Puna Ulu (Breadfruit) Festival Goes Nuts – Ulu a Niu

The Second Annual Puna ‘Ulu Festival—‘Ulu a Niu will be held on Saturday, March 2, 2013 from 9 am – 3 pm at Ho‘oulu Lāhui, the site of Kua O Ka Lā Public Charter School at Pū‘āla‘a, adjacent to the ‘Āhalanui County Park warm ponds in Puna. The event is free and open to the public. The Puna ‘Ulu Festival—‘Ulu a Niu will celebrate ‘ulu (breadfruit) and niu (coconut) with a cooking contest, breadfruit trees and coconut palm trees for sale, presentations, keiki activities, cultural demonstrations, music all day with Diane Aki, Bruddah Cuz and Ili Wai, and local food featuring breadfruit and coconut.

The day will begin at 9 am with an opening pule by Kumu Hula Auli‘i Mitchell followed by a message from Governor Neil Abercrombie delivered by his representative Wendy Botelho-Cortez.

The buffet lunch will feature gourmet dishes by Casey Halpren of Café Pesto, Kanoa Miura of Aloha Mondays, and Mark Noguchi of Pili Hawaii and Taste. The tentative menu includes Fried ‘Ulu Croquettes, Braised Big Island Beef, Vegetable Curry, Heart of Palm Slaw with Coconut Mayo and ‘Ulu Chocolate Cookies.

Auntie Shirley Kauhaihao of Ke‘ei, South Kona, will be demonstrating how to select and prepare ‘ulu fruit. (Photo by Craig Elevitch)

Auntie Shirley Kauhaihao of Ke‘ei, South Kona, will be demonstrating how to select and prepare ‘ulu fruit. (Photo by Craig Elevitch)

Cultural activities include ‘ulu and kalo poi pounding with Uncle Jerry Konanui and ‘Anakala Isaiah Kealoha, kapa making with ‘ulu bark by experts Wesley and Lehua Sen, crafting of pahu drums from coconut with Keone Turalde, coconut weaving, and making cordage from coconut fiber with Larry Kuamo‘o. Keiki activities include games, face painting and block printing. Micronesians United will present traditional Micronesian preparations of ‘ulu with coconut milk. Demonstrations of how to make coconut milk will be held throughout the day. Local coconut water, fresh out of the coconut, will be for sale.

This year the festival is called ‘Ulu a Niu and will feature fresh coconut water for sale and cultural and horticultural activities related to niu (coconut) such as making of coconut milk, coconut palms for sale, crafting of pahu drums from coconut with Keone Turalde, coconut weaving, and making cordage from coconut fiber with Larry Kuamo‘o. (Photo by Craig Elevitch)

This year the festival is called ‘Ulu a Niu and will feature fresh coconut water for sale and cultural and horticultural activities related to niu (coconut) such as making of coconut milk, coconut palms for sale, crafting of pahu drums from coconut with Keone Turalde, coconut weaving, and making cordage from coconut fiber with Larry Kuamo‘o. (Photo by Craig Elevitch)

Learning how to cook ‘ulu and niu in new and traditional ways is one of the highlights of the festival. Cooking demonstrations will be given by local favorite Chef Mark Noguchi aka “Chef Gooch”; Shirley Kauhaihao will show how to select and prepare ‘ulu fruit; Dr. Nat Bletter, Chocolate Flavormeister of Madre Chocolate will be demonstrating how to make exquisite deserts from ‘ulu and niu; the Kua O Ka Lā students culinary arts class will present their award-winning spicy ‘ulu poke and raw foods experts Laura Dawn and Noah Dan will demonstrate how to make ‘ulu tortillas with a variety of sauces.

The public is invited to compete in the ‘Ulu a Niu Cooking Contest in which the public can enter recipes in the categories of Appetizer, Main Dish/Entrée and Dessert. Entries must include both ‘ulu (breadfruit) and niu (coconut), but the main ingredient must be ‘ulu. Prizes will be awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in each of these categories and for Healthiest Choice and Best in Show. Breadfruit Cooking Contest rules and entry forms can be found at www.breadfruit.info.

The public is invited to compete in the ‘Ulu a Niu Cooking Contest and can enter recipes in the categories of Appetizer, Main Dish/Entrée and Dessert.  Pictured is the 2012 Best of Show winner, Pūnana Cookies, by Raven Hannah and Jeremy Lutes. (Photo by Craig Elevitch)

The public is invited to compete in the ‘Ulu a Niu Cooking Contest and can enter recipes in the categories of Appetizer, Main Dish/Entrée and Dessert. Pictured is the 2012 Best of Show winner, Pūnana Cookies, by Raven Hannah and Jeremy Lutes. (Photo by Craig Elevitch)

Educational presentations about the cultural and horticultural aspects of breadfruit and coconut round out the event. Kua O Ka Lā students will present a need assessment of the importance of ‘ulu and niu in the community. Kumu Ryan McCormack will give two cultural presentations: ‘Ulu: A Hawaiian Perspective and Niuolahiki—The Life Giving Coconut. Noa Kekuewa Lincoln of Stanford University will present his original research on Kaluulu—the Ancient Kona Breadfruit Grove. Agroforestry expert Craig Elevitch of Hawai‘i Homegrown Food Network will speak about Home Gardens—Pasifika Style. Dr. Diane Ragone and Ian Cole of the Breadfruit Institute of the National Tropical Botanical Garden will be on hand to answer questions and will give presentations on Breadfruit and Sustainability and ‘Ulu from Root to Fruit: Tree Planting, Care and Maintenance. A tree planting with Leila Kealoha will commemorate the event.

Keiki activities at the Second Annual Puna ‘Ulu Festival—‘Ulu a Niu include games, face painting and block printing. (Photo by Craig Elevitch)

Keiki activities at the Second Annual Puna ‘Ulu Festival—‘Ulu a Niu include games, face painting and block printing. (Photo by Craig Elevitch)

The Puna ‘Ulu Festival is presented by Ho‘oulu Lāhui, Kua O Ka Lā Public Charter School, Hawai‘i Homegrown Food Network, the Breadfruit Institute of the National Tropical Botanical Garden. The festival is sponsored by the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority’s Kūkulu Ola—Living Hawaiian Culture Program administered by the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement, Doc Buyers Fund at Hawaii Community Foundation, Kamehameha Schools, Suisan, Aloha Mondays, Madre Chocolate and Café Pesto. The Second Annual Puna ‘Ulu Festival—‘Ulu a Niu is a part of a larger statewide effort to revitalize breadfruit for food security called Ho‘oulu ka ‘Ulu. Learn more about the Puna ‘Ulu Festival by visiting www.breadfruit.info or call 965-5098.

State Reaches Settlement with Hawaiian Electric Company

As island families and businesses continue to face high energy prices, Gov. Neil Abercrombie today announced a settlement between the State of Hawaii and the Hawaiian Electric Company, Inc. (HECO) that will result in the withdrawal of a rate increase request for Hawaii Island and a significant reduction in taxpayer dollars requested to cover project costs.

abercrombieheader

Subject to approval by the Public Utilities Commission (PUC), the formal settlement filed with the PUC on Jan. 28 outlines an agreement between the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs’Division of Consumer Advocacy (DCA) and HECO, including its subsidiaries, Maui Electric Co., Ltd. (MECO) and Hawaii Electric Light Company, Inc. (HELCO), which serve Maui County and Hawaii Island, respectively.

“With high oil prices driving up electricity and other costs throughout our economy, we have to take action to help Hawaii’s families and businesses who are struggling to make ends meet,” Gov. Neil Abercrombie said. “While this settlement will help in the short-term, we remain committed to pursuing long-term solutions toward clean energy alternatives.”

As part of the settlement, HELCO will withdraw its request for a 4.2 percent or $19.8 million rate increase in 2013.

HECO and its subsidiaries will also reduce by $40 million the amount being sought for improvements to two major projects –the 110-megawatt biofuel generating station at Campbell Industrial Park and a new customer information system.

In addition, HECO will also delay filing a 2014 rate case that was originally scheduled to be filed this year under the current regulatory framework for reviewing its rates.

DCA Executive Director Jeffrey Ono said: “This settlement will benefit consumers and help reduce the ever-increasing cost of electricity.”

UPDATE:

HAWAIIAN ELECTRIC COMPANIES’ STATEMENT REGARDING SETTLEMENT WITH HAWAII CONSUMER ADVOCATE

We believe the rate case settlement agreement we reached with the Consumer Advocate is fair and recognizes how difficult times are for our customers. High fuel prices are continuing to affect our customers and hurt our state’s economy.

If this settlement is approved by the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission, it would allow all of the parties involved to focus their resources on increasing the use of local, renewable energy and other options that can help reduce our state’s dependence on oil and decrease energy costs for our customers.

Neighbor Island Video Conferencing Pilot Project Will Allow Big Island Residents to Testify at Senate Meetings From Home

Constituents on Hawaii Island now have the chance to testify at a Senate meeting without physically being there.   By using the Hawaii State Senate’s new Neighbor Island Video Conferencing Pilot Project, constituents on the neighbor islands will be able to participate in the legislative process without traveling to Oahu.

In its inaugural year, the Neighbor Island Video Conferencing Pilot Project is being piloted by the Senate Committee on Education and the Senate Committee on Technology and the Arts.  Along with neighbor island residents, State or County departments based on a neighbor island may participate in this project.  Hearing notices for the pilot project hearings will indicate that videoconferencing testimony will be allowed and contain a link to instructions for the public on how to participate.

Click for more information

Click for more information

“Today’s technology brings people together and allows them to communicate the Senate’s Neighbor Island Video Conferencing Program just does that.  It is an efficient and economical method of having our residents take part in committee hearings without having to travel,” said Senator Malama Solomon, who represents (District 4) Hilo, Hamakua, Kohala, Waimea, Waikoloa and Kona.

“This is a terrific opportunity especially for those who cannot participate in person and still be able to be part of the legislative process,” said Senator Russell Ruderman, who represents (District 2) Puna and Kau.

