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Dad’s happiness taught son to pursue his passion in life

By Michael Tsai
Long before he devoted his professional life to studying pedagogical theory and applying educational best practices, Paul Burgess learned his most valuable lessons about life and learning through his parents.

When little Stephen needed family, the Abes were there

By Michael Tsai
It was some 38 years ago that the Abe family of Waipahu first made the acquaintance of an extraordinary boy named Stephen Findley Tittle.

Airline pilot will climb high to help out injured veterans

By Michael Tsai
Tim Nolley is a swell guy, but he’s always had a bit of an altitude. A Hawaiian Airlines pilot, Nolley spends his workdays some 6 miles high. Yet, despite his admitted penchant for the rarefied strata, Nolley remains well grounded, as evidenced by his commitment to public service.

Man in brown bids farewell after 3 decades of deliveries

By Michael Tsai
The reality of his impending retirement did not hit Milton Nara­hara right away.

Teacher's handicrafts buoy confidence within students

By Michael Tsai
To the degree that his old mentors in blacksmithing, stone carving and jewelry making were masters of their waning arts, Phil Dwyer, it may be safely argued, is masterful by association.

Kaimuki math teacher left her mark on students

By Michael Tsai
What Stephen Ching remembers best about his high school math teacher Dorothy Ono is appropriately straightforward and indelible.

While in Fiji, Navy surgeon lives 'every doctor's dream'

By Michael Tsai
If Victoria McDonald's first visit to Fiji bore the sweetness of a honeymoon, her second had the gravity, even more literally, of military operation.

Teen tests his logic skills and wit in national league

By Michael Tsai
At 5-foot-4 and 135 pounds, Kenneth Go is not the most obvious blue-chip NFL prospect. Yet, the recent Damien Memorial School graduate is quick on his feet, unflappable and positively Man­ning­esque in read-and-react situations.

4-day hike across Haleakala a life-changer for blind teen

By Michael Tsai
In 2006, Shannon Cantan joined four other blind teenagers and a pair of escorts from the state's Hoo­pono Services for the Blind on a four-day hike across Hale­akala Crater.

Rare syndrome doesn't dampen family's positivity

By Michael Tsai
As much as any family you are likely to meet, the Mallory ohana of Ewa Beach embraces the milestones of everyday life with earnest appreciation and an infectious sense of triumph.

Student artist's national win changes her career outlook

By Michael Tsai
When St. Andrew's Priory visual arts teacher Alethia Donathan approached sophomore Yongxi Wang about entering some of her work in a national competition, Wang was more than agreeable.

He's practiced law for years, and clients won't let him quit

By Michael Tsai
Sixty-five years as a practicing attorney have done nothing to change the values with which Vernon Tashima first set out.

Healing people overseas makes nurse ever grateful

By Michael Tsai
Born to Indian and Fili­pino immigrants, raised in the "prairie town" environs of Winnipeg, Manitoba, and educated for 10 years at a French immersion school, Anita Bahl wanted nothing more than to see the world and help those in need.

Woman's hands-on work pleases clients and herself

By Michael Tsai
Gilda Morita worked diligently and without complaint for the better part of four decades to ensure a brighter future for her five children.

Sense of responsibility leads teen tutor to Majuro

By Michael Tsai
It's one thing to know your school motto, another to act on it, and most certainly another to act on it on a coral atoll some 2,285 miles from home.

Hawaii Foodbank deposit is woman's newest solution

By Michael Tsai
Call it a penchant, a predilection, a predisposition. Whatever it is, Sasha Dimond has always gravitated toward identifying complex problems and solving them.

Gifted high school student has passion for creativity

By Michael Tsai
St. Francis School senior Hulita Drake is a gifted artist, an accomplished stage actress and a skilled air rifle competitor. She has a close and loving family. She was accepted to every university to which she applied.

NASA mission director shares science with kids

By Michael Tsai
It's not standard practice for students at La Pietra-Hawaii School for Girls to take calls from their parents in the middle of class, but when Walter Klein buzzed his daughter Isa­bella's class in November, it was a call worth taking.

