Sunday, December 7, 2008
We really need to do this for the next election on the county coucil because what we have now is killing Maui. Please encourage the people that you support to run again. Write letters and spread awareness.
Here is my paper on Howden, hopefully he runs the next time around and we all go a support the "good" candidates. Mahalo Annjulie
Malama Aina Says a Country Man
A true country man has emerged in the 2008 political arena, aiming for the Maui County Council seat for Upcountry Maui. I first learned of Michael Howden at the water rights hearings when he gave public testimony in September of 2008. As soon as I heard his honest and compassionate view on this critical subject of reinstated water flow to our streams I was hooked. For me, this subject is a no-brainer and Michael Howden nailed it down immediately! This was my introduction to the political candidates running for Maui positions and the County Council. I wanted to find out more about all the candidates, I realized that if I wanted to make a difference in our future I needed to research and vote for candidates that supported my views. Water is the life line for all of us including the natural habitat and just about everything on this island from the summit of Haleakala to the reef in Keanae. Anyone that has the ability, determination, and patience to accomplish this goal has all my support.
I chose to start my research with Michael Howden because I was touched by his public testimony, he has lived in the rural area of Kaupo, and shares the same views that I have been raised with and believe in. According to his website, he stated “To build community we need to return certain rights to our communities. Without homes, without access to enough land and water to care for our families, we are essentially dispossessed”. When I first heard Michael speak about the “‘aina” (land), “wai” (water), and “ahupuaa” (land devision) I could feel his passion and sense of urgency on the issue (Pukui and Elbert 7, 142, & 6). And according to The Maui News Candidate Profile 2008, how we are “defined by our relation to ‘aina, and how we receive nourishment from it. And without access to the tremendous reservoir of public trust waters, it may be near impossible to develop subsistence agricultures throughout the County of Maui”, I could not agree more. When you have lived in the country off of the land, and where the water is scarce you learn about harmony, efficiency and sustainable living together with the environment or you do not survive. Here are the fact box stats on Howden, according to The Maui News: October 11, 2008.
Name: Michael S. Howden: Office: County Council, Upcountry residency Residence: Kula. Occupation: Acupuncture/Permaculture Design Education: M.A., Johns Hopkins University B.A., Middlebury College. Family: married, 1 child. Service organizations: Board Member, Maui Tomorrow Foundation Kaho'olawe, Revegetation Projects Coaching: AYSO/HYSA, Basketball, Baseball Legal Aid Society, Client Community Council. Boards: Member, Maui County Board of Water Supply Chair, Hawai'i State Board of Acupuncture. Business: interests: Owner, Permaculture Maui, Owner, Michael S. Howden Acupuncture. Contact info: e-mail: email@example.com phone: 876-1551/878-3878 hm.fax: c/o Kula Clinic, 876-4332 cell: (largely unused) 385-0383.
In conducting my research of Michael Howden I found that he does not have the political experience that his opposition does. Incumbent Gladys Baisa has held the seat since 2006 and has an enormous portfolio to contend with. Also, Howden is focused on the water issues concerning Maui, past that he is in support of renewable and sustainable energy, creating jobs and diversified agriculture, and affordable housing. I agree with everything that I have researched on Howden, but I am concerned about the lack of experience and the lack of attention on many other issues that Maui and the community are currently faced with.
In researching the opponent Gladys Baisa, I found that she and Michael Howden agree on some of the same issues of “the water crisis”, creating new jobs and renewable energy, affordable housing, and education. They disagree however, on the methods of addressing these critical issues. Baisa is for drilling wells, desalinization, large developments like Wailea 670 for instance and Howden does not support this kind of development at all. I agree that she has done a decent job thus far and definitely has the most experience out of the two. Baisa has been a successful business woman with Maui Economic Opportunity Inc. executive director (retired) The Maui News Candidate Profile 2008 and a list of numerous accomplishments within our Maui community that is quiet impressive to say the least. When asked “Why are you running?” by The Honolulu Advertiser, this was her response: “To continue to try to address the serious social and economic issues facing Maui County. I did this in my previous job, building a tiny organization into a large, viable one providing many valued services. I believe I have the leadership, communication, and team building skills to do this.”
Last week my entire class went to a candidate forum where we were able to ask our own questions and learn more about each candidate. It was at this forum that I was again impressed with Michael Howden and what he had to say. I feel that Michael Howden best represents my views and will do the best job out of passion and commitment to care for our precious ‘aina. This was Howdens response to the same question given to Baisa from The Honolulu Advertiser. “Why are you running for office?” “I feel a certain impatience with the overall lack of relevance of politics as it is presently practiced, to our everyday needs and expectations. As delicate island ecology, we cannot continue to poison our soils and waters; neither can we wholly rely on food markets thousands of miles distant from our islands. We must return all public trust waters to our communities”.
I just agree with Michael Howden and the core issues on a deeper level than I do with incumbent Gladys Baisa. Howden is endorsed by The Sierra Club, Maui and I feel that Howden is the best candidate for the job and that Maui needs more politicians like Michael Howden who want to protect the precious resources and environment versus those who care more about money, development, special interests and exploiting Maui until it is too late. We need people in our government who think like “we the makaainana” (commoners & protector/caretakers of the land) (Pukui and Elbert 90). We need to take back the government and give it back to the people, common folks like Michael Howden who “malama” (care for) the ‘aina (Pukui and Elbert 92).
Gladys Coelho Baisa Maui County Council Upcountry Seat. 27 Oct. 2008 http://www.gladysbaisa.com/.
Elect Michael Howden Maui County Council. 27 Oct. 2008 http://michaelhowden.org/.
“Hawaii Elections 2008.” The Honolulu Advertiser 27 Oct. 2008 http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/.
“The Maui News Candidate Profile 2008.” The Maui News 27 Oct. 2008 http://www.mauinews.com/.
Pukui, Mary Kawena, and Smuel H. Elbert. New Pocket Hawaiian Dictionary: With A Concise Grammer and Given Names in Hawaiian. Honolulu: University of Hawaii 1992.
I commend Kai and Angie for the efforts to help and save the beach that I grew up on every summer for 15 years of my childhood. I wish that everyone in public office had the intelligence of these women, and not to forget JoAnn Johnson and Michelle Anderson who both voted "NO" on the rezoning. The yes vote that the other council members gave is a complete disgrace to our people, our aina, our native species and our island way of life. I am going to testify on Tuesday and let Gladys Baisa and the other council members know how I feel about their poor decision to vote yes on rezoning. Why people vote the same kooks back into office and expect change? I just do not understand!! Also if they wanted to create jobs why not make the area a protected place, including the cultural and archaeological sites creating a sustainable and beautiful area to visit for generations to come. Make it a place where tourists could come and walk about, enjoy, learn and preserve all the area. Make a park/native garden/wet land and habitat area and cultural learning center that would Cherish the special place of Makena???? Why not??? you could generate long term sustainability and jobs in maintaining and education relating to the area. I know that in the long run tourist and local people alike would rather have an option like this instead of ruining the area for one more huge development and destroying it forever!!!!
Please go and testify if you can because together we can save Makena Beach for our children to enjoy. Go get the facts if you are unsure about the issue http://www.savemakena.org/
Here is another letter to the editor from the Maui News: http://www.mauinews.com/page/content.detail/id/512145.html?nav=18
Makena Resort plans can be viewed online
POSTED: December 7, 2008
Email: "Makena Resort plans can be viewed online"
I recommend everyone look at Dowling's plans for Makena Resort online at petersoneconomics.com /recent/makena. Plans call for demolishing the Maui Prince and repositioning the entire 1,800 acres of Makena Resort as a second-home, ultra-luxury condo community with prices averaging more than $2,100 per square foot. Heights will reach four stories if they get their rezoning. This level of development will overwhelm already limited public parking and beach access for local people all over Makena.
Based on what I have seen at the first phase "Maluaka" site by the Maui Prince, I think we can expect large scale bulldozing and earthmoving to create scenes of total destruction and runoff throughout Makena. There are YouTube videos showing the runoff from Maluaka.
This is definitely a "You don't know what you've got till it's gone" situation. The community needs to pull together now and get involved at SaveMakena.org.
There are so many letters in support of saving Makena but if we do not go and testify the politicians will have their way and ruin the aina forever. Please help out and do whatever you can to save the last big public beach without developement on it. Please write letters, testify and become an activist for the good of Maui and the aina. Malama Makena because the Maui County Council members do not give a rip about Makena,native Hawaiian or not!!!
ps: I read a letter to the editor from Angie about Wayne Nashiki and the loan from Dowling. It was in last weeks Maui News and I thought it was really well said and related to the issues not the drama.
Born and raised on Molokai, sixty-two year old Walter Ritte Jr. has been laying the foundation, awakening Hawaiian activism, and building a new Hawaiian nation one person at a time. Walter got involved with Hawaiian rights issues and started taking a stand in 1975. Being an avid hunter and fisherman since his childhood, it was only natural that he would begin his journey of Hawaiian activism by forming a group of Hawaiians, young and old alike that began to question access, boundaries, and issues of trespassing. The marches and protesting worked, land owners opened roads and access to the north and south side of Moloka’i that had been closed, fenced, or blocked off for the past 100 years. Walter and the group called Hui Alaloa “group of the long trail” kindled the blaze of fires concerning Hawaiian rights issues to follow. “This started a whole trend, statewide, that had a major impact on Hawaiians. Everybody started asking, ‘What the hell is this Hawaiian rights stuff?’” As quoted by Walter Ritte. (qtd. in Sanburn 66).
For the past thirty years Walter has been defending a subsistence fishing/farming/hunting lifestyle, a true maka’ainana. He has stood up against the United States Government regarding bombing on Kaho’olawe. Walter has been an advocate and leader in taking a stand and spreading awareness concerning the University of Hawaii’s research and on genetically modified organisms with taro and other crops. He is an active defender of the land against big developers and politicians in efforts to save La’au Point on Moloka’i, as well as other development issues on the friendly Isl.
Forming Hui Alaloa was just the beginning for Ritte’s crusade in Hawaiian activism. Next, Walter at age thirty was caught trespassing on Kaho’olawe in January of 1976. In an effort to stop the bombing, Walter occupied Kaho’olawe four times and landed in prison, dominating the local news. He used his high profile status to campaign for the “Hawaiian package” of amendments to the Hawaii state Constitution in 1978, which affirmed traditional native Hawaiian religious, gathering and access rights, and created the Office of Hawaiian Affairs (Sanburn 71). Walter was involved with a string of legal and political issues for years to come.
Reviving the Hawaiian way of life and restoring ancient fish ponds on Moloka’i has been a focus for Walter for the past ten years. His re-emergence to the political arena and Hawaiian activism has progressed in stages. In 2003, Ritte led a successful campaign to stop the big cruise ships from landing on Moloka’i. Walter’s current projects include saving La’au Point on the south end of Moloka’i and halting the research and patent of genetically modified organisms relating to taro.
Walter became involved with spreading awareness on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in 2005, by leading protest demonstrations against Monsanto Hawaiian Research located on Moloka’i, this according to the Maui News article “GMO activists march at meeting site.” In the spring of 2006, Ritte, and hundreds of fellow demonstrators got into a confrontation with the University of Hawaii; they were protesting work on the genetic modification and patenting of taro. Hawaiians won and the University of Hawaii dropped their patent. Taro or Haloa is the first ancestor of all Hawaiian people in the Hawaiian cosmogony. “Basically, we contributed to the global debate about owning life forms,” Ritte says. “We just gave the argument an understandable Hawaiian vision, to make it clearer. The Kaona of the taro fight is that you can’t own life forms, because you’re not God. If you understand the Hawaiian point of view, then maybe you understand why life forms can’t be owned.” (qtd. in Sanburn 72). Now, one year later, farmers, students, and native Hawaiian activists are still protesting at the state Capitol to urge lawmakers to hold a hearing on a Senate bill that would ban research and cultivation of genetically engineered taro. In a heated discussion in the Capitol courtyard, activist Walter Ritte, yelled “This is not about research. This is about changing the genes of our ancestors. That’s what this is about.” (qtd. in Bernardo).These quotes were taken from the Honolulu Start Bulletin article “Critics raise voices for the bill to be heard.” By Rosemary Bernardo.
“In order for the activists to come to a split,” Ritte told a Maui newspaper, “people have to be tired of fighting. I’m tired of fighting, too, but you cannot give up your heart and soul because you are tired.” (qtd. in Sanburn 70). What’s next for Walter Ritte? “I’m going to build our nation,” he says firmly. “We have to build it one person at a time.” (qtd. in Sanburn 73).
This was a paper that I did to help back up my stand against GMO in Hawaii. Mahalo Annjulie
Bernardo, Rosemary. “Critics raise voices for bill to be heard.” Starbulletin.com 31 Mar. 2007. 5 Apr.
“GMO activists march at meeting site.” The Maui News 4 Nov. 2005. 3 Apr. 2007 http://homepage.mac.com/juanwilson/islandbreath/%20Year%202005/a05-19-farming/0519....
Sanburn, Curt “A Road Less Taken.” Hana Hou: The Magazine of Hawaiian Airlines
Feb/Mar. 2007: 64-73.
WHAT ARE GENETICALLY MODIFIED ORGANISMS
It is important for our future to say no to GMOs, genetically modified organisms. Genetically modified organisms are produced by splicing and inserting the genetic material from one species into the DNA of another. Large biotech corporations are changing the nature of nature, patenting and owning life forms, and changing the world as we know it. Biotechnology is a vital issue that impacts all of us, the environment, the plants, the animals, and our planet.
Largely between 1997 and 1999, gene-modified ingredients suddenly appeared in two-thirds of all US processed foods. This food alteration was fueled by a single Supreme Court ruling. It allowed, for the first time, the patenting of life forms for commercialization (Batalion 3). I am unsure that mainstream Americans are ready to face the truth or handle the reality of a GMO future.
Never in a million years would nature cross a papaya with a rat; we should not be eating this, nor breathing the pollens from this. Evidence on studies that have been done lead us to believe that contact with pollens emitted from genetically modified fields can harm our lungs, cause vomiting, disorientation, and learning disabilities—especially in children. These are just a few health risks and hazards that we are learning about. The truth is that GM foods have been released into production without any sound research or studies on effects to humans, animals and most importantly, the bees regarding pollination. Richard Lacey at Leeds University says, “The fact is, it is virtually impossible to even conceive of a testing procedure to assess the health effects of genetically engineered foods when introduced into the food chain, nor is there any valid nutritional or public interest reason for their introduction” (Batalion 57).
There should be enormous public interest, and I think that there would be if the general public was aware of GMOs and how they work. This quote by Nathan Batalion really sums up the enormity of GMOs on the world scale, “We are confronted with what is undoubtedly the single most potent technology the world has ever known – more powerful even than atomic energy. Yet it is being released throughout our environment and deployed with superficial or no risk assessments – as if no one needs to worry an iota about its unparalleled powers to harm life as we know it – and for all future generations” (Batalion 2).
HEALTH CONCERNS & SUSTAINABILITY
Some important information to be aware of regarding GMOs is that the seeds that have been modified do not continue on. Basically, they are like a mutant and they cannot sustain themselves; they do not produce a seed that will reproduce correctly. The seeds are also made to be “roundup ready”, meaning that you can spray roundup directly on genetically modified plants and they will not die. Because of this, we are facing new super-strain weeds that have built up a resistance to roundup; therefore, farmers would need to use stronger and potentially more dangerous pesticides on these new super-strain weeds. Who knows what the future holds? The sad truth is that no one really knows. We need more studies done, and we need them right away. A lot of the GM food plants, such as corn, have toxins that kill the bugs and insects that eat them. Because of this, we are facing new threats and dangers to our bee population nation-wide.
Now, all of our honey bees in our nation are mysteriously dying. Some say that it could be related to the Bt corn pollen (Bt is a toxin that kills the insects that eat it) found in GMO corn plants that are now produced across the U.S. by the thousands of acres (Teitel and Wilson 26). Einstein once said: “If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, then man would only have four years of life left. No more bees, no more animals, no more man” (Qtd. By Noonan in the Haleakala Times). Our nation needs to wake up, take notice and take a stand. Our life, health and planet depend on it.
