Kaua‘i Paddlers Go The Distance

It’s long-distance season for paddlers and spectators alike. Amanda C. Gregg photo

It was so exciting to see all the paddlers and families down at Waimea Pier Feb. 18 enjoying the Garden Island Canoe Racing Association‘s first longdistance race of the year. The race marked the 21st anniversary of the Warren Resquer Memorial Kilohana Long Distance Canoe Race, and congratulations are in order to the following firstplace crews with corresponding times: Kukuiula Open Women, 1:14:50:20; Pu’uwai Women Masters, 1:22:20:33; Kaiola Women Senior Masters, 1:23:24:38; Hanalei Open Mixed, 1:06:12:61; Pu’uwai Mixed Novice, 1:12:11:21; Pu’uwai Open Men, 1:05:23:92; Pu’uwai Men Masters, 1:14:13:90; Pu’uwai Senior Masters, 1:18:14:07; Kilohana Novice Men, 1:20:45:46; Na Molokama Men Golden Masters, 1:23:38:31; Na Molokama Men Grand Masters, 1:15:47:95.

Just out of the gate, it seems Pu’uwai is taking the world by storm, though perhaps that makes sense, as they’ve been paddling in the off-season with renowned paddler Luke Evslin coaching them. But it’s still early yet to make any season predictions, Pu’uwai president Brian Curll says. “It’s just the first race of the year. It should be called the ‘whoa, I need to get back in shape’ canoe race.” …

With all the Oscar hubbub finally winding down after the recent 84th Annual Academy Awards, Kaua’i film commissioner Art Umezu has asked us to give a mahalo to The Descendants Kaua’i location manager Karen Greenlee. Umezu says Greenlee did the initial location scouting on Kaua’i for the film with director Alexander Payne and other key crew members in 2009. The movie has also created a buzz in Japan (where it will premiere in late April as Family Tree). Its exposure has helped bring in more interest from the industry. Umezu says a Japanese TV commercial for a major clothing line just wrapped on Kaua’i earlier this month.

Keep an eye out, too, for a made-for-TV film by producer Roger Corman, who made the 1956 cult film She God of Sharks Reef, shot at Coco Palms. Corman shot Piranhaconda here last March, and Dinocroc vs. Supergator, which can still be seen on the Syfy channel (formerly known as the SciFi Channel). The latter plot includes a “supergator” that breaks free from a lab on Kaua’i and kills two scientists …

Roger Corman, Chiefess Kamakahelei

Producer Roger Corman and Chiefess Kamakahelei students after viewing his 1956 film ‘She God of Sharks Reef’. Photo courtesy KauaÊ»i Film Commission

If sci-fi isn’t your thing, there are still other chances to get a glimpse of Kaua’i on-screen. Warner Brothers’ Journey 2: Mysterious Island starring “The Rock” and Vanessa Hudgens, shot its spectacular aerial scenes here in 2010. Check for show times at Kukui Grove Cinemas by calling Cinema (245-5055) or online at kukuigrovecinema.com

Speaking of films, Kaua’i will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Elvis Presley movie Blue Hawaii, which filmed here in 1961 and premiered in 1962, followed by the movie Donovan’s Reef, which was filmed here in 1962 and premiered in 1963. Both highlighted the Horner beachfront and, of course, Coco Palms Hotel near Kinipopo (where the Laenani property is). This year also means it’s been 20 years since Hurricane ‘Iniki hit, and 20 years since Dreamworks and Steven Spielberg‘s Jurassic Park wrapped …

If you missed the Waimea Film Festival this year, there’s another chance to see at least one of its films next weekend. Cloudwater Tea, Honihonihoney, the Kaua’i Beekeepers Association, Kaua’i Beekeepers Co-op Garden Island Resource Conservation and Development and Kaua’i Community College will host the documentary Queen of the Sun at 6 p.m. March 3 at the Kaua’i Community College Tech Center, and March 6 at Cloudwater Tea Farm, 2895 H Kamo’okoa Road, Kilauea (just mauka of mile marker 24). Featured in the film is the prediction of Rudolf Steiner, an Austrian scientist, philosopher and social innovator, who in 1924 suggested the collapse of honeybees would occur within a century. It also focuses on insights behind Steiner’s prediction, and delves into the longterm causes behind the honeybee crisis, and the link between humans and bees and how that historic relationship has been lost because of highly mechanized industrial practices. For more information, go to queenofthesun.com

Glenn Hontz

Glenn Hontz. FIle photo

Beyond the bee crisis, Dr. Glenn Hontz will offer a course at Kaua’i Community College focusing on the food crisis. The class, titled “How to Prosper in Today’s Economy,” will be from 4 to 6:30 p.m. March 14 through May 16. Focusing on local food production as not only helping provide a source of food but also money, Hontz says change in local buying habits will offer business opportunities for local people and sustainable practices for the island. Cost is $250. Requests for financial assistance must be received by March 1. For more information, contact Hontz at 246-4859 or email hontz@hawaii.edu …

It was recalling the effect Hurricane ‘Iniki had here that Noriaki Fujimori, minister of Waimea Higashi Hongwanji Buddhist Temple, called it a time when everyone seemed to support and help each other, and when we received help and support from Japan.

Fujimori, who traveled to Japan last month, has been working to reach out to the children affected by the Fukushima disaster.

She says children cannot breathe deeply or play outside because of nuclear contamination in the ground, and many have been directly exposed to radiation (children are more vulnerable to nuclear contamination than adults). Community members are understandably concerned about their children’s education and development.

With that in mind, Fujimori is hoping to partner with others here to arrange trips for Japanese keiki to visit Hawaii during their summer and winter vacations, so they can “breathe deeply and play in soil and be at the ocean,” she says. Fujimori is looking for people who may be interested in becoming a host family for children who can stay during upcoming months. Also, she is helping organize monetary donations for the project. She is arranging a “Disaster Service” March 11 at Waimea Higashi Hongwanji, and the public is invited to participate. To learn more, email fujimori@hawaii.rr.com, or call Waimea Higashi Hongwanji at 338-1847 …

Speaking of Japan, earlier this month, Tyler McCandless, the 2011 Kaua’i Marathon men’s winner, traveled to Iwaki City to compete in his first international running competition. For the past three years, the Kaua’i Marathon has partnered with Iwaki City Sunshine Marathon by hosting the winner to their respective races. McCandless won the event, overtaking second place by 9 seconds with a time of 2:27:32, and crossing the finish line with a shaka to say aloha to Kaua’i, a sister city to Iwaki. The fourth annual Kaua’i Marathon will take place Sunday, Sept. 2, in Po’ipu and will be headquartered at Grand Hyatt Kaua’i Resort & Spa. For more information, go to thekauaimarathon.com