The show goes on for teen, ends with first-place win

By Michael Tsai
Sarah Spalding felt certain that she had blown it, that she had literally choked away her chance at winning the Hawaii qualifier for the English-Speaking Union National Shakespeare Competition.

Political scientist recalls wretched Iranian prison

By Michael Tsai
The official name of the course is Political Science 201:Problems of War and Peace, but in any given class session the underlying lesson is one of personal freedom and civic responsibility.

Miracles and mercy bring lost, injured dog back home

By Michael Tsai
It's been more than two months since old Beek wriggled through the fence of his Kane­ohe home and disappeared into the night, and owner Christen Matsu­shige still can't quite believe the confluence of mercies that led to his happy return.

Mid-Pac CEO takes pledge as thanks to adopted home

By Michael Tsai
When Paul Turnbull places hand over heart and recites the Oath of Allegiance before Judge Leslie Koba­ya­shi in U.S. District Court on Tuesday morning, he will do so as a well-considered first act of civic responsibility to his adopted home.

Volunteering a way of life for young would-be teacher

By Michael Tsai
Not one to see her elder child waste a perfectly good summer idling in the house, Tammy Leung told her daughter Victoria Lee, then a rising junior at Sacred Hearts Academy, that she had two choices: Get a job or start volunteering.

Serving up lessons on lifepart of cafeteria chief's job

By Michael Tsai
Each school day, Aiea High School food service manager Thomas Rodrigues and his staff do whatever is necessary to ensure that the 700 or so students who pass through their cafeteria doors receive the nourishment they need to be happy and productive.

An island real estate tycoon repays fortune via Scouting

By Michael Tsai
James Wong didn't necessarily need Scouting to achieve the success he's enjoyed as one of Hawaii's most influential real estate developers.

Student from China finds pleasant surprises in isles

By Michael Tsai
Jinjing "Coco" Wei came to the United States with an open mind and a resolve not to make any assumptions.

Intricacy of model ships keeps him in the rigging

By Michael Tsai
Leroy Laney built his first model ship when he was in the second grade. So taken was he with the project that for years after he would receive from his mother new and more elaborate model kits each birthday and Christmas.

Workers forgo holiday party in favor of service projects

By Michael Tsai
When it came to throwing a holiday party, the good folks at MC&A and Island Partners Hawaii knew how to do it right.

Thriving student inspires with his devotion to ballet

By Michael Tsai
However entertaining the competition of developmental theories might be, ultimately there's little sense in trying to parse the effect that devoting himself to ballet had on Jacob Ly's life from whatever innate ability to focus and excel that Ly may have already possessed.

Student helps put shoes on needy children's feet

By Michael Tsai
What do you do when your slippers break? To Rebekah Kamemoto, a sophomore at La Pietra Hawaii School for Girls, the answer had always seemed obvious enough: You buy a new pair, right?

Women's friendship thrives through bond of kindness

By Michael Tsai
Thelma Suzuki and Roxanne "Kea" Young have been friends long enough that Suzuki can be straight about what she wants. And on this cool, overcast Tuesday morning, what Suzuki wants is a little more jelly.

Marathon clinic guides dedicated group of runners

By Michael Tsai
When faced with the choice between training for a marathon or refining his golf game lo those many years ago, Blair Hoashi took the single step that began a journey of untold miles.

School's student gardeners decide to share the harvest

By Michael Tsai
It's always a thrill when the fruits (and veggies) of the ‘Iolani School gardening club's ardently exercised labors come to harvest.

Ever thirsty for knowledge, he plumbs history for tales

By Michael Tsai
It is uncertain whether Alvin Yee is familiar with the works of British philosopher Alan Watts, although given the reach of Yee's curiosity, it certainly wouldn't be a surprise.

Woman to receive degree after a delay of decades

By Michael Tsai
When 18-year-old Sadako Yama­naka (nee Wata­nabe) left Wai­kapu, Maui, in 1939 to pursue an education in fashion design in Cali­for­nia, there was little to suggest that her future would be determined by anything but her own considerable determination and will.

