PBS Hawaii – HIKI NŌ Episode 213 | Outstanding Stories from Fall 2011-2012 | Full Program

Broadcasts of HIKI NŌ are made possible by
the support of viewers like you! Mahalo! And by, Bank of Hawaii Foundation, investing
in Hawaiʻi’s future by promoting collaboration, critical thinking, and other 21st-Century
skills through HIKI NŌ. Aloha. I’m Nikki Davis from Kamehameha Schools
Maui. I’m Alyza Malunao from Waialua High and
Intermediate School on O‘ahu. I’m Justin Langstaff from Kapa‘a High
School on Kaua‘i. And I’m Natalie Hagemann from Kea‘au High
School on the Big Island of Hawai‘i. We’re your hosts for this special edition
of HIKI NŌ, a look back at Season Two of the nation’s first statewide student news
network. Season One proved to Hawai‘i and the world
that when it comes to news and visual storytelling, Hawai‘i students HIKI NŌ, can do. Season Two proved that we only get better
with time, as the work grew in maturity, depth and relevance. For the next half hour, we’ll show you some
of the exceptional stories from Season Two All conceived, reported, written, shot and
edited by students, under the supervision of their teachers. Stories that connect the communities across
the island chain. On HIKI NŌ … Can do! Before we begin our look back at Season Two,
we’d like to acknowledge the grant organizations that made HIKI NŌ possible. They believed in Hawai‘i’s young people. They knew in their hearts that we could create
the nation’s first statewide student news network, but without their support, HIKI NŌ
would have remained nothing more than a dream. We thank them for turning that dream into
a reality. Now, on with the show. Our first story represents a theme that appeared
throughout Season Two: the healing power of of helping others. As this report shows, even if the ones you
help aren’t people, the self-healing powers of your good deeds can be just as positive. From Kamehameha Schools Maui, here’s a look
at an animal refuge where more than just the animals were saved. Hidden away on a two-acre parcel in Ha‘ikū,
Maui lies the home of Sylvan Schwab and his guests. But they are not your typical guests. They are all orphans or injured animals. [TELEPHONE RINGS] East Maui Animal Refuge,
this is Sylvan, can I help you? The East Maui Animal Refuge, more affectionately
known as the Boo Boo Zoo, is home to over fifty cats, fifty birds, twenty-five deer,
sixteen goats, two horses, two pigs, one cow and an endless amount of fowl. I can’t think of any animal that is on the
island, that we have not had here at one time or another. Because we take in anything if it’s in a
life-threatening situation. Each animal comes to the refuge with a story,
some more interesting than others, such as the case of Baby, the blind cow. She was born blind, which is why we took her
in. She was already named Baby when she came. But along with pretty much all of the animals
that we have here, they come because they’re in some kind of life-threatening situation. So, what motivates a person to turn their
home into an animal sanctuary? Well, it turns out that the animals aren’t
the only ones with a special story. We started out just doing this because when
I met my wife, Suzie, I found out shortly after I met her that she had cancer, and that
it was not treatable through allopathic medicine on the Mainland. So, she basically came to Maui to die. And part of her treatment was occupational
therapy, to have a drive to survive. So, when I found out she had cancer, I started
collecting sick little critters for her, and that’s how the Boo Boo Zoo started. And over thirty years now, it’s evolved
into this, and Suzie has been clear of cancer for almost thirty years now. And now, we save the life of the animals who
in fact helped save her life. One of the things we’ve learned from HIKI
NŌ is that sometimes, the most intriguing, even mysterious stories can be found right
under our noses. Often, we don’t need to look any further
than our own campuses. Such was the case with this story about some
strange creatures lurking around Kapolei High School on O‘ahu. My first thoughts upon the ‘o‘opu was,
What is this creature? Why is it here? What does this have to do with any of us? A lot of people don’t understand what it
is, and so, it kinda just causes a lot of confusion. They were like, I don’t know, but I think
it’s gonna be our mascot. And I was like, Ah, I don’t think so. It didn’t really have a purpose. It didn’t bring our school together, nor
did it help the school in any manner, except to display meaning, but they didn’t even
understand what the meaning was. The story is primarily to inspire students
to want to stay in school, to hang in there, to be adaptable, to evolve into adults, to
do everything they can to be successful. And the fish are all headed towards the library
