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Hawaii Included in New Google Maps Underwater Street View

We’ve added the very first underwater panoramic images to Google Maps, the next step in our quest to provide people with the most comprehensive, accurate and usable map of the world.

[googlemaps https://maps.google.com/maps?cbll=21.269602,-157.695598&layer=c&panoid=_HKq3kJG3NNXV9ElI9J8Wg&cbp=13,298.44,,0,0&ie=UTF8&ll=21.269602,-157.695598&spn=75.697559,173.144531&t=h&z=3&source=embed&output=svembed&w=425&h=350]

With these vibrant and stunning photos you don’t have to be a scuba diver—or even know how to swim—to explore and experience six of the ocean’s most incredible living coral reefs. Now, anyone can become the next virtual Jacques Cousteau and dive with sea turtles, fish and manta rays in Australia, the Philippines and Hawaii.

[youtube=http://youtu.be/7syWPIZt9B4]

Starting today, you can use Google Maps to find a sea turtle swimming among a school of fish, follow a manta ray, and experience the reef at sunset—just as I did on my first dive in the Great Barrier Reef last year. You can also find out much more about this reef via the World Wonders Project, a website that brings modern and ancient world heritage sites online.

At Apo Island, a volcanic island and marine reserve in the Philippines, you can see an ancient boulder coral, which may be several hundred years old. And in the middle of the Pacific, in Hawaii, you can join snorkelers in Oahu’s Hanauma Bay and drift over the vast coral reef at Maui’s Molokini crater.

We’re partnering with The Catlin Seaview Survey, a major scientific study of the world’s reefs, to make these amazing images available to millions of people through the Street View feature of Google Maps. The Catlin Seaview Survey used a specially designed underwater camera, the SVII, to capture these photos.

Whether you’re a marine biologist, an avid scuba diver or a landlocked landlubber, we encourage you to dive in and explore the ocean with Google Maps.

Jamae Kawauchi Responds to the Cancellation of Today’s Special Council Meeting

Today, the Office of the Hawaii County Clerk received media inquiries concerning the cancellation of the today’s special meeting of the Hawaii County Council.

Ms. Kawauchi stated, “The deadline for filing responsive pleadings in the lawsuits has been extended to October 26, 2012. The Hawaii County Council cancelled the special meeting today to allow additional time to explore issues regarding the representation of all named defendants. The Hawaii County Council will be discussing these matters at the October 3, 2012 Hawaii County Council meeting.”

Jamae Kawauchi

Questions on Conflicts of Interest – Cancellation of Special County Council Meeting Scheduled for Today

By letter dated September 19, 2012, Hawaii County Council Chairman, Dominic Yagong, scheduled a special meeting of the Hawaii County Council, to discuss the lawsuits filed against the County of Hawaii, the Hawaii County Council Chairman, and the Hawaii County Clerk.

Chairman Yagong stated, “The meeting was called because I was aware of the September 25, 2012 deadline to respond to the lawsuits and that the Corporation Counsel had failed to schedule a meeting with the Hawaii County Council to discuss the lawsuits and responses. The failure by Corporation Counsel to respond to the lawsuits by the September 25, 2012 deadline could have resulted in a default judgment against the County of Hawaii.”

To avert the possibility of a default judgment against the County of Hawaii, Chairman Yagong requested that the Corporation Counsel seek an extension to the September 25, 2012 filing deadline, which was granted. The new deadline to respond to the lawsuits is October 26, 2012.

Chairman Yagong further stated, “Also, the Corporation Counsel notified the Hawai‘i County Council that they have a conflict of interest. In light of Corporation Counsel’s assertion that they have a conflict of interest, and that they will not be representing all parties involved, it is inappropriate, and not in the best interest of the County of Hawaii, for the Corporation Counsel to advise and represent the County of Hawaii in matters relating to the lawsuits.”

According to Chairman Yagong, “We will be seeking an opinion from the State of Hawaii Office of Disciplinary Counsel to confirm the Corporation Counsel’s representation that they have a conflict of interest and therefore cannot represent county agencies, the council and all officers and employees named in these lawsuits.”

