Friday, May 22, 2015         


Q: The war memorial at the corner of King and Punchbowl streets is in deplorable condition with graffiti. On Memorial Day, the gate should be opened and there should be a wreath there. Can you help? • State tax refunds • Mahalo to strangers who help strangers

If you can decide what is important, it isn't really that hard to find the money to fix it or make it better. For instance, this week Honolulu saw the big dogs get together to fix Waikiki Beach. And they are doing it by raising taxes.

Store2Shore was just launched by Karen Kerscher, a former stay-at-home mom, commissioned art salesperson, retail salesperson and licensed EcoCab driver. Now, though, she is an entrepreneur.

Rugby just celebrated its 50th anniversary in Hawaii and a local team, the Hawaii Harlequins, borrowing the name of a famous English club, came out with a book about the team's exploits going back to 1964.

Part of me views golf as a great game and huge economic asset to Hawaii. But I also see where George Carlin was coming from when he called it, among other things, an inequitable use of land.

Q: What is a motorcyclist supposed to do if he has to make a turn and the light isn’t going to change for him? • Q: Could you tell us what started the house fire located on the 3000 block of East Manoa Road on March 5? • Mahalo to Mary Jane and Adrian at Zippy's Waipio.

Quarterback Marcus Mariota is an NFL rookie but his growing portfolio of endorsements is hardly beginner’s luck.

Judging by state championships this school year, the gap between the haves and the have-nots is closing in Hawaii prep sports. Or, perhaps that's now an archaic way of describing the private schools and the public schools, at least when it comes to athletics.

Not all food forays go as planned. The Japanese-based Blue Marlin opened last July in the Marine Surf Waikiki Hotel with the intent of emulating Vintage Cave, but the reality was a confusing fusion of local, Japanese and faux Spanish/ Mediterranean cuisine.

The YWCA of O‘ahu's annual LeaderLuncheon recognizes female leaders who exemplify its mission of eliminating racism and empowering women. This year's 38th event is from noon to 1:30 p.m. May 27 at Sheraton Waikiki Hotel & Resort.

Hawaii craft-beer fans are known for traveling to the mainland to stock up on favorite brews unavailable in the islands. But in the past few years, distribution of many favorites has begun in Hawaii.

More than likely they will gather in a well-appointed, high-end hotel, but there will be no mistaking where the University of Hawaii is when it goes before the NCAA's Committee on Infractions on July 16-17.

Diamond Head is behind right field. Cool tradewinds float through the facility as dusk approaches. There's affordable ballpark food and not a bad seat in the house. It's all very wonderful at Les Murakami Stadium.

I wore a fragrant yellow plumeria lei to dinner with my mom, Marilyn, and sister, Mimi. I had gotten it the night before at the Ka Palapala Po‘okela Awards, the annual Hawaii Book Publishers Association's awards ceremony.

Well, at least this time there's no banner to take down, no national championship to pretend never happened. As part of the University of Hawaii spanking itself for the misdeeds of two of its former basketball coaches alleged by the NCAA, the school is proposing to vacate 36 victories.

Sen. Ron Kouchi won his first election at the age of 24, and today, the state Senate’s soft-spoken, immensely articulate new leader is enjoying a reputation as one of the Legislature’s “good old boys” in state politics.

It was only Marcus Mariota's first on-the-field day of rookie minicamp in Tennessee Friday and already the battle for the Titans' starting quarterback job is officially on.

Dog is man's best friend, but the length and nature of the relationship between humans and dogs is a combative and controversial field, "more than any other subject in prehistory," according to one researcher.

Television news reports this week of lava bubbling in Halemaumau crater on the Big Island reminded me of a famous person who came to the volcano in 1866 and wrote eloquently about it for a mainland newspaper. The writer was Mark Twain.

Carl Sandburg dubbed Chicago the "city of big shoulders" back in 1916, and today, it is still the city of big clout. Barack Obama may have spent his early years here, but he learned his political moves in Chicago, so it makes perfect sense that Chicago anchors the historic Obama presidential legacy and library.

Q: Work on Kalanianaole Highway in the block near Aina Haina Shopping Center hasn't been resurfaced in over a month. It's hazardous with the wet weather and the fact that the road isn’t smooth. What’s going on?

One day you’re on top of the world of sports. Then, before you know it, you’re back home in seventh grade. Layson “Kaeo” Aliviado experienced it first-hand.

The Na Hoku Hanohano Lifetime Achievement Awards at the Ala Moana Hotel was an extremely lengthy program but one that was loaded with fabulous Hawaiian talent.

Eight years ago Daniel Smith dreamed of playing in the NFL and saw the University of Hawaii taking him there. These days he marvels at how UH instead started him on the path to an unimagined career in law.

It won't be much of a surprise in Surprise, Ariz., this week if the Hawaii Pacific University men's tennis team emerges with a national championship. HPU is 21-0 and ranked No. 1 in the nation. Not bad for a school that doesn't even have its own tennis facility.

On May 24, Big Brothers Big Sisters Hawaii will hold its Second Annual "Perfect Pairings" event at the Plaza Club, featuring food and wine pairings from master sommelier Patrick Okubo and chef Randy Whiteford.

When a request came in for a recipe for a pumpkin crunch dessert, I thought, “Finally, an easy one.” Even after I got to the caveat — a pumpkin crunch that does not use a boxed cake mix, please — I thought, “How hard could that be?”

Nepali cuisine bears the strong influence of both its neighbors, China and India, and although Suman Basnet’s small restaurant, Masala, advertises Nepali and Indian cuisine, it’s the Indian influences that dominate.

The embattled commissioner turned a deaf ear to the caterwauling of the Patriots' billionaire owner and league powerbroker, Robert Kraft, while staying remarkably resolute on what he likes to term the "integrity of the game."

It is estimated that about 1 out of 3 pregnant women in the U.S. are at least marginally iodine deficient. It is not so clear how marginal iodine deficiency in the mother affects brain development of the fetus during pregnancy and in the infant during breast-feeding.

Let's get this out there right away. I don't like Tom Brady, and haven't for quite a while. Here's why: When he was asked by an NFL public relations guy to make himself available for a quick walk-and-talk interview after a Pro Bowl practice about 10 years ago, he dropped a long drawn out F-bomb.

A pop-up Persian garden and floral fantasies — the Garden Club of Honolulu's Major Flower & Horticulture Show — materialized as if by magic in the Hono­lulu Museum of Art over the weekend, after which it vanished, leaving only traces of fragrance and dreams.

It is the forgotten dynasty of Hawaii high school athletics. An 18-year run of state domination. Numerous national championships. And then, 11 years ago, the Lanai physical fitness teams disappeared, like the pineapple fields that were the island’s signature crop.

Every Sunday, “Back in the Day” looks at an article that ran on this date in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin. The items are verbatim, so don’t blame us today for yesteryear’s bad grammar.

In 2011, by the end of his first legislative session as governor, Neil Abercrombie had in effect become a one-term governor.

“Akamai Money” seeks out local experts to answer questions about business in Hawaii. If you have an issue you would like us to tackle, please email it to business@star- and put “Akamai Money” in the subject line.

Nearly three years later, Fiamalu "Mamu" Penitani still vividly recalls the disbelief in the college recruiter's voice. "When I told him I was going to Japan for sumo instead of the mainland to play football," he didn't believe me, Mamo said. "He said, 'Are you sure you're not just chickening out?'"

Q: What is happening with state tax refunds? Q: I heard it would take 10-12 weeks to process state tax refunds since they have a new system. Is that correct? • Mahalo to 'Baymax'

If there’s one thing apparent about the new governor, David Ige, it is that he is not into hyperbole.

My Pau Hana Pump­ers group works out at a gym/rehab facility named CHART on King Street. Blaine Yoshioka, one of the physical therapists there, asked me about the Mid-Pacific Country Club and how it got that name. Was it related to Mid-Pacific Institute, he wondered?

This 2015 edition of the state Legislature is providing both winners and losers for Hawaii's political class. For the Legislature's leaders, the 60-day session is a chance to advance their issues, and House Speaker Joe Souki, the 82-year-old Maui Democrat, showed why he is in full control.

One of the biggest decisions David Matlin will have to make in his first year as University of Hawaii athletic director is rapidly bearing down on him.

Q: Once again, both concession stands at Ala Moana Beach Park are closed and have been for months. Why can’t the city maintain and operate these concessions reliably? What is the problem?

If things had gone the way they appeared to be headed a couple of years ago, Jeremy Ioane would be at an NFL team's rookie camp and his sister Jasmine would be continuing on a blossoming career as a softball coach.

Krizpin Oades finally has a room with a view. Specifically, a kitchen with a view, all the way to the sea. "Toward sunset you'll see the owls come out," Oades said during a recent interview at a table overlooking that vista.

Attention, all wine lovers: The 2015 Kapa­lua Wine and Food Festival is right around the corner, from June 11 to 14. This remarkable extravaganza is in its 34th year of bringing together superstar sommeliers, winemakers, chefs and food and wine lovers for a weekend of culinary and oenological magic.

Summer is peak harvest season for pineapple and a great time to enjoy this sweet and tart tropical fruit. Pineapples can be enjoyed cooked, juiced, preserved or simply served fresh with a sprinkle of salt or li hing powder, and are found in a wide array of cuisines.

A hearty round of applause, please, for former University of Hawaii running back Joey Iosefa, who has the opportunity to join a select fraternity in the NFL. And not just because, by virtue of being a seventh-round pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he was the first Rainbow Warrior drafted since 2012.

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