UH Hilo’s New Bookstore Opens

UH Hilo held a grand opening ceremony today for it’s brand new bookstore today.

UH Hilo's New Book Store

UH Hilo’s New Book Store

The $4 million, 3,500 square foot store is a new addition to the campus center making it much more convenient then the old location.

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park Announces New Chief of Interpretation

Park Ranger Joni Mae Makuakāne-Jarrell is the new Chief of Interpretation at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, and oversees visitor services and educational and cultural programs at the park. She is the first native Hawaiian to serve in the position.

NPS Photo of Chief of Interpretation, Joni Mae Makuakāne-Jarrell, by Jay Robinson

NPS Photo of Chief of Interpretation, Joni Mae Makuakāne-Jarrell, by Jay Robinson

A 32-year park service veteran, Makuakāne-Jarrell has worked at all five national park units on Hawai‘i Island. She began her career as an Interpretive Ranger at Hawai‘i Volcanoes through the Young Adult Conservation Corps program, and worked her way through the ranks, becoming the park’s Supervisory Ranger. Makuakāne-Jarrell then worked as the Interpretative Specialist at Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park with her late husband, Park Ranger Steve Makuakāne-Jarrell, and served as a Law Enforcement Specialist at Pu‘ukoholā Heiau National Historic Site.

“One of my visions for the park is sharing all the traditional Hawaiian names of places here. Hawaiians are very keen observers, and when they name things, it usually tells the story or history of the area. By using these given names, it helps protect, honor, and perpetuate the Hawaiian culture,” Makuakāne-Jarrell said.

Before becoming Chief of Interpretation, Makuakāne-Jarrell served for eight years as the Educational Specialist for Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. She coordinates the annual Cultural Festival, now in its 33rd year, and piloted the first Summer Junior Ranger Program. She also started the Nā Leo Manu (Heavenly Voices) concerts, and ‘Ike Hana No‘eau cultural workshops at the park.

“Joni Mae brings an ideal combination of perspective into the important position of Chief of Interpretation,” said Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando. “Her strong background of Hawaiian values and culture, combined with her leadership skills and dedication to the park’s mission, and significance as a World Heritage Site, will serve the park and its visitors very well.”

Measure Introduced to Ban Smoking on ALL Hawaii Beaches Statewide

HB325, introduced by Rep. Kani­ela Ing (D, Kihei-Wai­lea-Makena), would amend Chapter 328J of the Hawaii Revised Statutes to prohibit smoking on all beaches in the state.

Click to see bill

Click to see bill

“Maui is known for our world-renown beaches.  In addition to the health risk to smokers and risks caused by second hand smoke, cigarette butts are still one of the primary causes of litter on Maui.” said Representative Ing.  “I introduced this measure to keep our beaches clean and ensure that both residents and visitors are able to enjoy their beach-going experiences and keep their children safe.”

Last year, Community Work Day program’s three-hour “Get the Drift and Bag it” event brought together over 1,200 volunteers that collected over 7,600 cigarette butts on Maui.  Additionally, national surveys indicate that Hawaii reports between 15 and 30 cases of children ingesting cigarette butts each year.  According to a poll conducted by the Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Hawaii 73% of respondents supported smoke-free beaches.

Ing sees this bill as a chance to facilitate discussion and see where the community currently stands on this issue. “I encourage emails and phone calls to my office and promise that all will be read and considered wholeheartedly before pushing forward this piece of legislation.” said Ing.

“The Hawaiian Tattoo” Now Available in Waimea

The traditional Hawaiian art of “kākau” (tattooing) all but disappeared in the 1800’s, under missionary influence.  However, thanks to writers and artists like P.F. “Ski” Kwiatkowski and Tom O’o Mehau, their imagery and legacy have been preserved for future generations.

Kwiatkowski first self-published “The Hawaiian Tattoo” in 1996.  The new edition, by Mutual Publishing Co., Honolulu, revives the popular, readable reference, dwindling copies of which were commanding four-digit prices.  Recreated with the same vivid intricacy as the first, the book is now more affordable and available to a wider reach.

By P.F. “Ski” Kwiatkowski and illustrated by Tom O’o Mehau

By P.F. “Ski” Kwiatkowski and illustrated by Tom O’o Mehau

Inspired by Bishop Museum resources—drawings of first-contact artists such as Webber, Choris and Arago, skin images of mummified remains, and kapa designs—Kwiatkowski details the history of various tattoo patterns, including deep religious or other significance.  Mehau’s distinctive illustrations bring the tattoos, and their stories, to life.

“The Hawaiian Tattoo” may be purchased at Mama’s House Thrift Store or Gallery of Great Things in Waimea, and will be available for sale at the February 16th “Pride in Hawaiian Arts” event at Kahilu Town Hall, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Admission is free, and visitors can enjoy a variety of cultural artists in two- and three-dimensional media, Hawaiian music and hula.  WAG artists, including Mehau, will be on hand to share their works in bone and wood carvings, fine arts, and more.

