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How to Brine a Perfect Turkey

Many folks have asked me what my secret recipe is to “brine” a perfect turkey.

How to Brine a perfect turkey

How to Brine a perfect turkey

The first step in having a perfectly brined turkey is to make sure the turkey is completely thawed out before you start the brine on.

I recommend taking the turkey out on the Monday morning before Thanksgiving to thaw depending on how big your turkey is.  After the turkey has thawed… I line a cooler with a garbage sack and then fill it full of water (enough water so that the turkey is completely submerged).

I then add my spices (see recipe below) and allow the bird to brine for 24 hours.  After the turkey has brined for 24 hours, I stick the turkey into the oven in a large pot that will catch all the drippings.

Bake at 350 degrees for the amount of hours recommended by the weight of the bird.  Most turkeys have a meat thermometer that will pop out when the turkey is done. I have found that a turkey brined will not be as attractive visually on the thanksgiving table and it’s best to just carve it up.

Damon Tucker’s “Perfect Turkey Brine” Recipe (Ingredients based on an 18 lb turkey)

  • De-thaw turkey
  • Line cooler with garbage bag and fill with water half way
  • Insert thawed turkey and add more water so that the turkey is completely covered
  • Add salt (I typically use 1/8th cup Hawaiian Salt)  I myself like to add 8oz of liquid smoke and a bit of Hawaiian Huli Huli Sauce into the mixture
  • Let soak for 24 hours prior to putting turkey in the oven
  • Cook according to weight and always make sure for the meat thermometer to pop out of the turkey before removing from oven
  • Let stand for 1 hour before carving

Eight To Be Recognized as 2013 Stars of Oceania

The University of Hawai‘i Pacific Business Center Program’s planning committee announced that eight women of and from Oceania will be honored at the third “Stars of Oceania” recognition dinner December 3, 2013 at the Hale Koa Hotel in Waikiki, from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Oceana DinnerThe keynote speaker for event is Deputy Director Esther Kia’aina of the Hawaii State Government Department of Land and Natural Resources. Ms. Kia’aina is also a presidential appointee currently in the confirmation process in Washington D.C. as Assistant Secretary of Insular Affairs to the U.S. Department of the Interior.  Leslie Wilcox, PBS Hawaii president and CEO, will be the master of ceremonies for the evening. Reverend Dr. Fran Palama will chant the oli to commence the evening and the UH ROTC will present and retire the colors for the event.

“Primarily we wanted to recognize and celebrate the contributions of Pacific Islanders and residents not born and raised as such, but whose heart and service is testimony to their love for the islands they call home.  Their impacts are felt in and from Hawai‘i as well as other parts of the Pacific, the nation and the world. Each represents multiple dimensions of leadership to overcome challenges with Aloha, courage, faith and perseverance in their fields of endeavor,” stated UH Pacific Business Center Program Director, Dr. Tusi Avegalio, the primary organizer of the event.  These women inspire us to look forward to the flowering of a vision where everyone is a Star of Oceania and committed part of the vast constellation of hope, faith, courage and Aloha that will restore alignment, balance and harmony to a world so lacking in it.

The “Stars of Oceania” was inaugurated in 2006 with the intent to continue every three to four years. This year’s recognition dinner is not an award or reward ceremony for distinguished service, but to recognize and acknowledge these outstanding women for doing the right thing.  All have been rewarded and awarded on many occasions and deservedly so. The “Stars of Oceania” recognizes that the attributes of service and sacrifice to raise the common good is much like Aloha, not an attribute of a particular culture, ethnicity nor geographical boundary. The event honors one’s sense of humanity.


2013 Honorees

1.  Dr. Sela Panapasa                      Rotuma, Fiji

Health Leadership. Conducting research, analysis and reporting from the University of Michigan that is impacting the Pacific region and the U.S. regarding elderly care and policy development for health and nutrition for Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders.

2. Dr. Diane Ragone                        Virginia

Humanitarian Leadership. Director of the National Tropical Botanical Gardens Breadfruit Institute. Her work on breadfruit to feed the hungry of the world has impacted disaster stricken areas in the Caribbean and Africa where mass planting of trees from Hawai‘i have fed hundreds of thousands over the decade.

3. Dr. Tin Myaing Thein       Myanmar

Compassionate Leadership. Executive Director of the Pacific Gateway Center where she leads programs that help refugees, the destitute and victims of human trafficking where many of the victims are young girls and women. Although her work often places her in at risk situations, she continues to help locals as well as immigrants from the Pacific and Asia with social and economic adjustment needs.

4. Beadie Kanahele Dawson         Hawaii

Community Leadership. Community activist, attorney, business woman and entrepreneur who stood bold and resolute in the protection of a legacy of promise by Ke Alii Pauahi Bishop for Native Hawaiians, her knowledge, wisdom and Aloha secured the legacy for her people for generations to come. She leaves behind a legacy of courage, cultural stewardship and economic development initiatives that seek balance between traditional wisdom and modern knowledge.

5. Vaimasenu’u Zita Martel           Samoa

Courage Leadership. Mother, diplomat, traditional leader and fautasi long boat skipper, successful business woman and entrepreneur. Overcame tremendous challenges and shattered the gender barrier by entering a traditional, men’s only long boat race as the first women ever to do so, and winning the 50th anniversary celebration fautasi race of her country. Her acceptance of victory with traditional respect, humility and salutations to the chiefs and spiritual leaders of her country endeared her as a standard of excellence for the youth of her developing island nation.

6.  Susan O’Connor               Montana

Spiritual leadership. Social and global activist for world peace and harmony. Facilitated national and international gatherings in Hawai‘i, established programs to support the social, economic and spiritual needs for native Hawaiians in Hana and built a retreat area as a portal for peace and harmony with Aloha and Hawaiian values at the core to all who seek a peaceful place for reflection, balance and harmony in life.

7. Dr. Takiora Ingram                       Rarotonga, Cook Islands

Regional leadership. Regional environmental leader, Coordinator of the Pacific Regional Ocean Partnership, promoting health and stewardship of the Pacific Ocean’s resources,  and former Executive Director of the All Islands Coral Reef Committee Secretariat based in Honolulu, Hawai‘i.  Provides effective leadership and coordination of the U.S. Pacific Islands and the Federal government to sustainably manage ocean resources and promote stewardship of the Pacific Ocean.

8.  Angela Williams             Virginia

Empowering Leadership. Retired U.S. Department of the Interior senior policy analyst who established the Pacific Business Center Program and a high impact internship program that has made significant contributions to local capacity building, and economic and small business development throughout the U.S. Territories, particularly Micronesia.  Graduates are serving in leadership positions throughout the U.S. Territories in the Pacific as vital building blocks for developing U.S. island Territories in the region.

General tickets for the event are $75.00. Students are $50.00. Sponsored tables: Kalo tables of 10 are $750.00; Niu tables of 10 are $1,500.00; and Ulu tables of 10 are $2,500.00.  Sponsored tables and seats that are donated will be extended to women of Hawai‘i who could not attend otherwise or as designated.  Checks should be made out to the University of Hawaii Foundation and reference “Stars of Oceania” and mailed with the registration form to Stars of Oceania, c/o UH Pacific Business Center Program, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Shidler College of Business, 2404 Maile Way, A413, Honolulu, HI 96822

For more information about the 2013 Stars of Oceania Dinner visit http://pbcphawaii.com or contact the Pacific Business Center Program at the University of Hawaii at (808) 956-6286 for Dr. Tusi Avegalio (fa@hawaii.edu), Renata Matcheva (matcheva@hawaii.edu) or Michelle Clark (mlc@hawaii.edu).

“The Planning Committee composed of Cha Thompson, Leslie Wilcox, Crissy Gayagas, Wendy Loh, Jensin Sommer, Ramsay Taum and Renata Matcheva have been hard at work,” said Avegalio. “As I reflect on the Year of the Women 2013 Stars of Oceania and efforts towards making it happen, I’m reminded of a quote by Margaret Mead, ‘Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.’”


Expanded Character Limits Established for Hawaii Driver’s License & State ID Cards

The state Department of Transportation working in cooperation with the county Departments of Motor Vehicles announces expanded character limits for Hawaii Driver’s Licenses and State Identification Cards.  The change went into effect earlier this month to conform with new national standards.

Hawaii Drivers License Sample

Driver’s Licenses and State ID cards will now provide space for names up to a total of 120 characters with the breakdown as follows: 40 last name, 40 first name, 35 middle name, 5 suffix (ex. Jr. or Sr.).

The State of Hawaii’s enhanced requirements for Driver’s Licenses and State Identification Cards have been deemed as fully compliant with the Real ID Act of 2005, following a review and certification by the Department of Homeland Security.

New identification requirements to prove “Legal Presence,” confirming that a person is either a U.S. citizen or is legally authorized to be in the United States, for state-issued Driver’s Licenses took effect in Hawaii on March 5, 2012, and for State Identification Cards on January 2, 2013, to conform with the Real ID Act.

For more information on requirements for Driver’s Licenses, please visit http://hidot.hawaii.gov/hawaiis-legal-presence-law/.  For more information on requirements for State Identification Cards, please visit http://hidot.hawaii.gov/hawaiistateid/.


