Sunday, July 20, 2014

2014 AAU West Coast "CHAMPIONS" The Eastsidaz Girls Basketball Team

Asked how this all got started, basketball Head Coach Simon Bitanga from Kaiser High School recalls it all started back in 2000 with only 10 girls along with his eldest daughter Keely Bitanga. "It went on for about two years and a whole bunch of siblings and little girls from Hawaii-Kai watched us play for the championship semi-finals and the championship, both vs. Texas in the MJB Tournament and we beat both of them.  After the game the girls were interested in playing and I told them come show up on Monday and the rest is history and now I have over two hundred girls from ages 5-18 and keeps growing."
In 2007 Bitanga recalls taking National Champs girls 12 and under with his youngest daughter Micaela Bitanga, Kiana Naki, Klien Masutani, Lia Galderia, Dawnyelle Awa from Kona, Celeste Tsutahara, Taryn Achong, Megan Kinoshita, and Ciera Pacheco.  "It was a great accomplishment for us just to win a National Championship from Hawaii and won a total of 12 in different age groups that same year."
As for this year, Coach Bitanga's expectation is always to win.  "But we'll always be out sized, out matched, but our girls never give up. We pressure about the whole game and that's our bread and butter and if we can do that and be successful with that, then we always got a shot and today in Las Vegas, his 8th Graders pulled through even though they were behind by 15 points (chicken skin to the max), but with the "soft spoken" coach Simon, his encouragement must have made a difference by taking the 2014 AAU West Coast National "Champions," followed by his JV 2nd Place, Varsity 4th Place, 5th and 7th Consolation Champs.  As for the JOI Las Vegas Classic, Varsity took the Championship, followed by 10th 2nd Place, 8th 3rd Place and 5th 3rd Place.

 I'll be adding more information from Las Vegas. They now head into their 2nd tournament in Las Vegas, "Jam On It Grand Finale," July 22-24.   To check out the game video and game photos, "click here".

Saturday, July 12, 2014

The 2014 National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) Branch 860 Annual Retirement Banquet

This year the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) Branch 860 held their Annual Retirement Banquet at the Harbor View Center at Honolulu Harbor's Pier 38 Waterfront on Saturday, July 12, 2014. The following retirees were present, (photo above back row L/R) Puleaava (Pule) Atualevao, Downtown Station (26 years); Frank Curry, Hawaii Kai Station (27 years); Roy Iwamasa, Downtown Station (26 years); Wallace (Wally) Matsumoto, Downtown Station (33 years); (photo bottom row L/R) Clayton Nakasone, Makiki Station (27 years); Misifeleni (Misi) York, Downtown Station (43 years); and Richard Yuasa, Downtown Station (42 years).  A total of 213 years.

Howard Komine, NALC President, Branch 860 along with Executive VP Alvin Matsumura presented the Sam Hipa Award to Maurice Collette, and the Shop Steward of the Year Award was presented to Melinda Prestige.  Michelle Luke will be attending the Leadership Class in Washington D.C., Advocate Training.

Honored guests tonight were (photo L/R) Brian Voight, Regional Business Agent Assistant from California; Howard Komine, NALC Branch 860 President; and Chris Jackson, Regional Business Agent from California.  Other honored guests were Terry Kaolulo, President of the Hawaii State Association of Letter Carriers; Greg Wolney, District Manager of the Honolulu District and (guest), Victoria Punzal; Chuck Lum, NAPS President and (guest), Laurie Ramelb Postmaster at Waipahu Station, and Mrs. Jackie Hipa, wife of the late Sam Hipa, and (guest), daughter, Toni Walker.

Chris Jackson, Regional Business Agent from California also related that every year the USPS has their yearly Food Drive, and this year Hawaii District came in 1st Place.  The Emcees were Coleman Peters and Kaui Lelepali, Karaoke provided my S&L Karaoke.  Special thanks to Harbor View Center's Shane Rivera and her staff for accommodating myself and my camera crew.  Click to see candid video and photos.

Friday, May 30, 2014

The Maui Police Department 79th Recruit Class at The King Kamehameha Golf Club

On Friday, May 30, 2014 at the beautiful King Kamehameha Golf Club, the Maui Police Department 79th Recruit Class graduated with 21 new officers. This was a special graduation for the 79th Recruit Class because Chief Gary Yabuta will be retiring and will be Director for the Hawaii High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas Program. Gary Yabuta was selected as Maui Chief in 2008.

At this year's graduation, there were several awards presentations: The Scholastic Achievement Award was presented to Michael Meredith by Deputy Chief Clayton Tom. The Neil T. Endo Firearms Award was presented to Jonathan Green by Assistant Chief Dean Richard and Mrs. Sharon Jung. The M. Cecil "Rusty" Dickson Award for Physical Fitness was presented to Kahiapo Kauhaahaa by Assistant Chief Victor Ramos. The Best NoteBook Award was presented to Emmett Kawahara by Assistant Chief Danny Matsuura. The Sensei Shinichi Suzuki Arrest Defense Tactics Award was presented to Michael Meredith by Chief Gary Yabuta. The Outstanding Recruit Award was presented to Matthew Segault by Chief Gary Yabuta.

The 79th Recruit Class of 2014: Clayton Agbisit, Adam Akau, Kamaiki Anakalea, Michael Balangitao, Tyson Baza-Triulzi, Thomas Brennan, Pedro Cacho, Leighton Cox, Ruzzle Fabito, Landin Gilkey, Jonathan Green, Rodney Haia, Justin Julian, Kahiapo Kauhaahaa, Emmett Kawahara, Michael Meredith, Mithcell Pombrio, Matthew Segault, Ronald Simon, Erick Tabucbuc and Luke Waters. Photos "click here."  Video "click here."

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

2014 OIA Red Division Boys Volleyball Champions - "Moanalua Na Menehune" over Leilehua Mules

2014 OIA Red East Division Champions " Moanalua Na Menehune Varsity Boys Volleyball" over Leilehua Mules tonight at McKinley High School Gym. 25-11, 25-14, 19-25, 25-16.  All I have to say in simple words, "they deserve the win."  

As I covered their games this season, they are not only the "champs," but played as a team, believed in one another, showed self determination and confidence in themselves to take it all the way tonight even when they were down in the 3rd set and came firing back to take the championship. Stats "click here. Candid photos "click here." Photo not completed C'mon back later tonight. Award ceremony "click here."

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Moanalua Na Menehune 2014 New Football Head Coach Jason Cauley

Jason Cauley Moanalua Na Menehune New Head Football Coach and
Former Kapolei Offensive Coordinator

This afternoon I ran into Moanalua Na Menehune new head football coach Jason Cauley and former offensive coordinator under the former legendary head coach Arnold Martinez.  I asked coach Cauley how it felt to be back and he said it's absolutely amazing.  "I continued to keep in touch with all the people and the kids and those that graduated and I can't explain the feelings to be back, and blessed to be back in a great place like Moanalua High School."

I also asked coach Cauley about his plans for this year's Moanalua Football team, and I hear he's looking into a running team.  At Kapolei his offensive team could either run or throw the ball, but it depends on your personnel and what you have.  "We had the bigger guys and bigger running backs so we could run the ball."

"This week and next week we'll see what we have on the field and if we have someone that can throw the ball, of course I would like to be a balanced offense more than anything.  If we have to run the ball then we'll run the ball, if we have to throw the ball then we'll throw the ball.  We'll do what we have to do to win ball games."

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Oahu Hawaiian Canoe Racing Association (OHCRA) 2014 Season Opener at Ke'ehi Lagoon, Oahu.

The Oahu Hawaiian Canoe Racing Association (OHCRA) Preseason Opener was held at Ke'ehi Lagoon on Saturday, March 15, 2014. This week, Stew Kalama Memorial and sponsor Kai Oni started off with 28 canoes participating in the long distance mixed followed by 11 men's entries. Earlier reports predicted high winds and rain, but it turned out to be a great morning and blessing for a start of the 2014 season.

Information provided by OHCRA;

"The Oahu Hawaiian Canoe Racing Association (OHCRA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to perpetuating the original sport of Hawaiian Koa canoe racing.  As a member of the Hawaiian Canoe Racing Association, OHCRA holds 31% of their membership with over 3000 paddlers.  OHCRA was established in 1979, is the proud sponsor of the Molokai Hoe, the men's Molokai to Oahu canoe race considered around the world to be the Olympics of canoe paddling.  Celebrating 28 years in 2007, OHCRA continues to be a dominating force in the support of outrigger canoe paddling."

On March 22, 2014, the Malama Pono 'la Kawele'a race sponsored by Keola O Ke Kai will launch off at about 9:00am at Sand Island.  Right after the Sand Island Bridge, take a right at the light and pass the motocross course.  OHCRA race schedule "click here." Candid video and photos "click here."

Thursday, March 6, 2014

2014 OIA High School Golf Tournament #3 at Makalena Golf Course

Spring sports have started for Varsity baseball, golf, judo, softball, tennis, track & field, boys volleyball and water polo here in Hawaii.  The weather hasn't been very cooperative these past few weeks, but it hasn't dampened the spirit of our young talented high school kids, as I've seen on the golf course for one.  It's hard to cover all the sports, so I decided to cover the 2014 OIA High School Boys & Girls Golf Tournament.

I must say that we have great talent among our high schools and as always, Moanalua High School keeps churning out the talent, like John Oda who finished second at last year's State Championship.  This year, Moanalua's team led by Head Coach Gordon Yuen consists of 6 boys and 2 girls including Brent Grant who shot a 66 at the OIA Golf Tournament held at the Makalena Golf Course followed by Kyosuke Hara 67; Desmond Mello 71; Shawn Lu 72; Kenneth Won 76; and Nick Nelson 78.  The girls are Lesa Isabella (photo above) who shot 75, and Randi Kim 80.  It will be a very interesting year for all to watch, keep your eyes on the Moanalua Na Menehunes.

The OIA Championship this year will be held at Turtle Bay on April 22-23 and the HHSAA Championship for the Girls on April 29-30; the Boys on May 1-2.  For candid photos "click here." OIA results "click here"