Akido of Hilo Opens New Year with Traditional Japanese Kagami Biraki – “Opening the Mirror” Ceremony

Aikido of Hilo opened up the New Year with a traditional Japanese Kagami Biraki, “opening the mirror,” Ceremony. For many martial arts dojo the ceremony signifies their first practice of the New Year. Aikido of Hilo also used the ceremony as an opportunity to recognize students that had successfully passed their rank tests last November.

Members of Akido of Hilo

Members of Akido of Hilo

Since 1980, Aikido of Hilo has been teaching Aikido under the guidance of Chief Instructor Barbara Klein and her husband Robert Klein. Both Kleins hold sixth degree black belts and have been training in Aikido for over 40 years.

The philosophy of Aikido teaches that budo (the martial way) should concentrate not on harming others, but on protecting them. “Rather than harming another and causing resentment, we are taught to neutralize physical and mental aggression avoiding injury to ourselves and the attacker,” said Barbara Klein.

Klein went on to say, “Aikido is an effective self-defense and a path of development, integrating the whole person, physically, mentally and spiritually; fostering greater self-confidence, enhanced awareness, stress reduction, mental relaxation, enhanced interpersonal relational skills, greater respect for others and a harmonious attitude. Physically, it develops strength, flexibility, cardiovascular endurance, balance, coordination, and muscular relaxation. Through aikido training, the practitioner becomes a more integrated individual, with improved abilities to function within and contribute to their local community and the world at large.”

Aikido of Hilo offers classes for all levels and ages six years old and older at its dojo located at 29 Shipman Street in Hilo and at the Green Church Studio in Waimea. For more information call Barbara at 935-2454.

Master Carousel Carver Returns to the Big Island – Carousel of Aloha Gaining Steam

Paradise Ponies, Inc., a non-profit corporation, intends to construct and operate a unique Hawai‘i-themed carousel, called the “Carousel of Aloha,” along the Volcano Heritage Corridor on Hawai‘i, the Big Island.

Paradise Ponies is offering a series of carousel-figure carving classes for those who want to be part of the community project. The first class was held last February. Master Carousel Carver Ken Means of Coquille, Oregon, taught the foundation of creating a carousel figure: starting from a drawing, to a pattern, and then creating the “blank”. A carousel blank is the block of wood made from laminated boards that become the palette for the carver.

Master Carousel Carver Ken Means

Glenn and Yen Chin

Mr. Means is again traveling from Oregon to teach this second carving class, held from February 11-22, 2013. The class cost is just $300. Special arrangements for instruction on a per day basis are available. This is a unique hands-on class where students will take mallet to chisel to begin the creation of a one of a kind carousel figure from a blank. Class size is limited to just 12 students; all levels from beginner to advanced.

“This second class in the series builds upon the skills we learned in the blank making class and begins the process of bringing the carousel figure to life,” said Paradise Ponies, Inc. President Katherine Patton. “Ultimately, the Carousel of Aloha will be the focal point of a bigger park and pavilion that will serve our community and bring everyone together,” she said.

The Carousel of Aloha will feature hand-carved Hawai‘i-themed menagerie figures like a monk seal, a green sea turtle, pa‘u style horses and a “nightingale,” (the coffee-bean toting donkeys once used on coffee plantations island-wide). It will also feature seating benches, scenic panels, mirrors and other colorful carousel amenities carved and painted by volunteers throughout Hawai‘i. An expansive pavilion will house the carousel, gift shop and other indoor spaces available to the community for art and cultural activities, recreation and entertainment. An adjacent park will add outdoor space for cultural events, and activities for families, residents and visitors to the east side of Hawai‘i Island.

Volunteers, donations, corporate sponsors and major benefactors are needed. For information on classes or how to help, go to their website www.CarouselOfAloha.org or contact Katherine Patton at 808-315-1093.

An informational display, including carousel figures in progress, is shown at the Hilo Coffee Mill in Mountain View every Saturday from 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.

3.1 Magnitude Earthquake Shakes Volcano Area of Big Island This Evening – No Tsunami Warning


Magnitude 3.1
Location 19.383°N, 155.243°W
Depth 3.6 km (2.2 miles)
  • 7 km (5 miles) S (186°) from Volcano, HI
  • 15 km (10 miles) SW (230°) from Fern Forest, HI
  • 19 km (12 miles) SW (229°) from Eden Roc, HI
  • 39 km (24 miles) SSW (205°) from Hilo, HI
  • 344 km (214 miles) SE (128°) from Honolulu, HI
Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 0.4 km (0.2 miles); depth +/- 0.4 km (0.2 miles)
Parameters Nph= 27, Dmin=1 km, Rmss=0.08 sec, Gp= 61°,
M-type=local magnitude (ML), Version=2
Event ID hv60452726


Governor Abercrombie Meets with the Mayors – Kenoi Testifies Before Legislature

Governor Abercrombie met with Mayors from Honolulu, Kauai, Maui, Big Island counties

Governor Abercrombie met with Mayors from Honolulu, Kauai, Maui, Big Island counties today.

Click here to read Mayor Kenoi’s testimony before the legislature today: Mayor Kenoi Testifies Before Legislature.

NO FREE NIGHT at This Years Merrie Monarch – Wednesday Night’s Ho’ike Tickets Now Available

Many of us folks are use to attending the Wednesday Night Ho’ike at the Merrie Monarch for free, however, this year that will not be the case as you will need to purchase tickets in advance to attend:

Photo from the Merrie Monarch Site

Photo from the Merrie Monarch Site

The Merrie Monarch Festival announces that for this year’s upcoming Wednesday Night Ho’ike, Wednesday, April 3, 2013, we will be having a $5.00 charge for admission to the event.

The Merrie Monarch Festival Committee is coordinating a special Ho’ike to salute the 50th Celebration of the Merrie Monarch Festival.  We have invited some of the original dancers, first Kāne winners and special guests to grace the stage. Since many of the performing hālau are from off island and their families (some from as far away as California) want to watch them dance, the committee wants to be fair and give all a equal chance to attend. Ticket mail-in is the fairest way to do this.

For more information and to purchase tickets for Wednesday night click here: 2013 Wednesday Night Ho’ike Tickets


PAYMENT: Only Money orders and cashier’s checks will be accepted. No personal checks. Please make money order or cashier’s check payable to the Merrie Monarch Festival.

[vimeo 40343651 w=500 h=281]

Implements of Aloha from Kukui Media on Vimeo.


Justin Howard Woodson Appointed by Abercrombie to Fill Vacant State House District 9 Seat

Gov. Neil Abercrombie today announced the appointment of Justin Howard Woodson of Kahului to the state House of Representatives seat for District 9, a position left vacant by recently appointed state Sen. Gilbert S.C. Keith-Agaran. Woodson’s appointment is effective immediately.

Justin Howard Woodson

Justin Howard Woodson

“Justin’s experience as a small business owner and his familiarity with the state Legislature will ensure continued and strong representation for the residents of Maui,”Gov. Abercrombie said.

Woodson owns and operates Woodson’s Eco Auto Wash in Kahului. Previously, he worked within the real estate industry for Realty Executives Oahu and Prudential Locations LLC, fulfilled analyst and clerk duties for the offices of state Reps. Tom Brower and Mele Carroll and Sen. Carol Fukunaga, and served as special assistant to the state chairman of the Democratic Party of Hawaii.

Woodson is a former budget sub-committee member for the Maui Economic Opportunity Head Start program, former president of the Young Democrats of Hawaii, and former state coordinator for the College Democrats of Hawaii. He currently serves as vice present of The Gospel of the Alpha and Omega International and volunteers for the King’s Cathedral Maui Children’s Ministry.

Woodson earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from California State University Fullerton.

He and his wife, Stacy, reside in Kahului with their four children.



Big Island Police Searching for Missing 17-Year-Old Pāpaʻikou Boy

Hawaiʻi Island police are searching for a 17-year-old Pāpaʻikou boy reported as missing.

Kayden Fuerte

Kayden Fuerte

Kayden Fuerte was last seen in Pāpaʻikou on January 7 at about 2:50 p.m. He is described as Filipino/Portuguese, about 5-foot-7 and 140-150 pounds. He was last seen wearing a black T-shirt, blue plaid shorts, black shoes and a baseball cap.

