Tom LaVenture - The Garden Island | 0 comments
LIHUE — Big wave surfing legend Laird Hamilton is coming home.
Actually, the famous wave rider is building a home — on the Hanalei property where he lived as a child.
Hamilton said he and his wife built another home on Maui in 2008, but he still spends half of his time on Kauai, and wanted to build a home where he grew up.
The two-story, single-family residence is on the property Hamilton has owned on Kauai for several years.
“When the Maui house was finished I really wanted to come back to Kauai where I grew up,” he said. “I wanted to bring the kids back here and let them experience the lifestyle and energy of this island.”
It has been almost 19 years since he met his wife, Gabrielle Reece, a former volleyball star and model. He said they spend their summers at a Malibu home and migrate to Hawaii during the big wave season. They have two young daughters.
He said part of the delay was the change in the laws concerning flood plains and tidal zones, which complicated building on the North Shore.
The couple is working with the Honolulu architectural firm of Avery Youn. The home construction is listed at $1,548,100. A separate permit for a 10-foot retaining wall to solve the zoning issue has a $63,800 price tag.
“My wife and I designed this to be a functional house that wasn’t too complicated, and it’s basically about living comfortably versus the look of it,” Hamilton said.
Hamilton said he focused on things like the foundation and the beams. His wife took charge of the colors and textures of the interior. The permits were again approved by the county on Oct. 17 and they are still working to hire a contractor.
What else is he up to?
Hamilton is working on several projects, including a line of fitness programs and a new “GolfBoard” described as a stand-up personal golf cart. The electric vehicle has four tires but the rider stands on a center board not much wider than the shoulders.
It is a much healthier approach to golf and Hamilton says that in a way it’s a “glorified skateboard.”
“It does less damage to the course and presents a new way to play golf,” Hamilton said. “We have had a good response from the golf community and that is giving it a big push.”
The Hamilton brand of stand-up paddleboards and gear is continuing with a new line for this season. It is a recreational activity that resembles the Hawaiian and Polynesian traditions.
Change and progress is slow, and Hamilton said he had no hesitation about moving forward with the “marriage of the outrigger paddling and surfing. There was negative backlash from some Mainland circles that didn’t like seeing so many non-surfers out using the boards.
“The ‘blame me’ campaign started and I took that as a compliment,” Hamilton said. “I said ‘blame me’ for all that fun you’re having and liked the idea of turning a negative into a positive.”
In the end, he said paddleboarding is an example of how to use the oceans and waterways more responsively. It is a way to conduct oneself in the water that is in tune with the environment.
The 49-year-old Hamilton said he has no designs on slowing down his big wave surfing.
“Big wave riding is still in the forefront of my passion and my psyche, even with the family and everything else going on,” Hamilton said. “I train all year for it, and I design equipment for it.”
He is constantly looking at surf locations around the world — France, Spain and the Basque area of Portugal — whether it means paddling out to the waves or pushing the limits for the tow-in techniques he is credited with helping to invent.
“We are always looking at riding the biggest waves and the winter in Hawaii, obviously, has some of the biggest surges in the world,” he said. “I am always thinking about the Hawaii conditions and what the winter will bring us, and now that we are at the start of the season I am excited.”
The Garden Island Newspaper
Legend of surfer Eddie Aikau becomes topic for ESPN Big-wave specialist and lifeguard is subject of ‘30 for 30’ season premiere September 25, 2013 by David Strege
Eddie Aikau was not afraid of big waves. The Hawaiian lifeguard wouldn’t give it a second thought to run into the surf with pounding waves that were 20 feet tall to make a rescue. Nor would he think twice about surfing those big waves.
Long before the likes of big-wave surfers Greg Long, Grant “Twiggy” Baker, Mark Healey, and Garrett McNamara there was Aikau, legendary big-wave surfer and beloved lifeguard.
In 1969, Aikau was the first lifeguard hired by Honolulu to work on the North Shore. Not one life was lost at Waimea Bay while Aikau was on duty.
But his fame is tied to surfing where he won several awards and contests, including the 1977 Duke Kahanamoku Invitational Surfing Championship.
“Eddie Would Go” became a common refrain among surfers daring other surfers to take on the big surf. Eddie would
Those unfamiliar with surfing, and who aren’t Hawaiian, might not know about the exciting life of Eddie, but ESPN is bringing the legend to its popular, Peabody award-winning film series “30 for 30.”
“Hawaiian: The Legend of Eddie Aikau” will kick off the new season on Tuesday, October 1 at 8 p.m. ET. Here’s a trailer:
The accolades are abundant from those who knew him, as you can see in the trailer.
“He was just the brightest star out there.”
“He couldn’t have been more at ease on these gigantic waves. He looked like the perfect big-wave surfer.”
“When he surfed, it was about that connection with the ocean.”
Sadly, it was the ocean that took Aikau’s life. Not from wiping out on a big wave, but setting out on his surfboard in an attempt to save lives.
Aikau had joined the crew on a traditional sailing canoe that set out on a 30-day, 2,500-mile journey following the ancient route of the Polynesian migration between the Hawaiian and Tahitian islands, according to the Eddie Aikau Foundation
The Hokule’a departed the Hawaiian island on March 1, 1978, and capsized in stormy weather 12 miles south of the island of Molokai.
A commercial plane spotted the capsized boat and alerted the Coast Guard, which saved the crew. Alas, Aikau, 31, had already set out on his surfboard in an attempt to get help. He was never seen again. Photos courtesy of ESPN.
Contact: Andrea Brower FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Phone: (808) 634-7905
THOUSANDS OF KAUAI RESIDENTS TAKE TO THE STREETS
An estimated 4000 people marched today on Kauai over concerns around the agrochemical/GMO industry’s impacts on the island, and in support of the “right to know” and the “right to protect.” Residents are particularly concerned about the impacts of very large amounts of Restricted-Use Pesticides (RUPs) on human health and the environment.
Marchers gathered at Vidinha Stadium, where they began with a pule (Hawaiian prayer) before proceeding down Rice Street to the County Council Building. On arrival, they circled the building and chanted “pass the bill.” The march is being called the largest in the island’s history.
Tomorrow the Kauai County Council reconvenes to discuss Bill 2491, which would require disclosure by the five agricultural companies that use 98% of Restricted-Use Pesticides on the island.
As the march proceeded down the mile-long path, marchers chanted “pass the bill,” “2491,” and “stop poisoning us, the garden island’s had enough.” As marchers approached the council building, loud cheers erupted as organizer Fern Rosenstiel repeated “we are united Kauai!”
Impacted community members, doctors, scientific experts, cultural practitioners, moms and teachers spoke at a public rally that also included music by Makana, Donavon Frankenreiter and other local musicians.
Three council members — co-introducers Gary Hooser and Tim Bynum, along with JoAnn Yukimura — came to voice their support for pesticide disclosure and greater protections from the impacts of the agrochemical/GMO industry. The bill requires 4 votes to pass.
The island’s mayor Bernard Carvalho was amongst the large crowd that stood in the relentless sun listening to hours of impassioned speaking.
Young people were some of the most visible at the march. Waimea valley resident and young father Nate Dickinson spoke of concern for the health of his family, who live surrounded by experimental GMO operations and have faced severe and unexplained health issues.
Bryce Boeder, another young westside resident, said it was “time for the island to shift from the chemical based monoculture to an organic permaculture.”
Another young local woman, Hoku Cabebe thanked marchers for coming out “not just for the bill but for our future; not just for Kauai but for a better world.”
Four of the world’s largest agrochemical/GMO corporations currently use some of Kauai’s best agricultural lands to test their new technologies. Because many of their operations are experimental, the agrochemical/GMO corporations often spray several Restricted-Use Pesticides simultaneously (called “stacking”), in combinations that are not regulated and have never been studied for their immediate and long-term dangers to human health.
Around 18-tons of Restricted-Use Pesticides (RUPs) are used on the island annually by these operations. RUPs are those deemed so toxic that the that EPA requires they be applied only by or under the direct supervision of trained and certified applicators. They are banned in many other countries.
Dr Lee Evslin said, “I am here to lend scientific credibility to the reasons for this march. The American Academy of Pediatrics came out 10 months ago with a strongly worded statement linking pesticide use to delays in neurological development, endocrine abnormalities, behavioral issues and an increase in childhood cancers such as leukemia. They recommend buffer zones and the right to know.”
Through “Right to Know” Bill 2491, residents are seeking basic disclosure of pesticide use by the five companies that use 98% of RUPs on the island. The bill sets up a buffer zone between where these dangerous pesticides are used and schools, hospitals, residential areas and waterways. The bill also mandates that a health and environmental study be conducted, and in the meantime, puts a temporary moratorium on new operations.
The industry has threatened that if Bill 2491 passes they will be forced to fire workers. But bill supporters point out that, financially, there is no reason that the bill should be a major cost to the companies, who already keep internal records on pesticide application activity. The moratorium is only on expansion of the industry, and does not shut-down any existing operations.
Addressing rumors that Bill 2491 will regulate local farmers, Kauai Kunana Dairy owner Louisa Wooton said, “I’m 100% behind Bill 2491. It does not affect small farmers whatsoever. I read it frontwards and backwards before I was ready to lend my support and it’s really really good for agriculture!”
In response to claims by the industry that Bill 2491 is unconstitutional, local attorney Elif Beall said: “Bill 2491 has been reviewed by some of the country's top attorneys specializing in pesticide and GMO regulation. The consensus among Public Interest experts is that Bill 2491 is constitutional and well within the County's powers to protect the health and welfare of its residents and natural resources. Several of the country's top attorneys have offered to defend the bill pro bono if it is challenged in court.”
Supporters of the bill say that there has been a complete failure of state and federal agencies responsible for the regulation, monitoring and protection of people’s health in relation to pesticide use by the agrochemical/GMO operations on the island, so the county must act.
The “Mana March” was organized by a broad coalition of groups and individuals, reflecting the diversity of concern around what has been called “the biggest issue Kauai has ever faced.”
Photo by Joel Guy
Seeking Stillness in HawaiiPosted: 09/04/2013 5:17 am
OPRAH--- "Years ago, my friend and trainer Bob Greene said to me, "Hawaii is one of the best places on Earth to live." I discovered he was right. There's a reason it's often called paradise. I am blessed that for at least two months out of the year (working on three) I get to call it home.
I grew up in Kosciusko, Mississippi, where even the notion of Hawaii felt like a fantasy. I never would have imagined my life's journey would land me inside the dream that is Maui. The first morning I woke up in the house that took me three years to renovate, I flip-flopped to the kitchen and made coffee. Standing at the kitchen sink looking through the window over a meadow to the ocean, my heart swelled with gratitude at the majesty and beauty of it all. The view, the serenity of one lone horse grazing in a field surrounded by the early morning mist left me breathless. I continued to watch the mare, who seemed to be selectively choosing each bite of grass. I marveled at the truly amazing grace that had led me from Mississippi to Maui. No small trek no matter who you are. That was seven years ago.
Every moment I get to spend there, I cherish. It is my sacred space.
Every evening we sit on the front porch and watch the greatest light show on earth: the sun dipping below the horizon. Neighbors drop by. We sip drinks inspired by whatever is fresh and delicious -- mango, guava, pineapple, cucumber, basil. We chat, laugh and rate the sunsets according to their magnificence. When there's a full moon, we hike up the mountain and sometimes ride horses to the top to watch the moon rise over the ridge. I love being in my garden, cultivating the most delicious organic fruits and vegetables. Radishes as big as your head. The land gives and gives. It restores my soul.
It's the place most optimal for me to share with friends, family and my daughters from the school in South Africa. I've never encountered anyone who doesn't love it. The soothing breezes and glowing sunsets, and watching the sun rise as you look down on the clouds below Haleakala Crater all manifest the splendor of the island. For me that's the bonus. The real substance and value of being in Hawaii is the unspoken "spirit" of the people and the surroundings. Hawaiians understand that the soul of the land is what matters.
I've had some transcendent, powerful and revelatory moments on the island. Stillness so profound the sound of my own heart beating felt disruptive.
I love to return, to play, to relax, and to rejuvenate. But it's the stillness I seek again and again."http://www.huffingtonpost.com/oprah-winfrey/seeking-stillness-in-hawa_b_3863184.html