Brief asides


POSTED: Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Iliahi student project has sweet smell of success

With all the dismal news lately about Hawaii's public school furloughs, it was a breath of much-needed fresh air to get wind of Iliahi Elementary School's Dragon Cafe.

Air infused with the sweet aroma of coffee, no less — even better.

The cafe is an extracurricular project started last year by Tom Yamamoto, the school's gifted and talented student coordinator, as a business-teaching project for students to develop math, communication, technology and operational skills.

Profits go toward six $1,000 college scholarships for seniors at nearby Leilehua High School who are Iliahi alumni.

Open 6:45 to 7:45 a.m. weekdays in the cafeteria, the Iliahi Dragon Cafe is run by 17 fourth- and fifth- graders; it even offers drive-through service for customers, which includes students, parents, teachers and community residents.

Way to brew initiative, Iliahi.



Go national park hopping, right here in Hawaii

Get inspired by filmmaker Ken Burns: Go visit a national park.

However, it might take a bit of time to save enough money to hop a plane for a real visit, so in the meantime, soak in Burns' masterful new TV special, “;The National Parks: America's Best Idea,”; airing nightly through Friday on Channel 10 PBS Hawaii. The 12-hour series features awesome footage of classic wonders such as the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone's Old Faithful, while underscoring the foresight of American leaders in preserving such sights for all the public to enjoy.

Then again, cost need not be a deterrent to exploring a national park first-hand: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island and Haleakala National Park on Maui are within reach.

Other local treasures under National Park Service auspices include Kalaupapa National Historic Park on Molokai, Pu'uhonua O Honaunau (City of Refuge) National Historic Park on the Big Island, and the USS Arizona Memorial on Oahu.