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.