NEWS | Council District 7 – Honolulu City Council |

Civil Beat: HPD Wants Inflatable Tents In City Parks For Temporary Use By The Homeless

(Source: Civil Beat)

November 27, 2018

By: Terri Langford

For more than a year, Honolulu Police Capt. Mike Lambert and his team of plainclothes officers have teamed up with social workers to help homeless individuals find shelter, medical care and substance abuse treatment.

But with more help on the ground, there’s a bigger need for more shelter than Honolulu can accommodate.

To deal with those spikes in demand, Lambert and HPD are working on their most ambitious plan for homeless individuals to date. The department wants city leaders to relax or “lift” overnight camping rules in local parks, creating “lift zones” where they would locate inflatable industrial-grade tents for the homeless when shelters fill up.

Large tent located along King Street at Aala Park with scores of tents and other structures.

Plainclothes officers would be on hand in the parks and additional patrols would police nearby neighborhoods.

By using the parks, Lambert said, it keeps the temporary part of his plan truly temporary. Every 60 to 90 days, the tents would relocate to a different part of Honolulu. And when the zone moves, so do the service providers. That helps bring services to parts of the city where there are not as many service offerings, Lambert said.

“Service providers can come and provide treatment in an area that doesn’t exist at the moment,” he said.

“We’ve hit a point in the battle where we actually maxing out shelter services.” — HPD Captain Mike Lambert

According to a statewide count in 2018, there were about 5,000 people who were homeless on Oahu. Of those, 2,145 of them go without shelter.

Participation in the lift zones would be voluntary. No one would be forced to enter them. But all who choose the tents must move to a bed in a homeless shelter when they become available.

Ho’okele: HPD promotes off-duty safety

(Source: Ho’okele)

November 23, 2018

Honolulu Police Officer Ryan Yamamoto briefs Sailors assigned to Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit 1 about how to stay safe while off duty during a safety stand-down, Nov. 15.

Story and photo by MC2 Charles Oki

Navy Region Hawaii Public Affairs

Officers from the Honolulu Police Department (HPD) spoke to Sailors assigned to Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit (MDSU) 1 as part of a holiday safety stand down at the Ford Island Conference Center on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Nov. 15.

The HPD officers spoke about off-duty safety on the island of Oahu as well as local laws that might be different compared to the continental United States.

According to Officer Chris Siangco, a member of the Community Policing Team for Waikiki, one of the biggest issues facing residents, tourists, and service members is property crimes with reports of more than 13,000 theft cases, 700 robberies, and 6,000 vehicle break-ins in Oahu this year.

“We were asked to come out today to talk to Sailors about general safety tips when they are out enjoying all that Hawaii has to offer,” Siangco said. “Any little tip we can give that might keep someone safe is a win.”

Other topics discussed included local laws, statistics to keep in mind to get a better understanding of issues affecting the local area, and what HPD does to help keep locals, tourists, and military members safe.

“We look at our people as our most valuable resource at our command and keeping them safe is very important to us,” said Cmdr. Jonathan Puglia, commanding officer for MDSU1.

“If there is any information that we can share whether it is from our own internal organization or from an outside entity such as the HPD we’re going to do that to ensure our people are the most well informed, well educated, and empowered to make good decisions on or off duty. We really appreciate the HPD for coming out and providing this training to ensure our Sailors stay safe. It makes a big difference when you have an actual law enforcement officer standing in front of you and providing the information compared to a powerpoint presentation,” he added.

MDSU 1 is the U.S. Navy’s premier diving and salvage force, prepared to rapidly deploy combat-ready, expeditionary warfare capable, specialized dive teams to conduct harbor and waterway clearance, emergent underwater repairs, and salvage operations in all environments.

According to the Hawaii State Government and the Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism, Oahu is home to more than 950,000 residents and is visited by more than 400,000 tourists on average per month.

Via: Ho’okele

CNN: Is it now safe to eat romaine lettuce? Not yet, FDA says

(Source: CNN)

November 27, 2018

By: Ashley Strickland

(CNN)The E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce has sickened 43 people in 12 states, the US Food and Drug Administration said Monday.

The FDA said that the ongoing outbreak is linked to the “end of season” harvest in some parts of California — but the agency still says people should not eat any romaine lettuce.

People have become sick in California, Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Wisconsin.

An additional 22 people in Canada are also ill, so the FDA is coordinating its investigation with the Canadian health and food safety authorities, the agency said.

When the outbreak was announced last week, the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned consumers to stay away from all romaine lettuce, but the FDA said the investigation was focused on California and Mexico.

“Over the Thanksgiving holiday, the FDA continued to investigate the outbreak,” according to a statement from FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb. “Our investigation at this point suggests that romaine lettuce associated with the outbreak comes from areas of California that grow romaine lettuce over the summer months, and that the outbreak appears to be related to ‘end of season’ romaine lettuce harvested from these areas. The involved areas include the Central Coast growing regions of central and northern California.”

Lettuce growing and harvesting in the winter months is taking place in California and Arizona’s desert regions and Florida, as well as Mexico. Currently, the FDA investigation does not implicate lettuce from any of these areas.

While the romaine supply undergoes a “clean break” to ensure all the contaminated lettuce is effectively gone from the market, the FDA has asked producers and distributors to provide clear labeling with the lettuce’s date and origin in the future.

A task force within the lettuce industry has also been established to determine better solutions for labeling long-term in order to help with tracing.

“Based on discussions with major producers and distributors, romaine lettuce entering the market will now be labeled with a harvest location and a harvest date,” Gottlieb said. “Romaine lettuce entering the market can also be labeled as being hydroponically or greenhouse grown. If it does not have this information, you should not eat or use it.
“If consumers, retailers and food service facilities are unable to identify that romaine lettuce products are not affected — which means determining that the products were grown outside the California regions that appear to be implicated in the current outbreak investigation — we urge that these products not be purchased, or if purchased, be discarded or returned to the place of purchase.”

Symptoms of E. coli infection, which usually begin about three or four days after consuming the bacteria, can include watery or bloody diarrhea, fever, abdominal cramps, nausea and vomiting, according to the CDC. Most people infected by the bacteria get better within five to seven days, though this particular strain of E. coli tends to cause more severe illness.

People of all ages are at risk of becoming infected with Shiga toxin-producing E. coli, according to the FDA. Children under 5, adults older than 65 and people with weakened immune systems, such as people with chronic diseases, are more likely to develop severe illness, but even healthy children and adults can become seriously ill.

Via: CNN

KHON2: High surf leads to dozens of rescues off Oahu’s north, west shores

(Source: KHON2)

November 26, 2018

By: Nikki Schenfeld


HONOLULU (KHON2) – The biggest swell of the season peaked Monday on Oahu’s North Shore.

Conditions were extreme enough to prompt the closure of the parking lot at Waimea Bay Beach Park.

According to the city Division of Ocean Safety and Lifeguard Services, lifeguards performed 34 rescues and 1,745 preventative actions on Oahu’s North Shore, and 68 rescues and 865 preventative actions on the west shore.

Monday’s massive swell was bigger than expected with officials calling it one of the biggest on record.

“This swell definitely is what we had in 2016,” said Lt. Kerry Atwood, Ocean Safety North Shore. “That was by far some of the biggest surf I’ve seen in my career.”

The swell arrived Sunday with surf about 12 feet, but that all changed overnight.

Lifeguards opened towers at Waimea Bay and Rock Piles and began patrols at 8 a.m. from two rescue watercraft.

“Very large swell. We’re looking at right now 40- to 45-foot face value and a solid 20- to 25-foot Hawaiian,” Atwood said.

“This is amazing, the biggest waves I’ve ever seen in my life,” said Jim Piotrowski, a visitor from Connecticut. “I had cousins in the Navy that have seen some big stuff in the middle of the Atlantic, but this is right here on the shore. It’s quite amazing to see.”

All the sand that was taken from beneath the homes this summer at Ehukai, also known as Pipeline, ended up at Ke Iki Beach.

Monday’s massive northwest swell is now covering the beach, and homeowners are hoping the waves brings the sand back to where it belongs.

“This is one of the largest swells we’ve seen since maybe the ’80s,” said a homeowner. “but this should fill up with sand and, believe it or not, in two months, this will be a 200- to 300-foot wide beach. I know it doesn’t seem like it now.”

Down the road, the fence broke off at Rock Piles overnight, and surge from the huge waves started to cross Kamehameha Highway with sea spray completely covering the North Shore.

