MERRIE MONARCH FESTIVAL came alive virtually around the planet today with livestream of opening chants and hula in the native forest, and the Miss Aloha Hula competition. With much Hawaiian language and translation, the festival presented a respect for the native forest of Hawai`i Island and the culture, with the message going global.
People around the world tweeted photos of their devices showing the festivities and reasons for their watching Merrie Monarch. One woman viewing the live stream coming from Hilo to Tāmaki Makaurau was Lou Tee-Oh in Auckland, who enjoyed images on her phone and "soothing music" on a train ride. Another was native plants expert Stephanie Yelenik in Reno who couldn't help but to identify all the plants woven into the event as she watched on TV.
During today's Merrie Monarch opening, Hālau o Kekuhi danced among Ohia trees on lava in an area affected by the 2018 eruption of Kilauea Volcano. The hālau performed three new chants with newly choreographed hula, two about the 2018 eruption and one about recovery. One chant asked Hawaiian spirits for reforestation of places covered by lava.
|Plant expert and soil scientist, Dr, Stephanie Yelenik, in Reno, said she couldn't help but identify all the plants woven |
into the fabric of the Merrie Monarch presentations as she watched on this television. Photo from Stephanie Yelenik
continues Friday and Saturday with competition among halau in traditional Kahiko and modern 'Auana dance.
Sponsors of this year's Merrie Monarch Festival include Big Island Candies, Queens Health System, Hawai'i Tourism Authority, Hawaiian Airlines and Council Native Hawaiian Advancement.
|The logo of INPEACE, the Institute for|
Native Pacific Education & Culture.
Case said, “COVID-19 created an economic crisis with profound impacts on Hawai'i’s small businesses, which are the lifeblood of our state. My Committee is further investing in the federal programs and partners that are critical to the continued survival of small businesses nationwide and here in our Hawai‘i.”
The bill includes Member-designated Community Project
Funding of $500,000 for the Institute for Native Pacific Education and Culture - INPEACE. Its Small Business Incubator Project will provide critical assistance to small businesses and entrepreneurs directly in their community so they do not have to transit across the
island to obtain key services.
The bill also helps small businesses nationwide, with $1 billion for the Small Business Administration, an increase of $111.9 million above the current year’s funding level. This includes an increase of $51.8 million for Entrepreneurial Development Programs that provide small businesses with quality training, counseling and access to resources.
|The Healthy Food Financing Initiative would receive $25 million under|
the measure that passed Rep. Ed Cases's committee today.
Photo from Healthy Food Financing
The Appropriations Committee also approved Case requests for funding for federal programs and services important for the State of Hawai’i, including: An average 2.7% pay raise for federal employees, matching the request from the Biden administration; $21.5 million for the Native American Community Development Financial Institution Assistance Program; $3 million for the Native American Outreach Program; $3 million for the Historically Underutilized Business Zones Program; $26 million for the Women’s Business Centers Program; $25 million for the Healthy Food Financing Initiative; $140 million for Small Business Development Centers; $110 million for the Drug-Free Communities Program; and $20 million for the State Trade Expansion Program;.
|The Historically Underutilized Business |
Zones Program would receive $3 million.
The measure includes other Case requests. One would require the Consumer Product Safety Commission to investigate the importation and shipment of illegal aerial fireworks and develop recommendations for stopping it. Another would extend Hawai'i’s long-standing fourth temporary judgeship. Another requests the U.S. Postal Service to coordinate with the United States Department of Agriculture to better combat endangered species trafficking and combat spread of invasive species.
Case also asks the Federal Trade Commission investigate the inequalities in interstate commerce in Hawai‘i compared to the mainland. Another Case proposal directs National Personnel Records Center to quickly address "its unacceptable backlog of veterans’ requests for records that they need to receive the benefits they deserve." Another instructs the Election Assistance Commission to review the lessons l
|The USDA would strengthen its efforts against|
endangered species trafficking.
Case’s Appropriations Committee is responsible for allocating funding to federal government agencies, departments and organizations on an annual basis through 12 separate bills. The Committee’s FY 2022 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill passed on Tuesday funds the U.S. Treasury, federal courts and various independent agencies including the SBA, Federal Communications Commission and the Office of Personnel Management. The discretionary funding level is $29.1 billion, an increase of $4.8 billion over the 2021 enacted level. The bill now moves on to the full House of Representatives for consideration.
current use of the pickleball courts as well as walking and running on specified areas of the golf course before 8 a.m. and after 3 p.m. to enjoy the panoramic
ocean views. Golf memberships range from unlimited play for the avid golfer to casual play options. Membership is required to play and practice golf on the course. All golf memberships include Social Membership amenities. Membership fees are designed to help underwrite programs and improvements to the facilities.
FREE LIFETIME ENTRY for Veterans and Gold Star Families to Hawaiʻi Volcanoes and other national parks available at the entry gate.