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A Letter From the Editor

When will the Matrix get here?  It won’t be soon enough.  I need some sort of port that connects to my cerebrum so that I can upload information on the fly… like now.  This past week, aside from working full-time and managing a staff of 25 people, I spent about 13 hours doing math, 12 hours studying accounting, wrote three papers and read so much that my head is spinning.  I know you guys are feeling me, cause you’re in the same rickety boat!
If the Matrix were here, I could upload that movie that I need to watch for my law class, study for my accounting exam, attend all of my staff and board meetings and write this article while still having time left over.  I plan on ordering pizza tonight so that I can do my online math quiz and still eat food.  I found coupons so that I can order two large pizza’s for the price of one, enabling me to have uninterrupted sustenance for days.  Shwabang!  One less aspect of life that I have to think about.  If the matrix were here I wouldn’t even have to pick up the phone to order the darned pizza.   After all, human interaction is kinda overrated, right?
Could you imagine though?  Being able to upload information whenever and however you wanted?  I could learn to speak Chinese, how to fly a plane and how to fix a car in seconds.  I could have a full understanding of chess strategy, astrophysics and amoebas in moments.  I really hope that someone is seriously working on this technology.
As I was daydreaming about Matrix life and all of it’s splendid benefits, I also thought about the fact that in the film, they claimed that humans had rejected the original version of the Matrix.  This was supposedly due to the fact that the original Matrix was a perfect utopia so the human mind refused to accept it.  Last night, as I walked to class, I realized what a bunch of garbage that is.  Maybe when we are younger it might be more like that, and certainly there are quite a few individuals that never grow out of needing drama to function, but how I’m feeling right now, is like ‘sign me up!’  I would love to live in a farging utopia!  No kidding.
Somewhere where your car never needs to be towed, there is always parking, pollution doesn’t affect the environment in a negative way, everyone gets along and war doesn’t exist?  Who would reject that?  A crazy person, that’s who.  On the other hand, I see the merit in suffering.  Typically, the moment of personal growth occurs when we receive a rather swift kick in the pants from life.  We either move forward or stay where we are, and suffer some more.
Weighing the options, I suddenly feel compelled to not have it easy and trudge my way through the pain, stress, worry and fear that may come my way without longing for a Matrix jack that I can plug into when I need an escape or to pass an exam.  The theory is that it is all going to make me stronger in the long run.  So, lets waste no more time contemplating the Matrix and it’s endless myriad of perfectly cooked steak, sun-filled skies and women in red dresses.
Although… it would be pretty awesome to be a bullet-dodging, pavement stretching kung fu master.  Maybe next semester I’ll have time to work on that.

Lara Hughes
Ke Kalahea
Editor in Chief-ess


Snowden: Most Wanted Man in the World or National Hero?

Espionage – Who Is Considered the Enemy?

