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Neighborhood Place of Puna: Sports Rescue Program

Calling for Donations of new and gently used youth sports equipment.

Neighborhood Place of Puna is seeking donations of new and gently used youth sports equipment for our Sports Rescue Program.

Sports Rescue

Neighborhood Place of Puna’s Sports Rescue program takes donated sports equipment like footballs, cleats, protective gear, and makes it available to East Hawaii children and youth who cannot afford to buy the equipment necessary to play sports.

Neighborhood Place of Puna believes that every child deserves the right to play team sports. The Sports Rescue program is one way that we as a community can share what we have to make sure that every child has a chance to play team sports.

Donations will be accepted at our Pahoa office, 15-3039 Pahoa Village Rd, during business hours: 8:00am-4:30pm, Monday – Friday.

Other collection dates include:

  • Saturday, April 27th: 10 am – 1 pm- Sangha Hall in Hilo at the Celebrate Your Family Event
  • Saturday May 18th, 5pm- 10pm- Civic Auditorium at the Paradise Roller Girls Season Opener
  • Saturday June 22nd, 8am– Maku’u Market at the Annual Free School Supply Distribution

This program is made possible through a grant from Omidyar ‘Ohana Fund of the Hawai’i Community Foundation.

Neighborhood Place of Puna (NPP) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization working to help families raise healthy safe keiki by providing families with the tools and supports they need to be successful.

New Study Provides First Direct Evidence of Feral Cats in Hawaii Killing Endangered Hawaiian Petrel

A new study by federal and university scientists has provided the first direct videographic evidence of depredation of the endangered Hawaiian Petrel by feral cats. The study affirms large amounts of earlier anecdotal evidence that feral cats are an important factor in population declines of the species and provides important additional information on the behavior of cats at petrel burrows.

Hawaiian Petrel and egg by Kauai Endangered Seabird Recovery Project

Hawaiian Petrel and egg by Kauai Endangered Seabird Recovery Project

The study, which was prepared by scientists from the University of Hawaiʻi, National Park Service, and U.S. Geological Survey, involved the monitoring of 14 Hawaiian Petrel burrows with digital infrared video cameras that produced 819 videos and 89 still photographs during 2007 and 2008 at petrel nesting areas on Mauna Loa on Hawaiʻi Island. The study confirmed the presence of feral cats at eight burrows.

The report says that the effects of feral cats on endangered birds are poorly understood because many endangered species are rare and therefore observed infrequently. In addition, some endangered species are nocturnal and occur only seasonally in remote and inaccessible environments.

All that is true in the case of the Hawaiian Petrel. This species was once numerous and widespread throughout the entire Hawaiian archipelago but now numbers only about 15,000 birds distributed in isolated breeding colonies on Kauaʻi, Lanaʻi, Maui, and Hawaiʻi Island. The birds spend most of their time at sea, and return to land only to breed in barren alpine areas and steep forested slopes, where they come and go from underground burrows nocturnally. Usually, confirmation of breeding is determined by a variety of indirect signs such as the presence of droppings, feathers, footprints, or vocalizations.

Depredation of Hawaiian Petrel adults and chicks at colonies has been frequently documented and attributed to cats based on the condition of bird carcasses and the presence of nearby cat scat.  Analysis of cat scat and stomach contents of feral cats also suggest that cat depredation is occurring. However, the technology does not currently exist to differentiate whether petrel remains came from consumption of live prey or scavenged dead animals.

One feral cat depredation event was recorded on video in 2008 and showed a feral cat waiting near the entrance of a burrow for over one hour.  When the petrel chick emerged, the cat quickly grabbed it. The remains of the chick were found 10 meters from the burrow. Evidence from an additional depredation event was documented in 2008 during a field visit by researchers, while eight other depredation events were documented during field visits in 2007.

The report says that the video data should prove useful in studying both the bird’s nesting behavior and predator interactions. “This information may prove to be beneficial for developing more targeted management strategies for a suite of endangered bird species in Hawaii,” said Dr. Steven Hess of the U.S. Geological Survey.

Videographic evidence already exists for feral cat depredation of another endangered Hawaiian bird, the Palila, while another video shows a feral cat trying to take the egg of a Nēnē, the endangered Hawaiian Goose. According to the study, other strong evidence for the negative effects of feral cats on native Hawaiian seabirds comes from the positive response of bird populations where feral cats have been controlled and from comparisons of Wedge-tailed Shearwater reproduction in the presence and absence of feral cats.

The authors point out that while the depredation of Hawaiian Petrel chicks may limit the recruitment of chicks into the population, the killing of adults by cats may have even more severe consequences.

“This species has delayed sexual maturity, low reproductive potential and extended nestling development, all of which place a premium on survivorship of the adult birds. Further, the birds also have a high degree of mate fidelity and may have difficulty replacing mates that have been depredated,” said Dr. Darcy Hu of the National Park Service.

She pointed out that the majority of numerous depredated Hawaiian Petrel carcasses found in the study area were adult birds, presumably ones that were actively breeding or seeking mates.

“These data provide yet more evidence that feral cats are having an impact on many wildlife species, but especially on birds,” said George Wallace, ABC’s Vice President for Oceans and Islands. “Feral cats are believed to have been at least partially, if not fully, responsible for the extinction of several dozen wildlife species, including the Stephens Island Wren of New Zealand and Mexico’s Guadalupe Storm-Petrel.  Management controls, such as predator control and predator-proof fencing are urgently needed to prevent that from happening to the Hawaiian Petrel.”

One such effort is underway to protect Mauna Loa’s Hawaiian Petrels. The National Park Service with support from the US Fish and Wildlife Service, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and the American Bird Conservancy, is constructing a fence specifically designed to keep feral cats and mongooses out of important Hawaiian Petrel nesting habitat in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. Once completed, the fence will protect an estimated 45 active petrel nesting sites and enclose 640 acres of prime nesting habitat.

Attorney Jeff Portnoy’s Response to Senator Hee’s Comments on Floor of Senate on April 17 – Re: Hawaii Shield Law

Click to read where the bill stands

Click to read where the bill stands

Dear President Kim and Members of the Senate:

As I said in my earlier letter to you, I do not wish to engage in a pointless debate with Sen. Clayton Hee on the merits of HB622 Regarding Evidence. However, Sen. Hee’s insistence on distorting the record requires a response.

The Judiciary Evidence Committee’s Report of December 2011 states that it recommends that “the sunset provision be eliminated and that Act 210 be integrated into H.R.S. Ch. 621.” The committee says the Legislature might, “were it so inclined,” look at sections of the law. Nowhere is there any indication of a minority report or dissenting vote on the committee. Committee discussions were confidential so if Deputy Attorney General Diedre Marie-Iha wishes to cast a public dissent, that is her right. However, in testimony submitted to the House Judiciary Committee on February 2, 2012, on a matter related to the shield law, Judge Glenn Kim, chair of the Evidence Committee, said this:

The Judiciary supports making the news media privilege permanent by repealing the scheduled sunset date of Act 210, Session Laws of Hawaii 2008, as amended by Act 113, Session Laws of Hawaii, as proposed in House Bill No. 2763, which is currently pending hearing by this committee.” (Underscore added)

Nothing Judge Kim said at that time would suggest that the committee was anything but supportive of the shield law.

I should note that during the senate judiciary committee hearing on HB622 on March 28, 2013, Deputy Attorney General Marie-Iha submitted her testimony late so it was not available to the committee or the public until moments before she testified. I did not have an opportunity to read it, much less comment at length about what she had to say.

Sen. Hee contends that at that hearing the news media were unable to provide examples of how the shield law has been used over the past five years. He bases this statement on the testimony of one testifier, whom Sen. Hee badgered during questioning. Sen. Hee gave no one else an opportunity to respond to his question. If he is interested, I can cite examples where the shield law has been used to ward off problems. There are the Ka Loko Dam breach case on Kauai and the Big Island voter fraud case. The shield law was invoked in these cases to head off major problems involving confidential sources used in news gathering. And having the law deters others from trying to force disclosure because they know the law prevents going on fishing expeditions for news sources and unpublished information.

If Sen. Hee is interested in more information on this matter, I would be happy to provide it in depth and detail when I return. I offer these comments now in the interest of a clear record for you to make rational decisions involving important matters of a free press in Hawaii.


/s/ Jeffrey S. Portnoy, Esq.

And in other news today:

Blogger Law

Click for more information (Subscription based)

Big Island Police Identify Pedestrian that Was Killed on Highway 11


Police traffic investigators have identified a man who died Wednesday (April 17) from injuries he sustained in a motor vehicle/pedestrian collision on Highway 11 in the area of the 18-mile marker in Glenwood.

The victim was identified as 21-year-old Brendan Charlie of a Mountain View address.

South Carolina Couple Heads to Hawai‘i Island to Make History Eating at All of USA Today’s “51 Great Burger Joints”

Village Burger in Waimea, was listed in USA Today’s “51 Great Burger Joints” across the country in 2010.

Village Burger

Since then, a lovely couple of retired doctors from Hilton Head Island, South Carolina have been to all but one – Village Burger!  We are working to welcome Joe and Doris Lindner (and their kids and grandchildren), on Friday, April 26th at 10:30 a.m., with a presentation by Kahu Danny Akaka & family, Senate and Mayoral proclamations, and hopefully some of the restaurant’s many local farmers, bakers, ranchers and other food providers – to show it ‘takes a village’ to make a great Village Burger.

