Place Names of Hamakua

We live on the Hamakua coast, a little ways outside of Hilo, and almost every time I drive into town I think about my grandmother, my Tutu, telling me offhandedly once that her great-grandfather had known every twist and turn of that road.

Even when he was in his 80s and 90s and fully blind, she told me, he knew where he was by the turns and feel of the road, and he would call out the name of every small bit of land as they drove by.

Hamakua, Place Names of Hawaii

In the old times from which he came, place was so important, and every small area of land was known and labeled. Things have changed for most of us; I mostly just know “Papaikou,” “Ka‘ie‘ie,” “Pauka‘a,” and a handful of other place names still marked by signs or street names. But there are, of course, so many more places with their own names and characteristics and stories.

Tutu told me about this one day long ago. It was when we passed a place she told me Kamehameha Schools had considered, before deciding to build their Hawai‘i Island campus at Kea‘au. At that time, they were using the old Hawaiian name for the potential Hamakua site, one that hadn’t been used for a very long time.

“I hadn’t heard that name in absolutely decades,” Tutu told me — not since the 1920s and early 30s when her great-grandfather Nalimu had ridden that route and named every individual place along the way.

I wish we could ride along with Tutu Nalimu, and hear and learn all the names. I want my daughter to know about this place where she lives, including the Hawaiian names and their stories.

We’ll have to find a book or an old map that shows us the names, and talk to people who might know, and look up some of the old stories. I’m going to start working on this now as part of our Summer of Exploration.

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It’s The Summer of Exploration

Between everybody being sick recently, and lots of working and starting school and such, there hasn’t been enough playing around here lately.

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We have not been taking advantage of living on this beautiful island, and so I hereby declare this The Summer of Exploration.

My 5-year-old told me the other day, “Let’s just go driving and look around and see new things.” If there’s a better attitude toward life than that, or one I’d rather foster in a young child, I truly don’t know what it is.

So even if some are just short excursions, we are going to go explore this island we live on this summer. We’ll learn the Hawaiian names and what an area is known for, and go see what it looks like and what we can discover about it. We’ll take picnic lunches and find a good place to spread out our green and blue picnic blanket.

Stay tuned and I will share some of what we discover right here.

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Beginning Ukulele Class

Macario will teach a continuing Beginning ‘Ukulele class at the East Hawai‘i Cultural Center starting Saturday, June 6.

The series of 1.5 hour classes, which will meet on five consecutive Saturdays at 10 a.m., cost only $25 total for the public and $20 for EHCC members.

Macario's Ukulele Class in Hilo

“You don’t have to know anything about the ‘ukulele,” says Macario, who played music professionally in Honolulu and on the mainland for 16 years. “You need to have your own ‘ukulele and bring a pen or pencil, and that’s it.”

He says he will teach some basic theory and chord structures so students will have the tools to go home and continue.

“I try to keep the class really simple so people can really understand how the notes and chords work,” he says. “I’m trying to give them a roadmap so they can look at their ‘ukulele’s fret board and figure out where the notes and chords are. That way, with a few simple instructions they’ll be able to go home and figure out what the chords in a song are.

“Most Hawaiian songs are really basic, really simple patterns,” he says. “Once you hear those and learn those simple patterns, you’ll start to recognize them everywhere.”

Students who know a little bit about ‘ukulele are welcome, he says, and he’d be happy to go over subjects slightly more advanced if appropriate, but mostly it’s a class for beginning ‘ukulele players. “I want to keep it simple; a simple class to get beginners started on their way to understanding the music, so they can learn more on their own and progress.”

Currently Macario works as a photographer; see his website here. He also runs an online magazine called Macario’s Big Island.

To enroll in Macario’s five-week Beginning ‘Ukulele class, call the East Hawai‘i Cultural Center at 961-5711. The East Hawai‘i Cultural Center is located at 141 Kalakaua Street in Hilo.

