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Hilo Fourth of July Parking Restrictions

The County of Hawai‘i Department of Parks and Recreation announces that motorists may not park on Downtown Hilo playing fields between 4 p.m. and 11 p.m. Monday, July 4.

fireworksThe temporary parking ban is being implemented to provide for the safety of people attending the Fourth of July Hilo Bay Blast celebration.

The temporary parking ban will apply to all County of Hawai‘i athletic fields located along Kamehameha Avenue in the downtown Hilo area. Signs and barricades will designate the areas where parking is prohibited.

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

Higashi-Hiroshima Chamber Joins JCCIH Installation Ceremonies

Officials of the Higashi-Hiroshima Chamber of Commerce & Industry flew to Hilo to participate in the installation of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Hawaii (JCCIH) officers for 2016-17.

Darren Nishioka, left, passes the gavel to Russell Arikawa, new president of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Hawaii

Darren Nishioka, left, passes the gavel to Russell Arikawa, new president of the Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Hawaii

During the 66th annual ceremony on June 8, Russell Arikawa of Ginoza Realty, Inc. was installed as president of JCCIH. The two Chambers continue to explore beneficial opportunities between the business communities of Higashi-Hiroshima and East Hawaii.

Arikawa, a realtor, has served the Chamber as government affairs chief and as a chair of the popular Taste of Hilo. He is a director of the Kanoelehua Industrial Area Association, and a commissioner with the Department of Water. Born in Hilo, he graduated from University of Hawaii-Hilo.

During his remarks, Arikawa said East Hawaii faces many challenges, old and new. “It is an era distinguished by community service,” he said, but it is also a time “which challenges every elected official and public servant. We must be more accountable and more accessible to the people.”

Arikiawa received the gavel from immediate past president, Darren Nishioka of CU Hawaii Federal Credit Union.
Other officers of JCCIH include: first VP, Audrey Takamine of Takamine Construction; second VP, Stephen Ueda of Suisan; third VP, Donn Mende of County of Hawaii; treasurer, Joseph Skruch; auditor, Ivan Nakano of I. Kitagawa & Company, Ltd.; and Japanese secretary, Naomi Menor of Naomi’s World Travel Service. The officers and 34 directors were installed by Attorney Peter Kubota.

Sandra Dawson of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) gave the installation keynote address, reporting on the status of the project and its challenges. JCCIH has been a staunch supporter of TMT and has worked closely with the astronomy community to promote culturally appropriate scientific research.

Members of JCCIH and Higashi-Hiroshima Chamber of Commerce & Industry meet at Hilo International Airport

Members of JCCIH and Higashi-Hiroshima Chamber of Commerce & Industry meet at Hilo International Airport

JCCIH fosters economic sustainability and perpetuates the Japanese cultural heritage and traditions in Hawaii. The two value pillars that the JCCIH is built on are the Hawaiian Kahiau (giving without expecting anything in return) and the Japanese Okage Sama De (I am what I am because of you.)

The Chamber sponsors the popular annual Taste of Hilo. It also hosts business and cultural events and information sessions throughout the year and works with other business organizations as a watchdog over state and county legislation.

For information about JCCIH programs and membership, visit the website at www.jccih.org

Hilo Medical Center Announces First “CNA of the Year” Recipient

Hilo Medical Center celebrated National Nursing Assistant Week, June 9th – 16th, by hosting HMC’s First Annual CNAs of the Year Recognition.

Lex CNA of the Year

Lexus Enriquez-Isabel receives the “CNA of the Year” award at the Hilo Medical Center.

Here’s Lexus Enriquez-Isabel, CNA from the Emergency Department, and just some of the qualities that made her a member of this year’s Top CNA Class.

Lexus is dedicated to improvement of patient and staff care and safety in the Emergency Department. She has dedicated her personal time to our ED Shared Governance committee and has made a positive change in morale, empowerment, and accountability. She is always positive and willing to go out of her way to ensure the unit is running smoothly.

Enriquez-Isabel is acknowledged for taking on the role for lead of the equipment committee for our shared governance/patient safety council. She has revised our equipment map and also provided visual education pieces to ensure that staff in the ED are notified and aware of where specific patient care equipment is located.

This assists with patient safety and care as staff are not confused and frustrated when they are unable to locate important equipment that is needed to provide immediate care during a crisis/emergent situation. Always positive and wants to find solutions for problems and issues, rather than just complain about them. She has initiative and is proactive.

Her commitment to the ED makes the flow more efficient, she is a true team player.

East Hawaii Natural Hazard Preparedness Workshop

Representatives Mark Nakashima, Clift Tsuji and Richard Onishi are hosting a free Natural Hazard Preparedness Workshop on June 25 from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the University of Hawaii at Hilo. East Hawaii residents can learn more about how to prepare their families and homes for natural disasters.

natural hazards handbook

The workshop will cover the University of Hawaii Sea Grant College Program’s Homeowner’s Handbook to Prepare for Natural Hazards including tsunami and hurricanes. Other topics will include emergency supplies, evacuation planning, sheltering in place, insurance and home retrofits.

Hawaii Sea Grant’s Homeowner’s Handbook to Prepare for Natural Hazards is available for download at: http://seagrant.soest.hawaii.edu/homeowners-handbook-prepare-natural-hazards

Please RSVP to reserve your seat by calling Rep. Nakashima’s office at 974-4000 ext. 6-6680, or email l.hasegawa@capitol.hawaii.gov

  • WHAT:  Natural Hazard Preparedness Workshop
  • WHEN:  Saturday, June 25, 2016,  9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
  • WHERE:  University of Hawaii at Hilo; UCB 100

Barbless Circle Hooks Angling for Converts – 13th Annual Tokunaga Ulua Challenge

At Sunday’s 13th annual Tokunaga Ulua Challenge Fishing Tournament weigh-in, you’d hear a call for “Mr. Barbless Hook.” That would be Kurt Kawamoto, a fisheries biologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center.

fish tournamentKawamoto earned the moniker as the driving force behind the NOAA and DLNR Barbless Circle Hook Project. Each time a fish caught with a barbless circle hook weighed in, Kawamoto stepped forward to slap a special sticker on it, and hopefully to see a new record. Since initiating the program more than a decade ago, ulua and other fish caught by shoreline fishermen with barbless hooks have weighed in at one hundred pounds or more; winning more than just a few tournaments.

The Tokunaga tournament has grown from 136 entrants in 2003 to 637 this year. It’s estimated more than 50% of the contestants catch their fish using barbless circle hooks. In 2015, the winning ulua was caught with a barbless hook. This year, the winning omilu was caught by a woman fishing barbless.

Making a barbless hook is really simple. You use a pair of pliers to smash down the barb. Kawamoto explains, “Once you smash down the barbs on these hooks they become self-shedding, so that was the main idea behind it. It’s easy for a fish, or a seal or a turtle to get rid of the hook themselves.” Researchers have witnessed a monk seal actually shed a barbless circle hook and anglers have relayed stories about sea turtles also easily expelling barbless hooks.

Fish Tournament 2Although it’s easier for animals to rid themselves of the hooks, research, angler reports, and actual catches with barbless circle hooks have proved their efficacy when it comes to catching target fish. During a shoreline research project, fishers used two poles; one with a barbed hook, the other with a barbless one. Kawamoto said, “We caught over 300 shoreline fish, of many different kinds. We looked at the catches, losses and misses and statistically we couldn’t tell the difference. Essentially you could catch just as many fish with a barbless circle hook.”

Michael Tokunaga, the organizer of the tournament, sponsored by his store, S. Tokunaga, regularly hosts DLNR outreach representatives from the Barbless Circle Hook Project. He would like to see acceptance of the barbless hooks for his tournament to grow to 75% or better. He said, “This is for conservation and releasing unwanted catches. It’s just a way of fishing smart. When you catch a fish, the hook is normally in the side of the mouth. The barb has nothing to do with it in my opinion.”

Fish Tournament 3After observing the Ulua Challenge last year, and entering this year, Carlo Russo of Pahoa fishes from the shoreline, using barbless circle hooks exclusively. He feels there’s absolutely no downside to using them. A few hours before the tournament weigh-in, fishing with a friend on the edge of Hilo Bay, he commented, “My experience with them has been 100% positive. I caught three papio’s, nice size papio’s on them, and didn’t lose any fish. Popped them right out; all perfectly caught in the corner of their mouths.” He also likes the fact that the barbless hooks keep bait fish alive longer, because they make a smaller hole, saying, “That’s a really big plus.”

The outreach team from the Barbless Circle Hook Project regularly attends fishing tournaments around the state to provide information, encouragement, and free barbless circle hooks. Kawamoto concluded, “Since starting the project I only use barbless hooks in my personal shoreline fishing and I’ve caught all the same species. I couldn’t in good conscience ask fisherman to try something that I don’t use or believe in myself. I have guys on every island who are only using barbless hooks and they’ve seen it doesn’t make a difference…and allows the big one that got away…to reproduce, to grow and possibly to be caught another day. This helps enhance the reputation of fishermen and women as practicing conservationists.”

Candlelight Vigil Held in Hilo for Victims of Orlando Mass Shooting

Members of East Hawaii’s LGBT community and allies gathered in downtown Hilo tonight for a candlelight vigil at Mo’oheau Bandstand & Park 6pm to honor the victims of Orlando’s shooting at Pulse gay bar. 50 people were killed and 53 wounded in the attack. Though the motives for the attack are unknown, violence against LGBT people is not a rare occurrence.

Hilo for Orlando

Travis Rogers, the organizer of the Hilo vigil, said he “heard the news and just had to do something”. Travis shared a personal story of  homophobic violence so others may feel safe to do the same. Though Hawaii’s LGBT residents come from diverse backgrounds and experiences, most have these kind of stories.

Above all, Travis shared his hope for people standing up against hatred and making communities safe for all. “I feel for those who’ve lost their lives” Travis said. “This homophobic violence must end”

Individuals or organizations who want to help make Big Island a safe and friendly place for LGBT residents can support Hawaii Island Pride. The annual Pride parade is being planned for July 9th from 12-4 in downtown Hilo and volunteers are needed to join planning meetings every Tuesday at 6pm at the Church of the Holy Apostles at 1407 Kapiolani St.

Florida Man Charged in Making Bomb Threat at Hilo Bank

Editors Note – Official government public records show that Russell Rishi Monlux (born on 10/28/1986) was booked into jail on Friday, February 14, 2014 in Gadsden County, Florida.

A 29-year-old Hilo man has been charged with two offenses in connection with a bomb threat at a bank in Hilo.

Russell Monlux

Florida Mugshot

At 3:45 p.m. Russell Monlux was charged with two counts of second-degree terroristic threatening. His bail was set at $4,000. He remains at the Hilo police cellblock pending his initial court appearance scheduled for Monday (June 13).

Russell Monlux Hilo Mug

Hilo Mugshot

In response to a 12:04 p.m. call, South Hilo Patrol officers learned that a male customer had passed a handwritten bomb threat to a teller at a bank in a supermarket on the 300 block of Makaʻala Street in Hilo shortly before noon. The store was evacuated as a precaution.

At 1:20 p.m., police arrested Monlux.

He was charged with two counts of terroristic threatening because both the bank and the store were exposed to the threat.

Ku’ikahi Mediation Center Brown Bag Lunch Series – “Finding Solutions, Growing Peace”

The non-profit Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center hosts a free talk on June 16 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.

Dr. Gregory Chun

Dr. Gregory Chun

This month’s speaker is Dr. Gregory Chun on the topic “T-Shirts, Banners, and Badges: Reflections on Community Advocacy and Intractability in Hawai‘i.”

“Why do we get stuck in so many of our community conversations?” asks Dr. Chun.  “Why is there a growing trend towards people taking nonnegotiable positions in sometimes controversial issues?”

He says, “I want to help those working in advocacy, development, conflict resolution, and community, and government with historical, cultural, and social factors that I feel contribute to this intractability and introduce strategies for them to consider.”

Gregory Chun, Ph.D. has lived and worked on Hawai‘i Island since 1999, serving in positions with Parker Ranch, Kamehameha Investment Corporation, and Kamehameha Schools. Currently with the University of Hawaii at Manoa, he is developing a program of interdisciplinary studies that includes resource management, community development, and well-being, with a particular focus on serving Native Hawaiians and underserved communities.

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.

Hilo Man Arrested in Connection With Bomb Threat at Bank

A man was arrested Thursday (June 9) in connection with a bomb threat at a bank in Hilo.

HPDBadge

In response to a 12:04 p.m. call, South Hilo Patrol officers learned that a male customer had passed a handwritten bomb threat to a teller at a bank in a supermarket on the 300 block of Makaʻala Street in Hilo shortly before noon. The store was evacuated as a precaution.

