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

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

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

This Weekend – BISAC Summer Jam 2015

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

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

Pieter T

Pieter T

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Rotary Club of Pahoa Sunset Honors Three with “Service to Community Award”

The Rotary Club of Pahoa Sunset honored three members of the community with their “Service to Community Award.” In addition to the awards, the recipients were presented certificates from Rep. Joy San Buenaventura (Puna) and the Hawaii House of Representatives for their hard work and dedication.

The awardees are:

  • Catherine Ford, who wakes up at 4:30 am to look for the Pahoa homeless and find out what their needs are. Catherine visits those who are hospitalized and for those that don’t have transportation, she drives them to acquire their checks, food and medication.  She has become an advocate for those who normally have none.
Lyndon Johnson was honored.

Lyndon Honda was honored.

  •  Chef Lyndon Honda, whose passion for cuisine, food culture and compassion for others inspired him to organize various food events to benefit victims of Hurricane Iselle and the June 27 lava flow.  Chef Lyndon rallied various chefs from Maui and the Big Island to donate their skill, time and money so that 100% of the monies raised went to Puna Farmers and those affected by Iselle and the lava flow.  This unheard of percentage going to victims shows Chef Honda’s ability to organize and rally those whose compassion are like his on short notice.
  • Kalani Honua, which organization spent approximately eighty-nine thousand dollars of their own money to provide food, ice, and water to the people of Puna who were affected by Hurricane Iselle and who were without power and refrigeration.  Kalani Honua showcases lower Puna to the rest of the world as a sustainable healthy agricultural Hawaiian community and has been featured multiple times in Yoga Journal and is a vital and important contributor to the community of the lower Puna region.

The Rotary Club of Pahoa Sunset, chartered on April 1, 2009, meets Tuesday nights at 6:30 p.m. at The Historic Akebono Theatre in Pahoa, Puna Hawaii.

At an earlier town hall meeting, Representative San Buenaventura also honored Rene Siracusa, who has dedicated a life of volunteer service to Puna and its residents.

Ms. Siracusa is involved in a number of community organizations including the Puna Outdoor Circle, Big Island Rainforest Action Group, Puna Friends of the Parks, Puna Malama Pono, and Malama O Puna, which have all made positive environmental impacts to Puna.  Ms. Siracusa helped with the grant writing to secure funding for the Puna Community Medical Center’s Urgent Care Clinic and currently sits as the Chair of the Board of Directors.

Her participation as part of the Coqui Frog Working Group initially controlled the coqui frog at Lava Tree State Park in Nanawale and continues to educate the residents of Puna on the importance of bringing the invasive species under control.  She has served on various boards and committees such as the “Ka’ohe Homesteads Community & Farm Watch”, Hawai’i County Planning Commission, Healing Our Island Grant Review Committee, and was Chair of the Hawai‘i County Redistricting Commission (2011).

Pahoa Safe for Now… New Lava Flow Map Released

This small-scale map shows Kīlauea’s active East Rift Zone lava flow in relation to lower Puna. The area of the flow on June 30 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the flow as of July 7 is shown in red.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The blue lines show steepest-descent paths calculated from a 1983 digital elevation model (DEM; for calculation details, see http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2007/1264/). Steepest-descent path analysis is based on the assumption that the DEM perfectly represents the earth’s surface. DEMs, however, are not perfect, so the blue lines on this map can be used to infer only approximate flow paths. Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows erupted prior to June 27, 2014, are shown in gray.

CALEA to Examine Hawaii Police Department – Public Comments Welcome

The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA ®) will arrive on Hawaiʻi Island on July 13 to examine the Hawaiʻi Police Department’s policies and procedures, administration, operations and support services.

calea
The purpose is to verify that the Hawaiʻi Police Department continues to meet the 400-plus National Standards established for a law enforcement agency that are required for the department to maintain voluntary accreditation.

