Friday, September 19, 2008

V for Vendetta - Well, we didn't actually blow up anything

The mysterious man behind the windshield of this truck was Ron. I loaded the sound of the rail system in Vancouver onto my ipod and he drove around downtown Honolulu at lunch hour. He did this to prove how loud the steel on steel rail system would be to local residents. Cliff and Bobbie Slater met with the press and provided the decibel meter to prove the point. Tomorrow the island votes on this issue. Let's not let the old boy network push this rail through when it will cost us more in taxes than folks realize and burden businesses with unbearable debt. It will NOT relieve traffic congestion - this is by their own documents...but who cares? They just want to feed off the Federal trough.

I love my sweetie...he may not be a "V" but he sure is an "R".

Train noise without a train ran through the street
Posted: Sep 19, 2008 05:10 PM
Updated: Sep 19, 2008 06:20 PM
By Mari-Ela David - bio email
HONOLULU (KHNL) -Downtown Honolulu, Friday got a sense of what it would be like if a train ran through the city.
Stop Rail Now used speakers and a truck to show voters what they claimed is the kind of noise people will have to live with if the city's rail project gets the go-ahead.
On Halekauwila Street in the sound went up to 79 decibles at 50 feet. According to Stop Rail Now, this is the kind of noise steel on steel will make.
"They're having some noise coming through here and yeah, it's getting irritating," said Honolulu resident, Francisco Martinez.
A truck drove down Halekauwila Street, which is where the proposed rail line runs.
The sound used was a recording of the Vancouver Skytrain, calibrated at 79 decibels.
That's about how loud the city says Honolulu's proposed rail project will be.
For accuracy Stop Rail Now volunteers used a decibel meter. If you factored in the traffic noise the meter passed the 79 mark.
"And it'd be coming by every minute and a half, during the rush hour and every three minutes in between the rush hour," said Cliff Slater from Stop Rail Now.
On top of the traffic noise, opponents said rail will actually be even louder.
"What they are representing is the 79 decibel level but from one bogie. Bogie is the group of wheels in motors in every passenger train and a train has several bogies to propel itself where here 1/4 to 1/6 of what the real thing is going to be," said Mayoral candidate Panos Prevedouros.
Members said the simulation also didn't show the rumbling a train would cause.
"I know the Bart, I'm from Oakland, California so, I don't know, people get used to it but it's going to be a big change for the people of Hawaii,"said Prevedouros.
Whether it is enough to shake-up the rail movement, voters will find out come the November elections.
Go Rail Go, supporters of rail issued this statement:
Stop Rail Now has resorted to dramatic gestures.
Noise will not be an issue with the proposed rail project.
In fact, modern rail systems are so quiet that safety measures are needed to ensure that
pedestrians are aware of on coming trains.

Friday, August 22, 2008


My friend, April, is a writer and lives onboard a boat in our marina. Her book "Aloha - Where You Like Go?" is a very enlightening and entertaining book about the real world of Honolulu. It's not the tourist stuff. She gets right into the culture and the spirit of this island like you've never read anywhere else. As a taxi driver, she explores areas where most people never go.

She also writes regular columns for the Waikiki News and has her own column she emails out to her subscribers - of which I am one. She has so much good information in these articles that I thought I should post them as she sends them to me. Her contact info and links are below. If you enjoy her information, why not write to her and ask to be put on her e-mail list? She's a great gal! Love, Jen

Walking in Waikiki - With Cloudia Charters

"Where the Tikis Are"

Major attractions have advertising budgets, big signs, and locations you can't miss. But oftentimes it's too easy to overlook some real gems, so come stroll along as we visit two or three of them on little Beach Walk Street here in Waikiki. First of all let's navigate a nice bit of confusion. The shiny new Beach Walk development with its Roy's restaurant, specialty shops, escalators and outdoor performance space is on Lewers Street. Little Beach Walk Street is the relatively untouched "back stage" side of all that hoo-ha. Cradled in a valley of high-rises, this pleasant, leafy little lane feels like a sweet slice of old Waikiki. Two relatively small and ultra-personable family hotels have anchored the aloha here since the fifties: Hawaiiana Hotel at 260, and The Breakers at 250 ( Both are one-of-a-kind places, with tons of authenticity, just the sort that I like to seek out when I travel. These hostelries are quiet and flowery oasis complete with pool-courtyards, chirping birds, and long-time LOCAL (maybe even Native Hawaiian) staff like Christie Ann who will remember your name, take the time to "talk story" with you, and who really care that you feel at home. The Breakers features kitchenettes in the rooms, and boasts Wasabi Bistro. The Hawaiiana is a non-smoking property with posted quiet hours, (between 9pm and 8am) it's own little cafe, and barbecue grills by the pool. The street entrance is even guarded by a large Tiki of the Hawaiian god KU. Both hotels enjoy tons of repeat stays by savvy visitors who've become Ohana "family" through the years. Either will provide you with a lovely, restorative "home base" from which to enjoy all that our sometimes frenetic little beach town has to offer- much of the best of it within easy walking distance (including access to the beach). Right across the lane are two or three charming little restaurants – not to mention a bounty of dining, drinking & distraction within easy walking distance. Everything from the revelatory (but affordable) cuisine at Top of Waikiki (revolving atop the Waikiki Business Plaza) to everyone's favorite dive bar, Arnold's (around the corner at 339 Saratoga across from the Waikiki Post Office). But before we walk back into the busier avenues let's enjoy some fresh-cut fruit at Henry's, a little shop that's been in the neighborhood for decades. Henry must be over 80, and many of us were concerned that all the construction of modern resort improvements would bounce this little gem of a place into fond memory. Luckily, Henry, his sweet fruit, beach mats, and sundries have landed happily a few doors down Beach Walk from our two little hotels. "How's the new location going, Henry?" "Good" was all he said and it was enough to gladden my sweet tooth. I left slurping from an over-sized serving of perfect local watermelon. (Though the papaya did look good) MMMmmm, Ono (delicious). Excuse me; did I just squirt juice on your screen? Location location LOCATION! Another favorite "boutique" hotel is the fortunately located Waikiki Grand Hotel ( at the corner of Kapahulu & Kalakaua. Directly across the street from Kapiolani Park, the Honolulu Zoo, and steps from the Queen's Surf beach area, the Grand boasts Hula's Bar & Lei Stand, and Teddy's Bigger Burgers on site. The Hustle & Bustle of Waikiki Beach meets the giant green park here. Check the epic view (close!) of Diamond Head from the Grand's tenth floor sun deck! Bonus: guests at the Grand often hear animal noises from the zoo near by. Which brings us to: Rumor Alert! Credible sources whisper that Violet the orangutan was spotted wandering outside of her zoo enclosure after hours recently. Incredibly strong and smart, the "forest people" will reportedly hide hand tools they find (or steal;-) and use them to escape. Maybe she just wanted a room upgrade? A shave ice? Clever staff prevailed on Violet's mate Rusty to help lure her back. . . Back to the Tikis for a moment: Let me tell you about a real special place between Waikiki and the airport, right off of busy, industrial Sand Island Access Road. La Mariana Sailing Club, one of the last real Tiki Bars in Hawaii – or anywhere! - opened over 50 years ago and really looks it. Draped in lauhala leaves, fishing nets, twinkling lights, puffer-fish lanterns, giant clamshells and antique buoys like a kitschy fever dream, this is the place to sip a mai tai. Check out a piece of Honolulu's past while you still can. Book`em, Danno! Just ask a local for the location. . . And speaking of local people, our own local boy born & bred "Barry" Obama spent his usual summer visit in Honolulu with family, and old pals, but also with a huge security detail this year. Nonetheless, the presidential candidate was able to enjoy many of the simple things that we locals like to do: a family picnic at Ala Moana Beach Park, cool shave ice with the kids, body surfing at Sandy Beach, plate lunches from a favorite local spot, and a visit with his children to Pearl Harbor. Mr. Obama grew up without a father in a small high-rise Honolulu apartment with his grandmother and his late grandfather, a proud WWII veteran. The Obamas took daughters Sasha & Malia to visit his grave at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl. (The crater's Hawaiian name is appropriate: Puowaina, "hill of sacrifice."). Barak visited with his grandma everyday (in the apartment he grew up in) yet still managed to find time for a basketball game with his old teammates at their high school gym. They were the State Champs his senior year you know! Hawaii is a special place to grow up, a place with no racial majority where everyone is cherished as an individual. "We all have obligations to each other, we should all help one another." Obama said, speaking of the Aloha Spirit at a local gathering. "When you come from Hawaii, you start understanding that what's on the surface doesn't matter. The people of Hawaii understand. . . ". We are very proud of Barak, though there are plenty of McCain supporters here too. Did you know that John Mac met his wife Cindy at a social event right here in Honolulu? Patriotic local folks have actually been a bit hurt by all the talk of Obama's "exotic luxury vacation." There is no huge Obama family compound here, and as for exotic, the U.S. State of Hawaii has bled red white and blue since Pearl Harbor. Our state's people are over represented (by population) in our U.S. armed forces too. In fact, a large group of our National Guard citizen soldiers just left for their second combat tours of Iraq and Afghanistan. . . . Speaking of over-representation, 8 (countem 8!) local Hawaii athletes are tearing up the Beijing Olympics! My fellow University of Hawaii / Manoa alum, Clay Stanley is ably anchoring the USA Men's Volleyball, four former UH Manoa players are on the (highly favored) USA Women's Volleyball team, and local girl (Kahuku High School grad) Natasha Kai made a crucial score in the closing moments to win a Women's Soccer match keeping Team USA's golden dreams alive. I've also noticed foreign born UH athletes representing their home countries at the games. Oh, and our kids on the Waipio baseball team are in the national finals at the little league world series! Look at our islands on a map. Such a tiny place – so many champions. Come see the beauty that inspires us, available free anytime, just walking in Waikiki. . . Aloha!

Want to enjoy more Waikiki "street" life with Cloudia? Check out her Hawaii "Taxi Cab" Novel: "Aloha Where You Like Go?" at, local bookstores, or the Hawaii State Library branch near you!

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Friday, July 25, 2008

43 Illegal Mexicans Arrested on Oahu!!!

Lately, I've noticed television commercials condemning illegal Mexican workers in Hawaii! Aside from the "wetback" remark from Council member Tam, I didn't think anyone had noticed their presence, actually. Councilmember Tam is considered to be eccentric at best and his "wetback" remark was greeted with horrified silence but it started a thought process that brought together scattered observations I've had bouncing around my brain. Yes, the blonde thinks!

For example:

Ron and I were in Sears recently and I commented that it was odd that Spanish was the secondary language on all of their signs. Why, when most of our residents are Asian, Caucasian or Hawaiian? Wouldn't it seem plausible that the Hawaiian language be the second language? or even the first?...or even Japanese? Ron remarked that it was the same in Home Depot west of us. He said there was a large community of Mexicans living there.


These thoughts were filed somewhere in the back of my mind and I forgot about them until this morning when I read that - 43 Illegal Mexicans were arrested here on Oahu!!

Hawaii is located farther from any land mass in the world. It is a melting pot of more nationalities than I've ever experienced before. A tall, blonde, blue-eyed woman has a tendency to notice that she belongs to a small minority in this wonderful mix of cultures. On my walks to the post office, bank and store, I've noticed more and more Spanish speaking people. On one block, the happy sounds of Mexican music blares from an apartment. Once again, the thought was logged but not evaluated. I've worked with Mexican nationals before in Colorado and enjoyed the experience. But in the middle of the Pacific? Wow!

Now, I could go into why our government has been so against closing our borders and why amnesty has been the rallying cry. It could have something to do with our precious politicians spending all of our Social Security money that we've been forced to pay. The coffers are empty and to cover their asses they need to legalize and be able to tax all these new workers so us baby boomers can get our money back out of the system...but I won't...cough, cough.
Fact is, they're even here in Hawaii. So now what?

43 Busted In Illegal Immigration Raid On Oahu

Feds: Men Citizens Of Mexico
POSTED: 7:29 pm HST July 21, 2008
UPDATED: 7:47 pm HST July 21, 2008
HONOLULU -- Federal officials said they netted 43 illegal aliens in an immigration raid on O`ahu.
To read the story in it's entirety, please go to the source of this article:
We've had a pretty active discussion about this topic at:

Friday, June 6, 2008

We went to see Heart last night! They performed at the Blaisdell Concert Hall which is a nice venue. There isn't a bad seat in the house! Ann and Nancy wailed! The keyboard player never stood still for one minute and the band, as a whole, is the best I've heard in years. Ann got a little emotional as someone from the crowd handed her a lei. They hadn't been here for 20 years. I think they felt the Aloha spirit!
I hope everyone has a great weekend. We're trying to get sailing, music, cleaning, swimming and beer all included in two days. LOL! Much love, Jen

Say Aloha!