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Brewfest Raises $100K for Local Beneficiaries

The 23rd Annual Kona Brewers Festival, also known as the Kona Brew Fest, took place this Saturday, March 10, 2018, at the Courtyard of King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel in Kailua-Kona.

Mugs were given to all attendees of the Kona Brewers Festival.

This year, the taps started to flow at 3 p.m. and most of the food was gone by 6 p.m. as the event raised over $100,000 for 20 local beneficiaries.

The first year of the festival was in 1996, when the event raised about $5,000 so the festival has really grown over the years.

Nearly 3,000 people attended this year’s Kona Brewers Festival, with 2,100 tickets sold.

There were over 40 breweries from all over the world on-hand for public tastings. The festival had to turn down about a dozen breweries.

Festival Executive Director Kate Jacobson said that the festival has a huge impact on the local economy and that hotel rooms are always sold out throughout the area during the weekend of the festival.

(L–R) Executive Director Kate Jacobson, Media and Marketing Coordinator Summer Carrick and Kona Brewers Festival BOD President Mattson Davis.

Summer Carrick, director of media and marketing for the festival said that the event has previously sold-out in under six minutes. Those wanting to attend next year’s festival should purchase tickets as soon as they are available.

Festival Board of Directors President Mattson Davis, the former CEO of Kona Brewing Company, stated that the initial intent of the festival was to celebrate the birthday of the Kona Brewing Company and that they weren’t interested too much in wines; however, they have had a few ciders represented at the festival.

One of the main highlights of the festivals is the “Trash Fashion Show” that showcased island models wearing costumes and outfits designed from recycled trash.

Trash Fashion Show models at the 2018 Kona Brewers Festival.

And yes, there was at least one wardrobe malfunction during the fashion show.

Ah yes, even Sesame Street Characters were involved…

 

KTA Beer Sampling & Customer Appreciation Day

KTA Puainako Store will host “Customer Appreciation Day” on Saturday, March 10.

KTA Super Stores is offering three events this week that are open to the public.

Beer tastings will be held at KTA Keauhou on Thursday, March 8, 2018, between 3 and 6 p.m. and at KTA Kailua-Kona on Friday, March 9, 2018, from 3 to 6 p.m.

Maui Brewing Company will be sampling their handcrafted beers at these locations during that time period. Samplers need to be 21 or older and ID is required.

KTA Super Stores also invites the public to its Customer Appreciation Day at the Puainako Store located at 50 E. Puainako St. on Saturday, March 10, 2018, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

There will be food samples, balloons, games, prizes and more.

Student Meals Feature Another Local Food Source

The Hawai‘i State Department of Education (HIDOE) continues to try and use local agriculture in student meals through its ‘Aina Pono Harvest of the Month program, which kicked off last year with locally grown beef. This month, HIDOE and the Lieutenant Governor’s Office have partnered up with the Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture (HDOA) and various local farms across the state to serve fresh bananas at all public schools.

Fresh bananas will be served in a Banana Pie or a Banana Crumble (pictured above) at every public school cafeteria in January.
Photo Credit: Department of Education

“We’re highlighting locally grown bananas by serving either a fresh Banana Pie or Banana Crumble one day in January at every school cafeteria,” said administrator for School Food Services Branch Albert Scales. “By introducing a produce that is locally grown in Hawai‘i to our students each month, we hope to expand their palates and allow them to try new foods that they might not have been exposed to at home.”

Scales said serving the bananas in a dessert would make it more appealing for students. “Instead of serving raw bananas that students can peel and eat, we wanted to be creative,” he said. “Part of introducing new foods to children is making it fun for them. If the new food looks interesting, they’re more inclined to try it.”

While HIDOE is changing the way food is purchased, prepared and delivered, the ‘Aina Pono Harvest of the Month program is also a great opportunity for Hawaii’s agriculture community.

“This new program that was developed under the Farm to School Initiative continues to cultivate the partnership with our schools, farmers and ranchers,” said Scott Enright, chairperson of the Hawai‘i Board of Agriculture. “It also connects students with the farming community, allowing them to experience the taste and freshness of what Hawai‘i has to offer.”

Approximately 34,000 lbs. of bananas are being provided by several local farms, including Sugarland Growers Inc. and ‘Ohana Banana Farms, to name a few.

“We’re excited to be working with the Department of Education on incorporating more fresh, local produce for Hawaii’s public school students,” said owner of Sugarland Growers Larry Jefts.

Jefts said purchasing local foods from our food safety certified farms on each island also helps to support and strengthen Hawai‘i’s economy.

“Buying local creates important economic opportunities and supports our community’s growth and sustainability,” said Jefts. “The money that is spent on locally grown foods is reinvested with other local businesses and services across the state. There are numerous benefits as a result of this coming full circle.”

