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Hawaii List of Applicants Applying for Medical Marijuana Dispensary Licenses

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) today posted the list of applicants for Medical Marijuana Dispensary Licenses. A total of 66 applications were received during the application period of Jan. 12, 2016, 8 a.m., Hawaii Standard Time (HST) to Jan. 29, 2016, 4:30 p.m. HST.

“The department has posted the names of applicants in accordance with Chapter 11-850, Hawaii Administrative Rules,” said Keith Ridley, chief of the DOH Office of Health Care Assurance. “All other information on dispensary applications is confidential as we move into the evaluation and selection process.”

Click to enlargee

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The medical marijuana dispensary law, Chapter 329D, Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS), allows DOH to award a total of eight licenses initially: three licenses for the City and County of Honolulu, two dispensary licenses each for the County of Hawaii and the County of Maui, and one dispensary license for the County of Kauai. Each dispensary licensee will be allowed to operate up to two production centers and two retail-dispensing locations.

DOH expects to select and announce licensees by April 15, 2016. A dispensary licensed pursuant to Chapter 329D, HRS, may begin dispensing medical marijuana not sooner than July 15, 2016, with the approval of the Department.

For more information about the Medical Marijuana Dispensary Licensing Program, go to http://health.hawaii.gov/medicalmarijuana/

Hawaii Kupuna Caucus Unveils 2016 Legislative Package

The Hawai‘i State Legislature’s Kūpuna Caucus today unveiled the package of bills that are being introduced in the 2016 Legislative Session.

Kapuna Caucus

The bills address a wide array of issues that impact our seniors’ health and safety, including funding for kūpuna care and aging and disability resource centers statewide. Measures to provide caregiver training and financing, as well as long term care services with a half percent General Excise Tax increase is also included as part of the package, along with bills aimed at supporting health care services for Hawai‘i’s aging population.

One such bill, SB2064 and its companion bill HB1881, appropriates funding to restore staff and long-term care services at Leahi and Maluhia hospitals within the Hawai‘i health systems corporation.  Both hospitals serve the highest number of individuals on Medicare and Medicaid, while reimbursements for care provided continue to decline. Both hospitals were forced to cut 64 staff positions and temporarily halt new admissions to remain operational due to an estimated $3.7 million deficit in fiscal year 2016.

“Our population is aging. Right now more than a third is 50 years old or older. We need to ensure there are enough facilities to assist our kūpuna so they can enjoy their golden years as best they can,” said Sen. Chun Oakland.

“Our seniors are the treasures of our community,” said Sen. Les Ihara, Jr. “Establishing the proper resources and services they need to live healthy, prosperous lives is what we intend to accomplish with these bills.”

“We need to increase the amount of services we provide to seniors because more and more seniors are living longer, living more healthfully, and living independently,” said Kūpuna Caucus co-convener, Rep. Gregg Takayama. “The resources we provide them as a state will enable them to continue to live independently for as long as possible.”

The Kūpuna Caucus, now in its 11th year, is comprised of a bi-partisan group of 18 House and Senate state legislators.  Members of the Kūpuna Caucus include a broad array of community organizations, government departments, and individuals concerned about the well-being of the elderly in our community.

Other bills included in the 2016 Kūpuna Caucus Package include:

  • SB2085/HB1878  RELATING TO AGING – Part I: Appropriates $5,100,000 for the Kūpuna Care program. Part II: Appropriates $1,710,000 for the aging and disability resource center. Part III: Appropriates $32,000 for fall prevention and early detection services for the elderly. Part IV: Appropriates $485,880 for the healthy aging partnership program. Part V: Appropriates $70,000 for an Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia services coordinator position and appropriates $200,000 for an Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia public awareness program.
  • SB2072 MAKING AN APPROPRIATION FOR THE KŪPUNA CARE PROGRAM – Makes an appropriation for the Kūpuna Care program to provide a safety net for all kūpuna and their caregivers.
  • SB2071  MAKING AN APPROPRIATION FOR THE AGING AND DISABILITY RESOURCE CENTER – Makes an appropriation for the aging and disability resource center.
  • SB2074  MAKING AN APPROPRIATION FOR FALL PREVENTION AND EARLY DETECTION SERVICES FOR THE ELDERLY – Makes an appropriation for fall prevention and early detection services for the elderly.
  • SB2073/HB1884  MAKING AN APPROPRIATION FOR THE OFFICE OF THE LONG-TERM CARE OMBUDSMAN – Appropriates $300,000 to the office of the long-term care ombudsman for three full-time (3.0 FTE) ombudsman specialist positions; one each on Kauai, Maui, and Hawai‘i.
  • SB2065  MAKING AN APPROPRIATION FOR THE HEALTHY AGING PARTNERSHIP PROGRAM – Makes an appropriation for the healthy aging partnership program of the Department of Health’s executive office on aging.
  • SB2066/HB1880  MAKING APPROPRIATIONS FOR SENIOR CITIZENS – Makes an appropriation for grants to various senior centers, Lanakila Multi-Purpose Center, Kapahulu, Mo‘ili‘ili, and Waikiki Community Center.
  • SB2075  MAKING AN APPROPRIATION FOR AN ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE AND RELATED DEMENTIA PUBLIC AWARENESS CAMPAIGN – Makes an appropriation for an Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia public awareness campaign.
  • SB2067/HB1876  RELATING TO HEALTH – Requires the Department of Health to require dementia training for caregivers. Requires the Department to establish training criteria and annual review the training program.
  • SB2070/HB1877  RELATING TO HUMAN SERVICES – Appropriates funds to the Department of Human Services to create one full-time program specialist position for Maui County within the adult protective and community services branch to oversee the foster grandparent program and senior companion programs on Maui, Moloka‘i, and Lana‘i.
  • SB2068/HB1882  RELATING TO COLLEGE SAVINGS PROGRAM TAX DEDUCTION – Provides an annual maximum deduction of $5,000 per individual or $10,000 for a married couple filing jointly for contributions made to the Hawai‘i college savings program.
  • SB2207/HB1883  RELATING TO THE UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII CENTER ON AGING – Appropriates funds for a permanent full-time associate professor and permanent full-time assistant specialist position within the University of Hawaii center on aging.

