More Incredible Footage From Last Weeks Record Breaking Tandem Skydiving Jump… Mike Zagorski’s Clip

Last weekend my friend Mike Zagorski and I had the opportunity of a lifetime as we were invited to set a tandem altitude skydiving jump with SkyDive Hawaii. While the video that was taken of me was cool… I really like the footage that was taken of Mike using a GoPro camera attached to a couple of the skydivers.

Mike Zagorski and I set a Skydiving Tandem Altitude Record in Hawaii

You can check it out here:


I asked Mike about his experience and he said:

While on the ground I met with my instructor; Tandem Master – Shaun Dunn, who asked me if I wanted to do some “flips”… I responded with “Hell yeah!”. Surely enough, as soon as we left the plane we were backflipping into the blue skies over O’ahu’s North Shore. The first few seconds felt a little weird… “Goodbye perfectly good plane!”… but then I got used to the feeling of falling and forgetting the fact that I was 21,000ft above terra firma with my life in the hands of the guy (and parachute) strapped to his back.

After almost 2 minutes of freefall, we hit some cloud cover and the chute was deployed…. The next few minutes were spent swooping around the sky. I guess this is what it feels like to be a bird!

The skin-rippling speed of the freefall was amazing, but it was still cool to float around and admire the view for the final 5 minutes of the ride!

Skydive Hawaii were very friendly and put great attention into the details of our jump and I can’t wait to return and do it all over again!… and again

Mahlalo once again to SkyDive Hawaii for this once in a life time opportunity.

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Big Island Film Festival Deadline for Submissions Coming Up

February 1, 2012 is the final deadline to submit films for the 7th annual Big Island Film Festival (BIFF) at Mauna Lani Resort.  Just acclaimed as one of MovieMaker Magazine’s “Cool Fests 2011: Counting Down 20 Can’t-Miss Festivals,” BIFF 2012 takes place May 24-28, on location at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i and The Shops at Mauna Lani.

An outdoor screening at The Shops at Mauna Lani

Narrative short films (30 minutes or less) and feature length films (60 minutes or more) completed after January 1, 2011 will be considered for “Golden Honu Awards” in various categories including Family, Animated, Foreign and others. Final Entry Fees are $70 Feature, $60 Short, $40 Student.  Entries prior to January 1, 2012 are $60, $50 and $35.  Submissions may be made directly to BIFF or via  All films shot in Hawai‘i or created by Hawai‘i filmmakers receive a 25% discount when submitted directly to BIFF (verification required).

“We are excited about our new Festival dates in 2012,” said Executive Director/Founder Leo Sears of Waikoloa.  “By pushing it forward to Memorial Day Weekend, May 24-28, we’re hoping to make it easier for filmmakers, visitors and kama‘āina to come to the festival, relax and enjoy the holiday weekend – all the way through our ‘Best of the Fest’ Hawaiian music concert and Audience Choice feature and short movies on Monday night.”

The Big Island “Talk Story” Film Festival is a celebration of narrative filmmaking, with free family films under the stars at The Shops at Mauna Lani, and daytime screenings, nightly double features and shorts from Hawai‘i and around the world at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i.  Other events include celebrity receptions, filmmaking workshops and much more, in the spectacular Kohala Coast resort location.

In addition to its recent accolades, BIFF has been among MovieMaker Magazine’s “25 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee,” and “25 Coolest Film Festivals” since 2007.  It is sponsored by The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai’i, The Shops at Mauna Lani, HTA/Hawai’i County CPEP and others.  For more information visit or call 808-883-0394, or find them on Twitter and Facebook.

HI-PAL Winter Basketball Classic Information

The Hawaiʻi Isle Police Activities League (HI-PAL), in collaboration with the Department of Parks & Recreation, will hold the 31st Annual Winter Basketball Classic from Monday, December 26, through Thursday, December 29. in Hilo.

Officer Joey Botello

Teams have already registered and will participate in the following age group divisions:

5-6 and 7-8 divisions at Edith Kanakaole Tennis Stadium
Boys 9-10 and Boys 11-12 divisions at Andrew’s Gym
Girls 10 and under and girls 12 and under at Waiākea High School

Start times for all locations will be 9 a.m. The public is invited to attend these “non-admission” games and watch teams from Oahu and Maui compete against teams from our island.

On Tuesday, December 27, a “Chili Dinner and Skills Challenge” event will be held at the Hilo Civic Auditorium beginning at 5:30 p.m. During this event, special guests will be on hand to provide informational messages of encouragement about athletics, education, respect and life lessons.In addition, all participants of the Winter Basketball Classic present will be asked to recite a pledge against the use of “meth” or “ice.” The author of this pledge, Bohdi Amar from Kohala Middle School, will be recognized for his entry into the “Second Annual HI-PAL Pledge Against Meth” contest for middle school students throughout the Big Island.

On Wednesday, December 28, the championship games for the 5-6 and 7-8 age divisions will be played at Edith Kanakaole Tennis Stadium beginning at 9 a.m. On Thursday, December 29, the championship games for the remaining age groups will be played at the Ah Fook-Chinen Civic Auditorium starting at 9 a.m.

For more information, please call Officer Joseph Botelho Jr. at 961-2220.

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park January 2012 Hawaiian Cultural & After Dark in the Park Programs

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park continues its tradition of sharing Hawaiian culture and After Dark in the Park programs with the community and visitors throughout January – which is also Volcano Awareness Month. These programs are free, but park entrance fees apply. Mark your calendars for these upcoming events:

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (Courtesy USGS)

Kīlauea Volcano’s East Rift Eruption: 29 Years and Counting. Jan. 3, 2012 marks the 29th anniversary of Kīlauea’s ongoing east rift zone eruption. During its first three years, spectacular lava fountains spewed episodically from the Pu‘u ‘Ō‘ō vent. Since then, nearly continuous lava effusion has built a vast plain that stretches from the east rift to the sea. This past year has seen many changes, including fissure eruptions and the collapse and refilling of the vent’s lava lake. USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory Geologist Tim Orr will review highlights from the past 29 years and discuss recent developments on Kīlauea’s east rift zone. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing After Dark in the Park series. Free.

When: Tues., Jan. 3 at 7 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (Courtesy USGS)

What’s Happening in Halema‘uma‘u Crater? In March 2008, a new volcanic vent opened in Halema‘uma‘u, at the summit of Kīlauea. Since then, the eruption has consisted of continuous degassing, occasional explosive events, ongoing ash emissions, and fluctuating lava pond activity in an open vent that has grown to more than 430 feet wide. While the eruption enthralls visitors, it also provides an abundance of data and insights for scientists. USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geologist Matt Patrick will present an overview of Kīlauea’s summit eruption. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing After Dark in the Park series. Free.

When: Tues., Jan. 10 at 7 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (Courtesy USGS)

Story of the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory’s First 100 Years. In 2012, the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) reaches its centennial milestone – 100 years of continuous volcano monitoring in Hawai‘i. Join HVO Scientist-in-Charge Jim Kauahikaua as he talks about Thomas Jaggar’s vision for the observatory, how Frank Perret began the work of monitoring Kīlauea Volcano, and HVO’s accomplishments during the past century. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing After Dark in the Park series. Free.

When: Tues., Jan. 17 at 7 p.m.
Where: Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium

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