Wood Craft

By Ben Wood

Essoyan series on
schools stirs response

Susan Essoyan's excellent series on Hawaii's schools that ran in the Star-Bulletin this week has drawn a flood of response. Miriam Coelho Chipp e-mailed Susan that she is a "local girl" now living in Colfax, Calif., and is a substitute teacher at Colfax Elementary (kindergarten through eighth grade) where her husband is the business manager. The school has a large number of new math books sitting unused. They could be sent to Hawaii if someone or some company could cover shipping. Miriam adds that the community recently celebrated Hawaiian culture with music and hula. The Kapalakiko Hawaiian Band from San Francisco, dancers from a Sacramento halau and the school kids performed to help raise funds for a math and science lab. "Donating books would be a wonderful way to give back in the spirit of Aloha," she said ... And Dave Rolf bought 300 copies of Wednesday's Star-Bulletin in which Susan's series highlighted the success of Kauluwela and Solomon elementary schools. Rolf gave papers to the two schools and to legislators ...

Salute to the chief

Academy of Arts Director George Ellis, a former Marine, retired yesterday and he was surprised to see a military retirement flag flying over the academy when he came to work. At yesterday's staff coffee meeting, the retiring academy commanding officer was presented with the flag ... The Academy Shop's annual clearance sale will be held Feb. 8, 9 and 11 at the Art Center at Linekona. Books, stationery, posters, jewelry and ethnic clothing will be sold ...

Local boy Ray Bickson continues to make a name for himself in the hotel biz. After 15 years as G.M. of the Mark in New York where he won numerous hotel management awards, Ray has taken the position of Chief Operating Officer for Taj Luxury Hotels based in Bombay, India. Ray, a St. Louis High grad, has extensive language and hotelier skills after nearly 30 years of working in luxury hotels in Europe, North America, Australia and Asia ...

"Ebony Daze," A free musical tribute to Duke Ellington and his music, will be presented by 1st Presbyterian Church and the Hawaii Ecumenical Chorale tomorrow, 3 p.m., at the church in recognition of Black History Month. The lineup includes pianist Betty Loo Taylor, vocalists Star Williams and Leon Williams, the Royal Hawaiian Band and the chorale ... Kit Samson and vocalist Connie Kissinger are booked in the Ship's Tavern on Valentine's Day and the following night, Feb. 14 and 15 ... Bob and Dee Levy are celebrating their 80th and 65th birthdays, respectively, by inviting friends to a dinner party at the Pacific Club tonight ...

Good times at Duke's

Good Hawaiian music, tasty food and a friendly staff add up to a good time and that's what it was at the 10th anniversary of Duke's in the Outrigger Waikiki on a windy afternoon last weekend. Kapena and Henry Kapono provided the music on the restaurant's spacious deck, just off Waikiki Beach. In keeping with the Hawaiian spirit and theme, a Duke's manager always leads the staff in a prayer, in Hawaiian, before the dinner service. With a 10-year track record, the gods are obviously smiling on Duke's ...

Ben Wood, who sold the Star-Bulletin in the streets
of downtown Honolulu during World War II, writes of
people, places and things every Saturday.
E-mail him at

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