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Maui's new FM station simulcasts smooth jazz


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POSTED: Tuesday, August 25, 2009

KUHI-FM 106.5 is on the air as Maui's newest FM station.

Owned by Louisiana-based Big Island Broadcasting Inc., it signed on yesterday with a simulcast of smooth jazz from KORL-FM 101.1 in Honolulu.

“;We have an agreement with her,”; said KORL owner George Hochman of KUHI owner Joel Sellers of Louisiana, though he declined to divulge details.

Hochman has interests in several stations under different corporate headings—Hochman Hawaii-Three Inc., in KORL's case.

Sellers, president of Big Island Broadcasting, won the right to build KUHI during the Federal Communications Commission's FM Auction 37 in November 2004, with a gross bid of $1,667,000.

The FCC gives a permittee three years from the date a construction permit is issued to get a station built and running.

KUHI apparently did sign on briefly, but Sellers twice obtained permission to keep it silent for various reasons.

Now it is on the air via an agreement similar to one that has her other station on the air, which is actually on the Big Island.

In the same FM auction, Sellers also won the right to build a station in Kona for $551,000. Owned by Sellers' Captain Cook Broadcasting Inc., KMWB-FM 93.1 airs the classic hits format of “;B97,”; KNWB-FM 97.1 in Hilo—owned by New West Broadcasting Corp.

A quirky cork tale

The American Airlines Admirals Club in Honolulu and its sister passenger lounges run by Sodexo, the airline's food and beverage service provider, will put no more natural wine corks into landfills.

American and Sodexo are the latest corporate partners of ReCORK America, a wine cork recycling program by Amorim of Portugal.

The latter claims to be the world's largest producer of natural cork wine closures.

More than 13 billion natural-cork wine bottle stoppers are sold into the global market each year, said Teresa Relogio, ReCORK's U.S. program coordinator, in a statement. “;Amorim's program is designed to return some of those corks back into useful products such as footwear, flooring and even as soil amendment in compost,”; she said.

“;Cork trees are not cut down to make corks as some people think. They can be harvested every nine years during their 150-year life span,”; she said.

Hawaii's food and beverage industry players would be likely to recycle corks “;as long as people are aware of it,”; said Honolulu-based Master Sommelier Roberto Viernes, of Southern Wine & Spirits.

In his restaurant industry days, it was commonplace for bartenders and restaurants to keep “;buckets”; full of corks.

Some people use them for craft projects, but others keep them for sentimental value, he said.

A friend has two buckets that could each hold eight bottles of champagne, except they are “;filled to the brim”; with corks from bottles of wine he had treasured.

Amorim has established several public drop-off sites in California and the Pacific Northwest, but none here as yet.

On the Net:

» www.recorkamerica.com

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Erika Engle is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin. Reach her by e-mail at Monday, August 24, 2009.