At 1:20 p.m., police arrested the customer, identified as 29-year-old Russell Monlux of Hilo. He was taken to the Hilo police cellblock while police continue the investigation. The case is classified as a terroristic threatening.

Pit Bull and Suspect Killed in Big Island Police Shooting

Hawaiʻi Island police are investigating an officer-involved shooting Monday afternoon (June 6) at a home off West Kawailani Street in Hilo.
kawailani
At about 4:20 p.m., police received a report of a disturbance. Upon arrival, an officer encounter a man wielding a knife, along with a pit bull that had earlier chased paramedics into their vehicle. Several shots were fired by the officer, resulting in the death of the man and the pit bull.

The man’s name is being withheld pending positive identification.

As is standard practice in any officer-involved shooting, the Police Department’s Area I Criminal Investigations Section will conduct a criminal investigation into the shooting, and the Office of Professional Standards will conduct an administrative investigation.

Police ask anyone with any information about this incident to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 or contact Detective Robert Almeida at 961-2386 or Robert.almeida@hawaiicounty.gov.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the island wide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Hilo Bay Annual Race – “A Salute to Our Veterans”

A Salute to Our Veterans Hilo Bay 5K 6th annual race at 7:00 am kicks off the 4th of July festivities in Hilo at beautiful Liliʻuokalani Park and Gardens.

Salute

This event supports the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3830 in Pahoa which reaches out to many of Hawaii Island’s needy Veterans and their families.

The goal is to increase the size of our facility and our programs to better serve them, their families and the many other Veterans in our Big Island ohana.  All Veterans, and especially those named by participants, will be honored.

Come and participate to honor your special Veteran on this day as we celebrate our country’s independence and the Veterans who fought for it.

Registration forms and information are available at various businesses around the island or at http://www.asalutetoourveterans.org

 

Hilo to Tanzania – Open Community Forum

The Rotary Club of South Hilo, in partnership with Short n Sweet Bakery and Café, and The Church of the Holy Apostles, is inviting the community to a free Open Community Forum presenting the experiences of four Peace Corps Volunteers and their time in Tanzania.  The forum will be on Wednesday June 8 at 5:00 pm at the Church of the Holy Apostles located at 1407 Kapiʻolani St., Hilo.

Returning Peace Corp Volunteers to speak at the Church of the Holy Apostles—1407 Kapiʻolani Street, Hilo

Returning Peace Corp Volunteers to speak at the Church of the Holy Apostles—1407 Kapiʻolani Street, Hilo

The featured speaker is Kanoelehua Ho along with three of her Peace Corp colleagues; Rochelle Latka, Sarah Munteanu, and Ginny Worley.  Their talk will focus on their experiences of being a Peace Corps Volunteer, and about Ho’s projects in Tanzania.

Ho a Kamehameha Schools Keaʻau alumna graduated from Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington in 2013.  In February 2014, she headed to Tanzania to start her assignment for the Peace Corps.  During her 27 month stay in Tanzania Ho has led numerous projects in her village including several funded with the help of a $3000 grant from the Rotary Club of South Hilo.  With the grant, Ho led a project that completed the village’s visiting physician house and completed a system bringing running water to its health clinic.

The project also brought 20 beehives to the village, to teach beekeeping and provide honey.  Besides providing income to buy HIV medication, the bees also will help pollinate a plant that can help treat HIV.  The grant also purchased two acres, where Ho and the villagers planted 300 avocado trees.  The avocado crop serves as another source of income.

“It’s truly amazing all of the lives Kanoe has been able to impact in her work with the Peace Corps.  The community is so incredibly proud of all she has done.  We are really looking forward to seeing and hearing about all she and her colleagues experienced in Tanzania,” said Rotary Club of South Hilo President Kim Arakawa.

The award winning Short n Sweet Bakery and Café will be providing light refreshments for the event.  For more information please contact (808) 741-1475.

Use of Video Decision Aids Increases Advance Care Planning in Hilo

Pilot study part of statewide program to improve end-of-life care

A program encouraging physicians and other providers to discuss with patients their preferences regarding end-of-life care significantly increased the documented incidence of such conversations and the number of patients with late-stage disease who were discharged to hospice.

Filling in an advance health care directive

In a Journal of General Internal Medicine paper that has been released online, a team led by Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) investigators describes the pilot program, which is part of a larger initiative to transform medical care for serious illness in the state of Hawaii. The program included video decision aids in 10 languages and was carried out in the city of Hilo, Hawaii.

