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Showing posts from May, 2008

Indigenous People Humor

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"Wow," said Auntie Val Hanohano, looking around as the Hula performance ended and all the parents and friends got up to push their way out of the theater, "the natives are getting restless! Ha ha ha!"

Points of View

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I was browsing through the webiverse yesterday and stumbled across some very lovely talk-story accounts of the history, culture, and spiritual importance of Kawaihae .
As I read it one thing stuck in my throat a bit-- the people interviewed sadly mention the vast influx of extremely wealthy mainland people into the community. They say the populations of local people are shrinking and vanishing as the haole come in, buy everything up, and then lock themselves in their million-dollar gated communities.
Here's one bit:

“Back in the old times, we had a really strong sense of community,” Pua remarks.
“Now it’s separated. Everybody has their own thing. Everybody wants this and
everybody wants that and nobody wants to come together, and make it work. ‘I
want this, I want a park,’ somebody else wants this and everybody want, want,
want, but nobody wants to do what it takes to make it happen. So, I say, that
during my time of growing up, we were as one community and one family. Not
today. Today, i…

Mana Road

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I love walking on the back roads. The wind, the green fields, the vast riveted mountain iced with snow-- it's unabashedly picturesque. I love the ramshackle corrugated roof houses with tarp sheds and the delux garages-as-living space, complete with couches and flat screen tvs, and stacks of industrial size coolers. Yesterday I walked out through the Hawaiian home pasture land roads to a farm that I always admired. Kale, onions, red and green lettuce, cabbage, collards, beets, mizuna, arugula, chard in neat long rows over about 5 acres. There were two people weeding in the field-- I gathered my courage and pushed my stroller in and waved hello. Anna, the farm manager, said sure I could look around and told me all about how they use only organic pest control,(so let the baby out of the stroller!) and that she's worked there since her babies were born, and now they're off to college. She laughed at her dry muddy hands-- no gloves for me she said, and attacked the weedy overgr…

A Rich Day

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Saturday morning we went to the beach-- a sort of secluded one in a patch of burnt keawe forest and down a broken old trail. It's shallow with a white sandy bottom and plenty of thorny trees to drape your towels on. My little half-fish one-year old charged out into the waves, signing "fishie" and "water" and "wet" and screaming with happiness. She didn't even mind the unusally rough waves-- strong enough to knock me over a couple of times while she stayed safely perched on her daddy. We swam and splashed around-- two giant honu floated right past us, sticking their noses out of the water to take audible sucks of air. When their heads emerge you can see the lenalena yellow ring around their eyes and the green and amber scales on their wise faces. The big exciting waves knocked us all around a bit, we played on the beach (I enjoy writing things like "permanence" and "eternity" in the sand, and watching them get washed away, ha h…

Prince Caspian

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Last night I hosted my monthly book group-- ostensibly an excuse to get together and gossip and eat snacks (last night it was homemade bread with homemade cream cheese and homemade pickles!)
Kehau picked "Prince Caspian" by C.S. Lewis to present. She began describing the story and the setting-- it's been thousands of years since the white witch, and a group from outside of Narnia has moved in and taken over. All of the true Narnians have been forced into hiding while the imposters rule. And the official schools don't teach about the true history of the place-- just a sanitized and superstitious version of things. The woods and the rivers are seen as dangerous places full of maleveolent forces. And young Prince Caspian is the rightful heir of... the Narnian conquerors. But he begins learning the true story of the place-- the magic, Aslan, the talking beasts-- from a half-Narnian tutor who evidently can "pass" as human. Eventually Caspian escapes from his crue…

Parking Lot

Just now I was coming out of the KTA parking lot and witnessed a scene. A shiny blue rental car --some kind of boxy Chevy--pulled out in front of a battered mini-van with a big "In Memory Of..." decal across the back. The driver of the van leaped out of the car. He's wearing an "Eddie Would Go" tanktop in red, green and yellow. He runs and jams his face into the window and starts screaming at the driver. I turn down the radio to eavesdrop and catch some choice phrases: Why the **** you gotta drve like that, What the **** is wrong with you, Yes we have an ****ing problem, etc. etc.
I can't see or hear the driver. He evidently decides he's had enough of this and starts to drive away. "Eddie" shouts after him, finally, answering my unasked question, "****ing haole!!"

City Planning Meeting

We have a little problem in our city. Actually, not just our city. Across the whole island.
We have no city councils. We have no city mayors. We, in short, have taxation without representation.
What we do have is a sprawling, unfocused, wobbly top-heavy, obtuse and immovable county government.
What we also have is rapid and uncontrolled expansion, erratic and flimsy zoning, and a terrifying traffic problem.
A few weeks back while I was standing in line at the theater, somebody was walking up and down with fliers that announce:


"Community Meeting! Review of Planning Process to date, information stations.
Learn what is happening, ask questions, tell us what you think! Next Steps! FREE
FOOD!!!"I decided to go see what a community meeting is like.
Sure enough, there was food and it was free. The little room at the civic center was packed with about 50 people. Every wall surface was draped with elaborate maps detailing bypass roads, farm zoning, historical preserves, Hawaiian homelands, …