BECOME ACTIVE & SPREAD AWARNESS
Long time Hawaiian activist Walter Ritte became involved with spreading awareness on genetically modified organisms in 2005 by leading protest demonstrations against Monsanto Corporation (our nations largest GMO seed producer) Hawaiian Research located on Moloka’i, according to The Maui News article “GMO Activists March at Meeting Site.” In the spring of 2006, Ritte and hundreds of fellow demonstrators got into a confrontation with the University of Hawai’i; they were protesting work on the genetic modification and patenting of taro. Hawaiians won, and the University of Hawai’i dropped their patent. Taro or Haloa is the first ancestor of all Hawaiian people in the Hawaiian cosmogony. “Basically, we contributed to the global debate about owning life forms,” Ritte says. “We just gave the argument an understandable Hawaiian vision, to make it clearer. The kaona (secondary or hidden meaning) of the taro fight is that you can’t own life forms because you’re not God. If you understand the Hawaiian point of view, then maybe you understand why life forms can’t be owned” (Sanburn). Now, three years later, farmers, students, and native Hawaiian activists are still protesting at the state Capitol to urge lawmakers to hold a hearing on a Senate bill that would ban research and cultivation of genetically engineered taro. “In a heated discussion in the Capitol courtyard, activist Walter Ritte yelled ‘This is not about research. This is about changing the genes of our ancestors. That’s what this is about’” (Bernardo). “In order for the activists to come to a split,” Ritte told a Maui newspaper, “people have to be tired of fighting. I’m tired of fighting, too, but you cannot give up your heart and soul because you are tired” (Sanburn). What’s next for Walter Ritte? “I’m going to build our nation,” he says firmly. “We have to build it one person at a time” (Sanburn). Walter Ritte is one of our many inspirational activists that has and still does impact Hawai’i continually by taking a stand.
CREATE A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE: GO ORGANIC
Ono Organic Fruit Farm, located in Kipahulu, has also impacted Hawai’i and Maui County in particular, in a very positive way. They are one of only two (Kumu Farms on Moloka’i is the other) completely certified organic farm left in Hawaii, meaning that they are GMO free. To be “certified” organic you must be GMO and pesticide free. Ono Farms is currently one of the leaders as far as educating Maui County and the general public of Hawaii on the ill effects of GMOs. Chuck Boerner, owner of Ono Organic Fruit Farm, has made it his goal to designate Maui County as a GMO-free place. He says, “You can have Big Island and Oahu. It’s pretty much too late for them, but not Maui County. You can’t have it. I will fight to the end, until I have my way.” He also told me that if anyone is interested in acquiring “GMO free” papaya seeds “Come and purchase seeds from me. I am bagging my flowers to help insure that our seeds remain GMO free from cross pollination from the bees.” There is plenty evidence, now becoming available, to back up his claims on the ill effects and harmful impacts of GMOs. Ono Farms has also taken action to ensure that Kipahulu is a completely GMO free zone, and this is currently the only GMO free zone in the entire state of Hawaii.
Chuck and his wife Lilly both agree and state that we need more studies done on the impacts of GMOs, “We do not have enough information and our health is being compromised. In fact, we as a nation are being used as guinea pigs” and that is certainly scary. Countries like New Zealand, Japan, Europe, Australia, Argentina, and Venezuela all refuse any GMO foods and products and have strict regulations against them. Only here in the United States, the government keeps us in the dark. We are being fed GMO products every day, and most of us are unaware of it. Right now, the US is feeding GMO foods to our people without proper studies on harmful effects and impacts related to GMOs. I think that most of us would want to know that the papayas we are eating are crossed with the DNA genes of a rat and that corn and soy are crossed with a scorpion. All non-organic dairy products contain the growth hormone rbGH (bovine growth hormone), which is genetically modified by Monsanto Corporation. Most of all commercially produced food products contain GM food. For example, all corn and soy products, cereal, oil, corn syrup and sweeteners, corn flour, soy milk, tofu, mayonnaise and many others are made from GM food products. All of these products, for the most part, are genetically modified unless they are “certified organic”, and even then, it is becoming harder to ensure that organic farms remain organic due to cross pollination with GMO modified fields.
One way to reduce our intake of GM foods is to buy and grow organic food. Also, we must insist that our labels on products containing GM foods be made public. We have a right to know what we are eating. It should be mandatory for the producers of GM foods to put labeling on their product.
I feel a deep sense of pride in myself, and my family, Chuck and Lilly Boerner, for taking a stand and guarding our island way of life. If we are to prosper and be healthy, we need a sustainable future for ourselves today, and for the children and the future generations to come. Organic farming and living is the key to our future. It is sustainable, clean, renewable, and it benefits our islands and our world. We as individuals, families, communities, islands and nations must become as one and unite. We must take a stand; our life, our species and our earth depends on it.
