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Lawmakers Pass Resolution to Preserve Kapua Lands

Members of the Senate Committee on Water, Land and Agriculture today voted to pass Senate Resolution 46.

sr46SR46 requests the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) to engage in negotiations with the current land owners of the makai lands of Kapua to acquire the lands on behalf of the state or to lease those lands in perpetuity on behalf of the state.

“Our late colleague, Senator Gil Kahele, had the dream of the state purchasing the Kapua makai lands. This resolution will make it possible to see this dream become reality,” said Sen. Mike Gabbard, chair of the Water, Land and Agriculture committee, in recommending the resolution be passed.

As one of his last actions as a state legislator, the late Senator Gilbert Kahele signed SB3071 for its introduction during the 2016 session, which would have required the DLNR to engage in negotiations to acquire the Kapua makai lands. Kaiali‘i Kahele was appointed to the seat vacated by his father, following his death in January. SR46 was drafted by Sen. Kahele who was determined to ensure the process to preserve the lands would continue, despite the SB3071 being stalled in conference.

“This is not just for my dad, but for generations of keiki,” said Sen. Kahele. “This area has significant archeological and culturally historical value and must be preserved.”

SR46 is the final resolution to be heard this legislative session and will be voted on the floor on Thursday, May 5, 2016.

Pahoa Santacruzan and Flores de Mayo Festival

Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Pahoa will celebrate Santacruzan and Flores de Mayo Festival on May 14, with a procession through the village.

Santacruzan and Flores de Mayo

Santacruzan is a religious holiday traditionally celebrated throughout the month of May, honoring the mother of King Constantinople’s mother, Queen Helena, and her role in bringing Christianity to the Philippines.

Since May is also the month that Christians dedicate to honoring the Virgin Mary, this year’s Pahoa event will commemorate Flores de Mayo, or Flowers of Mary.

The procession through the village will take place after a 4:30 p.m. mass at Sacred Heart Church. The 5:30 p.m to 6:30 p.m. procession will start at Sacred Heart Church, then onto Pahoa Village Road, and end on Kauhale Street, at the Pahoa Community Center.

Spectators can expect to see a colorful pageant procession, with women dressed in their finest attire, carrying symbols of the Santacruzan, escorted by men under hand-carried bamboo arches adorned with native flowers.  The women and men will represent various historical-religious figures detailing the search of the Holy Cross by Queen Helena and her son, the newly converted emperor Constantine the Great, and the return of the Holy Cross from Jerusalem to Rome.  An emcee will narrate the procession and the re-enactment of this pilgrimage.

Those involved in the procession were not only selected for their looks, but also their virtues.  The procession will feature statues of the Virgin Mary and Our Lady of Grace and also include ethnic dances of the different cultures in the Hawaiian Islands.

Nine days of prayer, or a novena, in honor of the Holy Cross precedes the Santacruzan and the Flores de Mayo.  Introduced by Spaniards, the festival has since become part of the Filipino traditions identified with youth, love and romance.  The Sacred Heart Church community hopes to make the Santacruzan and the Flores de Mayo Festival a tradition for Pahoa Village.

For more information, contact the Sacred Heart Church at (808)965-8202 or email shpahoa@hotmail.com.

Big Island of Hawaii 10 Days of Free Health Care – Tropic Care 2016

The Big Island of Hawaii will have 10 days of free health care as a result of Tropic Care 2016.

The Oahu-based 1984th United States Army Hospital will conduct a two-week Innovative Readiness Training mission providing medical care to under served communities of Hawaii.

Screenings will be held in Pahala, Hawaii Ocean View Estates and Keaau.  See flyer below for times and dates.

tropic care 2016

Working closely with the Department of Health, State of Hawaii, and other private corporations, the 1984th USAH, along with other military units, are proud to serve the people in the community.

Thanks to the support of The US military, Hawaii State and county plus many non-profits and volunteers for making Tropic Care 2016 possible.

Pahoa Round-A-Bout – “Phase B” Begins, “Phase C” Still to Come

Today, “Phase B” of the Pahoa round-a-bout opened and people have already been complaining about the “wait” to get into Pahoa.  Someone on my Facebook page commented “Today it was only about a 13-15 minute “back up” getting to the roundabout…at 4 pm. It will be interesting.”

“Phase A” (April 11th – April 24th) consisted of a half a round-a-bout:

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Now “Phase B” (May 2nd – May 15th) is in action, where you can go in a full circle:

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

“Phase C” is expected to be worked on between May 16th and May 27th:

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The entire project is scheduled to be completed during the summer of 2016:

phase date

Hawaii County Department of Environmental Management Understaffed and Overworked – Appliances Stack Up

The recent Dengue Fever outbreak on the Big Island of Hawaii has had everyone on edge the last few months and both State and County officials have had their hands full dealing with this outbreak.  Thousands and thousands of tires have been disposed of since the county started accepting tires at the transfer stations.

Folks have been noticing that the Hilo Transfer station in general has had a lot of e-waste and appliances stacking up.

Appliances at the Hilo Landfill on 4/30/2016.

Appliances at the Hilo Landfill on 4/30/2016.

Recently Doug Arnott, from Arnott’s Lodge in Hilo, asked the following question in the Facebook Group Opala in Paradise to Bobby Jean Leithead-Todd, Head of the County of Hawaii’s Department of Environmental Management:

Bobby Jean Leithead Todd can you give us an update on the ever growing pile of refrigerators and stoves at the Hilo Station…it seems that a good economy is causing old units to be dumped faster than they can be removed….or is this related to refrigerant removal or a slowdown in scrap metal buying by China…can we get an update please

Leithead-Todd responded:

We’ve had to pull manpower and equipment away to deal with tires and other dengue related clean ups. Earlier we had it pile up as we had a contract dispute and we could not move them until the contract issue was resolved at the state level. Now we are moving the white goods out but they seem to be coming back in as fast as we dispose of them. We hope to get ahead of it after we stop accepting tires.

YWCA Honoring Rose Bautista, Barbara Hastings as Remarkable

The YWCA of Hawaii Island will honor local immigration lawyer Rose Bautista and public relations professional Barbara Hastings as its 2016 Remarkable People.

Barbara Hastings

Barbara Hastings

The pair will be honored at the eighth annual Remarkable Person Luncheon Thursday, June 2, at 11:30 a.m. at the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel, Moku Ola Ballroom.

Rose Bautista

Rose Bautista

“The YWCA is proud to recognize Barbara and Rose for their achievements and leadership,” said Kathleen McGilvray, CEO of YWCA of Hawaii Island. “These glass-ceiling-breaking women have inspired those around them with their raw dedication in business and commitment to helping women, children and community.”

For more than a quarter century, Bautista has helped immigrants with legal matters, and is a tireless advocate on their behalf. Hastings, a former newspaper journalist and founding partner of Hastings & Pleadwell: A Communication Company (H&P) has provided thought-leadership and support to clients and community groups across Hawaii.

There are a limited number of tickets and sponsorship opportunities available. For more information or to purchase tickets, contact Naomi at the YWCA of Hawaii Island office at 930-5705 or via email: tuyemura@ywcahawaiiisland.org.

Bautista was born in Sinait Ilocos Sur, Philippines. She immigrated to the United States at age seven and was raised in North Kohala. Bautista received her bachelors in political science from Mount St. Mary’s College in 1983. She went on to earn a Juris Doctor in 1989 from the Seattle University School of Law, formerly the University of Puget Sound School of Law. In 1990, she opened the Law Offices of Rose Y. Bautista in Washington State and practiced immigration and personal injury law. Bautista was appointed immigration specialist for Hawaii County in 2001. She was instrumental in bringing the Honolulu Philippine Consulate General to Hawaii Island for the first Consulate on Wheels service, and initiated the county’s first Citizenship Day celebration.

Bautista’s experience of immigrating and adjusting to a new country served as a foundation for her understanding, empathy and zealous advocacy for immigrant communities.

She is founder of Ating Bahay, a group dedicated to addressing domestic violence in the immigrant community, and is a representative to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, a component of the Department of Homeland Security. Bautista is an active member of the Washington State Bar Association and a member of many law associations. She is the Children and Youth Group coordinator of Malia Puka O Kalani Catholic Church in Keaukaha and sits on the boards of St. Joseph School and Micronesians United Big Island. Bautista is past president of the Filipino Chamber of Commerce and for years has volunteered with Filipino associations around the island. In 2013, she received the Purple Ribbon Award in recognition for her work in domestic violence prevention. Bautista lives in Hilo and is married to Steve Bader. They have two college-age children, Sam and Alexa.

Hastings has been a public relations professional in Hawaii for a quarter century. She has been a newspaper journalist and professional communicator for 40 years in Honolulu and on the Mainland. As a journalist, she worked as both editor and reporter, and for a time specialized in energy and science reporting. She has received local and national recognition for her writing, campaign strategy and crisis management.

Hastings was the communication director for the Hawaii Department of Health in the early 1990s, and helped the Office of Hawaiian Affairs with communication strategies in the mid 90s. She worked for the Honolulu Advertiser, Trenton (NJ) Times and earned a fellowship to Stanford University for her energy writing.