Big Island Chocolate Festival Salutes Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Centennial

With the theme, “Lavalicious – A Chocolate Salute to the 100th Birthday of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park,” the fifth annual Big Island Chocolate Festival is May 13-14 with events headquartered from the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel. Indulge in the alluring, rich taste of chocolate—in both its sweet and savory forms—while participating in a host of delicious, fun and informative chocolate-themed activities.

Chocolate fest 2013 a

The two-day chocolate extravaganza includes a cacao plantation tour at Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory, a college culinary competition and several public foodie and agriculture-themed seminars. Activities culminate 5:30-9 p.m. Saturday, May 14 with the indoor-outdoor festival gala—enjoy a host of sweet and savory culinary stations presented by top isle chefs, chocolatiers and confectioners.

General admission tickets to the gala are $75 and VIP tickets are $100 and include early event access at 5 p.m., table seating and specialty wines.

This year’s event celebrates the 100th birthday of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park and culinary booths will be judged on how they best depict the event theme that could include Kilauea and Mauna Loa volcanoes, Hawaiian culture and the park’s native plants and animals. Biology, geology and culture define the 333,086-acre national park, which was established August 1, 1916.

Chocolate Demo

Culinary stations will also be vying for awards in a variety of categories judged by a panel of celebrity chefs: “best” bonbon, savory, bean-to-bar, plated dessert and Hawaiian cacao. Attendees can get in on the friendly voting by casting a ballot for two People’s Choice Awards: Best Savory and Best Sweet.

Festivities will include fine wines and handcrafted ales, chocolate sculptures—including one of the largest volcanoes ever created using fine chocolate, chocolate body painting, live entertainment, dancing and a silent auction.

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

Chocolate Festival Chefs

“We are happy to commemorate the centennial of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park at the Big Island Chocolate Festival,” says KCA President Farsheed Bonakdar. “We look forward to the new booth decorating contest and how our theme will inspire participants.”

Find ticket info at www.BigIslandChocolateFestival.com. Special room/ticket packages for two start at $396.20 at the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel and can be conveniently booked through the Festival website under “Tickets.” Special room rates can be reserved directly at the hotel at www.HapunaBeachPrinceHotel.com/events or calling 1-888-977-4622 and mentioning “Big Island Chocolate Festival Group Rate.”

The Big Island Chocolate Festival is presented by the Kona Cacao Association, Inc. The mission and goal of KCA is to promote the cacao industry on the Big Island of Hawai‘i by presenting BICF as an educational and outreach opportunity for local cacao farmers, the hospitality industry and cacao enthusiasts. For information, visit www.bigislandchocolatefestival.com.

Confirmed Dengue Fever Cases on the Big Island of Hawaii Rises to 250

The Dengue Fever outbreak on the Big Island continues and the total confirmed amount of cases rose by 1 more since the last update bringing the total amount of confirmed cases to 250.

Mosquito Bite

As of February 5, 2016*:

Since the last update, HDOH has identified 1 new case of dengue fever.  Currently,  as many as 3 of the confirmed cases to date are potentially infectious to mosquitoes. All others are no longer infectious.

