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Brief asides


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POSTED: Monday, September 07, 2009

PLAY ON

Music to their ears

Some may scoff that the Honolulu Symphony has been “;saved”; before, but the complete overhaul of the organization does bode well for its future. The reorganization includes painful across-the-board pay cuts, but also a financial infusion that finally brings the musicians' paychecks up to date. That's an especially welcome development for devoted professionals who have played on despite many seasons of fiscal uncertainty.

LABOR OF LOVE

Staying close to home this holiday

So, are Americans enjoying the fruits of their labor this holiday in some faraway, exotic land? Apparently not. Though the Labor Day weekend is traditionally the last big travel weekend of summer in the U.S., more people opted for staycations. AAA, the largest U.S. motoring organization, predicts weekend travel dropping by 13 percent from last year, a decline compounded by the fact that Labor Day falls late this year and many children have returned to school, Bloomberg News reports. Factor in joblessness and the recession and ... oh well ... gives meaning to the old adage that “;home is where the heart is.”;

COMMUNITY CARE

Great beginning for Kapolei's Kroc Community Center

Seeds of strong community spirit were planted the other day on the arid East Kapolei plain.

Salvation Army officials, lawmakers, civic leaders and children were among those on hand Thursday to break ground for the Ray and Joan Kroc Community Center. With construction to start in February, the center is expected to serve at least 2,000 people daily when it opens in summer 2011. The grand plans include a resource and multipurpose center, performing arts center, athletic center with an NCAA-size gym, an early education center, aquatic center and park.

As a condition of the $110 million capital and endowment grant from the late Joan Kroc, Hawaii needed to raise money to help sustain the center; a $23 million goal is almost reached. Brilliant. Such foresight should help ensure that things stay on track and that the center doesn't fall victim to the budgetary disrepair that sometimes plagues community facilities.