Entries Tagged as 'Making Headlines'

It’s World Press Freedom Day!

I didn’t know it had a special day.  I just always thought it was a fundamental right that was established many, many years ago.  But then, I’m spoiled-rotten.  I’m an American and for us it is a rudimentary kind of ingredient, or the foundation even, of our media as we know it today — both written and televised. 

Bloggers Unite!  So, why are we talking about it?  We want all journalists to have that same spoiled-rotten, power-of-the-pen that we have, no matter where they are in the World!

Here’s the goal:

World Press Freedom Day is annually observed on May 3 to inform the international community that freedom of the press and freedom of expression are fundamental

The United Nations General Assembly declared 3 May to be World Press Freedom Day[1][2] to raise awareness of the importance of freedom of the press and remind governments of their duty to respect and uphold the right to freedom of expression enshrined under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and marking the anniversary of the Declaration of Windhoek, a statement of free press principles put together by African newspaper journalists in 1991.

Did you guys know that this was celebrated every May 3rd?  I didn’t know that.  We’re supposed to know this stuff.  I wasn’t paying attention.  The rest of the World is supposed to know it too!  Freedom of the press and freedom of expression is a human rights issue — we’ve got it and we’re not giving it up!

I wouldn’t want it any other way and I want to “feel” what journalists, bloggers, and the literary wizards of the World are trying to share.  To clip a writer’s wings is just wrong.  Happy World Press Freedom Day!  Let’s keep it that way.

Worry Still Lingers

This post has been pending for a while now.  It was put it on the back burner for a variety of reasons but this past Monday (I think it was Monday) one more fatality brought it right back up, front and center!

A couple of Sundays ago, a young woman riding a motorcycle in Waialua lost control of the bike, hit the guardrail, and was pronounced dead at the scene.  She was only 27 years old!  Her passenger was 23 and, while injured, survived the crash.  Apparently it’s not uncommon for a passenger to be thrown clear and suffer little or no injury.

Blue motorcycle at 2007 bike show

People who have cruised through this blog from time to time know that I am a big proponent of motorcycle safety.   The media reports on the fatality rates on our roadways.  I have seen a variety of numbers reported but one of the reports said that this was already the 7th one this year, on Oahu, which matches the total of all of those that happened in 2008.  HPD said that the motorcycle accident at the end of February was the 17th but that may have been traffic fatalities in total, not just motorcycle-related accidents.   No matter how you look at it, it’s just way too many!

If you’re a biker, I know you guys want to just brush me off but, guess what?  I’m not the only one!  Listen to the words from some of your own!  Am I wrong?  Still think I’m over-reacting?

I’ve been telling myself that I’m becoming my mother — I worry too much about people’s safety.  With no biological children of my own, I guess I have a deep-seated, maternal need to adopt all of our Oahu ohana who constantly put themselves at risk.  I worry about all of the things that any good mother would worry about — the risks involved with dangerous locations, dangerous equipment with sharp blades, and all dangerously fast-moving vehicles with a bad rap.

The fear of accidents and the heavy grief over the loss of a friend or loved one would be unbearable.  It doesn’t happen often but when it’s someone you know, once is already too much.  The lu’ulu’u (heavy grief) caused by a tragedy like this lingers over the community for several days and is hard to shake off, especially when you have friends and family who share the same hobby.  The danger is something that mothers and spouses have to deal with and/or shake off every time their loved ones step outside the door.

Sunrise River Wild Boar Hunting Knife Model 503 Another one that is not usually on my radar of concern, is another favorite pastime that I had forgotten about. Factor in another relatively-recent incident and this particular activity moves right back to the forefront.  Granted, this was a truly unfortunate case of po’ino (hard luck or peril) that caused this tragedy.  I guess technology makes things more dangerous now.  Mahalo to KITV4 for keeping that link active for us.

We have several hunters on the island (responsible ones who don’t kill other people’s pets; don’t even let me get started on that one again) who hunt pigs, goats, deer (on the Big Island), etc. using a variety of techniques.  I’ve lost friends because of accidents in the mountain so I can speak with a little bit of authority on this.

Yes, I do worry about animal rights and , were it not for the destruction done to the environment by these non-indigenous characters, I would be screaming about their slaughter.  Don’t worry, the photo of this charming little guy was actually borrowed from a photographer who took this in India.  It’s illegal to kill the pigs there.  They are necessary to that ecosystem (destructive of ours).

Wild boar in India

To avoid sharing a bloody photo, I got permission from Flickr.com member, zedaxis22, to borrow this wonderful photo of this wild boar.  If I had not told you this photo was taken in India, you never would have known the difference.  I didn’t! Thank you, zedaxis22, I’m glad that this little guy is in India because I would hate to see anything happen to a fine creature like that.

With the exception of the wild animals and the choice of equipment, this past time would be no more dangerous than hiking, right?  Wrong.  The problem is, there are so many other factors to consider.  Hunters consistently step off any paths or trails created for hikers.  They need to go where their targets go, which is usually anywhere but the marked trails.

In short, I’m sending strong urgings to friends and family who are passionate about their favorite pastimes:  please use caution, please make good decisions, and please remember your loved ones before you take those dangerous steps.

Strong urgings to drivers:  “Look Twice, Save a Life.  Motorcycles are Everywhere.”  This is especially true now that gas prices have made us think about our methods of transportation.

Drive smart, ride smart, and play smart!

“Taking Back the Streets!”

UPDATE:  This evening, April 10th, KHON2 News reported that the City, Mayor Hannemann and the Honolulu Police Department, have started “Operation Chinatown.”  They have “tripled the number of police officers” and they’re “taking back the streets!”

It’s not going to be easy, we know that.  We just need to keep our eyes open and share the responsibility of keeping our home a happy place.  Our job is to let them know when we see bad things happening.  Hey, it’s a Neighborhood Watch!

Anyway, write this number down, 768-6800.  This is the Chinatown Alert Hotline — if you see something going on, call and let them know!  (If it’s an emergency, call 911 like you always would.)

Let’s help the City take back the streets!  Store that number in your cell phone — I did! Mahalo to the Mayor and the Chief of Police for taking action!

Criminal Element Too Close for Comfort!

Excuse me, Mr. Mayor?  I thought we were cleaning up Honolulu’s Chinatown.  How much are we expected to pussyfoot around crap like this?  I’m sorry guys but this has got to stop!  I work only five or so blocks away from these areas and I live only about a mile away.  I walk these streets and I run passed those areas.  My friends, family and loved ones do too. 

We all, at one time or another, shop in the vicinity of this drama — during the day time.  Something happens around here when the sun goes down.  The rule of thumb that I generally follow is to not travel west of Nuuanu after sunset.  There’s already blood on the street between Fort and Smith Streets because of the raunchy clientele over there; you don’t even have to get to Nuuanu. This is ridiculous.  Sometimes you even have to get mauka of Vineyard Blvd before it’s safe.    

Since other cities have no problem giving one-way tickets to homeless people (yes, we all know about it), why don’t we do the same for the non-resident homeless and the drug pushers?  Send them back!  

Send the drug lords skanks in a separate boat, a leaking one.  Vicious?  Perhaps.  But, Chief Correa of the Honolulu Police Department is right, they have no business here!  They have no right to shed blood on our streets and we have no desire to lose any of our officers to their shenanigans either!  

This is our home and they’re tarnishing all the beauty and camaraderie that we have tried so hard to create and propagate.  I’m not making this up.  The Honolulu Advertiser stated that both the residents and the merchants are concerned that the increase in crime will “undo years of revitalization efforts.”

It’s cool when our own local newspapers and media take these things to task but it’s a little troubling when blogs and media outlets elsewhere pick this stuff up.  I am pleased that The Snitch (I like that name) was kind enough to actually accept the ownership of this particular gang element.  Thanks, Joe.

Even the kama’aina homeless are afraid.  They don’t admit to their fear but when they talk among themselves you can hear it in their voices. Hello, Mr. Mayor?  We’re supposed to be focused on making our home green, not blood red. 

With tears in my eyes I ask you why.  Why is it that I, my friends, and my neighbors have to be afraid to take the dog for a walk or to go buy a damn soda?  Tell me!

Does Mended Trust Still Have Hairline Cracks?

Hawaiian yarn lei with koa embellishments Sometimes, patience is a virtue.  Sometimes falling behind in your blogging can be a blessing.  Check this out, back in January I started to write this post and then, for some reason, I thought better of it, saved it, and held off publishing it.

This is how I started:

“You have GOT to be kidding me!  What kind of a court master would recommend such a thing?  No, I’m not the only one who is reacting this way.   You’ve got to love the Honolulu Advertiser for letting people leave comments and share their opinion!

“For those who don’t know what all of the hollering is about, you might want to check out Samuel King and Randall Roth’s book, Broken Trust: Greed, Mismanagement, And Political Manipulation at America’s Largest Charitable Trust.  See, the corruption that all of us remember so vividly resurfaces whenever something as preposterous as this makes the headlines.  This horrible story made headlines across the Nation about ten or eleven years ago. 

“Let’s put it this way, Bernice Pauahi would have thrown up her hands in horror if she had witnessed these now-historical events.  Of course, she also would have thrown up her hands in horror when they removed the Bishop name from the name of the school.  So great a love should not have been dealt such a horrible blow.  Perhaps we’ll talk about that at a later date.”

As luck would have it, my blogger muse held off pursuing this story, right at that moment.  Part of what held me back was a secret hope that the trustees would do something exactly like what they’ve done!

After the courts approved their raise, the trustees opted to take a 10% cut instead.  I’m serious — they cut their own pay!

In short, the answer to the question in the title of this post is, “No, there are no hairline cracks.  The Trust was mended some time ago and the trust of the people was restored.”

What did they say about it?

“The trustees are committed to the keiki our trust exists to serve, and to the careful management of resources that will allow Kamehameha Schools to educate native Hawaiians in perpetuity.”

A historical resource like this one needs to be protected and it sounds like the trustees are taking their fiscal and fiduciary responsibilities seriously.  Mahalo and kudos to the Kamehameha Schools trustees.  🙂

Kamehameha Schools is a fine institution that produces some very fine graduates.  The students learn the subjects that all the schools teach, of course, but they also learn the history and culture of Hawai’i to a greater degree than most.  The trustees protect and preserve the trust and its ability to educate while the students leave with the benefit and ability to protect and preserve the culture.

I have other stories that I’ve held back on and I’ll share my initial, knee-jerk reaction with you guys and then tell you why I’m glad that I held back.  Yeah, this one could have been two blog posts but I have no desire to cut people down — until I find out that I’m justified in doing so.  I did not say that I would stop being a b*tch if I’m pretty darn sure that I’m right.  🙂

Hawaii Well Represented At 2009 Inauguration

I knew I was crazy about this shining light that left me in tears one Sunday morning a little over a year ago but I had no idea that so many Americans had their eye on Barack Obama quite some time before I even knew he existed.  Having never heard of him, or about his speech in 2004, I was, much like the rest of the Nation, taken by storm.  The polls would confirm this time and time again as we moved through 2008.  Hawaii’s vote count during the Primary Election was a resounding 76% for Obama.

Make no mistake about it, we will be well represented tomorrow at the inauguration.  Our media is there, Punahou School, of course, is there, Le Jardin Academy is there, citizens, friends, family, I could go on all day.  Anyone who could figure out a way to be there is there!

Punahou High School sign align=

It’s a proud moment for the students and staff at Punahou and it’s a proud moment for all of us here in Honolulu.  The Punahou High School Band will be participating in the festivities.  Accustomed to tropical weather and sunny beaches, the students are having fun but they’re doing so with the shivers.  They’re freezing, but they’re there!

2009 InaugurationHawaii is excited and so very proud to be even a small part of this historic event and I’m glad I was around to witness this important part of history in the making.  While we’re excited and a little giddy, we’re certainly not alone. There’s no surprise that so many across the Nation have something to say or a story to share about the 2009 Inauguration.  Thank you, Examiner.com, for such a fun and multifaceted compilation.

Honolulu Says Aloha to President Sue Wesselkamper

Chaminade University sign

Chaminade University of Honolulu has suffered a great loss that is felt in the hearts of many in the community.  Sue Wesselkamper, President of the college, passed away on January 3rd.  Cancer has taken yet another victim and left a community and one of its educational icons to mourn.

While I didn’t know her personally, I knew her name.  I’m feeling the twinges of sorrow from those community members who did know her.  The Honolulu Advertiser published a wonderful article about Dr. Wesselkamper and the Catholic college she helped to revitalize.

Memorial services were held yesterday, January 10th.  Aloha, Dr. Sue, may the Lord welcome you home.

NFL Goes on Vacation

Every year Honolulu anxiously sets up to welcome the NFL, its players, cheerleaders and mascots for the Pro Bowl.  We have been doing so for several years now.  It has become a tradition — one that the community looks forward to every year.

Royal Hawaiian Bank welcomes the NFL

Our local residents, businesses, and the tourist industry as well, are all touched by this event in some way — the impact is more far-reaching than you may think.  In addition, those lucky athletes and staff members who are selected to participate in the Pro Bowl get to enjoy a vacation to Hawaii in the process. Here is the 2009 Pro Bowl roster of lucky players.

In 2010 NFL Takes Vacation Away from Hawaii

NFL Cheerleaders in Honolulu in 2007

The cheerleaders and mascots will be dancing to a different drummer in 2010 — the Pro Bowl is scheduled to be played in Miami next year, a week before the Super Bowl, which will also be hosted in Miami, on the same field.

Yes, it’s confirmed, next year’s Pro Bowl will be played at Dolphin Stadium a week before the Super Bowl.  Make no mistake about it, Dolphin Stadium is a quality venue.  I’m not sure how receptive or comfortable Miami will be overall but I’m sure we will hear all about it.

Philadelphia Eagles mascot, Swoop

This is going to be the first time since 1979 that Hawaii has not hosted the Pro Bowl.  At a time when we needed this event, and others like it, this decision by the NFL did not come at a very good time for us.