because I consider the library as a symbol of enlightenment and knowledge, which we all
need no matter what we do. The ‘o‘opu is something that truly represents
our school, whether it’s an evolution of how the students evolve to adapt to their
setting. It’s something unique. It’s a little weird, but I think that deep
down inside, it has an actual meaning. They also represent a resilient side of students that students don’t know they’re capable of. I’m hoping that our students are adaptable. We need to be adaptable or comfortable living
in this very beautiful environment, but at some point, we may have to leave the islands. And even if we don’t, if you’re young
and you’re growing up, you have to learn to be adaptable to other people, all kinds
of different situations. In the future, we hope that students can fully
understand the true meaning of the ‘o‘opu, and not see it as some mysterious creature. This is Kimi Owens reporting from Kapolei
High School, for HIKI NŌ. One of the many communities that we learn
about through HIKI NŌ is Hawai‘i’s military population. And because HIKI NŌ reporters are students,
they can offer a unique perspective on a sector of that community rarely covered by mainstream
media: the children of deployed military personnel. Here’s such a report from HIKI NŌ’s very
first elementary school, Kainalu Elementary, on O‘ahu. United Through Reading is a program where
a deployed parent could read to their child by sending home a DVD. This was a touching experience for Brayden
and Caeley. You read kids’ books that they have on hand
onto a camera, and they download it to a DVD and send it back to the family so that they
can watch the videos of me reading a book to them. The first time they saw it, they were all
excited. They knew what it was, staring at the television. And my daughter, who was five at the time, was actually saying, Excuse me, excuse me, Dad. She thought she could talk to him, it was
so life-like. And they were really excited about it, and
then after a little while, they got upset. They realized how much they missed him. A program sponsored by the YMCA is Operation
Kid Comfort. Oh, yeah. I had this orange and pictures of me when
I was like maybe about four and stuff. My son especially, he didn’t want to go
to bed without it at night. I was worried, because I thought he was going
to have a crash. Brayden and Caeley’s worries came to an
end when their dad returned home. He flew in the plane and didn’t even get
crashed. I did shakas when I saw my dad. Shaka. Master Gunnery Sergeant David Kouff’s family
took in rescue dogs while he was deployed. We started fostering dogs ‘cause our dad
was deployed in Afghanistan, and we missed him a lot. It took my mind off my dad being gone, and
sometimes I even forgot where he was. I would ask Mom sometimes, Where is Dad? And she would say, He’s deployed. And I was like, Oh, right. And I would start crying. Having the dogs from the rescue, that really
helped occupy the time. The dogs had to be walked, they had to be
fed, and so, it helped pass that time in a very productive, helpful way. This is Lia, Ally, Kanoa, and Avery reporting
for … HIKI NŌ! The level of maturity and honesty that Kainalu
Elementary School students brought to that last story was truly amazing. It shows that elementary school students can
tell exceptional visual stories. But they need exceptional teachers to show
them how. Teachers are the unsung heroes of the education
system, and as students, we don’t often get to see the hardships they face outside
the classroom. From Searider Productions at Wai‘anae High
School, here’s a story about husband-wife educators who are struggling with the economic
realities of their chosen profession. Somebody from Table … Brent Yamagata is a math teacher at Wai‘anae
High School. His wife, Lehua, also teaches math at Moanalua
Middle. Look at you, boy! These two educators have to divide their incomes
to solve the problem of raising a family. [LAUGHING] How’d you do that? Along with their three boys, they spend most
of their afternoons enjoying each other’s company and playing the occasional videogame. Just lounging around the house. [CHUCKLE] I just enjoy seeing my boys play
together. I already got two [INDISTINCT]. Shayne, Rayne, and Blayze provide enough work
at home for the Yamagatas. But it’s their job at school that has become
a struggle for the whole family. All right, there’s like a gap. Because of the imposed contracts, teachers
now suffer from a five percent pay cut. The subtractions equate to over four thousand
dollars that could have been used towards the family’s activities. Watch more at home, and spend more days inside
than outside. Making sacrifices has become a common denominator
for the Yamagata family. [INDISTINCT] Despite trying to prevent the pay cuts from
