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May-June 2012

The Life of the Land The Plight of the Honeybee: Listening to the Buzz The Nēnē Project: GPS Helps Preserve Habitat Backyard Garden Co-ops

The Life of the People 2012 Transit of Venus: Hawai‘i Island Prime Viewing This Old House – Hawai‘i Style: Quinlan’s Restorations Every Store Has a Story: Pa‘auilo Family’s Store

The Life as Art

Carousel of Aloha: A Dream Coming True Up From the Ashes: Pit-Fired Ceramic Vessels

The Life in Music Andy Andrews Builds Community with ‘Ukulele

Carousel Horse "Ginger" by Juanette Baysa Complimentar y H AWA I ‘ I Cop y Visit Us and Our Advertisers at

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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 2

The Life in Spirit:

11 Kaulana Hawai‘i

Famous is Hawai‘i Na Wai Puna o Kona – Na Kupuna

The Life of the People:

17 Earl Bakken at 88

Many Dreams Come True

33 Every Store Has a Story

Pa‘auilo Store, a Historic Family Business

39 2012 Transit of Venus

Hawai‘i Island—Best Place to See a Rare Event

51 This Old House—Hawai‘i Style

Tom Quinlan Gives Old Buildings New Life

67 Leo Sears: Curtain Going Up

Founder of Big Island Film Festival Reminisces

71 Marked Teachings

Tattoo as Transformative Art

The Life of the Land:

21 The Plight of the Honeybee

Big Island Honeybees are Vital

27 Save the Bees, Save the Planet 4 | | MAY/JUNE 2012

Listening to the Bees’ Message

57 The Nēnē Project

GPS Tracking Aids in Protecting Habitat

63 Money Does Grow on Trees

Backyard Farmers Co-ops Sprout up in Puna

Back issues of Ke Ola available for purchase at

Le‘a ka pu‘uwai i ke kani ka pila. Joyous is the heart upon the sound of music.

The Life as Art:

43 Up From the Ashes

Pit-Firing Ceramic Vessels with Tim Freeman

47 Carousel of Aloha

Bringing a Dream to Life

The Life in Music:

77 Community Building with ‘Ukulele

Andy Andrews and Fun with P.U.K.A.

Ka Puana --- The Refrain:


90 The World of Bananas in Hawai‘i

Discovering the Pregnant Banana



MAY 19- 28 Workshops | Music Intensives Concerts throughout Puna

MAY/JUNE 2012 | | 5

Then & Now: Pu‘uhonua o Hōnaunau...................................... 13 Hawai‘i Island Farmers Markets...................................................60 Island Treasures................................................................................. 75 Community Calendar......................................................................80 The Life in Business..........................................................................86

The Next Generation of Veterinary Medicine

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6 | | MAY/JUNE 2012

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"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

Editor & Art Director: Karen Valentine, 808.329.1711 x2 Marketing & Operations:

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MAY/JUNE 2012 | | 7

John Boyle • Hadley Catalano • Keala Ching • Fern Gavelek Jessica Kirkwood • Denise Laitinen • Jon Lomberg • Marya Mann Sonia Martinez • Alan D. McNarie • Robert Oaks • Shirley Stoffer Cynthia Sweeney • Catherine Tarleton • Paula Thomas

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8 | | MAY/JUNE 2012



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From Readers...

✿ [Letter to Writer Alan D. McNarie:] I just returned from the Big Island and we brought back the Ke Ola magazine in which you wrote about the parrots at the Pana’ewa Rainforest Zoo. [January/February, 2012] After reading your article, I felt I must tell you that I was fortunate t sounded like Gov. Neil Abercrombie was our very own ad rep enough to hear little Salsa, the yellow-headed Amazon parrot, sing when he held up a Ke Ola magazine rate card and gave us a strong “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and then do an almost complete endorsement during his keynote speech at the Kona-Kohala Chamber version of “I Can See Clearly Now (the Rain is Gone)”—much to my of Commerce Governor’s Luncheon and Business Expo on March 29, amazement. I am a bird fancier, and we shared a few more hello’s 2012. Wow! I felt very honored. It’s nice that he reads Ke Ola at his and goodbyes and What are you looking at cutie? and other little office in Honolulu and enjoys it as much as everyone else. We parrot utterances. I was so happy to chat with him. appreciate his endorsement! As we walked through the zoo I found another bird that spoke to Notice the small Hawai’i Island icon throughout the ads in this issue me in what I am sure was Portuguese! I noticed that both he and That icon indicates this advertiser is offering special savings on the the macaws donated by the Furtado Drive upcoupon scenic Hualalai Road from Queen Ka‘ahumanu Hwy (190). Turn Lefthad atbeen Mamalahoa Hwy (180),family. Who knows? page of our website. It’s a new feature for advertisers and maybe hefrom pickedHawai‘i’s up some words in their native tongue. readers. Go art to:, thennow click on the Coupon where studios and local shops occupy historic buildings past. So thanks for the great article and photos of these wonderful tab. You can print the coupons or save paper by showing them to the Take a leisurely stroll through our quaint village . . . You’ll be you did. creatures. I amglad hoping to visit the Parrots in Paradise refuge the merchants on your Smartphone. If you’re interested in having one, next time we are on the Big Island. let us know.. Aloha from your Canadian cousins, Barbara Garcia, Marketing & Operations – Marion Bradbear and Sam Hawkins


Governor Recognizes Ke Ola


“Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it!”



his quote, often attributed to J.W. von Goethe, is apropos to several of the stories in this issue of Ke Ola. Earl Bakken dreamed he could keep a heart beating with an implanted device. No one had ever done that, but he did. Juanette Baysa is dreaming of a big and colorful children’s carousel with all hand-carved animals on it, riding up and down, ‘round and around. If anyone can do it, she can. Tom Quinlan U A makes L O old A buildings look beautiful, Leo and Jan Sears created a uniquely Big Island film festival and Andy Andrews has everyone strumming along with him. They inspire us all to dream bigger dreams and just maybe they’ll come true, too. Enjoy this issue.

Karen Valentine, Editor


The Plight of the Honeybee: Listening to the Buzz The Nēnē Project: GPS Helps Preserve Habitat Backyard Garden Co-ops

The Life of the People 2012 Transit of Venus: Hawai‘i Island Prime Viewing This Old House – Hawai‘i Style: Quinlan’s Restorations Every Store Has a Story: Pa‘auilo Family’s Store

The Life as Art

Carousel of Aloha: A Dream Coming True Up From the Ashes: Pit-Fired Ceramic Vessels

The Life in Music

Andy Andrews Builds Community with ‘Ukulele

Carousel Horse "Ginger" by Juanette Baysa CO M P L I M E N TA R y H AWA I ‘ I CO P y

On the Cover: Carousel horse “Ginger”, hand-carved by artist Juanette Baysa, a prototype for the planned “Carousel of Aloha.” Story on page 47. Also see

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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 [In response to “The Story of ‘Iliahi: Sandalwood: a Saga of Destruction and Rebirth” in the March/April, 2012, issue of Ke Ola] My name is Larry Rose and my 10 acres in South Kona is both a home and a source of inspiration and material for my woodcarving art. I just read [Hawai‘i] House Concurrent Resolution 190, forming a task force to regulate the harvesting and destruction of Hawaiian sandalwood on private land. None of the 12 members of the task force to be appointed by the chairperson of the Board of Land and Natural Resources is required to actually own some land with sandalwood trees. I think that some of the hundreds of property owners in Ka‘u, South Kona, North Kona and the Kohala district having native dry land forest (including sandalwood) should be included on the task force or at least have someone representing their interests. In my own personal experience, there are more than 150 small lots of 100 acres or less, just between the Ocean View subdivision in Ka‘u and the Kona Paradise subdivision in south Kona with sandalwood growing on them. I hope that Chairperson Aila will appoint someone who will share our concerns and also help to conserve this important native species. –Larry Rose, Kealakekua

MAY/JUNE 2012 | | 9

May-June 2012 May-June 2012

The Life of the Land

✿ Aloha, I would like to add some detail to your story, “Taro, ‘Ohana and Jerry Konanui” [in the January/February, 2012, issue of Ke Ola]. I just read the article and it was a great story. You’ve really captured the ‘flavor’ of Jerry’s world. On page 52, you write about Onipa‘a Na Hui Kalo. That organization was formed more than 15 years ago and has a statewide membership of over 300 taro growers and supporters. Its purpose is to help increase the acreage and number of farmers growing kalo in Hawai‘i, to share information about taro production, kokua between taro farmers, and to keep alive the practice of growing taro for the next generations. The impetus for its formation began over water issues. Jerry Konanui’s enthusiasm and vision on the GMO taro issue helped to galvanize wide support for protecting Haloa both within and outside of Hui membership. Today, there are many kahu o Haloa. Mahalo nui loa for a great story! – Penny Levin, Wailuku

10 | | MAY/JUNE 2012


Famous is Hawai’i Loveable things indeed Present is the life Hawai’i

Kamehameha Hawai’i lā Mō’i ka moku lā Eia ho’i ke ola lā ‘O Hawai’i

Kamehameha of Hawai’i Chief of this island Present is the life Hawai’i

Eō e Maui lā I luna o Haleakalā Eia ho’i ke ola lā ‘O Maui

Rejoice Maui High above Haleakalā Present is the life Maui

‘Ōnipa’a Kalaupapa Lei hiwahiwa lā Eia ho’i ke ola lā ‘O Moloka’i

Steadfast Kalaupapa A precious lei indeed Present is the life Moloka’i

He Nani Lana’i lā Kāpaianaha lā Eia ho’i ke ola lā ‘O Lana’i

Beauty is Lana’i Amazingly special Present is the life Lana’i

Nā pali O’ahu lā Ha’aheo Sanoe lā Eia ho’i ke ola lā ‘O O’ahu

The cliffs of O’ahu Proud mist indeed Present is the life O’ahu

Ikaika Kaua’i lā ‘Ohi’ohi (nā) pa’akai lā Eia ho’i ke ola lā ‘O Kauai’i

Strong is Kaua’i Gathering of salt Present is the life Kaua’i

Kūpa’a ‘o Ni’ihau (Nā) ‘Ike o nā kūpuna lā Eia ho’i ke ola lā ‘O Ni’ihau

Stand firm is Ni’ihau Knowledge of the elders Present is the life Ni’ihau

Ho’ōla Kaho’olawe I ka moku piko lā Eia ho’i ke ola lā ‘O Kaho’olawe

Healing is Kaho’olawe The center of all islands Present is the life Kaho’olawe

Kaulana Hawai’i lā Nā mea Aloha lā Eia ho’i ke ola lā ‘O Hawai’i

Famous is Hawai’i Loveable things indeed Present is the life Hawai’i


ka ho’omaka ‘ana o keia makahiki hou, ua ho’oulu au i na kupuna o Kona a e a’o i ka ‘olelo Hawai’i ma ka hale kaiaulu ma Kaniohale i na Po’alua apau ma ke ‘ano he papa kupuna. No laila, i ka la ‘umikumakolu o Malaki, ua haku ‘ia keia mele e na kupuna o Na Wai Puna o Kona. Ua makemake au e ho’ohanohano i na mokupuni ‘ewalu me na mana’o kupaianaha o keia wa i hala aku nei. Na ‘Anakala George Na’ope i ha’i aku ai ia kekahi, “pono e haku mele e pili ana i keia wa a laila lilo i ka mana’o kahiko i na makahiki i hiki mai ‘ana.” No laila, ho’olalelale au i na kupuna e haku i keia mele. Aia keia mau mana’o kupaianaha i ola ai i na mokupuni apau; Kaulana o Hawai’i ia Kamehameha, he mo’i o ka moku; Eo e Maui i ka mauna o Haleakalā; Ho’ohanohano i na po’e o Kalaupapa, he lei hiwa wale no; Nani Lana’i ma muli o na mea kupaianaha; Na pali kaulana o O’ahu pili i sanoe; ‘Ikaika wale ‘o Kaua’i, wahi ‘ohi’ohi pa’akai; Kupa’a ho’i ia Ni’ihau i na mea pili i na kupuna; ho’ola ia Kaho’olawe, ka piko o ka moku; a eia ho’i ke ola o Hawai’i la. At the beginning of this year, I invited a gathering of elders of Kona to learn the Hawaiian language at the community center of Kaniohale every Tuesday. On March 13, this song was composed by the elders of Na Wai Puna o Kona. I desired to honor the eight beautiful Hawaiian islands with amazingly special things of times past. Uncle George Na’ope said that we must write chants or songs about this time so that these thoughts would become ancient as the years progress. Therefore, I inspired the elders to compose this song. We present the many amazing stories of Hawai’i: Kamehameha, the chief of Hawai’i Island; rejoicing at Maui for a mountain called Haleakalā; giving honor to the people of Kalaupapa, a precious lei indeed; beautiful is Lana’i because of many amazingly special places and things; honoring the mist upon the cliff of O’ahu; Kaua’i is strong and a place where Hawaiian salt is gathered; standing firm is Ni’ihau, which is guided by the elders; the healing of Kaho’olawe, the center of our islands. Present is the life of Hawai’i. Sung utilizing the tune “Na Moku ‘Eha” – kupaianaha indeed – amazingly special. Mahalo nui loa. Offered by Kumu Keala Ching. Contact Kumu Keala Ching:

MAY/JUNE 2012 | | 11

Kaulana Hawai’i lā Nā mea Aloha lā Eia ho’i ke ola lā ‘O Hawai’i

12 | | MAY/JUNE 2012

Hale o Keawe, where a priest could grant forgiveness for wrongdoings— ancient Hawai‘i’s system of justice was conducted at pu‘uhonua locations on all islands. – Photo by Karen Valentine

In addition to the pu‘uhonua, on the mauka side of the wall was the royal enclosure, home to high chiefs of Kona for many generations and ancestral home of the Kamehameha dynasty. This entire portion of the park was kapu to commoners, who could not walk through the area or even cast their shadows without risking death. Reaching the asylum of the pu‘uhonua, therefore, required swimming across Hōnaunau Bay. Separating the two areas, and providing its sacred atmosphere was the Hale o Keawe, a thatched roof temple and mausoleum containing the bones of 23 deified, high-ranking chiefs, protecting the sanctuary of the spot. Hale o Keawe was built for Keawe-i-kekahi-ali‘i-o-ka-moku, Kamehameha’s great grandfather, probably sometime between 1720 and 1740, though some scholars suggest it might have been built nearly 100 years earlier. The pu‘uhonua itself, probably dating from 200 to 300 years before Hale o Keawe, included two additional, older temples. The first of these, significantly larger than Hale o Keawe, was the ‘Ale‘ale‘a heiau built in several stages over a period of 200 years or more, beginning as early as the 1000s. Its massive foundation (127 by 60 feet) can still be seen within the pu‘uhonua. Nearby is the site of an even older and even larger structure, known simply as the “Old Heiau.” Destroyed by a series of pre-historic tsunami, its name is long forgotten. Continued on page 14

MAY/JUNE 2012 | | 13


raditional Hawaiian society was regulated by a series of rules—kapu—the violation of which led to severe punishment, often including death. Examples of violating a kapu included eating forbidden food, transgressing against a chief, engaging in a crime or defeat in war. A person guilty of such an offense, however, could escape the penalty by fleeing to one of several pu‘uhonua (commonly, but somewhat misleadingly called a “city of refuge”), which were scattered around the islands. Once there, regardless of guilt or innocence, he could be absolved of his crime by a priest and allowed to return home. Pu‘uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park, on the South Kona coast of Hawai‘i Island, is one of the most significant archeological and historical sites in the entire state of Hawai‘i. The park consists of two distinct sections—a pu‘uhonua, or place of refuge, and a royal compound—separated by a massive stone wall built on top of a lava flow from Mauna Loa Volcano. Open to Hōnaunau Bay on one side, the pu‘uhonua is partly enclosed by the 1,000-foot-long lava rock wall, approximately 17 feet thick and 10 feet tall. Built around 1550 without mortar, the basalt blocks were fitted together with the smoothest sides facing outward. Small stones filled in the gaps of the larger stones, some of which weighed more than 1,000 pounds. The sheer size of the wall and other structures at Hōnaunau, possibly built in just a matter of a few days, demonstrate the ability of Hawaiian ali‘i to coordinate and control large numbers of laborers.

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A 26-inch long relic with mother-of-pearl eyes, human teeth and hair, found at Hale o Keawe, was given to the British by Ka‘ahumanu and Kalanimoku, co-regents on behalf of King Kamehameha III. Since they had converted to Christianity, they had little interest in the idols of the old religion. It now resides in the British Museum. –Photo © The Trustees of the British Museum

❁Continued from page 13

Shop in Puna

14 | | MAY/JUNE 2012

All you need in one stop - close to home, or on the way to activities-Volcano, golf course, hot ponds, lava flow, more! Stop by Ace Hardware for all you need for household projects. Lemongrass Restaurant serves Thai and Vietnamese foods. Try the Sesame Chicken, Volcano Shrimp, Mongolian Beef, Pod Thai Noodles and delicious one-of-a-kind sauces! Healthy snacks and bulk items can be found at Kea`au Natural Foods. Get the laundry done with the wash, dry and fold service at Suds n Duds, while you do your grocery shopping at Foodland Kea`au. Try any of 20 varieties of Poke! Or grab a plate from L & L Drive-Inn, known for their generous portions, and low prices. Hungry family waiting? Bring home a pizza from Pizza Hut. Special family time? Choose Hokulani’s Steak House for affordable Hawaiian-infused comfort food. Need to fill a prescription? Long’s Drugs is open Monday through Saturday.

Kea`au Shopping Center

Hale o Keawe was a state heiau, surrounded by a palisade and protected by wooden images (ki‘i). The bones inside were venerated and watched over by a hereditary guardian. There were images, altars, and a refuge pit, but no bones of women, since it was not a family burial site. The deification of the chiefs, in a ceremony that most likely included human sacrifices, ensured the sanctity and inviolability of the pu‘uhonua. The first European visitors to Hale o Keawe were British Lt. James King and several other officers from Captain James Cook’s ships anchored at nearby Kealakekua Bay four miles to the north. Visiting sometime before Cook was killed in February, 1779, they found “ludicrous and some obscene idols, like the Priapus of the ancients.” Indeed, such anatomically correct idols, according to the ship’s surgeon Dr. David Samwell, “would offend the Ear of Modesty to recount.” Not all objects were offensive, however. King described one that they saw inside the Hale as a “black figure of a man, resting on his fingers and toes, with his head inclined backward; the limbs well formed and exactly proportioned, and the whole beautifully polished.” This 26-inch long relic is now in the British Museum in London. It has mother-ofpearl eyes, human teeth and short, black hair attached to the top of the head. The Hale o Keawe was carefully maintained down to the end of Kamehameha’s life (1819). Shortly after he died, his son and successor, Liholiho (Kamehameha II), abolished the kapu system, making the Hale and the pu‘uhonua itself largely irrelevant. Even so, the association with Kamehameha and the ancestral royal bones kept the site from being desecrated, as were most other sites associated with the old religion. In 1823, four years after it was abandoned, the American missionary Rev. William Ellis visited the site

The Ka‘ahumanu Stone, under which it is said the favorite wife of King Kamehameha I hid after a quarrel with her mate. Behind it is a portion of the massive 1,000-foot-long lava rock wall enclosure, approximately 17 feet thick and 10 feet tall and built around 1550 without mortar. –Photo by Karen Valentine • Hale o Papa, also called Heiau no na Wahine (the women’s temple) may have been either a temple or simply a place of seclusion for high-ranking women. Only the small (25 by 30 feet) stone platform exists today near the middle of the south wall. There are fewer structural remains within the royal grounds of the park, but several natural formations provide a guide to the past. Keone‘ele Cove, the former royal canoe landing, once surrounded by grass huts, is now populated by honu, the green sea turtles so popular with visitors. The nearby Heleipalala fish pond, fed by an underground spring, once held the food of the ali‘i. There is also a reconstructed canoe house (hālau) within the royal compound, which contains some ancient koa wood canoes, still in remarkable condition. Because of the historical significance of the area, plans to acquire lands to establish a national park began in the late 1940s. In July 1961, the City of Refuge National Historical Park was established, adopting the name that the Rev. William Ellis bestowed more than a century earlier. In 1978, at the request of the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs, however, the name was changed to the more appropriate Pu‘uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park. Today more than 400,000 visitors come each year to enjoy the scenic and historic wonders of the 400-acre park.

For Further Reading:

Cordy, Ross. Exalted Sits the Chief: The Ancient History of Hawai‘i Island. Honolulu: Mutual Publishing, 2000. Greene, Linda Wedel. “A Cultural History of Three Traditional Hawaiian Sites on the West Coast of Hawai’i Island.” http://www. National Park Service, 1993. James, Van. Ancient Sites of Hawai‘i: Archaeological Places of Interest on the Big Island. Honolulu: Mutual Publishing, 1995. Kirch, Patrick Vinton. Feathered Gods and Fishhooks, An Introduction to Hawaiian Archaeology and Prehistory. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1985. Legacy of the Landscape: An Illustrated Guide to Hawaiian Archaeological Sites. Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 1996. National Park Service, “Pu‘uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park”, Oaks, Robert F. Hawai‘i, A History of the Big Island. Charleston, S.C.: Arcadia Publishing, 2003.

MAY/JUNE 2012 | | 15

and misleadingly called it a “city of refuge.” He and other early European visitors thought the pu‘uhonua similar to Jerusalem and other Biblical cities of refuge, overlooking the fact that Hōnaunau was by no means a “city” and that guilt or innocence had no bearing on the granting of refuge and pardon. Despite the confusing name, however, Ellis did provide the first detailed description of the pu‘uhonua, including a drawing of it in his book. He recognized its significance and appreciated the clemency aspect, finding the place a nice contrast to all the “heathen” temples and altars that he found elsewhere on the island. Two years after Ellis’s visit, the crew of the HMS Blonde also visited the Hale. Under the command of Lord Byron (cousin and successor of the poet), the Blonde had returned the bodies of King Kamehameha II and Queen Kamamalu from London, where they had both died from measles on an unsuccessful journey to meet with King George IV. The ship then visited several sites in the islands, including Hilo, Mauna Loa Volcano, and Kealakekua Bay, before returning to England. Lord Byron and several of his crew members visited Hale o Keawe, accompanied by the island’s Governor Kuakini. Since the new King Kamehameha III was a minor, the kingdom was ruled by co-regents: Kamehameha’s wife Ka‘ahumanu and the effective prime minister Kalanimoku. Those two, both Christian converts with little interest in the idols of the old religion, gave Byron’s crew specific permission to remove any articles they wanted from the temple. The ship’s naturalist, Andrew Bloxam, described the same black figure of a man that Lt. James King had described nearly half a century earlier. Bloxam believed that the figure was a kind of stool upon which “all the Kings when they entered the Temple used to rest themselves before sacrifice.” And that is how the figure ultimately ended up in the British Museum. Governor Kuakini and another local chief who accompanied the British that day, silently allowed the looting of the temple, but they did prevent the removal of the bones. The royal remains were moved first in late 1828 or early 1829 to caves at Kealakekua Bay, and subsequently in 1865 to the royal mausoleum at Nu‘uanu in Honolulu. The then-empty Hale gradually fell into disrepair until restored by the National Park Service in the 1960s. Though Hale o Keawe is the most important and recognizable structure in the park, there are many other significant objects as well. Within the pu‘uhonua side of the park, these include: • The Keoua Stone, named after Kamehameha’s father, who supposedly slept on the 13 ½-foot long stone, shaded by a coconut leaf canopy supported by posts inserted in holes carved in the rock. • The Ka‘ahumanu Stone, named after Kamehameha’s favorite wife. According to legend, after the couple quarreled, Ka‘ahumanu fled to Hōnaunau and hid beneath the rock. Her barking dog revealed her hiding place and the pair reconciled. Mark Twain, who visited the site in 1866, scoffed at the story: “for Ka‘ahumanu was 6 feet high—she was bulky—she was built like an ox—and she could no more have squeezed herself under that rock than she could have passed between the cylinders of a sugar mill.” But then perhaps she wanted to be discovered. • Konane stone, a two by two-and-one-half-foot basalt block with shallow holes of nine by 11 rows marking the positions of black and white pebbles used in this checkers-like game. The stone itself is called a papamū.

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The Life


opening of North Hawai‘i Community Hospital (NHCH) in 1996. Dr. Bakken was part of the grassroots organization to get a badly needed full-service hospital in Waimea. What he brought to the table was the idea of integrated care—treating the patient at all levels: physically, emotionally, spiritually and culturally. “Our vision for the hospital was and continues to be to treat the whole individual: body, mind and spirit,” emphasizes Dr. Bakken. He proudly says the hospital has “67 things” that makes it different from other hospitals to promote healing—like the notably wider hallways, colored lighting, oversized patient rooms to accommodate visitors and a meditation garden. There’s also things you can’t see, like power cables that are buried deeper than code to reduce the harmful effects of EMFs (electromagnetic fields).

“To create a blended healing environment, we relied on hightech science and high touch,” he details, describing “high touch” as a combination of “complementary healing techniques, cultural wisdom, the aloha spirit and feng shui—the human/caring component.”

Hawai‘i-The Healing Island

Once the hospital opened, Dr. Bakken was convinced it was “only the beginning of a much larger enterprise that could rejuvenate the entire island, while offering a whole new concept of health care to the world.” Earl called that dream the “Healing Island” in his 1999 autobiography, “One Man’s Full Life.” In the book, Dr. Bakken says a “Healing Island is in harmony with itself and the world.” Missions he identified for a Healing Island included: • Acquire resources and values in health, healing and wholeness that are blessed by the spirit of the traditional culture of Hawai‘i. • Establish a reputation for Northwest Hawai‘i as a place of beauty and healing where people may, in the spirit of aloha, achieve self-realization and contribute their best to other individuals, society, nature and the land in exchange for a meaningful, happy and satisfying life. Dr. Bakken explains the Healing Island model “rests on a return to self-responsibility, and its success depends on the involvement of family and community.” In addition, he says the concept relies on education, plus developing incentives and understanding that will inspire healthy behaviors.

❁Continued on page 18

MAY/JUNE 2012 | | 17

e goes to bed every night with pen and paper at his side. “That’s because I dream of ideas while falling asleep,” says Earl Bakken, M.D. HON. C. One of those ideas changed the world in 1957—an external, wearable, battery-powered, transistorized pacemaker. Four weeks later it began stimulating human heart tissue and saving lives— the first was a little girl in Minneapolis. As a nine-year-old boy, Earl began dreaming of helping others via electricity, inspired by the movie, “Frankenstein.” He dreamed of becoming an electrical engineer—done. He dreamed of “The Body Electric” and producing implantable pumps for each body area or organ—done. He dreamed of many things, big and small. Find eight decades of Earl’s dreams—and their progress—at The web page provides a peek into the life of Earl Bakken, who lives in a sprawling, oceanside retreat on the Kohala Coast. The Midwest native has been described as “a true pioneer— a person who, through his vision, inspiration, courage and leadership—can change the course of human history.” An ever-enterprising science and technology buff, Earl lists his first dream of helping others as “done and still going.” While Dr. Bakken has retired at Medtronic, the multi-billion dollar medical technology company he co-founded, he’s “busy as ever” trying to improve the health care and well-being of Hawai‘i Island residents. “I have been driven by a heartfelt desire to use my knowledge and energy to help mankind,” smiles the 88-year-old. “My life’s intention to help others lives in my heart, even as my mind dreams on.” One of those initiatives has had a profound effect on Hawai‘i Island residents and visitors. The vision took shape with the

Earl Bakken relies on an “astronaut pen” to easily write down ideas when falling asleep. The pen, first used on the Apollo 7 space mission in 1968, uses a pressured ink cartridge and is sold online. –Photo by Fern Gavelek

❁Continued from page 17 To implement tools for achieving a Healing Island, Earl became involved with a handful of programs and non-profits— some were already getting started and others he initiated. They include Friends of the Future, Tutu’s House, Earl’s Garage, Five Mountains Hawai‘i, The Kohala Center, the Makali‘i Voyaging Project and the North Hawai‘i Outcomes Project. He saw a value in all of them to achieve his dream to make Hawai‘i Island the “Healing Island.”

18 | | MAY/JUNE 2012

NHOP Provides Health Data

To have credible health data on Hawai‘i Island, the Earl and Doris Bakken Foundation created the North Hawai‘i Outcomes Project (NHOP) in 1999. It serves as a measurement tool that prepares and analyzes a Hawai‘i Island Community Health Profile. The vision of the project is to provide isle health care leaders with data so they can, in turn, better improve healthcare. The value of NHOP is illustrated in the reduction of trafficrelated deaths in Hawai’i County since 2004. In 2001, the project identified Big Island traffic deaths “nearly three times higher” than state figures. NHOP facilitated a meeting with key stakeholders who formed the Motor Vehicle Crash Reduction Group. The group tackled the issue with a 10-step plan, and the effort garnered $515,000 to fund high-visibility sobriety checks. Updated every two years and available at, the Community Profile focuses on 16 identified critical health issues in the community, including “improvement of educational attainment.” That issue has a high priority with Dr. Bakken, who believes “education is one of the most powerful social and economic determinants of health.” “Kids who drop out of high school die at a higher rate than those who have some college,” shares Earl. Citing 2008 U.S. Census data for people aged 24-65, he notes deaths per 100,000 people were 550 for high school dropouts, 450 for grads and 200 for those with 13 years of education. “There’s a big difference in the death rates of high school graduates and those with a year of college,” points out Dr. Bakken. “Hawai‘i Island, particularly the West side, needs to offer a 13th year of school. I’ve heard 23 percent of kids on our East Side get a 13th year, and only 9 percent get it on our West Side. I’m all for efforts to build a tech school.”

Tools for a Healing Island

In addition to NHOP, Earl ‘s efforts have been instrumental in promoting community health and wellness. He “helped assemble” health initiatives like Five Mountains Hawai‘i while serving as a “thinker” for organizations like Friends of the Future. One organization that is “dear to his heart” is Earl’s Garage in Kamuela Business Center (KBC). “It’s where kids go after school and focus on science and technology,” he says. “They compete in robotic competitions.” Also open during school breaks, Earl’s Garage, which started in 1999, offers science exploration projects, mixed with activities that engage the imagination. “We need more Garages as there’s no tech school,” laments Earl, who feels local students should be allowed “now” to be involved with the development of the Thirty Meter Telescope. “Let’s use it as a training tool,” he suggests. Also at KBC is Tutu’s House, a community health and resource center. “It’s got seven non-profits attached to it and offers

classes and programs led by experts in their fields to encourage healthy behaviors,” explains Earl. Recent offerings tackled topics like fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, bereavement of a loved one and “Prescription Pain Pills – America’s Newest Epidemic.” www. Also encouraging educational development and healthy behaviors is Five Mountains Hawai‘i, of which Earl is a founding father. Programs include the Kids working at the annual Earl’s Garage North Hawai‘i DrugHalloween Fright Shop event Free Coalition, Take It –Photo courtesy Earl’s Garage (weight) Off Hawai‘i and the Lifeplan Institute Hawai‘i Island. “I love the Lifeplan idea of partnering youth with mentors so they have a plan in place prior to graduating high school,” he says. “It’s doing a good job; we have over 100 kids involved.” Earl is particularly proud of the efforts of the Kohala Center. It was founded in 2001 after several North Hawai‘i community forums asked the question, “What would make us a happier and healthier community?” As a community based center for research, conservation and education, it offers educational and employment opportunities through caring for the ‘āina. Work focuses on ecosystem health and self-reliance in the areas of energy and food. “The Kohala Center brings in college students to use our island as a lab, a classroom,” says Earl, referring to workshops offered by Brown and Cornell Universities. He feels it’s important to “teach kids to do things right to protect the land.” The Kohala Center has several community programs, including the Hawai‘i Island School Garden Network, which involves 63 school and community gardens where people grow food in an outdoor learning lab,

Be Part of the Dream

As Dr. Bakken feels the success of Hawai’i Island “depends on the involvement of family and community,” he suggests “all residents, full-time and part-time, get active and involved.” “There’s a lot to do,” Earl says, when referring to data found in the new 2012 Community Profile. (See sidebar.) “We don’t seem to be doing so great. However, it would be worse if we weren’t doing anything.” Undaunted and driven by his dream for a Healing Island, Earl adds, “We can achieve this vision by understanding kuleana (the Hawaiian value of accepting responsibility and accountability) and by doing what we can to help organizations already working hard to achieve a Healing Island—with our financial support and our volunteer time.”

And to any dreamers out there, Earl recommends you “chase your dreams as they, along with your visions, have a way of predicting and preceding reality.” ❖

• Nearly one in five residents (18.4 percent) has an income at or below the Federal Poverty Level (FPL)— O’ahu has about one in 10.

For more information, visit

Offering ways to improve Big Island health, the profile calls for intervention in three modifiable areas:

2012 Health Profile

• Improve income per capita through educational opportunities and economic and workforce development in education, science, energy and health. • Initiate system and individual changes to reduce non-healthy behaviors. • Improve access to healthcare by growing the primary care workforce and increasing the proportion of the population who have healthcare insurance.

Released this spring, NHOP’s 2012 Hawai‘i County Community Health Profile shows the health of Hawai‘i Island residents is worse than the rest of the state. It reports Hawai‘i Island has higher rates of smoking, binge drinking and obesity and there is significantly lower access to healthcare. And while more Hawai‘i County residents age 25 and over have a high school diploma compared with the rest of the state, fewer residents have some college education. According to NHOP, one of the many ways that education influences health is through income, More education is associated with higher income and better health. Lower income impacts health through living conditions and access to quality healthcare. Focusing on the economic determinants of health, the 2012 profile reports Hawai‘i Island has: • A per capita (per person) income of $22,713— trailing all other island counties. • A 2010 median income of $46,444— again lowest of all counties.

For the full report, which also covers access to healthcare and the health status of people divided by life stages, visit

A 2006 portrait of Earl Bakken, M.D., HON. C., philanthropist, inventor and holistic community health advocate –Photo courtesy Earl Bakken

Contact writer Fern Gavelek:










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The Life

Bees atop frames in beehive at UH Hilo apiary


“Adopt-A-Beehive with Alan Wong” program at University of Hawai‘i-Hilo. [See sidebar.] The program encourages public involvement in the future of honeybees and sustainable agriculture, as well as raising funds for the only college beekeeping program in the state. In March, 2012, Tsutsumi, Wong, and UH-Hilo Chancellor Donald Straney were recognized by the Hawai‘i State Legislature for their efforts to save honeybees on the Big Island. Even lawmakers have gotten involved in efforts to save honeybees. “Bees mean sustainability,” says State Representative Clift Tsuji, who chairs the committee on agriculture. Earlier this year Tsuji introduced House Bill 2100, which proposes appropriating $50,000 to the University of Hawai‘i for bee hive research statewide. Supported by the Hawai‘i Farm Bureau Federation and the Big Island Beekeepers Association, the measure had passed the House and was under consideration by the Senate as this magazine went to print. While beekeepers have been trying a variety of approaches for dealing with the invasive pests—using everything from chemicals and powders to natural, non-commercial approaches—beekeeping organizations have stepped up education efforts. Last year the Western Apicultural Society held its annual conference on Hawai‘i Island in Kohala in conjunction with the Big Island Beekeepers Association Second Annual Hawaiian Natural Honey Challenge. The event brought together experts and beekeepers to learn about solutions for dealing with the pests. For Hanson, who won the Best-in-Show Award in the liquid category for his Christmas berry honey and Best Taste in the solid honey category for his mango honey at last year’s Honey Challenge, learning how to combat the pests is one of the best ways to move forward. “The most important thing I see is to rebuild and educate,” says Ron, noting that he doesn’t use chemicals on his hives, preferring instead to use natural methods. “When I lose hives, I want to learn why so I can learn from it,” says Ron. “When I first started losing bees to the beetle, it was pretty bad,” he adds. “It’s almost like seeing your dog get hit by a car.” Continued on page 22

MAY/JUNE 2012 | | 21

aw honey may look like liquid gold, but it is the bees themselves that are worth their weight in gold. “Albert Einstein once said that without honeybees the human race as we know would end in seven years,” says Dr. Lorna Tsutsumi, Entomology Professor at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo and head of the school’s beekeeping program. Bees are key when it comes to pollination and plant reproduction. “If we look at the importance of honeybees in terms of [crop] sustainability, it’s crucial,” adds Lorna. Bees are in the business of gathering nectar and pollinating flowers. It’s also how they make honey. “Bees are responsible for 90 percent of the world’s food supply,” says award-winning Honolulu Chef Alan Wong. “And they’re in danger of disappearing.” For centuries Hawai‘i’s geographical remoteness meant that bees were relatively free of pests. In recent years however, Hawai‘i Island honeybees have been hit by the double whammy of varroa mites and small hive beetles. Varroa mites were first found on Hawai‘i Island at beehives in the Hilo area in August 2008. The tiny insect attaches itself to the bees abdomen and “sucks the life force out of the bee,” explains Ron Hanson, owner of Best Big Island Bees in Pahoa, who has several decades of experience with bees. The mite also prevents the bee from growing to a mature size. The effect of the mite on the island bee population was profound for both feral honeybees and managed hives. “It almost devastated it,” says Hanson, of the island’s bee population. “Some people claim there were 800,000 feral bees on island before the mite got here,” he adds. Anecdotally, it’s believed that the varroa mite has wiped out 50 percent of the island’s bee population. As if that weren’t bad enough, the small hive beetle arrived shortly thereafter in 2010. “Small hive beetles devastate hives by entering a hive and emitting a pheromone that causes the queen bee to shut down her egg-laying process; it eventually turns the honeycomb to slime,” explains Hanson. “Beetles come in when hives are weak—maybe because of mites,” he adds. Beetles can cause a honeybee hive to crash in a matter of days.

The honeybees’ plight is not a lost cause yet. Everyone from lawmakers to chefs to educators and the beekeepers themselves have rallied around saving the honeybees. For Chef Wong and Dr. Tsutsumi, helping bees is a crucial part of ensuring our food supply for the future. “So many crops rely on bees, we need them to help keep our island independent and sustainable,” says Tsutsumi. “Our company’s definition of sustainability is that our children’s children have a future tomorrow,” explains Chef Wong. “They [bees] pollinate fruits and vegetables. That’s why chefs are concerned about bees.” To help build awareness about honeybees and their importance, Chef Wong and Dr. Tsutsumi created the

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❁Continued from page 21

“It was overwhelming,” adds his son, John Hanson, who is also involved in the family’s beekeeping business. An avid beekeeper himself, John won the People’s Choice Award and Best Texture in the solid honey category at the Second Annual Hawaiian Natural Honey Challenge. Hanson offers monthly education training classes for beginner and advanced beekeepers. “People have a perception that it’s really difficult to maintain bees,” says Ron. “I find that it’s easier to keep a few beehives than it is to feed your dog and cat. Even some experienced beekeepers have a perception that it’s difficult to keep hives because their hives died in the past. It gets back to education.” Both father and son point to the need to increase awareness among local farmers about the importance of bees in terms of pollination. “If more people had hives, we wouldn’t have nearly as much of a problem with pollination,” adds John. Ron recounts a situation in which a macadamia nut grower on island complained about his low-yielding crop. “But he had no bees in his area,” explains Ron. “His neighbor had bees and saw a 30-percent increase in their macadamia nut crop when they incorporated the bees.” Beekeeping isn’t just for agricultural purposes; it also creates an array of value-added products. Honey is, of course, the best-known item made by honeybees, but they also make many other useful items. Propolis is a sticky resin mixture that honeybees collect and use to fill open spaces in a hive, reinforcing the hive’s structural stability. Widely appreciated by natural medicine practitioners for its health benefits, propolis is thought to have antibiotic and antifungal properties. It’s also associated with promoting heart health, as well as treating inflammations, ulcers and burns. “There are quite a few people that buy it,” says Ron. “They use it for tinctures or balms.” “We’ve had fish farmers buy it for use on their koi fish,” adds John. “A fellow who bought it said he makes a solution with the propolis and sprays it on the koi’s fins to help heal cuts.” Beeswax is another important value-added honeybee product. John points out that beeswax can be used in everything from candle making to woodworking. Candle making is probably the most obvious use of beeswax, but it is also very popular with woodworkers who use it on handcrafted furniture and surfers who use it on their surfboards. Ron notes that, by and large, their biggest buyers of beeswax are local cosmetic companies. Indeed, nationally, the cosmetics industry is the largest consumer of beeswax in the country. It’s used in everything from facial creams and lotions to lip balms and John Hanson of Best Big Island Bees holding lipsticks. a jar of propolis and beeswax, two popular Beeswax is items made by beekeeping.

a popular ingredient in hand and body creams, because it contains wax esthers that helps to increase moisture in the skin. Local beekeepers that sell beeswax help the island economy by offering a local, natural product used by other local companies. It saves the cosmetics companies from importing beeswax and keeps money invested in the local economy. Of all the products that are made by bees, Ron Hanson believes the most important item is the bees themselves. “Very few people sell bees on island. People can buy bees to start their own hives or their own apiary,” explains Ron. “We’ve got nice habitat for bees. We’ve got excellent resources for pollination and year-round flower sources,” says Ron. “If you take care of the bees the hives will grow.” As the honeybees flourish, so does local agriculture and local commerce. ❖ Contact writer Denise Laitinen: To learn more about bees and beekeeping: Big Island Beekeepers Association: Statewide: Bee education opportunities: Best Big Island Bees, Pahoa Ron Hanson, 808.965.0000 Offers three-part series on beginning beekeeping; classes on first three Saturdays of the month. Bee Love Apiary, Hāmākua Coast Jenny Bach, 808.640.0278 Next class offered: Introduction to Organic Beekeeping, June 9-July 7 (five-week class held on Saturdays). Offered in partnership with Volcano Island Honey Company. Also offers free outreach presentations and apiary field trips to Hawai‘i Island schools. Volcano Island Honey Company, Honoka‘a Richard Spiegel, 808.775.1000 Offers farm and beehive tours, as well as educational tours for Hawai‘i Island schools. Big Island Bees, Kealakakua Garnett and Whendi Grad, 808.324.0295 Big Island Bees is developing an educational program about how honey is made and the nature of beekeeping. As we go to press they expect the program to be starting in June 2012. Call for more info. UH-Hilo The University’s College of Agriculture, Forestry, and Natural Resource Management offers courses in beekeeping for students interested in pursuing careers in the apiary field. Dr. Lorna Tsutsumi, 808.974.7719 UH CCECS Noncredit classes on beekeeping are offered by the UH College of Continuing Education and Community Service 808.974.7664 Taught by Danielle Downey, an apiculture specialist with the Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture.

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Chef Alan Wong is worried about bees. “Bees are responsible for 90 percent of the world’s food supply,” says Alan. “And they’re in danger of disappearing.” Combine the disappearance of bees with the fact that 85 percent of all food on Hawai‘i Island is imported and you understand his worry. Not one to sit idly by, in 2011 Chef Wong teamed up with Dr. Lorna Tsutsumi, an Entomology Professor at University of Hawai‘i at Hilo who oversees the university’s bee keeping program, and created the “Adopt-A-Beehive with Alan Wong” program. Donation levels range from $300 -$1,000. The proceeds are accepted by the UH Foundation and go towards supporting the UH Beekeeping program with supplies/equipment and student support. Depending on the donation level, donors receive anywhere from a quart to a gallon of honey from the UH-Hilo apiary and can have their name placed on a hive. They also receive reports and photos of their adopted hive. In its first year the Adopt-A-Beehive program generated enough support for the University to award three $1,000 scholarships to students participating in the UH-Hilo beekeeping program, which has the only beekeeping college program in the state. In March Chef Wong, Dr. Lorna Tsutsumi, and UH Hilo Chancellor Donald Straney were recognized by the Hawai‘i State Legislature for their efforts to increase awareness about the plight of bees. “We have an opportunity here to create a local model,” says Wong. “It’s a great model to be emulated,” he adds, noting that it is the only program of its type associated with a university program that encourages students to pursue apiary careers. “It can be a national and an international model. Bee issues are global.” “I think it’s important for everyone to go straight to the source,” says Wong, “not just cooks Alan Wong pointing to bees in and chefs.” He points hive at UH-Hilo. out that beekeeping is a dimension of the farm-to-table experience and he feels that people should take the time to see where their foods comes from. “It’s so grounding to put your hands in the soil.” “We have to reconnect to the land, the farm source…. Otherwise you get kids that when you ask them where honey comes from, they say Foodland.” The 2012-2013 Adopt-A-Beehive program at the UH-Hilo’s Farm Laboratory in Pana‘ewa runs September, 2012, through May, 2013. For more info on the Adopt-a-Beehive with Chef Alan Wong program, go to

PHOTO: Mary-Kay Cochrane

Adopt-A-Beehive with Alan Wong

A Unique Program at UH-Hilo

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The Life OF THE LAND Alison kissing one of “her girls” as she prepares to harvest honey, propolis and beeswax –Photo by Marya Mann

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Artemis Smiles Bee Sanctuary

The bee hive hums. Forty thousand bees dance on the combs of a natural, glass-encased hive, hanging six feet above our heads inside her Waiohinu home, which also serves as office, bee education center and “honey house.” There she processes the wax, honey and propolis produced by the bees. Lining the shelves are glass canning jars of wildflower and wililaiki honeys, pollen-filled bee bread and honeycomb, fresh and fragrant from the sanctuary’s two dozen hives. With the gentle but resonant voice of a true seer, Alison uses her hands to speak, gesturing toward the humming bees, who also communicate through dance. (Their dance forms a figure eight, an infinity symbol, the lemniscate infinitum.) “This hive is like my altar,” says the bee oracle, explaining why she keeps bees in her kitchen. “That’s as close as I can get. Their sound, their scent, their sacred presence is a gentle, constant reminder to return to Source.” Over mamaki tea sweetened with jasmine-scented honey, Alison speaks of the “modern essence of the lineage,” and how, under the guidance of a shamanic healer, she had learned to see and hear beyond the bounds of ordinary consciousness. To the rhythmic beating of a traditional frame drum, she traveled through non-ordinary states, “journeying” to discover her innate wisdom. On her first shamanic journey, Alison relates, she met the guide who would become her primary teacher over the next three years. The guide called herself Demeter, a name with which Alison, then 29, was unfamiliar. It wasn’t until the arrival of the honeybee swarm three years later that she discovered Demeter’s ancient epithet was “The Pure Mother Bee,” whose presence had filled the goddess temples of Artemis and Aphrodite. She learned that temple priestesses were called melissae, Greek for “bees.”

❁Continued on page 28

MAY/JUNE 2012 | | 27

honeybee swarm came to Alison Yahna and it changed her life forever. The bees came in a swirling rush, alighting on a small cedar tree near her home. With help from a friend she moved the swarm from the tree into a beehive, and the little winged creatures crawled by the thousands up her bare arms. “Make your spirit like honey, make your spirit like honey.” She calmed herself by repeating over and over the words from a prophetic dream she’d had a week earlier. “Make your spirit like honey, and attract the bees like honey.” That first swarm came to Alison, a high school biology teacher in Portland, Oregon, in April of 1999. It was seven years before the worldwide honeybee decline brought fear to the bones of every beekeeper and farmer on the planet in 2006. The bees knew, says Alison. They had been asking her to bring their message into the world. Inner guides had informed her: “We are going to prepare your body to contain a higher vibrational frequency.” To help prepare her to be a vessel for their message, they gave her a meditation: Alison was specifically instructed to hum and buzz like a bee. After the swarm arrived, she began to receive information from what she calls the “over-lighting spirit of the hive” during her humming meditations. The bees warned Alison that they were sick and they would be “leaving” in catastrophic numbers. The bees asked her to move to Hawai’i, create a honeybee sanctuary, and build a temple that echoed the ancient bee temples she had visited during a series of shamanic journeys.

An other-worldly tale, nevertheless it isn’t simply what Alison says that gives authenticity to her visions of the hive, but her intelligent and unassuming presence, innocence and a burning desire to help the natural world. That passion earned her a Fulbright Grant to teach high school in Zimbabwe, where she absorbed indigenous methods of learning and received early hints of a path which continues to inspire her. The ancient tradition of bee shamanism is known by its members as the Path of Pollen. For Alison and others who practice bee-loving as much as beekeeping, the honeybee and hive are not merely metaphors—creators of food or fertility—they are the source of a rich body of ancient wisdom. Bee shamanism itself, although obscure and hidden, has been practiced all over the world—the Americas, Australia, Africa, Greece and Egypt. One branch of the path exists at Alison’s Artemis Smiles Honeybee Sanctuary and Education Center in Ka‘ū, where naturalized Hawaiian honeybees are facing not just a host of problems, but a great opportunity.

❁Continued from page 27 Guided by the bees’ messages, Alison left her teaching job, sold her house and moved to the Island of Hawai‘i to start the sanctuary in 2001. The creative power of the human mind has a physical effect upon them, the bees cautioned, and some of the “illness” was due to falling, within the collective human consciousness, from a revered place of love and appreciation, into a state of exploitation and profit-driven manipulation. To emphasize this point, and so that she could understand the place from which she was giving the bees a “sanctuary,” Alison A screen-encased beehive was guided to work for inside the house inspires and a commercial queen bee energizes its residents. producer. “The practices –Photo by Marya Mann and attitudes of commercial beekeepers are a far cry from what the bees experienced when they were revered as a manifestation of the Divine,” says Alison.

