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In brief | Island Inc. | 3-31-14

March 31, 2014 - 12:05am

Big isle home to 2 top resort golf courses

GolfWeek recognized seven Hawaii golf courses in its Best Resort Courses 2014 list, comprised of 100 courses in the United States.

The Hawaii Island courses selected include the golf course at Mauna Kea and the Jack Nicklaus Signature Hualalai Golf Course at Four Seasons Resort Hualalai.

Companies share daily solar, wind power data

The Hawaiian Electric Cos. are now sharing “Renewable Watch” for Oahu, Maui and Hawaii Island. These online displays show the daily contribution of solar and wind generation on each island and how energy from these resources changes.

Displays for each island can be found on the homepage under Clean Energy Future. For the Big Island, go to

Each island’s display shows the measured output from large wind and solar facilities combined with the estimated output from residential rooftop photovoltaic systems. These sites graphically show how renewable energy resources can vary significantly by region, day, and time of day because of changes in weather, such as wind strength and cloud cover. Nonvariable renewable energy generation, such as geothermal on Hawaii Island, is not shown.

Grants supporting Indian, Native American employment available

The U.S. Department of Labor recently announced the availability of approximately $58 million in grant funding through the Workforce Investment Act Section 166 Indian and Native American Program. The grants help improve the academic, occupational and literacy skills of Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian adults and youth, making them more competitive in the workforce.

About 170 grants will be awarded, with approximately $46 million designated for assistance to unemployed and low-income Native American, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian adults. Grantees will provide participants with work experience, summer jobs and support services to help individuals gain the skill sets required for jobs in their community.

Entities that are potentially eligible to apply for WIA Section 166 funds under this solicitation include federally-recognized Indian Tribes; Alaskan Native-controlled organizations; Native Hawaiian-controlled entities and Native American-controlled organizations serving Indians.

For complete eligibility information, visit

Gas company donation aids disaster relief

Aloha Petroleum Ltd. recently donated $12,741.64 to the Hawaii State Chapter of the American Red Cross to aid in Typhoon Haiyan disaster relief and recovery efforts in the Philippines. Half the funds were collected over two months via Aloha Petroleum’s statewide customer collection canister program; the remaining funds were matched directly by the company.

In total, the American National Red Cross has raised $76 million for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan, which damaged houses, crops and the country’s water supply, in addition to people’s livelihoods.

Hawaiian Airlines offering new services

Hawaiian Airlines recently announced several new services.

An interisland turboprop called Ohana by Hawaiian launched this month service to and from Molokai and Lanai from Honolulu International Airport. The turboprop will offer three daily flights to Molokai Airport and twice-daily service to Lanai Airport.

Beginning April 16, subject to government approval, Hawaiian Airlines will fly nonstop between Honolulu and Beijing, its first mainland China gateway destination.

The first-ever nonstop service between Los Angeles and Kauai and Hawaii Island is in response to growing demand during next summer’s peak travel period. The new annual summer service will commence between Los Angeles and Lihue, Kauai four times a week, and Los Angeles and Kona three times a week from June 26 to Sept. 19.

Company offering tree planting tours

Hawaiian Legacy Hardwoods recently launched historic koa legacy forest tree planting tours.

Guests walk in the footsteps of Hawaiian royalty and make a meaningful impact in the restoration of Hawaii’s first Legacy Forest. Each person is invited to plant one of these special seedlings to honor an individual, commemorate an event or serve as a family tree, as part of an expert-led tour through the area’s rich culture and history. Located on the slopes of Mauna Kea, this historic site was once a majestic koa forest and the personal property of King Kamehameha the Great.

Hilo hotel upgrades guest rooms

The Hilo Hawaiian Hotel recently completed an extensive renovation to its guest rooms, including new furnishings, wall coverings, draperies, carpet, bedding, bathroom fixtures, counter tops, flooring and tiles.

The Hilo Hawaiian Hotel is walking distance from the beach, shops and restaurants, and a 45-minute drive from Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

Four Seasons Resort Hualalai earns kudos

Four Seasons Resort Hualalai at Historic Kaupulehu was named the No. 1 hotel in Hawaii and No. 40 in the world, in Travel + Leisure’s T+L 500 — The World’s Best Hotels. Travel + Leisure readers recognized hotels, destinations, and companies that define the very best in travel. The nine other Hawaii properties topping the list included the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel.

Four Seasons Resort Hualalai also made TripAdvisor’s 2014 Travelers’ Choice awards for top 25 luxury hotels in the U.S., with a ranking of No. 9.

Kohala Coast hotels get a refresh

Prince Resorts Hawaii has completed a multimillion dollar refresh of the iconic Mauna Kea Beach Hotel and its sister property, the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel.

Eighty-five beachfront guestrooms and suites at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel have been updated with a contemporary Hawaiian motif to feature high-end furnishings, deluxe bedding and deep soaking tubs with windows that welcome in the ocean views.

At Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel, guests will enjoy a new room design inspired by Hawaii’s landscape and culture. Rooms have been outfitted with plush bedding, new in-room and lanai furniture and technological upgrades. Hapuna’s pool has also been updated with a stone deck treatment and new lounge furniture.

