Hallowbaloo Music, Arts & Craft Beer Festival 2017


On Saturday, Oct. 28th, Honolulu’s Chinatown Arts District and historic downtown will once again transform into a spooktacular celebration of music, food, art, eclectic performance artists, street food, craft beer, burlesque and unbridled Halloween frivolity.

It will feel like Oktoberfest with the largest open air craft beer event, where VIP ticket buyers will receive a free beer tasting, along with a special collector’s edition Hallowbaloo beer stein and priority access to bars with the stein, including skip the line access to participating clubs.

For over 9 years Hallowbaloo has brought together over 40,000 people to celebrate the arts and celebration of Halloween.


  • Hawaii’s Largest Halloween Outdoor Craft Beer experience (buy a craft beer ticket to get 5 tastings of exclusive Craft Beers in our Craft Beer Street Festival arena, get our special Hallowbaloo collectors stein, includes priority access to bars with Stein and Vip entry to clubs)
  • 3 Stages of Music and entertainment
  • Food Trucks
  • $1000 Costume Contest

and much much more!

**Early bird tickets are sold out but you can still >> get tickets here




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Asia-Pacific Tour: Indonesia (Part Two)


Pulau Ay, Banda Islands, Maluku, Indonesia

Author’s Note: This is a series of selected highlights from two years (1986-88) of budget travel through 18 countries and a half-dozen US States – hosted all along the way by national and local YMCAs – from Samoa, Fiji, New Zealand, Australia, and Papua New Guinea, to Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Burma, The Philippines, Hong Kong, China, Macau,Taiwan, Korea, Japan, and back to the USA.

Fort Tolukko, Ternate Island, Maluku

From Bali, I headed to Maluku, the fabled Spice Islands of Indonesia – and what an adventure it was! Our flight was canceled (not uncommon in Indonesia), but a military transport plane happened to be available, and flew us to the Banda Islands for a reasonable price.

Sailing on a variety of local vessels through deep, indigo-blue waters, schools of dolphin playfully welcomed us to each new group of jungle-clad islands – brilliant green in contrast to the azure sea and sky. These islands are fascinating both in their astonishing natural beauty, and because of the well-preserved 16th century colonial forts and estates. Amid this splendor is a pervasive Pacific Island feeling, but with the distinctive flavor of Asia.

Traveling with Alice, a young backpacker from Scotland, we climbed volcanoes, explored colonial ruins, wandered through steaming jungles dimly lit up with rays of sunlight slanting through the misty silence, dove in some of Jacques Cousteau’s favorite haunts, and beefed up on delicious food liberally spiced with cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon, for which the islands are famous. It was especially enjoyable staying with the local people in their homes. With very little English spoken in these isolated islands, it was necessary and rewarding to do it all in Indonesian.

Family Home Stay, Pulau Ay, Maluku

Continuing to the island of Java I visited YMCA youth development, education and leadership programs in the city of Yogyakarta, renowned as a center of education, classical Javanese fine art and culture such as batik, ballet, drama, music, poetry and puppet shows. We toured ancient temples and night markets rocking with loud music, mania and crowds – and with oddities like fried cow skin and steamed chicken brains (I didn’t know chickens had enough brain matter to eat!) and weird freak shows featuring dancing giants and dwarfs.

In Jakarta, a YMCA staff member took me for a hair-raising motorbike ride through the city – past the open sewers that line the sidewalks and streets, challenging the traffic and going up onto the sidewalks to get past particularly bad traffic snarls – leaving me frazzled and well doused from head to toe in a layer of sticky black soot from all the automobile and motorbike exhaust. The distinctive divide between rich and poor was stark as we sped through poor urban neighborhoods – past people squatting, washing clothes and eating utensils, brushing their teeth, and shitting all in the same squalid river – and then past modern hotels and shining high rise office buildings.

Mount Merapi Yogyakarta
Mount Merapi, Yogyakarta, Java Island By Crisco 1492/ Wikimedia Commons (CC-BY-SA)

By train and then by boat, I sailed along the beautifully rugged Sumatra coastline to Padang for the bull fights, and on to the pleasant coastal village of Air Manus (‘Sweet Water’) and to a guest house run by the friendly old caretaker ‘Papa Chili Chili.’ A spectacularly scenic bus ride north of Padang brought me to the cool, easy-going mountain town of Bukittinggi where I climbed another 10,000 foot volcano – the most active one on Sumatra.

Unlike Yogyakarta’s dangerously active Mount Merapi – spewing fire, smoke and ash – this Sumatran ‘Merapi’ (‘Fire Mountain’) was dormant — for the time being anyway, and one of three volcanoes surrounding the scenic town.

A thick cloud bank moved in just as my companions and I summited the cone, causing us to nearly lose our way on the poorly marked trail along a perilously steep drop off. When we finally made it down, the park ranger (belatedly) warned us of the potential danger on top – and led us to a gruesome color photo tacked to his bulletin board of a foreign climber they found three weeks after he went missing. He had probably become lost in a sudden white out, just as we were, but tragically had fallen to his death. Lying in a jungle puddle his face was gone, totally rotted away.

Indonesian Sunset

I toughed out eighteen brutal hours by bus to beautiful Lake Toba, a large  natural lake occupying the caldera of a supervolcano in the middle of the northern part of Sumatra, but was content to skip the overly commercialized Samosir Island in the center of the lake.

My visa had run out, so my final days in Indonesia were spent basking in the quiet, local flavor of an obscure town far from all the tourists, where I enjoyed a fitting and wonderfully refreshing final evening – the sensual massage was like food to a starving man. She spoke not a word of English, but by then, I could ramble easily in the language. And like a bad habit, I was leaving again. But my last night in Indonesia simply added to the long list of outrageous experiences and fond memories, and a keen desire to return for more!

Stay tuned for Asia-Pacific Tour: Malaysia and Singapore – coming soon!

You can read more about Jim’s backstory,  here and here.



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Take a culinary tour of Malaysia with Christina Arokiasamy


Hawaii Reporter had the opportunity to interview chef Christina Arokiasamy, author of The Malaysian Kitchen: 150 Recipes for Simple Home Cooking , a new cookbook published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt New York.

Arokiasamy provides a tempting selection of Malaysian delights in this collection of recipes  which are influenced by the country’s main ethnic groups—Malay, Indian, Chinese, Nyonya, and Portuguese.

The book also includes a primer on Malaysian history and, a detailed chart that describes taste, aroma and health benefits of the spices and herbs you’ll need for your kitchen. I found this particularly valuable. (Hawaii residents have a leg up on mainlanders because it’s possible to grow many of the ingredients Arokiasamy lists, in our backyards. For example I grow ginger, curry leaves, limes and a few other items).

A former resident of Oahu, the author was raised in Kuala Lumpur. Among the high points in her CV was a stint as Malaysia’s first official Food Ambassador to the U.S. Formerly a chef at various Four Seasons resorts, she now teaches cooking classes in the Pacific Northwest, where she lives with her family.

Reading the book brought back great memories of Malaysia which has amazing hospitality. I can’t wait to get back to see old friends, make new ones and dig into the food.


Q: Kudos on a great book. You mention in your introduction that you spent some time in Hawaii. Can you talk about that? 

In 1994, when I migrated to the United States, I settled for the stunning ocean views and plumeria trees in Makakilo then moved to Kailua on the beautiful windward side of Oahu, Hawaii. I was pleasantly surprised to see the ingredient in Malaysian cuisine growing on trees in people’s yard in Hawaii. Rambutan, coconut and makrut lime trees looked exactly like the ones I had in my own back yard in Malaysia. My favorite was the well acquainted Moringa Tree, with its bright green leaves growing so naturally in people’s yards. Moringa or drumsticks in Malaysia, are integral part of my family’s diet for years. We would pluck and cook these delicious foot long bean pods with lentil in a dish called sambar.

I will never forget when I first made rendang; braised beef with lemongrass coconut sauce and my Hawaiian neighbors remarked “is there a restaurant nearby” because of the fragrant aromas of galangal and coconut from my kitchen drifted into the air.

Over the years, I feel blessed to have great friends, my ohana in Hawaii. I remember spicing up Huli Huli chicken marinade with a touch of chili sambal as the chicken cooked away on the hibachi. Dessert was often Malaysian coconut binka or Haupia as they call it in Hawaii. The flavors were incredible. Everyone had seconds… of everything.

