The History of Hawai‘i From Our Files: The Best of the Worst of 1991
What made our Sour Poi list in 1991? Frank Fasi messages, a spelling bee gaffe and a too-early celebration at the Great Aloha Run.
HONOLULU has been celebrating the best of the worst of the year in our Sour Poi Awards for more than three decades now. Here’s a look back at 1991.
“What kind of year was it? Saddam Hussein. 2 Live Crew. Pete Rose in jail. Houses back for sale at Love Canal. And to top everything off, the Kinsey Institute found that 55 percent of American adults surveyed flunked a test on basic sexual knowledge.
“We didn’t know which end was up in the Islands either as the following items will attest.
The state Spelling Bee was marred when Channel 2 anchorman Joe Moore, who moderated the contest, repeatedly spelled words for the TV audience instead of giving one of the competitors a chance at them.
YOU CAN’T BLAME JOE MOORE FOR THIS ONE
A chance to repeal the resign-to-run law died last legislative session. Why? The senate version of the bill spelled public office pubic office.
Olympic marathoner Gary Fanelli, the first runner into Aloha Stadium at the end of the 8.25-mile Great Aloha Run, slowed down to raise his arms in victory and was promptly passed by Canadian Jody Lee, who won the race.
THEY WEREN’T RUSHIN’
The Russian yacht Admiral Nevelskoy, invited to participate in the Kenwood Cup Races, arrived in Honolulu 10 days after the competition started and three hours after the last race had begun.
PUNCH AND COOKIES
This year’s Golden Gloves tournament had to be canceled when a number of unscheduled bouts broke out outside the ring: About 75 spectators, boxers and coaches began punching, kicking and throwing chairs.
IT’S MORNING IN AMERICA
One morning last March about 100 visitors—many of whom had driven two hours in the predawn dark—were gathered to watch the sunrise at Haleakala. But before the sun came up, they were forced to leave the visitor center. Why? So Vice President Dan Quayle and his family could land by helicopter in the parking lot.
AIN’T NO MOUNTAIN HIGH ENOUGH
During artillery practice last summer, a Schofield Barracks gun crew managed to lob a 105mm howitzer round completely over the Wai‘anae Mountains, blasting a crater in the middle of a Wai‘anae Valley pasture. A 105mm shell can kill anyone within 35 meters.
“Your letter … is the biggest bunch of crap I have read in a long time.” —The mayor [Frank Fasi] in a letter to the president of AMFAC/JMB Hawai‘i.
“A jackass.” —The mayor on Japanese investor Gensiro Kawamoto.
“Take your complaints and shove them up your big fat nose.” —The mayor in a letter to a Philadelphia visitor who wrote to complain about drugs, prostitution and rowdy sailors on shore leave in Waikīkī.
MOTIVATED TO GET YOUR HEAD EXAMINED
A group of 850 people who’d paid $3,900 apiece, not counting airfare, to attend a Tony Robbins motivational seminar on Maui, were given a quarter, an apple and a one-way ticket to O‘ahu and told to apply what they’d learned to survive and to get back to Maui. About 20 ended up at the Rev. Claude du Teil’s Institute for Human Services and two were arrested trying to rent out free luggage carts at the airport.
THOSE WHO CAN, DO …
Michael Dukakis is teaching political science at UH this semester.
THE ROB LOWE AWARD GOES TO …
During what was supposed to be a private discussion, state health director John Lewin managed to get himself videotaped confiding that geothermal power—which the state administration officially favors—“is the stupidest thing we could possibly be doing.”
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