2015 Big Island Taiko Festival

The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Performing Arts Center presents the Big Island Taiko Festival 2015 featuring Taishoji Taiko, Hui Okinawa Kobudo Taiko, Puna Hongwanji Taiko Club, Kona Daifukuji Taiko, and Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko. Performances are Saturday, May 23, at 7:30 pm, and Sunday, May 24, at 2 pm.

Taiko
“This exhilarating weekend of vibrant drumming and physical choreography brings together the best of Big Island Taiko,” said PAC Manager and Festival Producer Lee Dombroski. “Taishoji Taiko, under the direction of Chad Nakagawa, was founded under the direction of Yoshihumi Ono at Taishoji Soto Mission in Hilo. Their energetic, dramatic style will have the audience feeling the rhythm right to their core!”

Hui Okinawa Kobudo Taiko, under the guidance of Advisor Milton Yafuso and Troy Sakihara, practices and performs a drumming style based on Okinawan martial arts. “Our three-fold mission builds leadership and promotes and preserves the interest in and appreciation for the history and traditions of Okinawan culture and the arts,” explained Yafuso.

The Puna Hongwanji Taiko Club, under the direction of Rev. Earl Ikeda and Paul Sakamoto, was founded in 2003 by Rev. Ikeda as a community-focused group with drummers of all ages and experience, striving to perpetuate taiko as a cultural and recreational activity.

Kona Daifukuji Taiko was founded in 1988 by Rev. Tamiya and his wife and is comprised of youth from elementary through high school following the directions of their instructors, Akemi Iwamoto and Amy Nakade.
Orchid Taikos
This year, the Festival adds Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko from Kohala. Imported from Okinawa and nurtured by Akemi Martin Sensei, the group now boasts over 100 active members across the Hawaiian Islands.

Tickets are General Admission and priced at $10 General, $5 Seniors, UH students (with valid ID) and Children 17 and under. Box Office hours are Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Tickets may also be purchased by calling 932-7490 or ordering online at artscenter.uhh.hawaii.edu.

Webcam Captures “Bathtub Ring” Falling Into Lava Lake

This sequence of HVO webcam images of Kīlauea Volcano’s summit vent, recorded between 1:28 and 1:32 p.m., HST, on May 12, 2015, captures the moment a section of the dark-colored “bathtub ring” (a veneer of fresh lava that coats the vent wall as the lava lake level drops) fell into the lava lake (center).

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The lava veneer collapse, which produced a visible cloud of rock and lava fragments, agitated the lava lake surface and exposed lighter-colored layers of older rock in the vent wall (right).

Big Island Press Club Announces 2015 Scholarship Recipients

The Big Island Press Club honors five students with its annual 2015 scholarship program.BIPC Logo: Pele on a TypewriterThe $4,600, to support students striving toward careers in journalism or communications, was awarded to Kacie LaGuire, Alex Bitter, Cashman Aiu, Britni Schock and Eli Matola. The Big Island Press Club’s annual scholarship awards dinner will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 28 at Hilo’s Seaside Restaurant and feature award-winning comedian Augie T. as the guest speaker.

This year’s $1,500 dollar Robert C. Miller Memorial Scholarship is awarded to Kacie LaGuire. A 2015 graduate of Waiakea High School she will attend University of San Francisco in the fall majoring in media studies. LaGuire has been active at Waiakea as a videographer, producing segments on student life for the PBS Hawaii student television program, Hiki No.

The scholarship namesake, Robert Miller, was a Big Island newsman and UPI reporter. LaGuire says of her future: “I am enthusiastic about many aspects of media-mostly camera work and storytelling…I strongly value the importance of journalism and educating the public and I plan to get involved with journalism related to social justice issues.”

The $1,000 dollar Bill Arballo scholarship, given in honor of Bill Arballo a founder of Big island Press Club in 1967, is awarded to Alex Bitter. A 2012 graduate of Waiākea High School, Bitter attends the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa as a Regent’s Scholar, majoring in journalism and political science. At UH Mānoa, he served as editor and staff writer for the school newspaper Ka Leo O Hawaiʻi. Bitter has interned at Honolulu Magazine, Hawaii Business Magazine and this summer will work for the Dow Jones News Fund in New York City. “In the long run I hope to work one day as a reporter covering politics or business,” Bitter says of his writing future.

