• Follow on Facebook

  • Breaking News

  • World Botanical Garden
  • Dolphin Quest Waikoloa
  • Discount Hawaii Car Rental
  • RSS Mayor Kenoi’s Blog

  • Say When

    May 2016
    S M T W T F S
    « Apr    
    1234567
    891011121314
    15161718192021
    22232425262728
    293031  
  • When

  • RSS Pulpconnection

  • Subscribe to Blog via Email

    Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Big Island Film Festival Announces Class of 2016 Award Winners

The 2016 Big Island Film Festival at the Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii announces the 2016 Award Winners:

Best Student Short: Breathe
Best Hawai’i Short: Surrender Call
Best Family Short: Rated
Best Foreign Short: Regression

Producers Milan Andrjasevic, Leanne Melissa Bishop and Michael P. Mason of the film "Regression". Milan was also the Director and writer.

Producers Milan Andrjasevic, Leanne Melissa Bishop and Michael P. Mason of the film “Regression”. Milan was also the Director and writer.

Best Short: Monty and the Runaway Furnace

Film Producer Vinnie Taranto from Florida. He produced the film "Monty and the Runaway Furnace"

Film Producer Vinnie Taranto from Florida. He produced the film “Monty and the Runaway Furnace”

The Barbara Award: New Generations
Best Foreign Feature: Psychoanalysis

James Raue

Film Director/Writer James Raue of Psychoanalysis

Best Hawai’i Feature: THROUPLE The Movie

Zoe Eisenberg and Phillips Payson from Throuple.

Zoe Eisenberg and Phillips Payson from Throuple.

Best Family Feature: Catfish Blues
Best Feature: The Closer

Audience Choice Short: Water Girl

Producer Richard Gonzalez (Right) writer Karen Rose (lei) and cast of the film "Water Girl". Emily Lathrop (age 11, center) is the star.

Producer Richard Gonzalez (Right) writer Karen Rose (lei) and cast of the film “Water Girl”. Emily Lathrop (age 11, center) is the star.

Audience Choice Feature: Catfish Blues

Catfish Blues

The festival concludes tonight with a “Best of the Fest” concert from 5-7 p.m. where there will be a silent auction to benefit Fisher House at Tripler Army Medical Center. Auction items will be on display at the Tennis Pavilion of Fairmont Orchid, Hawai’i while the legendary band HAPA will entertain folks.

Winning bids will be announced at 7 p.m. then at 7:30 p.m. the festival will show the Audience Choices for Short (Monty and the Runaway Furnace) and Feature Films (Catfish Blues). These films were selected by votes during the previous four days.

$45 general admission, $35 kama’āina, $10/5 keiki 7-12. All seats are $5 more at the door.

Purchase tickets online.

Films only: Adult $8, Keiki $5. All seats are $5 more at the door. (Doors Open 7 p.m.)

Bellamy Young Receives 2016 Golden Honu Award From Big Island Film Festival

Last night at the Big Island Film Festival at the Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii… actress Bellamy Young was awarded a 2016 Golden Honu Award.

Big Island Film Festival Director Leo Sears and Bellamy Young after Bellamy received the Golden Honu Award.

Big Island Film Festival Director Leo Sears and Bellamy Young after Bellamy received the Golden Honu Award.

Bellamy has been at the festival since Thursday interacting with fans and enjoying the films being presented.

Actor Michael Gross and Bellamy at the Mayor's Reception.

Actor Michael Gross and Bellamy at the Mayor’s Reception.

Last night she also had a question and answer session with Variety Magazines Features Writer Peter Caranicas where she talked about her career and the current hit show “Scandal” where she plays the lead character of the First Lady of the United States, Melody “Mellie” Grant.

Bellamy talks about her career with Variety Magazine Features Editor Peter Caranicas

Bellamy talks about her career with Variety Magazine Features Editor Peter Caranicas

After the question and answer session inside the Fairmont Orchids Lehua Theater, Bellamy went outside where she met with filmmakers, producers, writers, and fans.

Bellamy was literally "blown" away by the guys that I have penned the Tiki Torch Guys.

Bellamy was literally “blown” away by the guys that I have penned the Tiki Torch Guys.

You can watch full episodes online of “Scandal” anytime here: http://abc.go.com/shows/scandal/episode-guide

This is the 11th year the Big Island Film Festival has entertained and promoted films from around the world and tomorrow from 5-7 p.m. there will be a silent auction to benefit Fisher House at Tripler Army Medical Center.  Auction items will be on display at the Tennis Pavilion of Fairmont Orchid, Hawai’i while the legendary band HAPA will entertain folks.

Winning bids will be announced at 7 p.m. then at 7:30 p.m. the festival will show the Audience Choices for  Short and Feature Films. These films were selected by votes during the previous four days.

$45 general admission, $35 kama’āina, $10/5 keiki 7-12. All seats are $5 more at the door.

Purchase tickets online.

Films only: Adult $8, Keiki $5. All seats are $5 more at the door. (Doors Open 7 p.m.)

