HSTA - Retired
1200 Ala Kapuna St., Honolulu, HI 96819
Oahu District
Hawai`i District
Maui County District
Kauai District
Moloka`i Community Club
Lana'i Community Club
West Hawai`i Community Club
NEA-R Life Membership
Nine Steps to a Happy Retirement
Returning to Work
Medicare Part B Reimbursements
HSTA/HSTA-Retired Member Benefits

West Hawai`i Community Club

President:          Jo Ann Iwane
Vice President:  Virginia Halliday
Secretary:          Kathy Staton
Treasurer:          Dawn Gambone
Council Members:    Fran Akona
                                   Virginia Halliday
                                   Colleen Wallis
                                   Fran Akona
                                   Eunice Saito
                                   Jean DeMercer-Breese
ex-officio:       Kim Springer
                         Cynthia (Niyati) Sallee-Brown


  West Hawaii Community Club 2017-2018 Calendar


Friday, October 6, 2017:  Love Family Tropical Fruit Farm Tour, 10 AM to 1 PM, lunch at Teshima's. NO HOST LUNCH


Friday, December 8, 2017:  Christmas Baskets Project at Colleen Wallis' Art Studio, 10 AM -1 PM. Bring a dish for a potluck lunch.


Thursday, January 25, 2018: HSTA-Retired West Hawaii Community Club Annual Meeting, 9 AM -1 PM, West Hawaii Civic Center, HMSA Blue Zone Guest speaker.  Lunch is provided.


Thursday, March 8, 2018:  Kailua Candy Company Tour, 10 AM -1 PM. NO HOST LUNCH



Kona Coffee Living History Farm in Captain Cook
Preserved by the Kona Historical Society

Retirees Turned Book Makers
On a warm day in sunny Ocean View, under the exceptional tutelage of fiber artisan Susan O’Malley, fifteen HSTA-R/WHCC members made elegant soft-cover books using a Japanese stab book binding technique.  Participants had a difficult time choosing their kits from the wide array of colorful and attractive options.

Everyone was thoroughly impressed with the attention Susan paid to the smallest detail, making the learning process simple, organized, stress-free, and successful.Little paper bags were even taped to each desk space for disposal of trash.  Susan gave mini-demonstrations and circulated with her assistant Deedee Bodine to offer tips, encouragement, and warm praise.

Participants diligently following instructions

The proud bookmakers


The finished products

Deep concentration in scoring, folding, aligning, gluing, sewing, etc. was only interrupted by loud bangs as hammers met awls to create holes in the pages and covers.  Everyone gained confidence that they could independently repeat the project using the written instructions in the kit.  Each distinct and classy book went home in a cellophane bag, giving it the look of a stationery store item.  It was certainly worth the long, winding drive to and from Ocean View.

Mahalo and best wishes to Susan on her upcoming workshops, the exciting classes she’ll teach in Italy, and her long-term goal to write a book for students on the life of Prince Jonah Kuhio.  She will continue to impress and inspire.



WHCC Kicks Off Holiday Season

Thirteen members of West Hawaii Community Club met at the mayor’s conference room at West Hawaii Community Center on Friday, December 4, 2015, to get into the swing of the holidays.  Under the tutelage of retired art teacher, author, and conservationist Colleen Wallis, everyone made a Christmas wreath using a foam core and pre-prepared supplies or trims from their personal collections. 


Colleen’s workshop preparations began months ago when she collected and dried autograph tree leaves and flower pods.  She drilled holes into the pods as well as pine cones, so they could be strung and mounted on the wreaths.   She even created her own version of large wire needles, using an old coffee bag needle as a template.


There was no limit to creativity and experimentation.  Workshop participants had a choice of a wide array of natural material from dried plant products, sprigs of bay leaves, macadamia nut branches, and protea blossoms to store-bought ribbons, bows, and Christmas trimmings and trinkets.   The result was an attractive assembly of unique wreaths which ranged from simple, sophisticated, and whimsical to “blingy.”

The gathering ended with admiration, praise, and a sense of accomplishment for all the women.  Volunteers provided salads and munchies for a delicious lunch to which some grateful county workers were invited, because they praised the finished products J. 

The group is grateful to President Jo Ann Iwane and Vice President Virginia Halliday for their leadership and facilitation and to Colleen for ensuring that custom-made wreaths would put member homes in the holiday spirit. 

WHCC Tour of West Hawaii Explorations Academy

         On October 22, a dozen WHCC members toured West Hawaii Explorations Academy, one of the first public charter schools in the state, which is located at the Natural Energy Lab Hawaii Authority at Keahole.  The campus is located on the same street as NELHA’s Visitor Center near the entrance from Queen K Hwy.  It relocated from its original spot near the ocean, which serviced about 50 high school students in its infancy. 

         There are currently over 280 middle and high schoolers.  In keeping with the school’s philosophy of student-centered learning, the one-and-a-half hour tour was conducted by two articulate and knowledgeable seniors.   An interesting observation is that the village raising WHEA students is not defined by its geographic location on lava terrain.  Student mentors, partners, and contacts extend far beyond the Kona community.  Even NASA expertise has been

tapped.  STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) has meaningful applications.  One student project provides prosthetic devices for two children on the mainland.  Self-directed learners are nurtured by 20 plus faculty and staff members.  

         The group met at Fumi’s Kitchen in Kailua for lunch.  An appetizer of tempura French fries was a first for almost everyone in attendance.  

         An enlightening and delicious day was enjoyed thanks to arrangements made by WHCC President Jo Iwane.


