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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.)

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.

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.

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor’s Biggest Little Airshow Coming Up

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor’s popular remote control Biggest Little Airshow in Hawaii sponsored by Aloha Petroleum is back for its ninth year Saturday and Sunday, June 4 and 5, 10am to 4pm. Guests will be able to drive on to Ford Island for this event, or take the free shuttle from the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center. Parking is free. A family favorite, the Airshow features open cockpits, hangar tours, restored World War II aircraft, and remote control flying by some of the best pilots and aircraft from the Mainland.

2015 Airshow

For two days, Ford Island will come alive with remote-control flying, static aircraft and full-size aircraft on display, “candy bombings” over historic Ford Island Runway for the keiki, hands-on modeling stations, a Kids Zone with rides, food, drinks, retail, music, entertainment, activities and – new this year – snow. Open cockpits and access to Hangar 79 to see the Museum’s many aircraft exhibits and the Swamp Ghost and Nakajima Kate in restoration will add to the event.

This year the Airshow welcomes Warbirds West, an award winning team of pilots from around the country flying giant-scale remote controlled aircraft. A dazzling T-33 Thunderbird opening act kicks off the show followed by multiple performances featuring the A10 Warthog, F14 Tomcat, F9 Panther and the impressive F100 Super Saber flying at speeds approaching 200 mph.

Tribute flights will include a Douglas SBD Dauntless Dive Bomber, two Japanese A6M Zero fighters matched with a pair of “Flying Tiger” P-40E Warhawks, and two Chance Vought F4U Corsairs. In an epic display of air-to-air combat simulation, Republic P47 Thunderbolts will duel with Focke-Wulf 190 fighters. Multiple North American P51 Mustangs will demonstrate precision flying, and a Stearman biplane will perform aerobatics.

The Warbirds West performance will include Alan Szabo flying one of his explosive helicopter aerobatic routines in a circus-like aviation performance. The performances will focus on innovative aircraft, which are rooted to the U.S. armed services and their defense of our nation’s freedom. On the ground, spectators will be able to explore static aircraft displays and interact with pilots and crew members.

Talented local performers will also join award-winning Mainland pilots from the Academy of Model Aeronautics with their 1-to-4 scale planes to perform remote-control aviation feats. Specialty acts will feature: Pattern, 3-D fixed wing and helicopter aerobatic flights, aerobatics performances, South Pacific battles, “Candy Bomber” drops, and Skycam drone helicopters. Remote control aircraft on static display will include jets, helicopters, Viper Jets, Warbirds, B-17s, B26Bs, P-47s, a Zero, P-38s, Corsairs, OV-10s, and more.

“We’ll have spectacular airplanes and dog fight action that’s sure to have the crowd on its feet,” said Michael Fetyko, Warbirds West Team Captain. “Combining pilot and engineering skills with the technology required to pull off these breathtaking demonstrations supports our mission to inspire youth toward educational opportunities in science, engineering and mathematics along with a deep appreciation for our rich American history.”

Hilo Community Chorus to Perform Two Requiems

The Hilo Community Chorus will present Luigi Cherubini’s “Requiem in C minor” and Dan Forrest’s “Requiem for the Living” in concert on Saturday, May 28, at 3:00 pm at First United Protestant Church.

Requiem

The Cherubini, which will be accompanied by Walter Greenwood, premiered January 21, 1816 at a commemoration service for Louis XVI of France on the twenty-third anniversary of his beheading during the French Revolution. It was admired by Beethoven and performed at his funeral. Schumann praised it as being “without equal in the world.”

The five movements of Dan Forrest’s Requiem for the Living, (2013) form a narrative just as much for the living, and their own struggle with pain and sorrow, as for the dead. It will be accompanied by an instrumental ensemble and will be conducted by Dr. Daniel Mahraun, who first conducted HCC last spring at the Palace Theater. Rachel Edwards, last year’s recipient of the Hawaii Concert Society’s scholarship, will be the guest soprano soloist.

Moriah Mathson, student at UH-Hilo, will be the recipient of the third annual Hilo Community Chorus Tom McAlexander Choral Music Scholarship award for 2016. According to her instructor, Amy Horst, “ Moriah is a Senior Psychology major with a 3.96 GPA. She has been an extremely dedicated alto singer in the University Chorus this past semester, and I look forward to her continuing with University Chorus in the Fall, and then joining the Kapili Choir in the Spring, next school year.”

Admission is $10 and tickets may be purchased from chorus members or at the door. For more information, call HCC choral director Tom McAlexander (985-7192) or email tommac@hawaii.rr.com.

Award Winning Film “Psychoanalysis” to Screen at Big Island Film Festival

Australian filmmaker, James Raue’s own life is somehow weirder than his latest comedy, “Psychoanalysis”. The film is coming to Hawaii to play at The Big Island Film Festival in late May after taking out awards at festivals across the world.

“I grew up hating Psychologists,” Raue said, recalling how much of his life had inspired the film.  “Dr Phil was just getting popular when I was a kid, so psychology was seen as this easy solution to all of life’s problems.” Any normal family issue, such as arguing with siblings or not cleaning your room could land Raue or his siblings in front of a shrink.

“Then my girlfriend became a psychologist.” Raue revealed, finally being able to see the world of psychology from “the other side of the couch”. “I saw that not all psychologists were simplistic and the impact on those who truly care about their clients can be overwhelming.”

Raue attempted to show these two sides of the industry through the most comedic, yet tragic story he could think of. The tale of a psychologist who’s lost five clients to suicide and is determined to prove he’s still the best.

Raue attributes his history with psychologists to the success of the film.

“We made it on a tiny budget, with unknown actors and it would play at these festivals where nobody knew anything about it. But audiences couldn’t stop talking about it. It raises questions not normally heard and has an authenticity to it. So word slowly spread.”

In order to get the film finished James had to work assembling bounce houses for birthday parties. “The worst part of the day was when you have to take it down. These houses have your favorite Disney characters on them, so this little girl is watching as Elsa collapses. Most of the time they burst into tears.”

So far Psychoanalysis has won Best Of The Fest at the Victoria Texas Independent Film Festival, Best Comedy at the Canada International Film Festival, Best International Film and Best Screenplay at the Manchester International Film Festival.

When asked why such a dark subject matter was good for comedy, Raue replied. “When you’re dealing with death everyday, sooner of later you have to see it for how absurd it really is or you’ll snap.”

Psychoanalysis

Psychoanalysis plays The Big Island Film Festival at Fairmont Orchid on Friday, May 27 at 2pm.

For more information and exclusive clips, please visit: www.psychoanalysisfilm.com.

Hilo Orchid Show Gala Preview Party Information

On June 2, the Hilo Orchid Show kicks off with a gala Preview Party from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the Edith Kanaka‘ole Stadium.  Ticket proceeds benefit the non-profit Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center.

 The Edith Kanaka‘ole Stadium is the site for the Hilo Orchid Society’s 64th Annual Orchid Show and Sale. The gala Preview Party on Thursday evening, June 2, gives ticket holders a sneak preview of the lush displays and the first chance to buy orchids, plants, and related products. Photo by Andy Kahili

The Edith Kanaka‘ole Stadium is the site for the Hilo Orchid Society’s 64th Annual Orchid Show and Sale. The gala Preview Party on Thursday evening, June 2, gives ticket holders a sneak preview of the lush displays and the first chance to buy orchids, plants, and related products. (Photo by Andy Kahili)

“The evening gala is a truly a ‘fun’-raiser.  People eat, drink, socialize, and have the first chance to shop for colorful, exquisite, and rare orchid plants,” said party chair and Ku‘ikahi board member Cody Frenz.

The benefit party features a selection of beverages, catered food, live music, and orchid pre-sales.  The event is zero waste, with eco-friendly eating utensils, plus recycling/composting stations.

Each party-goer receives an etched wine or beer glass, in order to enjoy the libations and take home after the event.  A wide variety of fine wines, beer on tap from Kona Brewing Co., gourmet juices, and coffee from Hilo Coffee Mill are served.

Pupu, dinner, and dessert buffets feature tasty treats by Island Naturals Market & Deli and AJ & Sons Catering.  AJ’s chefs are Dean Shigeoka and Audrey Wilson, the food columnist for the Hawaii Tribune-Herald.

On the menu are mantou buns with three filling options: tofu, pork, and teriyaki chicken; free range chicken tandoori with turmeric rice and raita; free range turkey meatballs with sweet and sour sauce; Thai beef salad with glass noodles; various types of sushi including vegetarian, house made poi chips with sun dried tomato hummus; purple sweet potato and Ka‘u orange salad; and hearts of palm with lilikoi dressing.

“We’re happy to be back at the stadium where the Merrie Monarch is held,” Frenz noted.  “With cool breezes, exquisite views, and shorter lines for food service, we’re all set for a fabulous gala on June 2.  We hope the community will come out to enjoy a fun party and support our cause of ‘Finding Solutions, Growing Peace.’”

Tickets for the Preview Party are $65 ($25 of which is tax deductible) and may be purchased in advance from Hilo Coffee Mill, The Most Irresistible Shop, Day-Lum Properties, and Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center.  For reservations, contact Jenifer at (808) 935-7844 x 1 or jenifer@hawaiimediation.org.  Tickets are also available at the door.

Big Island Chocolate Festival Names Winners

Culinary entries from Maui and the Big Isle were tapped winners at last night’s Big Island Chocolate Festival gala. A sold-out crowd of 600 attendees sprawled inside and out of the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel for the fifth annual fundraiser.

Volcano made of 40 pounds of fine chocolate by the Guittard Chocolate Company

Volcano made of 40 pounds of fine chocolate by the Guittard Chocolate Company

“Lavalicious-A Chocolate Salute to the 100th Birthday of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park” was the festival theme and the event gala sported booths decorated with sugary lava, chocolate volcanoes, orchids and faux flames. The culinary station by Sweet Eatz was judged “Best Decorated” by HVNP’s Cindy Orlando, park superintendent and Jessica Ferracane, public affairs specialist.

Chefs, chocolatiers and college students were critiqued on taste, texture, appearance and creativity by a team of celebrity judges at competitions during the two-day festival.

Big Island Choclate Festival gala and culinary student winners with judges.

Big Island Choclate Festival gala and culinary student winners with judges.

Winning the most culinary awards was Hilton Waikoloa Village led by Chef Dayne Tanabe for Best Savory and Chef Anna Hohenberger for Best Bonbon. The Hilton team also tied with Four Seasons Resort Hualalai for Best Sweet People’s Choice by Hilton Chef Eddie Enojardo and Hualalai’s Kalani Garcia.

Earning Best Plated Dessert was the Ke‘olu Bake Shop at Hualalai Resort and Huggo’s took home People’s Choice Savory. Other accolades were won by Madre Chocolate for Best Bean-to-Bar, Nine Fine Mynahs Farm for Best Cacao and Likao Kula for Best Criollo Bean.

The student team of Yi Song and Diana Maciel Hernandez of the University of Hawai‘i-Maui College took first place in the Friday student competition. Taking second place was Jolynn Len and Stella Rainville of Hawai‘i Community College-Palamanui while third place went to Alicia Alcain and Tomi Salinger of Hawai‘i Community College-Palamanui.

Second place student culinary winners Jolynn Len and Stella Rainville with HCC-Palamanui instructors Fernand Guiot and Mark Johnson.

Second place student culinary winners Jolynn Len and Stella Rainville with HCC-Palamanui instructors Fernand Guiot and Mark Johnson.

“Students performed at a really high level and we’re hoping to have more participation throughout the UH culinary programs next year,” said Teresa “Cheech” Shurilla, program coordinator for UH-Maui College. “We want to make it viable for all the schools to come and compete.”

Heading the team of chef judges for the two competitions were Donald Wressell of Guittard Chocolate Company, Derek Poirier of Valrohna Chocolate, Elizabeth McDonald of B3 a Beach Bunny Bakery, Ricky DeBoer of The Fairmont, Kea Lani; Steven Arakaki of Kukio Resort, Douglas Paul of Sodexo UH-Maui College, Pam Williams of Ecole Chocolat, Jacques Dahan of Michel Cluizel, Lincoln Carson, Yoshikazu Kizu of Rita Carlton Kapuala, Krista Garcia of UH-Maui College and Shurilla.

The real winners of the annual festival are two beneficiaries: the ACF Kona Kohala Chefs Assn./University of Hawai‘i endowment fund for the culinary program at Hawai‘i Community College-Palamanui and programs at Kona Pacific Public Charter School in Kealakekua.

Presented by the Kona Cacao Association, the Big Island Chocolate Festival not only heralds Hawai’i’s growing cacao industry, but also the culinarians who masterfully create foods featuring chocolate.

In addition to last night’s gala, the festival offered a full lineup of chocolate decadence from planting to plating: a Kona cacao farm tour, plus growing and processing seminars and how-to culinary demonstrations by chocolate industry experts.

Visit www.bigislandchocolatefestival.com for updates on next year’s event.

The Big Island Chocolate Festival is presented by the Kona Cacao Association, Inc. The mission and goal of KCA is to promote the cacao industry on the Big Island of Hawai‘i by presenting BICF as an educational and outreach opportunity for local cacao farmers, the hospitality industry and cacao enthusiasts. Mahalo to 2016 event sponsors Prova, Guittard Chocolate Company, Michel Cluizel, Republica Del Cacao, Valrohna USA, LUVA Real Estate-Lance Owens, Kona Auto Center, Dolphin Journeys, Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory, Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union, Amoretti, Barry Callebaut USA, Kokua Roofing, DHX, Cocoa Outlet, Kona Brewing Company, Young’s Market, The Wave 92 FM and Dole/Wailua Chocolate. For information, visit www.bigislandchocolatefestival.com. @BIChocoFest

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park Centennial Events for June

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2016, and continues its tradition of sharing Hawaiian culture and After Dark in the Park (ADIP) programs with the public in June.

All ADIP and Hawaiian cultural programs are free, but park 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:

Hawaiian Language Opera: Hā‘upu. Kamehameha Schools Hawaii will present the Hawaiian language opera, Hā‘upu, based on the legend of Hina and her son, Kana.

The cast for Hā‘upu, the Hawaiian language opera presented by Kamehameha Schools Hawai‘i. Courtesy photo.

The cast for Hā‘upu, the Hawaiian language opera presented by Kamehameha Schools Hawai‘i. Courtesy photo.

This all-school production tells the story through beautiful and powerful mele (song), oli (chant) and hula (dance). Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing After Dark in the Park series. Free.
When: Tues., June 7 at 7 p.m.  Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

Make a Hū Kukui. In old Hawai‘i, children played many simple games now largely forgotten. Help revive the practice of making and playing the traditional Hawaiian top, hū kukui. Join park rangers and staff from the Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association, and let’s see whose hū kukui can spin the longest! Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing ‘Ike Hana No‘eau “Experience the Skillful Work” workshops. Free.
When: Wed., June 8 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai

Lili‘uokalani at Washington Place.  Jackie Pualani Johnson performs an amazing, one-woman show taken directly from the writings of Queen Lili‘uokalani, the queen’s family and other historical sources. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing After Dark in the Park series. Free.
When: Tues., June 14 at 7 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

Hālau Nā Pua o Uluhaimālama. Hālau Nā Pua O Uluhaimālama, from Hawai‘i Island, is dedicated to perpetuating the culture and the art of hula. Led by kumu hula Emery Aceret, a student of the revered kumu hula Ray Fonseca, the hālau has participated in many notable hula competitions, including the Merrie Monarch Festival. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing Nā Leo Manu “Heavenly Voices” presentations. Free.

When: Wed., June 15 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

Find Your Park on the Big Screen. Pu‘uhonua o Hōnaunau is where ancient Hawaiian lawbreakers and defeated warriors once found sanctuary; today the park provides a sanctuary for Hawaiian culture. Hawai‘i Volcanoes invites everyone to watch two films that highlight Pu‘uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park: John Grabowska’s 16-minute film Pu‘uhonua o Hōnaunau: Place of Refuge and Brad Watanabe’s 12-minute documentary HiStory: Hawai‘i Island’s National Parks.
When: Friday, June 17 at 7 p.m. (Pu‘uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park’s cultural festival is June 25). Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

Kahuku ‘Ohana Day. Calling keiki 17 and younger to join park rangers for a fun day of discovery in the park’s Kahuku Unit. Participants will hike a new trail, and learn to weave their own lei.  Call (808) 985-6019 to register and sign up for a free lunch by June 2. Bring water, a re-usable water bottle, sunscreen, hat, long pants and shoes. Sponsored by the park, Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association, and Queen Lili‘uokalani Children’s Center. Enter the Kahuku Unit of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park on the mauka (inland) side of Highway 11 near mile marker 70.5, and meet near the parking area. Free.

When: Sat., June 18 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Where: Kahuku Unit

Weave a Tī Leaf lei.  Join park rangers and learn to weave a tī leaf lei. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing ‘Ike Hana No‘eau “Experience the Skillful Work” workshops. Free.
When: Wed., June 22 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.  Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai

Centennial Series After Dark in the Park: The Evolution of Landscape Restoration at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Since its establishment in 1916, various attempts to conserve and protect the park’s rich biological resources have been made by the Territory of Hawai‘i, the National Park Service, and citizen scientists – with varying degrees of success. Beginning in 1970, park staff adopted a systematic park-wide approach to managing species and habitats which continues today. Join Chief of Natural Resource Management Dr. Rhonda Loh to learn more about these Special Ecological Areas, or SEAs, and decades of successful restoration in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.

