There was plenty of food, wine and laughter on Sunday when retired Honolulu Advertiser reporter Hugh Clark and his family hosted the annual Big Island Press Club christmas party at their Kaumana home. Â
At our press club Christmas party every year, we vote for our board’s officers. Â We had our Russian ballots like we do every year, with just one person proposed for each position. Â I just went down the ballot with my pencil, checking off the names absentmindedly. Â I had to ask someone later who I voted for. Â No, seriously, I want to congratulate Peter Serafin, the former Hawaii Island Journal editor, for stepping up to be president of our club in the next year. Â Also, congratulations to Stephanie Salazar, the KHBC newswoman, who will be the vice president. Â Where were you both? Â I had a big laugh at the fact that we were celebrating your victories without you. Â Actually, I understand that Peter had to miss our holiday party because he was in Honolulu with his daughter, who was taking a Japanese proficiency exam. Â Nevertheless, we had a good time without our newly-elected president and vice president. Â Wayne “the Big Dog” Joseph, who ran against Puna Councilwoman Emily Naeole in the Primary election, was at the party. Â He will serve as our press club’s secretary. Â Also present was Hunter Bishop, the former Hawaii Tribune-Herald reporter-turned-blogger who now works as the public information officer (PIO) for Mayor Billy Kenoi. Â He was the recipient of jokes about jumping the fence from “hack” to “flack.” Â Marcia Reynolds, the former Hawaii Tribune-Herald reporter who worked as PIO for Stephen Yamashiro, said Bishop is the fourth in our press club to go from journalist to mayor’s PIO. Â Before him, it was Hawaii Tribune-Herald reporter Janet Snyder who went to work for Mayor Harry Kim; Marcia who went to work for Mayor Yamashiro; and then Ken Hupp, of New West Broadcasting, who went to work for Mayor Lorraine Inouye. Â
More laughter came with discussion about my new blog life, and Hawaii Tribune-Herald reporter John Burnett’s talk of his his hillbilly past and his latest crime story involving Cynthia Lynette Edwards, the fugitive from florida who has been hiding out in Puna for 20 years.
There was some heaviness, too, and I’m not talking about the red wine and pupus. Â Yes, we had our all-too-common talk about how poor the work conditions have become at the Hawaii Tribune-Herald. Gene Tao, who served as editor of the publication for 15 years (1985-1990) said several times, “Work conditions aren’t good at the paper.” Â It really is pretty grim here on the island for journalists, with the only show in town for journalists, newspaper-wise, being Stephens Media, which is more content with the bottom line and busting the Tribune-Herald’s union than ensuring that its employees love coming to work everyday. Â
I guess that makes camaraderie and blogs like this all the more important. Â
Those not present at Sunday’s press club Christmas party who I especially missed: Â Peter Serafin; Steph Salazar; Chris Loos, the former Hawaii Tribune-Herald reporter who now works as a PIO for the Hawaii Police Department, and former Hawaii Tribune-Herald reporter Dave Smith.Â
The press club’s annual meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 23, 2009 at the Coconut Grill. Organizers are hoping to line up a representative from the 30 [meter â€” Â edited 12/10] telescope for the speaker. A hui hou.