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November 2006


For years I've been bombarded by comments/questions from many about why the State of Washington did not have a Hawaiian Civic Club. Finally, through the tireless efforts of Ben Baker (President), Emma Sarono (VP), Angelina Sarono (Secretary), Leilani Lovell (Treasurer), Fred Whang (Legal Advisor) and a few other Hawaiians in this area, the Moku`aina a Wakinekona Hawaiian Civic Club of Washington has become a reality!  The Club is looking for members who want to help preserve, promote and perpetuate the Hawaiian culture up here in the Pacific NW so contact Ben Baker or Emma Sarono if you are interested in joining them!

Congrats to Ivan Kealoha on his recent promotion to Chief Petty Officer (E-8), US Navy! I had the privilege of playing music (along with Iwalani Kamahele, steel guitarist Jack Aldrich and hula dancer Ki`apu Wolfe) at Chief Kealoha's promotion party and I gotta tell you those US Navy guys know how to p-a-h-t-y!!! Chief Kealoha is a Big Island guy who grew up in the Kalapana area and graduated from Waiakea HS in '87. Chief Kealoha is stationed at the Naval Base in Everett. He and his lovely wife Amy (from Atsugi, Japan ) now reside in the Lynnwood area but will be relocating to Chief Kealoha's new assignment in Rota, Spain at the start of 2007. The party was held at "Bobby's Hawaiian Style Restaurant's" new location at the western end of Hewitt Avenue in Everett....really nice place, more and easier parking, still great/great food.....you gotta go there!

The Makaha Sons sang "take a walk in the country" and I think that's a great idea. Go visit the Country Village in the Canyon Park section of Bothell, WA and catch up with Nani and Willama Avens at their newly expanded "Ante Nani's Grass Shack". They've more than doubled the size of their store and have added lots of new, cool Hawaiian products that you don't find elsewhere... one half of their new place is their coffee shop which serves the best Kona Coffee around and which Willama claims makes "da best Mango smoothie" in the world. They recently started a new Special Plate Lunch style meal that's served 4-8 p.m. on Thursdays only...they're planning to have Kanikapila music jam sessions on those Thursdays so take your appetite and your uke along and go have some fun there.....

Talk about taking trips...every year about this time, Kathy and I drive up Highway 2 to Leavenworth, WA so we can enjoy the magnificent changing colors of the trees along the slopes of Stevens Pass. The view on our trip this year was probably the most colorful  ever and we got a couple of bonuses on this trip as we were able to watch the Octoberfest activities in Leavenworth one of which this year featured a great button accordion player named Kory Tideman (who was playing some great polkas with the Happy Hans music group).  In his "other" life, Kory Tideman is known as one of the Pacific NW's best kiho`alu (slack key) players (sooo good that he gets to play with Hawaiian great Led Kaapana every time Led visits the Seattle area). We also met  Betty Moore West, Kailua HS '67 who wants to pass her Aloha to all former Madrigal Singers. Betty lives in Leavenworth and works at the very unique Black Swan shop which features some of the funniest tee shirts I've ever seen.......do stop in and say hello to Betty.......

I met lots of neat folks at the Lokahi Ohana Fall 2006 Ho`olaulea...three of them are students at Saint Martin U in the Lacey, WA area:  Deanna Gomes is a Haiku, Maui (2005 Maui HS grad); Lopaka Los Banos is from Waipio, Oahu (Kamehameha '04) and most unexpectedly I met pretty Christie Urban, a 2005 Lana`i HS grad (hey, when like me you come from a really small island like Lana`i with a population of little more than 2,000, meeting someone from there is most unexpected! )  Another special treat for me was meeting Vonnie Gunderson, a "local/born and raised in Hawaii haole" lady who absolutely brims over with pride and passion for the people and culture of Hawaii! Very disappointed when told that only ethnic Hawaiians could register for Kau Inoa, she said she still wanted to help so guess what she did?  She sat down, wrote a personal check for $100.00, gave it to me and said "Here Danny... use this to help our Hawaiians!" Mahalo Vonnie......you are a pretty special lady!  And Mahalo to the seventy (70) folks who signed up for Kau Inoa.............

I joined Harrom and Haunani Kaili and Jay Berinobis for lunch at Cafe Hawaii in Parkland, WA....I tried their beef and stir fry noodles lunch and it was great!  Owners Edgar and Tina Paranada came out of the kitchen to talk story for a while...they say business is going well… also commented about how fast time has gone by as Cafe Hawaii will be having its first anniversary in January 2007 and they plan to have a BEEG celebration......stay tuned for more details......

Get involved: the Iolani football team played in the Tacoma Dome a year ago; the Punahou volleyball and football teams were in Seattle a few months ago and now it's Kamehameha's turn as their boys basketball team will be in the Seattle area in late December to play against the Snohomish (Dec 26), Mariner (Dec 28) and Roosevelt (Dec 30) high school teams at the respective HS gyms. Go out and cheer for the Warriors. Also happening (Nov 4th): Aunty Manu Lono's Na Keiki Hula and Ukulele Festival at the Foster HS Theater for the Arts in Tukwila, WA .

Gotta hele on......take care/malama pono e a hui hou...............Danny

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