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    Island Issues Interviews To Continue Online

    February 16th, 2012

    Even though Big Island News Center isn’t posting new original news stories–be sure to catch the weekly Island Issues programs.  They are available over the radio waves on Sundays–6:30 a.m. on KKOA 107.7 fm, and at 8 a.m. on LAVA 105.3 fm.  And, you may listen online, or download them for listening at your convenience–they are posted here on Big Island News Center, down on the right, in the middle.

    For questions or suggestions, contact host Sherry Bracken at or call Mahalo Broadcasting at 808-329-8090.


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    Fourth Hike Against Hunger Starts November 3

    October 18th, 2012

    Will Zucker is hiking against hunger.   Zucker, sales manager at Mahalo Broadcasting (LAVA 105.3fm/KKOA 107.7 fm/KHNU 620 am), will walk the 126 miles  from Hilo up the Hamakua Coast, through Waimea and Waikoloa to Kona, to raise awareness of the need for donations to Food Basket, Hawaii Island’s food bank.


    Zucker says his goal for this year’s Hike Against Hunger is 110,000 pounds of food, or the equivalent, donated at KTA stores around the island during his hike.  But he says he really hopes to get to 150,000.  In his 2011 Hike Against Hunger, he raised the equivalent of 100,000 pounds of food—a combination of nonperishable food donations and cash, which the Food Basket uses to buy food.  Zucker was recognized by the Hawaii County Council for his work.


    The Food Basket is an island wide, supplemental food network that collects and distributes nutritious, high quality food to low income households,  the working poor, the disabled, the ill, senior citizens, children’s programs and other charitable organizations that serve this population. Supplemental food is provided regardless of religious beliefs, gender or ethnicity.


    Zucker will start by spending a day at KTA at Puanako on Saturday, November 3, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. and on Sunday, November 4, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., collecting food and donations.   November 6 and 7, he’ll be walking up the Hamakua Coast, camping out overnight, with plans to arrive at KTA Waimea by Wednesday, November 7 for a 3 p.m. until 7 p.m. food collection.    The morning of Thursday, November 18, he’ll walk from Waimea to Waikoloa KTA for a food and donation collection lasting from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m.  He plans to walk from Waikoloa to KTA in Kailua-Kona in the Kona Coast Shopping Center on Palani Road  the morning of Friday, November 9.  The food and donations collection will be at KTA Kona Friday, November 9 from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m.   Saturday morning, November 10, he’ll walk from the Kona KTA to Keauhou KTA, for an all-day food and donation collection from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.  The final day of food and cash (or check) collection will be at KTA Keauhou on Sunday, November 11 from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.


    This is Zucker’s fourth annual Hike Against Hunger.     Hawaii Island Food Basket says the holidays are the most desperate time of the year, with the demand for food being highest.  They are seeking donations of nonperishable food, especially meats and protein.  They also especially welcome cash donations.  Nani Lee, Director of the Food Basket says for each $10 donated, they can purchase 100 pounds of food.  Those wishing to help may bring checks made out to The Food Basket to any of the KTA locations during Will’s Hike Against Hunger collections.


    Those wishing to “Walk with Will” should call him at 990-0990 or at Mahalo Broadcasting at 329-8090.


    There is more information about Hawaii Island’s Food Basket at their web site, /   Nani Lee, Director of Hawaii Island Food Basket also welcomes questions about The Food Basket at 933-6030


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    Christmas Parades Coming Soon and Looking for Entries

    October 18th, 2012

    Waimea Christmas Parade, courtesy

    Christmas, in October?  Yes!   It’s time to think about signing up for several Christmas parades, and groups or individuals wanting to enter need to get their entries in.


    •The Hilo Christmas Parade kicks off the season on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, this year November 24.  The parade goes right through downtown Hilo.  The Lehua Jaycees manage the parade and may be reached at or via phone at 935-0555.


