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Big Island Film Festival Now Accepting New Films

Submissions will open September 1, 2015 for Big Island Film Festival at The Fairmont Orchid Hawai‘i (BIFF), accepting new, narrative films for its 11th Annual event, May 26-30, 2016. BIFF is also hosting an original screenplay contest, with entries juried by a panel of industry professionals.

Some of the participants and winners of the 2014 Big Island Film Festival

Some of the participants and winners of the 2014 Big Island Film Festival

Acclaimed by NBC story consultant Jen Grisanti in The Huffington Post, Peter Caranicas in Variety.com, and numerous MovieMaker Magazine kudos, BIFF offers the film community in Hawai’i and beyond an easygoing island environment for networking, movie-watching under the stars, food and music happenings and more.

Deadlines. Narrative short films (30 minutes or less) and feature length (60 minutes or more) completed after January 1, 2015 will be considered. Deadlines are:

  • Early Bird – November 1, 2015. Early Bird Entry Fees: $50 Feature, $40 Short, $30 Student
  • Regular – January 1, 2016. Regular Entry Fees: $60 Feature, $50 Short, $35 Student
  • Late/Final February 1, 2016. Late Entry Fees: $70 Feature, $60 Short, $40 Student

All films shot in Hawai‘i or created by filmmakers who live in Hawai‘i receive a 25% discount on entry fees (verification required), with direct submission—as do BIFF alumni from everywhere.

BIFF uses www.FilmFreeway.com for its film submissions and screenplay contest entries. An easy and affordable process, Film Freeway offers free HD online screeners, Vimeo and YouTube integration, and more.

Awards

“Golden Honu Awards” will be presented to the Best Feature and Best Short in Family, Student, Animated, Foreign, Hawai‘i and Audience Choice categories at a special Awards Brunch to honor the filmmakers and their works on Monday, May 26, 2016.

Ariel Kebbel was awarded a Golden Honu last year.

Ariel Kebbel was awarded a Golden Honu last year.

The Big Island Film Festival at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i is a celebration of narrative filmmaking, with free family films under the stars, international features and shorts, stellar social events, celebrity receptions, screenwriting workshops, film awards and much more in an outstanding island setting. Anchor sponsors include: The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i, The Shops at Mauna Lani, Hawai‘i Tourism Authority/Hawai‘i County Department of Research and Development CPEP, and many other generous sponsors and supporters. For submission rules and application visit www.BigIslandFilmFestival.com or call 808-883-0394.

DLNR and Olson Trust Establish a Public Access Route to the Ka’u Forest Reserve

A public vehicular access route to the Ka’u Forest Reserve will soon be established along three miles of road along the lower boundary of this majestic forest reserve that spans over 61,000 acres on the south-eastern slopes of Mauna Loa, Hawaii. It will make more accessible areas of the reserve for public use which includes hunting, recreational opportunities, cultural uses, personal gathering and educational programs and activities.

kau plan

To be known as the “Olson Forest Access” establishment of this route was accomplished through a collaborative effort by the Ka‘u community, local hunters, private landowners, public land managers, and natural resource conservation partners.

The public access route was formally agreed to on June 22 this year, when landowner Edmund C. Olson signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with DLNR Chair Suzanne Case to establish a public access route to the Ka‘u Forest Reserve over lands owned by the Edmund C. Olson Trust No. 2.

Providing public access is called for in DLNR’s Ka‘u Forest Reserve Management Plan (2012) which can be found at http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/forestry/files/2013/02/Kau_FR_Mgnt_Plan_2012.pdf

DLNR’s Division of Forestry and Wildlife won competitive grants to establish the public access route from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Improvement Program) and the National Shooting Sports Foundation (Hunting Heritage Partnership).

Other key partners who will be involved include the Hawaii Department of Agriculture; Kuahiwi Contractors, Inc.; Three Mountain Alliance Watershed Partnership; The Nature Conservancy; Hawaii Volcanoes National Park; and the County of Hawaii Game Management Advisory Commission.

Together, these partners will install fencing, signage, and roadway improvements along the public access route, and provide ongoing maintenance in accordance with the MOA.

The public will be able to use the access after DOFAW secures access over the initial segment of the route from DLNR’s Land Division, and the project partners complete the planned infrastructure improvements.

A permit will not be required for entry; however, DLNR rules may require a permit or license for certain activities within the forest reserve.

For more information about the Olson Forest Access, including volunteer opportunities, please contact Nohea Ka‘awa, at Three Mountain Alliance, phone (808) 333-7497.

Roseanne Barr to Perform at Kahilu to Raise Funds for Theatre’s Education Programs

Labor Day, Monday, September 7, 7:00 PM, Kahilu Theatre presents a night of stand-up comedy with comedy icon Roseanne Barr as a fundraiser for its education programs.

The Real RoseanneBig Island resident, comedy superstar, award-winning actress, best-selling author, recent presidential candidate, and the original domestic goddess, Roseanne Barr hits the stage at Kahilu Theatre for an evening full of sidesplitting comedy that only she knows how to serve up. This special fundraiser is a gift from Roseanne to the Theatre, as all proceeds from the evening will go towards Kahilu education programs.

After nine years, 224 episodes, four Emmy awards, and countless other accolades, Roseanne is credited with single-handedly changing the medium of situational comedy forever. Her creation and portrayal of “Roseanne Conner” and the Conner family on ABC’s Roseanne, has been hailed as “the most ground breaking kitchen-sink sitcom since All in the Family,” (Entertainment Weekly) adding, “she’s the funniest disturber of peace that we have.”

She began her career as a stand-up comedian, turning her experiences as a wife and mother into a hilarious comedy act that audiences couldn’t resist. She subsequently produced and starred in her own hit sitcom Roseanne, which ran for nine seasons and averaged approximately 30 million viewers each week. The role earned Barr an Emmy Award, as well as Golden Globe, Kids’ Choice, and multiple American Comedy Awards.

In 2013, Roseanne returned to her stand-up roots headlining an exclusive run at the legendary Tropicana Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. She also began blogging actively on her website, www.roseanneworld.com, and she is very active on Twitter as @TheRealRoseanne. Currently, Roseanne can be found on network television as the center judge on NBC’s Emmy Award-nominated series “Last Comic Standing.”

The halls of Kahilu Theatre will surely be full of laughs this Labor Day, as this high profile event is set to raise significant funds for Kahilu’s education programs.

Tickets are $88 / $68 / $48 / $20 and available online at www.kahilutheatre.org, by calling (808) 885-6868, or at the Kahilu Theatre Box Office, at 67-1186 Lindsey Road, Kamuela, HI 96743, Monday-Friday, from 9am to 1pm.

Big Island State Champs Heading to Washington D.C. – Seeking Sponsor

Hawaii’s defending girls basketball state champs are headed to Washington D.C.

WildcatsThe Konawaena Wildcats, six-time state champions in the last dozen years, are one of 48 teams across the nation that have been invited to participate in the prestigious Title IX Tournament  and Conference to be held Dec. 27-30 at the D.C. Armory  in our nation’s capital.

This three-day, four-bracket tournament widens opportunities for female student-athletes as teams with highly recruited players compete against local talent before a wide range of coaches and scouts seeking to award scholarships  — scholarships made possible because of the passage of Title IX.

Konawaena returns a strong lineup of six returnees who were part of the team that defeated Lahainaluna of Maui 51-41 to win the Hawaii High School Athletic Association state tournament in March. The wildcats feature Chanelle Molina, the state’s top player and the most recruited girls basketball player in Hawaii high school history.

Also returning are starters Mercedes “Ihi” Victor, Mikayla Tablit, and sisters Celena Molina and Cherilyn Molina. They are joined by returnee Mahie Kaawa and newcomer Jenny Fong. The Wildcats, who were ranked 20th in the nation last year, are favored to repeat as state champions in 2015.

While participating in the tournament and conference in D.C., the team will also tour important institutions, monuments and sites within the District of Columbia. The event is sponsored by the Sankofa Project, a non-profit organization dedicated to raising the bar of expectations for girls, particularly as scholar-athletes. It also seeks to raise the expectations of the systems and communities that support them.

The team is seeking a title sponsor for this event in return for any type of marketing opportunities for the sponsor as amateur athletics will allow. If a title sponsor cannot be identified, the committee hopes to seek smaller donations by businesses and individuals who have supported the program in the past and see the value of the Konawaena girls basketball program. Many of Coach Bobbie Awa’s players have had the opportunity to receive college educations, and some of them have returned to Kona and Hawaii and become role models to new generations of scholar athletes.

The companion conference will allow participants to learn about Title IX, but more importantly. the girls will be empowered to self advocate in the area of sports, STEM careers, leadership, public speaking, financial literacy, citizenship and civics.

“This experience will last a life time for some of our girls,” said Awa. “We’ve been invited to other good tournaments, but this is an opportunity for them to learn about Title IX, where their opportunities came from.”

A committee has been formed by Athletic Director Bill Trumbo to come up with donations to defray the cost of this trip for the team and coaches. This committee is made up of Trumbo, head coach Awa and Bobby Command, Konawaena booster and deputy planning director for the County of Hawaii. Separate travel packages will also be available for basketball fans who would like to accompany the team to Washington D.C.

“The success at Konawaena doesn’t just happen,” said Trumbo. “It takes the passion and commitment of someone like Coach Awa. I see this trip as recognition for all her years of  building this program.”

There is reason to believe that the Kona girls have a shot at faring well in this tournament. The 2014 version of the Wildcats gained national prominence during the Iolani Classic by defeating No. 23-ranked Miramonte 63-62 and No.  1-seeded Riverdale Baptist (Md.) 49-41, before falling to St. Mary’s of California 68-59 in what would be the team’s only loss of the season. The Wildcats finished 31-1 and ranked 23rd in the nation.

“This is just like the movie ‘Hoosiers,'” said Command. “This is a small team from a tiny school in a far off corner of an isolated state traveling to the big city miles to play some of the top teams in the nation.”

Konawaena High School is a firm supporter of equal opportunities for female scholar athletes, which were made possible by the 1972 passage of Title IX co-authored and introduced by Sen. Birch Bayh (Ind.) and Hawaii Rep. Patsy Takemoto Mink, the first Asian-American woman to serve in Congress.

Now known as the Patsy Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act, it states, in part, “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.”

Palace Celebration Debuts New Hawaiian Music Book/CD

Hulihe’e Palace celebrates the publication of a new Hawaiian music songbook/CD release by Aunty Noelani Mahoe at 10 a.m.-noon Friday, Aug. 28. Admission is free.

Bookcover

Join the Daughters of Hawai’i in a morning of great music with a sing-a-long. Aunty Noe will also sign her new songbook, “Ho‘ahu ‘Ana o Na Mele-Ho‘okahi Iwakalua a Hapa Kakini-One Score and Half a Dozen-A Collection of Songs, Stories & Pictures“ on the palace grounds.

Edwina Marie Noelani Kanoho Mahoe, better known as “Aunty Noe,“ offers 26 Hawaiian songs—each with lyrics, chords and professional recording—in the new release. The compilation is geared as a complete reference for musicians of all skill levels and also provides the fascinating stories behind many of the songs.

The book will be available for purchase at the palace gift shop, open 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Mondays- Saturdays, phone 808-329-6558.

Epic Origami Exhibit at Imiloa Astronomy Center

From miniature folds to life-size sculptures, the Japanese art of origami can come in a variety of unique shapes, sizes and materials.

“Great White Shark” by origami artist Nguyen Hung Cuong

“Great White Shark” by origami artist Nguyen Hung Cuong

The ʻImiloa Astronomy Center of the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo presents Epic Origami, a new temporary exhibit that will explore the art and science of origami and how the ancient craft is making advances in astronomy, medicine and the automotive industry. The exhibit, which runs from July 5 through September 27, will feature origami artists from around the world.

Featured artists:

Bonnie Cherni is an avid student of origami artist John Montroll’s designs and was inspired to fold origami from age of fifteen. She is the leading artist for this exhibit and has collaborated with guest artists from around the world, creating everything from miniature to life-sized sculptures, in mediums ranging from paper, aluminum, copper and canvas. Her art embodies the idea of “folding sturdy sculptures that can live out in the real world.”

Vietnamese artist Nguyen Hung Cuong lives in Hanoi and folds many of his expressive designs using a Vietnamese paper with a waxy finish called do. He has been folding since the young age of five and has been featured in many origami books with his incredibly detailed pieces.

Terry Nicolas is a professional origami artist who resides in Paris, France. He is an accomplished author and creator of origami-shop.us, one of the most popular origami sites in the world.

Steven Epstein resides on Hawaiʻi Island. With a degree in computer science and minor in math, Epstein has fun bringing math to life with his intricate modular origami pieces.

Local artist Shannon Nakaya is a highly recognized bird surgeon and veterinarian who applies her understanding of anatomical structure and function to folding complex origami.

Between the Folds

In conjunction with this exhibit, the award-winning film Between the Folds will be shown daily in the planetarium at 11 a.m. (not full dome, but letterbox format).

This documentary paints a striking portrait of the remarkable artistic and scientific creativity that fuels the ever-changing art of origami, fusing science and sculpture, form and function and ancient and new.

Epic Origami

Exhibit details

The exhibit will officially open on Sunday, July 5 at 9 a.m. with two showings of Between the Folds at 10 a.m and 11 a.m. and origami folding stations available throughout the day. From 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. ʻImiloa members are invited to a private pizza lunch and exclusive origami folding activities with Cherni.

Regular exhibit guests are also encouraged to participate in the origami scavenger hunt and try their hand at creating their own origami at the origami folding station.

Admission to Epic Origami and Between the Folds is included in the general admission fee of $17.50 for adults and $9.50 for children. Kamaʻaina prices are available and ʻImiloa members receive free admission.

Cherni will be back at ʻImiloa to teach special workshops on July 11 and September 19, 10-11:30 a.m. Admission is $25.00 for members and $35.00 for non-members. Space is very limited so early registration is suggested. An adult must accompany children under 10. To sign-up, visit ʻImiloa’s front desk or call (808) 969-9703.

Sam Choy’s in the Kitchen with the Tiki Shark

Chef Sam Choy’s traction gaining web show “Sam Choy’s in the Kitchen” will feature Brad Tiki Shark Parker and his household for its first celebrity episode.

Brad Parker photo bombs Sam Choy!

Sam Choy drops by the Parker residence.

“We have done over 10 episodes and decided to give our viewers something special this time and also see what’s really in a local celebrities kitchen” quoted Chef Choy. “We had fun and will be visiting more celebrities kitchens in future episodes” he added.

According to Producer Richard Gonzalez “the show was totally off our regular format but extremely entertaining and will be received well by our viewers”

“Sam is welcome in my kitchen anytime” quoted Brad Tiki Shark Parker. Its always a good time getting together with a Chef who is as wacky and crazy as I am!”.

Sam Choy in the Kitchen

The Celebrity episode will debut on YouTube on August 18.

Native Arts and Cultures Foundation Announces its Distinguished 2015 National Artist Fellowship Awardees

For the fifth year, Native Arts and Cultures Foundation (NACF) awards its distinguished National Artist Fellowship to a new group of talented, recognizable and promising artists.

Native Arts and Cultures

Thirteen awardees were selected from a national open call of American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian artist applicants who were meticulously reviewed by a panel of invited art experts. Awards were made in five art categories namely the Visual arts, Traditional arts, Performing arts, Literature and Music. The awarded artists come from several states and the District of Columbia: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Hawai’i, Michigan, Minnesota, New York and Washington.

“This year’s National Artist Fellows are awe-inspiring and we are excited to be recognizing and honoring some of America’s highly praised Native artists through these Fellowships,” says the foundation’s Director of Programs Francene Blythe. “We hold in the highest esteem such an amazing pool of artists who are provocative, outspoken and challenge their imaginations to ever new heights of ingenuity, which invigorates their work.”

The Native Arts and Cultures Foundation (NACF) National Artist Fellowship gives a monetary award that assists with support in order to provide Native artists the opportunity to explore and experiment with new creative projects and further develop their artistic careers. NACF is grateful for the support of the Ford Foundation and the generosity of arts patrons for making these national fellowships possible.

2015 National Artist Fellows:

Visual Arts

  • James Luna, Luiseño/Diegueño
  • Anna Tsouhlarakis, Navajo/Creek
  • Frank Big Bear, White Earth Ojibwe

Traditional Arts

  • Clarissa Rizal, Tlingit
  • David Boxley, Tsimshian
  • Kelly Church, Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa

Music

  • Stephen Blanchett, Yup’ik
  • Lehua Kalima, Native Hawaiian
  • Starr Kalahiki, Native Hawaiian

Literature

  • Layli Long Soldier, Oglala Sioux
  • Laura Da’, Eastern Shawnee
  • Linda Hogan, Chickasaw

Performing Arts

  • Martha Redbone, Cherokee/Shawnee/Choctaw descent

The Native Arts and Cultures Foundation’s mission is to promote the revitalization, appreciation and perpetuation of American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian arts and cultures through grant making, convening and advocacy. To date, NACF has supported more than 150 artists and organizations in more than 24 states and Native communities nationwide. To learn more about the National Artist Fellows and NACF’s work—nurturing the passion and power of creative expression, visit: www.nativeartsandcultures.org.

Second Saturday’s Start Soon – Pahoa Music & Art Walk

The town of Pahoa is alive and well following the recent scare from the lava flow that threatened the town during the past year.  Starting Saturday, August 8th and continuing on the Second Saturday of each month Pahoa town will host a Music & Art Walk through the town.

Pahoa Music and Art WalkThe festivities begin at 5 pm.  For more information, email SecondSaturday@LoveEternal.org or call 808-315-8984 for more information.

Waikoloa Beach Resort Restaurants Earn National Acclaim

In June, Lava Lava Beach Club, the oceanfront restaurant at Anaehoomalu Bay, and Kamuela Provision Company (KPC) at the Hilton Waikoloa Village, won recognition on a national level from premier restaurant reservations provider, Open Table.

Kamuela Provision Company in Hilton Waikoloa Village and Lava Lava Beach Club, among the Top 100 Al Fresco Dining experiences, according to Open Table. (Courtesy photos)

Kamuela Provision Company in Hilton Waikoloa Village and Lava Lava Beach Club, among the Top 100 Al Fresco Dining experiences, according to Open Table. (Courtesy photos)

In selecting its “Top 100 Best Al Fresco Dining in America,” more than five million reviews were surveyed from over 20,000 restaurants nationwide, between May 1, 2014, and April 30, 2015. To be included, restaurants were evaluated for excellence in outdoor dining experience, as well as overall service and food/beverage quality.

“The quality of restaurants within our destination resort is outstanding,” said the Resort’s Vice President Scott Head. “It’s great to know that reviews from visitors around the country are reflecting what we’ve known from the beginning. The combination of our Island’s beautiful settings, its first-class fresh foods from local sources and a warm, natural service style makes them winners. I am proud to congratulate Lava Lava Beach Club and Kamuela Provision Company.”

Statewide, 17 Hawaii restaurants made the list, eight from Hawaii Island. Earlier this year, CNN named Lava Lava Beach Club as one of Hawaii’s Top 10 Best Beach Bars.

Lava Lava Beach Club

Lava Lava Beach Club

Established in 2012, Lava Lava Beach Club is presented by the Von Platen Luder family of restaurateurs that includes the venerable Huggo’s in Kailua-Kona. They also offer overnight accommodations in four beach front cottages. For information and reservations, call 808-769-5282 or visit www.lavalavabeachclub.com.

Kamuela Provision Company’s signature Hawaii Regional Cuisine features prime steaks and fresh local produce and seafood is served in a matchless ocean sunset setting. For reservations, call 808-886-1234 or visit www.hiltonwaikoloavillage.com.

Waikoloa Beach Resort is a complete destination resort that encompasses two championship golf courses and over 3,000 guest rooms in two upscale hotels, and seven luxury condominiums and vacation home properties. The Resort also includes award-winning Queens’ MarketPlace and Kings’ Shops, offering a wide variety of shopping opportunities, services and dining experiences, plus free entertainment and cultural programs. For more information visit www.WaikoloaBeachResort.com or call (808) 886-8822.

Hawaii Coffee Association Names Cupping Winners, Recaps Annual Conference

Coffee industry leaders from across the state assembled for the Hawaii Coffee Association’s (HCA) 20th Annual Conference and 7th Annual Statewide Cupping Competition this past weekend at Courtyard Marriott King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel located in the heart of the world-famous Kona Coffee Belt.

CuppingIn the cupping competition, 95 entries from growing districts located across the state competed for top honors in two categories: Creative and Commercial. Qualifying for the Commercial division means that at least 1,000 pounds of the coffee entered is available for sale.

The top-scoring coffee hailed from Hula Daddy Kona Coffee Farm with a score of 86.5, which competed in the Creative division. The top scoring coffee in the Commercial division was also produced in Kona by Moki’s Farm with a score of 84.8. The highest scoring coffees from other participating Hawaiian coffee origins were also honored including Ka’u District’s A.C. Farm (85.5), the Hawaii District’s Accidental Coffee Farm (85.1), Maui’s Tambra Gardens/Kula Beans (84.8) and Hamakua’s Hawaiian Rainbow Farms with a score of 84.1. Visit hawaiicoffeeassoc.org for a full list of qualifying entries and scores.

“I am very impressed with the quality of the coffees coming out of all of the districts. It just keeps getting better,” said David Gridley of Maui, HCA’s Cupping Committee chair. “I applaud all the coffee farmers of Hawai‘i for their remarkable efforts”

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.

Veteran cupper Warren Muller noted an overall increase in scores among a broad spectrum of coffees this year. “But some just jumped off the table,” he emphasized, referring to the outstanding quality of this year’s crop. He remarked that the upward trend signifies continuous improvement and that experimentation was evident in new varietals and processing methods.

At the annual meeting, association members gathered to elect a new board and officers. HCA’s new president is Steve Hicks of Greenwell Farms with Ralph Gaston of Isla Custom Coffees as vice president, Adrian Guillen of Hawaiian Queen Coffee as treasurer and Gloria Biven of Royal Kona Visitor Center Mill & Museum as secretary.

The new board of directors features representation from across the state and a variety of business disciplines within the coffee industry including Big Island Coffee Roasters, Hawaii Coffee Company, Hawaii Coffee Growers Association, Ka’u Farm and Ranch Co. LLC, Kaiwi Farms, Kauai Coffee Company LLC, Kona Coffee Council, Kona Mountain Coffee, Maui Coffee Association, Monarch Coffee and UCC-Hawaii.

Incoming President Steve Hicks commented, “The conference has given us an opportunity to redouble our efforts and refocus the industry on the finest quality coffee we can produce.”

Other activities included a bus tour of area farms and processing facilities, a cupping workshop, a coffee quality workshop, vendor displays and presentations from Hawaii’s Department of Agriculture, USDA, Hawaii Agricultural Research Center, Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center, University of Hawai‘i College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, Hawaii Farm Bureau and growers from across the state. TV and radio personality Howard Dicus took the stage to share his witty commentary and predictions surrounding economic events.

The Hawaii Coffee Association’s mission is to represent all sectors of the Hawai‘i coffee industry, including growers, millers, wholesalers, roasters and retailers. 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

Orchid Show Preview Party Held in Memory of Sandy Song

This year, the benefit Preview Party that kicks off the Hilo Orchid Society’s 63rd anniversary Orchid Show and Sale is being held in memory of Sandy Song.

The Hilo Orchid Show Preview Party on Thursday, August 6 is dedicated to the late Sandra Song (right) as a tribute to her years of devoted board service to Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center, and her avid orchid growing and judging.  The late Song and Judge Andrew Wilson (left) were founding board members of Ku‘ikahi in 2016.

The Hilo Orchid Show Preview Party on Thursday, August 6 is dedicated to the late Sandra Song (right) as a tribute to her years of devoted board service to Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center, and her avid orchid growing and judging. The late Song and Judge Andrew Wilson (left) were founding board members of Ku‘ikahi in 2016.

The party is dedicated to the late Song as a tribute to her years of devoted board service to Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center, and her avid orchid growing and judging.

“It’s Ku‘ikahi’s way of honoring Sandy,” said party chair Cody Frenz.  “She did so much every year to make the preview party a success.  She donated orchids and wine, sold tickets, and garnered the loyalty of party volunteers.”

Held from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 6, the gala features drinks, food, music, and orchid pre-sales.  Please note that the location for this year’s party and show has changed to the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium.  The event is zero waste, with eco-friendly eating utensils, plus recycling/composting stations.

Each party-goer receives a souvenir glass, in order to enjoy a selection of fine wines, plus beer on tap from Kona Brewing Co.  Non-alcoholic beverages and coffee from Hilo Coffee Mill are also served.

Pupu, dinner, and dessert buffets are compliments of Island Naturals and AJ & Sons Catering, featuring the food stylings of Dean Shigeoka and Audrey Wilson, food columnist for the Hawaii Tribune-Herald.

“This truly is a ‘fun’-raiser.  People eat, drink, socialize, and have the first chance to shop for magnificent and rare orchid plants,” Frenz said, “And proceeds from the party benefit two non-profits: Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center and Hilo Orchid Society.”

Guests will enjoy a generous selection of fine wines at the 63rd Annual Hilo Orchid Show and Sale Preview Party.  Held at the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium on August 6, the gala event also features beer on tap from Kona Brewing Co., coffee from Hilo Coffee Mill, and gourmet juices from Island Naturals.

Guests will enjoy a generous selection of fine wines at the 63rd Annual Hilo Orchid Show and Sale Preview Party. Held at the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium on August 6, the gala event also features beer on tap from Kona Brewing Co., coffee from Hilo Coffee Mill, and gourmet juices from Island Naturals.

Tickets for the Preview Party are $65 ($25 of which is tax deductible) and may be purchased in advance from The Most Irresistible Shop, Hilo Coffee Mill, Day-Lum Properties, and Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center.  Or call Julie Mitchell at (808) 935-7844 x 5.  For more information, visit www.hiloorchidsociety.org/preview-party or www.hawaiimediation.org.

This Weekend – BISAC Summer Jam 2015

The Big Island Substance Abuse Council is inviting the public to come out to celebrate the fun-filled days of summer at its Summer Jam 2015 on Saturday July 25, 2015 at Waiākea High School from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.

This year’s entertainment line up features New Zealand pop sensation Pieter T and Hawaiʻi’s own Nesian N.I.N.E.

Pieter T

Pieter T

Pieter T has been steadily climbing up the New Zealand radio charts since his days with the musical group, Boyband. In 2009 Pieter T debuted as a solo artist with the single “Cold Nights” followed by the singles, “Stay With Me”, “Can’t Stop Loving You” and “Something Else”, which peaked at number six on the NZ Radio Charts. His latest release is the single “Business” featuring PNC and Dei Hamo off his debut album “Life”.

Nesian N.I.N.E. (Natives Inna New Era)

Nesian N.I.N.E. (Natives Inna New Era)

Island Reggae Music group Nesian N.I.N.E. (Natives Inna New Era) hit the charts in 2009 with their Hōkū-nominated album “Press Play,” and has been going strong ever since, appearing with BoyZ II Men, Klymaxx, El Debarge and others.

Other featured artists in the line up include, 2014 Brown Bags to Stardom winners One Rhythm 808, Beyond Paradise, and Kolea.

“It’s really very exciting to once again have so many talented artists coming to play at the Summer Jam,” said BISAC CEO Dr. Hannah Preston-Pita.

This year’s event will also feature a National Qualifier Strongman Competition, ‘ono food and keiki crafts and activities including the Zoo Choo, Bouncy Houses, Human Hamster Ball, Laser Tag, Bungee Run and a Sticky Wall. Keiki ride wristbands purchased online are 50% off. Entry is a $2 suggested donation.

All funds raised above the cost of producing the event go towards BISAC’s adult and school-based Poʻokela Vocational program, Mom and Babies program, and Keiki School Based Services.

For more information about BISAC’s Summer Jam go to www.summerjamhawaii.com.

 

Taro Inspired Benefit Luncheon in Waipio Valley

Kalo (taro) is Hawaii’s most elemental food for body and soul. Inspired by kalo, The Feeding Leaf events and catering company (TFL) will present a five-course benefit luncheon for the nonprofit Pōhāhā I ka Lani, on Sunday, July 26 at 12 p.m. at the secluded Waipi‘o Tea House.

Taro Picture

Waipi’o Valley Kalo. Photo by Anna Pacheco

Diners will take a culinary “huaka‘i,” a journey that begins with Moloka‘i venison, ‘uala (purple sweet potato) and pa‘akai (Hawaiian salt), and travels through Kona for Kamana‘o Farm pumpkin and Living Aquaponics lettuce. Mauka-to-makai entreés feature whole roasted pig and ‘ōpelu, followed by a trio of poni (purple) desserts: Punalu‘u Taro Sweet Bread Pudding with Kalo Vanilla Bean Sauce, ‘Uala Custard Flan Tart and Koele Pālau (sweet potato pudding).

Each course will be paired with a different type of kalo, selected by Pōhāhā I ka Lani founder Kūlia Kauhi Tolentino-Potter, to complement the specific foods being served. For example ‘ōpelu kalo will accompany the whole roasted ‘ōpelu entree to enhance both flavors.

“What makes this event so special is absolutely the Valley, Waipi‘o itself,” said TFL President Tracey Apoliona. “We are bringing the guests right there, right to the source. And we are making and serving the kinds of Hawaiian foods that have ancient roots, in modern, elegant preparations. That is how the menu is, and we as a business are, aligned with Pōhāhā—honoring the kalo, from those rich roots up to the green leaves that grow in abundance, reaching higher and higher.”

The Feeding Leaf partners Les and Tracey Apoliona, Paris DeCambra, Chef Scott Hiraishi.  Photo by Anna Pacheco

The Feeding Leaf partners Les and Tracey Apoliona, Paris DeCambra, Chef Scott Hiraishi. Photo by Anna Pacheco

Emceed by TFL’s new Director of Shared Services Paris DeCambra, lunch is accompanied by the Hawaiian music of Aliʻi Keanaʻaina, in the scenic setting of Waipiʻo Tea House, overlooking Hi‘ilawe falls. And, an exclusive silent auction will supplement fundraising efforts for future educational programs promoting stewardship, leadership and guidance.

Founded in 2009, Pōhāhā I ka Lani is a hands-on, place-based educational resource, dedicated to restoring and preserving indigenous Hawaiian culture. Numerous schools, clubs and community groups participate in their Kāhuli program, focused on traditional kalo farming and centuries-old food culture in the Napo‘opo‘o area of Waipi‘o Valley. http://www.pohahaikalani.com/

A limited number of tickets are available at $100 for this one-of-a-kind, alcohol-free food experience in Waipi‘o Valley. Price includes five course plated lunch, fresh brewed Māmaki and Ko‘oko‘olau teas, and shuttle transportation from Waipi‘o Shuttle Tour Company. To purchase tickets, please call 325-3803, or visit waipioteahouse.brownpapertickets.com.

The Feeding Leaf catering and event company specializes in Hawai‘i-raised food for quality private parties, wine events, weddings, birthdays and other happy occasions. For more information, contact Les Apoliona, (808) 325-3803, thefeedingleaf@gmail.com, visit www.thefeedingleaf.com, or Facebook.com/thefeedingleaf.

Rotary Club of Pahoa Sunset Honors Three with “Service to Community Award”

The Rotary Club of Pahoa Sunset honored three members of the community with their “Service to Community Award.” In addition to the awards, the recipients were presented certificates from Rep. Joy San Buenaventura (Puna) and the Hawaii House of Representatives for their hard work and dedication.

The awardees are:

  • Catherine Ford, who wakes up at 4:30 am to look for the Pahoa homeless and find out what their needs are. Catherine visits those who are hospitalized and for those that don’t have transportation, she drives them to acquire their checks, food and medication.  She has become an advocate for those who normally have none.
Lyndon Johnson was honored.

Lyndon Honda was honored.

  •  Chef Lyndon Honda, whose passion for cuisine, food culture and compassion for others inspired him to organize various food events to benefit victims of Hurricane Iselle and the June 27 lava flow.  Chef Lyndon rallied various chefs from Maui and the Big Island to donate their skill, time and money so that 100% of the monies raised went to Puna Farmers and those affected by Iselle and the lava flow.  This unheard of percentage going to victims shows Chef Honda’s ability to organize and rally those whose compassion are like his on short notice.
  • Kalani Honua, which organization spent approximately eighty-nine thousand dollars of their own money to provide food, ice, and water to the people of Puna who were affected by Hurricane Iselle and who were without power and refrigeration.  Kalani Honua showcases lower Puna to the rest of the world as a sustainable healthy agricultural Hawaiian community and has been featured multiple times in Yoga Journal and is a vital and important contributor to the community of the lower Puna region.

The Rotary Club of Pahoa Sunset, chartered on April 1, 2009, meets Tuesday nights at 6:30 p.m. at The Historic Akebono Theatre in Pahoa, Puna Hawaii.

At an earlier town hall meeting, Representative San Buenaventura also honored Rene Siracusa, who has dedicated a life of volunteer service to Puna and its residents.

Ms. Siracusa is involved in a number of community organizations including the Puna Outdoor Circle, Big Island Rainforest Action Group, Puna Friends of the Parks, Puna Malama Pono, and Malama O Puna, which have all made positive environmental impacts to Puna.  Ms. Siracusa helped with the grant writing to secure funding for the Puna Community Medical Center’s Urgent Care Clinic and currently sits as the Chair of the Board of Directors.

Her participation as part of the Coqui Frog Working Group initially controlled the coqui frog at Lava Tree State Park in Nanawale and continues to educate the residents of Puna on the importance of bringing the invasive species under control.  She has served on various boards and committees such as the “Ka’ohe Homesteads Community & Farm Watch”, Hawai’i County Planning Commission, Healing Our Island Grant Review Committee, and was Chair of the Hawai‘i County Redistricting Commission (2011).

Yagi Summer Hoops Camp Still Has Openings – Late Registration Fee Waived

The County of Hawai‘i Department of Parks and Recreation still has openings for its 3rd Annual Jimmy Yagi Summer Hoops Camp and has waived the late registration fee for the camp set for July 21-24 in Hilo.

Can you find my son in a previous camp picture?

Can you find my son in a previous camp picture?

Parents may still take advantage of the discounted early entry fee of $60 per child. All participants will receive a camp shirt and group picture.

Registration forms are available at the Department’s Recreation Office located within Aunty Sally Kaleohano’s Lu‘au Hale at 799 Pi‘ilani Street in Hilo and online at http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/parks-and-recreation/. Completed forms should be submitted at the Recreation Office or the Department’s main office at Suite 6 within Aupuni Center. Please make checks payable to the County Director of Finance and include the note “Jimmy Yagi Summer Hoops Camp.”

Open to boys and girls 9 to 17 years old, the Jimmy Yagi Summer Hoops Camp is named in honor of the legendary former University of Hawai‘i at Hilo basketball coach who helped guide the Vulcans-Hawai‘i Basketball School for 37 years. It will be held at the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium and the Pana‘ewa Covered Play Courts.

UH-Hilo women’s basketball coach David Kaneshiro will share his basketball expertise by serving as lead clinician for the four-day camp. Assisting Kaneshiro will be Daphne Honma, Honoka‘a High School girls basketball coach and a former Division II coach of the year. Additional basketball coaches have volunteered to serve as camp clinicians.

Campers will receive personalized instruction as they practice agility, ball-handling and other basketball drills each morning before breaking for lunch. Players will return to showcase their skills by competing in games expected to last until about 3:30 p.m. each day.

For more information, please contact Jason Armstrong, Public Information Officer, at 961-8311 or jarmstrong@hawaiicounty.gov.

Wordless Wednesday – Food and Art?

Famous Hawaii Chef Sam Choy was spotted at the Kona Airport with artist Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker earlier today.

Renowned Tiki Artist Brad Parker seen chatting up & travelling with Celebrity Chef Sam Choy today at Kona Airport.

Renowned Tiki Artist Brad Parker seen chatting up & travelling with Celebrity Chef Sam Choy today at Kona Airport.

Parker’s agent Abbas Hassan said, “Big local news story is to follow next month”.

