Takin’ It To The Streets Over GMOs

Even though it was nearly six years ago, it seems like yesterday that friend/TGI colleague Dennis Fujimoto and I were called out to the scene at Waimea Canyon Elementary School, where a hazardous-materials team and the state Department of Agriculture were summoned after students reported symptoms of congestion, dizziness and nausea – symptoms many associated with the nearby herbicide application by GMO giant Syngenta, especially after a teacher captured video of the open-air application of Touchdown HiTECH on the field adjacent to the school. And though it saddens me that Kaua’i is making national news in publications such as the Huffington Post (Maggie Sergio, July 2) for pesticide spraying being done without any buffer zones to public areas, schools or waterways, it makes me proud that we will have a second public hearing on the issue July 31 (mahalo, County Councilman Gary Hooser). Regardless of which side of the issue you’re on, it’s important to speak out/edify oneself. The Pesticide Action Network has been following this issue closely and has created the following website, Stop Poisoning Paradise, stoppoisoningparadise.org

E komo mai to the five new firefighters who recently joined the Kaua’i Fire Department: Kawaihoola Curnan, Kevin Fujimoto, William Miller, Edward Pananganan and Troy Schmidt. The recruits make up the 24th class for the department and were joined by their families and friends for the ceremonial pinning of badges. “The fire ohana welcomes you and encourages you to carry on our great tradition with pride and perseverance,” Chief Bob Westerman said. Curnan was born and raised in Kealia on Kaua’i and graduated from Saint Louis High School and the University of Montana-Western, and has a 16-month-old daughter with wife Dana. Fujimoto is also from Kaua’i. Son of Ronald and Cheryl of Lihu’e, Fujimoto is a graduate of Kaua’i High School and continued his education in Honolulu and the Mainland. He returned home with wife Annika and they now have one son. Miller was born and raised in Honolulu and has two brothers and a sister, and describes his parents, Kim and Rich, as his “biggest fans.” Pananganan graduated from Kapaa High School and earned a degree in Fire Science from Honolulu Community College. He began his career with the Kaua’i Fire Department as a water safety officer and Jet Ski operator. Born in Lihue and raised in Kilauea, Schmidt also attended Kapaa High School and worked through college on both Kaua’i and Oahu. Having spent the last eight years on the Big Island with wife Madonna and their two young children, Schmidt says he is proud to be back home …

Kudos to Prosecuting Attorney Justin Kollar, Bethany Compton of the YWCA Board of Directors and Rep. Derek Kawakami, as House Bill 587, which strengthens and enhances Hawaii’s criminal law prohibiting physical abuse of family or household members, recently passed.

Kawakami introduced the bill at the request of the Kaua’i Domestic Violence Task Force and the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney. The provisions of the bill extend domestic abuse protections to individuals who are in dating relationships, defined under the law as individuals in “a romantic, courtship, or engagement relationship, often but not necessarily characterized by actions of an intimate or sexual nature, but does not include a casual acquaintanceship or ordinary fraternization between persons in a business or social context.” Until now, the law only applied to protect individuals who were related, had a child together or had resided together. The law also requires police to separate the abuser from the abused for a minimum of 48 hours. The law previously required only a 24-hour separation. This period of separation allows the victim, if necessary, to seek a restraining order or take other steps to ensure his or her safety …

Keiki-, pedestrian-, bicycle- and transit-friendly design is becoming part of the future of Kaua’i. Subdivisions will be constructed to support multi-modal transportation circulation thanks to the recent Complete Streets bill, which was approved unanimously by the County Council. “I’d like to thank all the parties involved in making this a reality, especially the County Council, Planning Department and the Get Fit Kaua’i Built Environment Task Force,” Mayor Bernard P. Carvalho Jr. said. In 2010, the County Council signed a Complete Streets resolution, making Kaua’i the first county in the state to change development standards for all transportation projects …

Fire, dance, comedy and music all will be part of a pop-up theatre July 20 from 7:30 to 9 p.m. at 100 Kalihiholo in Kilauea. The fun includes an aerial performance by High Sky Dance at the The Fly By Night Cabaret. The incredible variety show promises cirque, burlesque and more. To learn more, call 212-8268 … agregg@midweekkauai.com

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