Looking Good On The Big Screen

Bethany Hamilton in Cannes promoting 'Soul Surfer'. Photo courtesy Cheri Hamilton

While I often congratulate people, the aina deserves some kudos as well serving as the backdrop of the most successful movie release of the year thus far. Local viewers should look for the following Kaua’i spots when they see Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides: the historic Coco Palms Hotel, the national Tropical Botanical Garden in Lawai, ke’e Beach and Honopu Beach, with the ending scene finishing off with the spectacular na Pali Coast

Thanks to Kaua’i Visitors Bureau executive director

Sue kanoho, I got a behind-the-scenes look at the fourth Pirates franchise at a screening for Kaua’i cast and crew, made possible by Marlene Blair, owner of Kukui Grove Cinemas, who opened up the theater for the private screening. Blair also hosted the screening of Tropic Thunder in 2008, Just Go With It in February 2010 and Soul Surfer in March 2010, providing complimentary popcorn and drinks.

Pirates (which has made an impressive $256.3 million overseas and $90.1 million domestically so far) spent six months on Kaua’i prepping, scouting, casting extras, setting up base camps and production and location offices, building sets and filming from February to July 2010, according to Kaua’i film commissioner art umezu

And many mahalos to Cheri Hamilton, who sent us photos of gorgeous Bethany Hamilton in Cannes. The family was there not only for her Soul Surfer movie, but to see the aforementioned Pirates flick (which features Bethany’s brother Noah Hamilton as a British soldier). Yo ho, Hamiltons! …

Next up for Kaua’i on the big screen is The Descendants starring George Clooney, which filmed on Kaua’i from March to May 2010, at the Tahiti Nui, St. Regis Hotel and Kaua’i Ranch in Kealia. The premiere is slated for this fall …

And congratulations to Ian Esaki, Purdue graduate in materials engineering. Father Dennis Esaki of Esaki Surveying and Mapping Inc., and a volunteer Kaua’i governor representative, is very proud …

Regatta season is starting, along with preparations for big long-distance canoe races. And while many sixman paddlers on-island will be looking to Aug. 13 as Kauai’s first water-change race of the season with the Garden Island Canoe Racing Association’s 38-mile Na Pali Challenge from Hanalei to Waimea, it seems a new type of Na Pali Challenge is gaining popularity. Evan Valiere will put together the second annual SUP and Prone Paddle race Aug. 7. Enter online from June 1 through July 31 – all entrants will receive an event race jersey, T-shirt, hat and refreshments at the awards ceremony, immediately following. For more information, email NaPaliRace@gmail.com …

Another proud parent is

Elena Anderton, mother of the 10-year-old who’s been making headlines as the “Kaua’i boy representing Hawaii” at the National Geographic Bee May 24 and 25 in Washington, D.C. Andrew (“Andy“) Anderton of Anahola is one of only 54 students nationally who made it into the competition. To get to the national level, Andy first had to win competitions at Hawaii Technology Academy and then complete a qualifying test. Based on those results, he was invited by the National Geographic Society to participate in the state level championship in April on Oahu. More than 50 schools from across Hawaii participated (including private and public schools (Punahou, Iolani, Kamehemeha, Island School, Hawaii Preparatory Academy, etc.). Andy advanced by winning 12 questions without any mistakes. He won $100 and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., for the national competition. Anderton is smart well beyond his years, and enjoys reading books about Hawaiian history and hiking. What a well-rounded keiki! …

Those with a penchant for art will get a chance to enjoy “Turkish Delight,” which has an opening reception from 6 to 8 p.m. this Friday at the Kaua’i Society of Artists exhibition space at Kukui Grove Shopping Center in Lihu’e. Artist and director Eve Solomon says 12 artists – nine from Kaua’i, one from Oahu and two from California – will show the work they created in Turkey while on a sailing yacht in the Mediterranean. Also, Bruce Orth of Kaua’i Cycle will have a celebration there June 17, 18 and 19 …

For more information, call R. Eve Solomon at 822-1603 or visit www.artksa.com …

Congratulations to all the graduates as summer is upon us, including the roughly 700 who completed this year’s Drug Awareness Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) program. The fifth-grade students from 11 different elementary schools across the island completed a 10-part program over the course of this school year. The program uses well-trained uniformed police officers to teach students in the classroom about the dangers of alcohol and illegal drugs and helps prepare them for peer pressure situations. Among those due recognition are the student resource officers, including Sgt. Ken Carvalho and Officers David Banquel, Barry DeBlake, Luke Hamberg and Mark Ozaki

It was also with keiki in mind that the county hosted its second annual Chad Owens Football Camp at Vidinha Stadium. More than 240 children attended the free event sponsored by The Route Foundation, founded by former UH football star Davone Bess of the Miami Dolphins. The football clinic offered a one-day opportunity for children ages 7 to 17 to be coached by professional athletes. For more, see Duane Shimogawa‘s column on Page 24 …

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