Best of Honolulu – People

It’s that time of year again. We’ve scoured the island, grilled the experts and enlisted your help to bring you the best “Best of Honolulu“ ever.

Hottest Hottie (Male)
Daniel Dae Kim

(Readers’ Pick)

The one drawback of having Daniel Dae Kim play non-English-speaking Jin on Lost? Viewers have to tear their eyes away from him to read the subtitles. “I think an Asian man being voted the ‘Hottest Hottie’ can only happen in Hawai‘i,” Kim says. “It’s probably one of the most culturally accepting places in the world, one of the reasons I love living here.” Of course, living on O‘ahu has also helped the 38-year-old maintain maximum hotness. “I take advantage of all the outdoors has to offer,” he says. “I started scuba diving. I run and play tennis with my son a lot.”

East Coast native Daniel Dae Kim is currently filming the third season of Lost. photo: Mark Arbreit

Hottest Hottie (Female)
Kelly Hu
(Readers’ Pick)

Kelly Hu first charmed us as a poised Kamehameha Schools student who became the first Asian Miss Teen USA. Now 39, the local-girl-turned-Hollywood-star has racked up more than 40 acting credits. Over the past three years, she’s co-starred with The Rock in The Scorpion King, bared her claws in X-Men 2 and hunted bad guys on CSI:NY. This year, she’s part of ABC’s ensemble comedy In Case of Emergency. Hu’s not forgetting her Hawai‘i roots, though. Currently, she serves as spokeswoman for Reef Check Hawai‘i, a locally based nonprofit that monitors reef health worldwide. Oh, and she’s smokin’ hot, too.

photo: Dean Foreman

Best Weatherperson
Guy Hagi
(Readers’ Pick)

Honolulu’s favorite meteorological prognosticator? KGMB’s Guy Hagi. One of Hawai‘i’s most experienced forecasters, with more than 25 years of reporting on local surf and weather, Hagi also brings a personal touch to his reports. He says it’s because weather is more than just a job for him. “I grew up fishing and surfing, and then later on doing triathlons and golfing, and all those things are so dependent on the weather,” he says. “I get up in the morning and my first instinct is to check where the winds are coming from, what the ocean’s doing.”

photo: courtessy of KGMB

Best Radio Personality
Perry & Price
(Readers’ Pick)

Technically, Perry & Price are two radio personalities, but since Michael W. Perry and Larry Price have spent much of the past 23 years together educating and entertaining local listeners with their top-rated KSSK morning show, we’ll let it slide.

photo: courtesy of KSSK

Best Sportscaster
Kanoa Leahey
(Readers’ Pick)

It all started with girl’s basketball. KHON’s sports-loving news anchor, Kanoa Leahey, began his sportscasting career at just 17 years old, doing play-by-play announcements at ILH girl’s basketball games. After a series of gigs on ‘Olelo TV and radio, Leahey landed a reporting position at KITV, learning under longtime sportscaster Robert Kekaula. “It was an awesome experience and I learned a lot at a fast rate,” he says. Today Leahey is the sports director and evening news anchor for KHON. “I watch sports, play sports, talk about sports. It’s a privilege to be able to immerse myself in sports—and then get paid for it.”

Best Newscaster
Joe Moore
(Readers’ Pick)

Did you know … that you named Joe Moore, KHON’s perennial viewer magnet, Hawai‘i’s best newscaster?

photo: courtesy of KHON

Best Athlete
Michelle Wie
(Readers’ Pick)

Who cares that sports columnists nationwide have panned Michelle Wie as golf’s most overrated player? You certainly don’t. That’s why the 17-year old Punahou senior is still the grand-prize winner in this category, if not on the course.

Michelle Wie takes aim during the LPGA’s 2006 Fields Open at Ko Olina. photo: courtesy of Ko Olina Resort

Best Public Official
Gov. Linda Lingle
(Readers’ Pick)

Maybe it’s her firm yet reassuring tone of voice, her persistent call for tax relief or just that kicky new hairdo she’s sporting these days—in any case, you overwhelmingly elected our recently reelected Gov. Linda Lingle as your favorite public servant.

Gov. Linda Lingle and her wing-man, Lt. Gov. James “Duke” Aiona, Jr. at Lingle’s inauguration party. photo: Craig T. Kojima, courtesy of Honolulu Star-Bulletin