Merry Monarch Festival 2014 begins April 20

April 18th, 2014

Everyone’s talking about the upcoming Merrie Monarch Festival in Hilo, Hawaii Island.  Hula dancers are beginning to arrive on Hawaii Island from around the Pacific.  The world’s premiere hula competition begins April 24 and will be broadcast on local channel KFVE.  Can’t get tickets?  Lucky you, the festival features more than ticketed performances.  The week long festival runs April 20-26.  So head to Hilo and enjoy one of the best events in the mid-Pacific!  Here are the 2009 Kane (men’s) Kahiko winners:

 

Big Island Chocolate Festival May 2-3, 2014

April 11th, 2014

Learn how to taste chocolate.  Discover which chocolates taste best with fruit, wine or BBQ.  Watch culinary students and professional chefs create and compete.  Maybe meet a celebrity chef judge.  Best of all, eat lots of chocolate at the Big Island Chocolate Festival May 2-3 at the Fairmont Orchid Hotel.  The Big Island Chocolate Festival will sell out so don’t wait to buy tickets at the door.  New this year: Fast Wine Pass.  Yes you want this!

Chocolate strawberries

Vacation homes sales on the rise

April 10th, 2014

Hapuna pool

I belong to several professional organizations, including Certified Residential Specialists, the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing, and Resort and Second Home Property Specialists.  Today I saw this interesting article on one of the many blogs I read.  Lots of good information:

 By Michael Fenner – April 8, 2014

“In yet another sign that the economy may have turned the corner, sales of vacation homes posted big gains in 2013, even as investment purchases fell, according to the latest data from NAR. Vacation home sales accounted for 13 percent of all transactions last year, the highest market share since 2006.

Hawaiian Legacy Hardwoods offers Koa Legacy Forest tree planting tours

April 8th, 2014

HLH logoRepeat Hawaii Island visitors and residents alike have a new Hamakua tour to enjoy.  Per the Hawaiian Legacy Hardwoods (HLH) September 2013 press release:

“HLH  is inviting guests to walk in the footsteps of Hawaiian royalty and make a meaningful impact in the restoration of Hawaii’s first Legacy Forest by planting a Koa Legacy Tree and being a part of the rebirth of this forest.

Redesign your yard to increase property value

March 13th, 2014

According to the American Society of Landscape Architects  a professionally designed landscape can contribute 15% to the value of your home.  If you are thinking about pulling up your thirsty lawn, or overhauling a dusty yard, replace it with a garden of vegetables, flowers and fruit bearing trees.  Incorporate plenty of drought tolerant plants to control the water bill.  Plant a leafy shade tree on the south side of the house.  It will eventually grow to keep your home cooler in our warm Hawaiian summers.

$26M Hamakua Coast estate to be auctioned

March 12th, 2014

Water Falling Estate auction 032214Water Falling Estate is perched on the Ninole sea cliffs  on the Hamakua Coast about half way between Honoka’a and Hilo.  According to the auction company, since it announced the March 22, 2014 “without reserve” auction date, interest in the trophy home has been piqued around the world.   Water Falling Estate is in a private location with unending ocean views, waterfalls, helipad, tennis and basketball courts.  Will it sell for the asking price?  Some say it may fetch more as auctions without a reserve selling price can generate a lot of excitement.  Would you like to see it before the auction?

West Hawaii landscape classes

March 11th, 2014

An article in West Hawaii Today details upcoming classes offered by The Hawaii Island Landscape Association, working with the University of Hawaii Extension Service, about landscape installation and maintenance. Deadline to enroll is March 29, 2014.

Author Diana Duff says “the series of 10 classes will cover a range of topics of interest and value for homeowners interested in gardening as well as professional landscapers and landscape workers seeking ways to improve their knowledge and service to their clients.  The classes are open to the public as a series or individually and are offered from 2 to 5 p.m., Wednesdays at the Kaupulehu Interpretive Center, located north of the old Kona Village Resort.”

Flood insurance rate update – House passes amendment

March 7th, 2014

 

On March 4, 2014 the House of Representatives passed an amendment to the Biggert-Waters act, which addresses the National Flood Insurance Program and premium rates.  Click here for the National Association of Realtors’ “issue brief” about current flood insurance legislation.  For more information about your specific property call your insurance agent, or the County of Hawaii’s Department of Public Works, (808) 961-8787.

 

Hawaiian tree fern in decline

February 26th, 2014

The Hawaiian tree fern, also known as hapu‘u, for millennia abundant in wet forests, is now in decline along with the rain forests themselves.  Those who have been around West Hawaii for years may remember our tree ferns, cibotium glaucum, growing thickly along the Koloko mauka road high above Mamalahoa highway.  Now, grasses invade these spaces as the tree fern recedes.  According to a University of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture public handout  “hapu‘u was very common in the wetter areas of all the major islands, but exploitation and drier conditions caused by climate change have reduced the stands drastically.”

50 Years of Amazing Golf at Mauna Kea Resort

February 22nd, 2014

With the closing of the Kona golf course, the Kohala Coast golf courses are seeing much more play.  As this year is the anniversary of one of the best Kohala Coast Resorts most famed golf courses, please enjoy this article by local journalist Carolyn Lucas-Zenk published in West Hawaii Today, January 27 2014

MK golf1

“Mr. Rockefeller, if you allow me to build a golf course here, this’ll be the most beautiful hole in the world.”

That was the proposal posed by golf course architect Robert Trent Jones Sr. while standing on the Kohala coastline, overlooking the sweeping panoramic views of land and sea.  That hole, No. 3, is iconic.