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Use of Video Decision Aids Increases Advance Care Planning in Hilo

Pilot study part of statewide program to improve end-of-life care

A program encouraging physicians and other providers to discuss with patients their preferences regarding end-of-life care significantly increased the documented incidence of such conversations and the number of patients with late-stage disease who were discharged to hospice.

Filling in an advance health care directive

In a Journal of General Internal Medicine paper that has been released online, a team led by Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) investigators describes the pilot program, which is part of a larger initiative to transform medical care for serious illness in the state of Hawaii. The program included video decision aids in 10 languages and was carried out in the city of Hilo, Hawaii.

“By collaborating with the people of Hawaii and recognizing the diversity of the community, we were able to honor and respect patients’ individual choices when it came to medical care,” says Angelo Volandes, MD, MPH, of the MGH Department of Medicine, lead author of the report. “Doctors are often uncomfortable having end-of-life conversations and have rarely been trained in advance care planning. The videos can be a valuable supplement to, not a replacement for, the doctor-patient relationship.”

Advance care planning – conversations with patients regarding the type of care they would like to receive, or not receive, if they become seriously or terminally ill and cannot speak for themselves – has been the subject of considerable attention in recent years. Earlier this year Medicare began reimbursing clinicians for advance care planning discussions with patients, and the process was mentioned in, but not funded by, the Affordable Care Act. But there have been few studies examining the impact of advance care planning efforts on medical documentation of such conversations, on the care actually delivered or on costs.

A broad coalition of stakeholders, led by Hawaii Medical Service Association (HMSA), an independent Blue Cross/Blue Shield licensee, has been working since 2012 to improve advance care planning rates statewide through innovative collaborations, including implementation of educational videos. Hilo Medical Center, a 276-bed hospital, was the first in the state to make advance care planning the standard of care for patients, and the JGIM paper reports on the first 21 months of the program’s implementation in the city of more than 43,000.

Beginning in early 2013, Hilo Medical Center clinicians, Hospice of Hilo staff and 30 primary care physicians in the city were offered a one- to four-hour training program and access to advance care planning video decision aids in English, Japanese, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Samoan, Korean, Ilocano, Tagalog, Spanish and Marshallese. Less than 10 minutes long, the videos are designed to be accessible to general audiences and include broad questions that patients should consider regarding their individual preferences and how they could affect future medical interventions. How or whether providers used the videos in subsequent advance care planning discussions was neither required nor tracked.

The primary study outcome for Hilo Medical Center was any change in the rate at which advance care planning conversations were documented in medical records of patients with late-stage disease. For outpatient care, any difference between the rates of advance care planning in Hilo and in a control group of similar Hawaii communities was analyzed. The researchers also compared the number of hospice admissions for late-stage patients before and after the program was implemented – compared with the control communities – as well as the rate of in-hospital deaths. Any impact on health costs was determined by analyzing HMSA claims data.

Prior to implementation of the training program, the rate of advance care planning documentation for late-stage patients at Hilo Medical Center was 3.2 percent, but during the 21 months after training was offered, the rate increased to almost 40 percent. Among almost 4,000 HMSA patients over age 75 in Hilo who saw a primary care physician during 2014, the year following primary care physician training, 37 percent received advance care planning, compared with 25.6 percent in the control communities.

The percentage of late-stage Hilo Medical Center patients who were discharged to hospice, which was 5.7 percent before the training, rose to 13.8 percent. Overall Hospice of Hilo admissions increased 28 percent in 2013 and 51 percent in 2014, compared with 2012. While average HMSA reimbursements for care during the last month of life increased from 2012 to 2013 in both Hilo and the control area, the increase for Hilo was only 5.5 percent, compared with more than 22 percent in the control area, reflecting an average per-patient savings of $3,458 for the last month of life.

Although this study was conducted in a relatively small region, the authors note that the diversity of the Hawaiian population may offset that limitation. The program has now expanded to all hospitals in Hawaii, 10 hospices, military facilities and many other providers; and Volandes expresses the hope that this study’s results will renew calls for continuing innovation in advance care planning, including certification and reimbursement for patient decision aids.

“Advance care planning videos and other decision aids offer cost-efficient and broadly applicable methods of placing patients at the center of their care,” he says. “They also allow doctors and other health providers to have critical conversations with patients that were rarely encouraged during their training. Making these decision aids widely available could be a real health care game-changer.”

UH Hilo Announces 2015-16 Ka Lama Ku Student Leadership Awards

The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Campus Center Leadership Program recently presented Ka Lama Ku Student Leadership Recognition awards and certificates to individuals and student organizations for their contributions to UH Hilo and the community during the 2015-2016 school year.
UHHilo

The Ka Lama Ku Umeke Awards and a Ka Lama Ku Award Plaque were presented to:

• Alaka‘i Certificate of Leadership: Destiny Rodriguez
• ˋIke Pāpālua Certificate of Leadership To Have the Gift of Vision: Mya Yee Nandar
• Laulima Award – No Task is Too Big When Done by All: Rose Hart
• Mālama Award – Taking Care of Others & Community: Serena Massrey
• Mālama ˋOhana Award – Taking Care of Our Families: Lauryn P. Mow
• Ka Lama Ku Recognition Plaque: Matthew Groulx

The Ka Lama Ku Leadership Plaque recognized student organizations for contributions to UH Hilo and Hawai’i Island communities:

• Alakai Award Plaque: The Pacific Youth Empowerment Day Team (Theresa Kimnoy Aten, Sinforsa Suzie Lippwe, Sione Lam Yuen Jr., Felicia Andrew, Axel Defngin, Bill Kennedy Yang, Lashay Masami, Jacob Kom, Elaine Chugen and Cheryll Ligohr

• ˋIke Pāpālua Award Plaque – To Have the Gift of Vision.: The Pacific Students Media Team (Calvin Myazoe ( Marshallese), Erbiland Mandira (Marshallese) Kathleen Gikbay (Yapese), Axel Defngin (Yapese), Bill Kennedy Yang (Kosraen/Pohnpeian), Vester Robester (Yapese/Pohnpeian) and Peter P Ramofolo (Solomon Islander)

• Kuleana Award Plaque – We are Accountable & Responsible: The Psychology and Kinesiology & Exercise Science Peer Advising Team (Alia Alvarez, Salamasina Aumua, Henry Blake, Bree Kalima, Keirsa Pakani-Tsukiyama, Nicole Rascon, Bailey Rodriguez, Keian Shon, Bennjamin Siemers and Ashley Winslow)

• Mālama Award Plaque – Taking Care of Others and Community: The Kanilehua Living Learning Community Peer Mentors/Tutors ( Bronson Palupe, Austin Awana, Abcde Zoller and Ashlen Kinilau)

The Certificate of Leadership was presented to:

• Alaka‘i Certificate – Leadership: Kailey Lapenia
• Kuleana Certificate – We are Accountable & Responsible: Bree Kalima
• Laulima Certificate – No Task is Too Big When Done by All: The UH Hilo Graduate Student Council (Heather Kimball, Deborah Michiko Fried, Samuel Kamu Plunkett and Summer Danner)
• Mālama ‘Āina Certificate – Taking Care of the Land and Environment: Kiana Soloria
• Mālama ‘Ohana Certificate – Taking Care of our Families: Koa Rodrigues

The Ka Lama Ku Student Leadership Program is sponsored by the UH Hilo Campus Center Fee Board, the Student Advisory Council, and Student Activities Council.

Puna Lawmakers to Hold Town Hall Meeting

Rep. Joy San Buenaventura (Puna) and Sen. Russell Ruderman (Puna, Ka‘u) will host a community Town Hall Meeting on Thursday, June 9, 2016 at the Pahoa Community Center on Hawaii Island to talk about and provide a wrap up of the 2016 legislative session.

Medical MarijuanaAt the Town Hall Meeting they will also discuss the future of Medical Marijuana Dispensaries in the islands.

Residents are encouraged to attend to ask questions, voice their opinions and present suggestions to address community concerns.

WHO:  Representative Joy San Buenaventura (Puna) and Senator Russell Ruderman (Puna, Ka‘u)

WHAT:  Town Hall Meeting to discuss the 2016 legislative session and the future of medical marijuana dispensaries

WHEN: Thursday, June 9, 2016,  5:00 – 7:00 p.m.

WHERE:  Pahoa Community Center, 15-2910 Puna Road

Planned Parenthood Launches Online Access to Birth Control in Hawaii

Today, Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands (PPGNHI) officially announced the launch of Planned Parenthood Care in Hawaii.

Birth Control ApThe app allows people to talk to a Planned Parenthood provider online and face-to-face through a secure video consultation system, and then receive birth control in the mail. Consultation for urinary tract infections is also available. This mobile app will bring reproductive health care services directly to women and men across the state.

“Planned Parenthood Care provides the same high-quality health care people have trusted Planned Parenthood to provide in Hawaii for 50 years.  What’s new is now our clinicians can literally meet people where they are—wherever they are—to get them the care they need,” said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of PPGNHI. “Telehealth is an incredible tool in expanding access to care. We know that life gets busy and that is why we are proud to lead with this technology that allows us to deliver health care and information to people who need it, regardless of their location.”

PPGNHI launched Planned Parenthood Care in Washington state in 2014 and in both Alaska and Idaho in 2015. Planned Parenthood Care™ builds upon decades of innovative health care and information delivery from Planned Parenthood and its affiliates nationwide. Planned Parenthood’s websites provide accurate, nonjudgmental information about contraception, sex, and reproductive health to 60 million visitors each year. Planned Parenthood’s Chat/Text program, which has served nearly 577,000 users so far, has been successful in reducing worry around sexual health issues by connecting youth to a real person through their computer or phone in real time.

“Hawaii is uniquely positioned to benefit from this service given the geography of this great state and the limited access to local health centers,” said Sonia Blackiston, Hawaii Education Manager at PPGNHI. “This app allows people to consult with a physician in real time via video on their device and determine what makes the most sense for them. It provides convenient access to Planned Parenthood’s trusted, high quality health care.”

The app is available at the iOS app store or from Google Play, but at present health care can only be delivered through Planned Parenthood Care to residents of Hawaii, Alaska, Idaho, Washington, and Minnesota.

Legislators, Unions Gather in Support of Hu Honua

More than 30 Hawaii Island officials in government and labor gathered this morning at Hu Honua Bioenergy (HHB) in Pepeekeo for a briefing on the biomass project’s status.
Hu Honua 1
Hu Honua spokesperson Harold “Rob” Robinson said yesterday’s filing with the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission (PUC) requests that the regulatory body conduct a technical review of the actions surrounding Hawaii Electric Light Company’s (HELCO) termination of the power purchase agreement (PPA).
Hu Honua 2
Robinson, a member of Hu Honua’s board of managers, and president of Island Bioenergy, the parent of HHB, said for more than a year, HELCO delayed meaningful response to Hu Honua’s repeated requests for milestone extensions and reduced pricing proposals.
Hu Honua 3
“We have provided the utility with a pricing proposal that significantly reduces HELCO’s costs,” said Robinson. “More importantly, we believe Hu Honua will provide a hedge against rising oil prices, which have historically whipsawed Hawaii Island consumers.”

Hu Honua has invested $137 million to date in the biomass-to-energy facility and has secured an additional $125 million to complete the project. All that’s needed is an extension of the PPA, which Robinson said, we are trying to negotiate with HELCO but are concerned they are stalling a decision.

Hu Honua 4
“The public should know that despite what HELCO claims, Hu Honua’s proposals will deliver value to ratepayers,” said Robinson. “Our project will have more than 200 workers on site during construction. After completion, the community will benefit from more than 180 new jobs and the formation of an invigorated forestry industry. There will also be environmental benefits when old HELCO power plants are deactivated and replaced with renewable energy from Hu Honua in 2017.”

During the conference, various government officials expressed support for the project and welcomed the creation of additional jobs and industry for Hawaii Island. Many were hopeful that the utility would work with Hu Honua to amend its PPA.

Valerie Poindexter, Hawaii County councilmember for the district, talked about growing up in a sugar plantation camp and the demise of the island’s sugar industry. “Hu Honua would revitalize the culture and lifestyle of the sugar days, and create jobs so people don’t have to travel so far to work.”

State Senator Kaialii Kahele touched on the importance of energy security. “If a catastrophic event happens on the West Coast, we’re stuck because we are out here in the middle Pacific, heavily reliant on fossil fuels and food imports. We must come up with creative solutions to address those issues,” said Kahele. He stressed that while he welcomed mainland investment, any and all development must be done the pono way, and commended Hu Honua’s new collaborative, collective style of leadership.
hu honua 5
Hawaii County Councilmember Dennis Onishi said Hu Honua would help reduce energy costs and put more renewable energy on the grid. Onishi suggested starting a dialogue between the County and Hu Honua to explore the possibility of processing green waste streams to divert what’s going to landfills.

