Crazy Hawaiian Jumps Into Ocean and Rides Whale Shark!

I just saw this video that got uploaded to youtube today and all I have to say is holy crap!

Our parasailing instructor in Hawaii turns the boat around after a rare whale shark sighting off the coast of Honolulu. He jumps in and rides one of the two sharks for a few seconds before returning to the boat!


Lt. Governor Aiona to Present $140,000 Check to Hilo Medical Center Rural Residency Program

Media Release:

On Thursday, July 1, 2010 at 2:00 p.m., Lt. Governor James R. “Duke” Aiona, Jr., will present a check in the amount of $140,000.00 to the John A. Burns School of Medicine – Hilo Medical Center Rural Residency Program, at the Rural Residency Program Office located at 45 Mohouli Street in Hilo. Lt. Governor Aiona will present the check to members of the Hilo Medical Center Foundation, the Rural Residency Program and Hilo Medical Center Regional Board.

“Our administration has been aware of the acute shortage of doctors in East Hawaii. The East Hawaii community has banded together to support the Rural Residency Program and I’m privileged and honored to be able contribute the State’s share to support this much needed program. Despite our State’s financial troubles, our Administration has taken the necessary steps to make sure this worthwhile program is funded.” noted the Lt. Governor.

The Lt. Governor will give brief remarks. Invited speakers include:

  • Lori Rodgers, Executive Director, Hilo Medical Center Foundation
  • Julie Tulang, Vice President of the Hilo Medical Center Foundation
  • Brian Iwata, East Hawaii Regional Board, Finance Chair
  • Dr. Luci Bucci
  • Boyd Murayama, Medical Group Program Director
  • Dr. Linda Dolan, Hilo Medical Center.

2nd Annual Battle of the BBQ Now Accepting Applications

Media Release:

The Second Annual Don the Beachcomber Mai Tai Festival “BATTLE OF THE BBQ” is now accepting applications:

The festival will be held on the grounds of the Royal Kona Resort on August 14, 2010. It’s all about Mai Tai’s, Don the Beachcomber, Tiki culture and island fun! There is no fee to participate and you will be given $100 to offset your costs. What you create with it is your ticket to winning the PEOPLE’s CHOICE award(s)


5-night stay for two at Royal Lahaina Resort in deluxe ocean view room, 2 tickets to the Royal Lahaina luau, food and beverage credit of $500 and 2 RT Air Travel from Kona to Kahului plus a round of golf for two at Kaanapali Golf course!

Please provide at least 300 taster pieces; we are shooting for 500 attendees.

You have free creative expression for your dish and booth; however, we might recommend promoting Big Island spirit and lighthearted fun – as this event is about the fun that Mai Tai’s create! Keep in mind our theme when styling out your booth – again, HAVE FUN with this one!

Event electricity is limited; please do not plan on using high current appliances. Please contact us immediately if your entry requires significant electricity use on-site.

Your food booth:

1. Two (2) tables with cloths will be provided – PLEASE DECORATE….remember Mai Tai’s, Tikis, hula girls, palm trees, island icons….

2. Please bring all serving utensils, napkins, plates, lights, extension cords etc. necessary for your booth.

3. Food safety regulations require that you bring 10X10 Tent and lights; Please advise if you do not have a tent and we will work to provide one for you. Please advise if you do not have a charcoal grill and one will be provided for you.

4. Royal Kona will provide your booth with hand sanitation per regulations


1. Set up can begin anytime after 7am with doors opening at 10 am; your taster should be ready by 11am

2. You will be assigned a booth number prior to your arrival and booths will be marked accordingly

3. The booths will shut down at 2pm


1. Guests will purchase ticket to enter event and be given 2 Ballots:

a. People’s Choice Best Tasting

b. People’s Choice – Best all around Presentation – food and Booth

2. It’s BATTLE OF THE BBQ…A Charcoal BBQ must be used for some element of your taster.

3. Royal Kona Resort is happy to be hosting and participating in the event this year and as the Winner of People’s Choice last year will not be eligible to accept votes.

PLEASE FAX THIS FORM TO CHEF MIKE LAMB at 808-329-7230 by July 15, 2010 or call Jeff Isbister at 808-329-3111 for more information.

Battle of the BBQ

An Update on the Skydiving and Parks and Recreation Situation

I mentioned the other day how skydivers were having difficulty getting permits to jump and threatened with arrest if they were to do so.

