Public Invited to Attend “Aloha Friday” Boat Day Fundraiser on Board Holland America Line’s m.s. Rotterdam

“Experience the nostalgia and aloha of Hawai‘i’s old-time boat days, replete with colorful flower lei, graceful hula ‘auana, and lively Hawaiian music,” said Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park spokesperson Julie Mitchell.

The public is invited to attend the Friends’ “Aloha Friday” Boat Day Fundraiser on board Holland America Line’s m.s. Rotterdam, which docks in the Hilo Harbor. Held on Friday, March 9, the benefit luncheon takes place in the ship’s elegant La Fontaine Dining Room, where attendees will get lei-ed before enjoying a delicious four-course meal.

The public is invited to attend the Friends’ “Aloha Friday” Boat Day Fundraiser on board Holland America Line’s m.s. Rotterdam, which docks in the Hilo Harbor.  Held on Friday, March 9, the benefit luncheon takes place in the ship’s elegant La Fontaine Dining Room.

The elegant La Fontaine Dining Room overlooks the sea aboard the m.s. Rotterdam. Docking in the Hilo Harbor on Friday, March 9, the ship is the site for the “Aloha Friday” Boat Day Fundraiser for the Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Fundraiser patrons are treated to a four-course meal of appetizer, soup or salad, lunch entree choice, and dessert, served with wine. Visit or call 985-7373 for tickets.

“The m.s. Rotterdam’s decor of fine woods and priceless antiques and art collections reflects the theme of Dutch seafaring exploration,” noted Mitchell.  “People will have an opportunity—either before or after the luncheon—to take a self-guided tour of the ship.”

With 600 crew members, the mid-size cruise ship is 780 feet in length with a passenger capacity of 1,404.  The La Fontaine Dining Room is located in the aft of the ship on deck 5, the upper promenade.

In over a century of service, the m.s. Rotterdam is the sixth ship to bear this classic name in Holland America Line’s history. The m.s. Rotterdam is named for the Dutch city of Rotterdam, the birthplace of Holland America Line in The Netherlands, where their ships are registered.

Served with wine, the benefit luncheon features a delicious four-course meal of appetizer, soup or salad, choice of lunch entree, and dessert.  Vegetarian options are available.

Entertainment features the Kuahiwis, who for over ten years have been perpetuating the spirit and the sound of Hawaiian music.

For over 10 years the Kuahiwis have been perpetuating the spirit and the sound of Hawaiian music. Influenced by their ‘ohana (family) and kupuna (ancestors), the band blends the classic songs of their upbringing with the modern rhythms and melodies of today, creating a sound that is refreshing and nostalgic.

Band members are Kiliona Young, Grant Ka‘au‘a, TR Ireland, and Kalei Young.  Dancers from kumu hula Ab Valencia’s Halau Hula Kalehuaki‘eki‘eika‘iu will present hula ‘auana.

“Aloha Friday” Boat Day Fundraiser tickets are $65 benefit the non-profit Friends of Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park.  Group rates are available for tables of 5 or more.

For tickets, please call 985-7373 or visit   Due to TSA security regulations, tickets are not transferable, photo identification is required to board the ship, and RSVPs must be made by March 5.

Governor Neil Abercrombie “Kung Hee Fat Choy”

Governor Neil Abercrombie wishes everyone a Happy Chinese New Years:


Kung Hee Fat Choy from U.S. Senator Daniel Akaka

Kung Hee Fat Choy!

U.S. Senator Daniel K. Akaka wishes everyone happiness and prosperity in the Year of the Dragon ahead.


Deputy Mayor of Shibukawa City, Japan, Visits the Big Island

Deputy Mayor Hiromi Iizuka visited Hawaiʻi Island, a sister city to his Shibukawa City, Japan. Shibukawa is home of the Ikaho Hawaiian Festival, the largest hula festival in Japan.

Deputy Mayor Iizuka presents a message of aloha to Mayor Kenoi on behalf of Mayor Sadaji Akutsu of Shibukawa.

Members of the Hawaiʻi Island Japanese Community Association joined Deputy Mayor Iizuka and his delegation to visit Mayor Kenoi’s office.

From left, Duane Mukai, Tommy Goya, Managing Director Bill Takaba, Amy Aoyagi, Hiroshi Suga (in front), Sanemon Chigira of Shibukawa, Mayor Kenoi, Deputy Mayor Iizuka, Executive Assistant Char Shigemura, Takashi Ishizaka of Shibukawa, and Kenji Kawai.

Mayor Kenoi presented omiyage to Deputy Mayor Iizuka.

Pictures from Mayor Kenoi's Facebook Site

Big Island Police Charge Kona Man With 11 Offenses in Connection to Robberies

Detectives from the Area II Criminal Investigations Section charged 22-year-old James Kekai Hao of Kailua-Kona with 11 offenses Saturday (January 21) in connection with robberies at businesses in West Hawaiʻi on January 5 and January 12.

James Kekai Hao

Hao was charged with two counts of robbery, three counts of terroristic threatening, two counts of theft and one count each of kidnapping, assault, criminal property damage, and promoting a detrimental drug. His bail was set at $80,500.

He remained in custody at the Kona police cellblock pending his initial court appearance on Monday (January 23).

One Week Left for Proposals for the 20th Annual Hawaii Conservation Conference

The 2012 Hawaii Conservation Conference will be taking place from July 31st to August 2nd at the Hawaii Convention Center.  This is the 20th annual conference and this years theme is “What Difference does 20 Years Make? Reflections on Change, Innovation, and the Work that Remains”.

The HCC organizing committee is soliciting proposals for sessions, forums, workshops, trainings and individual oral or poster presentations in the following four tracks. Specific session topics are suggested for each track; however, we also welcome other related conservation topics.  The deadline for proposals ends at the end of this month on January 31st.

2012 marks the 20th anniversary of the annual Hawai‘i Conservation Conference (HCC) and 20 years since the Rio Earth Summit. The 20th annual conference is an opportunity to reflect on the past two decades of island conservation in Hawai‘i and wider Pacific Islands. Activities will include a presentation of a “20th Anniversary HCC Video” reflecting on the successes and memories of the Hawai‘i Conservation Alliance (formerly the Secretariat for Conservation Biology); daily thought provoking keynote speakers; a special banner to memorialize our collective genealogy; public art event; training opportunities; and more.

You can learn more about previous conferences that have been held by clicking here: Hawaii Conservation Conference Archives

Happy Birthday Sara Mae Landers!

Happy Birthday to Big Island’s oldest resident Sara Mae Landers!

Last month she was recognized by the County for Older American’s Month: