Big Isle wellness program launches with 17 projects

The Hawaii Island Beacon Community (HIBC) has selected 17 community-based projects for its Healthy Eating and Active Living (HEAL) Program aiming to effect positive changes in people’s eating, physical activity and tobacco use habits. Supported by approximately $300,000 of HIBC’s federal funding, the HEAL Projects will run through February 2013 and directly reach over 15,000 Hawaii Island residents in all regions, of all ages, from diverse ethnic groups—including those most at risk. “We received numerous applications for the HEAL Program from all communities, demonstrating that the people of Hawaii Island are ready to make healthy living a priority,” said Susan B. Hunt, MHA, project director and CEO of HIBC. “We are proud to support 17 HEAL Projects that will deliver innovative, targeted outreach into the communities where it is needed most. As HIBC witnesses and supports the growth of a movement to improve health and health care, we hope to catalyze even greater synergy among organizations and advance the development of long-term solutions.” [...]

STEM Week to celebrate Hawaii education efforts

The fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) are critical to the future of Hawaii and the U.S., with major initiatives launching nationwide to ensure that today’s students become tomorrow’s innovators and leaders. Next month, the inaugural Hawaii STEM Week will bring together a wide range of local stakeholders to highlight these critical areas of education, and encourage greater community support and industry engagement. Scheduled to run concurrently with the Hawaii State Science & Engineering Fair (HSSEF), STEM Week will feature events to recognize excellence among Hawaii’s schools, connect students and practitioners with relevant employers and careers, and award local institutions for their work in advancing STEM education. [...]

Foundation announces $450,000 in Innovation Fund awards

The Hawaii Community Foundation announced the second round of grant recipients from its Island Innovation Fund, which was created to serve as a catalyst for innovation within the nonprofit sector. From a group of eight finalists, a total of $480,591 was awarded to five recipients for projects that will: increase energy awareness through real-time energy monitoring web and mobile application tools; allow residents statewide to actively follow and monitor the Hawaii legislative process; distribute a replicable exercise and fall prevention program to Hawaii’s seniors; deploy a new access control mechanism to maintain public access to trails and pathways on Hawaii Island; and encourage schools to eliminate its waste to create green schools. For the first time, a “People’s Choice Award” was also selected by the more than 200 nonprofits that submitted proposals over the first and second grant rounds. [...]

Governor: Invest now for Hawaii’s future

There was no way for us to have balanced our budget and achieved today’s fiscally favorable outlook without the commitment of everyone. To all of you who came to work each day bearing the burden of cuts and slashes to your programs for the past three years; and to those of you who gave up furloughs because of your commitment to serving Hawaii’s people, I thank you. Mahalo plenty to each and every one of you. Together, we are moving forward. And moving forward means leaving behind the drama of the recent past. [...]

Algae demonstration commissioned at West Oahu refinery

Kuehnle AgroSystems, a producer of specialized algae strains and bulk concentrated algae designed to meet the diverse needs of the animal nutrition, specialty chemical and biofuels markets, has announced the commissioning of an algae demonstration project at the Chevron Hawaii refinery. The demonstration project, funded by the Hawaii Renewable Energy Development Venture and the Office of Naval Research, produces algae using recycled CO2 waste streams and wastewater by-product from Chevron’s refinery to cultivate algae in specially designed closed growing systems. Chevron’s role in this project is to serve as a host site and a source of recycled CO2 and wastewater for KAS to conduct its research. [...]

Isle Realtors help Habitat for Humanity

“Realtor Raise: Project Playhouse” was held recently on the Big Island, a fun event to boost home ownership in Hawaii. Hawaii Life was one of four playhouse contributors, raising thousands of dollars to support the Habitat for Humanity mission. The playhouses were generously donated, including the “Life Boat” from Hawaii Life Real Estate Brokers. Wildly imaginative and solidly constructed, the playhouses were then given away to the lucky key holders. Leading up to and on the day of the event, key-chains were sold to raise money for Habitat for Humanity. The key-chains qualified the contributors to try their keys in the playhouse doors, and if they opened, they won the playhouse. The Hawaii Island Board of Realtors (HIBR) also donated a playhouse to the fundraiser. Mealoha Kraus, who works in public relations with HIBR, “was overwhelmed by the number of people who came and waited for their turn to see if they had the right key.” [...]

OTEC International chosen for NELHA demonstration

OTEC International LLC (OTI) was selected to build a one-megawatt demonstration plant by the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority (NELHA) to test the full power cycle of ocean thermal energy conversion for electricity. Baltimore-based OTI has built its OTEC design on decades of innovation, combining proprietary technology with off-the-shelf components. Privately funded OTI has not relied on government money and expects to be first-to-market with a commercial plant. OTI is currently negotiating a power purchase agreement with Hawaiian Electric Company for a 100-megawatt (MW) plant and with Caribbean Utilities Company and others for 25 MW plants. [...]

Niu Valley playground gets $15,000 online boost

Last week, non-profit group KaBoom! and Let’s Play, a community sponsorship program led by Dr Pepper Snapple Group, announced that NiuValleyPlayground.com had won $15,000 in a social media contest, competing against 50 other communities around the country by garnering the top five votes on a Facebook page. “Hawaii has again shown that it has a vibrant social media network that will flex its muscle to get behind a good cause,” said Peter Kay, the Association’s Vice Chair. “This is not the first time that Hawaii’s online community has won an online contest and it’s gratifying that as a community, we can successfully compete at a national level.” NiuValleyPlayground.com is raising $100,000 to purchase playground equipment and is asking the community to visit their website to donate an online contribution. [...]

Isle marine base testing new trash technology

At Camp Smith above Halawa, the military is testing a high-tech trash disposal system that can reduce a standard 50-gallon bag of waste to a half-pint jar of harmless ash. Called the Micro Auto Gasification System (MAGS), the unit is currently undergoing evaluation by U.S. Marine Corps Forces Pacific in partnership with the Office of Naval Research as a possible solution to help Marines win their daily battle against the increasing trash at remote forward operating bases. Lt. Col. Mike Jernigan, a Marine combat engineer who recently commanded a logistics battalion in Afghanistan, said waste disposal in the field is a problem. [...]

Kakaako Street Festival Coming Oct. 22

Fusing all the things we love– food, shopping, music, art, cocktails and fun– Eat the Street (ETS) presents ‘Nonstop Kaka’ako’ street festival, an urban multi-interactive total pop-up retail, food and entertainment experience. Brought to you by StreetGrindz.com, in partnership with Kamehameha Schools and Nonstop Honolulu, the event is set for Saturday, October 22, from 4:00 – 10:00 p.m in Kaka’ako. “Attendees will be able to satisfy all their senses at this street festival,” said event organizer Poni Askew. “Plus, we are excited to have this event designed by TLC’s Trading Spaces very own host and designer Lauren Makk.” Food vendors nominated on the ‘Best of Nonstop Honolulu’s Best of’ list will be featured, along with many of ETS’ most ono food trucks and street food vendors. [...]

Kauai utility smart grid project approved

The state Public Utilities Commission last week approved Kauai Island Utility Cooperative’s request to commit funds to participate in a national smart grid demonstration project, which will bring advanced meter technology to every household on Kauai. The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s national demonstration project is designed to assist rural utilities like KIUC, implement technologies that make the electricity grid more efficient and reliable. The total cost of the project is approximately $11.9 million, half of which will be funded by the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA). In the application, filed late in October of 2010, KIUC requested commission approval to commit approximately $6 million in funds to participate in The Smart Grid Project which the utility explained was part of a demonstration project “involving 27 electric cooperatives throughout the nation,” but the project also represents a key component of KIUC’s own longterm strategic plan. [...]