Raise Up the Queen

The bees who gave the oracles at Delphi and Ephesus their prophetic power, pleaded with Alison during shamanic


meditations: “The Queen has fallen! Raise up the Queen, raise up the Queen!” Alison came to understand that one of the most important things we can do for the bees’ health is to offer them love and gratitude for their service to humanity and nature. “As humans we have been taking this divine being that we used to hold in reverence and diminishing it to serve our needs.” “A lot of people understand that bees are getting sick, that they’re leaving,” says Jaya Sith Bavananda, Alison’s friend and collaborator on the bee temple project. “But we’re looking at it from a spiritual perspective, not from a scientific perspective that says, ‘We just need to breed better queens.’” As at Delphi, where the oracle spoke through a priestess known as the “Delphic Bee,” some bee communications concern human affairs, says Alison. “The bees say humans are on the cusp of a great shift in consciousness—from this individual, ego-consciousness into something that is more like what the bees experience.” What do the bees experience? Hive consciousness. Just as an individual cell in a body is embedded within the larger consciousness of the organism, so the consciousness of the individual bee is embedded within an even greater, superconsciousness. For the bees, this connection offers a great nurturing source. The queen bee’s powerful presence holds the consciousness of tens of thousands of individual bees within a common field. “Scientists call this a super-organism. A colony of honeybees is really ONE single being,” Alison muses, “and so are all of us humans. We just don’t realize it quite yet.” “It’s all coming from the bees,” declares Jaya. “The bees are the guides. We have simply been the conduits for bringing in this message. Bees can unite so many people. After all,


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The Honey Jar

everybody loves honey.” Alison opens a golden jar of honey and Jaya shows me a book by Simon Buxton entitled, The Shamanic Way of the Bee, which details the Path of Pollen practiced in the ancient Celtic traditions of Europe. The book, published in 2004, confirmed for Alison that her experiences with the bees were part of an ancient tradition, one still practiced today.

I dip my finger into the honey jar and savor the taste of solar radiance, fresh oranges, butterscotch and even a hint of sea salt. Honey harvested from the wild areas of Ka‘ū, uncontaminated by pesticides and fertilizers, comes from her beloved bees, whose natural life cycles and processes are deeply respected. Some of Alison’s bees feed each season on

just one type of flower—like Ka Lae kiawe, which blooms after the winter rains, or golden Christmas berry, whose nectar flows in late summer—to create distinctive, single-blossom honey varieties. “It takes the nectar from 3 to 4 million flowers to make a cup of honey,” she says. “It’s really special. I treat it as a sacred food.” Alison, calling the bees “my girls” and soothing them with the soft cooing of a loving mother, hand-harvests sanctuary honey without protective clothing. The honey is never processed, heated or filtered, and so preserves its intoxicating flavor and healing properties. For thousands of years, people have used raw honey as an antiseptic dressing for wounds, a facial moisturizer, digestive tonic and cough suppressant. The waxy honeycomb makes Mother Nature’s own chewing gum, which protects the teeth and is anti-bacterial and anti-microbial.

The Path of Pollen

With the kitchen bees humming ZZZZZ HUMMM ZZZ HUMMM like a Krishna Das shruti, I open Simon’s book to a section about his initiation by a bee master. “I began to develop a deep respect for the knowledge and skills of the shaman and for nature, which he revealed to me as the visible face of spirit,” writes Simon. “Bees are skilled astronomers. They can predict rain. And they were created from rays of light.” He relates remarkable facts from his journey, where myth and matter mingle: a wounded or plundered hive can actually moan in agony; the bee can grow old quickly, and then grow young again; and beekeepers who eat the golden elixirs—honey, propolis, royal jelly—rarely become ill. Continued on page 30



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❁Continued from page 29 No one species of animal seems to have inspired so many people in so many ways as the humble honeybee. From the temple cultures and groves of ancient islands through the literature of Aristotle and Virgil, for thousands of years, the humble bee has been honored for its purity, integrity and industry. Heroes with six legs, a thousand faces and countless spiritual facets, the bees know the “power of six,” shaping each individual cell in the most efficient form in the universe, the hexagon—the hexagramma mysticum. “Pythagoras meditated upon the perfect hexagonal cells of the bee’s honeycomb,” says Alison, “to develop an understanding of sacred geometry, the mathematical principles underlying the structure of the universe.” The queen bee lays her eggs in a spiral pattern, one of the perfect patterns that connect all life, and sacred geometry permeates every facet, structure and activity of the hive.

The Hive Dream Sustains Us

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While worker bees have a six-week life span, the queen, with her special diet, can live up to six years. Within the fertile body of the queen is the genetic wisdom that has allowed honeybees to survive on this planet for millions of years, through ice ages and asteroids. This resilience has led Alison and sanctuary staff to trust the wisdom of the hive and the intelligence of nature over the manipulations of modern beekeeping, which may have led the bees to the brink of extinction. “By allowing our bees to swarm and reproduce naturally, and by not ‘re-queening’—killing older,

less productive queens—we are cultivating a ‘seed bank’ of genetically diverse bees who are able to survive without constant interventions and treatments,” Alison attests. These most remarkable of creatures give GPS instructions to the hive through aromatic pheromones and dances performed with their leg-bristles full of pollen, a precise choreography that directs worker bees to blossoms heavy with nectar. Informed directly by the sun, they are aeronautic engineers, architects, social alchemists and gymnasts who can also shape-shift, changing from four-winged to two-winged creatures and back again in an instant.

A Honeybee Temple Garden

Because their pollination is responsible for two of every three bites of food we put in our Alison Yahna displays a sun-lit bee hive at the mouths, bees offer Artemis Smiles Honeybee Sanctuary and Education Center in Ka‘ū. –Photo by Marya Mann a global service of profound proportions. Bees sustain human civilization, and in gratitude, Alison and Jaya are building a 90-ft. diameter Honeybee Temple Garden, “a love offering to the bees in honor of their sacred presence.”

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A 40-minute drive from the Artemis Smiles kitchen hive, on a remote sea-misted hill near South Point, there is a hidden, more protected refuge overlooking the Pacific. With an ancient “grandmother tree” at the heart of the land and a coastal forest of kiawe, kukui nut, native lama, alahe’e and Christmas berry blossoming nearby, the hives at the temple site enjoy year-round abundance. “The temple is a mandala, based on the ‘flower of life’ pattern,” says Alison. “The bees are asking to be taken out of boxes and placed in round hives in a round garden. Biodynamically, the round shapes reflect the solar nature of the bees.” Representing the balance of masculine and feminine energies, the flower-of-life form is intended to create a protective, electromagnetic energy field to soothe and sustain the 12 hives enclosed within it. “One of the problems that the bees are dealing with is electromagnetic pollution, so we are creating an electromagnetic field in accord with the cosmic harmonies.” Standing where the temple will be built, we listen. “They’re the ones who are sharing the information with humanity,” says Jaya. “They’re saying, ‘look, we have always been here, one with you as a direct connection of your spirit and your human consciousness. Listen to us again. We are here to assist in guiding the human consciousness into a deeper sense of oneness.” Before they leave? “Well, not all of them are leaving. Many bees will die,” Jaya reminds us, “but that’s what will make the rest of them—and us— much stronger.” Alison agrees, “We are building this temple as a means to seed the restoration of a loving, reverent relationship with bees, actually with all of nature. We are evolving. Any relationship that

is based on exploitation is going to be left behind as we evolve, and that is really what the bees are telling us by leaving in such alarming numbers.” This is a chance for humans to change the way we interact with nature, she says. Rather than trying to change the bees to fit into a dysfunctional system that is destroying the life support of our planet, “We envision the bees once again thriving in partnership with humans—but on their terms, as ‘free agents.’” This, Alison believes, is the kuleana given to her by the bees, and the only way to truly address the crisis of global bee die-off. Facets of infinity flow through this little vessel, and if you listen for the sound of the universe beeing itself, timeless and tender, you see it, feel it. You can certainly taste it, calling us to come alive to the sacred powers of the hive. Bees have been busy for millions of years, and they’re not likely to stop anytime soon. “Bees are creatures of paradise, and they can lead us back to the garden,” encourages Alison. “Let’s listen to them!” “Blessed Bee, Long Live the Queen!” ❖ Contact writer, Marya Mann: Resources: Website: Contact Alison at or call 808.929.8117   Book: The Shamanic Way of the Bee by Simon Buxton (Rochester, Vermont: Destiny Books, 2004)   On Sunday, May 27, Alison and Jaya will present at the New Thought Center in Kealakekua.

MAY/JUNE 2012 | | 31

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The Life

The front of the newly renovated Pa‘auilo Store, an establishment that began as a plantation store, was taken over by the Saito family in 1949 and still serves the small Hāmākua coastal community.

Miriam S


“My father-in-law used to work for the plantation store before the company leased it to him,” said Miriam Saito, wife of the late Earl Saito, Torao’s son. He began work in his father’s business after returning from the Navy. “It was so big aito e Earl S back then, it was more like a The lat department store [of today]. We sold clothing and food; there was a meat market and we had two gas pumps.” The lively 73-year-old great-grandmother has worked in the family business for the past 42 years. (She did “odds-and-ends” jobs beginning in 1959.) She continues, telling how Earl and his father used to drive down to Hilo to pick up the store’s supplies that came in by freight (a tradition that would eventually be part of Earl’s sons’ memories as well) and describing the freshness of the meat market. “The meat came from my father-in-law’s cows. He raised them on Hawaiian Homeland pastures, and every Sunday he would go riding and pick out the cows to slaughter. On Monday he would pick up the slaughtered meat,” she reminisced. “The area was booming back then. People from all the neighboring towns like `Ō`ōkala would come here, but after the plantation closed everything went down.” Earl took over the store from his ailing father and, in the 1970s, he transformed the business to Earl’s Snack Shop, sensing a need in the community to follow a trend and revive the declining market. He sold hamburgers, French fries, milkshakes, sandwiches, hot plates and cold drinks. From there the business began to grow over the years, with the help of Earl’s sons, Mark and Miles, and son-in-law Schoen Maekawa. In 1981 Earl’s also started selling bentos, the typical Japanese home-packed meal, which boxes rice, a chicken or fish option and a pickled or cooked vegetable, and they soon became a lunchtime trademark favorite for locals. Maekawa, who, according to Saito, made delicious sushi plates and rolls for his family at home, invented Earl’s Bento Roll. By taking all the elements of the bento plate, he rolled them all together with nori into a sushi-like roll.

❁Continued on page 34

MAY/JUNE 2012 | | 33

t might just be that a simple bento roll is what has kept the Saito family of Hāmākua in business all these years, and helped their family store to recently reach its 63rd anniversary. You may have heard about those bento rolls at the Pa`auilo Store. Maybe you read a brief paragraph in a guidebook suggesting you make Pa`auilo Store—a small storefront on highway 19 along the Hāmākua coast—a stop on your way from Waimea to Hilo. Perhaps your friend lives nearby in one of the picturesque towns that dot the cliff-side community and frequently feeds his appetite with the Korean chicken bento. Whatever serendipity brings you there, the homemade roll is worth the drive, and so is the story behind the longtime family-operated store. While any small family business will find it hard to stay competitive these days, it may be that the long-lasting traditions valued by both shop owners and patrons along the East side have been a contributing factor to the sustainability of this mom-and-pop shop. There are many historical general stores like Pa`auilo Store scattered around Hawai`i Island—still run by generations of families who started in business years ago. Grandchildren and great grandchildren of the original Japanese, Chinese, Filipino and Portuguese businessmen now stand behind the counter, stock shelves and make deliveries. Unfortunately these stores—the ones that have been in business for more than 50 years—are the last of their breed. It’s all the more reason to preserve their existence, continue their stories and provide a living example of how the foundations of hard work, dedication and community commitment can help perpetuate the culture and lifestyle of the Hawaiian people, of all ethnic backgrounds. From the early to mid-1900s, when sugar plantations along the Hāmākua coast were at the height of operations— immigration, labor and commerce were thriving up and down the East coast of Hawai`i Island. In the sleepy town of Pa`auilo—situated less than 10 miles south of Honoka`a— packed together along the small roads in the old village, there existed two grocery stores run by two Filipino families, another third store, a vegetable stand, two restaurants and a number of other small businesses. It was during this time, in 1949, when business partners Torao Saito and Pedro Eugenio took over the Pa`auilo Store from the Theo H. Davies Co. sugar plantation, which had operated the small grocery store along the highway.


❁Continued from page 33 “People are often confusing the bento roll with a sushi roll,” explained Saito. “There is a difference. The sushi rice is made with vinegar and the bento roll rice is just plain rice.” Capitalizing on their popular specialty foods, the family started a catering service, (winning the bid at the former Hyatt Regency) and three lunch wagons in 1987 to service the island community—especially construction workers and hotel workers along the Kohala Coast. Between the store and the other services, the family business peaked at 22 employees. In time, the economic downturn would effect Earl’s business, bringing the lunch truck down to one and employment down to five people. However, following in the footsteps of their late father, with hard work and a determination to bring local, favorite food to the community, Mark and Miles opened a second store in Waimea—called Earl’s Waimea—in 2009. In 1994 Kamehameha Schools acquired the bankrupt lands of the closing Hāmākua Sugar Co., including Pa`auilo Store; and

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Painting of the original store

in October of 2010 the trust decided to tear down the old store building, deeming it in poor shape. The trust offered the Saito family a five-year lease in an adjacent building just 30 yards away from their former location. Today, the Pa`auilo Store sits in a space that was once the former office of Hāmākua Sugar’s industrial relations department, sharing the building with the Pa`auilo Post Office. Newly renovated by the trust, the new store’s grand opening was held on December 22, 2011. It would have been Earl’s birthday. In a congratulatory message to the family, both the Hawai`i County Council and State Senate acknowledged and applauded the Saitos’ exemplary employees, excellent customer service, quality food and community connection. One of the plaques reads: “Whereas the Saito family has When the old Pa`auilo Store welcomed, fed and also provided reopened in their renovated for the small Pa`auilo community space Mrs. Miriam Saito saved all the old relics from the past 62 for over three generations— [and] continued to serve Pa`auilo years the store has been in operation, including this antique proudly as a gathering place with adding machine. familiar faces and Earl’s famous Bento Rolls… we recognize and congratulate the Saito `ohana.” The original plantation store and community landmark now swings open its wide-hinged doors six days a week. Mrs. Saito

can be found working every day, filling out paperwork, chatting with her morning coffee and musubi regulars, or stocking the wooden shelves in the small, freshly painted store with simple grocery items—saving her customers a trip to Honoka`a— and of course presiding over the selling out of the family’s famous rolls and bentos. Ask Mrs. Saito when you come into the Pa`auilo shop and she will take you to one of the small side rooms, which showcases antique equipment used at the stores since the 1950s and photos of family and friends on the walls. “Here,” she said, pointing out a signed letter. “This is from the president of Portugal. He stopped by and I told him I was half Portuguese. Over here is a note from Cabbage Correira, a mixed martial artist, this is from George Na`ope, and you won’t believe who came in once…Martin Sheen.” As she went on to tell the tale of Martin Sheen’s charity walk drop-in and how another time a couple had just gotten married and wanted a bento roll and she just had to take a photograph, she is subconsciously demonstrating how she keep’s Earl’s memory alive and subsequently the life of the store and the history within. Some of the store’s dedicated employees, like Bernadette Johansen, have been working there for 40 years. Carmen DeMello, who grew up in the Hāmākua plantation camps, has worked at the Pa`auilo store for more than 12 years, said, “It takes family to work together to keep the business going.” Family has indeed been the unwavering moral fiber of the 63-year-old business and many businesses like it throughout the island’s history. Further down the road, in Waimea, Miles and his two children, Tyler, 18 and Marisa, 16, are cleaning up one weekday afternoon during March spring break. The next

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generation of Saitos, who attend Parker School, are helping their father clean the kitchen and mop, and Saito’s sister, who is a school teacher in Honoka`a sometimes takes calls for food orders. For the Saito family—and all historical family stores—the legacy relies on the strong backbone of personal relationships, Miles Saito, one of Earl’s and Miriam’s community three children, runs the Earl’s Waimea involvement, and loyal store, opened in 2009, while his brother patronage. Mark runs the Earl’s food wagon. Here “This is how we Miles stands next to his children Tyler, remember and honor 18 and Marisa, 16, who also work at our ancestors, the the family’s store. generations before, and we’re trying to perpetuate that and pass that living legacy on,” Miles said. “The grand-opening commemoration service was nice, emotional to see the old store gone, but it’s the name, the family—we are still around and we are rebuilding.” ❖

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The Life

June 5, 2012


“Mauna Kea Voyagers” – ©


It was a Transit of Venus that prompted Captain Cook’s first voyage into the Pacific in 1769, specifically to observe the phenomenon. Earlier that century, Edmund Halley, namesake of the famous comet, published a mathematical method by which the transit could be used to measure the distance from the Earth to the Sun. The trick to Halley’s method was making accurately timed observations from different parts of the world

❁Continued on page 40 A photograph of the 2004 Transit of Venus, showing the small black silhouette of the planet against the Sun. Second from the Sun and covered in clouds, Venus is the brightest night sky object after the Moon. Our Earth is farther from the Sun, so we have to look toward the Sun to see Venus just after sunset or just before sunrise. That’s why it’s often called either the Morning Star or Evening Star (but never both in the same day!)

MAY/JUNE 2012 | | 39

n June 5, 2012, the Earth, Sun, and the planet Venus will briefly line up, and Venus will slowly move across the Sun’s face, like a tiny eclipse. This is in fact the rarest eclipse visible from Earth, called a Transit of Venus. There have been only 53 of them since 2000 B.C. There was not a single transit in the entire 20th century. When they happen, they happen in pairs, eight years apart. The last one was in 2004, and its eight-year twin will be on June 5, 2012. Since each transit is completed in a few hours—six hours in 2004—it is visible only to the hemisphere facing the Sun during that time. West Coasters will see it begin before the Sun sets for them. To see the entire transit, American astronomers are flocking to Hawai‘i’s observatories, from which the entire transit can be observed. (It’s visible in Alaska, too.) They will be joined by thousands of astro-tourists toting cameras and telescopes. This event will join a long tradition in which the islands of Polynesia are linked to astronomy. In fact, this is really a feast for the mind, not for the eyes. Unlike the better-known solar and lunar eclipses, the Transit of Venus is a visually unspectacular event, just a small black dot taking all afternoon to move across the face of the Sun. Even with sun filters for safety, you’ll need sharp eyes to spot that tiny dot. But what an important dot it is! So important that it got astronomers tangled up in the rocky history of Western contact with Pacific culture. Their quest to observe this seldom-seen event brought scientists to Tahiti in 1769 and to Hawai‘i in 1874; both times the impact on the islanders was profound.

and comparing when widely separated observers saw the event. Astronomers could then apply Halley’s method, using geometry to calculate the distance to the Sun with unprecedented accuracy. Who cared? And why send a ship all the way to Tahiti to find out? The interest was not purely scientific. Knowing the distance to the Sun would improve the accuracy of navigation and reduce the enormous losses of men and ships due to the poor navigation of that period. In those pre-GPS days, all navigation was done by observing changing positions of the Sun, Moon and stars during a voyage. Their positions could be predicted by the science of celestial mechanics. Celestial mechanics is the study of how objects move in space. The orbital motions of the Sun, Earth and Moon can be understood and predicted using the laws of motion formulated by Sir Isaac Newton in the mid-1600s. This science has been among the most generous to society, explaining as it does the timing of sunsets, tides, eclipses, and transits. By the 1700s, Western navigators realized that improvements in celestial mechanics would allow improvements in navigation. Astronomical charts and tables could tell a ship captain where the Sun, Moon and planets would be seen at any location and at any time. But to work the equations in their celestial mechanics, astronomers needed to know the distance to the Sun. Halley didn’t live long enough to see the next transit in 1761. But he didn’t miss much. Bad weather in Europe and Africa frustrated most observers trying to see that transit from Europe and Africa. Among those disappointed in South Africa were the astronomer/surveyors Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon, who later established their eponymic line dividing Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia (and, in the Civil War, North from South). Astronomers had eight years to prepare for the next transit in the pair and that one would not be visible from Europe. So Britain decided to send its most able sea captain, James Cook, to an ideal observing site halfway around the world to make the observations sought by the British admiralty. In 1769 Cook sailed the bark Endeavor to the Pacific island of Tahiti, which had been reached by the first Europeans only two years earlier.

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It was perfectly situated for observing. Cook and astronomer Charles Green came well prepared with a portable observatory. Cook successfully arrived in Tahiti in time to establish his observatory at what is still called British astronomer George Tupman Point Venus, on the at the Hawai‘i telescope in 1874 northernmost tip of the –Photo from Hawai‘i State Archives island. He and Green made their observations and sailed home, their epic voyage taking them through storm and shipwreck, discovering Australia along the way. Cook’s navigation was perfect, but 40 percent of the crew, including astronomer Green, perished from tropical disease on the final leg of the trip home. Such losses were considered normal in those days. Captain Cook’s voyage thrilled all of Europe and sparked a new wave of exploration by Western navies. Unfortunately, Cook and Green’s transit observations were not accurate enough to fix the Sun’s distance—their optical and timekeeping instruments were just not good enough for the task. Cook was to make two more epic Pacific voyages and his name is honored all over the hemisphere, from Vancouver Island to Sydney Harbour. His final voyage was the first European contact with Hawai‘i, the most remote chain of islands in the world. In 1779 Cook landed at Kealakekua Bay and ultimately suffered a tragic fate arising from the profound misunderstanding between the Hawaiians and the English. That tale has been told often and well. Less well known is the fact that, before his death, Cook used his portable observatory to fix Hawai‘i’s latitude and longitude. Maps would finally show Western navigators how to find Hawai‘i. Of course the Polynesians had mastered this feat centuries earlier, canoeing thousands of miles across the ocean with nothing but a song and the stars to guide them. One of the ironies of history is that Cook, the greatest navigator of his age, remained ignorant of the depth of navigational wisdom possessed by the Pacific peoples that he met. Cook’s measurements were precise and skillful, and his charting of Hawai‘i’s location was accurate enough to remain in use until the next Transit of Venus expedition made even more precise measurements.


The next transit occurred on December 9, 1874, and the full story is in the new book Hokulua by astronomer Michael Chauvin (Bishop Museum Press) in which these 1874 photographs appear. Again it was not visible from Europe, and again the British sent an expedition to the Pacific to observe it, this time in Hawai‘i. In fact, observations were done from several places in the Hawaiian Islands, including Kailua-Kona on Hawai‘i Island. This time relations between the Hawaiians and the British were much smoother. Hawai‘i’s new king, David Kalākaua, was an educated man who loved the arts and sciences and gave the British every possible help in making their observations. He offered them suitable land in ‘Āpua, not far from the Honolulu waterfront, which the astronomers fenced in and filled with a small but wellequipped observatory. He also allowed the preparation of another observing site in Kailua-Kona, which would lessen the chance of being completely clouded out by bad weather over one island.

The big day came with clear weather in the sky, but trouble on the ground. (See sidebar) Even with their expertise, the British failed to improve the estimate of the Sun’s distance. By 1874 navigators relied on marine chronometers to fix the location of a ship relative to Greenwich, England, so the Sun’s distance was far less important to navigation. Still, Tupman was disappointed that it was not until the 1882 Transit of Venus (second in that pair) that the commonly accepted value of about 93 million miles was determined by the American astronomer Simon Newcomb. The 1874 expedition was also interested in studying the slight halo that appeared around Venus at the moment the planet appeared to touch the Sun, visible in Charles Green’s drawing. This was caused by the Sun’s light passing through the planet’s atmosphere, and was the first proof that Venus had an atmosphere at all. It’s a wonderful example of how scientists use such small details to reveal enormous secrets. Before they left Hawai‘i, the British had one final act of homage to perform. They erected a monument at the site of Captain James Cook’s death at Kealakekua Bay, now a well-visited attraction for travelers. I am among the dedicated stargazers attracted to Hawai‘i by its peerless skies and by discoveries by observatories from all over the A thatched-roof observatory built for the world, sharing 1874 transit at ‘Āpua in Honolulu. Another the summit of observation site was set up in Kailua-Kona. –Photo courtesy of Bishop Museum Press lofty Mauna Kea. This continuing association of Pacific islands with astronomy could not be more appropriate. Without astronomy, none of the islands of the Pacific would have human populations. From the very beginning of human settlement in Hawai‘i until the present day, Hawai‘i is where the Universe comes down to Earth, and where human curiosity reaches out to the stars. ❖ ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Hawai‘i Island resident and EMMY Awardwinning artist Jon Lomberg was Carl Sagan’s colleague on the TV series Cosmos and the film “Contact.” Asteroid Lomberg was officially named in his honor in 1998. He was design director for NASA’s legendary Voyager Golden Record, and has sent artwork to Mars aboard NASA’s Phoenix, Spirit, Opportunity and Curiosity spacecraft. A Big Island resident since 1987, Mr. Lomberg works with the Mauna Kea Observatories in astronomy outreach, including tours of the Galaxy Garden he designed at Paleaku Peace Gardens in Hōnaunau. See: and He blogs at For more information: NASA eclipse information: transit/venus0412.html WARNING! Looking directly at the sun without proper sun filters can cause permanent blindness in seconds. Photo film and colored glass will NOT block the harmful radiation. Some recommended methods are via rear projection screen, solar filtered telescope, #14 or greater welding glass, disposable “eclipse shades” and live webcast. There are even apps for cell phones. Find more information about how to view the sun safely at:

Astronomers vs.Hawaiians A Viewpoint by Jon Lomberg

In the story of Western contact with Hawai‘i, the tradition of scientific observation has played a noble part. But sadly, another tradition also exists, and that is the lack of trust between astronomers and people from the communities in which they observe. This animosity has been present since the 1874 British expedition brought in the first wave of astronomers eager to observe. Just look at what happened then. About three weeks after King David Kalākaua warmly welcomed the astronomers, he paid them an unannounced visit and proposed the astronomers celebrate a week of festivities with his people, who could be shown the observatory and look through the telescopes. There would be music by the King’s own orchestra, hula, feasts… the king would lay it on royally. What a generous impulse on the part of the young ruler! He knew exactly what the astronomers were doing and why, and he wanted to share that with his people, themselves heirs to a long tradition of astronomy. The astronomers listened and subsequently ignored King Kalākaua’s proposal. Expedition leader Dr. George Tupman even recorded his irritation with being interrupted at his work. Clearly he felt the idea of a star party was impertinent. There was no way they were letting Hawaiians get anywhere near the telescopes. Tupman, of course, neither knew nor cared about Hawaiian astronomy. The voyages of the canoe Hokule’a were a hundred years in the future. Until then, Hawai‘i’s indigenous astronomical tradition was ignored by almost everyone. Tupman’s arrogant attitude is characteristic of his era. These were men of their time, colonialists who had brought tinned fruit with them to eat in Hawai‘i. And they were the first to commit a civic error fatal to community support: lack of sincere interest in education and outreach. Would they

have been so dismissive of the king’s idea had it come from a white European monarch? On Dec.9, 1874, the day of the Transit, Kalākaua was in Washington D.C., hammering out the historic Reciprocity Treaty with Congress and meeting President Ulysses. S. Grant. Meanwhile, back in Honolulu, crowds of citizens in their party clothes started gathering to share the big event with their astronomer guests. But the astronomers had no intention of sharing it with anyone. A standoff followed and grew heated, and the atmosphere had changed from one of a party to a hostile confrontation. This so alarmed Queen Kapi‘olani that she and the Dowager Queen Emma had to appeal to the crowd for calm. So what did the British do? Set up a telescope or two and teach some astronomy? Show the kids the craters of the Moon and the rings of Saturn? No, instead the British Commissioner promptly landed marines from HMS Scout to maintain order, Empire-fashion, with armed troops. The first observatory in Hawai‘i came within a whisker of being sacked by an angry mob, thus recapitulating Cook’s own fate when he underestimated the dignity and resolve of Hawaiian people. To me this history is a parable. In recent years our Hawai‘i Island observatories have made some efforts at outreach through lecture series, exhibits, etc., but the central problem remains disturbingly similar to the way it was back in 1874. Despite some admirable individual efforts, outreach programs of the Mauna Kea observatories are still understaffed, underfunded, and the first thing to be cut when budgets are trimmed. The attitude persists among astronomers that public education is not their job. It is a marginalized afterthought at best. Residents and visitors can enjoy the excellent programs at the ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center, which is not affiliated with any observatory. The Big Island should be the voice of astronomy to the world—starting with all island residents. Astronomers have to accept the responsibility of sharing their knowledge of the Cosmos. Everybody is interested.  And for Hawaiians, it’s in their blood.

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V o l ca n o ... where the lava glows VOLCANO ECO-ADVENTURES Hawai‘i Volcanoes Institute Inspirational Experiences in the Great Outdoors


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funded In part by the hawaI‘I tourIsm authorIty county of hawaI‘I department of research and development


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group photo:

volcano photo:




The Life

Pit-fired ceramic vessels on display at a recent show at Volcano Art Center Gallery, honoring the 100th anniversary of Hawai‘i Volcano Observatory

close examination of a pit-fired ceramic vessel created by potter and philosopher Tim Freeman reveals details reminiscent of Hawai‘i’s active volcano. The artist, who makes his home near Kīlauea’s burning, living fire, is exploring creation from clay with fire and garnering acclaim for his efforts. The distinctive, torn-edge rim at the top of the vessels he calls “ipu,” using the Hawaiian word for “vessel,” is suggestive of the lip of the volcano’s caldera. Peering inside, you also discover some surprising features. In the bottom, a bit of swirled clay seems molten and appears to be rising up from the depths. The interior walls are lined with a striated surface which, along with the molten swirl at the bottom, enhances the effect of looking into a crater and seeing the passage of time—just as the rising and sinking of the lava within the caldera, just as do the striations of stone in the Grand Canyon show time in ages, epochs, and eons. It is imaginable time, but only just. They are not vases for holding flowers, but wheel-thrown sculptures that capture a moment of creation in progress. The very bottom of the interior seems still bubbling with molten waves, wild and rough. When I first met Tim Freeman, a University of Hawai‘i-Hilo professor of philosophy, he had several ceramic masks of

Nietzsche on his office walls. A few years later he showed me a more recent sculpture he had done of a friend, and it had a great resemblance to the person I had met. As with his masks of Nietzsche, the mask of his friend’s face held something recognizable, familiar, known. It was more than that. He had captured an essence. In 2009, more than ten years later, I went up to Volcano Village to meet up with Tim, and his house had grown a ceramic studio. He had built a deck to house his potter’s wheel and kiln, and his small, one-room cottage was filled with his ceramic vessels— many, many, hand-thrown and sculpted clay vessels or ipu. Since 2008, Philosopher-artist Tim Freeman at Kīlauea had Halema‘ua‘u volcano crater

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❁Continued from page 43 become active again, and Tim’s clay sculptures had become powerfully evocative pieces that reflect his fascination with the volcano. In his artist’s statement for a recent show at Volcano Arts Center Gallery, Tim explains: “The interesting thing is that, when I first started making these vessels in the spring of 2009, I had not consciously remembered the last work I had done in graduate workshops in One of Tim Freemann’s ceramics in Memphis in the ceramic masks: “Bodhisattva” early 1980s. While going through my earlier work, I found a series of vessels that I had made which clearly were a preview of this work, including even painted lava interiors. Thus, before even dreaming of living in Hawai‘i and near the summit of Kīlauea, I had been making these volcano vessels. It seems that they thus come from deep within me and that I have been somehow inextricably drawn to this place and to the making of these vessels.” The glazed appearance of Tim’s vessels comes from a technique learned at a 2006 workshop in pit firing at The Donkey Mill in Holualoa with ceramic artist David Kuraoka. It comes from carefully burnishing the unfired clay with a polished stone until it forms a smooth, gleaming finish. Pit firing is the most ancient way of firing ceramics. In pit-fired ceramics, no glazes are used, and the final firing is not in a kiln but simply in an open pit. The pieces are embedded in a thick layer of sawdust at the bottom of the pit and then carefully surrounded with wood, which is then set afire. The fire burns down around the pieces which are removed the next day from the ashes. No glazes can be used in a pit fire as it doesn’t get hot enough to melt a glaze, and even if it did, the ash fall would simply make a mess of any glaze. The pieces turn black where they are embedded in the sawdust while the natural color of the clay comes out where the piece is exposed to the fire. Some copper red color is added with a sprinkle of copper carbonate on the pieces after they are embedded in the sawdust and before they are buried in wood. The unique character of his ipu vessels came as a breakthrough for Tim during that same workshop with Kuraoka, he says. “He was showing us how to do closed forms. There was one form that, as I was burnishing it, I kept thinking there was something wrong with the form. I finally realized it was upside down. So I turned it over and opened it up. I really liked the way the throwing rings spiraled all the way to the bottom. I still didn’t connect it with the volcano though, except for the color in the burnished clay. When I finally got the chance three years later at HCC [Hawai‘i Community College] to start throwing again, I knew I wanted to make these upside-down vessels, but I still wasn’t sure what they were. It didn’t take long however. When I opened the first vessel, the throwing rings didn’t spiral down quite so nicely and something made me decide to remove them. As I was cutting them away, I suddenly saw something different. I guess, perhaps, because of the 2008 eruption and the increasing activity at the summit, I had

become quite captivated by the volcano and it seemed obvious then what they were.” Tim first throws a closed form and then, after it has dried a bit, flips it and opens the ‘bottom,’ which is now the top. Imagine a bulb that is inverted and becomes a bowl. The process of inverting and then opening a closed form allows for some features that one just never sees in a conventionally thrown vessel. The splits and tears in the outside surface of the clay, which come from opening and pulling upward what was initially the base of the thrown form, evoke the fractured volcano landscape in the finished piece. The lip of the top suggests, as well, the lip of the caldera. Before initially closing the form, Tim pushes a bit of slip (very soft clay) into the hole at the top of the form. When the vessel is then inverted and opened this bit of clay seems molten and appears to be rising up from the depths. The throwing rings on the inside of the vessel are then cut away with a wire tool, leaving the striated surface which, along with the molten swirl at the bottom, enhances the volcanic effect. After the clay has taken form and dried to a leather-hard consistency, the polishing of the external surface begins. Using a variety of smooth stones, Tim burnishes the vessel several times throughout the drying process. This time-consuming process is what ultimately gives the surface a sheen that makes the clay appear almost glasslike, as if it were glazed. The “glazing” however is merely the polished clay, and the remarkable color in the finished piece—the mirror-like black, the earthen clay color and the splotches of red from the copper—all come together in the surface to suggest, just as powerfully as the internal and external form, the volcanic landscape. The textures of rope-like pa‘hoe‘hoe lava and sharp a’a emerge from the iridescent, black-mirror surface. The pit used for the firing itself is ten feet long, six feet wide and, at its deepest, about four feet deep. It slopes up to the level of the land, allowing ease in the loading and unloading process. Over the top is placed a metal frame that will hold a corrugated tin roof as a rain and spark shield. Above that is a plastic tarp to keep some more rain out of the fire. In each of these modifications A vessel after being thrown on the wheel and inverted, achieving the torn-edge effect over the years, Tim has adapted his process to his environment. Volcano Village is a scarce two miles away from the Kīlauea Crater, 4,000 feet above sea level, where an open fire in the high altitude tropical rainforest can be a challenge. He lays the bisque-fired vessels in a bed of sawdust, each one carefully positioned to receive more or less of the heat. He then balances the rest of the wood to burn—but not collapse and crush—the delicate, ceramic pieces. Here is where the care of making art meets the random and organic process of a wild, elemental experiment. As an exercise in patience and practice, one can be sure of only relative predictability: shift happens!

The fire is lit around dusk and will burn down from a six-foot pyre to a soft, ashen jumble of coals throughout the night. Often, late into the night, when most of the wood is burned to ash, slowly by slowly, certain pieces will raise their form up out of the embers. Coals settle and shapes and figures rise. In the late morning dew he will delicately unearth each piece from the still-smoldering embers with thick leather gloves, hose off the ash and access his alchemy. In a final pass, Tim will apply a coat of wax to the work, rubbing it all over the outside to bring out a uniform and consistent, mirror-like finish that is seen in the final “Ipu.” On his website, “Volcano Pit Fire Ceramics,” Tim writes that, “In the Hawaiian language an ipu is any kind of vessel, be it a gourd, a koa calabash, or a pot of some kind. The phrase ‘He ipu hō’ihi Pele’ thus means something “He ipu hō’ihi Pele:” “A vessel showing like ‘A vessel reverence for Pele” showing reverence for Pele.’” Over the years, visitors to Hawai‘i have wanted to bring home something that would remind them of their trip to the crater.

Tim Freeman’s vessels are made to be taken away, and their evocation of a majestic and wonderful, natural process of transformation is an act of reverence. His is an art form that embodies the elements in nature, and how rare is an icon or reliquary that may produce a moment of stillness and contemplation. I asked Tim The view inside this ipu is where his mind goes in such representative of a view inside a meditative process and he the live volcano’s caldera says, “It goes where it goes... sometimes I need to think about something... sometimes I just sit and breathe as my hand does the burnishing...” In the past few years Tim Freeman has begun to exhibit his work within the state to immediate acclaim. Last year his pieces appeared in two of the premier statewide shows, the Artists of Hawai‘i show and the Hawai‘i Craftsmen show in Honolulu. In early 2012, both the Volcano Art Center and the East Hawai‘i Cultural Center (EHCC) dedicated their first shows of the year, in conjunction with events marking the 100th anniversary of the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, to art that was inspired by the volcano. One of Tim’s ipu vessels won first place in the juried show at the EHCC. Meanwhile the show at the Volcano Art Center was the first to feature a whole body of Tim’s work.

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Pit firing alchemy: before, during and after

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It included about 25 of his vessels along with paintings by Catherine Robbins and Alan Fine. As a professor of philosophy, Tim is a natural as a clay artist. In his teaching, he brings up questions to mold the mind; his ceramics suggest another kind of inquiry. It raises the question: “What is it for?” His art is ecologically low-impact, organic and ultimately biodegradable. The journey of the earth through his hands is gentle and subtly executed with grace. What he is creating defies meaning, context and use, and perhaps at best suggests reverence. His vessels are what they are, and they are beautiful. An evening in Volcano Village often ends at the Jaggar Observatory where one can look across Kīlauea Crater to the caldera’s red circle of fire; at times there is a distant roar from the mouth of the crater, and the vessel fills and empties. It is the

ebbing and flowing of lava in Halema’uma’u, “house of the soft ’ama’uma’u (or ’ama’u for short, a fern),” home of the goddess of fire and creation, Pele. A healthy fear, respect and reverence rule the senses, especially when one knows that in such a place, at any moment, one is precariously close to destruction as creation. ❖ Contact writer John J. Boyle: All photos courtesy of the artist Resources: Tim Freeman’s ceramics are available at these galleries: Volcano Art Center, Volcano Garden Arts, Living Arts in Hawi, Stairway to Art in Hilo, Cedar Street Gallery in Honolulu Website:

on how to create the blanks, the laminated wood blocks from which the animals are carved. Means will be returning early next year to teach a course on the actual carving. Paradise Ponies has located a company to build the mechanical portion of the carousel and has put out a statewide call for artists to carve the blanks. And it’s setting up the organizational structure to make the carousel happen: a board of directors and an advisory board that includes Means; a Hawai‘i Island based design panel and project managers to coordinate carvers in each county. The organization is also seeking volunteers for everything from sanding to fundraising. “Each island will have at least three figures that represent their island,” arranged together in a pie-piece-shaped section of the carousel, says Juanette. Current plans call for two more pie pieces to be reserved for figures modeled on Hawai‘i’s endangered species, such as a humpback whale calf or a nēnē; two more sections will have wheelchair-accessible “chariots,” including one shaped like a throne in honor of Hawai‘i’s monarchy. The central design committee will be responsible for the technical details of fitting all those efforts together. For instance, since the carousel figures will be arranged in three concentric circles, the innermost figures may need to be shorter than the outermost ones. Baysa hopes to have an octopus designed for the innermost row. A whale would probably be consigned to the outermost ring. One thing that the carousel won’t have is a calliope. “Band organs don’t do well in this humidity,” Juanette observes sadly.

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uanette Baysa has a dream. It’s not a dream that will lead to an end to all war or a universal source of clean energy or anything that ambitious. It’s just the sort that helps to make life a little nicer. It involves a little park on a plot of land somewhere along Volcano Highway. In the center of that park in her dream is an old-fashioned carousel—a uniquely Hawaiian one. It has hand-carved pā‘ū horses and monk seals and dophins and green sea turtles and even an octopus: animals that represent each of the major islands of Hawai‘i, each painted in the colors of that island and decorated with the official lei of the flowers of that island. Many of us have pleasant dreams; more often than not they remain just dreams. But Juanette is working hard to make her dream a reality, and others are buying into the dream too. The goals of the “Carousel of Aloha” are multiple, according to Juanette’s sister Jeanette: to build tourism, to educate visitors about Hawai‘i and to provide a chance for kids to build pleasant memories in a stretch of Puna that has few recreational opportunities for youth. “You can go someplace and not need to spend money and still feel safe and enjoy yourself and have a great time,” she says. Juanette, Jeanette and Katherine Patton, who also cofounded the Hilo Coffee Mill together, have formed a non-profit organization called Paradise Ponies to see the carousel park come to fruition. Juanette has been studying under master carousel carver Ken Means in Oregon for the past 15 years. Last February, they brought Means to Hawai‘i to teach a class



Other carvings by Juanette Baysa are on display at the Paradise Ponies exhibit at Hilo Coffee Mill. Olga Arianoff tries out a horse, while a donkey called “Puna Nightingale” waits in the background.

The Life

After years of study at carousel carving workshops with master woodworker Ken Means, artist Juanette Baysa has completed several magnificent animals, including this horse named “Ginger,” as an inspiration for the designs she hopes others will propose for a statewide carouselbuilding project.

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❁Continued from page 47 “We would have rust up the yingyang.” Instead, plans call for a sound system playing calliope-like synthesizer arrangements of traditional Hawaiian melodies. Carousel animals, Juanette says, “have always brought joy to my face. One of my fondest memories as child was riding on a carousel, looking at all the gorgeous artwork, and being able to touch it. You could hang on to the pole and reach around and touch the mane of the horse. It was a real tactile experience. So many times when you go to museums, you’re held back behind a rope and you can’t touch the artwork or interact with it.” Fifteen years ago, in a magazine called Carousel News and Trader, Juanette discovered an ad for summer carousel animal carving workshops with Means. At the time, she had a fine arts degree from California State University at Fresno, but no experience as a woodcarver. “I called Ken and said I wanted to enroll in his class and he literally tried to talk me out of it,” she recalls. “He asked what carving experience I had and I said, ‘None,’ and he asked me what tools I had, and I said, ‘None,’ and he said, ‘Maybe you should try something a little smaller.’” But Juanette persisted, and Means finally relented, even allowing her to use his tools on the condition that she buy her own by the time she left Oregon. “I’ve been going back there every summer since, with the exception of two years,” she says. “I finally moved to Oregon and studied with him year-round for almost four years before coming back home.” When she was in her 30s, she says, she attended a spiritual retreat. “The facilitator asked everybody in the group what we were going to do to make this world a better place when we left this plane of existence,” she recalls. “I said I wanted to carve one carousel animal for each island, carved to represent that island and painted in that island’s colors and donate it to the pediatrics ward of a hospital there. The facilitator looked at me and smiled and said, ‘That’s not big enough,’ and she walked out of the room.” She pondered the facilitator’s words for a year and a half. Then, one day, she was taking her goddaughter on a play date in Honolulu. “We would go to this little play area across from Pearl Ridge. It had one of these little fiberglass carousels that she loved to ride on. Just a little teeny-tiny thing,” Juanette says. But when they got there this day, they found the play area had closed, and the little carousel was no longer there. “It’s okay, Aunty, we’ll just have to make one,” her goddaughter said. “Then a voice spoke in my head, and said, ‘That is enough.’” Juanette remembers. And thus the Carousel of Aloha was born. At the Sunday Farmer’s Market Master carousel carver Ken Means and that Hilo Coffee Juanette Baysa at a February workshop in Mill hosts near Kea‘au teaching community members how Kurtistown, to build a carousel. Juanette sits in

the open door of the coffee warehouse with the first carousel horse she carved, and talks with visitors about the project. There are different styles of carousel horses, she explains; this one is “a Parker horse.” “It’s a very simple and stylized animal, and perfect for a beginner,” she says. “I had to make it Hawaiian, so I put the lei on her, and she’s a girl, so I put a skirt on her to kind of emulate the skirts of the pā‘ū riders.” She’s currently at work on two other, more ambitious figures. One, currently in Oregon, is an elaborate “sea horse”—more correctly, a hippocampus, a mythical creature whose front half is a horse’s head, chest and forelegs, while the back end is a long, curling fish’s tail. The other animal, sitting in pieces in the warehouse behind her, is a very realistic “Kona nightingale,” a donkey such as the ones which once trundled bags of coffee up and down the slopes of Mauna Loa. Juanette is carving that one for the coffee mill. The process starts out with research: Juanette carefully examined real donkeys, for example, getting down their proportions, their musculature, the way they moved. Then she creates a full-scale “cartoon” or sketch of the animal, from which she builds up the Designs for the planned Carousel of Aloha include several carousel animals blank, a block made modeled on an octopus, a monk seal of pieces of basswood and a humuhumunukunukuapua‘a laminated together (Hawaiian trigger fish). to the actual size. The size and shape of the blank varies according to the animal: a horse blank may look considerably different than one that’s destined to become an octopus. There actually may be several blanks for one figure: unlike, say, a tiki, a carousel animal is carved in pieces—the trunk, the limbs, the head—which are then put together with pegs and glue. Basswood is used, Juanette says, because it “is a soft hardwood, it is very dense and it has a very, very fine grain, which allows you to do all kinds of fine detail. It was the chosen wood of carousel figure makers back when carousels were in their heyday.” That heyday was considered by many to come in early 20th-century America, when carousels blossomed in carnivals, amusement parks and city parks across the country. They were taken to new heights of imagination, sophistication and craftsmanship by artisans such as the Dentzell family of Philadelphia, known for their clockwork-reliable mechanisms and their fanciful wooden menageries; Charles I. D. Looff, who designed the first Coney Island carousel; and Charles W. Parker of Kansas, the creator of the “Parker horse.” But the history of the device goes back much, much further; the earliest depiction of a carousel was in a Byzantine bas relief dating back to around 500 A.D., making it probably the oldest amusement ride that didn’t involve actually riding on a living animal. But the earliest carousels may not have been strictly for amusement; they may have been training devices for apprentice cavalry lancers. Juanette is working directly out of that illustrious tradition.

Contact writer Alan D. McNarie: Photos courtesy of Paradise Ponies, Inc. For more information: Paradise Ponies, Inc., P.O. Box 1030, Kurtistown, HI 96760 Phone: 808.315.1093 Website:

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She sometimes uses a Dremel power tool for fine details such as the mane, but mostly she works with traditional hand tools; she much prefers the gentle tap, tap, tap of a mallet and chisel to the highpitched whine of an electric tool. Carving takes skill and care; it’s the art of subtracting everything that doesn’t look like a horse, and Yen Chin, a student in the recent carousel workshop, works with a single slip of a chisel Betty Means to make a “blank.” can lead to, at best, a painstaking repair job, and at worst, a ruined figure. While working on her first horse, she remembers, she accidentally chipped off a piece of its tongue. “It flew off into somebody else’s chip pile,” she recounts. “I spent 45-minutes on my hands and knees, saying, “Nope, that’s not it, that’s not it. Picking another one up....” When Hawai‘i’s carousel comes to fruition, it will be the work of many hands with many skills and many levels of skills. Aspiring woodcarvers are welcome to come to the Paradise Ponies classes and learn. And as vital as the carving, in terms of creating a figure that will look beautiful and last for generations, is blank-building, sanding and painting. “In Oregon there were some ladies who lived in a retirement home. Many of them had arthritis, so they weren’t able to hold a chisel and a mallet to carve,” notes Juanette. “But they wanted to be a part of the carousel. Every Saturday, they would bring their little thermos mugs and their little box of donuts, and they would sit and talk and sand. When somebody [a carver] finished a leg on a horse or whatever, they would sand it and get it ready for gluing. If there were details, they would sand the details. That was their contribution to the carousel—every bit as important as the carving.” Equally important are other jobs that have nothing to do with wood. Jeanette notes that the nonprofit needs help to write grants, make donation boxes, man fundraising booths and work on the website. “The most urgent need we have is money,” she says, but every hour volunteered can help with that, too, by serving as “in kind” donations when the nonprofit needs matching funds for grants. And there are needs that involve not time, but space. They’re still looking for 20 acres or so in which to locate the park. And they’d like to find somewhere public to hold classes and display the figures. “We want people of all ages to be involved in this,” says Juanette. Especially, she adds, “We want to involve the young people. Young people will have the most enthusiasm, we think. It will be their children who get to ride the carousel. It will be them and their children and their children’s children.” ❖

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The Life ermites were having a field day in the old Keauhou School building, where generations of Hawai‘i Islanders have attended elementary school, and created lots of mischief in the form of extensive damage to the structure. The school had also shifted on its foundation during the 2006 earthquake, electrical wiring was exposed, and parts of the kitchen were just plain unusable. “It was nasty. As bad as it could get,” said Barbara Franke, Head Start Area Manager. “We never used the cupboards, and the doors were sealed shut. We don’t know what was living in there!” Now a Head Start Preschool with about 88 children, the 100-year-old schoolhouse needed to pass at least certain building requirements in order to be considered structurally safe. So, on a limited budget, the school administrators approached restoration specialist Tom Quinlan to see if he could try to get another year’s use out of the building. “I couldn’t believe what they were saying to me,” Tom says, with a lilt of authentic Irish brogue. “I said, ‘We can do better than that. We can bring it back to its heyday—something the community can be proud of for generations to come.’” This is what Tom does. He restores old buildings, including bringing back the original details like the hipped gables on the roof vents, distinctive cornices and railings that are characteristic of a particular area—details which add to the “simple elegance” that architecturally defines a place.

“It’s the little things that make a building that sets the theme of a community,” Tom explains. “The concept is to bring in and restore these old buildings and create a small, historical district of authentic, classic buildings—to preserve the ambience and architectural integrity of the town.” Restoration on this level is a lost art, one especially rare in Hawai‘i. Window frames are sanded by hand and are freshly molded to refit the original glass panes. You can’t buy wavy glass like this anymore, Tom says. Wood floors, covered in layers of paint, are carefully sanded to reveal their original glow. “Look at the beautiful, golden tones. Sand it and it’s beautiful,” Tom says of the Douglas fir floors. “That’s the patina of age.” Tom has restored many buildings around this island. The Isaacs Art Center in Waimea occupies another old school building that was headed for the landfill before Tom came on the scene. That building, along with its distinctive railings, is now on the State and National Historic Preservation list. Other Quinlan buildings around the island include the Nanbu Hotel in Kapa‘au and Hulihe‘e Palace in Kailua-Kona. Quinlan’s work has been recognized by the State Legislature, the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce, the Richard Smart Foundation, and many other organizations. Tom is a qualified architect in Ireland, and in Hawai‘i represents Suzuki/Morgan Architects Ltd. He has a graduate

❁Continued on page 52

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Tom at the renovated Head Start school in Keauhou Mauka

❁Continued from page 51 For creative use by decorators, architects, designers, builders, and homeowners.

