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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) Invites Owners of Historic Properties to a Free Workshop

Presentation on preservation programs, funding sources to be held Feb. 12

A free public educational workshop about historic property stewardship, including funding sources and economic incentive programs, will be held on Tuesday, February 12, 2013, 4 – 7 p.m., at the Hawai‘i Community Development Authority office, 461 Cooke Street, Honolulu.

The workshop is sponsored by the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART), and will include information about the benefits of listing historic properties in the National and State of Hawaii Registers of Historic Places.   Designated historic properties are eligible for tax and other incentives to preserve the property.  The workshop will cover:

1) Eligibility determination for the historic registers;
2) The process to list a property in the National and State Registers of Historic Places;
3) Benefits and responsibilities of historic designation;
4) Financial incentives available for listed properties;
5) Existing resources available for pursuing these options; and
6) Guidelines for historic rehabilitation projects. 

In addition to the overview about historic preservation programs and responsibilities, the workshop will also include a special presentation specifically for properties eligible to apply for funding from the Honolulu Rail Transit Project’s Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) Program.  The HPF Program includes $2 million dollars to fund selected projects over a period of two years that will repair, preserve, rehabilitate, or restore the exterior of selected eligible properties along the rail transit corridor.

Eligible properties include individual properties or contributing properties to a historic district located within the area of potential effect for the transit project that are listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.

For more information, please contact the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation at 808-768-6240.

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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A Special North Shore Evening to Feature “Aloha Buddha” Documentary and an Illustrated Lecture on Japanese Buddhist Temples in Hawaii

Dr. Minatoishi Palumbo did her doctoral dissertation on Japanese temple architecture in Hawaii.  For over a decade, she has worked to raise awareness about the state of Japanese temples in Hawaii.  “Aloha Buddha,” details the origins of Buddhism in Hawaii, its growth to the dominant religion in the State, and its subsequent decline, but possible resurgence.   Dr. Minatoishi Palumbo is the founder of Minatoishi Architects, Inc., an architecture firm which specializes in commercial, residential and preservation.

Drs. George and Willa Tanabe are professors emeritus at the University of Hawai'i in the Religion and Art History Departments, respectively.  Dr. Willa Tanabe is the former dean of the School of Hawaiian, Asian and Pacific Studies.  Dr. George Tanabe was born and raised in Waialua and was instrumental in saving artifacts from the now-demolished Kawailoa Ryusenji Soto Mission.  He and his wife have joined forces to author an illustrated guide to the ninety Japanese Buddhist temples still existing in Hawai'i. Specific attention will be given to the temples in the Waialua District detailing their history, description of architecture, sanctuaries, ritual implements, and grounds. Set at the Waialua Hongwanji Mission, which was established in 1902, the Tanabes will also highlight this temple’s special features.

For more information contact:
Phone:  637-4558
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Monday, January 28, 2013

Kona Historical Society Happenings: Historical Sunset Cruise 2/10; Free Lecture Series Honoring Kona Begins 1/30

Historical Sunset Cruise
Aboard the Fair Wind II
Sunday, February 10, 2:00-5:00PM
This tour starts and ends at Keauhou Bay and includes Kahalu`u Bay, Kealakekua Bay, and Honaunau Bay aboard the catamaran Fair Wind II. Kama`aina resident John Mitchell provides the fascinating historical narrative prepared by Kona historian Jean Greenwell on the holua at Keauhou, the Battle of Kuamo`o, Kealakekua Bay, the Battle of Mokuohai at Ke`ei, and Pu`uhonua `o Honaunau. The sightings of whales and dolphins are often an added treat. Reservations are $65 for KHS members and $75 for non-members. KHS members will be asked to show their membership cards to receive the discount. Check-in time is 1:45 PM at Keauhou Pier. There will be a no-host bar aboard. For reservations call Fair Wind at 808-322-2788.

Hanohano `o Kona -
Honoring Kona
A FREE Community Lecture Series

West Hawai`i Civic Center
Last Wednesday of each month, 5:30-7:00PM
In response to popular demand for information about local culture and history in 2012, the Kona Historical Society is proud to again provide the community with the Hanahano `o Kona Lecture Series in cooperation with the County of Hawai`i. The talks will be held the last Wednesday of each month at the West Hawai`i Civic Center on Kealakehe Parkway (going up to Kealakehe High School) and are free to the public.

January 30 - A Scenic Sampler of Films and Photos from the Kona Historical Society Archives
Maile Melrose, Local Historian

February 27 - Chinese New Year: Celebration and Tradition
Ed Yap and the Kohala Tong Wo Society

March 27 - Hawaiian Surfing History
John R. K. Clark, Author of Hawaiian Surfing


Kona Historical Society

Kona Coffee Living History Farm

H.N. Greenwell Store

Portugese Stone Oven Bread Baking Program
Thursday, 10am-1pm
Bread Sales: 12:30-3pm

KHS Office
(808) 323-3222

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Lunch Presentation on 1/30 Will Address How to Maintain & Repair Historic Masonry Buildings

TOPIC:  Nondestructive Evaluation of Historic Masonry Construction
PRESENTER: Taryn Stubblefield, S.E., Simpson Gumpertz & Heger
DATE:  Wednesday, January 30, 2013
TIME: 12-1 pm (brown bag presentation)
PLACE: AIA Center for Architecture, 800 Fort Street Mall, Suite 100, Honolulu, HI
1.0             CEU Credit

The event is Free.  Registration not required; walk-ins welcome.

Building owners, architects, engineers, and contractors are often faced with difficult questions about how to maintain and repair historic masonry buildings.  This presentation will describe the tools available to help understand a building’s construction and condition, without excessive damage to the historic fabric.  The presentation will explain what managers, design professionals, and contractors need to know about how these tools work, their limitations, and their benefits.

Taryn N. Stubblefield, S.E. is a Senior Staff II Engineer with Simpson Gumpertz & Heger in San Francisco, California.  Ms. Stubblefield has over ten years of experience in structural engineering and building technology.  Her experience includes building envelope investigations, investigating and designing repairs for historic structures, seismic evaluation of existing buildings, and probable earthquake loss evaluations.  Taryn is a member of APTI and a Director on the Board of the Structural Engineers Association of Northern California (SEAONC).

For questions or more information, contact Taryn Stubblefield at or 415-495-3700.

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Friday, January 25, 2013

Feeding Hawaii: Roadside Stands in the Early 1900s in Kailua

Kailua Historical Society presents:
Going With the Flow: Roadside Stands

In the last few months Kailua residents who travel on Pali Highway have become more aware of flowing water.  With the clearing of vegetation just makai of Kapa’a Quarry Road for construction of ponds for endangered waterfowl, the ready resource that once spawned a thriving agricultural scene nearby is again visible. In the early 1900s issei farmers began managing the water resource and selling their products at roadside stands that sprang up along old Auloa road in Maunawili and between the present Castle Hospital and Ulupō Heiau.  As the main conduit to beach homes of Honolulu residents, the highway brought customers to the farmers.
The Kailua Historical Society will present a panel discussion representing both the sellers and the customers who frequented these roadside stands, as well as the water resource management that enabled the farmers to thrive. Community members Lydia Asato Ranger, Norman Kawauchi and Leroy Gilliland will sit on the panel and members of the Nishikawa-Kimura family will share photographic memories of that time. As usual, audience members are encouraged to add their own memories on this topic.
WHERE:     Faith Baptist Church Kailua
WHEN:       Sunday, January 27th, 2013
TIME:         3:00pm
FREE & OPEN TO THE PUBLIC   (map for church location)  Kailua Historical Society
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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The 210-foot-tall Lihue Sugar Mill Smokestack, A Kauai Landmark, Demolished

Monument to Kauai sugar industry hauled down

The smokestack at the defunct Lihue mill was a symbol of a plantation era past

The 210-foot-tall Lihue Sugar Mill smokestack, which stood for more than 50 years, toppled to the ground in less than five seconds as the Kauai landmark was demolished Tuesday.
 1/16/13:  Lyle Tabata stood with co-workers Tuesday afternoon outside the Lihue Civic Center, about a quarter-mile from the former Lihue Sugar Mill on Kauai, and watched as contractors tore down the mill's historic smokestack, a symbol of Hawaii's bygone sugar plantation era.

At 2:45 p.m. the 210-foot-tall smokestack fell to the ground in less than five seconds. It was surreal, Tabata said.

"It was a landmark in this town for many years, and now it's gone," he said.

Tabata, 56, worked at the mill for more than 20 years and was the last manager at the Lihue and Kekaha sugar mills before they closed in November 2000. Co-workers surrounded Tabata, deputy county engineer of the Department of Public Works, to watch his reaction when the smokestack went down because they knew how significant the mill was to him.

While onlookers cheered, Tabata said the impact was "like the final nails driving into the coffin." He noted that he acts rough and tough but that the demolition of the historic symbol tore at him. "A piece of my heart went with it," said Tabata.

Workers for NCM Contracting Group took down the smokestack by cutting through its base and using cables and an excavator to haul down supporting pieces. The work is part of a demolition project that began at the mill in January 2012 with asbestos removal. Since the shuttering of the Lihue and Kekaha sugar mills, the structures have significantly deteriorated, raising safety concerns.

Police closed Haleko Road between Na­wili­wili Road and Rice Street on Tuesday for about an hour starting at 2:30 p.m. to prepare for the demolition of the big chimney.

It was a chicken-skin moment, said Tabata. Memories of his years at the mill flashed through his mind when the smokestack fell, sending a billowing cloud of red dirt into the sky. "It puts life into perspective," he said. "Nothing stays the same."

The smokestack was the mill's second one, built in the early 1950s when a new boiler set and other modifications were added to the facility, Tabata said.

The mill was built in 1849 in the valley of Na­wili­wili Stream, whose water was used to power mill rollers brought from China, according to the Hawaiian Sugar Planters' Association Plantation archives. Its first crop produced 108 tons of sugar and about 26,000 gallons of molasses.

More than 80 years later, the Lihue mill merged with Makee mill after the Lihue Plantation Co. acquired the Makee Sugar Co. After World War II, productivity surged with the return of veterans, leading to a record harvest of nearly 60,000 tons of sugar in 1947, according to the archives.

Lynn McCrory, president of PAHIO Development Inc, a company that bought the Lihue and Kekaha sugar mills in 2007, said the demolition is expected to be completed in mid-February.

While many viewed the demolition as an end of an era, McCrory sees it as a new beginning. "Someday it will be an economically viable piece of land," she said.

There is no planned development of the site at this time. McCrory said field tests of pesticides and insecticides will be done after demolition is completed.

Demolition work at Kekaha Sugar Mill is scheduled to begin in March and take nine to 12 months to complete.
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Thursday, January 17, 2013

"North Shore Field School" Established for Budding UH Archaeologists

UH archaeology students to study North Shore heiau

By Gordon Y.K. Pang, Honolulu Star Advertiser
A brief ceremony Saturday at Kupopolo Heiau, in the ahupuaa of Kawailoa between Haleiwa and Waimea, marked the heiau's dedication as a "North Shore field school"where archaeology students will study the heiau over 16 consecutive Saturdays. Richard Pezzulo, Waimea Valley executive director, placed a hookupu, or offering, on the heiau.
(Dennis Oda /
Kupopolo Heiau is expected to be one of many locations available to University of Hawaii archaeology teams. Students toured the heiau on Saturday.

1/13/13:  Budding Hawaii archaeologists are expected to benefit the most from a partnership between Kamehameha Schools and the University of Hawaii's Department of Anthropology announced Saturday.
The agreement establishes a "North Shore field school" at Kupopolo Heiau, allowing 20 archaeology students to survey the historically significant heiau over 16 consecutive Saturdays.

Nathaniel Garcia, a senior in archaeology, said he's been fortunate enough to have field experience as part of a team that studied a heiau in Makakilo last summer. Most of his classmates have not, he said.

But this is also a new experience for Garcia because for the first time he will be getting credits that count toward graduation when on the site.

"It's very rare that you get college credit and field experience at the same time," he said.