“I encourage everyone to take advantage of this new opportunity to participate in the democratic process,” said Senator Gilbert Kahele, who represents (District 1) Hilo.  “Constituents will find it gratifying to get their voices heard on issues they support or oppose.”

“Videoconferencing has made significant advancements in medicine, education and other fields and I believe it will make an important contribution here at the State Capitol by enabling our Hawaii Island residents to participate in hearings,” said Senator Josh Green, who represents (District 3) Kona and Kau.

Because this is a pilot project, there are some limitations to how many individuals are able to participate.  Following the completion of the Legislative Session, the project will be evaluated and perhaps the Senate will be able to expand it to cover more committees, more hearings, and possibly a wider audience.

For more information on the Neighbor Island Video Conferencing Program, go to:  http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/videoconf.aspx

 

Big Island Police Identify Second Body Found Off Stainback Highway

Police have identified the remains found off the “Tree Planting Road” off Stainback Highway in Hilo as a 44-year-old Hawaiian Acres man who was initially reported missing and later determined to be a murder victim.

Dante Peter Gilman

Dante Peter Gilman

Dante Peter Gilman was identified through dental records.

Police are withholding a cause of death pending additional forensic analysis. Police are also working with an anthropologist from the Joint POW Accounting Command/Central Identification Laboratory from the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam on Oahu to perform additional examinations.

On January 22 at about 5:18 a.m., police received an anonymous tip of a body off the “Tree Planting Road.”

Claude Keone Krause

Claude Keone Krause

Police were conducting a search in the area for the body of Gilman, who was initially reported as missing. A murder investigation into his disappearance was initiated and Claude Keone Krause and his cousin, Kawena Krause, were both charged in that case.

Kawena K. Krause

Kawena K. Krause

Police ask that anyone with information on this case call Detective Derek Morimoto at 961-2380 or email him at dmorimoto@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.

 

Video – The Kilauea Volcano Eruption of 1955

1955

The Kilauea Volcano Eruption of 1955:

State Continues to Seek Meaningful and Fair Agreement for Teachers and Students HSTA Proposal Costs Exceed $1 Billion

The State negotiations team recently notified the Hawaii State Teachers Association (HSTA) that it cannot responsibly accept its latest proposal, which would cost the State $1,050,445,815 over four years, mostly in additional compensation and benefit expenses.

DOE Release

On Dec. 5, 2012 the State offered HSTA $49.2 million in pay increases – two percent annual increases for the next two years – which was rejected by HSTA’s negotiating team. The proposed increases are on top of the restoration of the temporary five percent reductions that end on June 30, 2013, and have a budgetary impact of $178.8 million over four years.

Days later, the HSTA team declined the State’s request to meet promptly to seek an agreement. Last week, when negotiations resumed, the HSTA presented its first proposal in almost a year. The HSTA’s four-year proposal, which it made available publicly last week via social media, was much more costly than any prior HSTA proposal.

In its proposal, HSTA seeks to:

· Increase teachers’ base pay by 48.1 percent over the next four years,
· Delay implementation of the new Educator Effectiveness System,
· Gain veto power over development of each step of the system.

“We appreciate HSTA’s proposal but it is fiscally unrealistic. It’s obvious there is more work to do to reach a resolution,” said Schools Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “Our focus remains on moving our strategic plan forward, providing the best learning environments for our teachers and students, and continuing on our path toward higher academic achievement. Recent gains are the direct result of our teachers’ dedication and commitment, and future success will require all stakeholders working together toward our common goals.”

The two sides resumed negotiations on Jan. 22, 2013 in which the State negotiating team provided a detailed response to the HSTA. The State’s negotiating team consists of representatives of the Hawaii State Board of Education, Schools Superintendent and the State Office of Collective Bargaining.

“While we were pleased that HSTA finally presented a proposal, we were surprised and disappointed by its contents,” stated Board of Education member Jim Williams. “We depend on and value our teaching professionals. The HSTA’s proposal is not financially viable or prudent. By their actions – delays providing a proposal, declining to make negotiations meetings a priority, making unrealistic financial demands and seeking to delay implementation of the new Educator Effectiveness System – HSTA leaders do not appear to be moving urgently toward reaching an agreement.”

The State and HSTA return to negotiations on Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013.

OVERVIEW: Costs of HSTA’s Latest Proposal

 

Big Island Police Searching for 40-Year-Old Woman Wanted on Outstanding Warrants

Police are asking for the public’s help in locating a 40-year-old Kamuela woman wanted on several outstanding warrants.

Crystal Marie Torres aka Crystal

Crystal Marie Torres aka Crystal Torres Bolosan

Crystal Marie Torres, also known as Crystal Torres Bolosan, is described as part Hawaiian, about 5-foot-6, about 110 pounds with brown eyes and dark brown shoulder length straight hair.

She is wanted on two warrants for failure to appear for traffic citations and on a warrant of arrest for bail jumping.

Torres is known to frequent the South Kohala and North Kohala areas.

Police ask that anyone with information on her whereabouts call Lieutenant Gregory