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.

The Egg and I – Nake’u Awai’s Pre-Merrie Monarch Fundraiser

Springtime on Hawai‘i Island means Easter, Merrie Monarch, and Nake‘u Awai’s annual Fashion Show Fundraiser, happening Saturday, April 19, 2014 at the Kahilu Theatre. A benefit for the Theatre, the lively production features Awai’s iconic aloha designs, dozens and dozens of Easter Eggs, and beautiful songs that celebrate Waimea.

The Egg and I

Doors open at 11 a.m. to give guests a chance to shop for Awai’s signature aloha wear, rarely available away from his Honolulu studio. Handmade items by local crafters are also available for sale, as well as box lunches by Palani French Bakers to enjoy at tables on the lawn, before the show begins at 12:30 p.m.

A distinctive designer of island fashion for over thirty years, Nake‘u Awai is well-known for his unique prints and flattering silhouettes for every body size and shape. His annual spring productions have been described as part-Broadway, part runway—one-of-a-kind events that never fail to tell a story, using fashion, hula, history, music, both traditional and contemporary, and lots of surprises.

Models in Awai’s “company” include Pat Bergin, Kauanoe Chang, Sharon Goodman, Liana Aveiro, Aulii Kirsch, Margo Wray, Peter Souza, Wally Wong and other familiar faces. And, key performers from the community include John Wray, Alva Kamalani, Desiree Cruz, Everett Knowles and the Waimea Hawaiian Civic Club, who will present a medley of songs by Helen Desha Beamer.

“I always wanted to emphasize the music of Helen Desha Beamer, one of the Big Island’s best writers, who wrote the classic songs of Waimea,” said Awai. His production wraps the region’s paniolo heritage with songs from “Oklahoma,” with elements of spring, Easter stories like an island-style Peter Cottontail, and festive fashion for men and women. “We create the visual scene,” said Awai, “And the performers just happen to be wearing our fashions.”

In addition, Awai invites the community to enter a special Egg Decorating Contest, with prizes presented by the judges in several categories. There is no entry fee, and all are welcome to use their imagination.

Sweetest Egg – Big Island Candies
Best Waimea Egg – Native Books/ Na Mea Hawaii
Best Ka Lei Egg – Roen Hufford
Trippiest Egg – Nake‘u Awai (a “trippy” tee shirt, designed by Nake‘u )
Most Stylish Egg – Nake‘u Awai (a beautiful bear made from Nake‘u fabric in moire)

A very special and entertaining occasion on the Saturday before Easter, “The Egg and I” invites groups of friends join in, support the Theatre and celebrate Spring. Tickets $45 with box lunch, $30 show only. Please call 885-6868 or visit www.KahiluTheatre.org

Puna Picks Breadfruit for Community Based Economic Development

On Saturday, May 10, 2014 from 8:30 am – 12:00 pm the Breadfruit—From Tree to Table workshop will be held at Ho‘oulu Lāhui, the site of  Kua O Ka Lā Public Charter School at Pū‘āla‘a, adjacent to the ‘Āhalanui County Park warm ponds in Puna. The workshop is $12 per person and advance registration online is required. The workshop will be followed by a luncheon featuring breadfruit prepared by Chef Casey Halpern from Café Pesto.

Auntie Shirley Kauhaihao of Ke‘ei, South Kona, will be demonstrating how to select and prepare ‘ulu fruit. (Photo by Craig Elevitch)

Auntie Shirley Kauhaihao of Ke‘ei, South Kona, will be demonstrating how to select and prepare ‘ulu fruit. (Photo by Craig Elevitch)

The half-day Breadfruit—From Tree to Table workshop will assist Hawai‘i’s breadfruit growers in supplying grocery stores, restaurants and farmers markets with high quality breadfruit, and help chefs become more familiar with breadfruit handling and preparation in the kitchen.

Backyard growers and home users of breadfruit will also find the workshop pertinent to home and community use of breadfruit.

Topics and speakers include:  “Tree to Table”—harvesting techniques, tricks and tools, and postharvest handling, presented by Ian Cole, Collection Manager, Breadfruit Institute of the National Tropical Botanical Garden. “Beyond Sticky”—preparing breadfruit for use in a variety of dishes or for storage, presented by Shirley Kauhaihao, Ho‘oulu ka ‘Ulu.  “Cultural Perspective” —Breadfruit and the cultural importance in Hawai‘i, presented by mahi‘ai and educator Nick Kala Francisco. “Some Like It Sweet”—making dishes from ripe breadfruit, presented by John Cadman, Pono Pies. “Going To Market”—marketing and value added products, presented by Craig Elevitch, Hawai‘i Homegrown Food Network and Ho‘oulu ka ‘Ulu project. Gourmet to Home Cooking—exploring favorite local recipes and new ways to cook with breadfruit, presented by Mariposa Blanco of Kua O Ka Lā Public Charter School.

Kua O Ka Lā Public Charter School is a Hawaiian values-based charter school that believes in creating economic opportunities for the community through the production of value-added products from breadfruit and other crops. ‘Ike ‘Āina—From the Seed to the Table is an agriculture and culinary arts program at the school that connects culture, agriculture and healthy eating. The Breadfruit—From Tree to Table workshop expands this mission further into the community, exposing the community to possible economic opportunities derived from the cultivation and preparation of breadfruit. During lunch, there will be a demonstration of how to make ‘ulu flour from breadfruit dried in the solar dehydrator. Breadfruit

Breadfruit—From Tree to Table is presented by Ho‘oulu Lāhui, Kua O Ka Lā Public Charter School, and the Ho‘oulu ka ‘Ulu—Revitalizing Breadfruit project. The workshop is funded through a grant from the County of Hawai‘i, Department of Research and Development and with luncheon support from Café Pesto.

Advance registration is required. The workshop is $12 per person, and includes lunch.  To register please visit www.breadfruit.info or call 990-4243.

Hawaii Life Picked Up for Two More Seasons – Opens Hilo Office

Hawaii Life Real Estate Brokers recently expanded their Big Island operations with the opening of their new Hilo office.

Hawaii Life Real Estate Companies Hilo Location

Hawaii Life Real Estate Companies Hilo Location

Nearly 200 people attended the grand opening ceremony held March 28 at the firm’s new East Hawaii location at 500 Kalanianaole Ave. in Keaukaha. The newly renovated office encompasses 3,078 square feet.

According to Hawaii Life President and Principal Broker Matt Beall, “Hawaii Life is really honored to be so well-received in Hilo. We’re committed to serving all of Hawaii, and East Hawaii is such an important part of that commitment. It’s really a special community.”

The Hilo location marks the third office on Hawaii Island for the fast-growing real estate firm, which also has offices in Kailua-Kona and Puako. Of the firm’s 65 agents island-wide, 17 will work out of the new Hilo office.

In February the firm announced the expansion of its headquarters in Princeville, Kauai and last week announced plans to open a second office in Wailea, Maui.

With 187 agents statewide and 10 offices statewide, Hawaii Life has grown steadily since it was founded in 2008. In 2012 it was ranked the third-fastest growing company in the state according to Pacific Business News’ Fastest 50 list.

Hawaii Life is featured on the cable network HGTV with a show by the same name. The show, which follows different brokers as they help clients find their perfect home in Hawaii, was recently picked up for two more seasons.

For more information on Hawaii Life Real Estate Brokers or its new Hilo office, contact Katie Minkus, Statewide Director of Sales, 1-800-667-5028, or email katieminkus@hawaiilife.com.

Kailua Kanikapila Community Picnic with Darlene Ahuna and John Cruz

It’s time to bring the community back Hawaiian style to Hale Halawai with a Kailua Kanikapila Community Picnic and it’s free.

Relax. Kick back. Bring your own chairs and mats. Enjoy the sunset. Pack a picnic and bring the whole family down to Hale Halawai from 4 pm until sunset on Saturday, April 19.

Enjoying myself with John Cruz jamming in the back

Enjoying myself with John Cruz jamming in the back

Bring your pupus and enjoy a picnic along the ocean while listening to the great Hawaiian music sounds of Darlene Ahuna and John Cruz. There will be games for the keiki and a taco truck available for those who prefer to purchase food.

Hilo’s Darlene Ahuna is a multiple Na Hoku Hanohano award winner including Female Vocalist of the Year. John Cruz’s Artistic Soul album won Contemporary Album of the Year and Cruz was named Most Promising Artist. Cruz is also a Grammy winner with his song Jo Bo’s Night featured on CD Slack Key Guitar Volume 2, the first Grammy awarded for Hawaiian music.

The Kailua Kanikapila Community Picnic event is sponsored by the Kailua Village Business Improvement District, Hawaii Tourism Authority, and the County of Hawaii. Contact HKVevents@yahoo.com a minimum of 5 days in advance to request an auxiliary aid or reasonable modification.

New Bakery Opening in Hilo

A new bakery in downtown Hilo announces its grand opening celebration the week of April 14 to 20.  Located at 187 Kilauea Avenue, Papa‘a Palaoa Bakery is quite distinctive with its bright blue storefront, hanging flower baskets, and enticing aromas.

Papa‘a Palaoa Bakery announces its grand opening celebration the week of April 14 to 20.  The bakery is located at 187 Kilauea Avenue in downtown Hilo.

Papa‘a Palaoa Bakery announces its grand opening celebration the week of April 14 to 20. The bakery is located at 187 Kilauea Avenue in downtown Hilo.

“People tell us every day, ‘Oh, it smells so good,’” said bakery owner Eric Cox, whose bestsellers are the roasted three seed bread and chocolate chip walnut cookies.

Launching his storefront with a soft opening on March 1, Cox stated, “Hilo was ready for a new bread bakery.  Tons of people have walked in to say how great it is to get fresh bread downtown and to tell us, ‘We’re so glad you’re here.’”

Papa‘a Palaoa’s breads include cranberry mac nut whole wheat, oatmeal, multi-grain, olive, spicy corn, sourdough rye, sourdough whole wheat, and cinnamon raisin mac nut swirl.  Specialty items include pan forte, cinnamon rolls, and brioche with chocolate chips and vanilla cream.

With the store’s opening, Cox has added to the menu scones, muffins, cookies, and quiche, plus coffee and chai.

“We’re thrilled to be downtown,” said Cox. “The kitchen is fantastic.  It’s big, roomy, and well appointed.  By the grand opening celebration, we’ll have tables and chairs so people can hang out.  I love that people can watch us bake since it’s an open kitchen.”

Papa‘a Palaoa Bakery owner Eric Cox (front) celebrates his store’s grand opening celebration in Hilo from April 14 to 20.  Joining him are partner and baker Paul Lackner (right) plus bakers Rachel Van Etten and Nick Mount.

Papa‘a Palaoa Bakery owner Eric Cox (front) celebrates his store’s grand opening celebration in Hilo from April 14 to 20. Joining him are partner and baker Paul Lackner (right) plus bakers Rachel Van Etten and Nick Mount.

Papa‘a Palaoa Bakery was founded in December 2006, starting small and eventually expanding to include sales at farmers markets in Hilo (Wednesday and Saturday), Na‘alehu (Wednesday), Mountain View (Saturday), Pahoa (Sunday), and Volcano (Sunday).

Cox then started looking for a place to make bread available to a broader market.  He needed a bigger kitchen, because the quantity of bread he’d been making for farmers markets and various wholesale accounts was exceeding his capacity.

“Before, we were hand kneading all our bread.  Now we have a commercial mixer.  We can make so much more bread so much more quickly,” noted Cox.  “The storefront is our next step up.  Not only does it increase our business presence, it has improved our ability to make good bread.”

Cox, who joined the Hilo Downtown Improvement Association, is assisted by partner and baker Paul Lackner, plus bakers Rachel Van Etten and Nick Mount.

“We invite you to come down, check us out, and see what we have to offer, what tickles your taste buds.  Stop in and give us a try,” Cox said.  “Smells are free.”

So are samples, which rotate on a daily basis.  Papa‘a Palaoa Bakery is open from 5 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily.  For more information, call (808) 935-5700.

2014 Ka’u Coffee Festival Offering New Activities to its Lineup

The Ka‘u Coffee Festival offers new fun activities to its lineup of May 2-11. Now in its sixth year, the festival showcases its award-winning coffees and everything that makes the sprawling K‘au District so special—the rural area covers 922 square miles and encompasses the entire southern end of the Big Island.

2014 Kau CoffeefestKicking off the festival is the inaugural Pa‘ina & OpenHouse at historic Pahala Plantation House with the Ka‘u Chamber of Commerce and Ka‘u Calendar newspaper. Pa‘ina means party in Hawaiian and fun includes guided house tours, music, hula by Halau Hula O Leionalani and refreshments—including Ka‘u coffee. Bolo will also release his new CD that contains the song “Kaiholena,” that tells about the people and places of K‘au.

During the heyday of Big Isle sugar production, Pahala Plantation House served as the manager’s home of the former Ka‘u Sugar Plantation. Now an inn and community gathering place, the House has been painstakingly restored to maintain the integrity and history of Hawai‘i’s sugar era. Enjoy guided tours of the spacious interior that boasts high ceilings, a large dining hall, antiques, artwork and a baby grand piano in the foyer. Time is 5:30-9 p.m. Friday, May 2 at the corner of Maile and Pikake Streets in Pahala. Admission is free and donations are appreciated for the Miss Ka‘u Coffee Scholarship Fund, 808-928-9811.

The annual Miss K‘au Coffee Pageant is part of a festival doubleheader with the Triple C Recipe Contest on Sunday, May 2 at the Ka‘u Coffee Mill. Starting at noon, the Triple C Recipe Contest offers a new cake competition category, along with cookies and candy—all must contain K‘au coffee. Contestants vie for free in either adult amateur or student (middle or high school) divisions to win cash prizes. Contest entry deadline is April 25.  Public admission is free with complimentary coffee and recipe sampling. Find contest details at www.kaucoffeemill.com.

On Sunday evening, the 2014-15 Miss Ka‘u Coffee and junior Miss Ka‘u Peaberry Pageant is open to contestants who were either born, grew up or now live in Ka‘u. Girls are judged for talent, public speaking, gown and Miss Popularity. Winners are awarded scholarships. A mahalo party for the reigning queens is 6 p.m., followed by the pageant at 6:30 p.m. Admission is $10 with additional donations appreciated.

The annual Coffee & Cattle Day 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Friday, May 9 showcases Ka‘u agriculture at the 150-acre Aikane Plantation with a tour of a working ranch/farm, followed by a luncheon buffet.  Co-owner Merle Becker says her great-grandfather, “Papa” J. C. Searle, planted coffee there in 1894 and keiki from Searle’s trees are grown today by numerous Ka‘u farmers. The Beckers oversee eight acres of coffee, a Black Angus cattle operation, plus plantings of exotic protea, sugar cane, macadamia nuts, citrus, avocado, taro, pineapple and papaya. The buffet will offer grass-fed beef, pork and chicken; a variety of side dishes and desserts made with Ka‘u coffee.  Price is $25, make reservations at 808-927-2252.

The all-day Ka‘u Coffee Festival Ho‘olaule‘a on Saturday, May 10 is free and features day-long entertainment. It hosts a variety of art, craft, information and food booths; and some of the finest coffees grown anywhere.

The Ka‘u Coffee Experience has a new twist with free coffee tastings guided by professional baristas at the Pahala Community Center. Coffee enthusiasts can sample Ka‘u coffees prepared in a variety of ways—like a pour-over or a French press, cold brew and espresso drinks.

The festival is supported by the County of Hawai‘i Department of Research & Development, Hawai‘i Tourism Authority and Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture. A full schedule of events and Ka‘u activity recommendations follows. Visit www.kaucoffeefest.com to learn more.

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Happy 90th Birthday Grandma Tucker

My grandma on my dad’s side of the family celebrated her 90th birthday today in Compton, California.

My father is on her left

My father is on her left

Video: County of Hawaii Proclaims “Max Unger Day” – HPA Retires Jersey

Deputy Director of Hawaii County Parks and Recreation Robert A. Fitzgerald proclaimed April 2, 2014 as Seattle Seahawk’s “Matt Unger Day” in the County of Hawaii.

HPA Retires Alumnus Max Unger's Number

HPA Retires Alumnus Max Unger’s Number

Fitzgerald also happens to be Unger’s former coach here on the Big Island.

Hawaii Preparatory Academy (HPA), the high school that Max attended, then retired his number from ever being used again by another player at the school.

Fun Seminars Announced for the Big Island Chocolate Festival

Taste the nuances of a variety of gourmet chocolates with one of the foremost chocolate experts in the world: Ed Seguine, a 45-year cacao veteran and consultant. Talk story with Food Network Star and New York City celeb Jacques Torres while savoring his delectable bonbons. Learn how to make a chocolate dessert sensation by Valrhona Pastry Chef Vincent Bourdin. Get the insider scoop on growing cacao—the bean needed to make chocolate.

Chef Jacques Torres

Chef Jacques Torres

All this and more— plus a festive evening gala are on tap May 1-3 for the Big Island Chocolate Festival. Tickets and details for all are available at www.bigislandchocolatefestival.com.

Presented by the Kona Cacao Association (KCA), event proceeds benefit the $150,000 “Equip the Kitchens” campaign for the future Hawai‘i Community College-Palamanui and efforts to build a community amphitheatre at the Waldorf-inspired Kona Pacific Public Charter School in Kealakekua.

Here’s a quick rundown of activities:

Thursday, May 1

• 9-11 a.m.: On-site cacao farm and soap factory tour by Gary Colden to see how cacao is grown and used for chocolate. Kona Natural Soap Company uses the by-products of cacao to make soaps, $25.

All other activities at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai’i:

Friday, May 2

• 2:30-3:15 p.m. Ed Seguine of Seguine Cacao, Cocoa & Chocolate Advisors presents “Selecting Cacao Cultivar for Flavor.” Learn the segregation of agronomic and flavor traits in seed-grown cacao. Examples of breeding for flavor will be shown and tasting evaluated, plus techniques for small-scale micro-fermentation, $50.

• 3:30-4:30 p.m. “Mr. Chocolate” Jacques Torres offers an intimate talk story about the chocolate industry while sharing his award-winning chocolate bonbons brought in from New York City, $50.

Saturday, May 3

• 10-11 a.m. Ed Seguine of Seguine Cacao, Cocoa & Chocolate Advisors presents “How to Taste Chocolate” with a guided tasting of chocolate from Guittard, Valrhona and Waialua Estates, $30.

•11:15-12:15 p.m. Greg Colden of Kona Natural Soap Factory presents “Cacao as a Value Added Product for Business,” sharing non-chocolate uses for cacao, $30.

*12:30-1:30 p.m. President of the Asia Pacific Pastry Cup Board and Valrhona Chef Vincent Bourdin from Singapore shows how to make a standout chocolate dessert, $30.

Hands-on Culinary seminar at last year’s Big Island Chocolate Festival

Hands-on Culinary seminar at last year’s Big Island Chocolate Festival

Chocolate decadence culminates 6-10 p.m. May 3 with the festival gala in the Fairmont’s Grand Ballroom. Taste sweet and savory creations by chefs, chocolatiers, confectioners and beverage purveyors, plus vote for the People’s Choice Award. Also on tap will be fine wines and handcrafted ales, chocolate sculptures, chocolate body painting, music by Yisa Var and the Girls Nite Out band and friends, dancing and a silent auction.

Culinarians interested in participating can signup at www.bigislandchocolatefestival.com.

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

Also available is an inclusive Chocolate Lovers package that includes 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.