Compiled by Anthony Pignataro and Anu Yagi
Everyone likes lists, right? David Letterman’s Top Ten, the Chicago Seven, the Forbes 400, the Indianapolis 500–wait, that last one might not be right. Anyway, we seem to enjoy reading about stuff in list form because it’s fast and easy, which is why we decided to do this, our first ever Official MauiTime Book of Lists. We thought that compiling a bunch of lists would be a lot less work than writing a bunch of stories, and boy, were we wrong. In retrospect, we should have published our Book of Lists as an actual book (you can find additional lists on pages 5, 13, 15 and 28). So here ya go:
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INTERESTING MAUI TWEEPS
1. @ReqB (Brendon Smith). This guy, the GM of Requests Music in Wailuku, tweets constantly and colorfully and seems to know everyone on the island.
2. @AMWart (Aimee M. Watters). This Makawao (via Detroit) fine artist may only have 39 followers as of this writing, but anyone who tweets “Looks like Barry Manilow bought Clay Aiken’s face” is worth reading regularly.
3. @OleloOfTheDay (by @HawaiiBookBlog). Follow for a daily dose of interesting Hawaiian words and their meanings, oft with a humorous edge. Recent words include “kiapolo” (devilish), “koli” (meteor), and “’ilio hanu kanaka” (hound dog; lit. dog who smells man).
4. @raatz (David Raatz). This Wailuku writer, lawyer, vegan, basketball and tennis player and USC fan has information and insight on a wide variety of topics—some political, some not—of island interest.
5. @mauisadie (Sarah Loney). When she’s not firing lasers atop Haleakala, she’s designing costumes for local theaters.
6. @GilKAOGG (Representative Gil Keith-Agaran). A lot of local officials are on Twitter. Only Gil does it properly, tweeting often on local politics, football and SF Giants baseball.
7. @spectekula (Sara Tekula). She’s a co-producer for @TedxMaui, a filmmaker and consultant for @NoniFilms, treeplanter for @PlantAWish and social media director for @mauifilmfest.
8. @GrandmaFlorence (Florence Hasegawa). She’s a 103-year-old Lahaina resident who lives Twitter. What’s not to love?
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ADORABLE-SOUNDING INVASIVE SPECIES
1. Apple snail (Pomacea canaliculata, Pomacea bridgesi, Pomacea paludosa, and Pila conica) – While Eve’s apple may have undone man’s innocence, the word “apple” evokes thoughts as sweet as its meat (perhaps thanks in part to the Biblical idiom “apple of thine eye”). Its cuteness can even withstand being compounded with the likes of “pine” and “crab” and, in this case, buddied alongside the slimy word “snail.” This freshwater crawler is named for the size in which this invasive species can grow, but apple snails in Hawaii only get about as big as a golf ball. They’re bad apples because they “damage taro plants by chewing into the corm at the very top of the taro plant, which leaves a hole through which bacteria and other pathogens [can] enter,” says the Hawaii Invasive Species Council (HISC). “Damage either kills the plant or drastically reduces crop quality and yield.”
2. Barbados gooseberry (Pereskia aculeata) – This plant’s namesake island nation may sound like a vacation, but a romp through its thorny thicket is reserved for masochists. Its stiff spines fan like unfriendly fireworks and cover climbing branches which can grow upwards of 33 feet long, choking-out other vegetation.
3. Coqui frog (Eleutherodactylus coqui) – “All frogs in the order Anura are Hawaii State Injurious Species,” says HISC—and the cutely quarter-sized coqui is the order’s most famous culprit. Consuming “huge quantities of insects… from forest floor to treetops,” coqui frogs contribute to the “loss of insect services such as pollination” and are a “potential food source for snakes if they were to arrive.” It’s name is an onomatopoeia for its vocalization, via its native Puerto Rico, but the males’ incessant nighttime chirrup can be highly irritating to humans who prize their beauty sleep.
4. Kitties (Felis catus) – Roadkill and mange aside, Maui’s many roaming clowders appear as cuddly as the kittens printed on your tutu’s mouse pad. But wild cats differ from household pets and strays in that they’re, well, wild. To boot, their burgeoning population may even double that of humans on the isle. “[T]hey’re extremely fecund,” reports former MauiTime editor, Jacob Shafer. “[A] fertile male and female cat and their descendants can produce up to 420,000 offspring in a seven-year span.” Should you asininely attempt to coddle one, these cats may pose some zoonotic risk (i.e. they could transfer some infectious disease to humans). But the feral cat’s most egregoius threat is to Hawaii’s endemic birds–rare, winged paragons of isolated evolution that aren’t hardwired to fear predators. Meanwhile, cats are “‘opportunistic hunters,’ meaning they’ll stalk and kill prey even when they aren’t hungry,” says Shafer. “And they’re obligate carnivores—they have to eat meat.”
5. Mongoose (Herpestes javanicus) – Rikki-Tikki-Tavi of Rudyard Kipling lore makes for a magnanimous image of the mongoose, but its species is highly hazardous to Hawaiian fauna’s health. A shortsighted intentional introduction (in 1883, to thwart rats) led to established populations that not only hunt birds, but love to gobble eggs from endangered nesting birds and sea turtles.
6. Snowflake coral (Carijoa riisei) – The snowflake is sublime before sublimation or liquefaction—and en masse are beautiful in moderation; i.e. blizzards of the non-Dairy Queen sort tend to suck. In that line of thought, snowflake coral (named for polyps boasting “eight white, frilly tentacles,” according to HISC) ought to be renamed snowstorm coral. Non-reef forming, it grows aggressively, covering and killing other coral species (including the rare, deep water black coral), and consumes large amounts of zooplankton which are essential to the food chain.
7. Wood rose (Merremia tuberosa) – Popular as an ornamental, the perennial wood rose’s mature seed pods resemble balsa-carved blooms. “Infestations of wood rose are sometimes the result of [discarded] old floral arrangements that harbor seeds… [and] seeds remain viable for years,” writes John M. Randall and Janet Marinelli in Invasive Plants: Weeds of the Global Garden. With tubular yellow flowers that open in sunlight and close in shade, it’s a pretty but problematic plant because “[t]his twining climber aggressively invades hardwood forests climbing high into the canopy, often completely enshrouding trees and shrubs and reducing native plant diversity.”
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FIVE PLACES ON THE ISLAND TO SEE OLD STUFF FROM WORLD WAR II
1. Pillboxes at Paia Bay. There are two intact beach bunkers here, each located just a few hundred yards on either side of the Paia Youth & Cultural Center.
2. Old frogman base in Kihei. The Royal Mauian Resort in Kihei sits atop what was once a U.S. Navy Underwater Demolition Team (UDT) training base during the war. There’s not much there now, except for a monument in the nearby park (which actually references the 1951 movie The Frogmen starring Richard Widmark) and some old pillbox slabs lying in the nearby shallows.
3. Puunene drag strip. In the early 1940s, this was the Puunene Naval Air Station, which served as a fighter strip. And interesting note is that this is the field where, in the 1943 movie Air Force, a B-17 bomber lands during the attack on Pearl Harbor and immediately comes under sniper fire from a Japanese saboteur hiding in the surrounding cane fields (historians say no such sniper attacks occurred during the war in Hawaii).
4. Sunken landing craft off coast of Maui Prince. There are many wrecked planes and boats dating from the war in Maui’s shallows (many not catalogued) but one of the easiest wreck for divers to find is in Makena, northwest of the Maui Prince Hotel, about 60 feet down. It’s a landing craft carrying a 75mm tank turret.
5. Horizons Academy of Maui, located at 740 Haiku Rd. This is apparently the only surviving structure left from the internment camp used to house Japanese nationals that once sat near today’s Pauwela Cannery in Haiku. “Reportedly built as bachelors’ quarters for the plantation and used by the military for an officers’ club, it would have been present when the internment camp was in operation,” states the December 2007 Trans-Sierran Archaeological Research report on World War II Internment Sties in Hawaii. “The building has been extensively remodeled, with new siding and windows, but the general structure, including the post and pier foundation, appears to be original.”
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ABOMINABLE-SOUNDING INVASIVE SPECIES
1. Biting flies [biting midges (Ceratopogonidae), sand flies (Psychodidae), blackflies (Simuliidae), and mosquitoes (Culicidae)] – More than a nibbling nuisance, these bad bugs carry diseases and are, simply, as disgusting as they sound.
2. Gorilla ogo (Gracilaria salicornia) – Not to be confused with the native limu manauea (Gracilaria coronopifolia)—which has a similar look, but is prized for its taste—gorilla ogo is a fast-growing seaweed that even reef-dwelling fish won’t eat. Spreading mostly by fragmentation, it smothers coral and other seaweeds with its huge mat-like tracts and stinking swaths oft wash ashore to rot. While Maui’s yet unaffected, Oahu is infested as is Hawaii Island’s southern coast.
3. Lethal yellowing – Fifty years ago, three quarters of Florida’s palms were affected by a deadly palm disease which the University of Florida describes as a “systemic disease caused by a phytoplasma transmitted by a planthopper.” We’re lucky to be yet unaffected—the ecological and economic results would be devastating. But according to HISC, “[m]ost of the coconut trees in Hawaii are believed to be susceptible.” So help keep an eye out for symptoms which include “premature fruit drop, blackening of inflorescences, yellowing of leaves, death of spear leaf, and toppling of crown.”
4. Little fire ant (Wasmannia auropunctata) – Because of the word “little,” we were at first inclined to put this invasive species on the adorable-sounding list, but the “fire ant” follow-up quickly trumped that temptation. These buggahs arrived as hitchhikers on imported plants, and infest agricultural fields where they are damaging to crops, support other pests (like aphids) and inflict burning stings that leave welts which can last for weeks. Little fire ants “can also infest houses, beds, furniture and food,” according to HISC, and “(i)n the Galapagos, eats tortoise hatchlings and attacks the eyes of adult tortoise.” Gross!
5. Noxious weeds – “Noxious weed” sounds like the name of a punk band, or some crip pakalolo; but it actually encapsulates a list of plants deemed by the government as “legally noxious,” i.e. injurious to agriculture, ecosystems, livestock and/or people. Now, a few plants on Hawaii’s list have names which beg to be on the adorable-sounding list (e.g. downy rosemyrtle, moon cactus, plume poppy, shoebutton ardisia, silverleaf nightshade, and tree daisy), but then there are species like barbwire grass, bitterbush, firetree, gorse, perennial pepperweed, spiked pepper, spiny emex, torpedograss, wild spikenard, and witchweed—which all do justice to the noxious name.
6. Snakes – Ever since Eden, the suborder Serpentes have gotten a sinister rep, putting the fear of god in us all. Here in paradise-not-yet-lost, we’re fortunate fools to rush in where angels might otherwise fear to tread. But if snakes were ever to establish themselves in Hawaii, not only would they wreak havoc on the ecosystem, but you’d have to say aloha to carefree adventuring on our Polynesian playground where such predatory dangers don’t yet abound.
7. Veiled chameleon (Chamaeleo calyptratus) – These buggahs (which can grow up to two feet long!) have quite the heebie jeebie name, huh? It’s a double dose of pseudo-synonyms that conjure images of insidious camouflage. “Ecologically, they can function like brown tree snakes,” says HISC, “are able to tolerate living in areas that vary from dry sea level elevation, to very wet montane areas, up to 12,000 feet elevation.” Females lay 30-95 eggs per year, compared to the similarly invasive, but smaller—albeit more prevalent—Jackson chameleon (Chamaeleo jacksonii), which bears live young.
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FIVE REASONS TO WORRY ABOUT THE PROPOSED MAUI MEDICAL PLAZA AT KANAHA
1. A six-story building doesn’t fit into the character of Kahului, which has mostly low-rise structures.
2. It will sit next to the Kanaha wetlands, a bird sanctuary that is home to a
number of bird species, including the endangered Hawaiian stilt and Hawaiian coot.
3. It sits in a tsunami/sea rise zone.
4. The 2002 Wailuku Kahului Community Plan is pretty clear on what to do with such land: “Protect shoreline wetland resources and open space resources. These natural systems are important for flood control, as habitat area for wildlife, and for various forms of recreation. Future development actions should emphasize flood prevention and protection of the natural landscape.”
5. U.S. Poet Laureate (and Haiku resident) W.S. Merwin opposes it. “Of course the island needs a medical center, and it might be worth looking into why it has taken so long to assemble the necessary interests to provide one anywhere on the island,” Merwin wrote in the Aug. 8, 2011 Maui News. “But Kanaha Pond—or what is left of it after the years of gradual encroachment by everything from highway construction and gas tanks to business premises, small industries and the local waste treatment plant, each with its incessant toxic contribution—remains unique, and the damages are irreversible. It cannot be picked up and moved elsewhere.”
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TASTY INVASIVE SPECIES
1. Axis deer (Axis axis) – Dear Bambi: Your mom died because she’s delicious. Sorry… Deer populations on Maui are now estimated to be in the tens of thousands, and are devastating home gardens and proprietary crops. Hmm… Who wants a kiawe-smoked venison kabob?
2. Bamboo shoots (Poaceae) – After a few days of soaking to rid them of their bitterness, fresh bamboo shoots are a decadent addition to Asian et al dishes. However, fresh bamboo shoots are surprisingly hard to find at local eateries (instead we import the canned stuff), even when the bamboo fills our forests and grows upwards of a foot per day.
3. Hookweed (Hypnea musciformis) – Hookweed’s cultivated worldwide as a food source (kappa carrageenan is a red seaweed extract used in baking and is a vegan alternative to gelatin), and was introduced to Hawaii in the 1970’s for mariculture. But hookweed (named for its slender tendrils that twist around and smother other types of limu) spreads quickly by fragmentation and soon got out of control. The University of Hawaii Botany Department reports that “during the winter [hookweed] can represent 2/3 of the biomass of drift algae on windward and leeward beaches on Maui,” and in peak blooms thousands of pounds are “tossed ashore in windrows up to 1.5 feet and are considered an odiferous pest.”
4. Fish – To‘au and taape are tasty invasive sea fish, but be cautious with the infamous roi—it may have ciguatera, a nasty food borne illness.
5. Blackberries, Dewberries and Raspberries (Rubus) – The state Department of Land and Natural Resources has designated all non-native Rubus species (i.e. blackberries, raspberries and dewberries) as some of Hawaii’s most invasive horticultural plants. While they’re delicious fresh or preserved, according to HISC, they “form dense, impenetrable thickets that exclude other native plant species.”
6. Prawns (Dendrobranchiata) – These tasty buggahs (great fried or in spicy Thai dishes) were introduced in failed aquaculture attempts, and escaped to streams afflicted by reduced flow. Prawns have infested Hawaii’s freshwater—killing native shrimp and fish—because they leave the streams for the sea to spawn, where from they travel to new locations, and eggs are shed instead of brooded. To hunt them, they must be speared individually (nets and traps don’t work well)—so it’s impossible to eradicate them via manpower alone. But there is one beautifully simple solution: allow Hawaii’s streams to run at their natural capacity, instead of diverting water. Prawns detest copious amounts of fast-moving cool water; in places like Waihee River, where some flow has been restored, prawns are not prevalent.
7. Strawberry guava (Psidium littorale) – These sweet ruby orbs were introduced to Hawaii nearly two hundred years ago, and have been choking-out native forests ever since. But the fruit makes a divine jam or glaze that’s just a touch tart, and the wood is excellent for smoking meat.
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STUFF ON MAUI TO PROTEST
1. The state law that prevents the public from knowing the names of police officers throughout Hawaii who have been disciplined by Internal Affairs.
2. The ability of law enforcement agencies to track citizens using the location data on their smartphones.
3. Factory fish farming that’s taking place off the coast of Maui, Oahu and other islands.
4. The Maui County Department of Liquor Control’s ban on dancing except in specially designated areas.
5. Hell, let’s just protest the whole LC department.