Kawaiaha‘o Church / Plans to resume construction of a $21 million multipurpose building on the grounds of historic Kawaiahao Church are meeting renewed resistance from those who say the project is circumventing the state burial law. “We need to stop this now, because if Kawaiahao, a Hawaiian church, the church of the alii, is allowed to get away with it, and condones it, it will set a precedent for every other construction project coming down the line,” says Kamuela Kalai, whose great-great grandfather, a minister ordained at the church, is buried on its grounds.
Kyo-ya Hotels & Resorts / A glance at Google Earth reveals a new problem with Kyo-ya’s plans to build a 26-story beachfront hotel/apartment building in the middle of Waikiki Beach, right next to the surf racks and police substation at Kuhio Beach Park. The problem is the tower’s morning shadow on the beach during summer months.
community / Daniela is five months pregnant and mother to Kainoa, 20 months. She works at a full-time job for the city.
Community / Prompted by a tip from a former employee who detailed the squalid conditions of the dogs at Bradley Hawaiian Puppies in Waimanalo, Last Chance for Animals (LCA), a mainland animal rights group, sent an agent to Hawaii to work undercover and surreptitiously film the “puppy mill” earlier this year. The video clearly shows animals lying in their own filth, suffering from untreated medical conditions and living in an area with a major rat infestation.
Agriculture / The Hawaii Crop Improvement Association (HCIA), a nonprofit trade association, recently announced the impressive growth of the seed industry in our state –estimated at more than $220 million and growing at a rate of 26 percent every year. Although the local seed industry represents only a small percentage of our overall acreage (only 6,000 acres), the industry’s potential longterm value has analysts pointing out that the fate of Hawaii’s agriculture industry depends upon the pace of research focusing on transgenic seeds.
Environment / The coqui frog has garnered quite a bit of attention in Hawaii during the last decade. It’s reached unprecedented numbers on the Big Island, largely because of the absence of predators and the fact that its climate is perfect for the development of what Patricia Tummons, award-winning editor of Environment Hawaii, calls “frog cities.” “As much as the noise of the coqui is a nuisance in populated areas,” says Tummons, “it’s the frog’s presence on the islands that poses a potential environmental nightmare of even greater dimensions.” In a recent newsletter, Tummons reports that a coqui infestation in Wahiawa, Oahu took nearly six years and $290,000 to eradicate.
Health / In early 2003, Patti Isaacs, a mental health clinician, and Dr. Edward Suarez, vocational services coordinator at the state’s Adult Mental Health Division (AMHD) were assigned a new and exciting responsibility — to transform a portion of land at the Hawaii State Hospital (HSH) from a wild patch of weeds to an innovative garden of exotic and Hawaiian fruits and vegetables and a nursery.
The Hawaii Foodbank / Chances are that children in your neighborhood are going hungry as you read this. And it’s likely your pantry shelves are overflowing with extra cans of pumpkin-pie filling and canned yams, while old cans of tuna and Vienna sausages are pushed to the back shelf, forgotten or saved for a rainy day.
Health / When I was about 7 years old, I accompanied my family to a neighbor’s house for dinner. As we approached the house, I heard loud barking sounds inside.
Daniel Ellsberg / In 1971, Pentagon consultant Daniel Ellsberg leaked 7,000 pages of documents on the Vietnam War to the New York Times. The documents revealed that at least two successive presidents–Kennedy and Johnson–had obscured the reality of the conflict in Vietnam and led to further erosion of the public’s support for the war and, more critically, to further erosion of the public’s confidence in government.
Frances Moore Lappé / Forty years ago, before the ideas of eating with a smaller carbon footprint and eschewing factory-farmed beef were en vogue, Frances Moore Lappé wrote Diet for a Small Planet, a book that exposed the excessive waste in the grain-fed meat industry and championed instead a plant-based diet. This book and her work since then garnered recognition around the world; Gourmet Magazine named Lappé among 25 people (including Thomas Jefferson, Upton Sinclair and Julia Child), whose work has changed the way America eats.
Environment / Most folks never gave much thought to the dams and reservoirs around the state until the waters held by the Kaloko Reservoir broke free on March 14, 2006, killing seven people and sweeping tons of sediment onto north Kauai’s reefs. In the years since, much of the discussion has focused on who was to blame for the tragedy, as well as how to ensure that the remaining structures around the state are safe.
End of Life Conference / The idea of an open conversation about death isn’t exactly trendy these days, not that it ever really was. Emily Dickinson once said, “Death is a dialogue between the spirit and the dust.” The famous novelist William Somerset Maugham said, “Death doesn’t affect the living because it hasn’t happened yet.” But maybe they were wrong.
Energy / A growing number of environmental groups are calling on the Obama administration to go for the gold—an average of 60 miles per gallon in America’s car fleet by 2025, ramping up the standards considerably from the 35.5 mpg cars will have to attain by 2016. Among the groups united in asking for 60 mpg by 2025 in a press conference last week are the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, Environment America, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the National Wildlife Federation, the Safe Climate Campaign, the Sierra Club, the Union of Concerned Scientists, and 13 others.
Politics / This should’ve been a favorable electoral year for Democrats–they were defending fewer seats in the Senate, had well-respected and entrenched incumbents facing reelection, had shown an ability to outraise Republicans in the money game and were coming off landslide victories with major gains among young voters, independents and the fast-growing non-white voter population. Now, less than two months from that election, Democrats face a cataclysm.