The Farm to School Initiative started in 2015, and was led by Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui. The program was created to increase locally grown food in student meals through a partnership with Lt. Gov. Tsutsui, HIDOE, the Department of Agriculture and The Kohala Center. Today, the Farm to School Initiative is included under ‘Aina Pono, which also incorporates school gardens, nutrition, health and food education, test kitchens, meal programs and menu planning at Hawai‘i’s public schools.

Video: Sammy Hagar Opens New Restaurant at Honolulu Airport

Today, rock star Sammy Hagar and Hawaii Governor David Ige, opened the new Sammy’s Beach Bar & Grill and the Makai Plantation Restaurant at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport between gates 27 & 28.


Video courtesy of the Hawaii Department of Transportation.

Six Hawai‘i Students Receive Culinary Scholarships

The American Culinary Federation Kona Kohala Chefs Association awarded six $2,000 scholarships Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017, at the Christmas with the Chefs gala on the grounds of Courtyard King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel on Hawai‘i Island.

Pictured with their American Culinary Federation Kona Kohala Chefs Association scholarship envelopes are (L–R): Thomas Elarco, Daine Lagpacan, Taylor Neufeld, Jenna Shiroma, Brittney Badua and Lily Fraiser. Courtesy photo.

Recipients are all local culinary students attending Hawai‘i Community College–Palamanui who volunteered at the event. In addition, HCC–West Hawai‘i graduates were involved in four of the 18 culinary stations:

  • Ashley Danao at Daylight Mind Coffee Company and Café
  • Darcy Ambrosio of A-Bays Island Grill
  • Kevin Castillo of Lava Bowls
  • George Gomes of the Sheraton Kona.
  • In addition, grad Patti Kimball, of Kimball Catering, served as culinary station organizer.

In its 29th year, the annual fundraiser benefits culinary students attending HCC–Palamanui and members of the Kona Kohala Chefs Association wanting to further their education.

Event proceeds and sponsors funded the scholarships. These scholarships aid students completing their two-year AAS culinary degree while preparing them for gainful employment in the workforce.

Mark your calendar for next year’s 30th anniversary benefit on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018.

About American Culinary Federation Kona Kohala Chefs Association

ACF is the largest, professional, nonprofit organization for chefs and cooks in the nation. Founded in 1980, the Kona Kohala chapter is comprised of food service professionals, vendors, growers and culinary enthusiasts. Members are local industry leaders committed to culinary enrichment through professional development and education in our community.

Privateer’s Cove: Adventures in Dining

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Vick Traxler, owner of Privateer’s Cove in Kailua-Kona. Karen Rose photo.

For diners looking for an experience as unique as their food, Privateer’s Cove in Kailua-Kona offers just that and more. Tucked away in the old industrial complex, Privateer’s Cove serves interesting dishes and features exotic meats from around the world.

Even more interesting than the menu, is the founder of Privateer’s Cove, Nick Traxler.

“I wanted a place unlike any other—a living room for my friends,” said Traxler.

The restaurant is indeed unlike any other and Traxler invites guests to dine in his establishment with the understanding they abide by his well-documented rules…

Displayed in extra large print, the rules of Privateer’s Cove are clearly defined for diners so there are no misunderstandings.

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The first posted rule is No Pretension. In other words, customers must be nice and act like adults.

The second rule is no talking on cell phones—no exceptions or excuses accepted.

The third rule is all red meat is cooked medium rare or rare. If a guest prefers their steak cooked more well done, the staff will happily recommend other establishments that will, according to Traxler, “overcook your meat and charge you more.”

The last rule is guests may not speak against men and women in uniform.

Traxler makes his rounds from table to table chatting with customers and sharing stories of his days performing at Renaissance fairs and being a police officer in Arizona. He’s proud to run his business as he sees fit and feels those who don’t care for his style can eat somewhere else. Outspoken and uniquely brazen, he has as much character as his menu.

Speaking of the menu, kangaroo potstickers are a favorite appetizer. Kangaroo meat is shipped in every Wednesday from Sydney, Australia. Traxler donates a portion of the sales from the pot stickers to help benefit the Kealakehe High School Wrestling Team. If kangaroo isn’t your thing, the Truffle Mac & Cheese is a delicious and rich comfort food appetizer.

The American Legion Special is an Alligator and Chicken Étouffée. Part of the proceeds for this entree help support the American Legion Post #20 in Kailua-Kona.

If beef is more your thing, the Port of Helena Filet Mignon is served rare to medium rare with a mushroom red wine and poached egg over mashed potatoes.

For seafood lovers, try the Port of Charleston Shrimps and Hominy, an eclectic take on the classic creamy cornmeal topped with shrimp on homemade garlic sauce.

On Wednesdays, the lunch special is camel burger, which is nicely seasoned and served on a fresh bun.

Privateer’s Cove is a bring-your-own-adult-beverage establishment, so guests are offered the opportunity to pair their exotic meats with their beverage of choice.

If there’s any room left after all the exotic critters, indulge in the creme brûlée or mud pie.

Overall, Traxler’s goal is to make new friends. As it states on his menu, “With almost 7.4 billon people in this world, we should all endeavor to make new friends.”

Privateer’s Cove is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 5 to 9 p.m.; closed Sundays.

Call (808) 882-1200.

The restaurant is located at 74-5565 Luhia St in Kailua-Kona.

For more information or to view the menu, visit privateerscove.wixsite.com.

 

Alligator and Chicken Etouffee at Privateer’s Cove in Kailua-Kona. Karen Rose photo.

Filet Mignon at Privateer’s Cove in Kailua-Kona. Karen Rose photo.

A very hungry customer at Privateer’s Cove in Kailua-Kona. Karen Rose photo.

Kangaroo Wontons at Privateer’s Cove in Kailua-Kona. Karen Rose photo.

Rack of Lamb at Privateer’s Cove in Kailua-Kona. Karen Rose photo.

Shrimp and Hominy at Privateer’s Cove in Kailua-Kona. Karen Rose photo.

Winners Named in 2017 Kona Coffee Cupping Competition

Judges at the 2017 Kona Coffee Cupping Competition assessed entries according to a new scoring system this year. The competition was held at Daylight Mind Coffee Company. Courtesy photo.

Three winners claimed victory in the 2017 Kona Coffee Cupping Competition. Pele Plantations won the Commercial Division; Castaway Bay Kona Coffee took the Artisanal Division’s Heritage Profile and Onila Farms captured the win in the Artisanal Division’s Modern Profile.

The winners were selected from 76 entries using a new scoring system that departed from national standards and emphasized regional characteristics specific to Kona coffee. Judges used a 10-point intensity scale to parse the subtle differences between brews in two new flavor profiles: Heritage Profile, a classic Kona Coffee profile; and Modern Profile, one that would be celebrated by modern, specialty coffee consumers. Judges rated entries according to acidity, body, coffeeness, sweetness, floral, complexity and defects.

“There’s a wide range of profiles that we are tasting this year,” said Kona Coffee Cupping Judge Andrew Hetzel. “We have more traditional coffees and we have a lot of dried, natural processed coffee that we are tasting as well, which is something that didn’t exist here in Kona five or six years ago.”

The two-day competition was held at Daylight Mind Coffee Company in Kona as part of the 47th Annual Kona Coffee Cultural Festival. It was overseen by an internationally recognized panel of cupping judges that included:

  • Ian Fretheim, Café Imports, Director of Sensory Analysis
  • Madeleine Longoria-Garcia, Four Seasons Hualalai, Head Barista, Pacific Coffee Research Q Grader
  • Miguel Meza, Paradise Coffee Roasters, Director of Coffee Quality
  • Andrew Hetzel, Coffee Strategies, Coffee Policy and Market Consultant
  • Hideki Mike, Ueshima Coffee (UCC Hawai‘i) Corp., Store and Sales Manager
  • Kelleigh Stewart, Big Island Coffee Roasters and Paradise Roasters, Head Roaster and Q Grader

“Congratulations to the winners of this year’s competition,” said Valerie Corcoran, Kona Coffee Cultural Festival President. “Every year, the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival looks forward to this important event that really helps Kona carry forward the legacy and culture behind our cup of famous brew. Our coffee harvest is as unique as the many hands that grow it, and we are so proud to lead the harvest celebration.”

VIDEO: Tulsi Gabbard Calls on Congress to Protect Bristol Bay, Alaska

Tulsi Gabbard is calling for immediate action to put a stop to a dangerous move executed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the Trump Administration. Unless the decision is overturned, thousands of jobs will be lost and an entire Alaskan watershed will be destroyed—killing the aquatic life within it and endangering the people who, for thousands of years, have depended on the fish and miles of streams, wetlands, and other habitats it supports.

Tulsi Gabbard, a lifelong environmentalist with a proven record of protecting our environment, explains the critical situation facing Bristol Bay, Alaska and calls on Congress to take action to protect it.

Nearly half of the world’s Sockeye Salmon comes from Bristol Bay, Alaska. Its watershed employs over 14,000 full-and part-time workers, generates $1.5 billion dollars in economic activity, and is home to 25 federally recognized tribal governments—many of whom have maintained a salmon-based culture and subsistence-based way of life for more than 4,000 years.

Yet the world’s most valuable salmon fishery is facing a direct threat by the very government agency given the job to protect it—the Environmental Protection Agency. Its newest administrator and Trump nominee, Scott Pruitt, recently held closed-door meetings with Canadian-owned mining company Pebble Limited Partnership about developing a copper and gold mine in Bristol Bay larger than Manhattan and nearly as deep as the Grand Canyon. Just over an hour after the meeting, Pruitt rescinded federal salmon protections in the area, opening the door for development and mining.

