Big Island Arbor Day Events Feature Native, Non-Native Plants for Sale

Celebrate Arbor Day in Hawaii and “go green” by purchasing and planting a native plant from the Arbor Day plant sale on Friday, November 2 at Department of Land and Natural Resources’ Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) nurseries on the Big Island.

Planting a native plant celebrates the forests that are fundamental to our way of life. Hawaii’s native forests provide the islands’ water supply by absorbing large quantities of moisture from passing clouds and rainfall. These watershed forests reduce greenhouse gases and flooding, erosion, and siltation of reefs and fisheries. Native plants also have cultural significance, regarded as elders and ancestors, or used for medicines, offerings, or other material needs.

Learn more about these incredible and unique plants at the Big Island sale, held in two locations, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. In Hilo the plant sale is at the DOFAW baseyard at 19 E. Kawili St. (corner of Kawili St. and Kilauea Ave.). Phone 974-4221. In Kamuela, the sale is at the DOFAW Kamuela office at 66-1220A Lalamilo Road. Call 887-6061.

A few of the native species that will be available are: koa, koai‘a, ohia, hame, kokio (hibiscus), alahe‘e, pohinahina, sandalwood, and loulu. A few of the non-native species that will be available are: puakenikeni, Sugi pines, ylang ylang, gardenia, shower tree, and Podocarpus.

The cost of plant species will range from $1 each for dibble tube seedlings to $15 each for 3-gallon pots. There are no limits on quantities purchased and all sales are on a cash only basis. Plant sales will feature both native and non-native plants raised at DOFAW nurseries that are popular with gardeners and landscapers. Proceeds will be used to support nursery operations and forest management.

Update on the Hawaii County Elections

VOTER REGISTRATION

104,323 Hawaii County residents are registered to vote in the 2012 General Election. This is the official voter registration count for the 2012 General Election and is not subject to change for this election.

ABSENTEE MAIL BALLOTS

On October 15th 22,200 absentee mail ballots were sent to Hawaii County voters.  As of October 29th, Hawaii County has received 14,584 voted absentee mail ballots.  New requests are processed and absentee mail ballots are sent to Hawaii County voters on a daily basis.

Hawaii County voters are advised that the deadline to submit an application for an absentee mail ballot is October 30, 2012 at 4:30 p.m. Applications for an absentee mail ballot that are received after this date will not be processed for the 2012 General Election.

ABSENTEE/EARLY WALK-IN VOTING

On October 23rd, Hawaii County opened absentee/early walk-in voting precincts in Hilo , Waimea and in Kona.  Absentee/early walk-in voting is open to all registered voters at any early walk-in voting precinct on the island, regardless of district or residency assignment.  Absentee/early walk-in voting will continue until November 3, 2012.

As of October 29th, 4,688 Hawaii County voters have voted absentee/early walk-in voting in Hawaii County .

According to Lehua Iopa, Hawaii County Acting Elections Program Administrator, “Let’s vote Hawaii County !  Hawaii County voters may walk-in and vote early before the November 6th, 2012 General Election in Hawaii County .  Early walk-in voting is happening every day until Saturday, November 3, 2012.  Each location will be open every day from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m.  All Hawaii County registered voters can walk-in and vote in any location in Hilo , Kona and Waimea, regardless of district or residency assignment. For more information regarding early walk-in voting, please contact the Hawaii County Elections Division (808) 961-8277.”

For more information please contact Lehua Iopa, Acting Elections Program Administrator, Hawaii County Elections Division (808) 961-8277 or by electronic mail to eiopa@co.hawaii.hi.us.

Makalei Fire Station in North Kona Blessed

For the people of Kona, it means faster emergency responses and lower insurance premiums. For future firefighters, it’s a modern classroom to learn the art of fire science. And for the fire fighters who keep our community safe, it’s home.

“Welcome to your home,” Hawai‘i County Fire Chief Darren Rosario told about 80 people in attendance as the County of Hawai‘i opened the doors to its newest and largest facility, the $7 million Makalei Fire Station.

Located on Māmalahoa Highway less than a mile north of its intersection with Ka‘iminani Drive, the 11,000 square foot Makalei station sits on more than two acres just south of the 32-mile marker on the mauka side of the highway.

The fire station, designed by KYA Design Group, includes three apparatus bays, hose tower, pump house, office, kitchen and training room, dormitory, exercise/work rooms, a dedicated classroom, laundry room, fuel tank and parking areas for staff and guests.  Parked outside one of the bays was a bright yellow pumper with “North Kona” emblazoned on the doors. The station will also feature a hazardous materials unit and a ladder truck.

About $4 million of the funding for the project came from a federal grant under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act through its Fire Station Construction Grant Program. Ground was broken in March 2011.

“This is a special day here in Kalaoa, in North Kona. This 11,000 square foot home will house those who run in when a lot of us are running out. Those who protect our community, protect our parents, our kūpuna, protect our children,” said Mayor Billy Kenoi.

Joining Mayor Kenoi and Chief Rosario in speaking at today’s blessing were former Fire Chief Darryl Oliveira, Kahu Kaniala Akaka, who performed the blessing, and Hannah Kihalani Springer, who gave a history of the area and the Makalei name.

The station will positively impact the Kalaoa area of North Kona with quicker emergency response times and lower homeowner insurance rates. Before Makalei Fire Station was built, the next closest unit was seven miles to the south at the intersection of Palani Road and Queen Ka‘ahumanu Highway. Response time from the Kailua Kona Station to Makalei is about 15 minutes.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the station is the hose tower, which doubles as a training facility for building fires and cliff rescues. Materials used to manufacture modern hoses make hose towers optional features on fire stations, but the one at Makalei has a catwalk on the inside that will be used to train a firefighter how to pick up a victim and get him out of a building. The tower will also be used to train recruits how to rappel down the side of a building or a cliff during an emergency. Also included in the facility is a dedicated classroom.

Survey Shows Support for Aina Koa Pono

Media Release:

Aina Koa Pono (AKP) received support from Hawaii Island residents in a recent survey, but a larger number revealed that many are still unaware of the company and its Kau project.

The survey results were released today to coincide with the Hawaii Public Utilities’s Commission hearings on Hawaii Electric Light Company’s request for approval of the biofuels contract.

Aina Koa Pono is proposing a biorefinery in Kau which would produce 24 million gallons of biofuel annually—16 million gallons will be used at HELCO’s Keahole power plant and eight million gallons will be distributed by Mansfield Oil for transportation, with preference to Hawaii. When completed, AKP can supply 18 percent of the island’s power needs from renewable resources.

“Hawaii Island residents were surveyed because we wanted to get a sense of the level of acceptance and support for the Kau project,” said Chris Eldridge, partner of AKP. “What we learned was that while there’s support, we need to do more education and outreach.”

AKP engaged SMS Research and Marketing of Honolulu to conduct the survey. The survey, taken in September and October, found that 85 percent support “developing more renewable energy sources for the Island of Hawai‘i.”

The Kau project would provide “base load” electricity, which is essentially steady electricity, as opposed to other alternatives such as wind or solar, which are intermittent and depend on weather conditions.

Aina Koa Pono’s operation would initially convert invasive plant species, coconut husks and macadamia nut hulls to biofuel using Microwave Catalytic Deploymerization (Micro Dee). Microwave technology has been successfully and safely used in the herbal extraction and pharmaceutical industries for decades.

SMS Research has served organizations in Hawaii for more than 50 years.

The research also indicated that a large minority Hawaii Island residents do not know enough about Aina Koa Pono or its project.

SMS Research found that only 10 percent of those interviewed knew about the Aina Koa Pono project when asked on an unaided basis. Of the residents who knew of the project, 65 percent support the project compared to 16 percent who do not.

A description of the project was provided to all respondents and when asked whether they favor or oppose the project, 56 percent stated they were in favor of the project as compared to 11 percent opposed— a 5-to-1 ratio. 33 percent stated they did not know enough about the project.

“We have been meeting with folks in Kau and will be increasing our outreach to the community so they are aware of our project,” Eldridge said.

Excluding those who do not know enough, the support for Aina Koa Pono development is strong in the areas of safety, keeping money in the State, additional jobs, revitalization of Hawaii’s agricultural industry, reduction of electric bills for Island residents, and more.

Again, excluding those who do not know enough, some of the concerns with the project include the perception that Aina Koa Pono will be run by outsiders, may have some impact on traffic, biofuel will cost more to produce than imported oil, and the plant will be too expensive to build.

“Serious misinformation is circulating throughout the community. Aina Koa Pono is locally owned and the $450 million project is privately funded,” Eldridge said. “Eight to 12 trucks a week will deliver biofuel to Keahole. The project poses no financial risk to ratepayers, who pay nothing until the biofuel is produced and accepted by HELCO.”

The Aina Koa Pono project would increase electricity bills for HECO and HELCO customers by 84 cents to $1 a month for typical 500 to 600 kWh usage.

At the conclusion of the survey, participants were asked again the level of support or opposition to the development of the biofuel plant at Kau, a majority of 63 percent support versus 12 percent who oppose with 25 percent having no opinion.

The final report will be released by SMS Research shortly.

(Research Methodology: 303 interviews conducted between September 20 to October 3, 2012, margin of error is +/– 5.6 percentage points.)

Saturday’s Arts Market to Host Sign-Up Drive for Hawai’i Island Network of Artists

Waimea Artists’ Guild, working with the Hawai‘i Island Network of Artists (HINA), a project of Volcano Art Center, invites all Island artists to register with HINA’s new data base.  Free registration and information will be available at the Waimea Artists’ Guild Holiday Arts Market on Saturday, November 3, at Kanu o ka ‘Āina New Century Public Charter School, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.  For info call 808-887-2289.

Ledward Kaapana

Slack-key master Ledward Ka‘apana & Friends appear live in concert from 4-6 p.m. on Saturday, November 3 at Kanu o ka ‘Āina School in Waimea. The family-friendly concert includes chili and rice dinner, salad bar, and beverages. Tickets $15 adult, $9 youth 4-12, keiki 3 and under free, available at Kanu or Mama’s House Thrift Shop, or call 887-2289. This drug and alcohol free event is a fundraiser to support the partnership between WAG and KALO’s ‘Ohana in the Arts Program.

John Dumas at Volcano Art Center

John Dumas, the internationally renowned Kauai artist, musician, inspirational teacher, shamanic astrologer and pioneer in sound healing, will be offering his unique “Dreamtime Concert” experience at Volcano Art Center on Saturday, November 10, 2012.

Join John Dumas for a musical shamanic journey November 10th at Volcano Art Center

Described as mystical and magical, John’s rare enthusiasm enthralls and elevates the Soul. He travels the world bringing joyful shamanic journeys into the lives of his concert-goers through the use of his handcrafted instruments and has performed at sacred sites such as the Egyptian pyramids and Mayan temples.

Through his use of didgeridoo, flutes, rattles, drum and chanting, John aims to stir the Soul into a divine bliss. He shares his rare gift to combine musical precision with an intuitive response to the heart’s calling of his audience.

“Dreamtime Concert” with John Dumas will be held Saturday, November 10 starting at 7:00pm at VAC’s Niaulani Campus located at 19-4074 Old Volcano Road in Volcano Village. Doors open at 6:30pm. Cost is $12 or $10 for VAC members.

Tickets may be purchased in person or over the phone at (808) 967-8222. For more information, visit  www.volcanoartcenter.org or www.johndumas.com.

Volcano Art Center (VAC) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization founded in 1974 to develop, promote and perpetuate the artistic, cultural and environmental heritage of Hawaii’s people through the arts and education.

Pahoa Facilities Get Fenced In

The Pahoa Senior Center which was the former fire station here in Pahoa, had been having a problem with homeless people sleeping at the facilities during the evenings and the Pahoa Neighborhood Facility (Pahoa Community Center) has long been a problem for the parks workers.

Last week fencing went up around the facilities:

The new gate to the Pahoa Senior Center

A lot of fencing was used in this project as it looked like they tried to encircle the entire park.

This fencing will really assist in keeping the troubled elements out of the community center at night.

County Parks Maintenance worker Alfred Pestrello mentioned how the folks that work at the park, take great pride in the park and that this will really make there job easier.

County worker Alfred Pestrello puts on some finishing touches to the fencing as a security guard looks over the facilities.

Hawaii County Police Increasing DUI Checkpoints This Week in Conjunction With Halloween

Children of all ages look forward to Halloween but police want to keep them safe to enjoy the fun. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly four times as many children ages 5-14, are killed while walking on Halloween evening than other times of the year.

Hawaiʻi County police will increase DUI checkpoints and roving patrols this week in conjunction with Halloween. The effort is part of a national and statewide campaign called “Drive sober or get pulled over.”

Sergeant Robert P. Pauole, head of the Hawaiʻi Police Department’s Traffic Services Section, pointed out that drugs, alcohol or both have been factors in at least 63 percent of the 35 traffic fatalities we’ve experienced so far this year. He urges all motorists to be extra cautious in the next few days, when a large number of pedestrians may be out for Halloween festivities.

“Be especially careful in residential areas by slowing down and looking for children on roadways, medians and curbs,” Pauole said. “If you plan to drink, please don’t drive. Make arrangements to ride with a designated, sober and licensed driver before you start drinking. If you can’t find one, don’t take a chance—take a taxi.”

Police offer the following additional tips for Halloween safety:

Motorists:

-Drive below the posted speed limit during trick-or-treating hours.
-Watch for keiki darting out from between parked cars.
-Enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully.

Parents:

-Accompany your keiki when they go trick-or-treating or make sure they are supervised by a responsible adult.
-Have your keiki trick-or-treat in a safe location (consider a local mall or community event).
-Make sure keiki are supervised as they cross the street.
-Have keiki get out of cars on the curb side, not on the traffic side.
-Carry flashlights and use reflective tape or stickers on bags and costumes for keiki to see and be seen.
-Avoid masks or costumes that limit a keiki’s vision or movement.
-Check all treats before letting your keiki eat them.

The Police Department wishes everyone a fun and safe Halloween.

Hawai’i Executive to Chair National Leadership Network for Nonprofits

Independent Sector, a leadership network for nonprofit organizations, foundations and corporate giving programs, recently appointed Hawai’i-native Kelvin Taketa, president and CEO of Hawai’i Community Foundation, as its board chair. As an organization striving to advance the common good in America, Independent Sector works towards promoting public policies and serves as an advocate for the philanthropic community.

Kelvin Taketa, Hawai’i Community Foundation president and CEO.

“Though we are thousands of miles from the mainland, it is important to stay connected with the public policies and changes occurring in our sector across the nation,” said Taketa. “Ultimately, these are the changes that will also affect us here in Hawai’i. It’s essential that we keep an open dialogue by sharing the challenges and successes we’ve experienced locally, while learning about the trends and issues nationally. In this way, I believe we can make an even greater impact in our community.”

Independent Sector is located in Washington D.C. and works nationally to create opportunities through its partnerships with approximately 600 organizations to lead, strengthen, and mobilize the nonprofit and philanthropic community. Together the coalition seeks to foster a just and inclusive society where citizens and institutions can work together to develop healthy and vibrant communities. Since the organization was founded in 1980, Independent Sector has sponsored revolutionary research, supported public policies within the independent sector, and created invaluable resources for organizations to achieve these goals.

“We are honored to have Kelvin as our new chairman and know that he will provide invaluable counsel and leadership to the board and the Independent Sector network,” said Diana Aviv, president of Independent Sector. “As an organization determined to make an impact in as many communities across the nation as possible, we believe having the unique perspectives of highly-respected leaders, such as Kelvin, is absolutely vital to our growth and success.”

Taketa brings more than 30 years of experience in the nonprofit sector and joined Independent Sector’s Board in 2007 as an opportunity to be a part of the network and advocate for nonprofit organizations, foundations, and corporate giving programs nationwide. Hawai’i Community Foundation is also a member of Independent Sector, joining in 2006. Since then, the Foundation has gained a better understanding of the current trends and issues in the nonprofit sector nationally, which provides valuable context for Hawai’i Community Foundation, as well as for the local community.

Hawai’i Community Foundation is a public, statewide, charitable services, and grant-making organization supported by donor contributions for the benefit of Hawai’i’s people. For more information about the Foundation, please visit www.HawaiiCommunityFoundation.org .

CLick here to view a PDF of this news release

3.0 Magnitude Earthquake Shakes Volcano Area of the Big Island Early This Morning

Magnitude 3.0
Date-Time
Location 19.425°N, 155.276°W
Depth 1.7 km (1.1 miles)
Region ISLAND OF HAWAII, HAWAII
Distances
  • 5 km (3 miles) WSW (237°) from Volcano, HI
  • 16 km (10 miles) WSW (251°) from Fern Forest, HI
  • 19 km (12 miles) SW (228°) from Mountain View, HI
  • 37 km (23 miles) SSW (213°) from Hilo, HI
  • 338 km (210 miles) SE (128°) from Honolulu, HI
Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 0.2 km (0.1 miles); depth +/- 0.1 km (0.1 miles)
Parameters Nph= 34, Dmin=0 km, Rmss=0.1 sec, Gp= 50°,
M-type=duration magnitude (Md), Version=2
Source
Event ID hv60422886

County of Hawaii: “Technical Challenges Initially With Our Siren System During Last Night’s Tsunami Warning”

 

Media Release:

The tsunami advisory for the State of Hawai‘i ended this morning at 3:58 a.m. following a magnitude 7.7 earthquake in the Queen Charlotte Islands region off the coast of Canada at 5:04 p.m. HST. We are grateful this morning to report that through the coordination of our first responders and the cooperation of the community, all of our shoreline and low-lying areas were evacuated safely during last night’s tsunami warning. We have received no reports of injury or serious property damage.

Although there were technical challenges initially with our siren system during last night’s tsunami warning, the challenges were addressed. The sirens are just one facet of our comprehensive emergency notification strategy, which includes sounding sirens, sending phone, text, and email alerts through mass notification systems, Civil Defense messages on radio and television stations, and manual notification by Police, Fire, and Civil Air Patrol.

Police and Fire personnel were deployed immediately to shoreline areas to notify people of the evacuation. Two fire helicopters, a privately contracted helicopter, and a Civil Air Patrol plane were in the air to monitor the shoreline and further notify people in difficult to access shoreline areas and ensure that the areas were clear.

Our human response was executed according to plan. In spite of the technical challenges earlier in the evening, we were able to safely execute a complete island-wide evacuation of shoreline and low-lying areas by 10:05 p.m.

During our next monthly siren test on Nov. 1, we will be stationing personnel at all sirens to ensure that they are operating as expected in concert with Hawai‘i State Civil Defense. State Civil Defense owns the sirens and takes care of repairs, while Hawai‘i County Civil Defense coordinates the operation of the sirens and conducts monthly tests.

What Happened to the Civil Defense Sirens During Last Nights Tsunami Warnings

Well as everyone knows by now we had a big scare again with a Tsunami Warning that happened following a 7.7 magnitude earthquake off the British Columbia coastline.

I was following the story fairly closely but was pretty concerned because the Civil Defense Sirens were not going off and nothing was being reported on the Civil Defense Page about the possible incoming tsunami.

In fact the only thing the Civil Defense Page did report was the following nearly 5 hours after the first wave was suppose to hit:

“This is a Civil Defense Message for Sunday October 28, 2012 at 4:15 AM

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center has cancelled the tsunami advisory for the Island of Hawaii, however small sea level changes and strong or unusual currents may persist for several additional hours.  Beaches will remain closed until further notice.  This will be the final message issued for this event unless conditions change.

This is your Hawaii County Civil Defense”

I first learned about it at 7:15 pm Hawaii time and didn’t even hear the first siren in Pahoa until nearly 9:15 in the evening!

[youtube=http://youtu.be/5ei7Uc2Dj2k]

I know that the sirens were going off in Kona earlier as my wife was staying at the Keauhou Resort for a soccer tournament and they got evacuated as soon as the sirens went off over there around 8:30.

I was getting facebook reports from other parts of the island that they weren’t hearing sirens either.

Big Island Video News posted a video of the strange tidal action that was happening shortly after the tsunami hit and you can view that here “Video: Tsunami Brings Strange Tides to Wailoa Boat Harbor“.

TSUNAMI WARNING ISSUED FOR STATE OF HAWAII

A TSUNAMI WARNING IS ISSUED FOR THE STATE OF HAWAII EFFECTIVE AT
0709 PM HST.  THIS UPGRADE IS DUE TO THE SEA LEVEL READINGS
RECEIVED AND THE RESULTING CHANGE IN THE HAWAII TSUNAMI
FORECAST.

AN EARTHQUAKE HAS OCCURRED WITH THESE PRELIMINARY PARAMETERS

   ORIGIN TIME - 0504 PM HST 27 OCT 2012
   COORDINATES - 52.8 NORTH  131.8 WEST
   LOCATION    - QUEEN CHARLOTTE ISLANDS REGION
   MAGNITUDE   - 7.7  MOMENT

MEASUREMENTS OR REPORTS OF TSUNAMI WAVE ACTIVITY

 GAUGE LOCATION        LAT   LON    TIME        AMPL         PER
 -------------------  ----- ------  -----  ---------------  -----
 DART 46404           45.9N 128.8W  0417Z   0.05M /  0.2FT  20MIN
 LANGARA POINT BC     54.2N 133.1W  0424Z   0.20M /  0.7FT  26MIN
 DART 46419           48.8N 129.6W  0346Z   0.06M /  0.2FT  12MIN

 LAT  - LATITUDE (N-NORTH, S-SOUTH)
 LON  - LONGITUDE (E-EAST, W-WEST)
 TIME - TIME OF THE MEASUREMENT (Z IS UTC IS GREENWICH TIME)
 AMPL - TSUNAMI AMPLITUDE MEASURED RELATIVE TO NORMAL SEA LEVEL.
        IT IS ...NOT... CREST-TO-TROUGH WAVE HEIGHT.
        VALUES ARE GIVEN IN BOTH METERS(M) AND FEET(FT).
 PER  - PERIOD OF TIME IN MINUTES(MIN) FROM ONE WAVE TO THE NEXT.

 NOTE - DART MEASUREMENTS ARE FROM THE DEEP OCEAN AND THEY
        ARE GENERALLY MUCH SMALLER THAN WOULD BE COASTAL
         MEASUREMENTS AT SIMILAR LOCATIONS.

EVALUATION

 A TSUNAMI HAS BEEN GENERATED THAT COULD CAUSE DAMAGE ALONG
 COASTLINES OF ALL ISLANDS IN THE STATE OF HAWAII. URGENT ACTION
 SHOULD BE TAKEN TO PROTECT LIVES AND PROPERTY.

 A TSUNAMI IS A SERIES OF LONG OCEAN WAVES. EACH INDIVIDUAL WAVE
 CREST CAN LAST 5 TO 15 MINUTES OR MORE AND EXTENSIVELY FLOOD
 COASTAL AREAS. THE DANGER CAN CONTINUE FOR MANY HOURS AFTER THE
 INITIAL WAVE AS SUBSEQUENT WAVES ARRIVE. TSUNAMI WAVE HEIGHTS
 CANNOT BE PREDICTED AND THE FIRST WAVE MAY NOT BE THE LARGEST.
 TSUNAMI WAVES EFFICIENTLY WRAP AROUND ISLANDS. ALL SHORES ARE AT
 RISK NO MATTER WHICH DIRECTION THEY FACE. THE TROUGH OF A TSUNAMI
 WAVE MAY TEMPORARILY EXPOSE THE SEAFLOOR BUT THE AREA WILL
 QUICKLY FLOOD AGAIN. EXTREMELY STRONG AND UNUSUAL NEARSHORE
 CURRENTS CAN ACCOMPANY A TSUNAMI. DEBRIS PICKED UP AND CARRIED
 BY A TSUNAMI AMPLIFIES ITS DESTRUCTIVE POWER. SIMULTANEOUS HIGH
 TIDES OR HIGH SURF CAN SIGNIFICANTLY INCREASE THE TSUNAMI HAZARD.

 THE ESTIMATED ARRIVAL TIME IN HAWAII OF THE FIRST TSUNAMI WAVE IS

                     1028 PM HST SAT 27 OCT 2012MESSAGES WILL BE ISSUED HOURLY OR SOONER AS CONDITIONS WARRANT.

Another Nasty Highway 130 Accident

Today at about 12:40 there was another accident on Highway 130 at the Maku’u Street intersection of the highway.

Two ambulances were seen leaving the scene and these two cars were being towed from the accident.

University of Hawaii Warriors to Wear New Uniforms to Help Wounded Warrior Project

When the University of Hawaii football team plays UNLV coming up on November 24th, they will be wearing a special uniform that is meant to help the “Wounded Warrior Project“.

Many college teams across the country have been changing their uniforms for a game to support this project.  This weekend, Boston College is changing their uniforms.

So what do you think of the uniforms?

Video: U.S. Senator Mazie Hirono Rallies East Hawaii Voters at Big Island Bus Stop Tour

Big Island of Hawaii’s Democratic contingency took part in an East Hawaii Bus Stop tour today starting at Laupahoehoe Community Charter School and ending at Auntie Sally’s Luau in Hilo today.

I took the following pictures at HAAS Community Charter School in Pahoa today on their third stop of the tour.

Unfortunately Governor Abercrombie and Democratic Candidate Tulsi Gabbard were unable to make the event, however, U.S. Senator Mazie Hirono had this to say at the rally:

[youtube=http://youtu.be/snzw7S3b_Qs]

Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center Awarding Judge Nakamura and Prosecutor Iboshi “Peacemaker Awards”

On Sunday, November 11, the Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center (KMC)—in participation with the Hawai‘i County Bar Association—is hosting its Seventh Annual Recognition Dinner and Auction in Hilo to help fund the non-profit human services agency.

Judge Greg K. Nakamura (left), Prosecuting Attorney Charlene Y. Iboshi (center), and Andrew P. Wilson, Esq. (right) are being honored at Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center’s Seventh Annual Recognition Dinner and Auction in Hilo. The event helps raise funds for the non-profit human services agency. Judge Nakamura and Prosecutor Iboshi will receive ‘Peacemaker Awards’ from KMC for their support of alternate dispute resolution. Mr. Wilson is being recognized by the Hawai‘i County Bar Association for 40 years of service. For fundraiser tickets, contact KMC Executive Director Julie Mitchell at 935-7844 x 116 or email julie@kmchilo.com.

“This year we are recognizing the Honorable Greg K. Nakamura and Prosecuting Attorney Charlene Y. Iboshi with ‘Peacemaker Awards’ for all they have done for our community,” said KMC President Andrew P. Wilson, Esq.

“I am also humbled that the Hawai‘i County Bar Association has chosen to honor me,” added Wilson, who is being recognized for practicing law in Hawai‘i for 40 years.

No-host cocktails will be served at 5:00 p.m., with dinner served at 6:00 p.m.  The buffet will feature a choice of shrimp scampi over fettuccine, Italian chicken, and Spencer roast, as well as salads, side dishes, and dessert.

Newton John Chu, Esq. will emcee the event, which features a silent auction, live auction, and door prizes.  Items up for bid include rounds of golf, adventure tours, entrance to local attractions, overnight stays, gift cards to restaurants and retail stores, bodywork, wearing apparel, artwork, gift baskets, flower arrangements, and more.

“Our Annual Dinner provides a significant portion of the funds that Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center needs to provide free and low-cost dispute resolution services to the East Hawai‘i community,” Wilson stated.  “Over half of our clients are at or below the poverty level, and many are not able to pay any fees for their mediation sessions.”

Judge Greg K. Nakamura is an avid advocate of mediation and arbitration, and believes that these alternate dispute resolution processes are integral tools to help resolve cases.  KMC is recognizing him with a 2012 ‘Peacemaker Award’ during its November 11 fundraiser.

“The Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center has been very supportive of the Judiciary’s efforts to have matters resolved out of court,” noted Judge Nakamura.  “In particular, the Center’s participation in the Foreclosure Mediation Pilot Project has been instrumental in the program’s success.  This has allowed many homeowners facing foreclosure to keep their homes.”

Judge Nakamura is a graduate of the William S. Richardson School of Law and began his legal career in private practice in 1979.  In 1990, Judge Nakamura was appointed to the bench as a District Family Court Judge in Kona.  In 1994 he was appointed as a Circuit Court Judge in Hilo,  In addition, he also is Deputy Chief Judge for the Third Circuit Family Court, Administrative Judge for the Court-Annexed Arbitration Program, and Drug Court Judge for East Hawai‘i.

KMC is also honoring Charlene Y. Iboshi with a ‘Peacemaker Award.’  She has supported mediation throughout her career as prosecutor.  She initiated training for mediation for the Prosecutor’s staff and supported the principles embodied in victim-driven mediation in appropriate cases.  She has served on the KMC board of directors, and continues to support the efforts of alternative dispute mediation within the schools and judiciary for civil matters where access to justice and quick resolution to disputes builds respect for the justice system.

Prosecutor Iboshi was born in Hilo and graduated from Hilo High School, University of Hawai‘i, and University of Puget Sound Law School.  She worked as a deputy prosecuting attorney in Washington state, and then was appointed as a Hawai‘i County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in 1980 and First Deputy in 1992, and became the Prosecuting Attorney in 2011.

Tickets for the Annual Dinner are $85 per person (of which $50 is tax deductible) and are available from KMC’s board of directors and from KMC’s office in The Hilo Lagoon Centre at 101 Aupuni Street, Suite PH 1014 B-2.  For reservations, contact KMC Executive Director Julie Mitchell at 935-7844 x 116 or email julie@kmchilo.com.

NASA: Operation RESOLVE – Big Island of Hawaii

In July of 2012, NASA came to the Big Island of Hawai’i for an analog test to simulate rovers in a moon-like environment on Mauna Kea.

At the end of the test, the rovers were brought to the ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center on the campus of the University of Hawai’i at Hilo for a public outreach event. Here, people of all ages were able to interact with equipment that was used during the test, and learn about what went on during the test.

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Annual Fundraiser Day at Hulihe‘e Palace

The picturesque, seaside grounds of Hulihe‘e Palace will be the location of the annual spring fundraiser, Day at Hulihe‘e, on Saturday, Mar. 30,  2013. An 8:30 a.m. traditional Hawaiian blessing kicks off the 9 a.m.-4 p.m. event, which is hosted by palace caretakers the Daughters of Hawai‘i and the Calabash Cousins.

Hula Dancers dance behind Hulihe’e Palace. (Photo Fern Gavelek)

Browse among tented arts and crafts booths, a tempting bake sale featuring Aunty Nona’s scrumptious peach cake and the ever-popular Classy Tutu’s Attic. Choose a fresh flower lei made on site by palace volunteers. The Kuakini Hawaiian Civic Club will offer ono food and local hula halau will provide cultural entertainment. Prize drawings throughout the day will be featured.

Palace admission will be complimentary all day, although donations will be accepted.

Day at Hulihe‘e remembers Hawai‘i’s Citizen Prince who was born in March: Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole (1871-1922.) Hawai‘i observes an annual statewide holiday to commemorate Prince Kuhio’s dedication toward serving his people; it’s Tuesday, Mar. 26 in 2013.

Beginning in 1902, Kuhio served as a delegate to the U.S. Congress for 10 terms, was the driving force behind the development of Pearl Harbor and instituted the Hawaiian Homestead Commission. A monument at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park credits Prince Kuhio for founding the park in 1916.

Hulihe‘e Palace is open for self-guided tours. Museum and gift shop hours are 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. Hulihe‘e Palace admission, which at this time includes a self-guided tour brochure, remains $6 for adults, $4 for seniors and $1 for keiki under 18. Volunteer docents are sometimes available to give guided tours. For details, contact the palace at 329-1877, the palace office at 329-9555 or visit www.daughtersofhawaii.org. The gift shop can be reached by phoning 329-6558.

Caretakers of Hulihe‘e Palace are the Daughters of Hawai‘i. The organization was founded in 1903 and opens membership to any woman who is directly descended from a person who lived in Hawai‘i prior to 1880. Helping the Daughters in its efforts since 1986 are the Calabash Cousins; membership is available to all.

USS Crommelin Decommissioned Today – Last Stop in Hilo Was During Merrie Monarch

During last years Merrie Monarch, I got invited to tour the Pearl Harbor-based guided missile frigate warship the USS Crommelin and learned at that time that it would be decommissioned later on this year.

USS Crommelin (FFG-37), twenty-eighth ship of the Oliver Hazard Perry-class of guided-missile frigates.

Well today the US Navy released the following release announcing that it is being decommissioned today.

Sailors line up in front of the USS Crommelin while she was ported in Hilo last year

The US Navy reports:

The Navy is retiring a Pearl Harbor-based guided missile frigate after putting the ship to use for nearly 30 years.

The Navy is holding a ceremony on Friday to decommission the Crommelin.

In 2004, the Crommelin intercepted and recovered more than 20 tons of cocaine worth more than $1 billion and detained 29 drug smugglers. It also rescued 96 people adrift at sea.

The Crommelin is named after three brothers from Wetumpka, Ala., who served during World War II.

The oldest became a surface warfare officer while two others died in combat as naval aviators. A monument commemorating their bravery rests in Battleship Park in Mobile, Ala.

The Crommelin entered service in 1983.

While the Crommelin was in Hilo for the Merrie Monarch, Mayor Kenoi’s office proclaimed it to be USS Crommelin day and a small celebration was held for the sailors.

One sailor got to pick and choose who he wanted to have dance with the dancers and I could see big smiles on all the sailors faces as he was calling out names.

You have to know that Hawaii is the place that all sailors in the Navy want to be stationed!

Tahitian Dance for the sailors of the USS Crommelin

I’m glad I got my USS Crommelin Coin before the ship was decommissioned as this buggah just became even more important to me!