Hawaiian Airlines leads in punctuality

Hawaiian Airlines continued its on-time performance streak in 2013, leading all U.S. carriers in punctuality for the 10th consecutive year as reported by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Averaging a 93.3 percent on-time performance ranking for 2013 and earning the top ranking in 11 of 12 months, Hawaiian Airlines exceeded the industry average for the year by 15 percentage points.

360-degree images enhance website

After embarking on the first-of-its-kind partnership last summer to visually showcase the Hawaiian Islands’ natural beauty like never before, the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau and Google Maps recently unveiled new, 360-degree images gathered by the Google Street View Trekker on Google Maps and Hawaii’s vacation planning website

Google Maps users can explore Hawaii’s most popular hiking trails, parks, historical sites and beaches on Hawaii Island and Oahu. Locations include Akaka Falls State Park, Diamond Head State Monument, Hapuna Beach State Park and Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. This ongoing project will eventually cover six Hawaiian Islands.

The initial phase of the project began in July 2013 on the Big Island with Kailua-Kona-based eco-tourism company Hawaii Forest and Trail mapping out the first set of 15 trails.

“It was great to hit the trails on Hawaii Island with a new mission and purpose,” said Rob Pacheco, president and founder of Hawaii Forest and Trail. “Normally when we’re in the field we are focused on the here and now, but capturing images with the Trekker added much more depth to our time on the trails.” features a special page giving visitors the option to “Explore the Parks and Trails of Hawaii, the Big Island.” More content will be added to the site over time as new imagery becomes available.

Hull, Love recognized by culinary federation

Kona residents Jean Hull and Ken Love were recently recognized by The American Culinary Federation Western Region at the ACF conference in Oakland, Calif. Both are members of the ACF Kona Kohala Chefs Association.

Hull, of Hospitality Consulting by Jean received the President’s Medallion, which is awarded to members who exemplify culinary excellence and leadership and have contributed their expertise to the advancement of the culinary profession. The Kailua-Kona resident is a longtime champion of culinary arts on the Big Island, serving as associate professor of culinary arts at University of Hawaii Center at West Hawaii for more than 14 years.

Hull spearheads annual Kona Kohala Chefs fundraisers and programs, including the Chef and Child initiative that teaches second-graders how to make nutritious food choices. She has been the driving force behind the Equip the Kitchens campaign for the future Hawaii Community College-Palamanui campus.

Love, executive director of Master Food Preservers and the statewide Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers, received the Cutting Edge Award, which taps members who provide exemplary leadership and service to the culinary profession.

The Captain Cook resident is a longtime advocate for the use of locally grown food. He serves as an ongoing educational resource for farmers to create value-added products and in 2012-13 spearheaded a statewide exotic fruit series in 16 locations to teach grocers, chefs and consumers the benefits of 11 little-used fruits. His educational outreach went global after appearing in the 2012 feature documentary film, “The Fruit Hunters.”

YWCA announces ‘Remarkable People’

The YWCA of Hawaii Island has named real estate executive Sharon Scheele and culinary specialist Audrey Wilson as its 2014 Remarkable People.

The pair will be honored at the Remarkable Person Luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. April 9 at the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel, Moku Ola Room.

Scheele has lived in Hilo since 1969. She and husband Al Inoue organized Inoue Hawaii Realty Corp. in 1978 and led a team that converted the Hilo Lagoon Hotel into a residential/commercial condominium known as The Hilo Lagoon Centre. She was also the first female president of the Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce, president of the Zonta Club of Hilo, and instrumental in building the Chamber’s business scholarship funds for the University of Hawaii at Hilo and Hawaii Community College. She is the president of the Board of Junior Achievement of Hawaii Island. She has served on numerous community boards.

Wilson was born and raised in Hilo. She retired as cold drink manager from Coca Cola Bottling Co. in Hilo and transformed her lifelong passion for food into a new vocation, including a catering business, AJ and Sons, with her son, Dean. Wilson headlines the weekly Let’s Talk About Food column in the Hawaii Tribune-Herald, is a guest contributor to the Food Network Magazine and has published three cookbooks. She is a director of Big Island Wellness Solutions and launched a culinary career starter program at Big Island Substance Abuse Council. She is a culinary arts instructor at Hawaii Community College and for the Junior Chefs program at E.B. DeSilva Elementary School. Wilson was President of Hawaii Island United Way. She is co-owner and baker for AJ’s Volcano Cottage and Studio.

There are a limited number of tickets and sponsorship opportunities still available. To learn more or purchase tickets, call Rachel Amar at 935-6067, ext. 121, or email

Pahoa among ‘coolest small towns’ in US

Pahoa town has been named one of Budget Travel’s Top 15 “coolest small towns” in America.

As the only Hawaii town out of 15 named across the country, Pahoa appeals to travelers with its mid-20th century charm. Finalists were awarded based on diversity in geography, attractions, architecture, and other noteworthy distinctions.

Hawaii Community College website lauded

The redesigned website for the University of Hawaii Community Colleges won the Silver Paragon Award given by the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations at the national conference in New Orleans on March 21.

The Paragon Awards recognize outstanding achievement and excellence in communications exclusively at two-year colleges with winners receiving gold, silver or bronze designations. This year’s competition drew more than 1,800 entries for 50 Paragon Award categories.

By local sources