Archive for September, 2014

The arm touch

September 29th, 2014

Every morning, it's my self-appointed role to divide up the news scripts between co-anchor Ron (Mizutani) and me. There are different piles of scripts: for the producer, for the director, for the talent. With a three hour show, that's a lot of paper to keep track of, so we only print one batch for the anchor, and Ron and I divide it up.

Now and then, I will slide over Ron's script's to him while he's reading on air. Sometimes the scripts come in with seconds to spare, so it's something he needs immediately.

If I'm not careful, sometimes the camera will catch a portion of my arm moving the paper over to his side. Apparently, a crew member's mom caught this enough times and deduced something else.

Said Carlson, "Diane, my mom thinks you're sweet to be so concerned with Ron. She says you're always leaning over and patting his arm." It took us a few seconds to realize that she thought I was comforting him during a sad story.

We're good friends and all, but we laughed because comforting him is the last thing I'm doing on air.

Comforting Ron!

Comforting Ron!

Until, of course, this morning I actually did pat his arm in a gesture of comfort because he came in a little sick. So maybe sometimes I actually am being a friend!


Shinto Autumn Festival

September 29th, 2014

Every fall, a small but diligent congregation in Honolulu gathers at Daijingu Temple of Hawaii to celebrate the Autumn Thanksgiving Festival, a time to traditionally give thanks to the gods for a good harvest.

photo 1

While I'm not a member of the temple, I am attached to it via my jujitsu club, which regularly attends the temple's events, including the big one - the New Year's Eve blessing.

The Autumn Thanksgiving Festival, Akimatsuri, takes place during the second Sunday in September at the Daijingu Temple. For many shrines, the Autumn Festival is often a significant festival.

photo 2

I love the ritual of old religions, so I enjoy seeing the ceremonies and rites, and hearing the priest chant in Japanese, before inviting the members to go up and make an offering and receive a blessing. I am Buddhist, so it's not huge leap for me to participate.

photo 3

After the church ceremony, there's picture taking, entertainment, and the raising of the mikoshi, which is a golden, very heavy, portable Shinto shrine. The aunties of the congregation work hard to prepare a huge buffet table for people to chat and connect.

My jujitsu club.

My jujitsu club.

It's open to the public - and it's free - so if you'd like to catch the next festival, go to for a schedule.

5th Annual Mini Con at McCully-Moiliili Public Library

September 26th, 2014

The McCully-Moiliili Public Library will host its Fifth Annual Mini Con on Saturday, September 27 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Auditorium. The public is invited to attend this free event to meet talented local artists and receive some of their cool artwork.

ILLO PupChain

ILLO PupChain

Artists headlining the Fifth Annual Mini Con include:

* Audra Furuichi, creator of nemu*nemu, a webcomic about a pair of stuffed pups that come to life and enjoy everyday adventures, and the comic strip "Blue Hawaii" featured in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser

* Jon J. Murakami, creator of "Gordon Rider," the worst Hawaii superhero ever, and the comic strip "Calabash," which also appears in the Star-Advertiser. Murakami is also known for illustrating several picture books and his local-style greeting cards.

Kevin Sano's Mini Con Ad

Kevin Sano's Mini Con Ad

* Kevin Sano, a graphic designer who specializes in t-shirt motifs using felt tip pens and Japanese character artwork such as Kikaida and Kamen Rider.

* "Hachi Maru Hachi" artists and writers will showcase their anthology featuring illustrated and prose works.

* Brady Evans will conduct an art demonstration at noon, and organize drawing games throughout the event.

* Hawaiian Graphics, a new sponsor this year, will offer valuable coupons and display various sketching pens and pencils for interested participants to try out.

"It's hard to believe it's been five years since the first Mini Con," said Murakami. "We're always happy for this chance to talk with our existing fans and meet new ones, as well."

Furuichi, who - like Murakami- has participated in every Mini Con said, "Despite being a small event tucked away in the McCully-Moiliili Public Library, the crowds of attendees have been super supportive throughout the years. It's always a highlight to work with the Library staff and I look forward to Mini Con year after year!"

This year, new books published by Murakami "Gecko One and Gecko Two" and Furuichi's "Blue Hawaii" comic strips collection will be available for purchase from the Friends of the McCully-Moiliili Public Library.

In addition, the Library will screen a variety of animation films at the event and offer free bookmarks and pencils. Cosplay is encouraged; participants who dress in costume will receive a special prize.

The Friends of the McCully-Moiliili Public Library, Collector Maniacs, Hawaiian Graphics, and Ross Dress for Less-King Street Store are sponsoring the Fifth Annual Mini Con which is suitable for ages nine and older. Young children must be accompanied by a parent or caregiver.

Contact the Library as soon as possible if a sign language interpreter or other special accommodation is needed.

McCully-Moiliili Public Library is located at 2211 South King Street. For more information, please call the Library at 973-1099.

Hawaii Rice Festival Celebrates Five Years

September 24th, 2014

Marking a celebratory fifth year of honoring rice in Hawai‘i, the 5th Annual Hawaii Rice Festival has a full schedule planned for family and friends who attend the free festival on Sunday, September 28, 2014, which will run from 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. at Ward Centers.
Headlining the event is an impressive attempt to establish a Guinness World Record for the Largest Loco Moco, which will weigh more than 1,000 pounds.

Live entertainment is courtesy of Kapena, Jody Kamisato and the Ukulele Super Kids, EMKE, Honoka & Azita, Jason Tom (Hawaii’s Human Beatbox), Heat & Soul, and taiko drumming by Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko Hawaii. The event emcee will be 94.7 KUMU’s Bruddah Bryan.

Chef and celebrity cooking demos will showcase the talents of Colin Hazama of the Sheraton Waikiki paired with 2001 Miss Hawaii & OC16 The Pet Hui host Denby Dung; and Grant Kawasaki of Hawaiian Grown TV and Hawaiian Grown Kitchen on OC16 with KHON2 reporter Manolo Morales.

Family and friends can cheer on a speed eating race between 10 brave competitors at the 5th Annual SPAM Musubi Eating Contest.
A growing list of vendors includes: Lundberg Family Farms, Grill’N Out, Paletas Hawaii, The Alley Restaurant at Aiea Bowl, Hawaiian Twisted Tater, Eat da Bowl, Bubble Puff & Tea, Da Bag Place, Pop Pop Donuts, Hawaii's Fried Musubi, The Sugar Hut, Tea Girls Hawaii, MunchieZ by Sweet Pea Cafe, Beyond Burgers HI, Yum Restaurants, Spin Grill, Yajima-Ya, Hawaiian Fresh Farms, Shiga'licious / Aloha Cones, Milk Tea Hawaii, 'Ono Kettle Korn, Ono Pops, Tin Hut BBQ, Inferno's Pizza, Channel 808, Oceanic Time Warner Cable, VH07V, Susan Page Modeling, and Yelp. Rice Fest will offer delicious and unique rice dishes prepared by these local vendors.

The 5th Annual Rice Festival will graciously accept monetary and brown rice donations for Lanakila Pacific Meals on Wheels, the only island-wide meal service for seniors. Also, Rice Fest is partnering this year with Yum! Brands (KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell) and the World Hunger Relief to spread the #PassTheRedCup Movement that aims to provide food to help aid the global crisis of world hunger.

The Hawaii Rice Festival is a free, annual family-friendly event that celebrates Hawaii’s most beloved grain, bringing together food trucks, entertainment, celebrity chefs, cooking and eating competitions, and fun for the entire family. For general information, visit

Moloka`i trip, part 3: Halawa Valley hike

September 19th, 2014

Molokai’s East End provided the cultural lesson of the day for our Pacific Century Fellows group of friends for nearly a full day. We left the hotel at 8 am for a windy, beautiful one hour drive to the Halawa Valley.

Mooula Falls

Mooula Falls

There are several tour groups, and we were amused to later learn that there is no cell phone connection in the valley, so our guide has to drive six miles out from his house daily to check his messages and confirm his bookings. It should be said we didn't have a problem making the reservation or communicating with him.

Our hike started with a historical debrief, complete with a binder of photos passed around to illustrate his points. Then, we hiked three miles into this gorgeous, ancient valley to get a glimpse of Hawaii back in time. According to our guide, ancient Polynesians settled in this valley as early as 650 AD.

Molokai_Mooula waterfall group

Diane & Ina

Diane & Ina

It's not hard to believe. We passed many hidden heiau on our way to the 250-foot Mo`oula Falls, before finally arriving and taking a dip into the refreshingly cool waters. There were a lot of locals enjoying same, but the area is large enough to accommodate many.

Molokai_Halawa hike group

The hike is relatively flat and easy, though it does cross several streams, so I advise you wear Tevas, or wear sneakers and then switch to slippers for the crossing. I easily did the hike in slippers, but nearly lost a slipper in the stream because it had just rained and the water was a little forceful. The rocks are also slippery.

Molokai_Halawa stream

The mosquitos are relentless. We had repellent, but if I had to do it again, I would have worn pants and a long sleeved shirt. Mosquitos love me.

We stopped a few times along the way for the guide to point out native plants and landmarks. My favorite was about the kukui, which we know is the state tree, and whose nuts are used as candles. What I didn't know was that a lei of kukui nuts symbolically represents a reminder for the wearer to stay in the spiritual light. Beautiful!

If you go, the only way to explore the area is with a guide, since the trail crosses private property. You can check our Hawaii Tourism Authority's website for a list of guides, at

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