Potentially infectious individuals
3 Illness onset 1/26/16 to 2/1/16
Cases no longer infectious
247 Illness onset 9/11/15 to 1/25/16
Past and present confirmed cases (Cumulative TOTAL)
250

Of the confirmed cases, 226 are Hawaii Island residents and 24 are visitors.
205 cases have been adults; 45 have been children (<18 years of age). Onset of illness has ranged between 9/11/15 – 2/1/16.

As of today, a total of 1109 reported potential cases have been excluded based on test results and/or not meeting case criteria.

Hilo Municipal Golf Course to be Shortened, Remain Open During Renovation Project

The Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation announces it will shorten the Hilo Municipal Golf Course and open temporary greens so golfers may continue using portions of the links while it is undergoing major renovation.

Hilo Golf Course

Starting Monday, February 8, play will be limited to the front 9 holes and a temporary 9th green opened to accommodate construction work. When renovation of the back 9 holes is completed, they will be opened for play and the front 9 holes closed so renovation work may shift to that section of the course. Temporary greens will be opened at the 17th and 18th holes until new grass is established on the reconstructed greens. Also, temporary tee boxes will be opened at the 15th hole to allow for construction access.

These rotating partial closures are expected to continue through mid-May. During that period, tee times will be modified to allow golfers to play two rounds and create the equivalent of an 18-hole golfing experience.

Course renovation work will include the following upgrades:

  • Reconstructing the 9th, 17th and 18th greens
  • Constructing a new 14th green and using the existing green as a temporary green
  • Replacing all course waterlines
  • Installing new accessible drinking fountains throughout the course
  • Constructing new accessible shelters at the 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th, 13th and 18th tees
  • Constructing new accessible restrooms at the 4th and 12th tees
  • Performing structural and safety repairs to the course bridges
  • Tree removal

The Department of Parks and Recreation understands the inconvenience the ongoing construction work will cause, and sincerely appreciates patrons’ patience and understanding.

For more information, please contact Jason Armstrong, Public Information Officer, at 961-8311 or jarmstrong@hawaiicounty.gov.

Waipi‘o Valley Stakeholders Alliance Offers United Voice on Bishop Museums Announcement to Sell Its Waipi‘o Valley Lands

On January 8, 2016, Bishop Museum issued a public announcement they are moving forward with the sale of the Amy Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden in Capt. Cook and 537 acres of land in Waipi‘o Valley.

Green areas represent Bishop Museum Land.

Green areas represent Bishop Museum Land.

While the news has taken most of Hawai‘i by surprise, it is not the case for the Waipi‘o Valley community. Over the past 20 years, the Museum has periodically considered selling it’s Valley holdings, and there have been several proposals by State legislators for the state to purchase the lands, the most recent in 2014.

Since 2013, the Waipi‘o community has undergone major changes, with three of the most committed groups becoming more organized and actively seeking ways to work together collaboratively on matters that impact the Valley and surrounding communities.

In late 2015 the Waipi‘o Taro Farmers Association, the Waipi‘o Community Circle and Ha Ola o Waipi‘o Valley formed the Waipi‘o Valley Stakeholders Alliance as a mechanism to reach general consensus and provide a unified voice when communicating with government officials, Bishop Museum and the general community.

Founded in 1989, the Waipi‘o Taro Farmers Association (WTFA) is the oldest active organization in Waipi‘o Valley. The Association is made up of generational taro farming families who lease the majority of Bishop Museum ’s lands in the Valley. WTFA represents the surviving edge of the Native Hawaiian culture in Waipi‘o Valley and serves as Bishop Museum ’s primary land managers and local community advisors.

Formed in 2000, at the request of 13 community members, the Waipi‘o Community Circle (the Circle), serves as a general community forum. The Waipi‘o Valley Information & Education Officer Program was created by the Circle, as were the five large interpretive signs at the rock wall near the pavilion. A small group of Circle volunteers provided general oversight of the Information & Education Officer program from 2007 until 2014 when the program moved to the Department of Parks & Recreation. This group also represents the efforts of Auntie Ku’ulei Badua who was responsible for initiating “Friends of the Waipi‘o Community Park ” (the former Rice/Thomas property, at the Waipi’o lookout).

Founded in 2014 Ha Ola o Waipi‘o Valley (Ha Ola) is a membership organization of Valley residents, farmers, cultural educators and practitioners, and Waipi‘o tour operators. The organization is guided by elected Officers with support from the County of Hawaii , the State of Hawaii , Kamehameha Schools and Friends of the Future. Ha Ola was formed to provide representation for Valley stakeholders who were not recognized in the State’s 2013 proposed Senate Bill to purchase Bishop Museum’s lands in Waipi‘o. Among Ha Ola’s current projects are River Maintenance in collaboration with WTFA, stewardship of Kamehameha Schools Valley beach parcels, eradication of Little Fire Ants in the Valley and a 2016 Kalo Festival.

The Waipi‘o Valley Stakeholders Alliance, combines the strengths of all available community and advisory resources and is committed to protecting current lessees and ensuring the community has a lead voice in proactively engaging Bishop Museum in discussions about the future stewardship of its’ Waipi‘o Valley lands.

For more information about the Alliance contact:

Alliance Community Liaison: Jim Cain, Cell: 333-0457 kinglaulau@hotmail.com

Alliance Culture & Education Liaison: Ka‘iulani Pahio, Cell: 960-5272 kaiulani@kalo.org

Confirmed Dengue Fever Cases on the Big Island of Hawaii Rises to 249

The Dengue Fever outbreak on the Big Island continues and the total confirmed amount of cases rose by 1 more since the last update bringing the total amount of confirmed cases to 249:

Mosquito Bite

As of February 4, 2016*:

Since the last update, HDOH has identified 1 new case of dengue fever.  Currently,  as many as 3 of the confirmed cases to date are potentially infectious to mosquitoes. All others are no longer infectious.

Potentially infectious individuals
3 Illness onset 1/23/16 to 1/28/16
Cases no longer infectious
246 Illness onset 9/11/15 to 1/24/16
Past and present confirmed cases (Cumulative TOTAL)
249

Of the confirmed cases, 225 are Hawaii Island residents and 24 are visitors.
204 cases have been adults; 45 have been children (<18 years of age). Onset of illness has ranged between 9/11/15 – 1/28/16.

As of today, a total of 1100 reported potential cases have been excluded based on test results and/or not meeting case criteria.

Honolulu Selected for “Local Foods, Local Places” Federal Initiative

On behalf of the White House Rural Council, six federal agencies joined to announce 27 communities selected to participate in Local Foods, Local Places, a federal initiative that helps communities increase economic opportunities for local farmers and related businesses, create vibrant places, and promote childhood wellness by improving access to healthy local food.

Local Foods Local Places

“Local Foods, Local Places helps people access healthy local food and supports new businesses in neighborhoods that need investment,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “The program is good for the environment, public health and the economy. By helping bring healthy local food to market and offering new walking and biking options, Local Foods, Local Places can help improve air quality, support local economies, and protect undeveloped green space.”

Honolulu was one of the cities selected in 2016 from EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region:

Honolulu, Hawaii – The Hawaii Community Development Authority will focus their Local Foods, Local Places efforts on plans to identify food-based projects that will spur greater investment and stewardship in the Kakaako Makai community; enhance local food production; integrate food security initiatives with community and transit-oriented development planning; and reduce stormwater runoff and vulnerability to sea level rise.

The selected communities were chosen from more than 300 applicants.

Each Local Foods, Local Places partner community works with a team of experts who help community members recognize local assets and opportunities, set goals for revitalizing downtowns and neighborhoods, develop an implementation plan, and identify targeted resources from the participating federal agencies to help implement those plans.

Local Foods, Local Places is a partnership among the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Transportation, the Appalachian Regional Commission, and the Delta Regional Authority. The initiative was launched in 2014 and has already helped 26 communities make a difference in people’s lives.

Local Food, Local Places is one of the administration’s community-based initiatives in action across the country. In these places federal experts are working side by side with residents and local leaders to create customized solutions; bolstering coordination across agencies and improving how we interact with communities as a ‘one Government’ partner; and relying on valuable data to help inform solutions and evaluate what is working and what is not.

A complete list of communities participating in the Local Food, Local Places Initiative can be found at http://www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/local-foods-local-places-summary-reports

Security Guards Indicted for Taking Bribes at Honolulu Airport

An Oahu grand jury indicted four Securitas law enforcement and traffic control officers for accepting bribes from taxi and shuttle drivers at the Honolulu International Airport, Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin announced.

SecuritasDeputy Attorney General Albert Cook said, “Securitas employees Ruben Corpuz Alonzo, Ranie A. Ilagan, Gay Manicia Gatchalian and Euriphides Magalang allegedly solicited and accepted more than three thousand dollars in monetary payments from taxi and shuttle drivers at the airport. In exchange the defendants provided customers to these drivers and allowed the drivers to circumvent the rules and regulations relating to taxi and shuttle drivers and ground transportation at the Honolulu International Airport.”

“These indictments followed a months-long, complex undercover investigation conducted by the FBI in conjunction with Special Agent Investigators at the Attorney General’s office. Taxi drivers complained about certain officers at the airport taking bribes and showing favoritism to those willing to pay,” said Attorney General Chin.

The four Securitas employees were indicted for bribery, a violation of section 710-1040, Hawaii Revised Statutes. This is a class B felony, punishable by up to ten years in prison and a $25,000.00 fine.

The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until they are found guilty of the charges beyond a reasonable doubt.

Securitas receives about $33 million a year to provide security.

Updated Map Shows New Risk Areas for Potential Dengue Infection – Spraying at 2 Kona Schools Saturday

An updated map of potential areas of infection by mosquito for confirmed dengue fever cases has been released:Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

This map should not be used to exclude any areas of the island from proactive mosquito control measures. All residents islandwide are encouraged to Fight The Bite by reducing mosquito breeding grounds and protecting themselves from mosquito bites.

As of 1:00PM today the Department of Health reported 2 additional confirmed cases since yesterday and the total number of confirmed cases since the beginning of the outbreak is at 248. These cases include 224 residents and 24 visitors.

As a proactive and preventative measure, the Department of Health will be conducting spraying or treatment of the Kealakehe Elementary and Intermediate Schools in Kona this Saturday, February 6th. 

 

Building and Design Expo Feb. 12-14 – Live Cooking Demo and Book Signing with Sam Choy

The Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce presents the 11th annual Building & Design Expo February 12 – 14 at the Sheraton Kona Resort at Keauhou Bay‘s Kaleiopapa Convention Center.

Celebrity Chef Sam Choy, known for his Hawaiian cuisine, will feature his newest kitchen accessories line, Sam Choy’s Hawaiian Kitchen. He will also do a live cooking demo and book-signing.

Abbas Hassan of Tiki Shark Art, Sam Choy and Kirstin Kahaloa, Executive Director of the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce

Abbas Hassan of Tiki Shark Art, Sam Choy and Kirstin Kahaloa, Executive Director of the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce

Touted as “Hawai‘i Island’s largest home show,” more than 40 vendor booths will exhibit their goods and services in the three-day event. From general contracting and materials to home design and décor including fine art, the expo often features furnishings, blinds and shutters, window-tinting, kitchen countertops, cabinets and flooring, pest control PC solar and financing.

Event sponsors include Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union, Hawaii Gas, P.A. Harris Electric, Renewable Energy Services, Sam Choy & Tiki Shark Art and West Hawaii Today. Contact the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce office at marketing@kona-kohala.com or 808.329.1758.

“25 by 25” Bill to be Heard by Public Safety Committee

“OCCC is severely overcrowded and in disrepair. Native Hawaiians are over represented in our prison population. One third of Hawaii’s prisoners are housed in Arizona. Over 60% of the inmate population in the U.S. are non-violent, primarily for drug related offenses. The U.S. has the highest incarceration rate on any nation in the world.

None of this is new information, but what are we doing to address these issues?” states Rep. John M. Mizuno (Kamehameha Heights, Kalihi Valley and portions of Lower Kalihi) who introduced HB2001 with a provision to reduce the State’s prison population by 25% by the year 2025. “We have already set a goal for renewable energy for the State; it is time to set a goal for our prison population that is currently costing state taxpayers millions of dollars every year and has been one of the fastest growing segments of the state budgets.”

House Bill 2001 (HB2001) will be heard tomorrow – February 4th – at 10:00am at the State Capitol conference room 309 by the Public Safety Committee.

Stolen StuffMichael Kitchens, creator of the 42,000 strong community watch group, Stolen Stuff Hawaii, believes in striking at the core of the problem. “We have to attack the root cause for crime…the factors that drive someone to relapse into crime even after punishment.  This commission will study these factors and offer alternative strategies that can combat recidivism and provide opportunities for the misguided to become productive members of society.”

“In reviewing the State’s probation system, the commission that would be established by the bill could evaluate current practices relating to incarceration, crime prevention and education with a focus on reducing spending on corrections and reinvesting the savings gained in strategies that will increase public safety and reduce recidivism.

The Governor in his recent State of the State Address noted the need to tear down the Oahu Correctional Facility in Kalihi and build a new facility in Halawa ‘to take advantage of all that we have learned about incarceration, and the need to give inmates a real opportunity to change their lives.’ recognizing that the current facility is ill equipped to effectively lower the recidivism rate in the State. We need to develop effective programs that offer greater opportunities for offenders’ rehabilitation”

Breakdancing, Hip Hop, and Gender Roles in Opposing Forces

Kahilu Theatre presents AmyO’Neal’s Opposing Forces.

In Amy O’Neal’s Opposing Forces, five B-Boys from different generations and cultures come together in curiosity, strength, vulnerability, and grace in this dance performance that has one foot squarely in street style dance (hip hop) and one foot in contemporary dance story telling.

In Opposing Forces, choreographer Amy O’Neal examines the paradoxical nature of B-Boy culture as it relates to femininity and the value systems of dance battling, commercial dance, stage performance, and freestyle cyphers (jam circles). How do these different environments affect expression? Where are stereotypes changing and where do they remain the same? O’Neal pries open these topics and more via conversation, collaboration, and transfixing dance moves.

