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Ian Lind • Online daily from Kaaawa, Hawaii

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A new first-person account of the January 1976 protest landing on Kahoolawe

December 12th, 2014 · No Comments

Steve Morse, another of the original “Kahoolawe Nine” who took part in the first major protest landing on Kahoolawe in January 1976, has written a first-person account of the experience.

First Landing: The Story of the Kahoolawe Nine” is now available through Amazon.com.

From the book’s online blurb:

FIRST LANDING is an entertaining and provocative story that revolves around one of the smallest islands in the Hawaiian archipelago, Kaho’olawe, used as a bombing target for 50 years by the United States Navy and a little known protest occupation in 1976 which sparked the Hawaiian people’s movement to reclaim and restore their culture and their ancestral lands. It’s a touching, engaging, and often humorous, modern-day David and Goliath tale revealing the courage and dedication of “a rag-tag bunch of Hawaiians in love with their land” who, armed only with the Spirit of Aloha, in the end prevailed over the most powerful naval force in the world. It’s also an educational piece that provides readers with a small glimpse of modern Hawaiian history and Hawaiians’ view of the world, including a detailed Glossary of Hawaiian terms and phrases which is a must read for those interested in the Hawaiian psyche. FIRST LANDING is a truly inspirational success story giving hope and encouragement to all indigenous peoples that sacred, ancestral lands can be reclaimed through the peaceful concept of “Aloha ‘Aina”; Love of the Land.

I’ve read and commented on earlier drafts, so I’m anxious to get my hands on the finished product. There just isn’t much written about this period of Hawaii politics.

It’s an inexpensive 174-page paperback, so it might make a good stocking stuffer for this gift-giving season.

→ No CommentsTags: History · Media · Politics

Are there recycling bins at Honolulu Airport?

December 12th, 2014 · 8 Comments

I was in the Hawaiian Airlines terminal at Honolulu Airport yesterday. I bought a bottle of tea to drink while waiting. And when I was done, I went to do my duty and recycle the plastic bottle.

Oops. I found plenty of trash containers, but no recycling bins. Not a one.

Come to think of it, I don’t know that I’ve ever seen any over in the main terminal at HNL.

So what’s up with that?

Literally millions of travelers go through the airport each year. Many of them partake of bottled or canned drinks. And, unless I’m mistaken, all the empties go in the trash.

So much for sustainability.

Please, tell me I just didn’t look in the right places and failing to locate a recycling bin was just my own error.

I really don’t want to think that state airport officials are so out of touch with the simple gestures that can make a big difference.

→ 8 CommentsTags: environment · History · Politics

“How many cats do you have?”

December 12th, 2014 · 1 Comment

It’s a question we get quite often.

And one that I’ve answered from time to time.

So what are my options when I wake up on a Feline Friday without a supply of cat photos for the week?

The answer is simple. Dig back into the photo bin for some oldies. Here’s one of my favorites, from our cat census as of June 2002. The kittens are Mr. Duke and his sister, Maka, with their mother, who we named Cybelle.


They were unexpected additions to our household after we took part in a rescue from a cat hoarder’s home and ended up with this large, very pregnant Siamese who soon delivered us three kittens, of which two survived kittenhood. At this point, Duke is the only one still living.

So who else was in the household in mid-2002? Check it out using the link below. And when you get to the census page, note the link to the longer version of the cat story. If you have time, it says a lot about our trials and tribulations that we’ve faced in our interactions with the feline world.

–> See the cat census in June 2002!

→ 1 CommentTags: Cats · Photographs

Throwback Thursday: Saying goodbye to 1969

December 11th, 2014 · No Comments

The date: December 31, 1969. New Year’s Eve.

We spent the evening at my parents’ place in Kahala. At least that’s what the photo record shows.

There are two mango trees in the back yard in Kahala. One, a white Bombay Pirie, was planted when my sister, Bonnie, was born. The other, a wonderful haden mango, was planted when I came along.

In the top photo, I’m hanging small strings of firecrackers on Bonnie’s pirie to be set off as midnight approached.

In the middle photo, Meda is hanging firecrackers on my tree.

Although the trees are much smaller than they are today, you can recognize them by distinctive shapes or patterns of branches. I wouldn’t have though this would be possible, in light of the more than four intervening decades, but I could immediately tell one from the other in the old photos.

I’ve added another photo, below, to show what the trees looked like in early 2013. In this photo, the pirie is on the right.

