See also: Hawaii Fireworks Controversy
Saturday, December 31, 2005
If this is your first New Year's Eve in Hawaii, prepare yourself for some loud and explosive action. I will never forget the first time I saw one of my Oahu neighbors string 10,000 firecrackers together, hang them over the branch of a tree, and set the whole thing on fire! Or wading through early-morning ankle-deep firecracker papers in the streets of Waikiki on New Year's Day. Firecrackers are a strong cultural tradition in Hawaii, but some islanders would like to see them outlawed because they can cause injuries and fires, scare pets, and cause air pollution that is a danger to small children, the elderly, and people with asthma. The safest way to enjoy fireworks on New Year's Eve in Hawaii is to watch one of the public aerial fireworks displays. Fireworks displays on December 31, 2006 include:
OAHU: Waikiki Beach and Aloha Tower Marketplace MAUI: Hana, Wailea Beach, and Maluaka Beach KAUAI: Poipu Beach LANAI: Manele Bay Hotel
See also: Hawaii Fireworks Controversy
See also: Hawaii Fireworks Controversy
Blues singer and guitarist Keb Mo will appear on four Hawaiian islands in January of 2006. If you have never heard him perform, a great introduction to his work is his first album - still my favorite - which is simply entitled "Keb Mo". His full name is Kevin Moore, and he is from the Crenshaw area of Los Angeles. Keb Mo is an internationally recognized artist who has received two Grammy Awards for best contemporary blues album.
Jan 11 - Kauai War Memorial Hall (Lihue, Kauai) Jan 12 - Maui Arts Center (Kahului, Maui) Jan 13 - Hawaiian Hut (Ala Moana Hotel, Honolulu, Oahu) Jan 14 - Honokaa Peoples' Theater (Honokaa, Big Island) Jan 15 - Palace Theater (Hilo, Big Island) Keb Mo's Official Web Site Sound Clips from Keb Mo's First Album (Amazon.com)
Thursday, December 29, 2005
According to 2004 data published by the United States Census Bureau, 77% of Hawaii's population is non-white and non-hispanic, making it the state with the highest percentage of minorities in the nation, followed by Washington DC (70% minority), New Mexico (57%), and California (56%). For these statistics, minority is defined as all people except non-Hispanic, single-race whites. In Hawaii more then 50% of the population is Asian and more then 20% is native Hawaiian.
This week the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) released a 2006 wall calendar featuring photographs by Ric Noyle of Hawaiian reefs viewed from the air, at sea level, and underwater. The calendar also features photos of reef fish, monk seals, turtles, and sea birds. The calendar costs $10 and it can be picked up at the DLNR State Parks Office in Honolulu, which is located at 1151 Punchbowl Street, Room 310 (mail ordering is not available).
Article About the DLNR Hawaiian Reef Calendar More 2006 Hawaii Wall Calendars
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
The price of wholesale gasoline is expected to drop about 5 cents a gallon in Hawaii after the first of the year, resulting in retail gasoline prices in the range of $2.50 to $2.90 a gallon. Gas prices in Hawaii are capped by the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission (HPUC) based on average prices in Los Angeles, New York, and the Gulf Coast of the United States. Gas caps are revised and published weekly on the HPUC Web site.
Honolulu Star Bulletin Gas Cap Article HPUC Information About Hawaii's Gas Cap
Saturday, December 24, 2005
This week Fairmont Hotels and Resorts sold the luxurious Fairmont Orchid Hotel on the Kohala Coast of the Big Island for $250 million to Westbrook Partners. Fairmont will be given a contract to manage the resort, and for the time being the resort will keep its Fairmont brand name. Fairmont purchased the Orchid Hotel in 2002 for $140 million. Fairmont is also selling other assets, as part of an effort to fend off a hostile takover bid from billionaire investor Carl Icahn.
Thursday, December 22, 2005
On Wednesday December 21, twenty-nine year old Jonathan Genant of San Diego was attacked by a shark while swimming alone about 200 yards off of Keawakapu Beach in Wailea, Maui. He lost the little finger of his left hand and part of his ring finger during the single-pass attack, but he was able to swim to shore without being attacked again by the shark.
Honolulu Advertiser Article about the Attack Hawaii Shark Incidents Involving Humans Facts About Sharks in Hawaii 10 Shark Safety Tips
This month Delta Airlines added two new flights to Hawaii, increasing to 11 the total number of daily Delta flights between the mainland and Hawaii. The new flight from Atlanta to Kahului, Maui is non-stop, and the new flight to Kona on the Big Island has one stop, in Salt Lake City. For more information see the Delta Press Release
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
Children age 17 and younger can stay free with their parents at all ResortQuest hotels in Hawaii if they are able to use the existing bedding. Children age 12 and younger will also receive free admission to top island attractions such as Atlantis Submarines and Sea Life Park, and free meals at family restaurants such as Sizzler and Pizza Hut when accompanied by a paying adult.
ResortQuest Hawaii - Family Discounts ResortQuest Hawaii - Main Menu
Andy Irons of Hawaii finished in first place at the Rip Curl Pro Masters Surfing Competition at the Banzai Pipeline on Oahu's north shore this week. The contest was part of Van's Triple Crown of Surfing, a three event competition held every year in Hawaii. Second and third place finishers were Mick Fanning of Australia and Andy's brother Bruce Irons of Hawaii.
Report on the 2005 Rip Curl Pro Masters First Place: Andy Irons (ASP Bio) Second Place: Mick Fanning (ASP Bio) Third Place:Bruce Irons (ASP Bio)
Food writer Matthew Gray offers three different restaurant tours in Honolulu, including an afternoon hole-in-the-wall tour that combines Honolulu history with eating at four of Oahu's best small local and ethnic cafes, and an evening food and wine tour that includes a multi-course dinner and several different wines served at three of Honolulu's best restaurants. For more information visit Matthew Gray's Hawaii Food Tours Web site.
Sunday, December 18, 2005
Here are seven photos by Dennis Oda of the Honolulu Star Bulletin, of Santa Claus visiting Waikiki Beach in Honolulu. There is special significance in the checked suit worn by Santa in these photos. The first Hawaiian shirts - and some say the "real" Hawaiian shirts - were those worn by workers on Hawaii's sugar cane, coffee, and pineapple plantations, who came from Portugal, Japan, the Philippines, and other countries. Those shirts were known as palaka, and they were made of a very rugged blue and white checked fabric. The first Asian print Hawaiian shirts were made using recycled kimono fabric, and later Hawaii-specific prints were designed and made into the type of aloha shirts that are popular today.
Photos of Santa Visiting Honolulu Photo of an Authentic Palaka Shirt Books About Hawaiian Shirts
The new Cirque Hawaii in Honolulu is sure to be a spectacular show but some locals and visitors are reluctant or unable to pay $55-$99 for tickets. Cirque Hawaii is now selling tickets to their rehersals for $10, with all proceeds going to charity. Tickets are available on a first-come first-serve basis. For more information see the KGMB Article by Terry Hunter or contact Cirque Hawaii directly at 808-922-0017.
Saturday, December 17, 2005
An interesting Hawaii Diner article by Gail Jennings announces the winners of Honolulu Magazine's Hale Aina Restaurant Awards, and it also gives some insight in Honolulu Magazine, its subscribers, and its recent management shake-up. The article also has photos of the November 2005 Hale Aina Awards Ceremony at the Kahala Mandarin Hotel.
This week, US Airways began offering two flights between Phoenix Arizona and Hawaii, with one landing in Honolulu on the island of Oahu and one landing in Kahului on the island of Maui. US Airways will add more flights to Hawaii in March of 2006, including Las Vegas/Maui, Phoenix/Kauai, and Phoenix/Kona. For more information about the new US Airways flights to Hawaii visit the official US Airways Web site.
Thursday, December 15, 2005
The IMAX theater on Seaside Avenue in Honolulu is closed, but that building is now the permanent home of Cirque Hawaii, a combination circus and artistic performance that combines many disciplines including dance, acrobatics, aerialists, contortionists, and balancing acts. The first shows will be this Saturday and Sunday at 7:00 pm, and beginning Monday December 19, the shows will be at 6:30 and 8:30 pm. Contact 310-922-0017 for more information.
Honolulu Advertiser Article by Wayne Harada Honolulu Star Bulletin Article by Jacquelyn Carberry Cirque Hawaii - Official Web Site
Smoking is banned in all restaurants, most indoor public places, and some outdoor public places in Hawaii, but smoking is still permitted in bars and nightclubs. A no-smoking ban that would include bars and nightclubs is supported by most of the people who live in Hawaii, but bar and nightclub owners are concerned that a full ban would negatively affect their businesses, especially since a large number of visitors from Asian countries smoke. For more information see Smoking in Hawaii.
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
When 18 year old Raiatea Helm's first album "Far Away Heaven" was released, she was declared by many to be a natural successor to the greatest falsetto singers, including Genoa Keawe, Lena Machado, and Amy Hanaialii Gilliom. Her first album won two Na Hoku Hanohano awards and one Hawaii Music Award, and her second album, "Sweet and Lovely" was one of five albums nominated this month for the 2006 Hawaiian Music Grammy Award.
Raiatea Helm: Her Music and Background 2006 Hawaiian Music Grammy Nominations
A company called "Lifted Entertainment", located at Dillingham Airfield on the North Shore of Oahu, will let you experience the sensation of freefalling through the air without jumping out of an airplane. You will be dressed in a flight suit, helmet, and goggles, and then you will enter a wind tunnel chamber where columns of air will shoot up and lift you 20 feet into the air. For more information see the official Web site of Lifted Entertainment.
Starbucks has added T-Mobile broadband wireless Internet access to the 46 Starbucks coffee houses operated by Cafe Partners Hawaii. Find out if there is a Starbucks near your Hawaii home or hotel by visiting the Starbucks Hawaii Web site and selecting "Store Locator". Contact your favorite Starbucks directly to find out if they now have Internet access.
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Most of the caves in Hawaii are underground lava tubes, and several of them can be explored, with or without a guide. There is a cave near Hana on the east coast of Maui and several caves on the Big Island, including the 400 foot Thurston Lava Tube in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and the 60 kilometer Kazumura Cave, which is one of the longest and deepest lava tubes in the world. Guided tours for all levels of spelunkers are available at most of these caves. For more information see Cave Exploration in Hawaii
The afternoon high tea served on the Banyan Veranda at the historic Moana Surfrider Hotel in Waikiki includes a selection of teas, ham, turkey, and salmon sandwiches, and a variety of pastries and sweets including scones with devonshire cream, fruit tarts, cream puffs, and sorbet. Vegetarian sandwiches can be requested when you make your reservation. The cost of this elegant and filling repast is $28, or $34 with two glasses of champagne. High tea is served at the Moana Surfrider Monday through Saturday from 1 to 4 pm and Sunday from 3 to 4. From 5:30 to 10:30 pm this is one of the best spots on Oahu to watch the sun go down, sip tropical drinks and hear some of the top Hawaiian musicians perform. For more information see the Banyon Veranda Afternoon Tea Web site.
This is more of an activity for locals then for visitors to Hawaii, because of the islands' strict quarantine laws, but on December 31, members of the "Paws on the Path" canine and human trekking club are hiking with their dogs on the Peacock Flats Trail in Mokuleia on the north shore of Oahu. Rules for all "Paws on the Path" hikes: One dog per person, dogs must be on a leash at all times, and owners must bring plastic bags to pick up after their pets. For more3 information see the Hawaii Humane Society Paws on the Path Web site.
Monday, December 12, 2005
Humpback whale watching season in Hawaii runs from the middle of December through the middle of April, and whale watching cruises are available on all of the Hawaiian Islands. To view whales from shore, look for spouts of water, and then look for fins and tails in the same area. If you are very lucky, you might see a whale jumping out of the water. December through April is the season for viewing Humpback whales in Hawaii, but you can see other species of whales all year, including pilot whales, sperm whales, killer whales, beaked whales, and melon head whales.
Whale Watching Cruises in Hawaii Hawaii Humpback Whale Marine Sanctuary PBS Special on Humpback Whales
Henry Kapono and his partner John Bilgrave will close their popular waterfront Honolulu restaurant and outdoor amphitheater on January 1, after four and half years of being one of the best venues in Honolulu for live music. Performers have included traditional Hawaiian, modern Hawaiian, jazz, blues, rock, reggae, swing, and pop local singers and musicians. The last performance at Kapono's will be a New Year's Eve concert called "Kapono's Final Hour at the Tower". The event will include fireworks over Honolulu Harbor, and it will be filmed and recorded for an audio CD and video DVD called "Henry Kapono Rocks Live at Kapono's". Tickets are available for $25 to $100, with the least expensive tickets being standing room only.
More About New Year's Eve at Kapono's Henry Kapono's Official Web Site
Sunday, December 11, 2005
The Hawaii Maritime Center is a museum located on the waterfront east of the Aloha Tower Marketplace, in downtown Honolulu on the island of Oahu. Attractions include the King Kalakaua Boathouse Museum, a Polynesian sailing canoe (Hokule'a) a four masted 1878 ship (Falls of Clyde), a surfing history museum, a humpback whale skeleton, and many other exhibits. Admission is $7.50 and audio tours are available in English, Japanese, and Korean. For more information see the Hawaii Maritime Center Web site.