Breakdancing

Opposing Forces Performers and Movement Collaborators consist of:

  • Alfredo “Free” Vergara Jr.
  • Brysen “Just Be” Angeles
  • Fever One
  • Michael O’Neal Jr.
  • Mozeslateef

Amy O’Neal is a dancer, performer, choreographer, and dance educator based in Seattle. For fifteen years, she has taught and performed throughout the US, Japan, Italy, and Mexico, and she has choreographed for stage, commercials, rock shows, galleries, dance films and music videos. Her work is an amalgam of her diverse movement and life experiences presenting social commentary with dark humor and heavy beats.

She teaches Contemporary Dance and Urban Styles at Velocity Dance Center and House dance at The Beacon: Massive Monkees studio in Seattle. She teaches dance composition and improvisation for Seattle Theater Group’s “Dance This” program. She spent seven years developing and teaching for Young Choreographer’s Lab and Seattle Youth Dance Collective. She hasworked extensively with musician/comedian Reggie Watts since 2002 both on stage and screen.

Amy O’Neal will also give a Master Class on Friday, February 12 at 4pm. Their master class will provide lessons in stylistic and cultural differences between Hip Hop (which is Breaking, Popping, Locking, and Party Dances), House, Vogue, Whacking, Commercial Hip Hop, Street Jazz, and Amy’s signature amalgam of all these things. The cost is $10, and reservations are available online.

This presentation of Opposing Forces by Amy O’Neal was made possible by the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project, with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with additional support from the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as sponsorship by the Western Arts Federation.

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

Tickets are $68 / $58 / $47 / $20 and available for purchase online at www.kahilutheatre.org, by calling (808) 885-6868, or at the Kahilu Theatre Box Office, at 67-1186 Lindsey Road, Kamuela, HI 96743, Monday-Friday, from 9am to 1pm.

Coming Up – Award Winning Magicians at the Honoka’a Peoples Theatre

Award-winning magicians Bruce and Jennifer Meyers will bring their amazing feats of original magic to Honoka’a Peoples Theatre on Sunday, February 28 at 4 p.m., presented in collaboration with the Peace Committee of Honoka’a Hongwanji Buddhist Temple.

Magician Bruce Meyers

Magician Bruce Meyers

Designed with keiki in mind, the creative show involves the audience in surprising ways—as Bruce might levitate children in the audience, cut a local politician in half, make dozens of roses, or chickens, appear and disappear. As a prelude to The Magic of Bruce Meyers, aerial artist Luna Sophia will “fly” above the audience in a gracefully athletic performance on the aerial silks.

“Our goal is to provide positive, affordable activities for kids and youth,” said Peace Committee Chair Miles Okumura, “We have this in common—we value the next generation, and depend on them to carry on the traditions, values and messages we share today. And that’s the magic.”

To help further that goal, the team has reached out to the Hamakua Youth Center (HYC), who will be assisting with ticket sales from their Mamane Street location. They are also recruiting business and individual sponsors to help send children and youth to the performance. A $100 donation can provide a classroom of students, a sports team or school club with tickets to attend.

Bruce Meyers Magician

In addition to performing, Bruce and Jennifer run four-day Magic Camps for keiki age 6 and up, where they learn multiple tricks and illusions, and build their own magic kit to take home and practice for a lifetime. (For information on Magic Camp, please call 982-9294.)

“For children, as with music, magic can be an inspiring and fun way to share wonder and learn about achieving goals, to build self-esteem, poise, confidence and teamwork. The mystery of magic inspires children to want to know more and to learn and to do. It inspires that thirst for knowledge. They learn that to give and share wonder is an act of kindness,” says Bruce.

Bruce continues, “We are constantly and diligently involved in providing pathways and direction for the young to carry the torch as the wonder workers and peacemakers of tomorrow. It is they who will spread happiness and joy and remind the audiences of the future that, despite all of its faults, it’s still a breathtakingly beautiful and mysterious world.”

On Bruce’s website is the Hawaiian phrase, “Aka‘aka Loko I Ka Ike A Ke Aloha,” which translates to; “The secrets within me are seen through Aloha.”

Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door, available online at www.BruceMeyers.com or at Hamakua Youth Center, 775-0976. For information on sponsoring a classroom, club or team contact Miles Okumura, misterokumura@yahoo.com .

Appeal Period for the Preliminary Digital Flood Insurance Rate Maps Begins on Feb. 9th

The 90-day appeal period for the Preliminary Digital Flood Insurance Rate Maps (DFIRMs) issued last August by FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) officially begins February 9, 2016.  Any owner or lessee of real property on Hawai‘i Island who believes his or her property rights will be adversely affected by the proposed flood hazard determinations may appeal to the County.

Flood MapThe preliminary maps are not just a digital version of the existing paper maps, but include new flood zones and changes to existing flood zones along the entire island coastal area, as well as the upper Waiākea area of Hilo, certain parts of Waimea and North and South Kona.  Hāmākua and Kohala remain largely unchanged.

The sole basis for such appeals is based on information from a certified survey done by a licensed surveyor or a drainage study done by a licensed civil engineer showing that the proposed flood hazard determinations are scientifically or technically incorrect.  All appeals should be submitted to the County Department of Public Works (DPW) Engineering Division by April 26, 2016 to be included in the Appeal Package the County will forward to FEMA for review.

DPW offices are located in Hilo at the Aupuni Center ((808) 961-8327) across from Long’s downtown and in Kona at the West Hawai‘i  Civic Center ((808) 323-4850) on the Ane Keohokālole Highway.

Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) have many uses, including insurance rating and regulation of development.  Use of the maps is required for the County’s participation in the National Flood Insurance Program, which makes the County eligible for federal disaster aid in the event of a federally declared natural disaster.  Examples are Tropical Storm Iselle in 2014 and the heavy flooding in November 2000.

The new digital maps are intended to replace the existing paper maps.  The digital format will allow the maps to be more easily accessed and viewed on the internet.

Flooding is one of the major natural disasters in the United States. These maps can help residents make informed decisions about flood insurance options and flood protection measures.

More detailed information is available on the County’s website at http://flood.hawaiicounty.gov/.

FEMA has posted digital copies of revised DFIRM and FIS report materials to the following Website:  https://hazards.fema.gov/femaportal/prelimdownload/

Confirmed Dengue Fever Cases on the Big Island of Hawaii Rises to 248

The Dengue Fever outbreak on the Big Island continues and the total confirmed amount of cases rose by 2 more case since the last update bringing the total amount of confirmed cases to 248:

Mosquito Bite

As of February 3, 2016*:

Since the last update, HDOH has identified 2 new cases of dengue fever.  Currently,  as many as 3 of the confirmed cases to date are potentially infectious to mosquitoes. All others are no longer infectious.

Potentially infectious individuals
3 Illness onset 1/23/16 to 1/28/16
Cases no longer infectious
245 Illness onset 9/11/15 to 1/23/16
Past and present confirmed cases (Cumulative TOTAL)
248

Of the confirmed cases, 224 are Hawaii Island residents and 24 are visitors.
203 cases have been adults; 45 have been children (<18 years of age). Onset of illness has ranged between 9/11/15 – 1/28/16.

As of today, a total of 1087 reported potential cases have been excluded based on test results and/or not meeting case criteria.

Celebrity Chef Sam Choy and “Tiki Shark” Parker Host VIP Party at the Trump Hotel in Waikiki

Celebrity Chef Sam Choy along with renowned local Big Island artist Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker held a VIP by invitation only party at The Trump International Hotel – Waikiki Beach Walk last week. This event was an extension to the 2 day public celebration held in Kailua Kona last November where Chef Choy and Artist Parker introduced their collaboration and the new Sam Choy in The Kitchen line.

Sam Choy along with Brad Parker and Agent Abbas with KHON2 Executives

Sam Choy along with Brad Parker and Agent Abbas with KHON2 Executives

The A Lister’s party was attended by close friends and buyers of several large retail chains. In addition Tiki Shark’s financial backers, State of Hawaii representative Nicole Lowen, President & CEO of Hawaii Chamber of Commerce Sherry Menor McNamara, owners of Surf Giant Body Glove International and high ranking executives from KHON Channel 2 also dropped in to wish the Chef and Artist well.

“We are excited with teaming up with Chef Choy for the exclusive distribution of his new Hawaiian Kitchen line for the Islands, Guam and Saipan” quoted Tina Kagoshima – President of “HIC” Hawaii Intercontinental Corp.  “Looking forward to getting these beautiful towels into every kitchen” she added.

Sam with HIC President Tina

Sam with HIC President Tina Kagoshima

“What a great group of local folks, I feel my brand is in very good hands and will get the exposure it deserves in Hawaii with Tiki Shark Art Inc and HIC Corp behind it” said Chef Sam Choy. “Plus I love Brad’s art” he quoted.

Sam Choy Cooking Line Beach

For more information and availability about Sam Choy Hawaiian Kitchen Line please contact:

Nick Corish – Sales Manager HIC Corp, 808 216 9324 ncorish@hi-corp.com chefsamchoy.com

 

Video – Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park Open House & Community Meeting

More than 100 interested people attended an open house and community meeting on the Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park master planning process on Jan. 30, 2016.

open house

In this video, DLNR State Parks Administrator Curt Cottrell and DLNR First Deputy Kekoa Kaluhiwa discuss their vision for this important natural and cultural resource, for the Hawaii state parks system, and for the importance of community engagement in developing plans for the management and protection of Hawaii’s natural resources.

