District 6 Matters: Discussion with Mayor Kenoi

New Spa Opens in North Kohala

Media Release:

Two years after welcoming its first guests, Hawai’i Island Retreat at Ahu Pohaku Ho’omaluhia, located in North Kohala on Hawai’i Island, is pleased to announce the grand opening of Maluhia Spa on April 1. In English, maluhia translates to peace, quiet, security, tranquility, and serenity. True to its name, Maluhia Spa provides the perfect environment to magnify and support the natural healing that being in nature offers.

At Maluhia Spa, open-air outdoor massage hale (bungalows) overlook a valley of ironwood trees, and a saltwater-purified infinity pool seamlessly blends into the surrounding landscape of ocean, cliffs, and sky. A solar-heated hottub sits nearby. Maluhia Spa draws nature indoors with a glass-walled spa/exercise pavilion and yoga studio that open up to spectacular views. Well-appointed treatment rooms provide the perfect ambience for soothing facials and body treatments. Eco-friendly men’s and women’s locker rooms come complete with organic shower products, reverse osmosis drinking water filters, and solar hot water. There is an open-air reception area with a relaxation lounge and a retail shop so you can take some of your spa experience home. Complementing its natural environment and peaceful architecture is a menu of traditional, holistic treatments and massages, as well as body services utilizing seasonal fruits and plants grown on the land.


Hawaii Island Hoops Now Accepting Registration for its 2011 College-Prep Basketball Camp

Media Release:

Hawaii Island Hoops is now accepting registration for its 2011 College-Prep Basketball Camp, from June 20th- 24th, 2011, at the Kekuaokalani Gym in Kailua-Kona.


Special Guest:  Jon Brockman – Milwaukee Bucks Forward, University of Washington All-American…Also, Guest Nike Coach at camp all week!!

Get noticed and be instructed by college coaches! Our college-prep camp includes Nike SPARQ Training, daily fundamental drill stations, shooting clinics, defensive breakdowns, team offense, individual skills competitions and championship game.  There will also be a 3-point shootout, free-throw, slam dunk contest, all-star game and awards ceremony. Take advantage of this opportunity!

Hawaii Island Hoops College-Prep Basketball Camp is open to boys ages 13-19 who are looking to improve their skills and learn a college style program.  The cost of the five-day camp is $350 and includes top-notch college coach/player instruction from NCAA, NAIA and JUCO level, evening college-prep seminars on academic requirements, financial aid available, and athletic recruitment.  Each camper will also receive a Reversible Jersey, shorts, Basketball, Camp T-shirt, College-Prep Handbook, All-Meals included, athletic trainer on site, Hapuna Beach trip…and a week of fun!

Registration can be found online at www.HawaiiIslandHoops.com or for more information, contact Director Andy Smith at (808) 937-3082 Director@HawaiiIslandHoops.com

Governor Abercrombie Announces Board of Education Appointees

Media Release:

In another step forward to advance the state’s public school system, Governor Neil Abercrombie today announced his appointments to the new Board of Education (BOE).  The board consists of nine members – three from O’ahu, three at-large, and one each from Hawai’i Island, Maui and Kaua’i.

“I was encouraged by the number of quality people who applied to serve on the BOE, all who were ready to commit themselves to a new day in education,” said Governor Abercrombie.  “It was important for me to find the right balance of individuals who could bring their diverse experiences to the table.  Education is one of my highest priorities.  Hawai’i depends on the success of our public schools and these individuals have stepped up to take responsibility for increasing public confidence in our schools and fundamental change to improve outcomes for children and our community.”

Act 5, which was signed into law earlier this month, established legislation for the Governor to appoint BOE members.  His appointments require confirmation by the state Senate.

