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Reblog: “Strange and Wondrous . . .

https://www.mauijungalow.com/2020/04/strange-and-wondrous-things-i-have-seen.html#.XryVAi-ZOfU

Here is Courtney’s record and photos of what has been happening on Maui.  No tourists and even returning residents are to quarantine for fourteen days through the end of May, but our Mayor opened some businesses yesterday.  We haven’t had many cases, but only a few qualify for testing —- so Barry and I are still staying home.  Stay healthy.  Stay home – wherever you are.  Enjoy Courtney’s post.  Aloha, Renée

 

Barry’s Gleanings: “Social Distancing: This is Not a Snow Day”

March 13, 2020 (Updated March 14, 2020)
Download a printable PDF version of this article here. 

Today (March 16), we had our first confirmed case of COVID-19 here on Maui – a flight attendant who had been exposed in Germany on March 4. We are an interconnected world.

Planes and ships keep arriving on Maui where we have NO screening and are promised test kits within the next six weeks. I’ve read that we are about 11 days behind Italy. So, we each need to take responsibly for our own health and the health of those around us. Barry and I are both healthy, but “older,” and I especially have interacted with probably 200 or so visitors in the past week. I don’t want to get sick nor pass the virus on to others, so this is the third day that Barry and I are self-isolating.

The following article by Harvard Doctor Asaf Bitton, executive director of Ariadne Labs in Boston, provides excellent advice.

“I know there is some confusion about what to do next in the midst of this unprecedented time of a pandemic, school closures, and widespread social disruption.  As a primary care physician and public health leader, I have been asked by a lot of people for my opinion, and I will provide it below based on the best information available to me today. These are my personal views, and my take on the necessary steps ahead.

What I can clearly say is that what we do, or don’t do, over the next week will have a massive impact on the local and perhaps national trajectory of coronavirus. We are only about 11 days behind Italy and generally on track to repeat what is unfortunately happening there and throughout much of the rest of Europe very soon. 

At this point, containment through contact tracing and increased testing is only part of the necessary strategy. We must move to pandemic mitigation through widespread, uncomfortable, and comprehensive social distancing. That means not only shutting down schools, work (as much as possible), group gatherings, and public events, but also making daily choices to stay away from each other as much as possible to Flatten The Curve below. 

Flattening the curve

Our health system will not be able to cope with the projected numbers of people who will need acute care should we not muster the fortitude and will to socially distance each other starting now. On a regular day, we have about 45,000 staffed ICU beds nationally, which can be ramped up in a crisis to about 95,000. Even moderate projections suggest that if current infectious trends hold, our capacity (locally and nationally) may be overwhelmed as early as mid-late April. Thus, the only strategies that can get us off this concerning trajectory are those that enable us to work together as a community to maintain public health by staying apart.

The wisdom, and necessity, of this more aggressive, early, and extreme form of social distancing can be found here. I would urge you to take a minute to walk through the interactive graphs – they will drive home the point about what we need to do now to avoid a worse crisis later. Historical lessons and experiences of countries worldwide have shown us that taking these actions early can have a dramatic impact on the magnitude of the outbreak. So what does this enhanced form of social distancing mean on a daily basis, when schools are cancelled? 

Here are some steps you can start taking now to keep your family safe and do your part to avoid a worsening crisis:

1. We need to push our local, state, and national leaders to close ALL schools and public spaces and cancel all events and public gatherings now

A local, town by town response won’t have the adequate needed effect. We need a statewide, nationwide approach in these trying times. Contact your representativeand your governor to urge them to enact statewide closures. As of today, six states have already done so. Your state should be one of them. Also urge leaders to increase funds for emergency preparedness and make widening coronavirus testing capacity an immediate and top priority. We also need legislators to enact better paid sick leave and unemployment benefits  to help nudge people to make the right call to stay at home right now.


2. No kid playdates, parties, sleepovers, or families/friends visiting each other’s houses and apartments. 

This sounds extreme because it is. We are trying to create distance between family units and between individuals. It may be particularly uncomfortable for families with small children, kids with differential abilities or challenges, and for kids who simply love to play with their friends. But even if you choose only one friend to have over, you are creating new links and possibilities for the type of transmission that all of our school/work/public event closures are trying to prevent. The symptoms of coronavirus take four to five days to manifest themselves. Someone who comes over looking well can transmit the virus. Sharing food is particularly risky – I definitely do not recommend that people do so outside of their family. 

We have already taken extreme social measures to address this serious disease – let’s not actively co-opt our efforts by having high levels of social interaction at people’s houses instead of the schools or workplaces. Again – the wisdom of early and aggressive social distancing is that it can flatten the curve above, give our health system a chance to not be overwhelmed, and eventually may reduce the length and need for longer periods of extreme social distancing later (see what has transpired in Italy and Wuhan). We need to all do our part during these times, even if it means some discomfort for a while. This won’t be forever, but we need to be committed and intentional about our actions now.


3. Take care of yourself and your family, but maintain social distance. 

Exercise, take walks/runs outside, and stay connected through phone, video, and other social media. But when you go outside, do your best to maintain at least six feet between you and non-family members. If you have kids, try not to use public facilities like playground structures, as coronavirus can live on plastic and metal for up to nine days, and these structures aren’t getting regularly cleaned. 

Going outside will be important during these strange times, and the weather is improving. Go outside every day if you are able, but stay physically away from people outside your family or roommates. If you have kids, try playing a family soccer or basketball game instead of having your kids play with other kids, since sports often mean direct physical contact with others. And though we may wish to visit elders in our community in person, I would not visit nursing homes or other areas where large numbers of the elderly reside, as they are at highest risk for complications and mortality from coronavirus. 
Social distancing can take a toll (after all, most of us are social creatures). The CDC offers tips and resources to reduce this burden, and other resources offer strategies to cope with the added stress during this time.

We need to find alternate ways to reduce social isolation within our communities through virtual means instead of in-person visits.


4. Reduce the frequency of going to stores, restaurants, and coffee shops for the time being. 

Of course trips to the grocery store will be necessary, but try to limit them and go at times when they are less busy. Consider asking grocery stores to queue people at the door in order to limit the number of people inside a store at any one time. Remember to wash your hands thoroughly before and after your trip. And leave the medical masks and gloves for the medical professionals—we need them to care for those who are sick. Maintain distance from others while shopping—and remember that hoarding supplies negatively impacts others so buy what you need and leave some for everyone else. Take-out meals and food are riskier than making food at home given the links between the people who prepare food, transport the food, and you. It is hard to know how much that risk is, but it is certainly higher than making it at home. But you can and should continue to support your local small businesses (especially restaurants and other retailers) during this difficult time by buying gift certificates online that you can use later. 


5. If you are sick, isolate yourself, stay home, and contact a medical professional. 

If you are sick, you should try to isolate yourself from the rest of your family within your residence as best as you can. If you have questions about whether you qualify or should get a coronavirus test, you can call your primary care team and/or consider calling the Massachusetts Department of Public Health at 617 983 6800 (or your state’s department of health if you are outside of Massachusetts). Don’t just walk into an ambulatory clinic—call first so that they can give you the best advice—which might be to go to a drive-through testing center or a virtual visit on video or phone. Of course, if it is an emergency call 911.


I realize there is a lot built into these suggestions, and that they represent a real burden for many individuals, families, businesses, and communities. Social distancing is hard and may negatively impact many people, especially those who face vulnerabilities in our society. I recognize that there is structural and social inequity built in and around social distancing recommendations. We can and must take steps to bolster our community response to people who face food insecurity, domestic violence, and housing challenges, along with the many other social disadvantages. 

I also realize that not everyone can do everything. But we have to try our absolute best as a community, starting today. Enhancing social distancing, even by one day, can make a large difference.

We have a preemptive opportunity to save lives through the actions we take right now that we will not have in a few weeks. It is a public health imperative. It is also our responsibility as a community to act while we still have a choice and while our actions can have the greatest impact

We cannot wait [my emphasis].

–Asaf Bitton”

From: https://www.ariadnelabs.org/resources/articles/news/social-distancing-this-is-not-a-snow-day/

Wherever you are – Stay healthy. Stay home. Help one another.

May you and your loved ones we well. Aloha, Renée

Banner photo by Timon Studler on Unsplash

The 2020 Woman’s March, Maui

Again, we marched. Again, it was with a feeling of hope and joy. Again, I saw friends old and new. Again, the informational booths offered a variety of resources for Deaf Children, LGBTQ, Planned Parenthood, Citizens Climate Lobby . . . Again, we had an organized march, inspiring speeches, special guests, music, pule, dancing. The camaraderie, the energy of people – men, women, children, young and old, under a partly sunny Maui sky – all made for an excellent morning.

This, the fourth Women’s March, had keynote speaker Teresa Shook, retired attorney and resident of Hana, an isolated town on the East end of Maui. Her idea that we should march went viral after the 2016 presidential election and resulted in these Women’s Marches all across the country.

Teresa Shook, at Maui College, keynote speaker for the Maui 2020 Women’s March
Photo: mauibnews.com

For the march this year, The Maui News estimated 1,000 participants, a smaller number than other years. Missing too for the first time was the man with the bullhorn who screamed that all of us in the march hated men. With him had been a young girl, wearing a bonnet and long dress, and another man. Have they learned that, of course, we don’t hate men? (Well, we do know that some individual men have a lot to learn about respecting others). Has the girl refused to come along? We want Equal Rights, Civil Rights, Equal Opportunities, Gender Equality, Choice, Equal Pay, No War, help for immigrants escaping political and/or economic oppression, respect for all people, Truth and Reconciliation; excellent public schools for all children, clean water, protected public lands, actions to mitigate the real damage humans are making everywhere, supports for the most vulnerable among us, leaders with integrity and compassion for those struggling the most . . .

Many did come: men, women, children – many holding signs and representing a variety of interests and concerns. Photo by RR.
“Denial is not a policy” Photo by RR.
Speaking up for the Earth. Photo by RR.

Great T-shirt message: “Woman’s Rights are Human Rights, Black Lives Matter, We are All Immigrants, Climate Change is Not a Hoax, Water is Life, Science is Real” – friend & paddling sister – Joy. Photo by RR.
Maui friend & paddling sister, Gail and 93-year-old Mom at their fourth Maui Women’s March. Gail’s sisters Wendy and April come each year too. 🙂 Photo by RR.
Mele – with Maui Peace Action: NO WAR WITH IRAN. “53 cents of every US Tax dollar goes to the Military! STOP Illegal Wars”. Photo by RR.
Humorous and serious signs: “We used to burn books. I hope we can burn these signs in November.” Photo by RR.

Thanks to The Women’s March Maui Coalition, including its board members – Marnie Masuda-Cleveland, Kelli Blair Swan, Sherry Alu Campagna and founding board member Shook, the speakers, the musicians, informational booth attendants, food trucks, the marchers. Lei’ohu Ryder for the opening ceremony; Awesomystics, Skylar Masuda, Struck by Seda, Ono Maui Shakespeare, Deborah Vial Band, “Amazon,” Eliza and Shea Derrick’s Band, for the entertainment.

Great signs: “I Am A Strong Man Because of a Stronger Woman” and “I am the Resistance” at Maui College, Jan. 2020. Photo by RR.
Maui Now photo – from an earlier Maui March
Maui Time photo at Maui College

And what were friend Susan and I doing? We missed most of the speakers, the music, the dancing. We were happily sharing voting information and registering people to vote. For the first time starting with our primary election in August 2020, Hawaii residents will vote by mail. If you are a Hawaii resident, go to On-Line Voter Registration to register and/or check to see if all your information is up-to-date” <olvr.hawaii.gov>.

At the entrance to Maui College – that’s me. This was the borrowed sign I used at the 2019 Women’s March, again this year, and at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. march. Although the sign is a bit worn, the message is still excellent. Photo by Joy N.

And what was I doing two days later on January 20, 2020? I went to the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. March in Wailuku: good speakers, good music, good people.

Gwen’s International students experiencing a U.S. march: Switzerland, Canada, Brazil, Ukraine, Japan, South Korea, . . . Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. would have liked it too. And again, I got to give out voter information. Photo by RR.

My voter registration T-shirt, compliments of Southern Poverty Law Center. We are in this together. Photo by RR.

Am I worried that the numbers to the marches are down. Should you be worried? Nope. We are busy people. We know that we must vote – and take action to change what we can.

Photo from facebook.com

Thank you to everyone involved in these marches – and in all the positive actions in our communities.

Vote wherever you live. Make you voice heard — and do more. You are needed.

Aloha, Renée

The Golden Rule – Sails Again!

Sunday, I got to paddle canoes with others to escort the Golden Rule, a sailing ship with a long history, on its continuing journey of peace. Moored for the last two weeks in slip #20 at Ma’alaea Harbor, the Golden Rule came to Maui from the Big Island and before that, California. This little sailing ship, a national project of Veterans for Peace, continues its mission to create a nuclear-free world and a peaceful, sustainable future for all beings.

The Golden Rule was first used in the quest for peace in 1958 when four Quaker peace activists sailed it toward the Marshall Islands in an attempt to halt atmospheric nuclear weapons testing there.

The Golden Rule in 1958. Image from <https://www.vfpgoldenruleproject.org/history/?fbclid=IwAR08g7RrPHEqUcdfNsZ_jYkqJx7zubUJufL1GelgvJicnpLUHutDmjoxRMM&gt;.

The U.S. Coast Guard stopped the ship and arrested its crew, raising a public outcry. The Phoenix of Hiroshima, another sail boat, completed the journey and entered the atomic bomb test zone. The increasing public awareness of radiation dangers led President Kennedy, the U.S.S.R. and the U.K. to sign the Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty in 1963. The Golden Rule’s goal seemed accomplished.

However, after the Golden Rule sank in a gale in Humboldt Bay in Northern California in 2010, some saw the need for its continued mission.

For the next five years, U.S. Veterans for Peace, Quakers, and other volunteers restored her.

The Golden Rule now sails again for a nuclear-free world and a peaceful, sustainable future. And right now, she is here in Hawaii. Part of her mission is to educate. Did you know, for instance, that there are about 140 US military facilities and depleted uranium contamination sites in the Hawaiian Islands?

Did you know that the US Navy is expanding its military training here in Maui County: ship-to-ship, ship-to-shore, above the ocean, and below the ocean surface? In our Kahului Public Library, you can see the four large manuals of Navy military plans for Maui County and beyond. Please see my earlier post: https://reneeriley.wordpress.com/2019/01/08/u-s-navy-plans-for-special-operations-training-in-maui-county-and-beyond/. If you are on Maui, go see the many military plans noted in the U.S. Navy manuals at the library reference desk.

As for the Golden Rule in her mission of peace – after her stops in Lanai and other Hawaiian Islands, she will head to the Marshall Islands, which continues to feel the effects of the 67 US nuclear bombs tested there. The Golden Rule plans to help the Marshallese commemorate “Bravo Day” – 65+ years after the disastrous Castle Bravo nuclear bomb test that was far larger than expected — resulting in widespread radioactive contamination.

Castle Bravo nuclear testing on the Marshall Islands - image from "The Deadly Miscalculation at Castle Bravo"
Nuclear test on the Marshall Islands

Go to YouTube: “The Deadly Miscalculation at Castle Bravo” to see film of the deadly bombing that has resulted in many cancers and other health issues for the Marshallese people even today.

After stops in Guam, Okinawa and possibly South Korea, the Golden Rule will sail to Japan in August 2020 for the 75th anniversary of the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Education and action are needed now more than ever!

Here on Maui, we got to meet Helen Jaccard, Golden Rule Project Manager, who during several talks on our island, showed the film Making Waves: Rebirth of the Golden Rule and led discussions: What we can do to reduce the possibility of nuclear war?”

I handed out a few flyers to advertise the events. At one stop, I gave the flyer to the really helpful Ace Hardware man who always greets me, “What can I do for you, Miss?” and “Boss Lady, what do you need?” He always makes me laugh – and almost always finds what I need. When he saw the flyer, he put his head on the counter and groaned. He said, “It has to start within our hearts.”

He does have a point. In our news, our politics, even in our canoes sometimes there is grumbling. If we aren’t at peace within ourselves, within our families, and among our neighbors and fellow paddlers, how is there hope for peace in the world?

With the threat of nuclear disaster, total annihilation as a possibility, we must work on all fronts to create a peaceful, sustainable future for all beings: peace within and peace without.

The night before the Ma’alaea departure, some of the crew and friends met at Kamaole Beach Park III in Kihei for a potluck celebration.


Joseph, Susan, Judy, Mele, Chuck, Bob K., Bob D., Linda, Veteran for Peace John, and others gathered for a potluck celebration with The Golden Rule crew and friends.

The cornerstone of Veterans For Peace’s mission is to “End the arms race and reduce and eventually eliminate nuclear weapons.”

Thank you Veterans for Peace and for all those who have worked on and for the Golden Rule Sailing Ship.

From our Kihei Canoe Club canoe at the entrance to Ma’alaea Harbor – The Golden Rule raises her sail on her continuing journey.
From left: Irene, Shel, Sookie, Paulette. Eddie, Kristine, Adele
Photo by Katy Smith

To donate, for more information, and to track the progress of the Golden Rule Sailing Ship, go to:

Facebook: Golden Rule Peace Boat

Or contact: VFP Golden Rule Project/P.O. Box 87/ Samoa. CA 95564

http://www.VFPGoldenRule.org & wfpgoldenruleproject@gmail.com; Helen Jaccard Project Manager (206)992-6364

You can also find a cool video from our Sunday paddle escorting the Golden Rule Sailing ship on its way out of Ma’alaea Harbor: Go to FaceBook – Eddie Fischer. Thanks, Eddie

Let’s work for peace within our hearts, within our families, among our neighbors – near and far – and among nations.

Aloha, Renée

2019 Women’s March – Maui

We were back at UHMC for the third time – for many of the same issues. Again, the spirit was mainly up-beat with the knowledge that there is much to be done – and we can unite – and we will not wait for others to speak and act for us.

The third Woman’s March – Jan. 19, 2019 at the UHMC campu

Women and men, old and young gathered for a few hours of music, inspiring speakers, socializing, learning about new issues, and just generally being re-inspired to keep working for the values we support.

Nursing professor Kathleen brought her daughter. Paddling sister Gail brought her 90-year-old mother and two sisters from the U.S. Mainland.
Flags and banners added color and declared interests

According to “The Maui News,” about 2,000 people participated in our Women’s March in Kahului. One participant expressed what many felt: “he came out to support women’s rights and to support the planet’s rights and to try to have solidarity with everyone who’s turning to the positive side instead of the negative side” (A 1).

