The Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii estimates that 10,000 people filled the streets last weekend in celebration of the Lunar New Year of the Snake, but it’s hard to be sure. There were so many red shirts you’d think you were at a Target employee convention protected by Teamsters.
Harry Livingston Kerr designed this domineering Richardsonian Romanesque-style edifice out of stones from the Kapalama and Moiliili quarries for the McCandless brothers. James McCandless, with brothers Lincoln and John, built a bloated fortune digging artesian wells around Oahu to make water available to the arid Leeward sugar plantations.
Joseph Mendonça started life in Honolulu at 16 and learned carpentry and masonry as a construction worker, but established himself as a businessman after investing in small properties around Chinatown. Mendonça eventually built the brick building that bears his name in 1901, one of the scorched area’s first new structures after the fire of 1900.
Walter Peacock built the Royal Saloon on the lower side of Nuuanu Avenue, a grog strip known amongst sailors as “Fid street”–a fid is a nautical tool Webster defines as a “stout bar of wood or metal.” Except during Prohibition when the saloon was a furniture store, the hotel has been a dependable spot for swill. During the mid-19th century, Honolulu harbor would see a sharp increase in ship traffic, and seamen, merchants, captains and just about every other type of gentleman would stop at the hotel, as did King Kalakaua and Robert Louis Stevenson.
When kumu hula, singer and musician Robert Cazimero was asked to participate in the 50th annual Merrie Monarch Festival in April, he was a little hesitant–he generally competes only every 10 years, and swept the awards in 1995–until he heard they wanted his halau for hoike night. The hoike, one of Merrie Monarch’s most treasured moments, is held on Wednesday of Merrie Monarch week and never televised.
Listen Up / The Islands have always hosted more jazz than blues, dating back to the 1920s, when the genre first spread across the world and Louis Armstrong and the other greats played Chinatown clubs. (Check out Satchmo and Andy Iona on the 1928 album Jazz Goes Hawaiian.) Blues however, has simmered on the backburner of the local scene, only growing stronger recently.
For as long as we can remember, Chinatown has been notorious for drugs, homelessness and filthy streets. Some claim nothing has changed–and that it never will.
Bicyclists have long been overlooked by four-wheel riders on Honolulu’s congested streets. In the gleaming, armored pecking order of the road, cyclists are too often dismissed as lane hogs, hand-signaling nuisances and unfortunates who can’t afford cars.
The fate of some 1,525 acres of land at Hoopili in ‘Ewa may have been decided last Wednesday in Hawaii’s First Circuit Court. The decision might have gone differently, but the appellant attorneys’ strategy seemed to collapse as Judge Rhonda Nishimura picked it apart based on technical errors.
Last Thursday, May 9, the Caldwell administration revealed its action plan for solving Honolulu’s homeless problem. But at the City Council’s budget meeting the same day, Budget chair Ann Kobayashi wanted to know where the money for “Housing First” (see Cover Story, pg.
The Mayor Wright Housing project has been slated for major redevelopment by the Hawaii State Housing Authority (HSHA); requests for qualifications will be going out to developers in three to six months. Nonprofit group Faith Action for Community Equity (FACE) wants to make sure the project’s tenants have a say in the redevelopment process, which could include major renovations or a total rebuild.
The Honolulu City Council held a special Committee on Transportation meeting on Tuesday, May 7, to go over its Complete Streets initiative with input from the department directors of Design and Construction (DDC), Planning and Permitting (DPP) and Transportation Services (DTS). At prior meetings, including the Moiliili workshop, community members pressed the idea of combining Complete Streets with Caldwell’s repaving projects, which Dan Burden of the Walkable and Livable Communities Institute and some councilmembers have said makes sense.
Not much to agree with my friend Doc Berry (“Limits of Growth,” April 17). None of the scenarios he posits will ever materialize.
In your Diary of May 8 (“End of the 27th)” you reported on SB 1214, passed by the Legislature. In their nimble way, the Legislature tacked the wheel boot prohibition on a bill that was intended to abolish the Commission on Transportation.
On Friday, May 3, at 3:45 p.m., I was driving town bound through the Wilson tunnel on the Likelike. I was parallel to another car, and there were several other cars following closely behind me.
Congratulations Honolulu Weekly on the recent Pai award for investigative reporting (“Boss GMO,” Jan. 4, 2012).
When the biofuel guys say that costs are “confidential” (“Big-foot Biofuel,” May 8), I reply that since I am the one who is going to end up paying the cost, I have a right to know. Frankly, when everybody tries to hide the costs, I smell rat …
The Foster Botanical Garden never ceases to inspire for an urban setting it is like a step back in time (“See the Flora,” May 8). If Koko Crater Botanical Garden contains the world’s largest plumeria collection as suggested, it may be thanks in part to the Prussian born Dr.