“It is in the best interest of the County of Hawai‘i to determine whether or not Corporation Counsel is in a legal position to advise the Hawai‘i County Council,” said Yagong.

The County Council will be discussing these matters at the October 3, 2012 Hawai‘i County Council meeting to be held in Hilo, Hawaii.

Big Island Police Looking for Pahoa Punk… Again

Big Island police are looking for a 20-year-old former Pāhoa man wanted for questioning in connection with a domestic violence incident.

Ronsten Andrade

Ronsten Keone Andrade III, also known as Ronsten Andrade Tripp, is described as a local male, about 6-feet tall, about 180 pounds, with short black hair, brown eyes and a medium complexion.

He was last seen at a makeshift home in Tiki Gardens in Puna late Monday afternoon (September 24). He was wearing a green-grey long-sleeved flannel jacket and a cap. He may be operating late-model white 4-door Saturn sedan with a burnt finish on the driver’s side door.

The incident started in the Hawaiian Beaches Subdivision in Puna where Andrade allegedly assaulted a 19-year-old Puna woman, forcibly removed items from her, and prevented her from leaving.

The victim declined treatment for her injuries, which were not life-threatening.

Police have classified this incident as abuse of a family or household member, second-degree robbery, second-degree terroristic threatening and kidnapping.

Detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section are continuing the investigation and caution the public not to confront Andrade. Instead, anyone who sees him or knows his whereabouts should contact Detective Grant Todd at 961-2385 or email him at gtodd@co.hawaii.hi.us or Detective Norbert Serrao at 961-2383 or npserrao@co.hawaii.hi.us. Callers may also call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311.

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.

Big Island’s Bree Wee Finishes 4th in Ironman Cozumel

Professional Tri-Athlete, Mother and Big Island’s own Bree Wee who just last month won her first Ironman was in Mexico this past weekend to compete in the Ironman 70.3 Cozumel race.

Before the race Bree wrote:

…Round #3 here in Cozumel.  And yet, this place feels different with a twist of the same.  Funny how islands have that effect on us, same place but forever new.  My first trip I was in the North part of town, last trip I was in the smack middle of town, this trip I am further South from town.  I like it here, but it’s way more quiet, as if the triathlon is not even here this Sunday.  I’ve yet to figure out if that’s a good thing or a bad thing for a girl like me. I’m going to just make it a positive thing….

The flight was you know, long.  It got longer when the plane broke and we sat on the runway for 3hrs.  Extra taper?  Extra rest, I fell asleep.  By the time we landed on the little island of Cozumel it was too late for check-in. In fact it was about dinner time!  My legs were so eager to run, my lungs were craving fresh air, and my heart was having a little wanderlust, so I ran…

Well the race was yesterday and I’m happy to report that Bree took a respectable 4th place.

Bree Wee crosses the finish line at Ironman Cozumel

Here are the splits and final times of her race:

Today Bree wrote:

The morning was usual butterflies meshed with excitement.  I’m over worrying about how my body feels race week and race day, after a year of feeling good only to race bad or feel bad only to race good, I’ve learned that through 70.3 miles or 140.6 miles our body will do for us what we push it to do.  Well, I could use some speed work to help with that, but you get what I’m saying. 

Prerace in the transition area was pretty scary for me.  I’m still like a rookie at the whole “pro in transition” thing. If I look too close at any girl and where she came from in the land of results it humbles me to the point of forgetting to focus on what I can do on the day.  With the likes of most the women’s 70.3 World Champs in the line up, my eyes fixed their gaze on what was within my control…

You can read more about Bree’s adventures as an athlete, mom and Big Island resident at her excellent blog “Bree Wee: Mom & Triathlete“.

$16 Million Renewal Project Completed at Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa – New GM Named for Rays on the Bay

Pyramid Hotel Group has appointed Jayden Callahan as General Manager at Rays on the Bay at the renewed Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay, a 22-acre oceanfront resort on Hawaii, the Big Island.