hindering their children, they cannot conceal it completely. When we go shopping, he always says, Oh, no,
that one’s too expensive, yeah, Mom? I’m like, Yeah, we can’t afford that anymore. Recently, they enrolled their three-year-old
son, Rayne, into preschool. But without help from a scholarship, Rayne
would be staying at home. We’ve never had that situation before. And we just bought our house and, you know,
we thought we had a set income. That set income led them to consider getting
a second job to make ends meet. It looks like this, and then we have a point. For the Yamagatas, staying positive is the
solution to their negative equation. Right now, I’m glad I even have a job, ‘cause
there’s people who don’t have jobs. I’m just happy for what I do have. Though the salary cuts may be a complex problem,
for this family, the sum of each other is the only answer to this test. Jenna Munoz from Wai‘anae High School, for
HIKI NŌ. Many teachers face economic hardships, but
so do many students, especially those seeking higher education. Here’s a story from Moanalua High School
on the high cost of college. Many students are looking forward to attending
college. Haley Pendergast, a senior and student body
president at Moanalua High School, is one of them. What I’m really excited for about college
is like, you know, the whole independence thing. Being on your own and all that, it’s exciting. But choosing her next step isn’t all about
independence. A lot depends on dollars. Alabama is a big one for me, because I can
get a huge scholarship there. BYU will come out to about fourteen thousand
a year. Yale is about fifty-one thousand a year. Money is on the minds for most high school
grades. More than nineteen million students entering
college next will face an average cost of more than twenty-two thousand dollars a year. Pendergast is depending on scholarships and
a little help from her parents. But Moanalua High School senior Tyesha Looper
is planning to pay for her entire next step on her own. I’m interested in going to the University
of Alabama or Texas Tech University. My parents aren’t financially stable to
put money into me to go to college, so paying for college is kind of on me. And she started early. Since June 2011, Looper works five days a
week at K-Mart, saving her salary for college tuition. Sometimes, I do get to the point where I just
want to be like, Today, I want to do nothing. But you know, I kick myself in the butt and
I’m like, No, you’re gonna do this. Like Looper, Moanalua alumna Glory Justo keeps
a busy schedule. The mother of three-year-old Roanne and one-year-old
Roxine is a fulltime student at Hawai‘i Pacific University and a part-time student
at the Honolulu and Kapi‘olani Community Colleges. Right after high school, with both kids for
different semesters, I actually gave birth the day school started. She’s three and a half years in, and is
looking at four more years to finish with her nursing degree. At first, she relied on grants, but now finding
funding is more challenging. With the rise of tuition costs and textbooks,
I was forced to accept loans from the schools. As an island state, many of our communities
are separated by ocean. Through HIKI NŌ, bridges are built, as each
island gets to share its stories with the others. But sometimes, a story can start on one island,
and continue on another. Such was the case with a two-part report on
our state bird, begun by students at Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School on Kaua‘i, and
continued by students at Kamehameha Schools Maui. Although the nene’s population has grown
steadily, there are still only about two thousand in the world. However, on Kaua‘i, one population of nene
are thriving from five pairs of birds to over four hundred and counting since 1999. This one location alone represents a whopping
twenty percent of the nene population in the world. However, there is just one problem. The concern is that there’s a large number
of birds that are nesting and breeding, and it’s a growing population on Kaua‘i Lagoons
Resort. But it happens to be right next to the Līhu‘e
Airport, right in between the two runways, so it’s a public safety issue. So, our job is to move the birds away from
the Kaua‘i Lagoons so that they’re not a risk to the airplanes. But moving the nene isn’t as easy as putting
them in a box and sending them to an outer island. And it’s not cheap, either. It involves capturing the birds, putting them
on an airplane or helicopter, flying them off, putting them in a pen, and taking care
of them and then tracking their movements, and then making sure they survive and reproduce
at their new site. Two weeks later, this story was filed by students
at Kamehameha Schools Maui. The translocation of the nene from Kaua‘i
to Maui definitely won’t be cheap. First, you have to hire people to catch them. And they can’t be just anybody, because
these are endangered birds. We have to have people that know how to capture
and handle birds, because we can’t have nene die. It’s expensive to translocate due to getting
them here by either air cargo or by some type of air transportation. Once on Maui, the nene are then translocated
to the remote Wai‘ōpai area on the southeastern side of the island. Another cost factor in the translocation program
is the construction of open-and-close-top pens that will serve as safe harbors for the
nene. Our goal is to ensure that the population
doesn’t decline, because the nene is thought of as the most endangered bird. So we hope that it doesn’t go into extinction. While the nene is the state bird of Hawai‘i,
a much more prolific bird seems to be vying for the position of the Garden Island’s
official feathered friend. Everyone seems to have a different opinion
on why there are so many chickens on Kaua‘i, and whether or not that’s a good thing. Here’s a story by students from Kaua‘i’s
Kapa‘a High School on this fowl phenomenon. The beautiful island of Kaua‘i is known
for its incomparable beaches; serene waterfalls; calm, friendly atmosphere — and its chickens. I don’t like chickens, because they’re
irritating and they’re dirty. We love the chickens here on Kaua‘i. We love them, right? He loves them. Instead of seeing the beautiful things in
Kaua‘i that we’re never gonna be able see again, he takes pictures of the chickens,
wasting our time. Our tourists who come, they love the chickens. They think it’s a beautiful sight to see. And so, the feedback that we’re getting
from our tourists has been favorable. Chickens are so unique to the island of Kaua‘i
that they’ve even become a capital good for some stores here on the island. So, one of our most popular items are the
chickens. I’m not really sure why they’re so popular,
but tourists like them, I guess, because they see them all over the island. So, from what I’ve heard, the chickens came
here from when a hurricane passed through, they let all the chickens out of all the farms,
and now the chickens run free on Kaua‘i. After the hurricane, where the chickens were
able to multiply. So therefore, we have more chickens. This is Justin Langstaff from Kapa‘a High
School, for HIKI NŌ. Honesty, clarity, sensitivity, compassion,
these are qualities that all good journalists should aspire to. And they ring true in the upcoming story from
Saint Francis School about two sisters with severe learning disabilities. The reporter’s respect for her subjects
shows a maturity that is truly admirable. Hanna’s my oldest, she’s ten, and she
was diagnosed with Asperger’s, which falls under the autism spectrum. And usually, kids with Asperger’s have problems
on social cues, social interaction. So, Sara, we had no idea, nothing was wrong
with her until after she was born. And then, the doctors came to us, and then
they explained that she was missing a radius, and along with that, a lot of times came other
health problems. But there are so many different syndromes
out there, they didn’t know what it was. So basically, they sent her home with us,
not knowing what was going to go on with her. So, I had to do a lot of research online. Sara was diagnosed with PPD-NOS, and she was
also diagnosed with VACTERL association. That’s a big acronym. Both girls were also diagnosed dyslexic. And Sara’s had over twelve surgeries, surgical
procedures. And because of that, she lived the first couple
years, you know, pretty much in and out of the hospital. Yay! When Sara was little, Sara didn’t see any
differences at all. And then, as she’s gotten older, other kids
started becoming more aware and pointing it out, so we’ve had a couple incidences where
kids weren’t so nice about it. I don’t like hanging out with her sometimes
because she can be mean sometimes. Sara. Okay, just a little bit. Sara has the confidence to be able to respond
the same way and say, Hey, I have blonde hair, you have brown hair. You know. I have blue eyes, you got green eyes. You know. We’re different, but we’re still the same. And then, you know, I tell her, too, you know,
you can always tell them that you surf. Do you surf? AccessSurf is a great community, you know. It’s like family. We go there, and we know everybody. And we appreciate all the volunteers that
donate their time to teach the kids to surf. Even if they don’t stand on the board, it’s
just a matter of getting out there in the healing properties of the ocean, you know,
and doing something that a lot of people never even dream of doing. There’s no being depressed about, you know,
Oh, I can’t do this. Yes, you can. You know, you find a way to do it. Smile, Sara. She does. Courage is a trait some journalists may discover
they possess in the midst of working on a story. It could arise from placing yourself in harm’s
way to get the story, or it could be the courage to stand outside yourself to tell the story
of a very difficult time in your life. Wai‘anae Intermediate student Crystal Cebedo
was the subject of the following story, as well as writer, editor and cameraperson. She is also one courageous young woman. I should organize my room. It’s a mess. Thirteen-year-old Crystal Cebedo has a list
for everything. And I still have to learn my… Ready … For a media producer and color guard captain
with a 4.0 GPA … And four. Everything must be neat, organized and in
control. Move, one—oh, wrong one. Go back to center; I’m sorry. While many teenagers worry about who their
next date will be, Crystal worries about who will remember to buy food for her family. However, there are some things lists can’t
control. My greatest concern is, you know … I don’t
know how many more years I have. You know, I have Stage 4 cancer. She’s never gonna see me in a graduation
cap, she’s never gonna see me walk across the stage. I don’t even care what high school it is
anymore. She will just never see me do that. In the U.S., one in seventeen people are diagnosed
with colon cancer. Marilou Cebedo is one of them. Actually, yes, it was a surprise. Because she was so healthy, and she was really
active and all that. She would always walk with me to school. I know that I’m not gonna turn out lucky
this time. No matter what happens, it’s not gonna come
out the way I want it. My greatest concern is me not being around
anymore. You know, who is she gonna talk to? I want to be there for her, which I don’t
know if I could be. Well … it’s like, it’s impossible for
her not to be there, because she was always there. I don’t know how I’m gonna deal with that. In order for Crystal to deal with the uncontrollable,
she keeps herself busy. I think it made me stronger, but not that
anybody could actually notice. It’s kind of like an internal struggle. I think I just kinda deal with it myself. I try to figure things out. I kinda had to grow up a little. Even if you cry about it all day, it’s not
gonna make you any more ready to see her pass away. This is Gina Jove reporting from Wai‘anae
Intermediate School, for HIKI NŌ. Through HIKI NŌ, students get the chance
to explore traditional cultural practices and art forms of the many ethnic groups that
make up Hawai‘i. Some of the practices take a great deal of
stamina and strength. Others can be downright dangerous. Our final story from Maui High School is about
one such practice, and a man who has a great passion for it. Fire knife dancing to me is a game of inches,
because at any given time, you are an inch away from death. Twenty-four-year-old fire knife dancing veteran
Martin Tevaga, also known as Chief Tupai‘i, knows a lot about coming close to death. He has been doing Samoan fire knife dancing
since he was four years old. I think knowing that at any given time I could
get seriously injured is one of the reasons why I do it. It kinda gives me the adrenalin and makes
me want to be better at it every time. I risk my life every single day, trying to
learn a new technique. [CHUCKLE] This passion has helped Tevaga sharpen his
skills. At the World Fire Knife Championship this
year, he placed in the top nine among the world’s best dancers. Practice as much intriguing moves as you can,
and try and be the fastest, and to come with more techniques than anybody else. So, it’s a year-around training, it never
stops. Twirling, throwing and catching the flaming
knife, or nifo oti, Tevaga entertains tourists at the Te Au Moana Luau and at the Polynesian
Village Luau five nights a week. The origin of the fire knife, it used to be
a war weapon, a war club which consisted of shark teeth and a hook at the top. And it was used in battle, and the hook was
used to bring home the heads of the enemies. Because of the passion and the love that I
have for the cultural dance and that sport, I continue to do it. Samoa, Samoa, Samoa! [CHEERS AND DRUMMING] This is Roselyn Domingo from Maui High School,
for HIKI NŌ. I know we’ve only been able to show you
a small fraction of the close to one hundred stories created by students for Season Two
of HIKI NŌ. We hope this retrospective has given you an
idea of the depth and diversity of stories told by Hawai‘i’s young video journalists. Next week, PBS Hawai‘i launches Season Three
of HIKI NŌ, with more schools joining the program, and students continuing to raise
the bar of journalistic excellence. So, stay tuned. You’ll be amazed at how much Hawai‘i students
HIKI NŌ, can do. In closing, we’d like to recognize the talented,
patient and inspiring teachers of HIKI NŌ Season Two. Without their guidance, none of this would
have been possible.

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