District Court Judges Honorable Harry P. Freitas and the Honorable Barbara T. Takase to Receive “Peacemaker Awards”

On Sunday, November 10, the Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center—in participation with the Hawai‘i County Bar Association (HCBA)—is hosting its Eighth Annual Recognition Dinner and Auction in Hilo to help fund the non-profit human services agency.

“Founded in 1983 as a program of the Hawai‘i Island YMCA, Ku‘ikahi became an independent community mediation center in 2005,” said board president Andrew P. Wilson, Esq.  “Please join us to celebrate our 30th Anniversary!”

No-host cocktails will be served at 5:00 p.m., with dinner served at 6:00 p.m.  The buffet will feature three entrees—prime rib, Furikake salmon, and shrimp scampi over fettuccini—as well as salad, side dishes, and dessert.

Newton John Chu, Esq. will emcee the gala event, which features a silent auction, live auction, and door prizes.  Items up for bid include rounds of golf, adventure tours, entrance to local attractions, overnight stays, gift cards to restaurants and retail stores, artwork, gift baskets, flower arrangements, and more.

This year Ku‘ikahi is giving ‘Peacemaker Awards’ to the Honorable Harry P. Freitas and the Honorable Barbara T. Takase, both District Court judges serving second terms in the Third Circuit.

“The value of the services provided by the Ku’ikahi Mediation Center cannot be measured in dollars and cents or even in time.  What mediation affords litigants is a chance to participate in a confidential process in which a neutral third party helps people work out their differences to reach an agreed upon settlement.  This agreement may include issues that would not or could not be dealt with if they decided to try the case in court,” said Judge Takase and Judge Freitas in a joint statement.

They added, “In court, the judge decides, based on the law and the facts which are allowed to be presented pursuant to the rules of evidence; and as participants are often told, most of the time, neither party is satisfied with a decision the court makes.  In mediation, participants play an active part in and have a say in the outcome of their case.  That is the value that cannot be measured.”

2012 Award Winners: Judge Greg K. Nakamura (left), Prosecuting Attorney Charlene Y. Iboshi (center), and Andrew P. Wilson, Esq. (right)

2012 Award Winners: Judge Greg K. Nakamura (left), Prosecuting Attorney Charlene Y. Iboshi (center), and Andrew P. Wilson, Esq. (right)

This fundraiser provides a significant portion of the funds that Ku‘ikahi needs to provide free and low-cost dispute resolution services to the East Hawai‘i community.  Over half of Ku‘ikahi’s clients are at or below the poverty level, meaning they are unable to pay even modest fees for their mediation sessions.

“Family Court could not succeed without the partnership of the mediation center,” said Family Court Judge Anthony K. Bartholomew, who is being honored by HCBA at the event.  “I’ve begun thinking of mediation as one of the ‘healing arts’ because it resolves a form of trauma from the existence of the conflict.  If you can help people resolve their conflict, it’s like a weight has been lifted, and people can move forward.”

Tickets for the Annual Dinner are $85 per person (of which $50 is tax deductible) and are available from Ku‘ikahi’s board of directors and from Ku‘ikahi’s office in The Hilo Lagoon Centre at 101 Aupuni Street, Suite PH 1014 B-2.  For reservations, contact Ku‘ikahi Executive Director Julie Mitchell at 935-7844 x 116 or email julie@hawaiimediation.org.

Increase the Peace – Basic Mediation Training Starts September 28

The non-profit Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center is pleased to announce its fall “Basic Mediation Training” in Hilo.  Facilitated by Diane Petropulos and Catherine Lampton, the training spans two consecutive weekends, September 28 and 29 and October 5 and 6.

Diane Petropulos (front row, second from right) and Catherine Lampton (front row, far right) will facilitate a 28-hour “Basic Mediation Training” starting September 28.  Community members who would like to learn how to effectively manage and resolve conflict are invited to attend.

Diane Petropulos (front row, second from right) and Catherine Lampton (front row, far right) will facilitate a 28-hour “Basic Mediation Training” starting September 28. Community members who would like to learn how to effectively manage and resolve conflict are invited to attend.

In Basic Mediation Training, participants learn a variety of approaches for dealing with people in conflict—through lecture, group discussion, hands-on exercises, and mock mediation practice.

“Whether you want to improve your peacemaking and communication skills or want to become a mediator, this training gives you the tools you need to start resolving conflict in a peaceful and lasting way,” said Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center Executive Director Julie Mitchell.

The 28-hour training offers instruction in the process of mediation and how to apply advanced communication skills—such as active listening, summarizing and rephrasing, and using open-ended questions—in order to help parties resolve their differences.

“People in conflict often focus on each other as the problem, going head to head.  Mediation helps people focus on the issues, not on each other, so they can see that they have a joint problem to solve,” stated Mitchell.

“This training is perfect for anyone who wants to communicate more effectively at work and at home, become a better negotiator and problem-solver, and increase your value in the workplace,” Mitchell added.  “No particular background or personality is needed—all are welcome.”

Diane Petropulos, M.A., is a lead mediator with Mediation Services of Maui and handles cases both in court and at the agency. She is actively involved in providing Basic Mediation Training and follow-up mentoring for new mediators, as well as advanced workshops for experienced mediators.  Petropulos has extensive background in legal education as the former director of the Attorney Assistant Program (paralegal and conflict resolution coursework) at Sonoma State University.

Catherine Lampton is a mentor mediator with Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center.  She has mediated extensively on a wide range of civil issues and has facilitated meetings for the County Council, Hawai‘i Police Department, Department of Public Works, community associations, non-profits, and more.  Lampton was the Coordinator of Ho‘olaulima Student Mediation Center at University of Hawai‘i at Hilo/Hawai‘i Community College.  She has lead and co-lead numerous mediation trainings.

“Basic Mediation Training” tuition is $250, which includes training materials.  To register or for more information, contact Julie Mitchell at Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center at (808) 935-7844 x 116 or julie@hawaiimediation.org.  Applications are available online at www.hawaiimediation.org.

 

 

Hilo Orchid Society Preview Party Benefits Scholarship Fund and Ku’ikahi Mediation Center

The Hilo Orchid Society presents a benefit Preview Party to kick off its 61st anniversary Orchid Show and Sale at the Edith Kanaka‘ole Stadium. Held from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 1, the gala event features drinks, food, music, and orchid pre-sales.

The Edith Kanaka‘ole Stadium is the site for the Hilo Orchid Society’s 61st Annual Orchid Show and Sale. The Preview Party on Thursday evening, August 1, gives ticket holders the first opportunity to see the lush displays and buy orchids, plants, and related products.

The Edith Kanaka‘ole Stadium is the site for the Hilo Orchid Society’s 61st Annual Orchid Show and Sale. The Preview Party on Thursday evening, August 1, gives ticket holders the first opportunity to see the lush displays and buy orchids, plants, and related products.

“Preview Party guests will be surrounded by lush displays at their freshest expressing this year’s theme of ‘Orchids Around the World,’” said party chair Sandra Song. “Party-goers will have the first chance to purchase exciting new hybrids and exotic orchid species that growers will have for sale, as well as other unusual plants and orchid-related products.”

Libations include fine wine tasting, plus beer sampling from Kona Brewing Co. Ticket holders receive a souvenir wine or beer glass upon entry. Coffee will be provided by Hilo Coffee Mill.

Guests will enjoy fine wine tasting at the 61st Annual Hilo Orchid Show and Sale Preview Party.  Held at the Edith Kanaka‘ole Stadium on August 1, the gala event also features beer sampling from Kona Brewing Co. and coffee tasting from Hilo Coffee Mill.

Guests will enjoy fine wine tasting at the 61st Annual Hilo Orchid Show and Sale Preview Party. Held at the Edith Kanaka‘ole Stadium on August 1, the gala event also features beer sampling from Kona Brewing Co. and coffee tasting from Hilo Coffee Mill.

Delectable food will be available at various serving stations compliments of Island Naturals and AJ & Sons Catering, featuring the food stylings of Audrey Wilson. A cookbook author, Wilson writes the weekly “Let’s Talk Food” column in the Hawaii Tribune Herald.

Throughout the evening, music by local artists will fill the stadium. The gala event will be “green,” with eco-friendly eating utensils, plus recycling and composting stations.

Proceeds of the Preview Party benefit both the Hilo Orchid Society scholarship fund and the non-profit Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center. The Hilo Orchid Society scholarship fund offers financial assistance to students of tropical agriculture at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo. Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center provides affordable dispute prevention and resolution services to the East Hawai‘i community.

August 1 marks the Preview Party for the 61st Annual Hilo Orchid Show and Sale.  Held at the Edith Kanaka‘ole Stadium from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m., the gala event features drinks, food, music, and orchid pre-sales.  Proceeds benefit both the Hilo Orchid Society scholarship fund and Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center.

August 1 marks the Preview Party for the 61st Annual Hilo Orchid Show and Sale. Held at the Edith Kanaka‘ole Stadium from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m., the gala event features drinks, food, music, and orchid pre-sales. Proceeds benefit both the Hilo Orchid Society scholarship fund and Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center.

Song recommends buying tickets early because they expect to sell out. “We want to ensure a fabulous, satisfying experience for all our guests.”

Tickets for the Preview Party are $65 ($25 of which is tax deductible) and may be purchased in advance from The Most Irresistible Shop on bayfront at 256 Kamehameha Avenue and Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center in The Hilo Lagoon Centre at 101 Aupuni Street, Suite PH 1014 B-2. Or call Julie Mitchell at (808) 935-7844 x 116. For more information, visit www.hiloorchidsociety.org or www.hawaiimediation.org.

Mediation Center Receives Challenge Grant from Omidyar ‘Ohana Fund

Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center has been awarded a $25,000 challenge grant from the Omidyar ‘Ohana Fund of the Hawai‘i Community Foundation (HCF).

Kuikahi Mediation Center

“We are so grateful to the Omidyar ‘Ohana Fund and HCF for this opportunity. The Fund will match contributions 2 to 1, up to $25,000.  That means we need to raise $12,500 in order to receive the full match,” said Executive Director Julie Mitchell.

She added, “Every $1 donated will be matched by $2 from the Fund, totaling $3 of support.”

Ku’ikahi Mediation Center is the sole non-profit mediation center serving East Hawai‘i and one of only five in the state.  The agency helps individuals, families, organizations, businesses, schools, and others to find creative solutions to challenging situations.  Mediation resolutions tend to be long lasting and help to improve relationships, promote understanding, and ultimately strengthen the community.

“Our mediation services are provided on a sliding scale fee schedule, and no one is turned away for lack of funds.  Over 50% of our clients have annual household incomes of under $20,000,” stated Mitchell.  “In this difficult economy of high unemployment, debt defaults, and home foreclosures, our community mediation services are often the only option for those with low or no incomes to resolve conflicts and move on with their lives.”

All funds raised will be earmarked to support community mediation services and promote peaceful solutions in East Hawai‘i.  Since Ku‘ikahi is a 501(c)(3), donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.

To make a contribution, contact Executive Director Julie Mitchell at (808) 935-7844 x 116 or julie@hawaiimediation.org.  Donations may also be mailed to Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center, 101 Aupuni Street, Suite PH 1014- B-2, Hilo, HI 96720.

 

 

Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center says ‘Mahalo’

Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center’s Seventh Annual Recognition Dinner and Auction was a “rousing success,” according to Executive Director Julie Mitchell.  The November 11 benefit raised much-needed funds for the non-profit human services agency.

Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center’s mission is to provide a safe environment, an impartial process, and skilled, trained personnel for the delivery of affordable dispute prevention and resolution services to the East Hawai‘i community.

“On behalf of our community mediation center, I want to give a big ‘Mahalo’ to everyone who made this fundraiser possible, from our auction donors to the various folks who donated their time and money to contribute to its success,” said Mitchell.  “Thanks are also in order to the Hawai’i County Bar Association and the approximately 150 ticket buyers and attendees.  What a great crowd!”

Andrew P. Wilson, Esq. (left), Prosecuting Attorney Charlene Y. Iboshi (center), and Judge Greg K. Nakamura (left) were honored Nov. 11 at Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center’s Seventh Annual Recognition Dinner and Auction. Mr. Wilson was recognized by the Hawai‘i County Bar Association for 40 years of service. Judge Nakamura and Prosecutor Iboshi received ‘Peacemaker Awards’ from Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center for their support of alternate dispute resolution. The benefit raised over $14,000 for the non-profit human services agency.

At the event, Judge Greg K. Nakamura and Prosecuting Attorney Charlene Y. Iboshi were honored with ‘Peacemaker Awards’ for their support of alternate dispute resolution.  Andrew P. Wilson, Esq. was recognized by the Hawai‘i County Bar Association for 40 years of service.

Newton Chu, Esq. did a bang-up job of emceeing the event and conducting the live auction.  Floral Resources, Geraldine Hasegawa, and Sandra Song provided beautiful flowers that decorated the tables and were used as door prizes.  Unzan T.H. Pfennig donated his solo guitar music; Hawai’i Printing Corporation donated ticket printing; and Cunningham Gallery donated artwork clean-up for the auction.

Businesses that contributed auction items include AcupunctureWorks, Alawaena Orchids, Aloha Crater Lodge & Lava Tube, Big Island Candies, Body Glove Cruises, Boy & Debra’s Place, Café 100, Captain Zodiac Raft Adventures, Courtyard by Marriott King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel, Cynthia Rubinstein Real Estate, Inc., Discount Fabric Warehouse, Dolphin Quest Hawai‘i, Fair Wind Cruises, Frances H. I‘i Brown Golf Courses, Hana Hou Restaurant, Hawaii National Bank, Hilo Coffee Mill, Hilo Hawaiian Hotel, Hualalai Resort, Huggo’s, ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center, Island Naturals, Jack’s Diving Locker, Kailua Bay Charter Co., Kenneth Paul Hair Design, Kilauea Kreations & Volcano’s Lava Rock Café, Kilauea Lodge & Restaurant, Kona Brewing Co., KTA Super Stores, Kui & I Florist, & Lava Lava Beach Club, Local Hawai‘i Real Estate, Lyman Museum, Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Corporation, Ocean Sports, Pacific Tsunami Museum, Papa‘a Palaoa Bakery, Sig Zane Designs, Teshima Restaurant, 2400 Fahrenheit, Volcano Rainforest Retreat, and Yoga Centered.

In addition to mediation services, Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center also facilitates meetings for boards, associations, and other types of groups, plus offers trainings, workshops, and educational programs.  Their office is located in The Hilo Lagoon Centre at 101 Aupuni Street, Suite PH 1014 B-2.  For more information, call 935-7844 or visit www.hawaiimediation.org.

Hilo Orchid Society Preview Party Raises $5,360 for Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center

The Hilo Orchid Society’s benefit Preview Party, which kicked off the 60th Annual Hilo Orchid Show and Sale, raised $5,360 for Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center (KMC).  Held on August 2 at the Edith Kanaka‘ole Stadium, the benefit featured wine and beer tasting, catered food, live music, and orchid pre-sales.

Hilo Orchid Society president Julie Goettsch and show chair Sandra Song present a donation to Julie Mitchell, executive director of Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center (KMC). The $5,360 check represents a portion of ticket sales from the August 2 Preview Party, which KMC helped organize. The benefit party kicked off the 60th Annual Hilo Orchid Show and Sale at the Edith Kanaka‘ole Stadium.

“We were so grateful to be the beneficiary of this event for the second year in a row,” said KMC Executive Director Julie Mitchell.  “In these difficult economic times, partnerships between organizations are essential.  These funds will truly make a difference in helping us provide much-needed human services.”

KMC offers a big mahalo to the Hilo Orchid Society, especially president Julie Goettsch and show chair Sandra Song.  Mahalos to Kona Brewing Co., AJ & Sons Catering, Island Naturals, Hilo Coffee Mill, Sustainable Island Products, Kui & I Florist, and Hawai‘i Printing Corporation.  Thanks also to James McCully, Rene Ahu, Boni Norito, Leafy Hao, Danny Robinson, and all the volunteers who helped make the Preview Party possible.

Since 1983, Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center has helped to bring about peaceful resolutions to conflicts in our community–first as a program of the Hawai‘i Island YMCA, and from 2005 as an independent non-profit organization.  Ku‘ikahi is the sole non-profit mediation center serving East Hawai‘i, and one of only five in the state.

“Our agency provides a vital service to the community, especially in the areas of domestic and foreclosure mediations,” Mitchell stated.  “Over 50% of our clients have annual household incomes of under $20,000.  Our services are provided on a sliding scale fee schedule, and no one is turned for lack of funds.”

Ku‘ikahi Mediation Center is offering a 28-hour “Basic Mediation Training” starting Saturday, September 29.  For more information, call 935-7844 or visit www.kmchilo.com.  KMC is located in The Hilo Lagoon Centre at 101 Aupuni Street, Suite PH 1014 B-2.