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Commentary: Consequences of HB1586 – Relating to Taxation

There will be unintended consequences if HB1586 passes, especially if the disbursement of transit accommodation tax revenue to the counties is eliminated. The County of Hawaii receives 19.5 million dollars in TAT funds. This is their second highest funding
source after property taxes.

The TAT revenue source is used to the mitigate the impact of tourism industry on each county. I firmly believe the residents of each county shouldn’t have to pay entire cost for lifeguard, police, fire, etc services used by these tourists.

The elimination of this funding source will force the county to increase taxes on all property classes, not just on properties owned by wealthy off island homeowners. This will undoubtedly passed on to homeowners, who rent out to individuals (and families) with lower incomes.

These individuals (and families) would be seeing relief in state taxes, but they’ll be seeing higher rental costs as a result. These folks are living on the edge and can ill afford to pay more for rental housing.

Aaron Stene
Kailua-Kona

Hawaii County Nominations Sought for UH Board of Regents

The Candidate Advisory Council (CAC) of the University of Hawaiʻi Board of Regents has re-initiated the recruitment process for a Hawaiʻi County seat on the Board of Regents. Nominations are now being accepted for an interim appointment to the Board of Regents, to begin upon approval and ending on June 30, 2018. Candidates must reside in Hawaiʻi County.

Application materials, procedures and descriptions of regent’s responsibilities are available online at http://www.hawaii.edu/rcac. This information may also be requested by calling (808) 692-1218 or by email at borapp@hawaii.edu.

Applications must be completed and received by CAC by Monday, February 27, 2017.

Members of the UH Board of Regents as well as the Candidate Advisory Council, who represent various constituent groups, serve voluntarily and are not paid.

The advisory council was created by Act 56, 2007 Hawaiʻi Legislature, in conformity with the amendment to Article X, Section 6 of the Hawaiʻi State Constitution ratified by the voters on Nov. 7, 2006. The council is tied to the University of Hawaiʻi for administrative purposes. In 2013, Act 72 was passed to further define the candidate advisory council.

Eight members, including one ex officio, comprise the advisory council. They establish the criteria for qualifying, screening and forwarding candidates for membership on the UH Board of Regents. The council advertises pending vacancies and solicits and accepts applications from potential candidates.

New Breakout of Lava Mapped

This map shows recent changes to Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone lava flow field. The area of the active flow field as of January 12 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the active flow as of February 16 is shown in red. Older Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows (1983–2016) are shown in gray. The yellow line marks the trace of the active lava tube (dashed where uncertain).

At Puʻu ʻŌʻō, surface flows are occurring within about 2.4 km (1.5 mi) of the 61g vent and on the coastal plain. These flows pose no threat to nearby communities at this time.

The blue lines over the Puʻu ʻŌʻō flow field are steepest-descent paths calculated from a 2013 digital elevation model (DEM), while the blue lines on the rest of the map are steepest-descent paths calculated from a 1983 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 the 1983 10-m digital elevation model (DEM).

This small-scale map shows Kīlauea’s active East Rift Zone lava flow field in relation to the southeastern part of the Island of Hawaiʻi. The area of the active flow field as of January 12 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the active flow as of February 16 is shown in red. Older Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows (1983–2016) are shown in gray.

The blue lines over the Puʻu ʻŌʻō flow field are steepest-descent paths calculated from a 2013 digital elevation model (DEM), while the blue lines on the rest of the map are steepest-descent paths calculated from a 1983 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 the 1983 10-m digital elevation model (DEM).

Waika’alulu Gulch Bridge Repair Feb. 27th – March 1st

The Waika’alulu Gulch Bridge No.44-6 (TMK:4-4-009:009) located mauka of Highway 19 on Ka’apahu Road, near the intersection with Apelanama Road, will be closed for repair work between the hours of at 8:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. beginning on Monday, February 27, 2017 through Wednesday, March 1, 2017, weather and construction conditions permitting.

The bridge will re-open the end of each workday by 2:00 p.m.  Motorist are advised to use alternate routes during the bridge closure hours.

The repair work involves the rehabilitation of the existing bridge structure which includes replacing the old timber components with new wood preservative treated components.

The County of Hawai‘i Department of Public Works apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause and thanks the community for their patience and understanding.  If there are any questions or concerns, please call Barett Otani, Information and Education Specialist, at 961-8787.

Kona Historical Society Celebrating Girls’ Day with Dolls, Mochi Pounding

Hina Matsuri, better known as Girls’ Day Doll Festival, is a Japanese holiday still observed in Hawaii, even amongst multiethnic families. Visitors to Kona Historical Society’s Kona Coffee Living History Farm in Captain Cook on Friday, March 3, will have the opportunity to participate first-hand in some of the beloved traditions.

Inside the historic farmhouse, the public will see a display of elaborate dolls, generously provided by Kona Historical Society members Anne Harvey and Paul Schneider of Holualoa. This doll set is called hina ningyo and represents the Japanese emperor, empress and their court, all in traditional costume and often seated on tiers. Families with young daughters display these doll sets starting in late February. The dolls are immediately taken down after March 3 to avoid a superstition. Some people believe dolls left on display too long delay the marriage of the family’s daughters.

Kona Coffee Living History Farm visitors can also make their own paper dolls. In addition, the public can help Kona Historical Society staff prepare mochi, smooth white sweet glutinous rice cakes often associated with holidays. During Hina Matsuri, Hishi-mochi, a pink-colored mochi, is often placed with the doll sets. The farm will have Hina Arare, sweet bite-sized rice crackers, for visitors to eat as a snack.

Kona Historical Society, a community-based, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to collecting, preserving and sharing the history of the Kona districts and their rich cultural heritage within Hawaii. The Society celebrates Hina Matsuri because it’s an opportunity to reflect on the rich, unique traditions the Japanese brought to Hawaii.

The Kona Coffee Living History Farm is located at 82-6199 Mamalahoa Highway in Captain Cook, near mile marker 110. It is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays. The award-winning historic farm tells the stories of Kona’s coffee pioneers during 1926-45 and early Japanese immigrants. It is the only living history coffee museum in the U.S.

For more information, call Kona Historical Society at 808-323-3222 or visit www.konahistorical.org. To get the latest updates regarding Kona Historical Society programs, historic sites and special events, “LIKE” Kona Historical Society on Facebook.

Hawaii Civil Defense Lava Flow Update

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) reports the active lava flow from Puʻu ʻŌʻō in the East Rift Zone is entering the ocean at Kamokuna located within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Additional surface flows are active near Puʻu ʻŌʻō and more recently moving beyond the National Park eastern boundary onto private property near the abandoned Royal Gardens subdivision. Bright incandescence is visible from the active lava flow field, and the lava flow does not pose a threat to any community at this time.

This image is from a research camera positioned on Holei Pali, looking east towards Lava Flow 61G and Kalapana.

To maintain public safety and to extend the use of the emergency road or Highway 130, the County of Hawai‘i opened the emergency road to lava viewing since June 30, 2016. Vehicular traffic on the emergency road is limited to local residents and emergency vehicles, and is being monitored by security guards posted along the viewing area. The road is unpaved and surrounded on all sides by rough lava flows on private property. Public access is restricted to the graded roadway and viewers are asked to please respect private property and the rights of local residents.

The “firehose flow” at Kīlauea Volcano’s Kamokuna ocean entry was clearly visible from the public lava viewing area established by Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. The viewing area is 800 meters (about one-half mile) from the ocean entry, but affords excellent views of the lava flow. HVO Photo

Visitors need to be aware of the following reminders:

  • Viewing area hours are from 3:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. daily, with the last car allowed to park at 9:00 p.m.
  • It is about 8.5 miles round-trip from end of the pavement on Highway 130 to the ocean entry at Kamokuna and back. The flow can be seen starting from just beyond the parking lot all along the viewing area route.
  • Restroom facilities are limited and lack running water.
  • All members of your party should dress appropriately with boots or sturdy, covered shoes, long pants and a hat.
  • Be prepared for rain, wind, sun, heat and dust exposure.
  • Bring lots of water (1-2 liters per person), there is no potable water available.
  • Bring a flashlight for walking at night.

Our goal is to maintain public safety, protect the interests of Kalapana residents, and extend the use of the emergency road or Highway 130.  We ask for your patience and kokua (help).

Hawaii Electric Light to Conduct Aerial Line Inspections Next Week

To improve system reliability, Hawaii Electric Light Company will conduct aerial line inspections of its major overhead transmission lines from Tuesday, Feb. 21, to Friday, Feb 24, 2017.

The island-wide inspections are scheduled from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. However, exact times and routes will depend on weather conditions. Inspections will be conducted in a Manuiwa Airways helicopter and require the aircraft to fly low and slow which may cause some noise disturbances.

Hawaii Electric Light apologizes for any disruption this may cause and sincerely thanks the community for their cooperation and understanding.

If there are any questions or concerns, please call 969-6666.

Willie K Headlines 17th Annual Great Waikoloa ‘Ukulele Festival

Called “Hawaiian Hendrix to Polynesian Pavarotti,” Uncle Willie K has wowed world audiences since he started playing music with his dad’s band at age 6. For the first time, Willie K will make a special appearance at the 17th Annual Great Waikoloa ‘Ukulele Festival Saturday, March 4 at Queens’ MarketPlace.

Just part of the day-long line up of ‘ukulele superstars on three stages, Willie K is a Grammy nominee, and winner of 18 Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards. His talented fingers and powerful voice stretch the limits from sweet falsetto, to lowdown blues, blow-your-hair-back rock, and operatic aria.

The ‘Ukulele Festival begins with Roy Sakuma’s traditional free ‘ukulele workshop, this year at the Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa’s Paniolo Ballroom at 10 a.m.

From 11:15 a.m., throughout the day, live entertainment takes place on three stages at Kings’ Shops and Queens’ MarketPlace.

The all-star lineup includes:

Lito Arkangel. From Keaau in East Hawai‘i, Lito is a Navy veteran, lecturer at UH Hilo and regular entertainer in resort lounges. He is an accomplished musician and Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards nominee who has also played the big stage at the Merrie Monarch Festival.

Kris Fuchigami. A Hawai‘i Island musician, Kris won the Hamakua Music Scholarship Competition at the age of 15. Since then, he has released five CDs, and performed worldwide. Kris has an exciting style that pulls in elements of pop, rock and contemporary sound.

Arden Fujiwara. Born in Hawai‘i, Arden is now part of the Seattle music scene, fusing ‘ukulele tradition with the progressive, including rock and hip hop.

Kunia Galdeira. Grandson of Gabby “Pops” Pahinui, Kunia learned to play ‘ukulele at a very young age. He is an in-deman solo artist and also frequently plays with Sonny Lim and Kevin Kealoha as the trio, “Ekolu Mea Nui.”

The Humble Project, led by Tad Humble and K.U.P.A Hale, led by Alan Hale. These two groups of dedicated musicians from Kona with a common love for ‘ukulele music and for sharing it with others of all ages.

Alii Keanaaina. Originally from North Kona, Alii first toured with his twin brother Nui, before stepping into the solo spotlight in 2010, when he won the Clyde “Kindy” Sproat Falsetto Contest. He tours in Japan, Las Vegas, and around the Islands, and easily pleases crowds with his smooth falsetto and full voice Hawaiian music.

Widdy Loo. Born and raised Hawai’i Island, Widdy is a lifelong musician who plays a wide variety of music, often incorporating hula and stories of “Old Hawai‘i”.

Maluhia. George Bence and Beverly McCabe created the Hawaiian-Canadian musical blend, Maluhia  (“peace”). They share their time and music between Hawai‘i and Vancouver Islands.

Brittni Paiva. Brittni’s musical career started with piano lessons at age four in her hometown, Hilo. She picked up ‘ukulele at eleven and has since released six CDs, won the Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award for ‘Ukulele Album of the Year, and traveled internationally. Her multi-genre style melds traditional, pop, alternative, EDM (Electronic Dance Music) and more, and she has pioneered the looping technique on ‘ukulele in her YouTube videos.

Mark Yamanaka. A nine-time Hōkū winner from Hilo, Mark is known for his sweet and soulful Hawaiian music and falsetto, performs frequently in the island and Japan.

The festival includes prizes and ‘ukulele giveaways by sponsoring companies.

The 17th Annual Great Waikoloa ‘Ukulele Festival is a production of Waikoloa Beach Resort and ‘Ukulele Festival Hawai’i. Sponsors include Queens’ MarketPlace, Roy Sakuma ‘Ukulele Studios, Kings’ Shops, Kamaka ‘Ukulele, Kala Brand ‘Ukuleles, Koaloha, Ko‘olau Pono Guitar and ‘Ukulele Company, Kanile‘a ‘Ukulele and others. For more information on Saturday’s ‘Ukulele Festival visit www.WaikoloaBeachResort.com or call (808) 886-8822.

GREAT WAIKOLOA ‘UKULELE FESTIVAL:  SCHEDULE OF EVENTS:  Saturday, March 4, 2017

Waikoloa Beach Marriott, Paniolo Ballroom
10-11:30 a.m.
‘Ukulele Workshop with Roy and Kathy Sakuma. BYOU (bring your own ‘ukulele). Free.

Queens’ MarketPlace, Coronation Pavilion:
12 noon    The Humble Project
1 p.m.        Kunia Galdeira
2 p.m.        Kris Fuchigami
3 p.m.        Lito Arkangel
4 p.m.        Roy Sakuma with Nelly Toyama-Baduria, Daniel Baduria and Nick Acosta
5 p.m.         Willie K
6 p.m.        Mark Yamanaka

Queens’ MarketPlace, Island Gourmet Markets Stage:
1 p.m.        Alii Keanaaina
2 p.m.        K.U.P.A Hale
3 p.m.        Maluhia
4 p.m.        Arden Fujiwara

Kings’ Shops, Center Stage
11:15 p.m.    Widdy Loo
12noon    Kris Fuchigami
1 p.m.        Roy Sakuma with Nelly Toyama-Baduria, Daniel Baduria and Nick Acosta
2 p.m.        Maluhia
3 p.m.        Arden Fujiwara
4 p.m.        Brittni Paiva

Kona Historical Society Offers A Tasty Tradition

Kona Historical Society will make its famous Portuguese cinnamon bread to celebrate Shrove Tuesday. This special bake will happen on February 28 at Kona Historical Society’s stone oven, or forno, located in the pasture below its main office and its historic general store museum in Kealakekua.

From 10 a.m. to noon, the public is invited to watch Kona Historical Society staff and volunteers create these sticky, sweet loaves of cinnamon bread. Attendees will also learn about the traditional art of Portuguese bread making and the contributions of the Portuguese, who arrived in Hawaii in the 1880s. While many of these immigrants worked in the sugar plantations, a fair number did find their way to Kona dairies and are credited for helping develop this industry.

Kona Historical Society makes cinnamon bread on Shrove Tuesday to pay homage to the days of the sugar plantations of the 1800s, when resident Catholic Portuguese would mark the day by eating richer, fatty foods and desserts before the ritual fasting of the Lent season, which lasts 40 days. They would often use up butter and sugar prior to Lent by making large batches of malasadas, the well-known and beloved Portuguese doughnut without a hole. Shrove Tuesday is also known as Fat Tuesday.

Cinnamon bread loaves, each costing $8, can be purchased starting at 12:30 p.m. Bread sales are on a first come, first served basis and go until 4 p.m. or everything is sold out. Proceeds go toward supporting the Kona Historical Society, a community-based, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to collecting, preserving and sharing the history of the Kona districts and their rich cultural heritage within Hawaii.

For those who can’t make it to this special bake, consider joining Kona Historical Society staff and volunteers every Thursday at the forno for its weekly Portuguese bread baking program. During this free program, the crew bakes close to 100 loaves of white, wheat and sweet bread and the public is invited to lend a hand by helping roll the dough.

For more information, call Kona Historical Society at 808-323-3222 or visit www.konahistorical.org. To get the latest updates regarding Kona Historical Society programs, historic sites and special events, “LIKE” Kona Historical Society on Facebook.

Free Home Ownership Seminar

Becoming a homeowner is one of the most important steps in a person’s life, and there’s a lot of prep work to do before checking out housing listings. To help prospective buyers become happy homeowners, Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union (HCFCU) is hosting “ABC’s of Home Ownership” — a free educational seminar that will be held on Wednesday, February 22, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m at HCFCU’s Kaloko Facility in the John Y. Iwane Credit Union Center Training Room (73-5611 Olowalu Street, Kailua-Kona, HI).  To register for this free seminar or for additional information, contact the HCFCU Call Center at 930-7700 or marketing@hicommfcu.com.  Seating is limited.

73-5611 Olowalu Street, Kailua-Kona, HI

Presented by Reina Miyamoto, Program Director of the Hawaii Home Ownership Center, attendees will receive important information that will help them understand home ownership requirements, as well as inform them of potential obstacles to purchasing a home, such as:

  • Having too much debt (student loans, credit card, etc.)
  • Not having enough money for a down payment
  • Not knowing where to find accurate and reliable information

The Hawaii Home Ownership Center, a non-profit organization, provides information and services needed to become a homeowner, including home buyer education, one-on-one coaching, and more.

Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union is a not-for-profit credit union owned by its over 40,000 member/owners with branches in Honokaa, Kailua-Kona, Kaloko, Kealakekua and Kohala.  In addition to complete checking and savings services, the credit union offers credit cards, auto, mortgage, construction, small business, educational and personal loans; online and mobile banking; investment services; youth programs and supports numerous Hawaii Island programs and events.  Membership in Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union is open to all Hawaii Island residents. For more information visit www.hicommfcu.com.

Parker School Dedicates Athletic Field

On Tuesday, January 31 Parker School’s athletic field was named “The Goodfellow Brothers Inc. Athletic Field” in a school-wide dedication ceremony.  This special ceremony honored the fourth generation, family-owned construction company Goodfellow Brothers Inc. for their continued commitment to Parker School and the Hawai’i Island community.

Parker School administration, board members, along with Chad Goodfellow and Ed Brown both of Goodfellow Brothers Inc. unveil Parker School’s newly dedicated athletic field.

All 340 kindergarten through grade 12 students, along with current and former board members, attended the dedication ceremony held next to the school’s athletic field.  Originally constructed in 2011, Parker’s athletic field was named in honor of Goodfellow Brothers Inc. for its generous support of athletics at Parker School, including a newly resurfaced basketball court completed last year.

Lower school students showed their gratitude by presenting Chad Goodfellow, president, and Ed Brown, vice president of operations–Hawaii of Goodfellow Brothers Inc. with an oversized, handmade thank you card.  Upper school students presented each with a taro plant and Parker Bulls Soccer Club players gifted a signed soccer ball.

“Parker School is grateful to Ed Brown, Steve and Chad Goodfellow and Goodfellow Brothers Inc. for its support of our athletic programs over the past several years.  Goodfellow Brothers Inc. isn’t just a company that focuses on making money, but making a community.  This athletic field is a testament to that generosity,” says Carl Sturges, Parker School headmaster.

Parker’s athletic field is also home to the Parker Bulls Soccer Club, a player development program for youth soccer players open to the Waimea community.

Former Professional Midget Wrestler Goes Missing on the Big Island of Hawaii

Hawaiʻi Island for police are searching a 56-year-old Keaʻau man who was reported missing.

Curtis Dudoit

Curtis Dudoit (AKA Coconut Kid and Coconut Willie) was last seen Tuesday (February 7) in the Orchidland subdivision in Keaʻau.

He is described as 4-foot-7, 154 pounds with a muscular build and black hair in a crew cut. He has a tribal-style tattoo on his left bicep and the word “Molokai” tattooed across his back. He was last seen wearing a black tank-top, blue jeans and white slippers.

Dudoit was known as  Coconut Willie and Coconut Kid during his professional wrestling career where he wrestled locally in the “midget circuit” back when professional wrestling was real popular in the Hawaii Islands.

From Dudoit’s Facebook page.

Online World of Wrestling posted the following profile of Coconut Willie:  http://www.onlineworldofwrestling.com/profiles/midgets/coconut-willie.html
Police ask anyone with any information on his whereabouts to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Aloha Grown 2017 Malama Honua Fund to Give Away Five (5) $500 Awards

The Aloha Grown Malama Honua Fund is once again giving away five (5) $500 awards to local non-profits, schools, organizations or initiatives on the Big Island that embody Aloha Grown’s philosophy to Support Local. Sustain the Aina. Share the Aloha.

Interested groups must complete an application form and write a one-page essay explaining how their organization follows Aloha Grown’s philosophy. Essays must include the organization’s mission and vision, along with the specific project, program and/or effort that the $500 award would be used to fund.

“Aloha Grown is committed to supporting efforts to care for our island, our people and our culture. That is why 2% of every Aloha Grown sale goes to the Malama Honua Fund, which awards local nonprofits, schools, organizations and initiatives that embody our philosophy.”­­

Previous award winners have included Kohala Elementary School, Punana Leo o Waimea, Hawaii Institute of Pacific Agriculture, Honpa Hongwanji Hilo Betsuin, Laupahoehoe Community Public Charter School, and many more. Their sustainability programs and efforts have included community gardens, aquaponics systems, keiki farm stands, culinary programs, and outdoor educational “classrooms”.

All submissions are due by March 31, 2017. The five (5) selected recipients of the 2017 Aloha Grown Malama Honua Fund Awards will be contacted by April 28, 2017.

For more information on Aloha Grown or to see previous year’s Malama Honua Fund award winners, visit www.alohagrown.com.

Makahiki Traditions to be Explored in Free Kona Historical Society Lecture

Kicking off Kona Historical Society’s 2017 Hanohano ‘O Kona Lecture Series, cultural practitioner Shane Akoni Nelson will discuss the various functions of the Makahiki season, its importance to society prior to 1820, and how its traditions continue today. His lecture, “Makahiki Traditions,” is from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 22, at the West Hawaii Civic Center, located at 74-5044 Ane Keohokalole Highway in Kailua-Kona. It is sponsored in memory of Roland Dupree.

Makahiki is the annual four-month season in ancient Hawaii when work and warfare ceased. People devoted their days to games, sports, hula and leisure, as well as to strictly observing rules and taboos. Makahiki was observed in honor of the god Lono.

Nelson, also a producer and scriptwriter, is dedicated to the empowerment of Hawaiian people, particularly to those in South Kona on Hawaii Island.

For the past six years, Kona Historical Society has offered this community lecture series, spotlighting local and state speakers on a wide variety of cultural and historical subjects. It is a gift from the Society to the community that has supported it for so long and it is presented in cooperation with the County of Hawaii. The lectures are free of charge and open to all, residents and visitors alike.

Kona Historical Society is a community-based, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and Smithsonian Museum affiliate that has spent the past four decades collecting, preserving and sharing the history of the Kona districts and their rich cultural heritage within Hawaii.

For more information, call Kona Historical Society at 808-323-3222 or visit www.konahistorical.org. To get the latest updates regarding Kona Historical Society programs, historic sites and special events, “LIKE” Kona Historical Society on Facebook.

Live Fire Training at Kona International Airport Next Week

The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) notifies the public that there will be live fire training at Kona International Airport for the Hawaii District Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighters (ARFF) on Monday, Feb. 13, 2017, Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017, and Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Photo by Travis Thurston

The exercise is an annual requirement by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The ARFF section will be testing their response protocol to a live emergency scenario involving burning fuel. HDOT informs the public that the exercise will produce smoke in the area.

Big Island Police Renewing Request for Information on Unsolved 1997 Murder

Hawaiʻi Island police are renewing their request for information about an unsolved murder from 1997.

Sean Burgado

On May 21, 1997, the body of 27-year-old Sean Burgado was discovered in his home on Malaʻai Road in the upper Waiākea Uka area. An acquaintance of the victim was contacted by Burgado’s employer, who grew concerned about him after he failed to show up for work several days with no explanation.

Burgado was working at a health care facility at the time of his death and was last seen leaving work at the end of his shift during the evening of May 19, 1997.

An autopsy determined that he died from a gunshot wound. His death was ruled a homicide.

Police ask anyone with information about this case to contact Detective Derek Morimoto at 961-2380 or derek.morimoto@hawaiicounty.gov.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Coast Guard Responds to Increase in Illegal Lava Boat Charters on Big Island

In the last 24 hours, the Coast Guard has identified two tour boats operating illegally out of Pohoiki Boat Ramp and is ramping up enforcement in response to a perceived increase in illegal charters operating in the area to view lava streaming into the ocean from Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano.

The “firehose flow” at Kīlauea Volcano’s Kamokuna ocean entry was clearly visible from the public lava viewing area established by Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. The viewing area is 800 meters (about one-half mile) from the ocean entry, but affords excellent views of the lava flow.

“Safety is always our top priority,” said Capt. David McClellan, chief of prevention, Coast Guard 14th District. “For boat operators, it is important to maintain situational awareness and not unnecessarily put yourself, your passengers or your boat in danger. For visitors, it’s important they check that their hired boat operators are licensed ensuring they possess the experience and training required to get them to the viewing area and back safely.”

Commercial tour boat and charter operators must possess the appropriate merchant mariner credential to operate. Masters of commercial charters operating in state waters are also required by the State of Hawaii to have a permit from the Department of Land and Natural Resources and to keep that permit on the vessel.

For vessels carrying six or fewer passengers for hire, the operator must possess a Coast Guard-issued operator of uninspected passenger vessel license and operate on near coastal waters not more than 100 miles offshore, as defined in 46 U.S.C. 2101 (42)(B).

For vessels carrying seven or more passengers for hire on vessels less than 100 gross tons (not including auxiliary sail), the operator must possess a Coast Guard-issued master of self-propelled vessel license to operate on near coastal waters. The vessel must also have a Coast Guard-issued certificate of inspection posted in a visible location.

According to the National Park Service, the spot where lava meets the ocean is referred to as the “bench.” It is one of the most dangerous areas of the park because it could potentially collapse, sending dangerous projectiles into the air. The steam emitted where lava meets the water contains hydrochloric acid and glass particles. Tour boat operators are urged to maintain a safe distance from both to ensure their safety as well as that of their passengers.

More on information regarding licensing for charter boat captains can be found at: https://www.uscg.mil/nmc/credentials/charter_boat_capt/default.asp.

Ailey II at Kahilu Theatre

On Saturday, February 18 at 7pm, the Kahilu Theatre presents the dance company Ailey II. Ailey II is universally renowned for merging the spirit and energy of the country’s best young dance talent with the passion and creative vision of today’s most outstanding emerging choreographers. Ailey II is one of the most popular dance companies in the country, combining a rigorous touring schedule with extensive community outreach programs.  In his fifth year leading the company, Artistic Director Troy Powell welcomed four dynamic new commissions, three of which will be performed at the Kahilu: Circular, Stream of Consciousness, and Sketches of Flames.

Ailey II in Bridget L. Moore’s Sketches of Flames. Photo by Kyle Froman

“I am excited to introduce audiences to the outstanding premieres by talented rising choreographers that we’ve welcomed into the repertory,” said Troy Powell. “These diverse and powerful new works showcase the strength, grace, and versatility of these gifted young dancers.”

Princess Grace Award-winning choreographer Jae Man Joo’s Circular is a heartfelt conversation through movement. The Korean-born Joo’s distinctive choreographic style – a blend of classical and contemporary ballet – is showcased in this large ensemble work that captures the full circle of human emotions. The melodic soundscape is by a diverse group of composers including Denisov and Handel.

Stream of Consciousness, by former Ailey company member Marcus Jarrell Willis, gives physical life to our inner thoughts. Willis weaves six simple gestures into “the stream,” the tumultuous monologue within each person’s mind. Set to a contemporary reimagining of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons by Max Richter, this work echoes the tension and poignancy of the music’s ever-changing tides.

In Sketches of Flames, Bridget L. Moore fuses flamenco influences with her African-American and contemporary aesthetic to create a rapturous ensemble dance.  Set to a series of passionate folk songs and drawing upon the writings of Federico García Lorca and others, each section of this eight-part work depicts a different facet of the joys and sorrows of love.

This season, six new dancers – Tara Bellardini, Khalia Campbell, Yazzmeen Laidler, Jessica Amber Pinkett, Martell Ruffin, and Christopher R. Wilson – join the six returning members – Lloyd A. Boyd III, Gabriel Hyman, Jacob Lewis, Jacoby Pruitt, Courtney Celeste Spears, and Terri Ayanna Wright.

Doors open at 6PM for the performance and there will be beverages and snacks available for sale at the Kahilu Theatre bar. In the Kahilu Galleries the exhibit Solo Exhibits 2017 will be on display featuring works by Eli Baxter, Margaret Shields, and Jean René Leblanc.

Tickets are $68 / $58 / $48 / $20 and available for purchase online at www.kahilutheatre.org, by calling (808) 885-6868, or at the Kahilu Theatre Box Office at 67-1186 Lindsey Road, Kamuela, HI 96743, Monday – Friday, from 9am to 1pm.

This performance is made possible by sponsorship by Kate Bell & Tom Blackburn, and Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel.

List of Names for Baby Donkey Narrowed to Five

The newest member of the Kona Coffee Living History Farm – a 6-month-old female donkey –  needs a name and the public is being asked to help the Kona Historical Society decide what it will be.

Starting today (Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017), fans worldwide will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite name by making a $1 donation at the farm or on Kona Historical Society’s website, www.konahistorical.org. All donations will be used for the support and care of animals at the farm. Any donations in excess will go towards supporting Kona Historical Society’s educational programs and other needs.

The baby donkey arrived Jan. 31 at the historic 5.5-acre farm in Captain Cook and was the result of Kona Historical Society’s “Charlie Needs A Bestie” crowdfunding campaign, which sought a companion for the farm’s approximately 30-year-old donkey, Charlie, and upgrades to his home.

Over the past six days, there was an overwhelming response to Kona Historical Society’s call for suggested names. The public submitted a total of 125 suggested names on the Kona Historical Society and Kona Coffee Living History Farm Facebook Pages.

On Monday (Feb. 6), a Kona Historical Society committee selected the following top five finalist names:

Florence (“Flo”) – Nominated by John Gavelek, Cathy Watkins, Terri Olsem, Balbi Brooks, and Leilehua Yuen

Kona’s coffee farm donkeys are known worldwide as “Kona Nightingales” for their distinctive “song.” Another famous Nightingale is Florence Nightingale, a social reformer and founder of modern nursing. Perhaps the new donkey will demonstrate the same compassion as her human Nightingale predecessor.

Lucy – Nominated by Mary K. Soria and and Jody Holman Webster

In Charles Shultz’s beloved comic strip Peanuts, Lucy van Pelt is one of Charlie Brown’s closest friends. She’s often temperamental, bossy, and opinionated…which happens to be a pretty good description for a stubborn donkey as well! Hopefully, our Charlie will find the new donkey’s advice a little more useful that what can be found at Lucy van Pelt’s Psychiatric Booth.

Manini – Nominated by Lindsay Sieberg

Manini are small fish that can be found in Hawaii’s coral reefs and are a favorite among local kupuna. They are distinctive for their narrow black stripes, similar to the stripe on our donkeys’ shoulders. To avoid predators, manini live in large schools. With the addition of the new donkey, we’re happy to have our own “school”— or herd —of donkeys.

Mele – Nominated by Cindy Wittemore, Ashley Chamberlain, Donna S. Starr, and Jiraphon G

“Many Kona coffee farmers used Mele as their name for female donkeys,” says Miki Izu, a local kupuna and long-time coffee farmer. Mele also refers to the chants, poems, and songs of Native Hawaiians. Maybe the new donkey’s braying song will remind us of Kona’s rich traditions.

Shizu – Nominated by Pixie Navas and Leslie Christman

In Japanese, “shizu” means quiet and clear, and is the nickname for a few of Kona’s residents. Shizuka Uchida was a proud daughter of the Kona Coffee Living History Farm’s founding family. Shizuko Teshima was a long-lived, devoted businesswoman who established Kona’s famed Teshima’s Restaurant. Shizu Kahikina was a dedicated woman who worked on Pu`u Wa`awa`a Ranch. The name Shizu is a testament to Kona’s humble and hardworking women.

“We narrowed the nominations to names that were clearly very popular among social media followers and names that are significant to Kona’s history and culture,” said Kona Coffee Living History Farm Museum Manager and Kona Historical Society Assistant Program Director Gavin Miculka. “We love that everyone is as excited about the new donkey as we are. We’re grateful to everyone that suggested names.”

Voting online and at the Kona Coffee Living History Farm happens now until Feb. 27. The farm is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays and is located at 82-6199 Mamalahoa Highway in Captain Cook, near mile marker 110. There is no limit to the number of times fans may vote. It’s a $1 donation per vote. The winning name will be announced on March 1.

Kona Historical Society is a community-based, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and Smithsonian Museum affiliate that has spent the past four decades collecting, preserving and sharing the history of the Kona districts and their rich cultural heritage within Hawaii.

For more information, call Kona Historical Society at 808-323-3222 or visit www.konahistorical.org. To get the latest updates regarding Kona Historical Society programs, historic sites and special events, “LIKE” Kona Historical Society and Kona Coffee Living History Farm on Facebook.

Pu‘u Pua‘i Overlook Closed to Protect Endangered Nēnē

The Pu‘u Pua‘i overlook is temporarily closed to protect breeding nēnē (endangered Hawaiian geese) in the area.

NPS Photo

The gate is secured at the entrance to the Pu‘u Pua‘i parking lot, near the intersection of Chain of Craters Road and Crater Rim Drive. Visitors are able to hike about 0.4 miles of Devastation Trail from the Devastation Trail parking lot to a trail sign marking the closure.

In 1952, only 30 nēnē remained statewide.  Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park began efforts to recover the species in the 1970s. The Nēnē Recovery Program continues today, and more than 250 birds thrive in the park from sea level to around 8,000 feet. More than 2,500 nēnē exist statewide.

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.