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GVS Accelerator Lands YouTube Star & Award Winning Mentors for 2015 – 2016 Cohorts

Hawai’i Island’s own YouTube star Alex Farnham represented one of the seven companies chosen to join the 2015 – ­2016 GVS Accelerator.

fYouTube sensation Alex Farnham

YouTube sensation Alex Farnham

A number of award­ winning entertainment industry mentors, Senator Glenn Wakai, Representative Nicole Lowen, Mayor Billy Kenoi, and Council Member Karen Eoff were on hand for the announcement at Honua Studios.

The GVS Transmedia Accelerator Program (GTA Program) is a partnership between Global Virtual Studio (GVS), the Hawai’i Strategic Development Corporation (HSDC), the County of Hawai’i and the GTA Development Fund, empowers creative entrepreneurs to launch original transmedia franchises for commercial audiences with an investment of $50,000 seed capital and industry mentors for each selected start­up franchise.

Accelerator Winners

Accelerators on island for Kickoff week include screenwriters Janet and Lee Batchler (POMPEII, BATMAN FOREVER), Jim Kruger (former Creative Director at Marvel, NY Times Bestselling Author, DC Comic Writer: X­Men, Batman) Frank Tate (MTV, MindQuilt, Super Franks) Mike Frank (Disney, Pepsi, Co­founder of Level 3 Communications). The selected companies represent a diverse cross­section of media and entertainment, each incorporating multiple product platforms ranging from feature films and TV series to graphic novels and mobile apps.

The seven companies selected for the 2015­2016 cohort are:

  • CAPTIVE – Founder Team: John Shepherd, Patrick Hibler; Genre: Drama/Action­Adventure; Platforms: Feature Film, Graphic Novel, Video Game -CAPTIVE is an action adventure film about a former SAS Officer who sets off on a series of suicidal adventures, traveling the Pacific on his only worldly possession – a 50+ foot sailboat.
  • THE MEDICINE RUNNER – Founder Team: Edwin Marshall, David Cunningham; Genre: Drama; Platforms: Feature Film, Book, App – THE MEDICINE RUNNER is a story about a homeless orphan boy of mixed race and a “Haole” (white) village doctor fighting for their place in the small coffee farming community of 1920’s Hawai’i.
  • MOCKSTARS – Founder Team: Alex Farnham, Richard Farnham; Genre: Comedy/ Mockumentary; Platforms: YouTube Channel, Mockumentary – MOCKSTARS is a web­driven series starring YouTube star, Alex Farnham. Each video parodies a current celebrity, movie, song, concert or happening through original music.
  • OCEANNA – Founder Team: Laurie & Wayne Nunez; Genre: Children’s Animated Series; Platforms: TV Series, Branded Products/Merchandise, Soundtrack, Book, App/Game, DVD – OCEANNA is an animated children’s TV series about a young girl whose daydreams transform her into the underwater superhero “Oceanna: Protector of the Sea”.
  • WINGS – Founder: Kaveh Kardan; Genre: Science Fiction; Platforms: Graphic Novel (Web based), Graphic Novel (Print), Feature Film – Giant robots inhabit the wilderness in WINGS, a steampunk tale about a young female pilot who sets off to solve the mystery of her parents’ disappearance.
  • NATIVE – Founder Team: Joel Angyal, Mike Leahy; Genre: Drama; Platforms: Feature Film, Clothing Line, Music Album – NATIVE is a feature film about a troubled teenage boy given an opportunity to develop his inner­warrior by connecting to his Hawaiian roots and training in mixed martial arts (MMA).
  • SURF BREAK HOTEL – Founder Team: Stefan Schaefer, Jonathan Stern; Genre: Sitcom; Platforms: Web/TV Series – SURF BREAK HOTEL is an original comedic series about a washed­up surf pro, Byron “ALL BIZ” Waggie, who’s forced to take a job as a surf instructor at a Maui beach hotel.

The addition of YouTube star Alex Farnham to the accelerator’s ranks brings one of the fastest­growing segments of media to the Program’s mix. Farnham got his start on YouTube with “one dolla” and quickly became a sensation with 68 million views and 229,000 subscribers. His project MOCKSTARS will parody current celebrities, movies and songs. Farnham said, “I think it’s great to have something like this here ­ great for the community and for the kids growing up here.”

Kaveh Kardan, founder of graphic novel project WINGS, is a graduate of sister incubator/accelerator program, Creative Lab. Stefan Schaefer (SURF BREAK HOTEL) was also a recent alternate in the program. Creative Lab was founded in 2012 by the Hawai’i State Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism’s Creative Industries Division (CID) to accelerate the growth of Hawaii’s creative entrepreneurs through immersive, hands­on training in motion pictures, television, screenwriting, broadband, new media, interactive/technology, music and design/fashion.

In addition to the $50,000 in seed funding for development, successful graduates of the accelerator program can now tap up to $250,000 in matching funds if they raise at least 25 percent of their follow­on budget in private equity and secure product distribution. Senator Glenn Wakai stated, “This is really the recipe for economic development the State has been looking for… for a small (State) investment, we partner with private investors and good things can happen.”


The GTA Program is a partnership between the County of Hawai’i, the Hawai’i Strategic Development Corporation (HSDC), the GTA Development Fund, and the GVS Accelerator. The GTA Program is a two­time Small Business Administration award­winner as one of the top accelerators in the U.S. and is part of Hawaii’s “Startup Paradise” community. For more information visit www.gvsaccelerator.com

Fred Koehnen Memoir Published – Lyman Museum Event to Honor Him

Fred J. Koehnen, Hawaii Island-born community and business leader, has had more than 90 years of action-packed experiences—but his unerring compass has always returned him to Hilo.

Fred J. Koehnen

Fred J. Koehnen

Koehnen’s just-published memoir, Been There Done That Back to Hilo, tells the story of his nine-decade odyssey. He’s hunted, fished, ridden, wrangled cattle, hiked, golfed and swum in every quarter of Hawai‘i Island.  In business, government and community service, he has diligently done what was needed, leaving a lasting mark.

Koehnen, 91, will be honored at a dinner sponsored by the Lyman Museum Sunday, Sept. 27 at Nani Mau Gardens.  A long-time member of the museum board, he is donating the proceeds from his memoir to the museum.

“Lyman Museum is a great repository of history, particularly of Hawaii Island, so it’s fitting that Fred’s book becomes part of the museum’s legacy,” said Richard Henderson, chairman of the Lyman board.

Tucked in the pages are historical tales and images of Hawaii Island from before World War II through statehood, the rise and fall of King Sugar, and the transformation of East Hawaii in response to devastating tsunamis.

As a boy, this son of German immigrants to Hilo saw glory and disgrace in the 1936 Olympics and Hitler’s pre-war Germany. He awoke at the University of Hawaii-Manoa on December 7, 1941 to Pearl Harbor’s bombing. Active in two wars—World War II and Vietnam—he was in active or reserve service for 32 years.  He’s traveled the world, read the important books and does complicated accounting in his head.

Many recognize the Koehnen name from F. Koehnen, Ltd., and the landmark Koehnen’s Building which housed a furniture and gifts store for decades.  The store was begun by Fred’s father, Friederich Koehnen, who came to Hilo in 1909 as an apprentice of sorts to the Hackfeld and Company trading firm.  Fred was born in 1924.

“We’re very pleased to be able to honor Fred and his contributions, both to our community and to the country,” said Barbara Moir, president and executive director of Lyman Museum.  “He’s been instrumental in building the museum’s base.  And as you’ll discover in his memoir, he’s also a heck of a writer!”

The book is available for $20 at the Museum’s gift shop. Tickets for the dinner honoring Koehnen are available by calling the museum at (808) 935-5021 ext. 104 or ext. 102.  Deadline is Sept. 19.

The dinner program will include an interview with Koehnen and a report on the museum’s plans for the immediate future.


Fall Pre-Teen Dance Party

The Hui Hīnano (a consortium of extracurricular clubs at Nāwahī) is hosting a pre-teen dance at Andrews gym for students currently in grades 6-8 on Oct. 3.
fall danceTickets are $7 pre-sale.  This is a drug and alcohol free event.

2015 Photo Contest – “Big Island On Foot”

All around Hawai’i Island, a walk in the park, beachside stroll, mountain hike, or random wander through town can reveal serene, spectacular and surprising images. In the fast-paced age of selfies and instant sharing, the “Big Island On Foot” 2015 Photo Contest invites amateur photographers of all ages island-wide to slow down, walk around, and see what there is to capture with the camera.

Photo Contest Waimea

The Big Island on Foot: Amazing Things You See When You Are Walking About is presented as an opportunity for amateur photographers by the community-building 501(c)(3) nonprofit, Waimea Alive! Submissions for the contest open September 15.

Photos will be reviewed anonymously by a panel of expert judges, and evaluated as to (1) Appropriateness to Theme, (2) Creativity, and (3) Photographic Quality. Winners will be announced during a photo gallery exhibit at the Historic Spencer House, on Thursday, Nov. 12 at 5 p.m.

“The photo contest is something we do for the community, just for fun. And we thought the ‘on foot’ concept worked really well,” said Waimea Alive! Board Member Paul Johnston. “It’s a way to encourage people to step out of bounds a little. Don’t just drive around in your car looking for photo ops; get out in nature or go to town and find something that catches your attention. And don’t worry if you’re not a walker—we completely welcome the unique perspective of folks who travel by wheelchair or scooter.”

Last year’s contest yielded over 150 entries from 55 amateur photographers. Elin Kalaniopio took first place with her joyful black and white portrait of a child tring to climb aboard a pony. Second place went to Michael Varney for a stunning surf shot, and third, to Pablo McLoud for his sweeping Waimea landscape.

Honorable mentions went to Christian Enns (2), James (J.J.) Higgenson, Elin Kalaniopio, Malia McKendry, Pablo McLoud, Kathryn Rawle, Anthony Roberts, Nancy Carr Smith, Rosary K., DS. Souza, Jordan Vedelli, Mahealani Winters and Titus Winters.

Partner company Waimea Instant Printing will be accepting photo entries, printed on paper (with completed entry form and fee), as of Sept. 15. They have also offered to provide color prints on quality photocopy paper at the discounted price of $1 per print.

Anyone who routinely sells images in any market is not eligible. Deadline to enter is Nov. 4. Entry fee is $15 for up to three images for those 18 years old and up; only $10 for entrants under 18. For rules, entry forms and more information, visit www.waimeaalive.org or www.Facebook.com/HistoricSpencerHouse.

New Activities Mark 20th Taste of the Hawaiian Range

While “grazing” at over 60 culinary stations and exhibit booths, attendees at the 20th Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range can get in on some new activities that all promote local and sustainable food production on Hawai‘i Island.

The Taste of the Hawaiian Range is one of my sons favorite events!

The Taste of the Hawaiian Range is one of my sons favorite events!

The anniversary event is 6-8 p.m. Friday, October 9 at the Hilton Waikoloa Village and boasts a stellar lineup of participating chefs from O’ahu, Maui and Hawai‘i Island—plus sampling by local food producers and compelling exhibits presenting topics related to our island agriculture.

Each attending family will receive a complimentary copy of the Taste of the Hawaiian Range 20th Anniversary Cookbooklet, filled with recipes by local chefs and members of the local beef industry. Find out how the Arakis of Kuhio Grille make Miso Pork Pot Roast and what’s the secret for Merriman’s Kahua Ranch Lamb Jook.


Also new in 2015 is a digital scavenger hunt where up to 500 guests can answer questions, take photos and learn more about Big Isle agriculture—using their smart phones —for a chance to win prizes like restaurant gift certificates and local food products.

In addition, attendees will be able to connect with exhibit booths through a QR code image posted at each table. The code will connect smart phone users to online product discounts, coupons and links for educational resources.

“These digital activities will enable attendees to take advantage of discount offers from our participating local food producers for up to a year after the event,” explains Christine Osterwalder, Taste exhibit chair. “Guests will also be able to download digital handouts from our educational exhibitors. Info will be conveniently accessible at the click of a button and celebrates the amazing variety of agricultural products here on the Big Island.”


Anniversary festivities will include honoring the event’s 20-year participants and others who have been long-term Taste supporters.

Culinary headliners for this year’s event include Bravo’s “Top Chef” Fan Favorite Sheldon Simeona of Maui’s Migrant Restaurant; Kevin Hanney of Oahu’s 12th Avenue Grill, the 2015 Hale Aina Best Restaurant of the Year; and the host of TV’s “Family Ingredients,” Ed Kenny of Honolulu’s Town Restaurant.

These celebrity chefs, and 30-some others, will be preparing delectable dishes using pasture-raised beef, lamb, goat, mutton and pork. A variety of beef cuts—from tongue to tail— are utilized so chefs and attendees can get acquainted with not-so-familiar cuts while having fun. The pasture-raised beef is sourced from local, humanely raised cattle that are free of antibiotics and hormones. Enjoy familiar cuts like sirloin tip and ribs, plus tripe and the infamous “rocky mountain oysters” or bull testicles.

The Rocky Mountain Oyster Display

The Rocky Mountain Oyster Display

Hawaii Regional Cuisine founders Roy Yamaguchi and Peter Merriman will lead the pre-gala’s educational offerings, which are open to the public. Using oxtail and beef tenderloin, Chef Yamaguchi of Roy’s instructs the 2015 edition of Cooking Pasture-Raised Beef 101 at 3 p.m. Peter Merriman of Merriman’s Restaurants offers a presentation on purchasing local for the professional kitchen that is geared for college culinary students at 1:30 p.m.

Pre-sale tickets for Taste are $45 and $60 at the door. Entry to Cooking 101 is $10 while the 1:30 p.m. class is free. Tickets are on sale at island-wide locations and online. Tickets locations include Kuhio Grille in Hilo, JJ’s Country Market in Honoka‘a, Kamuela Liquors and Parker Ranch Store in Waimea, Kona Wine Market in Kailua-Kona and Kohala Essence Shop at the Hilton Waikoloa Village. Purchase tickets online at www.TasteoftheHawaiianRange.com.

Watch for ticket giveaways on Facebook at Taste of the Hawaiian Range and Twitter #TasteHI.

A free parking and shuttle service to Taste is available from ‘Anaeho‘omalu Bay noon-10 p.m.; follow parking signs on Waikoloa Beach Drive. Guests are encouraged to come early to avoid shuttle lines. For general event information, phone (808) 969-8209.

Anyone who requires an auxiliary aid or service for effective communication or a modification of policies and procedures to participate in this event should contact Russell Nagata at 808-969-8209 no later than September 7.

taste2015bMealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range and Agriculture Festival provides a venue for sustainable agricultural education, encouragement and support of locally produced ag products. The premiere ag-tourism event is a partnership between CTAHR, Hawaii Cattlemen’s Association, Hawaii Cattlemen’s Council, Kulana Foods, UH-Hilo CAFNRM, County of Hawaii Dept. on Environmental Management and community volunteers. Sponsorship also includes the Hawaii Tourism Authority, the Hawaii County Research and Development, Hawaii Community College Food Service & Culinary Program, Kamehameha Schools, KTA SuperStores, West Hawaii Today and Pacific Radio Group. The quality and growth of this event are rooted in small business participation, sponsorship and in-kind donations. For more information, visit www.TasteoftheHawaiianRange.com.


Kamehameha Schools Girl Wins Hawaii Stars Competition

Hawaii Island Kamehameha Schools Middle School (KMS) student Kyra Gomes was crowned the 2015 Hawaii Stars Teen Competition champion on tonight’s broadcast of Hawaii Stars.

Kyra on Hawaii StarsGomes, a talented 8th grader at KMS Kula Waena, started her career at a young age and has been in many performances over the years.  She received rave reviews as the lead role in the Broadway Musical “Annie” that was performed at Kamehamea Schools when she was still in elementary school and recently performed at the Hilo Palace Theater in “A Century of Hapa Haole Songs”.

Kyra, daughter of Jeffrey and Wendy Gomes of Hilo, Hawaii, performed “Proud of Your Boy” from the Disney Broadway show Aladdin.  She took initiative and went outside of the box and made a creative turn in the song and changed the lyrics to “Proud of Your Girl”.

In order to advance to the finals, there were two preliminary rounds at the 50th State Fair held at Aloha Stadium.   According to sources on the scene… “she actually made the women judges cry there as well…”

Big Island Film Festival Now Accepting New Films

Submissions will open September 1, 2015 for Big Island Film Festival at The Fairmont Orchid Hawai‘i (BIFF), accepting new, narrative films for its 11th Annual event, May 26-30, 2016. BIFF is also hosting an original screenplay contest, with entries juried by a panel of industry professionals.

Some of the participants and winners of the 2014 Big Island Film Festival

Some of the participants and winners of the 2014 Big Island Film Festival

Acclaimed by NBC story consultant Jen Grisanti in The Huffington Post, Peter Caranicas in Variety.com, and numerous MovieMaker Magazine kudos, BIFF offers the film community in Hawai’i and beyond an easygoing island environment for networking, movie-watching under the stars, food and music happenings and more.

Deadlines. Narrative short films (30 minutes or less) and feature length (60 minutes or more) completed after January 1, 2015 will be considered. Deadlines are:

  • Early Bird – November 1, 2015. Early Bird Entry Fees: $50 Feature, $40 Short, $30 Student
  • Regular – January 1, 2016. Regular Entry Fees: $60 Feature, $50 Short, $35 Student
  • Late/Final February 1, 2016. Late Entry Fees: $70 Feature, $60 Short, $40 Student

All films shot in Hawai‘i or created by filmmakers who live in Hawai‘i receive a 25% discount on entry fees (verification required), with direct submission—as do BIFF alumni from everywhere.

BIFF uses www.FilmFreeway.com for its film submissions and screenplay contest entries. An easy and affordable process, Film Freeway offers free HD online screeners, Vimeo and YouTube integration, and more.


“Golden Honu Awards” will be presented to the Best Feature and Best Short in Family, Student, Animated, Foreign, Hawai‘i and Audience Choice categories at a special Awards Brunch to honor the filmmakers and their works on Monday, May 26, 2016.

Ariel Kebbel was awarded a Golden Honu last year.

Ariel Kebbel was awarded a Golden Honu last year.

The Big Island Film Festival at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i is a celebration of narrative filmmaking, with free family films under the stars, international features and shorts, stellar social events, celebrity receptions, screenwriting workshops, film awards and much more in an outstanding island setting. Anchor sponsors include: The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i, The Shops at Mauna Lani, Hawai‘i Tourism Authority/Hawai‘i County Department of Research and Development CPEP, and many other generous sponsors and supporters. For submission rules and application visit www.BigIslandFilmFestival.com or call 808-883-0394.

Roseanne Barr to Perform at Kahilu to Raise Funds for Theatre’s Education Programs

Labor Day, Monday, September 7, 7:00 PM, Kahilu Theatre presents a night of stand-up comedy with comedy icon Roseanne Barr as a fundraiser for its education programs.

The Real RoseanneBig Island resident, comedy superstar, award-winning actress, best-selling author, recent presidential candidate, and the original domestic goddess, Roseanne Barr hits the stage at Kahilu Theatre for an evening full of sidesplitting comedy that only she knows how to serve up. This special fundraiser is a gift from Roseanne to the Theatre, as all proceeds from the evening will go towards Kahilu education programs.

After nine years, 224 episodes, four Emmy awards, and countless other accolades, Roseanne is credited with single-handedly changing the medium of situational comedy forever. Her creation and portrayal of “Roseanne Conner” and the Conner family on ABC’s Roseanne, has been hailed as “the most ground breaking kitchen-sink sitcom since All in the Family,” (Entertainment Weekly) adding, “she’s the funniest disturber of peace that we have.”

She began her career as a stand-up comedian, turning her experiences as a wife and mother into a hilarious comedy act that audiences couldn’t resist. She subsequently produced and starred in her own hit sitcom Roseanne, which ran for nine seasons and averaged approximately 30 million viewers each week. The role earned Barr an Emmy Award, as well as Golden Globe, Kids’ Choice, and multiple American Comedy Awards.

In 2013, Roseanne returned to her stand-up roots headlining an exclusive run at the legendary Tropicana Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. She also began blogging actively on her website, www.roseanneworld.com, and she is very active on Twitter as @TheRealRoseanne. Currently, Roseanne can be found on network television as the center judge on NBC’s Emmy Award-nominated series “Last Comic Standing.”

The halls of Kahilu Theatre will surely be full of laughs this Labor Day, as this high profile event is set to raise significant funds for Kahilu’s education programs.

Tickets are $88 / $68 / $48 / $20 and available 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.

Palace Celebration Debuts New Hawaiian Music Book/CD

Hulihe’e Palace celebrates the publication of a new Hawaiian music songbook/CD release by Aunty Noelani Mahoe at 10 a.m.-noon Friday, Aug. 28. Admission is free.


Join the Daughters of Hawai’i in a morning of great music with a sing-a-long. Aunty Noe will also sign her new songbook, “Ho‘ahu ‘Ana o Na Mele-Ho‘okahi Iwakalua a Hapa Kakini-One Score and Half a Dozen-A Collection of Songs, Stories & Pictures“ on the palace grounds.

Edwina Marie Noelani Kanoho Mahoe, better known as “Aunty Noe,“ offers 26 Hawaiian songs—each with lyrics, chords and professional recording—in the new release. The compilation is geared as a complete reference for musicians of all skill levels and also provides the fascinating stories behind many of the songs.

The book will be available for purchase at the palace gift shop, open 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Mondays- Saturdays, phone 808-329-6558.

Epic Origami Exhibit at Imiloa Astronomy Center

From miniature folds to life-size sculptures, the Japanese art of origami can come in a variety of unique shapes, sizes and materials.

“Great White Shark” by origami artist Nguyen Hung Cuong

“Great White Shark” by origami artist Nguyen Hung Cuong

The ʻImiloa Astronomy Center of the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo presents Epic Origami, a new temporary exhibit that will explore the art and science of origami and how the ancient craft is making advances in astronomy, medicine and the automotive industry. The exhibit, which runs from July 5 through September 27, will feature origami artists from around the world.

Featured artists:

Bonnie Cherni is an avid student of origami artist John Montroll’s designs and was inspired to fold origami from age of fifteen. She is the leading artist for this exhibit and has collaborated with guest artists from around the world, creating everything from miniature to life-sized sculptures, in mediums ranging from paper, aluminum, copper and canvas. Her art embodies the idea of “folding sturdy sculptures that can live out in the real world.”

Vietnamese artist Nguyen Hung Cuong lives in Hanoi and folds many of his expressive designs using a Vietnamese paper with a waxy finish called do. He has been folding since the young age of five and has been featured in many origami books with his incredibly detailed pieces.

Terry Nicolas is a professional origami artist who resides in Paris, France. He is an accomplished author and creator of origami-shop.us, one of the most popular origami sites in the world.

Steven Epstein resides on Hawaiʻi Island. With a degree in computer science and minor in math, Epstein has fun bringing math to life with his intricate modular origami pieces.

Local artist Shannon Nakaya is a highly recognized bird surgeon and veterinarian who applies her understanding of anatomical structure and function to folding complex origami.

Between the Folds

In conjunction with this exhibit, the award-winning film Between the Folds will be shown daily in the planetarium at 11 a.m. (not full dome, but letterbox format).

This documentary paints a striking portrait of the remarkable artistic and scientific creativity that fuels the ever-changing art of origami, fusing science and sculpture, form and function and ancient and new.

Epic Origami

Exhibit details

The exhibit will officially open on Sunday, July 5 at 9 a.m. with two showings of Between the Folds at 10 a.m and 11 a.m. and origami folding stations available throughout the day. From 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. ʻImiloa members are invited to a private pizza lunch and exclusive origami folding activities with Cherni.

Regular exhibit guests are also encouraged to participate in the origami scavenger hunt and try their hand at creating their own origami at the origami folding station.

Admission to Epic Origami and Between the Folds is included in the general admission fee of $17.50 for adults and $9.50 for children. Kamaʻaina prices are available and ʻImiloa members receive free admission.

Cherni will be back at ʻImiloa to teach special workshops on July 11 and September 19, 10-11:30 a.m. Admission is $25.00 for members and $35.00 for non-members. Space is very limited so early registration is suggested. An adult must accompany children under 10. To sign-up, visit ʻImiloa’s front desk or call (808) 969-9703.

Sam Choy’s in the Kitchen with the Tiki Shark

Chef Sam Choy’s traction gaining web show “Sam Choy’s in the Kitchen” will feature Brad Tiki Shark Parker and his household for its first celebrity episode.

Brad Parker photo bombs Sam Choy!

Sam Choy drops by the Parker residence.

“We have done over 10 episodes and decided to give our viewers something special this time and also see what’s really in a local celebrities kitchen” quoted Chef Choy. “We had fun and will be visiting more celebrities kitchens in future episodes” he added.

According to Producer Richard Gonzalez “the show was totally off our regular format but extremely entertaining and will be received well by our viewers”

“Sam is welcome in my kitchen anytime” quoted Brad Tiki Shark Parker. Its always a good time getting together with a Chef who is as wacky and crazy as I am!”.

Sam Choy in the Kitchen

The Celebrity episode will debut on YouTube on August 18.

Mary Poppins at the Hilo Palace Theater

My son will be starring as “Michael” in the the Palace Theater Production of the 14th Annual Fall Musical “Mary Poppins”.
Mary Poppins PosterTickets are $15.00 in advance or $20 the day of the shows.

Second Saturday’s Start Soon – Pahoa Music & Art Walk

The town of Pahoa is alive and well following the recent scare from the lava flow that threatened the town during the past year.  Starting Saturday, August 8th and continuing on the Second Saturday of each month Pahoa town will host a Music & Art Walk through the town.

Pahoa Music and Art WalkThe festivities begin at 5 pm.  For more information, email SecondSaturday@LoveEternal.org or call 808-315-8984 for more information.

Act Now – Discounts Available for Annual Hawaii International Tropical Fruit Conference

The 25th Annual Hawaii International Tropical Fruit Conference is September 25-27 at Courtyard King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel. All attendees registering before August 1 enjoy a discounted fee of up to $50; visit hawaiitropicalfruitgrowers.org to register online with paypal; conference forms can be found at htfg.org.  Open to the public, the event includes mini-conferences on Kauai and in Hilo.

HTFG2015Geared to farmers, educators, orchard managers and proponents of sustainable agriculture, the Thursday-Tuesday event is presented by the statewide Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers (HTFG).

The anniversary conference is titled “Back to Our Roots” and offers a lineup of visiting researchers and agro experts. Yaz Dixzbalis of Queensland will give the keynote address, “Cacao, Jackfruit, Hot-Water, Trellis Wires and Their Relevance to Tropical Horticulture in Australia.” Dixzbalis is an agronomist, serving as a tropical fruit horticulturist with Australia’s Department for Foreign Affairs and Trade. His recent research efforts involve trellising tropical fruits for improved cyclone resilience.

Other speakers and their topics include “The Fruit Explorer” Joseph Simcox, who travels the globe searching, tasting and documenting thousands of edibles. Peter Salleras will discuss a grower’s prospective of “Striving for Sustainable Tropical Tree Fruit Production in the 21st Century and Bob Shaffer presents “Soil Culture in Hawaii.”  Shaffer, agronomist for Honaunau-based Soil Culture Consulting, offers assistance to transition farms, orchards and pastures to biologically integrated farming systems using sustainable farming strategies.

HTFG Executive Director Ken Love says the conference will include USDA updates, Sunday tours with Tom Baldwin, networking and fruit tasting. In addition, Diczbalis will present a “Photo Journal of Fruitful Visits to SE Asia.”

Registration forms and fee schedule are available at www.htfg.org or by contacting Love at kenlove@hawaiiantel.net or Mark Suiso at suiso@aloha.net.

Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers: Marking its 26th year, HTFG was incorporated in 1989 to promote tropical fruit grown in Hawaii. It is a statewide association of tropical fruit growers, packers, distributors and hobbyists dedicated to tropical fruit research, education, marketing and promotion; www.htfg.org.

Orchid Show Preview Party Held in Memory of Sandy Song

This year, the benefit Preview Party that kicks off the Hilo Orchid Society’s 63rd anniversary Orchid Show and Sale is being held in memory of Sandy Song.

The Hilo Orchid Show Preview Party on Thursday, August 6 is dedicated to the late Sandra Song (right) as a tribute to her years of devoted board service to Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center, and her avid orchid growing and judging.  The late Song and Judge Andrew Wilson (left) were founding board members of Ku‘ikahi in 2016.

The Hilo Orchid Show Preview Party on Thursday, August 6 is dedicated to the late Sandra Song (right) as a tribute to her years of devoted board service to Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center, and her avid orchid growing and judging. The late Song and Judge Andrew Wilson (left) were founding board members of Ku‘ikahi in 2016.

The party is dedicated to the late Song as a tribute to her years of devoted board service to Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center, and her avid orchid growing and judging.

“It’s Ku‘ikahi’s way of honoring Sandy,” said party chair Cody Frenz.  “She did so much every year to make the preview party a success.  She donated orchids and wine, sold tickets, and garnered the loyalty of party volunteers.”

Held from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 6, the gala features drinks, food, music, and orchid pre-sales.  Please note that the location for this year’s party and show has changed to the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium.  The event is zero waste, with eco-friendly eating utensils, plus recycling/composting stations.

Each party-goer receives a souvenir glass, in order to enjoy a selection of fine wines, plus beer on tap from Kona Brewing Co.  Non-alcoholic beverages and coffee from Hilo Coffee Mill are also served.

Pupu, dinner, and dessert buffets are compliments of Island Naturals and AJ & Sons Catering, featuring the food stylings of Dean Shigeoka and Audrey Wilson, food columnist for the Hawaii Tribune-Herald.

“This truly is a ‘fun’-raiser.  People eat, drink, socialize, and have the first chance to shop for magnificent and rare orchid plants,” Frenz said, “And proceeds from the party benefit two non-profits: Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center and Hilo Orchid Society.”

Guests will enjoy a generous selection of fine wines at the 63rd Annual Hilo Orchid Show and Sale Preview Party.  Held at the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium on August 6, the gala event also features beer on tap from Kona Brewing Co., coffee from Hilo Coffee Mill, and gourmet juices from Island Naturals.

Guests will enjoy a generous selection of fine wines at the 63rd Annual Hilo Orchid Show and Sale Preview Party. Held at the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium on August 6, the gala event also features beer on tap from Kona Brewing Co., coffee from Hilo Coffee Mill, and gourmet juices from Island Naturals.

Tickets for the Preview Party are $65 ($25 of which is tax deductible) and may be purchased in advance from The Most Irresistible Shop, Hilo Coffee Mill, Day-Lum Properties, and Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center.  Or call Julie Mitchell at (808) 935-7844 x 5.  For more information, visit www.hiloorchidsociety.org/preview-party or www.hawaiimediation.org.

This Weekend – BISAC Summer Jam 2015

The Big Island Substance Abuse Council is inviting the public to come out to celebrate the fun-filled days of summer at its Summer Jam 2015 on Saturday July 25, 2015 at Waiākea High School from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.

This year’s entertainment line up features New Zealand pop sensation Pieter T and Hawaiʻi’s own Nesian N.I.N.E.

Pieter T

Pieter T

Pieter T has been steadily climbing up the New Zealand radio charts since his days with the musical group, Boyband. In 2009 Pieter T debuted as a solo artist with the single “Cold Nights” followed by the singles, “Stay With Me”, “Can’t Stop Loving You” and “Something Else”, which peaked at number six on the NZ Radio Charts. His latest release is the single “Business” featuring PNC and Dei Hamo off his debut album “Life”.

Nesian N.I.N.E. (Natives Inna New Era)

Nesian N.I.N.E. (Natives Inna New Era)

Island Reggae Music group Nesian N.I.N.E. (Natives Inna New Era) hit the charts in 2009 with their Hōkū-nominated album “Press Play,” and has been going strong ever since, appearing with BoyZ II Men, Klymaxx, El Debarge and others.

Other featured artists in the line up include, 2014 Brown Bags to Stardom winners One Rhythm 808, Beyond Paradise, and Kolea.

“It’s really very exciting to once again have so many talented artists coming to play at the Summer Jam,” said BISAC CEO Dr. Hannah Preston-Pita.

This year’s event will also feature a National Qualifier Strongman Competition, ‘ono food and keiki crafts and activities including the Zoo Choo, Bouncy Houses, Human Hamster Ball, Laser Tag, Bungee Run and a Sticky Wall. Keiki ride wristbands purchased online are 50% off. Entry is a $2 suggested donation.

All funds raised above the cost of producing the event go towards BISAC’s adult and school-based Poʻokela Vocational program, Mom and Babies program, and Keiki School Based Services.

For more information about BISAC’s Summer Jam go to www.summerjamhawaii.com.


Wordless Wednesday – Food and Art?

Famous Hawaii Chef Sam Choy was spotted at the Kona Airport with artist Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker earlier today.

Renowned Tiki Artist Brad Parker seen chatting up & travelling with Celebrity Chef Sam Choy today at Kona Airport.

Renowned Tiki Artist Brad Parker seen chatting up & travelling with Celebrity Chef Sam Choy today at Kona Airport.

Parker’s agent Abbas Hassan said, “Big local news story is to follow next month”.

Chef Sam Choy was also seen traveling today with Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker’s well connected agent Abbas Hassan at Kona Airport

Chef Sam Choy was also seen traveling today with Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker’s well connected agent Abbas Hassan at Kona Airport

Anyone know what’s cooking?

63rd Annual Hilo Orchid Society Show and Sale

The 63rd Annual Hilo Orchid Society Show and Sale: ORCHIDS AVANT-GARDE takes place August 7th (9am-6pm), 8th  (9am-5pm) and 9th  (10am-2pm).

The Edith Kanaka‘ole Stadium is the site for the Hilo Orchid Society’s 61st Annual Orchid Show and Sale. The Preview Party on Thursday evening, August 1, gives ticket holders the first opportunity to see the lush displays and buy orchids, plants, and related products.

The Edith Kanaka‘ole Stadium is the site for the Hilo Orchid Society’s 63rd Annual Orchid Show and Sale. The Preview Party on Thursday evening, August 1, gives ticket holders the first opportunity to see the lush displays and buy orchids, plants, and related products.

Thousands of orchids in displays created by top notch growers and amateurs entice audiences in this three day spectacle at the Afook-Chinen Auditorium in Hilo, Hawaii. Visitors can expect to see exotic species, beautifully grown specimen plants and the latest hybrids, many created by Big Island orchid breeders.

Judging of plants will be conducted on Thursday August 6th by certified American Orchid Society judges with dozens of trophies and ribbons awarded.  There will also be a preview party Thursday night.  Information about orchids and their cultivation will be offered in free mini-classes conducted by experts during the show.  Orchids Avant-Garde will feature a refreshment area with a silent auction, and entertainment each afternoon.  Sales areas offer orchid and plant related products plus, of course, magnificent orchids for purchase, including many you won’t find in your typical retail garden store or nursery.  Purchases may be shipped to the mainland.  For more information, call (808)756-8145 or go to www.hiloorchidsociety.org.

Hawaii Farm Bureau Launches Publication

The Hawai‘i Farm Bureau Federation (HFBF) announces the launch of a new four-color, glossy magazine, Hawai‘i Farm & Food. The print and online publication is a media partnership between the statewide Farm Bureau and Pacific Basin Communications-the renowned publisher of Hawai‘i’s largest magazine group, whose portfolio includes Hawaii Business, HONOLULU Magazine and HAWAII Magazine.

Catherine Toth Fox will serve as the editor

Catherine Toth Fox will serve as the editor

“Hawai‘i Farm & Food will delve into issues facing Hawai‘i’s agricultural industries, unique specialty crops and commodity groups”, says HFBF president Chris Manfredi of Ka’u Farm and Ranch on the Big Island. “This new magazine will bring the challenges of Hawai‘i’s farmers, ranchers and aquaculturists to the forefront to help people better understand how food is produced and brought to store shelves. Think of it as a farm tour you can hold in your hand. We’re particularly excited that the publication’s app will be available for free on iTunes – and we’re thrilled to be working with the professionals at Pacific Basin Communications,” notes Manfredi.

Hawai‘i Farm and Food will feature farmers and their stories from across the state, updates on legislative issues, chef highlights of Hawai‘i-grown products, recipes and events supporting local agriculture.

Freelance journalist and blogger Catherine Toth Fox of O‘ahu will serve as Editor. The inaugural issue will premiere with a circulation of 5,000 printed copies and unlimited digital access for the mainstream audience.

The magazine will be direct-mailed to all HFBF members, available for free pick-up at the Farm Bureau Farmers’ Markets and various other outlets, and digital download on iTunes. Visit hfbf.org for a current listing. For advertising and sponsorship opportunities please contact Sharon Spear, publisher at 808-534-7528 or sharons@pacificbasin.net.

The Hawaii Farm Bureau is comprised of nearly 2,000 member families in 11 county chapters located across the state: East O’ahu, Hamakua, Hilo, Ka‘u, Kaua’i, Kohala, Kona, Maui, Moloka‘i, South O‘ahu and West O‘ahu. HFB serves as Hawai‘i’s “Voice of Agriculture,” to protect, advocate and advance the social, economic and educational interest of the state’s diverse agricultural community. To learn more, visit www.hfbf.org or phone 808-848-2074.

Cruise Paradise 2015 Scheduled on the Big Island

The Hawai`i Classic Cruisers (HCC) organization has hosted the largest classic/vintage car cruise in the State of Hawaii every three years (“Cruise Paradise”) since 2000. This year, “Cruise Paradise 2015” is scheduled from June 25, 2015 through July 5, 2015 throughout the Big Island of Hawaii.

Art by Robert Wong

Art by Robert Wong

Car enthusiasts from across the globe, Kansas, Michigan, Oregon, Texas, California and Nevada (just to name a few) are committed to ship their classic/vintage vehicles to Hilo and participate in this event. Neighbor island car enthusiasts from Oahu and Maui also ship their classic/vintage vehicles for this event and join our very own local car enthusiasts from the Big Island to participate in 10 fun-filled days of cruising with the classics. Those traveling from away, finance their own transportation of their vehicle(s) to get to the Big Island harbors.

Participants pay $20 to enter one vehicle and $10 for each vehicle thereafter. This fee allows their vehicle entry into all show and shine events. One-day passes are available for $10 per vehicle at a single event of their choice. It will cost approximately $50,000+ to put on this 10-day event. Expenses include insurances, permits, facility rentals, advertising, professional services, audio/visual services, equipment rental, etc. T-shirts, hats and memorabilia of this event are available for purchase.

Cruise Paradise 2015 is a great opportunity that allows for the Hawaii Classic Cruisers to partner with the community, the County of Hawaii and businesses to showcase and promote our beautiful island. Spectators can participate in this free, fun, family-oriented 10-day event that puts the Big Island on the map of the world with other hot rod organizations.

During Cruise Paradise 2012, over 400 classic vehicles geared up for car shows on the Big Island that attracted over 10,000 spectators in Hilo, Kona and Waikoloa. Residents and visitors walked away from past events extremely satisfied and inspired by the camaraderie and vehicles displayed. The past success of this event resulted in many community members, neighbor islanders and out-of-state participants requesting a repeat of this event.

To enhance the 2015 4th of July (Independence Day) celebration, hundreds of vintage and modified classic cars will be on display for the day in Downtown Hilo Bayfront on July 4. All participants absorb the cost of buying/building a classic car and getting their rides ready for the show-and-shine events. The public is invited to view, photo and experience a part of the past that will rekindle fond memories for the kupuna and create fresh ones for the keiki.

cruise Paradise cars

Car owners receive compliments for displaying their classic/vintage cars at the show-and-shine events. The ambiance of having hundreds of classics in one location and friendly interaction experienced by a diversified group of people has been a true inspiration for car enthusiasts.

Throughout Cruise Paradise 2015, car enthusiasts will burn over 7,500 gallons of fuel, travel over a total of 90,000 miles and spend $23,000 in fuel costs alone. Some vehicles anticipate traveling approximately 600 miles over the 10 days getting about 10-12 miles per gallon of fuel. Car enthusiasts will travel across the island, lodge at various hotels and condominiums, eat at local eateries and shop in our malls, shops and supermarkets. This event is an incredible boost to our local economy.

HCC President, Herbert Leite says, “We are extremely pleased and thankful for the support from the County of Hawaii, local community and car enthusiasts. Car owners invest a lot of time and money building and/or buying their classic vehicles. It gives them great pleasure to share their prized 4-wheeled rides with the community.

We are honored to bring this event to the Big Island this year at no cost to the spectators. We could not make this happen without the help of our 30+ local and mainland sponsors. Hawaii Classic Cruisers thanks NAPA Auto Parts for being the primary financial sponsor of Cruise Paradise since 2000. Other sponsors who contribute significant funding to make this event possible include Orchid Isle Auto Center and DeLuz Chevrolet. Approximately 25+ other sponsors collectively contribute about 25% of the funds needed.

Everyone is encouraged to participate and make this one to remember.”

More information can be found at www.hawaiiclassiccruisers.com