Waipi‘o Valley Stakeholders Alliance Offers United Voice on Bishop Museums Announcement to Sell Its Waipi‘o Valley Lands

On January 8, 2016, Bishop Museum issued a public announcement they are moving forward with the sale of the Amy Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden in Capt. Cook and 537 acres of land in Waipi‘o Valley.

Green areas represent Bishop Museum Land.

Green areas represent Bishop Museum Land.

While the news has taken most of Hawai‘i by surprise, it is not the case for the Waipi‘o Valley community. Over the past 20 years, the Museum has periodically considered selling it’s Valley holdings, and there have been several proposals by State legislators for the state to purchase the lands, the most recent in 2014.

Since 2013, the Waipi‘o community has undergone major changes, with three of the most committed groups becoming more organized and actively seeking ways to work together collaboratively on matters that impact the Valley and surrounding communities.

In late 2015 the Waipi‘o Taro Farmers Association, the Waipi‘o Community Circle and Ha Ola o Waipi‘o Valley formed the Waipi‘o Valley Stakeholders Alliance as a mechanism to reach general consensus and provide a unified voice when communicating with government officials, Bishop Museum and the general community.

Founded in 1989, the Waipi‘o Taro Farmers Association (WTFA) is the oldest active organization in Waipi‘o Valley. The Association is made up of generational taro farming families who lease the majority of Bishop Museum ’s lands in the Valley. WTFA represents the surviving edge of the Native Hawaiian culture in Waipi‘o Valley and serves as Bishop Museum ’s primary land managers and local community advisors.

Formed in 2000, at the request of 13 community members, the Waipi‘o Community Circle (the Circle), serves as a general community forum. The Waipi‘o Valley Information & Education Officer Program was created by the Circle, as were the five large interpretive signs at the rock wall near the pavilion. A small group of Circle volunteers provided general oversight of the Information & Education Officer program from 2007 until 2014 when the program moved to the Department of Parks & Recreation. This group also represents the efforts of Auntie Ku’ulei Badua who was responsible for initiating “Friends of the Waipi‘o Community Park ” (the former Rice/Thomas property, at the Waipi’o lookout).

Founded in 2014 Ha Ola o Waipi‘o Valley (Ha Ola) is a membership organization of Valley residents, farmers, cultural educators and practitioners, and Waipi‘o tour operators. The organization is guided by elected Officers with support from the County of Hawaii , the State of Hawaii , Kamehameha Schools and Friends of the Future. Ha Ola was formed to provide representation for Valley stakeholders who were not recognized in the State’s 2013 proposed Senate Bill to purchase Bishop Museum’s lands in Waipi‘o. Among Ha Ola’s current projects are River Maintenance in collaboration with WTFA, stewardship of Kamehameha Schools Valley beach parcels, eradication of Little Fire Ants in the Valley and a 2016 Kalo Festival.

The Waipi‘o Valley Stakeholders Alliance, combines the strengths of all available community and advisory resources and is committed to protecting current lessees and ensuring the community has a lead voice in proactively engaging Bishop Museum in discussions about the future stewardship of its’ Waipi‘o Valley lands.

For more information about the Alliance contact:

Alliance Community Liaison: Jim Cain, Cell: 333-0457 kinglaulau@hotmail.com

Alliance Culture & Education Liaison: Ka‘iulani Pahio, Cell: 960-5272 kaiulani@kalo.org

Hawaii House of Reps Honors the Bishop Museum on Its 125th Anniversary

The state House of Representatives today honored the Bishop Museum on its 125th anniversary, four inductees to the Junior Achievement Hall of Fame, and three veteran war heroes who have since made significant contributions to the community.

Bishop honorees

Bishop Museum was recognized on its 125th anniversary for promoting the culture and history of Hawaii. Taking part in the floor presentation was Bishop Museum President and CEO Blair Collis; Allison Holt Gendreau, Chair of the museum’s Board of Directors; board member Watters O. Martin, Jr.; and Dr. Yoshiko Sinoto, Bishop Museum’s Kenneth Pike Emory Distinguished Chair in Anthropology.

Three outstanding community minded military leaders were also honored by the House. They included: Tim Guard, Chairman and CEO, McCabe, Hamilton & Remy; Ron Hayes, Admiral, U.S. Navy, Retired; and Joe Vasey, Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy, Retired. These individuals have distinguished themselves, not only as outstanding former military leaders, but also as civic leaders who have made a difference in the state through their significant contributions to the community at large.

The House also paid tribute to the 2014 Junior Achievement of Hawaii Business Hall of Fame laureates. Since 1975, the U.S. Business Hall of Fame presented by Junior Achievement has honored men and women who have made outstanding contributions to free enterprise and to the community. The Junior Achievement of Hawaii’s Business Hall of Fame recognizes laureates who have helped mold our free enterprise system, and who continue to reshape and improve the manner in which businesses operates in Hawaii.

Hawaii Students Visiting American Heroes Exhibit at Bishop Museum

American Heroes

Students from Hawaii Schools who will be visiting the American Heroes:  World War II Nisei Soldiers and the Congressional Gold Medal exhibit at the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum on April 10, 11 and 14, and will get to experience a piece of “living history” when they meet with WWII Nisei soldiers as part of their field trip, as follows:

SCHOOL VISITS WITH WWII NISEI VETERANS AT CONGRESSIONAL GOLD MEDAL EXHIBIT
LOCATION:  BISHOP MUSEUM, CASTLE MEMORIAL BUILDING

Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Kaimuki Middle School
Session 1:  9:00-9:15 a.m.
Session 2:  9:30-9:45 a.m.
Session 3:  10:00-10:15 a.m.
Session 4:  10:30-10:45 a.m.
Session 5:  11:00-11:15 a.m.
Session 6:  11:30-11:45 a.m.

Thursday, April 11, 2013
Castle High School
Session 1:  10:30-10:45 a.m.
Session 2:  11:00-11:15 a.m.

Sunday, April 14, 2013 – FINAL DAY OF EXHIBIT
Kamakahelei Middle School (Big Island)

Date:  Sunday, 4/14/13:
Session 1:  9-9:15 a.m.
Session 2:  9:15-9:30 a.m

Herbert Yanamura, was born on 4/20/1924 in Honaunau, Kona, Hawaii

Herbert Yanamura, was born on 4/20/1924 in Honaunau, Kona, Hawaii

“We wanted to make the exhibit come alive for these students,” said Mona Wood-Sword, member of the organizing committee.  “Meeting these true American heroes, talking story with them, will make the exhibit that much more meaningful for them, and that was part of our mission when planning the exhibit:  To teach the next generation about the heroism of these brave soldiers.”

The teachers from the visiting schools have asked their students to prepare questions for the veterans, so the discussions should be lively and interesting for both the veterans and students.

In addition to speaking with the visiting schools, the veterans have been busy with weekly panel discussions (see attached schedule) and other appearances.  WWII veterans from the 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team, and the Military Intelligence Service – all honored with the prestigious Congressional Gold Medal – have shared their stories to standing-room-only audiences at Bishop Museum’s Atherton Halau.

The final two Saturday panels will be, as follows:

April 6, 2013 • 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Hawaii’s Internment and Role in the Legislative Campaign for Redress
Presented by:  Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii
Panelists:  Ryan Kawamoto, “The Untold Story,” Brian Niiya, Former JCCH Program Director, and William Kaneko, Attorney and Former President, Honolulu JACL
Moderator:  Carole Hayashino, President and Executive Director, Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii

April 6, 2013 • 1:00 p.m.-2:30 p.m.
“Okage Sama De” True Stories of Japanese Americans during WWII
Presented by:  Alton Chung, Professional Storyteller

April 13, 2013 • 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Commitment to Education
Presented by:  State of Hawaii Department of Education
Panelists:  Joan Funamura, Clayton Kaninau, May Price, and Charlotte Unni
Moderator:  Ann Mahi

ABOUT THE EXHIBIT
American Heroes:  World War II Nisei Soldiers and the Congressional Gold Medal was developed by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in collaboration with the National Veterans Network, and circulated by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service.  Accompanying educational materials were developed by the National Veterans Network in partnership with the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center.

The national tour of seven cities – New Orleans, Honolulu, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, OR, Chicago, and Houston – is made possible by the support of AARP, Cole Chemical, Comcast/NBC Universal, the Japanese American Veterans Association, Pritzker Military Library, the Shiratsuki Family, and Southwest Airlines.

ABOUT THE 100th INFANTRY BATTALION
The 100th Infantry Battalion was a unit within the U.S. Army’s 34th Infantry Division.  Compromised mostly of Americans of Japanese Ancestry (AJA) from the Hawaii Army National Guard, the 100th Infantry Battalion also included volunteers from Japanese internment camps, which were then located throughout the United States during WWII.

