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Big Island Chocolate Festival Awards $17,500 to Four Local Beneficiaries

Proceeds totaling $17,500 from the 2017 Big Island Chocolate Festival (BICF) were awarded to four local organizations at the event’s recent volunteer appreciation celebration.

Displaying their beneficiary checks with Kona Cacao Association President Farsheed Bonakdar (center) are from left: Ashley Pendergast of Waimea Country School’s Na Keiki Aloha ‘Aina program, Heidi Noche and Dana Mattos of Kona Dance & Performing Arts, Patti Kimball and Nem Lau of Kona Kohala Chefs Association’s high school culinary program and Kayla Strom and Ambi Diggins of Kona Pacific Public Charter School.

Presented by the Kona Cacao Association (KCA), the BICF is an annual, two-day event offering agricultural and culinary learning experiences and competitions, plus a gala celebration of chocolate. The mission of KCA is to promote the local cacao industry by presenting BICF as an educational and outreach opportunity for cacao farmers, the hospitality industry and cacao enthusiasts. KCA membership is open to anyone wanting to help create a recognizable brand for Hawai‘i Island chocolate.

Mahalo to 2017 BICF event sponsors: Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel, Guittard Chocolate Company, Prova, Valrohna USA, Cacao Barry, Barry Callebaut, ChoiceMART, Kona Auto Center, Dolphin Journeys, Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory, Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union, Amoretti, Cocoa Outlet, Kona Brewing Company, Young’s Market, Waialua Estate Coffee & Chocolate, XPress Reprographics, The Spoon Shop, Island Asphalt Maintenance, DHX, Island Air, Republica Del Cacao, The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i, Pivotal Shift Consulting Group, Hawaii Coffee Connection, First American Title and TheWave@92FM.  #BIChocoFest, #ChocolateGold

For more information, visit http://konacacaoassociation.com and www.bigislandchocolatefestival.com.

“Family Fourth” at Waikoloa Beach Resort – July 4th

From the big splash of a thousand yellow ducks to the fantastic fireworks finale with music by the U.S. Air Force Band of the Pacific, the Family Fourth is a great way to celebrate the red, white and blue. Waikoloa Beach Resort’s free, all-day event features nonstop entertainment, balloon art, carnival games and treats for all ages, from 10:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., at Kings’ Shops, Queens’ MarketPlace and Waikoloa Bowl.

Family Fourth begins at 10:30 a.m. with opening oli (chant) and traditional hula kahiko at Kings’ Shops, followed by Hawaiian music from Komakakino. Leading up to the big race at 3 p.m., great entertainment by Micah De Aguiar with Kuleana, and Lito Arkangel. And afterward, one of Hawaii’s favorite singer-songwriters, John Cruz. (See schedule below). Special promotions will be offered from select merchants throughout the Shops.

The 26th Annual Rubber Duckie Race, is a major fundraiser for the United Cerebral Palsy Association of Hawaii (UCPA). Thousands of rubber duckies are adopted by people from near and far, who gather around Kings’ Lake to watch their ducks take the plunge, and cheer them on to the finish line. Winners reward their owners with valuable prizes. To adopt a duck, call Kings’ Shops office, at 886-8811. All proceeds benefit UCPA of Hawai‘i.

At Queens’ MarketPlace, salsa lovers from around the island bring their dancing shoes to join the Salsa Latinos at the Coronation Pavilion at 12 noon. At the same time, attendees can enjoy a fun selection of Carnival Games with prizes, amazing balloon-twist art by Balloon Monsoon, and cotton candy and popcorn stands. Tomi Isobe Blues Band, DamStr8, Lorenzo’s Army and the Larry Dupio Blues Band fill the day with music.

Doors open to Waikoloa Bowl at 4:30 p.m., for an exciting concert by Tomi Isobe Blues Band and the powerful sound of the United States Air Force Band of the Pacific, followed by a fireworks extravaganza.

From their station at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, the Band travels across the Islands, to Japan and throughout the Pacific region to perform hundreds of musical concerts each year. For Family Fourth, the Band will be playing a variety of pop, rock and R&B hits, as well as patriotic music for the fireworks extravaganza that lights up the sky at Waikoloa Bowl.

Beach mats or chairs are welcome for open lawn seating in Waikoloa Bowl. Coolers and alcoholic beverages are not permitted. This is a non-smoking event. Waikoloa Beach Resort would like to thank the Hawaii County Fire Department for co-sponsoring the community fireworks display. For more information visit www.WaikoloaBeachResort.com or call Queens’ MarketPlace office at 886-8822.

July 4 Schedule of Events:

Kings’ Shops

  • 10:30 a.m.  Opening chant and hula kahiko
  • 11 a.m.  Komakakino with Hālau
  • 12 p.m.  Micah De Aguiar with Kuleana
  • 1:30 p.m.  Watermelon Eating Contest
  • 2 p.m.  Lito Arkangel
  • 3 p.m.  26th Annual Rubber Duckie Race for UCPA of Hawai‘i
  • 3:30 p.m.  John Cruz
  • 4:30 p.m.  Duck Calling and Duck Waddling Contests
  • 5:30 p.m.  Award Ceremony at Center Stage

Queens’ MarketPlace, Coronation Pavilion

  • 12 p.m.  Salsa Latinos
  • 12-5 p.m.  Cotton candy, popcorn, balloon art by Balloon Monsoon, Carnival games throughout Queens’ MarketPlace
  • 2 p.m.  Tomi Isobe Blues Band
  • 3 p.m.  DamStr8
  • 4 p.m.  Lorenzo’s Army
  • 5 p.m.  Larry Dupio Blues Band
  • 8:30 p.m.  Music by Full Circle at the Coronation Pavilion, to wind down the night

Waikoloa Bowl

  • 4:30 p.m.  Entrances open to Waikoloa Bowl
  • 5 p.m.  Music by Tomi Isobe Blues Band
  • 6:30 p.m.  United States Air Force Band of the Pacific
  • 8 p.m.  FIREWORKS SHOW

For more information visit www.QueensMarketPlace.net or call 886-8822.

