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Posts Tagged ‘Hawai’i is My Mainland’

“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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As wonderful as life can be in Hawai’i,  our systems of property and politics have resulted in housing becoming a luxury for too many in our community. Pastor Tim Mason of Calvary by the Sea Lutheran Church in ʻĀina Haina has been on the frontline for twelve years.  It can seem overwhelming, but through faith and a holistic approach he has found a way to keep open to helping many, cheerfully.

Angel Network Charities is one of the ways the Calvary by the Sea community directly assists. The church has other programs for emotional support.  They also have programs for environmental action.  Little wonder that it has been my church home since I was in the 2nd grade.

If you haven’t seen or read Diana Kim’s photo essay on Honolulu’s homeless, finding her father among them, it’s a beautiful example of what Pastor Tim describes in conquering fear.

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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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