Archive for June, 2009

Kokoleka Lani (Chocolate Heaven) Farms

June 28th, 2009
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Kokoleka Lani (Chocolate Heaven) Farms  -

"E Ala E Kau Kau"  (Awaken to the benefits of Good Food) is their mantra and Greg and Marty of Kokoleka Lani Farms and  Kona Natural Soap Company are proud to introduce you to their 100% certified Kona Coffee groves or to their hands-on soap plant located on their  beloved farm in up country Holualoa on Hawaii Island where they take discarded fruit and coffee grown on the land to use in making their organic soaps.     

Greg and Marty are living examples of how sustainability of regional farms and agriculture in the state of Hawaii can work.  And work well.  They provide island farmers an alternative to selling direct to the public and to earn a fair return,  gain the recognition and reward for their efforts and hard work, and they provide the public with quality local grown product.  For more on this story visit  http://travel.pacificnetwork.tv/Ecotravel/

To contact Greg and Marty of Kokoleka Lani Farms go to http://connections.pacificnetwork.tv/profile/GregColden

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Pohaku - A Desire to Learn

June 25th, 2009
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Pohaku - A Desire to Learn

This is a lovely video clip shot by Johann Bouit for PacificNetwork's Arts Channel where we profile many local artists. Pohaku Kaho'ohanohano is a master weaver who has been working his craft since he was 19 years old having learned that both his grandparents were weavers themselves and the art had skipped one generation. His desire to learn was so great that as a teenager he sought out different weavers to teach him what has since become his life's work. His weaving is unique because he learned from many teachers.  Some were elders, others were from different Pacific cultures, with varied styles. So at his youthful age we call him a master weaver because of his diverse knowledge and dedication. Pohaku lives deep in the Honokahau Valley on the island of Maui.  His work is available for purchase when you can find him at a crafts fair here and there.  He does not use the Internet so he will probably not know we are sending his video out to tell the world what a fine job he does in preserving his native culture and art and that he is appreciated.  For more of his story visit Pacific Network  http://arts.pacificnetwork.tv/Artists/

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Blue Winks - It Takes Friends

June 21st, 2009
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Blue Winks - It Takes Friends

The message we see in this beautiful video is all about symbiosis, living in harmony with others, because when you work together everybody wins.  In the words of the great Native Hawaiian scholar, Mary Kawena Pukui, who preserved daily proverbs and sayings,  ‘A‘ohe hana nui ke alu ‘ia.  No task is too big when done together by all.

This is true about making films.  It takes lots of talented people working in tandem.  Two of the most talented and gutsy filmmakers I know are Peter and Rachel Schneider whose collaboration and expertise of 20 years in underwater photography and cinematography have yielded high art. And the best kind of art because their work educates and preserves the planet's indigenous cultures and environments.  

They live in French Polynesia but have shot all over the Pacific Ocean and have clocked thousands of hours of shark and manta ray footage. If you're interested in seeing more Blue Winks please let us know and we'll make this a regular series.  

Peter and Rachel are dedicated to preserving the oceans and their last doc film, "Sharks of Rangiroa" is not to be missed.  Even though I have enjoyed a bowl of shark's fin soup on those rare special occasions I now think twice about encouraging the practice. In their film you see hundreds of sharks up close and personal in their natural habitat and you do not sense danger.  The filmmakers have their own explanation for why they believe sharks have been involved in attacks against divers and their documentation on the subject is impressive.  As China creates a middle class more families can afford to serve the prestigious shark's fin soup as a kind of mark of status, so at weddings, graduations, and other celebrations the expensive dish (thousands are spent on a single fin) is now in demand more than ever and shark finning has increased 100 fold.  Viewing is not for folks who easily get queasy at the sight of blood so be warned.  The story however is worth your attention.

To see more of their incredible underwater film visit Water on Pacific Network's Science Channel.    http://science.pacificnetwork.tv/Water/ 

To purchase copies of the Blue Winks series and a copy of their doc film, Sharks of Rangiroa, please visit Pacific Network's Store.  http://store.pacificnetwork.tv/

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Alan Wong's

June 17th, 2009
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Alan Wong's

Not... (as we'd say in the neighborhood) meaning no way this winner of countless culinary awards, co-founder of Hawaii Regional Cuisine (1992), recognized by Robert Mondavi Winery as one of 13 Rising Star Chefs in America (1994), recipient of the prestigious James Beard Award for Best Chef: Pacific Northwest,  Chef of the Year by Santé Magazine (2001), Gourmet Magazine ranked his restaurant sixth in a list of America’s Best 50 Restaurants... how could Chef Wong who also owns The Pineapple Room at Ala Moana Center, Alan Wong's on King St., and Alan Wong's Hawaii at Disneyland in Maihama, Japan... be considered a mom and pop operation?  His Hawaii roots are grounded firmly and he proves it by the support he has given colleagues and local producers from the coffee farms in Holualoa to Nalo Farms in Waimanalo.  This interview is an excerpt from a series called Changing Hawaii. One of our most enjoyable documentary style forays into life in contemporary Hawaii.

For those of you who recall King's Bakery, McCully Chop Suey, Flamingo's, and so many other local landmark eateries that have disappeared you'll chuckle to hear Chef call his fine dining restaurant empire "just another mom and pop (store)".  But he's right. Like Mavro, Hiroshi's, Dk's Steakhouse, Michel's at Colony Surf, Vino, Merriman's, and other spectacular Hawaii restaurants owned and operated as small businesses (vs large corporations) they are uniquely Hawaii and they reflect a lot about who we are in the islands. These restauranteurs and chefs have managed to survive and thrive through changing economies and changing times.  They're like beacons who remind us that it's going to be ok... and that Life is Good.

For more video visit our Arts & Culture channel at www.PacificNetwork

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Honoring King Kamehameha I

June 12th, 2009
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Honoring King Kamehameha I

We'll celebrate by draping lei on his statue as we do each year on June 11, but this year's event is special. Hundreds of elders are smiling with great satisfaction. After nearly 50 years of grass roots efforts across the country, led by Hawaiian groups including the Native Hawaiian Royal Benevolent Societies, Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs, Hawai'i State Society of Washington, D.C.; and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and Hawai'i Delegation -- working together with the Capitol's architect --  they have succeeded in ensuring the king's statue is in its rightful place. The six-ton bronze of Kamehameha the Great was moved to Emancipation Hall in the new U.S. Capitol’s Visitors’ Center under a skylight where he will now be seen by millions. Last Sunday this particular lei draping ceremony held special significance and it had been long awaited.

As for the meaning of lei?  It is a tribute, a greeting, a mahalo, a gesture of Aloha.  The custom was introduced by early Polynesian voyagers who traversed thousands of miles across the Pacific Ocean from Tahiti to find their way to our islands.  They brought the tradition of making lei from flowers, maile (vine), leaves, shells, nuts, feathers, and the symbolic bone, teeth and human hair lei cherished by the Native Hawaiians. Then several generations later in the late 1920s lei sellers came to be.  They were initially women of Papakolea, working on the pier at Aloha Tower greeting visitors from the luxury liners coming into port. The ladies made their living on the docks in the hardest of times, picking flowers that grew along the walk down from Tantalus to the water's edge. This income was used to augment what their husbands were not able to earn during this era when Native Hawaiians were met with unabashed discrimination in their own homeland.

This clip is from the film, Paniolo O Hawaii - Cowboys of the Far West. It took nearly three years to produce because there was no definitive historical account of an all island cowboy history in Hawaii.  It's one of my favorites because it reflects the gentility and sensitive nature of the Hawaiian man.  These scenes capture some of the last great paniolo old timers (many have left us since the release of the film). Uncle Sonny Keakealani sits with the renowned songster/poet, Uncle Kindy Sproat; Andrew Kauai, Jiro Yamaguchi, Yutaka Kimura and Kimo Hoopai.  Hoss Richardson and George Kohalahala talk about Lanai and Uncle Sonny shows us the different flowers and shells made into haku lei seen on their hats as representative of different islands.  We know the paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) as some of the world's finest riders and ropers, a tough group of men, working the slopes of Mauna Kea to Haleakala.  To hear them talk about going in to the forest to pick flowers and vines and spending all day weaving a single lei for a loved one -- says so much.  

So on this special day we pay tribute to Hawaii's monarch and to his people. We thank our host culture for showing us the Hawaiian way.  On Saturday in Waikiki we have the luxury of enjoying, free of charge, a magnificent floral parade with thousands of flowers and lei presented as a tribute to the great King Kamehameha I. Life is Good in Hawaii.

For more video please visit us at www.PacificNetwork.tv.

 
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