Hawaii Today edited by Derek Paiva Page: <<Previous 1 2

New shuttle service at Honolulu airport offering door-to-door rides to Waikiki and other bustling Oahu destinations A new shuttle service is now offering Honolulu International Airport travelers door-to-door rides to Waikiki, Kahala (near Diamond Head) Downtown Honolulu, Ko Olina on Oahu’s Leeward side, and other bustling areas.

Selected by Hawaii’s State Department of Transportation for a five-year contract to operate as the sole official airport shuttle for on-demand service, SpeediShuttle began picking up travelers yesterday.

Fares for the 24-hour service start at about $14.55 for a seat on a shared one-way ride in one of SpeediShuttle’s Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vans from the airport to the Wakiki area. We also checked fares for one-way rides to downtown ($29.09), Kahala ($34.71) and Ko Olina ($84.75), which about 22 miles from the airport.

The shared vans, which carry 11 passengers, offer free wi-fi service. For more information about one-way and roundtrip fares as well as shared and private transportation options, click here. New shuttle service at Honolulu airport offering door-to-door rides to Waikiki and other bustling Oahu destinations

Since it was founded in 1999, SpeediShuttle’s core business has been airport shared-ride shuttle service on Maui, Kauai and the Big Island. In a news release, Cecil Morton, president, chief executive officer and owner of SpeediShuttle, said the company intends to expand its Oahu serve to cover most areas of the island. 

Signage is now posted at the airport that point travelers to SpeediShuttle pickup points, where drivers dressed in traditional Hawaiian attire are operating a fleet of 30 shuttles. For additional information about SpeediShuttle, click here.

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Photos: Honolulu International Airport, State of Hawaii Airport System/State of Hawaii Department of Transportation, Airports Division

During daylight hours at the Polynesian Cultural Center on Oahu, there are family canoe races and tours, during which friendly guides talk about the six Pacific Cultures represented at the park (pictured, below). And every afternoon, a pageant on the park’s lagoon showcases dance and song of Hawaii, Samoa, Fiji, Aotearoa, Tahiti and Tonga.

After sunset, though, on select evening through Mon., Oct. 31, the mood on the meandering water abruptly changes from cordial to, well, down right confrontational — in a spooky sort of way.

Canoe rides — complete with spine-tingling music and brief encounters with ghastly characters (pictured, right) — are casting off on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays until Sun., Oct. 23. From Mon., Oct. 24 through Halloween, the Haunted Lagoon will be open every day except Sunday. Canoes depart beginning at 6:30 p.m., and the ride closes at 10 p.m.

Less frightening rides run from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. During this hour, each canoe carries a “lost warrior” who protects passengers with a light staff, which repels monsters and various other creatures.

The ride comes with a ghost story about Laie Lady, a “restless, vengeful spirit of a young woman dressed in white who fell into insanity following tragedy many years ago.” Legend has it, that she now wanders the lagoon searching for her lost son. This year, according to a Haunted Lagoon press release, “it appears she is not the only one looking for him, as her vengeful, murdered husband has returned.” (Yikes! We’re scared already...)

Raymond Magalei, PCC’s director of marketing, said in a written statement: “We have also extended the experience to about 45 minutes, which allowed us to offer a richer journey, including movie-quality special effects and costumes and a new section that starts the scares even before guests board the canoes.”

For Haunted Lagoon ticket information and more details about the PCC’s park in the Laie area, on Oahu’s northeastern area or North Shore region, click here

Another annual “haunt,”  Haunted Plantation, opens tonight at Oahu's Hawaii's Plantation Village in Waipahu. Tours begin at 7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through Halloween night.

Hawaii's Plantation Village is a museum that tells the story of life on Hawaii's sugar plantations, from the mid-1800s through the 1950s. It features restored buildings and replicas of plantation structures such as a general store, infirmary, community bathhouse, camp office and homes of workers representing several different cultures. (Hawaiian, Chinese, Portuguese, Puerto Rican, Japanese, Okinawan, Korean, and Filipino).

For additional information about the plantation village in central Oahu and the Polynesian Cultural Center, respectively, click here and here.

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Photos: Polynesian Cultural Center

Hawaii_Big Island_Kau_coffeeNow through mid-November, the Big Island’s top-notch Kau coffee — cultivated on small family farms on the southeast flanks of Mauna Loa — will be featured in the Starbucks Reserve lineup.

It is reportedly being served at select Starbucks coffeehouses in the U.S. mainland (not in Hawaii), Canada and Japan. The Big Island's more established Kona coffee is also on the Starbucks Reserve list, which features beans from fewer than two dozen locales ranging from Sumatra and Brazil to Jamaica and Peru.
Farmers say coffee grown in the Kau district — known for fertile volcanic soils, morning sun and gentle afternoon rains — is handpicked, processed in small batches and dried by the Hawaiian sun.

Several decades ago, the area was primarily used for growing sugar cane. With the demise of that crop, farmers found the soil well suited to grow coffee. With over 2,000 acres of prime land in the district there are about 280 acres planted and worked by about 40 farmers, according to a Starbucks announcement.Hawaii_Big Island_Kau_coffee

In an online statement, a Starbucks “green coffee specialist” said: “We were smitten instantly with this lovely little coffee and lucky enough to buy five tiny micro lots.”

In a news release issued by Kau Local Products, the group’s president, Chris Manfredi, said: “We are pleased to see that customers are discovering the fresh coconut flavors with sweet caramel and citrus notes that are distinct characteristics of the Kau cup.” He added, “This is another important step on Kau’s journey to establish itself as a premium coffee growing origin.”

A coffee from Kau was the lone contestant among those from United States to make the cut for the lineup of the world’s top 10 coffees at the 2011 Specialty Coffee Association of America and Roasters Guild’s international cupping competition, held on May 1 in Houston. More than 120 specialty coffee entries, representing 17 countries, competed in the event.

Coffees from the Kau have earned both the SCAA Coffee of the Year Award and Grand Champion of Hawaiian Coffee recognition in 2010 and 2011. For additional information about the Kau district and the annual Kau Coffee Festival, click here.

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Photos: Starbucks (top), David Croxford bottom

Hawaii_Oahu_Honolulu_film festival

The 31st annual Hawaii International Film Festival (HIFF), which features a lineup of 212 films from 43 countries, gets under way tomorrow in Honolulu.
In a news release, the nonprofit's executive director, Chuck Boller, said: “People always ask me which films they should see at HIFF.” He continued, "I always tell them to not miss the opening, centerpiece and closing films, as well as the nominated films and galas. If you can manage to see all of these, or a good portion of them, you will be seeing some of the very finest films HIFF has to offer.”

This year’s opening night film is the Korean submission for the Oscar’s Best Foreign Language film The Front Line (pictured, above). It will screen at 8 p.m. on Thurs., Oct. 13 at Regal Dole Cannery Stadium 18 Theatres & IMAX. According to a synopsis posted on HIFF’s website, the film “offers a classically hellish picture of front-line warfare but turns several of the cliches of war movies inside-out.” Set during the Korean War, most of the film takes place on one (fictional) hill, which has been captured and recaptured by both sides, with considerable loss of life each time.

Hawaii_Oahu_Honolulu_film festival

The festival’s centerpiece film is Pina 3D (pictured, above) will screen at 8:15 p.m. on Wed., Oct. 19 at the Dole Cannery venue. The dance film “takes the audience on a sensual, visually stunning journey of discovery into a new dimension: straight onto the stage” with a legendary dance ensemble and follows dancers out of the theatre into the city and the surrounding areas of Wuppertal, Germany.