The Governor’s appointees to the BOE are:

  • Maui:  Wesley Lo is the Chief Executive Officer at Maui Memorial Medical Center.  He previously worked as the Maui County Finance Director and the Chief Financial Officer of Maui Memorial Medical Center.  His children attend Baldwin High School and Pomaikai Elementary.  Lo’s wife is a counselor at Maui High School.  His appointment is for a three-year term.
  • Hawaii:  Brian DeLima is an Attorney in Private Practice.  He is a former Hawai’i County council member.  DeLima is a graduate of Hilo High School and in 1972 he served as the first student BOE member.  His daughter, who has special needs, attends Hilo Intermediate School.  DeLima’s appointment is for a two-year term.
  • Kauai:  Nancy Budd is an Attorney in Private Practice.  Budd is a member of the Kauai Planning and Action Alliance Public Education Action Team; she serves as Director and President of the Kauai District Parent Teacher Student Association; and is a reading tutor at Wilcox Elementary School. Budd’s daughter graduated from Kaua’i High School. Her appointment is for a one-year term.
  • O’ahu:  Jim Williams is retired Administrator and CEO of the Hawaii Employer-Union Benefits Trust Fund (EUTF). Currently, he is the Vice-chair of Voyager Public Charter School, and previously served as President and CEO of Royal State Learning Foundation; Interim Director and President of the Hawai’i State Teachers Association; and teacher at Kauanakakai Elementary School and Moloka’i High School.  Williams’ appointment is for a three-year term.
  • O’ahu:  Charlene Cuaresma is the Associate Director of the Graduate Professional Access Program at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa.  She is also the Community Director of the Asian American Network for Cancer Awareness, Research and Training.  Cuaresma, a Waipahu High School graduate, is active in many Filipino community initiatives. Cuaresma’s appointment is for a two-year term.
  • O’ahu:  Cheryl Kauhane Lupenui is the Chief Executive Officer of the YWCA of Oahu.  She has served on the boards of Hawai’i Tourism Authority’s Hawaiian Resource Advisory Board; the Center for Asian Pacific American Women; and Aloha United Way.  Lupenui’s appointment is for a one-year term.
  • At-large:  Keith Amemiya is the Executive Administrator and Secretary of the Board of Regents at the University of Hawai’i.  He is the former Executive Director of the Hawaii High School Athletic Association.  Amemiya served on a number of boards including the Honolulu Firefighters Foundation, Aloha Council of the Boy Scouts of America, Susannah Wesley Community Center, and The Learning Coalition.  His appointment is for a one-year term.
  • At-large:  Kim Gennaula is a Philanthropy Director at Kapiolani Health Foundation.  She is a former news anchor and previously worked as Communications Director for Liberty House and Sharper Image.  Her two children attend Hokulani Elementary School, and she has been a member of an advisor board to the Superintendent.  Gennaula’s appointment is for a two-year term.
  • At-large:  Don Horner is Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of First Hawaiian Bank.  In February, the Governor appointed him to fill the vacancy of the at-large position on the board.  (http://hawaii.gov/gov/newsroom/press-releases/governor-abercrombie-selects-community-leader-for-the-board-of-education)

The Governor has also appointed Horner as the new BOE Chairman.

BOE members oversee the Department of Education (DOE), which has a $1.7 billion operational budget.  The DOE is one of the state’s largest organizations with more employees than the state’s five largest private sector employers combined.

Since signing Act 5 into law, the Governor’s office received more than 150 applications to the BOE.  Governor Abercrombie’s nine appointments must be confirmed by state Senate’s Education Committee as well as the confirmation of the full Senate.

Ukulele Jams – A Benefit for the Victims of the Tsunami in Japan

Media Release:

The Center for Hawaiian Music Studies, Incorporated presents ‘Ukulele Jams on Saturday, April 9, 2011 from 10am-sundown at the Lihikai Hawaiian Cultural Learning Center in Keaukaha. A benefit for the victims of the tsunami in Japan, this free concert features some of the island’s finest musicians including Grammy award-winning artist Keoki Kahumoku, Brittni Paiva, Buddy and Sammi Fo, Konabob Stoffer… and you!

Keoki Kahumoku

‘Ukulele players from beginner to advanced are invited to bring their instrument and participate in a kanikapila like no other. Start with lessons in proper jam etiquette and tuning techniques, then follow along with the aid of visuals and wandering instructors. As performers take the stage, they’ll teach attendees some of their favorite songs, from Hawaiian mele to jazz and everything in between. The list of entertainers grows daily and also includes Andy Andrews of the ‘Ukulele Club of Santa Cruz, Keone Turalde, Grammy award-winner Sonny Lim, and Colin John. This unique opportunity to learn from some of the best and make beautiful music is free and open to the public.

Participants can take advantage of free string changing for all 4-string ‘ukulele. In the market for a new ‘ukulele? Custom instruments made and donated by various ‘ukulele builders from Hawai‘i will be available for sale.

