quickly spread throughout the community and police fielded many calls from concerned parents of Kamehameha Schools students. They were informed that the suspected author of the threatening comments was in custody.

At 6:40 Tuesday evening, Costa was charged with a single count of first-degree terroristic threatening. He is being held at the Hilo police cellblock in lieu of $100,000 bail pending his initial appearance Wednesday afternoon (October 26) in South Hilo District Court.

Assistant Chief Henry Tavares wished to convey to the community the Police Department’s commitment to keeping the people of Hawaiʻi Island safe. “We take very seriously any potential threat to the safety of our community and children in particular,” Tavares said. “Please be assured that anyone who gives any indication of a desire to perpetrate any violence within our schools will be pursued swiftly.”

Three People Attacked by Group of Men Wielding Baseball Bats at Wailoa State Park in Hilo

Big Island police are seeking witnesses to an assault Monday (October 24) at Wailoa State Park in Hilo.

At approximately 7:30 p.m., an 18-year-old Hilo man, a 19-year-old Hilo man and a 17-year-old Pāhoa boy were in the parking lot near the large pavilion when four vehicles drove into the park and six to eight men wielding baseball bats got out and attacked them.

The 18-year-old victim sustained severe swelling to his left elbow. The 19-year-old victim sustained a large abrasion to his left temple and a large lump to the back of his head. The minor sustained swelling to his right pinky finger and to his back right shoulder.

The two adult victims were taken to Hilo Medical Center, where they were treated for their injuries and released. The minor was treated and released near the scene.

One of the suspects is described as Micronesian, about 5-foot-7 to 5-foot-8, 160 to 170 pounds with a long, braided pony tail to his mid-back.

One of the vehicles is described as a blue Toyota Tacoma two-wheel drive pickup truck with chrome rims.

Police ask that anyone who may have witnessed the assault or who knows the identity of any of the attackers call Officer Lawrence Kobayashi at 961-2213 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.

Drug Enforcement Agency Schedules Another National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

The U.S. Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has scheduled another National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, October 29, 2011, from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm. to provide a venue for persons who want to dispose of unwanted and unused prescription drugs in East Hawai’i at the Hawai’i National Guard Aviation Facility – parking lot located at 1095 Kekuanaoa St. In West Hawai’i, unused and unwanted drugs can be dropped off at the Hawai’i County Police Department, Kona Station, located at 75-5221 Queen Ka’ahumanu Highway.


National Prescription Drug Take Back Day addresses a vital public safety and public health issue.  More than seven million Americans currently abuse prescription drugs, according to the 2009 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health.  Each day, approximately, 2,500 teens use prescription drugs to get high for the first time according to the Partnership for a Drug Free America.  Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including the home medicine cabinet.

DEA in conjunction with state and local law enforcement agencies throughout the United States conducted National Prescription Drug Take Back Days on Saturday, September 25, 2010 and April 25, 2011.  Nearly, 4,000 state and local law enforcement agencies throughout the nation participated in these events, collecting more than 309 tons of pills.

Four days after last fall’s Take-Back Day, Congress passed legislation amending the Controlled Substances Act to allow the DEA to develop a process for people to safely dispose of their prescription drugs.  DEA immediately began developing this process after President Obama signed the Safe and Secure Drug Disposal Act of 2010 on October 12.  Until that process is complete, however, DEA will continue to hold Take Back Days every six months.

Meet Governor Abercrombies Chief of Staff Bruce Coppa

Learn about Governor Abercrombie’s Chief of Staff, Bruce Coppa, through Bruce’s previous work along with the pictures and decorations in his office.


Department of Health Cites Kitagawa Towing and Metal Recycling for Permit Violations

The Hawai‘i State Department of Health (DOH) has filed a notice and finding of violation and order against Kitagawa Towing and Metal Recycling. The violations were found during a routine permit compliance inspection, occurred at 30 Hobron Avenue in Kahului on Maui, and involved multiple and significant violations of the facility’s solid waste management permit.

Tires on the side of the road from "The Big Clean Up… Take a Stand for Your Land – Hawaii Ocean View Estates"

Violations found at the facility included the failure to take measures to prevent the discharge of fluids (such as used oil and gasoline) or to assess and mitigate the release of fluids; the failure to construct and operate the facility in accordance with application materials, operations manual, or permit; the improper storage of unprocessed vehicles; the improper storage of waste tires; the improper storage of lead acid batteries; the improper storage of waste fluids; and the failure to prevent mixing of waste streams with other material.

