Rumors have been flying high and wide in Hawaii Kai– some true, most not – about the fate of area businesses. And Rep Gene Ward  (R, House District 18), has taken on the role of taskmeister, sorting out the truth, in an email to constituents.

I’ve heard some of the buzz, but not all. And Ward examines the riff and the raff. But he has not addressed all the concerns in the neighborhood.

Like: Costco Hawaii Kai is not closing. Never heard that it might exit our neighborhood. Nor the chatter that the Hawaii Kai Satellite City Hall was shuttering. Ward indicates that Councilman Tommy Waters’ office revealed that the convenient satellite city hall, tucked behind Roy’s Restaurant, has a lease through Aug. 31, 2031. Good to know.

Rep. Gene Ward

More disclosures:

The Hawaii Kai office of the Honolulu Police Department is staying put; the office “functions solely as  an unmanned workspace, which officers may intermittently utilize for writing reports” and is not open to the public, so it would have no impact on staffing levels in East Oahu. That’s comforting news.

Here are some good news and bad news: The abandoned restaurant space at the Hawaii Kai Towne Center, once occupied by Outback Steakhouse and most recently by the failed launch of Scratch Kitchen near Roy’s, will gain a new tenant, but  it won’t be an eatery. Bank of Hawaii, which has a small space at Koko Marina Center, will expand again to occupy the Scratch space. (The bank had been a long-time tenant at Koko Marina, across Zippy’s).

I have two questions for Rep. Ward: There’s been buzz that Zippy’s might shut down its take-out counter, which has been operating after Zippy’s closed its dine-in restaurant. That area still is vacant, and folks are wondering: Will Zippy’s reconsider and return to dine-in, too, or might another restaurant move in?

And more queries: What or who might acquire the abandoned Koko Marina multi-plex movie theaters? The front signage has been removed and the building frontage painted; but the rear sign, visible from Lunalilo Home Road, still is there. Why?

One final query: since Ben Franklin left its Koko Marina home years ago, the vacancy remains after a game center failed. There had been earlier rumors that a health-food market might move in, and also an H-Mart store, but the doors are stlll locked, with the UPS store the only surviving merchant on that corridor.

 Rep. Ward welcomes queries and concerns about Hawaii Kai businesses. You may reach him via phone at (808) 586-6420 or email repward@capitol.hawaii.gov …

TAG seeks $15,000 to upgrade light and sound

The Actors’ Group (TAG), the fledging theater group located at the Brad Powell Theatre at Dole Cannery, is seeking 15,000 to upgrade its lighting and sound systems.

And it’s off to a great start: $7,900 already has been committed from donors and supporters.

The plans will include acquiring LEDs and updated software to replace antiquated equipment from the theater group’s Yellow Brick Studio facilities in Kaka‘ako.

LEDs are energy-efficient, with longer lifespan, and will reduce on-stage heat for actors. Power speakers will enhance amplification and depth, benefitting theater audiences.

Contributions, large or small, may be made at the theater during performance or at the group’s website, at www.taghawaii.net

Broadway grosses, for the week ending May 5

While “The Lion King” still lords over the weekly list of Broadway grosses – the lone show in the $2 million club – the arrival of newbies will likely change the rankings in future weeks.

The Top 10:

1–“The Lion King,” $2,035 million.

2—”Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club,” $1,920 million.

3—”Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” $1,762 million.

4—”Hamilton,” $1,732 million.

5—”Wicked,” $1,586 million.

6—”The Wiz,” $1,458 million.

7—” MJ the Musical,” $1,456 million.

8—”Merrily We Roll Along,” $1,435 million.

9—”Moulin Rouge! The Musical,” $1,405 million.

10—“Hell’s Kitchen,” $1,270 million.

The complete list, courtesy the Broadway Guild:

And that’s Show Biz…

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