Hilo Muni Improvements Topic of Meeting

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Renovations to the Hilo Municipal Golf Course will be the subject of a public meeting later this month.

The county Department of Parks and Recreation said the meeting is being held to explain the project’s scope and gather public input.

It is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 22, at the Hawaii County Council chambers on Aupuni Street.

Aging buildings at the Hilo Muni suffer from termite damage and other problems. The back side of the restaurant is shown.

The proposed project includes replacement of the pro shop, restaurant and two on-course bathrooms, and reconstruction of four greens. It will also involve various maintenance and repair work, including replacement of water lines.

Jason Armstrong, spokesman for the Department of Parks and Recreation, said the work will also bring the golf course and adjacent driving range into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

He said work on the design phase, which is expected to cost $1.5 million, has already begun.

This Thursday-Sunday, July 3-6: Makawo Rodeo & Paniolo Parade

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Saddle up for the 59th Annual Makawao Rodeo (July 3-6) and the 49th Annual Makawao Paniolo Parade (July 5). The Rodeo never ceases to entertain with four full days of qualifying rounds, bull-riding, team-roping, mugging, barrel racing and more. Friday’s Bull Bash will amp the crowd for Saturday’s Colorful Hawaiian Style Parade (9am-11pm), complete with rodeo royalty, pa’u riders, classic cars, cowboys, cowgirls and local celebrities. Park at the Oskie Rice Arena Rodeo Grounds and take the free shuttle to the parade (7-9am) and then back to the rodeo grounds(11:30am). Rodeo: $15 Adults, $10 Seniors, Students, $5 Kids. Oskie Rice Arena (Olinda Rd., Makawao), mauimapp.com/rodeo.htm

This Thursday-Sunday, July 3-6: Makawo Rodeo & Paniolo Parade | mauivents.com

MALP Lawn and Garden Fair–Saturday, June 14th, 10am-3pm, Maui Mall

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FREE event Featuring:

  • Educational talks:  Ian Cole – Breadfruit Institute;  Gerry Ross – Kupa’a Farms;  James Simpliciano – Simpli-Fresh Produce, LLC,  Emil Lynch – Maui’s Best Honey, and  Melanie King – Waste Not Want Not
  • More than 20 vendors selling plants and gardening material
  • Book sale featuring gardening and plant books
  • Door prizes
  • Free soil pH testing – Bring 2c soil sample selected from various areas across property
  • Free plant problem diagnosis – Bring a plant sample – bagged

Cowboy Fun: Rodeos and Polo

Paniolos (Hawaiian cowboys) show off their skills at three major annual events: the Piiholo Cowboy Classic in September; the Oskie Rice Memorial Rodeo in December; and Maui’s biggest event, the 4th of July Rodeo, which comes with a full parade in Makawao town and festivities that last for days.

Polo is popular with the Upcountry paniolos. From April through June, Haleakala Ranch hosts “indoor” or arena contests on a field flanked by side boards. The field is on Route 377, 1 mile from Route 37. During the “outdoor” polo season, September to mid-November, matches are held at Olinda Field, 1 mile above Makawao on Olinda Road. There’s a $5 admission for most games, which start at 1:30 pm on Sunday.

Manduke Baldwin Memorial Tournament. Held over Memorial Day weekend, the Manduke Baldwin Memorial Tournament is a popular two-day polo event. It draws challengers from Argentina, England, South Africa, New Zealand, and Australia. 808/877–7744. www.mauipoloclub.com.

Cowboy Fun: Rodeos and Polo – Maui | Fodor’s

In Maui’s Upcountry, Where the Paniolo Roam

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At the Oskie Rice Arena, the Friday night lights hung in the damp, mid-December Hawaiian air. Beaming through Maui’s notorious red clay dust, the lights served as a backdrop to one of the Upcountry’s biggest annual events. On the metal bleachers, families were bundled against their idea of the cold: a winter chill that sank just below 60 degrees. There were coats, blankets and hoodie strings pulled tight. There was Portuguese soup and Puerto Rican stew at the family-run concession stands, where the handwritten menus were scrawled in thick felt marker, crossed through as the “onolicious” fried ice cream or pork with tofu and macaroni ran out.

All around us, children treated the bleachers as a jungle gym, climbing and dangling and hopping from bench to bench. On the highest bleacher, a girl with sun-streaked hair and sun-kissed skin popped up at my feet like a mischievous gopher. Startling me, she shrieked, giggled and monkeyed away. On the grass, behind the arena’s wire-and-post fence, a little boy in a tan cowboy hat paced in black cowboy boots with tiny silver spurs.

The rodeo was about to begin.

When most mainlanders picture Maui, they see surfers sliding down mammoth waves, bays crowded with sailboats and waterfalls alongside the ragged, verdant Hana Highway. But the Upcountry, which sweeps across the island’s interior and climbs the volcanic foothills of Haleakala, is another Hawaii. Instead of beaches, surf shacks and shaved ice stands, the region has chilled air; sprawling, multigenerational cattle ranches; and a paniolo — Hawaiian cowboy — tradition that precedes its mainland American counterpart by half a century.

