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Free Orchid Show – 34th Annual Kona Daifukuji Orchid Club Show

It’s an “Eruption of Orchids” at the 34th annual Kona Daifukuji Orchid Club (KDOC) show and sale Sunday, July 17 at the Daifukuji Soto Mission Hall. This year’s theme salutes the centennial of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park with a central blooming display backdropped by a volcano.

Orchids

The free event offers attendees complimentary refreshments, plus an orchid boutonniere corsage—while they last.  Time is 8 a.m.-2 p.m. with the Daifukuji Taiko Drummers performing at 10 a.m.

Enjoy an elaborate and colorful display of live blooming cattleya, cymbidium, dendrobium, phalaenopsis, miltonia, vanda and more. Cameras are welcome. In addition this year’s show will have a display of orchids appearing on “Plates, Platters and Plaques.”

Got growing questions? Veteran members will staff a Question and Answer Booth where attendees can get expert advice on caring for orchids. The club boasts eight charter members who each have been growing orchids at least 30 years at different Kona elevations.

In addition to the other displays, the annual event offers an outdoor sale of high-quality orchid species and hybrids grown by club members and Big Isle commercial growers.

The Kona Daifukuji Orchid Club is West Hawai‘i’s oldest orchidaceae organization with a mission to learn and foster orchid culture and promote fellowship among orchid collectors. The club meets the second Wednesday of every month at the Daifukuji Soto Mission Hall on Hwy. 11 at mile marker 114, just north of Kainaliu. For information, visit www.kdoc.us, get club updates at www.facebook.com/orchidsinparadise or phone 808-325-3261.

Higashi-Hiroshima Chamber Joins JCCIH Installation Ceremonies

Officials of the Higashi-Hiroshima Chamber of Commerce & Industry flew to Hilo to participate in the installation of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Hawaii (JCCIH) officers for 2016-17.

Darren Nishioka, left, passes the gavel to Russell Arikawa, new president of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Hawaii

Darren Nishioka, left, passes the gavel to Russell Arikawa, new president of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Hawaii

During the 66th annual ceremony on June 8, Russell Arikawa of Ginoza Realty, Inc. was installed as president of JCCIH. The two Chambers continue to explore beneficial opportunities between the business communities of Higashi-Hiroshima and East Hawaii.

Arikawa, a realtor, has served the Chamber as government affairs chief and as a chair of the popular Taste of Hilo. He is a director of the Kanoelehua Industrial Area Association, and a commissioner with the Department of Water. Born in Hilo, he graduated from University of Hawaii-Hilo.

During his remarks, Arikawa said East Hawaii faces many challenges, old and new. “It is an era distinguished by community service,” he said, but it is also a time “which challenges every elected official and public servant. We must be more accountable and more accessible to the people.”

Arikiawa received the gavel from immediate past president, Darren Nishioka of CU Hawaii Federal Credit Union.
Other officers of JCCIH include: first VP, Audrey Takamine of Takamine Construction; second VP, Stephen Ueda of Suisan; third VP, Donn Mende of County of Hawaii; treasurer, Joseph Skruch; auditor, Ivan Nakano of I. Kitagawa & Company, Ltd.; and Japanese secretary, Naomi Menor of Naomi’s World Travel Service. The officers and 34 directors were installed by Attorney Peter Kubota.

Sandra Dawson of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) gave the installation keynote address, reporting on the status of the project and its challenges. JCCIH has been a staunch supporter of TMT and has worked closely with the astronomy community to promote culturally appropriate scientific research.

Members of JCCIH and Higashi-Hiroshima Chamber of Commerce & Industry meet at Hilo International Airport

Members of JCCIH and Higashi-Hiroshima Chamber of Commerce & Industry meet at Hilo International Airport

JCCIH fosters economic sustainability and perpetuates the Japanese cultural heritage and traditions in Hawaii. The two value pillars that the JCCIH is built on are the Hawaiian Kahiau (giving without expecting anything in return) and the Japanese Okage Sama De (I am what I am because of you.)

The Chamber sponsors the popular annual Taste of Hilo. It also hosts business and cultural events and information sessions throughout the year and works with other business organizations as a watchdog over state and county legislation.

For information about JCCIH programs and membership, visit the website at www.jccih.org

25th Annual Great Waikoloa Rubber Duckie Race

Kings’ Shops is celebrating the 25th year of the Great Waikoloa Rubber Duckie Race, which benefits the United Cerebral Palsy Association of Hawai’i.

rubber duck

The festivities at Kings’ Shops start at 10:00 am on Monday, July 4, and will include food booths, children’s entertainment, live music on the stage, and special promotions at participating stores including Tiffany & Co., Sunglass Hut, Jourabchi, Crazy Shirts, Genesis Gallery, Macy’s, Na Hoku, Da Big Bags, and Tori Richard. The Rubber Duckie race will begin at 3:00 pm on Kings’ Lake followed by a special performance by Anuhea at 3:30 pm on the stage. The evening will end with the awards ceremony at 5:00 pm at the Kings’ Shops stage and then a fireworks extravaganza at the Waikoloa Bowl at 8:00 pm.