H&P, which has offices in Honolulu and Hilo, is celebrating its twentieth anniversary. In 2007, Hastings and partner Barbra Pleadwell received the Small Business Administration’s Champion of Women in Business Award for Hawaii and Region IX.

Hastings is deeply involved with organizations that advance community wellbeing. She sits on the boards of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Hawaii, Hawaii Public Radio, the Lyman Museum and Zonta International District 9. She is area director for Zonta’s Hawaii Clubs and is past president of the Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club of Hilo Bay and Zonta Club of Hilo. Hastings is married to retired journalist Mike Middlesworth. She has one daughter, Rhea Olsen, and two grandsons, Logan and Brendan.

Puna Geothermal Warning System TEST TODAY

The Puna Geothermal Venture plant will be conducting a test of their facility emergency warning system to include the sounding of the drill rig warning siren today, Wednesday April 27th at approximately 11:30 a.m.

PGV

This is only a test that is necessary to ensure the proper working order and function of their warning system.

Residents in the immediate area and communities of Leilani Estates, Nanawale Estates, and the upper Kapoho and Pohoiki areas may hear the siren and we apologize for any disruption or inconvenience this may cause.

Again, this is a test of the facility’s emergency warning systems and no action is needed.

Update on Response Activities for Big Island Dengue Fever Outbreak – Health Department Daily Web Site Updates End

The State Health Department is no longer updating their website as of 4/26/2016

The State Health Department is no longer updating their website as of 4/26/2016

What: The State and County will announce the status of the Hawai‘i Island dengue fever outbreak and a new phase of response activities

Who:             

  • Governor David Ige
  • Mayor Billy Kenoi, County of Hawai‘i
  • Darryl Oliveira, Hawai‘i County Civil Defense Administrator
  • Dr. Virginia Pressler, Director of Health
  • Maj. Gen. Arthur “Joe” Logan, State Adjutant General and Director of the Hawai‘i Emergency Management Agency
  • George Szigeti, Hawai‘i Tourism Authority President & CEO

When: Wednesday, April 27, 2016 at 1:00 p.m. 

Where: State Capitol, 5th floor, Governor’s Ceremonial Room

We plan to live stream the event through the governor’s website.

End of Dengue

2016 Honoka‘a Western Week Rides Into Town

Honoka‘a Western Week rides into town May 23-30, 2016, kicking off with Monday’s Portuguese Bean Soup and Sweetbread cookoff and winding up with Friday night’s Paniolo Parade and Block Party on Mamane Street, with the 60th Annual Hawai‘i Saddle Club Scholarship Rodeo over the weekend.

PHOTO BY Sarah Anderson

PHOTO BY Sarah Anderson

Mamane Street will close for the Parade and Block Party, and roving Sheriffs will be on the lookout for attendees not wearing the commemorative HWW buttons. Buttons may be purchased to show support for the festival, and to automatically enter the “lucky number” drawings during the Block Party. Although not required for admission, buttons will keep attendees from being thrown into “jail” (all in good fun).

PHOTO BY Sarah Anderson

PHOTO BY Sarah Anderson

Honoka‘a Western Week is a volunteer-driven project supported by the Honoka‘a Business Association, The Hāmākua Farm Bureau and the Hāmākua Lion’s Club, Councilwoman Valerie Poindexter, Steinlager, and others, celebrating Hāmākua’s paniolo heritage and unique cultural blend. Checks payable to “Honokaʻa Business Association” can be sent to P.O. Box 474, Honokaʻa HI 96727, attention: Honoka‘a Western Week. For more information, follow Honoka‘a Western Week on Facebook or visit www.honokaawesternweek.org.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS:  Subject to change.