Hilo to Tanzania – Open Community Forum

The Rotary Club of South Hilo, in partnership with Short n Sweet Bakery and Café, and The Church of the Holy Apostles, is inviting the community to a free Open Community Forum presenting the experiences of four Peace Corps Volunteers and their time in Tanzania.  The forum will be on Wednesday June 8 at 5:00 pm at the Church of the Holy Apostles located at 1407 Kapiʻolani St., Hilo.

Returning Peace Corp Volunteers to speak at the Church of the Holy Apostles—1407 Kapiʻolani Street, Hilo

Returning Peace Corp Volunteers to speak at the Church of the Holy Apostles—1407 Kapiʻolani Street, Hilo

The featured speaker is Kanoelehua Ho along with three of her Peace Corp colleagues; Rochelle Latka, Sarah Munteanu, and Ginny Worley.  Their talk will focus on their experiences of being a Peace Corps Volunteer, and about Ho’s projects in Tanzania.

Ho a Kamehameha Schools Keaʻau alumna graduated from Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington in 2013.  In February 2014, she headed to Tanzania to start her assignment for the Peace Corps.  During her 27 month stay in Tanzania Ho has led numerous projects in her village including several funded with the help of a $3000 grant from the Rotary Club of South Hilo.  With the grant, Ho led a project that completed the village’s visiting physician house and completed a system bringing running water to its health clinic.

The project also brought 20 beehives to the village, to teach beekeeping and provide honey.  Besides providing income to buy HIV medication, the bees also will help pollinate a plant that can help treat HIV.  The grant also purchased two acres, where Ho and the villagers planted 300 avocado trees.  The avocado crop serves as another source of income.

“It’s truly amazing all of the lives Kanoe has been able to impact in her work with the Peace Corps.  The community is so incredibly proud of all she has done.  We are really looking forward to seeing and hearing about all she and her colleagues experienced in Tanzania,” said Rotary Club of South Hilo President Kim Arakawa.

The award winning Short n Sweet Bakery and Café will be providing light refreshments for the event.  For more information please contact (808) 741-1475.

Soldiers In The Battle Against Rapid ‘Ōhi‘a Death; Passion for Hawaii Forests Prompts Participation

Dozens of scientists, foresters, surveyors, researchers, and educators are actively involved in the fight to try and stop the spread of Rapid ‘Ōhi‘a Death. The fungal disease has decimated tens of thousands of acres of native ‘ōhi‘a on the Big Island. A virtual army of specialists from a wide array of federal, state, county, and non-profit organizations are engaged in the fight to find a treatment and simultaneously to stop it in its tracks. That’s where education and outreach come in.

ohia death

Anya Tagawa and Jeff Bagshaw of the DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife’s (DOFAW)    Natural Area Reserve (NAR) program are two of the soldiers on the frontline of spreading awareness about Rapid ‘Ōhi‘a Death.  They’ve each created signs that hunters, hikers,     mountain bikers and other people recreating on state public lands will soon see.  DLNR Chair Suzanne Case said,  “It is critical that every person who goes into the woods or forest anywhere in Hawaii, takes steps to prevent this disease from spreading. Anya and Jeff’s work along with a team of other outreach experts, is vitally important in getting kama‘āina and visitors alike to be certain they don’t inadvertently track the fungus from place to place.”

Their individual signs are different in appearance, but contain the same basic message. Rapid ‘Ōhi‘a Death kills one of the most important native trees quickly and in wide swaths.  Failing to follow the simple recommendations outlined on both signs could make you responsible for spreading this disease inter-island and intra-island.

Tagawa’s passion is borne of a life spent in the forest. She comments, “My life has always been intertwined with ‘ōhi‘a, with our native forests. I grew up hiking, exploring, and being captivated by our forests. I continue to learn about their unparalleled uniqueness and feel an intimate    connection with these special places. Rapid ‘Ōhi‘a Death threatens this way of life. It is imperative that we do all what we can to ensure ‘ōhi‘a is present for our future generations to experience, engage, and form a relationship with. It is critical for the continued persistence of the countless unique plants and animals that rely on ‘ōhi’a.”

Bagshaw is the outreach coordinator at the Ahihi-Kina‘u NAR on Maui’s south shore. The nearest wild ‘ōhi’a is dozens of miles away yet he designed the sign for the Na Ala Hele Trails Access system, because he, like his colleagues, is deeply concerned about the fate of Hawai‘i’s ‘ōhi’a forests.

He said, “We hope hikers and all forest users will start to be conscious  wherever they go, even if there’s ‘ōhi’a there or not. We’d like them to realize, that they could be taking something into the forest that affects our native ecosystems. ‘Ōhi’a are the backbone of our native rainforest; they feed the honeycreepers, they protect the watershed.  I can’t imagine a Hawaiian rainforest without ‘ōhi’a.”

Recently, Bagshaw, his staff, and volunteers conducted awareness surveys with visitors to the Ahihi-Kina‘u NAR.  They’ve found very few people have any knowledge about ōhi’a or Rapid ‘Ōhi‘a Death.  They’re heartened though, by people’s willingness to adopt the preventative measures outlined on each of the trail signs.

Tagawa’s signs will eventually be at every DOFAW trailhead on the Big Island: more than 50 in all. On Maui, Bagshaw’s signs are being placed at all Na Ala Hele trailheads.

Soldiers in the Fight Against Rapid Ohia Death- Video News Release from Hawaii DLNR on Vimeo.

East Hawaii Officer of the Month: Jared Cabatu

The Aloha Exchange Club of East Hawaiʻi recognized Officer Jared Cabatu on Thursday (May 26) as the East Hawaiʻi “Officer of the Month” for May.

Aloha Exchange Club member Joey Estrella presents an 'Officer of the Month' award to Officer Jared Cabatu.

Aloha Exchange Club member Joey Estrella presents an ‘Officer of the Month’ award to Officer Jared Cabatu.

Cabatu was honored for his outstanding accomplishment in patrol operations that led to the recovery of a stolen federal vehicle.

On April 26, three pickup trucks were stolen from the University of Hawaiʻi Institute of Astronomy. In the days that followed, Cabatu worked to solve the case and learned that a vehicle matching the description of the ones stolen had been seen in the upper Hilo area. Following that lead, he located the vehicle in the Waiākea Uka area and determined that its license plate had been stolen from another vehicle. When he attempted to contact the occupants, they fled.

Officer Cabatu immediately communicated information about the vehicle and the suspects to his fellow South Hilo Patrol officers, leading to the recovery of the vehicle and the arrest of two men and a woman. As a result, detectives assigned to the case were able to develop additional leads and information.

Cabatu was previously named “Officer of the Month” In March 2013 and October 2015. As “Officer of the Month,” he is eligible for “Officer of the Year.”

The East Hawaiʻi “Officer of the Month” award is a project of the Aloha Exchange Club of East Hawaiʻi.

New Lava Flow Map Hints at Direction of New Flows

This small-scale map shows Kīlauea’s active East Rift Zone lava flow field in relation to the eastern part of the Island of Hawaiʻi.

flow 525a

The new breakouts from Puʻu ʻŌʻō that began on May 24 are shown in red, as mapped on May 25. The area of the original June 27th lava flow field is shown in pink, as last mapped in detail on May 9.

Click to enlarge

The blue lines show steepest-descent paths calculated from a 1983 digital elevation model (DEM; for calculation details, see http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2007/1264/). Steepest-descent path analysis is based on the assumption that the DEM perfectly represents the earth’s surface. DEMs, however, are not perfect, so the blue lines on this map can be used to infer only approximate flow paths. The base map is a partly transparent regional land cover map from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office of Coastal Management draped over a 1983 10-m digital elevation model (DEM). The bathymetry is also from NOAA. Click to enlarge

Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows erupted prior to June 27, 2014, are shown in gray. The black box shows the extent of the accompanying large scale map.

This map shows recent changes to Kīlauea’s active East Rift Zone lava flow field. The new breakouts from Puʻu ʻŌʻō that began on May 24 are shown in red, as mapped on May 25. The area of the original June 27th lava flow field is shown in pink, as last mapped in detail on May 9. Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows erupted prior to June 27, 2014, are shown in gray. Puʻu ʻŌʻō is at lower left.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The blue lines show steepest-descent paths calculated from a 1983 digital elevation model (DEM; for calculation details, see http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2007/1264/). Steepest-descent path analysis is based on the assumption that the DEM perfectly represents the earth’s surface. DEMs, however, are not perfect, so the blue lines on this map can be used to infer only approximate flow paths. The base map is a partly transparent 1:24,000-scale USGS digital topographic map draped over a 1983 10-m digital elevation model (DEM).

Free Window Screening Workshop #FightTheBite

Lowes, Habitat For Humanity West Hawaii and the State Health Department have created a “Free Window Screening” workshop day on June 16th from 10-1 in the Lowe’s parking lot near the garden area to help repair people’s screens and teach residents how to do it themselves, as well.

Lowes Fight the Bite

Qualified residents can sign up to have Habitat folks provide the materials to make sure people have homes with screens to avoid contracting mosquito borne illnesses. Perk? A free BBQ from Randy’s BBQ!

Puʻu ʻŌʻō Breakouts Continue – No Significant Advancement

The two breakouts that began at Puʻu ʻŌʻō yesterday (May 24) are still active.

As of 8:30 a.m., HST, today, May 25, 2016, lava continued to flow from two breakout sites on the flanks of the Puʻu ʻŌʻō cone, which was shrouded by rain and steam during HVO’s morning overflight.

Click to enlarge

This morning, the active portions of both flows remained relatively short, extending no more than 1 km (0.6 miles) from their breakout points. The northern breakout, shown here, changed course slightly overnight, but is still directed towards the northwest in an impressive channel, with lava spreading out at the flow front. Click to enlarge

At the northern breakout (see maps at http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/maps/), a new lobe of lava broke out of yesterday’s active channel and was advancing to the northwest. This new lobe of lava had advanced about 950 m (0.6 mi) as of this morning. Yesterday’s channel—now inactive—is visible to the right of today’s flow.

hvo52516b

In this thermal image of the northern breakout, the active lava channel and flow front are clearly revealed as bright yellow and pink colors. The channel that was active yesterday, but now stagnate, is visible as a bluish-purple line to the right of today’s active flow.

This morning (May 25, 2016), the northern breakout on Puʻu ʻŌʻō was feeding an impressive channel of lava that extended about 950 m (0.6 mi) northwest of the cone. This channel was about 10 m (32 ft) wide as of 8:30 a.m., HST.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The second flow from the eastern breakout on Puʻu ʻŌʻō—in the area of the “Peace Day” flow that broke out in September 2011—remained active as of this morning, and its total length was about 1.2 km (0.75 mi) long.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

This lava flow was slowly spreading laterally, but the flow front had stalled.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Despite heavy rain, which resulted in blurry spots on this photo due to water droplets on the camera lens, HVO scientists were able to do some of the work they hoped to accomplish during this morning’s overflight.

Click to enlarge

Here, an HVO geologist maps the location of active lava from the eastern breakout on Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Click to enlarge

Amidst steam created by rain falling on the hot lava, another HVO geologist uses a rock hammer to collect a sample of the active flow.

Analyses of this sample will yield data on the temperature and chemical makeup of the lava, information that is needed to help determine what's happening within the volcano.  Click to enlarge

Analyses of this sample will yield data on the temperature and chemical makeup of the lava, information that is needed to help determine what’s happening within the volcano. Click to enlarge

Kona Drug Court Food Drive for Hawaii Island’s Food Bank

judiciaryThe Kona Drug Court has selected The Food Basket, Inc., “Hawai‘i Island’s Food Bank,” as the focus of its 2016 National Drug Court Month community service project, to give back to the charity that provides for Big Island residents in need, including children from low-income or homeless families, elderly, veterans, and many addicts in the early stages of recovery.

The Kona Drug Court asks the West Hawaii community to help support The Food Basket, Inc., by dropping off donations of non-perishable foods to Drug Court volunteers, who will be dressed in red t-shirts, in front of the KTA Super Store in Kailua-Kona.

For more information on Friday’s food drive please contact Grayson K. Hashida, Hawaii Island Drug Court Coordinator at (808) 443-2201.

  • WHAT: Kona Drug Court Food Drive for Hawaii Island’s Food Bank
  • WHO: The Kona Drug Court
  • WHEN: Friday May 27, 2016, from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
  • WHERE:    KTA Super Store Kailua-Kona, in the Kona Coast Shopping Center,  74-5594 Palani Road, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii


Map of New Breakouts at Puʻu ʻŌʻō

This map of two new breakouts at Puʻu ʻŌʻō, which began just before 7:00 a.m., HST, this morning, shows the extent of the lava flows based on aerial photos that were taken at 8:30 a.m.

The new breakouts had not extended beyond the boundary of the Puʻu ʻŌʻō flow field at the time the photos were taken, and neither lava flow currently poses an immediate threat to nearby communities. Click to enlarge

The new breakouts had not extended beyond the boundary of the Puʻu ʻŌʻō flow field at the time the photos were taken, and neither lava flow currently poses an immediate threat to nearby communities. Click to enlarge

At the time, the larger flow from the northern breakout was traveling down the north flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, towards the northwest, and was about 1 km (0.6 miles) long, and the flow from the eastern breakout was about 700 meters (0.4 miles) long. The aerial photos used to map the flows are shown over an older satellite image. The new breakouts had not extended beyond the boundary of the Puʻu ʻŌʻō flow field at the time the photos were taken, and neither lava flow currently poses an immediate threat to nearby communities.

State Conservation Officers Seeking Person of Interest for Mauna Kea Road Obstruction

Anyone who may have witnessed or have knowledge of rocks being placed on the   Mauna Kea Access Road, late afternoon, on May 16, 2016, is asked to contact the DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE). This happened at the 5.5 mile marker of the summit road, at the 12,500 foot level. The rocks created a potential safety hazard as they were placed in the downhill lane, in the middle of a sharp right hand corner.

Rocks

DOCARE officers interviewed workers on Mauna Kea, who reported seeing a man in the area just before and after rocks appeared on the road.

Photos taken by a Hale Pohaku Visitor Center security camera show a shirtless man carrying a plastic gallon container and walking uphill along the road. A telescope worker confirmed that this was the person they witnessed on the road at about the time the rocks were placed.

Rocks personHe is described as 5’5″ – 5’8”, with a slim build. He was seen wearing light-colored white to light gray-colored board shorts and slippers, with a black-colored backpack. He was carrying an opaque plastic container.

If anyone has information about this incident you are asked to contact DOCARE at 643-DLNR.

High Technology Development Corporation Hosts Forum on Entrepreneurship with Noted Business Innovation Expert

The High Technology Development Corporation (HTDC) will host a free brown bag lunch lecture by nationally recognized venture capitalist, technology expert, business executive and media commentator Jonathan Aberman on Wednesday, June 1 from 12 noon – 1 p.m. at the NELHA Gateway Center in Kailua-Kona. Seating is limited for Aberman’s presentation, “The Challenge of Growth: It’s a high class problem, but still a problem.”

