What the Heck?
Rotary rebuffs Rene
Rotary No, Lions Yes:
Former City Councilmember Rene Mansho, sponsored by a couple of prominent members, applied to join the Rotary Club of Honolulu, the biggest in the state. Almost unanimously, the board turned her down.
In 2002, Mansho served a year's sentence for misusing city and campaign funds, but since then she's been quietly laboring as community relations director for the largest scrap metal recycler in the state, Schnitzer Steel. She organizes monthly Aloha 'Aina Earth Days, like the one yesterday benefiting Leilehua High School. She came up with a partnership for keeping used fishing nets out of the landfill. This July, she becomes president of the Wahiawa Lions Club, which welcomed her back with open arms.
Bright Futures: Broadcast veteran Wally Zimmermann was fired last February, the highest-profile casualty of the bloodbath at Channel 2 News. He starts tomorrow as vice president of downtown PR firm Bright Light Marketing.
"It was the longest vacation I've ever had in my life, though I would have enjoyed a few more weeks," says Zimmermann, who served as news director of both KHON and KITV. But with a 10-year-old daughter, he says, "When a good job comes along, you better grab it."
Tea for $250: Even though giving was up last year, the Hawaii Red Cross is broke. In the post-9/11 environment, all donations go where they are designated. That means that the outpouring of island generosity for the Southeast Asian tsunami and the ravages of Hurricane Katrina were sent to those sites. Even donations for the victims of the Kauai floods went to the national Red Cross once the federal government declared a national disaster.
"Hurricane season is on the way. We could use some help," says Jill Becker, the Hawaii chapter's director of financial development.
Two weeks from today, you could attend High Tea at Halekulani, which will feature a Chanel fashion show and a silent auction put together by fundraiser extraordinaire Kimi Matar. Items include a rare invite to Chanel's exclusive spring fashion show in Paris (expected to go for thousands).
The Halekulani event costs $250. If that's not your cup of tea, you could always send a check to the Hawaii Red Cross. Just write "For Local Use" on the memo line.
Off-and-on movie star Jason Scott Lee showed up at last week's dedication of the new Kalihi YMCA building, looking tanned and toned. He was asked if he still had the six-pack abs he showed off in "Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story" and "The Jungle Book." He skirted the question. "I don't work out anymore," he said. "But I work hard every day on my farm." At Volcano on the Big Island, growing taro.
Aloha By the Bay: Chef Sam Choy flies to San Francisco this week, for a gala honoring him at the Westin St. Francis Hotel. Some major San Francisco restaurants -- Michael Mina's, The Slanted Door, Roy's -- will cook up a storm in Choy's honor. Former UH (and present San Jose State) head coach Dick Tomey will headline the speakers.
For his innumerable California charity appearances, Choy will receive the Kulia I Ka Nu'u Award for spreading the aloha spirit in the Bay Area. It's given by the Hawaii Chamber of Commerce of Northern California. Yes, there is such an organization. It has 3,000 members. The Chamber of Commerce in Hawaii has only 1,100.
Real Passion: Next Saturday at the Hilton, the Junior League of Hawaii hosts an event called "Sacs in the City." Not "Sex" -- "Sacs." But according to the Junior League's Avis Takamatsu, the event is likely to awaken real passion among the women who make up most of the guests. The "Sacs" include designer handbags from Gucci, Fendi, Ferragamo, Prada and so forth, all up for auction.
"A room full of women and designer bags can get a little crazy," Takamatsu says. "You hear women telling their friends, 'Yes, yes, you need that purple bag, go for it.'"
The event also includes 50 years of Tori Richard fashions in a show orchestrated by Philana Bouvier and featuring video from avant-garde filmmaker Sergio Goes.
Only in America: Next Saturday's Spam Jam will shut down Kalakaua Avenue and feature two stages of entertainment. The festivities are sponsored in part by Hormel, which cans the inexplicable Hawaii favorite.
A number of chefs have been enlisted to create Spam dishes. One is classically trained Chinese chef Chih Chieh Chang of Shanghai Bistro. For the event, Chang is whipping up Spam spring rolls, Spam gau gee and Spam seafood tofu pockets.
Has Chang ever cooked with Spam before? "No, no. No Spam in China," he says. "Only Americans eat."
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