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July 2008

From the Editor...


Rochelle delaCruz

from the editor…

Take This to the Beach!


Things are supposed to slow down a bit over the summer but not this month. It seemed that stories were popping up everywhere…which is why you’re wading through waiwi, parades and trash on our front page.

These three island concerns show how the physical and cultural landscape in Hawai`i is changing. First there’s our `ono waiwi that brings back happy and barefoot days. It is one of my favorite fruit and when I’m at my mother’s house in Hilo, I can walk a short distance to waiwi thickets where my eyes are trained to spot those ripe, delectable fruit to gobble down on the spot. We all know the ritual: look up and spahk dose little red buggahs, pull the branch and pick um - three at a time if you lucky, rub on da shirt for quick cleaning, bite in half, check for worms, then wolf um down. Sticky hands, sticky mouth, sticky feet…oh heaven! But auwe they want to…ok, maybe not kill…but seriously maim those prolific fruit trees with a foreign bug? That doesn’t feel right. And yet, I also want to see our beloved koa and hāpu`u survive in the forests. So what to do?

The sad state of parades is perhaps true everywhere – when was the last time you went to one? But parades up here in the Northwest can’t hold a candle to the Kamehameha and Aloha Festival parades. Who can ever forget the huge floats festooned with flowers? And the pā`ū riders, not only the way they ride so majestically on magnificent horses, but their outfits and all those flower lei! But even more than the parade itself, are the cultural memories and traditions they carry, and those must be preserved.

And finally, let’s talk trash. Have you seen how bad it is last time you went home? Not only because of our picnic culture but because of the popularity of take-out, plate lunch and fast food! Plastic and Styrofoam disposables make a huge impact everywhere, but especially on small islands in the middle of the ocean. I’m wondering if hauling some of it out truly deals with the problem of trash or merely allows us to imagine that it’s a solution?

Lots to think about, and not exactly what I was hoping to be doing in July. Maybe I can worry about all these things…at the beach? ~RdC

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