Quit Reading My Website… Obviously You Have Your Panties Wadded!

I’m not gonna allow folks to sit there and try to insult me for the things I post on my website.

I suggest if you are bothered by the truth of the things that I do post on my website…. that you don’t follow my website.

If you are gonna make libelous and or bogus comments on my site… I will simply put your IP address into my bin of folks that can’t comment on my site anymore.

Don’t shoot the messenger!

Be lucky you have folks in your community that will allow you to express your thoughts and opinions.

Sorry that folks don’t understand that protecting Puna’s future relies on us as grown adults to act ike grown adults.

Folks that want to hide behind BS are bogus in my eyes.
I won’t even see comments made by folks that I now just put on my blacklist so no need trying to give me shit!

New Playground Opens at Kailua Park

Mayor Billy Kenoi joined Council Vice Chair Karen Eoff, Councilmember Dru Mamo Kanuha, and members of the Kona community to open a new playground at Kailua Park near the Old Airport in Kona – a hub of activity for families participating in soccer, baseball, basketball, tennis, and any number of other sports in the surrounding fields and nearby Kekuaokalani Gymnasium.

The new playground at Kailua Park

The new playground at Kailua Park

“Growing up in Kona, we didn’t have many of these playgrounds. This project was an important investment in our community, in our keiki, and in our families,” said Councilmember Dru Mamo Kanuha.

With multiple areas designed for children between the ages of 2 and 12 years old, the playground features swings, multiple slides, climbing rings, covered decks, benches, picnic tables, and a pavilion. The $440,677.00 playground, built by IPR Hawai‘i, also features a grass-like safety surface and canopies for shade from the hot Kona sun.

“This playground was worth every penny. It’s not only a place for children to enjoy, but a place for parents and grandparents to spend time together with their families,” said Mayor Billy Kenoi, who credited the hard work of the Department of Parks & Recreation team and the contractors for getting the job done.

“My older daughter plays soccer here, so every time we would drive by she’d be looking out the window, waiting for it to open,” said Michelle Eggers, who brought her two children to enjoy the new playground. “It’s really nice. Beautiful.”

In recent years, the County of Hawai‘i has built new or replacement playgrounds in Kailua, Honoka‘a, Pana‘ewa, Pohoiki, Mountain View, Kea‘au, Pāhoa, Waiākea Uka, and at the Pana‘ewa Rainforest Zoo. A playground is also currently being installed at Hilo’s Gilbert Carvalho Park. These projects represent a $3 million investment in keiki playgrounds since the Kenoi administration took office in December 2008.

UH Hilo Announces Teaching Awards

Members of the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo faculty, including two from nursing, were presented special teaching awards at this year’s spring commencement held on May 17.

UH Hilo Moniker

“Teaching is one of the most significant components of any university,” said Chancellor Don Straney. “The awards presented to these faculty members are a recognition of outstanding accomplishments in teaching.”

Señora Monica Minnitt, instructor in Spanish, received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. Minnitt’s nominators described her as “an extraordinary, exceptional, talented and gifted educator,” who manages to challenge her students academically and creates a creative and nurturing environment.

The Board of Regents Excellence in Teaching Award was presented to Alice Davis, associate professor of nursing. Her nominators describe Davis as someone who cares “professionally and personally” for her students, who is filled with passion for the field of nursing and always makes herself available for private tutoring.

Receiving the Frances Davis Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching was Lisa Tostenson, assistant professor of nursing. Described by her nominators as possessing a “passion for nursing,” Tostenson’s teaching incorporates humor and real-life situations to skillfully guide her students toward critical thinking assessments relative to the evidence-based nursing process.

Jacquelyn Pualani Johnson, professor of drama, received the 2014 Chancellor’s Certificate of Recognition. This award recognizes faculty and staff whose accomplishments and contributions exemplify the vision of UH Hilo to prepare students to thrive, compete, innovate and lead in their personal and professional lives.

“Jackie is a leading exemplar of what our faculty and staff do best,” Straney said. “She is a person of remarkable achievement—both on our campus and in the local community—with her teaching, research, and community outreach. Most importantly to the mission of UH Hilo, Jackie is an exceptional teacher, creating scholars and performers of her students, who go on to have successful careers of great impact on our communities, our island, and our State.”

Death, Injury Persist in Hawaii Boating Accidents

In 2013, boating accidents in Hawaii claimed the lives of four people and injured seven during 19 separate accidents. Hawaii had five deaths, six injuries and 28 accidents in 2012.

Click to view statistics

Click to view statistics

These numbers highlight the need for continued awareness of safety while on the water. The Coast Guard, Coast Guard Auxiliary and the National Safe Boating Council are highlighting safe boating practices during National Safe Boating Week May 17 through May 23.

The boating public is strongly advised to take appropriate steps to ensure their vessels are safe and that they are prepared to operate those vessels. Mariners should:

  • Wear a life jacket. In 2013, 328 drownings occurred where individuals were not wearing life jackets.
  • Have and know how to use a VHF-FM radio. VHF radios are much more reliable than cellphones. Make sure you have a reliable means for contacting help in an emergency situation.
  • Carry signaling devices such as flares.
  • File a float plan so someone knows where you are going and when you plan to return. Information on a “float plan,” including templates, can be found on the Coast Guard’s boating safety website http://www.uscgboating.org/.

Throughout NSBW federal, state and volunteer agencies will offer safe boating classes, free vessel safety checks at local marinas and increased patrols throughout the Hawaiian Islands.

To find the location of the nearest Auxiliary flotilla and a schedule of safe boating classes, visit http://wow.uscgaux.info/content.php?unit=140.

National Safe Boating Week is an annual observance sponsored by the National Safe Boating Council, and endorsed and promoted by the U.S. Coast Guard.  Information on the NSBC can be found at http://www.safeboatingcouncil.org/.

A PDF of the most recent Recreational Boating Statistics can be found at http://www.uscgboating.org/assets/1/AssetManager/2013RecBoatingStats.pdf.

U.S. Forest Workers Help to Restore Ancient Hawaiian Fishpond in Kīholo

It’s National Preservation Month, and people all over the country are participating in events to enrich and preserve the treasures within their communities that make them special.

(L-R) Flint Hughes, research ecologist at the Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry, and Rebecca Most from The Nature Conservancy transport debris across the anchialine pool to a staging area where it will be chipped into mulch. (U.S. Forest Service)

(L-R) Flint Hughes, research ecologist at the Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry, and Rebecca Most from The Nature Conservancy transport debris across the anchialine pool to a staging area where it will be chipped into mulch. (U.S. Forest Service)

Staff from the U.S. Forest Service’s Pacific Southwest Research Station recently helped to restore an ancient Hawaiian fishpond in Kīholo, Hawaii, that has a rich history and tradition of providing a sustainable food source for the surrounding communities on the Big Island. Working in collaboration with The Nature Conservancy and Hui Aloha Kīholo, Station staff from the Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry cleared and hauled debris from the fishpond perimeter in order to reduce the accumulation of sediments caused by overhanging non-native plants, which improved foraging habitat for native fish and turtles. The group also replanted culturally and ecologically appropriate native species, restored habitat for rare invertebrate species, removed invasive weeds, and participated in native plant care within an area surrounding a nearby anchialine pool, which will be used as a nursery for future restoration activities.

Staff from the Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry, The Nature Conservancy and Hawaii’s Division of Forestry and Wildlife haul a tarp loaded with debris onto the raft as part of the restoration efforts at the Kiholo ponds. (U.S. Forest Service)

Staff from the Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry, The Nature Conservancy and Hawaii’s Division of Forestry and Wildlife haul a tarp loaded with debris onto the raft as part of the restoration efforts at the Kiholo ponds. (U.S. Forest Service)

Their work was part of an on-going effort to return the fishpond to its previously recorded ecological health, to evaluate the fishpond’s potential for revival as a reliable and sustainable food source within the community, and to improve the surrounding habitat to its former healthy state so that native plants and unique animal populations could successfully return to the area. In addition to saving and rehabilitating a valuable resource, project organizers used the effort to engage the community in fishpond ecology, scientific monitoring and on-the-ground conservation efforts while also connecting people to place.

Kiholo Bay

Kiholo Bay

The preservation project will be used as a platform that combines science and culture to teach and connect the community to each other and to Kīholo. In addition, the project attracts numerous local school groups to the fishpond, and engages volunteers and students in stewardship and research activities, including thinning invasive vegetation that is preventing access, damaging historic structures, and contributing harmful leaf litter to fishpond waters. The Nature Conservancy hosts volunteer restoration days at Kīholo fishpond the third Saturday of each month.

UH Hilo Announces Ka Lama Ku Awardees

Several University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo students and a pair of student organizations have been awarded 2014 Ka Lama Ku Certificates of Leadership for their contributions to the University and the community.

UH Hilo Moniker

The presentations were made during the recent UH Hilo Campus Leadership Program with the Ka Lama Ku Certificate of Leadership awarded to students in the following leadership categories:

Alaka`i Certificate of Leadership:

• Kamalani Johnson

Kuleana Certificate of Leadership – Being Responsible and Accountable:

• Kealaka`i Matsumoto
• Keani K Santa-Isabel
• Marcy Martinez

Mālama Certificate of Leadership – Taking Care of Others:

• Tracy Ng
• Mary Ann Kalei Baricuatro

Laulima Certificate of Leadership – No Task is Too Big When Done by All:

• Kapuaonaona Roback

Certificate of Appreciation:

• Koa Rodrigues

Two student organizations were also recognized for their leadership contributions with a Ka Lama Ku Certificate of Leadership.

