New Hawaii County Park to Be Built in Kailua-Kona – Kipapa Park

Mayor Kenoi just posted the following on his Facebook page regarding a new park called “Kipapa Park” that will be built in Kailua-Kona.

While I was in Kona yesterday, I visited the Kingman Estate on Aliʻi Drive across Magic Sands. These 6 1/2 acres, the first Open Space purchase in Kona, is where we’ll build Kipapa Park, open space for our families and more safe parking for those headed to the beach! – Mayor Kenoi

Video – Understanding the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT)

Near the center of Pasadena, California, a team of scientists, engineers, and project specialists is busily planning and designing what eventually will become the most advanced and powerful optical telescope on Earth. When completed later this decade, the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) will enable astronomers to study objects in our own solar system and stars throughout our Milky Way and its neighboring galaxies, and forming galaxies at the very edge of the observable Universe, near the beginning of time.

A 30-meter telescope, operating in wavelengths ranging from the ultraviolet to the mid-infrared, is an essential tool to address questions in astronomy ranging from understanding star and planet formation to unraveling the history of galaxies and the development of large-scale structure in the universe.


Active Duty U.S. Military & Dependents Offered Free Entrance to All National Parks

To show our appreciation for those who serve in the U.S. Military, on May 19 – Armed Forces Day – the National Park Service will begin issuing an annual pass offering free entrance to all 397 national parks for active duty military members and their dependents.

“We all owe a debt to those who sacrifice so much to protect our country,” said Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando. “We are proud to recognize these brave men and women and hope that a visit to Hawai‘i Volcanoes or any national park will offer an opportunity to unwind, relax, rejuvenate, and just have fun with their families.”

Active duty members of the U.S. Military and their dependents can pick up their pass at the  entrance station to Hawai‘i Volcanoes. They must show a current, valid military identification card to obtain their pass. The passes will be available May 19, and are good for one year from the month obtained. More information is available at

Of the eight national parks in Hawai‘i, three charge entrance fees, including Hawai‘i Volcanoes, Pu‘uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park, and Haleakalā National Park.

This military version of the America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass also permits free entrance to sites managed by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Reclamation, and the U.S. Forest Service. The pass is also available at these locations.

“Through the years, military members, especially those far from home in times of conflict, have found inspiration in America’s patriotic icons and majestic landscapes, places like the Statue of Liberty and the Grand Canyon that are cared for by the National Park Service and symbolize the nation that their sacrifices protect,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “This new pass is a way to thank military members and their families for their service and their sacrifices.”

National parks and the military have strong ties going back to the establishment of Yellowstone as the world’s first national park in 1872. The U.S. Cavalry watched over America’s national parks and did double duty, serving as the first park rangers until the National Park Service was created 44 years later. During World War II, many parks were set aside for the training and care of military personnel. Today, dozens of national parks commemorate military battles and achievements.

Congressional Candidate Marx – Indefinite Detention is a Gross Violation of Civil Rights

Bob Marx, Hilo lawyer and candidate for Hawaiʻi’s Second Congressional District, spoke out on Monday against provisions of the National Defence Authorization Act (NDAA). The NDAA allows the President to indefinitely detain individuals suspected of aiding or being involved with terrorists.

Congressional Candidate Bob Marx

The act would also allow the President to detain those who have committed a “belligerent act” against the country, in addition to those merely suspected of terrorism. Under the new bill, detainees would not have a right to trial; in addition, the bill requires those detained to be held in US Military custody. Several groups have spoken out against the bill, including the ACLU, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and The Center for Constitutional Rights.

Marx voiced his opposition to the bill, remarking, “[The bill] subjects Americans to treatment grossly inconsistent with the protections guaranteed by the Bill of Rights.” When asked about the effectiveness of the bill in combating terrorism, Marx responded: “Even if the bill manages to combat terrorism—which is unlikely—the bill gives the president power to suspend the right to Habeas Corpus for those who are not enemy combatants…if one American is wrongfully detained for any period of time without trial, our government has failed to protect our civil rights.”

The bill is especially controversial because it allows for the indefinite detention of individuals not directly involved in hostilities. International law currently recognizes indefinite detention for prisoners of war and enemy combatants, but the NDAA would set a precedent for suspending the rights of civilians merely suspected of aiding terrorists. In the future, such a precedent could be used to justify further overreach of government authority, such as targeted killings of American citizens without trial.

