Kahuku High: 2010 Fijian video most popular

Many of you know I’ve been a serious still photographer for many years, but about 15 years ago I started doing web-videos . . . and you can see the most popular one I’ve done, so far, below: A 6:12-minute Fijian segment from Kahuku High‘s 2010 “May Night” program at the Polynesian Cultural Center in Laie, Hawaii:

— VINAKA! Video by Mike Foley
(Originally taped for our online community newspaper)

Samoa Mission Eldares sing again

[Story and video by Mike Foley — whose own LDS mission in Samoa partially overlapped the Eldares, originally published in Kaleo, February 2008]

The Eldares, Mormon missionaries in Samoa in 1963
The Eldares, then (left-right): Elders Richard Nielson, Carl Fonoimoana,Wayne Willis, Randy Broadhead with Samoa Mission President John Phillip Hanks. When Elder Broadhead got sick in mid-tour, Elder George Murdock took over for him.

A quartet of former Latter-day Saint missionaries in Samoa — two with ties to Laie — who created and recorded one of the island chain’s most popular songs for many years, will put on a series of concerts on Oahu.

Signature songs of the group include their own famous Masi Samoa, Usi le Fa’afofoga, Fa’alogo Ia, Samoa Silasila and Koko Samoa, among others.

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Laie man bikes across the U.S. mainland

Mike Weber in California

[Story by Mike Foley, originally published in Kaleo, June 2010; photos courtesy of Mike Weber]

So, what are you going to do this summer? If you’re looking for adventure, you’ll have to go a long way to top Mike Weber, an associate professor of physics at Brigham Young University–Hawaii, who recently completed a 2,884-mile bike ride across the mainland U.S.

Weber, 53, explained that up until 2005 he was basically a runner and had completed a number of marathons, “but then I started having a lot of injuries that just wouldn’t go away. That’s why I bought a 27-speed road bike, and for a couple of years I would run and bike.”

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MPHS tours small, old cemeteries in Laie


MPHS members at the small cemetery on the
Hau‘ula side of Temple Hill

About three dozen people, including kupuna, gained new appreciation for the aloha of families and volunteers during the Mormon Pacific Historical Society’s (MPHS) November 24, 2007, tour of five small and previously completely overgrown cemeteries in Laie. In fact, many community residents are still not aware of at least three of the five cemeteries, which have all been partially restored.

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Laie chicken roundup garners wide interest

[Story by Mike Foley, originally published in Kaleo, May 18, 2000]

You might say the recent Laie Community Association notice of a stray chicken round-up on Saturday, May 20th and 27th, has really taken flight.

Since the notice appeared in the May 4th issue of Kaleo, the story was picked up by the Honolulu Advertiser, Honolulu Star-Bulletin — which added an editorial cartoon, MidWeek and even CNN national. LCA board health and education director Gerry Nihipali has also done radio interviews with KHNR, KGU and KUMU, which has even offered to match the $1 per chicken brought in, up to $100, that LCA will pay to Laie Scout troops who help with the round up. Hawaii Reserves, Inc., has also agreed to match the first $250 in chicken bounties.

Then there are the phone calls: Nihipali said people with stray chicken concerns have called from Kaaawa, Punaluu, Kaneohe, Kailua, Aiea, St. Louis Heights, Hawaii Kai and Waimanalo.

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Hauula Elementary School centennial:

[Stories by Mike Foley, originally published in Kaleo on March 9, 2000, and March 23, 2000]

It was five or six years before the first automobile, and more than a decade before the first airplane came to Hawaii that Hauula Elementary School started up in its current location. One hundred years later, the school will celebrate its centennial anniversary with a special three-day series of events from April 7-9, 2000.

The 1955-56 faculty and staff at Hauula Elementary School
(historical photos courtesy of Bette Haring; other photos by Mike Foley)

A Brief History

Hauula School, as it was first named, was founded in 1900 at its present site as part of the Territory of Hawaii’s Department of Public Instruction, Ko’olauloa School District. Written records prior to the 1919-20 school year are not available.

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Kumu hula, family observe pahu tradition

Kela Miller and pahu[Story and photo by Mike Foley, originally published in Kaleo, October 21, 1999]

Ko’olauloa friends, family and students of Kela Miller experienced a rare opportunity on Oct. 14th when the well-known kumu hula carried out a special hoike for her new pahu — a beautiful, hand-carved drum that has its own name.
First, a little background: Kela, who lived for many years in Hau’ula, is a full-Hawaiian born and raised in Laie. She is the great-granddaughter of Luika Ka’i’o and the grand-niece of Pua Ha’aheo — both of whom are widely revered in hula circles for helping preserve and teach the ancient art form.

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Kupuna, others harvest HRI taro

[Story and photo by Mike Foley, originally published in Kaleo on December 17, 1998]

(Left-right): Sione Feinga, Theresa Bigbie, Tino Koahou,
Martha Kalama and Lemau Tauali’i show the taro they’ve just pulled.

It seemed like déjà vu as kupuna and other community members gathered at the new Hawaii Reserves taro farm mauka of Laie in Po’ohaili, only this time it was to huki kalo or begin to harvest the taro many of these same people helped plant on Feb. 6, 1998. Many of them were dressed appropriately for climbing into the mud of the lo’i or taro patches.

Ten months later five of the lo’i stretch makai with the plants in various stages of growth. It was windier and cooler than when the huli kalo were planted, but the plant leaves now stand more than three feet above the taro roots, which can be seen poking out of the mud.

The Nani Laie Serenaders, a kupuna group, were there singing in Hawaiian. William K. Wallace III, a keiki o ka aina o Laie and director of the BYUH Center for Hawaiian Language &?Cultural Studies, several of his students and Cy Bridges, Director of Cultural Island Presentations at PCC, chanted in honor of the occasion.

“On behalf of all of our kupuna and our kanaka maoli here in Hawaii, we share our aloha with you,” Wallace told the group.

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Kupuna tales: Tautua Tuala Tanoa’i

Tautua Tanoa'i, 1950[By the late Vaita’i Tanoa’i Reed…about her father, originally published in Kaleo, December 17, 1998: He is pictured at right at the Mormon Hukilau in Laie in 1950]

When Tautua Tanoa’i and his wife, Felita Savea Satele, were Mormon missionaries in Samoa, they traveled with four other missionaries along with their five small children who were carried on the shoulders of the men in coconut baskets, with a pole in between the baskets. There were no paved roads back then, only narrow trails. Sometimes they would travel by canoe from island to island across rough seas with very high waves. They would usually be soaking wet when they got to an island.

They visited a village in Western Samoa where the chief did not allow them to come to shore. He would only let them teach the gospel if Tautua could heal his wife who was sick (mental). Tautua told the chief that only God could heal his wife, and that he was only a servant of the Lord. He gave the chief’s wife a blessing, after which the chief’s wife went into a coma. He then had Tautua tied to a rock in the ocean, planning to drown him when the tide rose.

Fighting the heat and the rising tide, Tautua prayed while the villagers sang, chanted and beat drums as they waited for him to drown.

Tautua’s 11-year-old son, in frustration, threw a rock at the chief which split open his head. The chief ordered the boy to be drowned, too. Tautua’s wife, pleading with the chief to have mercy, was hanging on to his lavalava which came off, leaving the chief covered with nothing on his body except his pe’a (tattoo).

During all this commotion the chief’s wife woke up. Though still a little off, she was healed. She recognized her husband who was so happy that he let Tautua go.

* * * * * * * * *

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Kahuku claims ’98 OIA football championship

[Story by Mike Foley, photo by Barry Markowitz, originally published in Kaleo, November 19, 1998]

Kahuku’s D-men didn’t let pouring rain stop them from keeping
Waianae scoreless during the OIA title match at Aloha Stadium

Kahuku High School’s unstoppable, nationally-ranked varsity Red Raiders finished out a perfect 1998 12–0 football season during a downpour at Aloha Stadium Nov. 14th by thrashing Waianae by 20-0 to claim their rightful place as Oahu Interscholastic Association (OIA) champions for the fifth time since 1989.

A crowd of almost 30,000 braved the weather to watch Kahuku’s shut-out victory over the Waianae Seariders, giving the Red Raiders a 12-0 season re-cord and the bid to take on defending Prep Bowl champions St. Louis on Nov. 27th.

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BYUH holds Hawaiian conferences

[Story and photo by Mike Foley, originally published in Kaleo, September 10, 1998]

The BYU-Hawaii kupuna conference begins with hula

The BYUH Center for Hawaiian Language and Cultural Studies — more commonly called the Hawaiian Studies program — sponsored back-to-back conferences on two weekends in August to seek input and suggestions from kupuna and educators for the new program.

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Laie Gardening Club gleans from the Nihipalis

Ben and Gerry Nihipali[Story and photo by Mike Foley, originally published in Kaleo, April 23, 1998]

The Laie Gardening Club gained insights into growing food at home for healthy eating when they toured Ben and Gerry Nihipali‘s home garden on April 18 [pictured at right].

The couple got totally committed to home gardening after Ben experienced angina in 1994 and was told he had two blocked arteries. They opted for treatment through therapy and more nutritious eating.

“It was a complete life-style change,” said Gerri, explaining that she and Ben switched to being vegetarians for a few months after, but have been vegans ever since. Vegans do not eat any animal products, including fish, fowl, eggs or cheese. Ideally, the couple hope to reach the point where they grow all the fruit and vegetables they need for their diet at their Moana Street home.

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Laie carver completes Hawaiian wa’a kaulua

[Story and photo by Mike Foley, originally published in Kaleo, April 9, 1998]

Tuione Pulotu shows his nearly completed Hawaiian wa’a kaulua.

When the young man from the tiny island of Fangai in Tonga’s Ha’apai group first visited Ala Moana Shopping Center in 1961, he fell in love with Hawaiian tikis.

“I really admired them,” said Tuione Pulotu, who came here 38 years ago as an LDS?labor missionary to help build the brand-new Polynesian Cultural Center and additions to The Church College of Hawaii, the Hawaii LDS?Temple.

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Lua halau visits Nioi Heiau

[Story and photo by Mike Foley: Originally published in KALEO, March 26, 1998]

Nioi Heiau, LaiePa-Ku’i-a-Lua, a halau of Hawaiians studying the ancient martial art of lua, and family members visited the Nioi Heiau [pictured at right] and Hawai’i Reserves, Inc.’s new taro project in Laie on March 14 to gain additional exposure to Hawaiian culture.

Richard Paglinawan, a special assistant with The Queen Emma Foundation and one of the leaders of Pa-Ku’i-a-Lua, said the visit “was part of our orientation to ku’i sites. Many of them have not had this exposure,” he said. “In order to understand lua, they must also understand where they came from from a cultural perspective.

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City Council names Ramos a ‘Living Treasure’

[Story and photo by Mike Foley: Originally published in KALEO, February 26, 1998]

Angel Ramos (right) and daughterAt the January 28 meeting of the City Council, Councilmember Steve Holmes presented a Council Certificate of Appreciation to Kahuku resident Angel Ramos, honoring him as “A Living Treasure.” [Ramos is pictured at right with his daughter, Carol Bowden]

Ramos is well known on the North Shore and all around O’ahu for his wealth of knowledge on Hawaii Filipino plantation life, displays of photographs of life in Kahuku, and all around good humor.

The text of this certificate captures much of the charm of this man and is presented below in its entirety:

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