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Creative Lab Hawaii Music Immersive Program Now Accepting Applications

The state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism’s (DBEDT) Creative Industries Division (CID)’s Creative Lab Hawaii (CLH) Music Immersive Program is now accepting applications.

The program will be held from Sept. 11 – 15, 2017, immediately following the Hawaii Songwriting Festival at the Hapuna Prince Hotel on Hawaii Island. Professional and aspiring local songwriters interested in applying for CLH’s second annual Music Immersive Program must submit applications by Friday, July 28.

“We’re thrilled to once again support the Music Immersive Program, connecting our tremendous local talent to prestigious mentors and new markets,” said DBEDT Director, Luis P. Salaveria. “This program is part of our overall growth strategy to grow our local talent and create new jobs.”

“This program allows participants to empower and expand their creative horizons,” said Georja Skinner, division chief, DBEDT’s Creative Industries Division and founder of CLH.  “We look forward to seeing our talent elevate their craft through an intensive collaboration process, as well as access industry insights into additional avenues for monetizing and protecting their work.”

Under the direction of Grammy and Na Hoku Hanohano Award-winner, Charles M. Brotman, the CLH Music Immersive Program will provide attendee songwriters with the opportunity to co-write and produce songs for a specific TV or film project each day of the immersive, working alongside world-class music supervisors, producers, songwriters and executives.

In addition to composing, participants will gain a deeper understanding of music licensing, publishing, intellectual property protection, and other aspects of the business. Following the completion of the 5-day Immersive program, attendees will receive year-round mentoring support.

“We’re offering Hawaii’s songwriters the tools to build and strengthen their business and mentorship networks,” explains Charles Brotman. “The CLH Music Immersive is truly a one-of-a-kind, hands-on learning process. It pushes our participants’ creativity to new heights while providing perspective into the business behind the creation process.”

Admittance to the program is competitive and for serious songwriters only, with the inaugural year of CLH’s music immersive including talented local artists such as 2016 Na Hoku Hanohano award-winning musician, Kimie Miner, and 2017 Na Hoku Hanohano nominee, Izik Moreno. A majority of the participants at last year’s Immersive have since had work licensed by major entertainment studios after making connections through the Program.

Eleven applicants will be selected to participate in the free immersive program. Selected participants will need to cover personal expenses, including transportation, lodging and meals. To be considered for the CLH Music Immersive Program, an applicant must be a member of a Performing Rights Organization (ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, etc.), have some co-writing experience and have attended an industry conference. For a full list of requirements and to apply, go to: http://creativelab.hawaii.gov/accelerator-program/immersive-program/music-immersive/ or email cb@lavatracks.com.

About DBEDT (Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism)

DBEDT is Hawaii’s resource center for economic and statistical data, business development opportunities, energy and conservation information, and foreign trade advantages. DBEDT’s mission is to achieve a Hawaii economy that embraces innovation and is globally competitive, dynamic and productive, providing opportunities for all Hawaii’s citizens. Through its attached agencies, the department fosters planned community development, creates affordable workforce housing units in high-quality living environments, and promotes innovation sector job growth.

About CID (Creative Industries Division)

CID, a division within DBEDT, is the state’s lead agency dedicated to advocating for and accelerating the growth of Hawaii’s Creative Economy.  Through initiatives, program development, and strategic partnerships, the division and its branches implements activities to expand the business development, global export and investment capacity of Hawaii’s arts, culture, music, film, literary, publishing, digital and new media industries.

About the Creative Lab Hawaii Program

The Creative Lab Hawaii (CLH) Program was founded in 2012 by the Hawaii State Department of Business, Economic, Development and Tourism (DBEDT)’s Creative Industries Division to accelerate the growth of Hawaii’s creative entrepreneurs through immersive, hands-on training in broadband/new media, producing, screenwriting, interactive media, music and design/fashion.  The CLH Program, a key facet of DBEDT’s HI Growth Initiative, is developing an ecosystem to increase export, attract investment and build the State’s creative entrepreneurial capacity. The CLH Program features three program components: 1) Immersive Programs; 2) Ideation Workshops; and 3) Public Keynotes.

Transpac Fully Underway – Many Hawaii Connections Tied to Today’s Start

The 2017 biennial Transpac sailing race from California to Hawaii is now fully underway. The final three divisions with the fastest and biggest boats, including two 100-footers among them and a fleet of five multihulls, crossed the starting line this afternoon with hopes of breaking records in the 2,225-mile journey from Point Fermin on the Los Angeles coast to Diamond Head on Oahu.


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

In 1977, Merlin set an elapsed time record of 8 days 11 hours 1 min. This record would stand for 20 years until it was broken in the 1997 race by Pyewacket, a Santa Cruz 70 ultralight also designed by Bill Lee, with an elapsed time record of 7 days 11 hours 41 minutes 27 seconds. The record fell once again in 2005, with Hasso Plattner’s Morning Glory, a maxZ86 from Germany. Morning Glory was the scratch boat when it led a five-boat assault on the record for monohulls. She finished the race in 6 days 16 hours 4 minutes 11 seconds to win the “Barn Door” trophy, a slab of carved koa wood traditionally awarded to the monohull with the fastest elapsed time.

In a class of their own, Phaedo3, Mighty Merloe, Maserati and others are all going for a course record. If the record should fall, one of these boats will cross the Diamond Head buoy at the lighthouse this coming Monday, July 10, arriving in Hawaii in under 4 days. The current unofficial course record set my Phaedo3 this past May is 3 days 16 hours 52 min 3 sec.

The other divisions of smaller boats set out on Monday and Wednesday. For more information on how to get involved, attend the functions surrounding the race and/or to track the race live (four-hour delay), visit the Transpac website at www.2017.transpacyc.com. Contact PR Chair Janet M. Scheffer at 808-521-1160 for any inquiries.

10,000 Attend Waikiki 4th of July Floatilla – Rep. Ing Response

The Coast Guard and local authorities wrapped up a busy Fourth of July holiday handling multiple incidents off Waikiki, Tuesday.

Coast Guard crews partnering with Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources, Ocean Safety and Lifeguard Services and the Honolulu Police Department, rescued more than 30 persons in the water.

The Coast Guard and local authorities wrapped up a busy Fourth of July holiday handling multiple incidents off Waikiki, July 4, 2017. Coast Guard crews partnering with Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources, Ocean Safety and Lifeguard Services and the Honolulu Police Department, rescued more than 30 persons in the water. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Keith Ito/Released)

“Our overall objective yesterday was to ensure everyone was safe on the water and to deter possible violations of federal, state and local law,” said Lt. j.g. Brian Waters, Coast Guard Sector Honolulu Enforcement. “Our crews worked closely with HPD, DLNR and Ocean Safety to assist in the rescue of over 30 persons in the water, which included multiple intoxicated and underage youths.”

It is illegal to operate a boat while under the influence of alcohol or drugs in every state. Penalties for violating BUI/BWI laws can include large fines, suspension or revocation of boat operator privileges and jail terms.

An estimated 10,000 people were in attendance for the floatilla celebration, which included numerous personnel in various types of watercraft from motorized boats, kayaks, canoes, dinghies to inflatable floats.

Coast Guard crews also recovered over 100 inflatable floats to prevent future unnecessary search and rescue cases.

Sector Honolulu crews dispatched a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium boatcrew from Station Honolulu and four 25-foot Response Boat-Small boatcrews from Maritime Safety and Security Team Honolulu (91107) to conduct safety and security patrols throughout the day.

“We want to thank our state partners for their close coordination and assistance with the floatilla,” said Waters. “The joint effort highlights the importance of our partnership for these large holiday events.”

Representative Kaniela Ing, Chair of the House Committee on Ocean, Marine Resources & Hawaiian Affairs, responds to the July 4 Floatilla event:

Rep. Kaniela Ing

“Reports of yesterday’s ‘Floatilla’ event are alarming. I know that the Department of Land and Natural Resources and city officials have attempted to address this issue in the past, but it has taken a turn for the worse,” said Rep. Kaniela Ing (D-11, Kihei, Wailea, Makena). “Organizers have had numerous chances to clean it up and keep attendees safe, but nothing has changed for the better. We are talking about public underage drinking, trash on our beaches and in our waters, 10 young people being rushed to the hospital, one 19-year-old woman in critical condition, and lifeguards having to rescue over 100 event goers, all during one party. Look, I’m young, and am all for having fun responsibly, but this has crossed way over the line.”

Ing believes that certain legal loopholes might make enforcement by city officials or DLNR impossible, and it is up to the legislature to amend the law. He plans to explore the issue by introducing and hearing a bill led by the committee he leads.

Transpacific Yacht Race 2017 Begins – Organizers Expecting a Record-Breaking Year

Today, dozens of boats will make the 2,225-mile journey from Point Fermin in Los Angeles to Diamond Head in the 49th biennial Transpacific Yacht Race, more commonly known as Transpac. There are currently 55 monohull and multihull entries from the U.S., Japan, Australia, Norway, Italy, Canada, Peru, England and Russia, ranging in size from 33 to 100 feet. There will be three separate waves that start today, Wednesday and Thursday.

“This year’s race attracted a strong turnout of new racers, including Ken Read with his 100-footer Comanche, navigated by well-known racer Stan Honey,” said Bo Wheeler, Commodore of the Transpacific and Kaneohe yacht clubs. “Read and crew will be seeking to add another elapsed time race record to Comanche’s outstanding record inventory. Weather permitting, Comanche will try to beat the current monohull course record of 5 days 14 hours 36 minutes 20 seconds, set by Alpha Romeo in 2005, and have her name recorded permanently on the Transpacific Honolulu Race Elapsed Time Trophy that was created and donated by Transpac veteran Roy Disney.”

Wheeler said that Manouch Moshayedi’s 100-foot, fixed keel Rio 100 is back to defend and break her 2015 Barn Door Trophy victory for the first to finish monohull to cross the Diamond Head buoy. He added that the current multihull course record is also expected to be broken by contenders that include Lloyd Thornburg’s Phaedo3 and H L Enloe’s ORMA60 Mighty Merloe, among others. The bulk of the rest of the fleet will be competing for corrected time trophies in their classes.

Transpac was originally inspired by King David Kalakaua to initiate the islands’ economic and cultural ties to the mainland. His yacht, Healani, won the first Challenge Trophy on July 4, 1889. During the years that the king was an active yachting enthusiast, it was his custom to invite the skippers and crews of the competing boats to join him at his boat house following the July 4 race.  He would fill the Challenge Trophy, as it was originally named, with champagne and pass it around for all to enjoy; hence the trophy’s colloquial name—the Kalakaua Cup.
​​
There is currently one entry from Hawaii: last Transpac winner, Grand Illusion, skippered by James McDowell. In 1999, 2011 and 2015, McDowell and Grand Illusion won the King Kalakaua Trophy, which is awarded to the first place overall yacht in corrected time.

There will be traditional Aloha Welcoming parties as each boat crosses the finish line and a variety of celebratory events for all participants. (Full Transpac Race 2017 Event Schedule below.) The prestigious King Kalakaua Cup and other trophies will be handed out at the Honolulu Awards Ceremony at The Modern Honolulu ballroom on Friday, July 21.

Aloha Grown “Malama Honua Fund” Awards Five (5) Big Island Schools and Organizations

On Wednesday, June 28, 2017, five (5) Big Island schools and organizations were presented with a 2017 Aloha Grown Malama Honua Award. Each organization received a $500 award to put towards a specific project or program that embodies Aloha Grown’s philosophy to ‘Support Local, Sustain the Aina & Share the Aloha.’

From left to right: Camille Kalahiki (Manager – Parker Ranch Store), Joe Vitorino (Program Director – Kohala Youth Ranch), Tina Doherty (Head of Parker Middle School), Jenny Bach (“Farm to School” Coordinator/Garden Teacher – Laupahoehoe Community Public Charter School) and Randy Kurohara (President & Owner – Aloha Grown and Parker Ranch Store).

“Here at Aloha Grown, we are committed to supporting efforts to care for our island, our people and our culture,” said Randy Kurohara, President and Owner of Aloha Grown. “That is why 2% of every Aloha Grown sale goes to our Malama Honua Fund, which annually awards local nonprofits, schools, organizations and initiatives that embody our philosophy. This year we received a number of applications and essays from many well-deserving organizations.”

Parker Ranch Store Manager Camille Kalahiki noted, “it was inspiring to see how many organizations are committed to sustainability efforts in our Big Island communities.”

From left to right: Aunty Bev (Aloha Grown employee), Jason Wong (Principal – Na Wai Ola Public Charter School), Stephanie Olson-Moore (Third Grade Kumu – Na Wai Ola Public Charter School), John Lyle School (Parent – Volcano School of Arts & Sciences), Kalima Cayir (Principal – Volcano School of Arts & Sciences) and Randy Kurohara (President & Owner – Aloha Grown and Parker Ranch Store).

The Malama Honua Fund award application process included a one-page essay explaining how the organization follows Aloha Grown’s philosophy, as well as a description of the project/program that the $500 award would be used to fund. All essays were thoroughly reviewed by an Aloha Grown selection committee.

Congratulations to the 2017 Malama Honua Award Winners! We applaud you for your dedication to sustainability efforts on the Big Island!

  • Parker School & Waimea Elementary School – “Kihapai Ho`oulu” Project
  • Kohala Youth Ranch – “Equine-Assisted Therapy” Program
  • Laupahoehoe Community Public Charter School – “Farm to School” Program Hydroponics & Aquaponics Systems
  • Volcano School of Arts and Sciences – “Kalo Garden” Project
  • Na Wai Ola Public Charter School – “Third Grade Composting” Project

NOAA and DLNR Ask People’s Cooperation to Keep Distance from Mother Seal and Pup on Waikiki Beach

Marine resource protection officials are asking the public’s cooperation to keep their distance and avoid disturbing a Hawaiian monk seal mother and her newborn pup on the popular Kaimana beach at Waikiki.

Some time overnight the female monk seal known as “Rocky” or RH58, gave birth to a seal at the far Diamond Head end of Kaimana beach. She had been seen frequenting that area in recent days. Volunteers from the Hawaii Marine Mammals Alliance Oahu group have set up a safety perimeter with ropes and signage to keep viewers a safe distance away to avoid disturbing the mother seal and her pup. It’s also important for human safety since a mother seal may charge anyone that gets too close on the beach or in the water that might be viewed as a threat.

Volunteers will keep watch in shifts and provide education and outreach information to beachgoers over the approximately 5 to 7 weeks while the pup is weaned and eventually able to forage for food on its own.

According to Angela Amlin, NOAA Hawaiian Monk Seal Recovery Program Coordinator, this is the 10th pup for RH58, but the first one to be born on Oahu. The other nine were born on Kauai. She said, “Our first concern is for human safety. People should stay behind the ropes on the beach and avoid swimming near the seals. It’s also important not to attempt to approach or interact with the seals, or try to feed them, which could habituate them to human contact and could lead to future problems.”

NOAA staff are contacting condominium and hotel managers, also Ocean Safety lifeguards in the vicinity for cooperation to mark off the area so the seals may rest undisturbed. Monk seals are protected under state and federal laws.

Kristen Kelly, DLNR’s Division of Aquatic Resources Marine Wildlife program assistant, says, “It is a really exciting event to have a pup born in such a popular and highly traveled area. It is also a concern for us here at DLNR. It is important to respect these animals especially a mother seal giving protective care to her pup. It is very important to give the pair space and respect in this vulnerable time. Take care to remain behind the barriers and head more to the ‘ewa side of the beach to enter and exit the water while the pair is here. Take special care in the water near the mother seal — there have been several instances of mothers protecting their pups from a perceived threat in the water, and attacking even if their baby is on shore. We advise staying out of the water on that side of the beach until the pair leaves. Try to remain at least 150 feet away in the water.”

She further adds, “We want people to enjoy viewing these special animals but please watch from a respectful distance! When observing these highly endangered species let’s do the right thing: take care and respect the seals, avoid sudden noise or any disturbance that could cause the mom to leave unexpectedly before she should. She needs to stay with the pup until it is ready to go out on its own. We also don’t want these wild animals to become conditioned to humans being nearby or trying to feed them. Please allow a respectful distance from seals so their pups can grow up naturally.”

VIEWING TIPS:

  • Please stay behind any ropes or fencing and follow instructions from personnel stationed on the beach.
  • Enjoy seeing and photographing these magnificent creatures from outside the safety perimeter, clearly marked by signs and ropes.
  • Hawaiian monk seals, even pups, are large powerful animals and can bite if they feel threatened. Keep a safe distance away.
  • Anyone who witnesses someone harassing or harming the seals may make a report to the DLNR Enforcement line at 643-DLNR (643-3567) or the NOAA Office of Law Enforcement Hotline at 888-256-9840
  • In addition, harassing these mammals is against both federal and state law.  So please do your part to help our Hawaiian monk seals thrive and survive.

It’s becoming more common for monk seals to haul out on beaches popular with people. After a mother seal and her pup showed up just before Memorial Day 2017 on Mokulua North (Moku Nui) offshore islet, Kailua kayak rental companies began showing a DLNR-produced safety video to customers. Kayak renters are also asked to read a card that lists safe monk seal viewing protocols.

AirAsia X Touches Down in Honolulu – Inaugural Flight Marks Successful Entry Into the U.S.

Flight D7 001 from long-haul low-cost carrier AirAsia X landed at Honolulu International Airport on June 28, marking the airline’s first foray into the US.

(PRNewsfoto/AirAsia X)

The four times weekly route departed from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for Honolulu, Hawaii via Osaka, Japan.

The successful inaugural flight was followed by a celebration and press conference event at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, graced by State of Hawaii Chief of Staff Mike McCartney; Malaysian Ambassador to the US HE Tan Sri Dr Zulhasnan Rafique; Hawaii Tourism Authority President and CEO George D. Szigeti; AirAsia X Chairperson Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz and AirAsia X CEO Benyamin Ismail.

AirAsia X Chairperson Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz said, “We are here to democratize air travel for everyone so flying long haul would no longer be a luxury only a few could enjoy. This landmark route to Hawaii is a bold new chapter in that quest to help more people travel farther for less. But this is just the beginning, and soon our guests will be able to enjoy flights to even more destinations in the US as we continue to grow our international footprint.”

Last week, AirAsia was named the World’s Best Low Cost Airline for the ninth straight years while AirAsia X won the World’s Best Low Cost Airline Premium Cabin and Premium Seat awards for the fifth consecutive year at the Skytrax World Airline Awards held at the Paris Air Show.

“We are deeply honored AirAsia X has chosen Honolulu as its initial destination to expand service in the United States and appreciate how this route strengthens our ties with the people and culture of Malaysia,” said George D. Szigeti, President and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority. “AirAsia X customers in Kuala Lumpur and Osaka will enjoy the convenience of this direct service and how it connects them with the welcoming aloha spirit of the Hawaiian culture, the spectacular natural beauty of our islands, and the diversity of Asia Pacific influences that enriches the experience of being in Hawaii.”

To celebrate the inaugural flight, AirAsia X will be offering one-way fares from as low as USD189* for a standard seat or USD799* for the award-winning Premium Flatbed from Honolulu to Kuala Lumpur; or USD149* for a standard seat or USD699* for the Premium Flatbed from Honolulu to Osaka. These promotional fares are available on airasia.com now through July 2 for travel between October 1, 2017 and August 28, 2018.

The capital city of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur is known around the world for its iconic, modern skyline featuring the Petronas Twin Towers. The city is a major shopping haven for tourists and its multi-cultural culinary scene attracts visitors from across the globe. Outside the city limits, Kuala Lumpur serves as a gateway to the UNESCO Heritage Site of Melaka, just about two hour’s drive away from the airport. No matter what your interests, it all happens in Kuala Lumpur.

Osaka is Japan’s third largest city located in the Kansai region. A city that loves to eat, Osaka’s unofficial slogan is kuidaore. which literally means ‘eat until you drop.’ Takoyaki (octopus balls), Okonomiyaki (pan-fried batter cake), udon and other traditional Japanese culinary are some of the must-try food in Osaka. Visitor can stroll along the river at Dotombori and take a selfie with the famous Glico billboard, visit the majestic Osaka Castle, enjoy the thrills at Universal Studio Japan and many more.

* One-way all-in fare inclusive of taxes and fees. Terms and conditions apply.

Flight Schedule for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (KUL) to Honolulu, Hawaii (HNL) via Osaka, Japan (KIX)

Note: All times listed are local unless otherwise stated.

Tickets on Sale for Hawaii Island United Way’s 2017 Evening in Paradise, Evening with Kalani Pe‘a

Tickets are now on sale for two events during Hawai‘i Island United Way’s biggest weekend of fundraising for the year. Proceeds from these events support 48 human service programs delivered by Hawai‘i Island United Way’s 38 partner agencies islandwide. These services touch three quarters of our island’s residents.

On Friday, July 7, join Hawai‘i Island United Way for an evening with Hawai‘i Island’s Grammy award winner Kalani Pe‘a. Kalani’s debut album “E Walea” quickly topped the charts on iTunes, and was recognized with the Grammy for Best Regional Roots Music Album and the Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award for Contemporary Album of the Year. Enjoy a gourmet dinner and cocktails at the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel while Kalani serenades the crowd with his contemporary Hawaiian soul stylings. Tickets are $175.

On Saturday, July 8, join our island’s finest chefs at Evening In Paradise at Mauna Lani Bay Hotel’s Hale Hoaaloha Pavilion, a gourmet grazing evening with ‘ono food, live entertainment by Vaughn Valentino, and a silent auction with donations from an array of local businesses. Restaurants and purveyors which have confirmed participation include Big Island Abalone, Huggo’s On The Rocks, Lava Lava Beach Club, Mai Grille, Mehana Brewing, Paradise Beverages, Romano’s Macaroni Grill, Roy’s Waikoloa, Seaside, Southern Wine & Spirits, The Fish Hopper, The Noodle Club, Tommy Bahama, Two Ladies Kitchen, Volcano Winery, and more. Tickets for Evening In Paradise are $100, or $50 for keiki 5-11.


Registrations are also still being accepted for the Mayor’s Cup Golf Tournament on July 7 and 8. For more information or to buy tickets, call Hawai‘i Island United Way at 935-6393 or visit HIUW.org/EIP for Evening In Paradise and HIUW.org/Kalani for Kalani Pe‘a.

Pu‘u Pua‘i Overlook Reopens to Public

The Pu‘u Pua‘i Overlook at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park has reopened after being closed since February to protect breeding nēnē (endangered Hawaiian geese) in the area.

A couple enjoys the newly reopened overlook. NPS Photos

During the closure, the nēnē parents successfully raised their single gosling and the family has now moved on to their summer grounds.

It’s been a decade since the last gosling was reared in the vicinity, and that nēnē is the grandfather of this year’s gosling, according to Kathleen Misajon, wildlife biologist at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.

The young nēnē gosling and its parents near Pu‘u Pua‘i ​Overlook on Feb. 6, 2017

“This year’s gosling was the fifth generation of the same nēnē family I’ve monitored over the years. After a 10-year hiatus, it is really exciting to see this female return to a favored family spot,” Misajon said.

In 1952, only 30 nēnē remained statewide.  In the 1970s, Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park began efforts to save the species from extinction. Today, more than 250 wild birds thrive in the park from sea level to around 8,000 feet. There are more than 2,500 nēnē statewide.

