KapohoKine Adventure’s Honoli’i Mountain Outpost Zipline Rides Almost Finished

Yesterday I had the opportunity to go up to KapohoKine Adventure’s latest adventure attraction called the Honoli’i Mountain Outpost Ziplines and try out first hand the first four ziplines that have been built on old fallow sugarcane land in East Hawaii.

Honoli'i Mountain Outpost

The ziplines themselves are located about three miles outside of Hilo just past the surfing spot Honoli’i.Honoli'i Mountain Outpost

The owners of KapohoKine took me to the airstrip that they had been using for helicopter landings and I was amazed at how far away any houses were from this isolated little landing strip out in the middle of nowhere nearly 4 or 5 miles off the main highway.

Honoli'i Mountain Outpost

Unfortunately, due to a few folks in the area that have a NIMBY mentality… the County of Hawaii has reversed a January 12th letter determining that the airport was a grandfathered non-conforming use airstrip, despite the fact that the airstrip has been used fairly recently for green harvest purposes… but so be it… all helicopter tours will no longer be able to give their guests a zipline experience here on the island like this after June 18th and the county will lose tax revenue from this environmentally friendly type of tourism.

Honoli'i Mountain Outpost

The course begins at the first little hospitality area.

Honoli'i Mountain Outpost

You gear up and get instructions at this location

Honoli'i Mountain Outpost

After gearing up, you are lead to the first tower where you walk up a “Suspension Bridge” type of steps to the first platform.

Honoli'i Mountain Outpost

On a clear day, I was told that you can see all of Hilo bay and even see the steam from the Pu’u O Vents!

Honoli'i Mountain Outpost

This zipline course was called what I believe I heard a “platform-to-platform” type of course, meaning that once you get on the first zipline… you don’t touch the ground until you reach the end.

Honoli'i Mountain Outpost

Walking across these suspension bridges high across the ground from tower to tower sure added to the excitement!

Honoli'i Mountain Outpost Ziplines

They are really spending a lot of time to make this the best zipline on the Big Island and each of the the eventual eight lines will all be dual lines meaning you can race your friends around the course.

Honoli'i Mountain Outpost

My favorite line built so far was line number four which takes you over a couple waterfalls:

[youtube=http://youtu.be/53Ii1jcu6CE]

Here is the incredible view from the pavilion that I had lunch at after line four.

Honoli'i Mountain Outpost Ziplines

When I inquired when the entire course would be ready and complete, they mentioned that it should be ready by the First week of July!

Honoli'i Mountain Outpost Ziplines

They are accepting bookings right now for the four line tours however the eight line tours would probably be worth waiting a couple weeks for.

Honoli'i Mountain Outpost Ziplines

I sincerely hope the County of Hawaii will rethink it’s decision in not allowing helicopters to fly into this place.  This administration was supposed to be the administration with the “Can-Do” attitude… but with decisions like this… it seems more like a “Cannot-Do” attitude for some folks starting up businesses here in Hawaii.

Big Island Councilman Pete Hoffman… “COOPERATION SAYONORA”

Council Pete Hoffman

Councilman Pete Hoffman - "COOPERATION SAYONORA"

Guest Commentary:

Using the recent budget discussions as a background, I had hoped that the Mayor would recognize the opportunity that presented itself for establishing a cooperative relationship with the Council. Unfortunately, that didn’t occur. I’ll admit I’m wasn’t completely surprised, but I am disappointed that the administration resorts to “political theater” once again to resolve relatively minor budget changes.

We’ve heard on numerous occasions the Mayor clearly state that he seeks a new cooperation with the Council. I can’t imagine a better occasion to initiate this spirit. Consider the circumstances: the Council managed to amend the Mayor’s budget totaling $367M by less than $11M. That’s less than a 3% change. Despite all the discussion and the back and forth surrounding one or two emotional topics, that alteration is quite small. I’m sorry the Mayor didn’t call a press conference, declare victory, and thank the Council for agreeing with 97% of his budget submission. I think 97% is a good acceptance rate.

The Mayor has indicated that his veto is not a political one but rather based on the legality of the Council’s efforts to amend the budget for $5.8M. In that amendment, the Council directed the administration take the funds from the Other Current Expense Accounts that are scattered throughout the various departments. The Corporation Counsel now believes that the amended budget has “numerous legal infirmities.” I expressed my concerns regarding this amendment at the time of the budget hearings, but not on legal grounds. Personally, I would rather have had the Council specify the source of those funds, but I voted for the amendment because the past history of such Council efforts during this administration met with no success. On this occasion, I felt perhaps that the administration could identify the source of such funds itself. At no time during the budget discussion, did I or other Council members believe that what we were doing was ‘illegal’, nor did we ever hear from the Corporation Counsel that such actions might be in violation of the charter. Let’s remember, we considered this amendment on 18 May. Now a month later, the Council is informed there could be problems.

One should also remember that in our County system, the Corporation Counsel is the lawyer for both the Mayor/administration and the County Council. I have always wondered how you can serve the proverbial two masters at the same time, and this is an instance where this might lead to real/imagined difficulties. We are told that the Council should have sought legal opinion before introducing the $5.8M amendment. But since the Corporation Counsel is also supposed to be the County Council’s lawyer, one might wonder why the lawyers didn’t raise this issue to the Council Chair, at least before the budget was passed at second reading on 1 June? The Mayor comments that perhaps the Council should have asked the question first. A visitor from somewhere other than Hawaii County would be forgiven from giggling uncontrollably at this point. So much for a cooperative spirit.

Whether the Council votes to override the Mayor’s veto or not, County residents are being treated to another in a series of political dramas that tend to reflect badly on all participants. Effective government demands better leadership. I think the Council and administration had that opportunity a short time ago, but that opportunity has slipped through everyone’s fingers. Apparently, something about the budget process seems to generate less than a collaborative effort by Council and the administration. Our residents deserve better.

PETE HOFFMANN

Breadfruit Festival and Art Contest Coming Up

Media Release:

Hawaii Homegrown Food Network, the Breadfruit Institute of the National Tropical Botanical Garden and Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden, are presenting the Breadfruit Festival—Ho‘oulu ka ‘Ulu at the Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden in South Kona on Saturday, September 24, 2011 from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm. The Garden will also be holding a dedication for its new visitor center at 12:00 noon on the Festival day. The Festival and dedication are free and open to the public.

The Breadfruit Festival celebrates the rich culture of breadfruit (‘ulu) in Hawai‘i and the Pacific, raises awareness about the importance of breadfruit for food security and teaches about the many delicious ways to prepare breadfruit.

A highlight of the day will be cooking demonstrations by local celebrity chefs, food booths featuring breadfruit and other local favorites prepared by Hawai‘i Island’s finest chefs, and the “I Love Breadfruit” Cook-Off Contest where anyone may enter their favorite breadfruit dish to compete for prizes.

The Breadfruit Festival will also feature Hawaiian and Pacific Islander cultural activities including ‘Ulumaika (breadfruit bowling), talks on the culture and history of breadfruit, ‘Ōlelo No‘eau, woodworking, quilting demonstrations, tapa making, ‘ulu poi making and more.

Workshops on breadfruit propagation, tree care and maintenance, economic opportunities, the Hunger Initiative and other topics will be given by experts Dr. Diane Ragone and Ian Cole of the Breadfruit Institute of the National Tropical Botanical Garden.

An art exhibit will feature the finalists in a fine art contest which focuses on the beauty of breadfruit, and a youth poster contest. Breadfruit trees will be available for sale on festival day, but supplies are limited and advance purchase for pick up at the festival is encouraged by contacting hooulu@hawaiihomegrown.net.

In addition to the September 24th Breadfruit Festival in South Kona, an East Side festival spearheaded by project partners Ho‘oulu Lahui and Kua O Ka Lā Public Charter School will be held March 2-3, 2012.

Learn more about the Breadfruit Festival by visiting www.breadfruit.info.

ART CONTEST CELEBRATES THE CULTURE AND BEAUTY OF BREADFRUIT

The Ho‘oulu ka ‘Ulu – Revitalizing Breadfruit in Hawai‘i Art Contest. The art contest is part of the educational outreach associated with the Breadfruit Festival—Ho‘oulu ka ‘Ulu which will be held at the Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden in South Kona on Saturday, September 24, 2011. The contests celebrates the beauty of the breadfruit tree and fruit as well as the rich cultural heritage and future role of ‘ulu in Hawai‘i.

In a mauka region of Kona there was once a band of ‘ulu trees ½ mile wide and 18 miles long called kalū ‘ulu that produced as much as 36,000 tons of ‘ulu fruit per year. Today, few of these trees remain. Ho‘oulu ka ‘Ulu is a project to revitalize ‘ulu (breadfruit) as an attractive, delicious, nutritious, abundant, affordable, and culturally appropriate food which addresses Hawai‘i’s food security issues. The art contest will help raise awareness about the importance of ‘ulu in Hawai‘i.

All Hawai‘i Island artists are invited to submit original 2D media artwork to the art contest. Electronic submissions are due on July 25th for initial judging and semi-finalists will be asked to bring original work to the Donkey Mill Art Center on Thursday, August 11th for an artist’s reception and final judging. The artwork of finalists will be displayed at the Breadfruit Festival. One winning piece will be selected to be reproduced into a collectable poster commemorating the Ho‘oulu ka ‘Ulu project, which will be sold at the Breadfruit Festival and beyond as a fundraiser for the festival and project. Prizes will be awarded for best artwork.

Additional information and submission forms can be found at www.breadfruit.info.