Literary: Fiction / 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.
Literary: Poetry / 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.
Literary: Poetry / 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 . .
Literary: Poetry / 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.
Literary: Poetry / 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.
Literary: Poetry / “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.
Literary: Romance / 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.
Literary: Romance / 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.
Literary: Romance / 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.
Literary: Detective / 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.
Culture / 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.
Culture / 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.
Culture / 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.
Culture / 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.
Culture / 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.
Science & Nature / 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.
Last month, OpConnect, the technologically advanced electric vehicle charging system based in Portland, Ore., bought the Better Place charging network in Hawaii. This means the 77 charge spots across the state, which include 154 charge points, will be replaced with OpConnect’s chargers.
Top 5 Green Local Websites [energy.hawaii.gov] [hawaiicleanenergyinitiative.org] [hawaiihomegrown.net] [heco.com] [slowfoodoahu.org] 5 Cutting Edge Trends Donate old athletic shoes to the Converse Outlet Store in Waikele (94-790 Lumiaina St., Ste. 105, Waipahu, 676-6096) Raise your own chickens for eggs (1830 Kanakanui St., [asagihatchery.com], 845-4522) Sort trash into more bins: e-waste, reusables, hazardous, compost ([opala.org]) Install a rain barrel to collect water for your plants ([boardofwatersupply.com]) Replace grass with Hawaiian plants (Lyon Arboretum, 988-0472) Top 5 Green Local Politicians Rep.
For this year’s Food + Drink issue, we compiled 100-plus memories of the fantastic bites we’ve taken, the culinary experiences we’ve undergone and other tasteful moments of absolutely loving what Hawaii’s food scene has to offer. The result is a mixed plate of the Weekly ‘ohana’s favorite dishes, libations, produce, places and some lesser-known joys.
Respect Your Veg At long last, vegetables are being recognized as culinary stars. The following dishes have two things in common: They’re veggie-centric, if not strictly vegetarian, and best eaten on the spot.
Paitan Broth: Kyoto Ramen Yotekko-Ya If you’re a ramen lover, you know the most important element of the bowl is the broth. At Kyoto Ramen Yotekko-Ya, the paitan broth ($9.95 for paitan chashu ramen) is deeply savory.
Naan: Cafe Maharani “The dough is just special,” says owner Chris Rahman of Cafe Maharani. The naan ($2.99) is made to order and handled very delicately.
Asian: Green Door Cafe Enter into Green Door Cafe to find a whole ‘nother world. Owner Betty Peng is a one-woman show (don’t start with her, or else) and cooks all of her Singaporean dishes to order.
Byron’s Drive-in The vacant, former Byron’s Drive-in building still stands near the airport since closing its doors in February. “We’d always go [to Byron’s] late at night,” says Sabrina Thompson, a Tripler Hospital nurse.
Shinsato Pork: Guava Smoked Scott Shibuya of Guava Smoked made a splash in the farmers’ market scene with his finger-licking good, guava wood-smoked Shinsato Pork. “I really wanted to be my own boss,” he says.
Cheese: Surfing Goat Dairy Owners Thomas and Eva Kafsack moved from Germany to Maui and found that they missed receiving fresh goat cheese from their neighbors’ backyards. A few goats from the Big Island (and a huge investment) later, Surfing Goat Dairy was born.
Decadent Fries: Home Bar and Grill These aren’t ordinary fried potatoes. Chef Neil Nakasone’s Parmesan truffle fries ($8) are an elite class of spuds.
Rotations: Taste Some might say Chef Mark “Gooch” Noguchi and partner Amanda Corby, with the help of another power couple, Poni and Brandon Askew of StreetGrindz, fleshed out the pop-up trend with Taste. But: “Actually, Adam is Taste,” Gooch explains, referring to Taste’s general manager, Adam Lock.
Healthy Food Truck: Beet Box Cafe The Beet Box Cafe is a sit-down eatery located in Haleiwa Town, but their bright yellow lunch wagon is also worth following. The lunchtruck serves organic, vegetarian burritos ($7-10), a special of the day made with farm-to-table ingredients ($10-12), smoothies ($7.50), kombucha ($5) and snacks such as baked goods and dried fruits ($3).
A Cook’s Catch When it comes to fish, freshness really matters, so eating local from our Hawaiian waters is always in the best of taste. Health and sustainability also count.
Whole Foods & Down To Earth Down to Earth offers strictly vegetarian delights such as Bombay spinach, eggplant parmesan, stuffed shells, Thai curry and vegetable korma ($9.59/pound). The tofu and eggplant are always sourced from local producers.
Edible Land: Permablitz Fruit trees flourish in Hawaii but sadly, much goes to waste. Permablitz aims to change that.
