Whole Foods Kahului Cultivates Partnership with The Maui Farm

The soon to open Whole Foods Market at the Maui Mall in Kahului has established a partnership with the non-profit agency: The Maui Farm.

Photo Courtesy Whole Foods Market/The Maui Farm

As part of the partnership, the store will hold a Community Support Day in which five percent of its net sales from Wednesday, March 3, 2010 will go to The Maui Farm.  The funds will help the nonprofit group nurture individual and family self-sufficiency through farm-based, family style residential programs.

“The Maui Farm is planting seeds and growing families, contributing to a stronger community by teaching healthy values and environmental stewardship. We encourage all of our program participants to nurture not only themselves, but the land and the ocean, and the people, plants and animals around them,” said Paula Ambre, executive director, The Maui Farm. “We are excited to work with Whole Foods Market, whose own beliefs are very much in harmony with our own, to help provide a safe, rich and nurturing environment for Maui’s youth and families.”

The Maui Farm is a nonprofit organization that provides family-style residential programs for individuals and families in transition to self-sufficiency. Since 1993, The Maui Farm has provided long-term group home programs serving foster youth and other youth with emotional and behavioral challenges with hands on-experiential activities.

In 2006, The Maui Farm began offering a family strengthening program for homeless families which includes transitional housing and an array of life skills training.  Today, the agency continues to grow its services for the Maui community by offering training programs and farm-based experiential activities programs for interested community groups serving youth and families.

Whole Foods Market team members will also volunteer at The Maui Farm on Thursday, February 11, to help harvest and plant seeds for an herb garden.  The Maui Farm will be selling herb starts in the store’s floral department.

Whole Foods Market’s Maui store will be the company’s second Hawai‘i location. The 26,366-square-foot store is on-schedule to open February 24 at 9 a.m. with the brand’s signature bread breaking ceremony.

Halau O Kekuhi Performs on Maui in Holo Mai Pele Sequel

Halau O Kekuhi presents a sequel to their famed Holo Mai Pele at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center Saturday night, January 30, 2010.  The show continues the epic journey quest of Hiiakaikapoliopele, the youngest sister of Pelehonuamea, in her undertaking to fetch Lohiau, the chief of Haena Kauai.

Click to enlarge. Image Courtesy: Maui Arts & Cultural Center

Halau O Kekuhi will act out the fall of Panaewa the moo god from Hawaii; delve into the subconscious realm of Kapoulakinau from the island of Maui; and defer to the forest goddesses Koiahi, Mailelaulii and Kaiona of the Waianae mountain range.  There will be some familiar hula from the original dance drama Holo Mai Pele, however most will be new interpretations of the mele.

The performance provides insight into to how we may deal with eruptive/cleansing cycles like with the fall of Panaewa the moo god of Panaewa forest, said (Nalani Kanakaole) Kekuhi Keliikanakaole.  There is a lepa dance that describes the marking off of land boundaries by ti leaves and white tapa flags to protect the land area from inundation, she said.

Keliikanakaole recounts, Kapoulakinau deals in the depth of the subconscious, the concept of trance dance, the kii (image) dances. Most of us (hula people) never go there.

New areas of departure are the hulihia chants, when an eruptive phase changes the landscape physically, socially and psychologically.  Nalani says, Hulihia is a term that also refers to the overturning of the traditional in that it becomes revolutionary like the overturning of government, business, the environment, the value system.

Halau O Kekuhi has been adding to their repertoire mele hula from Pele and Hiiaka to be able to present a well-rounded view of ancestral Hawaii.  Holo Mai Pele, another MACC premier, had a long run with its recent sold out appearances in Mexico, Japan, and Greece.  Other supportive collaborations that Maui Arts & Cultural Center have also premiered by Halau O Kekuhi were Kamehameha Paiea and Hanau Ka Moku.

