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Archive for the ‘Mixed Plate’ Category

You know it’s a good one when the cameras are off but the discussion continues, out the studio, down the elevator and into the lobby. I’m thankful to New York native Michael Moskowitz for calling it like it is, and Philadelphian Randy Gonce for stepping up to the plate.

Moskowitz oh so politely articulated his observation that the influence of Asian “face saving” culture has manifested in obfuscating who votes for what. In New York, there’s NO SHAME in political debate, or the death of a bill in an honest floor fight.

There are upsides to politeness however. We all agreed Rep. Bob McDermott’s vituperative, anatomically correct but factually incorrect rant about Planned Parenthood on April 18th was a low point.  Gonce said McDermott’s passionate persecution of PP is one of the reasons he decided to run for election.

As always there are things one forgets to mention.  Both my guests mentioned that there were some spectacular conflicts of interest.  In a follow up email, Gonce wrote,”I have only ever seen a legislator call out their conflict of interest and Speaker [of the House of Representatives] say ‘no conflict’ even when there may be a clear conflict. No one has ever removed themselves or chose to not vote based on conflicts of interest.”  Let’s remember that as we communicate with candidates this election season.

Sheldon Galdiera was the Committee Clerk in Rep. Takayama's office. He devised this attaractive and useful chart for navigating the legislative gauntlet.

Sheldon Galdiera was the Committee Clerk in Rep. Takayama’s office. He devised this attractive and useful chart for navigating the legislative gauntlet.

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At long last House and Senate meet to discuss bills in conference- the last couple weeks of session. Bills will have passed through 3 votes in each chamber before they arrive here.

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The Last Conference of the 28th Legislature was in the Finance Committee. The penultimate test of legislation. The Governor’s signature is the very last hurdle.

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Click on the image above to watch video.  My bad, the visuals did not get to Think Tech’s Tech Goddess Zuri Bender in time.  But you are here, and so are they, so it’s all good!  My guests were three accomplished scientists who go above and beyond to protect airborne wildlife: Keith Swindle, Certified Wildlife Biologist with The Wildlife Society, Christine Ogura; Oahu Seabird Group and Jenny Hoskins; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Migratory Birds and Habitat Programs.  This is a crash course in migratory native birds, especially the Manu o Kū.  The festival is also celebrating the centennial of the Migratory Bird Treaties.

If you find a stranded chick, or any other native bird in distress, the number to call is  (503) 872-2715, follow link for more details on bird rehabilitation.

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Manu o Kū chick. They don’t build nests, chicks just do their best to hang on with webbed feet. Photo: Christine Ogura

Put the party at the Palace on your calendar for May 14th, 11am to 3pm.  Outstanding free music, citizen science demos, bird tours, nature costumes (all ages)  and great projects and games for kids.  Bring a picnic or grab one of Raul’s amazing brick-oven-food-truck The Garden Oven pizzas.

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Hoskins provided some great graphics to illustrate how much milage seabirds log.

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Pacific golden plovers were fitted with geolocators by Dr. Oscar Johnson. PAGP breed in Alaska. Some winter in Hawaii and that is the extent of their migration. Other individuals travel much farther, using Hawaii as a stopover on their way to islands in the South Pacific.

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The yellow and orange tracks show movements made by sooty shearwaters during migration. The blue tracks show local movements made around the breeding grounds.

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Many species of migratory birds follow one of the general flyway patterns shown on this map. There are some exceptions, as we saw on the previous two images.

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These are examples of birds found in Hawaii that are federally protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Many people are aware that birds listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act are federally protected. They may not be aware that almost all native birds are federally protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, whether they are listed under ESA or not. The complete list of birds protected under MBTA can be found by visiting http://www.fws.gov/birds, and clicking on the Laws/Legislation tab. The list of Hawaiian birds protected under MBTA can be found at http://www.fws.gov/pacificislands, by selecting the link “Celebrating 100 years of Migratory Bird Conservation” on the right side of the page.

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Rock dove (city pigeon) and cattle egret are the other all-white birds that might be found in Honolulu, which people could confuse with white terns. Terns forage at sea, so won’t be found on the ground unless they are injured or sick. They are slender and streamlined in appearance, with a sharp, bluish-black bill. Rock doves are similar in size to white terns but stockier, with a short bill, and frequently found on the ground or hotel balconies, begging for food. They can be a variety of colors – white doves are sometimes released at ceremonies like weddings. Cattle egrets roost and nest in large, noisy tree colonies, but disperse to forage. They are larger than terns, with a yellow bill, and are frequently seen on the ground hunting for rodents, fish or frogs, or other birds (like endangered waterbirds).

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None of this makes logical sense. You don’t build the world’s largest fuel storage facility 100 ft above a sole source aquifer.  Except in wartime, with no significant populated areas nearby. That was the case when these were built in the 1940’s.

Now it seems we are in a new war, over natural resources and public safety vs the Navy’s inertia.  It’s not like there aren’t alternatives. The Administrative Order on Consent (last 15 min) is supposed to look at alternatives. It’s really hard to fathom the cost of building new state of the art above ground storage tanks will be more expensive than building more monitoring wells, repairing and maintaining the tanks, implementing “new” (Watada mentions the 16 year old safety upgrades specifically designed for the tanks have yet to be implemented.)  Certainly MORE jobs would be created since in addition to building new facility/facilities we still have to deal with the clean up of toxic waste and pollution at the old one.

I found Tina Quizon’s hard hitting 15 minute interview with then (Sept 2015) Department of Health Chair Gary Gill.  While Gill tries to put a positive spin on it all, he fully corroborates the concerns of Watada and Lau.  BWS says they have formally requested that DOH share any information received from the Navy, and as we heard, that just is not happening.  Gill says several additional things equally as hair-raising as BWS.  For time reasons, we didn’t even get into the scariness of the tunnel, for instance, but Gill puts it right out there:

Tracy Burgo, the BWS Communications Officer has promised to keep me in the loop on the June meeting. A strong showing of public support for BWS’s efforts to protect our drinking water would give Dept. of Health, EPA, and the Navy a clear message that the current pace and scope of efforts is simply unacceptable. We go!

EPA 2014 leak, AOC, latest updates,  Superfund site

Department of Health,  Solid and Hazardous Waste Branch Red Hill Report.

Letters Re reduction of contaminants tested for:

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Steve Chang and Bob PallarinoEPA.BWS

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Here are the visuals from this week.

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They’re here! They are fabulous! They are the next generation rising to take their place at democracy’s table in Hawai’i.  The process of choosing delegates is far more circuitous than I had any idea of.  Cameron Sato and Elliot Van Wie do a great job of describing that in the fist section, as well as part of the second. Definitely watch the first 10 minutes if you are planning to vote Saturday the 26th in Hawai’i’s Democratic Preference Poll.

At about 26:00  Cameron Sato gives at truly unique argument for voting for Bernie, addressing head on the concerns about Sander’s age.

And yes, that is the same locally made Princess Kaiulani Fashion‘s custom mu’u mu’u I wore in the final “luau” episode of the 1994 This Old House series on my then home at Niu. And yes, the scarf is Kealopiko,  from several years ago. And no, they are not sponsoring this blog.

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SurfBernGood Friday 2016’s Hawai’i Is My MainLand livestream, will be at its usual 3pm HST.  What is un-usual, is a focus on United States of America politics and three guests: Asami Kobayashi, Cameron Sato and Elliot Van Wie. All are very active in the Hawai’i for Bernie Sanders US presidential campaign.

It is relatively easy to find out how and where to vote Saturday, March 26th, to influence the votes cast by Hawai’i’s 35 delegates to the Democratic National Convention.

It is less apparent how showing up on Saturday and voting translates to committed delegates. Elliot Van Wie, Precinct 4 President of the Democratic Party of Hawai’i will illumine!

 

 

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Katie Kamelamela, Botany PhD.

Katie Kamelamela, Na’i Aupuni ‘Aha participant, UH Manoa Botany PhD candidate

In the summer of 2012 I had the  life altering privilege of participating in the 5 day ‘Ai Pono Ola Pono (healthy eating – healthy living) Huaka’i to Kaho‘olawe Island with ‘Ahahui O Nā Kauka, a gathering of Native Hawaiian doctors, nurses, farmers and other health and food practitioners.

The purpose was to strengthen the connection between healthy local food systems and improved health and wellness outcomes for clinicians. That’s where I met Katie Kamelamela. Then a Botany graduate student at the University of Hawai‘i, Mānoa; she impressed me with her intellectual, scientific, Hawaiian cultural and physical strengths.

A couple of months ago I wrote about her remarkable profile as a Na‘i Aupuni candidate. Friday March 18th at 3pm HST on Think Tech Hawaii she and I will be talking about her experience as a participant in the recent Na‘i Aupuni ‘Aha.  Her voice is clear and compellingly holistic. Watch our livestreamed program to hear a future for Hawai‘i from a refreshing voice.

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Marti Townsend, Director of the Sierra Club of Hawai’i  has managed to keep a pretty positive spin on the legislature this season, despite the intensity. To have her debunk the punk around the East Maui Water diversion, made my day.  The new fungal plague of Rapid Ohi’a Death, however is potentially catastrophic  in ways I hadn’t thought of. For more, have a look at this 2 minute crowdfunding  video for Lyon Arboretum.

A big, Oh $#!+ moment happened at the end.  It wasn’t on our planned list of topics, but suddenly she mentioned the Navy’s leaking-into-the-aquifer-but-still-in-use 75 year old gas tanks.  Somehow because I haven’t heard about it in awhile, I thought that it had been “taken care of.”   From what Ms. Townsend told me, we have our very own Flint-cident in the making. Good thing Sen. Laura Thielen is already scheduled to be my guest on February 26th.

TGFSCH! Volunteer for one of their very hands on community events, or take a hike. As smart and serious as they are, Sierra Club members regularly manage to have good fun doing good. They are a hiking club after all.

 

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