Hawai’i County Inaugural Ceremonies Set For Dec. 1

The Inaugural Ceremonies will be held for the newly elected members of the Hawai‘i County Council on Monday, December 1, 2014, at the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium in Hilo at 12 noon. The public is invited to attend.

2014 inauguration invite

Sherry Bracken of Hawai‘i Public Radio will serve as Master of Ceremonies. The Honorable Judge Ronald Ibarra will administer the Oath of Office to the newly elected council members, and the Honorable Mayor Billy Kenoi will serve as keynote speaker.

The Office of the County Clerk extends a warm welcome to the public to attend this special event.

Reopening of Pahoa Village Road Begins Tomorrow

This is an eruption and lava flow information update for Sunday November 23rd at 8:00AM.

This morning’s assessment shows that the upslope breakouts remain active.  The breakouts are located approximately 3.6 miles upslope of the Apa’a Street area and consist of surface breakouts and breakouts along the edges or margins of the flow pad.  Presently, all breakout activity does not pose an immediate threat to area communities and the flow activity will continue to be monitored.

Residents in the down slope areas will be kept informed of any changes and the flow status and advancement.

The Pahoa Village Road between Apa’a Street and the Post Office Road will remain closed and limited to area residents only.   Access to the businesses and commercial areas of the Pahoa town can be made through the Pahoa Village Road at the intersection of Highways 130 and 132 and the Post Office Road.  We apologize for any inconvenience the road closure may be presenting with and remind everyone that the Pahoa town center and businesses are open and accessible.

Pahoa Village Road

The reopening of the Pahoa Village Road will be initiated starting tomorrow Monday November 24th and may take a few days to complete.  Utility crews will begin to remove the protection placed around the utility poles and this work will require the road to remain closed while equipment is operating in the area.

Civil Defense and public safety personnel will continue to maintain close observations of flow activity.

Additional updates will be posted as conditions change.

We would like to thank everyone for your patience and understanding and your  cooperation and assistance is greatly appreciated.

Nominations Sought For The Hawaii Big Tree Competition

The holiday season marks the beginning of the annual Hawaii Big Tree Competition.  Sponsored by the Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Forestry and Wildlife and American Forests, the program focuses attention on the largest trees in each species, as a way to raise awareness about the importance of healthy trees and forests.

In 2014, a coconut palm in Hawaii Kai, Coco, was crowned the national Big Tree winner and the National Ultimate Big Tree after several weeks of online voting.

In 2014, a coconut palm in Hawaii Kai, Coco, was crowned the national Big Tree winner and the National Ultimate Big Tree after several weeks of online voting.

The Hawai‘i Big Tree Competition does not have a champion for the following Hawaiian species that are eligible for the National Big Tree Program.  Therefore, any tree nominated from the following list will likely be crowned a champion.

Big Tree

The 10 current Hawai‘i champions are listed below. To replace a current champion, the challenger tree must have more total points.  Total Points = Trunk Circumference (inches) + Height (feet) + ¼ Average Crown Spread (feet).

  • Niu (Cocos nucifera) in Hawea Heiau Complex and Keawawa Wetland, O‘ahu
    (Circumference: 13.5) (Height: 112) (Crown Spread: 16.42)
  • Wiliwili (Erythrina sandwicensis) in Waikoloa Dry Forest, Hawai‘i Island
    (Circumference: 186.96) (Height: 40) (Crown Spread: 43.50)
  • Olopua (Nestegis sandwicensis) in Pu‘u wa‘awa‘a Forest Reserve, Hawai‘i Island  (Circumference: 204.52) (Height: 32) (Crown Spread: 42.58)
  • Pāpalakēpau (Pisonia brunoniana) in Pu‘u wa‘awa‘a Forest Reserve, Hawai‘i Island (Circumference: 52.46) (Height: 28) (Crown Spread: 15.25)
  • Māmane (Sophora chrysophylla) in Pu‘u wa‘awa‘a Forest Reserve, Hawai‘i Island (Circumference: 165) (Height: 24) (Crown Spread: 25.5)
  • Kōlea lau nui (Myrsine lessertiana) in Pu‘u wa‘awa‘a Forest Reserve, Hawai‘i Island (Circumference: 85.14) (Height: 32) (Crown Spread: 25.5)
  • Koa (Acacia koa) in Kona Hema Preserve, South Kona, Hawai‘i Island
    (Circumference: 343) (Height: 115) (Crown Spread: 93)
  • Hau (Hibiscus tiliaceus) in Hulihe‘e Palace, Kailua-Kona, Hawai‘i Island
    (Circumference: 110) (Height: 20) (Crown Spread: 25)
  • A‘ali‘i (Dodonaea viscosa) in Maui Nui Botanical Gardens, Hawai‘i Island
    (Circumference: 23) (Height: 17) (Crown Spread: 16)
  • Mānele (Sophora chrysophylla) in Volcanoes National Park, Hawai‘i Island
    (Circumference: 30) (Height: 73) (Crown Spread: 57)

To nominate a tree, contact Hawai‘i Big Tree coordinator Kylee Ah Choy at (808) 587-0164 and provide the tree height, trunk circumference, and average crown spread.  Also, please know your tree’s specific location (GPS coordinates are appreciated).

