Editor’s Page: The Neighborhood

Feeling connected to those around us.
Photo: Adam Jung

Our eye-grabbing cover story, titled “Who Owns O‘ahu?” (page 52 in the magazine), takes on a topic that concerns all of us who care about Honolulu. 


Whether we rent or own our homes, we care about shelter as one of our most basic needs, along with food and safety. And, once we figure out our shelter, we worry about our parents’ homes, our kids’ future homes, or how much our neighborhood has changed in the last 10 or 20 years.


Senior editor Don Wallace dived into this topic, answering many questions while raising others. With more building cranes dotting our skies than at any time since the 1980s, and economic boom in other places prompting a surge in out-of-town buyers, residents feel the squeeze of pressure on our communities.


Researching the landowners, the trends and the growing influence of corporate shells and trusts exposes the shifting landscape. While the corporate paperwork tells part of the story, walking past beachfront homes that lie empty for weeks and months suggests another part. 


As with most compelling stories, we find no simple answers, but understand that we must continue to ask these questions about land use as they shape our community’s future. Also we enjoyed illuminating the feature with the stunning photography of Cameron Brooks.


On a lighter note, we recognize that some folks are so rooted in their community they’d rather call a business to come to them than go to a brick-and-mortar store. In “808 on Wheels” (page 46 in the magazine), freelance writer Dawn Southard, managing editor Michael Keany and photographer Olivier Koning introduce us to the growing variety of mobile services that will roll up to your home or office.


You’ve probably seen the pet groomers driving around and figured both pets and their doting owners would prefer house calls. Or maybe you saw the knife sharpeners outside a hair salon. Or you’ve heard about the dent repairers, who offer a mobile fix for those dings picked up in the daily drive.


We also found a different type of peace of mind, with a mobile notary whose stories she won’t tell are almost as compelling as the convenience of signing important legal documents in the privacy of your own home. And, yes, there’s a real doctor who can quickly erase the morning-after malaise of a hangover with an intravenous refresh.


For a less extreme form of detox, check out this month’s ‘Ono section, with a fresh look at the hot-pot restaurants available in Honolulu. From gleaming chain restaurants to humble neighborhood hangouts, our intrepid contributing writer Catherine Toth Fox brings us the latest hot spots for communal cooking in “Hot Pot Won’t Stop” (page 101 in the magazine).


She visited one of the first restaurants in Honolulu to embrace this trend, Shabu Shabu House, which continues to refine its identify as a place specializing in “healthy hot pot,” adding an emphasis on locally grown meat as well as vegetarian choices. And she ventured to newer places including Little Sheep, which combines a sprawling modern setup where diners can opt for small portions to try a wide variety of ingredients.


Sending Catherine out to do this piece proved a bit nostalgic, as HONOLULU’s last big story on hot pot in Honolulu was written by our friend the late John Heckathorn, former editor of this magazine. I think John would have been pleased to find another friend following up on the latest in hot pot.


Wrapping up the magazine is a wry look by our managing editor at the latest photo fad: selfie sticks.


Somehow that seems the right mix for the end of spring.


Read more stories by Robbie Dingeman