Category Archives: HAWAI`I

Cooking Under the Stars


This past Saturday, at the King’s Shops of Waikoloa, the Culinary Arts Program of Hawaii Community College (both Hilo and West Hawaii Campuses) offered their annual “Cooking Under the Stars” to the public for spectacular tasting.

A bit of drama was added at the end of the evening as the full moon burst through the clouds to provide a glorious view to our Hawaiian locals and visitors.


Watch the slideshow below to see some of the local chefs, instructors, and students as they cook, taste, and stroll among the booths.

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Pictures were taken by Becky Stalder and Chef Mark Johnson.
A hui hou!

Palamanui Update as of December 2014

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In November of fall semester 2014, I visited our new Palamanui campus. You can look at the slideshow from that trip and read a bit of the school’s history here.

Then in December, with all classes and exams complete, our faculty and staff gathered for our annual “end of fall semester” celebration with a potluck. This year, we gathered under a large tent at a location just above the new campus so we could look at it as we ate.

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Through our gathering, we felt like we were staking our claim for the new school. We have been told we can start teaching there in fall semester 2015. In our minds, we visualized walking into the new classrooms to join with eager students in their educational process.

The pictures from the November post were of the inside of buildings primarily and I wasn’t able to post pictures of the overall campus. I took more pictures from our vantage point during the December potluck, and thought those of you who have an interest in Palamanui would like to see.

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Most of the work is being done on the inside right now, so the outside doesn’t look finished yet. These pictures show several buildings and the total layout of the new campus.

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I’m sure our community will get a chance to visit this new campus in the near future. We look forward to bringing higher education to the North Kona side of the Big Island of Hawai`i.

A hui hou!

Palamanui – Then and Now

On May 19, 2004, a group of instructors from the University Center at West Hawaii were taken on a trip to see the land where a new campus would be built. We went in a convoy of four-wheel drive vehicles. I took quite a few pictures, but two stand out in my mind.

The first is where the buildings would ultimately be put up.

The second is a shot of us seeing the plans for the first time. It was raining, and as we huddled under the tent to stay semi-dry, the site was pointed out to us. We all became excited!

That was over ten years ago!

This past week, November 14, 2014 I had the wonderful opportunity to be taken on a private tour of the buildings by Dr. Marty Fletcher, Director of our facility. Below is a slideshow of the pictures I took to show the progress, and I was almost in tears as I remembered how long we have all waited for this. We have been assured that we can start teaching in the new buildings for fall semester, 2015!

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The windows go in right away, and then they can start finishing the inside. Walkways will be covered and shaded with solar panels. It is like a dream that is coming true! I’m sure I will be giving an update as soon as we are actually in the new campus, or maybe a few more as we start moving in.

A hui hou!

Iselle on the Leeward Side

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I know some of my readers are interested in knowing what happened here on the Big Island when Hurricane Iselle hit this past week.

Fortunately, I live on the leeward side of the island with two mountains dividing us from the windward side. Iselle’s landfall was in Ka’u District, where Ocean View, Na`alehu and Pahala are located, creating lots of flooding and loss of trees. It seems the biggest damage, however, was in the Puna District. Here is a link to some of the pictures showing the results of Iselle there.

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The morning after Iselle hit, I walked with some friends visiting from California on the beach just below my home to see the surf. The pictures on this post are from that walk.

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We got rain earlier that morning, but it was nothing like what I had expected. A little later in the morning, we got quite a wind – so much that I almost had white caps on my pool! Other than that, we were not hit at all. Many of my friends were not that fortunate, and too many are still without power and phone. It’s a miracle that people lived through it all.

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Mahalo for all the thoughts and prayers that came to our island!
A hui hou,

Sunrise – Sunset

Sunset from my patio

When I lived on Guam, I always thought the sunsets were particularly spectacular, and they were. I haven’t seen anything like them anywhere since then. I will find those slides someday and do a post on them.

In the meantime, the sunsets (and sunrises) on the Big Island of Hawaii and other places are beautiful, too, and in a different way. It’s not easy for me to explain, but here are a few for you to enjoy.

The sunset above is from my patio, looking out toward the ocean.

Each morning, we walked along St. Petersburg Harbor around 6:00.

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This sunrise picture was taken just as the dark was ending on Coffee Pot Bayou in St. Petersburg, Florida, where I spent a few weeks this summer visiting my brother.

Coffee Pot Bayou

Early evening on our cruise, we enjoyed sitting on the top deck. Here I am looking toward the bow of the ship. It was not quite sunset, but getting close.

Sunset just starting-toward bow

I attempted a shot of the sunset on the Gulf of Mexico heading toward Cozumel, Mexico. The reflection on the water was almost too bright to photograph well.

Sunset on cruise

At the end of the cruise, my brother took this picture on our return, with an interesting view of Tampa Bay just before sunrise.

early morning return to St. Pete

A hui hou!

Wind Farm Cemetery

Recently, I have made several trips to the end of South Point Road to show visitors the Southernmost point in the United States. These remnants of a wind farm make me wonder just how environmentally conscious it is to let these stand. New working turbines have been built to take the place of the old ones, but what will we do with these discarded and useless turbines?

Read more here.

A hui hou!

Back to School

My posts have been primarily about gardening with some cooking, some travel, and some reflection pieces. These topics illustrate my “spare time” hobbies rather than my “day job.”

This week, I’ve decided to share with you the way I walk (run?) through my world when I’m not gardening, cooking, traveling, or reflecting. Here is my fall schedule and a little blurb on what each class is about.

FamR 230 – Human Development – During the semester, we move through life from conception to death. Each age group is studied from the three perspectives of physical development, cognitive development, and psychosocial development.

PSY 100 – Survey of Psychology – I probably don’t need to explain this one, do I? We study the biological aspect of psychology, why we act the way we, how we interact with others, what the various theories are in the field of human behavior.

SUBS 140 – Individual Counseling – We look at the various theories in more depth than what we briefly covered in PSY 100. Students are given an opportunity to explore their own abilities to counsel another person.

SUBS 268 – Survey of Substance Abuse Problems – This is an introductory course that explores all addictions, behavioral as well as chemical. This is for anyone who wants more information in this area, especially those going into any medical field, teachers, counselors.

SUBS 280 – Co-occurring Disorders – This is a more advanced course for those planning to be substance abuse counselors. We tackle the complex situation where a person has both a mental disorder and a substance abuse disorder.

Loitering in the courtyard

If you think you want to take courses at the college, it’s too late to apply for fall semester at this time. You might want to consider talking to someone in the Student Services offices, however, and start the process for Spring 2012.

Yes, we eat a lot, too!

For those of you here on the Big Island, Hawai`i Community College has campuses on both sides of the island. Most are face to face in a classroom, but there are plenty of online courses available, as well. If you live on other islands, in other states or nations, check for campuses near you. I have students from late teens into their sixties, some going into another career after retirement. It’s never too late to go back to school.

Education is so….educational!
A hui hou!

Fire Dancer on Waikiki

Another attraction here is the Hawaiian Fire Dancer. I’ve known young children who were already training, showing great skill. Check out this past Monday’s post to see the Fourth of July fireworks. The fire dance performance took place at the Luau that marked the end of the conference I attended on Waikiki.

At one point in this YouTube, the dancer leaves the stage, but he went to get more fire. Don’t think it’s finished when that happens. He comes back!

I give my brother, Hilton, credit for the silhouette on Waikiki Beach at the beginning of this post.

A hui hou!

Fireworks on Waikiki!

One week ago we celebrated Fourth of July as a nation. I was attending a conference on Oahu, staying in a hotel on Waikiki. I had a ring-side seat to the fantastic fireworks display.

Waiting for the big event, I watched the sun drop down behind the horizon, something we all seem to love – and there’s nothing quite like a sunset on Waikiki.

I was able to get a short video on my little Nikon CoolPix camera. It may be a little blurry or shaky, but in case you missed the fireworks somewhere else, you can watch this YouTube. Pretend you are sitting with me on the balcony of my hotel on beautiful Waikiki Beach!

