Mike McCartney has been appointed President and Chief Executive Officer for Hawaii Public Television (HPTV). His appointment concludes an extensive search by the board of directors of the Hawaii Public Television Foundation, the governing body for Hawaii Public Television, which became a totally independent public broadcasting station on July 1, 2000.

McCartney’s appointment was announced by HPTF board chair Neil Hannahs. “We thought it essential to find an individual who best combines dedication to the mission of public television, communications skills, commitment to producing programs that showcase our local cultures and values, talent for generating resources and the ability to manage operations,” said Hannahs. He cited McCartney’s “unique set of qualities” as an entrepreneurial television producer as well as his background in public service, fund-raising and management. “He has worked with the grass roots and highest levels of community leadership, with government officials and business executives. Beyond that, HPTF board members were impressed by his passion and energy, qualities that are difficult to capture on paper or to measure,” Hannahs added.

McCartney has served as executive producer and creative consultant for several television productions, including ESPN’s “Golf Hawaii” and “Hawaii Stars,” which he co-founded. “Hawaii Stars,” which has fulfilled the dreams of many a karaoke singer, is one of Hawaii’s longest running, locally produced television shows.

McCartney’s paternal grandparents (Toyama) immigrated to Kohala on the Big Island from Okinawa in the early 1900s. The Castle High alumni earned his bachelor’s degree in biology and physical education from Pacific University in Oregon. He worked as an aide to former state Sen. Charles Toguchi. McCartney and his grandparents are members of Yonashiro Chojin Kai. He is also a member of the Worldwide Uchinanchu Business Group.

McCartney served three terms in the state Senate before being appointed director of the state Department for Human Resources Development.

McCartney said he was honored to have been selected to head Hawaii Public Television. “This is a job I’m really excited about and feel like it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me to work at Hawaii Public Television,” McCartney told Uchinanchu. “It’s a good place to put all of the things that I’ve done in my life into something that’s good. It’s a good mission and purpose.”

McCartney succeeds Don Robbs as head of Hawaii Public Television. Robbs, who elected to step down from the post, will serve as a consultant to the station.

Lisa Wakasugi, Julia Wakasugi, Nadine Nakamatsu, Ryan Nakamatsu and Lynn Miyashiro earned shinjinsho certificates in their study of classical Okinawan uta-sanshin. The exam for shinjinsho was sponsored by the Ryukyu Shimpo newspaper this past summer. The Hawaii students impressed the judges, capturing five of the top 10 spots in the competition.

Lisa, Julia, Nadine and Ryan — all yonsei — are sanshin students of Grant “Sandaa” Murata Sensei, head instructor of the Afuso-ryu Gensei Kai - Hawaii Shibu. Lynn Miyashiro is currently attending the Okinawa Prefectural University of Arts (Geidai) on a one-year scholarship awarded by the Okinawa Prefectural Government. She took a year off from teaching at Waianae Elementary to study the performing arts of Okinawa and has been studying sanshin with Choichi Terukina Sensei only since arriving in Okinawa last March. Terukina Sensei is a noted teacher of the Afuso-ryu style of classical uta-sanshin. Earlier this year he was named a National Living Treasure of Japan in the area of Okinawan sanshin.

Approximately 70 Afuso-ryu students took the shinjinsho test for sanshin proficiency. It is the first of several tests for sanshin proficiency.

Lisa and Julia, who are 20-year-old twin sisters, are also students of Okinawan dance and koto, as is Nadine Nakamatsu, 20. Her brother, Ryan, 17, also takes Okinawan dance lessons.


Drusilla (Akamine) Tanaka has been appointed program director for the Lanakila Multi-purpose Senior Center, a program of Chatholic Charities Elderly Services. In her new post, Tanaka is responsible for coordinating all programs and services at the center and for supporting Lanakila’s various senior clubs, whose membership totals 2,500. She also oversees a staff of four.

Catholic Charities has been contracted by the state to operate the senior center, which is a state facility. Seniors who join the center can enroll in a variety of adult education classes, including sanshin, taisho koto, exercise, music, dance ukulele, crafts, Japanese poetry and calligraphy.

Prior to joining Lanakila on November 1, Tanaka was executive secretary of Club 100, an organization made up of veterans of the 100th Infantry Battalion. She also held positions at Hawaii Baptist Academy, the Hawaii Conference of the United Church of Christ and the UH College of Tropical Agriculture, among others. Tanaka volunteers with Hospice Hawaii and is an active member of the Sons and Daughters of the 100th Infantry Battalion. She is also a member of the Hawaii Nikkei History Editorial Board, which produced the book, “Japanese Eyes, American Heart: Personal Reflections of Hawaii’s World War II Nisei Soldiers.” Tanaka is a member of Haebaru Club and is involved in the club’s cultural exchange homestay program with students form Okinawa.

A graduate of Kaimuki High School and the University of Hawaii at Manoa, she is married to Stanley Tanaka and has three adult children. She is the daughter of Haebaru Club members Bernard and Jeanette (Arashiro) Akamine.





Shinjinsho certificate recipients with their sensei. Front row, from left: Lisa Wakasugi, Nadine Nakamatsu and Julia Wakasugi. Back row: Ryan Nakamatsu and Grant Murata Sensei.