Cover Story

In the midst of this drought summer, Hawaiian Springs, a local company, announced that its bottled water is now being sold in The Fresh Market grocery chain’s 119 stores in 24 states (not including Hawaii). This brings to more than 3,000 the number of retail outlets for Hawaiian Springs “outside of its home in Hawaii, as well as in grocery stores in Canada and Asia,” the company cheered in a press release.

Ka’ena Point, Oahu’s wild and windswept northwestern tip, is the ancestral gathering place for souls of the dead, from where they jump off into the next world. Now it has new resonance as the first piece of land in Hawaii that is being allowed to revert to the way our islands were thousands of years ago, when there were no people, the only mammals were seals and bats, and tens of millions of seabirds flocked in from all over the world to nest.

Hold onto your haku: The results of Honolulu Weekly’s 2012 “Best Of Honolulu” Readers’ Poll and Editors’ Picks are here. The Weekly’s is Oahu’s original and oldest annual “Best Of” issue, as well as the youngest at heart.

Ice cream is arguably the best end-product to come out of a cow’s nipple, and you’d think local versions would thrive in Hawai’i, where the craving for a cold treat is a perennial receptor on our collective tongue. Indeed, Catherine Nobriga-Kim, vice president of Roselani Ice Cream, calls ice cream “the drug of normal people” island-wide.

On June 3, the city’s Department of Transportation Services (DTS) implemented reductions to bus service, citing rising operating costs as the reason. The result: People are waiting longer at crowded stops to board buses that are more packed than ever.

Here is a history of Hawai’i 2012 in one sentence: What began as a fight over the Honolulu Rail became a raging battle over environmental regulation, which in turn became an all-out political war over land and power. If it is distressing that only one person — Ben Cayetano — is in a position to bend the arc of this story, it is nonetheless the reality of the vote on August 11.

After spending 40 years in the trenches of the sovereignty movement, Native Hawaiian Roll Commissioner Mahealani Wendt says she fully understands why some Hawaiians are suspicious of the panel’s efforts to identify who should be involved in forming a self-governing entity. “I don’t blame Hawaiians for being distrustful of me or any other Hawaiian who presumes to undertake these efforts,” says Wendt, former executive director of the Native Hawaiian Legal Corp.

In the introduction to Honolulu Weekly’s 18th anniversary issue, the editors noted that the paper was old enough to vote. Three years later, we can celebrate reaching legal drinking age.

When I talk with students about Hawaii’s political history, I sometimes ask, “Do you know who Jack Burns was?” Possibly a few hands go up. I ask, “Do you know who Jack Hall was?” Sometimes no hands go up.

Fisherman Lance Laney believed he was in the right, so stood his ground when three Kauai cops told him to leave, although by that time they really couldn’t make him, because he was standing on a public beach. But to get there, he had walked across a vacant blufftop parcel where billionaire Pierre Omidyar wants to develop an ultra-luxury “eco-resort” and 34 house lots overlooking Hanalei Bay.

Since the Weekly’s Feb. 8 cover story on Ben Cayetano, who promises to terminate the city’s rail project if elected, the mayoral race has heated up.

Kirk Caldwell served a few months as interim mayor of Honolulu in 2010 (when Mufi Hannemann resigned to run for governor), before losing a special election to Peter Carlisle. Now he’s campaigning to get back into the hot seat at Honolulu Hale.

Big news in OHA-land: In April, the state Office of Hawaiian Affairs settled its past-due claims against the state by accepting payment in the form of 25 acres of prime waterfront, worth $200 million, in Kakaako. This summer, the Akaka Bill (which sought federal recognition for Hawaiians) apparently died in Congress.

It’s more than a century since our many cultures began to share their kaukau tins in plantation [days.It]’s more than 20 years since Hawaii Regional Cuisine put to bed forever the old saw that the best meal you’d get here would be on the plane on the way over. We are in the midst of a pleasurable but challenging shift: farm to table, table to farm, you to farmer, farmer to you.

Roger Dikon is one of The Twelve. Not the apostles, but the Hawaii Regional Cuisine (HRC), chefs who came together 20 years ago and created a movement that was key in birthing today’s rich Island food landscape.

Already the air tastes of summer, heady with blossoms, heavy with salt and slightly burnt. The sunlight turns golden, molten.

With roots planted in the 1893 overthrow of Queen Liliuokalani and a presence that extends through the entire archipelago, the military’s influence in Hawaii is surpassed only by tourism. The military controls some 236,000 acres throughout the state, including 25 percent of the land mass of Oahu, and thousands of square miles of surrounding airspace and sea.

Given the city’s crumbling infrastructure and rail controversy, it’s hard to believe anyone would want to be the next mayor of Honolulu. But a few do want the job, including the incumbent, Mayor Peter Carlisle, the former Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney who won a 2010 special election to fill the remainder of Mufi Hannemann’s term.

Green Nuuanu, swathed in clouds and rain, isn’t exactly the first neighborhood that springs to mind when it comes to solar energy. But on a hot, bright day on a street wedged between a mountain ridge and stream, the photovoltaic (PV) array atop Donna-Lynn Ching’s carport looks like brilliant idea.

Compared with, say, saving farms or oceans, garbage management isn’t a hip, sexy environmental issue. But it’s a big one that impacts all the others.

The controversy’s been in the news for months, but what’s largely been missing is a sense of the land itself. On a recent weekday morning, I take H-I west out of town.

From farmers in the ahupua‘a valleys who used and recycled every precious drop of water on its way to the sea, to fishermen who set kapus when species were spawning, to children riding ti leaves on a muddy slope or simply rolling down a grassy hill, to body surfers in a glassy wave, Hawaii has a long heritage of tapping into renewable energy, not just for work and sustenance, but for joy and play. As we roll down the home stretch to the 42nd Earth Day, April 22, what a joy to celebrate the planet and its resources: clean air, clean water, forests, farms and, most of all, our keiki and generations to come.

Faces glowing in the early light of dawn, more than 100 people gathered to watch the blessing and re-launching of Hokule’a at Sand Island. It was March 8, 2012, the anniversary of her original launch at Kualoa in 1975.

Living cheap. It doesn’t mean being cheap, as in tasteless and tawdry, pinching and miserly.

Hawaii’s waters of life, ka wai ola, are the very essence of life and culture in Hawaii, what we survive on and must pass along as a sustainable legacy. In the lyrics to “Aloha Oe,” Queen Liliuokalani tells of the rain falling onto the blossoms of native ohia trees in Hawaii’s mountain forests.

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