Monday, August 3, 2015         

Wood Craft Premium

For articles before August 3, 2011, see the Free Archives »

Fun-filled ‘Trainwreck’ puts Schumer, celebs on display

By Ben Wood
Amy Schumer, the baby-faced comedian with the potty mouth, wrote and stars in “Trainwreck,” directed by Judd Apatow.

Awai schedules yearly show for Dec. 6 at Dole Cannery

By Ben Wood
Hawaiian fashion designer and show producer Nake‘u Awai is sending word out early about his 40th Anniversary Hula Holiday Show, scheduled for Dec. 6 at the Pomaikai Ballroom at Dole Cannery in Iwilei.

Chief's Hut at Honolulu Zoo appears in 'Jurassic World'

By Ben Wood
Honorary India Consul General Sheila Watumull rushed to see "Jurassic World" as soon as it was released because she has a special connection to the Steven Spielberg movie starring Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard,daughter of filmmaker Ron Howard.

Blond 'Aloha' star doesn't even know how to act local

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Jun 12, 2015
After reading poor "Aloha" reviews, I was pleasantly surprised to find I liked the picture that was filmed here and has big-name stars in the cast. I'll give it 2 1⁄2 stars out of 4.

House Without a Key gig is nostalgic for Puamana

By Ben Wood
Puamana's Mihana Aluli Souza likened the trio’s performance at Halekulani’s House Without a Key May 17 to some of the Sundays at her grandparents’ large Lahaina home — also called Puamana — when family, friends and other guests would drop by to sing, dance, talk story and eat and drink.

Afternoon of honors stars plenty of Hawaiian talent

By Ben Wood
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.

Former governor shares stories from decades past

By Ben Wood
Happy Lei Day. Former Gov. John Waihee was in Morton's April 15 and when the steakhouse G.M. Zyron Schoniwitz told him I was there he walked over to say hello. Nice of him to come see the ol' geezer. With him was Dwight Ho.

Daughter of 'Five-0' creator promotes teen surf novel

By Ben Wood
Hawaii Five-O" will be in the air at Barnes & Noble Ala Moana Saturday at 1 p.m. when Lisa Freeman, daughter of "Hawaii Five-O" creator Leonard Freeman and his wife, Rose, signs her book "Honey Girl."

Top-notch performances put spotlight on Sinatra

By Ben Wood
Frank Sinatra would have tipped his familiar fedora to the music-makers who took part in two Honolulu concerts that featured his songs last week.

100th Vets to make author an honorary group member

By Ben Wood
Author Graham "Sandy" Salisbury, who has island roots, will be inducted as an honorary member into the 100th Battalion Veterans organization May 5 at the 100th clubhouse. Salisbury will be joining a list of only 25 other honorees.

Despite the hype, 'Grey' disappoints with vulgarity

By Ben Wood
I was pulled into "Fifty Shades of Grey" because of all the hype E.L. James' trilogy of books has received. The film has taken in some $500 million worldwide at the box office.

Retiring executive launched Neiman Marcus in Hawaii

By Ben Wood
Local boy Al Tomo­nari came home in 1997 to open Neiman Marcus at Ala Moana Center in September 1998. On Feb. 28 he will bid a fond aloha to the upscale store and call it a career.

Game lived up to its name with spectacle on Sunday

By Ben Wood
The New England Patriots' thrilling 28-24 victory over the Seattle Seahawks Sunday was one of the best Super Bowls ever played.

'Sniper' star Cooper merits accolades for performance

By Ben Wood
When I put "American Sniper," starring Bradley Cooper and directed by Clint Eastwood, on my must-see list, I had no idea the Iraq War movie would become controversial because of the sniper's many killings.

'Gambler,' 'Big Eyes' spur Honolulu memories of yore

By Ben Wood
When I learned that "The Gambler," starring Mark Wahlberg, and "Big Eyes," the story of Walter Keane taking credit for paintings those sad-looking waifs with the big eyes when they were actually painted by his wife Margaret, were opening on Christmas Day, I rushed to see both pictures.

Haumea Ho adds to plate with role on Kapono's team

By Ben Wood
When Haumea Ho danced hula to John Rowles singing Kui Lee's "I'll Remember You" Oct. 24 at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, it was one of the rare times she had been on stage since her husband Don Ho's death on April 14, 2007, at age 76.

Koa'e Kea dinner honors Hawaiian Room with hula

By Ben Wood
A treasure chest of hula was on view Nov. 15 at Koa‘e Kea's dazzling dinner extravaganza in the Ala Moana Hotel's Garden Lanai. Koa‘e Kea is an organization made up of retired Hawaiian Airlines hostesses.

Daughters maintain legacy of 'Five-0' creator and wife

By Ben Wood
The original "Hawaii Five-0," created by Leonard Freeman and starring Jack Lord, ran 12 years on CBS, from 1968 to 1980, and put the islands on the map in the television industry.

Party with a USO theme one of the best of 2014

By Ben Wood
One of the most memorable celebrations of 2014 was held Feb. 8 for Kieko "Sally" Matsu­kawa Ken­dig for her 90th birthday. Niece Sooz Miri­ki­tani and husband Richard Miri­ki­tani threw the extravaganza that saluted Sally's volunteer work with the USO during World War II.

It's been a heck of a year, and it's not even pau yet

By Ben Wood
As promised, I am reviewing this year's key Wood Craft items before launching my monthly revamped Wood Craft column, which will have a new look, on Oct. 26 …

83rd birthday next month means time to slow down

By Ben Wood
I'll turn 83 on Oct. 26, and the time has come for me to reduce my weekly Wood Craft output. I'm not throwing in the towel, but I will be slowing down and doing just one column a month that will run on the last Sunday of each month, starting Oct. 26, my special day.

Gandolfini would be proud of film containing final turn

By Ben Wood
Excellent performances by the late James Gandolfini, in his final role, and by Tom Hardy give "The Drop," a violent, dark, crime drama, a knockout punch.

Koa'e Kea gala celebrates legacy of Hawaiian Room

By Ben Wood
The women of Koa‘e Kea will look back and honor past entertainers who performed at New York Lexington Hotel's Hawaiian Room at their annual extravaganza Nov. 15. Many of those stars of the 1930s, '40s, '50s and '60s are no longer with us.

Skippa Diaz's impact was felt in class and on football field

By Ben Wood
Congratulations to the University of Hawaii Rainbow Warriors football team, coach Norm Chow, his assistants Kevin Clune and Chris Naeole and the rest of his staff for their outstanding game against the Washington Huskies last Saturday.

Ahearn took care of both PR and guests at Kahala Hilton

By Ben Wood
Former Kahala Hilton public relations chief Kay Ahearn, 80, died Aug. 5. Kay was much more than a PR woman dealing with media at the hotel, now The Kahala Hotel and Resort; she was more like a manager helping to see that guests.

Lineup packed with stars lauds beloved isle drummer

By Ben Wood
A well-deserved surprise musical tribute luncheon for Harold Chang, 86, one of Hawaii's top drummers, was held Aug. 3 at the Musicians Association of Hawaii Local 677 facility. About 175 people packed the place to honor Harold, who hasn't lost a beat.

Shigeta's storied career included stint as crooner

By Ben Wood
Hawaii-born actor James Shigeta, 85, who died July 28 in Los Angeles, appeared in nearly 90 movies and TV shows from 1959 to 2009. Condolences to his family. Before being an accomplished Asian actor, Shigeta was best known as a singer.

Hoffman's work in 'Wanted' warrants posthumous honor

By Ben Wood
The late Phillip Seymour Hoffman certainly deserves a best-actor nomination for his final picture, "A Most Wanted Man," an intelligence thriller set in Hamburg and Berlin, based on John le Carre's book of the same name.