Calabash donations to aid relief efforts in Japan will be accepted throughout the day. Participants should bring their own lunch and water, along with a beach chair and of course, their ‘ukulele. If you have a favorite song, bring it along to share, too. This is a drug and alcohol-free event. For more information visit KeokiKahumoku.com.

Kona Blue Water Fish Farms Loses Its Ocean Cages

Kona Blue Water Farms has officially reported to NOAA that both of its cages broke free while they were being towed behind a boat.

“…Food & Water Watch allies in Hawaii confirmed that NOAA received a call from someone at Kona, alerting them to the loss of the cages…”

A quick look at the Kona Blue website and it states:

Sorry, we’re temporarily out of Kona Kampachi® due to ocean site upgrades for increased sustainability.

This reminds me of the cartoon that Greg Henkel sent me back in 2008:

Wordless Wednesday – But is it Edible?

This is growing in my backyard and it looks like some type of squash.

One that is just starting to grow looks like this:

Just wondering if this thing is gonna be edible eventually or am I just watching a weird vine grow?

Today is Agriculture Awareness Day at the State Capitol

Media Release:

WHAT: The House and Senate Agriculture Committees and the Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation present “Agriculture Awareness Day” at the State Capitol.  The event will feature exhibits by members of Hawaii’s agriculture industry, including local farmers and producers of local product from the islands of Hawaii, Kauai, Oahu and Maui.

Local produce, products and samples of island cuisine will be available for purchase with all proceeds going to the Oahu Food Bank and Food Basket Inc.  Attendees to the farmer’s market are to bring their own shopping bags as no plastic bags will be available.

WHEN:                 Wednesday, March 30, 2011

11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

WHERE:               HAWAII STATE CAPITOL – 4th floor lanai

WHO:                   See attached list of exhibitors and map

WHY: Agriculture Awareness is an annual event to promote the importance, growth and sustainability of local grown fruits and vegetables, eggs and dairy, livestock, flowers, coffee, and aquaculture.

Hawaii County Police Officer and Firefighter of the Year Announced

Media Release:

The Aloha Exchange Club of East Hawai’i recognized Officer Lloyd Ishikawa as “Officer of the Year” and Battalion Chief Lance Uchida as “Firefighter of the Year” in a dinner ceremony Thursday evening (March 24).


Officer of the Year Lloyd Ishikawa and Firefighter of the Year Lance Uchida display their plaques.

Ishikawa is a patrol officer in the Puna District who joined the Police Department in 1986. Uchida, a 17-year veteran of the Fire Department, is in charge of Emergency Medical Services. During a ceremony at the Hilo Yacht Club, each man received a plaque from the Aloha Exchange Club, a proclamation from the mayor’s office and a gift basket of donated items.

Ishikawa was honored for what Sergeant Juergen Canda called “his dedication to duty and initiative” that led him to make five bench warrant arrests, close three felony all-points bulletins, recover a stolen vehicle and locate a runaway “all within a span of one hour.”

On July 29, 2010, Officer Ishikawa responded to the Hawaiian Paradise Park subdivision to assist in locating a wanted person. He located the person and assisted in arresting him for two outstanding bench warrants. While in the subdivision, he investigated complaints about suspicious persons in the neighborhood and located three adults and a juvenile. Two of the adults were wanted for outstanding bench warrants and felony auto theft all-points bulletins and the juvenile was a reported runaway. The third adult was in possession of a stolen vehicle.

“This is a tremendous feat of police work by Puna’s most senior officer, who not only leads by example in his dedication to duty, but with the vigor and enthusiasm of a rookie,” Canda wrote in his nomination papers.

At the “Officer of the Year/Firefighter of the Year” ceremony, Deputy Police Chief Paul Ferreira said the incident that was cited in Ishikawa’s nomination is just an example of his commitment to the job. “This is what he does on a daily basis. This is how hard he works,” Ferreira said. “I’m very, very proud to be here with him tonight.”

Uchida was recognized for his oversight of the Fire Department’s Emergency Medical Services Bureau. In a write-up about his accomplishments, Fire Chief Darryl Oliveira said Uchida was promoted to Battalion Chief of the EMS Bureau on December 1, 2010.

“Like every assignment that is asked of him, Battalion Chief Uchida accepted his new assignment with the willingness and open mind to learn, the ability to lead, and the continued passion for his chosen career choice,” Oliveira wrote. “Battalion Chief Lance Uchida is one of the reasons the Hawai’i Fire Department’s Emergency Medical Services program has been so successful in the County of Hawai’i. He truly cares about what he does and always strives to make a positive impact for the people he serves.”

In addition to overseeing Emergency Medical Services, Uchida also provides CPR, AED and first aid training to the community, mentors high school students and is active in community service.

During the awards ceremony, Oliveira described Uchida as a “go-to person” and a role model to other firefighters. “Thank you for being there for the community in everything that you do,” he said.

The “Officer of the Year” and “Fire Fighter of the Year” awards are projects of the Aloha Exchange Club of East Hawai’i.

Is Former UH Volleyball Player Victoria Prince Pregnant with K-Feds Baby… Who Cares!

Rumors are flying all over the web right now that former UH Volleyball player Victoria Prince is pregnant with Britney Spears ex-husband Kevin Federline’s baby.

Kevin Federline and Victoria Prince

I first mentioned that they were dating back on my blog  back in 2009 with this post Former UH Volleyball Player Victoria Prince Dating K-Fed (Britney’s Ex) and now a whole slew of folks around the world are trying to figure out what the deal is.

I’m just amazed that people even care about Kevin Federline in the first place… and what is Victoria Prince thinking?

Public Meetings on Preliminary Alternatives for the Development of an Air Tour Management Plan for Volcanoes National Park

Public Meeting/Notice of Availability, Review, and Comment on Preliminary Alternatives for the Development of an Air Tour Management Plan for Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, HI

Me, Howard Dicus, His wife and Hawaii News Now Camerman get ready for a helicopter tour

AGENCY: Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of public meeting, request for comments, and availability of preliminary alternatives.

SUMMARY: This notice announces the availability of preliminary air tour alternatives and announces meetings hosted by the National Park Service, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and the FAA’s Air Tour Management Program. The purpose of the meetings is to introduce proposed alternatives to the public which contain routes and altitudes used by air tour operators when providing air tours of the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The meetings provide an opportunity for the public to review and comment onalternatives.

DATES: Comment Period:Comments must be received on or before June 6, 2011.

Meetings: The meetings will be held at the following locations, dates, and times:

  • Volcano, Hawaii Monday, April 18, 2011, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Klauea Visitor Center, 1 Crater Rim Drive, Pahoa, Hawaii.
  • Tuesday, April 19, 2011, 5-7 p.m. Pahoa Community Center, 15-2910 Puna Rd.
  • Wednesday, April 20, 2011, 5-7 p.m. Na’alehu Community Center, 95-5635 Mamalahoa Highway.

More information here: Public Meeting and Comment on Preliminary Alternatives for the Development of an Air Tour Management Plan for Volcanoes National Park

Man Hits Hole-In-One at Hokulia Golf Course and Wins Car

Media Release:

The 9th Annual Luck of the Irish Golf Tournament was March 14 at the Jack Nicklaus designed golf course at Hokuli’a Hawaii Island to benefit the United Way. Ken Schork, President of El Monte RV hit a hole in one on # 13 and won a Chevrolet, courtesy of Deluz Chevrolet.

“I guess the luck of the Irish really was with me,” said Schork, “My mother is originally from Ireland.”

Schork made the hole in one with a driver on a 205 yard par 3 hole. It was the first time in tournament history and his second hole played of the day.

According to Carlos Concha of Hole In One International, the average golf tournament has between 72 and 80 golfers. Hole in One international insures about 15,000 holes per year and sees less than 50 hole in ones with a prize greater than $25,000.

The tournament benefits the United Way and is sponsored by several local business in Hawaii including: Title Sponsor Hokuli’a Development, Corporate Sponsor Oceanic Time Warner Cable and other local business partners.

Big Island Has 3.1 Magnitude Earthquake Last Night

Magnitude 3.1
Location 19.667°N, 156.236°W
Depth 33.8 km (21.0 miles)
  • 25 km (16 miles) W (277°) from Kailua, HI
  • 25 km (16 miles) WSW (256°) from Kalaoa, HI
  • 29 km (18 miles) W (281°) from Holualoa, HI
  • 120 km (75 miles) W (268°) from Hilo, HI
  • 247 km (153 miles) SE (137°) from Honolulu, HI


More Here: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/recenteqsus/Quakes/hv60226271.php

Kama’aina, Malihini Welcome to Halau ‘Ilima’s 31st Holomua Ka No’eau

Media Release:

The 31st annual Holomua Ka No‘eau concert, presented by Kumu Hula Mapuana de Silva and the dancers of Halau Mohala ‘Ilima, will be presented on Saturday, April 2nd, at 6 p.m., at the Hawai‘i Theatre Center in Downtown, Honolulu.  This year’s production is entitled “Young Hawai‘i Dances Old Hawai‘i.”

Halau Mohala 'Ilima

The concert is a one-and-only chance to preview the halau’s entire Merrie Monarch 2011 presentation, Miss Aloha Hula, Kahiko and Auana, all in one evening.  Dancers from every class will perform.  Special surprise guests are also highly anticipated. Uncle Babe Bell will blow the Pu (conch shell).

Kihei and Mapuana DeSilva

The music will be presented by Hui Waianuhea o ka ‘Awapuhi, with Na Hoku award-winning musician and kumu hula, Manu Boyd, and friends Glen Smith, Richie Heirakuji, and Kala‘i Ontai; and Dennis Kamakahi, Anuenue Punua and Mahina Paishon Duarte.  Kumu Hula Victoria Holt Takamine will present dancers from her Pua Ali‘I ‘Ilima halau.  This concert is the preview of Halau Mohala ‘Ilima’s 33rd consecutive  presentation in the Merrie Monarch Festival in Hilo.

Kama‘aina and malihini from all over the world will enjoy the wonderful feeling of being grounded and connected, to the cultural wealth and pure enjoyment of true Hawai‘i.

Tickets are $25 and $35 at the Hawai‘i Theatre Box Office.  Call (808) 528-0506, Tuesday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., or order online 24 hours a day at www.hawaiitheatre.com.

For more information on the halau, please visit http://web.mac.com/halaumohalailima/HMI/HMI_Home.html.

House Kills Law That Would Adjust Big Island Public Funding Pilot

Media Release:

The U.S. Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments today for a case that challenges one piece of Arizona’s Clean Elections law, which was enacted by voters through a ballot referendum 13 years ago.  This is significant for Hawaii because our pilot public funding law on the Big Island is modeled after Arizona’s.

In anticipation of a negative ruling by the Supreme Court, Fair Elections advocates submitted legislation that would adjust the specific piece of the program that would be affected by the court case.

“Even though the Supreme Court upheld the idea of public funding for elections in the 1976, we’ve seen a new trend with the current makeup of the Supreme Court,” said Kory Payne, executive director for Voter Owned Hawaii.  “In the expectation of a negative ruling from the Supreme Court, we submitted legislation this year that would have adjusted Hawaii’s law preemptively.  That law was killed by Representative Keith-Agaran in the House Judiciary Committee,” he said.

John McComish

John McComish, an Arizona Republican running for state office, originally filed the complaint against their Clean Elections program.  McComish was running against a publicly funded competitor.  Like Hawaii’s law, publicly funded candidates can receive limited amounts of matching funds when their privately funded opponents outspend them.

Proponents of Hawaii’s pilot Fair Elections pilot program say this is a good thing.  “We don’t let people pay judges when they’re interpreting laws, so why would we want private money to determine what laws are made in the first place?” said Payne.

Since the addition of Justice John Roberts during the Bush administration, the U.S. Supreme Court has demonstrated a willingness to step in on campaign finance issues.  Last year, they made a controversial ruling on the case Citizens United v FEC.

After McComish lost his case in a lower court, the Supreme Court stepped in and blocked enforcement of Arizona’s provision last June and decided to hear the case.  This, say advocates of Fair Elections laws, is alarming.

In 1978 Hawaii created its original public funding program during the Constitutional Convention.  The Campaign Spending Commission and the Hawaii Election Campaign Fund were established then, and voters were able to try to qualify to receive public funds.  Advocates lobbied for a modernization to this program in the form of the Big Island pilot.

“Hawaii was ahead of our time when we created the public funding option in 1978, but since then the program has become ineffective and outdated,” said Payne.  “The Big Island pilot program is an exciting new way to resurrect our effort to limit the corrupting influence of money in politics,” he added.

Big Island Man Arrested After Sledge Hammer Attack

Media Release:

Detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigation Section have taken into custody a 19-year-old man in connection with an assault with a sledge hammer that occurred at a residence in Panaewa on March 25, 2011.

Tevita Moala

On Friday at about 4:00 pm, South Hilo patrol officers responded to a report of an unconscious male at a residence on Auwae Road in Hilo. Responding officers and Fire Department personnel discovered a 55-year-old man with a severe head injury. The victim was transported to the Hilo Medical Center by medics and was initially listed in serious condition. He was transferred to Queen’s Medial Center on Oahu via air ambulance and has since been upgraded to stable condition following surgery.

Police arrested Tevita Moala at the scene for an unrelated warrant and he was being held in the East Hawaii Detention Center while detectives conducted further investigation into this incident, which has been classified as a first degree assault.

After conferring with Big Island prosecutors, detectives charged Moala for first degree assault and his bail is set at $25,000.00. He is being held in the police cellblock pending his initial court appearance on Monday.

Congressional Inaction on Long-Term Highway & Transit Bill Puts 12,690 Hawaii Jobs at Risk, New Study Shows

Map of the present Interstate Highway System i...

Image via Wikipedia

Media Release:

As partisan bickering and posturing continues on Capitol Hill, the failure to pass overdue legislation that provides multi-year federal aid to state highway and transit programs jeopardizes 12,690 jobs in Hawaii, according to new research.

These employees earn a total annual payroll of $673.1 million and contribute an estimated $53.3 million in state and federal payroll tax revenue.  This employment includes the equivalent of 6,322 full-time jobs directly involved in transportation construction and related activities, and 6,368 that are sustained by transportation design and construction industry employee and company spending throughout the state’s economy, according to the analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association Transportation Development Foundation (ARTBA-TDF).

The ARTBA-TDF report, “U.S. Transportation Construction Industry Profile,” revealed the existence of more than 385,103 full-time jobs in Hawaii in key industries like tourism, retail sales, agriculture and manufacturing that are dependent on the state’s transportation network.

The need for road and bridge improvements is clear.  According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Hawaii has 4,365 miles of roadway.  Of the state’s 1,554 miles of roadway eligible for federal aid, 44.5% are rated “not acceptable” and need major repairs or replacement.  This compares to 43% of roads in 2007.  Hawaii also has 1,133 bridges.  FHWA reports 43.2% of the state’s bridges are either “structurally deficient” (143 bridges) or “functionally obsolete” (347 bridges).  It will cost an estimated $1.2 billion to make needed bridge repairs on 775 structures in the state.

The last highway and transit law expired in October 2009.  Federal aid to the states has been sustained ever since through a series of short-term extensions.  The uncertainty of future funding levels is causing state transportation departments to slow down or delay projects, and in turn, impacting hiring decisions and equipment purchases by transportation design and construction firms.

The ARTBA-TDF is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt entity created to “promote research, education and public awareness.”  It supports an array of initiatives, such as scholarships, awards, safety training and economic reports.

An interactive website—www.transportationconstructionjobs.org—has comprehensive data about the impacts of transportation investment on the national and all 50 state economies.

Ted Peck on Where Does Hawaii Get Its Energy From

Ted Peck

Only 4% of the oil we use here in Hawaii come from the US. 96% comes from where ever the companies that sell here can find it, but not from the US. Vietnam, China, Africa, the Middle East. Those kind of countries is where we get our oil from.

From the Board of Directors of Save Kona Village

I read the following update on Kona Village Resort on Puna Online regarding a group of patrons that are attempting to save Kona Village Resort:

“A group of loyal KVR patrons have banned together and are trying to save KVR.  Its a worthy cause but it remains to be seen as to what is going to happen.  In any case, I received this notice ‘updating’ the a recent talk w/ the ownership group of KVR and FSH…”


Dear Friends of Kona Village,

This weekend Bill Jasper, who has been to Kona Village Resort over the last 37 years and has been active with the Board overseeing this Save Kona Village Facebook Page, talked to one of the Managing Members of Rockpoint, which is an equity investor in Kona Village along with Michael Dell’s real estate arm.  The following is a summary of that conversation.

The owners are very conscious of the staff and their plight. They reviewed the possibility of continuing operations of the Village while repairs were occurring. However, due to extensive damage, the insurance situation, the reality that they believe proper repairs and improvements would take at least one year, the dangerous condition of the Village and the dangerous condition of a construction zone, the decision was made to close. He indicated that operating the Village with limited capacity would probably not generate sufficient revenue to meet operational costs.

The damage to the Village is extensive. The owners believe they have plenty insurance to help them rebuild. However, they acknowledge, as in most situations where there is an insurance claim involving complex damages, negotiations could take considerable time. Ownership expressed hope that the Village would be open in a year or two.

Prior to the tsunami, the owners and the Trust were very close to agreeing on a lease extension and hope to finalize that soon. They have a construction loan in place and as soon as the insurance claim is resolved, they stated they will be prepared to move ahead with the renovation. The owners want to make the Village more modern, and yet keep the character of Village. They are cognizant of our concern that the essence of the Village will be lost, and they will aspire to respect those concerns as they update and modernize the Village.

The owners have been in contact with the Mayor of Hawaii and the Governor. They expressed hope that recently passed legislation will allow the destroyed hales to be rebuilt in their previous locations even though those locations violate present zoning laws.

In addressing the employees situation, the owners profess they had no other option than to cease operations. They hope to rehire many of the staff when the Village reopens. In addition, they have kept some of the gardeners to make certain that the grounds are kept taken care of in anticipation of reopening. He said that presently there are about 150 workers working to clean and restore the properties.

The owners confirmed the importance of Kona Village to the Four Season Resort and the communities north and south: the inference being that ownership is unlikely to relinquish the leasehold rights at least in the foreseeable future.

The spokesperson acknowledged that it will take months before an exact schedule is known and agreed to future conversations with our group. Please note that nothing of consequence will occur until there is an insurance settlement.

Based on the length and depth of the conversation, the Board of Save Kona Village believes that ownership understands our concerns, is being forthright in their discussions and they will attempt to reopen the Village as quickly as possible.

We also acknowledge there is a great uncertainty about the future of the Village. Nevertheless, we believe that little can be accomplished until the proverbial dust settles. Therefore, the Board thinks the best course of operation is to monitor the situation and wait for the next update from ownership. The Managing Member indicated he would be happy to talk to Mr. Jasper in a couple of months in order to keep us abreast of the situation. We will keep you posted.

3rd Annual Art at the Capitol, April 1, 2011 – YouTube Video Preview Series

Media Release:

The Hawai‘i State Legislature will open its doors for April’s First Friday event with the 3rd Annual “Art at the Capitol,” an opportunity for the public to view over 460 works of art that are a part of the State’s Art in Public Places Collection (APP), meet legislators and talk with local visual artists. The event will be held on Friday, April 1, 2011 from 5 to 7 p.m., with a short program on the third floor to start at 4:45 p.m.

“Traditional Samoan Tapa-board Painting” by Dixie Chrichton Samasoni, 1974, tapa cloth (located in Sen. J. Kalani English’s Office) – Credit: State Foundation on Culture and the Arts

A video series, called “Art at the Capitol 2011: What’s on your wall?”, recently launched on the Art at the Capitol YouTube and Facebook accounts and will preview some of the pieces of art in the offices of lawmakers. Two new videos featuring a representative and senator talking about an artwork from their office will be posted daily until the day of the event. The YouTube link is http://www.youtube.com/artatthecapitolhi, and the Facebook page can be found by searching “Art at the Capitol” in the Facebook search bar.

“Untitled” by Yvonne Cheng, 1974, batik (located in Sen. Brickwood Galuteria’s Office) - Credit: State Foundation on Culture and the Arts

While election season marks change in the political arena, so holds true for the art work displayed in the Capitol offices. The APP staff has been meeting since December with elected officials and personnel to rotate and select art for the various offices. About 50 new pieces have been added to the Capitol collection.

“The Tree” by Satoru Abe, 1966, etching (located in Sen. Brian Taniguchi’s Office) Credit: State Foundation on Culture and the Arts

This year’s theme is “State of the Art” and will feature renowned local artist Doug Young, who designed the Kapolei Court Complex’s five multistory art glass windows inspired by area ocean wave patterns. The theme is a play on the “State of the State” and a nod to the State Foundation of Culture and the Arts’ (SFCA) success in bringing art, culture and history to our visual surroundings and establishing programs that highlight local artists.

“Lush Landscape” by Mark Maresca, 2004, oil on canvas (located in Rep. Cindy Evan’s Office) - Credit: State Foundation on Culture and the Arts