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Hawaii Fire Department Press Release on Pahoa Town Fire

Photo via Tiffany Rippa

Hawaii Fire Department Incident Report: 1116

Type of Incident: Structure Fire

Situation Found at Scene: Smoke and fire coming from the back of Luquins building, adjacent to Akebono Theater. Smoke coming from the windows of Luquins buildings on the Pahoa Village Road side.

Cause: UNDER INVESTIGATION

Remarks: 3 commercial properties, including historic Akebono theater built in 1926, a smaller commercial building from 1938 and a large multiuse residential and commercial building housing Luquin’s restaurant, built in 1907. Fire was brought under control and an extended overhaul and fire investigation ensued until the time of this press release.

Hawaii Civil Defense Message on Pahoa Village Road Closure

Hawaii Police Department reports Pahoa Village Road is scheduled to remain closed between Kauhale Road (Community Center Road) and the area fronting Kaleo’s Restaurant through tomorrow afternoon.

Area residents should expect to smell smoke tonight.

Photo via Tiffany Rippa

Hawaii Fire Department will remain on scene through the night to monitor any flare ups that may occur.

Thank you. This is your Hawai’i County Civil Defense.

Steve Ueda Named President of Suisan

Steve Ueda will assume the role of president and CEO of Suisan Group, Inc., Suisan Company, Ltd. and Suisan Properties, Ltd. on January 16, announced Glenn Hashimoto, chair of the Suisan board, current president and CEO.

Steve Ueda

Ueda will be Suisan’s eighth president. He is the grandson of Rex Matsuno, the former longtime president, CEO and chairman of the board of Suisan. The board, which includes members of the Matsuno family, carefully considered the succession plan over several years. Hashimoto was instrumental in recruiting Ueda to return from the mainland ten years ago to eventually assume Suisan leadership.

Ueda will take over the 110-year-old food distribution business from Hashimoto, who will stay on as executive advisor. In his new role, Hashimoto will oversee Suisan’s business development and assist with executing the company’s strategic vision.

Ueda has been with the family company since 2007 and held numerous positions including distributor sales representative, buyer, sales manager for the company’s retail market segment, and most recently, vice president of sales.

Steve Ueda, Rex Matsuno, Christine Matsuno (Rex’s youngest daughter), Leslie Ann Sumitani (maiden name Kohashi, Christine’s daughter), and Esther Ueda (Rex’s eldest daughter, Steve’s mother) taken in 1983 at the grand opening of “Super Jumbo 1,” Suisan’s first cold storage warehouse expansion.

“Steve understands Suisan’s mission of making a difference by contributing to the success of our customers,” said Hashimoto. “Over the years, he has applied his analytical skills and data-driven expertise as an engineer to increase operational efficiencies. I am confident that under Steve’s leadership, Suisan will continue to thrive and provide value to the community.”

Ueda, son of Esther Ueda, Rex Matsuno’s first daughter, is a Honolulu native and graduate of the University of Hawaii–Manoa in mechanical engineering. He earned a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a master’s in business administration from University of California–Irvine.

Prior to Suisan, Ueda worked throughout the United States and United Kingdom as a product and systems developer for companies such as Ford, Visteon and Altia Automotive.

“Under Glenn’s leadership, Suisan adapted to the times while remaining competitive and continued the company philosophy of taking care of the customer. Glenn has been a great mentor. As Suisan celebrates its 110th anniversary this year, I am focused on keeping the company relevant and invested in the community. I am deeply humbled to continue the family legacy of leading Suisan,” Ueda said.

Ueda is second vice-president of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Hawaii, where he also chairs the economic development committee. He is a member of the Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce and Hawaii Food Industry Association, and a community leader for the Blue Zones Project.

Commentary – Ane Keohokālole Highway Phase III Should Be Top Transportation Project

Ane Keohokālole Highway Phase III should be top transportation project for Hawaii County in North Kona. This segment will connect Hina-Lani Street to Kaminani Drive, so we’ll be able to drive from Henry Street to Kona Palisades without having to use Mamalahoa or Queen Kaahumanu highways.

Much attention was paid to honoring the culture and the place in building the Ane Keohokālole Highway. Markers indicate the boundaries of the ahupua‘a that the road runs through, like this one where Keahuolū meets Kealakehe.

This will help address chronic traffic circulation issues prevalent in this area. Its frustrating to see  the horrible traffic congestion on Highway 190, especially in the mornings and afternoon at Hina-Lani Street intersection. The intersection at Kaiminani Drive and Queen Kaahumanu Highway is  another traffic congestion hot spot. Both of  these issues will be addressed if the county proceeds with Phase III of Ane Keohokālole Highway.

There has been some discussion about resurrecting the Alii Parkway
project in light of the completionof the Alii Drive Extension (Mamalahoa Highway bypass) instead of proceeding with Ane Keohokālole Highway. I strongly believe this would be a huge mistake. Hawaii County has spent decades and untold millions of dollars to construct this road with nothing to show for it. I highly doubt the lingering archaeological issues will ever be resolved, especially with the renewed focus on preserving sensitive Native Hawaiian archaeological sites.

The Hawaii DOT has started preliminary planing to widen  Queen Kaahumanu Highway Extension (from Henry Street) and  Kuakini Highway past Kamehameha III Road, which should adequately address the ongoing congestion issues in this area.

I hope Mayor Kim’s administration decides to proceed with Ane Keohokālole Highway Phase III instead of Alii Parkway. The latter project divided the community  when the county tried to proceed around 13 years ago.  Ane Keohokālole Highway Phase III is a better choice for the community.

Aaron Stene
Kailua-Kona

Banyan Drive Art Stroll Schedule of Artists, Demonstrations and Entertainment Announced

The Banyan Drive Art Stroll on Saturday, January 14, runs from noon until 6 p.m. Art exhibits are open at the Grand Naniloa Hotel, Castle Hilo Hawaiian Hotel, and Banyan Gallery. People’s Choice ballots may be cast at the Grand Naniloa until 6 p.m.

From noon until 3 p.m. painters will be in Lili`uokalani Gardens. In addition to en plein air, the following schedule of demonstrations will happen in the square roof pavilion near the red bridge: 12 noon Valentina Montoya, 12:45 p.m. William Wingert, 1:30 p.m.  Peter Heineman, and at  2:15 p.m.  F Scott Cahill

  • Noon to 1 p.m. Christy Lassiter Trio (Christy Lassiter, J.J. Ahuna, and Kyle Kaaa) plus hula will perform at Grand Naniloa. Copies of the CD “Le`ale`a” will be available for purchase.
  • 2 p.m. Paradise Helicopters will award grand prize in the calendar contest at Banyan Gallery
  • 2 to 3 p.m. Puna Taiko will play at the old sumo area near the tea house.
  • 3-4 p.m. Brandon Tengan will demonstrate gyotaku (fish printing) at Suisan Fish Market.
  • 3-4 p.m. Puna Taiko will play outside Banyan Gallery, pupu will be served.
  • 4:00 p.m.  Ken Charon drawing demo at Grand Naniloa.
  • 4-5 p.m. Desmon Haumea and Bambu will play at Hilo Hawaiian, pupu will be served. Copies of the CD “Des and BAMBU – Maui Style will be available for purchase.”
  • 5-6 p.m. Desmon Haumea and Bambu will play at Grand Naniloa, pupu will be served. Copies of the CD “Des and BAMBU – Maui  Style will be available for purchase.”

The Banyan Drive Art Stroll is the first in a series of events to celebrate the centennial of Lili`uokalani Gardens. For further information, see the Friends of Lili`uokalani Gardens page on Facebook or contact K.T. Cannon-Eger by email kteger@hawaii.rr.com or cell phone (808) 895-8130.

First Annual Global Tea Innovation Symposium

The launch of a Hawaii tea co-op, the first not for profit consumer cooperative tea business in the world will happen on February 1st, 2017 at 10am – 4pm at the Akatsuka Orchid Gardens, in Volcano, Hawaii.

Presenters scheduled:

  • Nigel Melican, Chairman,TeaCraft Ltd. (U.K): A global business development consultant to the leading world tea businesses.
  • Chairman, Kawasaki Kiko Ltd. (Japan): leading manufacturer of automated tea farming and tea processing equipment.
  • Jason McDonald, Founder of The Great Mississippi Tea Company and Co-Founder/Vice President of The Hawaii Medicinal Tea and Herb Cooperative (HawaiiTea.Coop).
  • Grif Frost: Co-Founder/President of The Hawaii Medicinal Tea and Herb Cooperative (HawaiiTea.Coop).  Expert in not for profit consumer cooperative development.
  • Takeshi Akatsuka, Vice President, Akatsuka Orchid Gardens, the site of the Hawaii Tea Co-op.

Purpose: Provide A-Z, tea business development services, for Hawaii Tea enthusiasts.

Mission: Develop a model, which can be replicated, to help other tea enthusiasts worldwide, work together, to sustainably grow their tea businesses.

Services to be offered:

  • Propagation services: contract growing of the ideal tea plants, for specific geographical locales in Hawaii.
  • Farm Design services: contract selection and design of tea farm sites, suitable for automated equipment use.
  • Minimum tea farm acreage: 1 acre. There must a minimum of 10 acres of Co-op contracted tea farms, within a 5-minute driving radius.
  • Farm Site Preparation services: contract preparation of sites for automated tea planting services.
  • Planting Services: contracted automated tea planting services.
  • Growing Services: contracted automated pruning, pest control and fertilization services.
  • Harvesting Services: contracted automated tea plant harvesting services.
  • Processing Services: contracted processing services to prepare harvested tea for consumption
  • Sales Services: contracted sales of packaged tea
  • Research and Development Services: contracted research and development related to Hawaii tea community development.

50 seats available to people interested in participating in the development of the Hawaii Tea Co-op.  Price $250 ($200 may be applied to the purchase of Hawaii Tea Co-op shares). A tea and food pairing lunch will be served.

How to order: visit www.HawaiiTea.Coop to reserve your seat.

Waimea Independent Schools Announce 2017-18 Application Deadline

Three independent, private schools in Waimea have announced February 6, 2017 as their common priority deadline for applications for the 2017-18 school year. In an effort to simplify the process for families applying to multiple schools, Waimea Country School (WCS), Hawaii Preparatory Academy (HPA) and Parker School have aligned due dates. Families will also receive notification of admission decisions from the three schools at the same time—February 27 for kindergarten and March 6 for all other grades.

Parker School students Lyle Coffee and Malia Dills (both grade 10)work in a kalo field while participating in the 2016 International Union for Conservation of Nature World Conservation Congress on O’ahu in September.

“Many families are unaware that the deadline to apply for the next school year occurs in February,” Emily Pagliaro, Admissions Director at Parker School, said. “We want to get the word out so that those who are interested in an independent school education have as much information as possible about how and when to apply.”

All three schools have a similar admissions process. Generally, they each require an application and fee, school records, teacher references and a student test or assessment. “This can create a big to-do list for parents, especially when applying to multiple schools. Having ample time to prepare is helpful,” Pagliaro said.

Getting to know the educational options on the Big Island is useful in determining the best path for each student. Private schools often offer school tours or open houses so that students and parents can see first-hand what each school’s “personality” is and what their unique offerings are. “In education, one size does not fit all. It is important for each family to find the right environment and program that will best meet the needs of their child, so we encourage families to visit,” said Amy Salling, WCS Head of School.

HPA and Parker School both offer kindergarten through high school programs, and HPA infuses their day student program with boarding students at the high school level. Waimea Country School offers kindergarten through fifth grade, and the multi-age classroom is the cornerstone of their program.

Visiting schools and meeting with representatives of each can also be helpful in understanding what financial assistance may be available. “Sometimes families don’t think they can afford a private school education. There is actually quite a bit of need-based financial aid available, and there are flexible payment plan options. If a family has an interest in our schools, it is definitely worth having the conversation,” said Joshua Clark, director of admission at Hawaii Preparatory Academy.

Visit each school’s website for more information: Waimeacountryschool.org, Hpa.edu and Parkerschoolhawaii.org.

Gyotaku Demonstration at Suisan

Brandon Tengan has a love affair with the ocean as a surfer, fisherman, and fish print artist.

He will demonstrate gyotaku, the art of fish printing, at Suisan Fish Market on Lihiwai Street, Saturday January 14, from 3 to 4 p.m. as part of the Banyan Drive Art Stroll.

An exhibit of Brandon Tengan gyotaku

As stated on his web site, Prior 2 Pupu Productions, “The Japanese Art of Gyotaku…most simply translated as “gyo”—fish, and “taku”—rubbing or impression; a technique developed to accurately record a fisherman’s prized catch, prior to eating it.  Fish are caught, painted with a non-toxic ink, and imprinted on shoji (rice) paper.  When peeled back, the paper is left with an impression yielding the exact size, shape and ultimately – the fisherman’s story.  The prints are then painted, remembered and shared.  Most importantly, the fish is then washed clean and prepared as a meal.”

Tengan was raised in Kaneohe, Hawaii. He said his, “love and passion for the ocean first began with surfing.  However, when the surf got flat, he slowly took up diving and fishing and once he started…he got hooked.  Brandon considers himself blessed and fortunate to have been taught by many skilled fisherman and dive partners, continuing to learn each time he heads out.  Initially taught gyotaku by a family friend, what started as a small backyard hobby is now a fun business endeavor.”

Brandon Tengan and a tako catch

Locally Tengan’s work is carried by Banyan Gallery, located near the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel. Banyan Gallery will feature an exhibit of photographers’ images selected for a calendar of Lili`uokalani GArdens during the Banyan Drive Art Stroll.

The event is free and open to the public, children welcome.

This is the first of a series of events to celebrate the centennial of Lili`uokalani Gardens, which is bounded by Lihiwai Street and Banyan Drive on the Waiakea peninsula in Hilo.

Blessing HCFCU’s Revitalized Kealakehe High School Student Credit Union

The celebration and blessing of the newly renovated Kealakehe High School Student Credit Union continues the legacy of Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union’s founding father’s, which was to provide financial collaboration, education, stability, and a secure path towards financial independence for West Hawaii families.

From left: HCFCU’s president and Chief Executive Officer Tricia Buskirk, KHS School Advisor John Mitchell, Principal Will Murakami and Kahu Brian Boshard officially open the new Student Credit Union on December 8, 2016.

As hundreds of Kealakehe High School students gathered in the school lunchroom, where the student credit union (SCU) was moved to provide greater access to its services, they were treated to a beautiful blessing by Kahu Brian Boshard, performances by the Poly Club Chorus and Band, supportive thoughts from Principal Wil Murakami, and encouragement from school advisor John Mitchell and former student credit union advisor JoAnna Kekuaokalani. Sixteen-year old Rheanne Godot, a Kealakehe junior, and the SCU’s board president, shared her positive experiences behind the SCU teller window.

Interestingly, HCFCU’s president and Chief Executive Officer Tricia Buskirk was a SCU board member herself when she attended Konawaena High School.  “I had so much fun and I believe my financial career was launched when I was a student credit union board member,” she said. “I’m so inspired by these teens who are taking their first steps towards planning for their future.”

The state’s first credit union was HCFCU’s Konawaena branch, established in 1972. In 2005 the Kealakehe High School branch opened, followed by Kohala High School shortly after.

The student credit union offers such services as deposits, withdrawals, and cashing checks. Students that are 15 ½ years or older may also add a debit card to their account.

Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union is a not-for-profit credit union owned by its over 40,000 member/owners with branches in Honokaa, Kailua-Kona, Kaloko, Kealakekua and Kohala.  In addition to complete checking and savings services, the credit union offers credit cards, auto, mortgage, construction, small business, educational and personal loans; online and mobile banking; investment services; youth programs and supports numerous Hawaii Island programs and events.  Membership in Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union is open to all Hawaii Island residents. For more information visit www.hicommfcu.com.

October 1993 Eruption of Kilauea

Eruption of Kilauea Volcano in October 1993:

Hilo Store Owners Launch Free Education Initiative – Community Outreach Inspired by a Shoplifting Incident

Can compassion prevent crime?

That was a question Breeani Sumera-Lee, manager of Hilo’s Keaukaha Market, found herself struggling with recently after catching a young boy attempting to steal fishing equipment from her family’s general store.

Rather than call the police, Sumera-Lee decided to offer the boy some advice.  But when she suggested the boy apply for a job, he simply answered, “I don’t know how.”  When she suggested he start with resume writing, the boy again explained, “I don’t know how.”

The encounter left Sumera-Lee questioning how different the boy’s life would be if he  possessed skills that would help him make better choices.  Inspired, she set to work organizing a series of free educational classes meant to help uplift the surrounding community.

After three years of preparation including website building and discussions with professionals and community leaders, Sumera-Lee found a class facility and secured teaching commitments from experts in everything from resume writing and interview preparation to financial wellness, self defense, dance, and more.

The inaugural Keaukaha Community Class series will start on January 15 at the Keaukaha Gym, with subsequent classes held on the second weekend of each month throughout the remainder of the year.

Featured presenters for 2017 include former Miss Hawai`i Raeceen Satele, Senator Kai Kahele, 2016 Miss Aloha Hula Ka`iulani Carr, and many others.  Attendance is free and all materials will be provided, along with food and drinks.

To sign up for classes and for more information, visit www.keaukahacommunityclasses. com.  Classes are open to the public.  Self defense class attendees must be at least 18 years of age.

 

Road Closed to Thru Traffic on Haihai St. Between Iwalani St. and Laula Rd.

Haihai St. between Iwalani St. and Laulā Rd. will be closed to thru traffic beginning at 7:00 a.m. on Thursday, December 22, 2016 to 3:00 p.m. on Friday, January 6, 2017.  Only local and golf course traffic will be allowed access.

The purpose of the closure is to install a new box culvert and waterline tie-ins for the Haihai Fire station project, weather and construction conditions permitting.  This closure is necessary to complete the installation in a timely manner and for the safety of the traveling public.

Motorists are advised to expect delays and are encouraged to use alternate routes to avoid the work area. Special off-duty police officers will be posted in the area to facilitate traffic movement.

The County of Hawai‘i Department of Public Works apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause and thanks the community for their patience and understanding.

If there are any questions or concerns, please call Barett Otani, Information and Education Specialist, at 961-8787.

Cherry Blossom Festival Names 2017 Honorees

The 24th Waimea Cherry Blossom Heritage Festival honors long-time festival contributor Roberts Hawaii and Guinness World Record holder Betty Webster. The honorees will each be recognized at the festival’s opening ceremony. Time is 9 a.m., Saturday, Feb. 4 on the entertainment stage at the rear of Parker Ranch Center.

Roberts Hawaii

Roberts Hawaii provides complimentary shuttle transportation among a host of festival venues for those wishing to ride, rather than walk, to the many activities. The statewide company provides transportation, tours and entertainment by employees who strive to perpetuate the unique culture of Hawaii. The company’s core values are lokahi (teamwork), kinaole (flawless) and haaheo (pride).

Employees at Roberts are tasked to perform their jobs with a sense of ownership and commitment to the community and to each other. The company takes pride in offering transport and fun in a “safe and service-focused manner.”

“We’re very honored to receive this wonderful recognition by the Waimea Cherry Blossom Heritage Festival,” said Percy Higashi, president and COO of Roberts Hawaii. “We’ve enjoyed being a part of this special annual event, not only because it celebrates a centuries-old cultural tradition, but because it’s a fun and festive gathering made possible by the community, for the community. Our very best wishes to the 24th annual festival, and a warm mahalo to its many organizers and contributors.”

Betty Webster

“Aunty” Betty Webster of Waimea has the world’s largest sunglass collection according to Guinness World Records. She boasts over 1500 pairs and is known around town for her sunny disposition and love for life. The octogenarian has had numerous stints as a Waimea restaurant hostess and started wearing zany sunglasses “as a conversation piece.”

“I am very proud to be an honoree participating in our upcoming Cherry Blossom Festival,” notes Webster. “I have always enjoyed making people smile and laugh and it is my hope by representing the community at this event I can make that happen. The Waimea Cherry Blossom Festival is a wonderful event that brings together our community and visitors to enjoy entertainment, food, culture and historic activities.”

An avid festival attendee, Webster will be participating with the Waimea Seniors Citizen Club. Wearing a pair of her signature “shades,” she’ll be serving cherry pie at the Senior Center Hall on the Waimea Historic Corner.

The Waimea Cherry Blossom Festival annually celebrates the Japanese tradition of viewing the season’s first blooms, a celebration called “hanami,” which literally translates to hana, “flower” and mi, “look.” Held the first Saturday of February, the festival includes a variety of activities 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at multiple venues throughout Waimea. Look for pink banners identifying site locations throughout town.

Spend the day to experience an all-day lineup of Japanese and multi-cultural performing arts, plus hands-on demonstrations of bonsai, origami, traditional tea ceremony, fun mochi pounding, plus a host of colorful craft fairs, a large quilt show and food booths. Enjoy free shuttle transportation among most venues. For info, 808-961-8706.

Food Certificate Program Classes Coming to North Kohala

The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo College of Continuing Education and Community Service (CCECS) is accepting enrollment for classes in the Master Food Preserver Certificate Program to be held in North Kohala. Classes will be held on January 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 27 and February 2 and 3 from 1:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. at the Kohala Institute’s GRACE Center at 53-580 Iole Road in Kapa`au. Tuition is $200.

Individuals interested in developing their own jams and jellies, canning acid foods, pressure canning low acid foods, pickling and fermenting, drying, freezing, and the art of charcuterie are encouraged to become certified Hawaiʻi Master Food Preservers.

Luisa F. Castro

Instructors are Luisa F. Castro, a certified Master Food Preserver who has taught agricultural professionals about food safety on the farm and is a Program Coordinator for professional development courses at CCECS; and Kalen Kelekoma, a certified Master Food Preserver and Special Projects Manager with the Waipa Foundation. Both have taught the program on Hawaiʻi Island and Kaua`i.

Private and non-government employers/businesses may qualify for a 50% tuition waiver through the State’s Employment & Training Fund (ETF). Visit http://hilo.hawaii.edu/go/2z for details.To register, or for more information, contact CCECS at 932-7830 or email ccecs@hawaii.edu.

‘Shop with a Cop’ Provides Shopping Spree for 31 Keiki

“Shop with a Cop,” a charity event that donates gift cards to keiki in need, provided 31 children with a shopping spree this past weekend at the Hilo Target store.

Police officers, young shoppers and Catholic Charities representative Elizabeth Murph (in red lei) surround Santa during the ‘Shop with a Cop’ charity event on Saturday.

Officers from the South Hilo Community Policing Unit and off-duty police, along with representatives from Catholic Charites, the Pāhoa chapter of Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Target store, contributed to the holiday splurge for the youth, who ranged from age 3 to teenagers. The event was held from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday (December 17).

The selected children met with the officers and then took pictures with Santa, who gave them each a $50 gift card. The officers then helped the keiki shop for gifts.

All funding was established by Catholic Charities with VFW donating a large portion. The Target store, which facilitated the event, provided snacks, bags and a gift-wrapping station manned by store volunteers, and donated one of the gift cards and additional cards to cover overages.

Shop with a Cop originated in 2000 with the Saint Paul Police Department in Minnesota.

Origo Acquisition Corporation and Aina Le’a, Inc. Agree to Business Combination

Origo Acquisition Corporation (“Origo”) today announced that it has entered into a Merger Agreement with Aina Le’a, Inc., a residential and commercial real estate developer of distinctive master-planned communities in Hawaii. Pursuant to the terms of the Merger Agreement, Origo will merge with and into Aina Le’a Merger Sub, Inc., a newly formed subsidiary of Aina Le’a, and equity holders and warrant holders of Origo will become equity holders and warrant holders of Aina Le’a (the “Business Combination”).

Aina Le’a’s principal development project is a 1,099-acre residential and commercial master planned community called The Villages of Aina Le’a (“The Villages”). Located within the resort area on the Kohala Coast on the west coast of Hawaii’s “Big Island”, The Villages will offer a combination of single family home sites, local family townhouses, luxury townhouses, and estate lots, as well as a retail and commercial center, and golf course with lodge. Sloping elevations of approximately 150-550 feet above sea level will provide approximately 70% of all lots with sweeping ocean views of the Big Island’s famed “Gold Coast.” The development’s close proximity to Queen Kaahumanu Highway offers easy access to top beaches, restaurants, shopping, and the airport. The development plan for The Villages is structured in three phases, with Phase I construction underway. Phase I is comprised of a 61-acre development consisting of townhouse units, luxury villas, and single family lots.

Edward J. Fred, Chief Executive Officer of Origo, commented, “We actively searched for an acquisition target that has the opportunity to provide substantial returns to our investors and we believe that we found the right company in Aina Le’a. Hawaii has been consistently rated as one of the best places on earth to live and visit, combining reliably beautiful weather, active lifestyles, abundant renewable resources such as water and solar energy, and economic opportunity. We believe that Aina Le’a controls some of the most valuable and sought-after land assets in the world in a market that is characterized by a scarcity of new home supply. The Villages has been designed as a full-service international resort community, with more than 70% of the lots offering ocean views. Along with the support of an invested, world-class management team, we have great optimism for the future.”

Robert Wessels, CEO of Aina Le’a, stated, “Becoming a public company is an important chapter in our company’s development, and we expect that having the additional access to the capital markets will enhance our ability to execute our growth plan. In addition to completing The Villages development, we will seek to expand our reach, and diversify our asset base and revenue by investing in new markets that fit our stringent criteria. Our over-arching objective in managing the growth of Aina Le’a is to deliver long-term, sustainable shareholder value while providing some of the most desirable home locations in our industry.”

Under the terms of the Merger Agreement, upon the closing of the Business Combination, each ordinary share of Origo (including any Origo shares otherwise issuable with respect to the rights that were included as part of Origo’s units) will convert into common stock of Aina Le’a at a conversion ratio of 0.6 shares of Aina Le’a for each share of Origo, and each outstanding warrant to acquire ordinary shares of Origo will be exchanged for a warrant to acquire ordinary shares of Aina Le’a, which replacement Aina Le’a shares and warrants will be registered securities. The approximately $32.6 million currently held in Origo’s trust account will be used by Aina Le’a as working capital, less amounts required to fund redemptions by Origo’s public stockholders, if any, and the payment of Origo’s transaction fees and expenses and outstanding Origo loans. Aina Le’a expects to apply to list its common stock and warrants on the Nasdaq Capital Market following the closing of the Business Combination.

Aina Le’a’s board of directors will be expanded to seven directors, and will include two directors from Origo as independent directors. Management of Aina Le’a is not expected to change in connection with the Business Combination.

The Business Combination is subject to the approval of Origo’s stockholders, as well as other closing conditions.

EarlyBird Capital, Inc. is acting as financial advisor to Origo, and Chardan Capital is acting as advisor to Aina Le’a. Ellenoff Grossman & Schole LLP is acting as legal advisor to Origo, and Greenberg Traurig is acting as legal advisor to Aina Le’a.

Waimea Ocean Film Festival Unveils Films, Filmmakers, Speakers and Special Guests

The action-packed 2017 Waimea Ocean Film Festival (Ocean Film) offers a stunning lineup of films, special guests, intimate coffee talks, Q&As, exhibits, receptions and morning activities, running non-stop January 2-10. The annual event opens the morning of January 2, with films playing simultaneously January 2-5 at multiple venues in Waimea (Kahilu Theatre, HPA Gates, Parker Theatre) and at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i. On January 6, the festival moves to Four Seasons Resort Hualalai.

Ocean Film brings over 60 films to the big screen this year—most of which are world, U.S., Hawai‘i or Big Island premieres—with many filmmakers in attendance to answer questions following the showing of each film. The format of this dynamic festival immerses participants in a greater understanding and awareness of the ocean and island culture through exceptional films, talks, exhibits and activities. Films fall into the basic categories of ocean experience (such as surfing and paddling); ocean environment—including things we do on land that impact the sea—and island culture. Inspirational, thought-provoking films and those that shed light on who we are infuse the program, sharing the extraordinary.

Former U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Dr. Titley, Ph.D., joins the festival for discussion following the showing of the film The Age of Consequences, in which he is featured.

Retired Rear Admiral in the U.S. Navy, Director for the Center for Solutions to Weather and Climate Risk and former commander of the Naval Meterology and Oceanography Command, Dr. David Titley will be offering discussions at the Waimea Ocean Film Festival in conjunction with the film, “The Age of Consequences.”

Dr. Titley’s career as a naval officer included duties as commander of the Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command; oceanographer and navigator of the Navy; and deputy assistant chief of naval operations for information dominance. While serving in the Pentagon, Dr. Titley led the U.S. Navy’s Task Force on Climate Change. Dr. Titley also gives a Breakfast Talk and presentation on the topics of climate as a security risk, the military’s clean energy revolution and the opportunities the U.S. has to take the lead for climate change.

Producer Adam Leipzig joins the festival for discussion following A Plastic Ocean and a talk sharing what it takes to have a movie made. A former president of National Geographic Films and a senior vice president at Walt Disney Studios, Leipzig’s film credits include March of the Penguins, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, Dead Poets Society and Titus. His movies have won or been nominated for numerous accolades, including 10 Academy Awards.

The Oscar-winning producer of “Spotlight,” Blye Faust, discusses the importance of investigative journalism today. NBC News Producer Mario Garcia shares stories behind the scenes from the production of Dateline NBC: On Assignment at Palmyra Atoll and from his 20 years at NBC News, during which time he covered stories on all seven continents and earned three National Emmys for outstanding coverage in broadcast news.

BBC film director Tom Mustill returns to this year’s festival with the BBC production Giraffes: Africa’s Gentle Giants and again brings the festival’s 2016 Director’s Choice Award winner, Bat Man of Mexico. Director of the festival’s 2016 People’s Choice winner, Unbranded, Ben Masters also returns to the festival, sharing stories about his cattle roundup with Parker Ranch cowboys following the festival last year, along with three short films.

Harold Mintz, right-hand man to previous festival guest Tom Shadyac, shares the inspiring film 1.800.Give.Us.Your.Kidney, which tells his story and how he opted to become a living kidney donor to an unknown person in need. Mintz speaks to high school students around the country, with the title reflecting the humor he brings to his talks. Producer Marty Syjeco brings the ultimately uplifting Almost Sunrise to the festival, as it follows two Iraq War veterans, Tom Voss and Anthony Anderson, as they embark on an extraordinary journey—a 2,700-mile walk across the country—to find answers for themselves, and others, on the way.


From the film “Beneath the Surface,” Andrew Cotton surfing the west coast of Ireland. Photo:Olaf Pignataro/Red Bull ContentPool

For the dramatic surf line-up, Beneath the Surface and Red Chargers feature big wave surf partners Andrew Cotton and Garrett McNamara as they seek ever-larger swells in the Atlantic and at Nazaré, Portugal. It was Andrew Cotton who towed Haleiwa-raised McNamara into what became verified as the world record for the largest wave surfed, at 78 feet. McNamara also signs copies of his memoir, HOUND OF THE SEA: Wild Man. Wild Waves. Wild Wisdom.

Mark Healey heads to the festival for a few surf film Q&A sessions, a preview of his next surf film and a talk about how different ocean communities can help move ocean stewardship forward. Filmmaker Curt Morgan of Brain Farm brings View From a Blue Moon, sharing perhaps the most beautiful surf film cinematography yet to be seen. Applying Brain Farm’s signature high-action sports techniques to the natural history genre, Morgan also brings Nat Geo Wild’s Wild Yellowstone: Grizzly Summer to the festival. The film features never-before-seen footage of the park, along with a storyboard of funny, cute and harrowing encounters among the animals that reside there.

Bud Browne Film Archives’ Linked In provides a window into surfing in the 60s. Rarely shown, and only screened live in a few locations, the Waimea Ocean Film Festival is one of a handful of viewing locations chosen by Bud Browne Film Archives to showcase these heritage films. Anna Trent Moore, curator of the collection, also presents the film, Bud Browne’s People, along with the book she penned, Going Surfin’, and a book signing follows. Moore also awards the second annual Bud Browne Surf Film Award, the first was awarded to Garrett McNamara for the film Nazaré Calling during the festival last year.

Dr. M. Sanjayan, Ph.D, an Emmy nominated news contributor and executive vice president for Conservation International, brings a virtual realty presentation to the festival, featuring an immersive experience in the reefs of Raja Ampat. Sanjayan speaks about the making of the film for a few select group showings. Conservation International also staffs a virtual reality booth where the film can be viewed.

Considered pre-eminent among underwater filmmakers, Howard and Michele Hall answer questions following Ocean Stories: Howard and Michele Hall. Howard also worked as director of underwater cinematography and Michele as location manager and underwater still photographer for MacGillivray’s Freeman Films’ feature, Humpback Whales—one of the all-time audience favorites shown at the festival and winner of the 2016 Best Film-Ocean Environment award. With the Halls present to answer questions, and whale season as the backdrop, Humpback Whales will be shown at the festival again in 2017, providing an up-close look at how and why humpbacks communicate, sing, feed, breach, play, take care of their young and migrate nearly 10,000 miles each year.

Dr. Drew Harvell, Ph.D., Cornell University professor and curator of the Blaschka Marine Invertebrates collection, brings A Fragile Legacy, which visualizes the story of the 1885 Cornell University purchase of over 500 Blaschka Glass models of marine invertabrates for use in teaching marine biology. Forgotten, the collection is now helping scientists try to understand the changes occuring in the ocean.

Released in the spring of 2016, Harvell’s book, A Sea of Glass, has been featured and reviewed by Discover, Scientific American, The Guardian, The New York Times and Nature, with full chapters excerpted in Natural History and American Scientist. It recently won the National Outdoor Book Award for Natural History Literature and was picked as one of the best eight “Art Meets Science” books of 2016 by Smithsonian magazine. Dr. Harvell will be on-hand for discussion of the project and book signing.

In seeking solutions, the E2 series, which shares solutions to energy issues, returns with episodes Melbourne-Reborn and Seoul. Melbourne Reborn chronicles the transformation from dying city to vibrant, livable streets, walkways and community as a result of visionary leadership and the conversion of alleys to walkways and highways to light rail and pedestrian streets, along with policy designed to green buildings. Seoul traces the project to demolish a downtown freeway to uncover and restore the ancient Cheonggyecheon stream that once flowed beneath it, now again a vital part of the city’s commercial and tourism sectors.

For a taste of adventure, Eric Bendick shares the beautifully filmed Forgotten Coast: Return to Wild Florida, featuring the cinematography and work of renowned photographer Carlton Ward, Jr. U.S. Skijor team co-captain Kale Casey brings the dog-powered sports of skijor to life with Dog Power. Harlan Taney offers the BBC production, Operation Grand Canyon with Dan Snow, as the BBC works to re-create the experience of the Powell expedition through the Grand Canyon in 1869. An American Ascent chronicles the efforts of the first African American team to tackle Denali, as team members seek to become role models encouraging other African Americans outdoors.

Sure to be in the running for the festival’s Audience Choice award this year, The Weekend Sailor brings the exciting tale of the first Whitbread Round the World Yacht Race, now the Volvo Ocean Race, when self-made Mexican businessman Ramon Carlín bought a boat, assembled a crew and entered the race. Director Bernardo Arsuaga attends to answer questions.

Producer Phil Arnone returns with the KGMB production, Jim Nabors’ Impossible Dream, detailing the story of the Hawai’i resident known to millions as Gomer Pyle. Im/Perfection shares the story of Oʻahu architect Hitoshi Hida, whose work graces the cityscapes of Honolulu and who remains one of the few architects to do pencil renderings by hand. Oʻahu based filmmaker Kimberlee Bassford brings films with Hawai‘i roots: Winning Girl, Lotus Root: A Great Granddaugter’s Journey and Patsy Mink: Ahead of the Majority. In addition, Mele Murals shares the background of the mural painted last year on the side of Waimea’s Kahilu Theatre.

This year, Hokule‘a sailed the Atlantic Ocean for the first time, touched land in South America, and sailed as far as Nova Scotia. The Voyager Exhibit, on display at Kahilu Theatre, shares the story with up-to-the minute images of the 2016 voyage. The exhibit, including the 8×13-foot world map developed as part of the festival to highlight the Worldwide Voyage (WWV) route, opens at Kahilu Theatre with a blessing and ceremony 4 p.m. January 2. Master (Pwo) Navigator and Makali‘i Captain Chadd Paishon leads a discussion sharing background about the journey 10 – 11 a.m. January 2-5 in front of the WWV map in Kahilu Theatre.

Big island-raised Alison Teal returns to the festival with another episode of Alison’s Adventures.

Art weaves its way throughout the 2017 festival. Bonnie Cherni offers classes in ocean-inspired origami January 2-5 at The Fairmont Orchid and January 7 at Four Seasons.

Painter Sophie Twigg-Smith Teururai, granddaughter of noted artist William Twigg-Smith, presents a full exhibit of recent works at The Fairmont Orchid January 2-5 and at Four Seasons Resort January 7. Teururai provided the cover art for the festival program this year.

Tiffany’s Art Agency exhibits the work of noted local artist Mary Spears and photographer Cathy Shine January 2-5 at The Fairmont Orchid and January 7 at Four Seasons Resort.

Puako-based painter Christian Enns displays his artistry at the new Enns Gallery in the lobby at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel and offers the chance to observe him in action to gain a sense of his process, 5-7 p.m. January 2-5 at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel with a Meet the Artist reception 5 p.m. January 5.

From the film, “Making An Ancient Forest.” Photo: ©Rita Schlamberger

Selections and film synopsis from the 2017 film lineup include:

The Accord (Iceland/RC Cone)

The Age of Consequences (USA/Jared P. Scott)•

Alison’s Adventures: British Columbia (USA/Alison Teal)•

Almost Sunrise (USA/Michael Collins)•

An American Ascent (USA/Andy Adkins, George Potter)

Atlantic (Ireland/Risteard O’Domhnaill)

The Bat Man of Mexico (UK/Tom Mustill)•

Beneath the Surface (UK/Mikey Corker)•

Bud Browne’s Surfers (USA/Anna Trent Moore)•

Call Me Peg Leg (UK/Josh Hine)

The Canary Islands-World of the Fire Mountains (Austria/Michael Schlamberger)

Catching the Sun (USA/Shalini Kantayya)

Con Amor Yago (Brazil, Gabriel Novis)

Dateline NBC: On Assignment at Palmyra Atoll (USA/Mario Garcia, Julie Kim)•

Distance Between Dreams (USA/Rob Bruce)

Dog Power (USA/Jordan Schevene & Kale Casey)•

E2-Seoul (USA/Tad Fettig)

E2-Melbourne Reborn (USA/Tad Fettig)

Eclipse (Canada/Anthony Bonello)

Forgotten Coast: Return to Wild Florida (USA/Eric Bendick)•

A Fragile Legacy (USA/David Brown)•

Giraffes: Africa’s Gentle Giants (BBC/UK/Tom Mustill)•

1-800-Give-Us-Your-Kidney (USA/Samantha Smith)•

Hokule‘a Worldwide Voyage: New York (‘Oiwi TV/USA/Kapua Roback)•

Humpback Whales (USA/Greg MacGillivray)•

Im/Perfection (USA/Andrew Hida)

Jim Nabors’ Impossible Dream (KGMB/USA)•

The Joy of Surfing (UK/Simon Cotter)

Just Eat It: A Food Waste Story (Canada/Grant Baldwin)

Locked In (USA/Bud Browne)•

Lotus Root: A Great Granddaughter’s Journey (USA/Kimberlee Bassford)•

Making an Ancient Forest (Austria/Rita Schlamberger)

Martin’s Boat (USA/Peter McBride)•

The Marvelous Musical Report (USA/Laura & Robert Sams)

Mele Murals (USA/Tadashi Nakamura)

Merchants of Doubt (USA/Robert Kenner)

My Haggan Dream (USA/Laura &Robert Sams)

Ocean Stories: Michele and Howard Hall (USA/Patrick Creadon)•

Operation Grand Canyon with Dan Snow (BBC/UK)•

Patsy Mink: Ahead of the Majority (USA/Kimberlee Bassford)•

Peninsula Mitre (Argentina/Joaquin & Julian Azulay)

Planet Ocean (France/Yann Arthus-Betrand, Michael Pitiot)

A Plastic Ocean (USA, UK & Hong Kong/Craig Leeson)•

Pronghorn Revival (USA/Ben Masters)•

Red Chargers (USA/Rocky Romano)•

Sea Youth (USA/Chelsea Odufu)

Shorebreak: The Clark Little Story (USA/Peter King)

Sonic Sea (USA/Michelle Dougherty, Daniel Hinerfeld)

Spotlight (USA/Tom McCarthy)•

Unbranded (USA/Phillip Baribeau)•

Valen’s Reef (USA/Imraan Ismail)•

Vamizi-Cradle of Coral (Sweden/Mattias Klum)

View from a Blue Moon (USA/John John Florence, Blake Vincent Kueny)•

The Voyage of Swell (USA/Liz Clark, Teva Perrone)

Water from Stone (USA/Ben Masters)•

The Weekend Sailor (Mexico/Bernardo Arsuaga)•

Wild Horse Resolution (USA/Ben Masters)•

National Geographic Wild Yellowstone: Grizzly Summer (USA/National Geo)•

Winning Girl (USA/Kimberlee Bassford)•

  • Filmmaker/Presenter attending Ocean Film and leading discussion

For the latest updates on films and speakers, follow the festival on Facebook, www.facebook.com/waimeaoceanfilmfestival, visit www.waimeaoceanfilm.org or email info@waimeaoceanfilm.org.

The full lineup of films and the complete festival program will be available to download at www.waimeaoceanfilm.org around December 19. Festival passes can be purchased via the website or at 808-854-6095. Kama‘aina/early rates are available in advance by contacting the festival office through December 19 and gift passes are available.

The Waimea Ocean Film Festival is a 501c3 organization made possible through the support of patrons, sponsors and the community. Mahalo to the 2017 Ocean Film partners: Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i, the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel, Holualoa Inn, Matson, K2 Imaging, Coast Grille, Sushi Rock, Mai Grille, Big Island Brewhaus, Big Island Traveler, Maile Charters, Mauna Lani Sea Adventures, Kamuela Inn, Starbucks Coffee, Anna Ranch Heritage Center, Hawaii Preparatory Academy (HPA), Parker School, West Hawaii Today, Hawaii Tribune Herald, Kona Law, Emily T Gail Show, The Beach FM and The Wave FM.

New Map of 61G Lava Flow Released

This map shows recent changes to Kīlauea’s East Rift Zone lava flow field. The area of the active flow field as of November 29 is shown in pink, while widening and advancement of the active flow as of December 14, based on satellite imagery, is shown in red. Older Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava flows (1983–2016) are shown in gray.

The blue lines over the Puʻu ʻŌʻō flow field are steepest-descent paths calculated from a 2013 digital elevation model (DEM), while the blue lines on the rest of the map are steepest-descent paths calculated from a 1983 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. The base map is a partly transparent 1:24,000-scale USGS digital topographic map draped over the 1983 10-m digital elevation model (DEM).

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park’s January 2017 Events

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park continues its tradition of sharing Hawaiian culture and After Dark in the Park (ADIP) programs with the public throughout 2017.

January is Volcano Awareness Month, and all ADIP programs will be presented by the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. ADIP and Hawaiian cultural programs are free, but park entrance fees apply. Programs are co-sponsored by Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park and Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association. Mark the calendar for these upcoming events:

34 Years and Counting: Updates on Kīlauea Volcano’s Eruptions. As of Jan. 3, 2017, Kīlauea has been erupting nearly continuously for the past 34 years. It began on the volcano’s East Rift Zone, where Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō continues to send lava flows down the flanks of Kīlauea. In 2008, a second vent opened within Halema‘uma‘u Crater at the summit of Kīlauea, where a spattering lava lake still lights the night sky and captivates spectators.  Tina Neal, Scientist-in-Charge of the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, briefly describes the history of these two eruptions and provides in-depth accounts of volcanic activity during the past year, including lava reaching the sea for the first time since 2013 and the rise and fall of the summit lava lake. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing After Dark in the Park series. Free.

  • When: Tues., Jan. 3 at 7 p.m.
  • Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

The Unheard Sounds of Hawaiian Volcanoes. Infrasound is atmospheric sound and vibration below the threshold of human hearing. These low-frequency sounds are generated by large-scale fluid flow and can propagate for thousands of kilometers to provide early warning of natural or man-made hazards. Active open-vent volcanoes, such as Kīlauea, are exceptionally good sound emitters, and scientists are steadily building a continuous baseline of volcano-acoustic activity, including infrasonic tremor from Halemaʻumaʻu and Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō.  Join Milton Garces, Director of the University of Hawaiʻi Infrasound Laboratory, as he talks about “listening” to Kīlauea, Mauna Loa, and Hualālai volcanoes through one of the most advanced infrasound networks in the world. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing After Dark in the Park series. Free.

  • When: Tues., Jan. 10 at 7 p.m.
  • Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

‘Ukulele Making Demonstration. Join Oral Abihai as he shares his passion for making ‘ukulele from local and exotic woods. A native Hawaiian, Oral has been building ‘ukulele for 10 years, following his apprenticeship in Lāhaina, Maui with master builder Kenny Potts. Oral loves to create ‘ukulele in his spare time with bits and pieces of his wood collection. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ‘Ike Hana No‘eau “Experience the Skillful Work” workshops. Free.

  • When: Wed., Jan. 11 from 10 a.m. to noon
  • Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai

Trials and Tribulations of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater: 200 Years Old and Still Going. Halema‘uma‘u, the large crater within Kīlauea Volcano’s summit caldera, has a checkered past and an uncertain future. Probably first appearing in the early 19th century, Halemaʻumaʻu has enthralled visitors with its lava lakes, enticed at least three people to their deaths in past decades, and served as a centerpiece for countless photographs and paintings.

Lava lake and flows on Halema‘uma‘u Crater floor in 1968. USGS photo

Don Swanson, a USGS geologist at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, traces the volcanic history of Halemaʻumaʻu and includes personal anecdotes about his encounters with the crater during the 1967-68 eruption. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing After Dark in the Park series. Free.

  • When: Tues., Jan. 17 at 7 p.m.
  • Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

Hula Performance by Hālau I Ka Leo Ola O Nā Mamo. Be immersed in authentic Hawaiian hula presented by Kumu Hula Pelehonuamea and Kumu Hula Kekoa Harman. Hālau I Ka Leo Ola O Nā Mamo is composed of the students of the Hawaiian language immersion school, Nāwahīokalani‘ōpu‘u. These students are all fluent speakers of the Hawaiian language, which is being revived after many years of decline. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing Nā Leo Manu “Heavenly Voices” presentations. Free.

  • When: Wed., Jan. 18 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

How Do HVO Geologists Track Lava Flows and Lava Lakes? Kīlauea is currently home to two remarkably long eruptions. Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō and other vents on the volcano’s East Rift Zone have erupted lava flows for more than three decades. At the summit of Kīlauea, an active vent within Halema‘uma‘u Crater has fed a lava lake for over eight years.  Monitoring each of these eruptions presents unique challenges and requires using various tools and techniques, ranging from low-tech to state-of-the-art. USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geologist Matt Patrick explains the toolkit he uses to map lava flows and measure lava lakes, and describes how scientists continuously improve their methods of tracking volcanic activity. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing After Dark in the Park series. Free.

  • When: Tues., Jan. 24 at 7 p.m.
  • Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

Ho‘okani ‘Ukulele (Learn to Play ‘Ukulele). Learn the basics of the beloved Hawaiian ‘ukulele. The modern ‘ukulele evolved from the Machete de Braga, a small stringed instrument introduced by Portuguese immigrants in the 1800s. The ‘ukulele is now an iconic part of Hawaiian music culture. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ‘Ike Hana No‘eau “Experience the Skillful Work” workshops. Free.

  • When: Wed., Jan. 25 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
  • Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center lānai

An Update on Mauna Loa Activity and Monitoring Efforts. Mauna Loa, the largest active volcano on Earth, has erupted 33 times since 1843, most recently in 1984, when lava flows approached Hilo. Future eruptions could produce high-volume, fast-moving flows that reach the ocean in a matter of hours. In 2015, the Volcano Alert Level of Mauna Loa was elevated from “NORMAL” to “ADVISORY” due to increased seismicity and deformation at the volcano, which continue to occur. USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientist Ingrid Johanson provides a brief account of Mauna Loa’s eruptive history, an update on its current status, and an overview of how HVO scientists track activity that might presage the volcano’s next eruption. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing After Dark in the Park series. Free.

  • When: Tues., Jan. 31 at 7 p.m.
  • Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union Donates $23k+ to Hawaii Food Basket

Through the heart-felt efforts of the Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union (HCFCU) staff, and the generosity of HCFCU members and local small businesses, more than $23,000 was raised and donated to The Food Basket, Hawaii Island’s Food Bank,  during HCFCU’s annual “Market Days” events.

Top Row: L-R: Back Row: Davelynn Esperanza – HCFCU Kaloko Branch Member Service Specialist, Robyn Naihe – HCFCU Support Services Coordinator, Flora Gomes – HCFCU Senior Dealer Center Officer, Kristy Akao – HCFCU Youth Services Coordinator.
Middle Row: Lorrie Gomes – HCFCU Kailua Branch Senior Teller: Sue Miskowic – HCFCU Administrative Specialist, Jecoliah Pacatang – HCFCU Kailua Branch Teller II.
Front Row: David Miyashita – HCFCU Marketing Coordinator, Rosette Freitas, HCFCU Kealakekua Branch Loan Processor II , En Young – The Food Basket Executive Director, Jason Ayers – HCFCU Asst. Vice President & Loan manager.

Held annually in October at all HCFCU branches, Market Days is a multilevel event during which businesses are invited to sell such items as baked goods, food, clothing, jewelry and home products, donate produce to sell, and provide valuable items for silent auctions. Additionally, HCFCU employees held work lunch fundraisers and sold ribbons to raise additional monies for The Food Basket.  All event proceeds were donated to The Food Basket.

David Miyashita, HCFCU’s Marketing Coordinator, spearheaded the events, which included leading branch and department team captains, supervising the various vendors and activities, and keeping HCFCU’s mission of feeding Hawaii County’s hungry a top priority.

“I am extremely proud of David and the entire HCFCU staff!” said Tricia Buskirk, credit union President and CEO. “Our annual Market Days are successful because our employees are committed to supporting The Food Basket.  Our members, businesses and community have huge hearts and are always there to support our families in need.”

 

The employees of HCFCU collectively nominate and vote on a “Triennial Social Responsibility Partner” to which they focus their Market Day fundraising for three years, making a true difference for the organization.  With their enthusiastic dedication to that one organization during that time, the organization experiences additional supportive hearts and hands, which in turn helps make a true impact for many on Hawaii Island.

This is HCFCU’s second of three years supporting The Food Basket and last year’s Market Days event generated a $20,000 donation.  Answering the need for their critically needed services, The Food Basket just opened a new Kona facility located within the Ulu Wini Housing Project.  Contact info@hawaiifoodbasket.org to learn more about supporting The Food Basket.

Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union is a not-for-profit credit union owned by its over 40,000 member/owners with branches in Honokaa, Kailua-Kona, Kaloko, Kealakekua and Kohala.  In addition to complete checking and savings services, the credit union offers credit cards, auto, mortgage, construction, small business, educational and personal loans; online and mobile banking; investment services and youth programs, and supports numerous Hawaii Island programs and events.  Membership in Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union is open to all Hawaii Island residents.