Relay For Life of Waimea Announces New Daytime Hours

The American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life of Waimea is holding an official kickoff this week for its 11th annual event on Saturday, October 25th with new daytime hours of 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., instead of overnight from 6:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.

Relay for Life Waimea

This week’s kickoff will take place this Saturday, April 26th at the Parker School Farmer’s Market from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and in front of KTA in Waimea from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Community members can stop by the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life booth at either location to learn about the event’s new daytime hours and sign up teams to walk.

For the last ten years, Relay For Life of Waimea was held overnight from 6:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m., however, this year’s event will be held at Waimea Park at 65-1260 Kawaihae Road during the day from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. encouraging more families and school-age children to participate. Individuals and teams camp out at the park, with the goal of keeping at least one team member walking around a track in the park at all times. “This event brings together friends, families, businesses, hospitals, schools, faith-based groups . . . people from all walks of life – aimed to honor cancer survivors, remember loved ones lost and fight back against the disease,” says Bernie Kainoa, Event Board Chair and founder of American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life of Waimea.

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Cherry Blossom Fest to Honor Two Women

The 21st Waimea Cherry Blossom Heritage Festival on Saturday, Feb. 1 is dedicated to Waimea residents Emiko Wakayama and Fumi Bonk.  The women, who both have Japanese heritage, will be recognized at the festival’s opening ceremony. Time is 9 a.m. on the entertainment stage at the rear of Parker Ranch Center.

“Emi” Wakayama, 81, has been involved with the Cherry Blossom Festival since it began, contributing as a member of the organizing committee and performing traditional tea ceremonies to the delight of attendees.

Emiko "Emi" Wakayama

Emiko “Emi” Wakayama

During the festival’s two decades, the 55-year Waimea resident instructed about 20 students in the little known art and will be overseeing their performance during this year’s event in the Kahilu Theatre lobby.

Known as chanoyu, the Japanese tea ceremony involves the proper preparation, pouring and mannerisms involved in offering tea. Wakayama learned the process, which takes about 10 minutes, while in Japan.

A native of Kurtistown, Wakayama graduated from Hilo High School and studied fashion design at both the University of Hawaii and the Pratt Institute in New York City. Employed by an upscale sportswear line, she worked in the Big Apple for five years before traveling to Japan with her mother.

“I decided to stay in Japan for awhile to learn my Japanese culture,” explains the octogenarian. “I was there for about a year and during that time learned chanoyu.”

Wakayama also met her husband, the late Kinya, in Tokyo. A native of Waimea, they returned to their homeland, married and Emi worked as a seamstress, making Hawaiian muumuus. She also sold her appliquéd, Hawaiian-style quilts at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel where the designer’s expertly crafted quilts were popular with both visitors and residents. You can still see Wakayama’s orange-on-white hibiscus quilt hanging on display at the hotel and her kukui nut pattern quilt is exhibited at North Hawaii Community Hospital (NHCH) in memory of her husband.

No stranger to NHCH, Wakayama volunteered many years in the gift shop, where she sold her yukata, a casual Japanese kimono worn as a robe. Fabric was donated for the garments and Wakayama volunteered her time. She also painstakingly sewed prayer blankets for hospital patients.

“You have to love what you are doing,” Wakayama noted.

The seamstress and quilter is a member of the Kamuela Hongwanji Mission, the Hongwanji Buddhist Women’s Association and its Aloha Committee. In 2008, Wakayama was named the Outstanding Older American for Waimea.

The second honoree, Fumi Bonk, is a native of Oahu who grew up on her family’s dairy in Waialae.

Fumi Bonk

Fumi Bonk

She first participated in the festival during its early years as a member of the local chapter of AARP, serving coffee at Church Row Park. Later, she was involved as a ceramist, where she displayed her functional artistic wares that reflected the beauty and diversity of Hawaii’s unique natural environment. The 90-year-old is recognized as an artist, educator and advocate for peace and social justice.

Bonk moves to Hawaiʻi Island in the late 1940s where she spent most of her life with her late husband, Bill, and their three children. Her husband was an archeologist and the couple traveled extensively. Bonk served as co-director of Hilo High School’s alternative “School Within a School,” before moving to Waimea in the early 1980s. She taught art and science at Waimea Intermediate School.

Discussing how Hawaii and the Big Island influenced her art, Bonk once wrote, “Nowhere does the refined and rugged aspects of nature more regularly and dramatically stand next to each other.  The rugged texture of lava, overlaid with the smooth texture and color of the sky and water, and the details of foliage and forest have influenced my construction, glazing and firing of ceramic sculpture over the 40 years I have worked with clay.”

In the 1960ʻs the Waimea resident founded the Big Island Art Guild and was involved in the startup of the Hawaii State Foundation on Culture and the Art with artist/architect Alfred Preis. She was an active member of the Hawaii Craftsmen and participated in over 30 select exhibitions throughout the state.

Bonk feels “art is a spiritual reflection of our humanity.” She views compassion and reason as the “spirit of the arts” and believes that an artist’s life must also reflect this spirit. “Artists have the responsibility to speak up for those whose voices are not loud or powerful enough to be heard alone,” she adds.

While an octogenarian, Bonk travelled to Washington D.C. to join in the One Nation Rally of educators and other social justice advocates “to stand up for better education, housing and healthcare for all American people.”

The free Waimea Cherry Blossom Festival showcases the 60-year-old cherry trees planted at Church Row Park and the Japanese tradition of viewing them—hanami. The event, held annually the first Saturday of February, includes a variety of activities 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at venues throughout Waimea—look for pink banners identifying site locations from Parker School on Lindsey Road to the Hawaiian Homestead Farmer’s Market on Hwy. 19.

Spend the day to experience an all-day lineup of Japanese and multi-cultural performing arts, plus hands-on demonstrations of bonsai, origami, traditional tea ceremony, fun mochi pounding and a host of colorful craft fairs. Enjoy free shuttle transportation among most venues. For info, 808-961-8706.

Domino’s Pizza Golf Tournament for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

Domino’s Pizza in Waimea is excited to announce their first annual benefit golf tournament for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The tournament takes place on Saturday, November 2, 2013 at Makalei Golf Club and will be played in a four-person net scramble format, with shotgun start at 8 a.m.

Dominoes St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

On the corporate level, Domino’s has supported the hospital since 2004, contributing over $16 million to help take care of keiki with cancer and other life-threatening diseases, at no charge to their families.  In January of this year, Domino’s “delivered” an entire Assessment and Triage Clinic to St. Jude’s, colorfully decorated with children’s art and murals, most incorporating a pizza theme.

The Waimea store is proud to be part of their company’s good work with this first annual golf tournament.  Entry fee is $125 per player, including green fees, cart, lunch, prizes and some surprises during the tournament.  To sign up, please stop by Domino’s Pizza in Waimea, or call Tournament Coordinator Charmaine Mood at 808-756-2743 by October 15.

Hawaii Island Creations Opening Two New Big Island Stores

Hawaii Island Creations (HIC) is opening two new stores on the Big Island.  One in Hilo and the other in Waimea.  Grand opening ceremonies are happening this weekend.

HIC Grand Opening

3.0 Magnitude Earthquake Shakes Waimea on the Big Island

A 3.0 magnitude earthquake just shook the Waimea area of the Big Island:

30 Waimea

Time:  2013-09-09 15:45:05 UTC-10:00
Location:  20.074°N 155.615°W
Depth:  27.8km

14th Annual Waimea Healthy KeikiFest

The 14th Annual Waimea Healthy KeikiFest will be held 9 am ~ 2 pm Saturday, April 13 at the Parker Ranch Center in Waimea.

The annual celebration of keiki health and safety will feature more than 35 FREE hands-on activities for keiki, ages 3 to 12 ranging from a bike rodeo to ham radio, and other experiences of healthy eating and active living. Kids will earn credits they can use for face painting, balloon art, a turn in a bouncer, and a water bottle. Parents, grandparents and family members are welcome to enjoy a variety of fun learning experiences about growing up safe and healthy.

Over the past 14 years, hundreds of community members from Hawai`i Island and O‘ahu have taken the time to provide fun, interactive learning experiences for the keiki at the popular event. KeikiFest is organized by Tutu’s House. For more information, call Sharnell Kalahiki at 885-6777.

Tutus House

Tutus House

Tutu’s House is a project of Friends of the Future, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization which facilitates community-led change, perpetuates cherished cultural anchors, and improves health-related quality of life for those who live work and play on Hawai`i Island. For the Friends of the Future Annual Report and information about its programs visit the web at or call Michelle Medeiros at 885-8336.

Waimea Arts Programs for April

Two new classes: Realistic Painting, and Basics in Sewing will take place in Waimea in April, continuing the arts program series presented by Waimea Artists’ Guild (WAG) in partnership with Kanu o ka ‘Āina Learning ‘Ohana (KALO).

Waimea Artists Guild


Acclaimed nature artist Patrick Ching, known for his vibrant oil paintings of Hawaii’s dramatic landscapes and wildlife, will introduce his techniques at a free community presentation on Friday, April 12, 6-8 p.m. at the Kanu o ka ‘Āina New Century Public Charter School in Waimea.  His Realistic Painting Workshop will be held the following day, Saturday, April 13, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“Bring some photographs of things you’d like to paint; your pet, a place, etc.,” Ching said.  “You may email me photos beforehand to make the best use of our time together. Picture selection is important. Try to keep it simple.”  Ching can be reached at

Cost for the Realistic Painting Workshop is $175, which includes all materials and an 11”x14” canvas for your painting. Bring your own lunch or snacks.  To register, call The Pantry office at 887-2289.

