Let’s Talk Food: Omega-3 fatty acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are the structural materials in almost every cell in our bodies. The three main types of omega-3 fats — EPA or eicosapentaenoic acid, DHA or docosahexaenoic acid, and ALA or alpha-linolenic acid — are healthy fats known as polyunsaturated fats. These fats are best known for heart health benefits but the three together are great for brain, eye, skin and hair health.

Volcano Watch: Using earthquakes to look under the hood at Pahala

Deep beneath Pahala, a town located in the southern part of the Island of Hawaii, is currently the most seismically active region of the Hawaiian Islands. Frequent, deep earthquakes (greater than 20 km or 12 miles below sea level) are felt regularly by local residents, and, occasionally, people across the entire island.

Tropical Gardening: Grow ferns for that cool look

Ferns have been around for over 360 million years. Giant tree fern forests were common for millions of years but they gave way as flowering plants evolved to take their place. Today most of the nearly 800 species of tree ferns are considered endangered because of climate change. Even in Hawaii we see a fraction of the tree fern forests that existed before the 19th century. The introduction of pigs by early Polynesians and later the introduction of cattle played an important part of forest destruction.

After leak, religious rift over legal abortion on display

The leaked U.S. Supreme Court draft opinion that could end or limit abortion access for millions has sent shockwaves through diverse faith communities. Opponents of abortion view it as morally wrong, and in conservative Christian corners, the draft opinion has sparked hope. However many members of minority faiths that don’t prohibit abortion fear their religious freedom will be infringed upon. Some faith leaders are preparing to support women who travel to more liberal states seeking abortions if 1973’s Roe v. Wade decision is overturned by the court. Polls show a majority of Americans support abortion rights.

Hilo Public Library team places first at Heluhelu Quiz Bowl

The First Annual Heluhelu Quiz Bowl, an updated quiz bowl based upon the earlier Newbery Quiz Bowl, was held on April 7 at the Mauna Lani Resort. Nine teams of fourth through seventh graders, from across the island, participated in a fast paced question competition based on 30 books they had read during the school year.

Volcano Watch: Kilauea’s dynamic landscape: Reflections on the past four years

May 3 marked the fourth anniversary of the start of Kilauea’s historic 2018 eruption that covered much of lower Puna with lava flows and dropped the crater floor of the summit. This anniversary is an appropriate time to reflect on the dynamic landscape we share and the events of the past 4 years. At the same time, we’re considering what these recent changes might mean for future activity at Kilauea.

Tropical Gardening: Chocolate, plants make great gifts for Mother’s Day

Sunday is Mother’s Day and if you forgot any of those favorite women in your life, you are in real trouble! Trying to wrack your brains for just the right last-minute gift can be frustrating. Chocolates are often a favorite gift, but why not go one step further and treat your loved ones to the Big Island Chocolate Festival on May 14 at the Waikoloa Beach Marriot Resort and Spa. The event is an all-VIP affair with a four-course dinner service. There will be unlimited wine and beer plus a newly launched specialty chocolate spritzer by Ola Brew, according to the organizers. There will also be live music and dancing. Other chocolate surprises will be served as well. For tickets visit www.bigislandchocolatefestival.com/tickets.

Tropical Gardening: May Day is Lei Day

May Day is Lei Day but in Hawaii nei, we celebrate flowers of all kinds all year long. Traditionally, everyone should be wearing flowers. Fragrant plumeria, pikake, tuberose, puakenikeni and orchid leis are appropriate gifts today since it is Mother’s Day weekend. Gals and even guys may wear flowers in their hair here. Of course in islands to the south like Tahiti, Samoa and Tonga, you will see islanders adorned with flowers all year long. Tropical Polynesia is well known for using flowers instead of expensive jewels for adornment. That is why folks fill their gardens with flowering shrubs and trees so that they will have an abundant supply at any time.

Let’s Talk Food: Who is James Beard?

We recently saw on the front page of the Hawaii Tribune-Herald a story about two of our finest chefs, Mark Pomaski and Brian Hirata, who were nominated for this year’s James Beard Award.

Volcano Watch: Celebrating Earth Day

Earth Day (https://www.earthday.org/) was first established on April 22, 1970, to raise awareness of some of the harmful effects industrialization was having on the environment. It has since become the largest secular observance on the planet.

Tropical Gardening: Australia’s silver oak in full bloom in West Hawaii

April showers bring May Flowers. Some in Hawaii are from Australia. When it comes to strange animals and plants, Australia is in the lead for its share of the unusual to unique. This ancient mini continent has mammals that lay eggs to the marsupials that carry their premature babies in pouches. Recent fires put many in the animal kingdom at risk and the plant kingdom as well. Some Australian ecosystems will be altered for centuries and some may never recover.

Let’s Talk Food: It’s Merrie Monarch week

After two years of no audience, Merrie Monarch is coming back with an audience. It’s a celebration of the Hawaiian culture, the excitement of the hula halaus, the smell of fresh flowers, and the gathering of friends and family!

Volcano Watch: From Mauna Loa or Kilauea? A geologic whodunnit

Mauna Loa and Kilauea are the two most active volcanoes on the Island of Hawaii, and they have overlapping eruption histories. They are located in close proximity, with their summit craters only about 34 kilometers (21 miles) apart. In fact, part of Kilauea is built on the southeast flank of Mauna Loa, which is the older of the two volcanoes.

Tropical Gardening: Easter healing gardens create peace of mind

What has the Easter Bunny and eggs have to do with Easter? Actually, the return of Jesus after the Crucifixion, has little to do with bunnies and eggs. However the concept of rebirth and resurrection was based on the pagan holiday of Eostra that celebrated new life and fertility. Early Christians connected the two events and thus we celebrate with joy rather than sorrow. The date palm is associated with the Easter Holy Week because it was the leaves of that palm used to wave as Jesus rode into Jerusalem. In many Catholic countries, the leaves are now woven to create intricate art forms used during Holy Week.