• 02 Nov 2010 /  commentary, Sentiment, sports, surf

    Andy Irons image courtesy of Surfer Magazine

    Very tragic news in the surfing community, Andy Irons, 32, passed away today.  The pro surfer who hails from Kauai was reportedly making his way back from bowing out of the Rip Curl Pro Search event in Puerto Rico when he died.  Apparently, he was too sick to compete in the contest, having been diagnosed with Dengue fever in the Caribbean.  The Gardenisland.com reported that Andy first flew to Miami and spent two days on an IV drip, before insisting on traveling home to Hawaii to see his regular doctor. On a layover in Dallas, Andy was deemed too sick to fly and reportedly checked into a hotel, where he died in his sleep.   The news itself is sad enough — a legendary pro surfer who regularly risks his life in the water dies from the sort of sickness you get from a mosquito bite.  What’s even more heartbreaking is that his wife Lyndie is said to be giving birth to their first child within the next month. RIP, Andy, and condolences to the Irons ohana who must be devastated.

  • 28 Oct 2010 /  Education, KEIKI, sports

    (L to R) Eric Kawahara, Tyler Aburamen, Brentson Kinoshita, Justin-Joe Gray, and Jordan Kaukini representing 24 on the Waiakea High School Air Riflery team who won the state championship this week. Six top schools competed. Precision air riflery involves shooting a pin head at 10 meters or 33 feet. The team's coach is Terence Moniz. Photo at Hilo Airport by Tiffany Edwards Hunt. All rights reserved. Use with permission only.

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  • 11 Oct 2010 /  commentary, Island Events, KEIKI, sports

    Text and photos by Tiffany Edwards Hunt. All rights reserved. Use with permission only.

    I went to the Pop Warner games in Pahoa Sunday and, I have to tell you, don’t miss the next series of games held out here.  What an event.  There must have been at least 300 people when I was there, and I was there just after big downpour and before the Puna Panthers played. I was only going to stay a minute to snap a few pictures, but my two-and-a-half-year-old got really into being there.  Aunties Madie Greene, Barbara Lively, and Betty Blas doted over her, and Madie fed her curry that was being sold as a fundraiser for the Panthers.  Auntie Luana Jones was there and took Coco and her grandson, Dayton, to buy Braddah Pops.   Coco enjoyed running around with the keiki , loved watching the Wailoa Razorbacks cheerleaders, even the game.  “I want to play football,” she kept saying at the event and afterward.  I was surprised to run into a lot of people I knew who had children or grandchildren that play for the Panthers.  I met many of the players and coaches for the three different divisions.  Some folks I know from running our surf shop, others I’ve know from the beach.  I had no idea Luana’s granddaughter was on the team, even that there were a couple of girls playing. That’s pretty exceptional  I also didn’t know that Hanale McGuire, who is an exceptional surfer and skateboarder, is the quarterback for the Panthers.

    I met Calvin Lee and his son, Kevin, who, with Fred Blas, organized the teams earlier this year.  “This is the start of something great,” Calvin told me.  He was so enthusiastic and energized, it was inspiring.  He told me of their plans to see that these Pop Warner kids in Puna ultimately get a bonafide high school football team.  I told him about the recent 60 Minutes episode I watched detailing how American Samoa has produced 30-plus NFL players and more than 200 Division 1 college players with equipment and facilities far more substandard than the Puna players have. One of the coaches, Donald La’a, pointed out how they had painted the field and goal posts and power-washed the bleachers, which were filled with spectators.  Madie said that the Pop Warner organizers have decided that because Pahoa’s field is one of the more nicer fields, they will hold more games there.  Indeed, this IS the start of something great.

    I went to a number of schools on the mainland, big and small and, I have to say, there’s nothing better than a Friday night high school football game — especially in a small town.  Actually, in Douglas, Wyoming, the whole town centers around the “Douglas Bearcats.”  There’s actually bearcat footprints on sidewalks throughout the historic downtown area and leading all the way to the high school.  On game days, the whole town gets into the team spirit, wearing school colors, decorating shop windows, what-have-you.  The team spirit transcends the sport, really, and it actually does a lot for community pride.  I see the Puna Panthers and the Pahoa Daggers — remember how exciting it was when the Daggers won the state championship in basketball? — doing wonders for community building.

    When the day comes that you are asked to support a Panthers or Daggers fundraiser, I urge you to do so — whether or not you like football or basketball or volleyball or wrestling.  And why not go to a game?  This is your community, after all.  Get into the spirit.

