Governor Abercrombie Releases $3.7 Milllion for Hilo Medical Center

Governor Neil Abercrombie today announced the release of more than $3.7 million for capital improvement projects (CIPs) at Hilo Medical Center, the largest facility in Hawaii’s public hospital system and one of the largest employers in Hilo.

Hilo Medical Center

“These CIPs funds represent an investment in Hilo Medical Center as an essential part of our public hospital system,” said Governor Abercrombie. “As elements of the Affordable Care Act come online, we must continue to invest in our healthcare infrastructure to ensure that facilities are ready to provide access to quality healthcare for all the people of Hawaii.”

Since the start of 2012, the Abercrombie administration has released more than $889.5 million for CIPs, including these newly released funds, as a part of an economic strategy to address priority work while stimulating the economy and generating jobs.

Allotment of funds for the following Hilo Medical Center projects, identified by the state Legislature, has been approved by the Governor:

·    $1,052,000 – Construction and required works of art to renovate the acute care hospital at Hilo Medical Center, including renovations to bathrooms with leaky fixtures and cracked shower tiles, replacement of inoperable and corroded facility doors, soundmasking to reduce noise, and other repairs as necessary
·    $728,000 – Design and construction for the replacement of the medical center’s atrium walls and roof, which need to be repaired to address the water leakage causing damage to the hospital interior
·    $650,000 – Planning, design and construction to repair leaking roofs of the West Wing, Hospital Cottage and acute hospital
·    $350,000 – Design and construction to replace chiller pipes that are more than 25 years old to prevent loss of air conditioning for the hospital
·    $235,000 – Parking lot improvements/renovations, such as re-designation of parking to accommodate patient and visitors’ needs, signage, fencing and lighting
·    $233,000 – Materials abatement, relocation of utilities, and demolition of an old two-story building on the campus that has partially collapsed, resulting in a potential fire hazard and an obstacle to the helipad adjacent to this structure
·    $200,000 – Construction to bring existing storage tanks into compliance with new EPA regulatory standards; project includes construction of a concrete footing, metal roof overhang, and installation of new chain link fences and gates
·    $160,000 – Equipment to replace an existing washer, which is more than 25 years old and is no longer operable
·    $134,000 – Design and construction to replace existing chain link fence with a higher masonry fence that will increase security for the behavioral health unit and additional privacy for patients


Public Invited to Community Input Sessions with Rep. Richard Onishi

Newly elected State Representative Richard Onishi (District 3 – South Hilo, Keaau, Honuapo) will host Input Sessions for community members to share their ideas and concerns about the district as well as their priorities for the 2013 Legislative Session.

Rep. Richard Onishi


  • Wednesday, December 5, 7-8 pm – Volcano Art Center
  • Friday, December 7, 7-8 pm – Hilo AJA Hall
  • Sunday, December 9, 7-8 pm – Pahala Community Center
  • Monday, December 10, 7-8 pm – Kea’au Community Center

Info: 808-586-6120



China to Participate in 2014 RIMPAC Excercises

I’ve been very fortunate to be invited to participate in RIMPAC Exercises in the past.  In 2010 the most exciting thing I got to do was fly out to the USS Ronald Reagan Aircraft Carrier and have lunch, tour the ship and meet the Commander.

When they catapulted me off the buggah, the velocity of the thrust off the carrier made me feel like I had left my stomach back on the ship!

This past year I got to do several cool things like take a LCAC Military Sealift Hovercraft out to the USS Essex.

That was a trip as a sailor actually fell overboard while I was on the trip!

My most memorable trip in 2012 was getting flown out to the USNS Mercy by helicopter and “Manning the Rails” of the Mercy as she returned home from the 2012 Pacific Partnership.

That was special because that was the second time I had visited the Mercy… the first time it was already in port.

Well I just learned today… That CHINA is going to be participating in the 2014 RIMPAC Exercises!!!

From the U.S. Pacific Fleet Facebook page

“I am pleased our two Navies conducted a successful counter-piracy exercise in September, and we welcome China’s participation in the Rim of the Pacific exercise in 2014. These kinds of opportunities are invaluable when it comes to building trust between our two Navies.” – Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus in Beijing

*Cough* I’d love to the first US Civilian aboard a Chinese Navy Ship!