Rojak, my all time favorite Malaysian dish. There’s a recipe for this in the book. (photo by Rob Kay)

Q: How does Malaysian cuisine differ from other SE Asian styles of cooking?

While many of the foods found throughout Southeast Asia use spices such as turmeric, chilies, cumin, coriander and cardamom, Malaysian cuisine combines these spices with aromatics such as galangal, lemongrass, ginger, tamarind and curry leaves to create a deeply-layered, complex flavor without the spicy heat of other Southeast Asian cuisines. As the center of the world’s spice trade in the 15th century, Malaysia became a unique melting pot of Malay, Chinese, Indian and Nonya cooking styles. Malaysian food combines the best of these flavors into a single cuisine.

Q: What would you say are the signature dishes of the Malaysian Kitchen?  Do you have any favorite recipes in the book?

I have incorporated wonderful tropical ingredients and aromatics in stir-fries and fried-rice, noodles dishes, satay to seafood in my cookbook. There are so many Malaysian favorite signature dishes to choose: Penang Wok- Fried Char Kway Toew noodles, Nasi Lemak Coconut Rice with Sambal and Turmeric Fried Chicken, Hainanese Chicken Rice infused with ginger sesame sauce, Curry Laksa in Galangal Coconut Broth, Malaysian Chili Prawns, Satay-Style Marinated Lamb in sweet shoyu sauce, Mee Goreng, a Malay Indian stir-fried noodles in spicy peanut sauce to Five-Spiced Barbeque Pork. These are just a few to mention in this 150-recipe volume cookbook. At home, you will find yourself loving these cooking styles as they are easy to follow and the flavors are irresistible.

Rice Noodle and shrimp–seafood in Malaysia is fantastic.

Q: You mention that the most “beloved salad” in Malaysia is rojak. I really enjoyed it too while in Ipoh. Can you recommend other street foods that a visitor might want to try?

I like for everyone to try the Malaysian-style hamburger called Roti John (page 220). This roti first appeared in the ‘60s when an Englishman asked a Malaysian hawker for a hamburger. Having no hamburger to offer, the hawker had the ingenious idea to fry minced lamb and onions with eggs into a loaf. Thus, Roti John was born but the dish did not have an official name. The street vendor gave the scrumptious sandwich to the Englishman and said, “Silakan makan roti, John.” This translates to “Please eat this bread, John”.

Portuguese Debal Prawn has its origins in Goa but has found a home in Malacca, Malaysia’s former Portuguese settlement.

John is the name given to Westerners in the region. Our legendary “John” loved the panini-like sandwich, filled with meat, egg and onion mixture and thus it became part of the Malaysian street food scene.

Also, there is a 5th generation Rojak vendor in gurney drive Penang, who cuts the fruits and vegetables into small, uneven chunks and serves his specialty in disposable plates to hungry patrons everyday. Hawaiian favorite sweet tropical pineapples, tart green mangos, papayas and cucumbers which are tossed in a tangy sauce made of palm sugar, tamarind, glistening black molasses paste and coarsely ground peanuts. Another favorite is Miniature Fried Rolls (page 244) like Lumpia a popular snack often eaten on a journey home after work. Chicken and Sweet Potato Curry Puffs (page 242) a savory snack during afternoon tea. All these delicious recipes are found in the Malaysian Kitchen Cookbook so home cooks can cook and enjoy with more authentic taste than eating it in a restaurant.

Shoppers at Pulau Tikus market, Penang

Q: You mentioned the influence of Portuguese in Malaysian cuisine. As you know there are many descendants of Portuguese in Hawaii. Can you recommend a destination for a Hawaii visitor to sample Portuguese-influenced dishes?

Malacca would be an interesting place to visit despite the scorching heat of the afternoon sun. This is where it all started when Malacca fell into Portuguese rule in 1511. The Portuguese came to the East to capture the spice trade led by Alfonso de Albuquerque. They built a fort called Formosa to protect their fleet and to expand their domination over the spice trade. Not too far from the historical Formosa is the “Portuguese community settlement, where the descendants still speak creole and name their quaint restaurants after their last name such as “Sequiera, Aranjo, Pinto, San Pedro and Da Silva”. In these restaurants, the Portuguese-influenced dishes are flavored with common ingredients such as chilies, soy sauce and vinegar. Some of my favorite classic recipes are vindahlo. The name vindalho is derived from the Portuguese dish named Carne de vinha d’alhos, which is meat that has been marinated for hours in garlic and wine and cooked to a stew. It’s quite tasty.

Kopitiam or coffee shop in George Town, Penang, where you’ll find an array of restaurants offering every one of Malaysia’s ethnic specialties. 

Q: You said in your book that Malacca was your favorite place for seafood. Can you elaborate on that? Got any other suggestions for seafood lovers?

A boulevard of Portuguese seafood stalls can be found on Danjaro Street, a place you won’t find in tourist guide books. This place goes back in history as early as 1930s, when a British Resident, at the request of a French missionary, allowed the establishment of a fishing village of wooden huts in an area of swampy land next to the sea. It was originally called St. John’s Village and became a bastion for those with Portuguese ancestry to preserve their religion, language, culture and traditions. Fiesta San Pedro “feast of Saint Peter” is celebrated each year here to showcase the bounty of the sea. They make tasty Debal Prawns, buttery tasting prawns infused with the tangy chili sauce which is simply addictive. Then there’s Malaccan Portuguese Spicy Halibut Soup with Great Northern Beans. These are my favorite recipes are found in the seafood chapter and will provide the home cook a gastronomic experience that traces the journey of the Portuguese in the 1500s from Portugal to Goa to Malacca.

Q: Can you recommend any destinations for Indian cuisine? What about local Indian dishes that we should sample while visiting?

There is a suburb called Brickfields or little India in Kuala Lumpur, again another destination never mentioned in tourist guidebooks. As a child, my father used to take our family to Brickfields every Sunday to enjoy simple staple dishes like dosa or griddle rice pancakes with lentils and fish curry. In Brickfields, the curries are cooked with masalas and fragrant curry leaves in clay pots the old fashion way insisted by the Malaysian Indian community. Dishes such as Lamb Korma, Butter Chicken Masala, Tamarind Fish Curry, Cabbage with Curry leaves are served smorgasbord style at the famous “Banana Leaf Restaurants” throughout the country.

Making char koay teow, Pulau Tikus, Penang

Q: Our publication published a piece on the cuisine of Ipoh (Eating Your Way Through Ipoh) which had a wonderful array of Malay, Indian and Chinese dining. Can you recommend a destination where a visitor could sample any number of local dishes?  

I think this would-be Penang, a little island situated off the northwestern coast of Peninsula Malaysia fronting the Indian Ocean. Penang is Malaysia’s culinary capital, and I share stories about Culinary and the splendor of Penang in my cookbook. The street food, or hawker food, as it’s locally known, is part of the fabric of the city. Here you can sample a variety creation that attract food hunters and tourists alike. Each dish is created with influence of Indian, Chinese, Nyonya and Malay cultures ingredients.

The author, Christina Arokiasamy, teaching one of her cooking classes.

Q: Let’s say a visitor would like to combine taking cooking classes on a visit to Malaysia. Can you recommend some cooking schools in KL or perhaps other destinations?

Hawaiian foodies might like to join me sometime in my personalized culinary tours I lead to Southeast Asian Destinations. Many of the people that teach do not necessarily have a cooking school but do this out of passion for the cuisine in the homes. I always say the best foods comes from multi-generational cooks who have handed down their time-honored recipes and cooking style from one generation to another.

Q: Any other comments or suggestions for visitors who would like to get most out of their culinary experience in Malaysia?

I have woven captivating stories about food vendors and created these authentic recipes in the street food chapter and Malaysian cuisine for the American cook in The Malaysian Kitchen cookbook. For those food lovers who don’t mind travelling a shorter distance can learn to cook these handed down dishes along with me in The Spice Merchant’s Daughter Cooking School in Kent, Washington State.

Air Asia now serves Honolulu (via Osaka). It’s about 16 hours to get there but well worth the effort.

