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February 2006


Auwe….What a way to start the New Year….I needed my track shoes for all the Holoholo I did in January 2006……

My first stop was in Hawaii where I was invited to participate in the first ever “Native Leaders Forum”/Native Hawaiian Leadership Conference” at the Hilton Hawaiian Village January 9-11, 2006! A more detailed story about this convention can be found HERE. Suffice it to say that I learned a lot…..

What to say about my short stay in Hawaii? The Spirit of Aloha is alive and well in Hawaii…..I had planned to stay at the Hawaiian Village during the convention so Iwalani Kamahele (my singing partner here) asked her niece Eileen Nepomuceno, who is on the Hilton Hawaiian Village Management staff, about helping me reserve a room at the Village and Eileen (whom I had only met twice before) said “No way…tell Uncle Danny he is staying at my house in Aina Haina.” She and husband Rick have a beautiful home and welcomed me in like real Ohana….Mahalo Eileen and Rick.

The young Hawaiian adults at the Native Leaders convention recommended that I go to one of Hawaii’s new music hot spots, the “Aku Bone Lounge & Grill” at the intersection of Pensacola and Kona streets (just Ewa/airport side of the Ala Moana Shopping Center .) I don’t know how many of you remember “Hank’s Place” in Kaimuki which years ago was the birth site for many of Hawaii’s best entertainers and music groups. Kim Higa (Farrington ’71) owner of the Aku Bone says that he is trying to create a place like “Hank’s” where new or young Hawaiian musicians can play and sing and build their fan base! The Aku Bone name? Kim was a long time fisherman on the Kewalo Basin tuna boats. Upon returning to shore after fishing for tuna, he would call his Dad and tell him to “cook da rice cause I bringing da Aku bones home”! Aku Bone is not a very big place and gets packed Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday evenings when Hawaiian groups perform so if you plan to go, go early! Mahalo much to Ron Havellana and his daughter for inviting me to sit with them in the standing room only Aku Bone Lounge….Ron sends his Aloha to his brother in Bremerton! Actually, my real reason for going to the Aku Bone Lounge was to listen to a very good friend of mine (Kekoa Kaluhiwa) and his “Holunape” group play/sing! A lot of you in Seattle may remember Kekoa for his musical and outrigger canoe talents while he was at the UW a few years ago. Kekoa has a double edged career right now (music at night and working for Senator Akaka’s office during the day) and I’m pleased to say doing well at both! “Holunape” just released their first CD (Holunape Ho`olu) which is good listening (and well worth the price) for those who love traditional Hawaiian music!

I was back in Seattle for a week before I had to fly south where I had been invited to participate in the “Ho`oulu Lahui Aloha/To Build a Beloved Nation” Ho`olaulea in Carson, California. The event was co-sponsored by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and Hawaiian Inter-Club Council of Southern California (HICCSC). The two day event drew over 250 Hawaiians including TV/movie actor (The Renegade) Branscom Richmond (who signed himself and several other members of his family for Kau Inoa), Mauians Kimo Kalawai`a and his wife Georgiana (Leong) who now live in Barstow, CA and Iolani ’51 grad Kalanui Wakinikona and his wife Ihi Kanealii Wakinikona. Attendees came to learn about the Kau Inoa program and to hear about the current status of critical issues (the Akaka Bill, the Lingle v. Arakaki and Kamehameha Schools Admissions policy litigations.) Over seventy people signed up for the Kau Inoa Registry. Featured speakers at the event included OHA Chairperson Haunani Apoliona, Kamehameha Schools CEO Dee Jay Mailer, HICCSC President Greg Kia`aina Princler, Pacific American Foundation’s Vern Miranda and Mistress of Ceremonies/Event Coordinator Ku`uipo Paula. Congrats to Ku`uipo for a great event!

Get your Holokus ready ladies: Hawaii’s Holoku Ball 2006 is scheduled for March 4, 2006 at the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Waikiki. The theme for this event is a salute to our children…Mai ka ipu ho`olina mai na kupuna mai (the child is the inheritor of the remotest kupuna).

Mark your calendars! The Punahou High School football and Punahou wahine volleyball teams are coming to town and Susan Goodbody Murphy (Punahou Alumni Relations Director, ’69 grad) invites everyone in the Pacific NW Hawaiian community to come out and cheer for the teams. Susie came up from Hawaii to brief the Punahou Alums in this area about the events. The football team will play Eastlake High School in Qwest Field on September 2nd while the volleyball team will play in a tournament at the U of Washington beginning on Aug. 31st. More definitive schedules of events (a Luau is planned at the UW for that weekend) will be published in future NWHIT issues as they are finalized. For now, Susie and the Punahou Alums want all of us Hawaiian Islanders to become “Buff & Blue” fans for that weekend! Auwe…sure have a lot of Punahou Alums who now live in this area including Heaton Wrenn ’75; Cullen Pang ’97; Rob Luck ’65; Gratia Huxley ’72; Gail Stringer ’84; Aaron Langhoff ’95; Lindsey Kinney ’59; Susan Givens Finnaren ’64; Warren Akiona ’60; Cris Legassy ’64; Pam Thomas Jenks ’65; Anne Arakaki Lock ’69; Hilary Arakaki ’98; Sherry Kam ’66; Susan Carter ’55; Kanoa (’82) & Renee Akiona (’89) Ostrem; Winston Ing ’58; Audrey Dobson Sallas ’59; Maryann Akina Aguiar ’60; David Branch ’59; Lael Prock ’59 and lots of others whose names I did not get! Anyway…I hope we Hawaiian Islanders can pack Qwest Field and the UW Hec Ed facilities in support of the Punahou youngsters!

Sad Aloha Oe to the Waimea Brewing Company restaurant in Kirkland which locked its doors for good on January 10, 2006 ! To Rob and Lani Faye….to Rosie and Brian and the rest of the WBC gang…..Mahalo for being so supportive of Hawaiian activities in this area for the past two years….we’re going to miss you all…..

Time to hele on….boy, sure hope I can holoholo on the ground for a while instead of flying…..until next time….a hui hou…………….Danny

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