By Dave Donnelly

Friday, December 17, 1999

HECO in a good light

THERE are quite a number of kids suffering from cancer in Hawaii whose homes will be a bit brighter this holiday season, thanks (fittingly) to Hawaiian Electric Co. employees. These kids are called Mug shot"HUGS children," after the non-profit support agency for families with youngsters who have cancer. When the Honolulu City Lights parade took place downtown, a number of HECO employees participated, carrying glittery, hand-made stars, adding to the already well-lighted parade route, and cheered on by thousands along the way. Then at the HUGS Christmas party, the HECO contingent of star-bearers showed up with 170 stars as presents for the HUGS children and their families ...

IS it my imagination or is the artist Wyland making his signature larger and larger on his ever growing ledger of Whaling Walls. It's particularly prominent on his latest, at the Pacifica Airport Center building. You could probably read it from 10,000 feet. And I was a bit surprised during my recent sojourn to San Francisco to see a Wyland wall at Pier 39. He's everywhere ... That "vacation" the trio Pure Heart was supposed to be taking now appears to be something else. Two surviving members of the group, Jake Shimabukuro and Lopaka Colon quickly signed up Guy Cruz as a new third leg on the stool. Like Colon, son of Martin Denny percussionist Augie Colon, Cruz is the son of a musician, composer/singer Ernie Cruz Sr. The trio will perform Jan. 7 and 8 on the same bill with jazz vocalist Diana Krall and the Honolulu Pops Orchestra conducted by Matt Catingub at the Blaisdell Concert Hall ...

Hither and thither

YOU don't think our readers are far-flung? Comes an e-mail from Kathy McDougall who sends along this greeting: "Inshallah." No, it's not that she's a Sonny Knight fan, but that's how she signs off after delivering Christmas greetings from "Your friends in Bahrain." she's one of a contingent of Hawaii folks there who keep up on happenings through the paper's online edition. "Thank goodness for the Internet," she writes ... And Bob Jones is preparing to lead a group of 100th Battalion and 442nd Regimental Combat Team members on what could be their last trip to the Italy battlefields where they fought during World War II. It'll be in April to coincide with Italy's Liberation Day and the unveiling of a memorial to the AJA soldiers in the town of Pietrasanta. He's a bit embarrassed, however, in telling them the e-mail address of the hotel there: asshotel-pietrasanta@versilia. ...

PUNCTUALITY was always one of former Hawaii public relations exec Megan MacPherson's long suits, so it came as no surprise to her former colleagues hear to learn she and husband Scott welcomed a baby boy, Colin Keith, precisely on her due date. The MacPhersons, now residing in Florida, consider the baby an early Christmas gift to one another ...

Coin affrays

THE new Coinstar machines in Foodland stores have proved popular with people hauling in bags of accumulated coins, which the machines sort and count, issuing a voucher good for folding cash or groceries. Foodland Ewa Beach honcho David Kawamura helped one customer pour in his stash of coins that included more than 20,000 pennies. Little wonder the mint produces more than 10 billion pennies a year. And it's estimated more than $7.7 million in coins are just sitting around in people's homes today ...

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:

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