Marx noted that if elected, he would “vote against any bill that suspends the civil rights of American citizens. The American government has an obligation to the people, and any bill that interferes with civil rights and liberties is in opposition to our freedom.”

The Second Congressional District encompasses most of rural Oʻahu and all the neighbor islands. Mr. Marx, a Hilo attorney and long-time community activist, is running against Oʻahu residents Mufi Hannemann, Tulsi Gabbard, and Esther Kia‘aina for the open seat. Marx lives in the district and is the only candidate in the race from a county other than Honolulu.

2012 Big Island Film Festival Begins Next Week – Interview with 2011 Celebrity Guest Kristina Anapau

The 2012 Big Island Film Festival begins next week and at last years festival I had the opportunity to meet and interview local girl Kristina Anapau (Black Swan, True Blood, Sightings, Blackjack etc).

Kristina Anapau and I

Kristina and I at the 2011 Big Island Film Festival

Unfortunately this year she Kristina was supposed to be in Cannes this week and next week, however, she is stuck in Los Angeles working on some other projects so she won’t be able to make this years Big Island Film Festival.

Kristina Anapau in front of the Fairmont Orchid at Mauna Lani

Kristina Anapau in front of the Fairmont Orchid at Mauna Lani

She recently emailed me and sent me a link to the following article from the Italian fashion and design website Marie Claire entitled “Kristina va a Hollywood“.

Kristina translated the following and said I could use the pictures that were taken by photographer Aaron Heck.

Hi Kristina, here some little questions:

– Studying something completely different and then leaving the Hawaii’s sea for your dream on a big city: what are your suggestion for the new actresses?

I would encourage everyone to follow their passion, no matter what it is.  This is a very short life and there is no time to waste doing anything but what you absolutely love. 

Photo by Aaron Heck

– How was going back to your dance world, then in front of a camera for Black Swan?

I always had an element of regret about not having realized my childhood dream of being a classical ballerina.  Being given the opportunity to portray one in Black Swan, and with such an amazing cast and director, was a dream. The filming process and all of the dance training required to prepare helped heal a part of me that still wished I had followed that path.  It was an amazing experience.

Photo by Aaron Heck

– You once said that playing a blind woman was one of the most “rewarding acting experiences” of your career. Tell us something about that experience…

I studied at the Los Angeles Braille Institute with the same woman who trained Al Pacino for the film Scent of a Woman.   Having to “loose my sight” for a month opened my eyes to something entirely different.  My other senses became very well developed.  I would turn all the lights off in my hotel room at night and after a few days, didn’t ever feel the need to turn them on when I walked in. An almost extra-sensory perception developed in me.  I could feel the energy of all the objects in the room…I could almost hear them.  The need to see them became irrelevant.  This heightened perception eventually started to occur in daylight with my eyes wide open.  This world is much more interesting when you open yourself up to observe every detail…there are so many delicate intricacies that go unnoticed by us in daily life.  

– From the big screen to the TV with True Blood: what do you prefer? And how was playing in such a successful series of our days?

Both film and television have their respective pleasures and challenges.  I can’t say that I prefer one to the other….I love them both.  True Blood is such an fantastic show, great cast, a very smoothly run production.  I just love my job.  I feel very grateful to wake up every day and do what I love in life.


Photo by Aaron Heck

– Sighting is your last project: how do you felt acting in an horror movie?

Sighting was a great experience in every way.  The emotional extremes that are required daily when filming a thriller can be taxing of course, but  also an incredible release.  There was something very rewarding and freeing about delving into the depths of fear and panic on an almost daily basis.  I left set each morning (because we were filming at night) feeling very expressed emotionally and very much at peace.    

– And…What’s next?

I did a military action film called BlackJacks which is going to be absolutely spectacular.  We are finishing up additional photography for the film this week.  I have also just formed a production company based in LA called Amygdala Films ( and we have several projects in development that I am very excited about.  There are some other projects that I have coming up that I’m not allowed to discuss yet.  My days are very busy!

– What’s your relationship with fashion? What cannot ever be missed in your bag and what’s your fashion/style obsession?

My relationship with fashion is like a chameleons relationship with it’s skin… to protect and transform myself.  I do have quite a love affair with exquisitely made things.  I definitely have a bit more of an old world sensibility in that way…always quality over quantity.  In my bag, you will always find kiehl’s #1 lip balm with SPF and a little travel bottle of their SPF 50.  My phone and iPad are always in there as well…and always a book of some sort.  I’m currently reading Arnon Milchan’s biography, Confidential.

My son with an autographed picture of Kristina

Wordless Wednesday – A Gigantic Bottle of Champagne

Last week I was on my lanai at the Ala Moana Hotel and I looked over at my next door neighbor’s lanai and I see this!

Only one glass too!

Meeting to Be Held Monday to Review New Driver License Rules

Federal and State mandates now prohibit the issuance of a driver license or permit to any person who is not legally authorized to be in the United States.

Individuals applying for or renewing a Hawai‘i driver’s license or permit are required to provide proof of identity, date of birth, Social Security Number, and legal presence. Proof of an individual’s legal presence includes a U.S. birth certificate, U.S. passport or other documents.

A meeting to explain these new requirements and to answer questions on applying for or renewing your driver’s license or permit will be held on:

 Monday, May 21, 5 – 6 p.m.

Aupuni Center Conference Room

101 Pauahi Street, Hilo

This is the first in a series of meetings to inform the public about the new requirements to help reduce the wait time and ensure that everyone comes in with the correct documents. We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your patience as we comply with these new Federal and State mandates.

This meeting place is accessible to persons with disabilities. To request accommodations, call 961-8021.

Information about the new requirements is available online at If you have questions, please email

Sea Turtles Remain Protected Under State And Federal Laws

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), and NOAA Fisheries remind the community that sea turtles remain protected under State and Federal laws.

In Hawai‘i, sea turtles are protected by the Hawai‘i Revised Statutes (Chapter 195D) and Hawai‘i Administrative Rules (13-124). Although Federal and State wildlife conservation laws differ in some respects, all prohibit actions that can harm, injure, kill, or otherwise disturb sea turtles without a permit.

The two types of sea turtles most frequently observed in Hawai‘i nearshore waters are the green and hawksbill sea turtle. The green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) is listed as threatened and the hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) is listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Three other listed species – loggerhead, leatherback, and olive ridley sea turtles – generally inhabit offshore environments in the region and are very rarely seen in Hawai‘i’s coastal waters.

“We want to remind the community that all sea turtles are still protected, and that both State and
Federal consequences apply to anyone harming a green sea turtle,” said DLNR Chairperson William J. Aila, Jr. The public is urged to act responsibly and not attempt to touch, disturb, feed, pursue, ride, harass, harm, or otherwise injure these animals.

On February 16, 2012, NOAA Fisheries and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (jointly referred to as the Services) received a petition to classify the Hawai‘i population of green sea turtle as a Distinct Population Segment (DPS) and evaluate that population for de-listing under the ESA. The contents of this petition are currently being reviewed to determine if the petition warrants further consideration. If so, a scientific review of the status of the species will be initiated.

While any person or organization may submit a petition to list or de-list a species, this action alone does not affect the legal status of that species. If the Services propose any changes to the listing status of green sea turtles in the future, public comments will be requested and considered before any final decisions about de-listing are made. “Even though a petition for de-listing was filed, green sea turtles in Hawai‘i remain protected under State and Federal laws,” said Aila.

Sea turtles across the U.S. face threats including, but not limited to, illegal harvest, destruction and alteration of nesting and feeding areas, incidental capture in commercial and recreational fisheries, entanglement in and ingestion of marine debris, disease, vessel strikes, and climate change. To effectively address all threats to sea turtles, the Services have developed recovery plans to direct research and management efforts for each sea turtle species.

In Hawai‘i, on-going sea turtle recovery activities include efforts to reduce and eliminate direct harvest of, and interactions with, sea turtles in nearshore and commercial fisheries; eliminate the threat of fibropapilloma (a tumor disease that can be harmful to sea turtles); protect important nesting and
feeding areas; and reduce impacts from boat strikes, disturbance, and marine debris.

