Waha Nui

Carol Chang
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January 28, 2009 - MidWeek The Islander
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Michael Johanson

Kailua couple Jeff and Linda Lowe happened upon a film fest last summer at the Festival of Pacific Arts in Pago Pago, and they were so impressed with Kiribati’s offering, Te Ribana, that they’ve brought it to Hawaii. Linda Uan‘s five, 80-minute episodes begin airing Feb. 2 on ‘Olelo Channel 53 at 12:30 p.m. (also Feb. 3, 4, 5 and 6 - see schedule at http://www.olelo.org). To say they were caught up in this tale of Pacific culture is an understatement. “Our flight home boarded right in the middle of the most exciting part of Rianako’s Story,” says Jeff, “so even though we were the last to board, we still missed the ending!” ...

Putting up a bank at that famous corner makai of Windward Mall has led some of us to stretch our minds back to all the restaurants and good times originating there over the years. If we’ve missed any, let us know: Honey’s Lounge, Smitty’s Pancake House, Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlor, Eastside Restaurant, Koolau Ranch House (remember Teddy and Nancy there as well as Sam Kapu III?) and the latest, Times Coffee Shop ...

Castle High junior Rolando Udarbe will play clarinet with the Miyamura Woodwind Trio at 7 p.m. Tuesday (Jan. 27) in Orvis Auditorium at UH (941-9706). As a member of the Hawaii Youth Symphony, Rolando gets some great tips from HYS music director Henry Miyamura ... Kailua musicians Paul Sato and Barbara Higbie will entertain at 7 p.m. Feb. 1 during the live, free taping of HPR’s Aloha Shorts program in the Atherton studio on Kaheka Street (955-8821) ...

City firefighters gladly participated in Olomana Community Association’s annual Christmas parade Dec. 21, even though they had to answer a distress call just after the parade started. When they were finished, reports parade chairwoman Leslie Pacarro, they came back and rejoined the march ... Natalie Thielen Helper of Aikahi got the famous shaka from President Barack Obama Jan. 21 as she marched with the Punahou band, playing the French horn. Plus her mom, DLNR board chairwoman Laura Thielen, is “Barry’s” classmate. And I guess it’s OK to have a Republican grandmother (state Rep. Cynthia Thielen) in these heady times ...

Michael Johanson succeeds the retiring Duane Roberts as director of communications and marketing for BYU-Hawaii. He and wife Katrina and their three daughters now live in Laie ... Kaneohe artist Wayne Takazono will paint married couples’ portraits for Valentine’s Day - in charcoal, pastels or oils - giving a special discount for their years of bliss. If you’ve been hitched for more than 30 years, take off 1 percent of the price for every year after the 30th one (554-4600) ...

DePaul University student Debra Frascarelli of Kailua made the fall dean’s list at the Chicago Catholic college for earning a 3.50 or above grade-point average ... And over at Washington State University in Pullman, Kaneohe students are shining too. Making the President’s Honor Roll for Fall 2008 are Brandon Takeo Kamita, Alexander Colin McManus, Kyle A. Mendes and Ryan Ngit Mung Renio ...

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., lists five brainy students from Hawaii, and three of them are from Windward, of course. Fall semester names on the dean’s list there include Nicole Picciotto of Kailua, a sophomore in chemical engineering; and Kaneohe seniors Andrew Dexter (aeronautical engineering) and Jeffrey Sult (computer science) ...

Royce Arakaki of Kaneohe earned his associate degree in culinary arts last semester from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y. ... Kaneohe’s Rena Sunaoka has been promoted to marketing manager with Symmetry, a direct-sales company that distributes nutritional supplements ... Kaneohe’s super Latino couple, Nancy and John Ortiz of Alma Latina Productions, will celebrate their wedding anniversary with a salsa party Feb. 14 at Hard Rock Cafe (285-0072)

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