Archive for the ‘Featured’ Category

LARRY RAMOS / 1942-2014

Posted On May 4th, 2014 -

Isle native paved way for Asian music stars04-B6-larry-ramos

By Wayne Harada / Special to the Star-Advertiser

Entertainer Larry Ramos, the Kauai native who was one of the lead singers for two of The Association’s biggest hits in the 1960s, died April 30 at a hospital in Clarkston, Wash. He had just celebrated his 72nd birthday on the Garden Island.

Ramos, born Hilario Ramos in Waimea on April 19, 1942, contributed his voice to the songs “Windy” and “Never My Love.” The band’s hybrid sound of folk and psychedelic rock, laced with romantic harmonies, often was described as “sunshine pop.”

“For his birthday, he told me he wanted to go back to Hawaii as his ‘farewell to the islands,’” said Guy Aoki, a former island resident who is Ramos’ unofficial biographer after meetings and interviews over the past year. “He flew back to Kauai on April 18 to celebrate his 72nd birthday the following day and made it to Hilo, but got sick and had to return home to Idaho.”

Ramos and his wife, Helene, also had an early 50th anniversary celebration in March, before their real anniversary in June, because he wasn’t certain he’d live that long, Aoki said. Ramos suffered a heart attack Aug. 31, 2011, and was in declining health.

As a child, Ramos played ukulele on “The Arthur Godfrey Show,” and played ukulele and sang in the 1950 film “Pagan Love Song,” starring Esther Williams. At 13, he performed in a national tour of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical “The King & I,” playing the crown prince of Thailand opposite Yul Brynner.

One of his ukes is on display at the Kauai Museum; another was relegated to a shelf in his mother’s double-wide trailer outside of Grangeville, Idaho, where Ramos had lived since 1995.

Ramos was Filipino with a blend of Chinese and Spanish, and his foray into mainstream entertainment in the ’50s and ’60s was at a time when brown faces were a rarity amid white performers. He took lighthearted hits about his appearance prior to joining the New Christy Minstrels, but worked at breaking down race barriers.

When he joined The Association, he largely played banjo and, like his fellow group members, sang leads as well as backup harmony.

“Ramos was subjected to racial barbs … and he had to confront suspicious whites when groups toured the South,” Aoki said. “He helped this country get used to someone who wasn’t white nor black but Asian with a brown face. He paved the way for future stars like Don Ho, Yvonne Elliman, Far East Movement and Bruno Mars.”

Ramos told Aoki in an interview, “I always dreamed of working with big stars — Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Jimmy Durante and Julie Andrews — and I have!

“I’m just representing myself on stage. And if (that’s a positive representation for Asian-Americans), then more power to that,” Ramos said. “I’m not looking to be a star. I’d just like people to say, ‘He played and sang well and he did his job well.’”

Ramos left The Association in 1976 due to differences over the group’s music, but reunited with the surviving members of the combo in 1979 as its leader. His brother, Del Ramos, will take over leadership of The Association.

Among the group’s other hits over the decades were “Cherish,” “Along Comes Mary” and “One Too Many Mornings.” “Windy” remains eternally popular, featured in episodes of AMC’s “Breaking Bad” and CBS’ “Mike and Molly.”

When Ramos wanted to stage a pair of farewell concerts earlier this year, he chose Grangeville, Idaho, where he had never performed, with original members Jules Alexander and Jim Yester joining him last Feb. 24. (His wife is a Grangeville native.)

Ramos had Honolulu ties, too. The family lived on Oahu during World War II, and his father, Larry Ramos Sr., was a pool hall operator in Honolulu and Kakaako who taught him how to play “My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean” on the ukulele. After Pearl Harbor, the family returned to Kauai, where his father opened another pool hall in Kalaheo.

Along with his wife and brother, survivors include his son, Larry Ramos III; twin daughters, Tracy and Stacy; stepson, Terry; stepdaughter, Keli; mother, Patrocinia Ramos; five grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Services are planned for June 14 in Grangeville.

Posted in Featured

Chino Montero: 1962-2014

Posted On May 2nd, 2014 -

Hoku-winning artist helped boost the work of top isle musicians
By John Berger

Chino Montero — Hoku Award-winning guitarist, falsetto vocalist, and an inspirational figure for one of Hawaii’s most influential ukulele players — died Friday of a heart attack after a short illness. He was 52.

Montero had been best known in recent years for his work backing other performers, most notably Amy Hanai­ali‘i Gilliom, and as the member of two all-star groups, Palolo (with Nathan Nahinu and Troy Fernandez) and Manoa Madness (with Nahinu, Ioane Burns and Hale­haku Seabury).

He won a Hoku Award in 2011 as a member of a third all-star group, Amy Hanai­ali‘i and Slack Key Masters of Hawai‘i, after having worked as a recording studio sideman on several proj­ects that won Hoku Awards for the artists who hired him to back them. Ironically, the year he won a Hoku, Montero had stepped outside the ballroom just before the winner of the Island Music Album category was announced and was not able to join the other members of the group in their televised acceptance speech.

“Kawena,” an original song from his long-awaited solo album, “Made in Hawai‘i,” which was released last fall, is a finalist this year for Song of the Year. Montero is also a finalist for Favorite Entertainer of the Year, the only Hoku Award category where the winner is determined by public vote. Voting for Favorite Entertainer continues through May 12.

The winners of the 2014 Na Hoku Hano­hano Awards will be announced at the 37th Annual Na Hoku Hano­hano Awards Show on May 24 at the Hawai‘i Convention Center.

“At least he went out on a high note,” Hawai‘i Academy of Recording Arts board member Cindy Lance said Friday morning, adding that Montero had been in top form — and a hit with the audience — Tuesday when he played at HARA’s Mele Mei Luncheon, the first in a series of special events leading up to the awards show.

David Mario “Chino” Montero was born and grew up in Palolo. He was 11, a student at Jarrett Intermediate, when he met Nahinu and Fernandez. Nahinu remembers it as an instant friendship cemented by their shared love of the ukulele.

“Troy Fernandez and I met him at the same time, the same day, because of our playing of the ukulele,” Nahinu said Friday morning. “He was my brother in arms all these years, and he wouldn’t want it any other way than for us to keep it going.”

Fernandez, a founding member of the Ka‘au Crater Boys in the 1990s and one of the greatest ukulele virtuosos of his generation, named Montero as the person who first inspired him to think of the ukulele as a lead instrument rather than as part of the rhythm section.

“In intermediate (school) we used to always carry our ukes around,” Fernandez told the Hono­lulu Star-Advertiser several years ago. “Eighth grade was when we started to learn three-part harmony. Chino was the one doing all the solos, but he got me thinking — that and listening to Peter Moon tapes.”

Montero is survived by son Noah Rico Lac­ba­yan, daughter Charise, mother Lorita Montero, brother Dana, sister Dawn and eight grandchildren.

Funeral plans are pending.


Chino Montero, Hoku Award-winning guitarist and vocalist, was called an inspiration by ukulele virtuoso Troy Fernandez.

Posted in Featured

WILLIAM M. BOLMAN / 1929-2014

Posted On April 30th, 2014 -

Autism advocate inspired with vision, leadership

By Rosemarie Bernardo /

Dr. William “Bill” M. Bolman, a well-respected expert on autism, pushed to raise awareness of the disorder and of the need for more treatment and insurance coverage for patients.

Bolman, co-founder of the Autism Society of Hawaii, died in Honolulu on April 18. He was 84.

Until his last days Bolman served as president of the society, continued to see patients and testified at the state Legislature in support of a measure to provide insurance coverage for screening, diagnosis and treatment of autism. 30-B8-Bolman-mug-NEW

Dr. Ryan Lee, newly elected president of the Autism Society, said, “His kindness and vision to see what could be possible in the field of autism was very inspiring to me.”

“We are trying to continue his legacy through the Autism Society of Hawaii,” he said. “His impact to the community was enormous.”

Louis Erteschik, executive director of the Hawaii Disability Rights Center, said Bolman was a beloved figure and considered a patriarch to many psychiatrists. “He pretty much taught all of the psychiatrists in town,” Erteschik said.

Family members and colleagues said he would be best remembered for his commitment to treating children with autism, medical professionals he taught and his tireless work with autism. “He was just the best,” Erteschik said.

Born in Elyria, Ohio, and raised in Gloversville, N.Y., Bolman graduated from Harvard College in 1951 and Harvard Medical School in 1955. He earned a master’s degree in public health, specializing in child psychiatry and developing an expertise in autism.

Bolman completed his residency at Massachusetts Memorial Hospital in Boston and Boston City Hospital. While in the Army, he served at Tripler Army Medical Center before returning to Massachusetts. He worked in various cities before he returned to Honolulu.

Bolman served as a consultant to the World Health Organization and National Institute of Mental Health as well as state health departments and organizations. He also was a teaching fellow at Tufts University and Boston University and served as a professor at the University of Wisconsin and University of Hawaii John A. Burns School of Medicine.

Bolman was a lifetime fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the World Federation for Mental Health and the Royal Society for Public Health. His contributions to the community include helping to establish the ‘Imi Ho‘ola program that supports disadvantaged students at JABSOM.

Bolman’s wife of 33 years, Victoria Asayama, described her husband as a humble gentleman who wanted to help others and the community on a daily basis. “He was just a giving soul,” she said.

Bolman is also survived by daughters Dr. Susan Garrison Bolman and Elizabeth Stinette Bolman, nephews and nieces.

A celebration of life for Bolman will be held May 31 at Nuuanu Memorial Park and Mortuary. Visitation starts at 10 a.m. with service to follow at 11 a.m. Lei and personal notes are welcome. Donations to the Autism Society of Hawaii are suggested.

Posted in Featured

Dennis Kamakahi: 1953-2014

Posted On April 28th, 2014 -

Slack-key master revered as a music legend
By Michael Tsai

Multiple news organizations are reporting that local entertainer Dennis Kama­kahi has died at the age of 61.

A Facebook entry attributed to Kama­kahi’s son David announced Kama­kahi’s death, saying in part:

“Hawaii has lost one of its greatest sons today. Legendary musician & composer, loving husband, father, and grandfather, Dennis David Kama­­kahi, passed away at the Queens Medical Center at 4:30 p.m. After his battle with cancer, he was surrounded by family and close friends, with the background filled with the music of Gabby Pahi­nui and The Sons of Hawaii. We cried, we prayed, we laughed, we sang for him his many songs that he wrote and also favorites of his own.”

Reached via a telephone number on the team­den­nis­kama­ website, which had been used to promote a benefit concert for Kama­kahi on March 31, David Kama­kahi declined to confirm his father’s death Monday.

In the Facebook posting, the family asked for privacy and noted that any updates would be posted on the website.

Kamakahi’s friends, family and fans reacted swiftly to the news of his death on a variety of social media sites.

Singer Amy Hanai­ali‘i tweeted, ”I am so sad to hear of the passing of my dear cousin Dennis Kama­kahi. He will always be an inspiration to me, in mele, true aloha and hawaiian (sic) spirituality. May our ancestors carry you to your peaceful place with Akua … love you cousin.”

A renowned slack-key guitar player and prolific songwriter, Kama­kahi garnered numerous recognitions in a career spanning more than four decades. He contributed to three Grammy Award-winning recordings (“Legends of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar” in 2007, “Treasures of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar” in 2008 and “The Masters of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar” in 2010) and won six Na Hoku Hano­­hano Awards.

Kamakahi’s seminal work with the Sons of Hawaii (he replaced Gabby Pahi­nui in 1974) earned him a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts in 2009. He was inducted to the Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame that same year.

Kamakahi, a Christian minister, was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer in March while undergoing treatment for pneumonia.


Posted in Featured

H.K. Bruss Keppeler: 1937-2014

Posted On April 24th, 2014 -

Lawyer promoted rights of Native Hawaiians

H.K. Bruss Keppeler, 77, an attorney known for his dedication to preserving Hawaiian culture, heritage and way of life, died April 12 in Hono­lulu.

For many years Keppeler worked with U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka’s staff on the Akaka Bill — a Native Hawaiian federal recognition bill. In 2011, Keppeler also worked with state senators on passage of Senate Bill 1520, which created the commission responsible for creating and maintaining a list of Native Hawaiians tasked with working toward the organization of a native government.

Keppeler established Na ‘Oiwi Kane — the first Native Hawaiian “disadvantaged” business eligible for government contracts through the Small Business Administration — with Ronald K. Jarrett.

He was vice president and general counsel of JTSI Inc. and a director of the Kepler Group Inc. Keppeler was a graduate of Punahou School and the University of Washington, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts and a law degree.

In the “Price of Paradise,” Keppeler wrote a Native Hawaiian claims article and, with Mahealani Kamauu, co-authored the Hawaiian sovereignty article.

He served on the boards of the Bishop Museum Association, Friends of ‘Iolani Palace, Moana­lua Gardens, Na ‘Oiwi Kane, University of Hawaii-Manoa Charles R. Hem­en­way Scholarship Program and the Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce. He was also a member of The Royal Order of Kame­ha­meha I and the Hawaiian Civic Clubs of Hono­­lulu and Prince Kuhio, and Mamaka ‘Ai alo. He served as adviser to the Native Hawaiian Roll Commission and was appointed commissioner on the Hawaii Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

Survivors include partner M.J. Fogarty, brother John P. “Jack” Keppeler II, sister Leinani Keppeler-Bortles, six nieces and two nephews.

Visitation is at 9 a.m. Wednesday at the Cathedral of Saint Andrew, followed by services at 10:30 a.m. In lieu of flowers, donations are suggested to Friends of ‘Iolani Palace, Punahou School, Bishop Museum, Prince Kuhio Civic Club and Cathedral of Saint Andrew.

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Posted in Featured

Shimeji Ryusaki Kana­zawa: 1915-2014

Posted On April 19th, 2014 -

Invaluable devotion to Hawaii’s families spanned decades
By Leila Fujimori

Shimeji Ryusaki Kana­zawa, lauded for her 60-plus years of work for the elderly and youth, also is arguably Hawaii’s most unsung World War II hero.

Two months after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, amid anti-Japanese sentiments and fears within the Japanese community, Kanazawa, then a 26-year-old self-described “country girl” from Waimea, Hawaii island, was tapped to serve Japanese citizens in Hawaii as executive secretary to the Swedish vice consul, who had assumed the Japanese Consulate’s duties during the war.

“I dedicated my efforts to doing the best I could for families torn apart by the war — finding work for wives whose husbands had been interned, providing comfort to the elderly who shared their anguish with me, and accompanying families to internment camps to be with their husbands and fathers,” she said in a 2008 interview with Mary Bitterman.

Kanazawa died April 7 of natural causes in Honolulu at age 98.

“When we reflect on the second war, we so often think about the great heroes of the 100th Battalion, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team,” said longtime friend Bitterman. “I’ve thought of her as a representative of that generation, but on the women’s side, who was doing some incredible things. I think she stands as a real hero of what was called the greatest generation.”

Born Dec. 29, 1915, Kanazawa was the eldest of 11 children of Torazo and Saki Ryusaki, an auto mechanic and a picture bride from Shizuoka, from whom she learned Japanese. After graduating from Hilo High School in 1939, she worked as a secretary at Kohala High and Elementary School, and served as acting vice principal.

In February 1942, the Japanese consul was under house arrest, and neutral Sweden’s vice consul in Hawaii, Gustaf Olson, assumed his duties, handling matters concerning Japa­nese nationals, the Japanese Consulate’s website says.

He was looking for someone to run the consulate who could also minister to the needs of the Japanese community.

“She must speak Japa­nese, but more important to me is that I find a girl with a Red Cross heart,” Olson told his friend Eldon Morrell.

Morrell, director of the Vocational Division at the Department of Public Instruction, recommended Kanazawa, who had just been appointed division secretary in Honolulu. She had the “combination of heart and commitment,” he said.

Kanazawa was hired, sight unseen, and performed a range of duties.

She assisted Olson in inspecting ships transporting Japanese prisoners of war en route to the mainland to ensure living conditions followed the requirements of the Geneva Convention, as well as inspecting detention camps at Honouliuli and Sand Island to ensure detainees were treated properly.

When neighbor island families arrived in Honolulu awaiting ships to mainland internment camps, she supplied them with food and winter clothes bought with her own money, wrote Dorothea Dee Buckingham in 2010 for the Hawaii Reporter. She often stood at funerals and weddings for Japanese who were not permitted to travel to the neighbor islands, and assisted in the translation and preparation of official documents.

Bitterman said: “She was entrusted with top military secrets and had permission to travel among the islands in a manner unavailable to any other person of Japa­nese ancestry.”

She added, “She had a very difficult, very challenging job dealing with people who were really so saddened. The issei were frightened and didn’t know what was happening. Families were being torn asunder.

“She brought grace and compassion and a commitment to doing everything in her power to help people, and she was adored,” Bitterman said. “People would just be so moved to meet her because they had heard about her and her goodness and how she extended herself to make life bearable.”

For her wartime efforts, Kanazawa was awarded an American Red Cross certificate for “meritorious performance during World War II” and rewarded with a 37-state trip paid by the U.S. military, the Swedish government and the American Red Cross.

Upon her return to Hono­lulu, she met and married Kinji Kanazawa.

She accompanied him to Boston, where he attended Boston College Law School. There she attended the Chamberlain School of Retailing.

They returned to Hono­lulu, where her husband established his law practice, and she worked in retail, then for the Department of Education in cooperative retail training.

The couple had two children, and once they were in preschool, she embarked on a career in volunteer work, starting with her appointment to the Commission on Children and Youth by Gov. William Quinn.

After eight years, Kana­zawa shifted her focus to the elderly when Gov. John Burns appointed her in 1963 to the Commission on Aging. She maintained that focus for more than five decades until her death.

Twenty-five years ago, she conceived the idea for and co-founded Project Dana, based on the Buddhist precept of selfless giving. The volunteer program provides services for the frail elderly so they can continue to live at home and relief for their caregivers.

The project, begun in the Hawaii Buddhist community, developed into an interfaith program that has spread to California and Japan.

Her son, Sidney, said what also inspired his mother to do for others was her sister Emiko’s compassion for everyone else before her death at the age of 12.

The idea that “life could end at any time, and you needed to do as much as you can,” explained why she was always in a rush to get things done ahead of time, he said.

For Sidney Kanazawa, the greatest lesson learned from his mother was how she treated others.

“My mother made no distinction between blood relatives and friends,” he said. “They were all family.”

Her many true friends, who have kept in close contact, are her legacy, he said.

“She always seemed to see the good side of people and did a fantastic job of keeping family together,” he said. “She truly had no enemies, and made friends with everyone, including those who opposed her …making friends on different sides of the political spectrum.”

He added, “That’s why people gathered around her, because they could feel it. She loved and respected everyone. She found that there was a common human spirit. Everyone needed guidance and compassion and everybody needed love.”

Kanazawa is also survived by daughter Joni Young; two grandchildren, Kurt and Madeleine Kanazawa; sisters Hideko Maruyama and Fukue Yamamoto; and brothers Morris Inko Ryusaki and Dill Mutsuto Ryusaki.

Services for Kanazawa will be held 6 p.m. May 5 at the Honpa Hongwanji Mission. Visitation is at 5 p.m.


20-B4-KanazawaShimeji KanazawaAt age 26, she was hired by the Swedish consul in Hawaii to act as a liaison with Japanese nationals during World War II

20-B4-Shimeji-Kanazawa-2Shimeji Kanazawa, seated, was honored in 2013 for her decades of work advancing policies and programs that enhance the lives, safety and welfare of Hawaii’s elders and their caregivers during a ceremony in Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s office. Kanazawa died April 7 at age 98.

Posted in Featured

Hobie Alter: 1933-2014

Posted On April 1st, 2014 -

Innovator’s designs brought surfing, sailing to masses

When he was a young man, Hobie Alter had a clear vision of his future: He didn’t want a job that would require hard-soled shoes, and he didn’t want to work east of Pacific Coast Highway.

He succeeded.

The son of an orange grower, Alter is credited with innovations that allowed people who couldn’t lift log slabs to surf and those who couldn’t pay for yacht club memberships to sail.

Known practically everywhere with a coastline or a lake simply as “Hobie,” Alter developed the mass-produced foam surfboard. He later popularized sailing by inventing a lightweight, high-performance catamaran.

He died Saturday at his home in Palm Desert, Calif., according to an announcement posted on, his company’s website. He was 80.

Alter was diagnosed with cancer about five years ago and since then had serious health problems, said Paul Holmes, author of “Hobie: Master of Water, Wind and Waves,” a 2013 biography.

Born Hobart Laidlaw Alter in Ontario, Calif., he designed a prize-winning kite at age 5.

A self-taught design innovator and entrepreneur, Alter was a reluctant businessman who wore cutoffs instead of suits and was guided by his imagination above all else.

“I’m making money producing things that give me pleasure, doing exactly what I want to do,” Alter told a reporter in 1977. “I guess I’m really lucky that way.”

There were only several hundred surfers lugging their heavy wood boards into the waters of Southern Cali­for­nia in 1958 when Alter and then-partner Gordon “Grubby” Clark perfected the delicate chemical process of making rough-cut polyurethane foam blanks that could be custom-shaped in less than an hour.

Initially dismissed as flimsy toys, Hobie’s lightweight boards caught on. In less than a year, wood boards that had been used since Hawaiians invented the sport were obsolete.

Alter’s timing couldn’t have been better. The following year, the movie “Gidget” introduced the nation to a fun-loving Cali­for­nia subculture. Interest in the sport surged.

Soon his Dana Point workshop was pumping out 250 boards a week and became the epicenter of Cali­for­nia’s burgeoning surf culture.

Alter licensed the Hobie name to new surf shops in San Diego, Hawaii, Peru and on the East Coast, and sponsored a team of professional surfers, including Phil Edwards, Joey Cabell and Corky Carroll. All got their names on “signature” Hobie surfboards — another business innovation that spurred sales.

The Hobie brand dominated the surfboard business into the 1970s. Today the foam-core board remains the standard for an industry Alter arguably helped create.

“He is one of the pillars on which the sport of surfing is built,” said Steve Pezman, a surfing historian and publisher of the Surfer’s Journal. “He was enamored with inventing things. He’d get interested in something, see how it could be improved and go make a better version of it.”

In the mid-1960s, with his surfboard business booming, Alter turned to a new hobby: sailing.

As with wooden surfboards, Alter discerned an inherent problem with his 600-pound catamaran: It took at least four people to haul it to the water.

After more than a year of experimentation, Alter unveiled the Hobie Cat. The 14-foot catamaran was light enough for one person to carry and small enough to tow or even strap onto a car.

“He totally democratized sailing,” said Holmes, Alter’s biographer. “Prior to the late 1960s, it had been the preserve of a pretty elite group. But then you could get a fully rigged Hobie 14 for $999 — with the trailer.”

The original Hobie Cat and subsequent models did for sailing what the foam-core board had done for surfing: made a niche sport accessible to the masses.

“The yacht clubs were really down on the catamaran because here was some guy with a little investment going faster than they were in their million-dollar boats,” Alter told the Surfer’s Journal in 2009.

Alter sold his catamaran company to Coleman Corp. for $3.6 million in 1976 and turned to other projects.

He developed a radio-controlled glider dubbed the Hobie Hawk. He introduced a line of skateboards. He designed new watercraft, including the popular Hobie 33, a quick and agile racing monohull.

And he entered into international licensing deals that lent his name to lines of swimsuits, sportswear and sunglasses he designed.

In the early 1990s Alter literally sailed away to a retirement place in the San Juan Islands in Washington state on a 60-foot diesel catamaran he built himself.

Alter’s survivors include wife Susan, sons Hobie Jr. and Jeff, daughter Paula, sisters Caro­lyn and Lillian, eight grandchildren and a great-granddaughter.

Mike Anton, Los Angeles Times




Posted in Featured

Cobey Black / 1922-2014

Posted On March 31st, 2014 -

Isle celebrity columnist rubbed elbows with stars

A newspaper writer, Black was interested in high achievers

By Michael Tsai

Gifted with a keen intellect and driven by insatiable curiosity, columnist Cobey Black captivated readers of the Hono­lulu Star-Bulletin and The Hono­lulu Advertiser with smartly written and painstakingly procured glimpses of thousands of the day’s most popular and accomplished entertainers, intellectuals and politicians.

Black died at her Diamond Head home Thursday at the age of 91.

Through Black’s popular “Who’s News” and “Cobey” columns, local readers gained rare insight into the lives of everyone from Elvis Pres­ley to the Dalai Lama, Lucille Ball to Susan Sontag, U.S. presidents to yo-yo wizards.

“Cobey was egalitarian,” said veteran Hawaii journalist Denby Fawcett, a longtime friend of Black. “It didn’t matter who you were or where you came from as long as you were interesting. And she could pull something of substance, something interesting, out of almost everyone she met.”

And as her long and illustrious list of achievements and experiences attests, she was at least as substantial and interesting as the celebrities she profiled.

Margaret Bell Cobey was born in Washington, D.C., and educated at Welles­ley College in Massachusetts.

After graduating in 1944, Cobey moved to Cali­for­nia to pursue an acting career. She eventually joined a USO troupe on a tour of Europe.

While in Paris, she ran into an old friend from home, Army officer Edwin Black, whom she would later marry. Politically, the two were polar opposites, Cobey a liberal who supported socially progressive causes and Ed a dedicated patriot with conservative values. Yet, friends and family agreed, the two were deeply in love and steadfastly loyal to each other.

Back in the U.S., Black leveraged her writing skills into a job as women’s editor for the Washington Daily News, a post she held from 1947 to 1950. She was entertaining an offer to become a style writer for the Washington Post when her husband was reassigned to Hawaii.

Black was reluctant to move but changed her mind once she visited Oahu.

“She came to take a look, and that was it,” said daughter Noel Ackerman. “She saw how beautiful everything was and never wanted to leave.”

Hawaii was on the cusp of historic change when Black, then 31, arrived in 1954. Statehood was on the near horizon, Big Five control was being usurped by a Demo­cratic Party energized by returning war veterans, and the advent of cheap jet travel was about to transform the local economy.

Black recognized Hawaii as a site of rare cultural, historic and social intersection and saw in its appeal to traveling celebrities an opportunity to fill a niche.

Shortly after she arrived in Hawaii, Black approached Star-Bulletin Editor Bill Ewing and talked her way into writing a celebrity column.

Making good on her promise to secure interviews with visiting celebrities wasn’t easy, but Black’s earnest, down-to-earth approach proved highly effective in getting even the most resistant public figures to grant her a few minutes. Many of her tales became the stuff of local journalism legend. She wore down a reclusive Robert Mitchum as he sat at the bar in the Moana Hotel, lay on the grass to interview a prone and unwilling-to-move Marlon Brando, even coaxed a wary Henry Fonda to re-enact his famous Tom Joad speech from “The Grapes of Wrath.”

“She was a genuine person,” said friend Judy Murata. “There was no BS, no game-playing, no manipulation. It was just her. If she had an agenda, it was simply to get to know you.”

Black relied on a network of Wai­kiki bellhops and desk clerks to get the skinny on who was staying where, but her interest was never in scandal or salaciousness. Friends say she was fascinated by the qualities that high achievers possessed and delighted in sharing stories of hard work and accomplishment.

Few readers would have guessed that Black accomplished such feats while also caring for six children.

Daughter Star Black recalled nights when, roused from sleep, she and her siblings would be herded into the family car so Black could drop off her latest column before deadline.

Given the nature of Black’s work, it was no surprise for the children if they came home to find Secret Service agents in the living room, or Danny Kaye cooking in the kitchen, or Jack Lord freshening a cocktail at the bar, or their father playing chess with nuclear scientist Edward Teller. They didn’t flinch when the received postcards informing them that their mother was visiting a camel market with Sir Edmund Hillary or learning the finer points of snake wrangling.

“We couldn’t have asked for a better mother,” said youngest son Brian. “She had a great way of instilling a sense of pride and hard work without being obvious about it. We always wanted to live up to a higher standard because of her.”

Though she first came to public notice through her column, which continued to run into the mid-1980s, Black was also a successful author, penning well-reviewed books on Princess Pau­ahi Bishop and legendary kumu hula Iolani Lua­hine. Her 2002 book “Hawaii Scandal,” published when she was 79, is considered one of the definitive texts on the infamous Thalia Massey rape case.

She was working on a collection of columns about prominent African-Americans at the time of her death.

At her former Kahala home, she threw parties that might have made Gatsby blush but also opened her home to countless people in need of a place to stay.

“She enjoyed the adrenaline of life,” said son Bruce.

Cobey Black is survived by sister Betty Senescu, daughters Star Black and Noel Ackerman, and sons Nicholas, Bruce and Brian. Funeral arrangements are pending.31-b1-Black-151

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EARL MCDANIEL / 1928-2014

Posted On March 28th, 2014 -

Longtime broadcaster created the “Perry and Price” show

by Erika Engle

Earl “The Pearl” McDaniel, the former general manager of KSSK AM-FM who made a name for himself during the formative years of rock ‘n’ roll, died Wednesday night in Arizona at age 85.28-b10-earl-mcdaniel1-mug

McDaniel had cancer surgery two years ago, according to longtime friend Don Barrett, but the cause of his death was not released.

McDaniel prepared an email for his daughter to send to friends upon his death which began, “I died today,” and spelled out his last wishes, including that he be cremated and have no funeral. In the email he thanked friends for their contributions to his life and made it clear he wanted no sad songs sung for him.

McDaniel had a talent for promoting radio stations, rock concerts and, on one occasion, a parade.

He had the idea in 1983 to get KSSK morning radio host J. Akuhead Pupule, or Aku, to tell listeners to come out for a parade April 1. Thousands of people lined up along the usual route from Ala Moana Boulevard into Waikiki. The radio station aired audio from a televised parade with commentary as if it were a live event. There was no parade. It was an April Fools’ Day joke. Bomb threats were among the angry calls made to the radio station that day and for some time thereafter.

McDaniel is credited with creating the “Perry and Price” morning radio team of Michael W. Perry and Larry Price, which succeeded Aku following his death in 1983 and remains Hawaii’s No. 1 radio show today.

He also is credited with the $1 million giveaway to not only retain the late Aku’s listeners, but also to help cement top ratings for his new morning team. Some 4 million entries were received for the contest, though Oahu’s population at the time was about 700,000.

McDaniel will long be remembered for his truisms, which his former staffers still recite.

On marketing, McDaniel would say, “It’s all tinsel and foil, and underneath all that tinsel and foil, there is real tinsel and foil,” said Suzi Mechler, McDaniel’s longtime executive assistant.

McDaniel would tell reluctant advertisers, “Something terrible happens when you don’t promote: nothing.”

“I still use that line today,” Mechler said.

He also had a soft side. When Mechler’s son was born with a potentially lethal heart problem, McDaniel made sure her health insurance premiums were paid even though her three-month maternity leave stretched to eight months. “I would have worked for that man for free,” she said.

In his pre-Hawaii broadcast days, McDaniel worked in Los Angeles in the 1950s and ’60s at big-time stations including KPOP and KFWB when AM radio stations ruled the airwaves and were making the transition from pop music to rock ‘n’ roll.

McDaniel was credited with being the first to play “Heartbreak Hotel” on the radio and was sent to Las Vegas to present Elvis Presley with the gold record onstage. McDaniel “produced and presented live stage shows with the major rock stars of the era. He also had the first record hop/dance show on L.A. television,” according to Barrett.

In a recent email to Mechler, McDaniel wrote, “If I were to have an epitaph, it would be, ‘Earl McDaniel … from 1928 to 2014, he lived.'”

He is survived by two daughters and was preceeded in death by his wife of 50 years, Ellie. In keeping with McDaniel’s wishes, no service is planned.

Posted in Featured

Al Chase: 1942-2014

Posted On March 28th, 2014 -

Longtime writer had straightforward style
By Cindy Luis

Retired Honolulu Star-Bulletin sports writer Al Chase was known for his attention to detail, accuracy of statistics and a straightforward style of writing that reflected his New England upbringing. Baseball and soccer were the perfect sports for him to cover, games played between the lines with honor and rules.

Much like a soccer player taking a penalty shot, Chase didn’t hesitate when it came to making a call as the official scorekeeper at University of Hawaii baseball games or when falling in love. Less than a year after he met UH student Lydia “Lee” Hironaga, the two were married in 1968.

They were together until Thursday when Al died at Kaiser Hospital following a long battle with a blood disorder. He would have been 72 next Tuesday.

On Thursday, Lee Chase laughed at the memories of the brief courtship, which was punctuated by Al’s surprise proposal during a rainstorm in the middle of cane field near Honomu on the Hamakua Coast.

“My father loved him from the beginning,” Lee Chase said of the late Chikara Hironaga. “When we came back in and told him we were getting married, he said that Al was a ‘gooda boy.’

“And he was. Just a kind man, a heart of gold, a wonderful husband and father and grandfather. He loved his two grandchildren and tried very hard to hang on. At least they got to know him.”

Chase instilled a love of soccer in his oldest grandchild, Noah, who was a year old at the time of his grandfather’s retirement in 2007.

During his retirement party in the newsroom, Chase said one number stood out: 39. That was the number of years he had been married as well as worked at the Star-Bulletin.

Alan Reed Chase was born April 1, 1942, in Boston and was raised in Mansfield, Mass. He graduated from the University of Hawaii with a degree in physical education and a minor in East Asian Studies. While a student, he helped form the UH men’s soccer club team and competed in men’s leagues for a number of years.

Chase also taught and coached soccer at several Oahu high schools, including Kalani and Kailua.

In 2009, he was named the 35th recipient of the Wilbur Snypp Award by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association for outstanding contributions to college baseball. Chase, who began covering UH baseball in 1968, introduced the first NCBWA poll in the 1970s and established the criteria the NCAA now uses for the annual active and retired baseball coaches career lists.

He also served as NCBWA vice president and his name is on the Snypp Award plaque at the College Baseball Hall of Fame in Lubbock, Texas.

In addition to his wife, Chase is survived by daughter Lisha Moffat; son-in-law Gavin; grandchildren Noah and Maya; brother Philip Chase, sister Corinee Tozier, and niece Sarah Chase.

Services are pending.


Posted in Featured

KENNY BROWN / 1919-2014

Posted On March 18th, 2014 -

24-hour vigil will honor beloved business leader with royal ties

Timothy Hurley /

The legacy and life of the late Kenny Brown, Native Hawaiian business and political leader, will be celebrated at a 24-hour vigil at the Royal Mausoleum of 20140319_OBIT_MUGHawaii Chapel starting at midday Thursday.

Hundreds are expected to attend the event, called “Ku i ka Mana,” which is being organized by a group of people whose lives were touched by the man who died last month at the age of 94.

“We all feel compelled to honor an extraordinary man,” said Maile Meyer, owner of Native Books/Na Mea Hawaii. “I’m thrilled to be doing this.”

Brown, great-grandson of John Papa I‘i, a member of the court of Kamehameha III, had a resume that was long and impressive. Among other titles, he was chairman of the Bishop Museum, the East-West Center and the Hawaii Community Development Authority.

He ran for lieutenant governor in 1966 and served as a special assistant to Gov. John A. Burns before serving two terms in the state Senate.

In the business world, Brown owned the Waianae Cable Co. and would later serve as chairman of the board of Oceanic Cablevision. He served on numerous boards of directors, including Amfac, Pan Pacific Development Co., Emerald Hotels Corp. and Hawaiian Airlines.

He was the longtime president and chairman of Hawaii island’s Mauna Lani Resort, which under his leadership was a forerunner in preserving, protecting and incorporating Hawaiian culture as part of the visitor experience.

He also founded the Native Hawaiian Hospitality Association with Hawaiian scholar George Kanahele.

During the ’80s and early ’90s, Brown was chairman of the board of The Queen’s Health Systems in Honolulu and worked to redirect the mission of Queen’s to serve Hawaiians and the less privileged sectors of Hawaii’s population.

As president of the Hawaii Maritime Center, he pushed for ways to support the voyages of the Hokule‘a and the work of the Polynesian Voyaging Society.

Designer Momi Cazimero, who served with Brown on the Queen’s board, said Brown was a powerful role model who inspired personal growth and leadership in others.

“Kenny lived the principles and wisdom of his kupuna on whose shoulders he stood. And now we stand on his shoulders,” she said.

Different topics that were special interests of Brown’s will be discussed in three-hour segments throughout the 24 hours. The public is invited to come and go at any time. Parking will be available at the Honolulu Central Seventh-day Adventist Church, 2313 Nuuanu Ave., mauka of the Royal Mausoleum, or Mauna‘ala.

The event will start at noon Thursday with a family gathering and personal remembrances. Community health and wellness will be the focus of the next segment from 3 to 6 p.m., featuring representatives of the Queen’s Medical Center and other health organizations and foundations that shared Brown’s vision.

The third segment, from

6 to 9 p.m., will focus on business and commerce. Waikiki businesses, hotel industry professionals and other industry leaders are expected to discuss the future of tourism.

Land stewardship will be discussed from 9 p.m. to midnight, while Hawaiian music and culture will be addressed from midnight to

3 a.m. From 3 to 6 a.m. the topic will be ties among the peoples of Polynesia. Brown on several occasions traveled to Aotearoa, or New Zealand, and he envisioned a Pacific ohana.

From 6 to 9 a.m. the topic will be “Justice, Governance, Advocacy and Leadership,” while the final segment at 9 a.m. will be “Reflections and Voyaging into the Future.”

“He was a voyager,” Meyer said. “He was out over the horizon in everything he did.”

At the end, lei offerings will be made at the Kamehameha and Queen Emma crypt, and then there will be a short walk to place lei at the grave sites of the Papa I‘i, at Oahu Cemetery.

Posted in Featured

Michael Hubbard: 1959-2014

Posted On March 16th, 2014 -

‘Duck Man’ toted feathered friend wherever he went
By Leila Fujimori

Michael Hubbard walked around Hono­lulu for 21⁄2 years with a black-and-white pet duck on his shoulder.

The homeless man was a common sight from Waikiki to Hawaii Kai to Kailua, often catching TheBus with his duck inside his backpack, sharing crackers and bread with his feathered companion.

“Some bus drivers were nice about the duck, and others would not allow the duck on,” said his mother, Pat Craft of Lady Lake, Fla.

Police officers would often stop to say, “How you doing, Duck Man? How’s your duck doing?”

Hubbard reportedly fell against a tree March 6, and a nurse witnessing the fall called an ambulance. He was rushed to the Queen’s Medical Center, where he died, a month short of his 55th birthday, his mother said.

“But he didn’t have his little duck,” Craft said.

Born in Dallas, Hubbard moved to Hono­lulu from Florida four years ago with the intention of rejoining the Merchant Marine.

But his plans didn’t pan out and he became homeless, his mother said.

“He was going to do so good,” Craft said. “It just went from good, bad to worse. I sent him money, but he didn’t use his money wisely.”

Hubbard had adopted the duckling after it had been shot in the eye with a BB gun, Craft said. He named it Duke and it went wherever he did.

Hubbard later learned he was a she, renamed her Daisy and put a lei on her.

Once, when a man hit Daisy with a stick, Hubbard threw a rock at him, resulting in his arrest.

“Mike was just defending the duck,” Craft said.

When he went to Circuit Court with his duck in his backpack in April 2013, security screeners stopped him when they saw something moving inside the backpack as it passed through the X-ray machine.

After his initial refusal, Hubbard reluctantly opened the backpack, and screeners found the duck and a bottle of beer inside, a Department of Public Safety spokes­woman said.

“They handcuffed him and put him against the wall,” Craft said.

So he asked the screeners if they would look after Daisy and his belongings while he went inside. They agreed, and he went to his appointment while the duck waited outside.

The disposition of the court case is unclear.

Hubbard was known to panhandle with Daisy, and the duck always drew the curious.

“People would go crazy over that duck, and people would give him donations,” Craft said.

The cause of death is pending, Craft said, but police and the medical examiner told her there was no apparent foul play.

Craft said her son was in and out of the hospital due to heart problems and had triple-bypass surgery at 42.

She spoke to him the day he died, and he had taken painkillers after having three teeth extracted.

Craft will follow her son’s wishes and have his ashes scattered near the Hono­lulu Harbor dock for American Shipping Line, a company he had worked for, she said.

Daisy’s whereabouts remain a mystery.

“He loved that duck so dearly,” Craft said.


Posted in Featured

Sharie Shima: 1961-2014

Posted On March 10th, 2014 -

TV broadcaster had ‘huge amount of popularity’
By Erika Engle

Family, friends and legions of fans are mourning the death l11-b1-shima-CUTOUTate last week of longtime local television weather forecaster Sharie Shima. She was 52.

The weekday weather anchorwoman was the first woman in Hawaii to earn a certificate in broadcast meteorology in 1997 while at KITV, where she worked for eight years before joining KHNL-TV in 2001.

Shima would be recognized and greeted by members of the public more than other TV news personalities in the field, said Ed Matthews, a news photographer who worked with her at KHNL. She was “very approachable,” he said.

In 2005 she was named co-anchor alongside Howard Dashef­sky for the weekday 6 and 10 p.m. newscasts, in addition to her weather duties for KHNL and sister station KFVE.

At the time, Vice President and General Manager John Fink described her as “someone the audience relates to and (who) has a huge amount of popularity in the marketplace, is very bright and very well versed on the things that are going on in Hawaii.”

She would continue to serve as weekday co-anchor at 6 and 10 p.m., and as weather anchor on four newscasts on KHNL and KFVE for close to a year, yeoman’s duty repeated by no other news personality of the time. She was able to return to solely focusing on weather responsibilities in 2006.

During her years at KHNL, Shima also co-hosted “Sam Choy’s Kitchen.”

Shima had won numerous awards for broadcast excellence, including regional Emmy awards.

Hawaii News Now on Monday attributed her death to a “long illness.” A family spokes­woman said no details would be released about the circumstances of her death, in keeping with her last wishes.

Shima’s employment as a local weather anchor ended in 2009, the year her mother died, when television stations KHNL, KFVE and KGMB were consolidated under a shared services agreement.

“I’ll never forget, it was my birthday, August 31st. I was called upstairs to the general managers’ office, and he said, ‘You know, you’re going to be laid off,'” Shima said, in a faith-based video uploaded to YouTube in 2010.

She was shown packing up belongings and expressed fear about moving to Cali­for­nia, not knowing where she was going to live.

“If God doesn’t speak to you, if he doesn’t tell you, what do you do? You have to trust in the unknown,” she said. “It’s such a cliche sometimes, in Christianity, but this is it. This is the time.”

Matthews, who worked alongside Shima from 2007 to 2009, said in an online post that in 2010 she told him she had undergone “lifesaving” surgery.

Angela Keen, a former TV news colleague, described Shima as “the consummate professional. She knew weather, and she was always in your corner. She was never competition; she was always there alongside you.”

“There was nothing like what Sharie brought to the TV audience. She was a real human being with local ties, a very smooth local demeanor, but you just thoroughly enjoyed” watching her on the air, said former colleague Duncan Armstrong, now an audiovisual director for University of Hawaii Athletics.

She was a 1979 graduate of Castle High School in Kaneohe, according to Sandra Ordonez Tsu­ji­mura, who identified Shima as her classmate. “God bless her and her family,” she said in her Facebook post.

Shima is survived by her stepfather, two sisters and two brothers.

Posted in Featured

Wilmer C. ‘Bill’ Morris / 1923-2014

Posted On March 6th, 2014 -

Business leader helped restore palace items

By Gary T. Kubota

Wilmer C. “Bill” Morris, a businessman instrumental in securing the return of the Hawaiian crowns, swords and scepter to Iolani Palace, died in Kaneohe on Feb. 9. He was a month shy of his 91st birthday.07-a26-OBT-Morris

Morris, a part-Hawaiian, traced his ancestry to British sea captain Samuel Dowsett, who settled in Hawaii in 1828, and Hawaiian Princess Keikipauahi.
Morris was a director emeritus of Iolani Palace and the Bishop Museum, and a founding member of the Friends of ‘Iolani Palace and the Outrigger Duke Kahanamoku Foundation.

The Bishop Museum honored Morris in 2012 for his dedication to Hawaiian heritage by awarding him the Charles Reed Bishop Medal for his leadership, philanthropy and generosity.

Museum President Blair Collis said Morris was an intelligent, passionate individual who was also extremely humble and possessed a great sense of humor.
“He was very approachable … just a likable guy,” Collis said. “That was part of his charm.”

Morris’ brother Charles was married to Helen Lydia Kamaka’eha Lili’uokalani Kawananakoa. When she was dying of cancer, she asked Bill Morris to promise her that the thrones and other symbols of royalty would be returned to Iolani Palace, Morris’ family said.

As a result, a number of items were restored to the palace from the museum.
“It was one of many good deeds,” Collis said.

Morris was also director emeritus of Hawaii Pacific University, where he was honored as a “Fellow of the Pacific,” and worked tirelessly as a fundraiser for them as well as Punahou School, ‘Iolani School, Mid-Pacific Institute, the Community Chest/Aloha United Way and the Outrigger Duke Kahanamoku Foundation.
In an oral history of his early years, Morris talked about spending time with the beachboys in Waikiki and sometimes being asked by Kahanamoku to come down early on a Sunday morning to take movie stars and entertainers surfing or on a canoe ride.

He met Red Skelton, Loretta Young, Tyrone Power, Spencer Tracy and even escorted Shirley Temple out to dinner.

Kahanamoku taught Morris how to swim at the family home in Puuloa at age 5. They remained close friends until Kahanamoku’s death, and Morris wrote the foreword to the book “Duke: A Great Hawaiian.”

Morris, a 1941 graduate of Punahou School, was at the University of Hawaii when Pearl Harbor was attacked. Having been an ROTC officer at Punahou, he was called to the Hawaii Territorial Guard Armory and later served in the Army.

After the war he worked as an insurance salesman and later went to work at Bishop Trust and retired as senior vice president of real estate in 1991.
Morris started a private real estate development company, Morris Enterprises, developing properties such as Ichiben Times Square Shopping Center in Waimalu and the old Chun Hoon Market.

Morris is survived by daughters Anna Lindon “Linny” Morris, Frances “Posie” Morris Constable and Alison Pauahi Morris Recek; son William Cox “Toby” Morris; and four grandchildren.

A tribute celebration of Morris’ life is scheduled for 3 p.m. March 15 at the Punahou chapel. No floral arrangements. Contributions may be made to the Bishop Museum, Iolani Palace, Punahou School or Outrigger Duke Kahanamoku Foundation.

Posted in Featured

Boyd Andrade Sr.: 1927-2014

Posted On March 4th, 2014 -

HPD officers held highest respect for retired sergeant
By Leila Fujimori

During his 26 years with the Hono­lulu Police Department, Boyd Andrade Sr. never rose above the rank of sergeant, but he commanded incommensurable respect both in and out of uniform.

“I remember him taking off his uniform and taking care of ‘situations,'” said retired Hono­lulu Police Chief Boisse Correa. “When people would challenge him, he would take them on.

“He was very colorful, well respected … never yelled, never got excited, but when he spoke and when he wanted things done, people complied because of his reputation and who he was,” Correa said.

Andrade, a former Hono­lulu Police Commission chairman and former city councilman, died Tuesday at Kaiser Permanente Moana­lua Medical Center of head trauma due to a fall at his Foster Village home, his wife, Arlene Andrade, said. He was 86.

The son of a policeman, Andrade grew up in Kaka­ako, where he was part of a group of “ruffians,” Arlene Andrade said.

After four years in the military, he returned home to his sick mother and to his old friends, and he fell back into his old ways and all kinds of trouble.

“Most of his friends ended up in Halawa,” Arlene Andrade said. “He could have ended up on the other side. He was always so grateful he was given the chance.

“The Honolulu Police Department was his life,” she said. “Everything else took a back seat. He was so proud to have been a policeman.”

When Andrade started to fill out a police job application in 1948, he threw it down when he came to the question of whether he was ever convicted and started to walk out. The person there told him, “Sit down! Don’t you think I know about your record?”

He ended up getting the call to pick up his badge and gun.

Bobby Schmidt, longtime friend and retired police captain, said when he flunked a college semester, he decided to apply for HPD, and Andrade, who was “one of the biggest legends in HPD,” influenced his decision.

Andrade was sergeant in charge of the metro squad that was started to stem a big crime wave at the time, Schmidt said.

He also served with vice and narcotics and was a solo bike officer.

As a former heavyweight boxer in the military, he had an imposing stature and kept fit, Schmidt said.

“He was loved by every policeman,” he said. “They looked up to him like a father image. … He was a policeman’s policeman.”

After retiring on Nov. 30, 1974, he worked as chief of security at the Sheraton Waikiki and Royal Hawaiian Hotel, Schmidt said.

He was appointed to the City Council, serving from 1994 to 1995 to replace Arnold Morgado.

“His deepest wish was to become a police commissioner,” Arlene Andrade said. “From the day he retired, that was his wish.”

Mayor Mufi Hannemann appointed him to the commission in 2005, and he served four years. He was chairman from 2006 to 2007.

Andrade “wanted to help the officers on the beat, not that he was easy on them if they screwed up,” his wife said. “He was very strict on them. He was able to bring a different perspective.

“He made a difference,” she said. “He was so proud to be a part of it.”

Law enforcement runs in the family.

Father Manuel Andrade served three years on the force and was among the officers who discovered the body of Joe Kaha­ha­wai, one of four local men falsely accused of rape during the infamous Massie case of 1932.

Five of Boyd Andrade’s sons have served as Hono­lulu police officers: Boyd Jr., Milton (deceased) and Richard Andrade, and Darrell and Gary Lum Lee.

His eldest son, Baldwin Andrade, is a retired Halawa corrections sergeant.

Richard Andrade said his father was a good man.

“If he saw a $1,000 bill, he’d pick it up and turn it in to evidence,” he said. “I didn’t look at filling his shoes. I had my own shoes to fill.”

As a police officer, he recalled hearing his father, a sergeant, on the police radio, and officers would always address him as “sir,” a title usually reserved for ranking officers.

Many men who worked under his father achieved higher rank, but “all have great respect for this man,” Richard Andrade said.

Boyd Andrade Sr. is also survived by seven other sons; four daughters; 85 grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren; and two former wives.

Services are at 11 a.m. March 11 at Kawaiaha‘o Church. Visitation is at 9 a.m., with burial at 2 p.m. at Hawaii State Veterans Cemetery.

Posted in Featured

Franklin Schowengerdt: 1936-2014

Posted On February 27th, 2014 -

Physicist recognized isles’ value to space research
By Joie Nishimoto

Franklin Schowengerdt, regarded as a visionary leader of space research programs in Hawaii, has died of cancer in Alexandria, Va. He was 77.

Schowengerdt, a physicist and former program director at NASA, was the founding director of the Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems, also known as PISCES.

He was also U.S. vice chairman of the Japan- U.S. Science, Technology and Space Applications Program (JUSTSAP).

His career included teaching positions at the Colo­rado School of Mines, Cali­for­nia Institute of Technology and the University of Hawaii at Hilo.

In a tribute written last week, former Gov. George Ari­yo­shi called Schowen­gerdt “a man of diverse talents and impeccable vision.”

The state Legislature also recognized Schowengerdt’s career, saying his efforts at JUSTSAP and PISCES helped to make space exploration more sustainable as well as more affordable through international partnerships.

Jim Crisafulli, director of the Hawaii Office of Aerospace Development, said he worked with Schowengerdt “for decades” and that Schowengerdt worked assiduously to advance Hawaii’s engagement in space research, making the state a major contributor to and beneficiary of global space enterprise.

“He recognized the unique assets of the state — being in the Pacific and so close to the equator as well as Hawaii’s moon-Mars-like terrain,” Crisafulli said. Rocket launches are more efficient near the equator because they take advantage of the earth’s angular momentum.

Crisafulli said Schowen­gerdt was also passionate about opening up job opportunities for aspiring scientists in Hawaii.

A memorial service will be held May 8 in Arlington. Schowengerdt died Feb. 12.

He is survived by wife Ellen, daughter Anna, son John and brother Richard.

Contributions can be made to the Frank Schowengerdt Memorial Fund at the University of Hawaii at Hilo’s PISCES account, No. 125-9480-4, through the University of Hawaii Foundation.

The donations will help to provide opportunities and scholarships for students to pursue studies in space research.

“I believe it is incumbent upon our community to both honor and realize Frank’s vision by supporting the ongoing efforts of the University of Hawaii, local industry, our visionary Legislature and the state Office of Aerospace Development to expand and diversify our spaceward quest,” said Ari­yo­shi, U.S. adviser to JUSTSAP. “In so doing, we will assuredly enable a more compelling and rewarding future for the people of Hawaii Nei.”


Posted in Featured

George Castagnola: 1932-2014

Posted On February 27th, 2014 -

Restaurateur inspired wave of Italian eateries in Hawaii
By Gary T. Kubota

A chef whose Manoa Valley restaurant served as the training ground for restaurateurs of Italian cuisine on Oahu for decades has died.

George “Cass” Castagnola died Feb. 2 with relatives by his side in New Jersey. He was 81.

Castagnola, born in Manhattan, was the son of Italian immigrants and operated a successful restaurant in New Jersey. He would close his restaurant for a week or two in February while vacationing in Hawaii, his son George Jr. said.

“He finally had enough of bad weather,” George Jr. said.

George Jr. said Castagnola worked with a friend at Michel’s to open Castagnola’s at Manoa Marketplace in 1984 and continued operating it until 1990, when he sold it.

George Jr. said his father brought whole containers of food from Italy.

“‘It’s not so much the recipe as it is the ingredients’ was my father’s mantra,” the son said.

At one point Castagnola operated six restaurants but tired of it and made his exit.

The restaurant was so good that celebrities including Don Ho and Tom Selleck were frequent visitors, George Jr. recalled.

“Frank Sinatra had him ship meatballs to Cali­for­nia,” he said.

Castagnola once turned down a reservation by President Richard Nixon because the arrangement would cause an inconvenience to regular customers, and his regular customers came first, he said.

“It wasn’t political,” George said.

Castagnola’s became a template for a style of Italian restaurant popular to an entire generation and more, according to a food critic.

Some people who worked for Castagnola eventually opened their own restaurants, including Verbano, Paesano and Assaggio.

The memorial for the restaurateur is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday at the Elks Club in Waikiki. The service will take place from 10:30 to 11 a.m.

“His ashes are being brought here to be spread in the ocean at Waikiki Beach,” George Jr. said.

Castagnola is also survived by son John, daughter Barbara, a granddaughter and a great-granddaughter.


Posted in Featured

Eric Bercovici /1933-2014

Posted On February 22nd, 2014 -

By David Colker / Los Angeles Times

Screenwriter Eric Bercovici knew he was not the first choice to adapt “Shogun,” the blockbuster 1975 novel by James Clavell about an English seaman marooned in 17th-century Japan. Bercovici, who worked on the Paramount lot, read the novel anyway.

“I knew right away how to adapt it,” he said in a 1981 Los Angeles Times interview. “But damned if I would tell them.”

Other writers fell by the wayside, and he was called to meet with Clavell, who had creative control over a proposed TV miniseries based on the book. Bercovici told him that major plot points and characters would have to go. Clavell was not receptive.

Until the next day when they met again. Clavell handed Bercovici a paperback copy of the novel with whole sections torn away. “He took out everything I suggested wouldn’t work,” Bercovici said. “I wrote the script from it.” The result was one of the highest-rated productions in TV history and prime-time Emmys for both men.

Bercovici, 80, died Feb. 9 at his home in Kaneohe. The cause was a heart attack, his son Luca said.

In addition to writing, Bercovici produced “Shogun,” which was the biggest hit of his career. It took nearly six months to shoot the 12-hour miniseries in Japan. Translation problems and cultural clashes abounded, and Bercovici did not always resolve them in the most diplomatic manner.

The residents of a neighborhood near where a key night sequence was being filmed lodged so many complaints with police that it appeared production there would have to shut down. Not even pleas from famed actor Toshiro Mifune, one of the stars of the miniseries, mollified the neighbors. Then Bercovici caught a break.

“Happily, President Jimmy Carter came to Tokyo at that time, and every single policeman in Japan went to protect him,” Bercovici said in a documentary, “The Making of ‘Shogun.’” “So if the neighbors were calling in complaints about our noise, there was no one to answer the phone.”

“Shogun,” starring Richard Chamberlain and shown over five nights in 1980, got mixed reviews. But the ratings were higher than for any other miniseries up to that time with the sole exception of “Roots.”

Bercovici said the success of the show belied naysayers who said audiences would not accept devices such as the use of untranslated Japanese in some sequences. “I think it has demonstrated that the television audience is much more discerning and sophisticated than they have been given credit for,” he said in a 1980 Times interview. “Rather than the usual TV fare we all know and love, the audience does want programs of a higher quality.

“And I say with no modesty whatsoever that I consider ‘Shogun’ high quality.”

Bercovici was born Feb. 27, 1933, in New York, the son of screenwriter Leonardo Bercovici, who worked on films such as “The Bishop’s Wife” (1947). He studied theater at Yale, but his early career was interrupted when his father was blacklisted during the McCarthy era.

Eric Bercovici worked on several films in Europe, returning in 1965 to the U.S. where he wrote episodes of “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.,” “I Spy” and others. He wrote the 1968 film “Hell in the Pacific” (co-starring Mifune) and a handful of other films, but almost his entire career was in television.

He also wrote crime novels. The income from them was slight compared with his TV work, but he said that didn’t matter. “When you write scripts, the minute you write ‘fade out’ all these people — directors, producers, studios, sometimes other writers, networks — enter your life,” he said in the 1981 Times interview. “When you write a book, you are all these people.”

Bercovici is survived by his wife, Chiho; sons Luca, Hilary and Jacob; half-brothers Adam and David; half-sister Christina; and two grandchildren.23-B4-BERCOVICI-OBIT_LA_LONG

Posted in Featured

Nelson Fujio: 1949-2014

Posted On February 17th, 2014 -

by Gordon Y.K. Pang /

Some kids see firefighters or doctors in action and want to grow up to do the same.

As a 5-year-old, Nelson Fujio observed the Military Day Parade at Ala Moana Park and wanted to start his own parade.

Fujio — who headed the Hono­lulu City Lights Electric Light Parade from its inception in 1991, founded the Hono­lulu Festival and coordinated a number of other parades and college bowl game halftime shows — died Feb. 9 in Hono­lulu. The “Parade Man,” as he was known, was 64.

Carol Costa, Hono­lulu City Lights coordinator from 1985 to 2004, said Fujio was the unseen coordinator of most parades staged on Oahu in recent decades. At one point Fujio was coordinating nine parades a year including the Hula Bowl and Aloha Festival parades, Costa said. His family persuaded him to scale back to three.

Fujio dreamed of working at Disneyland, but as the eldest son in a traditional Japa­nese family, he instead was tasked with helping carry on his family’s business, Auto Fender Clinic in Kaka­ako, wife Diane Fujio said.

So he channeled his passion by helping out local parades.

His greatest joy came from walking the routes of the parades he coordinated and seeing “miles of smiles,” she said. “That was his true paycheck.”

Fujio traveled to Japan to learn about the significance of the “miko­shi,” small portable shrines, which led him to establish the Hono­lulu Festival and expand the Pan-Pacific Festival, now in its 35th year.

Ellen Pelissero, former executive director of the Aloha Week Festivals, said it was the Fujios who first asked to volunteer with the celebration in the 1980s. When she became head of the Aloha Week group and found that it was in debt, Fujio was instrumental in persuading key businesses to make the donations that saved it from going under, Pelissero said.

Pelissero compared running a parade to being ringmaster of a three-ring circus. “It’s crazy most of the time, and the clock is ticking down and deadlines are looming,” she said. “And for the Aloha Week Parades, the ‘sea of calm’ in the center was always its ringmaster, Nelson Fujio.”

Costa said she first met Fujio when the late Mayor Frank Fasi asked her to create a homecoming parade for military personnel returning from Operation Desert Storm in 1991.

“Everyone said, ‘Get Nelson Fujio,'” Costa said. With only two months’ preparation time and Fujio’s help, the parade featured more than 100 military units, she said.

Later that year Fujio suggested that Costa add an evening parade of decorated city work vehicles to the opening-night festivities for Hono­lulu City Lights. From there Fujio and veteran city employee Eddie Oi began a tradition that continues each first Saturday of December.

Fujio and the volunteers on his Electric Light Parade committee not only put together the event, but also took great pride in designing and building the Santa float that closed out each year’s march through downtown Hono­lulu. Fujio proclaimed the 2013 Santa float his best effort, she said.

“I was sad to hear of the passing of Nelson Fujio, affectionately known as the Parade Man,” Mayor Kirk Caldwell said in a statement. “He was passionate about parades, and he gave generously of his time and expertise to make sure that the city’s parades were successful.”

Aside from wife Diane, Fujio is survived by sons Patrick and Neal, brother Alton and sisters Gloria Osumi and Candace Kawa­kami.

Services will be held March 4 at 6 p.m. at Hosoi Garden Mortuary. He will be inurned at Honpa Hongwanji Betsuin.


Posted in Featured

Brandon Rodd: 1985-2014

Posted On February 15th, 2014 -

By Nick Abramo

The Hawaii football community lost one of its own on Friday when former Aiea and Arizona State standout offensive lineman Brandon Rodd died of a rare form of cancer. He was 28.

“I woke up this morning, hoping it was just a dream,” said Wendell Say, Rodd’s coach at Aiea. “I found out yesterday and it was a nightmare. It just shocked me. He was in the prime of his life. It makes you wonder. There’s guys out there who get iProject1_Layout-1n trouble and have big rap sheets and they live forever. And then the good kids who do the right things, they get taken away at a young age.”

Say mentioned that Rodd texted him about three weeks ago to tell him that he had some stomach pains and that it was so bad he was rushed to the hospital.

“He texted me every day, wanted to let me know that I was a big influence on his life (Rodd’s dad passed away when he was younger). He said he was going to go to chemo and was saying he was going to be all right.

“I’m kicking myself right now, though,” the longtime Na Alii coach said. “And I was just crying, reading his first text. I didn’t know it had gotten so bad.”

Rodd was a heavily recruited player, and it was somewhat of a surprise to some when he chose Arizona State over UH after graduating from Aiea in 2003. He was a three-time honorable mention All-Pac-10 left tackle and was named Pac-10 All-Academic four times. He also spent time with the Buffalo Bills and Oakland Raiders of the NFL.

“And he was such a beach boy,” Say said. “We never thought he would leave Hawaii because he was always surfing and paddling and at the beach. When he first started practicing with us, he was in surf shorts.”

According to Say, Rodd was engaged to be married and was working as a sales representative with a distribution company.

“He told me the NFL wasn’t what he expected,” Say said. “He said it was OK in Buffalo, but then in Oakland, the other players said they were there to help you, but it was cutthroat, guys wanting to help you until it’s time to keep their jobs and then they hate you. He wasn’t happy (about that).”

A few months after walking away from pro football, the 6-foot-4 Rodd dropped from 315 pounds to 250, Say said, and had gotten into running and was back doing what he always loved about Hawaii, surfing and paddling.

And he didn’t regret his decision.

“He loved football. He was a competitor,” Say said. “Knowing him, he was probably ignoring the pain for a long time, shrugging it off like kids shrug off pain to practice. I visited with his mom, Val, yesterday and she told me that he looked at the cancer like it was one more thing to fight through like he was fighting through another football game.

“Brandon was the type of person that if he said he was going to do something, he did it. He said he was going to go to college and start and he said he was going to go to the NFL and he did.”
Rodd graduated from ASU in 2007. He started 36 of the 37 games he played for the Sun Devils and competed in both the East-West Shrine Game and the Hula Bowl as a senior.

“One day, we went to see Brandon practicing for the Hula Bowl (at Aloha Stadium),” Say said. “Afterward, my daughter, who has epilepsy, had a seizure, and just to show you what kind of guy Brandon was, he would not leave until he knew everything was OK. He was such a great kid. He was a big guy, but he was always smiling.”

Rodd was a 2002 Star-Bulletin All-State first-team selection. Another of the five lineman chosen that year was Max Unger of Hawaii Prep, who won a Super Bowl with Seattle on Feb. 2.

Say said lots of Rodd’s Arizona State teammates have been calling Rodd’s family to offer their condolences.

Aside from Val, Rodd is survived by a brother, Jared, and two sisters, Aimee and Nicol.

Posted in Featured

Drew M. Scobie: 1988- 2014

Posted On February 10th, 2014 -

By William Cole

The ashes of a 25-year-old Hawaii National Guard soldier with a love of the ocean will be scattered in an aloha oe ceremony and paddle-out Sunday at Maka­puu Beach Park, one of his favorite surf spots, officials said.

Sgt. Drew M. Scobie of Kailua, a married father of a 4-year-old son, was killed along with a Wyoming soldier and a civilian in the crash of a twin-engine turboprop reconnaissance aircraft on a night mission in Af­ghani­stan on Jan. 10.

His wife, McKenna A.K. Panui-Scobie, is expecting their second child in June.

Memorial services for Scobie will be held Saturday at Hawaiian Memorial Park chapel, 45-425 Kame­ha­meha Highway, Kaneohe.


Viewing will be from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. with a service to follow. A celebration of life lunch will take place at 2 p.m. at Senator Fong’s Plantation & Gardens, 47-285 Palama Road, Kaha­luu.

An aloha oe gathering will begin at 8:30 a.m. Sunday at Maka­puu Beach Park with a paddle-out at 10 a.m. Members of the community who wish to pay their respects are invited to attend.

Scobie was assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 1st Battalion, 487th Field Artillery, in Wahiawa, as a fire direction operator.

He volunteered to deploy to Af­ghani­stan with Detachment 55, which is providing reconnaissance and surveillance for ground forces in Af­ghani­stan. Detachment 55 was mobilized on Oct. 8 and deployed to Af­ghani­­stan later that month.

In Afghanistan, Scobie was an aerial sensor observer technician on a Medium Altitude Reconnaissance Surveillance System aircraft, which is based on a King Air 300.

“Drew said that he couldn’t be happier serving with such fine men and women,” the family said in a release developed with the Hawaii National Guard.

Scobie also worked as a perioperative technician aide at Straub Clinic & Hospital.

“In each of his career paths — both military and civilian — Drew excelled, while managing to be an outstanding family man as well,” the family said.

Scobie was born in San Francisco and moved to Kailua at age 3, his family said. He attended Kala­heo High School and George Washington High School in San Francisco.

“Drew enjoyed family time at the beach and was dedicated to teaching his son everything about the islands by sharing his passion for activities such as martial arts, football, paintball and his love for the ocean, which included surfing and body boarding,” the family said.

Scobie joined the 1/487th in 2009 as a tactical data systems specialist.

“He was eager to further his military education and specialized training, achieving multiple military occupational specialties and the rank of sergeant in just four years,” his family said.

Scobie is survived by his wife; son, Duke A.P. Scobie; mother, Karen K. Tao; father, Darryl Scobie; sister, Devan K. Scobie; brother, Jack M. Whiteted; stepbrother, Austin Whiteted; stepsisters, Portia Whiteted and Sara Whiteted; grandparents, Joyce and Ben Acma (grandfather Henry M. Tao is deceased) and Shirley and Daniel Scobie; and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins both in Hawaii and on the mainland.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations be made in support of his children through the accounts In Memory of Drew Scobie at Bank of Hawaii, and

Posted in Featured

Hope Staab: 1951-2014

Posted On February 9th, 2014 -

Hope Staab, an influential member of the foreign-language teaching community in Hawaii who led Punahou School’s Wo International Center to become a model of global education, died of cancer Feb. 3, the school announced late Saturday.

She was 62.

“Over Hope’s 37 years at Punahou, she touched the lives of many students and colleagues, while also building an extraordinary global community of educators and friends,” Punahou School President Jim Scott said in a statement. “She was an inspiring teacher, a visionary leader and a true friend.”

In 2011 the National Association of Independent Schools honored Staab with its Global Citizen Award for her contributions to global education. Two years later the Pacific and Asian Affairs Council recognized the Wo International Center with its Paul S. Bachman Award for having “contributed significantly to the improvement of relations between the United States and its neighbors in Asia and the Pacific.”

Born in Taiwan, Hope Kuo, whose father was a doctor with the World Health Organization, grew up in Korea, Samoa and Fiji, and those early experiences shaped her lifelong empathy for other cultures.

“She really had a passion for other cultures,” said her brother Louis Kuo. “Her love of learning took her around the world, but she always looked for the commonalities among people.”

A neighbor in Korea was from Kansas, so she gravitated to the University of Kansas, where she received a double Bachelor of Arts degree in linguistics and East Asian studies. She then came to Hawaii to pursue her master’s degree in English20140210_staab as a second language at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

She later acquired a second master’s in Chinese linguistics from UH-Manoa.

In 1976, her first year teaching at Punahou, she launched the school’s Mandarin Chinese language program and started its global languages after-school and summer school programs, which continue to serve students from throughout the community. She served as head of the Foreign Languages Department from 1986 to 1991.

She was married for several years, beginning in 1976, to Chris Staab, a Punahou English teacher.

Hope Staab was named a Joseph Klin­gen­stein Fellow in 1985-1986, a Rockefeller Foundation Fellow in 1987 and a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow in 1992. She served on the board of the Chinese Language Educators of Hawaii and of the national Chinese Language Teachers Association and, in 1992, was named Foreign Language Teacher of the Year by the Hawai‘i Association of Foreign Language Teachers.

Staab was appointed co-director of Wo International Center in 1995 and three years later became its director, a position she held for the next 15 years. Under her leadership the center expanded travel and study opportunities for students and teachers from Punahou and from the community; forged new partnerships with schools in China, Japan, Costa Rica and Ghana; and in 2010 launched the Student Global Leadership Institute, which each year convenes 79 students from eight countries to collaborate on global issues.

“She was a really loving mother and a mentor to so many people,” said daughter Janice Staab. “She really brought people together.”

Recalled daughter Malia Staab, “My mother always encouraged me to understand different cultures and that I should go to other places to see how their cultures are — what their good points are and what their bad points are; that we should not only understand our own culture; that we should have a global worldview.”

In addition to her daughters, Staab is survived by ex-husband Chris, mother T.H. Kuo, sisters Patricia Kuo and Betty Zito, brother Louis and nieces and nephews.

Memorial services will be held at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 18 at Thurston Memorial Chapel on the Punahou campus, with a reception to follow in the courtyard. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Punahou School in memory of Hope Kuo Staab.

Posted in Featured

Edward Balli

Posted On February 6th, 2014 -

Services will be held Friday for a soldier who died Jan. 20 in southern Afghanistan from small arms fire when he was attacked by insurgents.

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Edward Balli, 42, called Kapolei home and had dreams of retirement in Hawaii in four years, his family said.

Balli, who was with the 2nd Cavalry Regiment out of Vilseck, Germany, was an unmanned aerial system operations officer platoon leader, providing the eyes in the sky for soldiers on the ground.

Visitation will be at 9 a.m. at the Schofield Barracks Main Chapel, 712 McCornack Road. A service will begin at 11 a.m. Burial with full military honors will follow at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl.

The visitation is open to members of the public wishing to express their condolences, the Army said. Since it’s on post, individuals without military ID cards would need to go through Lyman Gate and get a visitor’s pass.

Posted in Featured

- Denotes U.S. Military Veteran