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Rep. Tulsi Gabbard on DOI Rule Announcement

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard released the statement below following announcement of the Department of Interior’s (DOI) Final Rule for Procedures for Reestablishing a Formal Government-to-Government Relationship with the Native Hawaiian Community.

Click to read

Click to read

The rule incorporates and takes into account more than 54,000 public comments submitted to the Department of Interior from the Native Hawaiian community and other key stakeholders:

“For decades, many in the Native Hawaiian community have fought for the same rights and treatment as indigenous groups across the United States, like Native American tribes and Alaska Natives. The Department of Interior announcement today simply places the decision-making authority solely within the hands of Native Hawaiians to determine what, if any, government-to-government relationship they choose to have with the U.S. federal government. I had the great honor of working as a legislative aide to Senator Akaka, who dedicated so much of his life to creating this opportunity for our Native Hawaiian community. I look forward to continuing to engage and work alongside our Native Hawaiian brothers and sisters as they determine their path forward.” 

Iconic Hawaiian Bird Proposed for Endangered Species Act Protection

In response to a 2010 petition from the Center for Biological Diversity, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today proposed protection for the ‘i‘iwi as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. This bird, a bright-scarlet, nectar-feeding Hawaiian honeycreeper, was once widespread across all of the main Hawaiian Islands, but is now primarily found at higher elevations on East Maui and the island of Hawaii. The number one threat facing the species is climate change, which is driving the spread of highly lethal mosquito-borne diseases.

The ‘i‘iwi. (Photo by Brett Hartl, Center for Biological Diversity.)

The ‘i‘iwi. (Photo by Brett Hartl, Center for Biological Diversity.)

“The ‘i‘iwi is a spectacular, iconic Hawaiian bird that desperately needs Endangered Species Act protection to survive,” said the Center’s Loyal Mehrhoff. “But the good news is that if we protect it, it has a good shot at dodging extinction. A recent study by the Center found that the majority of U.S. birds with endangered species protection are improving.”

The ‘i‘iwi (Drepanis coccinea, also known asVestiaria coccinea) is a medium-sized honeycreeper that lives in native forests of ohia and koa. It is one of more than 50 species of honeycreepers that evolved, in a spectacular example of adaptive radiation, from a single finch-like bird that colonized Hawaii 2.5 million to 4 million years ago. Two out of three Hawaiian honeycreepers are now extinct, and most of the remaining honeycreepers are either already listed as threatened or endangered, or are declining. The ‘i‘iwi has seen a 92 percent decline on Kauai in the past 25 years and a 34 percent decline on Maui. As temperatures increase with global warming, so does the spread of introduced mosquito-borne diseases like avian malaria — which is almost 100 percent fatal to the bird.

“Protected areas that we once thought could save the ‘i‘iwi are now expected to be uninhabitable in the future because of the expanding range of mosquitoes and malaria,” said Mehrhoff. “So it’s crucial for the ‘i‘iwi to get the help it needs to avoid extinction and recover. This will require removing or greatly reducing the threat from introduced mosquito-borne diseases, as well as restoring and protecting native Hawaiian forests.”

“Sea to Sky” – Rebuilding Hōkūalaka’i

A free youth event called “Sea to Sky” will be held this weekend.  This event is designed to bring different aspects of our island together with the common purpose of rebuilding the voyaging canoe, Hōkūalaka’i.  The Hōkūalaka’i will be used for teaching purposes on Hawaiʻi Island and beyond. Hōkūalakaʻi’s home is in the same location (Palekai) that the historic Hōkūleʻa departed from on its world wide voyage.

hokulakaiThis will be the first of many “Sea to Sky” events at Palekai in Hilo.  It will be an all day event with something for everyone to enjoy.  We have invited many members of the scientific field to have fun educational learning stations available for kids and all participants will be hosted with great food and activities. The focus of the monthly events are structured to:

  • Unite community in helping to restore the voyaging canoe, Hōkūalaka’i.
  • Promote indigenous knowledge in science programs
  • Increase cultural relevance
  • Create opportunities to pursue careers in science and culture education fields

The schedule for the September 24th will be:

  • 8:00-8:30am Informal meet, setup and discuss days activities and work planned for the canoe.
  • 8:45-9:30am ‘awa ceremony and welcome
  • 9:30-11:30am Work on Hōkūalakaʻi, Visit Learning Stations, and Site Beautification Project
  • 11:30-12:30pm Lunch
  • 1:00-4:30 Paddling, Sailing, Swimming (Ocean Activities)
  • 4:30-5:00 Closing talk and cleanup

We will have “Learning Stations” and a variety of organizations joining us each week. Come down to Palekai and join in the community effort to restore Hōkūalakaʻi and help our youth learn about the science and culture that is happening on the Big Island.

If you would like to setup a booth to help educate kids, please contact us!  This will be an on-going event to share Hawaii’s Science and Culture with our youth and each other.  We will be publishing more details and our upcoming events on our website: http://alohapueo.org/pueo-events

Hokulea Spreading the Malama Honua Message at the 2016 Our Ocean Conference

To Malama Honua is to take care and protect all that makes up our planet. From the lands to the seas to perpetuating indigenous cultures across the globe, Hokulea’s historic Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage connects communities and countries through stories of hope and wisdom-utilizing these different perspectives as a guiding force to solve some of the world’s greatest challenges.

Nainoa Thompson, president of the Polynesian Voyaging Society and master navigator of Hokulea shared his vision of Malama Honua at this year’s 2016 Our Ocean Conference, hosted by Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday, September 15, 2016.

our-ocean-nainoaWith a special connection to the sea, Thompson was chosen to speak among prominent influencers and leaders to help explore and understand the importance of conserving the ocean. The Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage has been inspiring collective actions from different organizations around the world-many of which are starting in Hawaiʻi, as Governor David Ige announced Hawaiʻi’s commitment to manage 30 percent of Hawaiʻi’s nearshore waters by 2030 during the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Conservation Congress.

our-ocean-panel

“It was an honor to provide a voice for Hawaii and the Pacific at this important conference focused on ocean protection,” said Nainoa Thompson, president, Polynesian Voyaging Society. “Being in the room and hearing the actions being taken by these great ‘navigators’ makes me hopeful that the world will get back on the right course with a sail plan for a sustainable ocean and future for our children.”

The ocean is a vital resource to sustain all life on Earth. The Our Ocean Conference brings together many of the world’s environmental activists, and higher-level government leaders to catalyze actions in order to protect our ocean from pollution, climate-related impacts, and unsustainable and illegal fishing.

our-ocean-obamaSeveral speakers of the 2016 Our Ocean Conference included President of the United States, Barack Obama; Actor and Environmental Activists, Leonardo DiCaprio; and U.S. Senator Brian Schatz of Hawaii-all who hope to empower and create a movement for generations to follow.

The 2016 Our Ocean Conference was held in Washington D.C.from September 15 to September 16, 2016.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Lawmakers Urge President to Ensure Army Corps Consultation with Standing Rock Sioux on Dakota Access Pipeline

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard and 18 House Democrats wrote to President Barack Obama calling on the United States Army Corps of Engineers to fulfill their responsibility of holding meaningful consultation and collaboration with the Standing Rock Sioux over the route of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

dakota-pipeline

“The federal government has a moral and legal trust responsibility to ensure that federally permitted projects do not threaten historically or culturally significant tribal places, the trust lands of tribal nations, or the waters that run through them. We stand with tribal leaders in asking you to uphold our federal trust responsibility and protect tribal interests in this and future permitting decisions by the United States Army Corps of Engineers,” the lawmakers wrote. “In the instance of the Dakota Access Pipeline, despite its location within a mile of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, the United States Army Corps of Engineers failed in its responsibility to engage in meaningful consultation and collaboration with potentially impacted tribal nations. The lack of proper consultation on the Dakota Access Pipeline has been detrimental to the interests of all stakeholders in this issue, from the tribal governments whose heritage and lands are at risk to the workers hired to construct this pipeline who now face uncertain conditions.”

The full text of the letter is below:

Dear President Obama:

As Members of the Congressional Native American Caucus, we are writing to you to share our deep concerns with the lack of tribal consultation in the routing of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL).  In recent weeks, we have heard from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe about the destructive impact that the current route of this pipeline could have upon the tribe’s sacred and cultural places, as well as the risks posed to their waters, due to the lack of proper engagement from the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE).   We stand with tribal leaders in asking you to uphold our federal trust responsibility and protect tribal interests in this and future permitting decisions by the USACE.

The federal government has a moral and legal trust responsibility to ensure that federally permitted projects do not threaten historically or culturally significant tribal places, the trust lands of tribal nations, or the waters that run through them.  Pursuant to Executive Order 13175 of November 6, 2000, and reinforced by the Presidential Memorandum on Tribal Consultation of November 5, 2009, the executive departments and agencies of the federal government are to engage in “regular and meaningful consultation and collaboration with tribal officials”.  In the instance of the DAPL, despite its location within a mile of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, the USACE failed in its responsibility to engage in meaningful consultation and collaboration with potentially impacted tribal nations.

We are encouraged by the September 9th announcement from the Department of Justice, the Department of the Army, and the Department of the Interior that the Army would be halting construction of the DAPL on Army Corps land and undertaking a review of its previous decisions about the Lake Oahe site.  The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is currently petitioning the courts to determine whether the approval process for the DAPL was fully compliant with the National Historic Preservation Act, the Clean Water Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, and our federal trust responsibility.  We urge the Administration to maintain its hold on further permitting for the DAPL project until the concerns of the Tribe about the protection of their sacred sites, homelands, and water quality have been fully addressed.  In the meantime, we are pleased to see that the Administration will be holding formal government-to-government consultations this fall to improve tribal input on infrastructure decisions.  We look forward to working with you on legislative proposals to ensure the preservation of tribal sacred and historic sites, protection of trust lands, and access to clean water are prioritized for the DAPL and other USACE project decisions.

As Members of Congress and as fellow trustees for tribal lands with the Administration, we are deeply disappointed in this lapse in our nation-to-nation relationship.  Ultimately, the lack of proper consultation on the DAPL has been detrimental to the interests of all stakeholders in this issue, from the tribal governments whose heritage and lands are at risk to the workers hired to construct this pipeline who now face uncertain conditions.   When tribal consultation is neglected, both tribal nations and our nation as a whole suffer.

Hokulea and Aha Punana Leo Converge on Kahnawake – Heading Towards Great Lakes

As Hokulea continues forth on her Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage, the crew and founding board members of Aha Punana Leo-a Native Hawaiian nonprofit dedicated to revitalizing the Hawaiian language for future generations in Hawaiʻi-honored a relationship that spans nearly 5,000 miles and 40 years of revolutionaries working together to revitalize and perpetuate the core of indigenous knowledge.

hokulea-mohawke

Passing through the 34th lock to get to the upper Montreal area of the St. Lawrence river, Hokulea docked at her first Marina within a Native Reserve-the Mohawk Territory of Kahnawake.

This gathering was yet another opportunity along this Worldwide Voyage to honor the collaborative work being done in native communities to keep indigenous knowledge alive and relevant to the world around us. Additionally, the crew of Hokulea, the founding members of Aha Punana Leo, and the Mohawk community hope to inspire and perpetuate native knowledge and language for generations to come.

nainoa-with-mohawks

Kauanoe Kamana, founding board member and current president of Aha Punana Leo, addressed both groups in Hawaiian. “The connection between our work in language revitalization and the pursuits of our waʻa Hokulea, have to do with the fact that we set out with our work, prepared and with a strong resolve to succeed as best as we can,” said Kamana as translated in English. “But, we donʻt know what the result will be until we actually arrive.”

“Your work in the past had huge impact in Hawaiʻi, and the fact that you would allow us to bring our leaders up here, our pioneers, our courageous individuals, Pila Wilson, his wife Kauanoe, Nāmaka,” said Nainoa Thompson, Pwo navigator. “These are the ones that are changing the world and bringing back the language with your help,” Thompson added.

The Mohawk community is home to the immersion program whose leaders helped pave the way for Hawaiʻi’s immersion program in the early ʻ80’s. Dorothy Lazore was instrumental in establishing the Mohawk language immersion program in Kahnawake and spoke before Hawaiʻi’s Board of Education on the day that Hawaiʻi DOE’s immersion program was approved-a program that has become a model nationally and internationally.

mohawks“As you were telling us just how we helped you and how we were an inspiration for your people, and how our teachers went out to help you to revitalize what could have been lost in one generation or in two,” said Kanentokon Hemlock, Bear Clan Chief of the Kanonsonnionwe Long House. “It’s interesting because you inspire us.We look to you. We follow your inspiration too in all the work you have been doing in your land,” Hemlock shared.

During this monumental visit, crew members of Hokulea and Mohawk natives gathered at the Kanonsonnionwe Long House as they welcomed each other by exchanging gifts and songs in their native languages. Kālepa Baybayan, captain of Hokulea’s leg 23 of the Worldwide Voyage, presented Kanentokon Hemlock, Bear Clan Chief of the Kanonsonnionwe Long House, with a traditional Hawaiian feather or kahili.

“Working together like this-that is the key to our collective success! It is that kind of mindset, thinking not just about the individual, but thinking about all of us-us as an ʻohana,” said in Hawaiian by Kamanā.

Leg 23 Sail Plan

Leg 23 Sail Plan

Kauai Launches First Traditional Voyaging Canoe

Namahoe, Kauai’s first traditional voyaging canoe, made her inaugural launch into the waters of Nawiliwili Bay at high noon yesterday.  The historic birth of the canoe is the culmination of more than 20 years of work by Kauai’s voyaging group Na Kalai Waa o Kauai under the leadership of John Kruse, Dennis Chun and the late Dr. Patrick Aiu.  The Kauai community joined by voyagers and supporters from though out Hawaii and the Pacific celebrated Namahoe’s launch with festivities held today at the Kauai Marriott Resort and Beach Club.

namahoe-frontWith the birth of Namahoe, which means Gemini, the guiding constellation from Oahu to Kauai, there are now eight traditional voyaging canoes in Hawaii.  According to Kruse, Namahoe may be the first voyaging canoe launched from Kauai in close to 600 years.  At 72-feet long, the canoe is also the largest in the Hawaiian islands.

“Namahoe already holds so much mana from the many hands in the community that helped to build her over the last 20 years,” said Chun.  “The community on Kauai needs to have its own voyaging canoe to help perpetuate the culture and values of our ancestors and to provide educational opportunities for our young people.”

namahoe“I commend John, Dennis and the late Dr. Aiu for their vision and years of extraordinary dedication to building a voyaging canoe for Kauai and its people,” said Nainoa Thompson, president, Polynesian Voyaging Society.  “To see there are now eight voyaging canoes in Hawaiian waters since Hokulea was born 41 years ago shows that the people of Hawaii share a desire to protect our past and our most cherished values,” he said.

All former crewmembers of Hokulea, Kruse, Chun and Aiu were first inspired to build a canoe for Kauai back in 1995, after the construction of Makalii on Hawaii Island.

Hālau O Kekuhi Kicks Off Kahilu Theatre’s 36th Presenting Season

Sunday, September 18, 4PM, the internationally acclaimed Hālau O Kekuhi kicks off Kahilu Theatre’s 36th Presenting Season.

halau-kekui2

Hālau o Kekuhi is the hālau hula (classical dance company), and the center of cultural knowledge for the Edith Kanaka’ole Foundation (EKF). The cultural beliefs and practices in which the EKF is anchored radiate from the traditional practices of the hālau that can account for eight generations of kumu hula.

