Thursday, October 31, 2013

DeRailed Again

Although people are not as familiar with railroad accidents and incidents, they are more common than most realize. They can occur either inside or outside a train, either at intersections that involve automotive traffic or more likely, an elevated rail, falling off on stretches of railroad track alone


This was the first elevated derailment. It happened in New Jersey, 1923 and they promised that it would never happen again. Fortunately, it did not fall on a lot of people.

"Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing."
–Benjamin Franklin

The Windy City's most catastrophic rail accident occurred in 1977, when three cars fell off the elevated tracks after two trains collided at the Ravenswood stop downtown.


Chicago had just installed a system that made a train brake automatically if it sensed another one ahead, much like the train in the D.C. accident on Monday should have done. However, Chicago operators back then could override the stop signal if the train was traveling at less than 15 miles per hour. And because "ghost signals" happened occasionally, many drivers did roll past red lights.

The system interpreted the station stop as the required stop, and so the motorman should have been operating under "sight rules." But he didn't. And he didn't even keep his eyes on the track ahead. Fortunately, they did not fall on a lot of people. In the aftermath of this wreck, the Chicago Transit Authority changed the rules and forbade operators from proceeding on their own--from then on they had to call Central Control before continuing through a stop sign.

So it cannot happen again, Right? - - - Wrong.


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Rail by John Pritchett

Available in book online and in most book stores. Terrific cartoon analysis.

Buy it now for the best commentary on Rail in the entire Pacific Region.
 

 

Monday, October 28, 2013

Bolero - Mambo

Bolero - Mambo by Benigño Torres, Pearl City:

In my opinion the most beautiful music in existence today. These different dances have the same music more or less except for the speed and the arrangement.

Blogger's Law #23D: "When in doubt, predict that trend will continue."

The Bolero in the US is more Europeanized, so that for many it can sound like warmed over Fox Trots. Most Latin boleros are in the 95 -105 beats per minute speed and the dance is very suave, slow going, tantalizing with an occasional full stop for a full count accent once or twice in the dance. Most Latin songs are in the bolero genre. A faster bolero is a very good Rumba.

"The Caribbean Disco Show" By Lobo
 
The American bolero, invented by American dance teachers, is danced very different than the Rumba but the only thing keeping it up is that it is included in the dances of the American Style of Dance. It will just become obsolete in our "Recreational" dancing which is danced socially. Very romantic but much of the music is used for listening only. Good dinner music in Latin America.

The Mambo was much faster and came from the old Rumba, 110 to 120 beats per minute, the clave beat is more intense and the physical action in dancing is more evident. The original "Bamba,"  (Bolero) sounds like you are going to a wake in comparison to the Richie Valens version in full jazzed up Mambo beat.

Mambo was the most fun dance in the Americas for over 40 years even with the split of the break on 1 or on 2. It has been supplanted with the Salsa, which is more acrobatic and has engaging and disengaging complicated arm movements. And now being replace by Reggaeton for the kids. Of course the Reggaeton is now being split in several different factions too. And many have added Bachata and what about Zouk coming up?

"La Carmencita" By Orchestra Pedro Gomez


The under thirty crowd must have new dances and there will be many new fads coming along. The regular "cultural" dancer (over thirty) will standardize to have fun dancing and socialize too for his/hers remaining 50 years of life. The Night Club dancing will return, we just have to accept, where we can dance and who has to pay for it.

(to be continued with Rumba)

"I wondered why somebody didn't do something.
Then I realized, I am somebody."


 

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Milonga? Tango?

People can be misinformed and even when they think they know it all they can be wrong, wrong, wrong.

Mrs. and Mr. Vernon Castle:
They were just about the best dancers of their time, but even with plenty of hype and a wide open field in learning, they had little knowledge of Dance history.

Quote from the Castles:

“The Tango is not, as commonly believed, of South American origin. It is an old gypsy dance which came to Argentina by the way of Spain, where in all probability it became invested with certain features of the old Moorish dances. The Argentines adopted the dance, eliminating some of its reckless gypsy traits, and added to it a certain languid indolence peculiar to their temperament.”

"Nostalgias" by Placido Domingo

They were referring to the old Andalusian tango which of course had nothing at all to do with the Indian Milonga being danced in Argentina for ages. The Negros being in the servant field picked up on it and there is a famous painting of the Negros dancing.

It is entitled, "El Tango De Los Negros" meaning the Tango of the Negros (their version of the Andalusian Tango) and the date on it was 1832. So some will even go so far as to tell you that is the proof that the Negros were dancing Tango before the Argentines. Which is true, semantics wise. But they were not dancing the Tango that is today's.

"La Media Luz" by Julio Iglesias

The Andulasian Tango danced by the uppercrust lasted only a two or three decades (one generation) before becoming extinct. It lasted longer with the Blacks. But of course, they had fewer choices. The Tango is riddled with inaccuracies picked up in error along the way. Even those that say it is whorehouse dance and danced to whorehouse music do not tell you all the facts. That was the Milonga and it is not the complete story.

We will uncover more inaccuracies as we go along. For instance, you cannot have Tango without a Bandoneon and the Bandoneon did not arrive unitl the late 1850s. That slowed the entire Milonga down somewhat. The former merry rhythms became slower and sadder. But then, there are some disciplines that dance their versions of tango without ever coming close to a Bandoneon. For them, the tango is the "real" thing without.

Late in the 1890s because of the bad reputation of the Milonga, the dance powers decided to change the name to Tango. But it remained Milonga - Tango for 50 years.

Blogger's Law No. 53C: "Nothing is ever so bad that
it can't get worse."


 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Hits on the Upswing

The entire enchilada is getting the hits. Of course, also getting the crap too. The scam-spam robot hits that just screw up the stats and make more work eliminating them. But that is Blogger and we get that for free, so what do they care.

"When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us."

John Pritchett Cartoon
The action is still there in the West despite the terrible Rail Catastrophe. Everyone accepts that there will be no Dance Pavilion in Waipio to pay for the Rail Disaster. But the entire Island has to pay and that is why the legislators gave themselves such huge raises. Perhaps we can get some help from our local Community Centers or our District Parks.

On the mainland some have installed beautiful dance floors in their community centers with private funds then paid them off with fundraising dances on the same floors. It may be illegal in Hawaii, I don't know. But it is crucial to find more dancing places in the West. Then there is the possibility of a new Dance Club in Salt Lake, wide open and waiting.

"The Tracks Of My Tears" by the Miracles
 
Meanwhile I have a lot of work at hand, I am reducing my reportorial duties and increasing my recording duties. I don't have enough time and I must be on my way. I sincerely thank all of you that remain with us.

Matthew 7: “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same
way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure
you use,  it will be measured to you.”
 

The art of dancing stands at the source of all the arts that express themselves first
in the human person. The art of building, or architecture, is the beginning of all
the arts that lie outside the person; and in the end they unite .... Dancing is the
loftiest, the most moving, the most beautiful of the arts, because it is no mere
translation or abstraction from life; it is life itself.
Havelock Ellis, "The Dance of Life"
 
 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Holiday Season

It has started with a bang. Frank has covered the early birds very well. Starting with the Oldies But Goodies Bash. Now Halloween coming up and Wahiawa Dance Club leads it with their dance on Friday, October 25. There are others shaping up in the West but they keep it a secret from our readers.

"And, after all, what is a lie? 'Tis but the truth in masquerade."

From Honolulu Traffic October 4, 2013

Total expenditures for the Rail Mistake was just for the 12 months between August 2012 and August 2013 were $256 million. Of that amount $166 million was for professional services and that was likely all for Parsons Brinckerhoff.  Hey, you ain't seen nuttin' yet. As they are fond of saying, "These local yokels can be taken."

These people intend to make millions and millions of dollars in pure profits. And many will admit that the Rail Tragedy will not do the users of Public Transportation any good. The mess that is coming will stop many people from moving to Oahu but it will also slow down the Tourist trade immensely. The effects of the current screw ups are already coming into view.

