Star-Advertiser Poll Confirms that Majority Oppose Federal Involvement in Native Hawaiian Recognition

A new online poll by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser confirms that despite continued support from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, a significant majority are opposed to the federal government’s involvement in the creation of a Native Hawaiian government.

Advertiser PollThe poll, which appeared on the Star-Advertiser website as a daily poll question for July 15, 2014, asked, “Should the U.S. Department of Interior keep open the process for federal recognition of Native Hawaiians?” An overwhelming 67% of those responding voted “No,” while only 33% supported the continuation of the DOI’s efforts.

In light of the strong opposition voiced at the recent DOI hearings, these results were not a surprise. Support for the nation-building process has waned over the years, but the recent efforts from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and the federal response from the Department of the Interior have met with increasing criticism. Many Hawaiian citizens are concerned to see the nation-building process pursued so vigorously despite the many questions that have been raised about it.

“The people of Hawaii have put up a giant flashing ‘Stop’ sign for OHA and the federal government to see” stated Keli’i Akina, Ph.D., President of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii. “In every possible venue they are expressing opposition to the state’s race-based nation-building program.   The question shouldn’t be whether the people support a Native Hawaiian government. The question should be whether the State will finally listen to the voice of the people and abandon this wasteful and divisive effort.”

“After the expenditure of millions of dollars and considerable influence, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs has still failed to convince the People of the merit of its nation-building effort,” continued Dr. Akina. “How much more will they throw away on this process? These resources could be better spent helping the people of Hawaii in real and substantial ways such as improving educational achievement or job training. Let us hope that OHA finally hears what the citizens of Hawaii have been trying so hard to tell them–it’s time to get out of the nation-building business.”

Office of Hawaiian Affairs Awards $1.5 Million for Charter Schools

The Board of Trustees of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) approved $1.5 million in emergency funding to seventeen Hawaiian-focused public charter schools for the 2013-2014 school year to address the budgetary shortfalls the schools have continued to face over the past five years.

The Nā Lei Na‘auao – Native Hawaiian Charter School Alliance (NLN) is truly grateful for OHA’s continued commitment to support these unique values-based models of education, that are at once ancient and modern. The schools’ successes validate NLN’s capacity to design and control the process of education dedicated to perpetuating Hawai‘i’s language, culture and traditions. The process helps the native learning communities honor the past, address the present and serve the future.

Haunani Seward, the Director of Ke Kula Ni’ihau ‘o Kekaha on Kaua’i explains, “Our culture is defined by our values.  When we learn our genealogy, we honor our ancestors.  When we recognize a place as piko, we aloha ʻāina.  Accepting and recognizing our leadership roles is kuleana and we mālama these relationships.  These beliefs are the kaula or rope that binds us together.  NLN captures this kaula, creating relevant curricula for today’s haumāna.  Whether through language, reforestation, hula drama, or sailing canoes, the outcome is ultimately the same – passing on these important cultural values.”

An innovative, culturally-driven educational approach, known as EA-Education with Aloha presents unprecedented potential to address the distinctive needs of Hawai’i’s largest, most undereducated major ethnic population.  The success of EA-Education with Aloha is also an indicator that Hawaiians can design, implement and evaluate quality models of education and that public school children in Hawai’i, particularly native Hawaiian students, should be given an option to choose Hawaiian-focused ways of education.  Furthermore through public, private partnerships and sharing of resources, we can develop a parallel system of education that is culturally-driven, family-oriented and community-based for all Hawai’i nei.

Research have confirmed that Hawaiians in charter schools perform better on standardized reading and math tests and are significantly less chronically absent than Hawaiians in standard public schools. NLN schools have high levels of school engagement and positive achievements due to culturally-grounded, strength-based approaches, which are sensitive to student and family needs.

Co-Administrator Allyson Tamura of Kanu o ka ‘Äina New Century Public Charter School (KANU), located in Waimea on the island of Hawai’i, is extremely appreciative for OHA’s continued support of Hawaiian-focused public charter schools.  “OHA’s support allows KANU to remain steadfast to our school’s vision and mission, positively impacting our students, staff, their families and our community.  Mahalo nui loa!”

OHA’s generous funding will support over 4,000 students at seventeen Hawaiian-focused public charter schools with enrollments that are up to 90-percent Hawaiian. These schools are located on the islands of Kauai, O‘ahu, Moloka‘i and Hawai’i Island.

OHA is a unique, independent state agency established through the Hawai‘i State Constitution and statutes to advocate for the betterment of conditions of all Native Hawaiians with a Board of Trustees elected by the voters of Hawai‘i. OHA is guided by a vision and mission to ensure the perpetuation of the culture, to protect the entitlements of Native Hawaiians, and to build a strong and healthy Hawaiian people and nation.

Commentary – Former Mayor Harry Kim on House Bill 106

I have just been informed that HB106, calling for the repeal of Act 97, will not be scheduled for a hearing in the Senate. The bill will die if it is not scheduled for hearing by Monday, March 18. If that happens, then Act 97 will govern the development of the geothermal industry in this state.

HB 106

It is so very difficult to understand or accept that despite all of the support and testimony for HB106 for the repeal of Act 97 by people of Maui, Hawaii Island, Kauai and Oahu, which includes the County governments of Maui and Hawaii Island, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Sierra Club, Hawaii’s Thousand Friends, and many others, HB106 may not be given even an opportunity to be heard by the Senate.

It has not been an easy task to convince people that this was not about a position for or against the development of the geothermal industry. This was about doing it right, with the concerns of the people and the environment being addressed.

What does Act 97 do?

  • Allows geothermal exploration and development in all state land use categories: conservation, urban, rural, and agricultural (including ceded lands).
  • Eliminates entirely the County government’s approval and review process over geothermal development. With this goes the entire permit process and people’s opportunity for meaningful input.
  • Allows geothermal power plants to be built anywhere in urban, agricultural and rural districts without a County land use permit or public hearing because it is a right by law of Act 97.
  • Allows geothermal exploratory and development drilling in all state land use categories of conservation, urban, rural, and agricultural land with only a BLNR permit.
  • Reinforces the elimination of the people’s right to a contested case hearing.
  • States that geothermal exploration and development are permissible in all conservation, agricultural, urban and rural zones; i.e. anywhere in the state.

It is noted that the sponsors of Act 97 originally attempted to exempt exploratory geothermal wells from Ch. 343, the state EIS/EA laws. Due to opposition, they sought an exemption from EIS/EA requirements from the Office of Environmental Quality Control in May 2012, but fortunately, this effort failed. Imagine what it would be today if this had passed. Imagine the only notification that the public would have of geothermal drilling would be waking up in the morning and seeing the drilling rig! It is of concern that the supporters of Act 97 may try again.

I consider Act 97 a huge threat to Hawaii’s people and its environment. I believe that Act 97 shows a blatant disregard for the community, the environment, local units of government, and the County and State laws of zoning and land use.

It is difficult to understand or accept that sweeping land use changes were made without any care or mention of people, of land, or of lifestyle. I ask for understanding that the sadness expressed here is not just about the development of the geothermal industry. This is about the relationship between the people and their government. This is about a hope for a government that is an extension of the people, and not for special interests or financial gain. It is asked that you become aware that if Act 97 is not repealed, it will open the way to an open door policy for the development of the geothermal industry including “enhanced geothermal systems (EGS)” or “fracking,” which is now being explored by the State of Hawaii. As stated, this is not about being for or against geothermal, this is about doing it right, with the greatest care of impact on environment and people.

At this time, efforts are being made to see how we can ensure that a hearing will be scheduled on HB106 in spite of efforts to kill the bill. It is probable, due to the lateness of this writing, that the deadline of March 18 will have passed. If you are reading this before the deadline of March 18, I ask that you contact the following Senators and ask that HB106 be scheduled for hearing: Senator Malama Solomon, Chair of the Committee on Water and Land (808-586-7335); Senator Mike Gabbard, Chair of the Committee on Energy and Environment (808-586-6830), and Senator Will Espero, Chair of the Committee on Public Safety, Intergovernmental and Military Affairs (808-586-6360).

HB106, that calls for the repeal of Act 97, needs your help. This Act is a blatant disrespect of people, local units of government, of lifestyle, and impact on environment. It is hoped that our government will be of fairness and do what is right by law and a sense of what is right.

Harry Kim

 

North Hawaii Community Hospital Announces Leina’ala Crawford, M.D., as Medical Director of Kaheleaulani

Family Medicine Physician Leina’ala Crawford, M.D., joins North Hawaii Community Hospital’s Kaheleaulani, a Native Hawaiian Health Program. Her exciting addition to the NHCH team and Kaheleaulani program will help to better meet the needs of Native Hawaiians, who make up nearly 30 percent of the community NHCH serves.

Physician Leina’ala Crawford, M.D

Physician Leina’ala Crawford, M.D

As Medical Director of Kaheleaulani, Dr. Crawford will provide medical and administrative guidance, leadership, oversight and quality assurance for the clinic, in addition to seeing patients as Kaheleaulani’s primary medical physician. “It is an honor to be a part of a movement to better the health and well being of our people of Hawai’i,” says Dr. Crawford. Kaheleaulani’s mission is to clearly identify Native Hawaiian health disparities particular to North Hawai’i and to clearly formulate a plan of action with the goal of rectifying those health disparities.

“Dr. Crawford has energy and understanding of Native Hawaiian health that is obviously an important component of her personal identity. We are humbled and grateful to have her join our Kaheleaulani team,” says Dr. Claren Ku’ulei Kealoha-Beaudet, Kaheleaulani’s Clinical Psychologist and Program Director. Together, Dr. Crawford and Dr. Kealoha-Beaudet will oversee the program’s mission-driven Ho’omalule Project, which provides Native Hawaiian ‘ohana a comprehensive program with the highest quality, culturally informed medical, behavioral and psychosocial change interventions. Thanks to funding support from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, the Ho’omalule Project supports qualified participants in reducing their body weight by 10% or more over a 12 month period by empowering Native Hawaiians to be proactive in their overall health and well-being.

Most recently, Dr. Crawford served as Urgent Care and Family Practice Physician at Overlake Hospital in Bellevue, Washington. In addition, she has experience with obstetrics, gynecology, pediatrics, sports medicine, as well as managing hospitalized patients with chronic and complicated issues. Dr. Crawford received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology from Central Washington University, Medical degree from Creighton Medical School in Omaha, NE, and completed residency in Family Medicine at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, MN.

Dr. Crawford is another new physician recruited by North Hawaii Community Hospital’s North Hawaii Medical Group, which was established in 2011 to hire physicians directly in an effort to better retain physicians on Hawaii Island and work closely with community physicians to form a highly coordinated and integrated system of care. Kaheleaulani, formerly known as the Native Hawaiian Health Clinic at NHCH, opened in September 2011.

Kaheleaulani is currently accepting patients with a target population of Native Hawaiians age 13 and older, non-Hawaiians who are married to a Native Hawaiian or are a life partner of a Native Hawaiian, non-Hawaiians who are widowed and whose spouse was a Native Hawaiian, and non-Hawaiians who are divorced or separated from a Native Hawaiian and have Native Hawaiian children. Kaheleaulani is located in North Hawaii Community Hospital at 67-1125 Mamalahoa Highway, Kamuela, HI 96743. For more information or to make an appointment, please call 808-881-4843.

 

21st Annual Hawaiian Family afFair on Saturday

Nā Pua No`eau, the Center for Gifted and Talented Native Hawaiian Children, presents its 21st annual Hawaiian Family afFair on Saturday, March 2, from 9-3 p.m. on the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Campus Center Plaza. The event is free and open to the public.

Na Pua Noeau

The theme of this year’s event is Ke Ola Mau (perpetuating our families through health and wellness) and honors Aunty Edna Baldado. Kaho`okele Crabbe will emcee with special guest emcee, former Nā Pua No`eau student and television news reporter, Mileka Lincoln.

Exhibits will highlight the various services available in the areas of health, education and social services such as free health screening and workshops. Participants can also dance for fitness to Zumba, Hip Hop or hula, enjoy live entertainment and visit a variety of food, arts and crafts booths. Children’s activities include a Keiki Fitness Center for ages six months to six years.

The event is produced in partnership with the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Queen Lili`uokalani Children’s Center, Hui Mālama Ola Nā ‘Ōiwi, Kamehameha Schools, Hawaiian Civic Club of Hilo, INPEACE Keiki Steps, Hawaiʻi Community College, UH Hilo-Kipuka and the UH Hilo Minority Access and Achievement Program.

For more information, call the Nā Pua No`eau office at (808) 974-7678.

Governor Abercrombie Appoints Annelle Amaral to Hawaii Paroling Authority

Gov. Neil Abercrombie today announced the appointment of Annelle C. Amaral to the Hawaii Paroling Authority, effective immediately.

Annelle Amaral

Annelle Amaral

The interim appointment fills a new seat in compliance with Act 139 of the 2012 Legislature, which increased Hawaii Paroling Authority members from three to five. Subject to state Senate confirmation, Amaral’s term will expire June 30, 2015.

“Annelle’s breadth of experience is as impressive as it is diverse, ranging from state Legislator to Native Hawaiian cultural liaison to motorpatrol officer, all of which will provide valuable insight and the necessary perspective critical to her duties on the Hawaii Paroling Authority,”said Gov. Abercrombie.

From 1988 to 1996, Amaral served in the state House of Representatives, where she served as Majority Floor Leader, vice chair of the Judiciary and Housing Committees, and chair of the Women’s Legislative Caucus.

For more than a decade, Amaral has provided community facilitation, strategic planning and community coordination for a wide range of government agencies, businesses and organizations. From 2008 until recently, she worked as a Native Hawaiian liaison to the Garrison Commander, U.S. Army Hawaii, providing information, coordination and direction on matters relating to Army and Native Hawaiian concerns.

Previously, Amaral was director of public affairs for Planned Parenthood of Hawaii from 2002 to 2008, as well as special projects coordinator on projects relating to domestic violence for Legal Aid Society of Hawaii from 1999 to 2001.

During the Ariyoshi Administration, Amaral coordinated the Governor’s Executive Order for the Affirmative Action program on a statewide basis, provided technical assistance to departments in the executive branch and served as a liaison with federal compliance agencies. She also worked as a coordinator for the Coalition Against Sexual Assault, a program administrator for YWCA Hawaii, an assistant administrator for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, a motorpatrol officer for the Honolulu Police Department, and a private investigator.

Amaral is a former state Senate President-appointed member of the Hawaii State Judicial Selection Commission; first vice president of the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs, Oahu Council; and board member of the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement. She is a past president and founder of Ahahui Siwila Hawaii O Kapolei; past chair of the Oahu County Committee of the Democratic Party of Hawaii; former chair and member of the Hawaii Coalition Against Sexual Assault; and past chair of the Women’s Legislative Coalition.

Her extensive accolades include being the Women’s History Month Honoree of the State Commission on the Status of Women (2011), as well as the recipient of the Patsy T. Mink Award of Excellence (2009), Lei Hulu Mamo Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Hawaiian Business Association (1999), Legislator of the Year from the Hawaii Psychological Association (1991), and Officer of the Year from the International Association of Women Police Officers (1981).

Amaral, who resides in Honolulu, earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Dayton, Ohio.

 

North Hawaii Community Hospital’s Kaheleaulani Awarded OHA Grant

North Hawaii Community Hospital’s (NHCH) newly named Kaheleaulani, a Native Hawaiian Health Program, was recently awarded a grant of $241,000 from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA). The purpose of this grant is to begin a Native Hawaiian health disparities initiative called The Ho’omalule Project, which addresses obesity and physical health Improvements in Native Hawaiians.

NHCH held a public blessing and open house of Kaheleaulani, a Native Hawaiian Health Program, on Friday, August 31st at 9:00 a.m. “NHCH’s Kaheleaulani, a Native Hawaiian Health Program, helps meet the needs of Native Hawaiians which make up nearly 30 percent of the community NHCH serves,” says Ken Wood, President and CEO of NHCH.

“We are excited to partner with the Office of Hawaiian Affairs in addressing these important issues of obesity and diabetes,” says Bill Brown, CEO of NHCH. The Ho’omalule Project supports qualified participants in reducing their body weight by 10% or more over a 12 month period by empowering Native Hawaiians to be proactive in their overall health and well-being. In accordance with NHCH’s mission to improve the health status of North Hawai‘i, Kaheleaulani’s mission is to improve the health status of Native Hawaiian ‘ohana by providing culturally-appropriate, high-quality medical and behavioral health services for all Native Hawaiian ‘ohana, to clearly identify Native Hawaiian health disparities particular to North Hawai‘I, and to formulate a plan of action with the goal of rectifying those disparities.

“Over the last year, we have identified a high rate of Native Hawaiians in North Hawaii who are currently at risk of chronic disease due to diabetes or obesity,” says Dr. Claren Ku’ulei Kealoha-Beaudet, Clinical Psychologist and Kaheleaulani Behavioral Services Director. “Funding support from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs makes the Ho’omalule Project possible, providing Native Hawaiian ‘ohana a comprehensive program with the highest quality, culturally informed medical, behavioral and psychosocial change interventions. “NHCH looks forward to helping our Native Hawaiian communities and their families with health services that will provide the kokua they need,” says Bill Brown. “Our team includes behavioral health specialists, medical providers and patient care coordinators, who work together with Ho’omalule Project participants to develop an intensive exercise, nutrition, and health program unique to each person,” says Dr. Claren Kealoha-Beaudet. “We will empower Native Hawaiians to be proactive in their overall health and well-being by offering supportive opportunities and community connections to maintain weight loss, including nutrition planning and preparation, fitness and movement planning, as well as coaching, behavioral change therapy sessions, huaka’i (cultural excursions) and program incentives, such as gift certificates and food baskets specially prepared for program participants.

“Kaheleaulani understands and embraces a culturally-appropriate healthcare approach for Native Hawaiians and takes into account traditional Hawaiian healing principles that differ significantly from those of Western medicine,” says Dr. Claren Kealoha-Beaudet. “We envision a vibrant, inter-dependent Native Hawaiian community based on cultural values with individuals achieving their optimal spiritual, mental and physical potential.”

Kaheleaulani, formerly known as the Native Hawaiian Health Clinic, opened in September 2011. During the past year, NHCH renovated its facilities to better accommodate this program. NHCH recently held a blessing of Kaheleaulani to mark its new name and space. “The name Kaheleaulani honors Lucy Davis Henriques’ wishes as stated in her will executed in 1932 to establish a medical facility to care for the families of Waimea,” says Dr. Claren Kealoha-Beaudet. Kaheleaulani was most likely a name within Lucy Henriques’ family.

Kaheleaulani is seeking qualified patients to participate in The Ho’omalule Project. Participants must reside in NHCH’s service area and be identified by their medical doctor or community provider as being in crisis or at risk of chronic disease due to diabetes or obesity. Kaheleaulani is also currently accepting patients with a target population of Native Hawaiians age 13 and older, non-Hawaiians who are married to a Native Hawaiian or are a life partner of a Native Hawaiian, non-Hawaiians who are widowed and whose spouse was a Native Hawaiian, and non-Hawaiians who are divorced or separated from a Native Hawaiian and have Native Hawaiian children. Kaheleaulani is located in North Hawaii Community Hospital at 67-1125 Mamalahoa Highway, Kamuela, HI 96743. For more information about Kaheleaulani, The Ho’omalule Project or to make an appointment, please call 808-881-4843.

NHCH Background: North Hawaii Community Hospital (NHCH) is a rural 33-bed acute care hospital located in Kamuela, on Hawai‘i Island. Non-profit and locally governed, the hospital opened in May 1996 and cares for Hawai‘i Island residents and visitors. NHCH offers an extensive set of hospital services that are centered on patient needs, creating a healing experience for the whole person – mind, body and spirit.

Kanu o ka ‘Āina Celebrates Building Completions

Kanu o ka ‘Āina (KANU) New Century Public Charter School, with its nonprofit partner Kanu o ka ‘Āina Learning ´Ohana (KALO)  in Waimea, will celebrate the completion of two new buildings, Hālau Poki´i and Hālau Puke, on Tuesday, September 4.  U.S. Senator Daniel K. Akaka will be among the dignitaries attending the celebration.

“We couldn’t be happier right now,” said Pat Bergin, KANU co-administrator. “It means so much to everyone involved – teachers, parents, volunteers and particularly our more than 250 students, to be together in such a special place in these beautiful new buildings.”

The two buildings, completed in time for the new school year, allow all KANU students to be accommodated together at Kauhale ‘Ōiwi O Pu‘ukapu.  The buildings occupy a site on Department of Hawaiian Homes Land and are part of KALO’s womb-to-tomb community based initiatives to support culture based education and the community.

Within Hālau Puke is a native library for school and community use. The library is supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Classrooms for KANU students’ grades 6 through 12 are also in a portion of the library building.

Hālau Poki´i is home to preschool classrooms through grade 5. The private preschool, Malamapokii, is operated by KALO and supported by Kamehameha Schools. Having the private preschool alongside KANU’s K-12 school helps create a seamless early education transition as part of the public private partnership between KALO and KANU.

Two off-site outdoor learning labs at Puupulehu and Waipi´o expand the learning opportunities further.

Hālau Ho‘olako has been occupied at the site on Department of Hawaiian Home Lands since 2009. Hālau Ho‘olako also serves as a community resource and technology center.

Although KANU is not an immersion school, Hawaiian culture and language are integrated into the curriculum from preschool on. KANU integrates Hawaiian culture, language, traditions, community and the natural environment in a curriculum that is project-based and place-based.

As a free public K-12 school, KANU is held to the same performance expectations and same assessment testing that all schools throughout the state must follow. The school achieved Annual Yearly Progress Safe Harbor status for the 2012-13 school year and has received six full years of accreditation by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

KALO executive director Taffi Wise expressed appreciation for the support from DHHL, Kamehameha Schools, Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Castle, Pa´ahana Enterprises, Quality Builders and the Waimea Community who have all had a role in reaching this milestone. “However, we are not done,” Wise said. “KANU still needs a cafeteria, high school classrooms and more. Since charter schools do not receive funding, KALO and community partners will continue efforts to perpetuate Hawai´i’s culture through charter schools like KANU.”

Learn more at kanu.kalo.org or call 890-8144.

About Kanu o Ka ‘Āina Learning Ohana

Kanu O Ka ‘Āina Learning ´Ohana (KALO) is a nonprofit educational organization based in Waimea that assists statewide with Hawaiian-focus charter schools. Incorporated in 2000 as a Native Hawaiian nonprofit (KALO) provides viable choices in education, which empower Hawaiian learners of all ages to remain natives of the Hawaiian Islands inhabited by our people for over 2000 years. KALO’s womb-to-tomb programs constitute a dynamic intergenerational family of learners comprised of educators, students, parents, extended families, community supporters and partnering organizations dedicated to the perpetuation of Hawai‘i’s native language, culture and traditions.  Visit kalo.org.

Kana’iolowalu Petition Signed in Washington

United States Senators Daniel K. Akaka and Daniel K Inouye become the first two people to sign a petition affirming the inherent sovereignty of the Native Hawaiian people and expressing support for a restoration of Native Hawaiian self-governance.

Senators Daniel K. Akaka and Daniel K Inouye

It’s part of the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission’s year long effort, Kana’iolowalu, to bring Hawaiians and Non-Hawaiians together in support of nation building, and to create a base roll of Native Hawaiians to participate in the formation of a sovereign government. Akaka and Inouye were joined by Office of Hawaiian Affairs Trustee Peter Apo and State Senator Brickwood Galuteria, who became the third and fourth people to sign, respectively. This video was taken in Senator Akaka’s Washington, D.C. office.

[youtube=http://youtu.be/sYKw4xFkVGo]

Kana’iolowalu runs through July 19, 2013. Registration and signing of the petition can be done on paper or electronically. For more information please visit http://www.kanaiolowalu.org

House Advances Measure Designating October as Kalo Appreciation Month

In 2008, the Legislature designated the “kalo,” the Hawaiian word for taro, as the state plant. Today, the House of Representatives advanced a bill (HB2809) that would make October Kalo Appreciation Month. The measure will now crossover to the Senate for consideration.

The purpose of the bill is to promote kalo cultivation and appreciation, as it is a culturally significant plant to the kanaka maoli, Hawaii’s indigenous peoples, and to the State of Hawaii.

In testimony in support of the measure before the House Agriculture Committee, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs stated, “This would be an opportunity to showcase the kalo plant and perpetuate the historic cultural, spiritual and health-related importance of kalo. No other plant more suitably represents Hawaii.”

The measure was introduced by Representatives Faye Hanohano, Angus McKelvey and Jessica Wooley.

Mayor Kenoi Unveils Geothermal Working Group Report

Hawai‘i Island is rich in resources to address our energy needs. All that is needed is cooperation and initiative to make the move to 100% renewable energy, agreed all the speakers at the unveiling of the Geothermal Working Group’s final report today at Mayor Billy Kenoi’s office.

“Hawai‘i County should aim and commit to being 100 percent renewable. Federal, state, county, community, we’re all in this together. We all recognize our commitment to our children and future generations and the quality of life on Hawai‘i Island.”

“Hawai‘i County should aim and commit to being 100 percent renewable,” Mayor Kenoi said. “Federal, state, county, community, we’re all in this together. We all recognize our commitment to our children and future generations and the quality of life on Hawai‘i Island.”

[youtube=http://youtu.be/N2_Ve-s-qmU]

At the urging of the Hawai‘i State Legislature – Sen. Gil Kahele and Rep. Mark Nakashima were present and gave remarks at the unveiling – Hawai‘i County convened the Geothermal Working Group to map assets, discuss, examine, and make proposals to maximize geothermal energy toward the goal of making Hawai‘i Island and the State of Hawai‘i the leaders in renewable energy.

“On this island we spend over a billion dollars every year to import oil for our energy needs here on the island,” said Wallace Ishibashi, co-chair of the Geothermal Working Group. “That money can stay right here to build a better community.”

The group’s mission was to evaluate geothermal energy as the primary source of baseload power on Hawai‘i Island – that is, power that is reliably generated at a constant level. Though all renewable energy technologies do and will continue to play a role in Hawai‘i’s energy future, many renewable energy technologies such as solar and wind are not viable candidates to supply baseload power because of the fluctuating nature of their production.

Geothermal, however, has proven a very stable supply of power. Puna Geothermal Ventures’ 30 MW plant provides between 25 and 30% of the electricity on Hawai‘i Island. “When the sun doesn’t shine, when the wind doesn’t blow, geothermal is there,” Ishibashi said.

Power demand on Hawai‘i Island ranges between 90 and 185 MW. Geothermal power potential on Hawai‘i Island has been estimated at between 500 and 700 megawatts, according to the report.

The report recommends that government play a more active role in the facilitation of geothermal development with a review of the permitting process, regulatory capabilities, and possible investment incentives. The report also suggests establishing a community advisory board to guide the use of geothermal royalties paid by geothermal energy producers.

Under state law, royalties paid by Hawai‘i Island geothermal energy producers are shared amongst the state Department of Land and Natural Resources (50%), the County of Hawai‘i (30%), and the state Office of Hawaiian Affairs (20%). The highest annual royalties to date were paid in 2009, a total of $3.1 million.

Mayor Kenoi spoke with Lt. Governor Brian Schatz shortly before the unveiling of the Working Group’s report, and he reported that both Governor Neil Abercrombie as well as the Lt. Governor reiterated their commitment to move forward, to remove barriers, to facilitate investment to maximize geothermal’s potential.

For a full copy of the report, click here: Geothermal Working Group Report

Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts Announces the 2nd Annual Mele Mei

The Hawai‘i Academy of Recording Arts (“HARA”) is proud to announce the 2nd Annual Mele Mei, a month-long celebration of Hawaiian music, in May 2012. Events include workshops, concert performances, and the Nā Hōkū Hanohano Music Festival and Awards.

Working in partnership with the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority to attract visitors in April and May, when tourism numbers tend to be lower, HARA reached out to various non profit organizations with Hawaiian music related events in May, to create Mele Mei as a month-long destination event. Some events are already well-established, like the Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards, while others are new. All of the events, however, share the same mission as HARA, which is to promote Hawaiian music.

When the final list of events is confirmed, Mele Mei will encompass more than 30 festivals and events which will culminate with the 35th Annual Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards on May 27th.

The exciting calendar of events, to date, are, as follows.

MELE MEI 2012 – SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

DATE – EVENT

  • April 27, 2012 Media Premiere Luncheon
  • May 1-31 Nā Hōkū Hanohano Music Events at hotels and shopping centers
  • May 1, 2011 “Lei of Stars” Dinner
  • May 5, 2012 HARA Lifetime Achievement Awards Luncheon
  • May 5, 2012 International ‘Ukulele Jam
  • May 5-6, 2012 Hawai‘i Book & Music Festival
  • May 6, 2012 Steel Guitar Concert
  • May 12, 2012 Mele Mei Mother’s Day Concert
  • May 11-13, 2012 Waikiki International Hula Conference
  • May 19-20, 2012 Maiki Aiu Hula Festival
  • May 20, 2012 Slack Key All-Stars Concert
  • May 25-26, 2012 Nā Hōkū Hanohano Music Festival Workshops
  • May 25-26, 2012 Hula I Ke Kai
  • May 27, 2012 The 35th Annual Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards

*More detailed information on these and additional Mele Mei events will be announced soon.

We also hope to include several neighbor island events for Mele Mei 2012.

HARA is scheduling meetings with Waikiki hotels and shopping centers on event venues. Anyone interested in being an event partner should contact HARA at (808) 593-9424, or info@melemei.com.

ABOUT MELE MEI

Sponsored by the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority (HTA), the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA), Hawaiian Airlines, and Kintetsu International, Mele Mei is a month-long celebration of the unique music of Hawai’i. It encompasses over 30 events, including workshops, concert performances, award ceremonies, and other activities throughout May. The Nā Hōkū Hanohano Music Festival, including the 35th Annual Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards, is the finale of Mele Mei.

Click for more information

For more information, please visit www.melemei.com.

All media requests for Mele Mei may be directed to Mona Wood-Sword at (808) 218-5546, or ikaikacomm@hawaii.rr.com.

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State Releases Roadmap for Transforming Information Technology Systems

The state today released a report detailing its information technology (IT) assessment, a critical component in the Abercombie Administration’s long-term plan to transform technology.

The assessment, which includes a Baseline Assessment and Benchmarking Report, was conducted by Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) in close collaboration with all state departments.  The assessment is the first phase of the state’s multi-year initiative to modernize its information technology and information resource management (IRM) systems.  The goal of the state’s technology transformation initiative is to make government more efficient and improve services for the people of Hawai’i while reducing costs.

“The massive undertaking to bring the technology of government into the 21st century is critical to our commitment to transform government,” Governor Abercrombie said. “This first-of-its-kind assessment of the state’s IT assets, policies and procedures is a major milestone for Hawai’i under the leadership of our new Chief Information Officer, Sonny Bhagowalia. The findings and recommendations in this report give us the basis for moving forward with confidence.”

The report explains that the state’s budget reductions over the last decade and lack of centralized governance of IT and IRM have resulted in minimal integration of business processes between departments, duplication of efforts and redundant processes, and aging legacy systems. Further, the state’s current level of investment on IT and IRM is inadequate compared to benchmark standards found in other states and existing best-practices.

Along with the SAIC report, Governor Abercrombie today issued an Administrative Directive to all Executive Branch Department Heads announcing that – with the exception of the University of Hawai’i, the Department of Education, and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs – the CIO and Office of Information Management and Technology (OIMT) now has authority over the design and implementation of all Executive Branch IT infrastructure, IRM, and shared services.

In addition, the Administrative Directive designates Deputy Comptroller Jan Gouveia as Business Transformation Executive to recommend business process reengineering projects to the Governor with the overall goal of streamlining business processes, increasing efficiencies, reducing duplication of efforts and improving delivery of services.

Under the leadership of Bhagowalia and Gouveia, the state will now develop a comprehensive strategic plan for statewide information management and technology based on the information reported by SAIC.  The plan and architecture is anticipated to be delivered in July 2012.

“A complete transformation of technology – from where we are today to where we want to be –will probably take eight to 10 years of working collaboratively with all stakeholders to realize the full benefits,” Bhagowalia said. “However, our actions will fundamentally change the way the government works in Hawaii. Given the state’s budget constraints, we need to prioritize our next steps in order to maximize the funding opportunities and resources that currently exist.”

While developing the statewide strategic plan and enterprise architecture over the next nine months, Bhagowalia will also immediately embark on the following initiatives:

  • Develop statewide IT governance to establish the framework for the new IT strategy, including policies, standards, architecture requirements and IT investment oversight.
  • Prioritize business process reengineering projects and implement performance changes.
  • Identify opportunities for statewide data center and disaster recovery solutions.
The Baseline Assessment and Benchmarking Report, along with the Governor’s Administrative Directive, can be downloaded from the OIMT website:  http://hawaii.gov/oimt/.

The Hawaii Breadfruit Festival Coming Up Next Month

Hawai‘i Homegrown Food Network, the Breadfruit Institute of the National Tropical Botanical Garden and Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden are presenting the Breadfruit Festival

Breadfruit Festival

Dr. Diane Ragone of the Breadfruit Institute of the National Tropical Botanical Garden will be one of the expert speakers at the Breadfruit Festival. Photo credit: Jim Wiseman

Ho‘oulu ka ‘Ulu at the Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden in South Kona on Saturday, September 24, 2011 from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm. The Breadfruit Festival celebrates the rich culture of breadfruit (‘ulu) in Hawai‘i and the Pacific, raises awareness about the importance of breadfruit for food security and gives the people an opportunity to taste many delicious ways that breadfruit can be prepared. On the day of the Festival, the Garden will also be dedicating its new visitor center at 12:00 noon. The Festival and dedication are free and open to the public.

Breadfruit-inspired food will highlight the festivities. Chefs Olelo pa‘a Faith Ogawa of Glow Hawaii and Scott Lutey, Executive Chef of the Eddie Aikau Restaurant and Museum will be demonstrating how to make various delicious breadfruit dishes and giving out samples to taste. A local food buffet featuring breadfruit will be presented by Chef Betty Saiki and the West Hawai‘i Community College Culinary Arts Program. Members of the public are invited to enter the Breadfruit Cooking Contest with their own favorite recipes. Open to all Hawai‘i Island residents, Cooking Contest prizes will be awarded in the categories of Appetizer, Soup/Salad/Side Dish, Main Dish/Entrée, Dessert, Best of Show and Healthiest Choice. Celebrity Chefs Mark Tsuchiyama of Hualalai Resort, Jacqueline Lau of Roy’s Restaurants, and Olelo pa‘a Faith Ogawa will be joined by food writer Sonia R. Martinez and KITV weekend anchor Pamela Young to judge the Cooking Contest.

Jerry Konanui pound breadfruit into "breadfruit poi"

Mahi‘ai and educator Jerry Konanui pounds ‘ulu poi at the Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden. ‘Ulumaika, woodworking, quilting, tapa making, 'ulu poi and talks by Hawaiian cultural experts will be some of the cultural activities at the Breadfruit Festival. Photo credit: Craig Elevitch

The Breadfruit Festival will feature many Hawaiian and Pacific Islander cultural activities, including: Mahi‘ai and educator Jerry Konanui will lead a hands-on workshop in the art of preparing ‘ulu poi. Hawaiian cultural expert Wesley Sen will be demonstrating how to make tapa from ‘ulu bark. ‘Ohana of the late Micronesian navigator Mau Piailug will share ‘ulu preparation techniques from their home island of Satawal. Master artisan Keoni Turalde will be carving a Hawaiian pahu (drum) from ‘ulu wood. Cultural experts Ryan McCormack of Kua O Ka Lā Public Charter School and others will be giving talks on the culture, history and mythology of ‘ulu in Hawai‘i. Other cultural activities include ‘ulumaika, lei making, and quilting featuring ‘ulu motifs.

Workshops on breadfruit propagation, tree care and maintenance, economic opportunities and other topics will be given by experts Dr. Diane Ragone and Ian Cole of the Breadfruit Institute. An art exhibit will feature breadfruit-inspired works from the Festival fine art and youth art contests. ‘Ma‘afala’ (Samoan) and Hawaiian varieties of breadfruit trees will be available for sale.

Dr. Diane Ragone

Learning to cook breadfruit will be one of the Breadfruit Festival activities. Olelo Pa'a Faith Ogawa and other celebrity chefs will be demonstrating how to make gourmet dishes from breadfruit. The public can compete in the Breadfruit Cooking Contest to win prizes. Photo credit: Angela Tillson, Courtesy of the Breadfruit Institute

In the week leading up to the Breadfruit Festival, the Keauhou Resort will celebrate the “Taste of ‘Ulu” by featuring gourmet dishes in its resort restaurants and at the Keauhou Farmers Market.

The Breadfruit Festival is sponsored by the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority’s Kūkulu Ola—Living Hawaiian Culture Program. Other sponsors include Kamehameha Schools, Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Keauhou Resort, Ke Ola Magazine, Ho‘oulu Lāhui, Kua O Ka Lā Public Charter School, West Hawai‘i Community College Culinary Arts Program, Big Island Resource Conservation and Development, Glow Hawai‘i, Kona ‘Ulu, Hawai‘i Tropical Fruit Growers, Sonia R. Martinez, ‘Āpono Hawai‘i and dozens of individual “Breadfruit—Traditional Roots and Modern Fruits” campaign supporters.

Learn more about the Breadfruit Festival by visiting www.breadfruit.info.

The Breadfruit Festival is a program of Ho‘oulu ka ‘Ulu—Revitalizing Breadfruit, a project of Hawai‘i Homegrown Food Network and the Breadfruit Institute of the National Tropical Botanical Garden to revitalize ‘ulu as an attractive, delicious, nutritious, abundant, affordable, and culturally appropriate food that addresses Hawai‘i’s food security issues.

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The 2011 Na Hoku Hanohano Lifetime Achievement Awards

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) and the Hawai’i Academy of Recording Arts (HARA) presented the 2011 Na Hoku Hanohano Lifetime Achievement Awards today at the Hawaii Convention Center.

2011 HARA & Na Hoku Hanohano Lifetime Achievement Awards

Musicians and family members began filling up the Hawaii Convention Center ballroom around 10:30 this morning.

Around 11:00 the President of HARA, Ku’uipo Kumukahi, welcomed the musicians and family members to the ceremony.

Kumukahi introduced the Mistress of the Ceremony Karen Keawehawai’i to the audience.

An opening Pule (Hawaiian for prayer) was said by the former HARA President.

Lunch consisted of beef brisket, chicken, steamed vegetables and rice with furikake.

After lunch was served the awards program and entertainment began by having Mihana Aluli Souza present a Lifetime Achievement Award to Bill “Tappy” Tapia who wasn’t present, but did send in a video of a recent show that he did on the Mainland.

Uncle Bill “Tappy” Tapia (born January 1, 1908) is an American musician, born in Honolulu, Hawaii, of Portuguese parents. At age 10, Tapia was already a professional musician, playing “Stars and Stripes Forever” for World War I troops in Hawaii.

In his long career beginning in Vaudeville and quickly expanding as a jazz guitarist and ukulele player he has performed with names such as Bing Crosby, Louis Armstrong, Elvis Presley and Hawaiian musicians such as King Bennie Nawahi, Sol Ho‘opi’i, and Andy Iona.

The next lifetime achievement award was presented by President Kumukahi to Harriet Daisy Kawai’ala Ka’oionapuaopi’ilani Stevens-Poire.

Napua Stevens Poire (born Harriet Daisy Kawaiala Kao’ionapuapi’ilani Stevens, August 31, 1918 – January 7, 1990) was a well-known Hawaiian entertainer, singer, hula dancer, musician, teacher, radio-TV personality, producer and author. Noted for her hits such as “Beyond The Reef” and “Hawaiian Hospitality” in the late 1940s, she performed as a Hula dancer in the group The Coral Islanders in the 1950s and later embarked upon a successful media career as a radio DJ for her own show KTRG and presenting her own TV cooking show Napua’s Kitchen in the 1960s. She made two guest appearances in the popular series Hawaii Five-O and also presented the Aloha Week and Kamehameha Day hula shows.

The next Lifetime Achievement Award went to Ernest and Freddie Tavares and was presented by their niece Tasha Tavares.  His son Terry Tavares along with Alden Levi, Kenneth Makuakane and Alan Akaka put on a performane to honor Ernest and Freddie.


Freddie Tavares (1913 – 1990) was an American musician and inventor. Born in Hawaii, Tavares is perhaps best known for his role in designing the Fender Stratocaster and other Fender instruments and amplifiers, although he was a virtuoso on the steel guitar, playing on many hundreds of recording sessions, radio broadcasts and movie soundtracks. The signature steel guitar swoop at the beginning of every Warner Bros.Looney Tunes theatrical short was played by Tavares. His other credits include work with Bing Crosby, Elvis Presley, Dean Martin, The Sons of the Pioneers, “Tennessee” Ernie Ford, Spike Jones and His City Slickers, Lawrence Welk, and Henry Mancini.

The next lifetime achievement award went to Jacqueline Leilani “Skylark” Rossetti for her extensive work in promoting Hawaiian Music.

You can check out a recent interview of Skylark with Leslie Wilcox here.

The final Lifetime Achievement Award went to the group Kalapana for their many years of great Hawaiian music.

They played a few songs for the audience that got everyone in the house grooving!

In 1973, childhood friends David John (DJ) Pratt and Carl James Malani Bilyeu auditioned at the Rainbow Villa for Cecilio & Kapono. Malani was soloing at the Oar House in Hawaii Kai and DJ was downstairs at Chuck’s in Sunlight with Kirk Thompson. They got together in DJ’s grandfather’s garage with Bryant Mackey Feary, another solo act, playing at the Oar House. They wrote songs, rehearsed, and at one point discussed the meaning of Kalapana. The literal translation of the word “Kalapana” is “sprouting money”. Kirk said the meaning was “beat of the music”, but he wanted “Dove” anyway. DJ thought it meant “Black Sand”. Regardless, they named themselves Kalapana, playing their first gig at Chuck’s in Hawaii Kai.

They became a regular band at a club called “The Toppe Ada Shoppe”. They opened concerts for Earth, Wind & Fire, Batdorf & Rodney, The Moody Blues, Sly & The Family Stone, and Cecilio & Kapono. They released their first, self-titled album, Kalapana, which included Jackie Kelso on sax and flute, Bill Perry on bass and Larry Brown on drums.

Kalapana performed a three–concert event at the Waikiki Shell during the span of June 25–27, 1976, where 25,000 people attended. In 1977, they helped select the entrants for the “Home Grown” album project.

Kalapana won several Nani Awards, the predecessor to the Na Hoku Hanohano Awards. They were nominated for four categories and received “Best Performance by a duo or group”, and “Best Male Vocalist” for Mackey, who had split from the group and joined Billy Kaui (Country Comfort).

The group reorganized to include Randy Aloya, replacing Mackey, who was pursuing a solo career, DJ, Malani, Kirk, Michael and Alvin. The reorganized group included Kimo Cornwell (formerly with Beowolf and later with Hiroshima) on keyboards, toured in Japan and released “Kalapana Live In Japan” (Sun Plaza), “Northbound”, and “Kalapana Alive at Yokohama”. DJ, as Kalapana, also released “Hold On” and a solo LP “Branded”.

In Hawaii, Mackey & Malani regrouped and recorded “Kalapana Live Reunion”, a concert at the Waikiki Shell. The group changed members over the next few years while each pursued solo and duo efforts.

For me the most touching part of the afternoon was when the only son and grandchild of Mackey Fearey took the stage and addressed the audience on behalf of his deceased father.

As usual you can click on the pictures below for a larger view and don’t forget to tune into KFVE tomorrow for the live broadcast of the 34th Annual Na Hoku Hanohano Awards Show.

Hawaiian Economic Sovereignty by Office of Hawaiian Affairs Trustee Peter Apo

OHA Trustee Peter Apo talks about the economic power the ali’i trusts, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, and the Department of Hawaiian Homelands have now — and how they can use it for the benefit of ALL the people of Hawai’i.

[youtube=youtube.com/watch?v=vHVlUNdiEfs]

Hawaiian Cultural Experts Offer Insights To Hospitality Industry Managers and Employees

Presented April 6-7 by the Native Hawaiian Hospitality Association (NaHHA).

Media Release:

Hawaiian cultural experts Peter Apo, Margo Harumi Mau Bunnell, Kumu Keala Ching, and Donna Wheeler, will present valuable insights into Hawaiian culture for hospitality industry managers and employees at the Native Hawaiian Hospitality Association (NaHHA) Ola Hawai’i workshops April 6-7.

The speakers will share knowledge on a range of topics including “Understanding Hawaiian Values” and “Where to Find Real Hawaiian Culture.”

  • Peter Apo is a songwriter-musician, President of Mamo Records and a Trustee of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. He was a founding member of NaHHA and was Special Assistant on Hawaiian Affairs to former Governor Ben Cayetano.
  • Margo Mau Bunnell is the Sales and Operations Manager for Queens MarketPlace at Waikoloa Beach Resort and CEO of the Moku O Keawe Foundation.
  • Kumu Keala Ching is a Hawaiian cultural educator, composer and spiritual advisor to Hawaiian organizations. He is fluent in the Hawaiian language and is Kumu Hula for Ka Pa Hula Na Wai Iwi Ola.
  • Donna Wheeler has over thirty years of experience in the Hawaii hotel industry having served in operations, sales and marketing capacities, representing over 60 hotels and resorts on the Hawaiian islands of O’ahu, Maui, Kaua’i, Hawai’i Island and Moloka’i; as well as New Zealand, Guam, Saipan, and Thailand.

The two-day learning experience will explore the value of hosting, managing visitor information and sales and marketing strategies with a special focus on Hawaiian traditions and culture.

Also speaking at the workshop will be:

  • Veronica Puanani Claveran – Director of Rooms, Keauhou Beach Resort
  • Owana Wilcox-Likiaksa – Human Resources Coordinator, Hilton Waikoloa Village
  • Joann Nanea Perreira-Machiguchi – Catering Sales Manager, Hawai`i Prince Hotel
  • April Ke`ala Kadooka – Learning Manager, Four Seasons Hualalai

The Ola Hawai’i workshop will be held on April 6-7 from 9am – 5pm at the Keauhou Beach Resort, Keauhou , Hawai’i Island.

Enrollment is limited and participants need to register by March 28. The cost, which includes lunch on both days, is $60.

For more information, visit nahha.com

For registration or questions, contact Pamela Davis-Lee at 808-628-6375 or pam@nahha.com

The Native Hawaiian Hospitality Association (NaHHA) is dedicated to the promotion and perpetuation of Hawaiian culture and traditions. Its mission is to promote Hawaiian culture, values and traditions in the workplace through consultation and education, and to provide opportunities for the Native Hawaiian community to shape the future of tourism.

Moku O Keawe Foundation Announces 6th Annual International Hula Festival

Media Release:

The sixth annual Moku O Keawe International Hula Festival will take place November 3-5, 2011 at Waikoloa Beach Resort on the Big Island’s Kohala Coast.  The Festival, presented by Moku O Keawe Foundation, features topnotch women’s hālau from Hawai‘i, the Mainland USA, and Japan, competing in kahiko, ‘auana and kupuna divisions, solo and group.

Members of halau Kekaiaulu Hula Studio perform during the 2010 Moku O Keawe Hula Competition at the Queen Gardens Waikoloa Bowl at the Waikoloa Beach Resort

In keeping with the Foundation’s educational mission, intensive, hands-on workshops in hula and related arts, and excursions to cultural sites, offer a deeper experience.  Taught by noted cultural practitioners, the classes include dance, chant, crafting of musical instruments and more.

In addition, Moku O Keawe’s extensive Hawai‘i Marketplace gives participants many opportunities to see, touch, smell and taste made-in-Hawai‘i products from island vendors.  Lei of various styles, hula implements, aloha wear and jewelry, fine arts, woodworks, woven items and others will be available for sale.

The Moku O Keawe International Festival is sponsored by the Moku O Keawe Foundation, a private nonprofit organization.  Dedicated to enhancing, enriching and educating the practice and development of hula and its associated arts, the purpose is to build, strengthen and inspire the living cultural traditions of Hawai‘i.  Major supporters include Hawaii Tourism Authority/Hawaii County CPEP, Waikoloa Beach Resort, Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Native Arts and Cultures Foundation, Louis Vuitton, Big Island Candies, Queens’ MarketPlace, Kintetsu International Hawaii, Waimea Music Center.

For information and tickets to events, visit www.MOKIF.com.

Moku O Keawe Foundation Receives Grant From Office of Hawaiian Affairs

Media Release:

The Moku O Keawe Foundation has been awarded a $10,000 Community Event Grant from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA).  Funding will be used to continue their mission of Hawaiian cultural education, and present the 5th Annual Moku O Keawe Festival.

“We are extremely grateful to OHA for their support and the confidence they show in Moku O Keawe Foundation,” said President Sherron Rosenberger.  “It is exciting and inspiring to see the living Hawaiian culture grow and expand around the world through hula and the arts of hula.  And as that happens, it is even more important for organizations to work together—not only to reach a broader audience, but to share our messaging in the most respectful, authentic and meaningful way.”

The 5th Annual Moku O Keawe Festival concluded November 7 at Waikoloa Beach Resort, with 15 participating hālau from Hawaii and Japan competing in wahine hālau and pakahi (solo) hula kahiko, ‘auana and kupuna divisions.  The hula competition was coordinated by Kumu Hula Nani Lim Yap.  Other events included a made-in-Hawaii marketplace and closing night Hō‘ike starring workshop students and special appearance by Kumu Hula O’Brian Eselu and the men of Ke Kai O Kahiki, Merrie Monarch Winners.  An intensive workshop series, organized by Hawaii designer Sig Zane, featured classes in Ipu Heke (double gourd drum), Lauhala Weaving,‘Il‘ili and an excursion to the historic site at Mahukona for a workshop with Nā Kumu Hula Howard and Olana A‘i.  Workshops in hula were taught by Nā Kumu Hula Nalani Kanaka‘ole, Kaleo Trinidad and Uluwehi Guerrero

Other Moku O Keawe sponsors include Waikoloa Beach Resort, Louis Vuitton, Native Arts & Cultures Foundation, Creative Arts, Hawaii Tourism Authority, Waimea Music Company, Big Island Candies, Sushi Shiono, County of Hawaii, KAPA, Vitamin Water and Kintetsu International Hawaii.

The Moku O Keawe International Festival is an annual celebration of the rich Hawaiian culture, produced by the Moku O Keawe Foundation, a private nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to enhancing, enriching and educating the practice and development of hula and its associated arts to build, strengthen and inspire the living cultural traditions of Hawai‘i.  For more information, visit www.MOKIF.com

County of Hawaii Joins Cities’ Financial Empowerment Coalition

From the Mayor’s Office:

Hawai‘i County has joined a group of municipalities to advance an innovative program to promote access to safe and affordable financial products and services, increase financial literacy and asset-building for its residents.

The Cities for Financial Empowerment (CFE) Coalition is led by New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s representative, New York City Consumer Affairs Commissioner Jonathan Mintz, and San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom’s representative, Treasurer José Cisneros.  Other member cities are Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, Newark, N.J.; Providence, R.I.; San Antonio, Savannah, Ga.; and Seattle.

“During difficult economic times, municipalities across the country must find innovative ways to do more with less,” said Bloomberg. “We welcome the County of Hawai‘i to what is becoming a robust network of local governments who are all committed to helping residents get through financial uncertainties. Together, we continue learning and strengthening the many unique programs that are providing thousands of Americans with the tools for a stable financial future.”

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