Sewing, for all ages, can be a fun, creative and economical hobby. Offering a great opportunity for beginners, Gina Underhill will teach Basics in Sewing on Tuesdays, at the Kanu campus, from 4:30 to 6 p.m. as follows:  April 9: Get to Know Your Machine, April 16: Let’s Get Sewing, and April 23: Complete the Project.

Cost for all three classes is only $60, and students will need to bring their own sewing machine, scissors, thread, and recycled T-shirts or fabric.  Space is limited, so please register by calling The Pantry, 887-2289.

To reach the Kanu o ka ‘Āina campus, turn onto Kamamalu Street at the “Taco Tako/Waimea Brewhaus” intersection; pass the Police Station on your right; stay on this road through a sharp left bend and look for the campus on your right.

The Pantry is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, which includes Waimea Artists’ Guild, the Friday Night Crew youth group, and Mama’s House Thrift Store.  WAG is an association of professional artists whose intent is to produce art and promote education in their community.  For additional information, contact: Beth or Tom Mehau at The Pantry, 887-2289.


Councilwoman Margaret Wille Speaks About “Appreciation” at Opening of the Waimea Cherry Blossom Festival

Hawaii Councilwoman Margaret Wille posted the following on her Facebook site regarding “appreciation” at today’s Waimea Cherry Blossom Festival:

Opening Ceremony speakers were supposed to be: Mayor Kenoi, myself, and the consulate general from Japan, but the Mayor did not show up. Wally Lau then arrived and spoke in his place.

Waimea Cherry Fest
I spoke about this day as a day of Appreciation

 Appreciation for our kupuna and in memory of Ann Gomes and her husband… David Gomes one of our community’s living treasures.

Appreciation for the beauty of nature around us here on this island and especially in Waimea where the mountains and the streams and forests meet the plains and the pastures, and as epitomized by our Waimea cherry trees.

Waimea Cherry Fest 2
Appreciation of our alliances with our Asian Pacific ohana sister nations, especially Japan — from where we received the cherry trees.

And appreciation of the contributions of our Japanese ohana and all its contributions past present and future.

And finally appreciation of each other — our alliances among ourselves sharing this special place we live and enjoy.



Big Island Police Looking For Punk Wanted on Disorderly Conduct and Assault

Big Island police are asking for the public’s help in locating a 31-year-old man wanted for questioning in a disorderly conduct and assault investigation over the weekend and on two outstanding warrants.

Rodney Impelido

Rodney Impelido was last seen in Waimea. He is described as a Filipino, about 5-foot-7, 165 pounds with short black hair and tattoos on his neck, shoulders, calf and back.

Police ask that anyone with information on his whereabouts call Officer Eric Ontiveros at 887-3082 or 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.

From Across the U.S., Hawaii Horse Expo Brings Together Best in Their Fields

The 5th annual Hawaii Island Humane Society’s Hawaii Horse Expo is coming up August 11 and 12. The event will be co-hosted by Paniolo Preservation Society at the Paniolo Heritage Center at Pukalani Stables in Waimea. Proceeds from the annual event will benefit the HIHS Horse Rescue and Paniolo Preservation Society.

Pukalani Stables allows for three Expo programs to occur simultaneously in three different settings for ongoing action. The Paniolo Preservation Society Museum will be open to Expo attendees and there will be a wide array of vendors offering services, medical and nutritional information and programs, saddle making and more as well as a benefit silent auction.

August 11 clinics, demonstrations and presentations include topics such as Round Pen Logic, Colt Starting, The Ten Qualities of the Horse’s Mind, ABC’s of Horse Breeding and Yoga and the Rider.

Sunday, August 12 topics include Taking Your Horse to the Next Level, Horse Behavior 101, A Horse of a Different Color, and Introduction to Wellness Hoof Trimming. Sunday also includes a Hawaiian blessing of horses and presentation of the 3rd annual Mana Award by HIHS and Veterinary Associates to Dick Solmssen who founded and has been director of HPS’s horse program for the past 50 years.

Hawaii Horse Expo Clinicians and presenters are Janice Baxter, Dr. Brady Bergin, Linda Tellington-Jones, Dr. Daniel King, Rick Lamb, Dr. Robert Miller, Susanella Nobel, Charles Wilhelm, Richard Winters, Sarah Winters and Dr. Lisa Wood.

Gates open both days from 9am until 6pm. Tickets, $30 per day, are available now at HIHS shelters in Waimea, Kona and Keaau and at the Parker Ranch Store. Tickets will also be available at the gate. Call 808-887-2301 or visit www. for more information.

The mission of the Hawaii Island Humane Society is to promote respect for all animals, prevent cruelty to animals, eliminate pet overpopulation, and enhance the bond between humans and animals. HIHS holds a contract with the County of Hawaii to enforce certain animal-related laws and it offers 24-hour service for injured animals and other animal emergencies, humane education classes, low-cost spay and neuter services, lost and found assistance, microchipping and more. Learn more at or call 808-329-1175.

3.1 Magnitude Earthquake Registered in Waimea

Magnitude 3.1
Location 19.777°N, 155.573°W
Depth 16.4 km (10.2 miles)
  • 29 km (18 miles) SE (128°) from Waikoloa Village, HI
  • 29 km (18 miles) SSE (159°) from Waimea, HI
  • 35 km (22 miles) ESE (119°) from Puako, HI
  • 52 km (32 miles) W (279°) from Hilo, HI
  • 290 km (180 miles) SE (126°) from Honolulu, HI
Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 0.4 km (0.2 miles); depth +/- 1.1 km (0.7 miles)
Parameters Nph= 43, Dmin=12 km, Rmss=0.09 sec, Gp= 86°,
M-type=duration magnitude (Md), Version=1
Event ID hv60366716

Richard Smart Fund Grants Now Available to the Waimea Community

Hawai’i Community Foundation announced today that grants benefiting the Waimea community on Hawai’i Island are now available through the Ho’ohui ‘O Waimea grant program.  The deadline for submitting applications is on August 13, 2012.

The grant program was established in honor of Richard Smart, a philanthropist who gave generously to support education, healthcare, culture and the arts and other charitable activities for the Waimea community. Smart’s legacy continues to support the community and lifestyle that he loved, a community where people know each other and care about maintaining the special qualities of Waimea.

The Hawai’i Community Foundation encourages residents and community organizations to submit grant proposals that help to make Waimea a better place to live.  Proposals may include (but are not limited to):

  • Community volunteerism and/or the scope of volunteer opportunities
  • Raising awareness of local civic issues affecting the residents
  • Collaboration between nonprofit organizations
  • Participation in community-building activities
  • Increasing communication between long-time and newer residents

To be eligible for a grant of up to $10,000, a group must be a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization – such as schools, units of government or neighborhood groups– or have a 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsor. Community organizations without 501(c)(3) status are eligible to apply for a grant up to $2,000, provided the activities to be supported are charitable.

Grants proposals must benefit the Waimea community and can include ongoing or one-time events. Grants awarded will be for a 12 month project.

Proposal information is available at All proposals should be mailed to Hawai’i Community Foundation, Attention: Richard Smart Fund, 827 Fort Street Mall, Honolulu, HI 96813 and must be post-marked on or before August 13, 2012.

In the first round of Ho’ohui ‘O Waimea grants in 2012, the following organizations received awards:

  • Big Island Mediation – in support of Community Mediation
  • Five Mountains Hawai’i – in support of Lifeplan Youth Leaders of Waimea
  • Friends of the Future – in support of the Better Choices program
  • Hawai’i Preparatory Academy – in support of the Hoku a’Aina Global Sustainability Local Applicability – Go Green Hui
  • North Hawai’i Community Hospital – in support of the Senior Fair
  • North Hawai’i Women and Children’s Services – in support of Summer Academic Enrichment Camps
  • The Earl & Doris Bakken Foundation – in support of the North Hawai’i Outcomes Project
  • The Kohala Center – in support of the Kohala Watershed Partnership Community Volunteer Program
  • The Kohala Center – in support of the Science and Technology High School for the Waimea Community
  • Waimea Preservation Association – in support of Coqui Free Waimea

About Hawai’i Community Foundation
With 95 years of community service, the Hawai’i Community Foundation is the leading philanthropic institution in the state.  The Foundation is a steward of more than 600 funds, including more than 160 scholarship funds, created by donors who desire to transform lives and improve communities.  In 2011, more than $44 million in grants and contracts were distributed statewide.  The Foundation also serves as a resource on community issues and trends in the nonprofit sector.

19th Anuual Cherry Blossom Heritage Festival

The 19h annual Waimea Cherry Blossom Heritage Festival has a full lineup of multi-cultural performing arts, hands-on demonstrations, over 100 crafters, a new quilt show and food booths 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 4 at various venues sprawling through town—look for pink banners identifying site locations.

Photo by Bob Fewell

Organized by members of the upcountry community and the county’s department of parks and recreation, the festival marks the blooming of the historic cherry trees at Church Row Park and celebrates the age-old Japanese tradition of hanami, which translates to “cherry blossom viewing party.” After a seasonal winter chill, the trees typically are blooming in February.

This year’s community festival is part of the nationwide 100-year anniversary that marks the 1912 planting of cherry trees along the Potomac River in Washington D.C. The Japan-U.S. Cherry Blossom Centennial celebration features the planting of cherry trees across the nation as a continued symbol of friendship between the two countries.

Photo by Bob Fewell

Using seeds presented from the Embassy of Japan that are especially suited to Hawaii’s climate, seedlings were cultivated last fall for planting at the festival. One seedling, Cerasus jamasakura Cv. Sendaiya, will be ceremoniously planted 10:30 a.m. in Church Row Park by Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi; Yoshihiko Kamo, Consul General of Japan in Honolulu; and Dr. Tetsuo Koyama, director of the Kochi Prefectural Makino Botanical Garden,

This year’s festival also commemorates three paniolo: Charles T. Kimura, Charles T. Onaka and Jamie Dowsett. The Big Isle residents will be recognized by Mayor Kenoi during opening festivities on the entertainment stage behind Parker Ranch Center.

Photo by Bob Fewell

The official festival program will be included just prior to the event in the North Hawaii News and also distributed at festival venues. It includes a map with activity locations and details on the many presenting organizations.

Photo by Bob Fewell

Festival parking is available at Parker Ranch Center and the soccer field across Church Row Park. A free shuttle offers transportation among festival venues with stops at Parker Ranch Historic Homes on Hwy. 190, Parker Ranch Center’s back parking lot and Church Row Park. A quick rundown of festival activities at various locations follows (times are 9 a.m.-3 p.m. unless specified otherwise).

Church Row Park

  • Historical Cherry Tree Display: Waimea Lions’ Club offers a pictorial history of the cherry trees and serves as the festival’s official Lost and Found station. The Lions will also collect used eyeglasses, offer vision screening and sell pancake breakfast tickets
  • Bonsai: The Waimea Bonyu Kai Bonsai Club offers a display and sale of bonsai, ongoing demonstrations and a clinic to discuss and work on the art of bonsai
  • Cooking Demos at Kamuela Hongwanji: Big Isle chefs offer cooking demonstrations with free samples
  • Japanese Cultural Demos/Entertainment at Kamuela Hongwanji: Enjoy taiko drumming and learn the time-honored art of origami by Kikuko Kibe and furoshiki (gift wrapping cloth)
  • Asian Collectibles/Food Sales at Kamuela Hongwanji: Church organizations sell Asian-themed collectibles, cherry blossom note cards, lanterns made from recycled beverage cans, cherry tree seedlings and cherry blossoms in mugs, temple cookbooks. Asian foods: Inari sushi, teriyaki chicken bowl, nishime, manju, andagi and prune mui.
  • Cherry Tree Planting: Seedling planted by dignitaries as part of the Japan-U.S. Cherry Blossom

Centennial, 10:30 a.m., Hamakua end of park

  • Martial Arts Demonstrations throughout the day
  • Food Sales at Imiola Church: Saimin, cherry ice cream and local delicacies

Parker Ranch Center- Hwy. 19

  • Festival Entertainment Stage: In the back parking lot. Opening ceremonies at 9 a.m. kick off continuous entertainment until 3 p.m.: Bon Odori Taiko, bon dance, Japanese Preschool presentation, Kumu Hula Michael Pang’s Hula Halau Ka Noeau, Lono Kanakaole Trio, Kenny Endo’s Taiko, Darlene Ahuna, Kuhao Case and Tai Shoji Taiko.
  • Craft Fair: Over 100 crafters inside Center and in the back parking lot, cherry tree seedlings for sale in back parking lot
  • Mochi Tsuki Pounding: Help pound mochi using 500 pounds of rice with the Kona Hongwanji Mission outside the Fireside Food Court starting 10 a.m.; free samples

Mana Christian Ohana Church – (Formerly Kahilu Town Hall) Behind Parker Ranch Center

  • Ka Hui Kapa Apana O Waimea’s Festival of Quilts: Show by six clubs: Sew N Sews of Waikoloa, Anuenue Quilters of North Hawaii, Mauna Kea Quilters, Laulima O Hamakua, Sew Fun After School and the host Ka Hui Kapa Apana. Show honors the late Nancy Donigan and displays the commemorative Aloha Airlines Quilt and sells crafts. Open 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • Car Show: Hamakua side of parking lot

Waimea Historic Corner-Hwys. 19/190 intersection

  • Firehouse Gallery Art Demos/Exhibition: Waimea Arts Council (WAC) presents a members’ invitational show with a cherry blossom theme. WAC members demonstrate paper, painting and jewelry making, plus sidewalk chalk drawings for all ages, while Waimea Community Theatre presents scenes from the upcoming production, “The Hollow.” Kohala Taco & Burger will sell tacos as a fundraiser for the arts organization.

Parker School-Hwy. 19

  • Waimea Town Market/Performing Arts: Farmers Market open 8 a.m.-1 p.m. with calligraphy instruction, on-site stone oven featured fresh-baked bread, artisan products sale and a performance by Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko Hawaii-Kohala at 10 and 11 a.m., plus Okinawan dance.