Free activities will also be available including photo booths, airbrush tattoos, balloon sculpting, lei making, bouncy houses, and EMS and fire trucks to explore. Restaurant booths will include featured menu items from The Three Fat Pigs and A-Bay’s Island Grill. Local Big Island beers will also be available at the beer garden located at The Three Fat Pigs’ front lanai.

Adoption certificates for the Rubber Duckie race are on sale until 3:00 pm on race day (July 4) and offer a chance to win over $37,000 in prizes. Individual duckie adoptions are $5 each and Quack Packs are $25 each and include four adoption certificates and one event T-shirt (while supplies last).

For a complete list of entertainment, promotions and activities, please visit www.KingsShops.com.

 

Food Producers Invited to Exhibit at Taste of the Hawaiian Range

Local food producers are invited to display and sample their product at the 21st annual Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range and Agricultural Festival on Friday, Sept. 9 at the Hilton Waikoloa Village.

Taste Kam Item

The state’s premiere ag showcase again offers a free opportunity for Hawai‘i farmers, ranchers and food producers to hookup with participating chefs and attendees during the 6-8 p.m. Taste.

The event is also open for agricultural and sustainability-themed organizations wanting to present informational displays.

Producers and ag-related educational organizations interested in participating may signup online at www.tasteofthehawaiianrange.com or by contacting Jill Beaton at tasteexhibitors@gmail.com or 808-937-0314. The deadline is July 31.

Taste headlines 30-some statewide chefs who dazzle diners using various cuts of forage-fed meats and a cornucopia of island fruits, vegetables and other farm products. Also on tap is a 3 p.m. culinary activity, “Cooking Pasture-Raised Beef 101,” presented by chefs Kevin Hanney and Jason Schoonover of the award-winning 12th Ave. Grill.

taste2Pre-sale tickets for Taste are $45 and $60 at the door. Entry to Cooking 101 is $10. Tickets are for sale online and available starting July 1 at Kuhio Grille in Hilo, Kamuela Liquors and Parker Ranch Store in Waimea, Kona Wine Market in Kailua-Kona and Kohala Essence Shop at the Hilton Waikoloa Village. Purchase tickets online at www.TasteoftheHawaiianRange.com.

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 808-322-4892 no later than August 9, 2016.

Taste Hayden

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.

Hokulea Crewmembers Conduct Crew Switch for the Next Leg in the Worldwide Voyage

While docked on Block Island on Wednesday, crewmembers of Hawaii’s iconic voyaging canoe Hokulea began the detailed process of a crew switch. The latest crew of the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage arrived safely on Block Island, where they spent the day in training, preparing and receiving information from the canoe’s leg 20 crew, for leg 21 of Hokulea’s sail. Captain Bruce Blankenfeld conducted an orientation for the canoe’s latest crewmembers, as well as a brief overview of future port stops.

crew change

The Hokulea crew’s time on Block Island was spent engaging the local community through canoe tours and educational outreach. The canoe’s next stop is about 50 nautical miles away in Mystic Seaport, Connecticut where crewmembers will conduct lectures and interactive demonstrations of Polynesian wayfinding, voyaging and navigation at the Mystic Seaport Museum’s 25th Annual Wooden Boat Show.

Vandals Damage One Of Hawaii‘s Most Important Cultural Site

Kaniakapupu, in the forest above Honolulu, in the Nuuanu district, is central to the story of modern Hawai‘i.  Not only was it the summer palace of King Kamehameha III and Queen Kalama, it was the first government building built in western style with mortar and plaster.  Completed in 1845, Kaniakapupu was the “scene of entertainment of foreign celebrities and the feasting of chiefs and commoners.  The greatest was a luau attended by 10,000 celebrating Hawaiian Restoration Day in 1847,” (from a plaque erected on-site by the Commission on Historical Sites). Earlier it was the site of a notable heiau for Hawaiian royalty.

Kaniakapupu-Vandalism

Recently vandals etched a series of crosses on at least three of the inside walls of the crumbling structure.  For more than 15 years, volunteers from Aha Hui Malama O Kaniakapupu have worked tirelessly to protect and preserve this historically and culturally significant place.  During a recent trip to the site, the vice-chairman of the group, Baron Ching, pleaded, “Leave it alone. Don’t scratch it, don’t do anything to it, come with respect.  Criminy sakes, I don’t know where you’re coming from, but this is not a graffiti palette to do your thing.  This is important to a lot of people.  This is important to the Hawaiian nation, yea.  It’s just utter disrespect, utter disrespect.  How does it make me feel?  It makes me feel awful.”

On the day Ching visited the site with Ryan Peralta of the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife, a family spread a blanket over the top of a stone structure just outside the walls of Kaniakapupu and prepared for a photo shoot.  Even this seemingly innocuous activity is viewed as culturally disrespectful. Ching added, “Come with respect. There is history going back to the beginning of time in this area. Modern Hawai‘i was forged in this place…inside these walls every single monarch, every single high chief or chiefess were inside these walls…and it’s entirely inappropriate to put graffiti on the walls, to move the stones around. It’s entirely inappropriate to be climbing around this place.”

A DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) officer also checked out the site and the vandalism.  Unfortunately unless vandals are actually caught in the act of desecrating the sacred site, it’s difficult to identify them and subsequently cite them.

Within the past month, vandals also etched marks on the walls underneath the newly restored fence surrounding Iolani Palace in downtown Honolulu.  Reflecting on this kind of activity, DLNR Chair Suzanne Case commented, “It’s hard to understand how anyone thinks it is okay or pono to draw or etch graffiti on any of Hawai‘i’s historical or cultural treasures.  They need to understand that their actions not only potentially destroy the cultural integrity of these sites and structures, but also show tremendous disrespect toward our host culture and to the countless volunteers and staff who work hard to preserve these places for future generations.”

Ching concluded, “It’s not the first time they’ve carved all kinds of stuff in there.  They’re carving happy faces, all kinds of stupid stuff.  This plaster is 180 years old; was put here by the hands of the kapuna. It was the first government building built by the government of Hawai‘i. When you vandalize it or damage it in anyway, there’s no way we can repair that.”

Social media sites have potentially exacerbated vandalism by failing to point out that Kaniakapupu is closed to visitation and no one should be in the area. Anyone who witnesses or has knowledge of vandalism to any historical or cultural site in Hawai‘i is encouraged to call the statewide DOCARE Hotline at 643-DLNR.

Kaniakapupu Vandalism Video News Release, June 23, 2016 from Hawaii DLNR on Vimeo.

Questions Answered About New Pahoa Park Plans

The new park that is being built in Pahoa is going up rather quickly and some folks in the community had some questions about the park so I emailed Department of Parks and Recreation Public Information Officer Jason Armstrong some questions and got a reply from him today on these questions.
Pahoa Regional ParkPBR Hawaii is the firm that appears to be handling most of the construction design at the park.  You can learn more about the project on their website here:  Pahoa Park Expansion Master Plan

I took this picture yesterday from the backside of the skate park:

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Here are the questions and answers that I received from Armstrong:

How many people will P&R hire to maintain and operate Pahoa District Park?

Three; two park  caretakers (who mostly likely will be existing employees transferred from other sites) and one recreation technician. P&R is now in the recruiting phase for the rec. tech. position. We anticipate filling this position by August 1, 2016.

What will be the park hours?

Operating hours will be set by the Director. Typically, park hours are 6 am – 11 pm daily. The pool, senior center, skate park,  community center and new covered play courts (gym) likely will have different hours, however, based on patron demand and the need to have personnel onsite to operate those facilities.

Will the park have a security gate?

Yes

How many new parking stalls are being added?

373 new stalls, including 21 ADA-compliant stalls

What is the expected opening date?

No specific date has been set; we estimate opening in late August or early September of this year

Is the skate park part of the park?

Yes

If anyone is really interested in looking at all the documents related to this new park you can click here to read the 641 page Environmental Assessment that was put together in 2013 before the June 27th Lava Flow almost took out the whole project all together.

Click to read

Click to read

Hokulea Arrives at Block Island

On Sunday, June 19 at approximately 8:00 p.m. local time (2:00 p.m. HST), Hawaii’s famed voyaging canoe Hokulea arrived at Block Island off the coast of Rhode Island after departing New York City on Sunday.
Block IslandAs part of the Hokulea crew’s protocol for showing respect for the land and its people, crew members sought permission to dock the sailing vessel from the indigenous tribes of the area. They were welcomed by a representative of the Narrangansett Indian Tribe. Hokulea captain and master navigator Kalepa Baybayan offered a kahili (feather standard) on behalf of the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage. 
block island2
Community members are encouraged to visit the canoe from 11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 21 at the Block Island Boat Basin Marina for canoe tours and to learn more about the Worldwide Voyage. Hokulea is expected to remain on Block Island until Thursday, June 23, before continuing onto Mystic, Connecticut, with safety and weather conditions dictating any sail plans. 

Kohala Mountain Educational Farm Summer Festival

The Kohala Mountain Educational Farm (KMEF) invites the public to celebrate at its 1st Annual Summer Farm Festival, July 23 – 31, from 10am to 6pm daily.

Kohala MountainCome to the Kohala Mountain Educational Farm for an incredible fun-filled event featuring tractor-pulled hayrides, a jumping pad, a petting zoo, pony rides, face painting, and carnival games. There will be you-pick vegetables in the field for harvest – fun for the whole family!

The festival will host a line-up of local musicians, including Mikey Hooser. Delicious foods including hot off the grill burgers & hot dogs and shave ice will be available for sale. Admission & Parking is Free. Activities are priced per activity with prices ranging from $5 – $9 per activity. Picnics are welcome.

Directions: Take Kohala Mountain Road (Highway 250) from Waimea towards Hawi. The farm is between Mile Marker 12 and 13 on Kohala Mountain Road. Farm entrance is on the left side of the road. For more information and event updates, visit www.kohalamountainpumpkinpatch.com or KMEF’s Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/kohalamountaineducationalfarm

 

 

Ka Haka ‘Ula O Ke’elikolani Na Pua Lei O Ka Na’auao, Kupulau 2016 (College of Hawaiian Language Dean’s List, Spring 2016)

UH Hilo Hawaiian Studies Building

Ke kukala aku nei ko ke Kulanui o Hawai’i ma Hilo, Ka Haka ‘Ula O Ke’elikolani, i na inoa o na haumana kaha ‘oi no ke kau Kupulau 2016:
(The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Ka Haka ‘Ula O Ke’elikolani College of Hawaiian Language announces its Dean’s List for the Spring 2016 semester):

Delia Ann Ah Nee, Isaac Ahuna, Destanie Alayon, Jainine Abraham, D’Anna Asher, Joshua Bass, Laura Birse, Eleanor Brown, Courtney Ann Brock, John Crommelin, Sophie Dolera, Angelica Durante, Alexander Guerrero, Kalai Grothmann, Karise Hallsten, Pomaikai Iaea, Runa Ikeno, Kayla Ing, Joshua Kalima, Kiana Kamala, Alana Kanahele, Sumire Kanno, Sheena Lopes, Khaelee Mae,

Kelly Martin-Young, Haruka Miura, Risako Mise, Morgana Murdoch, Hokulani Mckeague, Alana Paiva, Isaac Pang, Avion Plummer, Pomaikai Ravey, Josiane Saccu, Marleena Sheffield, Trevor Slevin, Temau Teikitekahioho-Wolff, Gin Tezuka, Taylor Traub, Brenna Usher, Vanessa Winchester-Sye, Vivianne Yamanishi, Cheyne Yonemori, and Krisha Zane.

Hawaii Public Invited to Tour Coast Guard Icebreaker on Saturday

USCGC Healy (WAGB-20) arrived in Honolulu, Wednesday, for a port visit before continuing on a four-month Arctic deployment.

U.S. Coast Guard photos by Petty Officer 3rd Class Charly Hengen.

U.S. Coast Guard photos by Petty Officer 3rd Class Charly Hengen.

This port call is Healy’s first stop in Hawaii since 2011.

The Healy will be open to the public for tours Saturday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m., at Pier 11. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Pets are not allowed aboard the cutter. Coast Guard crewmembers will be standing by to answer questions about Healy and upcoming operations.

This summer, the Healy crew will provide presence and access to conduct three major missions focusing on the biology, chemistry, geology, and physics of the Arctic Ocean and its ecosystems, as well as performing multi-beam sonar mapping of the Extended Continental Shelf (ECS).

For the first mission, the Healy crew will work with 46 researchers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and University of Alaska-Anchorage. The mission will employ the Global Explorer remotely operated vehicle, net trawls, bottom cores and conductivity, temperature, and depth casts to assess the biological diversity of the Chukchi Sea. The team of scientists will use cutting edge technology to identify and document the species living in this poorly understood and rapidly changing region.

Performing their second mission, the Healy crew will deploy an array of acoustic bottom moorings in support of researchers from Scripps Institute of Oceanography and the Office of Naval Research. The moorings will collect data on how climate change and decreased ice coverage is affecting the Arctic Ocean.

The final mission is in support of the State Department and the White House Office of Science and Technology. Researchers from the University of New Hampshire will use multi-beam sonar mapping and bottom dredging in the Bering Sea and Arctic Ocean to further support the demarcation of the ECS.  This work will directly support the United States’ claim for natural resources found on or beneath the ocean floor.

U.S. Coast Guard photos by Petty Officer 3rd Class Charly Hengen.

U.S. Coast Guard photos by Petty Officer 3rd Class Charly Hengen.

The Healy is the nation’s premiere high latitude research vessel. The cutter is a 420 foot long icebreaker with extensive scientific capabilities. Based out of Seattle, the cutter has a permanent crew of 87. Its primary mission is scientific support. In addition, as a Coast Guard Cutter, Healy is capable of other operations such as search and rescue, ship escort, environmental protection, and the enforcement of laws and treaties in the Polar Regions.