Despite numerous studies and historical data over the years that cite the ecological and economic importance of protecting Bristol Bay from mining project development, Pruitt has made it clear that he has no qualms with brokering deals at the expense of the American people and the planet.
To quote his own agency’s 2014 assessment, such a mine “would result in complete loss of fish habitat due to elimination, dewatering, and fragmentation of streams, wetlands, and other aquatic resources,” and the loss of miles of streams, wetlands, and other habitats. In addition, the EPA calculated a 95% chance of spill, per pipeline, in 25 years, threatening “acute exposure to toxic water and chronic exposure to toxic sediment” to fish and invertebrates.

Along with the virtual destruction of these species and wetlands, this would poison the watershed and needlessly endanger the communities who have relied upon the Sockeye Salmon for sustenance for thousands of years. The cost of destroying thousands of jobs and decimating the environment and resources these communities rely on is too great to measure.

The economics of Bristol Bay are everything President Trump promised to protect: American workers supplying American families and businesses through American jobs.

Yet the president and his administration have demonstrated time and again that they are eager to put their friends and business partners’ interests and profit before the health and wellbeing of the American people.

Hawaiʻi and Alaska have long shared a special and unique relationship, working together across party lines for the wellbeing of our people. For decades, we’ve worked together to empower our native communities, promote our local economies, secure resources for our rural populations, and much more. Now, we must stand together again and urge our colleagues in Congress to join the fight to protect Bristol Bay and its irreplaceable resources before it is too late.

Kona Coffee Cultural Festival Seeking Volunteers

The Kona Coffee Cultural Festival is looking for friendly, reliable volunteers of all ages to help with events throughout the ten days of Festival fun. Interested individuals, local businesses and community service groups are welcome and encouraged to participate.

Festival volunteers can assist the Festival in a variety of ways, including event set up, execution and breakdown, survey taking, greeters, traffic control, venue maintenance and post event clean-up.

The 47th Annual Kona Coffee Cultural Festival starts brewing Friday, November 3 through Sunday, November 12. Volunteer positions are available starting Monday, October 30 and continue throughout the Festival.

All interested volunteers are asked to email jkadooka@twc.comor phone 808-936-8320.

The award-winning Kona Coffee Cultural Festival is recognized as the oldest and one of the most successful food festivals in Hawaii. The 2017 Festival, November 3 through 12, includes 10 days of events that promote Hawaii’s unique culture and diversity and supports the Festival’s mission to preserve, perpetuate and promote Kona’s unique coffee heritage.

The Kona Coffee Cultural Festival is supported as a Signature Event by Hawaii Tourism Authority, and is made possible through the support of UCC Ueshima Coffee Co., Ltd., Kamehameha Schools, Alaska Airlines, Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union, Kawakami Family of Captain Cook Fund of the Hawaii Community Foundation and numerous other corporate and community donors.

Visit konacoffeefest.com for detailed Festival information. Connect with us on social media @konacoffeefest and #konacoffeefest

8th Annual UNCORKED Food & Wine Festival to Benefit Visitor Aloha Society of Hawai’i Island (VASH)

The Shops at Mauna Lani’s “Uncorked” Food & Wine Festival is an experience in great taste—from rich jazz to fine wines and delicious gourmet foods—on Saturday, November 11, from 6 to 8 p.m. The annual event is a benefit for the Visitor Aloha Society of Hawai‘i Island (VASH) which assists Hawai‘i visitors touched by adversity during their stay, from lost tickets to medical emergencies.

The evening stars multitalented vocalist Binti Bailey, whose diverse musical skills slide effortlessly from blues to classical, jazz to soul and more. A performer in-demand in Kona clubs and music venues, Bailey will release her premiere CD, “Honestly,” this year.

“I’ve been singing for as long as I can remember,” she said. “I started in the church, and much of my exposure was in my household. My dad used to sing with us a lot and we would listen to artists like Sam Cooke and Pavarotti, so it was nice and diverse. He took us to Broadway and to Sweet Honey in the Rock. We were always exposed to music.”

Binti Bailey

As if exposure to Binti’s music wasn’t enough, Uncorked guests can savor food tastings from the “izakaya-style” menu of Monstera, European flavors of The Blue Room, upscale vegan cuisine from Under the Bodhi Tree, contemporary island style by Tommy Bahama Restaurant & Bar, and the traditional sizzle of Ruth’s Chris Steak House.

In addition, acclaimed Kohala Coast restaurants will share samples of their specialties, including Mai Grille by Chef Allen Hess, Roy’s Waikoloa Bar & Grill, Sansei Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bar, Sushi Shiono, Pueo’s Osteria, The Fairmont Orchid and others, with libations by Southern Wine & Spirits, Kona Brewing Company and more.

Uncorked attendees also get the chance to bid for bargains in the upscale silent auction, featuring wine tours and travel packages, golf, dining, island adventures and beautiful items from the The Shops’ stores. As a special bonus, ticket holders will receive great offers from participating stores and restaurants at The Shops at Mauna Lani on the night of the event with a “VIP Shopping & Dining Discount Card” valued at over $100 for future visits.

