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M ay - J u n e 2 0 11

The Life of the People Daniel “Kaniela” Akaka, Jr. Marie McDonald Empowerment of Community Paradise Roller Girls

The Life of the Land Strawberry Love Brewing a Tea Industry A Garden-Raising Diary

Gilmore Art Inspires a Native Plant Renaissance

"Ma'o hau hele" by Jamie Gilmore



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MAY/JUNE 2011 | | 1

The Life in Art

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"The Life" Celebrating the ar ts, culture and sustainability of Hawai‘i Island

M ay - J u n e 2 0 1 1

The Life in Spirit: 11 Aia ke ‘ike i ka Wāwae

Knowledge is in the feet! by Kumu Keala Ching

The Life of the People: 17 The Natural Kahu

Daniel “Kaniela” Akaka, Jr.

21 Gentle Rhythms—Becoming Kapa The Arts of Marie McDonald: Kapa, Lei and the Art of Lifelong Learning

41 The Empowerment of Community Jim Channon promotes self-confident resiliency for the future — and potential disasters

63 Rolling into the Hearts of Hilo Today’s Roller Derby Girls

The Life of the Land: 45 A Tower of Strawberry Love

Hanging hydroponic planting yields a profusion of healthy berries

49 Brewing Up an Industry No, not coffee—the world is taking notice of Hawai‘i Island teas

53 In Pursuit of Ecotopia

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A Garden-Raising Diary

KVBID_KeOla_MayJune_b:KVBID_KeOla_MayJune 3/30/11 1:20 PM Page

The Life as Art: 33 Gilmore Art Inspires Native Plant Renaissance Jamie Gilmore’s botanical portraits reflect nature’s brilliance

The Life at Home:

25 “A Gift, Not a Bill” — Hi‘ilani EcoHouse Sustainable, eco-friendly residence—created by stewards of the land as a model for others

29 Gather Round the Yurt



Growing in popularity, the yurt’s attractions begin at the center

Village Stroll 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

The Life in Music: 66 Bruddah Kuz’ Family Album Maunakea Family Productions: Music, Family and Youth Advocacy


69 Puna Men Sing from the Heart The Puna Men’s Chorus

Ka Puana --- The Refrain: 82 The Three Kapu of the Spiritual Warrior By Hank Wesselman



MAY/JUNE 2011 | | 5

Then & Now: Hāmākua Coast......................................................13 Treasures Grown from our Island Home..................................58 Hawai‘i Island Farmers Markets...................................................60 Community Calendar......................................................................72 The Life in Business..........................................................................79

Ali‘i Drive Open to Pedestrians Only. Stroll Kailua Village and enjoy Musicians, Artists, Merchants, and Restaurants.

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ave you ever had a pet pick you out of all the other homes on your street? How about when you go to the Humane Society for one dog but you end up with two because you just couldn’t leave their sibling behind. You know who you are and your pets would pick you every day and twice on Sunday for good measure. We don’t always pick the pet that captures our heart but we can pick their veterinarian. Come in and see why Dr. Jacob Head was voted best veterinarian in West Hawaii. We can’t help you with those pesky relatives, after all you didn’t get to pick those. We can help you pick a veterinarian that has the experience your pet deserves, the experience you can trust. Keauhou Veterinary Hospital, accredited by the American Animal Hospital Association, the standard in veterinary excellence.

808-322-2988/Fax 808-322-2303 78-6728 Walua Road • Kailua Kona

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7:30-5:00 Monday-Friday 8-5 pm on Saturday Emergency call 24/7

"The Life" Celebrating the ar ts, culture and sustainability of Hawai‘i Island


The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness. [Its sustainability depends on doing what is right.] Proclamation by Kona-born King Kamehameha III in 1843. Later adopted as the state motto.


Barbara Garcia Bowman

Karen Valentine

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KE OLA is recognized by the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce as a Kuleana Green Business. Community Magazine Network member Editorial inquiries & calendar submissions: ♦ 808.329.1711 x2 Worldwide Delivery: Call 808.329.1711 x3, order online at or mail name, address and payment of $24 US/$42 International for one year to: P.O. Box 1494, Kailua-Kona, HI 96745. © 2011, Hawaii Island Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved

Everyone gets their reading material at Kona Stories! New & used books, toys, cards, gifts, events, workshops & fun! Huge selection of Hawaiiana.

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Sarah Anderson ♦ Peter Beemer ♦ Devany Davidson Koakane Green ♦ Marya Mann ♦ Noel Morata ♦ Michael O‘Brien

From Readers...

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A Community Collective

loha, dear readers, Images of a great Japan earthquake and tsunami persist in our minds as we go about our daily lives here in paradise, interrupted only by an occasional tsunami-siren, a Gabrielian clarion call, whether it be a test or the real thing. As unthinkable as the massive destruction in Japan is to us, we were handed a sample in an early-morning wake-up call on the Kona Coast. It’s really not so unthinkable. The aftermath continues, not just in clean-up efforts, but in our growing knowing that there is a need for community collectivism and preparedness beyond the government’s efforts. We suggest you read Cynthia Sweeney’s story in this issue, highlighting the North Kohala philosopher-social architect Jim Channon’s get-to-knowyour-neighbor plan. Look at the photos on this page that illustrate how the kama‘aina around Kealakekua Bay came together in short order to help clean up that precious bay and their own neighborhood. How might you work with your own neighbors? We have a new feature, “Treasures Grown from our Island Home.” It spotlights locally-sourced products, the people who make them and where to buy them. The farmers markets on Hawai‘i Island just get better all the time. Sometimes they display an unfamiliar fruit or vegetable, and you wonder, “Now just what would I do with that?” In the first of a new feature, Devany Vickery-Davidson tells you about the Surinam cherry. Our beloved kupuna continue to be a rich source of story material and wisdom. We’re sorry when they leave us before we have a chance to feature them. Such was the case with Herb Kane, whose legacy remains—a gift to the island we can still enjoy. His was a life well-lived. Marie McDonald is a living treasure featured on our pages this issue. Savor her exquisite kapa work. Island people are passionate about living in synch with the land and its resources. New ways of constructing homes continue to attract our attention. There are two in this issue—a striking “eco-house” profiled by Catherine Tarleton and the humble yurt, which offers many advantages, reviewed by Noel Morata. Let us know about innovative home construction and detail of which you might be aware. The archive of stories we are accumulating will soon have a home on our revamped website, which also features a “flip-book” of the current issue. We’re going to go back to the beginning and put all stories online so you can access them now and in the future. Readers can add comments at the end, too, and send links to friends. It’s part of our kuleana to share our stories with a broader audience and for a longer time. Did you know that you can also buy back issues? Go to our online store, and buy a subscription, too. We have also added an online reader survey and we encourage each of you to submit some information about yourself so we can get to know you and your interests better. Let us know what you would like to see in the pages of Ke Ola! Go to: Enjoy this issue, and we’ll see you online!

Karen Valentine and Barbara Garcia

Volcano photo by Lance Miller,

✿ Dear Editor, I thought this image would look good in Ke Ola. It was taken on one of my 71 trips to the Big Island to shoot my photography. Here’s a small story behind the picture. I had hiked all night long at Kilauea Volcano on the Big Island looking for a good photo opp. I found lots of small ground flows but nothing unique. As dawn broke I came across what at first was a small trickle of lava coming over this 15-foot cliff face. I was standing watching this event with two other photographers: David Jordan and Steve Young. What happened next blew our minds. ( This is a true story. ) We all looked at each other and at the same time said to one another, “Gee I wish a rainbow would come out and more lava would flow.” Well, within two minutes of our request, Pele treated us to this show of her beauty! We had 15 minutes of insane photography none of us will ever forget. – Lance Miller, Santa Cruz, CA

Kealakekua Bay community post-tsunami clean-up Photos courtesy of Liza Brown

Send us your comments, letters and photos! We take email, snail mail, submissions through our website or posts on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter!

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✿ Dear Editor, First let me say that I think this magazine is getting better with each issue. Have thought highly of it since the first one so you know it is “outstanding” now. I have at least four personal friends who feel the same way but have not taken the time to write. I think it is important for us to take the time to compliment others. It certainly does not take any more time than grumbling about something, as I see plenty of that in publications. I made my first trip to O‘ahu for the full summer in 1957. I felt like I was completely “at home, at last.”  I returned in 1966 to teach in Na‘alehu and had a Hawaiian roommate. She told me that I was “Hawaiian at Heart.” Since then I have lived on O‘ahu, Kaua‘i and in Kona, a total of 18 years. I just “digest” everything Hawaiian and go to Kahikolu Congregational Church here in Kealakekua. The article about Auntie Marjie Spencer [March/April 2011] really touched me. I already ad-

mire her achievements. I am 75 years old so can really appreciate her senior years of service and continuing to be active.  NOW, to the reason I am writing: “her birthmark near her ankle.” I too was born with one on my left area near my ankle. I have never heard or seen one before like it. The Hawaiian name that was given to me in 1967 is “Eleu.” I was told that this meant: active, quick, lively etc. That was a true definition of me since birth as well.  Her Dad saying “She’s going to go, go, go, go.” I was so excited to read about the similarity here and would love to learn more about it. Again, thank you for this amazing magazine and bringing such “real life” stories for all to read and enjoy. I look forward to many more interesting stories. I especially like the “good old days and how things/people came to be here originally.” – Jan Eleu McCurry, Kealakekua

May/June 2011 M a y -J u n e 2011


Daniel “Kaniela” Akaka, Jr. Marie McDonald Empowerment of Community Paradise Roller Girls

The Life of the Land Strawberry Love Brewing a Tea Industry A Garden-Raising Diary

The Life in Art Gilmore Art Inspires a Native Plant Renaissance

"Ma'o hau hele" by Jamie Gilmore



Worldwide Delivery:

On the Cover: Ma’o hau hele, the Hawaiian Hibiscus. The yellow flower of this species is our official state flower. Endangered in its natural habitats, the Hawaiian Hibiscus has become a popular ornamental in Hawaiian yards. Study by watercolorist Jamie Gilmore.

MAY/JUNE 2011 | | 9

The Life of the People

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The Life

As the baby is born The toes are counted Alas, righteousness in the feet, Live Knowledge is in the feet

I ka ‘ulu ‘ana ke keiki Kū wale a a’o ka ‘ike I mua ‘ana au, I mua ‘ana au, he ola Aia ka ‘ike i ka wāwae

As the child grows Stands and learns the knowledge Forward I move, forward I move, Live Knowledge is in the feet

I ke ola ‘ana ka ‘ōpio Huli a’e ke ala pono Aia ke ala i mua, Aia i mua, he ola Aia ka ‘ike i ka wāwae

As the youth lives To seek the righteous path The path is before, it’s before, Live Knowledge is in the feet

I ka holoholo ‘ana ka makua I maila ke keiki, i hea ana ‘oe? Lalau ho’i ka wāwae, he ola Aia ka ‘ike i ka wāwae

As the adult journeys A child asks, where are you going? The feet seem to wonder, to Live Knowledge is in the feet

I ka lamakū ‘ana ke kupuna ‘O wai la i holo ma ko’u ala? Huli aku, huli mai, he ola Aia ka ‘ike i ka wāwae

As the elder takes a stand Who will walk my path? To seek and be sought, to Live Knowledge is in the feet

I ka moe ‘ana ka ‘elemakule ‘Ahea ho’i ka ‘ike i ka wāwae? I ka pau ‘ana ka huaka’i, he ola Aia ka ‘ike i ka wāwae

As the older one lies down When does the knowledge return? When the journey is over, of Life Knowledge is in the feet

ia ka ‘ike i ka wāwae! ‘O ka wāwae ke kahua o ke kino a ‘o ka wāwae kai kāko’o ho’i i ka holoholo ‘ana. He ho’ailona ho’i ka wāwae i ke ola a na ka wāwae i hō’ike ‘ia ke ala kūpono i holoholo ‘ana. I ka wā kamali’i, ‘ike ho’i ke kupuna i ka pono o ka wāwae a i ka wā keiki, kū wale a holo mua ka wāwae, aia ka ‘ike i laila. I ka wā ‘ōpio, huli wale ke ala pono o ke ola a I ka wā mākua, lalau ho’i ka wāwae. I ka wā lamakū, ‘imi ho’i kahi punahele ona a I ka ‘elemakule, ‘ike ka wāwae i ka pau ‘ana o ka huaka’i a ho’i! Aia ka ‘ike i ka wāwae!

Knowledge is in the feet! The feet are the foundation of the body and the feet support the journey. The feet have lots of significant signs of life and it is the feet that present the righteous journey. As a baby, the elders visualize the righteousness of the feet and as a child, the movement is to stand and move forward, knowledge is there. As a youth, one must seek the rightful path of life, and as a parent one wanders throughout life. As a light of knowledge, one must seek the favorite one and as the old person, the feet realize the end of the journey and return. Knowledge is in the feet!

We seek to understand what is our path in life and truly our feet give us the best knowledge, known from the day we are born until we are transformed forever. Our feet are the insights to our journey, we are led by the direction they face daily, forward! Use the strongest foundation we have and move forward, for knowledge is in the feet. Inspired by the men in my life, always speaking indirectly of the journey I must take—my father expressed these words in his own way. I love you, Dad! David Ching Jr., my father! Contact Kumu Keala Ching at

MAY/JUNE 2011 | | 11


I ka hānau ‘ia ke kamali’i Helu ‘ia nā manamanawāwae Hū! Eia ka pono i ka wāwae, he ola Aia ka ‘ike i ka wāwae

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he Hāmākua Coast from Hilo to Waipi‘o Valley is a 50 mile stretch of rocky shoreline, deep valleys, and imposing cliffs. Such a windward coast seems an unlikely place to find what was once the dominant industry on the Big Island, sugar cane. With the demise of the sandalwood trade in the mid1820s, whaling had become a mainstay of Hawai‘i’s economy. After the time of the first whaling ship Balena in 1819, the whaling business grew as Hawai‘i’s main commerce; not the catching of whales here, but winter escape from cold northern waters, taking on provisions, R&R for ship’s crews, and transshipment of whale products to eastern mainland ports. Up to 500 ships a season called in Hawai‘i, mostly Lahaina and Honolulu, but for some years Kawaihae and Hilo saw 40 to 50 ships annually. The U.S. Civil War and increasing use of petroleum hastened the decline of whaling.

Steamer Kauai loading sugar in Hakalau Bay. Photo courtesy Hawai‘i Maritime Center

Hāmākua Coast – Sugar, Landings & Shipwrecks By Pete Hendricks

was all lost, and the vessel herself is a total wreck. This is the second vessel that Reed & Sisson have lost; the first being the Fanny, which was wrecked about three months ago at Punalu‘u, Ka‘ū.” In fact, Caroline Mills had just come from California to start inter-island trade in Hawai‘i. In a lawsuit heard later in California, the judge ruled in favor of the Swiss Lloyd Insurance Company; that the Captain knew the anchor chain was weak but added a hawser (large rope) and still tried to anchor in marginal weather. High seas and heavy weather are not uncommon on the Hāmākua coast. The approval of the Reciprocity Treaty between Hawai‘i and the U.S. in 1876 gave Hawaiian sugar tariff-free entry into the mainland market. The business community strongly supported the treaty and had been lobbying since the 1850s for its passage. King David Kalākaua was also strongly in favor, and even made a trip to Washington D.C. to support it, including an address to a joint session of Congress. “To aid in the development of the resources of the Kingdom,” the Hawaiian Kingdom Act passed in September, 1876, and resulted in the appointment of a Commission which visited Hawai’i Island in February, 1877. The Commission made numerous recom-

❁Continued on page 14

MAY/JUNE 2011 | | 13

Polynesians had included sugar cane in their voyage supplies of live food plants to be grown in a new home far to the North across the equator. The plant was known for its sweetness as well as believed medicinal properties. Sugar was one of the plants the resourceful voyagers were able to keep alive in voyaging canoes over great distances for weeks at a time. Sugar cane was a common part of Hawaiian settlements when the first outsiders visited. There were apparently early Hawaiian specialists in the crop, referred to in Papa I’i’s Fragments of Hawaiian History as “the men who cultivated sugar cane at Pu’u Pueo in Manoa under Kekuanaoa.” Immigrants to Hawai‘i in the early 1800s saw the commercial potential of sugar and began the first sugar mill on Kauai in 1835. By 1836, the Sandwich Island Gazette reported: “Sugar has been sent from the islands, and sugar plantations are starting up with great success.” However, early commercial sugar operations faced water shortages, limited labor, and isolation from markets. Expansion of sugar operations later paralleled technology with the introduction of massive irrigation systems, steam power, and railroads. For Hawai’i Island, commercial sugar cultivation grew first in the Hilo area and Kohala, as both had access to relatively calm water ports at Hilo bay and Mahukona. Seven plantations started between Hilo and O’okala between 1850 and 1875. Further sugar expansion up the coast included a series of small landings. Typical in the mid 1800s was a small concrete platform at the base of a cliff, with a derrick for transferring freight and personnel from shore to ship and back. Inclined railways and roads made the connection between landings and sugar mills. Illustrating the difficulties of working at the Hāmākua land-sea interface is the Marine Disaster column of the June 8, 1878, Pacific Commercial Advertiser: “We regret to chronicle the loss of the schooner Caroline Mills, near Honoka‘a, Hawai‘i, on the 28th. Her freight

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Wire-landing loading system. – Richard Nelson article. Hawaiian Historical Society

❁Continued from page 13

mendations on agricultural expansion from Waipi‘o Valley south along the coast. “The District of Hāmākua may become a most productive district. In commenting on lands, we have spoken of them as sugar lands, as that will doubtless be the staple product; but there is almost no land that is not cultivatable, and everywhere the fruits of the tropics and many of the temperate zone can be raised.” The stage was set for explosive growth for the sugar industry. Over on the coast of California, rapid growth of the San Francisco Bay area during the Gold Rush decade 1850 to 1860 brought great demand for building materials. Lumbermen began to exploit the redwood forests immediately north along the coast. Sailing schooners put in at small coves to pick up the lumber. These plucky little ships were called “dog hole schooners,” as they entered coves along the rugged coast where it was said only a dog could turn around. The first contraptions were lumber chutes, suspended from A frames dangled over the cliffs. A man riding the gear would direct the chute to slide lumber on to the deck of the ship. Later a more efficient method was developed, using a wire connected to a mast of the ship to load lumber and offload supplies. Steam power soon replaced oxen in the forests and coastal lumber mills. In Hawai‘i, wire cable landings soon appeared along the Hāmākua coast with the rapid expansion of sugar plantations in the 1870s and 1880s. Kukuihaele landing was to be the highest, at 240 feet above the ocean. Steam power supported commercial expansion, both in the mills and fields and for small steam “donkey engines” at landings and on shipboard. Permanent moorings were placed and maintained so ships could hold in place for cargo transfer. Eventually the main cargo wire was attached to a mooring out past the ship; the main wire was controlled by the men in the cable warehouse on the cliff

The Barkentine Klikitat sailed out of San Francisco for the Simpson Lumber Company, seen here near Honoli‘i. 1912. Lyman Museum.

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and the trolley and cargo carriage was controlled by the ship’s crew. Smaller ships would leave Hilo in the dark and load sugar from the Hāmākua landings in daylight. Cargo was then transshipped on larger ships for delivery to San Francisco. There was even an East Coast sugar fleet, with sailing ships up to 3,000 tons, which hauled sugar from Hawai‘i to eastern North America. Improvements in technology continued into the 20th century. A 1907 annual report of Paauhau Sugar Plantation Company stated: “A new cable landing has been installed during the year and is now in operation, doing excellent work. It is a decided improvement over the old method of handling sugar and freight in small boats on our dangerous rocky coast.” Even with the addition of auxiliary steam power to ships working the Hāmākua coast, the sea still took its toll. One of the larger ships, the bark Klikitat, was lost just outside Hilo Bay on her departure to the mainland in 1912. With the opening of the Hāmākua railroad line in 1913 from Hilo to Pa‘auilo and road improvements along the coast, the Hāmākua landings were less important. However, as late as 1958, Honoka‘a Landing, for example, was still pumping molasses and receiving fuel from Matson ships moored below its cliffs. Relatively few losses of ships and men is a tribute to those who worked to develop the transportation and cargo system along the Hāmākua coast. The Hāmākua plantation system owed its existence in its early years to these skilled and resourceful amphibians. ❖


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The Life


he year is 1991, and preparations are being made to craft the Mauloa, the Polynesian Voyaging Society’s replica of an ancient single‐hulled canoe, using ceremonial protocol throughout the process. A group is gathered inside a tent near the town of Volcano. They are there to learn the chants from oli master and priest, Kahu Keli‘i Tau‘a. Standing outside the tent, a young man shivers in the cold misty morning, listening intently to the instruction. He had not been included as one to learn the chants but is invited as part of the group to witness the traditional, canoe-building project. The young man is Danny “Kaniela” Akaka, Jr. After the gathering, Kahu Keli‘i sees Kaniela standing outside and asks, “Have you been outside all this time?” Then he asks Kaniela to repeat any of the chants. Kaniela Akaka humbly expresses that he is there only because of his interest and passion and is reluctant to repeat what he has heard. Keli‘I, however, encourages him to share whatever he might know of the traditional canoe chants, whereupon Kaniela chants correctly all that he has heard. The kahu declares, “In my absence, you will be kahu for this project.” This moment seemed to be a natural progression for someone whose ‘ohana is steeped in the spirit and culture of Hawai‘i. Kaniela emphasizes that honoring ‘ohana (in flesh and in spirit) is the tradition of Hawai‘i.

“We are All Strings on God’s ‘Ukulele.”

❁Continued on page 18

MAY/JUNE 2011 | | 17

Kaniela grew up surrounded by music. As a baby his parents brought him to Kawaiaha‘o Church in Honolulu, where his uncle Abraham was pastor and his father, Sen. Daniel Akaka, was choirmaster. The church was known as the “Westminster Abbey of the Pacific,” and to quote the 2000 edition of Living Treasures of Hawai‘i, “The Rev. Abraham Akaka was the most widely known Hawaiian since Kamehameha the Great. He often stated, ‘We are all strings on God’s ‘ukulele,’ at which point he would strum his ‘ukulele to demonstrate how the strings, working together, can create harmony.” Kaniela’s father, in addition to being the choirmaster at Kawaiaha‘o Church for 17 years, taught band for several years at a Honolulu high school before he became a U.S. Senator. There were many instruments around the house, including his dad’s vintage Martin guitar. The family was deep in good singers as well. Following in his father’s footsteps, Kaniela became a leader in the youth choir, singing as a tenor. Family life centered on the church and its large congregation. Kaniela had an interest in absorbing everything he could about Hawai‘i from the kupuna. The stories fascinated him. He learned Hawaiian language and culture this way and benefitted from the rich melodies permeating the church during and after services. At nine, he began playing his father’s guitar and shortly afterwards started his study with Auntie Ellen Jane Hale, who showed him wahine-style slack key guitar. From Auntie

r Woods Eva Parke

Cottage Photo courtesy of Mauna Lani Bay Hotel and Bungalows.

18 | | MAY/JUNE 2011

❁Continued from page 17 Ellen Jane’s son, Earl (Bozo) Hale, he learned bossa nova with the song, “The Girl from Ipanema,” in regular guitar tuning. Throughout Kaniela’s childhood and into his adulthood he continued to learn from a multitude of great musicians, a list of which would read like a who’s who of contemporary Hawaiian music. He played with family, friends and several bands. Later, he would record two solo songs for a CD produced by Charles Brotman. Kaniela never stopped in his quest for learning, and his musical background set the stage for becoming a serious student of oli (chant). Being asked by the man inside the sacred tent, Kahu Keli‘i Tau‘a, to learn and transmit the Hawaiian chants and ceremonies—for the Mauloa project and beyond—was an honor. As assistant kahu, Kaniela would become a keeper of the arts, namely the chants and ceremony for the Mauloa project and beyond. He was fluent in the Hawaiian language and therefore blessed to understand the meaning of the chants. He picked them up quickly and intuitively. He was gifted with a good voice. He was ready to become a keeper of the arts. Hawaiian music that pre-dated Western contact had specific characteristics of invoking the elements and ancestors in ways not totally understood by the Western analytical mind. As author Elizabeth Tatar writes in Hawaiian Chant Mode and Music, “The individual, through his knowledge of incantations, can invoke his supernatural kinfolk and compel them by the power of the recited Rev. Abraham Akaka words to aid him.”

Kaniela continued study of oli and mele in the 1990s with Kumu John Ka‘imikaua until John’s death in 2006. Kaniela and his wife, Anna, are associated with Hālau Hula O Kukunaokala, a group founded by Ka‘imikaua. His protégé, Kumu Hula Larry Ursua, continues John’s work with a group of hula enthusiasts called ‘A‘ali‘ikuikeānuenue. This past June, in 2010, Danny and Anna participated in a journey along with ‘A‘ali‘ikuikeānuenue to the island of Moloka‘i to visit significant places that were in the stories and the hula that Kumu John taught. It was in the mid-90s that Kaniela was able to realize a dream for Hawaiian cultural regeneration.

Mauna Lani’s “Twilight at Kalahuipu’a”

Sources: Hawaiian Chant Mode and Music, Elizabeth Tatar 1978 UCLA University Microfilms International Living Treasures of Hawai‘i , Scott S. Stone, copyright 2000 Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawai‘i Lessons of Aloha – Stories of the Human Spirit, 1999 Watermark Publishing with Brother Noland Contact writer Richard M. Esterle at

Kahu Kaniela Akaka officiates at the wedding of Dana Moody and Richard Esterle.

MAY/JUNE 2011 | | 19

“Twilight at Kalahuipu‘a,” also known simply as “Talk Story,” is held usually once a month on the Saturday closest to the full moon. This monthly event is hosted by The Mauna Lani Bay Hotel and Bungalows. Created as an activity for hotel guests, in the spirit of aloha it also is open to members of the community. It features Kaniela as kahu, musician, and master of ceremonies. Appropriately, it takes place on the family-style, front-porch (lanai) of the restored Eva Parker Woods cottage. Now located on the grounds of the Mauna Lani Resort, it has been home for the Hawaiian way of life from the old days up until the present. Featuring other musicians, hula dancers and kupuna from all over the islands, Kaniela’s talk-story monthly events were established with the support of Kenny Brown, a dear family friend and (then) chairman of the board of Mauna Lani Resort and Mark McGuffie, (then) resident manager of the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel. One of the many kupuna who have played music and talked story with Kaniela on the cottage lanai is Auntie Marjie Spencer [featured in Ke Ola, March-April, 2011]. All share their mana‘o and music out of joy, love and understanding. We all benefit and it’s fun! As Director of Cultural Affairs for the Mauna Lani, a position he has held since the year 2000, Kaniela shares his belief that Hawaiians represent the compatibility of humans with each other, the ‘ohana, and with all of nature, the ‘aina. The secret and beauty of Hawai‘i is the human spirit, which is pono, in right balance, and that is the way of being that Hawaiians practice. The programs he creates are all about ‘ohana and the inclusion of everyone as extended family, much like Kaniela’s uncle Abraham at Kawaiaha‘o Church and the countless halau all over the island. But Kaniela does not preach from the porch of the cottage. His “presence,” alo, and his way of being, are all that one needs. May the aloha continue. When the Dalai Lama visited Maui several years ago and Kaniela was asked to give the final blessing, he paraphrased his uncle Abraham’s words to say, “unity is diversity in harmony. We need to come together as one ‘ohana.” ❖

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The Life



hen Marie Adams McDonald was an art student at Texas Women’s University, she was required to take a course in Texas History. “But I was never required to take Hawaiian History,” she said, “Even though I went to Kamehameha Schools.” When she returned home to O‘ahu after graduation, she immersed herself in learning about her own culture. “I haunted the library, haunted Bishop Museum,” she said. “I was so impressed, even in high school, with the artwork that came out of Hawaiians—particularly kapa. I consider that to be painting. Kapa-makers express themselves in color and two dimensions. Whatever idea inspired me I would go do it a little.”

Beating Kapa: the Rhythm of Life

Their work has a rhythm. Steady wood beating on the still-young bark cloth. In the studio, stamping on a kapa, already dried and prepped, Marie and daughter Roen Hufford worked as part of a team of 30 kapa makers statewide to complete kapa garments for this year’s Merrie Monarch, enough to clothe Hālau O Kekuhi for their Hō‘ike performance. Marie unwraps a soft new kapa, wauke bark beaten to a pale, thin sheet, cream-colored like a fine writing paper, but moist, almost like a sheet of dough. It has a faint smell like freshly mown lawns. She explains it is in the fermenting stage, and replaces it carefully in the

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plants grew. It passed from one generation to the next and gave one generation the knowledge of how to survive here and how to have joy in this place... to have beautiful things to adorn their bodies, clothes and flower lei and to dance and sing and to eat well. And they did these things better than we can ever do.”

Flying Flowers

“I was half of a set of twins,” said Marie. “My mother’s maiden name is Māhoe, which means twins. And my twin brother did not survive, but people in my mother’s generation used to say—because I am the tallest girl in the family—that ‘Marie possesses the strength of her brother.’” Marie grew up on Moloka‘i, where her father, originally from Pennsylvania, worked as a telephone superintendant. Her Hawaiian mother, an avid gardener, made the lei to adorn his hat, and she shared her love of flowers with her 10 children. “When we were children we would get a toy at Christmas sometimes, most of the time clothes, and at the beginning of the school year we got shoes,” said Marie. “The girls made toys out of flowers, and dolls, a whole pile of dolls… We would ‘fly’ with the dolls from castle to castle, and when we flew from castle to castle (hibiscus to hibiscus) we made this sound ‘plitta, plitta, plitta.’” Eventually, Marie did actually fly off to college in Texas, graduating with a B.A. in Art Education. She returned to O‘ahu

❁Continued on page 22

MAY/JUNE 2011 | | 21

plastic wrap. “Plastic is my contemporary innovation to make it easier for me to handle,” said Marie. “Hawaiian women worked in groups. Most of us now do it by ourselves.” A stack of wooden beaters wait to one side, well used, carved from dense native woods like uhiuhi, kauila, koai‘a. These make the “watermark” signature of Hawaiian kapa, which sets it apart from other Pacific bark fabrics. Inside the studio, she holds up a completed kapa for me to see; the light shines through, and there, like a secret, is a star shape, beaten into the fiber of the cloth. “Another difference, Hawaiians used natural colors,” said Marie. “The palette was complete–red, yellow, blue, green, black, brown, purple.” “I feel if we are going to encourage and make Hawaiian kapa then we should stick to the teachings,” Marie said. “You can take off on the design. You can take off and express yourself on the design process but not in the manufacturing process. That’s how I feel as an artist, as an educator.” In the studio, daughter Roen stamps intricate patterns to complete her kapa, using dyes the two women make from plants they grow. Roen says she doesn’t plan out the entire design in advance, that it evolves as she works, tells its own story. “It’s also a family connection,” said Roen. “Connected through to heart because we are Hawaiian and you could say we honor my grandmother and her forebears.” She talks and works on the kapa. “Hawaiians were sensitive to the natural rhythm of life and observed how the stars move, how the

Recipient o f multiple state and n awards an ational d recogniz ed a s a ma maker, Ma ster kapa rie McDon ald is an a and propo ctive artisa n e nt o f H a n waiian art s and cultu re.

❁Continued from page 21

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to work for the Department of Parks and Recreation in Honolulu, planning arts and cultural programs under both Mayor Blaisdell’s and Mayor Fasi’s administration. The department held an annual lei contest, begun in the 1920s at the Waikīkī Bandstand. “At first there were 300 entries or more,” said Marie. “And they employed Hawaiian teaching, but at the time they were only familiar with just the one technique of stringing, and the simple braid… I met some people from the Big Island who set and mounted in a braid technique. Waimea was known for beautiful lei-makers.” The knowledge she gained and the people she met at the contest led Marie to further research in subsequent years, but most of what she learned, she taught herself. “I had to,” said Marie, “I didn’t know anybody doing it. I got to know Malia Solomon. She had a little Hawaiian village—it was called Ulu Mau—in Ala Moana Beach Park,” she said. “I had to learn by reading, and by quizzing people like Malia… I learned by myself, by trial and error,” she said. In 1973, Marie and husband Bill McDonald moved to Waimea. Roen, who had just graduated from the University of Hawai‘i, helped them settle in, then went back, returning some years later with her husband Ken Hufford to create an organic vegetable farm. The family’s 10acre spread, “Honopua” (hono, to stitch or sew, and pua, flowers), is an Eden for lei-makers and Hawaiian cultural artisans. “We planted everything except the grass, the kikuyu,” Marie said. “I would see something I like and I bring it home and plant it. Or somebody would bring me some interesting plant and I planted it.” “I brought with me one start of Marie and daughter Roen wauke plant,” collaborate in kapa projects as well as she book publishing work. Photo by said. Wauke, Catherine Tarleton Broussonetia papyrifera, is considered one of the original 24 canoe plants brought to Hawai‘i by Polynesian voyagers. “When I left ‘Oahu, I decided to take the information I gathered from there and publish it and that was my first book, Ka Lei, in 1985,” said Marie. With beautiful photography by Roen, Ka Lei contributed to the revival of lei-making and is now highly-valued. Not long after, she and Paul Weissich, then Director of the Botanical Gardens for the City and County of Honolulu, decided to collaborate on another book, one that

Although kapa is her primary focus today, Marie is well-known for her award-winning lei. Beautiful photographs by Roen are featured in Marie’s second lei book, Nā Lei Makamae, published by University of Hawai‘i Press in 2003. It received the The Samuel M. Kamakau Award for the Hawai‘i Book of the Year from the Hawai‘i Book Publishers Association.

Contact writer Catherine Tarleton at

MAY/JUNE 2011 | | 23

illustrated different types of lei created before Hawai‘i was discovered by westerners. Nā Lei Makamae was published by University of Hawai‘i Press in 2003 and received the The Samuel M. Kamakau Award for the Hawai‘i Book of the Year from the Hawai‘i Book Publishers Association. Marie has been honored by the National Endowment for the Arts as a “National Heritage Fellow” for her work as a researcher, teacher, author and lei-maker. In 2010, Marie was named the Alfred Preis Honoree by Hawai‘i Arts Alliance, as one of Hawai‘i’s most respected kupuna in the arts of lei and kapa-making, and for her support of HOEA: Hawaiian ‘Ohana for Education in the Arts, which was “established to increase the number, visibility and accessibility of Native Hawaiian arts and artists.” Marie, a lifelong learner at 80-plus, is concerned about the quality of education in today’s classrooms. “I get so alarmed with what is happening to an education system where all the emphasis seems to be placed on math and science. Math and science are wonderful, but not at the risk of cutting art and music,” she said. “You can enlarge your math experience and science experience with art.” And after so many years of hard work, teaching and study, why does she not sit back and relax, rest on her laurels, or her kapa, and enjoy her retirement? “We are Hawaiian, we are art-trained and we are curious,” said Marie, “and we are living.” She returns to the unfinished work, picking up the gentle rhythm of kapa. ❖


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The Life AT HOME

Taking form atop a hillside in Hāmākua, Hi‘ilani EcoHouse already has a feeling of being integral with the land it occupies.

residence—created by stewards of the land as a model for others.


alking beside building innovator Robert Mechielsen along the steep path leading to his current Hāmākua Coast project, we pass 90-year-old Hāmākua coffee trees and oldgrowth eucalyptus. He narrates the hike, animating every word, schoolboy-eager to share his project and have you love it as he obviously does. But when the road bends and the Hi‘ilani EcoHouse comes into view — its artful planes and gentle angles soft against the misty pre-sunset sky—we stop talking, catch our breath, and take it in. Hi’ilani means “held in the arms of heaven,” and this is even more than I anticipated. Above its dark, dignified walls, white “butterfly” roof wings uplift to gather rainwater and sunshine and admit the tradewinds beneath. Window spaces frame the late-afternoon light everywhere: high and low, from spacious view-capturing overlooks to hidden skylights and small, louvered openings

tucked under ceilings. Not too modern to be jarring, the monolithic structure and great geometric lines, bare of any decoration, make me think of Indiana Jones and a lost temple, secreted in the jungle-y tropics mauka of Kukuihaele. If there is treasure here, clues to its discovery may be in back, where a bin of construction debris tells the story. There is not a stick of lumber in sight, no cases of nails or piles of cinderblock. Instead, various pieces of EPS (extended polystyrene foam) and rolls of wire mesh indicate this is “SCIP” technology (structural concrete insulating panel), and these foam panels with sprayedon concrete skin are the walls and bones of this remarkable house. Linked together with wire mesh and rebar, making for strong, well-insulated walls, the SCIP is completely recyclable and carbon-neutral. In other words, whatever carbon dioxide is produced in its manufacture is balanced by the amount of energy to be saved in the future.

❁Continued on page 26

MAY/JUNE 2011 | | 25

Hi‘ilani Ecohouse— Sustainable, carbon-neutral, 4,000-square-foot, two-family

❁Continued from page 25 This is the Hi‘ilani EcoHouse, an invention — a collection of inventions — from smart people who care about how they live, with the foresight to want to pass future generations “a gift, not a bill.”

The Vision Takes Form

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I met Robert Mechielsen four years ago, on what was to be a quick interview in Starbucks at the Kings’ Shops. Knowing next to nothing about architecture, besides reading The Fountainhead, I was surprised at the depth of our conversation. Four years later, when Dave and Sherry Pettus and Jim and Teri Sugg invite me to see the house, it feels like some kind of a time warp, a momentous one. “When we met before it was a dream, a vision,” says Mechielsen. “This is really one of the first in the world’s history—a completely different way of thinking about architecture.” We haven’t gone up to the site yet. We are standing in the living room of Dave and Sherry’s current, nearby house. Mechielsen starts talking and I whip out my notebook. He speaks in complete paragraphs; I don’t want to miss a word. “The house is about almost creating skin to live in,” says Mechielsen. “We see architecture as fashion, like clothes, but without architecture, we can’t exist. The snail, the crab, certain corals and other beings, they are naked and need housing, but they know how to make housing. They know how to make housing that doesn’t kill their neighbors, doesn’t pollute… As we

From the makai side, it’s easy to see the unique hexagonal panels of the “butterfly” roof, angled to allow water catchment and airflow from the prevailing tradewinds. The living room overlooks a long, sweeping view of treetops and ocean. How is a house harmful? Ah. Construction waste in landfills, polluting chemicals in water systems, carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels to create the materials. I get it. But this sounds very expensive. Will this kind of building ever be affordable? “I think it’s coming in very fast,” he says. “My company in Holland (C-N Tech) deals with carbon neutral technology, and if you look at it, the price of oil dictates energy cost.” He holds up his hands, crossed in an X. “It’s like this,” he says. “Oil goes up as the price of renewables goes down. It could level as soon as 2013.” Whoa again. Working together, the group discovered they had the interest and skills to create an eco-friendly home they really wanted to spend time in—a shapely environment that would also demonstrate their shared earth values.

Inspiration in Partnership

The “bones” of Hi’ilani EcoHouse are SCIP technology—foam panels sprayed with structural concrete for superior insulation and strength. They are held together with wire mesh and steel reinforcing bars. grow, humanity, our consciousness can come to do that as well. This may be an era where technology and spirituality are merging.” Whoa. Sherry slides a chair behind me, sets a glass of juice on the table. “For example,” he continues, “We can talk about housing that produces everything the house needs by itself – electricity, water, air conditioning, air flow, just by smart technology.” “And nature,” Teri adds. “And nature,” says Mechielsen, “and the desire to absolutely not pollute or be harmful to others.”

Dave and Sherry Pettus have lived in Honoka‘a for 17 years, giving the island the Hāmākua Music Festival and supporting numerous other community organizations and good causes. Longtime friends Jim and Teri Sugg visited often from the Mainland, attending the Aloha Music Camp on Moloka‘i and in Kailua-Kona. Teri’s an artist; Jim is a musician, computer professional, and a developer of Avid video and audio production technologies. As conversation grew into conceptualization, they decided to build a home together—one that would not only accommodate the two couples and visiting family, but elder parents and all the things they love: music, art, technology, entertaining, great food, gardens and reverence for nature. Along the way, they connected with the Pachamama Alliance, which reinforced their commitment to rethink ways to live, work, eat and play sustainably, without robbing future generations of resources. This led to the idea of Hi‘ilani EcoHouse. When he visited the site, Mechielsen realized the tradewind pattern, the path of the sun and the sightline to Maui intersected at three, 120-degree angles, making it easy to conceive a hexagonal structure. “The look of the house is dictated by the resources,” he said. “We are creating maximum capture of available natural resources: the view, the wind and solar energy.”

“Rarely do 90-degree angles occur in nature,” says Dave. “Instead, the 120-degree angles of the hexagon are what you see in coral, beehives, crystals, snowflakes. It is the strongest natural structure, and it is the natural shape something wants to take if it is well and happy, according to Dr. Masaru Emoto’s work with ice crystals.” The four owners visited the “Hanna-Honeycomb” house in California, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1937, and it solidified the idea. “The shape was inspired by the site,” said Teri. “If we’d done it any other way, it wouldn’t feel right.”

The Tour

Owners and building designer: (from left:) Robert Mechielsen, Jim Sugg, Teri Sugg, Dave Pettus and Sherry Pettus. Photo by Catherine Tarleton.

