TODAY: Help the Hawaii Wildlife Center in the National Toyota Contest

Vote for the Hawaii Wildlife Center TODAY on the Toyota 100 Cars for Good Website, www.100carsforgood.com.

You can also visit the website and sign up for a reminder. Just search “Hawaii Wildlife Center” in the browse orgs tab.

[youtube=http://youtu.be/a0q-IQbpfLs]

If the Hawaii Wildlife Center gets the most votes that day, it will win a car that will be used for the transport of sick, injured or oiled native wildlife to the center so the animals can get treatment. Many of these species are threatened or endangered, so any animal that we can successfully rehabilitate and return to the wild is of tremendous value.

Oahu Man Busted for Harassing Monk Seals on Rabbit Island

An O‘ahu man was sentenced to a $1,000 fine and 80 hours of community service in Kaneohe District Court after being cited by Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) enforcement officers for illegally landing on Manana island. Also known as Rabbit island, it is a wildlife sanctuary that is closed to the public at all times.

Seals are protected under state and federal endangered species laws and are known to haul out on Manana to rest. Large prominent signs are posted on the island noting it is a sanctuary off-limits to visitors.

Travis Kane

Travis Kane, 19, was observed and photographed throwing rocks at a seal on the island on January 14, 2012. DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) officers followed and stopped Kane, a passenger on a personal water craft at the Kailua boat ramp, and cited him for illegal landing on the island and harassment of a monk seal. The man pleaded no contest at his court arraignment in May.

“We are strengthening our efforts to educate the public — kayakers, stand-up paddlers, fishers, boaters, beachgoers included — that it is a violation of state and federal law, subject to state penalties, to harass, harm or injure monk seals, which are an endangered species,” said William J. Aila, Jr., DLNR Chairperson. “These efforts include working with communities and “Makai Watch” groups, ocean recreation companies, and the visitor industry.

“It also includes consistent effort, again with community participation, to enforce these laws and seek proper penalties. There is no excuse for harming or harassing a monk seal. Anyone witnessing monk seal harassment, abuse or killing of a seal, is asked to call DOCARE at 643-DLNR or the NOAA Office of Law Enforcement at 1-800-853-1964. Working together we can protect our small population of these native seals that are important to our culture and ecosystem.”

3.7 Magnitude Earthquake Shakes Puako Area of Big Island

Magnitude 3.7
Date-Time
  • Friday, June 15, 2012 at 02:18:35 PM at epicenter
Location 19.887°N, 155.994°W
Depth 16 km (9.9 miles) (poorly constrained)
Region ISLAND OF HAWAII, HAWAII
Distances
  • 14 km (9 miles) WSW (250°) from Puako, HI
  • 18 km (11 miles) N (3°) from Kalaoa, HI
  • 22 km (14 miles) WSW (254°) from Waikoloa Village, HI
  • 97 km (60 miles) WNW (282°) from Hilo, HI
  • 248 km (154 miles) SE (129°) from Honolulu, HI
Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 1.1 km (0.7 miles); depth +/- 20.1 km (12.5 miles)
Parameters Nph= 49, Dmin=35 km, Rmss=0.19 sec, Gp=169°,
M-type=duration magnitude (Md), Version=1
Source
Event ID hv60359516

Governor Abercrombie Enacts Bills Supportive of Local Farmers – Avoid That Bear Bile!

Governor Neil Abercrombie today signed a number of measures into law including two bills that are aimed to benefit local farmers who want to sell their products and/or establish agricultural-based commercial operations.

Senate Bill 2375 authorizes agricultural-based commercial operations in agricultural districts which will increase our farmers’ ability to sell their products and promote food sustainability for the islands. Senate Bill 2646 is intended to promote and support diversified agriculture by exempting certain nonresidential agricultural buildings that are on commercial farms from county building permit requirements.

“To truly support our local farmers we must empower them,”said Governor Abercrombie. “These measures not only provide for that to take place but it also promotes diversified agriculture. I want to thank the Legislature for recognizing the importance of helping our farmers.”