Low-Income Populations Fare Best in Hawaii – Performance of State Health System is Among the Nation’s Best

Hawaii ranks best in the nation according to The Commonwealth Fund Scorecard on State Health System Performance for Low-Income Populations, 2013, a national scorecard that analyzed 30 indicators within four dimensions.  Hawaii ranks in the top quartile for three of four system dimensions – Access to Affordability, Potentially Avoidable Hospital Use, and Healthy Lives.  Hawaii ranks in the second quartile for the fourth indicator, Prevention and Treatment.  There are currently 292,000 individuals enrolled in Hawaii Med-QUEST programs, which are administered through the Department of Human Services (DHS).

Click to see how other states rank

Click to see how other states rank

“This 2013 Commonwealth Fund scorecard demonstrates that Hawaii is on the right track to improving access to affordable health care, and the state Med-QUEST Division is leading the way,” said Gov. Neil Abercrombie, who has made healthcare transformation a top priority of his administration. “Our healthcare system supports the optimum health of all state residents by providing a seamless, integrated and comprehensive healthcare system. This approach consistently demonstrates high-quality care, and a commitment to cost-effectiveness.  It also enhances the patient experience and engages patients in their own healthcare decisions.”

For low-income populations whose standard of living is 200 percent of the federal poverty level, Hawaii reported the second lowest percentage of uninsured adults, the second lowest percentage of uninsured children, and the lowest percentage of adults who went without health care in the past year due to cost.  Hawaii also is ranked first for the lowest rate of potentially avoidable hospital use and second for the lowest rate of potentially avoidable emergency department visits for low-income Medicare beneficiaries, and first for the lowest rate of poor health related quality of life for low-income adults 18-64 years old.

“It’s the prevention component that makes the difference,” said DHS Director, Patricia McManaman.  “When vulnerable individuals have access to affordable and reliable medical services, they are more likely to visit their doctor on a regular basis.  The Commonwealth Fund scorecard reflects the commitment of our healthcare providers to our community.”

While Hawaii is ranked the top state, there is room for improvement.  Hawaii ranked below average on four indicators – older adult preventive care, surgical care to prevent complications, hospital 30-day mortality, and hospital discharge instructions for home recovery.  Because the report is generally based on 2010 and 2011 data, these areas may have since improved.  No states ranked in the top quartile or even top half of the range for all 30 indicators.

To improve the overall health and economic well-being of low-income populations, states must invest in the health of their most vulnerable populations. Healthier adults are less expensive for taxpayers, and have greater workforce productivity.  Healthier children are more likely to succeed in school and participate in the future workforce. A healthy population is thus instrumental in maintaining strong local and state economies, as well as the nation’s economic health and well-being.

To read the complete 2013 Commonwealth Fund Scorecard visit http://www.commonwealthfund.org/Publications/Fund-Reports/2013/Sep/Low-Income-Scorecard.aspx

False Report Investigation Initiated Against UH Student Who Reported Alleged Sexual Assault

Police have concluded their investigation of a reported sexual assault that reportedly occurred on Tuesday, November 19th, in a bathroom at a State Facility in Hilo.

The assault was alleged to have happened on the UH Hilo Campus

The assault was alleged to have happened on the UH Hilo Campus

The investigation revealed that the incident did not occur, and the case has been closed as being unfounded. A False Report investigation has been initiated.

In related news:

A town hall meeting will take place tonight at 7:00 pm at Hale `Alahonua Cafe, UH Hilo campus:

UH Hilo administrators will be on hand to debrief the events of the last several days, and also to hear feedback from students about their concerns related to campus safety. Actions for how we will move forward as a campus community will also be explored. Open to all current UH Hilo & HawCC students. Representatives of the media are kindly requested to respect students’ rights to have a “safe space” to share their thoughts/feelings/experiences.

According to UH Hilo Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, Luoluo Hong,  the meeting will not be open to press officials in their capacity as press officials:

…I want to reiterate that it is intended for students. Representatives of the media need to be attending as private citizens/extended members of the UH Hilo community and not in their capacity as press officials.

18-Year-Old Hilo Man Charged with Crimes After Being Caught On Tape

Detectives have charged an 18-year-old Hilo man for an incident that occurred in Downtown Hilo earlier this month.

Makalii Kahumoku-Jose

Makalii Kahumoku-Jose

On Thursday (November 21) at 11:15 am, after conferring with prosecutors, Makalii Kahumoku-Jose was charged for first degree unauthorized entry into a motor vehicle and second degree theft. Kahumoku-Jose’s bail was set at $4,000.00 and he was scheduled to make his initial court appearance on Friday (November 22).

On November 13, 2013, at about 11:00 pm, a 41-year-old Kurtistown woman discovered that her vehicle, which was parked fronting a business on Keawe Street was entered and her duffle bag was removed.

Responding officers were able to identify the suspect as Makalii Kahumoku-Jose after viewing security video footage