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Community briefs for March 20

Residents win literary awards

Two Big Island writers have been named the 2012 winners of the annual Elliott Cades awards for Literature, the most prestigious literary honor for writers in Hawaii, the Hawaii Literary Arts Council has announced.

The winner in the established author category is Pamela Frierson, whose latest book is “The Last Atoll: Exploring Hawaii’s Endangered Ecosystems.” Cades Awards judges said the book is a well-documented personal account that tells the story of the author’s experiences studying the fragile environment of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, now a national monument.

Frierson is also the author of “The Burning Island: A Journey through Myth and History in Volcano Country, Hawai’i” and many articles and essays.

Raised in Hawaii, Frierson was on the staff of the Whole Earth Catalog, and was one of the founding publishers of the innovative quarterly magazine Place. She lives in Volcano and works as a freelance writer, photographer and educator.

The winner in the emerging artist category is Mark Panek, the author of two award-winning books, “Big Happiness: The Life and Death of a Modern Hawaiian Warrior” and “Gaijin Yokozuna: A Biography of Chad Rowan.”

Cades judges noted that “Big Happiness” is a deeply researched, insightful biography of Waikane sumo wrestler Percy Kipapa that goes beyond the surface story to look at many problems facing Hawaii’s poor and rural neighborhoods. Panek is an associate professor of English at the University of Hawaii at Hilo.

Tips on staying at a hospital

The Kona Hospital Foundation and Kona Community Hospital will continue their informational lecture series with “What happens when I enter a hospital?” from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, March 26, in the Community Meeting Hale (Building G) at the West Hawaii Civic Center.

Dr. Kathleen Rokavec, medical director at Kona Community Hospital and Kohala Hospital, will discuss tips for navigating a hospital stay.

“You’ll receive valuable information, handouts will be available and we’ll have giveaways too,” said a hospital spokesman. “Admission is free, and we hope to see you there.”


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