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

Wikipedia Commons

A concert, parade and even an imu (Hawaiian underground oven) workshop are all part of March events commemorating the birthday of Hawaii’s Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole beginning this weekend on three islands.

Born in the south Kauai town of Koloa in 1871, Kuhio created much of the Hawaii the world sees today. A prince of the Kingdom of Hawaii, Kuhio was next in line to become king when Queen Liliuokalani was overthrown in 1894 bringing an end to the Hawaiian monarchy. Despite the overthrow, Kuhio’s determination and dedication to the people of the Hawaiian Islands never wavered.

He worked throughout his life to perpetuate and preserve Native Hawaiian culture and practices. He served as Hawaii’s second congressional delegate from 1903 until his death in 1922, instituting government policies still in effect today. Because of Kuhio’s influence, we observe King Kamehameha Day each June 11—the only state holiday dedicated to Hawaiian royalty other than Kuhio Day.

There are schools, buildings, streets and beaches named after Kuhio, and March 26— the prince’s actual birthday—is still celebrated as a statewide holiday. Schools are closed, Honolulu’s public transportation operates on a holiday schedule, and many people have the day off from work.

Here is a partial list of Prince Kuhio Day celebrations on all three islands through the month of March to consider checking out:


Prince Kuhio Hoolaulea/Hoikeike

March 1, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at.Kakaako Makai Gateway Park in Honolulu
This event kicks off the month-long celebration of the prince’s birthday with native Hawaiian arts and crafts and hula performances. It is also a fundraiser for the Oahu Council of Hawaiian Civic Clubs.

Prince Kuhio Hoolaulea
March 8, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Prince Kuhio Commuity Center in Kapolei
Learn how to prepare traditional Hawaiian luau food at an imu workshop and enjoy live entertainment, craft demonstrations, Makahiki games and food at this event in Central Oahu.

Prince Kuhio Commemorative Parade

March 22, 10 a.m. to noon, Waikiki
This annual parade, which starts at the west end of main drag Kalakaua Avenue and ends at Kapiolani Park, features marching bands, hula halau (hula groups) and more.


Prince Kuhio Rodeo

March 16, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the CJM Stables in Poipu
Watch young paniolo (Hawaiian cowboys) compete in barrel racing, goat tying, breakaway roping and bull riding at this free event.

Paakai: The art and culture of Hawaiian salt making
March 17, 9:30 a.m. at Salt Pond Park in Hanapepe
Sit with Aunty Janet Kahalekomo and her family as they share their history and knowledge of cultivating Kauai’s prized red sea salt.

43rd annual Prince Kuhio Long Distance Canoe Race
March 22, 8 a.m. at Kalapaki Beach in Lihue
The men’s race, from Kalapaki Beach to Kukuiula Harbor, will start at 8 a.m., with the women paddling from Kukuiula Harbor to Salt Pond Park at 10:30 a.m.

An evening with Ledward Kaapana and Mike Kaawa
March 22, 8:15 p.m. at the Grand Hyatt Kauai's Seaview Terrace in Poipu
Hear the extraordinary sounds of these two award-wining slack key guitarists at this free concert. Seating is on a first-come, first-serve basis.

4th annual Anahola Prince Kuhio Day Celebration
March 29, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Anahola Beach Park
There will be educational exhibits, performances, crafts and food booths at this free event.


Prince Kuhio Hoolaulea

March 30, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Keawaiki (Banyan Tree Park, Front Street) in Lahaina
This free event features exhibits, keiki (children’s) games, food booths and local entertainment.

Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole Birthday Celebrations
For more information about the events above on Oahu and Maui and full list of events, click here. For a full list of Kauai events, click here.

Subscribe to HAWAII Magazine in print, on the Apple iPad and on the Amazon Kindle


Heeia Fishpond. Photo: Wikipedia Commons

A new iPhone app created by the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology allows users to virtually visit one of Oahu's most historic Hawaiian fishponds wherever they are in the world.

The free app called Loko Ia—Hawaiian for “fishpond”—offers iPhone users two types of interactive, multimedia tours of 800-year-old Heeia Fishpond on Oahu's windward coast. If you’re actually visiting Heeia, the app utilizes GPS to provide a photo- and narrative-guided tour as you explore the fishpond, designed with a goal of enhancing your visit. Not on Oahu? The app also offers a virtual tour of the fishpond using photos, narration and interactive features that highlight cultural, scientific and geographical points of the area.

The Loko Ia app also includes data and visualization of research currently being conducted by the Institute of Marine Biology at the loko kuapa (walled fishpond) constructed on a reef in Kaneohe Bay.

Screenshot from Loko Ia app. Screenshot: Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology.

The app is part of a project funded by the National Science Foundation aimed at reaching people who cannot visit Heeia in person. The private nonprofit group Paepae o Heeia, which manages the fishpond and is leading restoration efforts of it, sees the Loko I‘a app as a way to educate users about the work it does and the cultural and historical significance of these traditional fish farms constructed by early Hawaiians throughout the Islands.

“The app allows folks to learn about the fishpond, the history, the moolelo (stories), restoration work and research activities without having to actual be here on-site,” says Hiilei Kawelo, the nonprofit’s executive director.

Screenshot from Loko Ia app showing Heeia Fishpond's kuapa. Screenshot: Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology.

One of Oahu’s most historic Hawaiian fishponds, Heeia Fishpond hosts community fishing events over several days each summer, where people can cast their fishing rods into the centuries-old fishpond.

A source of food for ancient Hawaiians who lived in this area, the walled fishpond encloses 88 acres of brackish water. It is built on a fringing reef extending from the shoreline into Kaneohe Bay. The ocean-facing wall of the fishpond is 1.3 miles long, forming a circle around it.

Paepae O Heeia offers two types of fishpond tours: a one-hour guided walking tour and three-hour field trips for larger groups. The three-hour trips include a service project working in the fishpond.

To download the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology's free Loko Ia app on iTunes, click here.

To learn more about the Heeia Fishpond and restoration efforts and tours by Paepae o Heeia, click here. For more information on the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology, click here.

Subscribe to HAWAII Magazine in print, on the Apple iPad and on the Amazon Kindle


The colorful handmade mochi of Two Ladies Kitchen in Hilo.

You didn’t pre-order?”

As she says this, the woman behind the counter at Two Ladies Kitchen stares at me in disbelief. A line of customers winds behind me and out of the small downtown Hilo mochi shop and onto the sidewalk alongside bustling Kilauea Avenue.

“You have to pre-order. They sell out,” she scolds, gently.

The subject at hand is the shop’s famed strawberry mochi—a fresh whole strawberry surrounded by hand-mashed sweet azuki beans, encased in the pillow-soft, handmade Japanese glutinous rice-cake paste that has made Two Ladies Kitchen a must-stop for Hilo residents and visitors buying Big Island omiyage—Japanese for “gifts” or “souvenirs”—for off-island family and friends. Strawberry mochi is the top-seller among the multiple mochi treats the shop crafts daily.

Behind the counter, Two Ladies’ kitchen bustles with activity. A handful of college-age girls, each with a specific mochi-handling job, are huddled over stainless steel tables. One rolls the mochi paste into balls, while another dusts off potato starch from each. Another girl wields a metal rod to create various mochi shapes and designs. Three college-age boys man the kitchen’s pots and ovens. Music by the British teen pop band One Direction blares on overhead speakers, as boxes of pre-ordered mochi are packed for afternoon parties, an early morning funeral and several sports teams visiting Hilo for games.

Two Ladies Kitchen co-founder Nora Uchida prepping strawberries for the shop's famous strawberry mochi.

An entire half of one of the kitchen’s large stainless steel tables is dedicated to making strawberry mochi.

“People come here for this,” says Two Ladies Kitchen owner Nora Uchida, carefully placing a large strawberry in a dollop of azuki beans in the center of a small, white mochi ball. She skillfully pinches the sweet rice dough until it encases the azuki and strawberry. “But you gotta like strawberries.”

The growing line of customers outside Uchida’s shop suggests that many do.

Uchida opened Two Ladies Kitchen almost two decades ago with her aunt, Tomi Tokeshi, and mother, Sachi Kishimoto. Truth be told, Uchida wanted the shop to be called Three Ladies Kitchen, but her mom, who’s now 88 and still mixes mochi batters, didn’t want the attention.



Interisland air carrier Island Air is discontinuing its flight service to and from Molokai beginning April 2.

If you have confirmed reservations for Island Air flights between any Hawaii airport and Molokai for April or beyond, call Island Air customer service at (800) 388-1105. Island Air flights to and from Molokai between now and April 1 are unaffected by the announcement.

The Honolulu-based turboprop airline owned by Oracle Corporation CEO Larry Ellison announced last night that it was dropping its entire Molokai flight schedule, which currently includes service to the island from Honolulu Airport, Kahului Airport, Lihue Airport and Lanai Airport.

No reason was given by Island Air for ending its Molokai service. The carrier plans to contact customers with April 2 and beyond Molokai reservations for ticket refunds or to transfer their reservations to another airline. According to Island Air's announcement, all of its Molokai employees will be offered job transfers within the company.

The rest of Island Air’s interisland flight schedule remains unchanged.

Ellison purchased Island Air in February 2013, eight months after purchasing 98 percent of the island of Lanai in June 2012. Island Air’s announcement of the end of its Molokai service arrives a week after rival interisland carrier Hawaiian Airlines’ announcement that it would launch its new Ohana by Hawaiian turboprop service with flights to Molokai and Lanai in March.

Ohana by Hawaiian will begin three daily flights between Honolulu and Molokai on March 11, and twice daily flights between Honolulu and Lanai beginning March 18. 

Photo: Island Air

Subscribe to HAWAII Magazine in print, on the Apple iPad and on the Amazon Kindle


Lisianski Island, Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, as seen in Google Street View.

Most of us will never get a chance to visit the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, a massive, closed-to-the-public marine and wildlife conservation area that encompasses much of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands beyond Kauai.

Thanks to a new section of Google Street View’s Trekker site, however, you can now virtually stroll among the thousands of seabirds nesting on Tern Island or a Hawaiian monk seal basking on the golden sands of Laysan Island.

In July 2013, Papahanaumokuakea staff from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service spent a week in the monument capturing thousands of 360-degree panoramic images of five locations using its Google Street View Trekker equipment. The more than 10,000 images captured, which went live online in December, span 41 miles of the monument, allowing millions of people to view this ecologically significant and stunningly beautiful place.

Tern Island, Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, as seen in Google Street View.

The Papahanaumokuākea Marine National Monument is the single largest conservation area under the U.S. flag, and one of the largest marine conservation areas in the world. It encompasses 139,797 square miles of the Pacific Ocean—an area larger than all of the National Park Serivice’s sites combined.

Papahanaumokuakea was established by Presidential Proclamation 8031 on June 15, 2006, to protect the area’s exceptional array of natural and cultural resources. The extensive coral reefs found in Papahanaumokuakea are home to more than 7,000 marine species, one quarter of which are found only in the Hawaiian Archipelago.

Many of the islands and shallow water environments are important habitats for rare species such as the threatened Hawaiian green sea turtle and the endangered Hawaiian monk seal. On less than six square miles of land, more than 14 million seabirds representing 22 species breed and nest. The monument’s limited land area also provides a home for four species of birds found nowhere else in the world. The monument was designated as a United Nations World Heritage site in 2010.



The Maui Whale Festival
happens each year during the peak of humpback whale-watching season in Hawaii, between February and April. But this Saturday, the fest’s event and activity schedule goes into full swing with Maui's own celebration of World Whale Day.

The fest’s events and activities are designed to raise awareness of the 12,000 humpback whales that annually migrate to the warm waters of the Hawaiian Islands from the North Pacific each winter. Presented by the nonprofit Pacific Whale Foundation, the fest features more than a dozen signature events, free exhibits and talks over its three months. World Whale Day is just its biggest day of celebrating.

“It’s a magical time of the year when you can hear whales singing when you snorkel or dive in the ocean, and you can see whales in almost every direction you look at sea,” said Greg Kaufman, president and founder of the Pacific Whale Foundation, in a news release. “There’s so much to celebrate, especially the fact that this population of whales is making a very successful comeback from the brink of extinction. The Maui Whale Festival offers many ways to participate in learning about and celebrating the presence of these remarkable animals.”


Saturday’s popular World Whale Day celebration happens at Kihei’s Kalama Park. The daylong schedule begins with the annual Maui Parade of Whales, followed by a keiki (kids) carnival, the Made-on-Maui Artisans Fair and a meet-and-greet with noted marine artist Robert Lyn Nelson. More than 25,000 residents and visitors are expected for World Whale Day events in Kihei. Attendance is free.

maui_whale_festival_world_day_paradeFleetwood Mac co-founder, drummer and Maui resident Mick Fleetwood (right) will serve as grand marshal of the Parade of Whales and perform live with Maui musicians R.E. Metoyer Blues Rock & Soul Revue. The parade begins at 9 a.m. at the intersection of Alaniu Kealii Drive and continues north on Kihei main drag South Kihei Road to Waimahaihai Street.

Hawaii’s 2013-14 whale-watching season officially started last October with the first sighting of a humpback whale in South Maui waters near Molokini islet.

Maui Whale Festival "World Whale Day" Celebration
Find a schedule of events at Maui Whale Fest's website. For more information about the Pacific Whale Foundation, visit its website.

Photos: Pacific Whale Foundation, Maui Whale Festival

Subscribe to HAWAII Magazine in print, on the Apple iPad and on the Amazon Kindle



Nearly a year after first announcing its Ohana by Hawaiian subsidiary, Hawaiian Airlines will finally launch the interisland Honolulu-Molokai and Honolulu-Lanai turboprop service on March 11 with a $59 one-way introductory fare.

Ohana by Hawaiian will begins service with three daily flights to Molokai beginning March 11 and twice daily service to Lanai beginning March 18.

Want to book the new carrier's $59 introductory one-way fare? You’ll have to purchase your tickets now through Feb. 17, for travel between March 11 and April 17, 2014.

Ohana Airlines’ flights will utilize 48-seat ATR42 turboprop aircraft, offering 25-minute flight times between Honolulu and Molokai and 30-minute flight times between Honolulu and Lanai.

Hawaiian Airlines had initially hoped to begin its Ohana by Hawaiian service last summer but wound up having to wait longer than expected for Federal Aviation Administration certification. That process was delayed due to the federal government sequester in early 2013 and insufficient FAA resources.

Ohana by Hawaiian’s flight schedule and ticket purchase information and booking may be found at HawaiianAirlines.com.

Meanwhile, not to be outdone by news of Ohana by Hawaiian’s launch date and introductory fare announcement, the carrier's interisland competitor Island Air yesterday announced its own $59 fare for travel between Honolulu and Lanai. The low fare is available for purchase now through Feb. 17, for travel between now and April 17, 2014, at IslandAir.com.

Island Air is owned by Oracle Corporation co-founder and CEO Larry Ellison, who purchased the turboprop carrier in February 2013. Ellison is also the owner of 98 percent of Lanai, having purchased the Hawaiian Island in June 2012.

Don't know about you, but a vacation on Lanai sometime over the next couple of months is suddenly beginning to sound really good to us.

Photo: Ohana by Hawaiian

Subscribe to HAWAII Magazine in print, on the Apple iPad and on the Amazon Kindle


Summer night skies over Haleakala volcano. Photo by Ron Raport.

How’s this for a great Hawaii photo?

Wait ‘till you see it full size.

When you do, we know you’ll be as impressed as we were with the grand-prize-winning entry in HAWAII Magazine’s 15th Annual Reader Photo Contest.

Last spring and summer, we asked our reader ohana to send us their best photos of the Islands in four subject categories: Outdoors, Culture, People and Abstract. Thousands of you—from the mainland U.S., multiple other countries and here in Hawaii—sent in your favorite photos, capturing everything from Hawaii’s beloved natural beauty and multicultural, multifaceted people to surprising “view askew” abstract images of life in the Islands.

When it was time to choose nine winners—one grand prize, four first prizes and four second prizes—our staff judges scrutinized every photo, argued over some and saved our favorites. Two days later, we had our winning photos and a collection of amazing finalist photos.

This year, there was little argument over the best photo of the bunch: Bothell, Washington-based Ron Raport’s stunning panorama photo of a clear summer night sky over the summit of Maui’s Haleakala volcano. Blown up on our Macs here in the office, lights turned down for full effect, Ron’s photo simply floored us every time we looked at it.

Ron’s reward for his winning photo? Airfare for two to Maui from his nearest Hawaiian Airlines gateway city, and a six-day, five-night stay at The Kapalua Villas Maui. Ron also received a Canon Powershot A3400 IS digital camera, three-day car rental from Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, prizes from Jams World and Maui Preserved, and restaurant gift certificates for Star Noodle and The Gazebo.

First-place prizes (one winner in each category) scored prizes from Gray Line Hawaii/Polynesian Adventure Tours, Jams World, Maui Preserved, Waimea Valley and Wet’n’Wild Hawaii. Second-prize winners received prizes from Jams World, Maui Preserved, Waimea Valley and Wet’n’Wild Hawaii.

Want to see all of the winning photos and finalists?  (Click on to the next page.) 


There are two things you can guarantee will always happen every February in Honolulu.

First, a lot more rain than usual—it is winter in Hawaii, after all, and it never snows in our metropolis. The second? The Punahou School Carnival, always set for the first weekend in February.

We’re crossing our fingers that only the latter will happen. If you're on Oahu, you should, too.

The annual two-day fundraising carnival, which draws thousands of carnival-goers each year, kicks off at 11 a.m. today with its usual lineup of midway rides and carny games, food booths and, uh, more food. Gates will be open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday at Saturday at the school’s lower campus, near Punahou Street and Wilder Avenue in Honolulu.

