Melisa Uchida
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Friday - January 06, 2006

2006 kicks off with the sweet sound of change. This year is really about saying goodbye to the old and hello to the New Year ... First, let’s welcome Ashlynn Janae Kyle into the world. She is the first baby born in Hawaii in 2006. Valerie Kyle gave birth to the 7-pound-6-ounce bundle of love 25 minutes after midnight ... Secondly, if you’re wondering why MidWeek columnist Larry Price hasn’t been on the air lately, he is recovering from bypass surgery. I hear “Coach” is recovering well and will hopefully be back on the air shortly. He’s already been into the station to pick up his mail, and his morning show partner, Michael W. Perry, says he’s recovering well. Coach, there are a lot of people wishing you well. Paul Ogata is one of them. He missed Price at Perry & Price’s Live Broadcast from John Dominis a few weeks back, and is, as we all are, wishing for a speedy recovery ... Lots of activity at Clear Channel Communications: assistant program director for KSSK, KHVH and KHBZ, Chaz Michaels, resigned.

Friends say he was “just ready to leave radio” after years in the biz. KSSK’s nighttime jock Adam Carr is the new assistant PD and will work closely with program director Paul Wilson. This is both good and bad. Adam’s awesome! I love his all-request hour, and he’s just a great guy, but his promotion means we won’t hear him from 7 p.m. to midnight anymore. He is covering the shift until Wilson finds his replacement. I hear the application deadline has passed; now we’re waiting for Wilson’s decision. So listen for a new jock on KSSK soon ... Island 98.5’s John James is the new production director for all Clear Channel stations (KSSK, KHVH, Star 101.9, Island 98.5, Hot 93.9 and KHBZ). The former production director, Aaron Honda, recently got his real estate license and also left radio ... Lots of departures at KGMB as well - Walter Makaula left first to anchor the K-Five News at 9 a year ago. Since then, Britt Riedl, Rob Young, Angela Keen and Jade Moon jumped ship. Jade left after 19 years with the station. She started as an intern in the days of Bob Sevey and Bob Jones. She is, in many people’s eyes, an icon at KGMB, much like Joe Moore at KHON. But her viewers seem to respect her decision to be home with her son. Jade donated her kidney to her father last summer, and that act alone made people aware of what a generous person she is. Not to worry - Jade will still write her MidWeek column from home ... As many depart the news biz, it’s nice to see one face back on the air. Jodi Leong returned to news after leaving KHNL’s anchor desk last July. She’s now with KITV. Jodi replaced Tasha Kobashigawa, who left two months ago to pursue other opportunities. Jodi is reporting Monday-Friday evenings and will fill in the anchor seat when needed. Of course, the dancer in Jodi will always love theatre, and I’m sure we can expect to see her in some performances, but it’s nice to see her back in our living rooms, too. She launched her career as a journalist at KITV in 1991. You go, girlfriend! ... Folks are still buzzing about Lost actresses

‘Lost’ actress Michelle Rodriguez
Lost’ actress
Michelle Rodriguez

Michelle Rodriguez and Cynthia Watros, who were both arrested for DUIs in Kailua a month ago. Looks like Rodriguez violated probation and the L.A. City Attorney’s office says she could be looking at 18 months behind bars. She is still on probation for a hit-and-run arrest a few years ago in L.A. Her license was suspended and she was sentenced to an alcohol treatment program. She’s got a list of driving problems in Hawaii as well. Police records show she was slapped with a $357 fine for going 83 mph in a 55 mph zone in Wahiawa in November, a $257 fine and bench warrant for failing to show up at court for another ticket she got going 90 mph in a 35 mph zone, and last August she was caught driving 80 mph in a 50 mph zone and received a ticket for $197. Both women’s arraignments at the Kaneohe District Court have been postponed. Court date is now set for Jan. 12. Watros’s attorney, Lanson Kapau, has said Watros will plead guilty ... On a lighter note - The holidays are over, but parties and shopping continue. Staff at the W Hotel won all kinds of prizes at their holiday bash in the hotel’s Diamond Head Suite. The penthouse’s rack rate is $3,500/night, but employees got to crash there for free. Valet Rich Miyagawa did just that. He woke up in the morning, sitting upright on the couch, still clutching the glass he drank from hours before. He caught a cab home just after sunrise. Valet Dan Ambrosewicz won two nights at the Ritz Carlton Maui! Perfect for he and his wife, Lori, who’s a teacher at Noelani Elementary.

The Punahou grad (‘93) also flies for Island Air and is the only person I know who has purchased a vehicle on eBay. “I’d do it again,” he said. He bought a 2004 Tundra truck from a dealer in Texas for $23,500. “I couldn’t find one here for under $32,000, and people in Hawaii just don’t sell their trucks, so there are hardly any used ones for sale.” So, eBay all the way. He flew to Texas, drove the truck to Long Beach, shipped it to Hawaii (for $1,000) and says he figures he still saved about $5,000. By the way, the Diamond Head Suite is available for special events at other rates; contact banquet coordinator Shelly Alexander for more information ...

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