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April 2008

Hawai`i News

Lucy Enos and the Space Foundation Summer Institute

By Elliot Pulham

My grandmother was born at the turn of the century in a small Hawaiian camp above Pāhala, on the Big Island of Hawai’i. She probably never dreamt that her grandson would one day work in the space industry, but in her time she saw the invention of airplanes, man landing on the moon and everything in between. She knew that a good education was going to be important in today’s world, and I remember her laughingly chiding her mo’opuna to study hard and learn to speak good English!

Mindful of tutu’s values, my wife Cynthia and I were delighted a few years ago to be able to establish The Lucy Enos Memorial Scholarship for Teachers at the Space Foundation. The scholarship provides a unique opportunity for teachers of Hawaiian ancestry, or teachers working extensively with children of Hawaiian ancestry, to come to Colorado Springs to participate in a Space Foundation Summer Institute program -- and to bring exciting new teaching skills back to their classrooms.

The Space Foundation is a unique non-profit organization that is part trade association, part think tank, and part academic institution. Headquartered in Colorado Springs, the Foundation also has offices in Washington, D.C., Cape Canaveral, Fla., and Houston, Tex. Celebrating its 25 th year, the Space Foundation is widely recognized as the premier non-profit organization in the space industry, working with companies, space agencies, governments, media, other think tanks and trade associations and teachers from all over the world. The Foundation is part of the U.S. delegation to the United Nations on space issues, and over the past 20 years has provided teacher professional development, curriculum, graduate programs and even masters degrees. Foundation education programs have served more than 25,000 teachers in all 50 U.S. states and overseas.

So far, teachers from O`ahu, Maui and the Big Island have won the Lucy Enos Scholarship – but mainland teachers can also apply. If you know a teacher of Hawaiian ancestry who would like a rocket-propelled summer experience that will help launch learning excitement in their classroom, please encourage them to apply! The Space Foundation website is at www.spacefoundation.org, and information about Foundation education programs – including how to apply for the scholarship – can be found in the education section of the website. Teachers participating in these programs bring to their students new experiences in rocketry, astrobiology, astronomy and astrophysics, space exploration and much more.

The mission of the Space Foundation is “To support space endeavors to inspire, enable and propel humanity.” Education programs for teachers and students are a big part of that mission. For example, every April the Foundation conducts the National Space Symposium in Colorado Springs. This is the largest annual gathering of the space industry anywhere in the word. In addition to the speeches, workshops, exhibits, panel discussions and other activities for the leaders of space companies, agencies and organizations from around the world, the Symposium is also a gathering place for students and teachers. Nothing excites students about their studies like space, and this rich environment is often the highlight for teachers who have decided to step up to offering students a more inspiring and challenging curriculum.

Space technologies have improved the quality of life for people all over the planet, and space exploration continues to inspire our young people. To learn more about The Space Foundation, please visit our website! Mahalo!

Elliot Pulham (Kamehameha Schools, Class of 1973) is president and chief executive officer of the Space Foundation. In addition to providing leadership for the foundation, Pulham is an adviser to the United States Air Force; a member of the board of advisers of the National Institute for Space and Security Studies; a member of the Colorado 30 Group and others. Elliot, his wife Cynthia and son William live in Colorado Springs.


`Ewa's "Old Man of the Sea"

by Mike Byers

Ignoring sharks and other creatures of the deep, Robert Takamoto would swim out 300 yards or more from the beach at Barbers Point and Campbell Estate in hope of catching the big one. Many people  who knew him had their doubts.

Robert Takamoto and his world-record 233 1/2 lb sea bass caught off O`ahu in 1963.
Photo from Mike Byers

On January 19, 1963 Mr. Takamoto caught a world record 233 1/2 pound sea bass from shore off Barbers Point on O'ahu Hawaii at 4:00 p.m. This was the largest deep sea bass caught from shore with a sixty pound test line according to the newspaper.

Robert Takamoto was born in 1916 and worked for Ewa Plantation where he lived and raised his family next to the cane fields. I had the privilege of going fishing with him one late afternoon in 1962 and watched him cook a white eel which he always used for bait in hope of one day catching the "Big One". He swam far out to sea wearing his "bamboo goggles" and dropped the line in deep waters. We slept on the beach and waited for the bell on his rod and line to ring, signaling a catch but it did not happen.

