Archive for August, 2010

In Memoriam: Bob Moncrief

August 27th, 2010
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When you're a writer, sometimes it's impossible to keep your personal and professional lives separate. I've never pretended to be "objective" or unbiased in my blogs and op-ed pieces for the old Star-Bulletin or Advertiser. I get involved in stories I cover, and those stories have changed my life.

Last night, via a Facebook message, I was told Bob Moncrief had passed away on Wednesday. He and his wife, Trudy, were the lone residents on L'Orange Place next to Kailua Beach, who publicly denounced the gate that was erected to prevent neighbors and others from using the beach path at the end of their "private" road (which, btw, is used for public services such as trash pick-up, utilities and mail delivery). That was three years ago this month.

His actions helped spur other residents to form Beach Access Hawaii and led to the statewide Ground Hog Day rally in 2008. A coalition of over 20 environmental groups and civic organizations took part in that event. Bob and Trudy were ostracized by the other L'Orange Place homeowners for speaking out against the gate. But for Bob it was simply a matter of doing the right thing. He felt the locked gate violated the spirit of aloha.

Below you'll find links to the Beach Access Hawaii site and the Star-Bulletin column I wrote that was inspired by him. Indirectly, my involvement in that cause led to my current role as producer of the Career Changers TV show for OC16. Since I wanted to publicize the movement to protect shoreline access in Hawaii, I signed up for the free TV production classes offered by Olelo. That allowed me to produce a short 10 minute piece about the issue, which aired on Olelo after I was done shooting and editing it.

Thanks to that experience with Olelo, I realized I could actually produce my own local TV show with help from more experienced videographers. And now I'm thinking bigger, with plans to eventually produce my own low budget film here in Hawaii. It's amazing how one person, standing up for what he or she believes in, can influence so many others in ways they never could have imagined.

Have a great weekend... and for Bob, I'm going to play my Ground Hog Day rally mix CD nice and loud. Tunes like Get up, Stand Up (Bob Marley), I Won't Back Down (Tom Petty), Stand! (Sly & the Family Stone), The Rising (Springsteen), Stand In the Light (Kapono), I Will Not Be Broken (Bonnie Raitt), and Rock Me On the Water (Jackson Browne). Mahalo, Bob, for making a difference.

Links inspired by Bob and Trudy Moncrief:

Beach Access Hawaii

Star-Bulletin archived column, Addicted to Life

Career Changers TV show times and other resources.

College and Academy News

August 25th, 2010
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Know any high school students who might be military academy material? If they're in the top third of their class, they could qualify. Crissy Gayagas, a West Point grad herself, sent me info about an "All-Academy" event on Thurs., Sept. 16 at Castle High School in Kaneohe (details below).

At a time when college costs keep rising, and jobs are hard to come by, the military can be a good option for young people. From Crissy's press release:

"Join All-Academy and ROTC representatives to learn about Academy and military scholarship opportunities and the application process at Castle High School on Thurs., Sept. 16. Booths will open at 6 pm and light refreshments will be served. Briefing begins at 6:30 and breakout sessions continue until 8:30 pm. Representatives from the Coast Guard Academy, Air Force Academy, U.S. Military Academy (West Point), Naval Academy, Merchant Marine Academy, Army ROTC, Air Force ROTC, and congressional representatives are participating. Interested public and private high school and middle school students, parents, and school counselors are invited to attend. Qualified military personnel are also invited."

She added that they are still on track to host similar events on the Big Island in Hilo on Sept. 29 and in Kona on Sept. 30. Call Crissy Gayagas at (808) 218-1408 for additional information.

*****

For Career Changers TV show times and links to our YouTube Channel, please drop by our website and click around. Mahalo!

BTW, if comments are closed it's because I've been getting inundated by spam. But you can always email me and I'll be glad to post your thoughts, feedback or remarks below after I've read them to be sure they aren't spam.

Disney Aulani Resort Update

August 21st, 2010
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The spam filter ate my email, apparently. In response to my Aug. 6 post asking questions about the new Disney resort being built at Ko Olina, I heard back from Jill Bona of the Bennet Group, a local public relations firm. Turns out they weren't ignoring my requests for info -- my Oceanic Road Runner email address got flagged as spam and went into Jill's "junk" folder. (More on that below Disney's answers.)

• Is the only way to apply for positions at Aulani online at the website? A: Currently, this is the process we are using.

• What is the timeframe for hiring? Is Disney hiring people for certain jobs right now? A: The resort is scheduled to open August 29, 2011, so the majority of the hiring will be in 2011. Yes, there are a few select positions available posted on our website at www.disneycareers.com keyword: Hawaii

• Can you tell us about the Disney show planned for the Aulani Resort? A: The entertainment is still in development and we look forward to providing more details in the future.

• Will the resort impact public beach access at Ko Olina? A: The group that handles beach access at Ko Olina is the Ko Olina Community Association (KOCA), so they are the best ones to address any beach access questions. That said, there are no plans to impact or reduce the access in any way as a result of our project. There will be pool areas for resort guests, but not a private lagoon.

******

Thanks, Jill, for the information! I'm still very curious about the show they plan on staging. Why? Well, this is Disney remember. They've made mega-hit movies out of their own theme park RIDES, for chrissake. First, PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN. Now HAUNTED MANSION is in the works. Wouldn't surprise me if the Aulani show became the basis for a feature film or Disney TV show for kids... I'd love to pitch them my own screenplay about the mythical Menehune people, which had been under option by major producers (but that's another story). Hey, Disney execs -- let's do lunch... or luau. I'll buy!

******

Back to the spam filter problem that Jill encountered: This also happened with my Addicted to Life column for the old Star-Bulletin. Since I often wrote about drugs, including legal meds that can be addictive, the spam filter kept intercepting the drafts I sent to the op-ed section editors. The program automatically deduced that any email referencing prescription drugs more than once was probably junk email.

I'd have to call to make sure the S-B editors got my pieces, and they'd have to check with their web guy to retrieve the wrongly-flagged emails. Makes you wonder how many other legit emails "disappear" because of spam filters. That's why I check my junk folder before deleting spam -- which sort of defeats the purpose of using such "time-savers."

Meanwhile, this blog continues to receive in excess of 20 to 30 spam-bot comments per day. I can't use "free" WordPress spam blockers because the S-A site is a commercial enterprise -- and I guess the S-A webmaster doesn't want to pay for the service. Sigh.

If you haven't seen this month's Career Changers TV show, you still have another week to see it daily on OC16! For viewing times and links to useful resources, please visit www.CareerChangers. TV.

Local Inventors Wanted

August 18th, 2010
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Mark Bell with the new Cray SuperCatT electric powered watercraft.

Mark Bell with the new Cray SuperCatT electric powered watercraft.

The past couple of weeks I've been busy with shoots for our next Career Changers TV show, which will feature local inventors -- weird, wacky, and practical stuff. Robert Olague's LCD name tag that play videos. Toilet paper dispenser rolls that play music (dubbed the TP MP3 Player). Charley Memminger's patent-pending papaya picker... well, no patent pending really since it's essentially a toilet plunger taped to a broom handle, but I like the tongue-twisting alliteration.

We'll also be showing serious inventions, such as a personal electric-powered mini-catamaran being introduced in Hawaii by Mark Bell that we'll be shooting today. He's hoping to license or lease them to ocean activities businesses.

Another angle shows the seat and motors, which are under the water's surface.

Another angle shows the seat and motors, which are under the water's surface.

In future programs, we'll be featuring Dr. Rob Yonover, the author of "Hardcore Inventing," which has already sold over 2,000 copies since it came out. Rob is a scientist with an amazing personal story. His ocean rescue devices are pretty amazing too. Stay tuned to CCTV and this blog for more on both!

If you're a local inventor who would like to be on the show, or possibly get feedback from experts like Mark Bell or Rob Yonover, send me an email. You should also check out Rob's book, which is packed with useful info for inventors, and Mark's website for his CD-Postcards biz.

Today's relevant links:

Dr. Rob Yonover's Hardcore Inventing home page

Mark Bell's Postcard-CD site (terrific promo idea!) and his TP MP3 creation.

Career Changers TV show times and YouTube Channel link

Friday Freebie: Sports Yoga Session

August 13th, 2010
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When I heard Jimi Hendrix's "Voodoo Child" blasting from the boom box, I knew this was NOT your mother's yoga class. No New Age muzak for meditation, sitars or Yanni type stuff. This is yoga geared to athletes who compete in sports.

Go on, scoff or titter at the thought. But Sports Yoga Hawaii founder David Onoue may be on to something. He's done research and says his Kahala studio is the first to market this concept -- not just in Hawaii, but in the U.S. as well. His story is pretty interesting, which is why we filmed it for next month's Career Changers TV show. It's a classic tale of turning lemons into lemonade.

However, David knew there would be cynics. So he placed a Craigslist ad seeking athletes who were willing to put their skepticism to the test by offering them free sessions. He also posted that same challenge on his Facebook page. And he found some takers...

Among the converted are a woman pro volleyball player, a muscular former college linebacker, and a high school point guard who will be playing college basketball on scholarship next year. Each had different reasons for trying it, but a common theme is they wanted to find exercises that could improve their flexibility and help prevent injuries related to their sport.

I worked up a sweat just watching him lead a small group through the poses and stretching routines. Yet each said they really enjoy the work-outs because of the high energy music and David's personal attention. The b-ball player from Punahou even got his younger sister and mom to join -- and little sis asked to go on camera while we were shooting, to tell everyone how much fun it was.

If you'd like to sign up for a FREE session, either email me with your address and I'll send you a coupon, or contact him directly at david@sportsyogahawaii.com (mention you heard about it through Career Changers). His studio is located above Urgent Care in the complex across from Kahala Mall.

To find out more, visit SportsYogaHawaii.com or his Facebook page.

For daily viewing times of Career Changers TV, stop by our website, where you'll find links to the CCTV YouTube Channel and other useful resources for job hunters and entrepreneurs. Have a great weekend!