But the massive swell didn’t stop professional surfers from taking on Waimea Bay.

“Lots of rescues at Waimea Bay, lots of surfers needing assistance from rescue operators,” said Atwood, who noted that some of the rescues involved surf photographers.

On Oahu’s west shore, the state closed Yokohama Bay Monday. Waves were expected to reach 20 to 30 feet.

The high surf warning will be in effect for most north- and west-facing shores, not including Hawaii island, until 6 p.m. Tuesday.

Although the swell is expected to drop Tuesday, Ocean Safety warns the public, conditions will still be dangerous

“Out here, even the best of the best can easily get into trouble,” Atwood said. “The conditions are life-threatening. The surf on the North Shore doesn’t discriminate.”

As for The Eddie, the holding period begins Dec. 1.

Via: KHON2

CNN: Meaningful mindfulness: How it could help you be happier, healthier and more successful

(Source: CNN)

February 15, 2017

By: Jen Christensen

(CNN)The Dalai Lama and Lady Gaga walk into a room …

Their solution: create more kindness and compassion.
In other words, to create peace, find inner peace.
“Change in humanity must start from individuals,” the Dalai Lama told the mayors. “We created this violence, so we can reduce this violence.”
“We are unified in our humanity, and the only thing that we all know and we all appreciate in one another is kindness, and this has to come before all things,” Lady Gaga said.
To get to that kindness, His Holiness and pop star Gaga both engage in a practice that’s become popular with celebrities including Oprah, Paul McCartney and Kobe Bryant as well as corporate titans and industry leaders, too. It’s called mindfulness.
Mindfulness is a concept rooted in Eastern spiritual practice that, in the West, has morphed into a secular one. It essentially means not letting your emotions hijack your brain.It is a form of meditation, and it is a mindset.
Jon Kabat-Zinn, a professor of medicine emeritus who started the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and is often considered one of the founders of this Western approach, defines it as paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally.
Most people take a class or two to get started, but a simple mindfulness exercise could involve only 10 minutes of your day. Eliminate distractions like your phone, quieting your mind and focusing on your breathing: how it goes into and out of your body. If your mind starts to wander, bring your focus back to your breathing. Focusing gets easier the more you do it.
Paying attention to the matters at hand may sound simple, but most Americans aren’t doing it, studies show. Though the experts say there’s a lot more research to be done, the number of scientific studies has grown exponentially over the past decade. They show that mindfulness is more than a passing fad; there’s early evidence it can help your health.

What are you thinking about right now?

Technology frequently fractures our attention. The boss can message us anywhere, at any time, and even the bathroom isn’t safe. We are one distracted bunch.
Scientists have proved it, ironically, by using smartphones.
Researchers set up an experiment showing that human beings “spend a lot of time thinking about what is not going on around them.”
In their 2010 study, they created a computer program that sent questions at random moments to people by iPhone. The program asked, “How are you feeling right now?” “What are you doing right now?” and “Are you thinking about something other than what you’re currently doing?”
Of the 2,250 adults who answered the pings, 46.9% were not thinking about the task they were doing at the moment. This was the case for 30% of their activities, with one exception: during sex. That, apparently, had their full attention.
Otherwise, what they were doing had little impact on their depth of focus.
You may be thinking, what’s wrong with autopilot? Multitasking may be your jam, but those in the studywho reported regular mind-wandering were unhappier in that state than those with laser-like focus.
That may be one reason why the mindfulness movement — or “revolution,” as a Time magazine cover story named it — is so popular.

Making mindfulness great again

To remain mindful, the Dalai Lama said, he sleeps a lot: about nine hours a night. He also gets up at 3 a.m. to meditate. He has another session in the afternoon and one more right before bed.
In total, His Holiness spends about five hours meditating each day.
“These meditations not just chanting or something,” the Dalai Lama told CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta. He engages in “analytical meditation: thinking, analyze, analyze.”
The Dalai Lama says he meditates five hours a day.

He finds it “very, very helpful to maintain sharpness of mind.”
That sharpness is real, science has found.