Getting to Malaysia

Conclusion: It’s hard to find destinations that haven’t been tromped and stomped over by tourists. If authenticity is important in your culinary explorations, a visit to Malaysia will not disappoint.

Getting there:  The least expensive way to get to Malaysia from Honolulu is via Air Asia, which just began service to Hawaii this year. It’s a no frills carrier that operates scheduled domestic and international flights to 100 destinations in 22 countries.

I flew this carrier two years ago, before its Hawaii service began and was very pleased. Service was great, flight attendants were efficient and friendly. Food was tasty and a vegetarian Indian curry cost an extra $8.

A round trip flight between Honolulu and Kuala Lumpur is currently around $800. Once there you can easily grab a flight to Penang, Ipoh or one of the other culinary destinations. Malacca is a short bus ride from Kuala Lumpur.

They offer several types of Y class fares and we opted for a slightly higher “premium” class that allows one to change dates without paying a penalty. It came in handy because we need to extend the trip.

Travel photos of Penang courtesy of David Hagerman. Food shot (except for rojak photo) goes to Penny De Los Santos.



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Flood Advisory issued for Kauai


Image: Hawaii News NowImage: Hawaii News Now

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

A Flood Advisory is in effect until 11:30 p.m. for most of the island of Kauai.

The National Weather Service in Honolulu said at 8:25 p.m., radar indicated heavy showers and thunderstorms moving over Kauai from the east. Although the heavy rain is moving toward the west at 10 to 15 miles per hour, additional showers were offshore, with rainfall rates near two inches per hour.

The heaviest showers were expected to affect the area from Wailua to Poipu to Pakala.

Locations in the advisory include but are not limited to Lihue, Omao, Hanapepe, Koloa, Poipu, Kalaheo, Puhi and Wailua.

Persons in the advisory should avoid streams, drainage ditches and other low-lying areas that are prone to flooding. The heavy rain may also make driving hazardous due to reduced visibility, roadway ponding and poor braking.

Copyright 2017 HawaiiNewsNow. All rights reserved.

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Fritz v. Department of Taxation, and Why You Should Care


Over the past several months, there has been a court fight brewing that could have changed how the Department of Taxation lobbies for legislation.

That’s right. Not only special interest groups and activists lobby for legislation. The Department does too.  Every year, it introduces and strongly supports “Administration Bills.”  Many of these propose to make the Department’s job easier, but at the expense of taxpayer rights.  So it’s important for taxpayers to keep tabs on how the Department is pushing these bills.

One example of the above kind of bill was HB 2396 / SB 2925 in last year’s legislative session.  If a taxpayer files an amended federal income tax return or is adjusted by the IRS, current law allows an extra year for the Department to assess additional tax or for the taxpayer to claim a refund.  The bill provided that only the Department, and not the taxpayer, could take advantage of this “bonus time,” which is usually needed because tax audits take a while to conclude.  The Foundation was concerned that this legislation created a “one-way street,” or procedural trap, that could allow the State to retain money to which it was not entitled under law.

Peter Fritz, an attorney who used to work for the Department, tried to get the Department to disclose the letters, texts, and emails sent to legislators in 2009.  “Can’t do,” the Department said.  “Work product paid for by taxpayers normally needs to be made public, but policy deliberations can be withheld, and these communications are in that category.”  Fritz didn’t agree, and asked the State Office of Information Practices (OIP) to rule on the matter.  OIP ruled in Fritz’s favor in 2011, ordering the Department to cough up the documents.  The Department complied.  But by the time it did so, it was years after the legislative session ended.

In the 2016 legislative session, Fritz tried again.  The Department refused to provide documents relating to Administration Bills that it was then sponsoring, again relying upon the “deliberative process privilege” that the OIP had ruled in 2011 to be inapplicable.  “Gotta do a case by case determination,” the Department said.  Fritz filed suit.  In January 2017, well after the ending of the 2016 session, the Department “voluntarily disclosed” the documents, although explicitly saying that it “reserved any and all rights to withhold any other documents from disclosure on any and all grounds.”

