The Grinch That’s Running Over the Pahoa CHRISTmas Parade!

So I get home and I check my email and I get this letter CC’d to me by a Nancy **** ******.

I’m just gonna put it out there as she CC’d this to a bunch of us including the Mayors Office, Senator Hanohano, and Councilwoman Naeole just to name the elected public officials on this list.

This is the first letter she sent to all of us:

Sent: Wednesday, December 02, 2009 12:00 PM

Subject: RE: Pahoa ” Holiday ” Parade

I feel compelled to speak to this issue because of the misperception that the Christian celebration is “the reason for the season”.  It’s a catchy phrase but not accurate.  Christian representation is generally outnumbered by those who observe other religions and those who adopt philosophies and/or ethical codes in place of religion.  Yet we as a people have celebrations this time of year and observe the pre-Christian traditions of gift giving and tree decorating.

Pahoa Main Street is a business organization.  I do not pay my dues to Pahoa Main Street to support any religion.  I must not be the only one or the membership would not have changed the name of the parade and the charter of the organization does not include the promotion of Christianity.

The fact is that the event is secular, put on by a business organization.  It is either for the community at large or Pahoa Main Street should not be the sponsor.

In fact, the date for Christian giving of gifts is on January 6, not on December 25, as that is the traditional celebration date for the visit from the three kings to the infant Jesus.  The giving of gifts during the time of the winter solstice is did not begin as a Christian tradition, nor did the trimming of trees.

If your church or any other Christian church wishes to have a parade with religious themed presentations… nativity scenes, the presentation of the gifts by the wise men, reading of scripture, and no Santa Claus, no snow men, sleighs, trimmed trees, or any other secular manifestations, then it is appropriate to call the parade a Christmas parade.

The decision to spend money is a very personal one.  Yes, there are people who will not attend events where they have been made to feel unwelcome by unexpected Christian expressions just as there are Christians who choose to spend their money at only with Christian merchants.  The purpose of Pahoa Main Street is to promote Pahoa as a place for all to come.

Nancy **** ******

Then she sends the following to only 5 of us w/ no elected officials and please note the very bottom of the message:

Just so you know…I have had four emails and three walk-in responses that whole-heartedly support my statements. *****, ***** and **** spoke for the name change.

Pahoa Main Street Association is operating under IRS sec 501 (c). Do the by-laws include promotion of religion as an exempt purpose of the association? Please be aware that a tax-exempt organization must report a change of exempt purpose to the IRS.

I respect the Christian traditions; my own personal religious preferences are not germane. PMSA is a community organization and its role is to promote the Pahoa community. Christians are welcome to participate and have done so. However, this event is not sponsored by Christians.

Damon, I trust that you will respect the community at large as a judge, even though your October 20 blog did not.

Well quite frankly I’m quite confused how I even got involved in this, but I’ve looked through my October 20th posts as well as my November 20ths post.

And quite frankly I’m pissed that you would say I have no respect for this community at all lady… when I love this community and bleed for Pahoa. I tell people all the time publicly how I’m trying to make this a better place for everyone in the future!

And just so everyone knows… these were my replies…

This was the first message before I saw her condescending email:

Please leave me out of this Nancy,

I have informed Maddie a few days ago that something much bigger in my life has come up on that day and won’t be in town so unfortunately I will not have the pleasure of judging.

I believe another judge may have been selected.

With that said… I will make this last comment, when people use religious statements to take away from childrens fun… it sickens me.

Damon Tucker

And this was the second note when I asked her about that October 20th statement:

Nancy… wtf are you talking about?

…Damon, I trust that you will respect the community at large as a judge, even though your October 20 blog did not.

What are you talking about my October 20th blog?

I just looked and I never even wrote about the Parade on October 20th. Here are the posts that I posted on October 20th.

When you accuse a blogger of something like this… Please have the EXACT URL you are referring to. I just looked at Novembers 20ths post as well.

Please point me to where I have ever not respected the “Community at Large”

The Best Hike I Have Ever Been On… Mahalo Hawaii Forest & Trail

As I mentioned earlier, today, I had the great pleasure to be part of an extraordinary group of individuals from the mainland that the Big Island Visitors Bureau has brought for a week of fun and adventure.

Today I got to join the pack on a Hiking Adventure Tour Around the Rim of Waipio Valley that was done by a Big Island Adventure company called Hawaii Forest & Trail.

We gathered at the Waimea Country Club this morning at 9:00.

Where tour guide Rob Pacheco met us promptly and gave us a brief run down of what was going to happen over the next few hours.

We all climbed into a Six-Wheeled PinzTrek and got ready for the ride of a lifetime.

I hung my head out the window risking getting my head getting chopped off to shoot the follow clip of us going down.


After we got to our initial destination, we got out and Tour Guide Rob, gave us water and walking sticks and let us know a little more about what we were doing.

Our tour guide here explains one of the important traditions that one must do before crossing the sacred lands.


And we were off

The first little waterfall and pool that we came across was beautiful

So we stopped there long enough to take pictures of everyone

And of course we had to have a group shot

We pressed on further as we new we were not at the rim of the valley yet.

We came across one of the first openings of the valley almost everyone was impressed vocally.  Unfortunately it was a bit VOGGY today.

As we walked along the rim of the valley there were lots of little scenic spots along the way.

One of the scarier parts of the hike, was when our tour guide offered us a peak directly over the cliff of a waterfall.  I was a bit chicken and was only able to take the following two pictures as my heart was racing as I knew how much of a drop it was.

We continued on and passed a few more waterfalls and stream beds

By this time we were getting hungry and it was just about the perfect time as we ended up at a clearing with some picnic tables and they brought out sandwiches, chips, cookies and sodas to eat.

We got back into the Pinztrek and headed to the final destination which was the lip of the valley.  Unfortunately as mother nature would have… it was a very Voggy Day and visibility wasn’t the greatest.

I lost track of the time, but I would say around 2:00 or so the tour ended and we were brought back to the country club the same way we were brought into the back of the valley.

This was truly the best hike I have ever taken and I’m stoked that I had the opportunity to join such a great group of folks from the mainland.

I’ll be naming them in some upcoming posts… I know that’s what everyone wants to know… is who are they.

You can click on the pictures below for even more pictures:

KTA Super Stores Kona Coffee Recipe Contest Winners Announced

The 39th annual Kona Coffee Cultural Festival celebrated their tastiest event, the KTA Super Stores Kona Coffee Recipe Contest, at the Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort & Spa. Professionals, amateurs, and culinary students competed in two divisions, entrée and dessert. Keiki (12 years and younger) competed in the dessert division only. Winners received a trophy or ribbon, a KTA Gift Certificate or cash prizes.

The KTA Super Stores Kona Coffee Recipe Contest is a signature event of the 39th annual Kona Coffee Cultural Festival.

2009 Kona Coffee Recipe Contest Winners

Professional Entrée First – Morgan Starr (Mi’s Italian Bistro) – Kona Coffee Encrusted Carpaccio of Big Island Beef Tenderloin

Second – Cliften Loetree Berry (Kohala Pacific Diner) – Kona Coffee Braised Big Island Red Veal Osso Bucco

Third – William Trask, AAC (Chef Consultant) – Kona Coffee Rubbed Slow Roasted Boneless Spareribs with Kona Coffee BBQ Sauce served with chili beans, mango papaya salsa and corn bread

Professional Dessert

First – Suzanne Bearth – Pot de Crème au Kona Coffee with Mocha Petit Fours

Second – Kristin Lowder (Makalii Catering) – Kona Coffee Chocolate Truffles

Third – Amy Turner (Sweet Legacies) – Kona Bombshell Truffles

Amateur Entrée Division

First – Kelli Siefke – Kona Coffee Pork Tenderloin

Second – Jane Dierenfield – Kona Coffee Lamb Shank Stew

Amateur Dessert Division

First – Harland Hays – Coffee Truffles

Second – Edgar Ombac – Filipino 100% Kona Coffee & Chocolate Leche Flan

Third – Patti Faisca – Coffee Pumpkin Cheese Cake

Culinary Student Entrée Division

First – Ashley Delos Santos (Konawaena High School) – Spinach Chicken Roll Up with Kona Coffee Butter Sauce & Kona Coffee Risotto

Second – Lora Jade Martin (Kealekehe High School) – Pork Skewers with Coffee Glaze and Rice Coffee Pilaf

Culinary Student Dessert Division

First – Krisielle Jane Molina (Konawaena High School) – Café Leche Flan

Second – Brandon Domingo (Hawaii Community College – W. Hawaii) – Kona Coffee Genoise with Raspberry Filling

Third – Ashley Delos Santos (Konawaena High School) – Café Mocha

Keiki Dessert Division

First – Mika Bettencourt – Kona Coffee Lava Flow

Second – Tehani Walker-Bray – Kona Mocha Cream Roll

Third – Emily McKinley – Kona Coffee Tiramisu with Lilikoi Coulee

Judges graded entries on a 40-point scale: Presentation and Impression (5 points), Plate Design (5 points), Composition/Harmony of Ingredients (10 points), Preparation and Craftsmanship (15 points) and Serving Methods and Portions (5 points).

During the judging the public enjoyed The Big Island Showcase of products and Kona coffee recipes. They tasted 100% Kona coffee from Fike Farms of Hawaii, Island Sun Coffee, and Kona Coffee & Tea Company, sampled treats from the Original Hawaiian Chocolate; Kona Brewing Company, Royal Kona Coffee; Big Island Bees – Hawaiian Apiaries, Kona Pure Deep Sea Salt, Kona Earthly Delights Farm, Kona Joe Coffee; and watched a live cooking demonstration presented by Chef Paul Heerlein, Chef Instructor, Hawaii Community College – West Hawaii.

To request winners recipes or digital images please contact Jeannette Vidgen at Current Events 808-326- 7820 or email:

Honoka’a Pool Opening and Police Community Meeting

From the Mayors Office:

The County of Hawai‘i Department of Parks and Recreation announces that the Honoka‘a Swimming Pool will reopen on Thursday, December 3, following renovations.  The following is the December schedule:

December 2009

Adult Lap Swim 9–10 am Mon-Fri
Water Aerobics 10-11 am M/W/F
Public Recreational Swim 10–12 pm Tues/Thurs
Public Recreational Swim 11–12 pm M/W/F
Public Recreational Swim 1–3:30 pm Mon-Fri


The Hawai’i Police Department will hold a community meeting on Tuesday, December 15, from noon to 2 p.m. at the North Kohala Intergenerational Center.

The purpose of the meeting is to allow the public to meet the Police Department’s command staff and to discuss concerns with the police chief and commanders who oversee police operations in the North Kohala District.

The North Kohala event continues the second round of district community meetings, which are rotated monthly throughout the eight police districts on the Big Island. To aid police commanders in focusing on specific community concerns, they ask that participation be limited to persons who live or work in the police district in which each meeting is held.

Those interested in participating but unable to attend may e-mail their concerns or comments to

For more information, you may call Assistant Chief Henry Tavares at 326-4646, ext. 283.

Hawaii H1N1 Resolution Advances Vaccination Exemptions In Favor of American Freedoms

Media Release:

Despite the declared H1N1 “national emergency,” Department of Health officials were unable to persuade the Hawaii County Council to stop a resolution advancing vaccination exemptions. The Resolution was put forth by County Council vice chair, Emily I. Naeole-Beason, who received concerns about vaccine-injuries from several constituents. Proponents declared the Council’s vote a victory for freedom, and a warning to those who seek mandatory medical authorizations under Federal “national emergency” statutes.  The vote was 7-1 in favor with County chair J Yoshimoto casting the only no vote and Council member Enriques was absent.

Where I Am… NOW

Today marks what will be an incredible three days of excitement for me.

Today, I’m off on a customized Waipio Rim Hike Adventure courtesy of Hawaii Forest & Trail and the Big Island Visitors Bureau.

I’ll write more about my adventure when I get back home.  The following is just a picture I snagged off Flickr:

This is pretty exciting for me.  I’ve been down into the valley, but never had the the opportunity to walk around the rim of the valley.

What’s even more exciting, is meeting the folks from the magazines that I’m going on this 3 day whirlwind excursion with.

I’ll write more about who they are and what magazines/online sites they represent in the following days.

I’d just like to say thanks ahead of time for this once in a lifetime opportunity.

I’m not sure if I will have access to post to my blog from the rim of the Valley so I have pre set the timing of  this post to be posted to my blog at about the same time I think I’ll be hitting the Rim of Waipio Valley.

This Weekend: Paradise Studio Tour Artist Collective

15 Hawaiian Paradise Park studios with 35 artists will open their studios to the public.

…”Our mission is also to encourage art education through donations to local schools for art supplies and by providing opportunities for mentoring, lectures and workshops.” The 2008 tour donation was over $1000.00 to the Hawaii Academy of Arts and Sciences in Pahoa, and the first year was $600 to the Keaau High School art department.

A portion of all sales will be donated to the Pahoa High School art department.

More Here: The Paradise Studio Tour Artist Collective

On another note, I urge you all to read Alan McNaries blog where he states among other things:

“…It happens every year. The Artists’ Hui has tried to limit the damage, (and neighbors’ complaints of noise and traffic snarls) by limiting the number of participating artists, by having more than one artist at a site, and by using sites on major streets instead of the one-lane trails by which many local residents reach their homes (hardly any of the official “open studios” are actually held in real artists’ studios any more), but a number of other artists continue to hold “unofficial” sales at their houses on the same weekend.

Some neighbors put up obstacles such as construction-scene tape to keep vehicles off the shoulders near their homes. But that reduced the amount of areas where cars could park, concentrating the damage and causing some drivers to pull off in really soggy areas they might otherwise have avoided…

More Here: White Rocks, Black Tires and Green Shoulders