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30th Annual Richardson Roughwater Swim – Sunday, July 30

The Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation announces the 30th Annual Richardson Roughwater Swim.The annual event will be held on Sunday, July 30th, 2017, with the race beginning at 8:00 am.  Registration forms will be accepted until 7:30 am on race day. We will have prizes for the winners.

You may register online at  https://flpregister.com/ or pick up a registration form at the Recreation Division office, 799 Pi‘ilani Street in Hilo and all County pools.

For more information, please contact the Aquatic Specialist at 961-8694.

5th Annual Big Island Summer Jam

The Big Island Substance Abuse Council (BISAC) will be celebrating their 5th annual Summer Jam event.  This event is scheduled for July 29, 2017 at Hilo’s Edith Kanaka`ole Multi-purpose Stadium.

The event begins at 8:00 a.m. and finishes at 3:00 p.m.  This year’s event will include a craft fair with over 40 vendors, health fair, keiki activities, Strong Man contest and an Arm Wrestling competition.   The event’s purpose is to provide a free fun-filled event for the whole family.   BISAC will be honoring Judge Greg Nakamura for his years of service in Hawaii County Drug Court.

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

For more information about BISAC and all of its programs call 969-9994 or visit www.bisac.org.

Lili`uokalani Gardens Teams With Na Makua Designs

Nelson Makua and Na Makua Designs created a centennial design for Lili`uokalani Gardens that brings the Queen to the gardens named for her.

Shirts designed by Nelson Makua

“For quite a while time, some of us have visualized what it might have been like for the Queen to visit the gardens in Hilo, a place she visited often through 1913,” said garden enthusiast K.T. Cannon-Eger. “We know she considered having a home built for her in Hilo and corresponded with John T. Baker about those plans. Illness prevented her travel to Hilo after 1913. Although she knew the garden acreage was set aside in early 1917, her death on November 11, 1917, precluded her ever seeing the gardens completed.

“The board of directors of Friends of Lili`uokalani Gardens is thrilled with Nelson Makua’s design which shortly will appear on tee shirts and tote bags among other centennial celebration uses.”

Makua has been an artist and designer on the Big Island for more than 40 years. Born and raised in Kailua, Oahu, he and his ‘ohana moved to the Big Island in 1975, where they reside in Puna, the original home of the Makua ‘ohana.

“My ancestors were part of the migration from Tahiti to Hawaii who settled in Kalapana in the district of Puna,” Makua said. “Living here gave me the opportunity to connect with ‘ohana, it was like coming home.”

He is best known for his design work, with clients in Hawai‘i, the mainland and Japan. He is a two time Na Hoku Hanohano award winner for graphic design and is the only artist to have created six years of Merrie Monarch Festival posters with his limited edition “Pele” series.

Makua’s first 2003 poster has now become a collectors’ item.  His 2008 Merrie Monarch poster received the prestigious Pele Award for best illustration by the Hawaii Advertising Federation.

Last year, Nelson was honored as a MAMo Awardee for 2016 in recognition for his artistic contribution as a Native Hawaiian artist.

In 1999 Nelson and his son Kainoa, created a line of casual Hawaiian wear under the brand of Nä Mäkua. “Na Makua gives us a visual voice to express our views and feelings as native Hawaiians, creating images that speak out to other Hawaiians and honor our rich heritage.” They retail their apparel and art on their website www.namakua.com.

As well as being an artist and designer, Nelson has been the director of the annual Merrie Monarch Invitational Hawaiian Arts Fair for the Merrie Monarch Festival for the past 14 years. He is also the director of the Moku O Keawe Marketplace at the Moku O Keawe International Hula Festival and along with his son Kainoa, they produce their annual Na Mäkua Invitational Christmas Gift fair in Hilo.

Though Nelson was classically trained in drawing, painting and photography, he has been a digital artist for more than 20 years. “The digital age has opened up a whole new world of creating for the artist, with countless possibilities. Guided by my kupuna before me, I consider myself a Hawaiian living in my own time, creating images that reflect my time and place.”

To find out more about the garden centennial or to purchase fund raising tee shirts or tote bags, please go to the Friends of Lili`uokalani Gardens page on Facebook or contact Friends of Lili`uokalani Gardens at P.O. Box 5147, Hilo HI 96749.

Banyan Gallery near the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel is one retail outlet for people who live in the Hilo area.

Sewer Spill in Vicinity of Wailuku River, Kaipalaoa Landing

Location of Discharge: Vicinity of Wailuku River and Kaipalaoa Landing, Hilo, Hawai‘i

Description:  Discharge of untreated wastewater at shoreline in the vicinity of Wailuku River and Kaipalaoa Landing in Hilo, Hawai‘i

Cause of Discharge:  The cause of the discharge was due to wastewater entering the Storm Drain system from a broken sewer lateral at the corner of Waiānuenue Avenue and Kino‘ole St.

Remedial Action Taken:  While the discharge into the Storm Drai n system was small and estimated to be in the order of one (1) gallon per hour; the shoreline area in the vicinity of the Storm Drain discharge has been posted with Warning Signs in accordance with State of Hawai‘i, Department of Health requirements and the sign-posted area is closed to recreational activity until further notice.

The Wastewater Division is testing shoreline waters in the vicinity of the discharge.  Testing will continue until authorization is obtained from the State of Hawai`i, Department of Health to remove Warning Signs posted in the area.  The County is currently in the process of coordinating repair of the broken sewer lateral.

Big Island Police Searching for Suspects Who Damaged Statue at Pacific Tsunami Museum

Hawaiʻi Island Police are asking the public for assistance in identifying suspect(s) in a criminal property damage case. A statue fronting the Pacific Tsunami Museum located at the corner of Kamehameha Ave and Kalākaua St was damaged between (June 24-26). The heads of a mermaid and a turtle were broken off the stone statue.

Police ask anyone with information regarding this case to call the Police Department’s non emergency line at (808) 935-3311 or Officer Gregg Silva of the South Hilo Community Police Unit at (808) 961-8121.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the island-wide Crime Stoppers number at (808) 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. Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Big Island Police Searching for Persons Involved in Flipping Over Sailboat

Hawaiʻi Island police are asking for the public’s help for any information relative to damages to a Hobie sailboat that was moored off of Reeds Bay in Hilo. Several persons were seen climbing aboard and flipping over the sailboat on (Sunday, June 11), sometime between 4:15 p.m. and 5:15 p.m.

Anyone who may have information about this incident is asked to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at (808) 935-3311 or contact Officer Amy Omaya of the South Hilo Patrol at (808) 961-2203.

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 $1,000.00. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stop pers does not record calls or subscribe to any Caller ID service. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Hawai‘i Community College to Host Car Show Featuring Automotive Celebrity Charley Hutton

Hawai‘i Community College (Hawai’i CC) will host a car show on Saturday, July 15 with featured guest Charley Hutton, one of the most talented and well-known automotive painters and fabricators in the world.

The Hawai‘i Community College Auto Body Repair & Painting Car Show will be at the Manono campus in Hilo from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. It is free and open to the public.

During the week prior to the car show, Hutton will teach special workshops for Hawai‘i CC students in the Auto Body Repair & Painting Program (ABRP) and local industry professionals.

A Hawai’i CC Auto Body Repair & Painting student works in the paint booth at the campus in Hilo.

“We are honored Charley will visit us,” said ABRP instructor and alumnus of the program Garrett Fujioka. “This is an exciting opportunity for our students to learn from one of the best in the business. We are also thrilled to be hosting this car show, which will hopefully become an annual Hawai‘i CC tradition that helps inspire the next generation of local auto body repair and painting experts.”

A Porsche 356 Speedster rebuilt and painted by Hawai’i CC instructor Garrett Fujioka.