    •The Waimea Christmas Parade, the culmination of a day-long celebration, is Saturday, December 1, starting at 5:30 p.m.  It will go from historic Church Row Park through Waimea town, and will include a Santa float, walking units and a brigade of dozens of festively lighted trucks!  Applications at or call Lani Olsen-Chong  at 936-0670


    Kea’au Parade Horse

    •  The 9th Annual  Kea’au Christmas Lighted Parade is coming, on Saturday, December  8, 2012 beginning at 5:30 in the heart of Kea’au town.   Participant  applications for those who are interested in being a part of this gala  event are now available either by calling the Kea’au Village Market at  966-4853  or via  cell  at 896-1236 or  by sending an email to     The  deadline for participant packets is November 9.


    •  The Kailua-Kona Christmas Parade is Saturday, December 15 at 5 p.m.  The Grand Marshal this year is rancher, Paniolo Hall of Fame member,  and community volunteer Barbara Nobriga.  The parade will go from the Kona Gym and Pool down Kuakini, down Palani, and along Ali’i Drive to Walua Road just south of Coconut Grove Marketplace.  Parade organizers expect around 70 entries, and will close the parade once it fills.  Parade applications are online at  The web site also has all the parade details—including information about the new food drive.  Parade organizers ask not only entrants but spectators to bring food for Food Basket.  They’ll have people in the parade collecting the non-perishable food.

    Kona Christmas Parade grinch


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    Hilo Pharmacy College Gets Accredited

    October 18th, 2012

    Anita Ciarleglio

    A residency program in community pharmacy, giving licensed pharmacists opportunities for further training through Hawai`i’s College of Pharmacy (CoP) at the University of Hawai`i at Hilo, has been awarded national accreditation.

    “Pharmacy residency programs are similar to training that allows medical doctors to gain postgraduate training,” noted Anita Ciarleglio, assistant professor in CoP’s Department of Pharmacy Practice.  Accreditation by both the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) and the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) is necessary for the program to be considered a validated educational experience.

    The UH Hilo pharmacy residency program has been conducted on the island of Maui where Ciarleglio is the project’s program director. She began compiling data that met standards for accreditation more than two years ago with assistance from Bill Jones, a pharmacist who was the pharmacy residency director for 23 years at the Southern Arizona Veterans Affairs Health Care System in Tucson, Arizona.

    “Receiving a three-year accreditation was a coup for us because we’re so new,” Ciarleglio said. “It means we can continue to concentrate on patient care while giving licensed pharmacists from all over the country the experience they need to get on with their careers and gives them credentials to compete for jobs.”

    Thus far, five pharmacists have gone through the program at Maui Clinic Pharmacy and are able to get retroactive credit for being part of an accredited program. All have since left the program to attain gainful employment as pharmacists. They include Sheena Jolson (University of Arizona Class of 2010), Amy Baker (University of New Mexico Class of 2010), Tehane Ornellas (UH Hilo CoP Class of 2011), Erika Miyahira (UH Hilo Class of 2011) and Christina Mnatzaganian (University of Arizona CoP 2011). Mnatzaganian has joined the CoP faculty.

    Ciarleglio referred to these women as “true trailblazers” for believing in the program while it was still being accredited.

    “These women are redefining community pharmacy,” Ciarleglio said. “They primarily act as the liaison between the community, the hospital and the physician, and provide a continuity of care that just wasn’t there before.”

    Accreditation for the residency program mirrored the accreditation process for the College, which was awarded last year after the inaugural class graduated from UH Hilo, Ciarleglio said.

    Hawai`i’s College of Pharmacy at UH Hilo is the only school for pharmacists in the Pacific. In addition to its Residency Program, degree programs include the Doctor of Pharmacy, the Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences, the Masters in Clinical Psychopharmacology, and a Bachelor of Arts in Pharmacy Studies, which are available to students enrolled in the PharmD program.


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    Golf Tourney to Support Waikoloa Dry Forest Set for November 4

    October 18th, 2012

    The Waikoloa Dry Forest 2 Person Best Ball Golf Tournament will be held Sunday, November 4 at the Waikoloa Village Golf Club. Check-in starts at 7:00 am and the shotgun start is at 7:30 am. Cost is  $80 per player. The registration deadline is October 26. Cost includes lunch, cart, greens fee, and tournament prizes. Awards ceremony to be held at the Kau Kau Depot following play.


    Registration forms are available at the Waikoloa Village Golf Course, 68-1792 Melia St., Waikoloa HI 96738 and most West Hawaii pro shops. You can also download the forms at For more information, call Chris Kutler at 883-8272 or write to


    Proceeds benefit the Waikoloa Dry Forest Initiative, which is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization formed to manage and preserve the remnant lowland wiliwili forest that persists just outside of Waikoloa Village. The mission is to preserve the existing resources within the area, promote the natural regeneration of common and rare native plants, and restore the native dry forest community.


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    Night of Elegance Ball is November 3

    October 18th, 2012

    2011 Night of Elegance

    The Kona Ballroom Dance Club and the Waimea Ballroom Dance Club have teamed up to present A Night of Elegance at the Waikoloa Hilton on Saturday, November 3.

    The event will include a buffet dinner and dancing to the sounds of the Loren Wilkens Band.  The event is a night for dancers to dress up in formal or dressy aloha wear and strut their stuff on the dance floor.

    A Night of Elegance starts at 5 p.m. and goes until 9 p.m.  at the Hilton Waikoloa’s Water’s Edge Ballroom.   Tickets are $70 per person and may be reserved by calling Franz Weber at808-326-9190.



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    Hilo’s Black and White Night is November 2

    October 18th, 2012

    One of downtown Hilo’s most festive events of the year is coming Friday night, November 2.  It’s Black and White Night in downtown Hilo, when the night will be transformed from a time of dark to a time of downtown lights, music, open stores, and strolling people.  And everybody is encouraged to wear black and/or white.  Dress up or dress down, it’s a festive time to celebrate historic Hilo town.

    The Downtown Hilo Improvement Association bills the evening as a night of entertainment and elegance.  There will be entertainment in the street and in the stores, with stores offering special events and deals.   There is a treasure hunt and special prize drawings throughout the evening.  In prior years, it’s been a fun and festive event, with people dressed in a variety of black and white attire that has included elegant outfits to wild costumes to more.  Black and White Night is Friday night, November 2 from 5 p.m. until 9.

    This year, there is a new addition, a Black and White and Gold Ball, a gala affair that will take from from 8 p.m. until midnight.  The ball will be at Kaikodo, and is a celebration of Downtown Hilo’s Fiftieth Anniversary. The event includes dancing plus entertainment by the Hilo High School Ambassadors. There will be pupu, desserts, coffee, and more, plus no host beer and wine.   Ticket are $50 per person.  For more on the Black and White and Gold Ball, call  935-8850 or  email

    Previous Black and White Revelers


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    Voters Can Learn About Candidates, Issues in Online Talks

    October 18th, 2012

    With absentee ballots in mailboxes now, and walk in voting starting October 23, Hawaii County voters must make up their minds about for whom they wish to vote–and how they want to vote on the issues.

    Right here at, down on the right, voters may listen to several thirty-minute interviews that will help them get the information they need to decide.

    The available interviews:

    Lincoln Ashida and Mitch Roth, two separate interviews with the candidates for County Prosecutor.  These interviews were recorded prior to the Primary Election.

    Interview with Donna Oba and Sue Dursin of the League of Women Voters, giving the pros and cons of each of the two State Constitutional Amendments and six County Charter Amendments on which we will vote.  Most voters automatically vote “yes” on such issues, but Donna and Sue explain their organization has thoroughly reviewed the issues…and you may wish to listen to them so you can make an informed decision.  Some of these items may warrant a “no” vote–that’s for the voter to decide.