The Idea Laboratory

All this green technology gathered under and on one roof has created its own “beta testing” site for numerous products and services. Because of interest generated in the project, Dave created the “Idea Laboratory” to welcome strategic partnerships and incubate new concepts. “The Idea Laboratory is the culmination of the many innovative minds that have come to this land with the goal of creating a house that will reflect the most advanced thinking for years to come,” says the website. Hi’ilani was built with the idea of giving back, of being a base for education, and for new thought that brings a renewal of the spirit into living kindly on the Earth. Built on some of the most exciting technologies, expansive new thinking, and strategic collaborations with manufacturers of products in test stages of development, EcoHouse serves as a proving ground, to authenticate and improve new technologies. Companies which are sharing innovation at Hi‘ilani EcoHouse include Tridipanel, Studio RMA, Breezway, Carbon Neutral Technologies, Hydrostop, HPM Building Supply, ABC Supply Co., Inc., California Building Specialities, Western Window Systems, epOxyGreen Design Center and others. Dave and Robert welcome inquiries and are happy to host site tours for interested groups and individuals with notice. Anticipate being delighted. ❖

For more information, please visit Pachamama Alliance Awakens the Dreamer – Architectural photos by Sarah Anderson Contact writer Catherine Tarleton at

MAY/JUNE 2011 | | 27

“This is the music room,” Sherry says, beginning the inside tour. An elevated niche for performers leads down into an entertainment room, open to the ocean side of the house, terraced for theater-like seating. You can see the parties here, hear music, tinkling glasses. Above is the kitchen with its hexagonal island and windows surrounding us, leading to pantry and laundry, more rooms clustered around a central courtyard open to the stars at night. Walking through the house, every view is different. Even bare and unfinished, each hexagonal space has a personality. Teri’s favorite is the ‘ohana room. “It’s going to have a dreamlike quality,” she says. “It’s going to be cavelike, womblike.” For Jim it’s the “brain,” the electronic hub of alien wires and panels vine up from the floor, reaching tentacles out into the house. In the heart of the home, Sherry’s office gives her a view of the driveway, the kitchen and the entertainment area, from where she can be aware of what’s going on in the main areas at all times. “That was my request,” she said, “That’s my favorite.” At first I thought Dave’s place was in front, in the music room, where two wood stanchions mark the spots for his stereo speakers. But up on the roof, he takes a sea captain’s stance, hands on hips, smile widening, watching the sweep of treetops down to glittering ocean. Mechielsen too is at home here — stomping to prove the roof’s strength, jigging and sweeping two-arm gestures, in a kind of silhouette hula for my inadequate camera. From up here, we peek down through skylights into the baths and kitchen, we marvel at the bright white shell that guides rainfall into the 24,000-gallon catchment tank, reflecting the sun’s heat. The slope of the roof, the “butterfly” effect that catches sun, rain and tradewind, is disorienting at first, but it’s easy to see what Mechielsen had described before. “Trades blow through cool night air, creating negative air pressure like a bird’s or a plane’s wing, and stores the coolness in the concrete. Solar-powered fans blow it down in the daytime. It’s a ‘thermal mass battery,’” he said. Sounds magical, but it’s not magic. There are, of course, thousands of technical details, all available at, but basically what they intend for their house is this simple: 1. The home will be carbon-neutral. 2. The occupants become autonomous. They don’t need companies with government subsidies and military powers behind them for their energy resources. 3. It restores power generation to the homeowner, away from the utility company. 4. Energy becomes a fixed, guaranteed expense. Jim says, “Developing of carbon-neutral design has huge political and economic ramifications.” Whoa. What the power of a vision and a motivated group can do.

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The Life AT HOME

Yurts have a worldwide tradition as economical and practical shelters in many climates.


The Center

The modern-day yurt has a bubble window on the top which creates that spiritual connection between the sky and the ground below, and is also a wonderful source of light. In older civilizations, Mongolians with their gers (traditional circular yurts), the Native Americans with their teepees, and the Turkish nomads with their yurts called uy (oo-ee), make openings at the top of their structures so they can build fires in the middle for cooking and heating. Many civilizations have enjoyed this type of living in the round, which has been at the core of families living and doing daily activities together. Cooking, sleeping and even looking up at the stars at night became sacred gathering rituals for families around the central fire, and thus spiritually connected the occupants to their homes and to each other.

A Stable Structure

Today’s yurts are constructed with two or three layers for the walls—the outer membrane being a thick, UV- and weatherresistant, vinyl fabric or polyester; a middle, bubble-wrapped insulation layer; and the inner wall, which is built upon a lattice

wood frame. This is held in place by steel cables wrapped around the lattice, the door frames and rafters. The roof is composed of wood rafters that are hinged to a circular, roof ring and the apex is a clear dome that can be opened for ventilation. Any number of windows or doors can be configured into a structure, and accessories such as awnings, gutters, screen doors and many interior finishes add to the final product. Foundations typically are built up on a deck structure, but they can also be built up to different levels with a slab foundation. With the wrap-around lattice frame, yurts are actually very secure and difficult to break into compared to a stick-frame home. They are also easy to maintain with a regular, yearly washing, a scrub with mild soap and water on the outside membrane. In spite of their appearance of being temporary, yurt structures are very stable structures. “Yurts are structurally very strong since they are round and have continuous, tied connections on their latticeShort walls define spaces in the two-story yurt worked walls built by David and Julia Contreras. and beams,” says Kenery. They can survive extreme cold, humidity and drought, as well as storms or hurricanes. They are also well suited to all the different climate zones throughout Hawai‘i Island, from the cooler, damp areas up in Volcano to the shoreline and dryer climates of Ka‘ū, Kona and Kohala areas. There seems to be a natural affinity for living in circular structures like yurts on the Big Island, and it is becoming a very popular and cost-effective lifestyle here.

❁Continued on page 30

MAY/JUNE 2011 | | 29

here’s a saying that once you’ve stayed in a round home, you can’t go back to a square and angular home. “Primarily, the appeal of yurts covers a large spectrum of the marketplace,” says Becky Kenery, the author of Living in the Round, a comprehensive look at yurts and other round structures from the past to present cultures. The appeal of living in a round yurt is prevalent in many civilizations where circles symbolize a sense of wholeness, oneness and a spiritual connection to the earth and sky. The word yurt is originally from the Turkic word meaning “dwelling place” in the sense of “homeland”; since then the term has come to be used in reference to the familiar, tent-like structures, but only in other languages.

❁Continued from page 29


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New homeowners Jeff and Raji Krepps of Hawaiian Acres are one couple who enthusiastically advocates yurt living. After completing the building of their permanent yurt home-in-the-round, they dubbed it the “motherJeff and Raji Krepps ship.” It is an elevated, twostory yurt with a wrap-around lanai providing incredible views of their property and surrounding areas. The two-story home has an open area downstairs on a slab foundation, which is used for many purposes. Raji, a native from Nepal, grew up in a round home and was attracted to building a yurt for their home on Hawai‘i Island, primarily for the cost and its environmental appeal. “We moved from O‘ahu to Hawaiian Acres to pare down our lives and live more sustainably with the land,” says Raji, “ We were looking for an alternative lifestyle, more environmentally friendly, with a lighter footprint on the land.” So they chose to build a yurt home with a combination stick-frame and surrounding lanai, in order to have the indoor/outdoor benefits. They are very satisfied with the completed home and are continuing their quest for sustainable living. This includes building a composting toilet in an adjoining yurt, having solar power and generating income by selling power to HELCO under a program called “Feed-in Tariff.” They have also started a fruit orchard and vegetable garden, growing their own food, which they are just starting to harvest. With the help of Melissa Fletcher, the owner/project manager of Yurts of Hawai‘i, their home was completely built to their standards even while they were still living on O‘ahu. Fletcher’s company helps owners create their turnkey and permitted homes from beginning to end, and they also sell yurts to individuals who choose to build the homes on their own. Just on Hawai‘i island, she estimates that there are more than 150 yurt owners and the number is still growing. Fletcher estimates the average cost of building a turnkey home, including all the land preparation work and a catchment system setup, to be approximately $65,000 for a 30-foot diameter, 706-square-foot living area on level ground. Yurts seem to appeal to various groups from older retirees to creative individuals and those that are on a tighter budget as well as people who choose simpler and greener homes. Another couple who fit into the category of living with a smaller footprint, David and Julia Contreras enjoy their newly-built residence in Fern Forest, a two-story home with an underneath section used for laundry, office, washing and workouts. The living space is ingeniously broken David and Julia Contreras up into a large, open living/ kitchen area with separate, short walls delineating office, bathroom and bedroom space.

“We wanted to have the open floor plan, but also want the private areas walled off to give us that sense of privacy,” says Julia. Their home is creatively divided into small areas and rooms within the constraints of a round structure that is only 30 feet in diameter. Originally they built the yurt as an interim home prior to a plan to construct a bamboo-style home. “ We decided that we didn’t want to have a mortgage, and we were enjoying living in our yurt so much that we scrapped the larger home and now we are expanding the space with a larger lanai so we can have more outdoor living space for relaxing and entertaining,” says Julia. They eventually want to incorporate other environmentally friendly designs like solar power and they plan to build a greenhouse for growing their own food.


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Resources: You can get a wealth of information on Becky Kenery’s comprehensive and beautifully photographed book entitled Living in the Round. She has a website offering even more information on yurts and the history of round homes at To find more information about Yurts of Hawaii, visit their website at Contact writer Noel Morata at


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Dan and Emma Kigar, the owners of Colorado Yurt Company, the industry leader in yurts, have another insight into the yurt lifestyle. Colorado Yurt aspires to develop a greener product that supports their clients’ desires to live a more sustainable life with a smaller environmental footprint. Their company only utilizes wood products that are farmed sustainably and excess fabric cuts are minimized, with excess fabric thoughtfully utilized into other products. Their marketplace currently captures an interesting demographic of seniors who want to Expansive interior of the “mothership” yurt downsize and home of Jeff and Raji Krepps. not have a mortgage, institutional groups encompassing eco-lifestyles, community groups, non-profits, government and relief-focused programs, individuals looking for creative living situations and/or secondary homes and people who want to live a more sustainable lifestyle. Outside of newer products and technology that advance their product lines, Dan wants to focus his attention on providing temporary shelters following natural disasters such as the Haiti earthquake. They have started by reaching out to agencies and governments that help stage and build temporary shelters after a natural disaster occurs. For many yurt owners, the combination of living sustainably, having a smaller footprint on the environment and being spiritually connected to their round homes is a real asset—one that extends beyond economics. ❖

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❁Continued on page 34


‘Āhinahina, the Mauna Kea silversword (Mauna Kea Argyroxiphium sandwicenses), is a highly endangered flowering plant endemic to the Big Island of Hawai‘i. It is the “crown jewel” of the volcanic mountain, Mauna Kea, from which it derives its common name, and where it was once common. Sold to the Hawai‘i State Foundation on Culture and Arts. (Giclee reproductions available)


t 3:15 on a sunny day in Ka‘u, Jamie Gilmore sits at her table, meticulously painting every petal, flower and sand granule in her watercolor portrait of hinahina, a hardy yet vulnerable native plant indigenous to Hawaiian beaches. Now scarce in the wild, hinahina produces tiny white flowers with a sweet apricot scent, a perfume you can almost sense as Jamie’s painting comes to life. “Hinahina just kind of creeps along the sand,” says the artist. “I like drawing attention to plants that are taken for granted— the true survivors of this rugged volcanic landscape, the ones who have evolved to be the purest remaining expression of the Hawaiian Islands. The well-being of native plants and sharing their beauty through art is Jamie’s life work. At the age of 37, she finds magnificence in nature where most people aren’t looking, and she brings their natural, dignified grace into the spotlight. “On hikes, it was never about reaching the scenic vista for me. It was always about the miniature ferns, colorful lichens and small, beautiful stones along the way.” She would look at the ground, she says, while others were excitedly pointing across giant chasms of space to unreachable views of valleys and mountain ranges. “I love to observe and recognize the patterns in nature and plants. Like strong people who have lines of character they’ve developed through the survival of hard times, Hawai‘i’s native plants have chosen to put their energy into surviving—not being ostentatiously beautiful in the conventional sense,” she says. “Their beauty lies in their strength and their evolutionary journey.” Jamie’s love of art and plants goes back to her childhood. She started drawing at the age of two, a result of being an only child in a rural area with no friends her age. In her early 20s, she started gardening in northern California and became enamored with the profusion of rhododendrons and Pacific dogwoods dotting the luxuriant slopes of white-capped Mt. Shasta. Earning a B. A. in Fine Arts from California State University at Chico merged her two loves: nature and painting. Then came a new adventure: she and her husband moved to the Big Island in 2003 and started building their Ka‘u cabin by hand, from the ground up. “When we moved to the island, I was devastated. I didn’t know any of the plants around me. I felt so alone, like oh my God, where is my plant family?” Learning about native plants helped her to get a feel for Hawai‘i’s extreme conditions and the varied multi-cultural surroundings. Strong, drought-resistant and tenacious, native plants reflect the rough countryside where they grow. Pushed by people, animals and invasive species to choose out-of-the-way spots where they could flourish, Hawaiian endemic and indigenous plants have adapted extraordinary survival skills. They cling to remote cliffs, conserve resources, and maximize every endurance pattern known to botanical life. Highlighting these “original pioneers of Hawai‘i” in watercolor, Jamie Gilmore is on a quest no less inventive and no less intense. “They came here long before humans ever got here,” says Jamie. “Every plant expresses its own unique geometry, and I love to play with that, use it in my designs,” Jamie says.

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❁Continued from page 33 These motifs repeat in her signature borders— elegant frames customized for the main subject in the portrait. With her Japanese Jamie Gilmore with Hawaiian hibiscus in her Ka’u backyard native plant garden. The yellow archival ink pens, flower of this species is our official state flower. round-shaped Endangered in its natural habitats, the Hawaisynthetic brushes ian hibiscus has become a popular ornamental (# 0, 1 & 2) and in Hawaiian yards. Photo by Marya Mann French Aquarelle permanent pigment watercolors, she echoes the life-giving shapes inherent in the plant’s organic form. Her stylized art deco and mandala-like edgings remind viewers of the geometric perfection in nature.

‘Ahinahina – Hawaiian Silversword

The journey behind Jamie’s watercolor in dusty shades of purple and frosted green of another native plant began long ago when the first Hawaiian silversword seeds arrived as drift debris on ocean waves or on the wings of a prehistoric bird. ‘Ahinahina found a home between 5 and 10 million years ago on the windswept alpine desert of the tallest mountain in the world, Mauna Kea. Known as the “crown jewel” of Hawai‘i’s native flora, ‘ahinahina evolved in such rugged conditions on the high slopes (6,000 – 12,000 feet) of only three mountains in the world—Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa on the Big Island and Haleakalā in Maui — that

‘Iliahi, Hawaiian Sandalwood, Santalum freycinetia is an Endemic Hawaiian sandalwood species. Endemic plants like ‘iliahi grow nowhere else in the world in this form. Used in “Old” Hawai‘i to scent kukui nut oil in torches. “I designed this to be a combination of the Hawaiian quilt design and an Eastern Mandala because a lot of Hawaiian Sandalwood were shipped to China and India,” says Jamie. “But it’s also a semi-parasitic species, so it needs a host plant early in its life to get some of its water and nutrients.” (Giclee reproductions available)

Working Together – Partnerships for Recovery The wild population of Mauna Kea silversword at one point dwindled to 32 plants growing outside of Waipahoehoe Gulch; the Mauna Loa silversword declined to 300 individuals at its lowest count. ❁Continued on page 36

MAY/JUNE 2011 | | 35

they had no predators until 300 years ago. Nested in sharp volcanic cinders and nutrient-poor soil, they survived drought, snow, wind, and extreme ultra-violet rays from the sun, but there was no need to develop thorny or toxic protection from animals. By 1820, thousands of Mauna Kea silverswords had spread rosettes of daggershaped leaves, covered with silvery hairs to reflect light and heat, over the amethystcolored slopes. The Hawaiian word hinahina means “silver” or “gray,” and thus applies to many island plants, but the grand spires of ‘a-hinahina were so unique and abundant that cowboys sang songs about the blinding glare of the sun reflecting on their leaves. In a glorious outpouring of creativity, most silverswords flower only once after growing for 20-50 years. Stored water in their aloe-like leaves is especially vital then; sufficient moisture is needed to support a fast-growing 6- to 9-foot flower stalk, which generates about 600 magenta and yellowish green flowers. Each of those flowers generates 500 more tiny rosettes, making the blooming silversword spire a beacon of pollination and regeneration. Poor land-use practices allowed sheep, feral cattle and other alien (non-native) ungulates to browse and nearly wipe out the Hawaiian silversword species. The decimation was barely kept in check by feral dogs until they were eliminated in 1921, leaving ‘ahinahina exposed and in danger of species extinction. Tourists, up through the1960s, often broke off silversword leaves to prove they had climbed Hawai‘i’s volcanic mountains and the native Hawaiian yellow-faced bee (Hylaeus), the plant’s primary pollinator, was ravaged by aggressive ants. Although non-native honeybees visit the sunflower-like blooms, they steal pollen rather than move it between plants. This genetic bottleneck became so life-threatening to the majestic silversword that botanists declared that every Hawaiian silversword seed should be sought, saved and cultivated.

Continued from page 35

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The Hawaiian Silversword Foundation and the Volcano Rare Plant Facility have teamed up to propagate new silverswords, assuring that out-planted populations Artist at work on a new hinahina plant painting. have maximum Photo by Marya Mann genetic diversity for long-term fitness and survival. Together with efforts by the Hawai‘i Division of Forestry and Wildlife, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Endangered Species Program and the University of Hawai‘i, an extraordinary cooperative effort is saving and regenerating these plant treasures. Employees at the 116,000-acre Kahuku Ranch at Hawai‘I Volcanoes National Park have erected a 6-foot fence to protect 700 silverswords from sheep and an amazing 83 percent of new plantings are surviving. In just six short years, a once-dwindling treasure has become a survivor, a testament to how committed people, volunteers and effective agencies can reclaim the island’s botanical heritage. For their heroic efforts to succeed, the brave hand-pollinators must locate a blooming plant, often rappel over a cliff or climb

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up a rock face to reach it, and dangle on a rope to collect a vial of the tiny yellow grains from the flower. Then they go in search of a second flowering silversword, which often requires another careful ascent or descent to reach it. These gutsy botanists then use a small brush to delicately paint the pollen on the second plant’s sticky stigma where germination can occur. Jamie’s brushstrokes may be no less significant in helping endangered and threatened Hawaiian plants to thrive again. “The challenges facing Hawai‘i’s native flora are great,” says the watercolorist. “Many native plants have been eclipsed by the popularity of foreign tropicals like torch gingers, heliconia, and invasive passionflower vines.” She might sell more of her work if she chose to paint nonnative plumeria or bird of paradise because tourists and new residents are attracted to their showy colors. “It’s more important to me to feel like I am honoring the islands in my own unique way,” she affirms. “I will put this goal over commerce always.” “The process of creating a painting feels a bit like creating an altar to honor an ancestor, an ancestor that has been mostly forgotten,” she says. “While I’m painting, I’m the most myself I can possibly be. I feel like I’m designing a set for a play and the plants are the lead actors.” The glowing portraits of silversword, sandalwood and the native Hawaiian hibiscus have value far beyond the painting, especially if they contribute to the plant’s survival and renaissance. “What can we offer to the islands? Not the other way around. I would love it if my work swayed someone to choose a native Hawaiian plant over an exotic one next time they were in the nursery. Not all native plants need special attention,” she says. “Some of them are adapted to survive and thrive with very little maintenance, if any.”

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In 2005, three of Jamie’s works were accepted into the Honolulu Academy of Arts “Artists of Hawai‘i Exhibition.” Of 300 artists statewide, only 27 were selected. When her original silversword painting was purchased by the Hawaii State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, her commitment to painting Hawaii’s endemic plants was, at that moment, “validated and supported—my life’s purpose realized.” In her Ka‘u cabin, she’s still looking in new directions. She adds little dabs of sandcolored paint to the petite hinahina she’s working on. Little pointillist thrusts texture the beach at the bottom of the watercolor. “I want a little bit more deepening of the colors so that the inside comes forward. I’m going to darken the leaves around gradually, getting lighter towards the center. It’s all about layering with watercolors....letting the richness slowly emerge through gradually darker washes.” Jamie Gilmore’s brush strokes resonate with the geometry of the ancient plants, the brushes used by daring scientific silversword seed-savers, and the exaltation of life in the multi-species effort to regenerate Hawaii’s native flora. Hardy, hard-to-find “true natives,” who have survived on-island longer than anyone, are patient, resilient and steady—traits needed to adapt in the thrall of evolution. These treasured plants, illuminated by the brushstrokes of the watercolorist, make a picture that tells more than a thousand words: they share nature’s time-tested wisdom. ❖ • Find Jamie on Wednesdays and most Saturdays at the Na’alehu Farmers Market (weather permitting) and see her work at Elements Gallery in Hawi, North Kohala • Other event listings and original work, limited edition giclée reproductions, and greeting cards can be found at

• Hawaiian Silverswords are protected by state and federal law. Anyone who takes plant material—seeds, flowers or small plants—from their habitat is subject to heavy fines. Report infractions to • If you come across a flowering Silversword with seeds ready to fly, contact the Volcano Rare Plant Facility at Hawaiian, common & Latin plant names of a few endangered natives: ‘Ahinahina (Hawaiian Silversword): Mauna Kea Argyroxiphium sandwicenses; Mauna Loa Argyroxiphium kauense; and Haleakala Argyroxiphium macrocephalum

Hinahina (Beach Heliotrope): Heliotropium anomalu ‘Iliahi (Hawaiian Sandalwood): Santalum freycinetianum Ma’o hau hele (State Flower of Hawai‘i, the Hawaiian Hibiscus): Hibiscus brackenridgei

KE OLA | | 37

• Purchase Native Hawaiian plants at Amy Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden, Captain Cook, & Aikane Nursery, North Kohala

Naupaka Kuahiwi and Kahakai (Mountain and Coastal Naupaka). And so the story goes...... Two devoted lovers sparked jealousy in Volcano Goddess Pele. She wanted to separate them and their love.  Chasing after them, one lover retreated up the mountain, the other to the sea. Pele’s youngest sister, Hi’iaka, felt compassion for the couple and disguised them as naupaka plants. And so the two separate species were born: the mountain, naupaka kuahiwi (shown at the top in the image) and the coastal: naupaka kahakai (at bottom). The distinctive half flowers left to symbolize the separated lovers—as if ripped in two.

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The Life But more importantly, for our purposes here, Channon is a long-time North Kohala resident. Artesia is his three-acre, ecohomestead in Hawi, which he has been cultivating into a model for future land use in Hawai‘i. It is 40-percent Pacific agro-forest, 20 percent tropical fruit orchard and 40-percent pasture, with a homesite. The design focus is on food production, biomass creation, permaculture practices, beauty, and ultimately, sustainability. On a beautiful Kohala morning, we are sitting in Channon’s uniquely open-design house, overlooking a meditation pond, fruit trees and gardens, while admiring the beauty of the many tamed chickens who wander his property. We are talking about resiliency. How sustainability creates resiliency and self-confidence. Resilient individuals and resilient communities can confidently take care of themselves, especially in times of crisis. Consider the recent tsunami that hit Hawai‘i Island, triggered by an 8.9-magnitude earthquake in Japan, which caused significant damage to homes and businesses on the island. Consider the barges that waited several miles offshore, with all our stuff on it, until the tsunami warning was cleared. Recall the 6.5 magnitude earthquake that shook the islands nearly five years ago. “Even for those living in the tsunami zones, disaster preparedness is not thought through,” Channon reflects.

❁Continued on page 42

MAY/JUNE 2011 | | 41


he drumbeat of our messages about sustainability has just gotten a little bit more intense. The recent cataclysmic events in Japan and New Zealand remind us of our own vulnerability, to the point where we’re not only talking about sustainability, but also survivability. Maybe it’s time for a reasonable disaster preparedness plan and the peace of mind it would provide. And maybe it’s time for a new way to look at all of this. “The current model doesn’t work. The system is flawed, and they (the government) will never tell you it’s flawed,” Jim Channon explained. “The local government infrastructure cannot guarantee food, water and power for its citizens in times of crisis as it is currently organized. So the responsibility for this reality must be born by a new level of thinking about land use by everyone.” Channon is a social architect who, for the past 20 years, has been in service to the planet and its inhabitants. He is the author of Go Planet, a book dedicated to the preservation of the earth’s biosphere. He is also a self-professed megalomaniac. The prolific quantity of his current projects at any given time is only rivaled by their vital importance to humanity. He maintains several websites and has posted more than 200 educational videos on youtube. com. He is also a retired Lieutenant Colonel and was the subject of the film “Men Who Stare At Goats,” in which he was played by Jeff Bridges.


Everyone has a talent. Residents of Artesia work together to build a multipurpose community center. Photos by Peter Beemer

Social architect and author Jim Channon, at home in his open-design house at Artesia, his sustainability-model eco-homestead in Hawi. The author of Go Planet, a book dedicated to the preservation of the earth’s biosphere, has for the past 20 years been “in service to the planet and its inhabitants.”

❁Continued from page 41 And so we wonder. When the power goes out, who’s in charge? Should a severe power crisis hit the island, how long will our food supply last? Where are we going to get water? We have water reserves, but the water pumps are powered by diesel and electricity. Long lines at the gas station form at the first blast of the tsunami siren, and people rush to the store to buy toilet paper. But that’s often as far ahead as people have given thought.

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How Did We Get Here? As a society, we have become programmed to not take care of ourselves. We are busy people, going about our lives. And like all other things we’ve been conditioned to, we spend a lot of time in our cars driving to work, taking the kids to school, doing errands, etc. We live in a transportation-based system. We’ve become dependent on stores and refrigeration, and day-to-day convenience shopping. “We need a more integrated model of living. The current land-use model creates isolation. Subdivisions killed our connection to food,” Channon states with his characteristic panache for timing, emphasis and succinct, attention-grabbing declarations. “We’re trapped in neighborhoods without corner stores. The California building codes and land-use practices which Hawai‘i adopted wholesale, have single-handedly destroyed our quality of life. It gets people away from the land and their community. It keeps us isolated. Independent homeowners don’t meet with their friends and neighbors.” Rural North Kohala is considered an agricultural district. Yet that community realized, two years ago, that they produce only one to two percent of what they consume. “The more we grow and provide for ourselves, the less time we get stuck in our cars,” Channon points out.

Where Do We Start? On an individual basis, Artesia is largely self-sustaining and those who live there are largely self-sufficient. Channon took his land-use model for Artesia to the next level,

however, and asked, how do we help each other in an emergency? “Locals who have lived next door to each other for 40 years don’t worry about disaster,” he emphatically stated. The wonderful thing about all of this is that it’s simple (to change).We met with our neighbors, and in two hours we found out everything we need to make us a resilient neighborhood in the event of an emergency,” he says. Channon and his neighbors found out what everyone has to offer in a time of crisis, what skills and assets could come into play. He learned that someone is a doctor, someone a plumber, someone has a backhoe, a four-wheel drive truck, five-gallon water cans and so on. At the larger community level, a solution is equally as simple. The people who live in North Kohala have always looked out for themselves, which has earned this geographically isolated community—the birthplace of King Kamehameha I— a reputation. “The County knows we are used to taking care of ourselves. That’s why they ignore us,” Channon says. “If there is a leadership statement on the Big Island, it started in Kohala.” Leadership, in this instance, refers to the preparedness of a community to take care of itself in a crisis or disaster situation. In an emergency, he says, a central location within the community is established. With much the same concept as a fair, people set up chairs, a loud-speaker system and information booths where, for example, people without a home can find shelter or government information can be disseminated. There are other people in the community who can cook for 500 people. Again, people are communicating and exchanging assets and skills. North Kohala has also set a goal for itself as a community: to become 50-percent sustainable in the next few years. Towards that goal, business and farmers are networking and building relationships. As a result, restaurants are buying more local goods, and conversations about bringing back agricultural parks are taking place.

reference points, visit,, or check out one of his many videos on And talk to your neighbors. ❖

Resources: Contact writer Cynthia Sweeney at

The 12 Breakthroughs of the Next Decade: Opportunities on the Event Horizon By Jim Channon

1. Oil companies realize they are liquid transportation companies and start to move fresh water to needy places on the planet. 2. Major engineering companies respond to rising seas and create canals that take the excess water into barren lowlands inside the continents where it is needed. 3. The national military forces of the planet merge to form natural security teams and restore their respective parts of the earth’s forests, plant life, watersheds, wildlife and the biosphere above all that. 4. Schools recognize that content is already available on line and change their courses to life skills, learning-based pursuits, and a new partnership with nature. 5. Universities build upon the science of conscious evolution, a visionary mindset, and life force living intelligence and then structure their experience-based curricula to that end. The jump from resiliency to an improved quality of life is inevi6. Government decentralizes into bioregions and organizes table, and it starts with noticing the natural world around you. military units, school kids, fire departments and others to “Start looking around. Grow something,” Channon emphasizes. generate food-foraging forests in all available sites for “Little by little people change their minds about what they eat, and complete global food security. notice how fresh food tastes. Start with a green garden and notice the 7. Neighborhoods take on a wide variety of energy-producing colors, the smells. Watch the trees dance and make the sound of a soft solutions to become fully independent but not totally overture. Watch the chickseparate from the power grid. ens in your yard instead 8. Web-based democracies attend to their regionally-based of TV. Visit local farms and constituents and use the global web intelligence system to homesteads. Notice the optimize local living. colors, the smell, the taste. 9. Railheads, airports, and warehouses converge to be able Quality of life is an acquired to launch global air rescue missions that deliver major taste. It comes one layer at emergency living villages to all peoples globally within a time.” hours of a disaster. Recently, Channon found10. The global public achieves a clear unifying identity and the pre-emptive political power to defang the nuclear ed Footprints for the Future, arsenal and its fear-based factions while offering a non-profit organization, to alternative product lines for the military industrial create land-use patterns, imcomplex. prove current zoning, create 11. We accept the notion that life is more likely to exist in sustainable beauty and a more the galaxy than not and prepare for the real benefits of integrated model of living. If new connections. you’d like to learn more about 12. We embrace a new level of profound simplicity and Channon’s visionary social Taking care of ourselves (and our reintroduce creativity as a replacement for things architecture and biospheric chickens) is basic to our survival. and mindless entertainment.

Where Do We Go From Here?

MAY/JUNE 2011 | | 43

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among other vegetables, thrive under the strawberries. A planting medium made of coconut husks and vermiculite allows the plant nutrients to flow through the system at intervals, maintaining the perfect balance needed for optimum Continued from page 45 ❁Once growth. the towers were ready and filled with the planting medium, a bevy of friends pitched in to help plant of thousands of bare-root tens strawberry plants in barn-raising style. Within just a few weeks, the first harvest of berries was ready for picking. The picking never seems to stop. With the perfect combination of light, temperature, and a specially designed, all-natural plant nutrient, succulent strawberries are thriving in Mountain View. Residents of East Hawai‘i are treated to fresh, local strawberries from the farm all year round. Local restaurants also feature Mountain View berries on their menus. Two types of berries grow there: one is a large, bright berry that can be used for dipping and decorating. The In a system first showcased at Florida’s other is a smaller and Epcot, vertical towers of strawberries fasweeter berry that cilitate picking and use minimal land area. works perfectly for Above ground in the greenhouse, pest strawberry shortproblems are also minimized.

❁Continued on page 46

MAY/JUNE 2011 | | 45

awai‘i Island draws many Alaskans to her shores. There must be something about the lure of the tropics and year-round growing season especially appealing to hopeful farmers from the northern reaches of the United States. One of those former Alaskans came here with a dream of growing strawberries year-round. Jim Riley was in the construction business in Soldotna, Alaska, when he decided to make his way to the warm climate of Hawai‘i Island to realize his dream, and Mountain View Growers was born. After years of research on hydroponics and the variety of ways to grow strawberries and other produce, he decided on a unique tower system. Vertical growing not only assures ease of picking and takes minimal land area, but also allows the trailing berries to be planted in intensive masses and well above the ground where pests such as slugs and snails often like to dine. This system is widely used in Florida where Epcot first showcased it in “The Land” pavilion. Mountain View is on the slopes of Mauna Loa, where the 1,440-foot elevation suits many crops—coffee, citrus and tropical fruit such as longan and rambutan among them. Mountain Strawberries like the slightly cooler weather in East Hawai‘i, and Mountain View Farms was the first farm to grow strawberries there. It remains only one of a handful of farms on Hawai‘i’s Big Island growing strawberries year round. Jim started by clearing the front acre of his land and building greenhouses. Not your typical enclosed greenhouse, these have no walls, to maximize airflow and reduce the chance of fungus and mildew. The huge, transparent roofs of the greenhouses allow light and catch rainwater that flows into the catchment tank — their only source of water. Mountain View averages 136 inches of rain annually. In a few months, Jim and his friend Royall Clark constructed the greenhouses, installed the irrigation/feeding system and set up the unique, Styrofoam towers for planting. Every tower is set in a larger pot with a feeding tube that goes through the center. The bottom pots are used for plants other than strawberries: collards, fennel, carrots, peppers, kale and chives,



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cakes, jams, jellies and other strawberry treats. Currently, the berries are picked for two farmers markets: the Wednesday Hilo Farmers Market and the very early Alaska transplant Jim Riley is perfecting Volcano Farmthe art of strawberry growing in Hawai‘i. ers Market on Sundays. The Volcano Market is typically sold out by 8 a.m. Mountain View Farm is growing several crops in addition to their beautiful berries while determining which crops are in high demand and which do best on the farm. One recent big seller has been poha berries, which are also known as Peruvian cherries, and cape gooseberries. Beautiful, heirloom tomatoes are grabbed up as fast as they are put on the market tables. Fennel and a variety of greens often sell out at the markets, so if you want something specific it is a good idea to ask them to set something aside for you. A new crop of rhubarb is almost ready for picking and customers have already lined up for the first rhubarb harvest. Like most small, family farms, this endeavor has not come without some personal sacrifices. Jim lives in a small shack on the farm with his guard dog. A propane refrigerator, cold catchment water and a portable lua (toilet) are his only conveniences for now. Eventually he will have grander living quarters, but for the time being, he is prepared to live minimally and build his farm. He has to tend the farm every day, constantly trimming, planting, picking and packaging produce for sale. Strawberries have a reputation for being a bit fussy. His girlfriend, Cherie Moffat, a retired nurse, pitches in and helps out at the farm. She picks berries, runs the market sales and helps to select items to grow. Tired at the end of a productive day, they don’t have much of a social life. The farm does employ one part-time employee who helps to pick before market days. Jim and Cherie are investigating some aftermarket products such as dehydrated berries, jams, jellies, frozen berries, purees and sauces, so a commercial kitchen might be in their future. Strawberries are certainly not native to Hawai‘i, even though they are a fruit that has been around for over 2,000 years. In their early history, strawberries were known during the Christian era, and were widely spread in the Roman culture where they were used in festivals and with grapes as a food of choice. They underwent a period of relative hiatus when the Roman Empire fell, only to reemerge during medieval times, when they were prized for their medicinal qualities more than for their culinary value.

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Those ancestors of today’s strawberries were much smaller and more bitter than sweet. Around 1715, a French explorer found a new strain of strawberries growing in Chile and Peru, taking some back to be bred in France with European berries to make a larger, sweeter berry. Until advances in transportation and refrigeration, strawberries were considered an elite fruit for the very wealthy because the cost of getting them to market quickly was high. Today, 94 percent of Americans consume strawberries at least once a year. We would be wise to eat more. Berries are more than just another pretty dessert. They contain healing phytochemicals that help ward off cancer and prevent cataracts. ❖ Mountain View Growers does not have a website, but they can be found on Facebook. For more information about markets contact Cherie Moffat at 808.854.7704.

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about doing alternative crops. I didn’t know anything about tea, so I wanted to learn more about it.” “I found out that tea grows well in upland areas,” adds Yamasaki. In 1999, USDA and CTAHR planted three test sites at Mealani, Waiakea and Volcano. “We started with 20 plants of 16 varieties of tea,” says Yamasaki. Dr. Zee and Yamasaki were looking at the crops more from a scientific point of view. They studied the rate of growth, the plant’s resistance to various pests, and its viability as a crop. They also wanted to create a crop that was distinctive. “I wanted to process something that was uniquely Hawaiian,” says Yamasaki. They tweaked different types of tea looking to weed out plants that tasted bitter and create a tea with a sweet and floral aroma. At the same time John Cross was experimenting at his farm in Hakalau. He was one of the first to get involved when C. Brewer was experimenting with different types of crops in the 1990s. C. Brewer ultimately abandoned the enterprise, but John kept plugging away. Johnny’s Garden, as his tea farm is known, is now 17 years old and is one of the oldest tea farms on the island. After a few years, Dr. Zee turned things over to Yamasaki, who continued tweaking tea plant types and varieties at different elevations. Other pioneer farmers like Mike Riley and Eva Lee, both of Volcano, soon joined in and started growing tea on their respective farms. In 2003, the Hawai‘i Tea Society was formed by a small group of farmers with the assistance of CTAHR Extension Agent Dwight Sato to help the fledgling industry. Tea typically takes five years to reach maturity. While the crops were maturing in the fields, the farmers kept busy, spending those intervening years from 20002005 learning how to grow tea, aspects of harvesting, production

❁Continued on page 50

MAY/JUNE 2011 | | 49

hether you’re a coffee enthusiast or a tea devotee, there’s a new brew at the breakfast table, and Hawai‘i Island could be the beneficial host for rooting this profitable agricultural product. Black, green, white, oolong, hot or iced, whatever the type, tea is the oldest and most popular drink in the world with origins dating back to 2,700 B.C. in ancient China. According to the Tea Association of the USA, more than 154 million Americans drink tea on any given day. What started out as an experiment among researchers and farmers has turned into a successful, local agro-industry that is making the tea world stand up and take notice. Today, more tea is grown in Hawai‘i than in any other state in the U.S. Hawai‘i Island farmers grow the majority of that tea. Like Kona coffee and its local cousins, tea flourishes well in sub tropical climates, in upland elevations to 7,000 feet. It seems like a natural crop for Hawai‘i, but attempts at growing tea in the islands in the late 1880s failed to take root. It wasn’t until the past decade that tea started being grown commercially on the Big Island. In the late 1990s, Milton Yamasaki, recently retired from the Mealani Experimental Station in Waimea, part of the University of Hawai‘i College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR), and Dr. Francis Zee, with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Pacific Basin Agriculture Research Center, were instrumental in helping tea get established as a possible commercial farm crop. “We were looking at doing alternative crops,” says Yamasaki. “A lot of the farmers were having a hard time with O‘ahu farms taking over the markets.” At the time, several small farmers were experimenting with different crops to find a competitive edge. “I talked to Dr. Zee

Eva Lee separating tea leaves

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❁Continued from page 49 yields, propagation, and marketing. Mike Riley, founding president of the Hawai‘i Tea Society, credits Dwight Sato with nurturing the growing industry and bringing guest lecturers to the island to teach local farmers. It was one of these workshops that helped inspire Kimberly Ino and her husband Takahiro to start their own tea farm, Mauna Kea Tea. “I call it a modern day field of dreams,” says Ino. She and her husband both have backgrounds in environmental science and are organic farmers by nature. They knew they wanted to pursue farming, and when they saw an ad for a workshop on growing tea within a month of buying their Ahualoa property in 2005, “It just called to us.” Like other local tea farms, they started small. “It took us six months to plant our first two rows,” she recalls. “The next year we planted a whole field and the year after that a whole acre. It’s going pretty quickly.” Any day now their tea farm will have another distinction: they’ll be certified organic. “It’s really exciting for us,” says Ino. Just as Ino and her husband were starting, pioneer farmers like Eva Lee and her husband Chiu Leong, owners of Tea Hawai‘i & Company, were seeing their first crops mature in 2005. And people started to take notice. “What we are doing here is getting the attention of people who produce tea in other countries,” says Lee. “In most countries, tea cultivation is at high elevations, such as in China and Japan. Hawai‘i is a new experiment. People are growing tea from sea level to 4,000 feet.”

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attend the World Tea Expo—a big honor for such a young industry. Lee, who led the delegation that also included Ino, remembers how the Hawai‘i tea made an impression. “People from all over the world come to the World Tea Expo and our teas were being compared to teas in other countries.” Not bad for an industry little more than a decade old. The reception was so favorable, Tea Hawai‘i & Company has been invited back to World Tea Expo this June, when Lee will once again have a booth. As for the future of the tea industry in Hawai‘i and the Big Island in particular, the sky is the limit. Nationally, tea sales have increased for 19 consecutive years and last year retail supermarket sales of tea passed more than $2.1 billion. “Right now, everyone is doing everything by hand,” says Lee. “We’re just now getting mechanized and when that increases, then our production will really take off.” “It’s an interesting time to see where [this industry] goes,” says Lee. “Tea doesn’t have just culinary purposes. There are cosmetic, medicinal, and pharmaceutical entities that are interested in what we are doing with tea.” Lee adds that she gets calls on a daily basis from groups on the mainland and other countries interested in the results tea farmers are experiencing here on the Big Island. “The world tea market is just waiting for Hawai‘i to develop more tea. There’s a huge market,” says Lee. ❖ Contact writer Denise Laitinen at Photos courtesy of Hawaii Tea & Company.

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MAY/JUNE 2011 | | 51

“Hawai‘i tea growers are taking the idea that tea has to be grown at high elevations and turning it on its f studio o head,” adds Lee. The tea ife ng a nd w Taste is another key reason Chiu Leo e at their Eva Le . Hawai‘i-grown tea is garnerrm fa Volcano ing so much attention. “I feel that Hawai‘i-grown teas have something special about them not found in other tea,” says Hawai‘i Tea Society President Bob Jacobson, who owns Hawai‘i Rainforest Tea. “Our teas don’t grow bitter if over-brewed and all seem to have a remarkably complex, floral taste not found elsewhere,” adds Jacobson. Yamasaki agrees. “We can make a Hawaiian tea that no one else can.” He also points out that Hawai‘i-grown tea is a special market. “We were looking at creating a specialty tea,” adds Yamasaki. “You can’t get 100 bags for two dollars, but we make a good product that’s competitive.” Ino echoes that sentiment. “Our market is established tea drinkers who recognize what a unique product we have. It’s not so much for the first-time tea drinkers.” Just like the island’s superior coffee products, Mainland people are willing to pay a premium for Hawai‘i-grown tea. Some tea houses, such as the Samovar Tea Lounges in San Francisco, charge upwards of $15-20 for a single pot of Hawai‘i-grown tea. Fortunately, prices are a lot more reasonable closer to home. Many tea farms sell their products at local farmers markets. Lee and her husband sell teas from four different farms at the Waimea Farmers Market at Parker School. Ino and her husband sell their tea online and just marked their second anniversary of selling tea at the Waimea Homestead Market. “Ultimate Burger in Kona sells quite a bit of our iced tea,” she points out. Others like Bob Jacobson plan to sell directly to mainland and international markets. As the island’s tea industry grows, they also help other local businesses grow as well. Tea Hawai‘i & Company has partnered with Volcano Winery to create an infusion tea wine. And the Winery recently began offering a winery and tea package tour. At Mauna Kea Tea all the tea cups used for tea tastings are hand crafted by Holualoa artist Sharon Seastone. For Hawai‘i tea growers, the past five years have been about growing the commercial market for their product and education. That paid off in 2010 when the Hawai‘i-grown Chiu Leong and wife Eva Lee of Tea Hawai‘i & tea industry Company serve tea to visitors at the Waimea was invited to

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The Life OF THE LAND The author’s garden is thriving, with daily nurturing and appreciation.