When: Tues., June 28, 2016 at 7 p.m.  Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

After Dark Out of the Park: The Evolution of Landscape Restoration at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Since its establishment in 1916, various attempts to conserve and protect the park’s rich biological resources have been made by the Territory of Hawai‘i, the National Park Service, and citizen scientists – with varying degrees of success. Beginning in 1970, park staff adopted a systematic park-wide approach to managing species and habitats which continues today. Join Chief of Natural Resource Management Dr. Rhonda Loh to learn more about these Special Ecological Areas, or SEAs, and decades of successful restoration in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Sponsored by Mokupāpapa Discovery Center.

When: Wed., June 29, 2016 at 7 p.m.  Where: Mokupāpapa Discovery Center in downtown Hilo, 76 Kamehameha Avenue

Centennial Hike: Kīpukapuaulu, the Park’s First Special Ecological Area. Dr. Rhonda Loh leads an easy 1.2-mile hike through the park’s inaugural Special Ecological Area (SEA), Kīpukapuaulu. This forested area is considered a “hot spot” of biological diversity, with more native tree species per acre than any other forest in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. The essence of this treasured habitat is captured in its name: kīpuka (island of ancient vegetation surrounded by a sea of younger lava flows), pua (flower), and ulu (growing)—a fertile oasis of flourishing plants. Sturdy footwear, water, light raingear, sun protection, and a snack are recommended. About two hours.
When: Sat., July 2, 2016 at 9:30 a.m.  Where: Meet at the Kīpukapuaulu trailhead

2016 is the centennial anniversary for Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, and the year-long Centennial After Dark in the Park & Hike Series. To find out what’s happening throughout 2016, visit the park website. It’s also the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. To find centennial events at other national parks, visit FindYourPark.com.

First Annual Waipi’o Kalo Festival Coming Up

The first annual Waipi‘o Kalo Festival will take place on Saturday, June 4, 2016, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at Koa‘ekea, near the Waipi‘o Valley Lookout. Presented by the grassroots state-recognized nonprofit, Hā Ola O Waipi‘o Valley, the free event is a tribute to kalo (taro), Waipi’o, and the kupuna and others who live, work, and find inspiration there.

Waipio Valley Taro Festival

The Kalo Festival is designed to be educational as well as entertaining, and will include much that Hawai‘i Island loves: live music and hula, craft vendors, games and great food. In addition, there will be displays and talk story sessions about the region’s rich history, and its significance in Hawaiian culture.

Central to Hawaiian culture, kalo is considered the “older brother” of all Hawaiians. Legend says that a child named Hāloa was born to deities Wakea and Ho‘ohōkūkalani. Hāloa died at birth and was buried in the garden, where soon shoots of kalo plants began to grow. Their next child was named Hāloa in his honor, and to forever acknowledge the familial tie between people and nature.

Waipi‘o was home to many deities and notable ali‘i, and at its peak, the thriving agricultural community may have supported a population as high as 10,000 people. Waipi‘o is also a storied wahi pana, sacred place, site of seven important heiau (temples) including  Pāka‘alana, a pu‘uhonua, “place of refuge.”

The Kalo Festival is designed to be educational as well as entertaining, and will include much that Hawai‘i Island loves: live music and hula, craft vendors, games and great food. In addition, there will be displays and talk story sessions about the region’s rich history, and its significance in Hawaiian culture.

Every aspect of the Kalo Festival is connected to the Valley in some way. Presenters may come from multigenerational kalo farmers on ancestral lands; cultural practitioners appreciate its vast resources; artists and musicians, even chefs, are inspired by Waipi‘o for their creations.

Hands-on ku‘i kalo gives festival-goers a feel for the art of poi pounding, and other cultural activities like lei-making, lau hala and lau niu weaving are available. More competitive attendees can enter the Taro Team Relay, a fun obstacle course with a simulation of a typical taro farmer’s jobs.

On the scholarly side, agricultural exhibits and demonstrations offer a chance to learn about varieties of kalo and how they are cultivated, its preparation as food and nutritional/health benefits. Displays from USDA, DLNR, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), North Hawaii Education and Research Center (NHERC) and others cover a broad range of related topics, from healthy soils, to agro-forestry, the importance of water, and more.

For the foodies, a Kalo Cookoff offers prizes to home chefs who bring their best kalo pupu, main dish or dessert for a friendly competition with prizes. Any part of the kalo plant may be used in the dish. (To enter, please bring at least five portions for judges to taste. Kalo must be an ingredient.) Kalo Contest Winners will be announced after the Relay, and receive a Makana Basket and a Gift Certificate.

In addition, homestyle Hawaiian plate lunches will be available for sale, with kalua pig, laulau, squid lū‘au, chicken long rice, sweet potatoes, fernshoot salad, haupia, kulolo, poke and of course, poi.

Koa‘ekea (the former Rice property is located at 48-5546 Waipi‘o Valley Road, and event parking will be available at Kukuihaele Park, with free shuttles provided. No parking at the Lookout.

The schedule for the day includes:

  • 9 a.m. Gate opens. Opening Pule and Oli at 9:05 a.m.
  • 9:10 a.m. Hālau Na Lei Punahele, Kumu Hula Punahele Andrade
  • 10 a.m. Larry Miller and Jeff Quinn
  • 10:50 a.m. Hālau Kou Lima Nani E, Kumu Hula Iwalani Kalima
  • 11:50 a.m. Sons of Keawe
  • 1-1:50 p.m. Kalo Team Relay/Kalo Cookoff
  • 2 p.m. Rubbah Slippah Productions, Ryan Hiraoka
  • 2:50 p.m. Masoe ‘Ohana
  • 3:50 p.m. Closing Pule and Hawai‘i Aloha

The Kalo Festival is sponsored by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, the County of Hawai‘i and other generous supporters. Friends of the Future and Pōhāhā I Ka Lani both serve as the fiscal sponsors for this project. For more information about the Kalo Festival, email HaolaoWaipioValley@gmail.com or follow Hā Ola O Waipio Valley on Facebook.

Rotary Club of Pahoa Sunset’s 2016 Awards Banquet

About 100 folks filled the Akebono Theater in Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii last night as the Rotary Club of Pahoa Sunset had its 2016 Awards Banquet.

Mark and Alan

Mark Hinshaw and Alan “Santa” Lakritz

This year’s honorees for their outstanding service to the community were Mark Hinshaw for the Individual Award and the Corporate Award Recipient went to Bay Clinic Pahoa and the CEO Harold Wallace.

Bay Clinic Pahoa Staff

Bay Clinic Pahoa Staff

Bay Clinic Pahoa CEO Harold Wallace and Rotary Member Bob Johnson.

Bay Clinic Pahoa CEO Harold Wallace and Rotary Member Bob Johnson.

Elected dignitaries in attendance were State Senator Joy SanBuenaventura, Councilman Greggor Ilagan and Councilman Danny Paleka.  Also in attendance were County Council Candidates Madie Greene and Eileen O’hara.

Folks were able to bid on items donated by various community members and businesses.

Folks were able to bid on items donated by various community members and businesses.

A silent auction was held with items donated from Pahoa Ace Hardware, Photographer Alan Lakritz, Aloha All Natural Cleaning Service, Bank of Hawaii, Photographer Charlene Meyers, Christian Robinson’s Bamboo Zoo, Craig Watkins, Deborah Nichols, Geo Pacific LLC, Glen & Fran Calvert, Hilo Coffee Mill, Holly & Bob Johnson, Island Naturals, J Attig Anthuriums, Jungle Love, Kalani Retreat Center, Kua O Ka La Charter School, Lex Brodies and Pahoa Auto Parts.

Luquin’s Restaurant set up a taco bar for attendees and “The Gone Country Band” provided entertainment throughout the evening and the theme for the evening was “Cinco De Mayo x 2” (May 10th).

Rotary Club of Pahoa Sunset Mission Statement:

“In the spirit of Rotary’s 4-Way Test, our mission is to serve the local and global community and our club members by implementing dynamic programs that address current and emerging needs.  Our goal is to achieve meaningful results in an atmosphere of fun, fellowship, and aloha.”

Rotary Club of Pahoa

The Rotary Club of Pahoa Sunset Meets each Tuesday at the Akebono Theater.  Social “half” hour begins at 6:00 pm and the fun starts at 6:30 and all are welcome.  You can visit their website and “like” them on Facebook:  http://www.pahoasunsetrotary.org/ or https://www.facebook.com/Rotary-Club-of-Pahoa-Sunset-109607602431709/

Industry Experts Featured May 22 at Ka‘u Coffee College

Leaders of the specialty coffee industry are traveling to the state’s largest agricultural district this month to taste and see all the effort that goes into producing award-winning Ka‘u coffee during the Ka‘u Coffee Festival.

Local growers get info on a variety of coffee industry topics at the annual Ka’u Coffee Festival.

Local growers get info on a variety of coffee industry topics at the annual Ka’u Coffee Festival.

While meeting Ka‘u growers, the visiting experts lead seminars at the festival’s annual Ka‘u Coffee College May 22 at the Pahala Community Center. The Ka‘u Coffee College has proven to be a place of learning, sharing and networking—and has featured some of the industry’s leading professionals from around the globe. The 2016 program follows in this tradition with the theme, “Coffee Quality.”

“These seminars are designed to not only continue to brand and market Ka‘u as a premium coffee growing origin, but to help the growers’ bottom line,” explained event organizer Chris Manfredi.  “We understand the challenges of sustaining a profitable farming operation in Hawai‘i. These talks will certainly reinforce the exceptionally high quality for which Ka‘u coffee has become famous, but also ensure there is a steady supply of it. As we reach more markets, we need a solid supply of quality coffees to meet the increasing demand while ensuring growers remain profitable.”

The Ka’u Coffee College is part of the eighth annual Ka‘u Coffee Festival, spanning May 13-22, and culminating May 21-22 at the Pahala Community Center. Coffee professionals learn first-hand about the Ka‘u coffee community in the days leading up to the May 21st ho‘olaule‘a, which includes guided tastings, farm tours and the opportunity to “talk story” with growers at their booths.

“The Ka‘u Coffee College is the last, but certainly not the least event,” adds Manfredi.

Topics covered at this year’s college include integrated pest management, CBB (coffee berry borer) and coffee quality’s impact on price.

“Six Years of Farming with CBB: Reflecting and Moving Forward” will be presented by Andrea Kawabata, assistant extension agent for coffee and orchard crops with the University of Hawai‘i CTAHR cooperative extension service and biologist Arturo Ballar Ortiz PSM, farm development and research director at Greenwell Farms. Working out of the Kona Research and Extension Center, Kawabata is the current project investigator for USDA and CTAHR Area-wide Mitigation and Management for CBB Control Project’s Outreach Program and cooperating investigator of the HDOA-funded Flat Bark Beetle Project.

Mike Perry will delve into “Coffee Quality’s Relationship to Price Sensitivity.” An award-winning roast master who blends a background in chemical engineering with a love for coffee, Perry is founder of Klatch Coffee in California.

“Falling Coffee, Falling Profits” will be discussed by Robert G. Hollingsworth, research entomologist of Hilo’s USDA-ARS-Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center and a specialist on coffee berry borer (CBB). Hollingworth’s research facilitated the deregulation of the GHA strain of Beauveria bassiana, the principal pesticide used to control CBB. Currently he is studying natural enemies of the pest, the effectiveness of sanitation methods and the influence of environmental factors on population growth and development.

Miguel Meza, owner and director of Paradise Coffee Roasters in Hawai‘i and Minnesota, teams up with Lee Paterson, owner of Hula Daddy Kona Coffee, to direct a coffee quality workshop, “Recognizing and Minimizing Coffee Defects.”

Admission to the 9 a.m.-pau Ka‘u Coffee College is free, though donations are appreciated.

All activities at the Ka‘u Coffee Festival are open to the general public; some require a fee. Find details at www.KauCoffeeFest.com. Call 808-929-9550 or visit www.KauCoffeeFest.com.

