Sunday, December 7, 2008

Next time we all need to get out and vote for candidates that Malama Aina

We need to get educated and vote better in the future. If the Hawaiians and others who want positive change would have gone out and voted for people like Michael Howden, Kai Nashiki, and Summer Starr Maui would be a lot better off in my opinion. We have to tell all our family and friends how important it is to vote for what you believe in. This is why I did a research paper on Michael Howden and tried as best that I could to spread the word to vote for positive change.

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.
Fact Box
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: 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).

Works Cited
Gladys Coelho Baisa Maui County Council Upcountry Seat. 27 Oct. 2008
Elect Michael Howden Maui County Council. 27 Oct. 2008
“Hawaii Elections 2008.” The Honolulu Advertiser 27 Oct. 2008
“The Maui News Candidate Profile 2008.” The Maui News 27 Oct. 2008
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.

Mahalo Kai Nashiki & Angie Hoffman: We need more people like you in public service!!!

I wanted to mention Kai and Angie and everyone helping to save Makena Beach and the area from development. I heard a radio message by Kai and it was truly awesome. She stated the obvious and was basically sending a message for everyone who loves Makena to go and testify this week on Tuesday Dec. 9th at the county building. The way that she presented the facts and message was straight forward and to the point. You can tell that she really cares for the area and will do everything in her power to protect the future of Makena. I will certainly vote for her next term and I will tell the council member that also. I hope that voters make better choices next time and vote for people that stand up for the aina and culture. Like Michlael Howden, Kai Nashiki, Summer Starr, and Lucianne DeNai

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

Here is another letter to the editor from the Maui News:

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 /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
Ernest Hilberg

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.

My biography of Walter Ritte: in support of NO GMOs

Building a Maka’ainana Nation
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

Works Cited

Bernardo, Rosemary. “Critics raise voices for bill to be heard.” 31 Mar. 2007. 5 Apr.
“GMO activists march at meeting site.” The Maui News 4 Nov. 2005. 3 Apr. 2007
Sanburn, Curt “A Road Less Taken.” Hana Hou: The Magazine of Hawaiian Airlines
Feb/Mar. 2007: 64-73.

For a Sustainable Future: Say No to GMOs



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).

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.
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.
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.

Works Cited

Batalion, Nathan. 50 Harmful Effects of Genetically Modified Foods. Americans for Safe Food: 2000.

18 Apr. 2007

Bernardo, Rosemary. “Critics raise voices for bill to be heard.” 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
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

Financial crisis.....lack of money....desporate times

What are we all to do in these challenging times? The stress is high and it is affecting my school work and life. I know that I am not alone, just look around, read the paper, turn on the news, the problem is wide spread throughout the world.

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 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 spending

Tourism downward trend continues; Oct. visits to county drop by 20.5%

By HARRY EAGAR, Staff Writer
POSTED: November 25, 2008

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

Saving our native species: Most are Endangered or Threatened

We must address this sensitive issue and do something before it is too late! I know that many organizations throughout the islands are in fact doing what can be done with the little funding that is available but we are faced with many hurdles in the future and it is a fierce battle ahead.

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 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

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

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. and These websites have volunteer info and great links.

mahalo annjulie

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Why do Politicians Fight the Peoples Vote? Listen to the people Harry Kim! NO GMO

I wanted to focus on the GMO issue relating to Hawaii island. Last month there was a historical vote by the Hawaii County Council to ban Genetic Modification of coffee and kalo. The vote was unanimous by the council, supported by public testimony as well as online testimony from the outer islands. I also sent a letter of support in the ban on GMOs. I have studied GMOs for about two years now and there is absolutely no evidence that they are "good or safe" for humans or the 'aina. There is however evidence that they are dangerous to humans, animals and the environment. Most other nations and countries will not even allow them into their countries. But here in the US we are all treated like guinea pigs. Why is this allowed to go on here? Because of corrupt politicians like George Bush and now Harry Kim of Hawaii island. These guys should have to live off of GMOs and see how they feel after a year or two! Maybe that would help them to feel and understand how potentially bad they really are to the entire world and environment.

