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

Hawaii_Oahu_Waikiki_Kapiolani_Park_Hawaiian_Scottish_FestivalThe Hawaiian Scottish Association will hold its 31st annual Hawaiian Scottish Festival & Highland Games this weekend on Oahu.

Festivities will get under way at 9 a.m. tomorrow in Kapiolani Park area, edging Waikiki. The highland games will feature men dressed in traditional kilts competing in events such as “Throwing the Hammer,” “Tossing the Caber,” and ”Putting the Stone.” Women will compete in events, too. Winners will be recognized at the festival’s closing ceremony, at 4 p.m. on Sun. April 1.

According to the Hawaiian Scottish Association, the games had their beginnings when kings and chiefs of Scotland used them to select the best men available for their retinue and as men-at-arms. “Crude forms of the athletic events you will see were developed to test the contestants for strength, stamina, accuracy and agility.” For more information about the athletic events, click here.
The festival will also feature celtic music, with groups ranging from Celtic Pipes & Drums of Hawaii to the U.S. Marine Corps Forces Pacific Band. Among the highland dance groups are Irish Dance of Hawaii and the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society. There will also be demonstrations of swordplay, weaving, and fencing. In addition, vendors will sell celtic clothing, jewelry, musical instruments, housewares, and Scottish fare, such as haggis.

For more information about the annual Hawaiian Scottish Festival & Highland Games, click here.

To subscribe to HAWAII Magazine, click here.

Photo: Celtic Pipes & Drums of Hawaii/Chuck Jamison

Hawaii_Oahu_Honolulu_Maui_Big_Island_woodwork_woodshowStunning woodwork artistry will be on display at the 20th annual Hawaii's Woodshow, Na Laau o Hawaii, a statewide juried woodworking show, which opens on Sun., April 1 and runs through April 15 at the Honolulu Museum of Art School Gallery at Linekona.  

The show features only art pieces crafted predominately from Hawaii-grown woods. Endangered woods and certain rare species are, of course, prohibited. 

Among nearly 90 pieces that will be on display will be a grey reef shark carved by Clay Simpson of Simpson Artworks on Maui. The entire 650-pound piece, including its massive base, comes from the same single limb of an ear pod tree (Enterolobium cyclocarpum) that was felled a few months ago near the Puunene Post Office in central Maui.

In a news released issued by the woodshow’s organizers, Simpson said: "I was fortunate enough to be able to rescue much of the ear pod wood that has been taken down in the area due to road widening and disease over the past few years. With the use of flatbed semis and loaders I've taken home almost 30 tons."

Of his artistic process, Simpson said: "I just kind of wait to see what form becomes evident from the raw wood. In this case, it happened to be a shark. Even though the wood has some toxicity and can be a definite irritant, ear pod could be used much more in woodworking, it is gorgeous." Hawaii_Oahu_Honolulu_Maui_Big_Island_woodwork_woodshow

Sawdust from ear pod trees, known for their spherical crowns and seedpods, can cause skin irritation and allergic reactions. Simpson said he was careful to suit up and wear a full respirator mask and gloves when working on his life-sized shark sculpture.

Also among the show’s other must-see artwork is a guitar made by Big Island luthier Dave Gomes. The guitar body is from the curly koa, the fretboard is ebony with a maile lei design made from New Zealand abalone. The guitar neck is mahogany

“The koa was found on a ranch in south Kona,” Gomes said in the news release. “The tree had been dead for years and ohia trees were growing from its trunk."

Jurors for Hawaii's Woodshow 2012 will name “Best of Show” and other award categories, such as furniture, sculpture, turning, and musical instrument. One stand-out entry will be named as the "People's Choice Award" and another will receive the "Artist's Choice Award."

For additional information about Hawaii's Woodshow, Na Laau o Hawaii, which is presented by the Hawaii Forest Industry Association (HFIA), click here.

To subscribe to HAWAII Magazine, click here.

Photos: (top) first-place award/turning category 2011, artwork by Aaron Hammer (bottom) "Best of Show" 2011, artwork by Richard Vasquez — both photos by Hal Lum Photography

Hawaii_volcano_Kilauea_Big_Island_hotelSince 1824, a structure has been perched on the edge of Kilauea caldera to shelter visitors to the lava-strewn landscape.

Volcano House started out as a grass house. Then, after for more than three decades of operation, the first wooden structure was built 1877. It came with a stone hearth dedicated to Pele that reportedly burned continuously for 133 years.