The power in the language bears fruit, the epic mele of Pelehonuamea and Hiiakaikapoliopele is a testament to that power.  Understanding the hulihia, the overturning eruptive phases, becomes a reflection upon the issues happening today with the on-going eruption cycle, the radical changes in government, and the resulting global issues.

Tickets to Holo Mai Pele – Hiiaka: Wahinepoaimoku are available through the MACC box office at 242- 7469.  TICKETS: $40, $25, $12 plus facility fees (808-242-7469 or www.mauiarts.org)

Wailuku Couple Displaced by Morning Fire

By Wendy Osher

A Wailuku couple was displaced from their residence when a fire this morning damaged their second floor studio ‘ohana unit.

The fire was reported by a neighbor who saw smoke coming fro the 1764 Nani Street Residence, located near the Wailuku bridge.

Firefighters were on scene within two minutes and had the fire extinguished within 10 minutes of receiving the first call at 7:06 a.m.  Engines from the Wailuku and Kahului Stations responded to the blaze as well as the Rescue and Hazmat Trucks from the Kahului Station.

Acting Battalion Chief Allen Duarte said the fire appeared to have started near an electrical outlet and was deemed to have been accidental.

A single person was home at the time of the fire and was awoken when firefighters made entry into the unit from an external stairwell.  Duarte said the 20 by 30 foot space sustained extensive smoke damage in addition to $2,500 in content damage and $5,000 in structural damage.

Volunteers with the American Red Cross are helping the displaced couple with immediate needs.  Caseworkers were prepared to assist with temporary food, shelter and clothing.  The agency will follow up in the coming weeks to provide referrals, guidance or additional assistance if necessary.

Hawaii State Drivers License Gets a New Look February 1

Beginning February 1, 2010 all State of Hawaii driver’s licenses will be issued with a new design, according to an announcement today by the County of Maui.  The last design change took place in January of 2005.

Image courtesy County of Maui.

“A new, state-of-the-art production system that has been installed throughout the state provides us the opportunity to add unique, identifiable features to be incorporated into the new drivers license cards,” said County of Maui Motor Vehicle and Licensing Administrator Lito Vila.

“These new features enhance the integrity of the drivers license cards by better protecting the holder’s personal information from tampering, alteration, and fraudulent reproduction. Such attempts will be easier to identify, assisting in our continued effort to deter and prevent identity theft in our community,” said Vila.

New design features include:

● A gradient (dark to light) pink shading on the top of the card containing the State of Hawaii flag, the word “USA”, and the outline of the Hawaiian Islands in a “clear window” format.  Another outline of the Hawaiian Islands in a “clear window” format located on the bottom of the card.

● The word HAWAII is in semi-script with upper and lower casing.

● The issue date is located at the top of the photo and overlaps the photo.

● Part of the last name signature overlaps the “sheer” (ghost) image on the horizontal formatted license.

● Part of the first name signature overlaps the “sheer” (ghost) image on the vertical formatted license.

● The “sheer” (ghost) image is located on the lower right of the horizontal formatted license or permit and lower left corner of the vertical formatted license.

● The Rainbow design is not on the instruction permit.

● Each card contains a unique document discriminator number written as item 5 on the front of the card and a unique card serial number on the back of the card, below the linear barcode.

● Bi-dimensional bar code on the back of the card.

● Brief description of the applicable class of license and any restrictions and endorsements listed on the back of the card.

● Date of birth printed in black lettering on the back of the card.

● Hair color and county code no longer displayed.

(Posted by Wendy Osher; Information courtesy County of Maui)

VIDEO: Union Workers Seek Job Security in Maui Strike at Kaiser

By Wendy Osher

Kaiser workers represented by UNITE HERE Local 5 conducted a limited duration strike today at the Maui Lani and Wailuku Clinics, in an effort to prevent jobs from being subcontracted to out of state workers. The one-day strike was organized to draw attention to ongoing contract negotiations and demands for job security.

“Today is a limited one day strike,” said Mercy Manangan, an employee in the Occupational Health Department.  “What we’re doing at this time is trying to get the message across that we need to keep good jobs here in our community and the state of Hawaii,” said Manangan.

“Times are hard, yes. I’m a mother, I have children, but I’m sacrificing today to just send the message to everyone in the community that we are here to stand for what is right to keep our jobs here in Hawaii and not send them out to the mainland or some kind of foreign country so that people can save money,” said LPN, Georgie Astronomo.

“Many of us have put many years into this company,” said Mona Kaai, a medical assistant at the Kaiser Wailuku Clinic.  “We don’t want to see our family members moving away because jobs are not available here in Hawaii.  We need to maintain our jobs.  We need to sustain Hawaii’s economy, and that’s why we’re here,” she said.

Negotiations are expected to resume for hospital and union representatives following a one-day strike at Maui's Wailuku and Maui Lani Clinics. Photo by Wendy Osher.

The workers walking the picket line included many blue collar service employees that ranged from medical assistants to receptionists, accountants, and maintenance staff.

“There’s no one particular department.  It can happen to all of us, and so that’s the reason we are taking a stand today,” said Momi Hai, a lead front desk employee with the Business Services department.  “Like I said, all of us employees, we love our jobs, we love our patients, and we want to keep good local jobs in our community in the state of Hawaii,” she said.

Mercy Manangan, an employee in the Occupational Health Department (at center) was among the employees who walked out on Thursday in an effort to fight for job security. Photo by Wendy Osher.

Local 5 officials say the walkout is part of a larger effort to secure a new contract for about 1,800 health care workers on Maui, Oahu and the Big Island.  Meantime, Kaiser Permanente remained open during the picket with plans to pursue business with uninterrupted service.

“We continue to bargain in good faith,” said Suzann Filleul, the Regional Executive Nurse for Kaiser Hawaii.  “We resolved many issues.  We’ve been able to offer our Local 5 employees wage and benefit enhancements that will keep them at the top of the Hawaii health care market,” Filleul said.

In recent months, Kaiser Permanente asked a federal mediator to join the contract talks in an effort to accelerate goals of reaching a settlement.

“Actually, in 2009, we’ve worked really hard to preserve jobs here in Hawaii, and we‘ve been very successful with that.  We’ve done that by focusing on quality and service.  And in 2010, we’re already growing our business and as we grow business, we’ll be able to grow jobs,” said Filleul.

Kaiser officials say their plan to establish a new dialysis center on Maui is one example of how the organization is working to lower healthcare costs, increase quality of care and promote job growth.  While today’s strike was specific to Maui, fellow union members on other islands are covered under the same contract.

“Our counterparts over on Oahu are supporting us by wearing red today, which is our union color, and we also saw that some of our nurses that are working today are also supporting us inside today by using their red t-shirts,” said Manangan.

“We want Kaiser to know that we’re here not only for ourselves, but for our patients and to keep our community strong,” said Kaai.  “In these tough economic times, we need to sustain our economy by maintaining our jobs and we want our employer to know that,” she said.

Kaiser Permanente employs 388 people on the Valley Isle, serving an estimated 50,000 people at four separate Maui clinics.

While both sides expressed commitment to serve patient needs, union members remained hopeful that their walkout would send a message about job security amid the island’s down economy.

“I’ve been here 10 years and I love my job, and I intend to stay here for a good long time to take care of our patients,” said Kaai.

Union and Hospital officials have been working to resolve contract issues for several months.  Still without a settlement in hand, union members planned to return to work following the one-day walk out.

Amemiya Appointed Interim Executive at UH Board of Regents

The University of Hawai‘i Board of Regents appointed Keith Amemiya as interim executive administrator and secretary during the Board’s monthly meeting held today (Thursday, January 28, 2010) at Maui Community College.

Amemiya will be paid $152,544 during his one-year appointment that goes into effect on March 8, 2010.

In his new capacity, Amemiya will be responsible for planning, coordinating and directing the administrative support services for the Board of Regents.

Amemiya comes to the post with a law background, having graduated from UH Manoa with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a law degree from the William S. Richardson School of Law.

