Honokaa Jazz Band In Concert

Honokaa High School Jazz Band

The Honokaa High School Jazz Band is on its 2018 Oahu semester tour . The band is playing at several venues over the next few days. Last night (April 19) they played at Centerstage at the Ala Moana Center. Under band director Gary Washhburn, the band wows crowds with their renditions of popular jazz, pop and rock tunes. The band showcased their virtuosity by covering popular standards such as “Route 66,” “Cry Me a River,” “Moondance,” “The Closer I Get To You,” and several others. Washburn has written music for the band. They played two of his upbeat, toe-tapping, instrumental compositions which showcased the talents of various members on keyboards, drums, sax and brass.

You can learn more about the Honokaa High School Jazz Band from their Facebook page.

Honokaa Jazz Band Concert 2018

Honokaa Jazz Band Concert 2018

Honokaa Jazz Band Concert 2018

Honokaa Jazz Band Concert 2018

Honokaa Jazz Band Concert 2018

Links

Throwback Thursday:
Queen Elizabeth 2

The ocean liner QE 2

A little more than ten years ago, the Cunard Liner Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2) made her final stop in Honolulu on March 25, 2008 on her last around the world voyage before being decommissioned later that year.

The arrival and docking of the QE2 at Honolulu Harbor was always a sight to behold. The ship attracted a good collection of fans and photographers who came out to snap pictures of her. Over the years I’ve shot several photos of QE2 at her familiar moorings at Piers 2 or 11.

In late 2008 she was sold and set sail for her new home in the far away Arab city of Dubai. There she sat for many years, her fate usually unknown until it was announced that she will opened as a floating hotel this year. In an email that I got from the QE2 Story website and message board:

QE2 Dubai Hotel Opens

Hello global QE2 fans! We don’t often send special emails during the month, but we felt this was too important to miss.

QE2 Dubai is now available to book to stay on, and the “soft opening” date is the 18th of April (the same day that Queen Mary 2 is in port), followed by the full “grand opening” in October, when all areas of the ship will be brought back into use.

The ship is now known as the QE2 Hotel  Dubai. More information can be found on the hotel’s website.  An updated story on QE2’s conversion to a hotel appears here: QE2 News / QE2 in Dubai / QE2 Today.

While I never stepped on board the famed ocean liner, she will forever be a treasured memory for all those who traveled on her as well as those who saw her in port and other places while in active service.

Previously on this blog: QE2 Stops in Hawaii  for the Last Time

Hawaii Files Photos on Flickr: QE2

Queen Elizabeth 2QE2 docked at Honolulu’s Pier 11, 1989.

Honolulu Harbor 1989QE2 at Honolulu Harbor, Pier 2, 1989.

Turning the QE2QE2 departing Honolulu Harbor, 1989

QE2 Honolulu Harbor 1999

This is my most popular photo of QE2  taken 1999.

QE2 in Honolulu
Her last stop on March 25, 2008, Honolulu Harbor Pier 2.

All photos and content Copyright to Melvin Ah Ching Productions. 2018. #TBT

 

 

IFA Open House This Weekend

One of the fun annual events to attend is the University of Hawaii at Manoa Institute for Astronomy‘s annual open house. It comes up this Sunday, April 22 starting at 11:00 a.m. Free admission. Details below:

IFA Announcement Card
Check this out on April 22.
  • UH Manoa Institute for Astronomy • Open House
  • Sunday, April 22, 2018 • 11am-4pm
  • Institute for Astronomy Headquarters
  • 2680 Woodlawn Dr.
  • Across from Noelani School, next to Manoa Public Library
  • FREE admission, FREE parking

Join us for a day of family-friendly activities and talks!

Digitalis planetarium – LEGO display by HILUG – Mindstorms Robotics – Comet making –  Air rockets – Bottle rockets – Pacific Aviation Museum – Model solar system – Sundials – Ask an Astronomer – Infrared camera – Thirty Meter Telescope VR – Solar telescopes – UH Bookstore  – Friends of the IfA – Astrophotography – Camera Obscura – Astronomy talks – and more!

Here are some photos for one that I attended a few years ago:

2015 UH IFA Open HouseSolar viewing through one of the institute’s telescopes.

2015 UH IFA Open HouseModel of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT). This must be built!

2015 UH IFA Open HouseInformative stuff about the planets and solar system.

Big Weekend Rains

The islands of Oahu and Kauai are clearing up from the huge rainstorm that hit over the weekend. Severe flooding in some areas impacted areas in Hawaii Kai and North Kauai with a lot of damage. The videos below show some of the damage:


KHON TV News Report


Paradise2Paradise video blog – Kauai


Flash floods on Kauai, World Weather


Flooding on Kauai, Brandon Smart, April 15, 2018.


