A swath of stars cut across the heavens directly overhead, and Venus popped her head out every now and then, but mostly it was shades of dark and darker when Koko and I went out walking on this new moon, partial solar eclipse (we won’t see it) Quadrantid meteor shower peak day.
Gone was the balmy stillness of the weekend; the wind had returned, causing me to shiver in shorts and the ironwoods to sing their delightful haunting song as we passed beneath.
It’s the day when a lot of folks head back to work, officially signaling the end of the holiday season. I was talking with a friend yesterday about how strange it is that everything in the Western world — even the stuff deemed critical and urgent — comes to a screeching halt in the last two weeks of the year. It kind of makes you wonder just how important it all really is if we can put it on hold by collective agreement.
It’s the media that creates that sense of urgency, my friend said. It’s busy whipping us up into a frenzy about whatever it decides is important.
There’s truth to what he’s saying. And no doubt, a lot of the stuff that is put out there as newsworthy most definitely is not.
Still, I think it’s good for folks to know things like more than 10,000 people were killed by violence in Afghanistan last year and the GOP, now that it's regained control of the House, is already promising to repeal healthcare reforms, fight curbs on greenhouse gas emissions and launch some 500 investigations, including of climate change scientists and the radicalization of Muslims.
And that folks like Rep. John Shimkus of Illinois will be running the show. The new chair of the Subcommittee on Environment and Economy has dismissed the existence of global warming by citing biblical scripture that says God would not allow the earth to be destroyed:
So I want to start with Genesis 8, verse 21 and 22. "Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done. As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease." I believe that’s the infallible word of God, and that’s the way it’s going to be for His creation.
The second verse comes from Matthew 24. "And He will send His angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather His elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other." The earth will end only when God declares its time to be over. Man will not destroy this earth. This earth will not be destroyed by a flood. And I appreciate having panelists here who are men of faith, and we can get into the theological discourse of that position, but I do believe God’s word is infallible, unchanging, perfect.
OK. I feel better already.
I also think it’s good that there’s a brand new newspaper in town, called For Kauai. It has a print edition that initially will come out monthly, as well as an online version that will be updated regularly. The paper is still taking shape, in terms of content, but with reporting veterans like Anne O’Malley, Jan TenBruggencate and me contributing the articles, it promises to be a bit more solid than the competition.
And make no mistake, For Kauai is definitely out to compete with both TGI and MidWeek. It’s a freshened up, newsier, less fluffy reincarnation of Kauai People, the hugely successful weekly newspaper that made a lot of money for its previous owner, The Honolulu Advertiser. When the Star-Bulletin took over Tiser, it turned Kauai People into MidWeek and decided to milk that cash cow even harder, which meant cutting back on the Kauai copy (and thus freelancing fees) and replacing it with a lot of Honolulu-based content — the column by blowhard Bob Jones is a good example — that Kauai folks don’t care about.
Readers have rejected it, but most importantly, so have local advertisers. That’s why they’re abandoning MidWeek and going with For Kauai, which is published by Barbara Bennett, the woman who started Kauai People and went on to sell the ads for MidWeek. She was so upset by the loss of our community paper and the shabby treatment she received at the hands of MidWeek/Star-Advertiser management that she decided to launch her own publication.
And happily, since advertising pays the bills, her accounts eagerly followed.
The result is a publication that, unlike its competitors, can claim to be “100% Kauai news and information” — or as its name suggests, For Kauai.
So I hope you’ll take a look and spread the word and give us feedback, as well as time to build and smooth out the rough edges. It’s a work in progress, but finally, the Garden Island has a locally-owned alternative that's truly For Kauai.