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West Oahu Roundup

Katharine H. Kam

The last couple of months have been a busy time for West Oahu. From student achievements to job promotions, here’s a look at what some of your neighbors have been up to.

The results are in from Ewa Beach Shopping Center’s essay contest that was held earlier this month in celebration of its 50th anniversary. The contest asked middle and high school students to respond to the question, “Why is Ewa Beach so special?”

More than 70 entries were submitted

– and here’s who came out on top: In the grade 7-8 category, Kale Gonzales of Ilima Intermediate (1st place), Isaiah Victorino of Ilima Intermediate (2nd place), Branndon Evons of Ewa Makai Middle (3rd place); in the grade 9-10 grade category, Tristen Dulay of Campbell High (1st place), Ethan Cadavona of Campbell High (2nd place), Ernesto Yora, Jr. of Campbell High (3rd place); in the grade 11-12 category, Kristian Ibana-Luis of Campbell High (1st place), Angela Gabriel of Campbell High (2nd place) and Keoni Akina of Campbell High (3rd place).

Ewa Beach Shopping Center representatives stated that some of the winning essays’ highlights include the following.

Kale Gonzales wrote, “In Ewa Beach you will find many people from many different places. It’s amazing how one small community can hold so many different people, people with different customs, thoughts and ways of living.”

Kristian Ibana-Luis wrote, “The community, strangers, families and friends out here treat each other with respect, kindness, and like their own flesh and blood. Ewa Beach is also a place to better your life, have new goals, and become better and stronger. You can be yourself.”

The Hawaii Swimming Hall of Fame held its fifth induction banquet earlier this month. Among the inductees were two Pearl City residents: Ken Suenaga, who was honored for more than 60 years of coaching and Nadine Takai Day, who was honored for her champion wins and record-holding performances in the Masters Swimming and Ocean Swimming categories.

Central Pacific Bank recently announced that Katharine H. Kam has been promoted to vice president and Pearlridge Branch manager. Kam brings more than 30 years in the banking industry to the new position. Most recently, she served as First Hawaiian Bank’s assistant vice president and Mililani branch manager. Kam is now responsible for leading the Pearlridge branch team.

Caleb Hanisee was recently appointed the store manager of the new City Mill in Ewa Beach, which celebrated its grand opening Nov. 16. Hanisee has been with City Mill since 2007, when he started as an assistant store manager at the Honolulu location.

Thanks to two area residents – Justin Vance of Makakilo and Anita Manning of Waipahu – new research now is available about the significant role of Hawaii in the U.S. Civil War. Vance, a Hawaii Pacific University assistant professor of history and the assistant dean of military campus programs, and Manning, an associate in cultural studies at Bishop Museum, co-authored a paper about the impact that Hawaii had on the war, and confirmed for the first time that there were more than 100 Hawaiians who served in the war. The paper, “The Effects of the American Civil War on Hawaii and the Pacific World,” was published in the October issue of the history journal World History Connected.

The months-long singing competition Kunia Live came to a close in last month’s Grand Finale, as contenders from previous rounds battled for the top prize. The finale brought 21 previous winners together.

Judges stated that choosing a winner was a difficult task, as all contestants were talented.

The winners in the 6-11 category were 1) Kealani Sagaya of Ewa Beach, 2) Jonah Lorica of Aiea, and 3) LilaRose Everingham of Ewa Beach. The 12-17 category winners were 1) Dannen Kualapai of Kunia, 2) Amanda Dietz of Ewa Beach, and 3) Taylor-Anne Maeda of Mililani. Finally, the 18 and over category winners were 1) Scott Lewis of Kapolei, 2) Michelle Hunter of Kunia, and 3) Renee Derrickson of Haleiwa.

Army Reserve Pvt. Justin-Ryan W. Magu-sara recently graduated from basic combat training at Fort Sill in Oklahoma. He is the son of Osias Magusara of Ewa Beach, and Mitz Fanol of Waipahu. Magusara is a 2011 graduate of Waipahu High School.

Army Pvt. Justin R. Auelua has graduated from basic combat training at Fort Jackson, Columbia, S.C. Auelua is the son of Lei Auelua of Aiea and is a graduate of Radford High School.