Senator Donovan Dela Cruz who introduced SB 2375 stated, “Farmers are being forced to diversify their products in order to make ends meet while continuing to provide local food for the community. This bill allows for additional opportunities for them to create revenue.”

SB 2375 immediately goes into effect; SB 2646 is effective July 1, 2012.

Governor Abercrombie today also signed into law the following measures:

House Bill 1524 – Makes theft of agricultural commodities an offense of theft in the second degree and requires restitution to the victim.

House Bill 1942 – Appropriates $200,000 for the Electronic Importer Manifest Program to support our agricultural inspectors in the prevention of invasive species.

House Bill 1943 – Appropriates $162,540 to reinstate the plant quarantine detector-dog program to help prevent the introduction of invasive species.

House Bill 2244 – Authorizes the State Department of Agriculture to establish compliance agreements with the federal government and other states regarding inspections for the import and export of plant commodities.

House Bill 2296 – Prohibits the purchase, sale, transportation, and delivery of any item containing bear gallbladders or bile.

House Bill 2429 – Allows ex-officio members of the Board of Agriculture to designate a representative to attend Board meetings.

Senate Bill 2695 – Appropriates $250,000 for a livestock feed feasibility project and another $250,000 to reimburse livestock producers for feed costs.

House Bill 1764 – Allows for the waiver of residency requirements for state or county department heads and deputies or assistants to a department head, when the appointed officer is required to have highly specialized or scientific knowledge or training and a qualified applicant who meets the residency requirement is not available to fill the position.

House Bill 2476 – Makes appropriations for claims against the State or its officers or employees.

House Bill 2848 – Requires the Department of Public Safety to plan for a model wellness center that employs native Hawaiian cultural practices on state land.

Senate Bill 2228 – Establishes an electronic tracking system for the sale of products containing pseudoephedrine.

Senate Bill 2508 – Amends filing deadlines for preliminary disclosure reports to the Campaign Spending Commission.

Senate Bill 2632 – Requires all fee time share interests to be recorded in the regular system rather than in the land court.

Senate Bill 2797 – Makes permanent previous changes to the psychotropic medication statute that ensure access to medically necessary psychotropic medications while allowing cost-effective strategies.

Today’s bill enactments bring the number of measures signed into law by Governor Abercrombie to 128.  He has until June 25th to notify the Legislature of his intent to veto.  July 10th is the Governor’s deadline to enact measures with his signature. For a list of measures enacted by the Governor, please visit: http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/report.aspx?type=acts.

HALEIWA FARMERS MARKET UPDATE

Governor Abercrombie also provided an update regarding the Haleiwa Farmers Market which ended its run at an illegal site on June 10, 2012.  Since June 2011, various State agencies have worked on finding a solution for the Sunday Market, which occupied a strip of highway that is deemed illegal.

For the past three years, the Market has operated at a triangular area at the junction of Kamehameha Highway and Joseph P. Leong Highway, known as the Haleiwa bypass road. The triangular area is part of a parcel of land which includes the entire highway, and is right next to the existing traffic on the bypass road. Hawaii Revised Statutes Section 264-101 states “Vending from highways prohibited”and notes that “highway”means “the entire width, including the berm or shoulder of a public highway.”

Over the last few months, several locations have been suggested for the Market by the State and various community members. These options have included the Waialua Sugar Mill, city parks, and local schools. These suggestions were not accepted.

“We exhausted every possibility to find a new location and I want to extend my appreciation to the landowners who came forward to help the State offer a solution for a new location. Unfortunately the locations offered were unsatisfactory for the organizers of the Haleiwa Farmers Market. We provided three extensions to the organizers in hopes of finding a compromise and are disappointed that the optional locations were not accepted.”

To prevent future activity from taking place at that the prohibited location, the State has erected “No Trespassing”signs.

Fortunately, there are two farmers markets that take place on Saturdays in the community at Waialua and Sunset on Saturdays.  Both events support the sale and promotion of locally grown food.

Mayor Kenoi Will be Featured at the Statewide 2012 Hawai‘i Family Financial Empowerment Symposium in Waikiki

Hawai‘i Island communities are welcome to attend the 2012 Hawai‘i Family Financial Empowerment Symposium on June 27 – 29 at the Waikīkī Marriott on O‘ahu.

This special event is an opportunity for attendees to deepen their understanding of how to further empower families and communities to be self-sufficient. Symposium activities include: place-based learning workshops (huaka‘i) centered on the unique challenges in Hawai‘i; self-actualization through education and entrepreneurship; and exploration of strategies and tools for building financial security and ending generational poverty.

The cost of attendance is $275 for general admission, $125 for non-profit admission, and $50 for student admission. The Symposium will include presentations, workshops, meals and the huaka‘i. Please visit assetshawaii.org for more information and to complete the registration form. Registration forms may also be emailed to hoowaiwai@hacbed.org or faxed to (808) 534-1199.

The symposium will feature Hawai‘i County Mayor Billy Kenoi; Hawai‘i Island youth and families; Native Hawaiian practitioners; City Delegates from the Cities for Financial Empowerment; MA‘O Farms; and other community, public and private agencies.

This special event is sponsored by the Hawai‘i Island Ho‘owaiwai Network, whose mission it is to empower families and communities in wealth and asset building, and the Hawai‘i Alliance for Community-Based Economic Development [HACBED].

Freaky Friday – Hawaii (The Board Game)

Beth Heile of Cat & Mouse Game Store gives a rules overview of Hawaii, a strategy game published in the US by Rio Grande Games.

[youtube=http://youtu.be/5IhAOqtWYZ4]

2012 Big Island Chocolate Festival – And the Winners Are

Six culinary stations took top honors at the recent Big Island Chocolate Festival at Four Seasons Resort Hualalai.

Renowned New York City chocolatier Jacques “Mr. Chocolate” Torres oversaw a team of judges who critiqued the savory and sweet creations by chefs and confectioners.

Chef Eddie Enojardo of Hilton Waikoloa Village, Judge Teresa Shurilla, Judge Jacques Torres, Chef Hubert Des Marais of The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii, Judge Hasty Torres, Judge Steven Arakaki, Chefs Nick Mastrascusa and Noe Pi of Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, Nat Bletter of Madre Chocolate, Cathy Smoot Barrett of Kailua Candy Company and Melanie Boudar of Sweet Paradise Chocolatier.

Winners and their entries included:

Best Savory

  • The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii, Big Isle Chocolate Pork Mole w/Tomatillo Salsa over Kabocha Pumpkin Maki

Best Dessert

  • Hilton Waikoloa Village, Orange Ginger Chocolate Mac Nut Crunch Torte

Best Bonbons

  • Sweet Paradise Chocolatier, Island Bounty Assortment: Lilikoi Silk, Ka’u Cappuccino, Kula Lavender ’N Maui Honeycomb, Coconut Creme Brulee and Mango Eruption

Best Bean to Bar

  • Madre Chocolate

People’s Choice: 2 Winners

  • First Place – Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, 24-Hr Braised Wild Boar Grilled Cheese w/ Chocolate and BBQ Bourbon Sauce and Hawaiian Chili Pepper AND MacNut Crusted Chocolate Pop w/ Lilikoi Foam and Alae Salted Caramel  (2 culinary offerings)
  • Second Place – Kailua Candy Company, Cathy’s Retro Mai Tai

Three hundred attendees enjoyed the festival’s offerings, which included live and silent auctions to benefit the building of a new amphitheatre at Kona Pacific Public Charter School and the “Equip the Kitchen” Campaign for the future Hawaii Community College campus at Palamanui.

Pier 1 Imports to Open in Kona Next Week

New Kailua-Kona Store Officially Opens to the Public on June 22 at 10 a.m. with Free Gifts for the First 300 Shoppers. First Location in Hawaii to Feature Pier 1 Imports’ New Store Concept.