This year’s theme is New York, New York, The Carnival that Never Sleeps, and is presented by the Class of 2015.

Started in 1932, the annual carnival is a popular annual Oahu tradition, luring more than just alumni and parents, cousins, aunties, uncles and siblings of current students of the 173-year-old private school in Manoa Valley. Thousands of Island residents (and visitors) will explore the carnival grounds over the next two days in search of plants, white-elephant sale treasures, fresh flower lei and edible treats such as the carnival's famous homemade mango chutney (which usually sells out by Friday afternoon), freshly fried doughy malasadas (available all-day, both days), Portuguese bean soup, Hawaiian food and barbecue chicken plates and more.


But about that mango chutney and those malasadas: The chutney is handmade, and its mangoes often hand-picked by students during summer mango season. If you can get a jar, grab more than one. The carnival’s famous hot malasadas are handmade from a prized school recipe. The carnival’s malasada madness dates back to 1957, and an original recipe from the school’s then-cafeteria manager. Malasada aficionados have been grateful ever since.

Got an iPhone? There’s even an app for the carnival that you can download for free from iTunes called, “iCarnival Punahou Carnival,” which provides users a map of the carnival grounds, real-time carnival notifications and a parking guide.

Staffed entirely by volunteers—more than 4,000 students, parents, alumni and faculty and staff—the event Punahou Carnival is the largest fundraising carnival in the state. Proceeds go the school's kindergarten through 12th grade financial aid program.

Finally, a note on the weather forecast for Manoa Valley this weekend: Clear skies are expected with a very slight chance of light rain showers. Crossing fingers.

Punahou School Carnival 2014
For more information about the Punahou School Carnival, click here.

(Additional reporting by Maureen O’Connell and Joanne Romero)


Photos: Punahou Carnival

Subscribe to HAWAII Magazine in print, on the Apple iPad and on the Amazon Kindle


If you’ve driven through or walked the streets of the urban Honolulu district of Kakaako in recent years, you’ve probably seen the colorful work of POW! WOW! Hawaii.

For the last five years, the collective of Hawaii-based artists and art-minded individuals has set aside a week each February to craft wall-sized murals and street art on the once mono-colored walls of the light-industrial, commercial district between Ala Moana Shopping Center and downtown Honolulu. In doing so, POW! WOW! Hawaii has played a large role in the revitalization of the area, which has—thanks to other pioneering restaurants, bars, retailers and entities—become a gathering place and burgeoning residential area, also hosting night markets and food truck festivals.

POW! WOW! Hawaii was voted "Best Public Art" and Kakaako "Best Up-and-Coming Neighborhood" by HAWAII Magazine's editorial and production staff in the magazine's 2013 "Best of Hawaii" issue.

POW! WOW! Hawaii's fifth-annual street art festival kicks off a week of mural painting, music, art lectures, gallery shows, live instillations, after hours events and more mural painting on Sat., Feb. 8 (see below). The celebration then runs near daily through Feb. 16 at various Kaakako sites, bringing more than 100 international and local artists together to create murals and other forms of art. You can watch mural painting on multiple buildings and facades begin in Kakaako on Feb. 10.

Originally founded in Hong Kong several years ago, the concept of POW! WOW! was brought to the Islands to offer a more hands-on approach to art with major community involvement.

Highlights of this year’s POW! WOW! Hawaii week include:

• “POW! WOW! Exploring the New Contemporary Movement” Opening Exhibition

6-10 p.m. Feb. 8 at the Honolulu Museum of Art School, 111 Victoria St.
Curated by Andrew Hosner of Thinkspace Gallery, Culver City, Calif, the show will feature new contemporary art from dozens of artists. Exhibition continues through Feb. 15.


• Pow! Wow! Hawaii mural painting begins

Feb. 10 through the 15 at various locations in Kakaako
Visit Pow!Wow!Hawaii’s website or follow its Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts for updates and locations. Free and open to the public.

• Pow! Wow! Hawaii Block Party Finale
6 p.m.-midnight Feb. 15 on Auahi Street in Kakaako
This event is paired with Honolulu Night Market, spans two city blocks near Auahi Street and will feature live art and music performances. Free and open to the public.

Pow! Wow! Hawaii
Visit Pow! Wow! Hawaii’s website for more information and a full schedule of events.

Photos: King Kalakaua Wall by Madsteez and Roid (top), artist Katch working on mural, from Pow! Wow! Hawaii

Subscribe to HAWAII Magazine in print, on the Apple iPad and on the Amazon Kindle
Page: 1 2 Next>>