Monday, January 3, 2011

Musings: "For Kauai"

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.


Anonymous said...

We cancelled our subscription to Garden Island about 10 years ago, and are glad to see the launch of "For Kaua`i". Readers will need to support the advertisers, to keep it running...and be sure to mention their ad was seen on "For Kaua`i"!

Anonymous said...

YES! Kudos to Barbara Bennett and all the awesome reporters on the team! Will this come to our mailbox once a month or is it a paid subscription?......

Unknown said...

Wow, For Kaua`i looks great! Best of luck.

Andrew Cooper said...

"Man will not destroy this earth" ...Probably true. We can mess it up pretty badly, but I don't think it is yet in our power to sterilize the planet. The Earth will recover eventually, given a few tens of millions of years. One solace in the environmental catastrophe scenario.

Humans will probably be long gone, not exactly how godbots like Shimkus interpret the passage.

Glad to hear about the local paper!

Anonymous said...

was curious about amanda g's recent promotion and the absence of anne o at midweek. hope it does better than the last attempt at an alt pub, the kauaian. not a fan of BB;she's a little scary but heck if she hired you, can't be all bad. best of luck w/your new endeavor.
happy new year!

Anonymous said...

Hey Joan, just don't call this one manure, like you did with the Honolulu paper, and got fired for it, lol...

Anonymous said...

Amanda's big piece in Midweek must have been rewritten by an editor because, she's nice and all, but that girl can not write.

Joan Conrow said...

Just to clarify, Anon. 5:36, I did not call any paper manure. I wrote that a stance taken in a Star-Advertiser editorial was manure, and that's what got me fired.

As for Amanda, I'm sure she wrote that MidWeek piece all by herself because the editor is very hands off. I thought she did a good job with her new duties.

Unknown said...

Midweek Kauai has been good to me and other Kauai entertainers, but with all the Honolulu references (and even Las Vegas for crying out loud) it never quite attained the heavy "mojo" with Westside folks that Kauai People had. Just this week, they used a wonderful picture of me that Amanda Gregg shot. I wanted to call them with my mahalos (like I used to call you or Barbara Bennett) but the editor's number is Honolulu and they don't know me from Adam. Don't get me wrong-I enjoy Midweek and am truly grateful for the coverage. But I'm thrilled to hear of your plans to (as Dylan said), "bring it all back home". Best wishes, Westside Smitty

Unknown said...

When I posted last Feb 8th, I'd failed to notice Anonymous' Jan. 3 opinion of Ms. Gregg's abilities as a writer. She's talented enough to transform my 9 a.m. pre-coffee ramblings into a witty, organized bio. piece that ended up the front page G.I. entertainment section's feature for July 18,2010. That makes her my mother's all time favorite writer! I play charity events all over this island. Amanda is always there, adding to the aloha. She and Dennis Fujimoto deserve praise just for the excitment they generate at these fuctions. So we have two diametrically opposite opinions here. But I'm willing to sign my name to mine.

Unknown said...

Posting at 2:10 A.M. (see above) has its cognitive hazards and I apologize for my blurry-eyed redaction. Obviously, I meant to type "functions" before I made such a point about signing my name to my opinion. Famous last words! Mahalos to the true friend who alerted me to this weeks-old error.