Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Maui Author and Environmentalist's New Books Recall Defining Era

August 28th, 2015

You've likely seen the storefront for Snorkel Bob, Hawaii's largest reef outfitter, owned by Maui resident Robert Wintner, who lives in Kihei with family Anita, Cookie and Larry. You may not realize he's a Pulitzer-nominated author who recently produced two books: 1969 & Then Some, a Post 60s Grand Tour in Life-Defining Parable for Those Who Remember & Those Who Can't and Brainstorm.

Refreshing and original, Wintner recalls a defining era and personal evolution with 1969 & Then Some (Yucca Publishing, NY). While the 60s are often discounted as ephemeral or a social aberration, this recollection demonstrates lingering values guiding a most significant population group, the baby boomers- many of whom still hold sway in social and cultural evolution. The 60s marked history, for the first time challenging war as a concept.

Brainstorm is a first-person narrative of the author's navigation through cerebral aneurysm and hemorrhage. The riveting action includes the onslaught of trauma center protocol and denial of the patient and the medical industry. It's an interesting journey to see how he emerges from sudden collapse of physical, mental and emotional stability.

His 15 books include a Pulitzer nomination (In a Sweet Magnolia Time, Permanent Press, NY, 2005) and two movie options (The Modern Outlaws and Whirlaway—a Maui County Library Hot Pick for years).

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What Can Animals Teach Us About Kindness And Empathy?

August 26th, 2015

While humans are capable of acts of cruelty, greed and deception, they also possess plenty of positive characteristics such as kindness, compassion, friendliness and empathy. But why? Are those better angels of our nature something nurtured in us by our parents, or do we arrive on the planet genetically predisposed for them?

It’s something scientists have puzzled over, and many of them may be finding answers not with human research but by concentrating on animals. “The idea that we could learn about kindness or compassion by studying animals might seem strange,” says Peter Schattner, a scientist and author of the book Sex, Love and DNA: What Molecular Biology Teaches Us About Being Human ( “But since similar genes are often found in animals and people, what we learn from animals may well be relevant to understanding human behavior as well.”

Dogs are especially good species to study to learn about kindness, devotion and other pro-social traits because they have been genetically bred to display those traits, Schattner says. “Look at it this way,” he says. “Dogs are the result of an extended genetic ‘experiment’ carried out by humans to artificially select the very personality traits that we value in them.”

Another reason geneticists like to study dogs is that, as species go, they are relatively young. “Most scientists estimate people began breeding wolves for gentleness and tameness 15,000 to 30,000 years ago,” Schattner says. “Compare that to humans. We are believed to have diverged from chimpanzees, our closest living evolutionary relatives, about four million to nine million years ago.”

The time span is important because fewer DNA changes between dogs and wolves have had time to develop. That makes it easier – though not necessarily simple – to track genetic changes to determine what genes affect behaviors, Schattner says. Dogs aren’t the only animals scientists study that could help unlock clues about human traits and their genetic origins, Schattner says. Other examples include:

• Mice and friendliness. Scientists studying the biological origins of Williams Beuren syndrome are making progress with mice. The syndrome is a medical condition that has several traits, but one of the most striking is that people with this syndrome are unusually friendly, even toward strangers.

Scientists can engineer mice to have a similar chromosomal makeup as people with Williams Beuren syndrome. One result of this research so far is that, at least in mice, the friendliness associated with the syndrome appears to be linked to a single gene.

• Siberian silver foxes, gentleness and friendliness. Research on Siberian silver foxes began in what was then the Soviet Union in the 1950s in an area where local farmers raised the foxes for their fur. A Soviet geneticist began trying to breed a tamer fox that was easier for the farmers to handle. He did this by mating the tamest males with the tamest females.

Within four generations – and a silver fox generation is only about three to four years – the animals were showing signs of domestication. Over time, the researchers showed that gentleness and friendliness were genetic. “One result of all this is the foxes became so tame and adorable that allowing them to be killed for fur became difficult for the scientists,” Schattner says. “They began selling them as pets.”

• Rats and empathy. Perhaps one of the more surprising experiments involved rats. University of Chicago researchers placed two rats in a large cage. One rat was free to wander, but the other was trapped in a smaller cage within the cage. The trapped rat would cry out in alarm and, remarkably, the free rat would try to open the other rat’s cage, which was no easy task.

Even with no reward, three-fourths of the free rats in the experiment chose to open the trapped rat’s cage. “The results of these experiments were disturbing to people who believe that only we humans are capable of empathy and compassion,” Schattner says. Some scientists were still skeptical, saying the rats’ may have been pro-social, but didn’t necessarily demonstrate empathy or compassion.

How To Make Money Work In A Marriage

August 24th, 2015

Children, sex, in-laws, work stress – how couples handle these issues says plenty about a marriage and, often, a divorce. Not surprising to many, however, the No. 1 predictor of divorce is money, according to a study from Kansas State University.

More specifically, researchers say that arguing about money, especially early in a relationship, is the best predictor of divorce – despite a couple’s economic bracket. “As with sex, for example, arguments about money are probably connected to deeper, underlying issues, such as trust, self-esteem, identity, etc.,” says Dr. Anne Brennan Malec, a clinical psychologist and marriage and family therapist with a background in accounting and business.

“Like most other areas of conflict, frequent communication and formulating a plan for how to address the financial situation allows many, if not most, issues to be adequately and respectfully resolved.” Dr. Malec, author of Marriage in Modern Life: Why It Works, When It Works (, offers constructive solutions for marital money stressors.

• Be partners in your common cause.
When one partner carries most of the financial burden, it can thrust that partner into an almost parental role over the other. This is a form of asymmetry that can affect other areas of the relationship and erode a marriage, creating resentment by each partner for different reasons. Whether or not you make roughly the same amount of money as your spouse – or none at all because you’re a stay-at-home parent – stay involved in the goings on of your household’s finances. Understand what you can and cannot afford as a family. Communication is crucial. Discuss your feelings about money and how both of you contribute to the overall well-being of your family.

• Avoid financial infidelity.
Every couple has to determine how their joint and individual expenses will be shared. Account for the necessities, from rent or mortgage to groceries and more. Account for all of your typical expenses, which may include date night and individual interests or hobbies. Respect individual interests – whether or not they are reasonable expenses, understand that they are important to your partner and may help the relationship. If one shops too much or spends too much on cars, find a way to compromise. Having an agreed-upon monthly budget helps minimize financial tension, and to spend more requires a good explanation.

• Be open to money issues beyond the marriage.
Most adults have some degree of debt because of a college loan, child support, a medical history or a host of other reasons. Ideally, you will have discussed and come to terms with a spouse’s debt before marriage. Also, consider the potential upsides to having a prenuptial agreement, especially when one or both of you come to the marriage with significant assets or debts, or when children are involved.

• Have annual discussions about a spouse’s stay-at-home status.
There are many good reasons for a mother or a father to stay home and raise children, but you should revisit this decision once a year to determine if it still works for the family. The spouse who chooses to stay at home should make him or herself fully aware of the potential risk of doing so. Can you afford a one-income household? Will the stay-at-home spouse be able to re-enter the workforce? Will you be fulfilled at home? These are valid questions to seriously consider each year.

Pro Surfer & Inspirational Speaker Bethany Hamilton to Rep Jamba Juice

August 22nd, 2015

As of 10:45 a.m. Monday August 24:

Jamba Hawaii and newly announced spokesperson Bethany Hamilton regret to inform everyone that due to the inclement weather and resulting safety concerns for the general public, Bethany Hamilton's appearance scheduled at Kahala Mall Center Stage from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. TODAY is CANCELLED. The event will be rescheduled at a later date.

I remember covering surfer Bethany Hamilton's tragic accident, when a shark bit her arm off in 2003. It's been inspirational to watch her life and career arc into success. What a positive attitude she has!

Photo of Bethany Hamilton by Mike Coots

Photo of Bethany Hamilton by Mike Coots

Just one month after the attack, Bethany returned to the water and a year later, won her first national surfing title. She has since achieved her childhood dream of surfing professionally.

Her story has been well documented by a New York Times best-selling autobiography and in the 2011 film Soul Surfer. Using her platform as a professional athlete to promote living a fit and healthy lifestyle, she also authored the book Body and Soul in 2014. Now, she adds corporate representative to her list of achievements, signing on with Jamba Juice Hawaii.

“The main reason I chose to partner with Jamba is its commitment to provide healthy, nutritional, as well as delicious food and drink alternatives,” said Hamilton. “For my active lifestyle and professional career, Jamba Juice is an enjoyable on-the-go food stop.”

I'm sure many people share my sentiments, and they now have a chance to meet her on Monday, August 24, at Kahala Mall Center Stage from 4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. Monday marks her first appearance as spokesperson, where Jamba will be providing free samples of its Pineapple Dreamin’ smoothies.

