The 2011 Merrie Monarch Parade Pictures

The 2011 Merrie Monarch Parade was held today in Hilo, Hawaii.

The Royal Court

The Hawaii County Band kicked off the parade as it normally does.

Nice smile from ESPN 1420’s Josh Pacheco

Mayor Billy Kenoi walked the route which is nothing for him considering he completed a Triathlon not to long ago.

Nice Sig Zane Designs Shirt Mr. Kenoi!

Mayor Kenoi had this quick message to anyone that might view the pictures here:


The first float of the parade was the one that held the Royal Court for the Merrie Monarch.

Ms. Aloha Hula was decked out and riding on this convertible

Ms. Aloha Hula Tori Hulali Canha

One of the highlights of the Merrie Monarch parade is all the equestrian units that ride in the parade.

The Princess of Kauai

The Police department was not only securing the parade… but they were in the parade.

Chief of Police Kujibori
Ms. Maui

Even WalMart had a float… which I don’t know how I really feel is to Merrie Monarchish… but whatever.

WalMart and Merrie Monarch?

Of course the beauty queens were also present.

Miss Kona Coffee and Miss Aloha Hawaii

The equestrian units get almost as done up as the folks do!

Ms. Lanai

The Taiko drummers are always a hit!

I want to bang on these sometime

Councilman Fred Blas was there with the Pahoa Boys Basketball team which took second in the D-II State High School Basketball tournament this year and first last year.


Of course the best marching band in the parade was the Kamehameha Schools Marching band!

KSBE Hawaii Marching Band

Of course my vote for the best float was this one!

Giving out samples of smoked meat throughout the parade route!

A great time was had by all as family and friends came out to see the parade!

Three Generations of Enriques Ohana

The weather was perfect and not a drop of rain fell.  I took the following pictures through out the parade but if you want the full details of the pictures… you will need to click on the pictures below in the gallery.

Kuana Torres Kahele of Na Palapalai

I think the funniest thing that actually happened during the parade… Was the golf cart that the Native-FM Radio Personalities were riding in… ran out of gas and so they asked for assistance getting to the end of the parade!

Talk about a “Jake Break”

Click on the Images below for a larger view!

A Perfect Getaway… Hawaii Film Tax Incentive (House Bill 1551)


Hawaii Film Incentive

Hawaii Film Incentive

House Bill 1551:

  • Establishes an assignable infrastructure tax credit of:
    • – 25% in counties with population over 700,000
    • – 40% in counties with population under 700,000
    • – $25mm cap
  • Provides for an increase to the income tax credit for qualified productions to:
    • – 35% for population over 700,000
    • – 40% for population under 700,000
    • – Remove tax credit caps
    • – Make assignable
    • – Provide an additional 5% bonus for special and visual effects and animation
  • Provides the State with a fee equal to ½ of 1 percent of the production spend for the administration, monitoring, auditing and certification of the tax credit with a cap of $75,000
  • Allows for purchases and rentals not available in Hawaii to qualify for the tax credit if obtained through a resident production services company

Statement from Kauai Mayor Bernanrd Carvalho on SB 1186 (TAT)

Media Release:

County of Kaua’i Mayor Bernard P. Carvalho, Jr. commented today on the latest draft of Senate Bill 1186, which would reduce the amount of transient accommodations tax (TAT) revenues that would be distributed to the counties:

Kaua'i Mayor Bernard P. Carvalho, Jr

Kaua'i Mayor Bernard P. Carvalho, Jr

“Although we understand the need for a temporary cap, the counties are very concerned about the Senate’s proposal to lower the cap on TAT distributions to $85 million. Such a drastic cut would have significant impacts for us, as the TAT is our second largest source of revenue behind real property taxes. At this point I endorse the House position, which would cap TAT distribution to the counties at the 2010 level, or roughly $102 million,” stated Mayor Carvalho, adding that any cap on the TAT should be temporary until the state’s fiscal position improves.

The TAT was established in 1986 under Act 304, Session Laws of Hawai’i and imposes a tax on the gross revenues derived from the furnishing of transient accommodations. In 1990, in recognition of the profound impact tourism has on county services, the state began to distribute a significant portion of the TAT to the counties on an annual basis.

Mayor Kenoi Expresses Concern with Hotel Tax Proposal

Media Release:

County of Hawaii Mayor Billy Kenoi released the following statement today on the new draft of Senate Bill 1186, which would reduce the distribution of the transient accommodations tax (TAT) revenues to the counties:

Mayor Billy Kenoi

Mayor Billy Kenoi

“We are deeply concerned about the Senate position on the hotel room tax. The Senate proposal to cap the TAT distributions at $85 million for all of the counties represents a deep cut into our second largest source of revenue,” Mayor Kenoi said.

