Kokua Line

By June Watanabe

Sunday, August 5, 2001

Does Miss Hawaii
punch a timecard?

Question: Where does Miss Hawaii Denby Dung work? The Hawaii Tourism Bureau?

Answer: We assume you are referring to Dung's "job" during her year as Miss Hawaii 2001.

Thom McGarvey, executive director of the Miss Hawaii Scholarship Pageant, explained that Miss Hawaii no longer works for any one company, but is paid appearance fees by various companies to promote a product or event.

This practice dates back to the crowning of the first Miss Hawaii in 1948, he said, when visitor-related businesses saw the benefits of having Miss Hawaii promote their stores or products.

Sponsors range from Kamehameha Garments to Hawaiian Airlines, McGarvey said. "Over the years, (Miss Hawaii) has also promoted the visitor industry by appearing on travel posters and participating in trade shows throughout the world.

Many businesses would go to the pageant just to 'sign up' the winner for the year."

In 1976, Hawaiian Airlines was given the Miss Hawaii franchise and the company could hire the winner outright without any competition, he said. Although Hawaiian Air is still a major sponsor, it is not the only one now able to hire Miss Hawaii for promotions.

"Promoters often hire her for meetings and conventions," McGarvey said, and "she also does quite a bit of community service work with nonprofit organizations and especially with the schools throughout the state."

Miss Hawaii also gets to travel free on a Hawaiian Airlines annual pass, he said.

Dung, meanwhile, maintains her full-time job with the Royal Hawaiian Band as a clarinetist and also teaches music part-time. McGarvey noted that last year, Billie Takaki, who became Miss Hawaii after Angela Baraquio was named Miss America, maintained her job in the marketing department of Bank of Hawaii.

McGarvey also pointed out that the Miss Hawaii Scholarship Program is a nonprofit organization with no paid staff (including himself) that "does not take a penny of any appearance fee Miss Hawaii earns."

He also says no contestant in the program is ever assessed an entrance fee, unlike many other for-profit pageants, and Miss Hawaii is not a "queen," with a court or reign.

"That's why we say, 'There is only one Miss Hawaii!'" McGarvey said.

Q: Can you clarify what the law is regarding use of headlights when entering tunnels, specifically Pali and Wilson tunnels? Is it mandatory to turn on your headlights or is it just a safety precaution so that others can see you if they need to change lanes?

I know the headlight illumination helps motorists to be aware of other cars, but I see more cars without their headlights on than I see those with lights on.

A: Many motorists apparently believe it is discretionary to turn on the headlights.

But Section 15-19.2 of the Revised Ordinances of Honolulu says, "every vehicle upon a highway within a tunnel shall at all hours display lighted lamps, illuminating devices and tail lamps."


To the woman who cut in line at the Salt Lake Costco on July 18 to get a sorbet sample. She made unnecessary comments about another person not being a good example in front of children. She should look in the mirror as she was the bad example. -- No Name

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