Big Island Election Clerk Jamae Kawauchi Rips Into Head of State Elections

Big island election clerk Jamae Kawauchi rips into head of state elections.

Jamae Kawauchi tells her side of the story.

Video from Hawaii Reporter:



Congresswoman Hirono Introduces Resolution Honoring Mother Marianne of Molokai

Congresswoman Hirono Introduces Resolution Honoring Mother Marianne of Molokai

Congresswoman Mazie K. Hirono today was joined by Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa , and two Republicans, Congressman Richard Hanna (NY-24) and Congresswoman Ann Marie Buerkle (NY-25) in introducing a House Resolution honoring Mother Marianne Cope for her life’s legacy of compassionate care and dedication to those she served at the Hansen’s disease settlement at Kalaupapa on the island of Molokai.



Hilo Man Being Honored for Contribution to HIV/AIDS Prevention & Treatment in Hawaii

The Hawai‘i State Department of Health (DOH) STD/AIDS Prevention Branch is pleased to announce that the 9th Annual Suzanne Richmond-Crum Award will be presented to Lenard Allen of Hilo, Hawai‘i.

The award will be presented at the World AIDS Day event on O‘ahu to be held from 11 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Dec. 1, at the Church of the Crossroads (1212 University Ave.). Allen is being honored for his tremendous contributions to HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment services in Hawai‘i.

“Mr. Allen has consistently gone above and beyond the call of duty to develop and implement activities to support the HIV community in Hawai‘i,” said Health Director Loretta Fuddy. “His unwavering commitment to give of himself to individuals and organizations in need makes him a most deserving recipient of the 9th Annual Suzanne Richmond-Crum Award.”

Monica Adams M.A., M.B.A., Director of Development for the Bay Clinic Family Health Centers said of Lenard Allen: “His work has profoundly changed the environment for HIV/AIDS care, perceptions, and services in East Hawai‘i. There are some people in this world who do tremendous things, who work tirelessly for a cause, and who do it without recognition and fame. Lenard is one of these people.”

For 20 years, Allen has been actively involved in HIV client services, care, prevention, community education, advocacy, and fundraising. Allen has worked in HIV/AIDS services at the Big Island AIDS Project, Hawai‘i Island HIV/AIDS Foundation, and Bay Clinic, Inc. His considerable efforts have focused on all persons living with HIV and those at risk for acquiring HIV. Allen also founded OUTSPOKEN, which served as a community fundraiser to fill in service gaps for people living with HIV. He developed a free counseling program and phone support for individuals living with HIV. He worked with the Big Island Aloha Patrol for four years as a liaison and advocate between business owners, community, and the County of Hawai‘i Judiciary to provide referrals to services, testing, healthcare and education.

Suzanne Richmond-Crum passed away in August 2004 after serving as director of the Hawai‘i Seropositivity and Medical Management Program (HSPAMM) of the DOH STD/AIDS Prevention Branch for more than 10 years. The award was established in honor of the competence and compassion she demonstrated in her HIV/AIDS work, and is presented annually to an individual in Hawai‘i for their outstanding contribution in providing HIV/AIDS services.

The public is invited to attend the award presentation at the 2012 World AIDS Day program on Saturday, Dec.1, at the Church of the Crossroads, as well as many other activities occurring statewide. For more information on all statewide World AIDS Day events, go to:

Jimmy Buffett Sells Cheeseburger in Paradise Restaurants for $11 Million

Jimmy Buffett is parting with Cheeseburger in Paradise, a chain of theme restaurants that is named after one of his songs, for $11 million.

Luby’s Inc. announced on Wednesday it was buying Paradise Restaurants Group LLC with cash and credit, acquiring its 23 Cheeseburger in Paradise locations in 14 states that in previous years had generated revenue of more than $50 million.

Cheeseburger in Paradise was founded 10 years ago in collaboration with the entertainer, based on his 1978 ode to “heaven on earth with an onion slice.”

“Luby’s anticipates developing opportunities to expand the brand,” the company said in a statement.

The restaurants created an island, beach-party atmosphere that would be familiar to fans of Buffett’s music and a slight departure from the more family-oriented Luby’s Cafeterias and Fudduckers restaurants operated by Luby’s Inc.

Big Island Police Searching for Painting Stolen During Puna Burglary

Hawaiʻi County police are requesting the public’s help in locating a painting stolen during a burglary in Puna.

The koa framed painting “Mystic Light” by Christian Reese Lassen was among several items removed from a home in the Ainaloa subdivision sometime between April and July.

“Mystic Light” by Christian Reese Lassen

Police ask that anyone with information about the whereabouts of the painting or with information about burglaries contact Detective Royce Serrao at 961-8810 or or Detective John Rodrigues Jr. at 961-2384 or

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.


“Let Carols Ring” to Benefit the Food Basket Ministry

This Sunday, December 2, at 3 PM, the Hilo Community Chorus will perform their Christmas concert “Let Carols Ring” at the Church of the Holy Cross, 440 W. Lanikaula Street in Hilo.

“Let Carols Ring” is a program of Christmas music that has been re-arranged or newly written in the 21st century.  There are many familiar favorite Christmas tunes that will be performed in new arrangements, as well as new pieces such as Eric Barnum’s “Sweeter Still”  and John Rutter’s “Rejoice and Be Merry.”

Conductor Tom McAlexander says, “You will hear some of the most beautiful carols you’ve never heard, and some wonderful new twists on the older ones.”

The concert features accompaniment by Walter Greenwood on piano and organ, Rick Mazurowski on continuo, and Gerdine Markus and Laurel Rain on recorders.

Admission is free, although a calabash will be provided and donations of non-perishable food for the Food Basket Ministry will also be welcomed.

WHO: Hilo Community Chorus
WHAT: Free Christmas concert “Let Carols Ring”
WHERE: Church of the Holy Cross, 440 W. Lanikaula Street, Hilo HI
WHEN: Sunday, December 2, 3 PM
WHY: Accepting donation of non-perishable food for the Food Basket Ministry

Federal Grand Jury Indicts Eight In Connection With Big Island Gambling Business

Vida G. Bottom, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Harry S. Kubojiri, Police Chief of the Hawaii Police Department, Kenneth J. Hines, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, and Florence T. Nakakuni, United States Attorney for the District of Hawaii, announced that law enforcement officers today arrested persons on the Big Island indicted by a federal grand jury in Honolulu on November 20, 2012, for operating an illegal gambling business and conspiring to do so.

Picture courtesy of KHON 2 News

Charged with those offenses are:

  • Eric Ford, age 45
  • Marlo Banasan, 34
  • Matthew Phillips, 39
  • Kendale Limahai, 47
  • Robert Bland, 35
  • Jonah Yardley, 37
  • Trevor Carter, 24

A Slot Machine shop in Hilo

The grand jury also charged Eric Ford and an eighth defendant, Barbara Ford, age 44, with 25 counts of structuring financial transactions for the purpose of evading federal reporting requirements, which include the filing of a Currency Transaction Report with the IRS by a financial institution in regard to any currency transaction over $10,000. All seven of the Big Island residents, everyone except Bland, now a resident of Arizona, were arrested today.

United States Attorney Nakakuni said that according to the indictment, Eric Ford operated an illegal gambling business from at least November 2009, until November 20, 2012, out of a water company business located in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. The indictment alleges that the gambling operation consisted of sports betting and various gambling events, to include poker games and craps games, and used an offshore gaming website. The six other defendants, not including Barbara Ford, are alleged to have assisted Eric Ford in the taking of bets, collection of gambling debts, and payment of gambling winnings.

A Slot Machine shop in Hilo

If convicted of the gambling and conspiracy charges, each defendant faces a maximum term of imprisonment of five years on each count. Each of the structuring charges also carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison. The charges in the indictment are merely accusations and each defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

The case resulted from an investigation initiated by the Hawaii Police Department’s Criminal Intelligence Unit. Through an established partnership among the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Hawaii Police Department, and the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, investigators were able to uncover the breadth of the illegal gambling enterprise. Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Nammar is handling the prosecution.

Wordless Wednesday – Mocha Girls in Hawaii

The ever popular girl group the Mocha Girls will be at Hawaiian Brians Showroom in Honolulu on Friday:

The hottest and most talented girl group in the music biz today in spite of the tough race for recognition.. With so many groups similar to MOCHA GIRLS coming out nowadays, their 2009 BEST DANCE ALBUM AWARD from PMPC Star Awards for Music have proven that they are the best sing and dance group today.


They can certainly turn everybody in the party mood once they hit the center stage. Their repertoire is a mix of everything from current hits and the best of new wave down to the memorable music of the 70’s.

The Mocha Girls

The group consists of 5 Girls namely Mae, Franz, Chloe, Yumi and their lead Singer MOCHA. They perform with a live band called ICE.

Hulihe’e Palace Dates Set for 2013

Enjoy a free Afternoon at Hulihe’e Palace 4-5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 16 to remember the late Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop. Presenting hula and serenade by the Merrie Monarchs, the event is part of a year-long series that honors Hawai‘i’s past monarchs and historical figures; donations are appreciated. Kindly bring a beach mat or chair as seating won’t be provided.

Princess Bernice Pauahi is most well known as the benefactress of Kamehameha Schools. A great-granddaughter of Kamehameha I, she came of age during the Victorian Era. She was well liked and very private. When her cousin, Kamehameha V, chose her as his successor in 1872, she declined. Her refusal ended the Kamehameha Dynasty.

During her lifetime, the princess witnessed the physical and social decline of Hawaiians. Some foreigners brought disease—the native population dwindled from 400,000 in 1778 to fewer than 45,000 a century later—and controlled most commerce. Missionaries introduced a new value system.

“Distressed by the plight of her people, Princess Pauahi created a will in 1883 as an instrument of change,” says Casey Ballao, Hulihe‘e Palace docent coordinator. “She believed education could be the answer to help her people.”

The document established a charitable land trust overseen by trustees to improve the well being of Hawaiians. It operates as Kamehameha Schools today, one of the largest, private trusts in the nation.

“The will was the princess’s way to malama ka ‘aina—practice the ethical, prudent and culturally appropriate stewardship of land and resources,” adds Ballao.

Hulihe’e Palace

Pauahi married Charles Reed Bishop in 1850. She and Bishop shared a love for traveling, teaching and entertaining and the couple became astute property managers. When her favorite cousin, Princess Ruth Ke‘elikolani died, Pauahi received her entire estate (including Hulihe‘e Palace) and this inheritance comprised the major portion of Pauahi’s landholdings. The princess died a year later in 1884. To honor his wife, Charles founded the Bishop Museum in 1889 to house the royal family heirlooms and her extensive collection of Hawaiian artifacts.

Hulihe‘e Palace is open for self-guided tours 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturdays. Palace admission, which includes a self-guided tour brochure, remains $6 for adults, $4 for seniors and $1 for keiki under 18. Volunteer docents are available starting 10 a.m. to give guided tours. For details, contact the palace at 329-1877, the palace office at 329-9555 or visit The gift shop can be reached by phoning 329-6558.

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

2013 Afternoon at Hulihe‘e schedule: 4-5 p.m. on the palace grounds

All Afternoons at Hulihe’e present hula by Na Pua U‘i O Hawai‘i Hula Halau and vocals by the Merrie Monarchs. Some events also include the Hulihe’e Palace Band and are noted below. On band dates, only kahiko hula is showcased. Other events offer a full hula show.

  • Jan 13: Band appearance remembering King Charles “Lunalilo” and Aunty I‘olani Luahine
  • Feb 17: Event remembering Princess Ruth Ke‘elikolani
  • Mar 17: Band appearance remembering Queen Ka‘ahumanu and Prince Kuhio
  • Apr 21: Event remembering Prince Edward Albert
  • May 19: Event remembering King Kamehameha IV “Alexander Liholiho”
  • Jun 9: Band appearance remembering King Kamehameha I “Paiea”
  • Jul 21: Event remembering John Adams Kuakini
  • Aug 18: Event remembering King Kamehameha III “Kauikeaouli”
  • Sep 15: Band appearance remembering Queen Lili‘uokalani
  • Oct 20: Event remembering Princess Ka‘iulani
  • Nov 17: Band appearance remembering King Kalakaua, Palace Curator Aunty Lei Collins and Bandmaster Charles “Bud Dant
  • Dec 15: Event remembering Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop


Big Island Police Searching for Missing 17-Year-Old Puna Girl

Hawaiʻi County police are searching for a 17-year-old girl who was reported missing.

Sabrina Nakaima

Sabrina Nakaima of Mountain View was last seen in the Keaʻau area on October 24.

