No Hawai‘i Herald editor in her, or his, right mind wants to do a special edition, like this Kaua‘i Issue, as the last issue of the year . . . especially with the traditionally big New Year’s edition due in less than two weeks. That’s plain suicide!
But that is exactly what we are doing due to a serious bacterial infection that sidelined our advertising manager Grant Murata last month. The angry-looking wound on his leg kept him hospitalized for a week on intravenous antibiotics, followed by another week and a half of convalescing at home. Meanwhile, we kept pushing the issue back, hoping we could still publish it this year . . . with Kaua‘i ads. We asked our contributing writers to “Please stand by.”
When Grant got back and assessed his work for the rest of the year, we decided to make a run at it. Grant wasn’t able to fly to Kaua‘i, so he made all of his sales calls by phone, and, thankfully, Garden Island businesses and organizations responded positively. So here we are, highlighting stories from the Garden Island in this final issue of 2019 — happy and proud that we can still say that it is our Sixth ANNUAL Kaua‘i Issue.
This issue is a combination of stories. Thanks to the UH Center for Oral History, we can share with you their interview with Chito Isonaga, one of the few women from Hawai‘i who volunteered for the Women’s Army Corps in World War II. Isonaga went on to work for the Office of Strategic Services, forerunner of the Central Intelligence Agency. How impressive that a keiki from Kaua‘i accomplished all of this in her life! We salute the 104-year-old Nisei woman.
If you’re interested in historical fiction, take some time to read two excerpts from Kaua‘i author and retired judge Bill Fernandez’s new book, “Terrorism in Paradise,” which takes readers back in time.
This issue also contains contributing writer and Herald columnist Carolyn Morinishi’s story about an educator turned aikidö sensei turned Hawaiian monk seal guardian. You’ll be inspired by Lloyd Miyashiro’s community spirit.
And, finally, we lead this issue with veteran political writer Richard Borreca’s interview with former state Rep. Derek Kawakami, who is completing the first year of his inaugural term as Kaua‘i County mayor. The energetic and hands-on mayor is the third Kawakami from Kaua‘i to serve in elective office and the first in the Kawakami ‘ohana to serve as the chief executive of his home island.
This issue was possible only because of the support of our contributing writers and the advertisers who threw their support behind this issue. We thank them sincerely for helping us put the issue together and hope you will support them. Mahalo nui loa, Kaua‘i County!
Bill Fernandez Books
Kauai Island Finance, Inc.
Kauai Japanese Cultural Society
Kauai Soto Zen Temple
Kawakami for Mayor
State Sen. Ron Kouchi
State Rep. Dee Morikawa
State Rep. Nadine Nakamura
Tommy Oi Land Surveyor
Ann Kabasawa and Clyde Sugimoto
Carolyn and Ron Morinishi
Office of Mayor Derek Kawakami (Alden Alayvilla and Kim Tamaoka)
University of Hawai‘i Center for Oral History
As we say goodbye to 2019 — and this decade — we are reminded of how fortunate we are to be supported by the many people who help us produce every issue of the Herald — our columnists; contributing writers, proofreaders and artists; regular advertisers; and the production, pre-press, print and delivery folks who get every issue out. We also thank our subscribers whose support not only makes it possible for us to have a job, but also work that we actually enjoy doing. The deadlines are a killer, but the editorial work is truly gratifying and enjoyable.
As soon as we send this issue to press this evening, we’ll be taking a deep breath and then jumping right into our New Year’s edition. See you again on Jan. 3, 2020! On behalf of Jodie and Grant “Masanduu,” I wish you all a happy, safe and meaningful holiday season. Okagesama de . . .