Daily Archives: June 4, 2008

Wednesday…Former newsman Mason Altiery, more on the Show of Stars, HMSA rates rise faster than reported, a dog-shaped hole in the world, etc.

Sad news–The Advertiser today reports the death of Mason Altiery, former island reporter who served briefly in the State Senate. I just noticed that the Breaking News version includes photos. Always a most interesting guy. I’m sorry to hear this news.

Mark Santoki adds a bit of cultural history regarding Bo Diddley’s appearance in Hawaii back in June 1960.

The promoters for the event, the 23rd Show of Stars, were the late Ralph Yempuku and Earl Finch. Tom Moffatt was the talent scout and DJ of the event. The “Show of Stars” concerts were held every few months from 1957 to 1964.

By the end of the “Show of Stars” series in 1964, Yempuku and Finch had promoted 34 shows and sold 680,000 tickets. Over 100 rock ’n’ roll pioneers had visited the 50th State, including Bobby Day, Paul Anka, Frankie Lymon, Buddy Holly and the Crickets, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Five Satins, The Everly Brothers, Ritchie Valens, LaVerne Baker, The Platters, Bobby Darin, Sam Cooke, The Drifters, Neil Sedaka, Count Basie, Bobby Rydell, Bo Diddley and Peter, Paul and Mary.

According to Moffatt, there were probably more rock n’ roll concerts in Hawai`i during this period than in Los Angeles.


Recent news stories (like this Star-Bulletin piece) reported that HMSA is asking for a 12.8 percent boost in its health plan rates for small businesses. A bill passed in 2007 requires the rate hike to be approved by the state insurance commissioner before finally going into effect.

But a friend called me yesterday to say that his business was just notified of an increase of nearly 21 percent in monthly premiums. And although the requested fee increase has not yet been blessed by the insurance commissioner, HMSA is demanding the higher premiums immediately and threatening to cut off anyone who balks. What’s worse, HMSA reportedly refuses to discuss the rate increase with individual subscribers, saying that only the “plan administrator” has a right to have questions answered.

“Welcome to feudal hawaii,” my friend commented. “It’s like plantation days once again.”

Did you notice this column in the New York Times yesterday? As flying becomes more and more of an ordeal, won’t destinations requiring longer time in the uncomfortable conditions of flight fall on the list of favored destinations? And that’s not even talking about the cost of tickets.

So shouldn’t the State of Hawaii have a task force advocating for passenger rights? Otherwise, we’re going to be left high and dry as fuel prices rise and airlines strip away all pretense of comfort.

Leslie, a cousin in California and a fine blogger, recently wrote in her Clutter Museum blog about losing Woody, the family dog, and finding a dog-shaped hole in the family universe. Actually Canardly shaped, but you’ll have to read her essay to understand what that means. I’m late in sending condolences, but I know it’s always hard when you lose a member of the family. Oh, I know the feeling well. I’ve tried to write about some of our losses. Kua. Buster. Hiwa. Cybelle. Lizzie. Lindsey. Even the stray yellow cat that hung around briefly several years ago. Grieve well for good friends, as we say. So thanks for sharing, Ms. Leslie. We’re with you.

Just a couple of calming photos of the recent low tides here in Kaaawa.

Low tide

It’s a whole different world at low tide, and it tends to draw people out to explore. Well, most of them come out a bit later, although there are usually a few early risers out on the reef, often out to the edge where the surf breaks.

The rain came down hard at about 2 a.m. I got up to check the windows and see check on the cats. They were all dry. The downpour didn’t last long, although it has sprinkled since. This morning it still feels like rain although it’s only partly cloudy. The day could go either way.