"I Get Around" by the Beach Boys

Waikiki Hotels expect to do pretty good in spite of the heavy traffic. Getting worse on Saturday Nights so a few are waking up to the fact that perhaps Pearl City or Pearlridge areas could be used. Most places require word of mouth and that is not enough in a "city." So we see very little advertising in our magazines and newspapers.


The Triple Step, I saw it again. There have been several names for this move in the last century. But it came about some where about eight millenniums ago. About 6000 BC. There is some evidence that this movement was being used by the Indians in the Mexican Civilizations where they first developed professionals in dance. It is named the Chassé in ballet (from the French to chase,) nowadays and never fully explained by most dance teachers as a separate and distinct movement in dancing and applied to thousands of dances.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

And we have an update

As many of you are aware, I diluted the readers of our blogosphere again by adding too many blogs. And of course that shakes up the whole enchilada. Yes, I know, we must communicate to more people.

Music is the mediator between the spiritual
and the sensual life. ~Ludwig van Beethoven

In the second tier, we have Blogging Hawaii, Oahu West and Ewa Bus Stop. And the Two-Center will decide which one will emerge in a definite second place. Wherever that person wishes to contribute their information, that is the blog that will get the reader/dancers.

Frank's Blogs have been very good at getting Information contributors and the results show in his very fine blogs. Check'em out. Once you have some good information contributors it is relatively easy to convert them into Guest Authors, and they can get in, write, insert photos, and get out without saying "boo" to anyone.

I still keep hearing about a new dance club in the Salt Lake area. Stands to reason, that area is wide open.  If anyone knows of anything please let me know. I may be able to help. Of course, the main thing that is holding anything like this back is the lack of a good Community Center in which to dance.

"Grease" by Frankie Valli

 
Most of the West is still floundering around at loose ends and there is nothing more definite to make more permanent decisions. Kapolei and Pearlridge Chapters HBDA have been very cooperative and they have gotten the right Public Relations into our blogs and benefit everyone. Wahiawa Ballroom Dance Club uses the blogs mainly as advertising media.  But overall, I am kept in the dark. You can imagine the rest of the dancers.

And of course, there are those, "It none of your business." So be it and they should be respected.



Thursday, October 17, 2013

Ramblings

by Ronald Svenson, Ewa Beach

Why do recreational dancing? Fish swim, birds fly, and I think recreational dancing offers the nearest equivalent satisfaction for humans. Furthermore, it is easier to get people together to meet and socialize when there is something this enjoyable to do. Human beings are psychologically constructed so as to achieve fulfillment and satisfaction from dancing.

 "The person who says they never told a lie - just told one."

They like to socialize and have fun as a couple. Even single people are grateful for the opportunity to be a couple with one other person even if for only one dance which is very predominant in our dancing circles.

There is a tendency for our rulers and leaders to treat ordinary dancers as subjects. A really democratic dance club expects the dancers to be citizens responsible for their own choices, not subjects. People like a chance to attend a social event in the role of adult citizens, not subjects.


"I Want You Back" by the Jackson 5

There is a Viewer Class developing as of late. Dinner/dance meetings and concerts are social events where people attend as subjects and observers, not participants and citizens. People at a large shopping mall are attending as citizens, but it does not feel like a social event. A dance can be a large social event where people can attend as citizens and participants, not subjects.

At a dance people participate as couples, not as individuals. Of course, line dancing is a very pleasant diversion. As I get older, recreational dancing seems adult and civilized and feels like real dancing. Swing and Salsa seem more juvenile and feels as much like calisthenics as like dancing; furthermore, while you may be dancing in collaboration with each other, you are no longer dancing so much together as a couple.

The dances typically done to rock, hip hop etc. seem infantile and uncivilized. Group dances can reduce people to being subjects, not citizens; some people find them degrading and humiliating. And of course, some dances can be fun and folk dances have existed for centuries.

"There are many shining qualities in the minds of people, but there is none so useful as discretion - without it, learning is pedantry and wit impertinent."

 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

What's Doin'?

Richie Fun, good write up in Town Dance blog: Gayle and the Hawaii Gardenia Circle hosting another live music extravadanza at the famous Palladium. The re known Pat Koh Ensemble will again be playing for the lucky dancers on November 30th. The joint was really meant for this.

