ACHP 106 Success Story


Former Navy Base Preserves Native Hawaiian Heritage, Military History

Oahu, Hawaii

The Story

For centuries, Native Hawaiians have resided in a geographic region known as the ‘Ewa Plain, part of the traditional Hawaiian land division of Honolulu. Hawaiian oral history associates this area with some of the earliest migrations from East Polynesia. The ‘Ewa Plain is also known for its natural and economic history in the 19th and 20th centuries. In 1795, it became known as “Barbers Point” after Captain Henry Barber’s ship grounded on the nearby coral reef. Naval Air Station (NAS) Barbers Point was commissioned in 1942 and became an important air center, technical training school, and fortification in World War II, manned by 12,000 sailors. During the Korean War, it was used as a critical staging area and would later become home to the Rainbow Fleet—a squadron used to track Soviet submarines. Today, the vestiges of early Hawaiian stacked coral dwellings and agricultural features, religious structures, modified sinkholes, and trail markers still exist. Traditional Hawaiian burials may also be present. In addition, 20th century habitation, ranching, and sisal cultivation sites are located alongside World War II military components.

The Project

NAS Barbers Point was recommended for closure in 1993 by the Base Closure and Realignment Commission. That same year, the state of Hawaii established the Barbers Point NAS Redevelopment Commission, which prepared a redevelopment plan to guide reuse of the property.

The 106 process

The Navy, the federal agency carrying out this project, was responsible for conducting the Section 106 process under the National Historic Preservation Act. Section 106 requires that federal agencies identify historic properties and assess the effects of the projects they carry out, fund, or permit on those properties. Federal agencies also are required to consult with parties that have an interest in the fate of the property when adverse effects are likely to ensue. The Navy completed consultation with the Hawaii State Historic Preservation Of cer (SHPO) and other consulting parties in 1998 and in 2010 regarding the base closure and land transfer. The Navy concluded the Section 106 process in both instances with a nding of “no historic properties adversely affected” provided certain conditions were met, including placing historic preservation covenants on particular transferred properties to ensure future preservation and appropriate treatment. Restrictive covenants place land use controls on each property and require consultation with the SHPO for activities that would potentially impact cultural resources. The station was closed in 1999, and in 2002, redevelopment responsibility was transferred from the Redevelopment Commission to the Hawaii Community Development Authority (HCDA). The Navy retained 1,055 acres for military housing and support facilities and conveyed 334 acres to HCDA and another 819 acres to other state agencies. The HCDA partnered with a nonpro t organization, the Kalaeloa Heritage and Legacy Foundation, to build the Kalaeloa Heritage Park on a portion of the state lands. The park provides public access and interpretation of cultural elements on the site and the broader area. The Navy continues to evaluate its historic properties on the Navy-retained lands, including both cultural and former naval aviation sites.

The Success

When the Navy’s last naval air station in the Hawaiian Islands ended 57 years of service, the Section 106 and base closure processes resulted in the preservation of Native Hawaiian archaeological sites and access to previously restricted cultural sites for Native Hawaiians and the public through development of the Kalaeloa Heritage Park. The Section 106 process and the work of the Kapolei Hawaiian Civic Club led to the identi cation of the Hawaiian cultural presence in the former Navy property. Federal, state, and private agencies partnered with local community groups to create the 77-acre park containing more than 177 relatively undisturbed archaeological features including a heiau (temple) and habitation and agricultural sites. Now the cultural sites at Kalaeloa Heritage Park are being preserved to educate the community on centuries-old Hawaiian cultural traditions and practices, advocate cultural awareness, and maintain an authentic Hawaiian presence in the Kalaeloa area.



John Ka’ahakiule Jury – Cultural Practitioner

02 Kaaha Holua

Ka’aha as we all refer to him graduated from Waianae High School in 1979 and entered the Air Force in 1980 for several years. He is currently employed as a Department of Defense employee with the 735 Air Mobility Squadron, U.S.A.F. at Hickam airfield (Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam). We all know Ka’aha for his deep commitment to Hawaiian culture and passion for making Hawaiian implements and woodworking. We have seen much of his work not necessary to showcase them but as makana. All the things I have seen him make is given away. That is a measure of who he is. That is the person I want you to know.

Ka’aha is much respected for his woodwork in crafting of mea kaua, such as ihe, pahoa, ko’oko’o, kuia, lei ‘o mano, newa and many others. His knowledge in making cordage, for example the weaving of a ma’a or the Hawaiian sling, surpasses all others. He is a master weaver in the construction of a mahiole or helmet. I recently had the privilege of attempting trying out one of his holua sleds although I did not take him up on it.

He is an avid caretaker of cultural landscapes and volunteers to malama many places such as the Na Mea Kupuno in Waialua, Malama Haiku in Kaneohe and of course the Kalaeloa Heritage Park. He participates in the annual Makahiki at places such as Kapuaikaula (Hickam Air Force Base), Waimanalo Makahiki at Bellow Air Force Base, the QLCC Hale Aha, the Makahiki at Punalu’u with Pakui-a-lua.

Ka’aha is one of our extremely diverse Master Cultural Practitioners who will be putting on a workshop on learning how process kukui nut oil from obviously kukui nuts. He learned under the direction of Kumu Alapai Kahuena and will be sharing his knowledge with all of us at the 2nd Annual Kalaeloa Heritage Park Fundraiser Luau.

Article by Shad Kane

Solomon Apio – Master Craftsman

03 Sol at Home 008

Known by many as “Uncle Sol”, Sol Apio would not agree to my description of him as a “Master Craftsman”. So it is my description of him as a master of many cultural practices. He identifies himself as a “master of none and a jack of all trades”. He is a retired Pearl Harbor Marine Machinist but known to all as a Master Craftsman and wood turner.

Although I’ve been to Sol’s house on previous occasions I always have a hard time finding it. However on this occasion it was easy as when I arrived he was in his garage with a face shield operating a huge industrial size power equipment and covered with sawdust. His garage was a collection of many different kinds of industrial size power tools and tons of varieties of raw native woods waiting for talented hands.

It seems every time I go to Sol’s house I learn something new about him and his many talents. I knew he was a Native Hawaiian plant person. I know of his woodwork and as a practitioner of the art of making the foundation of Hawaiian helmets or more correctly known as “mahiole”. However on this occasion Sol showed me some of the holua sleds he recently made. Some large and some small. A small one sitting on a table, a large one suspended from his ceiling and medium sized one made of native wood though still large enough to ride. Nothing surprises me anymore of Sol Apio.

Solomon Apio will be amongst other cultural practitioners sharing their cultural talents with our many supporters and visitors at the 2016 Second Annual Kalaeloa Heritage Park Fundraiser Luau on July 23 at the Kalaeloa Heritage Park. The focus of his presentation will the cultural art of feather helmet or mahiole foundation weaving. In addition he will have on display examples of his woodwork.

Article by Shad Kane

Verna Takashima – Kapa Maker

04 Verna Takashima

Verna Takashima is the sister of Solomon Apio. Cultural traditions seem to run in the Apio family as Sol and Donna’s son Alani Apio is also a woodworker who made an awa bowl or kanoa for this writer some 15 years ago. It is one of his most treasured cultural items that has been used in many awa ceremonies. Verna’s interest in Kapa making is the result of an interesting story. Her brother Sol learned as a result of his volunteer work at Bishop Museum that cultural historian Emerson who was the son of missionaries and an avid Hawaiian language speaker in the 1800s once purchased cultural items from a lady by the name of Kahunaaina that are now part of the museum’s collections. Sol quickly realized that this lady was his grandmother. “Mama” Kahunaaina was a Kapa maker in the 1800s. This discovery led Sol to encourage his sister Verna to take up Kapa making. To both Verna and Sol it appeared to be the natural thing to do in an effort to perpetuate this family tradition.

Verna’s brother Sol got her started by applying his cultural woodworking talent and made all her kapa implements. Today Verna’s kapa are on display at Bishop Museum alongside her grandmother Kahunaaina as part of Emerson’s collections. This is a story that most all cultural practitioners hope that their work is carried on by future generations. It is even more meaningful when it passes and is carried on by future generations of a family.

Verna Takashima will be conducting a kapa making demonstration at our 2016 Second Annual Kalaeloa Heritage Park Fundraiser Luau on July 23 at the Kalaeloa Heritage Park. Come and share in this family tradition.

Article by Shad Kane

Eric Matanane – Cultural Practitioner

05 Eric

I have known Eric for many years. When I retired from the police department in November of 2000 I took a short break and then thought I should get back to work. I decided to take a position as a School Safety Manager as that seemed to be a job a lot of retired police officers were taking at that time. I accepted a position as a School Safety Manager at Waianae Intermediated School. On the first day of work I met Eric Matanane, a School Councilor. As most policemen I look at everyone I first meet with an inquisitive eye. I found Eric to be an unassuming local guy. I soon found out otherwise. This is the person I want to introduce you to.