One of our Maui event organizers, Robin Pilus, noted, “At the very beginning, we felt we could make a difference; it seemed like we could sprint, with all that energy. Now we realized it will be a long-distance run.” (A 3).

I thought this sign was from an environmental group – but no. Many signs were fun and funny!

The guy with the bullhorn from last year was back. As we marched off campus, he screamed at us, “You are going to hell!!” One of his signs noted, “Feminism makes women hate men!” Most of us just ignored him since he showed no interest in actually talking with anyone. He might actually want to check his sources. 🙂 Science is good.

Many groups came: Moms Demand Action – for sane gun laws; http://www.KeepYour Power.org – because of carcinogen components involved, this group is against 5G cell antennas and “Smart Meters”; Pro-Choice – for a woman’s rights over her body; LGBT groups for human rights; immigrants – for just treatment; people concerned about the U.S. Navy plans to have training missions in our beautiful waters and near shores; environmental groups – for protection of our marine life and shores. . . .

Other signs said, “Build Houses, Not Walls,” “Compassion for All”. . .

This was on my T-shirt – getting new voters to sign up is what I like to do.

I carried this sign. The back declared, “We Stand Against Oppression! Flo, who I know from water testing and the Humpback Whale Sanctuary, made my sign and others. Mahalo 🙂
Helping and supporting one another is what our community does.

Many people came to the march, and we know that many more were with us in spirit.

We have much hope for the future.

There is much for everyone to do. Let’s keep working. Blessings and hope to you wherever you are.

Aloha, Renée

U.S. Navy Plans for Special Operations Training in Maui County (and beyond)

The U.S. Navy in its practice for war has a history in Maui County. Among other actions, the Navy used our eighth largest Hawaiian island, Kaho’olawe, a place sacred to Hawaiians, for target practice. Starting in 1941, Kaho’olawe was transformed into a bombing range with ship-to-shore bombardment and later with American submarines testing torpedoes by firing them at shoreline cliffs.  They even simulated the blast effects of nuclear weapons on shipboard weapon systems.  Although Kaho’olawe is about six miles from Maui, our island windows shook at the bombing impacts.  During the Navy testing and practice, a few of the torpedoes missed  – and landed on Maui!  

Despite decades of protest, the Navy continued the bombings until 1990! The results: a dead island where although over 9 million tons of debris and un-exploded ordinances have been removed, no one can live, no one can even visit without getting special permission because it is still too dangerous to be there.  I can see Kaho’olawe from the deck of my house. The Navy spent millions to clean it up, but there are still un-exploded Navy bombs there; I’m not likely ever to go there.  

The U.S. Navy has a new plan. According to the January 4, 2019 edition of “The Maui News,” the Navy says, “[T]here will be no live-fire or amphibious assault craft and aircraft landings as part of their proposed exercises around Maui County . . .The Navy is proposing nearshore water training in the county, which will include naval special operation personnel diving and swimming and launching and recovering small vehicles designed to operate underwater” (A 1).

Also, the Navy had said they would accept public comment until today (January 7) – but before the deadline, they announced they had decided to go ahead with their proposals!

What the Navy says in its plan to go ahead with training exercises is much more limited than what it puts forth as possibilities in the four huge volumes of its Hawaii-Southern California plan.

A Navy training area site on Maui looks close to the Kihei Canoe Club, Maui Canoe Club, the Pinks, the Kihei Youth Center, many homes, townhouses, vacation condos, and the longest uninterrupted white sand beach in our state.  Also nearby are Keālia Pond National Wildlife Refuge and the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary (the only U.S. sanctuary dedicated to the protection of humpback whales and their marine environment); the critically endangered hawksbill turtles nest along these beaches.

Images below are from the Navy’s proposal on display at our Kahului Public Library:



Report and images from <http://go.usa.gov/xUnDC>

Please join me and many others in Hawaii (and beyond); say NO to U.S. Navy practice for war — above, on, and below our beautiful ocean waters, off shore, near shore, and on land! 

Instead, the U.S. Navy could practice peace.  Because of the changing climate and the resulting weather related impacts, the Navy could be sending out forces for training and rescue and rebuilding.  They could do more missions of real search and rescue:  people need help in Indonesia, Saipan . . . California.  Flint, Michigan could have all its corroded water pipes replaced.  The infrastructure needs in the U.S. are endless.  Our military personnel could be learning useful and welcomed skills. 

If you live on Maui, have visited here, or want to come some day, let your voice be heard. If you care about humpback whales, Hawaiian monk seals, endangered marine life, coral, let your voice be heard. Our U.S. military could be instruments of peace.

If it is still January 7, 2019, where you are, please let the U.S. Navy know how you feel by sending an email to <NFPAC-RECEIVE@navy.mil>.

Then, any time, please email Hawaii Governor David Y. Ige at <https://governor.hawaii.gov/>. Whether you live here or not, he needs to know what you think.

