Prelude Event Added to Big Island Chocolate Festival

Rarely does a single word conjure such anticipation—evoking emotion, desire, comfort and a complete sensory overload. That’s the power of chocolate.

Chocolate Festival

The 2013 Big Island Chocolate Festival (BICF) offers triple the fun with three days of intoxicating chocolate activities culminating with the festival gala 5:30-10 p.m. Saturday, March 23 at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i. In addition to relishing a host of savory and sweet culinary offerings prepared by top chefs and confectioners, explore chocolate-infused wines and tantalize your taste buds at the meaty mole bar accompanied by fresh salad fare.

Headlining this second annual festival is Chef Donald Wressell of Guittard chocolates and Chef Christophe Feyt, soon-to-be executive pastry chef at the Las Vegas Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino. Both celebrity chefs will be featured at Saturday culinary demonstrations and Chef Wressell is creating a deliciously decadent chocolate sculpture at the March 23rd gala—bring your camera.

A Washington resident, Wressell was named Pastry Chef of the Year at the 2005 National Pastry Team Championships. Feyt recently served on the U.S. team that took fourth place in the Coupe Du Monde de la Patisserie—the prestigious World Pastry Cup Festival in France.

Wressell will also appear at the Big Island Chocolate Festival Prelude 5:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 21 at The Shops at Mauna Lani. The early-evening soiree offers pupus prepared by Monstera, Tommy Bahama’s Restaurant and Bar, Ruth’s Chris Steak House and Just Tacos Mexican Grill and Cantina. Sampling Guittard chocolates and a variety of wine, along with the chance to talk story with Chef Wressell, will highlight the evening along with live entertainment by the Bill Noble Trio. Tickets are $50 in advance and $60 at the door and available for purchase at The Shops at Mauna Lani 4D Movie Ride and the management office.

Also on the three-day chocolate adventure are cacao plantation tours at the Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory in Keauhou and a compelling lineup of seminars and demonstrations, plus a student competition at The Fairmont.

During the gala, vote for the People’s Choice Award from a host of categories including mouth-watering bonbons.  Also enjoy live entertainment by Bump City, chocolate body painting, fine wines and hand-crafted ales, including Kona Brewing Company’s Black Sand Porter made with local cacao. Also on tap is a silent auction with fun activity and dining opportunities.

“We are delighted to be the host hotel for the second annual Big Island Chocolate Festival,” shared Executive Chef Hubert Des Marais. “To be a part of such a wonderful event in partnership with the Kona Cacao Association is an honor and a privilege, not to mention the delicious culinary creations from Hawai‘i Island’s best chefs.”

Presented by the Kona Cacao Association, Inc., BICF benefits the $1 million “Equip the Kitchen” campaign for the future Hawai‘i Community College-Palamanui and efforts to build a community amphitheater at the Waldorf-inspired Kona Pacific Public Charter School in Kealakekua.

Gala presale tickets are $75 and can be conveniently purchased online, charged by phone at 808-329-2522 or purchased at Kailua Candy Company and Kona Wine Market. Tickets will be $85 at the door. New to the event are VIP tables of 10 for $1000; buy online or contact the VIP coordinator at 808-938-2243. To reserve a chocolate plantation tour, phone 808-322-2626; for details on seminars and online ticket sales, visit

A special event rate of $249/night for Partial Ocean View accommodations including daily breakfast for two is offered at The Fairmont Orchid. Contact reservations for details at 808-885-2000 or 800-845-9905 and mention “Big Island Chocolate Festival.”



Woman Asks For Assistance… Gets Robbed Instead – Police Looking for Male Suspect

Police are asking for the public’s assistance in identifying a suspect in a reported robbery that occurred over the weekend in Puna.

HPDBadgeOn Sunday morning (February 10, 2013) at 12:16 pm, police received a report from a 60-year-old Volcano woman that at about 6:00 pm the previous day, she offered a ride to a male acquaintance to assist him with his disabled vehicle. Instead of driving to the location of the vehicle, the male suspect apparently drove to another location in Mountain View where she was assaulted and pushed out of the vehicle by the suspect who stole her vehicle.

The suspect was described as a Caucasian male, early to mid 50’s, approximately 6-foot tall, with a medium build, medium tan complexion with long, wavy brown hair just slightly shorter than his shoulders, unknown eye color, no facial hair and no glasses, unknown tattoos, scars and marks. He was last seen wearing jeans, a long sleeve gray button shirt. The suspect may speak with a slight lisp

The victim sustained injuries from the assault and from falling from the truck however declined treatment.

Detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigation Section are continuing the investigation, which is classified as a second degree robbery and first degree unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle.

Police ask that anyone with information on the identity of the suspect or may have witnessed this robbery to call Detective Wendell Carter or email him at

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 Police Charge 18-Year-Old Hilo Man in Connection with Kolekole Beach Park Robbery

Detectives have charged an 18-year-old Hilo man for several offenses stemming from an early morning robbery at Kolekole Beach Park in Hilo.

Tyler Kamanao Taylor

Tyler Kamanao Taylor

On Friday evening (February 8, 2013) at 9:05 pm, after conferring with prosecutors, Tyler Kamanao Taylor of Hilo was charged for first degree robbery, third degree criminal property damage, two counts of first degree terroristic threatening, two counts of first degree unlawful imprisonment, unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle, and two counts of second degree theft. Total bail for Taylor was set at $121,000.00 and he is scheduled to make his initial court appearance this afternoon.

On February 6, 2013 at about 4:54 am, police received a report that a 29-year-old female victim and a 29-year-old male victim were camping at the Kolekole Beach Park when they were awakened by a male suspect who entered their tent. The suspect threatened them with a knife before taking several of their possessions and also demanded the keys to a rental vehicle that was parked nearby.

The suspect left the area in the rental vehicle, which is described as a white 2012 Ford Mustang coupe with license plate #HMX-973. The vehicle was found abandoned in the upper Wainaku area and has since been recovered by police.

Both victims walked to a nearby residence to call police and were uninjured during the incident.

Waimea Schools Put on Lock Down – 23-Year-Old Kona Man Arrested on Three Counts of Terroristic Threatening

Big Island police have arrested a 23-year-old Kona man in connection with several reports of terroristic threatening Monday morning (February 11) in Honokaʻa.


Lyle Kawika Pascubillo of Kailua-Kona is being held at the Kona police cellblock on suspicion of three terroristic threat offenses.

Hamakua patrol officers received a complaint from the victim, a 25-year-old Honokaʻa female, who reported receiving numerous threatening telephone calls and text messages from an unknown source. Text messages received by the victim made reference to the threat of violent actions taking place at Honokaʻa School and Waimea Elementary School.

Police contacted officials at the two schools and notified them of the reports received. As a precaution, officials at both of the schools placed the campuses in lock down.

Investigation revealed that the suspect was calling from a residence in Kailua-Kona where Kona patrol officers contacted and arrested him. School officials were notified of the arrest of the suspect.

Pascubillo remains in police custody while detectives from the Area II Criminal Investigations Section continue the investigation.

49-Year-Old Woman Killed in Car Crash in North Kohala

A 49-year-old woman from Hakalau was killed Saturday (February 9) from injuries she received in a two-vehicle crash on Akoni Pule Highway at the 17-mile-marker in the North Kohala District.

Theresa Doris Pacheco

Theresa Doris Pacheco

The woman was identified as Theresa Doris Pacheco, of a Hakalau address.

Responding to a 2:56 p.m. call, North Kohala patrol officers determined that Pacheco was operating a 2003 Hyundai two door sedan and traveling south on Akoni Pule Highway when she came upon a 2013 Ford four door sedan also traveling south.

Pacheco swerved to the right to avoid a rear-end collision but sideswiped the rear right corner of the Ford.

The Hyundai then ran off the right side of the roadway and overturned. Pacheco was wearing a seat-belt but was partially ejected.

The driver of the Ford, a 62-year-old man from Atlanta, Georgia was not injured.

Pacheco was transported to the Kona Community Hospital where she was pronounced dead at 8:11 p.m.

It is unknown at this time if alcohol or drugs were involved but speed was a factor in this crash.

Traffic Enforcement Unit officers have initiated a negligent homicide investigation and have ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.

Anyone with information about this case is asked to call Officer Larry Flowers at 326-4646, extension 229.

This is the 8th traffic fatality on the Big Island this year compared to one at the same time last year.

Hawaii House of Representatives Moves to Repeal PLDC

The Committees on Water & Land (WAL) and Finance (FIN) unanimously adopted HB1133, which would repeal the Public Land Development Corporation (PLDC).

PLDC Protestors

The Bill will now be subject to a full vote on the House floor and, should it pass, cross over to the Senate for consideration. The remainder of the bills relating to the PLDC, which would have severely overhauled its scope and administrative rules, have been held in Committee.

“The public has spoken and the House has responded,” said WAL Chair Cindy Evans (North Kona, North Kohala, South Kohala). “It was made clear that the best course of action would be to repeal this controversial Corporation and that’s what we have moved to do.”


Hilo Driver License Road Tests To Be Offered By Appointment

In an effort to improve efficiency and reduce waiting times, the Hilo driver license office will join the other Hawai’i County driver license offices in taking appointments for road tests beginning March 1.

Sample Driving License

Walk-in road tests will continue to be offered on a first come first serve basis if any time slots are available.

To make an appointment for a road test, call:

  • Hilo: 961-2223
  • Waimea: 887-3087
  • Kona: 323-4800
  • Ka’ū: 854-7214
  • Pāhoa: 965-2721

Requests for road test appointments for the Hilo office will also be accepted via email. To request or reschedule an appointment, email We will confirm a date and time with you within twenty-four hours.



Hawaii State ID Requirement Meeting To Be Held Feb. 28

Effective January 2, 2013, county driver license offices began issuing State Civil Identification cards. Individuals applying for an initial or renewal Hawai‘i State Civil Identification are required to provide proof of identity, date of birth, Social Security Number, legal presence and proof of principal residence. Documents accepted for proof are the same as listed on the Acceptable Document List for Driver’s License. Proof of an individual’s legal presence includes a U.S. birth certificate, U.S. passport or other documents. Two documents showing proof of an individual’s principal residence includes a utility bill, bank statement, or other government or medical correspondence with individual’s name and address.

Hawaii State ID Card

A meeting to explain these new requirements and to answer questions on applying for or renewing your state civil identification card will be held on:  Thursday, February 28, 5 – 6 p.m., West Hawai’i Civic Center – Council Chambers, 74-5044 Ane Keohokālole Hwy, Kailua-Kona.

This is the first in a series of meetings to inform the public about the new requirements to ensure that everyone comes in with the correct documents, which will help reduce the wait time.  We appreciate the public’s patience as we comply with these new Federal and State mandates.

This meeting place is accessible to persons with disabilities. To request accommodations, call (808) 961-2225.

Information about the new requirements is available online at If you have questions, please email

New Civil Defense Siren to Be Tested on Thursday

The civil defense siren in Hakalau (Highway 19, north of mile marker 15 and Chin Chuck Road), North Hilo District, will be tested on Thursday February 14, 2013, between 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

The new Hakalau siren

The new Hakalau siren

Residents in this area may hear the siren sound for 30 seconds during the identified time period. Technicians will use data gathered from this tests to verify operational status and complete maintenance actions.

As a reminder, the monthly Emergency Alert System and Siren Warning System test will take place as normally scheduled on the first working day of the month, Friday, March 1, 2013, at 11:45 a.m.

Hawaii Island residents may call Hawaii County Civil Defense at 808-935-0031 if they have any questions or concerns regarding this test of the Statewide Outdoor Siren Warning System.



Kona Rangpur Limes Featured at Valentine Culinary Demo

Taste test Kona Rangpur limes and learn how to use them at a free demonstration 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 14 at Island Naturals Market and Deli. Chef Devin Lowder of Makalii Catering and When Pigs Fly Island Charcuterie will show how to use the fruit and offer samples of flourless chocolate cake with a Kona lime glaze. Ken Love, president of the Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers (HTFG), will be on hand to answer horticulture questions.

Kona Rangpur Lime

Kona Rangpur Lime

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

“Kona Rangpur lime is known by a number of names and is a naturally occurring hybrid between lemon and mandarin orange,” says Love. “The small, whole fruit can be candied or pickled but the Rangpur is known for making delicious marmalade.” He adds that Rangpur lime tends to have a “very puffy skin and thorny branches,” but the Kona variety has evolved to a tighter skin and the tree has fewer thorns. The lime is popular for its orange-colored fruit and is native to Northwest India.

Like other limes and citrus fruits, Rangpur lime contains healthy amounts of Vitamin C. Limonene in the zest can increase the level of liver enzymes that fight cancer-causing chemicals.

HTFG is working to build markets for these juicy rarities through a series of free public taste tests and culinary demonstrations at stores on four Hawaiian Islands. Participating stores stock the fruit in their produce sections, accompanied by recipes and additional fruit information to take home.

“At Island Naturals, we strive to continually increase our local food offerings,” says Russell Ruderman, president and founder of Island Naturals and Puna District state senator.  “We work with farmers and food producers to develop new offerings, and support new local products with our best prices, signage, shelf placement and demos. Local food keeps money in our local economy, supports agriculture in Hawaii, reduces the carbon footprint, and moves us toward a sustainable society. It also supports your friends and neighbors, and puts healthier food on your table.”

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.

For more information, contact Love at or 808 (969-7926). Find detailed Kona Rangpur lime info at