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Central // Central Oahu Waha Nui
Carol Chang

Escaping to a lush outdoor retreat is easy at Wahiawa Botanical Garden. First off, there are choke plants to see every day, and all the walkways are accessible. Plus, says garden supervisor Erin Purple, there’s a giant orchid blooming RIGHT NOW on the upper level of the scenic park. “It’s a Gram-matophyllum speciosum,” he declares, describing the pale, whitish flowers with chocolate spots. “There are four spikes of baseball-sized blossoms – and the main part is over my head, about 7 feet above the ground” …

Two Kahuku High seniors have placed in the top 1 percent of U.S. test-takers on their SAT exams, which puts Chenoa Yorgason and Cooper Schwartz in the running for National Merit Scholarships next February.

Cooper, who is the youngest person in the U.S. to get certified as a computer voice stress analysis technician (handy for detective work), earned a perfect 800 score on the writing portion and a total of 2300 out of 2400 points; while Chenoa, who ranks first in her class, racked up 2310 points. For good measure, she could probably take the tests in Mandarin Chinese and Hawaiian as well …

Turtle Bay Resort’s “ambassador” Kai Lenny took top men’s honors Oct. 13 at the Stand Up World Series Finals held at the hotel, which also is headquarters for The Waterman League that sponsored the series. Winning is not new to Kai, and his triumphs have earned him a reputation as one of the best watermen in the world …

Wahiawa opthalmologist Christopher Tortora has some timely tips for trick-or-treaters: Don’t let your costuming damage your eyes. Be careful of makeup, pointy props, decorative nonprescription contact lenses, masks with sharp edges and vision-blocking disguises … Spotted on a recent sunny day near Haleiwa: Richard DeVincent of North Shore Shark Adventures, painting over graffiti by the highway …

Mililani’s Mary Mariko Ishii is assistant director and stage manager for TAG’s comic/tragedy The Heiress, playing now through Nov. 3 in full costume finery at Dole Cannery Theater (722-6941)

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