Throwback Thursday: The Priory 1912

I donated a small package containing photographs and other items from St. Andrew’s Priory School this week. The photos are from the period of about 1900-1910, and most are from a small album given to my grandmother by Abby Marsh, a teacher and one-time principal of the school.

I had just handed those treasures over to staff at the school when I found a few more photos on remnant pages from another album.

I’ve always been fascinated by old photos like this. The people in them are long gone, but here in these photos they are very much alive. And while they probably exist in family memories as our grandmothers or great grandmothers, here they are kids beginning life in a Hawaii that we can only imagine.

Top photo: Seven young women in school uniforms on the stairs of a Priory building, displaying a basketball that says, “S.A.P. 1912”. Saint Andrews Priory 1912. Was this the class? The basketball team? There’s no caption to help interpret the photo.


I only have a couple of photos of my grandmother and her sister from this general period. My grandmother looked very hapa haole, while her sister looked much more Hawaiian. Are they in and of these pictures? 1912 would have been after their Priory years, but the other photos aren’t dated. So I just don’t know.

Meanwhile, here’s a happy threesome and, below, a larger group of students, dressed for the times, their identities forever a mystery.



More of the view from Kahala

The view this morning dawn from the beach along the golf course at the Waialae Country Club.

On the beach in Kahala, Honolulu, Hawaii

The sun is now coming up just after 6:30 a.m., and is moving a bit later each morning.

In two months or so, the sun won’t make its appearance until about 7:07, and that will drift later throughout January, stalling out at 7:11 a.m. before beginning the annual trek back towards summer by the end of the month.

If you’re interested in the pattern of the sunrise and sunset, you can see the full 2016 cycle here.

These are annual cycles, and slowing down enough to enjoy them helps to control the tendency to be whipsawed by the passing events of the 24-hour news cycle.

In any case, you can click on the photo to enjoy a larger version.

What islands are we seeing from Waialae Beach Park?

When we lived in Kaaawa, there was a lively debate over a number of years over what islands you could see on clear mornings.

Now that we’ve moved to the other side of Oahu, the same question has come up.

On a recent morning, the clouds lifted and it was clear enough to see other islands to the east. The question is, what were we seeing?

If you click on the photo below, you’ll see a larger version. The islands out there are just shadows against the colorful sky at dawn.

Yes, I know. Not a good photo. But all I had that morning was my iPhone. So it’s the best I could do.

What islands do we see?

My guess is as follows. At the far left, the edge of Koko Head, with the sun rising just being it. Then the low end of Molokai. In the center, Maui. What I’m not sure about is the bump on the left side. Could that be the high end of Molokai superimposed over Maui? The West Maui Mountains? I’m not sure. Then there’s a bump further to the right. Lanai?

The angle of view is different enough from what we saw in Kaaawa to leave me confused once again.

Your suggestions?

Charter Commission misstates current law on removal of police chief

Honolulu attorney Jim Wright looked at the very first proposal put forward by the Honolulu Charter Commission in the booklet mailed to voters, and saw a problem.

A significant problem, in his view.

The charter amendment would increase the powers of the Police Commission. But, Wright says, it misstates the current law, which gives the commission authority to remove the police chief “for cause”.

Last week, he emailed the commission regardingCha his concern.

The brochure explaining the proposed Charter amendments says as to Question 1:

“Present Situation: The chief of police can only be removed for continuous maladministration after being given a reasonable period to correct the maladministration.”

However the current Charter does not say that. Section 6-1603(3) provides:

This subsection shall not be construed as:

(a) Making gross or continuous maladministration the only cause sufficient for removal of a chief; or

(b) Requiring the commission to give the notice and opportunity for cure specified under this subsection when removing a chief for a cause other than gross or continuous maladministration.

I recognize that voters could read the Charter and find out what the “Present Situation” really is but it is more likely that they will rely on what the Commission distributes. However, for those who do not read English, they may have to rely on the incorrect version assuming the Ilocano, Chinese and Japanese versions contain the same information.

Am I misreading the brochure and/or the current charter? It seems to me that it would a serious problem to misinform voters on such an important issue.

Later, Wright wondered: “How does the Commission get the highest profile one wrong?”

And that is a very good question.

Bike Mom provides insightful analysis of Honolulu charter amendments

If you’re still mulling over the proposed amendments to the Honolulu City Charter, I highly recommend an analysis of each issue by Natalie Iwasa. Her analysis is posted on the website of Hawaii Advocates for Consumer Rights.

Iwasa, who has been dubbed “Bike Mom” for her strong advocacy for cycling, provides clear “Yes” or “No” recommendations on each proposal, as well as a concise analysis and political context.

For those wanting to dig deeper, a post on Iwasa’s blog (“What Natalie Thinks”) provides what you need to track each proposed amendment back to the original numbered submissions to the Honolulu Charter Commission. The proposal numbers can then be used to track any issue through the minutes of commission discussions.

Her blog also presents an excellent discussion of Charter Amendment #4, which would merge rail, bus, and the HandiVan into a single agency under the city’s Department of Transportation Services. Iwasa cites a series of important but unanswered questions, and recommends a “No” vote.

In any case thanks to Natalie Iwasa for this high quality contribution to the public’s understanding of the proposed charter amendments.