By Dave Donnelly

Wednesday, August 26, 1998

’Nets computer

Mug shot WHILE the Multiple Sclerosis Society's Jill Becker was busy planning the upcoming fund-raising "Dinner of Champions," her only son, Makana, used the opportunity to surf the 'net on his mom's IBM computer. Makana, who's 11 and recently graduated from Wilson Elementary School, entered a contest through Nickelodeon magazine, a kids magazine that ties into the Nickelodeon TV network. Now mom's hoping her fund-raising efforts are as successful as Makana's -- he won the national grand prize, a Power Mac 5500/250 with a 17-inch monitor and a color Stylewriter 6500 printer. (If you don't know what that is, ask any 12-year-old.) Makana also gets an online block party with the Nickelodeon folks and mom is concerned. "I'm not sure what an online block party for an 11-year-old is," says Jill. "Will I have to cook?" Friends have assured her that Makana soon will be doing the cooking on his new Power Mac, and that the party isn't like those "adults only" groups you can find on the Internet. Oh yes, that annual "Dinner of Champions" is Aug. 30. Invites may be designed on Makana's computer, if he lets his mom use it ...

I'M not sure what kind of reaction that author Lois-Ann Yamanaka got when her award from the Association of Asian-American Studies was rescinded over charges of "racism" in "Blu's Hanging," but she did have her telephone and fax numbers changed. Her agent isn't about to hand them out, either, promising to relay any messages ... Taking a break from shooting some specials in Hawaii for PBS -- one featuring Don Ho and another on sovereignty -- is Scott Simon. The other night he was spotted dining at Keo's in Waikiki ...

Pluck of the Irish

SO there was Lisa Leung, the Irish fiddler with the group Irish Hearts, stopping off at Blimpies on University Avenue before taking her son, Jesse, to a movie. The place was very crowded and there was a very large man ordering a sandwich just before Jesse ordered his. When Lisa fiddled in her purse (sorry, I couldn't resist) for some money, the tall chap handed Jesse his sandwich and said, "It's already paid for." Lisa looked askance. "See that little guy down there?" asked the man, pointing to another 10-year-old. "He's a Saudi prince and he took care of it." Lisa fretted (sorry again) that she was the butt of a joke, but went over and thanked the befuddled little boy anyway. She and Jesse sat down to eat and struck up a conversation with the shy benefactor. "What do you do?" she asked. "Basketball," he replied. "I figured," said Lisa, "what team?" "Lakers," he said quietly. On leaving for the theater the two shook hands with the man and said, "Thank you." As they headed off, young Jesse informed mom, "That was Shaquille O'Neal." Nah, she replied. But she called the restaurant and they confirmed it. Her take on the encounter: "A different sort of Irishman," but generous all the same ...

You like beef?

WITH the Kahala Mandarin's Kobe Beef Festival almost upon us, exec chef Markus Greiner flew over to Monty Richards' Kahua Ranch in Waimea to check out the specially bred Wagyu-Angus cattle being used in the Isle style festival. (Wagyu is the breed of cattle used for Japan's famous Kobe Beef.) Chef Greiner also took a gift box of personally made Island-Style Kobe Beef sausages with him to present to the cast of "Wind Over Water," being filmed at Kahua Ranch. Bo Derek wasn't there, but Richards promised to pass along the links on her return.

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: donnelly@kestrok.com.

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