Melisa Uchida
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Friday - July 08, 2005

John Lederer and Kumi Nagatake are engaged

THIS is the summer of reality TV and love — and one of Honolulu’s most eligible bachelors is off the market. After 20 years of single life, Dr. John Lederer, medical director of Radiation Therapy at The Queen’s Medical Center, has found his match. He proposed to Kumi Nagatake after just eight months of dating. “When you know, you know,” says Dr. John, as he’s affectionately called around Gold’s Gym. They couple met at Mikawan on Kapiolani. “I saw a beautiful woman and figured, what have I got to lose?” He asked her if he could buy her a drink. She said she didn’t drink. That didn’t stop him from striking up a conversation with the exotic beauty. He found out she only had three weeks in Hawaii and was heading back to Japan. That’s when they made a pact to spend as much time together as possible, and so it was. He flew her back to Hawaii in December, and she returned for good in January. The proposal: While shopping in Houston, Kumi saw the diamond she wanted. It was just over three carats, round and brilliant. Dr. John didn’t buy it. Instead he jotted down the name of the store and all the important info. A couple months of later he told Kumi he’d called the store about the diamond, and they’d sold it that day! “I didn’t mention I was the buyer,” he says. She was understandably disappointed. But later that evening, he suggested they barbecue on the beach outside his East Honolulu home. “We eat out a lot and I thought it’d be nice to do something different.” Yes, different is always good for a proposal! He set up a romantic area under the palms and popped open a bottle of champagne. After dinner, they strolled down the beach and spotted a small silk bag stuck in some shrubbery. “I wonder what’s in it,” John asked Kumi. She didn’t want to open it since it wasn’t hers, but Dr. John nudged and she peeked inside. There was her three-plus carat diamond set in a classic platinum Tiffany setting, just as she dreamed. The wedding is tentatively set for May 2006 … Meanwhile, I can’t help it, I’m drawn to this saga — Tom Cruise did not get on his knee when he asked girlfriend of two months Katie Holmes to marry him. Sure, he arranged an after-hours tour of the Eiffel Tower and romantic candlelight dinner overlooking Paris, but the knee thing is so important! If he can humiliate himself by jumping on Oprah’s couch in front of millions, can’t he find enough humility to kneel in front of the woman he claims to love so much? Also, he told People magazine he wants to “marry her as soon as possible.” I think it’s because he knows once she nears 30, she’ll realize he’s not all that …

More stardust: Kirsten Dunst’s on a gain - off - again boyfriend Jake Gyllenhaal was vacationing on Maui last month … Looks like Hollywood actor, director, writer and producer Mario Van Peebles (Carlito’s Way: Rise to Power, Baadasssss, Ali, LA Law, 21 Jump Street, Soul Food, Judgement Day) will be directing Hawaii’s mosttalked- about independent film, The Tattoo! This has been local producer Angela Laprete’s second child for four and a half years. And now, the indie film is coming to fruition. She’s joined by longtime Hawaii TV/film coordinator Laurie Foi (co-producer of The Ride), and Wallis Nicita and Jeff Timon of LaLuna Films in Los Angeles. Local writer Chico Powell teamed with L.A. writer Bob Gookin to adapt the novel into a screenplay. KCC’s creative writing professor Chris McKinney wrote The Tattoo and Queen of Tears, which were picked up for national release/distribution by Soho Press last month. Sidebar: Angela and Chico’s “first” child is also on his way to stardom — Aidan Powell stars as the little boy in the “Aloha United Way” commercial (the kid with the dimple who gets the glowing ball!). Showbiz must run in the family … It will be a busy year for producers. Although production dates haven’t been determined yet. When that happens, unfortunately, there will be void …

Aloha to Lamond
Kanohookalani Kanakaole

Lamond Kanohookalani Kanakaole was called “Mr. Aloha” in TV and film circles. He died June 23 of an inoperable brain tumor at just 36 years old. Hundreds attended funeral services Friday and Saturday. Family and friends scattered his ashes in waters off Waikiki Beach on Tuesday. “Lamond’s smile was infectious. He touched everyone’s life. The energy he brought to work was always positive, fun, and full of aloha,” said Laprete. “Even when he was told he had three months to live, he still didn’t let others know. He just lived his life like he had in the past, with a smile.” Lamond worked as both locations and production assistant on Baywatch Hawaii, The Big Bounce, 50 First Dates, Blue Crush, North Shore and Xentopia and other shows. He leaves wife Dana and a big family of brothers and sisters … In the heavens: Deep Impact hit its mark and smashed into Comet Temple 1 just as planned 83 million miles away from Earth. Mayor Mufi Hannemann, wife Gail and 14 Girl Scouts watched the collision from the Mauna Kea Observatory along with one of NASA’s top dog scientists, Dr. Karen Meech — the UH astronomer was recently featured in MidWeek. She originally pitched the idea to NASA and ended up as one of NASA’s core team of Deep Impact scientists … Another big dog — Duane “Dog” Chapman — says his latest hunt is for Osama bin Laden. Hope he finds some Navy Seals while he’s there and brings ’em home, too … Fellow MidWeek-The Weekend columnist Kimo Akane told us about Cirque du Soleil acrobat Sarah Harding, the Punahou grad who’s performing in KA in Las Vegas. Sarah says her contract requires her to keep her amazing physique. So she eats just enough to never feel full. She says that way, her body doesn’t feel sluggish due to food and is always ready to function at optimum performance. Her fave snacks: nuts … Autographed copies of Barbara Altimus’ book The Gift of Pain are now available at Borders. I met Barbara years ago at a Sunday service in Kapahulu. She was wearing amazing turquoise jewelry and I couldn’t help but admire it. I ran into her at Wayne Dyer’s seminar at the Hawaii Convention Center about a year later. Her book is about overcoming pain, how apparent endings are really beginnings and how to allow your spirit to guide you … A photo of Brad Paisley that ran last week should have run this week along with BayFest Hawaii 2005’s lineup. Papa Roach and Lynyrd Skynyrd and thousands of fans rocked Kaneohe Bay. World famous pyrotechnics by the Grucci Brothers all four nights — they’ve done the Olympics, the Statue of Liberty and presidential inaugurations … Tease: The 25th anniversary of the Louis Vuitton Hawaii International Film Festival is Oct. 20-30. Some big names are coming from the Asian world! It will be a special year!

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