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Danny Kaopuiki's

Kama`aina Profile

March 2009

So many stories left untold .........


As I write my final “Kama`aina Lifestyle...a Profile” column, my biggest regret is that there are so many Profile stories I won’t have a chance to tell about Hawaiian Islanders in the Pacific NW who spend so much of their time and talents spreading Aloha.......

I think of people like my good friend Tim Culler, the “enforcer” turned “educator” (many years a Police Officer but now a teacher at Renton Technical College) a huge bear of a man, but one of the nicest guys around.....and Malcolm Chang, another “enforcer” (formerly with the Honolulu Police Department and now a King County Police Officer) who now spends much of his free time promoting Hawaiian culture in this area. Malcolm was one of the original founders of the NW Maka`i Ohana (a hui of active and retired Police Officers from Hawaii) which provides first class Hawaiian food catering services and also conducts wholesome activities for youth in this area. Tim and Malcolm are both members of NW Maka`i Ohana which is one of the most popular dispensers of Aloha in Washington State and theirs would have been an outstanding Profile story!

Then there is my Man, the Kauai guy, Stephen Gomes, founder and perpetuator of the weekly “Hawaii Connection” radio show which has, and will continue to provide one of the most important communications links between Hawaii and those of us who have moved to the Pacific NW! Stephen was also one of the original creators of our NW Hawaii Times newspaper!

Among the multitude of people in the Seattle area who truly deserve recognition for all they do on behalf of our Hawaiian community are: Stan Dahlin (KS ’61, heart and soul of the Wakinikona HC Wa’a; greatly involved representing our Hawaiian community on numerous Asian/Pacific Islander councils)! Then there is Ki`apu Wolfe, the do-it-all wahine from Waipahu who, in her job as Manager at the Hawaii General Store, spreads Aloha to more people in one day than most of us do in a month! And that tall, regal and so lovely Sharmayne Schilling (Lokahi Hawaiian Club President) who coordinates the huge and extremely popular twice a year Lokahi Ho`olauleas in Puyallup, WA! I wish I could have told the stories of people like John Richardson (Kikaha O Ke Kai) and Moana Huddy and Rod Rodenhurst (Hui Hei Hei Wa’a) whose efforts on behalf of outrigger canoe paddling in the Pacific NW have reaped the admiration and respect of hundreds for our Hawaiian culture! Kumu Hula Claire Cortez’s Halau Ke Liko A`e OLei Lehua has always been so entertaining to watch but even more interesting is the story about Claire’s involvement in helping Pacific Islander students improve their academic performances! As a student at St Anthony HS on Maui, RogerVares was a rascally, kolohe little Portuguese kid whom teachers predicted would “not make it in the adult world”. Roger is now V.P. of Crow Roofing & Sheet Metal Inc (one of Seattle’s largest roofing companies).

East of the Cascades, stories abound around people like Pinky “da Pinksta”Culbertson (Spokane, WA), Kumu Hula Onie Rendall (Kennewick, WA), the quiet man Sid Suenishi (Selah, WA), Kai Uahinui and the Espara Ohana (Spokane, WA), Hank Nawahine (Fruitland, ID), Ed Horie (Tri-Cities, WA) and my Lana`i guy Wally Au (Yakima, WA) all of whom spread Aloha every day in so many different ways!

Down in Oregon, there are volumes of fabulous, yet to be told stories written on the pages of time by such outstanding Ambassadors of Aloha as Kumu Hula Deva Yamashiro, founder of the Ke Kukui Foundation which sponsors the annual and extremely popular “Hoike in the Park” workshops in the Vancouver, WA and Portland, OR areas. I wanted so very much to do a story about one of the nicest guys in Portland, master guitarist Randy Chang! Portland entertainer Francis Doo (Hawaiian Charm) is another who does not get “the press” for all he does on behalf of our culture! I regret not being able to tell you more about the great Malasada Maker DaleBully Magasayo and about Kawika Kahoilua and his popular Bamboo Hawaiian Grill in Portland!

Last but not least, I would have loved writing a Profile about two people who have been the ones most responsible for making the Northwest Hawaii Times newspaper a reality. Rochelle and Roy delaCruz have never wanted to be “in the spotlight” during the existence of the NW Hawaii Times, opting instead to credit our staff and contributing writers for the success of the newspaper. Those of you who have had the honor and privilege of meeting them in person know that there are no people in the world who are prouder (and more humble) of representing all that is good about our Hawaiian culture than Roy and Rochelle!

Five years ago The Northwest Hawaii Times rose like the morning sun, spreading the warmth of Hawaiiana throughout the Pacific NW.....in the intervening years, the NWHT has provided all of us a venue to tell the stories about who we Hawaiian Islanders are, where we came from and where we are today, about our history and heritage, and about the good times we share with each other! The sunset of the NW Hawaii Times is now upon us.......and the time has come to say Aloha `oe!!!!

I believe in my heart that the NWHT has been a success and YOU ALL are the ones who made that success possible ...............................................YOU“DA MAN”!!!!!!!!

Aloha kaua mau loa (may the bonds of our friendships last forever)...............

Be kind to each other.......me ke Aloha pumehana..............................Danny


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