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“Malama” for The Food Basket on Hawaii Island

Locally-owned and operated Big Island shops – Aloha Grown, Creative Arts Hawaii and Parker Ranch Store – have come together to design, print and sell limited edition Aloha Grown “Malama” Tees, in an effort to raise funds for The Food Basket on Hawaii Island.

According to Randy Kurohara, President & Owner, “The Food Basket has done so much to support the most vulnerable in our community – our kupuna and keiki…now it’s our turn to kokua. Here at Aloha Grown, Creative Arts Hawaii and the Parker Ranch Store, we truly believe in giving back to the community. Through this ‘Malama’ Tee fundraiser, we hope to raise up to $20,000 for The Food Basket.”

The limited edition Aloha Grown “Malama” Tees will be sold for $20.00 each with 100% of all monies collected being donated to The Food Basket on Hawaii Island.

The shirt was designed with green fern leaves to represent the earth, while blue waves represent water – both of which are crucial and necessary food sources. “Malama” was selected as the shirt theme because malama means “to care for, preserve, protect,” and we must malama our island resources in order to provide food for our communities.

The Food Basket serves 1 in every 3 Hawaii Island residents through its partner agencies, providing nutritious and high quality food to Big Island families, children and seniors who might otherwise go hungry. Every $20 shirt purchase allows The Food Basket to help feed seven children breakfast for a week, one senior lunch for over a month, or an entire family dinner for a week.

Aunty Bev, Aloha Grown employee, and En Young, The Food Basket Executive Director.)

The Food Basket Executive Director, En Young, said “We are greatly appreciative of local businesses like Aloha Grown, Creative Arts Hawaii and Parker Ranch Store for helping us raise funds in our time of need. While we always appreciate food donations, it’s the monetary donations that help us keep our operations going and allow us to continue collecting, storing and distributing food all over the Big Island. We remind everyone that all donations made to The Food Basket stay right here on Hawaii Island and assist the kupuna and keiki in our local communities.”

Kristine M., a recipient of The Food Basket services, wrote in a letter, “We so appreciate the food that you contribute to the Naalehu seniors. We need this help with food so very much. Last year our only grocery store here closed…..since most of us live on social security fixed income, this is so important to get these vegetables and canned goods. You have no idea how much this helps us out!”

Aloha Grown “Malama” Tees are available for purchase in-store at these locations while supplies last:  Aloha Grown (224 Kamehameha Ave – Hilo), Creative Arts Hawaii (500 Kalanianaole Ave – Hilo), Parker Ranch Store (Parker Ranch Center – Waimea), The Food Basket (40 Holomua St – Hilo).

For more information, visit www.parkerranchstore.com/ malama.

Kahilu Theatre Offering Summer Performing Arts Camps

Kahilu Theatre will offer three performing arts summer camps for Hawai‘i Island youth this summer. The camps are Let’s Dance (June 19 – June 30), Adventures in Polynesia (July 3 – July 15), and KPAW (July 17 – July 28).

Let’s Dance! (Summer Dance Camp)

Directed by KPAC Director, Angel Prince, Let’s Dance! teaches technique and choreography classes in Contemporary Dance, Ballet, Hip Hop, and Jazz. The camp also includes daily Pilates and Yoga classes as foundational strength and flexibility training. There are additional courses in Acting, Anatomy, Choreography and Improvisation, Stage Makeup, and Salsa.

Let’s Dance! runs from June 19 through June 30 and concludes with a student performance for the community on Friday, June 30 at 5 pm. It is open to students ages 7 to 16.

Adventures in Polynesia

Adventures in Polynesia, directed by Kalena Ohilo, is inspired by the motion picture Moana and focuses on Acrobatics, Tumbling, Vaulting and Aerial Silks. The camp is infused with Polynesian Music, Implements, and Dance. In addition to indulging creative energies in Acrobatics, students will create their own “Moana Skirt” and Maori Poi Balls.

Adventures in Polynesia runs from July 3 through July 14 and concludes with a student performance for the community on Friday, July 14 at 5 pm. It is open to students ages 5 to 12.

Note – There is no class on July 4. A makeup class will be held Saturday, July 8.

KPAW (Keiki Performing Arts Workshop)

Directed by former Kahilu Youth Troupe member, Marena Dunnington,  KPAW focuses on teaching stage skills necessary for musical theatre, with singing, acting and dancing as the three primary disciplines. Classes in playwriting and storytelling, makeup, improvisation, accents and dialects will also be offered.

KPAW runs from July 17 through July 28 and concludes with a student performance for the community on Friday, July 28 at 5 pm. It is open to students ages 7 to 12, or rising 3rd through 6th grades.

KPAW instructors are alumni of the Kahilu Youth Troupe: young performers who have trained at Kahilu with Beth Dunnington and are now pursuing their acting careers at the collegiate level.

Camp Enrollment Information:

  • All camps run Monday through Friday, 10 am – 2:30 pm
  • Each camp concludes with a performance
  • Fee: $230 for each camp
  • Scholarships are available

Scholarship application deadline is May 28 and scholarships to be announced on June 5

  • Max enrollment = 30
  • Students should bring a packed lunch from home

For more information about the Kahilu Performing Arts Camps call the Kahilu Theatre Box Office at 808.885.6868. Registration is available online at www.kahilutheatre.org.

Puna Community Meeting on Transportation Options

The public is invited to learn about new rideshare technologies using a smartphone that can provide Puna with much needed jobs and rides. Council member Jen Ruggles will be hosting a community meeting on new transportation opportunities this Thursday, May 25th at 6pm at the Keaau Community Center.

“Dependable, safe, and convenient transportation is a critical need in our district,” said Ms. Ruggles, “there is a public transportation planning process currently underway. In order for Puna’s complex needs to be met we need to improve our bus system and welcome alternative transportation methods.”

Hawaii County’s new director of Mass Transit, Curtis Sharp, will also be there to give an update on the status of the bus system, the new master plan, and to answer questions. Representatives from transportation network companies Uber and Lyft, who have already started recruiting drivers on the Big Island, will give a short presentation and answer questions.

“Considering half our bus fleet is out of service, we have an exciting new opportunity with Uber and Lyft just coming to the Big Island. I want to make sure the community has a chance to take full advantage of it.”

Snacks and refreshments will be provided. For more information contact the office of Jen Ruggles at 808-961-8263.

“Obon in the Gardens” at Lili`uokalani Gardens

Keith Haugen will speak on the background and history of obon traditions during Sunday’s 5/28 “Obon in the Gardens.” The event is sponsored by Friends of Lili`uokalani Gardens from 1 to 4 p.m. in the small parking lot near Shoroan, the Urasenke tea house in Lili`uokalani Gardens.

Haugen was a teenage soldier stationed in Japan in the 1950s. He recalls “donning a yukata, tying a tenugui around my head, and learning to dance the Tanko Bushi. Nobody seemed to mind that I was a foreigner or that my ancestral home was in Norway.

“Thousands of miles away, on the island of Maui, my future wife was learning the same song in the multi-cultural community where she was born and raised. Residents of Hawaii, just like the residents of Japan, take the summer obon dances for granted. But where did they originate, and why? What are all those folk songs used year after year?”

Keith wrote and produced an obon special for Hawaii Public Radio more than10 years ago dealing with the background, meaning, and history of obon dances. His continuing presentations state-wide are in demand.

“Obon began as a Buddhist tradition and evolved into a cultural and community event now held annually all over Japan, in Hawai`i, California, Canada, South America, and other places Japanese settled.

“There are perhaps more than a thousand of these traditional Japanese folk songs, called minyo. About 100 of them are extremely popular and have been since the 1800s,” Haugen explained. “There are songs about fishing and seagulls; pretty girls and flowers; even pride in great liquor stores. Some tell of rice and herbs, the moon and winds, and of men riding logs down the river. Others tell of drinking sake, and of courtship.”

Born in Minnesota and resident in Hawaii since 1968, Keith recently taught Hawaiian language and music at Star of the Sea School in Honolulu.

“My earlier education was in journalism and I worked for many years as a writer/reporter, editor, columnist, photographer, bureau chief at several daily newspapers including the Honolulu Star-Bulletin (1968-77), where I was State Editor when I was appointed by Gov. George Ariyoshi to be State Director of Information. For more than 10 years, I doubled as a lecturer and instructor, teaching Hawaiian music and language night classes at the UH College of Continuing Education, now called UH Outreach College.

“For most of my adult life, I maintained a second career as an entertainer, songwriter, recording artist, and record producer, radio producer and host. My wife Carmen and I performed together in Waikiki and all over the world for nearly 40 years.”

Keith and Carmen are familiar to HPR listeners as the hosts of Music of Hawai`i. Keith was the creator of Ke Aolama, the first Hawaiian language newscast on radio, and the Hawaiian Word of the Day.

For further information on Obon in the Gardens and other centennial events, please refer to the Friends of Lili`uokalani Gardens page on Facebook.

Hawaii Island Humane Society Awarded Grant by Windermere Foundation

The Windermere Foundation has awarded Hawaii Island Humane Society a $2,000 grant to be used toward its New Leash on Life program. Each time a home is purchased or sold using a Windermere agent, a portion of the commission goes into the Windermere Foundation fund to benefit low-income and homeless families in their local communities.

“Our New Leash on Life program helps teens develop compassion and increased self-esteem through their bonding with a canine friend,” said Donna Whitaker, Hawaii Island Humane Society Executive Director. “We are so grateful that the Windermere Foundation and its local agents support programs in our community.”

Hawaii Island Humane Society’s New Leash on Life program affords teens who are in foster care or temporary housing a safe and fun outlet to spend time with shelter animals. Teens have the opportunity to socialize with the animals and learn basic dog obedience training. Teens gain a skill and the pets become more adoptable having learned basic commands such as sit, stay and walking on a leash.

“The funds for the grant award were donated and raised by our local Windermere agents who care deeply about their community,” said local Foundation Representative John Kennedy. “Helping the next generation develop their skills is a really great feeling.”

Ka’u Coffee Festival Underway – Jami Beck Crowned Miss K’au Coffee

The ninth annual Ka‘u Coffee Festival is in full swing with newly crowned Miss K‘au Coffee Jami Beck of Wai‘ohinu presiding at a host of upcoming events. The UH-Hilo student swept all pageant categories, winning career outfit and interview, evening gown and swimsuit trophies, plus the titles of Miss Popularity, Miss Photogenic and Miss Congeniality.

Photo of Miss Ka’u Coffee Jami Beck by Pamela Taylor

Upcoming festival fun includes a Pa‘ina and Open House today, May 19 at Pahala Plantation House and the Ka’u Coffee Recipe Contest Sun., May 21 at the Ka‘u Coffee Mill. Java jumping activities continue Mon., May 22 with Ka’u Star Gazing and May 24-25 with Ka‘u Mountain Water Systems Hikes.

The festival percolates on Sat. May 27 between 9 a.m.-5 p.m., inside and out of the Pahala Community Center at the free Ka‘u Coffee Festival Ho‘olaule‘a. Enjoy a full day of live music; Hawaiian performing arts; keiki activities; broke ‘da mouth local food, crafts, product and informational booths; plus barista-guided coffee tastings. Guided farm tours with van transport are $20. On Sun., May 28 at 9 a.m, The Ka’u Coffee College features local and visiting coffee industry experts offering seminars focused on enhancing coffee quality and best farm management techniques.

Enter the “Buy Local, It Matters” contest for a chance to win! Simply visit festival sponsors and redeem purchase receipts, product labels and business cards at the ho‘olaule‘a for chances to win cash and prizes.

All activities are open to the public; for details on ticketed events and full festival info, visit www.KauCoffeeFest.com.

Ka‘u Coffee Festival: Founded in coffee traditions hailing to the 1800s—plus the hard work of former sugar plantation workers—Ka‘u coffee burst onto the specialty coffee scene by winning numerous coffee quality awards. These accolades highlight the unique combination of people and place that makes Ka‘u coffee a favorite across the globe. The festival’s mission is to raise awareness of Ka‘u as a world-class, coffee-growing origin. For more information and festival updates, visit kaucoffeefest.com, follow Ka‘u Coffee Festival on Facebook and @kaucoffeefest on Twitter, or call 808-929-9550.

K’au Coffee Festival Names Presenter Lineup for Annual Coffee College

Leaders in the specialty coffee industry present a host of educational opportunities for island coffee farmers at the annual Ka‘u Coffee College 9 a.m.-pau Sunday, May 28 at the Pahala Community Center.

“This year’s college offers a number of hands-on workshops.  The first is on how to breed the flat bark beetle to make the insect act as a biological control to fight the coffee berry borer,” explains long-time festival organizer Chris Manfredi. “Second is an introduction to the science of coffee fermentation and we cap it off with a workshop on how to maximize efficiency and quality of your wet mill.”

Courtesy photo from the 2016 Coffee College

The Ka‘u Coffee College has proven to be a place of learning, sharing and networking—and has featured some of the industry’s leading professionals from around the globe. The 2017 program follows in this tradition with the theme, “Boosting Coffee Quality and Profits.”

The Ka‘u Coffee College is part of the ninth annual Ka‘u Coffee Festival through May 28.

The college opens with “Rearing and Releasing Flat Bark Beetles on Your Farm” presented by Andrea Kawabata and Jen Burt with the University of Hawai‘i CTAHR cooperative extension service. Working out of the Kona Research and Extension Center, Kawabata is an associate extension agent who provides outreach to the coffee, tropical fruit and nut industries. She has been coordinating coffee berry borer integrated pest management recommendations to statewide growers and conducts research applicable to farmers.

Also located at Kona’s Extension Center, Burt provides technical support to the Areawide Mitigation and Management for Coffee Berry Borer and Flat Bark Beetle Projects.

Dr. Peter Follett presents “Flat Bark Beetle Predators-Behavior in the Field and Next Generation Breeding Stations.” Follett, a research entomologist with Hilo’s USDA Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center, studies integrated pest management, biological controls and postharvest technology in support of Hawai‘i’s tropical fruit and coffee industries.

“Understanding the Science of Fermentation,” by Dr. Shawn Steiman, delves into the science of coffee fermentation and its importance. A coffee scientist, consultant, entrepreneur and author, Steiman’s research has focused on coffee production, entomology, ecology, physiology, biochemistry, organoleptic quality and brewing.

If you’re wet-milling coffee, you won’t want to miss “Getting the Most Out of Your Wet Mill” presented by Diego Botello, which will be followed by a field visit for a hands-on demonstration of wet milling equipment. Botello is with Penagos Hermanos y Compania S.A.S., a leading manufacturer of agricultural processing equipment. Penagos wet mills are used globally—including in Ka‘u.

“This wet mill presentation affords a rare opportunity to meet first-hand with the manufacturer—to achieve the best possible results from their equipment—from an efficiency and quality perspective. Even if you’re not using Penagos equipment this is must-see event if you’re wet-milling coffee,” notes Manfredi.

Admission to the Ka‘u Coffee College is free, though donations are appreciated.

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

Ka‘u Coffee Festival: Founded in coffee traditions hailing to the 1800s—plus the hard work of former sugar plantation workers—Ka‘u coffee burst onto the specialty coffee scene by winning numerous coffee quality awards. These accolades highlight the unique combination of people and place that makes Ka‘u coffee a favorite across the globe. The festival’s mission is to raise awareness of Ka‘u as a world-class, coffee-growing origin.

Ka‘u Coffee Festival vendor and sponsorship opportunities are available. For more information and festival updates, visit kaucoffeefest.com, follow Ka‘u Coffee Festival on Facebook and @kaucoffeefest on Twitter, or call 808-929-9550.

BISAC Homeless Drive Gives Out Kits to Hilo’s Homeless

The Big Island Substance Abuse Council’s (BISAC’s) East Hawaii Intensive Outpatient Program participated in a one month drive to collect toiletry items for an outreach homeless project. Both clients and staff collected over 200 items to make a total of 25 kits which included: tooth paste, tooth brushes, soaps, shampoos, lotions, deodorant, and ponchos. These items were handed out to the Hilo Homeless community.

Kim Krell, Director of the East Hawaii programs reported, “This whole idea was our clients and staff wanting to make a difference in their community and give back.” “To see our clients use their experiences to help others reclaim their lives is just amazing” said BISAC’s CEO, Dr. Hannah Preston-Pita.

Since 1964, BISAC has been inspiring individuals and families to reclaim and enrich their lives in the wake of the ravages of substance abuse and mental health. They offer a continuum of services that are culturally appropriate and aligned with the ever-changing behavioral health field. For more information about BISAC and all of its programs call 969-9994 or visit www.bisac.org.

37th Annual Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park Cultural Festival & BioBlitz

Save the date for the free 37th annual Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park Cultural Festival & BioBlitz, Saturday, July 8, 2017, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Kilauea Military Camp.

The festival’s theme, Hilina‘i Puna, Kālele iā Ka‘ū, (Puna leans and reclines on Ka‘ū), celebrates the two land districts that comprise the national park. People of all ages and districts are invited to enjoy a day of traditional mele (music), hula, and Hawaiian cultural demonstrations, crafts, and games. This year’s festival will again include a “BioBlitz,” a chance to join scientists and cultural practitioners in the field and discover the diversity of biology, geology and culture of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.

The 37th annual cultural festival showcases an extraordinarily talented line-up of local performers. Hālau Ulumamo o Hilo Palikū will dance their powerful hula kāhiko, and kūpuna hula group Haunani’s Aloha Expressions also take the stage. Renowned solo musicians Kenneth Makuakāne and Lito Arkangel will sing and play instruments, and the “Songbird of Miloli‘i,” Aunty Diana Aki, closes the festival.

Keiki to kupuna can participate in authentic Hawaiian cultural activities like ku‘i kalo (pounding poi), lomilomi (massage), ‘ohe kāpala (Hawaiian bamboo stamping), play Hawaiian games, discover lā‘au lapa‘au (medicine from plants), make a small kāhili (feather standard), weave lei, and more. All cultural festival activities are located at the grassy lawn and ball field area at Kilauea Military Camp.

The BioBlitz expert-led field inventories will be offered, and include Birds of Kīlauea by Sight and Sound; Nā Mea Kanu o Ka Hula (Plants of Hula); an ADA-friendly inventory, Hawaiian Adze Production, and more. Free registration will soon be available through the Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park website, www.fhvnp.org. Visitors can learn more about conservation and biodiversity through fun, interactive exhibits sponsored by many of Hawai‘i’s leading conservation organizations on the festival grounds.

The BioBlitz field inventories run from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., and the cultural festival is from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., on Saturday, July 8. Entrance into the park and all events are free.

Make sure to wear sunscreen and a hat. Bring water, rain jacket, and ground mat or chair. No pets. Lunch and beverages will be available for sale.  This wonderful family experience is a drug- and alcohol-free event.

Nā Leo TV Debuting New Show – Mayor Kim to Appear on First Episode

Nā Leo TV will be debuting a new show called “Hawaiʻi Island Conversations,” a show about relevant topics and people impacting Hawaiʻi  Island.

The first show will feature Mayor Harry Kim along with the Finance Director, Collins Tomei, and Deputy Director, Deanna Sako, in a conversation regarding the Hawaiʻi County Budget.

The show will air live beginning at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, May 16, 2017. Rebroadcast of the show will air on the Nā Leo TV Channels and on its Video on Demand feature at www.naleo.tv/vod/.

About Nā Leo TV

Nā Leo TV – The Big Island of Hawaiʻi’s local public access TV station bringing diverse, original, and relevant programming to our Big Island Communities. Broadcasting on Oceanic Time Warner Cable public access Channels 53, 54, and 55, and via the internet at www.naleo.tv.

Senator Kahele Hosting Town Hall Meeting on Legislative Updates

On Monday, May 15, 2017, the community is invited to attend a town hall style meeting hosted by Hawai‘i State Senator Kaiali‘i Kahele who will present an update on the recent legislative session.

“The East Hawai‘i delegation worked together to pass vital legislation for higher education, health, and community development, while also securing over $80 million in funding to help with capital improvement projects in the district,” said Sen. Kahele. “I encourage the public to come listen and provide any questions they may have regarding this past session.”

The meeting is scheduled for 5:30 PM at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo in UCB Room 100. To RSVP, please contact (808) 586-6760 or toll-free 974-4000 ext. 66760.

  • Date: Monday, May 15, 2017
  • Time: 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM
  • Location: University of Hawai‘i at Hilo, UCB Room 100, 200 W. Kāwili St. Hilo, HI 96720

Hu Honua Reaches Agreement with HELCO on Biomass Plant

Hu Honua announced today that it has reached an agreement with Hawaii Electric Light Company (HELCO) on an amended power purchase agreement (PPA).

HELCO agreed to revised terms for electricity to be produced by the biomass project and is submitting the amended contract to the Public Utilities Commission for approval of Hu Honua’s proposed pricing.

Hu Honua can resume construction on its half-completed facility and begin delivering clean, firm renewable energy by the end of 2018, if the PUC approves the amended PPA. The project would deliver firm, renewable power around the clock, making it a natural complement to HELCO’s existing portfolio of solar and wind power, which are intermittent sources.

Harold “Rob” Robinson, president of Island BioEnergy, Hu Honua’s parent company noted, “It’s a big win for Hu Honua, Hawaii Electric Light and the people of Hawaii Island to have an amended agreement. We are hopeful the PUC will recognize the project’s value in terms of economic benefits and energy stability.”

The amended PPA submission to the PUC includes information on pricing, which is lower than the original PPA; how the project will be less expensive compared to existing fossil fuel plants; and how the project will provide firm renewable energy that can replace existing fossil fuel plants.

Approximately 200 construction jobs will be needed to complete plant reconstruction, which is expected to take 14-18 months. Nearly 30 permanent operations and maintenance jobs will be available, once the plant is operational.

Hu Honua will become the foundation for a sustainable agriculture industry, creating approximately 200 jobs in forestry, harvesting, hauling, and in the production of wood products.

The project is expected to put $20 million into the local economy each year that would otherwise leave the state to purchase foreign oil, while helping the state secure its energy future and meet its clean energy goal of 100 percent renewable by 2045.

About Hu Honua

Hu Honua Bioenergy, LLC is located in Pepeekeo on the Hamakua Coast of the island of Hawaii. When completed, the Hu Honua facility will be able to produce up to 30-megawatts (MW) of clean renewable baseload power, which means the plant can deliver reliable power that can be dispatched 24 hours a day, seven days a week. When operating at capacity, Hu Honua will be able to produce approximately 14 percent of Hawaii Island’s electricity needs and displace approximately 250,000 barrels of oil per year.

For more information, www.huhonua.com

Two Hawaii Youth Honored for Volunteerism at National Award Ceremony in Washington, D.C.

Hawaii’s top two youth volunteers of 2017, Cierra Nakamura, 18, of Honolulu and Emma Tandara, 14, of Ewa Beach, were honored in the nation’s capital last night for their outstanding volunteer service during the 22nd annual presentation of The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards. Cierra and Emma – along with 100 other top youth volunteers from across the country – each received $1,000 awards and personal congratulations from Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps at an award ceremony and gala dinner reception held at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History.

Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps congratulates Cierra Nakamura, 18, of Honolulu (center) and Emma Tandara, 14, of Ewa Beach (right) on being named Hawaii’s top two youth volunteers for 2017 by The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards. Cierra and Emma were honored at a ceremony on Sunday, May 7 at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, where they each received a $1,000 award. (PRNewsfoto/Prudential Insurance)

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program, sponsored by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), named Cierra and Emma Hawaii’s top high school and middle level youth volunteers in February. In addition to their cash awards, they each received an engraved silver medallion and an all-expense-paid trip with a parent to Washington, D.C., for four days of recognition events.

Cierra, a senior at ‘Iolani School, collects donated toothbrushes, toothpaste and packages of dental floss for impoverished families in underdeveloped Asia-Pacific countries through a campaign she calls “Spreading Smiles Across Miles.” Her interest in Third World dental care was sparked at a 2012 fundraiser for a medical mission to Nepal. “I was in awe of the doctors and nurses who flew to Third World countries at their own expense to treat ailing patients,” said Cierra. “I wanted to take part in this noble effort.” But as a 13-year-old, she didn’t know what she could do.

A little research, however, alerted her to the fact that dental care in Nepal is almost nonexistent; toothbrushes and toothpaste are luxuries that most cannot afford. Cierra resolved to address this need by collecting 2,000 toothbrushes, tubes of toothpaste and dental floss packages. She asked family members and friends for donations, then reached out to vendors at a Hawaiian dental convention. After exceeding her goal, she sent all of her collected supplies to Nepal, along with an instructional video she made with a dental hygiene professor to demonstrate proper oral hygiene procedures in Nepalese. Later, Cierra personally delivered toothbrushes and school supplies to kids in an orphanage in Vietnam, and is currently working to send dental supplies to the Philippines.

Emma, an eighth-grader at Ewa Makai Middle School, led an effort at her school to promote recycling of bottles, cans, paper products and old T-shirts. From the time she was very young, Emma accompanied her beloved grandmother in a wide range of volunteer activities. When her grandma died of cancer, Emma was moved to rededicate herself to community service.

She got that opportunity when she joined her school’s leadership team and elected to work on enhancing the school’s recycling program. She spearheaded the filming of a music video explaining her school’s green initiatives and how to properly sort recyclables, which was presented to the student body, teachers and staff at an assembly led by Emma and later shown to more than 300 educators across the state. Emma also led a recyclables sorting game at three elementary schools, helped coordinate two community recycling drives, and demonstrated how to turn old T-shirts into bags at an emergency preparedness fair. “Though my grandmother couldn’t stay forever, the work I’ve done in her spirit has become something that can,” said Emma.

“These honorees have done exemplary work to contribute to the health and vitality of their communities, and we look forward to seeing the great things they achieve in the future,” said John Strangfeld, chairman and CEO of Prudential Financial, Inc. “Congratulations to each of these extraordinary young volunteers.”

“It’s a privilege to celebrate these students not only for outstanding volunteer service, but for the example they’ve set for their peers,” said Jayne Ellspermann, president of NASSP. “These honorees prove that one person truly can make a difference.”

Youth volunteers in grades 5-12 were invited to apply for 2017 Prudential Spirit of Community Awards last fall through schools, Girl Scout councils, county 4-H organizations, American Red Cross chapters, YMCAs and affiliates of the HandsOn Network. More than 31,000 middle level and high school students nationwide participated in this year’s program.