Mālama Certificate of Leadership:

• Hawaiʻi Island Pre-Vet Club. Students presented with the Mālama Certificate of Leadership were Alexandra Doi, Carrie Nakagawa, Diana Kitiona, Gema Cobian, Kealaka`i Matsumoto, Kerstyn Au, Krystal Yamamoto, Meilani Jose, Santana Soria and Suluama Faaiuaso.

Laulima Certificate of Leadership:

• The Minority Access & Achievement Program Peer Assistant Linkages and Support (MAAP – PALS) Program with Peer Assistant Students. Students members receiving the Laulima Certificate of Leadership were Amy Horn, Ashley Kennedy, Austin Awana, Katrease Torres, Kellie Miyazu, Lashauna Wilson, Lindsey Muranaka, Mariah Potts, Mark Bigler, Rose Ann Navalta, Saengthong Douangdara, Sarah Amber Wakana, Shaylyn Fujii, Sheryl Visitacion, Zachary Tman and Zion Apau.

The Ka Lama Ku Certificate of Leadership is sponsored by the Campus Center Student Leadership Development Program and the Campus Center Fee Board.

Mandatory Boater Education Requirement to Be Enforced in Less Than Six Months

With just less than six months to go before Hawaii’s new mandatory education law for boaters is to be enforced, the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) would like to inform boaters that there is still ample time and multiple ways to become compliant.

Beginning Nov. 10, 2014, all individuals who operate a motorized vessel in Hawaii’s state waters must have taken a boating safety course and be able to show proof of certification.

Click to read the new rules

Click to read the new rules

The rule applies to all boaters unless they and/or the vessels being used fall under one of the exemptions mentioned in the new rule.

The text of this Mandatory Boater Education Rule can be accessed online at: http://files.hawaii.gov/dlnr/dobor/rules/amend/Amend-13-244-15-5.pdf

Any person violating this rule shall be fined not less than $50 and not more than $1,000 or sentenced to a term of imprisonment of not more than 30 days, or both, for each violation. The court may also prevent an individual from operating a vessel in state waters for up to 30 days.

DLNR has worked diligently to create multiple methods for complying with the requirement. There are three Internet courses that are fully approved, with one being offered free of charge. Classroom courses are being offered statewide by the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary. Two U.S. Power Squadrons are offering classes on Oahu.

In the next few months, numerous other course providers across the state will start to offer additional classes and DLNR will launch its own home study course. In addition, those who have already taken a course approved by the National Association of Boating Law Administrators can take abbreviated courses, free of charge, to become compliant.

A question and answer publication posted by DLNR Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation (DOBOR) is available at http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dobor/mandatory-boating-safety-education-qa/. Full details on all the compliance methods are posted at this site.

A study released in 2007 by the National Association of Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) showed that states with the longest history of mandatory education had the lowest boating fatality rates. For most of the boating safety community, this study was conclusive evidence that mandatory boating education saves lives. Hawaii ranked fifth on the list of highest fatality rates in the year the study was finalized. In 2011, Hawaii had a fatality rate of 44 per 100,000 vessels, second worse in the nation.

“A little bit of education and training can go a long way toward saving lives and preventing accidents. This is why the department initiated its Mandatory Education Rule,” said DLNR Director William J. Aila, Jr. “We can be easily persuaded to think of the ocean as wide open space. But because of the increasing number of whales that visit our waters each year, the burgeoning sea turtle population, the explosion in free diving, the popularity of stand-up paddling and other emerging recreational and commercial uses of our waters, there is growing potential for interaction between boats, marine life and ocean users.

“A boating safety course raises your awareness of your responsibility as a boater. All vessel operators should keep a constant watch and, beyond that, post an additional lookout to help scan the horizon whenever possible.”

New Stadium Opens at Honoka’a Rodeo Arena

Hawai‘i County Councilmember Valerie Poindexter joined Mayor Billy Kenoi and the Honoka‘a community yesterday at a dedication and grand opening of the Rose Andrade Correia Stadium at the Honoka‘a Rodeo Arena, home to one of the oldest rodeos in Hawai‘i.

The new 1,200-seat Rose Andrade Correia Stadium at the Honoka‘a Rodeo Arena replaces old bleachers that were exposed to the elements.

The new 1,200-seat Rose Andrade Correia Stadium at the Honoka‘a Rodeo Arena replaces old bleachers that were exposed to the elements.