It now appears that there was some mix up in communication and that skydivers will be allowed to jump only on one day (JULY 4th) during a thirty minute time interval.

I received the following email this morning from the owner of the company:

…After all the fuss about no insurance, they are going to allow up to 10 skydivers into ballpark 5 between 4:30 and 5:00PM for one skydive, but still no tandem skydiving, as that is commercial activity…

So needless to say… I won’t be jumping this weekend as I’ve only tandem skydived before.

Me freefalling with Skydive Hawaii

So you Kona folks make sure you look up into sky between 4:30 and 5:00 and check-out the skydivers that will be dropping in on your town!

Wordless Wednesday – Food Waste

I’m going bananas… I see them…

But I just can’t reach them

Congresswoman Mazie Hirono Questions Federal Agencies in Wake of Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill

Congresswoman Mazie Hirono questions administrators with the U.S. Department of Labor and U.S. Department of Interior in the aftermath of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill disaster during a recent Education and Labor Committee hearing. The Congresswoman’s questioning is followed by closing remarks by Committee Chairman George Miller.


This Thursday – Pahoa Village Cafe Welcomes The Green

I’m wondering if Anuhea Jenkins will make a special guest appearance with The Green as she has been touring a lot with them of late.

Anuhea Jenkins and members of "The Green"

These pictures were taken of her at the Na Hoku Awards Festival with “The Green” escorting her on her big night of winning two Na Hoku Awards.

Getting interviewed by Lina Girl

So come check out Pahoa Village Cafe this Thursday night and hopefully we will be treated to a nice little surprise!

Big Island Resident Roger Christie Establishing Cannabis Churches in Colorado

It didn’t take long for the Rev. Roger Christie, founder of the Hawaii Cannabis Ministry, to move forward with his plan to establish a cannabis church in Colorado Springs.

Christie, who lives in Hawaii, was in the city Tuesday (June 22) to give a lecture on the spiritual implications of marijuana and to check the temperature of locals about founding a cannabis church. Only seven people showed up for his lecture. But while giving two more talks in Denver last week, Christie said, a person stepped forward offering to lead the Colorado Springs cannabis church…

Full article: Cannabis church plant in the Springs by September, leader says

1ST Hawaii International Micro Robot Conference and Tournament to be Held on the Big Island

From the House Majority Communication Office:

The 1st Hawaii International Micro Robot Conference and Tournament will be held at the ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center at the University of Hawaii at Hilo from July 16-19, 2010.

The effort is being led by the Waiakea High School Robotics Club and the Hawaii Space Grant Consortium, two groups that have provided many opportunities for science students and teachers in the field of robotics and technology.

Art Kimura, Education Specialist at the Hawaii Space Grant Consortium, said this event is being held to jumpstart the conversation on how the Big Island can benefit from micro mechanisms. The event will allow community leaders to talk to industry experts and learn about the advantages and possibilities of a micro mechanisms and robotics industry rooting from the islands.

“The exciting thing about this endeavor is the idea that the Big Island could become a center for the development of micro mechanisms research and development and a micro-robotics industry in the pacific,” Kimura said.

Because of this tournament, Hawaii students will now have the opportunity to compete without paying high costs to fly elsewhere for the same experience.

The goal of the conference is to stimulate high technology education and assist in the creation of a technically capable workforce by developing the infrastructure and skill sets necessary to support high technology robotics based activities.

“Once this is in place,” said Rep. Nakashima, a supporter of the effort, “the next step will be identifying the real world potential and application for this growing technology as we invite new industries to the Big Island to take advantage of our newly skilled work force.”

A public event featuring an origami presentation and bipedal robot demonstration will be held on Saturday, July 17, 2010, 6:30-8:00 p.m. at ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center.

·         Origami presentation by Hidenori Ishihara, a robotics professor from Kagawa University.

·         Bipedal robot demonstration by Risa Saito, a Japanese high school student who won the bipedal competition in the 2009 Micro Robot Contest at Nagoya University, and Hideaki Matsutani, a Japanese technical education teacher who conducts bipedal workshops in Nagoya for middle school students.

Seating for this event is first come, first served.

3.6 Earthquake Shakes Volcano Area

Version #1: This report supersedes any earlier reports of this event.
This is a computer-generated message. This event has not yet been reviewed by a seismologist.