Kealakekua Open House from Hawaii DLNR on Vimeo.

Hawaii Attorney General and Office of Consumer Protection Warn Residents About Recent ‘Government Imposter’ Scams

Attorney General Doug Chin and Executive Director of the Office of Consumer Protection Stephen Levins are warning the public about two recent attempts by scammers to obtain personal data from Hawaii residents by posing as representatives of state government.

In one scam the Hawaii Public Housing Authority (“HPHA”) received multiple complaints from people trying to apply online for Section 8 housing vouchers. In so doing applicants found themselves on a website that asked for credit card and social security number information. The ‘government imposter’ site mentions the HPHA and seems to perform a credit check. The suspected website is not the HPHA’s and is in no way affiliated with the HPHA.

Executive Director of the HPHA Hakim Ouansafi said: “The HPHA alerted the Attorney General, Honolulu Police Department and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) so that the State’s most vulnerable population does not fall victim to this type of scam. The HPHA never requires fees or credit checks to apply for any of its programs. Potential applicants for Section 8 or public housing should be vigilant when asked to provide private information and should contact the HPHA directly at (808) 832-6040 if they have any concerns about websites, advertisements, postings, etc.”

In another scam people reported receiving emails that claim to include a “membership certificate” and “official letter” from the Director of the Department of Budget and Finance. This email asks the recipient to raise funds in order to allow them to “gain rights to certain benefit.” The email includes two attachments with official-looking seals and claims to be sent by a representative of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) in Washington, D.C.

Copies of the government imposter scam letter and scam certificate are below.

Attorney General Chin said “If you receive a suspicious message that claims to be from a government agency, do not click on any links in the email or respond to the email or call with any personal or financial information. When in doubt, please report the suspicious activity to law enforcement.”

According to Executive Director Levins “The best way to guard against this kind of illegal conduct is to be very careful when you give out your personal information. Never provide it to someone who telephones or emails you out of the blue. And always remember, just because someone claims that they are from your bank or from a government agency doesn’t mean that they are.”

There are several ways to spot possible ‘government imposter’ scams. Among other things these scam emails typically involve messages that:

  • Are poorly written;
  • Are sent from ‘.com’ email addresses rather than ‘.gov’ email addresses;
  • Say you have won a lottery or sweepstakes;
  • Say you owe a fake debt; or
  • Ask you to wire money right away, often to a foreign country.

For more information about how to recognize a government imposter and report such scams, please visit this consumer protection information website of the Federal Trade

Commission: http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0048-government-imposter-scams.

Example of the scam letter being circulated

Example of the scam letter being circulated

Bogus Certificate

Bogus Certificate

Big Island Chocolate Fest Seeks Culinary Participants

The fifth annual Big Island Chocolate Festival is looking for culinary participants to share sweet and savory tastes to attendees at the event’s gala on Saturday, May 14 at the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel.

chocolate fountainTo honor the centennial anniversary of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, the festival’s theme this year is “Lavalicious-A Chocolate Salute to the 100th Birthday of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.”

Participating chefs, chocolatiers and confectioners can enter the free culinary competition, vying in a variety of “best” judged categories: bonbon, savory, bean-to-bar, plated dessert, Hawaiian cacao, sweet people’s choice, savory people’s choice and best decorated booth.

Folks enjoying the Big Island Chocolate Festival

Folks enjoying the Big Island Chocolate Festival

Culinary participants are encouraged to decorate their booth for the centennial theme to be judged by Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park Superintendant Cindy Orlando. Booth elements could include Kilauea and Mauna Loa volcanoes, Hawaiian culture and the park’s native plants and animals.

Members of the winning culinary station will receive four tri-park passes good for free entrance to all three, fee-charging national parks in Hawai‘i for an entire year: Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, Haleakala National Park and Pu‘uhonua o Honaunau National Historic Park.

Big Island Chocolate Festival 095Presented by the Kona Cacao Association (KCA), the event benefits the ACF Kona Kohala Chefs Assn./University of Hawai‘i Foundation endowment fund for the culinary program at Hawai‘i Community College-Palamanui and programs at Kona Pacific Public Charter School in Kealakekua.

Culinarians interested in participating can signup for free now by filling out the Culinary Participant form at www.bigislandchocolatefestival.com/chef-guidelines. Questions? Phone 808-324-6100.

Big Island Chocolate Festival 089

The Big Island Chocolate Festival is presented by the Kona Cacao Association, Inc. The mission and goal of KCA is to promote the cacao industry on the Big Island of Hawai‘i by presenting BICF as an educational and outreach opportunity for local cacao farmers, the hospitality industry and cacao enthusiasts. For information, visit www.bigislandchocolatefestival.com.