***Commentary*** Fix Our Broken Education System

By Tiffany Edwards Hunt   

There is a plethora of subjects I have been inspired to write about, particularly with the diverse content of the issue that this editorial is appearing in print. But with print I have a finite amount of space, as you know, and I prefer to make the most of it by focusing on the most important to me at this moment that I write: our school system.

I am writing in the heels of Department of Education’s decision to not allow students from the Hawaii Academy of Arts and Sciences ride on the same buses as regular DOE students headed for Pahoa High and Intermediate School. HAAS principal Steve Hirakami had arranged ten years ago for what is now 50 students to share the bus, at a rate for $30,000 per year. The minute details of that arrangement is a real blood boiler, as a resident, as a parent of a HAAS student, and as a part-time staffer (I help teach yearbook at that charter school.) HAAS agreed to pay $2.50 per student per ride, double what the paying Pahoa High and Intermediate Students pay. And not all the Pahoa kids pay — many of them qualify for free and reduced lunch, so they don’t have to pay.

DOE officials announced their decision to comply with an administrative rule not to let charter schools participate in DOE school bus transportation.  This decision came late on the Friday afternoon of the weekend before the new school year commenced. And they also announced that another 10 disabled students in HAAS’ workplace readiness program wouldn’t be getting curb-to-curb service.

As soon as the media picked up on the story, though, DOE started back peddling — by press time they had resumed transportation services for the disabled children. And our Puna contingency of elected officials (not including Councilman Zendo Kern — he has gone phantom on us) scrambled to help broker a deal for the remaining 50 displaced children.

Who knows what will come of this, and what else is in store for charter schools.

In the first week of the new school year, Kua O Ka La Public Charter School announced that breakfast wouldn’t be served. And HAAS administrators are looking at a budget hacked by the state Charter Schools Commission, fearing they too will have to eliminate some meals for school children.

All of this begs some further digging to uncover what is going on behind the scenes. Why is it looking like charter schools are, not just ugly step children, battered foster kids?

I am pretty alarmed by what appears to be an effort to sabotage the charter school movement, particularly since I chose for my child to attend a charter school!

You want to know why? Let me let you in on my decision making process, because it was quite an ordeal and it sheds light on why I think other parents make the charter school choice.

Having taken education courses at UH Hilo and working at HAAS, I was always leaning toward a charter school. In my mind, my child was either going to HAAS or to Ke Kula Mauli Ola Hawai?i ?O N?wah?okalani??pu?u, the Hawaiian immersion school in Kea’au. Having learned the history of journalism in Hawaii, I am familiar with Joseph Nawahi’s newspaper publishing legacy here on Hawaii Island.  I also want my child to grow up familiar with the host culture and the Native Hawaiian language. But upon inquiring with that school, I learned that there are more than 60 children on the waiting list.

My husband couldn’t understand why our child shouldn’t just attend Pahoa Elementary School with many of her other friends.  I decided to put on my reporter hat and sleuth around the school. But I could not for the life of me get a tour of Pahoa Elementary School, no matter how many times I called. I just about gave up, when I decided to sign my child up for the KEIKI Steps program at that school. This involved filling out the school’s registration packet. My child was really overqualified for KEIKI Steps because she has attended preschool. Still, I saw KEIKI Steps as an opportunity to get into the school and observe, in order to make an informed decision.

The first and only day my child attended that program I accompanied her. The classroom seemed old and rundown, but I told myself that the school has been many years and maybe they just don’t have the funding to paint and spruce up the classroom interior.

More than the rundown look of the classroom, I was bothered that there weren’t more parents accompanying their children. Those children who were not with their parents and guardians were openly crying; it was just so heartbreaking.  And I didn’t really feel like I could reach out and console them. But with one distraught girl in particular, my daughter and I tried to involve her as we played with a game that teaches children how to weave. The teacher leading the KEIKI Steps program formally called everyone’s attention, and the day officially began with questions and answers for the parents and guardians in attendance.