Chef Sam Choy was also seen traveling today with Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker’s well connected agent Abbas Hassan at Kona Airport

Chef Sam Choy was also seen traveling today with Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker’s well connected agent Abbas Hassan at Kona Airport

Anyone know what’s cooking?

Groundbreaking Held for Long Awaited Hilo Bayfront Trails Project

A public groundbreaking ceremony was held Tuesday, July 7, for Phase 1 of the Hilo Bayfront Trails Project. Hilo Bay Ground Breaking

The Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation has partnered with the nonprofit Hilo Bayfront Trails Inc. to deliver nearly a mile of paved, 12-foot-wide trails that will support walking, running, bicycling and other non-motorized transportation modes.

Two interconnected sections will extend from Mo‘oheau Park Bandstand to the canoe-storage area at Hilo Bayfront Beach Park. A third segment will start at the terminus of Kumu Street, run though the soccer fields mauka of Kamehameha Avenue, and end at Pauahi Street.

Hilo Bay Recreation Map

The Department of Parks and Recreation has obtained a $345,743 grant from the National Park Service’s Land and Water Conservation Fund’s State and Local Assistance Program and has committed $25,000 from its own budget to subside the purchase of materials. Hilo Bayfront Trails’ members will build the trail utilizing volunteer labor.

Total estimated cost is $750,000, and construction is expected to be finished by December 2016.

Mayor Billy Kenoi, state Sens. Gilbert Kahele and Lorraine Inouye, as well as Hilo Councilmen Dennis “Fresh” Onishi and Danny Paleka Jr. were among the dignitaries who praised the project’s benefits during the groundbreaking ceremony. Pastor Evan Carmichael of the Church on a Sure Foundation delivered the prayer.

The ceremony culminated a 10-year County and community effort to develop a walking and bicycling path that showcases Hilo Bay and Mauna Kea, while also meeting the diverse recreational needs of a growing population. Trail development was listed as a top priority by 56 percent of the people who participated in a 2008 public recreation user survey.

Dalai Lama and Nainoa Thompson Discuss Education and Universal Human Values

Nainoa Thompson, pwo (master) navigator and president of the Polynesian Voyaging Society, today joined a panel discussion with His Holiness the Dalai Lama in celebration of His Holiness’s 80th birthday. The topic of discussion for the panel of inspiring leaders was The Significance of Education in Advancing Universal Human Values.

Dalai Lama and Nainoa

“I was honored and humbled to be invited to speak with His Holiness, one of my heroes and a true inspiration for our work aboard Hokulea as we travel around the world,” said Thompson. “We came together to celebrate his legacy of peace, kindness and universal compassion, and the true gift for his 80th birthday was the lesson he has offered all of us.”

Thompson acknowledged His Holiness as one of Earth’s greatest navigators and offered a gift of traditional Hawaiian oli (chant) by apprentice navigator Lehua Kamalu.  Thompson then presented him with a maile lei he had carried from the Hawaiian islands.

The event was the final session of His Holiness’s three-day Global Compassion Summit at University of California, Irvine’s Bren Center on Tuesday, July 7 and took place at 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time. Thompson was one of 15 distinguished panelists to participate in the conversation.

The Dalai Lama blessed the Hokulea at Kualoa Park last year.  Photo courtesy of Pillars of Peace

The Dalai Lama blessed the Hokulea at Kualoa Park last year. Photo courtesy of Pillars of Peace

Thompson’s visit to the Global Compassion Summit marked a truly global moment for the Polynesian Voyaging Society’s Worldwide Voyage today. Legendary voyaging canoe Hokulea is scheduled to arrive at Darwin, Australia, while sister canoe Hikianalia today returns home to Honolulu after a fruitful trip to the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument with NOAA researchers and crew from The Nature Conservancy.

The Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage is taking the iconic sailing vessels Hokulea and her sister canoe Hikianalia across Hawaii and the Earth’s oceans to grow a global movement toward a more sustainable world.

The Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage, sponsored by Hawaiian Airlines, began in Hawaiʻi in 2013 and will cover over 60,000 nautical miles, 100 ports, and 27 nations, including 12 of UNESCO’s Marine World Heritage sites, through June 2017. The voyage seeks to engage all of Island Earth – practicing how to live sustainably while sharing Polynesian culture, learning from the past and from each other, creating global relationships, and discovering the wonders of the precious place we call home.

Richardson Roughwater Swim July 26

The Department of Parks and Recreation announces the 28th Annual Richardson Roughwater Swim will be held Sunday, July 26, at Richardson Ocean Park in the Keaukaha area of Hilo.

Waimea's Mo Mathews a Swimming Legend. 82-year old Mo Mathews being helped out of Richardson's by friends Jim Budde (left) and Ed Doherty.

Waimea’s Mo Mathews a Swimming Legend. 82-year old Mo Mathews being helped out of Richardson’s by friends Jim Budde (left) and Ed Doherty.

This 1-mile-long race course is designed for strong, experienced swimmers. Competitors may experience ocean swells, powerful currents and waves breaking over the outside reef.

Register by Friday, July 17, and receive the discounted rate of $15 per person. A late-entry fee of $25 per swimmer will apply after that deadline.

Entry forms are available at all County of Hawai‘i swimming pools and the Department’s Recreation Office located within Aunty Sally Kaleohano’s Lū‘au Hale at 799 Pi‘ilani Street in Hilo.

For more information, please call 961-8694 from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. weekdays.