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Island Snow Hawaii opens another Kailua store

July 24th, 2015

The shave ice store in Kailua made world-famous by President Barack Obama's annual visits opened a second store in Kailua. Island Snow Hawaii opened a second location this summer in Kailua Shopping Center.

Island Snow Hawaii's new location. Courtesy: Brockton Kodama

Island Snow Hawaii's new location. Courtesy: Brockton Kodama

"The goal of our Kailua Shopping Center location was to bring back the feel of our (now-closed) town locations (Ala Moana & Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center). These locations focused on making the latest fashion trends and brands easily accessible to everyone," says Brockton Kodama, Director of Operations.

He explains that the new location has a much stronger concentration on fashion items- from local and designer dresses, to a large assortment of men’s trending woven shirts. "One area we wanted to emphasize in this new store is the women’s product offerings; we have brought in a lot of new women’s brands like Gypsy05, Wildfox, and Lace & Whiskey," he elaborates.

The new location will also feature new local designers. Currently, Island Snow Hawaii has three local designers featured; Yireh by Kailua native Emily Valdez, Wonderland Honolulu by Oahu Native Jess Shedlock; and Moon Collective by Ben King.

Kodama says the company chose to expand within its beloved Windward community because "Kailua holds a very special place in my family’s heart. Both my mom and dad grew up in Kailua and my brother Adam and I were born and raised here. We have a deep connection with the community in Kailua and have built strong relationships through our family, friends and loyal customers."

The original location at the Kailua Beach Center has been there for over 30 years now and will remain the flagship location. It will also continue to carry items such as board shorts, rash guards, and beach clothing.

I remember going there during my high school days on my way to or from Kailua Beach. How different the town was back then! How uncrowded were both the roads and the beach! I miss that! Yet I still remember enjoying a cool shave ice on a hot sunny day.

The shave ice is still the same tasty treat today. I'm glad some things don't change.

600 Kailua Rd., Suite 111
(808) 261-3300 
Mon-Thurs 10-6 / Fri-Sun 10-7 / Summer & Seasonal Hours 10-7

Show about Elvis opens in Waikiki

July 16th, 2015

Oahu visitors now have a chance to see a show that traces the exciting and historic era of Elvis Presley in Hawaii. Burn’n Love, featuring Elvis performer Leo Days, is designed to showcase the time Elvis spent in Hawaii and our Islands’ influence on his life, movies, and music.

Leo Days as Elvis in Burn'n Love Waikiki. Courtesy: Nancy Bernal

Leo Days as Elvis in Burn'n Love Waikiki. Courtesy: Nancy Bernal

"It was created especially for Hawaii, and not found anywhere else in the world," says publicist Nancy Bernal. "It includes incredible audiovisuals, timeless photos, videos, and recorded interviews of Elvis when he was here." It also includes a 1961 Pearl Harbor segment dedicated to military heroes past and present.

Burn’n Love premiered at the Maui Theatre in 2013 and within days, quickly shot to number one on travel site TripAdvisor. Executive Producer Mike Kattawar says  several companies interested in bringing his show to various cities around the world have approached him; Waikiki was a natural fit.

Leo Days as Elvis in Burn'n Love Waikiki. Courtesy: Nancy Bernal

Leo Days as Elvis in Burn'n Love Waikiki. Courtesy: Nancy Bernal

Backed by a full-scale stage production that includes a band, vocalists, dancers and Burn’n Love also touches on the deep love that The King had for Hawaii and its people. “Two things we know about Elvis: he loved Hawaii and he loved giving,” said Kattawar. “In that same spirit, we are donating a portion of every ticket sold to Aloha United Way to support its efforts to build stronger, healthier communities across Hawaii.”

Burn’n Love offers Hawaii residents 50% off regular-priced tickets for July and August shows only. Seating is limited and valid Hawaii ID is required for each guest at check in to redeem the special offer. Discount cannot be combined with any other offers; some restrictions may apply.

Tickets must be booked directly by calling the Box Office at (808) 971-4321, or online at . Mention or use code “Hawaii50” when making reservations.

Burn’n Love shows Monday through Saturday, with seating starting at 8 p.m.  The Magic of Polynesia Showroom is located at The Holiday Inn Resort Waikiki Beachcomber at 2300 Kalakaua Avenue.  Tickets start at $69 and cocktail and/or exclusive meet & greet packages are available, as well as kamaaina and military pricing.

Valet parking is available for $6 with validation.  Additional parking options are available at nearby Waikiki lots. For reservations or more information, call the Box Office at (808) 971-4321 or visit .

Recovery from Near Death Experience Produces Life-Changing Benefits

June 8th, 2015

Lisa Garr literally fell down a mountain and nearly lost her life. It was one of the best things that ever happened to her.

She was an ambitious, young athletic woman in the most competitive race of her career -- it was the last two miles of the California State Woman’s Mountain Bike championship competition. The three hour race was grueling, mostly uphill. Due to the sweltering 104 degree heat, her body became severely dehydrated.

Lisa Garr. Courtesy: The Aware Show

Lisa Garr. Courtesy: The Aware Show

She had just reached the top of the mountain, was two short miles from the finish, about to take over the lead, when the unthinkable happened. She blacked out at top speed, and careened over the side of the mountain, her body tumbling head over heels, her head hitting the rocks so hard and so often her helmet cracked in 13 places.

She remembers being flat on her back staring up at the crisp blue mountain sky. She’s looking down from a vantage point at her passed out body lying on the ground. She could hear and feel the urgent words of the Emergency Medical Technicians.

But she felt euphoric – totally at peace floating in the most peaceful place she has ever known. Somehow she realizes that if she didn’t get back into her body soon, she’d remain in this all too comfortable place.

She watches as a man runs up and the EMT says, “Are you Jon? She’s been asking for you.” And she sees a silver chord of light attach from his body to hers connecting the two of them. And she realized that she needed to let him know she was okay.

And she opens her eyes…

Courtesy: The Aware Show

Courtesy: The Aware Show


In “Becoming Aware: How to Repattern Your Brain and Revitalize Your Life” Lisa Garr tells the story of how she immersed herself in the ordeal of recovery.

She damaged the part of her brain responsible for language. When panic set in, Jon was her voice. She started to rebuild her brain using a cutting edge type of EEG technology that sends signals to the damaged areas of her brain, trying to get them to respond to positive images. She came to understand deeply that there is a real scientific basis to the fact that our thoughts create our own reality and that it is possible to heal from within.

She also came to recognize that healing is an ongoing process and that it is necessary and beneficial to get a tune-up that freshens and revives one’s awareness and commitment to one’s own healing process.

Drawing upon the wisdom and personal experiences she went through, she skillfully takes the mystery out of the many lessons to be learned from her experience.

She describes how to use your will to create what you want on multiple levels and harness energy and use your own maximum wattage to get where you want to go in life, even when life forces you to go through several U-turns. She explains how to get back on track even when the road beneath you seems to have crumbled.

She offers guidance designed to bring lasting, transformative and soul-searching change, in ways that stir the soul. Here are just some of her  insights:

What is Awareism:
Everything happens for a reason. It is what it is. We are not our bodies. We are pure expanded consciousness.

Where There is a Will There is Definitely a Way
You create what you want in life on multiple levels. Your thoughts and your actions create your reality. It’s actually quite easy, inspiring and results-driven to live in this way instead of feeling like you’re a victim to what’s going on around you. The truth is that we’re powerful beings who were put here to live very fruitful lives. Quite often what stops us…is us.
Remember these words:
You think about what you want.
You create it in your mind
Then you become it with enthusiasm.
Then you are grateful for it.
It’s just that easy.

Awareness plus action are the perfect combination for living the life that you want to live.

Remembering Your Future is the Key to Awareness
You don’t need a near death experience to see what is ahead of you. You can  sit down in any quiet space and create memories in the future. She writes, "Neuroscience studies show that when the brain visualizes the future that you can work towards getting exactly what you want because you are forming new neural pathways and neural bundles of the images you want to achieve as if they are already happening."

Remember that your brain is an intense organ in terms of your emotions and that you have five senses to help you experience life. When it comes to seeing into your future, you must use all five of those senses. Ask yourself:

*What does your future look like?
*What does your future feel like?
*What does your future smell like?
*What does your future taste like?
*What does your future sound like?”

Turn up all five senses and hear the sounds and taste the tastes. Feel the thoughts and turn it up again as you mentally enhance your positive future. In doing so, you are creating neural networks that will make those memories in the future. You are bridging the gap between the mainstream and spirituality while neural chemicals are actually being released including dopamine and serotonin that will also allow you to stay in a happy mood and in a good state. You will break up old neurons and create new ones.

Reframe Yourself Instead Of Thinking That You’re A Fraud
The reason why it’s so important to reframe unfortunate situations, is that you must stop yourself from obsessing. Why? Obsessing over what’s unfair or wrong or bad about your life just takes your time and energy away from making your life better. Your inner criticism lurks because perhaps you don’t reframe situations as they arise in your life. All you’re doing is pouring all that negative energy into your space. In the end, you need to be true to yourself, know your strengths, and reframe situations where you deal with the exact problem at hand and learn from it.

Improve your awareness by doing the following:
Don’t project your life issues onto your life stumbles.

Do not allow other people’s negative energy into your space. If it doesn’t register as authentic then reframe and look for the lesson here where you can celebrate yourself.

Feel proud of yourself when you’ve defeated life’s dragons and taken something or someone’s negative energy on and then triumphed over it. Also celebrate when you’re just smart enough to get out of the way of negativity.

Ask yourself why you have attracted any negativity into your life and work on getting rid of that issue. You might ask why you have attracted someone negative into your life. Remember that the brighter you are then darkness might try to attach to you to squash your brightness. Work on attracting more light and ridding your life of negative people whenever possible.

Know that bad things happen, but your relationships with bad events, shock and criticism is what really matters. Of course, you’re not immune from these things, but what matters is how you deal with them when they happen.

Celebrate when you reframe a bad situation and get rid of bad energy. That’s a victory worth repeating in your mind again and again.

“I came back from my accident realizing how important the brain is in our personal development, especially when you combine cutting-edge brain transforming techniques with spiritual lessons. My purpose is to inspire growth and change," concludes Garr.

What a story of remarkable courage, hope and encouragement!

Race for Charity at Xterra Freedom Fest

June 3rd, 2015

Triathlete Amy Bennett Eck is one of the most energetic and inspiring women I've have the pleasure of knowing. For a while, after I had a baby, I took her boot camp training clinics, which absolutely kicked my booty but also fostered in me an admiration for this fearless, intelligent, beautiful, powerful woman.

Amy Eck

Amy Eck

She, through her company Camp Bennett, started XTERRA Freedom Fest in 2009, to raise money for local charities and encourage families to get out and play. The non-profit believes fitness, nutrition, and community are the foundation for health and happiness.

The XTERRA Freedom Fest is an annual racing event in Ka’aawa Valley. More than 1,000 athletes from around the globe will rally to raise money for charities. "Their efforts will be rewarded with amazing views, a BBQ, free beer (for responsible participants over the age of 21), and live music from local artists!" she promises.

Proceeds will benefit the Wounded Warrior Project and Access Surf. “At Camp Bennett, we are committed to bringing life enriching opportunities to people of all ages and abilities. This event is a fun-filled day for the whole family! It is truly inspiring to see the difference we are able to make together,” Eck encourages. She is the race director.

Athletes can choose from the following race events: 5K XTERRA Adventure Hike/Trail Run, 10K XTERRA Trail Run, XTERRA Triathlon (1K swim, 20K Bike, 10K Run), 1K Ocean Swim, 20K Mountain Bike, 40K Mountain Bike, and the Big Three (10k Run, Triathlon, 40K Mountain Bike).

Unlike most races, age group winners qualify for the XTERRA World Championship Triathlon in Kapalua, Maui. Trail run overall winners receive free entry to the XTERRA Trail Run World Championship in Oahu this December.

Registration for the 2015 XTERRA Freedom Fest is now open online at The XTERRA Freedom Fest, presented by Camp Bennett in partnership with XTERRA and Kualoa Ranch, will take place on Saturday, July 4.

Camp Bennett partners with XTERRA, a Hawaii based company with 100 global events. To learn more and register, visit

Mahina`ai Night: Rally to Save Kaho`olawe

May 30th, 2015

The Kahoʻolawe Island Reserve Commission (KIRC) will be presenting its next Mahina`ai Night on Tuesday, June 2 from 6 - 8 p.m. at its Kihei boat house property, an 8-acre parcel designated to the KIRC in 2002 as the future site of a Kahoʻolawe learning center. Its inaugural event was on May 9.


The theme of the June 2 event will be Kahoʻolawe Culture; upcoming event themes will include Kahoʻolawe Restoration, Kahoʻolawe Ocean Resources and Kahoʻolawe History. Click here for a schedule.

Part of a series of full moon events geared to raise awareness of and access to Kahoʻolawe, the event offers a guided tour of the KIRC's new walking trail, live music by UH Maui College's Institute of Hawaiian Music, food vendors, an opportunity to talk story with experts in Kahoʻolawe history, restoration and culture and the unveiling of a 40-foot mural; a collaboration between Kihei Charter School and Maui artist Valentin Miro-Quesada.

This program is made possible by a grant through the Maui County Product Enrichment Program (CPEP).

Tuesday, June 2, 2015 (6 - 8 p.m.)
The 45-minute tour begins at 6 p.m. sharp. Music from 7 - 8 p.m.

Free & open to the public
Park at the Kihei Boat Ramp and follow signs for the Kah`oolawe Island Reserve Commission (KIRC) - just a short walk to the boat house site (2780 South Kihei Road)

RSVP's are requested at or

NOTE: Flashlights and closed-toe footwear are strongly recommended as you will be walking on a mulch-lined path amongst kiawe. Because there are no ATMs on site, please bring cash or checks if you plan to purchase food, beverages or to make a c

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