Pahoa Elementary, Intermediate and High Schools 2nd Annual Ho’ike

The Pahoa Elementary, Intermediate, and High Schools are having their 2nd Annual Ho’ike this weekend and the public is invited to come and participate:

Capital Asia Group Ventures Into Hawaii – Ho’olei on the Big Island

SINGAPORE-based real estate marketing firm Capital Asia Group Pte Ltd (CAG) has launched its latest land investment product, Ho’olei (Crown of Flowers), on the north-western coast of Big Island in Hawaii.

Ho’olei is a approved development land fully owned by Aina Le’a Inc, which plans to build 70 single-family luxury homes with 2,800 undivided land fractions (ULF) for sale to mostly individual investors in Asia.

CAG business development director Paul Tan said the company has been given the exclusive marketing rights to assist the land owner to market 2,800 ULF development land projects in Ho’olei.

“Each of the ULF is set affordably at US$9,600 with warranty deed and registered under the investors’ names as lawful owners to the land purchased,” he said.

He said the strategy for this land investment is known as FIFO (first-in first-out), whereby the investors will own a percentage of the entire 8.7ha, which has 1/2800 interest.

The investors will be designated a running number according to the date of their purchase.

The moment a desired builder comes along and purchases the land lots, the first num-ber in the ULF purchased will exit, Tan explained.

“This will offer the investors the possibility of an exit earlier than 36 months, while enjoying the full 36 percent returns,” the business development director said.

The investment time-frame is fixed at 36 months with an assured return of 36 percent.

Tan said the previous development land investment product, Lulana Gardens, an affordable housing project in Big Island of Hawaii, providing 30 percent returns in 30 months, have been fully taken up.

“It has provided much publicity for CAG as well as successfully syndicated over US$42 millions, and is well on its way to exiting the investors in the coming months,” he added.

KOHALA Live in Concert at the 2012 Big Island Film Festival “Best of the Fest”

GRAMMY award-winning producer Charles Michael Brotman, with Rupert Tripp Jr. and Charlie Recaido are the celebrated acoustic trio “Kohala,” headlining the Big Island Film Festival “Best of the Fest” Concert at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i Plantation Estate, Monday, May 28, 2012.

Charlie Recaido, Charles Michael Brotman and Rupert Tripp, Jr. of "Kohala." Photo by Sarah Anderson

A blend of folk, island and jazz, reflecting the beauty of the Big Island’s Kohala region, the talented guitar trio has performed for enthusiastic audiences around the world and produced eight albums.  Brotman’s slack key song “Hapuna Sunset” was included in the acclaimed soundtrack of Oscar nominee “The Descendants.”  He has won multiple Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards and Hawaii Music Awards and his recordings have reached #1 on the Billboard World Music Chart. Charles composes, records, and produces from his Lava Tracks Recording Studio in Kamuela, Hawaii, and is the President of Palm Records.

“Kohala was with us for the very first Big Island Film Festival,” said Executive Director Leo Sears, “And we’ve been eager to get them back ever since.  Their music is ageless, timeless, and every song tells a story without words.  It’s perfect for this event in this beautiful place.”

Tickets can be purchased on line at www.BigIslandFilmFestival.com. Best of the Fest tickets are $40 at the door ($30 kama‘āina) and $35 in advance ($25 kama‘āina), $10 keiki 6-12.  Some chairs will be available and food and beverages for purchase (no coolers please).

Best of the Fest includes:

Silent Auction to benefit Fisher House at Tripler Army Medical Center, 5-7 p.m.

KOHALA Concert, 5:30-7 p.m.

Audience-voted Best Feature and Best Short Films of BIFF 2012, 7:30-9:30 p.m.

Best of the Fest is also a fundraiser for Hawai’i Island Food Basket.

The Big Island “Talk Story” Film Festival is a celebration of independent narrative films and filmmaking, taking place May 24-28, 2012. Major sponsors include The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i and The Shops at Mauna Lani and Hawaii Tourism Authority/Hawai’i County CPEP.

For complete schedule information and tickets, visit www.BigIslandFilmFestival.com or call (808) 883-0394.

Bob Marx Receives Nomination Papers for 2nd Congressional District Race

Bob Marx, neighbor island candidate for Hawai‘i’s 2nd Congressional District, received his Official Nomination Papers earlier today for his bid on the open U.S. Congress seat vacated by Congresswoman Mazie Hirono, who is running for the U.S. Senate seat formally held by Senator Daniel Akaka.

Bob Marx receives Nomination Papers for 2nd Congressional District Race”

The 2nd Congressional District represents rural Oahu and the neighbor islands. Mr. Marx, a Hilo attorney and long-time community activist, is running against former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann, Honolulu Councilwoman Tulsi Gabbard, Esther Kia‘aina and Rafael del Castillo for the open seat race. Marx actually lives in the district and is the only Candidate in the race from an island other than Oahu.

