Thursday, October 29, 2009

Lunalilo Home in Hawaii Kai gets a MakeOver

Trustees, administrators, physicians and staff from The Queen's Medical Center spent last Saturday beautifying Lunalilo Home, the state's oldest elder-care facility. In keeping with the medical center's 150th anniversary, 150 volunteers painted interiors and exteriors, and did landscaping duties at the Hawaii Kai property.

"We do a lot of community service projects, but this was by far the most rewarding," said Queen's volunteer manager Beverly Parker. "I can't wait to see (the residents') faces when they see what we've done. Today was such a joy."

Medical director Dr. Gerard Akaka, who spent his morning stacking mulch and transporting it by wheelbarrow to landscapers, said he appreciated the chance to get his hands dirty.
"It was hard labor but it was very gratifying," he said. "Personally, I really enjoyed being able to give back to our kupuna and to support what this home stands for."

Organizers noted that it was King Lunalilo's bequeathal of lands (including the property on which the International Market Place now stands) to Queen Emma that enabled the queen to found and maintain The Queen's Medical Center.

Located at 501 Kekauluohi Street, King Lunalilo Home was established in 1883 as an adult residential care home facility by the will of King William Charles Lunalilo for native Hawaiian elderly. It was renovated in 2001 to house 42 residents. In 2004, Lunalilo Home expanded its services to include adult day care, temporary respite care and dietary services to senior citizens of all ethnic backgrounds. The King Lunalilo Adult Day Care Center is licensed for 44 participants.

In the spirit of Hawaii Kai Aloha, Lunalilo Home belongs to all residents. We are lucky to have an elder care facility so close.

If you have questions about other elder services available in Hawaii Kai or on Oahu, contact me for information on our lifestyle and resources.

Barbara Abe, Realtor

(resource: Honolulu Advertiser)

Hawaii Kai Falling Rocks not a Threat to Homes

There was quite a bit of concern among residents whose homes border the bottom slopes of Koko Crater after a large boulder sheared off a ridge on Feb. 6 of this year.

However, a consultant's geotechnical engineering report sent to the city Department of Design and Construction concluded that that boulder and associated smaller boulders that may have sheared off at the same time "do not present a hazard to downslope residences."

The consultant also looked at a boulder that tumbled down in 2003, and concluded that a ravine and roadway cut would prevent boulders from moving down to the homes. Many of you may remember the damage to homes in Lalea at that time, and the months spent building remediation measures. The real estate values in Lalea were not affected, however.

"The report does much to dispel the community fears about the rockslide," said Greg Knudsen, chairman of the Hawaii Kai Neighborhood Board.

We live on a volcano, basically, on lava rock, so Pele and the forces shaping the island chain make themselves felt now and then. If you are concerned, contact me for a thorough analysis of real estate historical values in Hawaii Kai.

Barbara Abe, Realtor

Hawaii Kai Foundation Offers Scholarships

The Maunalua Bay Foundation is offering college scholarships to East Honolulu high school students planning to attend a Hawaii college.

Students must be a senior from Kaiser or Kalani high schools, Honolulu Waldorf or a homeschool student to apply. The student must attend a Hawai university, community college or trade school. Applicants must submit a 500-word essay on "What Does It Mean To Care For Your Community." Winners will be announced at a Hawaii Kai Fourth of July fundraising event at Blue Water Grill on Nov. 20.

Independence Day at Maunalua Bay Foundation puts on its annual fireworks show and celebration at Maunalua Bay, which spans from Koko Head to Diamond Head. The annual event in Hawaii Kai is presented with the help of the community, for the community. It brings East Oahu’s restaurants, businesses and families out for a get-together with music for the soul in live entertainment, activities for keiki, good grindz and a booming, 20-minute pyrotechnic show that can be seen from Hawaii Kai to Black Point and beyond.

Independence Day at Maunalua Bay Foundation uses the event as a vehicle to raise money to assist students with the financial costs of college. The more money raised, the more scholarships the Foundation can give. So, come and celebrate with us and help a local student achieve his/her college dreams.

For more information write to, , get an application at one of the East Honolulu schools, or visit their website.

This is one more example of our Hawaii Kai Ohana. Contact me about enjoying our lifestyle as a resident or investor.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

New Survey Confirms how Healthy it is to Live in Hawaii Kai

Self magazine has ranked the "Top 100 Healthiest Cities For Women" in its most recent issue. The survey looks at 50 things like crime rate, air quality and access to health care, among other things that affect a woman's ability to live healthy.

Honolulu (and of course Hawaii Kai) ranked 3 out of 100 in 2008, and 6 out of 100 this year. Honolulu women have the list's lowest chance of dying of breast cancer and the second lowest for skin cancer—despite living in a place with 271 sunny days a year. Lung, colon and ovarian cancer deaths are also relatively rare.

The magazine quotes Tiffany Coke, 32, a high school math and physics teacher in Honolulu. "We eat tons of seafood and very little red meat, and instead of chips and salsa, our standard party snack is poke, a Hawaiian raw tuna dish."

Also, women in Hawaii get plenty of disease-preventing exercise, and walk and bike to work twice as often as the national average.

What's healthy in Honolulu is even better in Hawaii Kai - less traffic, less noise, easier access to bike riding, running, and water sports. Come visit our healthy island - you will want to stay and invest in one of the real bargains available now for buyers. Contact me for a free Relocation Package for Hawaii Kai.

Barbara Abe, Realtor

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Disney Resort at Ko Olina on West Oahu under Construction

Yes, Hawaii's first Disney Resort is under way, as the 3rd floor starts to take shape. The company has made a $800 million commitment to the islands, planning to complete the 1st phase in 2011 and eventually employ 1,000 people at the 21-acre oceanfront resort.

Hawaii's tourism industry has suffered with the global economic slump, so the investment certainly offers hope for increased visitor arrivals and dollars.

Disney plans to blend Hawaiian culture into its magical kingdom. A big part of the job for Disney's top man in Hawai'i, Djuan Rivers, is building community ties and spending time learning more about Hawai'i's native culture. In the past several weeks, Rivers and his assistant, Johnlyn Doi, took two sessions of professional training in Hawaiian hospitality at Kapi'olani Community College. Michael Yee, graduate of St Louis High School with a MBA from UH, is the new project manager for facilities and operation services.

Rivers said he expects Disney to work with cultural experts and the people of Hawai'i in telling the stories. He has moved permanently to Hawai'i and will be a part of the team that remains and operates the resort.

Contact me for a free Relocation Package for Oahu, and market information on any community on our island.

Barbara Abe, Realtor

(photo and resource courtesy of Honolulu Advertiser)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Spend a Day Down on the Farm - Update on Kamilo Nui Valley

Somewhat of a secret to many Hawaii Kai residents are the farms at the head of Kamilo Nui Valley mauka of Mariners Cove. Have you shopped at one of the flower growers for fresh cut flowers? Have you realized how much open space and undeveloped land we still have in this one scenic "corner" of Hawaii Kai? And how close it may be to development?

A "Day on the Farm" sponsored by the Kamilo Nui Farmers Cooperative and supported by Representative Gene Ward and staff, is an effort to educate Hawaii Kai residents on the beauty and value of this agricultural land.

Livable Hawaii Kai Hui was originally formed over 5 years ago to help protect the valley from development, maintain the open-space, promote the valley's agriculture component and natural watershed qualities. They will participate in the festivities along with Aloha 'Aina 'O Kamilo Nui. They hope to introduce the mission and visions of the non-profits and enlist more volunteers and sponsors for their work.

The event will be headquartered at R&S Nii Nursery (Richard & Judy Nii) October 10, this Saturday, from 10 AM - 2 PM, starting with a blessing, then fun, games, drawings, and a "Teach In" about the history and importance of keeping our farmers in Hawaii Kai, and the dangers of overdevelopment. A children's' bouncing house and food vendors will also be onsite. Additional community organizations participating include: Hawaii Kai Neighborhood Board, Malama Maunalua,, Kaiser High School Interact Group Rotary, Maunalua Fishpond & Heritage Center, and 'Aina in the Schools. Governor Linda Lingle will join the festivities from 11:45pm to 12:15pm.

The farmers of Kamilonui Valley are just a few months away from lease renegotiations with Kamehameha Schools/Bishop Estate, and many fear steep rent increases will shut down their operations and make staying in Kamilonui Valley unaffordable. Judy Nii, owner of R&S Nii Farms said, "We hope the more people understand our farms and what we mean for the community, the more they will support us."

Rep. Ward adds, "Hawaii Kai is already over-developed, and to lose our farmers in Kamilonui Valley is a clear and present danger to all of us who live in this community."

At least drive up to the Valley this Saturday and take a look this beautiful resource, at what is endangered - not just land but a lifestyle for many. Contact Rep. Ward or your representative on our Hawaii Kai Neighborhood Board for more information.

Barbara Abe, Realtor

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Hawaii Kai Library will Benefit from First Book Prize

We were thrilled to find out Hawaii won the First Book prize, and will receive 50,000 new books for children in need! We won through all the votes cast online by readers like yourselves. North Carolina was 2nd, and Kentucky 3rd.

Because of the state budget shortfall, many state services have been scaled back, libraries included. But folks around the state are working together to help keep the libraries open and find other funding sources.

The Friends of the Hawai'i Kai Library will hold its biannual book sale Oct. 10 and 11.

The event at the library will feature used books, CDs and DVDs, with most items under $2. Proceeds will help fund library programs and purchase equipment.

The Hawaii Kai library is at 249 Lunalilo Home Road. For more information, call 808-397-5833.