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March 2009

Pacific Northwest News


By Rochelle delaCruz

Five years and 60 issues later, Northwest Hawai`i Times, the only newspaper for Hawai`i people in the Pacific Northwest, is shutting down.

The first issue of NWHT went to press in April 2004, and this March 2009 issue is the last. Reasons for the shutdown include the poor economy as well as life intersections (see editor’s notes).

In these five years, many have come to see the monthly newspaper as their link not only back to the Islands but also to each other here in far-flung corners of the Northwest. In what is fondly referred to as “da pepa,” readers learned about Hawai`i people, history, political issues, food, music, humor, events, and businesses. Its motto Serving All Who Love Hawai`i also included those who were not from the Islands but visited regularly, even if only in their dreams.

Over these past five years, the paper was distributed free of charge in over 150 locations around Washington, Oregon and Idaho, and more were mailed out to the rest of the country and even back to Hawai`i.

Northwest Hawai`i Times was a true community newspaper. Many of the stories and photos were sent in by readers with a story to tell or picture to share. Only a few were professional writers and photographers, but everyone donated their efforts. Language in the paper reflected the Hawai`i community, and while there were occasional grumblings about the lack of translation for Hawaiian words or use of Pidgin (Hawaii Creole English), da pepa held fast, insisting that this is how Hawai`i people communicate. And because mainstream publications are not so interested in Hawai`i beyond tourist and travel articles, Northwest Hawai`i Times also provided a place for islanders to publish their stories, poems and photos.

And yet, collecting the different pieces, laying them out in the paper and sending it to the printer was only half of it. Once it was printed, it needed to be distributed and this was done by a wide network of dedicated volunteers in an elaborate system of relays. When the paper arrived from the printer, NWHT staff dropped off or mailed bundles to key people who then took them to various locations in their area of the Northwest. Unsung heroes were also those who picked up a stack at a restaurant or business to take to their community center or hālau or canoe club.

Because free distribution was an important part of the paper, the Hawai`i community helping to get out Northwest Hawai`i Times included regular advertisers whose ads paid bills. Most of them were small, local-style operations that wanted to get the word out about their business or organization, but who also understood how their contributions helped keep the paper afloat.

This energetic and active group of people made Northwest Hawai`i Times unique. And even though the collage above tells this story best, it shows only a fraction of those who helped get da pepa out every month. In the Hawaiian way learned by all who grew up in the Islands, everyone was welcomed to enjoy and take part in whatever way they could, which made Northwest Hawai`i Times truly a newspaper operated for and by a community of islanders.

Me ke Aloha pumehana.~Rochelle delaCruz

* Northwest Hawai`i Times also has a website: www.northwesthawaiitimes which will remain up and running indefinitely.


Pā`ū Riders at Marysville’s Summer Strawberry Festival!

From Cyndi Pa

Pā`ū Riders will be at the Strawberry Festival parade on June 20th in Marysville, Washington. Organized by Cyndi Pa, the Colors of Hawaii Kau Lio Pa`u Riders are now training and raising money to participate in this popular summer festival. Princesses from Washington State will be riding for each of the Islands, and representing the Queen will be Layala Cook of O`ahu, whose family is the founder of the Hawaii Pa'u Riders, and owners of the Cook Ranch in Waimānolo, Hawai`i.  Layala has ridden pā`ū for twenty five years and is the organizer of the Aloha Week Parade in Honolulu.

A fundraising lū`au to help defray expenses will be held on March 28, 2009 from 2-10pm at St. Pius Church, 22301 58 th Ave. W., Mountlake Terrace, Washington. Tickets may be purchased at the door, $15.00 for the adults and $12.00 for children. This is the first annual fundraiser to bring Hawai`i to Washington State through pā`ū riders. Funds will be needed to help pay for horse rental, the bridles, and outfits for the riders.

Colors of Hawaii Kau Lio Pa'u Riders want to help people in the Pacific Northwest understand and appreciate pā`ū riding.  Riders need to not only be able to ride and handle a horse, they also have to make lei for themselves and their horse, learn how to drape the pā`ū, and artfully adorn their hair with flowers.   

Because of costs, the princesses will have a booth at the lū`au to help with their expenses. For further information please call Cyndi Pa  425-334-2222 or 425-737-4477,  or email Lynn at d85llilley@verizon.net

For more stories and history of pā`ū riders, go to Northwest Hawai`i Times November 2006 at www.northwesthawaiitimes.com


Native Americans in the Northwest Support Hawaiians in Ceded Lands Conflict

Haida Heritage perfoms at Daybreak Star Cultural Center in Seattle in support of Hawaiians.
Follow this link for more infomation.


Preparation for World Hula Conference Begins in Seattle

Workshop teaches hula practitioners oli and chants for opening ceremonies in Honolulu on July 26, 2009

Hula workshop participants prepare for summer hula conference.

Kumu Holt-Padilla (center) with Lono Padilla, Ulalia Woodside and Robert Ka`upu

Hula Photos by Kuwili Mackay

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