Hawaii Today edited by Derek Paiva Page: 1 2 Next>>

James_MacArthur_Hawaii_Five_0James MacArthur, who played Det. Danny “Danno” Williams over 11 seasons of the original Hawaii Five-0, has died. He was 72.

MacArthur passed away early this morning in Florida, according to a statement from his family, shared with People Magazine. The cause of MacArthur’s death was not given.

MacArthur was the last member of the long-running  Hawaii-filmed CBS crime drama’s original cast to pass away, after Jack Lord (Det. Steve McGarrett), Kam Fong (Chin Ho Kelly) and Gilbert Lani "Zulu" Kauhi (Kono Kalakaua). 

Though a rising stage and screen star prior to his Five-0 casting, MacArthur found his greatest fame playing the boyish-looking, ever-dutiful crime-battling partner to Lord’s ever-stoic McGarrett from 1968 to 1979. MacArthur was 31 when he took on the Danno role in Hawaii Five-0’s second episode, after the actor cast in the pilot episode fizzled with test audiences and was let go. He remained with the series through all but its final season.

MacArthur didn’t stay in Hawaii after ending his Five-0 run, returning to his stage career on the mainland. But when asked by interviewers, he always spoke fondly of his years in the Islands. He returned to Hawaii whenever he could, too, even appearing in the never-aired pilot episode of a Hawaii Five-0 TV remake in 1997, and a 2003 stage production at Honolulu’s historic Hawaii Theatre.

With MacArthur unable to attend last month’s Waikiki Beach premiere of the new CBS reboot of Hawaii Five-0, his fellow Five-0 cast member Al Harrington (who played Det. Ben Kokua, from 1972 to 1975) was asked to read a letter MacArthur had written to the new cast and crew.

Among MacArthur’s words: “I can remember back to when (Five-0 creator) Lenny Freeman called to invite me to participate in the original version. My first thought was, ‘Great! If I’m lucky, this is my free ticket to 13 weeks in Hawaii. Count me in!’ Little did I know that 40 years later, people would still be calling out to me to ‘Book ‘em, Danno’ wherever I go.”


The thousands gathered at the Waikiki premiere cheered when MacArthur revealed that he was looking forward to actually appearing in an episode of the new Five-0 “when the time is right” and that he couldn’t wait “to see what the writers have in store for me.”

Harrington was teary-eyed as he read the final words of MacArthur’s letter to the new cast and crew: “May you all enjoy Hawaii and its fabulous people as much as I continue to do to this day, and may your association with Hawaii Five-0 be as successful and fulfilling as mine has been for me.”

MacArthur could be a fun interview, too.

One of my first-ever writing assignments as a college-age editorial intern for HAWAII Magazine sister pub Honolulu Magazine back in 1997 was to ring up MacArthur on the mainland and ask him what his favorite episode of Five-0 was. MacArthur was friendly and talkative, spending much of the first 10 minutes of our chat making sure I caught him up with Hawaii news.

When I finally fired off my question to him, however, there was silence. Too long a silence, actually.

"Uh, Mr. MacArthur, are you still there?" I asked.

MacArthur let loose a throaty laugh and apologized. He'd been giving his final answer much thought and was chuckling recalling his episode choice, titled "A Death in the Family," where Chin Ho is murdered on an undercover assignment.

MacArthur quipped that while actor Kam Fong and he were great friends, "It's my favorite episode because with Kam gone, I always got my fair share at lunch."

Then he laughed hard again.

MacArthur is survived by his wife of 25 years, Helen Beth, four children and seven grandchildren. Memorial services will be held in Nyack, New York (where he was raised by adopted parents playwright Charles MacArthur and legendary actress Helen Hayes), Palm Desert, Calif., and Honolulu, Hawaii.

Photo: Paramount

rainforest_zoo_Hawaii_draws_visitors_Big_Island“Ten years ago, we didn’t have many visitors,” says Panaewa Rainforest Zoo & Gardens director Pam Mizuno, “but this past April, we had more than 4,000 people in one day.”

The crowd that gathered even caught zoo vendors by surprise.

“All the food vendors sold out, and the shave ice guy made $600 in three hours,” she says. “We didn’t expect that big of a crowd for our Earth Day celebration.”

It wasn’t always like this. The Panaewa Zoo is the only natural rainforest zoo in the U.S. But for years, most travelers drove right past the zoo on their way to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, not knowing it was there. Big Island residents who did know about the 12-acre rainforest zoo, which opened in 1978, rarely bothered to stop for a visit, even though admission was free.

Times have changed.

“The zoo wasn’t the way you see it today,” says Mizuno. “Now there are more animals, plants and trees in the garden.”

It was the Hilo community that transformed the free zoo. “We have the Big Island Water Garden Club taking care of the water garden pond and the giant Victoria water lilies. The prisoners at the Hawaii Community Correctional Center come in twice a week to cut the grass,” says Mizuno. “We get Lions and Key Club members, and utilize all the volunteers we can. We’re grateful for the number of supporters.”

Many of the plants and flowers have been donated by the Hawaii Chapter of the American Bamboo Society, the Hilo Orchid Society, the Hawaiian Island Palm Society and others. The Big Island’s locally owned grocery outlet, KTA Super Stores, provides free fruits and vegetables for the zoo’s wildlife.

Even some of the animals were donated by people in the community. The zoo is funded entirely by Hawaii county and private donations. Admission is free, but visitor donations are welcome.

Panaewa Rainforest Zoo and Garden’s main attraction is Namaste, a rare, white Bengal tiger. Dirk Arthur, a former magician at a Las Vegas resort, donated the cub in 1999.



One of the best things about checking our e-mail on any given workday is finding one or two of the dozens of snapshots sent in by our reader ohana each week for HawaiiMagazine.com's Reader Photo of the Week contest.

We’re almost on our third year of asking readers to send us their best photos taken in Hawaii—the places, scenery, people and, really, anything that captures a moment of life in the Islands. And if you’ll allow us a moment to boast, we think we’ve accumulated a truly stunning gallery of HawaiiMagazine.com Reader Photo of the Week winning photos.

From stunning sunrise and sunset photos taken on nearly every island, to snapshots of our lush rainforests and valleys, to clear blue and stormy gray Hawaiian skies, to unforgettable vacation moments, our reader ohana always manages to surprise and amaze us with their great eye for capturing Hawaii on camera.

Inspired by our Reader Photo of the Week winners? Send us one of your best Hawaii photos for consideration!

Each week’s winning photo gets a weeklong residency on our HawaiiMagazine.com homepage and a lifetime spot in our Reader Photo of the Week winners gallery. For added inspiration, each week’s winning photographer also receives a one-pound bag of 100% Kona-grown coffee from Hula Daddy.

Since 2002, Hula Daddy owners Lee Paterson and Karen Jue have produced consistently award-winning roasts from their farm in the heart of the Big Island’s Kona Coffee Belt. We’ve been longtime fans of Lee and Karen’s crisp, flavorful 100% Kona-grown coffee. Our thanks to Hula Daddy for offering our winners such a fantastic prize, and sending it straight to their doorsteps.

You’ll find contest rules, more information and the e-mail address to send us your photos on HawaiiMagazine.com's Reader Photo of the Week page.

Good luck searching for that perfect Hawaii photo! We can’t wait to see what you send us!

Past Photo of the Week winning photos (clockwise from top): Karina Chapman, Lindsay Alperstein, Kathy Hagedon


Looks like Alex O’Loughlin will get at least 17 more episodes to perfect his “Book ‘em, Danno!” line delivery.

CBS yesterday picked up its Hawaii Five-0 redux for a full season of McGarrett-Danno bonding, gorgeous Oahu aerial photography and fictional Hawaii criminal activity even Dog the Bounty Hunter couldn’t dream up. The series gets a green light for a full 22-episode season, insuring enough cases for the Five-0 team to crack at least through May 2011.

The full season pick-up for Five-0 was hardly a surprise. The Oahu-filmed crime drama is the CBS network’s top-rated freshman series this fall, and the most-watched new series among all the broadcast networks. Five-0’s debut episode wound up the most recorded series in DVR history, with 3.4 million viewers. Its second episode picked up 3.3 million DVR viewers. Counting weekly DVR viewers, Hawaii Five-0’s audience averages 14.15 million per episode.

That said, not all is rainbows and sunsets in the world of Steve and Danno and Chin and Kono. After bowing to 14.2 million total viewers and the top spot in its time slot on Sept. 20, Hawaii Five-0 notched worrisome drops in viewers each week through its Oct. 11 fourth episode, which attracted a series low 10.7 million viewers.

Last Monday’s episode, the series fifth, rose to 10.9 million viewers. But Five-0 lost the top spot in its time slot for the first time (albeit by a mere fraction of viewers) to ABC’s crime drama Castle.


Still, unless Hawaii Five-0’s viewership erodes significantly through the remainder of its first season run, the series is almost a guaranteed lock for a second-season pick up next fall. CBS fed millions of marketing dollars into the Five-0 hype machine this past summer, and still more millions into the series’ so far visually impressive production. Industry watchers agree that the network has a strong desire to realize a return on its investment and is willing to wait for the series to grow its audience.

Us? We’d like it if the series stays on the air and in Hawaii.

It’s always a kick catching the Five-0 crew filming in Honolulu and all over Oahu. And each new episode has proven to be an increasingly enjoyable ride, with an ever-lessening modicum of clunky dialogue. (Note to producers: Please continue to decrease the use of Hawaii Pidgin English in Five-0 scripts since no one we’ve seen so far on the show is able to properly “speak the bird,” let alone know that no one in Hawaii ever utters the words “speak the bird.” We appreciate it.)

What do you think of Hawaii Five-0 five episodes in?

Do you like Scott Caan’s take on Det. Danny “Danno” Williams as much as we do? Digging the show’s impressive cinematography and production design? Only tuning in each week to see familiar Hawaii scenery and/or Grace Park? Cringed when raised-in-Hawaii Det. Steve McGarrett's pronunciation of the Hawaiian word ‘aumakua came off sounding a lot like owl-makua?

Leave a comment on our HAWAII Magazine Facebook page and let us know!

Photos: CBS

The first humpback whale of the 2010-11 Hawaii season, spotted off Maui, yesterday. Photo: Pacific Whale Foundation/ Gary Erbeck

Hawaii’s largest winter vacationers are back!

The Pacific Whale Foundation has recorded its first humpback whale sighting of the 2010-2011 season—spotted yesterday morning, two nautical miles off Maui’s west side, between Maalaea and Lahaina. The sighting of the lone subadult humpback (pictured, above) marks the start of Hawaii’s annual humpback whale watching season.

After summering and feeding in the coastal waters of southeastern Alaska, thousands of North Pacific humpback whales spend the fall making the 3,000-mile journey south to mate, give birth and nurse their calves in warmer waters. The Hawaiian Islands have traditionally drawn the largest population of humpbacks annually—more than 10,000 to 12,000 per season.

The whales arrive throughout the season, moving in and out of Hawaiian waters through the winter. Peak humpback whale viewing months in Hawaii are January through March. The last remaining mothers and their calves usually depart our Islands for Alaska by early May.

The first humpback whale of this year’s season was spotted on the same day as last year’s—October 20. Pacific Whale Foundation records from the last dozen years report the earliest arrival of the first humpback on September 16 in 2000, and the latest on November 11 in 2005.

The Maui-based Pacific Whale Foundation said that yesterday’s sighting was called in by Captain Chris Howard of the private catamaran Alii Nui. Following up on Howard's call, the foundation’s Ocean Explorer vessel located the whale at 11:15 a.m. A second Pacific Whale Foundation vessel, the Ocean Quest, spotted the subadult whale again in the same location, chilling at the surface, at 12:45 p.m. yesterday.

Humpback breaching off Maui. Photo: David Croxford

Pacific Whale Foundation founder and chief scientist Greg Kaufman said subadults are often the first humpback whales spotted each season.

“Subadults are whales that have not yet reached adulthood and sexual maturity. They appear first, along with mothers and their yearling calves,” said Kaufman. “Mature males and females arrive later, followed by pregnant females.”

The Pacific Whale Foundation is a nonprofit dedicated to the protection of whales, dolphins, coral reefs and the ocean. In addition to educating the public about the humpbacks at its Maui Discovery Center, the foundation also offers whale watch tours throughout humpback season from Maalaea and Lahaina. For more information, visit the Pacific Whale Foundation website. Of course, there are dozens of other commercial whale watch cruises offered statewide, all season. For a list of tour operators, check out our HAWAII Magazine Complete Hawaii Activities Guide and click the category "Boat Tours & Whale Watching."

Want the lowdown on a handful of guaranteed Hawaii spots for catching a glimpse of the humpbacks from the shore? Check out HAWAII Magazine’s Landlubber’s Guide to Whale Watching in the current November/December 2010 issue, on sale now nationwide, or available by digital subscription (viewable on iPad or mobile phone).

airfare_deal_Alaska_Airlines_Hawaii_Maui_Oahu_Big_IslandIs a Hawaii vacation part of your fall or winter plans? If you like this flight deal you could be getting warm here before it gets too cold wherever you are.

Alaska Airlines’ limited time “Hawaii Is Now” airfare sale is offering one-way flights between three Hawaiian Islands and six mainland west coast cities the carrier serves for as low as $169.

The discounted deals include direct flights to Honolulu on Oahu, Kahului on Maui and Kailua-Kona on the Big Island. Here’s the catch. You’ll have to book your flight reservations by Tues., Oct. 26, 2010, for travel between Nov. 11, 2010 and February 11, 2011.

As you might expect, seats are limited.

Among the one-way fare deals Alaska Airlines is posting on its website:

• Portland, Ore. – Honolulu, Oahu                $169

• Oakland, Calif. – Kailua-Kona, Big Island            $169

• San Jose, Calif. – Kailua-Kona, Big Island            $169

• Seattle, Wash. – Kailua-Kona, Big Island            $169

• Oakland, Calif. – Kahului, Maui                $169

• San Jose, Calif. – Kahului, Maui                $169

• Portland, Ore. – Kailua-Kona, Big Island            $189

• Sacramento, Calif. – Kahului, Maui                $189

• San Diego, Calif. – Kahului, Maui                $189

For reservations and ticket purchase, terms, conditions and blackout dates, visit Alaska Airlines’ “Hawaii Is Now” airfare sale web page, or call (800) 252-7522.

Photo of Iao Needle, Maui: Wikipedia Commons

Hawaii’s best swimming beaches revealed!


What are the best “swimming” beaches in Hawaii?

When HAWAII Magazine wanted to get the lowdown on the best beaches on Oahu, Kauai, Maui and the Big Island for a day of swimming and water activities, we went to John R.K. Clark.

Clark knows more about Hawaii beaches than anyone in the state. He’s walked the shorelines and swum the waters of every stretch of sand in Hawaii—more than 500 beaches in all. Clark, 63, has spent much of the last four decades compiling a lauded series of Hawaii beach guidebooks.

He began writing his first book—Beaches of Oahu—in 1972, after leaving a brief stint as an Oahu lifeguard to join the Honolulu Fire Department. Clark burned up serious vacation time visiting every beach in the state, while rising to the rank of deputy fire chief. Beaches of Oahu was published in 1977—followed by Beaches of Maui County, Beaches of Kauai and Niihau and four other titles (available from University of Hawaii Press).

best_swimming_beaches_revealed_HawaiiWe were so impressed by stories of Clark’s book research—paddling rugged coastlines alone on his surfboard  to reach Hawaii’s most remote beaches; scribbling beach notes on his board while circled by dolphins and, one time, a large tiger shark—we profiled Clark for HAWAII Magazine’s September/October 2010 issue Portraits in Paradise column. Check it out. It’s a great read.

But back to the subject of Hawaii’s best swimming beaches.

“A ‘swimming beach’ to me, is a place I would take my family to swim,” says Clark (pictured, right), explaining the criteria for his selections here. “A great one will have nice, white sand. It’s going to be relatively danger-free, with no big surf and no worries about reef, wana (spiny sea urchin), box jellyfish or Portuguese man-o-war. There are going to be showers and bathrooms for the kids, too.”

Here, exclusively for HAWAII Magazine readers, Clark shares his personal choices for best swimming beach on Oahu, Kauai, Maui and the Big Island, along with reasons why Clark chose the beach, his advice for enjoying your beach time, and photos.

Now, grab some sun block and get ready to jump into the surf ... here are the best swimming beaches in Hawaii ...



There are only five National Tropical Botanical Gardens in the world, and three of them are on Kauai.

Each is distinct in design, diversity of plantlife and visual splendor, and worth some time for exploring the next time you’re on the Garden Isle.