Matriarch raised in Liliha focuses on her blessings

By Michael Tsai
Certainly there were times, after the death of her husband and amid four major surgeries in five years, when Charlene Lee could have despaired. But as understandable as the reaction would have been, to those who know Lee well, nothing would have been more out of character.

His boyhood on Molokai made him the man he is

By Michael Tsai
When a powerful storm blew the roof off a Molo­kai Ranch storage building across from the family home, Hor­cajo and his brothers collected sheets of corrugated metal debris, flattened them with hammers and rocks, and fashioned a small seafaring vessel.

Visit to Oahu brings cheer and reunites a happy ohana

By Michael Tsai
There's ample cause for celebration whenever Elwood Asing and his wife, Pam, make it back to Hono­lulu for a visit.

Adult Friends for Youth helped him help his pals

By Michael Tsai
Derrick Santiago never had a problem getting people to follow him. It was knowing where to lead them that took some work. "It was a very, very long process," said Santiago, the 2014 Adult Friends for Youth Young Person of the Year.

Family florist celebrates community through roses

By Michael Tsai
When Shigeichi and Yukie Naka­moto founded Bere­ta­nia Florist in 1937, they likely could not have foreseen that their little shop would survive across four generations of family proprietorship and 76 years of community life.

Veteran honors POW/MIAs with annual motorcycle trip

By Michael Tsai
A dozen years ago, Wahiawa resident Ray Santana caught a story on the nightly news about the Rolling Thunder Ride for Freedom, an annual cross-country motorcycle ride in support of prisoners of war/missing in action, and decided on the spot that he just had to do it.

Heart patient is pushing for isle transplant services

By Michael Tsai
When Kaimuki Middle School health teacher Minette Fernandez collapsed with heart failure in the middle of class in May, her students knew exactly what to do. Thanks to their quick action in calling 911, paramedics arrived just in time to save Fernandez's life.

An elusive diagnosis fuels mom's drive to help her son

By Michael Tsai
By the time he was 18 months old, it was obvious enough that Amy Zang's little boy Brandon had some challenges to address.

Lupus patient stays positive as she waits for new kidney

By Michael Tsai
These are difficult days for Janella Martin, but you wouldn't know it from talking to her. Her tone is matter-of-fact as she works her way through the Job-like roll call of ills that have befallen her since she was first diagnosed with lupus at age 14.

'Nerdy' birthday idea begins school problem-solving club

By Michael Tsai
Ken Hiraki wanted to make sure his daughter Maya's 15th birthday last year would be memorable. Birthday luau? Those are for babies. Spa day? So done. Slumber party? Zzz.

Lifetime Manoa resident recalls bygone community

By Michael Tsai
It's just after noon on a warm summer day in Manoa as Nancy Yoshida sits down with neighbor Jo Ann Yana­zaki and a tardy guest to share a few remembrances from a life filled with everyday eventfulness.

Eagle Scout's big project brings concrete results

By Michael Tsai
When Kekoa James was weighing options for his Eagle Scout project, he could easily have opted for something low-key, low-fuss, and -- as far as such things are possible -- low-stress.

Student constantly seeks to learn from, about others

By Michael Tsai
Credit that chewy little koan to Kelly Park, who recently bid “ahn nyeong hee ga se yo” to a postgraduate gig in her native South Korea to return to the University of Hawaii to further her studies in economics.

Recent MidPac graduate sets her sights on acting

By Michael Tsai
If all goes according to plan, Zoe Cipres' glamorous (not really), pampered (think again), leisurely (keep thinking) life as a international model will someday soon reach its expiration date.

Brain injury support group offers safety in numbers

By Michael Tsai
Had the horrific collision George Handgis survived back in 2012 left him with broken bones or a collapsed lung or — heaven forbid — even a serious spinal injury, perhaps it would be easier for people to understand.