The car show will feature a variety of vehicles, including show cars, race cars, classics, imports, cruisers and trucks. The event will also feature door prizes every hour, refreshments, entertainment, and opportunities to meet Hutton. Any proceeds will benefit the ABRP Program.

About the Auto Body Program

The Hawai‘i CC Auto Body Repair & Painting Program offers an Associate of Applied Science degree and a Certificate of Achievement. The program provides classroom and hands-on live lab training that represents the latest technological trends in the industry. Alumni have established successful careers on Hawai‘i Island and elsewhere as auto repair professionals and business owners.

More about Charley Hutton

Hutton is the owner of Charley Hutton’s Color Studio and has appeared on reality television shows American Hot Rod and Overhaulin’. He is the winner of four Ridler Awards. The Ridler Award is given annually at Detroit Autorama to the hot rod that exhibits the highest degree of creativity, engineering and design. It is considered the most prestigious award of its kind.

Community Talk – “How to Live with a Life-Limiting Illness”

Kupu Care, a Community-Based Palliative Care program offered exclusively in East Hawai‘i by Hospice of Hilo, is inviting the public to join them for their free community talk titled, “How to Live with a Life-Limiting Illness” on Wednesday, July 5, from 9:00am-10:30am at the organization’s Community Building located at 1011 Waiānuenue Avenue, Hilo.

Last month’s presentation on Living with a life-limiting illness.

This month’s presentation explores the medical specialty called palliative care, part of a growing nationwide movement to bring a greater quality of life to those challenged with a serious illness.

“When someone we love is diagnosed with a life-limiting condition, the worst thing we can imagine is that he or she might die,” said presenter Lani Weigert.  “The sobering fact is that there are worse things than having someone you love die, but our tendency as a society is to deny the reality of death.  That unwillingness by mainstream culture to grapple with the fundamental fact of morality keeps us from knowing what to expect and what is possible when the inevitable happens.”

Attendees will learn the natural progression of the disease process and the eight activities for basic physical independence, as well as get the health support they need to prepare for dealing with a life-limiting diagnosis.

“Most people can’t imagine anything worse than having the person you love die,” said Weigert.  “But watching your loved one die badly is even harder, and worse still is realizing later that much of his or her suffering could have been prevented.”

Those interested in attending the talk are asked to RSVP no later than Monday, July 3rd by contacting Lani Weigert at (808) 934-2913 or online at www.kupucare.org (events).

Hilo International Airport (ITO) Receives Outstanding Airport Award From Federal Aviation Administration

Hawaii Department Of Transportation is pleased to announce that the Hilo International Airport (ITO) received an award for outstanding and continued safety and compliance performance from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) during the Annual Airports Conference Awards on June 13, 2017.

From left to right: Winsome Lenfert, FAA Acting Associate Administrator for Airports; Steven Santiago, Hilo International Airport District Manager; Mark McClardy, FAA Western Pacific Region Director of Airports

Under the direction of Airport District Manager Steven Santiago, the Hilo International Airport flourishes because of its strong leadership and the devotion of its staff to constantly improve the airport’s facilities, aviation safety programs, and community outreach.

The Hilo International Airport continues to thrive largely because of the capital improvements and maintenance projects that enhance the airport’s facilities. This year several projects are planned including terminal improvements to the existing airport restrooms; design of the arcade building upgrades which include enclosing and air conditioning the second floor; and the design and reconstruction of the aircraft apron areas. There will also be construction for noise attenuation to benefit the surrounding community of Keaukaha, parking lot repaving at the main terminal, and the addition of vehicle canopies over the parking lot entries and exits.

In addition to airport facility projects, a major component that elevates Hilo International Airport is its outstanding aviation safety program. Santiago has shown dedication to the implementation of activities that have improved airport safety. He identified and implemented services for the pilot community including safety briefings and airport operating rules, and he exposed pilots to WINGS, an FAA educational pilot proficiency program.

It is the leadership and integrity of Santiago and his team that makes Hilo International Airport worthy of the Outstanding Airport Award. HDOT strives for growth and efficiency at the Hilo International Airport in order to create a safe and comfortable environment that will leave visitors and residents with a positive impression of Hawaii.

HDOT is making improvements to our airports statewide through the Hawaii Airports Modernization program. More information can be found by clicking here.

Free Hilo Community Film Screening – “Being Mortal”

Hospice of Hilo, in partnership with Community First, Hilo Medical Center and East Hawaii Independent Physicians Association is holding a free, community screening of the documentary “Being Mortal” on Saturday June 24, at the William Charles Lunalilo Center–Kamehameha Schools Hawaii Campus. Doors open at 10am, screening begins at 10:30am.  After the screening, audience members can participate in a guided conversation on how to take concrete steps to identify and communicate wishes about end-of-life goals and preferences.

“Being Mortal” delves into the hopes of patients and families facing terminal illness. The film investigates the practice of caring for the dying and explores the relationships between patients and their doctors. It follows a surgeon, Dr. Atul Gawande, as he shares stories from the people and families he encounters. When Dr. Gawande’s own father gets cancer, his search for answers about how best to care for the dying becomes a personal quest.

Atul Gawande, MD bestselling author of Being Mortal

The film sheds light on how a medical system focused on a cure often leaves out the sensitive conversations that need to happen so a patient’s true wishes can be known and honored at the end.

Seventy percent of Americans say they would prefer to die at home, but nearly 70 percent die in hospitals and institutions. Ninety percent of Americans know they should have conversations about end-of-life care, yet only 30 percent have done so.

“Being Mortal” underscores the importance of people planning ahead and talking with family members about end-of-life decisions. “Planning is an integral part of everyday existence,” said Community First’s Karen Maedo.  “It is often said that ‘failure to plan is planning to fail’ and who among us plans to fail?  It’s your life; it’s your choice.  Have that meaningful conversation, sharing wishes for your end-of-life.  It is the ultimate act of love and will better enable loved ones to move on without you.”

The free screening is made possible by a grant from The John and Wauna Harman Foundation in partnership with the Hospice Foundation of America.

For more information about the free screening, contact Lisa Kwee at (808) 969-1733 or email lisak@hospiceofhilo.org.

Repaving Work on Komohana Street to Begin on Wednesday

The County Highway Maintenance Division will begin repaving work on Komohana St. from Kūkūau St. to Mohouli St. on Wednesday, June 21, 2017, and is estimated to be completed by Friday, June 23, 2017.  Working hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., weather conditions permitting.

Motorists are advised to expect delays and to drive with caution as heavy vehicles and machinery will be in the work zone.  One lane closures, alternate lane closures, lane shifts will be in effect and at a minimum, one lane of travel (for two way traffic) will be provided at all times through the construction area.  The lane closures are necessary to complete the roadway resurfacing work in a timely manner and for the safety of the workers and the traveling public.

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 contact Barett Otani, Information and Education Specialist at 961-8787.

Hilo Traffic Alert for Next Week

The Department of Public Works Traffic Division will be upgrading the traffic signal controller at the Maka‘ala St. and Kanoelehua Ave. intersection on Wednesday, June 14th between the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., weather conditions permitting.

Work will continue on Thursday, June 15th at the Waiānuenue Ave. and Ka‘iulani St. intersection between the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., weather conditions permitting.  Work involves removing and replacing the makai bound mast arm and traffic signal.

The traffic signals at both intersections will be shut down during the scheduled work hours and special off-duty police officers will be in the area to facilitate traffic movement.  Motorists are advised to expect delays and to drive with caution.

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.

Hilo Fish Company Recall After Hepatitis A Found in Frozen Tuna

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), are assisting state and local officials in assessing the risk of hepatitis A virus exposure from contaminated frozen tuna sourced from Sustainable Seafood Company, Vietnam, and Santa Cruz Seafood Inc., Philippines. If unvaccinated consumers have consumed the recalled product within the last two weeks, post-exposure prophylaxis may help prevent hepatitis A virus infection.

Fast Facts

  • On May 18, Hilo Fish Company began recalling tuna sourced from Sustainable Seafood Company and Santa Cruz Seafood, Inc. that tested positive for the hepatitis A virus.
  • While the CDC is not currently aware of any illnesses linked to these products, it is advising post exposure prophylaxis (PEP) for unvaccinated persons who may have consumed the potentially contaminated tuna within the past two weeks.
  • The FDA is providing a list of establishments in TX, OK, and CA that may currently have potentially contaminated tuna in commerce to help alert consumers that may be at risk of the hepatitis A virus. Contact your health care professional if you believe you have been exposed to contaminated tuna.
  • The current recall resulted from follow-up after the Hawaii Department of Health notified the FDA of a frozen tuna sample, sourced from PT Deho Canning Co.,which tested positive for hepatitis A on May 1, 2017. The initially recalled product has been removed from circulation and the newly recalled frozen tuna lots were not shipped to Hawaii, but were shipped to the mainland U.S.

What was the Problem and What was Done About It?

Consumers may be at risk of contracting a hepatitis A infection due to the consumption of potentially contaminated frozen tuna distributed by Hilo Fish Company and sourced from Sustainable Seafood Company (Lots F5-6 Soui Dau Industrial Zone, Can Lam Khanh Hoa Province, Vietnam) and Santa Cruz Seafood, Inc. (General Santos Fishport Complex Tambler, General Santos City, 9500, Philippines). The CDC reports no illnesses to date.

The FDA is collecting additional frozen tuna samples and increasing its screening measures and testing for imported seafood for these companies.

In addition, the agency has prepared a list of restaurants and other retail locations that received the recalled frozen tuna. The agency will continue to update this list as its investigation continues. To protect the health of consumers who may have eaten contaminated tuna and require post-exposure prophylaxis, the FDA has determined that it is necessary to make public the names of these businesses as part of the recall.

Background

On May 1, the Hawaii Department of Health notified the FDA that a sample of frozen tuna cubes from Indonesia tested positive for the hepatitis A virus. On May 2, the FDA contacted the Tropic Fish Hawaii LLC, a subsidiary distributor of Hilo Fish Company, to obtain additional information related to the positive tuna sample. Tropic Fish Hawaii LLC initiated a product recall because the affected product had been distributed to its customers in Oahu, Hawaii (U.S. mainland and other Hawaiian Islands were not affected by the recall). The state of Hawaii embargoed the lot that tested positive and the FDA confirmed the sample was positive.

On May 16, Hilo Fish Company notified the FDA that it had submitted samples of additional shipments held in its cold storage facility in Hawaii to a private laboratory for testing and received additional positive results for the hepatitis A virus. Imported tuna products from this facility were sourced from Sustainable Seafood Company and Santa Cruz Seafood and were distributed to restaurants and other retail locations in CA, NY, OK, and TX. The New York State Department of Health and the FDA verified that product shipped to New York was not sold to the public. The FDA’s investigation in connection with these firms is ongoing.

MORE:

Notice of Construction on Banyan Drive May 31 to June 16

Hawaii Electric Light announces construction work in the area of Banyan Drive near the intersection of Banyan Drive and Lihiwai Street in Hilo.

As part of the company’s efforts to upgrade underground infrastructure and improve service reliability for customers, contractors will be performing excavation work from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. weekdays from Wednesday, May 31, to Friday, June 16, 2017. Work will not be performed on the Kamehameha Day holiday on Monday, June 12, 2017.

Work will be performed off the road but occasional partial lane closures may be necessary while heavy equipment is moved. Motorists are asked to slow down and drive with caution in the construction area.

Hawaii Electric Light regrets any inconvenience this may cause and thanks the community for their patience and understanding. For questions or concerns, please call 969-6666.

Two Many Sopranos Brings Vocal Concert to Hilo

The vocal duo Two Many Sopranos, consisting of singers Amy Horst and Erin Smith, will bring their unique interpretations of classics and new favorites to Hilo. The duo’s pianist is Walter Greenwood. Joining them are Douglas Wayman, Cathy Young, and members of the Orchid Isle Orchestra. Showtimes are Saturday, June 10, at 7:00 p.m.; and Sunday, June 11, at 2:30 p.m. at the East Hawaii Cultural Center.  Admission is $15.00 general / $10.00 students and seniors. Tickets will be available at the door. For more information, call 640-2898.

The evening’s program, entitled Two Many Sopranos, presents music for duet and solo voices both with piano and with strings.  From songs which may be new to the audience to beloved classics of stage and screen, the concert brings to life old favorites and new gems. With composers as varied as Stephen Sondheim and Bob Dylan, and songs as varied as the sacred Pie Jesu by local favorite Pedro Ka‘awaloa and I Love a Piano by Irving Berlin, the concert promises something for every fan of vocal music. Solos and duets intermingle with featured guest performers, including Douglas Wayman as Janelle Nieman and Cathy Young in a viola solo, to provide variety and interest.

Amy Horst

Amy Horst and Erin Smith, local stage and concert performers, have worked together in Wayman’s Palace Theater Vaudeville Variety Shows and in the Palace’s production of Mary Poppins, where Horst played the title role and Smith played the lead role of Mrs. Banks. Both singers have also performed to acclaim in Hilo as soloists, onstage, and in concert.  This concert brings them together to sing duets and solos that showcase their particular talents.

Erin Smith

Smith and Horst are joined by local performer and drag queen Douglas Wayman, best known to Hilo audiences as Albin/Zaza from the Palace Theater’s production of La Cage Aux Folles; and as Janelle Nieman in his Vaudeville Variety Shows at the Palace Theater. The duo is also joined by local string player and orchestra leader Cathy Young, who has created an original string arrangement to accompany the haunting “What Makes a Man a Man,” to be sung by Wayman. Walter Greenwood, popular local pianist, organist, conductor, composer, and arranger, accompanies the concert.

Asked about how they came to create Two Many Sopranos, Horst said, “Erin and I have wanted to perform together in concert for several years. This program takes us and the audience on a journey through songs we want to share with our audience, songs we have been planning for a long time. We are excited that the time has finally come to sing together for you!” Smith continued, “This concert is the culmination of several years of dialogue and several months of planning, and we are happy to bring not only ourselves, but the redoubtable Walter Greenwood as pianist, and our featured performers Douglas Wayman and Cathy Young, to our audience. This concert is suitable for all ages and so we say – e komo mai!”

Two Many Sopranos comes to Hilo June 10 at 7:00 and June 11:00 at 2:30 p.m. at the East Hawaii Cultural Center for two shows only.  Admission is $15.00 general / $10.00 students and seniors. Tickets will be available at the door. For more information, call 640-2898.

Johnny Rockets Coming to Hilo as “Rock ‘n Fun”

I’ve known for a while now that Johnny Rockets was coming to Hilo and a Craigslist ad posted today confirms that it will be coming here in the form of an E.K. Fernandez Restaurant Chain called “Rock ‘n Fun” and is currently seeking Front of the House Assistant Managers at this time.

They will eventually be hiring for these positions as well.

“Presenting “Games, Burgers & Beer” in a fun, family-friendly environment where you can play the latest games or sip a cold beer or glass of wine at the bar while watching your favorite sports teams.  Then comes Johnny – Johnny Rockets that is with its delicious burgers, shakes, and fries.

Rock ‘N Fun is the latest in Fernandez Entertainment’s long list of family-owned companies that have brought fun and entertainment to the Islands for over 100 years.”

According to this Craigslist Ad they are expanding and looking for a Food and Beverage Manager and they will be opening in the Waiakea Center:

Rock N Fun will be opening soon at the Waiakea Center and currently seeking qualified Food & Beverage Managers…

“Obon in the Gardens” at Lili`uokalani Gardens

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hospice of Hilo Volunteer Training

Hospice of Hilo is looking to add to its volunteer team and will conduct a training session in June for those members of the community interested in giving a few hours a week to uplift others.  “Hospice of Hilo is an excellent organization to be part of. They treat all patients, as well as volunteers with lots of aloha,” said volunteer, Marion Kittleson-Villanueva.  “I have been a volunteer for over a dozen years. Serving others brings much joy and is an opportunity to give back to our Hilo.”

2017 Hospice of Hilo Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon attendees

New volunteers can choose to provide services like companionship, respite, transportation, light housework, yardwork, or administrative support.  Hospice of Hilo is especially in need of Licensed Massage Therapists who wish to share their gift of care, and volunteers who would like to take a shift on a night or weekend.

Training dates are:  June 20, 22, 27 & 29 from 4:30pm to 8:30pm.  Interested trainees should contact Volunteer Manager, Jeanette Mochida at jeanettem@hospiceofhilo.org or call 969-1733 to arrange a required pre-training interview.

Hospice of Hilo provides specialized comfort care for patients facing a life-limiting or serious illness.  Services are delivered to patients in their place of residence from Laupahoehoe to South Point, Ka‘u, or at the Pōhai Mālama a Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Care Center.  In addition to hospice services, Hospice of Hilo also provides free bereavement counseling to any and all residents who have lost a loved one (regardless of whether the loved one received hospice care). For more information about Hospice of Hilo visit www.hospiceofhilo.org or call 969-1733.

BISAC Homeless Drive Gives Out Kits to Hilo’s Homeless

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

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

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

Drinks, Food, Flowers, Fun at Orchid Show Preview Party

On June 1, 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.  All ticket proceeds benefit the non-profit Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center.

“The evening gala is a truly a ‘fun’-raiser.  People drink, eat, socialize, and have the first chance to shop for beautiful, unique, and rare orchid plants,” said Ku‘ikahi Executive Director Julie Mitchell.

“This year we’ve added reserved tables for 5 or 10 people, which are available at platinum, gold, silver, or bronze sponsorship levels,” noted Mitchell.  “We hope the community will come out to enjoy a fun party and support the cause of ‘Finding Solutions, Growing Peace.’”

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 a souvenir 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 lilikoi and dragon fruit juices, and coffee from Hilo Coffee Mill are served.

Hilo Orchid Show Gala Preview Party is Thursday, June 1 at the Edith Kanaka‘ole Stadium

Pupu, dinner, and dessert buffets are compliments of Island Naturals Market & Deli and AJ & Sons Catering, featuring the food stylings of Dean Shigeoka and Audrey Wilson, the food columnist for the Hawaii Tribune-Herald.

On the menu are bacon, lettuce, and tomato rolls; gingered chicken; orange cream roasted duck on won ton chips; fried adobo chicken; house made “spam” with Hilo fried rice musubi; and sous vide short ribs with ginger gems.

Also served are quinoa kale salad, ulu salad with apples, cobb salad, and hydroponic greens with lilikoi dressing.  Pupu include various types of sushi including vegetarian; assorted cheeses, breads, and olives; and hummus and olive caper tapenade.  And for dessert are assorted fruits, panna cotta with fruit compote, and haupia with toasted coconut topping.

Tickets for the Preview Party are $70 (of which $25 is tax deductible) and may be purchased in advance from The Most Irresistible Shop, Hilo Coffee Mill, Day-Lum Properties, and Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center.  For reservations or sponsorship opportunities, contact Jenifer at (808) 935-7844 x 1 or jenifer@hawaiimediation.org.  Tickets are also available at the door.

“Mediation is an empowerment model for shared decision-making.  Mediation encourages self-determination and provides a safe space for all voices to be heard,” Mitchell shared.  “We need more peace building programs on Hawai‘i Island.  Funds raised at this event make that happen.  Please join us.  Change a life.”