At that time I was very involved in the preservation and protection of traditional cultural landscapes and their associated watersheds. During breaks or while I was patrolling the campus or just taking a post and watching students going from class to class I had a chance to talk to Eric. I soon found he had a similar passion and I began to share much of what I was involved in outside of school work. That was the start of not just a lasting friendship but a partnership in a shared interest that continues to this day. The preservation, protection and care of cultural landscapes. It started with Palehua and Palikea in the Waianae Mountains, Pu’uokapolei, Pu’u ‘O Makakilo and today the Kalaeloa Heritage Park.

He has taken this interest far beyond what I would have thought when we first met 16 years ago. In addition to all the cultural practices he has adopted along the way today he is considered amongst only a few an expert kauhale builder. His Kumu is Francis Palani Sinensi of Hana Maui. He has participated in the construction of our Kauhale at the Kalaeloa Heritage Park. Similar kauhale construction projects at the Lyons Arboretum, Kawainui, Ka’ala Farms, UH West O‘ahu and many others.

In addition he finds time to water plants of a 4 acre interpretive parcel of the Kalaeloa Heritage Park by hand. He organizes, coordinates and supervises community workdays at the Kalaeloa Heritage Park. He assists in organizing, coordinating and conducting the Palehua Nakoa’s participation in annual Makahikis at Kapuaikaula Makahiki (Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam), Waimanalo, Royal Hawaiian Hotel and others.  In addition to all of this he cares for his bed-ridden son.

On Saturday, July 23 Eric Matanane will be conducting a workshop at the 2nd Annual Kalaeloa Heritage Park Fundraiser Luau. A fundamental traditional work equipment or implement used in ancient times in the traditional construction of a kauhale is a log tripod. It is used to support and debark large logs in the construction of kauhale. Eric will share this cultural practice as part of his workshop with all of us on July 23. Come and get to know him and perhaps you will learn that you may have a similar cultural interest.

Article by Shad Kane

Gary Cera – KHP Volunteer Docent


These are special times, that take special people, to achieve special goals. One such person is Gary Cera. I think I met Gary a little over a year ago. It doesn’t matter. It seems like I knew him forever. Extraordinary people are like that. This is the Gary I want you to know, a person you will never forget. You will on the day you come to visit us at the Kalaeloa Heritage Park. Gary is one of our extraordinary docents.

Gary is a little younger that I am. We’ll let you guess when you come to visit us at the Kalaeloa Heritage Park. He was born in Hilo of a Hawaiian mother and a Filipino father. Both parents now deceased were sugar, coffee and pineapple laborers. He is 7th of 11 brothers and sisters. The family moved from place to place on Hawaii Island and they eventually moved to O’ahu where Gary graduated from Leilehua High School in 1967. That year he joined the Marine Corps and served as a tank crewman after recruit school. He served in Vietnam during the time just following the Tet Offensive which were challenging times. Managed to return home unscathed. Interesting though he was discharged honorably in May 1970 same date as yours truly. We must have passed each other in the hallway as we were walking out. He from the Marines and I from the Navy. He in a tank, and me in a boat. While in the Marine Corps Gary accumulated a number of decorations; in addition to the National Defense Service Medal he received the Good Conduct Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Viet Nam Combat Action Ribbon and the Viet Nam Campaign Medal. Subsequently attended Honolulu Community College where he learned Fabrication/Welding. He served in the Hawaii National Guard as a weekend warrior while working as a Technician. After his retirement Gary joined the Kapolei Veterans Center and this is where I met him. I was asked by a fellow veteran and member of the Kapolei Veterans Center to come and give them a presentation on a project we were involved in on the former Barbers Point Naval Air Station. That meeting resulted in a site tour at the Kalaeloa Heritage Park for a group of veterans from the center and a number of veterans who became a part of our volunteer program.

Gary Cera was at the front of the line. It is easy to say that Gary is a member of our volunteer program but not as easy to speak to the level of his participation, dedication, commitment and passion to help. As difficult as it is to explain let me try in respect for his level of commitment and dedication. It takes an enormous amount of sacrifice of one’s free time to commit as Gary has. One cannot fully appreciate what he does unless you do it yourself. We have no irrigation at the park although we have approximately 4 acres of Native Hawaiian plants and trees growing. We have to haul 2,000 gallons of water a week and store in 40 water totes placed strategically around the park. Gary hand waters the 4 acres of plants that most often takes 3 hours when done alone. In addition he is the only volunteer who hand weeds 4 acres by constantly squatting down and standing up removing weeds by the roots. I can’t. This is only a small part of his contributions to the things that we are trying to achieve at the park.

In addition to all of this Gary is one of our docents. In the amount of time that Gary has been with us he is like a sponge. There is nothing more we can share with him. In the time you spend with him and listening to all his stories, history of the park it is hard for one imagine that he has been with us for only a little over a year. When he is not conducting a site tour he is a very quiet, giving, humble, hard working, unassuming kind of person. I can say that we could not do what we do at the park if it was not for Gary.

These are special times, that take special people, to achieve special goals. Gary is one such person…… will find him at the park all day on Fridays.

Article by Shad Kane

Native Plants of KHP: Naio


Name: Naio

(Myoporum stellatum)

Description: A rare shrub with fuzzy leaves only found naturally in Kalaeloa and Nānākuli, O‘ahu. The more common naio, Myoporum sandwicense, is found throughout the main Hawaiian Islands.

Best Growing Conditions: Full sun; water once a week until established and then only during drought (Culliney & Koebele 1999).

Interesting Facts: Naio (Myoporum sandwicense; maybe, M. stellatum) was a valuable wood in old Hawai‘i, used for net gauges, hale posts and framing (Krauss 1993). Near the end of the ‘iliahi trade (early 1840s), the fragrant wood was sometimes past off as sandalwood. However, the Chinese quickly realized the deception and the plant acquired the unflattering name, bastard or false sandalwood (Degener 1984). More information about naio can be found at:

Text & photograph by Bruce P Koebele

West O‘ahu Veterans Center


by Sean Tommy Scott

The Vet Center Program was established in 1979, when congress recognized that Vietnam era vets were still experiencing readjustment problems. Currently, there are over 300 Vet Centers across the United States and in the Territories of the United States. On Oahu, the Vet Centers are located at Kapiolani and Kapolei. Let us introduce you to the West Oahu Vet Center (WOVC). It was opened up in 2012 and is located in Kapolei, HI.

The WOVC is a place where veterans, active duty service members, and family members of those who have served in a war zone, can come for readjustment counseling for a wide range of services. They have individual and group counseling, family counseling, bereavement counseling for family members of service members that die while on active duty, military sexual trauma counseling, substance abuse referrals, employment assistance, VA benefits explanation and referral, and screening and referrals for medical and mental health issues. The WOVC also has a Mobile Vet Center that provides community outreach throughout the Island of Oahu, conducting VA presentations, readjustment counseling, and to service and assist vets and active duty service members. The WOVC outreach team had connected with Kalaeloa Heritage Park(KHP) while conducting their outreach early in 2015.

The partnership established between the KHP and the WOVC started when two Veterans from the WOVC, who were already volunteers at the park, invited a group of Vets from the WOVC to the KHP for a site tour. When this connection was made, the vets were drawn to the park because of the military history woven into its ancient landscapes around the Kuaalakai trail. Shortly after the word got around the WOVC about KHP, more volunteers took interest. Currently, there are approximately seven veterans who have become volunteers at the KHP.

These volunteers have teamed up with other park staff and together have provided much needed volunteer work throughout the park. Some of the tasks they preform are assisting with the watering of native Hawaiian plants, weed whacking, clearing of the Keawe trees, assisting in hauling water and filling up the water tanks around the park, conducting security checks, and severing to give private and small tours. If that is not enough, some of these veterans also provide the park with other resources. Such as networking with other community organizations to spread the word about KHP. The word has gotten around to Hawaii’s National Guard, Active Duty forces, and Veteran Service Organizations like Team Rubicon, Wounded Warrior Project, Mission Continues, and Team Red White and Blue, and we are not even done yet.

The West Oahu Vet Center is honored to be a partner with the Kalaeloa Heritage Park. WOVC looks forward to continue to contribute as a part of the Kapolei community in restoring this historic gem and to spread the word of the history enriched with culture that can only be experienced by walking being at the park.

KHP Volunteer Docents: Seann “Tommy“ Scott

The Kalaeloa Heritage and Legacy Foundation want our friends and partners to get to know our volunteer docents. We want to introduce them and their stories to you over the next several issues of this newsletter. Amongst these people who give much of themselves in sharing the history of the heritage park is Seann “Tommy” Scott.

Tommy grew up in Waipahu and is currently in his 50s. He is a retired Army Combat Veteran and also a volunteer at the Kapolei Vet Center. His father served 10 years in the Air Force and during those years while his dad was stationed at Hickam their family spent many wonderful times camping at the Nimitz Officers Beach cottages at the former Barbers Point Naval Air Station. Little did Tommy know that 40 years later he would be traveling that same road visiting a little known ancient village lost in time beneath the kiawe on a former military base.

It was many years later while volunteering at the Kapolei Vets Center when a friend asked if he wanted to go on a site tour of the Kalaeloa Heritage Park in Kalaeloa. On the day of the tour he was greeted at the park by a volunteer docent he later came to call “Uncle Shad”. After the routine introductions and traditional chants everyone found their way to a traditional kauhale which served as a gathering place for visitors. Expecting a recitation on only Hawaiian culture he found myself traveling through time and an evolution of many histories. Of travel and challenges experienced by these early visitors to this place. Of how they eventually saw themselves other than their place of origin. How they lived a unique subsistence lifestyle unlike anywhere else in the whole world. Where water traveled underground. Farming was underground and in some cases people lived underground.

He learned that it was not just a Hawaiian history but a Tahitian past. It was a story of travel and migrations. No different than today. In recent times cattle ranching where old western cowboy barbed wire can still found secured to fence post, of sisal farming, of sugar, of trains and lastly a military base. Where subsequent to December 7 an amphibious landing was expected at this very location. Evidence of that can be found in the manner of military defense construction in effort to direct an advancing amphibious assault into areas of fire.

What especially captivated Tommy was the strong spiritual presence associated with the park and it was this aspect that brought him back many times when he finally made the big decision to become a part of it. Tommy is now a part of all of us. Because of Tommy we now have a strong military veterans presence which is only fitting in keeping with its military past. Today many of our volunteers and visitors at the Kalaeloa Heritage Park are Combat Veterans. One of our partners is the Kapolei Vets Center. In closing this is who he is. Our friend and volunteer docent Seann “Tommy” Scott. You may one day have the privilege of hearing him and these stories of the ancient past of a place once known as Kualaka’i.


Moving STEM Education Forward: Cultivating Culture & Building Community Connections

By Hope Malulani Espinda (CKCA K-12 STEM Resource Teacher)

STEM education integrates the study of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) by using scientific inquiry and engineering design as unifying processes. STEM also emphasizes innovation and the development of problem-solving, critical thinking, and collaboration skills. The 17 Campbell Kapolei Complex Area (CKCA) schools are moving STEM education forward via Project Lead the Way, a national non-profit organization that is the leading provider of STEM programs. PLTW implementation began in most of the CKCA elementary schools last school year, 2014-2015. The 5 secondary schools (ʻEwa Makai Middle, ʻIlima Intermediate, Kapolei Middle, Kapolei High, and Campbell High) started PLTW this school year and will continue to add more courses into the various pathways: Engineering, Biomedical Science and Computer Science. All 17 CKCA schools will be implementing PLTW next school year.

The Learning Coalition has provided a grant that will fund collaboration among Pacific American Foundations’ Hawaii Institute of Knowledge and Innovation (HIKI), Project Lead the Way (PLTW), and the CKCA schools. The project will cultivate a culture-based context and inspire innovative practices that meet the evolving needs of students and teachers. The PLTW/HIKI Project will be lead by Herb Lee Jr. (PAF Executive Director), Kapono Ciotti (HIKI Director), Project Director Lynn Fujioka (HI FusionED), and Cheryl Lupenui (The Leader Project). The project will focus on creating resources to supplement the PLTW curriculum so that our 21st century students can connect to the ‘āina and build relationships with the communities and places in which they live as they work on their PLTW activities and projects.

I am very excited about the PLTW/HIKI project and look forward to our partnership with Shad Kane. I visited Kalaeloa Heritage Park three times so far and there is always something new to see, to hear and to learn. Look at the image below on the left: what do you see? What story is behind and within those ti leaves? I would have thought that it was just another bunch of ti leaves if I didn’t listen to Shad’s telling of its significance. Look at the image below on the right: What do I see? Thatʻs me with Shad Kane after my first tour of the area on September 16, 2015 ~ words can not adequately describe just how excited and connected I felt or how proud I was to stand amongst the remaining sites of the ancient Hawaiians and to know that I was with someone who knows and is sharing the moʻolelo.


I’m looking forward to learning more about Kalaeloa Heritage Park and other historic places in the community that are so rich in culture and full of moʻolelo waiting to be told. Mahalo nui, Shad, for all the work you’re doing to connect us to the past, present and future of Hawaiʻi by preserving the historical sites of Kalaeloa Heritage Park and the moʻolelo of Hawaiʻi.

ʻAʻohe pau ka ‘ike i ka hālau ho‘okahi.
All knowledge is not learned in just one school.
[One can learn from many sources.]

Please feel free to contact me at (808) 689-9808 or if you have any questions about the HIKI/PLTW Project or STEM. Go to HIDOE STEM to learn more about STEM in our public schools in Hawaiʻi.