  • May 20. Deadline to enter Saloon Girl and Cowboys Got Talent Contests. For information and applications, call Michelle Hartman, 775-9777 or check out the website.
  • May 23-30. Celebrate Honokaʻa Western Week with Honokaʻa Business Association. Everyone is invited to dress up western-style, visit Honoka‘a town merchants, and enjoy different paniolo-themed activities every night.
  • Monday, May 23, 5-7:30 pm Portuguese Paniolo Night hosted by the historic Andrade Building’s ‘Ōhi‘a Lānai, with Portuguese Bean Soup and Sweetbread contests. Attendees can buy $5 tasting tickets, and vote for People’s Choice. Hot dogs, chili and rice available for sale, and the event includes music, Portuguese dancing and line dancing. For more information call Marlene Hapai 966-9894 or email mhapai@aol.com.
  • Tuesday, May 24, 3:30 p.m. Stick Horse Creation at Hāmākua Youth Center (HYC). Kids are invited to come and make their own mounts for the Stick Horse race on Friday. Limited to the first 30 applicants to turn in registration forms at HYC. Please call 775-0976 for more information.
  • Wednesday, May 25. Munch popcorn and cheer for the heroes of Western movies at the Peoples Theater. At 5 p.m., the animated feature “Home on the Range,” followed by “Traditions and Family Values: A Blueprint for our Community, Pa‘auilo Mauka Kalopa.” At 7 p.m., “8 Seconds,” the story of Lane Frost, 1987 PRCA Bull Riding World Champion.
  • Thursday, May 26. 4-6 p.m., Historic Honoka‘a Talk Story with authors Dr.Billy Bergin, “Loyal to the Land,” and Laura Ruby, “Honoka‘a Town,” at the Honoka‘a Public Library. Meet the community’s successful writers and learn what inspires and motivates them. This event coincides with the library’s Summer Reading program kickoff.  6:30 p.m., Hāmākua Ranchers Branding at The Landing restaurants. Local ranchers are invited to BYOB (Bring Your Own Branding iron) and brand a special wall display.
  • Friday, May 27. 3 p.m., Stick Horse Races 4 p.m., Paniolo Parade down Mamane Street, with mounted and marching units, pā‘ū riders, gleaming vintage cars and more. 5-10 p.m., Block Party, Steak Fry, Saloon Girl and Cowboys Got Talent Contests, great music and dancing in the Street. New this year, a free “Keiki Corral” for the kids from 5-7 p.m., with carnival-style games. Vendors interested in booth space for the Block Party may email Sue Dela Cruz, westernweekhonokaa@gmail.com, or download forms from the website.
  • Saturday, May 28- Hamakua-Kohala Health 50th Anniversary Health Fair, 10 am – 2pm Honoka‘a Gym Complex.  A free, family style celebration with beautiful Hawaiian music and hula, a healthy lū ‘au, helpful information from AlohaCare, HMSA, Aloha Insurance (Medicare) and Hale Ho‘ola, and much more. The ‘ono menu includes kālua turkey, pork laulau, chicken long rice, fernshoot salad, sweet potatoes, hapa rice, fresh fruits and haupia.
  • Saturday, May 28-Monday, May 30, Hawai‘i Saddle Club Scholarship Rodeo. Tickets $7 in advance $9 at the gate.

Hawaii Electric Light Conducting Aerial Line Inspections

To improve system reliability, Hawaii Electric Light Company is conducting aerial line inspections of its major overhead transmission lines from Tuesday, April 26, to Friday, April 29, 2016.

Helicopter Line Inspection

The islandwide inspections are scheduled from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. However, exact times and routes will depend on weather conditions. Inspections will be conducted in a Manuiwa Airways helicopter and require the aircraft to fly low and slow which may cause some noise disturbances.

Hawaii Electric Light apologizes for any disruptions this may cause and sincerely thanks the community for their cooperation and understanding.

If there are any questions or concerns, please call 969-6666.

Hawaii House and Senate Budget Conferees Agree on Funding to Increase Vector Control Staffing – Concern for Dengue and Zika Drives Need

House and Senate conferees on the state budget today agreed to provide $1,270,120 to bolster the state Department of Health Vector Control Branch to focus on controlling populations of animals and insects that spread disease.

Mosquito Bite

Hawaii Island’s recent outbreak of dengue fever and the Zika virus outbreak in Brazil, which are spread by mosquitoes, have highlighted the continued importance of vector control, and House and Senate conferees want to ensure that the state is prepared to adequately short circuit, monitor and respond to any future outbreaks.

“This funding will help re-establish the vector control branch, which has been reduced over the past few years by furloughs and budget cuts,” said Sylvia Luke, chairperson of the House Finance Committee.  “In making these appropriations, the department will be able to add 20 new positions to monitor populations of vectors such as mosquitoes and rats, and to respond appropriately when a threat arises.”

Before the dengue fever outbreak in October, 2015, the state had 25 vector control positions, but 8 were vacant. With the added 20 new positions, there will be a total of 45 people in vector control when all positions are filled.

“Infectious disease has been and will continue to be one of our key challenges in a world made smaller and more connected with modern day air travel,” said Jill Tokuda, chairperson of the Senate Ways and Means Committee.  “The state’s recent slow response to the dengue fever outbreak on the Big Island was a wake-up call for all us.  We must be more vigilant in anticipating and responding to such outbreaks spread by mosquitoes and other vectors.”

In addition, the budget items agreed upon today included:

  • $6.9 million for public school transportation services;
  • $5.2 million for utilities for public schools;
  • $2.5 million for new fire trucks, firefighter equipment and fire retardant suits to ensure airport safety;
  • $1.5 million to fund a U.S. geographical survey study on Hawaii streams;
  • $1.4 million for port security and safety boats to reduce impact of natural disasters;
  • $1.25 million for maintenance and replacement of equipment at UH community colleges;
  • $400,000 to support beach restoration and protection projects and studies;
  • $180,000 for hydrologist and project development specialist positions for public land management for the disposition of water rights lease management and oversight; and
  • $162,354 for physician salary increases for better access to medical services for the Department of Public Safety.

The agreements were part of House and Senate conferees continued negotiations on a final version of HB1700, the state budget bill.  Earlier in the session, the House Finance Committee and the Senate Ways and Means Committee crafted their respective versions of the budget.

Lawmakers will continue to meet to iron out differences between the two versions through April 29, the deadline for all fiscal bills to pass out of conference committee.  A final conference draft will then be voted upon by the Legislature and if approved, will be sent to the Governor for his signature.

Budget worksheets detailing agreements and disagreements in the state and judiciary budget bills are available on the Capitol website at http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/budget/2016budget.aspx

The conference committee is scheduled to reconvene on Friday, April 22, at 2:30 p.m. in room 309.

Pour Some Fun at Ka’u Coffee Festival – Lobsterpalooza Planned

The delectable flavors of award-winning Ka‘u coffee is grounds for celebration! The Ka‘u Coffee Festival perks into its eighth season with activities May 13-22, offering many reasons to stay on the south side of the Big Isle. The festival not only showcases Ka‘u’s many award-winning coffees at numerous events, it also offers a host of unique and fun family activities.

coffee fest

“The festival highlights the efforts of our hard-working Ka‘u coffee producers, and also offers unique activities that showcase the heritage District of Ka‘u. Many events are only available during the festival,” says Chris Manfredi, festival organizer.

New to this year’s lineup of java-jumping fun is the Lobsterpalooza—a leisurely Sunday afternoon picnic on the lawn at Punalu‘u Black Sand Beach. On the menu of the May 15th spread is a variety of tantalizing skewered pupus, your choice of Kona Cold Lobster or charbroiled Spencer Steak, raised locally by Kuahiwi Ranch, and served with roasted potatoes, Cajun-style local sweet corn, a mouthwatering Ka‘u Coffee Mocha Torte, lilikoi lemonade, brewed ice tea and plenty of Ka‘u coffee. Beachside entertainment is by the bluesy Larry Dupio Band with special guest Full Tilt Band from 2-6 p.m. Tix for $75 are available online at brownpapertickets.com.

This year’s Ka‘u Coffee Recipe Contest offers nearly $2,000 in cash prizes as adult and student contestants vie in pupu, entrée and dessert categories 11 a.m. Saturday, May 14 at the Ka‘u Coffee Mill. The free event stages entertainment, a chance to meet Miss Ka‘u Coffee, tasty recipe and coffee sampling and a tour of the Ka‘u Coffee Mill and Farm. Contest entry and admission are free. The entry deadline is May 9. Visit www.kaucoffeefestival.com for more details.

The pinnacle of the 10-day lineup is the free Ka‘u Coffee Festival Ho‘olaule‘a on Sat., May 21 that sprawls both inside and out of the Pahala Community Center. Learn the secret to brewing the “perfect cup of coffee” at the Ka‘u Coffee Experience where coffee professionals prepare Ka‘u coffee a variety of ways: hario pour-over, french press, toddy cold-brew, chemex and clever, plus prepared espresso beverages – 9:30 a.m. to noon and again at 1-3 p.m.

Outside, ho‘olaue‘a attendees can talk story with friendly coffee farmers and other local vendors and artisans at tented booths, many with free sampling. Also on tap are “broke da mouth” local 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 and train rides.

Find out how coffee is grown, picked and processed during 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, and numerous local sponsors. Most events are free while others carry a nominal fee. A full schedule of events and Ka‘u activity recommendations follows. Visit www.kaucoffeefest.com to learn more.

On Friday, May 13, Pa‘ina & Open House at historic Pahala Plantation House featuring music, hula, food and house tours 5:30-9:30 p.m. Corner of Maile and Pikake in Pahala. Hosted by Pahala Plantation Cottages, Ka‘u Chamber of Commerce, Hawai’i Farmers Union United and The Ka‘u Calendar newspaper. Free, donations accepted for Miss Ka‘u Coffee Scholarship Fund.  www.kaucoffeefest.comwww.pahalaplantationcottages.com. 808-928-9811.

On Saturday, May 14, The free Ka‘u Coffee Recipe Contest is 11 a.m. at Ka‘u Coffee Mill. Entries made with Ka‘u coffee are accepted in pupu, entree and dessert categories. Free coffee tasting, entertainment and tours. Find contest entry info at www.kaucoffeemill.com or call Lisa at 808-928-0550.

On Saturday, May 14, the annual Miss Ka‘u Coffee Pageant showcases the crowning of Miss Ka‘u Coffee, Jr. Miss Ka’u Coffee and Miss Ka’u Coffee Peaberry. Contestants compete in talent, speech and evening wear while participating in Miss Popularity, Miss Congeniality and Miss Photogenic contests.  Winners receive scholarships. Doors open 6 p.m. at the Ka‘u Coffee Mill. Fee is $10 at the door. 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, which is marking its centennial in 2016 with special activities. Stay in one of the many accommodations in Ka‘u. Visit www.kaucoffeefest.com for participating coffee farms and accommodations.

On Wednesday and Thursday, May 18 and May 19 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, $45 includes lunch.  Visit www.kaucoffeemill.com or phone 808-928-0550.

On Friday, May 20 enjoy Coffee & Cattle Day 10 a.m. at Aikane Plantation Coffee farm.  Learn 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 20 observe the heavens from the summit of Makanau at Ka‘u Star Gazing, 5:30-10 p.m. Enjoy a presentation on the history of Makanau, a summit sunset and the night sky via a guided laser beam tour of the stars. $45 with refreshments and shuttle transportation. Sign up at www.kaucoffeemill.com or call 808-928-0550.

On Saturday, May 21 tantalize your taste buds at the free 9 a.m.-5 p.m. 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. Visit the Ka‘u Coffee Experience, where coffee professionals offer Ka‘u coffee prepared a variety of ways 9:30 a.m.-noon and 1 p.m.-3:30 p.m.  Ho‘olaule‘a entry is free; 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 22 learn about the coffee industry at the Ka‘u Coffee College at Pahala Community Center. The Coffee College hosts educational seminars by local and journeymen coffee industry experts and a reverse trade mission. Free, donations appreciated. Call 808-929-9550 or www.KauCoffeeFest.com.

Big Island Substance Abuse Council Opening Food Trailer

Tomorrow, the Big Island Substance Abuse Council will proudly unveil their food trailer, Big Island Fusion as part of their Poʻokela Vocational Training Program.   The Food trailer will allow individuals to gain marketable skills and experience in food marketing, sales, business, and food preparation.

Bisac Food TruckBISAC has been providing aspects of vocational training for well over four years and has seen firsthand the positive aspects that training does to help individuals reclaim their lives and become positive citizens in the community. “We can already see the benefits this program has provided to our clients” says, BISAC’s CEO Dr. Hannah Preston-Pita. “Connecting the food trailer to our therapeutic garden provides an array of skills and opportunities for our clients to explore their inner strengths while enhancing their recovery.”

BISAC’s food trailer also brings to life the farm to table initiative. The Big Island Fusion’s culinary and vocational trainer, Willie Leong is currently in recovery and brings both the experience and passion for culinary arts.   “With my years of experience I will bring passion, creativity, and love for the food in every plate that is created” says Willie. “I know how it is being in recovery. The struggle is real. This trailer will allow me to give these individuals the chance for success so that they are ready to return to the real world and work on their recovery.”

Since 1964, BISAC has been inspiring individuals and families to reclaim and enrich their lives in the wake of the ravages of substance abuse. They offer a continuum of services that are culturally appropriate and aligned with the ever-changing behavioral health field.

Investigative Reporter Jim Dooley Slated for Hilo Talk

The Big Island Press Club is delighted to have Jim Dooley, author of Sunny Skies, Shady Characters: Cops, Killers and Corruption in the Aloha State, as our featured lunch speaker April 22. He’ll be signing books available for sale, and we’ll have a couple as door prizes as well.

Sunny Skies

Dooley is a take-no-prisoners kind of journalist. A longtime investigative reporter whose work led to the indictment of former Honolulu Mayor Frank Fasi on bribery charges, Dooley has focused his career on digging deep into Hawaii organized crime and yakuza, government contracting fraud, Teamsters Union movie driver violence, Bishop Estate/Kamehameha Schools, police corruption and secret land ownership huis in Hawaii whose members included political, judicial and criminal syndicate figures.

There are major Big Island connections to his latest saga, so you won’t want to miss it!

Event is scheduled for Friday, April 22, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at restaurant Kenichi, 684 Kilauea Ave. in Hilo, across from the Circuit Courthouse. Tickets are $20 for BIPC members, $25 for nonmembers. Buffet lunch includes chicken katsu, furikake panko salmon, yakisoba, salad, vegetable, beverage.

Register and pay online at http://jimdooley.eventbrite.com

Pay with a credit card or PayPal (small surcharge applies) or send a check to reach BIPC by Wednesday, April 20, to Big Island Press Club, P.O. Box 1920, Hilo, HI 96721.

Island Schools Launch Recycling Drive and Environmental Awareness Campaign – Phone Book Recycling Drive

The Berry Company, LLC, proud publisher of the Hawaiian Telcom Directory, is partnering with schools on the islands of Hawaii, Kauai, Lanai, Maui and Molokai to launch the #SmallBizBigOutcome recycling drive and environmental awareness campaign. The campaign runs through May 15, and is in conjunction with the 2016 Hawaiian Telcom Directory delivery on the neighbor islands.

Phone books can still be seen scattered through out Hilo.

Phone books can still be seen scattered through out Hilo.

Local schools on each island will compete to collect the most outdated telephone directories, which will keep the directories out of landfills through recycling. For the first time, all participating schools will receive a cash prize for their involvement in the program, and one school will win a grand prize. The grand prize winner will be selected based on book collection totals and efforts to engage and educate students about recycling and protecting the local environment.

“Berry’s recycling drive helps to protect the local environment, but also raises funds for neighbor island schools, and we’re grateful for the support from our local community partners that help bring this campaign to life,” said John Lambert, branch manager of The Berry Company in Hawaii. “We love seeing how students of all ages get involved and learn first-hand the difference recycling can make.”

Hawaiian Telcom Directories are 100-percent recyclable. After the close of the contest, the telephone directories are shipped off-island for recycling. On Hawaii, Kauai, Lanai and Maui the materials are converted into an array of new products, including building insulation, writing and copier papers, newsprint and paper towels. The directories from Molokai are processed at a waste-to-energy facility where they are used to generate a valuable source of renewable energy for Oahu. Recycling and environmental sustainability are important initiatives year round, so residences and businesses throughout Hawaii should check with their local recycling department for more information on recycling programs offered in their area.

Berry is also partnering with local food banks, including Hawaii Foodbank, Hawaii Foodbank – Kauai Branch, The Food Basket and the Maui Foodbank, to host a community food drive. By using the recyclable directory delivery bags, Berry encourages the community to fill the bags with nonperishable food items and donate them to local food banks.

For more information about reusing, repurposing and recycling, visit Berry’s online hub dedicated to spotlighting business and residents working to create positive change, SmallBizBigOutcome.com. There you can also find more information about the recycling drive, drop-off locations and hours, as well as a list of the participating schools and food banks.

Ku‘ikahi’s Brown Bag Lunch Series – “Finding Solutions, Growing Peace”

The non-profit Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center hosts a free talk on April 21 as part of their “Finding Solutions, Growing Peace” Brown Bag Lunch Series.  Talks are Third Thursdays from 12 noon to 1 pm in the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney at 655 Kilauea Avenue in Hilo.

Tracie White

Tracie White

This month’s speaker is Tracie White on the topic “Personal Accountability: Managing Your Energies, Priorities, and Reputation.”

“Managing your energies, priorities, and reputation is the path to fulfilling your life goals,” says White.  “This is your life.  There is no one more important to be personally accountable to than you.  Your complete commitment for yourself is best built on a clear vision of things that truly matter and you have the greatest passion for.” 

Tracie White was born in San Leandro, California and lived in Latin America and Europe before calling Hawaiʻi Island home 6 years ago.  She currently serves as HPM Building Supply’s Talent Development Manager.  White’s quick success at HPM reflects her positive and energetic approach to life and her wide skill set in customer service, staff development and training, and networking.

Ku‘ikahi’s Brown Bag Lunch Series is free and open to the public.  Attendees are encouraged to bring their own lunch, enjoy an informal and educational talk-story session, and meet others interested in “Finding Solutions, Growing Peace.”

This lunch-and-learn series is made possible thanks in part to funding from the Atherton Family Foundation.  For more information, contact Ku‘ikahi Program Coordinator Gail Takaki at 935-7844 x 9 or gail@hawaiimediation.org.  Or visit www.hawaiimediaiton.org.

“Day of Mindfulness” at Kohala Hongwanji

Mindfulness, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, is “the practice of maintaining a nonjudgmental state of heightened or complete awareness of one’s thoughts, emotions, or experiences on a moment-to-moment basis.” In Buddhist practice, mindfulness is also a type of meditation, focused on the breath. It can be done in the familiar posture—seated, cross-legged, eyes closed—or while walking, working or eating.