The hālau is celebrated for their mastery of the ‘aiha‘a style of hula (dance) and oli (chant). The ‘aiha‘a is a low-postured, vigorous, bombastic style of hula that springs from the eruptive volcano personas Pele and Hi‘iaka, characteristic of Hawai‘i Island’s creative forces. They have earned local, state, national, and international recognition for their art.

The leadership of the dance company is currently transmitted through matrilineal succession and with the passing of Edith Kanaka‘ole, her daughters Pualani Kanaka‘ole Kanahele and Nālani Kanaka‘ole assumed the role of kumu hula. In 2007, Pualani relinquished her position to her daughters, Kekuhi Keali‘ikanaka‘oleohaililani and Huihui Kanahele-Mossman, who along with Nālani, are now the kumu hula of the hālau.

The Kahilu Theatre doors open at 3pm for the performance and there will be food and beverages available for sale at the Kahilu Theatre bar. This show concludes the opening weekend of the Kapa Kahilu exhibit, which will be on display in the Kahilu Galleries.

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

This performance is made possible by The Hawai’i Council for Humanities & The Hawai’i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, and by generous sponsorship from Kate Bell, PhD & Tom Blackburn, PhD, Concepción S. & Irwin Federman, Jim & Susan Mori, Sherm & Elaine Warner, and Fairmont Orchid.

The Kahilu 2016/17 Hawaiian Series is sponsored by Hawaiian Airlines and KAPA Radio.

Kapa Kahilu Gallery Exhibit

Kahilu Theatre is pleased to present Kapa Kahilu, an exhibition displaying original new works of kapa created by celebrated practitioners of the revered Hawaiian art form. The curated art works will be on display in the Theatre’s Kohala and Hamakua galleries from September 15 through November 3. The exhibit opens the 36th Season of the Kahilu Theatre Foundation.

kapa

Kapa Kahilu will be the first exhibit of its kind on Hawai‘i Island and will feature some of today’s most respected kapa makers across the state. It will be a rare chance for island residents, students, and visitors to Hawai‘i Island to be immersed in this ancient Hawaiian art form.

verna kapaa

“The Exhibit is in honor of renowned kapa practitioner Marie McDonald. She is one of the primary artists attributed to preserving and perpetuating the art of kapa; it was her idea to have a kapa exhibit of this caliber in North Hawai’i,” said Kahilu Exhibitions Coordinator Margo Ray. “Marie is a long time Waimea resident and although she is no longer making kapa, three of her pieces from private collections will be included in the exhibit.”

Kapa Artists Featured:

  • Moana Eisele
  • Roen Hufford
  • Dalani Tanahy
  • Sabra Kauka
  • Verna Takashima
  • Bernice Akamine
  • Solomon Aipo
  • Lisa Schattenburg Raymond
  • Marie McDonald
  • Denby Freeland-Cole

There will be an exhibit opening reception on Thursday, September 15, from 5pm to 7pm. Live music will be provided by Hōkū Pa’a, pupu and libations will also be on offer, and most of the featured artists will be present. The documentary Ka Hana Kapa will also be screened in the Theatre starting at 6pm. The reception is free and open to the public.

Hōkū Pa’a

Hōkū Pa’a

On, Friday, September 16, from 4pm to 6pm, kapa makers and experts will hold a symposium and Q&A session with exhibiting artists and contributing scholars. This is free and open to anyone who wishes to learn more about the art form.

Sunday, September 18 at 4pm, there will be a performance by the celebrated Hālau O Kekuhi. Dancers from the halau will be wearing the traditional kapa pa’u and malo garments during the event. The Sunday performance is the opening show of the Kahilu Theatre’s 36th Season.

Kapa making demonstrations by local kapa makers will be held at the Theatre on select Saturdays during the exhibit. Confirmed demonstration dates are September 17 and October 8. These demonstrations will take place from 11am to 2pm and are free to the public.

Kahilu Theatre will also be publishing an educational and curatorial exhibit guide with scholarly essays by Victoria Kneubuhl, Moana Eisle, Betty Lou Kam, Roen Hufford, and Craig Howes, along with images of select kapa pieces in the exhibit.

Kapa is made from the fibrous inner bark of the wauke, and clothed early Hawaiians for centuries. The papery cloth is often stamped with many intricate designs, or stained with colorful dyes made from native plants and was used primarily for clothing, blankets, and religious rituals.

Kapa Kahilu is made possible by generous grants from the Hawaii Council for the Humanities and the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts.

The Kahilu Galleries are free and open to the public, Monday through Friday, from 9am to 1pm, and during all performances. For more information, visit www.kahilutheatre.org or call (808) 885-6868.

