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Ian Lind • Online daily from Kaaawa, Hawaii

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The difference a day makes (photos)

May 23rd, 2015 · No Comments

Two consecutive mornings in Kaaawa.

As usual, click on either photo to see a larger version.

Friday morning (top photo) was clear and calm. We got down to Swanzy Beach Park just a few seconds after the sun came into view. Shifting my position slightly, I was able to shield the lens from the direct view of the sun. There were no tents, no campers, just Janet, the sunrise photographer, with her tripod set up under the coconut trees.

Swanzy Beach Park

Then this morning, Saturday (photo below). It rained much of the night and was still threatening this morning. A bit of sun punched through the clouds, shining a spotlight somewhere out there. Swanzy was crazy with tents and campers, This photo was taken towards the far end of the beach, nearly a mile beyond Swanzy (“beyond” from the perspective of our house, but towards the Kaneohe-end of Kaaawa).

Swanzy Beach Park

[Both photos taken with a Canon G7X camera, my current “walk around” camera that travels with me much of the time. It replaced my Canon S120. It’s about the same size, a little thicker due to its articulating screen, much faster, and turns out excellent photos.]

→ No CommentsTags: Kaaawa · Photographs

National Museum of the American Indian to showcase Hawaii sovereignty

May 22nd, 2015 · No Comments

I just gave permission for one of my classic photos to be included in an upcoming exhibit at the National Museum of the American Indian.

Another cropped version of this photo is among those I posted here earlier. They date from sometime in 1976 or early 1977. With more research I could probably pin it down, but for now I’m a bit vague on it.

The rally marked the first public performance of Liko Martin’s “All Hawaii Stand Together.”

As usual, you can click on this photo to see a larger version.

c. 1976-1977

The photo, taken at the bandstand at Iolani Palace, includes George Helm, Walter Ritte, Liko Martin, and Harry Mitchell.

You can see more of the photos from that day here.

Here’s a brief nugget about the exhibit, E Mau Ke Ea: The Sovereign Hawaiian Nation.

The image will be used to accompany text panels telling the history of the Hawaiian Kingdom, its overthrow, and the emergence of today’s Hawaiian sovereignty movement.

The exhibition is expected to open at our museum on the National Mall in Washington, DC in January 2016, and remain up for one year.

→ No CommentsTags: History · Photographs

Feline Friday: The “Spa”

May 22nd, 2015 · 3 Comments

Our quick trip to Colorado Springs disrupted my cat photos for the week, so I was scrambling for a suitable Feline Friday when Duke delivered.

Here’s the thing with travel and Duke.

Since 2010, when he was diagnosed with feline diabetes, Duke has required insulin shots twice a day, morning and evening. And for most of the time since, there’s been a second diabetic in our cat family. Mr. Silverman was the second to be diagnosed, and then later Ms. Kili also turned out to be mildly diabetic.

Under normal circumstances, getting them their shots at approximately the right times is an inconvenience. Living out in Kaaawa, we have had to give up most evening events in Honolulu, except for special occasions when we plan carefully in advance.

For several years, if we wanted to travel, the boys would have to go into the slammer. By that I mean boarding at VCA in Kaneohe, where diabetes put them into the “medical boarding” category. Good care, high cost. Sort of akin to paying for a hotel room for the cats for each night we are off island.

Then we found a cat sitter willing to give the shots. But there’s one problem. Duke is shy, and even the arrival of a familiar cat sitter sends him running for cover. And if he’s hiding, even a willing cat sitter can’t give him his shots.

So we bought a pet crate which can fold up when not in use. When we leave, Duke goes into the crate. It’s far from ideal, and we feel bad about it. But I think there’s more space than they get when boarding at VCA, and there are no dogs barking, or strangers working right around the boarding area. We save money, our pet sitter makes extra money, and Duke gains a bit of space.

But he’s still locked up, and we worry.

So over last weekend, while we were gone, he spent several days in his crate. We refer to it as “the spa.”

As soon as it was clear that our return flight was actually going to take off, we contacted our cat sitter and told her to let Duke out after his morning shot.

So we got home and he was enjoying his freedom, while we still carried a bit of residual guilt.

Then he surprised us.

We started noticing that he was slipping into “the spa” on his own and apparently enjoying his private retreat. When I got up in the early morning, Duke was asleep in the spa. If we sit down after dinner to watch television, Duke suddenly appeared…in the spa.

So I think we have our answer. From a fat cat’s perspective, a week in the spa isn’t such a bad thing. Meals served regularly, fresh water provided, insulin on schedule, a little catnip, and even a private litter box.

Here’s a photo I took last night when I noticed him setting up shop there in the spa. Notice that the door is open, he’s free to come and go. And he just came and stayed.

The Spa

→ 3 CommentsTags: Cats · Photographs

Guest Post: Prepping for 2020

May 22nd, 2015 · No Comments

This comment from a reader who uses the name “Compare & Decide” seems worth sharing. It’s clear that the water woes of the U.S. west are going to have spillover impacts far beyond the boundaries of the states directly impacted by extreme drought.

Compare & Decide writes:

I am wondering how we can prep for 2020, when the fracking boom ends and jet fuel costs will rise.

People with houses can start gardens. Basically, in Hawaii all your fruit and vegetables can come from the garden. Starch and protein are more tricky.

Incidentally, I just clicked on this article on California’s water shortage (“Your contribution to the California Drought“).

It starts out: “The average American consumes more than 300 gallons of California water each week by eating food that was produced there.”

California farmers produce more than a third of the nation’s vegetables and two-thirds of its fruits and nuts. To do that, they use nearly 80 percent of all the water consumed in the state. It is the most stubborn part of the crisis: To fundamentally alter how much water the state uses, all Americans may have to give something up.

That is something to plan for.

→ No CommentsTags: Consumer issues · environment · Politics

Teachers union election turmoil bad for HSTA, bad for labor

May 22nd, 2015 · 5 Comments

The Hawaii State Teachers Association is melting down as it’s board of directors trumps up vague reasons to reject the results of its statewide elections. And there’s a rotten smell emanating from the meltdown.

A slate of activist teachers challenged the union’s current leadership this year, attempting to build on their success in rallying teachers for better wages and working conditions.

They won, by all accounts. But the union’s board has refused to certify the results and is attempting to replay the election.

It seems a pretty desperate strategy to avoid what the current leadership obviously views as a surprising and unwanted result.

But elections are like that sometimes.

Corey Rosenlee, who reportedly topped other candidates for president in the balloting, rejected the HSTA’s refusal to certify the election results.

According to Hawaii News Now:

He claimed the HSTA board rejected the results because they didn’t like that he and other dissidents won.

“There were no complaints about the election until after they saw the results. You should have integrity that if you want to complain about an election, you should say those complaints before you see the results,” said Rosenlee, who’s been on the union’s board for one year.

Lewis said the HSTA board was concerned because some teachers reported they didn’t get ballots on time. Some of them failed to get email links to vote electronically and others didn’t get paper ballots in time to vote, Lewis said.

She could not quantify how many teachers were disenfranchised. Approximately 3,300 teachers voted in this election, more than the number of teachers who voted in the last statewide union election in 2012.

And the same HNN story reported that more ballots were cast in this election than in the prior HSTA election.

Approximately 3,300 teachers voted in this election, more than the number of teachers who voted in the last statewide union election in 2012.

That certainly seems to undercut the leadership’s claim that “defects” in the election process prevented teachers from voting.

Are unsubstantiated claims of unspecified “missing” ballots a reason to reject the election results?

It certainly doesn’t appear so.

I spotted this campaign advertisement that the slate of Change candidates posted at the beginning of the election process.

It urged supporters to watch for mailed and emailed ballots, check email spam filters if they didn’t see their digital ballot, and to call the HSTA office if necessary.

And they won

Missing, misplaced, or previously ignored ballots and errant spam filters are facts of life, and the challengers urged supporters to proactively address any problems.

Rosenlee noted that votes were cast over a two week period by mail or electronically, and that there was a period for protest after balloting was closed. He said there were few complaints until the votes were counted and it was clear that the reform slate had swept the union’s top positions.

Thanks to progressive activist Bart Dame for his link to an article from Labor Notes (“Stolen Election? Reformers in Hawaii Fight to Take Office“), which explains some of the background of this election.

Dame has commented extensively via Facebook, noting that HSTA’s actions damage the public’s view of all organized labor.

HSTA has just done incredible damage, not only to THEIR reputation, but that of unions generally.

They are giving ammunition to the enemies of unions as much as if they made a contribution to the Right to Work organization.

As someone wrote int hte comments, the should plead temporary insanity, apologize and confirm the new, duly elected leadership.

The other unions should apply pressure, perhaps privately, but firmly to the leadership to give up. The threat should be that they will publicly criticize the theft of the election if the incumbent HSTA leadership does not go along peacefully.

Seriously, I am stunned. You run an election. If you lose, you recognize the will of the voters. What is wrong with these people?

I couldn’t say it any better.

→ 5 CommentsTags: Education · Labor · Politics