Wiliwili Tree From the Big Island Crowned Largest In The Country For Its Species

For over 70 years the National Big Tree Program has invited arboreal enthusiasts to locate the largest trees of their species for the title of Big Tree Champion. By calling attention to these iconic trees, the program raises awareness of the numerous ecosystem benefits they provide.

Photo by Nikiforos Delatolas, Waikoloa Dry Forest Initiative

Photo by Nikiforos Delatolas, Waikoloa Dry Forest Initiative

The pre-eminent catalogue of champions is the National Register of Big Trees, a biannual publication released by American Forests. The most recent edition included a wiliwili (Erythrina sandwicensis) from Waikoloa Dry Forest. Specific measurements and photos are available on pages 14 and 40 of the register, listed under the common name “Coral bean.”

The Hawaii Big Tree Competition locates the largest native and culturally significant tree species in Hawaii. To be considered for nomination, the species must be included on the national list of eligible species. Hawaii currently has 21 eligible species, but efforts are underway to increase that number. The largest trees of each species are referred to as “National Champions,” an award which is based purely on the tree’s measurements.

Everyone is welcome to nominate a big tree. The champions are decided by a point system, determined by the following equation: circumference (inches) + height (feet) + 1/4th of the average crown spread (feet) = total points. For a species to be included in the register, nominations must be given to state coordinators prior to Sept. 15.

To learn more about our current champions or view a complete list of Hawaii’s eligible species,
visit http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/forestry/info/big-tree/
To view the complete Spring 2014 National Register of Big Trees,
visit http://www.americanforests.org/our-programs/bigtree/ To nominate a potential champion tree, send the measurements along with GPS coordinates to the Hawaii Big Tree Coordinator at 586-0915.


Video: 2014 World Fireknife Championship Final Highlights

From the Polynesian Culture Center in Laie, Hawaii… The 2014 World Fireknife Championship Final Highlights:

Champion Viavia “VJ” Tiumalu (Orland, Florida)
1st Runner Up Falaniko Penesa (Samoa)
2nd Runner Up Malo “MJ” Mata’u (Laie, Hawaii)

‘Twilight’ and ‘Carrie’ Stars Come Out to Shine at Big Island Film Festival at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i

Portia Doubleday, “Carrie’s” nemesis in the current re-telling of Steven King’s wildly popular story, and Jackson Rathbone, star of the epic “Twilight” film series, will attend Big Island Film Festival at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i next week as celebrity honorees. Seeming to specialize in the darkly complex characters that today’s movie-lovers crave, Doubleday and Rathbone are young actors on the rise.

Portia Doubleday

Portia Doubleday

Portia Doubleday most recently co-starred as bad girl Chris Hargensen in “Carrie,” and played a cameo role as the sex surrogate in Spike Jonze’ critically acclaimed film “Her.” She also co-starred in 20th Century Fox’s “Big Momma’s: Like Father, Like Son,” and had a recurring role on the ABC comedy series “Mr. Sunshine.” Her first leading role was with Michael Cera in “Youth in Revolt,” named one of the ten best films of the year by the National Board of Review.

Jackosn Rathbone

Jackson Rathbone

Best known for his role as Jasper Hale in the hugely successful “Twilight” franchise, Jackson Rathbone has been an international presence in film since 2007. Originally from Texas, Jackson quickly found roles in both movies and television, earning recognition for his turn as a serial killer in “Criminal Minds.” Starring in major international box office hits such as the blockbuster “Twilight” series and “The Last Airbender,” Rathbone will also appear in the upcoming super-natural independent suspense thriller “The Dead Men.”

BIFF invites the public to exclusive soirees in honor of Doubleday and Rathbone on Saturday and Sunday, respectively, 5-7 p.m. at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i. Events begin in the Lehua Theatre with a video retrospective of the actor’s career, in-depth interview and Q&A, then stroll into Wailana Gardens for elegant pupu reception, with wines from Kenwood Vineyard, Kona Brewing Company beers, and an opportunity for informal networking in a luxury resort setting. Advance tickets are required ($35).

Doubleday and Rathbone will also attend the exciting Golden Honu Awards Brunch on Monday, May 26, 10 a.m.-12 p.m. The champagne brunch buffet in the Kilohana Room is open to the public with advance reservations required ($50). Winning films and Audience Choice Feature and Short will be announced during brunch. Audience Choice films will be presented Monday evening, following a stellar concert by award-winning Hawaiian musician WILLIE K.

Willie K

More highlights of BIFF include free family films at The Shops at Mauna Lani, two sets of daytime movies in the Lehua Theatre and nightly double features at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i Plantation Estate, screenwriting workshops and numerous opportunities to meet and interact with filmmakers and film-lovers from near and far.

Big Island Film Festival at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i is a celebration of independent narrative films and filmmaking, taking place May 22-26, 2014. Major sponsors include The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i, The Shops at Mauna Lani and Hawaii Tourism Authority/Hawai‘i County CPEP. For complete schedule information and tickets, stop by the information desk at The Shops at Mauna Lani starting May 21, visit www.BigIslandFilmFestival.com or call (808) 883-0394.


Lyman Museum Receives Grant Towards New Island Heritage Gallery

In the recent session, the Hawai`i State Legislature approved $500,000 in State Grant-in-Aid funding toward the Lyman Museum’s planned new Island Heritage Gallery exhibit.

The Lyman Museum

The Lyman Museum

“My fellow legislators recognized that this gallery space and exhibit will provide a continuing resource to showcase our vibrant history, for visitors, but especially for Hawaii’s keiki,” said Senator Gil Kahele, who was instrumental in securing the funds.  “This was truly a collective effort on behalf of the entire Hawaii Island delegation.”

Located on the second floor of the Museum in a 3,600 sq. ft. area, the new $2 million exhibit will explore a historical timeline of the many people, cultures, events, and ideas that left their mark on Hawaii Island and contributed to the rich, diverse mosaic of modern Hawaii.  The Island Heritage Gallery will make history come alive for visitors by exhibiting artifacts and telling stories in themed settings that recreate the look and feel of different eras.

“Our heartfelt thanks go to our East Hawai`i legislators, Senator Kahele and Representatives Mark Nakashima, Clift Tsuji, and Richard Onishi, for this generous appropriation that enables us to move closer toward establishing the Island Heritage Gallery exhibit.  People call the Museum ‘a true gem of Hilo,’ and the new gallery will be a jewel in the crown for everyone to enjoy,” emphasized Lyman Museum President and Executive Director Barbara Moir.

The new Island Heritage Gallery is the final phase of a 15-year journey to enhance the Museum’s position as a world-class learning facility and treasured resource for future generations.  For more than 80 years, the Lyman Museum has fulfilled its mission to “tell the story of Hawai`i, its islands and its people,” and continuously strives to make the visitor experience exciting and educational.

A repository of local history, the Lyman Museum currently houses a superb collection of cultural artifacts, fine art, and natural history exhibits, as well as special exhibitions and an archives, which includes historical documents, books, and more than 30,000 photographs.  Visitors can tour the beautifully restored old Mission House and learn about Hilo life as it was 150 years ago.  The Earth Heritage Gallery showcases the Museum’s world-class shell and mineral collections as well as geology and habitat exhibits in stunning settings.  The new Island Heritage Gallery exhibit will complete the visitor’s experience by providing a rare and well-rounded view of the real Hawai`i, as it was, as it is today, and where it may be in years to come.