Waha Nui

Jade Olszowka

Jade Olszowka

The UH College of Engineering honored Ed Hirata recently with its Distinguished Alumni Award for his “significant contribution” to Hawaii over a half century. For sure. The Kaneohe man directed the city building department, the Board of Water Supply, the state Department of Transportation and HECO before retiring in 2001. Ed still helps with Boy Scouts, Aloha United Way, repairing schools, etc. Plus he’s a retired brigadier general with the Army Reserve and ACE. (Only drawback I can see: As acting mayor, he once had to cancel Halloween because of rain storms) …

Kaneohe friends Tisha Lehfeldt and Keakalina O’Brien were strolling Kailua Beach April 30 when they decided to jump in and cool off by Kalama’s. Soon strong currents pulled them farther out, waves came crashing down from all directions and they knew they were in big trouble. Panic set in, Tisha recalls. They grew weaker and weaker and weren’t getting any closer to shore. Screaming for help didn’t work because no one was around. Then it happened. Kimsue Downham, a Kailua wife and mom, walked by and responded. A strong swimmer, she was able to pull Tisha out and coax Keakalina along until they all reached shore. “I cried and cried,” admits Tisha, who knows the beach well, but now respects it even more. She and her husband Jason made Kimsue the honored guest at their May 6 housewarming party. Stay tuned for the next chapter. But remember: Beware of hidden currents, don’t swim alone, and make sure Kimsue is nearby …

Hauula’s Jade Olszowka graduates Saturday cum laude from St. Martin’s University in Lacey, Wash., where she majored in early education with a minor in business. Music could enhance her Hawaii classroom someday. Jade sang for six years with Hawaii Youth Opera Chorus and with the Kamehameha Concert Glee … Talented keyboardist Kiley Sullivan of Olomana is another local talent in the Seattle-based Kore Ionz band, mentioned in last week’s column … Oregon State’s winter term honor roll listed David Fink, Taylor Heen, Tara Imamura, Kiersten Kuwaye, Brittney Louis-Soares, Mark Maeda, Jason Medeiros, Jasmine Pahukula, Rion Wilson-Yue and Lindsey Wright-Joy of Kailua; and Marrissa Kaili-Frank, Nolan Koyamatsu and Tyler Mendes of Kaneohe, all with a 3.5 or better gpa