The celebration of the $3.1 million project included a blessing by Deacon Larry Ignacio and a presentation by the Andrade ‘Ohana. The facility is named for lifetime Honoka‘a resident Rose Andrade Correia, a member of the Hawai‘i Saddle Club who helped develop the vision that led to the construction of the Honoka‘a Rodeo Arena.

“This rodeo arena is one of the important gathering places in Hāmākua. It was important to make this beautiful, and to make it to last for generations to come,” said Councilmember Valerie Poindexter.

The covered 1,200-seat Rose Andrade Correia Stadium replaces old bleachers that were exposed to the elements. The project also included replacement of the comfort station and judges’ stand, improvements to the pavilion, a new concession stand, and ramps and parking spaces to make the facility fully accessible to people with disabilities.

13 year old Leiana Rose Andrade Stout, great granddaughter of Rose Andrade Correia, was among the first people to ride in the newly improved arena.

13 year old Leiana Rose Andrade Stout, great granddaughter of Rose Andrade Correia, was among the first people to ride in the newly improved arena.

Among the first people to ride in the new arena was Leiana Rose Andrade Stout, 13, who showed her skills running around barrels on her horse Piko. Andrade Stout is the great-granddaughter of Rose Andrade Correia. “My great grandma didn’t do this for her. She did this for me, and my children, and my grandchildren. I think she would be pretty proud,” Andrade Stout said.

Construction was done by Site Engineering Inc., and Goodfellow Bros., Inc. The consultant was Inaba Architecture. The dedication and opening blessing included calf roping, barrel racing, and entertainment from the Honoka‘a Senior Club.

Today’s opening kicked off Honoka‘a Western Week. The rodeo arena’s first event will be the 58th Hawai‘i Saddle Club Scholarship Rodeo on Sunday and Monday, May 25 and 26, which will include more than 350 contestants from Hawai‘i and the mainland.

Stebbins, Martin Named to Top Corporation Counsel Posts

County of Hawai‘i Mayor Billy Kenoi has named Molly Amai Stebbins as the new corporation counsel, the county’s top civil lawyer. The appointment is effective May 20, and is subject to confirmation by the Hawai‘i County Council.
Hawaii County LogoStebbins has served as deputy corporation counsel since 2007, and is currently assigned to represent the Hawai‘i County Police and Fire Departments. She is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and the University of Hawai‘i’s William S. Richardson School of Law.

“Molly is a highly skilled attorney who has the talent and experience to lead the Office of the Corporation Counsel,” Mayor Kenoi said. “We are proud to have her leading our legal team, and she will do an outstanding job serving our community.”

Mayor Kenoi also announced the appointment of Laureen Martin as assistant corporation counsel. Martin has served as County of Hawai‘i deputy corporation counsel since 2009, and is currently litigation section supervisor for the office. Martin also worked as Maui County deputy corporation counsel from 2002 to 2009.

Stebbins replaces Lincoln Ashida, who resigned as corporation counsel on April 30 to take a position as senior counsel for Torkildson Katz Moore Hetherington & Harris. Martin replaces Katherine Garson as assistant corporation counsel. Garson will remain with the county as deputy corporation counsel.

MAMo Wearable Art Show to Debut on the Big Island

In celebration of Maoli Arts Month (MAMo), the PA‘I Foundation will debut their infamous Wearable Art Show on Hawai’i Island at Kahilu Theare, on May 31st at 7pm.

This fashion show will feature native Hawaiian designers in a fashion show like you’ve never seen.

Kainani Kahaunaele

Kainani Kahaunaele at the Na Hoku Awards Ceremony wearing a dress made by Micah Kamohoali’i.

Artist Micah KamohoaliʻI will open with a hula using original kapa costumes, followed by, Wahine Toa, with everyday Hawaiian wear, Maile Andrade exuding a 60s Mod feel, Keone Nunes with kākau, Living Hula with a local ready-to-wear line and Marques Marzan showing off haute couture designs.

images show models wearing designed by Keone Nunes and Maile Andrade photo by Kapulani Landgraf

Models wearing outfits designed by Keone Nunes and Maile Andrade photo by Kapulani Landgraf

Kumu Hula Vicky Holt Takamine and award winning musician Robert Cazimero will emcee the event, which incorporates Hawaiian performing arts into the runway show. The Kahilu foyer will host lei makers, Hawaiian food and a trunk show of the designers’ ready-to-wear attire. The Kahilu tech team is building a special runway extending over the auditorium seats just for this event. The wearable art showcased includes both traditional and contemporary garments worn for ceremonial rituals, cultural practices, and adornments.

Proceeds from the MAMo Wearable Arts Show benefit the PA‘I Foundation, a 501 c 3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to preserve and perpetuate Hawaiian cultural traditions for future generations.

Tickets are $60 or $35 depending on seating preference. Tickets are available at kahilutheatre.org or by calling 885-6868.

Parker School Student Winner of Auto Body Hawaii Senior Essay Contest

Auto Body Hawaii has announced the winner of this year’s Senior Essay Contest answering the question: “If you had the opportunity to recommend a new subject that is not currently being offered in your school’s curriculum, what would you recommend & why would it be beneficial for students to learn?”

All senior students from schools from West & North Hawaii were invited to attend. This year’s student winner is Keoni Beaton from Parker School. He wins a $500 cash prize.

Keoni Beaton accepts his prize for his essay "

Keoni Beaton accepts his prize for his essay “The Concepts of the Real World”

Mr. Beaton’s essay was very interesting in that he suggested students be taught the basics of finance while in high school.

Here is his essay:

The Concepts of the Real World

In school, teachers are often questioned: Why is it important to learn calculus while most high school students either retake or won’t need it in or out of college? This is an important question that makes everyone think about what is important for preparing students for life as an adult. A majority of people would agree money; money is everywhere. If you buy something, you need money. When you work you are paid in money and everything that adults do is related to money in one way or another. Most parents are expected to teach their children how to pay taxes, understand loans and investments, but don’t people go to school to learn what they can’t at home? Schools, public or private, are based on one goal: to teach skills and knowledge.

No one is born understanding what a closed-ended loan is or how conventional loans with variable interest rates work. Most people get their first checking account or credit card around the time they start driving to pay for gas or emergency necessities. Sure, the parent whose name is most likely on the credit card understand that it is an open-ended loan that has a fixed interest, but if you asked any high school student they wouldn’t be able to tell you the first thing about it. If schools taught the differences in loans and how to choose which is the best, young adults headed off to college or putting a down payment on a car wouldn’t get scammed by payday loans or advance-fee loans. Every day people are caught in financial pits due to their ignorance.

Another reason to start teaching personal finance early is that skills learned early in life can be refined over time. When people just start learning to read and write at the age of five it is very difficult and rough. There are lots of mistakes and it takes a long time to do something that in another five years is subconscious. Most of the math required to do taxes or balance a check book is algebra, and if schools started teaching money management and finance in ninth grade with algebra, by the time the student graduated they would be ready for life in the adult financial world. By the time people graduate from high school, they have mastered basic English structure, basic math and have an understanding of the basic sciences and art, but imagine how much faster and farther people could rise in life if they had a mastery of the basics of finance at the age of nineteen.

Currently in a high school student’s senior year they are worrying about where to go next, if they prepared for life as an adult, and they are feeling insecure about their future. But, what if they could get a boost to their confidence? A huge part of the insecurity caused by the shift into real adulthood is because many are unprepared and unaware of what to expect. Most people have questions flying around their heads all concerning what it means and what is expected to be an adult. With an established understanding of loans, taxes, and investments, young insecure adults headed off to college or their first real full time job wouldn’t have to worry about their financial future or security as much. Instead they could put their all into doing the best they can where ever they are.

Every year children fresh from high school are separated from the security of a familiar surrounding, friends and family as they take their first steps to being an adult. Yet this transition can be overly harsh and brutal, as most fail to launch into the world and return home to the security they grew up in. With an understanding of the bigger concepts of the adult world, the traumatic transition could be far gentler. As a high school student myself, all this applies to me and I wish that I could have had the chance to learn such an important skill in a place where I felt safe and knew I could make a mistake.

Parker Ranch and UH Hilo Presents “Happy”

Parker Ranch, in collaboration with the University of Hawaii at Hilo, produced a remake of the music video “Happy” by Pharrell Williams to showcase the uniqueness of Hilo and as a tribute to the university’s Spring 2014 graduating class.


Neil “Dutch” Kuyper, President and CEO of Parker Ranch, was the keynote speaker at the Spring 2014 commencement. The overarching theme of his speech—happiness—is a reminder for all to live a life rooted in happiness because life is too precious to live otherwise.

A special mahalo to the wonderful people of Hilo for dancing with incredible enthusiasm and to the video crew—Brett Wagner of Wagnervision (Director), George Russell (Cameraman), Ashley Kierkiewicz of Hastings & Pleadwell (Executive Producer) and Shawn Pila of ENA Media Hawaii (Assistant Producer) for making production awesome.

The song used in this music video is “Happy” by Pharrell Williams—Courtesy of Universal Pictures & Columbia Records.

DLNR Leads Management Team To Investigate Sea Urchin Disease

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR) and the U.S. Geological Survey National Wildlife Health Center Honolulu Field Station (USGS) are jointly responding to and investigating a recently reported disease affecting collector urchins (hawae or Tripneustes gratilla) in Maunalua and Kaneohe Bays.

A Sick Urchin

A Sick Urchin

Reports were initially made in late February by biologists from The Nature Conservancy (TNC) when they observed sick urchins on the mud scow barge, an artificial reef in Maunalua Bay. The USGS conducted the initial assessment and lab tests of the urchins. The preliminary diagnosis of the sea urchins is it is a disease that causes progressive loss of spines. Laboratory tests to identify the cause of this disease are ongoing, and some causes (e.g. parasites) have been ruled out.

On May 6, 2014, USGS and Division of Aquatic Resources staff responded to reports of urchins with similar lesions in Kaneohe Bay. Approximately 10 percent of urchins on one patch reef showed signs of the disease at that time.

In partnership with TNC, USGS and the University of Hawaii, DAR is coordinating a management team to address the issue and monitor the affected areas on a weekly basis. Lab results and monitoring plans will be continuously updated on the team’s Reef Response website: http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/reefresponse/

The Public’s Help Is Needed!
The Eyes of the Reef (EOR) Network serves as extra eyes in local coastal areas. The public’s help is needed to determine how widespread the sea urchin disease is. Here’s what the public can do:
1. Look for sickly collector sea urchins.
2. Make a report using the EOR Network “Fish Disease and Miscellaneous” online report form (www.eorhawaii.org/make-a-report).
3. Send photos of the sick urchins to: RRCPcoordinator@gmail.com
3. Please do NOT collect samples or specimens at this time.

Big Island Film Festival Workshops Filling Up – Tickets Still Available

The 2014 Big Island Film Festival at the Fairmont Orchid, Hawai’i kicks off this Thursday with a welcoming reception by Big Island Mayor Billy Kenoi.

Click to view the program guide

Click to view the program guide

A lot of folks may think that the festival is all about films, however, the festival offers filmmakers and folks interested in making movies educational workshops over the course of the festival.

On Friday there will be a workshop on “Trade Journalism as it relates to Film & Television” put on by Peter Caranicas.  Caranicas is Deputy Editor of Variety. His responsibilities include managing the paper’s features sections, which are published over 200 times a year. These specials cover film festivals, celebrate industry anniversaries, provide in-depth analysis of awards shows such as the Oscars and the Emmys, identify up-and-coming talent, and list key players among youth, women and lawyers in entertainment.

Saturday there will be a workshop on “The First 10 Pages” presented by Ron Osborn.

Ron Osborn

Ron Osborn

A writer/producer for 30 years, Ron has worked in half-hour comedy and animation, hour-long comedy and drama, feature originals and feature rewrites, on such series as Moonlighting, Duckman, Cupid, and The West Wing, as well as such features as Meet Joe Black, and has developed with Stephen Spielberg, Ron Howard, and George Lucas. He has been nominated for 7 Emmys, 3 Cable Ace Awards, and 2 Writers Guild Awards. He has written pilots for every primetime American network, as well as for such cable networks as Showtime, FX, USA, ABC Family, Lifetime, and Disney.

Finally, on Sunday there will be a workshop on “Adding Fiction to the Truth in Your Writing” presented by Jen Grisanti.

Jen Grisanti

Jen Grisanti

International speaker Grisanti is an acclaimed Story/Career Consultant at Jen Grisanti Consultancy Inc., Writing Instructor for Writers on the Verge at NBC, former 12-year studio executive, including VP of Current Programming at CBS/Paramount, blogger for The Huffington Post and author of the books, Story Line: Finding Gold In Your Life Story and TV Writing Tool Kit: How To Write a Script That Sells and the upcoming book, Change Your Story, Change Your Life: A Path To Your Success.

This will be the third year that Grisanti has presented at BIFF and I asked her about what her favorite thing is about the Big Island Festival and Grisanti said, “My favorite part of my last experience at the Big Island Film Festival was seeing films that really resonated with the audience on an emotional level. It was a tremendous feeling to be able to celebrate the massive accomplishments of these incredible filmmakers.”

Jen Grisanti at the Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii

Jen Grisanti at the Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii

I asked Jen what she has been up to since the last Big Island Film Festival and she’s been quite busy.
She has launched a new book, “Change Your Story, Change Your Life: A Path To Success”, Taught in Israel, participated in The Great American Pitchfest, the Story Expo and the TV Writers’ Summit in Los Angeles.  This was also her 5th year as the Writing Instructor for Writers on the Verge at NBC.


Mayor Kenoi flanked by Hollywood Consultant Jennifer Grisanti (left) and television star Eloise Mumfort (right)

Mayor Kenoi flanked by Hollywood Consultant Jennifer Grisanti (left) and television star Eloise Mumfort (right)

I asked her what her workshop would be covering this year and she said, “My workshop is about adding fiction to your truth in your writing and defining your voice. In my career, I’ve found that the writers who know their voice and how to utilize their emotional truth are the ones that succeed. I will also cover story structure and how to write strong personal arcs for your life and in your story.”

You can check out some of her recent books she has written here:

Jennifer Grisanti

Here are five recent blogs that she wrote for The Huffington Post that she feels link with the upcoming workshop:

The deadline to purchase entrance fees to these workshops is May 20, 2014  and you can purchase online or Call: 808 883-0394

Man Whose House Was Set on Fire Last Week… Announces Run for Governor

Last week the infamous “House of Cards” in Seaview here on the Big Island was burned to the ground in what the Big Island Police have described as an arson.

The "House of Cards" in Seaview

The “House of Cards” in Seaview

The house was owned by Charlie Collins and he could be seen walking around today’s Pahoa Spirit Day parade talking to anybody that would talk or listen to him.

Candidate for Governor Charles Collins and County Council Candidate Tiffany Edwards Hunt

Candidate for Governor Charles Collins and County Council Candidate Tiffany Edwards Hunt

He walked up to me and he said are you with the media or are you just taking pictures… well I really didn’t want to be bombarded by him at the time and I just told him I was taking pictures.

He was talking to folks and handing out literature to anyone that would listen to him announcing his run for Hawaii State Governor.

I’m not sure what platform he’s running on or what political party.  District 5 County Council Candidate RJ Hampton did say that he was a good friend of hers.

Charles Collins and RJ Hampton

Charles Collins and RJ Hampton

Look out Abercrombie… you got competition!

Pictures From the Pahoa Spirit Parade

Today was the first ever Pahoa Spirit Parade.  While the turn out wasn’t that great… the spirit was there.

Here are some pictures from today’s parade… Click to enlarge:

Wiliwili Tree From the Big Island Crowned Largest In The Country For Its Species

For over 70 years the National Big Tree Program has invited arboreal enthusiasts to locate the largest trees of their species for the title of Big Tree Champion. By calling attention to these iconic trees, the program raises awareness of the numerous ecosystem benefits they provide.

Photo by Nikiforos Delatolas, Waikoloa Dry Forest Initiative

Photo by Nikiforos Delatolas, Waikoloa Dry Forest Initiative

The pre-eminent catalogue of champions is the National Register of Big Trees, a biannual publication released by American Forests. The most recent edition included a wiliwili (Erythrina sandwicensis) from Waikoloa Dry Forest. Specific measurements and photos are available on pages 14 and 40 of the register, listed under the common name “Coral bean.”

The Hawaii Big Tree Competition locates the largest native and culturally significant tree species in Hawaii. To be considered for nomination, the species must be included on the national list of eligible species. Hawaii currently has 21 eligible species, but efforts are underway to increase that number. The largest trees of each species are referred to as “National Champions,” an award which is based purely on the tree’s measurements.

Everyone is welcome to nominate a big tree. The champions are decided by a point system, determined by the following equation: circumference (inches) + height (feet) + 1/4th of the average crown spread (feet) = total points. For a species to be included in the register, nominations must be given to state coordinators prior to Sept. 15.

To learn more about our current champions or view a complete list of Hawaii’s eligible species,
visit http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/forestry/info/big-tree/
To view the complete Spring 2014 National Register of Big Trees,
visit http://www.americanforests.org/our-programs/bigtree/ To nominate a potential champion tree, send the measurements along with GPS coordinates to the Hawaii Big Tree Coordinator at 586-0915.


Video: 2014 World Fireknife Championship Final Highlights

From the Polynesian Culture Center in Laie, Hawaii… The 2014 World Fireknife Championship Final Highlights:

Champion Viavia “VJ” Tiumalu (Orland, Florida)
1st Runner Up Falaniko Penesa (Samoa)
2nd Runner Up Malo “MJ” Mata’u (Laie, Hawaii)

‘Twilight’ and ‘Carrie’ Stars Come Out to Shine at Big Island Film Festival at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i

Portia Doubleday, “Carrie’s” nemesis in the current re-telling of Steven King’s wildly popular story, and Jackson Rathbone, star of the epic “Twilight” film series, will attend Big Island Film Festival at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i next week as celebrity honorees. Seeming to specialize in the darkly complex characters that today’s movie-lovers crave, Doubleday and Rathbone are young actors on the rise.

Portia Doubleday

Portia Doubleday

Portia Doubleday most recently co-starred as bad girl Chris Hargensen in “Carrie,” and played a cameo role as the sex surrogate in Spike Jonze’ critically acclaimed film “Her.” She also co-starred in 20th Century Fox’s “Big Momma’s: Like Father, Like Son,” and had a recurring role on the ABC comedy series “Mr. Sunshine.” Her first leading role was with Michael Cera in “Youth in Revolt,” named one of the ten best films of the year by the National Board of Review.

Jackosn Rathbone

Jackson Rathbone

Best known for his role as Jasper Hale in the hugely successful “Twilight” franchise, Jackson Rathbone has been an international presence in film since 2007. Originally from Texas, Jackson quickly found roles in both movies and television, earning recognition for his turn as a serial killer in “Criminal Minds.” Starring in major international box office hits such as the blockbuster “Twilight” series and “The Last Airbender,” Rathbone will also appear in the upcoming super-natural independent suspense thriller “The Dead Men.”

BIFF invites the public to exclusive soirees in honor of Doubleday and Rathbone on Saturday and Sunday, respectively, 5-7 p.m. at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i. Events begin in the Lehua Theatre with a video retrospective of the actor’s career, in-depth interview and Q&A, then stroll into Wailana Gardens for elegant pupu reception, with wines from Kenwood Vineyard, Kona Brewing Company beers, and an opportunity for informal networking in a luxury resort setting. Advance tickets are required ($35).

Doubleday and Rathbone will also attend the exciting Golden Honu Awards Brunch on Monday, May 26, 10 a.m.-12 p.m. The champagne brunch buffet in the Kilohana Room is open to the public with advance reservations required ($50). Winning films and Audience Choice Feature and Short will be announced during brunch. Audience Choice films will be presented Monday evening, following a stellar concert by award-winning Hawaiian musician WILLIE K.

Willie K

More highlights of BIFF include free family films at The Shops at Mauna Lani, two sets of daytime movies in the Lehua Theatre and nightly double features at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i Plantation Estate, screenwriting workshops and numerous opportunities to meet and interact with filmmakers and film-lovers from near and far.

Big Island Film Festival at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i is a celebration of independent narrative films and filmmaking, taking place May 22-26, 2014. Major sponsors include The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i, The Shops at Mauna Lani and Hawaii Tourism Authority/Hawai‘i County CPEP. For complete schedule information and tickets, stop by the information desk at The Shops at Mauna Lani starting May 21, visit www.BigIslandFilmFestival.com or call (808) 883-0394.


Lyman Museum Receives Grant Towards New Island Heritage Gallery

In the recent session, the Hawai`i State Legislature approved $500,000 in State Grant-in-Aid funding toward the Lyman Museum’s planned new Island Heritage Gallery exhibit.

The Lyman Museum

The Lyman Museum

“My fellow legislators recognized that this gallery space and exhibit will provide a continuing resource to showcase our vibrant history, for visitors, but especially for Hawaii’s keiki,” said Senator Gil Kahele, who was instrumental in securing the funds.  “This was truly a collective effort on behalf of the entire Hawaii Island delegation.”

Located on the second floor of the Museum in a 3,600 sq. ft. area, the new $2 million exhibit will explore a historical timeline of the many people, cultures, events, and ideas that left their mark on Hawaii Island and contributed to the rich, diverse mosaic of modern Hawaii.  The Island Heritage Gallery will make history come alive for visitors by exhibiting artifacts and telling stories in themed settings that recreate the look and feel of different eras.

“Our heartfelt thanks go to our East Hawai`i legislators, Senator Kahele and Representatives Mark Nakashima, Clift Tsuji, and Richard Onishi, for this generous appropriation that enables us to move closer toward establishing the Island Heritage Gallery exhibit.  People call the Museum ‘a true gem of Hilo,’ and the new gallery will be a jewel in the crown for everyone to enjoy,” emphasized Lyman Museum President and Executive Director Barbara Moir.

The new Island Heritage Gallery is the final phase of a 15-year journey to enhance the Museum’s position as a world-class learning facility and treasured resource for future generations.  For more than 80 years, the Lyman Museum has fulfilled its mission to “tell the story of Hawai`i, its islands and its people,” and continuously strives to make the visitor experience exciting and educational.

A repository of local history, the Lyman Museum currently houses a superb collection of cultural artifacts, fine art, and natural history exhibits, as well as special exhibitions and an archives, which includes historical documents, books, and more than 30,000 photographs.  Visitors can tour the beautifully restored old Mission House and learn about Hilo life as it was 150 years ago.  The Earth Heritage Gallery showcases the Museum’s world-class shell and mineral collections as well as geology and habitat exhibits in stunning settings.  The new Island Heritage Gallery exhibit will complete the visitor’s experience by providing a rare and well-rounded view of the real Hawai`i, as it was, as it is today, and where it may be in years to come.