Browsing articles in "food festivals"
Feb 19, 2014
Tina George

Bantry woman at helm of new food company

 

BY JACKIE KEOGH

BANTRY woman Karen Coakley has been lauded for her involvement in the Kenmare Food Carnival. Inspired by its success to date, Karen and her friend, Derick McMahon – who has also been a mainstay of the popular Kerry festival –have decided to start their own business.

Karen said: ‘The time we spent working on Kenmare Food Carnival, bringing it all together, taught us a lot. We made many valuable contacts during our two years together from national and regional reporters to food writers, chefs, foodies and food producers.’

Karen explained that both she and Derick are very active on social media and that they found this to be a huge driving force.

‘We have found great networking opportunities on Twitter, which is jam-packed with foodies and journalists all eager to hear what’s happening in the country in terms of food and festivals,’ she said, ‘and we are rather pleased that all of this will be put to good use with the launch of our new business, Kenmare Foodies.’

Karen and Derick became good friends whilst working on the carnival, but they also developed a strong sense of focus because they understood the level of dedication it required to bring an event of this magnitude together.

Busy

Karen is a mother of four boys, whilst Derick, who is a native of Killarney, is head chef at the renowned Avoca Cafe at Moll’s Gap. Both of them are busy, very busy, and they realise that is not easy starting a business in these times. But, as Karen said: ‘The tighter household budgets have become, the more people are determined to return to home cooking and learning how to cook economically.’

One aspect of the newly formed company, Kenmare Foodies, will be to give demonstrations, which ties in with the fact that there has, of late, been an upsurge in the number of food festivals and events being held throughout the country.

As part of their new business, Karen and Derick will also be offering a consultancy service to food festivals. The duo are willing to meet with people to troubleshoot and advise on all aspects of running a food festival from planning, programming, grant application to websites and publicity. They might even come up with some novel event ideas!

On the corporate side, Karen told The Southern Star: ‘We will be looking to organise one-day events for companies where we can use our expertise and networking abilities to publicise their client’s events.’

After two years of volunteering on a festival, Karen said: ‘We are extremely excited to be embarking on our new initiative, Kenmare Foodies, which really began last year when we started a blog about food and family life, and shared our favourite recipes.

‘It was born,’ she said, ‘out of a sense of the fun we have together and the fact that food is a passion for us. In fact, you could say it has been a driving force for us – something that was reflected in the fact that the blog was nominated for an award last year.’

Now, Karen and Derick feel it is time to use their knowledge and experience to offer their services in terms of food and events consultancy, cookery demonstrations and PR.

Feedback

So far, they have demoed at food festivals, such as the Harvest Offaly Food Festival, where the feedback was brilliant, and have been approached by a few Kerry schools to do fundraising demos.

In the meantime, they are working on a few new projects, including events such as the Kush Mussel Cook-Off for the Ardgroom-based company, Kush Mussels, last year. The event saw tweeters and food bloggers from around the country submit recipes to be judged and then two finalists had to cook off in Kenmare.

Karen said: ‘This was a great way for a food company to raise their profile on social media.’ Karen and Derick are also guest bloggers on the Ring of Kerry website, where they submit a blog post every month.

Follow them on twitter @kenmarefoodies or http:www.facebook.com/kenmarefoodies or email info@kenmarefoodies.com.

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Feb 18, 2014
Tina George

Kids get more chances to cook in Christchurch Food Festival’s Kids’ Kitchen – in-Dorset

Kids Kitchen launchFollowing the success of the Kids’ Kitchen at Christchurch Food Wine Festival in recent years, this year’s event will include more workshops at two venues.

 

Four Kids’ Kitchen workshops will be taking place at The Priory School in Wick Lane on the same days as the Festival Market – Saturday 10 May and Sunday 11 May – with a further two at The Kings Arms Hotel in Castle Street. All six sessions have been sponsored by the Rotary Club of Christchurch and Waitrose, Christchurch.

 

This year’s Kids Kitchen will feature workshops for youngsters aged three to 16 years old. Little Munchkins Cookery Parties for three to five year olds will take place twice each day giving the very youngest a chance to make fruity loaves and pizzas.

 

Six to ten year olds can join Lesley’s Little Chefs to make their own soup and bread rolls while seven to 12 year olds can cook their own feast of Chinese dishes. The final workshop at The Priory School, for nine to 14 year olds, will show how to make a spicy Indian feast.

 

At The Kings Arms nine to 16 year olds will learn how to use knives correctly as well as the secrets of making a delicious risotto and salad. The Food Festival’s patron, TV chef Lesley Waters will lead the second workshop at The Kings Arms which is for a parent or grandparent and a child from 7 to 14 who will learn how to come up with some Thai dishes.

 

All workshops will last for an hour and a half and cost £5 per person each.

 

Mary Reader, president of the Food Festival and trustee of the Food Festival Education Trust, said: “We are extremely grateful to The Rotary Club and Waitrose for their support for these workshops which means we have been able to keep the cost of each session down and expand into two venues. I am confident that any young person taking part in these workshops will not only learn some valuable cookery skills but also have fun.”

 

Tickets are now available online at www.regentcentre.co.uk or can be booked over the phone on 01202 499199 and at the Regent Centre box office in person. For full details of the Kids Kitchen workshops, go to www.christchurchfoodfest.co.uk.

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Feb 18, 2014
Tina George

Wanderlust Festival Announces Summer 2014 Line-Up

The Ultimate Yoga Outdoor Adventure Wanderlust Festival Announces Summer 2014 Line-Up Schedule

MC Yogi, Elena Brower, Shiva Rea, Seane Corn, Gurmukh, Bryan Kest, Gabrielle Bernstein, Jurassic 5, Big Gigantic, Charles Bradley and other fresh faces join this year’s uplifting tour infusing yoga, mindfulness, nature and the arts

Wanderlust Festival is on a roll.  Its core mission — creating community around mindful living — has taken root in communities across the globe, allowing rapid growth in locations from North America to Australasia. Wanderlust’s expanded 2014 Summer schedule offers new events, a deeper talent roster, unparalleled outdoor adventures, additional pre-festival workshops, an innovative 200-hour yoga teacher training program, and an expansive new website to tie it all together.

Kicking off its sixth season, Wanderlust continues to lead with experiences that blend yoga and mindfulness practice with travel and adventure, fostering a large and fast-growing community around the world. Festivalgoers revel in breathtaking resort locations filled with extraordinary natural beauty, participating in yoga, music, meditation, organic food and wine, inspirational Speakeasy lectures, paddleboarding, hiking, biking, and new this year, chi running and parkour – an intense style of freerunning with a holistic twist.

“Wanderlust is this container of amazing experiences and ideas. We pull from a huge breadth of talent — from thought leaders to slackliners, from yoga masters to paddleboarders,” says the co-founder, Jeff Krasno. “There are little gems of wisdom and inspiration for people to discover and to take home with them. Wanderlust is both a fun-filled community experience and something much deeper – it provides a path for people to find their true north.”

Unplug!
In an increasingly connected, gadget-obsessed world, Wanderlust serves as an escape for people looking to disconnect from the virtual world and reconnect with themselves, nature and a like-minded community. “Over the past couple of years, we’ve seen a growth of intentional gatherings as diverse as Burning Man, obstacle races and food festivals,” says Krasno. “The larger trend is that people are thirsting for real interaction. Wanderlust, with its beautiful settings, community focus and challenging mind/body program, provides a great opportunity for folks to power down and get back in touch.”

Lust Is Everywhere!
This year’s festival locations include Stratton Mountain (June 19-22), a new Rocky Mountain home at Aspen Snowmass (July 3-6), a return to Wanderlust’s original birthplace, Squaw Valley (July 17-20), an extended 5-day event in Whistler, BC, Canada (July 31 – August 4), and a newly expanded festival at Mont Tremblant (August 21-24). Outside of North America, the festival arrives down under for the first time in Australia (Wanderlust Melbourne + Sydney; March 10 March 30) and New Zealand (Wanderlust Auckland; March 23).  Wanderlust is also set to return to the Hawaii’s shores later this month (Wanderlust O’ahu; February 27-March 2).

The 2014 summer festival lineup features renowned yoga instructors and an expanded line-up of musicians, artists and conscious lifestyle gurus, including:

Yoga:
Annie Carpenter
Cameron Shayne
Elena Brower
Eoin Finn
Gurmukh
Janet Stone
Jenny Sauer Klein
Jonny Kest
MC Yogi
Meghan Currie
Noah Maze
Rod Stryker
Schuyler Grant
Seane Corn
Shiva Rea
Sianna Sherman
Tiffany Cruikshank

Speakers
Gabrielle Bernstein
Dr Sara Gottfried
Sharon Salzberg
Sally Kempton
 
Music
Jurassic 5
Nahko
Emancipator
Big Gigantic
Charles Bradley

Tickets for all events go on sale at advance pricing on February 18, 2014 at 1pm EST.  For the complete lineup and ticketing information, please visit the link below


MORE INFORMATION:

http://www.wanderlust.com

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Feb 18, 2014
Tina George

Monica Chia puts added spice into Kent curry market with chutneys and sauces …

Move over Posh, Sporty, Ginger, Scary and Baby Spice.

Monica Chia is all of you rolled into one. The ultimate Business Spice.

The feisty, fast-talking self-confessed foodie has spiced up a former apple store to create a taste of South-East Asia deep in the Kent countryside.

Monica Chia with father Siew and mother Fifi at the opening of the new Karimix premises at Selling, near Faversham

Surrounded by orchards in Selling, near Faversham, Monica produces chutneys, curry pastes, sauces and chilli jams for companies including EAT and Lakeland.

The sassy entrepreneur, who created Sainsbury’s Yo! To Go brand more than a decade ago, set about making Karimix a unique fusion food brand just before the recession hit.

The company was originally run by friends, a husband and wife team from a kitchen table, supplying a couple of farm shops and two specialist food chains.

Monica, 53, with decades of business acumen, could see the potential and bought out the couple with an offer they could not refuse.

She not only set about transforming the company with a clear business strategy but single-handedly revamped the product line, creating new recipes and preparation methods.

Monica Chia and her team at the official opening of the Karimix premises in Selling, near Faversham

New ingredients were selected to improve the quality, consistency and taste of the range which now includes 65 store cupboard essentials.

Monica, who has a daughter and is a grandmother-of-two ‘ankle-biters’ aged three and seven, loves to cook and has used her Singaporean heritage to develop signature flavours.

She said: “My family and friends all gave me their opinions when I was modernising recipes.

“I wanted to intrigue the customers’ taste buds so this was the fun side, spending hours and hours in the kitchen creating new recipes.

“Tastes change, our palates identify different tones and flavours so I had to keep ahead. It is important to remember consumers are more widely exposed to a variety of cuisines nowadays.”

Monica Chia with the highly-commended certificate for the Karimix Tamarind Chutney at the 2013 Taste of Kent Awards

But it was not all plain sailing. As the global recession began to bite, retail sales slowed to stagnant and then went into decline. Rather than run, Monica went all out with a complete rebranding exercise.

The results were “incredible”.

Monica said: “I wanted to create a new look and feel to the packaging so I hired a Kent graphics company Oak Creative [based in Newingreen, near Hythe].

“My brief was simple: No religion, no politics, no gender or race. They really understood what I wanted.

“I love the striking ‘K’ logo, it has a real kick and captures the vibrancy of the products. Rich burgundy and gold colours and elements of culture depict the brand and offer immediate identification on a shelf.

The new Karimix premises at Selling, near Faversham

“Rebranding was a serious investment but it worked and retail sales increased by 50% nationally and internationally 100%, within a year. We now supply companies in 10 countries.”

At the same time Monica attracted attention at key gourmet food festivals. Being a food ambassador certainly helped get Monica noticed but it was the ‘wonderful, innovative flavours’ of her fusion products that were the decisive factor in winning Kent Great Taste Awards – her Tamarind Chutney was highly commended this year.

Monica, who was born in Singapore, but was ‘tagged’ and ‘shipped out’ to be privately educated in the UK and went on to complete her PhD in Washington, USA.

She said: “It was unusual in the 60s to receive a good education but my parents wanted my sister and I to get the best possible schooling. England became my home.”

With links to several continents, Monica’s business brain and energy also extends to consultancy, including a minimum sustainable farming programme with Frigoken in Kenya and East Africa.

Opening the new Karimix premises was the culmination of many years’ hard graft and financial investment. When Monica’s partner Peter Holmes first saw the dilapidated apple store he was stunned. “You have great vision,” he said.

At the 100-guest grand opening ceremony in October, Monica was still working – this time cooking her favourite fusion foods to the delight of her customers and suppliers.

Her parents Fifi and Siew flew over from Singapore to cut the ribbon, proud of their daughter’s achievements and no doubt proud of their investment in the little girl they shipped out and went on to become Kent’s new Business Spice. Girl Power.

Karimix products are also available at farm shops, delis and health stores.The Karimix Shop at Stone Stile Farm in Selling is open Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 5pm. Visit www.karimix.com or call 01227 733878.

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Feb 17, 2014
Tina George

Where to Go for Valentine’s?

Food Culture:

Gikondo Expo grounds will host a cultural exposition and exchange program with multicultural and food festivals, and participants will be able to enjoy various foods prepared by famous Kigali based restaurants. This sounds like a nice way to enjoy your valentine, if you are one good couple that just loves eating.

Among the restaurants that have confirmed participation are Restaurant Chez Robert, Cameliia Tea House, Heaven Restaurant, Khana Khazana, Michey Mouse, Black Tonic, Royal Garden, Le Pichet, RaN Coffee, Luxury Hotel, and Africa Bite. The two-day event will run till February 15, and entrance is Frw 15,000.

Shows:

MTN brand ambassadors are set to thrill couples on Valentine Day at Expo grounds on 14th Feb in a concert dubbed URU-RAVU and promote MTN products in different commercials.

This is one of the special events organized by MTN Rwanda to its customers as they celebrate lover’s day in style. MTN lovers will be able to meet Knowles, Uncle Austin, Jay Polly, Man Martin and celebrated comedian Diogenes Ntarindwa ‘Atom’.

The concert will start at 7pm til dawn and the entrance fee is 2000 Rwf and 5000 Rwf for VIP.

Mico Prospert a.k.a ‘Mico the Best’ will be launching his second album ‘Kule’ in Musanze district in the Northern Province of Rwanda. Entrance will be as cheap as Rwf1000. The rural residents will be able to see some of the famous Kigali artists whom they love- among these will be the urban boys and Ama G’

Rap fans association dubbed Riderman Fan Club (RFC) has organized an extra ordinary event on Valentine’s Day to bring together the Kigali Rap base to celebrate their love through rap music. Entrance is Rwf2000 per head and 3000 for a couple.

The event will be held at Merez 2, in Gikondo- near Bank Populaire.

Upcoming musicians are set to thrill lovers on Valentine’s Day at Relax With Us restaurant in a concert dubbed Happy Valentine’s Day. The night’s performers will be new artists like Queen Cha, Allion, Benzo and Nikita as revealed by the organizers. The show will be a night special for only upcoming musicians (the undergrounds) to prove their worth and impress some fans.

Fashion:

Rwanda Clothing, a fashion house is organizing a Valentine’s Day special treat for its fans and customers on February 14. Dubbed, “Rwanda Clothing Fashion Party” the function will be held at Sky Hotel. All clothing and accessories will be sold at a discounted special Valentine’s offer. Entrance is free and the party starts at 8p.m till late- bringing you good music, beautiful models and designers.

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Feb 17, 2014
Tina George

5 things to do in and around Canary Wharf this week – Half Term specials

street food.jpg

ENTERTAINMENT

Half term is here this week so to help you keep the youngsters entertained here’s our top tips for what’s on in the area. There’s also a couple of food festivals for a chance to treat yourself.

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Feb 16, 2014
Tina George

Where Sun never sets: Walking in Memphis

Dusting off his blue suede shoes, John Carter savours the many tantalising delights of Memphis and its musical heritage.

There are bound to be some extra high jinks in Memphis this year, as it celebrates the 60th anniversary of a musical milestone. It was on July 5, 1954 that Elvis Presley recorded That’s Alright Mama at Sun Studio in Union Avenue. After which, as they say, nothing would ever be the same again.

In fact, Elvis had recorded at Sun Studio a couple of times previously, but had paid for the privilege, saying the discs were presents for his mother.

This monumental musical breakthrough came about by accident. Sun’s proprietor, Sam Phillips, had arranged for the young unknown to sing a couple of songs with guitarist Scotty Moore and bass player Bill Black. The results were far from satisfactory, and they were on the point of packing in when Elvis started to fool around with his guitar and sang That’s Alright Mama, for the sheer fun of it. When Moore and Black joined in, Phillips burst into the studio, yelling at them to “back up” so he could find a point at which to start recording.

With Graceland, Presley’s home, being its major tourist attraction (and, incidentally, second only to the White House as the most visited property in the USA), Memphis is inevitably dominated by The King. But there is far more to this city than the story and legacy of a single performer.

There are fabulous fairs and festivals, exhibitions and events throughout the year, as well as a much wider musical legacy. And without wishing to detract in any way from the Presley impact, it is worth noting that Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison and the legendary BB King also recorded at Sun Studio.

I’ll return to the musical heritage in a moment. Let’s take a wider look at the fascinating city of Memphis and some of what it offers its visitors.

For a start, there’s a year-long programme of festivals and special events – Memphis in May covers the customs, cultures and heritage of the city, and the same month sees Greek and Italian food festivals, along with a mammoth barbecue event.

The prestigious National Civil Rights Museum has just completed a massive renovation, and in the spring the Beale Street Landing project is to open. Among its attractions is a children’s play area with water features, and the famous Memphis river boats will arrive and depart from its dock.

One of the city’s more unusual attractions is to be found in Mud Island River Park. A scale model representing 1,000 miles of the mighty Mississippi runs for half a mile through the park. Particularly fascinating is that the water level is constantly changed to mirror that of the real river running alongside.

Memphis has a Carnival, too, which – while not as well-known as the Mardi Gras of New Orleans – is a great excuse to party. What makes it special is that it combines the spectacle of carnival floats and “Krewes” with the tradition of St Patrick’s Day, as the “Silky Sullivan” parade is held on March 15.

That parade takes place in Beale Street – which brings me back to the city’s musical heritage (the annual Beale Street Music Festival takes place in May). And to WC Handy who, while not as well-known generally as Elvis Presley, had as great an impact on the music scene. It was Handy who “invented” the Blues, shortly after moving to Memphis in 1909. Memphis Blues and Beale Street Blues are two of his many compositions, as is St Louis Blues.

He played in the Beale Street clubs, as did BB King (one of them bears his name). And, a young Elvis Presley learned his craft by watching the acts in those very same establishments.

There will, of course, be extra events and attractions at Graceland in this 60th anniversary year, but to get the most and the best out of Memphis, don’t overlook its other attractions, and the other outstanding talents that the city claims as its own. Stroll into WC Handy Park and seek out the statue of the great man himself. And, pay a visit to his home which, while not as famous as Graceland, has an equally important place in musical history.

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Feb 16, 2014
Tina George

Gumbo Festival Kicks off at Baytown Warf – WJHG

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SANDESTIN — One of the largest and most popular winter food festivals is in Sandestin this weekend.

Event organizers said the 25th annual Sandestin Gumbo Festival was sold out this year. The festival kicked off Friday at the village of Baytowne Wharf and wrapped up a few hours ago at 4.

Eighteen restaurant vendors participated in today’s gumbo-cook-off – judged by a panel of well-known public figures, including Newschannel 7′s Scott Rossman.

Guests enjoyed live Zydeco music from Dikki Du and the Zydeco Krewe. Festival guests were also invited to join a raffle and vote for several gumbo awards.

All proceeds are going to the Sandestin Foundation for kids. It benefits a variety of youth charities in the area.

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Feb 15, 2014
Tina George

Phoenix rises in Invercargill

Exterior view of ILT Stadium Southland. Photos by Allison Rudd.
Looking from the Legends Lounge towards the Surrey Park athletics track.
ILT Stadium Southland general manager Nigel Skelt in the main entrance foyer of the  stadium.
 


On a Saturday morning three and a-half years ago, the
weight of an unexpected spring snowfall was enough to
collapse the roof on Invercargill’s stadium. Fortunately, the
25 or so people inside the building escaped without injury,
but the community was left with a massive pile of rubble and
an unusable venue. Now – 40 months and $44 million later – a
new stadium has emerged from the ruins. Allison Rudd toured
the new facility on Wednesday.

At ILT Stadium Southland, the atmosphere is at fever pitch.
There are only five days until the doors reopen to the
public, and while construction is completed and the seating
and major fixtures and fittings are installed, the finishing
touches are still under way.

Painters and plasterers are hard at work. Electricians thread
metre after metre of cabling into the ceiling. Furniture
waits to be placed. Seats need to be dusted, floors swept,
carpets vacuumed and windows washed.

In a stadium which now boasts all the latest electronic bells
and whistles, technicians are busy sorting a bewildering
array of connections in a central computer server room.

Visitors are coming in and out. Between now and the end of
the year, the stadium will host 65 events, ranging from
sports games and charity boxing matches to concerts and food
festivals and some of the organisers of those events are
inspecting the surroundings.

Everyone seems impressed.

General manager Nigel Skelt, who has lived and breathed the
redevelopment, says while the collapse was unexpected and
unwanted, it gave Southland an opportunity to create a bigger
and better stadium.

”It’s not often that people get a second chance, but we got
one … This stadium is about one and a-half times bigger
than the old one.

”We’ve gone outwards, longer and higher. The only piece left
from before is the central core.”

The design is similar to before – a main court area with
community courts behind.

The main court has fixed seating on one wall and three sets
of retractable seating giving a total capacity of 4017 – 880
more than previously.

The seats are padded, with cup-holders between. Mr Skelt says
the comfort of spectators is paramount.

”We have put a real emphasis on our fan base and their
comfort. They are are lifeblood and we want them to come here
and enjoy the experience.”

The area has a retractable stage and theatre curtains to
transform it from a sports arena to a performance space.

Another new feature is the ”monster screen” – a four-sided
screen which can be lowered from the ceiling.

It has already been trialled at a netball game, Mr Skelt
says.

”You could watch the netballers on the court, and right
above them was all the action on the big screens. It was
fantastic.”

For spectators, the foyer and ticketing areas have been
enlarged and the number of toilets doubled.

Facilities for players and officials have also been
significantly upgraded. The community courts area now has
seven courts with sprung wooden floors and electronically
operated sporting code equipment, dividing curtains and
scoreboards.

The changing rooms are large and comfortable, with donated
spa pools for relaxing after the game.

Drug testing is a must these days, and the old stadium’s
adapted facilities have been replaced by a series of
specialised testing rooms.

The children’s climbing area and all-ages climbing wall have
been moved to a more suitable location. Upstairs, the
extended Legends Lounge is a multipurpose area which can seat
up to 350 people.

The squash courts have been refurbished and new floors have
been installed.

Even the 12 permanent staff and 28 casuals will be decked out
in new uniforms come Monday.

Mr Skelt, who had to make some staff redundant after the 2010
snowstorm, said he was ”thrilled” for his staff that the
redevelopment was completed.

”They have been through a hell of a time. To get them back
home again is cool.”

Of course, like every community project, there has been angst
about the cost.

The trust which runs the stadium does not have $44 million
yet, despite generous funding from Southland funding
organisations and councils, naming rights contributions and
an insurance payout of more than $20 million, and has
indicated it might launch a public appeal to meet the
shortfall. It has not said yet exactly what that shortfall
will be but it expected is to be more than $1.5 million.

Mr Skelt says Southlanders are enthusiastic about the
redevelopment.

”Everything we have done has been about future-proofing the
stadium for future generations … Now we have a world-class
facility. We have lifted the bar in every area.”

– allison.rudd@alliedpress.co.nz

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Feb 15, 2014
Tina George

New website touts inviting future for Larry Ellison’s Hawaiian island – Vallejo Times

Anyone who might have feared Oracle CEO Larry Ellison would desecrate the lush Hawaiian island of Lanai, which he bought in 2012 for a reported $500 million, might take comfort in a new website, Love Lanai.

The website is full of gorgeous images of the island’s breathtaking vistas along with reassuring references to “honoring heritage” and “land preservation.”

It also contains inviting details for visitors to enjoy its pristine beauties. Among other things, it promotes the island as a great place for weddings and family vacations, touts its luxury shopping and eating destinations, and notes that it will host international film and food festivals in 2015.

In addition, the website promises an upcoming television series — dubbed “Lanai Beyond the Grid” — which it hails as “an inspiring exploration on sustainable leadership and how a little island can change the world by reminding us the most powerful force in human nature is to care.”

Deborah Hellinger, spokeswoman for Redwood City-based software company that Ellison oversees, wouldn’t comment on whether her boss had created or at least approved of the site — http://lovelanai.com. But it seems likely it wouldn’t last long if it didn’t suit Ellison, a multibillionaire who owns 98 percent of the island.

So far, Hawaiians seem to be taking a wait-and-see attitude about Ellison’s purchase of Lanai, according to Robert Harris, director of the Sierra Club of Hawaii.

“I would say there is optimism and caution,” he said, noting that Ellison among other things reopened a public pool on the island that had been shut down by Lanai’s previous owner, David Murdock, who many local residents disliked. In addition, Harris said Ellison has won widespread support for his economic improvements on the island as part of his push to make it more self sufficient.

Robin Kaye, spokesman for Friends of Lanai, agreed that Ellison generally is regarded as a better steward of the tiny island’s environmental and cultural heritage than Murdock. But he added that many residents there remain concerned about a widely criticized wind energy project Murdock had proposed, which he apparently still retains the ability to construct. And while the Love Lanai website focuses heavily on bringing tourists to the island, it makes little reference to Lanai’s longtime residents.

“How that impacts people who are born and raised here all their lives,” he said, “we don’t know.”

Contact Steve Johnson at sjohnson@mercurynews.com or 408-920-5043. Follow him at Twitter.com/steveatmercnews

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