A special opportunity to learn more about mindfulness will be presented on Saturday, April 23 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Kohala Hongwanji Buddhist Temple in Kapaau. The Day of Mindfulness will be led by monastics from Plum Village, a secluded Buddhist monastery in France. Established by global spiritual leader and peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh, Plum Village is home to the monastic Order of Interbeing.

Phap Nguyen

Phap Nguyen

Two members of the Order, Phap Nguyen and Phap Khoi, visiting Hawaii Island on family leave, will offer the local community a chance to experience mindfulness, including guided sitting and walking meditations, mindful (silent) eating, Dharma discussion, and a time for questions and answers.

Phap Khoi

Phap Khoi

“Phap Nguyen is Thich Nhat Hanh’s personal assistant,” said Michael Donenfeld, a member of the Order who lives in Hilo. “He will be able to answer a lot of questions about his health, his calligraphy, his 100+ books. And Phap Khoi is acting Abbott of Blue Cliff Monastery in New York.”

Donenfeld and other organizers emphasize that the opportunity to learn with the monastics is open to everyone, regardless of faith or meditation experience. “With this type of meditation you can learn to quiet the mind, to find inner peace and harmony, and live a happier life,” said Donenfeld. “A lot of transformation can occur, as far as releasing stress, living in the moment… When you are not worried about the future, or ruminating about the past.”

Participants are asked to bring their own lunch, and invited to join the monastics in their vegan diet for that meal, i.e. no meat or dairy products. Water will be provided. There is no charge to attend, and donations are requested. The Day of Mindfulness is a collaborative project of Kohala Hongwanji and the Peace Committee of Honokaa Hongwanji Buddhist Temple.

RSVP to misterokumura@yahoo.com , or call / text  808-640-4602.

12th Annual Hilo Huli

The Rotary Club of South Hilo will be celebrating its 12th Annual Hilo Huli on May 1, 2016 on Coconut Island from 11:30 am to 2:30 pm. The Hilo Huli is the Rotary Club of South Hilo’s main fundraising event, with over 1000 people in attendance every year.

hilo huli

“The club brings together the cuisine of local chefs, award winning music, as well as a variety of wine, beer and mix drink offerings to create an all you can eat event that helps raise much needed funds to support our local community. It’s a fantastic way to have a really great time while helping uplift the life of our community,” said Rotary Club of South Hilo President, Kim Arakawa.

To date the Rotary Club of South Hilo’s Hilo Huli has raised over $200,000 used to serve needs in our local community, as well as international projects.

The money raised from this year’s event will help the Rotary Club of South Hilo support a variety of community projects throughout East Hawai‘i including the Obstetrics & Pediatric Unit Renovations (Hilo Medical Center), Hospice of Hilo’s Children’s Bereavement Program and Hilo Bayfront Trails.

“We’re so grateful for all the work the Rotary Club of South Hilo does to make sure our community is a great place to live, and we are so honored to be chosen as one of the beneficiaries of the Hilo Huli,” said Hospice of Hilo CEO, Brenda S. Ho.

Tickets for the event are $50.00 in advance and $65.00 at the door. Advance tickets can be purchased online or from Aiona Car Sales, The Most Irresistible Shop in Hilo, Short & Sweet, and any Rotary Club of South Hilo member, www.hilohuli.org or call 808-930-3609.

Shipman, Kurtistown Park Will be Closed April 14 for Fumigation Treatment

The Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation will close both the Herbert Shipman Park pavilion in Kea‘au and the Kurtistown Park pavilion on Thursday, April 14, to perform fumigation treatments.

Shipman Park

Other park areas, including ball fields, outdoor athletic courts and parking areas, will remain open. Both pavilions will be available for public use starting at 6 a.m. Friday, April 15.

The Department of Parks and Recreation apologizes for any inconvenience the temporary closures may cause and thanks park patrons for their understanding while works to maintain the recreational sites.

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

Hawaii DLNR to Hold Public Information Meeting on Draft Environmental Assessment for Keauhou Bay Offshore Moorings

The Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation (DOBOR) will hold a public informational meeting on Friday April 15 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Kealakehe High School cafeteria, to discuss the Draft Environmental Assessment for the proposed Keauhou Bay Offshore Moorings project.

Keauhou Project

The proposed project involves the replacement of the existing nine (9) unpermitted offshore moorings in the bay with 16 new permitted offshore moorings as well as two proposed alternatives.  The purpose of the meeting will be to present the proposed Alternatives introduced in the Draft Environmental Assessment and allow the public to provide input and feedback on the proposed alternatives. The document can be found online at http://oeqc.doh.hawaii.gov/Shared%20Documents/Environmental_Notice/current_issue.pdf

Kealakehe High School Cafeteria is located at 74-5000 Puohulihuli Street, in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.