Hōkūle‘a Returns to the Water – Preparing for Worldwide Voyage Departure

The Polynesian canoe Hōkūle‘a will return to the water this Saturday, February 23, at the Marine Education and Training Center at Sand Island, beginning final sea trials for the upcoming Worldwide Voyage.

Dalai Lama

Photo courtesy of Pillars of Peace

Hōkūle‘a  was taken out of the water on September 5, 2012 for some cleaning and tightening.  One of the first tasks was to clean and prepare the hulls for a final painting.  Her solar panels have been repositioned, deck boxes have been refined, rigging has be re-lashed, below deck shelving and bunk boards have been rebuilt, and she’s been repainted.  More than 3,000 feet of rope, safety netting and more than 20 gallons of paint have gone into this tune-up. In addition, more than 2,200 volunteer hours, professional services and labor, have been put in at dry dock since September.

Photo courtesy of Pillars of Peace

Photo courtesy of Pillars of Peace

“We spent these past few months taking care of a few fine adjustments,” explained Captain Bruce Blankenfeld.  Hōkūle‘a, originally launched in 1975, was completely overhauled recently, splashing back into the water on March 8, 2012.  “During that time Hōkūle‘a was taken apart completely, cleaned and rebuilt piece by piece, making her stronger, lighter and faster—ready to sail for another 37 years.”

Photo courtesy of Pillars of Peace

Photo courtesy of Pillars of Peace

Hōkūle‘a will join with the Society’s new canoe, Hikianalia, in the water for the first time.  Together they will undergo sea trials—testing the vessels and training crewmembers—in preparation for the monumental Worldwide Voyage (WWV), which is being planned to depart in June 2013.

“We are looking forward to sailing together, Hōkūle‘a and Hikianalia – sister stars, sister canoes,” says PVS president Nainoa Thompson.

Hikianalia is on its way to Hawaii

Hikianalia is on its way to Hawaii

Planning to depart in early June of this year, WWV will spend the first year in the Pacific.  Over three years, WWV will visit more than 60 ports in more than 20 countries.

Thompson looks to the future, “We are ready to embark on a voyage that will share ancestral wisdom, messages of peace, and hope for our children.  The canoe is like planet Earth.  As we care for the wa‘a and each other, we will carry those values that inspire us all to care for planet Earth and all her resources.”

The community is welcome to support the re-launch of Hōkūle‘a this weekend at the Marine Education & Training Center, Sand Island Parkway:

Friday, February 22, evening

  • Hōkūle‘a  will be prepped and loaded onto dollies

Saturday, February 23, 5:00 AM

  • Gathering and blessings
  • Hōkūle‘a splashdown

“Hōkūle‘a has always been Hawai‘is canoe,” asserts Blankenfeld.  “She belongs to Hawai‘i.  We encourage everyone to come out and see her.”

Pigeons Under Attack – Hawaii House Judiciary Committee Passes Feral Bird Bill

People who feed pigeons on their property to the extent that the attracted birds cause a nuisance to neighbors by creating a health hazard or damaging their property, may end up paying a fine. HB619, which makes feeding feral birds on one’s own property and causing a common nuisance on another property subject to a fine, passed the House Judiciary Committee today.


Citizens testifying in favor of the bill said they couldn’t enjoy their own property because of the overwhelming odor, the constant cleaning of bird droppings and property damage to items like their solar panels. The Department of Land and Natural Resources said feral birds interface with native wild life and pose a public health risk as well as a reservoir for infectious avian diseases and parasites like lice and mites.

“Several Pearl City constituents brought their concerns to my attention after years of living in unbearable conditions caused by hundreds of pigeons,” said Rep. Gregg Takayama (Pearl City, Waimalu, Pacific Palisades) who introduced the bill. “Their right to enjoy their own homes is being jeopardized and I felt I had to help them.  Several other neighborhoods have also come forward to share similar problems in their communities.”

The bill will be sent to the full House for a final vote, and if successful will crossover to the Senate.

Hawaii Legislature Takes Steps to Make Renewable Energy Accessible For All

The House Committees on Energy & Environmental Protection and Consumer Protection & Commerce held a joint informational briefing with the Senate Committees on Energy and Environment and Commerce and Consumer Protection to provide an update on the creation of an on-bill renewable energy financing program for the state.


On-bill renewable energy financing would provide homeowners, renters, and those who currently cannot afford renewable energy the option to go green while immediately lowering their electric bills. Renewable options such as solar photovoltaic will be financed and installed through this program, and residents will pay it down through their electric bills, which will immediately drop in cost by at least twenty percent. After 15 years, residents will own their systems.

Several bills to establish finance mechanisms for the first-of-its-kind program, including HB497 and HB865, are currently advancing through both chambers. Experts say they have the potential to eventually bring billions of dollars in renewable energy investment to Hawaii.

Internationally recognized expert in renewable energy financing, Cisco DeVries joined members of the Committees and industry stakeholders for the briefing. Mr. DeVries is President of Renewable Funding, which designs, administers and finances clean energy programs to state and local governments as well as the private sector – in the United States and abroad. In his presentation he observed that the program Hawaii is developing to finance clean energy is one of the most innovative approaches he has seen.

“Today you are laying the groundwork for a model that will not only solve your clean energy goals but will be replicated throughout the country,” said Mr. DeVries.

“This is a game-changer that will make renewable energy available to the masses,” said House Committee on Energy & Environmental Protection Chair Chris Lee (Kailua, Waimanalo).


State Receives $937,691 Grant to Continue Healthcare Transformation Efforts

The State of Hawaii once again has an opportunity to demonstrate its leadership in healthcare transformation. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) today announced that Hawaii was awarded a planning grant worth $937,691 as part of the agency’s State Innovations Model (SIM) initiative.

abercrombieheaderBeginning April 1, the state will have six months to design and submit a State Healthcare Innovation Plan, built around multipayer payment and healthcare delivery system transformation. The completed plan will then be eligible for up to $60 million in implementation funds as part of the next phase of the SIM.

“Transforming our state’s healthcare system continues to be a focus of my New Day plan, and under the leadership of Beth Giesting, the state’s healthcare transformation coordinator, we’ve made great strides over the last year,”said Gov. Neil Abercrombie. “I am delighted to have these resources to build on our success and fully develop the strategies to move us toward a healthier Hawaii with services that are high-quality, cost-effective, and accessible for all of our residents.”

“We’re very excited to be a SIM recipient because the planning funds will enable us to accelerate our transformation efforts,”Giesting added. “I’d like to thank our many partners in the healthcare industry who have contributed a great deal of time and effort to move forward on the shared quest to transform our system of care. We look forward to continuing to work with these stakeholders over the next six months to design a plan we can all be proud of.”

As part of its application, the State of Hawaii identified developing a state innovation model informed by accountable care arrangements, patient-centered medical homes and value-based payment methodologies. Specific planning initiatives will include:

  • examining standardized definitions and payment approaches for patient-centered medical homes and care management services
  • analyzing opportunities for reducing waste eliminating unnecessary variation in administrative procedures among health plans
  • identifying and addressing differences among plans in how licensed providers are reimbursed
  • identifying methods for reimbursing telehealth services.

In addition to Hawaii, 15 other states were announced as awardees of the SIM Model Design planning grant. Each state will have six months to design its own State Healthcare Innovation Plan, which will then be eligible for anticipated Model Testing awards later this year. CMS expects to issue up to five such awards, each valued between $20 and $60 million.


Interview With Bryant Scott Tadeo – One of the Top 20 American Idol Guy Contestants

This morning I had a chance to interview Big Island resident and American Idol Contestant, Bryant Scott Tadeo, over the phone with permission from the folks that are in charge of handling press relations for the show and this is some of what he had to say to me.

Bryant Tadeo AI profile

Q: How’s it going?

A: It’s going great so far I’m really excited to still be in the competition and to be with all this amazing talent.

Q: Are you performing tonight with the men or with the next batch of men?

A: I will be part of the second batch of guys which will happen next week Thursday I believe, I think that’s the 28th of this month and so that’s when it all goes down.

Q: What’s been your most memorable experience so far of this years competition?

A: Wow that’s a tough question… I mean I have so many great memories as far as performing in front of the judges and meeting all the other contestants and bonding and getting close… but honestly the best part of this whole experience has to be getting to know all the other contestants… getting to see the different personalities and meeting so many people from all over the States and different cultures… Regardless of what happens I’m going to leave this experience with new found friends and new found knowledge and that’s the best part is meeting all these new people.

Q:  What is the biggest difference between this year and last year?

A:  This year personally I’m definitely a little more chill and confident for sure, last year I was kind of timid and didn’t know what to expect obviously and just kind of held back… that’s why I wanted to come back this year just so that I could come back and show them that I do have it and have that star power and I’m just a lot more confident and every time I just can’t wait to get up on stage (next week).

Q:  Do you have anything you like to say to folks to here on the Big Island in particular?

A:  I want to say that to everyone back home in Hilo, my friends, my family, and everyone that is watching and staying tuned in and supporting me… I appreciate it, I love you guys and I just hope that I don’t let you down and that your continued support is what is going to carry me through and I just hope I don’t disappoint you folks and I miss everyone.

I’m not gonna post the whole interview, but he spoke about last nights performances by the ladies and how he thinks that they were all really talented but knows there can only be one winner.

Let’s hope he makes it past next week and get ready to vote for a local braddah to become the NEXT AMERICAN IDOL!

Two Kona Women in Custody Following Robbery of Teenage Girl

Two Kona women are in police custody following their arrest for the robbery of a teenage girl.

On February 15 at 2:24 p.m., a 13-year-old Kailua-Kona girl reported that she had been waiting for a Hele-On bus at the intersection of Kealakaʻa Street and Kealakehe Street when two women approached her, attacked her and stole her backpack. The victim sustained a laceration to her lip and abrasions to her leg and arms.

Judie Kahele

Judie Kahele

Detectives from the Area II Criminal Investigations Section continued the investigation, determined the identities of two suspects, and put out an all-points bulletin for the arrest of 18-year-old Judie Kahele of Kailua-Kona and 19-year-old Kayla Arellano of Kailua-Kona.

Kayla Arellano

Kayla Arellano

At 10 p.m. Tuesday (February 19), Kona patrol officers arrested both women and took them to the Kona police cellblock while detectives continued the investigation. Detectives later recovered the victim’s backpack.

At 9 a.m. Thursday (February 21), detectives charged both women with second-degree robbery, third-degree assault and fourth-degree theft. Their bail was set at $7,000 each. They remain at the cellblock pending their initial court appearance scheduled for Friday (February 22).

King’s Shops Welcomes The Three Fat Pigs

Kings’ Shops welcomes The Three Fat Pigs, a restaurant and gastropub by Chef Ippy to its lineup of celebrity chef restaurants.

Chef Ippy Aiona at the 2012 Mealani Taste of the Hawaiian Range

Chef Ippy Aiona at the 2012 Mealani Taste of the Hawaiian Range

“This will be Hawaii Island’s first gastropub. We are very excited that Chef Ippy decided to make Kings’ Shops the home of his first full service restaurant,” says Steven Schwartz, general manager of Kings’ Shops.  The restaurant will open mid-March and promises patrons plenty of delicious fine dining options such as duck confit potpies and whisky-battered lobster fish and chips as well as a charcuterie bar offering delicious cured meats, cheeses and homemade jams. In the bar, above the restaurant, there will be a wide variety of craft beers on tap from around the world.

The new restaurant also brings a new look to the center.  A front lanai was built for outdoor café-style seating in addition permanent windscreens were added to lakeside lanai for comfortable dining and protection from the Waikoloa winds.


Kings’ Shops, Hawaii Island’s premier shopping and dining destination, is located within the Waikoloa Beach Resort at 250 Waikoloa Beach Drive and managed by Jones Lang LaSalle.    For more information, visit www.kingsshops.com or call (808) 886-8811.