Hilo — Surf Camp For Disabled Children Is Dec. 7

(Media release) — A free Surfers Healing Camp for children with autism and other disabilities will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.Saturday, December 7, at Richardson Ocean Park in Hilo.

Now in its fourth year, the Surfers Healing Camp provides disabled children and their families with the unique experience of surfing with professionals under supervised conditions. Knowledgeable surfing instructors, surfboards and U.S. Coast Guard-approved life vests will be provided at no charge. Complementary drinks, snacks and lunches will be offered to participating children, their families and event volunteers.

Surfers Healing is a national organization started 15 years ago in California to share the joy of surfing with the less fortunate. Its Hawai‘i Island chapter is sponsoring the December 7 drug-, alcohol-, and tobacco-free event. Additional support provided through a partnership withthe Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation, HMSA, Hawai‘i Behavioral Health and Hulakai Surfboards.


An estimated 200 people, including approximately 50 keiki, are expected to participate in the Hilo camp. Surfers Healing Camps are held throughout the world,providing more than 3,000 children annually with the opportunity to try surfing.


To register your child and learn more about the camp, please visit www.surfershealing.org. Space is limited, and spots fill up fast.

For more information, please call Kalani Kahalioumi at315-6380.

Guest Column — Our Negligent Hawaii County Council

By Hugh Clark

So our continuing, confused county council is ignoring the County Charter it swore to uphold last December (see Cook Lauer’s damaging story about the ignored legislative auditor office).
So its focus is on issues usually left to state officials and scientific controls (GMO) left to the feds.
This ambitious group of folks want to direct at D.C. and Honolulu while ignoring its role as the local government policy maker. Pot holes, police functions, park operations and other lower profile needs are this group’s assigned job, not setting national policy.
Is it too much to ask these nine people to honor the charter they  pledged.
Left unanswered as well is who, specifically, is going to enforce the GMO act if it should  survive certain court challenges? Who is going to determine a 20-year-old smoker is a criminal if he is a visitor from Maui or Kauai, where it is entirely legal. One might think a single, highly isolated sate would keep a uniform policy — as determined by the legislature.
On the same day I was informed of the auditing neglect (intentional negligence?),  I became aware of a truck fire that blocked traffic Puna so workers could not reach their job sites and patients could not access the only available hospital.
In my working days (36 years on this island), I recall an on-point Puna councilman suggesting the burning need for an alternative route for Pahoa and other Puna neighborhoods to Hilo in case of eruption, runaway fire or stupid drivers.  Nothing has happened.
I submit uninterrupted travel for essential, possibly life saving, services, trumps some hazy notion about controlling science evolution.
I never favored two-year terms for this council, now I am reconsidering that position, based on these last two mostly distracted panels.
(Hugh Clark is a retired Honolulu Advertiser reporter.)

Letters — A Formal Apology From The Student Who Lied About An Attack

(Editor’s note: The following letter comes from the 19-year-old girl who lied when telling the police and the media she was attacked at knifepoint in a UH Hilo bathroom last week. ) Dear Big Island Chronicle, I am ultimately sorry for lying to you and hope that we can make amends.  I know that you confided in me and told me what you have been through, gave me advice about what I can do to help myself in certain situations, and told me that you’d be there for me. I am sorry that I abused your trust.  I know that this situation has affected many people and I gave a bad reputation to Hilo.  I will take up your suggestion about going to the women’s center to volunteer and learn about theseserious life situations.  I understand that your reputation is on the line and I am SO SORRY, I am wanting to know what else I can do to help you and your career.  I understand the consequences that can happen to me because of this whole lie I had made up.  I am learning form this very hard lesson and hope to strive and walk in the light again. (Name omitted)

Guest Column — Enhancing Family Strength And Student Achievement

appleBy John M. Daggett Ph.D.

A strong family and healthy children are the foundation of society.  Researchers on Kauai were some of the first to find out what factors make a difference in growing successful children. Of importance in this age of tight money, no extra money is required to achieve an increase in family and student success.

There are six main factors that I will define and you may personalize them based on your needs and experience.  They will most likely seem like commonsense factors, however, many people don’t realize their importance and power when families work on and balance all six.  They are: 1. Care and Support, 2. Clear and Consistent Boundaries, 3. High and Realistic Expectations, 4. Opportunities for Meaningful Participation, 5. Bonding Opportunities, 6. Continuing Life Skills Development.

1.     Provide Care and Support: This includes providing unconditional positive regard and encouragement. The local culture of Ohana, Aunty, Uncle, and Keiki, are a wonderful foundation for this factor. The Latino, Asian, and other immigrant cultures have strong family values as well. It is the most critical of all the factors that promote family strength, resiliency, and health. In fact, it seems almost impossible to successfully overcome adversity without the presence of caring. As with traditional Hawaiian practice, his caring does not necessarily have to come from biological family members. Optimally, every child and adult should have several people he or she can turn to for help. As educator Nell Noddings stated in 1988, “It is obvious that children will work harder and do things — even odd things like adding fractions — for people they love and trust.” Read more

Guest Column — A New Party?

By Steven Offenbaker

The political parties in our country’s history are steeped with a rich tradition and they inspire a passion within their membership, convinced they know what’s best for our country.

The Republican Party will proudly tell you they are the party of Lincoln and Reagan, that they abolished slavery and stand for hard work and the entrepreneur spirit. The Democratic Party, whose numbers include names such as Roosevelt and Kennedy, will shout from the rooftops that they are the party that truly cares about the poor, the party that looks out for the little guy.

While there is truth in what both parties say they stand for their missions have been corrupted. Neither party primarily works for the betterment of the people, and instead now simply works for power, control, and fame.

No other place in the country can this be seen more clearly than right here in Hawaii. This state is dominated by one political party. Of the 78 elected positions in the Hawaii State government, 71 are held by the Democratic Party.

Let’s take a minute to truly understand what that number means. What it really means is that at the State level, the Democratic Party can pass any law that it wants, be secure in the knowledge that it could override the veto of any legislation the State Legislature passed, and really has no excuse for not having passed 100% of the initiatives they propose.. In short, every promise should have been delivered and if it’s broke, it’s the democratic parties fault.

They are so hell bent on being in “power” that they don’t take care of anyone but themselves. They can’t even be open to good ideas if the ideas don’t come from them. I have seen firsthand the House Democrats use the “gut and replace” amending of a bill to take legislation introduced by a republican and paste it into a bill introduced by a democrat so that the republicans name isn’t on the bill in the hopes that the republican won’t then be able to take any credit for the legislation, does that sound like a bunch of people that are working in your best interest?

On the Republican side, you would expect to find a small group of like minded individuals that have circled the wagons, and are running a gorilla campaign in the legislature, to call attention to the wrongs they perceive and fight to raise awareness in an effort to block things they consider detrimental. That’s not even close to what’s happening.

The Hawaii Republican Party can’t fight the good fight because they are too busy fighting amongst themselves. Read more

Guest Column — Ask A Wrench: Fuel Additives

 Ask A Wrench jpgBy Ed Miner Jr.

Aloha Big Island…welcome to another edition of tips on how to keep your car in shape. Today we will talk about fuel additives. You know you’ve seen ads on tv and see them at your local parts store. Some of them are pretty expensive too. I’m not here to promote any particular brand…unless you plan on storing your car for an extended period of time. That would be different as fuel does go stale after about 6-9 months. It will still burn but it will cause harm to your fuel injection or carburetor whatever the case mat be.

What I will recommend is that you replace your fuel filter on a regular basis….minimum once a year. That is the best thing you can do for your car’s fuel system hands down. Very few cars do not have a fuel filter and those will be the ones suffering in the long run.  Read more

Hawaii News — Sustainable, Illegal; Sustainable living communities hold a summit in Lower Puna

Sustainable Living TeeBy Alan D. McNarie

  They used to be called communes or co-ops or kibbutzim. Now they’re known by a whole new set of names: intentional communities, sustainable communities, eco-villages. At least 35 such communities exist or are in the planning stages on the Big Island alone. They vary wildly in some ways: from a fundamentalist Christian commune to a yoga-centered community to colonies of artists or circus performers. Some are attracting Baby Boom retirees or have the backing of dot-com entrepreneurs. But the core principles of most remain similar to those espoused when in the days when ”hippies” colonized Taylor Camp on Kauai and Alicia Bay Laurel first published “Living on the Earth”: a group of people come together to pursue a simpler, greener, more cooperative alternative to suburban subdivisions or golf-course condos.

And most of these communities have one other thing in common: they’re illegal.  It’s almost impossible to get a communal living arrangement on rural land past state zoning laws and county building codes.  That leaves them vulnerable: a single neighbor can build a luxury home next door, file a complaint, and bring down the wrath of state and county inspectors. Intentional community residents complain that in a climate where all that’s really needed to live comfortably are a screen house, a catchment tank, a simple solar power system and a composting toilet, building and zoning regulations seem to be designed more to sustain the real estate and construction industries than to sustain the land.

Graham Ellis of Belly Acres, one of the island’s oldest such communities, notes, for instance, that his community, which was originally founded by circus performers as a retreat in lower Puna, has about 30 residents,  “But the only permits allowed by the state [on agriculture-zoned land] are family related (5 people) and farm (everyone has to be employed on the farm). And as for composting toilets: “Presently the only composting toilets permitted in the state of Hawai`i are ones built on the mainland and shipped over here.”

Ellis is chair of the Hawaii Sustainable Community Alliance, a group of five such communities that have banded together in hope of changing that situation. On October 26, the Alliance held its third annual meeting at Kalani Eco-Resort in Lower Puna.  About 70 members came to assess progress and share ideas.

The progress report contained mixed news.  On the state level, the group had backed House Bill 111, which would authorize “the use of certain land, subject to county approval and oversight, for research, development, and testing of sustainable agriculture, development, waste management, and resource management through planned community use.” In other words, under the proposed law, people could experiment with composting toilets and communal agriculture without running afoul of ag zoning.  The bill made it through the House and passed its first reading in the Senate, but stalled out in the Senate Water and Land Committee, chaired by the Big Island’s own Malama Solomon, and the Committee of Public Safety and Intergovernmental Affairs, chaired by O’ahu’s Will Espero.

According to Puna State Senator Russell Ruderman, who attended the Alliance meeting, the bill will be reintroduced with some amendments. One key change: the new version will apply only to Maui County and the Big Island, excluding O`ahu and Kauai, from which most of the opposition came.

News was not great on the County Level, either. Before amending the county building code last year, the previous County Council did pass a resolution recommending that the County Department of Public Works “Establish a Sustainable Habitat Ordinance,” allowing substitute building materials and “the use of ingenuity and builder preferences” in rural areas. After the resolution’s sponsor, Angel Pilago, retired, newly elected Upper Puna councilor Zendo Kern took up the torch, promising to enact more reforms to the Building Code itself and to introduce a bill for an “alternative building code.”  According to an online newsletter from Kern’s office, the alternative code “would allow a homeowner/builder to directly work with an Architect or Engineer [sic] instead of going through the traditional process of obtaining a county building permit or abiding by county inspections.  The Architect/Engineer would thereby be responsible for all plan reviews and inspections.”

But so far, no such bill has been introduced, and Kern seems to have made himself scarce to his constituents recently; he canceled a town hall meeting in Pahoa last month, didn’t respond to an invitation to attend the Sustainable Community Alliance meeting, and hasn’t returned the Chronicle’s phone calls.  His newsletter stated that “The current stance of both codes are in development as Councilman Kern is still making changes and in preliminary discussions with the Department of Public Works.“

Some constituents, meanwhile, have grown impatient.  Read more

Guest Column — Ask A Farmer: About Korean Natural Farming

ask a farmer By Andrew Plack

What is Natural farming and gardening?

First, we must ask what isNature? Nature is everything, nothing that is escapes this category. All of Human Science and invention are merely specks of Natures construct. Nature is you.

What is the common quality of Nature? Life.

So, this most basic understanding is the key to all answers human kind may pose. In terms of growing plants and foods, all errors occur because this most basic of all understanding is discarded. Nature is complete. There is nothing missing.

All things become balanced in an ever changing dynamic relationship. Nothing extra, nothing without.

So, what is natural farming? Why of course it is following the course of Nature! Sounds a bit mysterious and yet it is what our ancestors did for as long as we have farmed. Indeed most of the world still follows this pattern of sustainable living. It is a hoax that we can do without it. It is a hoax that we need life out of balance to feed ourselves. We don’t need to tinker with Nature, we need to flow within it. Read more

Hawaii News — Filmmakers Working On Korean Natural Farming Film Here

Independent film makers re- korean natural farming

Pioneer Cinema Institute Director Adam Pfleghaar (L) and Sound Mixer Andrew Eitner are pictured having lunch at Sweet Cane Cafe recently with Michael DuPonte, a County Extension Agent in charge of Livestock Programs in the University of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources’ Cooperative Extension Office. Pfleghaar and Eitner are working on a film here about korean natural farming. See footage of their previous work highlighting gifted children around the world at www.stillistrive.com. (Photo by Tiffany Edwards Hunt)


Guest Column — Korean Natural Farming With Pigs

MAP_4218.jpgBy Jackie Prell

Pigs – you gotta love ‘em. Or hate them. Kama-pua’a was a pig-god to old Hawaiians, associated with Lono, the god of agriculture, and also was a lover of Pele. He was a shape shifter, capable of appearing as a handsome young man or randy, rascally hog with super powers of fertility. The epic story of Kama-pua’a is a wonderful example of ancient Hawaiian’s oral mythology and literature. Pigs were a special food for ancient Hawaiians and are still the centerpiece of a baby luau or graduation imu. Pigs can also be a voracious pest that devours a field of taro or pineapples in a night. One of their favorite foods is earthworms (protein-rich snacks) and they’ll turn over your yard or field to get to them.  And their smell!  Brace yourself! Right? Well…no more. Pigs may once again get the respect they deserve. Korean Natural Farming methods ;with piggeries have been used for over 40 years and with these simple methods pigs can be raised in a confined area, with virtually no smell and no flies.

Inspired by a visit to an odorless, fly-free piggery in Korea, Mike DuPonte, who is the Animal Specialist with CTHAR Cooperative Extension Service in Hilo, Hawaii, came home started a Korean Natural Farming (KNF) piggery. Mike was well versed in bureaucratic regulations and delays, and worked with the Department of Health for two years just to get his building permit. This involved many tests to see if the deep litter had any seepage or waste run-off, which it didn’t, not even a drop. Because of Mike’s efforts, the USDA has recognized KNF piggery methods as, “Best Management Practices.” It also complies with the EPA’s new, stricter, livestock operation regulations. This is a real milestone and has gotten attention from people in Hawaii and across the nation.  Many piggeries on the island, small and large, are using indigenous microorganisms to immediately abate the smells and raise healthier, happier pigs. Read more

Guest Column — The Primal Home: Surrender To The Season

Dena picking fruitBy Dena Smith

Winter here in East Hawaii has a way of reminding us that there is a natural rhythm to life: the rain falls freely, the night air turns cooler, and rainbow gazing becomes a frequent occurrence.

The cycle of contraction begins anew.

Though the meteorological changes are not as drastic here as on the mainland, we do feel the transition of the seasons and, like our mainland counterparts, we also often shift our mental and emotional energies inward at this time of year (whether or not we realize it).

During this natural transition period (one which we have aptly dubbed “fall”), many people find themselves rushing about from one activity, or event, to another that they can sometimes reach a critical breaking point. And there is no single group out there more at risk of burning out than mothers.

Not only are they traditionally the hearth of the home, many modern moms now juggle a seemingly endless roster of titles and responsibilities, whether by choice or circumstance. The pressure to wear all these different hats — taxi driver, chef, event coordinator, nurse, etc. (not to mention her actual professional career) — can be overwhelming.

Sometimes it can feel like we’re swimming upstream against a strong current that threatens to pull us under at a moment’s notice. Not only is resistance against these rising rapids utterly futile, but we also risk exhausting ourselves in the process.

It is only when we surrender to the natural flow of life—and to its rhythmic cycles—that we can recognize the great wisdom it contains. Surrendering is not the same as giving up; rather, it is about giving in. Accepting the natural flow of life is a journey of realization, contemplation, and acceptance. Read more

Kona News — Kona Teen Recognized For Conquering Kaiwi Channel


Photo courtesy of Camacho family

By Karin Stanton

It was one WaveRider congratulating another at a recent County Council meeting, when Councilman Dru Kanuha recognized Leahi Camacho for her record-setting swim this summer.

Kanuha, a 2003 Kealakehe High School graduate, shook hands and posed for photos with Camacho, a Kealakehe High School senior.

“Today, we honor Leahi Camacho for accomplishing the incredible feat of setting a new world record as youngest person to swim the Kaiwi Channel,” Kanuha said. “Her courage, strength and determination are truly inspiring.”

During the presentation, Dru also recalled he paddled the Kaiwi Channel with the help of nine other people in about five hours and yet he barely made it.

“The fact the Leahi swam across the channel all by her self without help is amazing,” he said. “I’m so proud of her being a fellow Kealakehe High School alumnus.”

Even as she soaks up the accolades more than three months later, Camacho still can’t quite believe what she did.

“That was probably the most insane thing I ever did,” she said. “When I finished, there was no real rush, no tears of joy. I didn’t really know what to think other than, ‘OK, it’s done, that’s it, now what?’ I was so happy to see that many people on the beach waiting for me. It was awesome.”

The Kaiwi Channel – the 26-mile ocean gap between Molokai and Oahu – has been conquered 27 times previously by lone swimmers.  Keo Nakama, of Maui, was the first person to accomplish the feat in September 1961. Nakama was 40 years old.

Camacho, just 17, completed the trek in 14 hours, 43 minutes, which is the ninth fastest recorded time.

Back in the spring, Camacho was looking for a challenge and found herself idly skimming swimming websites, when she stumbled across a story about Kaiwi Channel.

Camacho printed out the page and pinned it to her dad’s bulletin board with a note — ‘We should do this!’

Next morning, Camacho found a note back from her dad, Charlie — ‘Let’s do it!’

“It was really personal. I wanted to do something different, to really challenge myself,” she said. “Just so I know I can overcome anything I want to and let kids know, you really can do anything if you set your goals and work hard.” Read more

Hawaii News — The Facts And Fiction With Geothermal

 debunking geothermal myths debunking geothermal mythsBy Tiffany Edwards Hunt

  The geothermal issue ignited in the last campaign season, and has been raging since then, particularly in Puna, where the Ormat owned Puna Geothermal Venture has called home since the early 1990s.

Controversy about geothermal gained so much traction that a geothermal working group formed and a $50,000 geothermal public health assessment was initiated.

PGV’s senior director for Hawaiian affairs Mike Kaleikini and Ormat public relations manager Heidi Bethel visited with Big Island Chronicle recently to discuss the geothermal public health assessment directed by Peter Adler, and some of the findings and recommendations that his report offered.  Kaleikini and Bethel also made an effort to “debunk” what they described as “geothermal myths” that have erupted in the course of the geothermal controversy.

Kaleikini noted that, while he was not a member of Adler’s study group, he did participate and attend all the meetings held.

“We welcome this report, we support this report,” Kaleikini said, adding, “There were several things mentioned does shed a negative light on us.  Our point is we’ve been in compliance all these years and we will continue to be in compliance.  We don’t want to contaminate the ground water.  We don’t want to willingly do emissions, etc.  We have employees here, and we want to take care of them… in the course, the community is in safe hands.”

Among Adler’s recommendations:

A health study; a new Hawaii Fire Department air monitoring equipment; improved air monitoring; water monitoring to determine whether or not any groundwater contamination is occurring with the reinjection process; and possible remediation of the old HGP-A geothermal test site.

Kaleikini doesn’t object to anyone of them.   Read more

Hilo News — UH Hilo Student’s Attempted Rape Claim Was A Lie

A 19-year-old University of Hawaii student lied when she told police and the media that she was attacked at knifepoint in the bathroom of the Geology Building Tuesday.

“We are trying to unweave this wicked web of hers that spiraled out of control,” the student’s mother said Saturday.

A police detective who met with the student Friday “figured out something was not right,” the student’s mother said. He had the student call her mother in Ewa Beach to confess to lying. False reporting charges won’t be filed against the student, her mother said.

“I was pleasantly surprised at how much empathy the detective had, even when he got her to tell the truth,” the student’s mother said.

She expressed remorse to BIC and the media as a whole, to police, to campus security, and to university officials who she hounded for not being more swift about putting out an alert to other students about the alleged attack. University officials issued an email alert a couple of days after the false report was made.

“I’m sorry, I want to make amends,” the student told BIC.  “I didn’t know how big it was going to get.”

at first, the student told BIC she made up the story to try to bring attention to the fact that a friend of hers was attacked in the Soren’s last month. But when pressed for details on that case, and any similarities to the story she concocted, she waffled. She said the description of her non-existent attacker bore no resemblance to her friend’s attacker. “It was totally made up.”

The student told BIC she made up the story about the attack when she was on the phone with her mother who was getting on her case about something she did this summer that she had kept secret but her mother was beginning to uncover.

“I honestly believe it was a diversion to what was going on in her personal life,” the student’s mother said.

As a result of the student’s false report, I university officials have scheduled a student forum on Monday to discuss campus safety and security. Police are expected to issue a express release on the false report Monday, according to the student’s mother.