Archive for October, 2012

Women's Assault Prevention Course

October 31st, 2012

In April, 18 year old *Ana went to a reggae concert at the Waikiki Shell. She went expecting great music and good times with friends. She left with a beating and some very traumatic memories: She was assaulted by an acquaintance in the parking lot.

"I walked back to my car with a group of people, and we were standing around talking. Pretty soon, everyone else had left, and it was just this guy and me. I had seen him before at group get-togethers. He was a friend of a friend, and I could tell he was drunk tonight. I went towards my car and he asked me to give him a ride home, and without waiting for the answer, he just got inside my car," recalled Ana.

She told him she didn't think it was a good idea and asked him to exit her car. "He flew into a rage. He just started hitting me as we were sitting in the car. It happened so fast, but I remember him punching me in the jaw and being shocked. After he hit me a few times I realized I needed to get away, so I opened the door and rolled out to the ground. He came after me," continued Ana.

The attacker opened the passenger side door with such force, Ana and the police later realized the door would no longer close properly. He walked over to the driver's side where she was lying on the ground and continued his assault. "He kicked me repeatedly in my stomach so hard it knocked the wind out of me. I saw a bystander walking by and yelled for help, to call 911. It made [the attacker] angrier. I had somehow managed to stand up, so he threw me back to the ground several times," she recounted.

Minutes now had passed. She had passed through the emotions of fear, shock, and panic. And now she was getting angry. "I had to fight back or he wasn't going to stop," she decided. He had put her in a headlock, "so I stomped on his foot as hard as I could, several times. It stunned him. He said, 'What the f--?' And I flew him by his shirt, somehow, some feet away from me."

He wasn't expecting this, and it enraged him. "He came after me again and flipped me in the air. The bystander had called 911 and the police were just arriving. The first officer on the scene later told me he saw me being tossed around," remembered Ana, who had great difficulty reliving the trauma.

She says she is only doing it to help other women. "I feel I would have been in a much worse position had I not just taken an assault prevention course run by Professor Steve Mc Laughlin," she said. "I strongly encourage other girls and women to take the course. It helped prepare me for how to protect myself. Everything happened just as Sensei said it would. First I felt fear, then anger, then I remembered to fight back. I was able to use simple but effective techniques that he taught."

Ana's mother, *Angel, had just signed the two women up for the Women's Assault Prevention Course offered by just two months earlier. "What a stroke of luck. I had signed her up because I worried about her walking to her car at night after her part-time job. I myself perform social work at a place where some of the clients are disturbed. We had some threatening incidents at work lately, so I felt the time was right for both of us to learn some skills," explained Angel. "Little did I realize she'd be putting the lessons to use so soon."

In full disclosure, I am affiliated with this course through my jujitsu club. (To go full circle, I found the dojo when I took the Women's Course!) It's offered as a community service on a regular basis by Sensei Mc Laughlin, who always asks the club members to come out and act as assistants. When we meet for workouts the day after a course is held, he debriefs the class on how the Womens' Course went.

One day, he told us a recent class had helped someone fend off an attack. We were surprised. We realize the value of the course, but it's always unsettling to hear about a violent situation. And then again, we feel gratified ourselves that in some way, this volunteer work we do indirectly helped another person.

One of the lessons Sensei McLaughlin teaches is to trust your intuition. Both ladies report having a "weird" feeling that "something was going to happen" that night. "Right around 10 p.m. I just became worried about Ana and started praying that she would be safe," said Angel. "Just 45 minutes later, I got a call from her. 'Mom, I've been attacked.'"

Both women say they're grateful for the assault prevention course, and now plan to take yearly refreshers. Says Angel, "This is for real. You never know when you're going to need it. We want to thank Sensei McLaughlin and urge other women to take this course. It could save your life."

*Not their real names.

HIC Pro starts Hawaii's winter surf season

October 29th, 2012

On the heels of the first major winter swell to hit the Hawaiian Islands, the HIC PRO presented by VANS will launch the 2012/13 North Shore big wave winter competition season today, October 29, running through November 10. The HIC PRO is a $95,000 4-star rated Association of Surfing Professionals event.

Courtesy: Ocean Promotions

Courtesy: Ocean Promotions

A vital launching pad for local rising surf stars, the HIC PRO is a local qualifier for the 30th Anniversary $1million Vans Triple Crown of Surfing that will follow from November 12 through December 20.

A total of 144 surfers from 13 nations will compete in the HIC PRO, with a 50 per cent representation by local Hawaii surfers. The 4-star rating of the event makes it a critical source of ASP ratings points for all who have entered. Athletes will come from as far away as Argentina, France, and Australia.

The defending champion of the HIC PRO is Ezekiel Lau - a junior-aged surfer who just this week placed second in the ASP World Junior Championships in Bali. The newly crowned ASP World Junior champion - Australia's Jack Freestone - is also entered into the event.

Other notable HIC PRO contenders include Hawaii's Sebastian Zietz, 6-time Vans Triple Crown champion Sunny Garcia, former HIC Pro champions Billy Kemper, Pancho Sullivan and Myles Padaca, and Maui's Ian Walsh and Clay Marzo. International contenders include #1 seed Jean De Silva (Brazil), former world champion Mark Occhilupo (Australia), and Joan Duru (France).

The HIC PRO will be webcast live at, and broadcast on Oceanic Time Warner Cable in Hawaii and on the US West Coast:

Hawaii: Channels 250 & 1250HD - depending upon Coldwater Classic World Tour event broadcast priority. Full live coverage from 10/29/12 - 11/2/12, and tape delay coverage from 11/2/12 through 11/10/12.