Those documents could have made a difference during session.  When SB 2925, described above, was heard by the Senate Ways and Means Committee, then-Chair Jill Tokuda and Majority Leader J. Kalani English were particularly interested in whether the bill was a solution in search of a problem.  When they pointedly asked the Department about it at the hearing, the Department representatives professed ignorance.  The records later turned over, however, clearly showed that the Department was reacting to a case involving only one taxpayer.  The legislation, by the way, ultimately died.

In the lawsuit, Fritz asked the court to take positive steps so that the Department can’t again play cat-and-mouse.  The State, of course, maintained that once they turned over the documents, the suit can no longer exist because courts are there to decide actual controversies, not purely academic issues.  The circuit court judge agreed with the State, and the lawsuit will soon be dismissed.

When the Department of Taxation states a position in a communication to the Legislature, the public is entitled to know what that position is.  This is especially important with a complicated subject like taxation, where the public relies heavily on guidance and interpretations put out by the Department.  (Other legislators do too.)  And it is critical to have a fully informed debate when the Department tries to coax legislators to change the law in a way that would make its job easier at the expense of taxpayer rights and protections.



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High Surf Advisory issued for east shores for rough trade wind swell


(Image: Hawaii News Now/File)(Image: Hawaii News Now/File)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

A High Surf Advisory is now in effect until 2 p.m. Tuesday for the east-facing shores of most islands as strong trade winds will produce rough and choppy surf.

The National Weather Service in Honolulu said surf will rise to 6 to 10 feet by Saturday, and increase to 8 to 12 feet Sunday through Tuesday.

Surf is expected to remain high until the latter part of next week, when the trade winds are forecast to weaken. 

Beachgoers can expect strong breaking waves and shorebreaks, along with strong longshore and rip currents that will make swimming difficult and dangerous. Swimmers and surfers should heed all advice from ocean safety officials and exercise caution.

Copyright 2017 HawaiiNewsNow. All rights reserved.

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Asia-Pacific Tour: Indonesia (Part One)


Balinese Dance Performance

Author’s Note: As a volunteer representing the International Division of the YMCA of the USA, I met with YMCA leaders throughout the Asia-Pacific region and the USA to help strengthen cooperation among YMCAs for technical, financial and human resource development. This is a series of highlights from two years (1986-88) of budget travel through 18 countries, including a half-dozen US States – hosted all along the way by national and local YMCAs – from Samoa, Fiji, New Zealand, Australia, and Papua New Guinea, and continuing through Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Burma, The Philippines, Hong Kong, China, Macau, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, and then back to the USA.

Source: Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

Canoeists silhouetted against the morning glow moved out into the river. Standing balanced, paddling their long wooden dugouts – the original paddle boarders!  A beautiful flight from the chilly highlands brought us to the border town of Wewak, on the northwest coast of Papua New Guinea (PNG) where we soaked up the welcome warmth of the sea.

Tana Toraja, Sulawesi

Traveling with my brother Dave, the boatman steered us up the Sepik River to the village of Kambot — famous for its carved Story Boards. Wild, flat country, dusty and dry, and fortunately not too many mosquitoes. Staying in the village was very peaceful — bathing in the river, and the villagers were warm and gentle.  But the food staple ‘sago’ — made from the pith inside the trunk of palm trees was a bit lacking in substance and flavor, to say the least!

From Wewak, our plane arrived in Jayapura, the capital of the Indonesian province of Irian Jaya, where everyone on board promptly had their Indonesian visas canceled. Border disputes between Indonesia and PNG were common at the time, so my two-month Indonesian visa, obtained with considerable effort in the capital city of Port Moresby, was instantly reduced to three weeks – just to spite the PNG authorities. I was politely informed, however, that I could simply ‘buy lunch’ for an Indonesian immigration official anywhere along the way to have my two-month visa re-issued. Right…

A Balinese Funeral Pyre

But just one night in Indonesia, and the distinctive music, sweet-smelling clove cigarettes, pretty girls, good food, and cheap prices had us fired up for Asia! The Pacific is truly peaceful and beautifully simple, but the promise and excitement of Indonesia’s exotic cultural mix beckoned. My meeting with the Yogyakarta YMCA was not until the following week, so we set off to begin exploring some of Indonesia’s vast archipelago of roughly 18,000 islands.

