Hōkūleʻa Ventures Furthest from the Equator in Her History

Traditional Polynesian voyaging canoe Hōkūle’a achieved a new milestone in her journey around the word. During this leg of the Worldwide Voyage, she successfully completed the roundtrip sail from Wellington to Golden Bay, New Zealand. This marks the furthest into the Southern Hemisphere that Hōkūleʻa has sailed in four decades of voyaging. The crew returned safely to Wellington on Saturday, and Hōkūleʻa is now in route to Napier, New Zealand.

Hokulea equator

This leg of the Worldwide Voyage was an ambitious journey, taking Hōkūle’a far beyond the warm waters of the Pacific in which she has travelled extensively over the past four decades. The harsh sea and weather conditions along New Zealand’s South Island and beyond will continue to push the boundaries of contemporary Polynesian voyaging as Hōkūleʻa sails around the world.

hokulea equator3

“On March 8th, 1975, Hōkūle’a was launched with the vision of one voyage to Tahiti and back,” said Bruce Blankenfeld, Pwo (master) navigator with the Polynesian Voyaging Society. “She has been restored and reenergized through the aloha and good mana of our large voyaging community, young and old, from near and far. In 2015, 40 years later, she continues to afford us the opportunity to explore new horizons.”

While on South Island on January 21, 2015, crew had the opportunity to visit and honor the place where a 600-year-old voyaging canoe was recently rediscovered.

hokulea equator 2

Making this connection between Hōkūle’a and her ancient predecessor honors Polynesians’ ability to explore the ocean world, proving the strength and vitality of these voyaging vessels. This ancient Polynesian double-hulled canoe “is the reason why Hōkūleʻa sailed to Mohua Bay,” said the captain for this leg of the voyage, Kālepa Baybayan. “It is to pay homage, to recognize the importance of this artifact.”

“This is the farthest south we have ever gone to a part of the ocean that is notoriously rough,” said Nainoa Thompson, Pwo navigator and president of the Polynesian Voyaging Society. “It was accomplished because of unprecedented collaborations and support, and Kālepa Baybayan’s good leadership. This leg of the Worldwide Voyage was extensive, exceptional, and honored our traditions. It was foundational to our ability to do well as we prepare to depart Polynesia.”

The Hawaiian name for this journey, Mālama Honua, means “to care for our Island Earth” and is taking Hōkūleʻa and her sister canoe Hikianalia across Earth’s oceans to grow a global movement toward a more sustainable world. The Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage, sponsored by Hawaiian Airlines, will cover 47,000 nautical miles, 85 ports, 26 nations, including 12 of UNESCO’s Marine World Heritage sites, through June 2017.

Tiki Shark Art and Author S.P Grogan Confirm Dates for Big Bash on the Big Island to Celebrate New Novel Release

Renowned local artist Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker along with award winning author S.P. Grogan are hosting a free public event to inaugurate their second novel in collaboration titled – Atomic Dreams at The Red Tiki Lounge.

SP Grogan and Brad "Tiki Shark" Parker

S.P. Grogan and Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker

Tiki Shark Art Inc., Big Island based, owned by Parker has confirmed that the book signing event will be held on March 6th from 6 PM to 9 PM at the Kona Oceanfront Gallery and on March 7 from 3:30 PM to 7:30 PM at The Royal Kona Resort – Don The Beachcomber Bar area.

“I am excited to be doing another book with Brad” commented Grogan, “it is always a pleasure to be back on the Big Island” he added.

Author S.P. Grogan

Author S.P. Grogan at his last book signing

Part of sales proceeds generated from this high profile two day event will be donated to The Food Basket, Hawai’i Island’s Food Bank.  “We are fortunate to have been chosen by our friends at Tiki Shark Art” commented En Young Executive Director, “We also love the fact that this event is taking place right here and their willingness to support the local charities is a blessing,” he added.

Brad "Tiki Shark" Parker in his studio.

Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker in his studio.

“The novel is written and built around my existing works of art and is a fast paced action piece set in 1946 with lots of romance and Hawaiian History” exclaimed Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker.

Free entertainment will be provided at both events by teenage Aidan James, the YouTube star ukulele player.

Parker with YouTube sensation Aidan James

Parker with YouTube sensation Aidan James

“I am stoked to share the spotlight with uncle Brad at this event” commented the youngster who is making his debut appearance in Kona. Celebrities from the iconic surf brand Body Glove will be in attendance who along with Brad and S.P. Grogan will be there to sign limited edition surf memorabilia.

Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker – (www.tikishark.com)
After working for Marvel & DC Comics for many years, he gave it all up and moved to the Big Island of Hawaii over a decade ago. Through his Kailua Kona based company Tiki Shark Art Inc., Parker sells his art though galleries in the USA and around the world. His unmistakable, lurid style of art reflects influences as diverse as the Flemish masters, comic books, and Hawaiian tourist kitsch. His designs can be seen on products from surfboards to skate boards to beach towels and calendars.

Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker is a truly a master and a world class, award winning creator of Polynesian Pop Surrealistic Art with a Hawaiian twist.

About S.P. Grogan – (www.spgrogan.com)

A resident of Las Vegas NV, Grogan has had a career in writing as magazine editor, and a past Shubert Fellow in Playwriting.  In 2011, his novel, Captain CookedHawaiian Mystery of Romance, Revenge…and Recipes” was an island favorite featuring 25 recipes from the top chefs and restaurants on the Big Island with part of the proceeds of  book sales going to The Food Basket program.

Captain Cooked used GPS in its plotting and the book won a prestigious Ka Palapala Po‘okela award from the Hawai’i Book Publishers Association. The book cover was from a Brad ‘Tiki Shark’ Parker painting which started a friendship and dialogue towards the new novel.

National Call to Native Artists: Support for Indigenous Culture Makers

American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian artists nationwide have until April 6 to apply for the 2015 Native Arts and Cultures Foundation (NACF) Artist Fellowship.

To date, 41 American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian artists and culture makers have been honored with a Native Arts and Cultures Foundation Artist Fellowship. NACF Fellows clockwise from left, work by Nora Naranjo Morse (Tewa), visual artist Sonya Kelliher-Combs (Athabascan/Iñupiaq) in studio, work by Alan Michelson (Mohawk), performance by author Sherwin Bitsui (Navajo), still from documentary film by Christen Marquez (Native Hawaiian) and weaver Jeremy Frey (Passamaquoddy) in studio.

To date, 41 American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian artists and culture makers have been honored with a Native Arts and Cultures Foundation Artist Fellowship. NACF Fellows clockwise from left, work by Nora Naranjo Morse (Tewa), visual artist Sonya Kelliher-Combs (Athabascan/Iñupiaq) in studio, work by Alan Michelson (Mohawk), performance by author Sherwin Bitsui (Navajo), still from documentary film by Christen Marquez (Native Hawaiian) and weaver Jeremy Frey (Passamaquoddy) in studio.

The coveted national award includes support ranging up to $20,000 per artist. Awards will be made in six artistic disciplines, including: performing arts, filmmaking, literature, music, traditional arts and visual arts. “To meet a broadening need in the arts community, this year we invite applications in the discipline of performing arts,” said NACF Program Officer Andre Bouchard (of Kootenai and Chippewa descent). “More Native artists than ever before are exploring performing arts through multi-disciplinary approaches. We are looking forward to seeing what Native performing artists have been up to around the country!”

DEADLINE: Monday, April 6, 5 p.m. P.S.T.

To apply, artists who are members of federally and state-recognized U.S. tribes, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian communities can review criteria and complete an application at http://your.culturegrants.org before the April 6, 5 p.m. PST deadline.

The foundation will announce award recipients in August 2015. For questions and technical support, contact Program Officer Andre Bouchard at andre@nativeartsandcultures.org or (360) 314-2421.

One of the only opportunities in the U.S. of this magnitude dedicated to supporting Indigenous artists and culture makers, the foundation’s national fellowship has been awarded to 41 American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian artists so far. Artists who have received the award in the past are ineligible to apply for the 2015 NACF Artist Fellowship. Past fellows include visual artist Nora Naranjo Morse (Tewa), recording artist Keola Beamer (Native Hawaiian), choreographer Emily Johnson (Yup’ik), author David Treuer (Ojibwe), multidisciplinary artist Shan Goshorn (Eastern Band Cherokee) and film director Andrew Okpeaha MacLean (Iñupiaq).

Since it began operating in 2009, the nonprofit foundation has invested $5,113,574 in programs to support Native arts and cultures across the nation, including direct support for over 127 Native artists and organizations. To learn more about the foundation’s mission and past fellows awarded, visit www.nativeartsandcultures.org.

Lion Dance, Taiko Drums Launch the New Year at Asian Fest

Queens’ MarketPlace invites the community to kick off the Year of the Sheep with a driving beat, delicious food and dramatic color, Friday, Feb. 6 at Asian Fest, 5-8 p.m. The complimentary event features high-energy Lion Dancers, Filipino dancers, food tasting and powerful Taiko drums.

 PHOTO: Courtesy Queens' MarketPlace


PHOTO: Courtesy Queens’ MarketPlace

“We’re so lucky to have these great performers at our Asian Fest,” said Sales & Operations Manager Margo Mau Bunnell. “It’s an exciting opportunity for everyone to hear three different drumming styles from Japan and Okinawa—with thundering drums that will literally launch the New Year with a big bang.”

Hundreds of mini-firecrackers ignite about 7:20 p.m. at Island Gourmet Markets to wake up the spirits and send off good luck wishes as the lively, fabulously-costumed Lion Dancers hop, skip and jump from one end of the shopping center to the other. To the beat of rattling Chinese drums and clanging cymbals, the Lion will hungrily “eat” red envelopes, (lycee) which onlookers fill with donations for good luck in the year ahead. (Lycee provided by Queens’ MarketPlace).

Throughout the shopping center, tasting booths will feature various samplings of Asian food culture, such as Mango Sticky Rice from Charley’s Thai Cuisine, Teriyaki Pork from Island Gourmet Markets, Orange Chicken from Lemongrass Express, plus ice cream, green tea frappuccino and much more.

Asian Fest is a complimentary event provided by Queens’ MarketPlace and its businesses as a celebratory start to the new year. For more information, please call 886-8822 or visit www.queensmarketplace.net

Asian Fest Entertainment Schedule:

  • 5 p.m., Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko (Okinawan Style percussion and dance group)
  • 5:55, Hawaii Lion Dance Association: Meet & Greet
  • 6:30 p.m., Kona Daifukuji Taiko
  • 7 p.m., Visayan Club (Filipino Dancers)
  • 7:30 p.m., Hui Okinawan Kobudo Taiko
  • 7:20 p.m., Hawaii Lion Dance Association: Lion Dance (Start point at Island Gourmet Markets)

Since it opened in 2007, Queens’ MarketPlace in Waikoloa Beach Resort has earned a reputation among visitors and kama‘āina as “the gathering place of the Kohala Coast,” full of shopping opportunities, services and great food, along with entertainment and arts programs, movies under the stars and large-scale concerts in Waikoloa Bowl at Queens’ Gardens. For more information, visit www.QueensMarketPlace.net or call 886-8822.

Nisei Veterans to Receive French Legion of Honor

Five veterans of Hawaii’s 100th Battalion and 442nd Regimental Combat Team from the Big Island will be awarded the French Legion of Honor by French Consul General Pauline Carmona in recognition of their service to liberate France during World War II.

Consul

Two of these veterans, Hidetaka Sato (Honaunau) and Mitsuo “Benty” Tachibana (Hilo) will be receiving the award posthumously.  Tokuichi Nakano and Iwao Yonemitsu, both from Naalehu, and Kazuma Taguchi from Hilo will also receive the medal.

The ceremony will be held at the West Hawaii Veterans Cemetery, 72-3245 Queen Kaahumanu Highway, Kailua-Kona,  on Wednesday, Jan. 21 at 11 a.m. and will be followed by light refreshments.  The public is invited to attend.

Hawaiian Host to Acquire Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut

Hawaiian Host, Inc. announced today that the company has entered into an agreement with The Hershey Company to acquire the Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Corporation.

Hawaiian HostHawaiian Host is one of Hawai‘i’s premier brands and the originator of chocolate covered macadamias with its history dating back to 1927. When the acquisition is completed, Mauna Loa will join Hawaiian Host as a subsidiary. Both companies will continue operating as two distinct, separate brands.

“This acquisition will create a great opportunity for both companies, our employees and the community. It brings Mauna Loa back under Hawai‘i ownership, joins together two strong, local brands, and lays the foundation for continued success,” said Keith Sakamoto, president and chief executive officer of Hawaiian Host. “We are excited to welcome Mauna Loa’s outstanding employees to the Hawaiian Host family. Both companies have a long history of operating in Hawai‘i and sharing our products with the world. And we remain committed to continuing to offer the same quality products our customers have grown to know and expect.”

In 1946, Mauna Loa planted its very first macadamia nut trees near Kea‘au, just south of Hilo, where its facilities and visitor center are currently located on 136 acres of land. Mauna Loa is one of the largest and most experienced macadamia nut processors in the world with the seasonal capacity to process approximately 40 million pounds of macadamias. They also produce chocolate covered macadamias and flavored macadamia nut products that are distributed locally, nationally and internationally. In 2004, The Hershey Company acquired Mauna Loa.

“Both Hawaiian Host and Mauna Loa have a long history of supporting our local growers and farmers as well as our community. And with our more than 300 employees in Hawai‘i we will continue that legacy together,” added Sakamoto.

The acquisition is expected to be finalized in the first quarter of 2015. There are no immediate staff changes planned and details of the acquisition will not be released.

Hawaiian Host was founded by Mamoru Takitani, a third-generation Japanese descendent who dreamed of becoming a candy maker. After moving to Honolulu from the island of Maui, Takitani purchased Ellen Dye Candies, a local confectioner since 1927, and renamed it Hawaiian Host. Since then, Hawaiian Host has grown to become “Hawai‘i’s Gift to the World” and remains the leader in chocolate-covered macadamia products. Today, Hawaiian Host has more than 250 products that are sold in more than 23 countries around the world.

Hawaiian Host supports the Mamoru & Aiko Takitani Foundation which provides grants to numerous community organizations and provides academic scholarships for higher education to benefit the young people of Hawai‘i. Since its inception, the Mamoru and Aiko Takitani Foundation has provided more than $2 million dollars in scholarships to students from every eligible high school in Hawai‘i.

For more information, visit www.hawaiianhost.com.

 

NASA Robot Plunges Into Volcano to Explore Fissure

Volcanoes have always fascinated Carolyn Parcheta. She remembers a pivotal moment watching a researcher take a lava sample on a science TV program video in 6th grade.

“I said to myself, I’m going to do that some day,” said Parcheta, now a NASA postdoctoral fellow based at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

Carolyn Parcheta, a postdoctoral fellow at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, plans to take this robot, VolcanoBot 2, to explore Hawaii's Kilauea volcano in March 2015. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Carolyn Parcheta, a postdoctoral fellow at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, plans to take this robot, VolcanoBot 2, to explore Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano in March 2015. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Exploring volcanoes is risky business. That’s why Parcheta and her co-advisor, JPL robotics researcher Aaron Parness, are developing robots that can get into crevices where humans wouldn’t be able to go, gaining new insights about these wondrous geological features.

“We don’t know exactly how volcanoes erupt. We have models but they are all very, very simplified. This project aims to help make those models more realistic,” Parcheta said.

Parcheta’s research endeavors were recently honored in National Geographic’s Expedition Granted campaign, which awards $50,000 to the next “great explorer.” Parcheta was a finalist, and was voted number 2 by online participants for her research proposal for exploring volcanoes with robots.

“Having Carolyn in the lab has been a great opportunity for our robotics team to collaborate with someone focused on the geology. Scientists and engineers working together on such a small team is pretty rare, but has generated lots of great ideas because our perspectives on the problems are so different,” Parness said.

The research has implications for extraterrestrial volcanoes. On both Earth and Mars, fissures are the most common physical features from which magma erupts. This is probably also true for the previously active volcanoes on the moon, Mercury, Enceladus and Europa, although the mechanism of volcanic eruption — whether past or present — on these other planetary bodies is unknown, Parcheta said.

