Wanted: New Sports Columnist

Duane Shimogawa Jr.

It’s the nature of the newspaper business, like so many, that when you hire talented folks, it’s possible they’ll sooner or later move on when other opportunities arise.

So it is with Duane Shimogawa Jr.

MidWeek Kaua’i‘s sports columnist since we began publication in June 2010 thanks to a tip from my old friend Ron Wiley of radio station KQNG Duane has just told me that he’s accepted a position as a reporter with Pacific Business News in Honolulu and is thus giving up his column “Speaking of Sports.”

While we’ll miss Duane’s expertise, enthusiasm and great work ethic, we also wish him all the best in his new endeavor, and thank him for his contributions to this paper’s remarkable success and growth.

Duane, a Garden Island native and proud KHS Red Raider, also contributed feature stories to MidWeek Oahu, and I know he’ll do well at PBN.

I thought I’d share a few of Duane’s parting comments to me about his stint with MidWeek Kaua’i.

“It’s been quite a journey,” he says. “When you contacted me and asked me to write a weekly sports column for the new MidWeek Kaua’i, I jumped at the opportunity.

“And I’m glad I did, because it’s allowed me to reconnect with the Kaua’i sporting community, after having been the sports editor of the island’s daily newspaper for nearly three years. From women’s rugby to mixed martial arts, from paddling to youth football, and of course high school athletics, Kaua’i is big on sports. It’s part of the island’s social fabric. I enjoyed telling these stories through the eyes of some remarkable individuals.

“One story that particularly stands out in my mind is Princeville’s Stephanie Misaki-Whiting. The 62-year-old national champion powerlifter is an inspiration to many, including me. Her story taught me that you’re never too old to accomplish whatever you want in life.

“So after a year of having the privilege of sharing these stories in my column, it has come time for me to move on. It was my pleasure writing for MidWeek Kaua’i from the very start. I want to thank you, Don, the entire MWK staff and especially you, the readers, for allowing me to share the stories that matter most in Kaua’i’s sporting scene.”

As this issue goes to press, we’re searching for a new sports columnist. Duane has left some big sneakers to fill, but that too is the nature of this business, and what happens when you hire talented people. Which I intend to do again.

So stay tuned, sports fans.