We live in a very special place of Hawaiian aloha and beauty. We hope you find it that way when you come to visit.

In Peace & Aloha, Renée

Quotation: from Hawaii Queen Lili’ uokalani

Some Hawaiians here in our state don’t vote because our U.S. government overthrew the legal monarchy  of the Hawaiian Kingdom in 1893 when businessmen (children of U.S. missionaries) garnered the help of a U.S. warship in the Honolulu harbor threatening mass killing of the Hawaiians.  Queen Lili’uokalani, the royal monarch,  acquiesced, to prevent the deaths of her people.  She hoped the United States President would right the situation. Though President Cleveland and his special commissioner James Blount supported the return of the Queen’s sovereignty, the Provisional Government refused to step down. They quickly proclaimed themselves the Republic of Hawai’i and by 1898 they’d received status as a U.S. Territory.  Nothing was done to reinstate the islands to the Hawaiian people.

img420

U.S. plantation owners and businessmen worried about the influence of the popular Queen Lili’uokalani and overthrew the legal monarchy

Image from: http://www.hawaiihistory.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=ig.page&PageID=312

So it is very understandable that some Hawaiians today don’t want to be part of this system.

However, when you don’t vote and make your voice heard, the ones who do vote win for their ideas, their way of life, their benefit.

Besides, Queen Lili’uokalani saw that having a vote was important!

Queen-Lili'uokalani

Photo from Ki’ope Raymond, Hawaiian Language Professor, University of Hawaii Maui College

“We have no other direction left to pursue, except this unrestricted right to vote. Given by the U.S. to you the Lahui [the Hawaiian Nation], grasp it and hold on to it.  It is up to you to make things right for all of us in the Future.”  Queen Lili’uokalani

So if you are Hawaiian, please make choices that will be the best for you, your family, your community.

And for those of us who aren’t Native Hawaiians, I’ve learned that it is important to vote for the candidates for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.  Until this last Primary Election in August, I left those three spots unchecked each election – because I’m not Hawaiian and didn’t think I had a real right to be making those choices.  However, I’ve learned that the Hawaiian community can use our  votes if they are well informed.  The mission of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs includes protecting the ‘aina and Hawaiians.  What is good for the land and the Hawaiian people is likely good for all of us.

It’s not too late in Hawaii to register to vote (although official early registration ended last Tuesday, October 9th).  The Maui County Clerk’s Office is relaxing deadlines, so if you have valid identification with you, you can register to vote on the day you vote.

Early walk-in voting here on Maui is October 23-November 3, Monday – Saturday, 8am- 4pm at the Velma McWayne Santos Community Center in Wailuku.

The General Election is November 6, 7am-6pm at your designated polling place.

Watch for the various candidate forums.  Kihei Community Center has another one this Tuesday, Oct. 16  at St. Theresa Church.  Go to <olvr.hawaii.gov>, put in your address, and see the ballot for you.  UHMC will be having a “Teach In.”  Get informed.

Then VOTE.  Queen Lili’uokalani knew it was important.  Our future depends on it.

Aloha, Renée

Banner photo: https://www.biography.com/people/liliuokalani-39552

 

 

Peace Poems – Maui Celebration

PP-kids-1

Peace Poem winners on Maui

Recognizing the importance of peace in our hearts, our families, our schools, our community, and the world, the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Peace Poetry Contest recently celebrated its 19th year here on Maui –  The awards ceremony, held on April 20, 2018 at the Mayor Hannibal Tavares Community Center, presented the winners from approximately 500 Maui County student entries.   I attended this  Maui style celebration:   proud parents and friends brought leis and balloons to recognize the students,  who dressed in their best clothes and had the biggest smiles.

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Proud families

 

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Peace Poem Celebration audience

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Proud family – proud kids at the Maui Peace Poem celebration

The non-violent approach to living in the world continues to be celebrated in one way through the words and insights of the students – in the footsteps of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  Here in Hawaii, Melinda Gohn has been the guiding light of the Peace Poem project.

pp-kids-Melinda-and-5th-grader

Melinda Gohn – proud “mother hen” coaching Kihei Kamali’i 5th grader Jackson W. Noble whose poem reflected on gun violence in our schools.

Melinda has help from loyal volunteers.

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Volunteer Pat Rouse (L) checking in Peace Poem winners

pp-beginning

At left, Julia Getty-Gordon opened the celebration by singing “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?”  Mayor Arakawa’s representative  is on the right.

pp-Melinda-and-mc

Melinda and Mistress of Ceremonies, Ayin Adams,

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Audience members – of all ages – came to celebrate and recognize the peace poem awardees

More than 70 students, including four from Molokai,  were recognized for their poems:  thoughts and words of peace.

As part of the ceremony, Melinda had us close our eyes – and imagine the past.

