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April 2006

Pacific Northwest News

Metro Team Strives to Repeat Championship Performance

Team Captain from O`ahu

Washington’s King County Metro Transit won the Grand Champion Award in the 30th International Bus Roadeo, a competition held in Dallas in 2005 and sponsored by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA). The award is given to the agency with the highest combined score of maintenance team and bus operator performance, recognizing those who keep North America’s bus systems safe. Winners of the International Transit Maintenance Roadeo (L-R) Leonard Emry, Larry Fitzpatrick and Ryan Stringfellow

The maintenance teams compete in timed, troubleshooting events that pit the mechanics against a bus and bus components that have been intentionally tweaked with the kinds of problems maintenance workers might encounter. The operator competition measures various professional driving skills and knowledge of safety.

Each team that goes to the International Championship has to win their local roadeo first and Metro’s winning vehicle maintenance team – Larry Fitzpatrick, Leonard Emry and Ryan Stringfellow - have been King County Maintenance Champions for the past three consecutive years. Stringfellow grew up in Kailua on O`ahu, graduated from Mid-Pacific Institute and the University of Hawai`i’s School of Travel Industry Management, and has been with Metro for 15 years. The team is currently practicing hard to win this year’s competition in order to go to the International Competition to be held from April 29th to May 3rd in Orange County, California.

Ryan with the maintenance team from the O`ahu Transit Services -- The Bus taken at the recent championships in Dallas.  (L-R) Homer Nagaki, Ryan, Burke Noriguchi, Charlie Lee and Bus Operator Rex Paguirigan.  they meet up every year that they makie it to the Big Show!In addition to working for Metro, Ryan and his wife Lokelani (formerly Lau) own the Black Pearl Teahouse at the Alderwood Mall and the Sweets and Shots Company (formerly TCBY) in the Mill Creek Plaza. Both Ryan and Lokelani have Maui roots but grew up on O`ahu. Ryan says, “We have lots of family back in the Islands and hope to return home someday soon to retire and live happily ever after.”

A good plan…but maybe only after he and his Metro team win a few more Roadeo competitions!

Compiled from press releases


Music for over 20 Years in Bellingham

By Bernadette Davidson and Cliff Kawana

"Start your Saturday morning, the right way, the Hawaiian way by listening to KUGS 89.3 FM, or webstream through www.kugs.org." That's just one of the ways Hawaiian music has been introduced for over twenty years in Bellingham, Washington.

Around 1984 Cliff Kawana, O`ahu native, answered a personal ad in Whatcom County's Bellingham Herald. The ad sought people interested in hosting classical or jazz programs for Western Washington University 's student-run radio station. Cliff left a message about the possibilities for a Hawaiian music program. Fortunately for us, the program director lived in Hawai`i for a few years and understood the music that Kawana was thinking about. But the station was limited in its music selection, so Kawana brought in his personal albums until a music library could be built.

The following 20 years has seen an expansion of the station in size, watts, and music. Currently the station can be heard as far south as Bow, as far north as White Rock, B.C., and out somewhere over the waters of the San Juans.

Kawana has since returned to O`ahu, but the music continues with a new generation, keeping the oldDJ Kanani Davidson cohosts Na Mele`O Hawai`i on KUGS 89.3mFM at the studio in the Viking Union at Western Washington University in Bellingham. and introducing the new. Kanani Davidson began co-hosting last September, helping Nā Mele O' Hawai'i move into its 22nd year. Before he became a DJ, Kanani served for four years at the Kane`ohe Marine Base on O`ahu with deployments to Okinawa, Japan, Bahrain, Australia and Iraq.

So, when you are heading towards Bellingham early on a Saturday morning, 7 to 9 a.m. tune in to 89.3 or check us out on the web www.kugs.org. You'll feel like you're home....well, at least for two hours.

Bernadette Ornellas Davidson of Maui joined the Navy, saw the world, got a BA in Political Science, has four children and 5 mo`opuna and works as an advising coordinator for the Chemistry department at Western Washington University. She currently co-hosts Nā Mele O Hawai`i with Kanani and plans to return to Maui to start a third career after her second retirement.  Cliff Kawana, the original host of Nā Mele is now back in Hawai`i.

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