    Interviews with

    -Mayor Candidate Harry Kim

    -Mayor Candidate Billy Kenoi

    -County Council 1 candidates Chelsea Yagong and Valerie Poindexter, together.  This interview will be on the radio on Sunday, October 28, but with voting open now we decided to post it sooner at this web site.

    Walk in voting starts Tuesday, October 23, and goes through  Saturday, November 3.  Any registered voter may vote at any of the three locations–Waimea Community Center, Aupuni Center Conference Room, or West Hawaii Civic Center.  The three locations are open 8 a.m. til 4 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays.


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    Absentee Ballots Arriving Now

    October 17th, 2012

    The first round of mailing of absentee ballots for those who requested either permanent absentee ballots or ballots for this election only started Monday, and the ballots are arriving in mailboxes around the island now.  Those who have absentee ballots should carefully review the instructions to make sure they fill out, seal, sign, and properly prepare the ballots for return.

    Absentee ballots may be mailed in the envelopes included with the ballot, which will send them to the Hilo Elections Office.  They may also be returned in person to the Hilo Elections Offices.

    The new (temporary) County Elections Administrator, Lehua Iopa, says voters may also return them to any of the three walk-in absentee polling locations between October 23 and November 3, Mondays through Saturdays, 8 a.m. until 4 pm.  Those locations are at West Hawaii Civic Center, Waimea Community Center, and the Aupuni Center Conference Room.  They may also be dropped at any polling place on election day, November 6. But State Office of Elections has encouraged voters to return them by mail.

    However, County Clerk Jamae Kawauchi says ballots may not be returned to  the Kona Elections Office at West Hawaii Civic Center.

    Kawauchi says her office receives the ballots and will deliver  them to the State Counting Center on election day.

    Voters have until October 30 to request an absentee ballot, and may do so with no reason given.  However, if you want one, it’s best to request it as soon as possible to allow for time for the ballot to be mailed to you and for you to return it by mail.  All ballots must be received by Tuesday, November 6 at the Elections Office or any polling place to be valid.

    In recent elections, around half of the votes cast were via either absentee mail in ballots or early walk in voting, often called “Absentee Walk In” voting.  Early walk in voting begins Tuesday, October 23, and goes through Saturday, November 3, at three locations–Waimea Community Center, Aupuni Center Conference Room, and West Hawaii Civic Center.  Any registered voter may go to any of the three sites.  They are open from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m., and usually close promptly at 4 p.m.


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    Hawaii PUC Coming to the Island to Get Your Input

    October 17th, 2012

    The Hawaii State Public Utilities Commission will hold two hearings on Hawaii Island, the week after next.  The intent is to get resident input on two topics:  the pending 4.2% rate increase requested by Hawaiian Electric Light Company and the application by the biofuel plant, Aina Koa Pono, which wishes to begin operations in Ka’u.


    The Aina Koa Pono plant would be built where the old Ka’u Sugar Plantation Mill was.  It has caused a great deal of discussion on Hawaii Island.  Even Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi says the County has taken a position against the plant.  One of the main reasons is that the proposal is to use crops as the biofuel to create energy, and the Mayor says the first energy-creating plant should be some kind of Waste to Energy Plant—such as the H Power plant now on Oahu—to burn the County’s garbage and turn it into electricity.  He also says the amount of crop land required to provide the biofuel would be significant, and that may not be the best use of that land.  Advocates of a more sustainable Hawaii point to the possibility to use the crop lands to grow food crops.


    The first hearing is on Monday, October 29 at Hilo High Cafeteria at 6 p.m.  The final hearing is on Tuesday, October 30 at Kealakehe High School at 6


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    Waimea School Advisory Panel Invites Public to Next Meet

    October 17th, 2012

    Students, families and interested community members are invited to the next meeting of Waimea Middle School’s Local Advisory Panel from 4:30-6:30 p.m., Mon., Oct. 29, 2012 in Classroom K-4, which is located in the courtyard immediately behind the school office.


    The agenda will cover an update on the school’s in depth Accreditation Self-Study process.  This will include further review of a proposed Vision and Beliefs about Teaching and Learning statement, which lays the foundation for the entire self-study and action plans to set the course for continual academic improvement for students.  Also as part of the self-study process is an Expanded Learning Time (ELT) proposal and surveys to identify the dreams, goals, questions and challenges to, in effect, lengthen the learning day for the school’s 6th-8th grade students, beginning in the 2013-2014 school year.


    Also on the agenda will be recommended revisions to the WMS LAP Charter and ByLaws.


    All LAP meetings are open and time is provided at the start of the meeting for students, families and other interested persons to speak. The meeting agenda is posted on the school’s website:


    Chairing the meeting will be Dr. Kamana Beamer.


    The WMS LAP is comprised of representatives of all of the school’s stakeholder groups including students, family members, certificated faculty, classified staff, administrative leadership, community leaders and partners, and representatives of Ho’okako’o Corp., the public charter school’s not-for-profit local school board.


    For more information, call WMS Principal Matt Horne (887-6090 Ext. 225).


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    Honoka’a High’s Washburn to Debut New Work October 27

    October 17th, 2012

    Gary Washburn, from Ke Ola Magazine

    Gary Washburn, Jazz musician, composer, and director of Grammy-winning Honoka‘a High School Jazz Band for more than 30 years has a reputation nationwide as one of the best music educators in the business.  On Saturday, October 27, he will debut his original musical work, “Earth Life: October Full Moon” at Honoka’a Peoples Theater at 7 p.m.

    Essentially a jazz/fusion composition, the work includes various musical styles, including traditional and contemporary jazz, funk, pop, ethnic and in some passages, classical.   The performers will be Washburn, Alex Czerny, Doug Johnson and Noa Eads.   The seven-part suite for two pianos and percussion will be “live recorded” by Emkay Records, Kent Washburn producer, for worldwide distribution.

    “I like to write ‘programmatic music,’ i.e., music that is inspired by non-musical ideas,” said Washburn. “Classical Impressionism is an example of programmatic music. I took the idea of mankind’s relationship to the Earth and came up with the titles. Then I began writing my musical impressions of the titles.” Inspired by a solar eclipse, Washburn began writing what would be “Earth Life: October Full Moon” in 1976, and will essentially complete the vision that began with his original work “A Life in a Day” over 30 years ago.

    As a prelude to the “October Full Moon” premier, Gary Washburn, Brian McCree/bass, Bruce David/drums, Paul Lindbergh/tenor sax and flute and Doug Johnson/percussion and vibes will perform additional original music by Washburn.

    Admission to the concert is $10 adults, $7 kupuna, $5 keiki and students, available at the door. For more information, visit or email


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    Danny Akaka To Do Talk Story at Kahilu Theater October 28

    October 17th, 2012

    There’s a Kokua Kahilu event coming up Sunday, October 28, at the Kahilu Theater in Waimea.   Cultural historian Danny “Kaniela” Akaka and friends will offer  an evening of stories and music at the Kahilu Theatre.  A benefit for the theater, the event will include a silent auction, and refreshments will be available for purchase. As with all of Akaka’s “talk story” events, his guests that evening will be a surprise to the audience.


    This Kokua Kahilu event is organized by the Kahilu Theatre Board of Directors. Proceeds from the fundraiser will support new vision for Kahilu as a community hub for arts, entertainment and education.



    The event will start at 4 p.m. Cost to attend is $25 per adult and $10 per child age10 and under. Tickets are available by calling 885-6868 or visiting the box office between 9 a.m. and noon, Monday through Friday. Early ticket buyers will be provided premiere seating for the event.


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74-5605 Luhia St., #B-7
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