"Music, Music, Music" by Theresa Brewer
 
 "End of the Road" by Boyz II Men:
This amazing song, written and produced by Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds, reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in August of 1992 and would stay there for a record breaking 13 straight weeks. This broke the record of 11 weeks held by Elvis Presley in 1956 with "Hound Dog/Don't Be Cruel," but would be later be broken again by another.


More people from the west seem to be at the HBDA Ohana dance every month. I am taking an extra camera and let some of the dancers get their own shots in. A few quotes from the dancers would not hurt either. This is social media.


Does it all have to happen on Town. Let's get something going in Kapolei. Of course, most places are being priced out of the market to pay for the Rail Disaster. Even the schools are suffering but cheer up friends, the worst is yet to come.

"People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing.
That’s why we recommend it daily."

It is becoming even more imperative to find places to dance in the West. So many good people here that love to dance. The best dance floor remains at Waianae District Park but it too far for most of our dancers. Another perfect central spot would be somewhere in the Waikele - Waipio area. The Dance Pavilion has been cancelled to pay for the Rail Tragedy.

Nice to hear that the Taxi Vans are being taken into consideration because of the Rail Fiasco. Resident of Waianae keeps the regular Taxi in town. In the AM, one Van run into town, and parks it. Uses his regular Taxi in town, parks and in the PM Van run back. Will beat being forced into taking the Rail Mess, but will cost more. Gotta do something.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Looking Hot Already

December and January doings, already coming in. Hey, some people are not wasting any time. Anything for the dancers and anytime. Wahiawa Ballroom Dance Club will have a dilly on December 7th.


If I can get a place in Pearl City where I have made application. It will be relatively easy for me to get there. I give up on the Bus situation from the Waianae Coast. The Rail Party is screwing it up badly and it is going to get worse.


The con job was for all these mainlanders to take over. Now Oahu Transit Service has been eliminated and HART is taking over. And I have heard they are importing some experts on Rail Maintenance, so that our old trusty maintenance division will also soon be eliminated.

Meanwhile dancers on the Mainland are having fun. The latest news is at Sea.


Pub's Side Note: To our reader/dancers, please consider yourselves, now and henceforth, and no matter what anyone ever asks of you, free to do any damned thing you want as long as it doesn't hurt someone else unnecessarily.


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Anti-Rail Resolution

News Release from Kapolei Neighborhood Board
Monday, October 1st, 2013, the Transportation Committee from Makakilo-Kapolei-Honokai Hale passed a resolution “opposing the Honolulu Rail Project”.
This resolution continues on to entire neighborhood board for a vote on 23 October, 2013:

RESOLUTION OF THE MAKAKILO-KAPOLEI-HONOKAI HALE NEIGHBORHOOD BOARD OPPOSING THE HONOLULU RAIL PROJECT

WHEREAS, this community board is concerned that the current route for Rail will not properly service Makakilo, Kapolei, the Ewa Plain and Leeward Coast residents, and
WHEREAS, this community board has significant concerns regarding the financial aspects of Rail and the lack of accountability to the public, and
WHEREAS, this community board is concerned about any diversion of funds from TheBus, a system known nationally as a success, into a system to support Rail, and
WHEREAS, this community board is concerned about the cost and noise level of a steel wheel on steel rail system and the fact that less costly and quieter options were not considered, and that schools, businesses and homes located along the Rail route will be “negatively” impacted by the level of noise, and
WHEREAS, this community board is extremely concerned about the traffic conditions during the construction phase and after completion of the Rail project, and that not enough is being done to pro-actively mitigate traffic conditions, and that some of the board requests for additional pro-active measures appear to be ignored, and
WHEREAS, this community board is concerned that with all the new development projects along the Rail route, a freeway Level Of Service (LOS) D or better cannot be attained during rush hour and that not enough is being done to pro-actively mitigate the current or anticipated additional traffic flow, and
WHEREAS, this community board believes the Rail system was sold to “voters” as a “traffic solution,” when it now appears to be primarily a “land development tool,” and that expert, census, and government survey data clearly show that the Rail ridership will not be at the level that the city anticipates, resulting in the system being heavily subsidized, ultimately costing the taxpayers in the form of user fees and taxes; therefore,
BE IT RESOLVED that the Makakilo-Kapolei-Honokai Hale Neighborhood Board states its opposition to the Honolulu Rail project.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that copies of this Resolution be transmitted to the Mayor of the City & County of Honolulu, all members of the Honolulu City Council, the Director of Planning and Permitting, the Director of Transportation Services; the City Planning Commission, the Board of Water Supply Manager and Chief Engineer, the State Office of Planning, the State Land Use Commission, the State Director of the Department of Transportation, Leeward and Central Oahu legislators, and all members of Leeward and Central Oahu Neighborhood Boards along with all neighborhood board chairs.
Resolution Passed out of Committee by a vote of 2 to 1 (D. Kalani Capelouto, Thad Spreg – For), (Frank Genadio – Against). Resolution transferred forward to the NB # 34 chair, for inclusion during the next board meeting, under regular business (regular action item).
Submitted by: D. Kalani Capelouto, Transportation Chair
Reviewed by: E. Souza, Chair


 One tenth the cost of the Rail Fiasco and five times more efficient. And I coulda got the bus right around the corner where I always did.


The Industrial Parks, thousands of cars not going or coming from Town and thousands not in Honolulu Traffic. Voted down by the Present Rail Party
every time. And I coulda been home in 20 minutes.

 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Rail by Panos

Ten Plus One Reasons Why I Do Not Support The Honolulu Rail Project
By Panos Prevedouros, PhD, Fix Oahu October 2, 2013

1.Among all travel options on Oahu, mass transit serves 6% of the travelers, just slightly above the U.S average of 5%. Focusing on this small piece of the pie is no way to solve the mobility problem of the 80% that drive and carpool, i.e., rail is the 1% solution because City's rosy numbers show that transit share will grow from 6% now to 7% with rail.
     
2. Spending over five billion dollars for a non-solution is clearly unethical and all responsible for it are breaching their professional and fiduciary duty. As an engineering professional and past candidate for mayor I want no part in this unethical endeavor.

3. The original system was supposed to be 34 miles through Kapolei to UH and Waikiki for about $3 Billion as shown in the headline above.  The current project starts a mile out of Kapolei and dead-ends at Ala Moana shopping center with no service to Waikiki or UH. Just 20 miles for over $5 Billion. If offering the public 41% less for a 73% higher price is not a lie then what is it?


 4. In some respects Oahu's congestion is comparable to that of the largest cities in the nation chiefly because Oahu is lane deficient.  20 miles of rail and 20 overhead stations will cause critical lane closures and result in debilitating congestion for a decade or more. For example, look at the image below and consider what traffic in downtown Honolulu will be like with Ala Moana Boulevard closed for about a year? The impact on quality of life, economy and tourism will be huge
.
5. B, C, E, 3, 9, 11, 20, 43, 53, 73, 81, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 96, 97, 98A, 101, 102, 103, 201, 202 are all the bus routes that will be eliminated or terminated to the nearest rail station. TheBus will be changed from a core operation to a feeder operation. This will add a lot of inconvenience and disappointment to the people that need transit service the most.

6. Rail is high security risk. Mentally ill shooters and terrorists typically attack work, school and train station locations. Third rail systems like Honolulu's are a magnet for suicides. Train stations are a hot spot for robberies and drug trafficking.

7. Rail makes Honolulu less resilient:It is practically certain that a major storm will hit Oahu in the next 50 years. Ten miles of reversible lanes not only will reduce congestion by over 30% for one third the cost of rail, but also they will be a critical backbone for post-storm recovery. Instead rail will be incapacitated for a prolonged period and critical resources will wasted to revive it.


8. Cannot afford it. Hawaii is among the five worse states in the country in pension and health benefit funding liability. Future budgets will be very tight for the state. Outer islands should worry about their loss of big subsidies they receive from Oahu (i.e., they too will pay for it.)

9. The City already has big problems finding a few million dollars for important services. Its budgets will be crushed by the union raises, the EPA sewer consent decree and the pension liabilities. Then add the rail construction cost-overruns and bankruptcy may not be far off.

10.Out of more than 650,000 adults on Oahu only 156,000 voted YES to rail in the 2008 elections. That yielded a marginal 50.6% approval among those who bothered to vote. During elections the ratio of pro-rail lies to anti-rail information in advertising media was more than 10 to 1. Taxpayer monies were used to support rail and, indirectly, rail-supporting politicians. Calling this a "mandate" is disingenuous and the process was indeed unethical.
   
Last but not least, the aesthetics of the system are undesirable for the small, tropical capital of Honolulu. Here is just one before/after picture offered in city's renderings.

Pub's Side Note: It's the bread, Fred. Millions in Profits. Talk about forcing people and stealing money legally, this is it!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Latin Music and Dance

Yes, I keep reading about Africa and a lot of mumbo jumbo about Latin music and dance being of African descent. From a long time ago, when the first illegals arrived, the natives acquired disrespect. The Spanish ignored the advanced civilizations in Mexico and Peru. Few people even realize the professionalism that existed in those civilizations.

 
"Ven, Devorame Otra Vez" por Azucar Moreno

The negro slaves came from many different sections of Africa. They could hardly speak to each other much less have the same dances. And most were kids with a limited amount of tradition. Mainly they were able to easily observe the Indian dances. And they acquired new traditions, what else did they have? They learn to dance the Indian dances very well and they loved it. They made small changes along to way, like everywhere else, to suit themselves. Many changes were dropped and new ones acquired.


Metal Maracas have been found in archaeological digs in Mexico circa 300 AD and yet some are still writing a lot of mumbo jumbo about Maracas coming from Africa. Africa saw maracas for the first time in the 18th century. The Mayans had professional dancers and musicians. Does anyone understand what that means?

"Me Faltas Tu" by Thalia
 

Today, the Samba is still the most African-influenced style of Latin dance. Most do not even have a hint that is was 3rd or 4th generations after the arrival of the slaves in the Americas.  The native Indians had rhythms similar to the beats and pulses of other humans in the world. Today it is still used in Brazil's famous annual Carnival, and danced predominantly by blacks, but it still is a modified Indian dance.

The Samba in the US and the UK is a different Samba and it was designed by Caucasian professionals. They say it is  correct and different and we cannot disagree with them. It just ain't "da reel teeng." The Brazilian Samba - we still have to learn in the world.


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

New Kine Dancing?

Apparently some people on the mainland are picking up on the action and I have heard of it in West Oahu. It is just like street dancing only easier, because you have complete control of your DVD player and that becomes your teacher.

“Dancing is a very living art. It is essentially of the moment, although a very old art. A dancer’s art is lived while they is dancing. Nothing is left of their art except the pictures and the memories —  when their dancing days are over"

In the Waianae Coast, the Windward or the North Shore, where there are few dance studios to teach ballroom dancing and where there are too few of the dance clubs available, it becomes a necessary thing to find another way and perhaps an easier way of learning to dance.

For some reason or another, some people would like to avoid traveling long distances to learn to dance even though there is plenty of money for gas. In the Western part of this Island, no matter how you slice it, it is still "I coulda been home in twenty minutes."

"Tiny Bubbles" by Don Ho

So it can be in your own home, husband and wife with two or three couples, or in finding a District Park or a Community Center, where you can gather 10, 15 couples and take the Player with a large screen with you.

Lessons on DVDs cost less than $20 and it is a one time cost. You can loan them out and have them used by other like minded groups. The timing and rhythm can be picked up easily by concentrating and enjoying the kind of music you will be dancing to. The music is Numbah one.


Then the movements can be learned relatively easy from the DVDs and can be played over and over again. With each others help, you can all have fun learning to dance in no time. And that is the name of the game. Of course then the real trial is on the dance floor nearest you. For some, you must go to downtown Honolulu. Eventually it will be more local and you will have your own clubs, all over the Island. Can we visit with each other? It will be one of the additional benefits..

"Of the dancers, by the dancers and for the dancers"
All the dancers? Of course not, they do not all want to be
involved and we must respect.