Waha Nui

Carol Chang
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November 19, 2008 - MidWeek The Islander
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Doug Fitch

Does the Miss Saigon talent ever let up? No! Christopher Bright, who played drums in the play’s orchestra at Paliku Theatre this fall, recently tied for first place in the Percussion Arts Society’s International Convention in Texas. And the Kamehameha junior also was picked to represent Hawaii in the Macy’s All-Star Thanksgiving Select Band. Naturally, grandparents Ron and Mo Bright will be in the crowd in New York City to cheer him on during the chilly holiday march. Look for Christopher on TV Nov. 27 from the warmth of your island home ...

The Republicans, all two of them, have met to organize the state Senate for the 2009 session - and they agreed that Sen. Fred Hemmings (Kailua to Hawaii Kai) shall be Minority Leader again, and Sen. Sam Slom (Diamond Head to Hawaii Kai) will continue as Floor Leader. “It wasn’t difficult to count the votes,” admits Fred ... Speaking of politics, the City Council reorganized Nov. 12 with Todd Apo as its new chairman, replacing Barbara Marshall in that post because of her ongoing battle with cancer. “We continue to pray for Councilmember Marshall and her quick recovery,” he said, noting that she’s done an amazing job, but this should help her focus her energies on recovery ...


Kailua musician Doug Fitch would just like to recover his ukulele, which he believes was taken during a Nov. 12 burglary at his Kailua home. It’s a Pono tenor with a light-colored spruce top and gloss finish. The case disappeared, too. It’s plain black with “Koolau” on it (383-3684) ... King Windward Nissan has jumped in to help the Castle High School football program. According to Athan Arquette, football parent and Nissan employee, any customer who comes in and mentions “Black Knights” gets a discount or special service. The Kaneohe car dealer also will donate $300 to Castle from any used car sale and $150 from any new car sale ...

This year’s Hawaii Theatre Center education team includes two veteran pros from Kailua: Richard McPherson, director and actor of stage and TV; and Tony Pisculli, the state’s premiere fight choreographer and producer of the Hawaii Shakespeare Festival ... Ginny Walden continues to show her art around town. The Waimanalo talent now has Windward pastels at Bogart’s Cafe on Monsarrat in Kapahulu through December (739-0999) and sculptures at Tagami and Powell Gallery and Gardens in Kahaluu (754-7887 or 259-8453) ... Monthly tip from Capt. Terry Seelig at the Honolulu Fire Department: Consider putting up a fire-resistant artificial Christmas tree this year, use noncombustible materials to decorate it, approved lights and don’t overload your extension cords ...

Congratulations to kumu hula James Dela Cruz and Na Opio O Koolau. The Kaneohe troupe was honored for Overall Achievement (highest combined scores) at the recent World Invitational Hula Festival at the Waikiki Shell ... Though Castle High’s Marine JROTC cadets look forward to fall training camp on the Kaneohe Marine base, they don’t always rave about the grub. Cadet Sarah Bragg didn’t mince words with the Hawaii Marine regarding her cheese and veggie omelet. “It was disgusting,” she told a reporter. ” (The instructors) gave it to me, because they knew I wouldn’t complain about eating it. Now I can say I’ve eaten the worst MRE here” ...

Back on campus, grateful teachers heaped praise on Make a Difference Day volunteers who tidied up their weary classrooms at Castle High last month. Said Bobbye Yamamoto: “Even the class geckos looked like they’d been bathed and shampooed!” Said Dawn Cone of her music room: “The floor is so clean I want everyone to remove their shoes at the door” ... The forward-looking Polynesian Cultural Center has introduced an Aloha Elvis store and a Paniolo Burger featuring kalua pork on a Hawaiian sweet bun. Alo-HA ...

Nearby, Turtle Bay Resort plays host to the University of Idaho Vandals this week, where the players will prepare for their Saturday game against the UH Warriors far from the maddening crowd ... Windward Biofeedback Associates may have a peak performance tip or two for either team in the form of brain training. “A calm mind prevents athletes from becoming distracted and allows them to remain focused on their personal game,” explains WBA founder and president Peggy Hill. She says she and her staff in Kaneohe work with local athletes on this principle all the time (781-3007)

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