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program was created in 1995 to identify and recognize young people for outstanding volunteer service – and, in so doing, inspire others to volunteer, too. In the past 22 years, the program has honored more than 120,000 young volunteers at the local, state and national level.

For more information about The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards and this year’s honorees, visit  http://spirit.prudential.com or www.nassp.org/spirit.

Hilo Legislative Update

Hawai‘i lawmakers passed the State’s two-year biennium budget on Tuesday along with numerous House and Senate bills that now move to Governor David Ige for his signature. The budget includes more than $70 million in capital improvement project funds for the Hilo area.

The approved budget includes $4.5 million for improvements to Hilo and Keawe Health Centers, as well as $2 million for the creation of a telehealth unit for Hilo Medical Center.

“The telehealth services at Hilo Hospital was a top priority of the Hilo Hospital Foundation in order to increase the level of health care services to residents of Hawaii Island. These budget items as well as the creation of a new line item for the Hawaii Island Family Residency Program will help to insure that we are able to better address the medical needs of our residents into the future,” said Representative Mark M. Nakashima.

State funds are earmarked for both the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo and Hilo International Airport.

“The University of Hawai‘i at Hilo will receive $3 million to provide air conditioning for the Hale ‘Alahonua student dormitory building. The budget also includes $19.2 million for renovations and improvements to the Hilo International Airport, as well as $2.6 million for noise-reduction efforts for nearby communities,” said Senator Kaiali‘i Kahele.

Waiakeawāena Elementary will receive $2.5 million for either renovations of their existing cafeteria or the construction of a new facility and $13 million will go toward replacing the single lane 4 Mile Creek Bridge at the intersection of Kilauea Avenue and Haihai Street.

HB478 HD1 SD1 CD1 enables the expansion of the successful inmate-operated farms at the Kulani (Hawaii Island) correctional facilities. The bill provides $50,000 for hiring a farm manager and $50,000 for farming equipment.

“The rejuvenation of the Kulani Correctional Facilities agriculture programs will be greatly enhanced with the addition of a full-time farm manager and funding for the purchase of equipment and supplies. This will allow inmates to participate in a broader range of technical skills and trades in horticulture. Along with the $13 million in funding for the 4-mile bridge, $2 million in funds were also secured for motor vehicle deceleration and acceleration lanes to increase the traffic safety to the Panaewa stretch at the Mamaki and Lama Street intersections,” said Representative Richard Onishi.

Hilo High School will receive $2.4 million to assist with renovations of their school auditorium building, as well as $1.25 million toward a much-needed upgrade to the school’s track and field facilities. Across the street, Hilo Intermediate School will benefit from a $950,000 appropriation for renovations of the school’s boys’ and girls’ locker rooms.

“We are very grateful for the funding we received for East Hawaii schools. On a personal level, I am very thankful for the opportunity to be a part of our legislative team and I’m looking forward to continuing our work together,” said Representative Chris Todd.

First Annual Roundup at the Ranch

The date for the First Annual Roundup At The Ranch, which will be held at the Waiki’i Ranch Clubhouse, has been announced as July 15, 2017.

The BBQ and dance will run from 6pm – 10pm, with live music by Patio Productions.  Silent and live auction items include stays at vacation homes in Montana, Utah and Volcano Village, hotel and golf packages, brunch for 12 at the Mauna Kea Polo Club, sporting clays shoot for 5 at Parker Ranch, and jewelry.  The committee welcomes other auction donations.

Roundup at the Ranch

Tickets are $125 per person, of which $70 is tax deductible.  Seating is limited to 100. Tickets can be purchased online:  http://www.danielsayrefoundation.org/

Proceeds from the Roundup At The Ranch will help the Daniel R. Sayre Foundation support The Hawaii County Fire Department, including 9 Bravo Volunteer Fire Company. The Hawaii County Fire Department is a well-trained and managed force whose mission is to protect life and property on our island.  While the regular crews are very capable and quick to respond in emergencies, the size of the island requires more resources to complete the work.  That is why the Volunteer Fire Companies are important.

In North Hawaii, the Hawaii County Fire Department has five permanent Fire Stations.  These facilities are staffed continuously, and are called upon as soon as an emergency occurs.  But they can’t be everywhere.   Hawaii County Fire Department Stations 8 (Honokaa), 9 (Waimea),14 (South Kohala), 15 (North Kohala) and 16 (Waikoloa) attempt to protect all of North and South Kohala and some of Hamakua.  The volunteer groups, which are located between the stations, provide critical extra help.

The Waiki’i Ranch community’s own volunteer fire department, 9 Alpha, has worked in partnership with the 9 Bravo team on many occasions to assist the Waimea Fire Department in battling fires throughout the region.  The Roundup At The Ranch is a neighbor-to-neighbor effort to honor and support all of our local firefighters, whose hard work and dedication help to protect our homes and communities.

The Daniel R. Sayre Memorial Foundation

The Daniel R. Sayre Memorial Foundation is a volunteer-run, non-profit organization dedicated to providing essential equipment and training to the Hawaii Island Fire Department who serves the Hawaii community, and more than 1.5 million visitors per year from around the world.
Over one million dollars in donations and pledged equipment have been raised since its inception in 1997.  100% of the donations go to funding rescue equipment and training vital to saving lives. The Foundation is a registered 501(C)(3) non-profit organization.

