A train whistle is blowing as I write this, happily preparing to leave the land of $1.86 gas, cold winds and air so dry my eyes feel gritty and it’s difficult to swallow. I can’t wait to get back to Koko and the soft, warm greenness of Kauai, where I plan to put away my suitcase for a good long while.
Given the nature of my visit here, I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on the inherently dysfunctional nature of families — or at least, my family, and I know it’s not the only one. But apparently a lot of folks believe that only heterosexual couples should be allowed to form their own little dysfunctional units, with some 2,000 of Oahu’s intolerant converging on the state Capitol yesterday to oppose the civil unions bill.
In what can only be deemed a bizarre correlation, Rep. Dennis Arakaki, who heads the Hawai'i Family Forum, a nonprofit group that opposes same-sex marriage, civil unions and other legal recognition of same-sex couples, said that in light of all the impact studies required of the Hawaii Superferry, it doesn't make sense to "fast track" a measure that would have a much greater social effect on the state. The Advertiser article continued:
We can accept the lifestyle, but we don't want to institutionalize it."
Of course, that comment about accepting the lifestyle seems questionable, given that some folks were carrying signs with such decidedly intolerant messages as "Destroy the Core of 444," and "Turn to Jesus or Burn in Hell."
I don’t know about you, but I find those comments downright scary.
Meanwhile, I received an email from a woman named Angelica Lee, who said she is a sophormore in Guangdong University of Foreign Studies. She writes:
I am now working as a partime editor for Hawaii-day.com, and my job is to collect hawaii positive news and translate them into chinese, so as to attract tourists to Hawaii. But at times like this it's geting harder and harder to find many good news.
So i am writing to ask for help. Could you be kind enough to inform me when you hear or encounter any positive news of Hawaii? or you could teach me how to unwrap the bright sight of a plain or even bad news.
OK, Angelica, I’ll be on the lookout for good news from Hawaii, which is something the environmental and nature magazines are always seeking, too.
And how fascinating to discover this evidence of a push to build the Chinese tourist market, perhaps to replace the dwindling Japanese tourist market.
A bit of good news for Kauai, although not for the rest of the state, is Monsanto's announcement that it’s transferring its Kauai operations to Maui and Oahu. Lucky them. That still leaves Syngenta and Pioneer Hi-Bred on Kauai, though.
Along with the usual corporate fluff in the press release that The Garden Island re-reprinted, was this interesting tidbit:
Over the past several years, Monsanto Hawaii has been expanding its operations and employee workforce, particularly on O‘ahu, Maui and Moloka‘i, where suitable agricultural land was available.
It kinda makes you makes you wonder what’s unsuitable about Kauai’s ag land.
Now it's time to head for the airport and that very long day of westbound travel, with the reward of home and Kauai at the end.