Hilo News — Wailoa Center to host ukulele and woodworking show Oct. 5

(Media release) — The Wailoa Art Gallery will celebrate the Seventh Annual Big Island Woodworkers and Artists Invitational show with a formal opening  from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Oct. 5, with an innovative twist.

The show will feature handmade furniture in custom arrangements by Wailoa Center director Codie King that “set a scene” as it might look in a person’s home. Furniture displays will be accented with visual art from pastel artist Sandy Wallace and pottery from Clayton Amemiya.

In addition to the traditional lineup of artisan wood creations, the co-sponsoring Big Island Ukulele Guild will contribute over 30 hand-made ukuleles from builders across the island, and will even extend across the nation, showcasing a builder from Alaska.

The Ukulele Guild will also contribute an interactive element, with Puna Ukulele and Kanikapila Association (PUKA) lead by Andy Andrews, joining the center on two Saturdays, Oct. 6th and 20th, from 12-4 p.m. The public is invited to join PUKA for an interactive “ukulele jam”. No previous experience is necessary and “loaner” ukuleles are available free of charge.

King has high hopes for this diverse show.

“People are coming to see the wood, and how woodworkers are using wood in different kinds of ways. It’s a popular show and the ukuleles are gonna be a great addition to it,” King said. “I’m very excited about it.”

The Seventh Annual Big Island Woodworkers and Artists Invitational Show will open Oct. 5th and remain open for the month of October. Woodworkers interested in showing work may contact Codie King at wailoaartculturalcenter@gmail.com.

Wailoa Art & Cultural Center is a Division of State Parks, Department of Land and Natural Resources. It is free and open to the public Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Wednesday from noon to 4:30 p.m.

The Center is closed on Saturdays, Sundays and State Holidays, but will remain open for kanikapila on select Saturdays Oct. 6 and Oct. 20 — from 12 p.m. to  4 p.m. — for this show only. For additional information please call 933-0416, fax 808-933-0417, or email wailoa@yahoo.com. For additional information about the Big Island Ukulele Guild contact Bob Gleason at pegasusguitars@hawaiiantel.net or call (808) 966-6323.

Administrative Notes — Regular Blog Programming Interrupted by Newspaper Delivery In Coming Days

Maui News has printed Big Island Chronicle’s third print edition and 6,000 copies have arrived in Hilo via Lynden International this morning. Look for the 24-page newspaper in stands at businesses islandwide in coming days. Following Tiffany Hunt on Twitter for delivery updates. Regular programming of the website may be interrupted by newspaper delivery. Thank you for your patience and understanding. — Tiffany Edwards Hunt

Puna News — Hawaii Business Leadership Network Awards HAAS For Its Workplace Readiness Program

Steve Hirakami (L), principal of Hawaii Arts & Science Public Charter School, with John Theismann and Debra Isabel of the HAAS Workplace Readiness Program, showing their Ho’omohala Aupuni Award. (Photo courtesy of Debra Isabel.)

Hawaii Academy of Arts & Science is the recipient of the Business Leadership Network’s Ho’omohala Aupuni Award for the school’s Workplace Readiness program. The school was nominated for the government division of the award and competed against such agencies as the Hawaii County Fire Department, according to Debra Isabel, of the HAAS Workplace Readiness program. Isabel accepted the award last night with Workplace Readiness Program colleague John Theismann and HAAS principal Steve Hirakami.

The US Business Leadership Network is a national non-profit, non-partisan business-to-business network promoting the inclusion of people with disabilities in workplaces, marketplaces, and supply chains. The Hawaii Business Leadership Network is one of the organization’s 60 affiliates, according to the USBLN website.

— Tiffany Edwards Hunt

Island Events — What’s Going On In Volcano In The Next Month, Including A Hula Performance Oct. 13

(Editor’s note: Following are activities and events planned for Volcano Art Center Gallery and Volcano Art Center Niaulani Campus in the next month.)

Mondays, October 1, 8, 15, 22 & 29  9:30AM
Niaulani Nature Walk – Free Guided Rain Forest Tour in Volcano. This one-hour nature walk travels through a lush portion of an old-growth Hawaiian rain forest on an easy, 1/7-mile loop trail. The walk introduces individuals, families, and groups to the native plants and birds of Volcano. Guides focus not only on the biological, ecological, and geological features of the area, but also the cultural usages of flora and fauna by native Hawaiians. Offered every Monday at VAC’s Niaulani Campus, 19-4074 Old Volcano Rd. in Volcano Village. Free; donations welcome. Call (808) 967-8222 for more information.

Fridays, October 5, 12, 19, 26  11:00AM – 1:00PM
Aloha Fridays. Every Friday, a free hands-on demonstration lesson is given in a cultural craft that will vary from week to week. Held at VAC Gallery porch in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park. All events are free (donations welcome); park entrance fees apply. Call 967-8222 for more information.

Saturday, October 13  10:30AM
Hula Arts at Kilauea – Hula Informance. This VAC program features a Hula Kahiko Informance with kumu Leilehua Yuen and Manu Josiah. Read more

Ka’u News — Groundbreaking Ceremony For $17 Million Gym Is Next Week

(Media release) — The public is invited to a groundbreaking for the new Ka’u District Gym & Shelter to be held at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 3, at the Ka’u High and Pahala Elementary school campus.
Gov. Neil Abercrombie will be joined by Mayor Billy Kenoi, Department of Education officials, and Ka’u High Principal Sharon Beck.
The $17 million Ka’u District Gym & Shelter is a State-County partnership in which the State is financing design and construction and providing the site for the facility. The County is responsible for design and construction of the facility through the good work of the Departments of Public Works and Parks and Recreation. The facility will be used jointly by the school and the community.
The 43,300-square-foot Ka’u District Gym & Shelter will expand athletic and recreational opportunities in the Ka’u district.  It will also serve as a destination for community events and as an emergency shelter during natural disasters.
The new Ka’u District Gym & Shelter will offer residents a gym that will accommodate three regulation Hawai‘i High School Athletic Association basketball or volleyball courts. Accessory rooms will include; locker and training rooms, and restrooms; a lobby, courtyard, kitchen, ticket booths; and office space, and storage areas for the State Department of Education, County Parks & Recreation, and the American Red Cross.
The plans, design, and construction will strive to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) guidelines put forth by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). 
For a building to achieve LEED certification, its construction must meet criteria in six performance standards: a sustainable site, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, and innovation and design. 
Construction is scheduled to begin the week of Oct. 11 and will take 18 months to complete.
 (Submitted by Ilihia Gionson.)
(Submitted by Ilihia Gionson.)

North Kona — Kaiminani Drive Construction Begins Next Week

(Media release) — Construction on Ka`iminani Drive in North Kona is scheduled to begin the week of Oct. 1. Improvements will begin just below the intersection at M?malahoa Highway (Route 190) for approximately one mile ending near Ahiahi Street.

Improvements will focus on roadway reconstruction and drainage improvements that include six-foot wide shoulders, drainage structures and swales, and driveway tie-ins on Ka`iminani to prevent a “drop-off” between the reconstructed pavement and the existing driveways, retaining walls, utility adjustment and relocation, mailbox and newspaper box relocation, road resurfacing, signs and restriping.

The contractor working with the property owners, will coordinate removal, and or trimming plants located in the County right-of-way.

The temporary relocation of postal and newspaper boxes and temporary shutdown of water and utility services will be coordinated with the U.S. Postal Service, the contractor, utility companies, property owners and County agencies.

Traffic management plans will be in place between the construction hours of 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. No weekends, holidays and nighttime work is scheduled at this time.

Jas W. Glover Ltd, the contractor was awarded the $10 million improvement project. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is funding 80 percent of the $10 million construction cost.

Construction is expected to take a year. — Noelani Whittington, Department of Public Works

Puna News — Hawaiian Telcom Customers Unable To Receive Calls In Seaview

Image courtesy of Bully Bloggers

Presently, Hawaiian Telcom customers in Puna’s Seaview community are unable to receive incoming telephone calls.

“As of about 6:15 p.m. last night, Hawaiian Telcom had received reports of phone service issues from about 50 customers in the Kalapana Seaview subdivision and surrounding areas,” said Ann Nishida Fry, senior manager of corporate communications at Hawaiian Telcom.  “Hawaiian Telcom needed to secure a lawnowner’s permission to access equipment that we believe is causing the service issues” Fry said permission was secured this morning and Hawaiian Telcom technicians will be on site today. She intends to share more information when she has it.

Hilo News — Man Dies Days After Saving His Son From Being Swept Out To Sea

(Media release) — A 34-year-old Hilo man who nearly drowned over the weekend died Thursday (September 27) from the incident.
Chris Broussard of Hilo and his 9-year-old son were snorkeling in a tide pool in the Brown’s Beach area Sunday morning (September 23) when a large wave swept the boy out of the tide pool. Bruoussard jumped into the ocean in an attempt to save the boy. By the time bystanders were able to pull the child to safety, Broussard was floating face down in the water.
Fire rescue personnel took him to Hilo Medical Center, where he died at 10:10 a.m. Thursday.
Police are investigating the case as a fatal public accident.
(Submitted by Hawaii Police Department via Nixle.)

West Hawaii News — State Representative Candidates’ Forum Is Oct. 4

(Media release) — State House 5 candidates Denny Coffman and Dave Bateman will square off in a one-on-one debate in an effort to highlight policy and position differences between the two legislative hopefuls.
The event will be held on Thursday, October 4, at Konawaena Elementary School Cafeteria from 7pm to 8:30pm. The school is located on Onouli Road makai of Hwy. 11. Former legislator Virginia Isbell will be the moderator as the two contenders debate issues including cost of living, energy, agriculture, the economy and education.  Questions will also be taken from those in attendance.
“This is a departure from the Candidate Forums held so far that only allow candidates 90 seconds to talk about complex issues with no follow-up,” said event organizer Rick Thompson.  “This will be in-depth with a lot of back and forth, including the candidates asking each other questions.”
The event is sponsored by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii and the Kona Tea Party.  Organizers hope that this will become a model for future head-to-head contests that give voters more content and a better understanding of candidates’ positions, experience and qualifications so that they can make better informed choices.
(Submitted by Chuck Arnett.)

West Hawaii News — Candidates’ Forum Is Monday

On Monday, October 1, there is a moderated candidate forum at Kealakehe High School cafeteria starting at 6 p.m. featuring two sets of candidates.  The forum will also air live islandwide on the radio on LAVA 105.3 fm 

The candidates for Hawaii County Prosecutor, whose office prosecutes most criminal cases,  are the County’s top civil attorney,  Corporation Counsel Lincoln Ashida,  and current Deputy Prosecutor Mitch Roth.  The two candidates for Hawaii County Mayor are incumbent Mayor Billy Kenoi, running for his second four-year term, facing former Mayor Harry Kim, seeking to regain the office after serving for eight years until 2008. 

Because there are only two candidates for each office, the candidates will have time to more fully discuss their ideas and positions.  Both County jobs are important, and the idea of this forum is to allow the candidates to go into more detail, rather than state their plans in general terms. 

The moderator will be Sherry Bracken of LAVA 105.3 fm radio and Hawaii Public Radio.   Timers will be Marni Herkes of League of Women Voters and Hazel Beck of the Small Business Development Corporation. 

Kealakehe High School’s School Community Council will sell Chinese Chicken Salad and possibly another entree, home-baked cookies, and beverages as a fundraiser.  School Principal Mr. Wil Murakami will lead the team, with other teachers and parents as support.  This is a fundraiser for the school, so forum attendees are encouraged to support the school at the food sale. 

