March 20, 2008
In Starr Begley's "Selling Local" article (March 6, 2008), she basically portrayed popular "Hawaiian" products as being based on pride or prejudice... either you're proud to be "grown here not flown here" or prejudiced with "Valley Isle not Haole Isle."
This is all stuff that caters to a narrow mentality and the pride value is superficial. No one gets to choose what race they are born into...
While much of this is humorous in a DeLima-esque kind of way and not ill-intended, local entrepreneurs are missing out on an aspect of Hawai'i that you won't find anywhere else: our native plants, animals, and watersheds.
You can find cockfighting and pigs in every country of the world (by the way, the feral pigs in our mountains are from Europe—NOT Hawai'i).
You cannot find beautiful birds like the i'iwi or 'akohekohe outside of Hawai'i... you cannot find koa trees outside of Hawai'i; this list could go on and on with the amazing numbers of plants and animals ONLY from Hawai'i. Much of Hawaiian culture is based on these endemic plants and the special uses Hawaiians found for them.
But instead, T-shirts, hats, calendars, postcards show imported things like mongoose, parrots and foreign pretty tropical flowers, misleading people (even locals) into thinking those things are the real Hawai'i.
People, take real pride in this special place you live! Learn about and celebrate these living things in Hawai'i that are not part of a homogenized American culture!
Get up into your forested watersheds and National Park and become a part of protecting these "real" Hawaiian icons!
And please, somebody with a business sense start making bumper stickers, shirts and hats that show the real Hawai'i.
-Pat Bily, Kula
Starr Begley responds:You have many good points, but Ifeel that you may have misunderstood the angle of the story "Selling Local" which was to highlight the commercialization of "local" culture, not the Hawaiian culture.
HATES RESTLESS NATIVE, MARGARET CHO
I have never read your [Restless Native] column before but I certainly will not bother again because your language is so raunchy. Guess that is why you liked Margaret Cho. She has always been disgustingly raunchy when I made the mistake of hearing her. Sorry your vocabulary is so limited!
-"Stateside reader," via Mauitime.com
ROB'S FANS CHECK IN
Such an interesting article (! You are so fortunate to talk with a native Balinese person. Feels like real inside insight! Keep it coming.
-Lois Inez, via Mauitime.com
I hope this weekly paper appreciates what an interesting, intelligent columnist it has here in the Rob Report. Items are always well written and thought provoking. Lets hope they will provoke some helpful actions.
-Al Mohaupt, via Mauitime.com
[In regards to "In the Name of the 'Father'" by Anthony Pignataro on February 28, 2008] Ms. Bragg clearly stated her intent not to subdivide her Waiehu property. Ms. Bragg told Maui Time Weekly, "I never had any intention of subdividing the land."
Ms. Bragg shares with us the reason she purchased the property "sight-unseen in eight minutes" telling Maui Time Weekly, "The only reason Ibought the land was to save the trees."
I admire Ms. Bragg for saying these comforting words. I would truly believe them and so would many others if Ms. Bragg would now show us she's telling the truth.
Ms. Bragg could show us and personally receive benefits by changing the zoning of the agricultural portions of her property to 'conservation' zoning. This would allow her to save the trees and prohibit anyone from subdividing and developing the land.
Thousands of the macadamia nut trees growing on Ms. Bragg's property are already in conservation zoning. Reclassifying the agricultural land would guarantee Ms. Bragg exactly what she wants, no subdividing, no development, and protection for the trees.
We all do not live forever, so while we are alive we can do what is right. Doing what you say is living the right way.
-Paul Winters, Wailuku
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