U.S. Senate Candidate Forum to be Held in Hilo

A U.S. Senate Candidate Forum featuring U.S. Senator Brian Schatz and U.S. Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa will be held on Wednesday, July 2, 2014, 6:30 p.m. at Sangha Hall, 424 Kilauea Avenue in Hilo. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m.

Schatz Hanabusa

The forum is sponsored by the Hawai‘i Island Chamber of Commerce, Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Hawaii, Hawaii Island REALTORS, Hawaii Island Contractors’ Association, Kanoelehua Industrial Area Association and the Hawaii Island Portuguese Chamber of Commerce. This public forum is open to the community free of charge.

The sponsoring organizations have organized this important opportunity to educate their members and the public about the issues relevant to the U.S. Senate, the candidates’ backgrounds, and how well they will meet the needs of the people of Hawai‘i Island and our state.

The forum will be moderated by Sherry Bracken, Public Affairs Director, Mahalo Broadcasting and host of the Sunday interview show Island Issues for LAVA 105.3 fm and on KKOA 107.7 fm.  She also reports on Hawai‘i Island news for Hawaii Public Radio. Questions will not be taken from the audience at the forum but the public is invited to submit questions in advance to admin@hicc.biz and to info@lava105.com.   Sign waving will not be allowed on the Sangha Hall/ Hilo Hongwanji property and campaign signs will not be allowed in the hall.

The forum will be broadcasted live on radio station LAVA 105.3 fm and online www.hawaii247.com from 6:30 p.m. until 8 p.m. Food, snacks and drinks will be available for sale at the event.

The League of Women Voters will be at the forum to provide voter registration.

For more information, please call the Hawai‘i Island Chamber of Commerce office at (808) 935-7178.

“Kohala Officer of the Quarter” Recognized

The Big Island Visitors Security Association recognized Officer Cory Gray as “Kohala Officer of the Quarter” during a ceremony Friday (June 13) at the Fairmont Orchid resort in South Kohala.

Sergeant Jason Berryhill displays a 'Kohala Officer of the Quarter' framed certificate honoring Officer Cory Gray.

Sergeant Jason Berryhill displays a ‘Kohala Officer of the Quarter’ framed certificate honoring Officer Cory Gray.

Officer Gray was honored for his dedication to duty and diligence in DUI investigations.

In January, Gray was assigned to a special enforcement effort initiated in the South Kohala District to increase DUI enforcement. From January to March, the district’s DUI enforcement nearly doubled, and Gray made half of the arrests himself. His efforts contributed to a zero DUI fatality rate in the South Kohala District.

Gray’s achievements were an inspiration to his co-workers. As a result, he was selected to be a field training officer, allowing him to train a recruit officer in how to detect and investigate DUI violators.

The Big Island Visitors Security Association is an organization of hotel and airport security managers and visitor industry professionals. The “Kohala Officer of the Quarter” is a newly-formed program for the organization to recognize outstanding officers from the North Kohala and South Kohala districts.

Hawaii County to Assume Responsibility of Mauna Kea State Park – Will Be Renamed Mauna Kea Recreation Area

Mauna Kea State Park will be closed for renovation starting Tuesday, July 1, and remain closed until further notice. However, temporary restrooms will be provided to accommodate the public. They will be kept open around the clock and located at the administrative building fronting the park’s main entrance.

Mauna Kea State Park

The shutdown is needed to expedite the work and ensure the public’s safety while the park’s restrooms, parking lot and picnic area are refurbished. Maintenance crews will be using heavy equipment to improve the park located near the 34-mile marker of the Daniel K. Inouye Highway, also known as Saddle Road.

Work will be performed by the Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation with support from the Department of Public Works. On July 1, Hawai‘i County will assume responsibility for Mauna Kea State Park. Plans call for renaming the park Mauna Kea Recreation Area.

The public will be notified when the park is reopened. Until then, no camping reservations will be taken and permits required for overnight use will not be issued.

The Department of Parks and Recreation apologizes for any inconvenience caused by the temporary closure of Mauna Kea State Park and requests the public’s patience and understanding while it implements these critical improvements for the benefit of residents and visitors.

For more information, please contact Jason Armstrong, Public Information Officer, at 961-8311 or jarmstrong@co.hawaii.hi.us.

Matson’s ‘Ka Ipu ‘Aina’ (Container for the Land) Grants Available

Matson shipping company announces it’s ‘Ka Ipu ‘Aina’ (Container for the Land) Grants are available. This program is designed to underscore Matson’s environmental commitment to Hawai’i’s communities and environment.

Matson’s ‘Ka Ipu ‘Aina’ (Container for the Land) Grant was used for a clean up in Hawaii Ocean View Estates.

Matson’s ‘Ka Ipu ‘Aina’ (Container for the Land) Grant was used for a clean up in Hawaii Ocean View Estates.

Matson will donate the use of container equipment on the Big Island for environmental cleanup projects arranged by non-profit organizations.  They will pay the trucking expenses incurred in the delivery and pickup of the containers.

In addition, Matson will make a $1000 cash contribution to each of the non-profits that successfully complete a cleanup initiative.

Community Clean-up

Community Clean-up

Note:  There is a time frame for the clean up. Contact:  Mona 961-5286.

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park Annual Cultural Festival is July 12

Save the date and participate in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park’s 34th annual Cultural Festival, Saturday, July 12, 2014 at the park’s Kahuku Unit in Ka‘ū, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Free!

Keiki enjoying performance by Hula Hālau Ulumamo o Hilo Palikū.  NPS photo by Jay Robinson

Keiki enjoying performance by Hula Hālau Ulumamo o Hilo Palikū. NPS photo by Jay Robinson

Enjoy hula kāhiko and music, watch skilled practitioners demonstrate their art, and try your hand at Hawaiian crafts. Taste traditional, ono Hawaiian foods. Performers this year will include Nā Hōkū Hanohano award-winning singer and ‘ukulele artist Diana Aki (the “Songbird of Miloli‘i”), Kumu Hula Mamo Brown and Hālau Ulumamo o Hilo Palikū, noted falsetto singer, Kai Ho‘opi‘i, kupuna hula by Haunani Medeiros, and more.

“The park’s annual cultural festival brings our communities together, and offers a wide range of authentic Hawaiian experiences for residents and visitors,” said Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park Superintendent, Cindy Orlando. “Our park staff also look forward to this yearly opportunity to connect with our communities and share their aloha for the ‘āina,” she said.

This year’s theme is Ka‘ū hiehie i ka makani which means Ka‘ū regal in the gales, referring to the multi-directional winds that cool the land in Kahuku.

Keiki learn ‘ohe kapala (Hawaiian bamboo stamping) with Ranger Rebecca Carvalho.  NPS Photo by Jay Robinson

Keiki learn ‘ohe kapala (Hawaiian bamboo stamping) with Ranger Rebecca Carvalho. NPS Photo by Jay Robinson

Make sure to wear sunscreen and a hat. Bring water, rain jacket, and ground mat or chair. No pets. Lunch and beverages will be available for sale.  This wonderful family experience is a drug- and alcohol-free event.

The Kahuku unit is the southernmost section of the national park, and is located on the mauka (uphill) side of Highway 11 at mile marker 70.5, approximately 42 miles south of the main park entrance at Kīlauea. Free parking available.

Call 808-985-6011 or email havo_interpretation@nps.gov for more information.