Marcia Reynolds was a former Hawaii Tribune-Herald reporter, BIPC president and community leader and her memorial $1,000 scholarship is awarded to Cashman Aiu. Cashman was a 2014 graduate of Kamehameha Hawaii Campus and attends New York University. She is a media, culture and communications major. She is the Oceania Editor for NYU’s travel magazine Baedeker and a contributing writer for Fashion Week for the Washington Square News. She is the co-captain of the school’s co-ed volleyball team and is a leader in the NYU Hawaii Club. Aiu says of her career path: “In my media and culture courses at New York University I have found, while indigenous cultural studies is a thriving academic major, native authors are not a common thread amongst the discourse…and as a future broadcast journalist I hope to represent a positive example of Native Hawaiians and minorities in media.”

This year’s $600 Yukino Fukabori Memorial Scholarship, given to honor one of Hawaii Island’s top woman news reporters, is bestowed on Britni Schock. Schock graduated from Canada’s Selkirk Secondary in 2008 and attends University of Hawaii Hilo where she is a communications major. She is a writer for the UHH student newspaper Ke Kalahea. She is also a student member of Big Island Press Club. “After graduation I hope to find a position as a writer somewhere on the Big Island and continue my passion for writing.”
This year’s Jack Markey Memorial Scholarship is awarded to Eli Matola.  Matola is a 2011 graduate of Kapaa High School on Kauai. He attends University of Hawaii Hilo where he is a philosophy and communications major. Next semester at UHH he will be an intern at the Applied Learning Experiences Program where he will be a staff writer. His favorite news site is Vice.com which often features investigative news in a narrative, documentary format.  Matola says “Ever since I was young, I have always had a very special interest in the news…this passion has followed me as a young adult.”

With poor vision, unable to drive a car, and a senior citizen Jack Markey was a visible streetside Hilo fixture. Hitchhiking around town to sell radio advertising, Markey also recruited new members for BIPC in the process. Since his death in 1990, BIPC has funded a yearly $500 Markey scholarship.

Since 1967 Big Island Press Club has been an organization of professional Hawaii communicators dedicated to skills improvement, open government, networking and education.

Hawaiian Monk Seal Prowling Honokohau Harbor

He’s known as B-18 and for the past week this endangered Hawaiian monk seal has been spotted repeatedly swimming in and around boats at Honokohau Small Boat Harbor on Hawaii Island. He’s feeding on fish scraps that have been thrown overboard. This has prompted the DLNR Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation (DOBOR) to remind people that it is against the law to dispose of fish scraps in state waters.

Ikaika, a male Hawaiian monk seal pup, was one of the first four patients at The Marine Mammal Center's Ke Kai Ola Hawaiian Monk Seal Hospital in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. Credit -- Koa Matsuoka, NMFS

Ikaika, a male Hawaiian monk seal pup, was one of the first four patients at The Marine Mammal Center’s Ke Kai Ola Hawaiian Monk Seal Hospital in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. Credit — Koa Matsuoka, NMFS

DLNR Chairperson Suzanne Case said, “It would be a tragedy for this seal to be struck by a boat or propeller or to get caught up in netting or marine debris. We don’t want seals to become habituated or conditioned to people. Seals that are fed, even unintentionally by discarded fish scraps, can quickly become “problem seals” that associate people with food and seek out human interactions that are dangerous for seals and people. They are wild creatures and we want to keep them wild.”

All small boat harbors around the state have receptacles for the proper disposal of scraps and all other rubbish.” DOBOR staff at Honokohau is in the process of posting reminder signs around the harbor and in the harbormaster’s office to remind people to properly take care of fish scraps. They are also including reminders in monthly billing statements sent to boat owners who have moorings at the harbor. Case concluded, “This is not the only place where this has happened and it is not the first time it’s happened. With fewer than 1100 Hawaiian monk seals left in the wild, it’s critical that everyone does their part to protect these creatures and show them our kokua.”