By DENNIS DAILY, United Press International  |  Sept. 30, 2002 at 7:15 PM
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Representative Patsy Mink had been a driving force in Hawaiian politics for decades. Now in her 12th term representing the non-Honolulu sections of Oahu and the rest of the 50th state, Mink had been hospitalized a month ago with what was initially diagnosed as "adult chickenpox." It turned into pneumonia. Sen. Daniel Akata tells United Press International that, although small in stature, Mink was a "powerful voice on Capitol Hill." She displayed leadership qualities from childhood. She was valedictorian during her 1944 graduation from Maui High School. She eventually practiced law and became the first non-Caucasian to be elected to the House of Representatives from Hawaii. Patsy Mink loved a political fight. She fought many during the past two dozen years. The search for a successor could become an interesting race in the coming days. Patsy Mink was 74.


Remember when former LAPD detective Mark Furhman turned from his days connected to the Simpson case to become a novelist? His first book, about the Martha Moxley murder case, was instrumental in bringing Michael Skaken to justice. Now the New York Post says the detective-become-novelist is about to turn his powers of deductive reasoning to another unsolved mystery ... the case of the death of Christopher O'Connor. According to the publication, O'Connor was found dead outside a New York City nightclub in 1987. Although witnesses reported that he was beaten badly by the club's bouncers, O'Connor's death was ruled as alcohol poisoning. In the years since his death, a wealthy friend, mail order king Michael Salem, has been spending tons of money investigating the case. Now he has Furhman on his side. He continues to offer a huge reward for more information and has turned the trove of stuff he's gathered in the meantime over to Furhman.


The producers of movies in Tinseltown have never let things such as facts get in the way of good moviemaking. Now they are bending the truth again in the production of Salma Hayek's latest film. Columnist Richard Johnson says that the photogenic actress is going to play the lead in a biopic about Frida Kahlo, the passionate, cigarette-smoking Mexican painter responsible for the production of what many reviewers called "disturbing art." Kahlo painted through suffering -- afflicted with polio as a child and nearly skewered to death by a piece of pipe during a bus crash. She was rendered nearly bedfast in her later years, after more than 30 operations. Now, although Hayak may be able to adequately portray Kahlo's twisted body and convey her troubled soul, there may be some mis-casting. The script for the movie shows Kahlo as a fiery Mexican woman, ignoring the fact that she was actually Jewish with a German father. By the way, Kahlo died in the 1950s.


He's the last of his kind. When venerable broadcaster Paul Harvey leaves the airwaves, the tradition of stand-out voices -- from H.V. Kaltenborn to Lowell Thomas to Gabriel Heater to Merrill Muller to Walter Winchell to Edward R. Murrow -- will become part of this country's glorious past. But, for the time being, Harvey keeps going strong. On his Web site,, there's even a chance to hear his past broadcasts. If you are a fan of Harvey, whose line-up of radio stations is the largest in the world (he's heard on nearly 2,000 stations every day), you can now listen to him via the Internet by clicking on the Web site. The winner of this year's Marconi Award from the National Association of Broadcasters, Harvey is about to receive another special honor from the folks in his headquarters city, Chicago. More on that in a future report.


Well, true to predictions, Barbra Streisand has "come out of retirement" to sing again. But, because she donated her time at a recent Democratic fundraiser, she didn't violate her promise "not to sing for money again." The singer, who is often called "Little Miss Perfect Pitch," wowed 'em at a gala at Hollywood's new Kodak Theatre. Party organizers tell media that as much as $6 million may have been raised by the event and associated programs. Streisand is now 60, but you would not know it. Her voice is as strong as ever. She continues to be a national treasure and a treasure-creating headliner for the Democrats.


While some of the biggest names in country music have turned up on the list of nominees for this year's Country Music Association Awards, there would seem to be at least a few glaring omissions. The folks at Country Music Television are wondering out loud why the names of Faith Hill and Shania Twain (two of the biggest stars in country music) were not on the final list. Alan Jackson got an amazing 10 nominations and Toby Keith got six, but Hill and Twain ended up with goose eggs. Additionally the meteoric group SHeDAISY -- which scored with a platinum-selling CD this year -- was not named as a nominee, nor were Trace Adkins nor Trick Pony. Of course, there's no time to nominate everyone (unless you are planning an Emmy Awards show), but many in the world of country music are wondering why the nominations are so lopsided this time around.


Inspired by an incident over the weekend that happened while listening to an old Jack Benny radio program, here is today's question: "When was the last time you got the giggles and began to drown in your own laughter?" Put GIGGLES in the subject line and send to via the Internet.


Last week we asked about the worst mess ever created in your home or apartment. From a quick dip into the e-mail inbox, we came up with some real winners. First this one from VOXEN. Because she had a house full of antique furniture 20 years ago she elected to have her pet cat declawed. It was a mistake. When the vet called and asked that the pet be taken home early -- since it's whining was bothering the office -- VOXEN picked up the animal, still bandaged, and brought it home. The next day it broke its stitches, exposing a major vein. Then, spouting blood like an oil well, the cat ran around the house for several minutes. Four minutes later the cat was subdued. Four rooms of beige carpet and antique furniture had been splattered, walls included. Back to the vet. It took days of painstaking work to undo the damage. (Luckily, the poor cat survived and lived to be 19.) Rebecca reports that a disgruntled roommate -- after being evicted -- put broken glass between the sheets of her bed then poured maple syrup and granulated sugar and flour all over the kitchen floor. (With friends like that ...) Ali once started to move a huge, multi-wick, 400-hour candle to higher ground for fear a visiting three-year-old would mess with it. During the move the holder broke sending, a flood of red candle wax onto a white carpet. It took days to clean, but Ali did such a good job you can't see where it fell. TOMORROW: More screensavers. GBA

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