Hakalau Bay Paka festival to be held July 21


Please accept this as an invitation to join with people who care about the keiki, the community and the future of the Hamakua Coast — for a fun celebration. This is the 5th Annual Hakalau Bay Paka Aloha Honua Festival on Saturday, July 21, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Hakalau Bay Paka.

This year’s theme is “Sustain Our Surf.” The focus is on watershed and ocean stewardship, protecting Hawaii’s rich ocean heritage and raising public awareness of the impact people have on the water resources.

This annual observance is a day to celebrate the past year’s accomplishments, recognize and thank volunteers and the community who are working together to restore Hakalau Bay Paka. It is also a day to educate individuals, families and visitors about the importance of preserving and promoting recreational and cultural resources. Collaborators include Big Island Invasive Species Committee (BIISC), People Attentive to Children (PATCH), Surf and S.E.A. (Surf and Staphylococcus auerus Education and Awareness), Yoga Centered, USDA-PSW-IPIF, Mokupapapa: Discovery Center for Hawaii’s Remote Coral Reefs, Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary, Starbucks and Yoga Centered. Fun for the entire ohana!

The 5th Annual Hakalau Bay Paka Aloha Honua Festival will occur as part of a continuing public awareness and educational campaign designed to inform communities of the key role they play in protecting and preserving Hawaii’s parks and coastal regions. Events include the Hakalau Hang-10 (a keiki -to-age-10 surf contest), education and interactive booths, guest speakers, the Paka Pull, a community service project leading to a festive celebration. Our festival celebrates and embraces the value of aloha honua and malama aina.

Remember the key to improving our community is working together - community leaders and business people, kupuna and keiki, parents and young people. We look forward to you being with us. For more information, please contact Pam Holton, outreach coordinator at (808)430-2124 or via e-mail at pakalove@live.com.

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Hawaii Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PATC) and Hawaii Small Business Development Center (SBDC) will present a free “Small Business Workshop: Securing Government Contracts & Getting HUBZone Certified” to help small business owners secure government contracts. Workshop is on Wednesday, July 26, at Hawaii Community College in Building 379-1, in Hilo from 9:30 a.m. to noon.

PTAC will discuss information on government procurement, bid operation, counseling and HUBZone information. SBDC will provide information on free technical assistance on business planning, marketing and funding.

PATC is a federally-funded program that provides free services to small business owners interested in government contracts. Limited space. Register early. Registration is required by July 19. For more information or to register call SBDC at 933-0776.

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Waimea Community Association News announces that Coqui-Free Waimea has a new hotline: 885-FROG (3764). With the arrival of warmer weather, Waimea’s coqui frogs are singing again. Although the larger infestations are on the wet side of Waimea, there have been reports of coqui as far west as Kanehoa. The good news is that our community self-help coqui control group, Coqui-Free Waimea, has new funding, committed volunteers, a new sprayer, and a supply of citric acid. Coqui control is not a lost cause; North Kohala has successfully preserved its peace and quiet for many years. If you hear coqui frogs anywhere in Waimea, report the location to 885-FROG (885-3764).

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The Waimea Community Association and 12 North Hawaii community groups will co-host a second “Speed Dating” forum, with candidates for State Senate, mayor and the Prosecutor’s Office on Thursday, July 12, at 4 p.m. at Waimea School cafeteria.

Please note the 4 p.m. time — Waimea Community Association usually meets at 5:15 p.m. and earlier news releases about this candidate forum said 5:15 p.m. for July 12. However, the time has been moved earlier to enable North Hawaii residents to attend the forum and then go to Hilo for a Celebration of Life for the late, beloved entertainer Bruddah Smitty at Dodo Mortuary. (Smitty’s memorial will be both Thursday evening and Friday.)

As with the previous well-received “speed dating” forum, this one also will be co-hosted by a total of 12 North Hawaii organizations — including Waimea Community Association, Friends of the Future/Tutu’s House, Waimea Hawaiian Homesteaders Association, Kailapa Community Association (Kawaihae homesteaders), Peoples’ Advocacy For Trails Hawaii (PATH), the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce, North Hawaii Rotary, Baby Steps To Stronger Big Island Families, Friends of Thelma Parker Memorial Library, Waimea Preservation Association, Waimea Hawaiian Civic Club and Lalamilo Farmlots Association.

Voters from all over the district and island are invited to participate in this forum, which will begin with each candidate having three minutes for a personal introduction, and will then follow an innovative “speed dating” format which gives small clusters of voters an opportunity to talk-story with each individual candidate.

There is no charge and healthy snacks will be provided by co-host groups along with complimentary hot Starbucks coffee and water.

The July 12 forum will spotlight three major races — State Senate District 4 (all of North Hawaii), Hawaii County mayor and county prosecutor — with a total of eight candidates.

As always with WCA meetings, attendees are urged to bring a donation of cash or non-perishable foods to be given to the Waimea food pantry operated by Annunciation Catholic Church. Checks payable to the church for the food pantry are tax- deductible. For further information, call Sherm Warner (885-1725) or Patti Cook (937-2833).

Carol Yurth’s column is published every Sunday and spotlights activities on the Hilo-Hamakua coast. She welcomes items for her column. Reach her by mail (46-1240 Kalehua Road, Honokaa HI 96727) at least 10 days before the requested publication date, call her at 775-7101, or e-mail waiukahe@interpac.net.