Doris and Joe Lindner pose by the USA Today poster at the Char-Grill in Raleigh, N.C. During the past two years, the couple â€" retired doctors living on Hilton Head Island â€" have driven to all but one of America's “51 Great Burger Joint

Doris and Joe Lindner pose by the USA Today poster at the Char-Grill in Raleigh, N.C. During the past two years, the couple, retired doctors living on Hilton Head Island, have driven to all but one of America’s 51 Great Burger Joints

WHAT:  Epicurean history will be made when Joe and Doris Lindner of Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, visit Village Burger Waimea on April 26 to complete their journey across America to eat at all of USA Today’s “51 Great Burger Joints.” Hawai‘i Island’s award-winning restaurant is the final stop on their delicious two-year quest.

WHO: Village Burger Waimea will welcome the Lindners with a special ceremony, including music and dance by Danny and Anna Akaka, proclamations from the offices of Hawai‘i County Mayor Billy Kenoi and Senator Malama Solomon, and support from the Big Island Visitors Bureau.

Joe and Doris will be joined by their daughters and sons-in-law Karen and Tom Pappas, Laura and Kevin Sankey; and grandchildren, Logan, Nolan, Colton, Teddy and Charlotte as they make history.

WHEN:  FRIDAY, APRIL 26 – 10:30 A.M.


Waimea Village Burger

Parker Ranch Center, 67-1185 Hawai‘i Belt Road, Kamuela, HI 96743

WHY: In October 2010, Chef/Owner Edwin Goto’s popular eatery Village Burger Waimea was named one of USA Today’s “51 Great Burger Joints” as part of the national newspaper’s “Great American Bites” series. Hawai‘i food writer Joan Namkoong provided the recommendation noting the restaurant as
“A locavore’s delight, with a grass-fed, pasture-raised, ground-fresh-daily Big Island beef burger, thick and grilled to order, topped with just-picked, Waimea-grown veggies in a brioche bun from nearby Hawi town.”

The Lindners were visiting a daughter in Colorado when the list was published and paid a visit to Colorado’s top pick Park Burger in Denver. On their drive home to South Carolina, they visited three more burger joints on the list and that’s when Joe and Doris made the decision to set out to eat at all the restaurants on the list. Click here to read more about their journey.

NOTE:  The public is invited to attend this special ceremony and celebration.

WEBSITE: www.villageburgerwaimea.com

Ka‘u Coffee Attracts Industry Experts for Third Reverse Trade Mission

Leaders of the specialty coffee industry are traveling to the state’s largest agricultural district in early May to learn about award-winning Ka‘u coffee.

Kau Coffee FestivalThey include Po-Jung “Simon” Hsieh, founder of Soaring Phoenix Trading Company, a green bean coffee importer; and Jim Munson, president of Brooklyn Roasting Company, a wholesale and retail roastery “committed to superb and socially responsible coffee.”

The notable coffee experts are participating in Ka‘u coffee’s annual reverse trade mission as part of the fifth Ka‘u Coffee Festival May 4-5 at the Pahala Community Center. They will learn first-hand about Ka‘u coffee during Saturday festival activities, including guided tastings and farm tours. On Sunday, the men will give guest lectures to local coffee farmers at the Ka‘u Coffee College.

This is the festival’s third reverse trade mission. Other coffee specialty experts who have traveled to Ka‘u to learn about its special brew include coffee guru George Howell of Terroir Coffee, Skip Fay of Dunn Bros Coffee, James Freeman of Blue Bottle Coffee, Anthony Carroll of Starbucks and Jeff Taylor of PT’s Coffee Roasting Company.

In addition to importing coffee, Hsieh is one of Taiwan’s most accomplished specialty roasters. “Coffee Review” published 18 reviews of his coffees that scored 90 points or higher. He offers professional training in hand-pour and siphon brewing, as well as roasting, plus serves as a quality control advisor for Taiwanese coffee farmers. Hsieh is the author of “Coffee Extraction: All About Brewing.”

Munson is president of Brooklyn Roasting Company; the international brand has cafes in the U.S. and Japan. Munson has served on the Specialty Coffee Association of America’s Conference Committee and the National Coffee Associations Information and Education Committee, plus is the former chairman of the New York chapter of the American Institute of Wine and Food. Before launching his coffee career at Dallis Bros. Coffee, Munson worked as a GM/partner at The Brooklyn Brewery.

“We’re pleased and proud that notable industry leaders come to Ka‘u to share in our community,” says Chris Manfredi who serves as lead festival organizer. “This strategic initiative to create collaborative relationships benefits Ka‘u growers and moves us another step forward on the path toward establishing Ka‘u as a premium coffee growing origin.”

