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The Poisoning of Hawaiian Soil by GMO and AgriBiz, Part 1

Amidst the wonders and beauty of this part of the world, I find a fierce battle raging between concerned residents and corporate chemical/poison interests. There are 2 sides to the controversy, I've learned. I asked Wayne Jacintho, a Kauai photographer, who are the people against the GMO/poison folks; he replied: "Everybody who cares about people and creatures that are being poisoned, everybody who cares about clean water and air and soil and the ocean…"

On the other side are the chemical companies, and locals who need jobs.

Here is a letter written by Wayne this summer to a local paper in southwest Kauai:

FEEDING THE WORLD In Aug. 3rd’s Garden Island, yet another letter proclaiming the chemical companies’ noble reason for existence: feeding the world.
And the heartrending revelation, by a Dow Chemical testifier the night of July 31st, that they, in conjunction with Bill & Melinda Gates, are developing a drought-resistant sorghum for some African country or countries. Yay!

Then, unwanted, unbidden questions arose, extinguishing the thumping koom-bah-yah in my heart.  I ask that gentleman to answer these questions, if only to restore the almost unbearable lightness I felt upon first hearing his stirring words:

1. Will these sorghum seeds be given, or will they be sold, to these people?

2. Will these plants at maturity have viable seeds, or will a ‘terminator’ gene have shut them down?

3. If the resultant seeds are viable, will those farmers be able to save some for replanting, or will they be punished if they try to do so?

4. If these farmers are not allowed to save and replant “their” seeds, will they have to buy each year’s seed from you?

5. Can these seeds be grown without special needs, or do these farmers have to buy Dow Chemical herbicide, pesticide, and synthetic fertilizers for which these seeds may have been “engineered”?

6. If these farmers have to buy these seeds, (and, if necessary, other Dow chemicals), and if there are unforseen disasters, natural or otherwise, and they then fall into debt to Dow Chemical, what will be the fate of these farmers and their lands?

Please answer straightforwardly, with source references.

Naturally, Wayne never got an answer.

See my post here of 2 months ago: http://lloydkahn-ongoing.blogspot.com/search?q=roundup

Hawaiian Islands Part of Chain of Massive Volcanoes

This explains why there are so many dangerous places to swim in Hawaii -- the steep drop-off of mountains into sea.
-From Ted Fleming
"The Hawaiian Islands are a chain of massive volcanoes that stretch over 1,000 miles across the Pacific Ocean. Though some of these volcanoes reach nearly 14,000 feet above sea level, more of their height lies under the ocean's surface. For example, Mauna Kea (on big island of Hawaii -- 13,796 ft above sea level) is about 32,000 feet from the mountain's base to the summit."

Just Right Small Kauai Cottages

I've shot a whole bunch of these simple little frame structures on Kauai, usually with tin roofs and overhangs, usually resting on foundations of pre-cast concrete pads. I'll get around to posting a bunch more later. They make sense in terms of simplicity, economy, ease of construction and local climate.

Books and Latte in A Small Town in Southern Kauai

Ed (shown here) and Cynthia Justice run a great bookstore (with some 100,000 books in inventory, many of them used, in the small town of Hanapēpē.

How are you doing in this age of Amazon, I asked? Ed said their business has been growing each month, a 65% increase in the last 2 years. 80-85% of their sales are used books,and many of these sales come via Amazon.

There's also a v. cool coffee shop in Hanapēpē, opens at 6 AM.

Books and coffee, 2 of the staples of life…

Waimea Canyon in Southwest Kauai

The canyon is 10 miles long, and up to 3,000 feet deep. That's Waipoo Falls, ann 800-foot cascading waterfall. It's a 2-mile cliff hike to get there (I didn't do it).

Details  of the canyon on Wikipedia here (check out their panorama).

"…The canyon has a unique geologic history—it was formed not only by the steady process of erosion, but also by a catastrophic collapse of the volcano that created Kauaʻi.…"

Stewart Brand's Summary of Jesse Ausubel's SALT Talk "Why Nature is Rebounding"

Nature rebounding? Agriculture doing well? Huh? I wish all this were true, but I find this analysis troubling. What's wrong here? What parts of this are right and what parts are not? I'm posting this for comment.

I don't like Stewart's (and probably Jesse's) take on GMOs. Gardeners, people who work with the soil and respect natural processes know intuitively there's something wrong with the GMO juggernaut. And I've just found out that Kauai is a proving grounds for the GMO giants: Dow Chemical (makers of napalm, right?), Syngenta, DuPont and their like seem to be poisoning Kauai and its people in their brilliant blending of genetic manipulation, poisons, and profit.