Robinson explained that significant investment made in emissions control equipment, including a new turbine generator, will result in increased efficiencies, generating capacity and cleaner emissions.

Following the event, Robinson addressed a statement issued by Hawaii Electric Light Company that criticized Hu Honua. “The utility’s reference to the cost of the project is a smokescreen. When a utility builds a power plant, that cost is passed to ratepayers. This is not the case for us. We decided to invest in increasing generation capacity from 21 to 36 megawatts, but that has no impact on the price to consumers or the ratepayer. The financial risk of the project cost is ours,” he said.

Click to view Affidavit

Click to view Affidavit

New Imported Case of Dengue Fever Reported on the Big Island of Hawaii

This is a Civil Defense Message. This is a dengue information update for Friday, May 20, 2016.

Mosquito BiteThe State Department of Health has identified a single imported case of dengue on Hawaii Island. Vector control crews have treated the person’s residence and adjacent properties today.

Again, this is a single imported case. There is no evidence to indicate a local transmission has occurred. There have been no reported dengue cases attributed to local transmission since March. Imported cases occur from time to time and remind all of us to always be vigilant and fight the bite.

As the summer approaches and more travel is anticipated, the public is reminded that the most effective method to reduce the spread of dengue or other mosquito borne illnesses is for everyone to avoid and prevent mosquito bites. Fight The Bite by wearing clothing that minimizes exposed skin, using mosquito repellent, and avoiding activities in areas of high mosquito concentration during the early morning and late afternoon periods when mosquito activity is greatest. If feeling ill and unsure if you may have dengue, remain indoors to avoid getting bitten and infecting mosquitoes and contact your health care provider.

For information on dengue, visit health.hawaii.gov or call the Department of Health at 974-6001.

Hawaii Department of Health Issues Medical Marijuana Dispensary Licenses – Posts Merit-Based Scores for Licensees

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) began issuing licenses today for Medical Marijuana Dispensaries.

Medical MarijuanaThe eight selected licensees have completed the full payment of licensing fees and were given the option of picking up their license or having it delivered by certified mail.

Licensees were selected based on the scoring of 13 merit criteria. The total scores used in the selection of each licensee are provided below and will be posted today at health.hawaii.gov/medicalmarijuanadispensary/latest-updates-and-news/.

City & County of Honolulu Score
Aloha Green Holdings Inc. 475
Manoa Botanicals LLC 470
TCG Retro Market 1, LLC dba Cure Oahu 470
Hawaii County
Hawaiian Ethos LLC 480
Lau Ola LLC 471.5
Maui County
Maui Wellness Group, LLC 510
Pono Life Sciences Maui, LLC 470
Kauai County
Green Aloha, Ltd. 433

DOH is in the process of notifying in writing all unselected applicants of their total score and ranking for their respective group. After all unselected applicants confirm receipt of their written notification from the department, the total scores of all applicants will be posted on the medical marijuana dispensary website.

For more information and updates from the Medical Marijuana Dispensary Program go to health.hawaii.gov/medicalmarijuanadispensary/ and select “News & Updates.” Questions about the Medical Marijuana Dispensary Programs may be emailed to medmarijuana.dispensary@doh.hawaii.gov.

Police Arrest 15-Year-Old After Threatening Notes Found at Waiakea High School

Hawaiʻi Island police have arrested a 15-year-old boy in connection with threatening notes left at Waiākea High School in Hilo.

Multiple notes threatening violence were left on bathroom walls sometime between 3:30 p.m. Wednesday and 11 a.m. Thursday.
School Note
At 9 a.m. Friday, police arrested the suspect at the school. Because he is a minor, no additional details are available about his identity.

He is being held at the South Hilo police station while detectives from the Area I Juvenile Aid Section continue the investigation.

Shark Study Helps Explain Higher Incidence of Encounters Off Maui

A spike in shark bites off Maui in 2012 and 2013 prompted the Dept. of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), with additional support and funding from the Pacific Islands Ocean Observing System (PacIOOS), to commission a two-year-long study of shark spatial behavior on Maui.  The research was conducted by a team from the University of Hawaii’s Institute of Marine Biology (HIMB).

shark bites in maui

Dr. Carl Meyer, principle investigator for the study, explained that the Maui Nui complex, consisting of Maui, Molokai, Lanai, and Kahoolawe, has more preferred tiger shark habitat than all other main Hawaiian Islands combined.  According to Dr. Meyer, “Tiger sharks captured around Maui spend most of their time on the extensive Maui Nui insular shelf, which is also an attractive habitat for tiger sharks arriving from elsewhere in Hawaii.  The insular shelf extends offshore from the shoreline to depths of 200 meters (600 feet), and is home to a wide variety of tiger shark prey.”

Although tiger shark movement patterns revealed by the latest study are generally similar to those seen in previous studies, the larger area of shelf habitat around Maui may be able to support more tiger sharks than other main Hawaiian Islands.  In addition, the most frequently-visited areas by tiger sharks around Maui include waters adjacent to popular ocean recreation sites.

Meyer noted “This combination of factors may explain why Maui has had more shark bites than other Main Hawaiian Islands, although we cannot completely rule out a higher number of ocean recreation activities on Maui as the primary cause of these differences.  However, despite the routine presence of large tiger sharks in waters off our beaches, the risk of being bitten remains extremely small, suggesting tiger sharks generally avoid interactions with people.”

Dr. Bruce Anderson, administrator for DLNR’s Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR), said, “This study provided us with important new insights into tiger shark movement behavior around Maui, and helps answer some questions about why that island has led the state recently in shark bites.  We agree with the study’s recommendation that the best approach to reducing numbers of these incidents is to raise public awareness of what people can do to reduce their risk of being bitten.  This has been our focus for a long time.  People who enter the ocean have to understand and appreciate that it is essentially a wilderness experience.  It’s the shark’s house, not ours.

DAR will continue to work with other agencies to expand outreach regarding hazards in the ocean, such as drownings, to include shark safety information so people can make well-informed, fact-based decisions.”

As for the 2012-2014 spike in shark bites around Maui, Meyer said the reasons remain unclear.  He noted, “2015 saw only one unprovoked shark bite off Maui.  Shark behavior didn’t change year to year, and there was no shift in human behavior.  These spikes occur all over the world, and are most likely due to chance.”

Citing previous studies, the HIMB team also noted that historical shark culling in Hawaii neither eliminated nor demonstrably reduced shark bite incidents.  Tiger sharks tracked around Maui exhibit a broad spectrum of movement patterns ranging from somewhat resident to highly transient. This ensures a constant turnover of sharks along coastal locations.  Sharks removed by culling are quickly replaced by new ones locally and from distant locations.

Maui Shark Report-Media Clips from Hawaii DLNR on Vimeo.

PacIOOS makes tiger shark tracks available online and provides funding for ongoing and future tagging efforts. Melissa Iwamoto, Director of PacIOOS explained, “We are pleased to be a partner in this important effort by offering an online platform where you can view the tiger sharks tracks. Providing ocean users, agencies, residents and visitors with relevant ocean data is our priority. While the tracks do not serve as a warning or real-time monitoring system, they are a great way to raise awareness about the ocean environment and to inform long-term decision-making.”

All of the partners agree that the more information people have, the better decisions they can make when entering the ocean.

Hawaii Tiger Shark Tracking Report: http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dar/files/2016/05/Maui_tiger_shark_spatial_dynamics_final.pdf

Hawaii Tiger Shark Tracking website: http://pacioos.org/projects/sharks

Hawaii Sharks website: www.hawaiisharks.org

Video – Subtle Uplift of Puʻu ʻŌʻō Crater Floor Over Past Few Days

The crater floor at Puʻu ʻŌʻō has recently experienced minor uplift due to inflation within Puʻu ʻŌʻō cone.

Click to view video

Click to view video

The crater floor uplift is subtle, and probably no more than about 1 meter (3 feet) since May 15. Small, hot cracks have appeared on the crater floor during the uplift. Time-lapse images from a thermal camera were used to make this video, which is looped 10 times to highlight the uplift.

Puna Film Green Lake Selected for Big Island Film Festival

The Big Island Film Festival at the Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i, which celebrates independent narrative filmmakers and their movies, has selected Green Lake as part of its slate of films. Only 58 short and feature films from around the world were chosen for its tenth year of the Festival.

Green Lake

Green Lake draws inspiration not only from the beauty and mysticism of Hawai’i, but also from B-Horror/Monster movies, The Twilight Zone and The X-Files. It’s a micro-budget Creature from the Black Lagoon meets Picnic at Hanging Rock, shot entirely in remote areas on the Big Island of Hawai’i.  The film was directed and produced by Derek Frey from a screenplay by Leah Gallo.  It features a multitude of Big Island talent, including cast members RaVani Flood, Thom Durkin, Valery Nuttall and Carmen Richardson.  The score was composed and performed by Matthew Reid with original songs from Big Island bands Technical Difficulties and Delight Talkies.

GREEN LAKE – Teaser Trailer from Derek Frey on Vimeo.

Filmed over a grueling nine day and night shoot, the core group of six cast and crew played multiple roles in front of and behind the camera.  They weathered the elements, without sleep to the point of exhaustion and mental breakdown – all for the sake of creating. Frey says the Green Lake shoot was his mini-Apocalypse Now. “It was the most challenging shoot I’ve ever been part of but also the most rewarding and I’m so proud of the result.” Green Lake is more than your typical horror film, it’s a warning to everyone that we must maintain our balance with and respect nature, or face the terrifying consequences.

Film Director Frey wrote:

The Big Island of Hawai’i has been a great source of inspiration for me. I’ve had the unique opportunity to become friends with many artists and musicians on the island. These friendships have led to a number of music video and short film collaborations. Many of these projects showcase the beauty of the land and the mystical power that surrounds it.

I’m fascinated with the supernatural aspect to Hawai’i and the tales found in Glen Grant’s Obake Files. I also love horror films and in 2010 created a short on the Big Island titled The Curse of the Sacred Stone. It was a horror/comedy that lightly depicts the implications of disturbing sacred land when an unsuspecting tourist removes a lava rock from a sacred site.

I still felt the impulse to create more of a straightforward horror film on the Big Island. Since my first visit to Hawai’i in 2001, I had heard about Green Lake, an unspoiled fresh body of water located in a crater within a mountainous rain forest in Kapoho. Green Lake is the largest of only two lakes in Hawai’i. Apparently Jacques Cousteau conducted a diving expedition in the 1970’s and couldn’t find the bottom. We don’t know if this is true, but one thing is certain, the towering walls of the crater make the lake seem bottomless. Discussion of Green Lake was almost one of urban legend. The fact is many people that live in Hawai’i have never visited the lake, though it’s beauty and power is incomparable.

My first visit to Green Lake, a few years ago, was incredibly inspiring. It’s one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been to. Accompanying that beauty is a deep and powerful mystical vibe. This place demands that you respect it and it feels like there are protective energies present. During that initial visit a group of us ventured onto the lake via a small paddleboat and our first jump into the water was met with excitement, exhilaration and downright fear. It’s dark water and though we know there are no snakes or other predators to fear in Hawai’i it certainly feels as though something lurks below.  Looking into the history of the lake I came across a legend directly associated with it.  The ancient Hawaiian legend says that Green Lake was guarded by a female Mo’o that had never been conquered and anytime a chief got close to doing so she transformed herself into a beautiful woman and distracted him. Upon reading the legend something clicked and a story started to form in my head.

From that visit the seed for a film was firmly established and I returned the next year with the Green Lake script in hand. Thus began a grueling 9 day shoot, pulling upon friends from the Big Island I’ve made over the years to play the roles and double up as crew. Our core group of 6 played multiple roles in front of and behind the camera, weathering the elements, without sleep to the point of exhaustion and mental breakdown – all for the sake of creating. Green Lake was my mini-Apocalypse Now. It was the most challenging shoot I’ve ever been part of but also the most rewarding and I’m so proud of the result. Green Lake is more than your typical horror film, it’s a warning to everyone that we must maintain our balance with and respect nature, or face the consequences.

A special mention must be expressed to the wonderful music that accompanies the film. Big Island band’s Technical Difficulties as well as the Delight Talkies provide the songs written specifically for the film. Matthew Reid’s terrific original score is more than I could have ever hoped for.

Enjoy the swim and remember “Horror Dwells Deep!”

