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Polynesian Voyaging Society Announces Death of Founder Ben Finney

The Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS) is saddened to announce that Ben Finney, co-founder and first president of the organization, passed away today in Honolulu surrounded by family.  He was 83 years old.  Services are pending.

Ben Finney

Nainoa Thompson, president of PVS, responded to Finney’s passing with the following statement:

“What I was told was that there was a Hawaiian Professor in Hawaii who handed Ben a book called Kon Tiki, and she said ‘this is all wrong, you need to change this.’ Years later, Ben called a man named Herb Kawainui Kane, who together with Tommy Holmes spearheaded the building of Hokulea.  So, if we’re going to celebrate 42 years of voyaging and honor and celebrate Hokulea’s voyage around the earth, we have to think that none of this would have happened without that phone call.  Ben provided the vision and mission and the leadership to set the foundation for all that we would do in voyaging since 1976.  If Ben didn’t make that phone call, there wouldn’t be a Hokulea and there probably wouldn’t be voyaging in the Pacific today.  And, there would be no real connection between the values of malama honua and this island earth.  We owe so much to him. Hawaii, the pacific and the world is indebted to the work of Ben Finney.”

An anthropologist and pioneer in the reconstruction and sailing of Polynesian voyaging canoes, Finney first began dreaming about building a canoe and sailing it to Tahiti while studying at the University of Hawai’i in 1958.  In the mid-1960s, he built Nalehia, a replica of a Hawaiian double canoe that provided the basic information on sailing performance that went into planning Hokulea’s initial voyage to Tahiti.

Finney co-founded PVS in 1973 with Herb Kawainui Kane and Tommy Holmes and served as its first president.  Together with countless volunteers, they built Hokulea, the first Polynesian voyaging canoe in 600 years and launched her in 1975.

He set out to show that Hawaiians could intentionally sail long-distances without modern instruments.  He sailed on Hokulea’s first voyage to Tahiti in 1976.  He also sailed on the 1985 voyage to Aotearoa, the 1992 voyage to Rarotonga, and also covered the 1995 voyage from the Marquesas to Hawaii from Hokulea’s escort vessel.

The history and practice of Polynesian voyaging is an epic story of human migration: Ben’s love of it inspired his contributions to the anthropology of the human experience in space.

During his career, Finney held faculty appointments at the University of California, Santa Barbara, the Australian National University, the University of French Polynesia, and the International Space University. From 1970 through 2000 he was a professor of anthropology at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where his courses included Human Adaptation to the Sea and Human Adaptation to Living in Space.  From 1994 through 2003 he was the co-chair of the department of Space and Society at the International Space University.

Johnny Rockets Coming to Hilo as “Rock ‘n Fun”

I’ve known for a while now that Johnny Rockets was coming to Hilo and a Craigslist ad posted today confirms that it will be coming here in the form of an E.K. Fernandez Restaurant Chain called “Rock ‘n Fun” and is currently seeking Front of the House Assistant Managers at this time.

They will eventually be hiring for these positions as well.

“Presenting “Games, Burgers & Beer” in a fun, family-friendly environment where you can play the latest games or sip a cold beer or glass of wine at the bar while watching your favorite sports teams.  Then comes Johnny – Johnny Rockets that is with its delicious burgers, shakes, and fries.

Rock ‘N Fun is the latest in Fernandez Entertainment’s long list of family-owned companies that have brought fun and entertainment to the Islands for over 100 years.”

According to this Craigslist Ad they are expanding and looking for a Food and Beverage Manager and they will be opening in the Waiakea Center:

Rock N Fun will be opening soon at the Waiakea Center and currently seeking qualified Food & Beverage Managers…

Auto Body Hawaii Announces Winner of Senior Essay Contest

Auto Body Hawaii has announced the winner of this year’s Senior Essay Contest answering the question: “What was your biggest ‘Moment of Awesomeness’ in your life?”

All senior year students from West & North Hawaii’s schools were invited to participate.  This year’s student winner is Neena Charles from Makua Lani Christian Academy. She wins a $1000 cash prize.