First Oahu Fringe Festival in November

Following the rave success of the Fringe Bites event series in September 2010 and January 2011, organizers of the Oahu Fringe are proud to announce the first ever Oahu Fringe Festival, a cut-loose performing arts spectacle. With 15 acts in 4 venues over 3 nights held November 10, 11, 12 at The Arts at Marks Garage, ARTSmith, Ong King Arts Centre, and theVenue – Honolulu will be goin’ off. Based on the original Edinburgh Fringe with its open access policy, performers have signed up and are raring to go with acts in circus art, theatre, music, improv, dance, puppetry, and more. Expect the unexpected as no restrictions are made as to the nature, style or theme of the performances. So get ready for an action packed three days of the zany, dramatic, quirky, poetic, musical, comedic and toe-tapping fantastical shows all over Chinatown. [...]

Local mom site unveils pregnancy calendar

Starting September 30, MomsInHawaii.com, in partnership with The Queen’s Medical Center, will offer a unique, locally written online calendar of information that will take expectant mothers month by month through all the stages of pregnancy. The calendar, located at MomsInHawaii.com, includes valuable tips and insights developed by experts at The Queen’s Medical Center and vetted by local moms. Tips include visiting a Chinatown crack seed store for ginger candy to relieve morning sickness and using kukui nut oil, a distinctive emollient unique to Hawaii, to help with pregnancy stretch marks. “Expectant moms count on MomsInHawaii.com and The Queen’s Medical Center for support and authoritative information,” said Esme Infante Nii, editor/host and “chief executive mom” of Moms in Hawaii. [...]

‘Harry Potter’ star sings of love for Hawaii

Tom Felton, the English actor famous for his role as Draco Malfoy, the foil of Harry Potter in the popular movie series, is a budding musician who has discovered magic in the Hawaiian Islands. Tom has just released a solo song titled “Hawaii” which laments the chilly weather and traffic snarls of everyday England for the laidback life under the palm trees on the Island of Hawaii. “Hawaii casts a spell on all who visit and Tom’s no exception,” says George Applegate, executive director of the Big Island Visitors Bureau. “Very flattering that someone from as far away as England, and as talented as Tom Felton, is moved to sing about our idyllic way of life.” [...]

Online community for moms gets new marketing chief

MomsInHawaii.com, a local social-media community, has named Kimi Morton Chun its “Marketing Mom.” She will help to plan and execute marketing strategies for the online and “real life” community for Hawaii’s mothers. “Kimi brings to our team years of experience in marketing, entrepreneurship and social media,” said Esme Infante Nii, MomsInHawaii.com Editor/Host and Chief Executive Mom. “I’m thrilled to have her on board to boost our marketing efforts. She is innovative and creative, and very experienced in community building.” Morton Chun joins MomsInHawaii.com with more than 12 years of experience as an entrepreneur in technology and the arts. [...]

PBS Hawaii wins $5 million grant for new studios

Hawaii’s only public television station today announced that The Clarence T.C. Ching Foundation has awarded PBS Hawaii a $5 million grant to help the organization build a new home in Honolulu. The educational nonprofit organization has an urgent need for a new facility because it is losing its lease at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where it has occupied space for more than 40 years. PBS Hawaii’s future home, located along Nimitz Highway at 315 Sand Island Access Road, will be named The Clarence T.C. Ching Campus. PBS Hawaii will renovate and expand an existing one-story building on the site and re-locate operations in 2014. The site, purchased in January 2009, formerly housed the KFVE Newsplex. “The Clarence T.C. Ching Foundation wants to see public television survive and thrive for the sake of future generations of Islanders,” said foundation trustee Kenneth Okamoto. [...]

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. [...]

Oahu real estate market active in July

This July’s real estate report pulls back the curtain on several unique trends taking place in markets across Oahu. Despite sales trending down 11.7 percent for single-family sales and down 7.9 percent for condominium sales compared to the same period last year, several key factors show an active real estate market. [...]

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. [...]