I asked how many kindergarteners would be in one class. There are three classes of up to 25 students, we were told. Any teacher’s assistants? No. Wow, 25 students to one teacher?! Can parents or guardians volunteer to help out? I asked. No, parents and guardians can volunteer at the school, but parents and guardians cannot volunteer in their own children’s class at Pahoa Elementary School. There were other parents and guardians asking questions, but my mind lingered on the 25-1 ratio and the fact that I couldn’t volunteer in my own child’s class. I contemplated the fact that HAAS’ kindergarten class consists of 18 children, with the teacher having a teacher’s assistant and the parents and guardians able to visit and help out in class any time they want (once they are subjected to a background check and TB clearance.)

My wandering mind was brought back to the question-and-answer session when I heard the answer to another parent’s inquiry about where the children would be eating since Pahoa Elementary School doesn’t have its own cafeteria. All elementary school children walk across the street to the Pahoa High and Intermediate School cafeteria. That was a pleasant thought either — envisioning my child having to cross the street, not once but two times, in order to access a cafeteria to eat her lunch? Why doesn’t Pahoa Elementary School have its own cafeteria?

Before I knew it, the teacher was thanking us parents and guardians for coming and asking us to leave our children until 12:30 p.m. It was 9 a.m. That was a long 3.5 hours, let me tell you. I was filled with anxiety most of the time, thinking about not being able to volunteer in her class and having the image of her crossing a street every day to go have lunch at another school’s cafeteria.

When I showed back up at 12:30 p.m., my child was leading the KEIKI Steps class back to the classroom from lunch at the Pahoa High and Intermediate School cafeteria.   As we walked to the parking lot together, she said emphatically, “I don’t want to go to this school, I want to go to HAAS.” I inquired why she was so certain so soon. “It’s not like Montessori at all.” (My daughter attended Montessori Country School in Pahoa.) I pressed for more details. “Well, what did you do after I left?” “We went over the rules,” she said. “And you already know the rules, huh?” I replied. “Yes,” she said. I asked how another friend of hers from Montessori fared. “She did alright, except when we were learning the ducktails.”

“The ducktails?” I asked.

“Yeah, that’s where you stand with your hands like this,” she said, demonstrating what ducktails are. Imagine your hands behind your back, kinda like the way they would be if, God forbid, you were arrested.

I envisioned kindergarteners being taught this, so they would neatly line up and be able to walk in an orderly fashion across the street to the cafeteria.

I felt guilty for even signing my child up for KEIKI Steps. My husband and I decided that night that our child would not be returning to KEIKI Steps the next day. I called the KEIKI Steps coordinator to explain, and to share our decision that our child would be attending HAAS. “It’s nothing personal,” I assured her. And it really isn’t.

I didn’t encounter a mean person at Pahoa Elementary School. I understand that they are doing what they are taught or told to do, and a lot of this, whether it is keeping parents and guardians out of classrooms or making children walk with their hands behind their back, is a way to control the masses.

But that is how you kill the love of learning. And my husband and I have been actively trying to teach our child to love learning, since, well, the day she was born, but most certainly since we decided on preschool at Montessori.  The Montessori method is all about instilling the loving of learning.

My paternal grandmother was a school teacher for ranch families, and then for small towns in one-room school houses. In my mind, charter schools are an effort to get back to the basics of education, where schools were modest structures that facilitated the gathering of children to learn reading, writing and arithmetic. The difference between now and back in the day my grandmother taught is that we are more aware of the different ways that children learn. Some are more hands-on than others. A charter school recognizes the different styles of education and, ideally, fosters the love of learning by allowing students to learn through the different styles.

The point of education and school is to teach children, not just the academics, about the world outside of themselves and their families.

To house children in a building all day and not allow their own parents and guardians to access them is to give them a sense of imprisonment. And then to design the building to look like a jail, my goodness, what message are we sending our children?

