Willie K Headlines “Best of the Fest” – Big Island Film Festival at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai’i

Blues man, jazz artist, Hawaiian songwriter, slack key master, rock & roll, reggae and occasional opera singer, Hawaii’s own Willie K brings his considerable talents to the stage on Monday, May 26, 2014, for Big Island Film Festival’s “Best of the Fest” concert at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i. Willie Kahaiali‘i, (Willie K) has been entertaining audiences around the world since age 10; won multiple Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards—most recently for “Warehouse Blues”–and a Grammy Award nomination.

Willie K

An eclectic and charismatic guitarist, Willie K has been called “a Hawaiian Jimi Hendrix,” by Honolulu Weekly, who also said, “he’s Gabby Pahinui, Andres Segovia and Eddie Van Halen rolled into one. Willie can mimic seemingly any style, moving easily between screaming Stratocaster, sweet slack key and jazzy, almost baroque, acoustic 12-string.”

In 2011, Willie K appeared on screen at BIFF in “Get a Job,” the outrageously funny comedy written and directed by Brian Kohne.

Willie K and Eric Gilliom

The Maui-created film boasted an all-star lineup of top Hawai‘i entertainers that also included Eric Gilliom, Augie T, Jake Shimabukuro, Carolyn Omine, Slam Poet Kealoha, Ernie Cruz, Jr., Amy Hanaiali‘i, Mick Fleetwood, Pat Simmons, the late Charles Ka‘upu, Willie Nelson, and Henry Kapono.

An entertainer with a generous heart, Willie K finds numerous ways to give back to the community. His annual Celebrity Golf Tournament for the Maui Memorial Medical Center’s Oncology Department is now in its eleventh year; and he is Hawai‘i spokesperson for the National Kidney Foundation. And, he can add Fisher House at Tripler Army Medical Center to his credit, as “Best of the Fest” includes a silent auction benefit for this important resource for military families.”

Tickets for “Best of the Fest” with Willie K can be purchased online at www.BigIslandFilmFestival.com. Admission is $40 at the door ($30 kama‘āina) and $35 in advance ($25 kama‘āina), $10 keiki 7-12. Some chairs will be available as will no-host bar, gourmet pupus and other movie snacks (no coolers please).

Best of the Fest includes:

  • Silent Auction to benefit Fisher House at Tripler Army Medical Center, 5-7 p.m.
  • Willie K in Concert, 5-7 p.m.
  • Audience-voted Best Feature and Best Short Films of BIFF 2013, 7:30-9:30 p.m.
  • Best of the Fest is also a fundraiser for Hawai‘i Island Food Basket.

The Big Island “Talk Story” Film Festival is a celebration of independent narrative films and filmmaking, taking place May 22-26, with celebrity guests Jackson Rathbone (the “Twilight” series) and Portia Doubleday (“Carrie,” “Youth in Revolt”). Major sponsors include The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i, The Shops at Mauna Lani and Hawai‘i Tourism Authority/Hawai‘i County CPEP grant. Admission to films is free for active-duty military service members with I.D. For complete schedule information and tickets, visit www.BigIslandFilmFestival.com or call (808) 883-0394.

Relay For Life of Waimea Announces New Daytime Hours

The American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life of Waimea is holding an official kickoff this week for its 11th annual event on Saturday, October 25th with new daytime hours of 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., instead of overnight from 6:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.

Relay for Life Waimea

This week’s kickoff will take place this Saturday, April 26th at the Parker School Farmer’s Market from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and in front of KTA in Waimea from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Community members can stop by the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life booth at either location to learn about the event’s new daytime hours and sign up teams to walk.

For the last ten years, Relay For Life of Waimea was held overnight from 6:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m., however, this year’s event will be held at Waimea Park at 65-1260 Kawaihae Road during the day from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. encouraging more families and school-age children to participate. Individuals and teams camp out at the park, with the goal of keeping at least one team member walking around a track in the park at all times. “This event brings together friends, families, businesses, hospitals, schools, faith-based groups . . . people from all walks of life – aimed to honor cancer survivors, remember loved ones lost and fight back against the disease,” says Bernie Kainoa, Event Board Chair and founder of American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life of Waimea.

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Big Island Police Identify Man That Drowned at Kua Bay Last Week – RIP Ozzie

A 54-year-old man died Wednesday (April 16) in waters off Kua Bay in Kona. He has been identified as Robert Gregory Osborne of Hōlualoa.
Kua Bay
At 1:25 p.m. on April 16, Kona Patrol officers responded to a report that an unresponsive man had been pulled from the water at Kua Bay.

Officers obtained information that the he had been observed floating and was pulled to shore by bystanders, who attempted cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Fire Department personnel arrived and took him to Kona Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

At autopsy revealed that he died of saltwater drowning.

Here is my friends account of what happened:

Around 2pm on the 16th I was snorkeling about a quarter mile north of Kua Bay and saw a white male floating face down near the shoreline.

After determining he had no pulse and that it was unsafe to bring him safely to the rocky shore break I swam him back to Kua Bay. The swim took around a half hour to my estimation.

There were two doctors sunbathing on the beach when I brought him in. 911 was immediately called and CPR was given to the man with no success for 30 minutes until the HFD arrived.

They were unable to revive the man as well and put him in an ambulance shortly after.  A bag was found nearby that contained a Hawaiian drivers license that identified him physically.

He was born in 1960, brown hair, medium height and build.

Two hours later HPD called and I gave this statement. At this current time, 32 hrs later, I am unable to find any public information concerning this tragedy.

