Sample Delicious Bilimbi at Ultra-Exotic Fruit Event

Bilimbi is the star at a free, ultra-exotic fruit tasting and culinary demonstration 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, August 25 at Choice Mart.

The Bilimbi Fruit

Chef Paul Heerlein, assistant professor and coordinator of the Culinary Arts Program at Hawaii Community College-West Hawaii, will demonstrate how to prepare Hot Sour Bilimbi Soup. (Recipe below).

The fruity fun is presented by the statewide Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers (HTFG), whose members are growing bilimbi and other ultra-exotic tropical fruits. These not-so-well-known edibles—like Surinam cherry, jackfruit, ulu, abiu, durian, white sapote, soursop, tropical apricot and jaboticaba—are among a growing number of odd fruits that are intriguing island chefs and shoppers.

Believed to have originated in Southeast Asia, bilimbi is cultivated in tropical regions worldwide and bears several names. The fruit resembles small cucumbers and the English call it the “pickle tree.” The outer skin is thin and glossy and the green flesh is jelly-like and juicy.

Bilimbi has a sour taste, due to its high acid content and is used raw to make relishes. The juice makes a drink similar to lemonade. Bilimbi is also preserved and employed to concoct chutney or an acid jelly. Half-ripe fruits are salted and pickled. In Hawaii, chefs substitute bilimbi juice for vinegar to make salad dressings and it appears in soup stocks and in stews. Nutritionally, it contains calcium, phosphorus, iron, carotene and niacin.

HTFG is working to build markets for these juicy rarities via free public taste tests and culinary demonstrations at stores on four Hawaiian Islands throughout 2012. Titled “New Markets for Ultra-Exotic Fruits,” the event series is funded by the Hawaii Department of Agriculture through a USDA competitive grant program to foster small farm sustainability.

“Besides offering unique flavors, shapes and colors, these ultra-exotic fruits bring novelty to the table and can delight the senses,” says Ken Love, president of HTFG.

A total of eight educational demonstrations are planned and participating stores will stock the fruit in their produce sections, accompanied by recipes and additional fruit information to take home.

For more information, contact Love at or 808-969-7926.

Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers

Incorporated in 1989 to promote tropical fruit grown in Hawaii, HTFG is a statewide association of tropical fruit growers, packers, distributors and hobbyists dedicated to tropical fruit research, education, marketing and promotion;


Hot Sour Bilimbi Soup with Hamakua Mushrooms


Hot Sour Bilimbi Soup with Hamakua Mushrooms 

By Chef Paul Heerlein

Yield: 5 servings

Portion size: 5 oz.


4 oz Hamakua Mushrooms Pioppini, Alii or your favorite mushroom, diced

1 piece shallot finely minced

1 clove of garlic thinly sliced

½ tsp. 6-Pepper salt

25 oz Organic Chicken Broth

2 oz Bilimbi Juice

1 TB Yamasa or Kikkoman soy sauce

1 tsp. Sesame oil

1 egg whipped with 1 tablespoon of water

PROCEDURE:  In a pot sauté the mushrooms with a little vegetable oil for about 4 minute while stirring. Add the shallots and garlic and continue to cook over moderate heat for another 1 minute. Add the 6-Pepper, broth and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat and add the bilimbi, soy and sesame oil. Stir in the egg and adjust the seasoning to taste, if needed.

Keauhou Beach Hotel to Close – Workers to be Laid Off

Kamehameha Schools (KS) announced today that it has directed its for-profit subsidiary, KBH, Inc., to give Outrigger Hotels’ management formal notice that it will close the Keauhou Beach Hotel at the end of October.

“This hotel has been a place of rest and play for so many people in its past 40 years — myself included,” said Kamehameha Schools CEO Dee Jay Mailer. “It has employed wonderful people who have served its customers and this community well; however, times have changed. Despite the good work of many committed and talented people, financial losses at the hotel over the last six years have been substantial. To return the Keauhou Beach to possibly compete in the Kailua-Kona hotel market would take tens of millions in further investment that would be very difficult to recover.”

Mailer noted that KBH, KS and various independent consultants had, over the last 18 months, studied a number of options as alternatives to closing the hotel, but the analyses came to the same conclusion: selling, renovating or re-purposing the hotel would create an unacceptable financial risk for Kamehameha Schools and its educational mission. In addition, none of the alternatives could be justified within KS’ emerging vision of Kahalu‘u ma kai as a center for culture and place-based learning.

