Pālamanui Donates $9.68 Million to Help Fund First Phase of HCC’s Pālamanui Campus

This morning Mayor Kenoi posted on facebook that he was at “… the West Hawai‘i Civic Center for an announcement about Hawai‘i Community College’s upcoming Pālamanui Campus in Kona.”

Well the announcement has been made:

Mayor Kenoi, UH Board of Regents Vice Chair James Lee, and UH President M.R.C. Greenwood accepted a check for $9.68 million from Pālamanui presented by Steve Colón of Hunt Companies, one of the partners in the project. The money will fund the first phase of Hawai‘i Community College’s Pālamanui Campus.

Mayor Kenoi, UH Board of Regents Vice Chair James Lee, UH President M.R.C. Greenwood and Steve Colon.

Mayor Kenoi posted the following comment on facebook:

“The kids on Hina Lani St. deserve the same access to higher education as the kids on Kawailani St.”

This is a huge step for higher education here on the Big Island!

Mayor Kenoi chats with University of Hawai‘i President M.R.C. Greenwood at the West Hawai‘i Civic Center.

Big Island Police Reclassify Investigation of Eden Roc Body to Murder Investigation – Identify Victim

Big Island police have reclassified the investigation of body a found Saturday in the Eden Roc subdivision from a coroner’s inquest to a murder.


An autopsy conducted Tuesday morning (January 31) determined that the victim died from a combination of ligature strangulation and a brain injury from a gunshot wound. The victim has been identified as 52-year-old Robert John Leong of Eden Roc.

Detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section are continuing the investigation.

Police ask that anyone with information about this case call Detective Ernest Matsumoto at 961-2379 or email him at ematsumoto@co.hawaii.hi.us.

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.

Pacific Aviation Museum is Seeking Volunteers for New Student Education and Tour Programs

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor’s Education Department has new student education and tour programs for 2012 and requests volunteers to help deliver these programs, plus develop additional ones, help manage events, process data entry, research, transcribe oral histories, and work on the Museum’s successful outreach program to 6th graders, “Barnstorming.”

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor Hanger 37

Other volunteers are need in all areas of Museum operations, as well, from docents delivering tours to mechanics helping restore historic aircraft in the Restoration Shop.

The education programs target pre-school students through high school seniors and focus on math, science, social studies, technology and engineering connected to the principles of aviation and history of aviation in the Pacific. The opportunities are perfect for those retired from the fields of education. The Museum will train and a minimum of at least one day a month is required to be a volunteer.

Volunteers sought for the Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor

Volunteers receive many benefits: They work hands-on with aircraft, meet and talk story with veterans and experienced pilots and mechanics, receive free admission to the Museum and to the other Pearl Harbor Historic Sites, receive discounts at the Museum gift shop, free admission to all Hangar Talks and lectures, an annual “Volunteer Appreciation” party, and more.

Contact Volunteer Coordinator Loretta Fung for more information and a volunteer application at 808-441-1008 or Loretta.Fung@PacificAviationMuseum.org. Volunteers must be at least 18 years of age or partnered with a parent. The Museum will provide documentation for service hours.

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor, located on Historic Ford Island, 319 Lexington Boulevard, is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization which depends on its volunteers, members, and support from donations. 808-441-1000; www.PacificAviationMuseum.org.

Navy Receives Superferries… Will Be Used in Japan for Troop and Equipment Transport

The Navy has just gotten $210 million worth of high speed cats for $35 million. The U.S. Maritime Administration reports that it has now transferred the former Hawaii super ferries Huakai and Alakai to the U.S. Navy and that the Navy provided $35 million to the Maritime Administration for both vessels.


Back in October 2005 we reported shipbuilder Austal USA as saying that the order for the pair had become unconditional following Maritime Administration approval of a $139,731,000 Title XI loan guarantee, or approximately 78.5 percent of a total shipbuilding project cost of $178 million. That allowed the signing of a $210 million financial closing agreement .

That works out at a ship price of $105 million a copy (at 2005 prices), which compares with the $151.8 million to $185.4 million a copy the Navy is paying for the seven JHSV’s on order at Austal USA.

The Navy plans to use Huakai and Alakai to transport troops and equipment to training areas from Okinawa and other locations. These vessels will help the Navy meet these unique operational requirements without the need to build new vessels. Powered by waterjet engines, the catamarans can each carry 288 cars and 866 passengers.

The Maritime Administration took possession of the two ships after Hawaii Superferry, Inc., defaulted on the loans that the Maritime Administration had guaranteed.

The vessels are currently docked at Lamberts Point in Norfolk, Va.

New Luxury Resort Planned for Kona on the Big Island

GHM, a luxury resort and hotel group that manages exclusive properties anchored in Southeast Asia, is launching its third decade with plans for new boutique properties in locales well beyond its traditional geographic base.

The Legian, Bali Indonesia... A GHM Property

Over the next four years, as the new hotels come online in China and Switzerland, in India and the United Arab Emirates, GHM expects to double the size of its portfolio.

The developments include the following:

  • Two properties, in Suzhou, China and Andermatt, Switzerland, are now under construction and expected to open in late 2012 / early 2013 and the winter of 2013, respectively.
  • In Kona, Hawaii GHM is collaborating with Pritzker Architecture Prizewinner Tadao Ando on the development of a new 32-villa property situated on a hardened flow of lava.
  • Also in China, GHM has launched a new hotel brand, Ahn Luh, in collaboration with China’s largest tourism group and a prominent real estate developer. The first two Ahn Luh properties are scheduled to open in two-to-three years.
  • GHM in December last year inked a development deal with partners in the United Arab Emirates, and has identified its first project as The Chedi Khorfakkan in Sharjah. New development deals are also in the planning stages for Cuba and Brazil.

“In our first twenty years, we pioneered resorts in some of the world’s most up-and coming destinations, from Ubud on Bali to Quang Nam in Vietnam, establishing an ambitious presence with hotels that melded lofty, contemporary design with exquisite, local architectural elements,” said Hans R. Jenni, who co-founded GHM with Amanresorts visionary Adrian Zecha. “In this, the first year of our third decade, we’re engineering the moves on a five-year plan of growth the likes of which we’ve never seen.”

 In preparation, GHM has just launched a completely redesigned Web site at GHMhotels.com. The new site opens the door on GHM with a more user-friendly layout and design, featuring a booking engine, rich visuals and regular news updates.

At the Chedi Club Suzhou, GHM is opening 36 rooms on three floors of the city’s tallest building, Global 188. Additionally, the Chedi will feature a destination, rooftop restaurant, a fitness centre and a spa replete with 15 treatment rooms. In Andermatt, an emerging alternative to the ski resorts at St. Moritz and Gstaad, GHM plans to debut its largest hotel to date in the 169-room Chedi Andermatt, which includes 119 luxury apartments and residences of 96 – 550 square metres. The facilities will feature an apres ski bar, a wine-and-cigar library, a private outdoor skating rink, as well as a fitness centre, restaurant, and a bar & lounge.

In its first twenty years, GHM has earned a reputation for refined hotel designs having worked with some of the world’s most sought after and creative designers. Each new GHM hotel is a study in bold design, a trend that is likely to continue as the likes of Tadao Ando bear down on projects for the group. The Kona design, for example, makes use of Ando’s penchant for planes of exposed concrete and a topographically sensitive foundation.

“Because so many of our guests tend to spend a lot of time on property, we feel an additional, creative responsibility,” said Jenni. “Each of our properties is not merely a hotel or a resort, but a setting, a destination in its own right, and thus, an opportunity to create a space that’s not easily forgotten.”