Questions about death turn to comfort for the bereaved

By Michael Tsai
Tucked securely within Meghan Nakamura's cache of indelible childhood memories are sepia-toned recollections of summer vacations to Lahaina, of long afternoons on the links learning the ins and outs of junior golf, of tag-along days to the hospital with her father, a radiologist.

Man's path takes him back to aiding rare shearwaters

By Michael Tsai
To properly appreciate the significance of Ishon Mons' work on behalf of Kauai's endangered Newell's shearwater (ao) population, it helps to know a few things about the charming little black-topped birdies.

Immigrant parents inspire American University senior

By Michael Tsai
As a single mother struggling to get a foothold in a new country, Aleli Vinoya did whatever she could to make sure that her eldest daughter, Nicole Gasmen, would have better opportunities than she herself did growing up in her native Philippines.

Grandmother's devotion is definition of labor of love

By Michael Tsai
When Nohea Chang speaks of "the most challenging, fatiguing, fulfilling job" she's ever had, she isn't referring to the 40 years she spent as a teacher.

Graduation bash solidifies relationships and traditions

By Michael Tsai
Praise be, the Kenon Kaho­ano Graduation Party Committee is officially, happily, wearily, let's-think-twice-before-we-ever- do-this-again-ily released from duty.

Life lessons prepare student for a wealth of opportunities

By Michael Tsai
Phuong Nguyen never considered himself a math and science guy. At least not until middle school at Our Lady of Good Counsel in Pearl City, where teacher Sylvia Tsuda distilled for him the essence of what the two disciplines are all about.

Young golfing phenomenon has well-rounded teen life

By Michael Tsai
When you can drive a golf ball 240 yards, shoot consistently in the low 70s and stay cool as Kapa­lua trade in the heat of back-nine battle, there's not a lot of ambiguity about what is expected of you.

Premature baby beats odds, blossoms into gifted woman

By Michael Tsai
In the hours and days following the birth of her child, Luana Yee received a most unusually somber procession of callers. "People kept saying, ‘I'm so sorry,'" she recalls. "They gave their condolences."

Teacher's belief helps instill confidence within students

By Michael Tsai
As a mentor to young public school teachers, Laura Fuku­moto could focus on the pedagogical practices she has researched, tested and refined for more than 40 years.

Community aloha for Kauai overcame the force of Iniki

By Michael Tsai
Uncle Herman had heard that someone, a Tongan guy if he wasn't mistaken, wanted to fly over to help rebuild homes. Great, Herman Paleka thought, we could use the help.

Kuakini's top volunteer serves with endless vigor

By Michael Tsai
You can't put a price on what volunteer Lillian Takeda does for the Kua­kini Health System, but you could certainly fill out one heck of a timecard.

Student shows real promise with her photography skills

By Michael Tsai
To see as Rachel Handlin sees is to be ever present, ever engaged in the emergent moment.

Parents want ill daughter to take part in drug trials

By Michael Tsai
If there were anything else at all that Nathan and Vicki Traller could do to save their daughter, they surely would.

Montessori way lets teacher adapt lessons to her pupils

By Michael Tsai
Molly Jenkins loves learning just as much as she loves children. But neither motivated her to become a teacher. For Jenkins, 29, teaching is a direct and effective means of addressing inequalities in education and the social problems that arise from them.

Love of video games helps snag top prize from Google

By Michael Tsai
Kid loves video games. Kid wants to know how video games are made. Kid reads the Wikipedia version of how it all works. In most cases that's the end of it. In the Klein household the narrative stretches a bit further.

After a long, emotional ride, she says she has no regrets

By Michael Tsai
If destiny was a real thing, Hieu Pham knew it was her destiny to marry John Stuart. They had met when Pham was working at a Vietnamese restaurant in Virginia and Stuart, an IT manager for General Motors, was a hungry customer with no idea how to order off a Vietnamese menu.

Pursuit of her destiny takes immigrant far and wide

By Michael Tsai
There is a story Hieu Pham Stuart tells about her early life in Tuy Hoa, Vietnam. Like many of the stories from her extraordinary life, it is at once joyful, tragic and ultimately reaffirming.

Stranded isle traveler helps Sri Lankans bridge divide

By Michael Tsai
Stranded some 8,300 miles from his pregnant wife, unsure when he'd ever be able to return, Indra­jit Guna­se­kara needed something to occupy his worried mind.

Teen infuses power and life in Shakespeare characters

By Michael Tsai
Ari Dalbert's gifts include not just a knack for memorizing complex soliloquies, but the ability to evoke powerful emotions through voice and movement and a talent for personalizing Shakespere's words and bringing 400-year-old characters to vital presence.

Working man dons robe for college funds

By Michael Tsai
Depending on the time of day, 24-year-old Nick Clark may be one of any number of things: a photographer, a security guard, a wedding assistant.

Gateball players challenge skills while staying friendly

By Michael Tsai
On Monday morning, with the clock winding down and the final stroker on his team in position to gain an advantage with a 3-foot touch, 83-year-old Warren Wong perked to the sound of uncertainty.

Gadget master brings calm to distressed phone owners

By Michael Tsai
In a technology-driven society where the iMiracle of six months ago is one overhyped product launch removed from obsolescence, Terence "Yoda" Yorga's cellphone repair kiosk on the corner of Atkinson Drive and Kapiolani Boulevard stands as a refreshingly retrograde refuge for unmediated human contact.

Doctor from China found he'd left his heart in Hawaii

By Michael Tsai
Years of intensive medical training in his native China taught Gong Hong Au about the mechanics of the human heart. An additional year of government-mandated study of herbal remedies and acupuncture unlocked the mysteries of traditional Chinese medicine.

Teen girl's tests uncover secret emotions of plants

By Michael Tsai
You could, perhaps, pull the wool over the collective eyes of the police, but could you fool a ficus, shuck a schefflera, jive a juniper? For 14-year-old Chloe Dunster, the question deserved investigation.

How the dog down the hall decided he'd swap owners

By Michael Tsai
There's no accounting for chemistry. How else might we explain the fact that the charming Chihuahua-terrier soon to be known as Bingo had been twice returned to the Hawaiian Humane Society before prospective pop No. 3 Jorge Molestina walked in the door.

Offering of a little aloha erases bus driver's bigotry

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Jan 7, 2014
It was 1974, Wannette Gomes recalls, and she, an impetuous 19-year-old from Alia­manu, was at Fort McClellan in Anniston, Ala., for basic training.

Co-workers pile up cash and give it to needy ohana

By Michael Tsai
The administrative services department over at Island Insurance is by creed and deed low-profile. They do what they do well and generally don't call a lot of attention to themselves.

Maui to Molokai and back? Swimmer sets an example

By Michael Tsai
If you never figured Dr.Steven Minaglia for a double-crosser, clearly you were not paying attention. Where, pray tell, were you when Minaglia was swimming an hour and a half three mornings a week?

Golfer finds renewed drive as a teacher of mahjong

By Michael Tsai
You wonder: How did Toshi Wata­ba­ya­shi become a master mahjong teacher? He tells you: His golf game bit the dust. There's a bit more to it than that, but that's as good a starting point as any. And, as Wata­ba­ya­shi teaches, patient effort is all it takes to get what you're after.

Employee sees restaurant as home away from home

By Michael Tsai
Los Chaparros Mexican Restaurant on Beretania Street is not literally Ajan­than "A.T." The­va­ra­jah's "house," but the ebullient 24-year-old shift leader can be forgiven for insisting that it is.

Tripler nurse helps youths build esteem, team skills

By Michael Tsai
It's game day at Makiki District Park, and the mighty RavenHawks of the i9 Sports soccer league are in fine form.

Interest in oceanography finds student on the briny

By Michael Tsai
The depth of Nakoa Farrant's passion for science has always been evident, but certainly never more so than when he recently spent time logging raw ocean-floor data aboard a 211-foot exploration vessel in the Caribbean.

'Grandma' works out hard to stay looking 'darn good'

By Michael Tsai
Normajean Cavell slowly rotates the grips that are attached to the straps attached to the tree that bears a portion of her weight as she slowly contracts her biceps and raises herself from the grass.

Dogs help floral designer find balance, peace in life

By Michael Tsai
When your office is a third of an acre of lush grass and sunshine and your clients do all the legwork and you measure your daily returns in the twitching paws of dreaming pups, you, dear sir or madam, are a winner in the game of life.

Widowhood drew women to form a lasting friendship

By Michael Tsai
As a young woman in the 1950s, Irene Ma­tsuo was a devoted viewer of the local variety show "Televi Digest."

Young filmmaker satirizes conventional surf movies

By Michael Tsai
Long before he directed "A Clockwork Orange" and "2001: A Space Odyssey," Stanley Kubrick cut his directorial teeth on a nine-minute film titled "The Flying Padre," about a Catholic priest in New Mexico who uses an airplane to minister to his congregation.

A lesson in achievement, taught by a boy and his dog

By Michael Tsai
It could have started with the early childhood in Italy or the trans-Atlantic relocation to Maryland or the even the final move to Hawaii. But it didn't.

‘Hardheaded’ kid softened with the help of 2 educators

By Michael Tsai
As vice principal at Washington Middle School, it was Susan Minami-Sato’s job to deal with kids like Jowana Lobendahn.

Dogs and veterans of war make friends with her help

By Michael Tsai
A psychologist, a soldier and a dog walk into a Mexican restaurant, but you needn't bother waiting for a punch line. Shannon Curry and her colleagues at the Hawaii Canine Assistance Network deal strictly with happy endings.

Epiphany led Punahou grad to path of positive change

By Michael Tsai
On the surface it seemed a career plan executed to perfection. John Cheever — environmentally conscious, conservation-minded, humanitarian-in-bud — made the most of a top high school education at Punahou School, matriculated at elite Cornell University, where he earned a degree in environmental science, then landed a seemingly plum job doing environmental planning and assessments.

For soccer player, recovery tied to fixing Kaneohe field

By Michael Tsai
She never saw it coming. A sophomore fullback on last season's Pac-Five girls varsity soccer team, Dayna Sur was patrolling the area in front of the Wolfpack goal when a player from the other team took a chance on a hard shot in traffic.

Sense of fun helped teen excel at tricky French horn

By Michael Tsai
There were no celestial trumpets blaring, no angels descending, when Markus Osterlund picked up the French horn for the first time six years ago.

Islander schools instructors on Montessori-style teaching

By Michael Tsai
Whether in impoverished areas of Cebu or Nairobi or on the crisply manicured grounds of Chaminade University in Kaimuki, Jerry Richmond understands well the instructive power of her immediate physical and cultural environments.

Debate on immigration hits close to Tongan man's heart

By Michael Tsai
Just 25 years old, Mahe Vakauta of Ewa Beach has never known the benefit of time on his side.

Volunteer counts services as indulgent inspirations

By Michael Tsai
It's worth a couple of hard blinks when a person known for his selfless acts, the kind who craves credit and recognition the way most of us pine for an IRS audit, waves the flag for naked self-interest.

A world citizen takes bloom from down on a Kualoa farm

By Michael Tsai
Erin Carroll can't wait to see the world. In the meantime she's found a way to bring the world to her.

Woman back from the brink has new life, no complaints

By Michael Tsai
Assuming all her buses are running on schedule, it's usually just before midnight when Miri­ama Asi returns home to Kalihi from her job at the Subway restaurant in Manoa.

The dancing Lau siblings hoofing it to the big time

By Michael Tsai
At a fundraising auction 18 years ago, give or take, Debra Lau bid for and won a background role in a Ballet Hawaii production of "The Nutcracker."

Real estate agent donates bed for every house he sells

By Michael Tsai
When Scott Sakata climbs into bed each night, he lays head to pillow with the peace of knowing his efforts have allowed less fortunate people do the same.

Woman wants her mother to know adoption was right

By Michael Tsai
Katherine Henderson hasn't set foot on Hawaii soil since she and her adoptive family left the islands more than 50 years ago.

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