Populism: It’s in the air. On the Legislature’s opening day, hundreds of citizens held a “We, the People” rally in defense of the environment, food security and democracy.
• Vote: Tues.,Nov. 6 is the general election.
The arts are made for public enjoyment and so should be accessible, even if you may not always understand them. But one art form, the literary, is languishing as outlets for authors, old and new, go dark.
Welcome to the Islands of Oz, whose citizens have been held in thrall for more than 100 years by big businesses and the politicians they’ve bought. First, our wages, benefits and opportunities were held down by the industrial plantations that required a cheap, uneducated, docile labor pool and grew crops for export, not for eating, while diverting precious water from streams and food crops.
Unstoppable? “Cayetano cannot stop rail if elected, rivals charge,” proclaimed a front-page headline in the Star-Advertiser on July 18, the day after a televised mayoral debate.
Everything’s coming up mangoes. And last week, we joined the crowd at Foster Botanical Garden to witness the first-ever Honolulu blossoming of Amorphophallus titanium, nicknamed the “Corpse Flower” for its malodorous, fly-catching bouquet.
Our second issue of the new year provides reasons to celebrate, although we wouldn’t be the Weekly without a reality check. Civil unions are now available in Hawaii to same sex couples, yes, but Shantel Grace’s cover story explains the painful ways in which this status falls short of equal protection under law.
We are conscious every day of getting by with more than a little help from our friends, since the Weekly was rescued last month thanks to reader contributions that helped pay off a printing debt to the Star-Advertiser’s owner. Two recent events, hosted by small local businesses on the Weekly’s behalf, gave yet more cause for celebration: At Diamond Head Cove “Health Bar”, owner Ann Marcos and producer Leni Knight threw an ‘awa-some party with musicians Imua Garza, John Cruz, Randy Allen, Brian Sanchez, Seann Caroll, Alika Kalauli and Lehua Kalima.
Dear Friends, I am happy to report that, thanks to your kokua, the Weekly has paid the Star Advertiser in full. We received more than 200 donations via PayPal, snail mail and even envelopes slid under our office door, many including uplifting notes of praise and encouragement.
It’s fitting that our cover story about the Disney Kingdom’s first Hawaii development, Aulani at the Ko Olina Resorts, hits newsstands during the week of Columbus Day–our national holiday in honor of the myth that America was discovered in 1492. In these Islands, where westernization nearly wiped out the indigenous people who remain our poorest, unhealthiest, least educated citizens after more than 200 years, the groundbreaking of a new luxury resort is usually viewed as enriching corporate interests in the name of economic benefits that never seem to reach those who need it most.
Bars, one of the original social networks, are still going strong. Compare face time vs Facebook, touch vs tweet, conversation vs comment, and you’ll find that a real bar wins out over cyberspace if only for one simple reason: You can’t wet your whistle online.
Honolulu Weekly is changing editors this week. Our editor of the past year, Lucy Jokiel, will be leaving us to pursue a variety of new adventures, including doing research for a book about her experiences in China and playing with her three wonderful grandkids (with one more on the way).
Support the Weekly……so that we can keep supporting you. Your donations ensure that Honolulu gets the best coverage of Art, Food, Movies, Entertainment, and Local Issues.
On July 27, the Weekly published, “Kukui Plaza Prostitutes—While prostitutes cruise Kukui Plaza, the neighborhood takes action.” An accompanying photo of the Kukui Plaza complex was labeled, “Beware, there be hookers here.” The headline incorrectly suggests that Kukui Plaza is responsible for Kukui Street’s prostitution problem. There have been no reports of prostitutes within the Kukui Plaza complex.
[June 1: “Dog Slaps Man”] The Weekly regrets using the headline “Dog Slaps Man” in last week’s Diary section regarding the alleged altercation between MauiTime publisher Tommy Russo and the A & E Television crew who is associated with Duane “Dog the Bounty Hunter” Chapman. Chapman was not involved in the altercation whatsoever–as our headline falsely suggests.
In the April 20, 2011 article “The Foreclosure Fiasco,” we erroneously stated that 1) attorney Marvin S.C. Dang, who served as vice chair of the Hawaii Mortgage Foreclosure Task Force, was a lobbyist for Bank of America but did not publicly disclose this fact when he was asked to serve on the task force and that 2) Dang sent letters to BofA execs to announce he is lobbying the House and Senate for the bank.
