As the principals of The Descendants prepare to stroll down Oscar’s red carpet, and the 119th anniversary of Queen Liliuokalani’s overthrow is observed, a major and masterful new book about Hawaii hits the shelves. Lost Kingdom: Hawaii’s Last Queen, the Sugar Kings, and America’s First Imperial Adventure, is big, scholarly and highly readable.
With the Internet and 24-hour news networks, we have more exposure to more information than in any other time in history. Yet when it comes to environmental issues like global warming and marine plastic pollution, people still seem lost in a cluttered sea of conflicting opinions, scientific reports and urban myths.
We as a species have always grown old and died, so why is such a time-tested scenario becoming so difficult for our society to address? Today’s average caregiver, according to Colette Browne from the Center on Aging at the University of Hawaii, is a 57 year-old woman who is struggling to provide care to an elder while still working and raising her own children.
The Weekly interviewed District 1 city councilman Tom Berg back in July [see “Rail Done Right,” July 6], well before the police were called to a Waipahu Neighborhood Board meeting when he refused to stand down, and an allegedly drunken argument took place with APEC security details. At the time, it was hard not to agree with a lot of what he had to say about the rail project’s misgivings.
Q&A / Sitting on a bench outside Kahala Whole Foods, I blurt out a confession to Claire Sullivan: “I usually only eat food like Oreo Cakesters.” Sullivan, the coordinator of purchasing and public affairs for Hawaii’s Whole Foods stores, lets out an easygoing laugh. A graduate of Punahou, the London School of Economics and with a master’s degree in nature, society and environmental policy from Oxford University, she has played an instrumental role in connecting with the 250 local vendors whose products can be found in the Kahala and Kahului Whole Foods.
“Land that the [Hawaii] Supreme Court said cannot be sold will be up for these long-term leases and sweetheart deals. That seems really immoral to me.” –Marti Townsend The state is creating a new entity to spur private development of public lands through a process that, according to critics, will open the door to sweetheart deals, leaving citizens with little oversight.
Food and Farming / At the turn of the millennium, while working for the US Census, Kukui Maunakea-Forth saw the poverty of her Nanakuli-Waianae community translated into statistics as her husband, Gary Maunakea-Forth, sent 15-year-olds to McDonald’s for their first jobs through his work at City & County Workforce Development. “Superfluous of how bad the food is, to send someone there when they’re young is like a bullet in the head,” Gary recalls.
Health / In the state of Hawaii, it’s illegal for anyone other than a licensed professional, working in a professional studio, to work as a tattoo artist. There are potential health risks involved, and tattooing is an especially easy way to transmit communicable diseases–like hepatitis, HIV, HPV and tuberculosis–when proper health guidelines aren’t followed.
Development / With new developments happening all over the place–and a couple of controversial ones looming menacingly on the horizon–Oahu residents have to ask themselves: What is the limit to growth on Oahu? According to the 2010 census, 953,207 people currently reside in Honolulu County–up 8.8 percent from the year 2000.
Community / On May 17, 2011, Gov. Neil Abercrombie released his 90-Day Plan on Homelessness in Hawaii: A (surprisingly short) manifesto consisting of nine objectives “designed to provide visible, measurable and significant relief that will benefit persons who are chronically homeless.” The 90-day mark is fast approaching, as is APEC 2011.