Archive for August, 2009

Waiting Game

August 30th, 2009

My best friend at work, Paul Drewes, phoned me Friday night. "Boy, now I know what it's like to work at Claus' place (Moanalua Mortuary)," he joked. "The newsroom is sooo quiet nowdays. You know how usually there's so much chatter and noise? Nothing. Not a peep."


The layoffs started Thursday. Coworkers call me. "Hey, have you heard the latest? So-and-so got let go." Each name feels like a little stab. These are my friends, and I really, really feel for them. And obviously, since we're all in this little dingy without a paddle, a layoff hits too close to home.

Every time the phone rings or the e mail alert sounds, I jump. Apparently, so does everyone else. Now, it's the weekend, so for sure, I have two whole agonizing days to sit around and wait more.

You know, I've considered the broad possibilities that might happen to me: I could get laid off, or I could get kept. It's really too mind-numbing, as I've said before, to think about the intricacies of what show I might get and what role I would play.

I don't feel like charting out a spreadsheet akin to Fantasy Football, about what talent might get placed where. I'm just trying to not think about it. Why stress out unnecessarily?

The funny thing is, I've made my peace with either possibility, and the thing I HATE is this waiting game. If the interview (officially termed a "meet and greet/ get to know you") felt like a blind date, this feels like the yucky feeling in your stomach while you wait for the right moment to break up with your boyfriend.

No wonder why that kink in my neck hasn't gone away yet!

Watch the full, raw video of the Media Council Hawaii's press conference announcing it's filing a FCC complaint.

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Posted in Career | 5 Comments »

That darn dog!

August 28th, 2009

Inca has been a very bad dog lately. She has been getting into my garden bed and wreaking havoc.

Who, me?

Who, me?

It started when I went in there to trim the basil. I'm always busy and tired, and I only get in there to work once a month or so. I'm a bad plant mom. My friend Dave built me the tiny garden back in the spring (2009) to encourage a shared love for gardening. That, and because he's nice.


So, it's been there for half a year and it never piqued her interest, but on this particular day, Inca saw me unhook the small gate and realized that fun things lay behind that flimsy mesh barrier. Things like Manoa lettuce, wild tomatoes, and other fun herbs.

If she wanted to remove the herbs to cook me dinner, that'd be one thing, but I've been coming out just about every day to large, telltale paw prints in the dirt, and more and more dying plants.


My stupid, jerry-rigged solution

My stupid, jerry-rigged solution

Labradors are SO smart. There are three stakes nailed in at intervals, with a thick mesh zip tied to all but one stake. On that last stake, the mesh is simply hooked on, acting like a gate. First, she realized she could tug at the mesh, unhook the bottom, and crawl in under.

Stop talking and pet me.

Stop talking and pet me.

I thought I fixed that by putting a big cinder block at the bottom to prevent her from nosing under. She moved the block. Right. What's a concrete brick to a 70 pound dog? So I lined the entire bottom with blocks to create more deterrent.

You think THAT's gonna stop me?!

You think THAT's gonna stop me?!

To heck with you, she said. She simply yanked the mesh away with her teeth and broke it.

A running list of casualties:

Lima bean plant



Half dug up thyme

Half dug up mint

Partially trampled lavender

Semi broken green onion

I plot my next attack...

I plot my next attack...

I know it's my fault for not giving her more stimulation, and I know it's what dogs do anyway. They dig. But dang it, Inca. Can't you dig up the weeds instead of the vegetables?

Posted in mom, pets | 12 Comments »

Mackey's Monarchs

August 24th, 2009

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There’s a Native American legend that says if you whisper your wishes to a butterfly, then set it free, it will fly to the heavens with your wish. If that’s true, there are thousands of wishes waiting to be fulfilled for Dancetta Feary. She’s a Kaneohe woman who has been raising butterflies for five years.

“I just wanted to have butterflies in my yard. I always thought it was really beautiful,” she told me one afternoon while sitting in her beautiful, breezy butterfly garden. And at a particularly stressful time in her life, she finally decided to go for it.

For six years, Dancetta weathered trauma after trauma, starting with the highly publicized 1999 suicide of her brother Mackey.

Baby Mac

Baby Mac, courtesy Dancetta Feary

Maybe you recognize the name? Mackey Feary, lead singer of the popular island band Kalapana. “He really was the only baby I ever had. He was my baby brother. I never had children of my own,” reflects Dancetta.

Mackey Feary, courtesy Dancetta Feary

Mackey Feary, courtesy Dancetta Feary

After that, marriage of 20 years ended, her family was torn asunder by six years worth of lawsuits, and then her father died. “It was tough, very challenging. I would have used the word depressing then, but I see things through wider eyes now and I see everything is here for a reason, and everything is good,” she philosophizes.

Courtesy Dancetta Feary

Courtesy Dancetta Feary

And so those butterflies entered the picture. First a few, then a few more, and before she knew it, she had hundreds. They dominate her carport in large and small cages. On a quiet night, you can even hear the caterpillars munching away steadily, and the butterflies’ wings flapping at the cage ceiling, reaching towards freedom.

Dancetta spends four hours a day caring for her pets. Her day starts at 6 a.m. with feeding the butterflies, the dogs, and maybe, if she’s diligent, herself. She works as a Realtor, so the next daypart is dedicated to selling real estate. When she gets home, it’s more pet care, and then more real estate until midnight.

What compels her to raise these gentle winged creatures? “They teach me that there’s so much beauty in life,” she explains. “From the day they're born, the mother lays them on a leaf and that's it. They've really taught me you can be independent and strong and be by yourself.”


Some of the butterflies she raises are a rare, white variety. She credits UH Manoa professor John Stimson, PhD, with helping her figure out how to breed them. “He said if the orange males were of the same brood as the females, then their offspring would produce some whites (one out of every four), being a recessive gene. Over 700 butterflies later, this next generation was all oranges. So, fingers crossed, I tried again.”

Courtesy Dancetta Feary

Courtesy Dancetta Feary

Finally, in 2007, her first batch of whites hatched on August 13– Mackey’s birthday. “This is the tenth anniversary of Mackey's passing, so a special year for me,” adds Dancetta.
She nicknames all whites Mackey’s Monarchs. “It’s a gift from him,” she smiles. Is he telling you something, I ask? “I’m sure he’s here,” replies Dancetta. “The veil between life and death is so thin.”

On the first Saturday of each month, by appointment, Dancetta holds public tours of her butterfly farm. She hopes it’ll encourage more people to appreciate these beautiful insects, and to grow more butterfly plant-food in their yards. It’s her way of honoring Mackey’s memory.

Courtesy Dancetta Feary

Courtesy Dancetta Feary

Christmas 1982, courtesy Dancetta Feary

Christmas 1982, courtesy Dancetta Feary

Is she finally happy? She smiles. “I’m still metamorphisizing,” she laughs. “All of life is change.”

Christmas 1973, courtesy Dancetta Feary

Christmas 1973, courtesy Dancetta Feary

Dancetta Feary
Realtor Associate
Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties
Pali Palms Plaza, Suite C-215
970 Kalaheo Avenue
Kailua, HI 96734
Cell: (808) 723-0630
E-Fax: (808) 628-6081

Menlo College's new review

August 23rd, 2009

My college alma mater is celebrating a nice piece of news: The Princeton Review just selected Menlo College as a “Best in the West” institution. For the first time, the small school was named among the best colleges and universities in the Western region by the education-services company.

"We are furthering our mission and strengthening our position as Silicon Valley’s Business School. With the recruitment of talented new faculty; the addition of majors that reflect the needs of a globalized economy; small class size and the highest retention rate in recent history, Menlo College is producing the next generation of business leaders," say school officials.

"We chose Menlo College and the other terrific schools we recommend as our 'regional best' colleges primarily for their excellent academic programs," Robert Franek, the Review's vice president of publishing, said in a news release. "We also take into account what each school's customers — their students — report to us about their campus experiences."

The Review noted that students are "roundly positive in their summation of academics at Menlo," with valued faculty, "small class sizes", and "close-knit community" that can "provide a unique experience that wouldn't be possible at a larger university."

Menlo currently serves about 600 undergraduate students with 15 percent of them international students from 23 countries. Tuition for the 2009-10 school year is $31,720. Hawaii is the largest feeder state for American students.

Founded in 1927, Menlo is a four-year private college that has long been known for its business-management courses. About two years ago, it launched a long-term campaign to transform itself into a premier business college. Menlo also has filed for accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business and plans to start a master's program in 2010-11.

Restoring Kawainui Marsh

August 21st, 2009

Want to help malama your aina? There's a gorgeous area in Kailua called the Na Pohaku o Hauwahine in Kawainui Marsh. It's a wetland habitat for the endangered alae ula, and a team from the Hawaii Youth Conservation Corps is working to improve and enlarge it.

Kawainui Marsh aerial

Kawainui Marsh aerial

Other community volunteers are planting the 12 acres with native plants to recreate a dryland forest ecosystem. There are ancient Hawaiian terraces that align the massive rock outcrops which overlook the marsh.


Prominent environmentalist Chuck "Doc" Burrows, EdD, has led the charge for decades. "We, a Kailua community coalition group, did not get the $12 million  NOAA Stimulus Package monies to restore 120 acres in the marsh, but we are continuing at a snail's pace for the past 10 years to restore the marsh.  We are petitioning Senators Inouye and Akaka to come to our aide."

Kawainui Ponds

Kawainui Ponds

Besides the ongoing restoration work at Na Pohaku o Hauwahine, volunteers also work at Ulupo Heiau, restoring the growing of taro down into the marsh.  They have an annual fundraiser, the Ulupo Hoike. Monies raised go toward a student scholarship fund and the restoration fund for Kawainui Marsh.

HYCC at next wetland bird habitat at Ulupo Heiau

HYCC at next wetland bird habitat at Ulupo Heiau



HYCC in Na Pohaku Wetlands

HYCC in Na Pohaku Wetlands

Service projects are held the second Saturday of each month at Ulupo Heiau, and the third Saturday at Na Pohaku o Hauwahine.

BRING: Backpack, lunch, water, rain gear, mosquito repellent, gloves.
TOOLS: Sickles, pruners, handsaws, machete, hand cultivators.

CALL: Kaimi Scudder for more information and to sign-up: Phone: 808 593-0112 or email:

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