During the closure, the park’s facilities maintenance team made improvements to the popular deck, which overlooks Kīlauea Iki crater and trail. Missing boards were replaced, and the deck was painted prior to the reopening.

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park facilities maintenance team repairs Pu‘u Pua‘i Overlook prior to the reopening.

Pu‘u Pua‘i is a massive reddish-brown cindercone that formed during an eruption at Kīlauea Iki crater in 1959. It is visible from many areas along Crater Rim and Kīlauea Iki trails.

Duane Rapoza Jr. Selected East Hawaii Aloha Exchange Club’s Officer of the Month

Officer Duane Rapoza, Jr. (4-year police veteran) has been selected as the East Hawaiʻi Aloha Exchange Club’s June 2017 Officer of the Month. Officer Rapoza was selected for singlehandedly locating and arresting two individuals in high profile cases, the most recent being a person who had fled the scene of a fatal traffic collision, the other being a highly elusive car thief in a brand new stolen vehicle.

Officer Duane Rapoza, Jr.

On (May 17) at around 9:00 p.m. Officer Rapoza and other officers responded to a two-vehicle crash on Highway 130 near Pōhaku Drive, one vehicle was reported to be fully engulfed in flames. Upon Officer Rapoza’s arrival he confirmed it was a fatal traffic crash with a 1990 Toyota Pickup laying on its side, and that the driver of the responsible 2003 Mazda sedan had been observed walking away and lea ving the area.

Officer Rapoza conducted witness interviews, and then advised other officers of his intent to make checks for the registered owner of the vehicle. Officer Rapoza proceeded to the home of the registered owner and successfully located the 26-year-old male, apprehending him before any other officer’s arrival.

On (January 21) at around noon Officer Rapoza was dispatched to a suspicious vehicle report on Amaumau Road in Volcano. Arriving in the area and while conducting checks, he was flagged down by a resident who related there was suspicious activity at a vacant property located up the road. Officer Rapoza drove to the entrance to the property and discretely parked his vehicle at the beginning of the driveway electing to proceed solo on foot through the thick, overgrown foliage. Upon walking up the driveway, Officer Rapoza observed a new white Subaru WRX sedan within the carport of the home and a male and female loading items into the trunk of the vehicle.

As the two individuals become aware of his presence, they immediately dove into the vehicle and attempted to flee, reversing rapidly out of the carport but losing control crashing into some bushes. The occupants then bolted off on foot into a thick, grassy field toward some bushes, Officer Rapoza immediately chased after them and caught the male on the uneven, grassy terrain, after a short struggle he was able to safely apprehend him. The female was able to get away.

As a result of Officer Rapoza’s actions the stolen 2017 Subaru (taken from a car dealership in Kona earlier that week) was recovered, Officer Rapoza additionally recovered a stolen motorcycle, and parts from another stolen Subaru which were discovered in the carport of the vacant residence.

Through his continued actions, Officer Rapoza exemplifies the ʻPolice Department Core Values of Integrity, Professionalism, Compassion, Teamwork and Community Satisfaction.

Calling All Wahine Anglers! World’s Largest Ladies Billfish Tournament Starts Saturday, July 29th

Celebrating twenty-two years, the legendary Huggo’s Wahine Tournament an all-women fishing tournament, starts fishing Saturday, July 29. Highly competitive wahine (women) fish for cash prizes awarded to the teams with the largest marlin/billfish weighing more than 300 pounds.

Every year, this fun tournament has a theme that sets the spirit of the weekend. Huggo’s Wahine Tournament anglers have the opportunity of winning great prizes for the best-decorated boat and best costumed team. “Disney Characters” is this year’s theme and fairytales, neverland, mermaids and maybe even Captain Hook will be spotted as fun costumes make their appearance throughout the weekend fun. Don’t be frozen out of the fun. Hurry, Huggo’s Wahine Tournament is limited to 75 teams!

Entry forms are available on line at www.huggos.com.

Interested teams, volunteers, and sponsors are encouraged to contact Tournament Director Sue Vermillion at (808) 329-2840.

Hawai‘i Electric Light Company Supports Ku‘ikahi School Mediation Program

The non-profit Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center received a $1,500 grant from Hawai‘i Electric Light Company to support its East Hawai‘i Peer Mediation Elementary School Program.  The program brings conflict resolution and prevention skills to students, developing peacemakers in East Hawai‘i schools.

“I have learned as a Peer Mediator to let the students solve their own problems and not be rude and disrespectful.  I improved my communication and behavior by not interrupting conversations and to be patient when people are talking,” said fifth grader Caleilah-Estelle Ahyee.  “I am proud to be a Peer Mediator because I can make the world better.”

Keonepoko Elementary School fifth grader Caleilah-Estelle Ahyee in school year 2016-2017

During the 2016-2017 school year, 42 fourth, fifth, and sixth graders were trained on how to mediate disputes among students at Kapiolani and Keonepoko elementary schools.  In the coming school year, Mountain View will also participate.

“We appreciate Hawai‘i Electric Light’s ongoing commitment to working with local charities and other non-profit organizations toward a vision of a better Hawai‘i,” said Ku‘ikahi Executive Director Julie Mitchell.

“Peer mediation directly contributes to Hawai‘i Electric Light’s focus on community programs aimed at promoting educational excellence.  Our East Hawai‘i Peer Mediation Program helps keiki reach their full potential,” Mitchell stated.

Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center’s mission is to empower people to come together–to talk and to listen, to explore options, and to find their own best solutions.  To achieve this mission, Ku‘ikahi offers mediation, facilitation, and training to strengthen the ability of diverse individuals and groups to resolve interpersonal conflicts and community issues.  For more information, call Ku‘ikahi at 935-7844 or visit www.hawaiimediation.org.

HTA Offers Funding to Programs Supporting Hawaiian Culture, Hawaii’s Natural Resources and Community-Based Events in 2018

The Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) announced today that funding support will be provided to qualified applicants for programs in 2018 that perpetuate Hawaiian culture, preserve Hawaii’s natural resources and present community-based festivals and events.


