Monthly Archives: November 2014

Blaisdell Center event traffic advisory

The upcoming weeks will see an increase in traffic around the Neal Blaisdell center as there are many upcoming shows. The Blaisdell is located along Ward Avenue between Kapiolani and South King Street. As those of us here know during peak hours all of the before mentioned streets can cause a major traffic headache and delay. With the upcoming events in the area traffic is sure to increase during the peak rush hour times in the evening.

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The Blaisdell will be offering some much needed comic relief in the upcoming weeks as they have booked a couple of nationally recognized comics. Both Daniel Tosh and Gabriel Iglezias are two well known tv show hosts and recognized comics. The concert hall isn’t only dishing up comics, the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra will be performing a show on Sunday November 30. The Neal S. Blaisdell center offers a great venue for the symphany and orchestra.

The comics shows will begin on today Friday November 28 with Daniel Tosh taking the stage at 7 p.m and Gabriel taking the stage at 8 p.m. There will also be a show on Saturday November 29, with Tosh at 7 and 930 p.m, and Gabriel at 8 p.m. Parking will be available at both the King Street and Kapiolani gates, while overflow parking will be at McKinley High School with access off of Pensacola street. Try to make your plan ahead of time because parking may be limited or otherwise affected by lot closures.


Valet parking can be found on the mauka side (mountain) of the box office at the galleria driveway. As a safety reminder NO left turns are allowed into the Blaisdell Parking from Ward Ave or Kapiolani Ave. Be sure to lock your car and secure your valuables just in case. I hope everyone enjoys the show and gets some needed humor in their lives. Aloha

Written by James Bredeson

Kauai’s Puu O Kila Lookout

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The Puu O Kila lookout on Kauai, is one of the most visually spectacular locations on the garden isle. The lookout is literally at “the end of the road”, and by that I mean you take Highway 550 in Koke’e State Park. While enjoying your time on Kauai, I would highly recommend you add this to your list of things to do. The view stretches out across Waimea Valley and will take your breath away and make your family and friends jealous.

As you stand at the Puu O Kila overlook you will find amazing views of the lush tropical forest in the Waimea Valley. You will also experience the view that stretches across the Alakai Swamp all the way to Mount Waialeale. A couple of interesting fun facts for everyone; the Alakai Swamp is the highest altitude swampland on earth, and Mount Waialeale is considered one of the wettest spots on the planet with an average annual rainfall of over 40 feet.

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In my opinion I would plan on arriving at the lookout at approximately 11 a.m, as the clouds clear up in the morning before starting to roll in later in the day. If it is cloudy when you arrive, take notice of the direction of the tradewinds. If the winds are blowing out to the ocean, the clouds will be pushed back into the warm air below and dissappear, however if the winds are coming from the ocean the clouds will gather along the back of the cliffs and actually thicken cutting visibility drastically.

The Pihea trail also begins here at the Puu O Kila lookout. This short day hike is an excellent adventure through a lush valley that leads into the swamp and out to the Kilohana Overlook. This one is a moderate to hard hiking trail that is worth the workout as the views are magnificent. The true beauty of the islands are on display for you to marvel at. You should make the most of this day and perhaps plan a small picnic on the slopes or at Koke’e State Park.

Written by James Bredeson

Feeling grateful in Hawaii

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As Thanksgiving day approaches we all like to take a look back and remember some of the things we are thankful for. With all the rush that surrounds the holidays we sometimes forget to  appreciate the little things. The older i get it seems to me like this time of the year is masked in consumerism. The stores now open in the early evening on Thanksgiving Thursday instead of allowing the public to spend the time with their families and being grateful for the time together.

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So I would like to take this time to reflect on some of the things that I am grateful for this year. I am grateful to my family and friends for all the help that I received this year. I am thankful that I have the opportunity to live in one of the most amazing places in the world. I appreciate the fact that my family has stayed together and healthy for another year. I enjoy the company of my friends, who on a moments notice will help if they are able. I am happy that my children still enjoy going to school and are excited with it still.

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Here in Hawaii we get the opportunity to take advantage of a year long weather pattern that allows us the chance to be outdoors and enjoy the majestic scenery that surrounds us. While you are here in Hawaii, you should take advantage of the great Hawaii tours offered by Polynesian Adventure Tours. Their drivers are professional and full of information about the islands, and the true spirit of aloha. They offer tours for everyone and visit the top tourist destinations in Hawaii. We should all be giving thanks for our time here in the islands whether we live here or are just here for a brief beautiful time.

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Written by James Bredeson

College Basketball Maui Invitational

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The Maui invitational is going on right now at the Lahaina Civic Center on Maui. This mid season tournament first began in 1984, two years after what is often considered to be one of the greatest college basketball upsets of all time. In 1982, Chaminade defeated top ranked Virginia and Virginia coach Terry Holland suggested that they should consider hosting a Hawaii tournament. Two years later the Maui Classic was born with Chaminade again leading the way to the championship round before falling to Providence.

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Eight teams are invited to play in the Maui Invitational from across the country and given an opportunity to play on a neutral court. Generally speaking there is one representative from each of the 6 major conferences, one from another conference such as the Mountain West, or the American Athletic Conference and of course Chaminade. Chaminade has been included in every tournament since its inception.

In 2011 the tournament format changed slightly with an additional 4 mainland teams playing the teams that were already Maui bound in regional games at the home court of the Invitee’s. After the opening round is decided then the championship round is moved to the neutral location on Maui. The winners advance through a bracket system until the championship game. This years championship game will be held on November 26, at 5 p.m local Hawaii time. The game will be broadcast on ESPN.

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Being a huge fan of basketball, I always look forward to this time of year and all of the early season or mid season tournaments to see how some of the top ranked programs fare. I also enjoy watching and playing a huge amount of basketball and hope one day to travel to Maui in order to catch this amazing tournament. Mahalo and Aloha!

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Written by James Bredeson

 

“Itchy Butt” a delicious Korean takeout joint

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Living out here in Hawaii, I have learned to stop and try new and interesting places to eat. Usually the more money I save on my plate lunch the better, I mean real ono grindz. I have recently discovered a new place near Cartwright Park where I play basketball during the week. Some friends came over with some rice bowls from a place called “Itchy Butt”. After making all the obvious jokes about the name of the joint we actually tried a bit of the food. The food was good and made me want to go get my own, especially when we found out we could get a full bowl and a drink for 5-6 bucks!

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Itchy Butt is a small Korean kitchen that makes many dishes and mandu in to go orders. You can even give them a call and have them prepare something and pick it up in 15-20 minutes to take home and eat. I first tried the fried chicken bowl and it was so ONO! The bowl was a good size and had plenty of fried chicken with a type of sauce drizzled over it and it was plenty for me to eat and not be hungry. It also came with a choice of a drink all for $6. This made it worth the wait and I was not disappointed.

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On my next trip over I opted for the spicy beef bowl and an order of mandu. The spicy beef was cooked well, had a nice flavor, but I didn’t think it was spicy enough for me. The mandu was well prepared and was served fresh and piping hot. I thought it also needed just a touch of salt after cooking but overall it was some of the best I have had out here in Hawaii. This small establishment has won my vote for good food that does not empty the wallet. I will definitely be heading back over after a evening of playing ball. This food was so ono, broke da mouf!

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Written by James Bredeson

Hawaiian Coffee

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How many of us get up every morning and get a cup of Java? Coffee is almost a daily habit for a large majority of people. I know I can’t wait to get my daily jolt of caffeine in one of the amazing flavors that are produced here locally. Did you know that Hawaii is the only state in the United States of America that commercially produces coffee? It’s true, the other coffee producing American soil is Puerto Rico, however they are not a state.

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Today coffee is grown on the islands of Kauai, Oahu, and Hawaii (the big island). Coffee was first recorded as being planted on Oahu in 1813 in the journal of Don Francisco de Paula y Marin, however not much else is known about that planting. In 1825 a gardener named John Wilkinson brought coffee plants from Brazil, and was allowed to plant them in the Manoa Valley, but he perished in 1827 and the plants did not thrive.

