• Follow on Facebook

  • what-to-do-media
  • RSS W2DM

  • puako-general-store
  • air-tour-kauai
  • Cheneviere Couture
  • PKF Document Shredding
  • Arnotts Mauna Kea Tours
  • World Botanical Garden
  • Hilton Waikoloa Village
  • Hilton Luau
  • Dolphin Quest Waikoloa
  • Discount Hawaii Car Rental
  • Say When

    March 2017
    S M T W T F S
    « Feb    
     1234
    567891011
    12131415161718
    19202122232425
    262728293031  
  • When

  • RSS Pulpconnection

Nainoa Thompson Receives Explorers Club Medal, the Most Prestigious Recognition in Exploration

Navigator and president of the Polynesian Voyaging Society Nainoa Thompson was honored this evening with the 2017 Explorers Club Medal, the most prestigious recognition in exploration. The award was presented to Thompson at the 113th Explorers Club Annual Dinner at Ellis Island in New York City.  The medal is awarded annually to select individuals for their extraordinary contributions directly in the field of exploration, scientific research, or to the welfare of humanity.

2017 Explorers Club Medal winner Nainoa Thompson with ocean explorer, Sylvia Earle.

Thompson was recognized for his historic work to revive and perpetuate Polynesian wayfinding and for leading the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage as captain and navigator of iconic sailing canoe Hokulea. Thompson has dedicated his life to teaching the art and values of wayfinding to generations of navigators throughout Polynesia and from across the globe. He was the first Native Hawaiian to practice long-distance wayfinding since the 14th century and consequently inspired a voyaging renaissance throughout the Pacific.

Today, Hokulea is completing the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage, a journey to inspire communities to care for themselves, each other, and their natural and cultural environments for a more sustainable future. To date, Hokulea has sailed over 31,000 nautical miles around the world.

Hokulea is currently on her way to the Marquesas Islands. The canoe’s last stop will be in Tahiti where she will meet up with her sister canoe, Hikianalia and sail back to Hawaii together on the final leg of the Worldwide Voyage.

The Explorers Club also honored Hokulea at a special Presidential Dinner in June 2016 on World Oceans Day.

In addition to Thompson, Andre Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard, M.D. received the Explorers Club Medal for Solar Impulse, a solar powered airplane circumnavigation project that has raised public awareness and encouraged political actions in favor of clean technologies and energy efficiency around the world. The event was hosted by two-time Academy Award winning actor, Robert DeNiro, who introduced a congratulatory video from past Explorers Club Medal recipient, award-winning filmmaker, and fellow Ocean Elder, James Cameron. Cameron’s video discussed the importance of education, conservation, and oceans exploration, lauding the night’s awardees for their landmark endeavors and environmental stewardship.

Founded in 1904 in New York City, The Explorers Club is an international multidisciplinary professional society dedicated to the advancement of field research and the ideal that it is vital to preserve the instinct to explore. The Club serves as a meeting point and unifying force for explorers and scientists worldwide, promoting the scientific exploration of land, sea, air, and space by supporting research and education in the physical, natural and biological sciences. An illustrious series of first explorations are credited to members of the Club, including the first visit to the North Pole, first to the South Pole, first to the summit of Mount Everest, first to the deepest point in the ocean and first to the surface of the moon.

The Explorers Club Medal is the Club’s highest honor. Past recipients of the Explorers Club Medal include James Cameron, for his outstanding contributions to ocean science; Walter H. Munk, for his extraordinary oceanography achievements that span his 75-year career; and Neil deGrasse Tyson, Ph.D., for his significant contributions to the welfare of humanity through science and education.

For information on the Explorers Club Awards and other 2017 recipients, please click here.

Second Annual Hawaii Island Festival of Birds Announced

Program dates for the Second Annual Hawaii Island Festival of Birds have been announced as September 15 – 17, 2017 and will once again be headquartered at the Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay.

The Festival program will feature expert guest speakers Jeff Gordon, President of the American Birding Association, and Kenn Kaufman, renowned author, artist and conservationist along with a trade show for outdoor and birding equipment, children’s corner, bird-themed arts and crafts fair, photography and painting workshops, a birding film festival, and time to interact with Hawaii Island naturalists and bird experts. Guided field trips on land and sea will be included in the program offering.

Birdwatching! Photo by Lance Tanino

Festival participants will be able to take part in guided birdwatching field trips along the newly created Hawaii Island Coast to Coast Birding Trail, and in guided boat trips departing from Honokohau Harbor to observe seabirds.  The 90-mile Hawaii Island Coast to Coast Birding Trail is a cross-island link from Kona (on the west coast) to Hilo (on the east coast) that connects diverse habitats from ocean to mountain top, rainforest to lava plains.  The self-guided Hawaii Island Coast to Coast Birding Trail, modeled after similar North American trails, follows a network of sites so users can take in all or any part of the route along the way. Locating and observing birds is, of course, the main event on the Trail, but discovering Hawaii Island’s unique plants and trees, geology, history and scenic view points are also emphasized.

Palila photo by Jack Jeffrey

New this year will be a birding-focused film festival on Friday (September 15) with documentaries about Hawaiian birds showing on Friday afternoon plus a feature film playing outdoors on Friday night.  Saturday’s workshops will include an expert talk from Brian Sullivan, project leader for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology for eBird.org, and a panel discussion by naturalists and biologists of their last sightings of now extinct Hawaiian birds.

Photo by Jack Jeffrey

Saturday’s program options include a hands-on Photography Workshop and an Art Workshop with materials provided.  Saturday night’s Gala Dinner will be headlined by Kenn Kaufman speaking on the significance of Hawaii’s unique bird life. Detailed schedule of events is available at birdfesthawaii.org

New American Birding Association Recognition

Following last year’s inaugural Hawaii Island Festival of Birds, members of the American Birding Association voted overwhelming to add Hawaii to the ABA Area. For birders, this is huge as it has the potential to add substantially to the official ABA Area Checklist. There are at least 320 bird species documented in the Hawaiian Islands, of which 30 endemics remain. “There’s so much to learn about Hawaii’s native birds,” said Rob Pacheco, founder of Hawaii Forest & Trail and a member of the Festival’s organizing committee. “And we’re thrilled that Hawaii is now recognized as part of the ABA Area by the American Birding Association. We look forward to welcoming ABA’s members, and birding fans in general, to Hawaii and the Hawaii Island Festival of Birds.”

Sponsors of the Hawaii Island Festival of Birds include Hawaii Tourism Authority, County of Hawaii, Hawaii Forest & Trail, Destination Marketing, Hawaii Wildlife Center and Alaska Airlines.

Hawaii Island Rotarians and Weinberg Work Day at YWCA

The YWCA of Hawaii Island was again the recipient of the labor of the Rotary Club of Hilo Bay as part of its Weinberg Friends Project. The labor earned a $10,000 grant from the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation to aid survivors of sex assault.

David Herd and Paula Uusitalo painting lot lines.

More than twenty-five Rotarians perked up the YWCA of Hawaii Island Ululani campus February 26, 2017.  They cleaned, gardened, painted inside and out, scrubbed toys, power-washed exterior areas, and removed debris at 145 Ululani Street, which houses the YWCA preschool. “They put in a hundred people hours of work and everything looks great,” said Kathleen McGilvray, CEO of YWCA Hawaii Island.

Rotary Day president Kevin Hopkins

The Weinberg grant was awarded to the Big Island Coalition Against Physical and Sexual Assault (BICAPSA). BICAPSA will use the money to provide nursing assessments to children reported to be victims of child abuse, particularly sexual abuse, regardless of their ability to pay. “We are so pleased to partner with BICAPSA as we serve survivors of sex assault.  We expect over 300 abused children could need these services this year,” McGilvray said.

Sandy and Selina Custodio

As the YWCA Hawaii Island has been a recipient of Rotary Club of Hilo Bay’s Weinberg projects before, it was quickly able to respond to the Club’s request for a proposal.  “The end result proved the value of a bunch of strong business and community leaders working together on a service project,” said Kevin Hopkins, president of the Rotary Club of Hilo Bay. He invited non-profit agencies to go to www.hilobayrotary.com and learn more about previous projects and how to apply.

Hawaii DLNR Accepting Proposals to Increase Water Security

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) is accepting proposals for projects or programs submitted by public or private agencies or organizations to increase water security in the State of Hawaii.

Click to view

Act 172 Session Laws of Hawaii 2016 requires DLNR to establish a two-year pilot program for a Water Security Advisory Group (WSAG) to enable public-private partnerships that increase water security by providing one-for-one matching funds for projects or programs that:

  1. Increase the recharge of groundwater resources;
  2. Encourage the reuse of water and reduce the use of potable water for landscaping irrigation; and
  3. Improve the efficiency of potable and agricultural water use.

Public or private agencies or organizations are encouraged to submit proposals to the WSAG at the address provided in the Request for Proposals by Tuesday, April 18, 2017.

The Request for Proposals (RFP) may be viewed or downloaded at:  http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/cwrm/planning/watersecurity/

The request for proposals may also be viewed or a hard copy picked up, at the Commission on Water Resource Management office located at 1151 Punchbowl Street, Kalanimoku Building Room 227 in Honolulu.

To request a copy of the RFP by mail, please send an email to admin@oneworldonewater.org

Ka‘u Coffee Festival Perking May 19th – May 28th

The ninth annual Ka‘u Coffee Festival celebrates its award-winning brew with a host of events starting May 19 and continuing through the weekend of May 27-28 with a java-jumpin’ ho‘olaulea‘a on Saturday and the Ka‘u Coffee College educational series on Sunday.

Supported by the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority and a bevy of sponsors and volunteers, the Ka‘u Coffee Festival is designed to celebrate Ka‘u as a premium coffee growing origin and a unique visitor destination. Many events are free, while others require a nominal fee and reservations. All activities feature the exceptional flavor and aroma of Ka‘u coffee and the remarkable people and special place that produces it. Kindly note the 2017 festival schedule is subject to change; check www.kaucoffeefest.com for the latest information.

On Saturday, May 13, the annual Miss Ka‘u Coffee Pageant showcases the crowning of 2017 Miss Ka‘u Coffee and her court. 6 p.m. at the Ka‘u Coffee Mill. $10 admission. Contact 808-928-0606 or trinimarques@yahoo.com.

Friday, May 19 – Pa‘ina & Open House at historic Pahala Plantation House featuring music, hula, food and house tours 5:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. Corner of Maile and Pikake in Pahala. Hosted by Pahala Plantation Cottages, Ka‘u Chamber of Commerce and The Ka‘u Calendar newspaper. Free, donations accepted for Miss Ka‘u Coffee Scholarship Fund.  www.kaucoffeefest.com, www.pahalaplantationcottages.com. 808-928-9811.

Sunday May 21 – Ka‘u Coffee Recipe Contest offers a free, 2 p.m. cooking competition with cash prizes at Ka‘u Coffee Mill. Entries are accepted in pupu, entree and dessert categories and all recipes are made with Ka‘u coffee. Free coffee tasting and meet Miss Ka‘u Coffee. Find contest entry info at www.kaucoffeemill.com or call Lisa at 808-928-0550.

Monday, May 22 – Observe the heavens from the summit of Makanau at Ka‘u Star Gazing, 5:30-10 p.m. $35 with refreshments and shuttle transportation departing from Ka‘u Coffee Mill. Sign up at www.kaucoffeemill.com or call 808-928-0550.

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

Wednesday, May 24 and Thursday, May 25 – Explore historic flume systems of the sugarcane era and development of hydroelectric power on a Ka‘u Mountain Water System Hike in the Wood Valley rainforest 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Limited to 30, $40 includes lunch.  Visit www.kaucoffeemill.com or phone 808-928-0550.

Saturday, May 27 – Festival fun bubbles over with the free Ka‘u Coffee Festival Ho‘olaule‘a—a full day of live music, hula, food booths, local crafts, keiki activities, educational displays, guided coffee tastings and farm/mill tours headquartered inside and out of the Pahala Community Center, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. It’s a great place to “talk story” with Ka‘u coffee growers.  The Ka‘u Coffee Experience offers Ka‘u coffees prepared using a variety of methods by professionals from 9:30 a.m.-noon and 1 p.m.-3:30 p.m. Farm tours with shuttle transport are 9:30 and 11 a.m., plus 12:30, 2 and 3:30 p.m., $20. Call 808-929-9550 or visit www.kaucoffeefest.com.

On Sunday, May 28 learn about the specialty coffee industry with presentations given by notable coffee experts at the Ka‘u Coffee College at Pahala Community Center. The Ka‘u Coffee College has become known for hosting some of the most renowned industry professionals from around the globe. Free, donations appreciated. Call 808-929-9550 or www.KauCoffeeFest.com.

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

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

Construction Begins on Terminal Modernization Project at Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport

The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) Airports Division marked the start of construction on the Terminal Modernization Project Phase 1 at Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport at Keahole (KOA) on Wednesday, March 22, 2017. The groundbreaking ceremony kicked off construction of an improved facility that will enhance the customer experience for those traveling to and from Kona.

From left to right: Ross Higashi, HDOT Deputy Director Airports Division; Chauncey Wong Yuen, Manager Kona Airport; Governor David Ige; Senator Lorraine Inouye; Frank Okimoto, Nan Inc.

The $75 million investment will focus on reorganizing the existing layout of the airport in an effort to streamline operations. Improvements will be made to the security screening area, holding rooms, concession area, and restrooms.

More than three million passengers use KOA annually. Currently, the North and South Terminals are operating as two independent terminals, requiring passengers to go through security again when exiting one terminal and entering the other. The renovation will allow passengers to freely move between terminals to promote shopping and dining in the additional retail space that will be created.

Governor David Ige speaks about the upgrades that will be made at Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport at Keahole.

Instead of two separate security screening stations, there will be one centralized security area. The new 6-lane passenger screening checkpoint building will expedite the processing of outbound passengers and reduce the time spent in line. Baggage screening will also undergo improvements as the new inline baggage handling system will employ an Explosive Detection System for baggage screening which will improve work efficiency for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and airport operations.

Additional features include new restrooms in both the public area before screening and in the terminal areas. The project also includes two covered bag drop areas for added convenience.

“The upgrades to the Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport are a key component in the statewide Modernization Program,” said Gov. David Y. Ige. “Joining the two terminals will boost the airport’s operational efficiency and will offer permanent solutions that will have lasting benefits for the State of Hawaii for years to come.”

“In December 2016 we were thrilled to welcome international flights from Tokyo back to Kona and we expect passenger volumes to continue to soar,” said Ford Fuchigami, Hawaii Department of Transportation Director. “Our goal is to provide each and every passenger with an enjoyable experience which will leave a positive impression with our visitors and residents.”

From left to right: Kahu Brian Boshard, Frank Okimoto, Nan Inc., Chauncey Wong Yuen, Manager Kona Airport; Senator Lorraine Inouye; Governor David Ige; Representative Nicole Lowen; Representative Cindy Evans; Ross Higashi, HDOT Deputy Director Airports Division.

The project is scheduled to be completed within two years. The lead contractor is Nan, Inc. and the design team is led by KYA.

The Terminal Modernization Project at Kona International Airport at Keahole is part of the $2.7 billion statewide Modernization Program that is improving facilities at airports statewide.

March “Tiki” Madness Event to Help The Food Basket, Hawaii Islands Food Bank

Renowned local artist Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker along with Kona Oceanfront Gallery is holding a “March Tiki Madness” event this Friday March 24 from 6PM to 9 PM.

Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker

Part of sales proceeds generated from this high profile event will be donated to The Food Basket, Hawai’i Island’s Food Bank, one of Parker’s favorite charities.  “The Food Basket is very excited to be working with Brad ‘Tiki Shark’ Parker for another gallery event,” said Jamilia Epping, Director of Public Relations and Events at The Food Basket. “We are appreciative of his efforts to aid in the elevation of hunger as an issue in our community. The Food Basket is unable to survive without the generous support of the community, including businesses and individuals such as Brad. Mahalo!”

Parker and Kona Oceanfront Gallery Owner Mark Hanna

“If you ever wanted to own a Brad Parker piece of art, this would be the time to get one” quoted the artist.  Mark Hanna the owner of Kona Oceanfront Gallery has agreed to consider “all and any offers on Brad artwork as long as a generous donation of canned food items are brought along that evening to be donated”.

All in the community are encouraged to come out and participate in a night filled with Art, Entertainment and Charity.  Brad will be in attendance to autograph, personalize and talk story with his patrons.  Kona Oceanfront Gallery is the premier gallery on the Big Island that carry’s all of Brad’s latest art.  The Gallery is centrally located on Ali’i Drive next to Bubba Gumps; free validated underground event parking will be available.  SEE YOU THERE!

Hikianalia Launches from Hawaii to Reunite with Hokulea

Polynesian sailing vessel Hikianalia launched from the Marine Education Training Center at Sand Island today to meet her sister canoe Hokulea in Tahiti. This will be the crew’s final stop to share the Malama Honua message before sailing back home to complete the Worldwide Voyage.

The journey to Tahiti marks the inaugural voyage as captain for apprentice navigator Kala Baybayan Tanaka. Tanaka is an educator and apprentice navigator with Maui’s voyaging society, Hui o Waa Kaulua, where she teaches about  Polynesian wayfinding techniques to children and other interested learners. Tanaka draws her inspiration and connection to voyaging from her father and pwo navigator, Kalepa Baybayan, who will also be aboard while Kala captains Hikianalia to Tahiti.

“As a captain for the first time I’m reminded of the amazing teachers like my dad who I’ve learned from over the years,” said Kala Babayan, captain of Hikianalia. “It’s truly an honor to lead this leg on an epic journey that aims to inspire the world and our home here in Hawaiʻi.”

Hikianalia is the Hawaiian name for the star also known as Spica, which rises together with Hokulea (Arcturus) in Hawaii. They are sister stars because they break the horizon together at the latitude of the Hawaiian Islands. The 72-foot canoe Hikianalia is a modern Polynesian voyaging canoe and sister canoe to the Hokulea, uses sustainable solar and wind energy to combine the latest ecological technology with the heritage of the voyaging tradition.

The crews anticipate arrival at Tahiti around mid-April. They will travel throughout Tahiti and Raiatea to engage with the local community in ceremony and education outreach as they celebrate the message of caring for Island Earth at the close of the nearly four-year long voyage. Together, Hokulea and Hikianalia will head home to a welcoming ceremony on Magic Island in June 2017.

VIDEO: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Calls for Federal Decriminalization of Marijuana

Continuing her commitment to common sense criminal justice reform, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) spoke on the House floor today urging Congress to pass bipartisan legislation to federally decriminalize marijuana.

If passed, the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act (H.R.1227) would take marijuana off the federal controlled substances list—joining other industries such as alcohol and tobacco. Gabbard introduced the legislation with Rep. Tom Garrett (VA-05), an Army veteran and former prosecutor.

“Our outdated policies on marijuana are having devastating ripple effects on individuals and communities across the country. They have turned everyday Americans into criminals, torn apart families, and wasted huge amounts of taxpayer dollars to arrest, prosecute, and incarcerate people for non-violent marijuana charges,” said Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. “Differences in state and federal law have also created confusion and uncertainty for our local businesses, who face contradictory regulations that affect their bottom line and ability to operate. I urge our colleagues to support our bipartisan legislation which would decriminalize marijuana, bringing about long overdue and common sense reform.”

“There is growing consensus acknowledging that the effects of marijuana are less harmful than its criminal prohibition, which has increased incarceration rates, divided families, and burdened state governments with the high cost of enforcement, prison and probation. It’s clear that there are more vital needs that we as a society need to allocate our precious resources towards, such as education, mental health, and homelessness. Decriminalization is a step forward in making needed criminal justice reforms, which should also include more diversion to substance abuse treatment,” said Karen Umemoto, Department of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and juvenile justice researcher.

“As long as marijuana is federally illegal, FDIC regulations make it impossible for banks to provide any services to the eight Hawaiʻi Medical Marijuana Dispensary licensees. Federal decriminalization will enable professional dispensaries to provide much needed patient access and cost savings,” said Richard Ha, CEO of Lau Ola, a medical marijuana dispensary on Hawaiʻi Island.

“Descheduling cannabis will benefit Hawaiʻi patients by allowing for more rapid research to identify the best medical marijuana strains and dosages for individual medical conditions. Also, eliminating the barriers to banking will make it easier and safer for Hawaiʻi patients to purchase the medicine they need and eliminate unnecessary expense and complexity for dispensaries,” said Brian Goldstein, Founder and CEO of Mānoa Botanicals, a licensed medical marijuana dispensary on Oʻahu.

Background: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard supports the full legalization of marijuana on the federal level as part of her overall effort toward criminal justice reform. Last month, she visited correctional facilities throughout the state, and met with inmates, criminal justice advocates and experts, health professionals, educators and others to discuss reducing recidivism and her continued efforts to pass federal criminal justice reform legislation like the SAFE Justice Act and the Sentencing Reform Act.

The congresswoman has also supported legislation like the Industrial Hemp Farming Act to support the cultivation of industrial hemp in Hawaiʻi and nationwide.

 

Announcing East Hawai’i Officer of the Year and Firefighter of the Year

The Aloha Exchange Club of East Hawaiʻi recognized Puna Patrol Officer Joshua Baumgarner on Monday evening (March 20) as the East Hawaiʻi “Officer of the Year” and Fire EMS Captain Chris Honda as “Firefighter of the Year.”

Hawaii County Council Member Susan Lee Loy, ‘Firefighter of the Year’ EMS Captain Chris Honda, ‘East Hawai’i Officer of the Year’ Puna Patrol Officer Joshua Baumgarner, Prosecuting Attorney Mitch Roth, and Senator Kaiali’i Kahele

Baumgarner, who began solo patrol duty in April 2016, was honored for saving the life of a woman who would have bled to death without his aid.

Honda, a member of the Fire Department since 2000, was honored for improving cardiac arrest survival rates on Hawai‘i Island.

On September 23, 2016, Officer Baumgarner was among the police officers who responded to a home in the Hawaiian Beaches subdivision to find a 29-year-old woman bleeding profusely after punching a glass window during a domestic dispute. The woman’s husband and young children were frantic at the scene, where the husband was unsuccessfully attempting to stem the bleeding.

Baumgarner quickly took action. He applied direct pressure to the woman’s affected artery, elevated her feet to concentrate remaining blood in her vital organs, and reassured her to prevent shock. He was successful in stopping the bleeding, and he continued to maintain constant pressure on the artery until Fire Department rescue personnel arrived on the scene about 8-10 minutes later. The woman was taken to the hospital and survived her injuries.

Sergeant Chris Correia, who nominated Baumgarner for the award, noted that the officer had training as a combat medic in the Hawaiʻi Army National Guard.

“Officer Baumgarner’s background in the medical field, as well as his calm demeanor in providing and maintaining first aid treatment saved the life of a gravely injured person,” Correia wrote in nomination papers. “His decisive action in the saving of a life truly embodies the Hawaiʻi Police Department’s Core Values of Integrity, Professionalism, Compassion, Teamwork, and Community Satisfaction.”

Baumgarner was named “Officer of the Month” in November for the same incident.

The Fire Department’s honoree, Captain Honda, was promoted to his current position as a Fire Medical Specialist III, or EMS Captain, with the EMS Bureau in August 2012. He is the Fire Department’s lead in “High Performance” CPR training, the “Community Hands Only” CPR training in schools project, and the “Pilot HPD AED” response program.

Since inception, more than 9,000 persons have been trained in “Hands Only” CPR. In that time, cardiac arrest survivor rates improved from 4 percent in 2014 to more than 10 percent in 2016. In 2016, 19 out of 197 out-of-hospital cardiac arrest victims walked out of the hospital neurologically intact.

One such success story involved several students who participated in and helped instruct the “Hands Only” CPR training at Waiākea High School. They performed “Hands Only” CPR on a friend who collapsed in cardiac arrest off campus while playing basketball. Because of their training, the students were able to resuscitate their classmate, who later recovered in time to graduate with his class as the valedictorian.

During his time off, Honda can be found on the baseball field as a volunteer coach, mentoring youth on the values of hard work, commitment, sacrifice, integrity and teamwork.

The East Hawaiʻi “Officer of the Year” and “Firefighter of the Year” awards are a project of the Aloha Exchange Club of East Hawaiʻi.

DBEDT Recruiting Hawaii Companies for 2017 Tokyo International Gift Show

For the sixth consecutive year, the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT) is promoting Hawaii-made products through a special Hawaii Pavilion at the autumn 2017 Tokyo International Gift Show (TIGS).

During Sept. 6-8, 2017, at the Tokyo Big Sight venue, the Hawaii Pavilion will be home base for up to 70 Hawaii companies seeking to export locally made gift products.  TIGS is the largest international trade show in Japan with more than 4,100 exhibitors showcasing personal gifts, consumer goods and decorative accessories.  Show organizers anticipate more than 200,000 buyers, wholesalers and distributers to attend the three-day trade show.

“The Tokyo International Gift Show provides the opportunity to showcase Hawaii’s unique products to an international audience,” said DBEDT Director Luis P. Salaveria. “This helps us grow our trade sector and add value to the Hawaii brand, which is recognized around the world, especially in Japan.”

At last year’s Tokyo International Gift Show, 62 Hawaii companies reported projected sales of more than $15 million.

A sampling of Hawaii-made products showcased at last year’s gift show included:

  • Fashion: casual and resort wear and accessories
  • Specialty food and gift products: many of which are only found in Hawaii
  • Cosmetics and nutraceuticals: derived from our natural ocean and botanical resources
  • Agricultural products: such as candies and fruit jams, jellies and preserves; fresh Maui-grown pineapple and onion; Big Island macadamia nuts, papaya and coffee.
  • Locally designed jewelry
  • Wood products: utilizing koa and specialty woods.

Funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) Grant, the Hawaii Pavilion at TIGS is part of a series of initiatives DBEDT has undertaken to increase the export of Hawaii’s products.

Export-ready Hawaii companies interested in participating in the 2017 Tokyo International Gift Show should email dbedt.tigs@hawaii.gov to receive an exhibitor’s packet or apply online at invest.hawaii.gov.

Deadline to submit application forms is Friday, April 7, 2017.

Kona Family Fun Day

The Big Island Substance Abuse Council (BISAC) is hosting their 4th Celebrating Our Community event in Kona on March 25, 2017, 11:00am to 2:00pm.

BISAC has successfully provided family friendly events in the last three years which include our Summer Jam, Puna Fall Fest, and Splash Bash events.  In continuation of bringing these types of events into rural communities, BISAC’s Kona Family Fun Day is another free fun-filled event which will be held at the Kailua Kona Park Grounds.

This free Family Wellness event will bring resources to the community; promote anti-drug and health and wellness messages.   The event will feature a health and resource fair made up of community organizations, games, food, bouncers, and an arm wrestling tournament.   There will be many free giveaways: bikes, razors, iPods, cameras, beats, etc.    Come out and meet our MC, Kona’s very own and 808 Viral celebrity Kona Kaipo.

April After Dark in the Park & Hawaiian Cultural Events at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park continues its tradition of sharing Hawaiian culture and After Dark in the Park (ADIP) programs with the public throughout 2017. Two consecutive fee-free weekends celebrate National Park Week in April, and many programs honor the 54th anniversary of the Merrie Monarch Festival.

ADIP and Hawaiian cultural programs are free, but entrance fees apply except for the fee-free weekends and Kahuku events. Programs are co-sponsored by Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park and Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association. Mark the calendar for these upcoming events:

Endangered Marine Wildlife: Threats & Mitigation Measures. What do monk seals, green sea turtles, hawksbill sea turtles and false killer whales have in common?

Honu & monk seal courtesy of the Marine Wildlife Program

They are all endangered marine wildlife found in waters around the island of Hawai‘i. Susannah Welch of the Marine Wildlife Program shares innovative ways to protect species, including the promotion of barbless hooks and their usefulness is sustaining the fisheries of Hawai‘i. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing After Dark in the Park series. Free.

  • When: Tues., April 4 at 7 p.m.
  • Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

Hei Demonstration. Hei are traditional Hawaiian string figures, and are used with oli (chants) to tell stories and connect with the elements around us.

Hei string figure, NPS Photo

No‘el Tagab-Cruz teaches the protocol and meaning behind this intriguing practice. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ‘Ike Hana No‘eau “Experience the Skillful Work” workshops. Free.

  • When: Wed., April 12 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
  • Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai

National Park Week Fee-Free Weekends. Come celebrate “America’s Best Idea” and explore your national parks for free, two weekends in a row!

  • When: April 15 & 16, and again April 22 & 23
  • Where: All fee-charging national parks are free, including Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park,  Pu‘uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park in Kona, and Haleakalā National Park on Maui.

Kahuku ‘Ohana Day. Keiki 17 and younger and their families are invited to explore Pu‘u o Lokuana Trail in the park’s Kahuku Unit, and practice their Global Positioning System (GPS) skills. Darlyne Vierra will share Kahuku’s compelling paniolo history as well. Call (808) 985-6019 to register by April 7. Bring lunch, snacks, water, light raingear, a re-usable water bottle, sunscreen, hat, long pants and shoes. Sponsored by the park and the Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association. Enter the Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park on the mauka (inland) side of Highway 11 near mile marker 70.5, and meet near the parking area. Free.

  • When: Sat., April 15 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Where: Kahuku Unit

Celebrate World Heritage Day with a Wilderness Hike. Hawai‘i Volcanoes was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987 for its outstanding natural values, and to commemorate World Heritage Day this month, join a ranger-guided hike into the Kīlauea Volcano’s East Rift Zone wilderness. This challenging 14-mile, seven-hour, round-trip interpretive trek includes Makaopuhi Crater; the 1965 and 1969 lava flows; a centuries-old archeological site, the hapu‘u pulu (fern) processing area; and Nāpau Crater. For more information, call (808) 985-6017. Hikers must bring four liters of water per person, lunch and snacks, sturdy closed-toe shoes or boots, long pants, sunscreen, hat and raingear. Free.

  • When: Sat., April 15 at 9 a.m. A fee-free weekend!
  • Where: Meet ranger at the Mauna Ulu Parking Lot, off Chain of Craters Road

Tuesday’s Special Merrie Monarch Festival Events. Join us as we celebrate and honor the 54th Merrie Monarch Festival, the annual hula competition of Hilo.

Ulana Niu, NPS Photo

Practitioners on Tuesday will share lau hala (weaving of the pandanus leaf), lomilomi (traditional Hawaiian massage), hū kukui (Hawaiian spinning top game), and ulana niu (coconut leaf weaving). Falsetto singer Kai Ho‘opi‘i performs. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ‘Ike Hana No‘eau “Experience the Skillful Work” workshops. Free.

  • When: Tues., April 18 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai

The Value of Plantation-Era Archives in Today’s World. From the 1850s to the 1990s, big sugar plantations dominated the agricultural landscape of Hawai‘i Island. The Edmund Olson Trust Archive is home to an amazing array of maps, records, and documents from these plantations, and traces an important part of island history. John Cross of the Olson Trust will lead a visual journey through these irreplaceable historic resources and the era that was “Big Sugar.” Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing After Dark in the Park series. Free.

  • When: Tues., April 18 at 7 p.m.
  • Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

Wednesday’s Special Merrie Monarch Festival Events. Join us as we celebrate and honor the 54th Merrie Monarch Festival, the annual hula competition of Hilo. Practitioners on Wednesday will share the arts of lei making (both the wili and hulu styles), pala‘ie (Hawaiian ball and hoop game), and kāpala mea ulu (Hawaiian plant stamping). The Young Brothers will perform local melodies. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ‘Ike Hana No‘eau “Experience the Skillful Work” workshops. Free.

  • When: Wed., April 19 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai

Kai Ho‘opi‘i in Concert. Enjoy an evening of Hawaiian music, and the leo nahenahe (sweet voice) of Kai Ho‘opi‘i, an Aloha Festival Hawaiian falsetto contest winner.

Kai Ho‘opi‘i, NPS Photo

Kai will share the traditions and music of his ‘ohana from Kahakuloa, Maui. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing Nā Leo Manu “Heavenly Voices” presentations. Free.

  • When: Wed., April 19 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

Thursday’s Special Merrie Monarch Festival Events. Join us as we celebrate and honor the 54th Merrie Monarch Festival, the annual hula competition of Hilo.

Keiki ‘ohe kāpala, NPS Photo

Practitioners on Thursday will share the arts of lei making, haku hulu (Hawaiian featherwork), ‘ohe kāpala (bamboo stamping), and kuku kapa (making fabric from bark cloth). Multiple Nā Hōkū Hanohano award-winning composer, singer and musician Kenneth Makuakāne will perform. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ‘Ike Hana No‘eau “Experience the Skillful Work” workshops. Free.

  • When: Thurs., April 20 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai

National Park Rx Day. Join the growing movement to prescribe parks and nature for the improvement of our health. Our “prescriptions” include a morning yoga session with Danielle Makaike from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.; various presentations including lomilomi (Hawaiian massage), and kalo (taro) from 10 a.m. to noon; and a “Walk with a Doc” from noon to 1 p.m. with Dr. Craig Kadooka. Other presenters include Hilo Medical Center, HMSA Community Engagement, State of Hawai‘i Department of Health and Hui Mālama Ola Nā ‘Ōiwi.

  • When: Sun., April 23 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai

Kīlauea Volcano’s Summit Eruption: Nine Years and Counting. On March 19, 2008, a new volcanic vent opened in Halema‘uma‘u Crater at Kīlauea volcano’s summit. Nine years later, the eruption continues.

USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory photo of Halema‘uma‘u

The vent has grown to a gaping crater that’s roughly 195 x 255 meters (about 640 x 840 feet) in size. A lava lake within the vent rises and falls, with spattering on the lake surface sometimes visible from the Jaggar Museum observation deck. USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geologist Matt Patrick presents an update and overview on the summit eruption, including stunning imagery. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing After Dark in the Park series. Free.

  • When: Tues., April 25 at 7 p.m.
  • Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

Weave Ulana Niu (Coconut Fronds). Learn how to weave coconut fronds into useful and beautiful items. The coconut palm is one of the most useful and important plants in the world. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ‘Ike Hana No‘eau “Experience the Skillful Work” workshops. Free.

  • When: Wed., April 26 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
  • Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai

The Shops’ New Art Event to Benefit Kona Historical Society

The Shops at Mauna Lani presents “Art in The Park,” a live art auction featuring collections by Lahaina Galleries, Third Dimension Gallery, Kozy’s Tiki Gallery and The Fine Hawaiian Gift Gallery. The event takes place Saturday, April 1, in the central courtyard area, commencing with a reception at 5 p.m., provided by The Blue Room Brasserie & Bar and Monstera Noodles & Sushi.  The auction will be led by Brent Hawley with music provided by Dave and Maile Lee Tavares.

Paul Kozak (Kozy’s Tiki Gallery) and Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker

During the reception, guests will be able to meet and talk story with artists Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker, Jacob Medina and Richard Rochkovsky, while Rod Cameron personally paints a piece that will be offered to the highest bidder later in the evening. The auction highlights a compilation of paintings and sculptures of the featured artists as well as other works from the galleries.

Proceeds from the evening will benefit Kona Historical Society, a community based non-profit organization that was founded in 1976 to collect, preserve and share the history of the Kona districts.

Tickets for Art in The Park are $50 each and are available at Brown Paper Tickets, http://artinthepark.bpt.me. Admission includes a souvenir auction book, complimentary hors d’oeuvres and two beverages (beer, wine or soda). For more information, visit www.shopsatmaunalani.com, or call (808) 885-9501.

About The Shops at Mauna Lani. From simple to elegant, The Shops at Mauna Lani is the premier shopping, dining and lifestyle destination on the Kohala Coast of Hawaii’s Big Island. The Shops at Mauna Lani is home to Hawaii Island’s only 4D Adventure Ride theater, housed inside the Fine Hawaiian Gift Gallery, which offers unique and affordable made-in-Hawaii products.  The Shops offers twice weekly Polynesian Hula & Fire shows, free community cultural events along with a selection of retail stores such as Reyn’s by Reyn Spooner, Tommy Bahama Store, Jams World, Oasis Lifestyle, Hawaiian Island Creations (HIC), Hulakai and others. The Shops at Mauna Lani is also home to Hawaii Island’s only Foodland Farms gourmet grocery market, R. Field Wine Company, as well as galleries, lifestyle stores, and a wonderful selection of seven restaurants. For more information, call (808) 885-9501, visit www.shopsatmaunalani.com, or follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Volunteer of the Year Named at Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center

Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center honored its valued cadre of volunteers on February 17 with a Volunteer Appreciation Party at Hilo Bay Café.  Forty-seven volunteers, staff, and board members attended the festive event, whose theme for Valentine’s month was, “We Heart our Volunteers.”

Joan Shafer was selected as Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center’s 2016 Volunteer of the Year.

“We were humbled to name Joan Shafer as our Volunteer of the Year for 2016,” said Ku‘ikahi Executive Director Julie Mitchell.  “Joan is one of our most active mediators, helping at small claims court and our offices.  In 2016, she conducted over 40 mediation sessions.  Joan is also a volunteer facilitator and trainer who gives tirelessly of her time, talents, and treasures to helps our communities find solutions and grow peace.”

During fiscal year 2015-2016, 155 volunteers total gave over 2,467 hours of service at the non-profit community mediation center, including 40 mediators and apprentices who gave over 1,370 mediation hours.

“You are the heart of our organization’s efforts to build a more peaceful and collaborative community in East Hawai‘i,” noted board president Jeff Melrose in the event program.  “Thank you for all you do!”

At the appreciation party, Arabel Camblor and Shakti Hoku Douglas were recognized for completing their mediator apprenticeships.

“Most people don’t know that our mediation services are provided entirely by professionally trained volunteer mediators,” Mitchell said.  “These are amazing folks from all walks of life and career backgrounds who donate their time to help community members resolve issues that matter to them.”

Mediators go through a four-day Basic Mediation Training in the fall and then a year-long apprenticeship program before being selected to become Ku‘ikahi mediators.  In addition, mediators take continuing education to increase their skills and knowledge, especially in specialized areas like domestic mediations, employee and employer civil rights cases, and mediations for kupuna and their caregivers.

Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center provides mediations for a wide variety of situations, including divorce, child custody and parenting time, elder issues, neighbor-to-neighbor, consumer-merchant, real estate, landlord-tenant, workplace, business, small and large group facilitations, and more.  For more information, call 935-7844 or visit www.hawaiimediation.org.

Hawaii Awards Highlight Successes in the Fight Against Invasive Species

Governor David Ige proclaimed the 5th annual Hawaii Invasive Species Awareness Week (HISAW) at a ceremony Friday that included agency leaders, legislators, industry champions, and citizens who help project Hawaii from the impacts of invasive species. The Governor presented the proclamation to members of the Hawaii Invasive Species Council (HISC), the interagency board responsible for policy direction and cross-sector coordination on invasive species issues. Addressing invasive species is a critical component of this administration’s vision for Hawaii’s future, as described in the recent Hawaii Interagency Biosecurity Plan and the Sustainable Hawaii Initiative.

In partnership with the HISC, legislators presented a series of awards to community members and businesses who have made substantial contributions to invasive species prevention and control. Representatives Richard Creagan, Nicole Lowen, James Tokioka, Dee Morikawa, and Nadine Nakamura joined Senators Mike Gabbard and J. Kalani English in highlighting the importance of this issue for Hawaii. The Governor, legislators, and HISC members were joined by two giant invasive species: costumed versions of a Little Fire Ant and Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle, provided by the Oahu Invasive Species Committee.

The awardees for Greatest Hit of 2017, Community Hero, and Business Leader were selected from community nominations, and County MVP awards were selected by the University of Hawaii’s Invasive Species Committees. An award for the Hottest Pest Hotline Report was nominated by the Hawaii Department of Agriculture.

“While there is much work to do, this event is an opportunity for us to celebrate successes,” said DLNR chair Suzanne Case. “The awardees today exemplify how much Hawaii’s communities care about protecting Hawaii’s natural resources, agriculture, and way of life from invasive species.”

HISAW is organized in coordination with the U.S. National Invasive Species Awareness Week (NISAW) and regional Pacific Invasive Species Awareness efforts. The event promotes information sharing and public engagement in what the Hawaii State Legislature has declared “the single greatest threat to Hawaii’s economy and natural environment and to the health and lifestyle of Hawaii’s people.” In addition to the proclamation from Governor Ige and awards ceremony, HISAW 2017 included a student video contest, community presentations, and numerous volunteer opportunities throughout the state. Full information is available at http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/hisc/hisaw/.

2017 HISAW Awards

COMMUNITY HERO

The Hawaii Invasive Species Council recognizes The Pacific American Foundation for their efforts to reduce invasive species impacts to the Waikalua Loko I’a. During 2016, the Pacific American Foundation (PAF) diligently worked to reduce the negative impacts of invasive species to the Waikalua fishpond. By positively engaging with the local community, the PAF has shown an outstanding commitment to the continued to protection and preservation this historic community resource.

BUSINESS LEADER

The Hawaii Invasive Species Council recognizes Serina Marchi, of Seascapes Nursery for her efforts to minimize the introduction and spread of invasive species. Serina is the Owner of Kauai Seascapes Nursery on the North Shore of Kauai. Seascapes Nursery is a family owned business operating on Kauai for over 30 years and is one of the largest nurseries on the island. Serina has shown a very strong interest in helping to minimize the spread and introduction of invasive species by supporting Kauai Invasive Species Committee’s (KISC) Pono Endorsement Program. In April 2016, Seascapes Nursery became one of the first nurseries to become endorsed. When choosing the best management practices for her business to follow, Serina has gone above and beyond the minimum requirements to become Pono Endorsed. She not only chose to immediately discontinue the sale of the Pono Endorsement Program “Black List” plants, but also the “Phase Out” list plants”. Her actions during 2016, and continued dedication to reducing the introduction and spread of invasive species will help to minimize future impacts of invasive species on Kauai.

GREATEST HIT

The Hawaii Invasive Species Council recognizes Solomon Champion for his efforts in stopping the spread of Miconia calvescens on Oahu. During a routine aerial survey, Solomon spotted an immature Miconia tree beneath the canopy on the leeward side of the Ko’olau Range within the Waiawa watershed. This particular individual has been identified as the farthest documented tree within an intact native forest, as well as an extension into a new watershed. By spotting this individual tree, Solomon has helped to protect the Waiawa watershed and prevent the spread of a highly invasive species.

HOTTEST PEST REPORT

The Hawaii Invasive Species Council recognizes Shawn Baliaris for his efforts relating to reporting and stopping the spread of Mongoose on Kauai. As a proactive community member, Shawn promptly reported sighting a Mongoose on Kauai to the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA). His diligent action allowed for rapid response from the appropriate agencies, and clearly highlights the usefulness of the 643PEST reporting system, and how the community can personally take actions to protect Hawaii from invasive species.

HAWAII COUNTY MVP

The Hawai’i Invasive Species Council recognizes Carolyn Dillon for her outstanding community efforts and her work controlling Little Fire Ants on Hawaii Island. Throughout 2016 Carolyn has diligently worked to organize her community in a coordinated effort to combat Little Fire Ants (LFA) in her community in Holualoa, West Hawaii Island. Beginning in Late 2015, she became aware of the size of the infestation in her neighborhood and took it upon her to engage community members to treat this pest.  More recently, Carolyn has formed a LFA coalition on the Big Island consisting of members of the County Council and State Legislature, Big Island Invasive Species Committee, Hawaii Department of Agriculture, Hawaii Department of Health, the Governor’s Liaison, and the Kohala Center, with the express purpose of furthering LFA education and training, as well as mapping the West Hawaii Infestations. The coalition intends to train business owners on LFA best management practices in order to provide treatment services to homeowners. As a community organizer, Carolyn moved extremely swiftly to increase awareness and has brought many organizations to the table to work together. Her actions and continued dedication showcases the need for community involvement in the fight against invasive species.

MAUI COUNTY MVP

The Hawaii Invasive Species Council recognizes the Community of Haiku Hill for their efforts to control Coqui frogs on the Island of Maui. Haiku Hill is a small a suburb of 39 properties along the border of Maliko Gulch, the site of a major infestation of coqui frogs on Maui. Over the last decade, the Haiku Hill community has transformed from a group of concerned homeowners reporting frogs to partners in coqui control. In 2016 the community truly took matters into their own hands, building tanks, purchasing sprayers, cutting back vegetation, and advocating to funders to address coqui on Maui. Residents sprayed over 1600 gallons of citric acid on their own properties, facilitated a neighborhood citric and sprayer distribution center, and spent countless hours keeping the coqui from spreading from their neighborhood. Their effort not only reduce the frog density in their community, but also helps to stop the spread of coqui to new areas.

OAHU MVP

The Hawaii Invasive Species Council recognizes Sandy Webb for her efforts to incorporate invasive species investigations into the Youth Envisioning Sustainable Futures Program. Sandy has encouraged her students to delve deeper into citizen science by incorporating invasive species investigations into the Youth Envisioning Sustainable Futures program (YES! Futures). http://www.yes-futures.org/about/. This interdisciplinary program she helped found with other Mililani teachers allows students to utilize the skills they develop in many of their classes to address problems in their community and build relevance into their educational experience.  For the past two years, Sandy has lead the Little Fire Ant (LFA) Hoike Activity independently in her classes; resulting in the submittal of 269 samples from the Mililani area in the past two years, with 134 samples submitted in 2016 alone. By incorporating invasive species into her teaching, Sandy has encouraged her students to students learn about relevant issues relating to invasive species impacts, and become part of the solution.

KAUAI COUNTY MVP

The Hawaii Invasive Species Council recognizes Kawika Winter for his efforts to protect priority watershed areas and control the spread of invasive species on the island of Kauai. As part of his role as the Director of Limahuli Botanical Garden and Preserve, Kawika has played a crucial role in the protection and preservation over 1000 acres of priority watershed area on the north shore of Kauai.  In addition, Kawika aims to create a model of a functioning, 21st-century ahupua`a. This model focuses on a mountain-to-sea resource management strategy and includes both modern and traditional techniques. By incorporating landscape scale invasive species control efforts, native plant restoration, sustainable fisheries practices, and community engagement into his management practices, Kawika has demonstrated a lasting dedication to protecting and restoring key resources on the Island of Kauai.

Hokulea Departs from Rapa Nui for the Pitcairn Islands

The crew of Hawaii’s legendary Polynesian voyaging canoe Hokulea yesterday departed from Rapa Nui as they continue on their Malama Honua voyage and head to Pitcairn. Hokulea returns to the Pitcairn Islands for the first time since her voyage in 1999, when the canoe sailed around the Polynesian Triangle.

While in Rapa Nui, the crew worked alongside the Nahiku Student Delegation to help fulfill the mission of the Worldwide Voyage by connecting with the local community and representing Hawaii. The Nahiku Student Delegation and Hokulea crew activities included meetings with both the Governor and Mayor of Rapa Nui, a visit to the Kupuna (elders) of Hare Koa Tiare Care Home, and a tour of Museo Rapa Nui. Hokuleawas honored with a traditional landing ceremony on Anakena Beach, the site of historic seafaring welcomes for the small island community of Rapa Nui.

“Returning to Rapa Nui and reconnecting with our ohana and other community members is an important milestone for Hokulea and the Worldwide Voyage, marking our return to the Polynesian triangle and the deep history of Polynesian voyaging,” said pwo navigator Bruce Blankenfeld, captain of the Hokulea. “This is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate our shared commitment to preserving traditions, values, and environment, but also to discuss the challenges that we face in light of changes to our ocean and well-being as island people.”

The Pitcairn Islands are a cluster of volcanic islands and atolls in the southern Pacific Ocean forming the last British Overseas Territory in the Pacific. The area around Pitcairn Islands is one of the most pristine places on the Earth.

Following Pitcairn, Hokulea will head to the Marquesas Islands and to Tahiti, where she will be greeted by the local community in mid-April.  From Tahiti,  the crew will continue their journey home to Hawaii and will be welcomed at Magic Island, on June 17, 2017.

Kupu Fire Service Internships Available on Hawaii Island

Kupu and the USDA Forest Service has partnered with Hawai’i Community College’s (HawCC) Fire Science Program to create a Hawai’i Island-exclusive summer internship opportunity for students interested in in fire science and management.

Due to limited access to paid, local professional development opportunities in fire management, many students who studied fire science may have the required knowledge but not field experience and or training to become qualified, competitive candidates for entry employment in Fire Service.

“We are pleased to partner with USDA Forest Service and Hawai’i Community College to offer this collaborative internship to students on Hawai’i Island,” said John Leong, Kupu CEO. “This is a unique opportunity to develop the next generation and empower them with hands-on experiences not only in fire management but how it relates to, and impacts our environment.”

The rigorous eight-week summer program starts June 12 and goes through Aug. 4. Five select participants will gain entry-level experience in conservation, while working on various fire-related projects throughout Hawai’i Island.

Kupu participants will gain hands-on experience and mentoring in conservation, fire science, fuel break and fire management. Other benefits include: healthcare (if eligible); Red Card certification; $375 in bi-weekly living allowances; $1,222 in education award scholarship that can be applied to higher education or student loans, upon completion of the program. In addition, Kupu participants will be positively impacting the environment and their communities through more than 300 hours of service and learning.

Applicants must be at least 17 years old. Experience or background in fire service management is not required, only an interest in learning more and gaining experience in fire service and conservation. For more information and to apply, visit www.kupuhawaii.org/conse rvation/. The deadline to apply is Wednesday, Mar. 15.

VIDEO: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Honors Life of Maui’s Trucker Dukes on House Floor

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) spoke on the House floor today in memory of 3-year-old Trucker Dukes from Maui, who lost his life on Friday, March 3 after battling childhood cancer.

Trucker’s spirit of resilience and open heart became an inspiration for people across the country after he was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma, a stage-four adrenal cancer, at 19 months old. A celebration of life honoring Trucker will be held tomorrow morning, March 10, in Kīhei.

“Today, let us honor and recognize a young Maui boy whose life touched hearts around the world and whose legacy will live on through the millions that he inspired.

“Trucker Dukes was not quite four years old when he took his last breath this past Friday, after a painful battle with Stage-4 Neuroblastoma and two years of intense treatment.

“Trucker’s dad is a firefighter and—like father, like son—Trucker loved firetrucks. When Trucker went to New York for treatment, the New York Fire Department coordinated a very special 3rd birthday party celebration, and swore him in as an honorary firefighter.

“After Trucker passed away, his parents Shauna and Joshua shared this message: “If there’s one thing, I hope it is that you love a little harder, a little better. Go home, stop the craziness in your life and just kiss your loved ones more, tell them you love them more. None of us are promised tomorrow.”

Record $394,000 Raised by Hawaii Food & Wine Festival

The Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival (HFWF), the state’s premier culinary event, raised a record $394,000 for local beneficiaries following another successful year. Fourteen nonprofit organizations received checks during a Mahalo Reception for the 2016 festival held on March 7th at Neiman Marcus’ Mariposa Restaurant. The $394,000 contribution brings the total giving from HFWF to nearly $1.7 million in six years.

“We’re proud that Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival not only shines a spotlight on Hawai’i as a culinary destination, but pays it forward through contributions for nonprofit charitable organizations that support local food sustainability, cultural, and educational programs” says Denise Yamaguchi, HFWF Chief Executive Officer. “The tangible impact of the festival is far-reaching, with funds supporting local culinary colleges, grants for Hawai‘i chefs to learn in the kitchens of the world’s  culinary masters, programs to help small farms get their produce to consumers, and curriculum to teach children how to grow their own food in school and make healthy dishes at home.”
2016 HFWF beneficiaries include:
  • Culinary Institute of the Pacific- $80,000
  • Hawai‘i Agricultural Foundation- $70,000
  • Imua Family Services- $50,000
  • Kapi‘olani Community College Culinary Arts Program- $50,000
  • Ment’Or BKB Foundation- $29,000
  • Kapi‘olani Community College Hospitality and Tourism Program- $25,000
  • Leeward Community College Culinary Arts Program- $25,000
  • Maui County Farm Bureau- $20,000
  • Hawai‘i Island Community College Culinary Arts Program- $10,000
  • Paepae o He‘eia- $10,000
  • Papahana Kuaola- $10,000
  • Maui Culinary Academy- $7,500
  • Hawaii Seafood Council- $5,000
  • Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation- $2,500
In six years, HFWF has expanded from a 3-day festival with 30 chefs in Waikiki to more than 20 events spanning 3 Islands. HFWF16 welcomed 8,765 attendees from around the world to signature events on O’ahu, Maui and Hawai‘i Island featuring 114 top chefs, 50 wine makers, and 10 mixologists. That’s up 1,365 attendees from 2015. More than 200 Hawai‘i culinary students gained priceless experience working side-by-side with culinary masters.
“We wanted to make sure the chefs that we invited were going to be world class, at the same time have a real deep feeling about what Hawai‘i means to them” explains HFWF Co-Founder Roy Yamaguchi. “In that sense, we were looking for something to become big because we felt that we wanted to reach the entire world and we needed to have a quality festival and large enough festival to capture that.”
HFWF garnered nearly $11 million in publicity value from media coverage including Good Morning America, FOX News, USA Today, Fiji Times, Food and Wine, Eater San Francisco, Delta Sky Japan, The San Jose Mercury News, and Hawaii Chinese TV. Of the worldwide exposure, HFWF Co-Founder Alan Wong stresses, “The most important thing is, the spotlight has been put on Hawai‘i- on our tourism, our people, our culture, our food, what we grow here. It’s a win win win.”
The non-profit mission of the festival sets it apart from other notable food and wine events. “I think that really comes from the hearts of the chefs who got this going in the beginning” shares Dean Wong, Executive Director for Imua Family Services, a Maui beneficiary that received a check for $50,000. “They all wanted to give back to the community as well to support Hawai‘i and the tourism and the food industry in Hawai‘i. That speaks volumes of the Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival.”
HFWF is a program of the nonprofit, Hawai‘i Ag and Culinary Alliance. Its mission is to attract national and international attention to the extraordinary culinary talent, as well as the diversity of quality locally grown products to ensure Hawai‘i maintains its competitive edge as a world-class destination.
HFWF co-chair Alan Wong was featured at the Mahalo reception, along with chefs Mark Freiberg of Neiman Marcus, Chef Alan Takasaki from Le Bistro, and Chef Vikram Garg.