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

So you’re on Oahu, on vacation, and indulging in our incredibly diverse and delicious local dining scene.

Chicken katsu. Macaroni salad. Hawaiian plate lunches (with laulau, kalua pig, lomi salmon, poi, haupia, etc.). Ahi and tako poke. Multiple stops at the garlic shrimp trucks. Malassadas. Lunchwagons.

Want to burn some calories—so you can keep eating at a steady clip—and take in some scenery?

Lucky for you, Oahu has dozens of terrific hiking trails, ranging from the gentle 1-mile trek to Manoa Falls tucked in the back of Honolulu’s Manoa Valley, to the challenging 4-mile Puu Manamana hike in Kahana Valley State Park on the Windward side that demands sure feet and a cool head.

Hiking is one of the best ways to take in Oahu’s natural beauty, from its lush native forests to breathtaking views of the island’s coastlines. Hiking through some of the island’s forests and along the windswept ridges of the Koolau mountain range, you may even find it hard to believe that you’re on Hawaii’s most populous island.

Here are my picks of four great Oahu hiking trails (each with a post-hike reward for your hard workout).

Be sure to bring water, insect repellent, sunscreen, comfortable shoes and a fully charged camera. You won’t want to miss these sights.

Waimano Pool Trail

Location: Pearl City, Central Oahu
Length: 3-miles roundtrip
Level of difficulty: Beginner and intermediate

This is a tough three-mile hike, with a huge payoff. The trailhead is at the end of Komo Mai Drive in Pearl City’s Pacific Palisades subdivision. The first part of the hike is a bit misleading—a level path of dirt, meandering through groves of ironwood and eucalyptus trees. But turn right where the trail forks (there’s a metal stake marking the spot) and you’ll start down a section of the ridge trail leading to three pools. One of the pools even has a rope swing. You might want to recharge here with some granola bars when you’re done swimming—the trail you take down to the pools is named “Cardiac Hill” for the slow climb back up. The left fork in the trail, at the metal stake? It’s the Manana Trail, arguably one of Oahu’s toughest hikes and a full-day round trip trek up into the Koolau mountain range.

Post-hike reward: Get a slice of homemade pie from Anna Miller’s Restaurant (98-115 Kaonohi St., Aiea, near Pearlridge Center). Our pick is the signature fresh strawberry pie.

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Honolulu_Chinese_New_Year_eventsHawaii’s second New Year — otherwise known as Chinese New Year — doesn’t officially start until Feb. 3. But festivities begin today and continue through the weekend in Honolulu’s Chinatown arts district and the Honolulu Academy of Arts

Kicking off the Year of the Rabbit early today were traditional choy cheng—lion dance blessings—through downtown Honolulu, where folks give costumed lion dancers dollar bills as an offering for good luck in the new year.

This weekend’s early Chinese New Year celebrations will continue with entertainment, martial arts demonstrations, traditional dance performances and a parade through Chinatown. Vendors will be selling an assortment of Chinese foods—many of which are believed to bring good luck, prosperity and long life —such as gau (sticky rice cakes made from brown sugar), jai (vegetarian monk’s food), gin doi (Chinese doughnuts) and candied fruit.

The best part? Most of these events are free and open to the public.

Here’s what going on this weekend:

Fri., Jan. 28

• I Love Chinatown Festival

4-10 p.m., intersection of Nuuanu Avenue and Hotel Street, www.ilovechinatownfestival.com

This is a new addition to the Chinese New Year lineup in Chinatown. A two-day block party will feature more than 20 live bands and deejays, an alcohol garden, dance performances, a custom bike exhibit, mechanical bull and surf rides, a foam tent party and a lion dance with firecrackers. A portion of the proceeds will go toward nonprofits.

• 62nd annual Narcissus Festival
6-10 p.m., Chinatown Cultural Plaza, 100 N. Beretania St. and throughout the Chinatown arts district

This free event starts in Chinatown with a traditional Chinese lion dance blessing. The Narcissus Queen and her court —newly crowned last week —will visit Chinatown merchants and their patrons. Stores celebrate by lighting firecrackers and offering lisee (good luck money envelopes) to the dancing lions. Meanwhile, the Chinatown Open House celebration takes place at the Chinatown Cultural Plaza, with food vendors, arts and crafts booths, and entertainment.

