Kaiali’i “Kai” Kahele to be Sworn in to Office Tomorrow During Regular Senate Session

Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald will administer the Oath of Office to Kaiali‘i Kahele at the opening of the Senate Regular Session on Wed., Feb. 17, 2016. 

Kai Kahele ProfileKahele was appointed to represent Senate District 1, which comprises the greater Hilo area.

  • WHO:  Kaiali‘i Kahele, Senate District 1 appointee
  • WHAT:  Administration of Oath of Office
  • WHERE:  Senate Chambers      
  • WHEN:  Wednesday, February 17, 2016 at 11:30 a.m.

Hawaii State Senate Statement of Appointment of Kaiali’i Kahale

The Hawai‘i State Senate leadership welcomes the appointment of Kaiali‘i Kahele to the District 1 Senate seat.

Senate Chamber

“I congratulate Kai on his appointment to the Senate,” said Senate Majority Leader, Sen. J. Kalani English. “I know he has the best interests of the community at heart, and we will work with him to ensure his transition to the Senate is quick and seamless. I know Kai was well-trained by his father to handle the work of the Senate.”

“We welcome Kai to the Senate,” said Senate President, Ronald D. Kouchi. “I know he holds many of the strong convictions and commitment to community service as that of his father. I look forward to working with Kai in his new role as Senator for the first district.”

“I appreciate the work the staff of the late Senator Kahele has been doing to serve the constituents of District 1 during this time and I know they will be important in continuing to provide support for Kai as we move forward this Session,” said Sen. Kouchi.

Once the oath of office is administered, Kai Kahele will serve on the following Senate committees:  Higher Education and the Arts (HEA), Education (EDU), Judiciary and Labor (JDL), and Tourism and International Affairs (TSI). 

Hawaii Governor Ige Appoints Kaiali‘i Kahele to Late Father’s Seat in State Senate

Gov. David Ige has appointed Kaiali‘i (Kai) Kahele to his late father’s state Senate seat. Sen. Gil Kahele represented Senate district one which encompasses the greater Hilo area, when he died on Jan. 26, 2016.

Kai Kahele Profile“Kai has extensive community support and is committed to completing the work of his father. He has a broad vision for the future of this district and for all of Hawai‘i Island that will serve his constituents well,” said Gov. Ige.

“I thank the high-quality candidates who were willing to serve and the Senate district one Nominating Committee for working so quickly to get the names to me,” he said.

“My father led by example, and community service was part of my life for as long as I can remember. I am honored to carry on his legislative initiatives. In addition, I intend to focus on job creation by strengthening workforce opportunities and small business in Hilo and the state, and I will continue to be a strong advocate for Hawai‘i Community College and UH-Hilo,” Kahele said.

Kahele lives in Hilo where he is a Major in the Hawai‘i Air National Guard and a combat veteran C-17 instructor pilot. He has been honored many times for his military service. In 2005 he was awarded a National Defense Service Medal and a USAF Air Medal for combat missions flown in Afghanistan. Most recently Kahele received the Guard Officer of the Year award at Hickam Air Force Base (Feb. 2016).

He is also a pilot with Hawaiian Airlines, a UH-Hilo adjunct faculty member and the executive director of the nonprofit Pa‘a Pono Miloli‘i. In 2015, Kai was a crew member on the Polynesian Voyaging Society’s canoe Hikianalia.

Kahele is a graduate of Hilo High School and UH-Manoa where he earned a B.A. in education while playing on the UH-Manoa Men’s Volleyball team as an outside hitter. He was named Most Inspirational Player in 1997.

Kahele will take office once the state senate qualifies him and administers the oath of office.

Ka’u Coffee Festival Debuts Lobsterpalooza

Celebrate all that makes the heritage district of K‘au so special during the 10-day Ka‘u Coffee Festival May 13-22.

Coffee festival 2016

The eighth annual event headlines award-winning Ka‘u coffee with a host of java-jumping activities plus tasty culinary fun—including the new Ka’u Coffee Lobsterpalooza. In addition, enjoy an informative hike that explores historic water flume systems and stargazing from a culturally important mountaintop.

Supported in part by the County of Hawai‘i Department of Research & Development, Hawai‘i Tourism Authority and Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture, the Ka‘u Coffee Festival is designed to celebrate Ka’u as a premium coffee growing origin and a unique visitor destination. Many events are free, while others require a nominal fee and reservations. All activities feature the exceptional flavor and aroma of Ka‘u coffee and the people and place that produces it:

On Friday, May 13 5:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. Pa‘ina & Open House at historic Pahala Plantation House featuring music, hula, food and house tours. Corner of Maile and Pikake in Pahala. Hosted by Pahala Plantation Cottages, Ka‘u Chamber of Commerce and The Ka‘u Calendar newspaper. Free, donations accepted for Miss Ka‘u Coffee Scholarship Fund. www.kaucoffeefest.com, www.pahalaplantationcottages.com. 808-928-9811.

On Saturday, May 14, 2 p.m. The free Ka‘u Coffee Recipe Contest hosts a cooking competition at Ka‘u Coffee Mill. Entries are accepted in pupu, entree and dessert categories. All recipes are made with Ka‘u coffee. Free coffee tasting and meet Miss Ka‘u Coffee. Find contest entry info at www.kaucoffeemill.com or call Lisa at 808-928-0550.

On Saturday, May 14, the annual Miss Ka‘u Coffee Pageant showcases the crowning of 2016 Miss Ka‘u Coffee and her court. 6:30 p.m. at the Ka’u Coffee Mill. $10 admission.

On Sunday, May 15, 2-6 p.m. the new Ka’u Coffee Festival Lobsterpalooza at Punalu’u Black Sand Beach is presented in concert with Hana Hou Restaurant and ‘O Ka‘u Kakou. Featuring choice of surf or turf menu and live entertainment. Tickets $75 in advance. Visit kaucoffeefestival.com/events for menu details and ticket info.

During the week visit Ka‘u coffee farms. Enjoy the scenic and historic beauty of Ka‘u, Punalu‘u Black Sand Beach, Honu‘apo fishponds, the cliffs of Ka Lae—the southernmost place in the U.S.—and the nearby Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Stay in one of the many accommodations in Ka‘u. Visit www.kaucoffeefest.com for participating coffee farms and accommodations.

On Wednesday, May 18 and Thursday, May 19 explore historic flume systems of the sugarcane era and development of hydroelectric power on a Ka‘u Mountain Water System Hike in the Wood Valley rainforest 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Limited to 30, $40 includes lunch. Visit www.kaucoffeemill.com or phone 808-928-0550.

On Friday, May 20 “cowboy up” at Coffee & Cattle Day 10 a.m. at Aikane Plantation Coffee farm. Find out how descendants of Ka‘u’s first coffee farmer integrate coffee with other agriculture. $25 fee includes an all-you can eat buffet. Visit www.aikaneplantation.com or phone 808-927-2252.

On Friday, May 20 observe the heavens from the summit of Makanau at Ka‘u Star Gazing, 5:30-10 p.m. $35 with refreshments and shuttle transportation departing from Ka‘u Coffee Mill. Sign up at www.kaucoffeemill.com or call 808-928-0550.

On Saturday, May 21 9 a.m.-5 p.m. the festival culminates with the Ka‘u Coffee Festival Ho‘olaule‘a—a full day of live music, hula, food booths, local crafts, keiki activities, educational displays, coffee tastings and farm/mill tours headquartered inside and out of the Pahala Community Center. It’s a great place to “talk story” with Ka’u coffee growers. Festival entry is free. Ka‘u Coffee Experience offers Ka‘u coffees prepared using a variety of methods by professionals from 9:30 a.m.-noon and 1 p.m.-3:30 p.m. Farm tours with shuttle transport are 9:30 and 11 a.m., plus 12:30, 2 and 3:30 p.m., $20. Call 808-929-9550 or visit www.kaucoffeefest.com.

On Sunday, May 22 learn about the coffee industry during presentations by visiting coffee experts at the Ka‘u Coffee College at Pahala Community Center. The Coffee College hosts educational seminars and a reverse trade mission. Free, donations appreciated. Call 808-929-9550 or www.KauCoffeeFest.com.

Founded in coffee traditions hailing to the 1800s—plus the more recent hard work of former sugar plantation workers—Ka‘u coffee burst onto the specialty coffee scene by winning numerous coffee quality awards. These accolades highlight the unique combination of people and place that makes Ka‘u coffee a favorite across the globe. The festival’s mission is to raise awareness of Ka‘u as a world-class, coffee-growing origin.

Ka‘u Coffee Festival vendor and sponsorship opportunities are available. For more information and festival updates, visit www.kaucoffeefest.com, follow Ka‘u Coffee Festival on Facebook and @kaucoffeefest on Twitter, or call 808-929-9550.

Volunteers Invited to “Huki” Algae for Invasive Species Awareness Week

February 21 to 27 is Invasive Species Awareness Week both nationally and in the state of Hawai‘i. Mālama Maunalua, a non-profit stewardship organization, is inviting volunteers to participate in a community huki (“pull”) of invasive algae  on Saturday, Feb. 27 to help remove three types of invasive alien algae in Maunalua Bay.
Great Huki2
The event will be held from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Paiko Beach in East Oahu. Volunteers will meet and depart from Kuli‘ou‘ou Beach Park located at 100 Bay Street. Parking is available at the beach park lot and on Summer Street. Contact volunteer@malamamaunalua.org or visit http://www.malamamaunalua.org/volunteer/sign-up/ to RSVP.

Great Huki1

The three types of invasive algae affecting the marine ecosystem in the Bay include Gorilla Ogo, Leather Mudweed, and Prickly Seaweed, scientifically known as Gracileria salicornia, Avrainvilea amadelpha, and Acanthophora spicifera. Known to be some of the greatest threats to Hawai‘i’s coral reefs and nearshore marine ecosystems, these  species flourish off of an environment created by sediment and runoff from the land. As the invasive alien algae spreads, it smothers coral reefs and native algal communities, killing extensive areas of native habitat.

Before and After the Great Huki

Before and After the Great Huki

One of Mālama Maunalua’s key initiatives in restoring the health of Maunalua Bay has involved removing the invasive alien algae through regular volunteer-based hukis. Since its founding in 2005, the organization has removed over 3.5 million pounds of invasive alien algae, and cleared 250,000 square meters of invasive species from Paiko Beach, thanks to the help of over 15,000 volunteers of students, community members, partner organizations, and businesses. Mālama Maunalua donates pulled algae to area farmers to be used as fertilizer.