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HonoluluNewsBlues
June 2003

The Year of
Switching Commanders
Contest Coups

Dispatches from the Front by Burl Burlingame

6/6/03 I'm baaa-aack
And what a long strange trip it's been. I've also got the mother of all flus, and can barely think. So in the meantime, enjoy the Star-Bulletin's redesigned Web site.

6/9/03 Struck low by a bug
I can't believe I'm back from three weeks in Blighty and Benelux and I'm so sick that I can't leave home. Arrgh. I haven't been this ill in years. Probably exacerbated by those 18 hours in the air. And seeing the "airline" edition of "About Schmidt."

6/10/03 Happy birthday to those in limbo-land
It's been a year, as of today, that the Gannett Advertiser's union contract expired. If you recall the excitement last year, Gannett had been toughing it out at the table, trying to force a contract into place and getting all blustery and threatening, and then when the expiration date passed, and the "good faith" provisions kicked in that provided an ongoing relationship, Gannett lost all interest in actually achieving a new contract, except for vague threats about pay decreases and layoffs. You can imagine that the staff hasn't been happy living in limbo for the last year. Expect a byline strike or a black-T-shirt day to occur soon.

6/11/03 Mad as hell and maybe they don't want to take it, perhaps
All six Gannett Advertiser unions are taking it to the streets tomorrow. Noon, in front of the Advertiser building, be there or be square. Instead of wasting their time in gentlemanly backroom squabbling, it's the Guild's first effort to let John Q. Public know about problems 'Tiser employees are facing. Sounds like they're unhappy about the way they're being manipulated by Gannett. Duh!

6/13/03 Gannett Advertiser employees: Solidarity fo'-eva!
It's been 40 years -- since 1963 -- since Advertiser Guild members have taken to the streets to protest working conditions, but Gannett's continued waffling on completing a contract actually drove these souls from their air-conditioned offices to the broiling sidewalks. Not joining them were Composing and Imaging employees -- Gannett forbade them from taking a noon lunch hour.

6/14/03 Star-Bulletin continues to hold its own in newspaper awards
What's with these goofballs on the Star-Bulletin staff? Maybe the it's the annual Society for Professional Journalism awards, and once again, despite the incredible resources and huge staff Gannett musters, the underdog Star-Bulletin did very well. The Gannett Advertiser got eight first-place awards, while the Star-Bulletin got six. Overall though, the Star-Bulletin scored 22 awards -- more than any other publication in Hawaii -- while the Advertiser got 20. Complete list below:
DAILY NEWSPAPER
Business Reporting

Winner: "9-11-02: Hawaii's Changing Economy", The Honolulu Advertiser Business Staff
Finalist: "Aloha-Hawaiian Merger Off," The Honolulu Advertiser Business Staff

Spot News Reporting
Winner: "Girl's Body Found," The Honolulu Advertiser staff
Finalist: "Harris Quits Race," The Honolulu Advertiser staff
Finalist: "Raging Water," Mark Adams, The Maui News

General New/Enterprise Reporting
Winner: "Where Rene Went Wrong," Cynthia Oi, Honolulu Star Bulletin
Finalist: "Coming Home," Lyn Danninger, Honolulu Star Bulletin
Finalist: "Sandy Beach," Diana Leone, Honolulu Star Bulletin

Feature Writing/Short Form
Winner: "Pauley Boy," Valerie Monson, The Maui News
Finalist: "Kahului Harbor - It's a Busy Place," Matthew Thayer, The Maui News
Finalist: "Healthy in Hawaii," Jaymes Song, The Associated Press

Feature Writing/Long Form
Winner: "Crystal City," Craig Gima, Honolulu Star-Bulletin
Finalist: "North Shore Surf Dreams," Tanya Bricking, The Honolulu Advertiser
Finalist: "Serenade of Sounds of Silence," Jennifer Hiller, The Honolulu Advertiser

News Page Design
Winner: "Taking a Great Fall," Mike Rovner, Honolulu Star-Bulletin
Finalist: "When Lawyers Go Bad," Mike Rovner, Kip Aoki, Honolulu Star Bulletin

Feature Page Design
Winner: "Road Warriors," Bryant Fukutomi, Honolulu Star Bulletin

INTERNET
Online Reporting/Breaking News

Winner: "2002 General Election Coverage," The Honolulu Advertiser Online Staff

Online Reporting/Feature
Winner: "Hawaii State Art Museum," The Honolulu Advertiser Online Staff

MAGAZINE
Business Reporting

Winner: "Foundering Kauai Shrimp Farm Awaits Receipt of Government Loans and Land," Teresa Dawson, Environment Hawai'i
Finalist: "What now?" Cathy S. Cruz, Hawaii Business magazine

Personalities
Winner: "Robert Kiyosaki," Jacy L. Youn, Hawaii Business magazine

Feature Writing/Short Form
Winner: "Portraits of Power," Derek Ferrar, Hana Hou! Magazine
Finalist: "Special Delivery," Kate Robertson, Island Scene
Finalist: "Wow! Waikiki," Martha Noyes, Spirit of Aloha

Feature Writing/Long Form
Winner: "Kalo Culture," Leslie Lang, Hana Hou! Magazine
Finalist: "Healing Ourselves," David K. Choo, Honolulu Magazine

Page Design
Winner: "Not Giving in to the Target," Jonathan Tanji, Island Scene
Finalist: "The Quality of Rain," Darrell Ishii, Spirit of Aloha
Finalist: "Sailing the Winds of Time," Steve Shrader, Hana Hou! Magazine

Magazine Cover
Winner: March/April 2002, Darrell Ishii, Tony Novak-Clifford, Spirit of Aloha
Finalist: October Issue, Michel V.M. LÍ, Honolulu Magazine
Finalist: "Top 250," Jayson Harper, Hawaii Business magazine

NONDAILY NEWSPAPER
Business Reporting

Winner: "Hawaii Cruise Industry Grows," Prabha Natarajan, Pacific Business News
Finalist: "Keeping a Family Business Alive: Succession Planning Critical to Transition," Ben DiPietro, Pacific Business News
Finalist: "State Tourism Promo Undergoes Major Upheaval," Steve Jefferson, Pacific Business News

General News/Enterprise Reporting
Winner: "Fallout: Enewetak atoll 50 years ago this week," Beverly Keever, Honolulu Weekly
Finalist: "Good Fish Bad Fish," Joanne Fujita, Honolulu Weekly
Finalist: "Hollywood heeds call of high-tech tax incentives," Terrence Sing, Pacific Business News

Feature Writing
Winner: "After the storm: 10 years after 'Iniki Kauai remembers September 11 for a different tragedy," Ben DiPietro, Pacific Business News
Finalist: "Kona lands the big one," Terrence Sing, Pacific Business News
Finalist: "Beyond Sugar," Laura Dierenfield, North Hawaii News

Community Reporting
Winner: "Lahaina targets crime," Mark Vieth, Louise Rockett, Lahaina News
Finalist: "Fun hats benefit food bank," Laura Dierenfield, North Hawaii News
Finalist: "Outrigger: Hotel growth rides on city intervention," Steve Jefferson, Pacific Business News

Page Design
Winner: "Hawaii uncorked," Jessica Yu, Pacific Business News

OPEN PRINT
Column Writing/News

Winner: "Board Talk," Teresa Dawson, Environment Hawai'i
Finalist: "Raising Cane," Rob Perez, Honolulu Star Bulletin
Finalist: Lee Cataluna, The Honolulu Advertiser

Column Writing/Feature
Winner: "Making the Scene," Rick Chatenever, The Maui News
Finalist: "Hawaii's Backyard," Cheryl Chee Tsutsumi, Honolulu Star-Bulletin
Finalist: "Hawaii's Backyard," Cheryl Chee Tsutsumi, Honolulu Star-Bulletin

Column Writing/Sports
Winner: Ferd Lewis, The Honolulu Advertiser
Finalist: "What a Shame," Kalani Simpson, Honolulu Star-Bulletin

Government Reporting
Winner: "The Automatic Tourism Money Machine," Scott Whitney, Honolulu Magazine
Finalist: Democratic Funds; Lingle Campaign Funds, Rick Daysog, Honolulu Star-Bulletin