Flying from Jayapura to the bustling city of Ujung Pandang on the southern coast of Sulawesi, we headed north by bus to Tana Toraja — a scenic mountainous area known for its boat-shaped houses flanked by rice paddies, and elaborate funeral ceremonies. But the roads further north were really bad – entire buses seemed to disappear into the cavernous ruts. So we retreated to Bali for some beach time, swimming, good food, and a massage before Dave returned to the USA.

Bali was much more touristic, but offered unique and fascinating expressions of culture at every turn including cremation ceremonies featuring enormous, elaborately carved pyres paraded through town and then burned. Food offerings are piled high and carried on women’s heads. Families often need time to raise the money for such elaborate rituals, so the deceased would be buried and then dug up later when sufficient funds were available.

Climbing Mount Batur, Bali

The countryside was spectacular and great for hiking, with rushing cascades and sweeping arcs of rice terraces carved into the greenest hillsides. I often came across women bathing openly – as is the custom, and this simply added to the naturally beautiful scenes. I climbed smoky Mount Batur, an active volcano that rises dramatically from within two concentric calderas and a large caldera lake, and then skied back down on one foot through the hot, fine ash using just one rubber thong (the other one had broken on the way up!)

Reaching the base of the volcano, I entered one of the many naturally heated pools hidden in shallow caves at the edge of the lake – and came face to face with a young maiden who promptly invited me in to share her bath and a shampoo – and then led me back to her village for supper and a bed for the night in her family’s home-stay. No one in the family spoke English, but as I became more proficient in the Indonesian language, it was all becoming like something out of dream land.

Bunaken Island, Sulawesi

After two fruitless visits to a local Immigration Office – well dressed, practicing my language skills, and professing a keen appreciation of Indonesia and its people – I was told that if I returned the next day wearing closed-toe shoes, I would have my visa. Apparently, my Birkenstock sandals didn’t cut it, and the shoes in local shops were all too small for my big foreign feet. Fortunately, another traveler loaned me his shoes – and I had my two-month visa!

Stay tuned for Asia-Pacific Tour: Indonesia (Part Two), coming soon!

You can read more about Jim’s backstory,  here and here.



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Police want to speak to teenager in relation to Waikiki sex assault


Police are looking for a teenage boy they want to speak to in relation to a sex assault on an elderly woman in Perth’s south.

The woman aged in her 80s was sexually assaulted, bashed and robbed during a burglary at her home in Waikiki early on Friday morning.

Police want to speak to a 15-year-old boy described as being approximately 150cm tall, with an olive complexion, a slim build, brown hair and brown eyes.

Police said he is known to frequent the Port Kennedy, Waikiki and Warnbro areas.

Anyone with information regarding his whereabouts is asked to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or report the information online at

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HFD fined for asbestos-related violations during Marco Polo fire response


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    Windward Ho’olaule’a 2017


    Polynesian entertainer and artisan Pikake, along with some of her beautiful shell leis and necklaces.

    KANEOHE— The 17th Annual Windward Ho‘olaule‘a, called “A Homegrown Celebration,” is set for Saturday, October 7, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on the Great Lawn of the Windward Community College campus.

    But make no mistake—this is no backyard jam!

    Headliners this year include Merrie Monarch Award-winning hula from Chinky Mahoe and Na Hoku Hanohano winners Ho‘okena, Kawika Kahiapo, Kapena, and Jerry Santos and Kamuela Kimokeo. Also in the entertainment line-up are rising teen rock band EMKE, and a tribute to the legacy of Eldean Kukahiko’s Kahalu‘u Elementary School ‘Ukulele Band and much more!

    The free, family-friendly festival, co-sponsored by the Windward Community College and the Kaneohe Business Group, is expected to draw over 10,000 people islandwide. It will feature top island entertainment, award-winning hula, unique arts and crafts, ‘ono ethnic food, a classic car show by Clyde’s Auto Showcase, keiki rides and activities, gallery exhibit, Imaginarium show, a college-sponsored Silent Auction, college mini-workshops, and educational, cultural demonstrations and community displays.