Jayden Callahan

“Jayden’s background in food and beverage management and event planning is ideal for Rays on the Bay,” said Area Managing Director and Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa General Manager Steve Lindburg. “Her passion for creativity, education, training and mentoring is a perfect fit for the enthusiastic and fun team at Rays.”

Callahan’s responsibilities include overseeing operations at Sheraton Kona’s new signature restaurant which opened to rave reviews September 9. With superb viewing of Keauhou’s resident manta rays, Rays on the Bay offers fresh local seafood, farm-to-table cooking, handmade artisan pizzas, nightly live music by island musicians, endless ocean views, romantic sunsets, engaging aloha service, Rum Bar, fire pits, lounge coves and the coldest beer on the island.

Callahan comes to Sheraton Kona from the Westin Princeville Ocean Resort on Kauai where she was food and beverage manager and was awarded manager of the year in 2011. Callahan moved to Kauai in 1992 right after Hurricane Iniki and has called Hawaii home ever since. She has planned weddings, golf tournaments and music festivals during her more than 20 years in the industry.

“We want Rays to connect on a personal level with Sheraton guests and with local residents,” Callahan explained.  “Sheraton Kona inspires connections and when people travel to Hawaii they don’t just come for surf and sun, they come for the culture and a sense of place.  When you walk into Rays on the Bay you know you’re somewhere special.”

Rays on the Bay is part of a now complete $16 million renewal at Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa.

Dinner service is from 5:00pm until 10:00pm daily, the bar and patio are open until 11:00pm. Entertainment is nightly 6:30pm until 9:30pm. Dinner reservations can be made online at www.opentable.com or by calling Rays on the Bay direct at 808.930.4949.  Complimentary valet parking is available for guests of Rays on the Bay.

Dolphin Trainer Talks About Being in Water While Dolphin Gives Birth

Well the Dolphin Quest video of the birth of the dolphin has now gone viral on youtube with over 700,000 views and climbing each day.

Julie Rocho-Levine

The dolphin trainer that was with Keo during her labor, Julie Rocho-Levine, talks about the time she spent with her before she gave birth.

[youtube=www.youtube.com/watch?v=iQXuZdhOHLQ]

Federal Aviation Administration Grants Hawaii $250,000 for Space Transportation Infrastructure

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) today announced nearly $500,000 in new Space Transportation Infrastructure matching grants to three projects located in California, Colorado and Hawaii that will help develop and expand commercial space transportation infrastructure.

“These investments will help us continue to develop a safe and robust commercial space industry in the United States,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

“Government and private sector partnerships are essential to carrying out our national space policies,” said FAA Acting Administrator Michael Huerta.  “Today’s grants help keep America competitive by investing in space transportation infrastructure development.”

The matching grants are $250,000 to the Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism; $200,000 to Colorado’s Front Range Airport Authority, and $23,750 to the East Kern Airport District at California’s Mojave Spaceport. The Hawaii and Colorado grants both will be used to conduct environmental and other feasibility analyses for a potential FAA Commercial Launch Site Operator’s License.  The grant to the East Kern Airport District will be used for acquisition of a “pyrolance,” a dual firefighting piercing system to aid in rapid response to rescue emergencies and to fires involving launch vehicles.

The federal matching grants fund up to 50 percent of the total project cost in conjunction with state and local government funding.  In addition, the grants require that a minimum of 10 percent of the total project cost come from private funding.

The United States’ space program has three sectors – civil, military and commercial. The FAA’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation is responsible for licensing, regulating and promoting the commercial space transportation industry.  Since the office was created in 1984, the FAA has issued licenses for more than 200 launches, licensed the operation of eight FAA-approved launch sites known as spaceports and has helped ensure that no loss of life or serious injury has been associated with these efforts.

For more information on FAA’s commercial space transportation activities a fact sheet is available at: http://www.faa.gov/news/fact_sheets/news_story.cfm?newsId=11559.

