Jimmy Buffett Sells Cheeseburger in Paradise Restaurants for $11 Million

Jimmy Buffett is parting with Cheeseburger in Paradise, a chain of theme restaurants that is named after one of his songs, for $11 million.

Luby’s Inc. announced on Wednesday it was buying Paradise Restaurants Group LLC with cash and credit, acquiring its 23 Cheeseburger in Paradise locations in 14 states that in previous years had generated revenue of more than $50 million.

Cheeseburger in Paradise was founded 10 years ago in collaboration with the entertainer, based on his 1978 ode to “heaven on earth with an onion slice.”

“Luby’s anticipates developing opportunities to expand the brand,” the company said in a statement.

The restaurants created an island, beach-party atmosphere that would be familiar to fans of Buffett’s music and a slight departure from the more family-oriented Luby’s Cafeterias and Fudduckers restaurants operated by Luby’s Inc.

Big Island Police Searching for Painting Stolen During Puna Burglary

Hawaiʻi County police are requesting the public’s help in locating a painting stolen during a burglary in Puna.

The koa framed painting “Mystic Light” by Christian Reese Lassen was among several items removed from a home in the Ainaloa subdivision sometime between April and July.

“Mystic Light” by Christian Reese Lassen

Police ask that anyone with information about the whereabouts of the painting or with information about burglaries contact Detective Royce Serrao at 961-8810 or rpserrao@co.hawaii.hi.us or Detective John Rodrigues Jr. at 961-2384 or jrodrigues@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.

 

“Let Carols Ring” to Benefit the Food Basket Ministry

This Sunday, December 2, at 3 PM, the Hilo Community Chorus will perform their Christmas concert “Let Carols Ring” at the Church of the Holy Cross, 440 W. Lanikaula Street in Hilo.

“Let Carols Ring” is a program of Christmas music that has been re-arranged or newly written in the 21st century.  There are many familiar favorite Christmas tunes that will be performed in new arrangements, as well as new pieces such as Eric Barnum’s “Sweeter Still”  and John Rutter’s “Rejoice and Be Merry.”

Conductor Tom McAlexander says, “You will hear some of the most beautiful carols you’ve never heard, and some wonderful new twists on the older ones.”

The concert features accompaniment by Walter Greenwood on piano and organ, Rick Mazurowski on continuo, and Gerdine Markus and Laurel Rain on recorders.

Admission is free, although a calabash will be provided and donations of non-perishable food for the Food Basket Ministry will also be welcomed.

WHO: Hilo Community Chorus
WHAT: Free Christmas concert “Let Carols Ring”
WHERE: Church of the Holy Cross, 440 W. Lanikaula Street, Hilo HI
WHEN: Sunday, December 2, 3 PM
WHY: Accepting donation of non-perishable food for the Food Basket Ministry
FOR MORE INFORMATION: TOM MCALEXANDER, MUSIC DIRECTOR, 985-7192, tommac@hawaii.rr.com

Matson’s 2013 Westbound Hawaii Service Rates to Increase by $225 per Container

Matson, Inc. announced today that Matson Navigation Company, Inc. (Matson) will raise its rates for the company’s Hawaii service by $175 per westbound container and $85 per eastbound container, effective January 1, 2013.

Matson is increasing their prices to Hawaii beginning January 1st, 2013

The increase will be filed with the Surface Transportation Board. In addition, Matson will raise its terminal handling charge by $50 per westbound container and $25 per eastbound container, also effective January 1, 2013. Matson estimates that the combined increase of both the rate adjustment and terminal handling charge will result in shipping costs rising by an average of 5.6 percent. Historically, Matson announced average percentage increases based solely on the rate increase, excluding terminal handling charges. As of last year, it is now combing both numbers for the average percent increase in the interest of greater transparency.

“This rate increase will help offset rises in operating costs and support ongoing investments in our Hawaii service,” said Dave Hoppes, senior vice president, ocean services. “This rate adjustment is consistent with our longstanding philosophy of implementing modest, incremental increases as necessary to maintain the highest levels of service. Matson continues to diligently look for ways to operate the most efficient, cost effective service possible, without undercutting our standards of quality. In the past decade, Matson has invested nearly $1 billion in four new containerships, fleet enhancements, new container equipment, information technology and upgrades to its terminal facilities. Matson remains committed to continuing to make long term investments that will provide the state with a strong ocean transportation infrastructure.”

Matson’s terminal handling charge was first implemented in 2003 and is designed to recover a portion of the costs associated with the movement of cargo through terminals. This charge is standard in the industry and appears as a separate line item at the bottom of the company’s freight bills.

“Terminal handling costs comprise approximately 40 percent of Matson’s operating costs,” said Hoppes. “Matson continues to absorb a substantial amount of the expenses associated with terminal operations, the majority of which are driven by factors that are outside of our control.”

 

Federal Grand Jury Indicts Eight In Connection With Big Island Gambling Business

Vida G. Bottom, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Harry S. Kubojiri, Police Chief of the Hawaii Police Department, Kenneth J. Hines, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, and Florence T. Nakakuni, United States Attorney for the District of Hawaii, announced that law enforcement officers today arrested persons on the Big Island indicted by a federal grand jury in Honolulu on November 20, 2012, for operating an illegal gambling business and conspiring to do so.

Picture courtesy of KHON 2 News

Charged with those offenses are:

  • Eric Ford, age 45
  • Marlo Banasan, 34
  • Matthew Phillips, 39
  • Kendale Limahai, 47
  • Robert Bland, 35
  • Jonah Yardley, 37
  • Trevor Carter, 24

A Slot Machine shop in Hilo

The grand jury also charged Eric Ford and an eighth defendant, Barbara Ford, age 44, with 25 counts of structuring financial transactions for the purpose of evading federal reporting requirements, which include the filing of a Currency Transaction Report with the IRS by a financial institution in regard to any currency transaction over $10,000. All seven of the Big Island residents, everyone except Bland, now a resident of Arizona, were arrested today.

United States Attorney Nakakuni said that according to the indictment, Eric Ford operated an illegal gambling business from at least November 2009, until November 20, 2012, out of a water company business located in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. The indictment alleges that the gambling operation consisted of sports betting and various gambling events, to include poker games and craps games, and used an offshore gaming website. The six other defendants, not including Barbara Ford, are alleged to have assisted Eric Ford in the taking of bets, collection of gambling debts, and payment of gambling winnings.

A Slot Machine shop in Hilo

If convicted of the gambling and conspiracy charges, each defendant faces a maximum term of imprisonment of five years on each count. Each of the structuring charges also carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison. The charges in the indictment are merely accusations and each defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

The case resulted from an investigation initiated by the Hawaii Police Department’s Criminal Intelligence Unit. Through an established partnership among the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Hawaii Police Department, and the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, investigators were able to uncover the breadth of the illegal gambling enterprise. Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Nammar is handling the prosecution.

Wordless Wednesday – Mocha Girls in Hawaii

The ever popular girl group the Mocha Girls will be at Hawaiian Brians Showroom in Honolulu on Friday:

The hottest and most talented girl group in the music biz today in spite of the tough race for recognition.. With so many groups similar to MOCHA GIRLS coming out nowadays, their 2009 BEST DANCE ALBUM AWARD from PMPC Star Awards for Music have proven that they are the best sing and dance group today.

They can certainly turn everybody in the party mood once they hit the center stage. Their repertoire is a mix of everything from current hits and the best of new wave down to the memorable music of the 70’s.

The Mocha Girls

The group consists of 5 Girls namely Mae, Franz, Chloe, Yumi and their lead Singer MOCHA. They perform with a live band called ICE.

Hulihe’e Palace Dates Set for 2013

Enjoy a free Afternoon at Hulihe’e Palace 4-5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 16 to remember the late Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop. Presenting hula and serenade by the Merrie Monarchs, the event is part of a year-long series that honors Hawai‘i’s past monarchs and historical figures; donations are appreciated. Kindly bring a beach mat or chair as seating won’t be provided.

