Governor Neil Abercrombie to Sign SB1520 (The Native Hawaiian Recognition Act) Into Law

Senator Gilbert Kahele just posted the following on Facebook:

Senator Gilbert Kahele

Senator Gilber Kahele

Gov. Abercrombie is scheduled to sign SB1520 (The Native Hawaiian Recognition Act) into law July 6th 2:15PM. http://ow.ly/5q5Md

Senate Bill 1520 reads:

Establishes a five-member Native Hawaiian roll commission in the office of Hawaiian affairs for administrative purposes to prepare and maintain a roll of qualified Native Hawaiians; requires the commission to publish the roll to facilitate commencement of a convention for the purpose of organization; requires the governor to dissolve the commission after publication of the roll; requires the office of Hawaiian affairs to fund expenses of the Native Hawaiian roll commission; requires a report to the governor and legislature prior to the regular session of 2012.

Governor Neil Abercrombie – “A Mission To Change Direction”

Media Release:

Aloha everyone,

The new fiscal year begins on July 1st with a mission to change the direction of Hawai’i.

The budget passed by the legislature—which I have now signed into law—requires our Administration to operate with hundreds of millions less than we believed necessary to restore core government functions. Despite tax increases passed by the legislature, services and programs will still have to be significantly cut.

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I have asked all departments to work together in a deliberate and thoughtful process that will identify programs that may be affected. In recent weeks, our administration began discontinuing financial support of programs that are valuable but can no longer be sustained, such as Vanpool Hawai’i and the State Pharmacy Assistance Program. These cuts and others that follow will be difficult—but the financial constraints we face allow for no other course of action.

While we address the challenges facing our state budget, we continue to move forward on our three-part New Day Plan.

First, we are strengthening our economy and creating good jobs for people so they can do more than just make ends meet. We are pressing ahead with our $1.4 billion dollar investment in public works projects that will immediately put money into the economy, and we are building a solid foundation for local businesses by developing our own renewable energy and ultra-high speed Internet capabilities that will give Hawaii the competitive edge that we need.

Second, we will continue transforming government and providing taxpayers with the best value for their dollar. We are constantly uncovering old problems and addressing them immediately with fresh ideas and a determination to do what is right.  For example, at Mayor Wright public housing residents went without hot water for years until our administration took over and fixed the situation.

And third, no matter how tight our resources, we are securing Hawaii’s future by investing in key areas like early childhood, healthcare technology, food production, natural resources, housing, and other long term priorities. Just as a family will set aside whatever it can for the future, so too will we take actions now that will make a big difference later.

Our state is facing significant challenges, yes. But together we are charting a new course and forging ahead to a more positive future.

Imua Hawaii!

Neil Abercrombie

Fair Wind Big Island Ocean Guides Wins 2011 Pualu Award for Environmental Awareness

Media Release:

Fair Wind Big Island Ocean Guides‘ efforts to share important and little known information about Keauhou’s famed manta rays and the company’s respect for the ocean and its environment was acknowledged by the Kona Kohala Chamber of Commerce today with the Chamber’s 2011 Pualu Award for Environmental Awareness.

Puhi, Mendy and Alex Dant with their Pualu Award.

Puhi, Mendy and Alex Dant with their Pualu Award.

Established in 1979, the annual Pualu awards honor outstanding individuals, businesses and non-profit organizations in West Hawaii for their dedication and hard work in the community.

Fair Wind was also acknowledged by the Small Business Administration as the 2011 award-winner in the Family Owned Small Business category in Hawaii County. The SBA awards recognize small-business owners, advocates and entrepreneurs who show business skills and tenacity to excel in their industry, according to the SBA.

“For forty years, Fair Wind Big Island Ocean Guides has set the bar for quality ocean activities for residents and visitors to Hawaii Island,” explained Fair Wind Vice President Mendy Dant. “It is exciting for us at this particular juncture to be recognized by both the Kona Kohala Chamber of Commerce and the Small Business Administration with these awards, which are made possible through the enterpeneurship of our father and perseverance, vision and dedication of the second generation as well as the talent, knowledge and dedication of our employees.”