Granted, there may be parents, children, and teachers who do not see anything wrong with the DOE structure. I believe DOE is committing a crime against children by not allowing for more charter and Hawaiian immersion schools to exist and to prosper alongside the DOE structure.

The bureaucrats on Oahu and even those with any power and influence on Hawaii Island are so entrenched in their policies they have lost common sense and seemingly penalize parents, children and teachers who choose schooling beyond the confines of those multi-million-dollar buildings that DOE has erected.

I am not the type of parent who wants to drop off my child for her school day at a building that I cannot freely access.  This is my child, after all.  I gave birth to her, I love her, and I want to be part of her life as much as possible. I want to know her teacher, her classmates, and what she is learning. I want her to feel free to learn and thoroughly enjoy learning, without feeling deflated by the confines of rules and regulations and policies that can be maddening — like not allowing her own mother to volunteer her classroom.

I told you that our family ultimately chose for our child to go to HAAS. But we were lucky. So many of our child’s friends didn’t even have the choice, due to space limitations at the charter school. Those children and their parents would have liked the choice.  And because they didn’t get one, the children risk having their love of learning stifled by this DOE setting I described above. These are my child’s friends, her community of peers. Whether or not they attend the same school, they will continue to interact and socialize with each other. Like my child, those children and their parents and guardians should have a choice in their education.

And because my family has chosen a public charter school, DOE should not discriminate against my child.  You know how they do that?  Public charter school students in the State of Hawaii currently receive LESS THAN HALF of the funding their peers receive in traditional charter schools.  That is unfair and illegal.

If only we could have enough elected officials take a genuine interest in our broken education system in Hawaii, and truly fight to reverse this injustice.

Puna’s own state representative Faye Hanohano serves on the Education Committee. Perhaps she and her colleagues can start pushing harder on the DOE to give charter schools their fair share.

And perhaps they can push for some educational reform within the DOE structure.

You cannot tell me that DOE cannot afford to spruce up the interiors of some of those old classrooms, like the one I saw at Pahoa Elementary School, or to hire teacher assistants for kindergarten classes. Imagine a bunch of five year olds first embarking on their learning experience.  I’m sure it is like herding cats.  Why torture a kindergarten teacher by not affording her with an assistant or at least a parent volunteer?

Charter schools are losing transportation services and having to cut meals while DOE bureaucrats sit comfortably in air conditioned offices and freely spend our taxpayer money on things like their own travel.

For their decision to deprive charter schools of equal funding, the children will suffer.  And the poorest of the poor will suffer even more than they already do.

The reality is, for many children, the bus to school is their escape from a pathetic home life. Their parents or guardians cannot be bothered to drive them or they do not have the gas money or a reliable car to drive them. With our hunger problem in Hawaii County, for many children, their meal at school may be their only meal of the day.  With charter schools having to make tough decisions, like cutting meals, to balance the budget, those children won’t eat.  And how can you learn with a starving brain?  If any of that is hard to believe, you may not be fully aware of our community’s profoundly devastating problems.

You know what?  I’m not certain that the State Charter School Commission is looking out for charter schools’ best interest. In fact, I’m starting to wonder if commissioners aren’t acting as henchmen for DOE.  Here are a couple of examples of questionable behavior on the part of the commission:

— Under SB244 the Commission is responsible for and required to develop and adopt criteria for facility funding distribution.   But the commission has called for student federal impact aid to be used for a pilot program providing facility funding.  

— HRS302D-28 requires per-pupil funding to be the same as the general funded DOE students and Act 130 did away with the 2% formula for funding the CSAO. Yet, if you look at the Commission’s budget, you’ll find that per-pupil money continues to be deducted.

Sounds pretty sketchy, don’t you think?

Some of you have drank the Kool-Aid and might have your heart set on believing that Hawaiian immersion and charter schools are bad.  Some of you might be among the NIMBYs who complain when Hawaiian immersion or charter schools try to move in the neighborhood.  But let me ask you something: Are you going to complain when DOE officials decide to build their taxpayer funded multi-million-dollar educational fortresses?

Are you going to be opposed to them building jails and mental institutions next door to your DOE schools? You’re going to need those jails and mental institutions for all the madness that the current educational system creates.

Now is not the time to be complacent about our broken education system. It’s time to go revolutionary and insist that we look at DOE with a critical eye and a dose of common sense. Whether or not you have any children, this is your problem.  We all call this island our home.  Any child that suffers will potentially impact your life.  Trust me on this one.    Call your elected officials and insist on educational reform.  Ask them to advocate for the equal treatment of charter schools and for every effort for more charter and Hawaiian immersion schools to exist.

Aloha, Tiffany & Co.

Guest Column — How Our 19th Century Educational Structure Doesn’t Support Teaching Or Learning


‘For those students who can’t function or get run over by the assembly line, we hear, ‘I don’t care.  I am bored.  I don’t like school.’

(Editor’s note: This is the second part of a three part series.)

By John M. Daggett Ph.D

Why doesn’t this 19th century structure support the best teaching and learning?  First, the most important fundamental for teaching and learning is impossible with that structure.  The fundamental I am speaking of is a trusting, knowledgeable, two-way relationship between student and teacher.  This relationship cannot happen when teachers are responsible for between 120 and 200 students.  With a trusting, knowledgeable, two-way relationship, teachers can know better how to reach students’ educational needs.  Also, students will more likely approach their teachers with questions and with information that helps both students and teachers.  Granted, some students and teachers do now form a relationship.  However, for the majority it does not happen. If a meaningful teaching/learning relationship is established it is a tribute to the individual teacher and not the structure in which the teacher teaches.

Second, with classes to meet, papers to grade, hall and lunch duty to serve, teachers have little opportunity for reflection, collegial support or stimulation.  Educator, Parker Palmer noted that, “If surgery and law were practiced as privately as teaching, we would still treat most patients with leeches and dunk defendants in millponds.”

Third, rarely are subjects connected to one another to give real-life meaning to students.  Read more

Guest Column — From A HAAS Parent And Teacher

charter schools rock greyBy Tara Treaster

When moving to Hawaii over three years ago from California, my greatest concern was for my son’s high school experience.

As a teacher, I knew we would need to supplement his academic needs at home, but what about his social experience?

When we moved to Na’alehu he was entering seventh grade so I was confident I could come up with a solid plan in two years once he completed eighth grade at Volcano School of Arts & Sciences. Little did I know, he would end up skipping seventh grade and we would need to formulate our high school plan one year earlier than expected.

During the winter of eighth grade my son and I took a day off and drove around the island looking at ALL the high school options.

We visited West Hawaii Explorations Academy (W.H.E.A.), Waiakea, Hilo, Connections Public Charter School, Hawaii Academy of Arts & Sciences (HAAS) and our final (extreme) option we considered; sending him back to the mainland to live with friends. After much research and lots of talking, we elected to move our family to Pahoa so our son could attend HAAS.

I know many people, including legislators who consider charter schools a “school of choice,” but for us there really was no other choice.  Read more

Commentary — Voice Your Thoughts About DOE’s Disparate Funding For Charter Schools

Pick up the phone — Voice your thoughts about DOE’s disparate funding for charter schools

Gov. Neil Abercrombie 


U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono


U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz


State Sen. Russell Ruderman


State Rep. Faye Hanohano


Tom Hutton

Hawaii State Public Charter School Commission executive director


Kathryn Matayoshi

Department of Education Superintendent


Donald Horner

Board of Education 

Chairman at large


Brian DeLima

Board of Education 

Vice chairman (Hawaii Island)


Chinese Acupuncture — About Insomnia

KIM GITZEL  By Kim Gitzel

Let’s just say it’s late at night after a long day’s work.  You’ve eaten, showered, read your favorite book and gotten into your cozy bed.  Every pillow is just right, you turn out the light and then …… nothing.  No unconsiousness.  No dreams.  No ZZZZ’s floating up into the air as you drift into slumberland.

Instead you shift to your left.  You reposition your pillows.  Then you shift over to your right.  You shake out the blanket.  You stretch your arms above your head.  Nothing.  Wide awake with no hope of drifting off.

Or another likely scenario is you zonk out right away and then somewhere in the middle of the night, “BING!” Eyes and mind wide open…  and no immediate hope of falling back into sleepyland.

If either of these stories resonate with you, then you struggle with insomnia. Read more

Book Review — ‘Ikuwa Advocates For Food Sovereignty And Health Care


‘Ikuwa, Voices of the Ancestors’
advocates food sovereignty
and Native Hawaiian health care

Do you want to support food sovereignty and Native Hawaiian health care?

Check out ‘IKUWA, Voices of the Ancestors by Kalapana native Dana Melina Keawe. This recently released book is a first for the Native Hawaiian author who hails from Kalapana.

The book is a compilation of poems, short stories and memoirs about her life growing up in Puna in the 1960s and 1970s, along with her experiences traveling and encountering spiritual teachers.

Half the proceeds from Keawe’s book will go toward the promotion of Native Hawaiian health care through Hui M?lama Ola N? ??iwi and also toward the establishment of community gardens in all the Hawaiian Homesteads throughout Hawai’i.

Keawe and friends hope to incorporate natural farming, permaculture and Native Hawaiian planting techniques, teaching the community and children how to make and use locally grown and sourced materials.

To be a part of these endeavors, reach Keawe via Facebook or Twitter. To see a preview and order her book, check out her website at danakeawe.com.

Politics — Pahoa Pool Reopened After Eight Months

poolThe Pahoa pool is open after eight months and $1.5 million in improvements. Among the work performed by Isemoto Contracting was the installation of roof-mounted solar heating panels, new circulation pumps and a variable frequency drive motor, which is expected to reduce energy use and start-up time after an electrical outage.  Isemoto also enlarged the equipment building for the new pumps, repaired leaks to the pool basin, and improved the surge gutter and the drain lines.


There was a lot of behind-the-scenes stuff going on at the pool blessing today… But I’m sitting here, thinking, do I really feel like writing about all the subtleties I noticed?… Nah, not yet, I’ll just post some photos and call it a day. Anybody else there today catch any drifts? — Tiffany Edwards Hunt


Letters — Good News For Coffee Growers

coffee roasters

At Hawaii Coffee Association’s (HCA) 18th Conference and 5th Cupping Competition on Kauai in July, Big Island Coffee Roasters was awarded the top spot in the Creative category with a score of 86.939.
‘Creative’ entries are those that had less than 300 pounds of the winning coffee available for purchase. The Creative category encourages farmers to experiment with new varietals and cultivation or processing methods without having to produce a commercial-level quantity of coffee. Pictured are Brandon Damitz & Kelleigh Stewart, the couple behind Big Island Coffee Roasters in Puna’s Hawaiian Acres. Tiffany Edwards Hunt photo

Hi Tiff,

By way of Good News, how’s this?

I encourage you to contact Kelleigh (She’s at Makuu most Sundays) and help publicize this. (See to the right)

I believe Puna Coffee is the next big thing, after the huge success of Ka’u coffee.

Sen. Russell Ruderman

Feature — Your Passport To Pahoa; A Business Directory

passport to pahoa


  Walk through the narrow main street, on Pahoa Village Road, and catch plenty of glimpses of the town’s rich history. 

  Along with lumber and sugar, Pahoa was home to the Pahoa Rubber Co. and Pahoa Soda Works. Akebono Theater, built approximately 1919 and among Hawaii’s oldest theaters, is adjacent to and owned by Luquin’s Mexican Restaurant.   

  Within the historic corridor there are lanes leading to ‘cane’ houses and garden-filled yards blossoming with anthurium, hapu’u, orchids, and tangerine trees. Pahoa at one time was known as the tangerine capitol of the world. It has also been historically known for its anthuriums.

  Early 20th century Pahoa was lined with shops ranging from tofu makers, tabi makers, shoemakers, and tea salesmen.   At one time there were four hotels servicing businesspeople that took the train out to Pahoa and couldn’t return to Hilo in one day. The old Tara Hotel, which houses Puna Style today, is among the Standing remnants of Old Pahoa.

  Pahoa Cash and Carry and Jan’s Barber Shop, on the Kalapana side of the old boardwalk, are among the businesses with the most longevity at more than 75 years and 60 years, respectively. 

— Tiffany Edwards Hunt

Ask A Wrench — The Virtue Of A Simple Oil Service

Ask A Wrench jpg By Ed Miner Jr. 

Good day folks…today we will talk about just a simple oil service.

Most folks are probably well versed on how to do one and hopefully are disposing the waste oil properly.

Protect the aina — something we all need to be aware of as our cars contain some nasty stuff.

My focus is more that this service is done on a schedule of at least bi-yearly, as it will ultimately save you some money in the long run.

We are all going through tough times now and your budget rarely includes auto repair.

Rent, groceries, mortgage, school supplies, and just daily living all take their toll on the finances. I would like to suggest that you put aside about $50 to have your servicing done by someone you trust, and who also will check your vehicle for anything that might become a problem later.

Most mechanics discount oil changes because, to make money doing them, you need the volume. They usually just get you in and out and the quality of the materials are sub par.

If you service your vehicle regularly, you’ll probably be okay.  But the cheap stuff needs to replaced more often to avoid undue wear to your engine.  Read more

Feature — Life On The Lava; About The Kalapana Romance Before Brittany Jane Royal Was Murdered And Boaz Johnson Disappeared

By Tiffany Edwards Hunt

Three months after the Kalapana murder of the pregnant Brittany Jane Royal and the disappearance of her boyfriend Boaz Johnson, the mystery of what happened to them lingers here on the Big Island.

The families of the couple have retreated to their homes states, the Royals in California and the Johnsons in Alaska.  Royal’s family has created a flyer that they are calling on the public to help circulate on the island — Residing in California without the means to visit the island to distribute the flyers themselves, they have made a public plea for help distributing the flyer.  A copy of the flyer can be seen on page 5 or obtained from the Justice for Brittany Jane Royal Facebook page.

Johnson’s family, meanwhile, say they have not heard from “Bo” since that fateful Memorial Day when he last talked on the phone about land he intended to buy the next day.

The Johnson parents were supposed to transfer money for finalize the land purchase on May 28, and reported Bo missing after the Realtor called to say he never showed up for his appointment.

Police continuely to actively investigate he Royal murder/Johnson disappearance, but at press time did not divulge any substantive leads if there are any.

Police have said said they believe Bo Johnson is alive and consider him a suspect.  They describe him as Caucasian, about 5-foot-7, about 150 pounds with a slim build and a fair complexion. He was last seen unshaven and with medium-length brown hair. He would have turned 23 on Aug. 7.

Bo Johnson’s sisters and mother say that along with the publicized horse tattoo, Bo Johnson has a lion tattoo on his shoulder.  They did not have any pictures of either tattoo.

“Yes, I have seen Bo’s tat(t)oos,” Kathleen Johnson wrote Aug. 7.  “I remember the lion. I cannot describe the horse. I do not have any pictures. The tat(t)oos are somewhat recent news to me. Unlike Hawaii the climate here is such that most of the time folks keep their shirts on.”

Ruth Johnson, one of Bo’s sisters, said Bo had “a mechanical looking horse’s head on his right torso” and a “lion on his back left shoulder blade…” “The whole lion,” she added.  He always keep short hair and was clean shaven, Ruth Johnson said.

Ruth Johnson and sister Sarah Anni Johnson also told of how they and their brother first came to Hawaii Island.  Sarah Johnson had been in a relationship with someone who made their way between Alaska and Hawaii and had a place in Hawaiian Paradise Park.

