What the Heck?
Filming nears on overthrow documentary
Last week, Leah Bernstein of Mountain Apple got calls from both KGMB and KSSK telling her that Kapono Beamer had died. Uncertain it was true, Bernstein phoned the Grammy nominee.
When Beamer answered none of his numbers, she left a message, saying she'd heard he was dead and hoped he wasn't.
An hour and a half later, a perfectly healthy Beamer called back and said, "Actually, I'm feeling much better."
Beamer's off to the Grammies in L.A. tomorrow, excited that Paul McCartney might be there. "Maybe I could strike up a conversation," he says. "We've got something in common. I remember he was rumored to be dead, too."
Last Wednesday, Don Robbs began his 30th season broadcasting UH baseball. He's already done 1,700 games as the Voice of the Rainbows. A couple of radio friends were teasing Robbs about his very veteran status "Maybe," said SportsRadio1420's Chris Hart, "we could give the first 500 kids who come to the ballpark a plastic dinosaur."
Coming Attractions: Filming starts this Friday on Molokai for "Ku'u A'ina Aloha: My Beloved Country," a theatrical-length documentary on the 1893 Overthrow. Heading up the project are Emmy Award-winning local filmmaker Stephanie Castillo and director Meleanna Aluli Meyer.
Alice Walker (yes, the one who wrote "The Color Purple") has signed on as executive producer, sinking $50,000 of her own money in the project.
The cinematographer is Alun Bollinger, who shot scenes for Peter Jackson's "Fellowship of the Rings." And the editor is Vivienne Hilgrove, who worked on the "Unbearable Lightness Of Being" and "Blue Velvet" and edited "Heart Of Sea," the story of the late Rell Sun.
"We're jazzed," says Castillo. "We've got a great team. And we're going to deliver."
At the end of last year, local hip-hop station KDDB (102.7 Da Bomb) suffered an exodus of DJs. Many ended up in Philadelphia's Wired 96.5, where former Da Bomb DJ "Kid" Leo Baldwin is now program director. Baldwin took with him local DJs Sam "The Man" Ambrose and "Hawaiian Ryan" Matsumoto, perhaps best remembered here for his CD, "Saving Ryan's Privates."
Lots of people don't think much of Philly (me, for instance, having spent seven very long years there). So I called Baldwin to see how he was doing. He loves it.
"It's beautiful here, a real city," he said over the phone.
His only regret is not packing a rice cooker. "They don't sell them at Wal-Mart here. Fortunately, my wife has mastered making sticky rice on the stove."
Baldwin tried to get his radio partner, Paul Ogata, to Philly as well. "It was a heck of an offer," says Ogata. "But I just wanted to do stand-up." He moved instead to San Marcos, Calif. "I can't believe it. It's freezing here, less than 50 degrees," he complained over the phone. It was, ironically, a balmy 60 degrees in Philly.
Center of Attention: Out in Ko Olina, Michelle Wie was shooting a Japanese TV commercial, for a health drink called Oronamin C. The lights and cameras drew a large crowd of curious onlookers, many of whom seemed startled that the fuss wasn't over NFL Pro Bowl players, who started arriving at the 'Ihilani Resort in Ko Olina last week.
The Xterra Factor: If you're up early this morning and need a sports fix before the Super Bowl, tune in the Xterra World Championship, filmed in October at Makena, Maui.
It's a grueling roughwater swim, mountain bike race and trail run. France's Nico Lebrun falls down two miles from the finish, breaking his arm. He gets up and wins anyway.
It airs here at 7 a.m. on KGMB. But Xterra CEO Tom Kiely is happy to be airing at noon East Coast time on Super Bowl Sunday. "It guarantees us a 35 percent bigger audience."
Kiely put the first Xterra race together in 1996 at the request of Marsha Weinert, then head of the Maui Tourism Bureau, now Gov. Lingle's tourism liaison.
"When they see me, people say, 'What do you do? Oh, yeah, that little race thing on Maui,'" says Kiely. Actually, Kiely, a former Hyatt Hotel exec, has grown Xterra into 50 races in the United States alone, not mention races worldwide from the Czech Republic to Saipan -- 125 events in 17 countries, with 15 syndicated TV shows a year. Not to mention Xterra bikes, Xterra gear, Xterra sunscreen and Xterra energy bars.
Kiely's operation brings $6 million in TV production revenues alone back to the islands each year. "I try to keep a low profile, but I'm proof that you can grow a global business headquartered in Hawaii."
John Heckathorn's radio show, Heckathorn's Hot Plate, airs at noon Mondays-Thursdays and 1 p.m. Fridays on SportsRadio1420. Reach him at email@example.com