As if you need another reason to feel guilty about chowing down on Thanksgiving Day, consider this: researchers at the University of Manchester in England figure that a turkey-n-trimmings feast for eight produces approximately 44 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions. About 60% of that planet-warming gas comes from the life cycle of the turkey, alone. And that doesn’t include drinks.
Leave it to the Brits to rain on our traditions. But it was brought to my attention by the Washington-based Center for Food Safety, which wants Americans to lay off food produced by “industrial agriculture” for the sake of the planet, if not their health.
“Choosing the type of food we eat – organic versus conventional meats and veggies, makes a great difference in greenhouse gas emissions,” says Debi Barker, the center’s international director. About 14 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions are connected to industrial agriculture methods, she contends, with much of those related to the use of chemical fertilizer on crops. By one estimate, half of all methane emissions – another powerful greenhouse gas – come from concentrated animal feeding operations, she adds.
“Our take on that is to empower ourselves,” Barker says. “If you’re buying organic, you’re really taking a bite out of climate.”
Isabella Abbott straddled two worlds and excelled in both, mentoring and inspiring generations of scientists and native Hawaiian cultural practitioners.
The world-renowned algae taxonomist and ethnobotanist “loved her people,” said Hi’ilei Kawelo, director of Paepae O He’eia, a nonprofit organization dedicated to caring for Heeia Fishpond. “She loved her culture, but she also excelled at it through Western science. She’s someone to look up to (who showed us) that we can do both. We can exist and practice our culture, but also develop this love of science.”
The retired University of Hawaii at Manoa ethnobotany professor remained a resource to many in the scientific and native Hawaiian cultural community until her death Thursday, while surrounded by friends and family. She was 91.
A longtime member of the board of directors of the Bishop Museum, Abbott wrote more than 150 research papers and eight books.
“We always saw her as the Energizer Bunny,” said Allen Allison, Bishop Museum vice president. “She just lit up every room that she was in.”
Born in Hana, Maui, and reared in Honolulu, Abbott got her first limu lessons under her Hawaiian mother’s tutelage, and went on to become the foremost expert on Central Pacific algae.
Lifelong cattleman remembered as trustworthy and fair
Maui cattlemen last week remembered local rancher William “Bill” Eby as a quiet, gentle man who loved animals and mentored a younger generation of paniolo.
Eby, 89, died Oct. 18 at his home in Haiku under hospice care. Services were held Friday.
A lifelong cattleman, Eby ran Honolua Ranch for 31 years and Nahiku Ranch for a decade before leasing Erehwon Ranch in Kula, which he operated in his later years. He was also known as the founder of Pacific Airlift, a business that introduced air transport for horses, cattle and other livestock to and from Hawaii. He was honored by the Paniolo Hall of Fame in 2001.
“If everybody could be as humble and be a quarter of the gentleman that that man is, the world would be all right,” said Jimmy Gomes, operations manager of Ulupalakua Ranch. “He had one of the biggest hearts.”
In addition to raising his own cattle, Eby often bought livestock from other ranchers, and had a reputation as a trustworthy and fair businessman.
“You never had to put it in writing,” Gomes said. “He’d look at you and say, ‘I’ll take these cows, and this is what I’ll pay.’ His word was gold.”
KAILUA-KONA (AP) – After 14 years of serving the Big Island, financially strapped Japan Airlines has ended its flight between Tokyo and Kona International Airport.
Passengers arriving Friday on JAL Flight 70 from Narita International Airport were greeted with lei and live Hawaiian music, the Big Island Visitors Bureau said.
JAL offered the only direct international flight outside of North America to the Big Island, the bureau said. Since the inaugural Kona flight in June 1996, JAL has carried more than 980,000 visitors between Narita and Kona, it said.
”It is also a vital carrier of Big Island exports including macadamia nuts, papayas, coffee, spirulina, abalone and desalinated sea water to the Japanese market,” the bureau said in a news release.
”The JAL flight is without a doubt the most important international route for Hawaii island. The positive impact it has made on our economy for the last 14 years is highly significant, and we truly hope to welcome JAL back someday,”
Japan airlines ends service between Kona and Narita
by Chelsea Jensen
Japan Airlines’ final flight to Kailua-Kona came and went Friday morning, ending 14 years of daily service to West Hawaii.
Since the direct Narita, Japan, to Kailua-Kona flight began in June 1996 nearly a million Japanese visitors have arrived at Kona International Airport, said Hawaii Tourism Authority Tourism and Marketing Vice President David Uchiyama. Annually, the flight brought in more than 70,000 visitors into Kona International Airport, he said.
“This flight is the connection between Japan and the island. The relationship between Japan and Hawaii is very close so this is a very tough time for both sides,” Uchiyama said.
The flight was one of 15 international routes Japan Airlines announced in April 2010 it would suspend in order to restructure the company through bankruptcy.
Tsuruta Tetsuro and his wife, Nobuko, were two of the approximately 240 people waiting to board the final Japan Airlines flight out of Kona Friday. The couple, from Fukuoka, Japan, said they are regular visitors to the island and will continue to visit even though the direct flight has been suspended.
“It’s a pity it will make it a little more inconvenient to travel here,” Tsuruta said. “We will miss this flight, but JAL will get better soon, and they will bring back this flight.”
By BARRIE ALAN PETERSON
FROM Pebble Beach, Calif., to Greenwich, Conn., and at dozens of picturesque settings in between, shows for vintage vehicles offer enthusiasts the opportunity to rub elbows with historic machinery in country-club surroundings.
Not every gathering needs to be a concours d’élégance where white-gloved judges probe the undersides of pristine Duesenbergs in search of a historically incorrect hose clamp, however. A decidedly more populist show was the 21st Red Power Roundup, which attracted an estimated 25,000 people last June to the LaPorte County Fairgrounds in northwest Indiana to see some 2,000 tractors and trucks made by International Harvester.
One of more than 1,400 antique tractor events across North America in 2010 listed by Farm Collector magazine, it is considered by many in the hobby to be the World Series of farm tractor meets, a heartland counterpoint to blazer-and-ascot antique car events and casual suburban cruise nights.
To a casual spectator, the rows of gleaming red International tractors represent the steady progress of industry in modernizing crop production, but to the shrinking number of Americans rooted in farming, they represent a heroic era. From the early 20th century, tractors pulled plows and cultivating equipment, powered grain combines and hay balers, eventually hauling crops to the barn or to an elevator in town. They enabled American farmers to feed the world.
HONOLULU – The owners of Hawaii’s second-largest farm face new federal charges that they exploited dozens of Thai workers by lying about their wages and confining them to the farm.
A federal grand jury re-indicted brothers Alec and Mike Sou of Aloun Farms on charges that they lured the Thai workers to Hawaii with false promises of high wages, and then kept them working by threatening deportation and confiscating their visas.
The Sous initially reached a plea agreement with federal prosecutors but then disputed some of the facts they had earlier acknowledged. Chief U.S. District Judge Susan Oki Mollway last month rejected the deal, and the Sous instead pleaded not guilty.
The Sous would have faced up to five years in prison under that agreement.
Now, the Sous could be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison if found guilty of the new charges handed down Wednesday.
Attorneys for the Sous said Thursday that they would plead not guilty today to all 12 counts.
According to an analysis released on Friday, the trade group reports having its slowest quarter since 2007, adding just 395 megawatts of wind power capacity.
For the year to date, new installations were down 72 percent.
The reasons are many.
For starters, as any number of unemployed Americans can testify, the nation’s economic engines just aren’t humming like they used to, and that means less demand for electricity over all. Natural gas, the chief fossil-fuel competitor to renewable sources of electricity, is also dirt cheap these days, making wind power a tougher sell for cost-conscious utilities and state regulators.
PUHI — Nearly two decades have passed since the U.S. Congress designated the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary.
Now a management-plan review is proposing the inclusion of additional species in the sanctuary, which is drawing ire and frustration from many local residents.
“From day one they’ve been trying to kill our people with laws,” Anahola resident Kawika Kutcher said. “I’m not against protecting things, but I’m against protecting things over human life.”
Kutcher, a Native Hawaiian, said he spoke on behalf of his 5,000 relatives spread over Hawai‘i.
“We do not want any more laws,” he said. “We want to be able to live our culture the way we decide, not some government that doesn’t represent us.”
Kutcher, along with roughly 200 people that packed Wednesday the KCC Learning Resource Center (library), watched for nearly an hour seven panelists respond to a simple question: Should we have a humpback whale sanctuary on Kaua‘i?