Battalion members’ stature, fitness levels, and unified camaraderie during training, prior to their deployment, made the 100th Infantry Battalion a strong unit heading into combat.  With the “Remember Pearl Harbor” motto, the 100th Infantry Battalion were consistently motivated to prove their loyalty to the United States.

During their 20 month combat term in Europe, the unit became known as the “Purple Heart Battalion” for the number of casualties lost.  They fought in six war campaigns in Italy and France, earning the unit four Presidential Unit Citations.  http://www.100thbattalion.org/

ABOUT THE 442ND REGIMENTAL COMBAT TEAM
Considered to be one of the most decorated combat units in United States military history, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team consisted of a share of enlisted soldiers, as well as volunteers who fought in Europe during WWII.  Two-thirds of their original unit were Americans of Japanese Ancestry, or Nisei, from Hawaii, while the rest were Nisei soldiers from the Mainland.

The “Go For Broke” motto means to risk everything in order to win.  Activated under the command of Colonel Charles W. Pence, the 442nd worked closely with the 100th Infantry Battalion.  Intelligent and zealous in learning their military duties, the 442nd understood patience and the importance of strategy while in combat situations.  Over 14,000 men served in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team.  Their values of service, loyalty and sacrifice earned the unit over 9,000 Purple Hearts, eight Presidential Unit Citations, 21 Medals of Honor, and 560 Silver Stars.  http://www.the442.org/

ABOUT THE MILITARY INTELLIGENCE SERVICE
The Military Intelligence Service, or MIS, was a group of smaller units consisting of Nisei soldiers during WWII.  Their average unit size was between 10-20 men.  Playing a vital role in the U.S. military tactics during WWII, the MIS units used linguistic skills to gather intelligence, read captured enemy maps and documents, and conduct translations and interrogations.  MIS unit members were at heightened risk because they could be confused for enemy troops by their own U.S. military personnel.

MIS post-war work proved crucial for the transition during Japanese occupancy.  MIS servicemen provided indispensible assistance during Japanese war crime trials, in the repatriation of Japanese prisoners of war (POWs), and in establishing positive relations between U.S. military forces and Japanese civilians.  Working under mostly classified orders, the MIS units did not receive the recognition other units and battalions had during and post war.

ABOUT BISHOP MUSEUM
The Bishop Museum was founded in 1889 by Charles Reed Bishop in memory of his wife Bernice Pauahi Bishop, the last direct descendant of King Kamehameha I.  Today, the Museum is recognized as the principal museum of the Pacific, housing the world’s largest collection of Hawaiian and Pacific artifacts and natural history specimens.  More than 350,000 people visit the Museum each year, including over 40,000 schoolchildren.  For more information, please call (808) 847-3511 or visit www.bishopmuseum.org.

Governor Abercrombie Will Release Money for Bishop Museum and Polynesian Hall Restoration

Governor Neil Abercrombie receives the Charles Reed Bishop medal at the 13th annual Pauahi Awards and then announces that he will release $1.5 million for the Bishop Museum planetarium and $1 million for the Polynesian Hall restoration.

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Dryland Forest Grant Awarded

Media Release:

The Hawai’i Forest Industry Association (HFIA) has been awarded a $10,000 grant from Hawai’i County’s Department of Research and Development for its Ka Pilina Poina ‘Ole, “Connection Not Forgotten” project. This community-driven project provides interpretive materials and forest stewardship opportunities that connect two naturally and culturally significant destinations in North Kona; Ka’upulehu Dryland Forest Preserve and Kalaemano Cultural Center.

With grant monies, HFIA has already initiated the project, which involves sustaining fragile endangered dry forest ecosystems and sharing their unique historical, cultural, restoration, and scientific aspects to benefit Hawai’i residents and visitors. A Mauka-Makai (mountain to ocean) “Connection Not Forgotten” informal talk story evening is being planned for February 25, 2010 at the Kalaemano Cultural Center at 6 PM. Call 808-933-9411 no later than February 19 to RVSP for this free event.

Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator Yvonne Yarber Carter has started developing educational and interpretive materials, stories for an audio story center, and curriculum for the stewardship outreach program. The story center will feature live voices from oral histories, bringing connections to the past alive. Educational materials include field learning guides for youth visitors. These rich remembrances and cultural stories are made possible through a partnership with the gifted Ku’ulei Keakealani, Director of the Ka’upulehu Cultural Center at Kalaemano, who has deep ancestral ties to the lands…

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