    Read the rest of this entry »

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  • Image courtesy of University of Arkansas Tennis Club

    (Media release) — The Big Island Tennis Summit (BITS) is slated for 9 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 16, 2010 at the Holua Tennis Center. Tennis players from East and West Hawaii will form teams at different skill (NTRP) levels. The teams will be coached by UH college players.  Funds raised at the event will go toward supporting college tennis on the Big Island. The Kona Community Tennis and Recreation Association (KCTRA)  will sponsor this event. KCTRA is  a new 501c3 organization formed to further tennis and recreational activities for West Hawaii.  Entry fees and donations are tax deductible. Officers are Debbie Hecht, president, Sandy Caldwell, vice president and treasurer and Kelly Drysdale, vice president and secretary. This event is in memory of Linda Lee-Marquis. The whole community is welcome. The event will include a cakewalk, each participant will get a gift form ABC stores. For more information and to get an entry form go to http://www.dhecht.com/?page_id=202 Contact Kelly Drysdale at (808) 896-0777 or Debbie Hecht at (808) 989-3222 to sign up or to help out with donations for the silent auction.

    (Submitted by Debbie Hecht.)

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  • 29 Sep 2010 /  Island Events, KEIKI, news, sports

    Shoff Illustrated image

    Show your team spirit! Come out to the Pahoa High School football field at 2 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 10, 2010 and support the Puna Panthers.  There will be tackle football games slated through 3:30 p.m. with the mitey mites (8 to 9 year olds), pee wees (9 to 12 year olds), and midgets (12 to 15 year olds). For more information, call Kevin Lee at (808) 443-6586 or Fred Blas at (808) 965-6339.

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  • Congratulations!!! to our Pahoa Puna Panthers Pop Warner Tackle Football team — winning their first game of the season, Sept. 12, 2010 — defeating Wailoa, the 2009 runner-up champions at Panawea football field. This was the first tackle football game these boys & girl ever played. Congratulations to Kevin Lee, Calvin Lee, & the offense & defense coaches, parents, grandparents & the community supporting the team — over 100 Puna Pahoa fans watched the game. You are putting Pahoa on the map. Keep it up.

    Fred Blas, sponsor

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  • 23 Aug 2010 /  commentary, letters, politics, sports

    Dear editor:

    In recent weeks many Lower Puna residents had been noticing something peculiar about the Pahoa Pool. Mostly, people are showing up only to find it closed due to “staff shortages.” A shortage in staff isn’t an entirely accurate explanation. In fact what has been going on is rather scandalous. The Pahoa Pool, although an invaluable community resource, is also riddled with drama galore. This being a small community and the fact that this issue is in the middle of litigation, it would be inappropriate to name names and give out all the juicy details (but trust me, there are plenty). What I can offer is that the pool management and the County’s aquatics division (which is supposed to oversee the pool) have severely failed this community in several ways. Much like corrupt politics with politicians scratching each other’s backs, so to has the pool and it’s management been systemically unethical. There have been issues of sexual harassment (both of employees & patrons), and the fudging of things like work hours. Once a month the pool is closed for routine maintenance, allowing the empty space to be available for projects when patrons aren’t around. Yet, basic things like the drywall coming apart in the women’s locker room, men’s locker room sink tiles not replaced, no fresh coats of paint, etc. are all curiously never taken care of. Read the rest of this entry »

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  • 15 Aug 2010 /  commentary, KEIKI, letters, sports

    Photo courtesy of Rob Tucker

    I am happy to report that after some delay the new banners have been installed at the Pahoa Skate park.    While this is not a big thing in the scheme of life the banners do add color and a sense of joy to the concrete and chain link of the skate park.  This little project could not have happened without the help and kindness of Toby Hazel, Ginny Aste and donations from Healing Our Island, Pahoa Hardware, Hilo Steel and Fabric Warehouse.  Toby Hazel worked very hard to sew the banners.  So this is done and in time for the upcoming King of the Vert on August 28th.  A small touch that makes a nice visual impact.

    Rob Tucker

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  • 03 Aug 2010 /  Island Events, KEIKI, news, sports, surf

    Don't forget the 2nd Annual Pahoa Surf Film Fest is at 6 p.m. Friday at the Akebono Theater in Pahoa. Five-dollar tickets are available in advance at Jeff Hunt Surfboards, $7 at the door.

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  • 25 Jul 2010 /  feature, Island Events, KEIKI, news, sports, surf

    George "Boogie" Kalama

    (Editor’s note: A version of this story appeared in the July 7, 2010 edition of the Big Island Weekly.)

    By Tiffany Edwards Hunt

    To imagine what Uncle Boogie’s Pohoiki Bay Surfing Classic was like over July Fourth weekend is to envision what the surf-side village of Kalapana must have been like before the lava took it away in the early 1990s.

    The massive lawn of the newly renovated Isaac Kepo’okalani Hale Beach Bark was filled with families camping out under tarps and in tents.  Nevermind the occasional rain and persistent wind.  The two-to-three-foot-average waves kept the surfers in the water, from morning to night.

    “Aloha kekahi i kekahi,” George “Boogie” Kalama repeatedly told participants.  Whether it was Boogie’s constant reminders or the fact that participants truly embodied the true sense of the Hawaiian term for Love One Another, the love was flowing at Pohoiki.

    Those who camped out at Pohoiki and participated in Uncle Boogie’s Surfing Classic embodied not only the true meaning of aloha, but also ohana.

    Whether they were related or not, they treated each other like family.

    Sure, they were gathered for a surf competition, but the competitiveness appeared to be a minimum outside of the water.

    Participants shared meals and tasks, like preparing the maile leaf leis that were to be given to the first through fourth place winners of each division. Read the rest of this entry »

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  • Image courtesy of Dr. Ed Gutteling

    Attention soccer fans, and, yes, all you other proper wankers, too. Well, the USA finally exits the show. It was thrilling, but as happens in all things, it is now over. If you’ve been watching on TV along with another 1 Billion (that’s billion with a “B”) of your  brothers and sisters around the planet, then you know what I mean.

    If you haven’t, well eggs-and-bakey, wakey-wakey, you missed an amazing world-wide spectacle and will now have to wait another 4 years to try again to cheer for your country (2014 in Brazil).

    You must appreciate what its like to be an American, going to a foreign country, joining 20-30,000 other electrified American fans advancing on the stadium, with a similar number and kind for the opposing team, with 90%+ all decked out in their country’s colors and associated costumes. Our national anthem never sounded better, or was sung more fervently by so may of our countrymen. Nearly no one attends a game without flying their country’s colors, even if you are from a country not even playing that day.

    The colors, noise, continuous cheering, and sheer excitement momentum is incredible, and it happens day after day after day until the cup is over. Read the rest of this entry »

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  • 27 Jun 2010 /  Island Events, news, sports, y o g a

    Aadil Palkhivala founded Yoga Centers® in Bellevue, Washington, and The College of Purna Yoga, a 200-hour, 500-hour and Certificate-Level teacher training program licensed by the State of Washington and Yoga Alliance Certified. Image courtesy of Monthly Yoga DVD.

    (Media release) — Big Island Yoga Center welcomes Aadil Palkhivala for his Summer Purna Yoga Intensive slated for July 16-19, 2010.

    Aadil and his wife, Mirra, are the founders of Purna Yogaâ„¢, described on Aadil’s website as “a holistic synthesis of yogic traditions based on the work of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother.”  The couple also founded Yoga Centers® in Bellevue, Washington, and The College of Purna Yoga, a 200-hour, 500-hour and Certificate-Level teacher training program licensed by the State of Washington and Yoga Alliance Certified.

    Watch Aadil invite you to this summer intensive at our website and for a complete list of classes, for a printable brochure, with a detailed schedule and more payment options, go to www.bigislandyoga.com.

    The Full Purna Intensive, July 16-19, 2010, $545 after June 20. Read the rest of this entry »

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  • 25 Jun 2010 /  Island Art, Photo of the Week, sports, surf

    Photos by Tiffany Edwards Hunt. All rights reserved. Use with permission only.

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  • BJ (L) and Jay Penn

    (Media release) — The Penn Training and Fitness Center of Hilo is now offering Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) training at a satellite location in Pahoa. Classes will be held Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., at the Pahoa Neighborhood Facility (also known as the Pahoa Community Center).

    Classes will be taught by Jay Penn, a BJJ black belt instructor at the Hilo academy. Penn’s younger brother, BJ, (the first non-Brazilian to win the BJJ black belt world championship in Rio de Janeiro) will help teach one class per month as his schedule permits. Classes are available to both children and adults.

    “We know there are many people in Puna who want to train BJJ, but it’s tough for them to get into Hilo two or three times a week,” says Jay. Read the rest of this entry »

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