A hui hou!

“Wine and Words”

If you haven’t checked out Kona Stories, give yourself a treat and stop by. There is much more than books to be found as you cruise through, and comfy chairs where you can relax.

Kona Stories was begun five years ago by Brenda Eng and Joy Vogelgesang. They recently moved from Mango Court to the Keauhou Shopping Center. Be sure to check out their web site for the many events going on there.

For me, one of the highlights offered by the shop is the monthly “Wine and Words.” This happens at 6:00 pm the first Tuesday of each month, when various local authors are invited to read excerpts from a book they have written. As you wait to listen, you can visit with friends, browse the shelves and enjoy a glass of wine (or water) along with a few pupus.

Last week I attended with several friends to listen to Nancee Cline, who teaches English at our West Campus of Hawaii Community College. There was standing room only as Nancee read from her book, Queen Emma’s Church in Kealakekua: Crossroads of Culture. She began by saying it was so much more than simply a history of the church. Her book is rich with anecdotes, interviews, and more.

After the reading, people lined up to visit with Nancee and buy an autographed copy.

I didn’t get a chance to cruise through the shop as much as I would like because it was way too crowded. That won’t be the last time I stop by, however. I want to return for a visit with the store’s mascot!

Congratulations, Nancee! We’re proud of your accomplishments.

A hui hou!

Hawai`i Community College is 70 Years Old!

It’s that time of year when I get to show off my students and colleagues as we gathered for the 2011 graduation. This time Hawai`i Community College celebrated 70 years of existence! It’s impossible to describe everything that went on.

This particular graduation ceremony was for the West Campus of Hawai`i Community College where I teach.

This past Wednesday’s post showed how the kihei was made. Part of the celebration included everyone wearing their personal kihei. The students were presented a kihei as a gift and the faculty was given the honor of tying the kihei on our students.

If I’d taken a video of it all, you would have heard the chanting, the blowing of the (conch shell), or watched the dancing and blessings, or the tossing of hats at the end, or tasted the cake at the reception.

Since I can’t share everything about that experience with you, you can still watch this slide show and imagine yourself in the middle of all the excitement. Most are pictures of everyone making sure the academic hoods and kihei are hanging the right way with lots of moving around. The posed pictures are a few of my students and faculty friends.

Congratulations to all the graduates and those who received special awards. As part of the faculty, I can say I am truly proud of each one!

A hui hou!

Making Kihei

In preparation for our 70th Anniversary as Hawai`i Community College, faculty and staff have been making personal kihei to wear for the celebration. A kihei is a rectangular cloak, traditionally tapa, tied in a knot over one shoulder. You will see them being worn in my next post about the 2011 graduation ceremonies.

One of my great students at the college is Kapuailohia Van Dorpe, who offered to help me create my kihei. Kapua is the daughter of Puanani Van Dorpe, a master kapa cloth maker who is a living treasure of Hawaii. Her beautiful and intricate work is on display at Bishop Museum. Click here to see a painting of Puanani done by Herb Kane. Kapua is in the process of establishing her own clothing creations that will incorporate some of the traditional designs.

Ohe kapala (ohe = bamboo, kapala = printing) uses a carving done on bamboo, rolled with acrylic paint, and placed on the cloth. Here is Kapua’s collection of tools.

On Kapua’s couch were several ohe kapala pillows.

There is quite a process involved in creating the exact design you want for your personal kihei. Beside a wider brown border, I am placing a thin green motif that represents the maile lei.

The finishing touch was printing my own design I made out of clay. It represents two of the many aspects of my own heritage – Native American and Celtic. The right spiral represents migration, life and renewal.

Watch for Sunday’s post! You will see many different designs on other kihei as well as the finished product Kapua and I made.

If you would like to read more about the many artisans, storytellers, dancers, etc. in Hawai`i, check out this book.

Ten pages in this book are devoted to the story and work of Puanani Van Dorpe. You will understand why it was such an honor to be guided by her daughter in making my kihei.

Mahalo nui loa, Kapua!