Emme Tomimbang Burns, a beacon in Hawaii’s broadcast landscape, died Monday (Feb. 19) night at Queen’s Medical Center, while undergoing open heart surgery. She was 73.

A proud graduate of Farrington High School and a prominent figure in the Filipino community, she was the widow of Judge James S. Burns, who preceded her in death.

Best known as the producer and host of “Emme’s Island Moments,” Emme (pictured) — full first name Emmeline — was queen of Hawaii TV’s version of what is dubbed a “magazine show,” assembling show biz celebrities and notables in all walks of life.

Her “Emme” brand has been televised on all network affiliates, including KITV, KHON and KGMB, with screenings also on KFVE. She produced the productions and served as interviewer on all episodes.

Her idol was Oprah Winfrey, and she was inspired to put her own imprint on that genre.

She also was a philanthropist, supporting JABSOM, the James A. Burns School of Medicine, , named after  Gov. John A. Burns, her father-in-law.

Memorial services are pending…

Sneak peek at MVT’s new season

Manoa Valley Theatre has let the chat out of the bag.

Season ticket owners have learned that MVT’s 2024-2025 season will include three theatrical treasures:

  • “Parade,” a Tony Award-winning musical Alfred Uhry (book) and music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown. The show, fresh from a Broadway run earlier this year, starred Ben Platt. “Parade” is a true story about a dramatization of the 1913 trial and imprisonment, and 1915 lynching, of Jewish American Leo Frank in Georgia.
  • “Kim’s Convenience,” a comedy by Ins Choi,  about a Korean family operating a grocery store in Toronto’s Regent Park neighborhood.
  • “Side by Side by Sondheim,” a Stephen Sondheim musical which honors and celebrates the lyrical and tuneful artistry of the iconic Broadway composer, a favorite of the acting community.

Details of the complete new season will be forthcoming…

And that’s Show Biz…


Just asking…

Are you a good speller?I think I’m a decent speller; after all, my life as a journalist demanded the ability to spell.

Words are tricky, however, and I admit I often have to spell-check a specific word. If you’re computer-efficient, you know that misspelled words usually are flagged with underscoring, to advise you of errors. No one is perfect. (Spell-check doesn’t work efficiently with Hawaiian words, right?)

I bring up spelling because a friend told me her grade-school child has some difficulty in spelling. It’s understandable because words can be tricky.

Many words sound alike but are spelled differently. Examples: but/butt, knew/new, knight/night, wood/would, dough/doe, plane/plain and kernel/colonel. These are called homophones.

Some words like psychology, pseudonym, phlegm,  phantom, psychic, and physics don’t look like how they are pronounced. The spelling of Wednesday is not logical, nor is the word marble, which means the little glass thing kids play as well as the stone-like glossy matter utilized in countertops. Hmmm, it is what it is.

The  older you become, your vocabulary increases, so you learn the ropes and will know the difference between rain and reign. Hopefully.

Perhaps you can whip up a pair of same-sounding but different words. I’ll add one here — pair/pear — so add yours to the list…


Today marks a health milestone for me. On Jan. 5, I was hospitalized to have my gall bladder removed, because It was a problematic organ that earlier sent me to the Queen’s Medical Center for two weeks last August.

So: I’m on the road to recovery, but not without challenges. In August, I left the hospital with a walker, a device that has given me support in walking. Post-surgery after the bladder removal, I still rely on the walker to navigate treks to the doctor, the post office, Longs, and a few nighttime plays.

But I’ve been very fortunate the past few weeks.

I signed up for interim physical therapy to strengthen my legs. Learned some worthy exercises that are doable at home.

I’ve not experienced what my from friends who had their gall bladders removed warned me about: the runs and/or constipation.

I’ve lost weight during hospitalization, to 186 lbs; weighed myself this morning, and I was 179. At my heaviest, I was 225.

My diet was rigid, initially — beef and/or chicken broth with soda crackers for a few days after surgery. I’ve been slowly adjusting and graduating to real food in the past month:

— Breakfast now includes oatmeal, toast, frozen waffles, croissants, naan bread, with margarine, jelly, jams or syrups.

— Lunch includes canned veggie or chicken soups, turkey or tuna sandwiches, and sushi. Occasionally, saimin.

— Dinner includes rice, chazuke, grilled salmon, pasta, salads, corn, beets, udon, and cheated once with tempura.

— Dessert includes Jell-O, pineapple slices, mandarin oranges, and – a recent treat – Haulolo (a combo of haupia with kulolo).

–Snacks include apple sauce (included seasoned versions with other fruit), bananas, apples, oranges, pears, wheat thins.

I still can’t have beef, milk products like ice cream, yogurt, fried foods like fried chicken, processed food like hot dogs and Vienna sausages, fatty food like bacon and Spam. And bakery desserts.

Yes, I miss Zippy’s fried chicken, and apple fritters, and Spam musubi,

Perhaps someday, but not yet. Have an appointment with my primary physician this week, and with my surgeon in two weeks, so I have lots to discuss.

To those who sent wellness thoughts and prayers my way, mahalo plenty.

So the journey continues. Sharing my experience to perhaps help others in the same boat. Recovery is a day-by-day process, so thanks for making my days worth living for.


Three months after I was hospitalized in Queen’s — admitted Aug. 10, released Aug. 19 — I celebrated my belated birthday (’twas on Aug. 13, while I was in treatment for health issues) last night at Roy’s Restaurant in Hawaii Kai.

The birthday dude, left, with Vi, John, Jack and Cha, at Roy’s.

Our Soldier Boy nephew John Rhoades is visiting from his Army chores at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, so timing was perfect and he joined Vi and me and our longtime pals, Jack and Cha Thompson, for a festive dinner with Roy’s providing sushi and braised ribs pupu, and each of us selected our own entrees.

The Roy’s outing was the first “fine dining” endeavor, as I continue my recovery process. and it was joyous treat.


Yemun Chung, a talent manager and entrepreneur extraordinaire, died Monday (Sept. 11) in a Las Vegas hospital. He was 78.

A San Francisco-born talent manager and recording and show producer, Chung was a self-styled promoter who became best known locally as the manager of The Fabulous Krush (later, The Krush), who won Na Hoku Hanohano Awards in 1981 and in 1985.

Chung, celebrating his 78th birthday — his last — with a cake.

Chung died of an apparent heart attack, after complaining of chest pains, at the VA Hospital Emergency Room, according to his wife, Gloria.

Yemun was 78, celebrating in June with a birthday cake.
“Days prior to the heart attack, he was in great spirits, looking forward to seeing Carrie Underwood at the end of this month,” said Gloria. 

“Yemun’s kidneys were functioning at 6 per cent last January 2022 and that’s when he started dialysis knowing that if he did not, his time would be limited,” she said. “He was grateful every day that he was able to live more than a year and a half on borrowed time. He was very positive and knew the Lord could take him anytime and was ready.”

Chung had been having shortness of breath issues and was scheduled to visit a doctor Sept. 22 for a cardiac catheterization and to check for blockages in his heart, said Gloria.”Sadly we never had the chance to perhaps save him.,” she said.

Chung and his wife were former Honolulans who migrated to Las Vegas 13 ½ years ago, to help raise her grandchildren.

Thus, he had to abandon a legacy of celebrity management, recording production, and show production, in an era when managers often had p.r. appeal.

Chung was a reporter and producer in the 1970s at KGO Radio in San Francisco, but ventured to make his mark in Hawaii, rubbing shoulders and elbows with some of Hawaii’s celebrity managers and recording icons beginning in the 1980s and eventually evolved into one of the most active talent-touting managers  himself through the early 2000s.

He held numerous jobs in the emerging entertainment frontier in Waikiki, serving as director of marketing and promotion for the Jim Nabors show at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Dome and, befriended Kimo McVay, whosd prime celebrity client then, included Don Ho who was the main attraction at the Duke Kahanamoku’s nightclub, at the International Market Place.

But it was his managerment of The Krush act, who performed in the 1980s at the Garden Bar of the Hilton Hawaiian Village, that got him noticed. Chung produced the group’s albums that notably won Na Hoku Hanohano Awards in 1981 and in 1985.

The Fabulous Krush copped the Most Promising Artist trophy in 1981 and its “Fabulous Krush” debut was Album of the Year. In ’85, The Krush won the Hoku Contemporary Album prize for its “More and More” disc.

The wins heightened the act’s visibility and popularity, and The Krush became one of the rotating headliners, sharing time slots with the Society of Seven and The Ali‘is, at the Main Showroom of the Outrigger Waikiki resort.

With hits such as “Waialua Sky,” The Krush became nightclub favorites as well as hitmakers on the Hawaii charts, and Chung was the mover-and-shaker behind the raves.

Tom Moffatt, left, one of Chung’s mentors.

In the 1990s, Chung joined the talent team that included George Chun at Tom Moffatt’s Paradise Records and he  consequently worked with a host of local performers.
Among the other entrepreneurs Chung collaborated with was Jack Cione, who staged a couple of Waikiki nightclub attractions, and co-promoted a music club in Aiea as well.

Gloria and Yemun Chung, in white garb, with the Local Divas, from left, Nohelani Cypriano, Carole Kai, Melveen Leed and Loyal Garner.

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, he worked on promotion for the Local Divas, the femme foursome comprising Carole Kai, Melveen Leed, Loyal Garner and Nohelani Cypriano, popular on the concert stage.

Clearly, Chung was a major player in the Waikiki mainstream, where he made his mark rendering managing chores, music-producing skills, and — something he loved — doing hands-on publicity, whether it was writing p.r. releases or posting concert posters around town.

Chung and his wife were residing in Northwest Las Vegas; survivors also include stepchildren Yvette Brink, Beau Brinik, Darrell Kadooka (spouse Jair) and grandchildren Krissy, Ashlee and Atticus. Services are pending.

And that’s Show Biz. …

All photos courtesy Gloria Chung