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Maui Resort to Attempt Record Longest Lei Exchange

May 1st is also known as Lei Day and is a statewide cultural celebration in Hawaii. At The Westin Maui Resort & Spa, May Day festivities will include the Longest Lei Exchange in Ka‘anapali as a unique experience and attempt to set a record, with 500+ persons targeted to be in attendance.

Nine handcrafted leis designed in celebration of May Day. Each will be unveiled on FB & Instagram @TheWestinMaui.

The significance of presenting a lei speaks to the authenticity and practice of Hawaiians in celebrating an occasion. Known as the spirit of Aloha, the lei exchange by two persons symbolizes the love, respect and friendship shared between them – whether they are family members, couples or friends.

Resort associates and family members perform in Westin Maui’s annual May Day & Aloha Week festivals. Seen here (from left): Kafa Grijalva, Corienne Keanini, Melissa Los Banos, Jasmine McCoy and Gresilda Harrison.

Pamakane Lopes of Ocean Dreamer Florals has designed nine special leis that highlight the diversity of Maui’s scenic settings and experiences featuring locations such as Haleakala, Kula, Hana, Paia, Iao Valley, Makawao, Ulupalakua, Honolua Bay and Ka‘anapali. Images of the leis will be unveiled one per day via the resort’s FB & Instagram @TheWestinMaui beginning on Aloha Friday, April 21.

Recognizing the importance of preserving Hawaiian culture, The Westin Maui Resort & Spa is also committing $2,500.00 to benefit the cause of Na Leo Kalele that supports Kula Kaiapuni O Maui Ma Nāhiʻenaʻena, a Hawaiian language immersion school located within Princess Nāhiʻenaʻena public school in Lahaina, Maui. Considered a school within a school, Kula Kaiapuni O Maui Ma Nāhiʻenaʻena is unique in that it utilizes Hawaii’s indigenous language, culture, perspectives, and practices to implement its curriculum.

The Westin Maui

The event is open to Westin Maui guests and associates, local residents and island visitors. For more details on participation and sign-up in the Lei Exchange, visit the resort’s FB @TheWestinMaui. Parking is available at Whalers Village, neighboring The Westin Maui.

WHEN & WHERE:  Monday, May 1, 2017

  • 7:30 am – Check in at Aloha Pavilion, The Westin Maui Resort & Spa
  • 8:30 am – Hawaiian Blessing Ceremony with Oli Chant & Hula
  • 8:45 am – Participants begin lining up on the beachwalk side fronting Westin Maui
  • 9:00 am – Lei Exchange begins
  • 9:30 am – Craft Fair & Aloha Lei Day Activities at Aloha Pavilion

Carrying On with Tradition with Robert Cazimero on the Big Island

Saturday, May 13 at 7 pm, Hawai‘i’s most revered and loved Kumu and singer, Robert Cazimero, returns to Kahilu Theatre to carry on with an unbroken 32-year-old tradition – celebrating May Day in Waimea.

Robert’s beautiful voice is so distinctive that whether he performs on piano or with his brother Roland as the Brothers Cazimero, people recognize him instantly and are compelled to listen.

Robert has been a part of close to forty full album projects; many considered classics in the history of Hawaiian music. The popular success of the music he has made and participated in has been recognized through dozens of awards, performances on the world’s most prestigious stages and the millions of albums that have been bought by people around the world.

Robert has studied the art of hula for decades and has been an essential player in the evolution of modern Hawaiian music. His passion and talent have played a huge role in taking Hawaiian music and dance to stages all over the globe. Robert’s kane of Na Kamalei were overall winners at the 2015 Merrie Monarch Festival.

“Waimea is one of my favorite places in Hawai`i, and it’s always such a pleasure to perform for the folks (many I consider family),” says Robert. “It wouldn’t be spring without this concert, and I relish our time at Kahilu Theatre, one of the best venue’s in Hawaii!”

Doors open at 6 pm for the performance on Saturday, May 13, at 7 pm, with snacks and beverages available for sale at the Kahilu Theatre bar.  In the Kahiu Galleries, a Climate of Change juried exhibit is on display in the Kohala Gallery, and Dance of the Bees – The Exhibit is on display in the Hamakua Gallery.

Tickets are $68 / $58 / $48 / $20 and available for purchase online at www.kahilutheatre.org, by calling (808) 885-6868, or at the Kahilu Theatre Box Office, at 67-1186 Lindsey Road, Kamuela, HI 96743, Monday-Friday, from 9 am to 1 pm.

This performance is made possible by sponsorship from Marianne Maynard, Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, and Kona Brewing Co.

Hawaiian Airlines and KAPA Radio sponsor the 2016/17 Hawaiian Series.

Students from Kalani High School Power Ahead to 20th Annual National Ocean Sciences Competition

Kalani High School students will be competing for the first time in the National Ocean Sciences Bowl. The 20th annual Nationals Finals Competition will take place April 22-23 at Oregon State University. The team joins 24 other regional winners out of a total of 392 competing teams.

L to R: Zoe Asahan, Rovi Porter, Mika Ishii, Daniel Huang, David Higashi, Coach Leslie Hamasaki.  Photo Credit: Kalani High School

Students from Kalani High School will compete against other top high school scholars in the 20th annual National Finals Competition of the National Ocean Sciences Bowl (NOSB) this Sat., April 22 and Sun., April 23. The team won the Hawaii regional competition and joins 24 other regional winners (out of a total of 392 competing teams) at the finals at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon.

