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Parker Ranch and UH Hilo Presents “Happy”

Parker Ranch, in collaboration with the University of Hawaii at Hilo, produced a remake of the music video “Happy” by Pharrell Williams to showcase the uniqueness of Hilo and as a tribute to the university’s Spring 2014 graduating class.


Neil “Dutch” Kuyper, President and CEO of Parker Ranch, was the keynote speaker at the Spring 2014 commencement. The overarching theme of his speech—happiness—is a reminder for all to live a life rooted in happiness because life is too precious to live otherwise.

A special mahalo to the wonderful people of Hilo for dancing with incredible enthusiasm and to the video crew—Brett Wagner of Wagnervision (Director), George Russell (Cameraman), Ashley Kierkiewicz of Hastings & Pleadwell (Executive Producer) and Shawn Pila of ENA Media Hawaii (Assistant Producer) for making production awesome.

The song used in this music video is “Happy” by Pharrell Williams—Courtesy of Universal Pictures & Columbia Records.

DLNR Leads Management Team To Investigate Sea Urchin Disease

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR) and the U.S. Geological Survey National Wildlife Health Center Honolulu Field Station (USGS) are jointly responding to and investigating a recently reported disease affecting collector urchins (hawae or Tripneustes gratilla) in Maunalua and Kaneohe Bays.

A Sick Urchin

A Sick Urchin

Reports were initially made in late February by biologists from The Nature Conservancy (TNC) when they observed sick urchins on the mud scow barge, an artificial reef in Maunalua Bay. The USGS conducted the initial assessment and lab tests of the urchins. The preliminary diagnosis of the sea urchins is it is a disease that causes progressive loss of spines. Laboratory tests to identify the cause of this disease are ongoing, and some causes (e.g. parasites) have been ruled out.

On May 6, 2014, USGS and Division of Aquatic Resources staff responded to reports of urchins with similar lesions in Kaneohe Bay. Approximately 10 percent of urchins on one patch reef showed signs of the disease at that time.

In partnership with TNC, USGS and the University of Hawaii, DAR is coordinating a management team to address the issue and monitor the affected areas on a weekly basis. Lab results and monitoring plans will be continuously updated on the team’s Reef Response website: http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/reefresponse/

The Public’s Help Is Needed!
The Eyes of the Reef (EOR) Network serves as extra eyes in local coastal areas. The public’s help is needed to determine how widespread the sea urchin disease is. Here’s what the public can do:
1. Look for sickly collector sea urchins.
2. Make a report using the EOR Network “Fish Disease and Miscellaneous” online report form (www.eorhawaii.org/make-a-report).
3. Send photos of the sick urchins to: RRCPcoordinator@gmail.com
3. Please do NOT collect samples or specimens at this time.

Big Island Film Festival Workshops Filling Up – Tickets Still Available

The 2014 Big Island Film Festival at the Fairmont Orchid, Hawai’i kicks off this Thursday with a welcoming reception by Big Island Mayor Billy Kenoi.

Click to view the program guide

Click to view the program guide

A lot of folks may think that the festival is all about films, however, the festival offers filmmakers and folks interested in making movies educational workshops over the course of the festival.

On Friday there will be a workshop on “Trade Journalism as it relates to Film & Television” put on by Peter Caranicas.  Caranicas is Deputy Editor of Variety. His responsibilities include managing the paper’s features sections, which are published over 200 times a year. These specials cover film festivals, celebrate industry anniversaries, provide in-depth analysis of awards shows such as the Oscars and the Emmys, identify up-and-coming talent, and list key players among youth, women and lawyers in entertainment.

Saturday there will be a workshop on “The First 10 Pages” presented by Ron Osborn.

Ron Osborn

Ron Osborn

A writer/producer for 30 years, Ron has worked in half-hour comedy and animation, hour-long comedy and drama, feature originals and feature rewrites, on such series as Moonlighting, Duckman, Cupid, and The West Wing, as well as such features as Meet Joe Black, and has developed with Stephen Spielberg, Ron Howard, and George Lucas. He has been nominated for 7 Emmys, 3 Cable Ace Awards, and 2 Writers Guild Awards. He has written pilots for every primetime American network, as well as for such cable networks as Showtime, FX, USA, ABC Family, Lifetime, and Disney.

Finally, on Sunday there will be a workshop on “Adding Fiction to the Truth in Your Writing” presented by Jen Grisanti.

Jen Grisanti

Jen Grisanti

International speaker Grisanti is an acclaimed Story/Career Consultant at Jen Grisanti Consultancy Inc., Writing Instructor for Writers on the Verge at NBC, former 12-year studio executive, including VP of Current Programming at CBS/Paramount, blogger for The Huffington Post and author of the books, Story Line: Finding Gold In Your Life Story and TV Writing Tool Kit: How To Write a Script That Sells and the upcoming book, Change Your Story, Change Your Life: A Path To Your Success.

This will be the third year that Grisanti has presented at BIFF and I asked her about what her favorite thing is about the Big Island Festival and Grisanti said, “My favorite part of my last experience at the Big Island Film Festival was seeing films that really resonated with the audience on an emotional level. It was a tremendous feeling to be able to celebrate the massive accomplishments of these incredible filmmakers.”

Jen Grisanti at the Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii

Jen Grisanti at the Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii

I asked Jen what she has been up to since the last Big Island Film Festival and she’s been quite busy.
She has launched a new book, “Change Your Story, Change Your Life: A Path To Success”, Taught in Israel, participated in The Great American Pitchfest, the Story Expo and the TV Writers’ Summit in Los Angeles.  This was also her 5th year as the Writing Instructor for Writers on the Verge at NBC.


Mayor Kenoi flanked by Hollywood Consultant Jennifer Grisanti (left) and television star Eloise Mumfort (right)

Mayor Kenoi flanked by Hollywood Consultant Jennifer Grisanti (left) and television star Eloise Mumfort (right)

I asked her what her workshop would be covering this year and she said, “My workshop is about adding fiction to your truth in your writing and defining your voice. In my career, I’ve found that the writers who know their voice and how to utilize their emotional truth are the ones that succeed. I will also cover story structure and how to write strong personal arcs for your life and in your story.”

You can check out some of her recent books she has written here:

Jennifer Grisanti

Here are five recent blogs that she wrote for The Huffington Post that she feels link with the upcoming workshop:

The deadline to purchase entrance fees to these workshops is May 20, 2014  and you can purchase online or Call: 808 883-0394