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Hawaii International Music Festival Announces Second Season

The Hawaii International Music Festival (HIMF) announces its second annual season, “Thrill of the Senses,” with daily performances between August 10 – 17, 2017. Founded by Internationally Acclaimed Artists: Metropolitan Opera Soprano Amy Shoremount-Obra, Violin Virtuoso Eric Silberger, and Esteemed Pianist Carlin Ma, the festival will include classical music concerts, appearances, and outreach events on Oahu and Hawaii Island.

Violinist Eric Silberger performing near the Keanakākoʻi Crater and Volcano House.

Operations Manager Taylor Yasui of Honolulu, states, “We are excited to showcase the music and stories of acclaimed international and local artists, which adds to the unique and diverse musical landscape we have here in Hawaii. Each year HIMF strives to build upon our mission of presenting unique interdisciplinary classical music events and educational outreach programs for the community of Hawaii.”

Pahala House Plantation

The festival arrives on the Big Island on Wednesday, August 16, for a 7:00 PM performance at the Pahala Plantation House. The concert will raise awareness of the Pahala Historic Properties Alliance and their efforts to build a museum to curate and honor the history of Pahala. This concert will feature Metropolitan Opera Soprano and daughter-in-law of Lorie Obra (of Rusty’s Hawaiian Coffee) Amy Shoremount-Obra, Virtuoso Violinist Eric Silberger, Esteemed Pianist Carlin Ma, Hawaii Symphony Orchestra Cellist Sung Chan Chang, Mexican Tenor Manuel Castillo, Young Artist Mexican Mezzo-Soprano Sandra Aldaz Meraz, and World Renowned Argentinean Bandoneon Player JP Jofre.  Tickets and donation information is available both at the door and online at http://himfpahala.bpt.me

Violinist Eric Silberger performing in the Thurston Lava Tube

The festival concludes with a performance in Hilo on Thursday, August 17, with a free prelude picnic preview at Lili`Uokalani Gardens from 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM, followed by the main festival event, “Tastes, Sights, and Sounds of the Big Island” taking place at 6:30 PM at First United Protestant Church Hilo, 1350 Waianuenue Ave. Original photography by Artistic Director Carlin Ma and special guest, Big Island Photography Expert, Ken Goodrich, will be paired with music featuring World Renowned Argentinean Bandoneon Player JP JOFRE, Esteemed Pianist Carlin Ma, Virtuoso Violinist Eric Silberger (Pictured), Metropolitan Opera Soprano Amy Shoremount-Obra, Mexican Tenor Manuel Castillo,  Hawaii Symphony Cellist Sung Chan Chang and Young Artist Mexican Mezzo-Soprano Sandra Aldaz Meraz.  The concert will also feature a tasting of artisanal specialty coffee from Rusty’s Hawaiian and chocolate courtesy of Hawaiian Crown Chocolate Plantation. The event will raise awareness and accept donations for Lili’Uokalani Gardens, for their continued maintenance, improvements, and events as a key cultural center in Hilo.  Tickets for the evening concert and artisanal tastings are $30 in advance and $35 at the door. http://himfhilo.bpt.me

Hawaii Coffee Association Hosts Annual Conference and 9th Annual Statewide Cupping Competition

Coffee industry professionals from across the state assembled for the Hawaii Coffee Association’s (HCA) the 22nd Annual Conference and ninth Annual Statewide Cupping Competition Thursday through Saturday at Maui Tropical Plantation. This year, the HCA combined its annual conference with the Maui Coffee Association’s popular Seed to Cup Festival.The cupping competition featured 107 entries in two divisions— Creative and Commercial —hailing from origins located throughout the island chain including Hawaii Island’s Kona, Ka‘u, Hamakua, Hilo and Puna districts; plus Maui, Kauai, Molokai and Oahu.

“When you got to the last cup, we just said, ‘Wow,’ this is exiting!” exclaimed cupper Warren Muller of Walker Coffee Trading of Houston, Texas. “The level of experimentation is such that we’re now seeing coffees that you wouldn’t expect from the Hawaiian Islands,” shared fellow cupper Shawn Hamilton of Java City of Sacramento. Now in its ninth year of the competition, the cuppers agreed, “The quality just keeps getting better and better. It’s very good for Hawaii.”

Workshops covered topics including coffee brewing, cupping, roasting and roaster maintenance, composting, processing for ‘’quality, differentiation and competition;” branding and packaging, specialized fermentation, plus farm management and sensor technology utilizing drones. A fantastic historic timeline of the Hawaiian coffee industry over the past 30-plus years was presented by retiring University of Hawaii’s CTAHR coffee research icon, Skip Bittenbender. Activities included a tour of O’o Farms in Kula.

A healthy schedule of presenters included a diverse assemblage of state and federal researchers and innovators from private industry. Presenters from USDA, Hawaii Agricultural Research Center, Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center and University of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, as well as Synergistic Hawaii Agricultural Council, offered updates and answered questions. TV and radio personality Howard Dicus took the stage to share his witty commentary.

Coffee cupping is a combination of art and science where coffees are evaluated and scored based on subtle characteristics including, flavor, aroma, “mouth-feel,” acidity, sweetness and aftertaste.

Competing in the Creative cupping division, the top-scoring coffee was produced by Olinda Organic Farm with its wet-ferment Red Catuai varietal earning a score of 87.4. The top scoring coffee in the Commercial division was a wet ferment typica variety produced by Miranda’s Farm of Ka‘u; it tallied a score of 84.1.

District honors were awarded to Hamakua’s Papaaloa Joe, Hawaii’s Second Alarm Farm, Kauai Coffee Company, Hula Daddy Kona Coffee LLC, and Oahu’s Hawaii Agricultural Research Center.

HCA’s Cupping Committee Chair David Gridley of Maui commented, “Ninety-four coffees (88%) scored 80 and above. It’s amazing how the coffees keep getting better and better. I congratulate all the coffee farmers of Hawaii for their remarkable efforts.”

Visit hawaiicoffeeassoc.org for a full list of qualifying entries and scores.

The association membership gathered to elect a new board and officers. Officers include President Chris Manfredi of Ka‘u; Vice-President Tom Greenwell of Greenwell Farms, Treasurer Adrian Guillen of Hawaiian Queen Coffee and Secretary Donna Wooley of the Kona Coffee Council.

The new board of directors features broad representation spanning a variety of business disciplines including Big Island Coffee Roasters, Heavenly Hawaiian Farms, Hawaii Coffee Company, Royal Kona Visitors Center, Hawaii Coffee Growers Association, Hula Daddy Kona Coffee, Hawaii Agricultural Research Center, Kauai Coffee Company LLC, Daylight Mind Coffee Co., Maui Coffee Association and UCC-Hawaii.

The Hawaii Coffee Association’s mission is to represent all sectors of the Hawaii coffee industry, including growers, millers, wholesalers, roasters and retailers. The HCA’s primary objective is to increase awareness and consumption of Hawaiian coffees.  A major component of HCA’s work is the continuing education of members and consumers. Its annual conference has continued to grow, gaining international attention.

Learn more about the HCA at www.hawaiicoffeeassoc.org

Learn more about the Hawaii coffee industry at hawaiicoffeeindustry.com

Hawaii Residents Can Spot the Space Station Tonight

Hawaii residents can spot the International Space Station tonight (depending on clouds).

It will be visible beginning tonight, Saturday, July 22 at 7:45 PM. It will be visible for approximately 6 minutes at a maximum height of 70 degrees. It will appear 11 degrees above the South Southwest part of the sky and disappear 11 degrees above the South Northeast part of the sky.

You can view a livestream from the space station here: https://www.nasa.gov/nasalive

Hawaii Books and Medical Supplies Heading to Micronesia

Education and healthcare in the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia are about to get a significant boost from organizations in Hawaii.  An estimated 10,000 book not sold at the annual Friends of the Library sale will be combined with books from Moanalua Middle School, Hongwanji Mission School, and an assortment of medical supplies donated by Shriner’s Hospital.

“The libraries and hospitals in Micronesia have meager resources,” says Reach out Pacific (REPAC) President Glenn Wakai who is organizing the project.  “The books not sold will fill two containers and ultimately improve literacy in Majuro and Yap.”

Volunteers from the local Micronesian community and the Farrington Football team will box and load the books.  Matson is providing the containers free of charge, and Pacific Transfer is donating trucking services.

“Many of these items were bound for our landfill or incineration, but this Sunday they are being redirected to impoverished areas of Micronesia.  What a win-win projct,” says Reach out Pacific (REPAC) Vice President, Miki Wakai, “There are a variety of volunteers and organizations coming together to send this care package of Aloha.”

  • What:  Volunteers loading thousands of books bound for Micronesia
  • Where: McKinley High School Cafeteria
  • When: Sunday, July 23, 1:30 – 3:00 p.m.REPAC was established in 2005.  The organization has sent more than $2.5 million in surplus medical supplies to: Kiribati, American Samoa, Marshall Islands, Chuuk, Yap, Pohnpei, Kosrae, Palau, Guam, Philippines, Vietnam and Nepal.

State of Hawai‘i Partners with SANS Institute to Help Students Test Cyber Aptitude

Participants serve as ‘Cyber Protection Agents’ in free online simulation

Gov. David Y. Ige today announced a partnership between the State of Hawai‘i and SANS Institute to offer high school and college students the opportunity this summer to participate in a free online cybersecurity assessment and exercise called CyberStart.

In coordination with the Hawaii Departments of Education and Defense, University of Hawaii, and the Office of Enterprise Technology Services (ETS), SANS Institute is encouraging students to participate in the CyberStart program, which involves a game simulation through which students interested in cybersecurity as a career can learn basic cybersecurity skills and test their cyber aptitude. An introductory “practice” version of CyberStart is available through July 28, 2017. The full-scale program will run from Aug. 1 to 28, 2017.

“CyberStart is an innovative opportunity for Hawaii students to test and develop skills applicable to careers in high-demand IT security and related fields,” Gov. Ige said. “There is clearly high interest in cybersecurity among Hawaii youth, as demonstrated by strong participation in existing programs coordinated by the Department of Education, University of Hawai‘i, and organizations such as Cyber Hui. Exploration of this exciting career path can now continue with CyberStart.”

Students don’t have to travel to participate; all they need is an Internet-connected computer and a desire to explore. Each player starts as a “cyber protection agent” responsible for protecting a hypothetical operational base. The student chooses and solves challenges, earning points along the way. An agent field manual provides answers to questions that may arise and helpful hints when players get stuck. When the player has solved a sufficient number of challenges at one level, a new level opens and new challenges appear – for a total of 31 layers. Experienced players have cited CyberStart as being particularly useful to a wide variety of students because everyone can excel, not just a few superstars.

Students who excel in the CyberStart game will have the opportunity to share in $150,000 in scholarships for further cyber education, and ultimately for $500,000 in scholarships for college and graduate-level training in preparation for highly sought-after industry certifications.

“It’s exciting to see our youth being given the opportunity to excel in cybersecurity with the CyberStart program,” said Reynold Hioki, state cybersecurity coordinator within the Hawai‘i Department of Defense, whose protective mission extends to law enforcement agencies and public sector partners providing critical infrastructure and services to the Hawaii community. “Hawai‘i is taking advantage of CyberStart and other related youth programs like CyberPatriot, CyberCamps, GenCyber, Safe and Secure Online, and Hacker High school that directly contribute to increasing the state’s cybersecurity posture.”

ETS Chief Information Security Officer Vincent Hoang, who is responsible for securing state government information resources and infrastructure, said: “These types of programs provide a fun and interactive environment where students are exposed to challenges of varying difficulty and are approachable at any experience level. This is a great opportunity for students to level up their cybersecurity skills.”

SANS Director of Research Alan Paller added: “SANS trains more than 30,000 advanced cybersecurity professionals each year for military and intelligence organizations and for large high-tech companies in the U.S. and its allies. We discovered that those who have mastered the topics taught and measured in the CyberStart program do far better than others in the advanced cybersecurity courses that prepare the critically needed people. By opening CyberStart to hundreds of thousands of students we may be able to help the nation identify the next generation of talented people who will excel in this critical field.”

To join the program, participants must be 16 years or older and enrolled in any high school or college in Hawai‘i, Delaware, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, Rhode Island, or Virginia. For more information, visit: www.sans.org/cyberstartUS

Local Big Island Businesses Try to Raise $20,000 for The Food Basket

Hawaii Island’s Food Bank 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. And while many residents generously reach into their cupboards to donate spam, vienna sausage, rice and saimin, it’s the monetary donations that keep the island-wide operation going, allowing The Food Basket to continue collecting, storing and distributing food all over the Big Island.

So when Randy Kurohara, owner of Aloha Grown, Creative Arts Hawaii and Parker Ranch Store, heard that The Food Basket needed additional funding to sustain their critical programs, he decided to utilize their in-house designing, printing and retail outlets to create a limited edition Aloha Grown “Malama” Tee with 100% of all monies collected being donated to 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. In just a few short weeks, we already reached 20% of our goal. Please purchase your Malama tee and help us raise $20,000 for The Food Basket!”

The shirts are $20 each with 100% of all monies being donated to The Food Basket. That means every “Malama” tee sold will allow 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.

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. 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!”

The “Malama” tee 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.Aloha Grown “Malama” tees are $20 each and available for purchase in-store at 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). Or to purchase online visit www.hawaiifoodbasket.org/donat e/.

For more information on the Aloha Grown “Malama” Tee Fundraiser, visit www.parkerranchstore.com/malam a.

Global Tourism Summit to Honor Malama Honua and Crew of Hokulea at Tourism Legacy Awards Luncheon

Recognizing their global quest to share Hawaii’s sustainability message, Malama Honua and the crew of the Polynesian voyaging canoe, Hokulea, will be the honorees of the 2017 Global Tourism Summit at the Tourism Legacy Awards Luncheon, September 19.

Over a three-year period, from May 2014 until its triumphant return to Honolulu on June 17, 2017, Hokulea’s crew circled the world sailing approximately 40,300 nautical miles, stopping in more than 150 ports, and visiting 23 countries and territories. In completing Malama Honua (which means “to care for our Earth”), Hokulea’s crew shared its message worldwide on the significance of perpetuating native cultures and protecting natural resources, especially the ocean environment.

Presented by the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA), the three-day Global Tourism Summit takes place September 19-21 at the Hawaii Convention Center. The Tourism Legacy Awards Luncheon is a highlight event of the opening day. The festive luncheon in the Center’s ballroom will feature live music, a video tribute to the worldwide voyage of Holukea, and remarks from Master Navigator Nainoa Thompson of the Polynesian Voyaging Society.

“Malama Honua is the greatest accomplishment in modern Hawaiian history and we are proud to honor the crew and the purpose for the voyage at the Tourism Legacy Awards Luncheon,” said George D. Szigeti, HTA president and CEO. “Attendees of the Global Tourism Summit can join us in showing their aloha to the legacy of Malama Honua and Holukea’s crew, and celebrate the message of sustainability they shared with nations and people around the world.”

Attendance to the Tourism Legacy Awards Luncheon honoring Malama Honua is included as part of the registration to the Global Tourism Summit, which is available online at the dedicated summit website, www.GlobalTourismSummitHawaii.com.

Several options are available for registration, including early-bird savings being offered to individuals and groups attending all three days of the summit if they register by July 31.

  • Individuals: Full Conference, September 19-21: $325, a savings of $70
  • Groups of Eight or More: Full Conference, September 19-21: $300 per person, a savings of $65 per person (Groups can mix and match different attendees during the conference)
  • Student and Faculty Members: Full Conference, September 19-21: $150
  • Individuals, Partial Conference, September 19-20: $275
  • Individuals, Partial Conference, September 20-21: $265

Sustainable tourism is the theme of the Global Tourism Summit. The significance of the Hawaiian culture, global marketing, technology and innovation will be shared in presentations and panel discussions, with the overall intent to bring people together to improve tourism in Hawaii and abroad.

Previously known as the Hawaii Tourism Conference, HTA changed the name of the annual event to the Global Tourism Summit to more accurately reflect Hawaii’s emergence as a leader in international travel and tourism.

Azure, Winner of Division 7, Transpac Hero Assisting Distressed Team at Sea Costing Them 7 Hours in Race

At 11:39pm last night the winner of Division 7, Azure crossed Diamond Head Finish line, finally.  Azure will be remembered in this Transpac as Incredible Heroe’s. They went out of their way to help a fellow team, Medusa, costing them 7 hours out of the race, to assist, the first calling of sailors at sea, regardless of a race or not.

Team Azure

During the past 12 hours we welcomed the only Russian boat to ever enter and race in Transpac, Weddel, skippered by  Avanasy Isaev, in his Grand Mistral Italian Made One Design boat; a Lord from England who sailed ALL THE WAY through the Panama Canal from Great Britan to Long Beach, to race in Transpac, and many “kids” with their dads, boys and girls alike, as young as 12 years old.

With all Hawaii affiliated boats having crossed the finish line at Diamond Head safely we now give our final 4 boats the traditional ALOHA WELCOME, during the next 24-30 hours in the Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor at Hawaii Yacht club, including  our “Tail End Charlie”, the final boat to cross the finish line, projected to arrive late Monday night, early Tuesday morning, Kastor Pollux.  Yes, Transpac is a very prestigious race, started in the late 1800’s by King Kalakaua, but nothing says race orgainzers don’t have tons of fun and throw the best parties for sailors the world knows, in fact our Welcome Parties greeting sailors from across the globe are legendary. And this has been done the same way for over 100 years.

Read more about it here:

We are about 800 miles away from Honolulu and all is well on board. We are still in first place for our division so far. Today the sun finally came out and Tony saw his favorite albatross to start the day. Our next challenge will be to determine our gibe mark to head for Hawaii. You do not want to wait too early or too late, so we are doing a bunch of calculations to determine the correct time.

We received a distress call from the Santa Cruise 52 Medusa at about 11:30am this morning. They reported their fuel was contaminated with water, they were out of power, and were requesting assistance. We measured the fuel we had and offered 5 gallons, and we converged for the transfer at about 4:30 pm – I am sure the yellow brick must show us stopped for some time. Transferring fuel in the middle of the pacific in 18 knots of wind with big swells is not easy. Then we had to figure out how to get the fuel out of our tank. Luckily Medusa had and electric transfer pump and some empty containers. They put everything in a big drybag with a fender attached and sailed by to toss in on Azure. We successfully transferred at least 5 gallons of diesel, in milk containers, OJ containers, and spent motor oil containers. We were able to set everything afloat and they were able to swing by and pick it up. Medusa radioed us later to say every thing was ok, the engine was running and batteries were charging.

The clouds out here in the middle of the ocean are really nice. You can see under them forever, so they make for great sunsets and create some unusual shapes. Jim cracked me up this morning looking at one strange cloud – “Angry Birds” he yelled.

Queen Lili‘uokalani Keiki Hula Competition Celebrates 42 Years: Children’s Event Honors Culture, Music, Dance

The Kalihi-Pālama Culture & Arts Society proudly presents the 42nd Annual Queen Lili’uokalani Keiki Hula Competition this Thursday through Saturday, July 20-22, at the Neal S. Blaisdell Center Arena.  This competition was established in 1976 to provide a venue for children ages 5-12 to showcase their achievements in ancient and modern hula.   Four hundred youngsters will represent twenty-two hālau from O’ahu, Maui, Kaua’i, Hawai‘i Island, and Japan.

40th Annual Queen Lili’uokalani 2015 Keiki Hula Competition. Photo: James Kimo Garrett

Over its history, thousands of keiki have participated in this prestigious event. Former Miss Keiki Hula winners include Kumu Hula and 1995 Miss Aloha Hula Kailihiwa Vaughan, 2015 Miss Aloha Hula Jasmin Dunlap, and Kumu Hula and 1999 Miss Aloha Hula Keola Dalire, who brings her hālau to this year’s competition backed by Grammy winner Kalani Pe‘a. Former Master Keiki Hula winners include Kumu Hula Brandon Paredes and Kau‘i Kamana‘o, both of whom bring their hālau regularly to the competition. Former Master Keiki Hula winners also include fashion designers Manaola Yap (Manaola Hawai‘i) and Chaz Kamau‘u (Hula Tease).

“Keiki Hula exemplifies the best of Hawai‘i. It’s a combination of culture, community, and children,” explains Kalihi-Pālama Culture & Arts Society President, Trisha Kehaulani Watson. “Nothing is more inspiring than watching children dance hula. This event gives keiki the opportunity to showcase their hard work and passion. We have seen over our many years how this opportunity positively shapes children’s lives and helps to set in families a lifelong appreciation of hula and the arts. It’s a beautiful experience.”

This event is supported by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, the Hawai’i Tourism Authority, the State Foundation on Culture & the Arts, and numerous community partners.  For more information, email info@kpcahawaii.com or visit our website at www.keikihula.org.

The schedule of the competition is as follows:

  • Thursday, July 20, 6:00 p.m. – Miss & Master Keiki Hula competition
  • Friday, July 21, 6:00 p.m. – Group-Hula Kahiko competition
  • Saturday, July 22, 1:00 p.m. – Group-Hula ‘Auana competition

Reserved seats are $14.50 for adults and $12.50 for children 4-12 yrs.  Tickets are on sale now at the Blaisdell Center box office, by calling Ticketmaster at 1(800)745-3000 or via the internet at www.ticketmaster.com.

The participating hālau are:

  • Aloha ‘O Pu’uwailani Halau
  • Halau Kekuaokala’au’ala’iliahi
  • Halau Hula Helele’i Pua ‘O Waipi’o
  • Halau Keolakapuaokalani
  • Halau Hula ‘O Hokulani
  • Halau ‘O Kaululaua’e
  • Halau Hula O Keola-Ali’iokekai
  • Halau ‘O Napuala’ikauika’iu
  • Halau Hula ‘O Napunaheleonapua
  • Hula Halau ‘O Kamuela
  • Halau Hula O Puka’ikapuaokalani
  • Hula Hui O Kapunahala O Nu’uanu YMCA
  • Hula Halau ‘O Leilani
  • Halau Na Lei Kaumaka O Uka
  • Halau Hula Olana
  • Ka La ‘Onohi Mai O Ha’eha’e
  • Halau o Ka Hanu Lehua
  • Ka Pa Nani ‘O Lilinoe
  • Halau Ka Lei Mokihana O Leina’ala
  • Keolalaulani Halau Olapa O Laka
  • Halau Kala’akeakauikawekiu
  • Leialoha Hula Studio

This year’s event will include some of Hawaii’s top Hawaiian musicians, including Keauhou, Waipuna, Kuana Torres, Na Palapalai, Natalie Ai Kamauu, Hoku Zuttermeister, Chad Takatsugi and many more.

 

Augie T “Laugh Da Island Way” Statewide Comedy Tour

Favorite local comedian Augie T is proud to announce the “Laugh Da Island Way” statewide comedy tour this September, presented by Island Air and Primo.

In Kona, “Laugh Da Island Way” comes to ʻUmeke’s Pāʻina Room on September 1. Augie T will be joined by opening act Kanoa Kukaua from Maui. Show begins at 8 p.m., tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door from ʻUmeke’s or AugieT.com.

In Hilo, join Augie T at the Afook Chinen Civic Auditorium on September 2 with opening act Kanoa Kukaua. Tickets are $10 general admission, or $20 VIP seating including an Augie T gift. Show begins at 8 p.m., tickets are available at KTA Super Stores locations in Hilo, as well as AugieT.com.

On September 8, “Laugh Da Island Way” comes to Hawaiʻi Theatre on Oʻahu where Augie T will be filming for his ninth DVD and TV special. The opening act will be Shawn Garnett of Hawaiʻi Five-O fame. Show begins at 8 p.m., tickets are available at the Hawaiʻi Theatre box office for $30. For this show only, special $5 tickets are available for Oʻahu residents who bring proof of low income to the box office. Acceptable proof includes a Section 8 housing voucher or acceptance letter, a public housing rental agreement or tenant ID, SNAP letter of acceptance, or a Quest/Medicaid card.

The Maui show will be on September 15 at the historic ʻĪao Theatre in Wailuku. Opening for Augie T will be Shawn Garnett. Show begins at 8 p.m., tickets are $20 at AugieT.com.

The tour closes on Kauaʻi on September 16, at the Kauaʻi Veterans Center. Opening for Augie T will be Shawn Garnett. Tickets are $20 in advance at AugieT.com, $25 at the door.

All shows in the “Laugh Da Island Way” tour are benefits for B.R.A.V.E Hawai‘i in an effort to bring an anti-bullying message to school-aged youth. Over 3,000 students on O‘ahu and Hawai‘i Island have experienced B.R.A.V.E. presentations, and the organization will be coming to middle schools on Hawai‘i Island this year with your support. Find out more about B.R.A.V.E. Hawai‘i at BRAVEhawaii.org.

Final 8 Boats Arriving in Transpac 2017

With all Hawaii affiliated boats having crossed the finish line at Diamond Head safely we now give our final 8 boats the traditional ALOHA WELCOME, during the next 36 hours in the Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor at Hawaii Yacht club, including  our “Tail End Charlie”, the final boat to cross the finish line, projected to arrive late Monday night, early Tuesday morning, Kastor Pollux.

Photos courtesy Sharon Greene (Ultimate Sailing)

Yes, Transpac is a very prestigious race, started in the late 1800’s by King Kalakaua, but nothing says race orgainzers don’t have tons of fun and throw the best parties for sailors the world knows, in fact our Welcome Parties greeting sailors from across the globe are legendary. And this has been done the same way for over 100 years.

A large wave of finishers in the 2017 Transpac have arrived in the Ala Wai last night and in the pre-dawn hours to start to fill up the slip spaces set aside in the Marina for the finishers, known as Transpac Row. From tallest mast to shortest, most of the race entries are moored here, bedecked with leis and ti leaves as symbols of Aloha hospitality from a culture that recognizes the special nature of having completed a long sea voyage.

After crossing the finish line, all boats are escorted to the narrow (sometimes treacherous) entrance to the Ala Wai Yacht Harbor, a safe haven from the Pacific swells. Donned in their flowered shirts, the crews stand on deck to be greeted like conquering heroes by the amplified sounds of native drums, slack key guitar music and a loud and resounding “Aaaahhh- looohhh – haaaaah” given by staff commodore Howie Mednick from the second deck of the Hawaii YC.

“We welcome you to Hawaii, and ask only that you do Drink well, Sing well, Eat well, Sleep well…and Drink well some more!”

Boats then proceed to their assigned slips, get boarded and inspected for rules compliance, and then are released to the awaiting leis and hugs of family, friends and well-wishers. Regardless of the time of day or night, every crew is given an Aloha Party of food and drink, some more traditionally Hawaiian than others, with the unshaven and weary crews growing their smiles with each re-told story and re-acquaintance with terra firma.

This is a unique feature of Transpac among the world’s ocean races: nowhere else will you find this intimate and embracing level of hospitality and respect. Finishers of the Volvo Ocean Race and Vendee Globe will experience their re-entry into life ashore under the glare of TV lights, crowds and microphones, whereas at Transpac it will be under the flickering flames of a tiki torch and the inner glow from a Mai Tai.

The lore of this hospitality reaches far and wide, as evidenced by not only entries who come every two years from around the Pacific Basin, but also those who come from the other side of the world. This year two entries from Europe were here to have the Aloha experience.

One was Michael St Aldwyn’s J&J 50 Zephyr from the Royal Yacht Squadron, with many of the team hailing from London and Lymington. Despite the reception another English crew received in Hawaii in 1778 when Captain Cook met his demise on the island of Hawai’i, David Sharples was effusive in praise of the race, the help given by TPYC, and the reception received at their finish at 7:11 PM last night.

“We have sailed in many races, and there is nothing like the warm reception we had here,” said Sharples. “This was a great race, and from here we are off next to Australia for the Sydney-Hobart.” This is a typical path for many yachts from overseas as they pursue the items on their bucket lists…another for St Aldwyn is black marlin fishing, which Hawaii offers on the Kona Coast.

Another entry from another seafaring nation in Europe was Karl Otto Book’s Wasa 44 Cubanaren from Norway, the first to finish in Division 7 at 3:24 AM this morning. Book is an active racer, competing in a variety of regattas and a variety of boats throughout Europe. His modest-sized team of four started their journey a year ago at the ORC World Championship in Copenhagen, where racing on a Landmark 43 they placed 6th in a competitive class of 59 boats in Class B.

“We really enjoyed this race, and had no problems except for one broken afterguy,” said Book. “We sailed the boat well I think, but we don’t know if we will continue to have our lead when Azure comes in.” At their current rate of speed Rod Pimentel’s Cal 40 is only 2.5 hours behind Cubaneren in corrected time, and they will be asking for time in redress for having diverted mid-race race to assist the Division 4 Santa Cruz 52 Medusa with fuel. If given more then this margin, Azure will likely take the prize in this class as the last finishers come in today, tonight and tomorrow.

Book says they were considering going south and west to Australia, but have changed their plans to stay in this hemisphere for a while. “We will cruise around the islands for a week, then go back to California, down to Panama, the Caribbean, Cuba, then the East Coast, possibly the Bermuda Race next year.”

Another story from today was the morning finishes of Scott Grealish’s Farr 400 Blue Flash, hampered by an ailing steering system since the second day of the race, and thus on training wheels of having to use smaller sails while nursing their steering system. Grealish said they may have tried to push harder, but with only a crew of five this was difficult, and three of the five were teenagers: son Sean, Kyle Collins, and John Ped were all 18 and 19 years old, with Kyle celebrating his 18th birthday today at their Aloha party.

Another teenager finishing today was 16 year old Will Vanderwort on board Ross Pearlman’s Jeanneau 50 Between the Sheets. “I’m really interested in keelboat and match race sailing, but my dad started a tradition of bringing [us kids] on the Transpac, and this was my turn. I think it was great, I really enjoyed it.”

Transpacific YC’s handling of this race is full-service: not only are there dozens of volunteers to handle all aspects of this complex race, but a prerequisite for membership in this club is in having done this race at least once, so everyone has a passion to replicate its special and unique features every two years. Planning for the next race begins immediately after the last, with a new Commodore installed and dates set within weeks after the Awards…this year the torch will be passed from Bo Wheeler to Tom Hogan.

There are already ideas floating around about expanding the reach and appeal of this special race to include more multihull classes, re-examine the Barn Door Trophy criteria, and other notions. Start dates for 2019 will be examined to consider moon phases, consolidation of the fleet into being in the same weather, weekend start days to encourage more spectating, etc.

“It’s a balance between tradition and innovation,” said Dan Nowlan, TPYC Commodore for the 2015 race. “This is a unique race, and we want to preserve its character, but also invite entries to come from all over the world.”

For more information – position reports, photos, videos and stories new and old, visit the event website at https://2017.transpacyc.com.

Stay tuned also to the Transpac Facebook page for photos, videos and even stories coming in from the teams while at sea: www.facebook.com/ TranspacRace/.

Lili`uokalani Gardens Teams With Na Makua Designs

Nelson Makua and Na Makua Designs created a centennial design for Lili`uokalani Gardens that brings the Queen to the gardens named for her.

Shirts designed by Nelson Makua

“For quite a while time, some of us have visualized what it might have been like for the Queen to visit the gardens in Hilo, a place she visited often through 1913,” said garden enthusiast K.T. Cannon-Eger. “We know she considered having a home built for her in Hilo and corresponded with John T. Baker about those plans. Illness prevented her travel to Hilo after 1913. Although she knew the garden acreage was set aside in early 1917, her death on November 11, 1917, precluded her ever seeing the gardens completed.

“The board of directors of Friends of Lili`uokalani Gardens is thrilled with Nelson Makua’s design which shortly will appear on tee shirts and tote bags among other centennial celebration uses.”

Makua has been an artist and designer on the Big Island for more than 40 years. Born and raised in Kailua, Oahu, he and his ‘ohana moved to the Big Island in 1975, where they reside in Puna, the original home of the Makua ‘ohana.

“My ancestors were part of the migration from Tahiti to Hawaii who settled in Kalapana in the district of Puna,” Makua said. “Living here gave me the opportunity to connect with ‘ohana, it was like coming home.”

He is best known for his design work, with clients in Hawai‘i, the mainland and Japan. He is a two time Na Hoku Hanohano award winner for graphic design and is the only artist to have created six years of Merrie Monarch Festival posters with his limited edition “Pele” series.

Makua’s first 2003 poster has now become a collectors’ item.  His 2008 Merrie Monarch poster received the prestigious Pele Award for best illustration by the Hawaii Advertising Federation.

Last year, Nelson was honored as a MAMo Awardee for 2016 in recognition for his artistic contribution as a Native Hawaiian artist.