“This is the first time that students from Kalani High School will be competing in the National Ocean Sciences Bowl, and we are excited to cheer them on this weekend,” said Principal Mitchell Otani. “The lessons and skills the students have learned by preparing for the competitions have given them a strong foundation as they pursue post-secondary opportunities in science-related fields as well as public policy.”

Students will test their knowledge of ocean-related topics, which include cross-disciplines of biology, chemistry, policy, physics, and geology by answering buzzer-style, multiple choice questions, and longer, critical thinking-based team challenge questions. They will also participate in the Science Expert Briefing, a mock congressional hearing where they present science recommendations on a piece of legislation, enhancing their critical thinking skills and building a better understanding of the broader context of science.

The Kalani High School team consists of: Zoe Asahan, David Higashi, Daniel Huang, Mika Ishii and Rovi Porter.

The NOSB, a program of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership, is building the next generation of ocean-literate citizens and scientists, educating them on timely topics that will remain relevant for years to come. The Finals competition theme this year is “Blue Energy: Powering the Planet With Our Ocean.”

Follow the Kalani High School team at the NOSB National Finals competition this weekend on Twitter (@NOSBRocks), FacebookInstagram, and Tumblr, using #NOSB17 and #NOSBturns20.

Navy Attending Merrie Monarch Festival, Will Join in Royal Parade

The U.S. Pacific Fleet Band will march and perform in the 54th annual Merrie Monarch Royal Parade on April 22. Capt. James Jenks, Chief of Staff, Navy Region Hawaii, will also attend the festivities.

HILO, Hawaii (April 26, 2014) Under the direction of Lt. Patrick K. Sweeten, the Pacific Fleet Band marches in the 51st annual Merrie Monarch Festival Parade. The parade is the culmination of a week-long festival featuring an internationally acclaimed hula competition and a grand parade through the heart of Hilo. (U.S. Navy photo by Musician 2nd Class Andrea Sematoske/Released)

Capt. Jenks will attend the Hula Kahiko competition on Friday, April 21. He will also attend the Group Hula ʻAuana & Awards and participate with the U.S. Pacific Fleet Band in the Merrie Monarch Royal Parade on Saturday, April 22 at 10:30 a.m. along downtown Hilo.

The Navy recognizes that the Merrie Monarch Festival honors the legacy left by King David Kalākaua, who inspired the perpetuation of Hawaiian traditions, native language and arts. King Kalākaua negotiated a treaty with the United States that led to the Navy’s presence at Pearl Harbor.

“We appreciate King David Kalākaua’s commitment and legacy,” Jenks said. “King Kalākaua supported the Navy and provided the opportunity to establish a coaling station at Pearl Harbor more than a century ago. He was a big supporter of education, which is something we all value today; especially in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.”

Members of the U.S. Pacific Fleet Band have been on Hawaii Island this week, working with local school bands, reinforcing STEM education and providing community outreach.

Multi-Media Dance Show – “Dance of the Bees”

Saturday, May 6, at 7 pm, and Sunday, May 7, at 4 pm, Kahilu Theatre presents Dance of the Bees, a multi-media dance show that examines the life and plight of honeybees. Director Angel Prince is collaborating with local beekeepers to create an artistic and educational show based on a topic that is both relevant, and urgent. Over 100 students from the Kahilu Performing Arts Classes (KPAC), ages five to adult, will come together in this original Kahilu Production.

Photos by Evan Bordessa

“The subject of the honeybee, an insect of which the future of our species is intrinsically tied too, is an urgent matter,” says Angel Prince. “The concept of the show is to elevate the life of the honeybee to a stage performance, in part to raise awareness of the honeybee, and perhaps to soften their image. This show is both entertaining and exuberant and showcases the talented youth and choreographers of the Big Island.”

Dance of the Bees includes contemporary dance, trapeze, aerial silks, hip-hop and breakdancing, and features choreography by Angel Prince, Lynn Barre (Kona), Elizabeth McDonald, Mana Ho‘opai (Hilo), and Kat Reuss, with exciting and eclectic music from Mum, Zoe Keating, Jon Hopkins, and more.

Dance of the Bees will also play for local schools and children in two youth Shows on Wednesday, May 3rd at 9 am and 10:30 am. For more information about the Youth Shows offered at the Theatre please contact Education Coordinator Lisa Shattuck at youth@kahilutheatre.org.

Doors open at 6 pm for the performance on Saturday, May 6, at 7 pm, and at 3 pm for the performance on Sunday, May 7 at 4 pm. There will be snacks and beverages available for sale at the Kahilu Theatre bar. In the Kahiu Galleries, a Climate of Change Juried Exhibit is on display in the Kohala Gallery, and Dance of the Bees – The Exhibit is on display in the Hamakua Gallery. Both exhibits run through May.

Tickets are $38 / $28 / $22 / $16 and available for purchase online at kahilutheatre.org, by calling (808) 885-6868, or at the Kahilu Theatre Box Office at 67-1186 Lindsey Road, Kamuela, HI 96743, M-F 9 am to 1 pm.

This Kahilu Production and these performances are made possible by sponsorship from Terry & Michael Cromwell, Mimi & Brian Kerley, and John & Anne Ryan.

