This Week in Review
WEDNESDAY, Mar. 28
April 05, 2007
Not sure of the point behind Linda Lingle Campaign Committee Finance Director Miriam Hellriech's letter in today's Maui News. Ostensibly, she's defending Lingle's "honesty and integrity" from a "totally false" letter by reader Pamela Polland that said Lingle "received more than $25,000 from the Hawaii Superferry
'interests.'" Yes, and? Though Hellriech says "it is a matter of public
record" that Lingle did accept $6,000 from "principles associated with
Hawaii Superferry" in 2004 and 2006, and says Lingle returned $10,400
in Superferry money "during the negotiation period in 2005," she seems
to be missing a few donations from Superferry investors like Steve Case as well as Superferry board members like Maui Land & Pineapple Co. boss David Cole and former U.S. Navy Secretary John Lehman
and his associates—you know, people with an "interest" in the
Superferry going through on schedule. Of course, when I did the math on
how much money (The Exchange, Mar. 15, 2007), I came up with
$24,300—none of which was returned, as far as I can tell—but I don't
see any need to quibble over a few hundred bucks.
THURSDAY, Mar. 29
So my friend Autumn and I were late to the big SOS Metals Island Recycling Grand Opening & Blessing Ceremony at the Maui Baseyard
this afternoon—getting there at 4 p.m. instead of 3 p.m. like I should
have—so I missed the actual Grand Opening and Blessing Ceremony
portions of the event, though I did get a chance to eat a plate full of
delicious grilled meats and some wonderful chocolate brownies from Cafe O'Lei, watch a short movie about SOS that included lots of cool footage of a car crusher crushing junk cars, hear part-owner Sandy Shadrow use the phrase "absolute man-killer job" and get a high-five from his daughter Niki—a fashion writer from Malibu who handles public relations for SOS and has been called a "fashionista"
on at least one website—when I told her I'd be writing about the party.
Oh, and when it was done, Shadrow showed me around his scrap metal
pile, junk car collection and car crusher. Then he told me that SOS
recently crushed its 10 millionth pound of scrap metal—all while
working in large containers stored near the crusher as their big
warehouse—the opening of which was the occasion that spurred all of
this—was being finished.
FRIDAY, Mar. 30
SATURDAY, Mar. 31
Man, environmental activists really aren't taking the news well that Monsanto Hawai`i
is greatly expanding its genetically modified seed farming on Molokai.
"It's absolutely scary for us because these chemical companies,
Monsanto and Dow, are becoming the main farmers on our island," Hui Ho`opakele Aina coordinator Walter Ritte says in today's Honolulu Star-Bulletin.
"We have no protection because the state and the feds are not
regulating them to our satisfaction. The fields are right next to our
town—east of the town and west of the town. They surround the town."
Given the considerable secrecy that surrounds all Monsanto's GMO
fields—gotta protect those valuable seed patents, after all—and the
fact that European consumers loudly demanded (and got) rigorous
labeling on all foods containing genetically modified organisms because
many scientists keep saying we need to have more research on just how
safe it is for people to eat GMO products, can anyone blame Ritte for
sounding just a little bit paranoid?
SUNDAY, Apr. 1
No April Fools joke here: today's Honolulu Advertiser reported that there are "several bills" moving through the state Legislature
right now that will give tax credits, tax exemptions and loan
guarantees—some call these "subsidies"—to farmers who promise to keep
their acreage in agriculture. Apparently, the fact that Hawai`i is a
chain of remote islands hasn't stopped landowners from playing in the
free market and developing about 50,000 acres of farmland over the last
quarter century. These bills are an attempt to make sure Hawai`i
doesn't lose so much farmland to development that we can't grow
anything anymore. Needless to say, "family farmers" like Dole Food Co., Alexander & Baldwin—which
already benefits from federal sugar subsidies—and ML&P have already
offered their generous support to the bills. Think the bills will pass?
So do I.
MONDAY, Apr. 2
It's amazing what a wonderful place the world has become since the Bush Administration took power in early 2001. Let's look at just oil prices. According to Inflationdata.com—which took its statistics from the U.S. Department of Energy—the
average price of oil in 2000 was $26.72 a barrel. On the whole, it
wasn't a bad price. In fact, in 2001 the price dropped to an average of
$21.84 a barrel. Not long after we had the 9/11 terrorist attacks
and the subsequent invasion of Afghanistan, but the price pretty much
stayed constant in 2002, running at $22.51 a barrel. Then in 2003 we
invaded and occupied Iraq—for the stated purpose of "stabilizing" and
"democratizing" the Middle East
and, ultimately, bringing down the price of oil. Suddenly, the price of
oil was back up to $27.54 a barrel. In 2004, the average oil price was
$38.93 a barrel. By 2005, it was up to $46.47 a barrel. Last year, it
climbed to $58.30 a barrel. And yesterday, Pacific Business News reported that "Middle East tensions" have driven the price of a barrel of oil up to just under $65.
TUESDAY, Apr. 3
Of course, I'm assuming things would be even worse if we weren't winning the war… We are winning, right?
Anthony Pignataro believes so
strongly that Conan O'Brien is somewhat funny that he's prepared to go
to his death saying it if necessary. MTW
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