About Town 06-16-18

  • Displaying beneficiary checks are, from left: Erika Kuhr and Lauren Ruotolo of Hawaii Institute of Pacific Agriculture, Jeff Branham and Dana Mattos of Kona Dance and Performing Arts, Kona Cacao Association President Farsheed Bonakdar holds the check for absent UH Maui College’s culinary arts program, Amy Salling of Waimea Country School and Gretchen Ramirez of Kona Pacific Public Charter School. Courtesy photo

Local student graduates Tulane University

Tulane University awarded degrees to nearly 3,000 graduates on May 19 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. Local student, Amber Rowley of Kailua-Kona, earned a Bachelor of Science from the School of Science &Engineering. The ceremony’s keynote speaker was acclaimed author and professor Jesmyn Ward, a two-time National Book Award winner and 2017 recipient of the MacArthur “Genius Grant.”

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Malama Maunakea invasive species weed pull

The Office of Maunakea Management is seeking community volunteers to participate in its Malama Maunakea campaign to protect the mountain’s fragile resources on June 30.

The volunteer efforts will concentrate on eradicating the invasive fireweed (Senecio madagascariensis) and other invasive plant species from the area surrounding Halepohaku and the Visitor Information Station at the 9,000-foot elevation. The Malama Maunakea weed pull events help prevent unwanted invasive species from being transported to the upper elevation areas of Maunakea and prepares the area around Halepohaku and the Visitor Information Station for future native plant restoration projects.

Volunteers are encouraged to bring water, sunglasses, sunscreen, sun protection, light rain gear, warm clothing, hiking boots or good walking shoes.

Email omkmvolunteers-grp@hawaii.edu to sign up or log onto malamamaunakea.org for more information.

Big Island Chocolate Festival awards $27K to five beneficiaries

Proceeds totaling $27,000 from the 2018 Big Island Chocolate Festival (BICF) were awarded to five educational organizations at the event’s recent volunteer appreciation celebration at Island Lava Java.

Beneficiaries will use their funds for a variety of projects: developing a cacao farming curriculum for the upcoming school year, enhancing a keiki gardening program, improving a mobile summer lunch program and completing a 1,000-foot facility expansion boasting a cushioned dance floor.

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Presented by the Kona Cacao Association (KCA), the BICF is an annual, two-day event offering agricultural and culinary learning experiences and competitions, plus a gala celebration of chocolate.

Visit http://konacacaoassociation.com and www.bigislandchocolatefestival.com.