In the April 27 Honolulu Diary, we erroneously misquoted Hawaii Supreme Court Justice Mark Rectenwald in his first speech to the 2011 Legislature. It should have read: “There are many more people facing eviction, collections actions, foreclosures, loss of jobs or benefits and related problems such as divorce or domestic violence,” said Rectenwald, who identified a common theme facing “broadened expectations” of the judiciary: Our citizens want a justice system that works to resolves disputes in a timely and fair manner.
A person driving a Honda Odyssey in Kailua thought it OK to drive up to a Honolulu Weekly stand and take a large stack of papers–for birdcages, perhaps? A street artist who makes his living on the sidewalks of Waikiki, spray paints a 3-D shoreline and Diamond Head with current issues of the Weekly taken from Waikiki kiosks.
A few months ago, I decided to follow the path of several successful local professionals I had interviewed for an article in Island Scene magazine, published by HMSA, my former employer. These mavericks have embraced their second acts, a growing trend among “mature professionals” (like me) to choose “refirement” over retirement.
Gosh, is election season over already? After nine months inside the spin cycle, I’m sure we’re all a little bit dizzy, which makes this a great time to talk about books.
Dan Boylan, the recently retired professor and longtime political pundit, went on the record with Columbia Journalism Review last week with a few observations about this election season and the way it’s being covered. Along with some refreshing reminders–that despite media obsession over it during this cycle, Hawaii politics are notably less negative than those in many other states–Boylan offered that “We’re talking too much about civil unions and not enough about education.
I like leaf blowers. I’m sure I’m in a tiny, tiny minority there, but there’s something about them that speaks to me.
This week, everyone’s talking about President Obama’s new national policy on oceans, which was unvieled Monday afternoon Hawaii time. Call it a hopeful guess, really–we’re putting the paper to bed at four o’clock Monday, and have no idea whether people will be talking about the new framework come Wednesday morning.
On a breezy May evening, in the courtyard of the state library, local publishers, writers and book designers gathered to celebrate the 2013 Ka Palapala Pookela Awards, sponsored by the Hawaii Book Publishers Association. The place was packed, and I was struck by such a healthy showing for an industry whose demise has been predicted since before the advent of Amazon.
I was intrigued recently to channel surf upon a deft interview of Susanna Moore on PBS Hawaii. Moore is the nationally acclaimed author of nine books, perhaps best known for her luminous My Old Sweetheart and other Hawaii novels, as well as the rough-sex 2004 noir In the Cut.
Kabuki Boy, a novel, reads almost like an autobiography filled with vivid details that transport us to 19th-century Japan during the “Tokugawa Era.” Fast-paced and humorous, it aptly dramatizes an ancient dramatic art. The hierarchy between the social classes of samurai, geisha, peasants and monks comes alive from the page, seen through the eyes of Myo, a young boy aspiring to become a kabuki actor.
Calling this big fat novel Hawaii was bound to raise eyebrows. Hey, come run to the schoolyard to watch Mark Panek throw down!
Beautifully designed, with outstanding photography of India and Tibet by Linda Connor, the newest edition of Manoa is especially ambitious in its choice of subject/theme. It attempts to present diverse interpretations of the meanings and implications of the term “freedom,” doing so in the forms of fiction, essays, poetry, memoir and drama.
This new book of poetry is easy to read, yet I had all kinds of strange dreams after reading it. The poems are short but poignant–a lot of thought and crafting went into every well-placed word.
When the young narrator, Landon DeSilva, of Tyler Miranda’s novel Ewa Which Way, watches an episode of “Leave It To Beaver,” he sees a family whose idea of discipline is a father and son discussion without “head cracks” or “cuss words.” In the episode, Eddie Haskell and Wally Cleaver talk about the Beaver’s highjinks, and Landon’s friend says, “just like your brudda . .
In a poetry class I teach at Windward Community College, a student recently did a presentation on coming-out poems and presented her own. One of her peers asked a thoughtful question: “If you are a gay, are you automatically part of the gay community?” It’s a question I’ve had about being Asian American–and a poet.
In Wing Tek Lum’s poem “The Red Circle,” a sergeant teaches his soldiers how to use a bayonet during Japan’s infamous occupation of Nanjing, China in 1937: “With a nub of red chalk / our sergeant marks off / a crude circle in the center / of the chest.” The men are instructed to stab everywhere, except the heart. A quick death would be too kind–too merciful.