The Prosecutor and the Mayor Forum will be carried live on LAVA 105.3 fm islandwide from 6 p.m. until 8:15 p.m.  The forum sponsors include Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce, Kohala Coast Resort Association, Hawaii Island Board of Realtors, West Hawaii Today, hawaii247.com, Mahalo Broadcasting/LAVA 105.3 fm, and Rotary of Kona, as well as Kealakehe High School.  The public may submit questions via email to info@lava105.com or via fax to 769-5050. 

The final forum in this year’s series will be Monday, October 8, 2012, with candidates for County Council District 6 from South Kona through Volcano, Brenda Ford and Maile David, and District 9, Waikoloa through North Kohala.  It will be at 6 p.m. at Kealakehe High and live on LAVA 105.3 fm.

Business — Not pop — but Tropsicles

By Le’a Gleason

Photo by Le’a Gleason. Do not duplicate.

Business is booming for Hilo resident Fauna Parker, who went from stay-at-home mom to frozen treat expert in recent months with her new business Tropsicles.

It all started when Parker, a former Hawaii Community College art teacher and accomplished artist who holds an MFA, decided to stay home with her son, now two-years-old.

“I have found through being a stay at home mom that I needed to use more than my ‘mommy brain’. I am first and foremost an artist, so…I can’t go long without conjuring up projects,” Parker explained.

While Parker’s husband supplements with income from a full-time job, Parker wanted a project of her own. In May, she began experimenting with mixtures of blended local fruit, juice, and homemade simple syrups. She froze them in basic ice pop molds.

The result resembled a forbidden word long-ago trademarked by Unilever, but soon gave way to an even better term: the Tropsicle.

The initial goal of simply providing her son a low-sugar snack soon gave way to a positive buzz from neighbors and friends. As an experimental first event, the Parkers took their show on the road to the Puna Music Festival at the end of May where they sold over 300 Tropsicles.

“We sold out by mid-day…it felt great. We had a good time and people loved the pops. The response was amazing, really supportive, and really encouraging,” Parker said.

Parker has since taken the pops to the people, frequenting the Hilo Farmers Market Saturdays and the Maku’u Market Sundays.

Hilo resident Fauna Parker has made it big with Tropsicles, her local business aimed at serving healthy frozen treats to kids and adults alike. Photo by Le’a Gleason. Do not duplicate.

In addition, Tropsicles is now piloting sales at Kamehameha Schools’ sporting events. The pops may also be featured pool-side at an upscale island resort soon.

“There hasn’t been a lot of stopping and refining, it’s refining as you go,” Parker said of her fast-growing business.

While she has basic recipes down pat, Parker continues to experiment with the flavors and ingredients in her pops. Current varieties showcase a range of flavors from of classic coconut cream, acidic mango and sweet papaya, fresh bananas, and the hearty flavor of macadamia nuts, to refreshing watermelon. A recently debuted avocado-lime pop has been a crowd pleaser. Parker is looking forward to creating a seasonal kabocha-chai pop for the holidays.

Parker strives to use as little sweetener as possible and uses almost exclusively local (organic when possible) ingredients, save for coconut milk, a product which she is currently searching for a local supply of. She also offers dairy-free and sugar-free flavors.

These naturally sweet treats have begun to please other moms and their kids as well.

Cairo Yoder and friend show off the Tropsicle treats their mothers bought at the Hilo Farmers Market. Will mom get a taste? Photo by Le’a Gleason. Do not duplicate.

“I just don’t think kids need as much sugar as they’re exposed to,” Parker said, “A lot of parents, moms, aunty, uncles are really excited and have thanked me, saying they’re so much better than other products…congratulating me.”

There is, however, one thing the Parkers cannot control, something that will take the support of the community to boost this growing business to a new level.

The pops are currently made by hand, a laborious process which is barely cost-effective. In addition, the treats must freeze in a conventional freezer in plastic molds, leaving time for them to become more icy than desired. Parker has her eye on a “blast freezer”, an appliance that would freeze the pops in around 20 minutes, yielding both consistent texture and increased productivity.