 Hawaii_Oahu_Honolulu_film festival

The Hawaii-filmed The Descendants, (pictured, above) starring George Clooney and directed by Alexander Payne will be screened as the closing film, 6 p.m. Oct. 23 at Dole Cannery. Based on the best-selling novel by Hawaii writer Kaui Hart Hemmings, the dramedy follows the story of Matt King (Clooney) — a wealthy landowner, husband and father of two girls — who is forced to reexamine his life and relationships in the after his wife is severely injured in a boating accident near Wakiki. Shailene Woodley (The Secret Life of the American Teenager, ABC television series) and Amara Miller (both pictured, top) star as King’s daughters. (We can’t wait to see this film, which was shot on Oahu and Kauai, and has received praise elsewhere on the film festival circuit. To watch a few trailers, click here.)

Along with these high-profile films are perennial sections such as the Halekulani Golden Orchid Awards for best feature film and best documentary, and Gala Presentations, which include films gunning for recognition during the film industry’s annual awards season.

HIFF will be screening films that cover timely subject matter. The festival groups these films in sections ranging from Extreme (racy and controversial issues) and Made in Hawaii (local film industry) to Sound x Vision (convergence of film and music) and Express Yourself (LGBT lifestyles).

HIFF will also continue its tradition of celebrating select locations with “spotlight sections” including: Spotlight on Japan, New Chinese Cinema, Spotlight on Korea, Hong Kong Cinema, and Spotlight on Philppines. And new addition to the lineup, Spotlight on India.

To check out the entire film festival’s program and schedule, click here. Tickets: $12, general public; $10, seniors, military, students, children; and $8, HIFF Ohana members (HIFF's film club)

Tickets may be purchased online or in person at the HIFF box office (Guest Services Desk at Regal Dole Cannery Stadium 18 Theatres & IMAX) For additional information, call (808) 447-0577.

To subscribe to HAWAII Magazine,
click here.
Photos: Courtesy of Hawaii International Film Festival

Hawaii_Oahu_Big Island_Honolulu_Cooking ChannelThe Cooking Channel’s popular Food(ography) show, which explores how people and societies are shaped by food, is spotlighting Oahu and the Big Island in an episode slated to air tonight.

“Hawaiian Islands” will be on the tube at 9 p.m., with re-broadcasts at 11 p.m. on Sun., Oct. 16, and at 8 a.m. Sun., Oct. 23 (all East Coast times).

Food(ography) aims to detail stories and passion behind dishes. According to synopsis posted on the show’s website, the episode will start on Oahu with a Mai Tai prepared by star mixologist Christian Self at the posh Modern Honolulu (formerly the Waikiki EDITION hotel). After that, the cameras will focus on Hawaii celebrity chef Alan Wong, followed by a kitchen visit with green-minded chef Ed Kenney of Town (pictured, right), in Kaimuki — a 15-minute car ride from Honolulu’s downtown area.

In addition, plate lunch will be served at Helena's Hawaiian Food. Perhaps plate lunch — two scoops of rice and a scoop of macaroni salad paired with just about any food favorite reflecting Hawaii’s multicultural population — most succinctly defines our everyday “food(ography)” profile in the Islands.

On the Big Island, the foodie talk story will turn to farm-raised Wagyu beef at Merriman's Restaurant in Waimea, followed by a “seafood odyssey” at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel’s Manta & Pavilion Wine Bar.Hawaii_Oahu_Big Island_Honolulu_Cooking Channel

The episode — hosted by humorist, actor and writer Mo Rocca — also promises Hawaii treats ranging from mochi to Kona coffee, and a visit to a “major luau.” Rocca is also a correspondent for CBS Sunday Morning News with Charles Osgood, and a regular panelist on NPR’s weekly quiz show Wait, Wait...Don’t Tell Me!

Want to sample a bit of the featured Hawaii food? For the complete lowdown on two Big Island recipes — Luau Bread, courtesy of The Coffee Shack, and Portuguese Seafood Cataplana, courtesy chef George Gomes Jr., Mauna Kea Beach Hotel — click here. For additional information about Food(ography), click here.

Hungry for more? Check out HAWAII Magazine’s food issue, November/December 2011. The issue features a comprehensive and fun-filled guide to local eats.

