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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, February 24, 2003

Networking slack-key

Advertiser Staff and News Services

Andy Wang, a transplanted islander who lives in New Jersey, couldn't get slack-key out of his head or heart after he attended the Beamer family's Aloha Music Camp on the Big Island, studying the guitar style Hawaiians call ki ho'alu with singer/songwriter/guitarist Keola Beamer. So Wang decided to launch a Web site devoted to slack-key and 'ukulele: www.TaroPatch.net.

Wang reports that, in a year's time, the site has drawn 221 registered members representing 31 U.S. states. The site includes links to other slack-key sites plus forums and message boards, record reviews, information on books and lessons, and classified ads for members who want to sell equipment.

Roeper jabs movies

Movie fans are obsessed with lists — best films, worst films, best chase scenes. Richard Roeper, co-host of TV's "Ebert & Roeper" and a columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times, has weighed in with his new book "Ten Sure Signs a Movie Character is Doomed & Other Surprising Movie Lists" (Hyperion, paper, $14).

Among the lists you gotta love: "Seven Movies in Which Ben Affleck Cries Like a Big Fat Baby," "15 Movies with Wise-cracking but Caring Gay Best Friends Who Usually Live Right Down the Hall and Are Always Available to Lend a Shoulder to Cry On." In this opinionated and hilarious tome, Roeper recommends immediate imprisonment for anyone whose cell phone goes off in the theater or who doesn't leave the theater at once when their child starts to cry. Two thumbs up!

ABC hires war chief

Former CNN domestic operations chief Rick Kaplan, ousted in 2000 along with a number of other veterans, has been hired by ABC News for a three-month stint, overseeing special-events coverage (read "war in Iraq"). He had been teaching at Harvard University. Kaplan was a longtime ABC News producer before going to CNN. He said it's been a drag watching big stories break on TV "and not having responsibility for any of them."

Correction: Andy Wang's name was misspelled in an item in a previous version of this column.