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

Hawaii_Waimea_Big_Island_woodworking_exhibitSome of the finest woodworking in the Islands is now on display at the 27th annual Hawaii Wood Guild Exhibit. The juried exhibit, which got under way last week at Isaacs Art Center in Waimea (Kamuela) on the Big Island (upcountry area, east of the Kohala Coast), is open to the public on Tuesdays through Saturdays, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Feb. 23, 2013.

The Hawaii Wood Guild is a volunteer-based organization for woodworkers and wood enthusiasts on the Big Island. The group aims to promote awareness and appreciation for Hawaii’s woodworkers and forest stewardship.

Later this year, the juried 21st annual Hawaii Woodshow, will spotlight “heirloom quality” art pieces crafted predominately with Hawaii-grown woods, such as native koa, kamani, kiawe (mesquite), macadamia nut, mango, and Norfolk pine. Endangered woods and certain rare species are, of course, prohibited. 

The juried woodworking show will be held Sept. 1-15 at the Honolulu Museum of Art's gallery in the historic Linekona building. Hawaii Forest Industry Association, a nonprofit that promotes “healthy and productive forests and a sustainable forest industry,” organizes the show.

For more information about the 27th annual Hawaii Wood Guild Exhibit, click here.

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Photo: Hawaii Wood Guild (2013 exhibit piece)

Hawaii_Kauai_Coco_Palms_ResortAfter opening in 1953, Coco Palms Resort on Kauai emerged as an icon of Hawaii tourism, attracting famous guests such as Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby and Elvis Presley. Much of the last portion of Presley’s 1961 movie Blue Hawaii was filmed in the resort’s lagoon.

Three decades later, however, Hurricane Iniki severely damaged the Wailua Beach hotspot. In the aftermath of the September 1992 hurricane, the resort closed. Today, the still-shuttered site is referred to a dilapidated eyesore.

Citing lack of action on permits issued several years ago to redevelop the resort, Kauai County officials are now moving to revoke them. In a Kauai County news release issued yesterday, the Planning Department’s director, Michael Dahilig, said: “Twenty years of blight and inaction must stop now.”

Dahilig is asking the county’s Planning Commission to schedule a revocation hearing on the matter within the next few months, which could open the door for other redevelopment options.

Kauai Mayor Bernard Carvalho and Council Chair Jay Furfaro are backing Dahilig’s move. In a joint statement, they said: “The owners have had ample time to seek solutions and yet we are still at square one.” 

The statement continued, “It’s time to move forward and look to other options that will address the future of this historic site. Once the permit issue is resolved, we will be in a better position to discuss what those options might be.”Hawaii_Kauai_Coco_Palms_Resort

In 2006, Coco Palms Ventures, a group headed by Maryland-based developer Phillip Ross, bought the resort for $12 million. The property includes 16.4 acres on Kuhio Highway, and the 17-acre coconut grove, which is leased from the state.

Coco Palms Ventures intended to invest $220 million to build 200 condos, 104 hotel rooms and 48 bungalows. It seemed then like the resort would be reborn.

No such luck, though. The venture halted all plans and put the property up for sale in 2007. It blamed the Kauai Planning Commission, which denied its plans to build a full-size spa, but also conceded that the weakening housing market was a factor.

Where does the fate of the Coco Palms Resort stand today? Coco Palms Ventures had its permits extended to 2013 and the property is reportedly still listed as up for sale. 

In addition, in recent years, nonprofit groups have endeavored to protect the land, which once belonged to Hawaiian royalty, and to require any redevelopment project to preserve cultural and historic areas. In 2009, a centuries-old manmade fishpond on the property was designated in the National Register of Historic Places.

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Photos: (top) vintage promotional photo of lagoon at Coco Palms, (bottom) damaged roof, exterior, Coco Palms Resort/HAWAII Magazine

Hawaii_Oahu_Pearl_Harbor_battleship_MissouriThe USS Missouri (BB-63) launched from Brooklyn Navy Yard in New York on this day (Jan. 29) 69 years ago.

Among the ship's historical highlights: Supreme Allied Commander Gen. Douglas MacArthur and representatives from 10 nations assembled on the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay on Sept. 2, 1945 to accept Imperial Japan’s formal, unconditional World War II surrender.

The formal surrender aboard the USS Missouri, known as “Mighty Mo” followed V-E Day (Victory in Europe Day), May 8, 1945, when German troops laid down their arms after Germany surrendered to Allied Nations. Japan announced its surrender on Aug. 15 (Japan time) and formalized the agreement on Sept. 2 aboard the ship, thereby finalizing the Allies’ victory over Axis Powers.

The USS Missouri was decommissioned in 1995. On Jan. 29, 1999, the ship was re-opened as a museum, Battleship Missouri Memorial, in Pearl Harbor on Oahu.

To mark both anniversaries, the Missouri Memorial is hosting a celebration this Saturday. Among the special events: band performances, educational demonstrations and activities, battleship game stations, special tours and a volunteer recognition ceremony, which is slated to begin at 10:30 a.m. on the ship’s fantail.Hawaii_Oahu_Pearl_Harbor_battleship_Missouri

In a news release issued by the Missouri Memorial, Michael A. Carr, the nonprofit’s president and chief operating officer, said: “The Battleship Missouri Memorial is a proud tribute to the military — the brave men and women who put it all on the line to protect our freedoms – and we welcome all of them to join us on Feb. 2 to celebrate two major anniversaries in the ship’s history.”

Carr added, “We’re also taking this opportunity to thank our countless volunteers who keep the Missouri looking ship-shape, and our wonderful kamaaina who have been such generous hosts for the past 14 years.”

Festivities will get under way at 8 a.m. and wrap up at 2 p.m., with normal tours continuing until 4 p.m. Active-duty and retired military personnel and military dependents with valid Department of Defense ID, as well as all Hawaii residents with state photo ID (such as driver’s licenses) will be admitted to the celebration for free. For additional information, click here.
The Missouri Memorial is located a ship’s length from the USS Arizona Memorial, which covers the sunken USS Arizona. The National Park Service’s World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument describes the battleship as the “final resting place for many of the 1,177 crewmen who lost their lives on December 7, 1941,” during the Japanese aerial attack on the harbor that propelled the United States into World War II.

For more information about the Missouri Memorial, click here. Click here for more information about the national monument.

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Photos: (top) Battleship Missouri Memorial; (bottom) Pearl Harbor's USS Arizona Memorial and Missouri Memorial/National Parks Service, World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument

Hawaii_Lanai_Ellison_hotel_runway_sustainabilitySeven months after Larry Ellison, co-founder and CEO of business software giant Oracle Corporation, wrapped up the purchase of all but a small slice of Lanai, his vision for the island’s future is taking shape.

According to news reports, Kurt Matsumoto, the chief operating officer of Ellison's Lanai Resorts LLC, presented a “vision statement” for the island at a Lanai Community Plan Advisory Committee meeting held last week.

The Maui News has reported that the vision includes opening a third luxury bungalow-style hotel on the island, construction of a desalination plant, and a new airport runway. In addition, Pacific Business News has reported that Ellison also wants to eventually power the entire Pineapple Isle with solar energy. A timeline for the proposals has yet to be released.Hawaii_Lanai_Ellison_hotel_runway_sustainability

Ellison purchased 98 percent of the 141-square-mile island in June. The deal, which reportedly cost the billionaire about $500 million, includes the island’s two resorts, a golf club, and the island’s water and electric utilities.  (Maui County, in tandem with the State of Hawaii, owns the remaining 2 percent-slice of the island.)

In October, Ellison spoke publicly about the sale for the first time. During an interview earlier this week on CNBC’s “Closing Bell” with Maria Bartiromo, He briefly described his hopes for establishing the islands as a model for green-minded living, but did not offer specifics about timeframe or the scope of his vision.

Lanai — the state of Hawaii’s smallest publicly accessible island — is believed to be the largest privately held island in the United States. Most of the 430 miles of roads are unpaved and there are no stoplights. At its widest point, Lanai's terrain stretches for 18 miles between shorelines.

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Photos: (top) Kaiolohia (Shipwreck Beach), Lanai/Ron Garnett;  (bottom) Puu Pehe "Sweetheart Rock," Lanai /Price M. Myers — (HTA) Hawaii Tourism Authority — both photos 

Hawaii_Waimea_festival_Big IslandThe Big Island’s annual Waimea Cherry Blossom Heritage Festival marks the blooming of the area’s historic cherry trees with a Japanese tradition called hanami, which translates as “cherry blossom viewing party.”

After enduring a seasonal winter chill, the 60-year-old cherry trees in the upcountry area east of the Kohala Coast typically bloom in February. The 20th annual Waimea Cherry Blossom Heritage Festival, slated for 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sat., Feb. 2 at various sites in the Waimea area.

Festivities will include multi-cultural performing arts, such as taiko drumming; hands-on demonstrations, such as a Japanese tea ceremony and mochi tsuki pounding; artwork displays, such as a Hawaiian quilt show; and booths featuring more than 100 crafters and a variety of food selections.

For additional information about the festival, click here.

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Photo: Waimea Cherry Blossom Heritage Festival


Some world's best pro football players are now touching down in Hawaii for this weekend’s 2013 NFL Pro Bowl at Oahu’s Aloha Stadium.

The all-star game, in which the NFC (National Football Conference) squares off against the AFC (American Football Conference) will get under way at 2 p.m. (Hawaii time) on Sunday, and will be televised nationally on NBC. During Pro Bowl Week, which starts Friday, fans will get a chance to meet players, cheerleaders and take part in festivities. (See Pro Bowl Week highlights below.)


The annual Pro Bowl was held at Aloha Stadium from 1980 through 2009. In 2010, it moved to Sun Lite Stadium, home of the Miami Dolphins. In 2011, it moved back to Aloha Stadium. And last year, after complaints about lackluster effort among players during the 2012 game at Aloha Stadium, NFL officials considered canceling the 2013 all-star game. Subsequently, players are pledging to bring a more competitive game to this weekend's 33rd Pro Bowl in Hawaii. 

2013 Pro Bowl Week events

Downtown Touchdown - Eat the Street Pro Bowl Style — A pep rally of sorts featuring Hawaii's popular street food festival (several food trucks serving up island-style cuisine) and guest appearances by the Pro Bowl cheerleaders and mascots. 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Fri., Jan. 25 (555 South St., Honolulu) Admission: free.

Pro Bowl Ohana Day Celebration — This morning event features fan contests, player interviews, NFL video features and a preview of the Pro Bowl game entertainment. There will even be a special Kid’s Zone where keiki can enjoy special contests, prizes, presentations and “mascot mania.”  8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Sat., Jan. 26 at Aloha Stadium. Admission: free

Youth Football & Cheerleading Clinics — Advanced registration is required. Contact the Honolulu Boys and Girls Club or the Honolulu YMCA for registration information. 10 a.m. to 2:45 p.m on Sat., Jan. 26. at Kapiolani Park. Admission: free

Pro Bowl All-Star Block Party — A stretch of Waikiki’s main street shuts down to make way for a block party featuring NFL players, cheerleaders, mascots and local celebrities. There will also be six entertainment stages, food and local crafts. 7 p.m. to 10 p.m on Sat., Jan. 26., Kalakaua Avenue. Admission: free.

Pro Bowl Touchdown Club — NFL food court, bands, appearances by NFL players and cheerleaders. 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Sun., Jan.27. Aloha Stadium, Lot 8B (North End). Admission: free to Pro Bowl ticketholders.

Official Pro Bowl Tailgate Party — The party will be held at Richardson Field, which overlooks Pearl Harbor and is a short walk from Aloha Stadium. Entertainment and food included with admission. 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Sun., Jan. 27. For ticket information, click here.

Pro Bowl Pregame Ceremonies — The pregame show will include feature opening ceremonies and a live performance by the Grammy-award winning band Train. 1:45 p.m. on Sun., Jan. 27 at Aloha Stadium. Admission: included with Pro Bowl ticket.

For additional information about Pro Bowl game and tailgate party tickets, click here.

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Photos: (top) 2011 Pro Bowl, courtesy the NFL; (bottom)
 Adrian Peterson at 2010 NFL Pro Bowl in Miami, courtesy of the NFL

win_Oahu_vacation_Honolulu_Festival_Hawaii_MagazineOne of HAWAII Magazine's favorite annual Hawaii flyaway contests is back!

For the third consecutive year, HAWAII Magazine is giving away a free round-trip for two to Oahu to attend the annual Honolulu Festival, complete with a five-day, four-night stay in Waikiki and VIP tickets to the fest’s biggest events, Feb. 28 – March 4, 2013.

Want to enter the contest? Better move quickly. The deadline to enter the sweepstakes is Tues., Jan. 29.

Now in its 19th year, the Honolulu Festival, is a celebration of music, art and culture aimed at perpetuating the strong cultural and ethnic ties between Hawaii and the Asia-Pacific region. Themed “Pacific Harmony,” this year’s festival—which runs from March 1 – 3 — promises the fest's signature mix of arts and cultural displays, food events, and live performances from Japan, Taiwan, Korea, Australia, the Philippines, Tahiti, Alaska and, naturally, Hawaii.

The fest will conclude with its annual Grand Parade along Kalakaua Avenue in Waikiki, and a dazzling Nagaoka Fireworks Show over Oahu’s south shore beaches.

So, once again, we're excited to offer you a shot at winning an Oahu vacation with Waikiki hotel accommodations and VIP tickets to the 2013 edition of one of Hawaii's premier annual cultural festivals with our HAWAII Magazine Honolulu Festival Oahu Flyaway!

Here’s what the lucky winner of HAWAII Magazine’s 2013 Honolulu Festivals Oahu Flyaway will receive:

• Complimentary Hawaiian Airlines roundtrip coach airfare for the winner and one guest between Oahu and one of 11 gateway cities served by Hawaiian Airlines in North America.

• Five-days/four nights complimentary accommodations at the Hawaii Prince Hotel Waikiki, Feb. 28 - March 4, 2013.

• Two complimentary tickets to the Honolulu Festival Friendship Gala on March 1, 2013, and two VIP seats for the Honolulu Festival Waikiki Grand Parade on March 3, 2013.

• A $150 dining gift card valid at any restaurant in Royal Hawaiian Center in Waikiki.

• Two complimentary 72-hour passes on AlohaBus.


Here’s how to enter:

Fill out the HAWAII Magazine 2013 Honolulu Festival Oahu Flyaway Sweepstakes entry form by clicking here.

All entries must be received by midnight (Hawaii time) on Tues., Jan. 29, 2013.

We will select one winner from all entries, at random, on Thurs., Jan. 31, 2013, and notify the winner via email. The winner will be given 24 hours from the time the prize-winning notification is sent to reply back to us via email before the prize is awarded to another winner.

For a complete list of contest rules, click here.

Mahalo for entering, and good luck!

For more information about the 2013 Honolulu Festival, click here. And a big mahalo to our friends at Hawaiian Airlines, Hawaii Prince Hotel Waikiki, Royal Hawaiian Center, AlohaBus and Honolulu Festival for partnering with us for the contest once again!

Photo: Honolulu Festival

Hawaii_Volcano_Kilauea_lavaEruptive activity at the Big Island’s Kilauea volcano is picking up at the Pu u Oo vent and Halemaumau Crater.

At the Pu u Oo vent, situated in the volcano’s East Rift Zone, lava flows are sporadically spilling onto the east flank of the vent. The volume of lava streaming to ocean entry is increasing slightly, with small entry points now spread along the coastline near Kupapu Point (pictured, above), on both sides of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The current ocean-entry flow has been under way since mid-November.

This month marks the 30th anniversary of Kilauea volcano’s ongoing East Rift Zone eruption. During its first three years, spectacular lava fountains spewed from the Pu u Oo vent. Since then, nearly continuous flow has built a vast plain of slow-moving pahoehoe lava (pictured, below) stretching from the volcano’s rift zone to the Big Island’s shoreline. Hawaii_Volcano_Kilauea_lava

Also, in recent months, at Kilauea volcano’s summit caldera, the lava lake swirling in Halemaumau Crater has been rising to record levels. Since March 19, 2008, when an explosive eruption formed the lava lake, its surface level has remained mostly below the inner ledge (about 100 feet below the floor of Halemaumau Crater). It has, however, risen above and flooded the ledge in October 2012 and this month. According to Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists, “the lake level responds to summit tilt changes, with the lake receding during deflation and rising during inflation.”

The best and closest place within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to catch a look at eruptive activity at Halemaumau is at the Jaggar Museum, which is near the summit. After sunset, the lava lake casts a vivid glow on the ever-present plume of volcanic gases rising from the site.Hawaii_Volcano_Kilauea_lava 

On-island viewing of the ocean-entry lava flow is now largely limited to the Kalapana viewing area, which is maintained by Hawaii County and located outside of the national park. Click here for more information about the viewing area.

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.

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Photo: (top) lava ocean entry near Kupapu Point, (bottom) pahoehoe lava flow from Pu u Oo vent — Hawaiian Volcano Observatory/U.S. Geological Survey

Hawaii_Oahu_Honolulu_museum_festivalUp for an evening in Honolulu that offers cultural exploration and fun, with a focus on Hawaiian music? Check out Two Museums and a Royal Palace: Hawaiian Music Festival, a museum crawl event slated set for 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. tonight at the Bishop Museum, Honolulu Museum of Art, and Iolani Palace.

In a news release issued by the Bishop Museum, its president and CEO, Blair D. Collis, said: “The focus on Hawaiian music is a great draw, especially for the visitors, who can take this opportunity to get a good taste of the genre’s different styles and variations.” The event’s music headliners include: Paula Fuga, the duo Waipuna, and the trio Maunalua.

Free shuttle buses transport festivalgoers to the three venues, which will be open until 9 p.m. Admission ($10 for adult residents, $19.95 adult non-residents) includes entry to both museums and the palace. Members of the three institutions can attend for free.Hawaii_Oahu_Honolulu_museum_festival

Festivalgoers can start their night at any of the three venues, where they’ll get wristbands that allow entry to shuttles and other locations. To see schedules slated for the Bishop Museum (pictured, left), Honolulu Museum of Art, and Iolani Palace (pictured, above), click here, here and here, respectively.

Kippen de Alba Chu, director of Iolani Palace, said in the release: “This strategic collaboration showcases Hawaii’s rich history and art, and fosters a greater appreciation and understanding of how Native Hawaiian traditions permeate our society even today.”

Visitors will have a different experience at each location, and with good timing, can catch the music headliners at each venue as well as a variety of food and drink, and activities.

Stephan Jost, director of the Honolulu Museum of Art said in the release: “Music is something that binds us all together,” says Stephan Jost, director of the Honolulu Museum of Art.  He added, “All three venues are magical places to hear some of our best musicians perform under the stars.”

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Photo (top) Bishop Museum, Tor Johnson; (bottom) Iolani Palace, Joe Solem. Both photos – Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA)


We’ve counted the votes from our latest HAWAII Magazine facebook ohana poll question: Where’s your favorite shoreline spot for whale-watching? The top vote-getters are on the pages ahead.

Not already a part of our facebook ohana? If that's the case, you’re cordially invited to take part in on our next poll. Just click here then press the “like” button at the top of our facebook page. You’ll then become part of our HAWAII Magazine facebook ohana and get our “Hawaii favorite” poll questions as soon as we post them. You'll also get instant updates on your facebook wall when we post our daily HawaiiMagazine.com stories and features.

We’ll be posting our next ohana poll question on HAWAII Magazine’s facebook page in the days ahead. OK, here we go. Here’s the top five countdown of our facebook ohana’s favorite shoreline spots for whale-watching.


No. 5


Situated at the easternmost tip of Oahu, Makapuu Point is a longtime favorite spot for whale-watching. For the best viewing, take the winding mile-long hike up Makapuu Point trail to Makapuu Head. The paved path has an elevation gain of about 500 feet. On the way up, you’ll enjoy views of the island’s southeastern shore. At the top: views of the windward coast and nearby offshore islets, which serve as wildlife sanctuaries for Hawaiian seabirds. Also, there’s Makapuu Lighthouse, built in 1909. On a clear day, you can see Molokai and Lanai, too.
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