Parker Ranch Historic Homes-Hwy. 190

  • Cultural Demos/Performing Arts/Food: Enjoy ritual Japanese tea ceremony led by Emi Wakayama, the Sakura Ensemble on shakuhachi (bamboo flute) clarinet and piano; plus a display of oriental art and kimonos. Portuguese bean soup, smoked meat bowls and malasadas will be served.

Paniolo Heritage Center at Historic Pukalani Stables-End of Pukalani St. (turn south off Hwy. 19 at Ace Hardware)

  • Paniolo Kepani-Hawaii’s Japanese Cowboys: Cowboy breakfast featuring smoked meat omelets and authentic paniolo pancakes 8-10 a.m. for $12 donation, lunch offerings later; talk story sessions by Paniolo Preservation Society featuring Japanese and Hawaiian cultural practices, Japanese cowboy exhibit including master saddlemaker Alvin Kawamoto, display of historic ranching artifacts and photos, and learn to play Japanese card game, Hanafuda, with Milton Yamasaki.

Topstitch-Holomua Center, Kamamalu St.

  • Quilt Exhibit: by the Mauna Kea Quilters Guild and Topstich Fabric & Needlecraft. Make It and Take It free activity.

Kamuela Liquors-Hwy. 19

  • Sake Tasting: Noon-3 p.m.

Kuhio Hale-Hwy. 19

  • Farmer’s Market: More than 20 members of the Hawaiian Homestead Market offer a variety of products 7 a.m.-noon

Ginger Farm- (old Anderson Homestead) MM 55 across from Puu Nani St. on Hwy. 19

  • Japanese Home Tour/Tea Tasting/Art Fun: Self-guided tour through traditional Japanese style home; Parker School students serve cherry tea and show keiki how to make a cherry blossom hanging scroll.

The Waimea Cherry Blossom Heritage Festival is produced by the Hawaii County Parks and Recreation Department. Overseen by the park’s culture education administrator, Roxcie Waltjen, the festival is a community-wide effort by a dedicated team of volunteers, 961-8706.

Getting Personal With Hawaii County Council Candidate Margaret Wille

Last week, Waimea resident and attorney Margaret Wille announced on her blog in a posting, Moving Forward Towards Run for District 9 County Council Seat, that she would be making a run for the Hawaii County Council seat that Pete Hoffman is vacating as his term is over.

A number of months ago, Councilman Pete Hoffmann called  and asked me to stop to discuss some proposed ordinance he was drafting.  As the conversation about the ordinance was coming to a close, Pete turned to me and said — I think you should run for my seat on the County Council next year  (he is now termed out). 

Before that  I had not given considered running for this legislative office. I told him I would give him my answer by the end of the month. And my answer was yes.   Thereafter, the more I thought about being part of the council and working in the area of legislation and policy, the more excited I became.

I’ve gotten to know Margaret online and through her blog so I asked her a few questions about her potential run for County Council.

I asked “who and/or what inspires you?”

What inspires me:  The beauty of our island — trees, the ocean, our mountains,  open pastures, the sky. I am very grateful to live here and be part of this community.

The extraordinary potential of this island community — its unique history and rich cultural values and sense of place.  

The belief that we can each make a difference — to make the world a little better place.

Somene who inspired me:   My mother — who dedicated much of her life working on national peace efforts. She always gave of herself for the wellbeing of others in need.

Judge Spottswood W. Robinson,  Judge on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals  for the District of Columbia — with whom I did an internship. He had an extraordinary sense of justice and dedication to the rule of law.

I went on to ask her “tell me a little bit about your upbringing” and she stated:

I spent most of my life growing up in New England — lived and worked in Maine before moving to Hawaii.  I enjoy rural life. Over the years while living in Maine I had a pet pig “Easter Katie” (that thought it was a dog), horses, dogs, a donkey, a goose that liked to watch television, and an extraordinary crow named Frank that hung out around my law office. He would sit on my shoulder while I worked in my law office. 

I first came to Hawaii in 1970 when my brothers Eugene and Ward (Thomas) McCain purchased the Aloha Theater and healthfood store.  I helped them open the store — painting, cleaning, and cooking. That year was the first time I drove through Waimea. Waimea-town  felt like a secret garden (where the mountains and forests and streams met the plains and pastures). Ever since then I thought about how lucky Waimea’s residents were to live in such a special place.   My mother lived in Puako for many years. I moved here full time in 2002.

Throughout my life and travels, I have had many extraordinary opportunities – especially educational opportunities. I  want to do what I can so others have similar educational opportunities and are able to find a good job that is meaningful and secure here on the Big Island.

I then asked “What would be the first bill that you would put before the county if elected?”

Before introducing any bill, I would want to make a list of all projects that are underway and figure out why each of them has not yet happened and what needs to be done to move them forward as quickly as possible.

With respect to legislation, I would likely start with legislation that would be helpful to all segments of the the District 9 community (and also helpful to the rest of the Island)– such as working on establishing a regional transit hub in Waimea and simplifying the subdivision code so that the permitting process is easier.  I would also want to assess the need for legislation to identify and better protect our Hawaiian cultural assets. I would also want to continue focusing  on infrastructure needs and public transportation, preservation of Pelekane Bay and harbor and recreational  issue in both North and South Kohala, and water issues in general.  

Because I have followed Council business over the years, I am fairly knowledgable in a lot of areas.  A key long-term focus will be on educational efforts from a county perspective — from local community efforts such as a mentoring program, and down the road additional vocational and high tech educational opportunities for all ages.

I have experience drafting legislation and regulations —  including drafting regulations for the Maine Department of Agriculture. In the 1980’s I was worked on labor issues involved in federal immigration legislation and testified before a Senate Committee on behalf of Maine woodsworkers.

Candidate Wille posted the following on her website:

County Council District 9 as now configured– which basically includes North and South Kohala — is a place of extraordinary potential with extraordinary people.  We are a place of great resourcefulness among ourselves.  

Here is what I have drafted so far about my candidacy:


District 9 County Council: Seeking office for the benefit of our communities: Hawi, Kapaau, Kawaihae, Mauna Kea and Mauna Lani, Puako, Waikoloa, Waimea, and Waikii

Employmentattorney practicing land use law in Waimea (previous employment included part-time teaching at Parker School, consultant for a state department of agriculture, and administrator of a state-wide volunteer program for the American Bar Association to assist institutionalized adult and youth offenders reentering society)

Educational background:  J.D. Law; Masters Education; B.A. Anthropology

Core values: pono – balance and rightness; ‘ike loa – wisdom and knowledge; aloha ‘āina – love of the land;  and  ho‘omau – perseverance

Focus as a councilperson will be: Availability of good jobs and educational opportunities for District 9 residents; need-based and entrepreneurial solutions to crime and social problems; agricultural sufficiency and resiliency; implementation of a 511 traffic alert system; completion of the Kawaihae to Waimea bypass; opportunities for recreation and health; restoration of Pelekane Bay; low cost renewable energy; promote the wisdom and glory of the Hawaiian people and culture.

Vision: Community First!  Let me help you make a difference.

Efforts and Accomplishments as an active member of our community:

  • Margaret’s proposed redistricting plan (Plan 40) was selected as the final base Plan for the Hawaii County Council Districts. [Margaret drafted this Plan 40 in consultation with community members around the County to challenge the Commission’s previously preferred Plan that was lop-sided in favor of Hilo.]
  • Margaret submitted various amendments to the County Charter Commission, which as adopted by the Charter Commission, were approved by the voters in 2008. [The amendments she submitted included the original draft of the voter approved “public trust” Charter amendment.  The objective of the “public trust” Charter provision is to protect and preserve Hawaiian cultural sites and practices and environmental natural resources. The Charter Commission also adopted suggestions she made to provide internet notification about government meetings.]
  • In a pro bono legal action, Margaret successfully represented Waimea community members to force the County of Hawaii to require Parker Ranch to carry out its obligation to construct the Parker Ranch Connector Road as had been promised in the 1990s. As the result of these legal actions, the Parker Ranch Connector Road (2 phases) was completed in 2008.
  • In another pro bono legal action, while co-chair of the Waimea Planning and Design Committee, Margaret in collaboration with Parker School reached a settlement with the County and Parker School in the context of the school’s planned expansion. The additional permit conditions, as now being implemented, provide for increased pedestrian safety, and mitigation of traffic congestion in Waimea in the area of Lindsey and Kapiolani Roads.
  • As a member of the South Kohala Traffic Safety Committee, Margaret recently suggested the construction of a regional transit hub on Lindsey Road extension adjacent to the Waimea Post Office to provide for a multi-modal transit hub and information facility.  With the support of Councilman Pete Hoffmann, in December 2011, the County Council unanimously voted in favor of placing this project on the County’s Capital Improvement Project List.
  • While participating in a meeting concerning traffic safety at the Waimea public schools, Margaret proposed the original idea of an intra-Waimea shuttle bus service from Lakeland to Kamuela View Estates, which with the help of Parker School representatives, the South Kohala Traffic Safety Committee, and Councilmember Pete Hoffmann, this bus service is now a part of our island-wide hele-on service.
  • As part of the Parker Ranch Connector Road settlement, with the help of the Trails and Greenways Committee and members of the Kenoi administration, Margaret negotiated for additional easement land to be given by Parker Ranch to the County at no cost for the Waimea Trails and Greenways project –so that the trail would not be fenced up against residential lots.
  • While a Director on the Waimea Community Association Board of Directors,  with the help of innumerable participants  from federal, state and county agencies as well as many non-government entities and individuals, Margaret facilitated a community meeting on Emergency Preparedness and Resiliency.
  • As co-chair of the Conservation Subcommittee of the Community Development Plan Committee, Margaret, along with Bob Hunter and other Waimea residents, successfully lead the effort to remove the one-acre zoning across the face of Waimea’s Hōkū‘ula pu‘u.
  • While participating in a community meeting addressing issues relating to the proposed County agricultural plan, Margaret organized the participants in an effort to draft and lobby in support of county legislation to address the frightening problem of the little red ant invasive species spreading across the island. With the help of Councilman Pete Hoffmann, the resulting County Council resolution passed 9-0.
  • As a member of the South Kohala Community Development Plan Steering Committee, Margaret drafted many provisions that are now part of that Plan enacted into law in 2008, such as on issues relating to increasing higher education opportunities in South Kohala and increasing the authority of the SKCDP action committee.
  • Over the past decade Margaret has testified many times at County and State legislative and board hearings on issues affecting the welfare of our communities and has often informed affected community constituencies about important issues so that others could participate and make an impact on the government decision-making process.


FOR MORE INFORMATION OR JUST TO SAY YOU SUPPORT HER CANDIDACY, CONTACT MARGARET:;  887-1419; Friends to Elect Margaret Wille  P.O. Box 528 Kamuela Hi 96743

The Police Department Will Hold a Community Meeting Tuesday April 19, in Waimea

Media Release:

The Hawai’i Police Department will hold a community meeting on Tuesday, April 19, from 12-2 p.m. at the Department of Hawaiian Homelands’ Kuhio Hale building in Waimea. The purpose of the meeting is to allow the public to meet the Police Department’s command staff and to discuss concerns with the police chief and commanders who oversee police operations in the South Kohala District.

This event continues the Police Department’s district community meetings, which are rotated monthly throughout the eight police districts on the island of Hawai’i.

To aid police commanders in focusing on specific concerns, police request that participation be limited to persons who live or work in the South Kohala District.

Those interested in participating but unable to attend may e-mail their concerns or comments to

For more information, you may call Captain James Sanborn at 939-2520 or stop by the South Kohala police station in Waimea.

Why Is the County Wasting More Money on Vehicle Registration Offices?

From the Hawaii Tribune:

…Hawaii County would open a Waimea vehicle registration and driver’s licensing office and double the size of its prosecutors office there under a proposal from Mayor Billy Kenoi’s administration.…”

Why open an office and have staff work at an office that could be done online for much less cost?

Vehicle registration is done online across America. Yet we need to spend more money getting space and man power to man an office that will only be available 32 hours a week some weeks (furloughs)?

I thought the idea was to start getting people off the roads and quit wasting gas? Why wait in line somewhere when it can be done online?

I’m tired of the same old excuse… “Not everyone has internet”.


Mayor Kenoi to Meet With Residents in Kohala and Waimea

Mayor Kenoi and Carey Hiroyuki Tagawa talking at the recent Big Island Film Festival

From the Mayors Office:

Community meetings with Mayor Billy Kenoi will be held in Kohala on June 8, and in Waimea on June 15.

Each of the community meetings is open to the public.

The meeting on June 8 will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Kohala Intergenerational Center , hosted by David Fuertes.

The meeting on June 15 will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at New Hope Waimea Church , hosted by Sonny Shimaoka.

Refreshments will be served at both meetings.

For more information, call the Office of the Mayor in West Hawai ‘i, 327-3602.

Saturday: Wellness with Aloha – Cultural & Healing Festival

Waimea, Big Island


The other day I had the chance to do some running around in Waimea on the Big Island.  I lucked out as the weather was beautiful up there and it was actually warm.

Here are some random pictures I took of some things that interested me.

Waimea Peace Pole

The Waimea Peace Pole


It's Tutu's House


The Hawaiian Blue & The Kamehameha Lady. In honor of Alma Pelosi (mom of 7)

I think this one is self explanatory

I think this one is self explanatory


I need to find the one that says "Knocking on Hell's Door"


Can you hear me now?


Not Hawaii Time... Waimea Time


It says it all

Beginning Today: Waimea and Pahoa Household Hazardous Waste Collection Events

WAIMEA & PAHOA Household Hazardous Waste Collection Events:

Today  (Waimea) and Tomorrow (Pahoa), 2009 8:30am3:30pm

Bring your automotive fluids, chemicals and cleaners and other hazardous household wastes to the Waimea Transfer Station  collection area on March 7th and the Pahoa Transfer Station collection area on March 8th.  For full details on what materials are and are not accepted please visit Household Hazardous Waste.