All coffee-industry related activities at the Ka‘u Coffee Festival are open to the general public; some require a fee. The April 26-May 5 festival has expanded to include three new activities: The Ka‘u Mountain Water System Hike on May 1, Coffee & Cattle Day on May 3 and Ka‘u Star Gazing on May 3. Other fun includes the Miss Ka’u Coffee Pageant on April 26, the Simply Elegant: the Ka‘u Farmers Table on April 27 and the Triple C Recipe Contest on April 28. Details on these events can be found at www.KauCoffeeFest.com.

Java-jumping festival fun culminates the weekend of May 4-5 at the Pahala Community Center. On Saturday, enjoy the Ka‘u Coffee Festival Ho‘olaule‘a, with a full day of music, hula, food, local crafts, coffee tastings and farm tours. Festival entry is free; Ka‘u Coffee Experience coffee tasting is $5; farm tours are $20. On Sunday, learn about the coffee industry at the annual Ka’u Coffee College. Admission is free, donations appreciated. Call 808-929-9550 or visit www.KauCoffeeFest.com.

Student Rates Announced for the 2013 Hawaii Conservation Conference

The Hawai‘i Conservation Alliance in partnership with Hauʻoli Mau Loa Foundation proudly announces the 2013 Hawaiʻi Conservation Conference Student Rate Program.

2013 Conservation Conference

Under this program, Hawaiʻi high school students, college students, and emerging professionals may be qualified to attend this yearʻs Hawaiʻi Conservation Conference at a special rate of $50.

Muralist Wyland and others at the 2012 Conservation Conference

Muralist Wyland and others at the 2012 Conservation Conference

Our neighboring island recipients will also receive at $200 travel stipend.

Hawaii Conservation Conference 2012

Please visit the following link for more details, eligibility requirements and applications (printable & fillable pdfs). Applications are due by May 30th, 2013.




Search Underway for Possible Person in Water Near Kailua-Kona

The Coast Guard is searching for a possible person in the water after a personal watercraft was found adrift near Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, Thursday.

A blue wave runner was found by a commercial fishing vessel two miles west of Kailua-Kona and returned to its owner at Jet Ski Island. The watercraft was confirmed to belong to a local rental company, who suspected an attempted theft may have occurred.

A Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter

A Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter

A Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew was diverted to conduct a search of the area and has been on scene since approximately 10 a.m. Big Island Fire is assisting with a surface asset and shoreline search of the area.

The Coast Guard requests that anyone with information on the possible person in distress please contact the Sector Honolulu Command Center at (808) 842-2600.


Pahoa Community Pool Work Progress on Schedule – Warm Water Still On the Way

A lot of folks have been asking me when the Pahoa community pool will re-open.

Pahoa Pool

I sent an email inquiry to Department of Parks & Recreation, Public Information Officer Jason Armstrong asking him the following questions and this morning I got the following response:

What is the progress with the Pahoa Pool?

Work is progressing according to schedule.

When will it officially open?

Work is scheduled to be finished by July 15, 2013, with an expected opening date of July 16, 2013.

What are all the improvements being done to it?

Work calls for expanding the pool’s equipment building; reconfiguring the pool’s pumps, circulation piping, and filtration system; and addressing leaks. Improved water quality, lower operational costs and the ability to prevent or mitigate pool closures following an electrical outage will be among the significant public benefits. Additional work will include installing roof-mounted solar heating panels to help warm the pool water, a new variable frequency drive to manage the pump motors more efficiently, and performing various repairs and safety upgrades to the facility.

What is the total cost for this project?

$1.5 million

I’ve been driving by the pool on almost a daily basis and I don’t see much activity going on at all.

Workers are at the site and are making progress.

Education Effort Aims to Improve Wildlife Viewing Experience for Public and Protect Hawaii’s Unique Marine Resources

In an effort to better educate visitors and residents about proper marine wildlife viewing, the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), along with Honua Consulting and more than 20 community partners, has created a series of video public service announcements about Hawai`i’s marine resources.


“We recognize the need to be proactive in managing human-wildlife interactions in Hawai‘i,” explained William Aila, Chairman of the Board of Land and Natural Resources. “As part of the Governor’s New Day plan for better environmental stewardship, the more we can educate visitors and residents about proper wildlife viewing, the more we can keep both the public and marine animals safe.”

The videos also encourage the public to choose tour operators that keep their distance when viewing marine wildlife like spinner dolphins, Hawaiian monk seals, turtles, and humpback whales.

The PSAs are particularly important as incidents of both monk seal hookings and humpback whale ship strikes continue to occur. In the 2012-2013 whale season, there have been 10 confirmed whale-vessel contacts. In 2012 there were 17 confirmed monk seal hookings. This year, there have been 6 confirmed hookings so far.

The project, Respect Ocean and Aquatic Resources (ROAR) Hawai‘i, was funded by the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority. The videos, which were shot and produced locally by ‘Ōiwi TV, also feature the Hawaiian language. “Part of what makes the Hawaiian Islands such a unique and special destination is our rich natural environment and unique host culture,” said Mike McCartney, president and CEO of the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority. “We are pleased to partner with DLNR and Honua Consulting to educate visitors and kama‘āina about the proper way to protect our ocean and marine life, while also highlighting the Hawaiian language.”

The videos can be viewed at the project website, http://roarhawaii.org/media/

If you would like hi-resolution copies of the PSAs for use and distribution please email roarhawaii@gmail.com.

ROAR Hawaii is a collection of information on Native Hawaiian ocean related practices and resources with the purpose of encouraging understanding and appreciation of our ocean through research, education, and culture.

3.1 Magnitude Earthquake Shakes Waikoloa Area of the Big Island Early This Morning – No Tsunami Generated


Magnitude 3.0 3.1 (updated)
Location 19.911°N, 155.738°W
Depth 32.1 km (19.9 miles)
  • 7 km (4 miles) ESE (121°) from Waikoloa Village, HI
  • 13 km (8 miles) E (100°) from Puako, HI
  • 14 km (9 miles) SSW (209°) from Waimea, HI
  • 72 km (45 miles) WNW (289°) from Hilo, HI
  • 267 km (166 miles) SE (125°) from Honolulu, HI
Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 0.7 km (0.4 miles); depth +/- 1.7 km (1.1 miles)
Parameters Nph= 59, Dmin=10 km, Rmss=0.1 sec, Gp=126°,
M-type=local magnitude (ML), Version=2
Event ID hv60490746

Big Island Fire Departments Implementing “One Day” Fireworks Collection Campaign

Fire Chief Darren Rosario would like to announce the implementation of a program designed for the collection of unwanted, illegal, and/or damaged fireworks. Until now, no program existed to allow for the proper disposal of unwanted fireworks. The Hawai‘i Fire Department (HFD) will be conducting a “one day only” Fireworks Collection campaign.

Old Fireworks

Members of the public will be able to drop off their unwanted fireworks at four locations island-wide on Saturday, April 27, 2013. Those wishing to participate can contact the HFD Fire Prevention Bureau at 932-2912 between the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. to get more information regarding drop off locations and drop off times.

The Hawai‘i Fire Department has been receiving inquiries from the public regarding proper disposal methods of fireworks. Improperly stored fireworks can create both a fire and public safety hazard. A significant amount of consumers do not use all fireworks purchased during the New Year or Fourth of July holidays. The unused product is then stored with the intent of being used during the next permissible occasion. Should a fire occur, the stored fireworks may add to the intensity and spread of the fire, and can pose serious safety concerns. Old and damaged fireworks are dangerous because they may not function as designed. Fireworks in general have the potential to cause significant property damage, serious injuries, and even death.

Please be advised that these fireworks are dangerous and utmost care must be taken to keep them away from any spark or open flame. Fireworks may be soaked in water overnight and dried prior to transporting them to one of the drop off locations. Please note that no other hazardous materials or explosive products will be accepted. Acceptable items will include all types of Fireworks, fountains, sparklers, firecrackers, cakes, rockets, etc.

In addition, you may also turn in any “aerial luminary devices.” The State of Hawai‘i deemed it illegal to buy, sell, use, possess, ignite, or cause to ignite any such aerial luminary device. An aerial luminary device is defined as any homemade or manufactured device that has an open flame and which can be send airborne or adrift, leaving the height and distance it travels to be determined by existing atmospheric conditions. These devices can start brushfires as well as entangle in electrical lines, and even has the ability to hit an aircraft if it drifts near an airport or in a vicinity of an aircraft. Please help us to prevent any fire threatening circumstances by turning in any unwanted fireworks at this time. The common brands found here are “Sky Lanterns” and “Hawai‘i Lanterns.”

The Hawai‘i Fire Department would like to thank you, the community, for its continued support in helping us make our Island as safe as can be. Fires and injuries caused by fireworks can be prevented and by providing proper collection and disposal opportunity, this program helps create a safer community for all.

For more information please call the Fire Prevention Bureau at 932-2911 (Hilo) or 323-4760 (Kona).


Mars Mission on the Big Island Delayed 24 Hours – What Would You Cook on Mars?

The Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS) project was scheduled to begin today on the Big Island.

More Photos available through the HI-SEAS website.

More Photos available through the HI-SEAS website.

It will begin tomorrow following a small delay.

The HI-SEAS crew spent the morning at the Ka'ohe Restoration Area helping with reforestation efforts on Mauna Kea. This is part of the crews week long pre-mission cultural experience.

The HI-SEAS crew spent the last week at the Ka’ohe Restoration Area helping with reforestation efforts on Mauna Kea. This was part of the crews week long pre-mission cultural experience.

The HI-SEAS Project is a project that NASA has developed to figure out how to cook food on the Planet Mars, in a Mars like environment here on the Big Island.

The site is set up at an undisclosed location on Mauna Kea.

The site is set up at an undisclosed location on Mauna Kea.

Today they stated that the project’s initial start was pushed back 24 hours:

Hi-seas Project

One of the crew members posted the following on Facebook today:

Hi-Seas Begins

You can follow them on Twitter at #HISEAS or follow their website: Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation.

Hi-Seas Soil

School Garden Thrives at Hale Kiaaina – State of Hawaii and Volunteer Groups Plant Lessons of ‘Seed to Table’

With Earth Day on April 22, the adoption of a very special garden by St. Andrew’s Priory School students – and the lessons it instills – is taking on extra significance.

Governor Garden

Gov. Neil Abercrombie and Dr. Nancie Caraway have welcomed the sixth and seventh grade students to the grounds of historic Washington Place and the Governor’s residence, Hale Kiaaina, to learn about growing fresh food in the thriving organic garden that serves as a living, outdoor classroom.

“The New Day school garden project represents our commitment to food self-sufficiency and the importance of instilling that value – as well as the knowledge and skill to do it – in the next generation,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “Growing our own food and connecting our keiki to the land through hands-on environmental education can plant lifelong lessons that students will carry with them throughout their lives.”

The New Day Garden was first planted in 2011 as a collaborative effort led by Dr. Caraway and supported by a diverse group of non-profit organizations, state agencies, local businesses, volunteers, and students. The garden is dedicated to Dr. Caraway’s mother, Ellen Caraway.

“My mother Ellen’s greatest joy was seeing green things grow,” Dr. Caraway said. “She absorbed all the beauty the earth provided. We wanted her spirit of Malama Aina to inspire us all.”

Gardening at Washington Place has proven to be a source of inspiration for the students and teachers. For some of the students, this is their first time in a garden. Jessie, a sixth grade student, said she signed up for the Garden Club because she just “wanted to learn about plants.”

But her classmate, Genevieve, not only expressed the benefit of having fun with other people while gardening together, but also the thrill of harvesting. “It is exciting because when you finish planting you can eat everything you planted,” she said.

One of the seventh grade students, Nevaeh, has more expertise than her peers in this area and could already identify many of the plants growing in the New Day Garden. “It feels great because I can share my knowledge with those who don’t know,” she said.

The students also recognize that their school garden is located at an extra special venue. When asked what she liked best about gardening at Hale Kiaaina, seventh grader Brianne replied, “The hard work we put into it will be shown to the Governor.”

Teachers Murielle Sipola and Kaipo Walsh bring their personal experiences and passion to the garden as they weave lessons of “seed to table” into the curriculum. Sipola’s primary goal is to help her students eat a healthier diet that includes more vegetables. This semester, she is integrating the after-school Garden Club with the nutrition and cooking classes for the middle school students. As the world languages teacher, Sipola plans to feature the botanical names from the garden in her Latin classes next year as well.

Walsh learned about gardening from conversations with vendors at her local farmer’s markets. She is offering a garden design class as part of Priory’s summer school program. Her students will have the opportunity to design and construct raised bed gardens on the campus, modeled after the New Day Garden, to expand and connect their efforts.

The garden project represents the concept of laulima, or cooperation. The full list of organizations and individuals that have helped the garden to thrive are listed below.


New Day Garden Helpers

  • Hawaii Department of Agriculture
  • Hawaii Department of Transportation
  • UH College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources
  • Fresh Start Organics, 1st Look Exteriors
  • Leyla Cabugos, Grow Hawaii
  • Matt Lynch, Asia-Pacific Center of Regenerative Design
  • Kokua Hawaii Foundation
  • Jacqueline Kozak Thiel, Hawaii Invasive Species Council
  • Jeremai Caan
  • Voyager School
  • MAO Organic Farms
  • Whole Foods
  • Cameron Heen
  • Kokua Market
  • Town Restaurant
  • MOA Foundation
  • Hawaii Carpenter’s Union
  • Kainalu Elementary Garden Club
  • Koolau Farmers
  • Mike Davis
  • St. Andrew’s Priory School

“Honor Flight: One Last Mission” – Hawaii Premiere and Reception at Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor

Honoring those who have served, Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor has announced a special Memorial Day observance Friday, May 24 with the Hawaii premiere screening of the movie Honor Flight: One Last Mission. A reception honoring veterans is at 5:30pm; the screening of Honor Flight is at 6:30pm. The event is free for Museum Members and Volunteers; $25 for non-members.

Click for more information

Click for more information

The acclaimed documentary film Honor Flight: The Last Mission is the story of four living WWII veterans and the community that gave them the trip of a lifetime to Washington, D.C. to visit the memorial constructed to honor them, nearly 60 years after the war. The Los Angeles Times calls it, “enormously moving.”

Seating capacity is limited to 200 for each screening. Reservations for the May 24 evening event are required by May 17. RSVP, tickets, and all information are online at PacificAviationMuseum.org. Call 808-441-1007 or email  Education@PacficAviationMuseum for more information.

Commentary on Roger Christie Resolutions: “An Injustice in Lawmaking, a Manipulation of Process, and a Deliberate Disregard for Fellow Committee Members”

Guest Commentary:

Roger Christie Bail Denial
I witnessed an injustice in lawmaking, a manipulation of process, and a deliberate disregard for fellow committee members vote on the Roger Christie resolutions from the Senate Judiciary Committee Chair, Sen. Clayton Hee.

Here is a short video I put together to explain what happened.

[vimeo 64209566 w=500 h=281]

Hee kills Christie Resolution from Jonas William on Vimeo.

Feel free to share it with others.

Jonas William

Contemporary Artist Phan Barker Exhibits “Soul Work” in Volcano Village

Volcano Art Center’s Rainforest Gallery at Niaulani will soon serve as host to an inspiring new collection of artwork entitled The Garden Within. Created by Volcano artist Phan Barker, this contemporary multimedia exhibit will be on display Saturday, May 4 through Friday, May 31, 2013, 9:00am to 4:00pm daily (closed Sundays).

Artist Phan Barker

Artist Phan Barker

An opening reception is scheduled for Saturday, May 4 from 4:00 to 6:00pm. Phan will lead an exhibit tour beginning at 5:00pm, offering insights into her technique, process and inspiration. The artist will also be available every Tuesday in May from 10:00am to noon.

The Garden Within features abstract fiber sculptures, quilts and paintings made of silk, thread, beads and wood meant to illustrate the beauty found internally as one tends to soul searching and spiritual discovery. 

“With the abundance of rain and space here in Volcano, I have been creating a flower garden with a path meandering around our property,” explains Phan. “I feel physically and mentally well working outside. But the inner work, which I call soul work, has always been very important to me. Like the outside garden, the garden within requires just as much tending, especially weeding. My artworks are metaphors that represent the garden within. The two gardens support me physically, emotionally, and spiritually; the very support one needs to become whole.”

Phan is no stranger to internal struggles. Born in Tu Chau, a Catholic Village north of Hanoi in Vietnam, she escaped to the south with her family at the time of partition in 1954. Phan emigrated to the United States in 1969, considering Vietnam to be a place of death and sorrow.

After a 23-year absence, Phan returned to her homeland in 1992 where she burned incense at her mother’s grave and visited family members she never expected to see again, including her sister, her sister’s nine children and nine grandchildren. Returning home to Kona, Phan’s overwhelming emotional response to this trip inspired a new kind of work called The White Mourning Cloth Series. One piece in this series, A Poem for My Mother, was widely exhibited across the United States as part of The Smithsonian Institution Exhibition Traveling Service.

Phan has been an active member of the Volcano community since 2000, considers Hawaii to be a healing refuge, and feels blessed by the sacred energy she feels on the Big Island.  

The Rainforest Gallery at Niaulani is located at 19-4074 Old Volcano Road in Volcano Village on Hawaii Island. For more information, visit www.volcanoartcenter.org or contact the gallery directly at (808) 967-8211 or gallery@volcanoartcenter.org.

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.


Top 10 U.S. Electric Utilities For Solar Power Usage

The Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) has released a new list of the 10 U.S. electric utilities that have added the most new solar power to their systems and the most solar on a watts-per-customer basis in 2012.


This annual ranking, which identifies the companies that are integrating solar into the nation’s power grid, is part of SEPA’s sixth annual Utility Solar Rankings report. The full report, which will be released next month, identifies industry trends, such as total installed capacity, market share and industry growth rates.

Utilities ranking in this year’s top 10 (by solar megawatts) accounted for 73% of all capacity integrated in 2012, a slight increase from 2011. Among the top three in the rankings are some of the nation’s largest utilities – Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E), Southern California Edison and Public Service Electric & Gas Co. – which often rank highly in this category due to their expansive customer solar programs and utility purchasing programs.

Rounding out the list are Arizona Public Service, NV Energy, Jersey Central Power & Light, Tucson Electric Power Co., Progress Energy Carolinas, Sacramento Municipal Utility District and Hawaiian Electric Co. All were previously ranked in 2011, with the exception of Progress Energy Carolinas, which is in its first year on the list.

This is the fifth year that PG&E has topped the list, SEPA notes.

Separately, the rankings of the top 10 utilities by solar watts per customer take into account the number of customers each utility serves relative to their solar megawatts installed, giving small utilities a more competitive opportunity to measure their solar energy capacity.

Leading these rankings are many municipal utilities, including the City of St. Mary’s, Ohio; Kauai Island Utility Co-op in Hawaii; and Bryan Municipal Utilities in Ohio. Both Ohio utilities were not previously ranked, and Kauai moved up from No. 12 in the 2011 rankings.

The remaining top 10 providers include Hawaiian Electric Co., Chickasaw (Tenn.) Electric Co-op; Maui (Hawaii) Electric Co.; Imperial Irrigation District in California; Tucson (Ariz.) Electric Power Co.; City of Napoleon, Ohio; and Vineland Municipal Electric Utility in N.J.

Complete rankings can be found here.


West Hawaii’s Annual D.A.R.E. Day Celebration

On May 2nd 2013, Auto Body Hawaii will partner with the Kailua Fire Department & the D.A.R.E. Program in West Hawaii’s annual D.A.R.E. Day celebration.


Auto Body Hawaii will be providing a totally damaged vehicle to be used as a visual aid in an effort to teach children about the dangers of driving while under the influence of drugs & alcohol.

This will mark the 6th time Auto Body Hawaii has directly partnered with the fire department & local first responders by providing them access to vehicles that have been damaged so they may learn how to respond more effectively to accidents.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Invites Everyone to Hikes & Programs Offered During National Park Week

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park invites everyone to join special hikes and programs offered at the park during National Park Week, April 20-28. Entrance fees are waived Monday through Friday, April 22-26.

This year’s theme, “Did You Know,” provides a fun way to get to know the park, for both visitors and local residents. For example, did you know that Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park is 520 square miles, nearly as large as the entire island of O‘ahu (597 square miles)?

The special, free programs during National Park Week include the following. Please wear sturdy hiking shoes and long pants. Bring a hat, raingear, day pack, snacks and water.

Kīlauea Iki trail and crater will be explored in the Kīlauea Ik hike with Charlene Meyers on April 23, during National Park Week. NPS Photo/Michael Szoenyi.

Kīlauea Iki trail and crater will be explored in the Kīlauea Ik hike with Charlene Meyers on April 23, during National Park Week. NPS Photo/Michael Szoenyi.

Kīlauea Iki Crater Hike. Join master ranger volunteer Charlene Meyers on an invigorating four-mile, three-hour hike through the rain forest and onto the crater floor of Kīlauea Iki. Learn how the 1959 eruption forever changed this landscape.
Where: Meet Charlene at the Kīlauea Iki Overlook Parking lot (on Crater Rim Drive)
When: Tuesday, April 23 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Amazing Mauna Ulu. Explore fascinating volcanic features like fissures and lava trees that were formed during the 1969-74 Mauna Ulu eruption with master ranger volunteer Noel Eberz. The one-mile, one-hour round-trip hike will highlight the amazing process of plant survival on this harsh lava landscape.
Where: Meet Noel at the Mauna Ulu parking lot, four miles down Chain of Craters Road.
When: Wednesday, April 24 at 11 a.m., and again at 1 p.m.

Park Ranger Adrian Boone will lead a special trek to the Pu‘uloa Petroglyphs during National Park Week, on April 25. NPS Photo/Jay Robinson.

Park Ranger Adrian Boone will lead a special trek to the Pu‘uloa Petroglyphs during National Park Week, on April 25. NPS Photo/Jay Robinson.

Pu‘uloa Petroglyphs. Join Park Ranger Adrian Boone for a two-hour, 1.5-mile round-trip trek across ancient lava flows to the largest petroglyph field in Hawai‘i. Discover the meanings inherent in these rock carvings and gather a greater understanding of the native people who created them.
Where: Meet Ranger Adrian at the Pu‘uloa Petroglyphs parking area, near the end of Chain of Craters Road. (A 45-minute drive from the park entrance).
When: Thursday, April 25 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

NPS Volunteer Day. Save Hawai‘i’s native rainforest, and join forces with volunteers Jane and Paul Field to remove Himalayan ginger, faya, strawberry guava, and other invasive non-native plants that threaten the native understory alongside Halema‘uma‘u Trail. Bring garden gloves. Wear sturdy hiking shoes and long pants. Bring a hat, rain gear, day pack, snacks and water.
Where: Meet the Fields at Kīlauea Visitor Center. Tools will be provided.
When: Saturday, April 27 from 9 a.m. to noon.

There are also regularly scheduled programs in the park, and at the Kahuku Unit, during National Park Week. For a complete listing, visit the park website: http://www.nps.gov/havo/parknews/20130319_pr.htm. In addition, the Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park has special programs during National Park Week: http://fhvnp.org/events/.

The National Park Service will waive entrance fees again on July 13 (Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park’s 33rd Annual Cultural Festival), August 25 (NPS Birthday), Sept. 28 (National Public Lands Day) and Nov. 9-11 (Veteran’s Day weekend).

Hawai‘i Volcanoes is one of five national park units on Hawai‘i Island. Pu‘uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park is also free of charge on the NPS fee-free 2013 dates. There is no admission at Pu‘ukoholā Heiau National Historic Site, Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park, or along the Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail.