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Lawmakers to host live video chat Tuesday

Sen. Will Espero will host a live streaming video conversation tomorrow, along with Sens. Carol Fukunaga and Clarence Nishihara, as well as Rep. Angus McKelvey. Sen. Espero (Sen. District 20), the Senate Public Safety, Military and Intergovernmental Affairs Committee Chairperson and his team are desccribing the event as a “Ustream Legislative Sit-Down.” The broadcast will begin at noon. Sen. Espero will use this online platform to talk with other State Legislators about the 2011 Legislative Session, find out what they are doing in the interim, and discuss any upcoming plans for next session. [...]

New children’s book for iPad released

Performer, musician, and blogger Ria Baldevia has released a new multimedia children’s book for iPad. In keeping with Hawaii’s role as an incubator for high tech creativity, local resident Ria Baldevia has just launched “Meena’s Magical Present,” a multi-media extravaganza for children on iTunes. Melding appealing artwork, child-friendly text and a world experience theme, the new app represents the future of children’s books in the 21st century. The intriguing interface allows parents to explore adventures with their children. And voice recording capabilities make it a great gift for those who are away from their little loved ones. [...]

Real estate technology conference comes to Honolulu

Plug in to the future of real estate! Inman News is bringing Agent Reboot to Honolulu, Hawaii with an all-new 2011 program on Wednesday, August 24, 2011 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Sheraton Waikiki. In just six hours, real estate agents will learn from the best experts in the industry how they can make mobile, social, video, blogging and many more cutting-edge technologies work for their real estate business. Agent Reboot offers the specific, practical and tactical ideas to help make REALTORS thrive. Chris Smith, Chief Evangelist, Inman News, will take the stage as emcee for Agent Reboot Honolulu. Additional national speakers include: Productivity Junkies Founder Darin Persinger, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate CEO Sherry Chris and Inman News’ Director of Social Media, Katie Lance. [...]

Hallowbaloo 2011 to light up Honolulu

The 4th Annual Hallowbaloo Music + Arts Festival presents a kaleidoscope of stimulation as diverse as the 20+ clubs, restaurants, galleries and boutiques that comprise its host neighborhood, the Honolulu Arts District. Entering its fourth year, the festival has already become one of the most anticipated and celebrated events in Hawaii with over 16,000 residents and visitors participating…and that’s just the beginning. At the heart of Hallowbaloo is an incredibly propulsive jet fuel that burns hotter than anything NASA ever created: Hawaii Halloween passion. For as long as most can remember, Hawaii has celebrated Halloween with as much or more fervor than anywhere in the world, and now, Hawaii residents direct their fantasies, dastardly digressions and zany illusions to Hallowbaloo. When their creative escapades come to fruition in the form of other worldly costumes, and they walk the festival grounds, they’re greeted by the most popular and alluring entertainment district in all of Hawaii, the Honolulu Arts District. The neighborhood has nearly single-handedly turned Hawaii’s cosmopolitan culture into something as alluring as the island’s most pristine beaches. [...]

Public schools eligible for $5,000 beautification awards

Three $5,000 awards from the Cooke Foundation are currently available to Hawaii public schools with completed beautification projects. The Cooke Foundation will present three $5,000 awards — one elementary school, one middle school and one high school — that have completed projects that beautify their school environment and significantly enhance the school’s overall appearance and ambiance. All public schools, including charter schools, in the state are eligible to apply. “A beautiful environment at school is conducive to learning and encourages respect for one’s school, respect for others and respect for oneself,” said Lynne Johnson, Cooke Foundation trustee. [...]

PubCon sets sights on Hawaii

PubCon, the premier optimization and new media conference, is pleased to announce PubCon Paradise 2012 in sunny Honolulu, Hawaii, which will take place in February and feature a full day of PubCon Masters Group search and social media training. Mark your 2012 calendars now for PubCon Hawaii 2012, which will take place February 13 – 15, featuring the world’s top new media and optimization speakers, keynotes and sessions, along with PubCon’s famous networking and party opportunities set in a tropical wonderland. What better way to spend Valentine’s Day than in Hawaii for PubCon Paradise 2012, the perfect opportunity for a romantic getaway before, during and after a top-quality leading-edge conference. PubCon’s fair prices make bringing family along for a Hawaiian getaway more affordable than ever. [...]

Fendi partners with local artists

Fendi, an Italian high fashion house with locations in Hawaii, is partnering with local artists as part of the global launch of a “handmade for the future” initiative. The company has announced two separate and unique design projects with local artists Eli Baxter and Aaron Padilla to kick off its design-focused “Fatto a Mano for the Future” platform in Hawaii. “Fatto a Mano for the Future” combines old world artisanship and modern day techniques through the collaboration, support and perpetuation of emerging contemporary artists. [...]

Mauna Kea telescopes help find most distant quasar

An international team of astronomers announced today the discovery of the most distant known supermassive black hole, seen as a luminous quasar caused by gas falling into the black hole. The discovery came to light using data from an ongoing infrared sky survey being conducted at the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope (UKIRT) and critical follow-up confirmation observations with the Gemini North telescope, both on Mauna Kea in Hawaii. The results are presented in the June 30, 2011 issue of the Journal Nature. The light from the quasar started its journey toward us when the universe was only 6% of its present age, a mere 770 million years after the Big Bang, at a ‘redshift’ of about 7.1. “This gives astronomers a headache,” says lead author Daniel Mortlock, from Imperial College London. “It’s difficult to understand how a black hole a billion times more massive than the Sun can have grown so early in the history of the universe. It’s like rolling a snowball down the hill and suddenly you find that it’s 20 feet across!” [...]

Island author announces iPad health ed app

The Human Body Detectives, a series of action-packed fiction stories developed by a Big Island naturopathic doctor, expands with Battle With The Bugs, its corresponding educational and entertaining iPad app. Kids ages 6 to 10 will love this series of award winning educational adventure stories which follow two “Human Body Detectives”, Merrin and Pearl, who magically enter different systems in the body to solve a health mystery and learn a bit of nutrition along the way. The series is now available in story-book (versus audio), ebooks, and now iPad and iPhone apps. The plot surrounds main characters Merrin and Pearl’s little cousin Max, who is sick, threatening everyone’s Mexican holiday. This time the detective girls find themselves inside Max’s body, witnessing firsthand the immune system in action. [...]

Big Island geothermal feedback sought

Hawaii Electric Light Company is seeking information to determine the best way to pursue geothermal power development on Hawaii Island. In a request for information (RFI) issued today, the utility is seeking input from stakeholders including potential geothermal developers and interested landowners on next steps that take into account the renewable energy goals and clean energy policy of Hawaii within the state’s unique community, cultural, historical, and environmental context. “Geothermal power is already a proven source of firm renewable power that can play an even larger role in Hawaii’s clean energy future,” said Jay Ignacio, president of Hawaii Electric Light Company. [...]

‘Local Ventures’ series moves to KFVE

More Local Ventures, Hawaii’s hit business show, moves to prime time on KFVE, Sundays every week at 6:30pm beginning June 26, 2011. More Local Ventures profiles local businesses and entrepreneurs who are transforming Hawaii in extraordinary ways. “Like many local companies we support and encourage green & sustainable efforts,” states Edgy Lee, the Executive Producer of More Local Ventures. “Because we’re in media, to us this means supporting local businesses of all kinds so the concept of this series is really about featuring people who are preserving the beauty of our local lifestyle and folks who are pressing the envelope and finding innovative solutions in this changing economy.” [...]

Allstar Weekend to perform June 25

Music group Allstar Weekend’s “Next Big Thing” is happening in Hawaii. The Polynesian Cultural Center is kicking off the summer season with the group’s Hawaii debut performance on Saturday, June 25, from 2 to 4 p.m. in the 2,675-seat Pacific Theater. Best known for their appearances on the Disney Radio’s “Next Big Thing” contest, and popular new songs like “A Different Side Of Me” and “Come Down With Love,” the group’s newest single, “Not Your Birthday,” is currently being highlighted in the feature film Prom. Their debut album, “Suddenly Yours” peaked at number 62 on the Billboard 200 album chart. “We’re very excited that Allstar Weekend has accepted our invitation to headline the Polynesian Cultural Center’s summer concert,” said Raymond Magalei, marketing director for the center. [...]

Hawaii couple launches pop culture podcast

The Hawaii-based husband and wife duo behind one of the world’s most successful blogs and podcasts devoted to the TV show “LOST” has launched a new daily pop culture show. Ryan and Jen Ozawa, hosts of “The Transmission,” launched “Popspotting” on May 23, exactly one year after “LOST” left the airwaves. But instead of devoting over an hour of conversation a week to a single show, “Popspotting” serves up a bite-sized chat every weekday, and covers movies, television, music, books, and much more. “Popspotting” also adds guests into the mix, with regular trivia challenges and special interviews planned. [...]

Hawaii withdraws from Solar Decathlon

Despite months of planning, public outreach, and fundraising for an international competition in Washington D.C., “Team Hawaii” from the University of Hawaii has withdrawn from the event. The UH Solar Decathlon team Executive Committee, which includes participating students and members from Honolulu Community College and UH Mānoa, decided that the timing and financial challenges were too large to risk further investment without the guaranteed delivery of the house at this year’s competition. [...]

Report: Defense department powers 18 percent of Hawaii economy

Up to 18 percent of Hawaii’s economy can be linked to spending by the U.S. Department of Defense, according to a new study from the RAND Corporation. “It’s common knowledge that defense activity in Hawaii plays a significant role in Hawaii’s economy, but the size of that role has not been previously studied and quantified,” said James Hosek, lead author of the study and a senior economist at RAND, a nonprofit research organization. Defense department spending in Hawaii averaged $6.5 billion per year during fiscal years 2007-2009. Of that, $4.1 billion was for personnel and $2.4 billion for the purchase of goods and services in Hawaii. [...]

Waikiki Edition Hotel owner sues Marriott

The owner of the Waikiki Edition Hotel in Honolulu has filed a lawsuit against Marriott International Inc. and boutique hotelier Ian Schrager, claiming that the hotel has been a failure due to gross mismanagement and Marriott’s inability to successfully launch the Edition brand. The lawsuit seeks tens of millions of dollars in damages and the right to terminate the agreement with Marriott, the operator of the 353-room hotel. [...]

Hawaii, NASA expand space exploration partnership

NASA and the State of Hawai’i have agreed to collaborate on a wide range of activities to promote America’s human and robotic exploration of space. The partnership also will contribute to the development of education programs and foster economic opportunities including new, high-tech jobs. Governor Neil Abercrombie and NASA Associate Deputy Administrator Rebecca Keiser signed a two-year agreement, formally called a non-reimbursable Space Act Agreement Annex, during a ceremony today in the Governor’s Office. [...]

Hawaii least stressed state

For the third year in a row, Hawaii residents were the least likely in the United States to say they felt stressed for much of the previous day. According to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, only 30.2 percent reported feeling stressed in 2010. Residents of Utah were the most likely to report experiencing stress, at 45.1 percent. These state-level data are based on daily surveys conducted from January through December 2010 and encompass more than 350,000 interviews. [...]

BJ Penn to open UFC Gym in Honolulu

UFC Gym announced today that it will partner with UFC superstar and former two-division champion BJ Penn to establish a signature BJ Penn fitness facility in the fighter’s home state of Hawaii. The facility, which will begin enrolling members in Summer 2011, is set to open for workouts in January 2012, and will be located in the Kamehameha Schools Kaka‘ako neighborhood, at the former Pipeline Café on Pohukaina Street in Honolulu. [...]

Hawaii students to build, play ukulele

Children on the island of Lanai will soon build and strum their own ukuleles and Hawaiian lap steel guitars, courtesy the Lanai Art Center and Waianu’s Hale Kuai of Honolulu. The ‘O Ka La Na‘i Nui program, to be held at the Lanai Art Center during the second week of August, will engage fourth and sixth graders in hands-on workshops that promote Hawaiian culture and encourage students to pursue vocational opportunities in Hawaii. [...]

Saturday is Free Comic Book Day

Thirteen Hawaii libraries will offer readers free comic books on Saturday, May 7 in celebration of the 10th anniversary of Free Comic Book Day. Library patrons showing their valid Hawaii State Public Library System card will receive a special free comic book, while supplies last. Don’t have a library card? You can apply for a card at your nearest public library. [...]

‘Moms in Hawaii’ launches

With a public kickoff fittingly timed to Mother’s Day, Moms In Hawaii is throwing open its doors, inviting mothers of all ages and stages across the Islands to join its new, exciting and one-of-a-kind community of mothers, online and “in real life.” “Moms In Hawaii is unlike any other gathering place for mothers in the Islands in the way it provides them with exciting and informative experiences in both the digital and ‘real’ worlds,” said Esme Infante Nii, Editor/Host and Chief Executive Mom. [...]

Kau Family Fun Fest on June 11

Billing itself as “the southernmost Goodwill Games in the USA,” a half marathon and family festival is planned for Na’alehu Park on the Big Island on Saturday, June 11, 2011. It will feature a Half Marathon, 10K and 5K races, and a variety of athletic tournaments for all ages. Online registration is now available for the event, which will be a fundraiser for Bay Clinic, a network of nonprofit community clinics. [...]

Hawaii home to most Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander businesses

Hawaii led the nation in the number of businesses owned by Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders in 2007, according to new findings from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2007 Survey of Business Owners. In Hawaii, Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders owned 11,383 businesses, or 30.0 percent of the national total of 37,957 Native Hawaiian- and Other Pacific Islander-owned firms. [...]

Legislature to laud ‘Hawaii Five-0’

CBS’ Hawaii Five-0 took the beloved police procedural drama set in the picturesque backyard of Hawaii, and updated the show’s brand appeal with a new generation of fast-paced, high-action, eye-seducing, crime-fighting quartet. On Thursday, March 31, 2011 at 12-noon in the House Chamber, The State Legislature will honor representatives from CBS, the show’s producers, cast and crew on the global success of Season One. [...]