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

John_Heckathorn_HawaiiHAWAII Magazine has lost a brilliant writer, mentor, leader and, most of all, great friend who was one of our own.

John Heckathorn, who served as editor of this magazine from 2007 to 2010, passed away yesterday in Honolulu. He was 65.

John was the first editor to lead HAWAII’s editorial team following the magazine’s purchase by our parent company PacificBasin Communications in 2006. PacBasin’s purchase of the magazine, which had been based in California for much of its 23-year history, finally placed the Islands that inspired HAWAII’s creation right in the magazine’s backyard. And as with all things John did in a writing and teaching career that spanned more than 40 years, he took to sharing the stories of his home state with exceptional gusto and originality.

John inspired us daily with his drive, work ethic and willingness to be up for just about anything. Never an editor content with sitting in an office editing the experiences of other writers, John was happiest and most in his element when work took him outside our doors. He loved traveling the Islands to see places for the first time or to experience them again. He would drop himself excitedly into every activity from snorkeling off of Niihau to hitching a ride on a 1920s-era Hawaiian Airlines airplane, meet and chat with people, jot all of it down in his black Moleskine notebook, then return home and recount all of his travel stories to us before writing about it all for HAWAII readers. He made us laugh ... a lot. And his own deep, throaty laugh was as much a force of nature as the man himself, robust enough to pummel through our office walls and into the offices of our sister PacBasin magazines. No one seemed to mind. We think.

John continued writing for HAWAII even after leaving the magazine in December 2010, turning in his trademark always immaculately written, ever-colorful stories. We cherished every one.

I will have more to share about John in my editor’s page in the March/April issue of HAWAII. Right now, his passing just hurts way too much.

Aloha and mahalo John. We will miss you.

Photo by Lina Jang


It’s almost time to bid aloha to 2011. In Hawaii, 2012 will get under way with fireworks blasting over our mid-Pacific waters and bursting in the midnight sky. Toes-in-the-sand spectators will greet the new year on Saturday night and very early on Sunday morning, gazing skyward while stretched out on mats and in beach chairs along a bustling stretch of Waikiki and on various other shorelines and parks in the Islands.  

The pyrotechnic shows in the Islands may not be of the same magnitude as those in New York City or in Washington D.C. But, hey, the President of the United States and his family are spending the holiday in Hawaii — again — and maybe they’ll be catching one of these beachside shows. You just never know. Here’s our list of Hawaii New Year’s Eve 2010 fireworks displays. Hauoli Makahiki Hou! — Happy New Year!—and all the best for 2012 from the HAWAII Magazine ohana!



Aloha Tower Marketplace fireworks — midnight, with free public viewing areas around the marketplace shopping area (pictured, above) near downtown Honolulu.

Fireworks are shot from platforms docked in Honolulu Harbor so the best spots to watch are along the marketplace's long pier. From 7 p.m. to  2 a.m., the marketplace will host a soiree dubbed  “Party of the Year,” featuring more than 20 DJs and bands performing on six stages, fire dancers, mechanical bull rides, and various dining specials. For more event details and ticket information, click here.

Ko Olina Resort fireworks  — midnight, with free public viewing areas along each of West Oahu resort’s four lagoons. Starting at 7 p.m., parking will be available in designated lots at a rate of $20 per car. Alcoholic beverages, coolers, backpacks, personal fireworks and open fires are strictly prohibited. For more information, click here or call 808-679-1090.

Billed as “Hawaii’s largest New Year’s fireworks display,” spectators are invited to view the show (firing from four lagoons) from land or sea. It will be synchronized to soundtrack featuring popular music artists ranging from Bruddah Iz to Katy Perry.

For spectators looking for more luxury, the JW Marriott Ihilani is offering “Room with a View,” an overnight stay and exclusive Presidential Suite viewing party ($1,000/couple). Cabana and poolside dinner views are also available. For reservations, call 808-679-0079.

Want to watch the show from the water? The New Year’s Ocean Joy Cruise — aboard the 60-foot Kai Oli Oli catamaran — departs Ko Olina Marina at 10:30 p.m. (Cost $65/person, parking additional cost).

Waikiki Beach fireworks  — midnight, with free public viewing areas along the Waikiki beachfront.

This annual fireworks show — sponsored by Waikiki hotels and businesses and the Waikiki Improvement Association — is visible from the entire Waikiki beachfront — and beyond. The popular event even has a fireworks countdown before the show.


Hawaii_Maui_birdsThe endangered Maui Parrotbill, or Kiwikiu, found only high in the forests of Haleakala, ranks as the rarest bird on the island. Formerly found in koa forest and at lower elevations on Maui and on Molokai, the species (pictured, right) now resides in Hanawi Natural Area Reserve, Haleakala National Park, and Waikamoi Preserve.