In 1999 Nelson and his son Kainoa, created a line of casual Hawaiian wear under the brand of Nä Mäkua. “Na Makua gives us a visual voice to express our views and feelings as native Hawaiians, creating images that speak out to other Hawaiians and honor our rich heritage.” They retail their apparel and art on their website www.namakua.com.

As well as being an artist and designer, Nelson has been the director of the annual Merrie Monarch Invitational Hawaiian Arts Fair for the Merrie Monarch Festival for the past 14 years. He is also the director of the Moku O Keawe Marketplace at the Moku O Keawe International Hula Festival and along with his son Kainoa, they produce their annual Na Mäkua Invitational Christmas Gift fair in Hilo.

Though Nelson was classically trained in drawing, painting and photography, he has been a digital artist for more than 20 years. “The digital age has opened up a whole new world of creating for the artist, with countless possibilities. Guided by my kupuna before me, I consider myself a Hawaiian living in my own time, creating images that reflect my time and place.”

To find out more about the garden centennial or to purchase fund raising tee shirts or tote bags, please go to the Friends of Lili`uokalani Gardens page on Facebook or contact Friends of Lili`uokalani Gardens at P.O. Box 5147, Hilo HI 96749.

Banyan Gallery near the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel is one retail outlet for people who live in the Hilo area.

Neil Everett of ESPN to Deliver Keynote Address at 2017 Global Tourism Summit in Honolulu

Neil Everett, the popular ESPN SportsCenter anchor known for opening each show with Howzit! and frequently referencing other Hawaii terms during broadcasts, will present the opening keynote address on the second day of the 2017 Global Tourism Summit in Honolulu.

Photo Credit: ESPN

Everett will make his presentation on Wednesday, September 20, starting at 8:30 a.m., at the Hawaii Convention Center. His topic, Paying Aloha Forward – How Hawaii Saved My Life, will draw upon the inspiration of Hawaii’s aloha spirit in helping to steer him through a difficult period in his life and how, today, he shares the power of aloha with others.

“I spent 15 years in Hawaii and the love I have for the people and aloha will forever be in my heart,” said Everett. “Living in the islands changed me and made me into a better person, and now I pay aloha forward whenever I can.”

Everett moved to Honolulu in 1985 after graduating from the University of Oregon. For the next 15 years, he worked in the athletics department at Hawaii Pacific University, while also writing, producing and reporting news and sports at various times for three Hawaii TV networks, KITV, KHNL, and KGMB. Everett joined ESPN in 2000 as a SportsCenter anchor at its headquarters studio in Bristol, CT, before moving to Los Angeles in conjunction with the opening of ESPN’s West Coast studio in 2009.

Presented by the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA), the three-day Global Tourism Summit, September 19-21, will share the significance of the Hawaiian culture, global marketing, technology and innovation in presentations and panel discussions, with the overall intention of bringing people together to help improve tourism in Hawaii and abroad. Sustainable tourism is the summit theme.

“Like people throughout the country, I’m a fan of SportsCenter because of Neil Everett and how he cleverly combines fun with professionalism in the telling of scores and reporting of sports news,” said George D. Szigeti, HTA president and CEO. “You meet Neil and can quickly tell his soul is filled with a goodness to do what’s right and to help others, and much of that stems from him living in Hawaii. Attendees of the Global Tourism Summit will enjoy hearing his story of personal inspiration.”

Attendees can register to attend the Global Tourism Summit and hear Everett’s keynote address by registering online at www.GlobalTourismSummitHawaii.com.

Several options are available for registration, including early-bird savings being offered to individuals and groups attending all three days of the summit if they register by July 31.

  • Individuals: Full Conference, September 19-21: $325, a savings of $70
  • Groups of Eight or More: Full Conference, September 19-21: $300 per person, a savings of $65 per person (Groups can mix and match different attendees during the conference)
  • Student and Faculty Members: Full Conference, September 19-21: $150
  • Individuals, Partial Conference, September 19-20: $275
  • Individuals, Partial Conference, September 20-21: $265

67th JCCIH Installation Draws Leaders from Across the State and Japan

Continuing the Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Hawaii (JCCIH) mission to promote values-based business and interconnection, JCCIH welcomed State and Japanese leaders of government and commerce at its 67th installation at the end of June.

Audrey N. Takamine of Takamine Construction, Inc., was inducted as the 2017-18 president of the JCCIH, becoming the fourth woman to lead the organization.

Audrey Takamine, new president of Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry, right, presenting Russell Arikawa, immediate past president, with mahalo plaque.

“When Craig and I founded Takamine Construction,” she said, “we set our philosophy as ‘building long-term relationships,’ and that’s a major goal I have for the Chamber. These friendships across the state and with Japanese business leaders foster that goal.”

Lt. Governor Shan S. Tsutsui, a Maui native, gave the keynote remarks, calling on businesses to “acknowledge the rich history of the community and the State and remain grateful for the contributions and sacrifices of generations past.”

From Japan, dignitaries and delegates from sister city Higashi-Hiroshima Chamber of Commerce & Industry (HHCCI) joined the celebration. Tsutsui noted that he was encouraged by the relationship between Higashi-Hiroshima and Hilo business communities “in exploring unique business opportunities while gaining a better understanding of one another.”

Also in attendance was Sherry Menor-McNamara, president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii (CoCH) which represents statewide business interests. JCCIH works with CoCH to promote mutually beneficial programs and legislation.

The group from HHCCI included the chamber Chair Kazuyuki Kihara, Executive Councilor Katsuhiko Muneto, Councillor Takashi Shohara and his wife Yuko Shohara, Councilor Masao Ninomiya and his wife Ruriko Ninomiya, Councilor Atsushi Isobe and Managing Director Kazunari Ohara.

Besides Takamine, the other 2017-18 JCCIH Executive Officers include:

  • First Vice President: Stephen N. Ueda, Suisan Company, Ltd.
  • Second Vice President: Donn S. Mende, HFS Federal Credit Union
  • Treasurer: Joseph F. Skruch
  • Immediate-Past President: Russell M. Arikawa, Ginoza Realty, Inc.

The installation drew a record crowd of more than 250, requiring a change of venue.

“We are very grateful that the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel opened its doors to accommodate our Installation, said Takamine.  “I look forward to working with our new officers. I also welcome the many new members that JCCIH has attracted over the past year. We intend to continue that growth.” JCCIH now has more than 300 members from businesses and professions.

Takamine is a 2002 graduate of the University of Hawaii-Hilo College of Business and of Waiakea High School.

The Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Hawaii fosters economic sustainability as well as perpetuating the Japanese cultural heritage and traditions in Hawaii. Its mission is to promote the wellbeing of our community through business and personal relationships that embody the values of Kahiau & Okage Sama De. In Hawaiian, Kahiau means giving without expecting anything in return. Okage Sama De is a Japanese proverb, which means I am what I am because of you.

The Chamber sponsors the popular annual Taste of Hilo, set this year for Sunday, October 22. The Chamber hosts business and cultural events and information sessions throughout the year and works with other business organizations as a watchdog over state and county legislation.

For information about JCCIH programs and membership, visit www.jccih.org

First Transpac Boats Arriving

Mighty Merloe and Comanche on race record pace in 2017 Transpac – Most of the remainder of the fleet at halfway point in the race

One week after the first wave of starters and four days after the last wave, the bulk of the 55 entries in this year’s 49th edition of the Transpac are at about their halfway points to the finish at Diamond Head in Honolulu. On the 2225-mile course less than a dozen are still to reach the half-way points in their projected tracks in the race.

Mighty Merloe

The conditions of relatively steady 10-20 knot winds with few holes has been perfect for the fleet leaders, who have been speeding along at over 20 knots of boat speed and are quickly consuming the remaining miles left to Diamond Head. At 0900 Hawaii Time today the three leading multihulls – H.L. Enloe’s ORMA 60 Mighty Merloe, Lloyd Thornburg’s MOD 70 Phaedo and Giovanni Soldini’s MOD 70 Maserati – have been locked in battle, with Merloe in the lead ahead of Phaedo by 57 miles with only 168 miles to go on their final approach to Oahu.

At current speeds, Merloe’s finish time tonight will not only break the multihull race record set in 1997 by Bruno Peyron’s Commodore Explorer of 5 days 9 hours 18 min and 26 sec, but possibly smash it by more than a day. (This is not the overall, main winner of Transpac as this is a multihull, which has a class of its own.) The other two MOD 70’s also likely to beat the previous mark by coming in only a few hours later.

“We’re still dealing with marine debris,” said Will Suto, reporting on board Might Merloe just hours before being in sight of the islands. “Today I had to crawl out onto the sterns of both the starboard and port amas and dangle off the very back to clear chunks of polypropylene fishing net from in between the top of the rudders and the hull. We had to keep going at full speed to keep the hull out of the water. If we had touched down the force of the water would have dragged me off. I was tied to the boat three different ways, but it was still a nice moment of clarity.”

Comanche

At 1130 HST Jim Clarke’s 100-foot monohull Comanche is comparatively close, only 482 miles out and also going fast: 20.2 knots. After having set a new 24 hour position report record (0800 Friday – 0800 Saturday) of 484 miles, she is also on track for breaking the monohull race record set in 2009 of 5 days 14 hours 36 min 20 sec set in 2009 by Neville Crichton’s R/P 90 Alfa Romeo II. Comanche has to cross the finish line at Diamond Head tomorrow night before 12:36:20 AM HST on Wednesday morning to set a new record time.

In corrected time standings based on current positions and rates of speed, leaders in each division include: Mighty Merloe in Division 0, Frank Slootman’s Pac 52 Invisible Hand in Division 1, Roy Pat Disney’s Andrews 68 Peywacket in Division 2, Tim Fuller’s J/125 Resolute in Division 3, John Shulze’s SC 50 Horizon in Division 4, Larry Andrews’s Summit 40 Locomotive in Division 5, Chris Lemke and Brad Lawson’s Hobie 33 Dark Star in Division 6, and Rod Pimental’s Cal 40 Azure in Division 7.

Since Saturday veteran Transpac sailor and offshore racing analyst Dobbs Davis has provided his race analysis show viewable on the Transpac website. For this and more information – position reports, photos, videos and stories new and old, visit the event website at https://2017.transpacyc.com and www.facebook.com/TranspacRace/.

Aloha in Abundance at Park’s 37th Annual Hawaiian Cultural Festival & BioBlitz

Sunny skies, outstanding views of Mauna Loa and Kīlauea, and an outpouring of aloha from all who participated in the Hawaiian Cultural Festival & BioBlitz, made for a joyful Saturday at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.

NPS Photo(s) – Janice Wei

Although the official count isn’t yet available, park staff estimated that several thousand people, from keiki to kupuna, from local residents to first-time visitors, enjoyed the annual event that celebrates and perpetuates authentic Hawaiian culture. For the third year, the event connected people to science with BioBlitz field hikes.

The 37th annual Cultural Festival and BioBlitz were held on the grounds of Kilauea Military Camp in the park from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and park entrance was free all day.

The festival’s theme, Hilina‘i Puna, Kālele iā Ka‘ū, (Puna leans and reclines on Ka‘ū), celebrates the two land districts that comprise the park. The event was sponsored by Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association, the Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, and Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.

Transpac Update: First Multi-Hull Boats Expected to Cross the Diamond Head Finish Line Tomorrow

The Diamond Head buoy will welcome the first finishers of the 2017 biennial Transpac sailing race tomorrow after a 2,225-mile trek across the Pacific Ocean from Pt. Fermin in Long Beach, California to Oahu. (These are NOT the Winners of Transpac, these very fast multi-hulls are in a separate division/class competing against eachother only.)

In a class of their own, the Multi-hulls, including Mighty Merloe, Phaedo3 and Maserati are all in contention for a new Transpac Multihull Record. The current Transpac Multihull Race Record, set 20 years ago by Skipper Bruno Peyron aboard “Explorer”, in a time of 5:09:18:26, is currently the Transpac Fastest Multihull Elapsed Time Record.

It is currently projected that “Mighty Merloe”, leading the fleet of Multihulls, may finish first in the fleet tomorrow afternoon, but as wind-speed conditions can change dramatically, they could be in sooner or later.. If they break the current record it could be by more than one full day, to become the fastest multi-hull to have ever competed in a Transpac race.

This year’s race attracted a strong turnout of new racers, including Ken Read with his 100-footer Comanche, who yesterday set a new monohull 24-hour 0800-0800 distance record of 484 miles, an average of 20.2 knots, and is seeking to break the overall monohull race record of 5 days 14 hours 18 min 20 sec set in 2009 on Neville Crichton’s 90-foot Alfa Romeo 2. To do this Comanche must average 16.7 knots or better over the entire 2225-mile course.

The Barn Door trophy in Transpac goes to the first monohull boat to cross the Diamond Head Finish Line, there are several boats in contention for this prestigious honor.

There are many Hawaii connections among the racers, including James McDowell and his yacht Grand Illusion from the Waikiki Yacht Club, the 2015 Transpac Overall winner and a three-peat winner of this race; Pyewacket, skippered by Roy Pat Disney Jr., is also sailing under the Waikiki Yacht Club flag; Aszhou and her crew, half of which are locals from the islands; and Merlin, skippered by noted sailor and yacht designer Bill Lee (who designed and also built Merlin), has Maui-native Keahi Ho on crew.

