Mahealani – A Benefit for the American Cancer Society

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Wattie Mae Hedemann, A Descendant of Hawaiian Royalty, Passes Away at Kona Community Hospital

A descendant of Hawaiian royalty and well-known Kona realtor has succumbed to heart disease. , 84, died Nov. 15 at Kona Community Hospital. One of the first flight of female attendants for Hawaiian Airlines, mother of a Vietnam War hero and widow of an award-winning paniolo, Mrs. Hedemann claimed descent to the royal chiefs of Hawaii through her mother, Annie Ilikea-a-Moana Robinson Owens of Honolulu.

Wattie Mae Hedemann at her home a few months ago. (Picture by Frankie Stapleton)

Mrs. Hedemann was married for 57 years to the late Edmund Hedemann, a paniolo and polo horse trainer at Kualoa on Oahu and the Big Island who died in 2005. She is survived by a sister, Harriet (Francis) Tom of Honolulu; daughter Meta (Shane) Eckart of Keauhou, son George (Debbie) Hedemann of Honalo; stepson Edmund (Ruth) Hedemann Jr. of New York City, stepdaughter Jeremy Hedemann Heath of Canterbury, England; seven grandchildren, five great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews. A memorial service is planned for 10 a.m. Dec. 3 at Christ Church in Kealakekua.

The Hedemanns lost Wattie’s first-born, son Wayne H. Hedemann, when he was shot down over Cambodia in May 1970. The couple received word of the 24-year-old Army helicopter gunner’s death the same day local newspapers published a letter from the Hedemanns supporting President Nixon’s expansion of the Vietnam conflict into the neighboring country. The date also happened to be Mother’s Day that year. Wayne Hedemann was awarded two Distinguished Flying Cross medals, one posthumously, for bravery in saving lives. His military service in Vietnam lasted two months. Mrs. Hedemann was working on a book in memory of her deceased son at the time of her passing.

Wattie with her son Wayne, taken about 1948. Wayne was her first-born son, the one who died at age 24 while serving in Cambodia/Vietnam

Mrs. Hedemann’s maternal grandmother, Heleaka Napuaenaena Kawananakoa Kahalewai Robinson — Ada, as she was familiarly known — was the grandniece of Mataio Kekuanaoa, royal governor of Oahu from 1839 to 1864 and the last kuhina nui of the Hawaiian Islands, and the niece of Kekuanaoa’s sons, Kings Kamehameha IV and Kamehameha V. Mrs. Robinson’s mother and Kamehameha IV and V shared the same grandfather, Nahiolea, brother of Kaiana and Namakeha..

Mrs. Hedemann was born May 21, 1927 to Annie and Edward G. Owens of Honolulu. Mrs. Owens was soon left a widow with five children to raise on her own and Mrs. Hedemann remembers a life of poverty, despite the family’s royal heritage. Other branches of the Hawaiian family did what they could to help the Owens children. Mrs. Hedemann said she wasn’t too proud to accept “the family hand-me-downs” and she found her first job at age 12, bringing a neighbor’s lst grader safely to and from school “so I’d make five cents every day, enough to pay for my school lunch.”

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Laupahoehoe Community Public Charter School Files Appeal to the Board of Education

On Monday, November 28, 2011, Laupahoehoe Community Public Charter School filed an appeal to the Board of Education requesting that it allow an amendment to its school plan regarding setting local school board elections. (Click here: Laupahoehoe Charter School Appeal)

Laupahoehoe Charter School

The charter school’s Interim Local School Board is confident that the Board of Education will make sure that the charter school holds fair and legal elections. Under Board of Education rules, the appeal must be decided within 60 days.

In the meantime, Laupahoehoe Community Public Charter School continues to support the work of the teachers, staff, and unions for fairness in employment, and will soon be accepting registration for incoming kindergarteners.

Laupahoehoe Community Public Charter School encourages all current teachers at Laupahoehoe High and Elementary School to consider teaching at the charter school when it officially becomes a charter, on July 01, 2012. The charter school is required by a government Assurances Framework to prepare in case some teachers may choose to teach elsewhere or retire. The charter school is now accepting letters of interest and resumes from qualified State teachers for school year 2012-13.

Interested teachers should contact Loida Navalta, Administrative Consultant at or 808-430-8699.

For questions about the appeal, please contact Interim Local School Board member Steven Strauss 808-969-6684

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Highway 130 Widening and an Ambulance

How appropriate… I just caught an ambulance flying past part of the Highway 130 widening project after Kalolo Drive.

Webcast for Reporters on Unprecedented Black Hole Discovery to Publish in Nature

The National Science Foundation (NSF) will sponsor an embargoed press briefing detailing the discovery of unprecedented black holes, the specifics of which will be published December 8th in the journal Nature.

An image of two giant elliptical galaxies obtained by the NSF-funded International Gemini Observatory in March of 2008. Credit: Gemini Observatory

With support from NSF, and using telescopes at the NSF-supported International Gemini Observatory, as well as the Keck Observatory in Hawaii and the McDonald Observatory in Texas, researchers were able to obtain detailed information about the centers of massive elliptical galaxies–which astronomers think most, if not all, are black holes–data the research team did not have the technical capability to obtain just a few years ago. The new results may help astronomers determine how black holes and galaxies form over the history of the universe.

Who: Chung-Pei Ma, professor of Astronomy, University of California, Berkeley; and UC, Berkeley graduate student Nicholas McConnell, graduate student (first author of the paper), University of California, Berkeley.
What: Live embargoed teleconference and webcast for journalists
When: Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2011, noon EST
Where: Media are invited to participate in the webcast on the phone or online via the Science360 website. (Note: the URL will only be live during the broadcast.)
Contact: Please contact for the required phone number and passcode information, and/or to submit questions in advance or during the broadcast.
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New Hotel Manager Appointed at the Fairmont Orchid

Regional Vice President and General Manager Christof Luedi is pleased to announce the appointment of Noelani Cashman-Aiu to the position of Hotel Manager for The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii.  Ms. Cashman-Aiu joins The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii from the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel where she held the position of Hotel Manager.

Noelani Cashman-Aiu

Noelani began her hospitality career at the Sheraton Waikiki as a Guest Service Agent and in subsequent years held a variety of progressive roles, including Hotel Assistant Manager, Guest Relations Manager, Account Executive, Senior Sales Manager, and Director of Training.  In 2004 Noelani relocated to the Island of Hawai`i as Director of Operations for the Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort and Spa.  Noelani joined Prince Hotels in 2008 as Hotel Manager for the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel until 2010 when she was appointed to her most recent position as Hotel Manager, Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel.  Noelani graduated from the University of Redlands in Redlands, California with a Bachelor of Arts in Education.

As Hotel Manager at the luxury AAA Four Diamond Resort, Ms. Cashman-Aiu will be responsible for administering the hotel’s operations, executing the hotel’s strategic plans, assisting in the direction and coordination of the rooms, housekeeping and food and beverage divisions.

“We are pleased to welcome Noelani to The Fairmont Orchid, ‘Ohana” said Christof Luedi, Regional Vice President and General Manager of the 538 room luxury resort.  “With her extensive background in hospitality we have no doubt that she will be a great addition to our team.”

When she isn’t working, Noelani enjoys spending time with her daughter and enjoying the Island of Hawai`i.