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2017 Living & Design Show Accepting Vendor Applications

The Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce presents its 12th annual home show February 25 – 26 at the Sheraton Kona Resort Convention Center.

Formerly known as the Building and Design Expo, the renamed Living + Design Show has been attended by more than 2,000. A strong turnout is anticipated this year as homeowners continue making improvements to their properties. The newly revamped exhibition will showcase latest goods and services, door-buster deals and endless options for a better home.

Past experience has shown qualified customers come to the show with specific home improvement projects in mind and they are ready to buy. As a result, exhibitors receive a strong return on their investment with as much as a year’s worth of leads generated from the expo alone.

Two booth sizes are offered as well as sponsorship opportunities. Qualifying businesses must have a product or service that relates to building, remodeling, improvements, sales, landscaping or financing a home or business.

Participation benefits include inclusion in the show’s special advertising insert in West Hawaii Today, radio ads and mentions in Chamber social media platforms.

Businesses interested in participating and who qualify with a product or service can download a vendor application online at www.kona-kohala.com. For more info, contact the Chamber office at info@kona-kohala.com or call 808.329.1758. Vendor booths are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Kona Business Ends Affiliation With Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce

Today, a well known business that was a member of the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce requested to be removed from all affiliations with the Chamber of Commerce.

It all began when a deal fell through and Parker had to do what anybody would do when they were wronged.

It all began when a deal fell through and Parker had to do what anybody would do when they were wronged.

Tiki Shark Art Inc, its Owners and Board of Directors recently won a $43,000.00 judgment against a Middle Eastern Firm out of Dubai and today Tiki Shark Art Agent Abbas Hassan sent a letter to the Kona Kohala Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, Kirstin Kahaloa, expressing his displeasure in the Chambers decision in having one of its board members defending the foreign corporation.

Hassan writes:

Kirstin (Kahaloa)…..thank you for taking the time to come see me.

As discussed in our meeting this morning, Tiki Shark Art Inc, its Owners and Board of Directors are not comfortable with the fact that one of your Board members is actually defending a foreign Corporation in a legal motion against us. That too when a local Hawaiian judge has already ruled in our favor over a month ago.  Furthermore, this individual may have been previewed to information via casual conversation in Chamber gatherings that could potentially effect the outcome of the case………just does not make sense to any of us!

Anyway’s it is with a heavy heart that I inform you of our immediate withdrawal as a member of the Kona Kohala Chamber of Commerce.

Please make sure our name is taken off and “unsubscribed” to all mailing lists.

I wish you and your Chamber the very best in the future.

Sincerely,

Abbas Hassan

Well known artist Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker weighed in and said, “This seems unfair. It’s a question of responsibility. Someone who sits as an officer on the board of the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce represents the Chamber, and to some extent, also the City of Kailua-Kona. That’s a big responsibility. To the average guy on the beach, when he hears that a law suit is being filed against a local small business and the prosecuting attorney is a officer of the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce, well, in the court of public opinion, the Chamber is probably in the right and the small business man is probably in the wrong.”

Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce Presents 2016 Luncheon with Mayor Kenoi

Mayor Billy Kenoi and select cabinet members discuss opportunities and challenges to West Hawaii’s economy at the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce (KKCC) 2016 Luncheon 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 5 at the Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay.

Mayor Kenoi testifying at the state capital.

Mayor Kenoi testifying at the state capital.

Sponsored by the Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union and Mokulele Airlines, the annual luncheon offers a unique opportunity for the local community to meet with county department representatives in a casual setting.

Attendees will have the opportunity to have lunch with a specific department as well as pose questions to the mayor and cabinet heads. Issues discussed may include update on the Honokohau Harbor, housing and homelessness, healthcare and opportunities for economic development in West Hawaii.

In addition, attendees can also learn about new and existing KKCC businesses at the Chamber’s annual Business Expo, which precedes and follows the banquet. Times are 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m. and 1:30-2 p.m.

General admission is $65; Chamber and Rotary members $55. No walk-ins allowed. For more information and/or to register, visit www.kona-kohala.com or call the Chamber office at 808-329-1758.

Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce Announces 2014 Pualu Awards

The Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce (KKCC) recently recognized 11 individuals, businesses or organizations with Pualu Awards at its annual Installation and Membership Banquet at Four Seasons Resort Hualalai.

“Meaning to “work together,” Pualu Awards were established in 1979 to honor those in West Hawai‘i for their dedication and hard work in the community,” explains Vivan Landrum, Chamber president/CEO. Winners are tapped in seven categories and chosen by an awards committee from nominations received by Chamber members and the general public.

The Community Education Award honors an individual or organization that promotes and supports education and enrichment programs that develop personal skills and lifelong learning. There are three recipients of this award: Kei-Lin Cerf of Kealakehe High School’s Life Plan Youth Mentoring Program, West Hawaii Community Health Center and Jack’s Diving Locker.

Kei Lin

Kei Lin pictured between Chamber CEO/President Vivian Landrum at left with KKCC Board Chair Tracey

Lifeplan pairs community volunteers with high school classrooms to learn about student’s individual values, dreams and goals. These mentors assist in turning these aspirations for students into action steps for success. Currently the program supports almost 650 students with the help of 32 volunteer mentors, 32 homeroom teachers and 42 youth leaders.  At the helm of this program is Kei-Lin Cerf, who, for the past four years, has taken this program to a new level through her innovation, dedication and hard work.

pictured between Chamber CEO/President Vivian Landrum at left with KKCC Board Chair Tracey

West Hawaii Community Health Center Representative pictured between Chamber CEO/President Vivian Landrum at left with KKCC Board Chair Tracey

West Hawaii Community Health Center was honored for its Patient Centered Health Care Home program that builds personal relationships through medical providers. These professionals bring education and coaching to high-risk patients with chronic diseases and significant health challenges. This program establishes an ongoing and long-lasting relationship that educates patients on how to self-manage their health care and improve outcomes.

Jack's Diving Reps pictured between Chamber CEO/President Vivian Landrum at left with KKCC Board Chair Tracey

Jack’s Diving Reps pictured between Chamber CEO/President Vivian Landrum at left with KKCC Board Chair Tracey

Jack’s Diving Locker has been offering educational programs in ocean ecology, marine life conservation and environmental stewardship for kids and teens since 1987. Jack’s educational Junior Programs include a six-week Sea Camp for ages 8 – 14 and a Keiki Sea Camp for ages 6 – 8. These camps focus on marine life education and positively impact the lives of many children in the community as well as our ocean resources.

The Environmental Awareness Award taps an individual or organization that exhibits sensitivity and concern for the environment through innovative environmental practices. There are two recipients in this category: David Chai and the Hawaii Wildlife Center.

David Chair pictured between Chamber CEO/President Vivian Landrum at left with KKCC Board Chair Tracey

David Chair pictured between Chamber CEO/President Vivian Landrum at left with KKCC Board Chair Tracey

Chai has been active in pond and wetland environmental assessment and management plans since the late 1980s. His many projects include restoring water resources and monitoring marine life and water quality at Hawai‘i Volcanoes, Kaloko-Honokohau and Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Parks, plus the shorelines of Makalawaena, Awake’e, Kohanaiki and Kiholo. In addition, one of his projects, a water feature at Ke`olu Golf Course, received one of only two EPA environmental awards in Hawai‘i, and was cited as an example of natural filtration technology and its potential application to keep all Hawai‘i streams, lakes and oceans free of harmful pollutants.

Hawaii Wildlife Center Rep pictured between Chamber CEO/President Vivian Landrum at left with KKCC Board Chair Tracey

Hawaii Wildlife Center Rep pictured between Chamber CEO/President Vivian Landrum at left with KKCC Board Chair Tracey

The Hawaii Wildlife Center is a non-profit organization that specializes in the conservation of native birds and the Hawaiian hoary bat. It is the first organization of its kind exclusively for native Hawaiian wildlife and is the state’s only organization providing professional wildlife response services exceeding the national standards, including state-of-the-art care and rehabilitation to all species of native birds and bats throughout the Hawaiian Islands. In addition to wildlife treatment, it also provides rescue and response training and research assistance for wildlife response to seabird fallout and contaminant spills and avian diseases.

