County Firefighter Named National Paramedic of the Year for 2009


Media Release:

A County of Hawai’i firefighter and mobile intensive care technician has been named the Paramedic of the Year for 2009 by the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT).

Chris M. Honda, 37, has served as a Hawai’i County firefighter/paramedic for nearly 10 years, including assignments in Honoka’a and at the Central Fire Station.

More here:  County firefighter named national Paramedic of the Year for 2009

Earthquake Off Big Island Upgraded to 4.8

Version #2: This report supersedes any earlier reports of this event.
This event has been reviewed by a seismic analyst.
This earthquake was felt.

A light earthquake occurred at 11:13:50 PM (HST) on Thursday, October 22, 2009 .
The magnitude 4.8 event occurred 6 km (4 miles) SE of Lo`ihi Seamount.
The hypocentral depth is 32 km (20 miles).

More info here

The End of the West Hawaii Golf Subsidy Program

mauna lani

The County of Hawaii is ending it’s golf subsidy program.

Media Release:

The County of Hawai ‘i ‘s Department of Parks and Recreation will cease signing up residents to participate in the West Hawai ‘i Golf Subsidy Program as of Friday October 30, 2009.

Until then, residents may sign up at the Waimea County Council Office (across from the Police Station) at 64-1067 Māmalahoa Hwy, Suite C-5 (Ph# 887-2043) and at the West Hawai‘i Mayor’s Office in Kailua-Kona at 75-5722 Hanama Place, Suite 102 (Ph# 327-3602) on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Individuals need to bring a Hawai‘i state driver’s license or state identification card as proof of residency.

Existing cardholders will continue to receive monthly discount cards in the mail until funds have been depleted.

For more information, call Robert Fitzgerald, Director of the Department of Parks and Recreation, at 961-8311.

Mountain View Park Improvement Begins

Media Release:

Construction activities to provide accessibility improvements at Mountain View Park will begin on Monday, October 26, 2009. All efforts will be made to maintain existing amenities in service to the public and to reinstate impacted amenities as quickly as possible while the work progresses.

Portions of the ballfield including the water filling spigots will be closed intermittently and without prior notice as construction proceeds.   The public is asked to heed all barricades, fences and warning signs and exercise extreme caution when utilizing the park.  Construction is anticipated to be completed by February 2010.

The Department of Parks and Recreation thanks the public for their cooperation, patience and understanding for the duration of the project.

For more information, call the department at 961-8311.

Kolekole Beach Park Closed Tuesday for Filming

I have to wonder if the following media release from the Mayor’s office is for the Predator filming I blogged about earlier?  :roll:

Media Release:

Kolekole Beach Park will be closed to the public for filming on Tuesday, October 27. The park is located along the Hawaii Belt Road north of Honomu.

The Hawaii County Department of Parks and Recreation department thanks the public for their understanding during this one-day closure. For more information, call the department at 961-8311.

Cultural Workshops to Focus on Hawaiian Musical Instruments


Media Release:

Attaching a handle to a small gourd or coconut, filling it with seeds, the rattle becomes an extension of the hand.  The rhythm of the ancient chant echoes in the wind.   The sounds of the gourd rattle enhancing each motion…

The uliuli or gourd rattle is one of the most popular Hawaiian musical instruments to survive through centuries of change. As a percussion instrument it offers the hula kahiko dancer additional tempo measurement, and its silhouette is an aesthetic part of the choreography. In both traditional and contemporary dance, the uliuli offers syncopation. The gust of wind or the ebb and flow of the water on the rocky shore, the extension of the hula dancer’s limbs, illustrates the poetry.

Cultural workshops are part of the 2009 Moku O Keawe International Festival to be held November 5-8, at Waikoloa Beach Resort.  The annual event, now in its fourth year, celebrates hula and its related arts through its educational workshops on hula, including traditional protocol.  “In addition to the classroom, we offer excursions to wahi pana, our sacred sites, to further enhance the hula as the student experiences the winds and the rains mentioned in the lines of the chant,” according to the Moku O Keawe Festival.

Widely popular in today’s music, this year‘s festival offers a nose flute making workshop that will use Hawaiian bamboo.  Thin-walled with long nodes, the Hawaiian variety is found on the island of Hawaii in Waipio Valley. The class will teach the students how to select the proper kind of bamboo, prepare the flute, and play a song of Waipio Valley.

It was noted in 1836 by the Frenchman Adolphe Barrot, visiting the Kona district, that “the islanders were playing flutes with two holes. Instead of the lips, the nose is used in blowing this instrument made from the bamboo. The notes given forth by this instrument are not more varied that those of their vocal music.”  Barrot continued, “the ohe hanu ihu (bamboo nose flute) appears to have been chiefly an instrument for lovers. Its clear, soft, and sweet tone could nevertheless carry considerable distance with the right atmospheric conditions…”

Another instrument that has its roots in Hawaii, is the puniu. The coconut knee drum is uniquely Hawaiian and was traditionally used as an accompaniment with the pahu drum for heiau ceremony. Dances today utilize the puniu for the many of the traditional chants and it is often included as part of the choreography of the mele.

Dr. Taupouri Tangaro of Unukupukupu has taught classes making the puniu. “The niu that will be used for the workshop come from trees his from father-in-law’s home in Panaewa.  Each participant will open their own niu–a process likened to giving birth to a cherished loved one. They will drink its sweet water and taste of its flesh. They will clean, polish, lash, and when finished, it will become an extension of their total being. We celebrate this birthing process,” says instructors of this year’s workshop Lehua and Kanani Kaulukukui, students of Dr. Tangaro.

This year’s Moku O Keawe International Festival at the Waikoloa Beach Resort will offer a competition for the Women’s Division in hula kahiko and auwana.  There will also be a night of competition with the Kupuna Wahine, including group and solo. The Sunday evening event will be a special concert at the Waikoloa Bowl at Queens’ Gardens with Amy Hanaialii.

The Moku O Keawe International Festival was founded on the principle that hula is a lifestyle. The commitment involves training in the dance discipline, ritual of ceremony, and the protocol in gathering from the forests. The Foundation believes that, “Through educational workshops, the practitioner is taken to a deeper level of understanding the chants and the dances. All that is learnt is applicable to life in general. The profound will present itself within the dancer’s lifestyle.”

The non-profit Moku O Keawe Foundation sets the guidelines for all events and continually challenges that the bar is lifted to enrich the community. Through sponsorships, grants, and fundraising efforts, the Festival broadens the experiences of dancers on an international level.  In the past four years, many halau from Hawaii, Japan, and Tahiti, have shared their hula. As a private nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing, enriching and educating the practice and development of hula and its associated arts, its focus is to build, strengthen and inspire the living cultural traditions of Hawaii.

For information and tickets to events, visit


Lauhala Weaving Club Hosting Workshop… 2009 Moku O Keawe International Festival

pale ipu

Media Release:

“Before Pele came to Kalapana, there was a puhala tree close to the ocean from which we gathered our leaves. They were reddish ones, so we used to refer to that as lauhalaula. That was fifteen years ago. We had to look for other trees after Pele consumed that area!” The old-timer from Puna related the stories of her family and how they sought out the best leaves to weave their lauhala products. They would gather leaves along the coast in Kalapana because that’s what their parents did when they were young.

Promoting the art and the skills of weaving dried leaves of the pandanus, the Aha Puhala O Puna was established in 1992. Under the guidance of master weavers Aunty Minnie Kaawaloa of Kapaahu, Kalapana, and Aunty Lily Sugahara of Hilo, the non-profit organization meets monthly to keep abreast of all things weaving. The stories that are shared speak of the gatherings from the districts of the island and the quality of the leaf.

At the 2009 Moku O Keawe International Festival, the group will host two days of classes. Both on Saturday and Sunday, November 7 and 8, new workshops will be given. They will teach how to make a Pale Ipu, including cleaning, prep, and stripping of the lauhala into lengths. The moena (mat) weave is a checkerboard pattern and called the papa konane weave. This weaving pattern will be used to make the Pale Ipu. The “pale” is the protective pad that sits between the ipu heke (drum) and the floor. It can be described as the impact cradle that also serves as a resonant damper. This will be a 12×12” double weave mat made with ¾ inch strips of lauhala.

The club recently spent a weekend picking, rolling and softening lau from a large puhala tree at a member’s home near Puako. The leaves were long and wide, perfect for weaving moena (mats). As the tree was cleaned, the members of various levels of weaving skills worked together to prepare the lauhala that will be used to make the Pale Ipu at the workshop. Kupuna Aunty Elizabeth Maluihi Lee was there to share her wisdom and history – stories of her lifelong weaving.

The members share a love for lauhala weaving and a desire to impart the knowledge they have gained from the Kumu and Kupuna of the club. A most respected and prolific weaver still in his youth, Pohaku Kahoohanohano of Maui, has gifted the club with a mele about the steps in preparing and weaving lauhala and it will be shared with the students.

For more information on the workshop, visit, the official website for the Moku O Keawe International Festival.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

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