What the Heck?
CHRIS SOLD / COURTESY TO THE STAR-BULLETIN
Honolulu Publishing's Brett Uprichard huddled with the Don Tiki dancers on Thursday at the Hawaii Publishers Association's Print Media Expo. CLICK FOR LARGE
Colorful contributors attend media expo
Who says ink on paper has to be dull? The Hawaii Publishers Association's Print Media Expo last Thursday was anything but. The 34 exhibitors included both Oahu dailies, who were there in force, and the four neighbor island dailies, who in true Hawaii fashion brought everyone bags of omiyage -- Maui chips, Kauai cookies, Big Island coffee and mac nuts.
The Honolulu Weekly booth had live music, from keyboard whiz Lance Motogawa, whose band Freelance plays the Mai Tai bar. Other exhibitors kept shushing him, reports Motogawa. But when he started playing "Let's Get It On," almost everyone in the surrounding booths started boogying, at least a little.
Hagadone Printing had its employees dressed as pirates, handing out bags of booty to anyone who'd walk the plank up to their Plinko game.
The booth that grabbed the most attention belonged to Honolulu Publishing. There were leis and mai tais, plus the quite beautiful Don Tiki dancers in their somewhat abbreviated tiki costumes. "Welcome to Fantasy Island," said HonPub's Brett Uprichard.
It wasn't all Fantasy Island: Print Media Day also had a serious luncheon with Bankoh economist Paul Brewbaker as the main speaker. Dull, you might think. Except that Brewbaker, at turns comic and sardonic, had the audience in the palm of his hand. Even when he took apart some news stories to show how badly the media handled economic statistics. And even when he whipped out some sophisticated economic terms like Hodrick-Prescott filters and asymmetrical volatility. "Caution," read one of his Power Point slides, "Nerd Work Ahead."
Well-delivered as it was, Brewbaker's message was sobering. Because we've chosen to make "sustainable growth" mean "no growth," tourism has clearly flattened. We see far more negative effect from bad things (9/11, SARS, sewage spills) than we're ever likely to see positive effects when things are good. "We chose this," said Brewbaker. "Why? I'll collect the blue books later."
The Marrying Type:
Master sommelier Chuck Furuya is in Napa this weekend. But not to taste wine. Having gotten himself ordained online, he's performing the wedding of Nicole Alioto, daughter of his best friend, master sommelier Nuncio Alioto.
"Don't tell anyone," says Furuya. "I'm only doing this because I've known Nicole since she was a baby. I won't marry anyone else. I'll come to your table and keep the wine flowing if you want to propose. But I won't perform the ceremony."
Who's In the Limo?
Last weekend was frantic for Emme Tomimbang. She was to emcee the ceremonies for Philippine President Gloria Arroyo on Oahu, but also scheduled to speak on Maui that morning. She finished her speech in Wailuku at 10:20 a.m., and had to catch an 11:30 a.m. flight back to Oahu.
The mainly Filipino ladies working security at Maui airport seemed thrilled she was going to met Arroyo, but put her through the paces nonetheless, to make sure Emme wasn't smuggling, say, hair gel onto an interisland flight.
When Tomimbang arrived in Oahu, she found the person detailed to pick her up was too busy to do so. Desperate to get to the Filipino Community Center in Waipahu before Arroyo's motorcade shut down the freeway, Tomimbang stood in a 40-minute line to get a cab.
"The only one left was a white limo," says Tomimbang. "When I got to the center, everybody got all excited like it must be somebody. It was just me, digging in my purse, hoping I had enough money to pay the driver."
Polishing the Pearl: The much anticipated Ala Moana Center nightclub, Pearl, opens this week with a series of private events. Last week was staff training. Two dozen new employees, all young, invariably attractive, sat on the new bar stools still covered with bubble wrap. They listened to Halekulani's Peter Shaindlin tell them how to give intelligent service, and heard Fendi's Patrick Gey describe how he once traveled to the middle of the Saudi desert to fit a couture dress on an Arab princess.
In between, they took a quiz on wine. If they got 80 percent right, they got a free bottle. Many didn't and had to study for a retest.
In the kitchen, consulting chef Donato Loperfido was delighted that the gas was finally installed. "I told the crew to get some sleep tonight. Tomorrow we start 18 hour days."
Owner Beau Mohr looked around. The carpet and banquettes were still covered in brown paper. A painter applied primer to one wall. "We're gonna make it," he said.
At that point, two workman rolled in a new custom bar fitting. "Wait, wait," said Mohr. "That's supposed to be round, not square." He apologized and went off to deal with it.
Dog Lies Low:
Hardly anyone in Hawaii has ever been 100 percent comfortable with Dog Chapman becoming our highest-profile TV personality. Bob Jones in MidWeek wrote he was "ashamedly pleased" when Dog got busted.
In the meantime, none of our political pundits is connecting the dots: The decision to bust Dog wasn't made in Hawaii. What's the Bush administration getting in return for doing Mexico this little favor?
Expect Dog to lie low for a while. A&E, which had a huge hit with last week's special on the bust, wants him public. But the flotilla of lawyers working on the case want him quiet.
What's next? In the works is a huge music/fashion concert, to benefit the Dog Defense Fund. And it has to be here, because Dog can't go anywhere. You have to love the idea: Dog Does Diamond Head Crater. More fun than Linda Ronstadt.