Nainoa Thompson Receives Hubbard Medal – National Geographic’s Highest Honor

Today, an extraordinary group of individuals were honored by the National Geographic Society at the 2016 Explorer Awards, presented by Rolex.

Nainoa Thompson received the National Geographic Society’s oldest and most prestigious honor, the Hubbard Medal, for his outstanding contributions to scientific research, exploration and conservation.

Nainoa Thompson and Meave Leakey receive the National Geographic Society’s oldest and most prestigious honor, the Hubbard Medal, for their outstanding contributions to scientific research, exploration and conservation at the National Geographic headquarters in Washington, D.C. on June 16, 2016. Photo by Randall Scott/National Geographic Society

Nainoa Thompson and Meave Leakey receive the National Geographic Society’s oldest and most prestigious honor, the Hubbard Medal, for their outstanding contributions to scientific research, exploration and conservation at the National Geographic headquarters in Washington, D.C. on June 16, 2016. Photo by Randall Scott/National Geographic Society

A master in the traditional Polynesian art of non-instrument navigating known as “wayfinding,” Thompson revived the ancient practice while advocating for ocean conservation and a sustainable future for our planet.

THE HUBBARD MEDAL

Named for the National Geographic Society’s first president, Gardiner Greene Hubbard, the Hubbard Medal is given in recognition of a lifetime of achievement in exploration, discovery and research. In 1906, Robert E. Peary was the first to receive the Hubbard Medal for his exploration of the Arctic. This year’s recipients, Meave Leakey and Nainoa Thompson, will join the ranks of distinguished honorees, including Charles Lindbergh, John Glenn and Jane Goodall, among others.

Nainoa Thompson

Charles Nainoa Thompson, president of the Polynesian Voyaging Society, is an expert in the ancient Pacific Island tradition of wayfinding, a non-instrument method of navigating on long ocean voyages using the stars, swells and natural elements as guides. The first native Hawaiian to practice wayfinding since the 14th century, he studied under Micronesian master navigator Pius Mau Piailug of Satawal, Yap.

In the 1970s, Thompson was part of an important movement among young Hawaiians committed to restoring cultural pride. He has since dedicated his life to teaching wayfinding to future generations, developing a method that combines the tenets of ancient Pacific navigation with modern science, fostering a renewed interest in Hawaiian heritage.

Nearly 40 years ago, Thompson made history when he navigated Hōkūleʻa, a traditional double-hulled voyaging canoe, 2,500 nautical miles from Hawaiʻi to Tahiti relying entirely on the art of Polynesian wayfinding.

Today, Hōkūleʻa is on a three-year, 60,000-nautical-mile expedition around the world. The sail, known as the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage, aims to encourage the global community to live sustainably by drawing upon the wisdom and teachings of ancient Polynesian culture. Upon its completion, the voyage will stop in 100 ports, 27 nations and 12 UNESCO Marine World Heritage sites. Along the way, Hōkūleʻa and her crew have met with a number of global peace and marine conservation leaders, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Sylvia Earle.

Thompson is a graduate of the University of Hawaiʻi, where he received a bachelor’s degree in ocean science. A member of the Ocean Elders, he is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Peter Benchley Ocean Award for Excellence in Exploration; the Unsung Hero of Compassion, presented by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama on behalf of the organization Wisdom in Action; and the Native Hawaiian Education Association’s Manomano Ka ‘Ike (Depth and Breadth of Knowledge) Educator of the Year Award.

Backpack Drive for Children Who Cannot Afford Them

The Hawaiʻi Police Department is proud to participate again in a backpack drive for children who cannot afford to buy them. As in previous years, all police stations around the island will double as drop-off points for persons interested in helping children in need. Backpacks may be dropped off between now and August 30.

Backpack1

Backpacks have been identified as the most requested non-food item for charities in Hawaiʻi. The donated backpacks will be distributed to children at women’s shelters, homeless shelters and transitional housing facilities around the Big Island.

This is the eighth consecutive year the Police Department has worked in partnership with HOPE Services Hawaiʻi (formerly known as the Office of Social Ministry).

Hope Services Hawaiʻi provides a continuum of homeless and transitional programs from outreach to emergency shelters, including permanent supportive housing placements.

Island Air Launches Kona Service – George Applegate Named Island Air’s Hawaii Island Representative

Island Air today launched daily air service to Hawaiʻi Island as part of its continuing efforts to expand its presence in the Islands and offer residents and visitors an alternative option for interisland travel. The airline also announced it has hired veteran tourism industry leader George Applegate to serve as its representative on Hawaiʻi Island.

Photos courtesy of Island Air

Photos courtesy of Island Air

Island Air officials, along with government, business and visitor industry leaders from Hawaiʻi Island and Oʻahu gathered at the Kona International Airport this morning for a blessing of the airline’s new check-in counter located in Terminal 1 and departure/arrival gate (Gate 5). Following the blessing, passengers on the inaugural flights arriving into and departing from Kona were greeted with lei and entertained by keiki from Waimea’s Hālau Hula Ka Noʻeau. In partnership with the Big Island Visitors Bureau (BIVB), guests also were given a tour of the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaiʻi Authority located a short drive from the airport.

During the celebration, Island Air’s president and chief executive officer David Uchiyama announced that Applegate will serve as Island Air’s representative on Hawaiʻi Island. Applegate will support the airline’s sales efforts and assist in promoting Island Air’s business on Hawaiʻi Island.

island air day 1a

“Over the years, George has played an integral role in strengthening Hawaiʻi Island’s tourism industry. We are excited to have him join the Island Air team as we work to grow our Kona service,” said Uchiyama. “Our entire Island Air team recognizes the importance of having reliable interisland air travel options that allow local families and businesses to remain connected, support the local economy and provide alternatives for residents and visitors to enjoy Hawai‘i the Island way.”

Applegate has more than 40 years of experience in the visitor industry, including 24 years with the BIVB, 13 of those as its executive director before he retired in 2013. In 2015, he served as an executive assistant to Mayor Billy Kenoi where he assisted with various tourism projects for Hawaiʻi Island. He continues to provide tourism-related consulting services on a contractual basis to the County of Hawaiʻi through his firm George Applegate Consulting.

island air day 1b

“Having another alternative for interisland travel is critical for our community and visitor industry, which is why I am excited about this opportunity to assist with the growth of a second interisland airline that will support both residents and visitors,” said Applegate.

In addition to increasing seat capacity to Hawaiʻi Island with five daily roundtrip flights between Kona and Honolulu, Island Air hired 22 employees to service the new route. The Kona-based team of customer service agents and ramp agents is being led by Shardae Kaupu Lopez, who will serve as Island Air’s Kona station manager and oversee the airline’s airport operations. Lopez is originally from Miloliʻi and started working for Island Air in 2012.

Meet Hawaii Island’s New Film Commissioner

Hawaii Island has a new film commissioner and his name is Justin Finestone.

Justin Finestone introduces himself to filmmakers at the Big Island Film Festival

Justin Finestone introduces himself to filmmakers at the Big Island Film Festival

He introduced himself as the new commissioner at the Big Island Film Festival recently where he welcomed the filmmakers to the Big Island and talked to them about the benefits of filming here on the Island.

He has only been in the position for about a month now and I asked him the following questions as a follow-up to the festival:

Where are you from and what is your background?

I grew up in the Los Angeles area and attended the University of Southern California.  I graduated with degrees in Broadcast Journalism and Political Science.  I worked in television news and production for 16 years before starting a career in public sector marketing and communications.  Before moving to Hawai’i Island, I spent the past eight years as the Communications Director for the City of Bend, Oregon.

What goals do you have for the County of Hawaii as our Film Commissioner?

We want to grow the film and television industries on Hawai’i Island.  Even small productions spend money here on things like hotels and meals.  That type of spending helps provide jobs for the people who live here.  In addition, there are talented people who live here that work in the film industry.   The more productions that are here, the more industry workers can make a living.  We want to accomplish all this with cultural sensitivities in mind, making sure productions are doing the right thing and respecting the culture and the land.

What are the duties of a county film commissioner?

It’s a pretty diverse job.  I market Hawai’i Island’s incredible locations and resources to filmmakers, help filmmakers connect with local workers and talent, assist filmmakers while they are here, make sure they are aware of and respecting cultural sensitivities, issue permits for shooting on county property, and pretty much anything else that comes up!

Are there any films or projects currently filming on the Big Island and if so what are the names of the projects and where are they being shot at?

There is always something going on, whether its film, television or print photography.  Many productions want to stay under-the-radar, but I can say that the Nickelodeon show Paradise Run is wrapping up at the Hilton Waikoloa and the HGTV show Hawai’i Life is returning soon.

Why is the Big Island of Hawaii an ideal place for filmmakers to make films?

There are so many reasons.  Nowhere else in the state can match the diversity of locations on Hawai’i Island.  We have 11 of the world’s 13 climate zones.  The state offers generous tax credits to filmmakers who come to Hawai’i Island.  It’s 25 percent and includes all aspects of a production.  If you shoot on Oahu, you only receive a 20 percent credit.

We have the infrastructure filmmakers need, like a world class facility, Honua Studios.  Private, dedicated fiber connections worldwide, great local crew, consistent weather all year, top-rated hotels, and it’s a very safe place to work.

Are there any large budget films planned for the Big Island in the near future?

Nothing scheduled for production at this time.

What are your impressions of our home-grown film festival, the Big Island Film Festival, which happened recently at the Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii?

I’ve attended a few film festivals over the years but nothing like the Big Island Film Festival.  Everything from the venues to the people that put on the festival was first-class.  The films I saw were very good.  I think one of my favorite parts was hearing the filmmakers talk about their productions.  You could feel the passion that they had for their craft, and they were just really nice people.

 

FREE – 2016 Puna Homeowners Association Conference

The non-profit Ku’ikahi Mediation Center is pleased to announce the 2016 Puna Homeowners Association Conference: “Tools for Success.”  The free conference runs from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm on Saturday, June 25 at Kea’au High School.

Homeowners Conference

Puna Homeowners Associations (HOA) board officers, directors, staff, and community members are invited to gain tools for success in the areas of member relations, association leadership, and meeting management.

“Managing the large private subdivisions in Puna, which stretches from Volcano to Seaview, is not a simple task,” said Ku‘ikahi Executive Director Julie Mitchell.  “We want to support our largely volunteer community leaders to succeed, whether in overcoming challenges, enhancing opportunities, or being of service to members and neighbors.”

This unique conference allows interested HOA to exchange ideas and gain knowledge in three concurrent sessions on Board Success and Meeting Success.

Board Success sessions are: “By-Laws” with Vaughn Cook, “Best Board Practices” with Julie Hugo, and “Transparency” with a panel moderated by Jon Henricks.

Meeting Success sessions are: “Ground Rules” with Lorraine Mendoza, Lucille Chung and Kimberly Dark, “Parliamentary Procedures” with Jon Henricks, and “Meeting Facilitation” with Kimberly Dark.

Pre-registration is required for the free conference, which includes lunch.  For online registration, visit www.hawaiimediation.org/events.html.  Contact Jenifer at 935-7844 x 1 or jenifer@hawaiimediation.org for registration assistance.

This conference is made possible thanks in part to funding from the Hawai‘i Island United Way, County of Hawaiʻi District 4 and District 5 Contingency Funds, and other generous sponsors.

Candlelight Vigil Held in Hilo for Victims of Orlando Mass Shooting

Members of East Hawaii’s LGBT community and allies gathered in downtown Hilo tonight for a candlelight vigil at Mo’oheau Bandstand & Park 6pm to honor the victims of Orlando’s shooting at Pulse gay bar. 50 people were killed and 53 wounded in the attack. Though the motives for the attack are unknown, violence against LGBT people is not a rare occurrence.

Hilo for Orlando

Travis Rogers, the organizer of the Hilo vigil, said he “heard the news and just had to do something”. Travis shared a personal story of  homophobic violence so others may feel safe to do the same. Though Hawaii’s LGBT residents come from diverse backgrounds and experiences, most have these kind of stories.

Above all, Travis shared his hope for people standing up against hatred and making communities safe for all. “I feel for those who’ve lost their lives” Travis said. “This homophobic violence must end”

Individuals or organizations who want to help make Big Island a safe and friendly place for LGBT residents can support Hawaii Island Pride. The annual Pride parade is being planned for July 9th from 12-4 in downtown Hilo and volunteers are needed to join planning meetings every Tuesday at 6pm at the Church of the Holy Apostles at 1407 Kapiolani St.

Catching Up With Local Actress Kristina Anapau

The 2016 Big Island Film Festival held at the Fairmont Orchid was attended by the most participants ever with 58 films shown as well as celebrity salutes and receptions for Bellamy Young and Michael Gross.

This year, 2011 Golden Honu Award Recipient and Hawaii Islands own actress Kristina Anapau (“True Blood”, “Black Swan”) made a surprise guest appearance as she happened to be working on a project over on Maui and was able to get away for a couple days.

Kristina 2016(1)

I’ve continued a dialog with Kristina since I first met her in 2011 and I asked the former model if I could do a photo shoot and interview with her and she agreed.

kristina 2016(2)

I asked her what she has been up to since the 2011 Big Island Film Festival and Anapau stated:

“Since 2011? Quite a lot! I’ve completed about a half a dozen feature films, played the faerie Maurella on the HBO series True Blood for a few seasons, and appeared on a handful of other great shows like Grimm and Anger Management.

I also developed and launched a fashion product, Color It New, which has done really well. It’s an aerosolized colorant that that permanently change the color of shoes, handbags, belts, and other accessories without any chipping, cracking, or peeling— it’s pretty amazing.”

My next business endeavor is called Enlight Lifestyle and is set to launch January 2017. It’s a lifestyle website, brand, and content streaming platform focused on stylish, conscious, and informed living. Readers can visit www.enlightlifestyle.com to find out more!

kristina 2016(3)I asked her how she would recommend up and coming actors and actresses from the Big Island to get noticed by mainland filmmakers?

I’d probably recommend that they move to LA or NYC if they are really serious. You hear about fairytale “discovery” stories where an actor is spotted by an agent or producer who launches them into stardom, but in actuality, even after such a discovery, you are still going to have to move to where the action is and be prepared to put in a lot of hard work. As for getting noticed? Work on your craft, be open to opportunities as they arise…and be tenacious when it comes to achieving your goals. Often times its tenacity and not talent that causes one actor to be successful and another to not be. Oh…and write old-fashioned, pen and paper thank you notes to everyone.

Kristina 2016(4)When asked what she liked most about the Big Island Film Festival?

Leo and Jan Sears have created such a special festival over the years with BIFF.  A film I was in called Self Medicated won the Grand Jury prize at the the very first BIFF back in 2006, and I was honored with the Actress No Ka Oi Award in 2011. It’s always been a meaningful event for me and of course it’s great to get to come home!

Kristina and her father who lives here on the Big Island.

Kristina and her father who lives here on the Big Island.

I asked her what the current projects she is working on and when does she expect the film(s) to be released and Anapau replied,

“I’m currently filming a feature here on Maui! I met the director, Brian Kohne, at the 2011 Big Island Film Festival as a matter of fact. It’s a culturally rich mystery/drama set in Hawaii in 1971. A really beautiful film. I have several things lined up after we wrap on Kuleana, none of which I can talk too much about yet, but one of which shoots in Oregon, which I am very exited about. I have a lot of family in Oregon and love spending time up there.”

Kristina 2016(5)

When asked if there were any former teachers here on the Big Island that she would like to say mahalo to in particular for one reason or another she stated,

“I always want to give a mahalo to Celeste Anderson-Staton, my ballet teacher on the Big Isle who inspired me tremendously and taught me so much — wouldn’t have been cast in Black Swan without her training!  Also a mahalo to Desiree Moana Cruz for helping me so much when I was first starting out as a model at age 14!”

Family Donates Prosthetic Leg to Homeless Man Assaulted in Pahoa

A Pahoa family that wishes to remain anonymous, has stepped up to the plate and donated a prosthetic leg to assist John Hartley, the one-legged homeless man that was attacked by Lava Shack manager Chris Mohr.

John Hartley. (Photo via Hawaii News Now)

John Hartley. (Photo via Hawaii News Now)

In a video that has gone viral on social media, John Hartley and his dog are seen getting splashed with water, then sprayed with something that may be mace or pepper spray and then punched in the head a few times.

Pahoa community member Mark Hinshaw posted the following on the Big Island Thieves Facebook page where folks were obviously very upset about the video:

Hate crime in the 808!!! This just reported to us.

Allegedly, the manager of the Lava Shack in Pahoa has used mace and violence against many people, in this case a well liked homeless man in Pahoa for over 30 years, named John. Now bear in mind, John only has one leg and is wheelchair bound. This must stop. If this manager of Lava Shack has assaulted you please let the prosecutors office know.

As is clearly shown, John’s dog was hit by the mace as well…

No hate in the 808!!!

Police and Prosecutors are aware of the situation and are in possession of the full length video.

If you have any information and/or further details about this situation, please contact the Pahoa Police Station at 965-2716.

We must NOT allow this kind of behavior to continue in Pahoa Town!!!

According to Hawaii News Now:

“Victim John Hartley, who has been homeless for eight years, said the attack was unprovoked.

“I was blinded that night for five hours,” Hartley said. “The next day, I didn’t realize, I had the oils in my hands and I rubbed my face and I was blinded for three more hours.”

Hartley, who lost his right leg in 2015, is something of a fixture in Pahoa. He’s always got his dog right beside him.”

The donors family reached out to me last night and wanted to know how I could get them in touch with Hartley and I was able to make the connections and today the family was able to meet with Hartley in person.

“Our meeting (with Hartley) went well.  I saw Aunty Madie Greene outside of Luquins just as I got there. We fitted John with the prosthetic leg. Some minor adjustments need to be made but he was able to stand on it and is hopeful that in time he will be mobile again.  He’s an amazing man. It was nice to talk story and find out more about him.”

John Hartley gets fitted with his new leg.  Photo by Sara Williams of the Pahoa Village Museum.

John Hartley gets fitted with his new leg. Photo by Sara Williams of the Pahoa Village Museum.

Hartley has filed a police report and does plan to pursue charges.

June 27th Lava Flow Stops – New Lava Flow Over Two Miles Long

The only active surface lava on Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone is the flow that erupted from the lower east flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō on May 24, 2014.

hvo 61016This flow continues to advance southeast, and was 3.3 km (2.1 mi) long today (June 10). This photo shows the front of the flow; Puʻu ʻŌʻō is in the background.

A closer view of the flow front, with Puʻu ʻŌʻō in the background. Click to enlarge

A closer view of the flow front, with Puʻu ʻŌʻō in the background. Click to enlarge