Here is a clip from youtube that is from when Walter and company locked the UH board of regents last year to get the message accross for hearings on GMOs. I am having trouble to post youtube clips but go visit.
Batalion, Nathan. 50 Harmful Effects of Genetically Modified Foods. Americans for Safe Food: 2000.
18 Apr. 2007 http://www.cqs.com/50harm.htm
Bernardo, Rosemary. “Critics raise voices for bill to be heard.” Starbulletin.com 31 Mar. 2007. 5 Apr.
Boerner, Chuck & Lilly. Personal interview. 10 Apr.2007
“GMO activists march at meeting site.” The Maui News 4 Nov. 2005. 3 Apr. 2007 http://homepage.mac.com/juanwilson/islandbreath/%20Year%202005/a05-19-farming/0519....
Sanburn, Curt. “A Road Less Taken.” Hana Hou! The Magazine of Hawaiian Airlines
Feb/Mar. 2007: 64-73.
Teitel, Martin., and Kimberly A. Wilson. Genetically Engineered Food, Changing the Nature of Nature,
What You Need to Know to Protect Yourself, Your family, and our Planet. Vermont: Park Street
Press, 1999, 2001.
This was a research and take a stand paper that I did last year. I wanted to post it because it affects all of us and I believe that spreading awareness is important. Mahalo Annjulie
Monday, November 24, 2008
While reading the classifieds I was totally shocked to see that there are virtually "no jobs" available out there! It is very depressing as well as hard to deal with. In the restaurant want adds there was only two jobs...can you believe this? If I did not read it myself I would not believe it. Also if you turn the page and go to "autos for sale" there is like a hundred all with fancy color photos....so sad people just desperate to sell the cars...everyone seems to be more frugal and careful about spending what little money we have, these are the hardest times since 9/11 and I have a feeling that it will last much longer. The money flow has dried up everywhere I look.
I think that we all need to be careful and plan for the future hardships that will last for awhile. There is some good and hope for the future....gas has dropped drastically, hopefully food will start to drop as well, airlines should also lower fares, rents have started to decrease and rentals are abundant right now. I have to think positive because the reality of it all is so hard to swallow.
We all have to be aware of what we have and protect our money and valuables. Two weeks ago I thought that I had lost $160 dollars (I do not loose $) and it was devastating. I tried to think how and where I lost it and so on, anyway on Saturday morning two weeks later when I went to my wallet all my money was gone! So now I knew that I had been ripped off...$410 in two weeks...very devastating, hard to function....I have a locked 6 foot fence but that did not stop someone from going into my truck while I was sleeping 20 feet away. I thought it must be someone I know or is it the construction workers that have been next door for the past month? I am not sure but they did not take my Maui Jems or camera or cards etcetera but they came twice and cleaned me out for all my hard earned cash. Not to go on and on about my problems I just wanted to state that times are tough and for someone to come into my place and steal from my truck is pretty dam braisen and desperate. The future will be even harder with the holidays and so on so I just want people to know that you need to be extra careful because there are so many desperate right people right now. Lock your stuff up its not the "good old days" anymore.
Jobs are at an all-time low right now across the country and it is not expected to get any better until 2010 according to all the news shows. Spending is nearly at a stand-still. Tourism is way down (I like this accept seeing friends out of work). I went to Walmart to see how it was cause I have not been there in months....It was packed, especially the returns, I had to wait nearly half an hour to make a return. I was actually surprised how many people were shopping like "no worries" for the future? Obviously some people here have plenty money!
I just think that for the average working student person like myself we need to plan ahead, spend wisely if at all and we all need to start working towards sustainability in all ways that are possible. Such as planting a garden (even small pots with food) my anty turned her 1/2 acre house lot perimeter into a huge producing garden that feeds like 10 people a week every day for veggies and salad, taro and sweet potatoes, squash...tons of good stuff. We can also go back to the old style of trade and barter of goods and work, it just makes sense. I like the community gardens idea as well this is a great concept that works and promotes sustainable communities and living off of the land. We can also hunt for some of our food as well (I have 20 lbs of pork and deer meat in the freezer), plus it is wild organic meat which is the healthiest meat you can eat.
The only area of our economy that is growing and moving ahead is in sustainable and green living. The foreign auto industry is actually expanding there plant to produce more hybrid autos. Also I read in The Maui News that there are a few companies on Maui that are doing alright and have plans to expand and are not laying people off. One is Pacific Biodiesel who are in fact going to open a plant in Alaska. Bottom line is that to get through these trying times we all need to work towards sustainability and being a green nation.
This according to todays Maui News:
Report: Fewer Maui visitors, less spendingTourism downward trend continues; Oct. visits to county drop by 20.5%
By HARRY EAGAR, Staff Writer
Email: "Report: Fewer Maui visitors, less spending" *To: <--TO Email REQUIRED! *From: <--FROM Email REQUIRED!
Visits to Maui County were down by 20.5 percent to only 159,053 in October, according to the Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism.
Because the decline didn't start until May, the year-to-date visitor count is down less, 14.3 percent to 1,777,780.
Those who came spent less, $2 less per person per day, for an average of $189.
State Tourism Liaison Marsha Wienert said: "The national and global economic conditions continue to affect the visitor industry statewide."
On a visit to Maui earlier this month, Wienert had predicted October would be the worst month this year, but she also said there could be worse months in 2009. Economic forecasts from business, academia and DBEDT itself foresee little recovery next year.
There were a total of only 41 jobs in the entire section of the classifieds. It is sad but tome the state needs to focus on sustainability and create more jobs in this area. The possibilities are endless in this area.
According to The Honolulu Advertiser a man and woman were robbed of wallet and car while stopped on the road. Also last week my sister who lives in Hawaii Kai was unloading her car of groceries and when she went for her second load someone had stolen her purse with money, license, and car keys which they used to steal the car a week later. This was in broad day-light. Just a sign of the times to come.
Ref: The Maui News, The Honolulu Advertiser, ABC News.
Monday, November 17, 2008
Everywhere I look on the island I see invasive species taking over and choking out the fragile native and endemic species. It is an epidemic reaching from the top of the mountain all the way to the reef. The sight and statistics of the non-natives here are staggering....just take a drive to Hana and you can see the destruction of these aggressive foreigners mile after mile. It is so depressing to me to see this problem getting worse year after year that I can hardly write about it.
Most of these species arrive here by accident in luggage, shoes, cargo, plant material, floral material, food products or as hitchhikers, but sadly some are actually brought here or introduced on purpose; then years later are found to be killers to the native species. Glycine clover vine for the cattle released into Ulupalakua has run wild and now threatens the rainforest in Makaalae & Hana area. I do not think that we can eradicate this vine even if we tried, but we should try to do something to stop the spread of this plant and other species like it (miconia, and many others). There are so many species that are threatening the native habitat that I can't even count. It is not just plants, there are threats from every angle.
There are literally dozens of these invasives all over the island and I think that our state needs to step up to the plate and do a lot more than is currently being done...it is not enough! There are some concerned groups, leaders, and people that are dedicating their life to help the severe problems relating to this issue. People like Art Medeiros, coordinator of the Leeward Haleakala Watershed Restoration Partnership that are really dedicated and trying desperately to make a difference in this enormous problem that the entire state is faced with. I think that we should access the problem plants that are already here and then form a plan to deal with the most destructive right away. Then go on from there. According to this opinion sent by Art to the Maui News, he says that we should import safe insects to deal with the strawberry guava from Brazil or we may not have our mighty Koa tree in the watershed anymore. Strawberry guava grow much faster than the koa and choke out all the space. They spread extremely fast and from what Art said the imported insect would only attack the strawberry guava and in fact it will not kill the guava but just slow down the growth so that the koa would have a chance to re-establish itself in the forest and populate at a faster rate than it can now fighting for survival with the strawberry guava.
Basically our ecosystems are sick, endangered, and under attack. We need to malama them now, while there is still a chance for the fragile endemics to survive. There are many ways that we all can help out the 'aina and protect the SPECIAL, RARE, SPECIES of Hawaii.
Number one is to spread awareness and educate visitors and the public as to the problem and what to do or help. Next is to create and enforce an assessment-risk-plan for new material being brought into the state. Next create and enforce strict laws and policy to protect the fragile native species that are left alive now! In the past Hawaii would get a new species every 35,000 years or so on their own, now it is about 1-2 new species per month....think about that!!! I am sure that you are aware of the problems, but most of the public here do not have a clue. People bring in new plants all the time and do not think twice as to the impact that could further destroy our beautiful environment. I think that most people if educated would do what they can to help and spread awareness. I do what I can whenever possible, by volunteering, educating others and myself and being conscious to the problem. There are several websites that are of great help for anyone interested in helping or becoming informed.
This information according to one of my favorite websites http://www.hear.org/
The invasive species problem in Hawaii:
The silent invasion of Hawai'i by insects, disease organisms, snakes, weeds, and other pests is the single greatest threat to Hawaii's economy and natural environment and to the health and lifestyle of Hawaii's people. Pests already cause millions of dollars in crop losses, the extinction of native species, the destruction of native forests, and the spread of disease. But many more harmful pests now threaten to invade Hawai'i and wreak further damage. Even one new pest--like the brown tree snake--could forever change the character of our islands. Stopping the influx of new pests and containing their spread is essential to Hawaii's future well-being.
Despite the efforts of more than 20 state, federal, and private agencies, unwanted alien pests are entering Hawai'i at an alarming rate - about 2 million times more rapid than the natural rate. In 1993, the federal Office of Technology Assessment declared Hawaii's alien pest species problem the worst in the nation. Hawaii's evolutionary isolation from the continents, and its modern role as the commercial hub of the Pacific make these islands particularly vulnerable to destruction by alien pests. Gaps in current pest prevention systems and a lack of public awareness add further to this serious problem.
You can also go to MISC or Hawaii invasive species committee to learn more. The website is http://www.hawaiiinvasivespecies.org/iscs/misc/
Also I encourage everyone to go out and volunteer, learn, and get involved. Go to Haleakala National Park and see the beauty, and learn, go to a NARS (Natural Area Refuge Systems) wildlife reserve. These places are protected and you can see the beauty all around. Also go to Maui Nui Botanical Gardens and enjoy!!! We have many species that only occur here in the whole world.....think about it.....That is special and needs protection and care from all of us who live in this gorgeous Hawaii. http://www.fws.gov/refuges/ and http://www.mnbg.org/home.html These websites have volunteer info and great links.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Our own Health Officer Dr. Lorin Pang will gladly come and speak about the ill effects of GMOs and he has the DATA to back-up his statements. He can only make comments as a "educated and concerned citizen" because the State position he holds does not allow for him to comment negatively about GMOs---How corrupt is that? Our own Health Officer is not allowed to state the dangers relating to GMOs and that is appalling, also that we as citizens and a community do not stand up to this unjust and mandate laws relating to GMO test fields in our state. We are the largest GMO open field testing area in the world....YIKES! This from another blogspot: http://kauaielectric.blogspot.com/2008/02/musings-passing-buck.html (check it out, interesting brief read)
Getting back to the current Big Island issue, I was almost shocked when I heard that Mayor Harry Kim had placed a veto on the recent unanimous vote to ban GMO of coffee and taro; then I remembered hey, this is just another corrupt politician doing his job---RIGHT? Anyway, I was happy to read in The Maui News that: "A ban on the growing of genetically modified taro and coffee went into effect on the Big Island when the Hawaii County Council voted to override a veto by Mayor Harry Kim". The vote was again unanimous after hearing more public testimony (over 5 hours) from about 100 people on Thursday. The article is from Sat. Nov. 15, page A4. Kim stated that "Hawaii has an obligation to help feed the world through the testing of genetically modified organisms". This is his argument? jeopardize Hawaii, the people, and environment, changing the genes of ones ancestor to "possibly" help world hunger? This statement makes no sense at all and just shows the true colors of another money and greed driven politician. I say people unite, fight and take back our government....enough is enough....we must stand up and fight for what we want and believe in otherwise the politicians do whatever they please. Kahea is a great website to visit and keep updated on issues relating to the protection of Hawaii and species and environment. Plaese visit. Mahalo Annjulie
References: The Maui News, Harry Kim, Lorin Pang and Kauai blogspot. And Kahea http://www.kahea.org/gmo/