Archive for the ‘Career’ Category

Congratulations, Mr. & Mrs. Sean Ibara!

By
August 24th, 2016



One of my dear friends, Sean Ibara, got married this summer. It was a beautiful ceremony at The Kahala Hotel & Resort, and I was tickled to be invited.

Benika & Sean Ibara

Benika & Sean Ibara

This could not have happened to a nicer person. I've known Sean for about twelve years, when he first came to KHNL and was my producer and then my weekend assignment editor. We kept our friendship when I wasn't in media, then continued our professional relationship when I went to KHON, where he'd migrated to continue at the assignment desk, newscast producing, and an added role as the Consumer Alert (Mondays at 5 p.m.) reporter.

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He's earnest, sincere, honest, dedicated, and level-headed. He has a heart of gold. Everyone likes Sean. Nobody doesn't like Sean.

KHON2's Taizo Braden caught the garter!

KHON2's Taizo Braden caught the garter!

He met his bride Benika when they were at UH ten years ago, and after time and distance turned their friendship into a pan-Pacific relationship, they finally created the circumstances to marry.

She is beautiful, accomplished, sophisticated, and intelligent, and from what I've encountered of her, kind, sweet, loving, and caring. What a wonderful pairing of two good people.

In an era of so much strife and struggle, it's always a delight to pause and celebrate goodness and joy, love and optimism. She gathered her friends from England and her family from Japan.

He invited family, of course, and his friends from the local Japanese community in which he's an active volunteer, and from the local media, in which he has a solid reputation and a great deal of respect.

Back: Minna Sugimoto, Marisa Yamane, Howard Dashefsky, Randy Ennis, Rich Meiers, Kristine Uyeno, Mari-Ela David Chock. Second row: Craoline Julian, me, Tasha Tanimoto. Front: Benika and Sean.

Back: Minna Sugimoto, Marisa Yamane, Howard Dashefsky, Randy Ennis, Rich Meiers, Kristine Uyeno, Mari-Ela David Chock. Second row: Caroline Julian, me, Tasha Tanimoto. Front: Benika and Sean.

There were a few tables for the TV folk. I loved seeing all my former colleagues and friends.

Emi Aiko, me, Sean, Minna.

Emi Aiko, me, Sean, Minna.

Me, Kanoe Gibson, Sheryl Turbeville.

Me, Kanoe Gibson, Sheryl Turbeville - all formerly of KHON2.

Most of my deep friendships come from KHNL, simply because of time and circumstance: I was single and childless for much of my time at Channel 8, which meant loads of time to socialize and form bonds.

At KHON2, the morning shifters were so tired after work, people mostly kept to themselves and did a lot of sleeping. Because of this, I didn't also get to hang out with the other crews.

With Senator Glenn Wakai, formerly of KHNL.

With Senator Glenn Wakai, formerly of KHNL.

Travis Nishida and Daralyn Young.

Travis Nishida and Daralyn Young.

Every time I see these friends I appreciate more how much they meant to me, and how special this period of my life was. It's a gift, really, to find a harmonious situation and to develop meaningful bonds with those you work with. One cannot take this for granted.

KHON2's Ken Mashiyama shot the event.

KHON2's Ken Mashiyama shot the event...

...with the teensiest bit of help from me, so he could be in some of the shots. Ha ha!

...with the teensiest bit of help from me, so he could be in some of the shots. Ha ha!

Former Honolulu Advertiser photographer Greg Yamamoto shot the stills.

Former Honolulu Advertiser photographer Greg Yamamoto shot the stills.

So my heart is full - both for the happiness a good friend has found in his new wife, and for the event that brought us together to toast it with him. Cheers to Benika and Sean!

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The new IT Director

By
August 22nd, 2016



When Olivia was eight, she taught me how to put together a PowerPoint presentation. She proudly showed us her class project, and I was very impressed by the fancy wipes, transitions, fly ins, and what not. She even used a built-in laser pointer function to point to the text or images as she spoke to it.

Holy cow. I asked her to teach me how to do that. Schooled by a third grader.

I can edit video on Avid, I can work fairly well on Word and Excel, but for some reason, I've never had to put together a PowerPoint. When I was a PR director, I, um, had people for that.

I don't know when I'll ever need to do that again but I like to always build my skill set. So one Sunday afternoon, she sat down with me and worked with me on a sample demonstration that I put together myself. Yay, Mommy!

"Or I can just do it for you if you need. You can hire me," she offered. "I'll only charge you $5."

Five bucks. What a bargain! Done!

Realizing I've come to the age where the young mind is more in tune with technology than I am, I asked her to fix some other tech issues for me. I need help with my iTunes and I seem to have maxed out the storage on my personal iPhone.

"Yep, I'll look at that for you," she stated with all the confidence of a tech professional. And I truly believe she will fix it.

So she's now our household Director of IT. I actually like it.

Life, summed up by four scraps of paper

By
August 12th, 2016



My life - actually, my husband's and my life - as of late can be summed up by four scraps of paper. They're hastily scribbled names and numbers of Olivia's new friends on torn bits of whatever was handy.

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Sometimes the parents wrote the information. Sometimes the kid wrote it. Sometimes Claus had to revise it with his own clarification of what was written, or who this person is.

I was (finally) cleaning off my section of the table that we have ended up dumping all our junk on. I used to be tidy, but in the last months of anchoring the morning show, I gave up. I was too tired to care.

Now I'm getting around to restoring order and I find these notes. They were collected in haste to invite to Olivia's birthday party.

I'm Virgo-organized and I normally would have immediately transcribed this contact information into my phone's address book, but this was Claus' doing. Other than not being Virgo-organized, bless his heart, he was essentially single-fathering it for the first half of 2016 while I sat catatonic on the sofa after work (or after quitting work.)

I laughed out loud when I discovered how he did it. You will never find little crumpled up snippets of paper in my purse. This man cracks me up. After it was written, he stuffed it in his pocket where it got bent and disheveled, possibly even laundered.

But he did it, the friends came to the party, and I appreciate his work. Our differences of style just amuse me.

Claus happened by as I was snickering at the notes. "We can throw those away now," he said, explaining what they were. He knew I'd never seen it before and he thought I was deciphering the scrawl.

Wait, I said. I wanted a photo first.

A photo? For what? he asked.

"Because I want to remember that this is who we were for the first half of this year," I laughed. "Torn, disheveled, disorganized, used up, barely making it."

He laughed too. Then we gladly threw the papers away.

A boringly teachable moment

By
August 3rd, 2016



When I was young, I lived in Connecticut for four years. I spent a ton of time with my best friend, Steph, whose mother would occasionally take us to museums and the like, for educational experiences.

Steph, Robin, me

Steph, Robin, me

She would always make us pay attention and read the placards, threatening to quiz us after on what we learned. Steph and I never listened.

You know when you're nine, the world is your playground if your friends are around. It was always her little sister, Robin, who paid attention and got the answers right. No surprise Robin now has her PhD from Columbia.

Robin and me

Robin and me

As much as I thought it was a drag back then, I've become that mom. I take Olivia to witness what I do for work, because it feeds her bank of experience.

Olivia watching ukulele player Tamaine Gardner.

Olivia watching ukulele player Tamaine Gardner.

She's watched the morning newscast in the studio, been on air with me during a pet segment, accompanied me to my reporter beat checks at the courthouses and police station, and visited me when I reported from a politician's headquarters so she sees what election night looks like. She's wandered around the back-of-the-house at the hotel.

Olivia and Claus at KHON2's riser. Primary election night 2014.

Olivia and Claus at KHON2's riser. Primary election night 2014.

I'd do this in whatever job I work. If I were still in PR, I'd take her with me to a function to see how fancy events go, and what the staff does behind the scenes to keep it smooth.

None of these things, I was exposed to as a child. My dad was a computer programmer and I went to his office once. It was boring to look at a cubicle farm.

I had other learning opportunities, though. My mother was a housewife, which was a wonderful thing for a child to have.

May Day at Royal School. Mom came to all my events because she could!

May Day at Royal School. Mom came to all my events because she could!

So I give Olivia what I can. Recently, a Japanese fashion magazine, Precious, interviewed me for its regular column on businesswomen. I brought her to the photo shoot because I wanted her to see how these go.

Precious photo shoot

Precious photo shoot

She can easily see production shots online or on TV shows, but experiencing things in person is different, and I wanted her to grasp what kind of thought and detail goes into a photo shoot.

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Olivia and her dad sat on the side while the team went over wardrobe and locations with me. She watched as they took multiple photos in one area, reviewed it, and then repositioned me for better lighting or framing.

This isn't just some iPhone photo taken in one minute. This is a process. Like anything else - the newscast, or the  events I worked in PR - there is a lot of effort in the end product. This is what I hope to impress upon her.

With Aya and Pakkai of Precious.

With Aya and Pakkai of Precious.

I knew she was bored watching this. When I caught up with her later, she tried to be polite about it, but Claus confirmed it.

But it's OK. One day, when she's older, she'll remember these things I forced her to accompany me to, and hopefully, appreciate it.

Plus, these experiences she's had are fairly uncommon, given my lines of work. I never saw any of that until I was actually working in the news, or working in PR. Heck if my parents were going to take me to a $100 per person function.

I know all the things Steph's mom forced me to read (ha ha) inform me now as an adult. When New England comes up in conversation, or in the news, it's not just a place on a map to me. It's a culture I lived, enjoyed, and relate to, more so because I was exposed to some of its history.

It also enhances my understanding of the world as a global community, rather than seeing disparate geographies as separate from mine. It adds to the concept of universal oneness and that we are all on this planet working towards the same goals of happiness. It erodes the notion of Self vs. Other.

...Wow, I got all of this from Mystic Seaport?

Oh yeah. And about that pop quiz Steph's mom conducted on the car ride home. There were 13 colony states, Mrs. Surwilo. I paid attention... sort of!

 

This blog wins Society of Professional Journalists 2015 awards

By
July 1st, 2016



Every June, the Hawaii chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists holds its awards banquet for all media. It announces winners of the previous calendar year's stories.

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This year it coincided with my last day at KHON2, which was a nice way to cap the day. I won three awards for my Honolulu Star-Advertiser blogs.

Goofing around with Jai.

Goofing around with Jai.

It's a peer-judged competition so I'm truly honored to be recognized for my efforts. The stories were profiles on newscaster Jai Cunningham (a first and a second place), and musician Tracy Terada (a second place).

Trey and sons Quentin and Dillon

Trey and sons Quentin and Dillon

Jai, by the way, earned his real estate license since I wrote about him, and now has a second job at iProperties. He's so engaged and energetic, I have no idea how he does it - but he does! He's a powerhouse!

Real estate agent Jai Cunningham!

Real estate agent Jai Cunningham!

He told me he was excited about the award too, because it validates and recognizes his message. I agree, and still remain awed by his bravery in sharing his tragedy... and triumph.

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Over my tenure, he and I became close friends, and I walk away from KHON2 with gratitude for that, as well as for the other dear friendships I formed. You walk into a new situation and you never know how it will play out.

Things I thought would occur, didn't; and vice versa. Life keeps you guessing, huh?

Me and my Kaniele`a ukulele

Me and my Kaniele`a ukulele

Trey is still teaching and now working on developing an online `ukulele classroom, which he hopes to launch live later in 2016. "Other than that, fatherhood has been occupying my time," he updates.

I'm sorry to say I ran out of energy to keep up the lessons, and Olivia lost interest. I really liked it, and perhaps now I'll have the time to pick up again. Either way, I am glad for those months that Trey taught us. One thing is for sure: I came away with a stronger friendship with a great guy.

More about Trey at http://kanileaukulele.com/artists_DrTrey.php.

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