Saturday is Free Live Museum Day

Smithsonian Museum Live Day graphic

Throwback Thursday (#TBT)

It’s always Throwback Thursday when you visit any one of Hawaii’s museums. This coming Saturday, September 23 will be a special day for visiting 4 of Oahu’s museums for the absolute low price of a FREE admission ticket.

Yes, through the Smithsonian Museum Day Live! program visitors can gain free access to the following Oahu, Hawaii museums by just signing up and downloading a free ticket for two!

The Oahu museums included in the free offer are: Hawaii State Art Museum (free admission daily), Iolani Palace, Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii Historical Gallery and the Pacific Aviation Museum at Ford Island, Pearl Harbor.

My favorite continues to be the Pacific Aviation Museum which is a must for any wartime history buff and aviation fan.

There is still time to snag a free ticket by just visiting the Smithsonian Museum Day Live! page. Have a great Saturday at the museum.

Boeing N2S-3 StearmanAbove and below: Two of dozens of aircraft on display at the Pacific Aviaton Museum on Ford Island.

Pacific Aviation Museum

Iolani Palace EveningFree admission this Saturday at Iolani Palace in downtown Honolulu’s Capitol District. Photos Copyright to Melvin Ah Ching.

SBA Offers Disaster Assistance to Marco Polo Condo Fire Residents

Burned Out Marco Polo Condo

PRESS RELEASE

Low-interest federal disaster loans are available to Hawaii businesses and residents affected by the Marco Polo Fire that occurred July 14, 2017, U.S. Small Business Administration’s Administrator Linda McMahon announced on Wednesday. SBA acted under its own authority to declare a disaster in response to a request SBA received from Gov. David Ige on Sept. 8, 2017.

The disaster declaration makes SBA assistance available in Honolulu County.

“SBA is strongly committed to providing Hawaii with the most effective and customer-focused response possible, and we will be there to provide access to federal disaster loans to help finance recovery for businesses and residents affected by the disaster,” said McMahon. “Getting our businesses and communities up and running after a disaster is our highest priority at SBA.”

“Low-interest federal disaster loans are available to homeowners and renters whose property was damaged or destroyed by this disaster,” said SBA’s Hawaii District Director Jane Sawyer. “Beginning Thursday, Sept. 14, SBA representatives will be on hand at the following Disaster Loan Outreach Center to answer questions about SBA’s disaster loan program, explain the application process and help each individual complete their application,” Sawyer continued. The center will be open on the days and times indicated below. No appointment is necessary.

HONOLULU COUNTY
Disaster Loan Outreach Center
A.O.A.O. Marco Polo Apartments
2333 Kapiolani Blvd.
Honolulu, Hawaii 96826
Opens 9 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 14
Mondays – Fridays, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Closes 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 28

Disaster loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible for up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property.

Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information on SBA disaster assistance. Individuals who are deaf or hard‑of‑hearing may call (800) 877-8339. Completed applications should be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

The deadline to apply for property damage is Nov. 13, 2017. The deadline to apply for economic injury is June 11, 2018.

KCCN & KINE Radio’s Top 10
Albums for August 1997

Hawaii Radio & Television Guide Banner

Throwback Thursday (#TBT) | Hawaii Radio & Television Guide

Starting with this post we start to dig through the Hawaii Radio & Television Guide Archive pages to fish out some old images and present them on this blog for the first time.

First up, is KCCN who back in 1997 broadcast on both the AM and FM dial. AM 1420 played a traditional / contemporary Hawaiian music format with University of Hawaii sports, while FM 100 played the island reggae music format it still has today. Back then both stations were owned by the same company along with KINE 105.1 FM.

The AM and FM stations were separated through a series of ownership changes where today only FM 100 still carry the KCCN call letters. 1420 AM is now ESPN1420 Sports Talk radio with the call sign of KKEA. KINE is still airing a contemporary Hawaiian music format.

Here are the charts from 1997:

Front cover KCCN

Cecilio & Kapono‘s concert at the Waikiki Shell was being promoted for August 29, 1997. Bruddah Israel Kamakawiwo’ole‘s “N Dis Life” album dominated the top charts on all of KCCN’s stations that month. It was only on June 26, 1997 that Bruddah Iz had passed away, so this album as well as his “Facing Future”, and “E Ala E” albums were also listed. The chart also put in a plug for University of Hawaii Football which was to be broadcast on August 30.

KCCN 3 panel 1997 chart
Click here for larger image.

Legislature Votes on Rail Tax Extension & Increase – Hawaii Political Platter

Hawaii State Capitol

Saving rail is more important than saving the taxpayers.

This is the conclusion that I have come to at the close of this week’s “special session” in which legislators chose to extend the General Excise Tax surcharge to fund rail by another 3 years to 2030 and levy an increase to the Transient Accommodations Tax (TAT) charged statewide on all hotel and travel accommodations. The result of the tax increase and extension will be far reaching into peoples’ pocketbooks for years and decades to come.

Read my commentary at the Hawaii Political Platter Blog.

Source: Legislature Votes on Rail Tax Extension & Increase – Hawaii Political Platter

Hawaii Superferry Set Sail 10 Years Ago

Hawaii Superferry 2007

Throwback Thursday (#TBT)

By Melvin Ah Ching, Editor & Publisher, HawaiiFiles.com.

Can you believe slightly more than 10 years have passed since the Hawaii Superferry set sail in the islands. Hawaii residents were mostly thrilled to see the arrival of the ferry service which not only carried passengers between ports in the islands, but also vehicles of all types.

This was surely going to be a huge boom for inter-island travel, a new way of traveling from one county to another. Take your vehicle and even pack your stuff “in a laundry basket” as the TV commercial advertising the ferry once said.

Hawaii Superferry operated in the islands from August 2007 to March 2009. It was rough seas ahead for the ferry as it was met with stiff opposition from inter-island transport competitors Hawaiian and Aloha Airlines, Young Brothers shipping and a number of environmental groups and political interests.

Hawaii Superferry was able to establish its first route between Honolulu and Maui. It sailed to Kauai only once before activists shut it down by blocking the ferry from entering the harbor. Plans to sail to Kawaihae on the Big Island of Hawaii were never realized.

A few days after Superferry started, the service was suspended by a court ruling regarding an environmental impact statement.

A special legislative session to allow the Superferry to operate was held in late 2007. A bill was passed “to allow “large capacity ferry vessels” to operate between ports in the Hawaiian Islands while an environmental statement is prepared.”

Shortly after Governor Linda Lingle signed the bill into law, the Superferry resumed operations from December 2007 to March 2009. On March 16, the Hawaii State Supreme Court “ruled that allowing the Superferry to operate prior to completion of the environmental study was unconstitutional.”

Superferry operations permanently ended the day after. The Hawaii Superferry Company went into bankruptcy. The two vessels built for the operation (with only a single ship sailing between the islands at the time of closure) were eventually acquired by the U.S. Navy,

I was lucky enough to sail on the Hawaii Superferry from Honolulu to Maui and back shooting photos for the HawaiiReporter.com news site. It was one of those trips I’ll never forgot. After that trip, I looked forward to sailing on the Superferry between Honolulu, Maui and the Big Island as a regular paying customer.

Never happened.

Today most people who supported the concept of a privately funded ferry service wax nostalgic about the brief time Hawaii Superferry was in operation. It was a great travel option that should someday be tried again.

Hawaii Superferry
Hawaii Superferry sails out of Honolulu Harbor. August 2007.

Hawaii Superferry
Nice comfy seats on the Superferry, August 2007.

Hawaii Superferry 10-12-08
The Superferry sails back into Honolulu Harbor, 2008.

More Superferry Photos @ Flickr