Lingle staff correct reception details
The governor has not promised to attend a private dinner event at Washington Place
A cruise line advertised that travelers on its 115-day world tour -- priced from $100,665 to $358,865 a person -- would be entitled to a dinner at Washington Place hosted by Gov. Linda Lingle.
"Gov. Lingle personally selected Washington Place as the ideal venue for this event due to its historic value and significance to Hawaii," said Darius Mehta, Regent Seven Seas Cruise's director of land programs, in a news release.
Describing it as a "rare treat," the cruise line said passengers who signed up for the entire trip would be hosted at "a private evening reception featuring Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle at her ceremonial residence, Washington Place."
No, people or companies cannot rent the governor, but they can rent Washington Place, according to state officials.
"The governor is not involved in rented, private events," says Lenny Klompus, Lingle's senior adviser for communications, who said the cruise line agreed to take the incorrect information off the Web page.
When asked about the gubernatorial reception, Hawaii officials said the cruise line is renting Washington Place for the evening of Jan. 13, and Lingle had been invited to attend, but no one was promising that the governor would be there.
"They have misinformation on their Web site," said Glenn Shigeta, director of Washington Place. "They did invite the governor and that invitation is still open, but she has not committed to attending."
Regent Seven Seas Cruises did not respond to e-mails asking for comment.
The historic home of Hawaii's last monarch, Queen Liliuokalani, and Hawaii's past governors is now a museum and is controlled by the Washington Place Foundation, which leases it for private events.
The guidelines from the state note that "events should stimulate interest among guests about the home's history and role Washington Place played in Hawaii's history."
State law also forbids Washington Place from being used for political meetings or fundraisers.
The donation for private events is $3,500, Shigeta said. Nonprofit events using the home for nonfundraising events, such as award ceremonies, are charged $500.
As a matter of courtesy, many groups do extend an invitation to Lingle, but Shigeta said the governor does not always attend.
This year, the Beretania Street home was named a National Historic Landmark. Shigeta said that caused more interest from mainland and international groups to use the facility. All fees from the rentals are used to help with research, preservation and restoration of the home, which was started in 1842 by a wealthy Honolulu trader, John Dominis.
His son married Lydia Kamakaeha Paki, who became Queen Liliuokalani.
Lingle lives in a two-story home behind Washington Place built in 2002 for Hawaii's governors.
Lingle does use Washington Place for official state functions and dinners.
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24 cruisers fall ill from norovirus
A virus outbreak aboard a Holland America Line cruise ship that arrived on the Big Island from San Diego on Monday has sickened at least 24 people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
As of Tuesday, 21 passengers and three crew members were infected by a norovirus that causes diarrhea and vomiting, said Lisa Beaumier, a public health analyst for the CDC. The ship is carrying 1,394 passengers and a crew of 619, she said.
The 780-foot vessel, Zaandam, was docked for a day at Kailua Pier on the Big Island on Monday, a pier official said. The ship made a daylong stop at Kauai's Nawiliwili Harbor yesterday and was scheduled to be in Lahaina today, according to Transmarine Navigation Corp., which is managing the ship's travel in the islands.
The Honolulu company declined to give more information about the ship's 15-day itinerary. Calls and e-mail messages left with the Seattle-based Holland America Line yesterday were not returned.
Beaumier said the Zaandam is being cleaned and disinfected, and passengers are being advised to wash their hands frequently.
This is the second norovirus outbreak on the Zaandam this month. In a 15-day voyage that began Nov. 5, 91 passengers and eight crew members fell ill, Beaumier said.
The virus, which is found in the stool or vomit of infected people, often shows up in hotels, nursing homes and schools. Its symptoms usually last one or two days, according to the CDC.