Big Island Chocolate Festival Begins Friday

chocolate fountain

While VIP and general admission tickets are sold out for the Big Island Chocolate Festival, the following ticket options are still available at the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel:

  • A Chocolate Lovers One-Day Pass for May 14 that includes three culinary demonstrations with sampling 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., followed by general entry into the 5:30-9 p.m. gala. Price is $125.
  •  Fifty gala tickets will be sold at the door for $100 each starting 4:30 p.m. May 14.
  • Cacao agricultural seminars, focusing on farming cacao and its fermentation are 11 a.m.-2 p.m. May. 13. Price is $40 in advance or $30 each at the door.

Presented by the Kona Cacao Association (KCA), event proceeds benefit the ACF Kona Kohala Chefs Assn./University of Hawai‘i endowment fund for the culinary program at Hawai‘i Community College-Palamanui and programs at Kona Pacific Public Charter School in Kealakekua.

This year’s gala theme is “Lavalicious-A Chocolate Salute to the 100th Birthday of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.” Taste sweet and savory creations by chefs, chocolatiers, confectioners and beverage purveyors, plus vote for the People’s Choice Award. Also on tap will be fine wines, handcrafted ales and cocktails, chocolate sculptures, chocolate body painting, entertainment and a silent auction.

Find ticket info, including details on the event’s May 13-14 agricultural activities and culinary demonstrations, at www.BigIslandChocolateFestival.com.

Special room rates can be reserved directly at the hotel at www.HapunaBeachPrinceHotel.com/events.

The Big Island Chocolate Festival is presented by the Kona Cacao Association, Inc. The mission and goal of KCA is to promote the cacao industry on the Big Island of Hawai‘i by presenting BICF as an educational and outreach opportunity for local cacao farmers, the hospitality industry and cacao enthusiasts. Mahalo to 2016 event sponsors Prova, Michel Cluizel, Republica Del Cacao, Valrohna USA, LUVA Real Estate-Lance Owens, Kona Auto Center, Dolphin Journeys, Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory, Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union, Amoretti, Barry Callebaut USA, Kokua Roofing, DHX, Cocoa Outlet, Kona Brewing Company, Young’s Market, The Wave 92 FM and Dole/Wailua Chocolate. For information, visit www.bigislandchocolatefestival.com. @BIChocoFest

Student Photographers Excel in First Time Competition

The Shops at Mauna Lani presented nine students with cash scholarships and prizes in its first annual Student Photography Competition on Saturday, April 30, 2016. From 80 total entries, winning photos were selected based on technical excellence, composition, artistic merit, creative excellence, overall vitality, impact and more.

Courtesy The Shops at Mauna Lani. L to R: Marketing Assistant Manager Kawelina Gomes, Thomas Scott, Taylor Mabuni, Nuuhiwa Beatty, Sammi Goldberg, Jordan Vedelli, Priscilla Lange, General Manager Michael Oh

Courtesy The Shops at Mauna Lani. L to R: Marketing Assistant Manager Kawelina Gomes, Thomas Scott, Taylor Mabuni, Nuuhiwa Beatty, Sammi Goldberg, Jordan Vedelli, Priscilla Lange, General Manager Michael Oh

In First Place, Taylor Mabuni, Grade 11 at Makua Lani Christian Academy, won a $500 cash scholarship for his work, showing artistic eye and technical expertise in expressing The Shops’ architectural features and inviting ambiance. Jordan Vedelli, Grade 8 at Parker School, Second Place ($300), captured the fun and vitality of a family dinner at Monstera Noodles & Sushi restaurant. Third Place ($200) went to Priscilla Lange, Grade 8 at West Hawaii Explorations Academy, whose winning photo spotlighted the weekly hula and fire dance performance.

Special category awards went to:

  • Thomas Scott, Grade 10 at American School Distance Learning Program, Technical Excellence
  • Lily Kassis, Grade 6 at Hawaii Preparatory Academy, Composition Excellence
  • Eima Kozakai, Grade 9 at Kealakehe High School, Artistic Excellence
  • Orlando Corrado, Grade 9 at Kealakehe High School, Creative Excellence
  • Sammi Goldberg, Grade 11 at West Hawaii Explorations Academy, Overall Vitality
  • Nuuhiwa Beatty, Grade 6 at Makua Lani Academy, Overall Impact

“We were thrilled with the quantity, and the quality of all the photos,” said Michael Oh, General Manager. “These young photographers exceeded our expectations in every way. We are delighted to honor them, and wish them much success in their career. And, we are already looking forward to our next Student Photography Contest.”

Pahoa Santacruzan and Flores de Mayo Festival

Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Pahoa will celebrate Santacruzan and Flores de Mayo Festival on May 14, with a procession through the village.

Santacruzan and Flores de Mayo

Santacruzan is a religious holiday traditionally celebrated throughout the month of May, honoring the mother of King Constantinople’s mother, Queen Helena, and her role in bringing Christianity to the Philippines.

Since May is also the month that Christians dedicate to honoring the Virgin Mary, this year’s Pahoa event will commemorate Flores de Mayo, or Flowers of Mary.

The procession through the village will take place after a 4:30 p.m. mass at Sacred Heart Church. The 5:30 p.m to 6:30 p.m. procession will start at Sacred Heart Church, then onto Pahoa Village Road, and end on Kauhale Street, at the Pahoa Community Center.

Spectators can expect to see a colorful pageant procession, with women dressed in their finest attire, carrying symbols of the Santacruzan, escorted by men under hand-carried bamboo arches adorned with native flowers.  The women and men will represent various historical-religious figures detailing the search of the Holy Cross by Queen Helena and her son, the newly converted emperor Constantine the Great, and the return of the Holy Cross from Jerusalem to Rome.  An emcee will narrate the procession and the re-enactment of this pilgrimage.

Those involved in the procession were not only selected for their looks, but also their virtues.  The procession will feature statues of the Virgin Mary and Our Lady of Grace and also include ethnic dances of the different cultures in the Hawaiian Islands.

Nine days of prayer, or a novena, in honor of the Holy Cross precedes the Santacruzan and the Flores de Mayo.  Introduced by Spaniards, the festival has since become part of the Filipino traditions identified with youth, love and romance.  The Sacred Heart Church community hopes to make the Santacruzan and the Flores de Mayo Festival a tradition for Pahoa Village.