Ruth, 24, wanted to join her 21-year-old sister in Hawaii, and Bo decided to accompany them.  Bo came to the island Jan. 26.  At the end of January, early February she and Bo rented a house out on the lava field.  Ruth left the island March 18, so estimates she stayed out here a month and a half.

“Right when I was leaving, him and Brittany starting to get together,” Ruth Johnson recalled.   Read more

Puna News — Serve On The HAAS Governing Board

Hawaii Academy of Arts and Science Public Charter School (HAAS PCS) seeks non-employee, non-parent volunteers to serve as members of the Governing Board.

The Governing Board is responsible for the financial, organization, and academic viability of HAAS and implementation of the charter.

HAAS strives to have Governing Board members that provide a diversity of perspective and a level of objectivity that accurately represent the interests of the charter school students and the surrounding community; demonstrate an understanding of best practices of non-profit governance; and possess strong financial and academic management and oversight abilities, as well as human resource and fundraising experience.

For more information about charter schools, go to www.chartercommission.hawaii.gov

Please submit resume and letter of interest to the address below by 8/30/13 or hand deliver to the office.

Human Resources
Hawaii Academy of Arts and Science PCS
PO Box 1494
Pahoa, HI 96778
(808) 965-3730 ext. 238
Fax (808) 965-3733
Website:  www.haaspcs.org
E-mail:  nadia_ranne@notes.k12.hi.us

Food — Kitchen Diva: Beet Kvass

By Sofia Wilt

I find it fascinating how our tastes evolve from when we’re children. As a kid I thought meat and
green vegetables were disgusting; now they make up the core of my diet. The thing I hated most
of all were beets. I’m pretty sure other children that grew up in Central Pennsylvania were
equally traumatized by the way beets were prepared. In the deli section of grocery stores it was
customary to find a large glass jar filled with beets and hard boiled eggs pickled together. They
were sweet, sulphury, crimson and really weird. As a result I had a strict no-beet policy up until I
was 30 years old and attending the Natural Gourmet Culinary Institute in NYC. I learned how to
roast beets – a simple method of peeling, slicing, tossing with oil and salt and roasting for roughly
45 minutes. When they cooled we put them on top a salad with goat cheese, toasted walnuts, fresh
mint and a balsamic vinaigrette. I turned a corner that day and have never looked back. When I
finally got on board the beet train I was surprised how much I had been missing out with beets –
both as a culinary gem and as a nutritional powerhouse.
Beets are par excellance for their detoxifying properties and for building healthy blood. They
alleviate stagnation by helping to improve poor circulation, liver congestion and constipation
through gentle cleansing of the the liver, kidneys and lymphatic system.  The most signature
compound in beets is betaine which works as an anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant. Read more

Letters — Correcting The Record On Kealoha Trust And Geothermal In Puna

Aloha Tiffany,

I hope this finds you well.  The newest article on your website  (re: Geothermal Puna Pushes Back)  is incorrect in stating Kealoha Energy is a company.  Mr. McNarie must have seen a page in our Kealoha Estate website that is called “Kealoha Energy”, but we are just a local family (Kealoha Trust)  who supports geothermal.

At no time have we made any public statement that we plan to develop geothermal on four parcels.  That information apparently was gleaned from the Action Alert petition circulated by Professor Davianna McGreggor (also posted  on your website in April).

Here is the statement Mr. McNarie made in the article:

A company called Kealoha Energy, for instance, has announced plans to develop geothermal on four parcels in the Pohoiki area, totaling about 406 acres.


We hope geothermal development moves forward, as my Papa, James Kealoha believed geothermal was the “way of the future”, and studied geothermal energy since the 1950’s,  up to his death in 1983.  Today we have an opportunity to be part of the process, and hopefully, will be.  However, we have no long term lease with any company, nor do we have the capacity to develop geothermal ourselves.

Is there some way you can edit the article to reflect factual information regarding the Kealoha property?  I’d really appreciate it.   Thank you for your continued coverage of this issue.

My aloha to the family,

Aunty Ku’ulei