Part of this review will include a public comment session at 5 p.m. on July 14 at the Hawaiʻi County Council chambers at 25 Aupuni Street in Hilo. The session will be hosted by the visiting assessment team, which is seeking the community’s input as to whether accreditation should be maintained.

Chief Kubojiri encourages public comments. “As I’ve always maintained, this is not my police department, this is your police department,” Kubojiri said. “The process of being accredited ensures the public that their police department follows and maintains nationally recognized standards established for a law enforcement agency.”

Individuals who cannot attend the public information session are encouraged to phone in their comments to (808) 961-2270 on July 14 between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Written comments may be sent to CALEA®, 13575 Heathcote Boulevard, Suite 320, Gainesville, Virginia, 22030-2215 or through the CALEA® website at www.calea.org.

The comments are limited to the agency’s ability to comply with CALEA’s standards.

A link to the list of the CALEA® Standards the assessors will be reviewing to determine if the Hawaiʻi Police Department is in compliance is available on the “Accreditation” page of the Hawaiʻi Police Department’s website at www.hawaiipolice.com. A full copy of the Standards may be viewed at the Police Department’s main station at 349 Kapiʻolani Street in Hilo. These National Standards, as they relate to the practices employed by the Hawaiʻi Police Department, are what the assessors are seeking the public’s input on during public testimony.

Of the roughly 23,000 law enforcement agencies in the United States, the Hawaii Police Department is one of only about 1,200 that have been awarded CALEA Accreditation. The department was initially awarded accreditation on November 17, 2012.

For more information, you may call Lieutenant Kenneth Quiocho at 961-2260.

Two Officers Recognized as “Officers of the Month”

The Aloha Exchange Club of East Hawaiʻi recognized Detective Scott Amaral on Thursday (June 25) as one of two East Hawaiʻi “Officers of the Month” for June.

Aloha Exchange board member Joey Estrella presents an 'Officer of the Month' award to Detective Scott Amaral.

Aloha Exchange board member Joey Estrella presents an ‘Officer of the Month’ award to Detective Scott Amaral.

Detective Jesse Kerr, who shares the award, was unable to attend the ceremony and will be recognized officially at a later date.

The two Juvenile Aid Section detectives are being honored for helping the FBI locate a fugitive wanted in Colorado for kidnapping a 9-year-old family member.

When the FBI received information that the man and girl might be on Hawaiʻi Island, Detectives Amaral and Kerr were assigned to provide assistance. Using their investigative skills, they developed intelligence about the whereabouts of the fugitive and child. As a result, the man was arrested in a small town in Texas within 11 hours from the time the two detectives received the assignment. The girl was located and returned to her family.

“Both detectives deserve equal recognition for collaboratively getting the job done,” said Lieutenant Lucille Melemai, who nominated Amaral and Kerr for the honor. “They represented our department well.”

As “Officer of the Month,” Amaral and Kerr are eligible for “Officer of the Year.”

The East Hawaiʻi “Officer of the Month” award is a project of the Aloha Exchange Club of East Hawaiʻi.

Pahoa Senior Center to Reopen

The Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation announces it will reopen the Pāhoa Senior Center on Monday, June 29. Pahoa Senior Center

Services returning to the Pāhoa Senior Center will include the Hawai‘i County Nutrition Program (HCNP), Elderly Recreation Services (ERS), Coordinated Services for the Elderly (CSE), and the Pāhoa Senior Club.

In September 2014 as an advancing lava flow threatened to inundate Pāhoa, the Department of Parks and Recreation temporarily relocated those operations so the Pāhoa Senior Center could be used as an emergency fire station servicing the lower Puna community.

The Department of Parks and Recreation thanks the public for its patience and understanding while the Pāhoa Senior Center was closed for emergency purposes.

For more details regarding the Department of Parks and Recreation’s Elderly Activities Division and the programs it offers, please call 961-8708.

Community Talk About the Future of Electricity in Hawaii

 

NextEra Logo

What will NextEra’s $43 billion purchase of Hawaii’s multi‐island private electric utility, Hawaii Electric Inc., mean to the state’s clean energy future and to the utility’s customers of Hawai’i County?

  • Electricity prices in Hawai’i are currently the highest in the country, at nearly three times the national average. What are the benefits that NextEra’s acquisition brings to Hawai’i?
  • Hawai’i boasts one of the fastest adoption rates of rooftop solar in the nation. With so many home grown Hawai’i solar jobs at stake, will Hawaii’s new power provider and utility follow a similar pattern of utilities in other states who are actively engaged in a war on solar (seen as competitive to their business interests) and stymie its popular adoption?
  • Can NextEra meet the state’s newly adopted 100% goal for renewable energy by 2045?
  • Is the current 20th century utility revenue model still relevant to Hawaii’s solar economy?
  • Can Consumers become their own utility and successfully disconnect from the grid?
  • Is Hawaii ready to adopt NextEra’s plans to upgrade its newly acquired Hawai’i power plants (fueled by the dirtiest of fossil fuels: coal and oil) with another imported fossil fuel (natural gas), and all in exchange for the promise of cheaper electricity rates?
  • How will the power of size, money, and political influence by Florida‐based NextEra transform Hawaii’s energy future?
  • Will Hawaii’s PUC protect the public interest?

These and many other questions important to customers of HEI (HELCO) will be discussed by a panel of experts, each with a different outlook on Hawaii’s electricity dependent future.

Join us Thursday, June 18th, at 6:00 pm at the County Council Chambers, West Hawai’i Civic Center to learn more from the event’s featured speakers:

  • Jay Ignacio, HELCO, President
  • Henry Curtis, Ililani Media
  • Richard Ha, HEIC, President

Doors will open at 5:30 pm, pupus and beverages will be served prior to the program. The program is free and open to the public.

 

Maui Chef Honored for Good Deeds Helping Puna Residents

Maui Chef Lyndon Honda was honored Tuesday evening at the Akebono Theater in Pahoa for his efforts assisting Puna residents in a time of need.

Lyndon

Lyndon Honda raised more than $40,000 for the folks of Puna

For his efforts in raising more than $40,000 to help the people and businesses of Pahoa dealing with the ramifications of TS Iselle and Kilauea’s ongoing eruption, Honda, a chef based in Lahaina, Maui, was honored by State Rep. Joy San Buenaventura and the Rotary Club of Pahoa Sunset at the club’s awards ceremony Tuesday.

Honda, owner/chef of Laulima Events and Catering, was applauded for his aloha spirit and fundraising efforts and presented with a resolution from the 2015 State House of Representatives at the Rotarians’ banquet at the Akebono Theater in Pahoa.

Rep. San Buenaventura cited Honda’s love for “cuisine and food culture combined with his selfless desire to help others” in motivating him to organize culinary events raising $28,000 last September and $15,000 in February to benefit the Puna community.

“Lyndon not only rallied the chefs from Maui and the Big Island to help raise money for the victims,” San Buenaventura said, “but he got them to provide all the necessary supplies, food and tools needed to prepare their dishes so that 100 per cent of the funds raised went to the victims.”

Checks for $3,000 were presented to The Neighborhood Place of Puna, Kua O Ka La and Hawaiian Academy of Arts and Sciences public charter schools, the Puna Community Medical Center fund, and Kalani Honua at the awards banquet on Tuesday. Earlier this year the Pahoa Rotary distributed $750 grants to 31 local farmers and $5,000 to the Hawaii Island Food Bank from the funds Honda raised on Maui last year.

New Satellite Image Released of Puna Lava Flow

This satellite image was captured on Saturday, May 30, by the Advanced Land Imager instrument onboard NASA’s Earth Observing 1 satellite. The image is provided courtesy of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

PrintAlthough this is a false-color image, the color map has been chosen to mimic what the human eye would expect to see. Bright red pixels depict areas of very high temperatures and show active lava. White areas are clouds.

The image shows that scattered breakouts continue to be active northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō. The farthest active lava in this image is 7.9 km (4.9 miles) northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō.

Senator Ruderman Hosting Talk Story Sessions

Senator Russell Ruderman is hosting talk story sessions to discuss the outcome of the 2015 legislative session and how some of the new legislation will affect you and the community.

Senator RudermanIdeas and issues for next year’s legislative session will also be discussed.

  • Pahoa Community Center – Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015 from 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM, Kauhale Street, Pahoa
  • Cooper Center – Thursday, June 4th, 2015 from 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM, 19-4030 Wright Rd, Volcano Village

Light refreshments will be served.

For more information call Senator Ruderman’s Office @808-586-6890 or email: senruderman@capitol.hawaii.gov

Big Island Senator Urges Action on Federal Highway Fund Extension

The recently appointed Chair of the Senate Committee on Transportation and Energy is expressing grave concern over the looming expiration date on federal transportation funding.

Sen. Lorraine Inouye

Sen. Lorraine Inouye

Senator Lorraine Inouye (Dist. 4 – N. Kona, Kohala, N. Hilo, Hāmākua) addressed Hawai‘i’s Congressional delegation in a letter urging action on federal funding authorization to avoid a lapse in funding that would severely impact state projects and to support the passage of a bill that will create a more sustainable funding stream for individual transportation projects on a long-term basis.

“Hawai‘i relies greatly on federal funds, as do other states, and our State’s transportation projects depend on long-term commitments from federal funding,” said Sen. Inouye. “It is imperative for Congress to continue to fund projects that have already started while looking for additional long-term solutions that continue to support Hawai‘i’s needs.”

The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday approved HR 2353, the Highway Transportation Funding Act of 2015.  The bill extends funding for the Highway Trust Fund until July 31 through a series of “reconciliation of funds” measures amending the Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2014. The bill now goes on to the Senate.

Congress has until May 31 to take action on authorizing federal funding for state highway, bridge, and transit projects.  Without action prior to this date, federal aid funds for state projects would be halted. 

Volcanoes National Park to Increase Entrance and Camping Fees

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park will incrementally increase entrance and camping fees over the next three years in order to fund deferred maintenance and improvement projects within the park, and to meet national standards for parks with similar visitor amenities. Entrance fees for recreational use have not increased since 1997.

Kilauea Iki with Rainbow.  Photo Carol Johnson

Kilauea Iki with Rainbow. Photo Carol Johnson

Beginning June 1, Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park will increase its per-vehicle entrance fee in $5 increments from the current price of $10 per vehicle to $15 per-vehicle this year, $20 in 2016, and $25 in 2017. The vehicle pass is valid for seven days. The per-person entrance fee (the rate bicyclists and pedestrians pay) will increase from the current rate of $5 to $8 on June 1, $10 in 2016, and to $12 in 2017. The motorcycle fee will go up from $5 to $10 on June 1, $15 in 2016, and to $20 in 2017.

One significant modification to the new fee structure was based on public input. The annual Tri-Park Pass, considered by many as the kama‘āina, or residents pass, will remain at the current rate of $25 for 2015 and 2016, and will increase to $30 in 2017. Based on public input, the park proposed a $30 fee for the Tri-Park Pass, instead of the national standard of $50. The annual Tri-Park Pass is available to all visitors and allows unlimited entry for one year to three national parks: Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, Pu‘uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park, and Haleakalā National Park.

New fees are also slated for all backcountry and front-country campsites, including Kulanaokuaiki Campground, and will be $10 per site per night. Backcountry campsites will have a stay limit of three consecutive nights, while the front-country campsites will have a stay limit of seven consecutive nights. Currently, camping is free, except at Nāmakanipaio Campground, which is managed by Hawai‘i Volcanoes Lodge Company, LLC. The new camping permit fees are similar to other public camping fees statewide.

In addition, entrance fees will increase for commercial tour companies. Currently, road-based tour vans carrying one to six passengers pay a $25 base fee and $5 per person to enter the park. The commercial per-person entrance rates will increase to $8 in 2015; $10 in 2016; and $12 in 2017 and will remain at $12 through 2021. The base fee will not change. Non-road-based tour companies, i.e. hiking tour companies that are on trails more than they are touring the park by vehicle, don’t pay a base rate but their per-person entrance fees would increase under the proposed schedule.

“The increases over the next few years will enable us to continue to provide a safe and enjoyable experience for all visitors, while upgrading some basic services like our campgrounds,” said Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando. “We reached out to our community for their feedback on the new fees, and many comments were supportive of the increase as long as the Tri-Park Pass continued to be offered,” she said.

Recreational entrance fees are not charged to persons under 16 years old, or holders of the Tri-Park, America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Senior, Access, or Military passes. These passes may be obtained at the park, or online.

The current National Park Service (NPS) fee program began in 1997 and allows parks to retain 80 percent of monies collected. Projects funded by entrance fees at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park include ongoing trail maintenance, cabin repairs, hike pamphlets, restrooms, picnic tables, and more. The transformation of the 1932 Administration Building (‘Ōhi‘a Wing) into a cultural museum that visitors will soon enjoy is also a fee-funded project. Entrance fees also protect the Hawaiian ecosystem by funding fencing projects that prevent non-native ungulates like pigs and goats from devouring rare native plants.

An NPS report shows that 1,693,005 visitors to Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park in 2014 spent $136,838,700 in communities near the park. That spending supported 1,672 jobs on island, and had a cumulative benefit to the local community of $170,878,000.

2015 Big Island Taiko Festival

The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Performing Arts Center presents the Big Island Taiko Festival 2015 featuring Taishoji Taiko, Hui Okinawa Kobudo Taiko, Puna Hongwanji Taiko Club, Kona Daifukuji Taiko, and Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko. Performances are Saturday, May 23, at 7:30 pm, and Sunday, May 24, at 2 pm.

Taiko
“This exhilarating weekend of vibrant drumming and physical choreography brings together the best of Big Island Taiko,” said PAC Manager and Festival Producer Lee Dombroski. “Taishoji Taiko, under the direction of Chad Nakagawa, was founded under the direction of Yoshihumi Ono at Taishoji Soto Mission in Hilo. Their energetic, dramatic style will have the audience feeling the rhythm right to their core!”

Hui Okinawa Kobudo Taiko, under the guidance of Advisor Milton Yafuso and Troy Sakihara, practices and performs a drumming style based on Okinawan martial arts. “Our three-fold mission builds leadership and promotes and preserves the interest in and appreciation for the history and traditions of Okinawan culture and the arts,” explained Yafuso.

The Puna Hongwanji Taiko Club, under the direction of Rev. Earl Ikeda and Paul Sakamoto, was founded in 2003 by Rev. Ikeda as a community-focused group with drummers of all ages and experience, striving to perpetuate taiko as a cultural and recreational activity.

Kona Daifukuji Taiko was founded in 1988 by Rev. Tamiya and his wife and is comprised of youth from elementary through high school following the directions of their instructors, Akemi Iwamoto and Amy Nakade.
Orchid Taikos
This year, the Festival adds Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko from Kohala. Imported from Okinawa and nurtured by Akemi Martin Sensei, the group now boasts over 100 active members across the Hawaiian Islands.

Tickets are General Admission and priced at $10 General, $5 Seniors, UH students (with valid ID) and Children 17 and under. Box Office hours are Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Tickets may also be purchased by calling 932-7490 or ordering online at artscenter.uhh.hawaii.edu.

New Satellite Image Shows Lava Flow Activity and Progress

This satellite image was captured on Wednesday, May 6, 2015 by the Landsat 8 satellite. Although this is a false-color image, the color map has been chosen to mimic what the human eye would expect to see.

The lava flow field is partly obscured by clouds, but the image shows much of the activity on the June 27th flow.

