10 made a positive difference in 2008


POSTED: Friday, January 02, 2009

As in previous years, the Star-Bulletin closed 2008 with recognition of the “;Ten Who Made a Difference”; during the year. At center stage is Hawaii's own Barack Obama, who will be sworn in as president of the United States in less than three weeks.

Others who deserve recognition for their roles in directly improving Hawaii's quality of life or for their achievements over their lifetimes are:

» Manti Te'o, star linebacker for Punahou School's state football champions, recognized as Sporting News' national High School Athlete of the Year.

» Maui resident Christina “;Uma”; Hemmings, who fought county government and a developer to protect access to and shoreline fishing along Baldwin Beach.

» Panos Prevedouros, who took a leave from his job as professor at the University of Hawaii to run for Honolulu mayor, focusing on his opposition to rail transit.

» Artist Peggy Chun, who in her six-year battle against amyotrophic lateral sclerosis found novel methods of adapting to her increased limitations before her death in November at age 62.

» Paramedic Ian T.T. Santee, the dedicated unit supervisor of ambulances stationed at Hawaii Medical Center in Liliha.

» Castle High graduate Bryan Clay, decathlon gold medalist at the Olympic Games in Beijing.

» Utu Langi, founder of the nonprofit H-5 - Hawaii Helping the Hungry Have Hope - and director of the Next Step shelter in Kakaako.

» Record producer Daniel Ho, winning his third straight Grammy and this year a finalist for his fourth.

» State Circuit Judge Steven Alm, who launched a successful program of counseling and short jail time instead of lengthy prison sentences for parole violators.