For more information on how to track the race visit:  https://yb.tl/transpac2017 or to get involved, attend the functions surrounding the race such as all the parties and events, please visit the Transpac website at 2017.transpacyc.com.

Contact PR Chair Janet M. Scheffer at 808-521-1160/285-7712 for any inquiries.

Puna’s Democratic Delegate Loses Long Fight With Brain Cancer

Yesterday, Puna resident Timothy (Tim) Law passed away from his long fight with brain cancer.

Tim Law

Tim ran for District 5 County Council back in 2014 and was active in the Democratic Party here on this island.  In 2016 he served as Puna’s Delegate at the State Democratic Party Convention.

Tim was a father, a husband, an activist and a surfer who loved the ocean.  He was active in the Pahoa Community and his wife Susan will probably remain active in the community.

Prayers go out to his Ohana as they carry on the torch.

 

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park: Explore Kahuku July – September 2017

Everyone is invited to participate in the free guided hikes, “Coffee Talks” and ‘Ike Hana No‘eau Hawaiian cultural programs in the Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, from July through September 2017. Visitors can also explore Kahuku on their own on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

NPS Photo/Janice Wei

Enter the Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park on the mauka (inland) side of Highway 11 near mile marker 70.5, and meet near the parking area. Sturdy footwear, water, raingear, sun protection and a snack are recommended for all hikes. Entrance and all programs are free.

Participate in ‘Ike Hana No‘eau (Experience the Skillful Work) Hawaiian cultural demonstrations at Kahuku on the third Friday of each month from 10 a.m. to noon, July 21, August 18, and September 15. Programs are free.

Get to know your park and your neighbors and join an informal “Coffee Talk” conversation on a wide variety of topics at Kahuku the last Friday of the month. Ka‘ū coffee, tea and pastries will be available for purchase. Coffee Talks are offered free on July 28, August 25, and September 29 from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Palm Trail is a moderately difficult 2.6-mile loop traversing scenic pastures along an ancient cinder cone, with some of the best panoramic views Kahuku has to offer. Highlights include relics of the ranching era, sections of remnant native forest and amazing volcanic features from the 1868 eruptive fissures. A guided hike of Palm Trail is offered July 23, August 6 and September 24 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

‘Ōhi‘a Lehua. Learn about the vital role of ‘ōhi‘a lehua in native Hawaiian forests, the many forms of the ‘ōhi‘a tree, and the new disease of Rapid ‘Ōhi‘a Death. Visitors will be able to identify the many differences of the most prominent native tree in Kahuku on this program, which is an easy, one-mile (or less) walk. The ‘Ōhi‘a Lehua program is offered July 9, August 13, and September 10 from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Realms and Divisions of Kahuku. Experience the sense of place that evolves at the intersection of nature and culture on this moderately difficult two-mile, two-hour guided hike on the Kahuku Unit’s newest trail, Pu‘u Kahuku. Explore the realms and divisions of the traditional Hawaiian classification system at Kahuku. Bring a snack for the “talk story” segment of this hike. Offered July 15, August 5, and September 2 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

People and Land of Kahuku is a moderate two-mile, three-hour guided hike that loops through varied landscapes to explore the human history of Kahuku. Emerging native forests, pastures, lava fields, and other sites hold clues about ways people have lived and worked on the vast Kahuku lands – from the earliest Hawaiians, through generations of ranching families, to the current staff and volunteers of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Learn about the powerful natural forces at work here and how people have adapted to, shaped, and restored this land. The guided hike is offered July 16, August 20 and September 17 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Birth of Kahuku. Explore the rich geologic history of Kahuku. Traverse the vast 1868 lava flow, see different volcano features and formations, and identify many parts of the Southwest Rift Zone of Mauna Loa. Learn about the Hawaiian hotspot and the creation of Kahuku. This guided easy-to-moderate hike is offered July 22, August 12, and September 9 & 30 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Nature & Culture: An Unseverable Relationship (He Pilina Wehena ‘Ole). Hike the Palm Trail and be inspired by a place where hulihia (catastrophic change) and kulia (restoration) can be observed as the land transitions from the 1868 lava flow and its pioneer plants, to deeper soil with more diverse and older flora. Learn about native plants and their significance in Hawaiian culture. This moderate hike is about two miles and takes two hours. The Nature & Culture program is offered July 29, August 27, and September 23 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Hi‘iaka & Pele. Discover two fascinating Hawaiian goddesses, sisters Pelehonuamea (Pele) and Hi‘iaka, and the natural phenomena they represent. Visitors will experience the sisters coming alive through the epic stories depicted in the natural landscape of Kahuku on this easy 1.7-mile walk on the main road in Kahuku. The Hi‘iaka and Pele program is offered July 30, August 26, and September 16 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Pu‘u o Lokuana is a short 0.4-mile hike to the top of the grassy cinder cone, Pu‘u o Lokuana. Learn about the formation and various uses of this hill over time and enjoy a breathtaking view of lower Ka‘ū. This hike is offered August 19 and September 3 from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Keep up with Kahuku events and visit the calendar on the park website, https://www.nps.gov/havo/planyourvisit/kahuku-hikes.htm, and download the Kahuku Site Bulletin https://www.nps.gov/havo/planyourvisit/upload/2013_11_05-Kahuku-Site-Bulletin.pdf.

Landmark Cost of Living Reduction Bill to be Signed Into Law

Gov. David Ige will sign House Bill 209, a landmark cost of living reduction bill, into law on Monday, July 10 in the Governor’s Ceremonial Office.

HB 209 establishes a state earned income tax credit, mirroring the federal earned income tax credit, to help low-income workers retain a larger percentage of their yearly income. The bill also permanently extends the higher rates of the refundable food/excise tax credit, which makes it less costly for those in need to afford necessities like food.

“Creating a state-level earned income tax credit is the most significant anti-poverty measure passed by the Legislature in decades,” said House Speaker Scott K. Saiki.

HB 209 is a financially responsible measure that is financed through the restoration of the highest income tax brackets that existed until 2015.

“HB 209 is all about helping working people keep more of what they make. At its core, it’s a compassionate, fair, and responsible reform to tax policy that helps to alleviate Hawaii’s oppressive cost of living,” said Rep. Aaron Ling Johanson, author and introducer of the bill.

According to the Department of Taxation, HB 209 will give $130 million back to low-income families in the first six years of the credit. More than 107,000 people claim the federal earned income tax credit and would potentially be able to claim the state credit. Additionally, the Refundable Food/Excise Portion amounts to $110 per exemption per claimant.