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  • FL MORRIS / 2006
    Learn all about the steel guitar today at the Hawaii State Art Museum, when Alan Akaka and his students give short lessons on the instrument, which was invented in Hawaii.
  • when Alan Akaka and his students give short lessons on the instrument

Voices of children resonate in peace book

As war raged on in Iraq and Afghanistan, peace activist Jolene DeLisa gathered information from groups of children around the world to create “The Children’s Peace Book: Children Around the World Share Their Dreams of Peace in Words and Pictures” (Blue Point Books, $19.95). The children’s thoughts run alongside quotes from the Dalai Lama, Mahatma Gandhi, Rosa Parks and Thich Nhat Hanh.

Children ages 5 to 14 contributed to the book, including two youngsters from the islands. Ten-year-old Kyran Kai of Hilo acknowledged Martin Luther King Jr. in his submission. “Peace means no hatred which means no race or no black and white,” he said. “Respect what God has given you which is to be free from slavery and racism.” Kyran’s quotes were among dozens that were included.

Thirteen-year-old Alina Katase of Kona stated in her essay, “Peace is not easy to attain. It takes commitment by each of us to first change ourselves. In doing so, we will change the world.”

Illustrations in the book were originally used for a peace calendar that DeLisa published in 1993. Both publications were dedicated to her son, Kirk Michael Darrow, who died in a helicopter accident in Hawaii on Sept. 11, 1991, at the age of 34.

DeLisa said her quest for global peace has included many peace walks, from protests of the Vietnam War to an eight-day walk on Oahu in 1989, and volunteer work for more than 70 political campaigns.

Books are available at or She is working on a similar peace book that features youth ages 15 to 18. The new book is expected to be published early next year.

Science event turns up heat

Kids can see how hot and how cool science is during “Fire and Ice,” a program by the “edutainment” group Mad Science of Hawaii.

The hourlong presentation, slated for 6 p.m. Monday at Kaimuki Public Library, will feature experiments with such items as flash paper, a special-effects device used in film and television production, and an impromptu “jet engine,” which uses chemicals and a water jug.

“It sounds exactly like a jet engine taking off,” said Kelly Ferreira of Mad Science of Hawaii, chuckling at the thought of the noise in the library.

“It’s all very safe. Nothing’s going to explode,” she said.

The interactive show will also feature experiments with dry ice.

“They’ll be tasting a ‘burp’ factory,’ which is CO2 gas,” Ferreira said. “We actually have a beaker with a funnel on the end, and we just shoot the gas into their mouths. It’s basically like you’re tasting the carbonation they put in soda.”

She said the show is recommended for grade-schoolers but that middle-school students have also found it entertaining.

The show will be presented by “Electric Ed” Carbonell, who grew up in Waipahu, got an engineering degree on the mainland and trained astronauts for NASA before getting into science education.

Call the library, at 1041 Koko Head Ave., at 733-8422.

Steel guitars tuned up

Get in tune with Hawaiian steel guitar with music master Alan Akaka today at the Hawaii State Art Museum.

Akaka and students of his Kailua school, Ke Kula Mele, will perform on instruments from a traditional Hawaiian combo: ukulele, upright bass and guitar, with a special focus on steel guitar.

“Here’s an instrument that is known around the world, and many people don’t know it was invented by a boy here in 1885,” Akaka said of the steel guitar, adding that the instrument has become so prevalent in country music that many country music fans can’t imagine its origins.

The steel guitar was developed by Joseph Kekuku, a Laie boy who found an old railroad bolt, brushed it against the strings of his guitar and was immediately intrigued by the sound. A schoolteacher eventually made a smooth steel bar for him to use, creating a sensation that sent Kekuku around the world promoting Hawaiian music and culture.

While local interest in steel guitar has declined in popularity since its heyday, it has begun to resurface in recent years, Akaka said.

“One of my missions is to bring back steel guitar, and little by little it’s happening,” said Akaka, who includes teens and grade-school children among his students.

Audience members will be welcome to try the instrument themselves, and Akaka and his crew will be available to give short lessons.

“We’re just going to kanikapila and just have a good time,” he said.

See Akaka from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. today on the grounds of the museum. The museum, at 250 S. Hotel St., is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Liliha library hosts anime contest

Calling all artistic teens: Try your hand at drawing anime and enter the 2011 Anime Art Contest at Liliha Public Library, through July 15.

Students in grades 6 to 12 are eligible, and the first 100 entrants will receive a free manga instructional book.

The grand-prize winner will be awarded a manga-comic pro sketching and inking set with pen case, Canson comic and manga artist training cards, manga software, a bamboo pen, a set of Copic markers and more.

First- and second-place winners will also receive prizes. Winners will be announced in late July, and artwork will be displayed in the library.

The library is at 1515 Liliha St. Call 587-7577.

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