Allerton and McBryde Gardens are located on the former Lawai Valley estate of millionaire philanthropist Robert Allerton, on Kauai’s sunny south shore. Allerton Garden is the NTBG’s founding garden, landscaped and meticulously designed over fie decades, in part by the man who gifted it to the nonprofit NTBG and whose name it bears. Deeper into Lawai Valley, McBryde Garden is focused on the scientific research of native Hawaiian plantlife. On Kauai’s stunning north shore, there’s Limahuli Garden & Preserve, a native Hawaiian cultural garden.

In the current November/December 2010 issue of HAWAII Magazine
, we take you in words and photos to all three of Kauai’s National Tropical Botanical Gardens in the feature article Undiscovered Edens.

The mission of the nonprofit NTBG organization is to perpetuate the survival of plants, ecosystems and cultural knowledge of tropical regions. With no government funds, the gardens of the NTBG survive on monies from private donations, trustees, visitor fees, and public and private grants for garden upkeep and projects.

NTBG’s Kauai gardens are visually stunning and endlessly educational—each a triumph of ingenuity and determination, each a continual work in progress.

Pick up a copy of our November/December 2010 issue to learn more about the history of all three Kauai NTBG gardens and to explore each with us. Not a subscriber yet? Click here for a low annual subscription rate on our print edition, or click here to subscribe to our digital edition, also viewable on iPad or mobile phone.

As is always the case on our travels, HAWAII Magazine photographer David Croxford happily turned in more photos than we could fit in the print edition. So we’ve put together the slideshow below of all of his shots ... from all three gardens.

Enjoy the tour!

(Click frame to enlarge photos.)

Limahuli Garden & Preserve, 5-8291 Kuhio Highway, Haena, Kauai, (808) 826-1053, www.ntbg.org

Allerton Garden, McBryde Garden, 4425 Lawai Road, Koloa, Kauai, (808) 742-2623, www.ntbg.org 

Russell Brand (left) and Alfred Molina give chase on the Big Island of Hawaii in director Julie Taymor's The Tempest. Photo: Melinda Sue Gordon

Grab some popcorn. Dim the house lights. Turn off your cell phones.

The Hawaii International Film Festival turns 30 years old, and launches tonight.

If you’re a diehard cinema buff, on Oahu through Oct. 24, or both, you’ll want to consider spending some time at HIFF. First off, it’s the largest annual festival in the Islands for independent film from Hawaii, U.S. mainland and international filmmakers. Secondly, in our humble opinion, no other film fest in the world does a better job at hustling the best cinema from Asia and the Pacific Rim. It’s practically HIFF’s signature mission.

And with the entirety of HIFF’s 214 film slate screening at one location—the Regal Dole Cannery Stadium 18 Cinemas just outside of downtown Honolulu—its easy to take in as little or as many flicks as you want. HIFF 2010’s schedule includes films from more than 40 countries—a full 10 of ‘em receiving their world premieres and 35 films receiving their U.S. premieres ... right here in Hawaii.

The fest’s most prestigious flicks this year include the North American premiere of trailblazing director Zhang Yimou’s Under the Hawthorn Tree (debuting tonight with an appearance by the director and his cast), and the Hawaii premiere of stage and screen director Julie Taymor’s The Tempest. The latter—a modern, visually stunning take on the Shakespeare tragicomedy—was filmed almost entirely on Lanai and the Big Island, with an all-star cast including Helen Mirren, Alfred Molina, Russell Brand and Djimon Hounsou.

Director Ruben Carillo's Mana I Ka Leo: The Power of the Voice explores the tradition of Hawaiian chant in the words of its contemporary practitioners. Photo courtesy of HIFF.

But for true film fans, the best part of formulating a HIFF attack plan each year has to be digging deep into the schedule's many film categories in search of hidden cinema gems. Film groupings and themes this year include “Made In Hawaii,” “New Chinese Cinema,” “Hong Kong Cinema,” “Extreme Asia,” “Art+Design,” “Eat, Drink, Film,” “Real Life,” and “Surf Cinema,” to name just a few.

Besides film screenings, HIFF 2010’s 11 days of cinema love includes a few special events, too :

• Vision in Film: Roger & Chaz Ebert.
Pioneering film critic and longtime HIFF supporter Roger Ebert and his wife Chaz will be honored with the fest’s Vision in Film Award. The Eberts will host a chat before a screening of Roger’s personal HIFF film pick, director Tim Blake Nelson’s 2009 Leaves of Grass. (Sat., Oct. 17, 5:30 p.m. Regal Dole Cannery Theatres)

• Sound x Vision. A series of film and music video screenings, live music showcases and panel discussions linked by the common theme of the convergence of music and film. (Various days, times and venues)

You’ll find the entire HIFF program guide and schedule here, with film summaries and screening times; more info on the fest itself can be found at the Hawaii International Film Festival’s official website.

Tickets for all HIFF events may be purchased at the HIFF box office in the lobby of Regal Dole Cannery Stadium 18 Cinemas (735 B Iwilei Rd., Honolulu, online by clicking here, or by calling 447-0577.

Halekulani_Imperial_Hotel_Tokyo_special_menuA sampling of the most celebrated dishes to ever exit the kitchens and restaurants of Japan’s Imperial Hotel Tokyo are being showcased throughout the month of October by Waikiki’s Halekulani hotel.

 “A Taste of Imperial,” a special three-course tasting menu at the Halekulani’s oceanside Orchids restaurant offers a modest, but intriguing glimpse into the modern Imperial’s very substantial restaurant options, and the culinary tastes of a handful of notable guests welcomed over its 115-year history.

Pay a visit to the actual Imperial Hotel in central Tokyo and you’ll find more than 17 restaurants and bars offering a range of cuisine including French, Japanese, Chinese and American cuisine, in both casual and formal settings. The courses on Halekulani’s “A Taste of Imperial” menu, however, seem to have been culled primarily from the Imperial's French- and Western-inspired La Brasserie and American-classic Parkside Diner menus.

The Parkside Diner’s chef de cuisine Eiichi Ohura worked closely with Halekulani executive chef Vikram Garg and Orchids chef de cuisine Darryl Fujita to design the “Taste of Imperial” course menu—the better to make ample use of fresh Hawaii-grown and –raised ingredients in preparing the dishes. Ohura and five members of his kitchen team were briefly in residence at the Halekulani earlier this month to launch the three appetizer, three entrĂ©e, two dessert menu—which includes a trio of signature Imperial Hotel cocktails.

The three-course “A Taste of Imperial” tasting menu is $65 per person. The menu is available through Oct. 31.

When we stopped by for dinner on a recent Saturday, Orchids’ Fujita had just taken Ohura and his team on a whirlwind half-day Oahu chef’s tour—a before sunrise visit to the Honolulu Fish Auction, breakfast at Kapiolani Community College Farmers Market, and a lunch of local-style comfort food at Dillingham Saimin. Ohura's beaming smile said it all. He was having a great time in Hawaii.

Here’s a look at our “Taste of Imperial” dinner, in words and photos: 

The evening view from our table at Orchids ...

... included this sunset.

Imperial Hotel Tokyo Parkside Diner chef de cuisne Eiichi Ohura (left) and Orchids at Halekulani chef de cuisine Darryl Fujita dropped by our table to chat.

The "A Taste of Imperial" menu. Note the signature Imperial Cocktail menu. Each cocktail had a story about its creation.

The Tinkerbell ... Recommended to Walt Disney animation artist Mark Davis, who was a regular at The Old Imperial Bar in the 1990s. Davis created the character of Tinkerbell seen in Disney's classic version of Peter Pan. The cocktail's purple color comes from sweet Liqueur de Violette, shaken with silver rum, peach liqueur and fresh lemon juice. Guess who the green maraschino cherry represents.

The Imperial's first cocktail, the Mount Fuji, has been on the hotel's cocktail menus since 1924. Fresh pineapple juice and cream gives the cocktail an almost tropical flavor, perfect for Orchids' oceanfront setting. Shaken vigorously with maraschino liqueur, fresh lemon juice, egg white and and an herbacious dry gin, however, the Mount Fuji is one serious cocktail. My favorite of the three Imperial cocktails.

Named after the pink cherry blossoms that bloom on the Imperial Hotel's riverfront each spring, the Sakura is for lovers of sweet cocktails only. Peach liqueur and Cointreau provide a serious sugar rush. I preferred the cocktail's finish of cherry brandy and tart of fresh lemon juice.

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