Chef Khamtan Tanchaleun Joins the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel Staff

Castle Resorts & Hotels is pleased to announce the addition of Chef Khamtan Tanhchaleun to its staff following the retirement of incumbent Chef Piet Wigmans.  Chef Tanhchaleun will lead the food and beverage team at the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel, including the hotel’s award-winning Queen’s Court Restaurant, known for its inventive approach to traditional Hawaiian cuisine and its focus on fresh, local ingredients.

Chef Khamtan Tanhchaleun

Chef Tanhchaleun, a long-time Hawaii resident, is a native of Laos with extensive culinary experience.  He began his career at Waikiki’s notable Michel’s at the Colony Surf in 1972 where he quickly worked his way up to sous chef and sommelier.   Chef Tanhchaleun followed his training at Michel’s with extensive world travel and further training.  In 1990 he returned to Hawaii to open the food and beverage facilities at the Hawaii Prince Hotel and Golf Club, where he remained employed until joining the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel.

“Chef Tanhchaleun is very well respected in the Hawaii culinary field and we are fortunate to have been able to recruit him to one of our premier dining establishments and meeting spaces. His appointment is the result of his extensive experience, personal creativity, and dedication to exceptional service,” said President & COO Alan Mattson. “As we begin this new chapter at Hilo Hawaiian Hotel and the Queen’s Court Restaurant we would like to thank Chef Wigmans for his outstanding contributions and welcome Chef Tanhchaleun to our family.”

The recently renovated Queen’s Court Restaurant is a long-time favorite of visitors to Hawaii’s Big Island and residents, alike.  Known for offering exquisite Hawaiian, seafood, and holiday buffets in addition to inventive a la carte appetizers, entrees, and desserts, the restaurant also provides diners a carefully crafted wine and cocktail selection and is the premier Hilo destination for diners with a cultured palate.

Situated just outside quaint Hilo town and a 40-minute drive from the active Kilauea Volcano, the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel is the ideal property for travelers exploring Hawaii’s Big Island, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, or simply visiting family or business associates in East Hawaii.  The hotel offers guests the natural beauty and tranquility of Hilo Bay along with newly renovated banquet and meeting facilities, the Waioli cocktail lounge, and the Queen’s Court Restaurant, complete with an exciting new menu bursting with fresh, local flavors.

The Fairmont Orchid Going Dark for Earth Hour

The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii-a luxury AAA Four Diamond resort located on the Island of Hawaii is pleased to confirm its participation in Earth Hour 2012, a global environmental awareness event organized by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).  On Saturday March 31, 2012 at 8:30 p.m., more than 60 of Fairmont’s landmark hotels and resorts around the planet will participate by turning off their lights for one hour – Earth Hour – and in doing so will reinforce the company’s pioneering commitment to operational sustainability and help draw further attention to one of the world’s single largest environmental issues: Climate Change.

The Fairmont Orchid

The AAA Four Diamond award winning Brown’s Beach House will utilize tea lights instead of electric votives and will feature sustainable fish and proteins paired with farm fresh produce.   The Fairmont Orchid mixologists will be on hand mixing cocktails from fruits and vegetables grown in the resort’s herb garden.  Dinner specials made from local organic produce will be offered in Norio’s Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar as well as Luana Lounge.  Complimentary stargazing will also be offered with local astronomer Wayne Fukunaga and his team from Star Gaze Hawaii.  The Island of Hawaii, amongst the most isolated areas of land on the planet, is well suited for stargazing and many of the world’s top observatories are located atop the well-known Mauna Kea, a short two hours’ drive from the resort.

Guests are encouraged to join in on the Earth Hour celebration by turning off any lights in their guest rooms and colleagues are asked to celebrate Earth Hour by turning their lights off at home.

The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii is an active participant in Fairmont Hotels & Resorts’ Green partnership program.  A wide range of programs are in place from support for local, sustainable agriculture through innovative partnerships with farmers, growers and distributors to ongoing water quality monitoring of the oceanfront Pauoa Bay through a cooperative grant with the University of Hawaii at Hilo Marine Sciences Department.  The employee-driven Green Committee actively seeks new ways to minimize the hotel’s impact on the fragile island eco-system by reducing waste i.e., offering canvas bags for groceries, sourcing energy-efficient lighting; recycling and water use reduction with linen exchange programs.  The resort also donates its cafeteria food wastes to a local pig farmer.

For more information on Fairmont’s Green Partnership program and the company’s industry leading environmental initiatives, please visit

Big Island Police Asking Publics Help in Identifying Puna Burglary Suspect

Big Island police are asking for the public’s help in identifying a burglary suspect captured on camera early this year.

This man was seen leaving the area of a burglary in Puna on January 7.

On January 7 at about 7:30 a.m., Puna patrol officers responded to a call on Hanalei Drive in the Ainaloa Subdivision after witnesses reported suspicious activity at a residence.

Three individuals were observed in the area. Police arrested two Pāhoa men—20-year-old Thomas Daniel Wellman and 22-year-old Robert Roberto Galindez —on suspicion of first-degree burglary. They were later released pending further investigation.

The third man fled on foot. He is described as an adult male possibly in his early 20s with dark brown skin, black hair and a medium to heavy-set build. He was wearing a red shirt, beige shorts, a black cap and slippers. Police recovered a video and still image of the suspect taken as he left the area.

Police ask that anyone with information on his identity contact Detective Robert Almeida by phone at 961-2386 or by email at

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.

Tomorrow – Eddie Aikau Restaurant to Hold Fundraiser for Mike Prickett

The Eddie Aikau Restaurant in Kings’ Shops, Waikoloa Beach Resort, will hold a fundraiser for Mike Prickett, the underwater filmmaker who was recently injured in a diving accident, on Wednesday, March 28, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.   The fundraiser coincides with other support activities around the state and nationally, as part of the “Pray for Prickett” campaign.

Prickett, a longtime friend of the Aikau family, was working on a film shoot in Tahiti when the accident occurred.  Prickett dove 220 feet to save the life of another diver, suffered from severe decompression sickness and was paralyzed from the chest down.  After many hours in the hyperbaric chamber in Papeete, Prickett is showing some improvement and doctors are optimistic about his recovery.

The Aikau family is asking for the community’s help with Mike’s medical expenses and will be collecting donations at the restaurant during regular hours on Wednesday.

“We were all so upset and concerned when we heard about Mike,” said Linda Gillette Aikau, restaurant co-owner with husband Solomon Aikau, Eddie’s brother.  “He is the sweetest guy you ever want to meet, and we thought—well, Wednesday is Karaoke Night and a good excuse for a lot of people to come to the restaurant and have fun, so why not make it a fundraiser to help with his medical?”

Any amount is appreciated, large or small.  Donations of $25 or more will earn an “Eddie Would Go” bumper sticker, and other prizes may be available.  For more information, check Eddie Aikau Restaurant on Facebook or call 886-8433.


Eddie Aikau Restaurant in Kings’ Shops, Waikoloa Beach resort, is locally-owned and operated by members of the Aikau Family who live on Hawai‘i Island.  Supporting the best of Big Island agriculture and aquaculture with Contemporary Hawaiian Cuisine, sharing memorabilia from Eddie’s big wave surf career, the restaurant is a living tribute to a Hawaiian hero., (808) 886-8433.

About the Crazy Man Seen Running Around Oahu – Sean Rhinehart

Sean Rhinehart has been living on the Island of Oahu for the past 5 months, and has been training for almost a year.

Sean Rhinehart

Even with knee problems, Sean still strives to become better at the art of movement and moves to express himself with his God given talent.