Suddenly, we heard a voice resonate through the hall and opened our eyes to see the august Bryant Neal presenting  Dr. Martin Luther King, J’s  “I Have a Dream” speech!  Fantastic!!

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Bryant Neal – presenting “I Have A Dream”

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Melinda Gohn, contest director, a student winner,  and Ayin Adams, Mistress of Ceremony

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Melinda, Olena Rondeau, who earned the grand prize  for her poem, and Ayin

The Maui County grand prize for her award-winning poem “I Am Running” went to Olena Rondeau, a 4th grader at Roots School of Maui.    She was present with a canvas painting donated by Maui artist Davo.  Of the poem, Melinda Gohn said in The Maui News article about the event, “Rondeau’s poem uses immediacy with unusually perceptive images and metaphors to create an experiential poem uniquely reflecting Hawaii and the innocence of a planet at peace” ( May 6, 2018 p. B8).

I Am Running

I am running through a gardenia scented twilight

Beneath a raspberry, dark blue and purple sky I am running . . . .

Above me, a canopy of stars

Millions of tiny pinpoints of light

Shining in the night. . . .

Suddenly a meteor streaks across the sky

Red-yellow flames light up the night.

The falling star reminds me

that the world is full of magic”

by Olena Rondeau.

At the ceremony, Gwyn Gorg, President of the African Americans On Maui Association, congratulated Rondeau and all the contest winners and spoke of the importance of a peaceful Maui community.

Hawaii Governor Ige provided certificates for top winners, Mayor Alan Arakawa gave all winners a certificate, and the International Peace Poem Project gave a prize poster commemorating Dr King.

All the islands have such award ceremonies.  The Molokai awards are set for May 30 from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m at the Molokai Library; the Oahu awards are June 9, 9:30-11:30 a.m. at the Mission Memorial Auditorium.

Congratulations to all involved for recognizing the importance of peace in our hearts, our families, our schools, our community, and the world.

Aloha (in light & peace),  Renée

Kathy’s Garden: UpCountry, Maui – Splendor

For 25 years, Kathy has been tending her garden.  The result is spectacular.  Recently,  friends Audrey, Gail, and I were invited UpCountry to see her island paradise.

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Alocasia

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Semi-tropical rhododendron

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Audrey, Kathy, and Gail in front of a row of sweet smelling gardenia bushes

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Gardenia blossoms

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White pineapple plants – the fruit is non-acidic with a soft core so you can eat it too

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Clumping green stripe bamboo and a beautiful lawn.  Kathy does have help from a willing “lawn guy”

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Blue tango bromeliad

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Bat plant

Before you get too impressed by my knowledge of all these plant names, you should know that Kathy is the source.  🙂

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Kathy said that the flowers of this Indonesian red ginger plant are considered “insignificant” because they are close to the ground

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Pachystachys lutea

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Marica Iris

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Common Penta

Hohenbergia stellat (left); Azelas (top right); and Amaranthus (bottom right)

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Azaleas

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Heliconia orthotricha

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Heliconia orthotricha

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Medinilla scortechinii

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There are 3475 known species of bromeliads.  This one is a feather bromeliad.

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Bromeliad

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Kathy showing us blooms of the Aphelandra sinclairiana

The flowers varied in color, shape, texture, and smell.

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Pua keni keni, the perfume flower tree

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Aphelandra sinclairiana

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Semi-tropical rhododendron

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Semi-tropical rhododendron

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Hoya vine

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Kathy with a 25-year-old bromeliad

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Flowers were everywhere – even close to the ground

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Kathy says her anthuriums do best in pots – and hers are spectacular

Medinilla scortechinii (top left);  Gail & Kathy (bottom left)

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Butterfly anthurium

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Candy-striped anthurium

Blossoms of various colors and shapes:

 

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Flowering vine

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African mask plant, Alocasia amazonica – behind a bromeliad

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White orchid

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A zigzag plant – potted in rocks and bark

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Kathy’s nursery – I like the polka-dot plant

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Begonia

Fishtail palm seeds (left);  Bloodleaf (right)

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Heliconia rattle

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Yellow walking iris 

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Acalypha hispida, chenille plant

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Audrey with the George Turnbull bronze eagle in Kathy’s garden

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Heliconia Caribaea

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Bird of Paradise

Beauty was everywhere we looked in Kathy’s garden.

In addition, Kathy’s garden has been the source of many of the ti leaves that have become part of the “Leis of Aloha” – begun in Kihei, Maui,  at  Nalu’s Restaurant and sent around the world as an act of solidarity and love after the tragedies in Paris, Las Vegas, San Bernadino, Orlando, . . . and most recently, with other islands contributing, a 3-mile ti leaf lei was sent to the children in Parkland, Florida.  Such leis have also been created for celebration of the Hawaiian outrigger Hokulea’s return from its three year world-wide voyage – “Malama Honua.”

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Nalu’s Maui ti leaf “Lei of Aloha”   Image from: http://menu-magazine.com/nalus-maui-lei-aloha-world-peace/

Happy Spring.  Enjoy planting – and visiting – gardens wherever you are.

Aloha, Renée

P.S. Banner photo: Obake anthurium

All plant names supplied by Kathy with technical assistance from “the lawn boy”; all photos, except for the ti leaf leis, are by me.  🙂

March for Our Lives – Maui

March 24, 2018 – March and Concert – on Maui – wonderful, hopeful:

The people, the signs, the unity –

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The T-shirt says: “go Vegan & No one gets HURT”

 

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The volunteers –

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A great way to live: “Respect, Empower, Include, Organize”

 

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Volunteer Lucy to the left; Maui Council Woman (and sunflower queen), Kelly King, to the right

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Linette with other voter registration volunteers

After the March for our Lives, we had the Concert for our Lives, Maui style:

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Rachel Zisk, King Kekaulike High School freshman, was one of several articulate, passionate voices that called for us not to forget all the victims of gun violence.  “It is time to come together and demand change.”

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Where’s Barry?  Can you find him?

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U.S. Senator Mazie Hirono

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Maui sent students to Parkland, Florida to bring aloha – and a three-mile ti leaf lei of love and solidarity.

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Following the documentary, “Lei of Aloha,” Kihei Charter School students held up photos of the 17 killed at the Florida school;  Anthony Pfluke sang, “We will rise” and then the Hawaiian chant “E Ala E”

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Maui students including Gita Tucker, Tori Teoh, Skylar Masuda, and ‘Oiwi Gormley spoke powerful messages calling for action.

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With the clipboard, Diana, my student about 15 years ago, was one of those getting people to registered to vote – near the food booths under “mackerel” clouds (Diana taught me that description) at Maui’s Concert for our Lives.

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Representative Tulsi Gabbard – has earned an “F” rating from the National Rifle Association; we are proud of her!

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Uncle Willie K – despite fighting cancer was there to sing and play for us.

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Jack Johnson!  After earlier mass shootings, Jack said he was embarrassed to watch T.V. and see leaders with just “words on their lips.”  This time there is real energy and resolve with the students leading the way.

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Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, Lily Meola, Pat Simmons Jr. were other entertainers in this alcohol/drug-free event

This being Maui, we also saw famous surfers and water people and Hawaiian cultural practitioners.  Ram Dass was there!  Students came to the concert for free.  Adults paid $10 for the fabulous concert.  All the proceeds from the sold-out event will help promote sensible gun- control laws.

Not everyone attending the concert wanted stricter gun laws.  In going around offering forms for voter registration,  I met a man from Alaska who has his assault rifle in his locked gun safe.  He explained that he needed the high-power weapon because of bears and moose.  Wouldn’t a regular rifle offer protection in the unlikely event of an animal attack?  (And then you would be able to eat the meat).   He also tried to explain why he didn’t vote – so he wouldn’t be responsible for voting someone into office that he later found didn’t make good choices.

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Steven Tyler of Aerosmith closed the show with all the performers singing the Beatles” Come Together.   The 5,500 of us in the audience joined in on the chorus: joyful, hope filled.

Why do we desperately need gun change in the U.S.?

Mom’s Demand Action (for gun sense in America) notes a few of those excellent reasons we need change:

  • Every day, 9 3 Americans die from gun violence.
  •  Since Newtown, [the Sandy Hook Elementary School 2012 shooting that killed 20 children between six and seven years old, as well as six adult staff members] there have been over 200 school shootings – one almost every week.
  • American women are 16 times more likely to be shot and killed than women in other developed countries.

The goals:

  • Close the deadly loopholes in our background check system that allow dangerous people like felons and domestic abusers easy access to guns
  • Support reasonable limits on where, when and how loaded guns are carried and used in public
  • Promote gun safety so that America’s children will no longer be exposed to unacceptable level of risk
  • Mobilize popular support for policies that respect Second Amendment rights and protect people

Go to: www.momsdemandaction.org

If you live in the U.S., please Register, Educate Yourself, and then Vote.  If you live in Hawaii, you can check your registration status and/or update your information, by going to: https://olvr.hawaii.gov/.

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The only arms we need – are for hugging.

We can at least get rid of the assault weapons and keep mentally ill and domestic abusers from getting guns legally.  It’s time for positive action.

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Our children are asking for help.  Guns cause senseless killings every day in the U.S. – including “too easy” suicides, too easy  disagreements and domestic abuse incidents  that turn deadly . . .  Even the hate-filled, mentally-ill men who see killing others as an option – need help.

We must take action to stop gun violence in the U.S.

In Peace and Aloha, Renée

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