Two of his opponents in this race do not even reside within the 2nd Congressional District, although as Marx pointed out, “they may be able to see it from their condos.”  The other two opponents currently lack viability and financial backing. Bob Marx is from the 2nd District and will fight for the 2nd District. “For years, politics in Hawai‘i has been too Honolulu-centric, and I want to change that. Having lived in Hilo, Hawai‘i for 32 years as a Trial Lawyer, I know the challenges that face small business owners on the neighbor islands,” Marx stated. “I promise to fight for the working class and stand up against corporate interests.”

Many of the issues that face the constituents on the outer islands and rural Oahu are not the same as the ones that face the residents of Honolulu. Lack of adequate public transportation and lack of energy and agricultural sustainability, have crippled many of the small towns and cities on Kaua‘i, Moloka‘i, Lana‘i, Maui, Oahu and the Big Island. “As your Congressman, I promise to fight for local farmers who are in need of agricultural loans and subsidies. I promise to hold the Government accountable and increase funding for energy sustainability.”

“We have the technology to decrease our dependence on imported oil, yet the Government continues to support the Big Oil business with millions of dollars in subsidies every year. We need to invest in our future – a future filled with green energy, environmental accountability, expanding our education system, and ensuring that all citizens are guaranteed the same rights under the law. The future of our children and grandchildren depend on that,” Marx concluded.

Advance Screening in Hilo of HBO Documentary The Weight of the Nation

WHAT:  ADVANCE SCREENING OF HBO DOCUMENTARY THE WEIGHT OF THE NATION –  Launching one of the most far-reaching public health campaigns on this epidemic to date. Event is made possible with the support and participation of:

  • HBO Documentary Films
  • Hawaii State Department of Health
  • The Institute of Medicine
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • National Institutes of Health
  • Michael & Susan Dell Foundation

WHEN: Friday, May 11, 2012,

  • 5:30 p.m. The Weight of the Nation Screening (Part 1: “Consequences”)
  • 6:30 p.m. Panel Discussion

WHERE:  The Palace Theater, 38 Haili Street, Hilo, HI 96720

The number of overweight children in the United States has doubled in the past 30 years, with similar patterns occurring in Hawaii. And the problem has only gotten worse. To address this rising concern, Kaiser Permanente is hosting an advance screening of The Weight of the Nation, helping launch one of the most far-reaching public health campaigns on this epidemic to date.

The Weight of the Nation is HBO’s four-part series featuring case studies and interviews with leading experts and with individuals and families struggling with obesity. Part 1 of the series, “Consequences,” which examines the scope of the obesity epidemic and explores the serious health consequences of being overweight or obese, will be screened. Following the screening, there will be a forum for the public to “Weigh-in” on the weight of Hawaii during a town hall-style discussion with local experts.

The goal of this event is to create continuing dialogue about improving the health of our community. Kaiser Permanente’s Community Health Initiatives for Healthy Eating Active Living support more than 40 obesity prevention collaboratives, which aim to increase access to healthy food and opportunities for physical activity in schools, neighborhoods and workplaces.

Kaiser Permanente has partnered with HBO, the Institute of Medicine, the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on The Weight of the Nation campaign.

The documentary series debuts on May 14, exclusively on HBO, and is comprised of four documentary films, a three-part HBO Family series, 14 bonus shorts, a social media campaign, a book published by St. Martin’s Press and a nationwide community-based outreach campaign. Further information on the series can be found at theweightofthenation.hbo.com.

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For more information on Kaiser Permanente’s work in the community, visit www.kp.org/communitybenefit.

Honolulu Zoo Will Soon Boast a Children’s Discovery Forest

Project Will Demonstrate Culturally Significant Plant Species and More

The Hawai’i Forest Industry Association (HFIA), the Hawai’i Forest Institute (HFI), and community partners are planning the Honolulu Zoo Children’s Discovery Forest, which will be created at the Honolulu Zoo in Waikiki on O’ahu.

Honolulu Zoo Discovery Forest Schematic Design Plan created by Leland Miyano, Jason Umemoto, and Leonard Bisel

The project site is near the zoo entrance and adjacent to the future site of a Native Hawaiian Village. The Discovery Forest will be a representation of natural systems, creating a scene of Hawai’i before the arrival of humans. The exhibit will be designed to demonstrate culturally significant Hawaiian plant species, the significance of place, and the kuleana of mālama ‘āina (responsibility to care for the land) by integrating traditional Hawaiian forest ecosystems, forest stewardship opportunities, and innovative land-based education for residents and visitors.