Princess Bernice Pauahi is most well known as the benefactress of Kamehameha Schools. A great-granddaughter of Kamehameha I, she came of age during the Victorian Era. She was well liked and very private. When her cousin, Kamehameha V, chose her as his successor in 1872, she declined. Her refusal ended the Kamehameha Dynasty.

During her lifetime, the princess witnessed the physical and social decline of Hawaiians. Some foreigners brought disease—the native population dwindled from 400,000 in 1778 to fewer than 45,000 a century later—and controlled most commerce. Missionaries introduced a new value system.

“Distressed by the plight of her people, Princess Pauahi created a will in 1883 as an instrument of change,” says Casey Ballao, Hulihe‘e Palace docent coordinator. “She believed education could be the answer to help her people.”

The document established a charitable land trust overseen by trustees to improve the well being of Hawaiians. It operates as Kamehameha Schools today, one of the largest, private trusts in the nation.

“The will was the princess’s way to malama ka ‘aina—practice the ethical, prudent and culturally appropriate stewardship of land and resources,” adds Ballao.

Hulihe’e Palace

Pauahi married Charles Reed Bishop in 1850. She and Bishop shared a love for traveling, teaching and entertaining and the couple became astute property managers. When her favorite cousin, Princess Ruth Ke‘elikolani died, Pauahi received her entire estate (including Hulihe‘e Palace) and this inheritance comprised the major portion of Pauahi’s landholdings. The princess died a year later in 1884. To honor his wife, Charles founded the Bishop Museum in 1889 to house the royal family heirlooms and her extensive collection of Hawaiian artifacts.

Hulihe‘e Palace is open for self-guided tours 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturdays. Palace admission, which includes a self-guided tour brochure, remains $6 for adults, $4 for seniors and $1 for keiki under 18. Volunteer docents are available starting 10 a.m. to give guided tours. For details, contact the palace at 329-1877, the palace office at 329-9555 or visit www.daughtersofhawaii.org. The gift shop can be reached by phoning 329-6558.

Caretakers of Hulihe‘e Palace are the Daughters of Hawai‘i and the Calabash Cousins. The Daughters was founded in 1903 and opens membership to any woman who is directly descended from a person who lived in Hawai‘i prior to 1880. Helping the Daughters in its efforts since 1986 are the Calabash Cousins; membership is available to all.

2013 Afternoon at Hulihe‘e schedule: 4-5 p.m. on the palace grounds

All Afternoons at Hulihe’e present hula by Na Pua U‘i O Hawai‘i Hula Halau and vocals by the Merrie Monarchs. Some events also include the Hulihe’e Palace Band and are noted below. On band dates, only kahiko hula is showcased. Other events offer a full hula show.

  • Jan 13: Band appearance remembering King Charles “Lunalilo” and Aunty I‘olani Luahine
  • Feb 17: Event remembering Princess Ruth Ke‘elikolani
  • Mar 17: Band appearance remembering Queen Ka‘ahumanu and Prince Kuhio
  • Apr 21: Event remembering Prince Edward Albert
  • May 19: Event remembering King Kamehameha IV “Alexander Liholiho”
  • Jun 9: Band appearance remembering King Kamehameha I “Paiea”
  • Jul 21: Event remembering John Adams Kuakini
  • Aug 18: Event remembering King Kamehameha III “Kauikeaouli”
  • Sep 15: Band appearance remembering Queen Lili‘uokalani
  • Oct 20: Event remembering Princess Ka‘iulani
  • Nov 17: Band appearance remembering King Kalakaua, Palace Curator Aunty Lei Collins and Bandmaster Charles “Bud Dant
  • Dec 15: Event remembering Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop

 

Big Island Police Searching for Missing 17-Year-Old Puna Girl

Hawaiʻi County police are searching for a 17-year-old girl who was reported missing.

Sabrina Nakaima

Sabrina Nakaima of Mountain View was last seen in the Keaʻau area on October 24.

She is described as 5-foot-5, 111 pounds with brown eyes and brown hair.

Police ask that anyone with information on her whereabouts call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311.

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.