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Sour Poi Awards 2010

Celebrating the best of the worst of 2010—the strange, the stupid and the scandalous.


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Aloha! 2010's election season saw us bidding farewell to a number of familiar faces (for now, at least).

Illustration: Tom Richmond

We miss you already, Rod.

2010 was a banner year for perennial Sour Poi favorite, now-former city council member Rod Tam. In March, he agreed to pay $13,700 to settle an Ethics Commission report that he had improperly billed the city for hundreds of meals with his wife and friends, unrelated to City Council business—more than $22,000 worth. Tam never admitted wrongdoing, saying only that his record-keeping and math had been sloppy. Despite a unanimous censure from the City Council, Tam decided to run for mayor. His campaign slogan? Lightning Rod Tam.


When life gives you lumber …

A Kauai couple got an unpleasant surprise in March when a large piece of lumber dropped out of the sky and crashed through their lānai roof. The wood was being transported by helicopter to a nearby botanical garden when several lengths became dislodged and fell to earth. No one was hurt.


High Times

Seven teenagers had to be rescued by firefighters in September after they climbed up on a roof during a night of drinking and then couldn’t get down.



A military public affairs officer got canned after posting snarky remarks about RIMPAC on her blog for the Military Officers Association of America. Gina DiNicolo described the naval exercises as “the world’s largest floating cocktail party,” writing, “Snoozepac is 38 days of too many visitors gorging themselves on foreign and U.S. naval delicacies.” The flub cost DiNicolo her Marine Corps job .


The better part of valor is what, now?

In August, A 17-year-old walking down the street with a case of beer he had allegedly just stolen from a Kalihi store thought it would be a good idea to yell and throw a rock through the window of a nearby police car, showering the officer inside with cut glass. The boy then ran away, but was quickly arrested.


Thank God You're Ok; We've been looking for you.



In a busy, budget-crunched year, the state Legislature spent time debating whether to officially recognize the cultural merits of cockfighting. The resolutions, introduced by Rep. Joey Manahan, D-29th, actually passed the House Tourism, Culture and International Affairs Committee with a 4-2 vote, but, in the wake of heated protest by animal rights groups, lawmakers eventually sent the resolutions back to committee, effectively killing them.


For once, jumping the shark is a good thing.

When a shark attacked a Kaua‘i surfer in April, not only did the board go flying in the air, but the surfer landed right on the shark’s back. The surfer said he rode the shark like a cowboy for about 10 seconds before retrieving his board and swimming to safety.


We send our egrets

In September, the state shot about 80 cattle egrets in Keaukaha. Officials said it was a safety measure to protect planes at the nearby Hilo International Airport, which could have sucked the birds into their engines.


Kenya quit it?

The state Legislature passed a law in May allowing state government officials to ignore repeated requests for President Barack Obama’s birth certificate. The Hawai‘i Department of Health had been receiving 10 to 20 e-mails every week from “birthers,” who believe Obama was born in Kenya.



After months of red tape and delay, the City and County of Honolulu trashed a three-year contract with Hawaiian Waste Systems to ship solid refuse to the state of Washington. The 20,000 tons of opala that had piled up was instead trucked to the H-POWER incinerator.


How Godzilla got started

Not only have coqui frogs taken over the Big Island with their loud, piercing calls, but state agriculture officials said this past year that the invasive hoppers are getting bigger. Normally, the frogs are about the size of a quarter, but reports started popping up this year about coquis an inch and a half wide—a growth spurt of more than 50 percent.


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