Hokulea Crosses Paths With The World’s Largest Viking Ship

During Hokulea’s historic sail on the Erie Canal this week, the canoe crossed paths with the Draken Harald Harfagre, a modern day Viking ship from Norway on a similar mission of connecting the ancient ways of sailing with modern-day exploration. One from Hawaii and the other from Norway, both sailing vessels are connecting their crews with their past by tracing the ocean routes and voyaging traditions of their ancestors.

drakkenUpon arrival at New York’s Sylvan Beach, located on the east shore of Oneida Lake adjacent to the Erie Canal, on Wednesday, Hokulea tied up bow-to-bow with Draken Harald Harfagre. Hokulea crew members welcomed the Draken crew on board the traditional Polynesian canoe. They also received the opportunity to board the 114 feet long, 80-ton ship with a 3,200 square foot sail from Norway crafted from oak.

The two crews exchanged gifts as a gesture of respect and friendship. Kalepa Baybayan, captain of Hokulea’s leg 23 of the Worldwide Voyage, presented Draken Captain Bjorn Ahlander with a traditional Hawaiian feather standard or kahili, and the Hokulea crew members received a book from the Draken Harald Harfagre crew that contained photos of the majestic vessel sailing alongside icebergs and through snow storms.

drakken2“The mission was to prove that it is possible to sail the ocean with a Viking ship. We knew that before, because we got findings from (Viking explorer) Leif Eriksson around year 1000 in North America, many years before Christopher Columbus found India,” said Ahlander of the Draken Harald Harfagre as he described the start of his crew’s journey. “The mission was to prove that it was possible to go the historic voyage from Norway to Iceland, Iceland to Greenland, Greenland to Newfoundland, and we did it,” Ahlander stated.
drakken3“A lot of people do not move far from where they come from, and I think that’s a pity because people all over the world are different, we can learn so much from each other,” said Erik Rolfmoller, deckhand for the Draken Harald Harfagre. “The exploration and the development you go through personally when you go exploring is very important,” Rolfmoller added.

Named after Harald Harfagre, the king who unified Norway into one kingdom, the dragon ship was constructed in the town of Haugesund in Western Norway in March of 2010. In 2012, Draken Harald Harfagre launched for the first time on trial sails in the waters along the Norwegian coastline. Draken Harald Harfagre made her first lengthy roundtrip ocean voyage from Haugesund, Norway, to Liverpool, England in the summer of 2014. In late April of this year, the world’s largest viking ship built in modern times left Norway to sail off for a challenging voyage across the North Atlantic Ocean.

drakken4Both crews from the Viking ship and Polynesian canoe connected on their shared purpose of making the ancient ways of sailing still highly relevant in today’s modern world, by retracing and honoring the sea routes of their ancestors and perpetuating the spirit of exploration. Additionally, Hokulea crew shared with the Draken crew the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage’s mission of caring for Island Earth, and finding stories of hope from the places and people they encounter along their journey.

Hokulea is currently docked in Oswego, NY on Lake Ontario and will be heading for Ontario, Canada next.

Hawaii International AgriTourism Symposium

Hawai‘i AgriTourism Association (HATA) will host the state’s first Hawai‘i International AgriTourism Symposium on October 15, 2016 at the College of Hawaiian Language: Ka Haka ‘Ulu O Ke‘elikōlani, in Hilo. Industry experts from Hawai‘i, New Zealand and Japan will share their forecasts, trends and tips on how they compete on a global stage. They will share what visitors from their regions are looking to experience in AgriTourism, as well as perspectives on how they have diversified agricultural operations in innovative ways to increase profitability, reduce risk, and protect rural communities.

agritourism symposium

This global symposium aims to help people get on trend with the connections between agriculture and travel/tourism. The industry is an “economic multiplier” that impacts restaurants, lodging, health, and education. For every dollar spent at an AgriTourism farm, an additional $2.25 is spent within the community in food, fuel, and retail.  The ripple effect continues with home based and small businesses that create value add products from the farm crop such as jams, baked goods, and beauty or health products.

As a popular and highly marketable segment of Hawai‘i’s $10-billion dollar visitor industry, AgriTourism is poised to take off in the next decade. It’s not only a viable part of the economy; it’s also an important way to preserve our island lifestyles and culture.

AgriTourism offers farmers and small businesses an incredible opportunity to expand their business using creative approaches, and innovative partnerships. This symposium will show how the state’s largest economic industries, tourism and agriculture, merge to create economic diversity and innovation that visitors will pay for.

Farmers who include an AgriTourism component in their marketing plan can see substantial financial benefits. AgriTourism can provide the difference between a profitable and an unprofitable farming operation, and between a sustainable and an unsustainable agricultural region. With the potential of this niche market expanding at such a fast pace, there has never been a better time to learn more about AgriTourism.

Online Registration for Hawai‘i’s International AgriTourism Symposium is open at www.hiagtourism.org.  Vendors who wish to sell products at the Hawai‘i Marketplace may also register online as well.  For more information, please contact Lani Weigert, lani@hiagtourism.org.  Space is limited, early registration encouraged.

Guiding Restoration of Hawaiian Fishponds

Loko i‘a, or traditional Hawaiian fishponds, are unique aquaculture systems that existed throughout ancient Hawai‘i. Although a 1990 statewide survey identified 488 loko i‘a sites, many were in degraded condition, and either completely beyond repair or unrecognizable.

fishponds2However, there is hope, as communities and stewardship groups continue to actively restore or have expressed interest in reviving the integrity and productivity of fishpond locations still in existence.

Suzanne Case, Department of Land and Natural Resources Chair says, “In 2012, a dedicated group of individuals and organizations came together to overcome difficulties in obtaining approvals from multiple agencies, to maintain and restore Hawaiian fishponds.”

fishpondsFishpond practitioners formed Hui Malama Loko I‘a to empower one another and leverage their skills, knowledge and resources, while working to feed and connect communities around the islands.  This network currently includes over 38 fishponds and complexes, with over 100 fishpond owners, workers, supporters and stakeholders.

Case adds, “Now the DLNR Office of Conservation and Coastal Lands is releasing a new guidebook on fishpond restoration in time for the IUCN World Conservation Congress 2016. This guidebook marks the beginning of what we hope will be a new day in Hawaiian fishpond revitalization,” she said.

Fishponds3The newly published, high-quality, full-color “Ho‘ala Loko I‘a Permit Application Guidebook” is intended to help cultural practitioners, landowners and community groups navigate a new streamlined application process for Hawaiian fishpond revitalization.

Historically, fishponds have been subject to an extensive permitting process that requires large amounts of resources and time to secure. So in 2015 the State of Hawai‘i completed streamlining the permitting process for the repair, restoration, maintenance and operation of traditional Hawaiian fishponds in Hawai‘i.

The DLNR Office of Conservation and Coastal Lands (OCCL) and collaborators have developed a master permit for traditional Hawaiian fishponds that encompasses the main permits currently required. This master permitting process and program is called “Ho‘ala Loko I‘a.” The program was designed to be in compliance with as many federal and state regulations as possible to make the permitting process easier for fishpond practitioners to navigate.

Practitioners can now use a simplified conservation district use permit to apply for permits under this programmatic permit.

A programmatic environmental assessment (EA) was also completed to comply with the Hawai’i Environmental Quality Act (HEPA). The CDUP and programmatic EA were designed to cover all existing traditional fishponds in the State.

fishponds4Another helpful step was the signing of Bill 230 by Governor Ige in July 2015, which waived the need to obtain a Department of Health 401 Water Quality Certification for fishpond restoration.  This waiver is only available to projects that obtain permits through the OCCL program.  While the program vastly reduces government red tape, projects are still required to have water quality monitoring, mitigation and best management practices in place to keep Hawaii’s waters clean and reefs healthy.

The Ho‘ala Loko I‘a Permit Application Guidebook further provides clear guidance on how to meet State water quality standard.

Although this streamlined permitting program covers many of the authorizations for restoring a loko i‘a, in some cases, additional permits or authorizations may still be required, such as:

  • A right of entry agreement from DLNR land division for a state-owned pond
  • A stream channel alteration permit from the Commission on Water Resource Management)
  • A special management area county permit for work mauka of the shoreline

Applications submitted to OCCL are reviewed and subject to best management practices and monitoring standards that help to protect Hawaii’s environmental and cultural resources while supporting the need for communities and practitioners to care for
loko i‘a.

Pearl Harbor Restaurant Using Celebrity Chef Sam Choy’s Name Without Permission

A restaurant located on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam is not what many folks may think it actually is and certainly isn’t what the United States Navy may have thought what they were getting when they allowed the restaurant to open up on the military base.

Island Grille2

Image from the Island Grille website

Sam Choy’s Island Style Seafood Grille” located on the base at 3465 Malama Bay Drive, Honolulu, Hawaii IS NOT AFFILIATED with the Celebrity Chef Sam Choy that we have all come to know and love here in Hawaii.

I asked the owner to respond to an email about the ownership of the restaurant… however, after 4 days he has not responded to my email.

Image from Island Grille website

Image from Island Grille website

After speaking with those associated with the “Real” Sam Choy, I learned that the restaurant is not even serving the same recipes; Sam does not cook there, and hasn’t ever even been compensated for his namesake on the restaurant.

Sam Choy stated:

“The Hickam / Pearl Harbor Restaurant was opened using my name.  To this day I have never seen a penny of royalty or any payment of any sort going towards using my name.  I just want the community to be aware of this fact.”

According to an August 19th Facebook post the Island Style Grille is accepting applications using Sam Choy’s name as a hiring point:

“Sam Choy’s Seafood Grille is hiring! Located conveniently on JBPHH right next to Hickam beach! Positions available for all back of house kitchen staff including Line Cooks as well as all front of house including Bartenders and Servers. Experience required for line cook, bartending and serving. Please inquire and/or apply in person or contact us with any questions!!!!!”

I have learned that Choy and his team have retained an attorney and are looking to get his name removed from the restaurant… so until then… just know that this restaurant is not affiliated with the “Real Sam Choy”.

Real Sam Choy

Click to see the REAL Sam Choy!

Hokulea Begins Travel to North American Great Lakes Using Complex Waterway Lock System

Precision, timing and patience: these meticulous elements are crucial to the success of Hokulea’s most current leg of the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage, as the canoe and her crew are set to encounter lock after lock on their first-time sail to the Great Lakes of North America. A lock is a complex waterway system used for raising and lowering watercraft between bodies of water of different levels on rivers and waterways.

locks4The traditional voyaging canoe from Hawaii left Waterford, New York early this morning and docked at Riverlink Marina in Amsterdam, New York at around 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Crew members are now prepped to sail the Erie Canal locks and bridges, taking the Oswego detour to pass through 30 locks to reach Lake Ontario.

locksThe canoe first encountered the waterway lock system in March this year during her Florida sail. However, this current series of locks is the most extensive lock system that the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage has experienced, and the crew will take this time to learn the more intricate details about the physics of the lock system. On this leg of the voyage, the canoe has been elevated by the waterway locks by a collective total of 250 feet.

locks2The Hokulea crew plans to re-start sailing tomorrow morning at 7:30 a.m. ET. After completing the first ten 10 locks today, they are aiming to complete Locks 11-18, with Lock 17 having the highest water lift of 40 feet.

locks3This current leg will bring Hokulea the furthest north that she will travel on the Worldwide Voyage.

New Restaurants, Exhibitors Join Taste Hawaiian Range Sept. 9

Fresh and nutritious Hawai’i Island food and the people who produce it are the stars of Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range 6-8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 9 at the Hilton Waikoloa Village.

Taste HaydenTasty culinary stations, food producer booths and agricultural-themed displays—totaling over 75 stations— will sprawl both inside and out at the resort’s conference center.

Pre-sale tickets are available online for $45 through midnight September 8 and at island wide locations until sold out; they are $60 at the door. Details: www.TasteoftheHawaiianRange.com.

Each Taste chef is assigned to prepare a whopping 100 pounds of a specific cut of pasture-raised beef—or locally sourced pork, lamb, mutton, goat or USDA-inspected wild boar—and the result is a festive adventure of tasting everything from tongue to tail. Most of the beef cuts are utilized so chefs and attendees can get acquainted with not-so-familiar cuts while having fun. The pasture-raised beef is sourced from local, humanely raised cattle that are free of antibiotics and hormones.

Taste ShankIn addition to “grazing” on expertly prepared beef sirloin, lamb or Rocky Mountain Oysters—aka bull’s testicles—attendees can taste samples at local food product booths and view compelling educational displays on sustainability and agriculture.

New participating exhibitors include Beyond Organic Consulting, Waimea Butcher Shop, Paradise Hawaii Balsamics, Spicy Ninja Sauce, Rapid ‘Ohi‘a Death, Farm Works Hawaii, Orchid Isle Traders, Hawaii Lassi-Akmal Foods, USDA Farm Service Agency and UH-CTAHR Veterinary Extension.

Restaurants debuting at the 2016 Taste include Noodle Club, Waipio Cook House, 3 Fat Pigs, Daylight Mind Coffee Company Waikoloa, Monstera and The Fish Hopper.

Also new will be a streaming video shown at different event locations featuring seven Big Island ranchers and farmers talking story about why they produce food.

taste2015

Those wanting to learn first-hand how to use and prepare 100 percent pasture-raised beef can attend the event’s annual Cooking 101 culinary demonstration. This year’s team of guest presenters are chefs Kevin Hanney and J Schoonover of Oahu’s 12 Ave Grill and Kokohead Café. The 3 p.m. presentation includes sampling and is $10; tix available online or at the door. A 1 p.m. seminar, “Learn Where Beef Cuts Come From,” is free.

Islandwide tickets locations include Kuhio Grille in Hilo, Kamuela Liquors and Parker Ranch Store in Waimea, Kona Wine Market in Kailua-Kona and Kohala Essence Shop at Hilton Waikoloa Village.

Watch for ticket giveaways on Facebook at Taste of the Hawaiian Range and Twitter #TasteHI. For general event information, phone (808) 322-4892.

Hawai‘i residents eager to savor the flavors of the Taste can take advantage of Hilton Waikoloa Village’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range Package with rates starting at $239 + tax per room on Friday, Sept. 9, 2016. This Kama‘aina Special also includes two tickets to the Taste of the Hawaiian Range. Guests must show valid Hawai‘i state ID at checkin and must have Hawai‘i address in reservation. Pre- and post-event hotel room prices start at $149 plus tax per room, per night, based on availability. To book an overnight stay at Hilton Waikoloa Village under an exclusive Taste of the Hawaiian Range room package (code TSH), visit www.hiltonwaikoloavillage.com/kamaaina, or https://secure3.hilton.com/en_US/hi/reservation/book.htm?hotel=KOAHWHH&spec_plan=TSH&arrivaldate=20151009 or call 1-800-HILTONS.

 

Hokulea Heading to the Great Lakes

Hokulea departed Jersey City, New Jersey this morning to embark on a new journey that will take the iconic canoe to the Great Lakes for the first time in history. After sailing through New York via the Hudson River, Hokulea is slated to sail through the fresh water systems of the Erie Canal, Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence.

great lakesThe canoe will reach the farthest point north of the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage when she arrives in Sorel, Canada in mid-September and is expected to return to New Jersey by October (weather-permitting).

Great Lakes1Leg 23 of the the Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage gives the Hokulea crew an opportunity to learn about Canada’s parks, lakes, rivers and wetlands and what the country is doing to protect and conserve these resources. Canada has one fifth of the world’s freshwater.

great lakes2Another first in her sailing history, the traditional sailing vessel will travel through Canada’s locks and waterways exploring new territory for the canoe and her experienced crew. Hokulea’s crew will sail up New York’s Hudson River to the Erie Canal to reach Lake Ontario and plans to travel all the way to the Saint Lawrence River in Quebec to access Montreal. The canoe is expected to journey through 52 locks and under 160 bridges, crossing fresh water systems throughout inland Canada.

great lakes3“Exploration is core to what we do, which is why we are sailing Hokulea to waters where we never imagined she could go,” said Nainoa Thompson, president of the Polynesian Voyaging society and pwo (master) navigator. “Because of Canada’s lock system and other complexities, the voyaging team has spent months preparing for this leg by researching and studying these waterways,” he added.

great lakes4

President Barack Obama Announces the Expansion of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument

Today, President Barack Obama announced the expansion of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument (PMNM) by more than 442,000 square miles.  U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), who formally proposed the PMNM expansion in a letter to the president in June, applauded the decision. This action will create the world’s largest marine protected area by putting some of the world’s most important ocean ecosystems under conservation.

new area
“This is one of the most important actions an American president has ever taken for the health of the oceans,” said Senator Schatz. “Expanding Papahanaumokuakea will replenish stocks of ‘ahi, promote biodiversity, fight climate change, and give a greater voice to Native Hawaiians in managing this resource.  President Obama’s declaration is only the beginning.  To create continued success, we will need to follow through with management, research, educational opportunities, and enforcement.  This declaration sets us on a strong path forward for our irreplaceable environment and the generations to come.”

At 582,578 square miles, the declaration creates the world’s largest marine protected area by expanding the PMNM west of 163° West Longitude out to the full 200 nautical miles of the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone, while preserving access for local fishermen on Kaua‘i and Ni‘ihau by maintaining the current boundaries of the PMNM east of 163° West Longitude.  President Obama will also grant Schatz’s request to make the Office of Hawaiian Affairs a Co-Trustee of the PMNM.

Hawaii Governor Signs Letter of Support for Expansion of Papahānaumokuakea Marine National Monument

Gov. David Ige sent a letter to President Barack Obama conveying his support for the expansion of the Papahānaumokuakea Marine National Monument.

Click to read letter

Click to read letter

The letter was signed and transmitted on the evening of Aug. 24.

Finger Flipper Not Showing “Aloha Spirit” Creates Resolution of Removal

(UPDATE) A resolution to remove Chelsea Kent, the woman from Texas that moved to Oahu and became part of the Hawaii delegation at the Democratic National Convention and decided to flip the cameras off while the Hawaii Democrats were reading their votes during a live broadcast… has been removed was created from the Hawaii Democratic Party based on a Hawaii Revised Statute that is to hold the Aloha Spirit in high regards.

Aloha Spirit removalThe Aloha Spirt Law (HRS 5-7.5):

[§5-7.5] “Aloha Spirit”. (a) “Aloha Spirit” is the coordination of mind and heart within each person. It brings each person to the self. Each person must think and emote good feelings to others. In the contemplation and presence of the life force, “Aloha”, the following unuhi laula loa may be used:
“Akahai”, meaning kindness to be expressed with tenderness;
“Lokahi”, meaning unity, to be expressed with harmony;
“Oluolu”, meaning agreeable, to be expressed with pleasantness;
“Haahaa”, meaning humility, to be expressed with modesty;
“Ahonui”, meaning patience, to be expressed with perseverance.
These are traits of character that express the charm, warmth and sincerity of Hawaii’s people. It was the working philosophy of native Hawaiians and was presented as a gift to the people of Hawaii. “Aloha” is more than a word of greeting or farewell or a salutation. “Aloha” means mutual regard and affection and extends warmth in caring with no obligation in return. “Aloha” is the essence of relationships in which each person is important to every other person for collective existence. “Aloha” means to hear what is not said, to see what cannot be seen and to know the unknowable.
(b) In exercising their power on behalf of the people and in fulfillment of their responsibilities, obligations and service to the people, the legislature, governor, lieutenant governor, executive officers of each department, the chief justice, associate justices, and judges of the appellate, circuit, and district courts may contemplate and reside with the life force and give consideration to the “Aloha Spirit”. [L 1986, c 202, §1]

Also a resolution was made to remove Bart Dame as the Hawaii Democratic Party National Committee District Chair for his role in not enforcing things it appears he failed to manage the behavior and expression of Kent and it appears he took no decisive action against Kent.

Bart Dame

Mayor-Elect Harry Kim On “Insights on PBS Hawaii”

On Thursday August 18th, Hawaii County Mayor-Elect Harry Kim was on PBS Hawaii’s television show “Insights on PBS Hawaii“.

Mayor Elect Kim at PBS
Mayor-Elect Kim talked about committing to the be the mayor of the Big Island for the next 4 years, some of the reasons why he ran for office, trust in government in general at all levels while even touching a bit on the Billy Kenoi p-Card legal predictions our current mayor is in.

He also spoke about this current election and the feedback he has been receiving since being re-elected as the Mayor of Hawaii County.  He spoke a little about the divide between East Hawaii and West Hawaii and part of the lack of communication that he had in his previous time in office.

The PBS Hawaii Replay is tomorrow at 2pm but you can watch it anytime here: