Video From the Big Island Auto Club Labor Day Drag Races

Video From the Big Island Auto Club Labor Day Drag Races:


9th Annual Kona Surf Film Festival is Coming Up

The 9th Annual Kona Film Festival is coming up in December 7th and 8th at the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel and Bungalows.


Film submissions are still being accepted and the deadline is October 31st for submissions.

For more information and frequently asked questions, see here: Kona Surf Film Festival (FAQ’s)

USNS Mercy Arrives Back in Hawaii Following Pacific Partnership 2012

Back in May, I was flown out to the USNS Mercy as it began it’s Pacific Partnership 2012 and I got to ride in with the ship as it came in to Pearl Harbor.

This was actually the second time I had a chance to visit the Mercy but this was the first time I got to visit her out at sea and actually ride with her into Pearl Harbor.

Yesterday, the Mercy returned to Pearl Harbor following it’s five month deployment during Pacific Partnership 2012.

Pacific Partnership 2012 (PP12), embarked aboard hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19), arrived in Pearl Harbor Sept. 2 as it nears completion of a nearly five-month deployment, the largest annual humanitarian and civic assistance mission in the Asia-Pacific.

Following the visit to Hawaii, Mercy will transit to her homeport of San Diego, returning in mid-September.

While in Hawaii, Mercy will detach personnel and unload equipment that played a critical role in providing medical, dental, engineering and veterinary services to the four host nations of Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam and Cambodia during PP12.

Sarah Sanderlin, a member of the University of Hawaii Nursing and Engineering Schools Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) team aboard Mercy, said the Hawaii contingent will be disembarking to return back to family, friends and normal civilian life after providing vital medical and engineering support, especially in the area of subject matter expert exchanges (SMEE).

“This trip has been a chance of a lifetime for me,” said Sanderlin. “I have a different perspective of life around the world and a better understanding of the world now. Now that I am returing home, I want to be able to remember the places we have been as something more than just a great trip. I want to teach my kids how the rest of the world lives and what their perspective is of the U.S.

“Although returning back to a normal routine will be challenging, I am excited to return back to some of the normal things back home.”

At the invitation of the host nations, PP12 brought the expertise of U.S. service members and personnel from 13 partner nation militaries and 23 Non-Governmental Organizations to treat and evaluate more than 49,000 people.

SMEEs were a large focus of this year’s mission including joint surgeries, medical and veterinary care, culinary exchanges and cultural learning. Additionally, 887 surgeries were performed, more than 7,000 animals were treated, 13 buildings were built or refurbished and 104 community service projects were completed with 244 pallets of requested supplies were donated to host nations.

PP12 Mission Commander Capt. Jim Morgan said during the closing ceremony in Cambodia that the really important parts of this mission are the professional and cultural exchanges between PP12 participants and the host and partner nations.

“It’s through increased understanding and trust that we will all work better and more efficiently together – not if, but when – a natural disaster strikes,” said Morgan.

Pacific Partnership, an annual U.S. Pacific Fleet sponsored humanitarian and civic assistance mission now in its seventh year, brings together U.S. military personnel, host and partner nations, non-governmental organizations and international agencies to build stronger relationships and build disaster response capabilities throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

For more information about the PP12 mission, please visit the Pacific Partnership Blog or engage with Pacific Partnership on Facebook and Twitter.

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Hulihe’e Palace Event Remembers Queen Lili‘uokalani

Enjoy a free Afternoon at Hulihe’e Palace 4-5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 16 to remember Hawai‘i’s most accomplished royal musician and composer, Queen Lili‘uokalani (1838-1917). Enjoy the voices of the Merrie Monarchs and the Hulihe‘e Palace Band.

The sister of King Kalakaua, Lili‘uokalani Kamaka‘eha attended the Royal School and was educated with four other rulers of Hawai‘i. She was given the Christian name Lydia.

“Lydia could read music at an early age and it is thought she had perfect pitch,” notes Casey Ballao, palace administrator. “She played piano, ‘ukulele and the organ—but the zither, which was in vogue in the U.S. and Europe—was her favorite. She also composed music.”

It was on a visit in 1878 to a Windward O‘ahu ranch that Lydia received the imagery and inspiration to pen the song that became the first Hawaiian “hit” outside of the kingdom, “Aloha ‘Oe.” Although Lydia wrote the words as a love song, the chorus and first verse were normally sung and the song became a popular island farewell song.

In 1862, Lydia married John Dominis, who later became the governor of O‘ahu. She acted as regent when Queen Kapiolani traveled abroad to attend the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1887.  She took the name Lili‘uokalani in 1891 when it was agreed she would be heir to the throne. Her reign was a tragic one as the monarchy was overthrown in 1893 by American annexationists; the queen peacefully gave up her throne under protest. After an unsuccessful counterrevolution, the queen was imprisoned in ‘Iolani Palace for eight months.

Hulihe‘e Palace

After Lili‘uokalani’s imprisonment, she returned to Washington Place and wrote “Hawai‘i’s Story by Hawai‘i’s Queen.” “In 1909 she set up a fund to help Hawaiian children and today the Queen Lili‘uokalani Children’s Center helps over 2,000 children annually,” added Ballao.

Hulihe‘e Palace is open for self-guided tours 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturdays. Palace admission, which at this time includes a self-guided tour brochure, remains $6 for adults, $4 for seniors and $1 for keiki under 18.

Volunteer docents are sometimes available to give guided tours. For details, contact the palace at 329-1877, the palace office at 329-9555 or visit The gift shop can be reached by phoning 329-6558.

Caretakers of Hulihe‘e Palace are the Daughters of Hawai‘i and the Calabash Cousins. The Daughters was founded in 1903 and opens membership to any woman who is directly descended from a person who lived in Hawai‘i prior to 1880. Helping the Daughters in its efforts since 1986 are the Calabash Cousins; membership is available to all.

Hulihe‘e Palace

2012 Afternoon at Hulihe‘e schedule: 4-5 p.m. on the palace grounds

All Afternoons at Hulihe’e present hula by Na Pua U‘i O Hawai‘i Hula Halau and vocals by the Merrie Monarchs. Some events also include the Hulihe’e Palace Band and are noted below. On band dates, only kahiko hula is showcased. Other events offer a full hula show.

  • Jan 15: Band appearance remembering King Charles “Lunalilo” and Aunty I‘olani Luahine
  • Feb 19: Event remembering Princess Ruth Ke‘elikolani
  • Mar 18: Band appearance remembering Queen Ka‘ahumanu and Prince Kuhio
  • Apr 15: Event remembering Prince Edward Albert
  • May 20: Event remembering King Kamehameha IV “Alexander Liholiho”
  • Jun 10: Band appearance remembering King Kamehameha I “Paiea”
  • Jul 15: Event remembering John Adams Kuakini
  • Aug 26: Event remembering King Kamehameha III “Kauikeaouli”
  • Sep 16: Band appearance remembering Queen Lili‘uokalani
  • Oct 21: Event remembering Princess Ka‘iulani
  • Nov 18: Band appearance remembering King Kalakaua, Palace Curator Aunty Lei Collins and Bandmaster Charles “Bud Dant
  • Dec 16: Event remembering Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop