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    June 2018
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Free Entry to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on Veterans Day

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park joins national parks across the country in waiving entrance fees for Veterans Day, Wednesday, November 11.

“The men and women who have served our nation have sacrificed much to protect our freedom,” said Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando. “We invite everyone to honor their service and experience the American heritage by visiting their national parks at no charge this Veterans Day,” she said.

Visitors enjoy scenic views of Kīlauea Caldera and the summit eruption in Halema‘uma‘u Crater from Crater Rim Trail near Steaming Bluff.   NPS Photo/Janice Wei

Visitors enjoy scenic views of Kīlauea Caldera and the summit eruption in Halema‘uma‘u Crater from Crater Rim Trail near Steaming Bluff. NPS Photo/Janice Wei

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park has dozens of veterans among its employees and volunteers. Active duty U.S. military can obtain a free annual Military Pass at the park’s entrance station all year. For more information on the free Military Pass, visit the park website.

The park, which is open 24 hours a day, offers more than 150 miles of hiking trails and many opportunities to appreciate the volcanic landscape, native ecosystem and the Hawaiian culture that define this World Heritage Site. More than a dozen free interpretive programs are offered daily, and special events, including ‘Ike Hana No‘eau cultural workshops, After Dark in the Park presentations, and Nā Leo Manu “Heavenly Voices” concerts, are ongoing. Check www.nps.gov/havo for information for all events.

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park is one of five national park units on the island of Hawai‘i.  Pu‘uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park is also free of charge Veterans Day weekend. There is no admission charged for Pu‘ukoholā Heiau National Historic Site, Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park, or the Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail.

Information on special offerings at parks nationwide is available at http://www.nps.gov/findapark/feefreeparks.htm.

Poi Pounder Baseball Classic Champions Announced

Fun, sun and exciting competition highlighted this year’s Poi Pounder Baseball Classic held during the Veterans Day holiday weekend in Hilo.

The four-day tournament attracted 24 teams of children ages 9 to 14 years old. After 51 games played under modified Pony League rules, one Kona and two Hilo-based teams emerged as champions of their respective age-group division.

Those division champions and runners-up are:

Mustang Division: (9- and 10-year-olds)

1st Place       Lil Soljahs (Kona)

Ikaika Apilado, Drew Basque, Kainoa Doctor, Noah Furchner, Shaylann Grace, Taven Hiraishi, James Kapela, Keyshawn Lorenzo, Nanea Kalua’u, Kainoa Jones, Bronson Rivera
Head Coach: Jerry Hiraishi, Asst Coaches: Kallen Hiraishi, Billy Jones

2nd Place      Andrews Braves (Hilo)

Row 1 (L-R): Teagan Tamiya, Mason Hirata, Seth Zane, Carson Kawaguchi, Dylan Honda, Isaac Inouye Row 2 (L-R): Kayla Kodani, Kobe Kagimoto, Kalai Rosario, Kedren Kinzie, Elijah Igawa
Row 3 (L-R): Asst Coach Gregg Hirata, Asst. Coach Jay Igawa, Asst Coach Scott Inouye, Asst Coach Blake Sanehira, Head Coach Chris Honda, Asst Coach Lenny Paik

Bronco Division: (11- and 12-year-olds)

1st Place       Andrews Braves (Hilo)

Row 1 (L-R): Micah Bello, Logan Respicio, Bryce Furuli, Casey Yamauchi, Maui Ahuna, Bula Ahuna, Dustin Asuncion Row 2 (L-R): Jacob Igawa, Jamie Ebersole, Stone Miyao, Eric Rivera, Rekky Prudencio Row 3 (L-R): Asst Coach Mason Bello, Asst Coach Bully Ahuna, Head Coach Lenn Miyao

2nd Place      Kona Crush (Kona)

Row 1 (L-R): Brennen Kaawa, Kelii Pelekane, Mikayla Kekoa, Keola, Pelekane, Andrew Udac, Kaimi Hook, Dakota Kala Row 2 (L-R): Tevin Canda, A.J. Alani, Kaehu Kuahuia, Kolu Alani, Preston Morales Row 3 (L-R): Coaches Gerald Pelekane, Ronald Kuahuia, Kimo Alani, Nic Kaawa, Nate Kekoa

Pony Division: (13- and 14-year-olds)

1st Place       RBI-Red (Hilo)

Row 1 (L-R): Jaysten Prudencio, Trayden Tamiya, Keian Kanetani, Joey Ongais-Louie, Jaron Kawaguchi, Jamieson Hirayama Row 2 (L-R): Asst. Coach Kerry Kanetani, Tyler Kitaoka, Makana Aiona, Kobie Kinzie, Kua Manuia, Caleb Freitas-Fields, Kelii Montibon, Royce Nuniez, Head Coach James Hirayama, Asst. Coach Dalen Asuncion. Missing: Austin DaMate-Aina

2nd Place     Big Island Baseball Orioles (Hilo)

Row 1 (L-R); Cullen Cariaga, Nathan Minami, Aidan Ah Hee, Jonah Hurney Row 2 (L-R): Head Coach Clayton Ah Hee, Justyce Ishii, Dawson Abiley, Bryce Yamashita, Pat Abiley
Row 3 (L-R): Taylor Mondina, Nick Antony, Makoa Andres, Jonathan Carboneau

Tournament organizers wish to thank and congratulate all the players, coaches and parents who helped to make the event a huge success. Questions, concerns, or suggestions may be emailed to: poipounderclassic@gmail.com.

Rotary Club of Kona Sunrise Makes Care Packages for Folks Deployed to Afghanistan

Once again the Kona community has showed their love and support of our men and women deployed in Afghanistan. This time we were requested by the commanding officers over on Oahu to adopt the 25th Aviation Brigade. This younger (in age) Brigade has many unmarried men and women serving who would not be expecting a holiday care package.

Photo credit Bev Fraser, Rotary Club of Kona Sunrise

The Rotary Club of Kona Sunrise couldn’t let that happen! Out in front of Wal-Mart for 2 weekends we gathered items that the Kona community graciously was willing to shop for. Then in addition to donating money which was used for shipping many hand wrote thank you notes.

On Nov 10th we packed 100 individual boxes, 40 women and 60 men for the Soldiers plus 10 more for the mess area to share. Those boxes contained: a shirt, underwear, socks, DVD, CD, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, eye drops, lotion, sunscreen, body powder, drink mix, candy, cookies, pens, gum, feminine hygiene products (only for the girls), Ramin, games, razors.

This project never could have happened without the wonderful people of Kona who took the time to shop and share Aloha with a Soldier. We are deeply grateful this Veteran’s Day and know that the Soldiers will be touched when those boxes arrive in Afghanistan.

Free Veteran’s Day Concert

In honor of Veterans Day, the community is invited to a free concert from 11am-4pm at the Pahala Plantation House in Ka‘u.

The culmination of the weeklong Kahumoku ‘Ohana Music and Lifestyle Workshop, the event is hosted by five-time Grammy winner Keoki Kahumoku. The free concert features some of Hawaii’s favorite entertainers, including John Keawe, Diana Aki, Peter DeAquino, and Sonny Lim bending the strings on ‘ukulele and slack key guitar. Plate lunches will be available for purchase and support the non-profit Center for Hawaiian Music Studies, Inc. For more information go to KeokiKahumoku.com.

Veteran and Military Appreciation Day and Job Fair at the Kona Farm Fair

Veterans and military personnel with proper identification cards will have free gate admission to the Kona Farm Fair on Saturday, November 3, 2012. The Kona Farm Fair has designated this day as Veteran and Military Appreciation Day.

There will be a one of a kind job fair for veterans, active duty military members, guard and reserve members, and military spouses, with representatives from state and federal agencies and veteran service organizations on hand to provide information on programs and services.

The Honoka’a High School Jazz band will kick off events at the Old Kona Airport Pavilion at 12 noon followed by an appreciation program from 1 to 2 p.m. and the job fair from 2 to 6 p.m.

The veteran and military job fair is hosted by the US Department of Labor and the West Hawai’i Veterans Cemetery Development and Expansion Association.

For more information, contact Representative Cindy Evans at 974-4000 ext. 6-8510#


Governor Neil Abercrombie on Honoring Our Veterans

Aloha!Today there are ceremonies across the country recognizing the men and women who have served this nation in our military forces.

In Hawai’i, many residents and visitors may not be aware of our commitment to honoring our veterans who now lay to rest.  There are eight State owned and operated veteran cemeteries, located on all our islands except Niihau.  Nearly 20,000 veterans are buried at these sites and are visited nearly every day by family members and friends.
Our veterans deserve special care, which is why I am pleased to announce that I have appointed retired Colonel Ronald P. Han as our State Director of Veteran Services.
Col. Han is a graduate of ‘Iolani School and the University of Hawai’i.  He spent over 28 years in the Hawai’i Air National Guard, before retiring this past summer.  Col. Han will be responsible for overseeing the many federal and state programs that benefit our veterans and their families.  I am confident that Col.  Han will do an excellent job, in serving all of our veterans and community at large.
Under his leadership you can expect changes in the near future in the Office of Veteran Services (OVS) including a new website that will have the latest veteran news, benefit information and resources contacts.  OVS is also in the process of establishing a new State Veteran ID Card that we hope to introduce sometime in the next year.  This card will help those veterans, who do not qualify for VA Health or retirement pay, by giving them something that will prove their prior status as a member of our Armed Services.  With it, they will be able to receive some civilian benefits that are available to all prior military people.
In honoring the men and women who served in our armed forces, I reflect upon that rare courage that they each have in putting their lives on the line for the freedom that all of us enjoy. I am in admiration of that shared bond in our servicemen and women who give everything of themselves for each other and for our country.  Thank you.
Our veterans have and continue to give us all they have.  I assure you, we will never forget.

Governor Neil Abercrombie