By Dave Donnelly

Tuesday, November 9, 1999

Women make
inroads in law

WOMEN to day are making strides in many areas and have become dominant in some, such as popular music. But in no profession I can think of have women advanced so far, so fast, as in the practice of law. We have our women politicians, some of whom are lawyers and some who are not. Mug shotCalifornia Rep. Mary Bono, who's speaking to a Republican Party luncheon here Dec. 1, isn't a lawyer, but she serves on the House Judiciary Committee. In Hawaii, the advances have been stupendous. The 1960 Hawaii Bar Association listed a total of nine women practicing law in Hawaii at the time of statehood in 1959. By 1975, that number had increased to 44. Jump ahead and today you'll find some 1,200 women attorneys who are members of the Hawaii Bar. (You work out the percentages.) That's about one out of every three lawyers in the state today, and law school professors say women easily make up half their classes. By the way, only one woman practiced law in Hawaii in the 19th Century. She was Amanda Hitchcock of Hilo, whose father put her to work in his law firm fresh out of law school. Others had a far tougher time getting established, including Patsy Mink, one of the nine at the time of statehood, ultimately ending up with a career in politics. Women have made advancements in many areas, but none, I think, as great as in law ...

Valli boy

AFTER selling off KQMQ Radio, Austin Valli and his wife headed off for greener pastures on the mainland. But before you could say, "How green was my Valli?," the radio station operator is returning to the islands to run the Cox stations here -- KRTR, etc. He should add a little spice to island airwaves and, who knows, might even bring back D.J. Michael Qseng, who did the morning show for him on KQMQ. And while Valli doubtless missed many things about Hawaii, I think it's safe to say island golf courses have to rank right up there with things he missed most ...

ISLE actor Cliff Eblen thought he had it made 30 years ago when he was hired to play the recurring role of an FBI agent named Jasper in Hawaii on "Hawaii Five-O." Then as he showed up for filming on the third show, "Tiger by the Tail," an episode, incidentally, in which I appeared, the director said, "Oh, damn. I forgot to call you." They'd cut him out of the show. Turns out the FBI, which apparently had nothing more important to do at the time, complained to CBS that the portrayal of the agency in "Five-O" was both improper and not accurate. Eblen, 75, had no idea: "I just thought it was my acting." But the network had buckled under and dropped the character, putting Eblen out of a steady, cushy job. All this came out through, an internet site dealing with "G-Files" obtained through the Freedom of Information act ...

North Shore aloha

ONE of the largest crowds ever seen in Haleiwa gathered Sunday for the funeral service of Shannon Hirota, 23, who died in a car accident Oct. 23. Liliuokalani Church was filled to capacity and those unable to get in stood outside for the service for Shannon, daughter of John and Eileen Hirota. One of the more moving moments came when Shannon's younger sister, Jennifer, read a long letter she'd written to her sister, expressing her feelings about the family's and community's loss. It didn't get the media attention of the services of the victims in the Xerox killings, but was just as moving ...

Dave Donnelly has been writing on happenings
in Hawaii for the Star-Bulletin since 1968.
His columns run Monday through Friday.

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