Tickets are $65 in advance or $80 on the day of the event, and may be purchased online in advance at www.Uncorked2017MaunaLani.bpt.me. Additional event parking will be available.

For more information, call 808-885-9501, or visit www.ShopsAtMaunaLani.com.

Hawaiian Natural Honey Challenge and Hawaii Beekeeper Survey

8th Annual Hawaiian Natural Honey Challenge 2017A grand total of 97 entries have been received from the Big Island, O’ahu, Kaua’i, Maui and Moloka’i and will undergo formal judging on October 19th, 2017.

In addition to the official judging, the Big Island Beekeeper’s Association will be holding a People’s Choice tasting and judging on Friday, November 3rd, 2017 at the Mokupāpapa Discovery Center, second floor, 76 Kamehameha Ave, Hilo between 6:30pm and 8:00pm. This is a free public event, all are welcome!

Hawaii Beekeeper Survey  – The Hawaii Department of Agriculture is currently polling the state’s beekeeping community to learn of the industry’s interests and concerns. Beekeepers of any size operations are encouraged to take the survey which only takes a few minutes to complete and will help the program learn more about the needs of Hawaii’s beekeeping community.  To access the survey, click here: Apiary Program Survey 2017

 

Puna Kai Shopping Center Breaks Ground

Today, ground was broken for the new Puna Kai Shopping Center that will be located in Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii.

About 100 community members along with dignitaries from the county and the mayor’s office were in attendance.
Pi’ilani Ka’awaloa gave the opening pule (prayer) and blessing of the land while elected officials and company representatives did the actual groundbreaking.

Situated on 9.93 acres, and featuring more than 83,110 SF of retail, office, dining, and entertainment space, Puna Kai will become the community’s premiere shopping center.

Conveniently located at the intersection of Pahoa Village Road & Kahakai Boulevard in the town of Pahoa, on the Big Island of Hawaii.Puna Kai will be grocery anchored by 35,000 SF Malama Market (Malama Market name will be changed). Leasing opportunities are now  being offered from 1,000 SF to 5,540 SF.

Puna Kai, will provide a distinctive blend of daily services, specialty shops, entertainment, and eateries.
The building architecture will reflect the old Hawaii ambiance and charm, inspiring Puna Kai to be the gathering place in Pahoa that has something for everyone.

Kona Brewing Co. Debuts “Kanaha” Blonde Ale

Hawaii locals receive exclusive first taste of new blonde ale with tropical mango

Kanaha Beach, a world-renowned kitesurfing destination located on Maui’s north-central coastline, inspires the newest year-round beer from Kona Brewing Co., Kanaha Blonde Ale. To bring the spirit of Kanaha Beach to life, Kona’s brewing team created a refreshing light blonde ale featuring a distinctive tropical flavor with real mango that weighs in at less than 100 calories. Kanaha Blonde Ale, is the perfect beer – whether celebrating an epic kiting session or relaxing at the end of the workday with friends. Kanaha Blonde Ale will debut exclusively in Hawaii in October before rolling out in 6-packs and draught on the mainland.

Of the new brew, Kona Brewing Company Innovation Brewmaster Ryan McVeigh says, “What better inspiration for our liquid aloha than the famous trade winds and free spirit of Maui’s kiteboarding mecca?” With its light tropical flavor and aroma, Kanaha Blonde Ale pairs well with grilled seafood and salads.

Starting this week, the new brew is available on tap at the two Kona Brew Pubs located in Hawaii Kai on Oahu and in Kailua-Kona on the Island of Hawaii and other restaurants and bars throughout the islands prior to a U.S. mainland roll out in bottles and draught later this year.

The beer debuted with a launch celebration at the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa on October 5, 2017. The launch celebration was in support of Maui non-profit, IMUA Family Services . Kona Brewing Co. is proud to support IMUA’s work with local families facing challenges with developmental disabilities on Maui, Molokai, and Lanai. Photos of the check presentation and launch party are available at this link.

Kona Brewing Co. has a long-standing history of supporting groups that make a positive contribution to the community through service, education and preservation of Hawai‘i’s unique environment and culture. Kona Brewing Company donates more than $120,000 annually to non-profits like IMUA Family Services. Through its Makana program, the company celebrates non-profits like Jack Johnson’s Kōkua Hawai‘i Foundation, Waipā Foundation, Hawaii Conservation Alliance, Easter Seals, Sustainable Coastlines, Surfrider Foundation, Malama Maunalua, and Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative.

Kona Brewing Co. Kanaha Blonde Ale:

  • OG: 8.1°P
  • Apparent Extract: 1.26°P
  • Alcohol by volume: 4.2%
  • IBU: 18
  • Color: 5˚L
  • Malt: Pale Malt, Caramel Malt
  • Hops: Millennium, Mosaic, Amarillo
  • Adjuncts: Mango
  • Calories: 99

Kona Brew Pubs are located at:

  • Koko Marina Center, 7192 Kalanianaʻole Hwy, Hawaiʻi Kai, Oʻahu
  • 74-5612 Pawai Pl, Kailua-Kona, Island of Hawaiʻi

For more information, visit KonaBrewingCo.com

Commentary – Were Pahoa High and Intermediate Lunch Times Shortened Because of a Fight?

Yesterday, KHON2 News ran a news story about Pahoa’s lunches being shortened.

…Changes to the lunch program at a Hawaii island school prompted parents to reach out to us, saying their kids are being rushed to eat.

Their kids go to Pahoa High and Intermediate School, which recently started a pilot lunch program.
High school students eat during the normal 30-minute lunch break, but intermediate school students eat during recess, which is just 15 minutes long…

I received the following message on Wednesday indicating that this change in policy may have stemmed from a fight on campus… but didn’t discuss it further with the person sending me the information until tonight:

Aloha Damon, I wanted to bring something to your attention that maybe you could do some investigative reporting. Apparently Pahoa High and Intermediate administration has decided to have Intermediate student only eat lunch during first recess which is 15 minutes while the high school eats during regular lunch which is 30 minutes. When I complained to the principal she stated it was due to decreasing tardys to class during lunch time. An insider told me they did it because of a fight that occurred between a Intermediate kid and a high schooler.

When discussing this with friends on Facebook, one person posted a picture from the Pahoa Cafeteria:

My kids say they don’t even bother eating when this is what they are serving at Pahoa. ~VW

“This was what they call Baja fish taco SMH. This was on Wednesday when we went to school for student of the month luncheon I was In Shock when he came to the table with this…Home lunches from now on!!!” said Valerie Walsh.

Got Baja Fish Taco? I don’t know if I could swallow this in 15 minutes… less yet an hour!!!

Senator Hirono Secures Federal Funding for Clean Energy Research and Development in Hawaii

Kampachi Farms and Makai Ocean Engineering Receive $1.5 Million to Harness Power of Seaweed as Potential Energy Source

Senator Mazie K. Hirono today announced that two Hawaii businesses will receive $1.5 million in U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) funding to develop offshore seaweed as a potential clean energy source. The funding was awarded through DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy (ARPA-E) program.

“These grants recognize the innovative work being done in Hawaii to research and develop renewable energy resources,” said Senator Hirono, member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. “This funding will assess the viability of developing seaweed as an energy source, and explore how to use local resources to meet Hawaii’s renewable energy goals.”

Under the grant, Kampachi Farms in Kailua-Kona received $500,000 to develop an offshore seaweed production farm and test harvesting techniques for future use in renewable energy production.

“Marine agronomy – the culture of limu (seaweed) in oceanic conditions – offers potential for increased production of food, feeds and fuel,” said Neil Sims, co-founder and chief scientific officer of Kampachi Farms. “Using the power of the ocean’s primary production, we can increase availability of healthful food for people, feeds for fish and other animals, and biofuels for a carbon neutral planet, with minimal use of land, freshwater or artificial fertilizers. Offshore culture of limu connects innovative aquaculture with Hawaiian culinary traditions. It also offers – in our estimation – the only possible means of harnessing entrepreneurial resources to create incentives for countering ocean acidification.”

In addition, Makai Ocean Engineering in Honolulu will receive $995,978 to create a model that simulates the ocean to help researchers determine the proper design and estimate costs of offshore seaweed farming systems.

“Makai is thrilled to be selected for award alongside Kampachi Farms by ARPA-E under this innovative program,” said Duke Hartman, vice president of business development at Makai Ocean Engineering. “In addition to advancing the state of the art in macroalgae cultivation, Makai will be strengthening our expertise in technologies with many other applications, such as autonomous and underwater robotics, biological and oceanographic numerical modeling, and offshore engineering. This project builds on our 44 year track record of developing cutting-edge technologies and bringing high-paying, high-tech jobs home to Hawaii for our kamaaina.”

Senator Hirono continues to advocate for ARPA-E funding. Earlier this year, she wrote a letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee urging for continued funding for ARPA-E after the President threatened to slash the program by $20 million in an effort to wind it down.

Taste of the Hawaiian Range Reformats for 2018

The island’s largest agricultural showcase is returning in 2018 with a new twist at a different location.

Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range will be Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018 at Mana Christian ‘Ohana (Old Kahilu Town Hall) and the adjacent YMCA Minuke Ole Park in Waimea. The 2018 Taste will offer all-day agricultural-themed fun and educational activities before culminating with an evening tasting event showcasing locally produced food.

“We’re changing up the Taste to share info with families about our local agriculture,” says event co-chair and rancher Jeri Moniz. “We will still have our popular, evening food tasting event to showcase pasture-raised meats, but will also offer earlier activities geared for the general public, including keiki.”