“By collaborating with the people of Hawaii and recognizing the diversity of the community, we were able to honor and respect patients’ individual choices when it came to medical care,” says Angelo Volandes, MD, MPH, of the MGH Department of Medicine, lead author of the report. “Doctors are often uncomfortable having end-of-life conversations and have rarely been trained in advance care planning. The videos can be a valuable supplement to, not a replacement for, the doctor-patient relationship.”

Advance care planning – conversations with patients regarding the type of care they would like to receive, or not receive, if they become seriously or terminally ill and cannot speak for themselves – has been the subject of considerable attention in recent years. Earlier this year Medicare began reimbursing clinicians for advance care planning discussions with patients, and the process was mentioned in, but not funded by, the Affordable Care Act. But there have been few studies examining the impact of advance care planning efforts on medical documentation of such conversations, on the care actually delivered or on costs.

A broad coalition of stakeholders, led by Hawaii Medical Service Association (HMSA), an independent Blue Cross/Blue Shield licensee, has been working since 2012 to improve advance care planning rates statewide through innovative collaborations, including implementation of educational videos. Hilo Medical Center, a 276-bed hospital, was the first in the state to make advance care planning the standard of care for patients, and the JGIM paper reports on the first 21 months of the program’s implementation in the city of more than 43,000.

Beginning in early 2013, Hilo Medical Center clinicians, Hospice of Hilo staff and 30 primary care physicians in the city were offered a one- to four-hour training program and access to advance care planning video decision aids in English, Japanese, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Samoan, Korean, Ilocano, Tagalog, Spanish and Marshallese. Less than 10 minutes long, the videos are designed to be accessible to general audiences and include broad questions that patients should consider regarding their individual preferences and how they could affect future medical interventions. How or whether providers used the videos in subsequent advance care planning discussions was neither required nor tracked.

The primary study outcome for Hilo Medical Center was any change in the rate at which advance care planning conversations were documented in medical records of patients with late-stage disease. For outpatient care, any difference between the rates of advance care planning in Hilo and in a control group of similar Hawaii communities was analyzed. The researchers also compared the number of hospice admissions for late-stage patients before and after the program was implemented – compared with the control communities – as well as the rate of in-hospital deaths. Any impact on health costs was determined by analyzing HMSA claims data.

Prior to implementation of the training program, the rate of advance care planning documentation for late-stage patients at Hilo Medical Center was 3.2 percent, but during the 21 months after training was offered, the rate increased to almost 40 percent. Among almost 4,000 HMSA patients over age 75 in Hilo who saw a primary care physician during 2014, the year following primary care physician training, 37 percent received advance care planning, compared with 25.6 percent in the control communities.

The percentage of late-stage Hilo Medical Center patients who were discharged to hospice, which was 5.7 percent before the training, rose to 13.8 percent. Overall Hospice of Hilo admissions increased 28 percent in 2013 and 51 percent in 2014, compared with 2012. While average HMSA reimbursements for care during the last month of life increased from 2012 to 2013 in both Hilo and the control area, the increase for Hilo was only 5.5 percent, compared with more than 22 percent in the control area, reflecting an average per-patient savings of $3,458 for the last month of life.

Although this study was conducted in a relatively small region, the authors note that the diversity of the Hawaiian population may offset that limitation. The program has now expanded to all hospitals in Hawaii, 10 hospices, military facilities and many other providers; and Volandes expresses the hope that this study’s results will renew calls for continuing innovation in advance care planning, including certification and reimbursement for patient decision aids.

“Advance care planning videos and other decision aids offer cost-efficient and broadly applicable methods of placing patients at the center of their care,” he says. “They also allow doctors and other health providers to have critical conversations with patients that were rarely encouraged during their training. Making these decision aids widely available could be a real health care game-changer.”

Hilo Community Chorus to Perform Two Requiems

The Hilo Community Chorus will present Luigi Cherubini’s “Requiem in C minor” and Dan Forrest’s “Requiem for the Living” in concert on Saturday, May 28, at 3:00 pm at First United Protestant Church.

Requiem

The Cherubini, which will be accompanied by Walter Greenwood, premiered January 21, 1816 at a commemoration service for Louis XVI of France on the twenty-third anniversary of his beheading during the French Revolution. It was admired by Beethoven and performed at his funeral. Schumann praised it as being “without equal in the world.”