    “Windward Ho‘olaule‘a is THE homegrown celebration that brings people together on our beautiful campus…with a full day of amazing island entertainment,” said event chair Bonnie Beatson. “We’re very grateful for the tremendous community support of this event highlighting the talent and businesses of the Windward side as well as the educational opportunities at Windward CC.”


    10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
10 a.m. start Opening by WCC Hawaiian Studies students
    10:15 a.m.  Kahalu‘u ‘Ukulele Band (up&coming ‘uke youngsters)
    11:15 p.m.     Air Force Pacific “Small Kine” Band
    12:15 p.m.    Pila Nahenahe / Hawaii Loa
    1:15 p.m.      Jerry Santos and Kamuela Kimokeo
    2:15 p.m.    Ka‘ala Carmack and Friends
    3:15 p.m.     Kawika Kahiapo
    4:15p.m.     EMKE (rising teen rock sensation)
    5:15 p.m.     Chinky Mahoe’s Hālau Hula o Kawaili‘ulā (Merrie Monarch award-winners!)
    6:15 p.m.     Ho‘okena
7:15 p.m.   Kapena


    In addition to live entertainment, there will be a special family-friendly fulldome show at the Imaginarium:

    11 a.m.  STARS (one show only!) Cost: $5 for all; Walk-in only; first-come, first-seated.

    GALLERY ‘IOLANI will be open from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. with Raku Ho‘olaule‘a, a juried exhibition of 37 potters and ceramic masters who participated in the Hawai‘i Craftsmen’s 41st annual Raku Ho‘oleule‘a at Camp Mokulē‘ia in May 2017.


    Among the WCC attractions celebrating higher education on the Windward side will be: Marine Option Program & PaCES gyotaku fish printing, facepainting by Phi Theta Kappa, math and engineering activities, a medicinal/nutritional plant sale by Botany Club members and tours to medicinal garden by Agripharmatech students, Veterinary Technology student activities for pet owners, rocketry activities for keiki, activities from Career & Community Education, Service-Learning, Lanuage Arts, and Theatre, and information about college and career planning.


    An ocean view hotel stay at the Double Tree by Hilton Alana Waikiki, deluxe Magic of Polynesia dinner show, mini-golf, performing arts theatre tickets, Hawaiian art, handmade quilts, fine jewelry, restaurant gift certificates at Buzz’s Steak House, Zia’s and more, golfing for four at the Mid Pacific Country Club, full body massages, permanent eyeliner tattoo and many great items donated by vendors at the Ho‘olaule‘a will be auctioned with proceeds going to Windward Community College’s Scholarship Endowment fund and for Student Affairs programs. Auction bid closing time is 5 p.m. at Hale ‘Ākoakoa. Check website for more info.

    ‘Ono food to taste include Uala Leaf Cafe, Uncle Lani’s Poi Mochi, Erin’s Shave Ice, Hawaiian plates, Olay’s Thai food, and Hawaiian Honey Cones, Papa‘Oles, Honolulu Burger Company, and Delice Crepes!


    The Kaneohe Neighborhood Board will provide information on disaster preparedness, especially for the hurricane season, and Walgreens will offer flu shots at the event once again this year (Walgreens asks that you bring insurance card). Windward Ho‘olaule‘a also partners with the Five Rs 96744 project, which promotes positive character building among K-12 students in the area. Key Project, Waimānalo Health Center, Ko‘olaupoko Hawaiian Civic Club, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Hawaii Job Corps, Hina Mauka, Hawaii Island Land Trust, Papahana Kua‘ola, Oahu Invasive Species, Hawaiian Women in Filmmaking,
    and many more community groups will be ready to share information.

    COMMUNITY SPONSORS (We couldn’t do it without them!)
    Sponsors of the event are the Hawaii Tourism Authority, along with flagship sponsors Hawaiian Electric Co., HD&C (formerly Ameron Hawaii), Kamehameha Schools and the Minami Foundation/Key Project. More sponsors include Hawaiian Memorial Park, Walgreens, First Hawaiian Bank, Enterprise Rent-a-Car Hawaii, Bank of Hawaii, Castle Medical Center, and Territorial Savings Bank.

    For more information, to donate to the Silent Auction or to get involved, go online to or contact Windward Ho‘olaule‘a chair Bonnie Beatson at 235-7374.



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