North Kona Water Restrictions – URGENT All Customers Reduce Use By 25%

Due to ongoing repairs of four (4) wells in the North Kona area, the Department of Water Supply’s mandatory 25 percent Water Restriction remains in effect.

Monitoring over the past several months indicates little to no change in water usage.  It is extremely urgent that all customers reduce their water use by 25 percent.

To ensure continued water service to all customers in the Kona community, your help is needed.  Please do your part.

For information on what you can do to reduce your water usage please visit our website at www.hawaiidws.org.  You can also call the Department of Water Supply at 961-8060 for more information or to report misuse during normal business hours of 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

For after-hours emergencies, please call 961-8790.

Multi-Million Dollar Lawsuit Against State of Hawaii Dismissed

Hawaii federal judge Susan Oki Mollway yesterday dismissed a lawsuit filed by a private landowner against the State of Hawaii after the State Land Use Commission in 2011 reverted more than 1,000 acres of land in South Kohala on Hawaii island from urban to agricultural use, Attorney General Doug Chin announced.

Earlier this year Plaintiff DW Aina Lea Development, LLC (DW) sued the State claiming that the decision by the Land Use Commission was a constitutional taking of DW’s property without compensation. The State argued that DW was not damaged and that the lawsuit was brought too late after applicable statutes of limitation had passed. Judge Mollway agreed with the State that DW’s lawsuit was time-barred.

Attorney General Doug Chin

Attorney General Chin said, “The attorneys in my office take very seriously all claims against the State and will fight to not pay anything to claimants who are not entitled to payment or who fail to follow the rules. This owner came to court too late and will leave with nothing.”

The Land Use Commission had taken action in 2011 to revert the South Kohala land because a requirement to build affordable housing there remained unfulfilled more than 20 years after the original reclassification. The Hawaii Supreme Court later reversed the Commission’s decision based on money various developers spent on preliminary work.

The same land is the subject of another lawsuit brought by a prior landowner and developer, Bridge Aina Lea, LLC, that is claiming up to $40 million in damages based on the same action by the Commission. Bridge Aina Lea, LLC, filed its lawsuit against the State in 2011. Trial in this other case is scheduled for March of 2018.

Three Dead in Traffic Crash on Queen Kaʻahumanu Highway

Three people died in a traffic crash Wednesday morning (May 17) in Kailua-Kona, North of the 92 mile marker of the Queen Kaʻahumanu Highway. Their names are being withheld pending positive identification and notification of next of kin.

Responding to a 6:26 a.m. call, police determined that a 1998 Toyota 4Runner operated by an unidentified male party had been passing several vehicles as he traveled North on the Queen Kaʻahumanu Highway, and as he completed his pass the operator lost control of his vehicle which caused it to veer back into the oncoming (Southbound) lane where it was then involved in a broadside collision with a 2008 Nissan Titan operated by a 37-year-old Kamuela man.

Photo via Dustin Hesse

A 32-year-old female passenger of the Nissan Titan was taken to the Kona Community Hospital for treatment of her injuries of which she is currently in critical condition.

The driver and passenger of the Toyota 4Runner, and the driver of the Nissan Titan were all taken to the Kona Community Hospital where they were pronounced dead on Wednesday (May 17) at 12:20 p.m, 12:21 p.m, and 12:22 p.m respectively.

Police believe speed was a factor in the crash, but is not immediately known if alcohol was a factor.

Autopsies have been order to determine the exact cause of death and to identify the parties.

The Traffic Enforcement Unit has initiated a negligent homicide investigation and is asking for anyone who may have witnessed the accident to contact Officer Kimo Keliipaakaua at 326-4646 ext. 229.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo.

This is the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth traffic fatalities this year compared to ten at this time last year.

Kohala Officer of the Quarter: Tyler Prokopec

The Hawaiʻi Island Safety and Security Professionals Association has recognized Officer Tyler Prokopec as the “Kohala Officer of the Quarter” for the first quarter of 2017. A ceremony was held on Friday (April 21), at the Civil Defense headquarters in Hilo.

Pictured from left to right: Captain Randall Ishii, Mayor Harry Kim, Officer Tyler Prokopec, Bill King of Securitas, and Wesley Taketa of Royal Kona Resort

Officer Prokopec was honored for his actions while off-duty which resulted in the arrest of a disorderly male at the Waikoloa Queen’s Market Place in February.

On February 15, 2017, at 9:30 p.m., Officer Prokopec, who was off-duty, was driving along Waikoloa Beach Drive when he observed a security guard and a civilian struggling to detain a disorderly male near the Queen’s Market Place. The disorderly male, upon being alerted that Prokopec was a police officer, immediately jumped up and ran to the roadway in an attempt to flee. The male then attempted stopping a moving vehicle before jumping onto the hood of a pickup truck and then shattered it’s windshield by kicking it. Officer Prokopec was then able to remove the suspect from the truck and safely place him under arrest. It was later learned that the suspect had caused damages to two other vehicles in the area.

Sergeant Erich Jackson commented in his nomination papers that “without Officer Prokopec’s immediate and decisive intervention, the suspect may have harmed himself further or committed more crimes. Officer Prokopec exemplified the Hawaiʻi Police Department’s core values of Professionalism, Integrity and Community Satisfaction and is deserving of this award.”

The Hawaiʻi Island Safety and Security Professionals Association is an organization of hotel and airport security managers and visitor industry professionals. Its “Kohala Officer of the Quarter” program is an opportunity to recognize outstanding officers from the North Kohala and South Kohala Districts.

39th Annual Golf Tournament Supports Brantley Center

The Brantley Center, a services provider for people with disabilities, will host its 39th Annual Golf Tournament at Waikoloa Village Golf Course on Sunday, April 23, 2017.

The 39th Annual Golf Tournament supports the Brantley Center’s work with people with disabilities.

The tournament starts at 8 a.m. with a shotgun start, two-person best ball modified format. Entry fees are $125 per player for golf, lunch and prizes, including a chance to win $10,000 for hole-in-one. A silent auction fundraiser offers exciting items, like rounds of golf at the exclusive Nanea and Kohanaiki golf clubs.

Designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr., the Waikoloa Village Golf Course opened in 1972 and is known to be enough for the serious golfer, and a fun experience for beginners as well. The 6,971-yard, par 72 layout includes wide, forgiving landing areas, and well-bunkered and undulating greens with picturesque ocean and mountain views.

Brantley Center, founded in 1964 by Sergeant Gilbert Brantley, a former National Guard Advisor, provides adult day programs for clients with physical, emotional or mental disabilities. In a safe and supportive environment, men and women from North Hilo, Hāmākua and Kohala receive independent life skills and employment training, vocational rehabilitation, and help transitioning into the regular job market. Work opportunity is also available for some clients through the Center’s business services, such as aquaponic lettuce, auto detailing, janitorial, lawn and landscaping services.

A 501 (C) 3 non-profit organization administered by a volunteer Board of Directors, Brantley Center depends on government funding and grants from charitable organizations such as Hawaii Island United Way. The golf tournament and other fundraisers throughout the year fill a critical gap in budgetary need.

Golfers and non-golfers are invited to contribute to the benefit golf tournament, and various sponsorship levels are available. Organizers also welcome silent auction items, gift certificates and other donations at all price levels, to generate enthusiasm and give everyone a chance to participate.

For more information, please contact Golf Tournament Chairman Roland Kaneshiro, 987-7712, or call the Brantley Center, 775-7245.

Man Tries to Fool Cops on April Fool’s Day – Fakes Kidnapping

Detectives with the Area II Criminal Investigation Section arrested 21-year-old Dwain Lum-Young of Waikoloa this morning (April 13) after investigation revealed that a previously reported kidnapping incident was fabricated.

Dwain Lum-Young

On Saturday, April 1, 2017, Lum-Young reported that on the previous evening while on Mauna Kea Beach Drive, he picked up a male hitchhiker who assaulted him and attempted to force him to drive to Waimea. During this same incident, Lum-Young reported his vehicle was involved in an accident with another vehicle and he left the accident scene due to the alleged kidnapper’s actions.

As Area II Criminal Investigation Section detectives continued their efforts to develop leads in the kidnappin g investigation, they determined the reported kidnapping and assault incidents did not happen.

Detectives arrested and charged Lum-Young at 9:10 a.m. today for false reporting to law enforcement authorities, accident involving damage to vehicle, and duty to give information and render aid. He was released from police custody after posting bail of $1,500 and will appear in court at a later date.

Police ask anyone who may have information about this investigation to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311 or contact Detective Carrie Akina at (808)326-4646, ext. 277 or via email at Carrie.Akina@hawaiicounty.gov.

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

Chocolate Worth Gold at Big Island Chocolate Festival Gala

It’s a destination for delicious at the sixth annual Big Island Chocolate Festival gala 5-9 p.m. Sat., April 29 at Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel. Indulge in both savory and sweet temptations prepared by top chefs and chocolatiers, plus unlimited wine and beer pours, in the spacious ballroom and twinkle-lit courtyard.

More chocolatey fun includes a tasty mole and salad bar, plus chocolate body painting and a chocolate sculpture display. Magic Strings, with versatile violinist Ursula Vietze, will serenade attendees and Kona Dance and Performing Arts stages classic tap dance, jazz and musical theatre during “Le Chocolat.” Dj EzE will spin tunes for your dancing pleasure while a silent auction will offer a variety of local activities and dining options.

This year’s event theme is “Worth Its Weight in Gold: The History of Chocolate” and culinary stations will be judged on their depiction of the theme, plus a host of “best” culinary categories: savory, plated dessert, bonbon, bean-to-bar, Hawaiian cacao and People’s Choice for Best Savory and Best Sweet.

In addition to the Hapuna Beach Hotel, culinary participants to date include Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Cafe Pesto, Fish Hopper, Madre Chocolate, The Fairmont Orchid, Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory, Hilo Sharks Chocolate, Hilton Waikoloa Village, Hilton Hawaiian Village, Sweet Eats, Guittard Chocolate Company, Prova, Valhrona USA, Huggo’s and Huggo’s on the Rocks, Padovani’s Chocolates, West Hawai’i Community College-Palamanui, Big Isle culinary high school students and the Cocoa Outlet with its signature, four-foot-tall chocolate fountain.