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: (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

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Son of Hawaii Makes History: The Next Generation is Moving Forward

Barack Obama from Hawaii just caught the biggest wave ever ridden by an island boy....amazing!
I wanted to write about this historical moment and how it will most definitely bring changes in our world (and Hawaii). I feel that this is not only closing the gap on race and racism but also represents the control of powers moving out of the hands of the "older conservative" leaders into the next generation of the new younger "open minded" leaders. I have been waiting for this moment for the past twenty years and now that it is here the feeling is hard to put into words. I will do my best to express what I mean (It is kind of like catching a huge wave, almost dying, and then pulling it off to win the contest). The adrenalin is still pumping 24 hours later!

This has been an exciting time to live and experience the ride. When I first heard of Obama and his run for the presidency, I thought another hopeful that has no chance in hell. How can this nobody with out much experience, who is black think he can win? I do not know how this is real with all of the corrupt people with power in charge. Somehow justice has prevailed, and the people have been heard. With the faulty electronic voting machines, the "good old boy mentality" of Washington, and just plain past history, I honestly did not think that Obama could do it. Thank the universe that change is possible and the passing of the torch is moving to "the next generation".

Watching the campaign for the last month, learning about voting issues and such, I had become callused to protect myself. I did not want to get my hopes up and be let down yet again. I was pleasantly shocked when I turned on the news and saw that Obama had won in Ohio, then other battle ground states, I was thinking this is so surreal, is this for real? I started calling my friends and the adrenalin started gushing because it became clear that history was in the making. I started reflecting on other stand out moments in my life-time, and this one is so huge...Oh my God! It's happening right now....unbelievable. I am so happy to have been able to experience this time in history.

When Obama took the stage in front of thousands of supporters and gave his beautiful and eloquent acceptance speech I was brought to tears. Looking at the Rev. Jessy Jackson and the mixed races all together and crying with joy, sharing the moment was truly amazing feeling that I will never forget. I feel that we as a country merged together and bridged a huge gap not only on race but also on age. Last night we were all ONE, even the Republicans had join in.

Once the news switched to local races, I was really impressed with Mufi and what he had to say about Obama's win. Before he even won himself, he took time (a lot) to recognize the enormity of the Presidential win. He said here is a "son of Hawaii" who is African-American who has made history. Mufi talked about Obama growing up here, eating plate lunch, saimin, shave ice, who is one of us. Obama knows the difference from Waipahu & Hanauma Bay, Windward from Leeward, who gets in the ocean and surfs and so on; how he will always look after Hawaii in Washington and how we are so fortunate to have Obama on our side. I loved hearing this from a politician...simple recognition of the huge feat just accomplished by an average boy from Hawaii. Mufi said what should be said by all of our public officials. Lingle on the other hand spoke for maybe 2 minutes about how John McCain ran such a good race and that "if you look at the popular vote, John only lost by 4%" and on about the Republicans (she was disgraceful in my opinion). All she said about Obama was that "well now we have someone from Hawaii that made it to the Presidency and the history books".

I think that it is hard for the older generation to accept change, to accept that the torch is moving down to the younger generation and so forth. I have compassion for these people, but get over it! Now it is our turn to shape the country and create a new face for America. Finally we (younger minorities) have some control and influence on the world. A son of Hawaii has risen to power...Let Freedom Ring!
Mahalo Annjulie

My sources are ABC news November 4, 2008 & KITV4 news November 4, 2008


Mufi Hannemann and Linda Lingle for quotes.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Photo Voltaic & Sustainable Energy for Hawaii

I wanted to write about this extremely important issue that relates to Hawaii in numerous ways. From the top of the mountain to the ocean and reef. Energy affects all of us, it could be the cost of our electric bill all the way to impacting the environment as a whole.

I had a meeting with Pai Kamana members and a guest speaker named Dr. Allen. He is a chemist instructor here at MCC. Anyway he came and spoke to our group for about an hour. He gave us a very brief overview of what we could do here on Maui with photo voltaic energy. He said that we could be world leaders in creating a plan to go green and create sustainable energy here in the islands. I really liked what he had to say, it really made sense and I want to help support this move towards a cleaner, cheaper and better world for all of creation. Dr. Allen had a lot of information about what we could and should demand as students to aid the energy crisis here on campus. I think that he would be a great guest speaker in our class, so that everyone could hear what he had to say. Basically new construction on campus is still using old technology and energy wasting methods instead of the new and better way of photo voltaic "green and free from the sun" energy. We could have a learning class that teaches and installs the photo voltaic panels on campus on every building. By doing this we would be able to reduce the energy bill at MCC and have all that extra money for scholarships or programs or classes or higher pay for our all important instructors. There is so much that we could be doing with "going green" and creating a sustainable future as well as energy. These students would then go out into the community and do the same. It would create jobs, businesses and a greener future for Hawaii and help everything with the trickle-down effect. Dr. Allen said that the Bill Gates of the future will be in sustainable energy and photo voltaics, this will be the wave of the future, why not be the leaders here on Maui. The main point that Dr. Allen said to us was that until we as a state CHANGE POLICY AND MANDATE NEW BUILDING LAWS THAT REQUIRE THE IMPLEMENTATION OF SUSTAINABLE ENERGY AND PHOTO VOLTAICS, NOTHING WILL CHANGE. He said that we have to write to our legislature and demand the CHANGE IN POLICY AND THE PERMIT PROCESS, so that changes will occur. Until we do this as a whole it will not move fast enough to make much of a difference in our islands or life. This is a time where we all need to unite and make it happen for all of our future to improve as well as the earth.

There is so much to cover and I can not do justice on this blog, I am just providing a brief overview to this critical subject. I also got an email from Save Makena that relates to this same topic of discussion. :
This according to
*Maui needs to end its addiction to imported oil (palm oil or fossil fuel oil, they're both junk!) and start creating an economy in "Green Collar Jobs", and then we can also get off our dependency on development so we can save our special places instead of build them up!Go check out the renewable energy forum @ Kihei Community Center Tomorrow night at 6:30pm. Abengoa Solar, the world's largest solar electric plant is coming to present to Maui's public, legislators and candidates, their sustainable energy production.
1.) Tuesday, Oct. 28th, 6:30-9 pm: Renewable Energy Forum-Kihei Community Center- See attached Flyer. There will be a Q&A also.

I also found an article in the current issue of Maui Time Weekly: Here Comes the Sun: Harnessing Hawaii's Renewable Energy Resource. It is a great article and covers a lot of information relating to renewable solar, wind and wave energy here in the islands. The article also talked about the solar company Abengoa that will be at the forum at Kihei Community Center on October 28, 2008. The article talked about the many jobs that would emerge via this technology, the benefit to the environment as well as lower energy bills and our future. I like this move forward for Maui and Hawaii.

Here is a website that helps to explain what Photovoltaics are and how they work with the sun to produce electricity. This is put out by the US Department of Energy on Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. I truly believe that this is an issue that we all must learn about and help to enforce as "new policy" for our islands future. It just makes perfect sense! The oil is and will run out completely! Why not start the change process now? Before the oil runs out and we are left in panic mode. I want to be on this wave of change! Mahalo Annjulie

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Who to vote for in 08?

I am still undecided of who to vote for as far as the Hawaii candidates. It is really a tough issue because most of the time you go to vote and there are rules that make you vote within a certain party and do we really "know" the candidates? I mean they are mostly corrupt as far as I am concerned. For me, it is basically vote for the best of the bad because I do not know of any genuine politicians in America---they are all somewhat corrupt and biased. What if I like someone who is a republican even though I support Democrats in general and I am definitely voting for Obama for president--there is no way in hell I will support another Bush administration for the next four years. But I have some issues with Obama as well, for instance I heard him say that he would push the Akaka Bill and support it heavily, and I do not think the Akaka bill is good for Hawaii or Hawaiian people. I think that Obama most likely wants to aid the Hawaiian people and he probably thinks that the Akaka bill will help, but he probably has not really researched it entirely himself. So that is a huge fault and assumption on his part.

I really liked going to the forum last week to "meet the candidates" I thought that it was somewhat helpful as to making an educated decision on who to vote for. And actually I was surprised by one candidate Mickey Vierra R running for upcountry Maui district 12. I thought that he did a great job on answering questions and I liked what he had to say. I do not usually support republicans because they do not represent the working class such as myself in my opinion. However I did like what he had to say, but do I really know this guy? the answer is no! I decided to do some further research on him and actually not sure that I will support him. On this website called smart vote they did not have much of anything to say and I was left disappointed with this candidate, it is so hard to vote smart! This according to project votesmart website:
"Mickey Vierra repeatedly refused to provide any responses to citizens on the issues through the 2008 Political Courage Test when asked to do so by national leaders of the political parties, prominent members of the media, Project Vote Smart President Richard Kimball, and Project Vote Smart staff. "
I liked this website because it gives additional information on our candidates and helps to make a more informed vote. Http://

I also wanted to comment on Senator Kalani English. I grew up in Hana so I have known Kalani for many years and for the most part I like and support what he has accomplished and done for Maui in the past. I will also vote for him in the future because he is a good senator and supports critical issues that affect all of Hawaii in a positive way that I agree with. Such as invasive species. I went and spoke to him after the forum and he told me that he actually was instrumental in creating the Maui Invasive Species Committee which is now known as the Hawaii Invasive Species Committee and each island has their own chapter. In doing research, I have learned that invasive species is the single biggest threat to Hawaii and our future relating to impact. This according to

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
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.

Mahalo Annjulie

Friday, October 10, 2008

Are We "Celebrating" 50 Years of Statehood? According to the Government it is a Commemoration!

I wanted to research this to get informed and I am curious because I keep seeing the commercials on television regarding statehood and I wanted to dig deeper to maybe learn the "real truth" on this critical issue and how Hawaiians actually feel about it. I know in my heart how most feel, but is it portrayed in the media and history books...not at all until recently, and only some truths are general knowledge. You have to really get educated and research to find the "real truth" about Hawaii.

Over the years I have been studying and learning what I can about Hawaiian history because I am a citizen and I want to know the truth as much as possible. Relating to statehood, it seems that the public is not totally informed, visitors and mainland Americans have absolutely "no clue" when it comes to Hawaii and the many issues that surround it or the history in general. I think that the United States has bullied its way into Hawaii and just do what they please to benefit the military and the wealth of the U.S. The US knows exactly what they are doing since the overthrow of the kingdom. It has been a strategic plan to "acquire" Hawaii from the beginning!

The way the Treaty of Annexation was done in an "un-honest" way to say the least. The fact that 38,000 Hawaiians out of 40,000 total population were against annexation was completely ignored is horrifying. This is how the US works to get what they want. I am a born American, but that does not make me American in how I think! I think that there are many Americans that feel as I do and do not agree with the tactics of American Government, there are also many that are just ignorant and do not give a shit about any of the unjust committed by our government.

So I did some research (I want to do more) and what I have found is pretty ugly. It makes me and the country that I was born in look like greedy assholes that just do what ever it takes to gain more power and wealth including: Cheating, lying, killing, destroying, overtaking, colonizing, and of course tricking entire peoples and nations and kingdoms.

It is hard for me to even write objectively because everything is based on the above statements. The Native Indians have been nearly destroyed as well as the Hawaiian people.

So now back to "statehood", I have been seeing all of these commercials and I wanted to see for myself what people thought back in 1959 and today about statehood. Sure a lot of people were "for" and supported statehood or we would not be a state, but of course it was "achieved" in a sneaky way so that the native Hawaiian peoples voice was not heard because if it was we probably would not be a state, and certainly would not have been annexed.
This according to

The "Statehood Process" for Hawai`i was a double fraud. It not only failed to provide the correct set of choices to be voted upon. The process altered the "self" who could exercise "self determination." The qualified voters in this process were U.S. citizens who had resided in Hawai`i for at least one year. Since the American invasion and annexation and during its watch, thousands had migrated to Hawai`i, coming from the U.S., Europe, Asia and other Pacific Islands. Many were associated with the U.S. military's presence in Hawai`i. Others came for employment, education, opportunities or escape. These people who were or took up U.S. citizenship were all permitted to vote. But those who dared to declare themselves Hawaiian citizens, refusing to accept the imposed American citizenship, could not vote.

