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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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:






Steve Chang and Bob PallarinoEPA.BWS

2.Steve Chang and Bob PallarinoEPA.BWS

3.Steve Chang and Bob PallarinoEPA.BWS

4.Steve Chang and Bob PallarinoEPA.BWS

Here are the visuals from this week.

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timeline227.2.1.diagJPG 27.2.2.insidetank 27.2.3.JAN13.2014leak 27.2.4.tankcorrosionrepair 27.2.5.leak detection 27.2.6.monitor well 2 27.3.1.timeline3 27.3.2.AOC 27.3.3.BWSconsernsAOC.

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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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Somehow I omitted the diagram below in illustrating Dr. Sahtouris’s explanation of evolution from a biological perspective. And just maybe there was serendipity in that.  The core idea, is humanity like all living things, is still evolving. We find ourselves in an immature stage of the process, where competition and conflict continue to wreak havoc. If we don’t annihilate ourselves or the planet in the meantime, at some point we will evolve to a more mature phase of evolution, based on cooperation.


As you watch this octogenarian biologist, notice how much energy she has.  She has not been to an MD in 36 years.  She did go to a local healer in the Greek village she was living in after being attacked by a donkey several years ago. Her water bottle on Friday was spiked with raw turmeric, ginger and black pepper. Which I must try.  I might have had as much energy as she has when I was in my 20s.   After the show we went together to celebrate the 100th birthday of Jean Erdman Campbell.  Dr. Sahtouris said she has no intention of living to 100.

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Jean Erdman Campbell (Mrs. Joseph Campbell) photo credit: Tim Sprowls

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Once I drove six hours to attend a dance workshop with Jean. On her 100th birthday, she gave me a lei. photo credit: Tim Sprowls









Jean, a avant-garde dancer and Hawai’i native, had a kind of beatific presence.  It made me weep. Something made me go to her and touch that precious 100 year old hand. When I did, to my astonishment, she gave me one of the lei she was wearing.

After the birthday party it was on to Manoa Valley Theater for a stage performance of Harold and Maude.  At the end of the play, Maude celebrates 80 years of exuberant living by dying on her own terms.  Instantly I though how grateful I was that Elisabet Sahtouris and Jean Erdman Campbell had not made that choice.  Yet Maude’s choice I respect and admire. I haven’t had a chance to talk to my friend Lala Buzzell who played Harold’s vapid mother outstandingly, but I’m dying to know what kinds of discussions were had over the months of preparation and performance about Maude’s choice.  Why in the United States is there stigma about individuals wanting to control how and when they depart this life?

For the same immature reason we think a very few people have the right to mandate forced chemical injections into the very fragile living systems of human babies to protect the population at large– knowing that a certain percentage of them will be damaged for life or die? Yes, I’m back to Elisabet and our discussion on vaccines. Those of you who want to do the research, here is a handy site with links to Hawaii State 2016 vaccine bills. I don’t like this site’s inflammatory language, but it is handy.  In relatively few words, here’s some pretty objective reasons the bills should not pass. This information is from the linked site.

There is No Compelling State Interest. There is no public health emergency or compelling state interest that justifies forcing vaccination by violating the right to freedom of conscience and personally held sincere religious beliefs.


  • High Vaccination Rates, Low Vaccine Exemption Rates.In the 2013-2014 school year, the CDC reported[51] that an estimated 99% of kindergarten children in Hawaii had received five DTaP shots; 98.7% had received two MMR shots and 99.2% had received two varicella zoster shots, (The CDC excluded Hawaii’s rates in the 2014-2015 report[52]) The CDC also reported[52] only 754 students had religious vaccine exemptions in the whole state, giving Hawaii the distinction of having one of the highest vaccination rates in the country along with low vaccine exemption rates.



Vaccine Manufacturers Have No Civil Liability. The 1986 law partially shielded drug companies selling vaccines in the U.S.  from civil liability and, in 2011, the US Supreme Court completely [61] shielded vaccine manufacturers from liability [61] for FDA licensed and  CDC recommended vaccines. There is no product liability or accountability for pharmaceutical companies marketing federally recommended and state mandated vaccines that injure Americans or cause their death, which makes flexible medical and non-medical vaccine exemptions in vaccine policies and laws [62] the only way Americans can protect themselves and their children from vaccine risks and failures.There is No Compelling State Interest. There is no public health emergency or compelling state interest that justifies forcing vaccination by violating the right to freedom of conscience and personally held sincere religious beliefs.

From the Facebook comments it seems we are not evolved enough to have a reasonable discussion. I’m not going to waste more energy on it. I’m not going to have more children. My niece who is having babies, knows better. I’d rather spend what time I have left doing things like dancing. Maybe I’ll start planning my moonlit death scene–or at least the soundtrack. My sweetheart has his planned already, but then, he’s more evolved.





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Elisabet-SahtourisTomorrow Dr. Sahtouris joins me on Hawai’i Is My MainLand, livestreamed on Think Tech Hawaii‘s digital platform, 3pm HST.  Who knew there were SEVEN bills in the Hawai’i State Legislature for government funded vaccine programs, and some with no religious or other exemptions?

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It’s not like I could edit it anyway, but I haven’t watched this yet.  New tactic in timely posting.  A couple links you might want after watching; as promised,  here’s the  PDC sign up.   Explore the Permablitz experience, maybe?  Mathew Lynch and Hunter Heaivilin perpetrate radical goodness in many realms. Consider participating. It’s 2016, time change the climate of apathy, and connect to protect.

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