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Monday, June 28, 1999



NEIGHBORS

Aiea girl, 7, wins national
design contest—again

By Rod Ohira
Star-Bulletin

Tapa

Iolani School student Tiana Bohner is a two-time national award-winning artist at age 7.

"I can't believe I won again," said Tiana, who submitted the winning design in her age group for the second straight year in the "Expressions from Hallmark" greeting card contest.

Info Box Her colorful, 99-cent original greeting card, which features a fish design inspired by a visit last summer to the Maui aquarium, will be available in stores next month.

Tiana's winning entry last year featured dinosaurs.

Tiana and her parents -- Rosalyn and James Bohner of Aiea -- recently returned from their second straight visit to Hallmark's offices in Kansas City, Mo., where she received her $500 prize.

The Bohners will be taking a bonus trip this year to Crayola manufacturer Binney & Smith's offices in Pennsylvania, where Tiana will receive a second $500 award.

In addition, the contest sponsors are awarding Iolani School a grant of $500 for Tiana's achievements.

"She's just creative and loves to draw in her spare time," Roslyn Bohner said of her only child. "She's been doing it since she was 2."

Bohner says her daughter has never had formal art training.

"Color crayons and markers were her baby sitters," she added. "When she was young I'd tell her to draw whenever I was busy."

Tiana, who helped raise funds for Easter Seals by autographing about 500 of her 1999 award-winning cards at Taste of Honolulu over the weekend, said she'd like to someday be a doctor and artist.

Tapa

Robert "Lopaka" Hoopii left the Honolulu Fire Department last year and moved his family to Magna, Utah.

But a higher-paying job could not make up for what they left behind, and after two months Robert returned to Hawaii with his wife, Jennifer, and four children, ages 4 through 9.

The 37-year-old Hoopii, who attended Kamehameha Schools and Brigham Young University-Hawaii, is back with the Fire Department, where he has 10 years of service.

Hoopii, assigned to the Waikiki station ladder company, wrote a song, "Come on Home," about the Utah experience.

"There's a line in the song -- 'Folks can be colder than the weather sometimes' -- that says a lot," Hoopii said. "People there couldn't even pronounce the names of my kids at their school.

"We just missed the family values of Hawaii, the Hawaiian music and food -- things you couldn't get up there. I'm glad we're back."

"Come on Home" is one of six Hoopii compositions on a recently released CD titled "E Hua" by Loea, a musical group he has been playing with for 2 years.

The group also features Kalei Davis, a firefighter assigned to the Kuakini station, and Clarence Brown, a trolley driver.

"I grew up playing music and it's still a hobby," Hoopii said. "A lot of firefighters have part-time jobs, but I want to keep music a hobby.

"For me it's a good stress reliever."

Tapa

Frank Lorusso went to the historic Kahuku Sugar Mill with hopes of renting space for a second hair salon and ended up with a restaurant.

"They had a little place for rent where I was going to open another barber shop," said the 57-year-old Lorusso, owner of the Haircut Store in Laie.

"I saw a bigger space and said, 'This would make a great restaurant.' They made me an offer on the restaurant I couldn't refuse."

So while Lorusso's daughter, Robyn, operates the hair salon, he and wife Jeanette have been running The Spaghetti Shack for the past three months. The takeout-only eatery boasts the "best Italian food on the North Shore." Lorusso is pure Italian and is using the recipes of his late mother, Lena. Jeanette Lorusso, who is French-English, does the cooking while her husband works the counter.

"None of the restaurants out here have made it because of overhead and labor costs," Frank Lorusso said. "We do strictly takeout. If you want to eat here, there's (a little) space." Lorusso said he offers good "price, quantity and quality." His Spaghetti Shack investment is already "starting to pay off," he said.

Prices range from $3.95 to $6.95. The Spaghetti Shack also sells sub sandwiches and desserts.

Lorusso, a Boston native, was an accountant for 15 years but "got tired of doing taxes," so he became a barber in 1979. He operated salons in California from 1981 to 1986 before moving to Hawaii, where he opened his Laie salon 12 years ago.



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