“In the last few years, NASA spacecraft have sent back incredible pictures of caves, fissures and what look like volcanic vents on Mars and the moon. We don’t have the technology yet to explore them, but they are so tantalizing! Working with Carolyn, we’re trying to bridge that gap using volcanoes here on Earth for practice. We’re learning about how volcanoes erupt here on Earth, too, and that has a lot of benefits in its own right,” Parness said.

VolcanoBot 1

VolcanoBot 1

Parcheta, Parness, and JPL co-advisor Karl Mitchell first explored this idea last year using a two-wheeled robot they call VolcanoBot 1, with a length of 12 inches (30 centimeters) and 6.7-inch (17-centimeter) wheels. It is a spinoff of a different robot that Parness’s laboratory developed, the Durable Reconnaissance and Observation Platform (DROP).

“We took that concept and redesigned it to work inside a volcano,” Parcheta said.

For their experiments in May 2014, they had VolcanoBot 1 roll down a fissure – a crack that erupts magma – that is now inactive on the active Kilauea volcano in Hawaii.

Finding preserved and accessible fissures is rare. VolcanoBot 1 was tasked with mapping the pathways of magma from May 5 to 9, 2014. It was able to descend to depths of 82 feet (25 meters) in two locations on the fissure, although it could have gone deeper with a longer tether, as the bottom was not reached on either descent.

“In order to eventually understand how to predict eruptions and conduct hazard assessments, we need to understand how the magma is coming out of the ground. This is the first time we have been able to measure it directly, from the inside, to centimeter-scale accuracy,” Parcheta said.

VolcanoBot 1 is enabling the researchers to put together a 3-D map of the fissure. They confirmed that bulges in the rock wall seen on the surface are also present deep in the ground, but the robot also found a surprise: The fissure did not appear to pinch shut, although VolcanoBot 1 didn’t reach the bottom. The researchers want to return to the site and go even deeper to investigate further.

Specifically, Parcheta and Parness want to explore deeper inside Kilauea with a robot that has even stronger motors and electrical communications, so that more data can be sent back to the surface. They have responded to these challenges with the next iteration: VolcanoBot 2.

VolcanoBot 2 is smaller and lighter than its predecessor, at a length of 10 inches (25 centimeters). Its vision center can tip up and down, with the ability to turn and look at features around it.

“It has better mobility, stronger motors and smaller (5 inch, or 12 centimeter) wheels than the VolcanoBot 1. We’ve decreased the amount of cords that come up to the surface when it’s in a volcano,” Parcheta said.

While VolcanoBot 1 sent data to the surface directly from inside the fissure, data will be stored onboard VolcanoBot 2. VolcanoBot 2 has an electrical connection that is more secure and robust so that researchers can use the 3-D sensor’s live video feed to navigate.

The team plans to test VolcanoBot 2 at Kilauea in early March.

The California Institute of Technology manages JPL for NASA.

Last Chance to Enter Films and Screenplays for 2015 Big Island Film Festival

Now in its tenth year, the Big Island Film Festival at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i (BIFF) invites filmmakers and screenwriters to enter their project before the final deadline, Feb. 1, 2015. Complete rules and submission guidelines are available at www.BigIslandFilmFestival.com, for entering by mail or online via www.FilmFreeway.com.

Known as the “talk story” film festival, BIFF takes place May 21-25, 2015 at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i, and presents a full slate of new, narrative feature-length and short films in a luxurious oceanfront resort setting. Specializing in narrative films, as opposed to documentaries, BIFF provides a perfect complement to Hawai‘i Island’s film festival circuit and much-needed opportunity for filmmakers locally and internationally.

For the first time, BIFF’s script contest will open the door for one winning screenplay to be considered for representation by the Paradigm Agency, one of the industry’s best, with divisions in Beverly Hills, Monterey, Nashville and New York. The contest is open to all completed narrative film scripts that meet submission guidelines.

Photo by Kirk Aeder

Photo by Kirk Aeder

Attended by returning visitors and independent filmmakers from around the world, as well as local residents who love movies, BIFF also hosts notable workshop leaders, such as NBC story consultant Jen Grisanti and screenwriter Ron Osborn of “West Wing” fame, among others.  Last year’s celebrity  honorees were Portia Doubleday of “Carrie,” and “Twighlight” series star Jackson Rathbone who enjoyed interacting with island audiences during in-depth interviews and informal garden receptions.

One of BIFF’s many success stories last year is Best Hawai’i Feature and Audience Choice Feature, “The Haumana,” by Keo Woolford, now available on DVD after an unprecedented multi-national fesitval tour.  The intriguing sci-fi hit “Time Lapse” has continued to garner  prestigious festival awards internationally, and the haunting drama of homelessness, “3:13” (now in distribution) received accolades from the film industry as well as mental health and homeless advocate organizations.  “Druid Peak,” a drama about a young man’s relationship with wolves, is just being released in theaters after winning numerous festival laurels.

Big Island Film Festival Class of 2014.  (Photo Kirk Aeder)

Big Island Film Festival Class of 2014. (Photo Kirk Aeder)

BIFF 2013 winner “Chasing Shakespeare,” directed by Norry Niven, and starring Graham Greene and Danny Glover, is now in distribution as “From Above.” Hawai‘i-made BIFF alumni films include wildly-popular comedy “Get A Job” by Maui filmmaker Brian Kohne, GB Hajim’s animated sci fi love story “Strange Frame” by HawaiiCon’s G.B. Hajim, and the poignant “Land of Eb” about South Kona’s Micronesian coffee worker community.

A celebration of narrative filmmaking, the complete BIFF experience includes not only film screenings for grown ups at The Fairmont Orchid Hawai‘i’s beautiful outdoor Plantation Estate, but free family films under the stars at The Shops at Mauna Lani, numerous networking and celebrity social events, feasts for foodies, screenwriting workshops and a closing night “Best of the Fest” with a top-rated Hawaiian music concert and movies chosen by the audience from Festival entries.  “Golden Honu” Awards will be presented to the Best Feature and Best Short in Family, Student, Animated, Foreign, Hawai‘i and Audience Choice categories at a special Awards Brunch to honor the filmmakers and their works on Monday, May 25.

BIFF would like to thank sponsors  The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i, The Shops at Mauna Lani, County of Hawai‘i, Dept. of R&D: CPEP Grant/Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, Kona Brewing Company, and others.

For detailed information visit www.BigIslandFilmFestival.com, find them on Facebook, or 808-883-0394.

Hawaii Parents Informed of Higher Learning Expectations for Public School Students

Public schools across the state today welcomed back students after a three-week winter break. Students were given a letter to take home to their parents as a reminder of the upcoming spring assessments for English language arts and math.

Click to read letter

Click to read letter

The new assessments, known as Smarter Balanced, are aligned to the Hawaii Common Core standards implemented statewide at the start of the school year. The letter from Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi also included sample exercises explaining how students are being asked deeper questions that require critical thinking.

“New expectations for student learning mean we need new ways to measure how our students are performing,” stated Superintendent Matayoshi. “These new tests measure not only what students know, but also how well they can apply their knowledge in real-world situations.”

Smarter Balanced assessments will be administered beginning in March to students in grades three through eighth and high school juniors to measure their reading, math, writing, listening, research and thinking skills. Hawaii is a governing member of a multi-state consortium that has worked with teachers, parents and higher education faculty to develop the Smarter Balanced assessments. Over three million students across the consortium participated in the field test last year to ensure questions are valid, reliable and fair for all students.

“While this is a step forward in our plans to raise student achievement, we expect the change to the new test will result in lower scores as compared to previous years,” said Superintendent Matayoshi. “However, because it is a new test aligned to new standards, we will not be comparing the results to that of the old test. Results from this year are a new starting point for students.”

The results also benefit teachers. The Smarter Balanced Assessment System offers information during the year to give teachers and parents a better picture of where students are thriving and where they need help.

A number of schools held Smarter Balanced parent nights with activities during the fall. The parent letter includes additional assessment examples and tips for helping with homework.

For more information on how the Hawaii State Department of Education is striving higher with new learning standards and assessments, visit HawaiiPublicSchools.org.

Governor Ige Proclaims Next Week as “6th Annual Hawaii Week for the Animals”

Animal World USA is pleased to announce that the 6th Annual Hawaii Week for the Animals has been officially proclaimed by Governor David Ige and will be celebrated January 10-18, 2015.

week for animals

Hawaii Week for the Animals is spotlighting youth, advocates, animal shelters, educators, rescue organizations, sanctuaries, businesses, artists, community leaders, and caring citizens in an exciting week of community-strengthening activities.

The week will feature low cost pet adoption events, wildlife activities, low cost & free spay neuter clinics, volcano park walks, Hawaii Islands Humpback Whale Sanctuary events & talks, Vegetarian Society of Hawaii with Dr. Shintani book signing, Volcano Art Center events, Hawaiian library displays, salute to military and working K9s, animal assisted therapy and a unique variety of dynamic community gatherings that only Hawaii can bring to us.

All these events will shine the spotlight on the amazing animals, exquisite beauty and the history of the islands.  Hawaii Week for the Animals presents a unique opportunity to change the history for the animals by collectively coming together through goodwill and relationship-building events.

If you would like to learn more or become involved, please call 901-791-2455 and/or visit the official website http://www.hawaiianimals.org/

DLNR to Acquire and Permanently Protect Molokai Freshwater Pond

As part of the National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program, the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources will acquire and permanently protect a 66-acre freshwater pond on Moloka’i, including the island’s largest freshwater pond.

Hawaiian Coot

Hawaiian Coot

The pond provides habitat for the endangered Hawaiian coot and the Hawaiian stilt, but faces an imminent threat from sedimentation and invasive plants that degrade, fill and eliminate wetland habitat.

Hawaiian Stilt

Hawaiian Stilt

Restoration will include the removal of invasive plants encroaching on the pond and removal of a large accumulation of sediment that has displaced a portion of the pond.

This project is a crucial part of a larger plan to protect the Pua’ahala watershed as a new state wildlife sanctuary extending from the mountains to the coral reefs.

molokai grant

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe today announced over $21 million will be provided to 25 projects in 13 coastal and Great Lakes states to protect, restore or enhance more than 11,000 acres of coastal wetlands and adjacent upland habitats under the National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program.

State and local governments, private landowners, conservation groups and other partners will contribute over $35 million in additional funds to these projects, which include acquiring, restoring or enhancing coastal wetlands and adjacent uplands to provide long-term conservation benefits to fish and wildlife and their habitats.

The program, funded through taxes paid on equipment and fuel purchases by recreational anglers and boaters, creates significant benefits for other recreationists and the American public. The billions of dollars generated through recreational angling, boating, waterfowl hunting and bird watching benefit communities in the vicinity of wetlands restoration projects.

Click here for the complete list of projects funded by the 2015 grant program.

The Service awards grants of up to $1 million to states based on a national competition, which enables states to determine and address their highest conservation priorities in coastal areas. Since 1992, the Service has awarded over $357 million in grants under the program.

Conservation of coastal wetlands ecosystems will not only benefits coastal wetland-dependent wildlife, but will also enhance flood protection and water quality, and provide economic and recreational benefits to anglers, boaters, hunters and wildlife watchers.

Talk Story Meetings With Puna’s Councilmen Next Week

Community talk story meetings with Council-members Danny Paleka (5th District) and Greggor Ilagan (4th District) will happen at different locations throughout the Puna District next week.
Talk Story

Come and meet your local Councilmen beginning on Monday, January 12th at the Mountain View Elementary School Gym and ending Friday, January 18th at the Neighborhood Place of Puna (Keaau Location see above).

HEI Charitable Foundation Donates $30,000 to Aloha Council, Boy Scouts of America

Hawaiian Electric Industries Charitable Foundation has contributed $30,000 to the Aloha Council, Boy Scouts of America (BSA).

Hawaiian Electric Industries Charitable Foundation presented a $30,000 capital campaign grant to the Aloha Council, Boy Scouts of America in support of the organization’s mission to develop leaders for the next generation. Pictured left to right are: Rick Blangiardi (Hawaii News Now), Barry Taniguchi (KTA Super Stores), Colin Kubota (Life Scout), Alan Oshima (Hawaiian Electric), Gabe Lee (American Savings Bank) and Jeff Sulzbach (Aloha Council, BSA). Photo courtesy of Aloha Council, BSA.

Hawaiian Electric Industries Charitable Foundation presented a $30,000 capital campaign grant to the Aloha Council, Boy Scouts of America in support of the organization’s mission to develop leaders for the next generation. Pictured left to right are: Rick Blangiardi (Hawaii News Now), Barry Taniguchi (KTA Super Stores), Colin Kubota (Life Scout), Alan Oshima (Hawaiian Electric), Gabe Lee (American Savings Bank) and Jeff Sulzbach (Aloha Council, BSA). Photo courtesy of Aloha Council, BSA.

The nonprofit organization – which trains and develops youth in responsible citizenship, character development and self-reliance – will use the HEI Charitable Foundation grant to support its Developing Leaders for Life Capital Campaign. Hawaiian Electric Industries is the parent company of American Savings Bank, Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric and Hawaii Electric Light.

“The Aloha Council thanks our partners in the community, the Hawaiian Electric Companies and American Savings Bank. This grant shows their commitment to Scouting in Hawaii and the development of local boys and girls into the next generation of leaders. The grant will provide quality outdoor experiences at camp,” said Jeff Sulzbach, CEO & Scout Executive, Aloha Council, BSA.

The donation announcement was made during the Friends of Scouting Leadership Breakfast, Aloha Council BSA’s annual fund drive kick-off held on Dec. 15, 2014 at the Pacific Club. Keynote speaker Alan Oshima, president and CEO of Hawaiian Electric Company, launched the BSA’s 2015 campaign theme “Get Grit” by sharing his personal story of perseverance.

“Having grit, or perseverance, is important whether you’re learning how to build your first campfire or leading a customer centric organization,” said Oshima, who is overseeing the transformation of the state’s largest electricity provider into a value and results-driven energy services utility. “Scouting plays a role in equipping our youth with life lessons and leadership skills so they can persevere in the face of challenges. Hawaiian Electric applauds the Aloha Council’s commitment to positively impact Hawaii’s youth. This is a value we also share, and we are honored to partner with them in their efforts.”

“Camping and the outdoor experience are a key component of the youth scouting program so it is essential that the camp facilities are maintained and enhanced,” added Rich Wacker, president and CEO of American Savings Bank. “This grant will expand and upgrade camp facilities, which in turn will attract more attendance. ASB is proud to support the mission of the Boy Scouts to develop leaders for life.”

The Aloha Council, Boy Scouts of America was founded in 1910 with help from early community leadership support. Today, the organization continues to thrive with more than 12,000 young men and women regularly engaged with nearly 5,000 volunteers on Oahu, Kauai, Hawaii Island and across the Pacific Rim.

For more information about the Aloha Council, Boy Scouts of America or to make a donation to the organization, visit www.alohacouncilbsa.org.

7th Annual Big Island Quilt Shop Hop

A road trip for quilters and fabric fanatics, the 7th Annual Big Island Quilt Shop Hop revs up February 1- 28, 2015, featuring eight different shops from Kona to Hilo and points in between. Traveling quilters can have passports stamped for a chance to win prizes, collect quilting squares to create a custom “slippa” quilt for 2015, and enjoy the company of fellow quilters island-wide.

Courtesy Big Island Quilt Shop Hop

Courtesy Big Island Quilt Shop Hop

Grand prize, for those who visit and get passports stamped at all eight shops, is a $300 travel voucher for Hawaiian Airlines. Other winners will receive hotel stays, one-yard cuts of fabric, quilt shop gift certificates and more—with special in-store prizes at individual shops.

The eight shops will also have exclusive quilt block patterns, one from each store, plus a custom quilt “center,” for the 2015 Shop Hop quilt. This year’s custom design is a playful take on Hawaii’s favorite footwear: the “rubba slippa.”  Eight different pairs of flip-flops, one from each shop, seem to be kicked off in the sand, flower garden, or at someone’s front door, making for a fun and colorful quilt composition.  Each shop has also designed a custom center block, featuring island images from traditional honu and dolphins to a “yellow polka dot bikini.”

The 7th Annual Big Island Quilt Shop Hop launches February 1, leading into the 22nd Annual Waimea Cherry Blossom Heritage Festival and the Hawaiian Quilt Show presented by Ka Hui Kapa Apana O Waimea.  Maps and passports can be picked up any quilt shop on the route, and “shop-hoppers” can follow their own path, or sign up for a West Hawaii bus tour by calling Karen Barry at Quilt Passions, 808-329-7475 – or an East Hawaii tours, with Leimomi at Kilauea Kreations II, 808-961-1100.

For more information contact Mary at bigislandquiltsh@earthlink.net, or visit www.facebook.com/BigIslandQuiltShopHopHawaii.

2015 Big Island Quilt Shop Hop shops:

West Hawaii

Topstitch
Waimea Center: 65-1158 Mamalahoa Highway, Kamuela, HI. (808) 885-4482
www.facebook.com/TopstitchHawaii

Fabric & Quilting Delights
74-5599 Luhia St., Unit D-5, Kailua Kona HI 96740.  (808) 329-8177
www.FabricandQuiltingdelights.com

Quilt Passions
75-5626 Kuakini Hwy., Kailua-Kona, HI 96740. (808) 329-7475
www.QuiltPassions.net

H. Kimura Store, Inc.
79-7408 Mamalahoa Hwy., Kealakekua, HI 96750.  (808) 322-3771

East Hawai‘i

Pahala Quilting and Creative Sewing Center
96-3196 Maile St., Pahala, HI 96777. (808) 238-0505
www.PahalaQuilting.com

Kilauea Kreations
19-3972 Volcano Rd., Volcano, HI 96785. (808) 967-8090
www.KilaueaKreations.com

Kilauea Kreations II
680 Manono St., Hilo, Hi 96720. (808) 961-1100
www.KilaueaKreations.com

Fabric Impressions
206 Kamehameha Avenue, Hilo, HI 96720-2835. (808) 961-4468
www.FabricImpressionsHiloHi.com

24/7 Streaming Coverage of Pahoa Lava Flow Now Available on TV

In partnership with the U.S. Geological Survey, Hawaii County Civil Defense, and the town of Hilo, Oceanic Time Warner Cable has dedicated a channel on its digital TV lineup to provide 24/7 streaming coverage of the Pahoa lava flow as it advances on the Big Island. The company has placed two cameras mounted in a company truck on land that is being donated by Bryson’s Cinders, Inc. in a strategic location to the lava flow.

Oceanic Setting up Camera

“Oceanic sympathizes with the people impacted by the Pahoa lava flow,” said Gregg Fujimoto, President of Oceanic, “and we are honored to be able to assist the USGS and the Civil Defense in providing a consistent level of information to all the people of the state through this live coverage.”

The special programming will continue indefinitely and is available on digital channels 128/1128.

2015 Ushered In By Largest First Day Hike In America

Sunrise on this first day of 2015 was foiled by heavy cloud cover, but an estimated 500 early morning hikers still made the one and a half mile trek to the Makapu’u Lookout in Kaiwi State Park in East Oahu, as part of the annual First Day Hike.
2015 Sunrise
For the past four years, First Day Hikes have been organized by state park systems in all 50 states.  Hawaii has the distinction of attracting what is perhaps, the largest number of hikers for a single event, according to America’s State Parks, the umbrella organization that initiated the annual hikes and tracks them around the country.
2015 Hawaii First Day Hike from Hawaii DLNR on Vimeo.

Curt Cottrell, the assistant administrator of the Dept. of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) Division of State Parks has organized the Makapu’u First Day Hike for each of the last four years.  He said, “When you consider the stunning views of Kaiwi Channel and the neighbor islands of Molokai, Lanai and Maui, Windward Oahu, Diamond Head, Koko Crater, and the opportunity to maybe see humpback whales breaching – all during the first sunrise of the new year, it’s really little wonder that Hawaii’s hike is the most unique and probably has the most participation for a single-location hike in the country.”

People lined the paved pathway for at least a half mile below the uppermost overlook in the state park.  The Hawaii event has grown steadily every year and seems to be particularly popular with Japanese visitors.  Sunrise at 7:09 a.m. was greeted with a pu by Gabriel Spencer of Ali’i Entertainment. Taiko drumming was provided for a third year, by the Taiko Center of the PacificIt is a school of traditional and contemporary Japanese drumming established in 1994 by Kenny and Chizuko Endo to preserve traditional Japanese drumming and to create new music for taiko.
A visitor from Taiwan set out from Waikiki on his bicycle at 2 a.m.  He arrived at 4 a.m. and was greeted with solitude and silence.  Less than an hour later, hundreds of people began arriving.

James Fritz of Waimanalo was among a group of people who crowded onto the uppermost viewing area where the Taiwanese cyclist was resting.  Fritz said he missed the first two First Day Hikes and barely made the third, but arrived on top early to secure a good viewing spot.  Commenting on the weather prior to sunrise he said, “Oh it’s beautiful. The stars are out, it’s cold.  If everybody bundled together we could stay pretty warm.”

January is “Volcano Awareness Month” in Hawaii

January 2015 is Hawaiʻi Island’s 6th annual “Volcano Awareness Month.”

A clear view today of Puʻu ʻŌʻō’s summit revealed no significant change during the past week. The cross-sectional area of the active lava stream in the tube on the flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō was the same as measured on December 22, suggesting no change in lava discharge from the vent. The central crater at Puʻu ʻŌʻō formed over several days following the opening of eruptive fissures on June 27; the view is looking toward the west. The distance from the high point on the northwest rim to the south rim (cliff in top middle to lower left in this photo) is about 300 m (~980 ft). (Click to Enlarge)

A clear view today of Puʻu ʻŌʻō’s summit revealed no significant change during the past week. The cross-sectional area of the active lava stream in the tube on the flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō was the same as measured on December 22, suggesting no change in lava discharge from the vent. The central crater at Puʻu ʻŌʻō formed over several days following the opening of eruptive fissures on June 27; the view is looking toward the west. The distance from the high point on the northwest rim to the south rim (cliff in top middle to lower left in this photo) is about 300 m (~980 ft). (Click to Enlarge)

With Kīlauea’s current lava flow impacting Puna residents, awareness is more essential than ever for us to live in harmony with the active volcanoes that are our island home.

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, in cooperation with Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo, and Hawaiʻi County Civil Defense, will provide a month-long series of programs about the volcanoes on which we live:

“At-a-Glance” Program Schedule

Program descriptions:

January 3, 2015, also marks the anniversary of Kīlauea’s ongoing East Rift Zone eruption, which began in 1983. During the past 32 years, lava flows have buried over 127 km2 (49 mi2) of public and private land, destroying 215 structures, 14 km (9 mi) of highway, and vast tracts of native forest. The ongoing destruction is a reminder of why it’s important to be aware of and understand how Hawaiian volcanoes work.

Social Impacts of the June 27th Lava Flow

On September 14, 2014 Dr. Mark Kimura, a researcher in economic geography at UH-Hilo, launched the Facebook page “Lower Puna Infographics” to provide information about the social impacts of the June 27th lava flow.  Within days it became one of the most popular online resources among residents of the affected areas of Puna district … and for others equally interested in the effects of the flow on the community.

Resident Survey

Join Mark at the Lyman Museum on January 12, 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. as he presents highlights from his info-graphics and the results of his June 27th Lava Flow Social Impact Survey.  Mark will also share his thoughts on the emerging roles of social media in natural disasters, and some of the life lessons his Facebook page’s subscribers revealed to him.

The nationally accredited and Smithsonian-affiliated Lyman Museum showcases the natural and cultural history of Hawai`i.  Located in historic downtown Hilo at 276 Haili Street, the Museum is open Monday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.  For additional information, call (808) 935-5021 or visit www.lymanmuseum.org.

 

Tiki Shark Packs the House

Renowned local artist and owner of Big Island based Tiki Shark Art Inc put on his last show of the year last night with a packed house in attendance. The event was held at Kona Oceanfront Gallery – Parker’s original home base venue where he started to display his work over 5 years ago.

Mark Hanna – Owner of Kona Oceanfront Gallery with Staff

Mark Hanna – Owner of Kona Oceanfront Gallery with Staff

“Watching Brad in his element is always spectacular” commented gallery owner Mark Hanna, “the art scene in Kona Town comes alive when Mr. Brad Tiki Shark Parker decides to come out and put on a show at our gallery and tonight was no exception” he added.

The Bronze Goddess Temporary Tattoos Team with Brad and Mark Hanna

The Bronze Goddess Temporary Tattoos Team with Brad and Mark Hanna

It was quite a party scene with food, entertainment and free tattoos provided to all attending courtesy of Bronze Goddess Temporary Tattoos and Tattoo Bar.

“It is always a pleasure to hang out and give back to my ohana” said Brad. “I try my best to have this local event in Kona at least twice a year to show my appreciation to folks who originally supported me get started in the Gallery Art world” he added.

Tiki Show 3

Procuring a original piece of art by Brad Tiki Shark Parker is not easy. The current waiting list for his original canvas’s extends over two years long.

Brad and Aidan James

Brad and Aidan James

His next local appearance is scheduled at the same venue on March 6th where he will be launching the release of his first graphic novel written by famous author S.P. Grogan. High profile celebrities including the co-founders of the iconic surf brand Body Glove and YouTube mega start performer Aidan James are said to be attending as well.

Castle Foundation Makes $10,000 Donation to Help Students Affected by Lava Flow

At its December meeting, the Harold K.L. Castle Foundation’s board of directors approved a $10,000 donation to Catholic Charities Hawaii to help meet the growing academic needs of school students in the Puna area of the Hawaii Island affected by the Kilauea volcano lava flow.Castle foundation“Catholic Charities will oversee the disbursement of grant funds to help students at six Hawaii Island Department of Education schools and three charter schools,” said Terry George, Harold K.L. Castle Foundation president and CEO.

Mary A. Correa, outgoing Complex Area Superintendent for Ka‘u-Kea‘au-Pahoa, called the donation “Absolutely wonderful!” “At this special time of the year, it is so humbling to see the community stepping forward to help our students,” she said.

George said the Foundation hopes “this modest grant” will spur other organizations and individuals to make donations to the schools to help students continue their academic pursuits in the face of the continuing disruption caused from the lava flow.

To make a donation or for more information about Hawaii Island students affected by the Kilauea lava flow in Puna, contact incoming Complex Area Superintendent Chad Farias at 808-982-4719 or Elizabeth Murph at Catholic Charities Hawaii at 808-961-7051.

To learn more about recipients of the Castle Foundation’s December grants or for more information on the Foundation’s grant giving, visit www.castlefoundation.org.