The Maui Forest Bird Recovery Project, which develops and implements efforts to restore habitats, is focused on helping the Parrotbill population, which is now estimated at 500 birds. The nonprofit’s research (banding the birds and tracking their territories, pairing and productivity) helps guide state and federal recovery actions.

Is there anything you can do to help? Well, you could pitch in with the purchase of a pint of beer.

At a fundraiser event for the recovery project, slated for Fri., Dec. 30, the Maui Brewing Company will salute the recovery project’s efforts with the debut of a special beer, Parrotbill Pub Ale. Between 6 p.m. and midnight, half of the night’s pint sales for the English-style bitter will go to the recovery project. The event will also feature live performances of Hawaiian style music infused with jazz and rock, and rock guitar. For more information about the event, click here.

Over the last two years, the Maui Brewing Company, in the Kahana Gateway Shopping Center, just north of Lahaina, has been hosting benefit nights for the bird recovery project. 

Due largely to our mid-Pacific isolation and pest species, the Islands have lost more species than any other geographic area on Earth. Biologists and wildlife managers are working to prevent the loss of hundreds of endangered species including plants, invertebrates and animals  - including more than 30 birds

Maui Forest Bird Recovery Project was formed in 1997 by the state’s Department of Land and Natural Resources and by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to help recover the endangered forest birds of Maui. For more information about the project, click here.

To subscribe to HAWAII Magazine, click here.

Photo: State of Hawaii’s Department of Land and Natural Resources/State of Hawaii’s Division of Forestry and Wildlife


HAWAII Magazine’s staff ohana

To: our HAWAII Magazine & HawaiiMagazine.com
reader ohana

A very Mele Kalikimaka (Merry Christmas) to you and all the best in the new year. Hauoli Makahiki Hou (Happy New Year)!


By the way, if you happen to be on Oahu this week or next, the 27th annual Honolulu City Lights will be glowing every evening until Jan. 1. (Tonight only: event organizers will be serving up free cups of hot chocolate in the flagpole area at the Fasi Memorial Buildings.)

The Mele Kalikimaka scene, which got under way earlier this month, features larger-than-life holiday displays, such as a 21-foot shaka-flashing Santa seated next to a lei-draped Tutu Mele (pictured, at top of page) at a fountain pool fronting Honolulu Hale (Oahu’s city hall). There’s also an elaborately decorated 50-foot Norfolk Christmas tree (pictured, below). Inside historic Honolulu Hale (constructed in 1928), you'll find a lineup of Christmas trees, each cleverly decorated by personnel in government offices and other volunteers. Also, there may be a may be a line to visit a jolly old elf seated in a gingerbread hale (pictured, above). If you go, have fun — and bring a camera.


This year’s City Lights theme is “Holoholo Holiday,” which translates as  “just for fun.” For more information about Honolulu City Lights and related special events, click here.

To subscribe to HAWAII Magazine, click here.

Photos: David Croxford

Hawaii_Oahu_Honolulu_artIf you’re on Oahu over the next week or so and you’re up for a bit of art appreciation, Honolulu Academy of Arts maintains a roster of fascinating exhibits and events. Offerings in the late December lineup range from an exhibition showcasing Chinese high ideals in painting to a Japanese film series focused on campy fun.
High ideals: Masterpieces of Landscape Painting from the Forbidden City is a landmark exhibition spotlighting rare works that have never before been allowed to travel outside China. It runs though Jan. 8, 2012. Campy fun: Oh My Godzilla! Film Series, slated for four evenings, starting Tues., Dec. 27.

The Academy is offering a special exhibition tour of Masterpieces of Landscape Painting from the Forbidden City (exhibition painting, pictured, right). Through the end of the month, they’re set for 10:15 a.m. tomorrow, Sat., Dec 24, Tues., Dec 27, Wed., Dec. 28, Thurs., Dec 29, and Fri., Dec. 30.

The exhibition includes 56 paintings from the Palace Museum in Beijing, which has the largest collection of Chinese paintings in the world, and 19 paintings from the Honolulu Academy of Arts’ collection. The Academy’s exhibition news release notes: “Together, these works reveal a painting revolution that happened in China during the 13th and 14th centuries, and forever changed the course of the arts, with its influence still felt today.”

The release continues: “At the heart of the exhibition is a group of rare, early works by the four most influential artists of the Yuan dynasty (1279-1368), known as “the four Masters of Yuan Dynasty Painting”— Huang Gongwang, Wu Zhen, Ni Zan, and Wang Meng. These works have never before been allowed to travel outside China, and are not regularly displayed in the Palace Museum.”  Also, this is the first time that the exhibition’s later Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasty paintings from the Palace Museum have been included in an international exhibition.

“In just 100 years, you can see Chinese painting becoming much more expressive of personal vision,” Shawn Eichman, Curator of Asian Art at the Academy says in the release. “Each artist was finding his voice, and using a new vocabulary to express his own ideas. These artists pushed the limits to explore new ways of painting. Their paintings want to talk to you. They want to share with you their unique perceptions of the natural world.”

For more information about the exhibition, click here.Hawaii_Oahu_Honolulu_art

On a lighter note, the Academy will end the year at its Doris Duke Theatre with screenings of three Godzilla classics. The series will wrap up with a rare showing of the restored original 1954 Japanese classic (pictured, left).

In an Academy release, theatre director Gina Carusa says: “Aside from the fact that the Godzilla franchise is a cultural phenomenon that evinces the collective anxieties of our times, these films are first and foremost amazingly fun. I defy anyone to watch Godzilla go head to head with a jumbo shrimp on a remote tropical island without thoroughly enjoying every outrageous minute of it!”

The “Godzillathon” will kick off with a pre-screening sushi-and-saki reception, 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Tues., Dec. 27 at the Academy.  The 1960s cult classic Godzilla vs. Seamonster will screen at 7:30 p.m. For more details about the film series, click here.

To subscribe to HAWAII Magazine, click here.

Photos: Honolulu Academy of Arts

Hawaii_Kauai_ChristmasIf you happen to be on Kauai on the night before Christmas (or the night before the night before) you’ll find plenty of holiday cheer at the 15th annual Festival of Lights, which features a charming collection of island-style folk art and a yuletide light display.     

The annual fest, held at the Historic County Building, 4396 Rice St., in
 Lihue, which got under way on weekend evenings earlier this month, will wrap up this weekend with special events slated for 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Fri., Dec. 23 and on Christmas Eve, Sat., Dec. 24. 

Outside, the building’s exterior and Historic County Building Park trees will be aglow with Christmas lights. Inside the building, you’ll find a holiday display showcasing a collection of Christmas folk art created by Auntie Josie Chansky. Starting in the 1950s, the Kauai native opened her home for nearly four decades to share her Christmas folk art decorations. Hawaii_Kauai_Christmas

Elizabeth Freeman, a Kauai artist who organizes the Festival of Lights, acquired Chansky’s Christmas House collection in 1996 and as has since worked in tandem with county officials and community volunteers to present the annual fest.

Among the trash-to-treasure folk art favorites: a Christmas tree made of 7,500 green toothpicks (pictured, left), festive wreaths made with egg cartons, table decorations fashioned from seed pods, and a chandelier crafted from wire coat hangers.

Also on display is a glittering decoration titled "Surfin' Santa's Sleigh," which is pulled by a team of wave-riding Kauai roosters.

Other pieces of holiday folk art created by the local community include: a “SPAM Can Tree,” a “Hula Bear Tree,” a “Kilauea Lighthouse Tree,” a “Peacock Tree” and “Aloha Recycled Treasures” made from plastic water bottles.

For additional information about Kauai's Festival of Lights, click here.

To subscribe to HAWAII Magazine, click here.

Photos: (top) Kauai's Historic County Building, Ron Kosen; (bottom) Auntie Josie Chansky's "Toothpick Tree," Jim Shea 

Hawaii_Molokai_saintBlessed Marianne Cope, a Roman Catholic nun who cared for Hansen's Disease (leprosy) patients on Molokai for three decades, beginning in the late 1880s — soon after the death of Hawaii’s Saint Damien — will be canonized as a saint during 2012.

In a news release issued yesterday by the Diocese of Honolulu, Bishop Larry Silva said: “We are twice blessed in Hawaii with the recent canonization of St. Damien (2009) and now with the canonization of this woman of great intelligence, dedication and love.”

Following a Dec. 6 ruling by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Causes for Saints that a second miracle attributed to the intercession of Blessed Marianne Cope was an inexplicable medical recovery, Pope Benedict XVI yesterday proclaimed Blessed Marianne Cope a saint. (To become a saint, you need to instigate two miracles.) A date for the 2012 canonization ceremony is yet to be determined. 
Barbara Koob (now officially "Cope") was born on Jan. 23 1838 in West Germany. The next year, her family moved to the United States and settled in Utica, N.Y. At age 24, Barbara entered the Sisters of St Francis in Syracuse, N.Y., where she received the religious habit and the name "Sr Marianne" and began working as a teacher and principal in several elementary schools in New York state.

In 1883, when an emissary from Hawaii sent letters seeking Catholic sisters to provide health care on the Hawaiian Islands, especially to patients with Hansen’s Disease, Mother Marianne was the sole religious leader — out of 50 contacted — to respond positively. She reportedly wrote to the emissary: “I am not afraid of any disease, hence, it would be my greatest delight even to minister to the abandoned "lepers.'"Hawaii_Molokai_saint

More than 10 years earlier, thousands of Hansen's Disease patients throughout the Islands had been sent by government order to Molokai’s isolated Kalaupapa peninsula. In 1873, Father Damien de Veuster (today Blessed Damien is known as the "Apostle to Lepers") moved to the island to live among the patients and minister to them.

Mother Marianne first met Father Damien in January 1884, when he was in apparent good health. Two years later, in 1886, after he had been diagnosed with Hansen's Disease, Mother Marianne was reportedly the only religious leader to offer hospitality to the priest. (His illness reportedly made him an unwelcome visitor to church and government leaders in Honolulu.)

Several months before Father Damien's death in 1889, at age 49, Mother Marianne agreed to provide care for the patients at the Boys' Home at Kalawao that he had founded. Subsequently, Mother Marianne, along with two other nuns, ran the Bishop Home (for girls) and the Home for Boys at Kalawao.

Mother Marianne never returned to Syracuse, and neither she nor the two nuns she worked with contracted Hansen’s Disease. Mother Marianne died on Aug. 9, 1918 in Hawaii and was buried on the grounds of Bishop Home.

For more information about Blessed Marianne Cope’s work in the Islands, click here.

To subscribe to HAWAII Magazine, click here.

Photos: (top) Sisters of St. Francis; (bottom) Wikimedia Commons, Mother Marianne Cope beside Father Damien's funeral bier  

Hawaii_Maui_Lahaina_Front StreetSituated on the west side of Maui, the historic town of Lahaina is sometimes referred to as the “jewel in the crown of Maui.” And Front Street, which runs near the former whaling village’s waterfront, contributes to that claim with scenic ocean and mountain views, historic architecture, a lively mix of shops and restaurants, and a 50-foot banyan tree that serves as canopy for two-thirds of an acre and is famous for being the largest in Hawaii and among the largest in the United States.

Last week, the five-block stretch was recognized by the American Planning Association as one of the top 10 2011 Great Streets in America. Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa unveiled a bronze plaque dedicating Front Street on the Baldwin Home Museum’s front lawn.

The nonprofit’s Great Places in America program recognizes inviting streets, neighborhoods and public spaces that have benefitted from innovative and thoughtful planning efforts.Hawaii_Maui_Lahaina_Front Street

The nonprofit’s Great Places in America winners’ listing noted the following:  “Front Street packs in everything that makes Lahaina, Lahaina: wooden storefronts, second-story balconies, public parks, art galleries, eateries, residential quarters, whale-watching tourists, children scurrying to and from school, elderly couples taking early-morning walks, bicycles and vehicles sharing the road, divine views of the majestic West Maui Mountains, Lahaina Harbor and island of Lanai, and an archeological site dating to the year 700.” 

The listing continued, “Major transformations have taken place since the mid-19th century when Lahaina was a major port of call for whaling ships that resupplied here — and Front Street was lined with raucous taverns filled with sailors on shore leave.”

In 1997, the street underwent an $11 million upgrade with projects ranging from widening sidewalks to burying most electric utility lines. Lahaina Restoration Foundation Executive Director Theo Morrison nominated Front Street for the “Great Streets” program, and has noted that the recognition marks the first time a location in Hawaii has been selected for the annual top 10 lineup. 

The other top streets include: Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood, Calif.; U Street N.W., Washington, D.C.; Main Street, Galena, Ill; Main Street, Nantucket, Mass;  Washington Avenue, St. Louis, Mo.; Market Street and Market Square, Ports mouth, N.H.; Davis Street, Culpeper, Va.; King Street, Alexandria, Va.; and downtown Woodstock Streetscape, Woodstock, Vt.

For additional information about the American Planning Association, click here. And for more details about Lahaina’s restoration efforts, click here.

To subscribe to HAWAII Magazine, click here.

 Photos: (top) historic Pioneer Hotel, (bottom) Lahaina's celebrated banyan tree, David Croxford

Hawaii_Kauai_Molokai_Oahu_Waikiki_sealA 3-year-old Hawaiian monk seal abandoned by its mother as a newborn on Kauai is now taking up permanent residence at the Waikiki Aquarium’s Hawaiian Monk Seal Habitat.

Hoailona, also known as KP2, returned to Hawaii last month, after spending about two years at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where he took part in research aimed at better understanding the rare seal, which is found only in the Hawaiian Islands.

The Hawaiian monk seal is among the most critically endangered seal species in the world. While conservation efforts by the National Marine Fisheries Service have helped stabilize the population, it continues to decline. About 1,100 animals remain, according to the Waikiki Aquarium.

Yesterday, after spending weeks in quarantine at the Waikiki Aquarium, Hoailona (pictured, above) was permitted to check out the monk seal habitat that he’ll share with Maka onaona (pictured, below), a 450-pound seal that has been at the aquarium for more than 25 years. According to news reports, they’ll remain separated, though, until Hoailona, who weighs 200 pounds, doubles in size.Hawaii_Kauai_Molokai_Oahu_Waikiki_seal

Abandoned in May, 2008, Hoailona was raised by National Marine Fisheries Service scientists, who later released him into waters edging Molokai north shoreline. The seal then turned up on the island’s south shore where he reportedly became friendly with beachgoers and swam with children.

Worried that as the seal matured, his play would too rough human interaction, he was transported to California. Also, by then his eyesight was known to be poor and he was reportedly diagnosed with cataracts. Scientists reportedly considered surgery to remove his cataracts but opted against it because Hoailona is not entirely blind and responds to vocal commands.

The Hawaiian monk seal’s primary habitat lies in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, which extend over 1,200 miles northwest from Kauai to Midway Island and Kure atoll. According to the aquarium, monk seals are typically not highly social animals, and they may live up to 30 years, reaching lengths of 8 feet and weights ranging from 400 pounds to 600 pounds.

For more information about the Waikiki Aquarium, click here.

To subscribe to HAWAII Magazine, click here.
Photos: Waikiki Aquarium

Hawaii_Big Island_volcanoes_lava_ocean-entryHawaii Volcanoes National Park is providing hiking access to a sea cliff area at its eastern border where lava from Kilauea volcano’s remote Puu Oo vent is pouring into the ocean.

The lava reached the ocean-entry site, dubbed by scientists as “West Kaili ili,” late last week, marking the first time since 2009 that lava has entered the ocean within park boundaries. Other recent ocean-entries have occurred by way of private land and within County of Hawaii jurisdiction.

Currently, several streams of lava are pouring into the ocean, providing dramatic views (pictured, right and below). Visitors who stay after dark can also see channels of lava flowing down the pali (slope) and across the flow field, but conditions can change at any time.

Want to catch a glimpse of the dazzling spectacle of molten lava slipping into steaming ocean waters? 

Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park Superintendent Cindy Orlando is pleased to extend the opportunity. But before dashing out to the Big Island site, better double-check whether you’re ready for the 4-mile hike to the West Kaili ili entry, which starts at the bottom of Chain of Craters Road.Hawaii_Big Island_volcanoes_lava_ocean-entry

“Hikers must be adequately prepared with plenty of drinking water, dressed for rain or sunshine, wear sturdy, closed-toe shoes, carry a flashlight and spare batteries, and be in good physical shape for this hike,” across and uneven flow field, Orlando said in a news release issued yesterday by the national park.

In addition, hikers must heed all warning signs and ranger advisories, and be aware of earth cracks and crevices, sharp terrain and rain-slick pahoehoe (smooth) lava and other hazards. Further, steam plumes produced by lava entering the sea contain fine lava fragments and acid droplets that can be harmful. Also, scientists have confirmed that a lava delta is being formed at the base of a sea cliff at West Kaili ili. Lava deltas can collapse with little warning, produce hot rock falls inland, and generate large local waves.

Visitors who are not up for the hike can observe the ocean-entry plume from the end of Chain of Craters Road, near the ranger station. After sunset, flowing lava from Puu Oo has been visible from the turnout on the hairpin curve on Chain of Craters Road, weather permitting.

Puu Oo, a cinder cone Kilauea volcano’s eastern flanks, began erupting in January 1983. The ongoing 29-year Puu Oo eruption, among the longest-lasting Hawaiian eruptions in recorded history. The first written accounts of eruptions in Hawaii date back to the 1820s, when American missionaries arrived on the Big Island.

Daily updates on Kilauea volcano activity are available at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory website.

HawaiiMagazine.com has reported regularly on lava activity at Kilauea volcano and Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island. Click here to catch up with all of our Volcano News posts. You can also follow our updates on our Twitter and Facebook pages.

To subscribe to HAWAII Magazine, click here.

Photos: Hawaiian Volcano Observatory/US Geological Survey
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