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Big Island Police Searching for Segway Stolen From World Botanical Gardens

Hawaiʻi Island police are asking for the public’s help in providing information about a theft from a tourist attraction in the North Hilo District.

Sometime between the night of February 14 and the morning of February 15, someone removed a black Segway X2 personal transportation vehicle and two 25-gallon cans filled with gasoline from World Botanical Gardens on Old Mamalahoa Highway in Umauma.

Police ask anyone who witnessed the theft, knows the identity of the person or persons responsible for the theft, or knows the location of the stolen items to call Officer Angitau Faanunu at 962-2120.

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.


September Specials on the Big Island

Don’t let the end of summer get you down – it’s summery year-round on Hawai’i, the Big Island. A slew of special offers, new direct flights, and a cornucopia of fall specials make it easy to fall for Hawai’i’s biggest (and best) island, in a big way.



Alaska Airlines Adds More Nonstop Flights to Kona International Airport! New daily nonstop flights from San Jose and Oakland, CA are en route to Kona, as Alaska Airlines increases its airlift to Hawai’i starting Mar. 12, 2012. Currently, the airline serves Kona with three flights a week between Oakland and Kona, and four flights a week between San Jose and Kona. Savvy travelers can fly for as little as $179 each way if they act fast: book by Sept. 3 for travel from Mar. 12 – June 9, 2012. A complete list of fares and daily routes is available at www.alaskaair.com or by calling (800) 252-7522.

Vote for Hawai’i Island! To celebrate its 30th anniversary, ISLANDS magazine is having a cover contest! Log onto http://www.islands.com/gallery/30-years-covers?pnid=128407&page=,5 and cast your vote for Hawai’i, the Big Island today! The island with the most votes will be featured as the cover photo for the December 2012 issue. Hurry, voting ends on Sept. 21. The Big Island graced the February 1991 cover, and it’s time to do it again!

Kohala Canopy Adventure Swings Into Action. Hawaii Forest & Trail and Kohala Zipline present a new, exciting adventure, the Kohala Canopy Adventure. Kohala Zipline, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hawaii Forest & Trail, opens Sept. 3. Built on Hawaii Forest & Trail’s 18 years of experience, this nature-based elevated inspiration is perched amongst the trees of Hālawa Gulch and features suspension bridges, soaring tree platforms and thrilling ziplines. Exclusive features, such as WhisperLines™ and smooth-stop braking, ensure guest safety and comfort and deliver an unforgettable experience. Visit www.kohalazipline.com.

Zoom and Smell the Flowers! Botanical World’s new Segway of Hawaii tours let riders glide silently through the lush rainforest, waterfalls and exquisite gardens at its World Botanical Gardens north of Hilo. Certified Segway guides train and assist visitors to ride the stand-up, two-wheeled electric transporters, with 30-minute to two-hour-plus tours available. Combine a Segway Botanical Tour with a Zip Isle Zip Line tour and double up on fun and save on admission. Reservations recommended, visit www.botanicalworld.com or call toll-free (888) 947-4753 for information. 

Ocean Sports announces its newest “twist” in water fitness activities: Aqua Hula! Under the guidance of an expert kumu hula (instructor), you’ll learn and perform authentic hula dance moves in this easy-to-follow, no-impact, shallow-water workout. Routines are set to lovely, lively Hawaiian music, and no experience is required. Classes offered daily at the Hilton Waikoloa Village, Mon.- Fri. For information or reservations, call (808) 886-6666, ext. 103, or visit www.hawaiioceansports.com.

Hawaii Island Retreat in North Kohala is expanding the natural spa services at its new Maluhia Spa. The new Papaya Delight body treatment is a highly exfoliating and healing treatment that begins with roasted ground papaya seeds to exfoliate and polish the skin, followed by a mask of fresh organic papaya, goat yogurt, honey, and geranium oil.  Once the mask is removed, a massage with papaya-pineapple lotion leaves the skin silky smooth and dewy fresh.  Call (808) 889-6336 to schedule an appointment.

The Spa Without Walls at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i introduces two new treatments from Hawaiian Rainforest Naturals, the Hiwahiwa and the Kane which incorporate lotions and essences drawn from flowers from Hawai’i Island. The 50-minute treatments, tailored specifically for The Spa Without Walls, are being offered for $159 in any one of the award-winning Spa’s waterfall or oceanfront hale.  Offer is exclusive of tax & gratuity and valid until Dec. 21, 2011.  Call (808) 887-7540 for more information and reservations.

Sportfishing Charter “Super Saver” Upgrade Offers. Book a half-day fishing charter with Kona’s Humdinger Sportfishing, and get upgraded to a ¾ day fishing charter, plus take an additional $100 off. This special price of $500 saves anglers $300! Or, book a ¾ day, get upgraded to a full-day charter, and receive $100 off for a total of $700, saving anglers $300. Six-passenger maximum, payment due in full at time of booking, and charter must be taken by May 15, 2012. For details, visit www.humdingersportfishing.com, or call (808) 325-3449.

Big Island Eco Adventures II is now open and ready to rock! Experience breathtaking mountains and gulches of North Kohala and soar on eight exhilarating zipline runs, ranging from 700 to 2,000 feet. Test your courage on a 200-foot suspension bridge overlooking a beautiful fern grotto. Enjoy light, local snacks at the Mango Hut, and zip out to finish the tour with views of Waianaia Gulch and the Pacific Ocean. Call (808) 889-5111 or visit www.thebigislandzipline.com.

Five-hour O‘ahu-to-Big Island Private Airplane/Helicopter Adventure. Private parties from one to six people start their day on O’ahu by boarding a private airplane with Makani Kai headed for Hawai’i, the Big Island. After arriving, they climb aboard with Paradise Helicopters to enjoy flightseeing over Hawai’i’s biggest island, with highlights like Kīlauea volcano, and landing in a secluded valley on the Hāmākua Coast for a Hawaiian-themed picnic lunch. Contact Rob Payesko, (808) 329-6601, or email rob@paradisecopters.com.

Manta Mama. A manta ray fondly called “Big Bertha” recently gave birth. Her underwater courtship and 13-month gestation period was chronicled by Fair Wind Big Island Ocean Guides’ videographer James L. Wing. Big Bertha’s underbelly markings and her 15-foot wing span make her easily recognizable among the giant rays often observed during Fair Wind’s nighttime Manta Snorkel and Dive adventure just offshore from Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort & Spa. Watch the video at www.mantarayshawaii.com and learn more at www.Fair-Wind.com.

The renowned Volcano Art Center presents “Dia De Los Muertos: Grievin’ and Groovin’ Fiesta, Procession and Art Exhibit,” Nov. 1-2. This two-day celebration honoring the dearly departed represents art, writing, and movement based on mortality and the passage of time. Based on the actual dates of the traditional celebration, it will close in a full fiesta on the evening of the second day. Visit www.volcanoartcenter.org for details, or to participate, contact Anne at community@volcanoartcenter.org.

Looking for more to do? Click www.bigisland.org/calendar for detailed information about additional Hawai’i Island happenings throughout 2011, like the 41st Annual Kona Coffee Cultural Festival:

Praised for its fine, aromatic and memorable taste, Kona coffee is celebrated at the 41st annual Kona Coffee Cultural Festival Nov. 4-13. The award-winning, 10-day festival is recognized as the oldest and one of the most successful food festivals in Hawai’i, honors Kona’s cultural heritage and recognizes the accomplishments of Kona coffee pioneers, farmers and artisans. www.konacoffeefest.com.


Mark your calendar for the 2011 Kona Surf Film Festival happening Dec. 2 and 3 at The Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows. The Fest is an epic weekend of international surf films, live music, local art and design and awesome food and drinks.  The weekend will benefit the Seathos Foundation, which promotes education and awareness of the human impact on the world’s oceans. Enjoy special festival room rates starting from $199 a night. For more information visit www.maunalani.com.

Guests at the Outrigger Royal Sea Cliff have a new evening activity to enjoy: movies under the stars. Every Thursday, between 7:15 and 9 p.m., the resort offers “Movie Night Under the Sea Cliff Stars” with movies either filmed in Hawai’i or about Hawai’i. Recent viewings have included Lilo and Stitch, The Ride, Soul Surfer, and Blue Hawaii. There’s even a concession stand with freshly popped popcorn and M&Ms to enjoy. Find out more at  www.outriggerroyalseacliff.com.

Vacation Homes for the Holidays. Need a holiday getaway? Hawaii Vacation Rentals, Inc. has availability in Puakō during the holidays in beautiful beach cottages and luxurious homes. Puakō is a charming residential beach community on the sunny Kohala Coast, nestled between the Mauna Kea and Mauna Lani resorts. Visit www.vacationbigisland.com  or call (800) 332-7081.

Enjoy the warmth of Hawai’i Island at Prince Resorts Hawaii with up to $100 daily resort credit used toward dining, golf, spa and more. Mauna Kea Beach Hotel is offering $399 per room per night for mountain view accommodations with $100 daily resort credit. Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel is offering a $199 per room per night for terrace accommodations with $50 daily resort credit. Offers valid Oct. 1 – Dec. 17, 2011. For reservations or information, call (866) Prince-6 or visit www.PrinceResortsHawaii.com/fall.

Hale Makamae Bed & Breakfast in Puna offers warm hospitality, classic aloha spirit, plus a fall special! Enjoy a 10 percent discount for new bookings, valid now through Nov. 15, 2011, and mention the 2011 Fall Special. Comfortable, spacious suites are surrounded by two acres of serene tropical gardens. Families welcome, gourmet breakfast included, free Wi-Fi. Ten minutes to the lava flow, 30 minutes to Hilo and Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, five minutes to Pāhoa. Visit www.bnb-aloha.com for more info.

Hilton Waikoloa Village has a new name for its children’s program: Club Keiki. Club Keiki (formerly known as Camp Menehune), prides itself in providing a safe and fun environment for children five to 12 with day and night camp activities.  Each day includes themed crafts, games and water activities. Club Keiki counselors tell stories of the islands and teach children about Hawaiian culture. For information, call (808) 886-1234, ext. 1202 or visit www.hiltonwaikoloavillage.com.

Castle’s “Fall for Hawai‘i” Sale. Let Castle Resorts & Hotels help you Fall for Hawai’i for the first time, or all over again! Castle’s fall specials offer 55 percent off select hotels and condominium resorts on Hawai’i, the Big Island. Castle’s outstanding collection offers properties with full kitchens, washer/dryers, oceanfront swimming pools, restaurants, fitness centers and more. Visit www.castleresorts.com, or call (800) 545-3510 to learn more.

Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort & Spa is ideal for families, romantics, ocean lovers and island adventurers. It is also ideal when booking a room now through Dec. 23, 2011 at rates starting as low $129 per night. The “Book Now & Save” rate is non-changeable, non-refundable and subject to availability at time of booking. Applicable state taxes and daily resort service fee not included. Book online at www.SheratonKeauhou.com/specials.

Bougainvillea Bed and Breakfast in Ocean View offers a room, restaurant offer and three nights for two people at $89/night. Try the new eatery, Rock Island Roadhouse, with a $25 coupon, and enjoy remarkable food and reasonable prices in a pleasing, enjoyable setting. Offer valid now through Dec. 15, 2011. Call (808) 929-7089, and visit www.bougainvilleabedandbreakfast.com.

Aston Hotels & Resorts offer the Sweet Suite package for golf enthusiasts. Package includes two rounds of golf, plus cart, at the Waikoloa Beach Golf Course (Beach or Kings Course) and accommodations at the Aston Shores at Waikoloa with starting rates from $234 per night or Aston Waikoloa Colony Villas starting at $243 per night. Visit www.AstonHotels.com or call (866) 774-2924.

Four Seasons Resort Hualālai to Plant 500,000 Trees. Four Seasons Resort Hualālai at Historic Ka’upulehu, the first and only AAA Five-Diamond and Forbes Five-Star resort on Hawai’i Island, has partnered with Hawaiian Legacy Hardwoods in planting up to 500,000 “legacy” koa trees in native Hawaiian forests. This initiative is part of a global effort of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts to plant 10 million trees around the world, in recognition of the company’s 50th birthday. More information available at  http://press.fourseasons.com/hualalai/hotel-news/four-seasons-resort-hualalai-to-plant-500-000-trees/.


Wine Grapes Grown With Ocean Water? The innovators at the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawai’i (NELHA) in Kona are successfully growing Isabella-variety wine grapes with ocean water, and have been since 1997. Deep cold ocean water is used to create 24/7 condensate drip irrigation and nurtures three crops per year. This unique, patented technology was developed at NELHA, and has also been used to grow a variety of temperate crops in the tropics. Visit these one-of-a-kind wine grapes at the Gateway Center at NELHA,  www.energyfuturehawaii.org.

AKA Sushi is a new little eatery in Waimea, located in the Waimea Shopping Center in the heart of town. Kyaw Mo and his wife Akiko are the proprietors of this 22-seat sushi specialty restaurant. Traditional nigiri sushi, sashimi, special rolls and hand rolls are all part of the menu; rice bowls and salads with somen noodles, too. Open for lunch and dinner, Tues.-Sat., 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., (808) 887-2320. Email:  bigakasushi@yahoo.com.


Hawai’i Island Is #1! In its August issue, the readers of Travel +Leisure voted Hawai’i, the Big Island the top Hawaiian Island, and ranked the island No. 7 on the list of Top Islands Overall in the World’s Best Awards 2011 readers’ survey. Hawai’i Island is also home to the top resort hotel in the state: the Four Seasons Resort Hualālai is ranked No. 1 on the World’s Best Awards 2011 list of Top Resorts in Hawai’i! We’re still celebrating, and if you missed the news, read all about it here: http://media.gohawaii.com/big-island/press-room/news-releases/-articles-/2011/08/191086_1108250248-632.

Mountain Thunder Has Done It Again! Mountain Thunder Coffee Plantation earned two gold medals at the Kona Coffee Council’s prestigious Cream of the Crop competition in August, one for “Chef’s Choice,” and the other for “People’s Choice.” On Sept. 4, Mountain Thunder will again be crowned Best of the West by readers of the West Hawaii Today newspaper. Visit the family-owned Cloud Forest Kona coffee plantation and mill for a free tour, or schedule a VIP tour and call (808) 345-6600. Japanese tours on Tuesday and Friday. Visit www.mountainthunder.com.

So I Took My Wife Ziplining for Her Birthday

Today is my wife’s birthday so I took her and a couple of her friends Ziplining at the World Botanical Gardens!

This wasn’t the original Ziplining trip that I had planned, as I was going to take them to the much scarier Umauma ones… however those ones recently were closed due to safety reasons!

This clip is the last zipline there a dual track zipline that’s about 1100 feet long.


After we went ziplining… I tried to take her to the Sig Zane Store to give her a new dress… but they were closed so she will get a rain check on that!

Then we went to Cafe Pesto for lunch where I ordered this Classico Pizza.