Ross in Waikiki Nearly Complete

New Ross Store in Waikiki

Workers are putting the finishing touches on this brand new Ross Dress for Less Store located on the Seaside Ave in Waikiki. The store occupies the site of the former Waikiki #1 and #2 theaters. The new store will have 40,000 sq. feet of retail space. It will be the latest discount store in Honolulu to offer both tourists and residents an affordable alternative from what is currently available in Waikiki.

These photographs were taken early evening on October 1. The store looks very close to finished as workers were hanging fixtures and stocking merchandise. Reports state that Ross will have a grand opening for the new Waikiki Store later this month. I would not be surprised if they have a “soft opening” in the next few days if they haven’t done so already.

Old time residents and visitors may fondly remember this building as the location of the aforementioned Waikiki #1 and #2 twin theaters. The building was constructed in the early 1970 and remained in operation until 2003. I went to many movies at this theater complex including blockbusters such as “E.T.”, “Indiana Jones & the Last Crusade” and “Star Wars: The Phantom Menace” to name a few.

The property now begins a new life as a welcomed discount retail outlet. Hopefully Ross will be successful here.

New Ross Store in Waikiki

New Ross Store in Waikiki

Top 2 frames: Entry way to the new Ross Dress for Less store in Waikiki. Below: The boarded up Waikiki #1 & #2 theaters before the transformation of the building into retail.

Old Waikiki 1 & 2 Theaters

2011 Aloha Festivals Parade

Here are some photo higlights from this year’s Aloha Festivals Parade in Honolulu.

2011 Aloha Festival Parade Highlights

Hawaiian Airlines always has one of the best looking floats in the parade. This year was no exception.

2011 Aloha Festival Parade Highlights

The Polynesian Cultural Center student workers marched down the parade route in lively style that highlighted the place’s international make-up.

2011 Aloha Festival Parade Highlights

The float of the Aloha Festivals Royal Court.


This year I decided to stay under cover from the harsh Hawaiian sunlight and heat. The annual Aloha Festivals floral parade was shot from the second floor parking garage at Ala Moana Shopping Center overlooking the makai lanes of Ala Moana Blvd.

I used my Minolta X7A 35mm camera to shoot these photo with a Minolta 35 – 105mm MD zoom lens, set mostly to the longest telephoto position. I should have used my long 70 – 210 zoom to get to the action or shot this at street level as I did in past years.

One thing I have noticed about recent parades. Lack of large floats. Years ago there used to be about a dozen (and maybe more) elaborately decorated floats at these parades, many using custom platforms to glide down the parade route. Today most floats are pulled by tractor trailer trucks or placed on smaller vehicles.

The cost and time to construct a float are probably the biggest factor in their relative scarceness. The fact that this parade no longer gets national network TV attention is probably another factor too. Making up for the lack of floats are of course many marching units including bands, businesses and non-profit organizaitons. The pa’u riders remain a stalwart of this and the annual Kamehameha Day parades. That is a good thing. Throw in the usual gaggle of politicians, dignitaries, beauty queens and car clubs, and you still get a decent parade…. but not like the ones I remember from before.

Still the “Aloha” is there and people come out to view the parades. That is the main thing. This parade and others throughout the state keep Hawaii’s tradition on the map and offers a lasting legacy for generations to come.
Slideshow from photos I shot at the parade (above).

This guy has a fine looking 97 photo set on Flickr:

Photo stream by David.

Video Segments From Channel 808:

Video streaming by Ustream

Segment 1

Video streaming by Ustream

Segment 2
September 24, 2011.

Hawaii Business All Stars Honored

I had a good night taking photos at the 4th Annual Small Business Hawaii Education Foundation Awards dinner last Friday night, September 16. The annual event is a gathering of business leaders, mainly in the area of small business to honor several of their own people. This year Joe Nicolai of JN Services was named Small Business Person of the Year. Others so honored included Win Schoneman, owner of Bubbies Homemade Ice Cream & Desserts in Hawaii Kai, Tyler Roukema, owner of the Outback Steakhouse also in Hawaii Kai, Jim Dooley of, and 4 others. A complete list of the honorees is posted at the Smart Business Hawaii website. I shot about 700 photos that night of which about 60 have been published. They are viewable by clicking the slide show above and also on my Flickr website as well as on SBH. Selected photos are shown below.

Collage of the major award winners Phyllis Shimabukuro-Geiser, Joe Nicolai with former Governor Linda Lingle, Win Schoneman (in maroon colored shirt), Tyler Roukema, Jim Dooley with Malia Zimmerman, Wendy Dantas with Lani Moo for Glenn Muranaka and Marissa Capelouto.

Smart Business Hawaii Awards Banquet Recap
SBH Award Banquet Photo Set on Flickr

2011 SBH Foundation Awards Banquet
SBH Success All Star Phyllis Shimabukuro-Geiser of Mikilua Poultry Farm with her family.

2011 SBH Foundation Awards Banquet

The Harley Davidson Motorcycle that was up for auction.

2011 SBH Foundation Awards Banquet

Joe Nicolai with former Governor Lingle.

Hawaiian Telcom is in the TV Business

Hawaiian Telcom, Hawaii’s landline telephone operator launched its cable TV service this week at months of beta testing. The new TV service will feature at least 250 cable TV channels including local content, movies and sports such as the NFL channel. The service is being slowly rolled out in the downtown Honolulu area of Oahu. Reports from around the country have stated that TV services offered by phone companies have been successful in attracting customers from incumbent cable TV systems such as Time Warner.

More information at the following links: