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Former NFL Player Jesse Sapolu Wears VH07V Shirt I Gave Him During Today’s Super Bowl

A couple of months ago I had the opportunity to meet NFL Legend Jesse Sapolu at a book signing here in Hilo.

Jesse spent more then 2 hours signing books for fans.

Jesse spent more then 2 hours signing books for fans.

I’m kind of stunned to learn that he wore the VHO7V shirt I gave him here on the Big Island at today’s Super Bowl!.

Jesse Sapolu sporting the VH07V

Jesse Sapolu sporting the VH07V

Councilwoman Margaret Wille Speaks About “Appreciation” at Opening of the Waimea Cherry Blossom Festival

Hawaii Councilwoman Margaret Wille posted the following on her Facebook site regarding “appreciation” at today’s Waimea Cherry Blossom Festival:

Opening Ceremony speakers were supposed to be: Mayor Kenoi, myself, and the consulate general from Japan, but the Mayor did not show up. Wally Lau then arrived and spoke in his place.

Waimea Cherry Fest
I spoke about this day as a day of Appreciation

 Appreciation for our kupuna and in memory of Ann Gomes and her husband… David Gomes one of our community’s living treasures.

Appreciation for the beauty of nature around us here on this island and especially in Waimea where the mountains and the streams and forests meet the plains and the pastures, and as epitomized by our Waimea cherry trees.

Waimea Cherry Fest 2
Appreciation of our alliances with our Asian Pacific ohana sister nations, especially Japan — from where we received the cherry trees.

And appreciation of the contributions of our Japanese ohana and all its contributions past present and future.

And finally appreciation of each other — our alliances among ourselves sharing this special place we live and enjoy.



USS Cheyenne Arrives in the Philippines

The last of the improved Lost Angeles-class submarines, USS Cheyenne (SSN 773), arrived in Subic Bay Feb. 1 as part of its Western Pacific deployment.

Me inside the US Navy Nuclear Sub the USS Cheyenne

Me inside the US Navy Nuclear Sub the USS Cheyenne

With a crew of approximately 150 Sailors, Cheyenne will be conducting various military exercises for training.

“It is our pleasure to visit Subic Bay. My Sailors and crew have earned this much deserved rest in this great town,” said Cmdr. Noel Gonzalez, Cheyenne’s commanding officer. “We have been out to sea for a while conducting lots of training, becoming proficient at our jobs, and employing the ship as she was designed to be used. My crew looks forward to building good relationships and reinforcing our partnerships in the Philippines.”

Cheyenne is one of the most capable submarines in the U.S. Navy. Its enhanced capabilities include advanced sonar systems and a state of the art engine room. Its sophisticated design and highly trained crew enable Cheyenne to operate globally, ready for any mission.

Commander Rogeness and I infront of the USS Cheyenne Submarin

Commander Rogeness and I infront of the USS Cheyenne Submarin

“We enjoy our job and being out to sea,” Gonzalez added, ” but every Sailor will tell you that visiting foreign ports is part of the reason many of us joined the Navy.”

“This visit to Subic Bay is well deserved,” said Chief of the Boat, Electronic Technician Master Chief Michael Hinkle. “We are looking forward to exploring the area and taking part in some community service projects during our time here.”

For crew members like Culinary Specialist Seaman Sheldon Alvarez, this is their first time visiting the Philippines.

“I am looking forward to exploring the area,” said Alvarez. “This is my first port visit ever and I am happy to be here and have the ability to contribute in an area of the world I have never visited before.”

Boarding the USS Cheyenne with an Old High School buddy.

Boarding the USS Cheyenne with an Old High School buddy.

Some of Cheyenne’s Filipino-American Sailors, like Electronics Technician Seaman Teodorico-Dante Tapia, will have an opportunity to connect with their heritage.

“I am really looking forward to finding the food I grew up eating, as well as dishes I’ve never tasted before,” said Tapia. “I can’t wait for some liberty to explore the place my elders still call home. I am an American, but I am a descendant of the Philippines and this is my first chance to see a place I’ve only dreamed of visiting!”

Cheyenne is home ported in Pearl Harbor, Hi.