Monday, July 26, 1999



Daniel Ackerman: Climbed down Makapuu
cliffs to help a fallen hiker.

Navy man helped
save hike’s life

By Rod Ohira


Nothing else mattered to Daniel Ackerman except that there was an injured man who needed help at the bottom of a cliff.

"It would have taken too long to go down the path, so I climbed down the rocks," said Ackerman, who descended the jagged cliffs of Makapuu June 6 to reach a 64-year-old hiker who had fallen 30 feet.

Fire Rescue 1 Capt. Francis Puana credits him with helping to save the man's life. "He was real helpful, no doubt about it," Puana said. "He maintained initial care for about 30 minutes, and that's always critical.

Ackerman, 31, is a Navy hospital corpsman 1st class assigned to the guided missile frigate USS Crommelin. The Sanibel Island, Fla., native has been in the Navy for 12 years and in Hawaii for 2 years.

He, wife Kelley and 2-year-old son Tanner were hiking to the lighthouse when a woman came running down, yelling about someone who had fallen.

"I saw the man in a cove, rolled up and holding his head," said Ackerman, a first aid instructor. "Actually, it was the lady who deserves the credit for pulling him out of the water. He had severe lacerations to the scalp, a broken nose, and his lip was ripped. I stopped the bleeding and tried to stabilize him."


By Dennis Oda, Star-Bulletin
Retiring HPD custodian Kenny Wong is congratulated
by HPD staff and officers during a retirement party
for him at HPD headquarters.

The Honolulu Police Department will be losing one of its favorite sons when custodian Kenneth "Kenny" Wong retires Friday.

Stricken with cerebral palsy, the 62-year-old Wong has been an inspiration to HPD uniformed and civilian employees for 30 years.

"He's been a true profile in courage," Chief Lee Donohue said of Wong. "Kenny's had a lot of physical problems, but he's never let it bother him.

"His attitude is an inspiration. We have a lot of fond memories, like when we made him chief for a day, and will miss him."

Wong says the warm relationship he enjoys with HPD employees is what he'll miss the most.

"The people here are very understanding," Wong said. "They never treated me special; they just treated me like everybody else. That's why I feel like God sent me here.

"I could have worked some more if it wasn't for my health. But I'll keep myself busy."


Justin Sakahara: Aspiring paniolo says that
a good horse should be rewarded.

Eleven-year-old Justin Sakahara is serious about turning his $40,000 hobby into a career.

"I want to be a cowboy and own a ranch someday," said Justin, who attends Moanalua Elementary School. "I love animals, especially horses."

Justin can be found most weekends at John and Pati DeSoto's Kawailoa Ranch Co. in Haleiwa, where he's being taught paniolo skills.

"He loves roping and is learning how to sort out cattle," City Councilman DeSoto said of Justin. "I guess you could say he's learning how to be a rodeo paniolo.

"Justin is special. He's very dedicated, has so much enthusiasm and works hard for everything he has.

"What I like best about him," DeSoto added, "is the way he treats his horses. It shows me he's a very caring person."

Howard Sakahara, the fleet and sales executive for Cutter Dodge Dil-lingham, and his wife, Mary Jane, support their son's interest in horses.

"We've invested $40,000 for two quarter horses, a truck and trailer, and saddles," Howard Sakahara said. "And that doesn't include the veterinarian and stable expenses of about $400 a month.

"But he loves this. Old cowboys look at him and say he's so natural in the saddle."

Sakahara said his son became interested in paniolo activities about three years ago, after meeting Ralph Fukushima.

"We bought a horse named Down Right Cool but had to sell him because he was too big for me," Justin said. "The two we have now are named Puddy and Brownie. I ride Brownie the most.

"Horses can be difficult, but when they are I get off and run them around some," he said. "It's important to reward them when they're good but never treat them badly, even if they don't behave. In a way they're like people."

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