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(Friday, June 12, 2009) Providence, Rhode Island -- Mayor Mufi Hannemann announced today that the U.S. Conference of Mayors will sponsor a National Culinary Award, in collaboration with the National Restaurant Association and the Culinary Institute of America. At a special awards luncheon, the USCM also announced that it has recognized Honolulu as one of 12 large cities promoting environmental sustainability.


            Hannemann said today at a meeting of the USCM Standing Committee on Tourism, Arts, Parks, Entertainment and Sports that the culinary award will recognize a prominent restaurateur or chef for public service in a community, along with hospitality and customer service. Hannemann, who chairs the committee, conceived the idea last year and introduced it to National Restaurant Association President Bill Anton and USCM Executive Director Tom Cochran.


Hannemann said the award will be presented at the USCM Winter Meeting in Washington in January. The winner will also be recognized at the National Restaurant Association Annual Show in Chicago in May, the largest food and beverage show in the nation. Details regarding nominations by the nation’s mayors for the award will be released this summer.


            The USCM today recognized Honolulu in its Mayors and Climate Protection Best Practices 2009 competition. Honolulu’s submittal was entitled “Sustainable Actions Tied to Local Culture,” and highlighted the city’s 21st Century Ahupua’a program.


Hannemann was also the featured guest today on the USMayor Time radio show, in an interview by USCM Executive Director Tom Cochran, discussing his work with U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye, Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, and USCM President Manny Diaz to promote tourism and the arts at the national level. The interview is available at .


Hannemann met today with key advocates of Chicago’s bid to host the 2016 Olympics. At a USCM plenary session on Sunday, Hannemann will make a presentation regarding efforts by U.S. cities to support Chicago’s proposal. Hannemann and Chicago Mayor Richard Daley co-chair a special task force working to support the U.S. Olympic bid, and recently presented the proposal to the International Olympic Committee’s Evaluation Commission. Chicago is competing with Madrid, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo to host the games, and the IOC is expected to make a decision in October.