Hawaii Today edited by Derek Paiva Page: 1 2 3 Next>>

Hawaii_Big_Island_Google_Trekker_HikingGoogle’s Street View web-mapping technology will be going off-road and onto the lush backcountry trails of the Big Island this fall, aiming to offer hiker’s-view photographic guides to more than 25 of the island’s best hiking trails.

Street View Trekker is the latest addition to Google’s Street View application, which already offers Web users straight-from-the-asphalt, 360-degree views of streets, highways, freeways and backcountry roads from around the world.

Using images shot at two-second intervals from multiple cameras on a vehicle-mounted rig, the Google Street View team stitches collected images together to create a continuous drivers-level panoramic view of locations around the world. Launched in 2007, Google Street View now covers more than 5 million miles of road on seven continents.

The Trekker project aims to take Street View beyond streets and roads, and into terrain largely accessible only by foot. In a partnership with Kailua-Kona-based outdoor activity company Hawaii Forest & Trail, the Trekker team plans to capture views from more than 25 state-managed hiking trails around the Big Island. The high-resolution photographs, showcasing views of some of the island’s most scenic natural wonders, should also prove to be a useful guide for hikers.Hawaii_Big_Island_Google_Trekker_Hiking

Beginning this summer, guides from Hawaii Forest & Trail will take to hiking trails around the Big Island—including Akaka Falls State Park, Pololu Valley and Hawaii Volcanoes National Park—with Google’s Trekker equipment. Weighing 40 pounds each with 15 cameras capturing 360-degree images, the Trekker is a modified version of Google’s vehicle-mounted Street View equipment, downsized to a battery-powered super-backpack carried by a robust hiker.

The Trekker team has already photographed trails at popular destinations such as the Grand Canyon and the Galapagos Islands. The Big Island mapping project will be the team’s first with images collected by an outside partner using the Trekker equipment. Hawaii_Big_Island_Google_Trekker_Hiking

“Finally being able to photograph and share images from a variety of different terrains, including rainforests, beaches, and even trails paved with hardened lava rock will help make Google Maps all the more comprehensive and useful for both tourists and armchair travellers alike,” said Street View program manager Deanna Yick, in a media release from the Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau, another partner in the Big Island project.

The first images captured by Hawaii Forest & Trail are expected to begin appearing on Street View parent application Google Maps and the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau website by the end of the year. The Trekker project is expected to expand the to cover Kauai, Oahu, Maui, Lanai, and Molokai hiking trails in the future.

For more information about Google Maps and Street View, click here. Starting on July 1, Hawaii Forest and Trail will begin blogging about the project.

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 Photos: Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau

Hawaii_Kona_PuuhonuaWhile most of us today would probably choose modern civilization over socially rigid ancient Hawaii, we’re still intrigued by the cultural history of tropical paradise. This year's annual Puuhonua O Honaunau Cultural Festival, happening this weekend, offers a step back in time to a Hawaii of the past.

Staged at Puuhonua O Honaunau National Historic Park, the fest is set for 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Among the highlights: outrigger canoe rides in Honaunau Bay on Saturday; Hawaiian food tasting on Sunday; and craft demonstrations, such as haku lei flower weaving and kapa fabric beating throughout the weekend. Cultural practitioners dressed in traditional Hawaiian attire will be around to answer questions and talk story with visitors about Puuhonua O Honaunau, which spans across 420 acres and more than 400 years of Hawaiian history.

The festival will feature food demonstrations along with samples of traditional Hawaiian dishes. Visitors are invited to bring their own snacks and drinks, too. Picnic tables and charcoal grills are available for public use, though park officials ask that visitors leave tarps and umbrellas at home.Hawaii_Kona_Puuhonua

Visitors are also welcome to explore Puuhonua’s grounds by way of self-guided walking tours and optional cellphone audio. Visit the ancient Royal Grounds once reserved for the ali’i, (ruling class), take a two-mile hike through the native fauna to Kiilae Village, or head down to the shallow waters of Keoneele cove to check out sunbathing honu (turtles).

Located on the Southern Kona coast, Puuhonua was once a sanctuary for defeated warriors, noncombatants, and violators of the kapu (sacred laws). Puuhonua, which translates to “place of refuge,” served as a safe haven for Hawaiians who would otherwise face ruin. The ruling class ali'i also set up homes and sacred ceremonial grounds in the area, which are today referred to as the Royal Grounds. Today, Puuhonua is one of Kona's best preserved sacred sites, with a rich cultural heritage and fascinating past.

The park is opens at 7 a.m. and closes at sunset. Entrance fees will be waived for the Festival.  For more information about the Cultural Festival or Puuhonua O Honaunau National Historic Park, click here.

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Photo: (top) Derek Paiva; (bottom)Puuhonua O Honaunau National Historic Park.

Hawaii_Oahu_Honolulu_Foster_Botanical_GardenFoster Botanical Garden’s annual Twilight Summer Concert Series is under way on Thursday evenings. This week’s event, “Teddy Bear Picnic,” features a harp ensemble. Kids are, of course, invited to bring beloved stuffed animals to the show, and there will be children’s activities before the concert begins at 5:45 p.m. Admission is free.

Also in the series lineup: the Air Force Band of the Pacific, “Da Small Kine Band” (July 11); Carmen Haugen’s Quartet (July 18); and the Air Force Jazz Band (July 25).

In addition, the botanical garden’s annual Midsummer Night’s Gleam, during which a few thousand glowing luminarias line the pathways weaving through the garden, is set for July 20 (4 p.m. to 9 p.m.). The free event will feature high-spirited lion dances, Scottish dancers, belly dancers, the Air Force Jazz Band.

Tucked into the downtown Honolulu area, Foster Botanical Garden is the oldest of the Honolulu Botanical Gardens. It displays a mature and impressive collection of tropical plants. Some of the trees in this 14-acre garden were planted in the 1850s. For more information about Foster Botanical Garden, click here.

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Photos: Foster Botanical Garden/Alex Kufel

Hawaii_Kauai_jazz_music_festivalKauai’s sixth annual Red Clay Jazz Festival, slated to get under way tomorrow (Wed., June 26) will feature live performances on the beach, music workshops and jam sessions, and a “Meet the Artists” fundraiser on the Garden Isle’s south shore. Award-winning group Lavay Smith and the Red Hot Skillet Lickers will headline this year’s main concert at Kauai Lagoons, alongside the Kauai Pro-Am Show Band and the Maui Jazz Quartet. The oceanfront venue offers both lawn and tent seating as well as several specialty restaurants and beverage booths.

This year, the four-day fest (June 26-30) will kick off with live jam sessions with local artists happening tomorrow and on Thursday at various locations. Click here to see the full schedule for artists, hours, and locations.

There will also be a blues workshop on Thursday, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Kauai Community College taught by featured headliners including: vocalist/bandleader Lavay Smith and her pianist Chris Siebert; Paul Marchetti from the Maui Jazz Quartet; and Kauai jazz musician, Kirk Smart. Other fest highlights include Friday’s meet-the-artists party (a fundraiser for jazz education) at The Shops at Kukuiula in Poipu, 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., and the main concert from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday at Kauai Lagoons.Hawaii_Kauai_jazz_music_festival

First presented in 2008, the Red Clay Jazz Festival comes from a long history of music and music education. The Kauai Concert Association (KCA), established in 1974, aims to bring world-class music to the community, with the mission of exposing listeners to one of America’s favorite original music cultures. The festival format showcases a Kauai-based ensemble, a group from the State of Hawaii, and a headliner artist from the US Mainland or abroad. 

General Admission to the main concert costs $40, $20 for students with valid ID Tickets to the “Meet the Artist” Party costs $50. Blues Workshop with Festival Artists costs $20. For additional information about the Red Clay Jazz Festival, click here.

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Photos: Ed Sancious/Red Clay Jazz Festival


Where’s your favorite Hawaii beach for swimming or snorkeling? Best place for island-style dining? It’s time to express your savvy, in-the-know opinions on Hawaii matters near to your heart. It’s time to cast your online ballot in HAWAII Magazine’s second annual Readers Choice Awards.

Click here for the online ballot. Ballots must be submitted by end-of-day on Fri., Oct. 11, 2013. (One ballot per person, please. Paper ballots will not be accepted.) If you want to elaborate on exactly why your picks are the “best,” go ahead and leave a comment or two on the ballot about your choice. No worries, we’ve left you some space.

So, what do you get? In addition to the satisfaction that comes with expressing your Hawaii smarts, everyone casting a ballot will be entered into a random drawing for one of two Apple iPad Minis — each loaded with a one-year Apple iPad Newstand subscription to HAWAII Magazine.

