Kona News — Saturday Evening Mardi Gras Benefits West Hawaii Domestic Violence Programs

Image courtesy of Accent Annex

Image courtesy of Accent Annex

(Media release) — “An Evening of Mardi Gras” from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 6, 2010 at the Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort and Spa benefits the West Hawaii women’s shelter. Presented by the Soroptimist International of Kona, the event promises to be lavish with a masked ball, a sumptuous New Orleans style buffet, dancing to the sounds of Casablanca, and a silent auction.

The proceeds for the gala will go to West Hawaii programs that benefit women and children. The Soroptimist focus is on breaking the cycle of domestic abuse and violence, with support for such organizations such as the West Hawaii Women’s Shelter.

Tickets are $75.00 per person or $650.00 will secure a table for eight. You may purchase tickets from any Kona Soroptimist, or by calling Linda Meyer at (808) 930-7614 or Mary Huebner at (808) 895-7686.

Thoughts Of Guennigirl — Are You Listening To What’s In Your Heart?

Image courtesy of Hilo Shore Lines

Image courtesy of Hilo Shore Lines

(Editor’s Note: Following are 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

The sky and moon and clouds and ocean are beautiful again tonight.  This morning was another one that was indescribable.  It was 6:30 AM, light sky but the sun wasn’t over the horizon yet.  The moon was low, and it was round and full and huge.  As I drove up the Ookala hill, it hung just above the horizon.  It just couldn’t get any more awesome.

Seeing the full moon the last 2 nights has made me feel so tempted to go to the presentation that I told you about, that they do at Mauna Lani? (whichever hotel it is), each Saturday that’s closest to a full moon, this month.  My head is logical, and says no, but my heart says, “But I really want to go!”

Here are the lyrics to the little jingle I wrote  (could be sung to the tune of Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, but the rhythm wouldn’t be the same as the tune I made up for it): Read more

Kona News — Saturday Rummage Sale To Benefit Haitian Earthquake Survivors

(Media release) — flag-haiti

Small business owners at Alii Gardens Marketplace will hold a rummage sale to benefit the victims of the Haiti earthquake disaster  from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 6, 2010.

All proceeds will be donated to the Red Cross, UNICEF and Doctors Without Borders.

Please help and support by donating any items you may have to this worthy cause.

Items may be dropped off at Alii Gardens Marketplace between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2010 through Saturday, Feb. 6, 2010.

Alii Gardens Marketplace is located on the mauka side of the road at 75-6129 Alii Drive, 5 miles south of the Kailua pier near just before Royal Poinciana Street. Contact Eric von Platen Luder at (808) 987-8122 for more information.

Kona News — Firefighters Mop Up Kealakekua Fire

Kirstin Ilse art

Kirstin Ilse art

(Media release) — Firefighters are mopping up the Kealakekua fire as hazards and risks have been greatly reduced, Chief Darryl Oliveira reported today. Demobilization of Hawai‘i County firefighting crews on the scene is under way.

Secure fire breaks have been established and only a few smoldering hot spots remain. The hot spots are more than a quarter-mile inside the fire breaks and do not pose a threat at this time.

“Conditions at the Kealakekua fire have remained stable and unchanged for the past week,” said Chief Oliveira.

Three brush fires were ignited at approximately the 4,000-foot level above Mauka Kona in late December and County firefighters have been on the scene since December 27. Difficult terrain and remote locations have hampered efforts to put the fires out.

The fire at Yee Hop Ranch has been extinguished. A few remaining hot spots at the Hōkūkano Ranch fire are being monitored by property owners. Read more

Island Art — Tahitian War Canoe


Painted in 1970; Collection of the Hawaii State Foundation on Culture & the Arts.

By Herb Kawainui Kane

This Tahitian double canoe, 108 feet long, was described by the 18th century expedition under Captain James Cook in a painting by Hodges and in a scale drawing. It was used for ceremonies and for war. Cook described a mustering of the Tahitian war fleet in 1774 to put down a rebellion on the island of Mo’orea: “The vessels of war consisted of 160 large double canoes, very well equipped, manned and armed … the whole made a grand and noble appearance such as we have never seen before in this sea … Besides these vessels of war there were 170 sail of smaller double canoes, rigged with mast and sail … In the 330 vessels, I guessed that there were not less than 7,760 men.”

One morning in 1973 I was working on a painting at my beach cottage on Maunalua Bay when Dr. Yosihiko Sinoto of Bishop Museum telephoned, asking if I would join him and a gentleman from Japan for lunch. We met at a restaurant near the Museum.

After the introduction, I learned that the man was on his way to Tahiti, with instructions to buy a traditional double-hulled canoe used for ceremony and war, such as those sketched by William Hodges (an artist with the 18th century explorer Captain James Cook) and ship it to Okinawa for display as the centerpiece in the “hall of cultures” in the forthcoming Okinawa “Man and the Sea” Expo 1975. Dr. Sinoto had informed the him that such canoes have not existed for almost 150 years, and wanted me to corroborate his statement — which I did. Read more

Hawaii News — NFL Players And Cheerleaders To Participate In 8th Annual Pro Bowl Youth Clinics

American Football by James Robinson.  The Pro Bowl, where NFC and AFC all-star players contend against each other, is traditionally held in Hawaii but was held today in Florida.

American Football by James Robinson. The Pro Bowl, where NFC and AFC all-star players contend against each other, is traditionally held in Hawaii after the Super Bowl, but was held today in Florida.

(Media release) — NFL Football Players and NFL Cheerleaders will be holding Youth Clinics for Hawai’i Island students on Feb. 9 and Feb. 10 as part of the eighth annual NFL Pro Bowl Youth Clinics.

Players and cheerleaders will also be visiting local schools for assemblies before the clinics as part of the program focused on motivating our youth to realize their dreams and to maximize their potential.

Players and cheerleaders will be at Kealakehe High School from 3 p.m. to 5:30 pm., Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2010 and at Keaau High School from 3 p.m. to 5:30 pm., Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2010. Read more

Guest Column — Donna Mercado Kim On DBEDT Legislative Auditor’s Report

(Editor’s Note: Following is a statement that State Sen. Donna Mercado Kim (District 14 – Moanalua, ‘Aiea, Fort Shafter, Kalihi Valley, Halawa Valley), chair of the Senate Ways and Means Committee, released upon the receipt of a report of the Legislative Auditor examining the practices of the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism and it’s director, Ted Liu)

By Donna Mercado Kim

Donna Mercado Kim

Donna Mercado Kim

Last week’s report on DBEDT’s operations is a fresh, but not unprecedented, indictment of Liu’s management. He and his department have manipulated grants, transferred funds to avoid compliance with regulations, and lied to investigators. They have attempted to hide files to escape scrutiny and, in the final analysis, demonstrated an attitude that they should be allowed to do whatever they please.

The auditor’s report makes it clear that Liu and DBEDT cannot be trusted to operate within the parameters of the law, and, perhaps worse, are unwilling to acknowledge their transgressions. Where we should hear sincere assurances of changed practices—backed up by a workable plan for improvement—we instead hear excuses and equivocation. The danger under Liu’s leadership is not simply that DBEDT cannot act appropriately; it is also the arrogant and shameless manner in which they assume that whatever they do is defensible. Read more

Hawaii News — Sen. Kalani English Wants To See DHHL Take Over Kalaupapa Setttlement Management

Sen. J. Kalani English

Sen. J. Kalani English

(Media release) — Hawaii State Senator J. Kalani English (District 6 – Hana, East and Upcountry Maui, Moloka‘i, Lana‘i and Kaho‘olawe) has introduced a bill in the State Senate to transfer management of Kalaupapa Settlement to the Department of Hawaiian Homelands when there is no longer  a resident patient population at the settlement.

Senate Bill 2771 would also prevent the State Department of Land and Natural Resources and the Department of Health—which now administer Kalaupapa Settlement—from transferring any parcels in Kalawao County pending the transfer.

“Once there are no more patients receiving care at Kalaupapa, there really is no reason for the Department of Health to be involved,” said English. “This would more properly fall under the Department of Hawaiian Homelands.” Read more

Hawaii News — Senator Kalani English Supports Lesser Penalties For Marijuana Possession

Photo by Sandy Webb

Photo by Sandy Webb

(Media release) — Hawaii State Senator J. Kalani English (District 6 – Hana, East and Upcountry Maui, Moloka‘i, Lana‘i and Kaho‘olawe) has introduced legislation to decriminalize the possession of an ounce or less of marijuana, thereby reducing the costs of enforcement of existing laws, and eliminating the cost of prosecuting and incarcerating those who possess small amounts of marijuana not intended for sale or distribution.

Senate Bill 2450 would impose a fine of not more than $100 for possession of an ounce or less; the fines would be deposited into the “early intervention special fund” to expand and enhance early intervention services for infants and toddlers with developmental delays or at biological or environmental risk.

Nineteen other Senators joined English in signing the proposed legislation.

“We’re not talking about legalizing marijuana,” said English. “Possession would still be against the law. But possession of less than an ounce of marijuana would be a civil violation, meaning paying a fine like a speeding ticket, rather than a criminal matter requiring prosecution.” Read more

Letters — Banyan Tree At Reed’s Bay Is Saved!

Syd Singer photo

Syd Singer photo

The majestic banyan tree in Reed’s Bay Beach Park will be saved, according the the Hawaii County News. Robert Fitzgerald, director of the County Department of Parks & Recreation, said the County initially planned to remove the trees because they are close to the site for the new comfort station. However, Fitzgerald said it may be possible to trim the trees back and work around them.

The change in County plans came as a direct result of public pressure and outrage over the planned tree cutting, which was to be done in February. Planted in the 1930’s, this banyan has enormous economic value, in addition to its aesthetic, ecological, and historical value. Cutting it down would have cost the County close to $100,000.

The real reason the banyan was on the chopping block was because it is non-native, since a native tree of this size and importance would never be cut down. Current County policy devalues non-native species. Other non-native trees in the park will be cut down, according the County News, “replacing some existing trees with shoreline-appropriate native tree species,” evidence of the native species supremacism that led to the proposed destruction of the banyan.

A community meeting was held today under the banyan at Reed’s Bay Beach Park on Banyan Drive, celebrating the saving of the banyan and rededicating it to “The Aloha Spirit.”

We are happy that the County has heard and listened to the will of the people. For more information, call (808) 935-5563 or email SaveTheBanyan@gmail.com.

To see the Hawaii County News story, go here: http://www.hawconews.com/hawaii-county-news/2010/1/25/county-plans-to-retain-reeds-bay-banyan-trees.html

Syd Singer

Hilo News — James Kealoha Beach Park To Close Tomorrow Through Thursday For Fallen Tree Removal

Image courtesy of VTHawaii.com

Image courtesy of VTHawaii.com

(Media release) — The Department of Parks and Recreation announces that Kealoha Beach Park (4‑Miles Beach Park) will be closed from Monday, Feb. 1, 2010 through Thursday, Feb. 4, 2010, from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily to allow staff to remove fallen trees.

The Department of Parks and Recreation thanks the public for their understanding of this short closure and requests drivers use caution while driving in the area.  For information call (808) 961-8311.

Dispatches From Curt — Gerbil Wheels And Other Musings

Art by Miriam Levenstein

Art by Miriam Levenstein

By Curtis Narimatsu

Kevin Hickman Steadman’s extraordinary “Gerbil Wheels” book backdrops Kevin’s Alaska fishing cruise where he reminisces about life and history.

“Gerbil Wheels” published in October 2009 by Kevin Hickman Steadman (born December 7, 1953) denotes running for fun and pleasure, as with a runner’s high, and Kevin’s extraordinary run into life’s unseen horizons reveals secrets about ourselves which only audacious exploration brings. Kevin picked his book title “Gerbil Wheels” from waitress Dawn on the Tustumena ship during Kevin’s week long Alaska fishing trip with his dad. This fishing trip is the backdrop for Kevin’s wondrous reminiscences on his family and on history. Dawn repeated what Dawn’s mother said when Dawn was a child, “If you don’t do anything adventurous, the days, weeks, and months mix together to become years, and it’s like a gerbil’s wheel; you can’t tell one year from the next. But by doing exciting things, you can remember different years and parts of your life. It may not be for everyone, but it makes sense to me.” (page 175 of Gerbil Wheels)

The irony of Gerbil Wheels is its contradiction, what Gerbils love is not what we perceive — life almost always is opaque, not crystal clear. Read more

Letters — County Of Hawaii Wants To Extend Traffic Regulations And Enforcement Into Private Subdivisions

While a County Council Bill is being prepared by Dominic Yagong to create a grant-in-aid mechanism to aid in the maintanence of private road systems in Hawaii County the Kenoi Administration (I am told) is the initiator of HB2020 which would extend county traffic regulations and enforcement on to private road systems.

Both of these efforts seem practical and sensible to Friends of Puna’s Future (FoPF) and we will be testifying on behalf of both efforts.

Rob Tucker,  President, FoPF

(Following is HB2020.) Read more