Hawaii Students Invited to “Paint the Plane” Contest

Alaska Airlines is inviting school-aged children in Hawai’i to create artwork honoring the unique culture of the Aloha State that will adorn a Boeing 737-800 in a “Paint the Plane” contest. In partnership with the Hawai’i State Department of Education (DOE) and the Hawai’i Association of Independent Schools (HAIS), contest forms will be distributed to more than 400 schools and 218,000 students throughout the Islands.

Governor Abercrombie at Kuhio School for the kick off of Alaska airlines “paint the plane”

Students in kindergarten through 12th grade from public, private and home schools across the state have until Nov. 30 to submit designs that best capture the “Spirit of the Islands.” A final selection panel comprised of 10 judges representing Hawai’i’s government, community, arts, education and tourism leaders will select three top designs. Residents of the state of Hawai’i will then vote on the top three designs and provide Alaska Airlines with their recommendation in an online public vote slated for December 2012. The plane is scheduled to be revealed at a public event in Hawai’i during the spring of 2013.

“What better way to celebrate five years of flying to the Aloha State than to share Hawai’i’s culture and spirit in a flying mural inspired by our future—our keiki, or children,” said Joe Sprague, Alaska Airlines’ vice president of marketing. “Whether you doodle, draw stick figures or use a computer for graphic design, we urge all school-aged children in Hawai’i to enter for a chance to share your creativity across our extensive network in the United States, Mexico and Canada.”

The student with the winning submission will get his or her design painted on an Alaska Airlines aircraft, a trip for four to any Alaska Airlines destination and a $5,000 scholarship. Second- and third-place winners will receive a trip for four to any Alaska Airlines destination, and 12 honorable mentions will be awarded a $1,000 scholarship, except for the grade of the grand prize winner.

Hawai’i Gov. Neil Abercrombie attended a kick-off event today with 330 students at Prince Jonah Kuhio Elementary School in Honolulu, along with representatives from Alaska Airlines, the DOE and HAIS.

“This is an exciting opportunity for our students to not only showcase their art, but also instill continued pride for their school,”” Abercrombie said. “This is one example of how the sky is the limit when it comes to applying imagination and art.””

“The ‘Spirit of the Islands’ contest is an opportunity for students to unleash their creativity and innovation,” said Kathryn Matayoshi, superintendent of the Hawai’i State Department of Education. “In a global economy driven by ideas and experimenting beyond boundaries, the arts make invaluable and unique contributions to learning and preparing our graduates for college and careers.”

“Spirit of the Islands” contest schedule:

Sept. 24 – Contest begins for Hawai’i students Nov. 30 – Entry forms must be postmarked and mailed to a designated Alaska Airlines P.O. box in Honolulu Dec.11-18 – Hawai’i residents vote online for their favorite design January 2013 – Results of online voting revealed and winner announced Spring 2013 – Painted plane is unveiled

Complete contest details are available at www.alaskaair.com/hawaii, including contest rules, instructions and entry forms required to participate. Entry forms will also be available at the Alaska Airlines booth during several community events throughout the Islands, including the Maui Fair, Hawai’i’s Children and Youth Day, Hawai’i Fishing and Seafood Festival, and the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival.

The “Spirit of the Islands” contest is the third time Alaska Airlines has turned to the public to paint a plane. The Spirit of Alaska Statehood aircraft paint scheme was created by a 16-year-old Sitka student in a similar statewide contest celebrating Alaska’s 50-year anniversary. Last year, two soccer fans designed the MLS Portland “Timbers Jet” to celebrate the airline’s jersey sponsorship of the Portland, Ore., soccer team.

Alaska Airlines is hosting the contest in celebration of five years of serving Hawai’i, which today includes daily nonstop flights from seven West Coast cities and Anchorage, Alaska, to four major islands. On average, Alaska Airlines offers more departures in more nonstop markets between Hawai’i and the West Coast than any other carrier (22 daily roundtrips, or 308 weekly flights, in 21 nonstop markets).

Note to media: Photos from today’s kick-off event at Prince Jonah Kuhio Elementary School are posted on Alaska Airlines’ online image gallery at www.alaskaair.com/newsroom.

Alaska Airlines, a subsidiary of Alaska Air Group (NYSE: ALK), together with its partner regional airlines, serves 95 cities through an expansive network in Alaska, the Lower 48, Hawai’i, Canada and Mexico. Alaska Airlines has ranked “Highest in Customer Satisfaction Among Traditional Network Carriers” in the J.D. Power and Associates North America Airline Satisfaction StudySM for five consecutive years from 2008 to 2012. For reservations, visit www.alaskaair.com. For more news and information, visit the Alaska Airlines/Horizon Air Newsroom at www.alaskaair.com/newsroom.

Laupahoehoe Community Public Charter School Seats 4 to New Governing Board – Additional Seats Open

Laupahoehoe Community Public Charter School (LCPCS) faculty, staff, parents and community members elected the school’s first governing board on September 6.

The LCPCS Interim Local School Board transitioned out on September 11. A formal exchange of seats marked the changing of the board.

“This is a critical time in our school’s history,” said LCPCS Director, Dr. David Rizor. “We benefit from past and present perspectives and ideas as we continue to build a school that is in the best interest of the students and the Laupahoehoe community.”

Members of the LCPCS Governing Board are:

Jonah Kaye is the Secondary Special Education teacher at LCPCS. He has been a special education teacher in Hawaii’s public schools for eleven years. Jonah believes that self-esteem is the foundation for all education and uses building projects in his classroom to develop a positive learning environment. He has three children at the school.