The Discovery Forest will reconnect urban visitors with the Hawaiian forest through three demonstration zones: strand vegetation, dryland mesic forest species, and Polynesian-introduced species and cultivars. The Discovery Forest will be a place that serves as an ongoing outdoor educational setting in which visitors will learn about the importance of the sustainability of native and Polynesian plantings within a framework of Hawaiian cultural values. The vision is one in which the vast cultural, natural and historical attributes of Hawaii’s endemic and indigenous coastal flora and geology is shared, demonstrating the bond that must be formed between people and ‘āina if both are to thrive.

HFIA was recently awarded a $49,100 Hawai’i Tourism Authority (HTA) Natural Resources Program award, administered by the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement (CNHA), for the Discovery Forest. Other project partners include Paepae o He’eia, Conservation Council of Hawai’i, Scenic Hawaii, Inc., Mānoa Heritage Center, Kualoa-Heeia Ecumenical Youth Project (KEY Project), Polynesian Voyaging Society, and O’ahu Resource Conservation & Development Council.

“We extend our mahalo to community partners, HTA, and the CNHA for recognizing the importance of helping visitors, island students and kama´aina expand their appreciation for Hawaii’s forest ecosystems,” said HFIA Executive Director Heather Simmons. “Through the Honolulu Zoo Discovery Forest, we have an opportunity to promote forest awareness and significance to thousands of people.”

Big Island Man Charged With a Dozen Offenses After Crime Spree

A Hōluloa man has been charged with a dozen offenses after reportedly brandishing weapons at a family party Saturday night (April 21).

Kona patrol officers responded to the Imin Center in Hōlualoa at 10:50 p.m. Saturday to a report of a disturbance involving a large group of people.

They learned that a 34-year-old man had reportedly wielded a handgun at the community center during a baby’s birthday party and threatened the life of a 48-year-old acquaintance from Kailua-Kona. Other party guests were able to take the gun away before the gunman fled the area. Police recovered the weapon.

Chad L. Denis

At 10 p.m. Sunday (April 22) police arrested 34-year-old Chad L. Denis of Hōlualoa on suspicion of terroristic threatening. He was held at the Kona police cellblock while detectives from the Area II Criminal Investigations Section continued the investigation. Detectives determined that the handgun had been stolen during a Kona burglary in April 2011.

Further investigation revealed that Denis had also threatened a 27-year-old Kona man and a 42-year-old Kona man during the confrontation at the party and that he had later returned to the community center and allegedly confronted the same three victims and threatened them with a rifle before fleeing with the weapon. No one was injured in either confrontation.

Detectives determined that after the second incident, Denis returned to his home, where he got into a verbal argument with a 26-year-old Hōlualoa woman. As the woman drove away, Denis reportedly threw a rock through her windshield. She was not injured.

At 4:15 p.m. Tuesday (April 24), detectives charged Denis with first-degree theft, first-degree criminal property damage, six counts of terroristic threatening, two counts of being a convicted felon in possession of a weapon and two counts of failure to maintain bail or bond in connection with unrelated charges. His bail was set at $500,000.

He remains in police custody pending his initial court appearance scheduled for Wednesday (April 25).

Pictures from the Community Meeting on Geothermal at Pahoa High School

Last night at Pahoa High School, five members of the Hawaii County Council came to Pahoa to listen to residents testify about their experiences with geothermal in the Puna District.

Hawaii County Council members listen to residents concerns.

I didn’t even arrive at the meeting until 11:30 at night and residents were still testifying in three minute increments since the meeting had begun earlier in the evening.

A Puna resident talks about her breathing problems

From what I understand, earlier in the evening the cafeteria was actually packed with folks and people began to leave after they had a chance to testify.

Former legislative assistant "Sativa" speaks out against geothermal

However, many folks stuck it out until the end of the meeting just so they could put in their two cents.

Most of the folks in attendance seemed to oppose geothermal in their neighborhood.

I have to say I’m pretty impressed with our council members for sitting through such long and repetitive testimony at times.

Members of the council listen patiently

I left right as Hawaii County Council Candidate James Weatherford was addressing the council at about 11:50 and there were still more people scheduled to testify.

County Council Candidate James Weatherford testifies

Wordless Wednesday – A Picture With Me and His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Last week I had the privilege to cover His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s visit to Hawaii.  One thing you never ever want to do when covering an event like this… is to ask someone like this for a picture with him.

Many folks have asked if I got any pictures taken of me with him and I myself just felt blessed that he held my hand and I was invited to the event.

Then I started thinking about things and other photographers that were on hand and it turns out one of the best photographers in the State of Hawaii, Dallas Nagata White, was able to capture a picture of me sitting in the front row of the media section while we were given the opportunity to ask questions of His Holiness.

Yep... that's me on the far right in this picture wearing a Sig Zane shirt. Go figure... even His Holiness the Dalai Lama has more hair then me! (Photo courtesy of Dallas Nagata White)