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World of Magic at the Hilo Palace Theater

The Hilo Elks Lodge 759 will present its annual World of Magic show from 11am to 12:30pm at downtown Hilo’s Palace Theater on Sunday, December 6.

world of magic

This year’s special performer will be international award magician Bruce Meyers. Based in Hawaii and Washington, Bruce’s masterful stage presence and his warm, benevolent, and funny personality quickly connects with his audience, compelling them to become part of the fun, wonder and magic.

Together with wife and long-time stage partner Jennifer, the Meyers will fill Hilo’s Palace Theater with astonishing wonder. They will perform ancient magic from India such as the Basket of Immortality. It will feature aerial dancer Luna Sophia as she ascends from the basket to perform her beautiful aerial silk artistry.

During the show, Bruce may ask the audience to hold on tight to a solid oak table as it floats around the stage, shower them with real flowers, or, if they’re not careful, perhaps dozens of eggs.

“The noblest art is that of making others happy. That’s real magic. It’s what we do” said the Meyers. As the Magician of the Year by the Northwest Ring of Fire in Seattle, Comedy Magician of the Year in Vancouver, Canada, and 1st Place In Stage by the Pacific Coast Association of Magicians, Bruce and company will spread happiness and joy to remind the audiences that, despite all of its faults, the world is still a breathtaking, beautiful, and mysterious place.

At the end of the show, expect Santa to make a special appearance.

Sponsored by the Elks National Foundation and community members, admissions to this performance is free, and donations are welcome.

For more information, please contact Lily at the Hilo Elks 935-1717.

Big Island Company Recognized in OUTSIDE’s Best Places to Work 2015

Hawaii Forest & Trail is the only company from the state of Hawaii to have been selected as one of OUTSIDE’s Best Places to Work 2015. Each year, OUTSIDE recognizes the top 100 companies in the United States that help their employees strike the ideal balance between work and play. These companies encourage employees to lead an active lifestyle, are eco-conscious, and prioritize giving back to the community.

Hawaii Forest and Trail President Rob Pacheco interprets the geology of Hualalai.  Photo PF Bentley

Hawaii Forest and Trail President Rob Pacheco interprets the geology of Hualalai. Photo PF Bentley

This prestigious recognition by OUTSIDE magazine as one of the best places to work across the country is truly an honor. When we started Hawaii Forest & Trail in 1992, my wife Cindy and I made a commitment to build our business around the concept of ohana, or family, where we foster connections between our co-worker ohana and the natural world. It’s what we strive for,” said Hawaii Forest & Trail President Rob Pacheco.

“The companies recognized in this year’s Best Places to Work list are the gold standard for stellar work environments that seek to empower their employees both in and out of the office,” said OUTSIDE Online Editor Scott Rosenfield. “The new categories in this year’s list serve to highlight outstanding workplaces in distinctive fields-making it all the easier for our readers to find their dream jobs.”

What Makes Hawaii Forest & Trail A Great Place to Work?

When Rob and Cindy Pacheco founded Hawaii Forest & Trail in the garage of their house, they never dreamed their tour operation would grow to have more than 50 employees at 3 locations on Hawaii Island. The secret to their success has always been finding employees who share their passion for the outdoors, for each other and their island home.

As the company continues to grow, Hawaii Forest & Trail emphasizes the cultivation of close personal connections and provides employees with new opportunities. Just recently Hawaii Forest & Trail launched its “Ohana and Natural Resources Department” where the primary focus is to develop staff education opportunities, conservation partnerships, and community involvement. Initiatives developed by this department include staff BBQs, group volunteer programs, ongoing educational lectures from natural and cultural experts, and an invitation to participate in community hikes. These opportunities for personal growth coupled with the company’s unparalleled access to some of Hawaii Island’s most beautiful natural sites make working at Hawaii Forest & Trail a dream job for many of Hawaii’s outdoor enthusiasts.

Hawaii Forest & Trail also believes in kuleana and acts on that sense of responsibility by providing a strong package of staff benefits that includes healthcare, a 401K matching plan, paid vacation time, and comp tickets on any of their adventures.

“We strongly believe that to be the best at what we do, we have to compete for the best candidates every time we hire,” said Director of Sales and Marketing Jason Cohn. With all their employee perks it’s no wonder Hawaii Forest & Trail has managed to retain their first full-time guide and first full-time dispatcher who both still remember showing up to clock-in at Rob and Cindy’s house more than 17 years ago.

To find the best places to work in the United States in 2015, OUTSIDE started by creating five company categories that reflect the magazine’s values and focus: Adventure/Travel, Wellness, Culture, Gear, and Media. OUTSIDE then conducted a rigorous vetting process in partnership with the Best Companies Group to assess the policies, practices, and demographics of hundreds of companies. Outside’s Best Places to Work 2015 was driven by employee reviews of their workplaces, taking into account factors like corporate culture, role satisfaction, work environment and overall employee engagement. The Best Places to Work list represents the cream of the crop: companies that are empowering their employees to live bigger, better lives.

The complete list of Best Places to Work winners is featured online at www.outsideonline.com/dreamjobs

Throuple – Film Shot on Big Island Premieres at Hawaii International Film Festival

Throuple, a dark comedy shot on the big island by big island-based filmmakers, premiered on November 15 at the Hawaii International Film Festival.


The film will also screen at the Palace theater in Hilo on Saturday, November 21 at 8:30 pm. Produced by local Big Island-based production company Larkin Pictures, the film was shot in Puna over 23 days in July 2013.

Filming locations were spread around the famed red road and Kalapana. Cast and crew were flown in from New York, LA, and Antigua and housed summer camp style to encourage a bond that would translate on screen.

Whimsical and weird, the film follows young couple James and Lexi who find themselves washed up and estranged from one another. In the hope of a fresh start, the couple moves from New York to a secluded Hawaiian jungle town on the edge of an active volcano. Once there, the pair become entangled with the neighbors living on either side of their property: a mysterious recluse, and a young polyamorous “throuple.”

Portions of the film were also shot at Kalapana Seaview's now-infamous castle.

Portions of the film were also shot at Kalapana Seaview’s now-infamous castle.

“Throuple is the result of a calculated risk to change my life,” says director Phillips Payson. “After spending years working various roles on other productions and at a post house, I realized that no one was ever going to give me permission to go out and make my own film. I had to pull that trigger myself.” Before moving to the Big Island, Payson worked in the film industry in New York and Los Angeles. With the help and collaboration of the film’s writer and producer Zoe Eisenberg, the pair set out to make something unique, handmade, and weird.
“The big island is alive with the playful energy that we were trying to convey in the film,” said Payson. “We found it to be such an inspiring environment. The landscape is this beautiful blend of lush jungle, stunning coastlines and lava fields that feel alien. We identified with the weirdness of it all and felt the location brought our story to life.”

For more information, visit www.larkinpictures.com/throuple.

12th Annual Kona Surf Film Festival Accepting Submissions

The 12th Annual Kona Surf Film Festival presented by ALTRES is in prep phase and is accepting films, art, music, and interested companies!

Kona Surf Film Festival 2016The Festival is Hawaii’s premiere international surf film showcase, running Jan. 30th 2016 from 3:30 – 10pm at the Courtyard Marriott King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel, Kailua-Kona Hawaii .

The 12th Annual promises to be another awesome year of surf movies, art, live music, and good people.  Submission deadline is Christmas, 2015.  Check the website for more info:www.konasurffilmfestival.org.

Tickets range from $12-$30

Sam Choy Introduces New Kitchen Line at the Royal Kona Resort

Saturday evening at the Royal Kona Resort, Celebrity Chef Sam Choy partnered up with Tiki Shark Hawaii by hosting a party and introducing the world to Choy’s new line-up of kitchen items.

World Champion surfer Anthony Walsh and his girlfriend, Aidan James, Sam Choy, World Champion Surfer Jamie O'Brien and his girlfirend with Brad "Tiki Shark" Parker in front.

World Champion surfer Anthony Walsh and his girlfriend, Aidan James, Sam Choy, World Champion Surfer Jamie O’Brien and his girlfirend with Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker in front.

A large crowd filled Don the Beachcomber Bar downstairs of the Royal Kona Resort for a concert that culminated with 13-year-old YouTube sensation Aidan James and John Cruz on the stage together.

Aidan James and John Cruz bring down the house!

Aidan James and John Cruz bring down the house!

Sam Choy mentioned about the hard work that was done putting together this new line of kitchen products and spoke with Professional Surfers Anthony Walsh and Jamie O’Brien about doing a YouTube show from their respective houses.

Sam Choy "In the Kitchen with Anthony Walsh and Jamie O'Brien???

Sam Choy “In the Kitchen with Anthony Walsh and Jamie O’Brien”???

You can click here to view Sam Choy’s In the Kitchen clips.

While Sam Choy signed many autographed copies of his book’s, partial proceeds from the evenings event went to Hawaii Island HIV/AIDS Foundation.

Sam Choy and his grand daughters.

Sam Choy and his grand daughters.

Hilo folks will have the opportunity to check out Aidan James at the Hilo Palace Theater next Saturday Evening November, 14th at 7:00.

Body Glove Sponsored Surfers Anthony Walsh and Jamie O'Brien flank Teen Rocker Aidan James.

Body Glove Sponsored Surfers Anthony Walsh and Jamie O’Brien flank Teen Rocker Aidan James.

The product line will be available at his restaurants as well they will begin showing up in various gift shops around the island.  They can currently be found at the Kona Oceanfront Gallery at 75-5770 Ali’i Drive in Kona.

Sam Choy and Aidan James signing autographs.

Sam Choy and Aidan James signing autographs.

First Humpback Whale of the Season Spotted by Body Glove Cruise

Today I had the opportunity to go out on Body Glove Hawaii’s 65 foot Catamaran with folks affiliated with Body Glove.

World Champion Surfer Jamie O'Brien was one of the guests invited on the cruise.

World Champion Surfer Jamie O’Brien was one of the guests invited on the cruise.

On our way out to a snorkeling spot along the Kona coast we came across both Spinner Dolphins and Bottlenose Dolphins .

Spinner Dolphins

Spinner Dolphins

We spent about 2 hours at the snorkeling spot where we had lunch and drinks on the boat.  Some folks jumped off the high platform of the boat, others slid down the boats slide… and others simply socialized on board.

Tiki Shark Agent Abbas Hassan, Surfer Jamie O'Brien and Artist Brad "Tiki Shark" Parker talk story about things.

Tiki Shark Agent Abbas Hassan, Surfer Jamie O’Brien and Artist Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker talk story about things.

After a few hours in the sun, the boat turned back for Kona.  On our way back to the pier… a Humpback Whale BREACHED about 100 yards from the boat.  The captain of the boat said that this was the first sighting of a Humpback Whale that they have seen (this year)!  Of course it only breached once and so I wasn’t able to capture a picture of it… but many of us on the boat saw it as well as the captain as he slowed the boat to a gentle crawl.

Folks enjoying themselves in the water

Folks enjoying themselves in the water

Mahalo to the folks at Body Glove Hawaii for making this trip possible.  I highly suggest folks give this a try if you are staying in the Kona area.  They have both a morning snorkeling cruise and an evening dinner and dancing cruise!

The boat departs from the Kona Pier.

The boat departs from the Kona Pier.

You can visit the Body Glove Hawaii website here:  Body Glove Hawaii

Hawaii Island Veterans Day Parade November 7th

Major General Arthur “Joe” Logan, the Adjutant General (TAG) for the State of Hawaii, will be honored as military grand marshal of the eighth annual Hawaii Island Veterans Day Parade. The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Auxiliary to Post 3830 (Pahoa) will also be honored during this year’s parade as community parade marshal. The parade will start at 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 7, in downtown Hilo.

Veterans ParadeThis year’s parade theme, “Celebrate Service,” is intended to honor veterans, celebrate community service, and inspire us with many ways to serve. All veterans, businesses, community service groups, and their families are encouraged to participate or watch.

Logan was appointed as the Hawaii TAG on January 1, 2015. He is a combat veteran with over 36 years of military service, and oversees the training and readiness of 5,500 Soldiers and Airmen of the Hawaii National Guard. He also serves as the Director, Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, provides direct support to the Office of Veterans Services, and is the Homeland Security Advisor to the Governor. As a combat veteran, “Logan well understands the importance of service to the nation and its value within our communities,” said Wendell Kaehuaea, the vice chair of this annual event.

Taking over from chair emeritus Dan Kama, this year’s parade chair is Colonel (Retired) Deb Lewis. A combat veteran with nearly 34 years in uniform, she worked side-by-side with the National Guard in Iraq and in her last assignment in Washington State. Lewis shared, “It is our honor to have MG Logan as this year’s grand marshal. The National Guard, our citizen soldiers, serve our communities, state, and country in many ways. Military personnel regularly risk their lives to keep us safe from all types of manmade and natural threats, both foreign and domestic. The Guard has proudly held that tradition for almost 400 years.”

This year’s community parade marshal, the VFW Auxiliary to Post 3830, really understands the many ways each of us, separately and together, can make a difference in the lives of others. The Auxiliary works closely with many groups to assist those who need all types of support, especially veterans, who can often be the most reluctant to seek help.

Lewis and husband Doug Adams (a veteran and parade secretary) were introduced to the Auxiliary at a breakfast right before Adams finished an 18,067 mile bike ride to all 50 states in one year- the Duty, Honor, America Tour – to honor veterans and families. “Most people want to help. Sometimes they are unaware how easy it is for them to improve the quality of life of others in important ways. Teaming up with the VFW Auxiliary and other community-based or veteran support organizations is a great way to benefit everyone,” said Adams.

“We are calling for all veterans to join the parade on Nov. 7, and inviting our island community – businesses, service groups and their families – to participate and be inspired in some way to Celebrate Service,” said Lewis.

Be sure to check out our parade plans, find out about our talented parade units, and the many ways you can “Help Our Heroes” at www.HIVetParade.org

All Veterans, bands, horses, floats, military vehicles and community groups will form up at the staging area near the King Kamehameha statue on Bishop Street. After the helicopter orchid drop, the roaring thunder of parade motorcyclists will lead off the parade shortly after 10 a.m.

The parade route in Hilo will start makai of Pauahi Street and travel mauka to Kilauea Avenue. Next, it will travel north through downtown Hilo until it reaches Waianuenue Avenue and then makai until Kamehameha Avenue. Traveling along Hilo Bayfront, it will return to the starting point. A large American flag and the official reviewing stand will be along Kamehameha Avenue near the soccer field road entrance.

“The Veterans Day Parade can only be held with the generous support of local business and individuals, and through fundraising efforts,” said Kaehuaea. “Our committee members are strictly volunteers who give of their time and efforts to support and organize this parade because of the importance to recognize our Hawaii Island veterans and ohana.” For more information, call Kaehuaea at 640-1435 or email him at bivetparade@yahoo.com.


Zonta Service Project Presents $10K to Neighborhood Place of Puna

The Zonta Club of Hilo organized a Halloween party—“Halloween Madness”—for more than 125 individuals at the Neighborhood Place of Puna (NPP) on October 24.

Zonta Club of Hilo president, Tonya Ozone, presents $10,000 Weinbeg Foundation grant award to Paul Norman of Neighborhood Place of Puna.  Photo by Jenna Roussy

Zonta Club of Hilo president, Tonya Ozone, presents $10,000 Weinbeg Foundation grant award to Paul Norman of Neighborhood Place of Puna. Photo by Jenna Roussy

“Halloween Madness” was done as part of The Harry & Jeannette Weinberg Foundation’s Weinberg Friends Program, which gave the Zonta Club’s chosen non-profit $10,000 upon completion of a sweat equity project. The Halloween-themed event was the Zonta Club of Hilo’s 2015 project.

Hilo Zontians kicked off the event with direct work activities including installing curtain rods and curtains to help cut glare in NPP’s multipurpose room, and creating 20 holiday readiness cleaning buckets as well as 200+ personal hygiene kits for families in need.

Following the work session, 25 client families with four to six children ranging in age from months to 12-years-old, were invited to make healthy snacks including a vegetable witch’s broom and Oreo cookie spider; visit the craft station and create monster magnets, decorate trick-or-treat bags or fold origami; and select an outfit from the costume closet. Target Hilo donated $400 worth of Halloween costumes to help fill the closet.

“It was the Zonta Club of Hilo’s absolute pleasure to support the good work Neighborhood Place of Puna does to empower area families with knowledge and resources,” said Julie Tulang, organizer for event. “Hilo Zontians and volunteers found it very rewarding to be able to interact with the families in the spook-tacular spirit of Halloween.”

After the morning’s work and Halloween activity sessions, Zonta Club of Hilo president, Tonya Ozone, presented a $10,000 grant award to NPP Executive Director, Paul Norman, to support Neighborhood Place of Puna’s “Kamalama Parenting Project,” a parenting curriculum to help area families raise healthy children in a safe, stable home environment.

Queens and princesses from Lehua Hawaii Productions (LHP) were on-hand to volunteer at “Halloween Madness.” Prior to the event, LHP in partnership with Zonta Hilo, hosted a costume and personal care items drive to secure donations.

For the last 17 years, the Zonta Club of Hilo has taken part in The Harry & Jeannette Weinberg Foundation’s Weinberg Friends Program.

Concert of Peace Next Tuesday at UH Hilo

At 7:30 PM on Tuesday evening, October 27, 2015, the Hilo Community Chorus joins with composer Joseph Martin and his “Peace in the Pacific” Vocal Tapestry Tour Choir, and the UH Hilo Kapili Choir to present “Concert of Peace” at the UH Hilo Performing Arts Center, 200 W. Kawili St., Hilo, HI 96720.

Concert of Peace

The first half of the concert will be presented by Joseph Martin and his wife Susan Martin, with special guest Nancy Price.  The second half of the concert will be performed by the Vocal Tapestry Tour Choir, Hilo Community Chorus, and UH Hilo Kapili Choir.


“Uncorked” Food & Wine Festival at The Shops at Mauna Lani

The Shops at Mauna Lani “Uncorked” Food & Wine Festival on Saturday, November 14, 2015 is a one-night getaway for those who love exceptional food and wine, in the friendly, open-air atmosphere of The Shops at Mauna Lani. Running from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m., attendees are invited to sample special dishes from eight top Hawai‘i chefs as well as a variety of wines from around the world, craft beer and other libations. The festival benefits the Visitor Aloha Society of Hawai‘i Island (VASH) which assists Hawai‘i visitors touched by adversity during their stay.

VASH, a volunteer-driven 501(c)(3) nonprofit, provides supportive services to help visitors cope with adversity, from a lost wallet to a serious medical situation or the death of a loved one. In 2015 so far, VASH has seen a significant increase in visitor requests, increasing the need to train and recruit people to help handle the increased workload while maintaining spirit of Aloha in difficult situations.



A highlight of this year’s festival is “Mele‘uhane,” the melodic collaboration of Keikilani Lindsey and son Leokani, fifth and sixth-generation Hawaiian musicians and storytellers. Their first duo album, “Mele‘uhane” (spirit of the music) was a Hōkū Hanohano nominee this year, and they are often invited to play with John Cruz, Henry Kapono and other Hawaiian music stars.

The “Uncorked” dining experience features food tastings from the “izakaya-style” menu of Monstera, European flavors of The Blue Room, upscale vegan cuisine from Under the Bodhi Tree, contemporary island style by Tommy Bahama Restaurant & Bar, and the traditional sizzle of Ruth’s Chris Steak House.

Guests will also be among the first to taste selections from the new Mai Grille by Allen Hess, plus items from Village Burger of Waimea and Shiono Sushi Mauna Lani.

Young’s Market and Southern Wine and Spirits will be presenting wines from around the world, while craft brews from Kona Brewing Company will be available to toast the occasion. Tickets are $50 in advance, $70 on the day of the event. A silent auction will be held the night of the event. As a special bonus, ticket holders will not only receive great offers from participating stores and restaurants at The Shops at Mauna Lani on the night of the event, they will also be able to show their “Uncorked Passport” during future visits for additional discounts valued at over $100.

Tickets are limited and may be purchased from participating stores and restaurants at The Shops at Mauna Lani including Tommy Bahama Restaurant, The Blue Room, Monstera, Under the Bodhi Tree, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, The Fine Hawaiian Gift Gallery, Third Dimension Gallery, Lahaina Gallery, or buy online at www.BrownPaperTickets.com. Tickets will also be available for sale from VASH members.

For more information, call 808-885-9501, or visit www.ShopsAtMaunaLani.com.

Puna Halloween Party

Orchidland Neighbors, a 501c (3) organization was founded in March 2015 to create a community center-clubhouse in Orchidland. They will be holding their second fundraiser Friday October 30, 2015 from 5 till 9 p.m. at the Eagles Club in Kea`au, at Highway 130. Pre-sale tickets are available for only $20 at CD Wizard, Keaau Natural Foods and All Things Beautiful. This Halloween party ticket includes pizza, salad, live music, dancing and comedy. Beverages (including cocktails) are available for sale at the event.

Halloween PartyThere is a Halloween Costume Contest open to ages 18 and older. There is no additional entry fee. (Modesty is encouraged, please.) Winners will be chosen by audience applause.

Besides the costume contest and prizes, the highlight of this evening’s event will be the extraordinary live music by “The Bird” with dancing on a full-sized dance floor, starting at 6 p.m. The band plays outstanding classic rock featuring lead guitarist for the LPG’s Steve Fundy. Steve has played with the great Nick Gravenites, a Chicago Blues Man who played with Electric Flag and the Butterfield Blues Band. In the 1990’s he moved into the psychedelic music world.

Also featured in “The Bird” is Dave Seawater, a four time Na Hoku award nominee. Completing the band is Barney Lindberg and Gary Kort. Barney plays music island wide with cover bands, and Gary plays with the LPG’s.

Live comedy will be performed by Sherri Carden, the “Puna Princess”, starting at 5:30. She will share stories about her whacky farm animals, as well as tips on “low-budget remodeling, Puna Style.”

“We are striving to build a place to hold community events, classes and private parties, open to all at a minimum cost,” says Sharon Landry, President of Orchidland Neighbors.

It is the hope of Orchidland Neighbors (ON) that this and upcoming fundraisers will create the beginning stages for a multi-use building. The exact location is still to be determined. It will be somewhere in or near Orchidland for easy access by nearby residents.

You may visit Orchidland Neighbors online at www.orchidlandneighbors.org

For more information, to volunteer, or to donate, call Ginny Aste at 854-1225


New High-Speed Private Fiber Link to Link Hawaii Film, Television & Creative Media Industry with Hollywood

With brand new private fiber technology, competitive tax incentives, state-of-the-art studios, postproduction facilities and a development fund…it’s time to rethink Hawai’i’s Film, Television & Creative Media Industry.

A new Hawai’i-based digital technology is connecting the filmscape of paradise with a secure, high-speed Private Fiber back to the heart of Hollywood and more than 400 studios across three continents.

History was just made for Hawaii-in-Hollywood as GVS Connect (http://www.globalvirtualstudio.com), together with Hawai`i's Creative Industry DBEDT Officials, State Film Office and technology experts presented a dynamic, "LIVE" multimedia demonstration that connected Honua Studios in Kailua-Kona on the Island of Hawaii, with more than 100 Hollywood influencers who gathered at Jack L. Warner's personal Screening Room #5 at Warner Brothers Studios in California.

History was just made for Hawaii-in-Hollywood as GVS Connect (http://www.globalvirtualstudio.com), together with Hawai`i’s Creative Industry DBEDT Officials, State Film Office and technology experts presented a dynamic, “LIVE” multimedia demonstration that connected Honua Studios in Kailua-Kona on the Island of Hawaii, with more than 100 Hollywood influencers who gathered at Jack L. Warner’s personal Screening Room #5 at Warner Brothers Studios in California.

This new, high-speed, private fiber technology by GVS Connect is a game-changer for Hawai’i’s creative industry. This advanced connectivity, along with Hawaii’s post and VFX incentives, will enable filmmakers to conduct POST, AUDIO and VFX via remote collaboration, as well as transfer and simultaneously edit burstable gigabytes of raw, high-definition dailies to producers and studios around the world. This private fiber technology is the industry’s leader in content sharing with a commitment to security, cost efficiency and smart-device capability.

On Wednesday, October 14, 2015, representatives from the Hawai’i State Film Office, Creative Industries; GVS Connect; tech advisors and industry influencers gathered at Warner Bros. Studio to present “Hollywood – Hawai`i Film & Media Connect,” a live, point-to-point demonstration, of real-time, high-speed data transfer between Kailua-Kona (on the Island of Hawai`i at Honua Studios) and Los Angeles.  Hawai’i’s Film, Television & Creative Media industry is now well positioned to support state-of-the-art global production, as well as export creative content developed in Hawai`i.

 This never-before-seen interactive demonstration was made possible by a NEW private fiber technology that is now available in the islands which allows burstable gigabytes of HD data to be shared in real-time with global producing entities (more than 400 studios across three continents). This new, advanced technology is a GAME-CHANGER for Hawaii's creative industries allowing filmmakers to conduct POST, AUDIO and VFX via remote collaboration.  This breakthrough invites the world to rethink Hawaii's vast multimedia and broadband entrepreneurial potential and capability.

This never-before-seen interactive demonstration was made possible by a NEW private fiber technology that is now available in the islands which allows burstable gigabytes of HD data to be shared in real-time with global producing entities (more than 400 studios across three continents). This new, advanced technology is a GAME-CHANGER for Hawaii’s creative industries allowing filmmakers to conduct POST, AUDIO and VFX via remote collaboration. This breakthrough invites the world to rethink Hawaii’s vast multimedia and broadband entrepreneurial potential and capability.

“With a strong commitment from government and private investors, Hawai’i is creating a compelling environment for filmmakers and media professionals to capitalize on the state’s growing production, post, and VFX infrastructure,” says David Cunningham, founder of GVS Connect.

Hawai’i’s competitive tax incentives, are considered among the most reliable credit programs in the country:

  • 20-25% film, digital and television rebate
  • No overall spending ceiling
  • Per production credit cap of $15 million – POST, VFX, ANIMATION, GAME DEV included
  • Above-and-below-the-line/resident and non-resident salaries/wage qualification

Hawai`i is now part of a global, collaborative media network. With Hawai’i’s first private fiber technology, a production can maximize its economic potential with global reach to its producing entities. In addition, Hawai`i has an award-winning accelerator program, called the GVS Transmedia Accelerator (http://www.gvsaccelerator.com), which fast-tracks and funds development for content creation in Hawai`i, the Creative Lab which is a feeder content development program, and a follow-on development fund available for accelerator content produced in these programs.

With a long-term vision and commitment, the State of Hawai’i has allocated millions to develop a cable-landing infrastructure that will further increase Hawai’i’s global broadband connectivity and capacity.

Blood is the New Black – Roller Derby Battle Coming Up

BLOOD IS THE NEW BLACK! Hilo’s Paradise Roller Girls (PRG) Hawaiian Honey Badgers are ready to slaughter their competition in all-out combat against O’ahu’s Pacific Roller Derby Hulagans for a rematch that promises be a gruesome battle to the finish.

Blood is Black

It all goes down Friday, October 30th at the Hilo Civic. Doors open at 6:00pm and the main event starts at 7:30pm.  It guarantees to be an epic action-packed showdown you won’t want to miss.

Additional fun and entertainment will take place throughout the evening.  Big Island Babes Junior Roller Derby play at 6:00pm and 6:30pm.  Come out and show your support for this awesome youth athletic event!  Get in the Halloween mood by wearing your costume and trick-or-treating the vendor booths, then participate in a thrilling halftime show featuring Big Island Cheer and PRG’s biggest fans.

Tickets are $5, and keiki 5 and under get in free.  Purchase tickets at: Kadota Liquor, Lucy’s Taqueria, Mt. View Village Video, Jungle Love in Pahoa, or CD Wizard (add $1 surcharge), hit up your favorite derby girl, or at the door the night of the event.

Concessions available inside. Please no strollers, coolers, or beverage containers.  Don’t forget to swing by our merchandise booth to get your PRG swag on!  PRG 2016 calendars are on sale now for $10. Gets yours signed at the calendar release party after the bout

Paradise Roller Girls is a member-owned Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) league based out of Hilo, Hawai’i and adheres to the association’s rules and regulations; a comradery of diverse skaters of all ages and backgrounds whose mission is to promote a healthy and athletic lifestyle while giving back through community service, outreach, and charity.

Mahalos to our sponsors: Ace Hardware Pahoa, Paradise Photo and Design, Hawai’i Life Real Estate Brokers, Kadota Liquor, , ProVision Solar Inc., Will Kill, Hilo Town Tavern, and Title Guaranty.

For more information on upcoming events, recruitment of skaters, junior skaters, referees, non-skating officials, volunteer opportunities, bout vendor booths and more go to www.paradiserollergirls.com.  Don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram to keep up with the latest roller derby happenings in our community!

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.