Daytime fun will include agricultural-themed activities and exhibits at the YMCA Park, with plans for horseback rides and viewing of livestock animals complete with educational displays. Community school groups and organizations will be invited to provide food concessions for daytime attendees. Admission to the park exhibits is free.

Also planned are tours at local farms to see firsthand where some of our locally produced foods come from. Ag-related classes and the annual Cooking Pasture-Raised Beef 101 will be offered during the day inside the classroom building adjacent to Mana Christian’s Hall. Chef Edwin Goto of Waimea’s Village Burger and Noodle Club will lead the popular cooking class with sampling.

Featuring about 20 culinary stations, the evening Taste will be both inside and out of the hall and open to 500 attendees. Tickets will go on sale next summer both online and at select islandwide locations.

In its 22nd year, Taste of the Range is changing its focus to share the importance of all types of Hawai‘i agriculture while acquainting keiki with farm animals and how agriculture is the science, art and practice of producing food.

“In the past, Taste was geared to inform chefs and attendees on the benefits of using grass-fed beef, while encouraging ranchers to produce it,” explains Dr. Russell Nagata, co-chair and retired CTAHR Hawaii County administrator. “Our committee has been meeting all year to come up with a new event emphasizing agriculture in a more broad and comprehensive way. We want to share how our local ranchers and farmers take pride in producing our high-quality food.”

Mana Christian ‘Ohana is located behind Parker Ranch Center at 67-1182 Lindsey Road. For more event information, visit www.TasteoftheHawaiianRange.com and stay connected via Facebook at TasteoftheHawaiianRange and at @TasteHI on Twitter and Instagram.

Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range and Agriculture Festival provides a venue for sustainable agricultural education, plus encouragement and support of locally produced ag products. The quality and growth of this event are rooted in business participation, sponsorship and in-kind donations. Volunteers and sponsors are welcomed; contact Dr. Russell Nagata at rnagata@gmail.com

Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers Taps Annual Industry Award Winners

The Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers (HTFG) named the recipients of its annual appreciation awards during the recent 27th Hawaii International Fruit Conference. Given to supporters of the state’s local fruit industry, the four 2017 recipients are Eli Ednie of Choice Mart supermarket, Catarina Zaragoza of the Locavore Store, Sweet Cane Café and Xavier Chung.

Inaugural Lesley Hill Service Award winner Xavier Chung with HTFGʻs ED Ken Love

Chung, a junior at Konawaena High School, received the inaugural Lesley Hill Service Award. The new service accolade remembers the late Hilo fruit and vegetable grower who was an avid supporter of Hawai‘i agriculture.
“The HTFG board instituted the new Lesley Hill Service Award to honor Lesley, who served numerous terms as an HTFG officer and enthusiastically contributed to the health and growth of our organization,” shares HTFG executive director Ken Love.

Chung was cited for orchard maintenance assistance at HTFGʻs Kona repositories, two of five throughout the state. The repositories serve as locations for propagation of fruit trees to make cuttings and scion for HTFG members.

In addition to volunteering with HTFG, Chung helps out with the National Park Service in West Hawaii, Na Maka O Papahanaumokuakea and the UH Sea Grant college program.

Recognized for a dedication to promoting locally grown tropical fruit at the Kealakekua Choice Mart, Ednie also volunteers at the HTFG Kona repositories.

Also cited for promoting local fruit was Locavore Store co-founder Catarina Zaragoza. Located in downtown Hilo, the store not only stocks a wide variety of local fruit, but also provides information on varieties and origins. The detailed labeling informs the buyer on the differences of fruit choices so purchasing can be done more accurately.

“This attention to detail is important when introducing consumers to new and different fruits like mamey sapote,” notes Axel Kratel, president of HTFGʻs East Hawaii chapter. “We want buyers to have a good experience, not just so they buy the fruit again, but also so they can better recognize what fruit variety best suits their taste and needs.”

Sweet Cane Café was recognized for serving locally grown fruit in value-added products. The Hilo business grows sugar cane in Onomea using Korean Natural Farming methods. After juicing the cane, the company features it in a line of beverages, slushies, smoothies, elixirs and drink shots served at its two cafes. Sweet Cane also uses a wide variety of fruits in its menu offerings.

“The Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers feels it’s important to recognize those who make significant contributions to the tropical fruit industry across the state,” said Love. “Past winners include chefs, growers and researchers.”

Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers: Marking its 28th year, HTFG was incorporated in 1989 to promote tropical fruit grown in Hawaii. It is a statewide association of tropical fruit growers, packers, distributors and hobbyists dedicated to tropical fruit research, education, marketing and promotion; www.HTFG.org.

Hawaii Receives $427,000 in Federal Grants for Agriculture

Hawaii has awarded 11 projects to eligible non-profit and for-profit entities totaling more than $427,000 through the 2017 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The federal program, funded by the Farm Bill, provides grants to state departments of agriculture to fund projects that solely enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops, such as fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture and nursery crops.

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The Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) submitted the application to the USDA in June 2017 and will be administering the program. The approved projects support activities for research and increasing production of specialty crops, including cacao, taro, mango, cucumber, banana, legumes and Christmas trees. The projects funded include farmer education and agricultural marketing programs. A list of the projects funded by the SCBGP is attached.

The USDA SCBGP has awarded more than $60.5 million nationwide for this coming fiscal year. The grant period runs from September 2017 to September 2020.

For more information on the USDA SCBGP, go to: https://www.ams.usda.gov/services/grants/scbgp/awards

Big Island Burritos Bring ‘Fresh Kitchen’ Flavors to Queens’ MarketPlace

The only Food Court on the Kohala Coast is about to serve up the tasty new flavors of Big Island Burritos, scheduled for opening in October. The new eatery will offer more than the expected stuffed tortillas, with their innovative “Fresh Kitchen Pacific Island, Mexican fusion restaurant concept.”

A variety of ‘fresh kitchen’ Mexican fusion cuisine will be offered at the new Big Island Burritos in Queens’ MarketPlace food court.

The menu will feature signature island style gordo burritos, loaded rice bowls, local farm salads, and fresh soft tacos, prepared in multiple styles and with a variety of flavors to choose from.

“We are thrilled to become a part of the prestigious Queens’ MarketPlace community,” said Hawai‘i restaurateur Pat Kashani. “From our chefs and culinary experts to our operations team, we will truly be honored to add our name alongside all the other excellent food and beverage names that serve the Queens’ MarketPlace and Waikoloa community.”

Kashani operates Auntie Pasto’s restaurants on Oahu, My Big Fat Greek Restaurants in Arizona, and two Hawai‘i Island establishments: Tropics Ale House in Waikoloa Beach Resort and Tropics Tap House in Keauhou.

Heading the kitchen is Donn Rodriguez of Waimea, who is also Chef at Tropics Ale House, and has cooked for top quality restaurants, most recently at the Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i.

Big Island Burritos will be open in the Queens’ MarketPlace Food Court from 10:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. For more information, visit www.bigislandburritos.com or call (808) 479-0620.

Since it opened in 2007, 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 (808) 886-8822.

Pahoa Scholars Feast Fundraiser Update – Scholarships Available

This past Saturday, on September 30th, hundreds gathered to support the Pahoa Schools Booster Club and Scholarship Fund on the grounds of Sacred Heart Church. Following this past weekend’s successful event, the organization has announced that $5,000 will be available for the Class of
2018 scholarship awards.

The Pahoa High School Girls’ Volleyball Team joined the Boys of Youth Challenge and dozens of community volunteers in creating and delivering an awesome Vegan Lasagna and Ribeye Steak meal to over 350 hungry supporters.

Our most heart-felt thanks to everyone, including the generous contributions from Island Natural Foods, Malama Market, Tin Shack Bakery, Kalani Honua, Ning’s Thai Cuisine, Stratos Pizzeria, Black Rock Café, Pahoa Auto Parts, Paul’s Repair, Boogie Woogie Pizza, Sustainable Island Products and Bananarama Bakery.

Under the leadership of organizers Mark Hinshaw, Nancy J Kramer CPA, Aaron Ferreira and Aunty Madie Greene, a good time was had by all!

The original Scholarship Endowment was established by the family of former Hawai’i County Council Member Richard G Edwards after his passing. As a former Puna Lion’s Club member, his family chose the Lion’s Club to administer the scholarship over the years.

This past year, responsibility was passed on to Mainstreet-Pahoa Associations’s Pahoa Schools Booster Club, under the financial guidance of Nancy J Kramer CPA. The initial endowment that was transferred to the Booster Club was $21,000 and thanks to the generous contributions this year by Kaleos Bar and Grill of $5,000 and the new Puna Kai Shopping Center of $5000, the current Endowment sits at $31,000. The current 2020 goal is $50,000.

Class of 2018 Scholarships also received significant contributions. Puna Geothermal Ventures provided of $1,000, local businessman Vernon Lindsey and Lava Shack $500. Former Pahoa High School Guidance Counselor Nancy Seifers has stepped up to create the “Aunty Nancy” Scholarship of $1,000.

This year’s work on the selection process, amounts to be awarded, and application tools will begin in November. The intention of the Pahoa Booster Club is to distribute the awards among all three area schools, HAAS, Kua O Ka La and Pahoa High School, to graduating Seniors with B average or better grades, who are choosing to continue their education at a university or community college.

The Class of 2018 specific award amounts and criteria for each award will be announced when the application materials are made available at the end of the year. All three schools are encouraged to participate in the application process.

Anyone wishing to obtain further information on contributing to the Scholarship Fund should contact us at PahoaBoosterClub@gmail.com or call 965-7110.

We are most encouraged at the success of this year’s event and we are already in the planning stages for next year’s Scholars Feast, the last Saturday of September in 2018.

I mua Pahoa!