Jonathan Aberman

Jonathan Aberman

“We are absolutely thrilled to have Jonathan Aberman address our local business leaders in Kailua-Kona,” said Robbie Melton, executive director and CEO of HTDC.  “His vast experience in the technology innovation and business startup fields has made him a highly respected voice that people across the nation look to for guidance. We’re very fortunate to welcome him to Hawaii to share his thoughts on the challenges facing small businesses today.”

Aberman is founder, chairman, and managing director of Amplifier Ventures, a Washington, D.C.-based consortium of technology innovation consulting and investment management businesses that assists technology startups and provide consulting services to government agencies, academic institutions, nonprofit, and for-profit organizations. He has been cited as a thought leader in the areas of technology innovation and entrepreneurship by numerous media outlets. Washingtonian Magazine named him as one of its “Tech Titans,” and the Washington Business Journal tabbed him as one of the “Power 100” in the region. The Commonwealth of Virginia has also listed Aberman as one of its “50 Most Influential Entrepreneurs.”

Online registration is available at nelha-jonathanaberman.eventbrite.com. Tickets are free, but limited to 50 seats. The NELHA Gateway Center is located at 73-4460 Kaahumanu Highway in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii Island. Following his presentation, Aberman will be available for consultation. Appointments are limited and reservations are required.

To schedule an appointment or for more information, contact Tom Leonard at tom.ni3@htdc.org or (808) 936-0222.

Two New Breakout Lava Flows at Pu’u O’o

Two new breakouts at Puʻu ʻŌʻō began this morning just before 7:00 a.m., HST. The larger of the two breakouts, shown here, originated on the northeast flank of the cone, at the site of the vent for the ongoing June 27th lava flow.

click to enlarge

click to enlarge

This breakout point fed a vigorous channelized flow that extended about 1 km (0.6 miles). This lava flow had not extended beyond the existing Puʻu ʻŌʻō flow field at the time this photo was taken (8:30 a.m., HST).

A wider view of the larger breakout traveling down the north flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, towards the northwest. This photo was taken at about 8:30am.  Click to enlarge

A wider view of the larger breakout traveling down the north flank of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, towards the northwest. This photo was taken at about 8:30am. Click to enlarge

Another breakout occurred just east of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, about 500 m (0.3 miles) from the crater, in the area of the “Peace Day” flow that broke out in September 2011.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

This second breakout was smaller than the one on the northeast flank, but was still feeding an impressive lava channel. At the time of this photo (8:30 a.m., HST), this flow was about 700 m (0.4 miles) long and traveling towards the southeast.

A video of the larger breakout, flowing northwest.

Big Island Film Festival Offering Educational Component

The Big Island International Film Festival will present an educational component at this year’s 11th annual event. The festival is again showcasing outstanding indie cinema, music, culinary events and the world class hospitality presented by the Fairmont Orchid Resort.

Photo by Kirk Aeder

Photo by Kirk Aeder

The Big Island International Film Festival is hosting two special industry workshops on Friday May 27, 2016. These added value events are free and have appeal to all emerging filmmakers, entertainer’s, students and cinema lovers alike. The seminars take place at the Fairmont Orchid Hawai’i, and there will be daytime film screenings, indoors at the Lehua Theatre and evening movies under the stars at Plantation Estate.

First off, at 9:45 a.m., Jen Grisanti will be presenting, “TELLING AND SELLING YOUR STORY”.

Jen Grisanti

Jen Grisanti

She will illustrate proven techniques to raise the elements of a screenplay and increase your opportunities for marketability. A longtime television programmer, Grisanti will highlight how to bring emotion into your script.

At 4:30 p.m., Raymond Rolak, veteran sports producer and content provider, will be speaking on, “THE HARMONY OF MUSIC AND CINEMA”.

Ray RolakRolak will also showcase new trends in product placement, trans-media and the important implications of IRS Section-181 for indie investments.

The BIIFF will have 58 films, with seven from the State of Hawai’i and three produced on the Big Island. Speaking at a recent announcement of the festival Executive Director Leo Sears said, “I am so impressed with the quality of films this year.” He added, “Picking the Official Selections was very difficult. The features are excellent, and the shorts are so good that we added an extra film block so we could show six more. This is a great selection that any movie-lover will enjoy and we hope everybody will come and support indie films with us.”

There are also receptions with featured guests Bellamy Young and Michael Gross. Also there are free children’s films at, The Shops at Mauna Lani. A host of events can be accessed thru the BIIFF website. http://www.bigislandfilmfestival.com/wp/

The BIIFF concludes with a “Best of the Fest” concert featuring HAPA on Memorial Day, Monday, 5-7 p.m. at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii Plantation Estate, near the Tennis Park. It will be followed by the Best Short Film and Best Feature, chosen by audience votes. There’s also a silent auction to benefit Fisher House at Tripler Army Medical Center.

Use of Video Decision Aids Increases Advance Care Planning in Hilo

Pilot study part of statewide program to improve end-of-life care

A program encouraging physicians and other providers to discuss with patients their preferences regarding end-of-life care significantly increased the documented incidence of such conversations and the number of patients with late-stage disease who were discharged to hospice.

Filling in an advance health care directive

In a Journal of General Internal Medicine paper that has been released online, a team led by Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) investigators describes the pilot program, which is part of a larger initiative to transform medical care for serious illness in the state of Hawaii. The program included video decision aids in 10 languages and was carried out in the city of Hilo, Hawaii.

“By collaborating with the people of Hawaii and recognizing the diversity of the community, we were able to honor and respect patients’ individual choices when it came to medical care,” says Angelo Volandes, MD, MPH, of the MGH Department of Medicine, lead author of the report. “Doctors are often uncomfortable having end-of-life conversations and have rarely been trained in advance care planning. The videos can be a valuable supplement to, not a replacement for, the doctor-patient relationship.”

Advance care planning – conversations with patients regarding the type of care they would like to receive, or not receive, if they become seriously or terminally ill and cannot speak for themselves – has been the subject of considerable attention in recent years. Earlier this year Medicare began reimbursing clinicians for advance care planning discussions with patients, and the process was mentioned in, but not funded by, the Affordable Care Act. But there have been few studies examining the impact of advance care planning efforts on medical documentation of such conversations, on the care actually delivered or on costs.

A broad coalition of stakeholders, led by Hawaii Medical Service Association (HMSA), an independent Blue Cross/Blue Shield licensee, has been working since 2012 to improve advance care planning rates statewide through innovative collaborations, including implementation of educational videos. Hilo Medical Center, a 276-bed hospital, was the first in the state to make advance care planning the standard of care for patients, and the JGIM paper reports on the first 21 months of the program’s implementation in the city of more than 43,000.

Beginning in early 2013, Hilo Medical Center clinicians, Hospice of Hilo staff and 30 primary care physicians in the city were offered a one- to four-hour training program and access to advance care planning video decision aids in English, Japanese, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Samoan, Korean, Ilocano, Tagalog, Spanish and Marshallese. Less than 10 minutes long, the videos are designed to be accessible to general audiences and include broad questions that patients should consider regarding their individual preferences and how they could affect future medical interventions. How or whether providers used the videos in subsequent advance care planning discussions was neither required nor tracked.

The primary study outcome for Hilo Medical Center was any change in the rate at which advance care planning conversations were documented in medical records of patients with late-stage disease. For outpatient care, any difference between the rates of advance care planning in Hilo and in a control group of similar Hawaii communities was analyzed. The researchers also compared the number of hospice admissions for late-stage patients before and after the program was implemented – compared with the control communities – as well as the rate of in-hospital deaths. Any impact on health costs was determined by analyzing HMSA claims data.

Prior to implementation of the training program, the rate of advance care planning documentation for late-stage patients at Hilo Medical Center was 3.2 percent, but during the 21 months after training was offered, the rate increased to almost 40 percent. Among almost 4,000 HMSA patients over age 75 in Hilo who saw a primary care physician during 2014, the year following primary care physician training, 37 percent received advance care planning, compared with 25.6 percent in the control communities.

The percentage of late-stage Hilo Medical Center patients who were discharged to hospice, which was 5.7 percent before the training, rose to 13.8 percent. Overall Hospice of Hilo admissions increased 28 percent in 2013 and 51 percent in 2014, compared with 2012. While average HMSA reimbursements for care during the last month of life increased from 2012 to 2013 in both Hilo and the control area, the increase for Hilo was only 5.5 percent, compared with more than 22 percent in the control area, reflecting an average per-patient savings of $3,458 for the last month of life.

Although this study was conducted in a relatively small region, the authors note that the diversity of the Hawaiian population may offset that limitation. The program has now expanded to all hospitals in Hawaii, 10 hospices, military facilities and many other providers; and Volandes expresses the hope that this study’s results will renew calls for continuing innovation in advance care planning, including certification and reimbursement for patient decision aids.

“Advance care planning videos and other decision aids offer cost-efficient and broadly applicable methods of placing patients at the center of their care,” he says. “They also allow doctors and other health providers to have critical conversations with patients that were rarely encouraged during their training. Making these decision aids widely available could be a real health care game-changer.”

Puna Lawmakers to Hold Town Hall Meeting

Rep. Joy San Buenaventura (Puna) and Sen. Russell Ruderman (Puna, Ka‘u) will host a community Town Hall Meeting on Thursday, June 9, 2016 at the Pahoa Community Center on Hawaii Island to talk about and provide a wrap up of the 2016 legislative session.

Medical MarijuanaAt the Town Hall Meeting they will also discuss the future of Medical Marijuana Dispensaries in the islands.

Residents are encouraged to attend to ask questions, voice their opinions and present suggestions to address community concerns.

WHO:  Representative Joy San Buenaventura (Puna) and Senator Russell Ruderman (Puna, Ka‘u)

WHAT:  Town Hall Meeting to discuss the 2016 legislative session and the future of medical marijuana dispensaries

WHEN: Thursday, June 9, 2016,  5:00 – 7:00 p.m.

WHERE:  Pahoa Community Center, 15-2910 Puna Road

Legislators, Unions Gather in Support of Hu Honua

More than 30 Hawaii Island officials in government and labor gathered this morning at Hu Honua Bioenergy (HHB) in Pepeekeo for a briefing on the biomass project’s status.
Hu Honua 1
Hu Honua spokesperson Harold “Rob” Robinson said yesterday’s filing with the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission (PUC) requests that the regulatory body conduct a technical review of the actions surrounding Hawaii Electric Light Company’s (HELCO) termination of the power purchase agreement (PPA).
Hu Honua 2
Robinson, a member of Hu Honua’s board of managers, and president of Island Bioenergy, the parent of HHB, said for more than a year, HELCO delayed meaningful response to Hu Honua’s repeated requests for milestone extensions and reduced pricing proposals.
Hu Honua 3
“We have provided the utility with a pricing proposal that significantly reduces HELCO’s costs,” said Robinson. “More importantly, we believe Hu Honua will provide a hedge against rising oil prices, which have historically whipsawed Hawaii Island consumers.”

Hu Honua has invested $137 million to date in the biomass-to-energy facility and has secured an additional $125 million to complete the project. All that’s needed is an extension of the PPA, which Robinson said, we are trying to negotiate with HELCO but are concerned they are stalling a decision.

Hu Honua 4
“The public should know that despite what HELCO claims, Hu Honua’s proposals will deliver value to ratepayers,” said Robinson. “Our project will have more than 200 workers on site during construction. After completion, the community will benefit from more than 180 new jobs and the formation of an invigorated forestry industry. There will also be environmental benefits when old HELCO power plants are deactivated and replaced with renewable energy from Hu Honua in 2017.”

During the conference, various government officials expressed support for the project and welcomed the creation of additional jobs and industry for Hawaii Island. Many were hopeful that the utility would work with Hu Honua to amend its PPA.

Valerie Poindexter, Hawaii County councilmember for the district, talked about growing up in a sugar plantation camp and the demise of the island’s sugar industry. “Hu Honua would revitalize the culture and lifestyle of the sugar days, and create jobs so people don’t have to travel so far to work.”

State Senator Kaialii Kahele touched on the importance of energy security. “If a catastrophic event happens on the West Coast, we’re stuck because we are out here in the middle Pacific, heavily reliant on fossil fuels and food imports. We must come up with creative solutions to address those issues,” said Kahele. He stressed that while he welcomed mainland investment, any and all development must be done the pono way, and commended Hu Honua’s new collaborative, collective style of leadership.
hu honua 5
Hawaii County Councilmember Dennis Onishi said Hu Honua would help reduce energy costs and put more renewable energy on the grid. Onishi suggested starting a dialogue between the County and Hu Honua to explore the possibility of processing green waste streams to divert what’s going to landfills.

Robinson explained that significant investment made in emissions control equipment, including a new turbine generator, will result in increased efficiencies, generating capacity and cleaner emissions.

Following the event, Robinson addressed a statement issued by Hawaii Electric Light Company that criticized Hu Honua. “The utility’s reference to the cost of the project is a smokescreen. When a utility builds a power plant, that cost is passed to ratepayers. This is not the case for us. We decided to invest in increasing generation capacity from 21 to 36 megawatts, but that has no impact on the price to consumers or the ratepayer. The financial risk of the project cost is ours,” he said.

Click to view Affidavit

Click to view Affidavit

New Imported Case of Dengue Fever Reported on the Big Island of Hawaii

This is a Civil Defense Message. This is a dengue information update for Friday, May 20, 2016.

Mosquito BiteThe State Department of Health has identified a single imported case of dengue on Hawaii Island. Vector control crews have treated the person’s residence and adjacent properties today.

Again, this is a single imported case. There is no evidence to indicate a local transmission has occurred. There have been no reported dengue cases attributed to local transmission since March. Imported cases occur from time to time and remind all of us to always be vigilant and fight the bite.

As the summer approaches and more travel is anticipated, the public is reminded that the most effective method to reduce the spread of dengue or other mosquito borne illnesses is for everyone to avoid and prevent mosquito bites. Fight The Bite by wearing clothing that minimizes exposed skin, using mosquito repellent, and avoiding activities in areas of high mosquito concentration during the early morning and late afternoon periods when mosquito activity is greatest. If feeling ill and unsure if you may have dengue, remain indoors to avoid getting bitten and infecting mosquitoes and contact your health care provider.

For information on dengue, visit health.hawaii.gov or call the Department of Health at 974-6001.

Video – Subtle Uplift of Puʻu ʻŌʻō Crater Floor Over Past Few Days

The crater floor at Puʻu ʻŌʻō has recently experienced minor uplift due to inflation within Puʻu ʻŌʻō cone.

Click to view video

Click to view video

The crater floor uplift is subtle, and probably no more than about 1 meter (3 feet) since May 15. Small, hot cracks have appeared on the crater floor during the uplift. Time-lapse images from a thermal camera were used to make this video, which is looped 10 times to highlight the uplift.

Puna Film Green Lake Selected for Big Island Film Festival

The Big Island Film Festival at the Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i, which celebrates independent narrative filmmakers and their movies, has selected Green Lake as part of its slate of films. Only 58 short and feature films from around the world were chosen for its tenth year of the Festival.

Green Lake

Green Lake draws inspiration not only from the beauty and mysticism of Hawai’i, but also from B-Horror/Monster movies, The Twilight Zone and The X-Files. It’s a micro-budget Creature from the Black Lagoon meets Picnic at Hanging Rock, shot entirely in remote areas on the Big Island of Hawai’i.  The film was directed and produced by Derek Frey from a screenplay by Leah Gallo.  It features a multitude of Big Island talent, including cast members RaVani Flood, Thom Durkin, Valery Nuttall and Carmen Richardson.  The score was composed and performed by Matthew Reid with original songs from Big Island bands Technical Difficulties and Delight Talkies.

GREEN LAKE – Teaser Trailer from Derek Frey on Vimeo.

Filmed over a grueling nine day and night shoot, the core group of six cast and crew played multiple roles in front of and behind the camera.  They weathered the elements, without sleep to the point of exhaustion and mental breakdown – all for the sake of creating. Frey says the Green Lake shoot was his mini-Apocalypse Now. “It was the most challenging shoot I’ve ever been part of but also the most rewarding and I’m so proud of the result.” Green Lake is more than your typical horror film, it’s a warning to everyone that we must maintain our balance with and respect nature, or face the terrifying consequences.

Film Director Frey wrote:

The Big Island of Hawai’i has been a great source of inspiration for me. I’ve had the unique opportunity to become friends with many artists and musicians on the island. These friendships have led to a number of music video and short film collaborations. Many of these projects showcase the beauty of the land and the mystical power that surrounds it.

I’m fascinated with the supernatural aspect to Hawai’i and the tales found in Glen Grant’s Obake Files. I also love horror films and in 2010 created a short on the Big Island titled The Curse of the Sacred Stone. It was a horror/comedy that lightly depicts the implications of disturbing sacred land when an unsuspecting tourist removes a lava rock from a sacred site.

I still felt the impulse to create more of a straightforward horror film on the Big Island. Since my first visit to Hawai’i in 2001, I had heard about Green Lake, an unspoiled fresh body of water located in a crater within a mountainous rain forest in Kapoho. Green Lake is the largest of only two lakes in Hawai’i. Apparently Jacques Cousteau conducted a diving expedition in the 1970’s and couldn’t find the bottom. We don’t know if this is true, but one thing is certain, the towering walls of the crater make the lake seem bottomless. Discussion of Green Lake was almost one of urban legend. The fact is many people that live in Hawai’i have never visited the lake, though it’s beauty and power is incomparable.

My first visit to Green Lake, a few years ago, was incredibly inspiring. It’s one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been to. Accompanying that beauty is a deep and powerful mystical vibe. This place demands that you respect it and it feels like there are protective energies present. During that initial visit a group of us ventured onto the lake via a small paddleboat and our first jump into the water was met with excitement, exhilaration and downright fear. It’s dark water and though we know there are no snakes or other predators to fear in Hawai’i it certainly feels as though something lurks below.  Looking into the history of the lake I came across a legend directly associated with it.  The ancient Hawaiian legend says that Green Lake was guarded by a female Mo’o that had never been conquered and anytime a chief got close to doing so she transformed herself into a beautiful woman and distracted him. Upon reading the legend something clicked and a story started to form in my head.

From that visit the seed for a film was firmly established and I returned the next year with the Green Lake script in hand. Thus began a grueling 9 day shoot, pulling upon friends from the Big Island I’ve made over the years to play the roles and double up as crew. Our core group of 6 played multiple roles in front of and behind the camera, weathering the elements, without sleep to the point of exhaustion and mental breakdown – all for the sake of creating. Green Lake was my mini-Apocalypse Now. It was the most challenging shoot I’ve ever been part of but also the most rewarding and I’m so proud of the result. Green Lake is more than your typical horror film, it’s a warning to everyone that we must maintain our balance with and respect nature, or face the consequences.

A special mention must be expressed to the wonderful music that accompanies the film. Big Island band’s Technical Difficulties as well as the Delight Talkies provide the songs written specifically for the film. Matthew Reid’s terrific original score is more than I could have ever hoped for.

Enjoy the swim and remember “Horror Dwells Deep!”

The Big Island Film Festival runs May 26–30 at the Fairmont Orchid, Hawai’i and The Shops at Mauna Lani on the beautiful Kohala coast. The festival also includes food and beverage events, celebrity guests, an awards brunch, filmmaker/audience interaction, screenwriting workshops, Hawaiian music and culture. Green Lake will screen Saturday, May 28th at 7.30pm outside The Shops at Mauna Lani in Waikoloa.