The Americans controlled education, economics, media, the judiciary as well as the internal political processes, managing in these years to continually squeeze the Hawaiian identity from public life. This practice of altering the "self" by maintaining control over transmigration, public education and economic dependence is familiar among colonial countries not wanting to lose their colonial possessions. France's conduct in Tahiti and New Caledonia and Indonesia's in East Timor, West Papua, and the Moluccas Islands are mirrors of the U.S.' conduct in Hawai`i.

Thus, 38 years after the Statehood vote in Hawai`i, the question of Statehood is being revisited, pried open, in fact, by this better understanding in Hawai`i of the rights which should have been accorded the "real" people of Hawai`i entitled to vote on such an important question.

This information is from from 11 years ago, but this is still being discussed today. Fifty years of statehood will be "commemorated" next August. The word "celebrated" is not used because according to The Honolulu Advertiser article: Statehood Commemoration Starts Leading Up to Hawaii's 50th Year is not "sensitive" to those who opposed it.

"The commemoration also will "be sensitive" to those in Hawai'i who have opposed statehood.The 25-member commission, for instance, has tried to avoid the use of the word "celebration," opting instead for the more neutral "commemoration." It has also promised to present all sides of the statehood story in its activities".

You can also go to and there is a lot of information on the history of statehood plus the commercials that sparked me to research this topic as well as what the state plans are for the "commemoration" of 50 years of statehood. They "appear" to try to be somewhat biased, but not really! Mahalo Annjulie

Monday, October 6, 2008

It is all good today: Eastmaui Watershed Art Contest

Aloha and please enjoy,
I wanted to write about something that is both dear and positive to me. Last week was the annual art contest held by Eastmaui Watershed Partnership and Viewpoints gallery that highlights the native and endemic species on Maui. The contest not only brings awareness to all of us but it also brings a lot of beauty into our life.

I entered six photos and one painted ceramic plate, out of that, one photo was selected for the show. I am sure I did not place, but just to get selected was an honor. Out of 180 entries only 65 pieces were chosen including the elementary, middle and high school. My daughter also was selected for the elementary division with her painted ceramic plate "Hau hele wai" or the pink hibiscus of Maui. I was told by the biologist that this hibiscus is most common in Kipahulu valley, which is were I grew up (lower valley), so not only did I learn about the flower from the book "Growing Hawaii's Native Plants, but I learned even more from the biologist on hand at the gallery.

So I think that this is an absolutely awesome project that spreads awareness, creates money for the watershed, gallery, and artist and is a positive move forward for conservation on Maui. We have so many negative things going on right now in Maui and Hawaii, I wanted to focus on something good.

The show will be on display at Viewpoints Gallery in Makawao through October 21, 2008. If anyone is interested in native hawaiian habitat and species, I really encourage you to go and check it out. This project started as an idea and now has come full circle into a great success as an annual event. The art that was created in many different mediums, is absolutely astounding to say the least. I could have spent thousands of dollars, I wanted many of the artworks. This is also a chance for people to learn at the same time as getting maximum enjoyment either creating an artwork or simply going to view the work. Most of the pieces have a brief description about the species or scape, it is learning for all of us. The children love it too.

Some of the photos that I saw blew me away. It is a good way to get a glimpse of the fragile ecosystems and species that are not accessible to the average person. An extremely rare lobilia flower from the West Maui else would I ever have learned or even seen this flower if not for the art show/contest. It is a great cause and we all need to support these types of efforts hosted by the people and businesses of Maui/Hawaii.

If you do not have time to go to the gallery just visit the website of Eastmaui Watershed Partnership. breathtaking art to enjoy.

