Hawaii House of Reps Honors the Bishop Museum on Its 125th Anniversary

The state House of Representatives today honored the Bishop Museum on its 125th anniversary, four inductees to the Junior Achievement Hall of Fame, and three veteran war heroes who have since made significant contributions to the community.

Bishop honorees

Bishop Museum was recognized on its 125th anniversary for promoting the culture and history of Hawaii. Taking part in the floor presentation was Bishop Museum President and CEO Blair Collis; Allison Holt Gendreau, Chair of the museum’s Board of Directors; board member Watters O. Martin, Jr.; and Dr. Yoshiko Sinoto, Bishop Museum’s Kenneth Pike Emory Distinguished Chair in Anthropology.

Three outstanding community minded military leaders were also honored by the House. They included: Tim Guard, Chairman and CEO, McCabe, Hamilton & Remy; Ron Hayes, Admiral, U.S. Navy, Retired; and Joe Vasey, Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy, Retired. These individuals have distinguished themselves, not only as outstanding former military leaders, but also as civic leaders who have made a difference in the state through their significant contributions to the community at large.

The House also paid tribute to the 2014 Junior Achievement of Hawaii Business Hall of Fame laureates. Since 1975, the U.S. Business Hall of Fame presented by Junior Achievement has honored men and women who have made outstanding contributions to free enterprise and to the community. The Junior Achievement of Hawaii’s Business Hall of Fame recognizes laureates who have helped mold our free enterprise system, and who continue to reshape and improve the manner in which businesses operates in Hawaii.

Honoka’a Western Week is Coming Around the Bend!

Cowboys and horses on parade, a rollicking block party with dancing in the streets, local vendors, Big Island steak fry, Saloon Girl and new “Cowboys Got Talent” competitions, plus rodeo action in the refurbished Honoka‘a Arena and more make for an exciting roundup of paniolo festivities for Honoka‘a Western Week, May 17-26, 2014.

PHOTOS by Sarah Anderson Photography

PHOTOS by Sarah Anderson Photography

One of the most highly-anticipated events of the year, Honoka‘a Western Week (HWW) lets the usually-quiet, former sugar cane plantation town kick up its heels and celebrate a century-old paniolo heritage. The unique cultural blend of rodeo sports, high-energy events, music, food, and education offers visitors and kama‘āina of all ages a whole herd of ways to have fun.
Honoka'a Cowboys
Leading off with the Paniolo Parade on Friday afternoon, the HWW team will close down Mamane Street for its popular Block Party, featuring country-style music, a sizzling steak fry fundraiser hosted by the Honoka‘a High School Soccer and Track Teams, and a fun lineup of contests and events. A major highlight is the Saloon Girl contest, starring bold and beautiful women, young and young-at-heart, who strut their stuff in a talent and personality competition for the cowboys onstage.

Salon GirlsNot to be outdone, the cowboys will vie for titles of their own, as will stick horse riders, and the best chili cooks around. In the days leading up to HWW, businesses, decorated western-style, invite everyone to dress up in their best cowboy boots, hats and duds, and help bring back the spirit of a wilder time.

And, premiering the newly renovated Honoka‘a Arena, the 58th Annual Hawai‘i Saddle Club Scholarship Rodeo kicks into action, starting with “Saturday Slack,” an elimination round. Then cowboys, keiki and wahine are put through their paces Sunday-Monday, competing for buckles, saddles and prize money. Unique-to-Hawai‘i rodeo events, like Po‘o Wai‘u, are in the lineup, along with bull riding, calf roping, bareback and saddle bronc events, sheep riding for the keiki and much more.

PHOTOS by Sarah Anderson Photography

PHOTOS by Sarah Anderson Photography

In its 58-year history, the Rodeo has awarded thousands in scholarship funds to high school seniors island-wide as well as continuing education scholars. Taking place in the newly-restored arena, this year’s Rodeo promises to be better than ever, with new covered bleachers, restrooms, concession stand and other improvements.

More events, concerts, educational exhibits and activities are in the planning stages. Commemorative HWW buttons will be available to purchase as show of support, as well as automatic entry in the “lucky number” drawing during the Block Party. Although buttons are not required for admission, attendees receive fair warning that those without buttons at the Block Party risk being thrown into the hoosegow by roving sheriffs.  (All in good fun).

