Letter: New Coalition Opposes those who “Blunt Progress.”

Dear Editor:

The purpose of the Big Island Community Coalition is to work towards reduced electrical energy costs on the Island of Hawaii – where we pay up to four times the national average for our power.  We are particularly sensitive to electric power rates as very high rates serve essentially as a regressive tax on our population while greatly reducing the probability of generating jobs in any sector that is dependent on electricity.

There are occasions when events are so alarming that groups such as ours feel compelled to move beyond our primary task.  This is such a time.

We have observed with increasing alarm as our community has taken steps that inexorably blunt the forward movement of our economy and even move us backwards.  These include:

1.     Anti-Geothermal activists encouraged County government to ban nighttime drilling, effectively stopping expansion of a major source of renewable and inexpensive electric power beyond already-existing permits.  This action was taken despite the existing plant meeting all applicable noise standards.  It appears that government officials took this action without first going to the site to verify that the noise was disruptive.  Once they did go to the site, some years later, government found that the noise was less than other environmental sounds (i.e., coqui frogs) and essentially no more than typical background noise.

2.     Anti-GMO activists lobbied to stop any new GMO products from being grown on the island – despite the fact that the vast majority of scientific, peer-reviewed studies found such products to be as safe, and in some cases more nutritious, as their non-GMO counterparts.  Legislation even prohibited GMO flowers – not consumed by anyone – from being grown on the island.  Thus family farmers lost the most effective new tools needed to reduce pesticide and herbicide usage while increasing productivity needed to keep their farms competitive.

3.     Now we have anti-Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) activists taking steps to stop construction of the most advanced telescope in the world.  If successful in stopping TMT, despite its sponsors following every legal requirement over a seven-year period, we will lose our world leading advantage in understanding the universe.

All of these actions share similar characteristics:

·      The arguments used to justify such actions are consistently anti-scientific.

·      “Anti” groups often obscure the lack of scientific evidence to support their position by using emotional pleas intended to incite fear.

·      The only “win” for many of these groups is to completely stop, thereby making them completely unwilling to consider any facts that refute their position or to make any reasonable compromise.

·      Long-term consequences are significant both culturally and economically.

Cultures that survive and thrive embrace new technologies carefully, thoughtfully and steadily.  Cultures and economies that thrive are innovative beccause they generate ideas and solutions, solve problems and take calculated but careful risks.

Cultures that fall backwards are those that fear advancement, fear change and cling to a mythicized view of yesteryear.  The net result is loss of their brightest and most hard working youth.  Those youth that remain find fewer and fewer jobs – those jobs having greatly diminished economic value and lower wages.  The downward spiral becomes inexorable.

As we look to tomorrow, we need to ask ourselves whether we wish to give our children the exciting and invigorating job market typified by Silicon Valley or a job market that is much closer to the poorer regions of third world countries.  It is up to us to point one way or another.  Driving TMT out will be one more major step to cultural and economic poverty.


Big Island Community Coalition

Richard Ha, President,

David DeLuz Jr., Rockne Freitas, Michelle Galimba, Wallace Ishibashi, Noe Kalipi, H.R “Monty” Richards, William Walter

“Laugh Under the Stars” to Help Prevent Bullying

Belly Dancers to Descend on Honolulu

The 2015 Hawai‘i Belly Dance Convention will bring performers and teachers from near and far to Honolulu to share the beauty and drama of Middle Eastern dance October 8-12.
“This year will be the best yet, bringing some of the best belly dancers in the world to Honolulu to share their knowledge and passion with dancers and dance lovers alike,” said convention founder Malia Delapenia. “We hope you’ll join us this October.”
Featured visiting performers and instructors include Moria Chappell, a tribal fusion belly dancer from Washington DC; Shahrzad, an Oriental belly dancer from Virginia, and belly dance royalty Princess Farhana from Los Angeles as well as Andrea Aranda from San Francisco and Draconis from Texas.
Festivities start on October 8 with the no-host HBDC Welcome Gathering from 3:00 – 6:00 p.m. at the beachside Hau Tree Bar at Waikiki’s Hilton Hawaiian Village (2005 Kalia Road).
The dancing kicks off with the Shimmy Showcase Gala on Friday, October 9 at the Honolulu Museum of Art’s Doris Duke Theatre (900 S. Beretania Street). The Shimmy Showcase is an opportunity for convention participants to see their teachers in action, and for everyone to appreciate the art of Middle Eastern dance. The two shows will be preceded by a no-host reception with special preview performances. “Essence” the 6 p.m. show, will be a family-friendly show that traces the once traditional movements of belly dance to its contemporary existence. “The Reveal” will continue the modern exploration with more edgy, sensual, fusion performances for an audience 18 years and older at 8 p.m.
The Shimmy with Aloha Workshops, now in their eighth year, will be held at the Neal Blaisdell Center on Saturday and Sunday, October 10 and 11. The workshops will cover topics ranging from Folkloric Dance (Shaabi, Egyptian Saidi, and Lebanese Dabke) to tribal and modern fusion belly dance techniques. The teachers bring decades of experience to each workshop, and offerings will be available for belly dancers at all levels of experience. 
Individual workshops are $35-$70. New for 2015, a free Beginners of Belly Dance class will be taught on Sunday from 12:30-1:15 p.m. All ages and levels of experience are welcome and encouraged to share in the love of the art.
Just outside the Shimmy with Aloha Workshops at the Neal Blaisdell Center, a marketplace will be set up with belly dance costumes, dance wear, and other Middle Eastern artisans from around the world. Many of these products are not available locally most of the year. The Middle Eastern marketplace will be open to the public from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday and 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Sunday, October 10 and 11.
Following the Sunday workshops, an official HBDC VIP After Party will be held at Bar 35 in Chinatown (35 North Hotel St.) from 8:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m. The after party will feature belly dance and burlesque performances by Lorien Archambeault from California, Nizana from Florida, Vila Donovan, and many more surprises. 
The final day of this year’s HBDC, Monday, October 12 will begin with a half day of outdoor adventures with friends old and new. Participants can learn to surf, paddle board, take a ride on a canoe, or just kick back under an umbrella. Waikiki Beach Services is offering a discount for HBDC participants from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.. Book your activities on HawaiiBellyDanceConvention.com.
The closing event is new for this year: Reflection is an intimate night of performances and commentary, an opportunity for professional feedback from HBDC’s visiting instructors. From 5:00 – 7:30 p.m. at the Ong King Art Center in Chinatown (184 N King St.), dancers can participate in a question and answer session with the visiting instructors and get feedback on their own performances. This years panel will include Shahrzad Raqs, Moria Chappell, Princess Farhana, and Marshal Bodiker. This forum is open to the public. Dancers wishing to perform must apply. Forms are available on HawaiiBellyDanceConvention.com.

Also new for this year, attendees can save over $100 and gain admission to all HBDC events with the All Access Pass. The $415 pass includes VIP access to the Shimmy Showcase Gala, Shimmy with Aloha Workshops, HBDC VIP After Party, and Reflection.
For more information, to purchase tickets for the Shimmy Showcase, or to register for workshops or other convention events, visit HawaiiBellyDanceConvention.com or call (808) 234-1006.

Biker Who Died was Riding in the Dark without Headlights

Police have determined that  23-year old man who died following a motorcycle crash Tuesday night (June 16) in Volcano was riding a non-street-legal dirt bike with no headlights at the time of the accident, which occurred  near the 25-mile marker in the Volcano area of Puna.

Responding to an 8:34 p.m. call, police found  that the rider,  who has been identified as Ronson Bento of Volcano, was riding
a 2003 Honda XR100R dirt bike, heading north on Route 11 with no lights on when it struck a southbound 2005 Dodge Caravan that was making a left turn onto Nahelenani Street. Bento, who was not wearing a helmet, was thrown from his bike in the crash. He was taken to Hilo Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 9:30 p.m.

The driver of the van, a 48-year-old Volcano woman, was not injured in the crash.

The dirt bike had no license plate and was not equipped with features to be lawfully operated on a public highway.

It is undetermined if speed or alcohol were factors in the collision.

Police have initiated a standard negligent homicide case and are continuing the investigation. They ask anyone who may have witnessed the crash or operation of the dirt bike prior to the collision to call Officer William Brown at 965-2716.

This is the 12th traffic fatality this year compared with seven at this time last year.

Three Local Native Hawaiian Artists Receive Fellowships

The national Native Arts and Cultures Foundation(NACF) has awarded fellowships to three Big Island Kanaka Maoli artists.  Robi Kahakalau and Kaumakaiwa Kanakaole have won awards for music. Bernice Akamine, who is from O‘ahu but now lives on Hawai‘i, Island, received an award for visual arts.
The fellowships recognize native artists whose works to date exemplify great strength and creativity in the fields of visual arts, dance, music, and traditional arts. Over 150 artists applied for the fellowships in the state this year; 12 fellowships were awarded.

“NACF is proud to be honoring twelve talented k?naka maoli. The rigor and commitment reflected in their body of work–and in all the work we reviewed–made me wish we could have given awards to every one of the applicants,” said Lulani Arquette who is Native Hawaiian and the President/CEO of NACF.

Kahakalau, a N? H?k? Hanohano award-winning singer and musician, will use her fellowship to compose a collection of music and an accompanying curriculum to teach Native Hawaiian pre-school age children language and heritage through music. This “Music Energizes Language Education” (MELE) collection will include a teaching module for 20 Native Hawaiian language songs focused on specific topics.

Janaka‘ole, an openly transgender recording artist and kumu hula, grounded in the traditions of hula and ha‘a, composes mele oli, and choreographs performances for H?lau O Kekuhi. Her fellowship will allow the N? H?k? Hanohano award winning performer to create a series of hula and ha‘a presentations based on the rituals of the goddess Pele tradition from the Malaeha’aho’a text. She will choreograph, collaborate, and compose new chant verses and stage presentations with her family that will be ready to tour in 2016.

Akamine is known for the abstract glass sculptures and vessels she creates with smooth flowing lines, often covered with a form-fitted skin of texture and color. She will use her fellowship to complete Kalo, a traveling installation of 79 plants made of stone and newsprint to be exhibited in honor of Queen Lili‘uokalani of Hawai’i. A kumu in the methods of creating and using waiho‘olu‘u, or natural plant dyes, and beaten-bark kapa cloth, the artist will create newsprint petals on each plant featuring handwritten renditions of each island’s Native boundaries or ahupua‘a on one side, with copies of the hundreds of signed petitions against the U.S. annexation of Hawaii on the other. After exhibiting in Hawai’i and beyond, the artist will give the plants to the 23 listed Homestead Associations and 10 Native Hawaiian centers in community colleges and universities across the state.

Pahoa Senior Center to Reopen

The Pahoa Senior Ceter, closed since September of 2014 because of the lava crisis, will re-open on Monday, June 29. Services returning to the Center will include the Hawai‘i County Nutrition Program (HCNP), Elderly Recreation Services (ERS), Coordinated Services for the Elderly (CSE), and the P?hoa Senior Club.

The Center wad been closed in order to use the building as a temporary fire station for Lower Puna when an advancing lava flow threatened to inundate P?hoa last year.

“The Department of Parks and Recreation thanks the public for its patience and understanding while the P?hoa Senior Center was closed for emergency purposes,” read a press release announcing the re-opening.

Commentary: Sen. Lorraine Inouye on the Future of Renewable Energy

On the Island of Hawai‘i, where I live, I have witnessed the best of what renewable energy has to offer – geothermal, wind, water and sun. I was a member of the State Senate when the original statute on the renewable energy portfolio standards, Act 272, was approved in 2001. At that time, we were the only state to propose such a program. As the recently appointed Chair of the Senate Transportation and Energy Committee, I look forward to learning what other technologies and resources are available to help wean ourselves off fossil fuels and to showcase to the world that the state of Hawai‘i is a leader when it comes to embracing the power of clean energy.
That is why I was encouraged when Gov. David Ige last week signed into law with great and well-earned fanfare House Bill 623 (Act 97), which sets new targets for Hawai‘i’s renewable energy portfolio standards. These standards were strengthened in 2004, 2006 and 2009. The new law now takes the standards to a more aggressive goal of 100 percent by the year 2045. Hawai‘i, once again, is blazing trails when it comes to setting targets that are good for the environment and good for the state overall.
I commend all State Legislators including the bill’s sponsor, Representative Chris Lee and Senator Mike Gabbard, for shepherding the legislation through the process. These are aggressive goals and the right thing to do.
But then I learned of a bit of irony.
Within a couple of days of the signing of the bill, the Hawai‘i Public Utilities Commission (PUC) took adverse action against eight solar farms – one was denied and seven were deferred. These projects are designed to add 240 megawatts of clean solar energy to the grid. But the PUC’s decisions put these projects at risk of going away. That’s 240 megawatts of solar energy — which could get us 6 percent closer to the goal — that could simply disappear.
Why? Did the PUC think these projects were not worthy?
Not at all.
What the PUC signaled in its orders was that Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) did not do its job in addressing the commission’s questions and concerns regarding costs and benefits to the state. In other words, HECO’s unresponsiveness to the PUC was holding us back from achieving our renewable energy goals.
I am glad that the PUC took the steps necessary to hold HECO accountable, and the good news is that the PUC’s efforts seem to be working. Subsequent filings by HECO provide the analysis necessary to show these 240 megawatts can help us achieve our renewable goals and help lower HECO’s electricity rates at the same time.
Things are heading in the right direction but we need to keep moving. Any further delay will place our renewable energy future – and projects like these – in jeopardy. A dire consequence of a delay: missing a critical deadline by the end of 2016 in order to qualify for federal tax credits. The tax credits are what allow the projects to offer unprecedentedly low prices to HECO’s customers. If the projects aren’t started in time to meet the deadline, they might never be started.
Not to mention, Hawai’i’s business reputation will be tarnished when investors wanting to help finance clean energy projects will simply go somewhere else. This puts a chilling effect on future investment. Companies wanting to come here could again say, “It’s too difficult to do business in Hawai‘i.”
Also at stake: hundreds of local construction jobs. This means less money in the pockets of carpenters, electricians, heavy equipment operators and other construction workers. This is the cash they use to pay mortgages and rents, food and other bills.
With the higher renewable portfolio standards, we need to send a strong message that we welcome more clean energy investment to the state — especially when the investment helps lower and stabilize our electricity rates. That’s why I’m asking the Commission to move quickly. Let us start by giving the green light to solar projects that will move Hawai‘i forward towards a more sustainable future.

