What the Heck?
Lawmakers 'make A' for fundraiser
Ran into city Prosecutor Peter Carlisle at the Fort Street Mall McDonald's. While waiting for his breakfast, he confirmed that, yes, he's running for Ed Case's congressional seat, as a Republican. "It's not as much fun as putting away bad guys," he says. "Everyone cheers when you do that. But it's my chance to do public service on a bigger scale."
Politics Takes Center Stage: Last Monday, the Democratic members of the state House threw a fundraiser at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. Sound boring? Wasn't.
House Majority Leader Marcus Oshiro, who's done local theater, gathered the freshman class of legislators together and said, essentially, "Hey, kids, let's put on a show."
The fledging legislators hated the idea, says Oshiro, until he assured them that he could "make A" with the best of them.
That he did, kicking off the evening dancing as a hula girl, in a pink wig, while Upcountry Maui Rep. Kyle Yamashita, wearing a muscle shirt, sounded a conch shell.
Oshiro somehow got Rep. Josh Green, an M.D., to dress up in a clown suit and juggle. Since Big Island Rep. Clift Tsuji is pushing for coqui frog eradication, he ended up singing "Rainbow Connection" dressed as a frog. Waipahu Rep. Rida Cabanilla, also in frog costume, danced.
Mililani Rep. Ryan Yamane brought down the house by imitating "American Idol" loser William Hung, singing "She Bangs!" complete with frantic dance moves. The audience waved its napkins and cheered.
Party head Brickwood Galuteria emceed the event. How did the veteran entertainer rate the show? "It was cute," he says. "But I told them they better run hard for re-election. They need their day jobs."
Ups and Downs: Ruth Limtiaco of the Limtiaco Co. was in the elevator of the Hawaii Times building when the elevator phone rang. "Hell," she thought, "I better pick it up."
On the line from Chicago was Fred Fallin, who thought he was calling a number to order Edgy Lee's documentary, "Waikiki: In the Wake of Dreams."
Limtiaco offered to help. Since the phone was connected at knee level, Limtiaco had to crouch to talk. She was chatting away when elevator reached the first floor and the door opened. "There were people waiting. They all looked at me like I was crazy," she says.
Calling Fallin back from her office, Limtiaco realized that he was a noted ukulele player, collector and historian, with strong Hawaii ties. Limtiaco just happened to be putting together a benefit concert to celebrate the 90th anniversary of ukulele maker Kamaka Hawaii.
Fallin hopped on a plane and performed at the benefit last weekend, with the likes of Jake Shimabukuro, Auntie Genoa Keawe and Ho'okena. He did a smash hit from 1916, the year Kamaka was founded, called "When Old Bill Bailey Plays the Ukulele Down in Honolulu Town."
Precious Pearl: Construction has already begun in Ala Moana Center, in the area under Macaroni Grill. What's coming? A luxury club/restaurant called Pearl, which promises to have a Cadillac Escalade to shuttle patrons from the high-end condos going up around Kakaako.
Two Tough Guys: Paling around town have been actor Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa and boxing champ Brian Viloria. What do the film star and the flyweight champ have in common? Tagawa's interested in martial arts and healing. Viloria's planning on pursuing a film career after boxing.
I asked Viloria which profession he thought beat you up more, show business or boxing, "You get a lot of bumps and bruises in both," he says. "But the ones you get boxing heal faster."
Viloria's waiting for his broken right hand to heal before defending his title. In the meantime, he's off to the Philippines to accept an award and ink some endorsement deals. Tagawa is off to Kazhakstan, to film an action movie for the Russian market.
If the Shoe Fits: For the last 12 years, Nike has been collecting used athletic shoes of every brand and grinding them into sports surfaces -- basketball courts, running tracks, playgrounds.
Never before has an entire city participated in the program. But when Mayor Mufi Hannemann heard about it -- well, look for the kickoff of an islandwide Reuse-a-Shoe campaign in April.
At a publicity shoot last Monday, Niketown's marketing director Keala Peters gave each participant, including the mayor and six schoolkids, a brand-new pair of shoes. Peters had to special-order the mayor's -- he wears a 14-1/2.
Noting the mayor has promised to donate a pair of old shoes, one Nike spokesman said, "Well, that may be enough to cover a whole playground."
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