Friday, April 24, 2009

Hawaii Kai Homes for Sale

Here's a new service from RealBird, the folks who brought us high-quality mapping, listing syndication, and Virtual Tours. We can create any search, any zip code, price range, type of property, etc. - very versatile.

The search below shows single family homes for sale in zip code 96825, any price. they may be in the MLS, but the data is pulled from Google Base, so there will be some properties you probably haven't seen on other searches. Let me know if you like the service.

Barbara Abe, Realtor

Even in Hawaii Kai, Spring is a Season

As Spring comes to Hawaii, even we lucky folks who live there think of gardening and planting, and even more beauty blooming in profusion around our island paradise. Adding landscaping to your home, in any size area or style, will bring a valuable addition to your Hawaii Kai lifestyle and property enjoyment.

Here are a few helpful tips to start or remodel your landscaping:

1. Assess your space and decide what you hope to achieve in your area (yard or lanai)

2. Be informed on what plants grow well in which spaces - full sun, shade, containers

3. Create focal points and scale them to your space (color, texture, groupings)

4. Leave areas available for unifying plants - perhaps repeating the same plant or a variation in a different location

5. Use potted plants to provide visual appeal and interest up close (especially if you don't have a panoramic view of Diamond Head)

6. Every space is important - do some research, consider future growth (remember our tropical climate) and which plants grow best together (herbs for insect inhibition)

7. Create interest with different textures like lava rocks, borders, stones, and ground cover if you have a yard

8. Use special elements like a bird feeder, tiki lamps, wind chimes to create more interest and appeal - to you and your guests

These suggestions should give you some ideas. If you come up with something you want to share, contact me and I'll feature it with photos here on my blog.
Good luck!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Taste of East Oahu Coming Soon

The 3rd Annual Taste of East Oahu will be held April 25, at the Calvary by the Sea Church in Aina Haina from 6-9 PM. Lt. Gov. Duke Aiona will be in attendance as the honorary chairman and about 500 attendees are expected. Tickets are $60, of which $25 is tax deductible.

The event is widely known for serving gourmet delicacies and desserts created by such renowned East Oahu chefs as Roy Yamaguchi of Roy's Restaurants. This year, several restaurants will offer selections:

from East Oahu:

3660 On the Rise in Kaimuki, executive Chef/owner Russel Siu and Chef Lydell Leong
Maile's Thai Bistro in Hawaii Kai Towne Center, Chef Sandy Fomsanicth
Assagio's, Koko Marina Center, Chef Khanh Le
BluWater Grill, Hawaii Kai Shopping Center, owner/executive Chef Bill Bruhl

from other locations on the island:

Chai's Island Bistro, owner/executive Chef Chai Chaowasaree
Hokulani Bake Shop, pastry Chefs Christina Min and Carmen Camposeco
Michel's, Chef Hardy
Top of Waikiki, Chef Sean Priester

HASR Wine Company will serve for tasting more than 40 fine wines.

Jon Osorio and Stephen Brown, local musicians who play at the BluWater Grill, will provide the entertainment, along with the Swingin Tradewinds Jass Band.

A silent auction will display art work by local artisans. Proceeds from Taste of East Oahu will be divided among three Calvary by the Sea missions and programs, including Angel Network, the only food bank in East Oahu that provides assistance to the homeless, elderly and hungry. The main beneficiary will be the Angel Network, East Oahu's only food pantry, which is located in the church.

To purchase tickets, call (808) 377-5477 (the $10 discount is only available by phone, in advance of the event), send an e-mail to t or go online to

For more information, visit the Taste of East Oahu web site at or call (808) 377-5477.

It's a fun and worthwhile event, one of the main events in East Oahu - and for a good cause.

Barbara Abe, Realtor

(resource: East Oahu Sun)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Hawaii Kai Residents Oppose Shark Tour Dives

A business that operates shark tour dives on the North Shore has decided to operate 3 miles offshore of Hawaii Kai, in Maunalua Bay, outside state waters. Residents are strongly opposed to the plan, and the fact that a local company would bait sharks for tourists in cages in waters used extensively by surfers, kayers, and canoeists.

Ann Marie Kirk, of the Ka Iwi Coalition, said, "It's just wrong for our waters -- we're close to Hanauma Bay, we're close to the Ka Iwi coastline. Of course we have surfers and paddlers. You have boats that are feeding sharks -- that's a dinner bell to the sharks, any boat is."

The owner of the vessel Snoopy V, scheduled to be used for the diving, says he's leasing the boat to business operator, Iolani Lewis. Lewis explained, "We basically want to start a deep-water ocean life tour outside Maunalua Bay. While sharks are the main attraction, we want to promote conservation and education."

Lewis continued, "We're still at least two months out before launching this. I hope to meet with community members to address their concerns about our planned operation. We're not there yet but we definitely plan to do this."

If you have strong opinions about allowing shark dive tours in our Hawaii Kai waters, contact your state senator or representative before plans are finalized.


Barbara Abe, Realtor

Monday, April 6, 2009

Researcher Helps Endangered 'Elepaio

Honolulu Magazine's most recent issue has a fascinating article about Eric VanDerWerf, a biologist studying the endangered (on Oahu) 'Elepaio, a beautiful forest bird only 5 inches long.

VanDerWerf uses the songs of the 'Elepaio to study speciation and survival rates. The birds use their songs for attracting mates, defending territories, and species recognition. The bird is endemic to the Hawaiian Islands, and there are 3 subspecies - Kauai, Big Island, and Oahu.

He played the recorded songs to determine if the Oahu 'Elepaio, for instance, would react to the Kauai bird or Big Island bird. He found “The birds responded to their own island, but generally, not to the other islands. That means they don’t view those birds as potential mates or competitors, so that’s evidence that they should be considered separate species.”

The bird's biggest threat is predation by non-native black rats, that find the nest, eat the eggs and chicks and female, if they can catch her. Avian malaria and pox virus are also major threats, carried by mosquitoes, which can't live in the cooler temperatures in the mountains above 5,000' found on Kauai and Big Island. That explains why there are only about 1500 birds left on Oahu, but many thousands on the other islands.

VanderWerf admits that although he has done research on other birds, he has an affinity for the 'Elepaio. “They have a lot of character and interesting behaviors,” he says. “And because they are declining there is a real need for information about them.”

Read the full article in the print issue of Honolulu Magazine, or online where you can listen to the calls of the 3 subspecies.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Hawaii Kai Restaurant Gets Good Press

A recent post in the by Nina Maxwell raved about the Kona Brewing Co., in the Koko Marina Shopping Center. She writes, "The ideal place to enjoy both is at Kona Brewing Co. in Hawaii Kai (20 minutes east of Waikiki), which is more of a destination for the beer and ambiance than it is for the menu.

"But what's on the menu is still adequate to satiate anyone's appetite — a full selection of pupus (appetizers) ranging from Niu Valley Nachos to Pele's Fire Wings, Kuliouou Crab Cakes and the Ahi Aloha Tower (three styles of ahi tartar with spicy tobiko, wasabi honey and sesame oil layered with won ton chips)."

Nina gives a great review to the restaurant, including prices, kinds of pizza, and ambience, "In the evenings, the outdoor deck is a pleasant spot to enjoy the tradewinds...This is an ideal place to go for a casual date, hang out with a group of friends, or to bring family, with kids. for lunch. A band plays live contemporary Hawaiian music on most weekend evenings."

Koko Marina Pub
Koko Marina Center, 7192 Kalanianaole Hwy.
Open Monday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Kona Brewing Co.

Hawaii Kai has many fine restaurants where you can enjoy the marina and ocean. Visit my web site for ideas, and request my Free Report on our Activities.