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.
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.
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.
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:
Solar viewing through one of the institute’s telescopes.
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
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’ainabusiness 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.