“They were running horses up here,” a trail guide would later tell me, “when they were still settling the Midwest.”

Hawaii Food & Wine Festival

It’s known as the premier epicurean destination event in the Pacific, an annual festival co-founded by Chefs Roy Yamaguchi and Alan Wong.

The Hawaii Food and Wine Festival started with an event on Maui last weekend and has been going on all week long, with wine tastings, cooking demos, and field trips.

They’re some of the biggest names in food world.

19 celebrity chefs from Hawaii, the mainland, and around the globe are here in Hawaii to create gastronomic delights showcasing local ingredients.

“Lobsters from the Big Island, tomatoes from here, all my herbs are from the island,” Chef Chris Cosentino Said.

“The true essence of what we do is to cook with what we have, and that’s what cooking is about,” says Chef Mark “Gooch” Noguchi.

“Mr. Kenney cooked this amazing sandwich with nori and poi. It was just amazing, and tasted like a desert and savory, just delicious,” attendee Sherrie Straus Fogel said.

At $200 a ticket, folks could eat to their hearts content, sampling not only food but also wine.

Hawaii County considers agricultural tourism bill

HILO >> Hawaii County lawmakers are considering a bill that would make it easier for small farmers to give tours to visitors, usually for a fee, and to sell related agricultural and nonagricultural products at a gift shop. Large agricultural operations already can do this.

The legislation, which the council is scheduled to hear Thursday, proposes separating agricultural activities into “major” and “minor” operations, West Hawaii Today reported.

Minor operations would be required to limit annual visitors to 5,000, with a maximum 100 visitors per week. Major operations would be allowed up to 30,000 visitors per year.

The Hawaii Agritourism Association and other supporters say the bill will help small farmers survive the vagaries of the economy and weather by providing a reliable supplemental income source.

Opponents worry the measure will distract farmers from their primary occupation of food production, while increasing the value of agricultural land and property taxes.

Freshman Puna Councilman Zendo Kern proposed the bill. He’s been trying to draft a measure balancing the needs of small farmers and would-be “agritourism” businesses with rural neighbors who worry about impacts like increased traffic and noise.

Major agritourism operations still would need to get their plans approved, while minor ones would not. Both types would be required to turn over financial records upon the request of the planning department to verify compliance.

North Kona Councilwoman Karen Eoff hopes the bill can be delayed a little longer to ensure it’s the best it can be before moving it on to its final hearing later this month.

Hawaii County considers agricultural tourism bill – Hawaii News – Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Morimoto is coffee fest’s top pick: Kona event changes leadership, moves forward

Kona is coffee. So it’s only appropriate there’s a 10-day festival full to the rim with more than 40 events celebrating the famous bean.

The 42nd annual Kona Coffee Cultural Festival begins Nov. 2 and runs through Nov. 11, with the theme, “Kona Coffee — 100 percent gourmet.”

“Kona’s world-famous coffee is smooth and, quite frankly, the best-tasting coffee I know of,” said Mel Morimoto, the festival’s new president and a third-generation Kona resident who lives on the coffee farm his parents sowed 57 years ago. “Each bean is hand-picked, taking only the ripe cherries, leaving others to ripen. This takes patience and lots of love. You can certainly taste it in each cup of Kona coffee.”

Appointed in March, Morimoto said it’s a privilege to take over as festival president, especially following the steadfast leadership of Norman Sakata, one of the longest-serving, most dedicated festival volunteers. Sakata’s presidency lasted 19 years, but he’s volunteered for nearly 40 years. He remains the chairman of the board and is the official spokesman for the festival, sharing his invaluable knowledge.

Morimoto has been involved in the festival since 1999, when he acted as liaison between the festival and the Kona Coffee Living History Farm. Over the years, he was elected to the board of directors and served as the first vice president, and organized the Aloha Makahiki Concert and the parade.

Council moves forward on ag tourism bill Measure would ban tour activity in Waipio

Council members approved several amendments to a bill that would allow agricultural tourism on ag land, including one that would prohibit such tourist activities in Waipio Valley.

“The negative impacts of allowing large-scale tourism — the detriment is huge and sets up conflict,” Waipio taro farmer Jim Kane said. “We’re just setting ourselves up for a dangerous situation.”

Taro farmers took those concerns to Council Chairman Dominic Yagong, who introduced the amendment exempting areas of the island which can only be accessed with four-wheel-drive vehicles.

That includes Waipio.

South Kona Councilwoman Brenda Ford introduced the bulk of the amendments to Bill 266, which has generated significant testimony at several recent council meetings.

Her requests that the Planning Department give plan approval and perform a site visit before a farmer, for example, can begin offering ag tourism activities, passed. Her attempts to limit the size of the building in which ag products can be sold, to set a minimum amount of sales that must come from selling ag products, not value-added ones and to limit the number of visitors to no more than 80 per day failed.

Kohala Councilman Pete Hoffmann spoke out against several of the amendments, including the one limiting visitors to 80 per day, although he said he also didn’t necessarily support allowing 30,000 visitors annually,