74-5598 Luhia St.

OPEN: TUES-FRI 9-5 & SAT 9-3

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(808) 322-5642

degree in architectural historic preservation from the University of Hawai‘i and operates under a general contractor’s license. He has also served as president of the Waimea Preservation Association and the Hawi and Kapa‘au Main Street Program. Born and raised in Ireland, Tom travels back and forth several times a Tom Quinlan, behind the Head year to restore Start School in Keauhou, pointing castles— out various repairs made to the a craft he building over the years learned from his father and grandfather. Those castles and forts have been standing for thousands of years. A lot of the repair work he does there mends damage from famous sieges and, in particular, the 16th century cannon-balling by Cromwell’s army. The walls are up to 15 feet thick, built mostly of granite and lime putty mortar, he explains, and the termites would not find enough to chew on there. Currently, he’s working on a 14th century tower house of the Healy clan, some of whose ancestors settled on Hawai‘i Island in the late 1980s. “Sometimes I run into the problem of my employees feeling ghosts or poltergeists in the castles, and they won’t come to work. But I always say that if you have a clear conscience there is nothing to fear,” Tom says. Before coming to Hawai‘i, Tom bicycled his way through Southeast Asia while writing a book on building materials and construction methods. From New Zealand, he made his way to Honolulu, where he got a job taking an architectural inventory of historic structures in the state. In identifying the architecture of each microclimate, he learned the details that define Hawaiian architecture. On Hawai‘i Island, he took five years to record the architectural significance of every older building, including every house over 50 years old, from Hilo to Honoka‘a. In Waimea, Tom points out railings on several old buildings along Kawaihae Road that have a particular style. Tom clearly has an appreciation for the early craftsmen who left their mark. “They were so smart back then. They knew how to build for the climate. They even mixed their own paint. A board here, a nail there—the history and evolution of the building is in the different styles that were added on throughout the years. As the community grew, they needed more classrooms. There is a shared history here, so it has more meaning beyond just restoration. It’s a labor of love and it’s a joy for me to see it brought back to its original condition.” Tom’s mission is more than just a beautiful end product. Born on an island halfway around the world that struggled for hundreds of years to get out from under

“People will buy a replica that will rust in three years. It’s too easy to grab something (new) off the shelf,” says Tom, who also has special licenses to handle lead paint and other toxic materials. Kalani Deaguiar running the sander at Sometimes, the the Waimea house restoration project, reason to remove removing layers of old paint and revealing the beautiful, Douglas fir an old building wood flooring underneath is more personal. Families who have lived in plantation homes for generations sometimes feel shame or embarrassment to live in something that old, and they want something new. But where some people see a dilapidated building ready to fall down—an eyesore and maybe even an embarrassment—Tom sees a diamond in the rough, a piece of history that can be transformed into a beautiful contribution to the community. “What they have here is as good as it gets,” he says. “It doesn’t make sense to throw these buildings away. The quality is far superior to those built today.” Owners may be letting it go, thinking something new would be better and not realizing the treasure they have. “These buildings have been here for 100 years, and now they will be here for another 100,” Tom affirms. Tom welcomes anyone interested in transforming their love for heritage into a profession, or anyone who would like an old building to restore, to give him a a call. Tom Exterior of a historic, plantation-style has old classic bungalow Tom restored as part of a homes dating Waimea subdivision comprised of back to the 1930s authentic classic homes from the to give away. He 1920s and ‘30s says he can move and restore them for less than the cost of a new one, while adding a deeper purpose in maintaining the vernacular and character of a community, and deeper still, instilling a sense of pride in heritage. “Especially in these hard economic times, when people need to be more innovative to survive,” he says. “These homes are available for local people with local lifestyles, to keep Hawai‘i, Hawai‘i. Whether or not money is an issue, there are always ways to make it work.” ❖ Contact Tom at 987.4488 or Contact the writer:

MAY/JUNE 2012 | | 53

British rule, he is sympathetic with Hawaiians’ struggle for identity. It’s an unspoken thing, he says—an unresolved issue of Hawaiian sovereignty—for Hawaiians to regain their culture and heritage and a sense of pride, to be proud of their past and who they are. “I come across this issue all the time with historic and architectural sites. I come from an island myself and I feel for them,” he said. “The key is not to deny your heritage. It took us [the Irish] so long to find our independence from the British. It’s important for me to encourage and provide opportunities for [local people] to get a meaningful profession that helps preserve and regain their identity and culture.” To that end, a large part of Tom’s mission is to educate local youth and teach them a meaningful trade—a craft that gives one a sense of pride in their heritage and their community. Pride in oneself and one’s community, in turn, helps point the way to alternatives to drugs and alcohol and finding a positive future for themselves and their families. And the community regains pride in their local school, where generations of kids have gone before. Tom is currently completing a project in Waimea, restoring a historic, plantation-style bungalow as part of a new subdivision comprised of authentic classic homes from the 1920s and ‘30s. One of about a dozen skilled, local workers whom he has trained, Keanuenue Roldan, 23, has been re-glazing windows for Tom for about a year. Originally from O‘ahu, he has farmed taro in Waipi‘o valley and makes Hawaiian jewelry and other arts and crafts. “Tom and I both learned how to do this by looking on the Internet and calling around,” Keanuenue says. “I figured out how to make it work; now I know the entire process. I like this work. Restoration work is better than using new stuff. It’s a good thing to take something old and make it nice again.” The biggest challenge in restoring these buildings, Tom says, is educating people that it’s possible to restore them at all. Several times a week, he gets a call to remove an old building, usually just a sneeze away from falling down, or as he puts it, the termites are “holding hands.” People just don’t know how to restore or keep these buildings up, he explains, so they give them away or take them to the landfill. It’s easier to go to HPM or Home Depot and buy a new door or a new Kitchen before and after restoration in window. the Waimea plantation bungalow home

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preferred habitats for feeding, breeding and socializing. Nēnē are thought to have made landfall in the Hawaiian Islands some 890,000 years ago. It’s estimated their population grew to an estimated 25,000 birds. Ancient Hawaiians gave clues as to where they commonly saw nēnē, naming locations after them, like Kīpuka Nēnē on the slopes of Mauna Loa. According to Dr. Steven Hess, USGS wildlife biologist, the introduction of predators—rats, dogs, cats and mongoose— precipitated the decline in Hawai’i’s nēnē population beginning about 1,000 years ago. Unregulated hunting and habitat destruction further threatened the nēnē, which Hess explains, “is the most terrestrial of geese.” “The bird’s plight had become so grave by 1949 that a captive propagation program was initiated,” says Dr. Hess, who is stationed at the USGS’s Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. In 1950, there were only 20-30 birds known to exist in the wild—all of them on the Big Island. Dr. Hess credits “decades of captive breeding, releases into the wild, habitat management and predator control” for restoring nēnē to four of Hawai‘i’s largest islands.

❁Continued on page 58

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awai‘i’s beloved state bird, the nēnē, is making a comeback, and a new Hawai‘i Island study has revealed some fascinating facts about the Hawaiian goose and how we can help it thrive. The good news is the birds’ population has rebounded from a low of only 20 or 30 in 1950 to about 900 on Hawai‘i Island, and, surprisingly, they are now traveling the island more extensively than anyone thought. High-tech transmitters are sending back tracking data for a project code-named “Nēnē in the Space Age.” The project, Satellite Telemetry of Hawai’i’s Endangered Goose, began in early 2009 and is wrapping up this spring. A collaborative effort between the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the National Park Service, the study outfitted 11 nēnē ganders with solar-powered platform transmitter terminals (PTTs). Worn by the male nēnē like mini backpacks—each one carrying a luxury price tag of $4,000—the PTTs tell scientists where the nēnē are via precise GPS coordinates. By February 2012, PTTs recorded the studied nēnē at about 12,000 islandwide locations. The coordinates provided daily insight to flight patterns and pit stops along the way, as well as



The Life

Female Nēnē with goslings at the Big Island Country Club as they drink and learn to swim in the water feature.

❁Continued from page 57 Classified today as an endangered species, nēnē are given broad protections under law to recover to a self-sustaining population. There are roughly 900 nēnē currently on Hawai‘i Island and as many as 2,000 combined across four major islands, which include Maui, Kaua‘i and Moloka‘i.

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The Science of Tracking Nēnē

According to Dr. Hess, wildlife managers noticed in the late 1990s that Big Island nēnē had “begun regularly moving” between leeward Kona, the isle’s windward side and the southern Kahuku areas. “We questioned if nēnē were making direct Male nēnē with a solar-powered flights between satellite transmitter the sites or stopping along the way,” explains the wildlife biologist. “If the nēnē stopped, we wondered what were the threats and food in these habitats?” The satellite telemetry tracking, it was felt, would be the best way to get the answers with the island’s dense and varied terrain. Ganders for the study were chosen from several locations where flocks frequented, such as Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park (HVNP) and Big Island Country Club (BICC) in Pu‘uanahulu. Once the data started coming in, the nēnē revealed their flight patterns and it was found they were once again roosting at their historic haunt of Kīpuka Nēnē, a rugged site high on Mauna Loa in HVNP’s Kahuku area. Also, it was noted the birds’ northsouth and east-west island crossings were intersecting at Kīpuka ‘Ainahou in the island’s high saddle, where some of the last wild nēnē were observed. “It was puzzling that birds discovered at Kīpuka Nēnē came from the Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge some 50 miles away, yet the Hakalau population did not exist prior to 1996,” says Dr. Hess. He adds that the terrain of Kīpuka Nēnē has changed dramatically over time from an open ‘ohi‘a forest with small pools and sedges to one that had been altered by “one of the largest lava flows on Earth.” However, still the nēnē returned there. Dr. Hess notes the behavior of nēnē reappearing in ancestral places makes researchers wonder if it took the captive-raised population 50 years “to figure it out” or had a small number of wild survivors passed this knowledge on to contemporary descendants? “We still don’t know for sure, but it seems to be catching on in a big way,” he adds. The ganders also exhibited a pattern of seasonal movement— from lowland breeding grounds during the winter to highelevation, non-breeding areas in the summer. The geese visited subalpine scrub during the summer, which is home to ‘ōhelo berry

and pukiawe— traditionally their favorite foods. In fact, Dr. Hess reports a nēnē was recorded at 9,100 feet, where temperatures reach freezing. “Birds are good at thermal regulation,” Dr. Hess explains. “They can adjust their feathers to their climate so don’t mind so A young nēnē gosling floats in water at the much if it’s hot or Big Island Country Club. cold.” Looking at the habitats used by nēnē—low elevations with green ground cover for breeding and subalpine scrub for non-breeding—scientists found nēnē were dramatically changing their elevations. “That surprised us,” admits Dr. Hess. “Though early naturalists reported this kind of movement, we had never observed it as nēnē hadn’t done this for awhile.” Telemetry also showed that Kīpuka ‘Ainahou acts like a “social magnet” between the BICC and Hakalau Refuge populations. “We think Kīpuka ‘Ainahou is where youngsters are hooking up with potential mates and, if that’s the case, then there’s more interbreeding among populations,” notes Dr. Hess. “This is important because nēnē need to transcend their lack of genetic diversity.” He says low genetics is an issue because of inbreeding among the few captive pairs in the 1950s to save the species.

The Importance of Habitat Protection

Dr. Hess stresses wildlife managers are encouraged by the reestablishment of traditional nēnē movement patterns. “Nēnē in the Space Age” identified what locations are being used by nēnē today and why. He explains, “If we want nēnē to behave naturally, we have to protect both their breeding and non-breeding areas.” He says it’s up to the state to manage the land and provide protection through the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), in partnership with the park service. “Their goal is to restore the land, like the subalpine scrublands, to its natural condition by keeping out predators and other invasive species.” Some protection is already in the works. Nēnē, which mate for life, return each year to breed at HVNP. “We have a little over 200 birds either breeding in the wild, in the Kīlauea and Mauna Loa Strip areas, or in a two-acre ‘exclosure,’ which keeps out predators with a fence,” explains Dr. Rhonda Loh, natural resource chief at HVNP. She says a grassy lawn is mowed for the birds inside the exclosure, while the park’s other breeding birds forage for berries and grass in the wild. “Sometimes we’ll assist birds breeding outside the pen by temporarily closing a park trail to minimize human disturbance to nesters,” continues Rhonda. The Hawaiian Goose also breeds at BICC, where it’s warmly welcomed. The preservation and support of nēnē “represents

wildlife. They’ve included wildlife in everything they do, and they don’t have to.” HWC, which completed major construction last November, has provided BICC with info and photography to provide guidelines for golfers using the course. In addition to nēnē, BICC is home to the endangered Hawaiian coot (‘alae ke‘oke‘o), black-crowned Night Heron (‘auku‘u), Hawaiian Hawk (‘io) and the short-eared owl (pueo). While The Hawaiian goose is increasing in numbers, it still faces challenges of low genetic diversity, periods of drought and an ever-shrinking natural environment with non-native enemies. Summing up the importance of protecting nēnē, Linda notes the challenge is to teach people “what human behaviors are best around nēnē so they can thrive.” She concludes, “We all need to understand and accept what we have to do to live with our environment and be good neighbors.” It’s up to everyone to help protect this beautiful and resilient state bird in its native habitats. ❖ Contact writer Fern Gavelek: All nēnē photos provided by Christina Cornett, Nēnē Research Specialist, Hawai’i Cooperative Studies Unit, University of Hawai’i at Hilo, Pacific Aquaculture and Coastal Resources Center For more information:

How We Can Best Live with Nēnē?

How can we help them to thrive? One solution is to leave them alone. “Nēnē are grazers, and feeding them decreases their proficiency at foraging in the wild, causing a variety of problems,” emphasizes wildlife biologist John Polhemus. Feeding results in incorrect diet. Case in point is a female nēnē that lives at BICC year-round because she has an “angel wing.” The flightless condition is common among ducks and geese that are fed by humans, resulting in a nutritional imbalance. “People think they are helping by putting out water and food—they aren’t,” stresses Polhemus. He says feeding nēnē from vehicles teaches the geese to get in the path of traffic. Dr. Steven Hess, USGS wildlife biologist, adds, “If you live around nēnē, keep your pets away from them as dogs can kill adults and cats kill goslings.” As nēnē are protected under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, it is illegal to kill, harm or harass them, including disturbing nesting individuals or altering their behavior. Violations can be reported by calling 808.887.6063. October through April is the most sensitive time for nēnē because individuals are pairing up to nest and rearing goslings. Information signs at HVNP caution vehicles to slow down to watch for geese crossing the road and visitors are encouraged to keep a respectful distance when observing birds. “We want visitors to keep far enough away so as not to alter their normal behavior,” advises Dr. Rhonda Loh, natural resource chief at HVNP.

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BICC’s vision for the entire property,” according to Richard Oliver, the on-island, owner’s representative. He explains, “Proper turf management enables a good food source for nēnē and their goslings Male nēnē with a satellite transmitter and his while our mate behind him in native shrub and grasslakes provide land habitat at Kahuku. Having half as much great safe webbing on their feet as other geese—nēnē zones to evade are suited to their terrestrial lifestyle, being predators. We better adapted for maneuvering know by the rocky terrain. health of the nēnē population if we are indeed doing a good job for all BICC inhabitants and guests, including the nēnē.” “The ponds at BICC are used by nēnē primarily for protection and bathing—they get most of the moisture they need for diet from grass,” details John Polhemus, a wildlife biologist. “Nēnē molt (shed their feathers) between February and May and for about a month are flightless, so the ponds provide an escape from predators.” He says nature “takes over the timing” when breeding adults molt and re-grow feathers so they and their young can fly together. “It’s especially important to protect the breeding locations for nēnē so their populations can continue to recover,” emphasizes Polhemus. John, who owns JT Productions, is contracted by the DLNR’s Division of Forestry and Wildlife to monitor the 130 nēnē making up the West Side Flock: those frequenting BICC, sections of Pu‘u Wa‘wa‘a and Waikoloa Village Golf Club. At BICC, John hops on a golf cart and drives around doing a “roll call,” recording nēnē that are ID’d with colored bands to do periodic population counts. He also bands goslings and intervenes, when necessary, to help injured birds. “The frequency of injured or sick birds is low,” he says, and a Kona veterinarian has been employed when necessary. Some of the birds John monitors were first banded in the mid-90s and he makes sure their “bling” is fitted properly and “not a deterrent.” BICC has a partnership with the new Hawai‘i Wildlife Center (HWC) in Kapa‘au, which has set a goal of receiving birds for rehabilitation starting May 2012. Since 2006, BICC has been donating a portion of its greens fees to HWC, which have totaled $2,500. “We will be working with BICC to treat any sick or injured nēnē that come from the course,” says Linda Elliott, HWC president and center director. She points out HWC is the only facility that will be rehabilitating native birds from the entire Hawaiian archipelago. “Getting the donation from BICC is important for our efforts of not only helping sick or injured birds, but also facilitating the conservation of nēnē and our other endangered birds,” continues Linda. “Big Island Country Club is a model for accommodating


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.)

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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. 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: Laupāhoehoe Farmers Market. Next to the Minit Stop on Hwy. 19. 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Sunday – Monday: Pana‘ewa Hawaiian Home Lands Farmers Market, Puainako and Ohuohu Streets by Walmart, Hilo. 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Sunday, Monday, Tuesday & Thursday: Hilo Farmers Market, corner of Mamo and Kamehameha Ave., downtown Hilo. 7 a.m. – 4 p.m. Sunday: Akebono Farmers Market. Luquin’s/Akebono Theater parking lot. 7 a.m. – 2 p.m. Sunday: Maku‘u Farmers Market, Kea‘au-Pahoa bypass road. 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. Sunday & Thursday: Pepe‘ekeo Farmers Market. Off Hwy. 19 on Ka‘akepa St. Produce and foods. Sundays dawn to 2 p.m.; Thursdays 2 p.m. – dusk. Tuesday – Saturday: Kea‘au Village Market, 166550 Old Volcano Rd., Kea‘au. 7 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Wednesday & Friday: Uncle Robert’s Awa Bar and Farmers Market in Kalapana at the end of KalapanaKapoho Road (Route 137), next to Kalapana Village Café. Locally grown produce, ono grinds, artisans, awa bar and live music. Evenings 5 – 9 p.m. Saturday: Kino‘ole Farmers Market. Kino‘ole Shopping Plaza, 1990 Kino‘ole St., Hilo, 7 a.m. – noon Saturday: Keaukaha Pana‘ewa Farmers Market. Railroad Avenue, across from Home Depot. Homegrown produce offered by Hawaiian Homelands lessees. 7:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. Saturday: SPACE Farmers Market, Seaview Performing Arts Center for Education, 12-247 West Pohakupele Loop, Kalapana. 8 a.m. – noon Saturday: Hilo Coffee Mill, 17-995 Volcano Rd., Mountain View (on Hwy. 11 between the 12 and 13-mile markers). 8 a.m.–1 p.m. Saturday & Wednesday: Hilo Farmers Market, corner of Mamo and Kamehameha Ave., downtown Hilo. 6 a.m. – 4 p.m.


Friday: Green Market, Ocean View Community Center, 92-8924 Leilani Circle, Ocean View. 2 – 6 p.m.

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, 68-3625 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: Kings’ Shops Farmers Market, Waikoloa Beach Resort, Kohala Coast. 8:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. Wednesday: Ho‘oulu Community Farmers Market, Keauhou Beach Resort/Outrigger. 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday: Kona Farmers Market, corner of Ali‘i Drive and Hualalai Rd. 7 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Please send info on new markets or changes to




By Sonia Martinez

Cream of Taro Soup

1 Tablespoon butter 1/2 medium minced onion 1 Tablespoon freshly grated ginger 1-1/2 cups water 3/4 cup taro, boiled and mashed 1 cup coconut cream Hawaiian sea salt to taste Freshly ground pepper to taste

Sauté onion and grated ginger in butter. Add mashed cooked taro and mix well. Add water while stirring constantly. Cook for 5 minutes. Pour coconut cream into the mixture and season with salt and pepper. Serve hot. Can substitute breadfruit (see Jan-Feb 2012 issue) instead.  Serves 2.  Recipe can be easily doubled. After serving, you can add your choice of a dollop of fresh yogurt or crème fraîche, fresh chopped green garden onions or a dash of your favorite hot sauce.

Contact writer Sonia Martinez:

This symbol on ads means: "See our coupon at"

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aro, or kalo, as it was known to early Hawaiians, achieved primacy in the Hawaiian Islands as the most important crop and was produced in a large number of cultivated varieties. The cultivation of taro was associated with the god Kāne, procreator and giver of life, and in the Hawaiian legends, it was considered the first born from the union of sky father (Wakea) and earth mother (Pápá) and as such was considered first in birth, and genealogically superior to man himself.   Taro (Colocasia esculenta var. antiquorum), is a member of the aracea family, which includes such well-known plants as philodendron, dieffenbachia (dumb cane), anthuriums, pothos, caladiums and alocasia, to name just a few. Humans have cultivated it for thousands of years, and it is found in most tropical and subtropical areas of the world. Variations of taro grow in the Caribbean Islands, where they are known as malanga, ñame and güagüi. For fast cooking of taro, peel and cut in pieces. Pour enough water to cover and boil. If it is to be used in poi, cook longer.  Mash while still hot. Serve as you would mashed potato or use in other recipes.  On its own, taro is very bland, but complements the tastes of other, richer foods. Taro, in the form of poi, is the primary starch in the native Hawaiian diet. Easily digested by babies and older kūpuna, it is part of a very healthy, nutritious diet. NOTE: Some varieties of raw or uncooked taro contain tiny crystals of a substance called calcium oxalate, a natural pesticide. Chewing raw or half-cooked taro can set free these needle-like crystals and cause an uncomfortable itching in the mouth and throat. Cooking the taro thoroughly will prevent this. When preparing recipes that include grated taro, it is a good idea to cook the root before grating. In the Hawaiian Islands, taro plants are This symbol eaten after thoroughly boiled to destroy the toxins. The leaf (lū‘au—also the on ads means: name of the feast using taro leaves) must be boiled at least 45 minutes over low heat,"See whereas corms areat boiled in a deep pot with salted water for at our coupon least" hour or until soft.



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a rd ac k y oth B u ‘ u o Mak Co-op b u‘u k a rs e M w e t G ro at th s Marke r e m r Fa

Backyard growers interested in selling produce don’t necessarily need to do anything special to their produce to get it ready for market, but Sean says they do ask people to be as organic as possible. The Jennings meet with prospective growers and check out the grower’s yard, looking for things like fire ants. They’ll also offer tips on growing food. “I’d love everyone who has surplus food to get involved,” adds Sean. “Our goal is to have a co-op near every farmers market on island,” says Mary. The benefits of such a food co-op are multi-fold. Certainly, there are the financial rewards for the growers selling excess produce. It also helps to increase food self-sufficiency. Increasing food self-sufficiency is critical on an island as geographically remote as ours. Indeed, a 2007 study conducted by the Rocky Mountain Institute estimates that 85 percent of the food consumed on the Big Island is imported. A natural disaster, such as tsunami or earthquake (both of which have occurred in recent years), or a disruption to the transportation industry would severely impact the availability of food. Mary and Sean are doing what they can to increase people’s awareness of purchasing local produce. “We want to bring really local produce to the Maku’u Farmers Market and make it clear to people where their produce is coming from,” says Mary. Mary and Sean grow a lot of their own food, from peas to basil to tomatoes and gourds. They got the idea for a food co-op from Catarina Zaragoza-Dodge and Arthur Dodge who started a similar program called Harvest Puna Makai in Kalapana in October 2010.

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hen I was a kid my dad would say, “Money doesn’t grow on trees!” Well, it turns out Dad was wrong. Thanks to the efforts of two separate food co-op programs in Puna, people are tapping into a better exchange than money (in the form of produce) and it’s growing right in their backyards. Perhaps you have avocado or banana trees or tomato plants in your yard. You have more produce than your family needs but not quite enough to become a farmer and set up shop at the local farmers market. In the old days, families would share their bounty with family and neighbors, and while that still happens, there is also a vast amount of produce going to waste in people’s yards. And yet at the same time there is a tremendous need for food on our island, with reports that one out of every six island residents are food unstable, meaning they don’t know where their next meal is coming from. “We see fruit rotting on the ground all the time,” says Mary Jennings co-founder of the Maku’u Backyard Growers Co-op. Mary and her husband Sean, who live in Orchidland, started the co-op about six months ago after noticing “we have a surplus in one area and at the same time have great need in so many areas of the Big Island.” The concept is simple. People in lower Puna (Kea‘au, Orchidland, Pahoa, etc.) bring their excess produce, on consignment, to one of two drop-off sites on Saturdays between 4 and 4:30 p.m., either at the Orchidland General Store or the Hawaiian Paradise Park Community Center. The fruit is sold the next day, on Sundays, at the Maku‘u Farmers Market. “We pick up the fruit and veggies the day before market and bring it to the market the next day,” says Mary. “Right now we have these two pick-up locations because it’s convenient for area residents, but we plan to expand to other locations as the program gets bigger,” explains Mary. Growers in the program aren’t necessarily farmers, they’re more likely folks that just happen to have extra fruit trees in their yard. “We’re looking for ‘mom and pop’ type folks,” says Mary. “Someone who has avocadoes over here, a bucket of oranges there, and by everyone pooling their resources we’ll have a tremendous variety,” says Mary. The Jennings sell the produce at the market and whatever is left is either picked up by the grower or donated to the Hawai‘i Island Food Basket. The grower determines the price of their produce. If someone is unfamiliar with what price point to charge for their produce, Mary and Sean will offer suggestions, but ultimately the decision is up to the grower. “The grower keeps 75 percent of the sales of their produce (less minimal costs, which are based on the percentage of the grower’s total sales), so it’s a pretty good deal for people picking fruit off trees in their backyard,” says Mary. The other 25 percent covers the Jennings’ time and expenses. “We tally sales at the end of the market and mail each grower a check for their sales or they can pick up their check at the next week’s drop-off location,” explains Mary. “We’re as open and transparent as possible.” Mary notes that if your produce doesn’t sell, no one loses. “We don’t buy the food from you; we sell it for you.”

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“She [Catarina] gave us the idea. She collects food from the Papaya Farms Road farmers and brings it to the SPACE Market,” says Mary. Like the Jennings, Catarina says she and her husband Arthur also started small, “so it didn’t feel like a big undertaking when we started.” Harvest Puna Makai sells produce at the Catarina Zaragoza Dodge and Arthur Seaview Performing Arts Dodge of Harvest Puna Makai at the Center for Education— farmers market booth or SPACE—farmers market in Seaview subdivision in lower Puna on Saturday mornings. They’re also at Uncle Robert’s farmers market in Kalapana (at the end of Route 137) on Wednesday evenings from 5 to 9 p.m. “We started because a lot of our neighbors [in the Koa’e area of lower Puna] had a lot of extra produce that was going to waste because they didn’t have the time and energy to go to market,” explains Catarina. “Some of our neighbors had extra produce but not enough for their own booth at a farmers market. We wanted to give back to the community that’s given so much to us.” Catarina points out that Harvest Puna Makai works a little differently than the Maku’u Backyard Growers Co-op but that the

premise is basically the same. And the growers are still the ones that make the bulk of the profits. “We’re basically food distributors, not a formal co-op,” explains Catarina. “We pick up the goods and sell the produce. We handle the marketing and do all the bookkeeping,” she adds. “We divide up all the costs.” As with the Maku’u Backyard Growers Co-op, each grower pays a small percentage based on their volume of sales plus 25 percent to cover Catarina and Arthur’s time and costs. The rest of the profits go to the growers: about 75 percent of their sales. “It works out well for a lot of people we sell for,” says Arthur Dodge. Sales vary by the amount of produce people have to sell, as well as the type of produce. But even small amounts—say $20 or $30 a week—can add up week after week. “We have people that have small personal gardens who might have extra tomatoes to people with 22-acre farms,” explains Catarina. “It’s pretty all encompassing.” “Our contributing growers are spread between Wa’a Wa’a Road all the way down to Kalapana,” adds Catarina. “Most of our contributors are on our way as we drive to market, so we stop by their homes and pick up the produce. Then on our way home we drop off whatever is left, as well as the profits they’ve made.” People outside the area can also participate. “Sometimes we have people outside the area; most of the time it’s people who live out here.” “We’ve worked with close to 50 different farms since we started,” says Catarina, noting that they average about 12 growers any given week. Juggling sales of so many different growers could be a daunting task but Catarina keeps extremely detailed records of who sells what.

Mary and Sean Jennings at Maku‘u Farmers Market

“We want to make sure everyone gets paid for what they’ve sold,” explains Catarina. “When you’re selling 12 different people’s stuff, you have to take very meticulous notes of what’s sold.” It also gives them a good idea of what sells when. It enables them to give notices to let people know what is in season and what’s popular. Catarina also creates detailed spreadsheets for every grower so people can see what sells and what doesn’t. “We sell everything that grows down here,” adds Catarina. “We have the standard items, such as bananas and avocadoes, as well as a lot of exotic produce including sour sop, rollinia, and mamay sapote.” They have an erase board listing the produce available that week. When I stopped by Uncle Robert’s farmers market one

Wednesday night they had tomatoes, eggs, cacao (you could make your own chocolate!), Mexican papaya, taro, jackfruit, vanilla beans, limes, green beans, ginger, turmeric, lemons, lemongrass, salad greens, fruit wines, pommelo, and several varieties of vegetable seedlings. One reason Catarina and Arthur are so successful is they really know their produce and can offer suggestions on how to prepare it. “Before starting this program we lived and worked on a permaculture farm in Puna for over two years so we know the food that we’re selling,” explains Catarina. “It’s one thing when you are talking about bananas, but it’s another when you’re talking about the more exotic fruits like jack fruit and how to cook it and prepare it.” Whether you’re eating locally grown food or selling your excess produce, both programs are win-win for the community. “In these tough economic times if people realize they can get cash for food that might otherwise go to waste, then I think people will want to get involved,” says Mary. ❖ Contact writer Denise Laitinen: RESOURCES: For more information: Harvest Puna Makai Catarina Zaragoza-Dodge and Arthur Dodge 808.315.2471 Harvest Maku’u Backyard Growers Co-op 808.982.8925

Local food to your door. 430-3847

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Building Better Communities One Home Sale at a Time

If you’ve purchased or sold a home through Windermere you’re a part of the Windermere


and you’ve helped make a positive difference in the lives of your neighbors in need. For the past 23 years, the Windermere Foundation has supported low-income and homeless families in our communities. This year our Big


offices are donating funds to the Hawaii Island

Humane Society for their Humane Education

programs that serve at-risk and low-income youth. Funds are also being raised to help the

Humane Society construct a permanent

education center on a beautiful and recently acquired 12-acre parcel that they hope to call home.

66 | | MAY/JUNE 2012

To learn more about upcoming projects in your area, sign-up to volunteer, or donate to help build the Humane

Education Center,

please visit To learn more or support the Foundation, go to

The Life OF THE PEOPLE Leo with actor Tom Berenger at BIFF 2010 –Photo by Jeff Sears


by medevac to a hospital in Tokyo, with shrapnel injuries in 33 places. “I spent three days not knowing if I was going to live or die,” he said, “and thinking there was a whole lot I still wanted to accomplish.” After his honorable discharge, a short time in Chicago and a stint as a California beach bum, Sears settled in Arizona to work for American Express and met Jan, whom he married in 1972. Son Jeff was born three years later. Leo then worked as a high school drama teacher, while Jan was a counselor and administrator. Though passionate about the stage and screen, Sears never played the role of “starving artist.” “I started teaching because it was a way I knew I could make a living for my family, and still be involved in the arts. Teaching was a career—and the other stuff was gravy.” The “other stuff” included roles in a number of different movies shot in the area. “I was in one of the worst movies ever made,” said Sears. “It was called ‘Thunder Warrior 3,’ made by an Italian film company with an Austrian director who didn’t speak English… In one chase scene, we were cruising through the desert in a car with the lead actor,” said Sears. “Then they stopped the car, took him out and put in stunt men and a stunt driver with us—no seatbelts, no helmets. We did this crazy, wide fishtail and stopped right next to the edge of a huge cliff!” Sears appeared as an extra in “Waiting to Exhale,” (an executive bar patron), the TV series “American Girls” (the sunburned guy on the beach) and a movie called “Tank Girl,” starring Lori Petty. “I was one of the patrons in a nightclub where they had topless dancers,” said Sears, “and Lori Petty’s best friend Sharon Stone came to visit the set one day. Lori went into this big speech about ‘these women are not meat— keep your eyes off the girls.’ How were we supposed to do that?” In between movie opportunities and work at school, Leo and Jan launched and operated the Metro Playhouse, a dinner theatre in Phoenix. “We created it,” said Sears. “I directed most

❁Continued on page 68

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ack in Kansas, little did Leo Sears know that his first onstage experience in a local high school play, “Curtain Going Up,” would be an appropriate title for his own life drama and career. Even though his leading lady proved uncooperative, it was his first appearance in the limelight. “I was supposed to sweep my love interest off her feet and carry her offstage,” said Sears. “And I was also supposed to kiss her, but she said ‘No way!’” said Sears, recalling merciless teasing from his buddies. Nearly 50 years later, Sears has been a decorated U.S. Marine, acted in theatre and movies, published plays and screenplays, directed 65 plays and produced 90 plays. He was a high school drama teacher for 27 ½ years, ran a successful dinner theatre in Phoenix with his wife Jan, moved to Hawai‘i and created the Big Island Film Festival, now in its seventh year. “It started when we went to Maui Film Festival, and at a breakfast reception chatted with Marilyn Killeri {then Film Commissioner},” said Sears. “I asked her ‘Why don’t we have something like this on the Big Island?’ and she said ‘It takes somebody to make it happen.’” The wheels started turning for Jan and him. “I had been to film festivals as both a patron and as a filmmaker, and picked elements I liked, and tried to avoid elements I thought were problematic with other festivals,” said Sears. “When I grew up watching movies, the storytelling was what I liked most. That’s why our focus is on narrative films and on the filmmakers.” The first BIFF was in 2005. “Everything was well planned and ready to go on the two driving ranges at Kings’ Course and Beach Course,” said Sears, “Until hurricane-force winds hit and we had to move it all inside.” Still, the show must go on, and that first festival shared films with 425 attendees in the Hilton’s ballrooms. Sears’ stint in the U.S. Marine Corps was good background for handling that kind of logistics with short notice. It’s also a reason he always makes sure that BIFF includes a benefit for veterans. Critically wounded in Viet Nam, Sears was evacuated

❁Continued from page 67

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of the plays there – wrote some, acted in a few.” Sears put up four shows a year at the high school and five or six at the Metro every year. One of those plays, “Once Is Enough” by Jack Sharkey, introduced Sears to his future writing partner. “I got a message from the bartender that Jack Sharkey called and said he wanted to come to our opening night,” said Sears. “Well, opening night was April 1, so I figured it was one of my Jan and Leo Sears – Photo by buddies playing a trick Catherine Tarleton on us.” Sears called publisher Samuel L. French and confirmed that it really was Sharkey, made arrangements for him to stay in a local hotel and excitedly told the cast. “They thought it was a joke too,” said Sears. “I couldn’t convince them he was real till he showed up. The funny thing was, for a while there, they were planning to have their own ‘Jack Sharkey’ in the house!” The Sharkeys and Sears’ became friends and enjoyed seeing plays together. At one point, Leo asked Jack if he’d ever thought

about writing with a partner. “He didn’t say anything,” said Sears. “But two days later he called me up and said ‘I have an idea.’” That idea turned into “100 Lunches,” which the team collaborated on, along with two other scripts, all published by Samuel L. French and two premiered at Metro Playhouse. “That was before computers,” said Sears. “Jack operated off a manual typewriter. He would write one section, put it in the mail. Then I would add to it and mail it back. The amazing thing to me is you can’t tell where one of us stops and the other starts. Our styles blended well.” Their Christmas comedy, “Sorry! Wrong Chimney!” is still being performed in community theatres around the world. Jeff Sears, 37, is a highly successful Strategic Account Director for Global Programs at DWA Healthcare Communications Group, based in Indiana. He remembers growing up in the family dinner theatre, and acting in plays and movies with his dad, including a small role in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. “’Bill and Ted’s’ was a family affair of extras,” said Jeff. “Dad filmed his segments in the ‘Old West’ a few days before my scene at the waterpark. Though it was Arizona, it was still winter, and cold, and the water was NOT heated. Giant lights made it appear like daytime (when it was still dark out)… Though I may be easier to locate in one specific scene at the top of the waterslide with Napolean, Mom’s foot was also easy to identify, with her rainbow-strapped flip-flop in the background of a scene at the ticket booth.” Leo and Jan retired and moved to the Big Island in 2001, after almost 20 years of long, annual vacations in the islands. “We were in a hotel in LAX with a cat and a dog, ready to fly out

Call “Auntie Geri”

on September 11,” said Sears. “Then we got the news, and we waited, not knowing what was going to happen next.” On the 15th, they were on the first flight that left Los Angeles for Hawai‘i. Within a few months of moving, Jan felt rundown, saw a doctor and was astonished to learn her kidneys had stopped functioning. With Jeff as her donor, kidney transplant surgery took place on March 5, 2002, near the anniversary of Leo’s 1968 wounding in Viet Nam. Following another surgery on March 2 of this year, she is a cancer survivor with an iron will and positive spirit, continuing to work side-by-side with Leo on the Big Island Film Festival. This year, BIFF will host close to 2,000 participants over Memorial Day Weekend, May 24-28. In addition to free family films at The Shops at Mauna Lani, daytime movies, nighttime double features and other events at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai’i, there will be two screenwriting workshops on Thursday, and celebrity receptions on Friday and Saturday. BIFF’s final night “Best of the Fest” stars Kohala in concert and audience-voted Best Feature and Best Short of BIFF 2012. Best of the Fest is also a fundraiser for Hawai‘i Food Basket, and includes a silent auction for the Tripler Army Medical Center Fisher Houses. “We are making exceptions and including two exceptional documentaries this year,” said Sears. “One is the story of the Beamer family, ‘Nona Beamer – Mālama Ko Aloha – Keep Your Love,’ which screens on Thursday.” “The other is ‘Family of the Wa‘a’ on Sunday,” said Sears. “This is the story of an amazing canoe voyage of 1,750 miles

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across the Hawaiian archipelago. The Fairmont’s General Manager Chris Leudi was one of those paddlers, and we are excited to bring it to the property.” As for all those things Sears wanted to accomplish as a young Marine, there are a few still on his list. “I have a couple of feature film scripts I want to get made,” he said. “And I’d love to have one of my plays performed by 1983 talent poster for actor Leo Sears –Courtesy of Leo Sears one of the local theater companies.” What about acting? “I have an agent in Honolulu and I want to be on Hawaii Five-0,”said Sears. Good guy or bad guy? “I don’t care,” he says, “Villains are more fun.” ❖ Contact writer Catherine Tarleton: catherinetarleton@ RESOURCES: For more information about Big Island Film Festival, visit

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The Life OF THE PEOPLE Kristin and Simon on a happier day


MAY/JUNE 2012 | | 71

early two years after the sudden passing of their friend and forever mentor, Kevin Bays, Kristin Lowery and Simon Gentry reveal how they turned an unfortunate tragedy into a form of healing and creative triumph. “Now I can look back and see that it’s fitting he died dancing. It’s very reflective of who he was,” reveals Kristin. And so this is the story of how a tattoo artist’s legacy has been deliberated through the hearts and hands of his two most devoted students. With paintings hanging in the esteemed Hilton Waikoloa and the Chase & Hanes Gallery in Hilo, Simon Gentry was still desperately seeking to expand his creative potential. So in 2004, after five years on the Big Island, and with no firm ties grounding him to this locale, his next destination would be Alaska and beyond. Nearing his last days as a cashier at Hilo Bayfront’s Abundant Life, a gentle, extremely tattooed man came through his till, and introduced himself as Kevin. A brief conversation over organic goods allowed them just enough time to link into a coincidental affiliation; they were both from Kansas and were both Fine Arts Majors. “We hit if off immediately,” admits Simon, “he was looking for an apprentice, and so I brought him my portfolio.” Although Simon had not a single tattoo on his body at the time, it was because of this chance meeting that he chose to stay in Hilo. If it is meant to be, let the Universe provide the opportunity to make the connections that are necessary— to pollinate the evolution of thought. Not random, but it used to seem that way. It’s always a surprise. Now I am a magnet—creating the environment, attracting abundance, fueling positive relationships. – Kevin Bays Just a few months later, Kristin Lowery wandered into the shop where Kevin worked, in search of an artist to give her a small, weathered bottle containing a script inside—a message in a bottle, symbolizing her newly-discovered awakenings since moving to the Big Island. She immediately took a liking to Kevin’s portfolio. “I remember we were wearing the same straw fedora hat,” she smiles. Over the following few months, between engaging coffee talks and trips to the ocean, Kristin and Kevin’s friendship evolved into a romance. Upon repeatedly hearing about Kevin’s newest friend and apprentice, Simon, Kristin jokingly (and with a big hint of sincerity) asked when she too could apprentice with him.

“Kevin said he thought I’d never ask,” recalls Kristin, “he was just waiting for me to say the words.” Kevin’s time became divided between guiding Kristin, tucked among the trees along Puna’s Red Road, and teaching Simon the skills, techniques and aesthetic possibilities of his trade in Hilo. Both Kristin and Simon were given the opportunity to watch Kevin in his element, and said they began realizing that there was a whole other dimension to tattooing that they were just beginning to understand. A popular art amongst sailors and slaves, and kings to commoners, the ancient practice of tattoo was once used to smuggle secret messages across enemy lines and has even been discovered on olden mummies. Traditional tattoos in old Hawai’i used an ink created from ground kukui nuts and sugarcane juice. Ritual needles were bird claws, beaks and fish bones that were tied to sticks and struck with a mallet to puncture the skin. The art was eventually introduced to the West by Captain James Cook during his 1769 voyage to the South Pacific, and in 1777 the word was put into the English dictionary. From the Hawaiian ‘kakau’ and the Tahitian ‘tatau’, meaning ‘to mark,’ the word has also been suggested to be onomatopoeic in nature, with ‘tat’ referring to the tapping of the instrument on the skin and ‘au’ the voiced reaction from the person being marked! To the ancient Hawaiians, tattoos were used for many reasons, one of which was to identify individuals, linking them to a specific tribe and family. Another was for warriors to look savagely fierce and to frighten their opponents in battle. Slaves, the lowest level in the Hawaiian kapu system, were marked with a single line across the bridge of their noses. Often, the designs had hidden and personal meanings that weren’t readily apparent to passersby. Kristin, previously a graphic designer from Chicago, eventually purchased her own equipment and began inking her friends in Puna. “I got to tattoo and bond with my ‘ohana, and then watch many places in each person heal,” she says. “It’s an honor to participate with someone in that process.” Oddly enough Kristin and Simon pretty much passed each other by, having met only briefly on a few occasions. However, it didn’t take long for either of them to realize that Kevin was not merely teaching them the art of design, print, and skin, but slowly, and without force, the art of living, too. “I always had serendipitous moments when I was around him,” reflects Simon, “He was a visionary. He was constantly looking for signs and symbols around him. He even studied his dreams.” Continued on page 72

❁Continued from page 71

Kevin Bays was a Buddhist practitioner and a Reverend. And although he studied the philosophies, religions, prophecies and divinations of many diverse cultures, he connected most to the spiritual teachings of the Native American Indian Church—namely to the sacred Medicine Wheel. The Medicine Wheel teaches that all lessons are equal; as are all talents and abilities, and that each spoke is experienced by every living creature. Just as the rotation of the planets, moons, and galaxies, even the changing of the seasons, the circle is continuous—it is never ending. It signifies life without end. Kevin spent a generous amount of time volunteering at Native American churches in Los Angeles, where he studied the Wheel with great veneration and detail. The Wheel eventually brought him to study the symbolic and healing art of tattoo. “Kevin trusted in the Universe and believed that everything happens as it should,” says Kristin. “He reminded me that I was given the tattoos that I was meant to do.” Kevin eventually gave Simon his first tattoo. Suitably, it was a small yellow Western Meadowlark, the state bird of Kansas, signifying their mutual connection to their homeland. His second tattoo, again given by Kevin, would be an i’iwi, or honeycreeper – the state bird of Hawai’i.

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Change our vocabulary, our mindset, our habits, and thus change our world. And among this we may even attract exactly what we need for growth, maybe someone that shares many of our same ideals and gives us the reflection we need to see more about who we are and how we define ourselves. – Kevin Bays

Everything was flowing well until simultaneously and without warning, Simon and Kristin’s worlds came to a crashing halt. Surrounded by close friends and community members, Kevin passed away suddenly and very unexpectedly due to a rare, genetic heart condition while dancing at the Palace Theatre in Hilo on January 10, 2010. He was 36 years old. “I spent a good chunk of time in shock. My friends took care of me. They brought me meals over the following weeks,” said Kristin. Eventually, with patience and time by her side, Kristin admits to experiencing unusual freeing sensations following some of her lengthiest bouts of sorrow—moments when her grief was suddenly eclipsed by a liberating gratitude that the depth of suffering was finally beginning to subside. These moments began revealing to her a more expansive trust in life itself. “I had a general feeling of the Universe opening up,” she recalls. Simon was abroad at the time of Kevin’s memorial, and although he didn’t learn about his friend’s passing until after he arrived back in Hawai’i, he almost immediately began tattooing customers that Kevin had not yet completed. “Finishing the tattoos that Kevin had started was definitely a big part of my grieving process.” Emotions do not make us weak, but make us more whole. If we deny any aspect of ourselves then we deny our true potential. -Kevin Bays As tattoo artists, both Kristin and Simon recognize that clients often come in with a design, tied to some personal

meaning, but understand that, more often than not, the true meaning reveals itself in the days and months following the tattoo. “The tattoo itself has a way of transforming you,” says Simon. “By putting something on top of your skin, you’re revealing more of what is underneath it,” adds Kristin. The two maintain that Kevin’s death was much like the process of receiving a tattoo. “I didn’t really understand his teachings until after he died,” says Kristin, “His whole philosophy was of trusting in the Universe and trusting the process. And I was pushed into really understanding and living these lessons. I don’t think I could have understood them otherwise.” One of Simon’s more recent tattoos entitled “For the Sun,” is a beautifully detailed design with a history tied to the Native American Church. Applying the tattoo to his own body, it circulates with bright, moving colors, and is a fantastic example of not only his remarkable talent, but his heartfelt approach to his art. “It represents Kevin’s place in my life,” he says, “I believe he has ascended to the next realm and is now achieving higher enlightenment. I want to honor this knowing.” Tattooing was an integral part of mourning among Pacific Island cultures. In the Marquesas, New Zealand and in Hawai‘i, the names of the deceased were often inscribed on the body as a sign of grievance. Upon the death of Kamehameha the Great in 1819, several Hawaiians tattooed his name and date of death on their bodies as a symbol of respect and loyalty. A practice that is still apparent today. Hawai’i’s Queen Kamamalu

had her tongue tattooed as an expression of sorrow when her mother-in-law passed away. When missionary William Ellis inquired about the pain she had undergone while receiving the tattoo, her reply was, “Ha eha nui no, he nui roa ra ku’u aroha,” meaning, “Great pain indeed, greater is my affection.” Although healing was “Pele” d finally taking form for Kristin esign and Simon, still they found by Simo n themselves at a rather daunting roadblock. What would they do now that Kevin was gone? They decided to join forces. At first they met over dinner, bonding over Kevin’s death. Then their meetings soon evolved in to a fullblown action plan. Their shared scar tissue became a catalyst for growth. They maintain that having Kevin as their teacher was an honor “Always a Lesson” and a blessing, and that by Kristin

❁Continued on page 74

Go to find our Hawaiian Word of the Day and save!


