COURTESY OF HANALANI SCHOOLS
State Rep. Marcus Oshiro, center, hosted a group of Hanalani students on Jan. 26 as part of the Hawaii Association of Independent Schools' Private School Day.
Students see the Legislature and discuss political issues
On Jan. 26, Hanalani journalism students and Jeremy Carino, student body president, went to the state Capitol for Private School Day with the Hawaii Association of Independent Schools.
94-294 Anania Drive
Students also spent time visiting local representatives, seeing what their meetings were like, discussing issues, touring the Capitol and asking questions.
The day began with teachers from around the island and students from Ho'ala School and Hanalani Schools meeting to discuss current political issues that involve private schools.
Afterward, state Rep. Ryan Yamane (D, Mililani, Waipio) met with the Hanalani students and invited them to visit a committee hearing.
House Majority Leader Marcus Oshiro (D, Wahiawa) and Yamane spoke to students about how they intend to help their communities and how they want community members to help.
Oshiro and Yamane gave students the same advice: "Get involved."
They both believe that youths should get involved to get a taste of what is going on around them. They also feel that youths, as the next generation, should understand the issues facing Hawaii so they know for whom to vote.
The two representatives also talked about the importance of voting as a way of having a voice in community affairs.
Administrators from Hanalani discussed recent developments in early childhood education with Rep. Oshiro.
"We asked him about Act 151 which gives recommendations to the Legislature to improve the state of early childhood education in Hawaii," said Wendy Stone, Hanalani early childhood program director.
Oshiro expressed reservations about what he considered a lack of visionary thinking and pro-activity in the report.
The group later spoke with House Minority Leader Lynn Finnegan (R, Mapunapuna), who discussed the difficulty of making wise decisions in public affairs.
On the way back, the school treated the students to Starbucks. It was a good day to learn about the things that are going on in private schools, discover what public servants do and get Starbucks mocha Frappucinos.
Diverse priorities shape the agenda for City Council
Imagine you are in a room, and sitting in front of you are seven men and two women who basically run Oahu. However limited their powers may be by our legislative system, if you want something changed in your community, they are the ones to see.
I hail from District II, which is overseen by Council Chair Donovan Dela Cruz.
Although we are all on one island, the problems for each district could not be more different. The problems plaguing District I (Ewa to Makaha) differ greatly from those in District IX (Makakilo to Mililani Town). However, in my experience as a page, I found that although our towns may be different, we can unite over certain causes.
On Feb. 15, the City Council was called to session at 10 a.m. with a brief message of aloha. After guests were introduced and discussing appointments and resolutions, the Council moved to bills in their third reading. This means the bills have already crossed the desks of the Council members twice and were at a "pass or die" stage.
The bill that was in the hot seat was CR-89 Bill 37 (2005) CD 1. This bill would limit what can be dumped in Waimanalo Gulch effective July 1, 2008.
This bill was met with much opposition because it is a situation that affects all residents. While no one wants a landfill in his backyard, the alternatives are few and expensive.
My day ended before I could see the end of the battle over Bill 37, but on my return home, I quickly tuned in to Olelo to find out the results. (Editor's note: The bill passed 7-2 but was later vetoed by Mayor Mufi Hannemann.)
My day as an honorary page was an eye-opening experience that I will never forget. It changed the way I see local towns and has given me a greater understanding for the people on the front lines of daily legislative battles.
I am not sure if I am fully qualified to serve in this line, but if I am ever presented with the opportunity, I am sure I will try. In my brief visits, I have walked away with great respect for all public servants.
Editor's note: Hanalani junior Brittany Olson took part in the Honolulu City Council's honorary page program. She spent a day at a briefing meeting and another half day at Honolulu Hale.
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Hard work pays off in successful staging of ‘Matchmaker’
Family, friends and faculty, watched the Hanalani Upper School Players perform Thornton Wilder's "The Matchmaker" on Feb. 24 and Feb. 25 in the school's Student Activity Center.
"The Matchmaker" is a farce about love and adventure, the play that inspired the Broadway musical "Hello, Dolly!" Dolly Levi, played by senior Amber Williams, attempts to ensnare the rich, crusty Horace Vandergelder, played by junior Ikaika Earl.
In the meantime, Levi manages the love affairs of three other couples, with hilarious results.
The cast started working on staging "The Matchmaker" in January, which gave them about a month to perfect the choreography and memorize their lines.
The play originally was supposed to be "Our Town," also by Thornton Wilder.
However, the difficulty of the play presented problems to both the cast and the director.
"The play held little interest for the students," said Amy Bright, the drama department's sponsor. "And with my other responsibilities, it was beyond my directing ability. The change was better for the cast."
Seniors Sarah Rodriquez and Amber Williams and junior Anya Edgley assumed roles as co-directors, making the play entirely student run.
Sarah Rodriquez said, "It was fun, but it was a lot of hard work, especially with school going on at the same time."
Amber Williams agrees it was time-consuming.
"It wasn't that hard directing, but I spent a lot of time doing it, so I could not develop my character," she said.
There were many memorable and enjoyable moments for everyone involved in the play.
Brooke Allen, who played Minnie Fay, said, "The best part was when Kevin Harris (Malachi Stack) and Rory Holcombe (Cornelius Hackl) fought in Act 3."
Overall, the play was a huge success.
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What is a major problem facing the nation, and what solution do you offer?
Sarah Jane Aguilar
"I think the biggest problem we're facing would be human trafficking, or in other words slavery. We could help by joining organizations to stop this."
Tory Ann Lee
"One of the most troubling concepts in the world is child abuse -- this includes child soldiers and child labor, as well as domestic abuse. Children should be put in a safe environment."
Kortne Oshiro Chin
"One of the biggest problems facing America today is how little people value their life. Young people need to know that their body is God's temple and not theirs, and that God is the answer to life's problems, not suicide."
"A problem that faces our country is Social Security. We should be able to invest in private accounts."