A minor earthquake occurred at 8:55:25 AM (HST) on Tuesday, June 29, 2010 .
The magnitude 3.6 event occurred 10 km (6 miles) WNW of Ka`ena Point.
The hypocentral depth is 34 km (21 miles).

UH Board of Regents Approves Thirty Meter Telescope Project on Mauna Kea

Media Release:

At a special meeting held today, the University of Hawai‘i Board of Regents (BOR) voted to approve the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) Project on Mauna Kea with the recommended conditions of the Mauna Kea Management Board (MKMB). TMT is expected to be the world’s most advanced and capable astronomical observatory.

Previously approved by the Mauna Kea Management Board, UH Hilo Chancellor Rose Tseng and UH President M.R.C. Greenwood, and with the Final Environmental Impact Statement formally accepted by Governor Linda Lingle, the project now goes to the Department of Land and Natural Resources for a conservation district use permit.

“The Thirty Meter Telescope will take us on an exciting journey of astronomical discovery, and the benefits that will flow from the project will go far beyond scientific results,” said Greenwood. “University of Hawai‘i scientists will be full participants in all aspects of this TMT journey, while the capital investment and jobs created by the project will boost the state’s economy and provide for local educational and workforce development programs. I know that the university’s important responsibility of ensuring good stewardship of this special site for future generations has been of utmost priority throughout the process, and it will continue to be our focus as we work closely with the community and all stakeholders involved with the management of Mauna Kea.”

“I was very proud to recommend approval of the TMT to President Greenwood and the Board of Regents today,” said UH Hilo Chancellor Rose Tseng. “Before making this recommendation, UH Hilo, our Office of Mauna Kea Management, and the community-based Mauna Kea Management Board worked very hard in a public process to review this project and its potential impacts. TMT officials have truly listened to the public discussions and extensive input from all segments of the community, and I’m confident TMT will live up to its commitments to protect the mountain’s natural and cultural resources and to promote education on the island of Hawai‘i.”

The TMT project is an international partnership among the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), the University of California, and the Association of Canadian Universities for Research in Astronomy. The National Astronomical Observatory of Japan joined TMT as a Collaborating Institution in 2008, and the National Astronomical Observatories of the Chinese Academy of Sciences joined TMT as an Observer in 2009. Most recently, India announced its decision last week to join the project as an Observer.

Dr. Henry Yang, chancellor of UC Santa Barbara and chair of the TMT Board of Directors, and Dr. Jean-Lou Chameau, president of Caltech, have been the key principals involved in developing relationships between TMT and Hawai‘i. They’ve made many trips to Hawai‘i and have held talk story sessions with numerous individuals, including local schools, labor unions, Native Hawaiian groups and local officials. Their trips resulted in the development of close community relationships from which they learned of the community’s concerns and interests.

“We believe this partnership will benefit the Big Island and Hawai‘i in so many ways, with jobs, the economy, workforce development, education, the environment, culture, and of course, science,” said Yang. “The world-class stature of astronomical education and research of the University of Hawai‘i on all its campuses statewide will benefit, and discoveries made by this telescope will benefit not only the international science community, but all of humankind.”

The TMT project was the first project to undergo the Mauna Kea Science Reserve Master Plan’s project review process in its entirety. The Master Plan is the policy governing the management of the university’s management areas on Mauna Kea. The first step required classifying TMT a major project, followed by the design review process, and finally the project review process. All steps involved public input and review by the MKMB, which voted to recommend approval of the TMT project with conditions to the UH Hilo chancellor, UH president and UH BOR.

Hawaii County Parks and Recreation Department Threatens Skydivers With Being Arrested

Well I’m a bit bummed!  I was invited to go tandem skydiving with Skydive Hawaii on the Kona side of the island on Friday but it now looks like I won’t be going due to some tight restrictions and a threat of arrest!

I received the following in an email today from the owners of Skydive Hawaii:

…we’re being shut down for tandems and it  looks like sport skydivers will be arrested. It doesn’t seem that the City will allow us to tandem, as there is not any insurance which we can name them as additional insured.  I have told the County Parks Director that all the skydivers have 3rd party liability insurance through their membership in USPA (United States Parachute Association), but it now does not meet their requirements.