The Winners of Mr. & Miss Polynesia 2013 Are…

Congratulations to Anapogi “Pogi” Tevaga and Abby Resulta who were crowned Mr. & Miss Polynesia 2013, respectively, last night in front of a packed house at the Hale Koa Hotel’s Lu‘au Garden!!!

Anapogi “Pogi” Tevaga and Abby Resulta were crowned Mr. & Miss Polynesia 2013

For more information check out www.mrandmisspolynesia.com.

Governor Abercrombie Responds to MRC Greenwood on the Senate Investigation Going on Now Regarding Stevie Wonder Concert

During testimony by University of Hawai’i President MRC Greenwood before the Senate committee on accountability this afternoon, it was suggested that Governor Neil Abercrombie offered advice regarding the UH athletic director position. The following statement by the Governor is in response to media inquiries about his meeting that was mentioned by President Greenwood.

“I stated very clearly to President Greenwood that my sole concern was for fairness and even-handedness. I based this concern as the Governor as well as an alumnus and supporter of the University of Hawai’i. I also stressed that any and all decisions made in the wake of the concert failure ensure that all responsible parties be held to account.”

Maile Alert! Big Island Police Looking for Missing 7-Year-Old Girl Last Seen in Eden Rock Around 3pm TODAY

7:00 PM (UPDATE SHE HAS BEEN LOCATED)

No picture provide by the police

The Hawaii Police Department seeks your help in locating a missing child:

Alexia LEIGTON, F-7, Cauc, 4″11, 65lbs, fair complexion, sandy blond hair, blue eyes.

Last seen: 17th in Eden Roc Mt.View Puna at about 3:00 P.M.

Last seen wearing a pink top, black shoes and a Barbie doll backpack

If you have information that can assist in helping safely locate Alexia LEIGTON, please call 911 or contact the police at (808) 935-3311.

Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers Names Recipients of Appreciation Awards

The Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers (HTFG) names the recipients of its appreciation awards, given annually to supporters of the state’s tropical fruit industry.

They are Dr. Robert Paull of UH-Manoa’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR); Dr. Roberto Coronel of the RC Fruit Conservation Farm in the Philippines; Frank and Lynn Sekiya of Frankie’s Nursery on Oahu; Bob and Susi Hamilton, founding members of HTFG and owners of Plant it Hawaii on the Big Isle; and Lelan Nishek of Kauai Nursery and Landscaping.

Frank and Lynn Sekiya

Recipients were recognized at the recent 22nd Annual Hawaii International Tropical Fruit Conference that opened on Oahu and continued in Maui, Kauai, Hilo and Kona.

Dr. Robert Paull

Dr. Paull is credited for his research in fruit ripening, storage, packaging and transport, plus the growth and development of fruit.

“Each of our award recipients have gone out of their way to help Hawaii’s fruit industry prosper,” notes Ken Love, HTFG president. “The Sekiyas have been responsible for hundreds of plant introductions into Hawaii that help growers become more sustainable.”

Nishek is cited for continually supporting HTFG and its mission with generous donations of time, product and funding. Love says the Hamiltons are being lauded for “their dedication in producing quality trees and marketing quality fruit.”

Dr. Roberto Coronel

Dr. Coronel, a keynote speaker at the recent HTFG conference, is an award-winning supporter of the Philippine fruit industry and has done multiple research projects on tropical fruit. At his RC Farm, he has planted 220 edible fruit and nut species from the tropical regions of the world, plus 136 registered fruit varieties.

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; http://www.hawaiitropicalfruitgrowers.org.

 

Hawaii Students Invited to “Paint the Plane” Contest

Alaska Airlines is inviting school-aged children in Hawai’i to create artwork honoring the unique culture of the Aloha State that will adorn a Boeing 737-800 in a “Paint the Plane” contest. In partnership with the Hawai’i State Department of Education (DOE) and the Hawai’i Association of Independent Schools (HAIS), contest forms will be distributed to more than 400 schools and 218,000 students throughout the Islands.

