Letters — ‘Murder On The Air’ Performances In Hilo Thursday Through Saturday

Image courtesy of The Only Magical Pig

Image courtesy of The Only Magical Pig

Return with me now to the “golden age of radio” for Murder On The Air, at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 3, Friday, Dec. 4, and Saturday, Dec. 5.

That’s when the upstairs theater at the East Hawaii Cultural Center becomes a “broadcast studio” — and you’re in the “studio audience”  —  as I present  three mystery plays in old-time radio style, with scripts in hand, live sound-effects and music.

The performers are all popular local actors, several of whom were  in my Charlie Chan mystery stage play, “The House Without A Key,” at EHCC last March.  The cast includes Steve Peyton, Laura Caswell, Jake McPherson, George Kahao III, Felix, Nick Brosseau, Joyce Stephens, Saul Rollason, Kathy Frankovic, and me, with Jim Thompson as “your announcer.”

Vengeance in Vegas is the first play of the evening: a short and  funny “minuscule mystery” in the tradition of radio private-eye shows. Read more

Waimea News — Middle School Students To Make ‘Stone Soup’ On Furlough Friday

Pam Coulter Blehert art

Pam Coulter Blehert art

“I am one, but still I am one.

I cannot do everything, but still I can do something;

and because I cannot do everything,

I will not refuse to do something that I can.”

— Helen Keller

(Media release) — Friday is yet another DOE Furlough Friday – no classes statewide for all regular public school students.  But for Waimea Middle School students, it will be classes as usual because teachers and staff have decided to remain open – a local decision they are empowered to make having voted to because the state’s first public conversion charter school in 2003.

Staying open – and funding these work days out of the limited budget for public charter schools – is not without challenges.

For example:  The DOE has decreed that Waimea Elementary School cafeteria staff, who are contracted to regularly feed middle school students, may not prepare and serve breakfast and lunch on Furlough Fridays, even though they are UPW members and are “on the clock.”  It’s beyond the control of the cafeteria staff.  So, Waimea Middle School is faced with providing hearty, healthy snacks to support student learning and encourage attendance on DOE Furlough Fridays.

This week, WMS students will participate in a special school-wide “lesson” about everyone doing what they can by first reading the story about “Stone Soup,” and then making a local version of this famous magical soup. Read more

Hawaii News — The Association of Pacific Island Legislatures To Meet In Honolulu This Week

The Association of Pacific Island Legislatures will conduct it 50th Board of Directors meeting in the Senate Chamber of the Hawai‘i State Capitol this week.

The meetings are slated for 10 a.m., Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2009 and at 9 a.m., Thursday, Dec. 3, 2009 in the Senate Chamber of the State Capital.  Delegates are from twelve Pacific Island states, including American Samoa; Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands; Federated States of Micronesia states of Chuuk, Kosrae, Pohnpei, and Yap; Republic of the Marshalls; Republic of Palau; State of Hawai‘i; Island of Guam; Republic of Nauru; and Republic of Kiribati.

Other events will include a Friendship Softball Game at 5 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2009, at Les Murakami Stadium (University of Hawai‘i).

Hawai‘i State Sen. J. Kalani English (District 6 – Hana, East and Upcountry Maui, Moloka‘i, Lana‘i and Kaho‘olawe) is the current oresident of the Association of Pacific Island Legislatures.

Guest Column — A Sea Story

Copyright (C) 2009 Herb Kawainui Kane All rights reserved.

Copyright (C) 2009 Herb Kawainui Kane All rights reserved.

By Herb Kawainui Kane

Not long after the Second World War a small cargo ship was plowing through rough seas and squalls in the Western Pacific. Through a dark curtain of rain, the watch sighted something floating ahead. The officer on deck adjusted the ship’s course to avoid a collision. As the ship drew near, what had seemed to be floating tree was identified as a swamped Micronesian outrigger canoe. Its mast, sail and spars had been taken down with the approach of the storm, the sail rolled up with the spars and lashed to the booms that connected the canoe to its out-rigged float. A wave had swept away the deck shelter, leaving only tattered remnants of matting. The canoe was submerged, with only the ends and gunwales visible. Several men were sitting within it, their heads and shoulders visible just above the waves. The officer on duty called the captain to the bridge. Read more

*** Commentary *** Notes On Being Harassed By The Guy Accused Of Domestic Violence

I guess I should be thankful that in the 12 years I have been a journalist, I can count just a couple of times in which people I have written about have harassed me.  Now is one of those times.  And I’m going to be as open and transparent about the harassment.  As I sit waiting for police to arrive to take a statement from me, I’m going to write out some notes.  I told you about the guy accused of domestic violence. I also told you about how, after he hung up the phone on me, he stopped by the shop and left a message saying, “hi,” then the next day at Maku’u Market stopped the girl who took the message to ask if I had received it.

This morning, checking the mail at the post office, I found two single-spaced, typewritten letters from the guy, one to me and one to my husband.  The letter to my husband included a copy of the letter to me, and a note saying I strike him as “the kind of girl who might only show you the first page of my letter, in order to get you riled (the first page does kind of end unfavorably, I apologize) but if you read the two pages you start to see my point a little better.” He then asserts to my husband that he is “a very good father and husband who has had his four children taken from him for no better reason than that my wife is a convincing liar and she can afford Brian Delima for an attorney.”

Here is the two-page letter to me, word for word, with names removed, although, if the harassment continues, I’m going to have no other options than to identify by name everyone involved in this story: Read more

***Commentary*** Notes On The Last Week And The Week Ahead

The Pahoa Holiday Parade commences at 10 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 5 and the Kea'au and Waimea parades are that same evening. (Sarah Anderson photo)

The Pahoa Holiday Parade commences at 10 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 5 and the Waimea parade is that same evening. The Kea'au parade is at 5:30 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 12. (Sarah Anderson photo)

At the outset of last week, I showed up for my shift at the surf shop and found a post-it note letting me know the man I blogged about in my “Notes On Domestic Violence” had stopped by to say “hi.” If you read that blog entry, you can imagine how disconcerting it was to know that the man I had written about had sought me out at my family business.  Upon further inquiry with the girl who took the message, the man came into the shop on Saturday, right about the time I was writing my blog entry.  So, in looking for the positive in that situation, I guess we both had each other on the brain.

The duration of the week was spent preparing for Thanksgiving, which, I have to say, was as good as it is every year.  I absolutely love the holiday, for the fact that it is centered on food, family and friends, and showing gratitude for life’s blessings.  In the years my husband and I have been together, we have formed a tradition that, of course, involves surfing first, then gathering with family in Volcano.  We fill up on comfort food, then sit by the fire and play board games.   Read more

Thoughts Of Guennigirl — Solitude

Wall Street Journal health blog image

Wall Street Journal health blog image

(Editor’s Note: Following is the first in an ongoing series of thoughts shared by Guenn Adare. She writes about life’s journey of joy and sorrow, of fulfillment and loss, of gaining wisdom out of loss and pain, of healing and transcending our suffering, and of being of service to humanity and to one’s God  — unrequited agape love for all and everything.)

By Guennigirl

Since we have established blunt honesty in our relationship (yet honesty spoken nicely), I would like to be honest and say that when you say you love me, in our conversation, I always think, “You do not!”  You hardly even know me, there’s no way you could love me!  Infatuation, maybe, yes!  But not love.  Love comes slowly, and gradually, as trust and getting to really know the other person develop.

Maybe if I hadn’t had so many failed relationships, I wouldn’t be saying that.  Maybe then I would trust that initial excitement and euphoria and dare to call it love.  But since in my failed marriages, I felt that euphoria, but the relationship didn’t stand the test of time, real love has come to mean something way deeper and more solid to me.  Saying “I love you” is not and never has been spoken easily by me — I know that is just me, not all people.  When I say “I love you” to a guy, I always feel like I’m giving them my whole soul, but not in a bad way. Read more

Dispatches From Curt — Commonalities Between Barack Obama And Kiwanis

M-C Turgeon art

M-C Turgeon art

By Curtis Narimatsu

Indian word kiwani means to share, as in the gift is the sharing, not the gift itself.  Kiwanis Club started modestly in Detroit in 1915 [as all of our great middle class business charity/service outfits did simultaneously in and around the Great Lakes region, the upper Midwest hub to the Mississippi River][the Western frontier had only San Francisco as its metropolis, LA being just a cowpoke rest stop from Mexico & our Southwest to Frisco], a direct result of our age of rapid industrialization/division of labor between white collar and blue collar workers, triggered via Chicago’s Haymarket riots that started unionization among the oppressed workers nationwide.  Our struggling middle class businessmen were compelled by the Social Gospel [Matthew 5/Isaiah 58/Micah 6:8] to be a safety net for the oppressed lowest-level assembly line workers [stockyards/nascent auto industry/etc.].

Back then we didn’t have welfare help/social security disability/workers compensation/medicare/etc. It is a testament to our middle class businessmen that they took it upon themselves to make up for what capitalism was deficient in — compassion/help for the lowest-level/unskilled workers.   Essentially, Kiwanis Club emblematic of contemporaneous Lions/Rotary/Exchange/etc. clubs of the upper Midwest/ Greak Lakes region did what later unionization would do — give hope/relief to the downtrodden assembly line/lowest level unskilled workers.  This is where President Obama’s biggest hero comes in — Pastor Reinhold Niebuhr 1892-1971 is the author of the Serenity Prayer, who graduated from Yale U. with a divinity degree & spent 14 years in Detroit to minister to the suffering souls on the car assembly lines, where he tag-teamed with Kiwanis to effectuate our Social Gospel. Read more

Guest Cartoon — ‘Wanted: Political Candidates’

Cartoon by Tom Lackey

Cartoon by Tom Lackey

Puna cartoonist Tom Lackey is gearing up for the campaign season with his recent cartoon, “Wanted: Political Candidates.” Lackey seems to poke fun of the fact that candidates host fundraisers to promote themselves and their campaigns, but then he plugs his business, suggesting candidates contact him if they would like huli huli chicken for their fundraisers.  Lackey is known for his roadside huli huli chicken in Puna.  In any case, I find this cartoon amusing.  It reminds me how nauseating the campaign season is, with yard signs, banners and bumper stickers promoting candidates with empty promises and fake smiles. It’s actually quite ridiculous how much money people raise and spend to promote themselves and their slogans promising to do this and that. Does anyone have examples in which candidates have actually followed through with what they said they were going to do when they were campaigning for public office? If so, I’d love for you to enlighten me, because I’m pretty jaded when it comes to politicians and their promises. In any case, does anyone know if we have any “real” candidates contending against our seated council members and state representatives? If so, names, please!

Guest Column — Budget Issues For 2010

By Pete Hoffmann

No amount of wishful thinking can alter the fact that the current economic downturn will likely continue through 2010 unabated in Hawai’i County.  For County government the issue remains how substantial will be the budget crisis and what must we do to balance the budget in fiscal year (FY) 2010-2011?

The Mayor has, I believe correctly, issued the necessary warnings; things will be much worse that the current fiscal year, significant reductions must be made in previous ‘budget sacred cows’ (the Police Department budget, for example), the County will face an unprecedented economic emergency, etc.

There is nothing wrong with issuing these warnings, in fact I would suggest that more of them would be useful.  No one should act surprised when/if these reductions occur.   Read more

*** Commentary *** Reminder: Big Island Chronicle’s One-Year Party Is Tuesday

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Don’t forget that on Tuesday, Dec. 1 we celebrate the one-year anniversary of Big Island Chronicle (BIC).  We will gather at lunchtime at Luquin’s Mexican Restaurant for a meal and for the unveiling of BIC’s new logo. Tickets are $12 in advance. Please email me at newswoman@mac.com or call 938-8592 to RSVP.  I will need a head count by Monday.

Guest Column — Hawaii’s Pathetic Voter Turnout, The One-Year Anniversary

(Image courtesy of Stacie's Ink Smudges) "This month marks one year of an historic election, and time to revisit our voters' defection.  Though we're thousands of miles from Washington DC, their policies still affect us dearly. Here young adults lack political interest, I've heard of “Ainokea” but this is ridiculous." — Mike Purvis

 "This month marks one year of an historic election, and time to revisit our voters' defection. Though we're thousands of miles from Washington DC, their policies still affect us dearly. Here young adults lack political interest, I've heard of “Ainokea” but this is ridiculous." — Mike Purvis (Image courtesy of Stacie's Ink Smudges)

By Mike Purvis

College-aged Hawai’i residents care more about the pigskin than they do about politics. After the embarrassing display of voter turnout during the 2008 presidential election, let’s take a moment of election reflection.

Last year’s presidential race will go down in American history. Eight years of George W. Bush meant an undeclared war, the debacle of nonexistent weapons of mass destruction, torture camps, warrantless wiretapping, unprecedented national debt, lobby-driven politics, profitable privatized mercenaries, and thousands of dead American troops. Then came a man with a new plan, Barack H. Obama, who campaigned under one marching order: change.

Aside from policy, Obama is attached to Hawai’i in a personal way. Read more

Letters — Help Match A Challenge Grant For Waimea Student Gardeners

Waimea Public Charter School students in their garden. Courtesy photo.

Waimea Middle Public Conversion Charter School students in their garden. Courtesy photo.

Aloha Friends!

As we gaze out at our school garden toward Mauna Kea on a cool Waimea day, we can see Mala’ai is thriving.  Everywhere you look there is evidence of Pa’ahana — hard, industrious work by literally hundreds of Waimea Middle Public Conversion Charter School students and dozens of community volunteers!  In the nearly 5 years since we began working on the land, our garden has grown from an idea into a productive beautiful sanctuary.

Pa’ahana is Waimea Middle School’s ‘Ike Hawai’i cultural learning theme this year.  Our students are practicing this in many ways — from turning compost piles to preparing garden beds for planting, to harvesting well over 2,200 pounds of produce and discovering many delicious fresh foods.  They also are experiencing the power of collective work as stewards of the land. Read more

Island News — Open Houses For The Mauna Kea Public Access Plan Are This Week

Mary Spears art

Mary Spears art

(Media release) — The Office of Mauna Kea Management will be hosting three island-wide open houses on the Public Access Plan for University of Hawaii Management Areas on Mauna Kea (Public Access Plan) and the Decommissioning Plan for the Mauna Kea Observatories (Decommissioning Plan). The first open house will be at 4:30 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 1 at The Gathering Place at Prince Kuhio Plaza (formerly Pictures Plus).

Other open houses are from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 2 at the Kahilu Theatre and at the same time Thursday, Dec. 3 at the King Kamehameha Kona Beach Hotel. Read more