When Fire Dancing Goes Bad at a Hawaiian Luau

Fire Dancing Gone Bad

Ok… I just laughed my ass off… and I’m glad the guy is ok!


In Hawaii, check this fire dancer out! He was so good until about the one minute mark. Once he started to realize he was on fire, he ran for the beach, threw some sand on himself and came back to perform like nothing happened.  Great show over all in Maui

Big Island Police Searching for 82-Year-Old Hilo Man Reported Missing

Big Island police are searching for an 82-year-old Hilo man reported as missing.

Merle Bensema

Merle Bensema

Merle Bensema was last seen around 8 a.m. at his Hilo home Tuesday morning (August 23). He may have driven to the Waikoloa area. He has a medical condition that requires medication.

Bensema is described as Caucasian, 5-foot-11, 215 pounds with a stocky build and a fair complexion. He has short white hair, blue eyes and wears glasses. He is possibly operating an older-model silver Ford Ranger pickup truck.

Police ask that anyone with information on his 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.

Honolulu Rail – Sumitomo Corporation of America Decides Not To Appeal

Sumitomo Corporation of America (SCOA) has decided to not seek judicial review of the decision of the hearings officer of the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA).   After careful consideration, the company has concluded that an appeal will not be in the best interests of Honolulu , SCOA, or the project at this point.

“As much as we still strongly disagree with the rulings that have been made so far, we felt it was time to step back and let the City go its course, said Gino Antoniello , Vice President, Sumitomo Corporation of America, Transportation Systems and Equipment Unit.  “As we stated from the beginning of our protest, it has never been our intention to hurt this project or stand in the way of it being built,” he added.

As the only qualified offeror, SCOA’s decision not to appeal should in no way be interpreted as loss of interest. To the contrary, SCOA will remain ready to fulfill its commitments should the City not be able to proceed with Ansaldo due to any problems that might prevent them from fulfilling their offer.

“SCOA has a heritage that spans over 400 years.  Longevity of this magnitude means that we do not make impulse decisions or engage in prolonged legal battles – even where we believe we are correct and, for this reason, we have decided not to appeal.  Hopefully our challenge has helped raise awareness and ensure success as it relates to this very important project so that the taxpayers of Honolulu will not have buyer’s remorse down the road”, said Antoniello.

SCOA presented its case that an award to Ansaldo does not represent the best value to the City. Even though the hearings officer dismissed SCOA’s appeal he acknowledged but did not address the merits of a number of concerns that were raised.

“We believe that these concerns, now well-known, should have continued scrutiny and would be best deliberated and considered by HART through its board and executive director, states Antoniello.  SCOA stands ready to proceed with the project and reaffirms its commitment to bring its experience, technology solution, and extensive proven track record for this project.”

Elena Welch to Play at the Volcano Art Center

The Summer of Jazz continues at Volcano Art Center’s Niaulani Campus on August 27 at 7:30 pm when the incredible voice of Elena Welch joins the Volcano Art Center Jazz Ensemble lead by Junior “Volcano” Choy and backed by drummer Bruce David, Brian McCree on bass, Gary Washburn and Kyle Matsuda on piano. Tickets for this concert are $15 in advance and $20 at the door.

According to Concerts Coordinator David Wallerstein “This is the final concert of our first ever Jazz Series in Volcano, each concert has been standing room only, the music has been of the highest artistic quality, and now people from all over the Big Island are coming to Volcano to celebrate great Jazz with us”.

Elena Welch was raised in a small town on the Spoon River, 5 hours southwest of Chicago, Illinois. Her father, a fine artist, listened mostly to opera records and the Spanish classical guitar sound. She started sounding out melodies on the piano at age 4 and begged for piano lessons. This was not small request for a cash-strapped family of seven, but fortunately a way was found and Elena began classical piano lessons at age 5. Elena does have the natural gift of a strong voice and the love of performing. In college she was moved to the high soprano section—not because she had a high voice, but because her alto range boomed. Annoyed, teachers moved Elena to the soprano section where her voice would “blend”. It was during this time in the soprano section that Elena found the key in strengthening her voice and technique. Elena teamed up with the legendary bebop jazz pianist, Tommy Ponce and together we formed trios to sextets and worked the clubs and street festivals in Chicago. Elena’s first full booking was Chicago’s Argyle Street Festival. Elena learned so much just by hanging out at Chicago jazz clubs listening to and jamming with the local cats. Dave Shumacher, friend and exquisite baritone sax player, gave her two LPs, one featuring vocalist Abbey Lincoln and the other featuring vocalist Betty Carter. These records would become major influences in her singing style. Two cuts from these LPs are featured on “Catnip Cafe”. Neal Kristie, friend and cabaret singer extraordinare, introduced Elena to jazz vocalist Anita O’Day. The tune “Four” is a tribute to Anita and to the late Mr. Kristie.  

For tickets ($15 advance & $20 day of performance) to Elena Welch’s  Jazz performance or any other VAC concerts, call David Wallerstein at 808-967-8222 or visit Volcano Art Center’s Niaulani Campus, VAC Art Gallery in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park; Books, Nooks & Crannies in Hilo or www.volcanoartcenter.org.

Volcano Art Center is a 501 ( c ) (3) non-profit educational organization created in 1974. VAC promotes, develops, and perpetuates the artistic, cultural and environmental heritage of Hawai’i through the arts and education.

Senator Akaka Communication Director Yoshimura on Washington DC Earthquake

I just got a Facebook reply to a post I posted on Facebook from Senator Akaka’s Communication Director, Jon Yoshimura, reporting that he evacuated the Senate Building in Washington D.C. following this mornings earthquake.

I’m awaiting a follow up response on whether Senator Akaka was with him and/or is safe now.