Numerous, off-island culinary professionals will judge the gala’s delicious offerings. Celebrity chefs coming from the Mainland are Alicia Boada of Cacao Barry, one of few individuals accredited as an executive pastry chef, culinary administrator and culinary educator by the American Culinary Federation; Stéphane Tréand, MOF of The Pastry School; author Paul Picton, owner of Maverick Chocolate; and Donald Wressell, executive pastry chef of Guittard Chocolate Company. Judges from Maui include chefs Elizabeth McDonald of B3 A Beach Bunny Bakery; Ricky DeBoer of The Fairmont, Kea Lani; and Yoshikazu Kizu of Ritz-Carlton Kapalua, while Michael Moorhouse is coming from Waikiki’s Kahala Hotel & Resort. Prizes will be awarded at the gala, plus winners will be announced for the event’s Friday college culinary competition.

General admission tickets to the gala are $79 presale, $100 at the door. Also available is the Saturday I LOVE Chocolate! all-day pass for three daytime culinary demos and the evening gala priced at $135.

Presented by the Kona Cacao Association (KCA), event proceeds benefit the ACF Kona Kohala Chefs Assn., Kona Dance & Performing Arts, Kona Pacific Public Charter School and Waimea Country School’s Na Keiki Aloha ‘Aina.

Find ticket info, plus details on the event’s April 28-29 agricultural activities and culinary demonstrations, at www.BigIslandChocolateFestival.com. The Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel offers festival room rates, phone 888-977-4623 and ask for BICF rate. Island Air offers festival attendees a 10 percent discount for travel April 24-May 3, 2017: Code BICF10 and travel must be booked by April 29. Terms and conditions may apply.

The Big Island Chocolate Festival is presented by the Kona Cacao Association, Inc. The mission and goal of KCA is to promote the cacao industry on the Big Island of Hawai‘i by presenting BICF as an educational and outreach opportunity for local cacao farmers, the hospitality industry and cacao enthusiasts. Mahalo to 2017 event sponsors Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel, Guittard Chocolate Company, Prova, Valrohna USA, Cacao Barry, Barry Callebaut, ChoiceMART, Kona Auto Center, Dolphin Journeys, Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory, Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union, Amoretti, Cocoa Outlet, Kona Brewing Company, Young’s Market, Waialua Estate Coffee & Chocolate, XPress Reprographics, The Spoon Shop, Island Asphalt Maintenance, DHX, Island Air, Republica Del Cacao and The Wave@92FM.  www.bigislandchocolatefestival.com. @BIChocoFest

Hawaiian Island Creations Launches HIC Wahine at The Shops at Mauna Lani

The Shops at Mauna Lani is pleased to announce their newest store, HIC Wahine, the latest brand by Hawaiian Island Creations (HIC). This new, 1,500 square foot boutique is HIC’s fifth Hawai‘i Island location, and their only store focused entirely on clothing, swimwear, and accessories for women and girls.

“We’ve listened to requests from the Mauna Lani shoppers for more women’s products, and that’s what led to the expansion,” said Leigh Tonai, CEO of HIC. “We have assigned an all-female crew to head buying and management of the store to make sure we are carrying the best items for our wahine customers.”

HIC Wahine features women’s fashion, apparel and accessories from Amuse Society, Roxy, Volcom, Billabong, Oakley, Nixon, Reefs, Love Stitch, Havaianas and Dakine.

Hawaiian Island Creations was started in 1971 by brothers Stephen and Jimmy Tsukayama, who opened their first store in Kailua, on Oahu’s windward side. For over 45 years HIC has offered Hawai‘i the best selection of surfboards, skateboards, clothing and accessories. Through a commitment to quality, service and aloha spirit, the brand has built a reputation as an icon of Hawaiian surfing recognized worldwide.

HIC made its first move to Hawai‘i Island and The Shops at Mauna Lani in 2011, and quickly realized it had tapped a market thirsty for top quality surf brands. HIC Wahine is open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. For more information, visit www.hicsurf.com, or call 808-238-0251.

World-Class Pastry Chefs, Cacao Experts Lead Seminars at Big Island Chocolate Festival

Get the insider scoop on growing cacao—the bean needed to make chocolate—and find out why it must be fermented properly. See how to make chocolate dessert sensations—and taste them—by the nation’s leading pastry chefs.

Chocolate Covered Bacon on a stick

All these compelling educational offerings are part of the sixth annual Big Island Chocolate Festival April 28-29. The fun demonstrations and informative seminars lead up to the festival gala 5 p.m. April 29 at the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel.

Presented by the Kona Cacao Association (KCA), event proceeds benefit the ACF Kona Kohala Chefs Assn., Kona Dance & Performing Arts, Kona Pacific Public Charter School and Waimea Country School’s Na Keiki Aloha ‘Aina.

Here’s a quick rundown of hands-on fun that can be booked at www.bigislandchocolatefestival.com:

With the exception of the cacao farm tour, all activities are at the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel.

Friday April 28

  • 11 a.m.-noon: Guided Plantation Tour at Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory in Keauhou. Visit the nation’s first tree-to-bar chocolate operation to see cacao growing on trees and how it’s processed into chocolate. Enjoy samples and visit the Chocolate Shoppe. Admission to the farm tour is $25.

Friday April 28-Cacao Farming Seminars, $40 for all

  • 11 a.m.-noon: “Cacao Survey Results” and an update on the “CTAHR’s Cacao Variety Development Project,” is presented by Dr. H.C. Skip Bittenbender of UH’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources. An extension specialist for coffee, kava and cacao, Bittenbender has conducted field research to provide prospective growers with quality stock in an effort to bring Hawai‘i cacao to the marketplace.
  • 12:15 p.m.- 1:15 p.m.: “Bean-to-Bar Chocolate Production” by author Paul Picton. A native of Canada, Picton is president/co-owner of Maverick Chocolate, a family operated, bean-to-bar chocolate company that opened 2014 in Ohio.
  • 1:30-2:30 p.m.: “The Art and Craft of Cacao Fermentation” by Dr. Nat Bletter of O‘ahu’s Madre Chocolate. Find out why fermenting is the most important step for determining flavor in tree-to-bar chocolate making.

Saturday, April 29-Chocolate Culinary Demonstrations, $35 each or $75 for all

  • 9:30-11 a.m. Demonstration with Tasting: “Small Chocolate Bites,” by Donald Wressell, executive pastry chef at Guittard Chocolate Company. Known for his spectacular, chocolate sculptures at past BICFs, Wressell will show three-to-four different types of mini desserts like chocolate marshmallows, chocolate financier and others.
  • 11:15-12:45 p.m. Demonstration: “Chocolate Crystallization & Tempering” by Alicia Boada, who is coming on behalf of Cacao Barry.

    Chef Alicia Boada

    She is the West Coast Technical Advisor for Barry Callebaut Chocolate, whose brands include Cacao Barry, Callebaut and Mona Lisa. Boada is a highly credentialed culinarian, being certified as an executive pastry chef, culinary educator and culinary administrator by the American Culinary Federation. As a corporate pastry chef and chocolatier, Boada offers worldwide training while keeping on the edge of what’s happening in the contemporary pastry and chocolate world. She also serves as president of Women Chefs & Restaurants.

  • 1-2:30 p.m. Demonstration: “Creating a Artistic Chocolate Showpiece.”

    Chef Stephane Treand MOF

    Stéphane Tréand MOF of The Pastry School offers tips on how to add artistic flair to your chocolate creations. Tréand’s prestigious Pastry School in California instructs students of all abilities in the pastry and baking arts.

Also available is the Saturday I LOVE Chocolate! all-day pass for culinary demos and gala priced at $135.

Chocolate decadence culminates 5-9 p.m. April 29 with the festival gala at the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel. Taste sweet and savory creations by chefs, chocolatiers, confectioners and beverage purveyors, plus vote for the People’s Choice Awards. Also on tap will be unlimited pours of fine wines and handcrafted ales, chocolate body painting, entertainment and a silent auction.

Find ticket info at www.BigIslandChocolateFestival.com. Special room/ticket packages for two start at $385 at the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel and can be conveniently booked at http://www.bigislandchocolatefestival.com/buy-tickets/ and through the Festival website under “Tickets.” Island Air offers festival attendees a 10 percent discount for travel April 24-May 3, 2017: Code BICF10 and travel must be booked by April 29. Terms and conditions may apply.

The Big Island Chocolate Festival is presented by the Kona Cacao Association, Inc. The mission and goal of KCA is to promote the cacao industry on the Big Island of Hawai‘i by presenting BICF as an educational and outreach opportunity for local cacao farmers, the hospitality industry and cacao enthusiasts.

Mahalo to 2017 event sponsors:

Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel, Guittard Chocolate Company, Prova, Valrohna USA, Cacao Barry, Barry Callebaut, ChoiceMART, Kona Auto Center, Dolphin Journeys, Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory, Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union, Amoretti, Cocoa Outlet, Kona Brewing Company, Young’s Market, Waialua Estate Coffee & Chocolate, XPress Reprographics, The Spoon Shop, Island Asphalt Maintenance, DHX, Island Air, Republica Del Cacao and The Wave@92FM.  www.bigislandchocolatefestival.com. @BIChocoFest

Kohala Officer of the Quarter: Sidra Naki-Brown

The Hawaiʻi Island Safety and Security Professionals Association recognized Officer Sidra Naki-Brown as “Kohala Officer of the Quarter” during a ceremony held on Friday (March 10).

Pictured from left to right: Robert Hickox of Kohanaiki, Randy Crowe of R. Crowe Consulting, Officer Sidra Naki-Brown, and Captain Randal Ishii

Officer Naki-Brown was honored for her diligence, persistence and determination while dealing with an unruly and violent suspect.

On December 5, 2016, Officer Naki-Brown responded to a report of a disorderly male at the Waikoloa Village shopping center. Despite the male suspect being very vulgar towards her and challenging her and others to fight, Officer Naki-Brown remained calm and professional. The suspect then attempted to flee, although fell to the ground and was subsequently arrested for disorderly conduct.

Throughout the arrest process, Officer Naki-Brown remained calm and professional, never letting her emotions take over. She treated the male suspect with dignity and respect, regardless of how he was treating her.

Sergeant Floyd Richards commented in his nomination papers that “her level of determination, professionalism, and perseverance is a testament of her professional work ethic and moral character. Our department’s core values of professionalism and compassion come to mind when reflecting on the actions of Officer Naki-Brown.”

The Hawaiʻi Island Safety and Security Professionals Association is an organization of hotel and airport security managers and visitor industry professionals. Its “Kohala Officer of the Quarter” program is an opportunity to recognize outstanding officers from the North Kohala and South Kohala Districts.

The Shops’ New Art Event to Benefit Kona Historical Society

The Shops at Mauna Lani presents “Art in The Park,” a live art auction featuring collections by Lahaina Galleries, Third Dimension Gallery, Kozy’s Tiki Gallery and The Fine Hawaiian Gift Gallery. The event takes place Saturday, April 1, in the central courtyard area, commencing with a reception at 5 p.m., provided by The Blue Room Brasserie & Bar and Monstera Noodles & Sushi.  The auction will be led by Brent Hawley with music provided by Dave and Maile Lee Tavares.

Paul Kozak (Kozy’s Tiki Gallery) and Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker

During the reception, guests will be able to meet and talk story with artists Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker, Jacob Medina and Richard Rochkovsky, while Rod Cameron personally paints a piece that will be offered to the highest bidder later in the evening. The auction highlights a compilation of paintings and sculptures of the featured artists as well as other works from the galleries.

Proceeds from the evening will benefit Kona Historical Society, a community based non-profit organization that was founded in 1976 to collect, preserve and share the history of the Kona districts.

Tickets for Art in The Park are $50 each and are available at Brown Paper Tickets, http://artinthepark.bpt.me. Admission includes a souvenir auction book, complimentary hors d’oeuvres and two beverages (beer, wine or soda). For more information, visit www.shopsatmaunalani.com, or call (808) 885-9501.

About The Shops at Mauna Lani. From simple to elegant, The Shops at Mauna Lani is the premier shopping, dining and lifestyle destination on the Kohala Coast of Hawaii’s Big Island. The Shops at Mauna Lani is home to Hawaii Island’s only 4D Adventure Ride theater, housed inside the Fine Hawaiian Gift Gallery, which offers unique and affordable made-in-Hawaii products.  The Shops offers twice weekly Polynesian Hula & Fire shows, free community cultural events along with a selection of retail stores such as Reyn’s by Reyn Spooner, Tommy Bahama Store, Jams World, Oasis Lifestyle, Hawaiian Island Creations (HIC), Hulakai and others. The Shops at Mauna Lani is also home to Hawaii Island’s only Foodland Farms gourmet grocery market, R. Field Wine Company, as well as galleries, lifestyle stores, and a wonderful selection of seven restaurants. For more information, call (808) 885-9501, visit www.shopsatmaunalani.com, or follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

St. Patrick’s Day Irish Fest at The Shops

The Shops at Mauna Lani invites the community to its first St. Patrick’s Day Irish Fest, Saturday, March 18, 5-7 p.m.


The Hawaii Irish Dance School will perform with Celtic folk rock band, The Kilt Lifters and bagpiper, Mark Knox. Kozy of Kozy’s Tiki Palace will MC the event and open with a magic show.

Evening festivities include Celtic face fainting and a balloon artist at the Kid’s Shamrock Activity Corner. Under the Bodhi Tree vegetarian restaurant will have an Irish themed menu offering while Tropics Ale House will provide a Beer & Whiskey Garden with their own Irish themed dish.

The St. Patrick’s Day Irish Fest at The Shops at Mauna Lani is free, and all are welcome. For more information, visit www.shopsatmaunalani.com, or call (808) 885-9501.

Grammy Foundation Award Winning Honoka’a High School Jazz Band at The Shops at Mauna Lani

The Shops at Mauna Lani invites the community to its first annual Moonlight Mele Jazz Concert on Friday, March 10, 6-7 p.m. The event features the musical stylings of nationally recognized, Honoka’a High School Jazz Band.

Under the direction of Gary Washburn, a dedicated teacher, accomplished jazz artist, the band is considered one of the top in the nation. The ensemble consists of advanced music students who uphold a long tradition of excellence at Honoka’a High and Intermediate Schools.

The Jazz Band has played on National Public Radio’s “From the Top,” and opened for the Royal Hawaiian Band at Iolani Palace where they were recognized by the State Legislature. They do a yearly multi-concert tour of Oahu to celebrate National Jazz Appreciation Month, and their 14th CD (an annual fundraiser) has just been released. In 2011, they received a national Grammy Signature Schools Award.

The Moonlight Mele Jazz Concert at The Shops at Mauna Lani is free, and all are welcome.  For more information, visit www.shopsatmaunalani.com, or call (808) 885-9501.

West Hawaii Community Health Center Expanding – Informational Meeting Planned

West Hawaii Community Health Center (WHCHC) will soon open the doors to its newly expanded Waikoloa location, offering a wide variety of medical and dental services to area residents.

West Hawaii Community Health Center

An informational community meeting will be held Tuesday, March 7 at Waikoloa Elementary School cafeteria starting at 6:30 pm. Interested community members are invited to attend to learn more about the new services being offered.

The Waikoloa Elementary School cafeteria is located at 68-1730 Hooko Street in Waikoloa Village. Refreshments will be offered.

West Hawaii Community Health Center board members, management staff, as well as medical and dental staff will be on-hand to answer questions and share more information.

To learn more about this event, please call 808-331-6472, or visit WestHawaiichc.org

Willie K Headlines 17th Annual Great Waikoloa ‘Ukulele Festival

Called “Hawaiian Hendrix to Polynesian Pavarotti,” Uncle Willie K has wowed world audiences since he started playing music with his dad’s band at age 6. For the first time, Willie K will make a special appearance at the 17th Annual Great Waikoloa ‘Ukulele Festival Saturday, March 4 at Queens’ MarketPlace.

Just part of the day-long line up of ‘ukulele superstars on three stages, Willie K is a Grammy nominee, and winner of 18 Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards. His talented fingers and powerful voice stretch the limits from sweet falsetto, to lowdown blues, blow-your-hair-back rock, and operatic aria.

The ‘Ukulele Festival begins with Roy Sakuma’s traditional free ‘ukulele workshop, this year at the Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa’s Paniolo Ballroom at 10 a.m.

From 11:15 a.m., throughout the day, live entertainment takes place on three stages at Kings’ Shops and Queens’ MarketPlace.

The all-star lineup includes:

Lito Arkangel. From Keaau in East Hawai‘i, Lito is a Navy veteran, lecturer at UH Hilo and regular entertainer in resort lounges. He is an accomplished musician and Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards nominee who has also played the big stage at the Merrie Monarch Festival.

Kris Fuchigami. A Hawai‘i Island musician, Kris won the Hamakua Music Scholarship Competition at the age of 15. Since then, he has released five CDs, and performed worldwide. Kris has an exciting style that pulls in elements of pop, rock and contemporary sound.

Arden Fujiwara. Born in Hawai‘i, Arden is now part of the Seattle music scene, fusing ‘ukulele tradition with the progressive, including rock and hip hop.

Kunia Galdeira. Grandson of Gabby “Pops” Pahinui, Kunia learned to play ‘ukulele at a very young age. He is an in-deman solo artist and also frequently plays with Sonny Lim and Kevin Kealoha as the trio, “Ekolu Mea Nui.”

The Humble Project, led by Tad Humble and K.U.P.A Hale, led by Alan Hale. These two groups of dedicated musicians from Kona with a common love for ‘ukulele music and for sharing it with others of all ages.

Alii Keanaaina. Originally from North Kona, Alii first toured with his twin brother Nui, before stepping into the solo spotlight in 2010, when he won the Clyde “Kindy” Sproat Falsetto Contest. He tours in Japan, Las Vegas, and around the Islands, and easily pleases crowds with his smooth falsetto and full voice Hawaiian music.

Widdy Loo. Born and raised Hawai’i Island, Widdy is a lifelong musician who plays a wide variety of music, often incorporating hula and stories of “Old Hawai‘i”.

Maluhia. George Bence and Beverly McCabe created the Hawaiian-Canadian musical blend, Maluhia  (“peace”). They share their time and music between Hawai‘i and Vancouver Islands.

Brittni Paiva. Brittni’s musical career started with piano lessons at age four in her hometown, Hilo. She picked up ‘ukulele at eleven and has since released six CDs, won the Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award for ‘Ukulele Album of the Year, and traveled internationally. Her multi-genre style melds traditional, pop, alternative, EDM (Electronic Dance Music) and more, and she has pioneered the looping technique on ‘ukulele in her YouTube videos.

Mark Yamanaka. A nine-time Hōkū winner from Hilo, Mark is known for his sweet and soulful Hawaiian music and falsetto, performs frequently in the island and Japan.

The festival includes prizes and ‘ukulele giveaways by sponsoring companies.

The 17th Annual Great Waikoloa ‘Ukulele Festival is a production of Waikoloa Beach Resort and ‘Ukulele Festival Hawai’i. Sponsors include Queens’ MarketPlace, Roy Sakuma ‘Ukulele Studios, Kings’ Shops, Kamaka ‘Ukulele, Kala Brand ‘Ukuleles, Koaloha, Ko‘olau Pono Guitar and ‘Ukulele Company, Kanile‘a ‘Ukulele and others. For more information on Saturday’s ‘Ukulele Festival visit www.WaikoloaBeachResort.com or call (808) 886-8822.

GREAT WAIKOLOA ‘UKULELE FESTIVAL:  SCHEDULE OF EVENTS:  Saturday, March 4, 2017

Waikoloa Beach Marriott, Paniolo Ballroom
10-11:30 a.m.
‘Ukulele Workshop with Roy and Kathy Sakuma. BYOU (bring your own ‘ukulele). Free.

Queens’ MarketPlace, Coronation Pavilion:
12 noon    The Humble Project
1 p.m.        Kunia Galdeira
2 p.m.        Kris Fuchigami
3 p.m.        Lito Arkangel
4 p.m.        Roy Sakuma with Nelly Toyama-Baduria, Daniel Baduria and Nick Acosta
5 p.m.         Willie K
6 p.m.        Mark Yamanaka

Queens’ MarketPlace, Island Gourmet Markets Stage:
1 p.m.        Alii Keanaaina
2 p.m.        K.U.P.A Hale
3 p.m.        Maluhia
4 p.m.        Arden Fujiwara

Kings’ Shops, Center Stage
11:15 p.m.    Widdy Loo
12noon    Kris Fuchigami
1 p.m.        Roy Sakuma with Nelly Toyama-Baduria, Daniel Baduria and Nick Acosta
2 p.m.        Maluhia
3 p.m.        Arden Fujiwara
4 p.m.        Brittni Paiva

Friends of NELHA Awarded Grant for Student Tours

The non-profit Friends of the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority (FON) was recently awarded a $5,000 grant by the Kona Brewers Festival (KBF) to fund tours for young Hawai‘i Island students.

“There are so many forward-thinking, innovative applications in the field of science going on here at the Natural Energy Lab,” says FON Executive Director Candee Ellsworth. “Educational tours are a great way to inform and expose local youth to opportunities in STEM careers so close to home. This funding allows us to expand our reach to be more impactful within our own community.”

In 2016, FON presented tours to over 1,300 students.

Student tours begin in the LEED-certified Gateway Visitor Center for an overview of the technology and cutting-edge companies in operation at NELHA’s Hawaii Ocean Science and Technology Park. Keiki get a lesson on green energy, aquaculture and ocean conservation. Students also visit the world’s largest operational Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) power plant to find out how it works. Finally, tours visit a choice of another HOST site such as the Kanaloa Octopus Farm or Ke Kai Ola Hawaii Monk Sea Hospital.

Ellsworth says the grant will fund up to 250 free student tours with a matching discount through FON.

Free student tours are on a first-come, first-serve basis. Hawai‘i school administrators or educators seeking a student tour can contact Ellsworth for details and availability.

The Kona Brewers Festival, now in its 22nd year, has donated $965,000 to Hawai‘i environmental, cultural and youth programs. The goal this year is to distribute $100,000 to 22 non-profits; all volunteer in some capacity at the festival.

“The festival is more than a fundraiser, “ says KBF Executive Director Kate Jacobson. “It’s a community celebration of sustainable practices, collaboration and responsibility to future generations.  Every ticket sold contributes to Hawai‘i’s well-being.”

In operation since 1974, FON offers three different, weekday tours for the general public: Ocean Matters, Ocean Conservation and Sustainable Aquaculture.  Book tours and find more details at www.friendsofnelha.org or phone 808-329-8073.

Friends of NELHA (FON) is a nonprofit, conservation education organization offering public tours with a focus on renewable energy, sustainability, sustainable aquaculture and the uniqueness of the Hawaii Ocean Science and Technology Park at Keahole Point. Presentations begin 10 a.m. weekdays at the Gateway Visitor Center, a mesmerizing location where visitors are inspired by the technologies being developed on the Big Island. Tours are offered Monday through Friday (excluding holidays). www.friendsofnelha.org.

Mayoral Luncheon March 2 Featuring Mayor Harry Kim, County of Hawaii Leadership and Business Expo

Mayor Harry Kim and select cabinet members discuss opportunities and challenges to West Hawai‘i’s economy at the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce (KKCC) 2017 Luncheon 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Thurs., March 2 at the Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay.

Sponsored by the Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union, Hawaii Water Service and Pacific Media Group, the annual luncheon offers a unique opportunity for the local community to meet with county department representatives in a casual setting.

Attendees will have the opportunity to have lunch with a specific county department, as well as pose questions to the mayor and cabinet heads. Issues discussed may include update on county priorities, roads and infrastructure, affordable housing, mass transit and opportunities for economic development in West Hawai‘i.

In addition, attendees can also learn about new and existing KKCC businesses at the Chamber’s annual Business Expo, which precedes and follows the banquet. Times are 10 -11:30 a.m. and 1:30-2 p.m.

General admission is $68; Chamber and Rotary members $58. RSVP by Monday, February 27; no walk-ins are allowed. For more information and/or to register, visit www.kona-kohala.com or call the Chamber office, 808-329-1758.

Lions and Taiko and Chefs – Celebrate Asian Fest at Queens’ MarketPlace

Queens’ MarketPlace is getting ready to crow on Friday, February 3, 2017 from 5-8 p.m., as they welcome the Year of the Rooster during the annual Asian Fest. The free event is a unique and popular way to experience and enjoy the music, cuisine and customs of China, Japan, Okinawa, the Philippines, and other Asian cultures.
According to the Chinese zodiac, a Rooster year is supposedly full of patience and passion, bravery, some bravado, and hard work to reach success. Its motto is “Always higher, always going on,” appropriately for Queens’ MarketPlace, celebrating its tenth anniversary this year.
Goings on at the shopping center ring in the Rooster Year in style, with great food, nonstop entertainment and a spectacular Lion Dance.

The centuries-old tradition, essential to New Year’s festivities in Hawai‘i, the colorful Chinese Lion Dancers perform acrobatic feats and leaps, interacting with the audience and parading through Queens’ MarketPlace from door to door. Participants young and old can “feed” the Lion small donations in red envelopes called lycee (provided) to bring good fortune in the year ahead.

Taiko also plays an essential part of Asian Fest, and the thundering drums of Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko of North Kohala kick off the excitement at the Coronation Pavilion. Their high-energy style of taiko brings movement and music together for a dramatic performance that captivates audiences of all ages.

Throughout Queens’ MarketPlace, chefs will provide food samples (while they last) from Charley’s Thai Cuisine, Ippy’s Hawaiian BBQ, Island Gourmet Markets, Lemongrass Express, Paradise Pizza & Grill, Sansei Seafood, Steak and Sushi Bar, Sushi Shiono’s, Waikoloa Beach Marriott, A-Bay’s Island Grill, Roy’s Waikoloa, Mai Grille, Tropics Ale House and Dairy Queen.
Asian Fest is a complimentary event provided by Queens’ MarketPlace and its businesses as a celebratory start to the new lunar year. For more information, please call 886-8822 or visit www.queensmarketplace.net

Asian Fest Entertainment Schedule:

  • 5:00    Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko
  • 5:55    Hawaii Lion Dance Association
  • 6:30    Kona Daifukuji Taiko
  • 7:00    Visayan Dance Group, Filipino Dancers from University of Hilo
  • 7:20    Lion Dance begins at Island Gourmet Markets and proceeds door to door

Celebrating its tenth anniversary in the Waikoloa community, Queens’ MarketPlace in Waikoloa Beach Resort has earned a reputation among visitors and kama‘āina as “the gathering place of the Kohala Coast,” full of shopping opportunities, services and great food, along with entertainment and arts programs, movies under the stars and large-scale concerts in Waikoloa Bowl at Queens’ Gardens. For more information, visit www.QueensMarketPlace.net or call 886-8822.