***Commentary*** Proposed Resolution Calling For The Opening Of Railroad Avenue Between HPP And Nanawale Estates

I lost the election to the Hawaii County Council, but I can still try and write some legislation, at least a resolution for God sakes. Following is:
A resolution calling for the immediate opening of Railroad Avenue between HPP and Nanawale Estates.
Whereas, an improvement to Railroad Avenue between HPP and Nanawale occurred in 2014 as a result of lava threatening to inundate Pahoa Village;
Whereas, HPP homeowners consented to the use of the subdivisions roads to access this connector road between HPP and Nanawale;
Whereas, to respect HPP homeowners, the County of Hawaii agreed to open up this newly improved connector road for emergency purposes;
Whereas, the State of Hawaii has started on construction of a roundabout at the intersection of Highway 130 and Pahoa Village Road;
Whereas, the detour route takes the traffic down Pahoa Village Road and Kahakai Boulevard, both two-lane roads considered substandard in terms of modern road construction requirements;
Whereas, traffic is backing up as far as Ainaloa subdivision, several miles from Pahoa Village, as a result of the roundabout construction;
Whereas, the people of lower Puna are not only inconvenienced by the traffic backup, emergency responders are having a difficult time responding to calls for service in a timely manner;
Whereas, the traffic backup experienced with the roundabout construction is begging a solution;
Whereas, Railroad Avenue between HPP and Nanawale Estates must be opened to alleviate the traffic backup on Highway 130…
Now therefore it is so…

— Tiffany Edwards Hunt

***Commentary*** Open Up Railroad Avenue To Alleviate Roundabout Construction Congestion

Open letter to the mayor and Hawaii County Council:

As of Wednesday afternoon, Dec. 3, Pahoa residents are adjusting to a new normal, detouring on the original Pahoa Village Road while the roundabout construction is underway on Highway 130. We are all going to have to learn how to plan for the traffic backup that is occurring as a result of this bottleneck that is happening at the ingress and egress to Pahoa Marketplace and also at the intersection of Pahoa Village Road and Kahakai Boulevard.
I would like to urge you to consider opening up the Railroad Avenue detour route you created last year when lava was threatening to inundate Pahoa Village Road.
While, as a small business owner in Pahoa Village, I would like to see more traffic flowing through town, I understand the frustration people are experiencing to be backed up on the highway as they approach Pahoa Village Road, having already experienced the Keaau Crawl in Highway 130 on their afternoon-evening commute. For those traveling to Hawaiian Beaches or Nanawale or down to Kapoho, it might provide a great relief to have another option to get home. This may alleviate the urge to kick the dog, after a long day and a lot of commute time.
Please consider opening up Railroad Avenue between HPP and Nanawale — it’s the right thing to do.
Tiffany Edwards Hunt

Puna News — PCMC To Expand Its Services

(Media release) — Puna Community Medical Center is expanding its services to the community in several ways:

Our Medivan, which has been parked across from Pahoa High School since last year, has now been driven down to Kalani Honua, where it will see patients on the first and third Fridays of every month from 9 am to 1

pm. Dr. Hart Miller will provide the same services as at our Pahoa clinic, including urgent and acute care, school and job physicals and referrals. No appointment will be needed. Patients should bring their insurance card, if they are covered. This is being done as a feasibility demonstration project to determine if it is (a) needed by the coastal community, and (b) economically viable. At the end of the one year cycle we will have enough data to determine if the project should be dropped, continued as is, or expanded. A big mahalo to Kalani Honua for hosting this project and to councilman Ilagan for providing start-up funding from his District 4 Contingency fund.

Our urgent care clinic at the Pahoa Marketplace will also be staying open longer. We will be open on Christmas Day and on New Years Day from 8:00 am to noon. And we will increase our Sunday hours to 5:00 pm starting January 3rd (although we will still be closed for staff lunch).

Future plans to continue expansion of services are being finalized, as the logistics have to be worked out regarding shift changes and staffing, but we will be moving our current 5:00 pm closing time to 7:00 pm and staying open through the lunch hour on weekdays. This will help our working people get the medical care they need without losing time at work or their sick leave. Date for this change will be announced.

We have signed a 65 year lease for state land on Hwy. 130 and are now waiting for the governor to sign it. At that point drivers will see a banner in front of the property, announcing “Future Home of Puna Community Medical Center’s Emergency Dept. & Medical Park”. The emergency facility will be the first increment. Future plans may include a Birthing Center, Senior Day Care, Dental Clinic, Dialysis Center, or other components on an as-needed and/or fundable basis.

PCMC continues to honor its commitment to provide medical services to the Puna community. We will keep doing it until Puna no longer has a federal designation as a “Medically Underserved Area”. Want to help? Contact president@punahealth.org. (Rene Siracusa)

***Commentary*** A Proposed Solution To The Pahoa Roundabout Construction Traffic


Open letter to Mayor Billy Kenoi and the Hawaii County Council:

As of Wednesday afternoon, Dec. 2, Pahoa residents are adjusting to a new normal, detouring on the original Pahoa Village Road while the roundabout construction is underway on Highway 130. We are all going to have to learn how to plan for the traffic backup that is occurring as a result of this bottleneck that is happening at the ingress and egress to Pahoa Marketplace and also at the intersection of Pahoa Village Road and Kahakai Boulevard.

I would like to urge you to consider opening up the Railroad Avenue detour route you created last year when lava was threatening to inundate Pahoa Village Road.
While, as a small business owner in Pahoa Village, I would like to see more traffic flowing through town, I understand the frustration people are experiencing to be backed up on the highway as they approach Pahoa Village Road, having already experienced the Keaau Crawl on Highway 130 on their afternoon-evening commute. For those traveling to Hawaiian Beaches or Nanawale or down to Kapoho, it might provide a great relief to have another option to get home. This may alleviate the urge to kick the dog, after a long day and a lot of commute time.
Please consider opening up Railroad Avenue between HPP and Nanawale — it’s the right thing to do.
Tiffany Edwards Hunt

Letters — Roundabout for Pahoa – Thanks a lot for nothing!

Oh great, the first day DOT is starting to work on the roundabout, and now traffic is backed up from Ainaloa just trying to get into Pahoa. Can’t imagine how we are going to survive this. Puna should have had an alternate route since at least 1998, and the Planning Department and DOT has been discriminating against us for too long now. If we had an alternate route, half the people could be taking that instead of waiting and waiting and waiting for our 4 lanes of traffic to be crammed through a single-lane roundabout. Who is in charge here? Can you make any bigger mess? Oh, right, Puna residents have tons of free time to wait in traffic… we’re all just hippies and don’t matter to the folks in Hilo or Oahu.

You better hope there are no accidents on the Pahoa side as emergency services can’t get through!

Sara Steiner

Hawaii News — Captain Thomas Spencer and Makaleka Kiiwaiopualani Kaaloimaka Robinson Family Seeks Reunion Dec. 5

Scott Brewster, great grandson to Captain Thomas Spencer and Makaleka Kiiwaiopualani Kaaloimaka Robinson, will be visiting Hilo in December.
Makaleka’s mother was Lucille “Luika” Kaaloimaka and father Robert Robinson.
Scott is the great nephew to the Captain’s brother, Charles N. Spencer. Lillian “Lilly” Spencer is Scott’s grandmother.

Scott is hoping to meet any relatives, if possible. Anyone related is encourage to meet Scott at Kalakaua Park on Saturday, Dec. 5 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
The Spencer legacy is one of love for our native people, Brewster said.

Hawaii News — Jane Wiedlin’s Panty Party A Celebration of Women! A Benefit for Aloha Ilio Rescue Dec. 19

Jane Wiedlin invites you to her Panty Party on Saturday, December 19 at the East Hawaii Cultural Center in Hilo. (Photo by Bj Papas)

Jane Wiedlin invites you to her Panty Party on Saturday, Dec. 19 at the East Hawaii Cultural Center in Hilo. (Photo by Bj Papas)

(Media release) — Jane Wiedlin, founding member of the legendary all-female rock band THE GO-GO’S, is hosting a Panty Party, a benefit for Aloha Ilio Rescue. Shop for panties, not pets, on Saturday, Dec. 19, 2015 at the East Hawaii Cultural Center at 141 Kalakaua Street in Hilo from 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.

As a long time animal lover and animal rights activist, East Hawaii resident Jane Wiedlin is quickly raising awareness of the needs of animal rescue and shelter organizations island-wide. Jane is best known as the rhythm guitarist and singer/songwriter of the most successful female rock band of all time, the Go-Go’s. The Grammy-nominated Go-Go’s received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2011, thirty years after they rose to fame in 1981 with their debut album, Beauty and the Beat. Jane has also led a successful solo career as a musician, songwriter and actor. She ranks #76 of VH1’s Greatest Women of Rock N Roll, penned her first #1 song with Keith Urban and fellow Go-Go Charlotte Caffey in 2000 and has even won a round of celebrity Jeopardy in which she wore bondage pants!

Jane Wiedlin’s Panty Party includes thousands of dollars of brand new Felina lingerie and brand new high end makeup available by silent auction in an evening sure to tickle all of your fancies. The night includes a Fashion and Dog show starring HourGlass Burlesque and features the sexy shelter dogs of the Hawaii Island Humane Society! Burlesque and Drag Show to follow. The $20 event ticket includes a complimentary glass of wine or soft drink and a chance to win fantastic door prizes. Makeup by Lancome, Armani, Dior and MORE! 100% of proceeds benefit Aloha Ilio Rescue. Burlesque doggies will be available for adoption after the show!

Adopt, don’t buy! The mission of Aloha Ilio Rescue is to stop the overpopulation and euthanasia of unwanted dogs on Hawaii Island. Aloha Ilio Rescue adopts dogs from the Hawaii Island Humane Society Shelter and finds them their new forever home. Most adoptions cost $100 and include heartworm and flea medication, spay/neuter service and microchip. Aloha Ilio Rescue also provides home checks to ensure the safety of your new companion in your home.

Please join us for a fun evening celebrating women to benefit Aloha Ilio Rescue at Jane Wiedlin’s Panty Party on Saturday, December 19, 2015 at the East Hawaii Cultural Center in Hilo from 7:30 to 10:30PM.

Jane Wiedlin’s Panty Party is a 21+ event sponsored in cooperation with the Hawaii Island Humane Society, the East Hawaii Cultural Center and supported by the legendary Jane Wiedlin and a team of volunteers. For more information, call Daylynn at 960-1704 or visit Aloha Ilio Rescue on Facebook or at www.alohailiorescue.com.

Hawaii News — W. M. Keck Observatory to celebrate 25 years since First Light

image(Media release) —  Twenty-five years ago, the W. M. Keck Observatory opened the telescope dome, observing the heavens above Maunakea for the very first time and changing astronomical science forever. On Nov. 24, Keck Observatory will celebrate this landmark anniversary of first light, commemorating the extraordinary impact made over the past 25 years and expressing gratitude to their community on Hawai’i Island.

“Thanks to the pristine conditions on Maunakea and the incredible work and ongoing efforts of hundreds of Hawai’i residents, Keck Observatory has become the pride of Hawai’i, contributing more to humankind’s understanding of the Universe than any other research facility on Earth,” said Hilton Lewis, member of the original project team and director of the W. M. Keck Observatory.

W. M. Keck Observatory’s twin telescopes open the domes to begin a night of scientific observation. For high resolution photos, click here.

Before the Keck Observatory was built, the most powerful telescope in the world was the 200-inch Hale Telescope at Palomar Observatory. Back then, technological limitations threatened the expansion of astronomy, as mirrors much larger than Palomar’s could not be made and supported at the exacting levels required for the science.

W. M. Keck Observatory’s revolutionary segmented mirror technology changed everything.
For high resolution photos, click here.

A few bold engineers envisioned a radical new approach to gathering light: tile together smaller hexagons, and control them so finely that they would act as a single, giant mirror. This technology–the foundation of Keck Observatory’s twin telescopes–changed everything for astronomy worldwide. Today, all the next revolutionary telescopes, on both ground and space, are being designed using the architecture developed and perfected by Keck Observatory.

Maunakea on Hawai’i Island was identified by the project team as the best site on earth for astronomy. It has since been measured as having the best seeing conditions on Earth. The height of the mountain, placing it above much of the atmosphere, lack of light pollution leading to clear, dark skies and dry summit air with minimal turbulence made it the only location that would allow the Keck Observatory to reach its tremendous scientific potential.

Keck Observatory could immediately make discoveries considered impossible at other observatories, and would completely change our understanding of the universe.

Throughout the past 25 years, teams of scientists using Keck Observatory have made thousands of groundbreaking discoveries, including:
Becoming the first telescope to directly image planets orbiting another star
Determining that twenty percent of Sun-like stars in our galaxy have Earth-sized planets that could host life
Proving the existence of the Milky Way’s supermassive black hole
Observing the most distant (and the earliest) galaxies to be formed after the Big Bang
Discovering the expansion of the Universe is actually accelerating and the subsequent revelation of a new mysterious force called Dark Energy
Perhaps the biggest discovery is how much remains unknown. “There are as many unanswered questions as ever, 25 years later. If anything, the mysteries are deeper. Each layer we pull back reveals more complexity,” Lewis said.

“Looking forward to the next 25 years, we are committed to deepening our engagement with our local community and inspiring our keiki to study science and technology,” said Rich Matsuda, operations and infrastructure senior manager for the Keck Observatory. “We are grateful for the opportunity join our community in making Hawai’i birthplace and home to some of the world’s most innovative science and technology.”

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of first light this Nov. 24, 2015, Keck Observatory will host Hawai’i Island school groups at their base facility in Waimea throughout the day. Students will talk with Keck Observatory’s industry-leading astronomers and engineers about the feats of science and technology that make the telescopes so special, and visit activity stations for hands-on learning.

Hawaii News — BIPC Christmas Luncheon Dec. 10 at Hilo Bay Cafe

It’s the Big Island Press Club’s annual Christmas luncheon!

Join us from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Dec. 10 at the scenic Hilo Bay Cafe, where we’ll be serving up tributes to the helpful folks from the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, winner of the 2015 Torch of Light award. We’ll also serve up a light-hearted look at “Hughisms,” in honor of the late Hugh Clark, one of our founding members.

Delicious food, great company, and supporting good journalism on Hawaii Island! All for just $26 for BIPC members, $33 for nonmembers. Get your tickets today!

Pay online, http://bipcxmasparty.eventbrite.com/ (small processing fee) or pay by check: BIPC, P.O. Box 1920, Hilo, HI, 96721.

Deadline for reservation with payment is Dec. 3.

Island News — Dengue Fever public meetings through November

The Hawaii County Civil Defense has announced a series of community meetings to be held around the Big Island over the next two weeks at 6pm at all locations.
The meetings schedule is as follows:
Monday November 9th at the Yano Hall in Kona
Tuesday November 10th at the Naalehu Community Center
Thursday November 12th at the Konawaena High Cafeteria
Friday November 13th at the Honokaa High Cafeteria
Monday November 16th at the Hilo High Cafeteria
Tuesday November 17th at the Keaau High Cafeteria

Guest Column —- In Favor Of A Utility Co-Op System

Dear Editor,

If the NextEra merger does not go through, a utility co-op system for Hawai‘i Island could be part of the solution to prepare us for coming changes.

The Kauai Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC) has been operating for 12 years and its results have been impressive. KIUC was 100 percent debt-financed through a co-op financing system, and millions of dollars have gone into equity since then and have been refunded to its ratepayers.

There are 900 utility co-ops nationwide, which have gotten together and formed co-op banks to help finance utility co-ops. These banks have excellent credit ratings. The Cooperative Financing Corporation (CFC) has assets of $26 billion, and Co Bank has $100 billion.

KIUC’s electricity costs were the highest of all the Hawai‘i counties when it started. But in 12 years, its costs have risen the least. This is despite its not having geothermal and not being able to use wind because of bird kills.

This coming weekend, KIUC is having a blessing of its new Anahola photovoltaic system. That system is significant because it is using daytime sun for nighttime use, and it’s one of the first such systems in the nation.

The co-op system, with its locally managed board of directors, is truly of the people, by the people, and for the people. It’s nimble and practical.

A hybrid electricity system for our state might be just what we need to prepare for the future.

Richard Ha
President, Hawaii Island Energy Cooperative

18 Years After Peter Boy’s Death, The Kemas Arrested On Unrelated Charges

By Tiffany Edwards Hunt

Eighteen years after then-6-year-old Peter Kema’s suspicious disappearance, his parents have been arrested for welfare fraud, firearms, and drug related charges.

The Hawaii Police Department reported today officers assisted the Department of Human Services’ Welfare Fraud Investigation Division with the execution a search warrant on Tuesday, Nov.  3 at a home on Uilani Drive in the Ainaloa subdivision in Puna.

As a result of the search, 45-year-old Jaylin M. Kema of Pahoa was arrested on suspicion of theft and taken to the Hilo police cellblock for investigators from the Department of Human Services.

In the course of executing the search warrant, police recovered items unrelated to the DHS investigation.

On Wednesday morning, while Kema was still at the cellblock, Hawaii Island police arrested her on suspicion of ownership prohibited of a firearm, altering a serial number on a firearm, second-degree promotion of a detrimental drug and fourth-degree promotion of a harmful drug.

At 2:25 p.m. today, police arrested her husband, 45-year-old Peter J. Kema Sr. of Pahoa, on suspicion of ownership prohibited of a firearm, ownership prohibited of ammunition, altering a serial number on a firearm, second-degree promotion of a detrimental drug and fourth-degree promotion of a harmful drug.

Both remain at the cellblock while detectives from the Area I Criminal Investigations Section continue the investigation.

In the last 18 years  that the boy widely referred to as “Peter Boy”  has been missing, people have been very vocal about their suspicion the parents are guilty of foul play. Over the years the public has questioned the boy’s disappearance, it has been revealed the couple was abusive to their children and had regular encounters with Child Protective Services.

As Peter Boy’s siblings have gotten older, they have publicly revealed details of the abuse they and Peter Boy endured. Peter Boy’s sister has recalled seeing her brother placed in the “trunk of the car” when the family went out. Also, the girl has said she found Peter’s apparently lifeless body in a box in the closet after witnessing her parents trying to administer CPR on him.

Police and prosecutors have not formally charged the Kema couple for Peter Boy’s disapperance, however.


Guest Column — Death As Your Advisor

imageDear Friends,
Today on this “Day of the Dead” holiday honoring those who are gone but not forgotten, I would like to share a few homespun thoughts with you about living and dying.
While the topic of death is a conversation largely avoided in modern America, the remembrance of deceased ancestors and loved ones is a millennia old tradition amongst diverse cultures around the globe. Moreover, in these turbulent times of worldwide strife and tragic natural disasters, nobody’s lacking for reminders regarding the fragility and impermanence of our mortal existence.
Consequently, with heartbreaking human misery, senseless bloodshed and apocalyptic devastation from near and afar daily flooding our senses, it’s essential we make every effort to direct our focus on the upside of life and—while we’re at it—on the upside of death. Whereas doing so won’t eliminate the downside, it provides perspective that helps balance it. A good starting point is to remind ourselves that every day is a gift, each morning a fresh beginning.
All yesterdays should be yesterdays, all tomorrows should be tomorrows. Sufficient is it to know that the way we lived our yesterday has determined for us our today, and that the way we live our today determines for us our tomorrow. And so it goes throughout our life until the day we “join the majority”.
Death is our eternal companion, always nearby, watching, and ever will be until that fateful moment it taps us upon the shoulder. It’s difficult to feel important or irritable when we remember that death is always stalking us. Indeed, a great deal of pettiness is often dropped and clarity of perspective gained when we catch a glimmer of our own death.
The 19th century Yaqui Indian Warrior and Man of Knowledge Don Juan Matus believed that death is the only wise advisor we have. He emphasized the importance of using our death to keep perspective, yet without sadness, remorse or worrying. Don Juan held that the only deterrent to despair in this short-lived existence is awareness of our impending death, and that this awareness subsequently gives us strength to withstand the duress and pain of our lives and our fears of the unknown.
He further advised that no matter what happens to us, no matter how badly we feel, when things are going wrong, even when we believe ourselves about to be annihilated, we need only turn to our death and ask if this is so. Don Juan insisted your death will say you are wrong, that nothing really matters outside its touch. Your death will tell you “I haven’t touched you yet.”
What’s more, we must stubbornly refuse to live in fear of death, though it’s perfectly natural to fear what we don’t know. For those possessing faith in an afterlife forever reunited with loved ones on the Other Side, the transition from life to death can be less frightening—and for some, even gently beckoning.
Not knowing what lies beyond the veil is yet another piece in this mystical life of ours puzzle. It’s the final surprise. Sooner or later and altogether conveniently, to unravel the mystery of death one only has to die.
On a personal note, I still recall the huge wave of relief I felt as a youngster when a kindly old soul assured me “Death is like jumping out of an airplane with no parachute, but there’s no need to be frightened, because there’s no earth either.” Whoa. Decades later this otherworldly vision continues to bring me comfort.
What’s certain is that death really is the end of the world as we’ve known it. To live with such unblinking awareness of our death is to live with correspondingly acute awareness of the brevity of our life. Enlisting death as our trusted ally can paradoxically serve to motivate us to make the most of our limited time alive no matter how long we shall live.
Few people live their lives with conscious awareness. Many live hypnotized, going through trance-like motions of safely existing. A life lived unconsciously—or rarely leaving your comfort zone by taking risks, making mistakes and pursuing dreams—forfeits its possibilities for joy and success. And in exchange for what, meager returns of stale sameness and the desperate hope for increased security and safety that will minimize suffering and failure? To call such a reality “life” is to confuse existing with actually living.
Life often requires of us to take leaps of faith and to make the hard choices without having all the facts or guarantees that everything will work out as hoped. “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.” Win some, lose some, live and learn from your mistakes. It’s been noted that mistakes are part of the dues one pays for a full life.
Like most things of real value worth having, you have to make an effort to prosper in life. You must choose to take intelligent risks and avoid taking foolish ones, which of course requires discerning the difference between the two and acting from emotional intelligence and mindfulness versus knee-jerk reaction and impulsiveness.
As a species humans are innately hardwired to be risk takers, pushing ourselves and our limits ever further as we follow our passion for increasing understanding, awareness of and dominion over our world, both within and without. It is our very Nature to expand upon what we know to better ourself, to improve our life and ultimately—for anybody who’s forgotten—to fulfill our own highest potential.
The quickest way for jumpstarting this process is to vigorously shake your soul awake! Many of us have apparently gone to sleep without realizing it. And electronic technology has only exacerbated the problem. We have far too eagerly replaced solid relationships and real experiences with flimsy online imitations to the point of ridiculousness. A person would have to be living in a dream-world to think a virtual “Climb a Tree” app could ever replace the visceral thrill of actually climbing the real thing itself!
Allow me to be a little preachy: Far too much time is wasted both on- and offline that distracts us from what’s happening and what really matters, namely living in the moment versus living vicariously, virtually or mindlessly running on auto-pilot. Alternatively, we must remember what it means to be fully human—time-limited as it is—by living with emotionally intelligent mindful awareness of our imminent demise. It isn’t hard to do.
When all is said and done, humankind’s most sacred duty is to embody goodness benefitting all sentient beings, which at heart consists of manifesting Life, Intelligence, Truth and Love in our thoughts, words, and deeds. There is no higher aim, no vaster problem, no greater purpose, no grander glory. And, in today’s mad-dash-paced world, perhaps no greater challenge.
Mindful awareness requires vigorously disengaging from our hypnotic state, and replacing it with conscious right thinking and action that emancipates us from the bondage of ignorance, fear and distraction. Only thusly unshackled can we ever begin exercising free will to make better choices that bring us more of what we want and less of what we don’t.
No matter how long your life, we are all just passing through. No one lives forever. Life is unapologetically short, and death the irremovable companion travelling with us throughout our lifetime. Here one second—poof!—gone the next.
While it may sound cliché, you never know when your time will be up. Death can come to anyone without warning. At best, life is uncertain and death inescapable. This is what makes death the only wise advisor we have. The evidence speaks for itself: There are no survivors on this earth!
Believe it, accept it, be here now and make a choice and commitment to wake up and mindfully live your life before your death touches you. Make it your habit to live and love like there’s no tomorrow because—while our personal expiration date is as yet unknown and hopefully far-off—it’s an inevitability for every single one of us. Knowing we’re here for only a short while gives us all the more reason to make every act count.
There is no guarantee that you will live another minute.
Let yours be a good life, justly lived and well loved, by taking intelligent risks and by reaching out to others with unconditional love, compassion and understanding. Spend time with those you love, and shower them with hugs and kisses. Bestow the milk of human kindness to strangers in passing through a warm smile or friendly greeting. Never miss a chance to engage in acts of unselfish decency.
Do the things you love. When opportunity knocks and you’re hesitant, thump yourself on the head while asking aloud, “What on earth am I waiting for?” Then push and keep on pushing against any fear or resistance until you break through it.
When you have life you have everything. To live with death as your advisor is to live with great enthusiasm, and above all, to authentically connect with people that matter to you. Don’t miss your chance! It will feel so good when you do and feel so bad when you don’t. Circumstances may never again be as favorable or even possible, and life’s too short to live in regret mode. At the risk of belaboring my point, don’t squander your life by living timidly. While it is indeed a risky thing to live deliberately, it’s riskier still to live indecisively.
Make time on this remembrance holiday as well as throughout the year to show respect for your loved ones who walk no longer upon this earth by fondly recalling and praying for them. Take comfort in keeping their cherished memory alive that your love for them will live on always—love truly is eternal.
Why not also give thanks today on this Day of the Dead—and on each and every day upon waking—that you are still here amongst the Living. Say a little prayer of appreciation for all the good in your life. Give thanks for your health, and for the ongoing health, happiness and wellbeing of those you care about deeply. By holding this “attitude of gratitude” everything we have feels all the more precious in this fleeting life of ours.

“Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die.”

The choice to empower your impending mortality as a trusted advisor is your own to make. While this admittedly unconventional concept may seem counterintuitive to some and outright weird to others, making an ally of your death releases your fullest innate potential for living and loving. Eventually, when the end finally does come, may yours be a “good death”—a seamless, painless and peaceful transition free from fear.
Make up your mind to use your death to transform your life, starting this moment. After all, “If not now, when?” There is no future. The future is only a way of talking. What better way to live in the moment with conscious awareness of your impermanence than by honoring and fondly remembering departed family and friends, all the while as you joyously celebrate another day of life amongst the living.
To be sure, nothing could be godlier—or more human.

Michael Ra Bouchard, Ph.D.
Hilo, Hawaii

* Dedicated to Paul R. Allen. Rest in Peace Dear Friend. *

Michael Ra Bouchard, M.A., Ph.D is a professional mental health counselor specializing in sex therapy and marriage counseling for all sex, relationship and intimacy concerns. You may reach him at drmichael@lovekindly.com or 808. 965. 8800

Puna News — Celebrate Puna’s Resiliency Saturday

image(Media release) — Saturday, Oct. 24, will be a day for Puna residents to celebrate their resiliency of spirit.

The day will begin with a volunteer event hosted by the Big Island Invasive Species Committee, who will be working side by side with residents to control trees on a stretch of Highway 132 once known as the “tree tunnel” due to its towering albizia. Hundreds of these trees fell during Iselle and many more were cut back or removed by the state after the storm to prevent additional damage. A year later, regrowth of the notoriously fast-growing albizia trees along the roadside is visible, while large stands of remaining trees continue to seed the area.

Volunteers who want to join in the community effort to control this threat and become “Albizia Assassins” are invited to meet at 9am at Lava Tree State Park for training and a half-day of albizia control. Volunteers are asked to wear long pants, long sleeved shirts, and sturdy shoes. BIISC staff will train volunteers to treat albizia with herbicide using an easy and safe method developed at the University of Hawaii. There will be refreshments, and all participating Volunteers will receive a free “Assassin” t-shirt courtesy of Sen. Russell Ruderman, who has been a staunch advocate for albizia control in the state legislature.

From 3-8pm, the Main Street in Pahoa will be closed to traffic for the Puna Resiliency Block Party, hosted by the UH Hilo Anthropology Department. Puna residents of all ages are invited to enjoy live music, local craft vendors, and education booths. More than 50 organizations and individuals will be on hand to share the community’s unique and creative approaches to resiliency.

For more information on the event day, see www.biisc.org or email biisc@hawaii.edu.

Kitchen Diva — Taste Of The Hawaiian Range: Imagine Food Paradise

By Sofia Wilt

Imagine a kind of food paradise : more delicious and varied food than you could possibly consume, all exceptional quality and hand-made by skilled chefs, served in a gorgeous tiki-torch lit tropical sunset venue by the ocean. Your olfactory senses are overloaded with the smell of grilled, smoked, frying and braised meats wafting in the air, the sheer abundance and beautiful presentation is dizzying. You’re full but continue to sport eat, it’s too good not too! Such was my experience of the 20th annual Taste of the Range, the Big Island’s annual food festival featuring pasture raised beef, pig, goat, mutton, lamb and wild boar all from our island held at the Hilton Waikoloa. Frankly I can’t imagine missing another year, ever.

There were well over 30 food stations and many celebrated chefs and restaurants participating with several hundred attendees. Chefs were not given the choice of what meat they got to work with, it was assigned to them, having them call upon both flexibility and creativity to properly honor their ingredient. It would take entirely too long to mention every dish created but some memorable ones include the Oxtail Soup from 12th Ave Grill, Lamb Confit with Pickled Chili Peppers & Lemon Marmalade from Three Fat Pigs, Beef Heart Tacos from Town Restaurant, Grilled Lemongrass Flank Steak with Pickled Veggies and Chili Pepper Aioli from West Hawaii Culinary School, Classic Chili with Cornbread from Merriman’s, Sauerbraten on a Pretzel by Tropics Ale House, Flap Meat Tamales with Heirloom Tomatoes & Dragon Fruit Relish from Tommy Bahama’s, Pork Sliders from Village Burger, and of course the curious and crowd drawing Rocky Mountain Oysters by Blue Dragon Restaurant. Apologies to the presenters I didn’t mention, trust me though, everything was delicious.

Not everything was meat-centric, there were many different farms and food producers sharing their goods as well. Big Island Booch and Cultured Cafe of Hilo, featuring their Kombucha and other ferments, Papa’a Palaoa Bakery also from Hilo shared some of their finest baked goods, Buddha’s Cup Kona Coffee, Big Island Bees Honey, Hawaii Green Earth : Bokashi Education, PunaChicks free range chicken, and many more were there to talk story and represent the rest of the fantastic agricultural bounty we have on our island.

Aside from the fun and good eats an event like this offers, there’s another angle that I certainly hope people recognize. Hawaii relies far too heavily on imported food, roughly 85% of what people eat here is brought in by barge or plane, adding an exorbitant carbon footprint to every bite you eat. This event showcases the largess we have available locally and encourages island residents to become familiar with and favor local food purveyors. Your local farmers and ranchers are true unsung heros, they tend the land and keep us nourished and healthy. Moreover, holistic land management which involves pasture raising animals is one of the most effective ways to sequester carbon and ultimately reduce climate change. It’s a win-win for everyone. Bravo to everyone who raised the animals, grew the vegetables, cooked the food and did the logistics for this incredible event. Again, I won’t miss another year!

(Sofia has lived on the Big Island for over 20 years, having started out working as a park ranger at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. She then worked for the County of Hawaii as a 911 dispatcher before pursuing a degree from the Natural Gourmet Institute in NYC. Sofia has worked as a personal chef for more than 12 years and is basically a food/health/nutrition geek playing in her kitchen finding new yummy ways to stay healthy and well nourished.)