“The Senate draft would hurt all of the counties. We ask that the Senate instead accept the House position, which would cap the TAT distribution at the 2010 level, or about $102 million,” Mayor Kenoi said.

From the time of the establishment of the TAT in 1986, the Legislature planned to make the Counties beneficiaries of the hotel room tax because lawmakers recognized the importance of county facilities and services to support and enhance the visitor experience.

The TAT is distributed to the counties in recognition of the fact that county services are critical to a healthy visitor industry. The counties provide the police officers, firefighters, lifeguards, water and sewer service, transportation infrastructure and other essential services for visitors.

Record Attendance Expected for First Annual Ka’u Half Marathon

Media Release:

O Ka’u Kakou proudly announces the first annual Ka’u Family Fun Fest on Saturday, June 11, 2011 at Na’alehu Park on Hawai’I Island.  Online registration and event details are now available at

Ka'u Family Fun Fest

Ka'u Family Fun Fest

Known as “The Southernmost Goodwill Games in the USA”, this unprecedented event features a Half Marathon, 10K and 5K races, and a variety of athletic tournaments for all ages.  Bay Clinic, a network of nonprofit community clinics, has been named the beneficiary of this summer fundraiser with proceeds going toward the construction of a new Ka’u Family Health Center.

This event promises to be a memorable experience for runners of all ages and abilities.  The race course traverses an old historic “Cane Field Road” in Ka’u, once used for hauling sugar cane to Na’alehu and Pahala sugar plantations. Offering one of the most scenic views of the Big Island’s southern coast, the route encompasses over 30 miles of breathtaking coastal landscapes from mauka to makai (mountain to sea).

Following the race, athletes will demonstrate their skills and compete for prizes in archery, basketball, Jan Ken Po, a hunter’s obstacle course and Portuguese horse shoe tournaments.  Live music and entertainment, a live auction with Mayor Billy Kenoi, food and vendor booths, a health expo and a number of children’s activities will be also featured.

Early registration ends May 11, 2011.  Event information and updates can be found at,, on Facebook (Kau Family Fun Fest) and Twitter (@KauFamFunFest).

The Ka’u Family Fun Fest will be marketed heavily both locally and internationally, offering significant media exposure for participating sponsors and community leaders.  Contact race director Raylene Moses at (808) 235-8251 or for information on volunteer, sponsorship and vendor opportunities.

Next Stop TV – The Big Island… Airs This Weekend

The travel adventure show Next Stop TV that filmed here last month on the Big Island will start airing the Big Island segments tomorrow.

Next Stop TV

Next Stop TV talks to Rob Pacheco of Hawaii Forest & Trail

I was lucky enough to be an “Extra” on the show during the scenes that were filmed with Hawaii Forest and Trail along the Kohala Coast.

Next Stop TV

Riding in a Pinzgauer

The time slots are on KHNL (NBC) at 6:00 pm on Saturday night and 11:00 pm on Sunday night.

Next Stop TV
Next Stop TV airs this weekend

You can check out some clips that host John Olsen did with KHNL news here:

New Pahoa Police Station Open for Business Effective May 2nd

Media Release:

The Hawai’i Police Department announces that the new Pāhoa police station will be open for business effective May 2. This station in lower Puna, which is larger and more modern than the Kea‘au police station, will serve the public temporarily as Puna’s main district station.

Pahoa Police Station

Pahoa Police Station

The Kea’au station, which is no longer large enough to meet the demands of a district station, will be converted to a substation until a more suitable facility for a main Puna station is acquired. The Puna District is the third busiest police district on the island—behind South Hilo and Kona.

The new Pāhoa station is located just north of Pāhoa town on Highway 130. Business hours of operation will be 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday (except holidays and county furlough days).

The new expanded facility will offer enhanced services to the public. Beginning in May, citizens will be able to apply for gun permits and register firearms by appointment only on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Persons wishing to make an appointment for these services may call the station’s business number at 965-2716.

Driver’s license renewal and vehicle registration are already available in a portion of the new building operated by the County Department of Finance.

The public is reminded to call 911 in case of emergency or 935-3311 for non-emergency calls for service.

The Blue Screen of Death!

So last night I was plugging away and after nearly about 5 – 6 years with my old computer… I finally came across the Blue Screen of Death!

Blue Screen of Death

Blue Screen of Death (Not the message I had)

The Blue Screen (also known as BSoD or bluescreen), known officially as a Stop Error [1] or a bug check, is the error screen displayed by the Microsoft Windows family of operating systems upon encountering a critical error, of a non-recoverable nature, that causes the system to “crash.” The term is named after the color of the screen generated by the error. In UNIX-based operating systems, a similar term is kernel panic.

Stop errors are usually hardware or driver related, causing the computer to stop responding in order to prevent damage to the hardware, whereupon, in the latest versions of Windows, the screen presents information for diagnostic purposes that was collected as the operating system performed a bug check.

So instead of trying to locate all my drivers and basically rebuild my entire computer over again… I figured it was time to get a new one.  So this is my new toy.  It’s basic… does what  I need to do and I kept the price under $700.00.

Dell Inspiron

My Little Dell

Now I have to figure out how to use it as well as regain many of the old programs that I was using on my old beast.  This may take me a few days to get caught up on things.

T-33 (T-Bird) Jet Trainer Arrived Today At Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor

Media Release:

The T-33—one of the world’s best known aircraft— joined the already extensive collection at Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor today, Thursday, April 28, 2011. It was transferred from Honolulu Community College to Hangar 79, its final home at Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor.

The T-33 (T-Bird)

The T-33 (T-Bird)

The T-33 (T-Bird) was the first jet trainer introduced to aid in the transition to jet aircraft. It was created from the F-80 fighter, by adding three feet to the fuselage, a second seat to the cockpit and six machine guns. Used as a trainer, it also was utilized for tasks such as drone director and target towing. The T-33 was thought to have an airframe that climbed faster, cruised more effortlessly and was slightly faster than its predecessors. Although the T-33 was initially utilized by the Army Air Force, a second version was created for the United States Navy titled TV-2.

The T-33 (T-Bird)

The T-33 (T-Bird)

According to Pacific Aviation Museum Executive Director Kenneth DeHoff,
“This T-33 is a wonderful trainer jet. It has been utilized at Honolulu Community College, and we are grateful to them for allowing us to move this aircraft to the Museum’s collection.” The T-33 will be available for visitors to view in Hangar 79, where the aircraft will undergo restoration by the Museum’s Lt. Ted Shealy Restoration Shop team.

The T-33 (T-Bird)

The T-33 (T-Bird)

Pacific Aviation Museum is open 9am to 5pm daily and is accessed by air conditioned shuttle buses from the USS Arizona Memorial Visitor Center at Pearl Harbor. Daily, visitors from all over the world view the vintage aircraft, enjoy hands on technology experiences including combat flight simulators, hear moving stories told by aviation-experienced docents, and see “The Day That Shall Live In Infamy” through historic films and audio. The Museum gift shop and restaurant are unique in their offerings and their authentic 1940s ambiance. Phone (808) 441-1000 or visit for tickets and more information.

Hawai’i Police Department is searching for a 17-year Old Girl Reported as Missing from Hilo

Media Release:

The Hawai’i Police Department is searching for a 17-year old girl reported as missing from Hilo since April 7.

Destiny P. Alconcel

Destiny P. Alconcel

Destiny P. Alconcel is described as Filipino, 5-feet tall, about 125 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes.

Police ask that anyone with information on her whereabouts call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311. Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Pahoa Drunk Punk Rips Off Bus Drivers Phone… Later Arrested

Media Release:

Big Island police have charged a 20-year-old Pāhoa man with four crimes for an incident on a Hele-On bus.

Aina Kealoha Cachero

Aina Kealoha Cachero

On Monday (April 25) around 8 p.m., Puna patrol officers responded to a call aboard a Hele-On bus in the Hawaiian Beaches subdivision. Responding officers learned that an intoxicated man had caused a disturbance on the bus as it was on its route. As the bus driver attempted to call 911, the suspect allegedly grabbed the mobile phone from the driver’s hand to prevent him from completing the call. The suspect exited the bus with the phone and fled the area. A short time later, police arrested the man, identified as Aina Kealoha Cachero.

At 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigation Section charged Cachero with second-degree robbery (a Class B felony), interference with the operator of a public transit vehicle (a Class C felony), interference with reporting an emergency or crime (a petty misdemeanor) and disorderly conduct (a petty misdemeanor).

Cachero was held at the police cellblock in lieu of $7,500 until his initial court appearance on April 27.

Red Bull Cliff Diver Orlando Duque Breaks Ankle Skydiving… Out for Season

Nine-time world champion and current leader of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series 2011 Orlando Duque will miss the rest of the season after breaking his ankle.

Orlando Duque climbs out of the water at the 2010 RedBull Cliff Diving Championships

Orlando Duque climbs out of the water at the 2010 Red Bull Cliff Diving Championships

I met Orlando when he was here in Hilo last year for the 2010 Red Bull Cliff Diving Finals and he’s really a great guy.

