Hulihe‘e Palace Honors Prince Kuhio and Queen Ka‘ahumanu

The Daughters of Hawai‘i and the Calabash Cousins present Afternoon at Hulihe‘e 4 p.m. Sunday, Mar. 17 at Hulihe‘e Palace to remember Prince Kuhio and Queen Ka‘ahumanu. Enjoy the voices of the Merrie Monarchs accompanied by the Hulihe‘e Palace Band. Kindly bring a beach mat or chair as seating won’t be provided.

The Daughters of Hawai‘i and the Calabash Cousins present Afternoon at Hulihe‘e 4 p.m. Sunday, Mar. 17 at Hulihe‘e Palace to remember Prince Kuhio and Queen Ka‘ahumanu.  Photo by Fern Gavalek

The Daughters of Hawai‘i and the Calabash Cousins present Afternoon at Hulihe‘e 4 p.m. Sunday, Mar. 17 at Hulihe‘e Palace to remember Prince Kuhio and Queen Ka‘ahumanu. Photo by Fern Gavalek

Known as the Citizen Prince, Kuhio was born on Kaua‘i and raised by his aunt and uncle, Queen Kapiolani and King Kalakaua, to become successor to the royal throne. After Hawai‘i became a U.S. territory, the Republican Party persuaded Kuhio to enter politics

Kuhio was named Hawai‘i’s second delegate to the U.S. Congress in 1902 and served the post 10 times. Honored today as the father of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, Kuhio secured an area of Hawai‘i Island’s Kilauea Volcano in 1916 for public enjoyment. He was the driving force behind the development of Pearl Harbor and instituted the Hawaiian Homestead Commission.

Queen Ka‘ahumanu, who hailed from Hana, Maui, was the favorite wife of Kamehameha the Great.  Though much younger than her husband, Ka‘ahumanu was charismatic, intelligent and politically shrewd. Kamehameha granted her the title of kuhina nui (queen regent) upon his death in 1819. Tired of the Hawaiian laws of kapu that forbade women from certain activities, she convinced the throne’s successor, Liholiho, to overturn the kapu system.

Hulihe‘e Palace is open for self-guided tours. Museum and gift shop hours are 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. Hulihe‘e Palace admission, which at this time includes a self-guided tour brochure, remains $6 for adults, $4 for seniors and $1 for keiki under 18. Volunteer docents are sometimes available to give guided tours. For details, contact the palace at 329-1877, the palace office at 329-9555 or visit www.daughtersofhawaii.org. The gift shop can be reached by phoning 329-6558.

Caretakers of Hulihe‘e Palace are the Daughters of Hawai‘i. The organization was founded in 1903 and opens membership to any woman who is directly descended from a person who lived in Hawai‘i prior to 1880. Helping the Daughters in its efforts since 1986 are the Calabash Cousins; membership is available to all.

 

 

Big Island March to Evict Monsanto on Saturday March 16th

The Island of Hawai`i will be the 3rd of 5 Islands across the state to host a, “March in March to Evict Monsanto,” on Saturday, March 16, 2013.

Stop Monsanto

The march encourages Hawai`i residents to support and celebrate food sovereignty and investigate land stewardship practices by landowners such as Kamehameha Schools that is leasing 1,033 acres of land to Monsanto. Hawai’i is the global research lab of the world for genetic engineered organisms (GMOs) testing with over 5,000 open-field experiments statewide.

This is a free community event for all ages. There will be face-painting, a non-GMO pot-luck, a mini Zumba class with UH Hilo Dance Instructor Kea Kapahua and other island Zumba Instructors, a non- GMO seed exchange, informational tables, and dance troupe- Rebekah Duncan and the Kealakehe Dance Team will all be a part of the event.

Participants are invited to signwave at the Kamehameha Statue in Hilo at 9am. At 9:30am we will leave the statue, pass by the Hilo Farmer’s Market, and cross the street to the Mo’oheau Bandstand. Esteemed speakers will speak from 11-12pm on issues concerning the growing of genetically modified crops and the impact they have upon the `aina. Food sovereignty activist Walter Ritte, Senator Russell Ruderman- owner of Island Naturals, and UH Manoa professor of agriculture Dr. Hector Valenzuela will speak. Lono Kanaka’ole Trio, Darryl Castillo, and Chris Berry and Friends will be playing music.

We invite the community to participate in the march and rally to show solidarity for a future free from genetically engineered crops growing on the islands by Monsanto, Dow, Dupont/Pioneer and Syngenta. All of these crops are shipped off island, most of which are for animal feed and research. Also, these companies do not pay taxes on these exports. These open fields near schools and communities are doused regularly with large quantities of toxic industrial chemicals, some of which are banned in Europe.

The event is free and open to the public.

March in March to Evict Monsanto is the vision of the Hawai’i GMO Justice Coalition and Professional Surfer and MMA fighter Dustin Barca. Sponsored in part by the Sierra Club-Moku Loa Group, Know Your Farmer Alliance, Kailani Pool Service, Island Naturals, Da Hui, Kulture Tattoo, Food Democracy Now, Babes Against Biotech, and Millions Against Monsanto.

This event is highlighting the film created by the Hawai’i GMO Justice Coalition addressing the impact of genetic engineering in Hawai`I; Stop Monsanto From Poisoning Hawaii: Genetic Engineering Chemical Warfare.  The film will be shown at UH Hilo the Wednesday preceding the march on Saturday.

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

For more information about the event please contact Kea Kapahua at kristikea@yahoo.com or 808-896-5622.

 

Big Island Police Arrest Eight in Kona for Drugs

In response to numerous community complaints, police executed a narcotics search warrant Monday (March 4) at a residence on the 77-6500 block of Seaview Circle in Kailua-Kona. The Area II Vice Section worked in conjunction with Community Policing officers from Kona and the Department of Attorney General’s Drug Nuisance Abatement Unit.

Police recovered 0.6 grams of methamphetamine, numerous items of methamphetamine paraphernalia, 0.8 grams of dried marijuana, prescription pills and several rounds of unspent ammunition.

Eight residents were arrested at the scene on suspicion of promoting dangerous drugs. They were taken to the Kona police cellblock while Vice detectives continued the investigation.

Tuesday evening (March 5), 18-year-old Laiko Arii and 24-year-old Kaina Black were released pending further investigation.

The other six were charged as follows:

Joseph Garcia-Hine

Joseph Garcia-Hine

Joseph Garcia-Hine, 30, with two counts of promoting dangerous drugs, one count of possessing drug paraphernalia, and two counts of ownership/possession prohibited. He was also arrested and charged on two outstanding arrest warrants. His bail was set at $85,000.

Jackie Holder

Jackie Holder

Jackie Holder, 40, with one count each of promoting dangerous drugs and possessing drug paraphernalia. Her bail was set at $4,000.

John Adam Jones

John Adam Jones

John Jones, 30, with two counts of promoting dangerous drugs and one count each of promoting detrimental drugs and possessing drug paraphernalia. He was also arrested and charged on an outstanding criminal contempt warrant. His bail was set at $6,550.

Kahulaaona Kalili-Jones

Kahulaaona Kalili-Jones

Kahulaaona Kalili-Jones, with two counts of promoting dangerous drugs and one count each of promoting detrimental drugs and possessing drug paraphernalia. Her bail was set at $6,250.

Anthony McPherson

Anthony McPherson

Anthony McPherson, 26, with one count each of promoting dangerous drugs and drug paraphernalia. His bail was set at $4,000.

Brandon Post

Brandon Post

Brandon Post, 26, with one count of promoting detrimental drugs. His bail was set at $250.

All charged individuals were held at the Kona police cellblock pending their initial court appearance on Wednesday morning (March 6).

Police encourage members of the public to report suspected narcotics activity to the Police Department’s Ice Hotlines at 329-”ZERO-ICE” (329-0423) for information pertaining to the Districts of Kaʻū, Kona, South Kohala and North Kohala, and at 934-”VICE” (934-8423) for information pertaining to the Districts of Puna, South Hilo, North Hilo and Hāmākua.

Tipsters may also 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.

