My Kind of Town

Don Chapman

City Hall scoop

>> Kona

Cruz MacKenzie was seated at the yacht club and had a cup of coffee by 8:30, so he had half an hour to read the newspaper before Sonya Chan arrived. Garry the city editor had run his column on Page One, Cruz was pleased to see, but below a picture of the mayor during a surprise visit from the former mayor, who brought along his dog Dino.

Like his master, sensing that this office used to be his and ought to be again, Dino did what dogs, so to speak do, and marked his turf. Cruz thought his story deserved to be above the fold, but couldn't fault Garry's decision. Extreme photographer Johnny B. Goo had gotten a heck of a photo of the current and former mayors posing with hands on a pooper scooper, like it was a ground breaking or something, and Dino looking rather proud.

A 4-inch brief on the Neighbor Island news page about a missing fisherman on Maui was more chilling than it would have been just a couple of days ago. Fishermen and limu and opihi pickers are often washed off slippery lava rocks by rogue waves, never to be heard from again. But Cruz had sharks on his mind. The fisherman, the story said, was last seen treading water by his teen-age son, who left to get help. But the fisherman, a strong swimmer, was gone when the son returned.

Another news item mentioned that a sailboat owned by the publisher of Pet Shop magazine was reported missing. The boat was also called Pet Shop. He'd have to mention it to Sonya. It was aboard that boat they'd met, during a promotion for the magazine's "Girls of Hawaii" pictorial, in which Sonya appeared topless.

"Mind if I join you?"

Cruz looked up from the paper. Nick Ornellas. "By all means."

Ornellas sat down, thumped the story about Pet Shop with his middle finger. "We're hot this week. Guess who has the policy on that boat."

"The Rock?"

"Our marine division, but they asked me to keep my eyes open over here."

"As if you didn't have enough going on with the Daren Guy case."


"You had a chance to talk to Sonya about the policy?"

"Not yet," Ornellas said. "She's been tough to find. I was hoping to catch her today after the service."

"You're in luck, she's due here any time."

But Cruz and Ornellas were still waiting for Sonya at 9:15. Cruz ordered a smoked marlin omelette and lathered it with Cholula. She still wasn't there at 9:45 when he paid the bill, said see-ya to Ornellas and walked outside to find the harbor jammed with people for Daren's memorial service. Not the first time she'd stood him up.

See the Columnists section for some past articles.

Don Chapman is editor of MidWeek. His serialized novel runs daily in the Star-Bulletin. He can be e-mailed at


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