Kawakami in the House
The odds certainly were not long on the vacant Kauai House seat going to Kauai County Councilman Derek S.K. Kawakami. He was appointed to replace former Rep. Hermina Morita by Gov. Neil Abercrombie, who goes back a long way with one of Kawakami’s kin.
Richard Kawakami, the appointed lawmaker’s uncle, was a 10-term veteran of the House, finally becoming its speaker in 1987. Only two months after the session began, however, he died of an apparent heart attack, at age 56.
His seat was filled by his widow, Bertha, and Abercrombie spoke fondly of both of them. They served together in the House for four years, then Abercrombie moved on to the state Senate, and beyond.
Props to the Pink Palace
It’s self-evident that the Royal Hawaiian Hotel is a historic property. Still, it’s noteworthy that the Historic Hotels of America signed up the Royal Hawaiian to be the first Hawaii hotel on its list. Of course, the Pink Palace may have been first on the list, but it wasn’t the first on Waikiki Beach. Its sister hotel, the Moana Hotel, opened in 1901, some 26 years before the Royal Hawaiian. Certainly both should be on the Historic Hotels list, which guides travelers who will pay a premium to stay in elegant, historically significant places — in other words, the same kind of visitor the Royal Hawaiian and Moana have been welcoming for more than a hundred years.