Daily Archives: December 29, 2012

Aloha to Darrow Aiona (photographs) and an era of modern Hawaiian community activism

About 1980I was very sorry to hear Darrow Aiona died suddenly just a few days before Christmas. Darrow was a very familiar figure in our lives, and his passing sent me digging for old photos. I came up with this batch of pictures which include a couple of Darrow.

That’s Darrow, with his pipe, talking with the late Judy Napoleon of Molokai. The occasion was a party for attorney Robert “Gil” Johnston at the home of the Rev. Charles Hopkins in Kaaawa.

I’m guessing this was around 1980. I know it was well before we moved to Kaaawa, which was in 1988, because I recall thinking that it seemed like a very long way to drive for a party. And it was after Gil left Hawaii in 1975 to teach at John Marshall Law School in Chicago, where he later served as dean. Gil had previously served as head of the Legal Aid Society in Hawaii for a couple of years around 1970, then went into private practice, where he represented Native Hawaiian community groups and activists. Hence the attendees at this small event.

In addition to Darrow, there are a lot of important people from that early period of modern Hawaiian activism who are no longer with us, including Judy Napoleon, Randy Kalahiki, Georgina Padeken, and Alvina Park, plus others I don’t recall or didn’t know.

I wish the scans were better, but I was working from old snapshots.

Hopefully you’ll enjoy the look back.

Aloha, Darrow.

Is military spending vulnerable in post-Inouye Hawaii?

Two more bits of national attention for Hawaii.

First, the New York Times: “Loss of Inouye Means Loss of Clout for Hawaii.”

Reporter Jeremy Peters goes through the standard tracing of earmarks that flowed to the islands during Inouye’s long tenure, but then he mentions the unmentionable issue of Hawaii’s political vs. strategic importance.

Mr. Inouye, who lost his right arm in combat during World War II, also persuaded the United States military to leave its bases in Hawaii open, even though the state is no longer as vital for strategic defense purposes. The Army, Navy, Coast Guard, Air Force and Marine Corps all maintain installations here.

“There were several times that there was talk of Pearl Harbor being shut down, but he protected us from that,” said Jeanne Ishikawa, who attended a memorial service for Mr. Inouye on Oahu over the weekend. [emphasis added]

Then the Wall Street Journal laid out suggestions for a four-day visit to Honolulu (“Take Monday Off: Honolulu“).

Here’s writer Julia Flynn Siler’s capsule description emphasizing a local-haole conflict which, she says, “is never far from the surface.

Hawaii may seem like a tropical idyll, but its long history of conflict between locals and foreigners—who are known by the Hawaiian term “haole” (pronounced howl-eee)—is never far from the surface. Part Polynesian, part Asian, part military base, part honeymoon destination, Hawaii’s capital of Honolulu, located on the southeastern side of Oahu island, is arguably the most foreign of U.S. cities, as well as one of the loveliest.


Unfortunately, her Day 4 itinerary skips from Sunset Beach all the way to the Nuuanu Pali, without even a mention of Kaaawa, the Crouching Lion, Uncle Bobo’s, or the delights of nearby Kualoa Ranch.

Nor any mention of the rapid loss of the rural character of the area that will result if developments being proposed, including the expansion of Turtle Bay and the Mormon’s development of Malaekahana, are approved and go forward.