State Senator Lorraine R. Inouye represents Senate District 4, which includes Hilo, Hamakua, Kohala, Waimea, Waikoloa and Kona. She is the chair of the Senate Transportation and Energy Committee.

Hugh Clark Passes On

Hugh Clark, former Big Island bureau chief for the Honolulu Advertiser and, later, columnist for the Chronicle, passed away from cancer this morning. He was 73.

Clark, who reported for the Hilo Tribune Herald for five years before before joining the Advertiserand staying for over three decades, was a old-fashioned hard-news journalist. Although he could and did write passionately about sports, he was most in his element when covering a court case or dissecting a political race.

“He was an old-school newspaperman, a mentor and a friend, and he will be missed,” wrote Tribune reporter John Burnett, announcing the death on the Big Island Press Club’s Facebook page.

Clark “trained himself to remember arcane details of news stories and personalities, and what he couldn’t remember was contained in a remarkable filing system that half-filled his second-floor walkup office in the century-old Hilo Drug Building overlooking Hilo Bay,” wrote Advertiser reporter Jan TenBruggengate when Clark retired from the paper in 2002. “He is a journalist of the old school, and held out against computer technology for as long as he could, comfortable in the days when bureau reporters pounded on clattering teletype machines, a telephone cradled on one shoulder and a pencil behind the other ear.”

“I am not a techy, and really have no desire to become one,” he once admitted in a letter to the editor.

But Clark couldn’t get the ink out of his blood, even in retirement, even in the electronic age. He began writing his “Hugh-isms” column for for the Chronicle’s Web site in 2012 and learned to exercise a talent that he had kept carefully in check over his reporting years: a knack for expressing strong personal opinions, often with an acidic wit. Comparing the 2012 county elections with those in 1976, for instance, Clark noted that both elections featured “Plenty of ornery debate, threatening and juvenile conflict and… acrimony that seemingly never would end.” In another column, Clark groused that the Transportation Safety Administration had “done far more to terrorize American travelers than any Muslim group.” In an open letter to New West Broadcasting’s Chris Leonard, he wrote, “Just read you have fired [conservative commentator Rush] Limbaugh. I always liked you and now I know better why.” Commenting on an attack by the Tribune-Herald on alocal politician, he remarked, “Did (Hawaii Tribune-Herald editor David) Bock have the decency to forewarn you guys he was going to declare war? Or was this a Pearl Harbor event?”

Cancer has finally stilled that curmudgeonly, honest voice. Rest in peace, Hugh.


–Alan McNarie

Thieves Steal Polaris from Military….

Fortunately, it’s a Polaris Ranger utility vehicle, not a Polaris missile. At 9 a.m. on December 8, police responded to a report of a burglary at the Keaukaha Military Reserve on Kekuanaoa Street and  learned that the vehicle had been removed from a bunker on the base. Value of the vehicle is estimated at $16,000. It’s still missing, and the police are seeking the public’s help to find it.

Police ask anyone with any information about this incident to call the Police Departments non-emergency line at 935-3311 or contact Detective Dean Uyetake at 961-2379 or dean.uyetake@hawaiicounty.gov.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the islandwide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.


