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

Hawaii_Hilo_Big_Island_orchidThe 60th annual Hilo Orchid Society Show and Sale, dubbed Islands of Orchids — the state’s largest orchid show — features exotic species, beautifully grown specimen plants and the latest hybrids, many created by Big Island orchid breeders.

The three-day event is slated for Fri., Aug. 3 (9 a.m. - 6 p.m.), Sat., Aug. 4 (9 a.m.- 5 p.m.), and Sun., Aug. 5 (10 a.m. - 2 p.m.) at Edith Kanakaole Stadium in Hilo, on the Big Island. Judging of plants will be conducted on Thurs. Aug. 2 by certified American Orchid Society judges.

In addition to checking out the prize-winning flora, Islands of Orchids attendees may take part in free mini-classes about orchids and their cultivation. The event will also feature musical entertainment, ranging from a men’s chorus to taiko drumming; a silent auction and fashion show; and refreshments for purchase. Hawaii_Hilo_Big_Island_orchid

The plant sale will spotlight exquisite orchids, including many you won't find in your typical retail garden store or nursery.  Purchases may be shipped to the mainland.

According to the Hilo Orchid Society, last year 4,200 people attended last year’s orchid show and Sale, making it the second-largest event on the island — surpassed only by Merrie Monarch, an annual weeklong festival featuring an acclaimed hula competition. Attendees at last year's orchid show were from 23 states and eight countries. 

For more information about schedules and tickets for Islands of Orchids, click here or call 808-333-1852.

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Photos: Hilo Orchid Society 

Hawaii_Hilo_Big_Island_restaurantHonolulu-based Zippy’s Restaurants plans to open its first-ever Big Island location next summer. The 26th Zippy’s will open in Hilo’s Prince Kuhio Plaza.

“We are delighted to have the opportunity to serve Hilo and to provide its residents with all of their Zippy’s favorites,” said Zippy’s President Paul Yokota in a recent Facebook post. Yokota continued,

“We also look forward to joining and supporting the community by offering employment opportunities and supporting Hilo’s businesses and organizations.”

The Hawaii dining institution, founded by brothers Francis and Charles Higa, opened its first Zippy’s in Honolulu on Oct. 16, 1966 (pictured, below). That restaurant, on King Street (dubbed McCully Zip’s, after nearby McCully Street,) still stands, now joined by 23 others on Oahu and one on Maui.  Hawaii_Hilo_Big_Island_restaurant

Zippy’s is most famous in the Islands for its chili. It reported sells 110 tons of the stuff monthly. The restaurant, which features about 90 menu items, is also well known for its Zip Pacs (a bento lunch with teriyaki beef, fried chicken, battered fish and a slice of Spam on rice). The restaurant's bakery, Napoleon's, is known for its "Napples," flaky turnovers made with fruit and chocolate fillings.

For a few years, Kauai residents enjoyed the chain’s first neighbor island location in Kapaa. Extensive damage from Hurricane Iniki permanently shuttered that Zippy’s in 1992. The Zippy’s on Maui, in Kahului, opened in Aug. 18, 2008.

For more information about Zippy’s, click here.

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Photo: (bottom) courtesy of Zippy’s archives 

Hawaii_Kona_Kailua_Big_Island_mango_festivalMango season is under way in Hawaii, and this summer’s crop is bountiful. Reason enough to celebrate? We think so. If you agree — and happen to be on the Big Island this weekend — head on over to the Kona Coast’s Outrigger Keauhou Beach Resort for the fourth annual Mango Festival.

The free fest’s full weekend of “juicy jive,” 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. tomorrow and Sunday at the resort in Kailua-Kona, will celebrate Hawaii’s delicious and diverse mango varieties during the peak of the harvest season.

Among the highlights: a recipe contest, culinary demos, music and dance performances, arts-and-crafts activities, and, of course, mango-themed eats and drinks of all sorts.

The recipe contest — amateur chefs only — and culinary demonstration are slated for 1 p.m. tomorrow. Following the contest, chef Hubert des Marais from The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii will share his culinary tips on how to feature mangoes in delish dishes.

Also, on Saturday, West Hawaii master gardeners will be on hand to offer free plant advice, and Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers will provide information and taste samples of many mango varieties. Horticulture enthusiasts will also be able to consult with experts about grafting and growing mangoes.

On Sunday, there will be several music and performing arts presentations, including hula and belly dancing, on the grounds of the resort’s Royal Garden.For more information about the mango fest, presented by the nonprofit Sanctuary of Mana Kea Gardens, click here.