My son and I pick up huge batteries that were disposed on the roadside

The DOH has imposed a penalty of $73,900, suspended the facility’s solid waste management permit, and ordered the facility to cease operations. The penalty takes into account the extent of deviation from the law and the potential for harm. Kitagawa Towing and Metal Recycling may request a hearing to contest the allegations or order.

The DOH Solid Waste Section regulates standards governing the design, construction, installation, operation, and maintenance of solid waste disposal, recycling, reclamation, and transfer systems.

Such standards are intended to prevent pollution of the drinking water supply or waters of the state; prevent air pollution; prevent the spread of disease and the creation of nuisances; protect the public health and safety; conserve natural resources; and preserve and enhance the beauty and quality of the environment.

2011 Kona Coffee Festival Call for Entries and Schedule of Festival

Kona coffee will take center stage at the 41st annual Kona Coffee Cultural Festival coming in November. Several events are calling local residents and visitors to take part in the Festival fun. Below are Festival call for entries.

2011 Kona Coffee Cultural Festival

UCC Hawaii Kona Coffee Picking Contest
Rise early on Sunday November 6. Registration starts at 7:30 am at the Ueshima coffee farm in Holualoa. Coffee pickers of all ages and experience are welcome!

KTA Super Stores Kona Coffee Recipe Contest
Got a favorite recipe using 100% Kona coffee? Hurry up and enter in the professional, amateur, culinary student and keiki divisions for great cash prizes and bragging rights. Entry forms available at Deadline to enter is Wednesday, November 2.

Kona Coffee Art Show
Art must be on the theme of coffee, either by subject matter or medium. Entry form and pictures due on October 28. Entry forms available at

WholeCup Consulting and UCC Hawaii Kona Coffee Cupping Competition
Kona Crown division entry closes November 3rd. Classic division is limited to 60 farms and entry division closes October 26.Winner of the Crown competition will receive a 2011 First Place Ribbon and will have 2000 Lbs. of their coffee sold to UCC and enjoyed by UCC customers around the World. Log onto for entry forms.

Kona Barista Jam and Ultimate Barista Challenge
The new Kona Barista Jam and international Ultimate Barista Challenge (UBC) ® Hawaii are looking for Hawaii barista to compete in the celebrated UBC Hawaii barista competition. The top scoring Hawaii barista will win a trip to attend the annual Specialty Coffee Association of America conference in Portland, Oregon next April.

Log onto for entry forms or email

Kona Coffee Lei Contest
This popular event is part of Saturday, November 12 Kona Coffee Marketplace-Festivalof Artists and Ethnic Foods at Makaeo County pavilion. There will be two categories Wili and Kui and cash prizes for 1-3 places. Entries must be submitted by 10am Saturday, November 12 at Makaeo County pavilion. Log onto for entry forms and more information.

About Kona Coffee Cultural Festival

The award-winning Kona Coffee Cultural Festival is recognized as the oldest and most successful food festival in Hawaii.

The Kona Coffee Cultural Festival is recognized and supported as a ‘Major Festival’ by Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) as the Festival showcases Hawaii’s unique culture and diversity. Kamehameha Schools is a presenting sponsor of the 2011 WholeCup Consulting and UCC Hawaii Kona Coffee Cupping Competition; Kona Barista Jam & Ultimate Barista Challenge Hawaii; and Kona Coffee Market Day at Makaeo County Pavilion. Keauhou Resort is a presenting sponsor of the 2011 official Kona Coffee Cultural Festival events in Keauhou Resort. The Kona Coffee Cultural Festival is also supported by Ueshima Coffee (UCC Hawaii) Corp., KTA Super Stores, Kawakami Family of Captain Cook Fund at the Hawaii Community Foundation, Rapozo Kamaaina Fund at the Hawaii Community Foundation, Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union, West Hawaii Today, and numerous other corporate and community donors.

Two Proposed Projects in Hawaii to Promote Outdoor Recreation, Conservation

Just days before the release of a 50-state report outlining some of the country’s most promising ways to reconnect Americans to the natural world, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today highlighted two projects in the state of Hawaii that will be included in the final report — representing what states believe are among the best investments in the nation to support a healthy, active population, conserve wildlife and working lands, and create travel, tourism and outdoor-recreation jobs across the country.

Expanding recreational opportunities at the North Kona-South Kohala Coastline String of Parks on the island of Hawaii and creating a National Blueway on the Wailua River on Kauai are among 100 projects nationwide that will be highlighted in next week’s report — two in every state — as part of President Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors initiative to establish a 21st century conservation and recreation agenda and reconnect Americans to the outdoors.

The report is a result of 50 meetings with governors and stakeholders held by Salazar and other senior Interior officials to solicit ideas on how to best implement AGO in their states. These projects were identified for their potential to conserve important lands and build recreation opportunities and economic growth for the surrounding communities as part of close engagement with Gov. Neil Abercrombie and the state of Hawaii, as well as private landowners, local- and tribal-elected officials, community organizations and outdoor-recreation and conservation stakeholders. The full 50-state report will be released in the coming weeks.

“Under the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative, we are listening to the people of Hawaii and communities across America and working with them on locally-based projects that will conserve the beauty and health of our land and water and open up more opportunities for people to enjoy them,” Salazar said. “My staff and I have been asking each governor for the most promising projects to support in their states, and we will do all we can to help move them forward.”

The two projects in Hawaii highlighted by Salazar in the forthcoming report are:

North Kona-South Kohala Coastline / Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail

Thirty-one miles of coastline on the Island of Hawaii make up the North Kona-South Kohala Coastline String of Parks, beginning at Honokohau Small Boat Harbor and ending at Pu’ukohola Heiau National Historic Site. Hawaii wants to connect these seven national, state, and county parks via aquatic and terrestrial trails interspersed with multi-use recreation facilities. The National Park Service’s Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail already provides land links through parks in coastal areas, and it could be linked by sea as well, via recreational-boating opportunities.

In addition to providing recreation access, the North Kona-South Kohala Coastline has a rich cultural history, including ancient artifacts at sacred sites, and great potential for environmental education and interpretation. The National Park Service is currently working with a dozen local communities in the trail corridor to develop community-based trail-management plans. The plans include an economic-development component, which is focused on job creation within the recreation- and visitor-services fields. This project meets AGO outdoor-recreation goals and is supported by state and community entities.

Wailua River National Blueway

The slowly meandering Wailua River on the Island of Kauai is a heavily used recreational destination. Its culturally and historically significant features include the sacred Fern Grotto site, several Hawaiian Heiau, and ancient petroglyphs at the mouth of the river. Commercial tours and paddleboat entrepreneurs crowd the banks.

Managing the Wailua River’s limited area presents the challenge of balancing its heavy recreational use with public safety and impacts on natural and cultural resources. Demand for public recreation access has increased, but an aging marina infrastructure must be addressed.

The state needs help with increasing the access to the river, enhancing existing facilities, and assisting in the conservation of the natural and cultural resources. The long-term goal is to manage river use sustainably to protect river values while increasing recreation use along the blueway.

The report will also include potential actions by Interior and its bureaus to support the projects identified. In Hawaii, for example, the Department could designate the Wailua River as a National Blueway and provide technical, financial, and planning assistance to Hawaii both for increasing public access and restoring the river.

The Department could also provide technical and financial assistance to the Island of Hawaii to enhance the Ala Kahakai Trail and provide new access along the Kona Coast. It could work with the state and local communities in greenway, water trail, and interpretive planning for 31 miles of the Kona Coast. At the Wailua River, it could provide technical, financial, and planning assistance to Hawaii to both for increasing public access and restoring the Wailua River.

The Department of the Interior will work with each of its key bureaus — including the National Park Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service — to direct available resources and personnel to make these projects a reality.

“The America’s Great Outdoors Initiative turns the conventional wisdom about the federal government’s role in conservation on its head,” Salazar said. “Rather than dictate policies or conservation strategies from Washington, it supports grassroots, locally driven initiatives.”


For more information on the President’s America’s Great Outdoors initiative, click here.

To view a map of the projects already announced, click here.

Big Island Police Investigating Burglary and Attempted Arson in Puna

Hawaiʻi County police are asking for information about a burglary and attempted arson in Puna. The crimes occurred at a home on Ohia Street in the Eden Roc subdivision sometime between Saturday (October 22) and Sunday (October 23).

Investigation revealed that one or more unknown suspects pried open the front door, took electronic items from inside and then attempted to burn the house. The structure sustained damage to the front stair. A vehicle in the garage also was damaged.

Police ask that anyone with information about this case call Officer Greg Karonis at 965-2716 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