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Sour Poi Awards

Celebrating the best of the worst of 2007—from the strange to the stupid to the scandalous.


Illustrations by Scott Pollack

(page 1 of 2)


It was a rough year, for Duane "Dog" Chapman. First there was the lawsuit from the woman who alleged that Dog's crew crashed through her ceiling and threw her down a flight of stairs in the pursuit of a fugitive. Then Chapman was arrested and jailed on behalf of the Mexican government, which wanted to extradite him on criminal charges relating to his 2003 capture of fugitive Andrew Luster. The extradition attempt eventually dissolved, but the best was yet to come: a recording of a phone conversation in which Chapman drops the N-bomb repeatedly, leaked to the National Enquirer by Dog's son Tucker. Chapman lost his A&E reality show in the resulting furor, despite profuse apologies. Said Chapman, "I thought I was cool enough in the black world to be able to use that word as a brother to a brother."



Campbell Estate heiress Abigail Kawananakoa bid $100,000 in October to not have a party at Iolani Palace. Friends of Iolani Palace, the nonprofit tasked with maintaining the property, had been auctioning off a dinner party catered by Alan Wong that was to have taken place on the palace lanai. Kawananakoa deemed the idea unseemly, and placed the winning bid to prevent the event from taking place.

KDEN. The Mainland owner of a local unbuilt digital television station gained national attention for the call letters it applied for and had approved by the Federal Communications Commission for the Wailuku station: KUNT. Upon learning of the call letters resemblance to a slang word, the company sheepishly turned the call sign in for a replacement, along with another for the company's Flagstaff, Ariz., station—KWTF.

Hot wheels. Police arrested a woman parked in a shopping center parking lot with four extra rims and tires stashed in her car, on suspicion of possessing stolen property. The arresting officer became suspicious when he noticed the rental car next to her, which sat on jacks and was missing all four wheels.

The thrill is gone. A Kailua woman returned home to discover a man sleeping on her living room floor, near a window with missing louvers and a camcorder that he was allegedly intending to steal. He continued to sleep as she called 911, and did not awaken until the police arrested him on charges of first-degree burglary.

Just watching out for the explosive season finale.  Transportation Security Administration employees at Honolulu International Airport ruined a bunch of film carrying footage of the television show Lost in February, forcing the crew to reshoot several scenes. The TSA employees X-rayed the film canisters, even though they were clearly labeled with warnings against it.


During Hawai'i's latest "Click It or Ticket" campaign, the state shot to the top of the national seat-belt usage stats: 97 percent compared with the national average of 81 percent. Add in an aggressive anti-jaywalking campaign, and the police had a busy year. Unfortunately, the most recent statistics show that Honolulu police are solving just 10.6 percent of major violent and property crimes, below the national average of 14.7 percent.



It's more like 4 million computers owned by the State of Hawaii have been used to make thousands of edits to online encyclopedia Wikipedia, including slurs, jokes and falsified data. Among the factoids traced to state computers was the claim that Hawaii Congressman Neil Abercrombie has killed more than 5 million wolves.

Dissect, yes; slaughter? no.  The Hawaii Island Economic Development Board launched a coqui frog eradication program that would have given kids iPods and Xbox 360s for catching and croaking the noisy invasive species. But two area principals put the brakes on the idea of turning children into froggy killers. "It's not part of our standards to be involved in eradication," said one.

"Frenz fo' evah".  A Kauai middle school principal killed the school's 2007 yearbook because it was riddled with typos and errors. "The quality of the yearbook was not representative of an institute of public education," principal Debra Badua said. After protests from outraged students and parents, Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School reprinted corrected editions.




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