To replace her now block-ice cooler set-up on market days, Parker would like to one day own a cold-cart, a portable cart that will sustain its temperature for up to 6 hours, making transportation a breeze.

To buy both appliances, however, this mom-and-pop trop-stand will have to raise approximately 10000 dollars.

To do so, Parker plans to use the fundraising website Kickstarter, an online venue for start-ups and community projects to gain financial support.  On Kickstarter, projects are featured for a pre-determined length of time. Donors can visit a project’s specific web address and donate as much money as they like, in turn receiving incentive like a ‘pop-subscription, t-shirts, and even artwork. Donors will not be charged until the end of the fundraiser. If by the closing date the project has met its goal, the Parkers will get to keep the money. If not, nobody gets charged.

“We hope the Kickstarter helps put our name on the map. People should invest because they’re supporting a mom and pop business that is unwaveringly committed to health and quality and utilizing sustainable sources. In turn it provides people with tropical treats that are good for them, hopefully contributing to more healthful lifestyles, kids and adults alike,” Parker said.

Parker is also confident that Tropsicles are providing an unprecedented option to residents and visitors alike.

Fauna Parker hopes to see her Tropsicles on local store shelves sooner than later. Photo by Le’a Gleason. Do not duplicate.

“Even for tourists it gives them a different experience than the quintessential shave ice experience. We make our Tropsicles in small batches. Quite literally when you eat a pop the fruit has been picked from the tree within a week’s time,” Parker said.

Parker hopes to see the project all the way through to the shelves of local grocery stores soon. To help the Parkers make it big with their pops, visit Tropsicles on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/TropsiclesHawaii. Tropsicles are also great for fundraisers, events, and are available wholesale. Contact info@tropsicles.com. To find Tropsicles on Kickstarter, visit www. Kickstarter.com and search for Tropsicles-Island Fruit Ice Pops. The fundraiser will launch Oct 1.





Hilo News — Meet Chef Jason Lofland At Basically Books Saturday

Kona chef and co-author of the cookbook Catch!, Jason Lofland says growing up in Alaska gave him the opportunity to work with some of the freshest and best seafood around especially having a commercial fisherman for a brother. In the Lofland family cooking and eating great food is a big part of life, so the brothers decided to write a cookbook. These recipes are family favorites and dishes made from Alaska to Hawaii. Jason has helped open hotels and restaurants across the state and was the sous chef at La Bourgogne for 3 years. He is currently cooking at Holuakoa. If it is a fancy meal you want to prepare to impress friends or something simple and quick to fill the void you will find it in this book. And whether you’re cooking in a galley or on your porch, you’ll find great tips for putting smiles on hungry faces. Aspiring cooks can nibble on some samples while hearing Jason’s tales of kitchen adventures. Enjoy the catch. Catch you there. — Christine Reed

Guest Column — Aina Koa Pono Outlines Benefits Of Ka’u Project

By Chris Eldridge
Aina Koa Pono (AKP) plans an agriculture/biorefinery operation in Kau that will fuel 18 percent of Hawai‘i Island’s electricity needs and produce a transportation fuel.
AKP’s biofuels project will bring hundreds of jobs to Hawaii County, replace imported fossil fuel-based diesel at the Keahole power plant, and add eight million gallons of transportation biodiesel a year.  Importantly, it will not impede other renewable energy projects.
Hawaii’s reputation as a renewable energy incubator will be enhanced by the cutting-edge technology AKP has licensed.  The microwave catalytic depolymerization (Micro Dee) takes biomass (in the case of the Kau facility, locally grown feedstock) and accelerates the natural process of converting it to oil to just over an hour.
The technology is safe and is not new—it’s been used in herbal extractions and pharmaceuticals for years. Using higher temperatures and a catalyst, it produces a biofuel.  The 900-ton-a-day operation will be modular—each microwave handling 33 tons.  Once the first unit is tested and accepted, it will be set it up at Kau so it can run in place and give the community the opportunity to see its operation. 
The acreage AKP has leased for crop production will enhance the island’s agriculture industry.  A first step will be to clear invasive species and use them as feedstock. 
Building Aina Koa Pono’s project will employ 400 and increase badly needed construction jobs by 13 percent on Hawaii Island.  These jobs have been cut in half to 3,000 since 2007, Economist Leroy Laney, Ph.D. reported in August for First Hawaiian Bank.   
When the facility is operational, there will be 200 permanent jobs, positively impacting Hawaii Island’s 8.8 percent unemployment rate, which in May was 2 1/2 points higher than the State’s average (6.3%).  
AKP will generate nearly $200 million in general excise and payroll taxes over 22 years, compared to $2.2 million if the same fuel is imported.
Dollars paid for services and salaries will recirculate—buying groceries and school supplies instead of being sent to foreign oil producers.  Once operating, AKP will contribute $250,000 a year to Hawaii Island in community benefits focused on education and the environment.  An immediate contribution will help fund preservation of books at the Pahala library.
Other renewable energy projects won’t be affected by AKP, which will replace imported fossil fuel at Hawaii Electric Light Compay’s Keahole power plant. It is fact, not opinion, that liquid fuel will be needed at Keahole for many years to come.
Estimates are that additional geothermal power would take seven to 10 years to develop, as HELCO gears up to issue a request for proposals, probably next year.
In the meantime, AKP will supply virtually 100 percent of Keahole’s needs with 16 million gallons of biodiesel a year.  Should the utility no longer need it at Keahole, it can transport the fuel to another plant, including on Oahu or use it for transportation.
The private investors who will put up approximately $450 million for the project assume the risk—not the utility.  
An additional eight million gallons of biofuel produced annually will be distributed by Mansfield Oil Company, with preference to Hawai‘i. If sold here it would represent 16 percent of Hawaii’s transportation diesel demand based on the 2011 data of the Federal Highway Administration.
 Mansfield is an industry leader in fuel handling and distribution and will handle all the fuel logistics from the Kau facility.
Yes, there is a cost—electric bills will be higher for a while—a dollar or less for a typical monthly 500 to 600 KWh user. That would change as the price of fossil climbs beyond the biodiesel.  We cannot say how long that will be; we can say that since 2009 oil has trended upward, from about $40 to more than $116 a barrel.  With worldwide demand growing and supplies at risk, it is likely that trend will continue.  
AKP’s 20-year fixed-price contract with HELCO makes the cost of energy more stable and predictable.  Sudden increases in oil prices will have less budgetary and economic impacts on business and government.
We invite you to investigate www.ainakoapono.com to learn more about Aina Koa Pono. Contact us through the site if you have questions, which we will try our best to answer.  We believe AKP is a win/win/win for Hawai‘i—jobs, sustainability and community benefits.
(Chris Eldridge is a partner and on the management team of Aina Koa Pono.  He has 20 years of entrepreneurial and start-up experience, founding four companies including America’s Mattress and PortaBox Storage. Eldridge serves on the Board of Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children and is a member of the Nature Conservancy of Hawaii’s Corporate Council for the Environment.)

Business — A New Manager For Sheraton Kona’s Rays On The Bay Restaurant

Jayden Callahan

(Media release) —  Pyramid Hotel Group has appointed Jayden Callahan as General Manager at Rays on the Bay at the renewed Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay, a 22-acre oceanfront resort on Hawaii, the Big Island.

“Jayden’s background in food and beverage management and event planning is ideal for Rays on the Bay,” said Area Managing Director and Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa General Manager Steve Lindburg. “Her passion for creativity, education, training and mentoring is a perfect fit for the enthusiastic and fun team at Rays.”

Callahan’s responsibilities include overseeing operations at Sheraton Kona’s new signature restaurant which opened to rave reviews Sept. 9. Read more