Hawaii

By Dave Donnelly

Wednesday, October 9, 1996


Florist banked
on 30th-floor shindig

Walter Dods
THE stories continue surrounding the question, "Where were you when downtown exploded last Friday?" Or more correctly, manhole covers were sent flying by underground explosions and the electricity went out. Yesterday we regaled you with the women of the "Y" on Richards Street, who responded with pluck and verve. Just a block or so away, construction workers were putting finishing touches on landscaping for the new First Hawaiian Center in preparation for that night's gala opening event. When the power went out, First Hawaiian officials were summoned to a quick brainstorming session to plan for a backup site for the American Bankers Association dinner. Bank CEO Walter Dods almost lost what's left of his hair, as he was expecting 50 of the nation's top bankers plus Fed chairman Alan Greenspan for dinner in the downstairs Banking Hall ...

A BIT more optimistic was Alice Umeda of City Florist, who was furnishing the bank's 30th floor decorations. She traipsed up the stairs to finish her job, so all was in place when the lights came back on, the elevators worked once again and the dinner went off as planned. Dods' weekend was capped on Sunday when he was elected national president of the ABA ...

THE story of Dods' Excedrin headache has no connection with the following, but Eleanor "Andi" van der Voort is the new president of Hemlock Hawaii, the organization which wants assisted death made legal. She succeeds Folly Hofer, who served for two years. One reason for van der Voort's interest in Hemlock Hawaii is that, as a registered nurse, she's seen terrible suffering up close. She'll attend the national convention in Denver Nov. 7-9 ... Sometime politician Kekoa Kaapu is back from submitting his entry in Sam Choy's poke contest at the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel on the Big Island. He came in second, Kaapu told pals, one of whom zingered him with, "You should be used to that by now." Oddity: It cost $35 to fly from Honolulu to Kona and $44 to shuttle from the Kona Airport to the Hapuna. Sounds like a good time to call Hertz! ...

An immodest proposal

DINERS at Sarento's Top of the I were surprised to see a chopper buzzing the Ilikai the other night, and even more curious when a large red heart appeared on an electric signboard. The couple at booth 2 were particularly curious as to the message, which they couldn't see properly. So floor captain Keith Sansoni invited the two up on the roof, that sacrosanct spot where an aerial camera zooms in close on Jack Lord as McGarrett in the "Hawaii Five-O" opening. Up there they could read the message: "Kelly, will you marry me?" And that is how Bob Ricucci proposed to Kelly Stepanski who's answer echoed Molly Bloom in "Ulysses." "Yes," she cried out, "yes, yes, yes." ...

IN this age of "political correctness," it's nice to see a group of local downtown businesswomen playing the stock market together have a sense of humor. In the best self-denigrating manner, they call themselves the Stocky Broads. Sam Shenkus of Aloha Tower Associates is this year's "Head Broad." ... Then there's Paul Kim of Smith Barney, the stockbroker who a few years ago had "3,000" on his license plates as a prediction the market would one day top it. Since then, the market has topped 6,000 for a time. Apparently his plates aren't that bullish on Wall Street ...

Jammin' with Jimmy

Anna Lea
POPPING into town to attend a wedding and using the occasion to slip by and sit in with Jimmy Borges at the Cafe Picasso of the Alana Hotel was singer Anna Lea and her longtime musical mentor, Mike Mantano. I have many fond memories of Anna singing at various venues around town, most notably the Kahala Hilton and the Spindrifter. She and Borges go way back to San Francisco days before moving to the islands. Also dropping in to jam with Jim were pianist Rich Crandall, who accompanied Anna on several occasions, and another guy with San Francisco roots, former 49er great Joe Perry, old friends with both Anna and Jimmy ...



Dave Donnelly has been writing on happenings in Hawaii for the Star-Bulletin since 1968. His columns run Monday through Friday. Contact Dave by e-mail at donnelly@kestrok.com.





Hawaii by Dave Donnelly is a daily feature of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin.
© 1996 All rights reserved.


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