Five Chefs Lauded by Statewide Fruit Growers

Media Release:

Five Hawai‘i chefs were recognized for their support and continued use of local fruit at the recent 20th Annual Hawaii International Tropical Fruit Conference at the Aston Aloha Beach Resort.

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They are Roy Yamaguchi of Roy’s Restaurants, Alan Wong of Alan Wong’s Restaurants, Ed Kenny of Oahu’s Town and Downtown Restaurants, Kevin Hanney of Oahu’s 12th Avenue Grill and James Babian of the Big Island’s Four Seasons Resort Hualalai.

“Hawaii leads the country in farmer-chef relationships thanks to dedicated and creative chefs like those who receive this award,” says Ken Love, executive director of the statewide Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers Association, which hosted the annual conference. “These symbiotic relationships between growers and chefs create a very special experience for our visitors.”

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The three-day gathering offered workshops and presentations by fruit experts, including keynote speaker Noris Ledesma of the Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden in Florida who presented “For the Love of Mangoes” and “Growing and Marketing Specialty Crops.” Other topics covered included  “Breadfruit-Its Use and Potential” by Dr. Diane Ragone of the National Tropical Botanical Garden on Kauai.

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Chef Peter Merriman of the statewide Merriman’s Restaurants joined Kauai Community College chef instructor Steve Nakata and growers Ned Whitlock and John Wooten in a lively farmer-chef panel discussion. Merriman is one of a handful of chefs previously cited by HTFG for using local fruit. The others are from the Big Island: Matthew Zubrod of Monettes, William Trask of Hawaiian Culinary Consultants, Paul Heerlein of Hawaii Community College, West Hawaii, Charles Charbonneau of Hilton Waikoloa Village and George Gomes Jr. of the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel.

Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers Incorporated in 1989 to promote tropical fruit grown in Hawaii, HTFG is a statewide association of tropical fruit growers, packers, distributors and hobbyists dedicated to tropical fruit research, education, marketing and promotion.

Pot Possession in California Now Like Speeding Ticket

Possessing up to an ounce of marijuana in California is now no more serious than getting a speeding ticket. This after a bill the governor signed into law Thursday.


Public is Invited to Celebrate the Pacific Aviation Museum’s 4th Anniversary


The public is invited to spend a gala evening reminiscent of Waikiki when peace was declared in 1945, with military, civic and community dignitaries celebrating Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor’s 4th Anniversary on Thursday, December 2, 5:30 to 9:30pm.

Guests will be treated to 1940s musical entertainment by The Hot Club of Hulaville featuring Ginai, enjoy Asian Fusion cuisine and fine wines by Chef Chai of Chai’s Island Bistro. The fun begins at the front door with aircraft and vintage military vehicles greeting the guests. Throughout the evening guests will have 20 opportunities to win prizes from Mainland trips to jewelry, by donating to “Fill the Windsock,” the Museum’s unique auction format.  Emcees for the evening will be KSSK’s Michael W. Perry and Sweetie Pacarro.

Pacific Aviation Museum is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Its mission is to develop and maintain an internationally recognized aviation museum on historic Ford Island that educates young and old alike, honors aviators and their support personnel who defended freedom in The Pacific Region, and preserves Pacific aviation history.

Tickets and tables may be purchased by calling Director of Development Carol Arnott at 808/441-1006 or purchasing online at The Museum is located at 319 Lexington Boulevard on Ford Island at Pearl Harbor.

Bay Clinic Announces New Medical Director

Media Release:

Board Certified Occupational Health Physician Fatima C. Phillips, MD, PhD, MPH, has been named the new Medical Director of Bay Clinic, Inc.  Dr. Phillips has already begun to implement what she describes as a “whatever it takes” approach to her new position.

“We couldn’t be happier to have her on board,” said Paul Strauss, Bay Clinic CEO.  “Dr. Phillips comes to us with a wealth of training and experience, extensive medical knowledge and a strong track record of leadership.  She is passionate, determined and committed, and has already become an indispensable addition to our extraordinary team of providers.”

Dr. Phillips accepted the position of Medical Director effective September 1, 2010.  Her impressive professional history includes serving as Director of Occupational Health Support for NASA, Medical Director for both Boeing and General Motors, and Director of Health Services for the US Army.

When asked about her new priorities, Dr. Phillips said “I can’t emphasize that enough that the patient comes first.”  She stated that “the providers currently working for the Bay Clinic are really good with their patients, I know that they care.”  She plans to focus on recruiting, retaining and mentoring new providers to integrate into the existing team of medical professionals.

Dr. Phillips is a graduate of The Johns Hopkins University, the University of Southern Illinois and Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana.  She most recently held the position of Medical Director at Clinical Research Solutions, Inc., a private occupational health and family medicine clinic on Merritt Island in Florida.  She also served as the Principal Investigator in more than 100 clinical trials while working as a consultant physician for the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA), Accelovance Corporation, Comprehensive NeuroSciences, Inc., and the US Department of Energy Republic of Marshall Islands Special Medical Care Program.

Bay Clinic, Inc. is a network of federally-qualified nonprofit community health centers with seven service sites in the districts of Hilo, Puna, and Ka`u.  Founded in 1983, the Bay Clinic is one of the largest healthcare employers and nonprofit service organizations on the Island of Hawaii, providing primary healthcare, mental health counseling, family planning, pediatric and prenatal care, dental services and community outreach to the rural underserved.

East Hawaii Veterinary Center Sued By Equal Employment Opportunity Council For Sexual Harassment, Retaliation

Co-Owner Responsible for Vulgar, Offensive Slurs to Female Staff, Federal Agency Charges

Press Release:

East Hawaii Veterinary Center, LLC, a veterinary clinic in Hilo on the Big Island of Hawaii, violated federal law by sexually harassing, firing and/or forcing out a class of female employees due to their gender, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed yesterday.

Since 2005, at least six female employees, ranging from receptionists to a veterinarian, were subjected to extremely offensive, vulgar comments geared solely toward female staff by a co-owner of the clinic, according to the EEOC. On a near-daily basis, the co-owner insulted the women by calling them “worthless,” “whores” and other extremely vulgar epithets, and generally treated the women differently. The male staff was not subjected to such insults and hostile behavior.

Despite the company’s lack of an internal policy against discrimination, the EEOC asserts that one receptionist complained about the harassment to a different co-owner, who acknowledged that the behavior was inappropriate, yet took no action to stop it. Ultimately, the EEOC contends that the offending co-owner fired at least three of the victims and forced the others to quit.

Sexual harassment violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed its lawsuit in U.S. District Court, District of Hawaii (EEOC v. East Hawaii Veterinary Center, LLC, Case No. CV 10-00559-BAE-LEK). The suit was filed after the EEOC first attempted to reach a pre-litigation settlement. The EEOC’s suit seeks back pay, compensatory and punitive damages for the class, as well as injunctive relief intended to prevent further discrimination at the East Hawaii Veterinary Center.

“Supervisors and top managers have a higher duty to ensure a workplace free of hostility,” said Anna Y. Park, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Los Angeles District Office, which has jurisdiction over Hawaii. “Women have the right to work without the utter degradation displayed here, and the EEOC will fight to ensure that employers pay for such injustices.”

Timothy Riera, local director of the EEOC’s Honolulu Local Office added, “It is important that owners and managers alike set the standard for a discrimination-free environment and ensure that employees are adequately trained to prevent, address and correct sexual harassment and other forms of discrimination.”

Open since 2003, the East Hawaii Veterinary Center is a locally owned and operated clinic which provides medical and emergency services for small, avian and exotic animalson the Big Island of Hawaii, according to the company’s website.

The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at .