Honoka‘a Western Week is a volunteer-driven project of the Honoka‘a Business Association, The Hāmākua Farm Bureau and the Hāmākua Lion’s Club celebrating Hāmākua’s paniolo heritage and unique cultural blend.  Sponsors include Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, County of Hawaiʻi CPEP, Councilwoman Valerie Poindexter, Steinlager, and many other generous supporters. Checks payable to “Honokaʻa Business Association” can be sent to P.O. Box 474, Honokaʻa HI 96727, attention: Honoka‘a Western Week. For more information, follow Honoka‘a Western Week on Facebook.

Events are subject to change, with more to come!

  • March 31. Deadline to enter HSC Rodeo Queen competition, 808-756-3293
  • April 1. Deadline to apply for HSC Scholarships. Call 808-960-2947 or email hawaiisaddleclub@ymail.com
  • May 9. Deadline to enter Saloon Girl and Cowboys Got Talent Contests. For information, call Jill Mattos, 808-960-5605 or Lorie Farrell, 808-557-2780.
  • May 17-22. Celebrate Honokaʻa Western Week with Honokaʻa Business Association. Everyone is invited to dress up western-style and visit Honoka‘a town merchants, plus join in different paniolo-theme activities every night. (Subject to change, details coming soon). For information, call Jeanne Keller, 808-775-0530.
  • Monday, May 19. Chili Cook Off hosted by The Landing, for information, call Steve Offenbaker, 775-0888.
  • Tuesday, May 20. Art Event: Make-your-own Stick Horse for the Races
  • Wednesday, May 21. Western movies at the Peoples Theater.
  • Thursday, May 22. Memories of Honoka‘a Western Weeks Past, and blessing of the ʻŌhiʻa Lanai to celebrate the Andrade Building’s 90th birthday
  • Friday, May 23:

2 p.m., Road Closure

  • 3 p.m., Stick Horse Race
  • 4 p.m., Paniolo Parade down Mamane Street in Honoka‘a Town
  • 5 p.m., Block Party, Steak Fry
  • 6  p.m., Saloon Girl and Cowboys Got Talent Contests
  • 8 p.m., Dancing in the Street
  • Saturday, May 24. 8 a.m.-6 p.m., Hawai‘i Saddle Club Scholarship Rodeo “Saturday Slack.”  Tickets $7 in advance $8 at the gate.
  • Sunday, May 25.  12 p.m. to Pau, Hawai‘i Saddle Club Scholarship Rodeo. Tickets $7 in advance $8 at the gate.
  • Monday, May 26. 12 p.m. to Pau, Hawai‘i Saddle Club Scholarship Rodeo. Tickets $7 in advance $8 at the gate.

Kona Man Charged for Assaulting Tour Boat Captain While Tour in Progress

A Kona man has been charged with assault in connection with a confrontation on a commercial dive boat.

In response to a 12:04 p.m. call Tuesday (March 11), officers learned that an unknown man had reportedly boarded a boat in waters off Kohanaiki Beach Park while a dive tour was in progress. He reportedly argued with the 54-year-old male captain, punched him and then jumped off the boat.

Cheyenne James Gaspar

Cheyenne James Gaspar

Police investigation led to the the identity of a suspect, 39-year-old Cheyenne James Gaspar of Kailua-Kona, who turned himself in at the Kona police station Thursday (March 13). He was arrested and charged with third-degree assault and then released from custody after posting $1,000 bail.

Kailua Intermediate’s Ryan Kagami Wins National ‘Teacher of Promise’ Award – Keaau High Teacher Nominated

Kailua Intermediate teacher Ryan Kagami believes that in order for students to understand the world of science, they must become part of it.

Kagami, who teaches seventh- and eighth-grade science, was honored this morning as the National Milken Educators of Hawaii ‘Teacher of Promise.’ The award annually recognizes a teacher who demonstrates excellence in the field and the highest qualities of a professional educator during the first four semesters in the classroom. Established in 2007, the award alternates annually between elementary and secondary teachers.

'Teacher of Promise' Ryan Kagami of Kailua Intermediate

‘Teacher of Promise’ Ryan Kagami of Kailua Intermediate

Shortly after Kagami received a plaque and $1,000 through a sponsorship from HawaiiUSA Federal Credit Union during a school assembly, he quickly joined students in a nearby beach cleanup – not surprising for an educator who sets an example for hands-on learning.