Military Officials and Defense Contractors Discuss Sequestration

 The Briefing Organized by Representative  Mark Takai Emphasizes Sobering Realities of Federal Budget Cuts

Top military officers, Department of Defense contractors and a representative from the Chamber of Commerce met today at the State Capitol to discuss the near-term and long-term impacts of sequestration on Hawaii’s military services and the local community.

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Military officials indicated that the cutbacks would not affect their core functions. Major General Darryll Wong, Hawaii State Department of Defense said their “critical missions were exempt” and Major General Roger Mathews, U.S. Army Pacific said we have “prioritized our readiness”.

While active military personnel are exempt from any cuts, they all expected around a 20% decrease in wages for civilian positions with the cuts coming primarily through furloughs. The loss in wages would affect discretionary spending, particularly for local retailers near military installations.

The impact on the defense contractors is not quite so clear. Most agreed that construction contracts that have been funded will move forward, but they expect delays to be inevitable.  “We don’t know what’s coming. It’s hard to gauge the impact,”  said Alan Hayashi of BAE, a civilian contractor who primarily does ship repair in Pearl Harbor but has subcontractors throughout all the islands in a variety of positions.

Ben Nakaoka, Vice President of Finance for Pacific Shipyards International who operates two dry docks expressed concern that they will have to terminate skilled craftsmen.

“If quality suffers or there isn’t an adequate pool of skilled workers in the islands, the Navy can shift work to its’ other West Coast shipyards,” he told lawmakers.

Charles Ota, Vice President for Military Affairs at the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii, warned that Hawaii is in close competition with all the other US defense communities across the country, all protecting themselves against the loss of their military presence.

He noted, “even though Hawaii enjoys a strategic location in the mid-Pacific, today’s fiscal realities, coupled with the advanced capabilities of today’s high tech weapons systems, may soon override our strategic location in future basing decisions.”

He added, “It is incumbent upon the legislature to avoid actions that would detract from encouraging the military to remain in Hawaii.”

Representative K. Mark Takai, Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans, Military & International Affairs said, “It has been good to have this dialogue as we consider ourselves an important member of the military team.  We need to aggressively push for legislation that ensures the availability of adequate training areas for the Army and Marine Corps, ensures continuing ship repair at Pearl Harbor which is critical to the US Pacific Fleet and ensures that members of the military have strong representation in our government process.”

 

The Food Basket, Inc. Names New Executive Director

The Food Basket, Inc. (also known as Hawaii Island’s Food Bank) has appointed En Young to be the new Executive Director for the agency. Young will oversee operations, agency relations, and development for The Food Basket island-wide.

En Young

En Young

“We would like to thank all of our community partners for your generous support and patience throughout this transition. We are fully confident that once we acclimate to our new facilities and leadership that these will translate into improved services to our partner agencies, neighbors, and friends” said Young.

He succeeds Dr. Nani Lee following her retirement in November 2012. Young is returning to the Big Island, where he was born and raised, having previously served as the Contract, Performance, and Evaluation Administrator for the State of Hawaii, Office of Community Services. In this capacity he oversaw a variety of State and Federally-funded programs designed to alleviate poverty, including supervision of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Emergency Food Program and the Senior Farmer’s Market Nutrition Program.

Roland Higashi, Chairman of the Board, added “We here at the Food Basket are looking forward to working with someone who has the experience and qualifications of Mr. Young. Our collective vision is to provide better, more efficient services on the island and improve our ability to alleviate hunger. The addition of En and a few new Board members to our team is very exciting and will bring global perspective as well as assist us with innovative program development.”

The Food Basket, Inc, is a 501(c) 3 non-profit that manages an island-wide, supplemental food network that collects and distributes nutritious, high quality food to low income households,  the working poor, the disabled, the ill, senior citizens, and children. The Food Basket serves communities throughout Hawaii island, including difficult to serve areas such as Hawi and Ocean View, through a blend of publicly and privately-funded programming.

In 2012, the Food Basket collected, stored, and delivered over 1,067,000 pounds of dry goods, frozen meats and cheeses, fresh produce, canned fruits, vegetables, meats, and prepared meals to over 146,000 individuals and families on the Big Island. This food supports local emergency food pantries, hot meal soup kitchens, seniors in need, schools, and other businesses, non-profits, and individuals in the community wishing to help the Food Basket alleviate hunger in Hawaii County.

For more information about the Food Basket or any of its programs please call the Administrative Office at (808) 933-6030.

 

Hawaii Police Department’s 80th Recruit Class Recognized

The Hawaiʻi Police Department’s 80th Recruit Class was recognized Wednesday (March 6) during ceremonies held at the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel.

3rd Row L to R: Emmett Winters Jr. Ivan Alatan, Robert McKay Jr., Mario Ochoa, Daniel Silva-Sampaio, Brian Hunt, Matthew Bennett.2nd Row L to R: Joseph Picadura, Jesse Martin, Ronald Borowski, Joel Furuto, Sidra Brown, Tyler Jelsma, Brian Beckwith, Darren AbalosFront Row L to R: Nestor Cacho Jr., Landon Takenishi, Christopher Jelsma, Dustin Chaves, Justin Cabanting.

3rd Row L to R: Emmett Winters Jr. Ivan Alatan, Robert McKay Jr., Mario Ochoa, Daniel Silva-Sampaio, Brian Hunt, Matthew Bennett.
2nd Row L to R: Joseph Picadura, Jesse Martin, Ronald Borowski, Joel Furuto, Sidra Brown, Tyler Jelsma, Brian Beckwith, Darren Abalos
Front Row L to R: Nestor Cacho Jr., Landon Takenishi, Christopher Jelsma, Dustin Chaves, Justin Cabanting.

The 20 police recruits, who just completed six months of intensive training, will undergo four months of on-the-job field training with veteran police officers before they are qualified to work alone.

During Wednesday’s ceremony, Class President Christopher R. Jelsma said the first day of recruit class was a “real eye opener.” Although the recruits were pushed physically and mentally, he said, the greatest test was making the transition from being just classmates to becoming a cohesive team.

Keynote speaker Lincoln Ashida, corporation counsel for the County of Hawaiʻi, stressed the importance of officers committing their lives and careers to serving the community even when they aren’t on duty. He recalled that 17 years ago, when he was a prosecutor, he was called during the night because of a felon arrested for burglary.

Ashida said a “young lieutenant” who was heading home during a meal break heard a report over his police radio about houses that had been burglarized in Hilo. The lieutenant spotted a suspicious man matching the suspect’s description at a convenience store, so he turned his car around, stopped at the convenience store and eventually was able to arrest the man, who was in possession of jewelry and a weapon.The burglar was prosecuted federally and sent to federal prison.

“That young lieutenant was your police chief, Harry Kubojiri,” Ashida said. “That is the type of leadership that you are joining.”

During the ceremony, Jelsma received special recognition for excellence in physical fitness training, firearms training and for being the overall outstanding recruit. Ronald S. Borowski received special recognition for excellence in academic training.

The other members of the 80th Recruit Class are:

Class Vice President Ivan L. K. Alatan, Class Secretary/Treasurer Mario A. Ochoa, Darren J. A. Abalos, Brian B. Beckwith, Justin L. Cabanting, Dustin S. Chaves, Brian A. Hunt, Tyler V. Jelsma, Robert L. McKay Jr., Joseph K. Picadura, Landon H. Takenishi, Matthew D. Bennett, Sidra K. N. Brown, Nestor Cacho Jr., Joel J. Furuto, Jesse D. Martin, Daniel K. Silva-Sampaio and Emmett H. Winters Jr.

The class motto is “Live with Honor Serve with Pride.”

Coast Guard Crewmembers Aid Disabled Vessel Off Big Island

The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Kiska assisted the crew aboard a disabled vessel approximately 6 miles east of Pohokiki, off the Big Island Sunday, March 3, 2013.

The motor vessel Mellow Yellow, center, is escorted back to Hilo by the crew aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Kiska, foreground, Sunday, March 3, 2013, approximately 6 miles off the "Big Island" of Hawaii. Coast Guardsmen aboard Kiska boarded the disabled Mellow Yellow and determined there were issues with the vessel’s steering. Engineers effected temporary repairs to assist the Mellow Yellow crew by making a rudder system out of wood and rope. Kiska crew members remained aboard and escorted the Mellow Yellow back to shore and completed a post search and rescue boarding. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

The motor vessel Mellow Yellow, center, is escorted back to Hilo by the crew aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Kiska, foreground, Sunday, March 3, 2013, approximately 6 miles off the “Big Island” of Hawaii. Coast Guardsmen aboard Kiska boarded the disabled Mellow Yellow and determined there were issues with the vessel’s steering. Engineers effected temporary repairs to assist the Mellow Yellow crew by making a rudder system out of wood and rope. Kiska crew members remained aboard and escorted the Mellow Yellow back to shore and completed a post search and rescue boarding. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

Coast Guard watchstanders in the Sector Honolulu Command Center were notified that the 24-foot Mellow Yellow had lost steering at 7:15 a.m. Sunday. Two people were aboard the vessel.

A Coast Guard Cutter Kiska crew member helps steer the motor vessel Mellow Yellow back to shore Sunday, March 3, 2013, approximately 6 miles off the "Big Island" of Hawaii. Kiska crew members responded to the disabled boat after receiving a report stating the Mellow Yellow suffered a steering casualty. Kiska engineers boarded the Mellow Yellow and effected temporary repairs to assist the crew by making a rudder system out of wood and rope. Kiska crew members remained aboard and escorted the Mellow Yellow back to shore and completed a post search and rescue boarding. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

A Coast Guard Cutter Kiska crew member helps steer the motor vessel Mellow Yellow back to shore Sunday, March 3, 2013, approximately 6 miles off the “Big Island” of Hawaii. Kiska crew members responded to the disabled boat after receiving a report stating the Mellow Yellow suffered a steering casualty. Kiska engineers boarded the Mellow Yellow and effected temporary repairs to assist the crew by making a rudder system out of wood and rope. Kiska crew members remained aboard and escorted the Mellow Yellow back to shore and completed a post search and rescue boarding. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

The Kiska crew arrived to the vessel’s location and transferred engineers to make temporary repairs on the Mellow Yellow’s steering system. Coast Guardsmen made a very basic rudder system using wood and rope. Coast Guard engineers remained aboard the vessel and ensured its safe return to Hilo Harbor, using the makeshift rudder.

A temporary steering system made by Coast Guard Cutter Kiska engineers was used to escort the motor vessel Mellow Yellow back to port, Sunday, March 3, 2013, off the "Big Island" of Hawaii. Kiska crew members responded to the disabled boat after receiving a report stating the Mellow Yellow suffered a steering casualty. Kiska engineers boarded the Mellow Yellow and effected temporary repairs to assist the crew by making a rudder system out of wood and rope. Kiska crew members remained aboard and escorted the Mellow Yellow back to shore and completed a post search and rescue boarding. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

A temporary steering system made by Coast Guard Cutter Kiska engineers was used to escort the motor vessel Mellow Yellow back to port, Sunday, March 3, 2013, off the “Big Island” of Hawaii. Kiska crew members responded to the disabled boat after receiving a report stating the Mellow Yellow suffered a steering casualty. Kiska engineers boarded the Mellow Yellow and effected temporary repairs to assist the crew by making a rudder system out of wood and rope. Kiska crew members remained aboard and escorted the Mellow Yellow back to shore and completed a post search and rescue boarding. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

As the Coast Guard is America’s maritime first responder, the Coast Guard’s professional workforce and locally based units are always ready to respond. The Coast Guard’s readiness and constant presence on America’s coasts and waterways enable fast, flexible response to assist those in need.

For more information contact Lt. Kevin Cooper, Sector Honolulu public affairs officer, at 808-842-2657.

Kona Man Charged With Burglary for Break-In Last Year

A Kona man has been charged with burglary for a break-in that occurred late last year in Kailua-Kona.

The December 17 burglary took place at a home on Onaona Drive.

Jerome Soares

Jerome Soares

Police developed a suspect, identified as 49-year-old Jerome Soares of Kailua-Kona.

Soares was arrested Monday (March 4) at the Kona courthouse and taken to the Kona police cellblock while detectives from the Area II Criminal Investigations Section continued the investigation. He was charged at 10:45 a.m. Tuesday (March 5) with first-degree burglary and second-degree theft. His bail was set at $35,000.

He remains at the cellblock pending his initial court appearance scheduled for Wednesday (March 6).

United Nations Association of the USA Re-Launches Hawaii Island Chapter

The United Nations Association of the USA (UNA-USA) is re-launching its Hawaii Island Chapter today, at the Chapter’s Annual Meeting. UNA-USA Executive Director Patrick Madden is speaking at the re-launch, joining supporters of the UN from across the State of Hawaii for a day of Chapter building, learning, and networking.

United Nations Foundation“The re-launch of the Hawaii Island Chapter strengthens the already robust voice that UNA-USA has in the Pacific. Citizens in Hawaii help make up the more than eight in 10 Americans who believe it is important for the U.S. to stand by the UN in its efforts to lead the way in addressing the world’s urgent global conversations and crises. We are looking forward to the Hawaii Island Chapter continuing in its integral role in telling the UN’s story in its community.”

The Hawaii Island Chapter’s Annual Meeting is being held at the Hilo Yacht Club. Madden is delivering remarks addressing gender issues as UNA-USA Chapters prepare to celebrate International Women’s Day around the country. The Chapter meeting will honor the late Helene Hale, who brought new life to the Hawaii Island Chapter in Hilo.

“Today we gather together as Americans, and as people of Hawaii, in support of the vital work the United Nations performs every day,” said Hawaii Island Chapter President Ruth Larkin. “There is much support for the world’s most important international organization on the island; our Chapter has done great work in support of the UN to date, and we’re looking forward to a robust future of engagement.”

Tweet This: Now even more Americans can engage w/ the #UN as @unausa re-launches its Hawaii Island Chapter. Become a member: http://bit.ly/herEbJ

Big Island Police Searching for Missing 26-Year-Old Woman

Hawaiʻi Island police are asking for the public’s help in locating a Hāmākua woman who was reported missing.

Cherie Ward

Cherie Crystal Grace Ward

Cherie Crystal Grace Ward, 26, moved to Hawaiʻi in December. Her family on the mainland has not heard from her since December or January. She is described as Caucasian, tall with a slender build, light-brown medium hair and green eyes. She may be in the Hilo area in the company of a man named Denny Burniston.

Denny Burniston

Denny Burniston

Police ask that anyone with information on the whereabouts of either of these individuals 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.

EDITORS NOTE:  According to Facebook Denny Burniston last had activity on Facebook on February 27th when he added new friends to his account:

Denny Burniston FB Activity

And this was his last status update:

Denny Burniston job

Mary Begier and Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce Presented With Community Hero Awards

Hawaii Invasive Species Council Recognizes Commitment to Malama Mauna Kea

Hawaii residents and visitors alike appreciate the wonderful diversity of life in the islands.  Invasive species however, threaten this diversity and are both harmful to the environment, economy, or human health; and are not native to the area where they are a problem.

Hawaii Invasive Species Awareness Week is intended to increase awareness of such concerns among visitors, residents, elected officials, and other community leaders while recognizing the outstanding contributions coming from all segments of society in protecting Hawaii from invasive species.

Senator Malama Solomon and  Mary Begier

Senator Malama Solomon and Mary Begier

Senator Malama Solomon presented Mary Begier and the Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce with the 2013 Hawaii Invasive Species Council (HISC) Community Hero Award in a ceremony on Monday, March 4th during the first annual Hawaii Invasive Species Council Award ceremony at the State Capitol Auditorium. The Community Hero Award recognizes a community member or community based group that has been a shining example of dedication to prevent or manage invasive species.  Mary Begier and the Hawaii Island Chamber shine brightly in their commitment to help support the Office of Mauna Kea Management (OMKM),  University of Hawaii at Hilo in  its efforts to implement the Mauna Kea Comprehensive Management Plan (CMP).

The CMP is an integrated planning tool for resource management for the UH Management Areas on Mauna Kea including the Mauna Kea Science Reserve, the mid-level facilities at Hale Pohaku and the Summit Access Road.  During the approval process of the CMP, Begier and the Chamber pledged to become more involved in community-based stewardship of Mauna Kea and assisted the OMKM  by rallying its members with a call for volunteers for invasive weed pulls beginning in March 2012.  Thus launching OMKM’s community invasive species control program.
In 2012, the invasive weed pull program included over 110 volunteer days totaling more than 800 volunteer hours removing several hundred bags of invasive weeds  (fireweed, mullein, telegraph weed, and others)  from the mid-level facilities at Hale Pohaku and along the summit access road corridor.

“Stakeholder participation is critical to our programs to malama Mauna Kea and is an effective tool to help us manage the resources within UH’s managed lands on Mauna Kea. Mary Begier and the Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce have supported our efforts  from day one. When we started the discussion on engaging volunteers, they quickly pitched the business community and helped us raise awareness and understanding in addressing invasive species management issues,” said Office of Mauna Kea Management Director Stephanie Nagata.

“The Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce members volunteer and collaborate as advocates for those things that make Hawaii Island a great place to live,” said Vaughn Cook, HICC President. “Mary is one of those members who gets involved and keeps us all mindful of our community commitments.  As a chamber, we supported the development of the CMP. Mary’s determination to help the University of Hawaii successfully manage their lands on Mauna Kea quickly spread and today, many Hawaii Island Chamber members continue to volunteer and kokua Mauna Kea.”

In total, more than thirty-seven statewide nominations, including individuals and organizations were submitted for the 2013 HISC Awards. Mary Begier, and Office of Mauna Kea Management Director Stephanie Nagata attended the award presentation.

Hawaii House Passes Measure to Examine Ways to Provide Transportation to Elderly and Disabled

The Hawaii House of Representatives unanimously passed HB131 HD2, which will create a Task Force on Mobility Management within the State Department of Health to establish a framework to assist elders and individuals with disabilities with transportation needs in rural communities.

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Across Hawaii, especially on the neighbor islands, there is a need for a state-wide policy on mobility management to create a plan to assist individuals without sufficient access to transportation and identify the best transportation options, both public and private, for their travel needs.

The bill has received support from the Governor’s Executive Office on Aging, Representatives from Maui, Hawaii Island and Kauai and their respective County Offices’ on Aging (Maui County Office on Aging, Hawaii County Office of Aging, and the Kauai Agency on Elderly Affairs).

“Transportation is vital to seniors and those with disabilities; it allows them to maintain their independent lifestyle and access critical services such as medical appointments,” said the bill’s introducer Rep. Cindy Evans (North Kona, North Kohala, South Kohala). “It is time for us to work on finding the best solutions to address mobility, especially in rural areas where transportation options are extremely limited and many residents are without family members nearby to provide transportation and are too frail or disabled to access public transit.”

 

Aloha Grown Malama Honua Fund to Give Away Five(5) $500 Awards

The Aloha Grown Malama Honua Fund is giving away five (5) $500 awards to local non-profits, schools, organizations or initiatives on the Big Island that embody Aloha Grown’s philosophy to Support Local. Sustain the Aina. Share the Aloha.

Aloha Grown

Interested groups must complete and application form and write a one-page essay explaining how their organization follows Aloha Grown’s philosophy. Essays must include the organization’s mission and vision, along with the specific project, program and/or effort that the $500 award would be used to fund.

“Aloha Grown is committed to supporting efforts to care for our island, our people and our culture. That is why 2% of every Aloha Grown sale goes to the Malama Honua Fund, which awards local nonprofits, schools, organizations and initiatives that embody our philosophy.”­­

All submissions are due by March 31, 2013. The five (5) selected recipients of the Aloha Grown Malama Honua Fund $500 awards will be contacted by April 30, 2013.

For more information on Aloha Grown or the Malama Honua Fund, visit www.alohagrown.com.