Most recently, Amemiya served as executive director of the Hawaii High School Athletic Association (HHSAA), a post he held since 1998.

“Keith has achieved immeasurable success in his position as executive director for the Hawai‘i High School Athletic Association and has been a dedicated advocate for Hawai‘i’s student athletes and local high school sports,” said UH Board of Regents Chair Howard Karr. “I have no doubt he’ll bring that same dedication to the University of Hawai‘i. The skills he’s built in working together with various constituencies to solve tough issues will be an asset to the university and the Board of Regents,” Karr said.

Amemiya has also served on boards at The Learning Coalition, Honolulu Firefighters Foundation, Aloha Council of the Boy Scouts of America and the Susannah Wesley Community Center.

(Posted by Wendy Osher; Supporting information provided by the University of Hawaii)

Kihei Man Suffers Fatal injuries in Haleakala Highway Crash

A second traffic accident in as many days claimed the life of a Maui resident.  The latest accident was reported shortly before noon today (Wednesday, January 27, 2010) on the Haleakala Highway.

The accident occurred when a 1995 Dodge Neon four-door sedan traveling north on the highway lost control while negotiating a curve.  The vehicle slid into the ongoing lane of travel and collided with a 1994 Ford Ranger pickup truck.

According to police reports, the driver of the Neon, 22-year-old John Michael Bolosan of Kihei had to be extricated from the vehicle.  Bolosan died of injuries he sustained in the crash after being transported to Maui Memorial Medical Center.

The 61-year-old Kula man driving the pickup truck received minor injuries and declined treatment at the scene.  The drivers of both vehicles were the sole occupants at the time of the crash and both were wearing seatbelts.

Haleakala Highway (Hwy 377) was closed above Kealaloa Avenue during the police investigation.

The accident was the second traffic fatality on Maui county roads this year compared to 2 at the same time last year.

A second traffic accident in as many days claimed the life of a Maui resident.  The latest accident was reported shortly before noon today (Wednesday, January 27, 2010) on the Haleakala Highway.

The accident occurred when a 1995 Dodge Neon four-door sedan traveling north on the highway lost control while negotiating a curve.  The vehicle slid into the ongoing lane of travel and collided with a 1994 Ford Ranger pickup truck.

According to police reports, the driver of the Neon, 22-year-old John Michael Bolosan of Kihei had to be extricated from the vehicle.  Bolosan died of injuries he sustained in the crash after being transported to Maui memorial Medical Center.

The 61-year-old Kula man driving the pickup truck received minor injuries and declined treatment at the scene.  The drivers of both vehicles were the sole occupants at the time of the crash and both were wearing seatbelts.

Haleakala Highway (Hwy 377) was closed above Kealaloa Avenue during the police investigation.

The accident was the second traffic fatality on Maui county roads this year compared to 2 at the same time last year.

It was also the second accident in as many days on the Valley Isle.  In a separate accident last night on the Piilani Highway, 42-year-old Shannon L. Vannatta of Kihei died of injuries she sustained after being struck by an oncoming vehicle.

Authorities say the woman was standing in the travel lanes at the time of the accident.  According to police reports, her vehicle was found parked and unattended on the shoulder of the highway.

The accident was reported at 9:09 p.m. on the Piilani Highway just north of the Kulanihakoi intersection.

Both accidents were investigated by crews from the Maui Police Department Traffic Section.

It was also the second accident in as many days on the Valley Isle.  In a separate accident last night on the Piilani Highway, 42-year-old Shannon L. Vannatta of Kihei died of injuries she sustained after being struck by an oncoming vehicle.

Authorities say the woman was standing in the travel lanes at the time of the accident.  According to police reports, her vehicle was found parked and unattended on the shoulder of the highway.

The accident was reported at 9:09 p.m. on the Piilani Highway just north of the Kulanihakoi intersection.

Both accidents were investigated by crews from the Maui Police Department Traffic Section.