‘Scandal’ and ‘Tremors’ at Big Island Film Festival

In a good way, celebrity guests at Big Island Film Festival may stir up scandal and create tremors over Memorial Day Weekend at the Fairmont Orchid Hawai’i.

Bellamy Young

Bellamy Young

Acclaimed actress and singer Bellamy Young currently stars as “First Lady Mellie Grant” on ABC/Shonda Rhimes’ Peabody Award-winning series, “Scandal,” which Rolling Stone Magazine described as “the most badass first lady in TV history.” Young’s TV credits include CBS’ long-running series “Criminal Minds,” “CSI: Miami,” “Scrubs,” and the long-running NBC soap opera, “Another World.” A talented singer, her debut album Far Away So Close is a collection of contemporary covers influenced by her North Carolina roots.

Michael Gross

Michael Gross

Michael Gross, “Burt Gummer” of the “Tremors” movies will also attend the festival as an honoree. Perhaps most familiar as “Steven Keaton,” Michael J. Fox’s dad on the long-running sitcom “Family Ties,” Gross’ 40-year career spans a remarkable range of characters, including recurring roles on the Drew Cary Show, ER, How I Met Your Mother, USA Network’s Suits, Netflix’s Grace and Frankie, and YTV Canada’s The Stanley Dynamic. Gross stars in the BIFF Official selection “Last Call at Murray’s,” a new, indie film about an unlikely gathering of folks stranded in a snowbound karaoke bar.

Michael Gross and Michael Worth with BIFF Executive Director Leo Sears at last year's fest.

Michael Gross and Michael Worth with BIFF Executive Director Leo Sears at last year’s fest.

BIFF will honor Young and Gross at a special Salute & Reception in their honor on Saturday and Sunday respectively. Audiences will have a chance to participate in an in-depth interview with the star led by Peter Caranicas of Variety magazine, then join in a sunset cocktail reception with elegant pupus in the Wailana Gardens. Salutes & Receptions are open to the public and tickets may be purchased by May 25 at www.bigislandfilmfestival.com.

Now in its eleventh year, Big Island “Talk Story” Film Festival is a celebration of independent narrative films and filmmaking, taking place May 26-30. Major sponsors include the Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i and The Shops at Mauna Lani and Hawai‘i Tourism Authority/Hawai‘i County CPEP. For complete schedule information and tickets, visit www.BigIslandFilmFestival.com.

Tribute to Bruddah IZ at Kahilu Theatre

Kahilu Theatre presents two May Day weekend concerts as a tribute to the great Israel Kamakawiwo`ole, featuring Hōkū Zuttermeister and band, as well as Frank Kawaikapuokalani Hewett, and Halau Hula ‘O Kahikilaulani, on Saturday April 30 at 7pm, and Sunday May 1 at 4pm.

Hoku Zuttermeister

Hoku Zuttermeister

Hōkū Zuttermeister’s first album “‘Āina Kūpuna,” won six 2008 Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards including Hawaiian Album of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year, Entertainer of the Year, Hawaiian Language Performance, Most Promising New Artist and Liner Notes. Just released in early April 2016, “Ku’u Pua Sakura,” is Hōkū’s second album release and features many songs that are near and dear to his heart.

Hōkū’s voice is deep and resonating, yet when he switches to the crystal-clear highs of falsetto, to the delight of his listeners, he shows the enormous vocal range that he has worked so hard at perfecting. Hōkū will sing some beloved IZ favorites such as “La Elima,” “Kaleohano,” “Pupu O Ni’ihau,” “Henehene Kou Aka,” “E Ku’u Morning Dew,” and the nahenahe “Kainoa.” He will also showcase new songs from his album, by storied Hawaiian music writers such as Kawaikapuokalani Hewett, Al Makahinu “Pops” Barcarse, and Chad Takatsugi. He will share mele spanning the islands, from “Kaulana Ni’ihau,” to the haunting mele of “‘Ōhelo Beauty,” celebrating Hawai’i island’s natural beauty.

Frank Kawaikapuokalani Hewett is a much beloved kumu hula, composer, singer and chanter – with over 50 years of living and teaching the legacy of hula and ho`ola. Initially a student of kumu hula Emma de Fries, Kawaikapu then played and danced with Olomana, with Aunty Genoa Keawe, and Palani Vaughn. He was a member of the “E Ho`o Hawaii Kakou” which was instructed and mentored by Hula Master Iolani Luahine. He also studied ‘olelo and chanting under Aunty Edith Kanaka’ole. He has recorded 10 CDs, and his music has been recorded by many of Hawaii’s greatest entertainers – including Israel Kamakawiwo’ole and the Makaha Sons of Ni’ihau.