Waimea Artists’ Guild (WAG) is an association of professional artists whose intent is to produce art and promote education in their community.  Part of The Pantry, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, of which WAG and Mama’s House Thrift Store are components.  For additional information, contact: Beth or Tom Mehau at The Pantry, 887-2289.

Officials Looking at Highway 130 Today

I just drove by Highway 130 and Kapoho Road intersection near Pahoa High and Intermediate School and I noticed a bunch of folks on the side of the road.

H130 Pahoa Map

I parked my car at the school and then crossed the street to ask what they were doing as they were obviously looking at the intersection and many of them had safety vests on.

At first I thought it was all State workers but then I noticed Kevin Dayton from Mayor Kenoi’s Office and I asked him what was going on.

State and County officials were looking at Highway 130 this afternoon.

State and County officials were looking at Highway 130 this afternoon.

Dayton said that the group was looking at the entire 9.5 miles of Highway 130.  He also once again mentioned the round-a-bout at Malama Market intersection and then mentioned something briefly about the Ainaoloa Intersection but I didn’t quite catch what he said.

I’m not sure why the State was looking at the Highway…. AGAIN!

I was with the KPAG group of COMMUNITY MEMBERS that did the Highway tour thing with State Officials a few years ago:  A Field Tweet Down Highway 130

Wordless Wednesday – Crazy Guys Fly Off Cliffs on Oahu


This video is a compilation put together of some flights and a speed-BASE jump.  The flights all occurred on Oahu at different locations

“Speed Flying”, more technically classified as “Paragliding”,  down these mountains is not recommended for folks that do not know what they are doing.



Mahalo to the folks at SkyDive Hawaii for showing me the video!

Big Island Police Searching for Missing 22-Year-Old Hilo Woman

1/30/13 6:07 pm *UPDATE* She has been located

Big Island police are searching for a 22 year-old Hilo woman reported as missing.

Lea Devaney

Lea Devaney

Lea Devaney was last seen in Hilo on Sunday (January 27). She is described as Cacausian, 5’ 4” tall, 100 pounds, having a slim build with shoulder length brown hair usually tied into a bun and green eyes. She may frequent the Hawaiian Ocean View Estates Subdivision in Ka‘u or the Kona areas.

Police ask that anyone with information on her 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.

Mamalahoa Highway Bypass Now Open 24/7

The Mamalahoa Highway Bypass is now open 24 hours a day, seven days a week to provide much-needed traffic relief to the families of South Kona.countylogo

The bypass is located midway between the shoreline and Mamalahoa Highway. The bypass starts at the southern edge of Keauhou and runs approximately three miles to the bottom of Haleki’i Street in Kealakekua’s Kona Scenic subdivision.

The Mamalahoa Highway Bypass first opened in 2009 under a temporary agreement with 1250 Oceanside Partners, the developer of Hokuli’a. Initially, the bypass was only open in one direction for limited hours. Even under those conditions, the alternate route provided alleviated traffic congestion and frustration. The agreement later allowed for two-way traffic for longer hours.

“We’re happy to announce that this much-needed bypass is now permanent,” said Mayor Billy Kenoi. “It is yet another important piece of infrastructure critical to improving the traffic situation for the people of West Hawai’i.”

1250 Oceanside Partners conveyed all of its right, title and interest from the Ali’i Drive entrance to the Haleki’i Street intersection to the County in December 2012. The 4,284 feet of Haleki’i Street from Mamalahoa Highway Bypass to Muli Street was conveyed to the County in November 2012.

In preparation for opening the bypass 24/7, the Department of Public Works completed improvements to the bypass, including paving the shoulders, installing guardrails, removing a speed hump, restoring the road at the Ali’i Drive entrance, removing stop signs and striping turn lanes at the Haleki’i Street intersection. Signs prohibiting bicycles, pedestrians, mopeds, vehicles over three tons and scooters were removed. The 45 mph posted speed limit on the bypass and the 25 mph limit on Haleki’i Street will remain.

A large portion of the South Kona community works in either North Kona or South Kohala and commutes daily along Mamalahoa Highway. The two-lane bypass gives motorists an alternate route between North and South Kona. Opening this bypass was one of Mayor Kenoi’s priorities upon taking office in December 2008. The Mayor was personally involved in talks with Mauka Kona residents to insure that the opening of this bypass helps meet the critical need for the transportation infrastructure in West Hawai‘i.

“The more we improve our island’s road infrastructure and mass transit system, the less time our working people will be spending in traffic, and the more time they will be spending at home with their families,” said Mayor Kenoi.

Future plans include extending the Mamalahoa Highway Bypass from the intersection with Haleki’i Street to the junction of Mamalahoa Highway and Napo’opo’o Road.