In 1963 I received a letter from him along with a photo and newspaper clipping revealing his dream come true. His daughter, Joyce (Takamoto) Tanisaka recalls that "my father would always use white eel, hook it on and swim out until I could barely see him out at sea and drop the hook in the right spot and swim back to the beach where he secured his rod and reel". While he was swimming back he would dive for lobster, eel and fish using his home-made spear gun".

Joyce states "I recall my dad taking young good swimmers from Ewa fishing with him and they came back scared because of the very strong currents and the walk on the coral and rock in order to get back on shore, or the time he was bit by an eel and required stitches". 

Mr. Takamoto gathered the community together during the big sugar plantation strike in 1958 before Hawaii became a state. Joyce recalls, "he created a soup kitchen in each community where families on strike could gather and have a nice hot meal. The vegetables came from our home garden". My dad arranged for entertainment from the people living in the community and I danced hula at age 14".

I still have a picture in my mind of the Takamoto's plantation home with all the flowers, vegetable garden next to the cane field, koi fish tanks where he raised them and the miso soup made by Mrs. Takamoto for me when I had a sore throat.

Bamboo goggles, Hawaiian Sling and good friends! Memories, cherish them!
Mike Byers met Robert Takamoto in the summer of 1962 when Mike and his daughter became friends in college. He said, “Joyce knew I loved the sea and fishing so she introduced me to her folks. Robert and I became good friends and spent many afternoons in Ewa and on the beach. Mr. Takamoto passed away about ten years ago.”

Mike graduated from the University of Hawai`i and was on the UH swimming team coached by Olympic coach Soichi Sakamoto. He is a retired attorney and paddles for Hui Heihei Wa`a in Silverdale, Washington.


Local Boy Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalist Co-Authors Cyber Crime Exposé

Byron Acohido

The kickoff of a national promotions push for Wahiaw ā native Byron Acohido’s new book on Internet security and cyber crime will take place Saturday, April 5 at 3 p.m. at Barnes & Noble at the Kitsap Mall in Silverdale. Acohido will give a brief talk on Internet-enabled data theft and financial scams, then sign books. He will also sign books on Wednesday, April 9, at 6 p.m. at the Pacific Place Barnes & Noble in downtown Seattle.

Acohido’s book, co-authored with Jon Swartz—Zero Day Threat: The Shocking Truth of How Banks & Credit Bureaus Help Cyber Crooks Steal Your Money and Identity—is equal parts detective story, techno-thriller and banking exposé. It has drawn strong early reviews.

Washington Post Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter James Grimaldi calls Zero Day Threat “an important and major piece of investigative journalism.” Counter-terrorism consultant and best-selling author Richard A. Clarke notes that “if you bank or manage your stocks online, you have to read this book.” And Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff describes the book as “An Inconvenient Truth for the digital age.”

Acohido works from home in Kingston, Washington. The Class of ’73 Damien grad is married to the former Robin Cassady, of Pearl City, a Waipahu ’73 alum. They met at the old Hawaiian Hut disco in the Ala Moana Hotel way back when and have raised four sons.

Robin, an attendance clerk at North Kitsap High School, dances hula in Na Hula O Kauhale No Nahele Kai, the Port Ludlow-based hula halau founded and run by Auntie Bernie Robinson. Byron plays the uke and paddles canoe with Silverdale-based Hui Heihei Wa’a.

While working as a business reporter for the Seattle Times from 1987 through 2000, Acohido began covering aviation disasters involving Boeing jetliners. In 1997, he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Beat Reporting for stories about a deadly design flaw in the rudder actuators of Boeing 737 jets. He joined USA Today in 2000 to cover Microsoft and technology, which led to stories on cyber crime, and ultimately this book.

Written in a narrative, storytelling style to inform the general public, Zero Day Threat has been optioned to a Hollywood production company which is pursuing a movie dramatization. “I feel very strongly about getting the word out on this important topic,” says Acohido. “Our aim is to increase public awareness and help improve the security and privacy of everyone's personal data.”

You can see and hear the authors describe Zero Day Threat—and track the progress of the book’s national promotions campaign—at zerodaythreat.com.

For more info, contact: Byron Acohido O: 360 297 5566 C: 360 649 3562 bacohido@usatoday.com


Aunty Genoa: Lady of Aloha

by Kimo Ahia

This photo from the 1950s is of the group Genoa Keawe and Her Hawaiians with radio and TV personality Lucky Luck (front) -- Aunty Genoa is in the middle.
Photo courtesy of Emma Sarono

Hawaiian music legend Genoa Keawe died at her Papakolea, O`ahu home at the end of February at the age of 89. Known for her falsetto, Aunty Genoa’s signature song was `Alika, where she reached a single high note and held it for what seemed to be forever. Kimo Ahia shares below some fond memories of this amazing artist.

With the passing of aunty Genoa Keawe all of Hawaii lost a singer whose life was one that epitomized Aloha in all its essence. For me, I am glad to have the memories of the few times I was in her presence.

I first met her while she was in the KVOK studio at the Kamehameha School for Girls. As student engineer, I operated the studio equipment while she and other singers like Johnny Alameida recorded for 49th State Record Co. Despite the countless repetitions to get it just right, Aunty Genoa would sit there relaxed and calm, conversing with uncle Johnny and the other musicians. She made an effort to know a little about me, where I was from, etc. What stood out was that she would thank me for working with them as she left. Talk about class! All this took place back in 1958.

After moving back to Hilo, I began monthly business trips to Honolulu, staying at the Ala Moana Hotel. Aunty Genoa performed every evening at the poolside stage with her usual casual down-home style. I was astounded when she recognized me and later invited me up to sing with her group. My cousin, Peter Ahia was with her at that time. Needless to say it became one of the highlights of the monthly trips to O`ahu.

As I look back I realize I have truly been blessed to personally know so many of Hawaii’s outstanding musicians…legends that have claimed a personal place in my heart and soul. As their music continues to play, these memories come to life and transports me back to Hawaii Nei. Mahalo, Aunty Genoa for your makana.

Kimo Ahia was born in Ola`a and raised on Puna Sugar Plantation on Hawai`i Island. He boarded at the Kamehameha School on O`ahu from the 6 th grade until he graduated in 1960. He attended the University of Hawai`i-Mānoa, worked at Volcanoes National Park, was Kaua`i island manager for Brewer Chemical until he moved to Walla Walla, Washington in 1993, where he still lives with his wife Kathy.


Molokai Ranch To Close

By Roger Close

As the paper went to press, there was big news coming from Molokai. Molokai Properties Limited (better known as Molokai Ranch) is shutting down its operations on Molokai at the end of March.

As MPL “mothballs” its assets on its 60,000+ acres of property, more than 120 employees will be laid off in the following 60 days.

Operations shutting down will include the Molokai Lodge, The Kaupoa Beach Village, the Kaluakoi Golf Course, the Maunaloa gas station, the Maunaloa Tri-Plex theatre, cattle rearing, and all maintenance operations. MPL has also stated they will close indefinitely all access to its property.

Company CEO Peter Nicholas stated in a press release, “Without the prospect of an economic future for the company that results from the implementation of all facets of the Master Plan, we are unable to continue to bear large losses from continuing these operations.”

The 200 lot development at La`au Point was a critical component for MPL of the Master Plan. The development would have mitigated the company’s huge annual losses on Molokai. The La`au Point development has been strongly opposed by the people of Molokai.

The closing of Molokai Ranch will have a significant impact on Molokai’s employment opportunities, tourist industry, and economy and community as a whole.


Aloha Airlines Files for Bankruptcy

For the second time in thirty-nine months, Aloha Airlines filed for Chapter 11 for bankruptcy protection. As Hawai`i’s second oldest carrier, Aloha lost $81 million in 2007 and $11 million for January 2008 alone. Many of its 3,500 workers were surprised at the announcement as the company had not informed them of the bankruptcy filing. Retirees were worried that it would affect their retirement benefits.

Aloha was founded in 1946 and is the state’s second largest carrier after Hawaiian Air. It currently operates more than 700 interisland and 120 West Coast flights per week. Aloha blames go!, the Mesa-backed upstart that entered into interisland competition in June 2006 for its current woes. In the ensuing price war, fares sometimes dipped as low as $19 and $29 one way interisland, to the relief of many customers who were facing $100 one-way tickets before go! entered the market. Hawaiian Air recently won a lawsuit against go!, charging that Mesa used confidential information when it brought go! to the Islands, resulting in an $80 million judgment against Mesa. Aloha’s similar lawsuit against go!, is pending and will go to trial in October.

Jonathan Ornstein, Mesa’s chief executive, earlier denied that Mesa attempted to drive Aloha out of business, saying that his company had tried to invest $20 million in Aloha.

Hawai`i governor Linda Lingle (R) expressing concern said, “The continued, uninterrupted service of the airline is in the best interest of the employees, Hawai`i residents and visitors, and our state’s economy.”

Aloha is now looking for a buyer as its chief financial banker Yucaipa Corp., based in California, cut off its funding.

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