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Polynesian Voyaging Society Announces Death of Founder Ben Finney

The Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS) is saddened to announce that Ben Finney, co-founder and first president of the organization, passed away today in Honolulu surrounded by family.  He was 83 years old.  Services are pending.

Ben Finney

Nainoa Thompson, president of PVS, responded to Finney’s passing with the following statement:

“What I was told was that there was a Hawaiian Professor in Hawaii who handed Ben a book called Kon Tiki, and she said ‘this is all wrong, you need to change this.’ Years later, Ben called a man named Herb Kawainui Kane, who together with Tommy Holmes spearheaded the building of Hokulea.  So, if we’re going to celebrate 42 years of voyaging and honor and celebrate Hokulea’s voyage around the earth, we have to think that none of this would have happened without that phone call.  Ben provided the vision and mission and the leadership to set the foundation for all that we would do in voyaging since 1976.  If Ben didn’t make that phone call, there wouldn’t be a Hokulea and there probably wouldn’t be voyaging in the Pacific today.  And, there would be no real connection between the values of malama honua and this island earth.  We owe so much to him. Hawaii, the pacific and the world is indebted to the work of Ben Finney.”

An anthropologist and pioneer in the reconstruction and sailing of Polynesian voyaging canoes, Finney first began dreaming about building a canoe and sailing it to Tahiti while studying at the University of Hawai’i in 1958.  In the mid-1960s, he built Nalehia, a replica of a Hawaiian double canoe that provided the basic information on sailing performance that went into planning Hokulea’s initial voyage to Tahiti.

Finney co-founded PVS in 1973 with Herb Kawainui Kane and Tommy Holmes and served as its first president.  Together with countless volunteers, they built Hokulea, the first Polynesian voyaging canoe in 600 years and launched her in 1975.

He set out to show that Hawaiians could intentionally sail long-distances without modern instruments.  He sailed on Hokulea’s first voyage to Tahiti in 1976.  He also sailed on the 1985 voyage to Aotearoa, the 1992 voyage to Rarotonga, and also covered the 1995 voyage from the Marquesas to Hawaii from Hokulea’s escort vessel.

The history and practice of Polynesian voyaging is an epic story of human migration: Ben’s love of it inspired his contributions to the anthropology of the human experience in space.

During his career, Finney held faculty appointments at the University of California, Santa Barbara, the Australian National University, the University of French Polynesia, and the International Space University. From 1970 through 2000 he was a professor of anthropology at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where his courses included Human Adaptation to the Sea and Human Adaptation to Living in Space.  From 1994 through 2003 he was the co-chair of the department of Space and Society at the International Space University.

REPORT: Native Hawaiian-Owned Firms in Hawaii’s Tourism Sector

The Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism (DBEDT) has released the report “Native Hawaiian-Owned Firms in Hawaii’s Tourism Sector”. To obtain the report, click here.

The executive summary begins with “According to the U.S. Census Bureau data, Native Hawaiians owned a total of 13,147 firms in Hawaii in 2012. 3,972 or 30.2 percent of these firms were in the tourism sector and accounted for 10.1 percent of the total tourism sector firms in the state.”

Click to read report

An updated DBEDT ACS interactive map is also now available. It may be found on the Office of Planning’s State GIS Program’s website here.

This map product is a joint project between our Research and Economic Analysis Division and the Hawaii Statewide GIS Program. In this map, area profiles for all Hawaii census tracts, State Senate Districts and State House Districts were updated with the latest 2011-2015 American Community Survey (ACS) 5-year data . State of Hawaii as well as county figures are also provided. For downloadable files containing this profile data, click here.

An Analysis of Consumer Debt: How Does Hawaii Compare with the Nation?

The Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT) released a report today, “An Analysis of Consumer Debt: How does Hawaii Compare with the Nation?” The report examined various consumer debt categories.

The report highlights why our per capita debt is high, which is due to high housing prices in Hawaii, with 77 percent of our debt from mortgage debt.

Hawaii’s home ownership increased 10 percentage points from 46.9 percent in 1970 to 56.9 percent in 2015 while the U.S. home ownership increased less than one percentage point from 62.9 percent to 63.8 percent during the same time period.

Chief State Economist Dr. Eugene Tian noted that the high mortgage debt may also have negative impacts, including less consumers spending on other goods and services by home owners, increasing rental payment for renters, and the leakage of mortgage payment to out-of-state financial institutions.

Following are some of the highlights of the report:

  • Hawaii’s total consumer debt per capita increased from $51,810 in 2005 to $67,010 in 2015, ranking it second highest in the nation.
  • For mortgage debt per capita, Hawaii has been steadily increasing in the state rankings, from the sixth highest state in 2005 to the highest state in 2015.
  • Hawaii ranks low among states for auto loans per capita, while defaults for those with auto loans are close to U.S. average.
  • Hawaii residents have relatively high credit card debt. Hawaii ranked fourth in the nation in 2010 and 2015 for credit card debt per capita.
  • Hawaii ranks the lowest in the nation for per capita student debt.
  • For the other debt category (home equity lines of credit, consumer cards, and consumer-financed debt), Hawaii leads the nation for the average amount per capita at $5,300. This partially reflects Hawaii’s high residential real estate values and the home equity loan balances supported by these high values.

The report is available at: http://files.hawaii.gov/dbedt/economic/reports/consumer_debt_final.pdf

Ka Haka ‘Ula O Ke’elikolani Na Pua Lei O Ka Na’auao, Kupulau 2017 (College of Hawaiian Language Dean’s List, Spring 2017)

Ke kukala aku nei ko ke Kulanui o Hawai’i ma Hilo koleke `o Ka Haka `Ula O Ke`elikolani, i na inoa o na haumana kaha `oi no ke kau Kupulau 2017:

(The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Ka Haka `Ula O Ke`elikolani College of Hawaiian Language announces its Dean’s List for the Spring 2017 semester):

Jainine Abraham, Rhonda Akano, Destanie Alayon, Zion Apao, Joshua Bass, Laura Birse, Christopher Chow, Ramzen Coakley, Kaleimomi Dolera, Jayme Doyle, Kalamaku Freitas, Roberta Gaskin, Ezra Grace, David Griffith, Karise Hallsten, Stephen Hasegawa, Jetamio Henshaw, Kameron Ho, Pomaikai Iaea,

Alexa Iannantuano, Yukako Iha, Alana Kanahele, Mary Kealaiki, Hyesun Kong, Brittany Laddusaw, Yan Liu, Sheena Lopes, Haruka Miura, Lauren Mizuba, Ashley-Anne Morishita, Ashley Nakoa-Kawahakui, Ikaaka Pang, Moananuimaikalani Peleiholani-Blankenfeld, Sarah Rafferty, Samantha Reis, Sharnelle Renti Cruz, Josiane Saccu, Steven Sayers, Kaulana Stanley, Taylor Traub, Jessica Valladares, and Kotaro Yogi.

Hokulea Sets Sail for Hawaii and Historic Worldwide Voyage Homecoming

After 5 days in the community of Tautira – a  second home of the Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS) and legendary canoe Hokulea – the crews of Hokulea and Hikianalia bid  a warm goodbye to their Tahitian voyaging ohana and departed on the final historic leg of the Worldwide Voyage: sailing home to Hawaii.

The people of Tautira have been the Tahitian caretakers of the canoes and crews of PVS since Hokulea’s maiden voyage in 1976. Upon arrival in Tautira, the crew payed homage to the family ties so important to the shared voyaging heritage of Hawaii and Tahiti, visiting the grave sites of leaders who helped build the connection more than forty years ago.

The crews were hosted at Mayor Papa Sane’s home and welcomed as family in this voyaging community so closely held to Hawaii’s own.

The morning of Wednesday, May 17, Hokulea, sister canoe Hikianalia, and escort vessel Gershon II began the final leg of the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage departing from Tahiti to head back home to Hawaii. This last, historic stretch of the sail plan is expected to take 3-4 weeks (pending weather).

The canoes will make a celebratory return to Honolulu on Saturday, June 17 at Magic Island for a cultural welcoming ceremony followed by a grand celebration open to the entire community.

The week-long celebration will continue with the Malama Honua Fair and Summit, a three-day event at the Hawaiʻi Convention Center , which will highlight the voyaging, cultural, environmental, educational, and health and well-being missions of the Worldwide Voyage by sharing malama honua “stories of hope” and voyage-inspired initiatives and activities with the public.

The event’s inspirational speaker series will feature local and global speakers who have engaged with the Voyage including: Megan Smith, 3rd chief technology officer of the United States; Dieter Paulmann, founder of Okeanos Foundation for the Sea; and Ocean Elders Sylvia Earle, Jean-Michel Cousteau, and Don Walsh. Registration for these events is now open at www.hokulea.com/summit.

Hālau Kū Māna PCS, Kamehameha Schools Maui Win Top Prizes at Hula Competition

With an impassioned tribute to Mauna Kea, the students of Hālau Kū Māna Public Charter School took home the Edith Kawelohea McKinzie Overall Trophy at the 39th Annual Malia Craver Hula Kahiko Competition held this past Saturday at ‘Iolani School. This overall prize is awarded to the hula hālau with the best combined hula kahiko score and best Hawaiian language score.

The hālau will now also be invited to perform at the 40th Annual Prince Lot Hula Festival in July.

The students of Kamehameha Schools Maui took home the George Kananiokeakua Holokai Overall Trophy, which is the top prize for the intermediate division.

This unique competition, which offers intermediate and high school hula hālau the opportunity to compete among their peers, was founded by kūpuna Aunty Malia Craver and Uncle Earl Kawai. Both were staff at Queen Lili‘ūokalani Children’s Center (QLCC) Windward Unit at the time and created the event so secondary school students had an opportunity to learn and train in hula kahiko, the ancient Hawaiian hula.

This vision was recently realized when last year’s winners, the high school boys from Saint Louis School, placed in the kahiko division of this year’s Merrie Monarch competition.

The first second school hula kahiko competition was held in 1978 at Kualoa Regional Park. QLCC ran the competition until 1985, when Aunty Malia asked the Kalihi Palama Culture & Arts Society (KPCA) to take over the event. The Kalihi Palama Culture & Arts Society has proudly been the lead producers and sponsors of the event since 1986.

Aunty Malia Craver remained a critical member of the competition for many decades. She served as a judge for over 20 years. She wrote and gifted many oli (chants) to the competition. She remains the guiding light of the event. The competition was renamed in her honor after her passing in 2009. “We strive daily to honor her vision and her legacy,” says KPCA President Trisha Kehaulani Watson. “I have no doubt she is proudly watching over us, delighted to see how these students continue to flourish.”

The Kalihi Palama Culture & Arts Society also produces the Queen Lili‘ūokalani Keiki Hula Competition, which will take place this year at the Blaisdell Center July 20-22, 2017.

For a full list of winners, please see below:

Intermediate Division:

Kāne First Place: Saint Louis School, “Ka Lani Kalākaua”, Kumu Hula: Keli‘iho‘omalu Puchalski

Wāhine First Place: Kamehameha Schools Maui, “He Ho‘oheno Kēia No Wilikoki” Kumu Hula: Pilialoha Kamakea-Young

Wāhine Second Place: ‘Iolani School, “Nani Wale Ku‘u ‘Ike”
Kumu Hula: Kū Souza and Lehua Carvalho

Wāhine Third Place: Robert Stevenson Middle, “‘Ano ‘Ai Ku‘u Wehi”
Kumu Hula: Rich Padrina and Blaine Kaohe Nohara

Lokomaika‘iokalani Snakenberg Hawaiian Language Trophy:
Kamehameha Schools Maui (Wāhine)

George Kananiokeakua Holokai Overall Trophy: Kamehameha Schools Maui (Wāhine)

High School Division

Kāne First Place: Saint Louis School, “Holo Mai Pele”
Kumu Hula: Keli‘iho‘omalu Puchalski

Kāne Second Place: Hālau Kū Māna PCS, “Makali‘i”
Kumu Hula: Kawika Mersberg

Kāne Third Place: Mid Pacific Institute, “Aia I Nu‘uanu Kō Lei Nani”
Kumu Hula: Michael Lanakila Casupang

Wāhine First Place: Hālau Kū Māna PCS, “No Luna I Ka Halekai”
Kumu Hula: Kawika Mersberg

Wāhine Second Place: Mid Pacific Institute, “Aia I Haili Kō Lei Nani”
Kumu Hula: Michael Lanakila Casupang

Wāhine Third Place: Sacred Hearts Academy, “Nā Wahine Waipahē”
Kumu Hula: Kahaku & Puka Asing

Hui ‘ia First Place: Hālau Kū Māna PCS, “Kū Kia‘i Mauna”
Kumu Hula: Kawika Mersberg

Aunty Malia Craver Hawaiian Language Trophy: Mid-Pacific Institute

Edith Kawelohea McKinzie Overall Trophy: Hālau Kū Māna PCS (Hui ‘ia)

Invitation to Perform at the Prince Lot Hula Festival: Hālau Kū Māna PCS (Hui ‘ia)

 

37th Annual Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park Cultural Festival & BioBlitz

Save the date for the free 37th annual Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park Cultural Festival & BioBlitz, Saturday, July 8, 2017, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Kilauea Military Camp.

The festival’s theme, Hilina‘i Puna, Kālele iā Ka‘ū, (Puna leans and reclines on Ka‘ū), celebrates the two land districts that comprise the national park. People of all ages and districts are invited to enjoy a day of traditional mele (music), hula, and Hawaiian cultural demonstrations, crafts, and games. This year’s festival will again include a “BioBlitz,” a chance to join scientists and cultural practitioners in the field and discover the diversity of biology, geology and culture of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.

The 37th annual cultural festival showcases an extraordinarily talented line-up of local performers. Hālau Ulumamo o Hilo Palikū will dance their powerful hula kāhiko, and kūpuna hula group Haunani’s Aloha Expressions also take the stage. Renowned solo musicians Kenneth Makuakāne and Lito Arkangel will sing and play instruments, and the “Songbird of Miloli‘i,” Aunty Diana Aki, closes the festival.

Keiki to kupuna can participate in authentic Hawaiian cultural activities like ku‘i kalo (pounding poi), lomilomi (massage), ‘ohe kāpala (Hawaiian bamboo stamping), play Hawaiian games, discover lā‘au lapa‘au (medicine from plants), make a small kāhili (feather standard), weave lei, and more. All cultural festival activities are located at the grassy lawn and ball field area at Kilauea Military Camp.

The BioBlitz expert-led field inventories will be offered, and include Birds of Kīlauea by Sight and Sound; Nā Mea Kanu o Ka Hula (Plants of Hula); an ADA-friendly inventory, Hawaiian Adze Production, and more. Free registration will soon be available through the Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park website, www.fhvnp.org. Visitors can learn more about conservation and biodiversity through fun, interactive exhibits sponsored by many of Hawai‘i’s leading conservation organizations on the festival grounds.

The BioBlitz field inventories run from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., and the cultural festival is from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., on Saturday, July 8. Entrance into the park and all events are free.

Make sure to wear sunscreen and a hat. Bring water, rain jacket, and ground mat or chair. No pets. Lunch and beverages will be available for sale.  This wonderful family experience is a drug- and alcohol-free event.

Hokulea Greeted by Mayor of Mataiea and Over 500 Community Members

As part of the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage, Hawaii’s legendary Polynesian voyaging canoes Hokulea and Hikianalia visited Mataiea and were greeted by Alpha Tearii, mayor of Mataiea and minister of Marine and Land Resources, and with an overwhelming show of support by the community.

In a grand welcoming ceremony, over 500 third graders and college students from Mairipehe Primary School, Nuutafaratea Primary School, Matairea Primary School, and Teva I Uta College celebrated the shared malama honua vision of caring for the oceans and land for future generations in Tahitian, French and English.

It has been over 40 years since Hokulea first arrived in Mataiea, which is known for its rich cultural heritage and abundant in natural beauty. “They are doing a lot of really good things here and we are witness to that,” said Bruce Blankenfeld, pwo navigator of the Hokulea. “I see us coming back with future generations to engage, because that is what the voyage is about. It’s about discovering.”

The next day, following a community breakfast and coconut tree planting ceremony with local children, Hokulea and Hikianalia departed for Tautira on Tahiti’s south-east coast.

The sister canoes will continue to travel throughout Tahiti and Raiatea to engage with the local communities in ceremony and education outreach as they celebrate the close of the nearly four-year long journey. Hokulea and Hikianalia are making their way back to Hawaii together for a homecoming ceremony at Magic Island in June 2017.

Hawaiian Airlines Relocating to Terminal 5 at LAX

Hawaiian Airlines will have a new home at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) when it moves to Terminal 5 from Terminal 2 effective May 17. The change, part of a major relocation project involving 21 airlines at LAX, is expected to bring an improved experience for Hawaiian’s customers.

Hawaiian’s new Terminal 5 facilities will provide guests with enhanced curbside check-in, convenient access to domestic codeshare partner JetBlue Airways, and simplified flight connections – without the need to re-clear TSA – via a secure corridor to the nearby Tom Bradley International Terminal as well as terminals 4, 6, 7 and 8.

Hawaiian has operated out of Terminal 2 since June 12, 1985, when Los Angeles became the airline’s first scheduled West Coast destination. On May 17, Hawaiian’s Team Kōkua employee volunteers will be stationed at both terminals throughout the day to help guide and welcome guests to its Terminal 5 location.

“We look forward to providing our guests an improved, more efficient and comfortable airport experience in our major gateway of Los Angeles,” said Jeff Helfrick, Hawaiian’s vice president of airport operations. “Our new position on the west end of Terminal 5 comes with better facilities for both our guests and our employees.”

Hawaiian, Hawai‘i’s largest and longest-serving carrier, offers three non-stop daily flights between LAX and Honolulu International Airport, one non-stop daily flight between LAX and Kahului Airport on Maui, and beginning May 26, daily non-stop service between LAX and Līhu‘e Airport on Kaua‘i. Additionally, in response to popular demand, this summer the airline will once again offer a seasonal, triweekly non-stop flight between LAX and Kona International Airport on the Island of Hawai‘i from May 28 through Sept. 4.

Hokulea Returning Home

Hawaii’s iconic voyaging canoe Hokulea will conclude its epic three-year sail around the globe and return home to the Hawaiian Islands in June 2017.  The mission of the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage sponsored by Hawaiian Airlines was to weave a lei of hope around the world through sharing indigenous wisdom, groundbreaking conservation and preservation initiatives while learning from the past and from each other, creating global relationships, and discovering the wonders of the Island Earth.

On Saturday, June 17, Hokulea and its crew members will make their historic return to Hawaii at Oahu’s Magic Island after sailing more than 40,000 nautical miles since departing Oahu for the first deep sea leg of the voyage in May 2014. Hokulea will sail into Magic Island along with a fleet of about seven deep sea voyaging canoes from Hawaii, Tahiti and New Zealand.  The homecoming celebration, themed Lei Kaapuni Honua, meaning “A Lei Around The World,” honors the journey of connecting cultures and people around the world.

“It is the realization of decades of hard work and planning on behalf of the Polynesian Voyaging Society crew and our partners and friends around the world to embark on the final leg of Hokulea’s voyage and return home,” said Nainoa Thompson, president of Polynesian Voyaging Society. “Watching Hokulea crest the waves of Oahu’s south shore as she returns home, much like the canoes of our ancestors, will be a once in a lifetime experience. We are overwhelmed with emotion at all we have accomplished during this historic voyage and we look forward to setting sail on the next chapter together.”

Hokulea’s homecoming will include a cultural welcoming ceremony followed by a grand celebration. To further engage the local community and continue the festivities, a series of additional homecoming events are planned during the week following the June 17 arrival. The Malama Honua Fair and Summit, a three-day summit, will highlight the voyaging, cultural, environmental, educational and health and well-being missions of the Worldwide Voyage by sharing malama honua “stories of hope” and voyage-inspired initiatives and activities with the public. The event’s inspirational speaker series will feature local and global speakers who have engaged with the Voyage including: Megan Smith, 3rd chief technology officer of the United States; Dieter Paulmann, founder of Okeanos Foundation for the Sea; and Ocean Elders Sylvia Earle, Jean-Michel Cousteau, and Don Walsh.

The mission of the Voyage has been to spread the message of Malama Honua (caring for Island Earth) by promoting environmental consciousness, fostering learning environments, bringing together island communities and growing a global movement toward a more sustainable world. The voyage has celebrated a resurgence of pride and respect for our native cultures and has created opportunities for people throughout the world to honor our shared heritage.

The Malama Honua sail plan included over 150 ports, 18 nations and eight of UNESCO’S Marine World Heritage sites, engaging local communities and practicing how to live sustainably. During the voyage, over 200 volunteer crew members have helped to sail the vessel and connect with more than 100,000 people throughout the world in communities across the South Pacific, Tasman Sea, Indian Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, and the Caribbean Sea, including Samoa, Aotearoa (New Zealand), Australia, Indonesia, Mauritius, South Africa, Brazil, U.S. Virgin Islands, Cuba, the East Coast of the United States, Canada, Panama, and the Galapagos Islands.

After returning to Hawaii in the fall of 2017, Hokulea and Hikianalia will sail around the Hawaiian Islands to reconnect with local communities and schools to share stories and lessons learned on the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage.

Worldwide Voyage: Hawai’i Shares its Culture With the World Exhibition

Volcano Art Center is proud to announce the exhibition Worldwide Voyage: Hawai’i Shares Its Culture With The World.  This fine art exhibition presents the navigational story of the Hōkūleʻa’s Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage, told through photographs, cultural items and art inspired by the voyage.  The exhibit will be open to the public on May 20th through July 2nd at the Volcano Art Center Gallery in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park.

Star Compass by David Reisland

The Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage has taken the iconic sailing canoe Hōkūleʻa around the Earth, and her sister canoe Hikianalia around the Pacific, to promote a global movement toward a more sustainable world. The Mālama Honua (caring of Island Earth) mission seeks to engage communities worldwide in the practice of sustainable living while sharing Polynesian culture, learning from the past and from each other, creating global relationships, and inspiring action to care for and discover the wonders of  Earth.  Since departing Hawaiian waters in May 2014, Hōkūle‘a will have sailed approximately 60,000 nautical miles and made stops in 27 countries and 100 ports, weaving a “Lei of Hope” around the world.

During the voyage, Hōkūleʻa and her crew have been greeted and visited by global peace and ocean conservation leaders such as His Holiness The Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki­moon, Dr. Sylvia Earle, Jackson Brown, Sir Richard Branson and Republic of Palau President Tommy Remengesau, Jr.

Hōkūleʻa in New York Harbor

The exhibition on display consists of a collection of mounted photographs, cultural items, and art curated by Gary Eoff.  The photographs, provided by the Polynesian Voyaging Society, offer a first-hand account of the navigation, ports visited and the stories of the individual navigators. The cultural items, made by Ed Kaneko and his students, as well as Gary Eoff illustrate primitive wayfaring methods and supplies used on ancient voyages.  A few of the items traveled on the canoe to The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History as part of the voyage.  Art work including a star compass table by David Reisland and wood bowls by Cliff Johns will also be on display.

Guided By The Stars by Gary Eoff

“Volcano Art Center wishes to extend a huge mahalo the Polynesian Voyaging Society, the ‘Oiwi Television Network and the individual photographers for sharing the visual story with us,” states Gallery Manager Emily C. Weiss.    “Their mission to perpetuate the art and science of traditional Polynesian voyaging and the spirit of exploration through experiential educational programs that inspire communities to respect and care for themselves, each other, and their natural and cultural environments, is truly something we support”, continues Weiss.

“Volcano Art Center and the artists we represent have been inspired by the courage of this voyage.  Navigating using only ancient wayfinding practices, without modern instruments, using stars, winds and waves is remarkable.  While most people are turning to technology for everything, it is absolutely refreshing to witness the opposite.  Timing the exhibit with the completion of the actual voyage is no accident. We hope to honor the homecoming by sharing with the canoe and crew just how much their strength, determination and knowledge has inspired us.”

Volcano Art Center is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization created in 1974 whose mission is to promote, develop and perpetuate the artistic, cultural and environmental heritage of Hawaii through arts and education.  The exhibit is sponsored by the Hawai’i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts. Please visit www.volcanoartcenter.org for more information.

Hawaiian Airlines Launches Daily Service Between Los Angeles and Kaua‘i – Summer Flights to Kona Resume

Hawaiian Airlines’ popular daily non-stop summer flights between Los Angeles and Kaua‘i will now be offered year-round starting on May 26, the airline announced today. Also beginning on Memorial Day weekend, Hawaiian will resume seasonal service between California and Kaua‘i and the Kona Coast on the Island of Hawai‘i, providing travelers direct access to both islands during the peak summer months.

Hawaiian will turn its seasonal service between Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and Līhu‘e Airport (LIH) into a permanent daily flight due to consistently strong demand from Southern California.

“For the past four years, our summer schedule has been well-received by West Coast travelers seeking convenient service to our Neighbor Islands,” said Peter Ingram, Hawaiian Airlines executive vice president and chief commercial officer. “Guests will continue to enjoy our warm and authentic Hawaiian hospitality and island-inspired meals as they set off for the beautiful island of Kaua‘i or the stunning Kona Coast.”

As part of its summer schedule, Hawai‘i’s largest and longest-serving carrier is bringing back non-stop daily flights between Oakland International Airport (OAK) and LIH starting May 27 through Sept. 4.

Non-stop flights between LAX and Kona International Airport (KOA) will commence on May 28. KOA-LAX flights will be offered on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, while LAX-KOA flights will be available Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, also through Sept. 4.

Guests aboard Hawaiian’s flights will enjoy the carrier’s signature Mea Ho‘okipa (I am host) onboard hospitality, island-style complimentary meals and made-in-Hawai’i snacks. Flights between Los Angeles and Kona will be served by Hawaiian’s wide-body Airbus A330 aircraft featuring first class, Extra Comfort and economy seats. Guests traveling between Los Angeles or Oakland and Līhu‘e will be aboard the airline’s wide-body Boeing 767 aircraft offering first class and economy seating.

Tickets for the seasonal non-stop flights are available for purchase online at HawaiianAirlines.com or by calling Hawaiian Airlines’ reservations department toll-free at (800) 367-5320.

Hokulea and Hikianalia Return to Taputapuatea for Ancient Voyaging Ritual and Ceremony

Traditional Polynesian voyaging canoes Hokulea and Hikianalia were welcomed by local dignitaries, spiritual elders and community members at Taputapuatea. The marae, or the focal meeting ground, is located on the southeastern coast of Raiatea in French Polynesia. The purpose of the stop was to honor the ancient tradition of Hawaii’s Polynesian ancestors who would go to Taputapuatea, the spiritual center for voyagers of the Pacific, to ceremonially launch and close their voyages of discovery. After sailing about 100 miles from Papeete, Tahiti, the canoes arrived at Taputapuatea yesterday morning following the historic protocol of entering via the sacred pass of Teava Moa.

The ceremony began with pwo navigator Nainoa Thompson and captain Billy Richards returning two sacred stones to the marae that were given to the crew when the canoes last visited Taputapuatea in 2014 to launch the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage. The return of the two stones signified that the Hokulea and Hikianalia crews fulfilled their responsibility to sail around the world and deepened the connection between Hawaii and its navigational roots in Taputapuatea.

“These stones carried the spirits of all of our ancestors and the direct descendants of all of our families as we sailed around the world,” said Thompson. “Today we brought the stones home to Taputapuatea and were granted permission from by our ancestral family to return home. It’s the last permission based on the fulfillment of many promises we made,” he added.

In addition to the spiritual elders of Taputapuatea, the crew was greeted by French Polynesia president Edouard Fritch, the Taputapuatea mayor Thomas Moutame, and the country’s minister of culture Heremoana Maamaatuaiahutapu. The day-long ceremony featured the ancient rituals conducted to ceremonially complete a voyage, traditional chants and dance by the Taputapuatea community and students from Kamehameha Schools and Milolii Charter School.

In honor of this ceremonial milestone, crewmembers from Hokulea’s first voyage to French Polynesia in 1976 joined this leg from Tahiti to Raiatea, including Gordon Piianaia, Billy Richards, Snake Ah Hee, Kainoa Lee and John Kruse. Zane Aikau, nephew of 1978 crewmember Eddie Aikau, also participated on the leg on behalf of the Aikau family and 1976 crewmember Buffalo Keaulana who was unable to join the sail.  Special guests who also participated on the overnight sail included Hawaiian Airlines CEO Mark Dunkerley, University of Hawaii president David Lassner, and Hawaii State Department of Education superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi.

Once considered the religious and cultural center of Polynesia, Taputapuatea is the location of an ancient marae that was once considered the central temple and religious center of Eastern Polynesia. Established around 1000 AD, the marae was a place of learning where priests and navigators from all over the Pacific would gather to offer sacrifices to the gods and share their knowledge of the genealogical origins of the universe, and of deep ocean navigation.

Most significantly, a truce known as the Faatau Aroha was established with the surrounding islands to form an alliance that lasted for many years and perpetuated the growth of voyaging and exploration leading to the discovery and colonization of all the islands of Eastern Polynesia, including Hawaii, Rapa Nui and Aotearoa (New Zealand).  New marae were established on each of these islands with a rock being taken from Taputapuatea so that Raiatea served as a spiritual link. However, the Faatau Aroha was broken due to a conflict between two leaders of the alliance that resulted to open warfare and an end to large-scale interisland voyaging.

The archaeological remains of Marae Taputapuatea were restored in 1994 and efforts to preserve the site continues. Association Na Papa E Vau Raiatea is working towards having Marae Taputapuatea designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site and continuing work to revive connections between communities of the Polynesian triangle and throughout the Pacific region.

Hokulea and Hikianalia are scheduled to depart Taputapuatea today and will return to Papeete, Tahiti where the crews will prepare the canoes for the voyage back to Hawaii. The canoes will depart French Polynesia in mid-May and will arrive at Magic Island on Oahu for a homecoming celebration on Saturday, June 17.

Carrying On with Tradition with Robert Cazimero on the Big Island

Saturday, May 13 at 7 pm, Hawai‘i’s most revered and loved Kumu and singer, Robert Cazimero, returns to Kahilu Theatre to carry on with an unbroken 32-year-old tradition – celebrating May Day in Waimea.

Robert’s beautiful voice is so distinctive that whether he performs on piano or with his brother Roland as the Brothers Cazimero, people recognize him instantly and are compelled to listen.

Robert has been a part of close to forty full album projects; many considered classics in the history of Hawaiian music. The popular success of the music he has made and participated in has been recognized through dozens of awards, performances on the world’s most prestigious stages and the millions of albums that have been bought by people around the world.

Robert has studied the art of hula for decades and has been an essential player in the evolution of modern Hawaiian music. His passion and talent have played a huge role in taking Hawaiian music and dance to stages all over the globe. Robert’s kane of Na Kamalei were overall winners at the 2015 Merrie Monarch Festival.

“Waimea is one of my favorite places in Hawai`i, and it’s always such a pleasure to perform for the folks (many I consider family),” says Robert. “It wouldn’t be spring without this concert, and I relish our time at Kahilu Theatre, one of the best venue’s in Hawaii!”

Doors open at 6 pm for the performance on Saturday, May 13, at 7 pm, with snacks and beverages available for sale at the Kahilu Theatre bar.  In the Kahiu Galleries, a Climate of Change juried exhibit is on display in the Kohala Gallery, and Dance of the Bees – The Exhibit is on display in the Hamakua Gallery.

Tickets are $68 / $58 / $48 / $20 and available for purchase online at www.kahilutheatre.org, by calling (808) 885-6868, or at the Kahilu Theatre Box Office, at 67-1186 Lindsey Road, Kamuela, HI 96743, Monday-Friday, from 9 am to 1 pm.

This performance is made possible by sponsorship from Marianne Maynard, Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, and Kona Brewing Co.

Hawaiian Airlines and KAPA Radio sponsor the 2016/17 Hawaiian Series.

Hawaiian Airlines’ Airport Operations Lowering Fuel Use, Carbon Emissions

Carrier decreasing its reliance on jet fuel to power aircraft at the gate

Hawaiian Airlines this month achieved a key milestone in its ongoing effort to reduce fuel burn and carbon emissions when it powered all wide-body aircraft arriving at airports in a single day with electrical power at the gate. The carrier’s initiative to connect parked aircraft to more efficient external electricity is significantly reducing pilots’ use of the onboard auxiliary power unit, or APU, which burns jet fuel to keep lights, avionics systems, air conditioning and other equipment on.

The work has the potential to reduce Hawaiian’s APU usage by an estimated 30 minutes per flight, saving some 620,000 gallons of fuel annually and cutting CO2 emissions by 5,933 metric tons. That’s roughly enough fuel to fly the airline’s wide-body fleet for a day, while the carbon reductions equate to removing 1,253 cars off the streets each year.

Hawaiian Airlines ground crews connect external power to a wide-body aircraft at Honolulu International Airport.

In the past year, Hawaiian made headway toward an ambitious goal of having gate power available to its entire wide-body fleet within three minutes of arrival as aircraft fly between Hawaii, 11 U.S. gateway cities and 10 international destinations. Line service and ground crews have met the target on 92 percent of flights on average. But on April 12, in what is internally being celebrated as “100 Percent Day,” employees reached a milestone when 47 wide-body flights received external power as aircraft arrived at airports from Auckland to New York.

“It’s very much like a carefully choreographed dance requiring great timing and the tight coordination of everyone involved in bringing our airplanes to the gate once they’ve landed,” said Jon Snook, Hawaiian’s executive vice president and chief operating officer. “Our teams must ensure the availability of working external power at the gate, monitor minute-by-minute the estimated arrival time of the aircraft, and ensure all personnel are in place and ready to receive the aircraft.”

Hawaiian already provides external gate power to its narrow-body fleet that average 170 daily flights between the Hawaiian Islands. The airline also owns portable power units that can be deployed in the event jetbridge electricity is unavailable or malfunctioning.

Hawaiian’s success in reducing APU usage aligns with the carrier’s ongoing commitment to reduce the impact of aviation on the environment.

Hawaiian, which operates one of the youngest fleet in the U.S. industry, is investing in fuel efficient aircraft by adding 18 new A321neos starting later this year. Last year, the airline conducted two demonstration flights to Honolulu from Brisbane and Auckland using a series of gate-to-gate environmental best practices outlined by the Asia and Pacific Initiative to Reduce Emissions, or ASPIRE.

Most recently, Hawaiian became the first U.S. carrier to join an international scientific monitoring project that enlists commercial airlines to research climate change and air quality worldwide. Hawaiian partnered with the In-service Aircraft for a Global Observing System (IAGOS) venture by equipping one Airbus A330-200 aircraft with an atmospheric monitoring tool that will collect valuable data throughout the airline’s far-reaching network covering the Pacific, Asia and North America.

Navy Attending Merrie Monarch Festival, Will Join in Royal Parade

The U.S. Pacific Fleet Band will march and perform in the 54th annual Merrie Monarch Royal Parade on April 22. Capt. James Jenks, Chief of Staff, Navy Region Hawaii, will also attend the festivities.

HILO, Hawaii (April 26, 2014) Under the direction of Lt. Patrick K. Sweeten, the Pacific Fleet Band marches in the 51st annual Merrie Monarch Festival Parade. The parade is the culmination of a week-long festival featuring an internationally acclaimed hula competition and a grand parade through the heart of Hilo. (U.S. Navy photo by Musician 2nd Class Andrea Sematoske/Released)

Capt. Jenks will attend the Hula Kahiko competition on Friday, April 21. He will also attend the Group Hula ʻAuana & Awards and participate with the U.S. Pacific Fleet Band in the Merrie Monarch Royal Parade on Saturday, April 22 at 10:30 a.m. along downtown Hilo.

The Navy recognizes that the Merrie Monarch Festival honors the legacy left by King David Kalākaua, who inspired the perpetuation of Hawaiian traditions, native language and arts. King Kalākaua negotiated a treaty with the United States that led to the Navy’s presence at Pearl Harbor.

“We appreciate King David Kalākaua’s commitment and legacy,” Jenks said. “King Kalākaua supported the Navy and provided the opportunity to establish a coaling station at Pearl Harbor more than a century ago. He was a big supporter of education, which is something we all value today; especially in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.”

Members of the U.S. Pacific Fleet Band have been on Hawaii Island this week, working with local school bands, reinforcing STEM education and providing community outreach.

TMT Contested Case Deadlines Set

Presiding Officer Issues Proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law Deadlines

In an order (Minute Order No. 43) issued today, contested case hearing officer Judge Riki May Amano (ret.) notified the parties of upcoming filing deadlines in the Contested Case Hearing for the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) Conservation District Use Application (CDUA) at the Mauna Kea Science Reserve. During the evidentiary portion of the Contested Case Hearing, spread over five months in late 2016 and early 2017, twenty-five parties to the case presented testimony and evidence.

Today’s order sets May 30, 2017 as the deadline for the parties to submit proposed findings of facts and conclusions of law.  Responses to these proposals are due by June 13, 2017.  Each response shall identify by Document Number the specific decision and order, findings of fact and conclusions of law to which it responds.

Minute Order No. 43 and all other minute orders and documents related to the TMT Contested Case can be viewed at: http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/mk/documents-library/.

Complete transcripts from the TMT Contested Case Hearing were made available yesterday at Hilo Public Library, Kailua Kona Public Library, Thelma Parker Memorial Library, and Edward H. Mookini Library on Hawaii island, and at the Hawaii State Public Library on Oahu.

Judge Amano will consider all filings and submit her proposed recommendation.  The matter will then go back to the State Board of Land and Natural Resources for argument, review and final decision.

Hokulea Received and Celebrated in Mahina

Legendary voyaging canoes Hokulea, Hikianalia and their crews were welcomed by the Mahina community yesterday. The crews enjoyed performances of traditional song and dance from people of all ages during the arrival celebration hosted on the shores of Mahina, which is near Papeete in Tahiti.

The arrival was filled with the true meaning of aloha. “You could feel it from the canoe. The community here was overwhelmingly happy and thrilled with love in their hearts that Hokulea and Hikianalia were there,” says Kala Tanaka, captain and navigator of Hikianalia. Adorned with welcome wishes and lei, the crews were treated to a front row celebration of traditional song and dance.

The arrival in Tahiti marks the reconnection of Hokulea and Hikianalia. The sister canoes were last together in Aotearoa (New Zealand) in the spring of 2015. “We started his voyage together and now we end this voyage together,” says Bruce Blankenfeld, master navigator of Hokulea.

The crew will travel throughout Tahiti and Raiatea to engage with the local communities in ceremony and educational outreach as they celebrate the close of the nearly four-year long journey. Together with her sister canoe Hikianalia, Hokulea will head home to a welcoming ceremony at Magic Island in June 2017.

Grants Approved for Digital Repository of Spoken Hawaiian Language

Grants approved for digital repository of spoken Hawaiian language
The National Science Foundation (NSF) and National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) have collectively awarded grants totaling $448,464 over a three-year period to fund a project involving multiple University of Hawaiʻi campuses to build a digital online repository of spoken Hawaiian language, or ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi.

Principal Investigator Keiki Kawai`ae`a, director of Ka Haka ʻUla O Ke`elikōlani (KHUOK) College of Hawaiian Language at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo

The NSF grant is for $283,464, while the NEH portion totals $165,000. The awards are effective August 1, 2017 and will be managed by Principal Investigator Keiki Kawai`ae`a, director of Ka Haka ʻUla O Ke`elikōlani (KHUOK) College of Hawaiian Language at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo, along with co-Principal Investigators Larry Kimura, associate professor at KHUOK, and Andrea Berez-Kroeker, associate professor in the Department of Linguistics at UH Mānoa.

The project, entitled “Building a Hawaiian Spoken Language Repository,” will create Kani`āina, a digital corpus of recordings and transcripts of Native Hawaiian language. Kani`āina will feature hundreds of hours of audio and video recordings, fully searchable transcripts in ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi, catalog information in both English and ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi, and a unique crowd-sourcing feature for soliciting enhanced transcription and content-tagging of the recordings from the public.

The recordings and transcripts will be accessible online at Ulukau: The Hawaiian Electronic Library, beginning with Phase 1 of the first two collections: Ka Leo Hawaiʻi and Kū i ka Mānaleo, later this year. The content will be archived for long-term preservation in Kaipuleohone, the University of Hawaiʻi Digital Language Archive, which is part of ScholarSpace, the UH institutional repository.

Kawai`ae`a says the awards also include funding for undergraduate research opportunities and for a cross-campus graduate educational exchange in language documentation and revitalization, which is especially timely.

“We are elated that we can now move toward building a larger public repository of audio and visual native speaker collections to support the growing population of Hawaiian speakers,” Kawai`ae`a said. “Kani`āina comes at a crucial time when the number of Hawaiian speakers is increasing as the last of the native speaking elders is rapidly dwindling. We now estimate the number of elder native speakers outside of the Ni`ihau community to total between 20 and 30.”

Data from an April 2016 report by the State Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism on Hawaiʻi’s non-English speaking population found the number of persons aged 5 and older who spoke Hawaiian at home statewide totaled 18,400. Kawai`ae`a also noted that more than 3,000 students are presently enrolled in Hawaiian-immersion schools P-12, while 13,500 are enrolled in Hawaiian language coursework in public and private educational institutions, and 2,000 students are enrolled in similar coursework at UH campuses.

Kawai`ae`a says the broader impacts of Kani`āina will include its integration into immersion-based language education from pre-school to the university level, Hawaiian knowledge in the natural and social sciences, and beyond. The project will also engage underrepresented groups as citizen scientists through its creation of a publicly available corpus of an endangered U.S. language.

Concerns Grows for Young Monk Seal on Kaua`i

After wildlife biologists and veterinarians relocated a 10-month-old Hawaiian monk seal on March 30th from the Lihi Canal in Kapa‘a, to a beach on the island’s west side they’d hoped she would stay away from the canal.  Two days ago the seal, identified as RH92, returned to the canal along with an adult seal (RK13). Together they’ve been seen feeding on small fish in the manmade waterway along with discarded fish parts. The return of RH92 to Lihi is prompting stepped-up public awareness and outreach and potentially enforcement of littering laws for fishermen who dispose of fish parts in the water.

Jamie Thomton, the Kaua‘i Marine Mammal Response Program Coordinator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) explained, “Any time you attract a wild animal into an area where human use is high, you’re increasing the risk of interaction between people and the seal.  You’re also exposing the seal to more risks, such as fishing nets that might be in the water, fishing hooks or strikes by boats.”  The endangered Hawaiian monk seal is protected by both federal and state laws, and injuring or killing a seal carries serious penalties.

The day after RH92 (now carrying a radio transmitter on her back so her movements can be tracked), returned to the canal she rested and basked in the sun on nearby Fuji beach.  As is standard practice with any of Kaua‘i’s population of an estimated 45 Hawaiian monk seals, volunteers posted signs asking people to give her wide berth. “We try to foster the co-existence with public education and outreach,” said Mimi Olry, the Kaua‘i Marine Mammal Response Field Coordinator with the DLNR Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR).  She added, “We depend on people taking up a sense of doing what’s appropriate around these large marine mammals.  We’d like to see people respect them, give them their space, and not to create situations that put both seals and humans at risk.”

The disposal of litter, like fish parts, is not only illegal, they decompose in water that people fish and swim in. Officers from the DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement (DOCARE) are increasing their visibility and patrols at Lihi. For now they want to be sure captains, crews, and fishers on boats that launch from the canal’s ramp know that disposing of any fish parts in the water is against the law. If one-on-one education doesn’t work DOCARE officers may begin writing citations for littering.

Monk seals frequently explore inland fresh waterways like streams and rivers. The attraction of discarded fish parts in these areas is particularly hazardous for young monk seals. Over the past two and a half years, two yearling seals were found dead in the Lihi Canal. It’s believed they drowned, possibly after getting entangled in fish nets. Neither seal had any sign of disease or obvious trauma.

“The last thing we want is to lose RH92, because she’s come back to Lihi, for the easy food of discarded fish guts, heads, and tails,” Thomton said.  He added, “We’re focusing outreach, education and possible enforcement efforts on boat fishing, as this is where the parts are coming from.”  The law requires that all fish parts be thrown into garbage cans provided at all State of Hawai‘i small boat harbors.

Hawaiian monk seals feed mostly on small reef fish, tako (octopus), and lobsters. Despite beliefs to the contrary, they do not feed on fish like ono, ahi, and mahi mahi.  Extensive scientific studies have shown what species of prey the monk seals prefer, and there’s no evidence that they feed on the large, fast moving pelagic fish that deep sea fishermen prefer.

Moreover, according to DAR’s Mimi Olry, “Top predators like seals and sharks help keep reef fish populations healthy, because just like wolves on the land, they pick out the sick and injured fish to feed on. Marine mammals are part of our ecosystem and the Hawaiian monk seal is a sentinel species, in that the health of its population can provide advance warnings about environmental conditions for people. We can and should co-exist with them”

There are no plans to move RH92 a second time and it’s hoped with increased outreach and education people will stop throwing fish scraps into the water and she’ll move on to safer locales.