Thursday, March 26, 2015         


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Waikiki center rings 2011 in with Aloha Nights

By Ben Wood


HAPPY NEW YEAR!: DFS Galleria is bringing in 2011 right by tossing a block party in front of the Galleria from 7 to 10 p.m. Monday on Kalakaua between Lewers and Royal Hawaiian. Galleria is calling it Aloha Nights and promises top entertainment and outstanding food. Entertainment will feature Jake Shimabukuro from 7 to 8, Keola Beamer and Raiatea from 8 to 9, and Japan's beauty expert and TV personality IKKO from 9 to 10 p.m. People may purchase food and beverages from booths set up by Alan Wong's, Nobu, Roy's Waikiki, The Beachhouse at the Moana, Morimoto's, Wolfgang's Steakhouse, Kai Market, Chai's Island Bistro, Azure, Tonkatsu Ginza Bairin and Waialua Soda Works. ...

...TWO YEARS AGO, then 11-year-old Allegra Ke'alohikeaokalani Matsuo Mossman, granddaughter of the late 442nd medic Theodore Matsuo, sent two books about the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and the 442nd Medics, written by her grandmother, Dorothy Matsuo, to President Barack Obama as an inaugural gift. But they were returned to Hawaii. Even the lei she sent to the Obamas were confiscated by the Secret Service at Blair House as a potential biohazard, due to tight security. Now, thanks to the kindness of the president's sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng, Obama will receive the books and Allegra's personal message of hope. ...

...ABOUT 100 people surprised Virginia Brandt on her 90th birthday at La Mariana Dec. 12. Virginia spent more than 40 years with Bank of Hawaii, the last 20 in the Loans Department as an assistant VP working under Madelyn Dunham, Obama's grandmother. Virginia is the widow of the late Fred Brandt, a former Hawaii Newspaper Agency exec. Frank De Lima entertained. The party was arranged by Virginia's daughter Carol Lee Owens, president of Triple F Distributors, and her husband, Outrigger Hotels' Bob Owens. They were assisted by their son Jason, of Sofos Realty, and daughter-in-law Mari, a deputy prosecutor. Other family members flew in from the mainland. ...

...A PICTURE of Ashton Kutcher wearing an L&L T-shirt ran in USA Weekend in the Star-Advertiser last Sunday. That must've made L&L co-founder and CEO Eddie Flores Jr. of Hawaii very happy. Ashton was part of the "Our Year in Photos Issue." ...

LAMBERT WAI, brother of the late Francis Wai, who was honored at the Chinese Chamber of Commerce for receiving the Medal of Honor for World War II heroism, writes that the main reason for the event was that "Francis is the ONLY person of Chinese ancestry to have ever received the Medal of Honor. Of minor importance -- of all of the Asian-Americans to have received the Medal of Honor, brother Francis was of the highest rank -- that of captain." ...

...DACI ARMSTRONG has something to say about the recent disabled Carnival Splendor cruise ship flap about whether passengers were actually served Spam. Writes Daci: "Wow! Like it was the worst possible thing you could have to eat! I'll bet the 33 trapped Chilean miners would have been happy to have a couple cases trapped in that mine with them." ...

...------ Ben Wood, who sold the Star-Bulletin on Honolulu streets in World War II, writes of people, places and things Fridays. E-mail him at bwood@staradvertiser.com.

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