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September 2006

Pacific Northwest News

UHAA-PNW Summer Picnic 2006 and
3rd Annual Freshman Sendoff

By Earle Oda


The University of Hawaii Alumni Association – Pacific Northwest chapter (UHAA-PNW) held its Summer Picnic 2006 and 3rd Annual Freshman Sendoff on Sunday, August 6, 2006 at Enatai Beach Park in Bellevue, Washington. With the Blue Angels soaring above as part of Seattle’s summer Seafair activities, it was another hot, sunny and fun-filled day on the shores of Lake Washington. The weather and turnout were great. We had an estimated 50-60 people including 7 incoming freshmen and transfers, parents of students, alumni, friends, and lots of new faces. We enjoyed the usual barbecue beef and chicken and lots of delicious kaukau from attendees. UHAA-PNW President Earle Oda thanked students and their families for attending including those who drove from as far away as Bellingham and Olympia. Best wishes to the incoming students to the University of Hawaii this Fall. They were all very excited to meet fellow students and couldn’t wait to begin classes at the University of Hawaii!

Photo from Earle Oda


Tackling Hawaiian Style

By Marsha Hansen

Football with a Hawaiian Punch!
L-R: Clay Poaipuni, Leroy Tagavilla, Clete Christiansen,
Lui Tangaro, Jr., Ikaika Belisario, and Mike Sagawinit.
Missing: Shannon Alvarez, Snooky Harper and Randy Hill.
Photo by Marsha Hansen

“Knock um down, roll um around, come on team, work….work...” and that’s what this group of guys from Hawaii do every evening, four nights a week. They work these 7th and 8th grade boys on the football field really hard to get them ready for this football season.

In the North Thurston School District in Olympia, Washington, the middle schools do not have football as a part of their athletic program. So to give the boys and opportunity to play competitive football, and the girls a chance to cheerlead, the Black Hills Junior Football League is one of the leagues that give them this opportunity. Boys from the second grade through the eighth grade can play competitive football and girls from second to ninth grade can cheerlead. They have the bantam division, youth division, and the junior division. The youth division is 5th and 6th graders. The junior division is 7th and 8th graders. The Hurricanes is in the youth division and the Storm is in the junior division. Guys from Hawaii, that’s right, all from Hawaii, coach both teams. Well, maybe not all of them are from the Islands, but most of them.

Head Coach Lui Tangaro, Jr. coaches the Storm and Head Coach Ikaika Belisario coaches the Hurricane. They each have a staff of coaches who are mostly from Hawaii. On the Storm there is Shannon Alvarez, Clay Poaipuni, and Snooky Harper. On the Hurricane there is Leroy Tagavilla and Mike Sagawinit. Of course we also have other coaches, Clete Christiansen, and Randy Hilland, and Pritchard.

Both Lui and Shannon played for Castle, Snooky played for Pearl City, Clay is from Molokai, Ikaika played for Waipahu, Mike played for Damien Memorial, and Leroy played for Konawaena. Most of the coaches have played Pop Warner and High school football. They train these boys with the same discipline and hard work like they did in Hawaii. You watch these guys on the field and you can see that they just love what they do. Sometimes I think that they would rather be playing than coaching.

These coaches also have a big heart for the boys. They make sure they are all doing well in school, at home, as well as on the field. They also make sure that the boys are safe and they treat each one as if he was their own son. Some of the eighth grade boys come back the next year to help out at the start of the season. They learn to have the same love for their coaches as their coaches had for them. They also get a greater love for the game.

The coaches want to teach these boys the basic fundamentals of football and also how to respect the coaches as well as their team members. Like Coach Lui tells his team, “There are no super stars, we are all one team.” And that’s the way he coaches; all the boys are treated equally. They look at the team as `ohana: coaches, players, and parents. Everyone has their part and if we all work together, we become a stronger team.

The boys learn really quickly that when the coach says run, you say how far. But of course, when you see this big Hawaiian guy looking at you and telling you run, you wouldn’t want to question him anyway, right? They start to have great respect for their coaches. They learn that respect goes both ways, which at this age is a difficult thing to learn.

The one thing that isn’t any fun is that we have to raise our own money for trophies and supplies. The league supplies the football uniforms and pays for the field they play on. The cheerleaders have to raise their own money to pay for their uniforms. They can only collect a set amount from the parents and the rest is by donation or sponsors. Every year we look for people to help us out. We’re not picky; we take any kind of donation: food…money….supplies….money…..drinks….money. Any kokua is greatly appreciated!!! It all goes towards the kids and the team. If you want to kokua, contact Marsha Hansen, 1401 Marvin Rd. NE, Ste 307 #404, Lacey, WA 98516 or e-mail at 74sabers@comcast.net. If you’re not busy on a Saturday afternoon, come out to the South Sound Stadium at North Thurston High School and watch the boys go all the way!!

About Marsha Hansen:

“So which is your son?” This is a question that I get asked every year when I’m out on the field with the Black Hills Junior Football League (BHJFL) Storm football team. I always have to tell the other parents that I don’t have a son on the team and that my son actually plays for the North Thurston High School . So they ask if I have a daughter as a cheerleader and again I have to answer, “No, she cheers for another team.”

So how come I coordinate for the Storm? Well, a few years ago, my son did play for BHJFL and my daughter wanted to cheer. So we signed her up and waited for someone to call. No one could really tell us which team she was assigned to. Then I got a call from the head coach of the Wildcats in the youth division. He asked me what my daughter’s name was and that she belonged on his team. He was so thrilled that there was a Hawaiian girl on the cheerleading squad. That head coach was Lui Tangaro, Jr. He told his wife, Daisy, to look out for the Hawaiian girl the next day at practice.

The next year Lui needed a cheerleader coach and approached me. I had no idea what a cheerleader coach does. I never did cheerleading except for one summer in the summer fun program back home. I knew nothing about cheerleading except that they yell a lot, and that I knew how to do. So I said, “OK, I’ll give it a try.” So, I got two high school girls to teach the girls the routines and I took care of the uniforms and paper work and stuff.

Then, Lui decided to move up from the youth division to the junior division. Of course he wanted to take his whole coaching staff with him. He asked if I wanted to be his Team Coordinator when he moved on to the Storm. At that time I told him that I have to stay true to the purple and white (either the Wildcats or the Panthers) because they all feed into North Thurston High School . When the next season started up he asked again and I told him I would give it a shot.

So here I am three years later, Team Coordinator for the Storm. I help with the administrative things. I set up the car washes, do the flyers, set up the hall for the banquet, take care of the finances, etc. I try to help Lui gather sponsonr or donations for the team. That is a lot of work! I also take pictures at all the events and put it all on a DVD to present at the banquet. The kids really enjoy that. It’s all a lot of work, too, but the kids love it! I enjoy working with everyone. We all have fun together. We’re one big ohana!


For Da Keiki

By Sonny Bristol

Back when I was one small kid, my first exposure to fundraising was Zippy’s Chili, Jerry Lewis telethon and the Carole Kai bedrace. One thing for sure, da people in Hawaii do things differently when it comes to fundraising. My good friend Jack Gagen has taken fundraising one step further. Jack, a resident of Waimānalo (16 years – kama `aina) has found a way to combine his love for baseball, motorcycles and kids. Jack is a “Hamster” (no not da fuzzy kine,) an elite group of 250 worldwide members who collect custom motorcycles. The Hamsters support Kids and Chrome, an organization that assists children with special needs. With the wind at this tail and the black top in front of him, Jack began his 5-month journey in the month of May, destination: 30 major league ballparks in 28 major cities across the mainland.

The journey began in Minneapolis, MN at the Metrodome where the Minnesota Twins were hosting the Seattle Mariners. From there Jack would ride his 2003 customized baseball themed Harley Davidson across America and end his tour in Seattle. Jack’s motorcycle attracts attention, which he uses to tout Click for a larger picture. his favorite charity as he travels from city to city. The saddle bags are festooned with every major league baseball logo, the tail fender is air-brushed with a Cracker Jack box and the ignition cover is engraved with Chief Wahoo of the Cleveland Indians. There are so many details related to baseball on his motorcycle, the longer you look at the bike, the more you see. Gawkers stop to stare at his motorcycle and talk story, which is a great lead in for Jack to talk about his favorite charity and the reason for his journey. Some folks have sponsored Jack for a penny a mile, which he rounds out to a $150 donation, for the total distance he will travel. Others along the way have offered money in support of the kids and Jack asks them to go to the website to make donations (kidsandchrome.com).

Whenever Jack pulls into a new city and parks his motorcycle, he draws a crowd. “It disarms people,” Jack says. “They want to come up and ask me about the bike.” And it’s the conversations, whether in the subways of New York City of in the parking lot of Turner field inn Atlanta, that have been the highlight of the trip so far for Jack. “At first I though it was going to be the riding. Then I thought it was going to be the ballparks. But it’s really been the people,” Jack said. “They have been so welcoming.” Still a hardcore fan of the national pastime, he has also enjoyed some great baseball.

Jack’s trip ended in Seattle on August 22 at Safeco Field where the Mariners are hosting the Yankees. I met up with Jack prior to the game and we talked story for a long time about his journey, the people and the ballparks. Jack has already developed a list of favorites. Best ballparks? PNC Park in Pittsburgh and St. Louis – the new Busch Stadium. Best hot dogs? Another vote for St. Louis. Jack led the crowd singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” during the seventh inning stretch in Tampa during the Devil Rays against the Boston Red Sox.

