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Posts Tagged ‘Hawaii Is my Main Land’

“Right now we have an opportunity to get this remaining part right.” -Karl E. Kim. PhD

As Professor of Urban and Regional Planning at University of Hawai’i Mānoa, Karl Kim PhD has been looking at Hawai’i’s growth from the street level to satellite view and zooming in between for decades. I’ve been a fan of his, but didn’t actually meet Kim until I asked him to be my guest and address Mayor Caldwell’s stunning announcement last week that he is not in favor of continuing HART’s  elevated rail through Honolulu’s urban core as planned.

Whew! It was one thing years ago to contemplate a speeding chariot delivering us from O’ahu’s purgatory of automobile dependence, long commutes, and impossibly expensive housing. To actually SEE what the $2.1 billion spent so far has bought us is pretty terrifying–unless you come from a place which has already been ravaged (as opposed to enhanced) by mass transportation systems– and you think that is the inevitable consequence of “growth.”

How did your grandmother commute to school? My grandmother rode a horse from Niu to Punahou, for instance.  Apply your school transport mode to 50 years from now in Honolulu, and see where that takes you. We are paying over-the-top dollar, raised by taxes on food and medicine for even the poorest, to pay for a massive system that will be antiquated before it’s paid for.

After listening to Kim, I feel so much better about Honolulu and rail.  We really do have  m a n y  alternatives.  Let’s do our part in electing officials who will be brave and smart enough to look at the whole picture of how we actually live today, and want to live when no one can remember what an iPhone app was, instead of what can happen in a 2 or 4 year election cycle. Now is the perfect time.

Additional resources:

Civil Beat’s “What Would Honolulu Save By Pulling The Plug On Rail

Karl Kim’s essay in the Star Advertiser from 6.22.2016

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Only two months since our first show, Palaka Politics’ Millennial Evolution, Asami Kobayashi and Cameron Sato are on their way (pending fundraising) to Philadelphia as official delegates to the Democratic National Convention. We all had a great time imbedded in a steep learning curve at the State Democratic Convention last weekend. Click the link, enjoy getting to know two excited, smart and hardworking young progressive political activists. And if you can spare a little kala to help send Kobayashi to Philadelphia, click HERE.

 

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Depending on your lens, the proposed TMT on Mauna Kea is a likely-to-be-lost opportunity for western style astronomy, or another expression of the unresolved legacy of Hawai’i’s colonization seeking justice.  My guests were Camille Kalama, Staff Attorney at Native Hawaii Legal Corporation, and Dr. Julia Morgan Ph.D, Kauai Community College. Morgan’s father, Dr. Donald Morgan taught physics and astronomy at St. Mary’s University in Winona Minnesota; she grew up with, and loves science, as well as her dad.

Instead of trying to frame the discussion, I’m recommending an extraordinarily well written essay, “Maunakea, technology, and kuleana” by board members and staff of PurpleMaia.org: Donavan Kealoha, Olin Lagon, Kelsey Amos, Kamuela Enos, Nāpali Souza, Forest Frizzell, and Marion Ano.  My description of Poli’au was anemic, this is a good primer: Poliahu, Goddess of Mauna Kea.

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Camille Kalama, second from left, was one of the official legal observers on Mauna Kea.

 

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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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Just click on the arrow and watch. It’s classic Jon. We show a clip from 1982, when he and Randy Borden were playing on the grounds of ‘Iolani Palace where he and scholar/poet/athlete/daughter Jamaica will be playing tomorrow. And thanks, Jamaica, for coming up with the “Hawaiian Dumbledore” sobriquet.

Jon reflects on the gains won through steadfast commitment and sacrifice by generations of Native Hawaiian activists and their supporters. He asserts the preeminent role of artists in animating humanity to embrace the changes required for our survival. Then he shows us how it’s done, by playing beautiful music.

Join us at ‘Iolani Palace Saturday May 14th, 2016  around 1 pm to hear Jon and Jamaica muse and music.  Arrive at 11 am to get in on all the activities of the first Manu o Kū festival. Wear a nature costume. Bring a picnic, or purchase freshly baked pizza from The Garden Oven food truck. It’s one of those events you’ll still be smiling about next week, and next year.

Manu o Kū Festival

 

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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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It was a mini-reunion of our 2012 ‘Aha Hui o nā Kauka,  Kaho’olawe trip: Kim Ku’ulei Birnie of Papa Ola Lōkahi,  and Elise Dela Cruz-Talbert, an Epidemiology PhD Candidate, at UH Mānoa. In the final segment (last 15 minutes) we talked about the privilege of being there with farmer/activists like Charlie and Paul Reppun, and Vince Dodge, foodies like the Hoe ‘ohana.  For 5 days we ate delicious mostly locally sourced healthy food.  But that is not so easy back in Honolulu.  Birnie and Dela Cruz-Talbert, give sobering numbers. Especially for Native Hawaiians, poor diets mean shorter, sicker lives.
Dela Cruz-Talbert talked about the Healthy_Grindz808 Instagram account and Healthy Grindz Facebook page to help find healthy, inexpensive food. Have a favorite? Post a picture!  Have a meeting at work this week? Skip the poi malasadas and napples. Bring seasonal local fruit like lychee, rambutan, longon, or mountain apple.  If you don’t find something in your budget, a bag of “cuties” tangerines is always easy and unsalted roasted nuts are satisfying.
What was I doing on this Kaho’olawe huaka’i?  I gave a talk on eating, emotions, and self forgiveness; modifying the traditional ceremony with limu kala.  It was the first time I talked openly about dealing with an eating disorder in my teens and 20’s. Disordered eating seems to be increasing in popularity again, and will likely be a theme for a future Hawai’i is My Mainland program.
Kaui Lucas, Kim Ku'ulei Birnie, and Elise Dela Cruz-Talbert,

Kaui Lucas, Kim Ku’ulei Birnie, and Elise Dela Cruz-Talbert in the Think Tech Studio

29.1.1.Population by Ethnicity 1778-2000 (decimation) 29.1.2.Mortality rates for all causes, Kanaka Maoli vs all ethnicities 1990 29.1.3.1.Access to Healthcare 2015 29.1.3.Five leading causes of deaths among Hawaiians, 2002 29.1.5. diet-related-disease-trends-in-hawaii-the-us-and-globally-3-1024 29.1.6diet-related-disease-trends-in-hawaii-the-us-and-globally-6-1024 29.2.1.Comparison of Pre-Western, Prudent Adapted, American Diets - RK Blaisdell, 1985 29.2.2.Factors contributing to health and wellness 29.2.3.Food Access and Nutrition Strategy, NH Health Strategy Map, 2016

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Imu crew.

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Kim Birnie and mo’opuna, good health is a family affair

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The Navigator’s Chair: Paul Reppun, Dr. Noa Emmett Aluli, Kealoha Hoe, Charlie Reppun.

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Memorials for George Helm Jr. and Kimo Mitchell. If you don’t know who they are, Google them.

Picture 495Elise

Everything in moderation.

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Rene Tillich is one of those quiet currents running beneath the surface in our town; energetic juice in the emotional mycelial layer. For more than forty years, his clinic, King Kalakaua Center has been providing the space to cultivate peace and harmony at the core of people’s lives.  It is hard to be really effective out there “in the world” when home base is a battle ground or desolate wasteland.   We all know sparkle corrodes if not addressed.  Tillich gives some theory and practical stratagems for romantic rust prevention and removal. He gets into a couple of the biggies of mature relationships; infidelity and empty nests.  Enjoy this rare “public” appearance from a Harvard and Berkeley (in the 60’s!) trained octogenarian psychologist.

 

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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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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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What a show.  In yesterday’s livestream we concentrated on what is there physically, the geography of the facility (first 15 min). In the second section (15-30 min) we discuss leak history and contamination evidence.  Ernie drops a bomb describing an EPA Superfund situation I was not prepared for (start at 25:00.) In the final segment we discuss the current situation on tank repairs, usage, testing.  I was so overcome by the enormity of the situation, I misspoke.  Kākoʻo ʻŌiwi is in He’eia; the issue was runoff from Kahekili Highway, not Kamehameha Highway.

We did not get into the Administrative Order on Consent signed in 2014 which maps the political geography of the situation. That will be our focus next week.  Same time, 3pm HST. Same station, ThinkTechHawaii.com. Same hydro-hero duo, Ernest and Erwin!

I’m attaching the visuals for easy perusal. Here’s the link to Honolulu Board of Water Supply’s web page dedicated to the fuel tank/aquifer issue.

26.1.3.tank diagram 26.1.4.Red Hill tank inside 1 26.2.1.chronology1 26.2.1.Red Hill - monitor well 2 copy 26.2.2.Red Hill - inside tunnel monitor wells 26.2.3.contaminated groundwater 500ft 26.2.4.coresamples 26.3.1.2010Audit 26.3.2corrosionschematic 26.3.3.OahuMap

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