The five movements of Dan Forrest’s Requiem for the Living, (2013) form a narrative just as much for the living, and their own struggle with pain and sorrow, as for the dead. It will be accompanied by an instrumental ensemble and will be conducted by Dr. Daniel Mahraun, who first conducted HCC last spring at the Palace Theater. Rachel Edwards, last year’s recipient of the Hawaii Concert Society’s scholarship, will be the guest soprano soloist.

Moriah Mathson, student at UH-Hilo, will be the recipient of the third annual Hilo Community Chorus Tom McAlexander Choral Music Scholarship award for 2016. According to her instructor, Amy Horst, “ Moriah is a Senior Psychology major with a 3.96 GPA. She has been an extremely dedicated alto singer in the University Chorus this past semester, and I look forward to her continuing with University Chorus in the Fall, and then joining the Kapili Choir in the Spring, next school year.”

Admission is $10 and tickets may be purchased from chorus members or at the door. For more information, call HCC choral director Tom McAlexander (985-7192) or email tommac@hawaii.rr.com.

Hilo Orchid Show Gala Preview Party Information

On June 2, the Hilo Orchid Show kicks off with a gala Preview Party from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the Edith Kanaka‘ole Stadium.  Ticket proceeds benefit the non-profit Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center.

 The Edith Kanaka‘ole Stadium is the site for the Hilo Orchid Society’s 64th Annual Orchid Show and Sale. The gala Preview Party on Thursday evening, June 2, gives ticket holders a sneak preview of the lush displays and the first chance to buy orchids, plants, and related products. Photo by Andy Kahili

The Edith Kanaka‘ole Stadium is the site for the Hilo Orchid Society’s 64th Annual Orchid Show and Sale. The gala Preview Party on Thursday evening, June 2, gives ticket holders a sneak preview of the lush displays and the first chance to buy orchids, plants, and related products. (Photo by Andy Kahili)

“The evening gala is a truly a ‘fun’-raiser.  People eat, drink, socialize, and have the first chance to shop for colorful, exquisite, and rare orchid plants,” said party chair and Ku‘ikahi board member Cody Frenz.

The benefit party features a selection of beverages, catered food, live music, and orchid pre-sales.  The event is zero waste, with eco-friendly eating utensils, plus recycling/composting stations.

Each party-goer receives an etched wine or beer glass, in order to enjoy the libations and take home after the event.  A wide variety of fine wines, beer on tap from Kona Brewing Co., gourmet juices, and coffee from Hilo Coffee Mill are served.

Pupu, dinner, and dessert buffets feature tasty treats by Island Naturals Market & Deli and AJ & Sons Catering.  AJ’s chefs are Dean Shigeoka and Audrey Wilson, the food columnist for the Hawaii Tribune-Herald.

On the menu are mantou buns with three filling options: tofu, pork, and teriyaki chicken; free range chicken tandoori with turmeric rice and raita; free range turkey meatballs with sweet and sour sauce; Thai beef salad with glass noodles; various types of sushi including vegetarian, house made poi chips with sun dried tomato hummus; purple sweet potato and Ka‘u orange salad; and hearts of palm with lilikoi dressing.

“We’re happy to be back at the stadium where the Merrie Monarch is held,” Frenz noted.  “With cool breezes, exquisite views, and shorter lines for food service, we’re all set for a fabulous gala on June 2.  We hope the community will come out to enjoy a fun party and support our cause of ‘Finding Solutions, Growing Peace.’”

Tickets for the Preview Party are $65 ($25 of which is tax deductible) and may be purchased in advance from Hilo Coffee Mill, The Most Irresistible Shop, Day-Lum Properties, and Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center.  For reservations, contact Jenifer at (808) 935-7844 x 1 or jenifer@hawaiimediation.org.  Tickets are also available at the door.

Jimmy Yagi Summer Hoops Camp Returns to Hilo

The Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation invites keiki basketball players to the 4th Annual Jimmy Yagi Summer Hoops Camp that returns to Hilo July 26-29.

YagiOpen to boys and girls 9 to 17 years old, the Jimmy Yagi Summer Hoops Camp will be held at the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium and the Pana‘ewa Covered Play Courts, which feature new flooring.

