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What's next for Kaho`olawe?

January 23rd, 2015

For the past 21 years, the state has been drawing from a $44 million trust fund from the federal government to clean up, manage, and restore Kaho`olawe to some semblance of the island it was before half a century of military bombing devastated the topography. While the staff admits the island will never be risk-free or completely clean, it's trying to heal the island - and the people of Hawaii in the process.


Mike Naho`opi`i, executive director of the Kaho`olawe Island Reserve Commission, explains that the island will be one day transferred to a sovereign native Hawaiian government, so what KIRC and its volunteers are doing currently is establishing the foundation for what they believe Hawaiians want, when that entity takes over one day.

It's set aside for native Hawaiian cultural practices, education, and public use. Naho`opi`i says it's a cause the entire state should care about because "when you come to Kaho`olawe, the culture is very clear: There are no distractions, it's you and the island and the people. This is one of the few places not surrounded by Western civilization."

Here's more in this video:


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The ol' ball and chain

January 21st, 2015

Olivia and I were at Ben Franklin Craft Store and she saw a cake topper in the wedding aisle. "Look, this guy looks trapped!" she exclaimed.

I went over to see it. There was a groom sitting, looking forlorn with a ball and chain around his ankle. There was a bride standing, looking victorious holding a key.

I explained to my seven-year-old, "This is a ball, and it's connected to his leg by a chain. It's called a ball and chain, and people joke that when you get married, you're locked in."

"But she's standing and she looks happy," questioned Olivia.

"Right. That's because the woman is usually the boss and she gets to decide when to unlock the ball and chain every now and then," I explained.

"Why is it the woman?" Olivia continued.

"Who's the boss in our house?" I asked.

"You," said my daughter without hesitation.

Now, honestly, I'd like to think we have an equal partnership. We are highly compatible. But I do think Olivia's answer is pretty funny.

"See? And when you get married, you have to find a man who lets you be the boss, too," I advised.

A lady nearby was listening and laughing. "I tell my daughters the same thing, too," she agreed.

Later, when we were checking out, the cashier recognized me from this blog. "I like your blog!" she complimented.

"Oh, thank you!" I smiled. "So you know this is the man I always make fun of?" as I gestured to my husband.

"Yes," she chuckled. "Now I get to meet him in person."

That's right. She's met the ol' ball and chain. Wait... that's me. So she's met the poor sap locked in with the ol' ball and chain. Ha!

Leopard tortoise

January 19th, 2015

I enjoy calling my friend Kalei. I never know what's going to come out of her mouth, and it's usually funny.

I found her in a glum state on Friday because she was pining the death of a dream.

"I woke up this week on Monday with this aggressive idea that I wanted a baby leopard tortoise as a pet. I was psyched to get one but my friend advised I should research it before I just get a pet," she started.

"I'm glad she knows me well, because when I actually looked at them up close, they freak me out. Their eyes and their mouth and their claws. They horrify me! I shouldn't get a pet I'm scared of! And then, they grow!" she complained.

The nerve of a baby-anything to grow.

Apparently, she saw the aerial view of a tortoise and made her decision based on liking the way the shell looks. Just the shell. Not the face or the legs. Who even knows what she thinks about the tail.

"I had dreams of taking it work, buying a harness for it, taking it for a walk. I was going to sign up for the Pet Walk. It was going to be our debut. I was going to take a photo with it for my Christmas cards," she said.

Her friend had counseled her to get two tortoises, IF she was going to get a pet at all, so they could have company. Kalei already picked out the names: Mr. Miyage and Yoko Ono.

"Mr. Miyage and Yoko Ono were going to be my best friends," she continued. No matter that she calls me one of her best friends - whatever, Lady. Just because all my vital organs aren't encased by a protective shield?

I brainstormed with her for a bit what could take the place of a beloved terrapin. She is afraid of: dogs, cats, rabbits, lizards, rodents, fish, shrimp, birds, snails.

I suggested she try: llama, goat, seal, shark, pony. "Don't be ridiculous. It has to travel with me," she shot down. Right, I'm ridiculous.

Which pretty much means she can have a pet rock.

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Sustainability efforts on Kaho`olawe

January 16th, 2015

Kaho`olawe staff are trying to turn this island into the state's first fossil-fuel free island - and in the process hoping to model environmentalism to visitors to the island. The state legislature appropriated $2.5 million for the Kaho`olawe Island Reserve Commission, or KIRC, to use towards energy infrastructure, which KIRC is now working to get released.

The boat brings in all the fuel

The boat brings in all the fuel

Mike Naho`opi`i, KIRC executive director, provides examples: He says right now, boats bring in diesel fuel, which is KIRC's single biggest cost. The diesel is used for electricity, which is used for everything, including making fresh water from sea water. He estimates it costs $60,000 - $80,000 a year in fuel costs alone.

Naho`opi`i says KIRC is currently developing plans for more photo voltaic and wind power, including eventually replacing the current gas vehicles with electric trucks.

He speaks more about it in this video:


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Hawaii State Public Library System's January events

January 14th, 2015

The public library offers a number of free public events across its Oahu branches this month:

Mililani Library Presents Preschool Storytime Jan. 20 - Feb. 24 

Keiki ages 2 to 5, accompanied by a parent or caregiver, are invited to attend this free one-hour program and listen to stories and poems, learn finger plays, and sing songs.  A simple make-and-take craft will follow each storytime; crafts are available while supplies last.  No registration is needed.

Storytimes will be presented on January 20, 27; February 3, 10, 17, and 24. Contact the Library two weeks in advance if a sign language interpreter or other special accommodation is needed.

Mililani Public Library is located at 95-450 Makaimoimo Street.  For more information, please call the Library at 627-7470.

Award-winning Band Performs at Aina Haina Library Jan. 21

The award-winning musical group Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem will perform in-concert at Aina Haina Public Library on Wednesday, January 21, 2015 at 2 p.m. in the Children's Section.   Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem, from Middletown, Conn., performs music that combines folk, country blues, progressive bluegrass, contemporary pop, and jazz.

Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem Band. Courtesy Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem Band.

Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem Band. Courtesy Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem Band.

Band members include: Rani Arbo (fiddle, guitar), Andrew Kinsey (bass, banjo, and ukulele), Anand Nayak (electric and acoustic guitars) and Scott Kessel (percussion).  The band's CD Ranky Tanky (Mayhem Music; 2010 family album) won Gold Awards from the American Library Association, Parents' Choice Foundation, and National Association of Parenting Publications.  In addition to their performance, the band members will introduce themselves and discuss their style of music.

This one-hour program is suitable for all ages and is a production of the University of Hawaii at Manoa's Outreach College-Statewide Cultural Extension Program. Funding is provided by the Friends of the Library of Hawaii, National Endowment for the Arts, Hawaii State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, and the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Contact the library two weeks in advance if a sign language interpreter or other special accommodation is needed.   Aina Haina Public Library is located at 5246 Kalanianaole Highway.  For more information, please call the Library at 377-2456.

Make Unique Greeting Cards at Kaimuki Library on Jan. 27

"Creative Greeting Cards," a free craft program, will be presented at Kaimuki Public Library on Tuesday, January 27, 2015 at 6 p.m. in the Adult Reading Section.

Greeting card. Courtesy: Sharie Torres

Greeting card. Courtesy: Sharie Torres

Sharie Torres, who has taught the art of paper crafting for more than 10 years, will demonstrate how to create three unique greeting cards.  Registration is required for this 1½-hour, hands-on program that is limited to 15 participants.  All supplies will be provided.

The Friends of Kaimuki Library is sponsoring this program which is suitable for ages 10 and older.  Children must be accompanied by a parent or caregiver.    Contact the Library two weeks in advance if a sign language interpreter or other special accommodation is needed. Kaimuki Public Library is located at 1041 Koko Head Avenue.  For more information or to register, please call the Library at 733-8422.

Seminar for Inventors and Small Businesses at Aiea Library on Jan. 28
Inventors, entrepreneurs, legal professionals, and the public are invited to attend a free seminar on patent and trademark searching at the new Aiea Public Library (99-374 Pohai Place) on Wednesday, January 28 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. in the Program Room.

“Patent and Trademark Searching: Essential Information You Need to Protect Your Intellectual Property” will feature presentations by Tom Turner and M. Neil Massong from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Alexandria, Va.; Len Higashi of the High Technology Development Corporation, Joseph Burns of the Hawaii Small Business Development Center, and Jayna Uyehara of the State Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs’ Business Action Center.  The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the Hawaii State Public Library System, the Hawaii State Library, and other donors are sponsoring this seminar.

Participants will learn step-by-step guidelines and strategies for conducting patent and trademark searches, and gain knowledge of lessons learned from local entrepreneurs.  They will discover ways to protect intellectual property rights, avoid infringement lawsuits, and learn how to launch businesses the right way.

Registration is required due to limited seating.  Call the Hawaii State Library's Federal Documents Section to register by Friday, January 23, 2015.

A seminar tie-in exhibit “Island Innovation: A Spotlight on Hawaii’s Patents and Trademarks” will be on display at the Hawaii State Library in January 2015.  The exhibit will showcase a variety of Hawaii’s patent products and iconic trademarks, from unique plants to familiar logos.

"Martial Arts in Chinese Culture" lecture on Jan. 31

Stanley Henning, a researcher of Chinese martial arts history, will conduct this free slide presentation on martial arts in Chinese culture.  Henning, who is also a retired Army Lieutenant Colonel, has studied Yang Style Taijiquan and Shanxi Che in Taiwan, two popular forms of Chinese martial arts.

This one-hour program is suitable for ages 12 and older, and will include a question-and-answer session.  Contact the Library two weeks in advance if a sign language interpreter or other special accommodation is needed.  The new Aiea Public Library is located at 99-374 Pohai Place.  For more information, please call the Library at 483-7333.

Meet Project Runway Hawaii Finalist at Kapolei Library Jan. 31  

Courtesy: Kini Zamora

Courtesy: Kini Zamora

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a fashion designer?  Meet fashion designer Kini Zamora, a recent contestant on "Project Runway" Season 13, at Kapolei Public Library on Saturday, January 31 at 2 p.m. in the Main Lobby.

Learn how this talented local boy from Kapolei followed his dreams and overcame obstacles to become one of four finalists on the Lifetime Channel's popular "Project Runway" television show, and own two successful clothing lines in Hawaii.

The Friends of the Library Kapolei is sponsoring this free one-hour program for teens and adults, ages 12 and older.   Contact the Library two weeks in advance if a sign language interpreter or other special accommodation is needed.    Kapolei Public Library is located at 1020 Manawai Street.  For more information, please call the Library at 693-7050.