To subscribe to HAWAII Magazine, click here.

Photos: (top) Nathan Kam/McNeil Wilson Communications, (bottom) Alan Wong's cuisine/photo courtesy of Watermark Publishing

Hawaii_Oahu_Pearl Harbor_Pacific Aviation Museum_PAN AMCommercial airline passenger service to Hawaii from the U.S. mainland got under way 75 years ago when PAN AM flew passengers from San Francisco to Hawaii using Martin-130 flying boats. Before that, visitors from areas outside of the Islands arrived by way of much slower — and wingless — boats. 

The Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor on Oahu is marking the anniversary with a new exhibit dubbed Come Fly with Me, which pays tribute to Pan American World Airways.

The exhibit will open with a reception slated for 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sat., Oct. 22. The event is open to the public and free, with museum admission, for regular museum visitors.

Designed to be an evolving exhibit that changes and grows as more artifacts are contributed by friends of PAN AM, the initial display will feature historic items and memorabilia in two modules: The Early Years, spotlighting the 1930s and 1940s, and The Jet Age, which focuses on 1960s.

In a news release issued by the Pacific Aviation Museum, its executive director, Kenneth DeHoff, said: “We have collected original PAN AM-branded items to be viewed in what appears to be the inside cabin of an airliner. It’s a fun concept and an exciting addition to our history of aviation in the Pacific.”

Among the highlights: uniforms, customer service items, original posters and signage, navigation tools, the maintenance manual for the Boeing 314 China Clipper, maps for routes serviced in the Islands, and biographical information on the founders and pioneers of international air service — Juan Trippe, Charles Lindbergh, and Edward Musick. 

According to Hawaii Aviation, part of the state’s Department of Transportation’s Airports Division:  In 1986, less than a year after PAN AM celebrated the 50th anniversary of its first flight across the Pacific, the airline announced the sale of their routes west of the Islands to United Airlines and shortly thereafter closed all operations in Hawaii. In 1991, PAN AM declared bankruptcy.

For additional information about the nonprofit Pacific Aviation Museum, housed on Ford Island, click here.

To subscribe to HAWAII Magazine, click here.

Photo: Wikicommons

Molokai Hoe competitors as they pass Diamond Head crater and Waikiki Beach on the way to the finish line.

The 26-mile-wide Kaiwi Channel, which separates Molokai and Oahu, is one of Hawai‘i’s most unpredictable sea passages even in ideal weather conditions.

Trade winds on the channel can be too light or too intense—at times, both on the same day. Strong currents have been known to sweep small watercraft far off course. Toss in swells as high as 30 feet and you’ve got the perfect recipe for a rough day on the ocean.

Sound like the perfect location for one of the world’s most prestigious and challenging open-ocean canoe races? It is.

The Molokai Hoe Molokai-to-Oahu outrigger-canoe race
is considered by many competitive paddlers to be their sport’s ultimate challenge. Hoe is the Hawaiian word for paddle or the act of paddling. Each October, paddling teams from Hawai‘i and around the world—more than 1,000-plus participants in all—haul their single-hulled, six-man canoes to west Molokai’s otherwise quiet Hale o Lono Harbor for the 41-mile race to Waikiki’s Fort DeRussy Beach.

The Molokai Hoe will hold its 60th competition on Sun., Oct. 9. If you're on Molokai, you can watch its dramatic start at 8 a.m. from Hale o Lono Harbor. On Oahu that day? Head down to Waikiki's Fort DeRussy Beach midday to see which canoe reaches the beach first. If you're not on either island on Sunday, catch some of the best views of the Molokai Hoe—on the water, and in the air—streaming online at www.molokaihoe.com.

“If you’re an Ironman, you do Kona,” says five-time Molokai Hoe finisher and U.S. Men’s Kayak Sprint National Team member Patrick Dolan, name-checking the famed granddaddy of triathlons, annually held the same weekend as the Hoe. “If you’re an outrigger paddler, you’ve got to do the Molokai Hoe.”

A Molokai Hoe outrigger negotiates the large ocean swells of the Kaiwi Channel, between Molokai and Oahu.

The first Molokai Hoe was held in 1952 with just three canoes in competition, each with six men paddling the full length of the race. Six decades later, it remains a men-only event despite increases in annual Molokai Hoe participants and paddling’s growing worldwide popularity as a sport. A women’s Kaiwi Channel race, the Na Wahine o ke Kai, established in 1979, is held annually two weeks before the Molokai Hoe.

Interestingly enough, other requirements are few. With divisions for novices and seasoned pros, the Molokai Hoe does not require paddlers to complete qualifying races before entering.

Year-round training and preparation, however, is highly advised. Shorter distance-training races are held from March through August. Paddlers often train in the water two to three times a week, while on other days adding running and weightlifting to the mix.


surfing_high_school_sport_HawaiiThe Islands where surfing was born more than three centuries ago is now the first state in the U.S. to recognize surfing as an official high school sport.

In an announcement made on Waikiki beach this week, Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie announced a plan that would allow Hawaii public high school students to be able to compete in school sanctioned surf competitions. That means surfing would join the ranks of football, basketball, soccer, volleyball and wrestling as a competitive school sport, with contests possibly starting as early as spring 2013.

The plan had been long in the works.

The Hawaii State Board of Education had actually approved surfing as a high school sport in May 2004. In a media release, state officials said that despite support from parents and students, funding for programs and other challenges kept surfing from becoming a sanctioned high school sport in the seven years since. The most significant of these challenges included liability and safety concerns. Students will be covered by their family insurance policies under the new plan.

“Hawaii is the birthplace of surfing. From Duke Kahanamoku to the thousands of residents and visitors who surf both recreationally and competitively, the sport is rooted in our culture and way of life,” said Abercrombie. “Bringing surfing to our students is another step in our collective goal to transform public education and provide our children with rich and diverse educational opportunities.”

Abercrombie made the announcement near the Waikiki statue of Duke Kahanamoku, the famed Hawaii waterman and Olympic gold medal-winning swimmer. Joining Abercrombie and state education officials in the announcement was Hawaii-born-and-raised 2011 Association of Surfing Professionals Women’s World Tour Champion Carissa Moore, who, at age 18 this summer, became the youngest surfer ever to win a world title.

“Surfing has been a really big part of my life growing up and has taught me so many life lessons,” said Moore, adding, “I think surfing is definitely a really good outlet for a lot of teens and young kids. And it’s a way to channel a lot of energy into something positive. So yeah, this is really awesome.”

We can't wait until competition begins!

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Carissa Moore photo: Honolulu Academy of Arts

Hawaii_Oahu_curry recipesHave you got a first-rate curry recipe? And a fabulous story that goes with the dish?

If so — and you’re not a pro chef — you may want to enter The Kahala Hotel & Resort’s inaugural All in the Family Curry Contest. The winner will score two nights in an ocean-view room (champagne and strawberries included) at the resort on Oahu’s south shore, a special dinner for two at the award-winning Hoku’s, and breakfast in the Plumeria Beach House.

Plus, the contest’s winning curry recipes will be featured in The Kahala’s Curry Buffet, which is open on Wednesday nights at the Plumeria Beach House. The Kahala’s all-you-can-eat Curry Buffet features three kinds of curry (Indian, Japanese, and Thai).

The contest is limited to amateur chefs only. Contestants are asked to “like” The Kahala’s Facebook page and submit a recipe, photo and the story behind the dish. Entries must be received no later than midnight (Hawaii time) on Oct. 19.  A winner will be announced on the resort’s Facebook, Twitter, and website. For more details about the resort, click here.

To subscribe to HAWAII Magazine, click here.
Photo: The Kahala Hotel & Resort


Kalua pork! Ahi poke! Fried saimin! Hawaii chef Alan Wong’s twice-cooked kalbi short ribs with gingered shrimp and ko choo jang sauce!

