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.

School year 1924-25 saw the first appointed school principal, Julia Anahu. Prior to then, there was no principal: Teachers were responsible for the administration of the school. Since then, Hauula Elementary has had at least 25 additional principals.

Under principal Jean Izu in 1992, Hauula Elementary submitted a Letter of Intent to become a School/Community Based Management (SCBM) school — one of the first in the Kahuku Complex.

Mrs. Izu retired in June 1994, and with SCBM team members participating in the selection process, Linda Shimamoto was chosen as the current principal.

Hauula was also the first public school in Windward O’ahu to adopt a modified (or “year-round”) calendar. Both of these programs received the full cooperation of the Hauula Community Association and parent support groups.

Hauula Elementary has distinguished itself in many ways over the years. For example:

• A partnership with the City Department of Recreation provides activities for its intersession periods;

• Involvement in the Polynesian Writing Grant with BYU-Hawaii;

• Pride in having a Hawaiian Immersion Program on campus;

• Having a Spelling Bee champion;

• Participation in the annual Kahuku Complex Speech Festival.

Over the past few years, Hauula’s many successes have raised the morale of teachers and have given the community reasons to take pride in its school. The successes have also been noticed statewide as school and community members have been asked to speak at various conferences.

As it enters its second century, the school continues to provide the children of Hauula with a safe, nurturing environment in which to learn and move forward with pride.

Centennial Celebration

Many segments of the community are joining together from April 7-9, 2000 (April 9 is the 100th day of the year), to honor the school’s 100-year history:

Friday, April 7th:

• Assembly and/or classroom activities, 8:30-11.

• Games and field activities, 11:30-1:30.

• 100th birthday cake

• Songs: Beautiful Hauula (Hawaiian/ English), Hauula Smiles and Happy Birthday.

• Decorations – balloons, banners

• Marine Corps

Saturday, April 8th

• A program from 10-4 featuring Kela Miller as emcee, with entertainment throughout the day, Proclamations and Honorary Certificates as dignitaries arrive, and sharing fond memories.

• 10 am: Opening Remarks (Linda Shimamoto)’ students sing Beautiful Hauula;

• 11 am: Dedication of Ceramic Wall, created by Thomas Deir; unveiling of the Memorabilia Case built by James Tannehill;

• 12-3 pm: Luau;

• 3-4 pm: Finale

Sunday, April 9th

Chairman Walter Santiago will conduct an interfaith service from noon to 2 pm to bless the school, followed by a small reception. Others participating might include Rev. Raymond Kalili, Bishop Danford Hanohano and Rev. Dennis Welch.

* * * * * * * * * *

[From the March 23, 2000, issue of Kaleo]:

The upcoming three-day Hauula Elementary School centennial celebration on April 7-9 has special meaning to a lot of people who remember the country school from years ago. Kaleo talked story with three of them who have special ties:

Amoe (left) and William NihipaliFlorence Amoe Ahina Nihipali (pictured at left, with her husband, William on the right), who was born 84 years ago in Hauula and raised just across the street from the school — where she still lives, went to Hauula when it included a 7th and 8th grade and all of the buildings were wooden. Mrs. Anahu was the principal when she went there in the 1920s.

Nihipali recalled about 300 kids, who came from Punalu’u to Laiemalo’o, attended school from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. “No more bus in those days,” she recalled. “Kids in Punalu’u had to walk to school. We had to learn to read and write, but not like now, we didn’t have a lot of extras,” she said, for example: “We never had a cafeteria.”

Nihipali fondly remembered that all the kids participated in May Day programs and school concerts. “We always had May Days,” she said, adding the kids also liked to play hopscotch and baseball.

But it wasn’t all fun. Nihipali said her mother, Mary Ahina, “was janitor in the school. Pau school, we go back to help her.” She also said she would help her mother in their taro patch, which was located where the community park now is.

Nihipali said she, her two sisters, brother, future husband —William Nihipali, 87, and their three children: the late Alvina Apo, Blossom and Zachary “Sunny” Nihipali all attended Hauula Elementary.

“The school was good to me,” she said, adding she’s still pleased with it. “They’re doing fine and taking care of the children.”

Saline PlunkettSaline Plunkett (pictured at right0 is another Hauula resident who has special memories of Hauula Elementary. She retired last year after teaching at the school for 33 years — 20-plus of them in the first grade.

Plunkett, who is originally from Waimanalo, told Kaleo she started teaching at Hauula in 1963 after graduating from BYU Provo and spending a couple of years teaching among Native Americans in the Uinta Basin.

“When I came to the school,” she recalled, “everything was still wooden buildings. Mr. Ito was the principal. We were still eating in our old wooden cafeteria, and the administration building was closer to the road. There were also a principal and teachers cottages. There were no textbooks — only for the teachers, and no library,” she continued, adding that in 1968 the 7th and 8th graders were transferred to Kahuku Intermediate.

“In those days we had very good relations with the parents,” she said, recalling how discipline has changed. “I used to go on home visits. Now, the students practically dare you to discipline them.”

Plunkett, who married Hauula resident Ku Plunkett in 1968, also recalled helping start camping and Big Island trips with sister teacher Elly Tepper, who now teaches at Keolu and was named State Teacher of the Year in 1999.

Plunkett said her mother-in-law, Mary Ann Plunkett, was also a teacher at Hauula; and their children, Ku III and Ikaika Plunkett attended Hauula Elementary.

She now watches her mo’opuna and fondly recalls working with the PTA and community merchants.

Bette HaringAlthough she only taught there for the 1955-56 school year, Bette Malakowsky Haring has fond memories of Hauula Elementary and performs volunteer work at the school every time she comes back. She recently retired after teaching in her home state of Minnesota for 20 years, and putting in another 20 as a librarian . . . but back in 1955 she accepted a contract to teach in Hauula after going to school with a number of Hawaiians at Colorado State U.

What was the school like then? “It was mostly teachers of Hawaiian descent. Mr. George Kekauoha [from Laie] was the principal. There were four other mainland teachers that year. We lived in the principal’s cottage,” she said of her year in Hauula, recalling that school secretary Grace Kahaleoumi, who now lives in Arizona, was her roommate. Nina Law, whose father was president of the newly-opened Church College of Hawai’i, was the other K teacher.

Miss Malakowsky's 55-56 class at Hauula Elementary“I think we paid $2.50 to help with the electricity,” she said. “I found it to be a wonderful experience.” Haring also recalled her classroom was where the flag pole is now, that they had a flag-raising ceremony every day, and there was “one piano for the entire school.”

Asked if any of her K students remember her, Haring said “I’ve met six of them,” adding she was surprised to see “Nadine Preston, one of my students, working in the office. To be so warmly received was heart-warming.”

What’s the biggest change? “The open spaces are gone,” she replied.

(Photo caption, above-right): Bette Malakowsky Haring’s 1955-56 Kindergarten class at Hauula Elementary School.0

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.

[Read more…]

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.

[Read more…]

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.

* * * * * * * * *

[Read more…]

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.

[Read more…]

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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BYUH unveils Hawaiian Studies program

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

Hawaiian Studies hulaAll the hopes and emotions of a long-time vision being fulfilled were on display the evening of Feb. 12 when the Center for Hawaiian Language and Cultural Studies at Brigham Young University-Hawaii was introduced to the public.

The new program’s introduction occurred on Founders Day — 43 years exactly since The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, led by President David O. McKay, founded the new college in Laie.

Photo caption: Professor William K. Wallace III (right) jumped impromptu into the Moloka‘i Nui Ahina hula as part of the BYUH Hawaiian Studies celebration. —photo by Lester Muranaka

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Lanihuli luau an ono success

[Story and photo by Mike Foley: Originally published in KALEO, March 12, 1998]

Lanihuli Hawaiian Civic Club luauThe Lanihuli Hawaiian Civic Club (LHCC) scholarship luau on March 7 was described as “the best country luau you’ll ever find.”

“To me, it’s what the old-time country luau used to be,” said new LHCC president Sheree Evans, who added that about 500 people attended the annual event on a perfect afternoon at Pu’uhonua o Malaekahana.

The entertainment was outstanding, including:

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‘Jeopardy’ quiz show conducts auditions at PCC

[Story and photos by Mike Foley: Published originally in the BYU-Hawaii online “Newsroom,” January 20, 2003]

"Jeopardy" entrantsA talent search crew for Jeopardy, the Emmy Award-winning TV quiz show, came to the Polynesian Cultural Center’s Pacific Theater on Friday, January 17th, to select three BYU-Hawaii faculty members and a Kahuku High teacher as possible adult contestants during a morning audition, and five BYU-Hawaii students during a noontime tryout.

From the two auditions, Jeopardy contestant coordinators selected Honors Program Director and English professor Randall Allred (on the left in the picture), music professor David Kammerer (on the right), history professor James Tueller (in the middle), and Kahuku High testing coordinator Joseph Holzman as possible candidates for the daytime show; and BYU-Hawaii students Ryan Alexander (a recent graduate), Daniel Chase, Mitchell Colver, Stefanie Johannessen and Luke Mease as possible contestants on the $50,000 College Championship show.

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Steve Young addresses EFY group

[Story and photos by Mike Foley: Originally published in KALEO, January 29, 1998]

Steve YoungPro-Bowl quarterback Steve Young [pictured at right] of the San Francisco 49ers took time out from preparations for the game to travel from Honolulu to Laie on Jan. 31 where he addressed a gathering of Latter-day Saints youth.

The event, “Especially for Youth,” (EFY) was attended by approximately 1,600 young members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The youth, ages 12–18, were in Laie from all over the state for the day-long conference, which is held yearly on the BYU-Hawaii Campus and is sponsored by the school’s Division of Continuing Education.

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