What the Heck?
Mary Tunta for governor? It's possible
At today's sold-out Damien High School luau, headliner Frank De Lima (Damien '67) will announce that Mary Tunta is running for governor. Tutu Tunta is, of course, De Lima in drag. (Oh, you remember, Four Tutu Tutu Tutu.)
As himself, De Lima has run for governor three or four times in the past, so this year he's giving Tunta a shot. We're not saying he's Portuguese, but De Lima insisted that he runs for governor "every six years." That may be why he never wins.
Money to Burn: If you were a millionaire, how would you spend a three-day weekend? I'd fly first-class to New York, book a suite at the Four Seasons, eat at Alain Ducasse and see Julia Roberts in "Three Days of Rain."
When Hawaiian Telcom Yellow Pages announced its "Be a Millionaire for a Weekend" contest last Monday, it got 1,000 entries the first day. By Thursday, several Zippy's outlets, where you could get entry forms, ran out.
"We seem to have caught peoples' imagination," says Hawaiian Telcom Yellow Pages' Ron Montgomery, noting that the winner doesn't exactly get a million, but can put together a weekend worth at least $15,000. "Whatever they want."
You can still enter at htyellowpages.com.
Plantation Fare: Alan Wong's reopened this weekend after being closed for renovations. In his month off, Wong researched plantation food for a fundraiser he's putting together for Waipahu's Hawaii Plantation Village, April 30, at the King Street restaurant.
The problem for a chef, says Wong, is that people couldn't afford to eat all that well on the plantation. "If they had chicken, it was the loser of the cockfight."
Finally, for his $125-a-head fundraiser, Wong devised 24 dishes "inspired" by plantation fare. Sadly, there will be no loser-of-the-cockfight chicken.
Happy New Year: Who knew New Year's extended all the way to Easter? This Saturday is Khmer New Year, and the Cambodian Community of Hawaii, some 300 strong, is hosting a free festival at Puuhale Elementary School.
It must be an election year: Gov. Linda Lingle, U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka, U.S. Rep. Ed Case and state Sen. Suzanne Chun Oakland will all speak. Plus Hawaii-based Master Sgt. Sarun Sar Sar, born in Cambodia, was awarded two Bronze and a Silver Star for his valor in Afghanistan.
Woof: This weekend's gala for the Hawaiian Humane Society was called Tuxes and Tails. The tails belonged to 13 dogs, part of the society's Pet Visitation program, who mingled with guests during cocktail hour. Since these canines make visits to hospitals and care homes, they are screened to make sure they "display proper social etiquette."
Mission Impossible?: After five years, Keaumiki Akui returns to radio next month. His AM940 morning show will feature news, weather, traffic, music. But its core will be a discussion of Hawaiian issues, says Akui. "Although it may sound impossible, the goal is to build consensus among Hawaiians."
The Professor: Last weekend, UH music theory professor Byron Yasui returned from Yokohama, where he played Hawaiian music with Melveen Leed, Gary Aiko and Kimo Kahoano. Last Wednesday he played jazz bass with Japanese guitarist Hiroshi Hata at the Honolulu Club, and Saturday gave a free ukulele workshop at the Outrigger Waikiki. Next month, he's off to play classical guitar with Carlos Barbosa-Lima in Guatemala.
How can anyone play so many styles and instruments? "Oh, it's not like I'm a virtuoso on any of them," says Yasui.
Nonsense, says ukulele wizard Benny Chong, with whom Yasui plays Thursdays and Fridays at the Pacific Beach Hotel. "The professor can play with the best. He's just not a braggadocious person."
Miracle in the Mud: Whatever else you might say about last weekend's Crater Festival, it was a miracle it happened at all. The Friday before, you'll remember, was a deluge, capping 40 days of rain. Everyone in town was making ark jokes.
The stage was up, thanks to a three-day struggle in the mud by Hawaii Stage and Lighting. But both the tech guys, John Schneck of Custom Audio and Chris Waidzunas of Hawaii Pro Video, had serious doubts.
"Your insurance doesn't cover you if you're dumb enough to get a million bucks worth of equipment damaged in the rain," says Schneck.
That Friday, both Schneck and Waidzunas were tempted to pull the plug at their 2 p.m. meeting with promoter Ron Gibson. Ten minutes before the meeting, the rain stopped.
Crews worked through the night, and the first act took the stage only 10 minutes late.
The rain held off through the concert. I asked promoter Gibson the source of his good fortune. "It may have something to do with the ti leaf Yvonne Elliman gave me," he said. "I carried it in my pocket all week."
radio show, Heckathorn's Hot Plate
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