Hawaii News Briefs: Birther Appeal, Hawaiian Punch, Mixed Reviews for New Series

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Supreme Court Rejects Birther Appeal


The U.S. Supreme Court won’t be hearing an appeal from so-called “birther” attorney Orly Taitz.

The California-based attorney wanted the court to overturn a decision by a U.S. Federal judge who had fined her $20,000 during a case involving a military officer who challenged President Barack Obama’s Hawaii birth certificate in an Ohio court.

The court did not state why it was passing on the appeal, only including it in a list of dozens of cases it would not be hearing. Taitz posted a message on her website saying she will file a motion for reconsideration.

In recent weeks Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie has said he wants to find a way to disclose more documentation about Obama’s birth in 1961.

Hawaiian Punch Makeover

Hawaiian Punch’s signature mascot Punchy is getting a makeover.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Hawaiian Punch owner Dr. Pepper Snapple Group Inc. wants to give a more up-to-date look to Punchy, a cartoon surfer beachboy who’s hawked (“How about a nice Hawaiian Punch?”) the fruit punch-flavored drink for decades.

The new computer-generated design will debut next month, when a new, less sugary formula for Hawaiian Punch will also be launched, the newspaper reported.

Hawaii Telescope Aids in Planet Discovery

The smallest planet ever discovered outside of our solar system has been discovered with the help of the W.M. Keck Observatory 10-meter telescope on Mauna Kea.

NASA announced its Kepler mission has confirmed the discovery of its first rocky planet, named Kepler-10b. The Keck telescope provided ground-based observations to confirm the finding by the Kepler space telescope, which is looking for Earth-size planets in or near the habitable zone.

NASA said the Kepler-10b planet is not habitable because it is too close a Sun-like star, but that its discovery was a significant milestone in the search for planets like Earth.

Reviews Mixed for Latest Hawaii Series

Off the Map,” a new television series shot in Hawaii, is generating mixed reviews ahead of its ABC television premiere on Wednesday night.

The show about a group of young doctors working in a small South American country is being produced by Shonda Rhimes and Jenna Bans, both of whom played significant behind-the-scenes roles with the hit TV drama Grey’s Anatomy.

A sampling of the reviews:

“The series opens with the doctors taking a cliff plunge into the inviting ocean, but this is a show where nothing qualifies as a creative leap, much less the sort of dive to merit keeping “Off the Map” on viewers’ radar.”  Brian Lowry of Variety.

“ABC could be looking at another must-watch medical drama series,” Kelly West of the website CinemaBlend.com.

“I have a strong suspicion that ABC has a hit on their hands, but don’t take that for positive regard.”  Marc Eastman of TV.com

“Off the Map wastes some talented actors, including Mamie Gummer and Zach Gilford (Matt Saracen on Friday Night Lights). The series premieres Wednesday at 10:00, but there’s no need to remember that.”  Caryn James of  IndieWire.com

“BOTTOM LINE:  Greens, azures, Hawaii . . . er, ‘South America’ . . . and an appealing cast. Seems all good to me.” Reviewer Verne Gay of the Newsday.