Bright red pixels depict areas of very high temperatures and show active lava. White areas are clouds.   (Click to enlarge)

Bright red pixels depict areas of very high temperatures and show active lava. White areas are clouds. (Click to enlarge)

There have been three areas of breakouts active on the June 27th flow recently. The Feb 21 breakout has slowly migrated north over the past couple months. The breakout north of Kahaualeʻa has been active recently at the forest boundary, triggering small brush fires. The farthest breakout is 6-8 km (4-5 miles) northeast of Puʻu ʻŌʻō, and consists of scattered activity near the forest boundary.

Construction Resumes On $22.3 Million Pahoa District Park

Fulfilling the County of Hawai‘i’s pledge to expand healthy recreational opportunities for the families of Lower Puna, construction on the $22.3 million Pāhoa District Park has resumed.

Pahoa Park RenderingPark construction was paused in 2014 due to a rapidly advancing lava flow threatening Pāhoa. After the lava flow threat level was downgraded, and after consultation with the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory and Hawai‘i County Civil Defense, the park project was given the green light to resume.

“Our commitment to the families of Puna remains strong,” said Mayor Billy Kenoi. “One of our priorities has always been to create more safe places for our kids to stay active and healthy. In collaboration with our Hawai‘i County Council, we are pleased to move forward with this project that will provide access to positive recreation for Hawai‘i Island’s fastest-growing communities.”

When complete, this 29-acre first phase of the Pāhoa District Park will include a covered play court building, two baseball fields, two multipurpose fields, a playground, concession building, comfort station, accessible walkways, and ample parking. These features will complement Pāhoa’s existing recreational facilities that include the Pāhoa Community Aquatic Center, Pāhoa Neighborhood Facility, and Pāhoa Skate Park.

The park is also adjacent to the Pāhoa Senior Center, which reverted to its previous use as a fire station during the lava flow threat. That facility is currently being converted back into a senior center, housing senior activities for kūpuna in Lower Puna.

The Puna Community Development Plan, adopted by the Hawai‘i County Council in 2008, identified the need for a district park in Lower Puna. A comprehensive planning process involving the community, the County, and project designers began in 2012 to ensure these new facilities reflect the recreational needs of Puna’s residents.

For more information, please contact Jason Armstrong, Public Information Officer, at (808) 961-8311 or jarmstrong@hawaiicounty.gov.

Big Island Resident has Truck and Motorcycle Stolen

A Fern Acres resident has reported the following:

So my boyfriend’s truck and his Ninja bike was stolen from Fern Acres last night … any info please call HPD or 808-647-4631Stolen Truck

All Students to Return to Schools Affected by Puna Lava Flow

The Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE) today announced students in lower Puna who were reassigned in October 2014 due to the threat of a lava flow will be returning to their original school. Keonepoko Elementary will welcome back students to its campus in Hawaiian Beaches and all public school students in the Kea’au, Ka’u, Pahoa (KKP) complex area will start the 2015-16 school year in their geographically determined schools.

Pahoa High and Intermediate

“We realize that some families whose students were reassigned to another school may not want to return to their geographically determined school,” stated Chad Farias, KKP complex area superintendent. “However, those reassignments were made based on the pending lava flow. Now that the lava has been determined no longer a threat to KKP, students must go back to the school they came from for their education.”

DOE officials added that families may apply for Geographic Exceptions (GE) and follow the guidelines under Chapter 13 should they decide to make a change. KKP schools that experienced a shift in students and staff include: Pahoa Elementary, Pahoa High & Intermediate, Kea’au Elementary, Kea’au Middle, Kea’au High, Keonepoko Elementary, and Mountain View Elementary.

“The Department is currently evaluating staffing needs and determining the appropriate processes to return the maximum number of employees to their pre-lava flow schools,” said Barbara Krieg, the DOE’s assistant superintendent for the Office of Human Resources. “There are a lot of details to be worked out and we appreciate the patience and understanding of our staff during this process.”

Decisions affecting employees will be made in consultation with the Hawaii State Teachers Association, Hawaii Government Employees Association and the United Public Workers union. Information will be distributed to employees once details are finalized.