“We are selves in a world because we have words,” writes the late poet Tony Quagliano in the preface of his book, Language Matters. In this masterful collection, every line absorbs the reader into the writer’s world, revealing his intimate thoughts on politics, writing, Hawaii and life.
A sort of team anthology, Sunset Inn: Tales from the North Shore is a collection of fiction, poetry and a play published by the Aloha Romance Writers, who admittedly chose–over margaritas and Mexican food–the conceit of a colonial-style seaside inn, described in Patrice Wilson’s poem “This Haven” as “white as salt” and “bleached coral in the sea,” as a central setting for their book. Like the landscape and the building, the collection holds stories of love found, lost and always remembered, some of which are based in Hawaii history and some from a contemporary eye, but all adhering to the familiar elements of the romance genre and the romantic.
In Huna Magic: The Hawaiian Odyssey, Dawn Star puts on a modern spin on Hawaiian mythology and folklore. Set in ancient Hawaii, the book starts off with the classic forbidden love story between a young woman, Kuulei ke Anuenue and a handsome man, Kai, who happens to be the chiefess’s love slave.
The reader weary of cutesy novels with multiple story lines that are obviously going to be inextricably tied together, somehow, might not want to venture too far into Darien Gee’s The Avalon Ladies Scrapbooking Society. But if it’s comfort food for the brain you’re after, you’d be missing out.
Set in Hawaii, Saving Paradise, Mike Bond’s sixth detective novel, tells a passable if unevenly written story featuring one Pono Hawkins, a Special Forces vet (Afghanistan), celebrated international surfer and correspondent for ocean magazines. He also insinuates himself into the woes of others, in this case a beautiful young thing whose lifeless body bumps into Hawkins as he goes surfing at dawn.
Confucius said, “If your plan is for one year, plant rice; if your plan is for 10 years, plant trees; if your plan is for 100 years, educate children.” The philosopher’s sagacious message seems to align with the alternative approach to education seen in Hawaii’s charter school system. Noelani Goodyear-Kaopua’s The Seeds We Planted is an ethnography articulating the establishment, growth, and success of Halau Ku Mana, one of the few Hawaiian culture-based charter schools in Honolulu.
Leilani Holmes’s richly chronicled journey toward a reconnection with her Kanaka Maoli culture opens with the epigraph: “For those who came before us. In hopes that we act on behalf of your bones.” Ancestry of Experience is a thoroughly researched and deeply genealogical journey.
There’s something foreboding about the cover of Pink Globalization. It’s a dark, monochromatic picture of an enormous grey Hello Kitty gazing ominously into the night in front of a corporate-looking building. The picture is certainly intriguing and symbolic–Hello Kitty is taking over the world.
A deeply researched and careful weaving of previously unheard voices can be found in Mai Lepera, adding another layer about leprosy patients exiled to settlements at Makanalua peninsula in the 19th century. Keri A.
If resiliency spoke of a group of people, the Japanese population of the then-Territory of Hawaii during World War II claims the description. With one specific attack on December 7, 1941, an island-wide prejudice against all immigrant Japanese was born, painting a picture of angry nationals who plotted Hawaii’s demise.
An ambitious, immensely rewarding product of nearly five decades’ research and teaching (beginning when the author was l3 years old), Patrick Vinton Kirch’s A Shark Going Inland is my Chief bids fair to be a definitive, almost exhaustive look at “the island civilization of ancient Hawaii.” Divided into three major parts, Shark starts with Cook’s arrival when Hawaii was four major kingdoms in the midst of creating stratified societies.Kirch deals with religion, evolving social structures and belief systems to make ancient Hawaii come alive. Especially noteworthy are beautiful descriptions of the making of canoes, particularly the vaka moana, capable of transporting families.
Music stores abound with compilations of “50 Favorite Songs” for everything from jazz to the Beatles to Bach. Now it’s time for the mid-20th century music of Hawaii.
Compiled by Christopher LaVoie, Annexation! presents the imperialist agendas of the U.S.
Hawaiki Rising by Sam Low tells the epic saga of voyaging on the Hokulea, which, as every Island schoolchild should know, is a traditionally constructed Hawaiian sailing vessel that is steered by observing natural elements, without instruments or maps. Low, a part-Hawaiian anthropologist who participated in three voyages, follows the Hokulea through conception, construction, and navigation.
The feeling of being an outsider in one’s beloved homeland is the theme underpinning Pamela Frierson’s fluid and honest nature writing. In her books, The Last Atoll: Exploring Hawaii’s Endangered Ecosystems and The Burning Island: Myth and History in Volcano Country, Hawaii, Frierson explores Hawaii’s unique ecosystems, while also searching for personal relevance where she grew up very aware of being merely a “second-generation colonist.” The shadows of a world unknown drive the writer, teacher and homesteader to attach to the landscape, pursuing a deeper understanding of Hawaii’s natural order, and, through those experiences, a sense of belonging.
Donald Hodel’s Loulu: The Hawaiian Palm is winner of this year’s Ka Palapala Award for Excellence in Natural Science. Loulu the Hawaiian Palm Donald R.
Charlotte A. Tomaino, neuropsychologist and former nun, started with the intriguing concept of explaining how grace and spirituality can “awaken” the brain to a fuller potential through expanded consciousness.
Sharon Hicks’ How Do You Grab a Naked Lady recounts the relationship between Hicks, her mentally ill mother and idealist father. We meet Hicks at age 16 as she witnesses her mother parading around a mall in the buff, yelling and cursing–one of many manic episodes we’ll see during the book.
One paradox of TheLast Train to Zona Verde, Paul Theroux’s 46th book and his latest about Africa, is that it’s also one of the best meditations on Hawaii you’ll ever read. But first, why Africa?
Confirming rumors, Barnes & Noble’s (B&N) Kahala Mall bookstore will close when its lease expires in January 2014. There are no current reports concerning B&N’s Ala Moana location, but it’s probably a matter of when, not if, management installs a T-shirt store.
Last weekend, Susanna Moore was in town to read from her new novel, The Life of Objects. A striking beauty–high cheekbones, fine features, long white hair with an inky streak that matches her brilliant black eyes–she wore a sleeveless blouse, full cotton skirt and rubber slippers.
We were out at Tongg’s surf break when the world’s best-traveled writer paddled past in a kayak. I said, “Paul Theroux?” Mindy nodded.
KAKAAKO MEETINGS The HCDA will host a series of meetings to discuss the Kakaako redevelopment plan and how rail will fit in with those plans. The meetings are open to the public.
On May 13, Common Cause Hawaii assembled a panel, titled “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly,” to deconstruct lessons from the recently ended 2013 Legislative Session. Commentators included Rep.
Mayor Caldwell is winding down his public town-hall meetings campaign. The meetings are designed to update the public on the progress of the Mayor’s major first-year initiatives: repaving the roads, getting TheBus routes restored, making the city’s parks beautiful, fixing Honolulu’s sewer infrastructure, building rail better and, most recently, solving homelessness.
During a 2011 speech to the Australian Parliament, President Obama declared: “The United States will play a larger and long term role in shaping [the Pacific] region and its future.” On May 10, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Pacific Forum hosted a panel discussion that sought to determine what a U.S. “pivot” toward the region would look like and what the reaction to increased U.S.
I picked up your May 15 issue with great anticipation because on the cover was a photo of a person experiencing homelessness who I have had numerous interactions with (“Derelict Downtown,” May 15). He is someone I have always found to be articulate and friendly–an ideal person to talk to if one wishes to learn about experiencing homelessness.
The puppetmasters controlling the creation of the Hawaiian Nation have manipulated Hawaiians who have signed up for any Hawaiian registry to become captive members of Kanaiolowalu, the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission. Those bills were heard this session and were passed by the Senate in the Tourism and Hawaiian Affairs Committee chaired by Brickwood Galuteria and the Judiciary and Labor Committe chaired by Clayton Hee, although the forced enrollment is unconstitutional.
The Land Use Commission, the Honolulu Planning Commission, the Zoning Variance Commissions and all the other BS commissions are hijacked by big business (“Hoopili Miss,” May 15). Judge Rhonda Nishimura’s head is buried in the sand if she doesn’t recognize the votes were bought.
I try to not miss a Redford film, and, of course, I can relate to events of the ’60s (“Last Round-Up,” May 8). It is disappointing that The Company You Keep is being shown only at Kahala Theatre.
Aloha, I am Elyse. Please let me know if you have any questions, I would love to answer them (“Just Our Cup of Tea,” May 15).
In last week’s “Derelict Downtown” (May 15), we mistakenly listed Kirk Caldwell’s campaign phone number. To contact the Mayor, please call 768-4141.