By Rachel Nishikawa, Senior Staff Writer

On Feb. 14, The Davis Levin First Amendment Conference in Honolulu addressed the subject of the future of the First Amendment in a surveillance society. The ACLU of Hawai’i Foundation screened the documentary “Citizenfour” followed by a live video conference with Edward Snowden and his attorney, Ben Wizner. The speakers touched on issues such as the possible future of free speech in America, and balancing government secrecy in wartime against the public’s right to know.
Once an anonymous name among the other intelligence agents at Booz Allen Hamilton, a subcontractor of the National Security Agency, Edward Snowden lived a low-key life in Waipahu, O’ahu until May 2013 when he deliberately leaked confidential files about NSA surveillance programs and fled the country. According to UK newspaper, The Daily Telegraph, neighbors of Snowden and his girlfriend commented on the number of boxes that had piled up from top to bottom in the garage over the past few months and reported them leaving the apartment on May 1.
Snowden requested a leave of absence at the firm due to being recently diagnosed with epilepsy. May 20 he boarded a flight to Hong Kong, China where he then remained to wait out the aftermath. The New York Times named three people that he had disclosed the information to leading up to his departure; Glenn Greenwald, journalist for a UK newspaper, The Guardian. Laura Poitras, documentary filmmaker, and Ewen MacAskill, another Guardian reporter.
In his series of interviews from Hong Kong, that have gotten over 3 million views on YouTube, Snowden makes it clear that anonymity was not his intention but rather to personally put the information in the hands of American people in hopes that with awareness they will start to take a stand for their freedom.
“I’m willing to sacrifice [my former life] because I can’t in good conscience allow the U.S. government to destroy privacy, internet freedom and basic liberties for people around the world with this massive surveillance machine they’re secretly building,” stated Snowden.
Immediately after The Guardian released the information, The Washington Post headlined their following article, “U.S. charges Snowden with espionage.” Snowden comments in an interview that he was surprised the NSA couldn’t identify which files he copied, and if he is charged with espionage what does that say about America.
Legal Dictionary defines espionage as “betraying U.S. Government secrets to a foreign nation.” Though he didn’t give files to a nation outside of the U.S., he just made them known to the American public, does that make us the enemy?
Ron Paul, two-time Republican presidential candidate, famously quotes on the topic, “My understanding is that espionage means giving secret or classified information to the enemy.
Since Snowden shared information with the American people, his indictment for espionage could reveal (or confirm) that the U.S. Government views you and me as the enemy.”
Facing espionage charges in the U.S. can lead to jail time for up to 30 years. Following the U.S. Government’s desire for China to send him back, Snowden moved to Moscow, where they would grant him temporary asylum for a year. CBS News confirmed that since 2014 he has been granted residency in Moscow and his current whereabouts are not revealed publicly.
Patsy Iwasaki, who teaches the journalism classes here at the University of Hawaii at Hilo, says Edward Snowden is a very interesting figure in the media. She has an assignment for her Advanced Media Writing class where students need to write an editorial, opinion article on one of three topics. One of the topics is on Edward Snowden and part of the prompt asks, “Is he a whistleblower in a true journalistic sense for revealing the mass surveillance to the public and should be protected under the Whistleblower Protection Act? Or did he cross the line, jeopardize U.S. intelligence, place the United States’ security at risk and should be returned back to the United States to face the consequences?

 According to the ACLU news release, footage from the conference in Honolulu was broadcast simultaneously on Olelo Community Television, Akaku Maui Community Media and participating community media stations statewide.

Women: Own Your Sexuality

By Gabriel Tebow, Arts & Community Writer

Women everywhere can often-times feel disassociated from their sexuality and their vaginas. They may view sex as something more important for men and, thus, not get pleasure from it. Sex can even be painful for some women. It’s not because they are bad at sex, rather, it’s that they don’t know their own vaginas and, if this is the case, then how can their partners know what to do to pleasure them?
Women can and should take control of their sex lives. The vagina is seen as taboo in media and society. We could even say that many women are almost ashamed of their vaginas, but they are amazing organs that, according to Sex and Relationship Coach Kim Anami, give women energy in life. Anami is a strong proponent of women’s empowerment through vaginal strengthening. She says on her internet site, “You can’t tune into your sexual energy and sexual pleasure if you can’t even feel your vagina.”
In order to use the ‘sexual energy’ Anami is talking about, women are encouraged to masturbate and strengthen their vaginal muscles. Some women may feel uncomfortable with this concept, but masturbation is healthy and can improve how women see themselves. Masturbation can also improve people’s sex lives. If a woman knows what gives her an orgasm, she can tell her partner how to better pleasure her.
It is possible for women to have better sex and more intense orgasms through vaginal strengthening. The vagina is surrounded by muscle, making it stronger than many people think. Like any other muscle, the vagina can be exercised.
In 1947, Dr. Alfred Kegel created an exercise to strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor and vagina. The Kegel exercise works by clenching the muscles associated with the pelvic floor and the vagina. According to Anami, this old method is ineffective and she claims that she has “yet to meet a single woman—amongst thousands—who has had success with Kegels.” Anami suggests an ancient Taoist method of lifting with the vaginal muscles. It’s a type of vaginal weight lifting. According to Guinness World Records, one woman,Tatyana Kozhevnikova, can lift 31 pounds with her vagina. The method uses a smooth jade egg or similar object that a woman then grips with her pelvic floor muscles. Anami says the egg provides “resistance and feedback to the pelvic floor muscles,” strengthening the muscles surrounding the vagina.  Anami also provides online classes and workshops. Information about the exercises, workshops and classes can be found at
Bottom line?  Get to know your body and appreciate it.  You don’t necessarily have to do ‘vaginal weight lifting’, but you should be aware of your own sexuality, what feels good to you and not be embarrassed by it.
Another way women in Hilo can find inner strength is by going to see this year’s Vagina Monologues. The 2015 Vagina Monologues is presented by the Women’s Center at the University of Hawaii at Hilo, University Radio Hilo, and UH Hilo Student Association. The show is produced by Juanita Peres-Revell and co-directed by Laura Acevedo and Leinala Gamulo. There will be two showings on Saturday Feb. 28, 2015 at the Palace Theater located at 38 Haili Street in Downtown Hilo. The first showing is at 3 p.m. and the second is at 7 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online starting Feb. 1, 2015 via the UH Hilo Women’s Center website and Facebook page for $10 in advance or for $15 at the door. Portions of the proceeds go to Hale Ohana Domestic Violence Shelter & UH Hilo’s Women’s Center.
 If you have questions that you want answered in the next issue, email S.R. Insegnante at

Watch For ‘Sharks’ While Surfing the Web

How Is Your Information Being Shared With the World?

By Britni Schock, News Writer
Rose Navalta, Graphic Designer

Technology is all around us and a major part of our daily routines. The information we share across these technologies is not always something we want the public to know about, but with data and personal information getting into the wrong hands we have less control. Anyone can be at risk, with their information being used for identity theft and online security breaches. With the awareness of these security threats being brought to the attention of government officials, we are seeing some changes in privacy protection and security measures.
In a statement from the Office of the Press Secretary, about new cybersecurity proposals President Obama said, “In this interconnected, digital world, there are going to be opportunities for hackers to engage in cyber assaults both in the private sector and the public sector. Now, our first order of business is making sure that we do everything to harden sites and prevent those kinds of attacks from taking place…But even as we get better, the hackers are going to get better, too.” Obama addresses the fact that we have a lot of our information available on various databases and that this information must be protected from hackers. Even as security becomes tighter, the hackers adapt and find ways to retrieve information.
According to a recent Reuters article titled, “Obama Seeks $14 Billion to Boost U.S. Cybersecurity Defenses,” the president has proposed a budget for the 2016 fiscal year of $14 billion to increase cyber security systems. The funding has been rising over the past few years because of the rise in security threats. These security threats are from domestic and foreign sources and pose risks to many U.S. government organizations, companies and the general public. Obama also commented on the White House website saying, “America’s economic prosperity, national security, and our individual liberties depend on our commitment to securing cyberspace and maintaining an open, interoperable, secure, and reliable Internet. Although the threats are serious and they constantly evolve, I believe that if we address them effectively, we can ensure that the Internet remains an engine for economic growth and a platform for the free exchange of ideas.” Obama seems confident that the security systems can be made secure and used in a positive way for the people and the nation as a whole. The Internet is a tool that a majority rely on for many reasons and this makes it a vulnerable target for hackers. Being aware of potential hackers is important for internet users, as well as, showing caution when sharing personal information online.
Recently the University of Hawaii system has be subject to regular phishing attempts in student email. The University of Hawaii system Information Security Officer, Jodi Ito, commented on these recent attacks that students have been facing and the security measures taken. Ito manages and maintains the UH Hilo email system, which is the main target of the phishing attempts, however phone calls have become another way that victims are being targeted. Ito also says that the hackers are after student usernames and passwords so that they can get access to personal email accounts to send out additional emails to gather further information. It is advised to not give out your username and/or password to anyone unless you have been in contact with them and you are fully aware of why they need your information. If you receive an email from someone that you have not been recently in contact with and they are asking for your personal information it could most likely be a phishing attempt. At the beginning of each semester is when the phishing attempts are reportedly the highest, because that is when students are most vulnerable. Starting a new semester can be hectic and there is a lot of information being presented to students so they are more likely to overlook suspicious emails. The UH Hilo system is continually monitoring student email to minimize phishing attempts but students need to take an active role in protecting their information from these threats.

New Cupcake Bakery Opens Its Doors

Flavors Include: Vanilla Chai Tea, Chocolate Bourbon Pecan and Nutella

By Korina Leong, Senior Staff Writer
Matt Arellano, Photographer
Kellie Miyazu and  Rose Navalta, Graphic Designers

A new cupcake bakery has recently opened in the Manono Street Marketplace called Cupcakes, BOOM!
Hilo resident and owner Nikki Kekaualua explains that she is a self-taught passionate baker that felt Hilo needed, and was more than ready for, a cupcake shop. Cupcakes, BOOM! features a variety of flavors daily that gives them an advantage over other cupcake shops and the variety keeps their customers happy.
Kainoa Thornton, Hawai’i Community College Culinary graduate, is the Cupcakes, BOOM! baker. Thornton reveals that Hawaii Community College’s two year program has taught him everything he needed to know in order to be successful post-graduation in the culinary world. In the culinary program, the first year consists of working in the Hawaii Community College cafeteria in all possible positions. The second year consists of working in the cafeteria and cafe developing “show order cooking” and the third year students work in the on-campus gourmet restaurant, Bamboo Hale in all positions including creating three-course meals. He continues on to explain that the program requires hard work february 35but that there are lots of opportunities and employers who inquire about possible student employees. Hawaii Community College’s chefs try to be helpful towards their students and even offer time to practice before and after class.
Although the program is designed to teach students versatility, Thornton always preferred baking and was more than happy to join the Cupcakes, BOOM! team. “The job is stressful but Nikki is considerate and allows us the freedom to try new ideas.” One of Thornton’s jobs is to collaborate on weekly menus. When time allows, Thornton also bakes brownies and their popular mini-cheesecakes. Thornton’s top three favorite cupcakes are vanilla chai tea, chocolate bourbon pecan and Nutella.
Tori Hiro graduated from the culinary program with honors and is Cupcakes, BOOM!’s decorator. She helps build and fill special order cakes as well as frost cupcakes with buttercream, icings and ganache. Hiro excitedly explains that working at Cupcakes, BOOM! was a great fit for her not only because she was able to work with her classmates but also because it has a great atmosphere where she is allowed to hone her skills and be as creative as she wants, especially when it comes to deciding what decoration will go on the unique cupcakes that Cupcakes, BOOM! offers. With the daily cupcake flavor change Hiro estimates that they have already tried about 100 flavors. Tori’s favorite flavors are the liliko’i, pine-berry (pineapple and strawberry) and the vanilla chai tea cupcakes.
When asked how they come up with such creative cupcakes, like the sweet lemon tang (lemon cupcake topped with lemon buttercream, strawberry drizzle and a lemon wedge), the cupcake burger (vanilla cupcake with a brownie center) and fruity pebble cupcake, both Kefebruary 34kaualua and Thornton divulge that anything and everything is an inspiration. All of the employees are already experienced, mixing various flavors. All that’s left is the fun part… trial and error. Some cupcakes aren’t always as popular with the customers, such as the carrot cake and lavender honey cupcakes, so they are no longer sold. Kekaualua is excited about the next new flavor that they will launch called the green goddess which will integrate the Naked drink. She hopes that this cupcake will exceed customer expectation. Kekaualua’s favorite cupcakes are the pumpkin, li hing mui mango and cookies and cream, but explains that the shop’s most popular cupcakes are liliko’i, Reese’s and strawberry.
UH Hilo agriculture and agroecology student Kodie Solis-Kalani enjoys Cupcakes, BOOM! because of the variety and creativity of the different flavored cupcakes. Cupcakes, BOOM! has brought a little bit of fun to Hilo and can’t wait to see what other flavors they come up with. Allie Burian, biology student, loves the concept of Cupcakes, BOOM and enjoys their cupcakes. Her favorite is the red velvet divine, “perfect amount of chocolate and the cream cheese frosting is on point.”
UH Alumni Lei Kawelohas frequented Cupcakes, BOOM! often since their opening and has also ordered a Finding Nemo themed cake for her son’s first birthday party. Her favorite cupcakes are the coconut and the red velvet divine. She enjoys the liliko’i flavored cupcakes as well but says it’s a little sweet for her taste.
Kekaualua currently employs three Hawaii Community College culinary graduates and has one UH Hilo intern.
She explains that the great thing about working with culinary students is that they are experienced in the kitchen and extremely easy to work with. If interested in being an intern at Cupcakes, BOOM! please e-mail your resume to
Fondant or cream cakes can be special ordered by calling (808) 430-1653. Their website is currently under construction but follow their instagram @cupcakesboom and facebook page for their weekly menu.