The results of the Readers' Choice Awards will appear in the March/April 2014 issue of HAWAII magazine.

Based on your ongoing inspired answers to questions about Hawaii’s best sights, sounds, scents and tastes submitted for reader polls on our Facebook fan page, we know you’re up to this challenge.

So, start reliving some of your favorite Hawaii memories and let us know where to buy those perfect Made-in-Hawaii souvenirs, enjoy a romantic dinner, and the best beach for simply stretching out on the sand.

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Photo: Kihei Beach area (Maui), Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) Tor Johnson

Smithsonian_Hawaiian_culture_Folklife_FestivalThis summer, the language, dance, and music of Hawaii joins the lineup of international cultural events, demonstrations and displays at the annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival, happening June 26-30 and July 3-7 in Washington D.C.

Founded in 1967, the two-week exhibition celebrates the world’s multitude of living cultures and their rich heritages. Each summer, the fest welcomes a myriad of international performers, artisans, cultural practitioners and educators to participate in a range of events and demonstrations. Hosted by the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, the event attracts more than a million visitors annually.

Hawaiian culture will be a part of the 2013 Folklife Festival’s One World, Many Voices: Endangered Languages and Cultural Heritage event series. The Hawaii delegation is expected to include kumu hula (hula teachers) and dancers, Hawaiian musicians and singers, a Niihau shell lei maker and a number of Hawaiian language experts. Events will include a Hawaiian chant demonstration following the Festival’s opening ceremony (noon, June 26), a Hawaiian music and dance concert (6 p.m., June 27) and music and dance performances on multiple dates throughout the Festival.

For a complete listing of Smithsonian Folklife Festival events click here.  
Smithsonian_Hawaiian_culture_Folklife_FestivalThe theme of the One World program focuses on the preservation of endangered languages and their importance to cultural identity. In addition to events planned for the Hawaiian delegation, festival visitors will have the opportunity to observe Wayuunaiki dancers from Columbia, Passamaquoddy basket makers from Maine, musicians from Mexico, Bolivia, and Russia, and more.

The Folklife Festival’s Marketplace, situated outdoors on the National Mall between the Smithsonian museums, annually features a variety of traditional arts and crafts, books, and CDs, many of which are otherwise unavailable in the U.S. Food vendors at the Marketplace this year will offer everything from fresh fruit and cold beverages to Hungarian beers and wines, Latino fajitas and, for those looking to sate a soul food craving, traditional homestyle chicken and waffles.  

Admission to the Smithsonian Folklife Festival is free.

For more information, visit the Smithsonian Folklife Festival website.

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Anyone who has every strolled the idyllic beachfront of Kalakaua Avenue in Waikiki, has no doubt come face to face with the slightly larger-the-life likeness of one of Hawaii’s most famous celebrities: Duke Kahanamoku (pictured above, second row-center). Located on the makai (oceanside) entrance to Kuhio Beach, the iconic bronze statue of the famous “Beach Boy” stands, with open arms, in front of a towering longboard. Colorful leis are often draped across extended palms.

A world-renowned surfer, outrigger canoe paddler, and Olympic swimmer, Duke Kahanamoku (1890-1968) represents a generation of athletes who dedicated themselves to reviving the relationship between Hawaiians and the ocean. Alongside family and friends, such as Sam and David Kahanamoku, Chick Daniels, Panama Dave, and Curly Cornwell, Duke Kahanamoku led the way back into the waves after the practice had been in decline for a period of about 150 years.Hawaii_Waikiki_Beach_Boys_Royal_Hawaiian_Resort_photos

Starting on July 10, The Royal Hawaiian Hotel, in tandem with the Matson Navigation Company, will showcase the Waikiki Beach Boys, a collection of rare, archival photographs taken between the late 1920s and the late ‘40s. Chosen from thousands of snapshots in the Matson collection, 30 photos, as well as a variety of original surf posters will line the walls of the Coronet Lounge in the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. The exhibition will wrap up late December. Admission is free.

From the time Captain Cook landed in Hawaii in 1778, all the way through the early 1900s, Hawaii experienced a turbulent shift in its social and political climate. Christian missionaries urging modesty in dress and various other restrictions frowned on surfing, which had been a long-held Hawaiian practice.

At the turn of 20th century, when surfing had all but faded into history, it suddenly regained momentum, due in part, to an endorsement by writer Jack London. In 1907, when The Call of the Wild writer visited Oahu, he witnessed and then experienced surfing with the help of Alexander Hume Ford and one of the first men to popularize California surfing, George Freeth.Hawaii_Waikiki_Beach_Boys_Royal_Hawaiian_Resort_photos

London’s subsequent travel journal, The Cruise of the Snark, depicted a Hawaii brimming with color and sensation. One chapter, A Royal Sport: Surfing in Waikiki, is devoted to London’s first experience in the waves. At the same time, Ford was actively campaigning to revive surfing, petitioning the Queen Emma Estate for a plot of land where surfing and outrigger canoeing could be practiced. Thus, the Outrigger Canoe Club was born. Shortly thereafter, its rival, Hui Nalu or “family of waves” was founded, the dominantly Hawaiian counterpart to its largely haole, or Caucasian rival. Duke Kahanamoku, one of Hui Nalu’s founders, went on to popularize surfing around the world.

Duke’s love for the water became transnational when the Hawaii-born athlete won Olympic medals in swimming and water polo. His surfing demonstrations in Corona del Mar, Santa Monica, and Sydney, Australia were just a few of the many places that grew their surf culture from the seed of the Hawaiian tradition.

These days, surfing is a worldwide sport. No matter if the water is cold, the waves small, or the country landlocked: where there’s a will, there’s a wave. (By the way, today is International Surfing Day. Established nine years ago by The Surfrider Foundation and Surfing Magazine, the holiday an unofficial celebration of the sport and green-minded living.) We're stoked!

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Photos: (top) Waikiki Beach Boys at The Royal Hawaiian (1930)/Hawaii State Archives; (middle) Duke Kahanamoku; (bottom) Duke Kahanamoku statue on Kuhio Beach.  

Hawaii_Oahu_Maui_culinary_wine_festivalOrganizers of the third annual Hawaii Food & Wine Festival, slated for Sept. 1-9, last week announced the lineup for daytime events that offer up-close-and-personal experiences with chefs, farmers, winemakers, and cultural practitioners.

The fest, which showcases Hawaii’s bounty of locally sourced produce, seafood, beef and poultry, features more than 70 internationally renowned master chefs, culinary personalities, and wine and spirit producers.

Co-founded by two of Hawaii’s James Beard Award-winning chefs, Roy Yamaguchi and Alan Wong (pictured, right), fest proceeds support the sustainability, cultural, and educational efforts of the Hawaii Agricultural Foundation, the Culinary Institute of the Pacific, Leeward Community College Culinary Program, Paepae o Heeia, Papahana Kuaola, Hawaii Culinary Education Foundation, Maui Culinary Academy, and Maui County Farm Bureau.

Among the daytime event highlights:Hawaii_Oahu_Maui_culinary_wine_festival

Girls Got Game +1 — An assembly of more than one dozen superstar chefs and Hawaii farmers, all female except one, collaborate to create a Sunday brunch. Among the stars in the chef lineup: Harumi Kurihara of Yutori No Kukan (Tokyo) and Emma Hearst of Sorella (New York). Brunch collaboration.

• Fish and Poi: Lunch at the Loi  — Participants will learn how Hawaiian cultural practitioners are keeping the sustainable culinary practices of ancient Hawaii alive today. The event includes a visit a historic fishpond and loi (taro field) on the windward coastline of Oahu.

For more information about daytime events, ranging from wine seminars with some of the top producers in California to cooking demos spotlighting Hawaii-grown chocolate and exotic fruits, click here.

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Photos: (top) Alan Wong at 2012 Hawaii Food & Wine Festival; (bottom) daytime event in Heeia (Oahu), 2102 fest.

Hawaii_Oahu_Bees_PollinationIn Hawaii, bees help to balance a delicate ecosystem and curate some of our signature plant species such as the ohia lehua and macadamia nut tree. Honey has also long been ranked amongst Hawaii’s top food exports.

In recent years, however, mites, small hive beetles, and a tiny parasite called nosema have decimated honeybee populations on the U.S. Mainland and in parts of Hawaii. Researchers also blame some pesticides and various environmental changes for the phenomenon dubbed “Colony Collapse Disorder.”

Gov. Neil Abercrombie yesterday signed into law a measure that lifts some regulatory hurdles for small Hawaii beekeeping businesses. After signing the bill, he officially proclaimed this week Hawaii Pollinator Week to recognize the “vital role of bees, birds and other pollinators in maintaining healthy, diverse ecosystems and productive farms in Hawaii and elsewhere throughout the world.”

In observance of this special week, which echoes National Pollinator Week (June 17-23) — first designated by the U.S. Senate and U.S. Department of Agriculture in June of 2007 — here’s some facts about Hawaii honeybees that have us buzzing.


Hawaii_Maui_photo_contestDo you have an amazing Hawaii photograph? One that captures the breathtaking beauty of our lush landscapes and shorelines. Or a memorable moment depicting people and culture in the Islands. How about an artistic abstract shot?

If so, enter your best photos in HAWAII Magazine’s 15th annual Photo Contest. Your photography could win you a grand-prize six-day/five-night stay at The Kapalua Villas on Maui’s west side, airfare and various other goodies, such as a chic digital camera fitted with a powerful 5x optical zoom, a 28 mm wide-angle lens, and an optical image stabilizer.

The contest is open to entries through Aug. 9, 2013. Prizes will be awarded for the most awe-inspiring, Hawaii-focused images. You may enter photos in the four categories listed here.

People — Photos depicting individuals or groups, residents or visitors doing anything or nothing at all (outdoors or indoors) on any island.

Outdoors — Photos depicting Hawaii’s landscapes/seascapes — natural or man-made, country or urban, mountain/beach (mauka/makai), close-up or at a distance.Hawaii_Maui_photo_contest

Culture — Photos depicting Hawaii’s diverse cultures — from Hawaiian to Japanese to Filipino and everything in between. Images may feature events, activities, artifacts, memorabilia, architecture, people, etc. Images may spotlight a single culture or many.

Abstract — Photos depicting Hawaii or elements of Hawaii in a creative or rarely seen way. This category serves as an invitation for you to get experimental.

Your submitted photos can be of anything that falls into any one of these categories, but all entries must have been photographed in Hawaii after May 2010. Entries that fail to comply with photo contest rules will be disqualified. Photos will not be returned.

The grand-prize (one winner) will get airfare for two to Maui from the winner’s nearest Hawaiian Airlines gateway city, plus a six-day/five-night stay at The Kapalua Villas on Maui. Also, the grand-prize winner will get: a three-day car rental from Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group; a $100 gift certificate for Star Noodle restaurant on Maui; a $50 gift certificate for The Gazebo restaurant on Maui; and a Jams Throw and Surf line Hawaii towel from Jams World. Finally, for taking the best in show title for HAWAII Magazine’s 15th annual Photo Contest, the grand-prize winner will get a Canon PowerShot A3400 IS digital camera and an 8GB SOHC card.Hawaii_Maui_photo_contest

First-place prizes (one winner in each category) will score an Oahu tour for two from Gray Line Hawaii/Polynesian Adventure Tours, a pillow from Jams World, a gift pack from Maui Preserved, two day passes for Waimea Valley on Oahu, and two day passes for Wet’n’Wild Hawaii on Oahu.

Second-place winners (one in each category) will pick up a Surf Line Hawaii towel from Jams World, a gift pack from Maui Preserved, two day passes for Waimea Valley on Oahu, and two day passes for Wet’n’Wild Hawaii on Oahu.

Click here to check out the official contest rules. And click here to take a look at the official entry form.

Need some visual inspiration? Check out photo galleries of our 2012 and 2011 HAWAII Magazine Photo Contest winners and finalists by clicking the links below.

2013 HAWAII Magazine Photo Contest winners and finalists

2012 HAWAII Magazine Photo Contest winners and finalists

The winning photos will be published in the January/February 2014 issue of HAWAII Magazine. Additionally, winners and finalist photos will be published on HawaiiMagazine.com.

Entries must be postmarked no later than Fri., Aug. 9, 2013. That leaves you with about three months to sort through your best shots or to focus your lens on Hawaii.

Good luck, photographers! We’re looking forward to seeing your best shots!

A big mahalo to all of our 15th annual HAWAII Magazine Photo Contest sponsors. Please click on their links above to find out more about them.

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Photos: (top) second-place, people category (2013) Gavin Shigesato; (middle) second-place, Kauai category (2012), Lisa Boyer; (bottom) and grand-prize winner (2013), Christian Del Rosario.
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