What the Heck?
Roses, novels and mimosas on steroids
Coming to a Tower Near You?
What's happening with the Kapono's space in Aloha Tower Marketplace? Word is that David Booth and Rick Schneider of Events International (who've staged plenty of events there, including some upcoming Pro Bowl festivities) are close to inking a deal. Not to reopen as a bar, but as a space to throw private parties and other shindigs.
Phonecoming: "It was like organizing a high school reunion," says Dan Smith, veep of corporate communications for the new Hawaiian Telcom.
The company wanted to reach out to its thousands of retirees and employees lost in downsizing over the last couple of decades, but was unable to get a list from previous owner Verizon.
Instead, the phone company started a sort of alumni association, tracking down former employees to invite to "homecoming lunches" on Kauai, Maui, the Big Island and finally last week on Oahu, where nearly 900 ex-employees jammed the Hilton's Coral Ballroom.
"From the amount of hugging and kissing in the lobby, we knew we'd done the right thing," says Smith.
If you retired from the phone company and didn't get an invite, Smith apologizes. "We didn't exclude you, we just didn't find you."
Flower Power: Men, you may be thinking of Valentine's Day as a distant post-Super Bowl holiday. Talked to Tracie Mukai of Yuri's Flowers on King Street. "Guys are so dumb," she says. "Some never remember it's Valentine's Day until they get to the office that morning. Then they get upset because they can't get what they want, which is always red roses." Her suggestion: Call your florist this week.
Found in Translation: Was talking to Winslow Eliot, the new community relations director for the Honolulu Waldorf School, about how her students were getting a chance to hang art at hip Chinatown venue Red Elephant this coming First Friday.
Eliot let slip that she's romance writer Ellie Winslow, whose novels have been translated into 11 languages and published in 22 countries. Her 1993 book, "The Bright Face of Danger," is still selling well in French translation. "I'm big in France," she says. "Me and Jerry Lewis."
Many Happy Returns: Each year Honolulu adventure photographer Guy Sibilla celebrates his birthday in some remote destination. This month he found himself in Carmelita, Guatemala, population 500 -- close enough to end of nowhere. Sibilla was there gathering horses, mules and guides for a 115-mile jungle trek to an ancient Mayan site named El Mirador.
Suddenly in a nearby field landed a helicopter, out of which popped the president of Guatemala, Oscar Berger. Sibilla ran up to Berger, camera in hand. To get his attention, he told him it was his birthday. "Feliz cumpleaños," said El Presidente. Sibilla had forgotten he was wearing a 10-inch bush knife strapped to his leg until he was tapped on the shoulder by the president's weapon-toting security forces. "I'm lucky they didn't shoot me first," he says.
Name Game: Pacific Business News reporter Kristen Consillio came back to work this week after giving birth to son Jedi. "It was better than Darth Vader, which my husband wanted to name him," she says. Her husband Anthony, a "Star Wars" nut, has a gift for catchy names. His fishing boat maintenance service is called Clean Bottoms.
The Party Life: Care to switch lives with Nancy Novogrod? She's editor-in-chief of Travel+Leisure magazine, which celebrates its 35th anniversary this year -- with 35 parties in luxury resorts all over the globe.
The first of these was at Halekulani last week. Then Novogrod's off to parties in Singapore and Hong Kong. "I may not make all 35," she said sadly. "I may have to be in the office occasionally."
The Halekulani party was a doozie. "The food's incredible," said KITV's Gary Sprinkle on his way to the lamb Wellington.
In from New York was celebrity bartender Dale DeGroff, whipping up a stunning concoction of vodka, Cointreau, champagne and Sicilian blood oranges. Asked what it was, he said, "a mimosa on steroids."
He offered one to KGMB's Guy Hagi. "I hate to say this," said Hagi, sipping water, "but I have to go back to work."
Among the guests were Aloha Airlines' David Banmiller, Kona Village's Ulrich Krauer, HTA's Rex Johnson and former Halekulani chef George Mavrothalassitis.
People kept coming up and congratulating Mavro. "I don't know what for," he said. That afternoon, wife Donna Jung had e-mailed the news around town that Fodor's has just named his restaurant, Chef Mavro, one of the 10 best in the world. Said one of the guests who stopped to congratulate Mavro, "I think your wife just found out you never read her e-mails."
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