Editor’s Page: Choices

We’ve got burning questions.
Photo: Adam Jung

By July, the heat of summer is upon us. School’s been out for weeks and vacation is on everyone’s minds. Yet the middle of summer hints of possibilities. This month’s issue is all about making choices. 


Some are thought-provoking. Contributing editor Lavonne Leong is “Talking Trash” about an issue that we all contribute to: garbage. This month’s start of the retail plastic bag ban drove the timing of our inquiry, but Lavonne came back with a story that goes well beyond an explanation of where our trash goes. She found there’s a compelling argument among diverse experts that more of what’s now being recycled should instead go up in flames in the garbage-to-energy inferno of H-POWER. 


Should more of what’s now being recycled go up in flames?


Don’t get me wrong, we should still strive to reduce our waste as much as possible and reuse what we can, but we found eyebrow-lifting concerns about current recycling practices. Both Lavonne and photographer Aaron Yoshino trekked around pretty eww-inspiring piles of trash to bring back this story. We think you’ll find it was worth the trip to learn what’s still smart to recycle, where our waste goes and what environmental/economic changes the city is contemplating in the coming years.


Our whimsical cover reminds us it’s time for our annual Best of Honolulu issue, where we have the opportunity to call attention to some of the best things about our community. 


We invite you to read through our nominations of  the city’s best from both our editorial staff and our readers. It’s an annual feature, so please let us know if we missed any of your favorites, make your own recommendations for next time and take time to explore some of the picks you might not have experienced before. Some unexpected favorites?


Believe me, we drew some funny looks during our hours spent at Kailua Beach working with the sand lettering crafted by innovative lettering expert/graphic artist Matthew Tapia. While Tapia worked in the sand, photographer Aaron Yoshino jockeyed for the best ways to shoot the Best of Honolulu lettering. Fashion editors Brie Thalmann and Stacey Makiya tracked down some colorful “best of” winners to brighten up our beach lettering, including a Samudra clutch, a Pon Pon blanket, boardshorts from T&C Surf Designs and a watermelon from Whole Foods Market. Associate art director Gary Saito’s behind-the-scenes duties included fruit ninja watermelon carving. Our creative director Kristin Lipman served as visionary/chief ringmaster for our storming of the beach to pull together a compelling cover of our magazine. Now those people who questioned our sanity can see what we were up to that weekday afternoon.


But this issue’s got more than trash and a celebration of the best of our city. We’re also pleased to welcome back artist/writer/teacher/gallery owner Andrew Rose to the magazine with a story on “The State of the Arts in Hawai‘i”. Andrew raises some provocative questions about an art scene brimming with creative talent that still remains an underachiever.


And we’ve got some other new choices to mull in the adult beverage category. Contributing writer Jennifer  Fiedler takes a look at the rapidly growing craft beer scene in the Islands. Jalapeño Mouth, Taro Ale and Pillbox Porter, anyone?  Ale, yeah! Cheers to good summer choices.


See behind-the-scenes video of our cover shoot at bit.ly/hnbeachshoot.


Read more stories by Robbie Dingeman