In Kahala
In Kahala
Kahala 2013

Finally, here’s one that goes back to the beginning of the trees. If I’m not mistaken, this was Bonnie’s pirie mango soon after it was planted in the Spring of 1943. That’s my mother’s dog, Kiki, making herself at home. In the background are the trees and bushes that first gave way to wartime farms, and before all were cleared out for more homes along Makaiwa Street and beyond.

Kahala 2013

→ No CommentsTags: History · Photographs

Analysts mixed on whether NextEra takeover will boost or hinder continued growth of renewables

December 10th, 2014 · 4 Comments

Here is some of the news and analysis which has appeared following the announcement of NextEra’s proposed purchase of Hawaiian Electric Industries. One interesting thing is that several of the articles give high marks to Hawaiian Electric for leading the way in integrating large amounts of rooftop solar into its system, and cite that experience and know-how as an asset that will be valuable to NextEra. Here on the ground, of course, the public reaction has been very different, seeing Hawaiian Electric as dragging its feet towards the distributed energy future. Which assessment is more accurate? I suppose that remains to be seen.

Why a Florida utility suddenly wants to serve Hawaii,” Christian Science Monitor.

The deal is part of a broader trend within the utility sector: FirstEnergy Corp. purchased Allegheny Energy in 2010 for about $4.7 billion; Duke Energy linked up with Progress Energy in 2012 in a $25 billion deal; and NRG Energy bought out GenOn last year for $4.2 billion. Like other industrial sectors, utilities are emerging from hard times and trying to prepare for the future – gaining scale and achieving synergies.

NextEra’s record on mergers is not stellar. In 2001, when it was known as FPL, it’s attempts to buy New Orleans-based Entergy Corp. became a high-profile flop. In 2006, Maryland regulators nixed its planned merger with Constellation Energy. Most recently, it has pursued Oncor, a Dallas-based transmission operator of bankrupt power company, although it appears to have pulled back.

“NextEra’s Acquisition Of Hawaii’s Biggest Electric Utility May Be Bad News For Distributed Power Business,” Forbes.

“NextEra is an ‘ordinary’ competitor outside of Florida, but is a dominant monopoly that does everything it can to squash even the threat of competition on the home turf of its largest and most profitable subsidiary, Florida Power & Light,” said David Cruthirds, a regulatory lawyer and publisher of The Cruthirds Report newsletter.

This may not bode well for distributed power businesses keen on competing for market share in Hawaii.

“FPL uses its ‘political market power’ at the Florida PSC and Florida legislature to keep all but the most committed competitors out of the state,” said Cruthirds. ”NextEra can be expected to bring its anti-competitive attitudes and practices to Hawaii if its acquisition of HEI goes through because HEI is the incumbent monopoly.”

What Can Hawaii Expect From NextEra’s Purchase of Hawaiian Electric?” GreenTechMedia.com

The company has built a strong renewables business in states with strong renewables policy. Meanwhile, its regulated monopoly has fought tooth and nail against those same policies at home in Florida. When it comes to FP&L, the company hasn’t delivered significant renewables itself and has worked to quash customers’ ability to do so on their own.

So which NextEra can Hawaii expect? We don’t have to wait long to find out.

The next six months in Florida will provide a preview. Regulators at the Florida Public Service Commission have ordered a workshop on the future of solar in the state. The legislature’s session opens on March 3 and runs 60 days. There will be efforts to expand renewable energy in Florida, as well as to allow for popular third-party solar financing arrangements, reform taxes that are hurting the solar industry, and ensure that customers who choose to invest in solar can reap the full benefit of their investment. NextEra’s response to each of these measures will send a clear message to Hawaiian ratepayers about what they can expect if the merger with HECO is approved.

NextEra official discusses future of Big Island energy” West Hawaii Today.

“Our view is the way technology is today that some level of fossil fuels could give the degree of (firm power) that’s going to be required,” he said. “Maybe not forever. That’s why we support HELCO’s plan that they filed that includes some fossil fuel use in the system.”

Geothermal is another source of firm, or constant, power HELCO has pursued.

Jay Ignacio, HELCO president, said the company is asking for final and best offers from those seeking a contract for expanding geothermal power on the island by 25 mgw or more.

He said the purchase won’t impact that process, though NextEra Energy will be consulted if a deal is made before the sale is finalized.

Gleason said an undersea cable to connect the state’s electrical grids could be pursued but the company doesn’t have any plans to do so at the moment.

“I think a cable to the Big Island is feasible, but whether or not things happen ultimately depends on whether it’s in the public interest,” he said.

→ 4 CommentsTags: General