39th Annual Golf Tournament Supports Brantley Center

The Brantley Center, a services provider for people with disabilities, will host its 39th Annual Golf Tournament at Waikoloa Village Golf Course on Sunday, April 23, 2017.

The 39th Annual Golf Tournament supports the Brantley Center’s work with people with disabilities.

The tournament starts at 8 a.m. with a shotgun start, two-person best ball modified format. Entry fees are $125 per player for golf, lunch and prizes, including a chance to win $10,000 for hole-in-one. A silent auction fundraiser offers exciting items, like rounds of golf at the exclusive Nanea and Kohanaiki golf clubs.

Designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr., the Waikoloa Village Golf Course opened in 1972 and is known to be enough for the serious golfer, and a fun experience for beginners as well. The 6,971-yard, par 72 layout includes wide, forgiving landing areas, and well-bunkered and undulating greens with picturesque ocean and mountain views.

Brantley Center, founded in 1964 by Sergeant Gilbert Brantley, a former National Guard Advisor, provides adult day programs for clients with physical, emotional or mental disabilities. In a safe and supportive environment, men and women from North Hilo, Hāmākua and Kohala receive independent life skills and employment training, vocational rehabilitation, and help transitioning into the regular job market. Work opportunity is also available for some clients through the Center’s business services, such as aquaponic lettuce, auto detailing, janitorial, lawn and landscaping services.

A 501 (C) 3 non-profit organization administered by a volunteer Board of Directors, Brantley Center depends on government funding and grants from charitable organizations such as Hawaii Island United Way. The golf tournament and other fundraisers throughout the year fill a critical gap in budgetary need.

Golfers and non-golfers are invited to contribute to the benefit golf tournament, and various sponsorship levels are available. Organizers also welcome silent auction items, gift certificates and other donations at all price levels, to generate enthusiasm and give everyone a chance to participate.

For more information, please contact Golf Tournament Chairman Roland Kaneshiro, 987-7712, or call the Brantley Center, 775-7245.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s Hilo Town Hall Draws Largest Crowd Yet on Statewide Tour With More Than 600 East Hawaii Residents

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) was in Hilo last night to host her fifth Town Hall in a series of seven statewide. More than 600 East Hawaiʻi residents attended the meeting at Waiakea High School—the largest crowd yet on the congresswoman’s Town Hall Tour across the islands. Many brought homemade signs showing their support for peace over escalating wars abroad. They expressed deep concern over the threat of North Korea’s nuclear capabilities, Hawaii’s preparedness, and also Trump’s recent illegal attack in Syria.

Residents asked Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard a variety of questions from healthcare to decriminalizing marijuana to criminal justice reform, and many other issues that affect the people of Hawaiʻi. She was thanked for introducing the Stop Arming Terrorists Act, for cosponsoring “Medicare for All” legislation, and for her work to honor Filipino World War II Veterans with the Congressional Gold Medal.

The next stops on Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s statewide Town Hall Tour are below. Second Congressional District residents are encouraged to RSVP at least one day prior to the meeting date at gabbard.house.gov/townhall or by calling the office at (808) 541-1986.

  • Kauaʻi – Tonight, Wednesday, April 19th, 6:00 – 7:30 PM, Kauaʻi Veterans Center, 3215 Kapule Hwy, Līhuʻe, HI 96766
  • Maui – Thursday, April 20th, 7:30 – 9:00 PM, Maui Arts & Cultural Center’s Castle Theater, 1 Cameron Way, Kahului, HI 96732

 

Coast Guard Decommissions Eighth High Endurance Cutter After Nearly 50 Years

The Coast Guard decommissioned its eighth high endurance cutter after nearly 50 years of service as part of recapitalization efforts during a ceremony at Coast Guard Base Honolulu, Tuesday.

Crewmembers aboard U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Morgenthau (WHEC 722) man the rails during the decommissioning ceremony in Honolulu, April 18, 2017. The decommissioning ceremony is a time-honored naval tradition that retires a ship from service through a variety of ceremonial observances. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Amanda Levasseur/Released)

The Coast Guard Cutter Morgenthau (WHEC 722), a 378-foot high endurance cutter, will be decommissioned after nearly 50 years of service, including action in the Vietnam War, numerous major drug interdictions and law enforcement cases, and a variety of noteworthy rescues.

“The history of Morgenthau’s operations showcases the Coast Guard’s ability to carry out a diverse and important range of missions vital to the security and prosperity of our nation,” said Vice Adm. Fred Midgette, who leads the service’s Pacific fleet as the commander of Coast Guard Pacific Area in Alameda, California. “The Coast Guard must be ready to protect American security and economic interests wherever called, and recapitalizing our vessels, aircraft, boats and infrastructure has been our highest investment priority.”

Capt. Edward M. St. Pierre, commanding officer of U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Morgenthau (WHEC 722), and his crew receive the U.S. Coast Guard Meritorious Unit Commendation Pennant during the ship’s decommissioning ceremony in Honolulu, April 18, 2017. Morgenthau was commissioned in 1969 and was the first cutter to have women permanently assigned aboard. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Amanda Levasseur/Released)

Morgenthau, commissioned March 10, 1969, was the eighth of 12 Hamilton- class high endurance cutters built by Avondale Shipyards in New Orleans. High endurance cutters are the largest cutters, aside from the three major icebreakers and national security cutters, ever built for the Coast Guard.

Morgenthau was active in the Vietnam War, conducting underway replenishment, naval gunfire support, and patrol duties off the coast of Vietnam until relieved by a 311′ cutter in 1971.

In 1977, Morgenthau became the first cutter to have women permanently assigned, which paved the way for numerous women to serve aboard Coast Guard cutters nationwide.

U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Morgenthau (WHEC 722) in full dress at the decommissioning ceremony in Honolulu, April 18, 2017. Morgenthau was commissioned in 1969 and has been home to more than 4,000 crewmembers during its 48 years of service. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Amanda Levasseur/Released)

In the fall of 1996, Morgenthau was the first U.S. Coast Guard cutter to deploy to the Arabian Gulf. Participating in Operation Vigilant Sentinel, Morgenthau enforced Iraq’s compliance with United Nations sanctions. Following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Morgenthau participated in Operation Noble Eagle to safeguard America’s prominent port cities through closer scrutiny of maritime traffic.

Capt. Edward M. St. Pierre, commanding officer of U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Morgenthau (WHEC 722), receives the national ensign from Vice Adm. Fred M Midget, commander, Coast Guard Pacific Area, during the decommissioning ceremony in Honolulu, April 18, 2017. The decommissioning ceremony is a time-honored naval tradition that retires a ship from service through a variety of ceremonial observances. The ensign is presented to the service member with the longest time in service. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Amanda Levasseur/Released)

“The significant legacy left in the wake of Morgenthau is evidenced not only by cutter’s history but also by the numerous former crewmembers who attended the ceremony,” said Midgette. “At the end of the day, this was simply a ship used by dedicated men and women to protect America, its people and their interests around the world. This cutter may leave our service, but the legacy of the men and women who served on Morgenthau will live on forever.”

The U.S. State Department is coordinating the transfer of Morgenthau through the Foreign Assistance Act. This act allows the transfer of excess defense articles as a grant to friendly, foreign governments.

Island Air Honors Explorers Program Graduates

Island Air recently honored 25 students who graduated from its Explorers Program, a 10-week mentorship program that gives high school and college students an opportunity to learn about careers in the aviation industry.

“We are proud of these young men and women for their accomplishment and completion of the Explorers Program,” said David Uchiyama, president and CEO of Island Air. “This is the future generation of Hawai‘i’s aviation industry. We applaud their passion for airline careers and look forward to seeing them follow their dream and obtain local jobs.”

Explorers are offered an in-depth, hands-on overview of the airline industry, learning everything from how airplanes operate to customer relations management and corporate responsibility. The 10-week program provides information for airline related jobs such as pilots, flight attendants, ramp operators and aircraft mechanics, as well as visits and lectures from members of the Federal Aviation Administration, Transportation Security Administration and Air Traffic Control.

In addition to mentorship, the Explorers Program graduates have the opportunity to receive the Jaime Wagatsuma Award, a $1,000 scholarship named in honor of the program advisor and pilot for both Island Air and Aloha Airlines who lost her battle with cancer in 2007. This year Island Air awarded two top achievers. The recipients are Mizuki Wiseman of Leeward Community College and Jordan Fines of Damien Memorial School.

The 25 graduates include:

  • Chad Alcantara-Rillamas – St. Louis High School
  • Phoebe Brandt – Castle High School
  • Carlos Bulan – James Campbell High School
  • Abigail Dang – Home School
  • Dylan Decker – Kalani High School
  • Caleb Dirks – Kaiser High School
  • Marcus Faufata-Pedrina – Damien Memorial School
  • Matthew Faufata-Pedrina – Damien Memorial School
  • Jordan Fines – Damien Memorial School
  • Kawelo Inciong – Kamehameha Schools
  • Kyo Johnson – Leilehua High School
  • Chance Kim – Roosevelt High School
  • Kristen Kop – Mid-Pacific Institute
  • Shane Kunimitsu – Kamehameha Schools
  • Elijah Lewis – Home School
  • Kealani Lui-Kwan – Castle High School
  • Kayla Malta – ‘Iolani School
  • Daylen Masaki – Moanalua High School
  • Cannan Nodine – Kaiser High School
  • Rovi Porter – Kalani High School
  • Wyatt Ross – Kaiser High School
  • Kaylin Urata – Hawaii Baptist Academy
  • Caden Warhawk – Home School
  • Mizuki Wiseman – Leeward Community College
  • Micah Yamamoto – Mid-Pacific Institute

Island Air’s Explorers Program is the only student workforce initiative in the aviation industry on O‘ahu. It became an official Explorer Post of the Boy Scouts of America when the program graduated its first class of students in April 2009. Since its founding, 161 students have completed the course. Many graduates have returned to Island Air for internships or full-time employment.

For more information, visit www.islandair.com/explorers-program.

Kona Brewing Company Sponsoring Earth Day Beach Clean-Up

Kona Brewing Co. employees will embrace the spirit of Earth Day on Saturday April 22, 2017 with a clean-up at Ke‘ei Beach, a site of historical significance. Ke‘ei Beach was the site of King Kamehameha the Great’s first battle where he fought for rule over the Big Island. Today, this battleground is a popular fishing and camping spot that collects unsightly trash along the coastline.

The Kona Brew Pub crew will meet at 8 AM to clean up fishing line, plastic, and other debris that mar the marine sanctuary and pose hazards to turtles and other marine life that call Kealakekua Bay home. “We wanted to do something to help the local marine environment” explains Debbie Jost, Kona Brewing Pub and Growler Shack Manager. “We’ll also donate a portion of proceeds from Big Wave sales at both of our brew pubs this week to community partners who work year-round to care for our ocean.”

Kona Brewing Co. will give a portion of proceeds from sales of Big Wave Golden Ale, the ‘Hipa Hipa’ beer special at its Hawaii Kai and Kona pubs between April 18th-22nd to long-time environmental partners Sustainable Coastlines, Surfrider Foundation, Malama Maunalua, and Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative. Kona Brewing Co. donates more than $120,000 annually to a variety of local non-profit organizations that are committed to preserving Hawaii’s unique environmental and cultural treasures.

Employees will be joined by their families and even some brewpub regulars who have expressed interest in helping out. The Earth Day project will wrap with a beach barbecue to celebrate a successful clean-up. Follow the progress on Earth Day on Instagram @KonaBrewingCo. Before and after images will be available after the clean-up.

The Earth Day campaign is part of a company-wide commitment by Kona Brewing Co. to the community, environment, and sustainability.

Kona Historical Society and Ke Kai Ola Present Free Monk Seal Lecture

Kona Historical Society is pleased to partner with The Marine Mammal Center’s Ke Kai Ola: The Hawaiian Monk Seal Hospital to present “A Natural History of the Hawaiian Monk Seal,” the April installment of the 2017 Hanohano ‘O Kona Lecture Series. The lecture is free to the public and is scheduled for Wednesday, April 26, 2017 at 5:30pm at the West Hawaii Civic Center.
 
During their presentation, Ke Kai Ola’s outreach and rescue staff will explore the natural history of the Native Hawaiian Monk Seal, including the historical and cultural significance of this endangered species. Hawaiian Monk seals are native to Hawaii and are not found anywhere else in the world; they are also the most endangered animal species in the world. In 2014, The Marine Mammal Center opened “Ke Kai Ola” (“The Healing Sea”) a hospital and education center dedicated to caring for injured, ill, and orphaned Hawaiian monk seals and returning them to the wild.
For the past six years, Kona Historical Society has offered this community lecture series, spotlighting local and state speakers on a wide variety of cultural and historical subjects. It is a gift from the Society to the community that has supported it for so long and it is presented in cooperation with the County of Hawaii. The lectures are free of charge and open to all, residents and visitors alike.

Democratic Party of Hawaii Hosts 4/20 Forum to Discuss the Future of Cannabis in Hawaii – Forum Will Be Live-Streamed on Facebook

On Thursday (April 20th), the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i (DPH) will host a forum to discuss the future of cannabis in the state. The informational forum will serve to educate party members and the public at large on the debate surrounding cannabis and efforts currently underway at both the state and federal levels.

The conversation will be wide-ranging and touch upon decriminalization and descheduling efforts in Congress, decriminalization bills at the Hawai‘i State Legislature, the national trend toward legalization in other states and municipalities, the current status of measures relating to medical dispensaries across the state, and the health benefits of cannabis for Hawai‘i patients.

Panelists include U.S. Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (with a brief presentation via videoconference), Sen. Will Espero, Me Fuimaono-Poe (Medical Director and founder of the Maile Cannabis Clinic), and Pamela Lichty, MPH – (President of the Drug Policy Forum of Hawai‘i). A member is the Hawai‘i State House of Representatives has also been invited to join and will be confirmed tomorrow.

The forum will be moderated by Christopher Garth, Executive Director of the Hawai‘i Dispensary Alliance (HDA). The event will begin at 5:30pm with a legislation summary by Rep. Gabbard and continue with presentations from other panelists and a Q & A until 7:30pm. Tickets to the event are sold-out, so the DPH will be live-streaming the event via Facebook through the DPH page: https://www.facebook.com/HawaiiDems/

For more information contact: tim@hawaiidemocrats.org

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor Hosts Dinner & Veterans to Commemorate 50th Anniversary of Vietnam War

In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War, Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor is hosting a Welcome Home Banquet on Thursday, May 25 to honor POWs, Medal of Honor recipients, Gold Star families and all returning Vietnam veterans. Highlights of the patriotic evening will include a welcome by Medal of Honor recipient Major General Patrick Brady, distinguished military guests, and celebrity appearances.

NBC journalist David Price will emcee a program that recreates and honors the legacy of Bob Hope, who entertained U.S. troops wherever they were stationed around the world, especially at Christmas, for more than 50 years. USO videos will showcase Hollywood celebrities and entertainers keeping the spirits of U.S. troops flying high and reminding them of home. The evening will include a guest appearance by actress, singer and dancer Ann-Margaret and a special performance by recording artist and entertainer Tony Orlando with his band.

Festivities begin at 4:00 pm with a reception and viewing of 14 Vietnam-era aircraft on the apron fronting the Museum’s historic Hangar 79. Cost is $25 each for veterans and their guest tickets, $125 for the general public, with sponsor tables available.

Reservations are required and can be made at PacificAviationMuseum.org/WelcomeHome. For more information, contact: Jobeth.Marihugh@PacificAviationMuseum.org;
808-892-3345.

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor is located on Historic Ford Island, where bombs fell during the attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941. Visitors to the Museum can see remnants from that day of infamy, including the 158-foot tall, red and white iconic Ford Island Control Tower, Hangars 37 and 79, and bullet holes in Hangar 79. Through its preservation and restoration of World War II fighter planes and accompanying artifacts in the Museum’s historic hangars, Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor shares the story of the vital role aviation played in the winning of World War II, and its continuing role in maintaining America’s freedom.

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. Its mission is to develop and maintain an internationally recognized aviation museum on Historic Ford Island that educates young and old alike, honors aviators and their support personnel who defended freedom in The Pacific Region, and to preserve Pacific aviation history. Contact:
808-441-1000; Marketing@PacificAviationMuseum.org

Hokulea Received and Celebrated in Mahina

Legendary voyaging canoes Hokulea, Hikianalia and their crews were welcomed by the Mahina community yesterday. The crews enjoyed performances of traditional song and dance from people of all ages during the arrival celebration hosted on the shores of Mahina, which is near Papeete in Tahiti.

The arrival was filled with the true meaning of aloha. “You could feel it from the canoe. The community here was overwhelmingly happy and thrilled with love in their hearts that Hokulea and Hikianalia were there,” says Kala Tanaka, captain and navigator of Hikianalia. Adorned with welcome wishes and lei, the crews were treated to a front row celebration of traditional song and dance.

The arrival in Tahiti marks the reconnection of Hokulea and Hikianalia. The sister canoes were last together in Aotearoa (New Zealand) in the spring of 2015. “We started his voyage together and now we end this voyage together,” says Bruce Blankenfeld, master navigator of Hokulea.

The crew will travel throughout Tahiti and Raiatea to engage with the local communities in ceremony and educational outreach as they celebrate the close of the nearly four-year long journey. Together with her sister canoe Hikianalia, Hokulea will head home to a welcoming ceremony at Magic Island in June 2017.

Coast Guard Cutter Galvelston Island Returns Home from Patrol Off Main Hawaiian Islands

The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Galveston Island (WPB 1349) returned home to Honolulu, Monday, after a five-day patrol throughout the Main Hawaiian Islands.

The crew conducted eight total boardings, issued 23 notices of violation and 22 safety violations.

The Galveston Island’s boarding team also terminated the voyage of the fishing vessel Lady Anne Margaret after a non-U.S. citizen was found to be serving as master of the U.S. documented vessel.

“Although our patrol was short, it was very successful and directly supports our mission under the Ocean Guardian Strategy to protect the nation’s living marine resources, ensure fish for the future and economic stability by employing the right tools in the right place at the right time,” said Lt. Ryan Ball, commanding officer, Galveston Island. “Our goal is to ensure the overall safety of the Hawaii-based commercial fishing fleet, provide presence and enforce the fishing laws and regulations within our Exclusive Economic Zone, which ultimately safeguards fish stock sustainability.”

Crewmembers from the Coast Guard Cutter Galveston Island (WPB-1329), homeported in Honolulu, conduct a boarding of a fishing vessel off of the Main Hawaiian Islands during a patrol, April 7, 2017. While on patrol with a Samoan shiprider, the crew conducted eight total boardings, issued 23 notices of violation and 22 safety violations. (U.S. Coast Guard photo/Released)

Galveston Island’s crew also embarked a Samoan shiprider, who served as an observer during six of the eight boardings. Coast Guard teams and Pacific Island Nation shipriders routinely conduct professional exchanges and joint boardings within the U.S. and Pacific Island Nation’s EEZs to protect the ocean and the living marine resources.

The Coast Guard’s priorities under the Ocean Guardian Strategy are to: protect the U.S. EEZ from foreign encroachment, enforce domestic living marine resource laws, and ensure compliance with international agreements. The U.S. EEZ is the second largest in the world, comprising 4.38 million sq. miles of ocean.

On the commercial fishing vessel safety front, mandatory dockside safety exams must be completed for all commercial fishing vessels that operate beyond 3 nautical miles from the territorial sea baseline. These exams are free and any discrepancies found at the dock may not result in fines. Fishing vessels that are required to carry National Marine Fisheries Service observers are required to have a valid decal (not expired). Mariners interested in scheduling commercial fishing vessel safety exams may contact Charlie Medlicott at 808-535-3417 or Charles.J.Medlicott@uscg.mil.

The independent state of Samoa is a self governing island country about halfway between Hawaii and New Zealand in the Polynesian region of the Pacific Ocean and is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. It comprises two main islands and eight small islets whose total land area is 1,097 sq. miles. Samoa’s Exclusive Economic Zone, however, covers only 46,332 sq. miles of ocean as it does not extend a full 200 nautical miles in any direction and borders the U.S. EEZ via American Samoa. The professional exchange was conducted to strengthen partnerships and examine both nations’ approach to fisheries enforcement and safety requirements aboard vessels operating in the Pacific.

The Galveston Island is a 110-foot Island class patrol boat homeported in Honolulu. The cutter is a multi-mission platform with a primary operation area in the main Hawaiian Islands that completes several such patrols annually.

Parker School Raises $205,000 for Student Financial Aid

Parker School held its 12th annual Kahiau auction gala for financial aid on March 4 at the Fairmont Orchid along the Kohala Coast.  Over 250 people attended this evening event which raised approximately $205,000.

Parker senior Alex Coley shares appreciation for the support and encouragement the school has shown during high school years.

Nearly 50 percent of the 340 kindergarten through grade 12 students at Parker receive financial assistance, which is nearly triple the national average of approximately 18 percent.  This commitment by Parker School helps make the dream of an independent education possible for more children on Hawaii Island. Kahiau, meaning “to give generously from the heart,” is the school’s primary source of financial aid and funding.  Attendees enjoyed cocktails, pupus, a sit-down dinner, live and silent auction, plus dancing.

The highlight of the evening was a speech given by Parker senior, Alex Coley, regarding his appreciation for the support and encouragement Parker School offered during his high school years. Attendees responded to the senior’s speech by donating nearly $98,000 during the “raise the paddle” portion of the evening.

Parker School is grateful to the Fairmont Orchid, sponsors, donors, volunteers, and attendees who helped make the dream of an independent, college preparatory education possible for more families.

Starbucks Waikiki Store First in Hawaii to Feature a Starbucks Reserve Coffee Bar

Honolulu’s Waikiki Beach is one of the world’s most famous beaches, known for its golden sand and stunning sunsets. Just a few blocks from the beach is an immersive coffee experience inside the Starbucks store at the Waikiki Trade Center, in the heart of Waikiki’s shopping and entertainment district. The café is the first in Hawaii to feature a Starbucks Reserve coffee bar, highlighting the company’s rare, small-lot Starbucks Reserve coffees.

Starbucks Waikiki store the first in Hawaii to feature a Starbucks Reserve coffee bar

The theater of coffee is on display from the store’s front windows, drawing customers in from the promenade with a long, low bar and a variety of eye-catching brewing methods, including manual Black Eagle espresso, pour-over, Clover brewing system, Siphon, Chemex and Nitro Cold Brew taps. Senior designer Agnes Mandeville and design director Jon Alpert took inspiration for the design from the Starbucks Reserve Roastery.

“When you enter the space, the first thing you see is the Reserve coffee bar. It’s a stage for the barista just like at the Roastery in Seattle,” Mandeville said.

Behind the bar is a backdrop inspired by Hawaiian flora and geography. The piece features a hand-painted flower that is a composite of a blossoming coffee plant and Hawaiian plumeria; it appears and disappears as customers move through the space. Wooden slats made from a golden ash wood, similar to those at the Roastery’s Experience Bar, are layered over the design to reveal a cutout of the eight islands of Hawaii.

The team kept the design airy and light with finishes and materials drawing from Asian and Western Pacific influences. A custom graphic mural by Hawaiian illustrator and artist Kris Goto adds energy and movement, with rolling ocean waves and landscapes, painted freehand with pen and just a little paint.

The team also found creative ways to bring Hawaii’s lush vegetation indoors. They worked with a landscape architect to incorporate air plants as living components of the design.

“Our customers here are in a different mode here than if they are in New York or Los Angeles,” Mandeville said. “We wanted to keep the design casual and relaxed to reflect Hawaii.”

The Waikiki store is one of more than 20 Starbucks stores with Reserve coffee bars, including locations in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, Baltimore, Seattle, Washington, D.C. and Boston. Starbucks plans to have 20 percent of its global stores include Reserve coffee bars by 2021.

Concerns Grows for Young Monk Seal on Kaua`i

After wildlife biologists and veterinarians relocated a 10-month-old Hawaiian monk seal on March 30th from the Lihi Canal in Kapa‘a, to a beach on the island’s west side they’d hoped she would stay away from the canal.  Two days ago the seal, identified as RH92, returned to the canal along with an adult seal (RK13). Together they’ve been seen feeding on small fish in the manmade waterway along with discarded fish parts. The return of RH92 to Lihi is prompting stepped-up public awareness and outreach and potentially enforcement of littering laws for fishermen who dispose of fish parts in the water.

Jamie Thomton, the Kaua‘i Marine Mammal Response Program Coordinator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) explained, “Any time you attract a wild animal into an area where human use is high, you’re increasing the risk of interaction between people and the seal.  You’re also exposing the seal to more risks, such as fishing nets that might be in the water, fishing hooks or strikes by boats.”  The endangered Hawaiian monk seal is protected by both federal and state laws, and injuring or killing a seal carries serious penalties.

The day after RH92 (now carrying a radio transmitter on her back so her movements can be tracked), returned to the canal she rested and basked in the sun on nearby Fuji beach.  As is standard practice with any of Kaua‘i’s population of an estimated 45 Hawaiian monk seals, volunteers posted signs asking people to give her wide berth. “We try to foster the co-existence with public education and outreach,” said Mimi Olry, the Kaua‘i Marine Mammal Response Field Coordinator with the DLNR Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR).  She added, “We depend on people taking up a sense of doing what’s appropriate around these large marine mammals.  We’d like to see people respect them, give them their space, and not to create situations that put both seals and humans at risk.”

The disposal of litter, like fish parts, is not only illegal, they decompose in water that people fish and swim in. Officers from the DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) are increasing their visibility and patrols at Lihi. For now they want to be sure captains, crews, and fishers on boats that launch from the canal’s ramp know that disposing of any fish parts in the water is against the law. If one-on-one education doesn’t work DOCARE officers may begin writing citations for littering.

Monk seals frequently explore inland fresh waterways like streams and rivers. The attraction of discarded fish parts in these areas is particularly hazardous for young monk seals. Over the past two and a half years, two yearling seals were found dead in the Lihi Canal. It’s believed they drowned, possibly after getting entangled in fish nets. Neither seal had any sign of disease or obvious trauma.

“The last thing we want is to lose RH92, because she’s come back to Lihi, for the easy food of discarded fish guts, heads, and tails,” Thomton said.  He added, “We’re focusing outreach, education and possible enforcement efforts on boat fishing, as this is where the parts are coming from.”  The law requires that all fish parts be thrown into garbage cans provided at all State of Hawai‘i small boat harbors.

Hawaiian monk seals feed mostly on small reef fish, tako (octopus), and lobsters. Despite beliefs to the contrary, they do not feed on fish like ono, ahi, and mahi mahi.  Extensive scientific studies have shown what species of prey the monk seals prefer, and there’s no evidence that they feed on the large, fast moving pelagic fish that deep sea fishermen prefer.

Moreover, according to DAR’s Mimi Olry, “Top predators like seals and sharks help keep reef fish populations healthy, because just like wolves on the land, they pick out the sick and injured fish to feed on. Marine mammals are part of our ecosystem and the Hawaiian monk seal is a sentinel species, in that the health of its population can provide advance warnings about environmental conditions for people. We can and should co-exist with them”

There are no plans to move RH92 a second time and it’s hoped with increased outreach and education people will stop throwing fish scraps into the water and she’ll move on to safer locales.

Hokulea and Hikianalia Arrive in Tahiti

Legendary Polynesian voyaging canoes Hokulea and Hikianalia have arrived in Tahiti.

This arrival marks the first time the sister canoes have reunited since the vessels embarked on separate Malama Honua sail plans in spring of 2015 – when Hikianalia sailed for the Hawaiian Islands to advance the education mission of the Worldwide Voyage while Hokulea continued on her unprecedented circumnavigation of the globe. The canoes’ arrival will be celebrated with the Tahiti community tomorrow, April 14, 2017.

Tahiti holds special historical significance for the Polynesian Voyaging Society as the destination of Hokulea’s first deep sea voyage in 1976, over 40 years ago. Tahiti is the largest island of French Polynesia and shares origins with the rest of the Polynesian Triangle. The mountain, Moua Orohena, tops the island and stands 7,352 feet tall, earning the distinction as the highest point in French Polynesia; its height has made Tahiti the home base of voyaging for generations.

Sister canoes Hokulea and Hikianalia will travel to Raiatea for a ceremony in Taputapuatea on April 25. Hokulea and Hikianalia will sail home in early May to begin the final deep-sea leg of the Worldwide Voyage.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Kicks Off Statewide Town Hall Tour With 500 Kona Residents

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) kicked off her statewide Town Hall Tour in Kona last night, where nearly 500 residents of West Hawaiʻi packed the Kealakehe Intermediate School cafeteria to hear from their congresswoman and discuss issues affecting the people of Hawaiʻi, our country, and the world.

More than 30,000 viewers tuned in via Facebook Live for the first of seven Town Halls that Rep. Tulsi Gabbard is hosting during the April District Work Period on Kauaʻi, Oʻahu, Maui, Molokaʻi, Lanaʻi, and Hawaiʻi Island.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard spoke about her work in Congress and the bills she’s introduced and cosponsored that affect Hawaiʻi communities, including legislation to prevent the spread of mosquito-borne illnesses like dengue fever and to combat invasive species like the coffee berry borer, macadamia felted coccid, albizia trees, coconut rhinoceros beetle, little fire ants, and the fungus that causes rapid ohia death. She also highlighted her bills to support local farmers, small businesses, the agriculture industry, and sustainability efforts.

The congresswoman spent the majority of the meeting answering questions from the audience on topics including ending the counterproductive regime change war in Syria, defeating terrorist groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda, Trump’s recent attack on Syria, federal spending, civil liberties, healthcare, education, military issues, and veteran services.

The next stops on Tulsi’s Town Hall Tour are below. Second Congressional District residents are encouraged to RSVP at least one day prior to the meeting date at gabbard.house.gov/townhall or by calling the office at (808) 541-1986.

  • Lānaʻi – Thursday, April 13th, 4:45 – 6:30 PM, Lānaʻi Senior Center, 309 Seventh Street Lānaʻi City, HI 96763
  • Oʻahu – Saturday, April 15th, 7:30 – 9:00 PM, Kainalu Elementary School, 165 Kaiholu Street Kailua, HI 96734
  • Molokaʻi – Monday, April 17th, 4:30 – 6:00 PM, Mitchell Pauole Center, 90 Ainoa Street Kaunakakai, HI 96748
  • Hawaiʻi Island – Hilo, Tuesday, April 18th, 7:30 – 9:00 PM, Waiakea High School, 155 W. Kawili Street Hilo, HI 96720
  • Kauaʻi – Wednesday, April 19th, 6:00 – 7:30 PM, Kauaʻi Veterans Center, 3215 Kapule Hwy Līhuʻe, HI 96766
  • Maui – Thursday, April 20th, 7:30 – 9:00 PM, Maui Tropical Plantation, 1670 Honoapiilani Hwy Wailuku, HI 96793