Archive for June, 2007

Every Week’s a Carnival!

Clown with balloonsHonolulu has joined in again this week with the Carnival of Cities. The carnival is being hosted this week by Argentina’s Travel Guide, Cesar Gonzalez. To be specific, Cesar had landed the virtual carnival in Argentina’s capital, Buenos Aires.

Mary Jo is the Seattle Traveler who tells us all about Dick’s hamburger place. What a traditional sign this place has! It looks like a scene from the old TV show, Happy Days! In fact, Mary Jo tells us that the drive-inn opened its doors at about the right time, in 1954! You’ve got to love a “mom and pop” restaurant that is still running after all these years! My husband would love this place, I just know it! I know where we’re going if we ever get to Seattle!

Shawn tells us about something they did in New York that I think is absolutely brilliant! You’ve got to go see Pinstripes in the Park Hosts Roger Clemens! It’s a dream come true for fans of the New York Yankees. I really think all States with teams that are well-loved by their resident fans should have something of this sort. Thanks for sharing this, Shawn!

Carole of The San Diego Beat explains all about the sweet housing deals available to San Diego’s law enforcement officers as she explains how San Diego says they are Housing Our Heroes. Hmmm… sounds very enticing for the men and women in the police force!

I don’t know anything about Chicago but hellojed from Ireland just got home from there and helps us out with Ten Things to do in Chicago, whether you’re a tourist or not.

I mentioned at the beginning of this post that Honolulu has joined in again this week and we did so with Birds of a Feather Nest Together.

Happy reading and enjoy the carnival either in Honolulu’s nest as you eat some of Dick’s burgers from Seattle while watching the New York Yankees! Then, when that’s all done, you can try one, two or all of the ten best things to do in Chicago! It’s a Carnival, so come on down and surf the cities with us!

Honolulu Remembers King Kamehameha the Great

Today was a State of Hawaii holiday and the State offices were closed. Some other businesses took this day off as well.

Honolulu Fire Department layering lei on statue

One of our news stations reported that the start of the Kamehameha Day weekend was marked by the hoolaulea in Waikiki on Friday night. I disagree. The start of this annual commemoration began two or three hours before sundown on Friday afternoon at Ali’iolani Hale (location of the judiciary across from Iolani Palace).

Floral gift for Kamehameha statue

This is the location of the well-known and familiar statue of Kamehameha the Great. It is here that the festivities began. the Honolulu Fire Department and students from Kamehameha Schools bestowed the traditional gift of aloha on the ten-foot high image in honor of the King’s memory.

Kamehameha Schools with completed statue

Long before the start of the parade through Waikiki on Saturday morning, groups and businesses donated streams of beautiful flowers to share in this age-old tradition.

Keiki Hula Halau

A keiki halau was present to perform for those in attendance while a group sang and played Hawaiian music. Spectators and readers may ask, “Why?” and wonder why the focus is so strong after all this time.

Kamehameha Statue covered with flowersKing Kamehameha was Hawaii’s most powerful ruler who created a large army and was able to unite the Hawaiian Kingdom in 1810. He was a fierce warrior but only when it was necessary to be one. Once the islands were united and the Kingdom established, he became known as a strong but fair ruler.

He established foreign trade and established a system of laws, one of which was to protect the weak from the strong. He himself was a powerful, no-nonsense warrior but he was also a compassionate ruler.

Before his death, King Kamehameha said, “E nai wale no oukou i kuu pono, aole e pau.” (The good I have done will always remain.) Now with that statement I have to agree! The islands remained united and his memory will, obviously, always remain as it is remembered and kept alive by the people of Hawaii.

Mahalo to the participants in all of the festivities this past weekend for keeping this piece of history alive.

Protect and Serve With Aloha!

This is the slogan on the website of the Honolulu Police Department. Why do I bother writing about our law enforcement services? That very question is why I bother. It is a thankless job that seems to be met more with complaints and even disdain rather than with gratitude. It occurred to me a few months back that no matter what’s going on, they’re always there. We just have a tendency to take them for granted.

Chinese New Year Parade

They are at community events working with and for the community and with our youth. Here, at the start of the Chinese New Year parade back in February, officers work with inquiring young people in their Explorers Program.

Youths working with HPD in Explorers Program

In this program the officers give young people a chance to work side by side with them to get a taste of what it’s like to be in their line of work.

Officers watching pedestrians

Here officers stand by to counsel and correct pedestrians crossing the street one morning in busy downtown Honolulu. Remember the story about the pedestrian fatalities? The Honolulu Police Department (HPD) was trying to be proactive by trying to keep that growing statistic to a minimum.

HPD talking with pedestrian

I got stopped and reprimanded by these two. So did my boss. The funny part was that we both gave them the same story about how the lights at this intersection work. Of course that probably only helped to irritate them. When I asked if I could take their picture, the officer said he would prefer that I did not. So, I went away and took them from a different angle. Of course once they see this they’ll watch for me now!

HPD corrects jay walker

All kidding aside, this ongoing problem has been an endless challenge for law enforcement. HPD has had to deal with belligerent drivers and arrogant pedestrians — all of whom like to recreate traffic laws to fit their own needs. Well, I always say that fear is a good teacher. Since the growing number of traffic fatalities didn’t seem to be making much of an impact, they have now upped the fine for pedestrians who disobey the traffic signals to $100. For drivers, they will not only get fined, they will (GASP!) have their license suspended!

HPD HelicopterAfter providing community service duty and safety education, they take on a different and much more serious role. While walking along the street one afternoon, a police car zoomed passed with sirens blaring. A few seconds later another one went zipping up the same way. By the time the third police car was flying up the street I began to feel concerned. By the time two other, unmarked vehicles went tearing up the street I knew something was really up!

I started to walk faster; since that was the direction I was going anyway, because I had to see what on earth was creating all the excitement! When I heard the sound and caught sight of this helicopter I was hurrying up the hill and reaching for my camera! MY cemetery! Regular readers know how I feel about my cemetery. As I got closer to Oahu Cemetery I just kept thinking, “What on earth? What have we got, grave robbers?”

HPD Police Cars

It didn’t take long for a stream of police cars to come back down the road at a relaxed and cruising pace. Whatever had happened was on the other side of the cemetery and as fast as it escalated, it must have been resolved. Whew! I later called KHON Channel 2 News and asked them what happened. They said, “Oh, that was a car theft. They got one of ’em.” I was thrilled to hear that news! Our family’s cars have been ripped at least four maybe five times. Young little monkeys! I have other adjectives to use but I will refrain since this is a happy thing to report!

HPD Officers Mitchell and Nguyen

Now, here’s where the other running bloggers get to have a chuckle. While running and trying not to get run over at busy intersections and driveways a couple of weeks ago, I tripped over some uneven sidewalk and fell. Harder than I realized. Somehow the meeting of my brow and the sidewalk made a brief but rather extreme impact!

Two officers who were about a block away, I think, saw it happen and because I was bleeding pretty badly, more than I realized, they called for an ambulance. I hardly felt any pain. I kept telling them I was fine. There was a lot of blood so, in hindsight, I guess I was a cause for concern.

Officers Mitchell and Nguyen Relax and Smile After they realized I wasn’t going to bleed to death and the ambulance staff put them more at ease when they were fine with just giving me the ice pack I requested (because one of the officers suggested it) they relaxed and were able to let me take their picture. Okay, okay, so I got blood on my camera! Tsk! I think I was too much in shock to realize or admit just how bad I was. My t-shirt looked like I had a close encounter with Freddy Krueger. I can laugh now — now that my black eye is almost gone. Thank you, Officer Mitchell and Officer Nguyen for your concern and for the assistance!

In short, I have been ticketed for jay walking, reprimanded and instructed on how I should and shouldn’t cross the street, have been given speeding tickets, have had to pay fines, and I have had to endure my husband’s chastisement. But, I don’t get upset with the officers. Irritated sometimes maybe but I know it’s not always a pleasant job for them to deal with us.

Mahalo to our law enforcement officers and our law enforcement officials for trying to keep us safe. In addition, every car thief who gets busted in the act is worth a raise, a promotion, something! I know we’re not the easiest population to work with and I appreciate all the effort it takes to do so. I know you guys and gals are only trying to Protect and Serve with Aloha!

Summer Fun!

Summer has started and, for Honolulu at least, summer usually means the beach! So, for June and July we will talk about aquatic things and other events that pop up.

Animated walking shoeSummer also brings sporting events and other outdoor activities. Active.com provides us with a list of runs and/or walks that are coming up and that lead up to the Honolulu Marathon in December.

Most of the walks are charitable fund raisers but the organizers have tried to keep them interesting for participants so, for the most part, they make them a little challenging. The others are put on by clubs and other groups for health and fitness reasons.

Whatever the catalyst is for these events, they help build a sense of community and that in itself makes it worth the effort.

  • Iroquois Point Island Club Patriot 5k Run/Walk, Ewa Beach, HI 6/16/07
  • Hibiscus Half Marathon, Honolulu, HI 6/17/07 – This one is my focus right now! It’ll be a first for me but it should be interesting, as long as I don’t finish last!
  • Hawaii Youth Triathlon, Kalaeloa, HI 7/01/07
  • Epilepsy Foundation of Hawaii’s Freedom Run/Walk 2007, Kailua, HI 7/04/07
  • Lanikai Bike Path 8K Run — in Memory of Daniel Levey, Kailua, HI 7/15/07
  • Kailua Beach Run, Kailua, HI 7/22/07
  • 27th Annual Tinman Triathlon, Honolulu, HI 7/29/07
  • 5th Annual Mango Days 5K Run/Walk/Stroller, Honolulu, HI 7/29/07
  • MPRRC Marathon Readiness Series, Honolulu, HI (8/19/07 – 11/04/07)
  • 4th Annual June Jones Foundation Hawaiian Telcom 5K Run & Walk, Honolulu, HI 8/25/07
  • Windward Half Marathon, Kailua, HI 9/09/07
  • Maui Marathon & Half Marathon, Kahului, HI (9/15/07 – 9/16/07)
  • Na Wahine Sprint Triathlon/Duathlon, Waikiki, HI 9/16/07
  • Survivor Stride II ’07 Hawaii, Honolulu, HI (9/29/07 – 9/30/07)
  • XTERRA Makena Beach Trail Run (5k), Makena, HI 10/27/07
  • TERRA Makena Beach Trail Run (10k), Makena, HI 10/27/07
  • Old Sugar Mill Run, Koloa, HI 11/03/07
  • Friends of Kailua High 5K/10K Run, Kailua, HI 11/11/07
  • Honolulu Marathon Clinic?s 33rd Annual Turkey Trot, Honolulu, HI 11/22/07
  • TEAM TSA Tourette Syndrome Association Honolulu Marathon, Honolulu, HI 12/09/07
  • Honolulu Marathon, Honolulu, HI 12/09/07

For links to look at any of these further or more in depth, you can go here to Active.com

Birds of a Feather Nest Together

Feather Leis

I know I’ve missed the end of May with this post, but the topic of this article is too important when broaching the subject of the Hawaiian lei! The feather lei are perhaps the most historic and meaningful pieces of artistic culture that still lives in modern times. Na Lima Mili Hulu No’eau is a shop in Kapahulu, Honolulu that sells these lei, sells supplies to make them and provides instruction for anyone seriously interested in exploring this craft.

Different Feather Lei Styles

What’s in a name? A lot! Na Lima Mili Hulu No’eau means Skilled Hands Touch the Feathers. The curators of this little shop, Mary Louise Kaleonahenahe Kekuewa and daughter, Paulette Nohealani Kahalepuna have not only been using their skills to create these beauties but they have also written a book entitled Feather Lei as an Art. It is very easy to understand and gives an idea of just how much work is involved with this craft — the feathers are cleaned, cut to specifications and each feather is then hand stitched or hand tied, one at a time.

Paulette sniping feathers

Different cuts on the feathers are used to make different styles of lei. Here Paulette is working on snipping feathers either in preparation for a new project or to bag the different cuts for students or buying customers.

Wall hung with feather art and certificates

The shop brings a little bit of business and a little bit of home together for these ladies. Mother and daughter spend 12-hour days in the shop together working on orders, supplies, and projects, and teaching their craft. The walls are papered with certificates, art and photos.

Wall of photos, art and birds

The walls are also surrounded and lined with birds, feathers and family photos. Theirs is a very close-knit family! At home there are four generations of women — Aunty Mary Lou, Paulette, Paulette’s daughter and her daughter’s daughter. Aunty Mary speaks lovingly and with fond memories of her deceased husband, Uncle Paul, who was also very much involved in the feather craft.

Natural Lei

The above lei are those made with natural feathers. The bulk of the feathers used today are those from the goose, duck or chicken. The more exotic feathers are either price prohibitive or the birds are endangered… or both. Well, since the Mayor has designated the manu-o-Ku (white tern) as Honolulu’s official bird, I’m sure it is protected and from what I’ve seen I’d even call it rare.

Many color of Lei

We won’t be getting any feathers from the manu-o-ku anytime soon. Heck, I can’t even find one; I’ve tried! I wanted to find one so that I could take a picture of this pretty white bird with the black beak and black legs so that I could talk about it here. But, I haven’t found one yet! That doesn’t stop us from making a white lei with black kukui nuts and black ribbon at each end to match the color of this bird!

Aunty Mary Lou and Paulette

After I get these two ladies to help me make one, I promise to share it here with you guys!

Hats with lei huluMahalo, Aunty Mary Lou and Paulette, for perpetuating this part of our culture and for taking the time to talk to me and to share your knowledge and artistic gifts!

I strongly encourage others to inquire about classes or about the beautiful completed lei hulu (feather lei) available for purchase.

What a great place! Stop by, check it out, hang your hat and talk story for a while with these wonderful people. They have a lot to share and you’ll be glad you did!

Aunty Mary Lou’s Na Lima Mili Hulu No’eau
762 Kapahulu Ave
Honolulu, Hawai’i
(808) 732-0865