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Perhaps you caught the recent “Antiques Roadshow” Honolulu episode that featured a painting by 19th-century Hawaiian legislator and patriot Joseph Nawahi. Bought for $400, the painting was appraised on the show for upwards of $150,000. The estimated value of the 1888 painting of Hilo Bay has since quadrupled to nearly half a million. And what did the painting’s owners, Jackie Mahi Erickson and her husband, Bruce, do with their newfound fortune? They donated the painting to Kamehameha Schools’ charitable outreach branch, Ke Alii Pauahi Foundation.

Only five paintings done by Joseph Nawahi, an amateur painter and trusted adviser to Queen Liliuokalani, are known to exist. photo courtesy of Jackie Mahi Erickson

Only five paintings done by Nawahi, an amateur painter and trusted adviser to Queen Liliuokalani, are known to exist. On the show, appraiser Alan Fausel pointed out Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa and Hilo Bay in the painting and said the three elements made the work “Hawaiian gold.” He tied his informal appraisal to a recent sale of a Nawahi work for $70,000. But Don Severson of Hawaiian Antiquities in Honolulu knew of another, more recent, Nawahi sale for more than $400,000. Severson, who did the professional appraisal, adds that the fact that Hilo Bay—backed by the snowcapped pair of volcanoes—is clearly recognizable also increases the painting’s value, which he puts at $450,000.

Jackie, an attorney and 1958 graduate of Kamehameha Schools, and Bruce, a photographer, say it never occurred to them to keep the painting. “We always knew it should be shared with the Hawaiian people,” says Jackie. A reproduction of the painting now hangs in the couple’s home, where the original $450,000 painting used to hang next to a paddle, a feather kahili and a treadmill.

You can visit the painting at Honolulu Academy of Arts. Its permanent home will be Kamehameha Schools Hawaiian cultural center, to open in 2009.

There will be no treadmill at either of those showings.

-Jolyn Okimoto Rosa

What do the leaders of Honolulu Theatre for Youth, the Hawaii Nature Center and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Honolulu have in common? Each is a PONO graduate. PONO (Promoting Outstanding Nonprofit Organizations) is a nationally recognized nonprofit leadership program, co-sponsored by The Case Foundation and the Hawaii Community Foundation.

Hawaii’s nonprofit sector could use the support. A recent study by the Hawaii Community Foundation found that 42 percent of the nonprofit executive directors in Hawaii expect to leave their jobs by 2010. Besides professional training and networking, PONO provides fellows with grants of up to $30,000 to address critical issues or tap entrepreneurial opportunities.

Former PONO fellow Dennis Brown, president and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Honolulu, says he used a $30,000 grant from PONO to establish an individual giving program. That giving program generated $137,000 in pledges its first year, exceeding a $100,000 goal.

Evidence that it pays to be PONO.

To learn more or to apply, visit

- Kelli Abe Trifonovitch


>>> The scene at the Hawaii Kai Panda Express on Jan. 23 resembled a rowdy school cafeteria. Panda celebrated its 20th anniversary in Hawaii, and the company decided to thank the first 88 customers with combination plates, drinks and fortune cookies.

People showed up early, some even an hour before the doors opened, patiently waiting to part a sea of balloons for their free food. The frenzy was over in 40 minutes. All of Panda’s 12 Hawaii locations participated. In honor of the day’s frenzy and 20 years of business in Hawaii, we sized up the Chinese fast-food chain with some bite-size figures.

The combined sales of the Hawaii stores on the chain’s anniversary date. The stores served approximately 5,550 customers that day.

The number of free meals Panda gave away for its anniversary. It was chosen because, in the Chinese culture, eight is associated with luck and good fortune.

The number of people Panda currently employs at its 12 Hawaii locations. Four more stores are scheduled to open this year.

600 to 700
The pounds of orange chicken sold per day at the Ala Moana location, the highest grossing store in the chain.

39 million
The pounds of orange chicken sold in all the Panda stores last year, of which there are more than 900 in 36 states.

-Kyle Galdeira


Former Honolulu mayoral candidate Duke Bainum is back—in Middle America. The doctor-turned-politician appears to be settling down with his wife and their first child in Bainum’s native Arkansas.

photo courtesy of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin

Bainum says he has retired from the practice of medicine, sold his family’s seaside hotel in Maryland and returned to Arkansas to assume management of his family’s banking business. He settled his family about a year ago in Hot Springs, a resort city of about 40,000, where former President Bill Clinton spent his youth.

In the 1980s, Bainum’s late father purchased Diamond State Bank and Arkansas Diamond Bank. Both were scheduled to merge by March 1, 2007, into Diamond Bank, and Bainum, 54, has been named CEO. Diamond Bank has assets of $360 million and the two original banks have histories of above-average profitability and a combined net income in 2005 of $5.6 million.

Bainum often recounted his family’s rags-to-riches adventures in rural Arkansas, but seemed rooted in Hawaii until his 2004 defeat. Despite powerful supporters and an endorsement from the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, Bainum lost to Mufi Hannemann after reported sordid (and unproven) allegations made against his wife, Jennifer Toma-Bainum, by the family of an elderly man she had cared for in his final years.

But Bainum’s Hawaii ties have not been severed. The couple maintains a residence in Hawaii and Bainum says supporters here are urging him to run for lieutenant governor or congressman.

Says Bainum: “I have not ruled that out by any means.”

-Gwen Moritz

Hawaii Business defines often-spoken words, new and old, to help you make sense of what's being said.

PLUTOED: Pluto, stripped of its status as the 9th planet from the sun this past year, has reemerged as a term to describe when something or someone is downgraded or demoted. In fact, the American Dialect Society selected “Plutoed” as 2006’s Word of the Year. Coworker1: Eh, where’s that guy from accounting who got wild at the company pau hana? Corworker2: Corporate plutoed him. Check the mail room.

-Kyle Galdeira
Email confusing words to

59 Kailuana, Kailua

The listing for this sprawling waterfront property describes it as a “slice of Hawaii history.” At more than 2 acres, and under the same ownership for five generations, it’s a very big and old piece of history. The Castle Family Beach Estate (yes, that Castle family) at 59 Kailuana goes back so far that it predates Kailua, the beach community that sprung up around it. The compound and the surrounding area once served as the winter pasture for cattle from Harold K.L. Castle’s Kaneohe Ranch. In the late 1970s, the patriarch built the 5,400-square-foot ranch-style main house, which most recently has been occupied by his grandson and his family. Besides the residence, the property features a three-bedroom, two-bath guest house and a three-bedroom, one-bath guest cottage. While their respective architecture styles vary, all three structures are reflective of old-time, Island-style beach living.

Bedrooms: Ten / Bathrooms: Seven and a half / Living Area: 9,163 square feet / Lot Size: 87,866 square feet / Price: $17.8 million
photos by Skycam Hawaii and Hal Lum / courtesy of Case Properties International

In addition, to unobstructed views of the distant Koolaus, the property also sits face to face with the picturesque Mokulua Islands. It also boasts an expansive lawn, and, best of all, 314 linear feet of surf and sand.

-David K. Choo

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