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“Malama” for The Food Basket on Hawaii Island

Locally-owned and operated Big Island shops – Aloha Grown, Creative Arts Hawaii and Parker Ranch Store – have come together to design, print and sell limited edition Aloha Grown “Malama” Tees, in an effort to raise funds for The Food Basket on Hawaii Island.

According to Randy Kurohara, President & Owner, “The Food Basket has done so much to support the most vulnerable in our community – our kupuna and keiki…now it’s our turn to kokua. Here at Aloha Grown, Creative Arts Hawaii and the Parker Ranch Store, we truly believe in giving back to the community. Through this ‘Malama’ Tee fundraiser, we hope to raise up to $20,000 for The Food Basket.”

The limited edition Aloha Grown “Malama” Tees will be sold for $20.00 each with 100% of all monies collected being donated to The Food Basket on Hawaii Island.

The shirt was designed with green fern leaves to represent the earth, while blue waves represent water – both of which are crucial and necessary food sources. “Malama” was selected as the shirt theme because malama means “to care for, preserve, protect,” and we must malama our island resources in order to provide food for our communities.

The Food Basket serves 1 in every 3 Hawaii Island residents through its partner agencies, providing nutritious and high quality food to Big Island families, children and seniors who might otherwise go hungry. Every $20 shirt purchase allows The Food Basket to help feed seven children breakfast for a week, one senior lunch for over a month, or an entire family dinner for a week.

Aunty Bev, Aloha Grown employee, and En Young, The Food Basket Executive Director.)

The Food Basket Executive Director, En Young, said “We are greatly appreciative of local businesses like Aloha Grown, Creative Arts Hawaii and Parker Ranch Store for helping us raise funds in our time of need. While we always appreciate food donations, it’s the monetary donations that help us keep our operations going and allow us to continue collecting, storing and distributing food all over the Big Island. We remind everyone that all donations made to The Food Basket stay right here on Hawaii Island and assist the kupuna and keiki in our local communities.”

Kristine M., a recipient of The Food Basket services, wrote in a letter, “We so appreciate the food that you contribute to the Naalehu seniors. We need this help with food so very much. Last year our only grocery store here closed…..since most of us live on social security fixed income, this is so important to get these vegetables and canned goods. You have no idea how much this helps us out!”

Aloha Grown “Malama” Tees are available for purchase in-store at these locations while supplies last:  Aloha Grown (224 Kamehameha Ave – Hilo), Creative Arts Hawaii (500 Kalanianaole Ave – Hilo), Parker Ranch Store (Parker Ranch Center – Waimea), The Food Basket (40 Holomua St – Hilo).

For more information, visit www.parkerranchstore.com/ malama.

Two Many Sopranos Brings Vocal Concert to Hilo

The vocal duo Two Many Sopranos, consisting of singers Amy Horst and Erin Smith, will bring their unique interpretations of classics and new favorites to Hilo. The duo’s pianist is Walter Greenwood. Joining them are Douglas Wayman, Cathy Young, and members of the Orchid Isle Orchestra. Showtimes are Saturday, June 10, at 7:00 p.m.; and Sunday, June 11, at 2:30 p.m. at the East Hawaii Cultural Center.  Admission is $15.00 general / $10.00 students and seniors. Tickets will be available at the door. For more information, call 640-2898.

The evening’s program, entitled Two Many Sopranos, presents music for duet and solo voices both with piano and with strings.  From songs which may be new to the audience to beloved classics of stage and screen, the concert brings to life old favorites and new gems. With composers as varied as Stephen Sondheim and Bob Dylan, and songs as varied as the sacred Pie Jesu by local favorite Pedro Ka‘awaloa and I Love a Piano by Irving Berlin, the concert promises something for every fan of vocal music. Solos and duets intermingle with featured guest performers, including Douglas Wayman as Janelle Nieman and Cathy Young in a viola solo, to provide variety and interest.

Amy Horst

Amy Horst and Erin Smith, local stage and concert performers, have worked together in Wayman’s Palace Theater Vaudeville Variety Shows and in the Palace’s production of Mary Poppins, where Horst played the title role and Smith played the lead role of Mrs. Banks. Both singers have also performed to acclaim in Hilo as soloists, onstage, and in concert.  This concert brings them together to sing duets and solos that showcase their particular talents.

Erin Smith

Smith and Horst are joined by local performer and drag queen Douglas Wayman, best known to Hilo audiences as Albin/Zaza from the Palace Theater’s production of La Cage Aux Folles; and as Janelle Nieman in his Vaudeville Variety Shows at the Palace Theater. The duo is also joined by local string player and orchestra leader Cathy Young, who has created an original string arrangement to accompany the haunting “What Makes a Man a Man,” to be sung by Wayman. Walter Greenwood, popular local pianist, organist, conductor, composer, and arranger, accompanies the concert.

Asked about how they came to create Two Many Sopranos, Horst said, “Erin and I have wanted to perform together in concert for several years. This program takes us and the audience on a journey through songs we want to share with our audience, songs we have been planning for a long time. We are excited that the time has finally come to sing together for you!” Smith continued, “This concert is the culmination of several years of dialogue and several months of planning, and we are happy to bring not only ourselves, but the redoubtable Walter Greenwood as pianist, and our featured performers Douglas Wayman and Cathy Young, to our audience. This concert is suitable for all ages and so we say – e komo mai!”

Two Many Sopranos comes to Hilo June 10 at 7:00 and June 11:00 at 2:30 p.m. at the East Hawaii Cultural Center for two shows only.  Admission is $15.00 general / $10.00 students and seniors. Tickets will be available at the door. For more information, call 640-2898.

Polynesian Voyaging Society Announces Death of Founder Ben Finney

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

Ben Finney

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Auto Body Hawaii Announces Winner of Senior Essay Contest

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

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

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

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

An excerpt of her essay follows:

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

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

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

An Analysis of Consumer Debt: How Does Hawaii Compare with the Nation?

The Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT) released a report today, “An Analysis of Consumer Debt: How does Hawaii Compare with the Nation?” The report examined various consumer debt categories.

The report highlights why our per capita debt is high, which is due to high housing prices in Hawaii, with 77 percent of our debt from mortgage debt.

Hawaii’s home ownership increased 10 percentage points from 46.9 percent in 1970 to 56.9 percent in 2015 while the U.S. home ownership increased less than one percentage point from 62.9 percent to 63.8 percent during the same time period.

Chief State Economist Dr. Eugene Tian noted that the high mortgage debt may also have negative impacts, including less consumers spending on other goods and services by home owners, increasing rental payment for renters, and the leakage of mortgage payment to out-of-state financial institutions.

Following are some of the highlights of the report:

  • Hawaii’s total consumer debt per capita increased from $51,810 in 2005 to $67,010 in 2015, ranking it second highest in the nation.
  • For mortgage debt per capita, Hawaii has been steadily increasing in the state rankings, from the sixth highest state in 2005 to the highest state in 2015.
  • Hawaii ranks low among states for auto loans per capita, while defaults for those with auto loans are close to U.S. average.
  • Hawaii residents have relatively high credit card debt. Hawaii ranked fourth in the nation in 2010 and 2015 for credit card debt per capita.
  • Hawaii ranks the lowest in the nation for per capita student debt.
  • For the other debt category (home equity lines of credit, consumer cards, and consumer-financed debt), Hawaii leads the nation for the average amount per capita at $5,300. This partially reflects Hawaii’s high residential real estate values and the home equity loan balances supported by these high values.

The report is available at: http://files.hawaii.gov/dbedt/economic/reports/consumer_debt_final.pdf

“Obon in the Gardens” at Lili`uokalani Gardens

Keith Haugen will speak on the background and history of obon traditions during Sunday’s 5/28 “Obon in the Gardens.” The event is sponsored by Friends of Lili`uokalani Gardens from 1 to 4 p.m. in the small parking lot near Shoroan, the Urasenke tea house in Lili`uokalani Gardens.

Haugen was a teenage soldier stationed in Japan in the 1950s. He recalls “donning a yukata, tying a tenugui around my head, and learning to dance the Tanko Bushi. Nobody seemed to mind that I was a foreigner or that my ancestral home was in Norway.

“Thousands of miles away, on the island of Maui, my future wife was learning the same song in the multi-cultural community where she was born and raised. Residents of Hawaii, just like the residents of Japan, take the summer obon dances for granted. But where did they originate, and why? What are all those folk songs used year after year?”

Keith wrote and produced an obon special for Hawaii Public Radio more than10 years ago dealing with the background, meaning, and history of obon dances. His continuing presentations state-wide are in demand.

“Obon began as a Buddhist tradition and evolved into a cultural and community event now held annually all over Japan, in Hawai`i, California, Canada, South America, and other places Japanese settled.

“There are perhaps more than a thousand of these traditional Japanese folk songs, called minyo. About 100 of them are extremely popular and have been since the 1800s,” Haugen explained. “There are songs about fishing and seagulls; pretty girls and flowers; even pride in great liquor stores. Some tell of rice and herbs, the moon and winds, and of men riding logs down the river. Others tell of drinking sake, and of courtship.”

Born in Minnesota and resident in Hawaii since 1968, Keith recently taught Hawaiian language and music at Star of the Sea School in Honolulu.

“My earlier education was in journalism and I worked for many years as a writer/reporter, editor, columnist, photographer, bureau chief at several daily newspapers including the Honolulu Star-Bulletin (1968-77), where I was State Editor when I was appointed by Gov. George Ariyoshi to be State Director of Information. For more than 10 years, I doubled as a lecturer and instructor, teaching Hawaiian music and language night classes at the UH College of Continuing Education, now called UH Outreach College.

“For most of my adult life, I maintained a second career as an entertainer, songwriter, recording artist, and record producer, radio producer and host. My wife Carmen and I performed together in Waikiki and all over the world for nearly 40 years.”

Keith and Carmen are familiar to HPR listeners as the hosts of Music of Hawai`i. Keith was the creator of Ke Aolama, the first Hawaiian language newscast on radio, and the Hawaiian Word of the Day.

For further information on Obon in the Gardens and other centennial events, please refer to the Friends of Lili`uokalani Gardens page on Facebook.

Hawaii Island Humane Society Awarded Grant by Windermere Foundation

The Windermere Foundation has awarded Hawaii Island Humane Society a $2,000 grant to be used toward its New Leash on Life program. Each time a home is purchased or sold using a Windermere agent, a portion of the commission goes into the Windermere Foundation fund to benefit low-income and homeless families in their local communities.

“Our New Leash on Life program helps teens develop compassion and increased self-esteem through their bonding with a canine friend,” said Donna Whitaker, Hawaii Island Humane Society Executive Director. “We are so grateful that the Windermere Foundation and its local agents support programs in our community.”

Hawaii Island Humane Society’s New Leash on Life program affords teens who are in foster care or temporary housing a safe and fun outlet to spend time with shelter animals. Teens have the opportunity to socialize with the animals and learn basic dog obedience training. Teens gain a skill and the pets become more adoptable having learned basic commands such as sit, stay and walking on a leash.

“The funds for the grant award were donated and raised by our local Windermere agents who care deeply about their community,” said local Foundation Representative John Kennedy. “Helping the next generation develop their skills is a really great feeling.”

Mauna to Mauna Ultra Happening Now on the Big Island of Hawaii

Endurance Events USA is pleased to announce the inaugural edition of the Mauna to Mauna Ultra, which is happening now on the Big Island and will continue until May 20, 2017. This unique event is a 6-stage, 7 day, self-supported footrace, covering a cumulative distance of approximately 155 miles (250 km). The race is open to runners and hikers.

The 155-mile course route which began at Coconut Island in Hilo, winds through 11 of the world’s 13 climate zones, and finishes at Hapuna Beach. The course is taking participants up the world’s most massive mountain (Mauna Loa) and part way up the world’s tallest mountain (Mauna Kea), hence the name of the race: Mauna to Mauna. Participants are climbing more than 16,000 feet over the course of the race.

The field of participants from all over the world has come together for this challenging event, assuming the responsibility of carrying their own backpacks containing food, sleeping bag, mat and other mandatory equipment for the week.

Participants could elect to compete as individuals or teams. Participants were expected to possess basic outdoor survival skills such as familiarity with outdoor gear and backpacking. However, they were not required to possess any technical navigational or climbing skills to take part in the Event. Entrants from 20 countries are participating.

The event is sponsored by the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, Island of Hawai‘i Visitors Bureau and the County of Hawai‘i.

Please visit the event website at www.m2multra.com for more information. Follow the event on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/mauna2mauna.

 

BISAC Homeless Drive Gives Out Kits to Hilo’s Homeless

The Big Island Substance Abuse Council’s (BISAC’s) East Hawaii Intensive Outpatient Program participated in a one month drive to collect toiletry items for an outreach homeless project. Both clients and staff collected over 200 items to make a total of 25 kits which included: tooth paste, tooth brushes, soaps, shampoos, lotions, deodorant, and ponchos. These items were handed out to the Hilo Homeless community.

Kim Krell, Director of the East Hawaii programs reported, “This whole idea was our clients and staff wanting to make a difference in their community and give back.” “To see our clients use their experiences to help others reclaim their lives is just amazing” said BISAC’s CEO, Dr. Hannah Preston-Pita.

Since 1964, BISAC has been inspiring individuals and families to reclaim and enrich their lives in the wake of the ravages of substance abuse and mental health. They offer a continuum of services that are culturally appropriate and aligned with the ever-changing behavioral health field. For more information about BISAC and all of its programs call 969-9994 or visit www.bisac.org.

Hālau Kū Māna PCS, Kamehameha Schools Maui Win Top Prizes at Hula Competition

With an impassioned tribute to Mauna Kea, the students of Hālau Kū Māna Public Charter School took home the Edith Kawelohea McKinzie Overall Trophy at the 39th Annual Malia Craver Hula Kahiko Competition held this past Saturday at ‘Iolani School. This overall prize is awarded to the hula hālau with the best combined hula kahiko score and best Hawaiian language score.

The hālau will now also be invited to perform at the 40th Annual Prince Lot Hula Festival in July.

The students of Kamehameha Schools Maui took home the George Kananiokeakua Holokai Overall Trophy, which is the top prize for the intermediate division.

This unique competition, which offers intermediate and high school hula hālau the opportunity to compete among their peers, was founded by kūpuna Aunty Malia Craver and Uncle Earl Kawai. Both were staff at Queen Lili‘ūokalani Children’s Center (QLCC) Windward Unit at the time and created the event so secondary school students had an opportunity to learn and train in hula kahiko, the ancient Hawaiian hula.

This vision was recently realized when last year’s winners, the high school boys from Saint Louis School, placed in the kahiko division of this year’s Merrie Monarch competition.

The first second school hula kahiko competition was held in 1978 at Kualoa Regional Park. QLCC ran the competition until 1985, when Aunty Malia asked the Kalihi Palama Culture & Arts Society (KPCA) to take over the event. The Kalihi Palama Culture & Arts Society has proudly been the lead producers and sponsors of the event since 1986.

Aunty Malia Craver remained a critical member of the competition for many decades. She served as a judge for over 20 years. She wrote and gifted many oli (chants) to the competition. She remains the guiding light of the event. The competition was renamed in her honor after her passing in 2009. “We strive daily to honor her vision and her legacy,” says KPCA President Trisha Kehaulani Watson. “I have no doubt she is proudly watching over us, delighted to see how these students continue to flourish.”

The Kalihi Palama Culture & Arts Society also produces the Queen Lili‘ūokalani Keiki Hula Competition, which will take place this year at the Blaisdell Center July 20-22, 2017.

For a full list of winners, please see below:

Intermediate Division:

Kāne First Place: Saint Louis School, “Ka Lani Kalākaua”, Kumu Hula: Keli‘iho‘omalu Puchalski

Wāhine First Place: Kamehameha Schools Maui, “He Ho‘oheno Kēia No Wilikoki” Kumu Hula: Pilialoha Kamakea-Young

Wāhine Second Place: ‘Iolani School, “Nani Wale Ku‘u ‘Ike”
Kumu Hula: Kū Souza and Lehua Carvalho

Wāhine Third Place: Robert Stevenson Middle, “‘Ano ‘Ai Ku‘u Wehi”
Kumu Hula: Rich Padrina and Blaine Kaohe Nohara

Lokomaika‘iokalani Snakenberg Hawaiian Language Trophy:
Kamehameha Schools Maui (Wāhine)

George Kananiokeakua Holokai Overall Trophy: Kamehameha Schools Maui (Wāhine)

High School Division

Kāne First Place: Saint Louis School, “Holo Mai Pele”
Kumu Hula: Keli‘iho‘omalu Puchalski

Kāne Second Place: Hālau Kū Māna PCS, “Makali‘i”
Kumu Hula: Kawika Mersberg

Kāne Third Place: Mid Pacific Institute, “Aia I Nu‘uanu Kō Lei Nani”
Kumu Hula: Michael Lanakila Casupang

Wāhine First Place: Hālau Kū Māna PCS, “No Luna I Ka Halekai”
Kumu Hula: Kawika Mersberg

Wāhine Second Place: Mid Pacific Institute, “Aia I Haili Kō Lei Nani”
Kumu Hula: Michael Lanakila Casupang

Wāhine Third Place: Sacred Hearts Academy, “Nā Wahine Waipahē”
Kumu Hula: Kahaku & Puka Asing

Hui ‘ia First Place: Hālau Kū Māna PCS, “Kū Kia‘i Mauna”
Kumu Hula: Kawika Mersberg

Aunty Malia Craver Hawaiian Language Trophy: Mid-Pacific Institute

Edith Kawelohea McKinzie Overall Trophy: Hālau Kū Māna PCS (Hui ‘ia)

Invitation to Perform at the Prince Lot Hula Festival: Hālau Kū Māna PCS (Hui ‘ia)

 

My Hawai‘i, 2017 Student Environmental Writing Contest Winners Announced

The 25 winners of the 11th annual My Hawai‘i Story Contest were announced today.

The theme of this year’s contest is, “He Wa’a, He Moku”- Mālama Honua, celebrating the return of Hokule’a to Hawai’i from the Worldwide Voyage.

  • Brooklyn Aipoalani, Kamehameha Schools Kapālama Middle School
  • Taylor Amalato, Kaimuki Christian School
  • Connor Arakaki, Kamehameha Schools Kapālama Middle School
  • Cameren Banis, Kamehameha Schools Kapālama Middle School
  • Grace Bostock, Hawaii Preparatory Academy
  • Kylie Chock, Hawaii Baptist Academy
  • Jamie Cummings, Kamehameha Schools Kapālama Middle School
  • Roisin Darby, Hawaii Preparatory Academy
  • Morgan Davis, Hawaii Preparatory Academy
  • Ella Gibson, Kamehameha Schools Kapālama Middle School
  • Koa Higgins, Hawaii Preparatory Academy
  • Jaeden Jimenez, Kamehameha Schools Kapālama Middle School
  • Gabriel Kalama, Hawaii Preparatory Academy
  • Kamaha’o Liu, Hawaii Preparatory Academy
  • Chase Kamikawa, Kamehameha Schools Kapālama Middle School
  • Lyla Kaneshiro, S. W. King Intermediate
  • Katherine Payne, Hawaii Preparatory Academy
  • Wainohia Peloso, Kamehameha Schools Kapālama Middle School
  • Ella Prado, Hawaii Preparatory Academy
  • Tory Refamonte, Kamehameha Schools Kapālama Middle School
  • Chloe Sylva, Kamehameha Schools Kapālama Middle School
  • Quincy Tamaribuchi, Kamehameha Schools Kapālama Middle School
  • Johnsen Uwekoolani, Kamehameha Schools Maui
  • ‘Ala’I Williams, Holy Nativity School
  • Noah Zitz, Kamehameha Schools Kapālama Middle School

The winners will be presented with awards and prizes at the Hawai’i Conservation Conference on July 17, 2017 at the Hawai’i Convention Center in Honolulu.

Mahalo to all the participating students, schools, and teachers!

Grand Naniloa Hotel – a DoubleTree by Hilton to Unveil “Kahele Point” in Honor of Late Hawaii Senator Gilbert “Gil” Kahele

The ownership of the new Grand Naniloa Hotel – a DoubleTree by Hilton is honored to announce that it will rename the hotel’s oceanfront dock as “Kahele Point,” in honor of the late Hawai’i State Senator Gilbert “Gil” Kahele. A dedication ceremony and the unveiling of the late Senator’s monument will take place on Monday, May 15 at 10:30 a.m., at the hotel’s oceanfront dock.

The late Senator Gilbert Kahele

The new hotel ownership offered to dedicate the monument and dock area as a means to show its gratitude of all of the redevelopment and service work of Senator Kahele. In response, the Department of Land and Natural Resources, through Hawai’i State Senate Resolution No. 104, established the monument area that will honor the late Hilo Senator for his contribution to public service and his efforts to commence the revitalization of Banyan Drive with the first nationally branded hotel in Hilo the DoubleTree by Hilton.

“Kahele Point” will feature a narrative plaque of the late Senator as well as fishing pole stands and keiki fishing poles, representing the Senator’s love for the ocean and fishing. The plaque will face moku ‘ola (Coconut Island) and downtown Hilo as well as expansive views of Hilo Bay and the coastline.

“The community of Hilo, Banyan Drive redevelopment efforts and now our new DoubleTree by Hilton project have all been blessed by the assistance and service of the late Senator Kahele,” said Ed Bushor, the CEO of Tower Development, which redeveloped the hotel project. “We extend a huge mahalo nui loa to the Kahele family for allowing us to honor his legacy by establishing this memorial in an area that will be used for boating and fishing activities for generations to come.”

The idea for the monument was in collaboration with the Kahele Family, Tower Development and the ownership of the new Grand Naniloa Hotel – a DoubleTree by Hilton.

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor Commemorates 75th Anniversary of Battle of Midway with Two-Day Symposium and Youth Day

On June 4 – 7, 1942, six months after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States defeated Japan in one of the most decisive naval battles of World War II. During the Battle of Midway, U.S. forces successfully destroyed Japan’s major aircraft carriers Akagi, Kaga, Soryu, and Hiryu in a decisive victory that proved to be the turning point in the Pacific War.

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor will mark the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Midway with a two-day symposium, May 31 and June 1, from 9 am – 4 pm. The symposium is free with registration. The May 31 symposium also will be followed by a free Battle of Midway Exhibit Reception, 5 – 7 pm, to unveil the Museum’s new interactive Battle of Midway Exhibit kiosks.

Award-winning authors and historians will explore the origins and outcomes of the battle from both sides of the conflict through lively presentations and in-depth discussions. Battle of Midway survivors are also expected to attend. Presenters include:

Dr. Craig L. Symonds, one of America’s leading naval historians.  He is professor of History Emeritus at the United States Naval Academy where he taught for 30 years and served as department chair. Dr. Symonds is the author or editor of 28 books, including
The Battle of Midway and Decision at Sea: Five Naval Battles that Shaped American History.

Jonathan Parshall, founder and webmaster of combinedfleet.com, the premier reference website on the Imperial Japanese Navy.  He is the coauthor of Shattered Sword: The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway and has written for the Naval War College Review, U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings, and World War II magazine.

Daniel Martinez, chief historian of the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument, which honors the events, people and sites of the Pacific Theater engagement and serves as home of the USS Arizona Memorial, USS Utah Memorial, USS Oklahoma Memorial, and the mooring quays that were part of Pearl Harbor’s “Battleship Row.”

Matt Brown, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Superintendent of Papahānaumokākea Marine National Monument. Formerly, he was the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge Manager, and most recently, hosted President Obama for his visit to the Atoll last September during the expansion of Papahānaumokuākea. Brown will provide attendees with an overview of Midway Atoll today.

For a detailed schedule and to register, go to PacificAviationMuseum.org or call 808-445-9137.

First Annual Roundup at the Ranch

The date for the First Annual Roundup At The Ranch, which will be held at the Waiki’i Ranch Clubhouse, has been announced as July 15, 2017.

The BBQ and dance will run from 6pm – 10pm, with live music by Patio Productions.  Silent and live auction items include stays at vacation homes in Montana, Utah and Volcano Village, hotel and golf packages, brunch for 12 at the Mauna Kea Polo Club, sporting clays shoot for 5 at Parker Ranch, and jewelry.  The committee welcomes other auction donations.

Roundup at the Ranch

Tickets are $125 per person, of which $70 is tax deductible.  Seating is limited to 100. Tickets can be purchased online:  http://www.danielsayrefoundation.org/

Proceeds from the Roundup At The Ranch will help the Daniel R. Sayre Foundation support The Hawaii County Fire Department, including 9 Bravo Volunteer Fire Company. The Hawaii County Fire Department is a well-trained and managed force whose mission is to protect life and property on our island.  While the regular crews are very capable and quick to respond in emergencies, the size of the island requires more resources to complete the work.  That is why the Volunteer Fire Companies are important.

In North Hawaii, the Hawaii County Fire Department has five permanent Fire Stations.  These facilities are staffed continuously, and are called upon as soon as an emergency occurs.  But they can’t be everywhere.   Hawaii County Fire Department Stations 8 (Honokaa), 9 (Waimea),14 (South Kohala), 15 (North Kohala) and 16 (Waikoloa) attempt to protect all of North and South Kohala and some of Hamakua.  The volunteer groups, which are located between the stations, provide critical extra help.

The Waiki’i Ranch community’s own volunteer fire department, 9 Alpha, has worked in partnership with the 9 Bravo team on many occasions to assist the Waimea Fire Department in battling fires throughout the region.  The Roundup At The Ranch is a neighbor-to-neighbor effort to honor and support all of our local firefighters, whose hard work and dedication help to protect our homes and communities.

The Daniel R. Sayre Memorial Foundation

The Daniel R. Sayre Memorial Foundation is a volunteer-run, non-profit organization dedicated to providing essential equipment and training to the Hawaii Island Fire Department who serves the Hawaii community, and more than 1.5 million visitors per year from around the world.
Over one million dollars in donations and pledged equipment have been raised since its inception in 1997.  100% of the donations go to funding rescue equipment and training vital to saving lives. The Foundation is a registered 501(C)(3) non-profit organization.

9 Bravo Volunteer Fire Company

9 Bravo is a Volunteer Fire Company located roughly halfway between the Waimea and the South Kohala fire stations. The surrounding open pastures and wind-swept fields are often the location of large wild fires, some of which threatened homes and businesses.  9 Bravo has almost a dozen trained and capable firefighters, and two tank trucks that can negotiate rough roads and open fields.  The company is called on regularly, with over 30 major emergencies in 2016, including several recently adjacent to Waiki’i Ranch.

When 9 Bravo started up in 2009, the department provided training and some equipment, including personal protective gear.  A small brush truck with a 300 gallon water tank was assigned, but it was old and broke down frequently.  As homes were built in Kanehoa and Anekona, the owners wanted to assist the volunteers by providing more than the department could afford.  That was the start of a nonprofit company named Anekona Ouli Kanehoa VFD Company (“AOK”).

AOK got its tax exempt status with help from The Daniel R. Sayre Memorial Foundation.  AOK is focused on supporting 9 Bravo, and through fundraising by donations, purchased personal gear, equipment and a 5 ton cargo truck that carries a 1200 gallon water tank.  This truck is a valuable asset which has assisted in many off-road wildfires.

Seeing that the trucks and equipment were kept by the volunteers, with Captain Mike Shattuck’s garage full of hoses and other gear, and the trucks in his front yard, AOK has undertaken to build a permanent facility for 9 Bravo.  In the past few years, with plenty of volunteer help from the community, AOK has obtained a site to build a basic equipment garage, and has recently completed design work, obtained permits, and commenced construction.  Although donations from the local community have been helpful, and local contractors and suppliers have been generous in providing in-kind contributions, AOK is still about $50K short of cash needed to complete construction of the equipment garage.

Kona Brewing Company’s New “Dear Mainland” Campaign Rolls Out Today

At a time when Americans are leaving millions of unused vacation days on the table and spending more time in front of screens than ever before, Kona Brewing Company and the larger-than-life but laid back Hawaiian “Bruddahs” from the “Dear Mainland” campaign are back to playfully suggest that shifting our priorities might help us enjoy life more. In new digital videos that launch May 8, the Bruddahs humorously remind us to get out and have some real-life fun as they “review” a few of the ways we get stuck to our screens – whether to catch up on the latest reality television feud, crush a mobile game, or check out a viral cat-in-funny outfit video.

The :15 videos are part of Kona Brewing’s evolution of the successful integrated “Dear Mainland” campaign, which is expanding to include TV, digital video and retail components, as well as new localized TV spots in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Sacramento and San Francisco.

The Dear Mainland campaign created with Duncan Channon, which juxtaposes the easy-going and distinctly local perspective of the Bruddahs with common all-work-no-play mainlander pressures, has driven significant business growth for Kona Brewing Company since its 2014 launch. After the first year, Kona saw a 37 percent sales lift in markets where the campaign aired – the third highest lift recorded by IRI in 12 years. In 2016, Kona recorded an additional 15 percent growth over the previous year’s record in campaign markets.

“Kona’s Dear Mainland campaign has been successful because people love the light-hearted way our ‘Bruddahs’ deliver the relatable and much-needed reminder to step outside their daily routine and make time for what matters most to them,” said Cindy Wang, senior director of brand marketing for Kona Brewing Co. “That’s why we’re excited to showcase their special brand of Hawaiian wisdom in new formats beyond traditional TV spots and create hyper-local ways to engage new audiences.”

“We know people are guilty of spending time online at the expense of other meaningful, relaxing or fun experiences, so it makes sense for us to reach our audience on social to deliver Kona’s good humored message about screen time,” added Wang.

Created by San Francisco’s Duncan Channon, a 2016 Ad Age Small Agency of the Year, the digital videos were shot in Hawaii at Kikaua Point Park, Kailua-Kona with Waimea resident Dave Bell and Blake “Brutus” La Benz from Honolulu. Three :15 second videos will run May 8 through September 3, 2017 on Facebook and Instagram:

  • Kona Reviews: Phone Apps” – pokes fun at the mobile game phenomenon and gamification that keeps Americans chained to their phones
  • Kona Reviews: Reality TV” – tongue-in-cheek reference to reality TV drama that contrasts with the serene experience of drinking a cold Kona beer at the beach
  • Kona Reviews: Viral Videos” – reminds us that there may be more fulfilling things to do and discover in life than the latest viral cat video sensation

“The Kona brand is all about encouraging people to slow down, breathe and connect with what matters – family, friends, nature, experiences,” said Anne Elisco-Lemme, executive creative director, Duncan Channon. “In the new creative, the brothers’ tongue-in-cheek banter about pop culture content that keeps us chained to our screens reminds us that we sometimes need to put down the phone, turn off the TV or close that YouTube video to get out and enjoy life.”

Duncan Channon also produced a series of short-form videos called “Dear Kona,” which will run on Facebook and Instagram during the same time period. The videos feature the Bruddahs’ responses to fictional letters from mainlanders asking advice about how to deal with life situations, such as an amped-up boss labeling every email “urgent.” View the videos here:

As part of Kona’s 360 degree approach to reach audiences no matter where they are, Kona also partnered with CBS to create dedicated local TV creative that offers the Bruddahs’ laid-back view on the local values of five California counties: Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Sacramento and San Francisco. The localized TV spots will air in each market exclusively on Thursdays – the day of the week the Bruddahs want people to treat like “Little Fridays”  by making time to enjoy themselves. Kona will also encourage fans to put a little “Friday” into everyday giving away a weekly prize through a new “Little Friday” online sweepstakes, which will be promoted on social media and in retail stores. Consumers can enter starting May 8 at: www.konabrewingco.com/littlefridays.

The brand teamed with the AV Club to bring music artists Thao and Zipper Club to the home of Kona beer in Kona, HI, to film a national TV special that will air nationally on Fusion TV on August 31, 2017. Kona will also present a special concert featuring Boulevards, Thao and Zipper Club in Los Angeles at Hotel Cafe on July 20, 2017. “Little Friday Acoustic Sessions” sessions and interviews with the artists courtesy of Kona will be unveiled at www.avclub.com throughout the summer.

The new elements in the “Dear Mainland” campaign will complement the airing of existing Kona TV spots “Little Fridays,” “FOMO” and “Sad Hour” due to their continued success with audiences. The TV spots, which originally launched in the summer of 2014 will air in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego and Sacramento May through September.

Mau‘i’s Most Popular Trail Gets Safety and Conservation Upgrades

On one side of the Waihe‘e Ridge Trail, hikers look deep into the Waihe‘e Gorge.  On the other, they look across Makamakaole Gulch and out into the shimmering Pacific Ocean.  On a clear day, yet another view is across the entire central plain of Maui all the way to the top of Haleakala.  This challenging, but scenic trail is considered the most popular path on Maui in the State’s Nā Ala Hele Trail and Access Program.

Now the thousands of people who make the 2.5-mile trek to the top can do it safer and probably with a heck of a lot less mud attached to their boots.  An almost completed $122,000 trail improvement program provides two viewing platforms, drainage features in particularly boggy areas, and better trail tread to reduce slickness.  Torrie Nohara, the Nā Ala Hele trails specialist on Maui commented, “On every trail, water control is the number one consideration. We’ve built “sheet drains” that will divert water off the trail and not only make it more enjoyable for users, but help prevent erosion. On the lower portions of the trail we did significant excavation of large boulders and rocks to improve the contour of the trail.”

The Nā Ala Hele program falls under the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW). It hired Cam Lockwood of Trails Unlimited to help design the new features and supervise trail improvement and construction work.  His California-based company has built and improved trails nationwide.  He says the Waihe’e Ridge Trail incorporates some of the best thinking and best practices around for trail improvements.  “For instance,” Lockwood explained, “The large viewing platform on top and the one about a mile up the trail are constructed with pressure treated lumber raised off the ground to provide a longer useful life. Composite decking was used on the viewing platforms to also extend their life spans and to provide improved traction in the often, wet conditions at the terminus of the trail.”  He said the primary consideration for all the improvements was to make the entire trail more sustainable, more enjoyable, and safer.  He describes the views from the top as “breathtaking” and hopes people will focus on those, rather than the challenge involved in making the 1,500-foot elevation gain hike.

While most of the major construction is now complete, crews continue to put finishing touches on some of the features and certain sections of the trail.  The Waihe’e Ridge Trail is open for hiking, but people are asked to exercise caution and respect when traversing through construction zones. For complete information on this trail please visit:https://hawaiitrails.org/trails/#/trail/waihee-ridge-trail/111

Waihee Ridge Trail Improvements VNR from Hawaii DLNR on Vimeo.

Endangered ‘Ua‘u Released Successfully

When it comes to successful wildlife rescue and rehabilitation, the old adage “it takes a village” rings true. An endangered ‘Ua‘u (Hawaiian Petrel) is back in the wild thanks to the rapid response and partnership of many, including Pulama Lana‘i, the Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), multiple community members, Kohala Dental Center, Maui Save Our Seabirds, and the Hawai‘i Wildlife Center.

All photos courtesy of Hawai‘i Wildlife Center

The ‘Ua‘u was found injured on Lana‘i after a suspected structure collision. The bird was suffering from head trauma, an injury to its left eye, damage to the tip of its beak, and neurological issues. The rescuers coordinated with the Hawai‘i Wildlife Center, the bird was flown to Hawai‘i Island on April 19 and was then brought to the HWC wildlife hospital from the airport by Wheels for Wildlife transport volunteer, Paul McCollam. The extensive list of injuries led HWC to give the bird a guarded prognosis after it was evaluated by HWC Primary Care Veterinarian Dr. Juan Guerra. It was started on an aggressive course of treatment, including antibiotics, eye drops, nutritional support and hydration. HWC staff administered treatment three times a day every day and remained committed to the bird’s recovery.

“This case really highlights the importance of giving downed birds a chance to rehabilitate,” said Samantha Christie, HWC Wildlife Rehabilitation Manager. “This bird would have perished if not for the quick response on Lana‘i and the intensive care provided at HWC.”

The ‘Ua‘u continued its recovery, gaining strength and exhibiting more feisty natural behavior, and on May 1 it was placed on a conditioning pool for the first time. After watching the bird spend multiple days on the pool, HWC wildlife staff determined that the bird’s feathers were able to provide the necessary waterproofing and were encouraged to see the patient exhibiting normal behavior. All signs pointed towards release.

Before the bird was ready to be released, a few last details needed to be addressed. HWC wildlife rehabilitation staff performed a unique procedure using dental epoxy generously provided by Kohala Dental Center to repair the bird’s damaged beak. The day before release, the bird was banded by DOFAW staff with a band that was provided by Maui Save Our Seabirds and flown in the night before. Then she was ready for return to the wild.

Since seabirds naturally fly long distances, HWC was granted permission from USFWS and DOFAW to release the Lana‘i ‘Ua‘u on Hawai‘i Island. The release location, Kawaihae Harbor, was chosen based on the close proximity to the Center. Michael Huber, another HWC volunteer, carefully kayaked the ‘Ua‘u out of the harbor and the bird was released to favorable winds and calm seas. During its initial examination at the HWC wildlife hospital, HWC wildlife staff found a brood patch indicating that the bird was a breeding adult. HWC staff expects the bird to eventually navigate back home to Lana‘i to breed.

The Hawaiian Petrel, or ‘Ua‘u in Hawaiian, is an endangered species that feeds in in the open ocean. This large seabird is strictly pelagic and is only seen on land when nesting. (A Photographic Guide to the Birds of Hawai‘i. Jim Denny. University of Hawaii Press, 2010.)

Hokulea Returning Home

Hawaii’s iconic voyaging canoe Hokulea will conclude its epic three-year sail around the globe and return home to the Hawaiian Islands in June 2017.  The mission of the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage sponsored by Hawaiian Airlines was to weave a lei of hope around the world through sharing indigenous wisdom, groundbreaking conservation and preservation initiatives while learning from the past and from each other, creating global relationships, and discovering the wonders of the Island Earth.

On Saturday, June 17, Hokulea and its crew members will make their historic return to Hawaii at Oahu’s Magic Island after sailing more than 40,000 nautical miles since departing Oahu for the first deep sea leg of the voyage in May 2014. Hokulea will sail into Magic Island along with a fleet of about seven deep sea voyaging canoes from Hawaii, Tahiti and New Zealand.  The homecoming celebration, themed Lei Kaapuni Honua, meaning “A Lei Around The World,” honors the journey of connecting cultures and people around the world.

“It is the realization of decades of hard work and planning on behalf of the Polynesian Voyaging Society crew and our partners and friends around the world to embark on the final leg of Hokulea’s voyage and return home,” said Nainoa Thompson, president of Polynesian Voyaging Society. “Watching Hokulea crest the waves of Oahu’s south shore as she returns home, much like the canoes of our ancestors, will be a once in a lifetime experience. We are overwhelmed with emotion at all we have accomplished during this historic voyage and we look forward to setting sail on the next chapter together.”

Hokulea’s homecoming will include a cultural welcoming ceremony followed by a grand celebration. To further engage the local community and continue the festivities, a series of additional homecoming events are planned during the week following the June 17 arrival. The Malama Honua Fair and Summit, a three-day summit, will highlight the voyaging, cultural, environmental, educational and health and well-being missions of the Worldwide Voyage by sharing malama honua “stories of hope” and voyage-inspired initiatives and activities with the public. The event’s inspirational speaker series will feature local and global speakers who have engaged with the Voyage including: Megan Smith, 3rd chief technology officer of the United States; Dieter Paulmann, founder of Okeanos Foundation for the Sea; and Ocean Elders Sylvia Earle, Jean-Michel Cousteau, and Don Walsh.

The mission of the Voyage has been to spread the message of Malama Honua (caring for Island Earth) by promoting environmental consciousness, fostering learning environments, bringing together island communities and growing a global movement toward a more sustainable world. The voyage has celebrated a resurgence of pride and respect for our native cultures and has created opportunities for people throughout the world to honor our shared heritage.

The Malama Honua sail plan included over 150 ports, 18 nations and eight of UNESCO’S Marine World Heritage sites, engaging local communities and practicing how to live sustainably. During the voyage, over 200 volunteer crew members have helped to sail the vessel and connect with more than 100,000 people throughout the world in communities across the South Pacific, Tasman Sea, Indian Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, and the Caribbean Sea, including Samoa, Aotearoa (New Zealand), Australia, Indonesia, Mauritius, South Africa, Brazil, U.S. Virgin Islands, Cuba, the East Coast of the United States, Canada, Panama, and the Galapagos Islands.

After returning to Hawaii in the fall of 2017, Hokulea and Hikianalia will sail around the Hawaiian Islands to reconnect with local communities and schools to share stories and lessons learned on the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage.

Auli’i Cravalho to Perform National Anthem at PBS’ Memorial Day Concert

Hawai‘i’s own Auli‘i Cravalho, star of Disney’s Moana, is scheduled to open this year’s National Memorial Day Concert on PBS with a performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” The concert will be broadcast from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol.

Auli‘i Cravalho

PBS Hawai‘i will air the National Memorial Day Concert Sunday, May 28 at 7 pm, with an encore broadcast at 9 pm. It will also be live streamed online on Facebook Live and www.pbs.org/national-memorial-day-concert and available as Video on Demand for a limited time only, May 28 to June 10.

Oscar nominee and Emmy and Tony-Award winner Laurence Fishburne will join Tony Award-winner Joe Mantegna to host the 28th annual edition of the PBS broadcast, which regularly ranks among the public television network’s highest-rated programs.

For almost three decades, PBS has presented this night of remembrance dedicated to the country’s men and women in uniform, their families at home and all those who have given their lives for our country. Emmy Award-winner Gary Sinise, who has co-hosted the concert for the past eleven years, will present a 75th anniversary salute to the Doolittle Raiders, the aviators who changed the course of World War II in the Pacific.

The all-star line-up for the event includes: General Colin L. Powell USA (Ret.); Renée Fleming; Vanessa Williams; Scotty McCreery; John Ondrasik of Five for Fighting; John Ortiz; Christopher Jackson; Ana Ortiz; Ronan Tynan; and Russell Watson, in performance with the National Symphony Orchestra under the direction of top pops conductor Jack Everly. Additional performers to be announced.

The program is a co-production of Michael Colbert of Capital Concerts and WETA, Washington, D.C.  Executive Producer Michael Colbert has assembled an award-winning production team that features the top Hollywood talent behind some of television’s most prestigious entertainment awards shows including the Grammy Awards, Country Music Awards, Tony Awards, Saturday Night Live and more.

Big Island Students Travel to India

Parker students witnessed new cultures and participated in an unforgettable volunteer experience on an 11-day trip to India as part of the school’s Travel Club.

Ten Parker upper school students visited India on a recent 11-day trip as part of the school’s Travel Club.

Ten upper school students, along with two teachers and a Parker parent, traveled to India in March where they visited the Gandhi Museum and a Sikh Temple in New Delhi, participated in the Holi Festival (color festival) in Jaipur, and volunteered to help rescued sloth bears and elephants at Wildlife SOS in Agra.

“Wildlife SOS is a non-profit in India that rescues sloth bears and Asian elephants in addition to working with local communities to create employment opportunities that do not endanger animals,” says Melissa Lunchick, Parker middle school Spanish teacher and Travel Club advisor. At the Wildlife SOS headquarters, students learned how development threatens animals and habitats in India. They also had the chance to monitor animal behavior for research, bathe elephants, prepare food for the animals, as well as build enrichment structures for the sloth bears’ enclosures.

“Along with this profound volunteer experience, our journey through several urban and rural parts of India allowed students to witness different walks of life in the developing world,” says Jessie Marshall, also a Parker teacher and co-advisor of the Travel Club.  “Experiencing Indian food, culture, and lifestyle gave us a valuable perspective about the things we take for granted.”

This is the second trip made by the school’s newly reformed Travel Club, with eight students traveling to Peru last summer for the club’s first travels abroad.