|Keiki and their families are raising money to send members of Halau Hula O Leionalani, based at Pāhala Hongwanji,|
to perform in Japan next summer with Kumu Hula Debbie Ryder. Photo by Julia Neal
HALAU HULA O LEIONALANI HAS LAUNCHED A FUNDRAISING CAMPAIGN to take take eight keiki and four ladies to Kawasaki, Japan. They will perform at a concert hall in Kawasaki about 30 miles from Tokyo, along with Japan, Okinawa, Mexico and Virginia sister halau under the tutelage of Kumu Hula Debbie Ryder. Halau members leave for Japan next July 6 and return to Ka'u on July 11.
|Kehau Tamure, known as the voice of famed Hawaiian|
musical group Na Palapalai, volunteered for the Halau
Hula O Leionalani fundraiser, making arrangements
with ferns in banana stumps. She also performed.
Photo by Julia Neal
The halau will also meet with halau members from Japan who will attend the concert. Hula as a practice remains very popular in Japan, with more halau than in Hawai'i. It is a tradition for kumu hula from Hawai'i to travel to Japan to teach. With Japan just lifting its covid travel restrictions, kumu from Hawai'i are going back, said Ryder.
A Halau Hula O Leionalani fundraiser lu'au was recently held at Pāhala Hongwanji in the style of the early 60s and 50s in which people were served their Hawaiian meal at the table, rather than standing in line for food. Members of the halau were the servers. Said Ryder, "I want our halau members to take this tradition home with with them to practice in the future. Serve those who you invite for food."
Halau members, including the haumana going to Japan, are are fundraising on their own in the community. Donation checks can be mailed to the non-profit 501C3 Uhane Pohaku Na Moku O Hawai'i, in care of Debbie Ryder at P.O. Box 1023, Pāhala, HI 96777.
The recent fundraiser lu'au, sponsored by Uhane was attended by more than 200. It featured Kehau Tamure, known for her hits songs with Na Palapalai, and Lorna Lim who performed, emceed and introduced her daughter Wehilei Lim Ryder with her father Wailau, the son of Debbie Ryder. The performance showcased Wehilei Lim Ryder's recent CD release Music Heals the Soul with her original compositions Kohala Hawai'i, Stolen, and Sunshine.
|Halau Hula Leionalani, based at Pāhala Hongwanji, will send some members to Japan next year.|
The halau recently performed for its luau to raise money for the trip. Photo by Julia Neal
Also performing were The Homestead Band from Maui, as well as Gene and Demetrius with the halau.
Debbie Ryder said she would like to thank O Ka'u Kakou for donating the tables, Alvin Kailiawa for the big tent, Matt and Nathan Ortega for building the stage, and Pahala Hongwanji for the venue. She also thanked Lauren Wong Yuen 'ohana for the kalolo, Jamie Kailiawa for the cakes, Chelsea Kobzi for haupia, and Kawehi Ryder and volunteers for preparing the imu and all other foods. Flowers and other foliage were donated and arranged by halau and community members.
|Weihilei Lim Ryder danced and sang from her new|
album Music Heals the Soul. Photo by Julia Neal
THE RESPECT FOR MARRIAGE ACT drew action on Wednesday from U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono, who voted to invoke cloture on the bipartisan, bicameral legislation that she cosponsored to protect interracial and same-sex marriage equality in federal law. The legislation, which passed in the House in July, passed the major procedural cloture vote 62-37 on Wednesday, all but ensuring its final passage in the Senate, said a statement from her office.
Hirono said, "Nearly a decade ago, the Supreme Court affirmed marriage equality as the law of the land. But as the far-right majority on the Court works to eliminate fundamental rights, it is clear we must act to protect same-sex and interracial marriages. The Respect for Marriage Act will give same-sex and interracial couples the certainty that their marriage is, and always will be, legal—and I am proud to support this bipartisan legislation," said Senator Hirono. "I look forward to voting on final Senate passage of this legislation, and I'll continue fighting to ensure that every person in our country is treated with dignity and respect—regardless of their race, gender identity, sexual orientation, or religion."
|Ladies of Halau Hula O Leionalani. Photo by Julia Neal|
The House companion bill was introduced by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and Congressional LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus Chairman David Cicilline (D-RI) and passed the House on July 19 by a vote of 267 to 157, with 47 Republicans voting in favor.
Hirono has been a consistent champion for LGBTQ+ rights. Earlier this year, she introduced a resolution recognizing June as LGBTQ+ Pride Month and took to the Senate floor to block Senate Republicans' attempt to pass anti-transgender legislation to ban trans women and girls from participating in sports consistent with their gender. In March, Hirono also introduced a resolution with her Senate colleagues recognizing International Transgender Day of Visibility. She is also a sponsor of the Equality Act, legislation which would extend federal civil rights protections to LGBTQ+ individuals. To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see www.facebook.com/kaucalendar. See latest print edition at wwwkaucalendar.com. See upcoming events at https://kaunewsbriefs.blogspot.com/2022/04/upcoming-events-for-kau-and-volcano.html.
Additional meetings for more area residents are expected in the future. Civil Defense can be reached at 808-935-0031. A Mauna Loa lava flow in 1926 took out the homes of the fishing village Ho'opuloa next to Miloli'i. The steep side of Mauna Loa above Miloli'i means that lava can reach the ocean more quickly than in other places with less of a slope.
Civil Defense is posting daily reports of seismic activity on Mauna Loa. Fifty small earthquakes, under Magnitude 3.0 in 24 hours, were reported by county Civl Defense on Tuesday. On Wednesday Civil Defense reported 40 small quakes in 24 hours.
|Lava from Mauna Loa destroying the village of Ho'opuloa next to Miloli'i in 1926. Photo from Kona Historical Society|