Hawai‘i Farmers Union United, HB 667 / Local farmers met with Governor Abercrombie at his office last week to talk about food safety and the future of small farms. While recent federal reform of food safety regulations has made exceptions for some farmers, many here in Hawaii say that a bill passed out of the Hawaii legislature last month–HB 667–advantages big agribusiness over small farms and will put some families out of business.
Hawai'i Housekeepers / On June 16, 2011, a Kihei man received a life sentence for the March 12 unprovoked multiple stabbing of a 62-year-old hotel housekeeper who was cleaning his room at the WorldMark Resort in Kihei, Maui. According to MauiTime, the victim was left paralyzed and has had to re-learn how to speak, how to walk and how to sit up.
Rev. Roger Christie / With a new attorney and a delayed trial date, Hilo’s marijuana minister plans to challenge the basis of the government’s case by calling into question the Drug Enforcement Agency’s (DEA) current, allegedly disingenuous, classification of marijuana. Facing anywhere from five to 40 years in federal prison for crimes relating to the distribution of marijuana, Rev.
International Surf Day / Even when campaigns fail and change seems impossible, activists like those with the Surfrider Foundation stay optimistic enough to eventually overcome the hurdles. With about 300 chapters worldwide–from Oahu to Japan–and four chapters in Hawaii alone, the group is celebrating International Surf Day on June 20th, an event started in 2002 by Matt McClain, the marketing and communications director of the Surfrider Foundation Headquarters in California.
On a rainy January morning in downtown Honolulu, a small group of dejected homeowners met in a coffeehouse to commiserate with each other about the impending foreclosures on their family homes. Each blamed large, deceptive Mainland mortgage lenders for a variety of dishonest actions–and in some cases outright fraud–for the “wrongful” loss of their homes.
German filmmaker Werner Herzog once described auctioneering as “the last poetry possible, the poetry of capitalism.” Now and throughout the month of June, non-profit organization Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement (CNHA) and sister non-profit organization Hawaiian Way Fund (HWF) will host the Hawaiian Way Fund Benefit Native Arts Auction. But this auction won’t necessarily be the auction Herzog was harkening back to.
Chefs and Farmers Facing the Future / Perhaps the greatest conceit of the recent Chefs and Farmers Facing the Future food forum was assuming that all the participating chefs would care about food security. The premise of the forum was that they would “join the cause for a sustainable local food system,” said co-organizer Dan Nakasone.
Politics / After last week’s cover story on “Foreclosure Fraud,” distressed home loan borrowers are anxiously awaiting the reaction to Sen. Roz Baker’s 95-page legislative bill on mortgage foreclosures to be shared with the House committee on Wednesday.
Ethics / Senate Bill 249 proposes the state takeover of Oahu’s last remaining slaughterhouse in the face of its impending closure and lack of alternative private investors. Like many of the bills considered during this legislative session, SB249 will weigh heavily upon Hawaii’s local food system and determine the extent to which Hawaii will either remain dependent upon the Mainland for its food or increase its local food security through the development of a sustainable local food system infrastructure.
Roz Savage / In mid-April, British eco-adventurer Roz Savage is set to row her canoe from Fremantle, Australia, to Mumbai, India–that’s 5,000 nautical miles across the Indian Ocean. Her sleek metal canoe looks like a modern space capsule outfitted with solar panels, a computer, a GPS, a satellite phone and enough food for up to five months.
Education / How did a professor at UH-Manoa manage to help more than 1,000 kids from mostly low-income families in Hawaii save more than $115,000? In her new book, The Money Class, financial guru and TV host Suze Orman says the key to teaching children how to save money is how the information is presented.
Environment / While sailing from Hawaii to California in 1997, Capt. Charlie Moore discovered what would come to be called the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch.” In the doldrums and swirling currents of the North Pacific Gyre, Moore found a toxic soup of floating plastic debris everywhere he looked for hundreds of miles.
Health / The half-gram bottle of bath salts promises an “invigorating” and “energizing” experience. But the new designer drug, called MDPV (or “legal cocaine”) is sending an alarming number of curious teenagers and seasoned drug users to emergency rooms and mental hospitals throughout the country, according to the Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center, the poison control center for Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Colorado and Nevada.
Governemnt / The State Capitol is a mystery to many of us. Sure, the public has the ability to sit in during committee hearings, but other than that, the whole building–and what goes on behind those closed doors–is a big black hole.
Community / It’s 7:30am on a Saturday morning and Juanita Kawamoto is frying dough at the YMCA in Kailua. Using locally bought ingredients, she molds dozens of malasadas for the World Wetland Day fundraiser that will be held later that day.