“Ryan is an exceptional educator who promotes instruction that inspires students to become active citizens of the world as they participate in scientific thinking, solve problems and prepare for college,” said Kailua Intermediate Principal Lisa DeLong. “In Ryan’s classes, science concepts become relevant because students find practical applications all around them.”

To make his lessons come alive, Kagami wrote and received grants to fund a classroom aquaponics system. The miniature lab draws students’ interest in complex topics such as water and nitrogen cycles, plant biology, fish anatomy, and the role microbial communities play in the earth’s ecosystem and humans.

Kagami is currently partnering with parents, local businesses, community leaders and military neighbors to submit a Repair, Remodel, Restore Our Schools (3Rs) grant to build and house a larger structure on the campus.

A team player, Kagami collaborates and plans regularly with fellow science teachers. This past summer, for example, they met to develop pacing guides aligned with the Hawaii Common Core State Standards – a new set of consistent expectations for what students should know and be able to do at each grade to graduate college and career ready.

The group once participated in an afterschool ghost walk in which they visited classrooms with no students present to see how well each teacher was using the classroom environment – such as posting student work with feedback – to support student learning.

Kagami was also a catalyst in launching the Advancement Via Individual Determination, or AVID, program at Kailua Intermediate. This school year, the home of the Jr. Surfriders fully implemented AVID, which promotes college readiness and high expectations.

Kagami began teaching at Kailua Intermediate in January 2012. The Castle High graduate earned a bachelor’s degree in zoology from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and a master’s degree in secondary education from Chaminade University.

From left to right: Cary Miyashiro, marketing representative for Hawaii USA Federal Credit Union, Kailua Intermediate 'Teacher of Promise' Ryan Kagami, along with past National Milken Educators from Hawaii, Catherine Payne ('95), Estelle Wong ('99) and Ellen Schroeder ('97).

From left to right: Cary Miyashiro, marketing representative for Hawaii USA Federal Credit Union, Kailua Intermediate ‘Teacher of Promise’ Ryan Kagami, along with past National Milken Educators from Hawaii, Catherine Payne (’95), Estelle Wong (’99) and Ellen Schroeder (’97).

The National Milken Educators of Hawaii (NMEH) committee members who selected Kagami for the award are all past recipients of the National Milken Educator Award. Presenting today’s award were former Milken Educators Catherine Payne (‘95), Estelle Wong (‘99) and Ellen Schroeder (‘97).

In addition to Kagami, four other Hawaii public school teachers nominated for the ‘Teacher of Promise’ award were recognized earlier in the year. They include Nathan Pontious (Kauai High), Christian Simoy (Aiea High), Christopher Ho (Keaau High) and Tricia Dong (Waianae Intermediate)

Navy Finds Boat Grounded in Reef at Pearl Harbor – May Be Japan Tsunami Debris

Chief Warrant Officer Three (CWO3) Timothy Greene, Port Operations, at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, and Paul Sensano, Deptartment of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) paddle a 12-foot long skiff which was grounded on a reef near Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam on March 8.

 U.S. Navy photo by MC1 Nardel Gervacio

U.S. Navy photo by MC1 Nardel Gervacio

The skiff, possible marine debris from the Japan Tsunami of March 11, 2011, appeared in waters near Pearl Harbor, and posed both a navigational hazard as well as potentially damaging the shallow reef. Greene and Sensano righted the skiff and secured it before moving it to the Hickam boat ramp for removal.

To date, 17 large items including boats or skiffs have been identified in Hawaii as being associated with the tsunami.

Dropped 911 Call Leads to Man Being Rescued From Waipio Valley

A man was rescued from Waipio Valley on the Big Island yesterday.

Me at the top of Waipio Valley

Me at the top of Waipio Valley

The following release is from the Hawaii Fire Department:

Situation found at scene:

Company 8 responded to Waipio Valley for a dropped 911 call. Upon arrival made contact with the caller who stated she noticed a person on the trail to Waimanu Valley using a flashlight to signal people on the beach. Rescue Company 2 dispatched. Company 8 personnel proceeded to the beach area and saw the person signaling approximately halfway up the trail.


Company 8 personnel proceeded on foot to attempt to reach hiker in trouble while Company 2 responded by air. Company 2 made contact with hiker, a 23 y/o male, and was able to rescue him using a Billy Pugh basket. Hiker without injuries upon evaluation by medical personnel.