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Photo: Mango Festival/Fern Gavalek

Hawaii_Honolulu_Maui_Kauai_airline_AucklandHawaiian Airlines has put in place a new fare structure for neighbor island travel that lowers ticket prices across all of its fare classes by 4 percent to 25 percent.

Under the new fare structure, the lowest fare for a one-way nonstop interisland flight (including taxes and mandatory federal fees) is $65 for travel from Honolulu to Kahului, Maui and Lihue, Kauai.  However, there are a limited number of seats available at that price.  The tally varies, depending on flight time and passenger load among other factors.

Also, according to a media release issued by Hawaiian Airlines last week, the airline’s parent company, Hawaiian Holdings, is seeking to acquire a turbo-prop aircraft with the aim of establishing a subsidiary carrier to serve routes not currently in Hawaiian’s neighbor island system.Hawaii_Honolulu_Maui_Kauai_airline_Auckland

The new fare structure complements additional neighbor island capacity and routes Hawaiian introduced earlier this year. Over the past year, Hawaiian has increased capacity by 13 percent and created a Maui hub to increase service between the Valley Isle, Kauai and the Big Island. The turbo-prop subsidiary would allow Hawaiian to further expand capacity with daily flights to rural areas. For more information about the fare structure, click here.

In other air travel news, Hawaiian Airlines has announced that it will begin offering new nonstop service between Honolulu and Auckland three days a week, beginning on March 13, 2013.

Hawaiian will be the only U.S. carrier flying into Auckland, and Hawaiian's new service will add more than 40,000 seats annually between Auckland and Hawaii.

In a media release, Kevin Bowler, chief executive of Tourism New Zealand, said: “The United States is a vital market for New Zealand leisure and business travel, and is a key focus for our marketing efforts given the significant potential for growth that exists."  He added, "The timing of this new service is ideal as the release of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will heighten interest in New Zealand and no doubt whet Americans' appetite for travel here.”

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is the first of a two-part fantasy-adventure film directed and produced by Peter Jackson, and based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s novel of the same name.  It’s slated to release in mid-December.

Flight schedules and the start of ticket sales for the new Auckland service will be announced at a later date. For more information about Hawaiian Airlines, click here.

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Photos: (top) Waikiki Beach/Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) Tor Johnson; (bottom) Moaula Falls, Halawa Valley on Molokai/Francisco Langit Jr.

Hawaii_Maui_Kauai_Big_Island_seafood_sustainability_conservationStarting on Wed., Aug 1, Merriman’s Restaurants on Maui, Kauai and the Big Island will undertake a two-month sustainable seafood initiative, which aims to raise awareness about the importance of sustainable fishing practices in Hawaii.

The companywide initiative is the first of its kind to pledge support for the Hawaii Fish Trust Project and other sustainable seafood efforts in the Islands.

Through a collaboration between Merriman’s and Handcrafted Restaurants, a Sustainable Seafood Special will be offered daily at Merriman’s Waimea (Big Island), Merriman’s Kapalua (Maui), Merriman’s Fish House (Poipu, Kauai) and Chef Peter Merriman’s newest restaurant, Monkeypod Kitchen by Merriman (Wailea, Maui).

The special will consist of a 3-ounce piece of wild Hawaii-caught fish paired with 3 ounces of locally raised seafood or fish.

In a media release issued by Merriman’s Restaurants, chef Peter Merriman said: “Reducing the portion of wild fish on your plate increases the health of Hawaii's wild fish stocks.” He added, “We love Hawaii's fish, and we want everyone to be able to enjoy these fish for years to come.”

Expect to see menu options in which locally raised seafood, such as sweet Kauai prawns and Big Island Kampachi, is paired with wild Hawaii-caught favorites, such as Mahi-Mahi, Opakapaka, Lehi, Monchong, Uku, Ono and Opah.Hawaii_Maui_Kauai_Big_Island_seafood_sustainability_conservation

“Continuing to use wild caught fish, just less of it, allows us to support local fisherman and conserve at the same time”, added Merriman (pictured, above and left).

The Hawaii Fish Trust project is working to restore near-shore seafood security in Hawaii and supports sustainable fishing practices.  The trust is part of Conservation International, a nonprofit environmental organization that focuses on freshwater and food security, climate change, biodiversity and health issues.  For more information about the Hawaii Fish Trust, click here.

In addition to its sustainable seafood initiative, Merriman’s Restaurants supports sustainable fishing practices by purchasing only “Day Boat fish”, caught locally through short line trolling methods and offering two portion sizes on their regular menus as a means to reduce waste.

“We can all play a role in preserving the health of our oceans, even in the small everyday choices we make, like what fish we eat and how much we eat of it,” Merriman said.

For more information about Merriman’s Restaurants, click here.

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Photos: Merriman’s Restaurants

Hawaii_Maui_coffee_Big_IslandAt the Hawaii Coffee Association’s Grand Champions of Hawaiian Coffee event, held last weekend in Waikapu, Maui, 117 premium Hawaiian coffees from eight districts across the state were competitively “cupped.” 

Coffee cupping is a combination of art and science in which coffees are evaluated and scored based on subtle characteristics including flavor, aroma, ”mouth-feel,” acidity, sweetness and aftertaste.

Entries in the fourth annual Cupping Competition were critiqued by a judging panel of coffee industry professionals using standardized blind procedures, as defined by the Specialty Coffee Association of America. Judges assigned a single numerical score to each coffee.

The Specialty Coffee Association of America defines “Specialty Coffee” as a coffee that has a cupping score of 80.0 or greater. Awards were given for up to the top three eligible entries from each district, and the top 10 eligible coffees in each of the “commercial” and “creative” categories received awards.

The champions event, held during the association’s 17th annual conference, crowned two grand champion winners.

• Wood Valley Coffee Co. from the Big Island’s Kau district took grand champion honors in the commercial category.

• Heavenly Hawaiian Farms from the Big Isle’s Kona district received grand champion honors in the creative category. The creative category encourages farmers to try new cultivation or processing methods without having to produce a commercial-level quantity of coffee

For more information about the Hawaii Coffee Association and the cupping competition, click here.

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Photo: David Croxford

Hawaii_Molokai_Oahu_paddleboard_racesNearly 300 top endurance athletes are getting ready to do battle with strong currents and waves in the 16th annual Molokai-2-Oahu Paddleboard World Championships, slated to get under way at 7:30 a.m. this Sunday, July 29, on Molokai’s Kaluakoi Beach.

Athletes on both prone and stand-up paddleboards (SUP) will compete in solo and team races on the course — a 32-mile, open-ocean crossing of the famously unpredictable Kaiwi Channel, also known as the Molokai Channel.

Some of the fastest athletes will complete the crossing in just under five hours. The race record for the crossing to Oahu’s Maunalua Bay Beach Park (south shore, near Hawaii Kai), is held by Jamie Mitchell, of Australia. The 10-time champion has completed the crossing in 4 hours and 40 minutes. Mitchell will not race this year.

Live race updates will be broadcast on Facebook and Twitter. A race day expo will be held near the finish line, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, at Maunalua Bay Beach Park. For additional information about the event, click here.

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Photo: Molokai-2-Oahu Paddleboard World Championship


Hawaii_Oahu_Waikiki_ukulele_festival_musicIf you’re in the Waikiki area this Sunday (July 22), expect to see many passersby toting ukuleles. If you enjoy upbeat ukulele music (... and who doesn't?), follow the musical crowd to Kapiolani Park Bandstand. The 42nd annual Ukulele Festival Hawaii will be under way from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The festival’s stage performance lineup includes two dozen musical acts, ranging from internationally known ukulele virtuosos to local celebrities and an ukulele orchestra of hundreds of students, mostly children.

Among the headliners: Grammy award-winning singer/musician James Ingram, known for hits such as Just Once, One Hundred Ways, Somewhere Out There, Yah Mo B There, and Baby, Come to Me. In 1994, Ingram (pictured, above) co-wrote the festival theme song, Come Join Us, with festival founder Roy Sakuma.

Danny Kaleikini, Hawaii’s “Ambassador of Aloha,” will serve as emcee for the 41st straight year. Also performing are Hawaii's Ohta-SanHerb Ohta Jr., Derick Sabastian, Manoa DNA, Kalei Gamiao, Kalama Ukulele Band, Nick Acosta (14-year-old ukulele phenom) and Aidan James (8-year-old ukulele wiz kid/You Tube sensation). And from California, Sunset Strummers and HUI.Hawaii_Oahu_Waikiki_ukulele

The international roster includes: Adrien Janiak (France);   Singto Namchok (Thailand); Yuji Igarashi,Tatae “Kolohe” Imamura, Boo Takagi, Keiki Ukulele Japan, LeaLea Ukulele Garden (Japan); Bamebll Ukestra (Korea); Taiwan Ukulele Club, Chocolele (Taiwan); Paul Tupou (New Zealand); and Ukastle Ukestra (Australia). For a complete festival performance schedule, click here.

Away from the stage, the free festival will feature an ukulele booth where you can learn strum basics, displays and giveaways, food booths, activities for children, and various merchandise, such as collectible pins, T-shirts and recyclable tote bags.

Free parking and shuttle service will be available from Kapiolani Community College to Kapiolani Park Bandstand and back, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Also, for information about a real-time broadcast of the event online, click here. For additional information about the nonprofit Ukulele Festival Hawaii, click here.

Photos: Ukulele Festival Hawaii

Hawaii_Oahu_Waikiki_mango_contest_It’s mango season in Hawaii. Those fragrant spheroids are ripe in treetops. Reason enough to celebrate? We think so. If you agree — and happen to be on Oahu this weekend — head on over to the Moana Surfrider in Waikiki for the fourth annual fruit tribute, Mangoes at the Moana, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sat., July 21.

Among the highlights: A cooking competition for celebrity chefs dubbed Tree to Table — A Mango Throw Down, best recipe and best mango contests, mango-themed seminars (novice- and advanced-level), and “how-to” demonstrations ranging from pruning and and trimming mango trees to decorating a cake with mango.
The event, which will be held at the resort, is free, except for two events: the mango throw down competition, which will be held from noon until 4 p.m., and the Mango Cocktail Mix Throw Down, which starts at 4 p.m. Spectators may purchase tickets to sample the culinary creations made with mango as the main ingredient. Adults: $75, includes two drinks at the Southern Wine & Spirits booth. 
A portion of proceeds will go to
benefit the Leeward Community College Culinary Arts Program. For more information about tickets, click here.

The deadline for the best recipe contest has been extended to Fri., July 20. So, if you have a contender, click here for entry information. If you would like to enter the best mango contest, just bring one of your best homegrown mangoes to the judging area by 8:45 a.m. Judges will base their picks on flavor, texture, skin color, aroma, flesh color, and proportion of flesh to seed.

Musical entertainment will be under way in the Banyan Courtyard, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.  For additional information about the event, click here.

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Photo: best mango contest contenders/Moana Surfrider, a Westin Resort & Spa 

Hawaii_Oahu_Honolulu_Moanalua_Gardens_hula_festivalThe 35th annual Prince Lot Hula Festival — Hawaii's oldest and largest non-competitive hula celebration held each year to honor Prince Lot Kapuaiwa, who revived the once-banned hula — is set for 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sat., July 21 at Moanalua Gardens on Oahu.
The event will feature both hula kahiko (ancient) hula and chant, and auana (modern) hula performances. Dancers will perform on one of the few remaining pa hula (hula mounds) in Hawaii.

In a press release issued by the event’s organizers, Moanalua Gardens Foundation, Alika Jamile, the nonprofit’s executive director and president said that the theme, Laukanaka Ka Hula (A Multitude of Hula Groups Gather) is "based on the traditional oli (chant) that talks about groups of hula people coming together to celebrate hula. It speaks to people from all over who appreciate hula.”

The festival’s namesake, King Kamehameha V, Prince Lot (pictured, below) — the last of the direct descendants of King Kamehameha the Great to rule the Kingdom of Hawaii — had a summer cottage on the Moanalua Garden's grounds. (The cottage is still on the grounds.) The monarch’s rule began in 1863 and ended in 1872.Hawaii_Oahu_Honolulu_Moanalua_Gardens_hula_festival

For a complete festival performance schedule, click here. There is no charge to attend the event, however a “button donation” to foundation is requested to raise funds to support the festival. Limited edition T-shirts will also be sold as a fundraising item. Local food and refreshments will be available for purchase throughout the day.
Festivalgoers are encouraged to bring beach chairs and mats and enjoy the fun, food and festivities under the monkeypod trees of Moanalua Gardens.

One of the monkeypods — a large tree, with an umbrella-shaped canopy — is dubbed “Hitachi” tree because Japanese electronics manufacturer Hitachi, Ltd. has used the tree as a corporate symbol since 1973. It grows in the middle of the 24-acre gardens. The tree is registered as an “exceptional tree” by the City and County of Honolulu and cannot be removed or destroyed without city council approval

Moanalua Gardens Foundation aims to “preserve and perpetuate the history, native culture and environment of Hawaii through education, celebration and stewardship at Moanalua Gardens and Kamananui Valley.” For more information about Moanalua Gardens and the foundation, call (808) 839-5334 or click here.

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Photos: (top) Ha Hale o Kahala of Kumu Hula Leimomi Maldonado and Alakai Loren Kanoelani Chang/Moanalua Gardens Foundation, (bottom) Prince Lot/Moanalua Gardens Foundation
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