9 Bravo Volunteer Fire Company

9 Bravo is a Volunteer Fire Company located roughly halfway between the Waimea and the South Kohala fire stations. The surrounding open pastures and wind-swept fields are often the location of large wild fires, some of which threatened homes and businesses.  9 Bravo has almost a dozen trained and capable firefighters, and two tank trucks that can negotiate rough roads and open fields.  The company is called on regularly, with over 30 major emergencies in 2016, including several recently adjacent to Waiki’i Ranch.

When 9 Bravo started up in 2009, the department provided training and some equipment, including personal protective gear.  A small brush truck with a 300 gallon water tank was assigned, but it was old and broke down frequently.  As homes were built in Kanehoa and Anekona, the owners wanted to assist the volunteers by providing more than the department could afford.  That was the start of a nonprofit company named Anekona Ouli Kanehoa VFD Company (“AOK”).

AOK got its tax exempt status with help from The Daniel R. Sayre Memorial Foundation.  AOK is focused on supporting 9 Bravo, and through fundraising by donations, purchased personal gear, equipment and a 5 ton cargo truck that carries a 1200 gallon water tank.  This truck is a valuable asset which has assisted in many off-road wildfires.

Seeing that the trucks and equipment were kept by the volunteers, with Captain Mike Shattuck’s garage full of hoses and other gear, and the trucks in his front yard, AOK has undertaken to build a permanent facility for 9 Bravo.  In the past few years, with plenty of volunteer help from the community, AOK has obtained a site to build a basic equipment garage, and has recently completed design work, obtained permits, and commenced construction.  Although donations from the local community have been helpful, and local contractors and suppliers have been generous in providing in-kind contributions, AOK is still about $50K short of cash needed to complete construction of the equipment garage.

Keaau-Pahoa Road Shoulder Lane Conversion Update

The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) provides the following update on the Keaau-Pahoa Road Shoulder Lane Conversion, Phase 2, Shower Drive Intersection Improvements project. Work has temporarily been stopped and is anticipated to resume in early June.

Keaau to Pahoa Highway Map Plans from a few years ago.

Construction has been temporarily stopped as HDOT is in the process of obtaining a new permit for this project which is designed to improve traffic flow in Puna through the installation of a permanent north bound shoulder lane and a temporary south bound shoulder lane between mile posts 4.15 and 4.25 of Keaau-Pahoa Road (Highway 130) and installation of a traffic signal at the Keaau-Pahoa Road/Shower Drive intersection. The Keaau-Pahoa Road Shoulder Lane Conversion, Phase 2, Shower Drive Intersection Improvements project also involves relocation of water system facilities and utility poles as well as installation of pavement markings, striping, and signage.

The contractor for Phase 2 began work in January 2017 using a permit that was obtained for Phase 1 of the shoulder lane conversion project. This permit expired during the Phase 2 construction. HDOT anticipates receiving the new permit within 40 days and is revising the estimated completion date for this project to mid-November.

Further updates will be available on the HDOT Highways Division website (http://hidot.hawaii.gov/highways/) under the Major Projects tab.

Big Island Dairy Fined for Fecal Pollution

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) has issued a Notice of Violation and Order to Big Island Dairy, LLC for the unlawful discharge of wastewater from the dairy’s Concentrated Animal Feedlot Operations (CAFO), located in O’okala on Hawaii Island, to Kaohaoha Gulch.

Big Island Dairy Facebook picture

The DOH has ordered Big Island Dairy, LLC to immediately cease discharging wastewater to state waters, pay a penalty of $25,000 to the state, and take corrective actions to prevent future unlawful discharges from the dairy to state waters. Further, the dairy is required to apply to DOH for a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit required under the Federal Clean Water Act, and State of Hawaii water pollution laws. Additional DOH oversight of other past and current dairy issues is continuing.

“Big Island Dairy will immediately cease illegal discharges and pay a penalty fee for violating environmental laws,” said Keith Kawaoka, DOH deputy director of Environmental Health. “Food production and environmental protection are not competing interests, and through this enforcement action and future permitting efforts, DOH will seek mutually beneficial results for the dairy, O’okala community, and greater State of Hawaii.”

On March 28-29, 2017, the DOH conducted an inspection of the dairy and Kaohaoha Gulch based on information provided by community leaders. During the inspection, DOH found clear evidence of an unlawful discharge of wastewater from the dairy’s field irrigation practices. The discharge was composed of animal wastewater, biosolids and dirt.

Requirement for an NPDES Permit Authorizing the Discharge to State waters

Under the federal Clean Water Act and state water pollution laws, a dairy with 700 or more mature milking cows which operates as a CAFO and discharges is required to obtain and comply with an NPDES permit. NPDES permits regulate the discharges from the dairy to state and federal waters by requiring implementation of pollution reducing practices and compliance reporting. Big Island Dairy has 30 days to submit an application for NPDES permit coverage to DOH.

Requirement for the Development and Implementation of a Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan

Big Island Dairy is ordered to develop or revise a Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan (CNMP) that defines how the dairy treats, uses, and distributes its wastewater for crop production purposes. The CNMP must follow Federal guidelines and be approved of by the DOH before implementation. The CNMP will be an enforceable provision of the NPDES permit.

Surveys of State waters within Dairy Property

Big Island Dairy is required to conduct surveys and inspections of state waters located within the dairy property to identify all points of discharge from the dairy. The dairy must develop corrective action plans if the dairy finds any evidence of waste or wastewater within state waters due to dairy operations. DOH will review the final reports and conduct due diligence to authenticate conclusions made in the dairy’s report.

Big Island Dairy, LLC may contest the Notice of Violation and Order and has 20 days to request a hearing.

The Hawaii Department of Health’s Clean Water Branch protects the health of residents and visitors who enjoy Hawaii’s coastal and inland water resources. The Branch also protects and restores inland and coastal waters for marine life and wildlife. This is accomplished through statewide coastal water surveillance and watershed-based environmental management using a combination of permit issuance, water quality monitoring and investigation, water quality violation enforcement, polluted runoff control, and public education.

Learn How to Divide Cattleya Orchids

The Kona Daifukuji Orchid Club demonstrates how to divide cattleya orchids during the May 10 meeting. Betty Matsuo, one of the club’s original members, will lead the presentation. Open to those interested in orchids, the meeting is 7 p.m. at the Daifukuji Soto Mission Hall. Bring a potluck dish to share. For info, phone 808-328-8375.

The Kona Daifukuji Orchid Club is West Hawai‘i’s oldest orchidaceae organization with a mission to learn and foster orchid culture and promote fellowship among orchid collectors. The club meets the second Wednesday of every month at the Daifukuji Soto Mission Hall on Hwy. 11 at mile marker 114, just north of Kainaliu. For information, visit www.facebook.com/orchidsinparadise.

Coast Guard Holding Public Meeting Regarding Changes to Kamokuna Lava Ocean Entry Safety Zone

The Coast Guard will host a public meeting regarding the Notice of Proposed Rule Making for the Kamokuna lava ocean entry safety zone at the East Hawaii County Building at 5 p.m., Monday.

Kamokuna Ocean Entrance

A Notice of Proposed Rule Making is public notice a federal agency intends to create, add, remove or change a rule or regulation. The Coast Guard encourages citizens to participate in the rulemaking process by reviewing the rulemaking docket and providing public comment via the Federal Register. Public comments ensure Coast Guard rules and regulations are in the best interest of all parties. The Coast Guard is holding this public meeting as part of the NPRM process to encourage public input regarding the possible permanence and scope of the safety zone in place at Kamokuna.

To view the NPRM in the Federal Register, go to http://www.regulations.gov, type USCG-2017-0234 in the “SEARCH” box and click “SEARCH.”  Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rule. The Coast Guard strongly prefers comments to be submitted electronically.  Electronic comments may be submitted via http://www.regulations.gov.  Click the “COMMENT NOW” box on the top right of Docket Folder. Written comments may also be submitted (e.g. postmarked) by the deadline, via mail to Commander (spw), U.S. Coast Guard Sector Honolulu, 433 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu, HI 96850.

The comment period ends at 11:59 p.m. June 2, 2017.

  • WHO: Coast Guard Sector Honolulu Captain of the Port
  • WHAT: Hosts public meeting as part of the Notice of Proposed Rule Making to collect public input on the Notice of Proposed Rule Making process regarding the safety zone
  • WHERE: East Hawaii County Building (Hilo) Aupuni Center Conference Room located at 101 Pauahi Street #7, Hilo, HI, 96720
  • WHEN: 5 p.m., May 8, 2017. Media are asked to arrive no later than 4:30 p.m.

Media interested in attending are asked to RSVP no later than Monday at 12 p.m. by contacting the Coast Guard 14th District public affairs office at 808-341-9849.

EPA Requiring County of Hawaii to Close 7 Large Capacity Cesspools

In accordance with Section 1423(c)(3)(B) of the Safe Drinking Water Act (“Act”), 42 U.S.C. § 300h-2(c)(3)(B), notice is hereby given of a proposed agreement, set forth in a Proposed Administrative Order on Consent (“Proposed Consent Order”), between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 9 (“EPA”) and the County of Hawai‘i. The Proposed Consent Order requires the County of Hawai’i to correct certain alleged ongoing violations of the Act, as further described below. This notice invites the public to submit comments on the Proposed Consent Order.

Click to read docket

The Proposed Consent Order requires Respondent to close seven (7) large capacity cesspools (“LCCs”) that are currently being operated in violation of the ban codified at 40 C.F.R. § 144.88 on existing LCCs that took effect on April 5, 2005. Section V of the Proposed Consent Order provides an enforceable schedule for the County of Hawai’i to come into compliance with the ban, including closure of the LCCs and proper treatment for the wastewater streams currently being sent to the LCCs.

Complainant

Kathleen H. Johnson, Director, Enforcement Division, U.S. EPA, Region 9, 75 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, CA 94105

Respondent

Mayor Harry Kim, County of Hawai‘i, East Hawai‘i Building, 25 Aupuni Street Hilo, Hawai‘i 96720

Facilities

Pahala and Na’alehu communities of Hawai‘i

Alleged Violations

EPA alleges that, since April 5, 2005, Respondent owned and/or operated two (2) LCCs in violation of the LCC ban located in the community of Pahala. EPA further alleges that, since at least April 30, 2010, Respondent owned and/or operated five (5) additional LCCs in violation of the LCC ban located in the communities of Pahala and Naalehu. The continued operation of these LCCs is an ongoing violation of 40 C.F.R. § 144.88 and the SDWA. The seven (7) LCCs at issue are more specifically defined as follows:

  • 2 large capacity cesspools serving approximately 109 private residences in the community of Pahala, Hawai‘i;
  • 3 large capacity cesspools serving approximately 163 private residences in the community of Na’alehu, Hawai‘i; and
  • 2 large capacity cesspools serving the Pahala Elderly Apartments.

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