Hula dancers from Halau Hula ‘O Kahikilaulani and their kumu hula Nahoku Gaspang, 2016 Merrie Monarch winners of hula kahiko wahine, will join Hōkū and Kawaikapu for these special May Day weekend concerts. The Theatre encourages concert-goers to make a lei, bring a lei, and give a lei!

The chance encounter of two truant schoolboys (Israel and John Koko) at the beach was the beginning of a band everyone soon would know as the Mãkaha Sons of Ni’ihau. The Makaha Sons and IZ went on to record 21 albums, win many Na Hoku Awards and change Hawaiian music history.

IZ2

In 1993, following a successful run as one of the members of the Makaha Sons of Ni‘ihau, IZ decided to venture out on his own. He reached out to Jon de Mello of Mountain Apple Company because of his success as a producer of contemporary Hawaiian music giants like the Brothers Cazimero, Brother Noland, Rap Reiplinger and many more. The meeting would set the stage for the rest of Israel’s career – the first release was his remarkable solo CD “Facing Future.”

IZ

That CD focused on Israel’s stunning voice and launched his incredibly   successful solo recording career. “Facing Future,” was followed with the release of another five remarkable recordings, “E Ala E” (1995), “N Dis Life” (1996), “IZ In Concert: The Man and His Music” (1998), ““Alone In IZ World”” (2001) and “Wonderful World” (2007). “Facing Future,” remains the top selling Hawaiian music album in the world.

Tickets are priced $20, $47, $58 and $68, and are available from www.kahilutheatre.org and at the Kahilu Theatre Box Office, open from 9am to 1pm Monday through Friday, at 885-6868. The coffee table book IZ – Voice of the People, a collector’s item, is also available for sale, while supplies last, at the Kahilu Theatre box office now.

In Dis Life is presented by special arrangement with the Kamakawiwo`ole family and Mountain Apple Records, and it is sponsored by Marsha and Tom Kerley.

Right Turn Lane Being Installed on Kuauli Road

The County of Hawai‘i Department of Public Works will be installing a right turn lane on Kuauli Road where it intersects the Volcano Highway (makai side) heading towards Keaau.  Work is scheduled between the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. beginning on Tuesday, April 26th, and is estimated to be completed by Friday, May, 20th, weather and construction conditions permitting.  There will be no roadwork on weekends or holidays.

kuauli

Motorists are advised to expect delays and drive with caution as heavy vehicles and machinery will be in the work zone.  The County of Hawai‘i Department of Public Works apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause and thanks the community for their patience and understanding.

If there are any questions or concerns, please contact Barett Otani, Information and Education Specialist, at 961-8787.

300,000 Urchins Continue to Clean Invasive Alien Seaweed

David Cohen is a proud papa for good reason.  He and his team, working at the Anuenue Fisheries Research Center on Oahu’s Sand Island, have now planted 300,000 Native Hawaiian collector urchins (Tripneustes gratilla) into Kaneohe Bay to control two species of invasive algae.

Sea urchins (Tripneustes gratilla)

Sea urchins (Tripneustes gratilla)

From the program’s modest beginnings six years ago, when the urchin hatchery at Anuenue first began producing urchins for planting in the Windward Oahu bay, until now; the project is considered a resounding success.  “We did our first release or urchins at Kaneohe in 2011 and recent surveys of the patch reefs there show a significant number of them are free of seaweed,“ Cohen explained.

Urchins are ideally suited for the work they perform.  They are native to Hawaii.  They have relatively few predators, they breed in captivity, and they don’t swim away like fish. While Cohen certainly credits the collector urchins for their part in scouring the bay of invasive algae (Kappaaphycus and Eucheuma), he also points out that it has declined naturally over the past year.  It’s believed this reduction is due to warm ocean conditions associated with El Nino.

Low levels of algae still remains in the bay and it could eventually grow back.  The DLNR Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR) is devoting additional resources towards urchin production to take advantage of this period of low algae levels and to try to gain more ground for the fight against invasive seaweed.

The life of a collector urchin destined for Kaneohe Bay begins when DAR teams collect brood animals about once a month.  By the time they reach the hatchery they are usually ready to spawn.  The eggs are fertilized, larvae are free swimming within 24 hours and they are fed a diet of cultured phytoplankton.  After approximately 3-4 weeks they settle down and transform into a sea urchin and then are moved from the “hatchery” stage to the “nursery” stage.  In their nursery tanks they feed on naturally growing biofilms.  When they’re about a quarter inch in size, in addition to eating biofilms, they are also fed cultured seaweed.  Over the course of about five months they grow into the size of a dime and then make the journey by truck and then boat to begin their work munching algae.

The invasive algae was first introduced into the bay in a failed experiment to create a carrageenan (an additive often found in coconut and almond milk) industry in Hawaii. The algae became a nuisance species that quickly spread over the patch reefs of Kaneohe Bay, smothering out the vibrant corals.  Over the years, Cohen and his team have refined their nursery and hatchery protocols.  In 2014, they were able to raise and release 112,000 urchins. “With luck and the constant updating of best practices for our work, in 2016 we hope to exceed that number and quickly reach a half million urchins released,” Cohen concluded.

Taste of the Hawaiian Range Set for Sept. 9

It’s where you can sample the rich flavor of numerous cuts of pasture-raised meat and talk story with the people who are producing our food.

Taste Shank

The 21st Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range is Friday, Sept. 9 at Hilton Waikoloa Village. Attendees will enjoy delectable dishes using pasture-raised beef, pork, lamb, goat, mutton and wild boar—plus a cornucopia of fresh island fruit, veggies, honey, spices and beverages.

Time is 6-8 p.m. and the annual agricultural showcase will again sprawl both inside and outside at Hilton Waikoloa Village’s conference center. Culinary adventure seekers can taste and enjoy cuts of pasture-raised beef—everything from tongue to tail—expertly prepared by Hawai‘i chefs.  Enjoy familiar cuts like chuck and ground beef, plus the infamous “rocky mountain oysters” or bull testicles.

Local food producers will offer samples and displays at friendly booths. While “grazing,” attendees can enjoy exhibits presenting topics related to local agriculture and food sustainability, including the University of Hawai’i at Manoa’s Mealani Research Station—where Taste began!

O‘ahu chefs Kevin Hanney and Jason “J” Schoonover are teaming up to instruct the 2016 edition of Cooking Pasture-Raised Beef 101 at 3 p.m. Chef Hanney is the chef/owner of 12th Ave Grill and Kokohead Café. Chef Schoonover is the executive chef of 12th Ave Grill, the 2015 Hale Aina Award-winning Best Restaurant of the Year. Both chefs regularly include pasture-raised beef on their menus.

Pre-sale tickets for Taste are $45 and $60 at the door. Entry to Cooking 101 with sampling is $10 while a 1 p.m. class geared for culinary students and food service professionals is free.

Tickets go on sale online June 1 at www.TasteoftheHawaiianRange.com.  Purchase them at island-wide locations starting July 1: Kuhio Grille in Hilo, Kamuela Liquors and Parker Ranch Store in Waimea, Kona Wine Market in Kailua-Kona and Kohala Essence Shop at Hilton Waikoloa Village.

Watch for ticket giveaways on Facebook at Taste of the Hawaiian Range and Twitter #TasteHI.

For general event information, phone (808) 322-4892.

Anyone who requires an auxiliary aid or service for effective communication or a modification of policies and procedures to participate in this event should contact Gina at 808-322-4892 no later than August 9, 2016.

Hawai‘i residents eager to savor the flavors of the Taste can take advantage of Hilton Waikoloa Village’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range Package with rates starting at $239 + tax per room on Friday, Sept. 9, 2016. This Kama‘aina Special also includes two tickets to the Taste of the Hawaiian Range. Guests must show valid Hawai‘i state ID at checkin and must have Hawai‘i address in reservation. Pre- and post-event hotel room prices start at $149 plus tax per room, per night, based on availability. To book an overnight stay at Hilton Waikoloa Village under an exclusive Taste of the Hawaiian Range room package (code TSH), visit www.hiltonwaikoloavillage.com/kamaaina, or https://secure3.hilton.com/en_US/hi/reservation/book.htm?hotel=KOAHWHH&spec_plan=TSH&arrivaldate=20151009 or call 1-800-HILTONS.

Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range and Agriculture Festival provides a venue for sustainable agricultural education, plus encouragement and support of locally produced ag products. The premiere ag-tourism event is a partnership between CTAHR, Hawaii Cattlemen’s Association, Hawaii Cattlemen’s Council, Kulana Foods, Hawaii Beef Producers, UH-Hilo CAFNRM, County of Hawaii Dept. on Environmental Management and community volunteers. Sponsorship also includes Hawaii County Research and Development, Hawaii Community College Food Service & Culinary Program, Kamehameha Schools, KTA SuperStores, West Hawaii Today and Pacific Radio Group. The quality and growth of this event are rooted in business participation, sponsorship and in-kind donations. For more information, visit www.TasteoftheHawaiianRange.com.