Jeff McBride

Family members have reported the following:

The man Jeff rescued was my brother Ozzie. Thank you Jeff McBride for bringing my brother in and trying to save him and putting this information out. A memorial service will be held next Sunday at City of Refuge for Ozzie at 2:30 pm.

Tracey Osborne Miller

Wheel of Fortune Returns to the Big Island – Seeking Contestants

Wheel of Fortune, America’s #1 game show will celebrate its 32nd season with shows taped on Hawaii, the Big Island. Host Pat Sajak, co-host Vanna White, and the entire Los Angeles-based crew will set up shop at the Hilton Waikoloa Village in September to tape four weeks of shows.

Pat and Vanna will be back on the Big Island soon.

Pat and Vanna will be back on the Big Island soon.

Marking the fifth time Wheel of Fortune has taped in Hawaii since 1996, the production will ship 37 trailers and containers with 1.8 million pounds of equipment. More than 225 staff and crew will be on hand to produce 20 episodes and share the beauty of Hawaii with the show’s 25 million weekly viewers.

“We have taped Wheel of Fortune on location 65 times,” said Executive Producer Harry Friedman. “But no destination creates a greater sense of excitement than Hawaii. The scenery, the hospitality and the warmth of the Aloha spirit simply can’t be found anywhere else.”

Contestant auditions will be held on Hawaii, the Big Island in late May; and on Oahu in late June for individuals (18+), and married couples, as well as best friends who are not related. Tune into KHON2 or log on to www.khon2.com to find out how to audition and for audience ticket information.

Click here to apply to be on the show: Hawaii Contestant Search

“The Volcano Kilauea” – 1918 Rare Silent Movie Surfaces

This original 1918 film, The Volcano Kilauea, is a version updated through 1924.  Filmed using the Prisma Process, this was the first Hawaii film produced in color on the Islands.

The Volcano

No audio as words/lines were inserted; thus, a silent film. Rare film documented as being ‘lost’.

Ray J Baker was the producer; he was an early Hawaii photographer who progressed into moving film. Produced in Los Angeles by William Horsley Company.

How The Easter Bunny Delivers Eggs in Hawaii

This is how the Easter Bunny delivers eggs in Hawaii:

Surfing Bunny

Surfing Bunny

Happy Easter everyone!

Toyota Hawaii Awards Twelve Local Student Winners in 2014 Dream Car Art Contest

Yesterday, Big Island Toyota awarded Mountain View Elementary School teacher Kerry Ogawa of with a $250 gift card for school supplies for her participation in Toyota’s 2014 Dream Car Art Contest. Mrs. Ogawa received her award at Big Island Toyota in Hilo.

Toyota awarded Mountain View Elementary School teacher Kerry Ogawa of with a $250 gift card.

Kerry Ogawa and Kurt Williams of Big Island Toyota

Toyota Hawaii held statewide award presentations at its dealerships on Oahu, Kauai, Maui and the Big Island to recognize the local finalists, People’s Choice winners, and winning school teachers in Toyota’s 2014 Dream Car Art Contest. Among the more than 500 entries received, only nine (three from each age category) were selected to participate to move on to the World Contest to represent Hawaii where the Grand Prize winner(s) will be awarded an all-expenses-paid trip to Japan for the awards ceremony in August 2014.

The celebrity emcees at the Oahu event were Hawaii News Now’s Tannya Joaquin and Shriners Hospitals for Children – Honolulu’s Director of Public Relations Mahealani Richardson.

“It gives us great pleasure to submit our finalists’ artwork into the World Contest,” said Glenn Inouye, Senior Vice President representing the Toyota Hawaii dealers. “Family and friends really rallied for their loved ones by encouraging the public to vote for their favorite entries in the People’s Choice Competition on our Facebook page. We received nearly 3,000 votes through Toyota Hawaii’s Facebook page.”

The winner in each category received an iPad Mini® and all other finalists each received $100 cash. All nine finalists’ entries have been submitted into the World Contest where winners will be announced this August.

Category 1 (Under eight years old):
1st Place: Ryan Handa, age 7, Kainalu Elementary School (Kailua)
2nd Place: Jackson Endo, age 7, Aina Haina Elementary School (Honolulu)
3rd Place: Jackson Endo, age 7, Aina Haina Elementary School (Honolulu)

Category 2 (Ages 8-11):
1st Place: Sheena Rae Reyes, age 10, Waimalu Elementary School (Aiea)
2nd Place: Karli Enos, age 11, Kapolei Middle School (Kapolei)
3rd Place: Emma Thain, age 11, homeschooled (Koloa, Kauai)

Category 3 (Ages 12-15):
1st Place: Emily Stone, age 13, Kamehameha Middle School (Kaneohe)
2nd Place: Teah Laupapa, age 12, Kapolei Middle School (Kapolei)
3rd Place: Rachelle Marie Lariba, age 13, Kapolei Middle School (Kapolei)

All finalists of the World Contest will enjoy a celebration in Toyota City, Aichi Prefecture, Japan, where they will meet Toyota Motor Corporation’s top executives.

People’s Choice Winners

From February 17 to March 9, 2014, Toyota Hawaii’s Facebook friends had the opportunity to view all eligible entries and vote for their favorites in each of the three age groups. The Facebook contest received an overwhelming response of nearly 3,000 votes and more than 6,500 unique visitors to the contest page.

The following entrants were awarded $100 cash and were automatically entered for final judging in the local competition for receiving the most votes in each category:

  • Category 1: Jackson Endo, age 7, Aina Haina Elementary School (Honolulu)
  • Category 2: Charlize Adrienne Agag, age 8, Kalihi Waena Elementary School (Honolulu)
  • Category 3: Teah Laupapa, age 12, Kapolei Middle School (Kapolei)

New this year was a teacher recognition component where one (1) random teacher from each island (Maui, Kauai, and the Big Island) and two (2) from Oahu had the opportunity to each win a $250 gift card for school/art supplies. Winners included:

  • Mrs. Kerry Ogawa of Mt. View Elementary (Big Island)
  • Mrs. Carolyn Bush of Kamali’i Elementary (Maui)
  • Ms. Glenda Salvador of Holomua Elementary (Oahu)
  • Mrs. Darlene Oshiro of Wahiawa Middle School (Oahu)

This year’s judging panel included Department of Education Art in Public Places Artist in Residence Resource Teacher Evan Tottori, Honolulu Museum of Art School Assistant Director Pearlyn Salvador, Hawaii News Now’s Tannya Joaquin, KHON2’s Kanoe Gibson, Shriners Hospitals for Children – Honolulu’s Director of Public Relations Mahealani Richardson, and Toyota Hawaii’s Glenn Inouye.

This international art contest was established in 2004 with the goals of creating an opportunity for children to have fun and to understand the importance of having a dream, while at the same time to encourage them to become interested in cars through drawing their “Dream Cars” using their creative imaginations.

After Dark in the Park – May Events

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park continues its tradition of sharing Hawaiian culture and After Dark in the Park programs with the community and visitors in May. All programs are free, but park entrance fees apply. Programs are co-sponsored by the Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association.  Mark the calendar for these upcoming events:

NEW! Artist-in-Residence Program. In conjunction with the non-profit National Parks Arts Foundation, Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park will launch its first Artist-in-Residence program, continuing the legacy of the famous volcano-inspired artists. The debut artist will be Master of Hawaiian featherwork, Rick Makanaaloha Kia‘imeaokekanaka San Nicolas. Rick will provide a public exhibit and lecture about his artwork, his inspiration from Hawai‘i’s sacred volcanoes, and the history and culture of Hawai‘i. His work is currently on exhibit at the Volcano House, and will soon be in Honolulu at the Bishop Museum. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing After Dark in the Park series. Free, and your $2 donation helps support After Dark programs.
When: Tues., May 6, from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

The 1924

The 1924 eruption of Kilauea. NPS Photo

The 1924 Explosive Eruption of Kīlauea. The May 1924 eruption from Halema‘uma‘u Crater caused community turmoil and one death. Yet of all the known explosive eruptions of Kīlauea before 1924, it was the smallest—the runt of the litter. This small eruption and its magnified impact illustrate the interplay between hazard (what the volcano provides) and risk (the impact of the hazard on us).  On the 90th anniversary of the eruption, HVO geologist Don Swanson and volunteer Ben Gaddis address what happened in 1924, what caused the explosive eruption, and how it stacks up against the much larger eruptions of the past and, probably, the future. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing After Dark in the Park series. Free, and your $2 donation helps support After Dark programs.
When: Tues., May 13, from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

Tī Leaf Kūpe‘e Demonstration. Teana Kahoohanohano shares her knowledge and love of hula adornments. Learn how tī leaves are used to create stunning wristlets and anklets worn for certain hula dances. Watch as a simple leave is transformed into a work of art before your eyes. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing ‘Ike Hana No‘eau “Experience the Skillful Work” workshops. Free.
When: Wed., May 14 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai

After Dark in the Park Goes to the Movies. Sam Low presents his classic seafaring film, The Navigators: Pathfinders of the Pacific. Anthropologist and filmmaker Sam Low tells the real story of how a thousand years before Europeans knew the Pacific existed, Polynesian seafarers explored and settled this vast ocean using only natural signs to guide them. It’s one of the most amazing stories of human exploration and settlement, and it’s never been properly told. Shot on location in Huahine, Fiji, Satawai and other locations, the 1983 documentary features traditional Satawalese nagivator Mau Piailug, the sailing vessel Hokule‘a, and her crew. Low will be in attendance to answer questions and sign his new book, Hawaiki Rising – Hokule‘a, Nainoa Thompson and the Hawaiian Renaissance. Both the book and the DVD will be available for sale through the Hawaii Pacific Parks Association bookstore the evening of the program. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing After Dark in the Park series. Free, and your $2 donation helps support After Dark programs.
When: Tues., May 20 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

Mark Yamanaka

Mark Yamanaka

Mark Yamanaka in Concert. Come enjoy free island music with Hilo’s own Mark Yamanaka, a four-time Nā Hōkū Hanohano award-winning singer and songwriter. Mark will share original songs from his debut CD, Lei Pua Kenikeni. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing Nā Leo Manu “Heavenly Voices” presentations. Free.
When: Wed., May 21 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

Ka‘ū ‘Ohana Day. Calling keiki of all ages to join park rangers and take a closer look at the park’s Kahuku Unit for a day of activities. Connect the culture, people and the ‘āina (land) through mo‘olelo (stories), GPS, and compass. A free lunch will be provided when you sign up by calling (808) 985-6019. Deadline to register is May 16. Sponsored by the park, Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association, and the Queen Liliuokalani Children’s Center. Free.
When: Sat., May 24 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Where: Kahuku Unit, at mile marker 70.5 in Ka‘ū on the mauka side of Highway 11