Tracy Jardine is the office coordinator at LCPCS. Her in-laws, husband and children graduated from Laupahoehoe School. She believes that LCPCS is on its way to becoming a great school.

Bethany Morrison, LCPCS parent, is a long-range planner for the County of Hawaii and member of the Ocean Resources Management Program Working Group. She has experience in collaborating with different levels of government and agencies as well as grant proposal writing and fiscal management.

Community member George Martin is a 1978 graduate of Lauapahoehoe School. A former mechanic for Yamada and Sons, Martin has been a business agent for the ILWU 142 for seven years. He was president of the Ookala Community Association and served on the Ookala Community Forest Board.

According to the State’s charter school law, the school’s director, Dr. Rizor, who is a non-voting member of the board, and the four elected members, will appoint additional board members.

Ideally, applicants should demonstrate an understanding of best practices of non-profit governance and possess strong financial and academic management and oversight abilities, as well as human resource and fundraising experience.

The Governing Board is responsible for the financial, organizational, and academic viability of the school and implementation of its charter.

Anyone interested in serving on the Governing Board may send in an expression of interest to the school by email at info@laupahoehoecharterschool.org.

Agendas for the Governing Board meetings are posted online at http://www.laupahoehoecharterschool.com/board-meeting-agendas.html


Public Notice – New Hours for Front Desk Processing of Permit Applications at the Building Division

The Department of Public Works Building Division announces new hours for processing permit applications at the front desks of Hilo and Kona offices effective October 1.  This change only affects applications requiring front desk clerical assistance.

The new hours will be 7:45 AM to 3:30 PM Monday – Friday, except Wednesday (Hilo) and Thursday (Kona).

Hilo:    7:45 AM – 3:30 PM and Wednesday 7:45 AM to noon

Kona:  7:45 AM-3:30 PM and Thursday 7:45 AM to noon

The office remains available to service code questions, plan review consultation, drop-off of plans and pick-up of plans/permits.

This recent change will allow the permit staff uninterrupted time for processing permit applications.

For applicant convenience, permit applications may be submitted online at anytime 24-hrs/7-days through the County web site at http://papaaukahi.hawaiicounty.gov.

Public computers within the Hilo and Kona Building Division Offices are also available to create online permit applications.

For more information on becoming an online user is click below:

Click for more information

Video – 25th Infantry Division Training at Pohakuloa Training Area

Report about soldiers from 25th Infantry Division training at the Pohakuloa Training Area on Hawaii’s Big Island.

The soldiers are training with both 60mm and 120mm mortars, and do a variety of drills.

Available in High Definition.

Rock the Vote ‘Power to the People’ – UH Hilo Event

Rock the Vote is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization in the United States whose mission is to engage and build political power of young people. Rock the Vote uses music, popular culture and new technologies to engage and incite young people to register to vote in every U.S. election. Rock the Vote strives to be the largest voter engagement campaign ever in 2012.

This free, music and informational event, organized by motivated students invites youth voters and ANYONE interested in becoming more informed about who is running in the very important upcoming general election on November 6th. Participating bands will be “rocking out” and encouraging students and the community to REGISTER TO VOTE before the last day, which is Monday October 8th, and most importantly get out and vote on November 6th.

Hawaii has one of the lowest voter turnout rates in the country. In the past few elections, only about 40 percent of the state’s registered voters have participated in the primary election. And that’s only about 36 percent of all the people in Hawaii who are eligible to vote, registered or not.

Rock the Vote ‘Power to the People’ is an event aimed at political awareness among UHH/HCC students and the surrounding community.

Our mission is to get more people to vote and to learn the importance of voting, and voting intelligently. There will be information booths, Departments of UHH/HCC, UH/HCC Clubs, Rock the Vote Confessions, students educating their community and local bands entertaining us!

Bands that will be performing so far: Ras and Queen Sparrow, Red Light Taxi, Bruddah Kuz & Miss Killa , Repellent, NYR and more TBA.

Hosted by HCC/UHH students, Political Science Tribe, The Social Justice Club, and the Global HOPE Organization. Global HOPE works for positive change in our local and global community. They believe that democracy requires an active and informed public, and work to make this ideal a reality.

Students from UHH/HCC will have the opportunity to speak freely about local and global issues. Helping to educate and inform fellow students and our surrounding community in hope they will make more intelligent decisions when voting on November 6, 2012.

Sponsored by: HCC/UHH students, Political Science Club, The Social Justice Club, Global HOPE, SOC 265, SOC 399, COM 499, Big Island Music Scene, Sodexo, Men & Women of Pa’a, Killa Entertainment, The County of Hawaii Office of Elections, League of Women Voters, Voter Owned Hawaii.

This is a drug/ alcohol free event and open to the public.

KFC Pahoa CLOSED – Franchise Shuts Down Operation

The KFC in Pahoa has been shut down by the company.

An empty parking lot was often the scene and now it’s a regular scene

No official word has come out from the folks at KFC however a note on the door stated the following:

“Bussiness” or Business?

A quick look at the KFC Hawaii website and it still lists Pahoa as being a store that is open for business.  No releases have been made about it closing.

From the KFC Hawaii website

With Malama Market selling Huli Huli chicken for less then half what KFC sold the chicken for… it’s no wonder the place closed down.  I always thought the place was overpriced and it seemed like the only specials they had on buckets of chicken were strictly on legs and thighs!

So what do you think should fill location of this closed down business?

