Archive for January, 2010

No Cars or Hearts Racing Anytime Soon

The parcel of land once known to all of us as Hawaii Raceway Park is scheduled to go on the auction block on Tuesday, February 2, 2010.  Once upon a time, (in years before 2006) hearts raced to the sounds of revving motors .  There will be no more of that kind of excitement near Campbell Industrial.

First Circuit Court on the corner of Punchbowl and Halekauwila Some time ago I mentioned that it was a hard thing to lose Hawaii Raceway Park and that it affected a lot of people.  As dangerous as car racing is, Hawaii Raceway Park kept a lot of our youth in a legal racing environment, it kept them busy, and it kept them off the streets!  It was a passion they could share with others and it even provided potential career training for the automotive devotees.

I know that, at one time, there were people who blamed the closure of the Park for some of the motor vehicle accidents plaguing our streets.  We had a rash of racing on Honolulu’s roadways as young racing enthusiasts seemed to like using the public roadways and the H-1 freeway as outlets for their racing abandon.

Kapolei Raceway LLC had all of the intentions of restoring the park to its former glory, maybe better, but was apparently not able to manage the financial needs of this endeavor.  Despite all of the lobbying that fans did for its support.

Foreclosure is an ugly word for all but particularly for Honolulu’s racing community right now. This story seals it!  Sigh.  So many memories, so many stories.  The location has slid backwards in recent years with the loss of this and the feed lot.   I just know our beef tasted better back then.

Is Anybody Listening?

Meanwhile, Lt. Governor, Duke Aiona wants to talk about a Hawaii Sports commission.  Let’s see, race car driving is a sport.  Ya think?  Let me tell you where to be with Aunty Linda’s wallet on Tuesday!  Are you listening?!?

We should get that baby up and running again just in time to join in with Disney’s newest project, Aulani and… yeah baby!   Yo, Hawaii Tourism Authority, are you listening?   Keep the streets safer, bring the racing enthusiasts down here from the mainland for events, and put the burning rubber where it belongs — earning money instead of burning taxpayer dollars!

“Is anybody listening?  Let us know!”

It’s Carnival Time and We’re Looking to Gather More than Vog!

Vog as seen from lower Kalihi close to Likelike Highway.

It’s baaaack!  Again the view of the mountains is blurred by the vog carried over from the Big Island of Hawaii.  Kauai is probably the only island that is free and clear of the air smog vog floating over the rest of the smaller islands.  The Big Island’s Kilauea volcano is obviously very busy!

Here’s hoping that the tradewinds will return soon and carry all of that bad air away, quickly.  In the mean time, I’m hoping that the Big Island and ALL the other islands will send in their posts for the upcoming Carnival of Aloha scheduled to go live on Monday, February 1, 2010!  Send in those posts about anything to do with the State of Hawaii.

Consider yourselves reminded!  The deadline for submissions is this coming Wednesday, January 27th.  Come join us!

Cable to Maintain Community Programming

As I was sitting listening to Haunani Apoliona talk about OHA’s role in the community, and as I watched the keiki at one of the ‘Aha Punana Leo schools talk about ethnic food dishes (using the Hawaiian language of course) I can’t help but feel a need to share some gratitude with Oceanic Time Warner Cable and the State of Hawaii’s Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA) for their continued support of community programming!

Oceanic Cable Truck

We almost lost it, or at least a big chunk of it, or so we thought! The franchise contract was up for renewal and one of the articles I read seemed to have a very negative view of what the outcome would be.  The concern was largely focused on the availability of channels designated for various types of community programming.

No need to worry — there’s good news!  The conditions of the newly-restored, 20-year franchise include, aside from other things, the addition of more community channels!  Instead of the six (6) we had before, there will now be fourteen (14)!  We will have even more places to accommodate the PBS, ‘Olelo, and PEG (public, educational, and governmental) channels than ever before!

Mahalo to DCCA and Time Warner Cable for staying on top of the things deemed important to the viewers!

