Sept. 23, 2020

Glamping plan has Princeville residents up in arms

A proposal by the Miami investment firm redeveloping the former Princeville resort and adjoining Makai Golf Club has stirred new controversy by proposing a 50-unit luxury camping resort that would be built, to open in 2022, on three holes of one of the property’s two golf courses. The proposal, which has still not been announced publicly, was disclosed by media coverage in late August. It has drawn vicious attacks from Princeville residents who, among other things, accuse Starwood Capital Group, the investment firm, with threatening local homeowners. The new resort would offer glamping — short for “glamorous camping” — in luxury tents in a complex that would also have a restaurant, spa and commercial building. Nightly rates would be in the $500-and-up range. The resort would be built on just over 50 acres currently included in three of the nine holes of the Woods Course, a layout mostly used by budget-conscious local golfers. The course and a more upscale 18-hole layout make up the Makai Golf Club. The golf properties together occupy about 290 acres that has remained open space under terms of a three-paragraph document signed in 1972. The document — technically called a dedication letter — guarantees that the golf course land is to remain open space until February 2026. At that point, however, the dedication expires, theoretically opening up a vast swath of Princeville to new development.
“The idea is to create a very-attractive-looking tent structure that will be well immersed into the landscape and really fit into the North Shore of Kaua‘i,” said Hall. The glamping units would have an average of 460 square feet. While most of the units would have a single king-sized bed, others might be large enough for families to be guests. The plan also includes a new, 80-to-100-seat restaurant, a very large “event tent,” as well as massage facilities and a “commercial building” whose exact purposes were not described. East West said they plan to open the glamping resort in the first or second quarter of 2022. The “commercial space” is likely to take 12 months to build, and the glamping units six months. Residents objected that the schedule means that construction noise and other problems could begin sometime in 2021.
It remains unclear, however, how long it would take East West and Starwood to negotiate the county planning process. Aggressive resistance is expected. Al Albergate, president of the Princeville Community Association, said it has retained counsel, and will disclose the association’s position on the legality of the glamping project at another community meeting tentatively set for Saturday, Sept. 26. Several residents, including attorneys and non-attorneys, said protracted litigation is almost certain.
The 1972 document has remained little known until the last few weeks. Princeville residents have said they were never made aware of the expiration of the open-space guarantee when they purchased their homes. For a variety of technical legal reasons, the document does not appear to have been discovered in hundreds of title searches for Princeville homes over the last four decades. Starwood Capital has said it can move forward immediately with construction of the glamping resort under terms of the 1972 letter, which permits the acreage to be used for golf or “ancillary recreational uses.” The document in question is a mere three paragraphs. It was originally executed by the Eagle County Development Corp., based in Colorado, the original developer of Princeville. In 1980, a one-paragraph amendment conveyed the development rights to the Princeville Corp. As it stands, the 1972 letter applies to all land that makes up the total of 27 holes on two golf courses. On Thursday, Starwood’s representatives said the company is willing to execute a new determination letter permanently placing the 18-hole course that is the principal component of the Makai Golf Club into open-space status. However, the company has apparently not taken action to execute that new determination.
The Thursday meeting’s participants included several residents who are either practicing or retired attorneys. They attacked Starwood’s interpretation of the language and inaccurate use of the word “ancillary.” The arrangement is unusual among planned golf-course communities, land-use experts said, because the Princeville at Hanalei Community Association is powerless to prevent development on the golf course acreage after Feb. 28, 2026, even though dozens — if not hundreds — of nearby homes have been thought for decades to be golf-course properties permanently immune to development intrusion. Article written by Allan Parachini Special to The Garden Island.


Posted in Lifestyle
Sept. 18, 2020

Hawaii Pre-travel testing program to start Oct. 15, key step in rebooting Hawaii’s tourism

After being delayed for months, a much-touted pre-travel testing program that authorities say is a key step in rebooting the tourism industry will be launched Oct. 15, allowing trans-Pacific visitors to forgo a 14-day quarantine if they test negative for COVID-19. Gov. David Ige made the announcement Wednesday, saying reopening the doors to trans-Pacific travelers is critical to getting tourism-dependent businesses reopened and people back to work. Under the program, travelers will have to test negative for COVID-19 no more than 72 hours before arrival to qualify for the quarantine exemption. Trans-Pacific travelers of all ages will be subject to the rule. And at least for now, there will be no tests available at airports.But key details must still be worked out, including the specifics on how the state would confirm that a negative test is valid and taken within the required window. The state did say it is contracting with CVS and Kaiser Permanente to offer the tests at the traveler’s expense. “The pre-travel testing program does provide an added layer of security,” Ige said. Lt. Gov. Josh Green, who will be overseeing the rollout of the testing program, added that the tests will cost about $140. He said the program “definitely provides economic opportunity to our state." Article writing by HNN Staff


Posted in Lifestyle
Sept. 15, 2020

State to approve Kaua‘i resort bubble

Gov. David Ige is set to approve a voluntary “Resort Bubble” program on Kaua‘i in the hopes to bring tourism revenue back to the county this week. The “Enhanced Movement Quarantine Program,” more commonly known as the “Resort Bubble,” will have safety policies to protect employees and guests all while allowing quarantined travelers to take advantage of the resort property, including pools and on-site restaurants. This is Mayor’s Emergency Rule No. 16. “Because the virus continues to threaten our communities, we don’t know when the mandatory quarantine can be lifted,” Mayor Derek Kawakami said Monday. “As we’ve learned, this virus does not follow specific dates in the calendar, so we have to be ready to adapt and adjust.” Guests will be outfitted with an electronic bracelet called AQUA (Active Quarantine User Ally) by the company Hub Culture. Using geofencing technology, guests will be under an electronic quarantine that will monitor their movement on the property using GPS and Bluetooth signaling. If a guest were to leave the property or tamper with the bracelet, the tracking service would alert hotel security and the Kaua‘i Police Department. Kawakami said the bubble is “not the final solution, but a tool” to bring in tourism. Further, he said this is an “added tool, not a replacement” to the state-mandated two-week quarantine that is currently in place through the end of this month for inter-island and trans-Pacific travelers. Kawakami said he’s “still supportive” of the quarantine and the state’s proposed  pre-travel testing program that is supposed to launch October 1. Yesterday, Ige told The Star-Advertiser he expects to again delay reopening. “At the same time, we understand the need to address the economic hardship facing our tourism-based community, while also preserving the safety of our residents,” Kawakami said.

Resort employees will also be subject to rules and guidelines, including social distancing and masks.

Hawai‘i currently has the highest “insured unemployment rate” in the nation for the week that ended August 22, according to the U.S. Department of Labor last week. This insured unemployment rate represents the number of people receiving unemployment insurance as a percentage of the labor force.
Hawai‘i’s insured unemployment rate was 20.3% for the week ending Aug. 22 was followed by Puerto Rico at 16.7% and Nevada at 16%, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 13.1% in July. Last Thursday, the state has seen 282,897 claims filed statewide, with 174,233 claims paid, according to the state. Yesterday, the Hawai‘i Department of Health reported 80 new positive cases in the state. This includes one new case on Maui, two cases on Moloka‘i, seven on Hawai‘i Island and 70 on O‘ahu. Kaua‘i does not have any active cases but has five people on a close contact quarantine for a case reported on O‘ahu. As of Monday, the state recorded 6,987 active cases statewide, with a total of 3,693 patients classified by health officials as “released from isolation.” This brings the state’s cumulative total to 10,779 cases statewide. One previous case was removed due to updated laboratory information. Article written by Sabrina Bodon The Garden Island 


Posted in Lifestyle
Sept. 14, 2020

Kauai Quarantine Approved Hotel/Motels

Posted in Lifestyle
Aug. 31, 2020

Kauai’s Farm-To-Medicine-Cabinet Tour

Two hour guided exploration through our gardens and processing facilities. On the North Shore of Kaua‘i, there’s a farm where plants are called allies and the farmers are herbalists. Kaua‘i Farmacy creates plant-based medicine from crops grown on the company’s Kīlauea organic farm.  In 2017 Kaua‘i Farmacy began offering tours. The company employs a unique in-house farming model where it grows, processes, cures, packages and sells over 50 healing remedies, ranging from teas to culinary powders and moisturizing balms. Kaua‘i Farmacy offers a two-hour tour twice a week, and its apothecary is open on weekdays. All of the company’s products are available online.  Kaua‘i Farmacy founders are Doug and Genna Wolkon. They credit their herbal lifestyle to the noni (indian mulberry) leaf, which they began using early on in tea and as a poultice for sprains. The Wolkons moved to Kaua‘i in 2007 with their first child, abandoning an intense city lifestyle on the East Coast. Within four years, after what he called an “immersion” in herbs, the couple bought the 4-acre property along Kīlauea Stream. On the organic farm today, 15 gardeners and herbalists grow, hand-pick and process it all using solar dehydrators. It took the Wolkons years of trial and error, discovering each plant’s optimal growing condition and how they work together, before they opened the garden to visitors.  Tours from 10 a.m. to noon Wednesdays and Fridays. Cost is $55 for adults, $10 for children. Reservations required. The apothecary is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. Kaua‘i Farmacy, 4731G Kūawa Road, Kīlauea, (808) 828-6525,


Posted in Lifestyle
Aug. 20, 2020

Kauai Blood Drive 8/25 - 8/27

Kauai Blood Drive at the War Memorial (4191 Hardy Street) hosting their first Neighbor Island drive since February. They are excited to reunite with their donors on Kauai and have implemented many additional safety protocols to protect donors and staff. Check below to find dates and times!


Tuesday, Aug. 25 from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Make an Appointment

Wednesday, Aug. 26 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Make an Appointment

Thursday, Aug. 27 from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Make an Appointment

Click a link above or call (808) 848-4770 to make an appointment. 

Posted in Lifestyle
Aug. 18, 2020

The 12th Annual Kauai Marathon and Half Marathon

The Kauai Marathon and Half Marathon are one of the most beautiful destination races in the world today. Taking place on September 6, 2020 this race is a great way to combine a unique experience and a get-away that only Kauai can offer. Participants pass hula dancers and Taiko drum troupes along the course while viewing striking mountain views. Each runner concludes his or her journey along one of the most beautiful oceanfront finish lines in road racing. The mission of the event is simply to gather residents and visitors together for a world-class race experience that fosters camaraderie, friendship, and charitable giving. While the main event is the Kauai Marathon and Half Marathon, there are so many other festivities throughout the race weekend that bring people of all ages together to make this one of the most unique destination races in the world.  From the Fun Run and Keiki events on Saturday morning to the Sports and Fitness Expo complimentary presentations to gorgeous dancers, cultural course entertainment, and volunteers and spectators on race day that inspire and encourage participants to keep going. This aloha spirit and community generosity make this a truly special event.  Fitness enthusiasts and families from all over the U.S. and several countries will gather on Kauai to see and try what’s new in athletic footwear, apparel, fitness equipment, nutrition, and cross-training...prior to experiencing The Kauai Marathon and Half Marathon. Register Here Today!

Posted in Lifestyle
July 22, 2020

Koloa Plantation Days Family Fun Run 2020

Koloa Plantation Days Family Fun Run Race Description
The best views on Kauai await in this fun event for the whole family. Koloa Plantation Days Family Fun Run race is in Poipu, Kauai on July 26, 2020. On Kauai's south shore, you'll travel along the coastline with picturesque views all along the way. There are five water stations along the route, with happy helpful support people cheering you on.

At the finish you're invited to have a small bite of breakfast and refreshments while perusing the silent auction tables for the Kukuiula Outrigger Canoe Club fundraiser.

Start Times

6:00 am: 10 mile walk

6:30 am: 10 mile run

6:45 am: 10K

7:00 am: 5K

8:30 am: 1 mile keiki run 

Awards for the top three men/women finishers overall for each event, plus first place men/women in each age division will take place at the finish of the keiki one mile run...approximately 8:45 am. For more details about this and other Koloa Plantation Days events please visit:

Koloa Plantation Days Family Fun Run

Posted in Lifestyle
July 16, 2020

35th Annual Koloa Plantation Days Festival Virtual Event

Please note that in-person festivities for this year have been canceled due to Covid-19
Please follow them for a virtual event on Saturday July 25th, 10am to get together plantation style!

Click Here for more information. Save the date for next year’s festival July 23 - August 1, 2021. 


Koloa Plantation Days are held on Kauai's south shore every year in July. The many ethnic groups that came to Hawaii to work on sugar plantations, and the Hawaiians who welcomed them, are celebrated through music, dance, costumes, and food throughout this ten-day festival. Held in the area where Hawaii's first sugar plantation was founded in 1835, Koloa Plantation Days comprises a lively, family-oriented slate of events that showcase the area's social history, its natural history, and its diverse cultural traditions. In addition, numerous events allow attendees to enjoy the sports activities and entertainment available at the gracious resorts in the Poipu and Koloa area. Most events are outdoors and free of charge. 

Cultural Heritage

Koloa Plantation Days will also celebrate the immigrants who came from Philippines, Europe, the Azores, Japan, Korea, China, and elsewhere who contributed traditions, music, dances, and foods to the rich melting pot that is Hawaii. You'll experience these cultures throughout the week from the first walk down Hapa Trail and a rodeo weekend featuring paniolo culture, through a variety of live music events and cultural performances, a historic exhibit and film night, craft fairs, culinary demonstrations and tasting events, Polynesian revue, and the historic parade and park celebration which brings all these elements together. Hawaiian culture, traditions, crafts, and music are the foundation of this island, and various events will remind us and teach us about this culture and history. There are nature walks that reveal the unique flora, fauna, geology, and archaeology of the south shore, hosted talk stories including a guided view of Kaniolouma and a watercolor painting workshop in a pristine part of the coastline.

Koloa Plantation Days also celebrates the present-day vitality of Koloa and Poipu, a major visitor destination on Kauai. Resorts and businesses welcome visitors and residents to enjoy guided walks and talk stories, outdoor sports and a variety of themed keiki activities, live music and celebrations, and play golf and tennis. Everyone can also watch top rodeo competitors from the state and mainland. Many community organizations, foundations, businesses, resorts, and residents provide many hours of volunteer work, locations for events, and financial support for this festival. It is also sponsored in part by the Hawaii Tourism Authority. 

Posted in Lifestyle
July 14, 2020

Hawaii's Traveler quarantine is extended until Sept. 1st

Hawaii State officials will postpone a plan to permit tourists to travel to Hawai‘i if they obtain a negative test for COVID-19 within 72 hours of departure for at least 30 days, until Sept. 1. The announcement was made Monday by Gov. David Ige, apparently bowing to increasing pressure from the state’s four mayors, doctors and the public to put off the option for tourists to come to Hawai‘i if they test negative or, if they decline to take a test, accept a 14-day quarantine after they arrive. At a news conference, Ige also said Hawai‘i schools are still on track to reopen on Aug. 4, utilizing a so-called “blended” approach mixing in-person instruction and distance learning. He said delaying allowing tourists to come to the state based on a single negative COVID test would avoid having the new tourism standards and reopening of schools occur during the same week. “We obviously are talking to the mayors and (the Department of Education) about whether it’s safe to reopen the schools,” Ige said. “At this point, we do believe it is safe.” Eliminating the testing option will leave in place the mandatory quarantine for all tourists, as well as residents who travel outside the state and return. Ige’s decision came after more than a week of growing controversy over whether the state is ready for tourists who would avoid quarantine entirely. Reaction to Ige’s announcement was swift. Mark Perriello, president of the Kaua‘i Chamber of Commerce, said, “the state and counties must recognize the tremendous sacrifice that our small businesses are making in order to help safeguard the health of Hawai‘i’s residents.” Kaua‘i Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami, in a statement after the announcement said, “The governor and his team put together a good plan but unfortunately, circumstances on the mainland changed drastically these past few weeks and I believe the governor made the right decision. Quite frankly, now is not the time for leisurely travel. And if you absolutely must travel, you need to quarantine for 14 days.” The governor acknowledged that the postponement of the new tourism rules would increase already significant economic hardship throughout the islands. He said the ramifications for people and their families meant it was “not a simple decision. “Our economy has suffered. This will make our economic recovery more challenging, but your health and safety comes first. I know these are difficult times. I am confident that, together, we will prevail.” There was also concern within the medical community. Dr. Lee Evslin, an organizer of an ad hoc committee of doctors and community leaders that has been pressing for a requirement for not just one, but two COVID tests, separated by a mandatory six-day quarantine, said “I am glad it has been delayed. I think it is the only choice at this time. “I remain very worried that the current plan for reopening, whenever it happens, will not provide enough safety.” Ige said the change in policy was necessitated by the explosive growth of COVID cases on the mainland, especially in California, Arizona, Texas and Florida. A second factor, Ige said, was the abrupt decision by a leading manufacturer or COVID testing reagents to strip Hawaii of half the supply the state was receiving so the chemicals can be reallocated to more severely affected states, like California. “We have always said we will make decisions based on the health and safety of our community as our highest priority,” Ige said. “On the mainland, we continue to see uncontrolled outbreaks and surges. We do not believe that will change significantly by Aug. 1.” Ige made the decision after at least three virtual meetings with the state’s four mayors last week at which the mayors urged delay. Despite the governor’s announcement, American Airlines confirmed it still plans to restart nonstop service to Lihue from at least Los Angeles that day. United Airlines did not respond to requests for comment. Alaska Airlines, whose flight schedules showed on Monday that it, too, would resume nonstop service to Lihu‘e from as many as three airports on Aug. 1 said its plans were being “reevaluated.” Southwest Airlines, which has been flying to Lihu‘e through Honolulu for several weeks, said, “we don’t have any updates specific to our Hawaii schedule.” Delta Airlines did not respond; Hawaiian Airlines said it would be “scaling back” its previously announced plans to resume service from the mainland in the wake of Ige’s announcement. Resumption of direct flights from the mainland to Lihu‘e could substantially increase the number of tourists flooding the island. Ige said the COVID testing system in Hawai‘i was unexpectedly thrown into chaos last week by Roche Diagnostics’ withdrawal of half the state’s supply of testing reagents. He said tests processed in Hawai‘i can return results within 24 to 48 hours, but if testing samples have to be sent to the mainland, the turnaround time can be between five and 10 days—so long that test results might be useless to public officials trying to track active cases.


Posted in Lifestyle