Brief asides


POSTED: Wednesday, October 28, 2009


'Uncle George' ever entertaining as he showcased ancient hula in modern world

The annual Merrie Monarch Hula Festival in Hilo will seem considerably subdued without “;Uncle George”; Naope — and it's not just because of the flashy clothes.

The beloved hula master died Monday at age 81. At the Merrie Monarch, an event he launched with Dorothy “;Auntie Dottie”; Thompson in the 1960s, Naope was a one-of-a-kind presence, often holding court from a peacock-fan wicker chair when not firing up the crowds.

Born on Oahu and raised on the Big Island, Naope studied hula under his great-grandmother Mary Malia-Pukaokalani Naope and then with kumu hula 'Iolani Luahine and “;Mama”; Fuji, mother of Auntie Edith Kanakaole. He would later teach in Hawaii, the mainland and abroad, including in Japan, Guam, Australia and Germany. In 2006 the National Endowment for the Arts awarded its highest honor for the folk arts to Naope.

Diminutive yet larger than life, Naope has left a rich legacy of hula and Hawaiian culture here and throughout the world. Aloha, Uncle George.



Sweet treats, not bad tricks

Candy sales might spike this Halloween, with more trick-or-treaters apt to venture out on a Saturday night.

The U.S. Census Bureau reports that 93 percent of residents in all U.S. households consider their neighborhoods safe, and 78 percent said there was no place within a mile of their homes that they would be afraid to walk alone to at night. The agency counted more than 36 million children nationwide in the prime trick-or-treating age group of 5 to 13.