She is described as 5-foot-5, 111 pounds with brown eyes and brown hair.

Police ask that anyone with information on her 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 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Public Invited to Inaugural Ceremonies for Newly Elect Mayor, Prosecuting Attorney & Council Members

County of Hawai’i Executive and Legislative Inaugural Ceremonies for the newly elected Mayor, Prosecuting Attorney, and Council Members will be held at the Afook Chinen Civic Auditorium at 12 Noon on Monday, December 3, 2012.  The public is invited to attend.

The 2010 Hawaii County Council on inauguration day

The program will begin with a prelude of familiar selections chosen by Bandmaster Paul Arceo and the Hawai’i County Band.  The procession will be accompanied by the Hawai’i County Band.  The Administration of Oath will be administered by The Honorable Greg Nakamura, Judge, Third Circuit Court.

Skylark Rossetti will act as mistress of ceremonies.  Address will be given by The Honorable Billy Kenoi, Mayor; The Honorable Mitch Roth, Prosecuting Attorney and the Honorable J Yoshimoto, Chairperson, Hawai’i County Council.

Presentation of Colors by Hilo High School JROTC Color Guards.  The Kamehameha School Concert Glee will perform musical rendering. The National and State Anthems will be performed by Cindy Intendencia accompanied by the Hawai’i County Band.  Invocation by Senior Pastor Sheldon Lacsina, New Hope – Hilo and the Benediction by Deacon Larry Ignacio, Annunciation Church – Waimea.

Big Island Police Arrest Kona Man on Suspicion of Robbery… Looking for Others

Hawaiʻi County police have arrested a Kona man on suspicion of robbery and are asking for the public’s help in identifying other suspects.

At 12:27 a.m. Monday, Kona patrol offices responded to a report of a robbery in a parking lot at Aliʻi Sunset Plaza. A 26-year-old Kealakekua man reported that after he met a local man at bar, the man took him to the northwest corner of the parking lot to meet with five or six males. They punched and kicked the victim and stole his backpack before fleeing on foot.

The victim was treated at Kona Community Hospital for a fractured jaw and minor cuts and scrapes.

Police investigation led to the identity of a possible suspect. At 1:30 a.m. Tuesday, police arrested 20-year-old Alexander Cho, who has no permanent address but frequents Kailua-Kona. He is being held at the Kona police cellblock while detectives from the Area II Criminal Investigations Section continue the investigation.

Police are asking for help from anyone who witnessed the attack or saw the victim talking with a local male in the Coconut Grove area. The victim was wearing shorts and a striped tank top and was carrying a backpack.

Anyone with any information about this case is asked to call Detective Walter Ah Mow at 326-4646, extension 238.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.


Volcano Art Center Presents “Na Mea Hawaii – Hula Arts in the Park”

Volcano Art Center presents Kahula ‘O Nawahine Noho Pu’ukapu under the direction of kumu hula Ana Nawahine-Kahoopii for an inspirational hula kahiko performance at the hula platform in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on Saturday, December 15, 2012 at 10:30am.

Ana Nawahine-Kahoopii by Ken Kurashima

The halau, founded by Nawahine-Kahoopii in 2007, is based in Kuhio Village, Hawaiian Homelands in the ahupua’a of Pu’ukapu, Waimea. The mission of the halau is to express the sacred through the poetry of hula.

“Hula is a sacred path to the core of ourselves, the world we exist within and the worlds that exist within us. As we deepen this awareness of our place in the cosmos it is reflected in our voices and bodies, the joy of oli (chant) and hula (dance) are expressions of this awakening. This path of awakening is a lifetime commitment and one we graciously share with you,” says kumu Nawahine-Kahoopii.

Kahula ‘O Nawahine Noho Pu’ukapu by Ken Kurashima

Also on December 15, there are cultural demonstrations of lei making from 9:30am to 1:30pm at Volcano Art Center Gallery. For the outdoor hula performance, the audience is encouraged to bring mats for sitting on the grass, plus rain and sun gear as the presentation takes place rain or shine. As parking is limited, carpooling is strongly recommended.  Events are free; however, national park entrance fees apply.

These events are sponsored in cooperation with Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and supported in part by the County of Hawaii’s Department of Research and Development and the Hawaii Tourism Authority. For more information, call Volcano Art Center at (808) 967-8222 or visit

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.


Big Island Figs Featured at Culinary Demo

KAILUA-KONA, HAWAII – High in fiber, potassium and vitamin B6, figs also contain iron, calcium and Vitamin A. Shaped like a hot air balloon, the small fruit is steeped in the history and ritual of ancient cultures with archeological remnants dating back to 5000 BC.

Pineapple-Wrapped Figs with Goat Cheese (See Recipe Below)

Taste test figs and learn how to use them at a free demonstration 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30 at Island Naturals Market and Deli. Chef Rob Love of the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel will offer free fruit samples and use Maui Gold pineapple to prepare Pineapple-Wrapped Figs with Goat Cheese. Ken Love, president of the Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers (HTFG), will be on hand to answer horticulture questions.

The fruity fig fun is presented by the statewide HTFG, whose members are growing ultra-exotic tropical fruits. These not-so-well-known edibles—like figs, Surinam cherry, jackfruit, ulu, abiu, durian, white sapote, soursop and jaboticaba—are among a growing number of odd fruits that are intriguing island chefs and shoppers.

“Figs are drought tolerant and many varieties can be grown in Hawaii’s microclimates,” says Love. “They can be enjoyed fresh, poached or as a component in recipes. Figs lend themselves to a wide variety of value-added products.”

HTFG is working to build markets for these juicy rarities through a series of free public taste tests and culinary demonstrations at stores on four Hawaiian Islands throughout 2012. A dozen educational demonstrations are planned and participating stores will stock the fruit in their produce sections, accompanied by recipes and additional fruit information to take home.

“At Island Naturals, we strive to continually increase our local food offerings,” says Russell Ruderman, president and founder of Island Naturals and Puna District state senator.  “We work with farmers and food producers to develop new offerings, and support new local products with our best prices, signage, shelf placement and demos. Local food keeps money in our local economy, supports agriculture in Hawaii, reduces the carbon footprint, and moves us toward a sustainable society. It also supports your friends and neighbors, and puts healthier food on your table.”

Titled “New Markets for Ultra-Exotic Fruits,” the event series is funded by the Hawaii Department of Agriculture through a USDA competitive grant program to foster small farm sustainability.

For more information, contact Love at or 808 (969-7926). Find detailed fig info at

Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers

Incorporated in 1989 to promote tropical fruit grown in Hawaii, HTFG is a statewide association of tropical fruit growers, packers, distributors and hobbyists dedicated to tropical fruit research, education, marketing and promotion;

Pineapple-Wrapped Figs with Goat Cheese, By Rob Love, chef Mauna Kea Beach Hotel


  • 1 Maui Gold pineapple
  • 1lb. local goat cheese or cheve
  • 1lb. figs local figs
  • 1/4cup sherry vinegar
  • 1/4cup sugar
  • Salt
  • 1 bunch green onion


Cook figs, vinegar and sugar to a boil and let cool and mix to make compote.

Peel pineapple and slice in very, very thin circles. Cut onions the length of pineapple circle.

On a flat slice of pineapple, add a tablespoon of cheese and pinch of salt. Place 1 pc green onion and teaspoon of compote. Wrap and let set before slicing.

Garnish with additional compote and mint or basil leaves.

BBC America Visits the Big Island – Crash Course and The Three Ring Ranch Wild Animal Sanctuary

Richard Hammond’s Crash Course and Three Ring Ranch Wild Animal Sanctuary in Kona, Hawaii team up for excitement. BBC America sent Richard Hammond, star of Top Gear, to film his wild encounters with exotic animals, including Cody the Buffalo, Zoe the blond zebra and many other residents of the sanctuary.

Ann & Richard release endangered Hawaiian stilts at Hualalai Resort while Norm Goody photographs them

Richard had just a couple days to follow the Curator, Ann Goody around the Sanctuary and learn how to safely care for an interact with the residents. He would have to learn to work with ostrich, shear an alpaca, care for a giant tortoises shell mix flamingo diets and assist with the release of endangered Hawaiian stilts. Far outside of his comfort zone driving race cars and helicopters this program introduces Richard and the audience to an unreal few days at Three Ring Ranch.

Richard & Ann work with an ostrich

See what animal stole from Richard and hear from him what it was like to have Cody invade his personal space. The show airs on BBC America on December 3 at 5 pm followed two more airings later that day as well as by a future airing on BBC International.


Three Ring Ranch is the only accredited Sanctuary in Hawaii. Ann Goody, curator of the sanctuary, says they care for all native species as well as provide advice and support to veterinarian and other rehabilitators. The sanctuary includes a center for hands-on training and interaction with animals for school age children. “For the past twelve years we have rehabilitated Hawaii’s native and endangered species and cared for those exotic creatures already within the State who needed a safe refuge on our five-acre site. Our barn, hospital, aviaries, wetlands and fields serve a wide variety of animals.”

Richard & Ann moving very slowly out of Cody’s environment.

Three Ring Ranch is a non-profit. Private educational excursions are offered by contacting the sanctuary.

For more information about Three Ring Ranch, please visit or contact Ann Goody at to learn more about the ranch or book a tour.


Earthquakes Keep Rattling the Big Island – 3.0 Magnitude Registered Tonight

Magnitude 3.0
Location 19.433°N, 155.595°W
Depth 2 km (1.2 miles)
  • 28 km (18 miles) NNW (334°) from Pahala, HI
  • 31 km (19 miles) E (93°) from Honaunau-Napoopoo, HI
  • 33 km (21 miles) ESE (103°) from Captain Cook, HI
  • 54 km (33 miles) SE (127°) from Kalaoa, HI
  • 61 km (38 miles) WSW (240°) from Hilo, HI
  • 312 km (194 miles) SE (131°) from Honolulu, HI
Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 0.6 km (0.4 miles); depth +/- 0.8 km (0.5 miles)
Parameters Nph= 26, Dmin=2 km, Rmss=0.29 sec, Gp= 43°,
M-type=duration magnitude (Md), Version=2
Event ID hv60434846


Third Annual Hawaiian Natural Honey Challenge – RESULTS

This year’s Hawaiian Natural Honey Challenge was a special event.  For the first time this year the award categories were expanded to reflect varietal types of honey, the category of comb honey was added, and multi-floral blends were divided into three types (light, amber and dark).  A total of fifty-two entries were submitted by Hawaiian Natural Honey producers from around the state.

Judging took place at two events; the Formal Judging on November 2 conducted by a panel of five judges selected for their discriminating taste, and the Public Tasting event on November 10 at which anyone who bought a ballot could vote for the “People’s Choice” awards in three categories (liquid, solid, and comb).

Award winning entries in the Liquid category based on scores given at the Formal Judging are:

  • Best in Show – a light noni/palm honey submitted by Ron Hanson of Bee Mo Bettah.
  • Best Albizia Honey rated highest for appearance, texture and taste – an amber Albizia honey submitted by John Hanson.
  • Best Kiawe Honey rated highest for appearance – a light Kiawe honey submitted by Jenny Bach of Bee Love Apiary.
  • Best Taste for a Lehua Blend Honey – a light Lehua blend submitted by Jen Rasmussen of Paradise Nectars.
  • Best Appearance, Best Texture for a Lehua Blend Honey – a light Lehua blend submitted by Julie Myhre of J & J Coffee & Cacao.
  • Best Macadamia Honey rated highest for appearance, and texture – a dark Macadamia honey submitted by John Hanson.
  • Best Mac Plus Honey rated highest for appearance and texture – a dark Macadamia blend honey submitted by Joyce Takahashi of Miki Macs Honey, Kauai.
  • Best Mango Honey rated highest for appearance, texture and taste – an amber Mango honey submitted by John Hanson.
  • Best Ohia/Lehua Honey – an amber Ohia Lehua honey submitted by John Hanson.
  • Best Appearance for a Ohia/Lehua Honey – an amber Ohia/Lehua honey submitted by Greg Johnson.
  • Best Tropical Multi-floral Light Honey rated highest for texture – a light multi-floral honey submitted by Larry Reiss of Parsantha Apiary.
  • Best Tropical Multi-floral Amber Honey rated highest for appearance, texture and taste – a Tropical Multi-floral honey submitted by Ron Hanson of Bee Mo Bettah.
  • Best Aroma for a Tropical Multi-floral Amber Honey – an amber multi-floral honey submitted by Callie McNew.
  • Best Tropical Multi-floral Dark Honey rated highest for appearance, texture and taste – a dark multi-floral honey submitted by Tony Lydgate of Steelgrass Farm, Kauai.

