Today – Sam Choy’s Keauhou Poke Contest

Let’s bring on the competition! Challenges celebrity Chef Sam Choy. The first annual Sam Choy’s Keauhou Poke Contest is this weekend on Sunday, March 18 at the Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort & Spa’s Convention Center.

Open to both amateurs and professional chefs, competition is in four poke categories: traditional, spicy, cooked and with soy sauce.

Doors open 10 a.m.-3 p.m. March 18 for culinary activities, Hawaiian entertainment, a Hawai‘i Island Marketplace and a presentation on sustainable aquaculture.

Poke critiquing begins 10 a.m. by a panel of judges including Carla Tracy, dining editor of the Maui News, and Fanny Au Hoy, retired Hulihe‘e Palace curator. Contest awards, followed by public tasting, are at 12:30 p.m. Event emcees are radio personalities Kimo Kahoano of Honolulu and Ke’ea Alapa‘i of KAPA.

Headlining the entertainment lineup is The ROOKI’s:  Don Kauli‘a on slack key, Russell Paio on guitar, Keola Grace on electric bass and Pomaika‘i Brown on a “frypan” steel guitar. The Hawaiian group’s name is an acronym for the Royal Order of Kamehameha I.

More culinary fun includes a Celebrity Poke Cook-off with surprise guests at 11:30 p.m. Don’t miss when celebrity chef Sam Choy shows “how it’s done” during the 1:30 p.m. demonstration, “How to Make Poke by Sam Choy.” A TV host, cookbook author and founder of Hawai‘i Regional Cuisine, Choy put poke on the culinary map with his delicious recipes using cubed fish. Pronounced poh-KAY, poke is typically raw or cooked fish seasoned with Hawaiian sea salt, spices and sesame oil, and then accented with seaweed, nuts and other ingredients.

Event attendees can also browse for locally produced foods at the all-day Island Marketplace, which will feature produce and value-added products by local food purveyors and farmers. Guy Toyama, of Friends of the Natural Energy Laboratory Hawaii Authority, presents “NELHA: a Catalyst for Sustainable Seafood Production” at 10:30 a.m.

Public admission to all contest activities is $3 at the door (keiki 12-and-under are free) and proceeds benefit the future culinary facilities at Hawai‘i Community College-Palamanui. Free shuttle will operate from Keauhou Shopping Center (pickup near Longs Drugs) to the contest from 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Sam Choy’s Keauhou Poke Contest is part of Keauhou Resort’s annual Kamehameha III celebration March 16-18 that commemorates the Keauhou-born king, Lani Kauikeaouli.

The contest is sponsored by Kamehameha Investment Corporation, Kamehameha Schools, the Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort Spa, Sam Choy’s Kai Lanai, Aloha Shoyu and Hamakua Macadamia Nut Company.

Do You Recognize This Ring? Police Seeking Identity of Owner

Does anyone recognize this ring that obviously is tied to the Big Island?

The Grant County Sheriff’s Office, in New Mexico is seeking the public’s help in identifying the human skeletal remains found at Gomez Peak earlier this year. The Sheriff’s Department is hoping that two pieces of jewelry found with the remains will the public to ID the man, who is determined to be a male between the ages of 23 to 59 years old, but was likely in his 30s or 40s or possibly early 50s and between 5’10 and 6’7.
The man was wearing this Hawaii Titanium ring on his right ring finger:
The mark on the inside of the ring is Ti, and it is inscribed within an outline of Hawaii’s Big Island. The band is 8 mm wide and the ring has Koa wood and lapis inlays. Anyone with information should call the Sheriff s Department and ask for Lt. Michael Aguirre or Sgt. Chris Ponce.

Mokulele Airlines Announces Service Between Lanai and Maui

Kona-based Mokulele Airlines today announced service between the islands of Lana’i and Maui, starting on April 15, 2012. Listening to their customers’ needs, the airline provider is “happy to follow through with providing affordable and needed flights,” said Ron Hansen, Chief Executive Officer of Mokulele Airlines. The airline, recently under new ownership, will provide one daily direct flight from Lana’i to Maui and two daily direct trips from Maui to Lana’i. The new flights have allowed for an additional morning flight from Lana’i (with a brief stop on Moloka’i) to Honolulu.

Senator J. Kalani English, chairman of the Hawai’i State Senate Committee on Transportation and Senator for Hana, East and Upcountry Maui, Moloka’i, Lana’i and Kaho’olawe said, “I am elated that people on Lana’i will have over more opportunities to travel to visit their ‘ohana on other islands. I appreciate Mokulele Airlines’ willingness to listen to their customers and provide fair and affordable travel options, especially in my district which is remote in nature – air travel is a lifeline.”

Hansen added, “We are happy to provide the only nonstop scheduled flights between Lana’i and the Valley Isle. Lana’i travelers can now fly to Maui to shop, visit their doctor, or spend the weekend with ‘ohana. I’m hopeful that kama’aina will continue to make Mokulele their first choice for inter-island travel.”

Mokulele’s spring season start will offer daily flights between Lana’i City (LNY) and Kahului, Maui (OGG) with fares as low as $67.79 each way (taxes and fees included, seats may be limited, additional rules below). The flights are now available online at and will be available in the next few days to local travel agents and online websites.

Sunshine and the Social Web: Citizen Power Through New Media Tools

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Swim Bike Run With Lance Armstrong and Friends Big Island Training Camp Announced

Tour de Force and Active Network today announced “Swim Bike Run with Lance & Friends” — an intimate training camp for cycling and triathlon enthusiasts around the world.

The camp will be held at the Mauna Lani Hotel and Bungalows in Kona, Hawaii this May 26th through the 28th, and will offer participants a once-in-a-lifetime, three-day opportunity to train with champion sportsman, Lance Armstrong, and a team of triathlon super stars including Craig Alexander, Chrissie Wellington, Dave Scott, Greg Welch and Jimmy Riccitello.

The seven-time Tour de France Champion, now turned triathlete, Lance Armstrong said, “I’m honored to join with this incredible group of triathlon world champions to host this camp. I am looking forward to a very special weekend in Kona that I hope will be inspirational while also raising money for an important Hawaiian based charity.”

Designed for athletes of all abilities, participants will experience a fun and memorable weekend involving swim sessions, group rides and an exclusive team dinner, concluded by a fun competitive relay-event. Net proceeds from “Swim Bike Run with Lance & Friends” will benefit the local Hawaii chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, which aids in the research and education of Type 1 Diabetes.

“We are thrilled to bring together an impressive group of sports champions in support of a great cause,” said Joe Dutton of Tour de Force, Inc., the event organizer. “We expect to quickly reach our objective of recruiting a maximum number of 50 endurance sport enthusiasts who will leave Kona with lasting memories, new friends, and the knowledge that they made a meaningful contribution to those being helped by the vitally important work of the Hawaiian Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.”

“This is a phenomenal opportunity for endurance athletes around the world to energize their involvement in the sport,” said Dave Alberga, CEO of Active Network. “As an industry leader committed to growing the sport of triathlon, we are proud to be associated with this event, with Lance and with his team of triathlon icons.”

To learn how to participate in “Swim Bike Run with Lance & Friends”, visit:

Adopt a Tree and Watch it Grow Program Announced at Ahu Lani Sanctuary on the Big Island

Ahu Lani Sanctuary, a forestry and community center on the Big Island of Hawaii, announced today their unique gift program called “Adopt A Tree and Watch It Grow.” This program allows individuals to adopt a tree for themselves or a chosen recipient and in return receive a certificate of adoption along with photos of their adopted tree every year for ten years.

Ahu Lani Sanctuary plants a native koa tree in the name of the recipient, photographs the seedling and takes its GPS coordinates. A formal Certificate of Adoption is mailed to the recipient containing the photo, GPS coordinates and an optional special message designated by the buyer. The growth of the koa tree is tracked and photographed with a photo sent on each anniversary of its planting for ten years.

“Our Adopt A Tree makes a unique gift or memorial that is both long-lasting and eco-friendly,” said Brynn Burbach, Ahu Lani’s Social Media Marketing Director. “In addition, we are planting native Hawaiian koa trees which are very highly regarded in Hawaiian culture and produce a beautiful hardwood after 30 to 50 years of growth.”

Each adopted tree costs $100, or $10 per year over the ten-year tracking period. Adopters can extend the period of their adoption and/or adopt a tree for a lifetime to ensure it will never be cut down. Other options include “Adopt A Grove” under which a small grove of native Hawaiian forest plants are planted on behalf of the recipient, and the “Plant A Tree Experience” under which people visiting the Big Island can come to the remote forestry center and plant a koa tree with their own hands.

LifeCycle Adventures Enters Hawaii Tourism Market

LifeCycle Adventures (, a premier bicycle tour company known for its customized, self-guided tours in California and Oregon, is now offering tours in Hawaii. Tours start and end at Kona Airport on the Big Island and are booking now for departure dates from September, 2012.

“We’re thrilled to offer a way to experience Hawaii that’s more than just the run-of-the-mill hotel, beach and pool package,” said Tony Blakey, LifeCycle Adventures founder. “Our clients can see ‘Old Hawaii’ from the best vantage point: two wheels. There’s an intimacy and sensitivity to this type of travel that make it a great way to enjoy one of the most beautiful and unspoiled parts of a uniquely American paradise.”

Big Island, Hawaii is a tropical paradise but there’s so much more to this island than white sand beaches and palm trees. These Hawaii bike tours focus on the north and west of the island, home to the best weather and the best cycling. Guests get to experience four very distinct areas in terms of landscape, climate, history and culture. Sample rides include:

  • Waikoloa to Hawi (pronounced Ha-vee) – On this ride, lava fields give way to grasslands, and then the landscape becomes lush before arriving in Hawi.  Hawi is tropical, relaxed Hawaii at its best – and home to a vibrant artist community.  En route you visit a National Historic Site as well as world-renowned beaches.
  • Hawi to Waimea (Kamuela) – Great for those who like climbing hills on two wheels. In just a few miles, you transition from the lush, tropical world of Hawi to the open cattle ranches of Waimea highlands – with its rolling hills and quiet lanes. In the distance you’ll see Mauna Kea – at 13,796 feet it’s the highest point in the state.
  • In and around Waimea — Cruise down to Honokaa on the east coast and on to the stunning Waipio Valley Lookout. The return ride is on the Old Mamalahoa highway – a great opportunity to ride along quiet lanes under hanging vines and tropical flowers.
  • Waimea to Captain Cook — you cruise downhill to the coast while enjoying stunning views out to the ocean.  From here, you head south along the oceanfront past many small beaches to the town of Captain Cook.  Captain Cook is in the heart of Kona coffee country and has some of the best snorkeling on the island.  Ideal for those wanting to end the trip with a sip & splash!