Waha Nui

Carol Chang
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December 23, 2009 - MidWeek The Islander
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Alicia Vela-Bailey

Former Kailua resident Alicia Vela-Bailey is the stunt double for Zoe Saldana in Avatar, a film she’s worked on for more than three years in California and New Zealand. You may have heard of it. The tough and nimble Alicia also performs the majority of stunts for all female cast members, plays bit parts herself and learned to speak the “Navi” language.

Her mother Cecelia and sister Marissa were at the initial screening of the James Cameron (Terminator, Titanic) sci-fi thriller Dec. 15 at Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood. See it in full 3-D, Cecelia recommends ... Hurray for Hawaii Dental Service. It’s latest TV commercial features scenic glimpses of the Kaneohe Bay shoreline, from Heeia to Waikane. Something to chew on ... Hector Morales Jr., the chef at Turtle Bay Resort’s 21 Degrees North, was likely working in 21-degree Fahrenheit weather last week in New York City, where he prepared and served a five-course dinner with island colleagues at the famed James Beard House ...

Jill Tokuda

Rich Figel and Ron Darby‘s Career Changers program airs on OC16, not ‘Olelo channel 16, as mentioned here last week. And if you know anyone looking to hire people, let Rich know at http://www.careerchangers.tv ... Honors for Windward lawmaker and mother: Sen. Jill Tokuda was named 2009 Citizen of the Year Dec. 17 by the Kaneohe Neighborhood Board (one of the only boards that meets so late in December). Members praised her achievements and personal involvement in addressing residents’ concerns and keeping us all informed. They also like the fact that Jill attends their monthly meetings ...

Tyrone Wells, Elina (Erin Chang Wells) and Kevin Chang of Kupa’aina are back at Anna Bannana’s this Sunday for the annual family gig, and doors open at 7 p.m. Erin and Kevin are Castle grads (like Senator Jill), and Tyrone is the L.A.-based singing star who had the good fortune to marry my daughter four years ago at Kualoa Ranch. No shame! You’re invited down for some great music (See main MidWeek What’s Up for details) ... Joener Castillo (Kailua 2007) has graduated from Air Force basic training at Lackland AFB, Texas ... Paddlers with PAL outrigger club Makalei treated homes along the Enchanted Lake canal to caroling by canoe last Thursday.

Joener Castillo

Coach Johnna del Castillo believes it may be the first water-bound serenade of its kind ... Le Jardin is proud of its state champion kayak team, and the excitement reached a high pitch Dec. 11 in the new gym when the students honored boys kayaking coach Brandon Woods and boys water polo coach Billy Brady. Both were named ILH coaches of the year for their sport ...

Keeping pace with the president’s holiday visit, Kailua authors Stu Glauberman and Jerry Burris are signing their own book about the man at Borders Ward store at 2 p.m. Sunday. They wrote The Dream Begins: How Hawaii Shaped Barack Obama ... My apologies to Honolulu Symphony concertmaster Iggy Jang, who performed on his magic violin Dec. 21 at Pohai Nani. I called him Iggy Chang in the calendar. (I wonder why?)


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