Waha Nui

Carol Chang
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September 10, 2008 - MidWeek The Islander
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Kaneohe’s Clarence Izuo is glad to be a favorite uncle these days. His very, very favorite niece is Jasmine Yamauchi, the Oahu woman who recently won $1.8 million on the California Hotel’s Wheel of Fortune. His Pali Lions Club, meanwhile, didn’t have the best of luck with its yearly repainting of a U.S. map on the Kaelepulu Elementary School campus. As Clarence reports in the club newsletter: “Unfortunately one Lanikai rain cloud caused the United States to unite into one blob and flow down the drain” ...

Ron Bright
Ron Bright

Director Karen Meyer is enthused about the upcoming season at Castle Performing Arts Center. She had 67 teens and keiki show up to try out for a classic made way before their time: To Kill a Mockingbird. It opens in November with 12 speaking parts ... Brandi Benson (Kalaheo 2003) has graduated from Army basic training at Fort Jackson, S.C. ...

Happy birthday, Ron Bright! The 75-year-old director was serenaded on the Miss Saigon set last week at Paliku Theatre, and he proudly wore a Ho Chi Min T-shirt - brought back from Vietnam by the play’s costume whiz, Evette Tanoue. There was cake and ice cream in honor of Ron and cast member Misaki Kawachi, who also had her birthday. Evette cautioned bar girl actresses to just nibble. After all, she’s about to finish their bikinis for onstage scenes ... Look for the Castle High band and Marines Corps JROTC marching Saturday in the Aloha Festivals parade in Waikiki ...

Speaking of birthdays, Kamaaina Kids has just turned 21. Starting with 45 kids at a summer day camp at Heeia State Park, the Windward-based child care agency now has 1,000 on staff to serve 9,000 children across the state. (They note that in 1987 when Ray Sanborn and Mark Nishiyama started it all, a gallon of gas cost 95 cents) ...

The grandson of Jose Marti, Cuban independence leader (from Spain), lives at Pohai Nani with many proud memories. Eduardo Romero says grandfather Jose also composed Guantanamera, and has a commemorative statue at the entrance to NYC’s Central Park. Then there’s his older brother Cesar Romero (mentioned here before), heartthrob of TV and screen. As for Eduardo himself, World War II trained him to be a weapons and explosives specialist who helped develop the Sidewinder heat-seeking missile. For balance, he also did comedy and helped start a community opera theater in California ...

Ray Sanborn
Ray Sanborn

If it’s not too late, you can join the book club chat about Li Cunxin‘s autobiography Mao’s Last Dancer at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 9. It’s about a boy taken from his home to be trained as a dancer, and who eventually defects to the U.S. for a career in ballet (293-8935) ... Brandon Hughes, owner of the Cartridge World franchise in Kaneohe, wants to encourage you to refill your ink cartridges instead of tossing them. “This is the ultimate form of environmental responsibility,” he says, “not only recycling but reusing cartridges.” To find out more, call him at 488-8855 ...

Kaneohe writer Kevin Whitton has another book out that’s both timely and useful (just like MidWeek). Mutual Publishing has just released his Green Hawaii: A Guide to A Sustainable and Energy Efficient Home ... Luana Mills of Kailua (not the golf course), Rose Chin of Kaneohe and Rory Tani of Kaaawa are exhibiting their original paintings now through Sept. 30 in the Louis Vuitton Creative Arts Gallery at Rehabilitation Hospital of the Pacific (531-3511) ...

Ryan Yamauchi (Castle 1999, WCC 2006) has graduated from the Army ROTC leaders’ course, “Operation Warrior Forge,” at Fort Lewis, Wash., and has his second lieutenant commission ... The Foundations of Hawaii Pacific Health (Kapiolani, Straub and Wilcox hospitals) has hired three fundraisers, including Kailua resident Jeff Pederson, who will oversee planned giving. Jeff previously worked for the Catholic archdiocese of Minneapolis and St. Paul


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