“Kamehameha Schools’ intention has, for many years, been to re-establish Hawaiian culture and learning as the major attributes of our lands at Kahalu‘u and Keauhou ma kai,” Mailer said. “We have been working closely with Outrigger’s management team to integrate the Keauhou Beach Hotel’s activities with our cultural vision while attempting to bring the hotel back to profitability. Unfortunately, profitability has not been easy.”

Outrigger Hotel management and ILWU leaders have been informed of this decision, and earlier today CEO Mailer and KBH President and CEO Kyle Chock, along with Outrigger management representatives, met with the majority of the hotel employees to let them know of this difficult decision in person.

Transition Plans for People and Property

The operations of the Keauhou Beach Hotel will be wound down in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations. The hotel will honor all reservations currently booked up to October 31, 2012. For bookings already in place for beyond that date, the hotel will be in contact with those groups and individuals to assist them in finding other accommodations and function space.

“This decision has been very difficult because of its impact on the people here,” said KBH’s Kyle Chock. “Many of these employees have given years of dedicated service to the Keauhou Beach Hotel, and we owe them our sincerest thanks and appreciation. We, along with Outrigger management and the ILWU, will do all we can to assist those affected by the closure.”

Representatives from Kamehameha Schools, Outrigger and the ILWU are scheduling meetings to discuss ways to help ease the transition for hotel employees. Details will be shared with hotel employees through Outrigger management and ILWU representatives in the coming days.

Once the hotel closes, the property will be turned over to Kamehameha Schools for ultimate disposition. Planning is underway to demolish the hotel structure itself in order to create the opportunity for Kamehameha Schools to re-claim and restore a portion of the cultural landscape in Kahalu’u ma kai that has been covered or impacted by the hotel and its surrounding structures for decades. Examples of such restoration work are already visible at Hapaiali‘i, Ke’eku and Mākole’a heiau, and when the hotel structures are removed, additional cultural restoration can begin.

Future Uses

The decision to close and demolish the hotel marks a pivotal point in Kamehameha Schools’ stewardship of these lands that were planned and developed for resort uses in the 1960s.

“Over the past 10 years, Kamehameha Schools’ connection to and recognition of the deep cultural and historical significance of its lands at Kahalu‘u ma kai has grown stronger,” said Greg Chun, Ph.D., Vice President of KS’ Keauhou-Kahalu‘u Education Group. “This complex was a leadership, intellectual and spiritual center for the region and, ultimately, the pae ‘aina, so the first phase of bringing new uses to the hotel site includes re-establishing the cultural footprint of the complex with the extension and completion of our restoration projects including Ke‘eku heiau, Kapuanoni heiau and Po‘o Hawai‘i.”

Chun also said modest facilities will be needed within the complex to support outdoor learning programs, including traditional ceremonial and teaching hālau, interpretive paths and observation areas, and a multi-purpose facility to accommodate group functions and overnight camping for learners participating in programs offered there. The architectural theme will be traditional with building methods consistent with the nature of the complex (e.g., Uhau Humu Pohaku or dry stack masonry). Improvements to the open space areas will be made that can support cultural and community functions and uses, including out-plantings of native landscaping that would be typical of such a complex and that functionally support the cultural practices that would have been occurring there.

“Our plans are still conceptual, though the vision emerging for this area has roots in the history and mo‘olelo of this place and its people, which has been passed on to us through years of work and conversation with many in this community,” Chun said. “We will be continuing that conversation with our community and educational partners in the next six months to discuss our plans and refine our vision for the future of this property.”

“We envision creating a place for teaching and learning of applied Hawaiian knowledge,” CEO Mailer adds. “A place where a broad range of culture and ‘āina-based learning experiences that recognize and respect the legacy of this place and our kupuna, integrates contemporary knowledge and technologies, and that align with Kamehameha Schools’ mission and values will be developed, practiced and refined. This requires us to rely heavily on the ‘ike and mana‘o of our community here on Moku o Keawe. These are the early stages of planning for what will take shape on our property at Kahalu‘u ma kai and that will, ultimately, benefit learners across the island, our state and beyond.”

Q & A:

  1. What happened? Why are you closing the hotel?
    Keauhou Beach Hotel is being closed as a result of several factors:

    1. Financial losses have been significant over the past six years;
    2. The cost of renovating or re-purposing the hotel would be prohibitive — tens of millions of dollars would be required and there would be a very low probability of recovering that investment, and
    3. Kamehameha Schools’ overall vision for these properties has shifted away from resort operations and toward a culture and ‘āina based-learning center that will connect to the rich culture and history of our people and the land, not just for visitors from other places, but also for learners of all ages who live in Hawai’i.
  2. What is your timeframe for closing the hotel?
    KBH, Inc. expects to close the hotel on October 31, 2012. At which point the property will be turned over to Kamehameha Schools for future cultural and educational programming at the site.
  3. Was consideration given to selling the hotel versus closing it?
    Yes, we considered several options, including selling the hotel or even turning the property into a time-share operation. Our analysis and that of independent consultants came to the same conclusion: continued operation of the hotel was not economically feasible. And since the thinking at Kamehameha Schools was already evolving toward creating a center for Hawaiian cultural learning in this place, it made good sense to shift entirely in the direction of restoring the cultural footprint at this site for future educational programming.
  4. What will happen to the people working there?
    Representatives from Kamehameha Schools will be meeting with Outrigger and ILWU representatives to discuss possible ways to help ease the transition for Keauhou Beach Hotel employees. Hotel employees will be able to get more details and updates from their Outrigger Human Resources associates and ILWU representatives in the coming days.
  5. How many people will lose their jobs when the hotel is shut?
    The Keauhou Beach Hotel currently employs 112 full- and part-time workers.
  6. The Keauhou Beach Hotel was known for its support of many community events every year, like the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival, Ironman Triathlon World Championship, Kamehameha III’s Birthday Celebration, Slack Key Festival, several hula demonstrations, Earth Day and others. What kind of support will Kamehameha Schools give to these kinds of events in the future?
    We recognize the important support this hotel and its staff contributed to community events in the past. We will look to support and promote community activities that respect the legacy of our kupuna in this place and have strong alignment with the values and mission of our school.
  7. What will happen to the tennis courts?
    Too soon to say for sure, but if we can work through the security and access issues, we may be able to keep the tennis courts open on a month-to-month basis while we go through the permit process to demolish the hotel.
  8. What will happen to Kalani Kai Bar?
    Security and access issues will necessitate closing the Kalani Kai Bar at the end of October. Hotel staff will work to move those groups utilizing Kalani Kai to other locations.
  9. Will the educational/cultural programs at this site be for Hawaiians only?
    No. While there may be a few exceptions, the types of learning experiences that are being considered for this site would be open for participation by the entire community.
  10. What are you doing to relocate the various groups and events that have booked into the Keauhou Beach Hotel?
    Hotel staff will be working with all groups and events that are currently booked into the hotel after October 31, 2012 to help them relocate to other Kona hotels and function areas.
  11. What will happen to the weekly Farmer’s Market?
    If we can work through the various security and access issues we may be able to keep the Farmers Market open on a month-to-month basis while we go through the permit process to demolish the hotel.
  12. What will happen to the shops and tenants at the hotel?
    We will be working with the three business tenants currently at the hotel to see how we might assist them in relocating their businesses. We haven’t had any formal conversations with them yet, so we look forward to meeting with them soon.
  13. Will there be access through the property for those wanting to utilize the shoreline?
    We are exploring options on how to accommodate those wishing to practice traditional and customary gathering rights during this transition.

Gas Company’s Newly Installed Pilot Renewable Natural Gas Production Plant

The Gas Company is testing and evaluating the thermal cracking of various types of bio-oil feedstocks and assess process and operating parameter scalability in a newly installed pilot Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) production plant.


Kea’au Youth Business Center Offering After School Classes Beginning in September

The Kea’au Youth Business Center will be offering after school classes for kids between the ages of 13 and 19 beginning in September.

Classes being taught will include Sound Recording/Music Production, Culinary Arts, and Video Production.

For more information call 966-6354 and to register you can log on here:

Wordless Wednesday II – Which Came First… The Chicken or the Egg?

ALOHA Motor Company Hydrogen Fuel Cell Scooter

Hawaii based ALOHA Motor Company will be launching this August 2012 the world’s first commercial launch of a complete off-grid solar hydrogen fueling and motor scooter at the Asia Pacific Clean Energy Summit in Honolulu.

Guy Toyama rides a hydrogen fuel scooter

This video show generally how easy it is to replace the fuel cartridges and recharge them.


The cartridges store hydrogen at low pressure in metal hydride storage systems and 2 cartridges take the scooter 90km (50miles) and can climb up to 12° in slope. The scooter has a fuel cell that produces up at 2kW peak and 1.2kW nominal power for normal transportation use. Because there is an inverter and outlet, the fuel cell in the scooter also serves as a mobile power generator and may be used for a scooter to home or scooter to grid application.

New Trail Opens in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

A new 4.5 mile hiking trail is open for visitors to Kahuku in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.

The Kona Trail – NPS Photo by Jay Robinson

The Kona Trail is one of the most diverse trails in the Kahuku area.  Located between 3,880 and 4,440 feet above sea level, the Kona Trail offers sweeping views of Ka Lae, the Ka‘ū coast, and it encounters a rugged lava landscape from the 1887 Mauna Loa flow. The moderate loop trail meanders through old pastures and native forests, and alongside native plant restoration areas.

Kahuku is located on Highway 11, near mile marker 70.5 on the mauka side of the road. The Kona Trail is about 5.5 miles from the Kahuku entrance up a steep, rough and rocky road. Four-wheel drive is strongly recommended. Parking for the Kona Trail is at the Lower and Upper Glover Trailheads.

Kahuku and the new Kona Trail are open Saturdays (except the first Saturday of each month) and Sundays, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Big Island Man Died From Cardiac Arrest Pressure-Washing Roof

An autopsy has determined that 49-year-old Barry Bokmej of Kawaihae died from cardiac arrest.

Barry Bokmej’s Facebook Header

On June 4, Bokmej was found unresponsive on a roof he had been pressure-washing.

He was taken to Kona Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead

2012 Ho’okele Award Winners Announced

The Hawai‘i Community Foundation, in partnership with Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation, announced at a reception last night, the recipients of this year’s annual Ho‘okele Award:

  • Jud R. Cunningham, chief executive officer, Aloha House, Inc.
  • David Fuertes, executive director, Ka Hana No‘eau
  • Connie Mitchell, executive director, The Institute of Human Services
  • Marjorie Ziegler, executive director, Conservation Council for Hawai‘i

“Thomas Layton, president of the Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation (left) and Kelvin Taketa, president and CEO of the Hawai‘i Community Foundation (right), with 2012 Hookele Award recipients (l to r): Marjorie Ziegler, David Fuertes, Jud Cunningham, and Connie Mitchell”

The Ho‘okele Award was established in 2002 by the Hawai‘i Community Foundation and the Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation and aims to acknowledge and strengthen the leadership in the islands’ nonprofit sector.

“We recognized that Hawai‘i was in danger of losing incredible executive talent in the nonprofit sector in part because many executives had little opportunity to renew themselves and marshal the stamina to continue their demanding work,” said Kelvin Taketa, president and CEO of the Hawai‘i Community Foundation. “The Ho‘okele Award allows us to recognize, thank and reward our community’s truly selfless leaders.”

Over the past 11 years, $440,000 has been awarded to 46 recipients.  Of the 46 recipients, 42 remain in the nonprofit and public sectors.

Award recipients each receive $10,000 to be used for their own professional development and personal renewal. Recipients are selected based on nominations from the community and on their ability to think strategically and get results, bring different groups of people together, inspire others, make a difference in Hawai‘i, and enthusiastically share their knowledge with others.

This year’s 2012 Ho‘okele Award recipients are:

Jud R. Cunningham, Chief Executive Officer, Aloha House, Inc.
With over 40 years of experience as an administrator in behavioral health and human services, Jud Cunningham has worked in the Navajo Nation, Arizona, Washington State, and Hawai‘i.  Since 1995, Cunningham has served as the CEO of Aloha House.  The organization provides outpatient and residential treatment for persons addicted to alcohol and/or other drugs including comprehensive, family-centered behavioral health interventions to promote recovery and healthy lifestyles for individuals and families.

David Fuertes, Executive Director, Ka Hana No‘eau
For more than 30 years, David Fuertes has served in the State Department of Education as a teacher of Agriculture, a Career Technical Education West Hawai‘i District teacher, and a State Future Farmers of America secretary.  As the executive director of Ka Hana No‘eau, Fuertes has helped to develop innovative mentoring programs that meld traditional knowledge with contemporary technologies for Hawaiian youth in the rural North Kohala district of Hawai‘i Island.  The organization gathers older generation craftsmen and practitioners, and connects them with young students to preserve traditional knowledge, products and skills.

Connie Mitchell, Executive Director, The Institute of Human Services (IHS)
Connie Mitchell joined IHS, O‘ahu’s largest emergency homeless shelter as executive director in June 2006.  Mitchell brings to IHS a unique combination of skills derived from a long and diverse career that includes nursing, financial planning, pastoral work, and serving in a variety of management positions.  She also established the state’s first nurse-run rural mental health clinic in Ka‘ū on Hawai‘i Island.  IHS has expanded its homeless programs over the past five years, serving chronically homeless individuals with disabilities, including mental illness and substance abuse, formerly incarcerated, and families on the brink of homelessness.

Marjorie Ziegler, Executive Director, Conservation Council for Hawai‘i (CCH)
Marjorie Ziegler has always had a passion to help protect threatened and endangered species.  Prior to joining CCH as its first full-time employee in 2003, Zeigler worked with the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund, KĀHEA: the Hawaiian Environmental Alliance, and as an archaeological assistant at Kailua District and Kualoa Regional Parks.  CCH is dedicated to protecting native Hawaiian plants, animals and ecosystems for future generations.

The San Francisco-based Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation was established in 1961 by Martha Alexander Gerbode, a descendant of one of the original five New England missionary families who came to Hawai‘i. The Gerbode Foundation makes grants of approximately $4 million a year with its activities focused in the San Francisco Bay Area and in Hawai‘i. Areas of interest include social justice, reproductive rights, the environment and the arts. Gerbode implements an award program similar to Ho‘okele that recognizes nonprofit leaders in the San Francisco area.

Please visit for more information on the Ho‘okele Awards and a complete list of previous award recipients.

Man Who as Child was Raped by Former Bishop and Local Priest to Break Silence

Press Conference Thursday in Honolulu

Man who as child was raped by former bishop and local priest to break silence, come forward publicly

St. Anthony Catholic Church choir loft in Kailua, Oahu was scene of sexual assault

Will urge those suffering in silence to come forward to seek healing, accountability and justice under Hawaii’s “Window Law”

What:  A Los Angeles man who charges in a lawsuit that he was abused as a child by former Hawaii bishop Joseph Ferrario and Kailua priest Joseph Henry (aka, J. Michael Henry) will speak publicly about his abuse and the cover-up by Catholic officials. He will also urge others in Hawaii who suffer in silence to come forward to seek healing, accountability and justice.  He will be joined by his attorneys.

Joseph Ferrario

Identified as John Roe 2 in his civil complaint, he was a catechism student and altar boy at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Kailua in the 1970’s and alleges that he was brutally raped by Father Joseph Henry in the choir loft of St. Anthony’s Church, and later, after confessing the sexual assault to Father Joseph Ferrario, was forced by Ferrario to perform oral sex in a building on the church grounds.

John Roe 2’s lawsuit, filed in June, was the second filed under a new law allowing adults who were victims of sex abuse as a child a two year “window” to seek justice in Hawaii’s civil courts. The legislation was approved by Hawaii’s legislature in April and subsequently signed into law by Governor Neil Abercrombie.

Roe 2 will also be joined by Joelle Casteix, a survivor of sexual abuse as a child in Southern California, who will tell of her journey from tragedy to triumph while taking advantage of that state’s “window law.”

Find official copy of John Roe 2 complaint on the “NEWS” page of

When:             Thursday, August 23, 2012 11:00 A.M. (HST)

Where:            Ala Moana Hotel (Pakalana/Anthurium Room) 410 Atkinson Drive,  Honolulu, HI  96814

Who:    Survivor John Roe 2:  Now an adult living in Los Angeles, as a child Roe 2 lived in Kailua, Oahu, Hawaii with his family when his father was stationed at Camp Smith in Aiea, Oahu, Hawaii.


Jeff Anderson:  Attorney Jeff Anderson is an internationally known St. Paul, Minnesota-based trial lawyer who is widely recognized as a pioneer in sexual abuse litigation and has earned a reputation as a tireless champion of civil rights for children and the under-privileged. Anderson has represented thousands of survivors of sexual abuse by authority figures and clergy.  Jeff can be contacted at 612.817.8665 (Mobile)


Mark Gallagher:  Jeff Anderson & Associates’ Kailua-based affiliate Mark Gallagherhas over 15 years experience as an attorney successfully seeking justice and compensation for those injured in Hawaii through no fault of their own. An experienced litigator in Hawaii state courts on Oahu, the Big Island, Kauai and Maui, Mark has also practiced in the United States federal courts system.  Mark can be contacted at 808.535.1500 


Joelle Casteix:  A survivor of childhood sexual abuse in Southern California, Joelle has worked as a public relations executive and is currently volunteer Western Regional Director of Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests (SNAP) Joelle can be contacted at 949.322.7434 (Mobile)


Wordless Wednesday – Kids Want Role Models Not Bottles!