The fire was left to burn out on New Year’s Day 2010 when the hotel, which belongs to the National Park Service, was closed. Since Volcano House’s operator left at the end of 2009, the National Park Service has invested more than $4 million in upgrades to the hotel for fire and safety improvements, including seismic upgrades.

This week, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park announced that a 15-year concession contract has been awarded to Hawaii Volcanoes Lodge Company, LLC to operate the overnight accommodations, food and beverage, retail, and related services within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The concessioner will operate the Volcano House as well as Namakanipaio Campground, and other smaller locations within the park.

Hawaii Volcanoes Lodge Company is owned by Ortega National Parks, LLC and Aqua Hotels and Resorts, Inc. Ortega National Parks has more than 45 years of hospitality experience and operates concessions within National Park Service sites including Bandelier, White Sands, Muir Woods, Carlsbad Caverns, and Death Valley. The locally based Aqua Hotels and Resorts, Inc. manages 18 hotels and resorts in Hawaii on five islands. Hawaii_volcano_Kilauea_Big_Island_hotel

In a news release issued by Volcanoes National Park, superintendent Cindy Orlando said: “Together, these two companies have extensive hospitality industry experience — both nationally, as well as within the State of Hawaii. We are very excited to have Hawaii Volcanoes Lodge Company, LLC join with us as we enter a new era of the Volcano House operation and once again share quality visitor services with over 1.4 million annual visitors to the park.”
The new era at Volcano House, situated near the park headquarters and Kilauea Visitor Center, will continue a tradition of hospitality in the presence of volcanic views. When Mark Twain stayed there in 1866 he wrote: “(t)he surprise of finding a good hotel in such an outlandish spot startled me considerably more than the volcano did.” 

As a requirement of the new contract, Hawaii Volcanoes Lodge Company, LLC will complete additional renovations on the facility estimated between $2.5 and $3.5 million. The concessioner has up to one year to complete all required improvements. However, some services and facilities may open later this year, while construction is still under way.

For more information about Volcanoes National Park, click here.

To subscribe to HAWAII Magazine, click here.

Photos: (top) a view of Kilauea caldera from Volcano House during 1924; (bottom) Volcano House prior to its close in 2010 (undated photo) — both National Park Service photos.

Hawaii_Oahu_Kauai_Big_Island_whale_census_marine_sanctuaryThe Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary’s third and final volunteer-centered whale-spotting effort for the 2011-12 season, Ocean Count, is slated for Sat., March 31.

Both Hawaii residents and visitors are invited to take part in the annual Ocean Count census. This weekend’s survey is slated for 8 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. on the shores of Oahu, Kauai and the Big Island.

During the last Ocean Count session, held on Feb. 25, more than 800 volunteers gathered to tally humpback sightings and note whale surface behaviors. Volunteers collected data from 58 sites, with an average of four whales sighted from Oahu and Kauai shorelines during every 15-minute count period. An average of two whales were spotted from the Big Island during the periods. Organizers attributed the lower count from that island to inclement weather.

The annual Ocean Count, which started in 2002, relies on volunteer help to estimate whale population and distribution figures in the sanctuary. The census, organized by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), supplements scientific information. Want to take part? Registration will close two days prior to the count session. For registration details, click here.Hawaii_Oahu_Kauai_Big_Island_whale_census_marine_sanctuary

If you join the ranks of volunteers, expect to be busy. On average, humpback surface to breathe every 10 to 15 minutes, but can remain submerged for as long as 45 minutes. Calves must rise to the surface every three to five minutes. For more information about whale behavior, click here.

According to a news release issued by NOAA, scientific studies show that the seasonal humpback whale population in Hawaii is increasing at an annual rate of about 7 percent.

Scientists estimate that there are 20,000 humpbacks in the North Pacific. An estimated 12,000 make their way to Hawaii's waters — migrating from as far away as Alaska — to mate and nurse their young, typically between September and March. (Some whales may linger here into April and even May.) Since 2006, the annual count has tracked a steady rise in the humpback whale population visiting the sanctuary.

The Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary lies within the shallow (less than 600 feet), warm waters surrounding the main Hawaiian Islands, constitutes one of the world's most important humpback whale habitats. According to NOAA, humpbacks may find the Islands suitable because of warm waters, underwater visibility, variety of ocean depths, and the lack of natural predators. Mothers can be seen breaching alongside their calves and males can be seen competing with one another in fierce head-to-head battles.

For more information about the sanctuary and Ocean Count, click here.

To subscribe to HAWAII Magazine, click here.

Photos: (top) Wikipedia Commons; (bottom) courtesy of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) HIHWNMS: Fisheries Permit No. 782-17

Hawaii_Oahu_Honolulu_film_festival_internationalThe Hawaii International Film Festival's 2012 Spring Showcase will include screenings of 34 films as well as a panel discussion and concert spotlighting music from the Oscar-winning Hawaii-filmed The Descendants.

Now in its 15th year, the film fest will get under way on Fri., April 13 and wrap up on Thurs., April 19, with screenings at Regal Dole Cannery Stadium 18 Theatres & IMAX in Honolulu. The film lineup includes 24 Hawaii premieres, eight of which are also U.S. premieres.

A free screening of The Descendants, slated for noon on Sat., April 14 at a Regal Dole Cannery Stadium theater, will be followed by a panel discussion/question-answer session with the film’s music supervisor Dondi Bastone and soundtrack musicians Jeff Peterson and Cyril Pahinui. The concert, dubbed Sound X Vision: Music from The Descendants, which will feature musicians who played in the film, is set for 7:30 p.m. (doors open at 7 p.m.) the same day at theVenue in downtown Honolulu. For concert ticket information, click here.

Music critics have noted that The Descendants is the first mainstream American movie scored exclusively with Hawaiian music, most of it created by masters of the genre such. In addition to Jeff Peterson and Cyril Pahinui, they include: Gabby Pahinui, Ray Kane, Keola Beamer, Lena Machado, Sonny Chillingworth, Jeff Peterson, the Rev. Dennis Kamakahi, and others. While the soundtrack does not include any new tunes, a few of the “pre-existing” songs were re-recorded for the movie’s score.Hawaii_Oahu_Honolulu_film_festival_international

The Descendants follows the story of Matt King (George Clooney) — 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  grapples 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.

The dramedy filmed on Oahu and Kauai, picked up an Oscar last month for best adapted screenplay. The screenplay is based on the best-selling novel by Hawaii writer Kaui Hart Hemmings.

In addition to the United States, the Hawaii International Film Festival's 2012 Spring Showcase will feature films from Canada, China, Denmark, France, India, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, South Korea, Taiwan and the United Kingdom. For additional information about the films and screening times, click here.

Established in 1981, the Hawaii International Film Festival (HIFF) is a nonprofit dedicated to the "advancement of cultural exchange and media awareness" in the Pacific Rim. For more information about HIFF, click here.

To subscribe to HAWAII Magazine, click here.

Photos: The Descendants/Fox Searchlight Pictures

Hawaii_volcano_Big_Island_national_park_archaeologyRecently, we asked our HAWAII Magazine Facebook ohana about favorite Hawaii parks. The Islands boast seven National Park Service-managed parks, sites and monuments, 55 state parks and scores of county/city parks. The top pick in our Facebook poll: the Big Island’s Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

So, given our Facebook ohana’s enthusiasm for up-close looks at lava-fueled geology and archaeology, today we’re relaying a heads-up about an event slated for Sat.  March 31 at the Volcanoes National Park.

A park field seminar, set for 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., dubbed Kealakomowaena: Life on a Lava Landscape, will detail how early Hawaiians lived in the presence of Pele and adapted to the shifting lava-strewn landscape. Among the highlights, during a three-mile hike participants will see ancient trails, agricultural fields, lava rock walls, and house sites. Hawaii_volcano_Big_Island_national_park_archaeology

In a news release issued by the nonprofit Friends of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, archaeologist Jadelyn Moniz Nakamura (pictured, left) said: “We will discuss the latest radiocarbon data for the area, what the pollen and charcoal records have revealed, and why this seemingly barren place was likely chosen as a spot to farm.” Hawaiians once thrived in the coastal lowland area of Kealakomowaena, where they built structures with lava rock walls (pictured, above) and grew crops in nearby fields.  
The seminar, which will be led by Nakamura (integrated resources manager/archaeologist at Volcanoes National Park), is presented by the Hawaii Volcanoes Institute, a program of the Friends of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Seminar cost: $45 for Friends members and $65 for non-members. Students (K-12 and college with valid student ID) will be admitted at a half-price rate. 

For additional information about the seminar or registration or other events organized by Friends of Hawaii Volcanoes, call 808-985-7373 or click here. For more information about the national park, click here.

To subscribe to HAWAII Magazine, click here.

Photos: National Park Service


Quilting is an enduring Hawaii art form that evolved from an imported tradition. In the early 1800s, missionaries brought woven fabrics to the Islands and taught Hawaiian people how to make patchwork quilts.

For Hawaiians, who were not pressed to stitch together quilts for cold winter nights, quilts sometimes served as a canvas for elaborate artwork or storytelling or for expressing political sentiment.

The Honolulu Museum of Art is now displaying one dozen of the prized quilts in its own collection at an exhibit titled Regal and Royal Hawaiian Quilts. The exhibition, which opened earlier this month, will be on view through June 17.
Six of the quilts feature the distinctive floral design most familiar in contemporary quilts, and in dramatic color combinations not often seen today.

Among the exhibition’s highlights: Kuu Hae Aloha (My Beloved Flag), a tribute to the short-lived Kingdom of Hawaii (pictured, above); and Na Kihapai Nani  Ole O Edena a Me Elenale (The Beautiful Unequaled Gardens of Eden and of Elenale), an unusual quilt that includes depictions of biblical characters as well as a fictional couple from a popular 19th century romantic story (pictured below).


In addition to the artwork, which can require thousands of fine, hidden stitches, the quilt titles are integral parts of the works

In a news release issued by the museum, Sara Oka, manager of the textile collection and curator of the exhibition, said, “The naming of Hawaiian quilt designs is the originator’s privilege." Oka added, “Some are straightforward while others have poetic names that echo Hawaiian legends, as in Ka Ua Kani Lehua (The Rain That Rustles Lehua Blossoms), (pictured, below) in reference to the delicate flower sacred to Pele, goddess of fire and the volcano."


Also, a recent “discovery” is on view for the first time in the exhibition. While sorting through the educational Lending Collection, museum staff discovered a quilt from Hawaii’s annexation years. It was made at the turn of the 20th century (near the year 1900), and had been stored in a closet since the 1980s.

“The extremely worn, yet tenderly preserved work dispels the myth that flag quilts were never used,” Oka said.

For additional information about the exhibit and the museum, click here.

To subscribe to HAWAII Magazine, click here.

Photos: Honolulu Museum of Art

Hawaii_Kauai_Prince_Kuhio_festivitiesWill you be on Kauai this week or next? If so, consider taking some time to attend birthday festivities held in honor of Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole.

Prince Kuhio Celebration-Kauai 2012 festivities, sponsored, in part, by the Hawaii Tourism Authority and Kauai County, will wrap up on March 26 — the state holiday that salutes Kuhio, who was born on that day in 1872. Several events are slated to take place near the prince’s birthplace in the Poipu area on Kauai’s south shore. Other festivities will be held in central and westerly areas of the island. For a complete list of festivities ranging from traditional hula and Hawaiian music to a long-distance canoe race and taiko drumming, click here.

Remembered in the Islands as Ke Alii Makaianiana (Prince of the People), Kuhio would have more than likely loved the party that got under way earlier this month.

Kuhio was in his early 20s and in line for succession of the Kingdom of Hawaii’s throne when the monarchy was overthrown in 1893. He later spent two years in jail for alleged participation in a revolt plot. Kuhio went on to become the only born royalty to ever serve in the U.S. Congress. During his decade in D.C., he led the effort to setting aside land for Hawaiian homesteaders and introduced the first-ever bill for Hawaii’s statehood.

Kuhio’s birthday is one of just two holidays in the United States dedicated to royalty. The other state holiday, held on June 11, honors Kamehameha the Great, who conquered the Hawaiian Islands and in the year 1810 established the Kingdom of Hawaii.

For additional information about Prince Kuhio Celebration-Kauai 2012, click here.

To subscribe to HAWAII Magazine, click here.

Photo: Wikipedia Commons

Hawaii_Oahu_police_drama_paranormalHawaii Five-0 is now booked for a third season.

The Hawaii-filmed re-imagined police procedural drama is one of 18 primetime television series renewed by CBS this week for the 2012-13 season. The list includes nine dramas, four comedies, three reality shows and two news magazines. For the second straight year, Hawaii Five-0 holds the No. 2 ranking among the popular dramas in the lineup, behind NCIS: Los Angeles, according to a CBS news release.

So, we’ll be seeing more filming around Oahu later this year featuring the rule-bending Steve McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) and the rest of the Five-0 team — Danny “Danno” Williams (Scott Caan), Kona “Kono” Kalakaua (Grace Park) and Chin Ho Kelly (Daniel Dae Kim).  

