|Piʻikea Kekihenelehuawewehiikekauʻonohi Lopes of Ka La ‘Onohi Mai O Haʻehaʻe won the Hawaiian Language title and|
became Miss Aloha Hula 2022 at the Merrie Monarch Festival Friday night in Hilo. Photo by Bruce Omori/Merrie Monarch
MERRIE MONARCH'S MISS ALOHA HULA 2022 SPEAKS THE HAWAIIAN LANGUAGE in interviews for English language reporting. Piʻikea Kekihenelehuawewehiikekauʻonohi Lopes of Ka La
‘Onohi Mai O Haʻehaʻe, under the direction of Kumu Tracie and Keawe Lopes, won the Hawaiian
Language title Thursday night with a perfect score.
|Troy Keolanui represents the Merrie Monarch King Kalakaua and Ala |
Keolanui representes Queen Kapioloani each night in different costume during
the Merrie Monarch Festival. Photo by Tracey Niima/ Merrie Monarch
The four dancers following Lopes, among the ten competing for Miss Aloha Hula, were: Auliʻionapualokekūonaona Jon-Marie Hisayo Faurot of Hula Halau ‘O Kamuela; Marina Laʻakea Choi of Halau Hi’iakainamakalehua; Manaia Kawaipuamakanakauʻikawekiumekanoeuʻiokeolamaikalaniakea Dalire Moe of Halau Ka Liko Pua O Kalaniakea; and Kyleigh Hokuao Manuel-Sagon of Halau Kekuaokalaʻauʻalaʻiliahi.
The Merrie Monarch Hula Kahiko competition was Friday night. Merrie Monarch Parade is Saturday morning in Hilo, with the final Hula 'Auana competition at Edith Kanaka'ole Stadium on Saturday night, following the arts and crafts displays and sales during the day at Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium & Butler Buildings in Hilo. See more at www.merriemonarch.com.
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|Image from USDA|
AN EARTH DAY 2022 COMMITMENT HAS COME FROM U.S. DEPT. OF AGRICULTURE'S Tom Vilsack. He announced investing nearly $800 million in climate-smart infrastructure in Hawai'i, the Northern Marianas, Puerto Rio and 39 other states. He said the investments will strengthen the health and livelihoods of people across rural America. They include funding for 165 projects to expand access to safe water and/or clean energy for people living in disadvantaged communities. The announcement coincides with the federal Building a Better America Rural Infrastructure Tour to rural communities to talk about impact of Bipartisan Infrastructure Law investments, as well as a broader commitment to ensure federal resources reach all communities in rural America. This announcement also furthers the Justice40 Initiative, which commits to delivering at least 40 percent of the benefits from federal climate and clean energy investments to disadvantaged communities.
Hawai'i/Western Pacific State Director Chris Kanazawa said, “Rural Development’s Community Facilities Disaster Grant program assists socially vulnerable and underserved communities like the CNMI to ensure the people have equitable access to critical resources. Living in island communities continually exposes the people to the vulnerabilities of climate change and Rural Development is proud to carry out Secretary Vilsack’s and President Biden’s commitment to ensure federal investment that will strengthen the health and livelihoods of people across rural America and the Western Pacific.”
|Chris Knazawa USDA Rural Development|
Director for Hawai'i and Western Pacific
Another investment program is Advancing Equity in Rural Communities to ensure people have equitable access to critical resources and to combat the climate crisis. Investments in these communities will make an impact for generations to come, said Kanazawa. For example, 165 projects will help advance equity in rural communities, especially in those that have been socially vulnerable, distressed and underserved for far too long.
Another is Clean Energy Infrastructure and Energy Efficiency Improvements with $787 million to help agricultural producers, rural small business owners and residents lower energy costs and make energy-efficiency improvements. The Department is making the investments under the Electric Loan Program and the Rural Energy for America Program. Through REAP, the Department is helping 157 rural businesses and agricultural producers get access to clean energy, while reducing their carbon footprint to make their business operations more cost-effective. The Electric Program funding includes nearly $67 million for smart grid technologies that improve system operations and monitor grid security.