Part of the importance of this event is also to learn what is native and what is non-native and INVASIVE. I learned in Hawaiian Field Biology 105 that before human contact a new speceis made it to the islands and established itself about once every 97,000 years. Now with the plant and nursery busisness as well as florists a new species gets here on average, can you believe this, ONE TO TWO EVERY MONTH!!! We all need to learn about this terrible epidemic. Just in the past couple of years I myself have seen the Wiliwili tree nearly die out, the Ohia rust take over east Maui, stinging nettle engulf Haiku and other areas, bee mite in Oahu and now in Hilo, fireweed is completely out of control... It just goes on and on. It makes me so sad because we could stop this and step up on ag. inspection accross the state. We all need to be aware when buying and planting ornamentals. I feel that there should be a committee to assess what is being shipped here and also to studdy impact on the whole. For anyone who wants to do this on their own, you can go to and they have a great website that will tell you about invasive, native, endemic, and non-invasive species. Hey, we all owe it to our children, the islands and the fragile environment. Hear stands for Hawaii ecosystems at risk. Please check it out and visit this website it is another great one.

Back to the art contest. I think that all of us as citizens of Maui and Hawaii have a responsibility to preserve and protect the fragile environment as well as its species. This is a great example of people doing just that and also at the same time making a huge impact on residents as well as the children. I was proud to even enter and for my daughter and I both to get selected tells me that I am learning and helping to do my part where I can. Together we can make a difference. Malama Wao Akua
Mahalo Annjulie

References are: Growing Hawaii's Native plants, The Eastmaui Watershed Partnership and Haleakala National Park employee and artist Mellisa Chimera. And

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Hawaiian Water Rights Restored Now! Water Flow Return Needed for Native Speceis Survival

I attended the State Commission on Water Resource Management hearing at Haiku on Wednesday, and gave public testimony. It has been a long time coming for this issue to be heard and dealt with for the Hawaiian people of Maui. According to The Maui News, at issue was a 7-year-old petition filed by the Native Hawaiian Legal Corp. on behalf of Na Moku Aupuni O Koolau Hui and taro growers to restore water currently diverted by East Maui Irrigation Co. for the Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co.

The taro farmers have been in a long battle to restore a minimal water flow to at least 27 streams of east Maui. The instream standards recommended by state Commission of Water Resource Management staff included the following in particular; Honopou, 1.7 million gallons a day, Hanehoi, 1.72 million gallons a day, Piinaau, 3.56 million gallons a day, Waiokamilo, 3.17 million gallons a day and Wailuanui, 1.97 million gallons a day. Weather this is enough water for the taro farmers and for the ecosystem of the stream biota and species to survive remains uncertain. At least it is a start and if granted, this will be a historic ruling for our entire state.

I started attending MCC in 2005 and everything that I have since learned supports a mandatory minimum water flow, that runs to the sea. Skippy Hau, our state stream biologist for Maui County has been conducting data studies since 1989 on Hihiwai in particular, as well as O'opu and Opae in relationship to the stream flow (or no steam flow). He told my class that not only the Hihiwai and other native species of the stream are in grave danger of becoming extinct (without flow to the sea), but also our reef and limu species are extremely threatened without the streams providing the life-line of nutrients from the mountain to the ocean. Skippy Young from Hana also supported this issue of the native biota and species and brought it to the attention of the commission regarding the reef (he was the only one to mention the health of the ecosystems including the reef, limu, and ocean species). It is all connected and is in severe threat of dying.

Skippy Young testified first and then many followed, including myself. I was totally impressed with everyone who testified on behalf of the return of stream flow. Charles Villalon, testified on behalf of the reinstated Hawaiian government, demanding stream restoration, and disputed the state's authority to take the water at all. I felt that this meeting was extremely powerful, and I commend those who did testify because they hit the commission with smart intellect and the Hawaiian Kingdom Constitutional rights.

Under the State Water Code, the commission is charged with balancing the needs of stream life and ecosystems, along with wildlife, recreational uses, aesthetics and Native Hawaiian rights, against the need for water from streams for agricultural and domestic uses.

