Brief asides


POSTED: Friday, September 18, 2009

Got magic?

Magic Johnson inspires isle kids to excel

He abruptly retired in 1991 during his basketball heyday, before most of them were even born. But former Los Angeles Lakers star Earvin Johnson showed he still has the Magic touch, thrilling McKinley High School's student body with a surprise appearance Wednesday.

“;You can do anything you want to be; but you have to take care of business in the classroom — that's the most important thing right now,”; said Johnson, who went on to become an HIV/AIDS spokesman after contracting the virus in 1991. “;Also, what happened to me I don't want to happen to you; HIV is here to stay.”;

TV news interviews after Johnson's visit brought enthusiastic reactions and showed the power of role models: One still-grinning student said he was ready to charge home and do his homework.

Do you believe in Magic? From the McKinley kids: A resounding yes.


Giving it a shot

Hawaii exceeds average in taking cancer vaccine

A government report shows that more than one in three teenage girls have tried a relatively new vaccine against cervical cancer, but vaccination rates vary dramatically between states.

In Hawaii, 40.2 percent of girls ages 13 to 17 received at least one dose of the three-shot vaccine, slightly higher than the U.S. average of 37.2 percent. Rhode Island had the highest rate, at 54.7 percent; Mississippi the lowest, at 15.8 percent. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report is the first to list state-by-state use of the vaccine, which targets the papillomavirus that can cause cervical cancer.


Hot subject

Bad luck boils over with 3 restaurant fires in 3 days

If a hungry diner was hoping for a breakfast omelet at Denny's restaurant on Kuhio Avenue on Monday, no luck — an early-morning kitchen fire caused $30,000 in damage.

Lunch Tuesday at I Love Country Cafe near Ala Moana? No — fire there early Tuesday caused $200,000 in destruction.

Then pupus Wednesday at Chiko's Tavern in McCully? A blaze there early in the day wrought $150,000 in damage.

Fire officials say the three fires were unrelated and not the work of one firebug. Bad coincidence.

For the sake of all eatery owners who work hard at their living, let's hope it's three strikes — and fires stay out.