MAY/JUNE 2012 | | 73

No trip to Hawaii’s Big Island is complete without visiting ‘Imiloa. Science center with a Hawaiian perspective and 3D planetarium, ‘Imiloa brings the epic tale of Hawai’i to life.

opening their own shop, ristin “South Seas Tattoo,” was sign by K H o nu d e a large part of their coping process. “Even in his death he is still our mentor,” says Simon. When we can’t decide on something, we say, ‘What would Kevin do?’ We constantly keep his spirit alive.” Each step, whether good or bad, is still a step forward. Lessons to be learned. Possessions to be renounced. The shedding of D ol ph assumptions like in de s ig n the shedding off of b Si m o n y skin and hair. The little deaths we live each day leading us to new births, the cycle continues. – Kevin Bays

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Kevin came into their lives at about the same time, and then left them both with an art form that is now their all-consuming passion. His guidance gave them the freedom to discover their own inclinations and talents, and to fashion their innermost pleasures. While at the same time, their sorrow over his death allowed them to regard the future not as frightening, but as a product of their own strengths and abilities. “His passing thrust us both into maturity and professionalism,” discloses Kristin. Signing their company’s business license on the one-year anniversary of Kevin’s passing, they even had a beautiful ceremony devoted to him on the opening day. Kristin hosted a successful art show in memory of Kevin, entitled “Through the Illusion,” on the grounds of Kalani Honua retreat in Puna. It featured the works of 40 artists, including Kevin’s own insights, art and poetry. The less I hang on, the freer I become. The freer I become, the more space I provide. The more space I provide, the more room there is for spirit. For all things are but a creation within my own imagination. The people, the noise of murmur, murmur... the trees and flowers, mountains and ice, the cool breeze that kisses my cheek on a hot day. I am thankful. This is my song. Can you hear it in the thunder? – Kevin Bays After sharing time with the humble and soft-spoken tattooists, I have a renewed respect for the power and propensity of what it means to heal – from the outer skin to the innermost parts of our being. I am reminded that we cannot evade our life’s course, which often includes deep and painful places, but we can courageously look upon these darker places, and see the fortune, the color, and the creativity, in our pain and sufferings most brilliant awakenings. ❖ Contact writer Jessica Kirkwood: Website:

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MAY/JUNE 2012 | | 75

t is a brush with destiny,” says woodworker David Anderson, maker of fine hardwood hairbrushes crafted from curly koa and other exotic woods. “We often talk about our throw-away culture, and realized that most hairbrushes currently fit into this category, while once they were treasured heirlooms. Seeing the possibilities for the confluence of form, function and art we organized the Hamakua Hairbrush Company.” The koa comes from the Waipunalei ahuapua‘a (area) of the Hamakua Coast on Hawai‘i Island. It is harvested from dead standing trees or large fallen limbs under the auspices of Department of Land and Natural Crackseed Etc. in Kamuela, Waipi‘o Artworks in Kukuihaele, Resources and milled into Honoka’a Marketplace in Honoka’a and The Woodshop Gallery in lumber on the site. Honomū, as well as on the web and at fine galleries on the other David Anderson started his islands. woodworking career training as For more information, call 808.775.8230, email a boat builder and shipwright in or visit the Pacific Northwest. In 1980 This symbol ads means: he sailed into Kawaihae Harbor Ifonyou have a locally-made product—an Island Treasure—that you coupon at to see featured here, in West Hawaii call 329-1711 x 1. on Fianna, the sailboat he built. "See our would like" Putting down roots on the Big In East Hawaii, call 935-7210 Island his projects changed This symbol on ads means: "See our coupon at" scale as he developed a unique line of wood creations. Working with his wife, Sarah for photography and promotion, and son Winter in the shop, the company is a true family business. The Hamakua Hairbrush is an David Anderson heirloom quality gift created in his Hāmākua wood shop from island koa. It is valued by kama‘aina and visitors alike. The brushes make terrific gifts and are “suitcase ready”. You can find these fine handcrafted brushes at Harbor Gallery in Kawaihae, Bamboo Gallery in Hawi, Under the Koa Tree at the King’s Shops Waikoloa, Hualalai Resort, Eclectic Craftsman in Kona, Showcase Gallery in Kainaliu, Parker Ranch Store and


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Andy and Pam Andrews –Photo from personal collection


The idea that “happiness self-made is music self-played” is one that immediately resonated with Andy when he saw it written on a Harold Teen ‘uke from the ‘20s. “I’m not a particularly good player; I’m a mediocre player—especially here in the islands—but I do love to ‘lead’ kanikapila,” he says. “The songs you thought you’d never hear on the ‘ukulele are my favorite songs to play. They are the songs of my youth. I’m an ‘island guy,’ but it was Manhattan, not Hawai’i!” Songs like The Who’s “Pinball Wizard,” “Nights in White Satin” by the Moody Blues, Beatles songs, and “Here Comes the Rain Again,” by Annie Lennox, are some of Andy’s favorites. “To me, the single most important thing about the ‘ukulele is how it draws people in who’ve never played an instrument in their life. Certainly it’s fun to see a Ledward Ka’apana or a Neil Young or a James Hill play, but if I had to choose between seeing them play or playing myself, it would be an easy choice to make,” he said. “I was so fortunate to work with people from a lot of different ethnic groups during those first years visiting here, and some of them spoke Hawaiian,” says Andy. “I was flabbergasted to find out that the Hawaiian language and culture even existed when I first started coming here. ‘Aloha’ was just a word to me; I didn’t know that it underlay a whole way of thinking and living. Typical of the ‘spirit of aloha,’ the people I met taught me things without telling me they were teaching me. I come from a European heritage; we’ve lost complete touch with our culture. We have no idea who our ancestors were. So, to tap into a culture that still has contact with that was very compelling to me.” ❁Continued on page 78

MAY/JUNE 2012 | | 77

ndy Andrews, co-founder of the legendary ‘Ukulele Club of Santa Cruz in California, is now bringing his love of people, music and fun to the Big Island of Hawai’i. Those of us who know him were certain that it would only be a matter of time until a little “Uke Mecca” would spring up when he settled here, and we were right. Andy and Pam, his wife of 43 years, are now residents of Puna and have started P.U.K.A., the Puna ‘Ukulele and Kanikapila Association. The group meets semimonthly at the Leilani Estates Community Center and has been steadily growing in attendance since it was started two years ago. “We now get upwards of 60 people singing, playing ukes and other instruments,” Andy says happily. Its model, the ‘Ukulele Club of Santa Cruz, was started in January, 2002, by Andy and co-founder Peter Thomas. It is a rambunctious group of more than 200 members that was founded on the idea of inclusivity—not exclusivity. The founders feel very strongly that music is meant to be shared as a community and relationship-builder, not only as a performance by a gifted entertainer given to an attentive audience. The Santa Cruz ‘ukulele group became so well known that big-name musicians like Rev. Dennis Kamakahi, Herb Ohta, Jr., Cyril Pahinui and Jake Shimabukuro would call Andy to see if they could play at one of the group’s gatherings when they were passing through. (Sometimes, they had to be turned down!) The group’s treasured songbooks of pop and oldies songs, combined with artfully done graphics and photos, have been shipped all over the world. Andy’s connection to Hawai’i began in the 1990s, when he was traveling back and forth from the mainland to O’ahu for business over a period of about ten years. Having surfed in California since his younger days, he stored his surfboards at

the hotel where he stayed near Waikiki. At one point, a 70-yearold surfer asked him what he did for fun other than surf. When Andy told him he really didn’t have another hobby, the man suggested he get an ‘ukulele, saying, “I’m 70 years old and I can still surf, but you might not be so lucky.” Andy reminisced, saying, “I bought a used, very island-style uke from the ‘20s and, putting my obsessive-compulsive personality to good use, I practiced and practiced and practiced.” That purchase not only hooked Andy on the instrument, but it was the beginning of his world-class ‘ukulele collection. “I loved collecting them because they were cheap compared to guitars, and they told a story. They changed quickly over time—the graphics on them and the music played on them. The first music played was Portuguese, and then they went through a huge metamorphosis and were embraced by Vaudeville in the ‘20s. Now they are being ‘legitimized’ as a musical instrument on which many different kinds of music can be played. Of course they were always a legitimate musical instrument in Hawai’i,” Andy says.

❁Continued from page 77

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Andy and Pam had given up seen anywhere. I thought as a hippie-kid that the concept of their dream of retiring in Hawai’i; ‘malama kā ‘aina’ was invented by the Sierra Club. Little did I they didn’t think they could afford know that it had been around for thousands of years.” it until a friend from the ‘Ukulele Club “One of the things that living in Hawai’i has reinforced to me of Santa Cruz came back from a visit to more than any other place I’ve lived,” Andy continues, “is the the Big Island in 2005 and said, “I just bought concept of ‘don’t judge a book by its cover,’ because people a retirement place in doing some of the most humble Hawai’i!” and told them things are the keepers of Hawaiian about the Puna district. knowledge and culture. You can Andy and Pam hopped on a be talking to someone who might plane, and three days later be performing what is thought of were the proud owners as a menial task or something that of their land in Leilani is a very undervalued job in our Estates. Over the next five society, and if you take the time to years, they made frequent talk to them, they’ll pass on to you visits to their lot, building knowledge and wisdom that can a Hawaiian-style home and be life-changing. People in Hawai’i turning the spot into the don’t wear their knowledge and colorful tropical “oasis” that it wisdom on their sleeve. It’s a very is now. They relocated in 2010. humble, wonderful, understated Living here, Andy says, has kind of a thing.” helped him see “the absolute Before each P.U.K.A. kanikapila Andy Andrews with some of the P.U.K.A folks at a importance of music to the (jam session), Andy teaches a kanikapila they hold every Friday afternoon. people of Hawai’i. The place and –Photo from Andy’s personal collection free, one-hour ‘ukulele lesson the music are not two separate for complete beginners up to things, they are exactly the same thing. Living in a place where intermediate level players that is often attended by more than people write love songs to every single place is amazing. You 30 people. There are even “loaner” ‘ukulele available for those can’t go to a bay or a mountain or an overlook in these islands who don’t own one yet. Andy’s motivation for starting the and not have someone teach you a song about it. There’s a group? It’s all for “The Love of Uke,” as a song by Jim Beloff of depth to the Hawaiians’ love for their birthplace that I’ve never Flea Market Music declares. “You just come, and we’ll put an

‘ukulele in your hands,” Andy says. “There are no dues; there’s no membership....” Having fun is the goal. Andy emphasizes that “P.U.K.A. is all about the joy music brings, and never about ‘who’s better’ or being an expert.” The P.U.K.A. group has played for the Volcano 4th of July and the Pahoa Christmas Parades, and they kanikapila at the Maku’u Farmers Market twice a year. The documentary, “The Mighty ‘Uke”, which premiered in 2009, features Andy, and his ‘ukulele collection, prominently. The producers had heard of the ‘Ukulele Club of Santa Cruz and sought Andy out, realizing the “specialness” of the group’s attitude toward making music together. The focus of the film is the resurgence in popularity of the ‘ukulele and the nontraditional ways it is being used in today’s music. The film was shown on the Big Island at the Aloha Theatre in Kainaliu and the Palace Theater in Hilo. Andy led a kanikapila before each show, and attendees were encouraged to bring their ukes and join in. The documentary has just finished a European tour and is still showing at film festivals. There’s even talk of a “Mighty ‘Uke” cruise! Andy teaches ‘ukulele to 10-17 year olds at the Kua O Ka Lā Charter School in Kapoho. When they performed at the ‘Ulu (Breadfruit) Festival in March, in addition to the Hawaiian song, “Holei,” they played “Jambalaya,” “Here Comes the Rain Again” and Duke Ellington’s “Satin Doll.” Andy also teaches a free workshop at Hawi Gallery: Art & ‘Ukuleles on the third Saturday of the month at 6 p.m., and regularly teaches workshops at The Wine Country ‘Ukulele Festival in Napa Valley, Keoki Kahumoku’s Hawaiian Music and Lifestyle Camp in Pahala, and at the West Coast ‘Ukulele Retreat at Asilomar, California.

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Contact writer Shirley Stoffer: RESOURCES: For info on P.U.K.A. meetings, email: (Subject line: P.U.K.A.) Hawi Gallery: Art & ‘Ukuleles: Movie Night: (Subject line: Movie Night) Andy’s phone: 808.965.6125

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Linda Nagai

A future goal of Andy’s is to create a “Ukes for Kids” program on Hawai’i Island. He was responsible for getting the program started on O’ahu in 2004, through a donation of about 30 ‘ukes from the ‘Ukulele Club of Santa Cruz’s ‘Uke Fest West. The O’ahu ‘Ukes for Kids project, under the auspices of the ‘Ukulele Guild of Hawai’i, is still going strong. Andy’s neighborhood in Puna is benefitting from his spirit of fun too. He and Pam have started hosting a monthly movie night, an event for which Andy contacted a shade cloth manufacturer to have a drivein movie type screen made. (“Pam and I have such fond memories of drive-ins from when we were first dating!”) He also acquired an LCD projector and some big speakers for the family-oriented evening, which has been attracting about 80 people. One thing you can be sure of: whatever Andy Andrews comes up with will put a smile on people’s faces! ❖

May-June 2012

Annual Mother’s Day Hula and Concert

❖ H A P P E N I N G S ❖

MAY “He Mo‘olelo o Ka Lei” Tuesday, May 1 Hilo May Day is Lei Day, and this event celebrates the history, culture, and heritage of the lei at Kalākaua Park in downtown Hilo. Event features Hawaiian music by well-known entertainers, music, hula, lei-making demonstrations, storytelling, silent auction, food and crafts. 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Free. For more information, call 808.961.5711 or visit

May Day is Lei Day Festival Tuesday, May 1 Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park A celebration of Lei Day for all ages with lei-making demonstrations, ‘ukulele band, talk-story and more. 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. Free. Volcano Art Center in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. 808.967.8222 or visit

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Ēwe O Ka Hula: Legacy of the Hula Saturday, May 5 Kohala Coast Ka Pā Hula Nā Wai Iwi Ola, under the direction of Kumu Keala Ching, hosts hula hālau from around the world at Waikoloa Bowl at Queens Gardens as they perform both hula kahiko (ancient style) and hula ‘auana (modern style) in a family-friendly setting. Featuring musical guests Waipuna, Aunty Diana Aki, The Ladies of Waiku’i, with special appearances by Loea Kawaikapuokalani Hewett and Kumu Hula ‘Ula Hewett and more. Keoki Kahumoku leads his famous ‘ukulele jam session. Gates open at 1 p.m., show begins at 2 p.m. $15 general admission; $25 reserved seating—tickets available online and at the door. For tickets and information please visit

Makana in Concert Saturday, May 5 Hilo Voted by Guitar Player magazine in 2008 as one of the top three guitarists in the U.S., last protégé of the legendary slack-key master Sonny Chillingworth, with songs featured in multiple Grammy-nominated records and feature films, including “The Descendants” with George Clooney. Makana appears at the Palace Theater, 7 p.m. Tickets on sale at the box office 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. weekdays. Call 808.934.7010 to purchase tickets by phone. Visit

Leche De Tigre: Live on Cinco De Mayo Saturday, May 5 Pahoa An evening with Latin gypsy funk band Leche De Tigre, performing their own blend of original acoustic dance music to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. 8 p.m., Akebono Theater. Age 21 and over. Tickets, music, videos and more info at Call 808.965.9990.

Guided Archaeological Hike Thursday, May 10 Hōnaunau This hike takes you along the main coastal route, which historically connected several villages in Pu‘uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park. Three-mile hike traverses a rugged, natural lava landscape and requires hiking shoes, hat, sunscreen, a snack and drinking water. 8:30 – 11 a.m. Limited to 15 people max, reservations required – call 808.328.2326, ext. 1702.

Tropical Paws Gala Friday, May 11 North Kona Coast Annual benefit gala for the Hawai‘i Island Humane Society held at the elegant Four Seasons Resort Hualālai, north of Kona. Silent and live auctions, gourmet buffet dinner, live entertainment and dancing. 6 p.m. Always a sellout. Tickets at; for information call 808.329.2135, ext. 2 or 808.329.1175.

Mother-Daughter Retreat May 11-13 Volcano Celebrating Mother’s Day with a weekend of laughter, relaxation, healing, body movement, delicious healthy meals, pleasant accommodations, hiking and evening viewing of the magnificent glow of Halema’uma’u Crater. Retreat fees. By Lehua Enterprises.; 808.333.4514.

MAMo: Native Hawaiian Arts Market Saturday, May 12 Waimea MAMo, Maoli Arts Month celebrates native Hawaiian arts at Kahilu Town Hall. Sponsored by Waimea Artists Guild, waimeaartistsguild. com. Call 808.887.2289 for more information. Subject: Volcano Artists in Action

Artists in Action 2012 Saturday, May 12 Volcano Village Volcano Village Artists Hui presents a day of free demonstration and hands-on activities from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Activities include demonstrations of pottery making, accordion book making, paper collage, Japanese paste paper and more. It’s all free and fun, with opportunities to try your hand at a variety of creative projects.  Gourmet lunch will be available for purchase. Volcano Garden Arts, 19-3834 Old Volcano Road in Volcano Village. 808.985.8979


Saturday, May 12 Kailua-Kona 
Hālau Kala’akeakauikawekiu, under the direction of Kumu Hula Aloha Victor, presents their annual “Mama, My Mama, I Love You” Mother’s Day hula and concert at King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel Lū’au Grounds. Featuring Nā Hōkū Hanohano award-winning musicians Kekuhi Kanahele, Anelaikalani, Darren Benitez and Sean Na’auao. $40 general seating only; $100 for private Hawaiian buffet and reserved concert seating. This is the hālau’s official Queen Liliuokalani Keiki Hula Competition Fundraiser. For more info, call Kumu Aloha at 808.989.4616.

Ka‘ū Coffee Festival

May 5 – 13 Pahala Saturday, May 5 – “Ka‘ū Farmers’ Table: A Feast for the Senses” hosted by Kalaekilohana Bed and Breakfast. An intimate evening of music with worldrenowned Hawaiian entertainer Robert Cazimero and a paired five-course, locally sourced gourmet meal. 5 – 9 p.m. Tickets $100 in advance. Contact Kalaekilohana at 808.939.8052. Sunday, May 6 – Triple C Recipe Contest, hosted by Ka‘ū Coffee Mill on Wood Valley Road above Pahala, judging at 2 p.m. Triple C stands for cookies, candies and crackers made with Ka‘ū coffee. Grand prize is $500; other prizes will be awarded in each category. For contest rules, visit or call 808.928.9811. Saturday, May 12 – Coffee growers from the Hawai‘i Island district of Ka‘ū have won international awards over the past several years, and the world is starting to take notice. The Ka‘ū Coffee Festival’s mission is to raise awareness of Ka‘ū and its growers as a world-class coffee growing origin. Festival schedule includes: Saturday – 4th Annual Ka‘ū Coffee Festival Ho‘olaule‘a featuring the Ka‘ū Coffee Experience at the Pahala Community Center in the heritage town of Pahala. 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Festival highlights include day-long live entertainment featuring music by Cyril Pahinui, Keoki and Moses Kahumoku and a host of others, plus

A member of Ka‘ū Coffee Growers Co-op at 2011 Ka‘ū Coffee Festival

hula, local food and crafts, farm and mill tours and lots of fresh coffee and coffee treats. Festival entry is free. At the Ka‘ū Coffee Experience, attendees can sample Ka‘ū coffees prepared in a wide variety of brewing methods while chatting with 2011 U.S. Barista Champion Pete Licata. Entry to the Ka‘ū Coffee Experience and tours are $10. Visit for updates and schedule of events. Sunday, May 13 – Ka‘ū Coffee College with distinguished guests and educational series. Notable guest speakers include Jeff Taylor, co-founder of PT’s Coffee Roasting Company in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Anthony Carroll, manager of coffee quality for Starbucks. Dr. Robert Hollingsworth, research entomologist with the USDA-Agricultural Research Service, shares strategies for optimizing the cost effectiveness of controlling coffee berry borer. Visit or call 808.929.9550. For updates, call 808.928-0500 or visit

❖ H A P P E N I N G S ❖ HAPA in Concert Saturday, May 12 Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park “A Celebration of Lo`ea Hula honoring Charles Kauhi Ka`upu”—a special performance by Hawaiian music’s legendary duo HAPA, featuring Barry Flanagan and Ron Kuala`au. HAPA’s brilliant artistry, musicianship and musical creativity affirms the group’s place among the top groups on the Hawaiian music scene today. 7 p.m. at Kīlauea Theater in Volcanoes National Park. Advance tickets available at the Volcano Art Center Niaulani Campus in Volcano Village. Call 808.967.8222, email or visit

Ka‘ū Coffee Festival Saturday – Sunday, May 12 – 13 Pahala An annual festival celebrating awardwinning coffee and growers in the beautiful Ka‘ū district. Featuring Miss Ka‘ū Coffee pageant, coffee recipe contest, “Ka‘ū Farmers’ Table: A Feast for the Senses” gourmet dinner gala Saturday evening with music by Robert Cazimero, all-day Saturday ho‘olaulea with live music, hula, local food and crafts, honoring Ka‘ū coffee international awardwinning growers, farm tours, coffee demos

and auction. At the Community Center in Pahala. Most events free. 808.928.0500 or visit [See Spotlight]

Ka Ulu Lauhala o Kona May 16 – 19 Keauhou The skill of weaving with pandanus or hala leaves—lauhala—is taught in this four-day event offering workshops with top Hawai‘i instructors. There are six different sessions: beginners, intermediate I and II, advanced I and II, and specialties. At the Keauhou Beach Resort. Information/registration call 808.938.0806 or visit com/site/kalululauhalaokona/.

“Kokua Kailua” Village Stroll Sunday, May 20 Kailua-Kona Ali‘i Drive is closed to traffic from 1 – 6 p.m. while you visit arts, crafts and food vendors in historic downtown Kailua town. Free Hawaiian music and hula on the lawn of Hulihe‘e Palace at 4 p.m. For more info about the Palace event, email hulihee@ilhawaii. net. For info about the Village Stroll, call 808.936.9202, email dorlenechao@yahoo. com or visit

Puna Music Festival May 20 – 26 Puna A one-week festival with five major concerts and a schedule full of workshops, the Puna Music Festival bridges the audience/performer divide, and a special feature concert on Saturday, May 20 that is the only “open” concert in Hawai‘i: open to performers who wish to apply. Experiment with songwriting, drum making, ‘ukulele, nose flute, and more in intensive workshops. Final performance and lū‘au featuring musical and culinary tastes of Puna. At Kalani Oceanside Retreat in lower Puna. 808.965.0468 or visit and

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Big Island Film Festival May 24 – 28 Kohala Coast An international film festival which celebrates narrative filmmakers and narrative films. With three movie venues, food and beverage events, workshops, celebrities, and Hawaiian music and culture, it’s rapidly gaining an international reputation. Some events free. Fairmont Orchid Hotel and Shops at Mauna Lani on the Kohala Coast. 808.883.0394 . [See Spotlight, page 82]

❁Continued on page 82

Ka Ulu Lauhala O Kona PRESENTS

17 Annual Lauhala Conference/Workshop May 16 - 19, 2012 Keauhou Beach Resort

Friday, August 3 rd Saturday, August 4 th & Sunday, August 5 th * Exotic Orchid Species * Exciting New Hybrids * Silent Auction * Refreshments * Entertainment * Daily Demonstrations * Arts - Crafts - Apparel Edith K a n a k a`o l e Stadium

Daily Admission: $5 donation at the door 12 & under: FREE

For info call (808) 333-1852 or visit

MAY/JUNE 2012 | | 81

Aloha Kakou! Come and join Aunty Elizabeth Maluihi Lee, Founder and President of Ka Ulu Lauhala o Kona, a Living Treasure and Na Kumu Lauhala o Hawaii nei with dozens of master weavers from all over the state gather at the Keauhou Beach Resort. Na Kumu share their knowledge and skills, thereby ensuring the perpetuation of the beloved and ancient art of Lauhala weaving. They welcome students of all skill levels and anyone else who just loves lauhala products. Conference includes hoolaulea, talk-story, luau, craft fair and a chance to catch up with old friends and make new ones.

❖ H A P P E N I N G S ❖

❁Continued from page 81 The Art and Traditions of Hula at Kīlauea Saturday, May 26 Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park Kumu Leilehua Yuen and Manu Josiah present a hula kāhiko “informance” at the hula platform 10:30 - 11:30 a.m.; cultural/ craft demonstrations 9:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. at Volcano Art Center Gallery, Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Free; park entrance fees apply. Call 808.967.8222 or visit

Seventh Annual Inter-tribal Powwow Saturday – Monday, May 26 – 28 Hilo A free, family event—traditional foods, dancing and special performances at Wailoa State Park Memorial Day weekend. The Powwow is an alcohol and drug-free activity, celebrating native cultures. Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Monday, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Event honors all veterans of all wars and families of veterans of the State of Hawai‘i who have died in military service. The Hilo Inter-tribal Powwow is sponsored

by the Federation of American Natives and Connections Public Charter School. For more info call 808.968.1591 or email

Waimea Bonyu Bonsai Exhibition

Intertribal Powwow dancers

Saturday and Sunday, May 26 and 27 Waimea The Japanese horticultural art of bonsai— growing trees and plants in miniature—is artistically on display at the annual exhibition of this club which has nearly a half century of history of promoting bonsai. Featuring beautiful miniature plants and a large variety of trees. Waimea Community Center, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. each day. Free. 808.887.0862.

Pā‘ū Riding: Perpetuating the Tradition

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Wednesday, May 30 Kailua-Kona The pā‘ū riders on their horses wearing large coloful lei have been a popular part of parades in Hawai‘i for many years. Learn more in this interesting presentation and discussion of the history of this cultural tradition. 5:30 – 7 p.m. Free. West Hawai‘i Civic Center. 808.323.3222 or


Big Island Jazz and Blues Festival Thursday, May 31 – Sunday, June 3 Kohala Coast A star-studded line-up of jazz and blues performances highlight this four-day event, beginning with a dinner concert at the Blue Dragon Restaurant in Kawaihae on Thursday, 6 – 9 p.m., call 808.882.7771. Friday evening a VIP Jazz and Blues Lū‘au at Mauna Kea Beach Resort, 6 – 9 p.m. Limited seating; call 808.882.7222. Saturday oceanfront music from 4 – 9 p.m. and Sunday golf tournament. Call 808.882.5400.

JUNE Ironman 70.3 Hawai‘i Triathlon Saturday, June 2 Kohala Coast This event is half the Ironman distance – 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike and 13.1-mile run – and is held at the beautiful Fairmont

Big Island Film Festival

May 24 – 28 Kohala Coast An international film festival, which celebrates narrative filmmakers and narrative films. With three movie venues, food and beverage events, workshops, celebrities, Hawaiian music and culture, it’s rapidly gaining an international reputation. Now in its seventh year, the Big Island Film Festival (BIFF) delivers unique entertainment for film lovers of

all ages, with free family films at The Shops at Mauna Lani, daytime movies, nightly double features at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i and much more. BIFF 2012 showcases 57 films from around the world, including nine from Hawai‘i—four of those from the Big Island. Along with short and featurelength narrative films, BIFF will, for the first time, spotlight two documentary films.  “Aunty Nona Beamer – Malama Ko Aloha (Keep Your Love) screens Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. at The Shops at Mauna Lani (free).  “The Family of the Wa‘a” screens Sunday night (approximately 9:30 p.m., as the second feature at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i Plantation Estate (adults $15, kama‘āina $10, late film only $7.50). Some events free. For complete schedule information and tickets, visit

❖ H A P P E N I N G S ❖


Transit of Venus Events

June 2-5 Hilo and Mauna Kea The University of Hawai‘i at Hilo is offering an undergraduate observational astronomy course to coincide with the transit of Venus. More information is available on the web or by contacting Saturday, June 2, ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center, Hilo 11 a.m. – Planetarium presentation, “Exoplanets and the Transit of Venus.” 3 p.m. – Transit of Venus cultural presentation by Koa Rice , ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center Planetarium. Daily admission rates apply for these talks. Noon – 2 p.m. on lawn - solar observations with Sunspotters and Telescopes (weather permitting) and educational Orchid, Hawai‘i Resort and is part of the official qualifier series for the 2010 Ironman Triathlon World Championship held in Kona later in the year. Call 808.329.0063 or visit ironmanhonucom.

The Brothers Cazimero

Transit of Venus Activities Saturday, June 2 Hilo Planetarium presentations, hands-on educational activities and an evening AstroJazz concert at ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center. Call 808.969.9700 for more info. [See Spotlight]

Aloha Wisdom Gathering of the Elders June 2 - 6 Keauhou Join Grandmothers Agnes, Mona and Flordemayo of the International Council of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers plus Hawaiian kūpuna, including Auntie Pua Mahoe, and ancient crystal skull Synergy, gathering for four days of discussion, teachings and sacred ceremonies during the Venus Transit, 100-percent visible from Big Island, Hawai’i. Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort & Spa. For more info,

contact Dr. Chet Snow, 928.204.1962, email or visit

New Big Island Chocolate Festival Friday, June 8 Kona Coast This inaugural sweet festival will feature celebrity chef demonstrations, cacao presentations and cacao farm tours, and an evening gala with silent auction, gourmet savory and sweet appetizers, beer/wine, and music and dancing. Four Seasons Resort Hualālai in Kona. Presented by the newly formed Kona Cacao Association. For more information, visit [See Spotlight, page 84.]

“When Venus Transits the Sun” – ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center

viewing glasses courtesy of Mauna Kea Support Services. 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Webcast of NASA Transit of Venus event shown in the Earl and Doris Bakken Moanahoku Hall. Hands-on activities with Ahia Dye (outside weather permitting). Free to the public. Check website for updates: and music by Hulihe’e Palace Band. For more info about the Palace event, email hulihee@ For info about the Village Stroll, call 808.936.9202, email or visit

King Kamehameha Day Celebration Monday, June 11 Kapa‘au Come to the northern tip of the Big Island to honor the legendary Hawaiian king in his

❁Continued on page 84


4th Annual Volcano Pottery Sale Saturday – Sunday, June 9 – 10 Volcano Village Join 11 Big Island potters and ceramicists for this annual show and sale at Hale Ho’omana, the education building of the Volcano Art Center. 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. More information is available by calling 808.985.8530 or at:

Kokua Kailua Village Stroll and Afternoon at Hulihe‘e Sunday, June 10 Kailua-Kona Ali‘i Drive is closed to traffic from 1 to 6 p.m. while you visit arts, crafts and food vendors in historic downtown Kailua town. Free Hawaiian music and hula at 4 p.m. on the historical Hulihe’e Palace grounds, a special event honoring King Kamehameha I “Paiea.” Kahiko-style hula by Na Pua U‘i O Hawai‘i Hula Hālau, vocals by the Merrie Monarchs

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MAY/JUNE 2012 | | 83

Saturday, June 2 Waimea The Brothers Cazimero pioneered a renaissance in Hawaiian culture in the early 1970s, making an indelible mark on contemporary Hawaiian music. Consummate musicians, Robert and Roland have enjoyed almost four decades of uninterrupted success unrivaled by any other performer in Hawai‘i. Kahilu Theatre, 8 p.m. For tickets, call 808.885.6868 or visit

activities (weather permitting). Free 7 p.m. - AstroJazz Concert in the planetarium (Cherilynn Morrow). Admission: $8 for members, $10 for non-members. Tuesday, June 5 –TRANSIT DAY, ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center, Hilo “When Venus Transits the Sun” Planetarium Show plays hourly beginning at 10 a.m. This show is a full-dome program that covers what a transit is, a famous transit viewing from the 18th century led by Captain Cook, information about the sun and Venus, how to view safely and more. Daily admission rates apply. Noon – 5 p.m. on lawn - Transit observations with Sunspotters and Telescopes (weather permitting). Visitors to the Center on June 5 will receive solar

Tuesday, June 5, Mauna Kea Visitor Information Station (VIS) Noon to 6:45 p.m. This is your last chance to see what is truly a once-in-a-lifetime event, as the next transit will not take place until December, 2117, over 105 years from now! The transit begins at 12:10:09 p.m. and lasts until 6:44:31 p.m. Hawai‘i Standard Time. The end of the transit will not be visible from the VIS due to the Sun setting behind the hills to the west. It will be visible in its entirety from the summit of Mauna Kea. Details for the day are still being planned, but the VIS plans to put solar filters on all of its telescopes. Also planned is a live, streaming webcast of the transit, along with projecting it onto multiple television screens around the VIS. Visit calendar/33/730-Transit-of-Venus.html

❖ H A P P E N I N G S ❖

❁Continued from page 83 North Kohala birthplace. A day-long cultural festival with floral parade, ceremony draping the King’s statue in lei, hula, food booths and musical performances mark this special day. Free. 8 a.m – 4 p.m. in Kapa‘au and Hawi, with activities at Kamehameha Park. Visit

Kamehameha Festival

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Monday, June 11 Hilo This festival features traditional Hawaiian music and dance at a ho‘olaule‘a with top Hawai‘i recording artists and hula hālau. The festival will also feature cultural practitioners, an oli (chant) exhibition, a pū (seashell) blowing contest for all ages, ‘ono food, and “Hawai‘i-Made” arts and craft vendors. An alcohol- and tobacco-free event. 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., Moku Ola (Coconut Island). Free. Presented by the Royal Order of Kamehameha. 808.989.4844. Visit

King Kamehameha Day Community Parade Monday, June 11 Kailua-Kona To take place in Kailua Village on Ali‘i Drive,

the annual King Kamehameha Day Community Parade 2012 features floats, marching bands, hula hālau and the regal pā‘ū riders on horseback. In addition to the parade queen and grand marshal’s equestrian units, all eight Hawaiian islands are represented by pā‘ū equestrian units, highlighting the colors and florals of each island. Daughters of Hawai‘i also sponsor a pā‘ū unit led by a horse-drawn carriage made of koa and ‘ōhi‘a. The parade begins near Huggo’s Restaurant at 9 a.m. and ends at Old Kona Airport at noon. For more info, call 808.322.9944.

Poetry with Gavin Harrison Saturday, June 16 Waimea A presentation of ecstatic poetry, music and stories of awakening by meditation teacher and author, Gavin Harrison at the Waiaka Events Salon, 66-1664 Waiaka St.(, just below Hawai’i Preparatory Academy). Music by Joey Bradley on ‘ukulele. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.; silence observed from 6-6:30 p.m.; event begins at 6:30 p.m. Pūpū potluck afterward. This is a green event; please bring your own plate, mug and utensils. For more info, please visit 808.884.5288.

Spotlight: 84 | | MAY/JUNE 2012

New Big Island Chocolate Festival · Movies Under The Stars. Indie narrative features and shorts from Hawaii and around the world. Daytime films at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai’i! · Free Family Films. May 24-27 - 7:30 p.m at The Shops at Mauna Lani. · Celebrity Sightings. Meet Hollywood stars and star-makers in person. · Best Of The Fest. Monday, May 28 - Memorial Day. One of Hawaii’s best concert entertainers and BIFF’s audience-choice films. · TICKETS. From $7 or passes from $25. Order on line or at the door.

Questions welcome: 808 883-0394

Special accommodation requests Call BIFF by May 18

For reservations & festival details visit:

Friday, June 8 North Kona Coast The inaugural Big Island Chocolate Festival offers an evening of chocolate decadence and savory bites at Four Seasons Resort Hualālai. During the day, celebrity chef demonstrations and an educational cacao presentation from 10 a.m-3 p.m. above the resort’s Pahu i’a oceanfront restaurant. Tours of cacao farms also available that day in Keauhou to showcase how cacao is grown, processed and made into chocolate. The evening gala, held from 6-10 p.m. is a benefit for the Kona Pacific Public Charter School and the Culinary Arts Program of the soon-tobe-built Palamanui Community College. Enjoy a silent auction, gourmet savory and sweet appetizers, Kona Brewery beer, sparkling wine, music by Cyril Pahinui and Salsa Latinos, plus dancing. Attendance to the gala is limited to 400 and ticket prices are $75 per person. Tickets online through EventBrite, and also available at the Kona Public Pacific Charter School

and Kona Wine Market. Symposium tickets and chocolate tours are separate ticketed events from the gala and can be purchased at after April 15.  Another opportunity to enjoy even more gourmet chocolate is with the prix fixe chocolate-themed dinner prior to the gala that Chef Jim Babian will create at Pahu i‘a. More information about reservations for this specialty dinner can be found on the event website. The 2012 Big Island Chocolate Festival is presented by the newly formed Kona Cacao Association, Inc. The mission and goal of this association is to promote the cacao industry on the Big Island of Hawaii by presenting the BICF as an educational and outreach opportunity for local cacao farmers, the hospitality industry and cacao enthusiasts.

❖ H A P P E N I N G S ❖ The Art & Traditions of Hula at Kīlauea Saturday, June 23 Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park Kumu Leilehua Yuen and Manu Josiah present a hula kāhiko “informance” at the hula platform 10:30 - 11:30 a.m.; plus cultural/ craft demonstrations from 9:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. at Volcano Art Center Gallery, Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Free; park entrance fees apply. Call 808.967.8222 or visit

native craft demonstrations throughout the two-day festival. On Saturday, June 30, there are canoe rides in Hōnaunau Bay and on Sunday, July 1, Hawaiian food tasting and a hukilau (community fishing) demonstration. Pack a lunch and plenty of drinks and spend a fun-filled day at the park and maybe leave with a nose flute, coconut leaf hat, a lei, lauhala bracelet, a hula gourd or another traditional craft item that you learned to make at the festival. For more information call the park at 808.328.2326 ext 1702.

Kona Marathon and Family Fun Runs


Sunday, June 24 Keauhou 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, and 5-K and 10-K runs. The courses run along the scenic shoreline. Held at the Keauhou Beach Resort. For more information visit or email 808.967.8240.

Wednesday, July 4 Volcano Village Enjoy a real small town Independence Day parade at one of the most unique communities on Hawai‘i Island – Volcano Village. Includes parade, craft fair, huge farmers market and local musical entertainment. A fun way to meet lots of friendly folks! 9 a.m., Cooper Center. Call 808.967.7800.

Voices From the Edge: Hawai‘i’s Ancient Trails Wednesday, June 27 Kailua-Kona What can we learn from the ancient Hawaiian trails? How do they connect us to earlier times and what are the thoughts going on today about access issues? Author and “trail hunter” Richard Stevens will touch upon this and more in this presentation. 5:30 -7 p.m. Free. West Hawai‘i Civic Center. 808.323.3222 or

Saturday – Sunday, June 30 – July 1 Hōnaunau This year’s Annual Cultural Festival is celebrating the 51st anniversary of the establishment of the National Park. This two-day event is free to all (entrance fee waived) from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Experience dozens of

Wednesday, July 4 Kohala Coast Held purposefully every year on July 4, this different event educates people about endangered Hawaiian green sea turtles. Watch as the young honu (turtles), which have grown up in the ponds at the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows, are given their freedom as they are released back into the ocean. Call 808.881.7911 or visit to learn more. ..................................................................

Disclaimer: Calendar listings are submitted by the producers of the events and are subject to change. They are accurate as of the time Ke Ola goes to press, which is sometimes one to two months before the event. Please call the contact number in the listing to confirm the event. Ke Ola is not responsible for event changes or cancellations. If you have an event you would like included in this calendar, please submit via the form on our website,, or email to Deadline for inclusion in the July/August issue is May 25, 2012.

Volcano Village 4th of July

Independence Day Celebration Wednesday, July 4 Kailua-Kona An annual event featuring live music, games, children’s activities, and the traditional parade - starting at 5:30 p.m. - along Ali‘i Drive with the Hawai‘i County Band, floats, antique cars and more plus a fireworks display over Kailua Bay at 8:15 p.m. Call 808.990-4785 or visit

Annual Parker Ranch Rodeo Wednesday, July 4 Waimea This Independence Day weekend tradition includes action-packed rodeo events, keiki (children) activities, delicious food and more. Parker Ranch paniolo (Hawaiian cowboys) are joined by other Big Island paniolo for a corral of traditional rodeo events from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the Parker Ranch Arena in Waimea. Call 808.885.7311 or visit

Hula at Pu‘uhonua o Hōnaunau Annual Cultural Festival

Ka Pā Hula Nā Wai Iwi Ola, under the direction of Kumu Keala Ching presents our 10th annual ho’ike,

Ēwe O Ka Hula Legacy of the hula Honoring Loea Kawaikapuokalani Hewett and celebrating his 40 years of perpetuating hula tradition.

Saturday, May 5

Waikoloa Bowl at Queens Gardens Gates open at 1 pm—show begins at 2 pm $15 General Admission $25 Reserved Seating

Hula hālau from around the world will perform both hula kāhiko (ancient style) and hula ‘auana (modern style) in a family friendly setting. Featuring musical guests Waipuna, Aunty Diana Aki, The Ladies of Waiku’i, with special appearances by Loea Kawaikapuokalani Hewett and Kumu Hula ‘Ula Hewett & more. Keoki Kahumoku will lead his famous ‘Ukulele Jam session, so bring the family and come and share the joy of hula and music. Tickets are available online and at the door. For tickets and information please visit us at

MAY/JUNE 2012 | | 85

Pu‘uhonua o Hōnaunau Annual Cultural Festival

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Pacific BioLogic Co.

Curtis Jacquot President, Pacific BioLogic

Cyndy Dyal Vog Relief Representative

hen Cyndy Dyal moved to Kona more than 22 years ago, she was drawn to the island’s clean air, beautiful forests and sparkling views. Over the years the vog (smog created by volcanic emissions) created by Kīlauea Volcano continued to get worse and changed the landscape: it became difficult to breathe and the views are often hazy. While on a visit to California, Cyndy explained to her cousin, Curtis Jacquot, what was happening to her and others with concerns about their health. He owns the herbal products company Pacific BioLogic, based in California. Curt noted that the body sees vog as an invasion and sets defenses to rid itself from it. “These defenses include such reactions as additional mucus in the throat, nasal discharge and eye tearing—all natural ways to overcome any allergen, pollen particle or volcanic dust particle. “After testing several products with Hawai‘i Island residents through the Malama Compounding Pharmacy for over a year, we settled on a product now known as Vog Relief,” explained Curt. “It is a product developed specifically for vog with the Big Island in mind.” Cyndy became the Vog Relief representative for the company and has set up a number of retail locations to carry the product. “We are working on locating a Hilo/East Hawai‘i location for Vog Relief, and some of the other islands that experience vog problems,” she says. Pacific BioLogic was founded in 1980 and Curtis purchased the company in 1996. Pacific BioLogic completed several clinical studies using herbal therapies to show the effectiveness of herbs. Manufacturing capabilities were added in 2000. Cyndy has been actively involved in many Big Island businesses, non-profits and events over a 22-plus-year period including real estate and solar technology companies, plus Kona Brewers Festival, Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce (past executive director), Friends of NELHA and others. You can find Vog Relief at these locations: Malama Compounding Pharmacy, Kealakekua, 808.324.6888; Kona Natural Foods, Kailua Kona, 808.329.2296; Kailua Candy Co., Kailua Kona, 808.329.2522; Healthways II, Kamuela, 808.885.6775; Dragonfly Ranch, Captain Cook, 808.328.2159; Island Naturals, Kailua Kona, 808.326.1122; and The Source Natural Foods in Kailua on O‘ahu, 808.262.5604. For more information, contact: Cyndy Dyal. Phone: 808.937.9937 Email: Website: Pacific BioLogic Co. website:


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argo Ray wanted to come home to Hawai‘i, where she was born and raised, and was looking for an opportunity for herself and her husband in 2006. At the time, she was finishing her master of fine arts degree in Montreal, Canada. “My father heard that Ironwood Framing was for sale—a picture framing shop that had been in business in Waimea for eight years prior. Scott and I decided that we had the skill sets to suit a custom picture framing business. It would be an opportunity to continue to work in the arts and make a living on the Big Island. We purchased Ironwood in June of 2006, after a month of intensive training with the previous owners.” Her business partner and husband, Scott Yoell, is also a fine artist and is Canadian. “We quickly learned that the business entailed much more than just framing the art. We walked into a booming business environment in 2006, soon to be followed by the economic crash in 2008. The past three years have been a process of streamlining, diversifying and trying to stay optimistic. Since mid-2011, though, we have seen a consistent growth and many clients returning. They include residents of Waimea, Kohala and the Kohala Coast, as well as interior designers both here and on the Mainland. We are grateful that we made it though what I believe has been the worst of the economic downturn.” Four years ago, the shop moved to a bigger, more visible space and is the only picture framing business in North Hawai‘i. Scott and Margo both maintain active art practices outside of the framing business. “We bring our creative skills to designing framed art and to curating an outstanding selection of artwork available for purchase. Scott has extensive training in art installations. We are also committed to community involvement. We frame anywhere from 75 to150 pieces of children’s art work every year for the Annual Keiki Art Show at the Kahilu Theatre Galleries; at the end of the exhibit each child gets to keep their framed artwork free of charge,” says Margo, who is also a graduate of Parker School and UH-Hilo. Margo has exhibited her art in Honolulu galleries and art centers, as well as venues on the Mainland and Canada. The State Foundation on Culture and the Arts has purchased three of her pieces for their permanent collection. Scott has a background in fine woodworking and construction and has been featured in shows and exhibitions in Honolulu as well as nationally and internationally. Location: 65-1298A Kawaihae Rd., Kamuela Phone: 808.885.0001 Email: Website:

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Amy Markham (left) , Arthur Johnsen and Deborah Beaver

ne Gallery is the merger of three artists into one business partnership. Amy Markham and Deborah Beaver started the gallery in January of 2011. Arthur Johnsen became a partner in March of 2012, relocating his entire gallery to merge with One Gallery. The newly-expanded gallery is located on the corner of Mamo and Kīlauea in downtown Hilo, just one block up from the Hilo Farmers Market. “The entire neighborhood is revitalizing, new businesses have opened, and interesting events are planned on a regular basis,” says Amy. “It’s been a new experience to run a gallery and we are still learning. It’s fulfilling and fun. We are very thankful for all the people who support the arts in these tough times.” The gallery clientele has been split between local people and visitors. “We offer shipping for travelers and a flexible payment program for the budget-savvy local art collector,” Amy said. “We market fine art at almost wholesale pricing. The artist receives most of the proceeds; the gallery only receives a small amount for basic expenses. With more than 50 artists represented, a vast collection of art is available. With the addition of premier Hawai’i artist Arthur Johnsen and his Artist Hui, One Gallery boasts an extremely wide range of work and pricing.” Gallery artist/owners include: Arthur Johnsen—a very successful and widely collected life-long artist. A Hawai‘i native, he has works commissioned by Mauna Lani, Disney Aulani and Princeville St. Regis resorts. His award-winning Pele painting hangs at the Visitor Center at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. He operated his own gallery on Waianuenue Avenue for seven years. Amy Markham—a maker of art since early childhood. She often points out that one of her favorite media is still crayons, although now she usually works with oil paints. She has lived in Hawai’i most of her life. Deborah Beaver began painting while in her 20s, but had never tried to be a professional artist. It was only after raising a family and moving to Hawai‘i in 2009 that she decided to do what she loves on a full time basis. On any given day, you can often find one or more artists set up around the gallery working on their latest pieces. Location: 128 Kilauea Ave, Hilo Phone: 808.961.2787 Email: Website:


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Hawai‘i Whole Person Healing Arts Collective

Christopher Lawinski, MD with one month-old son, Narayana

Location: 110 Haili St., Hilo (one block up from Palace Theatre) Phone: 808.936.1156 Email: Website:

MAY/JUNE 2012 | | 89

hen Christopher Lawinski entered medical school in 2001, he says, his clear intention was to practice holistic medicine and “be surrounded by talented colleagues offering an integrated array of healing modalities. That is exactly what I have created here at the Hawai‘i Whole Person Healing Arts Collective!” Dr. Lawinski says many of his patients come to him because they want a physician with a natural, integrative and holistic approach, but also one who is grounded in the knowledge of Western medical science and who has the backbone of the MD degree, which is what he offers. “I have devoted my life to learning the healing arts, first through the lens of allopathic medicine, and then finally as a natural and holistic medicine practitioner.” Since opening his practice in Hilo, he says, “Now my relationship to the world has changed, I am no longer just a doctor, I am now a businessperson.” In addition to his medical practice, within the same building is located a team of energetic and vibrational healers, and another team of licensed massage therapists. In the evening, the daytime reception area converts to space for the Wellness Class Program, which includes such activities as tai chi, chi gong, Iyengar yoga and Capoeira Angola. Dr. Lawinski completed his undergraduate work at Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio, graduating Phi Beta Kappa with a BA degree in biology. He trained for three years as a biomedical clinical researcher at Rockefeller University in Manhattan, New York City, and then attended the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia from 2001 to 2006. “My mother’s family is from St. Croix and Barbados in the Caribbean,” he says. “I grew up in the suburbs of New York City, longing for the island life of my cousins, uncles and aunties in the Caribbean.” He got that chance in Hawai‘i, where he completed his residency training in family medicine at Wahiawa on O‘ahu. He moved to the east side of Hawai‘i Island in 2009. “There are a few naturopathic centers like mine on the island, but none that I know of headed by an allopathic M.D. (Medical Doctor),” he says.


Ka Puana 90 | | MAY/JUNE 2012


yke Van D Peter eenwell y Gr o f A m a l G a rd e n ic b o ta n s l ic e s Ethno tain Cook, the f in Cap he trunk o ai t n hā p ope l mai‘a ), one a u s u un a na na i ia n a na nt b (preg native Haw ruit f e w h e t of f a s; b a n a n t h e t ru n k . s ide of re s i n r te s y matu Photo cou nwell – re e Amy G Garden l a c i b o ta n Eth no

“The World of Bananas in Hawai‘i: Then and Now,” describes traditional Pacific and global varieties, cultures, ornamentals, health and recipes. The book, by Angela Kay Kepler and Francis G. Rust, may be purchased at Bookbuyers in Pahoa, Basically Books in Hilo, Kona Stories in Kona and other Hawai‘i Island locations, as well as online at Publisher: Pali-O-Waipi‘o Press, Maui (2011)

By Angela Kay Kepler and Francis G. Rust

Excerpted from Chapter 7: “Mai‘a Hāpai”

ullo Angela. This is Rob at the Fuji photo processing lab. What on earth are your latest pictures?? Some kind of weird intestines? Good God, I‘ve never seen anything like this in my life! (pause) Surely they‘re not bananas!?” Oft cited as a cultural oddity, the quirky Mai‘a Hāpai (“pregnant banana”) is Hawai‘i’s most noted banana cultivar although 99.99 percent of Hawaiian residents have never seen them. For most islanders, it is the only “native” banana that they have ever heard of, except perhaps the stunning green and white variegated Manini. Unbelievably, few or no photographs had ever been taken until 2005 at the Amy Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden in Kona. Fittingly, information in English about Hāpai was essentially summarized in two sentences, of which Pukui and Elbert’s standard Hawaiian Dictionary (1986) is typical: Mai‘a hāpai. n. A Hawaiian variety of banana of medium height, the fruit maturing within the trunk. The fruits are small, ten or fewer in a bunch, yellow, sweet, edible raw. A “pregnant banana,” you say? Come on, isn‘t that anthropomorphizing a bit too much? Not really. Truly it is the most bizarre-named banana variety in the world. Additionally, it is

a prehistoric introduction to Hawai‘i so ancient that its associated folklore has essentially dissipated in the mists of time. In spring 2006, an enthusiastic group drove to Hāna‘s Kahanu Garden to delve more deeply into Hāpai’s inner secrets. We particularly wanted to muse upon its significance to ancient Hawaiians and to their Polynesian and proto-Polynesian predecessors. Kahanu Garden staff and friends greeted us enthusiastically ... “Got your knives?” Lisa asked me. “Yep – everything we need – machete, a strong kitchen knife and a hefty pocketknife. That should be enough. They’re all nice and sharp. And here‘s our receiving blanket.” For weeks, Director Kamaui Aiona had been watching the belly of his Mai‘a Hāpai expand. Last year we had all hoped that Kahanu Gardens’ first “pregnancy” would lend itself to the bunch sticking inside the trunk but it shot out the top just like other bananas. This year provided another chance. Would she or wouldn’t she? One Friday, Kamaui - such an attentive father - e-mailed me with the news that she was getting really hāpai and hadn’t we better come soon? .

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