Funding will be awarded through a request for proposals (RFPs) process for three HTA programs, Kukulu Ola, Aloha Aina and Community Enrichment, which are offered to help improve the quality of life for residents and enhance the visitor experience for tourists.

“How we celebrate the Hawaiian culture, protect our environment, and share our way of life in communities is key to Hawaii’s future and why we place such importance in supporting groups and individuals committed to these ideals,” said George D. Szigeti, HTA president and CEO. “These programs help guide how our communities embrace sustainability and uphold the qualities that make the Hawaiian Islands such a magnificent place to live and visit.”

The three programs that HTA has issued RFPs for and will provide funding support to qualified applicants statewide in 2018 are as follows.

  • Kukulu Ola (RFP 17-13): HTA is supporting programs that enhance, strengthen and help to perpetuate the Hawaiian culture by cultural practitioners, craftsmen, musicians and artists.
  • Aloha Aina (RFP 17-14): HTA is supporting programs that help preserve and enhance the quality of Hawaii’s treasured natural resources for the enjoyment of current and future generations.
  • Community Enrichment (RFP 17-12): HTA is supporting community-oriented programs, festivals and special events promoting culture, education, health and wellness, nature, agriculture, sports, technology and “voluntourism” for the enjoyment of residents and visitors.

The deadline for applicants to submit proposals to HTA seeking funding support for their programs in any of the three categories is Friday, August 4, at 4:30 p.m.

Program applications are available at HTA’s website at www.hawaiitourismauthority.org/about-hta/rfps.

All inquiries should be directed to Ronald Rodriguez, HTA procurement officer, via email at contracting@gohta.net or by phone at (808) 973-9449.

RFP Information Sessions HTA is hosting public information sessions on all islands about the application and award process for the RFPs at the following locations. Interested applicants are encouraged to attend and ask questions about receiving funding support.

  • Oahu – Wednesday, July 5, 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. , Hawaii Convention Center, Emalani Theatre, 1801 Kalakaua Avenue, Honolulu
  • Kauai – Thursday, July 6, 3:00 – 5:00 p.m., Lihue Civic Center, Piikoi Building, Meeting Rooms A & B, 4444 Rice Street, Lihue Friday, July 7, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
  • Kona – West Hawaii Civic Center, Building A, Council Chambers, 74-5044 Ane Keohokalole Highway, Kailua-KonaFriday, July 7, 2:30 – 5:30 p.m.
  • Hilo – County of Hawaii Aging and Disability Resource Center, Training Room, 1055 Kinoole Street, Suite #101, HiloTuesday, July 11, 9:00 – 11:00 a.m.Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Building D
  • Molokai – Tuesday, July 11, 9:00 – 11:00 a.m., Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Building D600,  Maunaloa Highway, Kaunakakai
  • Maui – Monday, July 17, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., Maui Arts and Cultural Center, Alexa Higashi Room, 1 Cameron Way, Kahului
  • Lanai – Monday, July 17, 4:00 – 6:00 p.m., Lanai Cultural and Heritage Center, 730 Lanai Avenue, #126, Lanai City

McDonald’s of Hawaii to Start Serving Lobster Rolls for a Limited Time

McDonald’s Restaurants of Hawaii is giving lobster lovers a reason to celebrate. Starting June 28, McDonald’s of Hawaii will be selling the popular Lobster Roll in stores for a limited time. The Lobster Roll is made with 100 percent real North Atlantic lobster, mixed with mayonnaise dressing, and served atop crisp leaf and shredded lettuce on a buttered, toasted roll. A huge hit on the East Coast, McDonald’s of Hawaii is confident local residents will also enjoy the tasty sandwich.

“Hawaii residents are seafood lovers, so when the opportunity to bring the Lobster Roll to Hawaii arose, we knew we had to get onboard,” said Miles Ichinose, McDonald’s Restaurants of Hawaii owner/operator. “This is the first time in our company’s 49-year history of doing business in Hawaii that we will be serving the Lobster Roll and we look forward to sharing this unique sandwich with our customers.”

This summertime special is priced at $9.99 at participating restaurants and will only be here for a limited time, through the end of July or while supplies last. Each Lobster Roll is 290 calories and made with 100 percent all-natural lobster meat, with no additives or preservatives.

“Our lobster meat is a quality artisan product caught by veteran lobster fishermen, and is similar to what you would find at top seafood restaurants around the world,” said Ichinose. “We are constantly listening to what our customers are requesting and then responding by introducing unique quality menu items. We are confident the Lobster Roll will meet their expectations.”

To celebrate the launch of the Lobster Roll, McDonald’s of Hawaii will be hosting a social media contest that will begin at 8 a.m. on July 4. Customers can enter the contest on Facebook or Twitter by simply snapping a photo of themselves eating a Lobster Roll at McDonald’s. The first 10 customers who share their selfies on Facebook and Twitter will win a Lobster Roll prize pack (valued at $30) when they use the hashtags #LovinLobsterRollHawaii and #Sweepstakes. Winners will be notified by 5 p.m. on July 10, 2017. They will have seven days, until July 17, 2017 at 5 p.m., to claim their prize. For official rules and store information, please visit any of our 74 McDonald’s of Hawaii Facebook pages, our McDonald’s of Hawaii Twitter account, or: goo.gl/M9nt9Y.

Early Bird Registration for the 2017 Global Tourism Summit Now Available

Early-bird registration offering flexible discounted rates is now available for the 2017 Global Tourism Summit, being presented by the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA), Sept. 19-21.   Participants can register via the dedicated website, www.globaltourismsummithawaii.com, and choose from one of several options to attend the conference being held at the Hawaii Convention Center in Honolulu.


Sustainability is the theme of this year’s summit and how it is incorporated in the future of tourism will be a featured topic of the presentations. The significance of Hawaiian culture, global marketing, technology and innovation will also be highlighted in presentations and panel discussions, with the collective focus on improving tourism in Hawaii and abroad.

George D. Szigeti, HTA president and CEO, said, “The core objective of the Global Tourism Summit is the collaboration and sharing of knowledge to make tourism stronger and better for the Hawaiian Islands and the industry as a whole. Tourism has stakeholders in all walks of life and all around the world and we are encouraging anyone interested in seeing this global industry succeed to participate in the summit, share their insight, and be part of this greater effort for everyone’s future benefit.”

Early-bird registration is available through July 31 for the following discounted rates:

  • Individuals: Full Conference, Sept. 19-21: $325, a savings of $70
  • Groups of 8 or More: Full Conference, Sept. 19-21: $300 per person, a savings of $65 per person (Groups can mix and match different attendees during the conference)
  • Student and Faculty Members: Full Conference, Sept. 19-21: $150
  • Individuals, Partial Conference, Sept. 19-20: $275
  • Individuals, Partial Conference, Sept. 20-21: $265

“We want to be flexible and provide interested attendees, especially those from Hawaii, with options that allow them to participate in the Global Tourism Summit in a way that best meshes with their daily work responsibilities,” said Szigeti.

Information on sponsorship and exhibitor opportunities is also available online at the dedicated website. A complete listing of sessions, programs and speakers will be added in the coming weeks.

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

VIDEO: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Addresses Opening Session of the 2017 World Youth Congress

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) addressed hundreds of young leaders from Hawaiʻi and around the globe at the opening session of the 2017 World Youth Congress today. Inspired by the Worldwide Voyage of Hōkūleʻa, the 2017 World Youth Congress will be addressing issues from the 2016 International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Conservation Congress and exploring the theme “Reconnecting to our Ancestral Roots to build Sustainable Communities.”

In her remarks, the congresswoman spoke about how successful examples of sustainability throughout history, like the ahupuaʻa system developed by the Native Hawaiians, can continue to inspire policies and communities worldwide today. She also encouraged the delegates of the World Youth Congress and other attendees to continue the mission of the Hōkūleʻa—Mālama Honua—by finding ways to care for each other and the planet in their daily lives.

Addressing the delegates, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard said, “Our ancestors taught us basic principles of sustainability and conservation—replenishing what we take, putting need over greed, and giving back to our home. These lessons gifted to us throughout history are just as timely and relevant now as ever before, and they must frame our path in the future.”

Background: Yesterday, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard attended the Hōkūleʻa Homecoming Ceremony and Celebration at Magic Island, where she joined thousands of families, students, educators, sustainability organizations, ocean conservationists, voyaging waʻa groups, residents and visitors from around the world in welcoming the Hōkūleʻa, her sister Hikianalia, and their crew home to Hawaiʻi. The congresswoman will return to Washington, DC on Monday, June 19 for votes in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Democratic Party of Hawaii Remarks on Hokule’a Homecoming

Tomorrow, (Saturday) June 17th, members of the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i (DPH) will join the thousands of Hawai‘i residents at Magic Island to honor the iconic voyaging canoe Hōkūle‘a as it concludes its epic three-year sail connecting cultures and people around the world and returns home to the Hawaiian Islands.

The Democratic Party of Hawai‘i fully supported the mission of the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage to weave a lei of hope around the world through sharing indigenous wisdom, groundbreaking conservation and preservation initiatives, creating global relationships, and discovering the wonders of Island Earth.

“The support and recognition of the voyaging spirit of the Hawaiian people is reflected in our platform, the proud history of our Hawaiian Affairs caucus, and even in the logo of our state party,” said DPH Chair Tim Vandeveer. “We honor and celebrate the achievements of all the Hōkūle‘a ‘ohana and welcome them home.”

The DPH Hawaiian Affairs Caucus has helped to share a set of FAQs that were developed in consultation with the Polynesian Voyaging Society and the KS Hoʻokahua Cultural Vibrancy Group and invited members to participate in tomorrow’s ceremonies by doing the mele located at: www.kanaeokana.net/hokulea. https://www.facebook.com/HawaiiDems/ For more information contact: tim@hawaiidemocrats.org

Officer Joshua Baumgarner Presented With “Bronze Medal of Merit”

Officer Joshua Baumgarner was presented with a Bronze Medal of Merit yesterday (June 15) by Hawaiʻi Police Chief Paul K. Ferreira. The Officer’s wife and daughter were by his side to share his special moment.

On September 23, 2016, Officer Baumgarner and Officer Roberto Segobia responded to a report of a home accident in the Hawaiian Beaches Subdivision in the District of Puna. Upon arriving, the victim’s husband reported that his wife was bleeding extensively from several lacerations on her right forearm and upper arm. Officer Baumgarner saw that the victim was pale and laying in a pool of blood.

Using his knowledge as a Combat Medic in the Hawaiʻi National Guard, he quickly and calmly applied direct pressure to the victim’s bronchial artery to control the bleeding and elevated her feet to prevent shock. He reassured her that she was going to be okay and continued to maintain pressure to control the bleeding. When the Hawaiʻi Fire Department Medic Unit arrived, they transported the victim to the Hilo Medical Center for further treatment. Personnel from the Hawaiʻi Fire Department Medic Unit confirmed that the outcome of the situation would have potentially been different if not for the first aid treatment Officer Baumgarner provided.

“With deep and heartfelt appreciation, the Hawaiʻi Police Department is pleased to award you with a Bronze Medal of Merit for your heroic and selfless act. Another display of the Police Department Core Values of Integrity, Professionalism, Compassion, Teamwork, and Community Satisfaction, said the Chief.”

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park’s July 2017 Events

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park continues its tradition of sharing Hawaiian culture and After Dark in the Park (ADIP) programs with the public throughout 2017. In addition, the community is invited to lend a hand to save native rainforest through the park’s  Stewardship at the Summit (SAS) volunteer program.

ADIP, SAS and Hawaiian cultural programs are free, but entrance fees apply. Programs are co-sponsored by Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park and Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association. Mark the calendar for these upcoming events:

Stewardship at the Summit. Volunteers are needed to help remove invasive, non-native plant species that prevent native plants from growing in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Stewardship at the summit volunteer Heather removes invasive Himalayan ginger near Devastation Trail. NPS Photo/David Boyle

Wear sturdy hiking shoes and long pants. Bring a hat, raingear, day pack, snacks and water. Gloves and tools are provided. No advance registration is required for groups under six people, and there is no cost to participate, but park entrance fees apply. Visit the park website for details. Free, but park entrance fees apply.

  • When: July 1, 7, 15, 21 and 29 at 9 a.m.
  • Where: Meet project leaders at Kīlauea Visitor Center at 8:45 a.m. on any of the above dates.

37th Annual Hawaiian Cultural Festival & BioBlitz at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park! Everyone is invited to engage in authentic Hawaiian cultural practices and learn how Hawaiians live closely to the land as its stewards. Enjoy hula and music, watch skilled practitioners demonstrate their art, and try your hand at Hawaiian crafts. This year’s festival will again include a “BioBlitz,” a chance to join scientists and cultural practitioners and discover the biodiversity that thrives in the park.

  • When: Sat., July 8; Cultural Festival is 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; BioBlitz activites from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Where: Kīlauea Military Camp, about 1 ½ miles from the park entrance

What We Can Do Now to Data Recorded Way Back When. Now in its second century of operation, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) has fully embraced digital data recording and analysis. As technologies evolve, the challenge is to apply contemporary digital analysis techniques to historic paper seismic records. Join USGS HVO Geophysicist Paul Okubo as he describes a current look into seismograms from HVO’s first 100 years. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing After Dark in the Park series. Free, but park entrance fees apply.

  • When: Tues., July 11 at 7 p.m.
  • Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

Lei Making Demo. Join local cultural practitioner Pua O’Mahoney and learn to make traditional Hawaiian lei with natural materials that include leaves, flowers, and more. The beautiful and versatile Hawaiian lei is used for adornments, blessings, rituals, gifts and as an expression of love and celebration. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ‘Ike Hana No‘eau “Experience the Skillful Work” workshops. Free, but park entrance fees apply.

  • When: Wed., July 12 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
  • Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai

Nā Wai Chamber Choir Performs. Revel in music that honors the traditions, sacred places, mythology, and legacies of Hawaiʻi Island. Based in Honolulu, Nā Wai Chamber Choir is a professional women’s vocal ensemble that celebrates the works of women, preserves and propagates Native Hawaiian music both past and present, and champions innovative repertoire for treble voices. Dr. Jace Kaholokula Saplan leads the choir on their Moku o Keawe tour.  Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing After Dark in the Park series. Free, but park entrance fees apply.

  • When: Tues., July 18 at 7 p.m.
  • Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

Hālau Nā Pua o Uluhaimālama Performance. Hālau Nā Pua o Uluhaimālama, from Hawai‘i Island, is a hula dance troupe that perpetuates the culture and arts of hula.

They are led by Kumu Hula Emery Aceret, a student of the revered Kumu Hula Ray Fonseca, and they have participated in many notable hula competitions. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing Nā Leo Manu “Heavenly Voices” presentations. Free, but park entrance fees apply.

  • When: Wed., July 19 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

Vespers at Hānaiakamālama. Vespers at Hānaiakamālama is an amazing one-woman show on the life of Queen Emma. University of Hawai‘i-Hilo Performing Arts Graduate Denyse Woo-Ockerman brings the audience into Queen Emma’s home as she contemplates her eventual life, rich in family history and the weight of unexpected tragedy. Married to King Kamehameha IV, Alexander Liholiho, Emma reveals her resilience as they attempt to build, side-by-side, a better life for all Hawaiians, during a time of great change in the islands. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing After Dark in the Park series. Free, but park entrance fees apply.

  • When: Tues., July 25 at 7 p.m.
  • Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

‘Ohe Kāpala Demonstration. Learn to create designs from traditional patterns using bamboo stamps (‘ohe kāpala). Originally used to decorate clothing with symbolic meaning, we now use ‘ohe kāpala to tell stories on a wide variety of modern materials. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ‘Ike Hana No‘eau “Experience the Skillful Work” workshops. Free.

  • When: Wed., July 26 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
  • Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai

Big Island Chocolate Festival Awards $17,500 to Four Local Beneficiaries

Proceeds totaling $17,500 from the 2017 Big Island Chocolate Festival (BICF) were awarded to four local organizations at the event’s recent volunteer appreciation celebration.

Displaying their beneficiary checks with Kona Cacao Association President Farsheed Bonakdar (center) are from left: Ashley Pendergast of Waimea Country School’s Na Keiki Aloha ‘Aina program, Heidi Noche and Dana Mattos of Kona Dance & Performing Arts, Patti Kimball and Nem Lau of Kona Kohala Chefs Association’s high school culinary program and Kayla Strom and Ambi Diggins of Kona Pacific Public Charter School.

Presented by the Kona Cacao Association (KCA), the BICF is an annual, two-day event offering agricultural and culinary learning experiences and competitions, plus a gala celebration of chocolate. The mission of KCA is to promote the local cacao industry by presenting BICF as an educational and outreach opportunity for cacao farmers, the hospitality industry and cacao enthusiasts. KCA membership is open to anyone wanting to help create a recognizable brand for Hawai‘i Island chocolate.

Mahalo to 2017 BICF event sponsors: Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel, Guittard Chocolate Company, Prova, Valrohna USA, Cacao Barry, Barry Callebaut, ChoiceMART, Kona Auto Center, Dolphin Journeys, Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory, Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union, Amoretti, Cocoa Outlet, Kona Brewing Company, Young’s Market, Waialua Estate Coffee & Chocolate, XPress Reprographics, The Spoon Shop, Island Asphalt Maintenance, DHX, Island Air, Republica Del Cacao, The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i, Pivotal Shift Consulting Group, Hawaii Coffee Connection, First American Title and TheWave@92FM.  #BIChocoFest, #ChocolateGold

For more information, visit http://konacacaoassociation.com and www.bigislandchocolatefestival.com.