Archive for June, 2015

Cleaning the room

June 17th, 2015

My daughter amazes me. This week Olivia cleaned her room. Really.

I was playing dolls with her in her room and I pointed out that under the bed is a HUGE MESS. She laughed. "Now you know what I do when you ask me to clean my room and you're always surprised it happens so fast," she admitted.

Playing dolls

Playing dolls

The honesty. I never get angry when she's honest because I want to encourage truth-telling.

I smiled. "Sweetie. We're going to have to clean that up eventually."

I didn't mean today, but she said, "Will you help me now?"

"Really? Now?" I asked, pleased but surprised that she seemed to mean it. "Sure."

So together we started sorting: Legos in one basket, beads in a bag, pencils in a cup, books on the shelf. On and on.

"You're a packrat," I said.

"I'm not a packrat. Everything is important," she insisted. It's my worst fear that she inherited my mother's side's trait of hoarding. Seriously, all the Chinese relatives do that. I hate it.

I had to leave to prepare lunch. When I came back, it was all done. Everything.

Some of the clutter moved to the trash can (thankfully) but a lot was just neatly put into a place somewhere. My eyes nearly fell out of my head.

Praise, praise, praise, and more praise. She beamed.

Of course, that was short lived. The next day, I walked back into her room to find all the junk from her desk on the floor, and her "polishing" her vanity mirror - with a tea cup full of water, a makeup brush to apply the water, and a scarf to wipe it off.

That happens to be a $500 mirror I got when I was working at the luxury hotel for $3 on a white elephant sale.

"Look, Mommy. I'm cleaning my room again," she proudly demonstrated.

It's been days. The junk is still all over the floor.

We'll just be thankful for small miracles. It happened once, it can happen again...

Medieval Heroes Featured in Programs at Nine Public Libraries Statewide

June 16th, 2015

Every hero has a story. That's what the state public library wants to teach young readers this summer in its annual Children's Summer Reading Program.

An upcoming event will feature medieval superheroes as presented by Honolulu blacksmith and bladesmith Christopher Greywolf.

Christopher Greywolf. Courtesy: UH Statewide Cultural Extension Program

Christopher Greywolf. Courtesy: UH Statewide Cultural Extension Program

Greywolf, a Native American medieval armorer, will be a featured performer for the Hawaii State Public Library System "Children's Summer Reading Program" at nine selected public libraries on Hawaii Island, Kauai, Lanai and Oahu from June 17 through July 11.  Admission is free.

Greywolf will present three programs: "Heroes of the Classic Era," "Women Warriors in History," and "Cultures of the World."  With more than 20 years of weapons smithing experience, Greywolf will feature authentic handcrafted weapons and antiques, and period costumes.

This 45-minute performance is suitable for all ages.  Young children must be accompanied by a parent or caregiver.

In this year's Children's Summer Reading Program theme "Every Hero Has a Story," pre-kindergarteners through 6th graders are invited to discover the "superheroes" within themselves as they read and learn about real life, fantasy and everyday heroes among us who do extraordinary things!  Weekly reading incentives will include items such as school supplies, tasty treats, and a Super Hero Activity Kit for young readers to assemble a Super Library-Ann, Captain Read-A-Lot and a superhero of their own creation.  Free drawings will also be conducted at each library for a chance to win a Back-to-School Backpack filled with handy school supplies for registered children (two prize winners per library).

Greywolf will present the following programs at these libraries:

Kauai -

June 17, 2 p.m. - "Women Warriors in History" at Koloa Public & School Library (tel. 742-8455)

Hawaii Island -

June 23, 6:30 p.m. - "Heroes of the Classic Era" at Keaau Public & School Library (tel. 982-4281)

June 24, 10 a.m. - "Heroes of the Classic Era" at Mountain View Public & School Library (tel. 968-2322)

June 24, 6 p.m. - "Women Warriors in History" at Thelma Parker Memorial Public & School Library (tel. 887-6067)

July 1, 10:30 a.m. - "Heroes of the Classic Era" at Pahala Public & School Library (tel. 928-2015)

Oahu -

June 27, 10:30 a.m. -"Heroes of the Classic Era" at Aiea Public Library (tel. 483-7333)

July 8, 6 p.m. - "Cultures of the World" at Kaneohe Public Library (tel. 233-5676)

July 11, 10:30 a.m. - "Women Warriors in History" at Waipahu Public Library (tel. 675-0358)

Lanai -

June 30, 1:30 p.m. - "Heroes of the Classic Era" at Lanai Public & School Library (tel. 565-7920)

The event schedule is subject to change.  Contact the hosting library as soon as  possible if a sign language interpreter or other special accommodation is needed.

For more information about Greywolf's programs or about the 2015 Hawaii State Public Library System Children's, Teen, or Adult Summer Reading Programs, visit or call the hosting library.

Posted in child | No Comments »

Wildland urban interface and other fancy terms

June 15th, 2015

The other day on the news, Jai Cunningham interviewed Honolulu Fire Department PIO David Jenkins, and David kept referring to a recent brushfire as having occurred in the "wildland urban interface."

I respect the ever-changing politically correct terms, though it gave me an amused pause. What regular person is going to remember to call the brush area a "wildland urban interface"?

David, by the way, is my high school classmate as well as my ex-boyfriend's cousin, and saying that makes me feel comically small town.

This reminds me of some things my own daughter's said recently. She makes my head turn. While we've never done baby talk with her, we also don't speak so formally, so I have no idea where she got these words from:

In the pool, we were racing. She was in an inner-tube and laughed that she was going to win because she had a "flotation device!"

Another time, as she was headed out to bike, she ran back in to get her helmet. I praised her. "Daddy told me if I didn't use my helmet one more time, he'd take away both of my vehicles," she admitted.

And finally, one day I told her I had to go to my salon. I was distracted and slow to find the word "haircut" so she finished my sentence, "for a grooming?" Grooming. Yes, like the dog.

This kid. She has a future as a PIO.

Pacific Century Fellows seeks 2015 - 2016 class of Island leaders

June 12th, 2015

One of the most amazing professional experiences I've had in my career was my year as a part of the Pacific Century Fellows (PCF). That's a group of mid-career leaders who are specifically selected for their potential and promise, who are groomed to help lead the state to prosperity.

PCF 2014 class. Courtesy: Ryan Kawamoto.

PCF 2014 class. Courtesy: Ryan Kawamoto.

"The objective of the Pacific Century Fellows Program is to develop leaders with a greater awareness and sensitivity to the people and institutions of Hawaii. Based on the White House Fellows Program, the Pacific Century Fellows Program will bring together annually up to 32 of Hawaii’s most promising individuals from all walks of life, fields and professions. They’ll gain a broader view of civic duty through direct contact with senior community, social and government leaders. The program encourages the development of long-term relationships between leaders young and old, united in their commitment to find creative solutions to the challenges facing the state," reads the PCF website.

Diane and Mufi

Diane and Mufi

Founder Mufi Hannemann designed it as a nine month program that starts with a mandatory two day retreat. Thereafter, fellows meet monthly for an all-day seminar that focuses on one specific topic of our community.

Touring Institute for Human Services

Touring Institute for Human Services

As part of the most recent class (2014), for instance, I spent a day touring homeless encampments, getting a look at how the Institute for Human Services is set up, and hearing from developers about proposed solutions to the affordable housing crisis. It's meant to open your mind to the larger perspective, so that when you return to your job, you will consider how you can affect change.

Matthew Bauer and Kaiwi  Yoon

Matthew Bauer and Kaiwi Yoon

Alumnus Matthew Bauer had a similar realization. "The Pacific Century Fellowship allows participants the opportunity to look at the many issues facing the state from different view points.  My eyes were open on many topics I thought I had an understanding on including: GMO use, public education, the military and the criminal justice system. It was when PCF was touring Halawa Prison, our class' first seminar, that I realized to gain greater understanding you really need to dig deep and understand the issue on the ground level," he says.

Hawaii Island resident Ryan Kadota says it was worth the extra effort to be part of this. "Coming from a neighbor island, I was afforded the opportunity to bring a different outlook to our monthly outings and share that with my classmates, as well as gain their perspectives. There was a lot we all learned from one another. The most rewarding part of the Pacific Century Fellows, besides my own personal growth, are friendships I formed over the course of the program."

Ryan Kadota and me

Ryan Kadota and me

The program's end is really just the beginning of our commitment to greater community responsibility. We are expected to take a more active public service role, applying the concepts learned over the course of the program.

There are many reasons I enjoyed this experience so much, but one of them is the deeper engagement with society that it afforded. Though I've spent most of my career in journalism, which puts me in touch with a wide slice of life, I've rarely been able to dedicate an entire day of study to an issue. Also, people are less willing to speak openly about their real feelings to a reporter.

Hike at Mt. Ka`ala

Hike at Mt. Ka`ala

I do believe we're only as strong as our weakest link, and I appreciate that the program empowers me to now act upon the urge to help. It also provides me a built-in network of like-minded people, creating a synergistic effect.

As a bonus, the classes usually bond, and many, like ours, create opportunities on their own for trips and monthly lunches. I have 30 amazing new friends who I connect with in a way that I haven't replicated elsewhere.