Literary Aspirations

I started this article back in December of 2008.  That shows how long I’ve been aspiring/contemplating the sharpening of my literary pencil.  In reality, it has been a lot longer than that but only relatively recently has the plot actually decided to come alive.

The best part of all of this is that blogs that managed to make an impact on me are still around!  So, I’m going to share some of my literary darlings with you guys.  As I was putting this together, I couldn’t help but be reminded about my eclectic taste.  Don’t be too surprised, I’m afraid that it’s just my nature.

Voice of the Muse, Answering the Call to Write!

Part of what drives me is the “voice” of others who are aiming at the same aspiration.  In the case of Mark David Gerson, that aspiration has been reached and now, as a writing coach, he aims to help others to reach there as well.  A source of inspiration himself, Mark David has said to me (and I haven’t forgotten it) that, “your inspiration is all around you!”  Mark David’s greatest asset in my eyes?  He’s a former Hawai’i resident!  No bias or anything.  I know you’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover but I can’t help but love the cover of The Voice of the Muse!  I’m not sure just whom to blame this on.

I can tell you to whom goes the blame for that “uppity” last sentence!  Writing Forward handles everything from grammatical topics to plot and character issues.  I fell in love with this blog when I read the post that I’ve used for the link to this blogger and I’m afraid that I’m very stuck with my opinion.

Wait, I’m not done!  About my “uppity” sentence — in January, 2010 I found another article from Writing Forward to add to this!  I threatened to link back to this article by using the word whom rather than the word who in a sentence.  That way, I could blame being “uppity” on poor, darling Melissa Donovan who is just trying to help us all write better.

Jurgen Wolff at Time to Write also shares “tips, ideas, inspirations for writers and would-be writers and other creative people” along with a lot of thought-provoking observations and commentary.  I admire Jurgen’s genuine concern for the written word and the old-fashioned publishing medium that encases those intelligent and carefully-crafted texts (I mean books).

Attempting to make my own story-in-progress verisimilar (yeah, I had to look that word up too), I have done some research into different aspects of cultures, societies and lines of business that are normally outside my circle of knowledge and my physical boundaries.  In the process I found places like The Golden Pencil (I love that name) that provide a little bit of everything.  (That was the name of the blog in 2008.  Now, in 2010, it’s called EveryJoe.com.)  But, there are still articles about writing and all kinds of things.

Oddly enough, or maybe not odd at all, I have learned many things from other bloggers, even the strange ones.

I’ve picked up new words like the one above, “verisimilar,” from bloggers like my brilliant but sick friend Bobby Revell at Revellian.com.  To provide a movie-type rating for his writing, I would rate them somewhere between R and X.  For a letter grade?  I’m afraid I have to give him an A+!

WARNING!  Bobby is, from time to time, a bit unorthodox, so be careful!  His writing is carefully crafted together with great visual descriptions that are, er, um, colorful.  Let’s put it this way, horror and smut fiction are his specialty.  If you can’t handle it, don’t go there.  But, you really should!  He’s so deranged, I just love him!  Some of his horrific and disgusting literature has left me rattled for days, so beware!  I’ve also found some other writer bloggers by following them back from their comments left at Revellian.com.  Thanks, Bobby, for the introduction to the other writers and for the occasional vocabulary boosts!  I’m not quite sure if I want to thank you for shaking up my nervous system.

Need a reality check?  Larry Brooks over and StoryFix.com will give you one!  Just the facts baby, those very often cold and hard facts.  It’s okay, Larry is here to help us “get it written, get it right, get it published.” Larry doesn’t pull any punches or play games with the facts.  I’m just glad he wasn’t one of my high school teachers!  I subscribed to his posts (as I have with the others) and I save them all so I don’t miss too much.  For many things that have caught my attention, I keep a tab open on my Firefox browser.  For StoryFix, I have a whole window set aside from the rest.  I think that’s a compliment.   It doesn’t say much about my ability to commit and stay focused, but that’s another issue.

Jennifer, who is Writing to Survive, presents some very insightful thoughts and provides a little of her own inspiration without even realizing it.  She too seems to have novel aspirations!  Reading between the lines, it seems that Jennifer has been infected by the NaNoWriMo bug, as have I.

Many people have been infected by the NaNoWriMo bug and that’s not just Americans — there are people from all over the World that focus in on National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) every November. At this point I have to mention Chris Baty and his No Plot? No Problem!  Chris says it’s not a problem but Larry Brooks says, “Wanna bet?”  Hey, I never said they all agree with each other!

I do have to also acknowledge that this post has gotten way longer than I had originally intended.  I’ll end here and figure out who has been forgotten and talk about them later.  What got into me?  I have no idea!  They have all inspired me in one way or another and I just felt the urge to share some link love with them.  Besides, anyone willing to help me fix my writing receives automatic friend status!   Thanks guys, for helping me with my literary aspirations!

Happy Belated Birthday to Homespun Honolulu!

Happy Birthday wishes! Shame on me!  Homespun Honolulu’s birthday was yesterday, January 12th.  My blog and my husband share the same birthday so that makes it easy to remember.

I was a little focused on trying to figure out something to do for hubby yesterday so I didn’t think my blog would mind a belated birthday wish.

Homespun Honolulu is three (3) years old!  Still a baby with a lot of growing pains to go.  It’s all good pain though and it’s fun to keep track of these things.  Homespun Honolulu’s New Year’s resolution: TALK MORE AND KEEP TALKING! 🙂

Politics and Vog are Equally Cloudy

I can’t help but be confused when I listen to and watch some of the strange things that our Country’s administrators, or potential administrators, are doing and saying.  Forgive me but I just have to shake my head at some of this stuff.

Who Makes These Rules? 

My indignation all started just before New Years when a potential walking disaster boarded an airplane on one of our airlines.  It’s safe to say that many of us were left wondering how that happened.

Howard Dicus has always seemed to have a great amount of aloha for airplanes and the airlines.  I love his ability to always put an intelligent yet un-lofty spin on things.  This article about Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab (the aforementioned walking disaster) was no exception.

I wrote this post a couple of years ago and at the end of it you can see that I really do have a great respect and admiration for our Department of Homeland Security but, who is this woman?!? Homeland Security Secretary, Janet Napolitano, said,

“…putting him on the list required specific derogatory information that was not available.”

What the *BLEEP*?!?  Hello?!?  Woman, information like you received has got to be enough to issue at least a warning and put this person on the watch list, or something!  Were you on vacation in September, 2001?  One would like to think that it is a better thing to er on the side of security overkill!  Don’t ya think? We can stop Joan Rivers from boarding a plane, but not a potential loose cannon?  Oh, wait, that was a Costa Rican airport.  Sigh.

Oh well, I guess that the Department of Homeland Security will not be hiring me anytime soon — scratch that Federal job!

This next news story made me wonder.  Sarah Palin must like the camera.  Instead of running for office, she is moving from politics to the media.  I’m sure she’ll be very good at this job with Fox and I’m actually looking forward to seeing what she does with it!  I guess that takes her out of the Presidential pool.  Doesn’t it?

It was not my intention to give so much link love to Yahoo! but they just happened to have some good write-ups that helped me make my points. Thanks, Yahoo!, for the good content.

Things are equally foggy voggy here at home.  On Sunday we couldn’t really tell if we had rain clouds, vog, or a little bit of both.  It has been that way for quite a while as you will see below.

Last, and probably the least of my cloudy curiosity, I have to share this picture and warn readers that what follows is purely speculation on my part.  Hey, I’m a blogger who must have pictures and this one was worth a thousand words!  (Okay, so maybe it only gets about a hundred words.)

Low flying helicopter obviously looking for… something.

Keep in mind that my paranoid brain was working overtime.  Taken on the west side of O’ahu, this picture shows some rather strange behavior going on several days before the First Family even arrived in Honolulu (yes, that thought did cross my mind).  It just seemed odd to me that a helicopter would hover so low to the ground (I was sitting in my car when I took this).  Looking for hit men?  Snipers?  Escapees?  Drug dealers?  The area was curiously void of homeless people so it got me thinking that maybe they cleared the area.  I don’t even know if that was a military ‘copter, there was too much vog as you can see.  It was just weird.

Maybe I need Sudafed to uncloud my brain.

Carnival Stories from the Land, Sea, and Sky

Old tree at Nu’uanu Valley Park

Since we’re going to be doing quite a bit of traveling with this Carnival I thought it might be a good idea to find a nice comfortable tree with a lot of shade.  Pull up a folding chair or a beach mat and find a good spot under this beautiful, old tree and enjoy the ride!

Now we all know how much we need food to sustain us on our Carnival journey!

SVB talks about Cutting Food Costs: Consumers Switch To Spam posted at The Digerati Life.  While SVB chuckles at the Spam mania, Hormel is adding up their income; they have got to love us over here!  Anyone remember the crowd of campers waiting for Mililani WalMart to open with their sale of Spam at .99 cents a can?  Oh my!  Only in Hawai’i!

With a meal like that we do need our exercise.

Ryan Suenaga helps us with that when he talks all about the Great Aloha Run 2010 posted at his blog, The Athletic Diabetic.  He’ll get no arguments from me!  I can’t wait!

But, that’s in February.  We’re just a little anxious.  Let’s finish up with our New Year’s celebration!

Susan says Happy New Year! to us from the poop deck of the Falls of Clyde.  This is one of the Notes from the Wooden and Iron World.  I’m excited to have Susan join us, and from the poop deck of my boat no less!  I hope she joins us often!  We need more maritime “rides” for our little Carnival!  I know the Falls has already been labeled a Carnival “ride” but Susan has a little bit more of the inside scoops!  There is more wood and iron sailing around out there too!

We need to dry our feet a bit so we’re going further inland.

Kris takes us to the Big Island of Hawaii to visit the Hawaiian Tropical Botanical Garden posted over at Big Island on the Cheap.  It’s always good to find bargains that are breathtaking!

There’s the beautiful that Kris shared with us and then there’s the historical with its emotional impact.

Sheila tells us about Visiting the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor posted as part of the Hawaii Vacation Advice at GoVisitHawaii.com.  This is good advice too — many of us, self included, that have lived here all our lives are yet to visit this part of American History.  Sheila is doing way better than I!  🙂

We’re getting our feet wet again so I think we need to get a little bit of elevation before our toes wrinkle up too much!

Andrew Cooper shares a schedule of Sky Events for 2010 posted at A Darker View.  I still like that name.  This schedule is something new to me.  I didn’t know events such as these could be predicted with such accuracy!  Cool stuff for those of us who are astronomically inclined.

Too much elevation?  Are you dizzy yet?  Too high?  How about a clean, clear glass of cool water?

Aloha Tony
tells us how to get America’s top 10 best tap water – Honolulu is #6 posted at Hawaii real estate. I think Honolulu should be #1.  I’m not biased or anything you understand.  If you want to live with all of this beauty and clean water, Tony might be able to help you with that too!  Maybe he can find you an awesome place to live.

Concerned about the community and the neighborhoods?

Evelyn (that’s me) right here at Homespun Honolulu looks at not only the beauty of the island but at the concern and camaraderie of its community members while talking about the Magic of Community and the Majesty of Nu’uanu.

Now, while your feet may be really dry, we may have wet your appetite for a vacation in the sun.  If so, be sure to start thinking about planning your 2010 vacation very soon!

Pua blogs all about that at her Hawaii Vacation Blog.  Pua wants to know if you’re Planning a Hawaii Vacation in 2010 as she tells us about things on land and on the sea that can be part of your vacation’s agenda.

If you’re not here now, what are you waiting for?  Happy New Year everyone!


NOTE: I got so excited about getting this published that I forgot to include information for everyone to join us for the Carnival of Aloha next month!   Submit your blog article for the next chapter using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.  It has been brought to my attention, more than once, that people have been having some difficulty with the submission form.  If this happens, feel free to send the link for your article directly to me via email.  Don’t worry, we’ll throw a lei around you and pull you in!  🙂

Magic of Community and Majesty of Nu’uanu Pali

So many times while headed uphill I have the uncontrollable urge to just take pictures of the mountain side — so green, so majestic.

The mountains as seen form Pali Highway.

Even with the vog it is still a beautiful sight! The foliage is always so green and the variety of trees makes it interesting.  Some of the trees are so old and regal that they add to the historic charm of this area.

Fallen Trees Can Be Fascinating

The trees, while charming, can also be very dangerous.  It is fortunate that nobody was around when this one cracked and fell!

Fallen tree that caused a road closure on Nuuanu Pali Drive.

One of those very old, and large, trees actually closed the street and made the news.  This one required some heavy equipment to move it all out of the way.

State workers do some logging as they cut up the fallen tree into manageable pieces.

Ultimately, it required some cutting to clear it off the road.  I must admit that the pieces of this once lovely old tree held my attention and curiosity for quite some time.

Location of the break in the fallen tree.

What made it fall?  Wind, with what I believe was the assistance of termites.  I’m not sure what a termite-eaten tree looks like but maybe a termite expert can help us out with this.  I’ll see if I can connect with one of our friends at Terminix to fill us in with some of their knowledge.  Sounds like another post to me — I’ll keep you post-ed!

Smaller tree and vines fallen across Nuuanu Pali Drive, again.

This was an interesting find while I was driving very early one morning.  A relatively smaller tree wrapped tightly by a very thick and leafy vine.  I moved what I could off the road just in time for the driver of a Mercedes to fly by on their way to work.  Whew!  I realized that I couldn’t do it by myself and called 911 (non-emergency, of course).  While I waited and watched for speeding cars, a father trying to get his kids to school came by and stopped to lend a hand.  We were able to move more of it off to the side.

Debris partially cleared to allowing passage of cars on one side of the road.

It was interesting to see who would stop and help with something so small yet so obtrusive.  There is a sense of community here.  Another exercise enthusiast came by and we were able to clear away just a little bit more!

Road blockage cleared away without heavy equipment.

Officers finally arrived on the scene and between three or four people, we managed to drag and/or push the rest of it out of they way.  We did it!  No equipment needed.  Well, the City & County guys will have to clean the trash off the side of the road eventually I suppose.

What follows is another example of that sense of caring for the neighborhood.  I’ve been waiting for a way to share this and I think a door just opened!  This is the same street, just about a half mile down the road, different day, I walked past this gentleman standing on his car trying to clean graffiti off of a road sign.

Gentleman cleaning graffitti off a street sign.Keeping the neighborhood clean.

I asked him if it was working and, yes, it was.  Passing by and thinking about it, I knew I had to turn around and get a picture!  Obviously there are others who feel the same way that I do about our little community.  Even a speed limit sign is not something we like to have defaced!  I have forgotten his name now and I can only hope that he sees this and leaves a comment to share his name with us.  🙂

Happy New Year! Carnival Announcements

Pink flowers blooming along Nu’uanu Happy New Year Everyone! 

Two Carnival Announcements:

Carnival of Aloha – If you’re still thinking about submitting your article and you’re worried about the deadline, I’ve changed the deadline to tomorrow (Sunday) at noon.  So, send your posts in you guys!

Carnival of Cities – The Carnival of Cities was the guide by which the Carnival of Aloha was set up.  When Homespun Honolulu began, the Carnival of Cities started at the same time by the same organization.  Every once in a while I think about the Carnival of Cities and send in an article that means a lot to me, which I just did recently.

Oh my!  I got nervous when I saw this!  Twenty-three (23) entries in this particular edition of the Carnival of Cities.  Kudos to the host of the Carnival this time!  Roaming Tales — I like that name!