Award winning entries in the Comb Honey category based on scores given at the Formal Judging are:

  • Best in Show – an amber Tropical Multi-floral honey submitted by Larry Reiss of Parsantha Apiary.
  • Best Macadamia Honey rated highest in appearance – an amber Macadamia honey submitted by Ron Hanson of Bee Mo Bettah.
  • Best Mac Plus Honey – a dark Mac Plus honey submitted by Joyce Takahashi of Miki Macs Honey.
  • Best Lehua Blend Honey rated highest in appearance – a light Lehua blend honey submitted by Carol Conner of Jaycee’s Bees.

Award winning entries in the Solid Honey category based on scores given at the Formal Judging are:

  • Best in Show – a light Ohia/Lehua honey submitted by Henry Iuker of Daddy’s Stolen Honey.
  • Best Lehua Blend Honey rated highest in appearance – a dark Lehua blend submitted by John Hanson.
  • Best Texture for a Ohia/Lehua honey – an amber Ohia/Lehua honey submitted by Henry Iuker of Daddy’s Stolen Honey.
  • Best Tropical Multi-floral Dark Honey rated highest in appearance and texture – a dark Tropical Multi-floral honey submitted by Patrick Weder of Lotus Buddhist Monastery.

The entries winning this year’s three People’s Choice awards are:

  • Best Liquid Honey – a dark Eucalyptus honey submitted by John Hanson.
  • Best Comb Honey – a light Noni/Palm honey submitted by Ron Hanson of Bee Mo Bettah.
  • Best Solid Honey – a dark Tropical Multi-floral honey submitted by Patrick Weder of Lotus Buddhist Monastery.

The Big Island Beekeepers Association owes much to the all those who contributed to make this year’s Challenge a success beginning with all those who choose to take on the Challenge and send in their entries to be evaluated.

We also want to extend a special thank you to our judges who labored seven hours on a Friday to rate all fifty-two entries.  Mahalo to:

  • Lauren Rusert from the Hawaii State Apiary Program.
  • Lorie Obra of Rusty’s Hawaiian Coffee Farm.
  • Joan Obra of Rusty’s Hawaiian Coffee Farm and Isla Custom Coffee.
  • Ralph Gaston of Rusty’s Hawaiian Coffee Farm and Isla Custom Coffee.
  • Sonia Martinez monthly columnist for the Hamakua Times, Farmers Market produce writer for Ke Ola Magazine and Farmers Market and farmers feature writer for the Hawai’i HomeGrown Food Network.

Mahalo to our sponsors whose donations helped our bottom line:

  • American Apitherapy Society, Inc.
  • Bee Culture
  • Bee Mo Bettah
  • Big Island Bees
  • Big Island Packaging
  • Hawaiian Springs
  • Island Princess Macadamia Nut Company
  • Johnny’s Selected Seeds
  • Mann Lake
  • Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Company
  • Miki Macs
  • Paradise Nectar
  • RevHoney
  • Royal Hawaiian Honey
  • Rusty’s Hawaiian
  • Sustainable Island Products
  • Volcano Island Honey Company

Mahalo to our amazing volunteers who made it happen:

  • Chandra Boyd
  • Pat Chu
  • Cary Dizon
  • HASS Bee Club members:  Rose Hanks, Dillan, and Juniper.
  • Heather O’Connell
  • Amy Ketner
  • Sean Kirkpatrick
  • Val Kimbrough
  • Star Newland
  • Jen Rasmussen
  • Larry Reiss
  • Randy and Danny Sosnansky
  • Allen and Juanipa Sylvester
  • Rod Vanderhoef
  • Catarina Zaragoza-Dodge

And most of all our Registrar, Pattie Rechtman, upon whose shoulders most of the organization and records keeping fell.

Thank you to Danielle Downey and Lauren Rusert of the State Apiarist Office who attended the event and made themselves available to the many beekeeper attendees who had lots to talk about.

We also wish to thank Alice Moon of the Downtown Improvement Association and Sam Robinson of Lets Grow Hilo for providing the venue and their helpers Georiga Pinsky and Lonnie who also contributed significantly to the overall organization of the event.