There were some roadblocks, mostly due to Mother Nature. “Rain, rain and rain,” Jack said. But from the Metrodome to Safeco Field, Jack soldiered on, living out every baseball fan’s dream and helping the kids in need. The funds raised on this trip are still being calculated and will help raise an outpatient center in Rapid City, South Dakota, to provide physical, occupational and speech therapies, plus other services for children with disabilities.

For more story pictures, click here.

You can view Jack’s journey and pictures at www.jackgagen.com and contributions to Kids and Chrome can be placed at www.kidsandchrome.com

Sonny Bristol grew up on O`ahu, graduated from Damien HS and has a degree in biology from Gonzaga. He worked in healthcare for 13 years and is now a realtor in Seattle. He’s also an avid fisherman and has contributed several hana pa`a stories to NW Hawai`i Times.


Da Pidgin Connekshun:
Da Beeg Kahuna…from

by Lonnie Wiig


Akamai, da buggah. Even heez name, Gary Herrera, u figgah Waipahu High? Lahainaluna? Kaimuki?

U no, get lodda gude Hawaiian restrahntz een Oregon. No get axcuse fo ahweez grine at Shari’z an Burga Keeng. Eef you comeen down I-5 from Washeenton, an you ready fo some Kalua Peeg o wan Reeb Plate dat goeen broke da mout, den, juss afta u cross da reevah eento Oregon, get off on Exit

The Big Kahuna Gary Herrera and
Kumu Hula Kei Kapukui

304 an hele back about foa blockz tu Lombard Street an den head strait wess tru St. Johns onteel u spock da sain: BIG KAHUNA’S BARBEQUE & CATERING.

On da weendow tell: “Mon. - Fri. 8-7, Sat. 8-5, Sunday Open for Hula Class Only.” U teenkeen, “Sunday, ony open fo hula class? Wow, moss reely be local, yeh?

Us guyz wen ax Da Beeg Kahuna wot island he from. He toad, “Da Beeeeeeeeg Island.” Unteel us guyz met heem, we nevah nu Sout America wuz wan island. Bot, chai luke da map, get wata al aroun um – eef u eenclude da canal – (Eh, da Panama, not da Ala Wai).

Da Beeg Kahuna wuz born rait nia da Pacifeek Oshun een Barranca, Peru. Heez fodda alreddy wen eemagrate to Oregon an den da fodda brought da mahdah an da baby Kahuna up to Oregon . Wen Gary wuz 12 he wen back to Peru . He luv da way heez “tutu” koo-keen een da open peet een da groun -- rabeet, guinea peeg, cheekeen, duck, any kain.

Afta grad Benson High, he wen work az wan cook all ovah da Poatlan area. Den about 20 yiaz ago, he bot wan teekeet to Honolulu. Dat treep wen change heez life beeg taim. At da Polynesian Cultural Centa Gary tok storee weet peopo from Samoa an Tahiti. “Dat wuz tremendous.” He sat eensai da Samoan hut an he kom reel eentrested een how da peopo cook.

Da nex eveneen he wen to wan lu’au at Paradise Cove nia Nanakuli. Wen he saw da guyz take da peeg out ov da imu, he tot, “How day goeen feed 1,500 peopo weet jus wan peeg?” So he wen follow da peeg back eento da keecheen an day let Gary spock how day make simulated kalua peeg een da oven. He tot, “Eh, I cude do mo bedda dan dat.”

Den Da Beeg Kahuna met some Hawaiian peopo selleen papaya, banana an pineappo by da side of da road. Day wen ax Gary eef he wuz Hawaiian?” He toad, “No, me, I from Peru, but feel like home, dees place.”

Gary has entahd all kain BBQ cook-offz, even da “Jack Daniels Invitashunal BBQ Cook-off” een Tennessee. Get beeg stack cookeen trofeez an reebinz by da cash registah. Befo we leff, Da Beeg Kahuna, Gary , wen eentroduce us guyz to heez assistant, Kei Kapukui. Kei eez also da Kumu Hula ov da Hula Halau o Kapakui dat holz classeez (Kane, Wahine an Keiki) wen da restrahnt stay close. Een fack, da hula classes get so many studen day uzeen wan noddah beeldeen tu.

An eef u laik take da tase ov Hawai’i home weet u, Gary dem make cases an cases ov da populah Big Kahuna’s Mild BBQ Sauce and Spicy BBQ Sauce. (U can odah da kine at www.bigkahunabbq.com.) Wen us guyz wen ax Gary wot he mees mose about Hawai’i he toad: Da manapua, da ocean an da love ov da peopo.

Lawrence (Lonnie) Wiighails from Honolulu and lives in Oregon . His current work includes freelance writing, Japanese-to-English translating and substitute teaching. Please send comments suggestions to Lw@CRE8COMMUNIC8.com.   

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