Ige Signs Renewable Energy Bills

Governor David Ige has signed  four energy bills,  including one that could make Hawaii the first state in the Union to require utilities to generate 100 percent of their electricity sales from renewable energy resources. That bill, HB623, will phase in the use of renewable electricity sources until 100 percent of electrical utilities’ power output is generated from such sources by the end of 2045. Other bills would require the University of Hawaii to use renewable energy, would make it easier for consumers to purchase solar-generated power from sites away from their homes, and would create the post of state administrator to promote hydrogen-based energy technologies. The bills now become law.
“As the most oil dependent state in the nation, Hawai’i spends roughly $5 billion a year on foreign oil to meet its energy needs. Making the transition to renewable, indigenous resources for power generation will allow us to keep more of that money at home, thereby improving our economy, environment and energy security,” Ige said.
“Setting a 100 percent renewable portfolio standard will help drive investment in Hawai’i’s growing clean energy sector,” Luis Salaveria, Hawai’i’s director of the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism, who noted “Our commitment to clean energy has already attracted entrepreneurs and businesses from around the world.”
“Renewable energy projects are already producing cheaper power than new fossil fuel projects in Hawai’i, and it’s only going to get cheaper as renewable technology advances, unlike fossil fuels which will only grow more expensive as they become more difficult to extract from a shrinking supply,” said Representative Chris Lee, Chair of the House Energy and Environmental Protection Committee. “The faster we move toward renewable energy, the faster we can stop exporting billions from our local economy to import expensive fossil fuels.”
Ige also signed bill SB1050, which will set up a framework to allow renters, condominium owners, and others to purchase electricity generated at an off-site energy facility, such as a large-scale solar farm. The new law will also provide relief to homeowners and businesses located on highly saturated circuits that cannot accommodate additional photovoltaic installations.
“As of March 2015, there are about 56,000 PV/Solar systems on rooftops. These folks are saving tremendously on their electricity bills. That’s great, but what about the 44 percent of Hawai’i residents who don’t own their homes? And those without roof space? SB1050 allows people to form a hui, find a piece of land, and purchase or lease however many PV panels they want and then get a credit on their electricity bill for the energy they produce. We spend $3-5 billion annually buying fossil fuels; this is an awesome concept that will keep some of the money here to help our economy,” commented Senator Mike Gabbard, who chaired the Senate Committee on Transportation and Energy when bill SB1050 was created.

“Bullet Hole” at Mauna Kea Observatory was Made by a Bolt

The “bullet hole” in the Subaru Telescope’s door was actually made by a bolt, and the staff knew about  six months ago.

The alleged bullet hole was widely  reported by the media, including the Honolulu Star Advertiser, two days ago, after after an unidentified source reported the hole to the Hawaii County Police Department.   But when a police detective investigated the scene on Monday, June 8,  he determined that the hole in a door to the observatory was caused by a bolt from an adjacent wall and that it had been there for approximately six months.

The police said that the case the case of the bullet-pierced observatory “will be closed as unfounded.”

Big Island Press Club Sponsors Presentation on The Transparency Initiative

The Big Island Press Club invites the public to a luncheon talk on Thursday, June 18, from noon until 1:30 p.m. at Restaurant Kenichi to hear about The Grassroot Institute’s Transparency Initiative.

The  initiative has broken new ground in shedding a light on holding government in Hawaii accountable. Grassroot has been able to uncover amazing information, which will be uploaded for journalists and the public at OpenHawaii.org.

Among the findings:
? The top ten highest state public pensions for retirees last year.
? The average pension and base salary for every state department.
? The salaries, overtime, and bonus pay, and other information for every county.

Through a series of open records requests, and with the help of the Civil Beat Law Center for the Public Interest, and the Office of Information Practices, Grassroot President Keli’i Akina and policy analyst Joe Kent will review the work that Grassroot Institute has done for a better government, economy, and society in Hawaii.

The institute’s speakers also will share of its struggles to advance transparency in Hawaii, especially with regard to Hawaii County, which has been one of the least transparent counties in terms of salary and overtime pay. In addition, the speakers will review their transparency work with the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, and the Employee Retirement System, among other agencies.

“A society built on democracy rests on an informed public. Now more than ever, it’s important that we say “E Hana Kakou, let’s work together,” toward an open and transparent government.,” Akina said.

The Grassroot Institute of Hawaii is a nonprofit 501(c)3 public policy think tank, dedicated to advancing individual liberty, the freemarket, and limited, accountable government.

Reservations are required. The cost of the buffet lunch (chicken katsu, furikake panko salmon, yakisoba, salad, vegetable, beverage) at Restaurant Kenichi, 684 Kilauea Ave., Hilo, is $20.

Register with a credit card at https://bipcgrassrootinstitute.eventbrite.com ($2.09 processing fee) or contact Robert Duerr surf77@mac.com or 808-937-9104. Those interested may also send check to BIPC P. O. Box 1920, Hilo HI 96721, to arrive no later than June 16. Parking is available at Aupuni Center, across the street, for 25 cents per hour.

The Big Island Press Club has been dedicated to journalism and the public’s right to know about the workings of government, business and communities on Hawaii island since 1967.

***Commentary*** Puna Parents: Sign Up Your Keiki For Swim Classes

If you’re looking for swim classes for your Keiki this summer, check in with the Department of Parks and Recreation.

imageRegistration for swim lessons is happening this week at the Pahoa Aquatic Swimming Pool. If you are interested, show up at the pool today. Sign-up starts at 2 p.m., but parents start lining up as early as three hours beforehand. Staff at the Pahoa Aquatic Swimming Pool day there are double the amount of swim classes this summer, due to the number of swim instructors increasing from one to three. I can offer a personal testament to the Department of Parks and Recreation swim instruction. One of my children participated last year. She got so involved in swimming she signed up for the novice swim team afterward. Swim classes are two weeks per session and run $15 per session. Bring cash to the sign-up today. Classes run through July. There are shorter, one-week sessions in July that cost $10 per session. There is also a learn-to-dive class offered, and mommy-and-baby swim classes offered. These classes will not disappoint. Hats off to our pool lifeguards! And a special thank you to our Pahoa team for increasing the number of swim instructors and classes this summer! Any questions? Call the Pahoa pool at (808)965-2700.  — Tiffany Edwards Hunt

Letter: Questions about the TMT

Dear Editor,

Why did the dolphins disappear?

At the last Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) meeting on Hawai’i Island, economist Paul Brewbaker presented a dizzying array of charts and graphs showing the billions of dollars TMT would generate.

Someone asked: What do you consider sacred? He paused. Then he recalled a special place where he used to see spinner dolphins—till, one day, they disappeared.

How much money would an economist sell his mother for?

If Mauna Kea were not here, could we imagine it, or build it?

Can we know the right answers before we know the right questions?

 Why did the dolphins disappear?

 Cory (Martha) Harden

Hilo, Hawaii

Big Island Invasive Species Committee To Host Albizia Workshops

With news that the National Weather Service expects a more severe hurricane season than usual, Big Island residents–especially those in lover Puna–may be recalling the purgatory created by albizia trees during Tropical Storm Iselle, when the large, invasive, brittle trees fell by the thousands and isolated entire neighborhoods.

With the prevention of similar future experiences in mind, the Big Island Invasive Species Committee is hosting a series of workshops on how to lessen the albizia menace.

“At the workshops, we focus on providing information to teams and individuals who want to take action on a specific area of their neighborhood,” notes the BIISC announcement for the workshops.   “Working with the community organizer, these leaders will address both hazard and non-hazard trees in their selected area.  Trees that directly threaten roads, structures or utility lines should only be removed by a certified arborist.  At the workshops, you will be provided with resources to help you contact private landowners to notify them about hazard trees.  You will also learn how to safely and effectively use small amounts of herbicide to treat non-hazard trees and stop the spread of the “keiki” albizia that are popping up.”

In addition to the informational session, the BIISC albizia  control crew will give residents hands-on training to community volunteers. Those who wish to participate in the training should wear sturdy, closed toe shoes, long pants, and a long sleeved shirt, and bring their own water bottles (Water refills will be provided).  Also recommended, in case the crew runs into little fire annts:   “a hat and towel or cloth you can use to protect your neck and collarline,”  since disturbed ants may fall out of the trees.


May 9 Hawaiian Shores Community Center (“The Stables”) 9 a.m.-12 p. m.

June 6 Leilani Estates 9 a.m. Community Center- Info Table / 10 a.m. – Demo & Workshop

June 20 Hawaiian Paradise Park Community Center – 9 a.m.-12 p.m.

June 20 Nanawale Estates – 9 a.m. The Longhouse


Those who wish to sign up for a workshop or need more information can contact biisc@hawaii.edu.