The Business Innovation Award recognizes a business or organization that is committed to improving or enhancing employee’s lives, or exhibits creative product development, marketing or customer service. The recipient is Interim Dean Farrah-Marie Gomes of the University of Hawai’i at Hilo’s College of Continuing Education and Community Service (CCECS).

UH Hilo Reps pictured between Chamber CEO/President Vivian Landrum at left with KKCC Board Chair Tracey

UH Hilo Rep and Dean Farrah-Marie Gomes pictured between Chamber CEO/President Vivian Landrum at left with KKCC Board Chair Tracey

In an effort to ensure the island has a viable workforce, Gomes was proactive in forming creative and innovative credit and non-credit classes and professional development programs to meet new workforce needs. The CCECS program worked with community partners to ascertain the training needs, identify curriculum and forge delivery partnerships to address those needs.

The Lifetime Service Award taps an individual who has made a lifelong commitment to the community exemplified by their personal and/or business achievements. This year’s recipients are Gretchen Lawson and the late Guy Toyama.

Gretchen Lawson pictured between Chamber CEO/President Vivian Landrum at left with KKCC Board Chair Tracey

Gretchen Lawson pictured between Chamber CEO/President Vivian Landrum at left with KKCC Board Chair Tracey

Lawson has dedicated the last 18-plus years of her life to empowering persons with disabilities to live life to the fullest. Under her leadership, the Arc of Kona moved from near bankruptcy to a thriving, financially secure, effective and well-respected organization that employs over 100 individuals, who are offered opportunities for self-improvement and training. Outside of the office, the Holualoa resident has been an avid advocate for the disabled by participating in government and community organizations, including the Hawaii State Rehabilitation Council, the UH College of Education Advisory Board, the State Medicaid Infrastructure Grant Advisory Board and the County of Hawai‘i Community Alliance Partners.

pictured between Chamber CEO/President Vivian Landrum at left with KKCC Board Chair Tracey

The late Guy Toyama was honored by Chamber CEO/President Vivian Landrum at left with KKCC Board Chair Tracey

The late Guy Toyama was dedicated to improving the quality of life in West Hawai‘i. During his short, 42 years of life, his leadership in entrepreneurship, business development, education and policy illustrated his unmatched passion for inspiring our community to be more self-reliant and sustainable. Mr. Toyama organized dozens of conferences and workshops at the NELHA Gateway Center, hosted environmental films for the Kona Earth Festival and helped organize community events. He also helped build relationships between the County of Hawai‘i and Japan and was instrumental in the establishment of a sister-city relationship between KKCC and the Hatsukaichi Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Hiroshima.

The Visitor Industry Marketing Award is presented each year to that person or group who diligently works to promote the visitor industry in West Hawai‘i. Congratulations to Gerry Rott of the Lavaman Waikoloa Triathlon.

Gerry Rott pictured between Chamber CEO/President Vivian Landrum at left with KKCC Board Chair Tracey

Gerry Rott pictured between Chamber CEO/President Vivian Landrum at left with KKCC Board Chair Tracey

Since its inception in 1997, the number of participants for the Waikoloa Lavaman has grown from 83 to over 1500. Rott’s ingenious job of branding the Lavaman Triathlon series—including the signature petroglyph logo, website, merchandising, vendor exhibits, celebrity participants, creative sponsorship opportunities and ever changing event additions, such as the Friday Night Fun Run and Lavakids—keeps the event fresh and appealing not only to repeat participants, but consistently draws in new athletes, volunteers and sponsors each year.

The Culture & Heritage Award is given to an individual or organization that has exhibited, through its actions, practices that promote island traditions and preserves our multi-cultural heritage. This year’s recipient is Rick Gaffney.

Rick Gaffney pictured between Chamber CEO/President Vivian Landrum at left with KKCC Board Chair Tracey

Rick Gaffney pictured between Chamber CEO/President Vivian Landrum at left with KKCC Board Chair Tracey

Gaffney has undertaken leadership responsibility to promote island traditions and help preserve our cultural heritage by contributing both time and money to the preservation of Hawaii’s unique marine traditions and multi-cultural heritage. While the voyaging canoe Hokulea was in dry dock during preparation for its current worldwide voyage, Gaffney arranged for the donation of a $250,000 sailing catamaran to the Polynesian Voyaging Society to be used as a navigation and training platform. Upon the launch of Hokulea this year, he arranged for the transfer of that sailing catamaran to a local business here and supported the work of the Nakoa Foundation, to continue the training of Kona’s youth in the traditional use of Hawaiian sailing and fishing canoes.

Chamber Member of the Year recognizes the individual who advocates, promotes and supports the mission of KKCC through active participation on committees, events, membership and/or community service. This year KKCC honors Sharon Sakai.

Sharon Sakai pictured between Chamber CEO/President Vivian Landrum at left with KKCC Board Chair Tracey

Sharon Sakai pictured between Chamber CEO/President Vivian Landrum at left with KKCC Board Chair Tracey

The Hawai’i Island native has been very active in KKCC for 15 years, serving as a member of the Board of Directors for several terms and South Kohala Vice President, and participating on the Marketing & Communications Committee, the Education Resource Group and the Economic Development Committee. She has worked tirelessly as a behind-the-scenes volunteer by staffing KKCC events and offering support and guidance. As KKCC President/CEO Landrum stated, “I couldn’t imagine the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce being where it is today without the support and guidance of Sharon Sakai. She exemplifies service above self and is truly deserving of this award.”

Pualu Awards Tap Nine for ‘Working Together’

The Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce (KKCC) recently recognized nine individuals, businesses or organizations with Pualu Awards at its annual Installation and Membership Banquet at Four Seasons Resort Hualalai.

Nick Sutton awarded the Chamber Member of the Year

Nick Sutton awarded the Chamber Member of the Year

“Meaning to “work together,” Pualu Awards were established in 1979 to honor those in West Hawai ‘i for their dedication and hard work in the community,” explains Vivian Landrum, Chamber president/CEO. There were nine winners in seven categories and they were chosen by an awards committee from nominations received by Chamber members and the general public.

The Community Education Award honors an individual or organization that promotes and supports education and enrichment programs that develop personal skills and lifelong learning.  There were two winners in this category.

The individual recipient is Wayne Iokepa, a staunch supporter of workplace mentoring and exploratory career options for high school students.  Under his leadership at Oceanic Time Warner, 22 students have participated in the Huiana Internship program. Through this model program, interns develop a sense of self worth, understand the career options and opportunities in this field and have the opportunity to experience a positive work environment in which coworkers respect, value and care for each other.

The business award in this category was for an educational tour program that hosts visiting school children from across the state. West Hawaii Explorations Academy ’s Aloha Kai Tour Project is a peer education outreach program hosting over 26,500 students since its inception in 1994.  WHEA high school students present on-campus mini science lessons to children on topics such as marine science, robotics, and endangered native plants. Students from kindergarten on up, and their parents and teachers, experience a novel approach to education that incorporates hands-on learning offered by students to students. This inspires intrinsic motivation and personal buy-in from WHEA students and ultimately creates poised and confident public speakers.

The Environmental Awareness Award taps an individual or organization that exhibits sensitivity and concern for the environment through innovative environmental practices and is awarded to Ann Goody.  Goody is described as someone “who has skills, patience, determination and commitment towards our fragile native wildlife environment as well as the desire for motivating compassion in children and visitors towards all living things.”

Three Ring Ranch Curator, Ann Goody, has provided a vital service to our island for over 14 years. Besides leading the way with innovative care for animals and birds, Ann offers educational programs to youth in our community, many of whom have gone on to become nurses, doctors, veterinarians, scientists and teachers. One pre-vet student said of Ann, “she teaches us all to be aware of the environment and how the environment affects the wildlife in Hawai’i . Her willingness to teach about the animals and the environment is something that I greatly look up to.”  By instilling a passion for the environment she fuels young people’s dreams and inspires them to become protectors of our natural environment.

The Business Innovation Award recognizes a business or organization that is committed to improving or enhancing employee’s lives, or exhibits creative product development, marketing or customer service. Kohala Zipline received this award.