Kalawao, Moloka`i

Kadota and I were part of two extracurricular trips, of which he reflects, "A very enlightening part of the program were the trips we took to the other neighbor islands, Moloka`i and Kaho`olawe, where we were able to learn about the history of those islands and their communities, as well as the monumental challenges facing them now and moving forward."

Optional PCF trip to Molokai. On the hike down to Kalaupapa. Courtesy: Ryan Kawamoto.

Optional PCF trip to Molokai. On the hike down to Kalaupapa. Courtesy: Ryan Kawamoto.

PCF is a bit like a college fraternity, but on the intellectual, professional, philanthropic side. I was not at all expecting that, based on my experience as a member or board director of other organizations, but I fully cherish it.

The boat to/ from Kaho`olawe

The boat to/ from Kaho`olawe

Do you want to be the change you want to see for Hawaii? PCF is taking applications for the Class of 2015-16 from now through July 15. More information at Good luck!


Working on Kaho`olawe

Working on Kaho`olawe

Joe Moore and Linda Purl star in "It's Only A Play" at Hawaii Theater

June 10th, 2015

First, let me say that my one year anniversary at KHON2 is coming up on June 23 and it's been a terrific time so far. Probably the most interesting perk of this job is that I now get to call our main anchor Joe Moore - sorry, let me rephrase that: THE JOE MOORE - my coworker.

15-2-5 Joe Moore

How awesome is that, right?! Like many of you who spent much of your lives in the Islands, I grew up watching Joe, and never thought one day we'd be on a first name basis.

Joe at KHON2

Joe at KHON2

I know I have worked in Hawaii news for a long time, so the possibility was higher than someone who didn't work in the media, but for some reason I still didn't think it a real possibility.

So here we are today, and Joe invited the newsroom to see his new play, It’s Only A Play, Terrence McNally’s uproarious comedy directed by Logan Reed. I'm planning to go!   Hawaii Theatre audiences will be the first in the country to see this play after it closed a box office record breaking run on Broadway June 7th.


Joe obtained the performance rights from the playwright McNally after seeing the play in New York. "Mr. McNally was impressed by the level of talent our professional production will offer," said Joe, "and he loved the idea of it being a benefit for the historic and beautiful Hawaii Theatre. It's a real honor to be the first regional theatre in the nation to perform this hilarious comedy, especially having the rights granted personally by the four-time Tony winning playwright."

Joe, as he will look in the play. Courtesy: Joe Moore

Joe, as he will look in the play. Courtesy: Joe Moore

Joe, who's starred in several professional productions at Hawaii Theatre and always donates his fee to the theatre, will play former theatre actor turned TV star James Wicker; Broadway and TV star Linda Purl will play a clueless but kind producer. Purl is perhaps best known for portraying Ben Matlocks’ daughter Charlene in the TV series Matlock and was most recently seen as Pam Beesley’s Mother in The Office. Her many theatre credits include leading roles in The Year of Magical Thinking, A Streetcar Named Desire, A Glass Menagerie, Dinner with Friends, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Getting and Spending, and Romeo and Juliet.

Joe and Reed, a Broadway director who was personally recommended by playwright McNally, put together a stellar ensemble of actors who, in addition to Purl, include Po`okela Awards winners Cathy Foy, Tom Holowach, Paul Mitri, and Dezmond Gilla as well as Ryan Wuestewald, a former University of Hawaii theatre major who now acts in New York.

It's Only a Play is set in a Manhattan townhouse where Peter Austin (Paul Mitri) anxiously awaits to see if his new play is a hit. With his career on the line, he shares his opening night with his best friend and television star (Joe Moore), his fledgling producer (Linda Purl), his erratic leading lady (Cathy Foy), his wunderkind director (Ryan Wuestewald), an infamous drama critic (Tom Holowach), and a fresh-off-the-bus coat check attendant (Dezmond Gilla) who just arrived in New York. A show that is alternately raucous, ridiculous and tender — It’s Only a Play proves that sometimes the biggest laughs happen offstage.

Tickets are available starting at $22 and are available online at, by calling the Hawaii Theatre Box Office at 808-528-0506 or visiting the box office at 1130 Bethel Street, Tuesday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  For more information, visit

Discounts for Hawaii Theatre members, groups of 10 or more, youth (18 and under), seniors (62 and older), and students and military (with valid ID). Some restrictions may apply.

This production is sponsored in part by Hawaiian Springs Natural Water and the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. It's Only A Play will have a limited engagement at Honolulu’s historic Hawaii Theatre for 11 shows only, June 18-28.

To see a PSA that KHON2 is running about this play, visit my Facebook page: Diane Ako.

Recent Posts

Recent Comments