BJ Penn and Orlando Duque

BJ Penn and Orlando Duque

As many folks know he calls Hawaii home!

Irondog PR President, Jessica Ferracane and Orlando Duque

Irondog PR President, Jessica Ferracane and Orlando Duque

Red Bull reports:

The 36-year-old Colombian, who was taking part in a skydive in Hawaii, underwent successful surgery on Thursday, with the injury expected to keep him out of action for between three and six months.

It’s a major blow for Duque who had recently returned to some of his best form, but, if his determination to return from previous setbacks is anything to go by, then he will not be out of the water for long.

After winning the inaugural Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series in 2009, Duque ended a testing year in 2010 as the runner-up to Gary Hunt.

Duque worked hard during the off-season to recapture his past form and returned to his dominant best at the start of this year, winning the first two events, in Rapa Nui and Mexico, and had hoped to make it a hat-trick of wins in Greece on May 22.

Everyone at Red Bull Cliff Diving wishes Orlando the quickest possible recovery.

Orlando gets interviewed by FOX Television

Orlando gets interviewed by FOX Television

Many of his fellow divers that I met last year are wishing him the best in his recovery.

Orlando getting a hug after winning the Hilo stop of the 2010 RedBull Cliff Diving Series

Orlando getting a hug after winning the Hilo stop of the 2010 RedBull Cliff Diving Series

World Champion Gary Hunt on Facebook said “Sorry to hear about the accident mate, I wish you a fast recovery and I hope to see you very soon.”

2010 RedBull Series Champion Gary Hunt receives his trophy

2010 Red Bull Series Champion Gary Hunt receives his trophy

I wish him a speedy recovery as well and I’m just glad that he lived to tell about it.  I know that skydiving is a scary sport as I’ve done it twice now!

Jim “Kimo” West and Dennis and Christy Soares in Concert Friday at the Volcano Art Center

Friday, April 29, 2011 at 7:00 pm at the Volcano Art Center Hale Hoomana Performance Hall

Media Release:

“We are so excited to have a guitarist and musician that is of the highest quality perform in Volcano Village. This concert venue  is an intimate setting and is one that allow the audience to get close and personal with Jim and we expect to sell out fast. Joining Jim will be Big Island favorites Dennis and Christie Soares who have been nominated for both Na Hoku and Hawaii Music awards. This is going to be a special night in Volcano, I can promise you that!”  stated Volcano Art Center Concerts and Performance Coordinator David Wallerstein.

Kimo West

Kimo West

West’s first two CD’s, “Slack Key West” (2005) and “Coconut Hat” (1999) are excellent examples of the tradition of slack key guitar taken to a new and unique place, while still retaining the essence of ki ho’alu. “Kimo” as he is called in Hawaii, has performed at many of the islands’ legendary slack key guitar festivals as well as on the mainland, including the historic So Cal Slack Key Festival. His playing has been featured in a number of Honda TV spots, Disney Channel movies and National Public radio. “Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar: Kimo-Style”was released in December of 2007 and proved to be another evolutionary step in the ever-evolving journey of ki ho ‘alu.

Dennis and Chistie Soares

Dennis and Chistie Soares

Released in fall of 2008, “Kimo’s Hawaiian Slack Key Christmas,” features slack key arrangements of classic and contemporary holiday songs and won the Hawaii Music Award for Best Seasonal Recording. West is also a two-time recipient of the LA Treasures Award from the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs. Between composing music for TV and film and slack key guitar playing, West also finds time to hone his production chops and has produced CDs for a number of independent artists including a project for Los Angeles-based Hawaiian performer Kapo Ku, a talented composer of new Hawaiian language mele. “Eia Mai Ka La” was recently released by Hawaii’s foremost record label, The Mountain Apple Company. He also has produced two CD’s for CMH Records in Los Angeles, “Hotel Honolulu”, and ‘Livin’s EZ-The Hawaiian Tribute to Sublime.”

Tickets for West’s performance on Friday April 29 are $10.00 for adults and $5.00 for Children. Please call David Wallerstein

at 808-967-8222 for tickets or visit the Volcano Art Center Niaulani Campus or the VAC Art Gallery. Visit  for information and to purchase tickets online. Tickets are also available the evening of the performance 1 hour before scheduled concert time at the venue.

Volcano Art Center is a 501c3 nonprofit educational organization created in 1974. VAC promotes, develops, and perpetuates the artistic, cultural and environmental heritage of Hawai’i through the arts and education.

*UPDATE FOUND* Big Island Police Looking for Missing 19 Year-old Pahoa Woman

UPDATE – I just received the following message that Zoe has been located and she is safe.

Media Release:

Big Island police are asking for the public’s help in locating a 19-year-old Pāhoa woman who was reported missing.

Zoe Domizio

Zoe Domizio

Zoe Domizio is described as Caucasian, about 5-foot-9, between 210 and 230 pounds with shoulder-length black hair, brown eyes and a fair complexion.

She was last seen in Kea’au on Friday (April 22) around 2 p.m.  She may be in the company of two other females and may be in the Keaukaha area of Hilo.

Police ask that anyone who may have seen Domizio call Detective Reed Mahuna at 961-2384.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Hawaii’s Innovations Development Group Tapped for Major New Zealand Geothermal Project

 “Native to Native” model can help Hawaii too

Media Release:

Hawaii-based Innovations Development Group [IDG] is pleased to announce that it has been approved as a “foreign” corporation by the New Zealand Government’s Overseas Investment Office and is poised to commence a joint venture partnership with the Eastland Group and a native Maori land Trust of New Zealand. IDG was awarded the exclusive rights to develop the Maori land Trust’s geothermal resources in January 2008 and engaged Eastland Group of Gisborne, NZ, in August 2010 as the technical and financial partner.

Negotiating N2N Model in New Zealand

Negotiating N2N Model in New Zealand

The transaction was structured around IDG’s proprietary Native-to-Native (N2N) community-based development model. The first phase of the project’s proposed 50 MW plus project is intended to begin construction soon.

Patricia Brandt

Patricia Brandt (CEO)

“It’s taken time and trust to get to where we are: ready to begin geothermal development in New Zealand . The very name of the project, Te ahi o Maui , calls to mind the mythology and close cultural ties that connect us as a Polynesian people. Maori Trust leaders will only accept developments on Trust land that are ecologically, economically and culturally sustainable,” says IDG CEO Patricia Brandt.  “They believe our involvement helps ensure this.”

Community Perspective Replaces Past Opposition

Though opposed to Hawaii geothermal projects in the past because of the absence of efforts to address community needs and rights, IDG executives say that today, less intrusive technologies, clean technology, culturally sensitive protocols based on judicially established rights,  and a genuine community-oriented perspective make geothermal a viable energy alternative. They believe that Hawaii can learn from the New Zealand project.

Mililani Trask (Indigenous and Community Advisor)

Mililani Trask (Indigenous and Community Advisor)

“Native Hawaiians, like the Maori and many other indigenous people around the world are resource-rich but concerned about exploitation,” says IDG Indigenous and Community Advisor Mililani Trask.  “IDG brings access to capital and technical expertise in a highly specialized field to guarantee that development on native peoples’ lands benefits the native, local community and our larger society.”

Native-to-Native Model Delivers Fair Return to All

According to IDG’s Senior Advisor Robbie Le’a Kapi’olani Cabral, the company has become internationally recognized for its Native-to-Native business model of sustainable development.

Robbie Le’a Kapi’olani Cabral (Senior Advisor)

Robbie Le’a Kapi’olani Cabral (Senior Advisor)

The complex joint venture agreements IDG negotiated on behalf of the Kawerau Trust ensure significant returns to all stakeholders.  The project will deliver economic growth and job creation while respecting the cultural values of the Maori people.  Project investors can count on fair profits and New Zealand will enjoy enhanced renewable energy production to meet its growing need for electricity.

“We put into place a structure that ensures the training, employment and substantive participation of the Maori people in the development of resources which are theirs through the status of the land as a taonga (treasured asset). Every beneficiary of this development has whakapapa or genealogical ties to the land,” said Cabral.  “We structured the deal to protect those rights while delivering a generous return to investors and long term energy diversification for the country, ” she added.

This concept has now been used with other Maori land trusts and incorporations working with IDG in the energy sector of New Zealand .

Ideal for Hawaii too

“The N2N model forms the basis in dealing with native stakeholders while embracing the larger society as a community-based development which is ideal for Hawaii ,” adds Brandt. “Using it, we can build a more sustainable energy future for Hawaii in a way that protects our land [aina] and cultural traditions, compensates the community fairly and reduces our dependence on foreign oil. It’s an approach that benefits the state and provides income and jobs at a time when both are desperately needed,” said  Brandt. “We hope the state will partner with us and embrace a model for geothermal development whose time is now.”

IDG Team with former President Oscar Temaru of the Government of French Polynesia in Tahiti

IDG Team with former President Oscar Temaru of the Government of French Polynesia in Tahiti

About Innovations Development Corporation, Hawaii

Innovations Development Group (IDG) is a Hawaii-based strategic planning and development company specializing in developing Indigenous land and resource assets focusing on renewable energy.

For more information:

Wordless Wednesday – 8 1/2 Mile Camp

The other day I took the time to shoot off of Highway 130 near Milo Street and I turned down by Christian Liberty School into this small Filipino Community of older run down houses known as 8 1/2 Mile Camp.

Alan McNarie wrote an article about this place a few years back in the Hawaii Island Journal (no longer published) and I learned more about the place after doing a bit of research of my own.

Unfortunately it appears the folks that live there are subjected to very high arsenic levels from the old sugar plantation:

…Arsenic at about four times the recommended limit was found in the soil at community gardens in two plantation communities known as 8 1/2 Mile Camp and 9 1/2 Mile Camp, according to Peard. There are fewer than 100 homes in the two camps altogether…

Keaau is Warned of of High Arsenic Levels at Garden

On my short drive through part of the “camp”, I took this video of the place:


I felt very out of  place as folks were coming out of their houses to see who I was as obviously I was in a car that the folks in the community hadn’t seen in the camp before.

In another article published, Big Island Sculptor Fred Soriano had this to say about the place:

…The story has been told that the workers came to Hawaii to escape poverty, found a life of hard work and often spent their lives here without wives and family, Soriano said.

The story is only partly true, said Soriano, an amateur sculptor and sociology professor at the University of Hawaii at Hilo.

Workers were already moving from one plantation to another in the Philippines in 1906 when the first sakadas came to Hawaii. Often the motivation was not poverty, but adventure, Soriano said…

Sculptor Forges History

To say this is quite a unique little village would be an understatement.  While the houses may be a bit run down… the folks in the community are very open and friendly and the spirit of the Filipino Community is alive and well!

Deadline to Sign Up for Big Island Film Festival 2011 Screenwriting Workshops is May 6th

Media Release:

Limited space is still available, but the registration deadline for Big Island Film Festival’s two professional filmmaking workshops is May 6.  “Inside Pitch: How to pitch effectively in an evolving marketplace”, by producer Naketha Mattocks precedes Ron Osborn’s screenwriting workshop “It’s Alive: Breathing Life into Your Characters”, for a full day of education on Saturday, May 14.

Big Island Film Festival's filmmaking/screenwriting workshops

Photo from the 2010 Big Island Film Festival's filmmaking/screenwriting workshop

Producer Naketha Mattocks is former head of development at Larger Than Life, the production company of Oscar-nominated writer/director Gary Ross (Hunger Games, Seabiscuit, Pleasantville).  She was also an executive at Paramount Pictures and Vice President of Development at Baltimore/Spring Creek Pictures.  Screenwriter Ron Osborn’s memorable characters include those in TV comedies like Mork & Mindy, Night Court, Moonlighting and Duckman as well as West Wing and feature films like Meet Joe Black.

Both programs take place Saturday, May 14 at The Shops at Mauna Lani (exact location TBD).

“Inside Pitch: How to pitch effectively in an evolving marketplace” by Naketha Mattocks, 9:00-11:30 a.m.

“It’s Alive: Breathing Life into Your Characters” by Ron Osborn, 12:30-3:00 p.m.

Workshops cost $50 each with advance registration required by May 6.  Early registration is suggested as space is limited and participants will be accepted on a first-come first-served basis.  Workshop registration forms are available at

The Big Island “Talk Story” Film Festival is a celebration of narrative filmmaking, May 11-15 at Mauna Lani Resort.  Events include free family films under the stars at The Shops at Mauna Lani, daytime movies and nightly double features at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i Plantation Estate (self-parking validated), stellar social events, networking opportunities, celebrity receptions, awards and a closing night “Best of the Fest” starring Henry Kapono in concert and the audience-voted Best Feature and Best Short from BIFF 2011.  For more information and to purchase ticket online, visit or call 808-883-0394.

Kona Men Get Busted for Stealing Copper From Religious Facility

Media Release:

Two Kona men face possible felony charges for two incidents of copper theft.

On Monday (April 25) Kona patrol officers responded to a 1:30 p.m. report of a theft in progress at a religious facility.

Personnel from the facility detained two men who had been removing copper materials from a renovation and held them till the officers arrived.

Arriving officers arrested 31-year-old Dallas Runyon and 48-year-old Gordon Kimo Lopes, both of whom have no permanent address but frequent the Kona area. The men were held at the Kona police cellblock while detectives from the Criminal Investigations Section continued the investigation.

During the investigation, detectives linked the two men to another incident of copper theft and arrested them on suspicion of that offense at 10:45 a.m. Tuesday.

Runyon and Lopes remain at the cellblock while detective continue the investigation.

Japan Consul General Addresses Joint Session of Legislature

The Honorable Yoshihiko Kamo gives update on Japan Earthquake & Tsunami Aftermath

Media Release:

The Honorable Yoshihiko Kamo, Consul General of Japan in Honolulu, addressed a special joint session of the Hawaii State Legislature today, providing an update on conditions in Japan more than a month after the March 11, 2011 Great East Japan earthquake, considered one of the most powerful earthquakes in recorded history.  He also expressed thanks for the support and assistance from the international community, the government and people of Hawaii, and appreciation for the strong bonds between Hawaii and Japan.

Yoshihiko Kamo

Yoshihiko Kamo

Consul General Kamo delivered an official update on the impact through a statement released by the Prime Minister of Japan, Naoto Kan.  The complete text of the Prime Minister’s statement is provided at the end of this release.

In his own words, Consul General Kamo said he was touched by the human dignity and compassion of the Japanese people amidst the triple calamity of an earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster.  He spoke of the relationship between Hawaii and Japan that began more than 125 years ago, and pledged to make sure that the people of Japan know how much Hawaii helped and cared about them.

“I want to tell you that Japanese tourists will be back soon,” said Consul General Kamo.  “The great earthquake and tsunami made many Japanese refrain from having fun to show condolence and solidarity with the victims.  With more than 500,000 cancellations, Japan’s domestic tourism suffered a heavy blow.  Accordingly, there has emerged a growing apprehension that excessive self-restraint does more harm than good to the stricken area as it slows down the economy.  Hawaii’s appeal to Japanese tourists remains unchanged.  Nature, people, history, safety, cleanliness, and proximity all contribute to alluring Japanese to Hawaii. You can count on our loyalty.”

Consul General Kamo described the sharp drop of foreign visitors to Japan as another serious problem and attributed it to the fear of exposure to radiation.

“Radioactive contamination is largely an on-site and near-site issue,” he added.  “A large part of Japan escapes from contamination that poses general threat to the public health.  World Health Organization (WHO), International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and International Maritime Organization (IMO) have made objective assessments that general travel restriction to Japan is not needed.  Going to Japan is not prohibited by any laws.  Whether it is Hokkaido or Kyushu, Tokyo or Kyoto, we eagerly await you in Japan and opportunities to reciprocate the hospitality.”

The Consul General closed by stating that Prime Minister Kam aims for an innovative reconstruction, drawing from the best ideas and expertise at home and abroad, and that Japan will be rebuilding steadily with help and support from Hawaii and the rest of the world.

Naoto Kan, Prime Minister of Japan

Naoto Kan, Prime Minister of Japan

“Japan: The Road to Recovery and Rebirth”

Naoto Kan, Prime Minister of Japan

 “At 14:46 on March 11, Japan was hit by one of the most powerful earthquakes in recorded history. We are now making all-out efforts to restore livelihoods and recover from the series of tragedies that followed the Great East Japan Earthquake. The disaster left more than 27,000 people dead or missing, including foreign citizens.

Since March 11, Japan has been strongly supported by the international community and our friends around the world. On behalf of the Japanese people, I would like to express my sincerest gratitude for the outpouring of support and solidarity we have received from over 130 countries, nearly 40 international organizations, numerous NGOs, and countless individuals from all parts of the world. The Japanese people deeply appreciate the Kizuna (a Japanese word for “bonds of friendship”) that has been shown to us by friends around the world. Through this hardship, we have also come to truly understand the meaning of “a friend in need is a friend indeed.”

Immediately after the earthquake struck, the U.S., our most important friend and ally, has provided swift cooperation. President Obama kindly called me to convey his strong commitment, confirming that the U.S. stands ready to provide all-out support to the Japanese people during this time of great difficulty. He also reaffirmed that the friendship and alliance between our two nations is unshakeable. So many Japanese citizens, including myself, were enormously encouraged by these remarks. From an early stage in the response efforts, U.S. Forces have diligently performed relief activities on multiple fronts as a part of Operation Tomodachi (named after the Japanese word for “friendship”). The cordial attitude that Americans have demonstrated toward us under this operation has deeply touched the hearts and minds of the Japanese. Support has come from not only the Government, but also NGOs and countless individuals, in the various forms of humanitarian assistance, search and rescue missions, and charity events and fund-raising. We have also received the full support of the U.S. in responding to the accidents at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, from providing equipment and other material assistance such as fire trucks and special protective suits, to dispatching nuclear experts and radiation control teams. I wish to express our sincere thanks for all the sympathy and assistance the American people have extended to us.

That Japan has experienced nuclear accidents at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant whose severity was assessed as most serious based on an international scale is extremely regrettable and something I take it very seriously. Bringing the situation at the plant under control at the earliest possible date is currently my top priority. I have been working at the forefront of efforts to tackle this troubling situation, leading a unified effort by the Government. I have mobilized all available resources to combat the risks posed by the plant, based on three principles: first, give the highest priority to the safety and health of all citizens, in particular those residents living close to the plant; second, conduct thorough risk management; and, third, plan for all possible scenarios so that we are fully prepared to respond to any future situation. For example, we continue to make the utmost efforts to address the issue of outflow of radioactive water into the ocean from the plant. In addition, the Government has taken every possible measure to ensure the safety of all food and other products, based on strict scientific criteria. We have taken highly precautionary measures so that the safety of all Japanese food and products that reach the market has been and will continue to be ensured. In order to assure domestic and foreign consumer confidence in the safety of Japanese food and products, my administration will redouble its efforts to maintain transparency and keep everyone informed of our progress in the complex and evolving circumstances at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant.

I pledge that the Japanese Government will promptly and thoroughly verify the cause of this incident, as well as share information and the lessons learned with the rest of the world in order to prevent such accidents from occurring in the future. Through such a process, we will proactively contribute to global debate to enhance the safety of nuclear power generation. Meanwhile, from a comprehensive energy policy perspective, we must squarely tackle a two-pronged challenge; responding to rising global energy demand and striving to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to combat global warming. Through the “Rebirth of Japan” I would like to present a clear vision to the entire world – that includes the aggressive promotion of clean energy – that may contribute to solving global energy issues.

The Great East Japan Earthquake and the resulting tsunami are the worst natural disasters that Japan has faced since the end of the Second World War. Reconstruction of the devastated Tohoku region will not be easy. However, I believe that this difficult period will provide us with a precious window of opportunity to secure the “Rebirth of Japan.” The Government will dedicate itself to demonstrating to the world its ability to establish the most sophisticated reconstruction plans for East Japan, based on three principles; first, create a regional society that is highly resistant to natural disasters; second, establish a social system that allows people to live in harmony with the global environment; and third, build a compassionate society that cares about people, in particular, the vulnerable.

We, the Japanese people, rose from the ashes of the Second World War, using our fundamental strength to secure a remarkable recovery and the country’s present prosperity. I have not a single doubt that Japan will overcome this crisis, recover from the aftermath of the disaster, emerge stronger than ever, and establish a more vibrant and better Japan for future generations.

I believe that the best way for Japan to reciprocate the strong Kizuna and cordial friendship extended to us by the international community is to continue our contribution to the development of the international community. To that end, I will work to the best of my ability to realize a “forward-looking” reconstruction that gives people bright hopes for the future. I would wholeheartedly appreciate your continued support and cooperation. ARIGATOU.”

Toad the Wet Sprocket Coming to Hawaii!

One of my all time favorite groups from the early 1990’s was Toad the Wet Sprocket or “TTWS” as fans like to call them.  I’m stoked to hear that they are going to be coming to Hawaii performing at the Royal Lahaina on Thursday, May 5th and  performing at the Royal Kona Resort on Friday, May 6th.

I’ve got lots of favorite TTWS songs but my all time favorite is probably this one… “Walk on the Ocean”:


…On April 12th, 2011 the band released a new Greatest Hits album titled “All You Want” in digital and disc form via their official website, the 11 track CD includes brand new studio versions of their hits, this will allow the band to regain their publishing and licensing of these songs, as they have no access to the versions they did for Columbia Records in the ’90s, aside from their first two albums, which they have regained full control over and plan to re-release, in remastered form, on their own label, Abe’s Records. this new hits disc will be released into stores and on all digital retailers and online retailers later in the summer.

Another favorite song of mine was “All I Want”:


Dave Lawrence from Hawaii Public Radio informed me that he learned of the concert from a previous post I had written and he contacted the management team of TTWS and now has gotten a performance by their front man Glen Phillips on Oahu as well.

“…Singer/songwriter Glen Phillips, the front man for the successful American indie rock band Toad The Wet Sprocket, will make his debut in Hawaii Public Radio’s Atherton Performing Arts Studio in a solo concert on Wednesday, May 4, 2011 at 7:30 p.m. In addition to his single Oahu performance, he will also be performing a solo concert on Kauai (May 5th in Kapaa), following which, he and Toad The Wet Sprocket will be performing on Maui at the Royal Lahaina Resort on May 6th On May 7th, the band will also appear in Kailua-Kona at the Royal Kona Resort…”

I’m stoked the Royal Kona Resort has been bringing in so many quality groups of late!

For ticket information click here: Toad the Wet Sprocket at the Royal Kona Resort