Hometown Heroes: Officer honored for commitment, dedication to the community

For his outstanding investigative skills, exceptional information sharing, and commitment to providing the highest quality of police service, Officer Robert Sakata was recognized by the Hawaii Island Security and Safety Professionals Association as HISSPA Officer of the Quarter for Q2 2021 during a ceremony on July 9 in Kona.

Volcano Watch: Stressed out: Hawaiian volcanoes are heavy

Many people living in the Hawaiian Islands are accustomed to feeling occasional earthquakes since the State of Hawaii is one of the most seismically active locations in the United States. Unlike some other earthquake-prone places in the U.S., for example California, where the earthquakes are related to tectonic plates sliding past each other, our earthquakes are related to volcanoes.

Tropical Gardening: Plants for home foundation

Foundation plantings are like spandex garments. They smooth out bumpy features and add a dressy look. When properly used, a foundation planting serves definite purposes. It connects the structure with the grounds and adjacent ornamentals so that the building and grounds appear to have grown together into an eye appealing design. Shrubs and vines also tend to soften and blend architectural lines. Such plants give the home a finished look.

US churches reckon with traumatic legacy of Native schools

The discoveries of hundreds of unmarked graves at former residential schools for Indigenous children in Canada have prompted renewed calls for a reckoning over the traumatic legacy of similar schools in the United States — and in particular by the churches that operated many of them.

Volcano Watch: Remembering Mauna Loa’s eruption from July 5-6, 1975

Mauna Loa erupted 46 years ago this week, from July 5-6, 1975, in a 20-hour event with vents confined to the summit region (the area above 3,660 m/12,000 ft) and lava flows descending to just below 3,170 m (10,400 ft). This was the first eruption in 25 years. At the time, it was the longest quiet stretch since 1843 (we are currently in the longest stretch at 37 years and counting).

Romeo and Juliet opens tonight

Hilo Community Players will be performing “Romeo and Juliet” for the 44th annual Shakespeare in the Park event beginning tonight in the parking lot outside Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium.

Let’s Talk Food: Fresh corn

We can find fresh corn at the markets now as it is the season for them. When choosing ears, choose them with pliant, greenish husks and stems that are not cracked or dried out. Look for lots of moist silk, and feel for plump, not skinny ears.

Volcano Watch: Volcanoes in Canada, eh?

Happy late Canada Day/Bonne Fête du Canada! While some past “Volcano Watch” articles have had a July 4 theme for the U.S., this year we’re taking the opportunity to ensure readers know that our neighbors to the north have volcanoes, too — including potentially active ones.

Let’s Talk Food: Spanish Paella, a great one-dish meal

The last time we were in Spain, I went to the kitchen of the hotel and worked with the chef, making a seafood paella for the staff. Originally, paella was made at lunchtime for the farmers and laborers. The workers would gather together what was available like tomatoes, onions, rabbit and duck to make this dish.

Tropical Gardening: Leaping lizards, there’s a new kid in town

Hawaii’s garden recently became home to a new Anole. The one we have seen for years is called the American Chameleon because of its ability to change colors. The new guy is the Bahamian Anole that is dark brown with diamond markings on the back and a bright red dewlap of the male. There are others as well like the Cuban Anole on Oahu. We also have iguanas, at least eight species of gecko, skinks and at least two species of true Chameleon. We have one species of snake called the Island Blind Snake. However, none are native to Hawaii. In fact there are no native land lizards, snakes, frogs, toads or turtles. Some came as hitchhikers, stowaways and in the days when there were few laws, in the pet trade. Now it is illegal to bring in most of these types of animals. Most aforementioned are harmless or even beneficial, but can be a nuisance depending on ones attitude toward the environment. Local folks often think of geckos in the home are good luck, and almost everyone has a warm spot in their heart for the Geico Gecko!

Let’s Talk Food: Indian Keema Curry

Want something different and yet quite simple to make? Keema is a popular Indian dish. In India, it is a stew prepared as a curry with minced lamb, goat, or mutton meat, green peas, potatoes, ginger, chili, onions, ghee, garlic and garam masala spices. Keema matar, translated, means “peas and minced meat” and was created by the royal cooks of Mughal India. It was served at special occasions and events like weddings and other celebrations and in Mughal families, it is part of their weekly meal.

Tropical Gardening: The origin of Father’s Day

Father’s Day has been celebrated for over 100 years in the United States. It was founded by Sonora Smart Dodd in Spokane Washington at the local YMCA in 1910. Her father, William Jackson Smart was a Civil War veteran who raised his six children as a single parent. In Catholic countries of Europe it has been celebrated as St. Joseph’s Day since the Middle Ages.

Let’s Talk Food: Korean Kimchi Fried Rice

Got leftover rice in the refrigerator? Kimchi bokkeumbap is a great way to make a meal in one. Just top with a sunny-side up egg and you have a complete meal! The starch molecules in the stale rice have crystallized or retrograded, so the grains are hard and dry, which make for perfect fried rice.