Seeking to differentiate itself from its competitors from the very start, Kohala Zipline designed its aerial trekking course to be a complete experience, not just a ride or attraction. Through the use of interpretive elements, innovative course design and expert guides, guests are treated to stories and legends, conservation practices and a thrilling adventure.

Kohala Zipline designed its course to protect, retain and enhance the natural environment it was incorporated into, all the while incorporating the highest safety standards. Platforms are elevated and supported with minimal penetration and adjust with the growth of the tree. Guests are high above the ground, offering minimal impact     to an otherwise inaccessible area in the ahupua‘a of Halawa, filled with cultural and environmental significance. This unique activity has not only provided jobs for the Kohala region, but helps bring a steady flow of visitors to the area.

The Lifetime Service Award taps an individual who has made a lifelong commitment to the community exemplified by their personal and/or business achievements. This year’s recipient is Carl A. Carlson, Jr.

Carlson has dedicated his life to serving the best interests of Hawai‘i, both the state and the island.  As founder of Hu’ehu’e Ventures, he provided real estate consulting and agricultural property management services.  He served as trustee of the Parker Ranch Foundation Trust and served on the Boards of Parker Ranch, Inc and Waimea Wastewater, Inc.

He also served a term as chair of the County of Hawai‘i Board of ethics, served two terms on the Hawai‘i State Board of Agriculture, is a former member of the Historic Hawai‘i Foundation and the Hawai‘i Chapter of the Nature Conservancy.  From its inception, he served as vice president of the Kohala Center and currently sits on the Advisory Committee of the Kukio Community Fund, a charitable fund administered under the umbrella of the Hawai‘i Community Foundation.  Carlson has twice served as Chairman of the Hawai‘i Leeward Planning Conference, twice been a board member of our Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce, is a full member of the Urban Land Institute, and is a member of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.

Carlson represents the Island of Hawai‘i on the University of Hawai‘i Board of Regents, serving as Vice Chair of the Board, Chair of their Budget and Finance Committee and sits on the Planning and Facilities, and University Audits committees.

The Visitor Industry Marketing Award is presented each year to that person or group who diligently works to promote the visitor industry in West Hawai ‘i. Congratulations to this category’s two winners, Linda Zabolski and Greenwell Farms.

Linda Zabolski, co-owner of Captain Zodiac, not only promotes her own company, but also serves as an unofficial ambassador for Hawai`i Island in everything she does. Linda singlehandedly established the first trade booth for the State of Hawai ‘i at the annual Cruise Shipping Miami/Seatrade conference, a premier trade show for the cruise industry. Due to her diligent efforts, HTA now recognizes the value and importance of this event for Hawai‘i, and participates as a key player. In addition, when the state considered levying extra fees on cruise ship tours, she actively fought and successfully defeated the measure which would have had dire consequences on cruise ship traffic to Hawai‘i. Currently, Linda is working with the Big Island Film Office on an innovative and unique social media marketing program designed to attract more reality television programming to our island.

The business recipient is Greenwell Farms.  As the fourth generation of this now multi-faceted agribusiness, these “farmers” have proven that utilizing savvy marketing and media technology can enhance your business as well as promote our destination.

Greenwell Farms organizes media, travel agent and industry familiarization tours from Hawai‘i’s major market areas as well as internationally. Travel writers and journalists who experience the farm first-hand share photos and write compelling stories in publications throughout the world, actively promoting the Kona-Kohala coast, Kona coffee and Hawai‘i Island.

Each of these national and international stories captures and communicates our island destination and a Kona coffee farm ag tourism experience to targeted audiences that translates to opportunities for increased visitor arrivals, longer stays and repeat visitors. Exceptional use of social media marketing tactics and a strategically developed website add to the conversations that lead to awareness, desire and intentions to visit our island.

The Culture & Heritage Award is awarded to an individual or organization that has exhibited, through its actions, practices that promote island traditions and preserves our multi-cultural heritage. This year’s recipient is Thomas Hickcox, whose unique life passion promotes traditional Hawaiian lifestyles.

Hawaiian culture is his passion. Sharing knowledge is his calling. The consummate cultural practitioner, Hickcox serves as President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Ahu’ena Heiau.  He is instrumental in continuing this 20 year old organization’s goal of preserving and maintaining ancient Hawaiian structures, foundations and burial sites and promoting the appreciation of Hawaiian history. Ahu’ena’s motto is Malama I Ko Kakao Ho’olina – Preserving Our Past, and recipient Tommy Hickcox lives to accomplish just that.

Chamber Member of the Year recognizes the individual who advocates, promotes and supports the mission of KKCC through active participation on committees, events, membership and/or community service. This year KKCC honors Nick Sutton.

Sutton was elected to the KKCC Board of Directors in 2010 and immediately became a valuable asset to the Chamber. In 2011 he took the position of Vice Chair for North Kona . He chaired the Ambassador Subcommittee for one year and then moved to Chair of our Membership Services Committee. He annually spearheads the KKCC membership drive, making it one of their most successful events, this year bringing in 19 new members from that one-day endeavor. What really sets this gentleman apart is his consistent promotion of the Chamber of Commerce. He truly is an Ambassador, as he represents the Mission , Vision and core competencies of KKCC at every opportunity. Not only officially, as he staffs their membership table at the Governor’s and Mayor’s luncheons, Building & Design Expos, golf tournaments, but informally as well, as he meets with business clients throughout our community. He continually shares the value of chamber membership and encourages those not already “in the family” to join the KKCC Ohana.

Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce Annual Luncheon With the Mayor

Hear what Big Island Mayor Billy Kenoi and his cabinet have to say on the county’s economy and outlook for 2013 at a Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce Focus Luncheon Tuesday, April 2.

The Sign Outside the Hotel

The Sign Outside the Hotel

Sponsored by Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union, the informative event is 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. at the Courtyard King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel.

Reservations, which include lunch, are $40 for Chamber members and $50 for non-members; tables of eight are available. The registration deadline is 5 p.m. Wednesday, March 27. RSVP online at kona-kohala.com or by phoning the Chamber office at 329-1758. No refunds or cancellations will be taken after March 27.

Annual Governor Focus Luncheon Includes Business Expo

The Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce (KKCC) invites the community to attend the annual focus luncheon with Governor Neil Abercrombie, sponsored by Bank of Hawaii, H.M.A.A. and Parker Ranch Center , on Wednesday, February 27 from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. at the Courtyard King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel.

Gov. Abercrombie speaks at a community meeting

Gov. Abercrombie speaks at a community meeting

Governor Abercrombie will speak on issues of importance to our community, and time permitting, he may answer questions from the floor. This event is timed to coincide with the Legislative session so we may hear his priorities and we can share ours.

In addition, attendees can learn about new and existing KKCC businesses at the Chamber’s annual Business Expo, which precedes and follows the banquet. Times are 10:30-11:30 a.m. and 1:30-2:30 p.m. The Business Expo is free and open to the public.

Admission for the banquet is $40 for KKCC and Rotary members and $50 for non-members. Tables of eight can be reserved. Reservations are required by Thursday, February 21, no refunds afterwards. Secure your seat online at www.kona-kohala.com or phone 329-1758.

 

 

Kona Coffee Festival Captures Prestigious Visitor Industry Marketing Award

Media Release:

The Kona Coffee Cultural Festival is a proud recipient of this year’s Kona Kohala Chamber of Commerce Visitor Industry Marketing Award presented to the Festival at the Chamber’s recent annual membership meeting.

L to R: Norman Sakata, Governor Abercrombie, Miss Aloha Hawaii, Mel Morimoto

L to R: Norman Sakata, Governor Abercrombie, Miss Aloha Hawaii, Mel Morimoto

Since 1979, the Kona Kohala Chamber of Commerce has recognized leaders in West Hawaii through this award for their dedication and hard work in the community. The Pualu Awards (literally meaning to work together) recognizes recipients for their outstanding commitment to the community.

The Visitor Industry Marketing Award acknowledged the grass roots Kona Coffee Cultural Festival organization for its efforts to preserve, perpetuate and promote Kona’s unique 180+year coffee heritage.

“The Festival is quite honored to accept this generous award. Each year, The Kona Coffee Cultural Festival celebrates our community and the pioneers who laid the foundation for the successful Kona coffee industry we have today. We want to thank everyone including visitors to our island home for supporting the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival for more than forty years, ” stated Norman Sakata, President, Kona Coffee Cultural Festival.

The Kona Coffee Cultural Festival promotes ag-tourism annually during the November shoulder season with the intention that visitors and residents discover and experience Kona coffee and the unique history, heritage and lifestyle. Each year the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival hosts over forty special events during its 10-day schedule from farm tours, coffee workshops to picking contests, visitors and residents have every opportunity to participate.

County Council Candidate Forum, Thursday August 31st

The public is invited to a nonpartisan, moderated candidate forum.

Thursday, August 31, County Council Candidate Forum, 6 p.m. til 8 p.m.
Come early, food sales  benefit Kealakehe High Culinary Program and Rotary Sunrise by Tante’s Restaurant at 5 p.m.

County Council District 7, South Kona:  Incumbent Brenda Ford, Enoch Friere
County Council District 8, North Kona:  Incumbent Kelly Greenwell, Debbie Hecht , Angel Pilago, Jim Rath

Forum moderator is Sherry Bracken ,  news reporter for Hawaii Public Radio and host of the LAVA 105.3 fm and KKOA 107.7 fm weekly broadcast, Island Issues.
Please submit questions in advance to sherryb@lava105.com  or at the forum.  Questions call Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce, 329-1758.

Sponsors:

West Hawaii Today
Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce
Kohala Coast Resort Association
Kona Outdoor Circle
Community Enterprises – Kona Town Meetings
Rotary Sunrise and Tante’s Restaurant
LAVA 105.3 FM/Mahalo Broadcasting
Kealakehe High School

County Events Celebrate 50th Anniversary of Statehood in Hilo and Kona

From the Mayor’s Office:

The County of Hawai‘i will celebrate Hawai‘i’s 50th anniversary of statehood with a special concert and celebration Friday, August 14, 2009, at Afook Chinen Civic Auditorium from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. A similar celebration will be held in Kona on August 23.

Special guests at the Hilo event will include former mayors of Hawai‘i County and dignitaries. The Makaha Sons will be the featured entertainers, and admission is free.

“We are looking forward with special anticipation to this celebration,” said Hawai‘i County Mayor Billy Kenoi. “Everyone on the program has helped make our county what it is today, and their contributions over the first half-century of statehood will help to move us through the next 50 years.

“We owe these people a tremendous debt of gratitude, and on this special anniversary we wish to honor them with an expression of our thanks for their significant community service.”

Also on the Hilo program are Halau O Ke ‘Ānuenue, Big Island Portuguese Cultural Club, Hui Okinawa Taiko KoBuDo, Marie Onomura, Hawai‘i County Band, Hui Okinawa Shishimai, El-Leo The Jarican Express, Pam Ahuna, Waiākea High School NJROTC and Big Island Filipino Community Council.

In addition, 10 time capsules will be buried at locations around the Island of Hawai‘i with items that represent what life is like today for those who will open the capsules upon the 75th anniversary of statehood. The time capsules were provided by the Hawai‘i 50th Anniversary of Statehood Commission.

Suggestions for items to place inside the time capsules include a copy of the local newspaper, submissions from local schools, a proclamation from the mayor, or even a can of Spam.

“These time capsules are a way for us to reach out and touch future residents of our state, and share with them the Hawai‘i of 2009,” said Kippen de Alba Chu, chair of the 50th Anniversary of Statehood Commission.

A second county celebration of the statehood anniversary will be held in Kona in conjunction with Kokua Kailua on Kona’s Ali’i Drive. That event will be from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday, August 23, with entertainment by Na Lei o Kaholoku and Makaha Sons, and a welcome message by Mayor Kenoi.

Ali`i Drive will be open to pedestrians only to allow visitors and residents to enjoy the restaurants, music, merchants and artists. Co-sponsors are the County of Hawai‘i, Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce, Destination Kona Coast, Hulihe`e Palace, Kailua Village Business Improvement District, Kailua Village Merchants Association and Pacific Radio Group.

Funding for the event is being provided by the state through the 50th Anniversary of Statehood Commission.