New Hope Senior Citizen's Centre

Administration officials said Mr. Clinton went to North Korea as a private citizen, did not carry a message from Mr. Obama for Mr. Kim and had the authority to negotiate only for the women’s release.

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To most Americans, 68-year-old Don Ho is the master of Hawaiian melody, a world-famous musician widely loved for his trademark song "Tiny Bubbles." For decades, Ho has performed regularly along Honolulu's Waikiki Beach, not far from Kaneohe where he grew up. But even Ho's most loyal fans often don't know that the composer, singer, and actor was an Air Force transport pilot from 1954 to 1959. As a young lieutenant, Ho flew big, four-engined C-97 transports. Friends view him as symbolic of all the Americans who served in the Cold War years immediately after the Korean conflict. "The Korean War had just ended," Ho said in a July 19 telephone interview. "I had originally thought I might be flying jets in the fighting there, but I had an opportunity to be assigned near home at Hickam" -- the Air Force base near Honolulu -- "so I took the assignment." The Air Force assigned Ho to flying class 55-L and sent him to Mississippi and Texas for fighter pilot training. As a student pilot, he flew the T-6 Texan, T-28, and T-33 Shooting Star trainers. "The T-33 was the only fast jet I got to fly," Ho said. "The Hickam assignment meant transports, and for that I had training at West Palm Beach, Florida. Ho's airplane, the C-97, was a transport version of the B-29 Superfortress bomber. Its features included the wing, tail, and 2,200-horsepower Wright R-3350-23 Cyclone piston engines found on the B-29. The C-97 had a very different fuselage from the B-29, however -- described by aviation writer Peter M. Bowers as "double bubble." The aircraft was almost identical to the Boeing 377 Stratocruiser operated by several airliners, but had a different passenger and cargo configuration on the inside. The Pacific Division of the Military Air Transport Service operated several versions of the transport, including C-97A, C-97B, C-97D, and VC-97D. Most military people are more familiar with the KC-97 tanker version, hundreds of which were flown by the Strategic Air Command. As an Air Force C-97 pilot, Ho flew cargo all over the Pacific. In an earlier interview, he told Hickam historian Lincoln Higa, "The high points were every time we flew into Tokyo. In those days, the yen [Japanese currency] was 360 yen to a dollar." Lodging, food, and shopping were readily available to American service members at low prices. Although he wanted to stay in the Air Force and loved flying, Ho's mother was ill and wanted him home. After five years as a pilot, he began musical performances in small groups, at first strumming at a ukelele, later playing the organ. His career as an entertainer took off in 1960 when he accepted a long-term contract at Duke Kahanamoku's, a well-known night spot in Honolulu. Today, Don Ho is known to many as "Mr. Hawaii." Apart from the recording success of "Tiny Bubbles," he is often cited by business and tourism groups as one of the strongest entertainment attractions in the island state. Ho's daughter, Hoku, is now well established in a musical performing career with the MTV television network. A scrapbook of material about the Air Force and the C-97 is "one of my treasures," Ho said.

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REAL Connections Village is an exciting new membership program that Community Senior Services has developed in cooperation with local residents and organizations. Inspired by the Beacon Hill Village grassroots aging-in-place program started in Boston more than a decade ago, the program’s basic idea is that people want to remain in their homes and communities as they grow older. REAL Connections is designed to make life less complicated and more fulfilling. Neighbors helping neighbors, meaningful volunteer and social involvement, opportunities to optimize health and wellness, members- only discounted services, and so much more. As a REAL Connections member, living and aging well can be greatly enhanced by connecting with neighbors and being able to access a network of trusted resources, information and service providers—all with one phone call or email. REAL Life * REAL Choice