To report a sea turtle in distress, please call (808) 983-5730 or visit NOAA’s sea turtle stranding website at:

For more information on the DLNR visit

For more information on NOAA visit

For more information on the USFWS visit

Wildlife Conservation Stamp Winning Designs Announced

The Hawaii Division of Forestry and Wildlife is pleased to announce the depiction of a mouflon ram by Carol Tredway as the the winning entry for the Wildlife Conservation Stamp contest.

Click image for slideshow of other entries

The depiction of wild turkeys by Mike Brown is the winning entry for the Game Bird Stamp.

Click on the image for more pictures

There were many excellent paintings of game animals submitted, and a slide show is being developed to be posted, so that all the entries can be shared.  Mahalo to all the artists who participated.

Patrick Ching to Teach Oil Painting Workshop at Waimea Artists’ Guild

Waimea Artists’ Guild (WAG) kicks off its Summer Session in June, with an inspiring class in Realistic Oil Painting instructed by renowned nature artist Patrick Ching.  The course begins with a free presentation and demonstration at Thelma Parker Library on June 8, 6-8 p.m. Two days of workshops follow on June 9 and 10, each with two 3-hour sessions from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. and 2 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Patrick Ching

“Realistic oil painting may be learned quickly. It is not as complicated as you think,” says Ching in his course description.  “Bring some photographs of things you’d like to paint; your pet, a place… picture selection is important. Try to keep it simple so you can finish or nearly finish a painting in one workshop.”

Ching has held a one-man art show at Governor John Waihe’e’s Office, designed Hawaii’s first Wildlife Conservation stamp featuring the Nene, and has been owner-operator of Naturally Hawaiian Gallery & Gifts in Waimanalo since 1996.  His murals have graced the walls of Kaiser Hospital, Salt Lake Public Library, Pope Elementary School and Sea Gull School in Kapolei.  He is author of 9 books and collectors of Ching’s work include the Smithsonian Institution and the Bishop Museum.

Ching’s summer classes on Oahu and Kauai sold out quickly, however space is still available for this opportunity for Big Island artists to work with such an accomplished professional.  For more information on Patrick Ching, visit

WAG is an association of professional artists whose intent is to produce art and promote education in their community.  A project of The Pantry 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, WAG is located in the industrial complex adjacent to Mama’s House thrift store, just past NAPA Auto.

The Guild was created by graduates of HOEA, the Hawaiian ‘Ohana for Education in the Arts, whose mission is to “increase the number, accessibility, and visibility of Native Hawaiian Arts and Artists.” Although Native Hawaiian ancestry is not required for membership in the Waimea Artists’ Guild, sensitivity for cultural themes, materials and practices is of primary concern in the operation of the program.  For additional information, contact: Beth or Tom Mehau at 887-2289, email or visit

Girls Summer “Flight School” at Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor

Sixth through eighth grade female students have an opportunity to soar at Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor’s new “Flight School” program this summer. Developed by Director of Education Dr. Shauna Tonkin, the Museum’s program introduces girls to the history and science of flight on three consecutive weekdays, 9am to 3pm on June 26-28, July 10-12 and July 24-26.

“It’s a program aimed at helping girls discover the importance of flight for the growth and development of our society,” explains Dr. Tonkin. The program consists of immersive, hands on activities with an emphasis on Pacific aviation—and fun—while exploring scientific principles of flight through demonstrations and experiments, learning to “fly” in the Museum’s flight simulation lab, operating remote controlled aircraft, and meeting the pioneers of aviation through presentations by costumed interpreters.

Cost is $120 which includes all materials, lunch, snack, and a “Flight School” logo tee shirt. Upon successful completion of “Flight School,” the young women will receive a “license” that confirms their participation and gives them free admission for a future visit to the Museum.

Call (808) 441-1005 or email for more information and reservations, or if you would like to volunteer to assist the program.

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor is a nonprofit 501(c) 3 organization. It provides educational programs for adults and children and is located at 319 Lexington Boulevard on Historic Ford Island at Pearl Harbor. Opened December 6, 2006, it has been ranked by TripAdvisor as one of the “top ten aviation attractions” in the nation.  Phone (808) 441-1000 or visit for tickets, information and to download a coupon for a free combat simulator flight.