National Geographic Awards Jack Johnson “Arts Ambassador for the Environment” Award

Media Release:

Three exceptional individuals and a corporation were honored by the National Geographic Society at its first ever “Evening of Exploration” gala event Thursday night, presented by Rolex.

Environmental anthropologist Kenny Broad and the late underwater photographer Wes Skiles were named “Explorers of the Year,” a new award presented in recognition of their extraordinary achievements in exploring and documenting the Blue Holes of the Bahamas in 2010. Broad and the Skiles family each received a Rolex Explorer timepiece. Musician and environmental activist Jack Johnson received the newly created “Arts Ambassador for the Environment Award,” presented to an individual in the entertainment field who has demonstrated leadership in environmental and cultural conservation by elevating issues of sustainability and inspiring audiences to care about the planet. The National Geographic “Chairman’s Award” was presented to IBM for significantly advancing knowledge of the world through its research partnership with National Geographic on the Genographic Project, which is mapping the migratory history of humans.

“Those recognized last night set the gold standard in exploration, and their passion inspires all of us to care about the planet,” said John Fahey, National Geographic’s chairman and CEO. “It was a privilege to come together to acknowledge these explorers’ many contributions — to our organization, certainly, but ultimately to mankind.”

The theme of the inaugural “Evening of Exploration” celebration was “Oceans,” and the event was attended by an all-star cast of explorers and other luminaries, including newly appointed National Geographic Explorers-in-Residence filmmaker James Cameron and marine ecologist Enric Sala, as well as other Explorers-in-Residence who presented the evening’s awards: oceanographer Robert Ballard, marine biologist Sylvia Earle, wildlife filmmakers Dereck and Beverly Joubert and population geneticist Spencer Wells. Event co-chairs Catherine and Wayne Reynolds, Gayle and Ed Roski, and Christine and Stephen Schwarzman also joined the festivities.

The master of ceremonies was Wolf Blitzer, CNN’s lead political anchor. Following the awards presentation, Johnson performed songs for the crowd. The menu was designed by renowned chef and National Geographic Fellow Barton Seaver. All of the food served was created with ingredients sourced from sustainable farms, and the sushi was made from “invasive species.” Wine was donated by Iron Horse Vineyards. Additional support for the sold-out event was provided by GEICO. Proceeds from the evening will benefit National Geographic’s Explorer programs, comprising the Explorers-in-Residence, Fellows and Emerging Explorers.

The “Evening of Exploration” was the culmination of the two-day National Geographic 2011 Explorers Symposium, an annual event at which National Geographic Explorers-in-Residence, Fellows, Emerging Explorers, grantees and others affiliated with National Geographic gather to share findings of their research and fieldwork and take part in panel discussions.

Jack Johnson

Jack Johnson wins National Geographic Award

ARTS AMBASSADOR FOR THE ENVIRONMENT AWARD: JACK JOHNSON

Jack Johnson grew up surfing and playing guitar on the North Shore of Oahu. He released his first album, “Brushfire Fairytales,” in 2001 and in the last 10 years has released five more albums that have sold over 20 million copies worldwide. With his success, Johnson has always tried to take the spotlight and shine it on issues important to him. In 2003, Johnson and his wife, Kim, founded the Kokua Hawaii Foundation and Kokua Festival to support environmental education in Hawaii’s schools and communities. Johnson, his Brushfire Records label and his touring crew have been leaders in the greening of the music industry in all areas of tour production and album packaging. In 2008, Johnson donated 100 percent of his tour profits to establish the Johnson Ohana Charitable Foundation, an endowment founded by Jack and Kim Johnson to support environmental, art and music education worldwide. One hundred percent of Johnson’s current “To The Sea” tour profits also will be donated to charity. Tour profits, along with Johnson’s personal charitable activities, have resulted in approximately $25 million donated to charity since 2001.

Johnson and his crew have taken many greening measures to minimize the environmental impacts of the 2010 “To The Sea” tour. These include reducing the use of single-use plastic bottles on tour and on stage, encouraging concert-goers to fill up reusable water bottles for free at water stations at every venue, and working to make the shows zero-waste events through recycling, composting and other means. Over the course of the tour, Johnson is collaborating with over 220 community groups focusing on plastic-free initiatives and sustainable local food systems, as well as environmental education, oceans and watersheds, tree planting and other hands-on community projects. Through his ongoing efforts to promote sustainability and to lead by example, Johnson has exemplified National Geographic’s commitment to inspiring people to care about the planet.

For more information on the other three winners click here: National Geographic honors four at inaugural “Evening of Exploration” celebration.

Big Island Police Looking for Robber With Mole Above Left Lip

Media Release:

Big Island police are investigating a robbery that took place in Puna in April.

A 32-year-old Pāhoa woman reported that an unidentified man took her purse while she was at the Ainaloa Community Center at 11 p.m. on April 2. He then fled in an unidentified car.

The man is described as being in his 20s, 5-foot-7, 150 pounds with a large mole above his left lip. He was wearing a dark blue knit cap that had a Nike symbol.

Police ask that anyone with information on his identity call Detective Norbert Serrao at 961-2383 or 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.

The Worlds Best Mai Tai Fest, BBQ Cook-Off and The Spin Doctors Under the Stars

The Royal Kona Resort is having it’s 3rd Annual Mai Tai Festival, BBQ Cook-Off and Concert Under the Stars featuring The Spin Doctors on Saturday, August 13th, 2011.

Last year Third Eye Blind was the band that came from the mainland and I actually got on stage with them!

Here is a schedule of this years “mixer” with pictures from last years event.

Friday, August 12, 2011
5:00PM-6:00PM:VIP Reception and Meet & Greet the Spin Doctors (Invite Only)

8:30PM-11:30PM: Mai Tai Madness Kick-off Event. Don’s Mai Tai Bar will offer drink specials with music, dancing & Mai Tais. Join us for prizes, giveaways and more. Plus you never know who will show up at this special event.

Amy Day of Lahaina Bar and Grill

Amy Day of Lahaina Bar and Grill was a popular bartender last year

Saturday, August 13, 2011
11:00AM-2:00PM:
Battle of the BBQ and Mai Tai Marketplace at the Luau Grounds (Free Entry)
Come browse as local vendors and artisans from across Hawaii will display and sell their handcrafted items and delicious food.

Local restaurants/chefs compete for title of the World’s Best BBQ. Taster plates are available for purchase and you get to vote for People’s Choice.

BBQ Ribs

Voting open from 11:00am-1:30pm – with winner announced at 1:45pm.

Judges

All food & beverage purchases will be made by script. Script sales booths will be located throughout the property.

Script Sales

2:30PM-4:00PM:
Henry Kapono Poolside CD Release Party (Free Entry)
Henry and his band will take the stage poolside for one and a half hours of Live Music. Kick back or boogie down with a Mai Tai as we enjoy the island rhythms of this world renowned performer.

Henry Kapono

4:30PM-7:30PM:
Mai Tai Mix-off (Free Entry)
25 Bartenders from across the globe compete for the coveted title of World’s Best Mai Tai and the $10,000 cash prize.

Christian Self (right) from the 39 Hotel on Oahu holds his check and tiki trophy

Last years winner Christian Self (right) from the 39 Hotel on Oahu holds his check and tiki trophy

You will be amazed at the creative and inspired Mai Tais while you are entertained by Beachbum Berry. Beachbum is a certified Rum expert who will give us the low down on all things rum. Joey Gottesman, our esteemed emcee will keep you laughing and engaged for this 3-hour spectacular.

Mai Tai Contest

8:00PM:
Spin Doctors – Live and Under the Stars
Listen to the classic hits of the Spin Doctors as they play their first Hawaii concert on our Luau grounds stage. Tickets are on sale now and will sell out so be sure to book early. Cost is $55 per person. Seating is limited and intimate. Visit www.groovetickets.com to purchase.

And one week later on August 20th at the Royal Lahaina Resort on Maui… the Spin Doctors will also play.

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