By Dave Donnelly

Wednesday, December 29, 1999

Shuffling the news deck

THE end of the year is bringing some maneuverings among local TV stations, none of whom are eager to say anything until making their own announcements. But with Dan Cooke setting to haul anchor and motor over to KITV, Channel 8 has been scouting for a replacement. One person they Mug shottalked to was Larry Beil, who was here covering the Oahu Bowl for ESPN. Perhaps they were hoping to find him in the same mood to return to his Hawaii roots as June Jones. Another possibility for evening anchor is Diane Ako, who does a fine job on weekends, and who would be the sole female anchor on the air nightly ... Meanwhile, former beauty queen Lani Stone has been touring KHNL's studios and the guessing is she may take over the morning news show should Lyle Galdeira return to reporting, which seems to be his strongest suit. And having a beauty queen doing the news might be considered a plus ...

NOBODY at KHON is speaking for the record, but there seems to be some activity going on behind the scenes there as well. Malia Mattoch is joining the weekend news team Saturday as a complement to Kirk Matthews, who couldn't be happier. Though there's whispering that Matthews may be in line to move to the daily morning news show, should a couple of other shifts occur. And yet another beauty queen, Trini Kaopuiki, will be moving into the station next month as "weather girl" as they were called in less enlightened times ...

Last meal of the century

THE Halekulani Hotel will be closed at 4:30 p.m. Friday for a private party as folks there savor their last meal of the century. La Mer ($500 per) is sold out as is Orchids ($400 per) but there are still a few tickets for a grazing group shelling out $300 to select from "Cuisine Under the Stars," the most expensive buffet around. Actually it's much more than just a buffet. The Honolulu Symphony will be playing, for instance, and there are lavish offerings of lobster, sashimi, fish of all kinds, grilled meats, rotisseries, tandoori specialties and desserts galore. And, of course, the obligatory fireworks display at the apex of the evening ...

THEY'RE still looking for conch-shell blowers to participate in the stroke-of-midnight conch blow to see in the new year at Aloha Tower Marketplace and be heard on the millennium broadcast consortium's "2000 Today." They're claiming some 240 million people will be tuned in to broadcast. You can watch the local coverage from Aloha Tower Marketplace on KITV from 11 p.m. to 12:30 a.m., Jan. 1, 2000 ...

DISC jockey Kamasami Kong is back in town for a few days from Osaka, Japan, where his popular show emanates. Asked about the Japanese reaction to the resignation of Osaka Gov. Knock Yokoyama in the wake of his being indicted for sexual molestation of a 21-year-old campaign worker, Kong revealed one local paper headlined the incident, "Knock Out." You can imagine the headline had he gotten the girl pregnant, deadpanned Kong ...

Hat trick

NASTIEST thief at Aloha Stadium Saturday was the guy who ran off after snatching the UH Rainbow hat off the head of Frank Conkey on the escalator. Conkey would have chased the thief, but at the age of 85 he's lost a step or two ... Meanwhile, ex-UH wide receiver Ken Anderson came sky-diving in as Santa Claus and for the second year in a row landed squarely on the 50 yard line ...

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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