WEDNESDAY, Dec. 6
Got an email today from local resident Anthony Simmons, last seen back in October assisting his Cerebral Palsy-stricken friend Ramoda Anand in his quest to find out what the Department of Liquor Control had against dancing. This time, Simmons wants us to think about hemp. “On December 14th 1999 Governor Ben Cayetano declared the day to be ‘Industrial Hemp Day’ for the state of Hawaii,” he wrote. “He, along with many politicians, believed that hemp would be a great agricultural crop for the state.” Simmons then went on to list many well-known examples of hemp use in American history including—and I didn’t know this—that “for a brief period during World War II the federal Government asked farmers to grow hemp for our Navy, with it’s [sic] ‘Hemp for Victory’ campaign.” Today, of course, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency wants hemp eradicated. Anyway, Simmons says that the 1999’s Industrial Hemp Day saw the planting of the first legal hemp seeds in the state since the war, and wants you to know that the local group he’s heading, Industrial Hemp Echelons, Maui Project (IHEMP) is “ready to lead the way,” presumably to more hemp seed plantings. For more information (like the dos and don’ts concerning “hemp stalk”) you can contact Simmons at firstname.lastname@example.org.
THURSDAY, Dec. 7
Remember a few weeks ago when I wrote about that kick-ass debate over at Seabury Hall in which all three panelists agreed that using Hawaiian culture and traditions in commercial advertising designed to attract tourists to our fair islands was, at best, a risky thing to do? Boy, it’s a good thing none of the big land developers showed up, or I wouldn’t have anything to write about anymore. “The Maui real estate community was abuzz at the Honua Kai Discovery Center this weekend during a VIP sales event for the second and final condominium tower at Honua Kai—on famed Ka`anapali Beach,” read a breathless press release sent out Monday by Vancouver-based Intrawest. Like all the big developers who build giant, glassy condo or timeshare towers that pave over lush, natural beachfront and then further tax the island’s already crumbling infrastructure, Intrawest then gives them pretty Hawaiian names like Honua Kai (Earth sea), Hokulani (nighttime sky) or Konea (restored to health). That last one is the name of their new condo tower that’s on sale now, with apartments selling from “the mid $600,000’s to $5.6 million.” And they will, too—their Hokulani tower sold out completely in eight hours last December. The reason? “Luxury Condominium-Hotel developments, located in irreplaceable locations, continue to be met with high demand in the Hawaiian Islands,” the release noted without a trace of irony. And though the housing market may be cooling, Intrawest is all fired up over its next project, Na Hale Luana. “Meaning ‘pleasant surroundings,’ Na Hale Luana will embrace the tranquil beauty, climate and geographic wonders of the Islands, with contemporary Hawaiian architecture complementing the natural setting.” I’d throw up, but I don’t think the island’s sewage treatment facilities could handle the increased volume.
FRIDAY, Dec. 8
SATURDAY, Dec. 9
With South Maui lobbying the state to allow Texas-based Triad Hospitals, Inc. to come in and run a private medical facility in Kihei, and Central Maui lobbying just as hard to kill that hospital on the grounds it will rob Maui Memorial Medical Center of much needed money and doctors, people might think that now isn’t exactly be a good time for West Maui to start asking for a hospital of its own. But they’re wrong! It’s always a good time to ask for a hospital. In fact, people don’t ask for their own hospital nearly enough. People in Hana—who conspicuously lack their own hospital—need to speak up. And what’s up with those who live on Lanai and Molokai? How come they’re not asking for theirs, too? Wait, don’t forget Kaho`olawe—I think a dozen people live out there, surrounded by old U.S. Navy bombs and such. If anyone needs a hospital, it’s that place. And while we’re at it, lets put a hospital on Molokini, just in case a snorkeler from Idaho gets bitten by something and needs an amputation or blood transfusion. Never can be too careful, you know.
SUNDAY, Dec. 10
Great news for people worried about how we’re utterly destroying the world’s oceans: U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez sailed around Maui’s own Humpback Whale Sanctuary yesterday and pledged that his boss—that would be President George W. Bush, still—would kinda sorta set up a plan that may help the oceans sometime after he’s left power. “The president established a goal of ending global overfishing by 2010,” Gutierrez said, according to The Maui News. “While we are here, we are looking at what is being done.” Doesn’t that just fill you with hope? Or at least the goal of filling you with hope by 2010?
MONDAY, Dec. 11
It isn’t often that you open The Maui News and find THE GREATEST STORY EVER, but today I did, which was absurdly buried on the third page. Headlined “Toplessness not indecent by law,” the article explains how it’s perfectly legal in the State of Hawai`i for women to sunbathe topless. “Topless sunbathing in itself would not cause an arrest nor is it an act punishable with arrest,” Maui Police Lieutenant Donald Kanemitsu says in the article. Though he added that he hoped women “would consider surrounding children” before popping their tops, he said cops cannot legally “force sunbathers to put their tops on.” The article even includes some state Supreme Court case law to explain how “female breasts were not ‘private parts’ under the open lewdness statute.”
TUESDAY, Dec. 12
For those joining me late, let me reiterate: the Maui Police Department says topless sunbathing on one of our beautiful Maui beaches is completely legal. And now if you’ll excuse me, I have some… research… to conduct.
Anthony Pignataro recently had to enter the Witness Protection Program after he testified against the guy who killed the electric car. MTW