Governor Abercrombie at Kuhio School for the kick off of Alaska airlines “paint the plane”

Students in kindergarten through 12th grade from public, private and home schools across the state have until Nov. 30 to submit designs that best capture the “Spirit of the Islands.” A final selection panel comprised of 10 judges representing Hawai’i’s government, community, arts, education and tourism leaders will select three top designs. Residents of the state of Hawai’i will then vote on the top three designs and provide Alaska Airlines with their recommendation in an online public vote slated for December 2012. The plane is scheduled to be revealed at a public event in Hawai’i during the spring of 2013.

“What better way to celebrate five years of flying to the Aloha State than to share Hawai’i’s culture and spirit in a flying mural inspired by our future—our keiki, or children,” said Joe Sprague, Alaska Airlines’ vice president of marketing. “Whether you doodle, draw stick figures or use a computer for graphic design, we urge all school-aged children in Hawai’i to enter for a chance to share your creativity across our extensive network in the United States, Mexico and Canada.”

The student with the winning submission will get his or her design painted on an Alaska Airlines aircraft, a trip for four to any Alaska Airlines destination and a $5,000 scholarship. Second- and third-place winners will receive a trip for four to any Alaska Airlines destination, and 12 honorable mentions will be awarded a $1,000 scholarship, except for the grade of the grand prize winner.

Hawai’i Gov. Neil Abercrombie attended a kick-off event today with 330 students at Prince Jonah Kuhio Elementary School in Honolulu, along with representatives from Alaska Airlines, the DOE and HAIS.

“This is an exciting opportunity for our students to not only showcase their art, but also instill continued pride for their school,”” Abercrombie said. “This is one example of how the sky is the limit when it comes to applying imagination and art.””

“The ‘Spirit of the Islands’ contest is an opportunity for students to unleash their creativity and innovation,” said Kathryn Matayoshi, superintendent of the Hawai’i State Department of Education. “In a global economy driven by ideas and experimenting beyond boundaries, the arts make invaluable and unique contributions to learning and preparing our graduates for college and careers.”

“Spirit of the Islands” contest schedule:

Sept. 24 – Contest begins for Hawai’i students Nov. 30 – Entry forms must be postmarked and mailed to a designated Alaska Airlines P.O. box in Honolulu Dec.11-18 – Hawai’i residents vote online for their favorite design January 2013 – Results of online voting revealed and winner announced Spring 2013 – Painted plane is unveiled

Complete contest details are available at www.alaskaair.com/hawaii, including contest rules, instructions and entry forms required to participate. Entry forms will also be available at the Alaska Airlines booth during several community events throughout the Islands, including the Maui Fair, Hawai’i’s Children and Youth Day, Hawai’i Fishing and Seafood Festival, and the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival.

The “Spirit of the Islands” contest is the third time Alaska Airlines has turned to the public to paint a plane. The Spirit of Alaska Statehood aircraft paint scheme was created by a 16-year-old Sitka student in a similar statewide contest celebrating Alaska’s 50-year anniversary. Last year, two soccer fans designed the MLS Portland “Timbers Jet” to celebrate the airline’s jersey sponsorship of the Portland, Ore., soccer team.

Alaska Airlines is hosting the contest in celebration of five years of serving Hawai’i, which today includes daily nonstop flights from seven West Coast cities and Anchorage, Alaska, to four major islands. On average, Alaska Airlines offers more departures in more nonstop markets between Hawai’i and the West Coast than any other carrier (22 daily roundtrips, or 308 weekly flights, in 21 nonstop markets).

Note to media: Photos from today’s kick-off event at Prince Jonah Kuhio Elementary School are posted on Alaska Airlines’ online image gallery at www.alaskaair.com/newsroom.

Alaska Airlines, a subsidiary of Alaska Air Group (NYSE: ALK), together with its partner regional airlines, serves 95 cities through an expansive network in Alaska, the Lower 48, Hawai’i, Canada and Mexico. Alaska Airlines has ranked “Highest in Customer Satisfaction Among Traditional Network Carriers” in the J.D. Power and Associates North America Airline Satisfaction StudySM for five consecutive years from 2008 to 2012. For reservations, visit www.alaskaair.com. For more news and information, visit the Alaska Airlines/Horizon Air Newsroom at www.alaskaair.com/newsroom.

Laupahoehoe Community Public Charter School Seats 4 to New Governing Board – Additional Seats Open

Laupahoehoe Community Public Charter School (LCPCS) faculty, staff, parents and community members elected the school’s first governing board on September 6.

The LCPCS Interim Local School Board transitioned out on September 11. A formal exchange of seats marked the changing of the board.

“This is a critical time in our school’s history,” said LCPCS Director, Dr. David Rizor. “We benefit from past and present perspectives and ideas as we continue to build a school that is in the best interest of the students and the Laupahoehoe community.”

Members of the LCPCS Governing Board are:

Jonah Kaye is the Secondary Special Education teacher at LCPCS. He has been a special education teacher in Hawaii’s public schools for eleven years. Jonah believes that self-esteem is the foundation for all education and uses building projects in his classroom to develop a positive learning environment. He has three children at the school.

Tracy Jardine is the office coordinator at LCPCS. Her in-laws, husband and children graduated from Laupahoehoe School. She believes that LCPCS is on its way to becoming a great school.

Bethany Morrison, LCPCS parent, is a long-range planner for the County of Hawaii and member of the Ocean Resources Management Program Working Group. She has experience in collaborating with different levels of government and agencies as well as grant proposal writing and fiscal management.

Community member George Martin is a 1978 graduate of Lauapahoehoe School. A former mechanic for Yamada and Sons, Martin has been a business agent for the ILWU 142 for seven years. He was president of the Ookala Community Association and served on the Ookala Community Forest Board.

According to the State’s charter school law, the school’s director, Dr. Rizor, who is a non-voting member of the board, and the four elected members, will appoint additional board members.

Ideally, applicants should demonstrate an understanding of best practices of non-profit governance and possess strong financial and academic management and oversight abilities, as well as human resource and fundraising experience.

The Governing Board is responsible for the financial, organizational, and academic viability of the school and implementation of its charter.

Anyone interested in serving on the Governing Board may send in an expression of interest to the school by email at info@laupahoehoecharterschool.org.

Agendas for the Governing Board meetings are posted online at http://www.laupahoehoecharterschool.com/board-meeting-agendas.html

 

Public Notice – New Hours for Front Desk Processing of Permit Applications at the Building Division

The Department of Public Works Building Division announces new hours for processing permit applications at the front desks of Hilo and Kona offices effective October 1.  This change only affects applications requiring front desk clerical assistance.

The new hours will be 7:45 AM to 3:30 PM Monday – Friday, except Wednesday (Hilo) and Thursday (Kona).

Hilo:    7:45 AM – 3:30 PM and Wednesday 7:45 AM to noon

Kona:  7:45 AM-3:30 PM and Thursday 7:45 AM to noon

The office remains available to service code questions, plan review consultation, drop-off of plans and pick-up of plans/permits.

This recent change will allow the permit staff uninterrupted time for processing permit applications.

For applicant convenience, permit applications may be submitted online at anytime 24-hrs/7-days through the County web site at http://papaaukahi.hawaiicounty.gov.

Public computers within the Hilo and Kona Building Division Offices are also available to create online permit applications.

For more information on becoming an online user is click below:

Click for more information

Video – 25th Infantry Division Training at Pohakuloa Training Area

Report about soldiers from 25th Infantry Division training at the Pohakuloa Training Area on Hawaii’s Big Island.

The soldiers are training with both 60mm and 120mm mortars, and do a variety of drills.

[youtube=http://youtu.be/sYp2feD7ibs]

Available in High Definition.

Rock the Vote ‘Power to the People’ – UH Hilo Event

Rock the Vote is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization in the United States whose mission is to engage and build political power of young people. Rock the Vote uses music, popular culture and new technologies to engage and incite young people to register to vote in every U.S. election. Rock the Vote strives to be the largest voter engagement campaign ever in 2012.

This free, music and informational event, organized by motivated students invites youth voters and ANYONE interested in becoming more informed about who is running in the very important upcoming general election on November 6th. Participating bands will be “rocking out” and encouraging students and the community to REGISTER TO VOTE before the last day, which is Monday October 8th, and most importantly get out and vote on November 6th.

Hawaii has one of the lowest voter turnout rates in the country. In the past few elections, only about 40 percent of the state’s registered voters have participated in the primary election. And that’s only about 36 percent of all the people in Hawaii who are eligible to vote, registered or not.

Rock the Vote ‘Power to the People’ is an event aimed at political awareness among UHH/HCC students and the surrounding community.

Our mission is to get more people to vote and to learn the importance of voting, and voting intelligently. There will be information booths, Departments of UHH/HCC, UH/HCC Clubs, Rock the Vote Confessions, students educating their community and local bands entertaining us!

Bands that will be performing so far: Ras and Queen Sparrow, Red Light Taxi, Bruddah Kuz & Miss Killa , Repellent, NYR and more TBA.

Hosted by HCC/UHH students, Political Science Tribe, The Social Justice Club, and the Global HOPE Organization. Global HOPE works for positive change in our local and global community. They believe that democracy requires an active and informed public, and work to make this ideal a reality.

Students from UHH/HCC will have the opportunity to speak freely about local and global issues. Helping to educate and inform fellow students and our surrounding community in hope they will make more intelligent decisions when voting on November 6, 2012.

Sponsored by: HCC/UHH students, Political Science Club, The Social Justice Club, Global HOPE, SOC 265, SOC 399, COM 499, Big Island Music Scene, Sodexo, Men & Women of Pa’a, Killa Entertainment, The County of Hawaii Office of Elections, League of Women Voters, Voter Owned Hawaii.

This is a drug/ alcohol free event and open to the public.

KFC Pahoa CLOSED – Franchise Shuts Down Operation

The KFC in Pahoa has been shut down by the company.

An empty parking lot was often the scene and now it’s a regular scene

No official word has come out from the folks at KFC however a note on the door stated the following:

“Bussiness” or Business?

A quick look at the KFC Hawaii website and it still lists Pahoa as being a store that is open for business.  No releases have been made about it closing.

From the KFC Hawaii website

With Malama Market selling Huli Huli chicken for less then half what KFC sold the chicken for… it’s no wonder the place closed down.  I always thought the place was overpriced and it seemed like the only specials they had on buckets of chicken were strictly on legs and thighs!

So what do you think should fill location of this closed down business?

Pictures From the 6th Annual Peace Day Parade

Today was the 6th Annual Peace Day Parade and Festival held in Honoka’a here on the Big Island.  This parade is typically one of the more colorful parades on the Big Island and this year it lived up to its reputation.

Mayor Kenoi, County Council Candidate Margarette Wille, Mayoral Candidate Harry Kim and County Council Candidate Valerie Poindexter were present

This group called the “Prince Dancers” won my vote for for most enthusiastic and spirited:

[youtube=http://youtu.be/II1w3m0NwEk]

You can click on the pictures below for a larger image from today’s festivities:

17th Annual Taste of the Hawaiian Range – I Don’t Have Balls

Last night at the Hilton Waikoloa Village, the 17th Annual Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range took place under a spectacular West Hawaii sunset where more then 35 restaurants took part in a great event.

Kahu Danny Akaka Jr. Blessed the Festival and Mayor Kenoi cut the Maile allowing the public in to the 17th Annual Mealani Taste of the Hawaiian Range

The purpose of the Taste of the Hawaiian Range is to promote an educational venue to encourage and support local production of agricultural products through social, cultural and scientific exchanges featuring a diverse array of talents brought together for the purpose of developing an ethos of compatibility, tranquility and sustainability with this land we cohabitate.

Students learning about nutritional benefits of grass-fed beef.

Before the Taste even began students had an opportunity to attend educational seminars.  Joannie Dobbs gave a nutrition seminar, talking about the nutritional benefits of grass-fed beef.  After that seminar was over, folks moved over to the next Ballroom where they learned how to cook perfect Tri-Tip.

