I'm not sure which was more dazzling — the sparkling, three-pointed diamond of Jupiter, Venus and the crescent moon that lit up the western sky last night as Mar smoldered on the other side of the heavens; the brilliant shimmer of the waves once the sun crawled up over the horizon this morning or the glistening rainbow that was creeping up the backside of a black mass atop waterfall-streaked Makaleha as I drove home.
Just another 12-hour stretch on beautiful Kauai.
I'm not sure which was more dismaying — Syngenta saying that its toxic GMO seed research “is Hawaii’s aloha to the world,” or Pioneer Hi-Bred claiming it's “concerned with bee-friendly practices” because “[s]praying and other routine management practices that could disturb bees is done at times when bees are less active” — ya mean like at night or in the rain? — and it plants “cover crops such as flowers and buckwheat as pollen sources to encourage bee survival” in fields that are otherwise drenched with pesticides.
Perhaps it was reading the much ballyhooed account of movie director James Cameron's journey to the deepest known spot on Earth — seven miles below the sea, in the Mariana Trench — only to discover that he, oops, introduced pollutants that pristine place in the process:
The only thing that went wrong was the hydraulics on the system to collect rocks and critters to bring them back to land. Just as he was about to collect his first sample, a leak in the hydraulic fluid sprayed into the water and he couldn't bring anything back.
Sweet. I wonder, could we hold off on “opening up this new frontier,” to use Cameron's words, until we've figured out how to a) clean up the messes we've already made and b) ensure we won't screw up the next place, like how we're introducing invasive species into the Arctic? I mean, come on. What, we haven't learned that lesson yet?
His next expedition is set for the second-deepest spot, which is Marianas Trench Marine National Monument, prompting the Fish and Wildlife Service yesterday to send out a press release noting:
While stipulating measures to minimize possible impacts, the permits allow the collection of scientific specimens and samples and the making video and audio recordings. For example, the DEEPSEA CHALLENGER must be rinsed with freshwater between dives to further reduce the unlikely possibility of introducing some microorganism from one dive site to another.
It was extremely dismaying to read that the county is considering building an amphitheater, pavilion and playground equipment at Kapaa Town Park, as well as relocating the neighborhood center and swimming pool there. [Correction: the pool and neighborhood center are proposed for the park that's by the round-about.] Ummm, haven't you guys heard of rising sea levels? Why would you invest millions in public infrastructure at a park that's not only in the tsunami zone, but already suffering from coastal erosion of its parking lot?
As for the bike path, I was dismayed to discover it's now slated to be moved away from its planned route through the Foodland and Safeway shopping centers — so much for the path actually be useful for anything besides recreation— and back along the coast, to this pretty little unspoiled stretch of shoreline.
And though I was dismayed by yet another low voter turnout in the KIUC elections — perhaps it's time to review the voting process to see if it can changed to facilitate more partcipation — I wasn't dismayed by the results. In fact, it was downright heartening to see the two incumbents defeated and replaced with some new blood: Karen Baldwin, Calvin Murashige and Pat Gegen. We'll just have to wait and see whether that makes any difference.