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

The Hawaii Symphony Orchestra will launch its inaugural season this weekend at the Neal S. Blaisdell Concert Hall in Honolulu.

The orchestra’s debut performance, set for 4 p.m. on Sun. March 4, will mark the return of symphonic music to Oahu after a quiet stretch of about two years. 

About a year ago, the 110-year-old Honolulu Symphony folded. Prior to its liquidation due to debt-related matters, the symphony operated under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for about a year and cancelled all of its concerts.

In the aftermath of the liquidation a group of Hawaii business leaders announced their intention to bring back the music. Among the group’s members: Oswald Stender, an Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustee who is now serving as director of the new Board of the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra.

In a recent news release issued by the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra, Stender said: “It is our belief that having a symphony orchestra organization in Hawaii is critical to the state’s artistic and economic vitality.” He continued, “We are all thrilled to be making the dream of a new orchestra a reality.”

Maestra JoAnn Falletta (pictured, right) is serving as artistic advisor for the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra’s 2012 masterworks series. Falletta, music director of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and the Virginia Symphony, has put together a series that includes the return of guest conductor, Naoto Otomo and longstanding Hawaii favorites, such as cellist Zuill Bailey and pianist Jon Kimura Parker. The series will feature popular works ranging from Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony to Brahms Piano Concerto and Rodrigo's Guitar Concerto.

Here’s the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra’s masterworks season lineup. All performances will take place at the Blaisdell Concert Hall.

Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony (4 p.m. on Sun., March 4, and 7 p.m. on Tues., March 6) — Conductor: Naoto Otomo; soloist: Lisa Nakamichi (piano). Weber Overture to "Oberon;"
 Mozart Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor, K. 466; and Beethoven Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Op. 67.

Brahms Piano Concerto (7 p.m. on Thurs., March 22, and 8 p.m. on Fri., March 23) — Conductor: Shinik Hahm; soloist: Norman Krieger (piano). Brahms Hungarian Dance No. 5;
 Brahms Piano Concerto No. 1 in D Minor, Op. 15; and Sibelius Symphony No. 2 in D Major, Op. 43.

Dvorak’s New World (4 p.m. on Sun., April 1, and 7 p.m. on Tues., April 3) — Conductor: Jeffrey Kahane; soloist: Jeffrey Kahane (piano). Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 4 in G Major, Op. 58; and Dvorak Symphony No. 9 in E Minor, Op. 95, "From the New World."

Russian Easter & Tchaikovsky’s 5th (8 p.m. on Fri., April 6, and 8 p.m. on Sat. Sat. April 7) — Conductor: Joann Falletta; soloist: Michael Ludwig (violin). Rimsky­‐Korsakov Russian Easter Overture, Op. 36; Wieniawski Violin Concerto No.2 in D Minor, Op.22; and Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 5 in E Minor, Op.64.

Mendelssohn’s Italian Symphony (4 p.m. on Sun., April 22, and 7 p.m. on Tues., April 24) — Conductor: Sarah Hicks; soloist: Joe Burgstaller (trumpet). Zhou Tian Thousand Years of Good Prayers; Arutunian Trumpet Concerto in A-Flat Major; 
Bach (Vivaldi) Concerto in D Major, BWV  972; and Mendelssohn Symphony No. 4 in A Major, Op. 90, Italian.

Rodrio’s Guitar Concerto (8 p.m. on Fri., May 4, and 4 p.m. on Sun., May 6) — Conductor: Junichi Hirokami; soloist: Manuel Barrueco (guitar). Takemitsu to the Edge of Dream for Guitar and Orchestra; Rodrigo Concierto de Aranjuez; and Rachmaninoff Symphony No. 2 in E Minor, Op. 27.

Dvorak’s Cello Concerto (4 p.m. on Sun., May 13, and 7 p.m. on Tues., May 15) — Conductor: Maximiano Valdes; soloist: Zuill Bailey (cello). Dvorak Slavonic Dance, Op. 46. No. 8; Dvorak Cello Concerto in B Minor, Op. 104; and Brahms Symphony No. 3 in F Minor, Op. 90.

Pictures at an Exhibition (8 p.m. on Sat., May 19, and 4 p.m. on Sun., May 20) — Conductor: Jung-Ho Pak; soloist: Jon Kimura Parker (piano). Tan Dun Internet Symphony No. 1, Eroica; Gershwin, Rhapsody in Blue; Rachmaninoff, Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op. 43; and Mussorgsky (Ravel), Pictures at an Exhibition.

For additional information at the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra, call (808) 593-9468 or click here.

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Photos: Hawaii Symphony Orchestra

Hawaii_Gallup_poll_happyFor the third straight year, the annual Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index has ranked Hawaii highest in well-being in the nation.

OK, we know the top ranking is no surprise. There’s a lot to be happy about in the Islands. One element about the well-being survey that strikes us, though, is it underscores that simple things, such as everyday smiles and laughter, can make a difference on the happiness meter. 

Hawaii scored 70.2 out of a possible well-being score of 100. Close behind: North Dakota, 70.0; Minnesota, 69.2; Utah, 69.0; Alaska, 69.0; Colorado, 68.4; Kansas, 68.4; Nebraska, 68.3; New Hampshire, 68.2; and Montana, 68.0.

West Virginia scored the lowest, with 62.3. The rest of the bottom 10 includes: Kentucky, 63.3; Mississippi, 63.4; Delaware, 64.2; Ohio, 64.5; Alabama, 64.6; Arkansas, 64.7; Missouri, 64.8; Florida, 64.9; and Tennessee and Nevada, both at 65.0.

During 2011, Gallup phoned 353,492 American adults in each state. Survey interviewers asked participants about six areas of well-being: life evaluation (present life situation and expectations for the future); emotional health (sense of happiness, sense of being treated with respect, levels of worry, stress, etc.); work environment and job satisfaction; physical health (chronic health problems and intermittent ailments, such as colds); health-related behaviors (diet, exercise, smoking, etc.); and access to health care, healthful food and water, safe home and exercise areas.Hawaii_Gallup_poll_happy

Hawaii turned in the highest scores for emotional health (83.8) and healthy behaviors (68.9). The other top sub-index scores: life evaluation, Alaska (60.2); work environment, North Dakota (54.3); physical health, Minnesota (79.9); and basic access, Massachusetts (86.6). 

According to the report, which was released yesterday, Hawaii residents were “the most likely to say they smiled or laughed a lot ‘yesterday’ and the least likely to report daily worry or stress and to have ever been diagnosed with depression. Residents’ good eating and exercise habits and lower smoking rates earned them the distinction of having the best healthy behaviors in the nation.”

For more information about the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, which has been released annually since 2008 (Utah had the top ranking that year), click here.

To subscribe to HAWAII Magazine, click here.

Photos: Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) — both, (top) Sri Maiava Rusden (bottom) Tor Johnson 

Hawaii_Oahu_Kauai_Descendants_film_OscarThe Descendants, a dramedy filmed on Oahu and Kauai and packed with a cast of compelling Hawaii characters, picked up an Oscar statuette last night for best adapted screenplay.

The screenplay is based on the best-selling novel by Hawaii writer Kaui Hart Hemmings, who reportedly struck up a friendship with director Alexander Payne and assisted him on matters ranging from screenplay details to casting and wardrobe. Also, Hemmings played a bit part in the movie as the secretary for the lead character, Matt King (George Clooney).

The Descendants follows the story of King — a wealthy landowner, husband and father of two girls — who is forced to reexamine his life after his wife is severely injured in a boating accident near Waikiki. A descendant of a 19th-century Hawaiian princess, King must simultaneously contend with a big decision about the impending sale of his family’s inherited Hawaiian land while learning that his comatose wife had been having an affair.

In the film, King’s home is in Nuuanu, a 15-minute car ride from Waikiki on Oahu. Part of the storyline involves King and his daughters traveling to Kauai to find his wife’s lover and see the pristine family-owned land. Hawaii_Oahu_Kauai_Descendants_film_Oscar
In addition to the Academy Award nomination for best adapted screenplay, the film was also a candidate for: best picture, best lead actor (Clooney), and best director. The Artist, a mostly silent black-and-white film about an actor’s struggle with the end of the silent film era, swept all four categories.

The Descendants was our favorite in the best picture lineup. Still, we expected that The Artist, described as a well crafted “love letter” to the movie-making industry would likely walk away with the best picture Oscar. We were betting, though, that Clooney (pictured, above) would win a statuette for his role, which was well received among Hawaii’s actual kamaaina.

What are your thoughts on the 84th Academy Awards? Please leave your comments on HAWAII Magazine’s Facebook Page.

While The Descendants made it to the winner’s stage just once, one of its screenwriters, Jim Rash, spontaneously created what we’re ranking as one of the award show’s funniest moments.

While presenting the award for best adapted screenplay, actress Angelina Jolie assumed a seemingly exaggerated pose, jutting her right leg through a thigh-high slit on her gown and placing her left hand on her hip. Minutes later, when Rash joined co-writers Payne and Nat Faxon on the stage, he immediately imitated Jolie’s posture, sticking out his leg, placing his Oscar on his hip and tossing his head back.

Click on the image below for a look at Payne’s acceptance speech.

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Photos: Fox Searchlight Pictures. Video: ABC

Hawaii_Oahu_Honolulu_chefsThe 2012 Hawaii Food & Wine Festival, set for Sept. 6-9 on Oahu, will feature at least 50 top-notch master chefs from the United States, Singapore, Japan, Korea, Philippines, and Australia. Esteemed vintners will also showcase their expertise during the four-day event.

Chefs will be serving up innovative dishes inspired by Hawaii’s diverse culinary and cultural traditions at The MODERN Honolulu, Halekulani, Hilton Hawaiian Village Resort and Spa, and Ko Olina Resort with Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa, and JW Marriott Ihilani.

The festival’s theme, “Taste Our Love for the Land,” was established at last year’s inaugural Hawaii Food & Wine Festival (HFWF). The theme is inspired by the ancient Hawaiian tradition of ahupuaa  — an interdependent mountain-to-sea system in which everything necessary for survival could be grown, gathered and exchanged locally.

A news release issued by festival organizers said: “HFWF highlights the islandsʼ return to a sustainable eco-system of agriculture, environment and economy.” Proceeds will benefit the Hawaii Agricultural Foundation, the Culinary Institute of the Pacific, Paepae O Heeia and Papahana O Kuaola.

Here are some of event highlights.Hawaii_Oahu_Honolulu_chefs

Enter The MODERN Dragon: Morimoto and Friends, 6-9 p.m. on Thurs., Sept. 6 at The MODERN Honolulu

Building on Hawaii’s mid-Pacific location where East meets West, and once again led by “Iron Chef” Masaharu Morimoto (pictured, left) of Morimoto Waikiki, diners will try provocative dishes prepared by 13 chefs from Asia and the Pacific.  Other participating chefs include: Edward Kwon, LAB XXIV, Seoul; Sam Leong, Forest Cooking School, Singapore; Charles Phan, The Slanted Door, San Francisco; Roy Choi, Kogi BBQ, Los Angeles; Ming Tsai, Blue Ginger, Wellesley, MA; Chai Chaowasaree, Chai’s Island Bistro, Honolulu; Joanne Chang, Flour Bakery + Cafe, Myers + Chang, Boston; Sang Yoon, Lukshon, Culver City; Marco Anzani, Anzani, Cebu City, Philippines; Peter Doyle, est. restaurant, Sydney; Christina Tosi, Momofuku Milk Bar, New York; and Scott Toner, The MODERN Honolulu. Tickets for the event, presented by Hawaiian Airlines, start at $200 per person.

Second Annual Halekulani Masters Chef Gala Series: Chefs Who Have Cooked for Presidents and Royalty, 6-9 p.m. on Fri., Sept. 7 at Halekulani

Master chefs and top sommeliers will aim to “wow” food lovers with a lavish seven-course meal and wine pairings. The chefs include: Vikram Garg, Halekulani, Honolulu; Alan Wong, Alan Wong’s, Hawaii; Nobu Matsuhisa, Nobu, Waikiki; Michel Richard, Michel Richard Citronelle, Central Michel Richard, Washington D.C.; Hubert Keller (pictured, below) Fleur de Lys, San Francisco; Tetsuya Wakuda, Tetsuya, Sydney; and François Payard, Payard, New York. Tickets start at $1,000 per person with reserved seating in Halekulani’s ballroom.

Hawaii_Oahu_Honolulu_chefsFrom Farm to Table: A Makahiki Festival, 6 -9 p.m. on Sat., Sept. 8 at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Resort & Spa (great lawn)

Paying tribute to the Hawaiian “Makahiki” festival, or harvest season, the third evening event will showcase Hawaii’s sustainable pursuits with 20 celebrity chefs, many of whom promote “farm to table” sustainable sourcing and cooking practices. The chefs include: Ken Oringer, Clio, Boston; Michael Ginor, Hudson Valley Fois Gras & Lola, New York; Jonathan Waxman, Barbuto, New York; Hiroshi Fukui, Hiroshi Eurasian Tapas, Honolulu; Jeffrey Vigilla, Hilton Hawaiian Village, Honolulu; Josiah Citrin, Melisse, Santa Monica; Ron Siegel, Parallel 37, San Francisco; Mark Noguchi, Heeia Kea General Store & Deli, Honolulu; Todd English, Todd English Enterprises, New York; David Burke, Townhouse, New York; Lee Anne Wong, Cooking Channel’s Unique Eats, New York; Susan Feniger, Border Grill, Los Angeles; Justin Quek, Sky on 57, Singapore, Justin’s Signatures, Just In Bistro & Wine Bar, Taipei; Yasuhiro Sasajima, Il Ghiottone, Kyoto; Josef Centeno, Baco Mercat, Los Angeles; Sally Camacho, WP24 by Wolfgang Puck, Los Angeles; Toshi Yoroizuka, Toshi Yoroizuka, Tokyo; Nancy Silverton, Mozza, Los Angeles; Josh Feathers, Blackberry Farm, Tennessee, and Alessandro Stratta, Las Vegas. Tickets start at $200 per person.

Cuisines of the Stars: A Magical Journey of Food & Culture, starting at 6 p.m. on Sun., Sept. 9 at Ko Olina Resort featuring Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa and JW Marriott Ihilani

The festival finale will be hosted on the Westside of Oahu, with 13 chefs creating a culinary tour of ethnic foods from around the world using local produce and products. Participating chefs include Andrew Sutton, Napa Rose, Anaheim; Mourad Lahlou, Aziza, San Francisco; Dean Fearing, Fearing’s, Dallas; Ed Kenney, Town, Honolulu; Raphael Lunetta, JiRaffe, Santa Monica; Celestino Drago, Drago Restaurant Group, Los Angeles; Marcel Vigneron, Marcelʼs Quantum Kitchen, Modern Global Tasting, Los Angeles; Seamus Mullen, Tertulia, New York; Susan Spicer, Bayona, Mondo, New Orleans; Patrick Fahy, Cafe des Architectes, Chicago; Michelle Ueoka, Alan Wong’s, Hawaii; Jacqueline Lau, Roy’s Restaurant’s, Hawaii; and George Mavrothalassitis, Chef Mavro, Honolulu. Tickets start at $200 per person.

Hawaii chefs, Roy Yamaguchi and Alan Wong, both James Beard Award-winners, serve as event co-chairs for the festival. For more information about the event, click here.

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Photos: Hawaii Food & Wine Festival

Hawaii_Maui_pineapple_artArtist Georgia O’Keeffe spent three months in Hawaii during 1939 while on assignment for the Dole Pineapple Co. She was tasked with producing two paintings for a national advertising campaign.

While in the Islands, O’Keeffe produced 20 paintings of tropical plants, verdant landscapes and the blue-green sea. During a two-week stay on Maui, 12-year-old Patricia Jennings, the daughter of a Hana sugar plantation manager, served as a guide for the 51-year-old artist. Jennings, now 85 and a Big Island resident, recounts the pair’s Maui adventures in Hana and Wailuku in a recently released book, Georgia O’Keeffe’s Hawaii. Co-author Maria Ausherman is an educator and art writer in New York.

Jennings will give a free talk about her days with O’Keeffe and her lasting impressions of the artist at 3 p.m. on Sat., Feb. 25 at the Plantation Guest House, above Hana Ranch Store. The event is hosted by Travaasa Hana ad Ala Kukui/Hana Retreat.

The Honolulu Academy of Arts owns five of O’Keeffe’s 20 Hawaii-inspired works. And how did Dole Pineapple fare? O’Keeffe reportedly did not paint a single pineapple while in the Islands. After returning to the mainland, though, she painted a Dole-delivered pineapple in New York. 

For more information about Georgia O’Keeffe’s Hawaii, click here.

Image: book cover design by Lisa Carta

The 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet, Tenzin Gyatso, will touch down on Oahu next month for two public talks in Honolulu.

Advancing Peace through the Power of Aloha, is slated for 1:45 p.m. on Sun., April 15. The other talk, Educating the Heart, set for 1:30 p.m. on Sat., April 14, is tailored for high school and college students. More than half of the tickets for this talk are free and being distributed through public and private high schools on Oahu. Both talks will be held at the University of Hawaii’s Stan Sheriff Center, in the Manoa area.

Tickets for both events may be purchased online starting at 6 p.m. today (Hawaii time). Beginning tomorrow, tickets will also be sold at the UH Stan Sheriff Center box office. For additional information about tickets, click here.

Unable to attend? Both events will be available for playback after each concludes on the Pillars of Peace Hawaii website, which operated by the Hawaii Community Foundation.

In 1989, the Dalai Lama — the spiritual leader of Tibet who describes himself as a “simple Buddhist monk” — was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his non-violent struggle for the liberation of Tibet. For more information about the Dalai Lama (pictured, right), click here.

The Dalai Lama’s visit marks the launch of a new Hawaii Community Foundation initiative called Pillars of Peace Hawaii: Building Peace on a Foundation of Aloha. The nonprofit’s program endeavors to bring global peace leaders to Hawaii to exchange ideas about the many forms of peace that exist in Hawaii and elsewhere around the world.

In a news release issued by the foundation, its president and CEO, Kelvin Taketa, said: “The people of Hawaii, their welcoming ‘spirit of aloha’ and the blending of many cultures are facets that make our islands a special place to live.”

He continued, “We take pride in our ability to embrace our diversity and peacefully co-exist, and are honored to be able to share this valuable lesson with others around the world. Through the Pillars of Peace program, we hope to share these examples with global peace leaders such as the Dalai Lama, while also absorbing the wisdom they have to share from their own cultures and experiences.”

The Dalai Lama is visiting Oahu at the invitation of Pierre and Pam Omidyar. Support is being provided by a lead grant from the Omidyar Ohana Fund in addition to other partners providing in-kind and cash donations.

For additional information about the Pillars of Peace program, click here.

To subscribe to HAWAII Magazine, click here.

Photo: dalailama.com

Hawaii_Honolulu_Molokai_saintThe Vatican announced this week that Blessed Marianne Cope — a Roman Catholic nun who cared for Hansen's Disease (leprosy) patients on Molokai for three decades beginning in the late 1880s — will be named as a saint during a canonization ceremony set for Sun. Oct. 21.

The ceremony at the Vatican in Rome will mark completion of the canonization process for Mother Marianne, who will be venerated as a saint in the Catholic Church. Also, a special day on the annual church calendar, Jan. 23 (Blessed Marianne’s birthday), will be designated as her “feast day,” according to a news release issued by the Syracuse N.Y.-based Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities.

“Learning the date for the canonization ceremonies completes the cycle of 37 years of efforts to get us to this moment,” Sister Patricia Burkard, general minister of the Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities, said in the release.

The Sisters of St. Francis petitioned Pope Paul VI to open the cause for Mother Marianne’s canonization in 1974. Nine years later, an official registration took place, which then led to the titles of venerable, blessed and, now, saint. Canonization is conferred when the Vatican attributes two cases of miracles to a candidate for sainthood. In 2004 and 2011, Vatican officials ruled that cases of inexplicable medical recovery were due to Mother Marianne’s intercession.  

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, the name "Sister Marianne" and began working as a teacher and principal in several elementary schools in New York state.Hawaii_Honolulu_Molokai_saint

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 only 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.'"

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 moved to the island to live among the patients and minister to them. (Saint Damien was canonized in 2009.)

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 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.

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

Hawaii_Oahu_TV_Opening credits for the original Hawaii Five-O television show last only about one minute. As the fast-paced theme music starts, a big wave rolls toward shore. Next: several quick glimpses of Oahu landmarks, cast members and a beautiful Hawaii model dashing along a sparkling shoreline.

If you watch carefully, about halfway through the credits, one more face appears for just one or two seconds. That’s Mel Kinney at age 13 (pictured, right).

According to news reports, Kinney was in the Kapiolani Park area and headed to a nearby beach one day in 1968 when he spotted a man filming a car that was zipping around the park. When Kinney lingered to watch, the cameraman asked the boy if he could film him, too. The Kinney agreed, and the man reportedly paid him $5 for his very short film debut. (Click on the image at the bottom of this page to see Kinney in the TV police procedural drama’s opening credits.)
The Hawaii resident went on to become a big-wave surfer and competed in the Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau surfing contest, the world’s most prestigious big-wave invitational event. (The one-day competition is held on Oahu’s North Shore only when wave heights consistently exceed a 20 feet. Since its start 27 years ago, the contest has been staged eight times.)

Kinney was also one of the original members of Hokulea crew. In 1976, without using modern navigational instruments, the crew sailed from Tahiti to Hawaii in a double-hulled Hawaiian voyaging canoe. Construction of the canoe and its inaugural voyage were celebrated as part of the Hawaiian Renaissance — a revival of long-suppressed and neglected cultural identity expressed in music, language, hula and voyaging canoes, which got under way in the 1970s.

While Kinney's Hawaii Five-O screen time was reportedly too brief to bring him residual pay, for many years he crossed paths with people who recognized his face. Kinney died this week on Oahu after suffering a heart attack. He was 57.

Hawaii Five-O aired for 12 seasons, 1968 to 1980. Click on the image below to see the show's opening credits.

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Photo/video: Hawaii Five-O/CBS Productions

Hawaii_Oahu_Waikiki_aquarium_koiYou can see them carving turns in ponds and water gardens at various visitor attractions dotting the Islands. Their eye-catching colors make them easy to identify as koi.

But how much do you know about these show fishes otherwise known ornamental varieties of domesticated carp? Want to hear the whole fish story?

Check out the fifth annual international Aloha Koi Show, set for 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sat., Feb. 18 and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sun., Feb. 19, at the Waikiki Aquarium on Oahu. The show is presented by Hawaii’s Aloha Koi Appreciation Society in tandem with the sixth annual Japan Nishikigoi Expo.

The event will feature show judging of hundreds of top-quality koi, with awards ranging from “best in size” (categories top out at larger than 28 inches) to “best in variety” (among about one dozen classes of koi). The competition’s overall winner will be named as the event’s grand champion. 

In addition, the event, which spotlights Japan’s national fish, will offer educational seminars presented by koi owners and enthusiasts, activities for children, and live entertainment. Some of the fish on display will be available for purchase or auction bids. (For information on how to care for koi, click here to check out the Hawaii’s Aloha Koi Appreciation Society’s tips.)

Admission to the koi show is free with the purchase of daily admission to the aquarium. For more information about the Waikiki Aquarium, click here.

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Photo: Waikiki Aquarium

Hawaii_Maui_whaleWorld Whale Day, the biggest event of the six-month 2011- 2012 Maui Whale Festival, is slated for Sat., Feb. 18 in Kihei.
The daylong celebration will begin with Maui’s Parade of Whales, along South Kihei Road, from 9 a.m, to 10 a.m. It will be followed by a free celebration at oceanside Kalama Park. (Last year’s World Whale Day attracted an estimated 17,000 attendees.)

The live entertainment will get under way at 10 a.m. in the park and continue until 8 p.m. The lineup of Hawaii performers includes: the duo Hapa, singer-songwriter John Cruz, Willie K, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, Anuhea, Marty Dread and Nuff Sedd, with sounds ranging from ska to rock to R&B. Also, there will be a hula performance presented by Manutea Nui E.

Also, World Whale Day will feature information-packed booths manned by local groups and government agencies working to protect Maui’s environment. Other highlights: a "Made on Maui" fair spotlighting local artisans; and booths feauring area restaurants and food purveyors. For children, there will be a "Keiki Carnival," complete with ocean-themed games organized by the Pacific Whale Foundation’s Education Department, and a performance by singer/songwriter Uncle Wayne Watkins.Hawaii_Maui_whale

World Whale Day is presented by the nonprofit Pacific Whale Foundation, with support from Hawai’i Tourism Authority, County of Maui Office of Economic Development, Expedia Local Expert and the County of Maui Department of Parks and Recreation.

On Sat., Feb. 25, from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Pacific Whale Foundation will conduct its Great Maui Whale Count. Visitors and residents are invited to volunteer as whale counters at sites along Maui’s south and west shores. Each station will be staffed by a Pacific Whale Foundation researcher or staff person who will provide all of training as well as share whale research information. There’s no cost to participate. For more information about volunteering for the count, send email to Pacific Whale Foundation’s Chief Scientist, Daniela Maldini, at Daniela@pacificwhale.org.

Scientists believe there are 20,000 humpback whales in the North Pacific. An estimated 12,000 swim to Hawaii's waters to mate and nurse their young, typically between September and March. In recent years, annual counts have tracked a rise in the humpback whale population visiting the Hawaiian Island Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary, which lies within the shallow (less than 600 feet) waters surrounding the main Hawaiian Islands. For additional information about the sanctuary, click here.

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Photos: Pacific Whale Foundation
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