• ARTafterDARK: Show Me the Bunny
6 p.m., Honolulu Academy of Arts, 900 S. Beretania St., www.artafterdark.org

The first ARTafterDARK event of 2011 kicks off with a tribute to the Year of the Rabbit, including Chinese lion dancing and drumming, traditional "monk's food" from Town restaurant, and a gallery installment of modern Chinese art. Cost is $10 with discounts to academy members.

Sat., Jan. 29

Honolulu_Chinese_New_Year_events• I Love Chinatown Festival
noon-10 p.m., intersection of Nuuanu Avenue and Hotel Street, www.ilovechinatownfestival.com

The block party enters its second day with everything from its first day continuing.

• Chinatown New Year Celebration
9 a.m.-10 p.m., Chinatown Cultural Plaza, 100 N. Beretania St.

This free Chinatown New Year Celebration, organized by the Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii, will feature food vendors and entertainment at the Chinatown Cultural Plaza. Vendors will serve up a variety of traditional Chinese dishes, including jai, gin doi, gau and jook (rice soup). Entertainment includes ethnic dance troupes, local musical groups, and martial arts and weapons demonstrations.

• Night in Chinatown Festival
9 a.m.-10 p.m., intersection of  Nuuanu Avenue and Hotel Street

The Night in Chinatown Festival is an all-day block party, featuring food booths, arts and crafts and entertainment on two stages, with lion and dragon dance performances and other family-friendly activities throughout the day. The event is free, and organized by the Chinatown Merchants Association.

• Night in Chinatown Parade
3:30-5:30 p.m., Hotel and Maunakea Streets

The Chinatown Merchants Association presents the free Night in Chinatown Parade, which begins in the afternoon, at 3:30 p.m., on Hotel Street near the State Capitol and heads toward Maunakea Street in the Chinatown arts district. Parade participants include Festival Queens and their courts, cultural organizations, kung fu martial artists, lion and dragon dance associations. Don’t miss the special performance by a 150-foot dragon.

For more information on Downtown Honolulu Chinatown arts district Chinese New Year events this weekend and beyond, visit Honolulu's Chinatown website.

Photos: Sherie Char (top); Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA)/Tor Johnson (bottom)

Oahu_group_protects_Kaneohe_Bay_sea_lifeYou see Kāne‘ohe Bay in the distance, as you drive from Honolulu and emerge from the Likelike Highway tunnels on O‘ahu’s windward side.

The bay may seem tranquil and healthy. But beneath its surface algae, sediment from runoff and other pollutants are a threat to the bay’s coral reefs and fish population.

If you’ve got some time to spare—whether you're on vacation, or have a free Saturday—you could help a grassroots effort to curb future damage to the bay.

A partnership between the nearby community of He‘eia—specifically the Ko‘olaupoko Hawaiian Civic Club and the nonprofit Kāko‘o ‘o ‘Oiwi—and the Nature Conservancy’s Hawai‘i Chapter has launched a project to help restore the He‘eia Wetlands near the bay into naturally productive kalo (taro) fields and other agricultural production for economic sustainability, educational, biological resiliency and cultural purposes.

The goal is to manage He‘eia as an ahupua‘a—a land division from the mountains to the sea—and care for it as a whole. What happens on land naturally affects the nearby ocean. So managing the amount of sediment that enters Kāne‘ohe Bay is a step in protecting the region’s unique marine environment, which is home to green sea turtles, manta rays, hammerhead sharks and other native reef species.

Oahu_group_protects_Kaneohe_Bay_sea_lifeThe project, called Māhuahua ‘Ai o Ho‘i, is aimed at replanting the upland forest with native plants and replacing swamp with taro fields. A small lo‘i (irrigated taro terrace) has already been established in the area.

