Monday, October 27, 2014

Hawaii Volcanoes and Lava Up-Date: Hale Moana Bed and Breakfast - Safe

Pahoa Entered by Lava - Hale Moana Bed & Breakfast Safe

Aloha Friends,
This is for the many people, who are connected to us and who are hearing about the lava flow on the news and through the internet. This message is for all of you, who are not here on the ground able to assess the developments first hand: The children and I and the B&B are fine and safe!

The lava has progressed closely to the outskirts of Pahoa. Smoke is clearly visible from our town and the front of the flow is about 600 yards or so away from the center of town. Early this morning lava glow was visible through the trees behind Pahoa. Our house/B&B is in Leilani Estates, approximately 7 miles to the south of Pahoa. This area is in no danger of lava inundation. We are completely safe here and we continue to welcome visitors from around the world.

Once the flow crosses the village road and the highway, we will be a very good location to look at and explore the lava flow. The County has built alternate routes and traffic is directed safely along these detours.

I am deeply saddened by the events and I have great compassion for all of our friends and members of the community that are directly affected by the lava. All of us here are going through the emotional process of losing part of the things we love so much. There is inevitability and powerlessness while we are helplessly watching this slow progression. Like many times in life, we have to learn to accept the circumstances around us. It is our courage that will help us to find solutions, overcome adversity and to open new doors. The community here is coming together in a big big way. We have exceptional leadership in our Mayor, the head of Civil Defense, the County Department directors and all of their crews, the utility partners, private contractors, agencies, and all the community members working together. People are working around the clock to make sure everybody is well informed, safe and access to services and basic needs is uninterrupted.

I am asking you to keep us in your thoughts, to stay in touch, to support us through these tough times and to continue to visit Hale Moana Bed & Breakfast and this beautiful area on the Big Island of Hawaii.

I am including this video link for you to see, how the lava crosses the first road and then a second video about the lava flowing through the Buddhist cemetery:

Please, share this with your friends on FB or by e-mail. I am here for you, if you have any questions. 808-965-7015 or or

With deep gratitude for your support and my heartfelt Alohas to you and your families,

Petra Wiesenbauer
Hale Moana Bed & Breakfast

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Hawaii Volcanoes Park - Chain of Crater Road Construction and Closure

“End of the Road” will close during emergency route construction

This road will connect the end of Hwy 130 to the end of Chain of Crater Road in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Hale Moana Bed & Breakfast will then be only about 15 minutes from this world renowned park.

Hawaii National Park, Hawai‘i – Work begins Friday, October 24 on an emergency access route between Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park and Kalapana along the historic Chain of Craters Road-Kalapana alignment, from the park side.
The half-mile section of paved road that pedestrians use to access the lava that covered it in 2003 will be closed as of Friday. The popular “Road Closed” sign enrobed in lava will be removed to become part of park history. Other closures include the historic flows and coastal area alongside the construction.

Hōlei Sea Arch, the turnaround, bathrooms, and concession stand near the turnaround will remain open.

Motorists can expect traffic delays early Thursday and Friday mornings as large bulldozers and heavy equipment are transported from the summit of Kīlauea down the 19-mile stretch of Chain of Craters Road to the turnaround.

“We intend to reopen the closed area as soon as it is safe to do so and the bulldozers move closer to Kalapana,” said Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando. “But now is the time to take those last photos of the iconic ‘Road Closed’ sign before it is removed on Friday,” she said.

Last week, bulldozers from the Kalapana side graded the 2.2-mile portion of Highway 130 covered in lava to where it meets the park boundary and becomes Chain of Craters Road. This week, crews start to grade the 5.4 miles through the park to the Kalapana boundary. The work is being done by the County of Hawai‘i, and overseen by the National Park Service and Federal Highways Administration.

Opened in 1965, Chain of Craters Road has been covered and blocked by lava for 37 years of its 49-year existence.