Police ask that anyone with information on his whereabouts 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. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.


House Speaker–Elect Joe Souki Announces Leadership Team and Committee Chairs for the 27th Legislature

Supported by the House of Representatives, Speaker-elect Joe Souki (District 8 – Wailuku, Waihee, Waiehu, Puuohala, Waikapu) announced leadership positions and chair and vice-chair positions for the 2013 session, which opens January 16.


Vice-Speaker – Representative John Mizuno

Majority Leader – Representative Scott Saiki

Majority Floor – Representative Karen Awana

Majority Whip – Representative Romy Cachola

Majority Whip – Representative Ken Ito

Majority Whip – Representative Sharon Har

Speaker Emeritus– Representative Calvin Say

Committee on Finance

Chair, Representative Sylvia Luke (District 25 – Makiki, Punchbowl, Nuuanu, Dowsett Highlands, Pacific Heights, Pauoa)

Vice-Chair, Representative Scott Nishimoto (District 21 – Kapahulu, McCully, Moiliili)

Vice-Chair, Representative Aaron Johanson (District 31 – Moanalua, Red Hill, Foster Village, Aiea, Fort Shafter, Moanalua Gardens, Aliamanu, Lower Pearlridge)

Committee on Judiciary

Chair, Representative Karl Rhoads (District 29 –Kalihi, Palama, Iwilei, Chinatown)

Vice-Chair, Representative Sharon Har (District 42 – Kapolei, Makakilo)

Committee on Consumer Protection & Commerce

Chair, Representative Angus McKelvey (District 10 – West Maui, Maalaea, North Kihei)

Vice-Chair, Representative Derek Kawakami (District 14 – Hanalei, Princeville, Kilauea, Anahola, Kapaa, Wailua)

Committee on Legislative Management

Chair, Representative Scott Nishimoto (District 21 – Kapahulu, McCully, Moiliili

Vice-Chair, Representative John Mizuno (District 28 –Kalihi Valley, Kamehameha Heights, portion of Lower Kalihi)

Committee on Education

Chair, Representative Roy Takumi (District 35 – Pearl City, Manana, Waipio)

Vice-Chair, Representative Takashi Ohno (District 27 – Nuuanu, Liliha, Pauoa, Alewa Heights)

Committee on Higher Education

Chair, Representative Isaac Choy (District 23 – Manoa, Punahou, University, Moiliili

Vice-Chair, Representative Linda Ichiyama (District 32 – Moanalua Valley, Salt Lake, Aliamanu)

Committee on Water and Land

Chair, Representative Cindy Evans (District 7 – North Kona, North Kohala, South Kohala)

Vice-Chair, Representative Nicole Lowen (District 6 – Kailua-Kona, Holualoa, Kalaoa, Honokohau)

Committee on Ocean Management & Hawaiian Affairs

Chair, Representative Faye Hanohano (District 4- Puna)

Vice-Chair, Representative Ty Cullen (District 39, Royal Kunia, Village Park, Waipahu, Makakilo, West Loch)

Committee on Energy & Environmental Protection

Chair, Representative Chris Lee (District 51 – Kailua, Waimanalo)

Vice-Chair, Representative Cynthia Thielen (District 50 – Kailua, Kaneohe Bay)

Committee on Transportation

Chair, Representative Ryan Yamane (District 37 – Mililani, Waipio Gentry, Waikele)

Vice-Chair, Representative Linda Ichiyama (District 32 – Moanalua Valley, Salt Lake, Aliamanu)

Committee on Labor

Chair, Representative Mark Nakashima (District 1 – Hamakua, North Hilo, South Hilo)

Vice-Chair, Representative Mark Hashem (District 18 – Hahaione, Kuliouou, Niu Valley, Aina Haina, Waialae, Kahala)

Committee on Public Safety

Chair, Representative Henry Aquino (District 38 – Waipahu)

Vice-Chair, Representative Kaniela Ing (District 11 – Kihei, Wailea, Makena)