For more information, contact the Sacred Heart Church at (808)965-8202 or email shpahoa@hotmail.com.

Paradise Roller Girls Quadruple Header Coming Up

The Civic was aroused Sat., April 30 as the first roller derby home bouts were held between Pacific Roller Derby and Waimea Wranglers Rough Rollers and Hilo’s very own Paradise Roller Girls.

roller derby 5316Waimea came away most successful, holding a 2-0 victory over both Pacific and Paradise.  PRG lost to Waimea for the second time this season but turned out a 182-105 victory over the Hulagans. Pacific lost both games.

If you missed out on the action this time, don’t worry, local roller derby is ramping up with another home bout around the corner.  Saturday, June 4 will be an all day event with four teams scrapping for wins.

“The first game starts at 11 a.m. and the last game probably won’t end until 8:30 p.m..  That’s so much roller derby. I am just thinking of how much I am going to get slammed into on the track,” Hannah “Hawkalolo Hottie” Hawkins, Paradise Roller Girls skater, said.

Admission is $5 for adults and free for children under the age of 5. Tickets can be bought at Jungle Love, CD Wizzard, Mt. View Video, Kadota Liquor, Lucy’s Taqueria, at the door or from any of the Paradise Roller Girls.

Robert Cazimero Returns to the Kahilu Theatre

Saturday, May 14 at 7:00 PM, Hawai‘i’s most revered and loved kumu and singer, Robert Cazimero, returns to Kahilu Theatre to carry on with an unbroken 31-year-old tradition – celebrating May Day in Waimea.

Robert Cazimero

Robert Cazimero

Robert’s elegant voice is so distinctive that whether he performs on piano or with his brother Roland as the Brothers Cazimero, he is instantly recognized and people are compelled to listen.

Robert has been a part of close to 40 full album projects; many considered classics in the history of Hawaiian music. The popular success of the music he has made and participated in is recognized through dozens of awards, performances on the world’s most prestigious stages and the millions of albums that have been bought by people around the world.

Robert explains; “Whether you’re going to play at the Carnegie Hall or in Sam Kapu’s garage at Kapahulu, it’s the product and talent and the love that you bring that makes that place a Mercedes or Carnegie Hall. It really doesn’t matter about all the damn accoutrements. It’s what you feel and what you bring to that moment.”

Robert has studied the art of hula for decades and has been an essential player in the evolution of modern Hawaiian music. His passion and talent have played a huge role in taking Hawaiian music and dance to diverse stages all over the globe. Robert’s kane of Na Kamalei were overall winners at the 2015 Merrie Monarch Festival.

Kahilu Theatre doors open at 6pm for evening shows, with food and beverages available for sale

Tickets are $68 / $58 / $47 / $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 from Lorraine and Marianne Maynard.

Visitation to Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park in 2015 Creates $151,246,200 in Economic Benefits

A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 1,832,660 visitors to Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park in 2015 spent $151,246,200 in communities near the park. That spending supported 1,834 jobs on island, and had a cumulative benefit to the local community of $189,391,100.

NPS Photo of visitors at Sulphur Banks in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park

NPS Photo of visitors at Sulphur Banks in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park

The park’s 2015 visitation is up 8.25 percent from 2014 (1,693,005 visitors), and reflects a steady trend of rising visitation to Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park since 2009. The park, which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year along with the National Park Service, shares two of earth’s most active volcanoes, Hawaiian culture, and native ecosystems with local residents and visitors.

“We are pleased to again report an increase in both visitation to Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park and the important economic impact park visitors have by spending money and creating jobs in our local community,” said Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando.  “National park tourism is a significant driver in the national economy, returning $10 for every $1 invested in the National Park Service, and it’s clearly a big factor in our local economy as well. We appreciate the partnership and support of our neighbors and are glad to be able to give back by helping to sustain local communities,” Orlando said.

The peer-reviewed visitor spending analysis was conducted by U.S. Geological Survey economist Catherine Cullinane Thomas and National Park Service economist Lynne Koontz.  The report shows $16.9 billion of direct spending by 307.2 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported 295,000 jobs nationally; 252,000 of those jobs are found in these gateway communities. The cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy was $32 billion.

According to the 2015 report, most park visitor spending was for lodging (31.1 percent) followed by food and beverages (20.2 percent), gas and oil (11.8 percent), admissions and fees (10.2 percent) and souvenirs and other expenses (9.8 percent).

Report authors this year produced an interactive tool. Users can explore current year visitor spending, jobs, labor income, value added and output effects by sector for national, state and local economies. Users can also view year-by-year trend data. The interactive tool and report are available at the NPS Social Science Program webpage: http://go.nps.gov/vse or https://www.nps.gov/subjects/socialscience/vse.htm.

To learn more about national parks in Hawai‘i and how the National Park Service works with Hawai‘i communities to help preserve local history, conserve the environment, and provide outdoor recreation, go to www.nps.gov/hawaii.

2016 Honoka‘a Western Week Rides Into Town

Honoka‘a Western Week rides into town May 23-30, 2016, kicking off with Monday’s Portuguese Bean Soup and Sweetbread cookoff and winding up with Friday night’s Paniolo Parade and Block Party on Mamane Street, with the 60th Annual Hawai‘i Saddle Club Scholarship Rodeo over the weekend.

PHOTO BY Sarah Anderson

PHOTO BY Sarah Anderson

Mamane Street will close for the Parade and Block Party, and roving Sheriffs will be on the lookout for attendees not wearing the commemorative HWW buttons. Buttons may be purchased to show support for the festival, and to automatically enter the “lucky number” drawings during the Block Party. Although not required for admission, buttons will keep attendees from being thrown into “jail” (all in good fun).

PHOTO BY Sarah Anderson

PHOTO BY Sarah Anderson

Honoka‘a Western Week is a volunteer-driven project supported by the Honoka‘a Business Association, The Hāmākua Farm Bureau and the Hāmākua Lion’s Club, Councilwoman Valerie Poindexter, Steinlager, and others, celebrating Hāmākua’s paniolo heritage and unique cultural blend. Checks payable to “Honokaʻa Business Association” can be sent to P.O. Box 474, Honokaʻa HI 96727, attention: Honoka‘a Western Week. For more information, follow Honoka‘a Western Week on Facebook or visit www.honokaawesternweek.org.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS:  Subject to change.

  • May 20. Deadline to enter Saloon Girl and Cowboys Got Talent Contests. For information and applications, call Michelle Hartman, 775-9777 or check out the website.
  • May 23-30. Celebrate Honokaʻa Western Week with Honokaʻa Business Association. Everyone is invited to dress up western-style, visit Honoka‘a town merchants, and enjoy different paniolo-themed activities every night.
  • Monday, May 23, 5-7:30 pm Portuguese Paniolo Night hosted by the historic Andrade Building’s ‘Ōhi‘a Lānai, with Portuguese Bean Soup and Sweetbread contests. Attendees can buy $5 tasting tickets, and vote for People’s Choice. Hot dogs, chili and rice available for sale, and the event includes music, Portuguese dancing and line dancing. For more information call Marlene Hapai 966-9894 or email mhapai@aol.com.
  • Tuesday, May 24, 3:30 p.m. Stick Horse Creation at Hāmākua Youth Center (HYC). Kids are invited to come and make their own mounts for the Stick Horse race on Friday. Limited to the first 30 applicants to turn in registration forms at HYC. Please call 775-0976 for more information.
  • Wednesday, May 25. Munch popcorn and cheer for the heroes of Western movies at the Peoples Theater. At 5 p.m., the animated feature “Home on the Range,” followed by “Traditions and Family Values: A Blueprint for our Community, Pa‘auilo Mauka Kalopa.” At 7 p.m., “8 Seconds,” the story of Lane Frost, 1987 PRCA Bull Riding World Champion.
  • Thursday, May 26. 4-6 p.m., Historic Honoka‘a Talk Story with authors Dr.Billy Bergin, “Loyal to the Land,” and Laura Ruby, “Honoka‘a Town,” at the Honoka‘a Public Library. Meet the community’s successful writers and learn what inspires and motivates them. This event coincides with the library’s Summer Reading program kickoff.  6:30 p.m., Hāmākua Ranchers Branding at The Landing restaurants. Local ranchers are invited to BYOB (Bring Your Own Branding iron) and brand a special wall display.
  • Friday, May 27. 3 p.m., Stick Horse Races 4 p.m., Paniolo Parade down Mamane Street, with mounted and marching units, pā‘ū riders, gleaming vintage cars and more. 5-10 p.m., Block Party, Steak Fry, Saloon Girl and Cowboys Got Talent Contests, great music and dancing in the Street. New this year, a free “Keiki Corral” for the kids from 5-7 p.m., with carnival-style games. Vendors interested in booth space for the Block Party may email Sue Dela Cruz, westernweekhonokaa@gmail.com, or download forms from the website.
  • Saturday, May 28- Hamakua-Kohala Health 50th Anniversary Health Fair, 10 am – 2pm Honoka‘a Gym Complex.  A free, family style celebration with beautiful Hawaiian music and hula, a healthy lū ‘au, helpful information from AlohaCare, HMSA, Aloha Insurance (Medicare) and Hale Ho‘ola, and much more. The ‘ono menu includes kālua turkey, pork laulau, chicken long rice, fernshoot salad, sweet potatoes, hapa rice, fresh fruits and haupia.
  • Saturday, May 28-Monday, May 30, Hawai‘i Saddle Club Scholarship Rodeo. Tickets $7 in advance $9 at the gate.

‘Scandal’ and ‘Tremors’ at Big Island Film Festival

In a good way, celebrity guests at Big Island Film Festival may stir up scandal and create tremors over Memorial Day Weekend at the Fairmont Orchid Hawai’i.

Bellamy Young

Bellamy Young

Acclaimed actress and singer Bellamy Young currently stars as “First Lady Mellie Grant” on ABC/Shonda Rhimes’ Peabody Award-winning series, “Scandal,” which Rolling Stone Magazine described as “the most badass first lady in TV history.” Young’s TV credits include CBS’ long-running series “Criminal Minds,” “CSI: Miami,” “Scrubs,” and the long-running NBC soap opera, “Another World.” A talented singer, her debut album Far Away So Close is a collection of contemporary covers influenced by her North Carolina roots.

Michael Gross

Michael Gross

Michael Gross, “Burt Gummer” of the “Tremors” movies will also attend the festival as an honoree. Perhaps most familiar as “Steven Keaton,” Michael J. Fox’s dad on the long-running sitcom “Family Ties,” Gross’ 40-year career spans a remarkable range of characters, including recurring roles on the Drew Cary Show, ER, How I Met Your Mother, USA Network’s Suits, Netflix’s Grace and Frankie, and YTV Canada’s The Stanley Dynamic. Gross stars in the BIFF Official selection “Last Call at Murray’s,” a new, indie film about an unlikely gathering of folks stranded in a snowbound karaoke bar.

Michael Gross and Michael Worth with BIFF Executive Director Leo Sears at last year's fest.

Michael Gross and Michael Worth with BIFF Executive Director Leo Sears at last year’s fest.

BIFF will honor Young and Gross at a special Salute & Reception in their honor on Saturday and Sunday respectively. Audiences will have a chance to participate in an in-depth interview with the star led by Peter Caranicas of Variety magazine, then join in a sunset cocktail reception with elegant pupus in the Wailana Gardens. Salutes & Receptions are open to the public and tickets may be purchased by May 25 at www.bigislandfilmfestival.com.

Now in its eleventh year, Big Island “Talk Story” Film Festival is a celebration of independent narrative films and filmmaking, taking place May 26-30. Major sponsors include the Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i and The Shops at Mauna Lani and Hawai‘i Tourism Authority/Hawai‘i County CPEP. For complete schedule information and tickets, visit www.BigIslandFilmFestival.com.