Richard Ha writes:
I have been asked to co-chair an event that, for the last three years, has been called the Ag & Energy Expo and held in the Prince Kuhio Mall. Steve Shropshire has chaired this event from the beginning.
Steve decided to take it outside this year and expand it to a two-day event. He was thinking of calling it the Lono Festival and have it celebrate the Makahiki.
A couple of weeks ago, I was asked if I would help and co-chair the event. After the first meeting, I ran the idea of the Lono Festival and the Makahiki by Kale Gumapac, Alakai of the Kanaka Council. It became apparent to me that there were serious religious implications, and I suggested to the Chamber of Commerce committee that we change the name.
So we renamed it the Malama ‘Aina Festival. We envision an event that will show sustainability in its widest application – from local-grown food to alternate energy and from cultural activities to recycling. In a sense, it will demonstrate the vision of the Sustainability 2050 plan, chaired by Senator Russell Kokubun.
It will take place on Nov 7th and 8th. Friday the 7th in downtown Hilo is Black and White Night, which is sponsored by the Downtown Improvement Association (DIA). Plans for our festival are not complete yet, but we are picturing people walking around sampling dishes made with locally produced food, and maybe even wine tasting. Is that possible?
On Saturday, events will take place in tents under the trees at Mo‘oheau Park and bandstand. We plan to team up with the Hilo Farmers Market and have booths displaying all kinds of sustainability projects.
We are still brainstorming. But here are some of the people we have contacted:
Guy Toyama has agreed to demonstrate his hydrogen-powered scooter. The hydrogen is developed from water and energy derived from a hydro plant at Hakalau.
Gene Kelley, who has just signed a contract with the Natural Energy Lab of Hawaii Authority (NELHA), has invented what he calls the WindWing. It works like when you are riding in a car, stick your arm out the window and feel the wind pushing against your arm. In the same way, his device generates electricity by capturing wind energy using something like a venetian blind. He says that a windmill is approximately six percent efficient, while his WindWing is 40 to 60 percent efficient. He is game to demonstrate his invention at the festival.
Bernie Kratky has agreed to demonstrate his non-circulatory hydroponics.
Mike Tanabe, Professor at the University of Hawai‘i College of Agricultlure, is game to demonstrate tissue-cultured taro in its various tissue-culture growth stages.
The Hawai‘i Seal of Quality program will participate.
Hamakua Springs Country Farms will have a booth and demonstrate hydroponic methods of growing food.
We are looking for people who can demonstrate various kinds of composting.
We hope to have the Master Gardeners, the Hawai‘i Organic Farmers Association, HELCO and Puna Geothermal Ventures.
We are also asking people to accommodate tours of their actual operation during that week. Puna Geothermal has agreed to do an excursion to the Puna Geothermal well site, and Hamakua Springs will offer a farm tour. Guy Toyama has agreed to show how his people generate electricity from running water and then make hydrogen for use in running equipment.We have extended an invitation to Pacific Bio diesel and its partners, who will be growing and selling jatropha plants for biodiesel oil use.
This is just the beginning. More and more people are asking to participate. The Malama ‘Aina festival is very appropriate for the changing times ahead and we think that this is going to be lots of fun.