If you’re hungry for the cuisine and food culture of Hawaii, and reside in San Francisco and San Jose, circle every day on your calendar between Oct. 27 and Nov. 2, 2011. And work up an appetite!

The 2011 Taste Hawaii Tour
is coming your way, featuring James Beard Award-winning chef Alan Wong and Hawaii food historian Arnold Hiura. HAWAII Magazine is a co-sponsor of the tour and its full slate of food-related events, including book signings, cooking demos and lunch and dinner tasting events with Wong and Hiura. You could even win a trip to Hawaii at one of the events!


Just visiting the Bay Area between Oct. 27 and Nov. 2? You’re welcome to attend, too, as all events are open to the public. You’ll be in great food company.

Wong (top, left) is, of course, one of the founding chefs of the Hawaii Regional Cuisine movement, and a longtime champion of the farm-to-table movement both in the Islands and nationwide. The owner and executive chef of Alan Wong’s Restaurant and The Pineapple Room restaurant, both in Honolulu, Wong will be sharing stories and serving dishes from his newest cookbook The Blue Tomato: The Inspirations Behind the Cuisines of Alan Wong
Hiura (top, right) is the author of Kau Kau: Cuisine & Culture in the Hawaiian Islands, a compendium of the history, stories and heritage of the food we love here in the Islands. An aficionado of Hawaii’s multicultural mix of favorite foods as well, Hiura also included more than 70 recipes in Kau Kau, ranging from classic dishes born of Hawaii’s plantation past to comfort food favorites and Hawaii Regional Cuisine classics. Hiura will also be sharing stories and dishes from Kau Kau at Taste Hawaii Tour events.

Both Wong’s and Hiura’s books, by the way, received top Excellence in Cookbooks honors at the Hawaii Publishers Association’s Ka Palapala Pookela book awards for 2011 and 2010, respectively.

The 2011 Taste Hawaii Tour’s seven events with Alan Wong and Arnold Hiura include:

• Oct. 27, 6 p.m.: Blue Tomato and Kau Kau talk story and book signing, at Omnivore Books on Food, San Francisco, free.

• Oct. 29, 11:45 a.m.: Blue Tomato and Kau Kau cooking demonstration and talk story, at North Arcade Outdoor Teaching Kitchen at Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, San Francisco, free.

• Oct. 29, 12:30 p.m.: Blue Tomato and Kau Kau book signing, at North Arcade Outdoor Teaching Kitchen at Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, San Francisco, free.

• Oct. 30, 5 p.m.: Alan Wong Blue Tomato and Hukilau Restaurant Hawaii food tasting event and talk story, at the Japanese Cultural & Community Center of Northern California, San Francisco, $75 (includes tasting event and your-choice copy of either The Blue Tomato or Kau Kau). Click here for the menu!


• Oct. 31
, 6 p.m., Blue Tomato and Kau Kau book signing and pau hana mixer, at La Mar Cebicheria Peruana, San Francisco, $10 donation.

• Nov. 2
, 11 a.m., Alan Wong Blue Tomato and Hukilau Restaurant Hawaii food tasting event and talk story, at the Akiyama Wellness Center, San Jose, $60 (includes tasting event and your-choice copy of either The Blue Tomato or Kau Kau). Click here for the menu!

• Nov. 2, 6:30 p.m., Alan Wong Birthday Bash Blue Tomato and Hukilau Restaurant Hawaii food tasting event and talk story, Hukilau Restaurant San Jose, $75 (includes tasting event and your-choice copy of either The Blue Tomato or Kau Kau). A trip for two to Hawaii to dine at Alan Wong’s Restaurant Honolulu will be given away at this event! Click here for the menu!


Click here to read more about the 2011 Taste Hawaii Tour, find a schedule of tour events event locations and event menus, and to reserve your spot at Chef Alan Wong's Bay Area lunch and dinners!

To subscribe to HAWAII Magazine, click here.

Photos courtesy Watermark Publishing
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