Governor Abercrombie Welcomes Baseball Players from Ehime Prefecture

Governor Neil Abercrombie welcomed players, coaches, and government officials from Ehime Prefecture at Washington Place for the 10thAnniversary of the Ehime-Hawaii Baseball Tournament and Youth Exchange.

“Events can separate us but events – even tragic events – can also bring us together” said Governor Abercrombie in his welcome remarks.  “The Ehime-Hawaii Goodwill Youth Baseball Tournament that started after the tragic events surrounding the sinking of the Ehime Maru off Kakaako in February 2001 has brought the people of Ehime Prefecture and Hawaii together”.

The tournament and exchange is held in Hawaii and Japan on alternating years.  In 2012, Hawaii coaches and players will travel to Ehime, Japan to play a series of games and participate in the home stay.

“This baseball and youth exchange gives the young people from Ehime and Hawaii a chance to experience a different culture as well as compete in the game of baseball” said Mark Anderson, President of the Asia Pacific Exchange and Development, the non-profit organization that organizes the exchange. “This year we have three teams: a 17 and under, a 15 and under, and a 12 and under team.  However, the 17 and under team will play their first game under this exchange next year in Ehime prefecture.”

“We expect some exciting and competitive games from the Ehime Players”, said Benny Agbayani, Director of Baseball for the Tournament and Exchange.

The Ehime-Hawaii Baseball Tournament and Exchange will run from November 17th to the 24.th. Over 100 participants are visiting from Ehime Prefecture consisting of coaches, players, parents and government officials. The tournament and exchange will include a memorial service, a visit to Ewa Makai Middle School, a home-stay visit for the Ehime players, participation in cultural activities, and two days of baseball to be played on Saturday and Sunday at Hans L’Orange Park in Waipahu and Central Oahu Regional Park in Waipio.

New Waikoloa Park Taking Shape

Hawaii County Housing Director Steve Arnett speaks at the opening of the new 12-acre public park in Waikoloa.

Built in conjunction with the new Kamakoa Nui Workforce Housing project, the 12-acre park already features a field large enough for a regulation soccer field and a youth baseball diamond. The project will also soon open a skate park being built by the community.

 

 

Mayor Kenoi Opens Up Kamakoa Nui Affordable Housing Project

Describing the area as a “pu‘uhonua” for families, Hawai‘i County Mayor Billy Kenoi and other dignitaries untied two maile leis Friday morning, signaling the opening of an affordable housing project and a 12-acre community park in Waikoloa.

Kamakoa Nui, which targets first-time home buyers who make a little less or slightly more than the area median income, will eventually consist of about 1,200 fee-simple homes and rentals on 268 acres just north of Waikoloa Elementary School.

“We wanted to create a healthy community for everyone, but most of all for families with young children,” said Mayor Kenoi, who was joined by county Office of Housing Administrator Steve Arnett and his staff in celebrating the blessing of the new community. “We wanted a puuhonua, a safe haven.”

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

About 50 people, including government officials and private sector representatives, celebrated with the county under blue skies, brisk winds, and the island of Maui dominating the sweeping views from this community, which will feature three-bedroom single-family residences and two- and three-bedroom bungalows.

About a half an hour prior to Pastor Sonny Shimaoka’s blessing of the $44 million Kamakoa Nui, the same group celebrated the opening of a new public playground a few hundred yards away from the set of four model homes which will serve as a sales area.

Homes will range from $240,000 to $325,000. Sales of the first increment of about two dozen homes should begin next month and will be marketed by Aldrich and Associates.

But Mayor Kenoi said he asked the Office of Housing staff to build the park before any homes were occupied. “This is where our kids get away from gangs and drugs,” said Mayor Kenoi. “Instead of inviting our families to live here and then building a park, I said let’s build the park first; let’s build a strong and safe community and then invite our families to live here.”

Arnett said Kamakoa Nui was handed to the Kenoi Administration three years ago “under a dark cloud” with the project stalled, under legal scrutiny and with much higher projected home prices.

“Our group spent countless hours trying to make the homes more affordable,” he said, crediting his staff of (East Hawaii supervisor) Jeremy McComber, (housing specialists) Dan Russell and Mike Prinslow and (private secretary) Annie Bailey with finding a way to cut costs.

Arnett said Les Isemoto from Isemoto Contracting also cooperated by staying mobilized while the project team was reorganized. “The end result is that the project came in on time and slightly under budget.”

Mayor Kenoi said the Office of Housing has succeeded in filling many gaps in West Hawai‘i’s housing inventory. Along with the affordable Kamakoa Nui, the county will next week open the doors to the $12.4 million Kaloko Transitional Housing Project, with 12 units to get homeless families off the streets, and 28 units for low-income households.

Last year, the $1.8-million West Hawai‘i Emergency Shelter was opened, providing 30 beds for homeless men and women. Mayor Kenoi also cited the Lokahi Apartments, affordable rentals developed by Pacific Housing Advisors.

“I told the people at Housing that at the end of the day, let’s see if we can make a difference at every part of the housing spectrum in West Hawai‘i,” said Mayor Kenoi. “And they delivered.”

To qualify, buyers should live within a 30-mile radius of Kamakoa Nui and have an income between 70-120 percent of the area median income (AMI). Potential buyers must also live in the homes and cannot have owned a home within the last three years.

To discourage speculation and help to keep the units affordable, owners who re-sell their units at Kamakoa Nui within 15 years of their initial purchase will be required to share any windfall profits from the re-sales with the county. After 15 years, all restrictions on re-sales are satisfied.

Mayor Kenoi at Punchbowl National Memorial Cemetery

Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi lays a wreath Friday, Nov. 11, 2011 to pay at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, also known as Punchbowl.

The mayor is flanked by Research and Development Director Randy Kurohara, and Deputy Managing Director Wally Lau.

Local Flower Vendors Wanted for Philadelphia International Flower Show

The Hawai`i Tropical Flowers Council (HTFC) is now soliciting local vendors who want to participate at the Philadelphia International Flower Show (PIFS), held from March 3 to 11, 2012. The theme of the flower show this year is “Hawai‘i, Islands of Aloha.”

The HTFC will be offering qualified companies a booth space and/or an assistance package to help defray costs.  Hawai‘i Tourism Authority and the Hawai‘i Island Visitor’s Bureau will also be participating in the show to promote Hawai‘i and Hawai‘i County.

This show is the largest fresh flower & products show in North America , with over 250,000 people attending the nine-day event. The flower show will feature a “Hawai‘i Market Place”, which will be designed to showcase local Hawai‘i made products and cultural crafts.

Qualified products and crafts must be Hawai‘i Island made: food products, cultural crafts, Hawaiian music CD’s, fresh flowers or packaged nursery products, value added soaps & lotions, fresh produce, packaged coffee, macadamia nuts, etc.   A diverse group of vendors will be selected that have large quantity of product that will be ready to ship to Philadelphia in March. The participating company must have a website with an active shopping cart. “The purpose of promoting our companies to these new mainland buyers is to entice them to re-order from our companies’ shopping carts in the future and allows participating businesses to gain future business from this endeavor,” said Mike Inouye, HTFC President and PIFS Coordinator.

A special informational meeting is scheduled for November 30, 2011, 5:30 p.m. at the Aupuni Center Conference Room, (located across the American Savings Bank and at the corner of Pauahi and Aupuni Street), Hilo.  Interested companies are urged to attend this meeting as the vendors must be selected in December.

Big Island Man Busted in Connection With 19 Offenses of Stolen and Forged Checks

Big Island police have charged a Hilo man with 19 offenses in connection with stolen and forged checks belonging to a former employer.

Patrick John Lindsey

Patrick John Lindsey, 24, was arrested Wednesday (November 16) at Hawaiʻi Community Correctional Center, where he was being held on unrelated charges. He was charged Friday afternoon (November 18) with nine counts of theft, eight counts of forgery and two counts of ID theft. His bail was set at $160,000.

Lindsey is accused of cashing checks made out to himself that were reported stolen from a 26-year-old Hilo man.

He remains in custody at Hawaiʻi Community Correctional Center on the unrelated charges. His initial court appearance for the financial crimes is scheduled for next week.

Nominations For 2012 Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards Being Accepted

To all Hawai‘i labels, recording artists, producers and distributors: we have opened the nomination process for the 2012 Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards. In order to be eligible for the 2012 Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards, releases must be available for purchase by December 31, 2011. Please note that it is not enough to upload them to iTunes, TuneCore or other services by December 31, 2011–they must be available for sale by that date.

And the winner is...

We encourage members to use the online entry form to make submissions, though we have posted both the nomination forms and guidelines for the 2012 Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards, and they are now available for download here and from our Scribd.com account. We encourage members who already have releases out in 2011 to enter them as soon as possible. Your prompt action will assist us in processing all entries in a timely manner.

Be sure to read the guidelines carefully, and you may also want to consult the document on our Scridb.com site that documents the changes to various category and criteria for 2011 entries. The HARA office must receive all entry forms for the 2012 Awards no later than January 31, 2012. No exceptions will be made.

*Editors Note* Here are pictures from the 2011 winners.

Pacific Beach Hotel on Fire Now – Pictures

I just got wind that the Pacific Beach Hotel in Waikiki is on fire.

Photo by Dawn Larson Lord

The following picture is taken just below the Pacific Beach Hotel by an employee at the neighboring hotel the Waikiki Resort Hotel.

Photo By Chris Shimabuku

Hawaii Wildlife Center Grand Opening This Weekend

Following years of fundraising, grant writing, designing and permitting, and hundreds of hours of volunteer efforts, the Hawaii Wildlife Center will celebrate its grand opening on Saturday, November 19, 2011 from 10:30am until 12:30pm.

“It has indeed been a long and rewarding journey. There are far too many individuals, companies and organizations to thank but on behalf of our board of directors, we are enormously grateful and excited to finally be opening our doors and implementing our vision,” said Linda Elliott, Hawaii Wildlife Center President and Director. Elliott adds that the public is invited to attend the grand opening.

Linda Elliott

Kumu Hula Raylene Ha’alelea Kawaiaea will conduct the blessing and invited dignitaries will be given the opportunity to express their support of the Hawaii Wildlife Center.  Following the symbolic untying of a maile lei, Kohala Middle School students will provide tours of the facility for guests. There will be performances by haumana (students) of Kohala Hula Halau Kalaniumi Aliloa O Hawaii Nei and entertainment by Na Hoku Hanohano and Grammy award-winning slack key guitarist John Keawe.

Fundraising is ongoing for Hawaii Wildlife Center to ensure there are sufficient monies to operate, provide staffing and develop programs.

The HWC’s mission – to protect, conserve and aid in the recovery of Hawaii’s native wildlife through hands-on treatment, research, training, science education and cultural programs – will be achieved through the integrated operation of three related components: the wildlife treatment facility, an interpretive lanai and an education pavilion. The 4,500 square foot building includes rooms for wildlife intake, holding, washing, drying, food preparation, lab work, medical treatment and isolation. The HWC’s location on just over two acres of land provides sufficient space for an outdoor Recovery Yard. Public visitation is welcomed to enhance awareness of conservation issues and challenges. The Education pavilion will be used for training, public lectures and related projects including opportunities for collaboration with the Kohala School Complex for hands on learning programs in math, science and conservation both during and after school.

On November 19 the Hawaii Wildlife Center becomes the first state-of-the-art response facility in the Pacific islands exclusively for native wildlife. The HWC will provide for the best achievable medical and husbandry care for sick, injured, contaminated and orphaned native wildlife, including those affected by natural and man-made disasters and by returning those successfully treated animals back to the wild.

Visit www.HawaiiWildlifeCenter.org to learn more or to make a donation.

Google Street View – The Bike and The Car on the Big Island

I was driving down near the Hilo soccer fields today when I noticed the Google Street View Car pull into Wailoa State Park by the King Kamehameha Statue.

The Google Street View Car inside Wailoa State Park

I knew the car was on the island, but this was my first opportunity to trap it at a dead end and get a good picture of it before it moved away from me!

I was surprised when the car slowed down and then I noticed this huge “GOOGLE BIKE” with all these cameras attached to it!

The Google Street View Bike inside Wailoa State Park

I didn’t even know that Google used an actual man powered bike for this street view system.  Can you imagine what an awesome job that would be!  Literally riding your bike around the world and getting paid big bucks to do it!

the bike and the car met up and talked for a few minutes.  It didn’t seem like they wanted to talk to me too much even though I identified myself as a local blogger who uses street view quite a bit.  They did tell me that they were going to be on the island until at least the end of the year.

Wanna Street View Race?

I knew that they were at a dead end and would eventually have to turn around and come back out so I staked out my position and then caught this short video of the biker leaving the park:

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Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Seeks Comments on Draft Plan and EIS

The National Park Service is pleased to announce the availability of the draft plan and Draft Environmental Impact Statement  (DEIS) aimed at protecting and restoring native ecosystems by managing non-native ungulates (hoofed mammals) within Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.

The purpose of the draft plan/DEIS is to develop a comprehensive and systematic framework for managing non-native ungulates that supports long-term ecosystem protection, promotes recovery and restoration of native vegetation and other natural resources, and protects and preserves cultural resources.

Endangered plants such as this Ka‘ū silversword, thrive in ungulate-free areas (NPS photo)

A copy of the draft plan/DEIS is available for review and download online at http://www.parkplanning.nps.gov/havo_ecosystem_deis.  Hard copies of the draft plan/DEIS are also available for review at the park’s Kīlauea Visitor Center, and state public libraries on the Island of Hawai‘i.  A limited number of CDs and hard copies may be obtained by calling the park Superintendent’s office at (808) 985-6026. The project website for Protecting & Restoring Native Ecosystems by Managing Non-Native Ungulates Plan/EIS is at http://www.parkplanning.nps.gov/havo.

Hawai‘i supports a rich diversity of native plants and animals found nowhere else in the world.  Many of these unique species are rare and in danger of becoming extinct.  Ungulates are an issue of concern because Hawaiian ecosystems evolved without large mammalian herbivores and are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of non-native ungulates.

Non-native goats, pigs, sheep, mouflon sheep, axis deer and cattle destroy habitat, degrade watershed, inhibit native forest regeneration, cause loss of sensitive native species (including state and federally listed threatened and endangered species), and have potential to damage archeological sites and cultural landscapes.

Hawai‘i Volcanoes provides habitat for more than 50 native species that are federally listed as threatened, endangered, or are candidates for either list. Among these are the Ka‘ū silversword, Hawai‘i creeper, and nēnē.

The park has actively managed non-native ungulates since the 1920s, allowing for the recovery of native species in many areas of the park.  The park’s current EIS addressing ungulate control is more than 30 years old. The new plan/EIS will provide a park-wide framework to guide non-native ungulate management activities over the next decades that considers the recently acquired Kahuku unit, new invasive species challenges, and current NPS policy and guidance.  Using the initial comments received by the public and incorporating input from a team of scientists, the National Park Service has developed a range of management alternatives.  The no action and four action alternatives were analyzed for impacts on natural and cultural resources and the broader human environment, and the analysis is included in the draft plan/EIS now available for public comment.

The public is encouraged to comment by attending upcoming public open house meetings, or by submitting written comments electronically on the project website, or by mail.

Three public open house meetings are scheduled on the Island of Hawai‘i: Mon., Dec. 5 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the park’s Kīlauea Visitor Center, Tues., Dec. 6 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Nā‘ālehu Community Center, and Wed., Dec. 7 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Kona Outdoor Circle Educational Center. The meetings will include various small stations where NPS staff will be available to answer questions and record comments. Directions to these locations are posted on the project website.

Written comments can be submitted at http://www.parkplanning.nps.gov/havo_ecosystem_deis or by mailing correspondence to: Cindy Orlando, Superintendent, Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, PO Box 52, Hawaii National Park, HI 96718.

All written responses must be postmarked or transmitted no later than midnight MST (8 p.m. HST), Jan. 20, 2012.

Pet Adoption and Collection Drive to Benefit Hawaii Island Humane Society

WHAT:  Subaru Hawaii invites the public to a pet adoption and collection drive on behalf of Hawaii Island Humane Society on Saturday, November 19 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Kona Subaru in Kailua Kona. Hawaii Island Humane Society will have dogs cats, and kittens looking for loving homes. The public is encouraged to stop by and donate pet care supplies such as food, leashes, collars or puppy pads.

WHEN: Saturday, November 19, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

WHERE: Kona Subaru, 75-5793 Kuakini Hwy., Kailua Kona

PHOTO/INTERVIEW OPPORTUNITIES:

  • Cute dogs and kittens looking for loving homes.
  • Public donating pet care supplies and checking out dogs and kittens for adoption.
  • Bebe Ackerman, Humane Educator & Volunteer Coordinator, Hawaii Island Humane Society
  • Chuck Furtado, General Manager, Hilo-Kona Mazda/Subaru/Hyundai

DETAILS:  As part of Subaru Hawaii ’s “Share the Love” event, Subaru Hawaii will host a pet adoption and collection drive to benefit Hawaii Island Humane Society on Saturday, November 19 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Kona Subaru in Kailua Kona. Hawaii Island Humane Society will be on-site with cute dogs, cats, and kittens that are in need of loving homes. The public is encouraged to stop by and donate pet care supplies such as food, leashes, collars or puppy pads.

In celebration of the holidays, Subaru Hawaii announced that it will donate $250 for every new vehicle sold by Subaru Hawaii dealers from November 1 to December 31, 2011, up to $20,000 to a group of great causes – Oahu SPCA, Hawaii Literacy, SPCA Maui, Hawaii Wildlife Fund and Hawaii Island Humane Society.

The public also has an opportunity to vote for their favorite participating non-profit organization through Subaru Hawaii’s Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/SubaruHI. At the end of the sales event period on December 31, Subaru Hawaii will award the organization with the most votes an additional $5,000.

Paradise Roller Girls Final Bout of the Season is Next Week

The Paradise Roller Girls are gearing up for their final bout of the season, “Barbies vs. G.I. Janes,” in an interleague match-up featuring some of the Big Island’s favorite skaters.

The action takes place Saturday, Nov. 26 at the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium. Doors open at 5 p.m., and the bout starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are $8 in advance, $10 at the door, and are available online at http://www.paradiserollergirls.com/shop.html or through your favorite Paradise Roller Girl. Other ticket outlets include CD Wizard in Hilo, Oasis Skate Shop, Jungle Love, Mountain View Village Video, the Hilo Town Tavern, the Hilo Burger Joint, and Akmal’s Indian Food. PRG expects to sell out again so fans are encouraged to purchase tickets early.

Big Island Babes Junior Roller Derby will roll onto the track at half-time for some half-pint derby fun. This group of girls ranging in age 8 to 17 has been training since June, so come show your support for the future of roller derby on the Big Island.

This event is also a toy drive for the Lokahi Giving Project, which aims to provide support to needy families in Hawaii. Donations of new toys will be accepted on bout day at the door. Please help us bring smiles to the faces of our local keiki.

Paradise Roller Girls is a women’s flat track roller derby league based out of Hilo, Hawaii. The league began in February 2010 with a small group of thrill-seeking women looking for good fun in a quiet town. Now, more than 60 skaters and volunteers call this league home.

PRG is an Apprentice League of the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) and adheres to the association’s rules as well as has qualified referees in the league.

Come out and support your local roller derby, with action-packed entertainment, and family fun. For more information on PRG, recruitment information, or to volunteer, visit www.paradiserollergirls.com.