Best Community / Best Public Meeting Space Starbucks Ward Center Starbucks on Auahi Street and Ward Avenue, where meetings of all sorts go down daily in air-conditioned comfort. Probably one of the busiest on the island, the Ward location always seems to have available seating indoors or outside.
Best Retail / ORGANIC COTTON CLOTHING Patagonia Irresistible and certified green, these Hawaii friendly prints and fibers and a welcoming, sportif staff make it a pleasure to shop here. The company gives 1 percent of profits to environmental non-profits, supports river restoration and beach protection, and Gerry Lopez is one of their team, as was the late Rell Sunn.
Best People / Best Party Organizer Morgan Childs Moana Events The very first event I ever saw Morgan pull off was a fashion showcase at thirtyninehotel that had white roses branded with the logo in gold paint. It pretty much knocked me on the floor.
Best Arts & Culture / Best Local Literary Blog Tinfish Editor’s Blog There are a few local literary blogs worth mentioning here. Hawaii Book Blog (soon to be “Hawaii Reads”), because of its comprehensive literary calendar and plethora of local lit reviews, and Literary Lotus because writer, Christine Thomas checks in on more than just literature, including travel, profiles, art, food and culture, and pretty much all things pertaining to the Pacific Rim.
Best Arts & Culture / Best Graffiti Landmark Hawaii Coat of Arms Eye-grabbing artwork can be found on a good stretch of Ala Moana Boulevard, near Kakaako. (Thanks, Pow Wow Hawaii!) But what lies just off the beaten path of the creative and abstract morsels of art is a massive 600 square foot symbol of island mana, unofficially called “Hawaiian Coat of Arms.” Created by Estria Miyashiro and Prime with sick contributions from Katch One, Evolve, Look, Bieste and Beak, the images of the ali`i and warriors of ancient Hawaii are texturally rich and bold.
Best Food & Drink / Best pupu/early meal Hiroshi’s Eurasian Tapas Everyone loves a half-price deal, and a gourmet two-in-one makes it even sweeter. For early bird eating, nothing beats sitting at the bar of Hiroshi or Vino, getting plates from both restaurants at half price.
Best Food & Drink / Best new breakfast/lunch-only spot Café Julia Both expats of Alan Wong’s, Chefs Lance Kosaka and Derek Watanabe have crafted a menu with fresh, wholesome foods that make up inventive dishes with a local flare. Crusted in furikake and accompanied by Japanese pickled vegetables, the New Zealand King Salmon was placed atop a bed of creamy risotto and sprinkled with salmon roe.
Best Food & Drink / Best Honolulu roaster/coffeehouse with pastries Downtown Coffee The Diedrich coffee roaster stands in a corner like a friendly robot every Saturday, when Downtown Coffee roasts their local beans. But what we really gotta talk about is the house-made pastries invented and baked by owner Fred Itodaka’s wife Fumiko.
Best Food & Drink / Best hole-in-the-wall eatery Shige’s Saimin Stand Watching the Olympics on TV, slurping down homemade saimin noodles and broth, dipping the grilled cheese crust in for extra glutton points, and talking to the strangers at the next table as if to old friends: This is the experience at Shige’s Saimin Stand in Wahiawa. Homemade noodles, teri burgers, BBQ stick, and loco moco are served up in a no-muss, no-fuss eatery style that makes up for its lack of décor with streamlined service and delectable old-school favorites.
Best Food & Drink / Best-priced organic local grocery store Celestial Natural Foods As the only health food store serving Oahu’s Central and North Shore residents since 1974, Celestial Natural Foods packs in a wide variety of affordable organic produce (much of it locally grown), natural foods, supplements, green body and household products, and bulk herbs–price tags here are actually cheaper than Whole Foods. –T.H.
Best Sports and Fitness / Best place to watch UH Sports Kanpai Bar and Grill With not a bad seat in the house, the open air grub spot and waterhole flips the switch when UH sports is in season. With respect to new Warrior Head Coach Norm Chow, Chow Time has a double meaning at Kanpai.
Best Politics / Best political blog Winner: Civilbeat Runner-up: Ian Lind Worst city council member Winner: Tom Berg Runner-up: Nestor Garcia Best OHA trustee Winner: John Waihee IV Runner-up: Haunani Apoliona Best successor to Inouye Winner: Mazie Hirono Runner-up: Linda Lingle Worst excuse to cut THE BUS service Winner: Rail Runner-up: Money Best reason not to rezone prime farmland for housing Winner: Sustainability Runner-up: Pollution Worst campaign: Winner: Ben Cayetano Runner-up: Mufi Hannemann Best environmental watchdog group Winner: Sierra Club Runner up: Surfrider Foundation Best water-saving tip Winner: Shorter showers Best energy-saving tip Winner: Turn off lights when not using Biggest hurdle to installing PV Winner: Cost Best electric or hybrid vehicle Winner: Nissan LEAF Runner-up: Prius Worst proposed new landfill site Winner: Kailua Runner-up: North Shore Best whistleblower Hawaii GMO Justice Coalition A recent campaign asking Kamehameha Schools, Hawaii’s largest private landowner, to evict Monsanto from their Ag land has been accompanied by on-site demonstrations along Kunia Road and a video, “Stop Monsanto From Poisoning Hawaii” produced by the Hawaii GMO Justice Coalition. The Coalition’s mission is to end GMO chemical warfare in Hawaii, which they assert has been going on for the last 25 years via GMO field trials on valuable Ag land.
Best Outdoors / Best Last Place to Get All Emo Before You Move Away from Hawaii Tantalus Lookout You’re someone who’s obsessed with “last”-s. Last time you’ll ever put your chair up in this high school class.
Best Green / Least-known as endangered local bird ‘Io, the Hawaiian hawk Water-saving tips Check for leaks in pipes and toilets Grass-ro
Q&A / When Haunani Apoliona was first elected to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs in 1996, the Honolulu Weekly reported that she “handpicked” a coalition of OHA candidates–Colette Machado, Hannah Springer and Warren Perry–“to bring the spirit of cooperation to the notoriously dysfunctional agency.” Apoliona, who holds a master’s degree in social work, left her position as president of Alu Like, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping native Hawaiians, and became OHA’s longest-serving chair, from 2000 to 2010. Her tenure, she says, has helped foster “OHA’s reform and maturation into an entity of focus, discipline and accountability in service to our Native Hawaiian beneficiaries,” Now that Apoliona is up for re-election, the Weekly caught up with her to discuss OHA’s past and future.
My friend Barry said to me the other day, “Your paper is delicious, even though I don’t eat every bite.” I was a bit stunned to be honest, knowing that this person actually teared up after Mitt Romney’s NAACP speech, so I asked him what exactly he meant. “I don’t agree with half of what you guys write, but I love knowing what’s going on in this town.” He told me he plans his weekend by our paper, “And then I vent on your website.” I love that.