Daily Archives: June 11, 2008

Wednesday: Hawaii Island Journal shuts down suddenly, Gannett writes off $3 billion in assets, marrying the boss’s daughter, more on cousin Michael, and the Aloha auction

Apparently its grim up and down the news food chain.

The Honolulu Advertiser reports today that this week’s issue of Hawaii Island Journal will be its last. The Journal was bought by Laurie Carlson’s Pacific Catalyst Publishing, which also publishes Honolulu Weekly, not too long ago, back in about 2005. I’ve been impressed by its content and, to tell the truth, it has appeared to land more advertising than Honolulu Weekly. What this signals about the company’s finances and the future of Weekly remains to be seen.

Hunter Bishop comments on the Journal in his Big Island blog.

Gannett also took a hit this week. The company announced it is taking a write down of as much as $3 billion, nearly one-fifth of its total assets. Once a lucrative investment, Gannett’s stock price has dropped by half over the past year.

Let’s see. The Advertiser has a nice obituary today about Hubert Everly, former dean of the UH College of Education. I knew him as the father of a good friend and high school classmate, Ben Everly.

The Advertiser story by Leanne Ta includes this concise personal history:

Everly arrived in Hawai’i in 1933 at the age of 18 to become a park ranger, his granddaughter said. That came after some difficulties throughout grade school and high school, including the expulsions.

He found his way back to education, however, upon meeting a dean of Teachers College, which would become the UH College of Education.

I’m not just talking out of school to note that the Advertiser account leaves out a key point: Everly married the dean’s daughter. Here’s how the events were described in a 2006 UH publication.

Everly arrived in Hawai‘i in 1933 at age 18 with the thought of becoming a park ranger, or maybe even a volcanologist. “Hawai‘i was a wonderful laboratory for someone who loved the outdoors and wanted to do something unique,” he told an interviewer for an oral history project on Hawai‘i’s public schools.

He enrolled in a summer program for elementary school teachers on the Big Island. By the end of the term, the instructor had convinced him to give up a University of Southern California track scholarship and become a teacher. It was a risky decision. The country was in the midst of the Depression, and teaching jobs were scarce. But Benjamin Othello Wist worked hard to recruit male students and improve the racial mix, explains Everly.

The fact that Everly had fallen in love with Wist’s daughter, Zoe, was an added inducement. Wist became both Everly’s father-in-law and, in 1946, his boss.

That’s not to take anything away from Everly’s accomplishments, but just to fill out the story.

Chuck Frankel reminds me that the Star-Bulletin ran a good obit on Everly three weeks ago, back on May 21.

And I have to thank Pat Matsueda for including a tribute to my cousin, Michael McPherson, in the latest issue of her e-zine, Mixed Nerve.

There’s a lot of weighty reading there.


I did manage to stop by the auction preview at the Aloha Airlines executive offices in Restaurant Row yesterday afternoon.

It was chaos. Potential bidders wandered through the offices sizing up potential bargains. Boxes of corporate files were stacked everywhere waiting to be taken to who-knows-where. A few people were still working, packing up what remained even as staff of McClain Auctions were taping lot numbers onto things and trying to write descriptions of items to be sold tomorrow.

Stu Glauberman, former reporter and most recently Aloha’s director of corporate communications, said a surprising number of people left the building after the company’s sudden closing and never returned to collect their personal belongings. Glauberman said he has cleared out 140 offices, many filled with photos of wives and children, and mementos of personal lives, now abandoned.

Click on the photo for more of my visual impressions.