April 2019: Table of Contents

Grading the Public Schools



Grading the Public Schools

We’ve ranked Hawai‘i’s public schools using official state Department of Education data. How does your school measure up?


Class Acts

Learning centers and Hawaiian language immersion are among the programs that show that Hawai‘i public schools reach far beyond test scores and letter grades. Across O‘ahu, we visited schools where students are pursuing their passions in diverse ways.

BY Jayna Omaye


The Bottom Line

The state Department of Education manages a $1.99 billion operating budget. But how is that budget funded? We dove into the numbers and found out what stakeholders have to say about it.



Food For Thought

There is something cooking in Hawai‘i’s public schools, and that’s unusual. After years of many students getting heat-and-eat dishes, local ingredients are making their way into school cafeterias. And that’s changing lunchtime in a big way.

BY Maria Kanai


Aloha On the Waterfront

The most diverse student body in the country, Hawai’i Pacific University students have enlivened Fort Street but always lacked a real home. Now they’re getting one at Aloha Tower Marketplace and Waterfront and Pioneer plazas. But the path hasn’t been smooth and the next four months promise to be real cliffhangers as new classrooms and more need to be finished by August. If all goes well, however, the big shift could not only supercharge the school, but power Downtown’s transformation.

By Don Wallace



Special Section

Faces of Hawai‘i

Photography by David Croxford and Aaron K. Yoshino




April Picks

Picnic at a celebratory kanikapila, try a new spin on Spam and say goodbye to the funkmaster general.  

By Christi Young


SEE ALSO: 9 Honolulu Concerts to Catch in April 2019


Bowled Over

Volunteer potters are making thousands of bowls for charity. Here’s how you can snag one on April 12.



Art of Building

Walking tours, films, sketches and photography celebrate Honolulu’s vibrant architecture scene.

BY Robbie Dingeman


Swap Meat

Being fake is sometimes a healthy thing. Just ask chef Jenn Hee of Juicy Brew, who took the iconic Salisbury steak dinner and made it good faux you—even with gravy all ovah.

BY Stacey Makiya


SEE ALSO: 9 Easter Brunch Buffets You Can Still Hop To in 2019


Da Meter

Gauging what’s hot and what’s not in Honolulu.



Quote Unquote: Merrie Monarch’s Luana Kawelu

Luana Kawelu, 79, took over as president of the Merrie Monarch Festival after her mom, Dottie Thompson, who was instrumental in reviving the event in the 1970s, died in 2010. Kawelu, a retired social worker, oversees everything from managing the 19 wāhine and 10 kāne hālau competing this year to sorting the thousands of ticket requests that come in from across the globe.

Interview by Jayna Omaye


SEE ALSO: Your Ultimate Guide to Watching the 2019 Merrie Monarch Festival


From Our Files: Hilo’s Hotel and Restaurant School in 1957

In the 1950s Hawai‘i’s hotel industry was booming but the state needed more cooks in the kitchens.

BY Christi Young




By Stacey Makiya and Brie Thalmann


What’s New


The Plastics

Clearly, being transparent is popular right now.


Better Together 

Hang on to your hula skirts! Fighting Eel and Sig Zane Designs are releasing their first collaboration at this year’s Merrie Monarch Festival.



‘Ono: Food & Dining

The Spice is Right

Exploring restaurants by the Islamic community on O‘ahu means tasting flavors from Uzbekistan, Iran, Morocco and … Italy. 

By Martha Cheng



HONOLULU Magazine April 2019 Cover
Every April, we rank Hawai‘i’s schools using Department of Education data. Find out how your school measured up in the new issue of HONOLULu magazine.


Editor’s Page: Remember When?

Garlic fries, toothpick ceilings and the life (and deaths) of two Downtown hotspots. 



Inside HONOLULU: Why Do We Grade the Public Schools?

I have this conversation every year on the streets of O‘ahu. Here is my answer.

BY Alyson Helwagen


Afterthoughts: The Lunch Club

My middle school had the best cafeteria food around. And not just because it was free.

By Katrina Valcourt