The Big Island Film Festival runs May 26–30 at the Fairmont Orchid, Hawai’i and The Shops at Mauna Lani on the beautiful Kohala coast. The festival also includes food and beverage events, celebrity guests, an awards brunch, filmmaker/audience interaction, screenwriting workshops, Hawaiian music and culture. Green Lake will screen Saturday, May 28th at 7.30pm outside The Shops at Mauna Lani in Waikoloa.

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor’s Biggest Little Airshow Coming Up

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor’s popular remote control Biggest Little Airshow in Hawaii sponsored by Aloha Petroleum is back for its ninth year Saturday and Sunday, June 4 and 5, 10am to 4pm. Guests will be able to drive on to Ford Island for this event, or take the free shuttle from the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center. Parking is free. A family favorite, the Airshow features open cockpits, hangar tours, restored World War II aircraft, and remote control flying by some of the best pilots and aircraft from the Mainland.

2015 Airshow

For two days, Ford Island will come alive with remote-control flying, static aircraft and full-size aircraft on display, “candy bombings” over historic Ford Island Runway for the keiki, hands-on modeling stations, a Kids Zone with rides, food, drinks, retail, music, entertainment, activities and – new this year – snow. Open cockpits and access to Hangar 79 to see the Museum’s many aircraft exhibits and the Swamp Ghost and Nakajima Kate in restoration will add to the event.

This year the Airshow welcomes Warbirds West, an award winning team of pilots from around the country flying giant-scale remote controlled aircraft. A dazzling T-33 Thunderbird opening act kicks off the show followed by multiple performances featuring the A10 Warthog, F14 Tomcat, F9 Panther and the impressive F100 Super Saber flying at speeds approaching 200 mph.

Tribute flights will include a Douglas SBD Dauntless Dive Bomber, two Japanese A6M Zero fighters matched with a pair of “Flying Tiger” P-40E Warhawks, and two Chance Vought F4U Corsairs. In an epic display of air-to-air combat simulation, Republic P47 Thunderbolts will duel with Focke-Wulf 190 fighters. Multiple North American P51 Mustangs will demonstrate precision flying, and a Stearman biplane will perform aerobatics.

The Warbirds West performance will include Alan Szabo flying one of his explosive helicopter aerobatic routines in a circus-like aviation performance. The performances will focus on innovative aircraft, which are rooted to the U.S. armed services and their defense of our nation’s freedom. On the ground, spectators will be able to explore static aircraft displays and interact with pilots and crew members.

Talented local performers will also join award-winning Mainland pilots from the Academy of Model Aeronautics with their 1-to-4 scale planes to perform remote-control aviation feats. Specialty acts will feature: Pattern, 3-D fixed wing and helicopter aerobatic flights, aerobatics performances, South Pacific battles, “Candy Bomber” drops, and Skycam drone helicopters. Remote control aircraft on static display will include jets, helicopters, Viper Jets, Warbirds, B-17s, B26Bs, P-47s, a Zero, P-38s, Corsairs, OV-10s, and more.

“We’ll have spectacular airplanes and dog fight action that’s sure to have the crowd on its feet,” said Michael Fetyko, Warbirds West Team Captain. “Combining pilot and engineering skills with the technology required to pull off these breathtaking demonstrations supports our mission to inspire youth toward educational opportunities in science, engineering and mathematics along with a deep appreciation for our rich American history.”

Hilo Community Chorus to Perform Two Requiems

The Hilo Community Chorus will present Luigi Cherubini’s “Requiem in C minor” and Dan Forrest’s “Requiem for the Living” in concert on Saturday, May 28, at 3:00 pm at First United Protestant Church.

Requiem

The Cherubini, which will be accompanied by Walter Greenwood, premiered January 21, 1816 at a commemoration service for Louis XVI of France on the twenty-third anniversary of his beheading during the French Revolution. It was admired by Beethoven and performed at his funeral. Schumann praised it as being “without equal in the world.”

The five movements of Dan Forrest’s Requiem for the Living, (2013) form a narrative just as much for the living, and their own struggle with pain and sorrow, as for the dead. It will be accompanied by an instrumental ensemble and will be conducted by Dr. Daniel Mahraun, who first conducted HCC last spring at the Palace Theater. Rachel Edwards, last year’s recipient of the Hawaii Concert Society’s scholarship, will be the guest soprano soloist.

Moriah Mathson, student at UH-Hilo, will be the recipient of the third annual Hilo Community Chorus Tom McAlexander Choral Music Scholarship award for 2016. According to her instructor, Amy Horst, “ Moriah is a Senior Psychology major with a 3.96 GPA. She has been an extremely dedicated alto singer in the University Chorus this past semester, and I look forward to her continuing with University Chorus in the Fall, and then joining the Kapili Choir in the Spring, next school year.”

Admission is $10 and tickets may be purchased from chorus members or at the door. For more information, call HCC choral director Tom McAlexander (985-7192) or email tommac@hawaii.rr.com.

Hawaii Police Department Announces Promotions

HPDBadgeChief Harry S. Kubojiri has promoted the following seven sworn officers to the following positions:

Scott J. Kurashige, hired in 1990, was promoted from Area II Juvenile Aid Section detective to lieutenant assigned to Kona Patrol, effective April 1.

Jenny K. L. Lee, hired in 2004, was promoted from South Hilo Patrol officer to sergeant assigned to the Kaʻū District, effective May 16.

William C. Brown, hired in 2003, was promoted from South Hilo Patrol officer to detective assigned to the Area II Criminal Investigations Section, effective May 16.

Officer Nelson M. Acob, hired in 1999, was promoted from Hāmākua Patrol officer to sergeant assigned to the Communications/Dispatch Section, effective May 16.

Kalaʻe R. Lee, hired in 2004, was promoted from Area II Vice officer to sergeant assigned to the Kaʻū District, effective May 16.

Richard A. Itliong, hired in 2002, was promoted from South Hilo Community Policing officer to detective assigned to the Area II Juvenile Aid Section, effective May 16.

Gavin K. Kagimoto, hired in 2004, was promoted from South Hilo Community Policing officer to detective assigned to the Area II Juvenile Aid Section, effective May 16.

Hawaiian Electric Companies Propose Using Natural Gas with Modernized Generation

The Hawaiian Electric Companies today asked the Hawai’i Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to review and approve a proposed contract with Fortis Hawaii Energy Inc. to import liquefied natural gas (LNG) for electricity generation on O’ahu, Hawai’i Island and Maui.

key benefitsThe contract, the culmination of a request for proposals issued two years ago, would provide a cleaner, low-cost fuel to replace oil in the transition to achieving Hawai’i’s 100 percent renewable portfolio standard by 2045. If approved, Hawaiian Electric envisions beginning use of natural gas in 2021 with a 20-year contract ending as Hawai’i approaches its 100 percent renewable energy goal.

“We are committed to achieving our state’s 100 percent renewable energy goal with a diverse mix of renewable resources,” said Ron Cox, Hawaiian Electric vice president for power supply. “As we make this transition, LNG is a cleaner-burning alternative that potentially can provide billions of dollars in savings and stabilize electric bills for our customers compared to continuing to rely on imported oil with its volatile prices. LNG is a superior fuel for the firm generation needed to keep electric service reliable as we increase our use of variable renewables like solar and wind.”

At the same time, Hawaiian Electric is asking the PUC for authorization to construct a modern, efficient, combined-cycle generation system at the Kahe Power Plant to get the maximum customer benefits from use of cleaner, less expensive natural gas; better support integration of renewable energy; and facilitate retirement of three older, oil-fired generators at the Kahe Power Plant.

Critical timing for customer benefits

The Fortis Hawaii contract is also contingent on PUC approval of the merger of Hawaiian Electric with NextEra Energy. This project requires substantial upfront financial support and expertise that NextEra Energy can provide.  If the merger is not approved, the Hawaiian Electric Companies would still be interested in pursuing on their own the benefits of LNG for customers, but the companies would need to negotiate a new contract which likely would mean lower, delayed savings for customers and delayed benefits for the environment.

Significant projected savings and environmental benefits for Hawai’i

Hawaiian Electric estimates the natural gas contract and greater efficiencies from modernized generation could save electricity customers from $850 million to $3.7 billion through 2045, depending on future oil prices. At the same time, annual oil imports for electricity generation would be reduced by over 8 million barrels, or 80 percent, as soon as 2021. Hawai’i’s carbon footprint would be reduced by significantly cutting greenhouse gas emissions. The reduction of over 4 million tons in carbon dioxide emissions alone equals taking more than 80 percent of Hawai’i’s passenger vehicles off the road.

Savings on electric bills for typical residential customers using 500 kilowatt-hours a month, when compared to alternative generation planning scenarios using oil, could be as much as $390 a year for O’ahu customers. Savings for Hawai’i Island and Maui customers are estimated at $100 and $15 per year, respectively.

The savings take into account the estimated $341 million cost of converting existing generating units to use natural gas at Kahe Power Plant on O’ahu, Mā’alaea on Maui, and Keahole and Hāmākua Energy Partners on Hawai’i Island, and the estimated cost of $117 million for LNG containers. The logistics system to deliver and offload the LNG will not require development of new infrastructure off- or on-shore in Hawai’i.

“We know Governor Ige has expressed opposition to importing LNG,” Cox said. “However, we have just reached contract terms with a supplier after a long negotiation and now have much more than a theoretical plan for the governor, Public Utilities Commission, energy stakeholders and the public to consider. We believe we have a responsibility to put forward an option that has significant economic and environmental benefits for the people of Hawai’i, and that addresses some of the Governor’s concerns.

“This proposal, negotiated with the added expertise and experience of NextEra Energy as an advisor, will support achieving our 100 percent renewable energy goals. It will allow us to integrate increasing amounts of renewable energy at much lower cost while providing more reliable service for our customers. Further, our plan keeps new LNG infrastructure, both on- and off-shore, to a minimum and preserves flexibility to reduce LNG imports as renewable energy increases,” Cox said.

For 50 years, natural gas has been safely transported around the world in liquefied form for use in power generation. It is subject to strong international, national and local regulation and monitoring for safety and environmental protection. For Hawai’i, this proposal will provide enhanced security of fuel supply by avoiding the risk of sourcing fuel from more remote and politically unstable locations.

Under the proposed plan, Fortis — a leader in the North American electric and gas utility business — would liquefy the gas piped from northeastern British Columbia at its Tilbury facility in Delta, near Vancouver. The LNG would be transported from British Columbia to Hawai’i in mid-sized LNG carrier ships.

The Hawaiian Electric Companies would use natural gas in power plants to generate the electricity delivered via island power grids to homes and businesses where customers will use the same electric water heaters, stoves, refrigerators and other appliances as today. As with all fuel purchases and purchased power, the actual cost of the natural gas would be passed directly to customers on electric bills, without mark-up or profit to the Hawaiian Electric Companies.

Flexibility for the future

The price of natural gas will be tied to market prices in British Columbia, not to oil prices, providing lower, less volatile prices, especially as today’s low oil prices rise, as expected. The contract provides for lower

payments if the Hawaiian Electric Companies decide to take less than the full capacity commitment of LNG; for example, if more renewable resources come online more quickly than expected.

The vessels  and trucks (owned by others) and the containers  to import LNG under this plan are modular and movable so a significant portion can be resold or repurposed when no longer needed to serve power generation in Hawai’i. The carrier ships, barges and possibly the trucks to deliver LNG to power plants will be fueled by LNG, further reducing oil use in Hawai’i.

Modernizing generation for lower fuel costs and more reliable service

To gain the greatest savings for customers and better ensure reliable service as the integration of renewable energy increases from variable sources like sun and wind, Hawaiian Electric also proposes to modernize the  generation fleet on O’ahu. Three steam generators at the Kahe Power Plant (Units 1-3) would be deactivated by the end of 2020 when each will be over 50 years old and replaced with an efficient, combined-cycle generation system located at the plant further from the shoreline than the existing units. The location provides greater energy security, for example from tsunamis, and a less visible profile.

The combined-cycle system would include three modern, quick-starting, fast-ramping combustion turbines with three heat recovery steam generators and a single steam turbine to generate power using the waste heat that is recovered. This flexible, fuel-saving combination would be 30 percent more efficient than the deactivated generators. This modern generation is needed to balance the increasing amounts of variable renewable energy being added as Hawai’i transitions to 100 percent renewable energy. The combined-cycle system will be capable of using renewable biofuels.

Measured against current levels, the combined generation modernization and natural gas plan produces lower carbon dioxide emissions by over 4 million tons when fully operational.

To secure these benefits for customers as quickly as possible and ensure reliable service as the new combined-cycle system replaces old generating units, Hawaiian Electric is seeking Public Utilities Commission permission to construct the new generating system with an estimated in-service date of January 2021.

In the Commission’s Inclinations on the Future of Hawaii’s Electric Utilities (April 28, 2014), the PUC recognized the need for generation modernization and stated that Hawaiian Electric Companies need to “move with urgency to modernize the generation system as delays are lost savings opportunities” and should “expeditiously…[m]odernize the generation to achieve a future with high penetrations of renewable resources.” (emphasis added)

The proposed combined-cycle system is intended to be responsive to these PUC concerns. The estimated cost for modernized generation at Kahe Power Plant and to interconnect the new system to the grid is $859 million. This cost is factored into the overall savings projected for the LNG plan.

The Hawaiian Electric Companies’ plan also proposes using natural gas in two remaining Kahe units (5-6) and the Kalaeloa Partners power plant on O’ahu. In addition, natural gas is proposed for use on Maui at Mā’alaea Power Plant and on Hawai’i Island at Keahole Power Plant and the Hāmākua Energy Partners plant. Natural gas could also be used at the planned Schofield Generating Station and other future generating sites to provide savings for customers.

An Environmental Impact Statement will be prepared. In addition to thorough Public Utilities Commission review with input from the Consumer Advocate, community stakeholders and others will have many opportunities for input through the extensive environmental review and permitting approval process.

Additional details are available in the accompanying fact sheet.

PDF – http://origin-qps.onstreammedia.com/origin/multivu_archive/ENR/369667-hawaiian-electric-lng-plans-and-benefits-fact-sheet.pdf

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Entrance Fees Increasing

On June 1, Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park entrance fees will increase, as part of a three-year incremental plan to meet national standards for parks with similar visitor amenities.

Sunrise glow above Halema‘uma‘u Crater. NPS Photo/Janice Wei

Sunrise glow above Halema‘uma‘u Crater. NPS Photo/Janice Wei

The 2016 per-vehicle fee will change from $15 to $20 and the pass will remain valid for seven days. The per-person fee (the rate bicyclists and pedestrians pay) will increase from $8 to $10, and the motorcycle fee will increase from $10 to $15.

One significant modification to the new fee structure was based on public input. The annual Tri-Park Pass, considered by many as the kama‘āina, or residents pass, will remain at the current rate of $25 for 2016, and will increase to $30 in 2017. Based on public input, the park proposed a $30 fee for the Tri-Park Pass, instead of the national standard of $50. The annual Tri-Park Pass is available to all visitors and allows unlimited entry for one year to three national parks: Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, Pu‘uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park, and Haleakalā National Park.

New fees are also slated for all backcountry and front-country campsites, including Kulanaokuaiki Campground, and will be $10 per site per night. Backcountry campsites will have a stay limit of three consecutive nights, while the front-country campsites will have a stay limit of seven consecutive nights. Currently, camping is free, except at Nāmakanipaio Campground, which is managed by Hawai‘i Volcanoes Lodge Company, LLC. The new camping permit fees are similar to other public camping fees statewide.

In addition, entrance fees will increase for commercial tour companies. Currently, road-based tour vans carrying one to six passengers pay a $25 base fee and $8 per person to enter the park. The commercial per-person entrance rates will increase to $10 on June 1; and $12 in 2017 and will remain at $12 through 2021. The base fee will not change. Non-road-based tour companies, i.e. hiking tour companies that are on trails more than touring the park by vehicle, don’t pay a base rate but their per-person entrance fees will increase under the proposed schedule.

Recreational entrance fees are not charged to persons under 16 years old, or holders of the Tri-Park, America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Senior, Access, or Military passes. These passes may be obtained at the park, or online.

The current National Park Service (NPS) fee program began in 1997 and allows parks to retain 80 percent of monies collected. Projects funded by entrance fees at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park include ongoing trail maintenance, cabin repairs, hike pamphlets, restrooms, picnic tables, and more.

The transformation of the 1932 Administration Building (‘Ōhi‘a Wing) into a cultural museum that visitors will soon enjoy is also a fee-funded project. Entrance fees also protect the Hawaiian ecosystem by funding fencing projects that prevent non-native ungulates like pigs and goats from devouring rare native plants.

An NPS report shows that 1,832, 660 visitors to Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park in 2015 spent $151,246,200 in communities near the park. That spending supported 1,834 jobs on island, and had a cumulative benefit to the local community of $189,391,100

Hawaiian Airline Pilots Authorize Strike

Hawaiian Airlines pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA) voted today to authorize their elected union representatives to conduct a lawful withdrawal of service if contract talks do not result in a new collective bargaining agreement. Almost 98 percent of the pilot group voted, and of those voting 99 percent voted to support the strike ballot, which opened on April 25.

Hawaiian Airlines Plane in Sky

“This vote shows the deep anger our pilots feel toward their senior management,” said Capt. Hoon Lee, chairman of the ALPA unit at Hawaiian Airlines. “We absolutely do not want to go on strike, but if that’s what it takes to get a market-rate contract, our pilots have told us loud and clear that they will stand together and take that final step.”

Pilots cheered when Lee and other ALPA leaders announced the voting results at a rally near Honolulu International Airport today. The pilots plan to hold an informational picket at the airport on May 25.

The strike vote does not mean that a strike is imminent. The National Mediation Board (NMB) must first decide that additional mediation efforts would not be productive and extend an offer to arbitrate the dispute. If either side declines arbitration, the parties enter a “cooling off” period and are free to exercise self-help – a strike by the pilots or a lockout by the company — 30 days later.  Additional mediation sessions are not scheduled past June at this time.

The pilots’ contract became amendable in September 2015. ALPA and Hawaiian management began contract talks in May of last year and began working with a NMB mediator in January 2016.

“At a time when Hawaiian is making more money than ever before, our management stubbornly refuses to share those profits with the employees who earned them,” Lee said.

”Our patience is at an end and we demand a market-rate contract that recognizes our contributions to this airline’s astounding success.”

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the largest airline pilot union in the world and represents over 52,000 pilots at 30 U.S. and Canadian airlines. Visit the ALPA website at www.alpa.org or follow us on Twitter @WeAreALPA.

Award Winning Film “Psychoanalysis” to Screen at Big Island Film Festival

Australian filmmaker, James Raue’s own life is somehow weirder than his latest comedy, “Psychoanalysis”. The film is coming to Hawaii to play at The Big Island Film Festival in late May after taking out awards at festivals across the world.

“I grew up hating Psychologists,” Raue said, recalling how much of his life had inspired the film.  “Dr Phil was just getting popular when I was a kid, so psychology was seen as this easy solution to all of life’s problems.” Any normal family issue, such as arguing with siblings or not cleaning your room could land Raue or his siblings in front of a shrink.

“Then my girlfriend became a psychologist.” Raue revealed, finally being able to see the world of psychology from “the other side of the couch”. “I saw that not all psychologists were simplistic and the impact on those who truly care about their clients can be overwhelming.”

Raue attempted to show these two sides of the industry through the most comedic, yet tragic story he could think of. The tale of a psychologist who’s lost five clients to suicide and is determined to prove he’s still the best.

Raue attributes his history with psychologists to the success of the film.

“We made it on a tiny budget, with unknown actors and it would play at these festivals where nobody knew anything about it. But audiences couldn’t stop talking about it. It raises questions not normally heard and has an authenticity to it. So word slowly spread.”

In order to get the film finished James had to work assembling bounce houses for birthday parties. “The worst part of the day was when you have to take it down. These houses have your favorite Disney characters on them, so this little girl is watching as Elsa collapses. Most of the time they burst into tears.”

So far Psychoanalysis has won Best Of The Fest at the Victoria Texas Independent Film Festival, Best Comedy at the Canada International Film Festival, Best International Film and Best Screenplay at the Manchester International Film Festival.

When asked why such a dark subject matter was good for comedy, Raue replied. “When you’re dealing with death everyday, sooner of later you have to see it for how absurd it really is or you’ll snap.”

Psychoanalysis

Psychoanalysis plays The Big Island Film Festival at Fairmont Orchid on Friday, May 27 at 2pm.

For more information and exclusive clips, please visit: www.psychoanalysisfilm.com.

Ed Teixeira Appointed Interim Administrator of Hawaii County Civil Defense

After four decades of service at the federal and state government level, former Hawai‘i State Civil Defense vice director Ed Teixeira will be directing the emergency management operations of the Hawai‘i County Civil Defense Agency as interim administrator, effective May 16.

Ed Teixeira

Ed Teixeira

Teixeira is a combat veteran who served in Vietnam, Korea, Japan, and Germany, retiring from the U.S. Army as a colonel after 26 years of service. He began his emergency management career at State Civil Defense in 1996 and was named vice director in 1999. Teixeira retired from State Civil Defense in 2011. Since then he has worked as an instructor at Chaminade University in Honolulu and as a disaster preparedness and planning consultant.

“Ed Teixeira has worked for many years to keep the people of Hawai‘i Island safe in his role at State Civil Defense. We welcome his expertise and leadership at the helm of Hawai‘i County Civil Defense,” said Mayor Billy Kenoi.

Though he was born and raised on O‘ahu, and spent much of his career away from Hawai‘i Island, Teixeira bought a home in Waimea while stationed at Pōhakuloa Training Area in 1986. His familial ties to the island are in Honohina, where his mother was raised.

“I want to thank Mayor Kenoi for his confidence and for giving me the opportunity to serve the good people of Hawaiʻi County, said Teixeira. “As a resident of the Big Island, I am proud to be a member of his Civil Defense team. I extend my thanks and congratulations to Chief Darryl Oliveira for his outstanding work in the Civil Defense Agency, an agency with a history of excellence.”

Previous Hawai‘i County Civil Defense Administrator Darryl Oliveira retired at the beginning of May. Oliveira led Hawai‘i County Civil Defense since 2013. His tenure included preparation for and response to Tropical Storm Iselle, the recent Puna lava flow, and an outbreak of dengue.

Hilo Orchid Show Gala Preview Party Information

On June 2, the Hilo Orchid Show kicks off with a gala Preview Party from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the Edith Kanaka‘ole Stadium.  Ticket proceeds benefit the non-profit Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center.

 The Edith Kanaka‘ole Stadium is the site for the Hilo Orchid Society’s 64th Annual Orchid Show and Sale. The gala Preview Party on Thursday evening, June 2, gives ticket holders a sneak preview of the lush displays and the first chance to buy orchids, plants, and related products. Photo by Andy Kahili

The Edith Kanaka‘ole Stadium is the site for the Hilo Orchid Society’s 64th Annual Orchid Show and Sale. The gala Preview Party on Thursday evening, June 2, gives ticket holders a sneak preview of the lush displays and the first chance to buy orchids, plants, and related products. (Photo by Andy Kahili)

“The evening gala is a truly a ‘fun’-raiser.  People eat, drink, socialize, and have the first chance to shop for colorful, exquisite, and rare orchid plants,” said party chair and Ku‘ikahi board member Cody Frenz.

The benefit party features a selection of beverages, catered food, live music, and orchid pre-sales.  The event is zero waste, with eco-friendly eating utensils, plus recycling/composting stations.

Each party-goer receives an etched wine or beer glass, in order to enjoy the libations and take home after the event.  A wide variety of fine wines, beer on tap from Kona Brewing Co., gourmet juices, and coffee from Hilo Coffee Mill are served.

Pupu, dinner, and dessert buffets feature tasty treats by Island Naturals Market & Deli and AJ & Sons Catering.  AJ’s chefs are Dean Shigeoka and Audrey Wilson, the food columnist for the Hawaii Tribune-Herald.

On the menu are mantou buns with three filling options: tofu, pork, and teriyaki chicken; free range chicken tandoori with turmeric rice and raita; free range turkey meatballs with sweet and sour sauce; Thai beef salad with glass noodles; various types of sushi including vegetarian, house made poi chips with sun dried tomato hummus; purple sweet potato and Ka‘u orange salad; and hearts of palm with lilikoi dressing.

“We’re happy to be back at the stadium where the Merrie Monarch is held,” Frenz noted.  “With cool breezes, exquisite views, and shorter lines for food service, we’re all set for a fabulous gala on June 2.  We hope the community will come out to enjoy a fun party and support our cause of ‘Finding Solutions, Growing Peace.’”

Tickets for the Preview Party are $65 ($25 of which is tax deductible) and may be purchased in advance from Hilo Coffee Mill, The Most Irresistible Shop, Day-Lum Properties, and Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center.  For reservations, contact Jenifer at (808) 935-7844 x 1 or jenifer@hawaiimediation.org.  Tickets are also available at the door.