Neena Charles wins this year’s Auto Body Hawaii Essay Contest

Ms. Charles’ essay, titled “My Moment of Awesomeness: Home Alone,” described how, in addition to her school work load as a senior, she had to step into the role of parent to her two young siblings while her mother and father had to attend to business in the Philippines for weeks, even months at a time. Her essay not only described a crash course in multitasking, it exemplified maturity and a deep sense of responsibility.

An excerpt of her essay follows:

“By the end of the several weeks my parents were gone, I felt a sense of accomplishment and maturity. In the end, what left the deepest impression was the value of never giving up. The act of playing the role as both my mom and dad was the ultimate event that marked my transition from childhood to adulthood. With so many responsibilities on my plate, I was able to learn how to manage my time better, be more on top of my work, and become more organized. Through this experience, I have gained a greater understanding of the duties of an adult and the hard work that is needed to get things done.”

The full essay is posted on the Auto Body Hawaii website; www.autobodyhawaii.com.

Call Tracey Taylor, 329-2544; tracey@autobodyhawaii.com, for more information.

Tommorow – Commander Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing TWO Disestablishment Ceremony

Commander Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing TWO Disestablishment Ceremony is taking place on May 24 at 6 p.m. at Hangar 105 on Marine Corps Base Hawaii.

Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii (Aug. 1, 2005) Capt. Robert J. Adrion relieved Capt. William F. Moran as Commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing Two (CPRW-2) during a ceremony in Hangar One Zero Five, Marine Corps Base Hawaii. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 2nd Class Jennifer L. Bailey (RELEASED)

Commander Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing TWO will memorialize and celebrate over 80 years of history and service on the Hawaiian Islands as they haul down the colors for the last time during a sunset disestablishment ceremony.  The ceremony will take place in Hangar 105, home of the last US Navy P-3C squadron on Kaneohe Bay and the last squadron to detach from CPRW-2.  There will be a P-3C static display to discuss the history of the P-3C as well as a P-8 static display to discuss the future of Maritime, Patrol, and Reconnaissance and the transition to the new airplane.

The Chief of Naval Operations officially established Patrol Wing TWO at Fleet Air Base Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on October 1, 1937. On December 7, 1941, the Wing was at the center of the Pearl Harbor attacks from Japanese raiders.  On June 30, 1949, the Wing was relocated to the leeward side of Oahu at Naval Air Station Barber’s Point, Hawaii where it remained for 50 years and experienced many changes in aircraft, missions, and commands.  In the 1970’s Patrol Wing Two became known as the “Rainbow Fleet” and began to routinely deploy with the P-3 Orion, a long range Anti-submarine Warfare patrol aircraft.

Wing Two squadrons tracked Soviet submarines patrolling off the western coast of the United States and supported operations in the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, and the NATO air campaign over Kosovo.  Post-Cold War, the Wing continued to meet the evolving needs of the Navy, proving the P-3C as a multi-mission platform over land and sea; supporting Operations DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM, establishing an airborne reconnaissance capability during the Balkan wars; and supporting counterdrug detection by monitoring and interdiction operations in the Southern Hemisphere.

In June 1999, the Patrol Wing Hawaii forces moved from their Cold War home at Naval Air Station Barbers Point to the windward side of Oahu to Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. After September 11, 2001, Wing TWO squadrons joined the Global War on Terrorism and engaged in Operations Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom – Philippines, Operation Enduring Freedom – Afghanistan, and Operation Anaconda.  Recently, Wing TWO squadrons lead expeditionary Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Forces in support of THIRD, FIFTH, and SEVENTH Fleet operations.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard: Trump’s Massive Budget Cuts Threaten Hawaii, American People

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) today warned that the Trump Administration’s 2018 Budget Blueprint puts the health and safety of the most vulnerable in our country at risk with massive cuts to government programs that spur economic growth and provide critical services. The budget slashes $1.4 trillion from programs families in Hawaiʻi and across the country depend on, including:

  • $610 billion in cuts to Medicaid that serves over 348,000 people in Hawaiʻi
  • $191 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) that serves over 170,000 people in Hawaiʻi
  • $72 billion in cuts to the Social Security’s disability program, which serves over 19,000 people in Hawaiʻi
  • $143 billion from federal student loans, including the elimination of federally subsidized loans and loan forgiveness programs that serve Hawaiʻi nurses, police officers, and teachers
  • $40.4 billion in cuts to the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit, which assist one in eight Hawaiʻi keiki living in poverty