Help from Josanna’s Garden

Six months ago, Janelle Honer sat with me in her Kapoho kitchen and described what a tropical Hawaiian garden could be, producing good food, health and beauty year-round. “If your every morning takes you outdoors to your small, family-sized garden to pick your own food and practice sun salutes, it’s a very different kind of life,” she said. As the heart and center of an eightacre certified organic food farm, her kitchen brims with colorful activity—workers, friends and family talking story about the magic of gardening, the future of food, companion planting and natural pest control in the vivid rainforest of Puna. Reaching her hand to the floor and sweeping it up in the air like a magician, she conjures for me the vision of how easy it will be

to build up the soil in my Kona backyard and effortlessly produce fresh food, useful plants and edible flowers. Rather than try to dig through the lava, she says, “Add soil. Either have it delivered or go pick some up. You’ve got to build up the soil with compost, too,” she said. “It’s that simple.” On her Josanna’s Organics farm, she grows golden turmeric and giant galangal (a ginger-like seasoning for Thai food) for natural food restaurants in Hawai‘i and on the Mainland. Every scrap of life is sacred here on the fertile ground named in memory of her dearly beloved daughter, Josanna Morningstar, who died in 2005. From the moment we reconnected on-island five years ago, I was awed by Janelle’s farm and how, without the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), pesticides or chemical fertilizers, Janelle grows bumper crops of wholesale organic spices as well as fruits and vegetables to feed her extended ‘ohana and stock their Papaya Farms Road foodstand. Six months ago, Janelle offered to help our garden along with an event akin to an old-fashioned barn-raising: a garden-raising.

Touching Ground

When my family moved to the site of our current Kona garden, previous dwellers had lined the plots with cinder blocks, one of the easiest, fastest ways to start a garden. Surrounded by a wire fence to protect it from a feral flock of turkey and our neighbor’s Rhode Island Reds, the kitchen garden was our wished-for miracle, a space to feel nature. Even though the beds were clotted with cane grass and weeds, volunteer tomatoes, yams and natives unknown to me grew profusely, mostly outside the actual beds. My hands were deeply grateful to burrow in the rich soil after

❁Continued on page 54

MAY/JUNE 2011 | | 53

ost of my life I have gardened, a vocation for which I credit my grandmother Ina. In old photographs of her home in the West Texas Panhandle, vertical stands of lacy asparagus and succulent butternut squash on vines shoot out in lime green curlicues. No-nonsense as she was, she planted seeds believing love would blossom. Orange pumpkins, scarlet tomatoes, Mexican chili peppers and black-eyed peas were her specialties, cultivated with the charm of a plant whisperer in the fickle wilds of Texas. While she fought rattlesnakes, I live on a tropical island where there are no snakes (except the ones we create in our minds). From our kitchen garden 1,200 feet above Honokohau Harbor on Hulalalai Volcano, I gaze west to the fuzzy indigo horizon that seamlessly blends sea and sky. With two 4 x 16-foot garden beds to keep, I don’t pause for long.

❁Continued from page 53 living several years in Hawai‘i with only tips, fried rice, coffee grinds, teabags — all container gardening. Something in a but dairy, meat and fish — plus plant cliphuman being simply breathes more easily pings and leaf trimmings, make the best when regular contact with the actual earth biomass for the compost. is a daily affair. In every other garden I’ve “Understanding the structure of soil and grown, from Boston to Bali, I’ve started how it works for you will give you a lot from seeds and often didn’t think I had more volume of food for a small amount of space for composting. space,” she said, citing the bio-gardener’s Over the years, I did learn that the gravimotto: start with biomass, let it rot, and tational pull of the moon affects moisture micro-organisms grow. “They’re called in soil, so that at different phases of the inoculants. When the compost starts growmoon, certain crops should be planted. I ing and wiggling, it’s getting good,” she Touching earth—something in a human being also learned there are exceptions to every says with hearty laughter. “You should simply breathes more easily when regular rule. With the exception of gravity, rules be thinking about feeding your soils all contact with the actual earth is a daily affair. are relative. the time, especially if it’s your own little We could plant leafy flowering plants vegetable garden.” at the “wrong” time or place, but with the right attitude, and life She suggested we lay in old cardboard as mulch between would flourish. I noticed how my cooing and wonder over the rows and slide plants in between the pieces. Cardboard helps the spinach plants and patting down the pepper sprouts yielded a soil hold moisture while suppressing weeds, and it slowly breaks value to my life as well as the plant’s. down to supply carbon to the plants’ roots. What a blessing, from a cardboard box!

Layers of Wisdom

54 | | MAY/JUNE 2011

On a pristine September day, Janelle arrived in Kona with her station wagon full of perky, green plants in three flats: a dozen fennel, five parsley, a lemongrass, countless varieties of basil, four tomato, and six tiny alyssum starts. We had prepared the beds with added topsoil and organic fertilizer. Noting our compost-pile-in-process, Janelle reminded us: “Good compost, rich soil, healthy plants.” All table scraps, carrot

Healers at our Feet– Coming Full Circle

Love and friendship nurture the best kind of seed, ‘ano’ano in Hawaiian. Such seeds grow more than gardens; we cultivate ‘ohana, family. Here in Hawai‘i, kitchen gardens, eating naturally, sharing aloha and getting plenty of exercise—

the real healers in the health care crisis—appear more real than stress-induced depression epidemics and surgical missile strikes. The deep, green surgery that will truly heal our ailing world is at our feet, offered to our fingertips and palates. Emerald green Okinawan spinach has begun to trail in a dozen sunbursts over two rows of our small food plots, and an unidentified flying squash poses on the fence wire. Kneeling down in the “harvest yoga” posture, I lift my scissors, poised to clip long slender kale from their chest-high bamboo-like stalks. We are like sisters on the journey, kale and I. I ask and she gives. She asks and I give. An indescribable energy exchange occurs. By giving thanks, I receive nutrition and something more: the willingness to also clip any of my thoughts or actions which don’t belong in this new earth. Clip, clip, clip. The exhilaration of another nature-rich day on the Big Island reminds me of reading long ago in The Secret Life of Plants that when Kirlian photography captures the electromagnetic field of a tiny acorn, the aura radiating from the seed is in the shape of its future self, the larger oak tree. Today feels like an oak tree kind of day.

Six Months Later – The Master Gardener Returns

Kale, peppers, fennel, tomatoes, flowers and garden beds have somehow multiplied. We added a recycled cedar board bed for

a second crop of broccoli and tall yellow sunflower plants. We’re laying out cinder-block beds for the15 lavender sprouts Janelle just brought from Josanna’s Organics, free of coqui-frogs and full of vigor. Alyssum spreads in knee-high pincushions of honeysmelling pest control. Rows of sweet potato, turmeric, and green beans join rosemary and edible hibiscus in our food supply, while begonias, marigolds and bougainvillea add beauty. The lime-colored escarole is bitter, but Janelle says I can mix it up with ginger and soy sauce for a nutritious sauté’. Most fruit is alkalizing, even citrus, which also has an excess of fruit sugars. It needs to be balanced with bitter greens, for their grounding, cleansing effects, otherwise sugars will feed excess bacteria. She helps me install Italian heirloom lettuce, sorrel and sage. The lavender we can set aside to plant next week, knowing its happy scent and the teas made of Janelle’s lemon balm plant will help us relax, restore focus and improve memory. Her eyes light up like two supermoons when she sees our flowering nasturtium patch. “You have nasturtium. I want some seeds.” Golden and orange nasturtiums are life-long buddies. Pepperytasting and colorful, they are among the first seeds I have always planted around my kitchen gardens,

❁Continued on page 56


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Marya Mann and Janelle Honer admire nasturtiums.

❁Continued from page 55 and I have never had to spray anything harmful. Nasturtium fends off bean aphids and cabbage loopers while climbing fence posts and putting on a humble little art show. “Here they are,” she says, reaching under the circular leaves to find 50 or 60 nasturtium seed pearls scattered on the ground. “It’s really unusual that after six months you already have a second generation of seeds to share,” Janelle says. “Take as many as you want,” I say. “They’ll keep producing.”

Bumper Crop Bonding – Green Ancestors

56 | | MAY/JUNE 2011

I’m just a backyard gardener at the gates of paradise, but I saw those same two supermoon eyes illuminate the face of my step-daughter when we handed her ceramic pots of secondgeneration fennel, basil and parsley plants for her downtown apartment’s lanai. Janelle’s garden-raisings have instilled in me more passion and reverence for all of nature. My family lives on less than we used to,

but we feel more abundant and prosperous. Choosing purchases and practices with the lowest carbon footprint and “bio-identical eating”—ingesting only what’s natural to the body—we feel more kinship with the whole ecosystem. I arise every morning at first light and aim my body toward the garden. Gliding out the back door, I am greeted by the cheercheer-cheers of yellow-billed cardinals singing in banana, grapefruit and mango groves. Meyer’s lemon trees with waxy emerald leaves dance in the breeze. I look down around our ahupua’a toward Holualoa Bay. I enter the garden quietly, for here is a teacher, a temple, a family, a space to restore myself, like conversation with a wise auntie, a sister, brother, grandparent, lover, or a life-long friend. Two days after Janelle brought lavender plants, the bunches of bitter escarole unexpectedly blossomed -- with lavender flowers, and when I looked mauka that same morning, the jacaranda tree up in a fold of the green slope had bloomed—in the exact same whisper of lavender. Garden-raisers, unite! Let’s raise some heather together! ❖

Resources: Find Janelle Honer at Josanna’s Organics Garden & Fruit Stand on Papaya Farms Road. Call 808.640.2157 for Garden-Raisings or visit The Tropical Food Security Garden – articles/the-tropical-food-security-garden/ Contact writer Marya Mann at Photos by Koakane Green,

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Edible Flowers by Adaptations

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flowery splash of color and flavor atop your salad, soup or dessert at a local restaurant may have originated at Adaptations, Inc. of South Kona. Owners Tane and Maureen Datta began growing edible flowers in 1989 to fill the demands of a stable of island chefs who love to accent their creations with local flowers. Tane Datta and daughter Saffron. “[Chef ] Sam [Choy] was Photo courtesy Adaptations our first champion and at that time he was involved with the founding of Hawai‘i Regional Cuisine,” recalls Maureen. The group of founding HRC chefs invited Adaptations to be their agricultural advisor, providing info from the farmer’s perspective. Edible flowers are the company’s “longest-standing crop,” but others include micro-mix greens, herbs, salad greens, avocados and medicinal plants. The company also acts as a distributor for more than 100 growers, selling to 65 outlets on five islands. Flowers grow inside and out of greenhouses on about a half-acre at the couple’s 7.5-acre Honaunau farm. The blooming inventory is planned to provide chefs with a variety of fresh colors and flavors. Yellow, orange and burgundy Little Gem marigolds offer a citrusy flavor. Bite into a purple/yellow Johnny Jump-Up viola for a fresh taste of wintergreen. The red, orange and yellow nasturtiums (and their leaves) have a peppery flavor. And for cooks who want the flowers for presentation, rather than flavor, Adaptations sells petite and elegant, pink-toned Heirloom fuchsias and dianthus carnations. Adaptations cultivates larger flowers too—pansies, calendula, miniature roses and bachelor buttons—which they mix with nasties to create Edible Petals. “We remove petals from these

flowers and mix them into a confetti for this product,” says Maureen. The petal mix is also sold combined with smaller flowers in another blend: Edible Petals Plus Flowers. Adaptations also grows culinary lavender. Tane Datta began establishing the infrastructure for his farm in 1979, and the Datta home and production areas are solarpowered and “off the grid.” Adaptations uses ecological, certified organic practices, including Integrated Pest Management to control pests with beneficial insects. The company has nine full- and part-time employees, a third of whom are tasked with growing and packing the flowers, which are only sold fresh and by volume. The main challenge in flower production is a spell of wet and cloudy weather, as heavy rain damages the blooms and too-little sunshine hampers blooming. Production increases with longer daylight hours. Where to Find: The tasty blooms are sold to restaurants and resorts on the Big Island, O‘ahu and Lana‘i. While they aren’t sold direct to the home cook, they can be enjoyed in food served at local restaurants and resorts. Annie’s Island Fresh Burgers, Kenichi Pacific, Four Seasons Hualalai, Fairmont Orchid Hawai‘I and Adaptations edible flowers on salad. Photo courtesy Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort & Spa Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, as well as the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel, Sheraton Keauhou Bay and Waikoloa Beach Marriott, all carry Adaptations’ natural, nutritious floral arrays. Tane and Maureen participate in numerous food-related community events, where they offer delicious product samples.

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Atebara Chips-Marking 75 Years


Where to Find: Hawai‘I Island Atebara Chips are sold locally at KTA Super Stores, Longs Drug, Island Naturals, Parker Ranch Store and other local retail food and gift outlets. Samples are on the house at Hawai‘i Island Gourmet Gift Shop on Manono St. Order them online for shipping worldwide a Phone: 808.969.9600. Photos courtesy of Hawai‘i Island Gourmet Products

MAY/JUNE 2011 | | 59

tebara Chips, founded in 1936 by Raymond Atebara, was the first company in Hawai‘i to make potato chips, and it continues in business today. After WWII rationing cut the supply of imported potatoes, the company turned to locally grown foods, expanding its line to include sweet potato and taro chips. The Atebaras were also the first to debut taro chips to the local market. Sweet potatoes and taro for Atebara Chips are purchased from 15 different Hawai‘i Island family farms and also grown on the company’s leased 20-acre property located north of Hilo. Assisting with the farm operation is Dr. Yusef Tamimi, a retired UH-Hilo agriculture professor. Atebara Chips, which today has expanded to Hawai‘i Island Gourmet Atebara Chips from island-grown Products, annually taro and sweet potato produces about 25,000 pounds of sweet potato chips and 60,000 pounds of taro chips. After being uniformly cut by machine, potatoes and taro are deep-fried in kettle cookers and placed in a spinner to remove excess oil. Chips are handpackaged in bags sporting the Hawai‘i Island Atebara design. In addition to sourcing locally-grown Okinawan-type sweet potatoes and taro for chips, Hawai‘i Island Gourmet uses the root crops in other snacks like its Sweet Potato Chip Cookie and Purple Sweet Potato White Chocolate Crunch. Chips are made fresh daily in the company’s 2,000-square-foot commercial kitchen while cookie and candy production takes place in a 1,000-square-foot kitchen. The original Hilo chip factory was destroyed in the 1946 tsunami and relocated to 717 Manono St., where it stands today. In an effort to reduce its carbon footprint, Hawai’i Island

Gourmet Products has a zero-waste policy. Plant-based waste is recycled to a local piggery and new taro is grown from previously-cut stalks. About 400 gallons of used cooking oil is recycled annually into biofuel for local use in vehicles. The company relies on locally-grown ginger, mac nuts, coconut, passion fruit and coffee to makes its wide range of Hawai‘i Island Gourmet Products owner Nimr Tamimi of Hilo in taro field at the company farm products. When in season during the fall and winter, it also makes ‘Ulu (breadfruit) Chips. Hilo native Nimr Tamimi is at the helm of the family-run company, which employs seven, three of whom work full-time in production. There is also a handful of farm personnel. “Using the local taro and sweet potatoes not only makes a more healthy chip, but also supports our local farmers,” says Tamimi. ❖

South North

Saturday & Tuesday: Hawi Farmers Market, North Kohala, across from Post Office and Nakahara Store, under the banyans (Saturdays 8 a.m. – whenever everyone goes home; Tuesdays 2 – 6 p.m). Saturday: Waimea Town Market at Parker School, 65-1224 Lindsey Rd., Waimea/Kamuela. 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. Saturday: Waimea Hawaiian Homestead Farmers Market, 64-759 Kahilu Rd., located at Kuhio Hale Bldg. (off of Mamalahoa Hwy., two miles east of Waimea town). 7 a.m. – noon Saturday: Honoka‘a Farmers Market, Mamane St., Honoka‘a, Honoka‘a Trading Co., Old Botelho Bldg. 7:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.

60 | | MAY/JUNE 2011

Tuesday & Friday: Kekela Farms Organic Farmers Market, 64-604 Mana Rd., Waimea. 100% organic. 2 – 5 p.m. Wednesday: Midweek Farmer’s Market, Anna Ranch, 65-1480 Kawaihae Rd., (nestled beneath Hoku‘ula, aka Buster Brown), Kamuela. 12:30 – 5:30 p.m.


Sunday: Laupahoehoe Farmers Market. Next to the Minit Stop on Hwy. 19. 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Saturday: Kino‘ole Farmers Market. Kino‘ole Shopping Plaza, 1990 Kino‘ole St., Hilo, 7 a.m. – noon Saturday: SPACE Farmers Market, S.P.A.C.E. Seaview Performing Arts Center for Education, 12-247 West Pohakupele Loop, Pahoa. 8–noon Saturday: Hilo Coffee Mill, 17-995 Volcano Rd., Mountain View (on Hwy. 11 between the 12 and 13 mile marker). 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. Saturday & Wednesday: Hilo Farmers Market, Corner of Mamo and Kamehameha Ave., downtown Hilo. 7 a.m. Sunday: Akebono Farmers Market. Luquin’s/Akebono Theater parking lot. 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. Sunday: Maku‘u Farmers Market, Kea‘au-Pahoa bypass road. 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Meetthefarmers Meetthechefs

Farmer-Chef Presentation the last Saturday of each month during 2011 at the Keauhou Shopping Center

FEATURING LOCALLY GROWN PRODUCE Learn how the Farmers grew it, watch the Chefs prepare it, and taste the results! FREE!

Brought to you in partnership with the USDA FARMERS’ MARKET PROMOTION PROGRAM

Sunday: Volcano Farmers Market, Cooper Center, 1000 Wright Rd., Volcano Village. 6 – 9 a.m. Saturday & Wednesday: Na‘alehu Farmers Market, Ace Hardware lawn. 8 a.m. – noon


Saturday: Keauhou Farmers Market, Keauhou Shopping Center, Keauhou. 8 a.m. – noon Saturday: Waikoloa Village Farmers Market, 683625 Paniolo Ave., Waikoloa Community Church parking lot across from Waikoloa Elementary School. 7:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. Sunday: South Kona Green Market, Captain Cook, Kealakekua Ranch Center (behind ChoiceMart and Ace Hardware). 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Wednesday: Keauhou Wednesday Market, Lawn at Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort. 8 a.m. – noon Wednesday-Sunday: Kona Farmers Market, corner of Ali‘i Drive and Hualalai Rd. 7 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Surinam Cherry

What it is and what to do with it By Devany Vickery-Davidson


Surinam Cherry Sauce for Chicken, Duck or Pork .

2 cups Surinam cherry juice . ¼ cup raw sugar . ¼ cup cognac . 2 shallots, finely minced and sautéed in 1 tablespoon of butter or olive oil . 2 Tablespoons pink peppercorns . Pinch of salt to taste Simmer the cherry juice and sugar for about 15 minutes. Add cognac, salt and peppercorns; continue reducing on low heat, uncovered, until the consistency of maple syrup. Serve over sautéed or grilled chicken, duck or pork. You can also use the reduction in a salad dressing much like you would use balsamic vinegar by adding a small amount of white wine vinegar, a bit of Dijon mustard and olive oil. Give this fun and delicious fruit a try!

MAY/JUNE 2011 | | 61

The Surinam cherry is sometimes called the Brazilian cherry, Pitanga or Cayenne cherry. The plant is native from Surinam, Guyana and French Guiana to southern Brazil. It was first described botanically from a plant growing in a garden at Pisa, Italy. Portuguese voyagers are said to have carried the seed from Brazil to India, as they did the cashew. Perhaps the Portuguese also brought it to Hawai‘i. This fruit thrives on the Big Island. It grows in almost any soil but does need consistent sub-tropical weather. Local nurseries sell plants and those who have them growing often dig up volunteers and share them with others. Many people have them growing in their yards but do not even know the fruit is edible. Surinam cherries are rarely seen in restaurants, though some adventurous chefs are incorporating them into local menus. The Twelve Tree Project in Captain Cook is one place where they are grown for chefs to experiment with. Adaptations (a sourcing company for island chefs) does carry them in season. While it is technically a tree that can grow to 25 feet in height, it is often seen as a shrub here. Abundant, red and orange fruit with a large seed appears in late spring. The fruits are quite tart and high in vitamins A and C. The fruit has two harvest seasons in Hawai‘i: October through December and April through June. So, what do you do with Surinam cherries? Children seem to be particularly attracted to the fruit and often eat them out of hand. They can be used to make sauces, jams, jellies and in salads. If you cut them in half, remove the seed and add a bit of sugar, then allow them to sit. They can be used much like strawberries for shortcake. Brazilians make wine with them. Do not eat the seeds, they are toxic. Surinam cherries are best eaten when they are dark red and slightly soft. To juice the cherries, cut in half, discard the seeds and place the fruit in a juicer or blender. If you are doing the blender method, strain over a bowl. Use as cherry juice for jelly. ❖

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114 Haili St. in Hilo

The Life


The Paradise Roller Girls battled Kaua‘i‘s Garden Island Renegade in March.


The Athletes

These women give their all for the sport and it is not without considerable conditioning and sacrifice of personal time. There are four practices a week, three on asphalt and one on a sport court. Paradise Roller Girls invites any woman over 18 to join them. For those considering such a bold move, there is first an eight-week Rookie Camp and then the Basic Skills Tests and a written Rules Test. Rookies give their all in class and special practices, and then they must past tests proving that they can fall properly, do crossovers and stop on a dime. After passing the tests, a derby name is chosen along with a number. ❁Continued on page 64

MAY/JUNE 2011 | | 63

he Hilo Civic Auditorium has only sold out twice in the last 30 years. The first time was in November, 2010, and more recently in March of 2011. Both events were due to the huge outpouring of support for Hilo’s newest athletic team: the Paradise Roller Girls. But is Roller Derby a sport? Absolutely! Today’s Roller Derby is played by conditioned athletes who skate their hearts out for their loyal fans. The first bout took Hilo by surprise in November and left hundreds of fans standing outside of the Civic, unable to buy a ticket or get in by order of the Fire Marshal. That event was actually a division of the Roller Girls into two teams; the Fairies and the Scaries. Over 3,000 people showed up to cheer the girls on. The teams were quite equally matched and in the end, it did not matter who won; what really mattered was that Hilo had fallen head-over-heels in love with the sport and the skaters who dominated the track and became instant heroes for little girls, old ladies and every female in between. And then, of course, there were the male fans enjoying the hardscrabble sport played out by scantily clad women in fishnet stockings, very short shorts, sometimes embellished with ruffles or “bite me” embroidered on the rear. On the day after the first bout, the Hawai‘i Tribune Herald’s front page was filled with photos and news about the event.

ā  ā   

 

     

  


       ā 

 

Jerry Santos & Olomana

Teresa Bright

Loea Kawaikapuokalani Aunty Diana Aki Hewett

 

64 | | MAY/JUNE 2011

   

❁Continued from page 63

Some of the names on the Paradise Roller Girls roster are Anita Whiskey, Elechick KillJoy, Firefly Fatale, Von Slappenbitch, CrystalThe-Pistol, AvaTart, Devil’D Meggs and even a skater with multiple sclerosis (MS) who goes by Multiple Ferocious. Even the refs, scorekeepers and coaches have personas and dress the part. One of the refs goes by Spee D Gone Zales and another is known as Knuckle Slamwitch. The coach is Irish-I-Was-Bashin’Ya, and she has crazy face paint on one side of her face. It is all in fun, which makes the sport enjoyable to watch and follow. There is an element of irreverent comedy interspersed with the athletic components in each bout.

The Crowd

The crowd is a big part of skating events. Cheering prevails; “The Wave” is encouraged by flag-bearing fans. More and more fans are coming dressed in fun costumes, hats and wigs. There is a great deal of entertainFans get into the spirit ment at the bouts and the 3,000-plus fans are treated to dance teams, contests and fun skating. Vendors sell everything from food and drinks to skate equipment, tee-shirts and souvenirs. This is very much a familyfriendly sport. There is even a Junior League being formed for girls and they skate at the bout during half-time.

History of the Sport

There is a history to Roller Derby. It is one of only three Major League American-invented sports. It started as far back as the 1880s, when skaters raced in an endurance race and contact was allowed as a way to overtake an opponent. This version of the sport endured into the 1920s on crude skates. Some bouts were skated by amateurs and others had paid contestants. During the Great Depression a transcontinental version of the sport was introduced. The first roller rink in Hawai‘i opened at Buffums Hall in Honolulu in 1881 with Queen Emma in attendance. In 1954, Hawai‘i saw its first Roller Derby bouts. In 1961 and 1962, The Honolulu Hawaiians were runners-up for the national title. In 1978, a six-foot woman skater from Kahuku, “Aloha Linda Villanueva,” became a national sensation. Roller Derby is a sport that has been sensationalized on TV and films: “Bay City Bomber” with Raquel Welch, “The Fireball” starring Mickey Rooney and Marilyn Monroe, and more recently, “Whip It” with Drew Barrymore. Today’s Roller Girls are serious athletes,

breaking the stereotype image and yet retaining some of the fun of the old game with Derby personas and fun costuming. The Paradise Roller Girls are in the Women’s Flat Track Roller Derby League. The team is member-owned and upholds the values of women’s empowerment, teamwork, safety, sportsmanship, fitness/health, community service/outreach and youth involvement.

Safety and Rules

Roller Derby is a full-contact sport and all skaters are required to wear safety gear. A helmet must be correctly fitted, a mouth guard needs to fit securely over teeth, and wrist guards made especially for Derby are worn. Along with elbow pads and extremely secure knee pads, many skaters wear knee braces under knee pads for extra protection. Derby careers have met their demise by damaged knees. All skaters must wear quad skates (four wheels on a strong axel) but refs are allowed to wear inline skates if they choose. Rules are strictly adhered to and anyone committing four minor penalties or one major penalty is sent to the penalty box. Much like in hockey, the team must skate without that skater until she is released.

The Bout

Visit In Kona, there are two women’s roller derby clubs, both of which meet at Old Airport Park hockey rink. Echo City Knockouts meets Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5-7 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m. -12 noon. Contact Caroline at 808.345.0238 for info. Tsunami Slammers meets Mondays from 7:15-9:15 p.m., Thursdays from 7:45-9:45 p.m. and Sundays from 3-5 p.m. Contact Jamie Vendrell at 808.987.8549 for info.

Hilo Skate Plaza Coalition

The Paradise Roller Girls are actively involved in the Hilo Skate Plaza Coalition effort to develop a fun, family-friendly environment for skateboarders, roller skaters, inline skaters and roller hockey enthusiasts on the Big Island. They are working hard with the Hawai‘i County Department of Parks and Recreation to bring this dream to fruition. Through fundraising, the Paradise Roller Girls hope to help this project advance, providing our community an exciting venue that promotes exercise and healthy lifestyles as well as unity among area residents. To donate or for more information, email: Contact writer Devany Vickery-Davidson at

MAY/JUNE 2011 | | 65

There are two 30-minute periods in each bout. Each period is divided into two-minute jams. During the jams, packs of four blockers from each team skate together as one jammer from each team tries to break past the blockers. The first jammer to make it through the pack is the lead jammer. Scoring happens when, after the first circle around by the lead jammer, the jammers pass the pack of blockers. The jammers have a star helmet cover to differentiate them from the rest of the team and the position of pivot is led by a skater with a stripe on her helmet cover. The pivot is the blocker who sets the pace for the blockers and calls out plays. If the jammer removes her star helmet cover, she can pass it to the pivot and the pivot can then become the jammer. This is all done at a very fast pace, which makes the game exciting and fun to watch. There is no fighting, biting, “clothes lining,” grabbing, holding, pulling or tripping allowed. Injuries are infrequent, but they do happen. There is an occasional dislocated shoulder or ankle sprain that can take skaters out of play. The Roller Girls are currently subdivided as an All-Star Team and a B Team. Plans are to eventually split the team into three teams based on geography. The skaters are responsible for purchasing most of their own equipment and do not receive payment for their skating. They do get compensation for travel expenses and will soon be flying off to other islands for bouts, just

as Kauai’s Garden Island Renegade Rollerz did when they came to Hilo for the recent bout on March 12. Some off-island training camps are also supported by the team. The next bout is scheduled for Memorial Day Weekend at the Civic. On May 28, the Maui Roller Girls are coming to Hilo. Tickets are not yet on sale, Junior League skaters perform at half time but as soon as Here they get tips from “Da Coach.” they are available they are expected to sell out. They seem to be the hottest tickets in town. If you want to be one of the lucky audience members, keep an eye on the Paradise Roller Girls’ website for information on where and when the tickets will be available. ❖


The Life 66 | | MAY/JUNE 2011


he story of Iopa Maunakea’s community dedication is woven like a melodic theme through his life’s work, beginning with his grandmother, Katherine Maunakea. His story is not complete without hers. As a community organizer in the district of Puna, Maunakea (maybe betterknown as the musician “Bruddah Kuz”) embodies the legacy of his ancestor through his compassion, leadership, and dedication to the men, women and children of the island’s east side. The Maunakea tradition of helping others has effortlessly taken up residence in the blood of Maunakea’s wife, Donnie, and daughter, Kyla, 20, where the family’s musical adherence and humanitarian efforts have begun to bring about positive community change. A brief list of their accomplishments would include forming the Bruddah Kuz Band and producing one of the first contemporary Hawaiian music CDs; selection by Hawai‘i County to be “Ambassadors of Aloha” to Mainland Aloha Festivals; producing radio programs and the Bruddah Kuz The “Kuz” family, from left: daughter Youth Jamm, a positive project for Hawai‘i Island youth; and Kyla, wife Donnie and Iopa Maunakea forming a group, Men of PA`A, which helps Puna men recover (“Bruddah Kuz”). Photo courtesy of the from drug and alcohol abuse and rehabilitate their lives. Maunakea family. “Iopa’s grandmother was devoted to community service,” Donnie Maunakea explained about the family of her husband of 21 years. “She instilled in him a sense of service, family values, the importance of the Hawaiian language and music.” Katherine Maunakea wanted to better her community of Nãnãkuli on O`ahu when she settled in the homestead in the 1930s. “There was nothing there at the time but kiawe trees,” said Iopa, whose nickname “Bruddah Kuz” was given to him as a young surfer by his Caucasian friends who had a hard time pronouncing his name. “ My grandmother served her community to make it what it is today. She also played the piano, sung, wrote Hawaiian language songs, sewed wedding dresses, wrote poetry, published books of Hawaiian prayers and chants and won numerous awards. She did this all without the use of her right arm (which became paralyzed after a fall).” While growing up, Maunakea says, “I was young. I just wanted to surf. It wasn’t until after she passed (in 1994) that I realized how important she was to this world and what she had instilled in us.” In the years following the matriarch’s passing, Maunakea—now living on the Big Island—began to tap into his musical roots. With his father, Alexander Auna, he began singing his original songs for visitors at backyard luau in Kapoho. This led to a small group, consisting of Maunakea, his wife and friends recording a CD under the name “The Bruddah Kuz Band” as a way to share his music with his family. “Talkin’ Da Kine,” was released in 2000 and was produced by Phillip Soto. Unaware of its potential commercial success, the CD was one of the first samplings of contemporary Hawaiian music before the influx and saturation of “Jawaiian” music. The album’s tracks, “Pahoa Town,” described as a drive-home song, and the title song, “Talkin’ Da Kine,” became hits on Internet radio with mainland audiences and local Big Island radio stations.

Cross-trained in CPR and first aid. “However, I also created this group to help men recover from drug and alcohol abuse.” After seeing many men struggle within his community, Maunakea took ideas from other self-help clubs and with the guidance of his sister, who runs a successful non-profit organic farm on O`ahu, he formulated rules, regulations and guidelines to help men become clean and sober. In return, the men’s commitment to themselves translated into commitment to community. “These men want to be here,” Maunakea said of the 20-50 men that are currently active at any point in the program. “We help these men learn from their mistakes. In turn they regain self-dignity and go back into the community and serve with no expectations of being paid back.” The pay-off has been the rehabilitation of many men in the Puna district, said Maunakea, which in turns benefits the men’s families and the community at large. PA`A’s membership is based on attraction rather than promotion and fluctuates depending on the success of the men in the program. The community service continues. Iopa is in the process of applying for non-profit recognition for a newly-developed umbrella entity called Kanaka O Puna for his various organizations. The proposed 501(c)(3) will be focused on promoting youth advocacy, continuing service work, social projects, PA`A, a Kupuna Respite Program, and stimulating and creating economic opportunities. “It’s a blessing to watch,” Maunakea said of the fruits of his labors, a harvest of outcomes which serve many others. “Our music has become the glue that holds it all together. It’s all worthwhile, and I hope to pass that on. It’s all very rewarding; especially when my daughter tells me what I am doing is pono. It’s right.” It could be Maunakea’s warmth and compassion that make his mission easier. His positivity is contagious—just being around him makes people want to help. Beyond his words and ambitious ideas is the undeniable truth that he and his family lead by example. From Katherine Maunakea to Kyla Maunakea and beyond, the legacy of generosity is woven into the family album, evident in spirit and in body for generations to come. ❖

What’s Up?

For more information and the up-to-date happenings of Bruddah Kuz and the Bruddah Kuz Youth Jamm, search for Bruddah Kuz on Facebook (he has two sites), on Myspace at or botbhawaii To purchase or listen to the Bruddah Kuz album “Talkin’ Da Kine,” visit,, or any number of online music stores. Kuz is also featured on the three-volume, award-winning compilation CD titled “A Place Called Hawai`i.” The Bruddah Kuz tracks and entire album (first released in 2003) can also be found at any of the online stores mentioned.

MAY/JUNE 2011 | | 67

The group’s musical popularity soon led Iopa and Donnie Maunakea to be officially selected by the Hawai`i County Council under former Mayor Harry Kim as the Aloha Ambassadors to mainland Aloha Festivals. The experience was inspiring to Kuz. “We were playing music and promoting the Big Island by giving away island products. We were also bringing Hawai`i to the Hawaiian transplants on the Mainland and they missed it. There were tears in their eyes. It was amazing. I knew I wanted to do more. I wanted to share the aloha.” Aloha materialized in the creation of more music for Kuz and his family and the introduction of various organizations blossoming out of the family band, which featured Donnie (also known as Sistah Kuz) on hand percussion and vocals, and then 14-year old Kyla (once known as Baby Kuz, but now Miss Killa) on bass. In 2005, inherently talented Miss Killa (at age 15) decided to bring her passion for the alternative music genres of punk, rock and metal to the community and the university Internet radio scene. She hosted a concert called “Endless Summer” in Pahoa for up-and-coming youth bands at Maku`u Farmer’s Market and for five years has been hosting “Rock the Big Rock” a radio show available at on Sunday nights from 6-8 p.m. “I started it to promote local bands,” said Kyla Maunakea of her radio show, who currently plays in the family band as well as her own band—Electric Meat Pieces. “I wanted to give them a chance to be heard on the radio and I hosted band interviews.” Kyla took her cues from her father, who at the time had been handed the reigns of the Battle of the Bands annual contest, originally hosted by the North Hawai`i Youth Coalition. As a family oriented toward youth bands, the Maunakeas were the perfect fit to continue the popular event, which Iopa brought to Hilo and transformed into the Bruddah Kuz Youth Jamm. “I took the ‘battle’ out of it,” he said. “I didn’t want it to be about the contest. I wanted to get all the youth involved, give them a project that they had to work on, coordinate, facilitate and perform.” Kuz sees the Youth Jamm, which is completely free to all performers, vendors and the public, as a positive outlet for area youth to create their own music scene, bring commerce to the area and promote local businesses. The most recent Youth Jamm held in Pahoa on March 12, 2011, featured 16 youth performances and drew an audience of close to 1,000. From the production of the Youth Jamm emerged yet another powerful organization, the Men of PA`A. Originally a group of men organized to help with the manual labor of the music event, the group morphed under Maunakea’s direction into a community men’s group in 2006. The word pa`a means solid and strong and stands as an acronym for Positive Action Alliance. “We are a community-oriented group that helps in any way you need help,” Kuz explained, saying the men do anything from security, manual labor and serving food, and all are Red-

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kahilu theatre 68 | | MAY/JUNE 2011


Kahilu Theatre Foundation Performing Arts Lava Rootspresent

Summer ArtS2011

Unlocking the Mysteries of the Human Instrument June 6 thru July 8, 2011 monday thru friday 9:00am-4:00pm (for children ages 6*-12)

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For more information please call alva at 885-6017.

SummerArts2011 is made possible through the generous support of The Blue Dragon Restaurant and Musiquarium and Laurie and Jack Goldstein.

Box office 885-6868 M–F 9am-3pm

The Life IN MUSIC Puna Men’s Chorus – Top left to right : David Shaw, Richard Koob, Joaquin Gamiao, Wayne Laubscher, Arval Shipley, Bob Kirk, Paul Porter, Jose Basque, Dennis Alstrand, Steven Jacquier, and Keith Hopgood. Bottom left to right: Noel Morata , Garrin Fullington, Jim Hedgecock, Christopher Kunkel, Ken Gorlaski, Director Amy Yamasaki , Kevin Reardon, Henry Hort, Kaimalino, and Ed Smay. Photo by Noel Morata


As new chorus director, Amy acknowledges the power of music to transform when she sees the reactions of the audience. She knows that they have felt the music and that maybe one song has imprinted an inspiring memory. There are many stories behind each chorus member, which makes the group come alive. There’s more to the group than just singing. Members share a full appreciation of the chorus’ mission to spread joy to their island home through their singing. Husband and wife team, Tracy and Jim Hedgecock, for example, are both actively involved with the chorus, Tracy as the board secretary and Jim singing second tenor. Both are inspired by the quality of the music, the friendships and the community outreach the chorus performs. Jim, who last year had serious health issues, didn’t consider stopping for a moment, even with a difficult performance season ahead. “The fact that we had music tracks to work with made it possible for me to still practice and perform with the chorus,” Jim says, “which was something I still wanted to do despite not being able to make the rehearsals with the guys. I really wanted to try out for one of the solo parts, but since I was laid back for some time, I wasn’t able to bring out my best performance. I was happy just to be a part of the ‘ABBA’ performance, which was already a challenging program to begin with.” Chorus members and their families are supportive of each other, and they have formed into a tight ‘ohana. Both Tracy and Jim find satisfaction in sharing a common interest, enjoying new friendships and being part of such a positive music community. One of the most devoted and early chorus members is Garrin Fullington, who was actively singing with other choruses including the Hilo Community Chorus, the Chamber Singers and the Kanilehua Chorale. When he heard that a new men’s chorus was getting

❁Continued on page 71

MAY/JUNE 2011 | | 69

hen friends and newcomers first attend a performance by the Puna Men’s Chorus (PMC), they are mesmerized with the surprises in every show. Part cabaret, part theater, all these beautiful voices meld together in a superbly entertaining and inspirational performance. Each show typically brings the audience to their feet, demanding multiple encores. The Puna Men’s Chorus is an inclusive male chorus, with no barriers to ethnic background, age, economic status, sexual orientation, religious affiliation or even one’s singing ability, making it a real reflection of the entire community. The chorus, along with its director, is actively involved with the Puna community and has been participating in outreach programs to share their music. The Puna Men’s Chorus is at a crossroads as its leadership transitions from past director and founder Daron Scarborough to Amy Horst Yamasaki, a well-established music teacher, solo performer and teacher of singing and musicianship at the University of Hawai‘i. Amy’s interest in the chorus has developed and grown since viewing one of PMC’s first programs at the Volcano Kilauea Military Camp (KMC) Theater. “I had the opportunity to hear the group sing at their first event up at KMC’s Christmas concert,” said Yamasaki. “I couldn’t get in, the place was sold out and I had my two children clamoring for my attention. But someone let me peek in the door; and when the guys started singing, ‘In This Very Room,’ it gave me hope. It was a life-saving moment for me. I had known the song only as a Southern Baptist wedding hymn, and the chorus transformed it into a song of hope for the world. I was one of those people—standing at the door, barely able to sneak a peak, not leaving before it was over—and I stayed because the chorus gave me hope. I knew, somehow, there was a life for me beyond what I could then imagine at that moment.”

Tracy and Jim Hedgecock, both actively involved with the chorus, have found the experience enhances their lives in many ways. Photo courtesy of the Hedgecocks

i y Horst Yamasak New director, Am orata Photo by Noel M

Holualoa Village 70 | | MAY/JUNE 2011

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❁Continued from page 69 started in Puna with its charismatic director, Daron Scarborough, he auditioned with fellow singer Joaquin Gamiao. They found the new chorus and director very welcoming and supportive. “Not only was the chorus formed to be inclusive, everyone was welcomed, which was something unique,” says Garrin. “I found that celebrating our diversity really showed that creating beautiful music and harmonizing together is a universal thing that all humans share.” It’s amazing how quickly newer chorus members grow and synchronize with the group. They start seeing life-changing benefits to performing with PMC in very short timeframes. New baritone singer Jose Basque started singing with the chorus in January and has really found his voice and recaptured his creative side again since retiring, he says. “I was a teacher down in Ka‘ū and between teaching, commuting and also taking care of my sick mother, I found that I didn’t have much time for socializing or looking for a creative outlet to take care of my soul,” says Jose. But after retiring and soon after his mother passed away, a PMC showing at the Palace Theater—and a quick glance at the playbill advertising auditions—brought Jose back quickly into singing again. “I was closed off for so long and now I feel that singing with the chorus has allowed me to be free again and brought the light back into my life,” Jose states positively. “I am thankful for being involved and want the Puna Men’s Chorus to grow and become better known throughout the state.” Under the direction of Amy Yamasaki, the chorus has plans to take their music program to more places around the island in the near future. The current season focuses on country music. “We have a selection of music that travels the country, using the country genre

of music. Some songs may feel like audience sing-along favorites; some songs will be new; and some will be lush choral arrangements of popular solo country tunes,” says Amy. “We’ll be performing in Puna at Hawaiian Paradise Park, the Palace Theater, the Honoka’a People’s Theater, and maybe at a potential venue in Kailua-Kona in July.” Along with their summer program, Amy is getting the chorus prepared for a major performance at a gathering of some 130 worldwide choruses performing at an international choral event called GALA Festival 2012. They are planning an ambitious program sung completely in Hawaiian, which is a completely new venture for the group. But with a strong director leading this group to their first off-island performance, they will be heading into uncharted territory with gusto, while sharing their aloha at this GALA event. Don’t be surprised if by the end of the night at any one of PMC’s performances, they will expect their audiences to participate with a sing-a-long of their favorite country tunes. Maybe even a little twostepping and yee-hawing to boot! ❖

What’s Up?

Upcoming performances of the Puna Men’s Chorus: July 16th at Hawaiian Paradise Park Community Center; July 23 at the Palace Theater; and July 30 at the Honoka‘a People’s Theater. To find out more about the chorus and their upcoming performances, visit their website at Contact writer Noel Morata at

From Queen Ka‘ahumanu Hwy. drive up Hualalai Road. Turn Left at Mamalahoa Hwy. (180), where art galleries and local shops now occupy historic buildings from Hawai‘i’s past. Take a leisurely stroll through our quaint village . . .You’ll be glad you did.

Big Island Fine Art, Gifts & Treasures 808-989-2180









MAY/JUNE 2011 | | 71


Please visit Sunny & Mel Pau‘ole’s friendly art studio, next to the Pink Hotel.

May-June 2011 ❖ H A P P E N I N G S ❖


Kona Orchid Society Show, Sale

MAY Lei Day Festival Sunday, May 1 Volcano A family event celebrating Lei Day for all ages with lei-making demonstrations, lei contest and display, hula and ‘ukulele performances, talk-story sessions, guided tours of the native forest and more. Lei contest is open to all ages and cash prizes are awarded for outstanding entries. 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Free. Volcano Art Center, 808.967.8222 or visit

He Mo‘olelo o Ka Lei Sunday, May 1 Downtown Hilo The “story of the lei” celebrates the lei in Hawai‘i through performances, workshops, competitions and exhibits. The event honors the culture and history of the lei in Kalākaua Park. 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., free. Contact 808.961.5711or visit

72 | | MAY/JUNE 2011

Volcano Artists Exhibit Friday, May 6 Hilo Gala opening of “Perspectives,” a 25th anniversary exhibit by the Volcano Village Artists Hui, which began with three founding members in 1986. Exhibit unites the 13 members of the hui in a collective gallery show under the theme of celebrating Hawai‘i’s ‘aina (land)—a fusion of nature’s offerings through the meditations of each artist’s mind and vision. Reception 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. Exhibit through May 25. East Hawaii Cultural Center, 141 Kalākaua St., Hilo, open Mon through Sat, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.  

Order Worldwide First-Class delivery Back issues, too! (808) 329-1711 x 3

Tropical Paws Gala Friday, May 6 Four Seasons Hualalai This festive, annual event for animal lovers benefits Hawai‘i Island Humane Society at the Four Seasons Hualalai Resort, Hualalai. Silent and live auctions, buffet dinner, live entertainment and dancing, 6 p.m. Tickets $100 or $1,500 for table of 10. Order through www.hihs. org, from Kona or Waimea shelters, select retail locations or 808.329.2135, ext. 3.

Friday and Saturday, May 6 and 7 Kailua-Kona Orchid lovers will find a wide selection of island-grown orchids including new hybrids and exotic species. Classes on orchid cultivation both days; craft vendors. Free. Old Kona Airport Events Pavilion at the north end of Kuakini Highway. Open 9 a.m. Friday and 8 a.m. Saturday, closing 6 p.m. both days. Phone 808.325.2548 or visit

May Day Puna Folklife Festival Saturday, May 7 Pohoiki Te Ha’a Lehua Halau debuts their annual event to celebrate the diversity and uniqueness of the cultures that make up Hawai‘i today: Hawaiian, Samoan, Japanese, Filipino and others. Free. 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. at Isaac Hale Park in Pahoa. A drug- and alcohol-free event. Call 808.333-0314 or email

”Mama...My Mama, I Love You” Saturday, May 7 Keauhou 6th Annual Mother’s Day hula and concert celebration in the ballroom at the Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort & Spa. Entertainment by Hula Halau Kala‘akeakauikawekiu and Na Hoku Hanohano award winners Pekelo, Na Palapalai, Amy Hanaialii Gilliom and surprise guests. Silent auction and food and beverages for sale. 5 -10 p.m. Tickets $40 per person. Call 808.989.4616.

Silent Film: “The Stowaway” Saturday, May 7 Hilo Journey back to Hawai‘i’s Territorial days in this special presentation of the silent film comedy “The Stowaway,” accompanied by Bob Alder at the Palace Theater’s mighty pipe organ. The film stars Harold Lloyd, who ranks with Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin as one of the most popular and influential film comedians of the silent era. Filmed in Honolulu and aboard the SS Malolo en route from Honolulu to Los Angeles. Preceding the film, Lowell Angell of the Theatre Historical Society of America narrates a slide show of photos from his latest book, “Theatres of Hawai‘i,” offering a rare view of theatres that were

once found in every community on the Big Isle. Palace Theater, 7 p.m. Admission $10 general, $8 for palace/ HTOS members. Contact 808.934.7010,

“I Love You Mom” Saturday, May 7 Waikoloa A concert celebrating Mother’s Day, featuring hula and Hawaiian music at Waikoloa Bowl at Queen’s Gardens. Presented by Na Wai Iwi Ola with Kumu Keala Ching. 4:30-8:30pm (gates open at 3:30) 808.322.3372; See ad on p. 64 for more details.

May Day Mele Sunday, May 8 Hilo Seventh, aloha-filled music festival at 2 p.m. features a stellar lineup of Hawaiian musicians and hula performances by Halau Na Pua ‘O Uluhaimalama, Victor Chock, and Halau ‘O Kahikilaulani, plus a community sing-a-long, short videos and surprise guests. Kaliko Beamer Trapp and Leilehua Yuen host the free show. Doors open 1:30 p.m. with Bob Alder at the pipe organ at the historic Palace Theater. Visit or call 808.934.7010.

Meeting– Federation of the Blind Monday, May 9 Kailua-Kona May marks the first anniversary of the founding of the West Hawai‘i chapter of the National Federation of the Blind of Hawai’i. If you or a family member, friend, neighbor, student or patient is dealing with vision loss and you want to learn more, please come. All are welcome. Meetings are held 10 a.m. – noon the second Monday of each month at Hale Halawai on Ali‘i Drive. Contact 808.345.7645.

Big Island “Talk Story” Film Festival May 11 - 15 Kohala Coast Detailed in Calendar Spotlight

Ka‘ū Coffee Festival Saturday and Sunday, May 14 and 15 Pahala Detailed in Calendar Spotlight

Mozart’s Requiem Sunday, May 15 Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort The Kona Music Society’s Spring Choral Concert with full orchestra and choir perform. Featured vocalists include Chinese soprano Bai He; mezzo-soprano Maya Hoover; tenor Kaweo Kanoho and baritone Timothy Carney. 4 p.m. Informative pre-concert chat at 3 p.m. with Kamuela Philharmonic Artistic Director Madeline Schatz. Purchase tickets online at or call 808.334.9880.

KHS Jeep Tour Saturday, May 21 Mauna Kea Kona Historical Societyʻs (KHS) Historical Jeep Tour follows the base of Mauna Kea on Mana Road. All-day, 4WD trip passing through lush koa forest and various ranch lands, including Parker, Pu‘u O‘o, and Pu‘u ‘Akala, and ending up in Waimea. Trip begins at the historic Humu‘ula sheep station, travels around the northeast side of the mountain to Kaluakauka, the site of Dr. David Douglas’ (namesake to the Douglas Fir tree) mysterious death in 1834. Visit at the Keanakolu Ranger Station. Suggested donation, $55.  Attendees must be a current KHS member to attend; to join or renew: or call 808.323.3222. To join this trip, reserve a


Big Island “Talk Story” Film Festival

May 11 - 15 Kohala Coast A celebration of narrative filmmaking at Mauna Lani Resort.  Enjoy free family films under the stars at The Shops at Mauna Lani, daytime movies and nightly double features at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i (self-parking validated), stellar social events, networking opportunities, celebrity receptions and awards. Thursday night’s lineup features the riotous comedy, “Get a Job,” starring Willie K, Eric Gilliom and Augie T, with appearances by Jake Shimabukuro, Henry Kapono, Amy Hanaiali’i, Slam Poet Kealoha, Mick Fleetwood and many more familiar faces.

Closing night “Best of the Fest” headlines a Hawaiian music concert starring Henry Kapono, “The Wild Hawaiian.” Athlete, self-taught musician, singer, songwriter, traveler, author and actor, Kapono is part of Hawai‘i’s groundbreaking duo, Cecilio & Kapono. His musical career, including 14 solo albums starting with “Stand in the Light” in 1981, has achieved numerous Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards and a Grammy nomination for “The Wild Hawaiian.” Best of the Fest tickets are $40 at the door ($30 kama‘āina) and $35 in advance ($25 kama‘āina), $10 keiki 6-12.  Admission includes Henry Kapono Concert, the audience-voted Best Feature and

spot and send in required waiver along with payment no later than Mon., May 16 or cost will be $65. 4WD transport is required, join with another based on space availability. Bring a lunch, water, good walking shoes and warm/rain gear. Space limited.

MAMo Native Hawaiians Arts and Cultural Festival

Aloha Saturday Festivals Saturday, May 21 Hilo Held every third Saturday of the month in historic Kalākaua Park, come and celebrate Hawaiian culture through music and hula. Free. 4 p.m.

Saturday, May 21 Keauhou The Keauhou Beach Resort partnering with the PA‘I Foundation to host this event featuring more than 25 native Hawaiian visual artists, cultural demonstrations and performing artists. A rare opportunity to meet the artists! Plus keiki art tent, handcrafted items and fine contemporary art work. For more information: Kumu Keala Ching 808.324.2553 or


Ka‘ū Coffee Festival

Saturday, May 14 and Sunday, May 15 Pahala Ka‘ū coffee growers invite everyone to the southern slopes of Mauna Loa for the third annual Ka‘ū Coffee Festival, Sat., May 14. Feel the aloha of this rural community while tasting the celebrated Ka‘ū brew. Enjoy top entertainment, local foods and culture, and visit coffee farms. Stay through Sunday for coffee education and agricultural tours. Ka‘ū ranks among the world’s best coffees, proven in four straight years of placing in the top dozen and earning a 2010

Coffee of the Year award at the Specialty Coffee Association’s (SCAA) Roaster’s Guild International Cupping Competition. Also in 2010, Ka‘ū captured the coveted Grand Champion of Hawaiian Coffee award and earned four out of the top 10 spots at the Hawai‘i Coffee Association’s annual statewide cupping. Saturday, the Ka‘u Coffee Festival is open 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. at the Pahala Community Center just off Hwy. 11. Sample coffees and savor entries in the Ka‘u Coffee Recipe Contest. Enjoy Hawaiian music, hula halau and the talents of Miss

Ka‘ū Coffee, Young Miss Ka‘ū Coffee and Miss Ka‘ū Peaberry pageant winners. The entertainment lineup includes Cyril Pahinui, Lorna and Maryann Lim, Moses and Keoki Kahumoku, Henry Dulan, Halau Hula O Leionalani, Lorie Lei Hula Studio and Ka‘ū ‘Ūkulele Kids. Festival admission is free; entry to the Recipe Contest and Taste of Ka‘ū tasting is $5. Locals offer food, refreshments, crafts and coffee for sale. Farm tours are $10 both days. On Sunday, learn from prominent industry experts at The Ka’ū Coffee College, beginning at 9 a.m. These seminars are free; donations are appreciated. Visit and Follow the Ka‘ū Coffee Festival on facebook and twitter @kaucoffeefest.

Best Short Films of BIFF 2011 and silent auction to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project for America’s veterans. In addition, Hilo’s own Kristina Anapau (“Black Swan”) makes a special appearance and receives a Big Island Film Festival Ha‘aheo Award. Contact 808.883.0394 or www.

Na Mea Hawai‘i Hula Kahiko Performance Saturday, May 21 Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Par See traditional hula and chant performed outdoors on the hula platform overlooking Kīlauea Crater, featuring Micah Kamohoalii and Halau Na Kipu‘upu‘u. 10:30 a.m. Hawaiian cultural demonstrations at Volcano Art Center Gallery from 9:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Free; park entrance fees apply. Call 808.967-8222 or visit

Sixth Annual Hilo Inter-Tribal PowWow & Native Heritage Days May 22 – 30 Wailoa River Park, Hilo Detailed in Calendar Spotlight

Hawaii‘s First Civilian Air Show Saturday and Sunday, May 28 and 29 Kona International Airport Enjoy an aerobatic air show, fun Kids Zone, food, exhibits, static military displays, general aviation aircraft displays and airplane rides. Airshow performers: Hank Bruckner, aerobatics; Dan Buchanan, hang glider; Greg Poe, aerobatics; Melissa Pemberton, bat-wing skydiving; Jacquie Warda, aerobatics; Clint Churchill, aerobatics; Bob Carlton, jet-powered glider; Roger Buis, Otto the Helicopter; and F-16 pilot from the Pacific Air Forces Aerial Demonstration Team. Gates open 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Visit

Waimea Bonyu Bonsai Exhibition May 28 and May 29 Waimea The Japanese horticultural art of bonsai (growing trees and plants in miniature) is artistically on display at the annual

❁Continued on page 74

MAY/JUNE 2011 | | 73

2010 Miss Ka‘u Coffee and court

Henry Kapono

❖ H A P P E N I N G S ❖

❁Continued from page 73 exhibition of this club, which has nearly a half-century history of promoting bonsai. Featuring beautiful miniature plants and a large variety of trees. 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Waimea Community Center. Free. 808.887-0862.

JUNE 3rd Annual Volcano Pottery Sale Saturday and Sunday, June 11 and 12 Volcano Join a diverse group of potters and ceramicists for this year’s sale to be held at Hale Ho‘omana, the new education building of the Volcano Art Center, located on the Niaulani Campus, from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Newly created works by Volcano potters Birgitta Frazier, Chui Leong, Ron Hanatani and Emily Herb, as well as Clayton Amemiya and Carol Yamashita from Hilo and Jamie Stokes from Kurtistown on display. Plenty of free parking at the Niaulani Campus; contact 808.985.8530.

Hawai‘i Photo Expo

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June 3 – June 29 Hilo Annual exhibit sponsored by the Hilo Photography Club, featuring a collection of black-and-white and color photos by local photographers with a wide variety of subjects – the people, places and things that are Hawai‘i. Wailoa Arts and Culture Center at Wailoa State Park in Hilo. Free. Open 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. weekdays except noon - 4:30 p.m. Wednesday. Contact 808.933-0416.

Kamehameha I, who united the Hawaiian Islands in 1810 to became Hawai‘i’s first King. The Royal Order of Kamehameha I, Māmala Hoa has been involved in the presentation of the Kamehameha Day Celebration in Hilo since 1908. The festival honors the late monarch and helps to protect, preserve, and perpetuate Hawaiian culture by sharing traditional dance, music, chant, practices, arts and crafts. Moku Ola (Island of Life, aka Coconut Island). 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Free. An alcohol-, smoke-, and drug-free event. Call 808.989.4844 or visit

King Kamehameha Day Community Parade Saturday, June 11 Kailua-Kona Colorful floral parade on Ali‘i Drive


Sixth Annual Hilo Inter-Tribal PowWow and Native Heritage Days

Rohto Ironman 70.3 Hawai’i Saturday, June 4 This event is half the Ironman triathlon distance – 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike and 13.1-mile run. Athletes start the day off Hapuna Beach State Park along the Kohala Coast and then take on the challenging Queen Ka’ahumanu Highway before finishing with a run at the Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii. Official qualifier series event for the 2011 Ford Ironman World Championship in October. Call 808.329-0063 or visit

Kamehameha Festival Saturday, June 11 Hilo The Kamehameha Festival is part of the Kamehameha Day celebration that was first established in 1871 as a national holiday of the Kingdom of Hawai‘i. Kamehameha Day honors the memory of

May 22 – 30 Hilo A celebration of Native American culture and the historic ties to Hawaiian culture is the focus of a series of workshops, performances and a film screening. The week culminates in a three-day traditional PowWow at Wailoa River Park. The PowWow and most events are free and open to the public. All venues are drug- and alcohol-free. Vendors by invitation only. Hosted by the Federation of American Natives in partnership with Big Island RC&DC. Supported by County of Hawaii, Hawaiian Tourism Authority, Connections Public Charter School, and Naniloa Volcanoes Resort. Contact www. or 808.557.8607.

❖ H A P P E N I N G S ❖ in Kailua Village honoring the great Hawaiian monarch. Featuring more than 90 horses, as well as floats, marching bands, hula halau and regal pa‘ū riders on lei-bedecked horses. In addition to the parade queen and grand marshal’s equestrian units, all eight Hawaiian Islands will be represented by pa‘ū equestrian units, highlighting the signature colors and flora of each island. Daughters of Hawai‘i will also sponsor a pa‘ū unit led by a horse-drawn carriage made of koa and ‘ōhi‘a. Parade starts 9 a.m. near Huggo’s Restaurant at Walua Road and ends at noon at Old Kona Airport, Makaeo Park. Contact 808.322.9944.

Ka‘ū Family Fun Fest Saturday, June 11 Na‘alehu First annual festival presented by O Ka‘ū Kakou will include 1/2 marathon, 10K and 5K races, HI-PAL basketball tournament, jan ken po, ulua casting, hunter’s obstacle course and horse shoes. Live music and comedy, live auction with Mayor Billy Kenoi as auctioneer, food, rock wall climbing, bunjee jumping and kids games. Blood drive, health screenings, and community resource information. Visit or for info and registration.

Aloha Saturday Festivals Saturday, June 16 Hilo Held every third Saturday of the month in historic Kalākaua Park, come and celebrate the Hawaiian culture through music and hula. Free, 4 p.m.

Volcano Historic Homes Tour

Time Travel and Teleportation Symposium June 19-24 Kailua-Kona King Kamehameha Kona Beach Hotel; 808.323.8000 See ad on p.56 for more details.

Pu‘uhonua o Hōnaunau Hawaiian Cultural Festival

Friday – Sunday, June 24 – 26 Honaunau This fun and educational festival marks the 50th anniversary of Pu‘uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park, perhaps the premier spot in the state to learn about ancient Hawaiian culture. The cultural festival takes visitors back to old Hawai‘i in the 1800s. Practitioners in traditional dress provide visitors with a uniquely Hawaiian experience, honoring the culture and traditions of the Hawaiian people and cultural experts while providing local residents and the community a time and place to gather, learn and share. Includes a ho‘okupu (offering) opening and closing ceremony, hula performances, canoe rides, food tasting, weaving, hukilau (traditional community fishing), musical implements, lei making, medicinal plants, hikes and much more. 9 a.m – 3 p.m. No park fees this weekend. Parking is limited. 808.328.2326, ext. 0, or visit

Pu‘uhonua o Hōnaunau Hawaiian Cultural Festival June 24 – June 26 Hōnaunau Detailed in Calendar Spotlight

Hawai‘i Performing Arts Festival June 24 – July 15 This summer music festival brings together students from Hawai‘i and around the world together with a renowned international faculty to study and perform together in six different venues around Hawai‘i Island. HPAF presents over 15 musical theater, dance, chamber music concerts, recitals and classes, many of them free to the public.  Contact 808.333.7378 or visit

Kona Marathon and Family Fun Runs Sunday, June 26 Keauhou An estimated 1,800 runners of all ages

Double-hulled canoe rides

Park Ranger Charles Hua displays traditional ti-leaf rain cape.

50th Anniversary Festival includes hula and educational activities.

and abilities will be competing for prize money, participating for health and enjoyment and raising money for charity. Start and finish at the Keauhou Beach Resort. The Kona Marathon is a Boston qualifier. Since its debut in 1994, this event has become Kona’s premier road race, featuring four great races for the whole family: marathon, half-marathon 5K and 10K runs. Contact 808.967.8240 or visit or e-mail

Coming in July Great Waikoloa Rubber Duckie Race “Koloa Would Go” & 4th of July Extravaganza
 Monday, July 4
 Waikoloa Beach Resort An all day event at Kings’ Shops starting at 10 a.m. to support United Cerebral Palsy of Hawai‘i and Big Island School

programs. This fun-filled event offers live entertainment and activities for the whole family.  At 3 p.m. watch the duckies catch the big wave and surf their way to the finish line.  Enjoy a spectacular fireworks display 8 p.m. over the Waikoloa Bowl at Queens’ Gardens. Contact the Duckie Adoption Headquarters at 808.886.8811 or visit www.kingsshops. com and

Turtle Independence Day Monday, July 4 Kohala Coast Held purposefully every year on Independence Day, this environmental event educates people about endangered Hawaiian green sea turtles. Watch as the young honu (turtles), which have been nurtured in the ponds at The Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows, are given their freedom when released back into the ocean. 10:30 a.m. – noon, 808.885.6622.

❁Continued on page 76

MAY/JUNE 2011 | | 75

Saturday, June 18 Volcano Photographer Boone Morrison leads this tour of historic homes and properties. Many of the older structures have been restored. Fee $30; includes light lunch and transportation. 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Meet at Volcano Art Center Niaulani Campus. Limited to 15 participants, early registration recommended, 808.967.7366 or


❖ H A P P E N I N G S ❖

❁Continued from page 75 Fourth of July Parade Monday, July 4 Kailua-Kona The parade starts 5:30 p.m. at the Kekuaokalani Gymnasium and commences to Coconut Grove Marketplace. Contact 808.990.4785.

Big Island Hawaiian Music Festival Saturday and Sunday, July 9 and 10 Hilo The 22nd Big Island Hawaiian Music Festival 
features Hawai‘i’s best Hawaiian musicians performing all forms of Hawaiian music, including steel guitar, slack key, ‘ukulele and falsetto. Accompanying the musicians will be top hula halau (groups). Hilo’s Afook Chinen Civic Auditorium, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., $15/$20 door.

Classes & Workshops Porembadance Ongoing Wednesdays Hilo Energetic fitness class for all ages, includes warm-up stretches (bring yoga mat or towel for floor exercises). Adrienne’s dance technique is influenced by movement and dance from Guinea, West Africa. Fee $5 per person; 5:30-6:30 p.m.

76 | | MAY/JUNE 2011

One Vendor. One Bill. Finger pointing? Only when you dial. Replace your business phone & internet service. Keep your phones & numbers.

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Funk, rock, reggae and hip hop music. 144 Kamehameha Avenue, bayfront on the corner of Kalākaua across from Tsunami Museum inside All Kine Bike Shop (in the back). Contact 808.280.1563.

the show. Dance, art, music, poetry, comedy or drama—interpret the theme however you like. Space fills up fast, contact 808.990.1417,

Wake N Shake Dance Workout

Composting Workshops

Ongoing Wednesdays At The Dancing Tree Studio in Kainaliu, from 10 – 11 a.m. Get fit by belly dancing! Fun and easy to learn, all-over muscle toning, cardio exercise confidencebuilding. Teaches you to dance creatively to any music. Contact 808.854.1270,

May 7 Kea‘au and Hilo Participants pay a $10 fee and receive a self-contained, plastic composter called an “Earth Machine” in addition to instructions on how to use it. The program is sponsored by the County of Hawai‘i and aims to divert valuable green waste from the landfills here.  10 a.m. – noon, Kea‘au Reuse and Recycling Center; 2 – 4 p.m. at the Komohana Extension Service, Hilo.

Belly Dance Lessons Ongoing Fridays At The Dancing Tree Studio in Kainaliu, from 5 – 6 p.m. Mixed-level class, beginners welcome! Learn the ancient and evolving art of belly dance and learn how to dance creatively to any music. Laugh and develop new friendships. Contact 808.854.1270,

Open Stage Theme: Fire May 1 At The Dancing Tree Studio in Kainaliu, 7 – 10 p.m. Free to attend and perform. Come share your talents or simply enjoy

Composting Workshops June 11 Waimea and Paauilo Participants pay a $10 fee and receive a self-contained, plastic composter called an “Earth Machine” in addition to instructions on how to use it. The program is sponsored by the County of Hawaii and aims to divert valuable green waste from the landfills here. 10 a.m.-12 p.m. at Waimea Country School and 2 p.m. - 4 p.m at Pa‘auilo School.

Creativity Opportunities

Ready to try your hand at painting, ceramics, drawing and other artistic endeavors? Here is a list of organizations offering workshops and classes on Hawai‘i Island. SKEA – The Society for Kona’s Education and Art, Mamalahoa Hwy., between mile markers 104 & 105, Honaunau, offers Spring & Summer Art Camps in March and June, for children ages 5 through 12. For adults, a range of options for classes in fiber art, art from found objects, hula and Pilates are offered. Check the online calendar at for details, or phone: 808.328.9392.

Mamalahoa Kona Heritage Corridor, Donkey Mill offers studio space, guidance for emerging artists, and painting, sculpture, origami and ukulele-building workshops for all ages year-round. Stop by 78-6670 Mamalahoa Hwy. Tues–Sat.: 10 a.m.–4 p.m. for to view the Art: Passion and Perspective exhibit or contact Kate Jacobson, 322.3362 & visit www.

Kona Stories– An independent bookstore located in South Kona, this lively shop offers Feng Shui, Qi Gong, ladies craft nights, writing groups and sacred geometry art classes with Francene Hart. Recently moved from Mango Court in Kainaliu to Keauhou Shopping Center, Kona Stories is open Mon. – Sat. and closed some holidays. Check out www.konastories. com or call Brenda Eng and Joy Vogelgesang at 324.0350.

North Kohala Artists Co-op (NKAC)– Sharing space with Kenji’s House Gallery allows artists to develop and offer space, art classes, meeting and other art-related gatherings such as a series of Life Drawing Sessions. At Kenji’s, open daily 11 a.m–5 p.m., they sell their work at reasonable prices without gallery commissions. In Kapa’au on the north tip of the Big Island of Hawai‘i. Take Akoni Pule Highway (Hwy. 270) through Hawi toward Pololu. Kenji’s house with NKAC will be on the right as you arrive in Kapa’au. Call www. or call 884.5556 for details.

Donkey Mill Art Center–Located near the artist community of Holualoa along the

East Hawai’i Cultural Center -- Home to an alliance of multi-cultural arts and community hui, among them the Big Island Dance Council and the Philippine Women’s Circle, the Center offers art talks, a floral group, marionette workshops, galleries, a performance space and art studios for woodworking and visual vocabulary classes. EHCC also hosts the festive annual Hawai‘i Artists Recycle Trash Art Show. Located at 141 Kalakaua St. in Hilo. Call 961.5711 or visit Volcano Art Center -- In quaint, friendly Volcano Village, VAC offers everything from painting and nature photography to etched metals and block wood and linoleum print classes as well as native Hawaiian arts workshops. Events are held at 19-4074 Old Volcano Highway (at the corner of Kalanikoa), located just a mile from the National Park entrance. Open 7 days a week, 9 a.m. –5 p.m. Call 808.967.7565 or visit


New 3D Dental Imaging Eliminates Diagnostic Guesswork for Big Islanders

eyond an attractive smile, more and more people are realizing their teeth stand on the front lines of good physical health. After all, if chewing is encumbered, the first stage of digestion is defeated. Bad teeth make it difficult to process many of the nutritious foods and fibers that are essential to nurturing mind, body, and spirit. Throughout most of human history, dental care has been sketchy. Some of the old procedures were downright barbaric by modern standards. But even today, most people would be surprised to learn how many ‘educated guesses’ that dentists and oral surgeons must make in order to diagnose and treat the myriad diseases and complications that continue to trouble us. While it’s true that conventional x-rays were a major breakthrough that enabled dentists to “look” before leaping into, say, a root canal or dental implant procedure, the drawback is that two dimensional x-rays have always lacked the “vision” of the third dimension. This meant that oral surgeons like Dr. Joan Greco had to mentally piece together a 3D picture of a treatment plan from two dimensional x-rays combined with training, experience, and a certain amount of professional intuition. In other words, even the best physicians were flying blind—without the benefit of knowing for sure until they opened things up to have a look. But all that is so yesterday! ...before the arrival of a revolutionary new 3D dental image scanner that has recently come to the Big Island promising a whole new dimension of accuracy to diagnostic dentistry.

Dr. Greco came to Hawaii 17 years ago determined to bring the highest possible standard of care to the residents of the Big Island. As an Oral and Maxillofacial surgeon, she is trained to correct a wide spectrum of diseases, injuries and defects in the head, neck, face, and jaws. Much of her surgical time is spent doing extractions of impacted wisdom teeth or replacing diseased or problem teeth with state-of-the-art restorative implants. As a result, she knows first hand the value of an accurate pre-operative diagnosis. “Having accurate information beforehand is our best defense against various complications that might otherwise occur” she explains. “Before the new 3D imaging system, we could never be totally sure about some types of diagnosis. With the old 2D

x-rays it was more difficult to know the exact location of hidden or impacted teeth or exactly where the nerve is in relation to a wisdom tooth extraction or implant placement. And I could never be totally sure if there was enough bone to place a dental implant. This is all critical information that leaves little room for error.” Dr. Greco went on to explain that “in the past we had to open the areas up and make adjustments to surgical procedures on-the-fly. But now, the 3D imaging tells us everything we need to know before we even begin the procedure. Calling it “the most exciting new development in the past decade” she enthusiastically beamed “it removes virtually all of the guesswork” from what she does.

About the Machine

The machine that performs the magic is the Kodak 9000 3D Extraoral Imaging System. It utilizes a cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) technology. Explained in lay terms, the machine provides a three dimensional image that can be turned, rotated, and viewed layer by layer. This enables the dentist or oral surgeon to literally see inside and all around the tooth or bone and from any angle. Problem areas that would otherwise be hidden in the old-style, flat, two dimensional x-rays are now easily viewed in full detail. This makes it far easier to correctly diagnose and more expertly treat whatever problems are found. The benefit to patients is a more precise treatment and greatly reduced chances of unexpected complications which is key to obtaining the best possible outcome. ❁Continued on page 78

MAY/JUNE 2011 | | 77

State-of-the-Art Excellence

New 3D Dental Imaging comes to The Big Island, replacing the old 2D x-rays and greatly increasing the accuracy of dental diagnostics.


Big Island Arts

78 | | MAY/JUNE 2011

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â? Continued from page 77 The image to the right shows a typical old-style, flat two dimensional image of an upper first molar that has had a root canal (endodontic therapy). What you can’t see is the unresolved lesion at the end of the mesial buccal root. However, to the trained eye, the lower left quadrant in the 3D image seen below clearly shows the opening into the sinus from the second mesial buccal canal.

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Without the 3D Imaging seen above, the patient would be suffering the problems of a painful and potentially dangerous fistula draining into the sinus. The typical solution would be to risk the uncertainties of having their dentist open things up to “find� the problem. However, in this case, the 3D Imaging system accurately showed the exact location and severity of the problem before the procedure began so it could be efficiently and successfully treated. Besides locating hard to find problems in hard to see locations, the Kodak 3D imaging system lowers the radiation exposure to patients by as much as 80% when compared to other 3D systems and is only slightly more than a conventional 2D panorex. And because the 3D images are easier to explain, Dr Greco finds that patients can actually see where their problems areas are and therefore better know where to focus their oral hygiene efforts. As Dr. Greco sums things up, “Our diagnosis can only be as good as the information we have. We can’t fix what we can’t find. Diagnostically speaking, going from 2D to 3D is like moving up from a Model-T to a Ferrari.�

See for Yourself...

To view 3D imaging in action, as it redefines the gold standard in dental diagnostics, go to where you’ll find an assembly of case studies that demonstrate with motion how this amazing new 3D image system is being used in the field. v

74-5565 Luhia Street Suite C-2 Ka ilua Kona , HI 96740 *   3!   3'$& 1*+ ,,+ *+))'30001*+ ,,+ *+))'

Dr. Joan Greco’s offices are located in Kona, Waimea, and Hilo. She can be contacted at 808.885.9000. Visit her website at to learn all about the procedures and services that she provides.





Glimpses into the stories behind a few of our ads

dlb + associates, LLC

Abundant Life Natural Foods Owner Leslie Malulani Shizue Miki with Cornelius Callaghan III.


Owner Daniel L. Berg

hen your property lines are established, your neighbors’ boundaries are also established. And their neighbors, …and their neighbors…,” says Daniel L. Berg, owner of surveying firm dlb + associates, LLC. He emphasizes the importance of knowing the exact location of the boundaries of your land, which becomes especially important when building, buying or selling your property. Boundary surveying has been Berg’s specialty for the past 27 years and the entire island is his business location. As a licensed surveyor, he prepares surveys for real estate professionals, property owners, developers, designers such as civil engineers, planners and architects. In addition, Berg prepares topographic mapping, defines subdivisions, and certifies shorelines. “If there is an interest in the land, you need me!” he says. Soon after graduating from San Jose State Univ. (BS Meteorology, 1981) Berg worked for a consulting firm in California. Then, after meeting a number of surveyors while travelling through Australia, he made the conscious decision to make it a career. “I worked with extremely talented surveyors at the County of Orange, Calif., then spent 18 years at engineering firms in Santa Barbara, Calif.,” he says. He obtained his California Surveyors License in 1990 (PLS 6318) and Hawai‘i Surveyors License in 2004 (PLS 11245). “Obtaining a surveyors license indicates the minimum requirements of knowledge and experience has been met for determining boundaries. In addition, working in jurisdictions other than Hawai‘i County, has exposed me to a wide knowledge base,” Berg said. “Running my own business is what I ultimately wanted,” he says. After having an offer to purchase another firm rejected, he immediately began the start-up procedures and networking to establish his own firm. Working from his home office in Kea‘au, he says, his field tasks take him to many interesting locations. “I do not need a storefront office at this time. That may change as the business grows. “Working for yourself is a 24/7 endeavor,” Berg says. “ but this is like a baby: Nurse it, nurture it and make it grow.” Phone: 808.966.4206 • Email: Website:


Abundant Life Natural Foods in downtown Hilo, founded by Leslie Malulani Shizue Miki in 1977, has been making healthy living affordable on Hawai’i Island for 34 years. The retail store is an out-growth of Abundant Life Herb Company, which used to distribute bulk herbs to retail natural foods stores around the State of Hawai’i. Abundant Life Natural Foods was opened after Miki received numerous requests from the community to offer what would be the 3rd natural foods store in Hilo. The retail store grew organically, with products added one-by-one through special requests. “It has always been our mission to bring high-quality food to the marketplace at reasonable prices so that families can afford to choose healthier ingredients in creating their meals,” said Miki. By the end of the ‘70s there were 13 natural food stores on Hawai’i Island alone”, she said. “I started the business on a shoestring. There has been lots of competition over the years, but old-fashioned family values, perseverance and good prices have carried us through. I got my ‘Go for Broke’ motto from my dad, who was part of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team (and one of Hawai‘i’s first Asian movie stars, co-starring in the movie ‘Go for Broke’).” Aa a single mom, Miki raised her daughter while building Abundant Life and now has help running it from her partner, Cornelius Callaghan. “What makes our store unique is the importance we put on organics. We have one of the few all-organic produce departments in the nation. All the cheeses we carry are rBovine Growth Hormone free. We buy local first, if it is made/grown free from synthetic chemicals. We support open labeling of GMO’s (an issue that is currently on Hawai’i State’s legislative table). We prefer to support family farms before big conglomerates. The resurgence of home-spun, sustainable businesses is a trend we feel is important to support and nurture. We call this philosophy ‘Vote with Your Wallet.’ As retailers and consumers we need to ask ourselves ‘Do the profits from the products we buy go to support unethical or unsustainable practices for our planet?’ Every purchase we make as retailers and as consumers has consequences for both our own health and the health of the earth that sustains us all.” Location: 292 Kamehameha Ave., on Hilo’s Bayfront Phone: 808.935.7411 Website:

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Helping you Grow Your Business is our business!  Jeff Turner CPA • Jim Primm CPA

• Accounting & Payroll • Income Tax Services • Monthly Bookkeeping • Contractor Statements • Management Consulting • Credit Card Processing  Free Initial Consultation • Personal Professional Service

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I felt calmer when I left the session & it lasted... I'm doing much better! I was up 20 hours yesterday - we had to work until 1:30AM, so a very long day and that session helped me to be able to do it. It all was absolutely wonderful! and I'm Happy! Again many heartfelt thanks for everything! You really do seem to be passionate about this healing work you are providing. (I am so very glad I found you in Ke Ola!!!) With Aloha & Joy, Ana W. • South Kohala






Glimpses into the stories behind a few of our ads

Lava Rock Realty

Stephanie Bolton

Creative Art and Dance

“I P

Owner and Principal Broker Peggy Yuan, R(B)

Location: 65-1298 B Kawaihae Road in Upcountry Waimea (Kamuela) at Moon Center, across the street from Red Water Café Phone: 808.887.2500 Email: Website:

For more information regarding bellydance classes or Stephanie’s artwork, visit

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eggy Yuan, owner and principal broker of Lava Rock Realty, says she always had a dream of opening her own real estate company since she got her broker’s license in 1995. She moved to the Big Island from Honolulu in 1998 and, in 2006, found the “perfect location” in Waimea. Feeling the timing was right, she says she made her dream come true. After five years in Waimea, Lava Rock Realty has recently moved to a new location in the same town. “The new location gives us easier access, more parking spaces and better visibility,” Yuan says. Not having the recognition of a franchise, she has worked hard to establish a brand name. When she introduced herself during her first year in business, people’s responses were mostly, “Who?” Now, five years later she is hearing, “I’ve seen your signs,” and “Your signs are everywhere!” Lava Rock Realty represents local, mainland and international buyers and sellers of real estate. “Many of our agents are long-time kama’aina who contribute our expert knowledge of the market to providing our clients with in-depth understanding and honest advice about Big Island real estate. We also speak six languages to further assist our international clients,” she says. As a childhood immigrant to the U.S,, Yuan speaks four languages: English, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese and Taiwanese. She grew up in her family’s import/export/retail businesses, which, as a result has helped her as a business owner today.

was born eating and breathing paint—it’s in my blood!” says Stephanie Bolton, a third-generation artist who grew up on the Big Island. Both her maternal and Artist Stephanie Bolton paternal grandmothers were artists, her father is a sculptor and architect and her mother owned and operated several professional art supply stores. She says she was surrounded by art and artists her whole life. Bolton has designed embroidery for garments and linens, illustrated books for both adults and children, designed commercial labels and advertising. However, her present focus is custom artwork for individuals, specializing in portraits and mixed media artwork. Stephanie attended Westmont College in Santa Barbara, Calif. Her schooling also included studying figure painting, Renaissance art history and printmaking at San Lodovico Convento in Orvieto, Italy. Her art appears in Kohala Coast Fine Art gallery, Divine Goods Gallery and Boutique, and Holualoa Gallery. A multi-talented creative individual, Stephanie is also a bellydance instructor. “I really love how learning this dance has taught me how to appreciate music and design on such an intricate level. There is no end to the extent in which a person can explore their own creativity in this dance that celebrates the individual,” she says. She has recently shared the stage in performances on O‘ahu with bellydance superstars Ansuya and Zoe Jakes, as well as local legends Willow Chang, Shadiya, and Shakti Dance Movement’s Kalae Kaina and Natalie Phoenix. “My favorite part about teaching belly dance is when you see that person who was dragged to class by a friend, seemingly against their will, open up and discover their rhythm and realize just how beautiful they are right at that moment,” she says. “It is an ageless dance that never ceases to enrich the lives it touches with confidence.” You can see Stephanie and many of her students and friends showing off their dancing skills at the monthly Open Stage events held at The Dancing Tree Studio of Dance and Movement just outside Kainaliu, next to Nasturium Cafe. This is also the studio where you can find Stephanie’s mixed level classes.


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The Three Kapu of the Spiritual Warrior


he Hawaiian elder Hale Makua looked us over slowly in the fading light of our long day of discussion as the winds around the crater subsided into silence. The air felt soft, and our mood reflected this, creating a sense of ease between us. I was aware as well that Makua had come to a decision about Jill and me. “As spiritual warriors,” he began, “the path that we walk on is narrow, and it is constrained by three kapu, three sacred directives. Since you have reached that place of knowing, I can offer these kapu to you. “Love all that you see—with humility. In order to love all that we see, this can only come from a place of humility,” continued the kahuna, with a grin. “I worked on that one for seven years. “Live all that you feel—with reverence. When we live what we feel—what the mythologist Joseph Campbell meant when he said ‘follow your bliss’—this leads us inexorably toward reverence, an active sense of respect. This is the foundation stone of indigenous mind.” Makua paused as if to see if we understood.

“Know all that you possess—with discipline. And when we know all that we possess—and this includes what possesses us—we find our self-discipline. We cannot walk the sacred path without discipline. This is where so many spiritual seekers as well as teachers have stumbled.” Together we sat in silence as he completed the three kapus. In those moments, surrounded by flowering ‘ohi‘a trees and small ‘ohelo bushes, with bright green ferns growing directly from the black, stony volcanic substrate in the dying light, I was aware that something quite rare had just occurred. I glanced at Jill and saw tears gathering in her eyes. Makua simply smiled as the quiet deepened and we digested his words. He then ran them by us once more, just to make sure we had it. “When we come from the place of humility, we connect with the energy of compassion,” he intoned gently. “This allows us to experience the power of aloha—of love. “When we practice acceptance and live what we feel, we are drawn inexorably toward reverence, an active respect for everyone and everything we encounter in life. “And through knowing what we possess, we find our

By Hank Wesselman discipline. And in order to discover who we are as well as where we are, self-discipline is essential, because without it, we cannot progress. His words triggered a memory within me, something I had learned through my erstwhile descendant Nainoa. What I was remembering had happened in conversation with another individual of Nainoa’s time, with a man named William, who is a shaman, or in his words a spiritwalker. “To be a medicinemaker,” William the shaman had said, “one must have strongly developed ethics, and one must have heart—a welldeveloped heart. We may acquire great power in life, but if we have poorly developed ethics and an underdeveloped heart, we cannot be a medicinemaker.” Excerpted from The Bowl of Light: Ancestral Wisdom from a Hawaiian Shaman by Hank Wesselman, PhD (Sounds True, May 2010). For more about the author, visit

Volcano Art Center Gallery L O CAT E D I N H AWA I ` I V O L CA N O E S N AT I O N A L PA R K



Rain Forest Runs

A half marathon, 10K run, and 5K run/walk in Volcano at 4,000 feet elevation. Open to runners and walkers of all ages and abilities, this fundraising event promotes fitness and the natural environment and supports Volcano Art Center’s art and educational programs. Early registration until June 1! Call (808) 967-8240 or visit our website for more details.

Phone: (808) 967-7565

Toll Free: (866) 967-7565

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Saturday, August 20, 2011 7:00 a.m.

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May-June 2011