WHEA Co-Director Curtis Muraoka giving the school’s history


Student in STEM Lab explaining the workings of a commercial and a student-made 3-D printer


Senior Anuhea narrating an Aloha Kai tour at the shark and touch tanks



In the touch tank a vibrant starfish donated by one of WHEA’s many community partners


Problem-based learning is not restricted to marine science projects, as this Mars robot site depicts


An octopus, a resident in a glass tank, whose neighbor in another tank sequestered in a hollow tile cement block


Senior Brieanna holding a specimen from the refrigerator which houses many unidentified species discovered in the ocean depths


Tented area for large and small group lectures/assemblies



If you are looking for a unique place on the island to take visitors or even your family, consider Hamakua Mushrooms in Laupahoehoe.  After a tour and tasting on Friday, September 5, 2014, some HSTA-R members and their guests have added it to their list of places-to-go-to.  The facility is situated in a beautiful spot overlooking the ocean.

We regret that five retirees who looked forward to the tour had to cancel their reservations due to unforeseen circumstances.  Twenty-four people from Kona, Kohala, Waimea, and Hamakua started the tour outside and were told that selected varieties of mushroom are grown in jars and a medium made of eucalyptus sawdust, wheat bran and ground corn cobs.  Unlike other mushrooms grown in manure in the dark, Hamakua mushrooms like light and a sterile, CO2-controlled environment.

Inside the facility participants viewed an interesting video narrated by owner Bob Stanga, the helicopter pilot turned farmer.   Viewing windows allowed us to see into an incubation room, a worker packing ali’i mushrooms, and a tray of pioppini mushrooms in the early stage of growth.  Unfortunately it was not a harvesting day.

Learning continued using the sense of taste during a cooking demonstration and a sampling of items made with mushrooms.   Imagine the nutrient-rich mushrooms as ingredients in lilikoi and mango butter, cookies, brownies, lavosh, tea, soap bars, doggie treats, etc.

Fresh mushrooms were available for purchase along with a wide assortment of intriguing goodies from the gift shop.  We felt good supporting this novel agricultural venture that has some twenty local employees and strong business partnerships   Hamakua Mushrooms can meet the demand only within the state, so it does not market outside of Hawaii.

Admission is charged, and tour reservations are required.  A chef’s house is on the property, and wedding and party packages are available.  For more information check out www.hamakuamushrooms.com .


HSTA-R West Hawaii Community Club

Excursion to Hualalai Regency

Friday, October 4, 2013

Hualalai Regency pulled out all the stops for 16 HSTA-R members from Waimea, Kohala, and Kona.  They were treated to a surprise complimentary snack, drinks, and lunch before touring the beautiful retirement facility.  Upon departure, everyone received a shopping bag, pen, box of chocolate candy, and a folder of information.  Residents can live at HR for an average of $99 per day, which includes all meals, weekly housekeeping service, and a long list of amenities.  HR’s parent company is working on plans for a facility near Hilo Medical Center as well as one on Maui.  For more information, go to www.regencyhualalai.com



Mahalo to WHCC President JoAnn Iwane for arranging the excursion!



The West-Hawaii Community Club met for "Pupus with Patti" at the lovely home of retiree and professional chef, Patti Kimball, on Friday, December 14th.  Patti demonstrated several easy to make and delicious pupus using lots of vegetables and other healthy ingredients.  Everyone got into the action to help make the pupus. We shared our own favorite pupu dishes for lunch.  In attendance were:  Karen Nakashima, Janet Okimoto, Eunice Saito, Kikuyo Karimoto, Margaret Fuchino, Puanani Wong, Ellen Berning, Cheri Heard, Virginia Halliday, Karen Johnston, Colleen Wallis, and Jo Ann Iwane.

Welcome to Waimea!




WHCC members, family, friends, and HSTA-R Hawaii Island Chapter President Niyati Brown stepped back in time through paniolo country on September 26 at Anna Ranch Heritage Center in Waimea.  The rolling video and educational tour brought to life the amazing grit, foresight, wisdom, and flamboyance of Anna Perry-Fiske, known as “The First Lady of Ranching” and “Queen of Pa’u Riders.”  Anna left indelible marks in the economy and culture of the community and state.  The hundred-acre ranch maintains a herd of ten cattle cross-bred from the Charolais and Charbray stocks she imported.

Participants (from Paauilo through Kealakekua) also walked the colorful gardens and Discovery Trail or chatted with the center’s blacksmith and took advantage of the lunch and shopping venues in town.

Craft Making Project



The HSTA-R West Hawaii Community Club met on Friday, MAy 4th, in the multipurpose room at Central Kona Union Church for a craft making project led by Karen Nakashima.  Retirees learned to make colorful Kleenex box covers with very little sewing - a boon for members like Jo Ann Iwane who do NOT like to sew! We were all proud of our finished products and enjoyed a hearty sandwich potluck afterwards.  In attendance were Kathy Staton, Eunice Saito, Janet Okimoto, Kikuyo Karimoto, Karen Nakashima, Colleen Wallis, and Jo Ann Iwane. The WH-CC Council will meet on Monday, July 23, at 9:00 at Denny's restaurant to plan for the 2012-2013 club activities.

How to Make Beautiful Ti-Leaf Lei and Ti-Leaf Roses
Learning with Merna Izawa

The WH-CC met on a beautiful Kona morning at the lovely home of Kathy Staton to learn to make ti-leaf lei from Merna Izawa, a native Hawaiian lei maker from South Kona, who was assisted by her husband, Takeo "Uki" Izawa.  She patiently taught Patti Kimball, Virginia Halliday, Eunice Saito, Margaret Fuchino, Kikuyo Karimoto, Kathy Staton, and Jo Ann Iwane how to make beautiful ti-leaf lei and ti-leaf roses as well.  With Merna's help, we were all able to create our own lei to give to family and friends.  We enjoyed a delicious salad potluck afterwards.



"Teaching Today for Hawaii's Tomorrow"