Committee on Health

Chair, Representative Della Au Belatti (District 24 – Makiki, Tantalus, Papakolea, McCully, Pawaa, Manoa)

Vice-Chair, Representative Dee Morikawa (District 16 – Niihau, Lehua, Koloa, Waimea)

Committee on Human Services

Chair, Representative Mele Carroll (District 13 – Haiku, Hana, Kaupo, Kipahulu, Nahiku, Paia, Kahoolawe, Molokini, Lanai, Moloka’i, Molokini)

Vice-Chair, Representative Bertrand Kobayashi (District 19 – Waialae Kahala, Diamond Head, Kaimuki, Kapahulu)

Committee on Housing

Chair, Representative Rida Cabanilla (District 41- Ewa Villages, Ewa Beach, Ewa Gentry, Ocean Pointe, West Loch)

Vice-Chair, “New Maui Rep” District 9 Representative (District 9 – Kahului, Puunene, Old Sand Hills, Maui Lani)

Committee on Tourism

Chair, Representative Tom Brower (District 22 – Waikiki, Ala Moana)

Vice-Chair, Representative Romy Cachola (District 30 – Sand Island, Mokauea, Kapalama, Kalihi Kai)

Committee on Economic Development & Business Affairs

Chair, Representative Clift Tsuji (District 2- Keaukaha, parts of Hilo, Panaewa, Waiakea)

Vice-Chair, Representative Gene Ward (District 17 – Hawaii Kai, Kalama Valley

Committee on Agriculture

Chair, Representative Jessica Wooley (District 48 – Kaneohe, Heeia, Ahuimanu, Kahaluu, Haiku Valley, Mokuoloe)

Vice-Chair, Representative Richard H.K. Onishi (District 3 – Hilo, Keaau, Kurtistown, Volcano)

Committee on Military and Veterans Affair, International Affairs & Culture and the Arts

Chair, Representative K. Mark Takai (District 33- Aiea)

Vice-Chair, Representative Ken Ito (District 49 – Kaneohe, Maunawili, Olomana)

Giant King Grass Being Grown in Hawaii – Grass Could Become Source of Electricity for Entire Island of Lanai

Viaspace Inc. has announced that its proprietary dedicated energy crop, Giant King Grass, is now growing in Hawaii.

“Hawaii has the highest electricity rates of any US state because their electricity is mostly generated from expensive imported oil,” said Viaspace CEO Carl Kukkonen. “Hawaii’s electric rates range from 30 cents to 40 cents per kilowatt hour depending on the cost of oil. This is two or three times the cost of electricity on the U.S. mainland.  Bioelectricity from Giant King Grass is substantially cheaper than oil generated electricity and has much lower carbon emissions.  In addition, the large military presence on Hawaii has requirements for liquid biofuels for aircraft and ships. We believe that Hawaii should be an important part of the Viaspace U.S. strategy.”

Giant King Grass was released from quarantine by the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services for Distribution in the U.S. in 2012.

Giant King Grass was released from quarantine by the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services for Distribution in the U.S. in 2012.

Previously, Viaspace announced that Giant King Grass has been released from quarantine by the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service for distribution in the United States.  Hawaii, however, has additional plant import rules, and the Giant King Grass is being grown in a facility under the purview of the Hawaii Department of Agriculture.

Kukkonen personally supervised the planting in Hawaii and met with Department of Agriculture officials as well as with potential Giant King Grass customers in Hawaii., “The climate in Hawaii is ideal for Giant King Grass,” Kukkonen said. “There are substantial tracts of land available on different Hawaiian Islands that were previously used to grow sugarcane and pineapple.  These are lying fallow now and can be used for energy crop production.”

“Giant King Grass can also become an important part of the tourism industry which is crucial for Hawaii’s economy. Not only can Giant King Grass provide clean electricity for hotels and resorts, visiting the Giant King Grass plantations and co-located green power plants can become one of the islands’ tourist attractions like visits to the sugar and pineapple plantations.   Giant King Grass could become the source of electricity for the entire island of Lanai—recently purchased by Oracle CEO Larry Ellison—and make it one of the world’s first green resort destinations.  This concept is not unique to Hawaii and applies to many islands and nations with tropical climates that depend on oil for their electricity. For these applications, Giant King Grass generated electricity is significantly cheaper, continuously renewable and green.”

“The Giant King Grass now growing in Hawaii was provided by the VIASPACE nursery in California, “Viaspace Board Chairman Kevin Schewe said. “We have recently shipped GKG seedlings from California for projects with three other customers and…Kukkonen is currently out of the country and personally supervising planting of GKG with one of these new customers. We are anxious to announce these projects and are respecting our clients’ internal timelines and needs in this regard. We have graduated from an R&D company and are busy executing our business strategy on a global scale.”

Pillars of Peace Hawai’i Welcomes Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi

Pillars of Peace Hawai’i – a program of the Hawai’i Community Foundation – announced today plans to co-host peace leader Aung San Suu Kyi on her visit to O’ahu this month. The trip, which will be Aung San Suu Kyi’s first visit to the islands, will allow her to share her message of peace and compassion while gaining an understanding of Hawai’i’s unique culture, history and aloha spirit. Other organizations co-hosting her visit include Rotary International, East West Center and the Myanmar Association of Hawai’i.

Aung San Suu Kyi

Aung San Suu Kyi

While in Hawai’i, Aung San Suu Kyi will participate in several private events hosted by Pillars of Peace Hawai’i, including a speech titled “Peace Takes Courage and Compassion,” followed by a question and answer session with public and private high school students. Tickets are being distributed to students through their respective schools.

The general public is invited to view the student event online by tuning in to a live stream on the Pillars of Peace website at www.pillarsofpeacehawaii.org. For those unable to watch the live stream starting at 10:25 a.m., the talk will be available for playback after the event concludes.

“We can learn a great deal from Aung San Suu Kyi and her nonviolent struggle for democracy and human rights,” said Kelvin Taketa, president and CEO of the Hawai’i Community Foundation. “At the same time, the Pillars of Peace program creates an opportunity to share with global peace leaders Hawai’i’s unique example of multiculturalism to carry with them wherever they go around the world.”

Those wishing to hear Aung San Suu Kyi speak in person can purchase a ticket to the Rotary International’s Rotary Global Peace Forum dinner where Aung San Suu Kyi will deliver the keynote speech on Saturday, Jan. 26. More information on the Rotary Global Peace Forum is available at http://peaceforumhawaii.org/.

Aung San Suu Kyi’s visit is part of the ongoing Hawai’i Community Foundation initiative, “Pillars of Peace Hawai’i: Building Peace on a Foundation of Aloha,” which launched in April 2012 with the visit of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. One of the program’s goals is to bring global peace leaders to Hawai’i to exchange ideas about the many forms of peace that exist here in the islands and around the world. Through these visits, the program hopes to spark dialogue about the roles of compassion, diversity and culture as key components for practicing peace.

In addition to hosting His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Pillars of Peace Hawaii has sponsored peace leaders Archbishop Desmond Tutu and John Hunter, founder of the World Peace Game for students. Pillars of Peace Hawai’i is a program funded primarily by the Omidyar ‘Ohana Fund of the Hawai’i Community Foundation, a $50 million charitable fund established in 2009 by Hawai’i residents Pierre and Pam Omidyar.

That's me on the far right taking his picture. (Photo by Dallas Nagata White)

That’s me on the far right taking his picture. (Photo by Dallas Nagata White)

For more information about Pillars of Peace Hawai’i, please visit www.pillarsofpeacehawaii.org. For up-to-date information on Aung San Suu Kyi’s January visit, follow Pillars of Peace Hawai’i on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pillarsofpeace and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PillarsofPeace


Aung San Suu Kyi is a Member of Parliament of the Union of Burma and is a founding member of the National League for Democracy. Early in her career, she worked in the office of the United Nations Secretariat in New York and was a Visiting Scholar at the Centre for South East Asian Studies at Kyoto University and the Indian Institute for Advanced Studies in Simla. Following her return to Burma in 1988 and winning an election by popular vote, she was placed under house arrest until 1995, and again during 2000 to 2002 and 2003 to 2010. Aung San Suu Kyi has received more than 120 awards and honors internationally, including: Nobel Peace Prize (Oslo, Norway, 1991); Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding (India, 1995); Congressional Gold Medal (USA, 2008); Honorary Canadian Citizenship Parliament Hill (Ottawa, Canada, 2008); and Legion of Honor [Ordre national de la Legion d’honneur] (France, 2012).

Big Island Police Chief Promotes 14 Officers to Rank of Sergeant/Detective

Chief Harry S. Kubojiri has promoted 14 police officers to the rank of sergeant/detective:
HPDBadgeDetective Scott P. Amaral, a 12-year veteran of the Police Department, will be assigned to the Area I Juvenile Aid Section in Hilo. Amaral is now a Community Policing officer in Puna.

Detective Fetuutuunai F. Amuimuia, a 13-year veteran, will be assigned to the Area I Juvenile Aid Section in Hilo. Amuimuia now works as a South Hilo Patrol officer.

Detective Edwin A. Buyten, a 10-year veteran, will be assigned to the Area II Vice Section in Kona. His current assignment is as an officer in the same Vice Section.

Sergeant Aaron M. Carvalho, a 9-year veteran, currently a training officer, will be assigned to Kona Patrol.

Sergeant Chris G. Correia, a 12-year veteran who has been working as a training officer, will now be the sergeant for the Personnel and Training Section.

Sergeant Calvin D. Delaries Jr., a 10-year veteran, will be assigned to the Special Response Team. He now works as a Community Policing officer in Kona.

Sergeant William H. Derr, a 10-year veteran, will be assigned to the Puna District. His current assignment is as a Community Policing officer in Hilo.

Detective Vernon C. Ferreira, a 20-year veteran, will be assigned to the Area I Juvenile Aid Section in Hilo. Ferreira is now a Community Policing Officer in Hilo.

Detective Sandor J. Finkey, an 11-year veteran, will be assigned to the Area II Criminal Investigations Section in Kona. Finkey is now a Community Policing officer in Puna.

Detective Jesse J. Kerr, a 14-year veteran, will be assigned to the Area I Juvenile Aid Section in Hilo. Kerr is now a Community Policing Officer in Hilo.

Detective Joshua K. I. Lewis, a 9-year veteran, will be assigned to the Area II Criminal Investigations Section in Kona. Lewis is now a Traffic Enforcement Unit officer in Kona.

Detective Todd C. Pataray, an 11-year veteran, will be assigned to the Area I Criminal Investigations Section in Hilo. Before his promotion, he was a Community Policing officer in Hilo.

Detective Shawn W. Tingle, a 12-year veteran, will be assigned to the Area II Criminal Investigations Section in Kona. Tingle is now a Puna patrol officer.

Detective Roylen L. Valera, a 15-year veteran, will be assigned to the Area II Juvenile Aid Section in Kona. Before his promotion, he was assigned to the Hāmākua District.

The promotions take effect January 16.

27-Year-Old Kona Woman Dies in One-Car Crash in Kailua-Kona

A 27-year-old Kona woman died Tuesday (January 15) following a one-car crash on Māmalahoa Highway (Route 190) in Kailua-Kona.

Hannah Fergerstrom

Hannah Fergerstrom

She was identified as Hannah Fergerstrom of Kailua-Kona.

In response to a 1:15 a.m. call Tuesday, police determined that a 2000 Volkswagen two-door sedan traveling north on Māmalahoa Highway at the 27-mile marker lost control, crossed the centerline and struck a utility pole on the makai side of the road.

Fergerstrom, who was a passenger in the vehicle, was taken to Kona Community Hospital, where she died at 5:45 a.m.

The driver of the Volkswagen, 34-year-old Randall Kawasaki of Kamuela, was taken to North Hawaiiʻi Community Hospital.

Neither occupant was wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash.

Kawasaki was arrested for negligent homicide, manslaughter, operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant, promoting dangerous drugs, drug paraphernalia and no insurance. After conferring with prosecutors, police released Kawasaki pending further investigation.

Police believe that speed and drug use may have been factors in the crash.

This is the second fatality this year compared with none at this time last year.