Los Angeles, San Diego, Desert Cities: delayed broadcast, sunday, 12/2/12

Delayed broadcast on Time Warner Cable SportsNet (check local listings)

HIC (Hawaiian Island Creations) is a locally owned and operated retail chain since 1971 that includes eleven stores across Oahu, Maui and Hawaii and two in Japan. Vans is a footwear and apparel company that supports and promotes surfing and surfers.

Aging and Caregiving With Dignity

October 26th, 2012

Noted California author and educator Frances H. Kakugawa will conduct a series of Hawai‘i book signings and presentations in November, which is both National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month and National Family Caregivers’ Month.



Kakugawa travels the country speaking to health organizations, medical school programs, and caregiver and community groups about caring for loved ones suffering from Alzheimer’s or other debilitating, long-term illnesses. Her message: that bringing dignity to the caregiving process makes the experience less stressful and more rewarding for both patient and caregiver. Kakugawa also advocates the power of poetry and creative writing to help ease the burden of caregiving—and to allow the caregiver to come to terms with the emotions of the situation, thereby building a healthier relationship with the patient.

In Hawai‘i, although many families share multi-generational homes, caregivers often have difficulty finding effective ways to deal with the burdens of caring for loved ones suffering from Alzheimer’s. The experience can be stressful and frustrating, as well as confusing for young children, and Kakugawa strives to help families better cope with the changed “new” person in their lives.

Frances H. Kakugawa is a Hawai‘i-born educator who for five years was the primary caregiver for her Alzheimer’s-afflicted mother. She has published 10 books, including six from Watermark Publishing, which have won among them “Best Book” awards in children’s and non-fiction categories from both Hawai‘i and California book publishers’ associations, as well as a Mom’s Choice silver award for Wordsworth Dances the Waltz, a children’s book about families living with grandparents with Alzheimer’s and other dementia-related illnesses.

Event schedule follows (all events listed are free and open to the public):

Sat., Nov. 3; 1:00 PM

Barnes & Noble, Kahala Mall

Children’s Book Reading & Book Signing

A portion of sales helps benefit the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Children’s Center

Sat., Nov. 10; 9:30AM – 12:30PM

Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i

Kapoho Presentation, 9:30 - 10:00AM, Historical Gallery

Book Signing, 10:00 - 10:30AM

Aging With Dignity Presentation, 10:30 - 11:00AM, Historical Gallery

Children’s Book Reading, 11:00 - 11:30AM, Historical Gallery

Book Signing, 11:30AM - 12:30PM

Thurs., Nov. 14; 8:30AM – Noon

AARP Caregiver Conference, Ala Moana Hotel, Hibiscus Ballroom

Keynote Address, 9AM

Workshop: A Caregiver’s Pen, 11AM

To register: 1-877-926-8300 or

In her presentations, Kakugawa will draw on material from her caregiving books, Wordsworth Dances the Waltz; Mosaic Moon: Caregiving Through Poetry; and Breaking the Silence (Willow Valley Press). She will also conduct readings and signings for her other books, Kapoho: Memoir of a Modern Pompeii; Teacher, You Look Like a Horse!; Wordsworth the Poet and her newest release, Wordsworth! Stop the Bulldozer!—the third in her Wordsworth children’s book series.

Books will be available at her events (except for the AARP seminar), and are also sold at bookstores and other retail outlets and by online booksellers, or direct from the publisher at Contact Watermark Publishing, 1088 Bishop St., Suite 310, Honolulu, HI 96813; telephone 1-808-587-7766; toll-free 1-866- 900-BOOK; fax 1-808-521-3461; e-mail

My old job at McDonalds

October 24th, 2012

I was driving from the airport towards Kalihi, via Nimitz Highway. Kalihi feels a little like home to me because I worked at KHNL, located in Kalihi, for 13 years. In particular, the old KHNL building at 315 Sand Island Access Road is like home. I have so many fun and good memories of working there for 12 of those 13 years.

As the car pulled off the freeway, I told Olivia, "Keep looking on the right side of the road. We're going to pass Mommy's old work pretty soon. When you were in my tummy and then when you were born, you used to visit me there."

Headed eastbound on Nimitz Highway in Kalihi

Headed eastbound on Nimitz Highway in Kalihi

We first came to a warren of warehouse buildings. "Is it that?" she asked.

"No, just past that. A little more," I said.

"This blue building?" she asked.

"No, further up," I answered.

The old KHNL - white building at corner

The old KHNL - white building at corner

The building is slightly set back from the road, so she didn't see it. Her eyes went to the building right after, and she asked, "You used to work at McDonald's?"


Well, not quite! I did volunteer there as a drive-through server for Kids' Day one year, though.

2007 PACT Children's Day

2007 PACT Children's Day

You want fries with that?

Kawainui Marsh tour

October 22nd, 2012

Explore the beautiful Windward side on an archaeology and historic sites tour of Kawainui Marsh on Saturday October 27 from 8:30am to 12:30 pm. Tour leaders Martha Yent, State Parks Interpretive Program director, and Paul Brennan, anthropologist, will lead the tour group to the archaeological sites at Ulupo Heiau, Pahukini Heiau and Na Pohaku o Hauwahine. They will point out archaeological features that still exist in these places and explain the importance to protect and conserve these sites for future generations.

The tour is co-sponsored by the Ahahui Malama i ka Lokahi and the Kailua Hawaiian Civic Club. Group coordinators will organize a car pool between sites.

Donations of $10 will be accepted. There will be a limit of 25 persons. Reservations must be made by calling Kaimi Scudder at 263-8008 or by email: email @

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