Pier 1 Imports is pleased to announce the opening of its newest store in Kailua-Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii. The new store is located at 74-5586 Palani Road at the Kona Coast Shopping Center and will officially open to the public at 10 a.m. on Friday, June 22. Grand opening festivities are currently slated for Saturday and Sunday, July 21 and 22.

“We are thrilled to bring our first Pier 1 Imports store location to the Big Island of Hawaii and hope that our new Kona location will introduce customers to the eclectic and fun merchandise unique to Pier 1 Imports,” said Alex W. Smith, President and Chief Executive Officer of Pier 1 Imports. “Pier 1 Imports offers merchandise that fits all decorating styles, as well as a broad array of affordable holiday décor, furniture and gifts, and we look forward to sharing our unique shopping experience with the residents of Kona and the Big Island of Hawaii,” Smith said.

The total retail square footage of the store is 8,448 square feet.  The store will be led by store manager, Jenna Criswell of Kailua-Kona. This will be the fifth Pier 1 Imports location in Hawaii, and it will feature the new store concept (additional details included below). On average, the store will employ approximately 40 part-time associates to support the new store opening. Associate hours fluctuate based on the needs of the business and the season. Pier 1 Imports has three stores on Oahu in Honolulu, Kailua and Pearl City, and one on Maui in Kahului. Pier 1 Imports opened its first Hawaii store at Ward Centers in Honolulu in 1998.

A traditional Hawaiian blessing ceremony will be conducted by Kahu (Reverend) Kealoha Kaopua Coleman of the Calvary Community Church in Kona on Friday, June 22, prior to the store’s opening at 10 a.m. The ceremony will feature the untying of a maile lei, signifying the official opening of the store. To celebrate the opening, the first 300 shoppers on June 22 will receive a free signature reusable bag and an iconic Pier 1 Imports backscratcher.

The store’s grand opening festivities will take place on Saturday and Sunday, July 21 and 22. Additionally, 94.7 FM (Hilo) and 101.5 FM (Kona) will host a radio remote event from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, July 21. Attendees will have the opportunity to receive free Pier 1 Imports’ product giveaways, as well as gift cards.

New Store Concept

Pier 1 Imports was pleased to announce the unveiling of its new store concept this past fall. The new store design is a natural evolution of the Pier 1 Imports experience that utilizes a new interior finish-out, including natural-colored floor tiles, rustic ceiling elements, enhanced store lighting and lit shelving units lining the walls, all of which help customers visualize the end-use of the products within their own home. The new look is complemented by the use of “open stock” merchandising, designed to enhance the shopping environment by giving customers the opportunity to see, feel and interact with the product. The exterior design features a signature bamboo door with rustic metal door handles that will mark the entrance to Pier 1 Imports’ unique shopping experience. The features of the new store will allow easier navigation, all while maintaining the “treasure hunt” feel and continuing to make Pier 1 Imports a great place for discovery and spending time browsing.

The Community

Pier 1 Imports is dedicated to supporting the communities in which its associates live and work, as well as the international community from where it imports much of its merchandise. Since 1985, Pier 1 Imports has contributed more than $37 million to philanthropic organizations through international, national and local efforts including UNICEF (the United Nations Children’s Fund) and the United Way.

About Pier 1 Imports

Pier 1 Imports, Inc. is the original global importer of imported decorative home furnishings and gifts. Information about the Company is available on www.pier1.com.

Local Girl Kristina Anapau in “The Stndrd” Magazine

The national magazine The Stndrd has hit the bookshelves at Barnes and Nobles across the mainland today and inside of it is an article by Big Island actress Kristina Anapau.

I had the opportunity to interview Kristina at the 2011 Big Island Film Festival and at the time I found out that she would be starring in the finale of last seasons HBO Vampire series True Blood.

Here is a clip that Kristina said I could publish on my site from the article she wrote for the Stndrd.