Click to read

In a speech on the House floor today, the congresswoman said, “The president’s budget proposal put forward today will be damaging to the people in our communities and the places that we call home. It cuts Medicaid by over $600 billion, cuts the food stamp program by over 25%, affecting the most needy within our communities. It slashes infrastructure programs, eliminates TIGER grants, cuts student loan and financial aid programs, and includes catastrophic cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency. In my home state of Hawai’i, this budget zeros out federal funding for the Native Hawaiian Housing Block Grant, the Native Hawaiian Loan Guarantee Program, and cuts Native Hawaiian Education programs by $33 million dollars, crippling the progress that’s been made for over 30 years to strengthen Native Hawaiian early education, literacy, gifted and talented education programs, higher education, vocational programs and more. I strongly oppose this budget, and look forward to working with my colleagues in Congress to pass a budget that actually serves the people and our planet.”

Kahilu Theatre Offering Summer Performing Arts Camps

Kahilu Theatre will offer three performing arts summer camps for Hawai‘i Island youth this summer. The camps are Let’s Dance (June 19 – June 30), Adventures in Polynesia (July 3 – July 15), and KPAW (July 17 – July 28).

Let’s Dance! (Summer Dance Camp)

Directed by KPAC Director, Angel Prince, Let’s Dance! teaches technique and choreography classes in Contemporary Dance, Ballet, Hip Hop, and Jazz. The camp also includes daily Pilates and Yoga classes as foundational strength and flexibility training. There are additional courses in Acting, Anatomy, Choreography and Improvisation, Stage Makeup, and Salsa.

Let’s Dance! runs from June 19 through June 30 and concludes with a student performance for the community on Friday, June 30 at 5 pm. It is open to students ages 7 to 16.

Adventures in Polynesia

Adventures in Polynesia, directed by Kalena Ohilo, is inspired by the motion picture Moana and focuses on Acrobatics, Tumbling, Vaulting and Aerial Silks. The camp is infused with Polynesian Music, Implements, and Dance. In addition to indulging creative energies in Acrobatics, students will create their own “Moana Skirt” and Maori Poi Balls.

Adventures in Polynesia runs from July 3 through July 14 and concludes with a student performance for the community on Friday, July 14 at 5 pm. It is open to students ages 5 to 12.

Note – There is no class on July 4. A makeup class will be held Saturday, July 8.

KPAW (Keiki Performing Arts Workshop)

Directed by former Kahilu Youth Troupe member, Marena Dunnington,  KPAW focuses on teaching stage skills necessary for musical theatre, with singing, acting and dancing as the three primary disciplines. Classes in playwriting and storytelling, makeup, improvisation, accents and dialects will also be offered.

KPAW runs from July 17 through July 28 and concludes with a student performance for the community on Friday, July 28 at 5 pm. It is open to students ages 7 to 12, or rising 3rd through 6th grades.

KPAW instructors are alumni of the Kahilu Youth Troupe: young performers who have trained at Kahilu with Beth Dunnington and are now pursuing their acting careers at the collegiate level.

Camp Enrollment Information:

  • All camps run Monday through Friday, 10 am – 2:30 pm
  • Each camp concludes with a performance
  • Fee: $230 for each camp
  • Scholarships are available

Scholarship application deadline is May 28 and scholarships to be announced on June 5

  • Max enrollment = 30
  • Students should bring a packed lunch from home

For more information about the Kahilu Performing Arts Camps call the Kahilu Theatre Box Office at 808.885.6868. Registration is available online at www.kahilutheatre.org.

Hawaii Residents Can Spot the Space Station Tonight

Hawaii residents can spot the International Space Station tonight (depending on clouds).

It will be visible beginning tonight, May 23rd at 7:51 PM. It will be visible for approximately 6 minutes at a maximum height of 72 degrees. It will appear 11 degrees above the Southwest part of the sky and disappear 12 degrees above the North Northeast part of the sky.