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The Reverend Joseph Goodrich planted coffee on the Big Island in order to make the Hilo mission self sustaining. He continued planting gardens during his 12 years and taught classes to Native Hawaiians on the cultivation of the gardens, both for cash for the mission and for their own meals. Reverend Samuel Ruggles carried some of the cuttings to the Kona district when he was transferred to the western side of the island. This area would prove to be the most successful. With the passing of the distribution of private land in 1848 many of the large areas on Maui and other islands began to be used for sugarcane and other crops. The slopes of Kona were unsuitable for sugarcane and became the hub for Hawaiian coffee, in order to be called Kona Coffee it must have come from this region.

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The coffee industry in Hawaii has had many ups and downs, when the U.S annexed Hawaii in 1898 the resulting drop in taxes made sugar even more profitable than it was already and many coffee plantations were torn up. Prices continued to drop in 1899 and 1900 and by 1916 most farmers had to shut down. In 1917 with WW I, and a severe frost in Brazil caused a shortage worldwide and prices rose. By the 1930′s however many farmers where done again due to the great depression. WWII and another severe frost again caused prices to rise and production peaked in 1957 at 18 million pounds of coffee. the 1970′s saw stiff competition with the tourism industry for jobs and coffee production began lagging. The closing of the sugarcane and pineapple plantations in the 1990′s began a resurgence  in the Hawaiian coffee industry.

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Today the “coffee belt” in Kona is an estimated two miles wide and stretches from 700 feet above sea level to 2,000 feet above sea level. Coffee is also produced in other districts on the big island such as Puna (southeast), Ka’u (far south), and Hamakua (Northeast). There are about 790 coffee farms on the big island, and roughly 40 on the other islands, all together they account for about 7,800 acres of land. The production of coffee in Hawaii has reached an estimated 8.6 million pounds…that’s a lot of coffee. The Kauai Coffee Company sells 100% Kauai grown coffee, and the Molokai Company on Maui has restructured their plantation to grow and sell coffee now as well. Even here on Oahu they are growing their own coffee on the North Shore at Waialua Estates Coffee.

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Written by James Bredeson

Discounted Movies in Hawaii

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Movies are one of my favorite pastimes and I really enjoy the entire theater experience. The price of movies has gone up steadily for the last few years but we still go and appreciate the diversion from the ordinary day. The Dole Cannery and Ward Consolidated theaters offer a great way to see the new movies without breaking the bank. These theaters offer six dollar movies on Tuesdays for your enjoyment.

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The movie selection is expansive and features all the new releases as well, for the discounted price. I have seen quite a few movies after opening weekend by waiting until the following Tuesday. By utilizing this one fact you are able to see approximately two movies for the price of one. The price of drinks and popcorn remain the same, however they do offer one dollar hot dogs for your hunger cravings. So all in all it is a great day to save some money and see the newest released movies.

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This works especially well with large groups or family outings, the children always love to go to a theater and see a new movie. With the discounted tickets a family of four will save an estimated twenty dollars just to get into the theater. I highly recommend either theater, I don’t have a particular preference, I enjoy both of them. I am always up for a good movie, and I hope you are able to take advantage of this amazing deal. See you at the movies!

Written by James Bredeson

How to make Leonards Malasadas at home

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Here in Hawaii, we all love our malasadas especially if they are from Leonard’s Bakery! Today I will share the recipe given by Chef Leonard Rego of Leonard’s Bakery so you will be able to attempt to make these delicious Hawaiian treats for yourself. My mouth is watering just thinking about getting started. All totaled this recipe will take you just over 2 hours from start to finish. So lets get started shall we?

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First off you will need to make sure you have all the ingredients. The ingredients listed below will make an estimated 24 malasadas for your enjoyment.

Ingredients:
Yeast Mixture Dry Ingredients
2 Teaspoons Active Dry Yeast 4 cups All Purpose Flour
1/4 cup warm water 1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 Tablespoon of sugar 2 teaspoons of grated nutmeg
Wet Ingredients Cinammon Sugar Coating
4 well beaten eggs 1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted ground cinammon added to taste
1/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup of milk Vegetable Oil for frying
1 teaspoon of Vanilla extract

Now that we know what we will be working with, Let’s begin: In a medium sized mixing bowl combine the dry yeast and warm water and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Mix until the yeast is completely dissolved, and set aside for 5 minutes. While that is sitting we can start on the dry ingredients. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, nutmeg and salt together. Once they are combined make a sort of well in the middle, then set aside. Grab the yeast mixture and stir in the milk, vanilla, butter and eggs. Now we take the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients into the well that we formed earlier. Mix the ingredients together until a nice smooth soft dough forms. Then we cover the dough with a clean towel and place in a warm spot until the mixture doubles in size, this usually takes about an hour.

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After the dough has risen, take the bowl and push the dough down. Oil your fingers and pinch off golf ball sized pieces of dough and place on greased baking sheets. Grab another clean towel and cover the malasadas and again place in a warm spot for approximately 15 minutes. While that is waiting, we can prepare a heavy high sided pan with oil for frying. Heat about 2 inches of the vegetable oil until it reaches 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Then test the oil by dropping a small amount of the dough into the oil, the dough should start to color almost immediately.

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Working in small batches fry the malasadas until they are a nice uniform golden brown, this usually takes between 7 and 10 minutes. Place the fried malasadas on a plate that has been lined with paper towels until they are cool enough to handle. Then all you have left to do is roll them in the cinnamon-sugar coating and serve these marvelous delicacies to all of your friends and family.

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They will always ask for more or for you to make these amazing snacks for every event or get together. This island favorite is sure to please just about any palate. I’d like to take this time to thank Chef Leonard Rego of Leonard’s Bakery for sharing this recipe with the rest of us, so that we too can enjoy these at home.

Written by James Bredeson

 

 

 

Second Round of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing at Sunset Beach

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As thanksgiving approaches, so too does the second round of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing. The second round is to be held at Sunset Beach here on Oahu. This is what the majority of the competitors consider one of the toughest surf breaks on the tour. The distance covered is as large as a football field with waves that can reach up to 30 feet high and 50 feet thick. These waves will test every skill in the surfers toolbox, from the physical fitness and endurance to swim out, their courage, skill and overall knowledge of the ocean.

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Sunset challenges these brave surfers to pick the right wave at the right time to ride a huge wave and score big. The problem becomes if you choose wrong the wave can close out on you and punish anyone caught on the inside of the wave. Many a strong surfboard has been snapped like a toothpick with the power of the sets that crash over the reefs. During the winter these waves get larger and pull the energy of the Pacific Ocean from 1,000 miles out and comes surging into Hawaii, where the biggest names in surfing come to stake their claim to these monster waves.

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In the past years, the surfers favored big powerful boards and used big barrel turns, and deep barrel rides and lots of under-the-lip tricks to score big. With the new style of adventure surfing making a huge rise, now surfers use their smaller high performance boards to pull off amazing maneuvers in the crucial part of the waves, which bring a new level of performance and style to competitive surfing on the North Shore.

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I personally am looking forward to making the trip out to the North Shore in order to watch these professionals tackle these big waves. I am amazed at the power of the ocean, and the grace with which these surfers glide and skim across the surface with such style and grace. This event would be a pleasant diversion while vacationing during the upcoming holidays. Polynesian Adventure Tours offer many trips out to the North Shore in addition to other popular destinations on the island.

Written by: James Bredeson

A Slice of Italy in Diamond Head

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Happy Valley Pasta & Pizza.

It was “amore” at first taste. Yes, love at first taste. I have most likely consumed enough pasta and pizza so far in my lifetime to feed half a large country for a full year and this marinara sauce is probably the best I’ve tasted. Call it the hunger I was experiencing. Call it the ultra positive feeling I had about eating at this place for the first time. Call it what you want, it was “scrumtrulescent” ~ Will Ferrell. We even asked our server about this amazing red sauce we were dipping our delicious cheesy bread into and she said they had recently changed the formula! Well done Happy Valley Pasta & Pizza, well done. Moment of silence.

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So what did we order? Well, pizza of course. And not to be cheated out of our full newbie experience we ordered the “Owner’s Favorite Pizza” of course. This wasn’t just any pizza you’re used to though. This heavenly circle of sustenance was created with: shrimp, calamari, corn, broccoli, mushrooms, mozz, and a white cream sauce. Let’s not leave out the perfectly cooked crust! Lightly crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Then, it was gone. Sad face, but I’ll be back!

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Everything we had there tasted fresh and being a pasta & pizza lover, I can’t wait to try everything on their menu. They also have a good drink menu and some decent parking. Check ‘em out!

Written by Johann Moguel