Even though DLNR says the skydivers are free to land their parachutes on the beach next to the Old Kona Airport Park, County of Hawaii Department of Parks and Recreation Director, Robert Fitzgerald, has threatened skydivers with arrest if they then attempt to walk onto the Old Kona Airport Park for egress from the beach. He likened me to a drug dealer trying to find a place to operate.  I thought that the skydivers on the Big Island would be able to enjoy one of their favorite sports on their own island, as they invited me to come over to provide air support which would allow the to use the DZ (Drop Zone) which they have used for some 30 years.

We did fly the flag today we intended to fly over for the 4th.  I have attached a couple of photos.  We’ll have to take you up for another skydive another time another place it seems.  Everyone who has jumped with us in the last month from the Big Island has said that they have friends on Hawaii who would love to skydive, but can’t make the trip. Please extend my sincere apologies to all those who read your blog and had interest in skydiving.

*UPDATE* the following email was sent to Mr. Fitzgerald as well as the Mayor’s office from the owner of the company.

Aloha Mr Fitzgerald,

I appreciate the opportunity to speak with you last Friday.  During this conversation you likened my legal profession to that of a drug dealer and further threatened to arrest any skydivers leaving from property on which we can lawfully land their parachutes.  Would you please provide me the authority under which you can both threatened to and have citizens arrested for simply walking on public property?

Blue skies,

Frank Hinshaw

Skydive Kona Corp

Russians Win The 9th Annual MATE International ROV Competition

The winning team from Institute for Marine Technology Problems of Vladivostok Russia looks on

Last week saw was the 9th Annual MATE International ROV competition at UH Hilo.

Here are the results:

In the Explorer (advanced level) class the 1st place winner was Institute for Marine Technology Problems of Vladivostok, Russia; 2nd place went to Long Beach City College of Long Beach, Calif.; and 3rd place went to the Marine Institute and Faculty of Engineering of Memorial University of St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada. In the Ranger class (intermediate level), 1st place was won by First Flight High School of Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina; 2nd place went to Clarenville High School of Clarenville, Newfoundland, Canada; and 3rd place was won by Aptos High School of Aptos, Calif.

A couple of Hawaii teams won some prizes too. The Hilo High School team won the “Biggest Bang for the Buck” prize in the Ranger category, which means that they spent the least amount of money on a vehicle that performed well. The Highlands Intermediate School of Pearl City won the “Aloha Team Spirit” award for having the best overall team spirit. And finally, Erica Sampaga of Hilo School won one of three Ranger class “Engineering MVP” prizes, which as you might guess are given to students that exhibit outstanding engineering skills.

Next Weekend: Freedom Fest II

Hawaii a Possibility for PRO FOOTBALL!!!

UFL Commissioner Michael Huyghue

I just noticed that the commissioner Michael Huyghue of the United Football League is looking at expanding to Hawaii!

We just added our sixth city – Norfolk. Now we’re considering Portland, Raleigh, St. Lake City, San Antonio, Austin, Los Angeles and Hawaii.

He stated this to the world on Twitter just yesterday.

Should the Big Island Ban Fireworks… The Poll

Well now that it has been determined that each county will be allowed to determine their own fireworks law… I think it’s time for a poll:
[polldaddy poll=3395070]

The 9th Annual MATE International ROV Competition

Today I attended the competition missions & engineering evaluations day of the the Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) International ROV Competition at UH Hilo’s campus.

I watched the Ranger Mission’s first:

If you don’t know what ROV stands for, it stands for Remote Operated Vehicles.

In the Ranger Class, there were schools from all over America, as well as the countries of Scotland, Hong Kong – China, and Taiwan.

The Hong Kong team below didn’t speak much English and I wonder how they felt about me taking pictures of their ROV?

Here is the complete list of schools competing in the  Ranger Division:

After the Ranger Missions, I watched the  Explorer Missions:

Schools from all over America participated in this as well as two teams from Russia and another from Scotland and China.

Of course the local kids were pretty thrilled to learn about Russian culture from the Russian kids.

Here is a complete list of the Explorer Teams that participated:

There were a lot of bright minds at that pool today.

It feels pretty good knowing that our future generation of kids are learning things that I never even dreamed about learning when I was a kid.

These remote vehicles varied from fairly simple

To very complex

and quite awkward looking things!