Perfect Tri-Tip

The Seminar on “How to Cook Grass-Fed Beef” with Chef James Babian was held to a full house!

Seminar – “How to Cook Grass-Fed Beef” with Chef James Babian

Around 5:00 Kumu Danny Akaka Jr. called everyone’s attention and officially blessed the festival and the food… then the VIP’s and the Media got a first hand chance to grind down on some of this food!

Kamehameha Schools – Beef (Steamship Round)

The booth that I personally liked the most was the Kamehameha Schools booth that were giving out Fajitas made with Steamship Round meat that had been cooking all day.

[youtube=http://youtu.be/wMHHFgUKTEk]

The booth that seemed to be real popular with the crowd in general had Food Network Star Ippy Aiona as one of the cooks at his booth set up by Solimenes Restaurant in Waimea.

Ippy Aiona takes a break from the grill

I noticed a crowd forming around the booth set up by Honolulu Burger Company as they appeared to be the first restaurant that was ready to put out food… however, I remembered what they were serving and I told myself I wouldn’t do it… as yes… those were the Mountain Oysters!

West Hawaii Today Journalist Chelsea Jensen sure is “nuts” for balls!

Many folks think this festival is all about the Big Island’s meat industry but in reality there was just as much agriculture related stuff as there were meat products.

Its not all about the meat! Mahalo “Kamuela Grown” for donating this produce to Hawaii Island Food Bank

While some folks called me chicken for not trying things like Mountain Oysters or the Beef Heart that was prepared by Aloha Mondays…

So this is what cooked beef heart looks like?

I did get my taste buds to try out cow tongue for the first time… and needless to say, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.

12th Ave Grill prepared beef tongue

Out of 35 restaurants that were present, I think I had plates from about 15-20 of them so needless to say I was full by the time I left there.  I have to say that another of my favorites that I had a couple plates from was the Hilton Waikoloa Villages preparation of Beef Brisket!

Beef Brisket from the Hilton Waikoloa

The Four Season’s Hualai selection of tri-tip was also a hit amongst people at the Taste.

Four Season’s Tri-Tip

Now that I think about it… there was one other thing that I didn’t try and it was more like I was avoiding it and that was the beef cheek that was served by the Fairmont Orchid.

Executive Sous Chef Stephen Rouelle offers me some cheek!

I asked the folks at the Taste how restaurants get picked to cook what part of the animal they do each year and I was told, “Our Meat Assignment Committee says they randomly assign meat cuts to different chefs, taking into consideration that chefs don’t get the same cut within a 10-year time frame. New chefs (8 this year) are worked into the mix and assigned one of 22 GFB cuts, or lamb, mutton, goat, feral or commercial pork.”

Out of all the tri-tips and sirloin tips and other cuts of meat that I had.. I really enjoyed the students from East Hawaii Community Colleges beef sirloin tip.

East Hawaii Community Colleges Sirloin Tips

I had never tried “Mutton” before, but  I heard it was good from someone and I bellied up and tried it.  Unfortunately it looks like I’m not a mutton guy!

Mutton from the Town Cafe

I’ve tried goat once before and didn’t really like it, the way that the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel cooked it as a slider made it taste better then the time I had tried it before.

Got Goat from the Mauna Lani Bay

I was getting pretty full by the time I got around to trying the feral pork that was being served Lechon style, but one thing I noticed, was that it did taste a bit more “gamey” then non feral pork but the taste wasn’t that noticeable.

This little piggy didn’t make it away from the cooks at Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel

My stomach could only eat so much meat in a few hours… so after having some soda and sitting for a while… I decided to get one last thing before I went up to my room and it was this slider made from beef flank from Village Burger.

I ended up taking this beef flank slider back to my room because I was too stuffed!

It was a great time had by all supporting island food sustainability.  You can find website links to many of the restaurants, food producers and educational displays that participated in this years Mealani Taste of the Hawaiian Range by visiting their website here: www.TasteOfTheHawaiianRange.com