Kamehameha also benefits from the partnership, which organizers said had been under discussion for more than five years.

Clearing of vegetation on the site, at Kapaeloa in the ahupuaa of Kawailoa between Haleiwa and Waimea, began more than four years ago, said Jason Jeremiah, Kamehameha's senior cultural resources manager.

"The work that the students are going to do is going to help inform us about what the appropriate steps are to take for future restoration of the site," Jeremiah said.
A major part of the ongoing restoration will be removal of invasive species and the reintroduction of plants that are native to the area, he said.

Jeremiah said there are nearly 100 significant cultural sites between Kupopolo and Haleiwa town. Kupopolo was chosen as the first to be used as a field school partly because it has relatively easy access and, more importantly, because it is considered among the better known and more significant sites in the area.

Windy McElroy, one of the UH archaeology professors leading the class, said the heiau is believed to have been built in the late 1700s by Oahu chief Kahahana.
When the chief asked a prophet whether he should invade Kauai, the prophet told him to build the heiau so he could get a signal. But no sign came, and the prophet had Kahahana build a second heiau on higher ground.

Kahahana never invaded Kauai.

"We don't know if (Kupo­polo) was abandoned after that," McElroy said. "We think not, but we're going to try to find out."

Once the vegetation is cut back, the class will be able to map the site more properly, she said.

Measuring 266 feet long and 116 wide, and with at least three terraces, Kupopolo is considered a relatively large heiau and it is relatively intact with internal features that include petroglyphs, upright stones and possibly a shrine.

Kamehameha Chief Executive Dee Jay Mailer said she expects Kupopolo will be only one of many field schools made available to UH archaeology teams.
"People learn best on lands, and we have so much lands and natural resources here, we need people who are skilled and who are knowledgeable," Mailer said. "We envision (work at Kupopolo) extending as well as other in-field or on-aina programs. We expect to use our lands and our resources for these kinds of learning opportunities."

Volunteers are being sought to help the cleanup effort at Kupopolo for two hours every Saturday over the next 16 weeks.

To help, email northshore@ksbe. edu.

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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A Stay at Puakea Ranch on Hawaii Island is Steeped in Old Hawaii

Restored ranch pays homage to former overseers

12/31/12: On a sunny day, high atop a hill in North Kohala on Hawaii island, Christie Cash and her husband, Jay Nelson, surveyed a lot they were thinking of buying. They wound up being more taken with the 33-acre parcel next to it, which was once part of a large spread known as Pua­kea Ranch.

"Even at a distance it was stunning," Cash said. "We asked our Realtor to find the owner and see if we could get permission to walk through it. We did the next day, and the moment I set foot on it, I knew it was a special place. Even though it wasn't for sale, we decided to make an offer for it."

That was in 2006, and the couple closed the deal the following year. There were four run-down cottages on the property, and Cash delved into research and renovations with equal enthusiasm.

In 1848, she learned, King Kamehameha III enacted the Great Mahele, which divided Hawaii's land among the alii (royalty), chiefs and commoners. The thousands of acres that became Pua­kea Ranch were held as crown lands by Kamehameha I's granddaughter Kekauonohi until 1870, when Dr. James Wight acquired them.

Wight served the North Kohala community as a medical doctor, postmaster, circuit judge and representative in the territorial government. He also started raising cattle and growing and processing cane at Pua­kea Ranch. Among the workers on his sugar plantation were Zenjiro and Wasa Kawa­moto, who had immigrated to Hawaii from Hiro­shima.

The sugar enterprise at Pua­kea Ranch lasted until 1933. Ranching thrived for another 50-plus years, due in large part to the Kawa­moto family. In 1934 Parker Ranch (then and still Hawaii's largest ranch) started leasing Pua­kea from the Wight Estate and hired Masato "Johnny" Kawa­moto, Zenjiro and Wasa's son, as the foreman.

Parker Ranch purchased Pua­kea Ranch 12 years later. Members of the Kawa­moto family remained as overseers until the late 1980s, when ranching activities stopped and the cottages were rented out.

Today Puakea Ranch is on the state Register of Historic Places, its rustic setting and beautifully restored cottages creating a memorable vacation getaway that honors the Kawa­motos. "The cottages' footprints are the same," Cash said. "We painted the walls, sanded the floors, replaced the roofs and added gutters but kept as much of the original elements as we could."

All the cottages have lanais, tree swings, fully equipped kitchens and expansive garden, pasture and ocean views (breaching whales are a common sight this time of the year).
James Cottage — a bright, airy studio — dates back to the 1920s. On a clear day, waterfalls in East Maui can be seen from its lanai.
Built in the 1930s, Miles Away offers a dipping pool with a waterfall, a wooden bathtub handmade in the traditional Japa­nese "furo" style and an oversize hammock lashed to two coconut palms.
Zenjiro's and Johnny's families were among those who lived in the century-old Cowboy House (all three of Johnny's children — Yoshi, Masa and Thelma — were born there). It was also a bunkhouse for Pua­kea Ranch's pani­olo (cowboys).

Yoshi was the last foreman. A few years ago Cash invited Margaret, his widow, to visit the ranch. Generous with her time and memories, Margaret allowed Cash to scan, enlarge and reprint several old family photos to display in the Cowboy House.

Although they had other careers, Yoshi and Margaret's two sons, Alvin and Bobby, helped at the ranch whenever they could. A saddle made by Alvin rests beneath a picture of Yoshi. "There's also a portrait of Zenjiro and Johnny, so all four generations of Kawa­moto men who lived and worked at Pua­kea Ranch are represented in the house," Cash said.

In the 1940s Yoshi constructed a house for his family on two acres of ranch land, at the end of a long driveway bordered by Java plum trees. He had a green thumb, and lovingly tended orchids in an adjacent greenhouse.

Guests staying at Yoshi's House have access to a private lava-rock swimming pool and expansive lawns with dozens of fruit and flower trees. A delightful surprise is the detached bathhouse. Originally the washhouse, it features slate flooring, a rain shower with ocean views and a shiny copper tub big enough for two.

A stay at Puakea Ranch begins with greeting the resident horses — Blue, Abbey and Brandy, who will likely be grazing near the front gate. Chickens and turkeys roam freely around the property, and cows dot emerald pastures.

Abundant salad fixings flourish in the organic garden. "Many of our guests come from urban areas, so the garden is a wonderful part of our ranch experience," Cash said. "They can pick whatever herbs and vegetables they'd like, and they're also welcome to the eggs laid by our chickens, and the bananas, coconuts, papayas and mangoes on our trees."

The Toy Box is a playroom full of games, books, puzzles and toys that children can borrow. Beach chairs, sand toys and insulated backpacks for picnics are also available upon request.
For many people the draw of Pua­kea Ranch is its natural beauty and peaceful, unpretentious ambience. "With that comes the feeling that you're truly away from it all," Cash said. "You hear birds chirping, chickens clucking and cattle lowing. Our guests tell us they're comfortable and relaxed here. They say they really feel at home, which is the best compliment we could ever receive."

Cheryl Chee Tsutsumi is a Honolulu-based freelance writer whose travel features for the Star-Advertiser have won several Society of American Travel Writers awards.
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» Address: 56-2864 Akoni Pule Highway, between mile markers 18 and 19, two miles south of Hawi, North Kohala, Hawaii island                                                                           
» Rates: Range from $289 to $699 per night, with minimum stays from three to seven nights, depending on the season. Kamaaina discounts are offered two weeks from the arrival date; half-price deals might be available within one week of arrival.                    
» Phone: 315-0805                                                                                                                  
» Email:         
» Website:
» Notes: Wi-Fi access is available throughout the property. Each bungalow is equipped with a high-definition TV and an iPod dock and speaker system. A DVD player and Xbox or Wii are available upon request.
For an additional fee, a personal concierge can customize an itinerary. Pre-arrival kitchen-stocking, a personal chef, pre-made meals, a luau (10-person minimum), hikes, surfing lessons, in-bungalow massages, wedding ceremonies, art and yoga instruction, horseback riding, and guides for water activities and sightseeing can be arranged in advance or during guests' stay.

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