The competition wraps up tomorrow with an awards banquet and ceremony at Edith Kanakaole Stadium.

Feel free to click on any of the pictures below or above for a larger view:

Lingle Signs Law Which Will Hire More Inspectors and Strengthen Sanitation Inspection Programs

From the House Majority Communications Office:

Governor Lingle today signed into law HB2688 which strengthens the state’s sanitation inspection program, including the hiring of more inspectors.

The measure, now Act 176, changes the name of the “Environmental Health Education Fund” to the “Sanitation and Environmental Health Special Fund”, and allows the money in the fund to be used for sanitation programs and activities, including monitoring Hawaii’s restaurants and food establishments.

“Proper sanitation in public areas is critical to the health and safety of our population,” said Rep. Ryan Yamane, Chair of the House Committee on Health.  “I’m pleased that the Governor signed this bill into law since it will allow the Department of Health to hire needed sanitation and vector control inspectors and to provide greater support to Hawaii businesses which have an impact on public health.”

The sanitation branch is charged with implementing programs related to:

  • Food protection
  • The regulation of barber shops, beauty parlors, massage parlors, tattoo shops, mortuaries, public swimming pools, and public laundries;
  • The inspection of tenement houses, lodging houses, and boarding houses;
  • The licensing of tattoo artists and embalmers; and
  • Enforcing the sanitation requirements for hospitals and medical facilities.

“Even before the infamous video of the rats in certain food vendor areas, I’ve been concerned that the number of sanitation inspectors is woefully low for the number of food establishments in Hawaii,” said Rep. Marcus Oshiro, the introducer of the bill.  “It’s irresponsible to create that kind of health risk for the general public.

This new law sets up a special fund that allows the sanitation branch, which brings in much of the fees through their activities, to use the money for sanitation purposes and not just for environmental health.  It’s a good bill that will greatly benefit the public.”

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McCain Introduces Legislation to Repeal Jones Act

Following is a statement released by Senator McCain today:

“Today I am pleased to introduce legislation that would fully repeal the Jones Act, a 1920s law that hinders free trade and favors labor unions over consumers. Specifically, the Jones Act requires that all goods shipped between waterborne ports of the United States be carried by vessels built in the United States and owned and operated by Americans. This restriction only serves to raise shipping costs, thereby making U.S. farmers less competitive and increasing costs for American consumers.

“This was highlighted by a 1999 U.S. International Trade Commission economic study, which suggested that a repeal of the Jones Act would lower shipping costs by approximately 22 percent. Also, a 2002 economic study from the same Commission found that repealing the Jones Act would have an annual positive welfare effect of $656 million on the overall U.S. economy. Since these studies are the most recent statistics available, imagine the impact a repeal of the Jones Act would have today: far more than a $656 million annual positive welfare impact – maybe closer to $1 billion. These statistics demonstrate that a repeal of the Jones Act could prove to be a true stimulus to our economy in the midst of such difficult economic times.

“The Jones Act also adds a real, direct cost to consumers – particularly consumers in Hawaii and Alaska. A 1988 GAO report found that the Jones Act was costing Alaskan families between $1,921 and $4,821 annually for increased prices paid on goods shipped from the mainland. In 1997, a Hawaii government official asserted that ‘Hawaii residents pay an additional $1 billion per year in higher prices because of the Jones Act. This amounts to approximately $3,000 for every household in Hawaii.'”

“This antiquated and protectionist law has been predominantly featured in the news as of late due to the Gulf Coast oil spill. Within a week of the explosion, 13 countries, including several European nations, offered assistance from vessels and crews with experience in removing oil spill debris, and as of June 21st, the State Department has acknowledged that overall ‘it has had 21 aid offers from 17 countries.’ However, due to the Jones Act, these vessels are not permitted in U.S. waters.

“The Administration has the ability to grant a waiver of the Jones Act to any vessel – just as the previous Administration did during Hurricane Katrina – to allow the international community to assist in recovery efforts. Unfortunately, this Administration has not done so.

“Therefore, some Senators have put forward legislation to waive the Jones Act during emergency situations, and I am proud to co-sponsor this legislation. However, the best course of action is to permanently repeal the Jones Act in order to boost the economy, saving consumers hundreds of millions of dollars. I hope my colleagues will join me in this effort to repeal this unnecessary, antiquated legislation in order to spur job creation and promote free trade.”