Pictures From the 6th Annual Peace Day Parade

Today was the 6th Annual Peace Day Parade and Festival held in Honoka’a here on the Big Island.  This parade is typically one of the more colorful parades on the Big Island and this year it lived up to its reputation.

Mayor Kenoi, County Council Candidate Margarette Wille, Mayoral Candidate Harry Kim and County Council Candidate Valerie Poindexter were present

This group called the “Prince Dancers” won my vote for for most enthusiastic and spirited:

You can click on the pictures below for a larger image from today’s festivities:

17th Annual Taste of the Hawaiian Range – I Don’t Have Balls

Last night at the Hilton Waikoloa Village, the 17th Annual Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range took place under a spectacular West Hawaii sunset where more then 35 restaurants took part in a great event.

Kahu Danny Akaka Jr. Blessed the Festival and Mayor Kenoi cut the Maile allowing the public in to the 17th Annual Mealani Taste of the Hawaiian Range

The purpose of the Taste of the Hawaiian Range is to promote an educational venue to encourage and support local production of agricultural products through social, cultural and scientific exchanges featuring a diverse array of talents brought together for the purpose of developing an ethos of compatibility, tranquility and sustainability with this land we cohabitate.

Students learning about nutritional benefits of grass-fed beef.

Before the Taste even began students had an opportunity to attend educational seminars.  Joannie Dobbs gave a nutrition seminar, talking about the nutritional benefits of grass-fed beef.  After that seminar was over, folks moved over to the next Ballroom where they learned how to cook perfect Tri-Tip.

Perfect Tri-Tip

The Seminar on “How to Cook Grass-Fed Beef” with Chef James Babian was held to a full house!

Seminar – “How to Cook Grass-Fed Beef” with Chef James Babian

Around 5:00 Kumu Danny Akaka Jr. called everyone’s attention and officially blessed the festival and the food… then the VIP’s and the Media got a first hand chance to grind down on some of this food!

Kamehameha Schools – Beef (Steamship Round)

The booth that I personally liked the most was the Kamehameha Schools booth that were giving out Fajitas made with Steamship Round meat that had been cooking all day.

The booth that seemed to be real popular with the crowd in general had Food Network Star Ippy Aiona as one of the cooks at his booth set up by Solimenes Restaurant in Waimea.

Ippy Aiona takes a break from the grill

I noticed a crowd forming around the booth set up by Honolulu Burger Company as they appeared to be the first restaurant that was ready to put out food… however, I remembered what they were serving and I told myself I wouldn’t do it… as yes… those were the Mountain Oysters!

West Hawaii Today Journalist Chelsea Jensen sure is “nuts” for balls!

Many folks think this festival is all about the Big Island’s meat industry but in reality there was just as much agriculture related stuff as there were meat products.

Its not all about the meat! Mahalo “Kamuela Grown” for donating this produce to Hawaii Island Food Bank

While some folks called me chicken for not trying things like Mountain Oysters or the Beef Heart that was prepared by Aloha Mondays…

So this is what cooked beef heart looks like?

I did get my taste buds to try out cow tongue for the first time… and needless to say, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.

12th Ave Grill prepared beef tongue

Out of 35 restaurants that were present, I think I had plates from about 15-20 of them so needless to say I was full by the time I left there.  I have to say that another of my favorites that I had a couple plates from was the Hilton Waikoloa Villages preparation of Beef Brisket!

Beef Brisket from the Hilton Waikoloa

The Four Season’s Hualai selection of tri-tip was also a hit amongst people at the Taste.

Four Season’s Tri-Tip

Now that I think about it… there was one other thing that I didn’t try and it was more like I was avoiding it and that was the beef cheek that was served by the Fairmont Orchid.

Executive Sous Chef Stephen Rouelle offers me some cheek!

I asked the folks at the Taste how restaurants get picked to cook what part of the animal they do each year and I was told, “Our Meat Assignment Committee says they randomly assign meat cuts to different chefs, taking into consideration that chefs don’t get the same cut within a 10-year time frame. New chefs (8 this year) are worked into the mix and assigned one of 22 GFB cuts, or lamb, mutton, goat, feral or commercial pork.”

Out of all the tri-tips and sirloin tips and other cuts of meat that I had.. I really enjoyed the students from East Hawaii Community Colleges beef sirloin tip.

East Hawaii Community Colleges Sirloin Tips

I had never tried “Mutton” before, but  I heard it was good from someone and I bellied up and tried it.  Unfortunately it looks like I’m not a mutton guy!

Mutton from the Town Cafe

I’ve tried goat once before and didn’t really like it, the way that the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel cooked it as a slider made it taste better then the time I had tried it before.

Got Goat from the Mauna Lani Bay

I was getting pretty full by the time I got around to trying the feral pork that was being served Lechon style, but one thing I noticed, was that it did taste a bit more “gamey” then non feral pork but the taste wasn’t that noticeable.

This little piggy didn’t make it away from the cooks at Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel

My stomach could only eat so much meat in a few hours… so after having some soda and sitting for a while… I decided to get one last thing before I went up to my room and it was this slider made from beef flank from Village Burger.

I ended up taking this beef flank slider back to my room because I was too stuffed!

It was a great time had by all supporting island food sustainability.  You can find website links to many of the restaurants, food producers and educational displays that participated in this years Mealani Taste of the Hawaiian Range by visiting their website here: www.TasteOfTheHawaiianRange.com

3rd Annual Hawaii Fashion Week Featuring Mr. & Miss Polynesia Pageant

The 3rd Annual Hawai‘i Fashion Week kicks off tomorrow, Sunday, September 23rd, with the Mr. & Miss Polynesia Pageant at the Hale Koa Hotel, and continues through Saturday, September 29th, featuring a total of four truly unique and exciting events that put the spotlight on local designers’ fashions, as well as local musicians.


Last year’s Mr. and Miss Polynesia (Mr. Robert Mokiau and Miss Summer Manuma)

“We encourage kama‘aina and malihini, alike, to join us for the most exciting Hawai‘i Fashion Week, yet!” said Ralph Malani, Founder and Director, Hawai‘i Fashion Week.  “Each event features local Polynesian designers – both established and newcomers, as well as some of today’s finest local musicians, for a truly entertaining and unique week-long celebration!  Our opening event is only $40, and the others are free, so please come out and support our local artists and our local fashion industry!”

Designer, model, actress, and star of a new BRAVO reality series, the beautiful Kea Ho – who also is the daughter of Hawaiian icon Don Ho, is the face and personality of Hawai‘i Fashion Week 2012.  She will be the host at all four events.


 Sunday, September 23, 2012
Time: Doors open 5:00 p.m.; Event begins 6:00 p.m.
Location:  Hale Koa Hotel, Lu‘au Garden, Waikiki (www.halekoa.com)
Featured Entertainers:  Anuhea, Mahikumakani “Mahi” Crabbe, ‘Anelaikalani
 $40 Tickets still available (dinner not included).  For tickets, please call Soni at (808) 888-9640.
•  This unique competition focuses on fashion, poise and talent, and promises to be an entertaining, glamorous, and fun evening.  The male and female contestants are from Hawai‘i and around the Pacific, and compete in five culturally-based categories.  Find out more at www.mrandmisspolynesia.com.
•  Special appearances and performances by the outgoing Mr. and Miss Polynesia, Mr. Robert Mokiau and Miss Summer Manuma.
•  In-demand contemporary singer-songwriter Anuhea will perform some of her hits, and songs from her latest CD.
•  Mahi Crabbe is one of the most versatile and talented young musician-singers performing today, and can easily transition between traditional Hawaiian music, to reggae, to top 40, and classic oldies – without skipping a beat!
•  ‘Anelaikalani, one of Hawai‘i’s premiere young female vocalists, released her first album at the tender age of 12, and her second at 14, both of which received Na Hoku Hanohano Award nominations.


 Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Time:  6:30-8:30 p.m.
Location:  The Willows, 901 Hausten Street (Mo‘ili‘ili), Honolulu (www.willowshawaii.com)
Featured Designers:  MISSING POLYNESIA (www.missingpolynesia.com), KINI ZAMORA
Featured Entertainer:  ‘Anelaikalani, Mahi Crabbe (artist info per above in ‘Ekahi)
Tickets:  Free Admission.  No cover, no minimum.  The Willows delicious dinner buffet ($37.95/Keiki 4-10 $18.95/10% off for 65+) and a fabulous pupu menu and drink specials are available for purchase.
•  Missing Polynesia will be presenting their new print designs and debuting their first ever men’s line at this event!!!
•  Edgy Polynesian designer Kini Zamora will introduce his new holiday collection of party dresses and men’s basics.
•  Usually taped in front of a live audience every Thursday night at The Willows, this is a special Pakele Live! presentation for Hawai‘i Fashion Week.   Since 2006, Pakele Live! has been sharing some of the best in Hawai`i’s music to a global audience.  The series was designed to showcase the beauty and richness of Hawai’i through its music, language, and hula.  The popular show has local viewers, as well as loyal followers in the mainland U.S., Canada, Japan, London, and Australia, and even among those serving our nation in Iraq.  Find out more at www.pakelelive.com.

 Friday, September 28, 2012
Time:  7:00-9:00 p.m.
Location: Royal Hawaiian Center, The Royal Grove, Waikiki (www.royalhawaiiancenter.com)
; Also featuring STUDENT DESIGNERS FROM UNIVERSITY OF HAWAI‘I who will be competing in the Young Designer Couture Competition.
Celebrity Judges:
•  Designer/Artist Estelle Green;
•  Host/Designer/Model/Actress/Reality Star Kea Ho;
•  Honolulu Star-Advertiser/HI Luxury Magazine Beauty/Fashion Editor Nadine Kam;
•  Designer for Baby Phat, Phat Farm and creator of Zoo York, Eli Morgan;
•  and MidWeek Managing Editor and Fashion/Lifestyle Writer Yushing Ting.
Featured Entertainers:  Na Hoa (see info, below, in “About”), Anelaikalani, Mahikumakani “Mahi” Crabbe (last 2 artists’ info per above in ‘Ekahi)
Tickets:  Free Admission; Seating is first-come, first-served.
•  Red Carpet at The Royal Grove combines a fashion show, concert, and design competition into one exciting evening under the stars in the heart of Waikiki!
•  This is the first year that organizers of Hawai‘i Fashion Week have included a student design competition, although it has long been a dream of founder Ralph Malani.  The winner will be selected by a celebrity panel of judges, and receive cash and prizes from Royal Hawaiian Center, Wolfgang’s Steakhouse by Wolfgang Zwiener, and other generous sponsors.
•  Tali’s Polynesia, Sina Thomsen, and Uoleni Tupuola will feature their gorgeous Polynesia-inspired fashions on the runway, while Aloha ‘Aina, a popular boutique at the Royal Hawaiian Center, will showcase outfits from some of the many local designers the store carries.
•  Na HoaHale Seabury, Keoni Souza and Ikaika Blackburn – sing sweet falsetto and harmony in a nostalgic style, with vibrant voices.

 Saturday, September 29, 2012
Time:  4:00-6:00 p.m
Location: Hard Rock Café Honolulu, Beachwalk, Waikiki (http://www.hardrock.com/)
Featured Designers: 88 TEES (www.88tees.com), HINANO TAHITI (www.hinanolife.com), TIARE TEITI (www.tiareteiti.com), TETAINA TAHITI
Featured Entertainer:
 Anuhea, Mahi Crabbe (artist info per above in ‘Ekahi)
Tickets: Free Admission.  Pupu and drink specials available from Hard Rock Café.
•  Journey to Tahiti with us at this fashion fete featuring the most renowned Tahitian designers in Hawai‘i, who will be modeling their new lines for fall/winter – as well as fun and fashionable designs from 88 Tees.
•  Giveaways throughout the night!!!
•  88 Tees will be showing fun and hip tees and accessories that have made them a must-stop-shop for Japanese visitors through the years!
•  Hinano Tahiti will be previewing their new collection of casual island wear for 2013!
•  Tiare Teiti will share their gorgeous holiday looks for 2012!
•  Tetaina Tahiti will showcase one-of-a-kind gowns and cocktail dresses from French Polynesia!

MAHALO NUI to Hawai‘i Fashion Week’s generous sponsors and partners (in alpha order):

Hawai’i Fashion Week was founded and is directed by Ralph Malani, and produced by Mt. Kalihi Productions.

Pohala I Puna – Recovery Day in Puna

Pohala I Puna – Recovery Day in Puna:

  • When: Saturday October 13th 2012
  • Where: Kanaka O Puna (Old Police Station In Pahoa)
  • Time: 10am-5pm

Old Pahoa Police Station

The intent and purpose for this event is to raise awareness about the many organizations and agencies that we have here in Puna and our surrounding communities that assists individuals and families struggling with issues such as homelessness, teen pregnancy, drug and alcohol abuse,teen smoking, hunger, psychological and mental health, and domestic violence.

We want to create a venue for organizations and agencies to engage in each others mission to stimulate communication for maximum service to our ohana and our communities well being.

We are also organizing a community walk from Pahoa High School to Kanaka O Puna (old police station in Pahoa) where the women is going to dress their men in dresses and high heel shoes and walk along with various community groups to bring attention the significance and awareness of domestic violence to the businesses, shops, schools, restaurants and our community at large.

There will be food, fun, fellowship. There will be lots of music entertainment.

We are accepting Kokua in a lot of different ways, if you and your organization is interested in being apart of this great event or if you just want to make a donation of some sort and have any other questions regarding this project feel free to call me Iopa Maunakea at 960-3893, Alice Kahaleua at 937-2307, or Dana Alfapada at 430-7342.

Mahalo Nui Loa

Iopa K. Maunakea

Positive Action Alliance


Free Entry to Hawai‘i Volcanoes & All National Parks Next Saturday

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park joins all 397 national parks in waiving entrance fees in recognition of National Public Lands Day on Sat., Sept. 29. The annual event is the largest single-day volunteer effort for public lands in the United States.

The park offers several special programs on Sept. 29 to celebrate the day, including two volunteer projects, and a guided hike of a new trail in Kahuku:

Invasive kāhili ginger

Save Halemaumau Trail. Join park rangers and remove invasive kāhili ginger from one of the park’s most historic and treasured scenic trails, Halema‘uma‘u Trail, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Meet at Kīlauea Visitor Center, and wear sturdy hiking shoes and long pants. Bring a hat, raingear, garden gloves and tools, a day pack, lunch and water. No advance registration required.

Kīpuka Akihi, an adventure in stewardship, is offered in the park’s Kahuku section, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Participants must be able to hike a challenging 1.5 miles and be prepared to scramble over fallen trees, lava rock, and slippery, wet terrain. Wear sturdy hiking shoes, long pants, sunscreen and a hat. Bring raingear, garden gloves, a day pack, insect repellent, lunch and water. This forest stewardship program provides opportunities to help protect this rainforest by pulling up invasive kāhili ginger and other invasive non-native plants throughout the kīpuka, which harbors rare plants and wildlife. No advance registration required.

A guided hike of Kahuku’s new Palm Trail is also offered Sept. 29, a relatively easy 2.6 mile loop traversing through scenic pasture along an ancient cinder cone with some of the best panoramic views Kahuku has to offer.  The guided hike is from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Park and meet at the visitor contact tent, near the ranch buildings. Boots, raingear, long pants plus water and a snack are recommended. No advance registration required.

Kahuku is located on the mauka side of Highway 11 near mile marker 70.5. Drive through the gate, park and meet at the visitor contact tent, near the ranch buildings.

Friends of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park will also offer a forest restoration project Sept. 29 from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and are seeking volunteers. Advance registration is required. For more information, contact forest@fhvnp.org or call (808) 352-1402.

Hilo Elks Announce Scholarship Opportunity

The Benevolent & Protective Order of Elks is doing big things to help local youth. Elks invest in our nation’s future by helping deserving students attend the colleges of their dreams. This year, the Elks National Foundation will fund nearly $3.6 million in college scholarships through its different scholarship programs; the most significant program being the Elks National Foundation’s Most Valuable Student Scholarship.

The MVS will award $2.296 million, giving students a chance to earn a college education without incurring insurmountable loans. The MVS contest will launch on September 1 to help lessen the cost of college tuition for 500 deserving students. The Foundation awards 18 top winners scholarships ranging from $8,000 to $60,000. The remaining 482 runners-up receive $4,000 scholarships.

This scholarship is available to all high school seniors who are United States citizens. Applicants do not need to be related to a member of the Elks. Males and females compete separately, and are judged on scholarship, leadership and financial need. Applicants residing on the east side of the Big Island must turn in their completed applications to the Hilo Elks Lodge, no later than December 7, 2012. The 500 national winners will be announced in late April.

Applications for the 2013 contest are available at the Hilo Lodge, or for download at www.elks.org/enf/scholars.

For complete Most Valuable Student scholarship contest details, visit www.elks.org/enf/scholars, or contact Lily at the Hilo Elks Lodge at 935-1717.

Veteran and Military Appreciation Day and Job Fair at the Kona Farm Fair

Veterans and military personnel with proper identification cards will have free gate admission to the Kona Farm Fair on Saturday, November 3, 2012. The Kona Farm Fair has designated this day as Veteran and Military Appreciation Day.

There will be a one of a kind job fair for veterans, active duty military members, guard and reserve members, and military spouses, with representatives from state and federal agencies and veteran service organizations on hand to provide information on programs and services.

The Honoka’a High School Jazz band will kick off events at the Old Kona Airport Pavilion at 12 noon followed by an appreciation program from 1 to 2 p.m. and the job fair from 2 to 6 p.m.

The veteran and military job fair is hosted by the US Department of Labor and the West Hawai’i Veterans Cemetery Development and Expansion Association.

For more information, contact Representative Cindy Evans at 974-4000 ext. 6-8510#


Home at Last No-Kill Animal Refuge Needs New Home

HOME AT LAST, Inc. (HAL) is a NO-KILL Animal Refuge that was established 4 years ago and is presently located in Waimea.  It is a 501©3 Non-Profit organization.  HAL is set up to care for dogs, cats and horses that have been abused or neglected either through willful intent or through ignorance, irresponsibility or lack of education.  HAL NO-KILL Animal Refuge allows these animals to live out their lives without fear and with dignity security and love.

Many people are unaware that close to 1000 animals are being killed each month on the Big Island simply because there is no place to care for them.  We have a feral cat population that must be brought under control as well as a growing feral dog population.  On an island that has so many hard to reach areas, there are dogs, cats, horses, rabbits, guinea pigs, exotic birds and other species that are eternally chained or caged – sometimes remembered with food occasionally tossed at them – sometimes starved to death.  Some never feel the warmth of a loving hand.  Many animals are being abandoned by their owners who feel they need to give them up because they are facing financial problems.  They do not take them to the local pound for fear of their being put down.

The statistics are tragic and shameful.  Human beings are the stewards of the aina and it is up to us to address this problem and to find a solution. We already have many dogs and cats that have been saved from an unnecessary death, but the number that has been rescued is so small when you think of the many that are in need.

HAL IS URGENTLY SEEKING AN AG-ZONED LAND DONATION anywhere in the northern part of the Big Island from Pau’uilo to Kohala.  It is extremely important to establish a NO-KILL facility for these innocent creatures that have no way of controlling their reproduction and no way of caring for themselves if they are abandoned, abused, neglected, starving, sick or just in need of tender pat on their heads.

Samantha A. Cristos is the President and Founding Director of Home At Last NO-KILL Animal Refuge.  You may have seen her down at the Waimea Transfer Station in her small pickup accepting donations of HI-5 plastic and glass bottles and aluminum cans.  After her three years stationed at the dump, she relocated her donation site to the entrance of NAPA.  You’ve probably seen her in a large, very purple pick-up truck.  Anyone can come to NAPA on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9am to 3pm to personally deliver their donations.  There are also barrels right beside entrance by the bushes where donations can be left at any time.  Other items which are accepted as donations and generate funds are used cell phones and empty printer ink cartridges.

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Big Island Police Looking for 41-Year-Old Man Reported Missing… AGAIN

Big Island police are looking for a 41-year-old man who was reported missing… AGAIN.

Sumer Keoni McDowell

Sumer Keoni McDowell was last seen at 4 a.m. Thursday (September 20) in Ocean View. He was wearing a black sweatshirt and shorts and carrying a bucket and a blanket.

He has a medical condition that requires medication.

He is described as 5-foot-9, about 220 pounds with a fair complexion, light brown shoulder-length hair and brown eyes. McDowell is known to frequent the downtown Kailua-Kona area.

Police ask that anyone with information of his whereabouts call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Where’s the Beef… Ask Hawaii Hawaii Beef Producers, Parker Ranch and Ulupono Initiative

Hawaii Beef Producers Join Parker Ranch and Ulupono Initiative in Joint Development Agreement For Large-Scale Grass-Fed Beef Trials

Hawai‘i Beef Producers has joined Parker Ranch and Ulupono Initiative in an agreement to jointly fund pre-commercial trials for irrigated finish pasture beef production on the Big Island of Hawai‘i. The irrigated trials will be run on 70 acres of pasture next to the Hawai‘i Beef Producers processing facility on the Hamakua Coast and involve just under 100 head of cattle. The trials will be completed by May 2013.

“We’re pleased to be joining in these trials to help find the most cost-effective, timely method toward increasing our overall local grass-fed beef production,” said David De Luz, Jr., Hawai‘i Beef Producers. “Everyone’s collaboration on this study will help ranchers statewide determine the potential for developing commercially based grass-fed feedlots, or pasture finishing companies, to meet consumer demands for high-quality local beef that everyone can afford.”

In these pre-commercial trials, Hawai‘i Beef Producers is testing the impacts of fertilized, irrigated grass using the Hamakua Ditch Irrigation System, and Parker Ranch is studying the impact of using fertilized, non-irrigated grass. In addition, Kamehameha Schools is doing its own trial on unfertilized, irrigated pasture in Hamakua. The outcomes from all of the trials will be combined and shared with all partners as well as the Hawai‘i Cattlemen’s Association and the University of Hawai‘i’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR) to help determine which combination of methods are best for lowering the production costs and improving the quality of locally produced grass-fed beef.

“These trials are integral to helping further Hawai‘i’s agricultural sector, so it’s great to have Hawai‘i Beef Producers join,” said Kyle Datta, general partner for Ulupono Initiative. “We’re so pleased to be able to help catalyze this partnership with our local ranching community to help inspire other Hawai‘i ranchers to consider grass-fed as an option. In addition, the combined trials using the Hamakua Ditch Irrigation System will help provide insights on commercially viable water rates for finish pasture operations, which will be key to the expansion of local beef production and could have statewide implications.”

Dutch Kuyper, CEO of Parker Ranch, said, “The interest and collaboration among our fellow ranchers for these trials is a sign of positive momentum. It gives us additional confidence that our research and investment in grass-fed beef is a good decision for our business model and for the scale of the Hawai‘i beef industry as a whole.”

About Hawai‘i Beef Producers

The De Luz family has been ranching for three generations on the 10,000 acre Kukai‘au Ranch located in Pa‘auilo on the Hamakua Coast of Hawai‘i Island. Hawai‘i Big Island Beef is its grass-fed beef product, which is processed at its adjoining Hawai‘i Beef Producers slaughterhouse. To learn more about Hawai‘i Big Island Beef, please visit www.hawaiibigislandbeef.com.

About Parker Ranch

Parker Ranch is one of the largest and oldest cattle ranches in the United States. Parker Ranch is beneficially owned by Parker Ranch Foundation Trust with four non-profits as beneficiaries including North Hawai‘i Community Hospital, Hawai‘i Preparatory Academy, Parker School and Hawai‘i Community Foundation. To learn more, please visit www.parkerranch.com.

About Ulupono Initiative

Ulupono Initiative is a Hawai‘i-focused impact investing firm that uses for-profit and non-profit investments to improve the quality of life for island residents in three areas – locally produced food; clean, renewable energy; and waste reduction. To learn more, please visit www.uluponoinitiative.com.

Rep. Clift Tsuji Hospitalized for Pneumonia

Expected to be released in a few days and to make full recovery

Rep. Clift Tsuji

State Representative Clift Tsuji (District 3 – South Hilo, Panaewa, Puna, Keaau, Kurtistown) announced today that he was admitted to Hilo Medical Center last week with pneumonia, but he is expected to be released in a few days and to make a full recovery.  He has been able to keep up with emails, correspondence and other work during his hospital stay.

Rep. Tsuji has served his East Hawaii district as a state representative since the 2005 legislative session.  Due to reapportionment, he is currently running in a new District 2 (Hilo, Waiakea, Keaukaha) unopposed.

“I am grateful for everyone’s kindness and well wishes during my illness,” said Rep. Tsuji.  “I am receiving excellent care at Hilo Medical Center and look forward to being back 100% very soon.”

Video of Lava Surf Photography by CJ Kale and Nick Selway

Photographers CJ Kale and Nick Selway waited more than five years to capture a never-before seen-view of an active volcano. When the conditions were finally right, the two friends risked their lives to get it.

Video of the first ever lava surf photography.

Photo by CJ Kale

Taken on may 9th-16th, 2010 at a Kalapana ocean entry that has just covered the last of the sand beach in the area. I waited over 5 years to get the conditions for this shot. Then we got 3 days in the water prior to the beach getting covered.

Census Bureau Releases 2011 American Community Survey Estimates

Logo of the American Community Survey, a proje...

Logo of the American Community Survey, a project of the United States Census Bureau. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Topics Include Local Estimates on Income, Poverty, Health Insurance and More

The U.S. Census Bureau today released findings from the 2011 American Community Survey. The survey provides a wide range of important statistics about our nation’s people, housing and economy for all communities in the country. The results are used by everyone from retailers, homebuilders and police departments, to town and city planners. The survey is the only source of local estimates for most of the 40 topics it covers, such as educational attainment, occupation, language spoken at home, nativity, ancestry and selected monthly homeowner costs down to the smallest communities.

On Sept. 12, the Census Bureau released national statistics on 2011 income, poverty and health insurance coverage from the Current Population Survey. The American Community Survey includes 2011 statistics for states, cities and smaller areas.

“The American Community Survey provides reliable, local statistics about our nation’s people, housing and economy that are indispensable to anyone who has to make decisions about the future,” Census Bureau Acting Director Thomas Mesenbourg said. “Businesses rely on it to plan and expand into new products or communities. Towns and cities use it to locate schools and firehouses.”

Since the first census in 1790, conducted under the direction of Thomas Jefferson, census questions have collected information on the demographic characteristics of the nation’s population.

The estimates released today are available in detailed tables for the nation, all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, every congressional district, every metropolitan area, and all counties and places with populations of 65,000 or more. See the Census Bureau’s American FactFinder database to find statistics for your area.

Also released today were three short reports supplementing detailed tables with additional analysis on three key topics: income, poverty and health insurance.


According to the report Household Income for States: 2010 and 2011, which presents statistics on median household income at the national and state levels:

  • In 2011, median household income ranged from $36,919 in Mississippi to $70,004 in Maryland.
  • Median household incomes were lower than the U.S. median of $50,502 in 27 states and higher in 19 states and the District of Columbia. North Dakota, Wisconsin, Nebraska and Pennsylvania median household incomes did not have a statistically significant difference from the U.S. as a whole.
  • Between the 2010 and 2011 American Community Survey, Vermont was the only state that showed an increase in median household income. Meanwhile, median household income declined in 18 states. The state median household income decreases ranged from 1.1 percent in Ohio to 6.0 percent in Nevada.
  • In 32 states and the District of Columbia, the difference in median household income between 2010 and 2011 was not statistically significant.
  • The Gini Index, which measures income inequality, rose in 20 states and remained statistically unchanged in the other 30 and the District of Columbia.


According to the report Poverty: 2010 and 2011, which compares poverty rates in 2010 and 2011 for the nation, states and large metropolitan areas:

  • Among the 50 states and the District of Columbia, New Hampshire (8.8 percent) had the lowest poverty rate, and Mississippi (22.6 percent) had one of the highest poverty rates.
  • Among metro areas with populations of 500,000 or more, poverty rates ranged from a low of 8.3 percent in the Washington metro area, to 37.7 percent in McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas.
  • The number and percentage of people in poverty increased in 17 states between 2010 and 2011. For 10 states, this was the third consecutive annual increase. In five states, the number of people in poverty increased while the poverty rates did not increase.
  • Between the 2010 and 2011 American Community Survey, both the percentage and number of people in poverty in Vermont declined.
  • In 27 states and the District of Columbia, there was no change in either the number of people in poverty or the poverty rate.

Health Insurance

A third report is Health Insurance Coverage of Young Adults Aged 19 to 25: 2008, 2009, and 2011 (available soon).

Highlights include:

  • While the insured rate of young adults (age 19 to 25) rose from 68.3 percent in 2009 to 71.8 percent in 2011, the rate for those 26 to 29 continued to decline, from 71.1 percent to 70.3 percent.
  • No state experienced a decline in the insured rate of young adults from 2009 to 2011, while 37 states and the District of Columbia had an increase in coverage.
  • Vermont had the highest increase in coverage among the young adult population, increasing from an insured rate of 75.2 percent in 2009 to 89.1 percent in 2011.
  • Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii and Louisiana had increases in the overall insured rate but not in the privately insured rate. Conversely, Arkansas, Mississippi, New Hampshire, South Dakota and Washington saw increases in the private health insurance rate of young adults but not in the overall insurance rate.

Additional American Community Survey Results

On Oct. 25, the Census Bureau will release a set of American Community Survey statistics covering all areas with populations of 20,000 or more, based on data collected between 2009 and 2011. A third set of ACS statistics, available for all geographic areas regardless of population size, down to the block group level, will be released on Dec. 6; these estimates will cover 2007-2011.

More than a dozen additional short reports, or briefs, will be released through the end of the year and into early next year. Topics covered include centenarians, multigenerational households, veterans, people with disabilities, public assistance, field of degree and earnings, the Asian foreign-born population, commuting, poverty and household sharing, the structural characteristics of housing, and mixed-nativity married couples.


As is the case with all surveys, statistics from sample surveys are subject to sampling and nonsampling error. All comparisons made in the reports have been tested and found to be statistically significant at the 90 percent confidence level, unless otherwise noted. Please consult the tables for specific margins of error. For more information, go to <http://www.census.gov/acs/www/data_documentation/documentation_main/>.

Changes in survey design from year to year can affect results. See <http://www.census.gov/acs/www/data_documentation/2011_release/> for more information on changes affecting the 2011 statistics. See <http://www.census.gov/acs/www/guidance_for_data_users/comparing_2011/> for guidance on comparing 2011 American Community Survey statistics with previous years and the 2010 Census.

Park Invites Students to Enter Film Festival

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park is ready for its close up, and invites students to focus their cameras on the park and enter the fourth annual Digital Mountain Film Festival.

Student filmmaker on location in Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park/NPS

Student filmmakers from seventh to twelfth grade can contact Park Ranger Kūpono McDaniel to arrange filming and editing at the park, and beginners are welcome. Ranger Kūpono can be reached at 985-6015 or by email at kupono_mcdaniel@nps.gov.

“This is an opportunity not only for students to express what Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park means to them in a creative, fun way, but for the park to see how we are perceived by our youth – the ones who will be the future stewards of public lands,” said McDaniel.

The short films will be uploaded by park staff to YouTube, and the public will be able to vote for their favorite films online starting Nov. 12. The deadline for all entrants is Nov. 5. The park will loan cameras to students who need them.

The Digital Mountain Film Festival culminates on Dec. 1 at 6 p.m. with a celebration and public showing of the films at the park’s Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium. Winners, who have a chance to win Mac laptop computers and digital cameras, will be announced at the festival.

This project was made possible in part by a grant from the National Park Foundation through the generous support of L.L. Bean, Disney, the Anschutz Foundation, and the Ahmanson Foundation.

Additional help, funding, and support comes from the Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association, and the Big Island Film Office.

For more information, contact Ranger Kūpono McDaniel at 985-6015 or by email at kupono_mcdaniel@nps.gov, and visit the festival’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/DigitalMountainFilmFestival.