Big Tree Madness 1 from Hawaii DLNR on Vimeo.

For more on the Hawaii Big Tree Program: dlnr.hawaii.gov/forestry/info/big-tree/
For more on the National Big Tree Program: www.americanforests.org/bigtrees/bigtrees-search/

42 Children Adopted into Local Families on National Adoption Day

On National Adoption Day, November 21, 2014, the First Circuit Family Court finalized the adoptions of 42 children at the Ronald T. Y. Moon Judiciary Complex in Kapolei. The children, ranging in age from 4 months and older, were adopted into 40 families from across Oahu.

42 Children Adopted into Local Families on National Adoption Day

42 Children Adopted into Local Families on National Adoption Day

Senior Family Court Judge R. Mark Browning presided over the hearings to finalize adoptions all day today and Judges Bode Uale, Paul Murakami, Jennifer Ching, Catherine Remigio, and Lanson Kupau devoted their afternoon calendars to preside over the adoptions.

The children being adopted vary in age and come from diverse ethnic, linguistic, and economic backgrounds. Adoptive parents from diverse backgrounds do not have to be married, wealthy, or have a specific education or background.

“We celebrate and honor those who have opened their hearts and families to children who need a permanent home.  It’s a celebration of love and testament to the goodness of our community.  As judges, it is a privilege to be able to be able to be part of this joyful event,” said Judge Browning.

9th Annual Moku O Keawe International Hula Festival Winners Announced

Winners of the 9th Annual Moku O Keawe International Hula Festival were announced Saturday to an enthusiastic audience at the Hilton Waikoloa Village in Waikoloa Beach Resort.

Pākahi (solo) Awards were presented for Wahine (age 13 to 45), as well as and Wahine Hālau divisions. Wahine Hālau and Pākahi performed the ancient Hula Kahiko on Thursday, and modern Hula ‘Auwana on Saturday, and scores were combined to determine overall winners.

Makua (women age 36-54) competed as soloists in ‘Auwana only. Kupuna Group and Solo winners (age 46 or older) were announced on Friday, following the Kupuna competition.

The top-scoring Wahine Hālau was Hālau Hi‘iakaināmakalehua, Nā Kumu Hula Robert Ka‘upu and Lono Padilla. From the same hālau, Caitlin Ka‘ōpūiki was named Miss Hula Pākahi, and Pristina Louis took the Makua solo honor.

 Moku O Keawe International Festival judges and advisory committee, with 2014 winning wahine group, Hālau Hi‘iakaināmakalehua, Nā Kumu Hula Robert Ka‘upu and Lono Padil


Moku O Keawe International Festival judges and advisory committee, with 2014 winning wahine group, Hālau Hi‘iakaināmakalehua, Nā Kumu Hula Robert Ka‘upu and Lono Padil

Altogether, fifteen hālau from Hawai‘i and Japan competed in the three-day event, which also featured Hawaiian cultural workshops and and extensive Made-in-Hawai‘i Market Place.

Kupuna group winners, from Kealakekua, Hālau Hula O Kawaimaluhia, Kumu Hula Keoni Jenny, with MOK President Sig Zane, and judges Nalani Kanaka'ole, Olana Ai, Cy Bridges and Iliahi Paredes

Kupuna group winners, from Kealakekua, Hālau Hula O Kawaimaluhia, Kumu Hula Keoni Jenny, with MOK President Sig Zane, and judges Nalani Kanaka’ole, Olana Ai, Cy Bridges and Iliahi Paredes

WINNERS of the 2014 Moku O Keawe International Hula Festival:

Kupuna Wahine Pākahi Waikoloa:

1st Place
Hula Studio Malulani, Sayuri Ito Sensei
Kupuna Wahine: Setsuko Fukushima
Mele: “Mahina O Hōkū”

2nd Place
Ku‘u Pua Lehua Nani, Keiko Ito Sensei
Kupuna Wahine: Sanami Hayashi
Mele: “Ka Nohona Pilikai”

3rd Place
Hula Studio Nā Lei O Hōkū, Mineko Ichihara Sensei
Kupuna Wahine: Toshiko Toshi
Mele: “Lei Ana O Mānoa”

Kupuna Wahine Hālau:

1st Place
Hālau Hula O Kawaimaluhia, Kumu Hula Keoni Jenny
Mele: “Kapi‘olani Pāka”

2nd Place
Ke Ala O Ke Ao Cultural Arts Studio, Nā Kumu Hula Kahikina Ah Sing and Kalani Ah Sing
Mele: “Kau‘ionālani”

3rd Place
Hālau Hula O Makalapua, Mutsuko Fujimaki Sensei
Mele: “Lei Ko‘ele”

Makua Pākahi Waikoloa:

1st Place
Hālau Hi‘iakaināmakalehua, Nā Kumu Hula Robert Kaupu and Lono Padilla
Prestina Louis

2nd Place
Hālau O Kawaimaluhia, Kumu Hula Keoni Jenny
Heidi Hart

3rd Place
Hālau O Makalapua, Mutsuko Fujimaki Sensei
Yukari Takahashi

Wahine Solo, Miss Hula Pākahi Waikoloa:

1st Place
Hālau Hi‘iakaināmakalehua, Nā Kumu Hula Robert Ka‘upu and Lono Padilla
Caitlin Ka‘ōpūiki

2nd Place
Hālau O Ka Hanu Lehua, Kumu Hula Kamaka Kukona
Aleahnani Makuakāne

3rd Place
Hālau Pukamaikalā, Yukiko Toyama Sensei
Fumi Hirakata

Wahine Hālau:

1st Place
Hālau Hi‘iakaināmakalehua, Nā Kumu Hula Robert Ka‘upu and Lono Padilla

2nd Place
Hālau O Ka Hanu Lehua, Kumu Hula Kamaka Kukona

3rd Place
Ke Ala O Ke Ao Cultural Arts Studio, Nā Kumu Hula Kahikina Ah Sing and Kalani Ah Sing

The Moku O Keawe International Festival is sponsored by the Moku O Keawe Foundation, a private nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing, enriching and educating the practice and development of hula and its associated arts. Mahalo to generous sponsors, Waikoloa Beach Resort, Hilton Waikoloa Village, Waimea Music Center, Sig Zane Designs, Na Makua Designs, Traditions Hawai‘i, Big Island Candies, Sushi Shiono, Waiola, KAPA Radio and others. For more information, visit www.MOKIF.com.

Breaking Lava News – Students Who Wish to Stay at Pahoa CAN Through Geographic Exemptions

Pahoa and Keonopoko students living north of the flow have been transferred to Kea’au.

Pahoa High and Intermediate
After speaking with complex superintendent Mary Correa, Senator Russell Ruderman is happy to announce that those students that wish to stay at Pahoa may do so through a geographic exemptions (GE’s).

These exemptions will allow Pahoa High students living north of the lava flow to continue to attend school ion Pahoa – as long as they can secure transportation to and from Pahoa. A special accommodation will allow these students to continue to compete for Pahoa teams.

Applications for a Geographic Exemption can be found at Pahoa High School at the Registrar’s Office (F106).

 

9th Annual Moku O Keawe International Hula Festival Starts Thursday

Come and enjoy the 9th annual Moku O Keawe International Hula Festival happening at the Waikoloa Hilton Monarchy Ballroom November 6th-8th.

mokif2014

Experience the lessons of Hula through our workshops with our celebrated Judges or learn about Kinolau and Hula regalia during our free lectures by Hokulani Holt Padilla and Dr. Pualani Kanahele. Before heading to watch our nightly competition make sure to take a memory home from our Made In Hawaii marketplace.

While engaging all of your senses we continue with our mission of enriching the practice and development of Hula and its associated arts.

HELCO Thanks Folks Who Shared Ideas for Protecting Utility Poles

The June 27 lava flow is spurring innovation and promoting collaboration despite its threat to the Puna community and the utility infrastructure that lies in its path.

Hawaii Electric Light would like to thank the many people who shared their ideas for protecting utility infrastructure from the lava’s extreme heat. The design process started in late August and involved numerous drafts. Multiple factors were considered, and the final design was a collaborative effort between Hawaii Electric Light, the University of Hawaii at Hilo, and the U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. The partnership was instrumental in helping the company understand the characteristics of lava and how to best reduce the short and long-term heat impact to the infrastructure. Our partners continue to assist us with post-impact evaluations. The key contributors were:

Hawaii Electric Light

  • Michael Iwahashi, Assistant Superintendent, Construction & Maintenance
  • Construction & Maintenance Division

University of Hawaii at Hilo

  • Dr. Kenneth Hon, Professor of Geology

U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory

  • Tim Orr, Geologist
  • Matthew Patrick, Geologist

Among those submitting a pole protection design was Hawaii Academy of Arts and Science (HAAS) Public Charter School in Pahoa. Although the design was not used, Hawaii Electric Light recognizes their innovation which paralleled the efforts of experienced professionals.

The design was created by high school students in the school’s Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM) program. Their assignment began with a question: “What can you do to help the community?”

“Our STEM class firmly feels necessity is the mother of invention,” said Eric Clause, lead STEM instructor. “When the students designed the power pole barriers, we looked at using materials that were ready and available and would work under the harsh conditions a lava flow would pose. We were really stoked when HELCO released similar design plans.”

PHOTO (L-R): HAAS STEM students Chalongrat Boat Prakopdee, Michael Dodge, Logan Treaster, Maya Anderson, and Jordan Drewer. Photo credit: Hawaii Academy of Arts & Science PCS

PHOTO (L-R): HAAS STEM students Chalongrat Boat Prakopdee, Michael Dodge, Logan Treaster, Maya Anderson, and Jordan Drewer.
Photo credit: Hawaii Academy of Arts & Science PCS

The students are Maya Anderson, Michael Dodge, Jordan Drewer, Henry LaPointe, Lyric Peat, Chalongrat Boat Prakopdee, and Logan James Treaster. In addition to the pole protection design, the STEM students designed an air purifier that can filter hydrogen sulfide, a heat resistant bridge that is cooled by flowing clean water, and a desalinization system that can provide quality drinking water. Some students also are involved in the Hope for HAAS project using social media to raise funds to help HAAS accommodate displaced students in areas affected by the flow.

“Hawaii Electric Light applauds the students at HAAS for their innovation, creativity, and foresight,” said spokeswoman Rhea Lee. “With a lava flow headed their way, they responded proactively and not only developed a conceptual design to help protect power poles, but searched for other ways to help the community in which they live. These are qualities that we value and look for in our employees.”

Lava Flow Invades Pahoa Town – Pictures

The June 27th lava flow remained active, and the flow front was nearing residential areas in the northwest portion of Pāhoa.

1027flowfront

Click to enlarge

The flow front was heading towards a low spot on the Pāhoa Village Road, between Apaʻa St. and the post office.

This annotated photograph shows the notable features around the flow front. The photo was taken at 11:30 am, and also shows the distance the flow front has traveled between Cemetery Rd./Apaʻa St. and Pāhoa Village Rd.

This annotated photograph shows the notable features around the flow front. The photo was taken at 11:30 am, and also shows the distance the flow front has traveled between Cemetery Rd./Apaʻa St. and Pāhoa Village Rd.

This photo was taken at 11:30 am today, when the flow front was 540 meters (0.3 miles) from Pāhoa Village Road.

A wider view of the flow, showing its proximity to Pāhoa Village Road. Pāhoa Village Road spans the bottom portion of the photograph.

A wider view of the flow, showing its proximity to Pāhoa Village Road. Pāhoa Village Road spans the bottom portion of the photograph.

A comparison of a normal photograph with a thermal image. The white box shows the approximate extent of the thermal image. The elevated temperatures (white and yellow areas) around the flow front indicate that significant activity is focused at the front, driving its forward movement.

thermalsnipIn addition, a slow-moving lobe was active upslope of Cemetery Rd. Farther upslope, scattered breakouts persist in the wider portion of the flow.

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

HELCO Attempts to Protect Power Poles From Lava Flow

Hawaii Electric Light continues to work closely with Hawaii County Civil Defense and other agencies to monitor and evaluate the lava flow and has put into action the plans that are appropriate for this stage, including:

  • Pole protection measures were installed on four poles along Apaa Street. The poles were partially encased with heat resistant and dispersive material to protect them from the heat generated by the lava.
  • A large diesel generator was relocated to the Kapoho area to provide an alternate source of generation should the flow isolate the area from the island-wide power grid.
  • The distribution line extension construction continues on Government Beach Road as an alternate means to provide power to Hawaiian Beaches should the existing power distribution lines become inoperable.
HELCO workers are experimenting on securing the telephone poles on Cemetery Road.  (Click to enlarge)

HELCO workers are experimenting on securing the poles on Cemetery Road. As of 2 PM, the flow was only 135 m (approximately 150 yards) from Cemetery Rd./Apaʻa St., which spans this photo. HELCO crews can be seen working to protect utility poles along the road. (Click to enlarge)

“The safety of our community and employees is our top priority,” said spokesperson Kristen Okinaka. “We’re working closely with Hawaii County Civil Defense and have taken the necessary steps to protect our facilities.”

Hawaii Electric Light advises customers who are planning to move and would like to discontinue or transfer their electric service to call (808) 969-6999. In the event evacuation is necessary before electric service has been removed, the company recommends customers:

  • Shut off electricity at the main breaker or switch;
  • Unplug or turn off electric equipment and appliances.

As there are new developments, updates will be provided to the media and public and also posted on Hawaii Electric Light’s website (www.hawaiielectriclight.com), Twitter (@HIElectricLight), and Facebook (www.facebook.com/HawaiianElectric) accounts.

Big Island Teacher Invited to Present at Prestigious Mainland Conference

A Big Island Teacher has been selected by the Gates Foundation to serve as a presenter at an upcoming conference in New Orleans.

Kimberly Enamoria

Kimberly Enanoria

Kimberly Enanoria, a National Board Certified High School English Teacher has been personally invited by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to serve as a Presenter at the upcoming Elevating and Celebrating Effective Teachers and Teaching Conference in New Orleans.

Approximately 500 Educators are expected to be in attendance at this prestigious invitation only event.

Kimberly is a Pahoa High School alumni and is currently employed at Kamehameha Schools Hawaii Campus as a Teacher Trainer/Evaluator.

Mississippi Children Response Team Offering Workshop for Puna Residents

The community is invited to attend “Hope in Crisis: Helping Children and Families Impacted by Disaster” workshop. This workshop will give families insight into how children react to disaster and ways to help children find healing. The workshop will equip families with tools and resources for the recovery process and learning to make things better for their families and the community.

The Puna Baptist Church

The Puna Baptist Church

“Hope in Crisis: Helping Children and Families Impacted by Disaster” will be held at Puna Baptist Church, 15-3188 Pahoa-Kapoho Road near Nanawale Estates on Saturday, October 25th beginning at 9:00 AM. This workshop is sponsored by the Mississippi Children Response Team of the Southern Baptist Disaster Relief Effort. For more information please call Puna Baptist Church at 965-9970.

Kamehameha Schools Selects New CEO

On behalf of the entire Board of Trustees, I am pleased to share with you that we have selected Livingston “Jack” Wong as Chief Executive Officer of Kamehameha Schools.

Jack WongIn the last six months, we have had the opportunity to work closely with Jack, to experience the skills, and professional and personal qualities he brings to the position. Jack has demonstrated his leadership ability to work closely with the Board, the organization’s staff and the community.  In so doing, he has built relationships, trust and loyalty while advancing the mission of Kamehameha Schools.

We believe there is no better indicator of Jack’s devotion to our mission than the extraordinary work he has already done for us. After nearly two decades, Jack knows and understands our organization, and has been protecting and cultivating its legacy. He exemplifies the values of Pauahi and our schools, and we are confident you will find him to be a thoughtful, intelligent and selfless leader.

Jack joined KS in 1997 as senior counsel specializing in commercial real estate. He was promoted to director of KS’ Endowment Legal Division in 2000, and shortly thereafter helped lead Kamehameha’s defense of its Hawaiian preference admission policy. In 2013, Jack was named Vice President for Legal Affairs, and he has been serving as interim CEO since April 2014, when Dee Jay Mailer retired.

We will be sharing this news more broadly within the community today, and we wanted to make sure you heard it directly from us in advance.  The news release will be posted to www.ksbe.edu shortly.

Please join us in affirming Jack as our new CEO. We look forward to introducing Jack to you and the broader community in the weeks and months ahead.  Mahalo nui loa for your continued support of the mission and purpose of Kamehameha Schools.

Lance Keawe Wilhelm
Chair, Board of Trustees

Please Stand By… In the Process of Evacuating From Pahoa

Please stand by while I evacuate from Pahoa to Hilo in the next few days.  I’ll be posting here and there… but for now, I need to make sure my Ohana and friends are safe.

Federal Aid Programs Announced for Hawaii Residents Affected By Iselle

Following is a summary of key federal disaster aid programs that can be made available as needed and warranted under President Obama’s disaster declaration issued for the State of Hawaii.

Assistance for the State and Affected Local Governments Can Include as Required:

  • Payment of not less than 75 percent of the eligible costs for debris removal and emergency protective measures taken to save lives and protect property and public health.  Emergency protective measures assistance is available to state and eligible local governments on a cost-sharing basis. (Source: FEMA funded, state administered.)
  • Payment of not less than 75 percent of the eligible costs for repairing or replacing damaged public facilities, such as roads, bridges, utilities, buildings, schools, recreational areas and similar publicly owned property, as well as certain private non-profit organizations engaged in community service activities. (Source: FEMA funded, state administered.)
  • Payment of not more than 75 percent of the approved costs for hazard mitigation projects undertaken by state and local governments to prevent or reduce long-term risk to life and property from natural or technological disasters.  (Source: FEMA funded, state administered.)

How to Apply for Assistance:

  • Application procedures for state and local governments will be explained at a series of federal/state applicant briefings with locations to be announced in the affected area by recovery officials. Approved public repair projects are paid through the state from funding provided by FEMA and other participating federal agencies.

New Screenplay Contest for Big Island Film Festival

Long before the lights and cameras come to life, movie action starts on paper, with a fine-tuned craft of screenwriting. In celebration of the screenplay, Big Island Film Festival at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i (BIFF) has announced its first feature film script contest, with top entries saluted at the tenth annual festival, May21-25, 2015. The winning script will be submitted to the Paradigm Agency in Hollywood for possible representation.

Some of the winners that were present to receive their awards.

Some of the 2014 Big Island Film Festival award winners.

With a signature focus on narrative films, BIFF has nurtured the art of storytelling, both on the big screen and off, presenting screenwriting and filmmaking workshops, networking and social opportunities, and audience feedback in a casual, creative setting. The new screenplay contest is a natural outgrowth of inspiration and education planted over the last decade.

Celebrity Portia Doubleday and Consultant Jen Grisanti

Celebrity Portia Doubleday and Consultant Jen Grisanti

“Because we have writers who come to our workshops every year, we know that their film ideas are taking shape, if not actually completed,” said BIFF Executive Director Leo Sears. “This could give the right motivation to actually sit down and polish, fine-tune, give your project its best shot. Paradigm is one of the top five talent agencies in the business, and, although we can’t guarantee anything, just to have them consider representing your script is a tremendous opportunity; it’s priceless.”

BIFF Director Leo Sears gives actor Tom Berrenger the "Golden Honu" award at the 2010 BIFF

BIFF Director Leo Sears gives actor Tom Berrenger the “Golden Honu” award at the 2010 BIFF

Scripts must be submitted no later than February 1, 2015, and must be between 60 and 140 pages in standard screenplay format. Professional readers will screen all submissions, by reviewing the first ten pages, to select nine semi-finalists. Of those, three finalists will be evaluated by veteran screenwriters, instructors and consultants and one winner selected.

Saturday Night Live's Kate McGinnon received a Golden Honu Award.

Saturday Night Live’s Kate McGinnon received a Golden Honu Award.

All semifinalists will receive filmmaker passes to BIFF 2015 and finalists will receive a Golden Honu Award plate and listing on Variety.com. Only the winning screenplay, announced at the Awards Brunch on May 25, will be submitted to Paradigm Agency in Hollywood for possible representation.

Jackson Rathbone at the 2014 BIFF.

Jackson Rathbone at the 2014 BIFF.

Films may be submitted by mail or email, or on line via www.FilmFreeway.com, an easy and affordable entry service for screenwriting contests and film festivals. Deadlines are January 1, 2015 (Early Bird) and February 1, 2015 (Regular). Complete rules, fee information and entry forms are available at www.bigislandfilmfestival.com.

Kristina Anapau was another Golden Honu recipient.

Kristina Anapau was another Golden Honu recipient.

Big Island Film Festival at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i is a celebration of independent narrative films and filmmaking, taking place May 21-25, 2015. Major sponsors include The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i, The Shops at Mauna Lani and Hawaii Tourism Authority/Hawai‘i County CPEP.  For more information, visit www.BigIslandFilmFestival.com or call (808) 883-0394.

Stunning and Different Perspective of Lava Flow Moving Towards Pahoa

Big Island Photographer G. Brad Lewis took this stunning panorama picture of the Pu’u O’o Eruption on the flanks of Kilauea on the Big Island.  You can see all the way from the source of the flow… down to where I live in Pahoa if you click on the picture to make it larger.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Lewis stated, “I wanted to capture a different perspective on the lava flow moving slowly toward Pahoa. Tie it all in. I shot this on 9/6/14 from the mid-flanks of Mauna Kea. Three plumes on the horizon tell the story. From the Pu’u O’o vent on the right, to the advancing flow on the far left. This is the story of Kilauea Volcano. This is why we have an Island to live on here. This is as natural to the Earth as is breathing to our bodies. Aloha!”

Taste of the Hawaiian Range Opens One Hour Earlier

Fresh and nutritious Hawai’i Island food and the people who produce it are the stars of Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range Friday, Sept. 26 at the Hilton Waikoloa Village.

The Taste of the Hawaiian Range is one of my sons favorite events!

The Taste of the Hawaiian Range is one of my sons favorite events!

This year’s annual event that promotes agricultural sustainability is 5-8 p.m. to offer an extra hour for grazing among tasty culinary stations, food producer booths and agricultural-themed displays. The fun sprawls both inside the Hilton’s recently renovated ballroom and outside on the scenic Lagoon Lanai.

Pre-sale tickets are available at a dozen islandwide locations and online for $45 through September 25; they are $60 on event day. Details: www.TasteoftheHawaiianRange.com.

New this year, seven of the 30 culinary stations will showcase a chef using local products from a specific rancher and farmer out on the Lagoon Lanai. These stations will identify those who contributed to the dish for attendees, as well as the meat cut used. In addition, participating ranchers and farmers are also invited to talk story with attendees at each station. Event chair Jeri Moniz says the purpose for the pairings “is to foster more communication between food producers and chefs,” one of the event’s goals.

Doesn't this look good?

Doesn’t this look good?

Each Taste chef is assigned to prepare a whopping 100 pounds of a specific cut of pasture-raised beef—or locally sourced pork, lamb, mutton, goat or USDA-inspected wild boar—and the result is a festive adventure of tasting everything from tongue to tail. All the beef cuts are utilized so chefs and attendees can get acquainted with not-so-familiar cuts while having fun. The pasture-raised beef is sourced from local, humanely raised cattle that are free of antibiotics and hormones.

In addition to “grazing” on prepared top round or Rocky Mountain Oysters—aka bull’s testicles—attendees can taste samples at local food product booths and view compelling educational displays on sustainability and agriculture.

Those wanting to learn first-hand how to use and prepare 100 percent pasture-raised beef can attend the event’s annual Pasture-Raised Beef Cooking 101 culinary demonstration. This year’s guest presenter is Peter Abarcar Jr, executive chef of the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel, who is preparing Chinese Style Oxtail with Radish and Salt Fish Fried Rice plus Grass-Fed Chuck Steak Pipikaula with “Killachurri” Sauce The 3 p.m. presentation includes sampling and is $10; tix available online or at the door.

Also open to the public is a free 1:30 p.m. seminar, “A Primer on Local Beef” by local livestock extension agent and long-time researcher, Glen Fukumoto. “A Primer on Local Beef” will delve into the history of the beef industry in Hawai‘i and look at the product’s supply and demand issues. Fukumoto will also examine meat quality for the grass-finished market through the years, based on his 30 years of research.

Hawai‘i residents eager to savor the flavors of fresh, local cuisine can take advantage of Hilton Waikoloa Village’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range Package with rates starting at $239 + tax per room on Friday, September 26, 2014. The kama’aina special includes two tickets to the Taste of the Hawaiian Range. Guests must show valid Hawai‘i State ID at checkin and must have Hawai‘i address in reservation. Pre- and post-event hotel accommodations start at $149 per room, per night, based on availability. To book the exclusive package, (code TSH), visit www.hiltonwaikoloavillage.com/kamaaina, or call 1-800-HILTONS.

Watch for ticket giveaways on Facebook at Taste of the Hawaiian Range and Twitter #TasteHI.

A free parking and shuttle service to Taste is available from ‘Anaeho‘omalu Bay noon-10 p.m. For general event information, phone (808) 969-8228.

Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range and Agriculture Festival provides a venue for sustainable agricultural education, encouragement and support of locally produced ag products. The premiere ag-tourism event is a partnership between CTAHR, Hawaii Cattlemen’s Association, Hawaii Cattlemen’s Council, Kulana Foods, UH-Hilo CAFNRM, County of Hawaii Dept. on Environmental Management and community volunteers. Sponsorship also includes the Hawaii Tourism Authority, the Hawaii County Research and Development, Hawaii Community College Food Service & Culinary Program, KTA SuperStores, West Hawaii Today, KBIG, KAPA and Native FM. The quality and growth of this event are rooted in small business participation, sponsorship and in-kind donations. For more information, visit http://www.TasteOfTheHawaiianRange.com.

Marine Mammal Center Holds Grand Opening and Blessing of New Hawaiian Monk Seal Hospital

Sick and injured Hawaiian monk seals will get a second chance at survival thanks to The Marine Mammal Center’s new Hawaiian Monk Seal Hospital, which is dedicated to the rescue and care of this critically endangered species.

Ikaika, a male Hawaiian monk seal pup, was one of the first four patients at The Marine Mammal Center's Ke Kai Ola Hawaiian Monk Seal Hospital in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. Credit -- Koa Matsuoka, NMFS

Ikaika, a male Hawaiian monk seal pup, was one of the first four patients at The Marine Mammal Center’s Ke Kai Ola Hawaiian Monk Seal Hospital in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. Credit — Koa Matsuoka, NMFS

 

On September 2, The Marine Mammal Center held a Grand Opening celebration and blessing at the new $3.2 million facility, which has been named Ke Kai Ola (The Healing Sea).

In addition to celebrating this milestone, the Center also celebrated the release of the first four patients treated at the hospital. Four young, malnourished monk seals were admitted to Ke Kai Ola on July 9 after being rescued in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. The Center’s veterinary experts and trained volunteers cared for the seals until they were healthy enough to return to the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands on August 31.

HONOLULU — Coast Guard crews, working with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration transport a Hawaiian monk seal from the Big Island to Oahu for urgent medical care, Feb. 1, 2012. The Hawaiian monk seal is one of the rarest marine mammals in the world. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Eric J. Chandler.

HONOLULU — Coast Guard crews, working with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration transport a Hawaiian monk seal from the Big Island to Oahu for urgent medical care, Feb. 1, 2012. The Hawaiian monk seal is one of the rarest marine mammals in the world. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Eric J. Chandler.

“We built this hospital to save a species,” says Dr. Jeff Boehm, executive director at The Marine Mammal Center. “Thanks to funding from the Firedoll Foundation as well as a generous family foundation and hundreds of donors throughout the world, this hospital can now provide life-saving medical care.”

The Hawaiian monk seal population is estimated at fewer than 1,100 individuals and continues to decline. Fewer than one in five pups in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands survive their first year due to threats like entanglement in ocean trash, changes in the food chain and predation.

Monk Seal

“It takes a village to care for sick or injured monk seals,” says Dr. Frances Gulland, Marine Mammal Commissioner and senior scientist at The Marine Mammal Center. “We are honored to bring our veterinary and husbandry experience and now partner with the National Marine Fisheries Service, whose work to date is responsible for saving about 30 percent of the monk seals alive today.”

With the help of community volunteers, the Center will also conduct public outreach programs to provide education about Hawaiian monk seals and conservation efforts.

Learn more: http://www.marinemammalcenter.org/hms

Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia Arrive in Apia, Samoa – Sail with United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon

The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and President of Palau, Tommy E. Remengesau Jr., sailed aboard Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia in Apia Harbor, Sāmoa today. They joined Worldwide Voyage crew and specialists such as Sylvia Earle of Mission Blue, artist Wyland, Blue Planet founder Henk Rogers, and Greg Stone of Conservation International.

Hokulea Samoa 3 “Hōkūle’a, our voyaging canoe, threads together stories of hope as she voyages across the world’s oceans.  We are inspired that His Excellency Ban Ki-moon and island leaders are coming together on Hōkūle’a’s deck around shared values of preserving and protecting our oceans,” said Nainoa Thompson, president and master navigator of the Polynesian Voyaging Society.

His Excellency Ban Ki-moon presented Thompson and the crew of the Worldwide Voyage with a handwritten message in a bottle that he asked them to carry with them as they circle the globe.  The message stated, “I am honored to be a part of Hōkūle’a’s Worldwide Voyage.  I am inspired by its global mission. As you tour the globe, I will work and rally more leaders to our common cause of ushering in a more sustainable future, and a life of dignity for all.”

Today’s sail represents the theme of the Worldwide Voyage, Mālama Honua, or “Care for Our Island Earth.” The ongoing United Nations Small Island Developing States conference focuses on island nations that are particularly vulnerable to climate change and the challenges that face our oceans.

“People often say we are in the same boat,” Ban Ki-moon said during the conference,” I would say we are all on the same small island on the same small planet Earth; this is like a small boat in the universe.”

Hokulea Samoa 2

On the same afternoon of the UN Secretary General sail, Polynesian Voyaging Society leaders at home in Hawaiʻi took part in a Pillars of Peace dialogue about climate change hosted by the Hawaiʻi Community Foundation. Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a panelist at the event and a former guest aboard Hōkūle’a, emphasized to participants, “We have just one planet home.  This is an issue of whether we want to survive as a species or not.”

“Hōkūle’a and Hikianalia are sharing an uplifting message as they circumnavigate the globe about the need to care for each other, our oceans, and earth at a critical time in history,” said Polynesian Voyaging Society Chairman, Neil Hannahs.  “Our dedicated crew at sea and on land believes that the sustainable practices refined by many island cultures promote a thriving existence, prudent management of finite resources, and intergenerational equity.”

Hokulea Samoa

After the Samoa conference, Hōkūle’a and her sister canoe Hikianalia continue their sail across Earth’s oceans to grow the global movement toward a more sustainable world. The Worldwide Voyage, sponsored by Hawaiian Airlines, will cover 47,000 nautical miles, 85 ports and 26 countries, including 12 of UNESCO’s Marine World Heritage sites, through June 2017.