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February 2006

Pacific Northwest News


By Caroline Dupio

WHEN, not IF, WHEN we in the United States of America, find and register 100,000 Hawaiians, our Hawaiian Nation will be in place. Brothers and sisters, we live in an awesome time! In our lifetime, we will see the formation of our Hawaiian nation. Over a hundred years have passed, and now, the dream and vision of our Queen Liliuokalani for her people will be realized.

Na Lei Pono, ‘Beloved Righteous Ones’, a grass roots organization based in Milwaukie, Oregon has set a goal this year to register 400 Hawaiians every month. We are only one of 50 states – imagine, if you will, when 25 states step up to the call and adopt this same goal? That’s 120,000 Hawaiians registered before Christmas 2006! I M U A!

The “Na Lei Pono” crew pictured in the back row (left to right) are:
Polika’ili, Malia, Apekela, Alaka’i, Kawehilani, Maikalani
Front row (left to right) are: Kalolaina, Leionaona, Sheri, Kaulana, Sampaguita, Kahea, Kim

There will be a gathering for all Hawaiians of blood, spirit and heart on Saturday, February 28th in Milwaukie, Oregon at the Oddfellows Hall on 10282 SE Main Street. Doors will open at 1.

If you are interested in helping to find and register Hawaiians or you have knowledge of Hawaiian families in other states, please call the following representatives in the following states:

Oregon: Kaleialoha Mahiai-Hess (503) 810-2982

Washington: Uncle Danny Kaopuiki (206) 361-0646

California: Ku’uipo Paulo (213) 202-5502

Texas: Uncle Chester Mahelona (972) 263-6128

Nevada: Lehua Vincent (702) 612-4938


Local Boy from Kailua is Tacoma’s Newest Park Commissioner

By Dawn Rego

Photo from Susan Hulbert, Tacoma Parks

Congratulations to the newest member of the Board of Parks Commissioners for the Metro Parks Tacoma, Ryan Mello. Many of you may remember from an article in the October Northwest Hawai`i Times that Ryan was born and raised in Kailua, ‘Oahu and is a 1997 Punahou School graduate. He moved to Tacoma and graduated from the University of Puget Sound and is currently the Legislative Aide to State Representative Hans Dunshee. Ryan ran a fierce campaign for Metro Parks Commissioner position #4 and got endorsements from the Tacoma Weekly and the News Tribune as well as many other prominent groups and individuals. And we are proud to announce that Ryan was officially sworn in as Tacoma ’s newest Parks Commissioner on Monday, January 9th. When asked how it felt, Ryan said, “I’m so glad it’s finally official.”

After the swearing in ceremony and reception, the Commissioners went right to work in their first meeting of the year. Tacoma’s Parks Commissioners serve a six year term and focus on three major areas— hiring and evaluating the Metro Parks Tacoma Executive Director, approving contracts and expenditures and being the face of the park district out in the neighborhoods and communities. One of the major goals that Ryan has for the year is to help create policy to allocate the $84 million voter bond that Tacoma voters approved during the November election while also making sure to communicate with the neighborhoods to ensure that their needs are being met. He also wants to leverage with donors, other areas of government and community partners to increase the amount of the bond to $100 million to serve the people of Tacoma better. “It’s very important to me to be responsive to the people of Tacoma,” said Ryan.

Metro Parks Tacoma maintains and cares for over 100 parks and open spaces including Point Defiance Park, Northwest Trek and the Ruston Way waterfront. Ryan hopes that his voice and representation will be a way to bring younger families to the parks. He states that “it has been a long time since the Parks Commission has had someone under the age of 30.” He also says that with his background of growing up in Hawai’i, he wants to “reach out to other communities and cultures and provide inclusive and culturally sensitive programs” so that all will feel welcome. Through these outreach efforts, more people from diverse communities will use the many different parks and recreational programs in Tacoma.

Running an election campaign can be a grueling task with long hours and many things to do. Ryan is very grateful to have his mainland ‘ohana to help out and support him. Mahalo to the ‘ohana that helped to campaign and elect Ryan to the Board of Parks Commissioners for Metro Parks Tacoma.

Dawn Rego was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii and is a graduate of the Kamehameha Schools and University of Puget Sound. She enjoys hiking at many different parks in Tacoma and the surrounding areas. To learn more about the parks and recreational programs through Metro Parks Tacoma, please visit www.metroparkstacoma.org.

Spreading the Aloha Spirit

By Johnny Kai

Kama`aina volunteers Johnny Kai, Ross Oana, Vicky Oana, Peter Ching, Duke Silva, Donna Ching, Francis Doo, Leonard Chun, Elissa Springer, Pat Nae`ole, Diva Yamashiro, Ululani Yamashiro, Tish Hinshaw, Kahala Pe`a and Randy Chang recreate the Hawaiian experience for Portland International Airport passengers.

At first glance, their propensity to use humor to cheer nervous air travelers reminds onlookers of a good-natured comedy routine. But at second glance reveals a warm, caring, kindness reminiscent of a doting tutu. This interesting mix is the “Aloha Spirit”.

And the members of Hawaiian Airlines Kama1aina customer service program should know. All were born and raised on the islands, infused with the “Aloha Spirit” at a young age. Now as seasoned adults (Kama `aina means "old-timers from the land"), they’re volunteering their early mornings to spread that spirit one Hawaii-bound passenger at a time.

“We are very proud of our Hawaiian heritage and are excited to be able to share that culture with passengers,” “In addition to helping passengers use the self-service check-in kiosks, we’re having fun keeping the mood light-hearted through jokes, music and dancing.

Dressed in Hawaii-style shirts, muumuu’s, their necks draped with authentic kukui nut leis, Kama`aina volunteers arrive at PDX seven days a week to greet departing Hawaiian airlines customers and assist with flight check-in. The volunteers also perform traditional Hawaiian songs and hula to the delight of passengers and on lookers. Hawaiian Air launched the customer service program last spring to soften the travel experience for its passengers.

“Our Kama `aina volunteers have given a face to the future of customer service at airports,” Jeff Brooks, Hawaiian’s Portland general manager, said. “They go above and beyond assisting our passengers, creating the Hawaiian experience before customers board the plane.”

“When our job is done, we can see in the passengers` eyes how grateful they are to have started their day with us,” Leonard Chun, Kama`aina volunteer, said.

Kama`aina volunteers assist departing Hawaiian passengers beginning at 6:15a.m. daily.

Jeff Brooks, HAL’s Portland manager, says that Johnny Kai, Kama`aina volunteer, was asked to organize the group in April of 2005. Johnny is from Hilo and graduated from St. Joseph’s School, the archrival of Hilo High.

Changes in Hawaiian’s Mileage Program

By Terry Uemura

The one thing that never changes in the airline industry is the fact that things are always changing, whether it’s prices, rules and regulations, meals served on flights or the lack of a meal served on a flight. There is no exception to this fact even when it comes to our favorite airline to Hawai`i, Hawaiian Airlines. By the way, did you know that Hawaiian Airlines was voted the number one airline to Hawai`i by the readers of a major travel magazine? If you’ve flown with them you probably know why! They are also rated number one in on-time service, fewest cancellations and fewest complaints. Impressive yeah!!! We should all be proud of Hawaiian Airlines.

Recently, there have been some changes in Hawaiian’s Mileage program that may be of interest to you. Originally if you wanted to get a mileage ticket, you had to redeem 35,000 miles for a roundtrip coach class ticket, and even if you wanted a one-way ticket, you still had to surrender 35,000. But now you can book mileage tickets on a one way basis for 17,500 miles each way which is half of the roundtrip mileage requirement.

Hawaiian Air has several mileage partners. One of them is Alaska Airlines and before when you booked a reservation through one of the lower discounted fares, you couldn’t earn Alaska Airlines mileage. But now in many of the classes of service including some of the discounted fares, you can now earn Alaska Airlines mileage. With American Airlines you can redeem miles for an interisland airline ticket but you cannot use Hawaiian Airlines miles to get an American Airlines ticket. Virgin Atlantic is still a reciprocating mileage partner with Hawaiian Airlines in select classes of service.

If you have a Bank of America Hawaiian Airlines Platinum Mileage Credit Card, you are actually able to access more mileage seat availability than someone who is not a holder of this type of credit card. But this can only be found on-line.

Effective February 1, if you book your mileage ticket online there is no charge, but if you call the mileage reservations department to redeem your miles for a ticket, you will be charged a 10.00 service fee. If you do it at the airport, the fee will increase to 20.00. The same fees apply for changes once tickets are purchased with mileage.

And since things constantly change in the airline industry, the best thing to do is confirm directly with Hawaiian Airlines mileage department the latest mileage scoops before you are ready to redeem your miles for your trip to paradise. As a travel consultant, it is to my advantage to keep up with the changes in the industry and to know when the changes are actually good for the consumer, which is another good reason to be connected to the Hawaiian Airlines mileage program.

Terry Uemura comes from the Kona side of the island of Hawai`i and has been a travel consultant for over 30 years. For more information, call him at 206 633-5233 or email Terry@hawaiigeneralstore.net.

Toi Maori

Toi Maori – The Eternal Thread is a showcase of the very best in traditional and contemporary Maori weaving from Aotearoa New Zealand. It is the first major international touring exhibition to celebrate the changing art of Maori weaving.

The Toi Maori exhibit will be displayed at the Burke Museum of Natural History & Culture, located at the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington from 9:00am Saturday, February 4th to Monday, May 29th 2006.

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