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Big Island resident selected as official artist for 2015 National Cherry Blossom Festival

Illustrator and Hawaii Island resident Jing Jing Tsong has been selected as the 2015 National Cherry Blossom Festival Official Artist. Her work, which features vibrant compositions, combines traditional printmaking with digital techniques. Tsong created a one-of-a-kind piece exclusively for the National Cherry Blossom Festival. An annual collector’s item, this artwork will be on the official poster and various merchandise.

Comedy, improvisation and Santa served up at Gallery Meld

The Alohahas Improvisation Sketch Comedy Company will perform a holiday themed comedy show titled, “The Alohahas Present The Holiday Hahas.” This performance, for audiences 18 years old and older, features members of The Alohahas company in a variety of improvisation art styles and games centered around audience suggestions and participation as well as new comedy sketches written by company members. The show will also spotlight holiday song parodies and an improvised sketch involving an angry Santa, Mrs. Claus and elves.

Cast chosen for ‘Bell, Book and Candle’

Guest director for Aloha Performing Arts Company, Dick Hershberger has selected his cast for the American classic “Bell, Book, and Candle,” John van Druten’s award-winning romantic comedy about love and witchcraft. The play runs from Dec. 5 through 21 at the Aloha Theatre. Friday and Saturday performances are at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday matinees are at 2:30 p.m.

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The 2015 State Business Tax Climate Index

Just a while ago we spent a few weeks discussing how Hawaii can grow its Gross Domestic Product, or GDP, and we mentioned the tax system is something directly under our control so we can act on it relatively swiftly. We analyzed our tax systems based on a study called the 2014 State Business Tax Climate Index put out by the Tax Foundation in Washington, D.C.

Health and beauty provided by bees

Bee populations are diminishing worldwide. In recent years, nearly all wild bee colonies have died out. Not only are we losing their wonderful honey and beeswax, but also their loss poses a serious threat to global agricultural production. Chemical use as well as pests and viruses, against which bees have no natural defenses, threaten hives here in Hawaii, too. Without beekeepers dedicated to caring for them, honeybees could disappear in our lifetime. Their importance to planetary and human health cannot be underestimated. Many farmers, beekeepers and concerned individuals are galvanizing to cultivate and sustain these valuable pollinators.