It is December, so it is time for Papaikou Hongwanji’s annual mochi sale! You can order the komochi (plain white) in a package of six for $4 or a package of 12 for $7.75. If you want the kasane (okazari) mochi to do the traditional two-layer stacking at New Year’s, the small two-inch base set is $3, the medium four-inch base set is $7.50, and the large six-inch base set is $13.
The order deadline is Monday, Dec. 17. Pickup day is Saturday, Dec. 29, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Papaikou Hongwanji multi-purpose hall. For more information, leave a message on the temple phone at 964-1640.
The “Big Island Giving Tree,” formerly known as the Lokahi project, collection of mini trees is in Waimea stores and restaurants now in Waimea. Look around town for small “Charlie Brown” style trees with simple ornaments, such as “Canned Spam” or “Laundry Detergent” — to help spread the word that some in our community are struggling.
Please consider picking up a suggested donations list and then bringing back donations to that spot on your next visit or look for the Big Island Giving Tree Temporary Store in Parker Ranch Center next to Village Burger — open daily through Dec. 21. Donations of “basic necessities” is recommended, including baby diapers, toilet paper, toothpaste, toothbrushes, bath soap, laundry detergent, shampoo, feminine products, rice, non-perishable foods (especially proteins such as Spam and tuna), or gift cards from KTA, Foodland, local farmers markets, gas stations, Costco, Walmart or Target.
Donations are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law and receipts will be provided, or make check payable to “Christopher Nance Children’s Foundation,” a local nonprofit generously serving as fiscal agent at no charge to the program. If you know of an individual or family in need of help, please drop by the store or go to www.WaimeaTown.org to download a nomination form by clicking on the Christmas 2012 tab at the top of the home page.
Store locations for Giving Trees include Kamuela Liquor Store, Hawaiian Style Café, Napa Auto Parts, Gregore Salon, Honokaa Police Station and Waimea Middle School. Or call Rhonda Bell (880-1984) or Nancy Carr Smith at (896-2239).
The Hawaii Fire Department announces that New Year’s fireworks permits will be available for purchase beginning Wednesday, Dec. 26, at the Fire Administration Office located at the Hilo County Building, 25 Aupuni St., Suite 2501, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Dec. 26-28 and 31, and at Parker Ranch Shopping Center Food Court in Waimea from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Dec. 26-31.
Fireworks permits will also be sold at a number of locations across the island. Each permit costs $25 and will entitle the holder to purchase 5,000 individual firecrackers. Multiple permit purchases are authorized. Permits shall only be issued to persons 18 years of age or older and are non-transferable, and non-refundable. Fireworks sales will end at midnight on New Year’s Eve.
Permits are not required for the purchasing of novelties and paperless firecrackers.
Setting off of fireworks for New Year’s celebrations are allowed between the hours of 9 p.m. on New Year’s Eve and 1 a.m. on New Year’s Day. Permits shall be visibly displayed at the site of use during the time of the firing.
The public is invited to the “Magic Of The Season” holiday open house at the Hawaii County Building in Hilo. The free fun, food and festivities for the whole family are part of the annual event through Dec. 21. County volunteers will decorate dozens of trees, provide refreshments and offer holiday cheer so families may enjoy a safe, community-oriented event. Members of the public may view the decorations daily starting at 8 a.m. Live entertainment, refreshments and holiday activities will be available weeknights between 5 and 8 p.m.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.