“Bethany not only embodies the healthy and active lifestyle that Jamba represents but she is an inspiration to thousands of people,” said Donna Yano, VP of Jamba Juice Hawaii. “This partnership is truly a win-win situation as both Jamba and Bethany continually encourage people to better themselves in all aspects of their lives.”

Another local celeb who represents the brand includes Major League Baseball superstar Kolten Wong, who promoted its line of freshly squeezed juices earlier this year.

As of 10:45 a.m. Monday August 24:

Jamba Hawaii and newly announced spokesperson Bethany Hamilton regret to inform everyone that due to the inclement weather and resulting safety concerns for the general public, Bethany Hamilton's appearance scheduled at Kahala Mall Center Stage from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. TODAY is CANCELLED. The event will be rescheduled at a later date.

Control your beliefs and take command over your life

August 21st, 2015

“Why is it I have prayed and prayed and got no answer? Jim Jensen has been asked this question untold times. It’s a very common complaint all over the world.

His answer is this: “All thoughts are prayers, and all prayers are answered – positive or negative. In life, you don’t often get what you want – you get what you expect. And the key to creating the realities you desire and deserve is to make what you want and what you expect the same.”

This is the power of the subconscious area of the mind. In his new book titled, 7 KEYS To Unlock Your Full Potential, Jensen explores how to take control of your beliefs and unleash the power of your subconscious mind, so that breakthrough performance can result.

“Beliefs are the results of your experiences, events, conditions, and the acts and actions of ourselves and others. Beliefs are the things we believe to be eternally true – the truths of life that do not change,” he says. “When we take control of our subconscious beliefs and emotions, we take back control of our lives.”

Your mind is an amazing tool which works actively to create the world you experience. Your beliefs about the world are colored by your beliefs about yourself.

Jensen explains how our ability to control our life is based on our beliefs about our mind, particularly how well we control our limiting beliefs. These personal beliefs – affirmations - are critical. Jensen defines affirmations as "a statement of fact or belief, positive or negative, that tends to lead you toward the end result you expect.”

A belief is a thought in your mind. Do not believe in things to harm or hurt you. Believe in your power to heal, inspire, strengthen, and prosper you. Change your thoughts, and you change your destiny.

When you say to yourself “I am really good at this,” your mind will bring that belief into reality. On the other hand if you say “I am really bad it this,” your mind will bring that into reality as well.

Seldom does an individual exceed his/her expectations. High-performance people develop high expectations which they hold firmly in their minds as though this picture (or goal) is already achieved.

You are in control. By changing your beliefs, you have the opportunity to effect changes in the world. You can counteract negative suggestions and beliefs. Here’s his advice how:

Think good, and good follows. Think evil, and evil follows. You are what you think about all day long.

Your subconscious mind does not argue with you. It accepts what your conscious mind decrees. If you say, “I can’t afford it,” it may be true, but do not say it. Select a better thought; decree, “I’ll buy it. I accept it in my mind.”

You have the power to choose. Choose health and happiness. You can choose to be friendly, or you can choose to be unfriendly. Choose to be cooperative, joyous, friendly, lovable, and the whole world will respond. This is the best way to develop a wonderful personality.

Your conscious mind is the “watchman at the gate.” Its chief function is to protect your subconscious mind from false impressions. Choose to believe that something good can happen and is happening now. Your greatest power is your capacity to choose. Choose happiness and abundance.

The suggestions and statements of others have no power to hurt you. The only power is the movement of your own thought. You can choose to reject the thoughts or statements of others and affirm the good. You have the power to choose how you will react.

Watch what you say. You have to account for every idle word. Never say, “I will fail; I will lose my job; I can’t pay the rent.” Your subconscious cannot take a joke. It brings all these things to pass.

Your mind is not evil. No force of nature is evil. It depends how you use the powers of nature. Use your mind to bless, heal, and inspire all people everywhere.

Never say “I can’t.” Overcome that fear by substituting the following- “I can do all things through the power of my own subconscious mind.”

Begin to think from the standpoint of the eternal truths and principles of life and not from the standpoint of fear, ignorance, and superstition. Do not let others do your thinking for you. Choose your own thoughts and make your own decisions.

You are the captain of your soul (subconscious mind) and the master of your fate. Remember, you have the capacity to choose. Choose life! Choose love! Choose health! Choose happiness!

Whatever your conscious mind assumes and believes to be true, your subconscious mind will accept and bring to pass. Believe in good fortune, divine guidance, right action, and all the blessings of life.