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Monday, October 24, 2011

Royal Hawaiian displays final painting by Herb Kane

By Nina Wu, Honolulu Star Advertiser

Herb Kane's final painting hangs near the entrance to the Monarch Room in the Royal Hawaiian Hotel.

Herb Kane's last painting, "Kamehameha Landing," now graces the wall by the entrance to the Monarch Room at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel.
It was the last painting the artist-historian was working on before he died March 8. It remains incomplete and unsigned, though someone with an untrained eye might not notice.
The 5-foot-tall, 10-foot-wide oil on canvas depicts King Kamehameha I and his warriors in canoes preparing to land on the shores of Waikiki in great detail.
Commissioned by Kyo-Ya Hotels and Resorts, "Kamehameha Landing" will be officially unveiled Friday with a private Hawaiian blessing by the Historic Hawai‘i Foundation.
Kane is also being honored by the foundation as the 2011 Kamaaina of the Year with a benefit dinner on Saturday in the Monarch Room.
"One of the marks of his greatness was his attention to culturally accurate detail, including the color of the water, the rigging and cordage on the canoes and the angle and slope of surf," said cultural consultant Peter Apo, his friend of more than 30 years. "Most people would just sort of draw waves, but if you're a surfer and you saw the waves, you would say, ‘I know where that is. That's the Waikiki swell.'"
Several years ago, Kane had already made a sketch of the scene but had not yet gotten to the full color painting, which he had always wanted to do.
As Kyo-ya was renovating the Royal Hawaiian, the company wanted a new piece of art for the hotel. Apo connected Kane with architect Rob Iopa.
Kane worked on the painting for about seven to eight months in his studio at Kealakekua Bay before he died.
"He fully expected to finish it," Apo said.
He also intended for it to be his last painting of that scale because his eyesight was deteriorating and he could paint only during the day.
After his death, Kyo-ya had the painting framed and transported to Oahu, according to Iopa, and decided it was best to leave the painting as is, with Kane's final touches rather than having someone else complete it.
King Kamehameha I's Waikiki landing in 1795 was a pivotal point in the history of Hawaii, Apo said, given that he would go on to conquer Oahu and unite the Hawaiian islands.
Some 2,000 war canoes stretched from Ala Moana Beach Park to Kahala, according to some accounts, he said.
"It's a beautiful depiction of a landing and preparing for battle," said Iopa. "Probably what stands out more than the painting itself was the knowledge behind what was being painted. It really celebrates a great man and what we believe to be a great piece."

Friday, October 21, 2011

Polynesian Voyaging Discussion - FREE Event!

Polynesian Voyaging Discussion - FREE Event!

Come join us on Sunday, October 23, 2011 for this free event:

Polynesian Voyaging Discussion
12 noon
Royal Hawaiian Hotel
Free and open to the public

Join a Talk Story about Polynesian ocean voyaging and its rebirth in modern times and get to meet some of the original navigators!

ʻŌiwi TV - Herb Kane Information

Historic Hawaiʻi Foundation’s 2011 Kamaʻāina of the Year: Herb Kāne

Herb Kawainui Kāne will be honored at this year’s HHF event for his contributions in the revival of our Hawaiian culture.

The amount of detail and the amount of research that went into Herb’s paintings really are unprecedented in depicting Hawaiian scapes.

His paintings remain a rich source of Hawaiian history, including his last piece “Kamehameha Landing.”

It’s especially unique and special because Kamehameha set up his then united kingdom here on the grounds of the Royal Hawaiian in Helumoa

The Foundation is honoring Herb as the “Kamaʻāina of the Year” for his valuable contributions to Hawaiʻi’s history.

Our mission as (the) Historic Hawaiʻi Foundation is to preserve the elements of our culture.
Herb accomplished this via his paintings and much more. I obviously know of him as an artist, obviously know of him as a historian, and obviously know of his instrumental participation and leadership in establishing the Polynesian Voyaging Society.

Events will be held thru Sunday including a screening of Papa Mau, a talk story with voyagers, and canoe landings.

Visit for complete article and video.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Papa Mau: The Wayfinder

Don't forget to join us Friday night, October 21, 2011 for this event!

Papa Mau: The Wayfinder
Screened at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel Regency Room
6:30 p.m. / Open to the public
This documentary recounts the fundamental role that master
navigator Mau Piailug played in reawakening Polynesian pride by
teaching Hawaiians the dying art of traditional voyaging without
the aid of instruments.
Sponsored by Paliku Documentary Films and ‘Oiwi TV

How we deal with Natatorium will put our character to the test

A 1973 aerial view shows the Waikiki Natatorium in better times.

By Peter Apo; Steven M. Baldridge; Brian Keaulana; Benjamin R. Mixon; William M. Smith Jr; and William Y. Thompson. Published in the Honolulu Star Advertiser, Oct. 19, 2011

Richard Borreca argues that 32 years of "dithering and delay on the Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium has got to end" ("Natatorium is a problem that just won't go away," Star-Advertiser, On Politics, Oct. 4).
We agree.
But we do not agree with those who say that demolition or a change of use is in the public interest or the less expensive financial alternative to restoration.
The city, while led by Mayor Jeremy Harris, spent $4.2 million restoring the facade, bathrooms, bleachers and volleyball court and built a new district lifeguard office. Mayor Harris's and the Honolulu City Council's total $11.5 million appropriation for the project also would have paid for a re-engineered pool that would provide ADA access to the ocean for the elderly, and disabled. Had the so-nearly-realized restoration been completed, we would be celebrating its return to public use and swimming there today.
But the succeeding mayoral administration, under Mufi Hannemann, swept into City Hall with a passion to undo important major projects undertaken by Harris, beginning with a stunning reversal of a fully designed and permitted Natatorium restoration.
It not only stopped the restoration, but went into high gear to demolish the entire structure. It pursued demolition with a spirit of irreverence that dishonored the memory of more than 10,000 warriors from Hawaii who are memorialized by the Natatorium. Auwe!
We are as tired of sloshing through debate as some are of having to listen to it, but Borreca's column cannot be left unchallenged. To spare your readers from having to navigate a manifesto on the subject, let it suffice for us to say here that the real consequences of demolition lie far beyond what most people realize. The Natatorium serves as a sand retention revetment; it created San Souci beach. Demolish the Natatorium and San Souci is history.
Alternative uses like creating additional new beach or volleyball courts are not permitted shoreline uses and would have to survive a lengthy and daunting county, state and federal permitting process, not to mention court challenges.
The Hawaii Supreme Court has already ruled, in 1973, against demolition for any other use of the shoreline expect for a Natatorium (defined as a swimming pool in Act 15 of the Territorial Legislature, 1921). The cost of demolition to effect the new uses proposed, even if successful, rivals or exceeds the cost of restoration. So much for the argument that it's cheaper to demolish.
Further, the structure sits in a declared marine sanctuary. Demolition-triggered reef damage is a significant threat. A new beach, according to an Army Corps of Engineers study, would require replacing the Natatorium with the equivalent of a three-wall small boat harbor replicating the footprint of the Natatorium walls and its sand retention function to protect San Souci as well as the proposed added 100 feet of new beach. Go figure.
The proposal to "preserve" the arch by moving it is not an engineering possibility. It would have to be rebuilt as a reproduction. So much for preservation.
Finally, hundreds of pages of scientific and expert studies, including a $1.2 million environmental impact statement, show the least expensive, least environmentally harmful option is full restoration.
The idea of demolishing the Natatorium ranks up there with the attempts to demolish Iolani Palace for a parking lot and the Royal Hawaiian Hotel for a new high-rise hotel. The Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium is the last of the great historic treasures of the Waikiki shoreline. How we respond to this challenge will mark the greatness or failure of who we are as a people.
Peter Apo is an Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustee; Steven M. Baldridge is president of BASE Structural Engineering; Brian Keaulana is a waterman; retired Lt. Gen. Benjamin R. Mixon is former commander of the U.S. Army Pacific; William M. Smith Jr. is an Olympic gold medalist and former director of the city Water Safety Department; and William Y. Thompson, is president of the 442nd Veterans Club.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Application Now Available for Battlefield Preservation Grants

Proposals are now being accepted for the American Battlefield Protection Program (ABPP) Battlefield Preservation Grants. Non-profit groups, academic institutions, and local, regional, state, and tribal governments are encouraged to apply.

Types of eligible projects inlude:

* Archeology
* Cultural Landscape Inventories
* Cultural Resource Documentation
* GIS Mapping
* National Register Nominations
* Preservation Plans

Since 1990, the ABPP has worked with partners like you to help protect and enhance more than 280 battlefields. Project funding has ranged from $5,000 to $75,000. The ABPP encourages, but does not require, matching funds or in-kind services for these projects. Application form, deadline and complete guidelines are available on-line at:

For further information contact Kristen McMasters at: 202-354-2037.