Ka’u Coffee Festival – April 24 to May 3

Showcasing all that makes the rural District of Ka’u so special, the Ka‘u Coffee Festival perks with activities for all ages April 24-May 3. Now in its seventh year, the festival not only showcases Ka‘u’s multi, award-winning coffees at numerous events, but also features stargazing, a rainforest hike and much more.

Kau Mountain Water System. Photo by Jesse Tunison

Kau Mountain Water System. Photo by Jesse Tunison

“We’ve got something for everyone to enjoy over 10 days,” says Chris Manfredi, festival organizer. “While all of last year’s great events return to the festival, we’re always trying to exceed the expectations of our guests. When you have a vibrant community producing some of the finest coffee grown anywhere, my job is actually pretty easy. We’ve added a second mauka hike to keep up with popular demand.”

One popular reprise is the tasty recipe contest using Ka’u coffee as an ingredient. The Ka’u Coffee Recipe Contest offers friendly competition in pupu, entrée and dessert categories Saturday, April 25 at the Ka’u Coffee Mill. During the 2 p.m. judging, enjoy free entertainment, coffee and recipe sampling.  Contest entry is free and the deadline is April 19. Visit www.kaucoffeefestival.com.

The Pahala Community Center is the new venue for the annual Miss K‘au Coffee Pageant where doors open at 6 p.m. on Sunday, April 26. Contestants aged 17-24 are judged in talent and gown categories and win prizes and local fame, according to pageant chair Gloria Camba.  Participants also vie for Most Photogenic, Miss Congeniality and Miss Popularity.  Admission is $10 with additional donations appreciated; door prizes will be awarded.

The highlight of the 10-day activity lineup is the free Ka’u Coffee Festival Ho‘olaule‘a on Saturday, May 2 that sprawls both inside and out of the Pahala Community Center. New this year, admission into the tasty Ka‘u Coffee Experience is free and coffee enthusiasts can sample professional barista-guided tastings of Ka‘u coffees prepared a variety of ways—like a pour-over. French press or cold brew—9:30 a.m.-noon and 1 p.m.-3:30 p.m.

Outside, ho‘olaue‘a attendees can talk story with friendly coffee farmers at gaily decorated booths with free sampling. Also on tap are “broke da mouth” food booths serving hot plate lunches, fresh baked goods and ethnic, local-style treats by local community organizations. Enjoy lunch in the outdoor pavilion or grassy lawn while treated to non-stop, local entertainment. Keiki can enjoy outdoor games.

Find out how coffee is grown, picked and processed during informative Ka’u Coffee Farm & Mill Tours. Sign up at the ho‘olaule‘a for the informative $20 tours, complete with shuttle transport, departing 9:30 and 11 a.m., plus 12:30, 2 and 3:30 p.m.

Enter the Buy Local It Matters promotion by visiting festival sponsors and redeeming purchase receipts and business cards at the ho‘olaule‘a for chances to win exciting prizes.

The festival is supported by the County of Hawai‘i Department of Research & Development, Hawai‘i Tourism Authority and Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture. Most events are free while others require a nominal fee. A full schedule of events and Ka‘u activity recommendations follows. Visit www.kaucoffeefest.com to learn more.

On Friday, April 24, 5:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. Pa‘ina & Open House at historic Pahala Plantation House featuring music, hula, food and house tours. Corner of Maile and Pikake in Pahala. Hosted by Pahala Plantation Cottages, Ka‘u Chamber of Commerce and The Ka‘u Calendar newspaper. Free, donations accepted for Miss Ka‘u Coffee Scholarship Fund.  www.kaucoffeefest.com, www.pahalaplantationcottages.com. 808-928-9811.

On Saturday, April 25, 2 p.m. The free Ka‘u Coffee Recipe Contest hosts a cooking competition at Ka‘u Coffee Mill. Entries made with Ka’u coffee are accepted in pupu, entree and dessert categories. Free coffee tasting. Find contest entry info at www.kaucoffeemill.com or call Lisa at 808-928-0550.

On Sunday, April 26, the annual Miss Ka‘u Coffee Pageant showcases the crowning of Miss Ka‘u Coffee and Miss Ka‘u Peaberry. Doors open 6 p.m. at the Pahala Community Center. Visit www.KauCoffeeFest.com.

During the week visit Ka‘u coffee farms. Enjoy the scenic and historic beauty of Ka‘u, Punalu‘u Black Sand Beach, Honu‘apo fishponds, the cliffs of Ka Lae – the southernmost place in the U.S., and the nearby Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Stay in one of the many accommodations in Ka‘u. Visit www.kaucoffeefest.com for participating coffee farms and accommodations.

On Wednesday, April 29 and Thursday, April 30 explore flume systems of the sugarcane era and development of hydroelectric power on a Ka‘u Mountain Water System Hike in the Wood Valley rainforest 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Limited to 30, $40 includes lunch.  Visit www.kaucoffeemill.com or phone 808-928-0550.

On Friday, May 1 enjoy Coffee & Cattle Day 10 a.m. at Aikane Plantation Coffee farm.  Find out how descendants of Ka‘u’s first coffee farmer integrate coffee with other agriculture.  $25 fee includes an all-you can eat buffet. Visit www.aikaneplantation.com or phone 808-927-2252.

On Friday, May 1 observe the heavens from the summit of Makanau at Ka‘u Star Gazing, 5:30-10 p.m. $35 with refreshments and shuttle transportation. Sign up at www.kaucoffeemill.com or call 808-928-0550.

On Saturday, May 2 tantalize your taste buds at the friendly Ka‘u Coffee Festival Ho‘olaule‘a, with a full day of local music, hula, food booths, local crafts, keiki activities, educational displays, coffee tastings and farm/mill tours headquartered inside and out of the Pahala Community Center. Festival entry is free; Ka‘u Coffee Experience offers guided coffee tastings 9:30 a.m.-noon and 1 p.m.-3:30 p.m. Farm tours with shuttle transport are 9:30 and 11 a.m., plus 12:30, 2 and 3:30 p.m., $20. Call 808-929-9550 or visit www.KauCoffeeFest.com.

On Sunday, May 3 learn about the coffee industry at the Ka‘u Coffee College at Pahala Community Center. The Coffee College hosts educational seminars and a reverse trade mission. Free, donations appreciated. Call 808-929-9550 or 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.

 

10th Annual Laupahoehoe Music Festival

The 10th Annual Laupahoehoe Music Festival is 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. Saturday, April 25, 2015 at Laupahoehoe Point Beach Park.

Non-profit organization Malama Hawaii Nei along with Laupahoehoe Community Public Charter School have organized the festival this year to help raise scholarship money for Laupahoehoe area students and to fund community projects.

lmf

Organized in 2005 under the foresight of Laupahoehoe resident musician Braddah Smitty, the nonprofit Malama Hawaii Nei has awarded nearly $27,000 in scholarships to date. Under the current plan, every student who applies receives a scholarship.

This year’s Hawaiian-style event features some of the island’s best music and hula entertainers performing at Laupahoehoe Point Beach Park, noted for its sacred and natural beauty and was a regular stopover by Kamehameha in his canoe voyaging conquest of the islands.

Tickets are $12 in advance at Hilo Guitars, Basically Books and Hilo Music Exchange in Hilo, and Sakado Store in Laupahoehoe, Taro Patch and Grandma’s Kitchen in Honokaa, and in Kona at Music Exchange, or $15 at the gate. Tickets can also be purchased online at www.LaupahoehoeMusicFestival.org Age 10 and under free.

It’s a day of music, music, music, ono grinds and crafts. Drinks available on site. No coolers please.  This is an alcohol- and drug-free event.

For more information, call (808) 962-2200 or email gerry.delgado@lcpcs.org