Breaking News Reporting
Winner: "Harris Quits Race," The Honolulu Advertiser staff
Finalist: "Patsy Mink," The Honolulu Advertiser staff
Finalist: Kahealani Indreginal murder coverage, Honolulu Star Bulletin staff
Finalist: "Girl's Body Found," The Honolulu Advertiser staff

Sports Reporting

Winner: "Sprinter makes run of a century," Kalani Simpson, Honolulu Star-Bulletin
Finalist: "Eddie & the Duke," Stuart H. Coleman, Honolulu Magazine

Arts/Entertainment Reporting
Winner: "Doris Duke's Fantasyland," Nadine Kam, Honolulu Star-Bulletin
Finalist: "Heart of the Sea," Naomi Sodetani, Hana Hou! Magazine
Finalist: "All Things Buffy," Gary Chun, Honolulu Star-Bulletin

Editorial Opinion
Winner: "Hawaiian Forests: How do you celebrate a century of loss?" Patricia Tummons, Environment Hawai'i
Finalist: "Sanctimony threatens death with dignity bill," Lee Catterall, Honolulu Star-Bulletin
Finalist: "None of the Above," Kam Napier, Honolulu Magazine

Editorial Cartoon
Winner: "Go Fish," John Pritchett, Honolulu Weekly
Finalist: "Bless me father for I have sinned," Corky Trinidad, Honolulu Star Bulletin

Illustration
Winner: "Ka 'Ohana o ka Wa'a," Garry Ono, Island Scene
Finalist: "The Winter Games," Martha Hernandez, The Honolulu Advertiser
Finalist: "The Nose Knows," Scott Goto, Hana Hou! Magazine

Informational Graphic
Winner: "King of Streets," Michel V.M. LÍ, Honolulu Magazine
Finalist: "When it rains it pours," David Swann, Honolulu Star-Bulletin
Finalist: "Hawaii State Art Museum," Jon Orque, The Honolulu Advertiser

News Photography
Winner: "Raging Waters," Amanda Cowan, The Maui News
Finalist: "The Voter," Jeff Widener, The Honolulu Advertiser

Feature Photography
Winner: "Fan tastic," Jeff Widener, The Honolulu Advertiser
Finalist: "Dogged," Jeff Widener, The Honolulu Advertiser

Sports Photography

Winner: "Marathon spray," Jeff Widener, The Honolulu Advertiser
Finalist: "Warriors get costly win," Richard Walker, Honolulu Star-Bulletin

Photo Essay
Winner: "The Quality of Rain," Darrell Ishii, Spirit of Aloha
Finalist: "Harsh Beauty," Darrell Ishii, Spirit of Aloha

Photo Illustration
No winners

Investigative Reporting
Winner: "Exposing a Garment Factory," Malia Zimmerman, Hawaii Reporter
Finalist: "Prices at the Pump," Tim Ruel. Honolulu Star-Bulletin
Finalist: "The Automatic Tourism Money Machine," Scott Whitney, Honolulu Magazine

Public Service Reporting
Winner: "Shaky Shelter," Jason Armstrong, Hawaii Tribune-Herald
Finalist: "When lawyers go bad," Rob Perez, Honolulu Star-Bulletin
Finalist: "Retirement fund in peril," John Duchemin. The Honolulu Advertiser

RADIO
General News/Enterprise Reporting

Winner: "Jim Darling: Song of the Whales," Heidi Chang, National Public Radio Public Service Reporting
Winner: "Duke Kahanamoku: Hawaii Surfing Legend Gets a Stamp," Heidi Chang, The World

STUDENT
News Writing

Winner: "Building a Bridge to the Future on the Stones of Kahikinui,'' Emma Yuen, Environment Hawai'i
Finalist: "New Visa Rules Causing Trouble," Sacha Mendelsohn, Ka Leo O Hawaii

Feature Writing
Winner: "Myth in the Mists of Moloka'i's North Shore," Emma Yuen, Environment Hawai'i
Finalist: "At-large OHA Candidate Is Proud to be on the Ballot," Julian Billson, Ka Leo O Hawaii
Finalist: "We Recycle!" Reenie Young Rea, HPU Kalamalama

TELEVISION
Government Reporting

Winner: "Manoa Primary Election Voting Problems," Keoki Kerr, KITV
Finalist: "Who's Working for Linda?" Garett Kamemoto, KGMB-TV

Government Feature
Winner: "Fishing Village Methane Contamination," Keoki Kerr, KITV
Finalist: "DOE buried in paper," Garett Kamemoto, John Allen, KGMB-TV

Business Reporting
Winner: "Hawaii's J.C. Penney Stores Closing," Keoki Kerr, KITV
Finalist: "Shark Feeding Business," Mahealani Richardson, Rex Von Arnswaldt, KITV
Finalist: "Kuakini Nurses," Mariza Reyes, KGMB-TV

Spot News Reporting
Winner: "Harris Withdraws," Garett Kamemoto, KGMB-TV

General News/Enterprise Reporting
Winner: "Patsy Mink," Garett Kamemoto, John Allen, KGMB-TV
Finalist: "Ala Wai Park Roof Problem," Keoki Kerr, KITV

Feature Reporting/Short Form
Winner: "Dangerous Crosswalk," Mariza Reyes, Beau Cuizon, KGMB-TV
Finalist: "Hauula Mold," Mariza Reyes, Beau Cuizon, KGMB-TV

Feature Reporting/Long Form
Winner: "Turtles," Alan J.D. Lu, KGMB-TV
Finalist: "Academic All-Star," Darren Pai, Dell Ison, KHNL-TV
Finalist: "Airman Eisel," Gary Sprinkle, KITV

Investigative Reporting
Winner: "Beach Encroachment," Alan J.D. Lu, KGMB-TV
Finalist: "Marisco," Alan Lu, KGMB-TV
Finalist: "Speed Camera Threshold Revealed," Daryl Huff. KITV

Series Reporting
Winner: "Marshall Islands-Pacific Sacrifice," Jim Mendoza, Tom Garbisch, John Allen, KGMB-TV
Finalist: "Predators Next Door," Stacy Loe, KGMB-TV
Finalist: "Guardians in the Sky," Louise Kim McCoy, George Hurd, John Allen. KGMB-TV

Sports Reporting
Winner: "Skiing Hawaii Style," Duncan Armstrong, KHNL-TV
Finalist: "A True Warrior," Liz Chun, Glenn Tengan, Neil Noble, KGMB-TV
Finalist: "Academic All-Star," Darren Pai, Dell Ison, KHNL-TV

Videography
Winner: "Marshall Islands," Tom Garbisch, KGMB-TV
Finalist: "Skiing Hawaii Style," Duncan Armstrong, KHNL-TV
Finalist: "Warrior Workout," John Allen, Glenn Tengan, KGMB-TV

Special News Program
Winner: "Hawaii's Greatest Storm -- The Hurricane," Sharie Shima, KHNL-TV
Finalist: "Warrior Pride: The Road to Respect," Liz Chun, John Allen, Glenn Tengan, KGMB-TV
Finalist: "Mystery of the Whale Song," Gary Sprinkle, KITV

Public Service Reporting
Winner: "Behind the Cinnabar Gate," Pamela Young, KITV

6/15/03 Father's Day
I wrote a personal piece about my journey to England with my father, who turns 80 soon.

6/17/03 Awards update
"Hawaii's Backyard" (our Sunday Travel column by Cheryl Tsutsumi) won the Silver award in the Travel Column Category of the contest held by the 2003 Society of American Travel Writers Western Chapter. This year's winner was the Denver Post and the bronze winner was the San Diego Union-Tribune. Last year, Cheryl won the bronze.

6/19/03 Graduation Day, the peak of your 14-year-old life so far
Can you spot the haole kid? That's my 14-year-old Kate, "graduating" from 8th grade last week. It was a big deal, with some parents carrying on as if their kids had not only graduated from medical school, they'd also been granted parole. It's 8th grade, for Chrissakes. I remember no ceremony whatsoever when I gradded Aliamanu Intermediate in 1967. This is all part of the "make kids feel good about themselves" philosophy prevalent in schools these days -- a friend who's a school counselor on the Mainland tells me parents of graduating 8th graders rent limousines and throw huge parties when their kids pass their classes. It's an Instant Grad-ification world. The point, of course, is that by over-indulging minor -- and expected -- accomplishments, kids think of education as a kind of temporary party game instead of a life-long process.

6/20/03 Maybe they should take his thesaurus away
I can't resist passing on this staff message from the lovely ladies in OpEd:
We in the editorial department are pleased to present excerpts from the Letter of the Week. The letter is titled "Mike Rethman's Condemnation is Dearth of Sage" (spelling errors included):

"I have read with hunger of a hawk your cascade of inflammatory, nebulous and callow assessement of Education K-12 in the State of Hawaii, June 10th, 03 in Honolulu Advertiser. The analysis is strawn with painful and saddistic sense of shame and disbelief. I was chilled and frosty by it. It was and still a blazing texture of snort, aversion and loathe."

Further down in the letter: "Informed, is the stalactites of Ph.D.'s is reckless, senseless, debasing and ineptitude. ... A glass of decency and culture is good."

Now maybe you understand why it takes so long to edit letters.

6/23/03 Good sports, bad sports
Hawaii's Michelle Wie, 13 years old and playing with a bloody nose, became the youngest woman ever to win the national Public Links golf tournament. She thought it was pretty cool. I brought back the Brainstorm column in yesterday's Star-Bulletin, and one of the suggestions sent in to celebrate Honolulu's Centennial in 2005 was to have 100 of the worlds best golfers each match off against Michelle Wie. Now THAT would be cool.
The other hot Hawaii sports story last week was University of Hawaii football coach June Jones renegotiating his contract into a salary worth more than $750,000, the highest in the western athletic conference and waaaay more than any other public official in Hawaii. But in the jump legs of articles, it's noted that most of Jones' enormous salary is coming from private donations. Really? Does that still qualify him as a public employee? Can we raise the governor's salary by hitting up "private" contributors? How about corporate contributions? Is it possible that corporations can take over sponsorship of public university sports? The Gannett Advertiser already has an "exclusive" contract with the University regarding arena games. How long before the UH team is called the Gannett Warriors?
After a long courtship, high-school football coach Cal Lee is also joining the UH coaching staff. Possibly as Jones' heir apparent. But the negotiations were secret and it wasn't until Thursday night that they inked the deal. The Star-Bulletin had the story, and KGMB News knew we had the story, even though we couldn't run it until Friday. All the Gannett Advertiser had was speculation. This set the stage for a desperation move -- early editions of the Gannett story said nothing, then KGMB News reported the deal had been struck (without elaboration), and within minutes, the Gannett story changed to read that "the Advertiser has learned" Cal Lee would be joining the University. Yeah, they learned it all right -- from watching a competitor's TV newscast! Our Sports staff discovered the next day that the Gannett paper didn't confirm anything before going into print with information cribbed from the competition, and worded to make it appear as if they were breaking the story. This would make an interesting debate in a journalism ethics class. The Advertiser was lucky the story was true.

6/25/03 Not-so-great moments in Hawaii journalism history
I've finally got around to running these images taken Aug. 2, 1971, forwarded by former Star-Bulletin photographer Dick Schmidt. It's a swank Waikiki party celebrating the sale of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin to Gannett, then an up-and-coming player in the newspaper chain game. It was by far their biggest acquisition at the time. Recognizable here are publisher Chinn Ho and his wife, , board meber J. Ballard "Pug" Atherton, an Associated Press guy and -- in the pimp suit -- Gannett's Al Neuharth.

Dick adds details:

I am a regular visitor to your "Honolulu Newspaper War" site, with a brief --and now distant-- stint in the early 1970s as a Star-Bullentin staff photographer. I am a frequent visitor to various Islands and always read both papers every day when there. (It's great to be able to find the Star-Bulletin on all islands these days; during the last couple years of the JOA, it was an infuriating challenge to find a copy for sale on a Neighbor Island.)

I'm a staff photographer for The Sacramento Bee (total years of service currently at 37) who, in 1971-72 while on a LOA from the Bee, had the superb experience of working as a member of the Star-Bulletin photo staff for a year. (The chief photographer then was Warren Roll, who has been retired since 1980.) In checking bylines in recent years, I have been impressed that, 30-plus years later, about 10 writers I worked with are still on staff -- or have retired or left within the last 2 years!

In addition to an enriching year -- both professionally and personally -- working with Star-Bulletin people, it was an interesting time in the paper's history. Halfway through my year I witnessed a historic transition as the Gannet entourage from Rochester (including Al Neuharth) came sweeping through to claim command of the newspaper from Chinn Ho, as the Star-Bulletin became part of the Gannett "group."

The Gannet entourage and the Chinn Ho group met for a ritzy dinner celebrating the announcement of the newspaper's purchase. I was assigned to do favor photos for the "suits" who gathered at a restaurant (or hotel, I don't recall which or where) banquet room. When notified of this assignment, I was instructed to come to work wearing a necktie; after I had done all the set-up photos asked of me I was told to leave -- as dinner began. I was not able to retain the 35mm b&w negs, but I did make a set of 8x10 glossy prints for my own souvenirs of this evening. Aside from local newspaper history, I have always been amused by the appearance of Al Neuharth, with his hair all slicked back and greazy (with a "z") and attired in his all-white suit and necktie -- and, baby, look at them shoes!

Though brief, that time with the Star-Bulletin has influenced my life in many ways over the years. I'm a benefactor of your online offerings of information, photos and humor and I can say that I gain much from your presence emerging from my monitor.

I enjoy your web site and reading your work in print when visiting Hawaii, or online. I am intrigued by your early roots in photojournalism. I especially admire the way you craft words into sentences containing texture and verve. Wow. Keep it going, Burl.

Thanks, man!

6/29/03 Not the good kine SPAM
I went on vacation for a couple of weeks, came back, took a deep breath and opened my email at work. Yikes! There were more than 2,000 emails, of which only a dozen were "real." I wrote a short piece about it for the Star-Bulletin's "Scratchpad" at the time:
I recently returned from vacation and discovered that my penis was too small. It apparently is a pathetic, shriveled nubbin, the size of a peanut and much less appetizing. The good news is that hundreds -- maybe thousands -- of people out there know all about my plight, are sympathetic and are anxious to help. They all sent me e-mails touting various lotions or exercise programs to turn Mr. Johnson back into something that will frighten horses.
I also had e-mails offering to help with my mortgage. Did you know rates are better than ever and we must act now? I had no idea.
And hundreds of young ladies want to show me their pictures. Even though I don't know them, we're on a first-name basis. Isn't that friendly? I think this is related to my first problem, above.
Other folks sent me information about digital cameras, or time-shares in Bermuda, or cellular phones, or even offered to help me buy prescription drugs way cheap, particularly Viagra (See Problem No. 1, above). And there's the ongoing plight of that poor lady in Nigeria who needs my private banking information to transfer millions of dollars into the United States. It's heartbreaking.
Gosh, the world has gotten smaller. How did all these folks get my e-mail address? Oh, yeah. See below:
Burl Burlingame
bburlingame@starbulletin.com

6/30/03 The curse of the three
One of the persistant newsroom myths is that news cycles happen in groups of three. When a famous person dies, for example, we start wondering who the other two will be. In the last couple of weeks, we've lost Gregory Peck, Buddy Hackett and Katharine Hepburn. My youngest daughter is named both for Hepburn and for a dear friend. I will remain a big Hepburn fan.
In the past few months, however, there have been three Hawaii deaths that I find troubling. All were people who made a major contribution to our life here in the islands, and all died way too young:
Jim Bartels, former director of Iolani Palace and a sparkplug to preserve Washington Place, was both an independent spirit and consumate professional in the field of historical architecture preservation. I admired his work a great deal, and our paths often crossed.
Linda Kawai'ono Delaney, a persistant and clear voice that often brought order to the many-fractured Hawaiian-rights movements, always impressed me with her dedication and passion. She was one of few in the movement who could present a cogent arguement without getting wrapped up in conflicting emotions. We didn't bump into each other much, and ofetn disagreed, but she always gave me something to think about.
Glen Grant was a friend. We grew to know and like each other over the years based on a shared affinity for story-telling, mysteries and the collection of odd facts. We made each other laugh and always provided an ear for the latest spooky story. I was often a guest on his radio program where we discussed the mysteries of the day, and his coffeeshop/concert tavern/bookshop/office called The Haunt is a way-cool place. I hope it stays open.
NEXT! July 2003
Up the Ivory Tower

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