Foraging: Strawberry Guava at Waahila Ridge Strawberry guava is invasive to Hawaii, which is why I don’t feel an ounce of guilt picking the small, red fruits in (free!) handfuls whenever I hike up Waahila Ridge. When they’re a light red color, just pull them off the trees, check for bug-made holes and bite in.
Nutmeg and Cloves: Frankie’s Nursery Want to spice up your kitchen? Lynn Tsuruda of Frankie’s Nursery says they sell spices grown in Hawaii, by the plant or the fruit.
Filipino: Pacific Drive out to Central Oahu and find Pacific Supermarket, a haven for all things Southeast Asian. With the Leeward community’s large Filipino population, access to local favorites at Pacific is a big deal.
Korean Chew: Taegu Taegu, more properly pronounced as dae-goo, is either a variety of cod, sliced into strips and seasoned, or a seasoned side dish. There is some confusion, as I came to realize while asking my born-and-raised-in-Korea mom, because those side dishes are made with different fish.
Matcha Latte: Peace Cafe Peace Cafe, a second home for vegans, carries a matcha (green tea) latte with a secret. “The first sip is always the most important,” explains an employee.
Good For You: Kombucha A SCOBY is a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast integral to making kombucha. Kombucha, a fizzy tea, is full of promises to boost detoxification, immunity and digestion and joint health.
Free: Whole Foods Whole Foods Market Kahala offers free cooking classes at CookSpace in Ward Warehouse. “We just did a Health Starts Here cooking class,” says Whole Foods marketing supervisor Natalie Aczon.
Wine Tasting: Kalapawai Cafe Every second Sunday of the month at 3:30 p.m., Kalapawai Cafe holds a free wine tasting. “We [have] five wines.
Dear Friends, Readers, and Advertisers, I am sorry to say that this will be the last issue of the Weekly that we will print. I am sad about closing but I see no way that we can maintain our revenue stream and our fiscal health.
Native Hawaiians and preservationists have pledged to fight a law, signed by Gov. Neil Abercrombie on May 28, that will allow some construction projects to begin before the site has been fully inspected for ancient burials.
Imagine you’re walking through downtown Honolulu and, rather than bypassing an empty, blighted park, you’re drawn into an urban oasis–a forest of fruit-bearing trees and shrubs. You could spend your lunch break chatting with friends in the shade of an ‘ulu tree–and, if you’re hungry, pick whatever’s in season.
Road Rule On May 20, Gov. Abercrombie signed Act 73, requiring all vehicle passengers to buckle up regardless of age or seating arrangement.
Tourists enjoying the Waikiki waterfront were treated to Hawaiian phrases such as “Aole, aole, aole GMO!” chanted by protesters in the March Against Monsanto on Sat., May 25. Translation: No GMOs, ever.
The Hawaii Community Development Authority (HCDA) made its proposed plan to redevelop the Kakaako district available to the community during an open house on Thu., May 23. HCDA Executive Director Tony Ching began with a presentation of the new Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) plan before letting residents ask questions.
In 2011 the city Department of Transportation Services (DTS) was tasked by then-Mayor Peter Carlisle’s administration to shave $10 million from its budget. Over the course of a year, several bus routes were cut and many more were shortened or reconfigured and the frequency of service decreased.
You mentioned in your May 29 GMO article (“Big Pharm Fallout”) that GMO bans were placed on taro and coffee in 2008 in Kohala County. However it was an islandwide ban in Hawaii County.
What a great quote: “I understand that it’s frustrating that we can’t get past the issue of homelessness . .
I know space is limited and you couldn’t put everything in one small article (“Art with HART,” May 29). Here is the rest of what I wanted to have said.
Have five or more contractors “compete” by tackling sections of roadway (“Road Repaving,” May 29). Criteria for competing are expenses, timeliness and a level of quality assurance standards.
Thanks for this article (“The Naked Truth,” May 22), I’m Mykel Hicks, grandson of Sharon Hicks, and I am so proud of my grandma for all she has done for herself, this family and specifically me. She is an amazing grandma who comes with a moving story I hope can help people around the world.
Please remind readers that the HCDA is not interested in providing housing for minimum wage individuals or families, but in providing property developers with profitable opportunities; that our ancient water and sewage lines were not designed to support the needs of thousands of condo and apartment dwellers, but no one is interested in replacing them because no one wants to pay the price (“Civix,” May 22). As a result, Kakaako’s streets are regularly flooded with no sidewalk retreat for pedestrians, wheelchairs, bicyclists, skateboarders, etc., and constantly excavated/repaired to accommodate one project after the other.