Bentley gets phone calls from big Hollywood stars

By Ben Wood
Hula dancer Manu Bentley, who danced at Don the Beachcomber, Hotel Lexington in New York and the Royal Hawaiian Hotel's Monarch Room, received a call from actor Robert Wagner on Saturday wishing her a happy 84th birthday.

KHON special brings back memories of Vietnam War

By Ben Wood
Carole Kai Ono­uye is presenting a half-hour special, "How Do YOU Remember Vietnam?" at 8 p.m. Tuesday. It was written by Bob Jones, who covered the war for The Hono­lulu Advertiser and was wounded by friendly fire.

Kamehameha star Ferreira returns for 65th reunion

By Ben Wood
ONE OF THE BEST all-around athletes ever to don the blue and white colors of Kame­ha­meha is retired Army Col. Marvin Ferreira, class of 1949. Marvin was selected an all-star in football, basketball and baseball for the Warriors in his senior year.

Kruse triplets will gather to mark their 60th birthday

By Ben Wood
Howard Kruse Jr., John Kruse and Kalei Kruse Kimhan were born Aug. 15, 1954, at St. Francis Hospital. They were the first set of triplets born at St. Francis and the fourth known set on Oahu. They attracted much attention on outings because triplets were so rare in Hawaii at the time.

New comedy films pack in goofy laughs, star appeal

By Ben Wood
When it comes to movies, my favorites are comedies that make me laugh out loud. Two of them are playing in local theaters right now: "22 Jump Street" and "A Million Ways to Die in the West."

Hula expert Kanoe Miller to launch dance magazine

By Ben Wood
HALEKULANI hula dancer Kanoe Miller, one of Hawaii's most accomplished hula authorities and dancers, is putting together HulaStudio magazine. She says it will be a digital magazine delivered as an app on your tablet.

Bygone Waikiki stays fresh in hearts and memories

By Ben Wood
My May 9 column about winning a Hoku Lifetime Achievement Award and about Wai­kiki in the 1960s and '70s, naming entertainers I covered in those good old days, generated more response than anything I have ever written.

‘Iolani dedicates yearbook to teacher of economics

By Ben Wood
Retiring 'Iolani economics teacher Richard "Dick" Rankin was surprised to learn at a school assembly Tuesday that the 2013-14 yearbook was dedicated to him. "I feel so honored that the entire yearbook was dedicated to me, and was stunned this morning when they read my name at the dedication ceremony," Rankin said.

Woody Allen role in 'Gigolo' worth a trip to the cinema

By Ben Wood
Filmmaker Woody Allen gets in front of the camera for "Fading Gigolo" and leaves the writing and directing to co-star John Turturro. It's a crazy, but funny, story. Allen plays Murray, who is shook up, as he is about to lose his bookstore.

Carving installed to honor ROTC members killed in war

By Ben Wood
A 12-FOOT monkeypod carving of a Polynesian warrior and spear was installed at the University of Hawaii ROTC complex May 9 in honor of 14 UH former cadets and two former instructors who lost their lives in wars.

A lifetime rich with memories, friendship

By Ben Wood
The 2014 Hawai‘i Academy of Recording Arts lifetime achievement awards were presented Saturday at the Ala Moana Hotel in a luncheon program filled with music, warmth, lei and love.

Watumull hosts zoo lunch with ambassador from India

By Ben Wood
India's ambassador to the U.S. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and his entourage were in town last month, prompting Hawaii's honorary India consul general Sheila Watumull to spring into action.

‘Golden Age’ collaboration earns youths a Hoku nod

By Ben Wood
The Hawaii Youth Symphony, celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, has received a well-deserved Na Hoku Hanohano award nomination for its "He Makana O Na Mele" concert album.

Care center anchors latest ProjectFocus Hawai'i effort

By Ben Wood
ProjectFocus Hawai‘i usually conducts annual photo internships for at-risk kids. This year it tried a new concept by working with residents ages 45 to 100 from The Care Center of Honolulu at 1900 Bachelot Street.

Silks and masks dazzled at Hermes masquerade ball

By Ben Wood
Hermes is known worldwide for its high quality and luxurious clothing and leather goods, and it can also throw a super party. It did that March 28 by taking over the Royal Hawaiian Hotel's Monarch Room and the room's grounds fronting beautiful Waikiki Beach to present its Silk Ball.

Reporter Leach reconnects with pals during trip to isles

By Ben Wood
English-born celebrity reporter Robin Leach, who made a name for himself in the U.S. as host for the late Al Masini's show, "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous," was in town from Las Vegas last week and stayed at The Royal Hawaiian.

9 elderly siblings still enjoy life, each other's company

By Ben Wood
Nine siblings, ages 77 to 93, are still alive, have remained close over the years and love to have fun together. They thoroughly enjoy life, get together regularly and even had a sleepover several years ago.

Great Aloha Run reunites reporter, interview subject

By Ben Wood
Marathon runner Lyle Nelson, an 89-year-old retired Star-Bulletin reporter, had won the 85-to-89 age division in the Great Aloha Run for the past four years but this year his streak came to a halt.

The Kahala's 50th stirs up fond memories from afar

By Ben Wood
Wood Craft" items about The Kahala Hotel and Resort's 50th anniversary have reached Switzerland where Hans Weis­haupt, GM of the hotel from 1973 to '80, and his wife, Arenda, are living.

City Council bestows honor on anti-bullying isle beauty

By Ben Wood
The Honolulu City Council honored Aly­shia Shi­mizu on Feb. 19 for her "perseverance in the face of adversity and for her courageous stance against bullying." Shi­mizu is a 19-year-old survivor of a flesh-eating disease and "patient ambassador" at Shriners Hospitals for Children.

BAFTAs quietly shine light on top-notch performances

By Ben Wood
There wasn't much publicity leading up to Sunday's British Academy Film Awards shown by BBCA and that's unfortunate as it was a good, fast-moving show that many moviegoers may have missed. Except for a few categories, the BAFTAs are open to all nationalities.

USO memories rekindled in 90th birthday surprise

By Ben Wood
HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY: There are pluses to turning 90, as Kieko "Sally" Matsukawa Kendig found out Saturday night. Her niece, Sooz Miri­ki­tani and her husband, Richard Mirikitani threw a surprise bash in her honor that saluted her longevity and her volunteer work with the USO during World War II.

Mars' stellar halftime show was highlight of so-so bowl

By Ben Wood
SUPER BOWL STAR: The game wasn't super but Bruno Mars' performance certainly was Sunday at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.

Isle duo has 'golden touch' in nurturing star potential

By Ben Wood
Ran into fashion designer and artist Takeo Kobayashi at Neiman's Espresso Bar on Saturday. He said he and fellow designer Eric Chandler are moving to Seattle in April. Takeo was with retired Aiea High teacher Barbara Muramoto and Radford teacher Gerry Fairbank.

Kim charms CBS show hosts with 'Five-0,' love letter tales

By Ben Wood
"HAWAII FIVE-0" regular Daniel Dae Kim handled himself exceptionally well in a lively, humorous interview by "CBS This Morning" co-hosts Charlie Rose, Norah O'Donnell and Gayle King Jan. 17.

Go Red for Women effort kicks off with Gentry fete

By Ben Wood
BIG HEARTS: Candes Meijide Gentry opened her home Jan. 8 to more than 60 people to celebrate the launch of the American Heart Association's Go Red for Women 10th anniversary.

The Kahala earns big-time accolades for 50th birthday

By Ben Wood
The Kahala Hotel & Resort is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Gov. Neil Abercrombie will proclaim Jan. 22, the day The Kahala opened in 1964, as "The Kahala Hotel & Resort Golden Jubilee Day."

Voices ring out with glee at Christmas Eve soiree

By Ben Wood
The annual Christmas Eve party thrown by John Michael White and fiancee Qi Marie really got rolling when John stood tall and led his penthouse crowd singing "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" in his powerful voice.

2013's arrivals and debuts gave way to fond farewells

By Ben Wood
Happy New Year! We're winding up 2013 by following last week's "Wood Craft" with items from the second half of the year.

From the first daughters to Gandolfini in 6 months

By Ben Wood
MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL. It's time to look back at Wood Craft happenings during the year. Malia and Sasha Obama brightened Romano's Macaroni Grill Jan. 4 by dining at Randy Schoch's Ala Moana Center eatery.

Filming in Hawaii is a hit with 'Hunger Games' star

By Ben Wood
‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" is definitely Jennifer Lawrence's picture and she made it clear in a recent David Letterman show appearance that she enjoyed filming in Hawaii, a primary location for the film.

Isle dancers and singers lend talents to 'Nutcracker'

By Ben Wood
Hawaii's Amanda Schull will be dancing with the stars of the New York City Ballet in Ballet Hawaii's production of "Nutcracker" at Blaisdell Concert Hall, Dec. 20-22. The New Yorkers include Megan Fairchild, Joaquin De Luz, Andrew Veyette, Amar Rama­sar and Sterling Hyltin.

Furniture store's big party featured displays, fashions

By Ben Wood
Wo, ho ho! C.S. Wo & Sons' huge furniture emporium kicked off the Christmas season Saturday night with its annual "Home for the Holidays" party that featured dazzling displays.

New book by journalists recalls life of beloved judge

By Ben Wood
The book "Judge Sam King: A Memoir" will be available in bookstores this weekend and can be purchased online now at www.bookshawaii.net.

HTY play follows keiki after Dec. 7 Pearl Harbor attack

By Ben Wood
Honolulu Theatre for Youth presents "Nothing is the Same," about the Dec. 7, 1941, bombing of Pearl Harbor by Japan, opening Nov. 29 at 7:30 p.m. at Tenney Theatre.

Koa‘e Kea party honors members of U.S. military

By Ben Wood
U.S. SERVICEMEN and servicewomen were saluted by Koa'e Kea, the organization of retired Hawaiian Airlines hostesses, stewardesses and flight attendants, Saturday at the Ala Moana Hotel. The gals came through with flying colors. Many wore red, white or blue outfits.

PBS Hawaii's Wilcox among 8 winners of global award

By Ben Wood
THE INTERNATIONAL Women's Forum has honored PBS Hawaii Chief Executive Leslie Wilcox with a 2013 Women Who Make A Difference Award. Wilcox was among eight international winners recognized Oct. 18 at the IWF's annual global leadership conference in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Hawaiian Airlines alumnae throw a WWII-themed bash

By Ben Wood
Former Hawaiian Airlines hostesses and stewardesses, still lovely as senior citizens, will remember the World War II days and the USO at their dinner dance Nov. 2 at the Ala Moana Hotel's Garden Lanai.

Crowd enjoys Kanoe Miller's graceful return to the stage

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Oct 11, 2013
Hula queen Kanoe Miller, looking lovely and glamorous, captured the hearts of an overflow crowd as she returned to the stage at Halekulani's House Without a Key on Oct. 4. Kanoe had been sidelined for five months after it was discovered she had a third lung and had surgery to remove it.

Second time's the charm for Jonas Brothers megafan

By Ben Wood
Back on July 17, 2009, a dream came true for 13-year-old Kamehameha student Ana Malia Kia when she had a front-row seat for the Jonas Brothers' concert at TD Garden in Boston, formerly known as Boston Garden.

Kids' fair and yearly parade honor the sea and seagoers

By Ben Wood
The theme of Saturday's annual Aloha Festivals floral parade is "Moana Nui Akea," or "The Great Vast Ocean."

Hula dancer returns to stage after removal of extra lung

By Ben Wood
Premier hula dancer Kanoe Miller, 59, underwent major surgery April 24 to remove a third lung she did not know she had. She will return to the Halekulani's House Without a Key on Oct. 4, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Native son's 'Short Term 12' is worthy of high acclaim

By Ben Wood
The drama "Short Term 12," written and directed by Maui native son Destin Daniel Cretton and playing at the Kahala 8 theaters, is outstanding.

Kick Start event provides good food and good will

By Ben Wood
Smiling faces abound and good vibes are contagious at Kick Start Karate fundraisers. Last Sunday's event at Hawaii Kai Towne Center was no exception.

Home lunch helped inspire Royal Hawaiian Band gigs

By Ben Wood
This is the 50th year the Royal Hawaiian Band has been performing at noon Fridays in the Coronation Pavilion on the ‘Iolani Place grounds for the public to enjoy, says retired attorney Peter Donahoe, 82.

Chaminade's hoops squad helps ailing teen have a ball

By Ben Wood
CHAMINADE University partnered with the Make-A-Wish Foundation to grant the wish of a lifetime for a young man with a life-threatening health condition.

Blanchett's 'Jasmine' role is worthy of top awards

By Ben Wood
ACTRESS Cate Blanchett is sensational in "Blue Jasmine," a movie that ranks with filmmaking genius Woody Allen's greatest pictures. Blanchett could win the best actress Oscar as well as other top awards for her incredible performance in the tragic comedy written and directed superbly by Allen.

Therapy dog shows ill kids how golden a friend can be

By Ben Wood
Bow wow! The most beloved employee at Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children is none other than Tucker the therapy dog. The kids look forward to seeing the 7-year-old golden retriever, who was trained by Assistance Dogs of Hawaii for more than a year and donated to Kapiolani when he was 1½ years old.

Lin back in the islands after Gandolfini funeral

By Ben Wood
Ruth Lin, James Gandolfini's mother-in-law, who rushed to her daughter, Deborah Gandolfini's side in L.A. immediately after the award-winning actor, 51, died of a heart attack in Italy June 19, has returned home.

Gabbard hits partisanship, gridlock during talk show

By Ben Wood
Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard was clear and concise in sharing her views on "CBS This Morning" Monday in a fine interview conducted by co-hosts Charlie Rose and Norah O'Donnell.

Recording industry bestows top honor upon yours truly

By Ben Wood
I WAS tremendously honored to learn Wednesday that I was selected to receive a 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Hawai‘i Academy of Recording Arts.

Hirono honored for being immigrant female senator

By Ben Wood
The story of Mazie Hirono, an immigrant from Japan who grew up to be a Demo­cratic U.S. senator from Hawaii, was added July 2 to MAKERS.com.

Royal Hawaiian and Matson honor Waikiki's beachboys

By Ben Wood
The Royal Hawaiian Hotel and Matson Navigation have teamed up to pre­sent "Waikiki Beachboys," a photo exhibit showcasing the legendary watermen who fronted the beach of the famed resort from the late 1920s to the late 1940s.

Lin family mourns death of actor James Gandolfini

By Ben Wood
LESS THAN two weeks ago, longtime friend Ruth Lin called to invite me to the wedding of her son Andrew Lin to Marilyn Mariano. She said her son-in-law James Gandolfini and daughter Deborah would be attending.

Online radio show is a hit for its ambitious keiki host

By Ben Wood
Honolulu youngster Nia Sade Bakari, 9, said, "I wanted to be like my mom," so she got her mother, former Internet radio show host Amy Bakari, to help her start her own show.

'Today' show spotlight gives Tori Richard fashions a lift

By Ben Wood
TOWN & COUNTRY magazine's June/July cover displays a side view of an attractive woman (famed model Lauren Hutton, the subject of the mag's cover story, in a photo from 1968) from the waist up wearing a beach hat, and that is all.

Newly crowned Miss Hawaii will continue lei tradition

By Ben Wood
THIS YEAR'S Miss Hawaii will be named Saturday night at the Hawai‘i Convention Center, and her first official appearance will take place Sunday when she heads to Kapi‘olani Medical Center for Women and Children to continue a tradition started by 2008 Miss Hawaii Nicole Fox.

Isles' waves have thrilled wine exec since childhood

By Ben Wood
John Conover has two passions: producing high-quality wine — including a bottle enjoyed by a VIP in the White House — and surfing. Unusual? Not really, says Conover, adding that surfing and farming are both dependent on Mother Nature.

Olds returns home to see pal Gayagas receive honor

By Ben Wood
Retired Army Col. Bill Olds, 73, who grew up in Kailua and now lives in Las Vegas when he is not working in Afghanistan, was home for a short visit last week.

Star-studded lineup lauds isle legend Jimmy Borges

By Ben Wood
This is a tribute to you," Gov. Neil Abercrombie said to Jimmy Borges Monday night at The Pacific Club as a crowd of 140 stood and cheered. Jimmy was honored by the Hawaii chapter of the National Society of Arts and Letters, which assists promising young artists.

Tween's love of space earns her a trip to Cape Canaveral

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, May 10, 2013
Tia Watson was admitted to the Mensa worldwide high-IQ society when she was just 4 years old, will witness Wednesday's rocket launch at Cape Canaveral in Florida.

Burger-loving duo hits state to sample Big Isle creation

By Ben Wood
BACK IN 2010, chef Edwin Goto's little "farm to fork" restaurant, Village Burger in Waimea, Hawaii island, was named one of USA Today's "51 Great Burger Joints" — one for each state and the District of Columbia.

Famed lei-maker Benham turns 90 with surprise bash

By Ben Wood
Congratulations to accomplished Hawaiian hala lei-maker Roy Benham, who turned 90 on April 19. A surprise birthday party was held for him at Native Books/Na Mea Hawai‘i in Ward Warehouse, where he is known as "Uncle Roy."

Shangri La party welcomes the site's famous neighbors

By Ben Wood
An open house and sunset reception was held Saturday for neighborhood residents of Shangri La, the late Doris Duke’s fabulous Diamond Head property.

Aloha spirit guest-stars in 'Mad Men' season debut

By Ben Wood
Waikiki Beach and The Royal Hawaiian hotel received major plugs in the two-hour "Mad Men" season 6 opener Sunday night on AMC.

Vanity Fair offers different takes on locals Midler, Te'o

By Ben Wood
Two Hawaii newsmakers, Bette Midler and Manti Te'o, are featured in Vanity Fair magazine this month.

Beloved dentist is headed for well-earned retirement

By Ben Wood
Being a devoted Tina Fey fan, I went to see her new movie "Admission" last weekend. It was OK. Fey is funny and her acting as Portia, a Princeton admissions officer, is worthy.

Lunch comes with side order of isle showbiz memories

By Ben Wood
I was pleasantly surprised when I went to Murphy's for a tasty Irish burger shortly before St. Patrick's Day and was seated across the aisle from my longtime pals Al Harrington, Jimmy Borges and Cal Lui. They invited me to have lunch and join their conversation.

'Emperor' a satisfying look at MacArthur's role in Japan

By Ben Wood
After learning the movie "Emperor" was about Gen. Douglas MacArthur's important role in Japan following the Japa­nese surrender in World War II, I put it on my must-see list, as it brought back many memories about the great warrior and Medal of Honor recipient.

Celebrations shine spotlight on 2 island show biz icons

By Ben Wood
The late, great Alfred Apaka's 94th-birthday celebration will be held March 17, 3 to 7 p.m., at Hilton Hawaiian Village. The singer's son Jeff has, as usual, lined up a long list of singers, musicians and hula dancers.

Late actor Sakata pops up in Oscars' snazzy 'Bond' bit

By Ben Wood
Sunday night’s Oscar show, heavy on music from hit movies, was a winner. I would have enjoyed it more had it not run so long. KITV started screening red-carpet arrivals at 6 and began the awards show at 7:30 p.m. It ran until shortly past 11.

'Downton Abbey' devotee stunned by season-ender

By Ben Wood
Spoiler alert! Being one of millions who are devoted fans of "Downton Abbey," I was upset (to use a polite word) when a friend told me that Dan Stevens, who plays Matthew Crawley on the British show carried by PBS, is not renewing his contract and would likely be killed off.

Most Popular