The project relies mainly on volunteers, who help in the lo‘i every second Saturday of the month. Work begins at 8 a.m. and ends at noon.

If you’re interested in helping out, contact Māhuahua ‘Ai o Ho‘i at kakoo.oiwi@gmail.com. For more information on what the project hopes to accomplish, visit www.kakoooiwi.org.

Photos: Māhuahua ‘Ai o Ho‘i/Kāko‘o ‘o ‘Oiwi

NFL_Pro_Bowl_returns_to_Hawaii_this_weekOn Oahu this weekend and a serious fan of pro football?

The world's best professional football players are gathering in Hawaii now through Sunday for the return of the NFL Pro Bowl to Oahu’s Aloha Stadium. The game happens Sun., Jan. 30, at 2 p.m. (Hawaii time), and will be broadcast on FOX live. But a weekend of 2011 Pro Bowl-related events, open to the public, begins Friday.

This year marks the second year in a row that the annual all-star game will be played a week before the Super Bowl, instead of a week after. (Meaning, the players on the two teams that just won entry to Super Bowl XLV — the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers — will not play in the Pro Bowl.)

The NFL took the Pro Bowl to Miami’ Sun Life Stadium last year after a 30-year run in the Islands, during which every game was a sellout. In 2009, the NFL and the Hawaii Tourism Authority agreed on a 2-year contract, whereby HTA would pay the league $4 million a year to host the game in 2011 and 2012.

Many of the NFL’s 2011 Pro Bowl week activities on Oahu are free and open to the public. Most events with admission fees—including the Pro Bowl—still have tickets available.

Here’s a schedule 2011 Pro Bowl Week schedule of events:


Sunset on the Beach
When: 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Where: Queen’s Beach, Waikiki
Details: Get into the football spirit with NFL highlights and a football movie, 2009’s The Blind Side, served up on Waikiki beach with special guest appearances by the Pro Bowl cheerleaders and mascots.
Admission: Free


Pro Bowl Ohana Day Celebration

When: 9 a.m. to noon
Where: Aloha Stadium
Details: See both the AFC and NFC teams in action. You can enjoy fan contests, interviews, NFL video features and a preview of the Pro Bowl game entertainment. There will even be a special Kid’s Zone where keiki can enjoy special contests, prizes, presentations and “mascot mania.”
Admission: Free

Pro Bowl Youth Football & Cheerleading Clinics
When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: Kapiolani Park
Details: Youth football players and cheerleaders will learn from the best at these clinics. Advanced registration is required. Contact the Honolulu Boys and Girls Club or the Honolulu YMCA for registration information.
Admission: Free

Pro Bowl All-Star Block Party
When: 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Where: Kalakaua Avenue, Waikiki
Details: Waikiki’s main street shuts down to make way for the ultimate block party. See NFL players, cheerleaders, mascots and local celebrities while you enjoy five entertainment stages, great food and local bands. Shop for NFL and Pro Bowl merchandise.
Admission: Free


• SUN., JANUARY 30: NFL Pro Bowl Day!!

Pro Bowl Touchdown Club
When: 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Where: Aloha Stadium, Lot 8B (North End)
Details: Enjoy food, drinks, entertainment and interactive games.
Admission: Free to Pro Bowl ticketholders

Official Pro Bowl Tailgate Party: “NFL Island Style”

When: 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Where: Richardson Field
Details: Overlooking Pearl Harbor and a short walk from Aloha Stadium, Richardson Field is the perfect place to pregame party. Entertainment and food included with admission.
Admission: $225 per ticket, via ticketmaster

Pro Bowl Pregame Ceremonies
When: 1:30 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Where: Aloha Stadium
Details: Getting to the game early has its rewards. The pregame show will include a special tribute to the past season, the Pro Bowl and Super Bowl with promised NFL “pageantry” and a live performance by the Goo Goo Dolls.
Admission: Included with Pro Bowl ticket

The 2011 NFL Pro Bowl
When: 2 p.m.
Where: Aloha Stadium
Details: Kick off! The top NFL stars compete in a battle of AFC verses NFC.
Admission: Ticket prices range from $45 to $137, via ticketmaster

For updates, visit the 2011 NFL Pro Bowl Week schedule page.

Photos: Peyton Manning (top) and Adrian Peterson (bottom) at 2010 NFL Pro Bowl in Miami. Photos courtesy of the NFL

The Eddie was a no-go yesterday, but the pros still rode the waves for fun. This 25-footer was one of the larger waves of the day. Photo by David Croxford.

Despite big-enough waves at Waimea Bay on Thursday, the contest director for the Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau ultimately decided conditions weren’t good enough for “The Eddie.”

George Downing called a no-go for the big-wave competition on Thursday, citing the inconsistency of the day’s swell. The big stuff—20- to 25-foot waves—weren’t coming in consistently enough for the contest’s two rounds of competition, he said. (Wave heights need to consistently reach at least 20 feet in order to hold the contest.)

“What we see in conditions like this is just one or two true ‘Eddie’-size waves in the period of a heat," Downing said. “With seven surfers in the water per heat, that is not the kind of playing field we need for quality, fair competition.”

The postponement was a disappointment for the more than 15,000 spectators who fought traffic and searched for parking to watch the event, commonly called “The Eddie.” Because of its strict standards for wave heights, the contest has only been held eight times in the past 25 years—the last time being December 2009. Still, the  crowd at Waimea Bay yesterday did get to see pro surfers tackle the massive waves at the bay anyway, just for fun.

The holding period of “The Eddie” runs through Feb. 28, so there’s still plenty of time for the contest to happen.

Thousands gathered on the beach at Waimea Bay waiting to hear if The Eddie would be a go. Photo by David Croxford.

“It's very easy to get caught up in the excitement when those huge waves come through, and after all of the efforts of the crew and the spectators to get ready for this day,” Downing said. “But what keeps this event the greatest big wave event in the world is never relaxing those standards. Eddie never did.”

Beyond this week, forecasters point to a favorable jet steam flow that will likely create extra-large surf through the end of the month and into February. Organizers are hopeful that the swells will be large enough and consistent enough on at least one full day to hold The Eddie.

The Quiksilver In Memory of Eddie Aikau is the world's longest running and most prestigious big-wave invitational and the only one sanctioned by the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP), the governing body of professional surfing.

The contest pays tribute to legendary Hawaiian surfer and North Shore lifeguard Eddie Aikau. The invitation-only professional contest is held over a single day—this season, between Dec. 1, 2010 and Feb. 28, 2011—when waves exceed the minimum 20-foot threshold. The purse this year is $98,000.

• Click this link for HawaiiMagazine.com photos from the 2009 Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau contest.

• For updates on this season's contest, visit the Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau official website.


new_hotel_open_Waikiki_fall_HyattHyatt Hotels Corp. announced this week that it will be converting the Ocean Resort Hotel Waikiki into a new property under its Hyatt Place brand.

The new Hyatt Place Waikiki Beach will expand the presence of the Chicago-based hotel company in Hawai‘is most popular resort area to two properties. Hyatt Hotel Corp. also operates the 1,230-room Hyatt Regency Waikiki.

The 33-year-old, 451-room Ocean Resort Hotel Waikiki, located at the Diamond Head end of Waikiki, will be undergoing an extensive renovation, including complete redesigns of its guestrooms, lobby and public spaces. The hotel will remain open during its renovation, with rebranding under its new name happening this fall.

When renovations are complete, the Hyatt Place Waikiki Beach will be twice the brand’s usual size, offering 425 guest rooms. The bulk of Hyatt Place branded hotels have between 125 and 200 guest rooms and are located in urban, airport and suburban areas.

Geared toward business travelers and families, the Hyatt Place brand’s standard amenities include a coffee and wine bar, a 24-hour “guest kitchen” to purchase made-to-order snacks and entrees, free Wi-Fi, continental breakfast and a fitness center. (It’s not a pet-friendly hotel.)

This will be the fourth Hyatt hotel in Hawaii—the company has properties on Oahu, Kauai and Maui—and the first Hyatt Place in the state.

The brand launched in 2006 to provide a select offering of lodging services at a lower price point.

The Ocean Resort Hotel Waikiki is currently operated by Castle Resorts and Hotels.

Photo: Castle Resorts and Hotels


Surfers on Oahu’s North Shore are keeping watch at Waimea Bay today, waiting to find out if surf conditions will be as massive as expected this week.

Massive enough, that is, to host the Quiksilver In Memory of Eddie Aikau, the famed Hawaii big wave contest.

The event, commonly called “The Eddie,” calls for wave heights of at least 20 feet, during the North Shore's world famous winter big wave season. The contest has only been held eight times in the past 25 years.

The National Weather Service is forecasting a very large northwest Pacific Ocean swell to move into the islands on Thursday, possibly generating wave heights reaching "above-advisory" levels on both north- and west-facing Hawaii shores. Expectations are that wave heights will reach or exceed the required 20 feet to hold The Eddie.

A large storm system, covering more than 18,000 miles of the north Pacific, is the source of the expected North Shore swells. But forecasters are not always able to accurately predict just how big the surf will be—or whether it will even affect North Shore surf.

Eddie Aikau contest organizers expected to spend today monitoring forecasts to determine whether conditions will be ideal at Waimea Bay this week for the surf contest. Beyond this week, forecasters point to a favorable jet steam flow that will likely create extra-large surf through the end of the month and into February.

The holding period for The Eddie ends on Feb. 28.

The last time the big wave contest was held was in December 2009
, when Greg Long from San Clemente, Calif. won the title.

The contest pays tribute to legendary Hawaiian surfer and North Shore lifeguard Eddie Aikau. The invitation-only professional contest is held over a single day—this season, between Dec. 1, 2010 and Feb. 28, 2011—when waves exceed the minimum 20-foot threshold. The purse this year is $98,000.

• Click this link for HawaiiMagazine.com photos from the 2009 Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau contest.

• For updates on this season's contest, visit the Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau official website.

Photo: 2009 Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau winner Greg Long at Waimea Bay. Photo by David Croxford for HawaiiMagazine.com

honolulu_festival_contest_2011Is all of that snow outside on the Mainland starting to get old? Has that idea for a staycation at home on the Neighbor Islands suddenly lost its appeal?

What if we told you that you could be on Oahu in March for one of Hawaii’s premier annual cultural festivals?

HAWAII Magazine is giving away a free round-trip for two to Oahu to attend the 2011 Honolulu Festival, complete with a four-night stay in Waikiki and VIP tickets to the fest’s biggest events, March 11-13.

There will be one lucky winner. And, for a chance to win, all you have to do is tell us you want the prize.

There are 3 ways to enter to win: On HAWAII Magazine's Facebook page, on HAWAII Magazine's Twitter page, or by subscribing to HAWAII Magazine at a special $9.99 one-year subscription rate.

Please check out our HAWAII Magazine 2011 Honolulu Festival vacation giveaway contest page for complete rules and instructions on entering the contest.

honolulu_festival_contest_2011Our randomly selected grand prize winner will receive two round-trip tickets on Hawaiian Airlines from any of the carrier’s gateway cities on the U.S. Mainland, a four-night stay at the Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa, two tickets to the 2011 Honolulu Festival’s Friendship Gala on March 12 and two VIP seats at the Honolulu Festival’s Waikiki Grand Parade on March 13.

The Honolulu Festival, now in its 17th year, is a celebration of music, art and culture aimed at perpetuating the strong cultural and ethnic ties between Hawaii and the Asia-Pacific region. Themed “Pacific Harmony,” this year’s festival will feature arts and cultural displays and live performances from Japan, China, Taiwan, Korea, Australia, the Philippines, Tahiti, Alaska and, of course, Hawaii.

honolulu_festival_contest_2011The festival will conclude with a grand parade along Kalakaua Avenue and a Nagaoka Fireworks Show over the beaches in Waikiki.

To learn more about the fest, click on to the 2011 Honolulu Festival’s official website.

Hope to see you in Hawaii in March! Good luck!

Photos: Honolulu Festival


Maui_Kauai_ban_plastic_shopping_bagsBeginning this week, businesses on Maui and Kauai will not be able to provide most types of plastic shopping bags to customers. The ban on the bags are part of new laws enacted in both island counties.

What does this mean if you visit a retailer or restaurant on either island?

Those businesses will be required to offer recyclable or eco-friendly reusable shopping bags to you for sale or for free. Otherwise, customers are also, of course, encouraged to continue using their own eco-friendly bags when shopping.

The goal of the new laws on both Maui and Kauai is to stop plastic from littering the environment and endangering marine animals that ingest or are entangled in them. Stores that don’t comply with the new law will face a $500 a day fine.

Maui_Kauai_ban_plastic_shopping_bagsThe ban also includes the islands of Molokai and Lanai, which are part of Maui County. Oahu and Hawaii (Big Island) counties are not enacting a similar ban yet.

The Maui County Recycling Office estimates that 50 million plastic shopping bags are used every year on the Valley Isle, or about 350 per resident.

San Francisco was the first U.S. city to prohibit plastic shopping bags in April 2007.

To learn more about plastic bags and how they affect the environment, visit the Sierra Club’s site PlasticMenace.org.

Images: Maui County (top), Kauai County (bottom)

A thermal and standard composite photo showing lava approaching Kalapana Gardens and the Hawaii county lava flow viewing area on Jan. 6, 2011. Photo: USGS/HVO (Click photo to enlarge.)

An active lava flow from Kilauea volcano is lending real-life drama to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park's 2nd annual Volcano Awareness Month.

The month-long January program is organized each year by the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) to help visitors understand and respect the volcanoes that have created our island paradise. Less expected on the schedule this year: lava from Kilauea volcano’s east rift zone flow near Kalapana again threatening to engulf a home in its path.

As of this morning, lava was less than 300 feet from a home on the outskirts of Kalapana Gardens, built on the hardened lava of a 1990 flow. If destroyed, it would be the third home in the area lost to the lava in six months.

Kilauea volcano is currently erupting in two locations: on the east rift zone, feeding the Kalapana flow; and at the summit, where a steam and ash plume continues to rise from an eruptive vent within the east wall of Halemaumau crater.

HAWAII magazine reported last week on Big Island Civil Defense’s extension of the visitor viewing area at Kalapana, offering closer views of the lava flow. The site is now open.

As part of Volcano Awareness Month, HVO scientists are leading “After Dark in the Park” local-style talk-story sessions at 7 p.m. every Tuesday in January at the Kilauea Visitor Center Auditorium. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park entrance fees apply—currently $10 per vehicle, or $5 per walk-in visitor—with a requested $1 donation for the program.

Here are the “After Dark in the Park” talk-story sessions for the rest of the month:

• Jan. 18: “Kilauea volcano’s east rift eruption: 28 years and counting”

Kilauea’s prodigious east rift zone eruption recently entered its 28th year. In its early years, spectacular lava fountains erupted episodically from the area’s Puu Oo vent. More than 20 years of continuous lava effusion since then has built a vast plain of hardened pahoehoe (smooth and ropy lava) stretching from the east rift zone to the Pacific Ocean. Geologist Tim Orr will review highlights from the ongoing eruptions and reveal the latest developments on Kilauea’s east rift zone.

• Jan. 25: “Frank Perret: The man who set the stage for HVO’s work today”

Fresh from volcanic eruptions in the Canary Islands and Italy, volcanologist Frank A. Perret arrived in Hawaii in 1911 to assist with the building of the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, founded by fellow volcanologist Thomas A. Jaggar. Perret’s work would set the stage for the next 100 years of continuous volcano monitoring at Kilauea. USGS HVO scientist-in-charge Jim Kauahikaua will share the story of Perret and how his early observations of Kilauea’s lava lakes and fountains are relevant to today’s Halemaumau crater summit eruption.

For more information on Volcano Awareness Month, call (808) 985-6014 or (808) 985-6011, or visit the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory website.

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