K9 Kokua was formed when a group of dog lovers began feeding and helping care for Opu, a dog belonging to a houseless member of the community. Volunteers soon became aware of a growing need for basic pet care for animals belonging to the houseless population in Waianae and throughout Hawaii. Over time, the group has formed bonds with many more dogs and their owners, helping provide everything from pet food and flea shampoo to spay or neuter procedures and microchipping services. Along with giving these dogs emergency veterinary care and food, volunteers provide love and affection, helping the dogs maintain as normal a life as possible in their difficult circumstances.
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Before students’ fingers even get to know the coolness of clay, just entering Ka'ala Clay and Coffee Bar is already a feast for the senses. The aroma of fresh-ground coffee emanates from the coffee bar. A bright yellow studio pleases the eyes. The whir of pottery wheels signals the creation of new bowls or vases. For the uninitiated or artists seeking new inspiration, its group or private classes focus on the intricacies of throwing clay as well as hand-building techniques and glazing. Artists can also rent out spaces where they can work on personal projects, the value of which Ka’ala’s artist owners know well: Tzaddi Pearce is a potter with more than 10 years of experience, and Matt Pearce is a potter and photographer.
Fire dancers, fireworks and all-night tunes can only mean one thing—it’s the New Year’s Eve “Party of the Year," top-rated by the Honolulu Pulse in 2012 and 2013. Divided into different zones, the party offers more than 20 live bands—including national recording artists The Cataracs—and DJs that pump out hits throughout the evening. Partiers enjoy entertainment such as food trucks, beer gardens, an LED ferris wheel, and carnival games. Hourly fireworks shows lead up to the big finish, a $25K display set to help ring in the new year at midnight.
The menu at Maili Sunset Bar & Grill specializes in the ocean's bounty. Combo meals bring together clams, shrimp, crayfish, and king-crab claws slathered in garlic butter. Sauces and shallots coat glistening oysters on the half shell and fresh chunks of fish poke. Other finger-friendly foods include chicken wings, egg rolls, Cajun fries, and Korean fried chicken. In addition to sating the masses, Maili serves as a venue for watching broadcast sports and live entertainment such as bands and hip-hop open-mic nights with prizes awarded in cash and rhyming dictionaries.
The scorching Arizona sun beats down on Adobe Dam Regional Park, but visitors to Wet 'n' Wild Phoenix keep cool as they splash throughout more than 30 waterslides and attractions. The 35-acre facility is home to an abundance of adrenaline-pumping rides—including a towering tandem water coaster, a spiraling 45-foot funnel, and a four-story six-tube speedway—to contrast its more laid-back attractions, including an interactive playground and 700,000-gallon wave pool. The junior water park accommodates younger guests with kid-friendly funnels, rivers, and racing slides. Food and beverage carts traverse the grounds, while an onsite restaurant, cafes, and pubs fuel fun with full meals, snacks, and drinks. To ensure guest safety, a vigilant staff of lifeguards patrols the park and will swiftly kick out sharks who've shrewdly disguised themselves in bikinis and sun hats.
When it comes to spearfishing, Westside Dive and Tackle founder Kris Tyler considers using scuba tanks as cheating. So when he suits up to spearfish, the seasoned outdoorsman plunges 20 feet below the water’s surface, holds his breath in the stillness, and waits: “You become a part of the reef or rock, and you wait for the perfect situation—for the one fish that might give you that really good shot.” A self-described “water baby,” Kris has been swimming and fishing in Hawaii and Florida since childhood. Most of all, he loves the way spearfishing enables him to connect with the underwater universe and partake in a tradition Hawaiians have enriched for generations.
In addition to his spearfishing expeditions, Mr. Tyler totes explorers to his favorite sunken wrecks and lava caverns off the coast of Oahu on scuba-diving charters, and equips them to chart their own expeditions or challenge blowfish to staring contests during scuba-diving certification.