When Koko and I went out about 10 last night, the wind was blowing hard from the southwest, herding great globs of dark clouds toward a half-moon ringed by a halo. “Here comes the storm,” I thought, but when we went out in the morning, it was dry, still, and the sky was patchy blue.
“It makes me think of that guy [UH geology professor Dr. Tom Giambelluca] we heard at the global warming conference, who said that a lot of the winter storms are passing us by to the north now,” said my neighbor Andy, whom we encountered on our walk.
“And that we can expect to see drier winters, punctuated by episodes of extreme rainfall,” I added, recalling the intense November storms that flooded out Hanalei.
I was up there the other day, and stopped to visit a friend who is a horticulturist.
“Did you notice the mango blossoms?” he asked, and indeed I had, because I’d never seen such profuse blooms in the Hanalei Valley.
“It’s way, way too early,” he said, and when I asked whether he thought it was due to the heat, or the big rain or the sunshine, he shrugged. “Nature is trying to tell us something.”
Problem is, we’ve pretty much lost the ability to read her signs, speak her language. Or maybe we’d rather ignore her.
Opponents of the civil unions bill passed yesterday by the state Senate claim lawmakers are ignoring the will of the people — a cry that gubernatorial hopeful Lt. Gov. Duke Aiona has taken up, too. Is it true? Hard to say, seeing as how what is essentially an equal rights under the law issue has become so muddled by the whole God-traditional marriage-white shirt bit.
Aiona also shares the stance of his boss that lawmakers should ignore civil unions and instead focus on “improving public education and balancing the state budget.”
Ummm, shouldn’t lawmakers be able to multi-task, deal with one more than one complex, controversial or challenging issue per session? No wonder the wheels of government turn so slowly.
My favorite quote came from Sen. Mike Gabbard:
"Marriage is not just a word, it is the foundation, it is the bedrock of our society. It is the cornerstone of civilization and it impacts every one of our lives," he said.
Bedrock of our society? Cornerstone of civilization? Well, then that explains an awful lot, because most marriages I see are dysfunctional unions held together by insecurity, duty, convenience, inertia and economic interests — kinda like the rest of our cherished institutions.
I was also interested to see that the Advertiser’s first report on this ground-breaking issue was a short “breaking news” piece cobbled together by “Advertiser Staff,” perhaps from wire reports and what Larry Geller described as a barrage of tweets.
Thanks to AP, the story had been picked up around the nation, and Michael Levine had even written his own localized piece for The Garden Island, before the on-line edition of The Advertiser produced a by-lined article with any depth this morning. Is it any wonder The Advertiser is dying?
Speaking of dying, I was a dismayed by The Garden Island’s insensitive coverage of yesterday fatal crash on Kaumualii Highway. Under the headline “2nd fatal crash snarls South Shore traffic,” the lede read:
A two-vehicle crash near Maluhia Road in Koloa Friday afternoon left a motorcyclist dead and snarled rush hour traffic for hours, according to county officials.
So those are equally weighted events, a man’s death and a traffic jam? Frick, they could have at least relegated the traffic news to the second paragraph.
It also annoys me when the county reports, and the paper dutifully repeats, that the motorcyclist was not wearing a helmet. So what? Would he necessarily have lived if he had been wearing a helmet? I think it grates on me because it implies that the motorcyclist was somehow to blame for his death, when in fact he was driving along minding his own business until a woman inexplicably plowed into him and sent him flying.
Seems to me that if the county can provide such minor details as whether or not a guy was wearing a helmet, it should also be able to provide more major details, like the name of the woman who killed him.