Ohe Kapela

‘Ohe Kapela

‘Ohe Kapala Demonstration. ‘Ohe kapala, or bamboo stamps, were utilized to present many unique designs for traditional Hawaiian kapa.  Today, these exceptional designs are being used as patterns on all types of fabric. Join Park Ranger Koa Johnasen as he demonstrates how ‘ohe (bamboo) are carved into beautiful designs and how they are used. There will be samples and a hands-on opportunity to learn about this distinctive art form. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing ‘Ike Hana No‘eau “Experience the Skillful Work” workshops. Free.
When: Wed., May 28 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai

Aikido of Hilo to Host Acclaimed Buddhist Scholar John Steven

Aikido of Hilo will be hosting John Stevens Sensei for its annual Osensei Memorial Seminar on the weekend of April 26 and 27.  Stevens is a 7th degree black belt in aikido and a world-renowned master instructor.  He was a noted professor of Buddhist Studies at Tohoku Fukushi University, in Sendai, Japan and has written over 30 books on Aikido, Buddhism and Asian culture.  Stevens will teach aikido classes on both days at the Aikido of Hilo dojo located at 29 Shipman Street in Hilo.

Akido Teacher

The public is invited to a free public lecture on “The Life of Aikido Founder Morihei Ueshiba and the Origins of Aikido” on Saturday at 3:00 pm as well as a Zenga (Zen brush art) class on Sunday at 3:00 pm.  Both events, taught by Stevens, will be at the Aikido of Hilo dojo.  The lecture is free and there is a $20 fee for the Zenga class.

Every year, aikido dojos around the world commemorate the passing of the Aikido Founder, Morihei Ueshiba, Osensei, which took place April 26, 1969.

Developed early in the 20th century, aikido principles were so profound and its martial art techniques so effective that there was tremendous public demand.  In the 1950s, aikido teachings were made public and have spread to become popular worldwide.

“Aikido is an art of peace and reconciliation. It’s important to have teachers like Stevens Sensei reinforce principles that we can all practice in the dojo and our daily lives”, said Aikido of Hilo Chief Instructor Barbara Klein.  For more information about the free public lecture, Zenga or taking aikido classes please call 935-2454.

Hawaii, Mexico Students Explore Volcano in Virtual Field Trip

Clad in their fiery red uniforms, Keaau Elementary students stand at the edge of Kilauea Volcano and lead a chant in honor of the goddess Pele as they prepare to hike down the Big Island crater. Across the Pacific Ocean, students from Peterson Schools in Mexico City rise in their classroom, reciting the same Hawaiian words as they watch steam billow from the crater’s vents and listen to the gusty trade winds through a live video feed.

Dr. John Bailey with Keeau Elemantary students at the crater rim.

Dr. John Bailey with Keeau Elemantary students at the crater rim.

Dozens of public school students took part in a virtual field trip on Monday to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, the latest example of how the Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE) is using technology to innovate and expand learning opportunities at home and abroad.

Virtual ClassChildren from Nanakuli Elementary’s Immersion program (Ke Kula Kaiapuni o Nanakuli), Hale Kula Elementary and University Laboratory School also experienced the sights and sounds of Kilauea volcano, thanks to Keaau students and staff who wore Google Glass to broadcast their excursion online. The public and more than 50 educators worldwide were able to engage in the field trip, which was in part recorded from the students’-eye view via the “Grab & Go Glassroom” – a wired pack projecting a feed from the students’ Google Glass view into a livestream.

Virtual Class3

The DOE’s own digital curriculum program, known as Access Learning, has allowed eight pilot schools – including Keaau and Nanakuli – to explore exciting lessons that go beyond textbooks and classroom walls by equipping students with laptops and training teachers on the latest educational tools.

In February, for example, University Laboratory students live streamed their field trip to Honolulu Zoo to the laptops of Keaau Elementary students. Children from both schools partnered to produce videos and other projects about birds they saw at the zoo.

On Monday, Keaau students returned the favor by bringing other students along as they kicked off their volcano adventure by meeting with Matt Patrick, a research geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey at the Hawaii Volcano Observatory.

Hawaii and Mexico students quickly peppered Patrick with questions: “How do you know when volcanoes will erupt?” “What do you have to study to become a volcanologist?,” and “What’s the speed of lava?”

Students virtually joined their Keaau classmates on a bus ride to the volcano, then performed a chant together before watching their descent into the crater.

During a question-and-answer period, a Peterson Schools student remarked the experience “was awesome” because it allowed him to “see the things that we don’t have here in Mexico.”
Virtual Class2
University Laboratory teacher Marybeth Baldwin said students use Google applications to do homework, peer edit and collaborate on projects.  Her class will use the information from the volcano field trip to learn a new storytelling tool, called Tour Builder, which lets students create interactive maps of places around the world.

“They will take their own information, their pictures, links, and any text that they write, to build a map and – just like Google Earth – drop a pin with all the story they want to tell,” Baldwin said.

For more photos of today’s event, visit https://www.facebook.com/HIDepartmentofEducation.

Grassroot Institute ‘Celebrates’ Hawaii’s Tax Freedom Day

In an effort to help Hawaii’s citizens better understand the state tax burden, the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii is wishing them all a “Happy Tax Freedom Day” today via social media.

Tax Freedom Day
Based on calculations by theTax Foundation, Tax Freedom Day is the day when taxpayers have collectively earned enough to satisfy the tax bill for that year. In other words, for the average Hawaii citizen, if he or she had dedicated every penny of their earnings to their tax bill from the beginning of the year, then today (April 15th) would be the day that bill would be “paid off.”

Hawaii ranks in the middle of the pack for state Tax Freedom Days. Louisiana has the lowest burden (their Tax Freedom Day was March 30th), while Connecticut and New Jersey are the highest (May 9th). The National Tax Freedom Day (using figures from the country as a whole) is on April 21st, three days later than last year–which reflects the slow economic recovery. (As a point of comparison, consider that Tax Freedom Day in the year 1900 would have fallen on January 22nd.)

“Hawaii’s economic recovery has a lot to do with our better-than-average performance,” stated Keli’i Akina, President of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii. “However, we’ve taken a small step backward and should be wary of policies that will increase the tax burden and slow our economic growth.”

“Most people don’t realize just how hard and long they work to pay their tax bill,” Dr. Akina continued. “We hope that this helps put that into perspective and encourages taxpayers to demand greater fiscal responsibility and accountability from the government and their elected officials.”

Slew of Celebrities Headline Big Island Chocolate Festival

“Mr. Chocolate” Jacques Torres of New York City headlines a slew of chocolate and cacao celebrities appearing at this year’s Big Island Chocolate Festival gala. Time is 6-10 p.m., Saturday, May 3 at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i. Adding to the star power is Yisa Var and the Girls Nite Out! band.

Chef Jacques Torres

Chef Jacques Torres

Also in the limelight are a host of chocolate savory and sweet culinary treats prepared by top Hawai’i chefs, chocolatiers and confectioners. Think Pork Mole with Tomatillo Salsa or Orange Ginger Chocolate Mac Nut Crunch Torte.

The 6-10 p.m. gala features the creation of a chocolate sculpture using 40 pounds of chocolate—bring your camera—chocolate body painting, fine wines, chocolate-infused beer and the debut of a tasty new Bacardi Mango Fusion cocktail.

Chocolate Festival

Back by popular demand, Chef Donald Wressell of Guittard chocolates returns to the festival to create a decadent, multi-colored sculpture. He recently made the news when he fashioned a massive chocolate cake to serve 15,000 revelers at the centennial celebration of Rodeo Drive. A Washington resident, Wressell was named Pastry Chef of the Year at the 2005 National Pastry Team Championships.

Food Network star Torres leads a stable of off-island chefs who will judge the evening’s culinary creations and also give pre-gala seminars May 2-3. Attendees can also vote for the People’s Choice Award from a host of categories including mouth-watering bonbons.

Torres, who became the youngest pastry chef to earn the prestigious Best Craftsman in France medal for pastry, is the first artisan chocolatier to make his own chocolate starting from cocoa beans. Joining him is celebrity judge Vincent Bourdin of Singapore, a regional chef at Valrhona Chocolate and president of the Asia Pacific Pastry Cup Board.  He is co-author of “Cooking with Chocolate,” which has been translated into five languages. Judging bean to bar “tastes” is cacao and chocolate tasting advisor Ed Seguine of Pennsylvania who has 30 years experience working with farmers and companies in developing cacaos.

Also serving as culinary station judges are Chef Heather Campbell of Kauai‘s St. Regis Resort Princeville and Chef Rhonda Ashton-Chavez of the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea.

Girl's Night Out

Girls Night Out!

Girls Nite Out! is a diverse dance band hailing from East Hawai‘i that performs rock, blues, disco, pop, R&B, Hawaiian and country music. Drummer Will Divine founded the group in 2000 with guitarist Wesley Matsuda and offers a variety of guitar, synth and keyboard sounds. The lead vocalist is local performer, actor and morning radio show personality Yisa Var. Adding to the vocal section is Sherry Fox, best known for her appearance on TV’s “Your Big Break,” and Jeff Enriques, who also plays bass.

Volcano Choy

Volcano Choy

Joining Girls Nite Out! is a talented horn section with Moon Brown on saxophone and Jr. Volcano Choy on trumpet. Choy has performed with the likes of Al Jarreau, George Benson and Nancy Wilson.

In addition, a silent auction benefits the $150,000 “Equip the Kitchen” campaign for the future Hawai‘i Community College-Palamanui and the Waldorf-inspired Kona Pacific Public Charter School in Kealakekua. The third annual festival is presented by the Kona Cacao Association, Inc.

Pre-sale gala tickets are $75 and $100 at the door. New this year is the VIP Fast Wine Pass with early event admission and personalized wine service. Seminar details and tickets for all activities are available online at www.bigislandchocolatefestival.com. Questions? Phone 808-324-6100.

Chocolate Fest

Also available is an inclusive Chocolate Lovers package that features a two-night’s stay at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i, plus all festival activities at the ocean-side Four Diamond resort; contact info@BigIslandChocolateFestival.com. Attendees who want to stay at the resort during the festival can get a discounted room rate of $269 per night including daily breakfast for two and can book direct with the hotel at 808-885-2000 or 800-845-9905 and mention “Big Island Chocolate Festival.”

The Big Island Chocolate Festival is presented by the Kona Cacao Association, Inc. Mahalo to sponsors and community supporters: The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i, Guittard, DeZaan, Valrohna, PreGel, The Wave-92.1, Big Island Honda and Tire Center, Bacardi, Dolphin Journeys, Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union, Cocoa Outlet, Callebaut Chocolate, Cacao Cusina, DHX, Gourmet Foods Hawaii, Johnson Brothers of Hawaii, Ke Ola magazine, Kona Brewing Company, Kona Natural Soap Company, Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory and West Hawaii Today.

The mission and goal of KCA is to promote the cacao industry on the Big Island of Hawai‘i by presenting BICF as an educational and outreach opportunity for local cacao farmers, the hospitality industry and cacao enthusiasts. For information, visit www.bigislandchocolatefestival.com.

When Whales Fly

When whales fly?

When Whales Fly

Saw this picture on Twitter… not sure who the original photographer is.

UPDATE: (Pic by Matthew Thornton, 2012) http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/traveler-magazine/photo-contest/2012/entries/150230/view/ … pic.twitter.com/yDnq9mvQ6Y

What is the Odor of Hawaii?

Earlier today I posted about the Glad Garbage Bags that were coined “Hawaiian Aloha – Aloha Hawaiana” and allegedly smelled like… well I guess Hawaii!

Now I’m seeing Secret Deodorant branded that has the Hawaii odor.  What is the odor of Hawaii?

Secret Hawaii

Secret Hawaii

What Does “Hawaiian Aloha – Aloha Hawaiana” Smell Like?

I’m curious what these smell like?  But really… “Hawaiian Aloha – Aloha Hawaiana”?

Hawaiian Aloha Glad Bags?

Hawaiian Aloha Glad Bags?

DLNR Preparing Draft Kawainui Master Plan And EIS

After an extensive public input process, the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) will release a draft updated master plan for its management of the Kawainui-Hamakua Complex on May 16. At that time, DLNR will initiate a 30-day comment period to seek public comments on the draft plan.

Photo courtesy Division of Forestry and Wildlife

Photo courtesy Division of Forestry and Wildlife

“We will continue to develop and finalize our master plan and prepare an EIS as part of the process, which allows opportunities to hear community concerns,” said William J. Aila, Jr., DLNR chairperson. “We ask for everyone to go through this important process with us as we listen to all voices in the community.”

The draft master plan, an update of the 1994 Master Plan for Kawainui Marsh, is the result of ongoing discussion with the public that seeks to strike a balance among a wide range of opinions regarding management of the area. An EIS will also be prepared for the project that will allow the community to review environmental impacts associated with the updated master plan concepts as part of that environmental review process.

“We want to make it clear that our primary concern is protection and management of the wetlands in Kawainui and Hamakua,” Aila said. “Our main objectives within the marsh are management of native water bird habitat, including habitat for Hawaii’s four species of endangered waterbirds, and the migratory shorebirds and waterfowl that utilize the area on a seasonal basis.”

“The built elements currently being considered in the draft master plan revision – trails, education center, and cultural facilities – are the result of input we have received from the community,” he added. “Neither our Divisions of Forestry and Wildlife and State Parks nor the planners have an agenda either way regarding built elements and public access. We are seeking to accommodate the various opinions and views presented to us. These proposed features are common to natural areas of this type throughout the country and the world. Whatever built elements ultimately make it into the revised plan should not detract from the fact that our primary focus is protection and management of the natural resources at the Kawainui-Hamakua Complex. We have no intention or interest in creating a ‘tourist attraction’ at Kawainui Marsh, as some have suggested.”

Another important element of the master plan for Kawainui Marsh is the flood control project installed by the City and County of Honolulu and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. This involves maintenance of the flood control levee, and maintaining the marsh lands in such a way as they do not inhibit water flow through the marsh and out into the ocean.

According to David Smith, Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) Oahu branch manager, “The main elements of our resource management program include control of invasive vegetation that is choking out bird habitat. This is a very large and ongoing task involving a huge number of personnel-hours and highly specialized equipment. In addition, the program includes control of non-native predators such as cats, dogs, mongooses and rats that prey on the waterbirds. In the upland areas, we are preserving and managing existing forest cover, and converting non-native forest to native forest through selective control of certain tree and shrub species, and the planting of native species.”

These natural resource management activities make up the bulk of DOFAW’s work in the marsh. Other land management responsibilities include cleaning up illegally dumped trash, cleaning out homeless camps along the marsh periphery, control of illegal access and off-road vehicles that damage marsh resources, clearing over-grown vegetation, mowing open lawn areas, and cleaning up decades of abuse and neglect to the marsh before DLNR gained control of the land. These land management activities are an ongoing, though costly part of DOFAW’s responsibility as stewards at Kawainui.

Big Island Senators Welcome Public to Art at the Capitol

Big Island Senators Gilbert Kahele, Josh Green, Russell Ruderman and Malama Solomon opened their doors for an evening at the capitol “museum” during the 6th Annual Art At The Capitol event on Friday, April 4 from 4:30 – 7 p.m. Each senator brings a distinct perspective to the décor of their offices through the personalization of their walls according to interest and taste. The works of art are placed in public areas of the Capitol as part of the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts’ “Art in Public Places” program, which was established in 1967, and was the first program of its kind in the nation.

Senator Gilbert Kahele, his nine-year-old grandson Maka'i Okalani Snyder and Senate Sergeant at Arms Ben Villaflor enjoy music by the Hawaii Youth Symphony during the 6th Annual Art at the Capitol, featuring chandeliers hanging in the House and the Senate. The House Sun and the Senate Moon were done by kinetic sculptor Otto Piene.   Photo courtesy of the Senate Communications Office.

Senator Gilbert Kahele, his nine-year-old grandson Maka’i Okalani Snyder and Senate Sergeant at Arms Ben Villaflor enjoy music by the Hawaii Youth Symphony during the 6th Annual Art at the Capitol, featuring chandeliers hanging in the House and the Senate. The House Sun and the Senate Moon were done by kinetic sculptor Otto Piene. Photos courtesy of the Senate Communications Office.

More than 500 residents and visitors toured the capitol taking in all the art on display.

In Kahele’s office attendees viewed a 1972 oil painting depicting Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole by artist Patric Bauernschmidt, who is internationally recognized for her portraits of historical people. Bauernschmidt was the first artist to paint a complete set of works of Hawaiian royalty in a single style.

Kahele Office Art

“This is an elaborate piece representing Prince Kuhio, and it reminds me of my lineage and the history of our island state,” said Kahele.

Solomon’s latest acquisition is a work of art by Honolulu resident Alison Manaut called “Nonolo,” an acrylic painting completed in 1975.

Nonolo

“This piece talks about involving each person as an observer,” said Malama. “Each person will probably have a unique perspective on what it means to them. I wanted this piece in the office because it reminds me of how we legislate and create policy. We have to be creative and solve many complex problems by taking in all kinds of perspectives to come up with a creative solution.”

In Ruderman’s office is a gorgeous photograph called “Volcano House Fireplace,” an image of the lava ocean entry superimposed beneath a carving of the Pele, which is located above the fireplace in Volcano House on Hawaii Island.  The shot was an in-camera double exposure made in 1991.

Ruderman Art

“We are honored to display art from the State Foundation of Culture and the Arts,” Ruderman said.   “Paul Buklarewicz is a resident of Volcano and he is a talented photographer. The Volcano House Fireplace allows our office in Honolulu to have a piece of Hawaii Island with us every day.”

A stunning sand-blasted hand blown glass with gold lead is displayed in Green’s office. It’s called “The Sea Before Me” and was done in 1998 by Wilfred Yamazawa, who keeps an active hot glass sculpture studio in Kealakekua, where he was born.“The Sea Before Me” refers to the nurturing ocean that surrounds the Hawaiian Islands. For Yamazawa, the sea personifies the life blood that defines us because man and nature are bound by the sea – the three are inseparable.

Green Art

“This piece of art specifically reminds me of the richness and beauty that Hawaii has to offer,” said Green. “We’re humbled to have so many unique artwork from talented artists line our capitol walls and shelves.”

U Drive U Text U Pay – Big Island Police Increasing Enforcement of Distracted Drivers

Hawaiʻi Island police will increase enforcement of distracted driving as part of a national campaign called “U Drive U Text U Pay” which runs April 10 through April 15.

UDriveUTextUPayDistracted driving is a problem of national concern. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration finds that the task of driving requires a driver’s full attention in focusing on the roadway and driving maneuvers. Any distraction that diverts a driver’s attention from the primary tasks of maneuvering the vehicle and responding to critical events increases the driver’s risk of being involved in a motor vehicle crash. A distraction is anything that takes a driver’s eyes off the road, mind off the road or hands off the wheel.

On July 1, 2013, the State of Hawaiʻi enacted law prohibiting the use of cellular phones and other mobile electronic devices while operating a vehicle (with certain exceptions) and to specifically prohibit activities such as texting, instant messaging, gaming and e-mailing, which take a driver’s eyes off the road, mind off the road and hands off the wheel.

Go Wild for Culture During National Park Week at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park

The National Park Service, in partnership with the National Park Foundation, will celebrate National Park Week April 19-27 with a free-admission weekend and special events nationwide.

The theme for this year’s National Park Week invites visitors to Go Wild! for history, nature, culture, wildlife, and fun in America’s national parks. At Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, the timing is perfect for visitors to “Go Wild for Culture” while celebrating Hilo’s 51st annual Merrie Monarch Festival, the most revered hula competition in the world.
Lei ‘a‘ali‘i: NPS Photo/Jay Robinson

Lei ‘a‘ali‘i: NPS Photo/Jay Robinson

 Admission to all fee-charging national parks is free from Saturday, April 19 through Sunday, April 20 to kick off National Park Week. Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park will offer 12 Hawaiian cultural events planned April 23-25; these events are free but admission fees apply. All programs are part the park’s ongoing ‘Ike Hana No‘eau “Experience the Skillful Work” cultural workshops, and are co-sponsored by the Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association:
Wednesday, April 23
 
Kalo Demonstration. Join Edna and Sam Baldado as they share the cultural uses of kalo, or taro plant. See how each plant is identified by its leaf, steam, corm, color, and shape. Discover the hundreds of varieties of kalo in Hawaii, and how kalo was used for food, medicine, glue, dyes, and much more.
When: Wed., April 23 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai
Feather Kāhili Workshop. Helene Hayselden will demonstrate the art of making a feather kāhili, a symbol of royalty. Watch or join in and make your kāhili to take home.
When: Wed., April 23 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai
Music by Rupert Tripp, Jr. Enjoy the beautiful music and voice of singer, songwriter, and multiple Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award nominee, Rupert Tripp, Jr.
When: Wed., April 23 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai
Lā‘au Lapa‘au. Ka‘ohu Monfort shares her knowledge and love of the island’s native plants. Learn how her passion for plants and the Hawaiian culture are used to heal and nourish. See and touch a variety of medicinal plants, including kuku‘i, ‘ōlena, ha‘uowī, noni, kī, and guava.
When: Wed., April 23 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai
Thursday, April 24
Feather Work. Watch Vi Makuakāne demonstrate the intricate art of feather work. Thousands of feathers are sorted, graded, trimmed, and sewn to a base. The result is a beautiful lei hulu, or feather lei.
When: Thurs., April 24 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai
Kenneth Makuakāne. This multiple Nā Hōkū Hanohano award-winning singer, songwriter, and producer will play original songs from his solo albums and compositions.
When: Thurs., April 24 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai
‘Ohe Kapala. ‘Ohe kapala, or bamboo stamps, are used to create distinct designs for traditional Hawaiian kapa. Join Keiko Mercado as she demonstrates how ‘ohe (bamboo) are carved into beautiful designs and how they are used. There will be samples and a hands-on opportunity to learn this Hawaiian art form.
When: Thurs., April 24 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai
Lei Making. Patricia Ka‘ula will demonstrate different styles of lei making: hilo, haku, hili and Ku‘i. Lei is used for everything from blessing crops, adornments for hula dancers, healing and sacred rituals, to show royal status or rank, honor guests, as peace offerings, to celebrating a birth.
When: Thurs., April 24 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai
 
Robert Cazimero Book Signing. Robert Cazimero, a highly regarded and respected kumu hula, will sign the latest edition of Men of Hula, which will be available for sale. This 2011 edition by award-winning author Benton Sen chronicles how the hula teacher and Nā Hālau Kamalei shattered the stereotypical image of hula (girls in grass skirts and coconut bras) by revitalizing the masculine aspects of the ancient dance.
When: Thurs., April 24 from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center
Friday, April 25
Kapa Demonstration. Kapa maker Ku‘uleimomi Makuakāne-Salāve‘a shares the art of kapa making. See how the inner bark of the paper mulberry tree is beaten into cloth.
When: Fri., April 25 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai
Ulana Lauhala. Members of ‘Aha Pūhala o Puna perpetuate the ancient art of lauhala weaving. Observe this art form and learn to weave your own lauhala star from the leaves of the hala, or pandanus tree.
When: Fri., April 25 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai
Music by Lito Arkangel. Listen to music by Lito Arkangel, one of Hawai‘i Island’s most popular entertainers, as he plays his original compositions and Hawaiian favorites.
Lito Arkangel photo courtesy of Lito Arkangel and Extreme Exposure Fine Art Gallery

Lito Arkangel photo courtesy of Lito Arkangel and Extreme Exposure Fine Art Gallery

When: Fri., April 25 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai
‘Ohe Hanu Iho Demo. Join National Park Service Master Volunteer Ed Shiinoki and Park Ranger Andrea Kaawaloa-Okita and create your own nose flute. Thin-walled Hawaiian bamboo was used to make a three-hole wind instrument called ‘ohe hano ihu or bamboo nose flute. Today, the supply of bamboo is very limited so Asian bamboo is used instead. Andrea and Ed will share the many uses of the bamboo, demonstrate how to make your own ‘ohe hano ihu, and teach you how to play it, too.
When: Fri., April 25 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai
In addition to the cultural programs at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park during National Park Week , there are Stewardship at the Summit volunteer opportunities, Kahuku hikes, and After Dark in the Park programs. Check the park website for a complete schedule.

Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore to Present Public Lecture at UH Mānoa

The University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Sea Grant College Program and U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D- Hawai‘i) announced today that former U.S. Vice President Al Gore will present a free public lecture at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa campus on Tuesday, April 15, 2014, at 7 p.m. in the Stan Sheriff Center.

Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore

Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore

The seminar is the capstone of the day-long summit, Ascent, organized by UH and Senator Schatz, which will welcome notable dignitaries from around the country to Hawai‘i in order to discuss and propose solutions to Hawai‘i’s most pressing problems. The topics include renewable energy, sustainable energy and water use, and the impacts of human practice and climate change on the essential resources.

Vice President Gore, known for his visionary leadership and decades of work on reducing the harmful impacts of climate change, will be sharing his insight on these and related topics and how they relate to Hawai‘i.

“We are very fortunate that former Vice President Gore will be in Hawai‘i to address an issue that is very important to our university and community,” said UHM Chancellor Tom Apple. “We hope the discussion about sustainability and climate change have a lasting impact and will push Hawai‘i into the global arena.”

“Vice President Gore has been a true friend and ally in the climate change fight. He is a leading voice on clean energy and I am honored he is joining us to discuss Hawai‘i’s future,” said Senator Brian Schatz, Chairman of the Senate Water and Power Energy Subcommittee. “Our state has charted a path forward for a clean energy economy and served as a model for the rest of the country. We need to continue to promote the development of clean energy, which will make Hawai‘i more sustainable and self-sufficient.”

“I am continually impressed by Hawai‘i’s innovative thinking, from clean energy to water to transit,” said Vice President Gore. “Through his work as chairman of the U.S. Senate’s Water and Power subcommittee, Senator Schatz is proving himself as a committed leader for our country while simultaneously shining a light on Hawai‘i’s achievements as a national leader on clean energy, sustainability, and climate adaptation.”

The seminar is part of the Stephen and Marylyn Pauley Seminar in Sustainability series, organized by the University of Hawai‘i Sea Grant College Program and co-hosted by the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, the University of Hawai‘i Foundation, and other partners, which periodically hosts speakers of the highest distinction. The University’s most prestigious seminar series honors the Pauley Foundation’s significant support of the University of Hawai‘i, Dr. Stephen Pauley’s remarkable individual sustainability efforts, and Mrs. Marylyn Pauley’s national and visionary leadership in higher education.

Stephen and Marylyn Pauley Seminars in Sustainability are only offered when a particularly significant, timely and critical issue and notable speaker are identified. Seminar topics are diverse with academic, social, cultural, and economic importance. To date the seminars have included light pollution, human health and community design, energy independence and climate change, and fiscal sustainability.

The free seminar is co-hosted by the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Sea Grant College Program, the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Chancellor’s Office, and the University of Hawai‘i Foundation. It will be held at the Stan Sheriff Center which can accommodate approximately 10,000 people.