We are as gods, right? Wrong.

In the next few days I'll post my observations on all this. It's especially vivid because I just saw huge fields of genetic experiments (nary a weed in sight) on the road from Waimea to Polihale Beach.


About 3 AM on the beach.

Camping on Polihale Beach

My experiences/photos are way ahead of my ability to post them. I'll throw out what I can when I get time.

This was at the very end of the road on the southern part of Kauai, at the end of the Na Pali coast.

Jungle Fowl of Kauai

They're on about every square foot of the island. Supposedly the great hurricane of 1992, which practically leveled the island, demolished most of the chicken enclosures and they're now everywhere. Pretty soon you get so accustomed to the crowing that it's no bother.

Most of them are the breed known as Red Jungle Fowl.

It wouldn't be difficult — heh-heh —to have barbecued or stewed chicken at any time (pellet gun or snare).

Kamokila Hawaiian Village

This is a recreated traditional Hawaiian village, on the banks of the Wailua River. There are maybe a dozen buildings and walking around (not many turistas) you can get a feeling for what life was like pre-gringo.

Candy and the Ship in a Bottle at Aloha-n-Paradise

Yesterday I discovered the espresso hangout in Waimea, called Aloha-n-Paradise, run by the very lively Candy Baar. While waiting for Candy to make my latte, I spotted a dust-covered bottle on a shelf on the porch. It was an exquisite little bamboo house, complete with 2 people and a palm tree impossibly ensconced in a bottle with a rusty cap with a diameter of about 1-1/4 inches. Did they build it inside the bottle, or have it folded so they could slip it in and then pull it erect?

I had to have it. Candy and I agreed on a price and when I get back, it'll be a star exhibit in the Shelter office.

Coffee is excellent and there's an art gallery and wi-fi connection.

Breakfast With Gina and Chantal at "Gina's at Yumi's Restaurant"

Yumi started the restaurant in 1978. She passed it along to her daughter, from whom Gina bought the business. As a tribute to the founder she calls it "Gina's at Yumi's." In the southern Kauai town of Waimea.

Chantal, Gina's mom was helping out when I was there.

A great breakfast.

Huge Surf ("…60-80 feet") Last Wednesday, King's Reef, Hanalei

I was in Hanalei this day, but couldn't see this from where I was (someone said Laird Hamilton was riding monster waves on a foil that day, but I can't find anything on it).
Photo: Terry Lilley
"…Asked about the best wave of the day, Kaeo said it belonged to “the guy having the most fun.” As for his own best wave Wednesday, he described it as “huge.”

'Maybe, like, bigger than this,' he said, pointing to the tops of the nearby palm trees. 'Bigger than this whole tree line. Yea, bigger than that. Out on the third reef, King’s. And just giant. I don’t know how big. I was too concentrated on how to surf it.'

Wolcott, Kaeo’s long-time surfing buddy, didn’t downplay his friend’s catch one bit.
'This guy stepped up to a record-breaker,' he said of Kaeo. 'Between 80 and 100 feet, guarantee … A monster. A mile or three-quarter mile ride. It was sick. Sick.'

And Wolcott didn’t let it go there. He made sure it was clear just how ridiculous Kaeo’s ride was.
'It was life and death, you could say. It was borderline,' he said. 'You fall on that you’re in big trouble.'…"
Chris D’Angelo - The Garden Island:  http://bit.ly/1C9Grds

Waterfall on Na Pali Coast

The 2nd part of my hike on the Na Pali Coast consisted of going 2 more miles from the beach up a canyon to this 300' waterfall, upon which I swam in the pretty cold water over to the rock face and got under the falls. I worried a bit about a rock or branch coming over the falls, but figured the chances were slight. A bunch of young people we doing the same.

By the time I got back to my car, I'd covered 8 miles (round trip) in 5-1/2 hours. It's about 11 miles to the end of the trail (you can't get through to the road north of Waimea (or at least it's very difficult), so you have to backtrack, and this means spending at least one night camping. I talked to a guy who went in for 2 days and ended up staying 11.

Local Food, Local Music

By way of asking around in Waimea (southern part of Kauai, where I've come today), I went to the Kaleheo Steaks & Ribs restaurant tonight, had a half order of baby back ribs with Hawaiian cole slaw, two local beers, and listened to local band Waiola do a bunch of covers (a perfect rendition of Percy Sledges' "When a Man Loves a Woman"), and then a stunning Hawaiian song where the singer hit impossibly high falsetto notes, the occasional yodel, and the maybe 25 customers were cheering.

This is out of chronological sequence with my trip, but I'll backtrack when I can.

The southern part of Kauai is WAY different than the northern part.