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Hunt Intensifies for $25,000 Dagger!

 

This press release just arrived about the Stephen Grogan mystery Vegas Die. It’s the previous novel of an author I did some editing for recently.

The editing I did was for his next book, Captain Cooked, which is, of course!, a culinary mystery set in Hawai‘i.

Stephen Grogan Vegas Die

The $25,000 murder weapon is not at the bottom of the ocean near the ship-wrecked Titanic, nor was it dropped in Lake Mead at Hoover Dam. And you can’t locate the hidden dagger by putting the best-selling mystery, Vegas Die, under your pillow and hoping the answer leaks into your brain while you’re sleeping.

But some have made those guesses.

This week, Publisher Addison & Highsmith has released an abbreviated list of the most unusual Questor guesses in search for the elusive dagger worth $25,000, and they can be found at: www.QuestMystery.com

Represented are only a few of the hundreds of official guesses received to date in the search of the $25,000 treasure, the clues located in the book, Vegas Die, by Las Vegas author, Stephen Grogan.  Promoted as a three year ‘Quest Mystery’, the hunt is entering its second year with searchers, known as ‘Questors’, emailing in their analysis of clues to be found in Vegas Die.

The book has garnered positive reviews, and on its way to becoming a cult classic, with a plot featuring the Mayor of Las Vegas as the #1 suspect in mob murders.  Says author Grogan, “My intention was to create an interactive book in this multi-media society, one where you read the book first as a mystery, and see no clues, then as a treasure hunt where clues rise from the pages. And with a 3 year contest time limit the book offers longer shelf life of interest.”

To date, states publisher Addison & Highsmith, Vegas Die has become a favorite of tourists, those seeking a take-home souvenir instead of casino shot glasses or Strip postcards.  The $16.95 mystery is one of the top selling books at Las Vegas McCarran Airport, selling over 700 books at one book store alone since January.

Many of the Questor guesses are reasonable, such as “The Dagger is on Black Mountain, under the letter ‘B’.” Or, “The Dagger is located in the middle of Duck Creek trail, next to Sam Boyd Stadium.”

 Some guesses are a little strange. “The Dagger is located within the large blue elephant at King Putt Mini Golf.”  Or, “The dagger is a rose bush at or around one of these gardens…”

And beyond strange.

“I have another guess,” writes a dedicated Questor, “The mayor has a package for me, and I need to go pick it up. Because he has the Dagger!”

Another writes, “The DAGGER  is a standing microphone used by standup comic Jerry Lewis.”

Then there was the one Questor who wrote a several page explanation of location that boiled down to: “Enough of games. I know what you are looking for. I can prove who I am. I have a birth mark on my inner left leg and the mark in my left hand. I am the dagger. But before you contact anyone and tell them you found me, contact me first.”

Is author Stephen Grogan nervous about the variety of Questors out there tearing apart the clues in Vegas Die, certain they will be the dagger’s discoverer?

“So far, all the Questors have been quite enthused and dedicated,” said Grogan, “and I have made quite a few friends. It is to be expected there will be frustration for Questors if there is no quick solution.  In truth, I hope someone finds the dagger prize. It will validate the Quest Mystery concept, and open the door to the sequel I am writing.”

In these tough economic times, wouldn’t $25,000 come in handy, even it means treasure hunting for a murder weapon? 

Vegas Die (ISBN:978-0-9801164-0-3) $16.95. The mystery is available by ordering through most national bookstore chains or at Amazon.com or signed copies at www.QuestMystery.com 

For further information visit “Press Kit” at www.QuestMystery.com or contact Addison & Highsmith Publishers, (702) 759-0002 or fax (702) 759-0003. Email: AddisonHighsmith@gmail.com.  For author interviews contact: (702) 303-5915 or email: grogan.sp@gmail.com 

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Disneyland

Every Spring my three girlfriends and I meet in southern California with our seven little kids and take them all to Disneyland.

Dumbo ride at Disneyland

That’s where my daughter and I are right now. We spent Wednesday at Disneyland, and then on Thursday we all trooped off, drove the two cars onto a small, 3-car ferry to Balboa Island, and spent an afternoon on the beach. Then back to Disney on Friday, where we spent the day at the newer Disney attraction, California Adventure, which is built on the site of Disneyland’s former parking lot.

In between all that, we all stayed at my friend’s house in Garden Grove. She lives, literally, a block away from Disneyland. It’s awfully handy.

Not only does she invite the 11 of us to stay, and feed us, but she also has fancy “water features” in her back yard to rival the finest resort. Two connected, rock-lined jacuzzis, complete with waterfalls and lights that change colors — and on our last morning, her husband filled them with bubbles and delighted the kids. Right before he started a fire in the nearby fire pit and roasted everybody some marshmallows. At noon.

I sat back one day while we were there, watching them and thinking about how they are building childhood memories.

When they are older, they are going to say, “When we were kids we would meet our friends and go to Disneyland every year. And we would go to Auntie Jodie’s and Uncle Fred’s and swim in their jacuzzis and write on their bricks with fat sidewalk chalk and eat pizza.”

I thought of that because at one point we adults all talked about what we used to do like that when we ourselves were kids. Those memorable vacations our parents took us on. The places we went back to again and again — like Disneyland, and the beach. The adults who always had coloring books and sand buckets and shovels for us.

Here are the Disneyland highlights: My daughter’s first roller coaster ride. It was the kid roller coaster in Toon Town, and she loved it beyond words. At California Adventure, which I’d never been to before, we went on the big Mickey Mouse ferris wheel and sat in one of the cars that swings around wildly on a curved track as the ferris wheel turns. We both loved that.

California Adventure also has “Soarin’ Over California,” which is about the coolest thing I’ve ever seen. They seat you in these fancy seats, and then lift the rows of seats up into the air so everyone is dangling before a huuuuge screen. Then the IMAX-like camera swoops through the air above different parts of California, and when you soar above the tops of pine trees, you actually smell pine, and when you swoop through the orange trees, you smell orange. You soar down to the ocean at one point and I was hoping they would even mist our toes, but no.

I really loved that attraction and would have gone back to see it a second time that same day if I weren’t being a part of a traveling freak show at the time (it’s a little chaotic to take seven young kids to Disneyland. To say the least).

We’re staying with my mom now and getting in family visits, too, and last night we ate in an English pub for my mom’s birthday and had delicious food. Not a lot of English pubs where I live on the Big Island! I had bangers and mash and loved every bite.

We have eaten so much good food. Visiting family and friends always ends up about celebrating being together with food, doesn’t it, and that’s part of the fun about being on vacation. This morning we went out for a great breakfast and I had country biscuits and sausage and gravy, with fried potatoes. Delicious, but it’s definitely time to lighten up a bit on the food. If I ate like this all the time it would be a problem.

It’s been a fun, rejuvenating respite from a very busy life. Tomorrow we head home again, and get back to our real world. We will definitely re-enter our world of early alarm clocks and short deadlines and other realities with a new spring in our step.

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Wayfinding Through the Storm: A New Perspective on the Controversy at Kamehameha Schools

I just received this press release and am very interested to read this book. What an important story, and what a brilliant idea to put all these people’s accounts of it together in one place. Can’t wait to read it.

Full disclosure: I have written a couple books for Watermark Publishing. But I’d have been interested in this book if it was published on the moon:wayfinding2

Watermark Publishing announces the release of Wayfinding through the Storm: Speaking Truth to Power at Kamehameha Schools 1993 – 1999, offering a new perspective on the Bishop Estate controversy of the 1990s.  Edited by author-historian Gavan Daws in oral history form, this is the story of the ordinary people at the center of the controversy, who looked deep inside themselves and found the moral courage to risk everything, to come together and stand up for what they believed in—to speak truth to power. 
Over 150 voices—young students, respected alumni, movers and shakers, rank-and-file school employees, novice and seasoned teachers, Native Hawaiians, kama‘aina and fresh faces from abroad—share their experiences of the crisis that erupted at Kamehameha Schools and came close to destroying a historic educational community. In the early 1990s, Bishop Estate and Kamehameha Schools were flourishing. Within just a few years, however, a new all-Hawaiian board of trustees found itself embroiled in micro-management and dubious schemes hatched behind closed doors that erupted in public scandal—ethical, moral, sexual, financial, political and legal—and crossed the line into indictable crime.  Introduced by Daws, Wayfinding through the Storm traces these events through interviews with Nä Leo O Kamehameha—the voices of Kamehameha, including faculty, staff, students, alumni, parents and friends—along with court transcripts. The text is supplemented and augmented graphically by a wealth of historically significant photographs, cartoons and documents.  

Scheduled Book Events:

Friday, May 22
Book Launch Celebration
Kamehameha Schools, Kawaiahao Plaza
567 S. King St., Kaiona Room
(Hale Makai, 1st floor near Courtyard)
5PM – 5:30PM — Program
5:30PM – 7PM — Book Sale & Signing
Free and open to the public
 
Saturday, May 30, 1PM – 2PM
Book Signing with Nä Leo O Kamehameha
Barnes & Noble, Kahala Mall
(808) 737-3323
 
Saturday, June 6, 1PM – 2PM
Book Signing with Nä Leo O Kamehameha 
Barnes & Noble, Ala Moana
(808) 949-7307
 

Saturday, June 13, 2PM – 3PM

Book Signing with Nä Leo O Kamehameha 
Borders, Ward Centre

(808) 591-8995Gavan Daws is the author of 14 previous books, including the best-selling Shoal of TimeHoly Man: Father Damien of Moloka‘i; and Land and Power in Hawai‘i. He is also the recipient of several international awards for his documentary films and has been named a Distinguished Historian by the Hawaiian Historical Society. Wayfinding through the Storm: Speaking Truth to Power at Kamehameha Schools 1993 – 1999 by Gavan Daws and Nä Leo O Kamehameha is priced at $24.95 in softcover (ISBN 978-0-9821698-3-4) at bookstores and other retail outlets, online booksellers, or direct from the publisher at www.bookshawaii.net.  Contact Watermark Publishing, 1088 Bishop St., Suite 310, Honolulu, HI 96813; (808) 587-7766; toll-free (866) 900-BOOK; fax (808) 521-3461; sales@bookshawaii.net. 

 

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New York Times: News Without Newspapers

An article in tomorrow’s New York Times is titled ‘Hyperlocal’ Web Sites Deliver News Without Newspapers.

If your local newspaper shuts down, what will take the place of its coverage? Perhaps a package of information about your neighborhood, or even your block, assembled by a computer.

A number of Web start-up companies are creating so-called hyperlocal news sites that let people zoom in on what is happening closest to them, often without involving traditional journalists.

picture-51

It’s very much like what has sprung up over at FBI blogs, to which I belong. (And when I say “sprung up,” I mean “consciously created by forward-thinking Damon Tucker.”)

The FBI blogs site it not quite as hyperlocal (the article talks about areas as small as a block). By definition (“From Big Island”) we FBI bloggers are from around the whole island.

I think it’s really a terrific idea. I’m not exaggerating in the least when I say that I browse the site everyday and learn all sorts of things that aren’t in the local paper.

From the article:

But many hyperlocal entrepreneurs say they are counting on a proliferation of blogs and small local journalism start-ups to keep providing content.

“In many cities, the local blog scene is so rich and deep that even if a newspaper goes away, there would be still be plenty of stuff for us to publish,” said Mr. Holovaty of EveryBlock.

Sounds familar.

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