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September 2006


IT WAS AN AWESOME EVENT ....and the folks came from Florida, Wisconsin, New Mexico, Hawaii, Canada, Washington, Oregon, Idaho and California to participate in the 4th Annual Kukui Foundation Workshop and Hoike event at the Red Lion Inn in Vancouver, WA!  Sponsored by the Kukui Foundation and Kumu Hula Deva Yamashiro, the event featured some of the most renowned Master Kumu Hulas in the world as workshop instructors including: Robert Cazimero (one half of the super star "Cazimero Brothers" music duo) and Manu Boyd (leader of Hawaii's music group "Ho`okena") and Aunty Vicky Takamine Holt (already a legend among Kumu Hula) and Paulette Kekuewa Kahalepuna (a leading expert on making Hawaiian feather leis)! Among the staff who helped make this 3 day work shop/Hoike event such a success were folks like Jane Chang (Roosevelt '69) and Martha Drum and Kelsey Kaopuiki (who gave a wonderful opening Pule for the Friday session), all members of Deva Yamashiro's Halau in Vancouver, WA.  Jesse Domingo (Waiakea HS), one of the leaders of the Kukui Foundation was also a key contributor.  The "house band" were brothers Kaloku and Keawe Holt, two of the best musicians/singers/male hula dancers in the Pacific NW area!

The folks who came to learn included Dennis Pavao ( Lana`i guy who now lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico) and Kumu Hula Paddy Kauhane (plus over twenty members of her Halau from British Columbia, Canada including Robin, Christopher, Casandra and Kiana Kauhane; Shannon and Lorraine Watkins; Margit Wagner, Kandace Turmel, Joanne Shannon and Janelle Tenbrink)..from Boise, Idaho came Lorena Steele and Mali McCracken... Kumu Hula Onie Rendall and her Halau KamakahiwaoKalani came from the Tri-Cities (Kennewick/Pasco/Richland), WA area...also from the Tri-Cities was Andrea Hopkins, a key member of the Tri-Cities Wa`a (canoe club).  From Eugene, OR was Kumu Hula Leilani Beymer and her Hula Halau O Na Kaikuahine (including Momilani Hodder, Konawaena HS '76) Tomo Hellman came from the Kirkland, WA Halau O Makanaokalani..representing Halau Na Hanu `O Kuuleialoha (Burien, WA) were Teri & Jean Setbacken...from Claire Cortez's Hula Halau Ke Liko A`e O Lei Lehua was Beth Mesina...two dancers who were recognized by Kumu Hula Robert Cazimero for their very smooth dancing were Chris Taylor (Punahou grad who now lives in Portland, OR) and U`ilani Makaena of Aunty Moody's Halau in the Kent/Federal Way, WA area.......

I sat in on the Friday workshops and it was fascinating just to get to watch Robert Cazimero and Manu Boyd and Vicky Takamine Holt "up close and personal". They each definitely have their own styles/personalities in teaching hula...aunty Vicky is "nice" and easy going, fun to learn from.. Manu is a master story teller who weaves his profound knowledge of Hawaiian history into his teaching style.....not surprisingly, Robert is the ultimate perfectionist who combines humor as well as firmness in getting the most from his workshop students....EACH OF THEM WAS GREAT!!!!!

Vancouver, WA is truly a beautiful "little" city and auwe....tons of Hawaiians live in/around that little city (plus lots more who live in the Portland area just across the Columbia River )! The Hoike (the show)  in the Esther Short Park in Vancouver was outstanding. Over a dozen Hawaiian vendors were in the park selling food, flowers and "stuff"! It was an overcast day but that didn't stop a whole bunch of folks waiting in line for shave ice from the "Shave Ice Lady" (Charlotte Ululani Gahan Yamashiro, Farrington '77)... Dale "Bullie" Magsayo (Kaneohe guy) bragged that his are the best Malasadas in the Pacific NW.... Kawika Kahoilua's "Bamboo Grove Hawaiian Grill" must have goooood food 'cause the longest line of people waiting to buy food was at his booth......one of the prettiest wahines there was Leimomi Hall who flew in from San Francisco to run the Hawaiian Airlines booth....Other faces in the crowd: Eric & Luane Penarosa (both KS '61); musician Ross Oana (KS'57), Richard Fukushima (Lahaina Luna '60); Rolberta Silva Hansen (KS '50) and her hubby Claude...... Congrats to the Kukui Foundation and Kumu Hula Deva Yamashiro for an outstanding event!  All of you need to mark your 2007 calendar for the last week in July so you can partake next year........truly, truly an event you'll love as much as I did!!

Before I hele on, I want to express my fondest Aloha and maika`i (thanks) to a man I've yet to meet but who has touched my heart in a very special way.... Carolyn Carpio (Waianae '63) was manning the "Da Kine RCS Cafe" (from Orchards, WA) booth when she recognized me and ran over to tell me that her brother Richard Salinas (Waianae '61) was the #1 Fan in Vancouver, WA of our NW Hawaii Times newspaper.  Unfortunately, like many Hawaiians, Richard suffers from Diabetes and is pretty much home bound so could not be at the Hoike. I talked to Richard over the phone and even though he is in pain and in a wheel chair most of the time, he is so positive, so proud of his five children (Richard Kalani, Steven Kai, Lisa, Rochelle and Vanessa Kuuipo) and so very, very proud of his Hawaiian heritage!  Richard Salinas: I now am YOUR #1 Fan and so very proud of you!

Gotta hele on.......until next time, take care..........a hui hou...........Danny

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