Hawaii News — Rep. Hirono Calls For The Expansion Of Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge


Akiapōlā‘au is among the rare and endangered birds the Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge is meant to protect. U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono has introduced the Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge Expansion Act of 2010. Jack Jeffrey photo courtesy of the U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service.

(Media release) — Congresswoman Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) last week introduced the Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge Expansion Act of 2010, H.R. 5380, which authorizes the expansion of this Refuge on the island of Hawaii.

Once signed into law, the National Wildlife Refuge would encompass two adjacent parcels containing native forest habitat that supports some of the most endangered forest birds in the nation and the world.

In introducing the bill, Congresswoman Hirono expressed her determination to preserve Hawaii’s unique animals and plants. Read more

Kona News — 100,000 More Ti Leaves Needed To Restore Ahu’ena Heiau

Image courtesy of waymarking.com

(Media release) — Ahu’ena Heiau Inc. is seeking the community’s support to help gather another 100,000 yellow or brown ti leaves to refurbish the revered Ahu’ena Heiau in Kailua, Kona.

“The community-based group Ahu’ena Heiau Inc. was formed in 1993 to permanently guide the restoration and maintenance of this historic treasure. We continue to gather, prepare and install materials at Ahu’ena Heiau but we need all of the community’s kokua to gather another 100,000 ti leaves,” said Ahu’ena Heiau Board Chair Tom Hickcox.

Yellow or brown ti leaves may be dropped off daily between now and Sunday, June 6, 2010 at King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel. Read more

Hamakua News — Golf For The Hamakua Youth Center Saturday


Golf Ball On A Tee By Alex Clark. Image courtesy of Fine Art America

(Media release) — The entire Big Island community is invited to “Invest in our Youth: A Day of Golf & Celebration,” Saturday, June 5, 2010 at the Hamakua Country Club.  Hosted by the Hamakua Youth Foundation, the festivities benefit Hamakua Youth Center (HYC), North Hawaii’s only free, drop-in after school center for 7-12th grade kids.

The “Day” begins with a golf tournament at Hamakua Country Club at 7:30 a.m.  Slots are still available at $50 per player including prizes and lunch.  But, everyone is invited to join the fun after the tourney at 1 p.m., when the free “Celebration” kicks off, with special presentations by HYC youth, live music, great food and silent auction. Read more

Hilo News — Malama Kai; Attend An Ocean Day Panel Discussion At UH-Hilo Wednesday


 Capt. Charlie Moore, who has written extensively on the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in the North Pacific, is among the keynote speakers for the June 1-5 Pacific Congress On Marine Science And Technology: PACON at UH-Hilo. The public is invited to attend a panel discussion slated for 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday, June 2, 2010 at University of Hawaii-Hilo. Image courtesy of Ocean Trust Film.

Pacific Ocean shoreline protection, resource management, ocean pollution and tsunami response are among the topics to be presented during a five-day Pacific Congress on Marine Science and Technology: PACON 2010 International Conference that commences Tuesday on the campus of University of Hawaii-Hilo.

“More than 150 national and international marine scientists, engineers and policy makers will be in attendance,” noted Judith Fox-Goldstein, UH Hilo Conference Center director.  Visiting scholars and scientists from more than 14 countries including Australia, China, Japan, Korea, Indonesia, Russian and Iran will share their latest research findings.

Highlighting the conference will be the recognition of Ocean Day.  The public is invited to hear the dynamic panel discussions  1 p.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday, June 2, 2010 at UCB 127. Read more

Hawaii News — Anticipate Seat-Belt And DUI Checkpoints


On Thursday, May 27, 2010, officers from the Traffic Enforcement Unit conducted a DUI checkpoint in Hilo supported by Traffic Safety Coordinator Dieter Blattler and MADD Program Coordinator Lisa Onorato.

(Media release) —Big Island police have been conducting seat-belt and DUI checkpoints throughout the Big Island this weekend and will continue throughout the summer break. The effort is part of a national and statewide campaign called “Drunk Driving: Over the Limit. Under Arrest.”

On Thursday, May 27, 2010, officers from the Traffic Enforcement Unit conducted a DUI checkpoint in Hilo supported by Traffic Safety Coordinator Dieter Blattler and MADD Program Coordinator Lisa Onorato representing the Impaired Driving Task Force. They reminded motorists about the hazards of drinking and driving and gave them literature on the subject with emphasis on how little it takes to exceed the legal blood alcohol limit of 0.08 percent.

During the first five months of this year, there were 14 traffic deaths on Big Island roadways – twice as many as during the first five months of last year. Alcohol was involved in at least half of those fatalities. 

“If you don’t have a designated, sober and licensed driver, take a taxi,” Blattler said. “It costs very little compared with the hardships of a DUI arrest – not to mention the pain of harming yourself or somebody else.”

Subsidized taxi coupons are available from the Mass Transit Agency. For more information call (808) 961-8744 or visit www.heleonbus.org/shared-ride-taxi-program.

(Submitted by Hawaii Police Department via Nixle.)

Guest Column — In Memory Of War


B8 War Plane by Herb Kawainui Kane

By Herb Kawainui Kane

January, 1945.
In his P47 Thunderbolt, my friend Ralph Sallée strafes targets of opportunity, while in the background a German tank has been hit with a bomb. Designed as a high altitude fighter, the P-47 proved most useful as a dive bomber, reaching diving speeds up to 550 miles per hour. To Ralph, when diving into the teeth of enemy anti-aircraft fire, the plane’s big radial engine was like a having piece of armor in front of him. It’s climbing speed couldn’t match the more nimble Messerschmitt Bf 109 and Focke Wulf 190, but the arrival of the new paddle-blade propeller significantly increased climb rate-a shock to German pilots who had resorted to steep climbs to evade pursuit.

No German plane could out-dive a P47. It’s eight 50 caliber machine guns threw a weight of armor-piercing metal that could disintegrate an enemy plane or seal the turret of a tank. Fully loaded with bombs, ammo and fuel, the ruggedly-built P47 weighed close to 8 tons; but it’s sturdy construction could sustain much damage and still get the pilot back to his base. Read more

Hilo News — Wreath/Flower Decoration At Kalakau’a Park Memorial Altar Planned

Don’t miss the Wreath/Flower Decoration at the Kalakau’a Park Memorial Altar (between the Old Downtown Post Office and the East Hawaii Cultural Center at 9:30 a.m., tomorrow, Monday, May 31, 2010.  At 10 a.m., a Memorial Day Ceremony will be held at the East Hawaii Veterans Cemetery No. 1.  Kea’au Middle School students are said to have provided 4,600 lei for each grave.

***Commentary*** Hat Tip For Ed Case

Ed Case

I’m back to being a fan of Ed Case, after he just bowed out of the First Congressional District race. I was a fan, but gave up on him when he gave up his Congressional District 2 seat to run for Senate against incumbent Daniel Akaka.

I went from liking him and his Big Island roots to thinking he was a total opportunist who cared only for his political future. But today he proved to me that he truly has the public’s interest at heart. Case announced he won’t compete with fellow Democratic Sen. Colleen Hanabusa in the upcoming Primary Election. Instead, he will support her in her quest to unseat Republican Charles Djou, who just won the special election for the First Congressional District seat last weekend. (Neil Abercrombie gave up the Congressional district seat to run for governor.)

I think Case did the right thing to bow out.  I agree with the news commentary on KITV tonight, that maybe Case should consider running for mayor of the City and County of Honolulu.  Or, maybe now that he just shocked everyone with his selflessness, he should sit out this political season and resurface at another time.  Either way, I think this move just gained him some votes he didn’t have in the special election. Sen. Daniel Inouye, who has publicly announced his support for Hanabusa, said Case’s move proves he is a Democrat at heart. Double thumbs up for Case!  That was a good move, for sure.

Kona News — June 21 Golf Tournament Will Pay For Food, Clothes and Gifts For The Poor This Holiday Season

Ginette Callaway art courtesy of Art.com

(Media release) — A charitable golf tournament to benefit the Jonathan Dale Miller Foundation will be held at Hokuli`a golf course on Monday, June 21, 2010. Proceeds from the tournament will support the foundation’s ongoing, island-wide effort to provide food, clothes and gifts to children and families in need at Thanksgiving and Christmas.

In 2009, over 200 volunteers were able to assist 500 families with food during the holidays and provided gifts for 1,500 children at Christmas. Read more

Feature — Notes From The 2010 The Big Island Film Festival

2010 Big Island Film Festival participants. Photos By Tiffany Edwards Hunt. All rights reserved. Use with permission only.

I was fortunate to be invited to the 2010 Big Island Film Festival held at the Mauna Lani Resort.  Mahalo nui loa to the Sears, Cathy Tarleton, and Jaisy Jardine of the Fairmont Orchid!

BIFF is in its fifth year in the making. The Sears, of Waikoloa, conceived of this great idea inspired from the Maui Film Festival.  In all, 66 films were featured May 12-16, 2010.  I caught two days of and as many films as I could, having attended with a fellow mother of a toddler.

I can’t be more complimentary of BIFF.  What a great concept.  Cozy up in one of the plush resorts at Mauna Lani or feel free to drop in for the films in a hotel amphitheater or out under the tropical night along the idyllic Kohala Coast. The films were generally compelling and interesting.

If I could change one thing about BIFF, I’d make the films more family-oriented. Leo Sears admitted this to festival goers without me saying anything to him beforehand.  The festival needs to be more accommodating for children, actually.  The event is generally pretty epic, please don’t misread me. I am merely recommending what I think would make the festival more grand than it is and mine should be considered free and unsolicited advice.

I went to the event with another mother, with grandiose expectations of being able to take in more films than we did. Partly, it’s my bad for having expectations. And  I have grandiose expectations of motherhood.  We have good children, so I believed it would be possible to bring our children to all the films.

We tried to take our 1- and 2-year-olds to Yokwe Bartowe after a scrumptious dinner at Monstera. (Be sure to check out that restaurant recently opened by former Fairmont Sushi chef Norio Yamamoto. The Japanese food is nothing short of delicious, despite the buttered soba noodles.)

For our Yokwe Bartowe viewing, the wind prevented the raising of the big screen.  We gathered in an impressive little outdoor amphitheatre at the Mauna Lani Shops watching the movie on a big-screen television.  Our keiki were pretty animated through the film.  Their noises were happy, but I could see how they could be disruptive to moviegoers.  I reasonsed the movie was subtitled.  Still, we endured looks of disapproval from grey-haired women in camp chairs.

Yokwe Bartowe is a Marshalese Island story written by Jack Niedenthal about an evil demon bird that tries to destroy a family.  I liked getting a glimpse of a culture I really know nothing about.  You could tell the film was low budget but the storyline was compelling and captivating, I liked it. Niedenthal was among the film makers of the featured films that attended the four-day festival.

To the attending crowd at the Sunday brunch he joked that he’d seen 66 films in four days, “and I’d like to try meth at least once.”  Like Niedenthal, I grew weary of the same disturbing advertisements from the Hawaii Meth Project borrowed from the U.S. mainland. I wish the Hawaii Meth Project would work with some Hawaii filmmakers and change the ad, it’s so obnoxious.

After the looks from the grey-haired women throughout Niedenthal’s film, my friend and I took turns either watching films or the children.  That was plan B, but it ultimately proved to be quite a nice break for us moms. I really enjoyed and dressed up for the time on my own to take in some movies.

One Night, a film by Misa Tupou, was among 66 featured at the 2010 Big Island Film Festival.

Among the films I took in, most impressive to me was One Night by Misa Tupou, about being homeless.  The film was totally silent, except for street noises, and the main character wore a mask likened to Phantom of the Opera.  The story centered around a homeless man conveying his appreciation for life, even as his seemed so hopeless.  “There is life. Give it.”

Jake’s Corner, a story about an ex-football-star bar owner who finds himself caring for his young nephew, followed One Night, and I got all caught up in the characters and cried for them.  It was an emotional Saturday morning.

Ten of the films were shot in Hawaii, and six were animated. It sure would be nice if more of the films could be from Hawaii, but I’m sure that is a BIFF long-term goal.

Kudos to the staff at the Fairmont Orchid, which along with Mauna Lani Bay Hote and Bungalow and the Shops and Mauna Lani, was the setting for BIFF. The shuttle between the two hotels and the Mauna Lani Shops was quite convenient, with capable and accommodating drivers.

The Fairmont Orchid staff, namely bell captains Paul Carney and Dane Carvalho and Russell, the server who commutes to work from Nanawale Estates in Puna, were stellar hosts, and I’m not exaggerating.  We tipped them as well as we could for putting up with and shrugging off all our bags, toys — even a heap of coconuts.

I truly appreciate the staff at places like Mauna Lani Resort.  Many of them, if they weren’t from East Hawaii, commuted from the other side.  I can empathize with their grueling daily commute. It’s got to be a tough life that commute.

I generally feel like I can relate more with them I can my fellow hotel guests. The occasional conversations with the guests wading the pool or lounging by it are worthwhile, but typically consisting of me offering advice on how they can maximize their Hawaiian stay. Usually, I suggest that they get in their rental car and drive around to the other side of the island where they get to truly experience everything that is being fashioned after in the resort.

It’s fun to play tour guide.  And it’s really fun to people watch.  I love making up stories about the people I see.  The BIFF screenwriting workshop with Ron Osborn filled up too fast, or I would have signed up.  It would be fun to try and write a movie, I was thinking that as I watched some of this year’s films.

Maybe next year.  BIFF is a must for me again next year, that’s for sure.  I’d like to be able to bring my child to film or two.  Hopefully, filmmakers will rise to Leo Sears’ challenge to make and submit more family-oriented films.

Feature — Cary Hiroyuki Tagawa’s Feet At BIFF

Actor Cary Hiroyuki Tagawa's feet at the 2010 Big Island Film Festival held at the Mauna Lani Resort. Photo by Tiffany Edwards Hunt. All rights reserved. Use with permission only.

Cary Hiroyuki Tagawa (The Last Emperor, Mortal Kombat, Rising Sun, Johnny Tsunami, Planet of the Apes, Mmeoirs of a Geisha, The Art of War, Balls of Fury, Picture Bride, Hawaii, Pearl Harbor)received the BIFF Hookana Award at the 2010 Big Island Film Festival.  Depicted are his feet captured at BIFF held at Mauna Lani Resort.

Feature — Tiffany Edwards Hunt And Tom Berenger At BIFF

Tiffany Edwards Hunt with Actor Tom Berenger at the BIFF May 12-16, 2010 at the Mauna Lani Resort. Berenger received the Golden Honu Award for Acting from the Hawaii Island Film Office. Berenger, who attended the University of Missouri as a journalism major, started his acting career with a stage production of Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf. He can be remembered in Looking For Mr. Goodbar, The Big Chill, Major League, platoon, Shoot to Kill, among others.

Feature — From The Big Island Film Festival (BIFF) Scrapbook

Cary Hiroyuki Tagawa (L), Tiffany Edwards Hunt, and Pomaika'i Brown at the Big Island Film Festival (BIFF) May 12-16, 2010. Â Brown was awarded the mayor's "Spirit of Hawaii Award" and Tagawa received the BIFF Hookana Award. Â Brown has been seen in 51 First Dates, North Shore and Lychee Thieves among other films. Tagawa can be remembered in The Last Emperor, Memoirs of a Geisha, Art of War, Mortal Kambat, Picture Bride, Planet of the Apes, and Rising Sun, among others. Â

Guest Column — Regarding The Governor’s Race

Neil Abercrombie at a recent visit to the Kea'au Youth Business Center. Photo By Tiffany Edwards Hunt. All rights reserved. Use with permission only.

By Tom Burnett

I was just asked who I like for Governor.  Naturally, that sent me off into an opinion rant.

For the first time in my life I am not happy enough with any of the candidates to vote FOR them and I am rapidly becoming too disgusted with the ‘system’ to vote AGAINST anyone.

I am a firm believer that church and state must remain separate lest we fall into a Muslim-type of society; which is exactly what some Christian groups, like the International Transformation Network want. In Hawaii,  Duke Aiona (R) and Mufi Hanneman (D) seem to be close to this cult which is rum by Ed Silvioso.  These are the people behind the now-aborted law in Uganda which required all gays to be killed.


On the Democrat side there is also Neil Abercrombie who is a bigger mess than even Ben Cayetano. Read more