Flooding rain, East Kauai, Steve Mqy


Friday’s rain in Waikiki, Mel @ The Hawaii Files Channel

Read more:

Kauai Storm: 27 inches of Rain… , Honolulu Civil Beat

Hawaii Floods, Mudslides Destroy Homes – The Weather Channel

Record Breaking Rain Destroys Kauai’s Hanalei Bay – Town & Country

We will be adding a few more links and videos later.

Throwback Thursday: Aloha Airlines

Aloha Airlines Wall Map
Aloha Airlines Boeing 737-200 "Funbird"
Aloha Airlines Boeing 737-200 on approach to PHNL over Kaka’ako Waterfront Park, February 2008. Retro “Funbird” livery.

March 31 of this year marked the tenth year since the closure of Aloha Airlines after more than 60 years of business in Hawaii. It was a sad and painful time for its owners and employees, and a blow to Hawaii’s traveling public to see a long time kama’aina business go belly-up.

Surely Aloha Airlines demise was attributed to several factors including a bad economy, high fuel prices, outdated equipment and predatory pricing by Mesa’s GO! Airlines subsidiary which itself also closed down some years later.

Former employees of Aloha Airlines marked the date by having a reunion at the Hyatt Regency in Waikiki this past week.

My memories of Aloha Airlines go back to my youth when my parents used to take my sister and I to Hilo Airport just to see the airplanes come and go at the terminal. This was in the old days, long before security became a major issue and obstacle to access by non-passengers.

I used to marvel at both Aloha AirlinesFairchild F27 aircraft as well as those from Hawaiian Airlines (Convairs, DC-6s). This was back in the day before jets happened.

In the old days Aloha Airlines flew a variety of aircraft including the DC-3‘s that they started up with (long before I was born), the Fairchild / Fokker F27, Vickers Viscount and BAC-111 jet. In time they would standardize on the Boeing 737.

As a boy growing up on the Big Island, I rarely got a chance to fly. When we did, my parents always flew us on Hawaiian Airlines.

Aloha Airlines Boeing 737-200
Aloha Airlines at Lihue Airport, May 2005.

It was not until my college years that I finally got around to flying on Aloha. I usually flew to the Big Island of Hawaii’s airports in Kona and Hilo, as well as to Honolulu and once to Lihue, Kauai. Aloha Airlines also flew to Waimea-Kohala. I flew on Aloha’s Boeing 737-200 aircraft except maybe for one or two times on the newer 737-400 that Aloha had in passenger service for a short time.

One of my most memorable Aloha Airlines flight was one coming into Honolulu from the Big Island. While coming into Honolulu our flight had to abort its first landing attempt after another plane was spotted on the runway.

Aloha Airlines 737 at Kona
Aloha Airlines Boeing 737-400 at Kona International Airport, 1989

Flights on Aloha were pleasant experiences. They were on time, the personnel were courteous and helpful and the Boeing 737-200 aircraft were clean, even though by the start of the new century, they were considered “aging” and nearly obsolete.

Aloha was one of the last airlines in the Hawaii market that offered paper flight coupon packs (around 2004) in packets of six. These were very popular in the 1980s after being initially offered by upstart (and long gone) Mid-Pacific Airlines, a discount carrier. Soon after both Aloha and Hawaiian were forced to offer them. Flight certificate booklets were very popular with the public as they allowed people to take an inter-island flight on almost any day and time. They were convenient.

In the long run, the airlines hated the coupons since people stocked up on them and rarely ever flew at the published and more expensive per trip flights. The advent of online booking changed everything in favor of the airlines. Coupons were quickly discontinued.

The last time I flew on Aloha Airlines was back in November of 2006 during the height of the fare war instigated by Mesa/GO! Flights were being sold for as little as $2 each way. It was a definite money loser for the local airlines. The public loved them. I remember buying 4 different flights for a week of travel on three different airlines, flying at about $9 per trip. Once on GO!, once on Hawaiian and I think twice on Aloha.

Aloha Airlines 737-200 in flight on landing
Aloha Airlines Boeing 737-200 on approach to PHNL. Feb. 2008.

That was the last time. A trip to Hilo and back.

Less than two years later, Aloha declared bankruptcy after GO!’s predatory pricing, high fuel costs, aging aircraft and a downturn in the economy forced the airline to go out of business.

Today the carcass of Aloha Airlines lives on in Aloha Air Cargo, which was the firm’s cargo business that was bought out by another company after Aloha Airlines closed in 2008.

Aloha Airlines is now a memory that many people hold with fondness.

Aloha Airlines 737 jet freighter
Aloha Airlines Boeing 737 ETOPS jet freighter on display at John Rogers / Kalaeloa Airport, Sept. 2003. 100 Years of flight air show.
Aloha Air Cargo Boeing 737-300 jet freighter taxing to commuter terminal area, 2015.

Additional Links

cover photo: Aloha Airlines old route map used to be a mural that hung in the inter-island terminal at Honolulu International Airport.

#TBT