In the Land of the Lotus Eaters – New York Times

On the islands farther from anywhere than anywhere, Hana is a community farther from anywhere than anywhere… THE ocean crashed hypnotically as the Venus of Hana yoga gently gave her commands. “Let the sun rise over the crater,” she said, her arm arching into an ethereal halo over her head. She read a poem by … Continue reading “In the Land of the Lotus Eaters – New York Times”

On the islands farther from anywhere than anywhere, Hana is a community farther from anywhere than anywhere…


THE ocean crashed hypnotically as the Venus of Hana yoga gently gave her commands. “Let the sun rise over the crater,” she said, her arm arching into an ethereal halo over her head. She read a poem by Mary Oliver, sang awhile and instructed us to extend our buttocks toward Hana. We closed our eyes, dimly aware of the wind rustling through banana leaves.

Then our yogi, Erin Lindbergh, summed up how it feels to spend a slow Sunday morning on the edge of the earth in a tropical nirvana where all of nature seems to be on Viagra. “There is a bowl of flowers in your heart,” she said.

Nearly 40 years ago, her grandfather — Charles A. Lindbergh — became one of a multitude of seekers to be smitten by Hana, on the east coast of Maui. He is buried in a swamp mahogany coffin at the Hoomau Congregational Church in Kipahulu, not far from his granddaughter’s yoga studio, his now-mossy grave rimmed by beach rock. Like the manic hordes who form a human chain in rented Mustangs and PT Cruisers on the Hana Highway, fleeing chain-hotel sterility on the “other side” of Maui, the legendary pilgrim of the skies was restlessly searching for serenity, a sacred sense of apartness.

To his granddaughter, who recently moved from Montana, and bears an uncanny resemblance to her grandmother Anne Morrow Lindbergh, this remote fleck of paradise some 52 miles, 617 hairpin curves and 56 one-lane bridges away from the nearest city possesses mana, “a life energy,” an unseen spiritual force.

“Hana appeals to the calmer side of one’s being,” Sunni Kaikala Hueu, a Hana native, has written. “Some say that Hana is almost medicinal in nature — a quiet vibration that is felt.”

The vibes can be profound, all right. Where else but in Hana — its fabled highway the approximate width of a suburban driveway — is it possible to encounter traffic jams beside “hidden” waterfalls as tourists pose for Coming of Age in Samoa shots with cellphones? Where permaculturally inclined off-the gridders live in New Age treehouses and make bike-powered smoothies, while across the street in a community kitchen, a tiny 80-something kapuna in pink pedal-pushers peels boiled taro the old-fashioned way: with an opihi, or limpet, shell. Continue reading “In the Land of the Lotus Eaters – New York Times”

News from Sacramento, Portland, Oahu

This catches my eye as I arrive in Sacramento:

George Francis, the nation’s oldest man, who lived through both world wars, man’s first walk on the moon and the election of the first black president, has died. He was 112.

and here is some of that vibe I didn’t like in Portland:

PORTLAND — On the streets of Portland, the brawny twin brothers James and Michael Johnson were known as the “Twin Towers,” 32-year-olds whose mere presence could strike terror among the homeless.

Police say they have linked them so far to five unprovoked assaults against transients at Colonel Summers Park in Southeast Portland, and say they suspect more victims are out there.

“They’re always picking on people who are older and frailer. There’s no fair fights here,” Portland Detective Kevin Warren said. “For the most part, it’s just a beat-down. They’re just beating people up because they’re thinking they’ll get away with it.”

One man sleeping on a park bench was pounded with his own bicycle, and another homeless man who yelled at the twins to stop was stabbed in the leg, police said.

In November, one of them allegedly threw a homeless woman in her 50s down a flight of stairs at the park after she asked them why they attacked the homeless. A witness who tried to intervene was then assaulted.

“I’ve never seen a couple of guys doing serial assaults like this with no apparent motivation … which got us motivated to find and locate other victims,” Warren said.

Meanwhile, back in Hawaii there was a blackout and the Obama girls caused a ruckus:

Barack Obama, trying to enjoy the last semblance of normal life before he becomes U.S. president on January 20, caused a commotion when he took his daughters to a shopping mall in Hawaii on Friday.

It made for a surreal scene — the president-elect, daughters Malia, 10, and Sasha, 7, and family friends eating at a table at the mall watched by a crowd of onlookers and surrounded by anxious-looking Secret Service agents.

The agents struggled to hold back people trying to get closer to snap pictures of Obama eating a tuna and melted cheese sandwich and the girls enjoying shave ices, a local treat made from finely shaved ice and fruit syrup.

Osher Luncheon

I was just totally humbled and honored to take part in a luncheon put on by our Chancellor here at UH, Virginia Hinshaw, for Mary F. Bitterman. At the table were so many wonderful people that are spending their lives helping others, learning about our world, and making it a better place. I am very proud that I am graduating as an Osher Re-entry Scholar on Saturday.

For the Duh! Files- Oahu Home Sales

The headline reads “Oahu Home Sales Dive, but Prices Stable.” Doesn’t that mean that in order to sell more homes they will have to lower the prices? Maybe the headline should read “Oahu homes priced too high and not selling.” or “Oahu Homeowners refuse to lower prices and don’t sell their homes”.

Am I confused on this?

State of Hawaii Punishing Guy Who is Doing their Job

This is complete bullshit. I met Bill a couple of years ago when my friend Conrad and I hiked out to Kalalau. The trail would be totally deadly without the work Bill is doing and the lazy DLNR members are punishing him for making it ovvuous they don’t do their job.
Check out Bill’s website at

Trail-saver facing fine for using bow to eradicate goats

Associated Press

LIHU’E, Kaua’i — A man who took it upon himself to help repair Kaua’i’s world-famous north shore is facing a government fine for his efforts.

Bill Summers, 42, is accused of bow hunting without a permit on Kaua’i’s Na Pali Coast Trail, where he says he intended to kill goats that contribute to the trail’s erosion and create unsafe hiking conditions. He also was cited for having a weapon on state land.

He plans to fight the citations in court Jan. 7. They carry fines of up to $500 and 30 days in jail.

“I’m not going to pay the fine,” he said. “They’ve annoyed me too greatly. If they’re not going to let me do it, they’re going to have to go out there and do it themselves.”

The state argues that Summers is not registered as a volunteer, and he’s not authorized to do trail maintenance, Department of Land and Natural Resources spokeswoman Deborah Ward said.

Trail advocate Arius Hopman said a little cooperation from the state could go a long way.

“They could easily turn this thing around by legitimizing Bill,” he said. “He has spent his savings and time preserving people’s health and possibly saving lives.”

The state allows bow hunting at Na Pali Coast State Wilderness Park year-round with a permit, but doesn’t authorize rifle hunting due to safety issues, Ward said. The state has closed the trail in the past for some rifle hunts, but didn’t do so this year.

“We need more hunters out there … ” Summers said. “The first step is reducing the number of goats and hogs.”

With no natural predators, the populations of feral goats and pigs are spiraling out of control, he said.

Nearly three times as many hunting permits were issued annually from 2004 through 2007 compared with this year, according to state records.

Between 76 and 128 goats were killed annually in those four years, compared with 17 so far in 2008. The number of pig killings also has dropped, with none hunted in 2008.