By Fern Gavelek, photos by Suzi Patterson
NETWORKING—Hawaii Community College—Pālamanui’s open-air campus played host to the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce for its April AfterHours and annual Kuleana Green Business Fair.
Attendees visited the booths of 16 KKCC businesses, all designated as “green” through the Chamber’s Kuleana Green Business program. Launched in 2006, the program lauds members who practice social, environmental and economic responsibility.
In addition to sharing information, fair participants offered product samples, including reef-safe sunscreen and a handy list of where to buy it locally. Using a pair of virtual reality goggles, Body Glove offered a tour of favorite Kona snorkel spot, Pawai Bay.
Under the direction of chef-instructor Kerstin Pfeiffer, first year Pālamanui culinary students served a welcome array of appetizers: spring rolls, chicken and andouille sausage gumbo, mojo Cuban pork bao bun, crab crostini, ulu hummus with veggies, and desserts, plus refreshing fruit and minty punches. Pfeiffer said some of the items are available at the school’s café, open most Tuesdays and Wednesdays during school sessions.
Kalei Haleamau-Kam, Pālamanui interim college director, welcomed attendees and stressed the campus offers West Hawai‘i residents “the best accessible and affordable academic resource.” The school offers a variety of associate degrees and certificates, plus 50-some bachelor and graduate degrees available via distance learning through UH Center.
UH—Pālamanui, a newly designated KKCC Kuleana Green Business, displayed info on its latest academic offering, a Sustainability Academic Subject Certificate. Available starting Fall 2019, the academic tract integrates sustainability themes and practices across the curriculum. An interdisciplinary field of study, the tract will give students insights into aspects of the human world from multiple perspectives: cultural, technology, environmental and social sciences.
Dr. Richard Stevens, UH–Pālamanui humanities instructor, shared details about the ancient trail and dryland forest restoration projects surrounding the school campus. He said the projects are providing ample learning opportunities for students, faculty, staff and community members. A fair booth detailed how project participants have been removing brush and planting native plants—wiliwili, iliahi (sandalwood) and a‘alii—while attendees were invited to view the school’s fenced demonstration garden.
“It’s said that 95% of Kona’s Dryland Forest is lost,” said Dr. Stevens. “It’s our determination to bring it back.”
Stevens also dissected the place name of Pālamanui to pa, enclosure; la, lama tree; and nui, big. “This area was a large lama tree enclosure that was created for healing,” he explained. “Lama is a wood that emanates healthy vibrations.” Stevens shared a Trail to Save Ancient trees is in the works to connect 20 lama trees. “We have also discovered a grove of about 30 wiliwili trees,” he added.
For more info on HCC—Pālamanui, visit http://hawaii.hawaii.edu/palamanui/.
As part of the event program, Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Wendy Laros announced Keauhou Veterinary Hospital is the 2019 Kuleana Green Business Member of the Year. Owners Dr. Jacob Head, a Kona native, and Jolene Head, accepted the award to rousing applause.
Laros cited the veterinary hospital’s commitment to social, economic and environmental responsibility through involvement with local organizations and events, exemplary treatment of employees and facility renovation to make its 1960s building more energy efficient.
Mahalo to the 2019 Kuleana Green Business Fair Exhibitors:
Body Glove Cruises
Friends of NELHA
Hawaii Community College—Pālamanui
Jackʻs Diving Locker
Ke Kai Ola, The Marine Mammal Center
Malama Kai Foundation
Pacific Blue Catchment
ProVision Solar, Inc.
Slow Food Hawaii/Kumau Cattle Company (non-member)
Sustainable Island Products
The Kohala Center
Waikoloa Dry Forest Initiative
The next AfterHours is 5-7 p.m. Wednesday, May 15 at Kona Coffee & Tea in Kailua-Kona. Signup at www.kona-kohala.com
or phone 329-1758.
NEW KULEANA BUSINESSES—New Kuleana Green Business members hold up their new Chamber of Commerce membership certificates. From left to right: Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce Board Member Teri Leicher of Jack's Diving Locker, Kalai Haleamau-Kam of Hawaiʻi Community College – Pālamanui, Johannes Seidel of CarbonBuddy, Candee Ellsworth of Malama Kai Foundation and Corey Yeaton of Pacific Blue Catchment.
APRIL AFTERHOURS HOSTS—Faculty, staff and administrators at Hawai‘i Community College—Palamanui were on hand to talk story with Chamber attendees.
FUTURE FOOD SERVICE INDUSTRY PROS—Under the direction of chef-instructor Kerstin Pfeiffer, first year Palamanui culinary students posed for a photo after preparing and serving an array of appetizers for attendees.