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Monday, February 19, 2024

Kaʻū News Briefs Feb. 19, 2024

Four of five Trojan wrestlers qualified for states on Saturday and will fly Thursday to O'ahu. See more below. Wrestlers left to right are: La'akea Kajiwara-Ke, Ocean Nihipali-Sesson, Rain Nihipali-Sesson, Alazae Forcum, Stephen Adler II, and Eli Crook. Coaches left to right are Head Coach Ray Mazyck, Assistant Coach Joe DeYoung, and Assistant coach Connor Norton.
Photo by Elizabeth Crook

A COMMUNITY EMERGENCY RESPONSE TEAM TRAINING is offered, with live training in Discovery Harbour. The Hybrid Basic CERT training class consists of an online course taken at each trainee's pace and Two-Day Practical live sessions to practice and improve the skills learned in the online course. 
    This approach reduces the amount of time you spent in the classroom, said Pat Steffen, Hawai'i County CERT Coordinator.
    The online course is available now, with registration and more info at https://forms.gle/MC15rgijsaKy1EDeA. The two-day, in-person practical sessions are scheduled for Saturday, April 6 and Sunday, April 7  from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Discovery Harbour Community Center, 94-1604 Makali'i Street, Naalehu. Completion of the online course by Friday, March 22 is required to be eligible to attend the two-day practical. There is no charge for the course.
     Those who already completed the CERT program, said Steffen, are encouraged to share this opportunity with family, friends and neighbors. The online and/or in-person classes can also be taken as a refresher.

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Rain Nihipali-Sesson, on right, qualifies for states.
TROJANS ARE HEADED TO THE STATE FINALS IN WRESTLING on O'ahu for Friday and Saturday, Feb. 23 and 24. Four out of the five Trojan wrestlers qualified by placing fifth or better at the Big Island Interscholastic Federation Championship wrestling tournament last Saturday.
     The BIIF Championship hosted 13 teams from around the island, each entering their top wrestlers. Wrestlers representing Kaʻū were Seniors Stephen Adler II, La’akea Kajiwara-Ke, Ocean Nihipali-Sesson, Junior Rain Nihipali-Sesson, and Freshman Eli Crook.
    Senior Stephen Adler II had the toughest day out of the Trojan Wrestling team. Wrestling at 120 lbs, he faced a tough Kealakehe opponent in his first match ultimately losing by pin in the second round. In his second match Adler wrestled against an experienced Waiakea opponent, and got caught in a pin in the second round. He ended up taking seventh place at the tournament, just a round shy of qualifying. 
Eli Crook podium finish, right. He goes to states on O'ahu.
    Coach Ray Mazyck said, “Stephen is the hardest worker I’ve ever met. He has come so far since the beginning of the season, and it’s tough to see him not qualify. Wrestling is an incredibly tough sport that requires a lot of technique, much of which is gained through years of experience. It is quite difficult to bridge the gap of experience in just one season, but overall he wrestled his heart out and left it all on the mat.”
    Freshman Eli Crook, one of the four qualifiers for the Trojans had a turbulent start to the day, losing his first match by pin in the second round to a Hilo wrestler. After he lost to Hilo he received a bye to advance to the consolation semi-final round, where he faced a Kealakehe wrestler and lost by pin. "Losing in the consolation semi-final allowed Eli to compete for fifth  place and earn his way to state," said Coach Mazyck. In his next match Eli defeated Kohala 12-7, taking fifth in the 126 lbs. weight class and punched his ticket to O'ahu.
    Senior La’akea Kajiwara-Ke took fifth in the 138 lbs. class at the BIIF Championship. He suffered a first round loss to 
Ocean Nihipali-Sesson, podium finish left, qualifies for states.
Kamehameha, which dropped him into the consolation bracket. He then defeated Keaau with a first round pin, advancing him to the consolation semi’s. Kajiwara-Ke wrestled a Konawaena opponent in a back and forth match which went into overtime, it was close but the Konawaena opponent was able to secure the takedown to win. "In his fifth place match with state qualification on the line the Trojan rose to the occasion and pinned his opponent from Honoka'a late in the second round," reported Coach Mazyck.
    Seeded first with an overall record of 7-0 in the 175 lbs. class was senior Ocean Nihipali-Sesson. He started his day strong with a first round pin against Kealakehe, advancing him to the semi-final round. He wrestled hard but was narrowly defeated by Kamehameha 9-6 in the semi’s. In his next match versus Keaau, Nihipali-Sesson was able to pull out a decision win of 3-1 to advance him to the third place match.
    Coach Mazyck said, "Ocean put all his skills on display in an exciting match for third place against a fierce Laupahoehoe wrestler. They were quite evenly matched, going back and forth but ultimately
La'akea Kajiwara-Ke, right, will go to states on O'ahu.
Laupahoehoe walked away with a 5-4 decision win. “The skills and gameplan Ocean displayed in his third place match were well above any first year wrestler. He showed every ounce of the hard-work, athleticism, and coachability that makes him the outstanding young man that he is,” said the Trojan Coach.
    For the Trojan girls junior Rain Nihipali-Sesson placed fifth in the 235 lbs. class. She had to medically forfeit from the BIIF championship. “Rain quite possibly had the toughest day of all, she is incredibly passionate about the sport and loves to wrestle. For her to watch girls she handedly beat during the season wrestle and place high really ate at her. She had aspirations to be the Big Island Champion and she very well could have been if she had the opportunity to wrestle. Next year is going to be a very big year for Rain,” said  Coach Mazyck.
     The Coach said, "Every Trojan wrestler far surpassed any expectation that can be had for a first year team." The Trojan wrestling team leaves for O'ahu this Thursday Feb. 22;  the State Tournament starts the following day, finishes Saturday, Feb. 24.
    “We are immensely excited to see the level of wrestling at the state tournament. Our wrestlers are going to get an idea of what state level wrestling is like, Freshman Eli Crook and Junior Rain Nihipali-Sesson will be able to bring this experience back home to help themselves and next season's team grow. I fully believe that these wrestlers earning their spot in state is going to be the catalyst that propels the Trojan Wrestling team to the next level.”

Diana Miller painted this image. She is Artist in  Residence for 
 National Parks Arts Foundation at Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park.
MEET THE ARTIST IN RESIDENCE AT AFTER DARK IN THE PARK this Tuesday, Feb. 20 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium in Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park.
    The artist is Diana Miller. She was born in France, grew up traveling the world, served as a National Park Service Ranger, and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in the US Air Force. 
    Her artwork "embraces the native landscapes of her Hawai‘i home and provides a hopeful vision for their continued protection," says a statement from the organizers of the event.
    Artist in Residence program is co-sponsored by Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park,  Friends of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park and the National Parks Arts Foundation.
     See more on Friends of Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park at https://www.fhvnp.org/
     See more on the National Parks Arts Foundation at https://www.nationalparksartsfoundation.org/

Kaʻū News Briefs Feb. 18, 2024

Naoho Kanahele, right, with her Halau O Kaleo A Keahilapalapala, gave their first public performance at
Ke Ola Pu'uhonua in Nāʻālehu
on Saturday, as guest of Kumu Debbie Ryder. Photo from Debbie Ryder

KUMU HULA NAOHO KANALEHE AND HALAU O KALEO A KEAHIALAPALAPALA gave their first public performance at Ke Ola Pu'uhonua in Nāʻālehu on Saturday, as guest of Kumu Hula Debbie Ryder of Halau Hula O Leionalani. Kanahele is the great granddaughter of Aunty Edith Kanakaole and the daughter of Kumu Hula Kekuhi Kanahele.

Halau O Kaleo A Keahiapalapala. Photo from Debbie Ryder

    Ryder shared that Naoho Kanahele noted that Ke Ola Pu'uhonua was a perfect place to share their mele and dances here in Kaʻū where her roots started.
    Last year, Kanahele said, "Although my official Uniki commitment and training was a year long journey, I felt like I had been preparing for it since I was a little girl. Hula is my foundation and I have nothing less than absolute love for the art. I have danced and chanted every chance I got growing up, and now my daughters are doing the same.
    Mahalo to every single person who contributed to my hula journey. Now I am moving into the realm of teaching and expecting many more wonderful lessons and experiences to come."

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Halau Hula O Leionalani, Keiki and Opi'o under Kumu
Debbie Ryder, performs for visiting Halau O Kaleo A
 Keahiapalapala. Photo from Debbie Ryder

OHA AIMS TO SUPPORT HAWAI'I-BASED NON-PROFITS THAT ARE IN ALIGNMENT WITH ITS STRATEGIC PLAN. Office of Hawaiian Affairs is giving training sessions to assist with the application process throughout the month of February. See its economic self-sufficiency webpage at https://www.oha.org/economic-self-sufficiency/grants/ for more information about the open grants and application training sessions.

PAKINI LOAN FUND FOR SMALL BUSINESSES offers loans from $1,000 to $30,000 for small businesses in Hawaiʻi. While the Pakini fund prioritizes serving Native Hawaiians, the program fund is open to all eligible small businesses in Hawaiʻi. Visit https://www.oha.org/economic-self-sufficiency/grants/ for more information.

AG CONNECT PROGRAM FOR INTERNS matches current Hawaiʻi ag producers with interns to determine if and how they may want to partner to grow their ag business together. Interested AgPro/AgXcel alumni and those meeting the experience requirement can sign up now at https://hawaii.hawaii.edu/agconnect.

RESILIENT FOOD SYSTEM INFRASTRUCTURE AND EQUIPMENT FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES are available from a federal grant administered by Hawai'i Department of Agriculture. The aim is to support processing, manufacturing, storing, transportation, wholesaling, and distribution of agricultural products. Visit https://hdoa.hawaii.gov/blog/main/nr24-04rfsigrants/.

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Miloli'i-Kaʻū  Volleyball Tournament held over the weekend supports youth traveling for volleyball.
Photo by Ophir Danenberg

Winners in the age 10 group were Mauloa Coed II and most valuable player
 is their No. 16. Second went to Miloli'i-Kaʻū team with their coach Jafar.
Photo by Ka'imi Kaupiko
     Age 10 group winners are on the team Mauloa Coed II. Second went to Miloli'i-Kaʻū team with coach Jafar.
    Winner in the 12s Division is Ho'opa with coach Ainsley. Most Valuable Player is No. 13, Makua Miller. 
    See results of the 28 Sunday games in upcoming Kaʻū News Briefs. The tournament, sponsored by Ka'imi Kaupiko and the Miloli'i-Kaʻū Volleyball Club, was held at the Herkes Kaʻū District Gym and supports travel for youth to other tournaments.

Winner in the 12s Division is Ho'opa with coach Ainsley. Most Valuable Player is No. 13, Mckayla Miller. Photo by Ka'imi Kaupiko

Hemolele took second in the 12s age group at the Miloli'i-Kaʻū Volleyball tournament Saturday.
Photo by Ka'imi Kaupiko 

5,000 in the mail, 2,500 on the streets.