In addition to further developing story-lines tied to the primary cast (pictured, above) and show regulars, such as Dr. Max Bergman (Masi Oka), Hawaii Five-0's sophomore season has featured cameo roles for several very well known actors, ranging from Ed Asner, who reprised a role he played more than 30 years ago on the original Hawaii Five-O series, to James Caan, whose son plays “Danno” in the current series.

Another television series with episodes shot in Hawaii, The River, is not faring as well with viewers. In its seventh episode, which aired Tuesday night, the paranormal-themed series on ABC reportedly attracted 4.1 million viewers, which put it well behind the 11.2 million viewers who watched the top CBS crime drama, NCIS: Los Angeles. Hawaii_Oahu_police_drama_paranormal

The pilot episode for The River was filmed in Puerto Rico, as was the pilot for Off the Map, an ABC series than moved to Hawaii during 2010. Off the Map, a medical drama about doctors working is a remote South American village, premiered in January 2011 and was canceled by ABC last spring.

Set deep in the Amazon, The River follows the story of wildlife expert and TV personality Emmet Cole (Bruce Greenwood), who goes missing in the jungle. Six months after his disappearance, his emergency beacon activates. This prompts his family and co-workers, along with as a television documentary crew, to set out on a journey to find him (cast pictured, left). The season finale is scheduled for next week. So far, it appears that The River is failing to rivet viewers as much as ABC’s Hawaii-filmed Lost series did.

Would you like to share your thoughts about these shows or other Hawaii-filmed TV series? Please leave your comments on our HAWAII Magazine Facebook page. Mahalo.

To subscribe to HAWAII Magazine, click here.

Photos: (top) CBS (bottom) ABC

Hawaii_Oahu_Honolulu_Chinatown_Waikiki_EwaTrue, there are not a lot of us of Irish descent in Hawaii. No matter. It’s a sure bet that there will be plenty wearin’-of-the-green and celtic-themed revelry this weekend in Honolulu’s downtown area.

The annual St. Patrick’s Day Chinatown Block Party—just a couple of blocks from HAWAII Magazine’s office—brings thousands of Irish-for-the-day folks to the Honolulu Chinatown Arts District’s unofficial “Irish Corner” (pictured, right) at Merchant Street and Nuuanu Avenue, near Murphy’s Bar & Grill and O’Toole’s Irish Pub.

According to event organizers, the brewers of Ireland’s famous Guinness stout have declared Murphy’s open-air festivities “the single biggest St. Patrick’s Day party any one bar throws in the United States.”

On Saturday, Murphy’s will be celebrating its 25th St. Patrick’s Day party, starting with a lunch menu featuring Guinness-braised lamb shanks, blarney burgers and, of course, corned beef and cabbage. For every pound of corned beef sold, $2 will be donated to the Hawaii Children’s Cancer Foundation. Hawaii_Oahu_Honolulu_Chinatown_Waikiki_Ewa

Lunch service starts at 11 a.m., and the official block party kicks off at noon. Throughout the afternoon, Murphy’s will offer it’s popular “Guinness Oyster Bar,” loaded with freshly shucked oysters, steamed clams, sauteed shrimp, crab cakes and oyster shooters.  For partygoers with a sweet tooth, there will be Irish whiskey cake and bread pudding with whiskey sauce.

After sunset, Merchant and Nuuanu streets will close to traffic to make room for local bands performing both toe-tapping Irish music and hard-rocking tunes. For additional information about the block party, click here or call 808-531-0422.

Among other events on Oahu slated for the holiday:

45th annual Waikiki St. Patrick’s Day Parade — Waikiki, noon to 2 p.m. on Sat., March 17. The parade lineup, which includes bands, floats and various marching groups will head down Kalakaua Avenue, past Kuhio Beach, and finish at Kapiolani Park for an afternoon of Irish food, music and entertainment. The parade is sponsored by the Friendly Sons of Saint Patrick of Hawaii. For additional information, click here.

St. Patrick’s Day Train Ride — Ewa Railway Station and Museum, 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Sat., March 17. Ewa Railway Station and Museum will dedicate the St. Patrick's Day train ride this year to Ireland-born James Campbell, who foresaw a great future for the Ewa Plains. Also featured in the historic narration during the 90-minute ride: Hawaiian-Irish paniolo cowboy rodeo champion Ikua Purdy, and pioneer surfer and lifeguard George Freeth, who won the Congressional Medal of Honor for life-saving. Click here for more information.

Erin go bragh!

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Photos by David Croxford
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