I had prepared written testimony, but once I heard many others give testimony for and against the stream flow, I decided to go off the sleeve and concentrate on the core issue of native species being threatened. From what I can remember this is what I said:
Thank you for coming and listening to all of us, as this has been a long time coming. My name is Annjulie Vai, I grew up in Kipahulu, I am a full time student at MCC, taking business and Hawaiian studies. Some of you are doctors and you all look like really intelligent people to me, so you do not need all of us to tell you to restore the water to the streams, this is a no-brainer, you know what to do, all of you. I said that I wanted to commend Skippy Young for bringing the marine life and reef into the discussion because no one had even mentioned that aspect of the equation. I told them that everything that I have been learning at school supports the stream flow and that Skippy Hau is the only person collecting data since 1989 (almost 30 years) and that he says that the reef and species are dying without the nutrients from the stream. I said all of you have a bottle of water to drink, it has been a long day, you need the water to survive, well so does the stream and everything in it all the way to the sea. Our babies need water to survive, our farmers, our taro, and pretty much everything on earth. I said look at all of the unjust that the Hawaiian people have endured in the past, this is your opportunity to do what is right. Please return the water now.... Thank you.

My resources are:
The Maui News, Historic ruling looms for restoring streams, published on Thursday, Sept. 25, 2008. By Chris Hamilton.

Public testimony by Skippy Young, Hana resident and Native Hawaiian as well as Charles Villalon of Keanae also Native Hawaiian.

Biologist Skippy Hau and what I learned from Hawaiian Field Biology 105 & Botany 105.

Monday, September 22, 2008

On Being Hawaiian

According to Jon Osorio, being Hawaiian is ultimately about not wishing to be anything else. I do agree with this statement, but I would like to explore further. What do you say to a non-Hawaiian who has been born and raised in Hawaii, in the traditional old way (Kipahulu off the land), but is not Hawaiian by ethnicity? Am I then considered to be Hawaiian at heart? I mean I do not consider myself to be American in the way that I think even though I am white!

When I started school in Hana, I was the only haole in the class and it was very challenging to fit in and be happy because I was racially discriminated many times daily for years because of my skin color. As the years went on I made friends with all my classmates and became best friends with a girl from Keanae, after that nobody gave me a hard time and I was excepted as an equal. I had to pay my dues and earn the respect and prove myself. Most people that know me well know that I am extremely passionate about the plight of the Hawaiian people.

From my point of view, I do not feel like I am a "wanna be Hawaiian", I feel that I was raised here and understand the big picture of what took place in history; I feel for the Hawaiian people so much I cannot put it into words exactly. Of course when I was little I so wanted to be Hawaiian to fit in and be excepted, and I always wished that I had brown skin, even now because white skin sucks, burns and wrinkles ha ha ha...

I have learned and continue my quest of knowledge about Hawaii and this place because I feel that if you live here it is an obligation to learn about the host culture and respect and protect at the same time. Also I love and Cherish all things Hawaiian.

P.S. I am not sure about the sources and citation but I will definitely get clear on what you expect and do so from now on.
Mahalo Annjulie

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The first reading: Malcome X: my reaction

Aloha Everyone or Anyone,
I really enjoyed the first reading on Malcome X. It was very refreshing and different material than I usually read. I learned alot about the history of America and insight that I would have never known about. Thank you for bringing this reading to my attention because I do not think that I would have gone out and read this otherwise and now I will certainly read more of Malcome X and what he had to say. I thought that he was extremely articulate and presented a clear view from his perspective and was able to pass an insightful point of view on to the reader to help and understand the past.

I think that Malcome X presents his material in a way that the average "white person kind of has to relate to as well as acknowledge" took place not too long ago. It was an eye opener for me to read this and I really liked the fact that he took the time to educated himself and had concrete evidence to back up all his writings as hard as it may be to swallow these issues are real and it is part of the history of America. I think that Malcome X does an excellant job of arguing his position on many topics of discussion throughout the reading and you have to agree that he is correct about the many unjusts that have taken place throughout world history. What a great human being, what a loss that he was murdered.