David Kaneshiro, University of Hawai‘i at Hilo head women’s basketball coach, and GE Coleman, UH-Hilo head men’s coach, will serve as lead clinicians. Each will share basketball expertise and offer personalized instruction during the four-day camp. Assisting the Vulcan coaches will be Daphne Honma, Honoka‘a High School girls basketball coach, previous Division II coach of the year, and former UH-Hilo head women’s basketball coach. Additional college and high school coaches have been invited to be camp clinicians.

A team of coaches will instruct and supervise campers as they practice agility, ball-handling and other drills during morning skill sessions. Following a lunch break, players will showcase what they’ve learned by competing in games expected to last until about 3:30 p.m. each day. Special awards will be presented to outstanding participants at the close of Friday’s session.

The registration fee is $60 per child. The fee will increase to $70 for players registering after Tuesday, July 12. All participants will receive a camp shirt and group photo. Please make checks payable to the County Director of Finance and include the note “Jimmy Yagi Summer Hoops Camp.”

Registration forms are available at the Department’s Recreation office located within Aunty Sally Kaleohano’s Lū‘au Hale at 799 Pi‘ilani Street in Hilo, county gyms islandwide, and online at http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/parks-and-recreation/.

The Jimmy Yagi Summer Hoops Camp is named in honor of the legendary former UH-Hilo men’s basketball coach who helped guide the Vulcans-Hawai‘i Basketball School for 37 years.

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

Hawaii Senate District 1 Awarded Over $89 Million in Capital Improvement Project Funds

With the adoption of the supplemental budget for Fiscal Year 2017, Senator Kaiali‘i Kahele (Dist. 1 – Hilo) is proud to announce more than $89 million in Capital Improvement Project (CIP) funding has been appropriated for various projects for District 1. These projects address aging infrastructure, improve existing schools and facilities, and establish additional safety measures.

Kai Kahele Profile

“The projects funded by the budget will help move East Hawai‘i forward by creating jobs, enhancing our public infrastructure and facilities, and investing in education,” said Sen. Kahele. “By working collaboratively with my colleagues, Senator Lorraine R. Inouye, Representatives Mark M. Nakashima, Clift Tsuji and Richard H.K. Onishi, we will continue to secure funds to drive our economy and improve our quality of life.”

In realizing that the real future lies in the hands of our children and grandchildren, legislators reflected a Senate Majority priority goal of providing for our families and allocated funds for a covered play court at Chiefess Kapi‘olani and Ha‘aheo Elementary Schools, providing kitchen equipment for the Keaukaha Elementary School cafeteria and electrical upgrades for Waiākea Intermediate School.  In passing SB3126 SD2 HD2 CD1, $100 million was allocated to the Department of Education to assist in moving forward their program to install air conditioning and other heat abatement measures in our public schools and providing students with a better learning environment.

Lawmakers also recognized other imperative concerns of District 1 and allocated significant resources for the airports, harbors and health services.

“Throughout my life, my father taught me the importance of community service and I’m honored to carry on his legislative initiatives,” said Sen. Kai Kahele.

Notable CIP funding highlights for District 1 include:

  • $31.8 million for renovations on the Keaukaha Military Reservation
  • $2 million for covered playcourt for Ha‘aheo Elementary School
  • $1.5 million for design and construction for a covered playcourt at Kapi‘olani Elementary School
  • $252,000 for plans, design and construction for electrical systems upgrades for Waiākea Intermediate School
  • $6.75 million for improvements for the Hilo Counseling Center and Keawe Health Center
  • $300,000 for construction for a new adult day care facility at the Hawai‘i Island Community Development Corporation
  • $2 million for land acquisition to expand the Hilo Forest Reserve
  • $21 million for design and construction of a new support building, housing and support offices and security system for Hawai‘i Community Correctional Center
  • $3.5 million for improvements at Hilo International Airport
  • $7.95 million for demolition of pier shed and water tower and other improvements for Hilo Harbor
  • $2.2 million for plans for rehabilitation and/or replacement of Wailuku Bridge along Hawaii Belt Road (Route 19)
  • $600,000 for design and construction for cafeteria equipment installation; ground and site improvement; equipment and appurtenances at Keaukaha Elementary School

In addition to the executive budget CIP funding, appropriations for Grants-in-Aid (GIA) were also awarded to organizations for the benefit of the Hilo community:

  • $1 million for design and construction for an education facility for Hawaii Island Portuguese Chamber of Commerce
  • $1 million for plans, design and construction for a health facility for Panaewa Community Alliance
  • $500,000 for construction for a new Island Heritage Gallery Exhibit at Lyman House Memorial Museum
  • $217,000 for Rainbow Falls Botanical Garden and Visitor Center
  • $200,000 for program to assist with at risk and low income school students to prevent from dropping out of High School in Hilo
  • $150,000 for Kamoleao Laulima Community Resources Center

Temple Children Launches Mural Project to Activate Hilo

This week, globally renowned artists Lauren YS, Wooden Wave and David “MEGGS” Hooke are painting sustainability-themed murals as part of a concerted effort to invigorate and beautify Downtown Hilo.
Hilo Mural
Bay Area artist Lauren YS, who studied at Stanford University, is painting the Hilo Town Tavern. Lāʻie-based artist Matthew Ortiz of Wooden Wave is leading the mural at Short N Sweet Bakery in collaboration with Australian artist, MEGGS.

At the Hilo Town Tavern, Lauren pays homage to her sister Dani, who recently graduated from Barnard College at Columbia University with an astrobiology degree. Dani is depicted as a “cyber-hybrid space biologist traversing a sustainable future dreamscape in search of nutrient rich, local flora” because of Dani’s focus during her NASA internship to find plants that could possibly be used to sustain life on Mars.

The maritime scene at Short N Sweet was commissioned by Energy Excelerator, a mission-driven nonprofit dedicated to solving the world’s energy challenges. Inspired by Hawaiʻi’s mandated clean energy goals, Wooden Wave’s mural depicts a large sustainability boat equipped with various permaculture and energy producing systems. The ‘community on a boat’ is outfitted with a bakery, a nod to the building’s history and Hilo’s iconic mom-and-pop shops.

Hilo Mural 2The Hilo murals are led by Temple Children, an arts-based organization founded by Hilo-native Miya Tsukazaki and her partner MEGGS that coordinates projects to strengthen communities, promote social and environmental innovation, and incite positive global change. Ashley Kierkiewicz rounds out the team as Temple Children’s Regional Director.

To support the project, HPM Building Supply generously donated Pratt & Lambert paint and various supplies; Hilo Town Tavern and Short N Sweet provided additional onsite assistance.

The murals are expected to be complete this Saturday, May 7. A third and final mural led by MEGGS in collaboration with Oahu-based muralist and tattoo artist Lucky Olelo will commence at Lucy’s Taqueria/Laundry Express the week of May 15.

Individuals or organizations interested in contributing to the project or inquiring about a mural commission in the Hawaii region may contact Ashley Kierkiewicz at (808) 989-4004.

Jyselle Arruda Awarded Hawaii Rotary Youth Foundation Scholarship

Jyselle Arruda of Hilo High School has been awarded the 2016 Youth scholarship from the Hilo Bay Rotary Club.

Hilo Bay Rotarians congratulate Jyselle Arruda on her scholarship award. Left to right, Richard Cunningham, Kim Keahiolalo, Arruda and Bettye Williams, RCHB president.

Hilo Bay Rotarians congratulate Jyselle Arruda on her scholarship award. Left to right, Richard Cunningham, Kim Keahiolalo, Arruda and Bettye Williams, RCHB president.

Ms. Arruda will receive a cash award of $5,000 for her planned studies at the University of Hawaii-Hilo. A member of the National Society of High School Scholars and active in community service and school clubs, Ms. Arruda plans to study pre-med at UH-Hilo with a goal to become a pediatrician and set up a children’s health clinic on Hawaii Island. She lives in Honomu with her grandmother, and buses daily to Hilo High.

Hawaii Rotary Youth Foundation Scholarships (HRYF) are awarded to senior high school students across the state on a competitive basis of scholarship, campus leadership and service, and promise of future contributions to the community at large.

“Once again, Rotary Club of Hilo Bay had a number of outstanding scholar applicants. Jyselle impressed us not only with her academics, but with her drive to overcome obstacles on her path to meet her goals,” said Kim Keahiolalo, scholarship committee chair.

The Rotary Club of Hilo Bay is a staunch supporter of academic scholarships for future leaders, and is generally the Club with the largest contribution to the HRYF each year. This year alone, Hilo Bay contributed $6,100 to the scholarship fund. Richard Cunningham of Cunningham Galleries, spearheads scholarship donations in East Hawaii.

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.