By Dave Donnelly

Thursday, April 26, 2001

Hawaiian stilt stakes
claim at Chevron site

YOU often hear that oil refineries are for the birds. Or more accurately, are NOT for the birds -- at least from an ecological standpoint. Chevron begs to differ. The Chevron folks won a recent HVCB "Keep It Hawaii" award for their efforts to protect the endangered ae'o, or Hawaiian stilt. But not to rest on their laurels, Chevron's Larry Rhodes and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist Leila Gibson have been busy dredging, cleaning and refilling Rowland's Pond, a catchment basin surrounded by oil storage tanks that serves as the unlikely breeding sanctuary for the stilt. Adult birds are already staking claim to nesting territory in the basin and checking out the chicks -- or more accurately, adult mating prospects. It'll be a couple of months before ae'o chicks begin emerging from nests, but Chevron folks think this will be another winning year that, literally, is for the birds...

THE big hit in any good version of "Little Shop of Horrors" is the man-eating plant, Audrey II. In the Kamehameha production, which concludes its run tomorrow night and Sunday afternoon, director Patrick Fujioka, who played "Da Mean Mongoose" in Lisa Matsumoto's pidgin plays, had designer Mike Furuya build four different versions. The last and most ferocious version stands a full 10 feet high and takes two puppeteers to maneuver her as the carnivorous plant devours cast members. Audrey II is known as "Twoey" to cast members. And to make things just perfect, Fujioka cast a Tui to do the voice of Twoey. That would be Tui Scanlan, whose vocals are synchronized with the plant's movements. The "Little Shop" is located at the Ke'elikolani Auditorium...

MacMaster of the fiddle

PEOPLE who love Celtic fiddling, and you can count me among those folks, will want to visit Andrews Amphitheatre May 2 to hear Natalie MacMaster and her band. You may know this Nova Scotia fiddler for her CD "In My Hands," in which traditional fiddle tunes are aired along with Latin rhythms, street sounds and a group of special guests. So what else has she done? She's performed alongside Joan Osborne and Carlos Santana, accompanied The Chieftains on the "Tonight Show" with Jay Leno, earned a Grammy nomination and is continuing to forge a promising recording and performing career. She was recently asked to open the U.S. tour of the Dixie Chicks...

Aaron judgment

WHEN customers proffer a gratuity to restaurateur Aaron Placourakis, he always graciously refuses. But Placourakis, who owns Sarento's, Aaron's, Nick's Fishmarket Maui and the about-to-open Sarento's On the Beach in Kihei, got a tip he couldn't refuse the other night. He was in Nick's in Lahaina, and a regular patron, John E. Cavanaugh, shook hands upon leaving and left behind a folded up bill. Before Aaron could protest, Cavanaugh said, "Not a tip, Aaron, but a good luck token for Sarento's with my thanks for all the great things your people here do for me." Placourakis looked at the bill and was shocked to find a $500 1928 Federal Reserve Note. Pretty nice for a "nontip" ...

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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