The emergency route is being built to assist residents of lower Puna, whose access to the rest of the island would be cut off if lava from Kīlauea Volcano’s June 27 flow reaches the ocean.                                                                  

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park News Release
Release Date:  October 21, 2014
Contact: Jessica Ferracane/ Public Affairs Specialist, (808) 985-6018;

NPS Photos:

  • A bulldozer approaches the boundary at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park last week from the Kalapana side. NPS Photo/David Boyle 
  • The iconic "Road Closed" sign. NPS Photo/Michael Szoenyi 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Big Island - Kalapana - Uncle Robert's Farmers Market

Uncle Robert's Farmers Market

 A Taste of Old Hawai‘i

by Denise Laitinen
published in Ke Ola Magazine issue Sep-Oct 2012

Judging from the size of the crowd, Uncle Robert’s Farmers Market is the worst kept secret in lower Puna. Held every Wednesday night from 5-9 p.m. at Uncle Robert’s in Kaimū, Kalapana, it’s the only nighttime farmers market on the island. It’s also one of the busiest. With vendors offering locally grown produce, baked goods, hand made jewelry, freshly cooked food, and live music, it feels more like a festival than a market.

“I don’t call it a farmers market, I call it a social market,” says Ikaika Marzo, one of Uncle Robert’s hānai grandchildren, as he looks across the crowd. Long, communal picnic tables in the dining pavilion are filled with people listening to the Kalapana Awa band perform and enjoying food from one of the many vendors at the market. A little girl is on the dance floor trying to dance hula to the music.

Beyond the picnic tables, throngs of people can be seen strolling the aisles of the farmers market, admiring the produce and wares available. “It’s a family place,” says Sam Keli‘iho‘omalu, one of Uncle Robert’s 11 children. “It’s a fun place.” It’s reminiscent of old Hawai‘i, and that’s the way we like to keep it,” says Prince Keli‘iho‘omlau, another one of Uncle Robert’s sons. “It’s very local, very relaxed.”

Situated on Uncle Robert’s four-acre family compound at the end of Kapoho-Kalapana Road in Kaimū, the site was already home to Uncle Robert’s Awa Bar and the starting point for Kalapana Cultural Tours (operated by Marzo and Andrew Keli‘iho‘omalu, one of Uncle Robert’s grandsons)
when Uncle Robert’s son Sam decided to establish the market. The market is truly a family affair and many of Uncle Robert’s extended family can be found working either behind a booth counter, directing traffic and parking, or up on stage performing. “The majority of people that come down here have jobs, so we decided to have the market at night,” adds Marzo.

Upon opening at the start of this year, the market was an instant success. Within six months there was a waiting list of vendors wanting to participate. Some of the vendors, like Tina Aiona, are related to Uncle Robert (she is his niece), while many others are area residents looking to supplement their
income, or just make an income.

Vendor Dave Cardall says he’s a house painter by profession but work has been hard to come by with the recession, so he started a second career creating custom jewelry. The market gives him an opportunity to showcase his wares. “I’m reinventing myself,” he says with a smile.

“We’re pretty much making our own economy down here,” says Marzo. The market is about more than food and music. It also features a permanent display depicting information on the history of the area with pictures from the 1990 lava flow. There’s also extensive information displayed about the
Hawaiian sovereignty movement, something dear to Uncle Robert Keli‘iho‘omalu’s heart and soul.
“Everything about Uncle Robert is about sovereignty,” says Garry Hoffeld, the island-wide organizer for Moku o Keawe Reinstated Lawful Hawaiian Government. For visitors and recently arrived residents, the displays are their first, and sometimes only, exposure to these historical and political issues.

The market is also reflective of Uncle Robert’s strong spirit of aloha, attracting residents and visitors alike. “You see a lot of local people and a lot of visitors,” says Lisa Bowring of Aloha Exotics, who sells chocolate-covered chili peppers and strawberries. “It’s a very festive atmosphere.” “It’s a mini ho’olaule‘a (festival) every Wednesday,” says Kea‘au resident Tracey Kauahi.

Contact writer Denise Laitinen: