The tall, handsome Polynesian young man physically towered over everyone else in the HUB room at the University of Washington…and considering that there were several current and former UW athletes among the nearly 800 guests in attendance, it wasn’t that others there were that much smaller because they weren’t…this young man is a big guy which you need to be if you are a starting defensive tackle for the UW Huskies football team! Maybe what seemed to make him even larger than life was the tremendous, prestigious award he was receiving that evening! DONNY MATEAKI from the Kalihi uka area and one of Iolani High School’s best ever, was being honored as the 2006 University of Washington SCHOLAR/ATHLETE by the UW Office of Minority Affairs! Considering that the UW has so many outstanding UW minority athletes like QB Isaiah Stanback and basketball star Brandon Roy, Donny’s selection is a major achievement! And auwe, to see a “local boy” get recognized for academics is sooo awesome! Donny Mateaki’s has one more year of college football eligibility left and is looking forward to what he says will be a better UW football team this year than most people anticipate! Donny Mateaki’s ambition is to become a professional NFL football player. Congrats Donny and good luck….Very fascinating too that there are so many Hawaiian Islanders involved in the educational activities at the UW…met Lisa Matsukawa Chinn (Aiea ’82) who is on the Educational Opportunity Program Board of Trustees (Lisa’s sister is TV celebrity Lori Matsukawa, another Aiea HS grad)…then there was Ruby (Macadangdang) Farinas (Baldwin HS, Maui) who did the decorations for the awards ceremony…Linda (Nagata) Jardine (Farrington ’71), Val Espana and Leo Pangelinan (from Saipan) are Office of Minority Affairs staffers….Peter Fisher (grandpa was Eddy Kiapo from Maui) grew up in Hawaii and was there with his daughter J Camille Fisher, one of the award winners…
Auwe…sad to report that the Long’s Drug Store on 196th in Lynnwood has closed down so those of us used to going there for Hawaiian goodies will have to go elsewhere…our buddy Chris Kapua, Kalihi guy, is transferring to Long’s in Bellevue…go see him there…
The month of May 2006 started like gangbusters (busy, busy busy!) It all began with a May 1st dinner meeting I was asked to organize for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs leaders (Haunani Apoliona, OHA Trustees chairperson, Clyde Namuo, OHA Administrator, Mona Bernadino, Director of OHA’s Governance Division and Aulani Apoliona, OHA Kau Inoa program outreach manager.) I invited over eighty of our Seattle/Tacoma Hawaiian community leaders to join me for a very educational and informational meeting where Haunani and Clyde updated us on current Hawaiian issues plus answered the many questions about concerns we all had! Attendees included some of our area’s most active “doers” like Boy Chun Fook, John Richardson, Sharmayne Schilling, Aunty Emma Sarono, Puyallup Tribal Police Lt. Ben Baker, Sandy Preszybys, Stan Dahlin, Butch Calivo, Ahoi Simeona, Fred Whang, Larry Kaikala, Moodette Kaapana, Mike Sturrock, Heather Minton and lots of others. I received the greatest compliment from Mona Bernardino who said that this particular meeting was the very best of many that OHA has held on the Continent over the past few years. She was very impressed with how knowledgeable we all were and how respectful we were of and among each other, how we genuinely seemed to care about each other and about Hawaiian issues…speaks so well of the Hawaiian community we have up here, don’t you think?
Do you know that Bellevue city has one of the five fastest growing Asian American/ Pacific Islander populations in the USA? I attended a meeting of the Bellevue City Council with the U.S. President’s Asian/Pacific Islander Americans Commission. Purpose was to exchange dialogue on how to cope with the needs of Bellevue’s growing Asian/Pacific Islander population. As expected, there was a large group of Asian Americans there but 16 of the 80 or so in the audience were our Samoan Ohana who were there to speak of the needs of the Samoan population. Most disappointing for me was the virtual “no show” of Hawaiians at this meeting. Sadly, Stan Dahlin and I (neither of us lives in Bellevue ) were the only Hawaiians there. I don’t need to remind you all how important it is for us Hawaiians/Hawaiian Islanders to become involved in issues like this….
Speaking of involvement…I am working with Ahoi Simeona, Kiha Kinney and Fred Whang in trying to establish a Hawaiian immersion type summer camp here in which our Pacific NW youngsters (6th/7th/8th graders) spend a week learning about their Hawaiian culture and heritage. The camp would be patterned after the annual “Explorations Camps” held by the Kamehameha Schools on their campus. We have prepared/submitted a work plan to various agencies seeking resources and their support and so far have received favorable comments from Senator Akaka’s staff, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and the Kamehameha Schools. We are very hopeful of having our first camp in summer 2007 but it really does “take a village to raise a child” so we will be needing all the support we can get from you, our Pacific NW Hawaiian community. No, we’re not going to be asking you for money as we hope to get that through grants and corporate donations/sponsorships. What we will need are people to help teach Hawaiian language, dance, music, arts and crafts, etc. and to be our support staff!
Hey, no forget! Get yourself involved in supporting Hawaiian community activities like the outrigger canoe races in Federal Way (June 3rd), Silverdale (June 20th), Everett (June 17th) and Bellingham (June 24-25th)…gotta hele on…a hui hou….Danny
Copyright © 2004-2009 by Northwest Hawai`i Times