There is a sunset torch lighting and conch shell ceremony at Kuhio Beach in Waikiki almost every evening, followed by a hula show featuring some of Hawaii's finest performers. The performances take place on the Kuhio Beach hula mound, which is near the Duke Kahanamoku statue. The event is free and it takes place from 6 to 7 pm. Seating is on the lawn and beach chairs are permitted. For a schedule of performers, see the city of Honolulu Culture and Arts Calendar (select the current month's PDF calendar).
Friday, December 09, 2005
On Saturday, December 10th there will be two Christmas boat parades on the island of Oahu. One of them will be east of Waikiki at the Hawaii Kai Marina, and the other will be west of Waikiki in Honolulu Harbor. The Festival of Lights Boat Parade in Hawaii Kai will be from 6:30 to 8:30 pm and the Honolulu Yacht Club Boat Parade will be from 6 to 8 pm.
The Rip Curl Proline Masters Competition is the final jewel in the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, a three-event series that takes place at three different beaches on the north shore of Oahu. The Rip Curl competition is taking place December 8-20 on the Banzai Pipeline break at Ehukai Beach Park. This event will determine both the ASP World Surfing Champion and the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing Champion for 2005.
Rip Curl Pro Pipeline Masters Van's Triple Crown of Surfing
One of the newest activities on the island of Kauai is soaring high above the forest canopy while secured in a harness and attached to an overhead cable system. Participants must weigh between 100 and 250 pounds, and some companies have a lower age limit of 15. Outfitters Kauai offers a zipline tour above waterfalls and rivers in the Kipu Falls area and Kauai Backcountry Adventures offers a tour that includes a series of seven ziplines stretched high above forests and valleys.
Kauai Backcountry Adventures Outfitters Kauai Zipline Tours
Every year the Hawaii Audubon Society organizes a mass effort to count birds on the islands of Oahu, Hawaii, Maui, Kauai, and Molokai. Participants do not need to have any experience. They will be part of a field party counting birds sighted and heard in a particular 15 mile (24 kilometer) area. There is a $5 USD fee to participate, which is a donation to help cover expenses.
Hawaii Christmas Bird Count Project Christmas Bird Count FAQ More About Birdwatching in Hawaii
Thursday, December 08, 2005
This week, WestJet Airlines will begin offering non-stop flights from Vancouver, Canada to Hawaii, with flights to and from Honolulu five days a week and flights to and from Maui two days a week. WestJet is a leading low-cost airline in Canada, currently serving more then 30 cities in North America. For prices and other information about WestJet's new Hawaii routes, visit the official Web site of WestJet Airlines.
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
The United States National Parks Service and the Naval Region of Hawaii will host the 64th annual Pearl Harbor Day Commemoration today at the USS Arizona Memorial on the island of Oahu. The ceremony will take place from 7:40 to 9:30 a.m. and regular public tours of the memorial will begin at 10:45 a.m. The USS Arizona Memorial is one of the most visited sites in Hawaii, but the monument above the sunken battleship is beginning to deteriorate. There is currently a national fundraising effort underway for a $34 million project to rebuild the memorial. The reconstruction project is expected to begin in December of 2007.
This Friday, and the first Friday of every month, you can join Oahu locals and visitors for an art festival in Chinatown and downtown Honolulu featuring live music, street entertainment, cafes, and extra late hours at art galleries, shops, and antique stores in the area.
First Friday Art Nights in Chinatown Map of Chinatown's Gallery Walk Walking Map of Honolulu's Chinatown
The 2005 winners of the Honolulu Advertiser's Ilima Awards for the best restaurants in Hawaii have been announced, and the winners included Alan Wong's for best restaurant, The E&O Trading Company for best new restaurant, the Liliha Bakery for best bakery, the Mai Tai Bar at Ala Moana for best bar, and Zippy's for best family restaurant. Here are all of the award winners: 2005 Ilima Restaurant Awards.
This week, internationally famous Hawaiian entertainer Don Ho underwent an experimental heart procedure in Bangkok Thailand that involved injecting his own blood stem cells directly into his heart muscle. Some studies say this procedure can improve the heart's pumping ability by 20-70%. Mr. Ho is currently in intensive care but his condition is stable. He hopes to return to Hawaii in the next two weeks, and be performing again at the Waikiki Beachcomber Hotel before Christmas 2005. [Honolulu Advertiser Article]
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
Auntie Genoa Keawe may be 87, but she's got stamina and vocal strength to out-sing anyone half her age. The longtime Hawaiian entertainer doesn't plan to retire anytime soon because she says "music makes me happy." Visitors to Hawaii can hear the legendary Genoa Keawe perform most Thursday evenings from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Moana Terrace Lounge on the third floor of the Waikiki Marriott Resort at 2552 Kalakaua Avenue.
Honolulu Advertiser Genoa Keawe Article National Endowment for the Arts on Genoa Keawe
The Coco Palms Hotel, made famous by the 1961 Elvis Presley movie "Blue Hawaii", was badly damaged when Hurricane Iniki struck Kauai in 1992, and since that time it has been abandoned and left to decay. In 2006 a major renovation project will begin, and the new Coco Palms is expected to be open for business in the winter of 2008. When the work is finished, the complex will have 104 hotel rooms and 200 condominium units. The lobby, restaurant, nightclub, and Hawaiian fishpond areas will be identical to those of the original Coco Palms Hotel. Bungalow 56, where Elvis Presley regularly stayed, will be restored and turned into an Elvis Presley museum. For more information see the Coco Palms Resort Web site.
Monday, December 05, 2005
The 33rd annual Honolulu Marathon will take place on Sunday, December 11, with a course that begins at Ala Moana Beach Park and ends at Kapiolani Park. Special events for race participants include a marathon expo at the Hawaii Convention Center December 7-10, souvenir sales and clothing check-in at Kapiolani Park December 9-10, a "Riders on the Storm" concert and Luau at the Waikiki Shell on December 9, and race day concerts in Kapiolani Park. For more information, see the Honolulu Marathon Web site.
The first Filipinos arrived in Hawaii nearly 100 years ago, to work on the sugar cane and pineapple plantations. A special report published by the Honolulu Advertiser this weekend includes the family histories and personal stories of five Hawaiians of Filipino heritage. This article was published in honor of the "Filipinos in Hawaii Centennial Celebration" that will take place throughout the Hawaiian Islands in 2006.
Honolulu Advertiser Filipino Heritage Article Filipinos In Hawaii Centennial Celebration
Sunday, December 04, 2005
On Saturday, December 3, twenty-five year old Malik Joyeaux of Tahiti was killed while surfing at the Banzai Pipeline on the North Shore of Oahu. He wiped out on a wave that broke his board in half and ripped the leash off his ankle. After a frantic 10 minute search, he was found underwater 200 yards away from where he fell. Malik Joyeaux was a top pro surfer who had been featured on the covers of surfing magazines. His death is a tragedy for the entire international surfing community.
Honolulu Advertiser Article Profile of Malik Joyeaux
Friday, December 02, 2005
Honolulu will be lit up for the holidays from December 3, 2005 through January 1, 2006, and the lighting ceremony will be on Saturday, December 3. There will be a church service at the Kawaiahao Church at 5 pm, a tree lighting ceremony at 6 pm, and an Electric Light Parade at 6:30 that will travel down King Street from Aala Park to Honolulu Hale. The evening will end with a holiday concert at Sky Gate, featuring Yvonne Elliman, Raiatea Helm, the Hawaii Stars All-Stars, and many more top performers.
Honolulu City Lights - Official Web Site Honolulu City Lights - 2005 Tree Ornament
In April of 2006, the Norwegian Cruise Line will move their new "Pride of Hawaii" ship to Honolulu, where it will join the cruise line's "Pride of Aloha" and "Pride of America" ships in offering 7 day, 4 island luxury cruises in Hawaii. Cruises are available now on the two ships currently based in Hawaii. Two itineraries are available, one starting and ending in Honolulu on the island of Oahu and the other starting and ending in Kahului on the island of Maui. For more information see the Norwegian Cruise Lines Hawaii Web site.
The theme of the 43rd Annual Kaneohe Christmas Parade is "Celebrating Freedom" and it will begin on Saturday, December 3, at 9:00 a.m. More then 5000 people from all over the state of Hawaii will participate in thjis parade that takes place on the eastern windward side of the island of Oahu. The parade will begin at the Windward Mall (corner of Kamehameha Highway and Haiku Road) and end at Castle High School on Kaneohe Bay Road.
More then 40 acres of coastline on the Big Island of Hawaii collapsed into the sea this week. The collapse left a 60 foot cliff in place of the coastline, and it ripped open a lava tube, causing lava to flow into the sea at a rate of about 4 truckloads of lava per second. The collapse began about 12 noon on Tuesday, Novermber 29 and it continued for several hours, accompanied by explosions, sprays of molten rock, and boulders being thrown in the air.
Honolulu Star Bulletin Article Honolulu Advertiser Article
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