Hulihe‘e Palace Concert Remembers King Who Founded Queen’s Medical Center

Media Release:

The Daughters of Hawai‘i and the Calabash Cousins present a free outdoor concert 4 p.m. Sunday, May 15 at Hulihe‘e Palace to remember the late King Kamehameha IV. Enjoy the voices of the Merrie Monarchs and performing arts by Kumu Hula Etua Lopes and his Halau Na Pua U‘i O Hawai‘i.

Hulihe‘e Palace

The concert is part of the palace’s series of free monthly concerts that honor Hawai‘i’s past monarchs and historical figures; donations are appreciated. Kindly bring a beach mat or chair as seating won’t be provided.

King Kamehameha IV (Alexander Liholiho) was 21 when he inherited the throne in 1855. He agonized over the dwindling native population that was reduced from 300,000 in 1778 to 70,000 in 1855. “Hawaiians had no resistance to the diseases of foreigners and over 6,000 caught smallpox brought to the islands in 1853,” says Fanny Au Hoy, Hulihe‘e Palace docent coordinator. “The king and his Queen Emma pushed for the building of a hospital so Hawaiians could get adequate medical care.”

Hulihe‘e Palace

Liholiho married Emma Naea Rooke in 1856. She was the granddaughter of John Young, Kamehameha’s British advisor and great-granddaughter of Kamehameha’s brother, Keli‘imaika‘i. As was the custom for children in Hawai‘i to be given to relatives for upbringing, Emma was the hanai  (adopted) daughter of Dr. T. C. Rooke, an English physician practicing in Honolulu, and Emma’s Aunt Grace. Brought up by a physician, Emma shared her husband’s values on health.

“Besides providing personal funds, the royal couple earnestly solicited donations from others,” explains Au Hoy. “In 1860, Kamehameha IV laid the cornerstone for the Queen’s Hospital, which he named to honor his wife.” Today, it is the prestigious Queen’s Medical Center in downtown Honolulu.

Liholiho and his young family visited Hulihe‘e Palace several times, favoring the seaside royal residence for off-island vacations from Honolulu’s busy pace. They also spent time on Kaua‘i  near Hanalei and the area was named Princeville after the couple’s son, Prince Albert.

Hulihe‘e Palace

The king died when he was 29, a short time after Prince Albert became fatally ill. “Queen Emma became a candidate to the throne in 1874 but lost a heavily contested election to Prince David Kalakaua,” says Au Hoy. Queen Emma died at the age of 49 in 1885.

Hulihe‘e Palace is open for self-guided tours. Museum hours are 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. Hulihe‘e Palace admission, which at this time includes a self-guided tour brochure, remains $6 for adults, $4 for seniors and $1 for keiki under 18. Volunteer docents are sometimes available to give guided tours.

Due to damage from the March tsunami, the gift shop remains closed for repairs and donations are greatly appreciated. For details, contact the palace at 329-1877, the palace office at 329-9555 or visit

Caretakers of Hulihe‘e Palace are the Daughters of Hawai‘i. The organization was founded in 1903 and opens membership to any woman who is directly descended from a person who lived in Hawai‘i prior to 1880. Helping the Daughters in its efforts since 1986 are the Calabash Cousins; membership is available to all.

 2011 Hulihe‘e Palace Concert Schedule: 4 p.m. on the palace grounds

  • Jan 16: Hula Concert remembering King Kamehameha II “Lunalilo” and Aunty I’olani Luahine
  • Feb 20: Band Concert remembering Princess Ruth Ke‘elikolani
  • Mar 20: Hula Concert remembering Queen Ka’ahumanu and Prince Kuhio
  • Apr 17: Hula Concert remembering Prince Albert
  • May 15: Hula Concert remembering King Kamehameha IV “Alexander Liholiho”
  • Jun 12: Band Concert remembering King Kamehameha I “Paiea”
  • Jul 17: Hula Concert remembering John Adams Kuakini
  • Aug 14: Hula Concert remembering King Kamehameha III “Kauikeaouli”
  • Sep 18: Band Concert remembering Queen Lili‘uokalani
  • Oct 16: Hula Concert remembering Princess Kai‘ulani
  • Nov 20: Band Concert remembering King Kalakaua, Palace Curator Aunty Lei Collins and Bandmaster Charles “Bud Dant
  • Dec 18: Hula Concert remembering Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop

New Law Increases Freight Fees to Fund Fight Against Invasive Species

Media Release:

Governor Neil Abercrombie today signed House Bill 865 into law – a bill that increases the fee on the net weight of imported freight in order to strengthen the state’s invasive species programs, including the improvement of inspections at airports and harbors.

Coqui Frog

Coqui Frog

The new law increases the fee from 50-cents to 75-cents for every 1,000 pounds of freight, or part thereof, brought into the state.  The legislature determined that, due to insufficient funds, the state is unable to adequately inspect imports that may contain prohibited items and to stop the spread of invasive species throughout Hawaii.  The increased funding will go toward programs on the inspection, quarantine and eradication of invasive species.

“Hawaii does not have adequate resources to fight invasive species, and this new law will help provide the funds needed by our state agencies,” said Rep. Clift Tsuji, Chair of the House Agriculture Committee.  “The threat of invasive species to our environment has become very serious.  If we don’t increase our inspection and eradication activities, our natural environment will rapidly deteriorate.  This is an important bill because the spread of pests like the coqui frog and others will negatively impact our economy and quality of life.”

The bill takes effect immediately upon approval.

Wordless Wednesday – One in the Hand or Two in the Bush?

One in the hand, two in the bush

One in the hand or two in the bush?

Big Island Film Festival Coming Up Next Week!

Media Release:

Hawaii stars come out to play at the 6th Annual Big Island Film Festival (BIFF), including celebrity honorees Sarah Wayne Callies (The Walking Dead), and Kristina Anapau (Black Swan).  These women will help celebrate independent narrative filmmaking at the May 11-15 event at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i and The Shops at Mauna Lani.

Sarah Wayne Callies
Sarah Wayne Callies

Sarah Wayne Callies grew up in Honolulu, where her parents are professors at University of Hawai’i, Mānoa.  She currently stars as “Lori Grimes” on AMC’s The Walking Dead, based on the popular comic book of the same name. Past television credits include her role as “Dr. Sara Tancredi” on Fox’s popular Prison Break, as well as appearances on Queens Supreme, Tarzan, House, NUMB3RS, Law and Order: SVU and many more.  Her screenplay Elena’s Serenade, an adaptation of the children’s book by Campbell Geeslin, has been optioned by The Film Farm.

Kristina Anapau

Kristina Anapau

From Hilo, Kristina Anapau grew up studying classical ballet, began her professional acting career on TV at age 16, and last year starred opposite Oscar-winning Natalie Portman in Black Swan.  Television credits include House, Monk, CSI: NY, Without A Trace, General Hospital, and Knight Rider.  In 2006 Anapau appeared in Self Medicated, winner of over 35 International film awards, including BIFF’s Best Feature, and today she stars in a new short drama Verdict screening Wednesday, May 11 at BIFF.

More special guests include previous BIFF Golden Honu Award winners David Winning (Todd & the Book of Pure Evil) and Ron Osborn (Duckman), along with producer Naketha Mattocks, and, from Hawaii Five-0, Cary Hiroyuki Tagawa, and producers Angela Laprete and William “Chico” Powell.  Laprete and Powell will appear at a live “insider” Q&A with Big Island Film Commissioner John Mason at The Shops at Mauna Lani, Thursday, May 12, 6:00-7:00 p.m.

A true professional, producer Angela Laprete has worked on Emmy award-winning television shows and independent films and major blockbusters including ER, Blue Crush, Godzilla, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, The Tempest and the Hawaii/U.K. co-produced independent feature film, Princess Kaiulani. She is currently Production Supervisor on the #1 new TV show remake of Hawaii Five-0.

With partner William “Chico” Powell, their company cre808films produced One Kine Day and Lychee Thieves, circulating the film festival market right now, and are in development with The Tattoo, based on the award-winning book by Chris McKinney.  Powell has been production accountant for many projects over the last 10 years including Hawaii Five-0, Lost and The Tempest. He was recently Production Supervisor on Soul Surfer and was the Line Producer on Princess Kaiulani.

BIFF 2011 will showcase 63 independent narrative films from 7 countries, 10 of them filmed in Hawaii, including:

  • All Collected Things, looking back at a love story. Michael Tanji producer, director, writer.
  • Layover, on the Shore, a contemporary Honolulu filmmaker’s edgy story, A Christopher Makoto Yogi Film, Producers William Kwok, Yu Gu.
  • Mute, a deaf high school junior wants to try out for football, by Jeremy Johnson Films.
  • The Green Tie Affair, a puppet musical about identity and wardrobe

And these, from Big Island filmmakers:

  • Hawaii’s Undersea Ohana, Hawaiian proverbs put to music, includes a segment filmed on Ni‘ihau, by Fasano Underwater Productions, Charles Fasano.
  • Alison’s Adventures: Snaked, a surf adventure to Morocco, Alison Tea Productions.
  • Sproot, Produced and directed by Loring Robbins, is a whimsical animation about telekinetic power and personal strength
  • The Pick-Up Artist, two people meet in a bar, but are they who they seem to be?  Beckwood Entertainment, producer/director/writer: Rockwood.
  • Waterfall, loss and grief, embraced by nature. Keyland Productions, Braide Keyland producer, director and writer.

From Maui, Get a Job written and directed by Brian Kohne, is an outrageous comedy with an all-star lineup of top Hawaii entertainers including Willie K, Eric Gilliom, Augie T, Jake Shimabukuro, Carolyn Omine, Slam Poet Kealoha, Ernie Cruz, Jr., Amy Hanaiali‘i, Mick Fleetwood, Pat Simmons, Charles Ka‘upu, Willie Nelson, and Henry Kapono (who headlines BIFF’s “Best of the Fest” concert May 15).  Get a Job screens Thursday, May 12 at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i Plantation Estate, in the set beginning at 7:30 p.m. (free parking).

Complete schedule and individual event tickets available online.

BIFF 2011 Highlights

Wednesday, May 11, 7:30 p.m.

Free Grand Opening at The Shops at Mauna Lani, to welcome the filmmakers and celebrities, and enjoy short films, including The Verdict, starring Hilo’s Kristina Anapau (“Black Swan”)

Thursday, May 12, 6:00-7:00 p.m.

“Insider” Q&A with Angela Laprete and William “Chico” Powell of cre808film, The Shops at Mauna Lani Center Stage

Thursday-Friday-Saturday, May 12-13-14

Daytime movies at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii Amphitheatre (times vary, parking validated).

Free Family Films at The Shops at Mauna Lani Center Stage, 7:30-9:30 p.m.

Nightly double-feature (up to R) at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i Plantation Estate, 7:30-11:30 p.m. (free parking)

Saturday, May 14

Filmmaker Workshops: “Inside Pitch: How to pitch effectively in an evolving marketplace” by Naketha Mattocks (9:00-11:30 a.m.) and “It’s Alive: Breathing Life into Your Characters” by Ron Osborn (12:30-3:00 p.m.)

Sunday, May 15, 5:30 p.m.

“Best of the Fest” – Henry Kapono in concert and audience-voted Best Feature and Best Short of BIFF 2011, at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i Plantation Estate. (There will be a Silent Auction on site during the concert, to benefit The Wounded Warrior Project for U.S. veterans.)  Free parking.

Lawn seating for outdoor shows, beach chairs welcome, no coolers please.  For complete schedule information, and to purchase tickets online, visit

Paradise Roller Girls Take on Maui Roller Girls in the “Spring Fling-Her” Bout May 28th

Media Release:

Hilo’s Paradise Roller Girls will battle the Maui Roller Girls in the highly anticipated “Spring Fling-Her,” the second inter-island bout to roll into the Big Island this year. The bout is scheduled for Saturday, May 28 at the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium. Doors open at 4 p.m. and the action starts at 6 p.m.

Paradise Roller Girls

Paradise Roller Girls

Pre-sale tickets are available now at   “” or from your favorite derby girl. Other outlets include CD Wizard, Hilo Burger Joint, Mt. View Village Video, Akmal’s Indian Food, KapohoKine Adventures, and at the door the day of the event. Pre-sale ticket price is $8 until May 21. After May 21, tickets will be $10 at outlets and the door only. Children 2 and under are free. Please no strollers, coolers or containers.

“We sold out the Civic for our last two bouts and had to turn away people at the door. We highly recommend that fans get their tickets in advance,” said PRG President Meg “Megative” Premo.

PRG is sponsoring a Diaper Drive the day of the bout for the Hale Ohana Domestic Violence Shelter of Hilo. Please help by bringing new packages of pull-ups, diapers, wipes or rash cream to the event. PRG is also donating $1500 to the shelter.

Paradise Roller Girls is a women’s flat track roller derby league based out of Hilo, Hawaii. PRG is also proud to announce the recent acceptance as an apprentice affiliate of the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA).

Sponsors of the Spring Fling-Her include WillKill Termites & Pests, Aloha Coast Realty, KapohoKine Adventures, Kona Marine Supply, Law Offices of Steven Strauss, Sin City Skates, and Curly Pinky Designs.

Come out and support your local roller derby, with action packed entertainment, and family fun. For more information and to meet the PRG, check out ““.