Don’t worry, Swoop, the NFL has got to let you guys come back!  I’ve no personal attraction to the Philadelphia Eagles but you’ve got to love a bird with attitude!  Apparently SportsRant.com thinks so too!

I’m still going to be happy to see them this year with all of the cheerleaders and mascots.  Losing them, however, will be nagging at the back of my mind every minute and with the snap of every photo.  Good luck guys, have fun and, above all, hurry back!

We Take So Much for Granted!

On Friday night we lost power.  We all lost power.  The entire island of Oahu was without power!  No lights, no air conditioners, no hot water, no traffic lights, no stores, no televisions — you get the picture.  Even the surviving radio stations fell off the air a couple of times.

Hawaiian Electric Company logo

Poor HECO (Hawaiian Electric Company), they were up and at it all night long.  There were a few strokes of lightening that seemed a little too close for comfort and we’re thinking may have actually hit some power lines.  That part, i.e. the cause, is still under investigation.  Apparently, our power system is set up to shut itself down to protect the system from frying when something goes wrong.  We all have to admit, it’s a lot better to be off line for a few hours than for a few days!  Ugh! 

Some places were back up and functioning in nine hours or less but it wasn’t until seventeen hours later that we had power back in our building.  There were still “pockets” of people without power. Two garbage bags of now-dangerous-to-eat groceries went out in the trash.  Thank goodness for Costco — at least we can replace our damaged goods relatively easily.  The financial part is not always so easy.   

Roughing it can be fun but it does get old rather quickly.  I had forgotten how a cold shower feels!  Brrrrr!  But, the house was kind of hot so it was okay.  Of course I then ended up outside in the rain right after that and the wind was nippy. 

After getting the call from home that our power was back on, I did see a HECO truck, one of many, driving around and my heart went out to them.  They looked so tired.  I waved and they waved back.  Albeit not a very safe job, it was probably still preferable to being one of the HECO operators taking phone calls from angry people still without power.

All of that being said, we had good company!  Our darling President-elect was with us for the party.  Relax, the Obama family was just fine.  They ended up with two generators and, I’ll wager, a lot of soggy reporters. 

I had to laugh at the CBS News’ coverage of  the paparazzi media —  Barack and the kids actually managed to run away from them!  Naughty, naughty. I shouldn’t laugh I suppose but I just can’t help it!  🙂  While CBS covered the Obamas, the Associated Press covered our power story quickly and summed it up quite nicely. 

We’re okay now, except HECO has to find and define the cause. But, let’s talk about natural energy, shall we?   Of course, we had very little sun and not very much wind either.  You can’t store Mother Nature can you?  Did I mention that we take so much for granted?

Farewell to a Memorable Woman

We want to bid a heart-felt aloha to Madelyn Dunham who passed away just one day before the election of her grandson to the highest office in the Nation and across the globe.  We were all devastated that it happened just one day too soon.  Sigh. 

She was a heck of a lady and one that no one ever forgot.  She left her mark on people she worked with and on people, like me, who only heard about her.  Apparently, from what I’ve read and followed (thank you, CNN); she left her mark on her grandson as well.  He will carry on her drive and determination — we’re counting on it!  I’ve read about things he has done in the past and I don’t doubt it! 


I don’t know who to give credit to for this photo.  I have seen it everywhere.  I have to send a huge mahalo out to whomever it was that took this picture.  I chose to include it here because it shows, not only her maternal adoration of her grandson, but it also confirms that she really was the support that Barack has always claimed her to be.  Most significantly, it shows how very proud she was. 

Many of us, me included, were devastated when she passed away the day before his election.  But, I took comfort in Obama’s acceptance speech when he stated that he knew she was watching.  He’s a strong man but that had to hurt.   

To the likes of Michael Savage and Rush Limbaugh, I hope you guys are pleased with yourselves.  Here is what Limbaugh said:

“Who announces days in advance they’re rushing to the side of a loved one who is deathly ill, but keeps campaigning in a race that’s said to be over, only to go to the loved one’s side days later? See, I think this is about something else… This birth certificate business, this lawsuit that a guy named Phillip Berg filed in Philadelphia in August for Obama to produce his genuine birth certificate, and he still hasn’t replied, he hasn’t done so.” 

As much as I hate to admit it, I used to listen to Limbaugh because I thought he was an informed and gifted speaker.  I don’t know what happened but he’s become nothing more than a no-class loser!  To compound the felony, I actually bought Michael Savage’s book because I thought he was intelligent.  Again, what happened?  

Personally, I hope Barack Obama makes them all eat crow! 

You raised a heck of a man, Mrs. Dunham!  I personally thank you for your accomplishment in that regard.  I also thank you for the example of leadership you set for those in your line of business.   Quality leaders one and all!  Yours is one bloodline that I am very happy to have leading my country!

Aloha, Madelyn, may your memory stay with us always!