Change your brain

Monks who’ve spent thousands of hours meditating show changes in their brains, studies show.
Scientists had Buddhistmonks meditate while being scanned by an MRI machine. While strapped to a board and put in the huge, noisy machine, the monks calmed their minds, reduced distractions and paid attention to life moment-by-moment.
While they were being mindful, scientists noticed signs of neuroplasticity, meaning the monks’ brains were reshaping to become more resilient.
The part of their brains connected to the body’s overall well-being and immune systems activated, and the scans showed that these master meditators reached a deeper level of consciousness.
But you don’t have to become a monk to experience beneficial brain changes.
Scientists studied meditation newbies enrolled in mindful attention training for eight weeks and found improvement in the region of the brain that regulates emotion.
“One shouldn’t be too surprised. If you learn to juggle or learn another language, anything acquiring a skill changes brain pathways long-term,” Tom Insel, former director of the federal National Institute of Mental Health, told a crowd of bigwigs at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, a couple years ago. “The evidence is pretty terrific.”

Mindful Marines

The data may be strongest to support the idea that mindfulness helps people manage the negative consequences of stress.
One study looked at the impact of mindfulness on Marines going through basic training. Scientists split them into two groups: One got about eight weeks of mindfulness training; the other got none.
The participants were then subjected to a stressful day-long training exercise. Both groups had similar spikes in blood pressure and breathing rates during the test, but when it was over, the mindfully trained Marines’ heart rate and breathing recovered much faster, as did their nervous systems.
“The data on stress reduction is pretty good,” said Richard J. Davidson, founder of the Center for Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.He has published hundreds of scientific papers about the impact of emotion on the brain and did some of the first MRIs of meditating Buddhist monks.
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He started looking at the practice of mindfulness after the Dalai Lama challenged him to use the modern tools of neuroscience to study kindness and compassion in the 1990s.

When it comes to stress, his experiments have showed that the body has both physical and emotional reactions to mindfulness practice.
“People typically feel calmer and less anxious. There’s a modest reduction in stress hormone, as well,” Davidson said.

Focus People

There’s good evidence to suggest that mindfulness improves your attention span, too. It might not help you resist looking at those cute cat videos your co-worker sends, but there are areas of basic research where the “findingsclearly show that practicing mindfulness can result in improvement of objective measures,” Davidson said.
Evidence suggests that mindfulness training can improve students’ standardized test scores, attendance and discipline. But it also works for adults.
Cat yoga: The mewest exercise trend

several workplace studies found that employees who get mindfulness training become more productive and stable. They demonstrate more self-control and efficiency. Employees with mindfulness training also seem to pick up on things faster and can read group dynamics better.
One study even showed that mindfulness practitioners recognize facial expressions better, making them more emotionally intelligent and helping them to be more empathetic.

Depression and addiction helped, kind of

Mindfulness also seems to help people who struggle with mental health issues such as depression.
Learning to live in the moment can’t cure depression, but it can alleviate problems associated with it. It can reduce your anxiety, the feelings of hopelessness and the stresses that come from constantly worrying about the future or ruminating on the past.
Mindfulness puts this kind of mental anguish in perspective and can prevent relapses.
It can also help you break bad habits, studies show:It can prevent you from eating your feelings, it can help if you drink too much, and it can help you quit smoking.
Davidson suggests that the data are “much weaker and less convincing” as mindfulness relates to curing aspecific disease.
It can’t cure cancer or chronic pain, but the practice can help manage some of the symptoms. For instance, if you have chronic lower back pain, mindfulness may be as helpful as medication at easing that pain.

The future of mindfulness

There’s a lot more research needed to determine the full impact mindfulness can have on your health. Several additional studies funded by the National Institutes of Health are underway.
Join the conversation

See the latest news and share your comments with CNN Health on Facebook and Twitter.

The demand for mindfulness programs has gotten so huge, the number of trainers cannot keep up, according to Davidson. That’s why he and several other scientists have been working on mindfulness-related video games, apps, podcasts, wearables and websites.
Davidson doesn’t think the interest in the practice will go away anytime soon.
“Suffering is becoming increasingly recognized as a serious problem,” he said. “There is also a real kind of divisiveness in our country and a kind of general distress too, especially lately. People are realizing if they can learn something from these simple tools they’ll be calmer, less anxious and much more supportive of the others around them.”
Via: CNN

CNN: A healthier Thanksgiving in 8 traditional, simple, calorie-conscious courses

(Source: CNN)

November 20, 2018

By: Lisa Drayer

(CNN)Thanksgiving is a time for feasting, certainly not fasting or dieting. But if you’re kicking off the holiday season with your health in mind, there are a few smart switches you can make on Turkey Day that will help boost your nutrition and lighten your calorie load.

Below are some savvy substitutions that can help you save nearly 1,200 calories for the entire meal.

Red wine instead of White Russian

Calories in cocktails can add up quickly, thanks to sugary mixers, tonic, juice, soda and syrups. What’s more, depending on the pour, mixed drinks may contain more than one serving of alcohol (that is, more than 1.5 ounces of vodka or gin), which also boosts calories.
An 8-ounce White Russian can top 500 calories, thanks to Kahlúa, vodka and heavy cream, but a 5-ounce glass of red wine has about 125 calories, or about a quarter of the amount. If you prefer the higher-calorie cocktails, limit yourself to one.

Carrots and hummus instead of cheese and crackers

A couple of multigrain crackers with cheddar cheese has 134 calories — not calorie overload, but compare that with two baby carrots with 2 tablespoons of hummus, which has only 62 calories, plus 2 grams of fiber.
You can have double the portion for fewer calories if you choose crudité over cheese. If you prefer dips to hummus, try substituting Greek yogurt for sour cream to shave calories and boost protein.

How to cook a Thanksgiving turkey

Dark-meat turkey without skin instead of with skin

Truth be told, dark-meat turkey is delicious and is typically juicier and more flavorful than white meat. Plus, dark meat delivers more zinc and iron than white meat.

There’s no need to forgo dark meat this Thanksgiving. But skip the skin to save some calories and saturated fat. Dark meat with skin is 175 calories per 3-ounce serving, and without skin is 147 calories. For portion control, keep your serving to 3 ounces, which is similar in size to a deck of cards or a computer mouse.

Vegan mushroom gravy instead of traditional gravy

Turkey may not seem like “turkey” without gravy, as the sauce gives a flavor upgrade to any dish. But making your gravy with mushrooms instead of meat drippings. can give your bird a savory “umami” flavor while saving a significant amount of calories and fat.

Traditional gravy is 63 calories per quarter-cup, and vegan mushroom gravy is only 35 calories. And here’s another bonus to mushroom gravy: Because it is meatless, it’s suitable for vegan guests. Whatever gravy you choose, try using a tablespoon when serving yourself, instead of pouring from a gravy boat, to help control your portion size.

Whole-grain stuffing with kale instead of traditional stuffing

Stuffing is delicious, but using white bread as an ingredient is a missed nutritional opportunity, as it doesn’t offer the fiber and vitamins that whole-grain bread does. Try a stuffing made with whole wheat bread, oats or quinoa to boost the nutrients.
The New York Times’ whole-grain stuffing with kale, figs, dates and hazelnuts has 7 grams of fiber and about 60 fewer calories per serving than a traditional stuffing. Traditional stuffing is about 420 calories per cup, while whole-grain stuffing with kale and dried fruit is 357 calories.

Baked sweet potato instead of sweet potato casserole with marshmallows

Sweet potatoes are nutritious and delicious and can help you achieve smooth, glowing skin, as they are loaded with vitamin A. However, when you add brown sugar, butter and marshmallows, you’re pretty much eating dessert.
One serving of candied sweet potato casserole with marshmallows packs 405 calories, 19 grams of fat and 32 grams of sugar. A whole baked sweet potato has only 130 calories and only 9 grams of natural sugar. You can even add some toasted marshmallows for an extra 30 calories.

Low-fat green bean casserole instead of traditional green bean casserole

Traditional green bean casserole is a Thanksgiving staple that is about 24 calories per cup, but the healthier version with breadcrumbs instead of French fried onions has only 188 calories per cup.
If you like the traditional green bean casserole recipe, you can use fresher, lower-fat ingredients that will improve the healthfulness of the dish and the flavor. Simply substitute the French fried onions with fresh onions (you can bake them after soaking them in buttermilk and coating with breadcrumbs and flour), and use low-fat condensed cream of mushroom soup instead of the regular version. You can also substitute low-fat milk (like 1%) for whole milk, which saves calories and saturated fat.

Pumpkin pie instead of pecan pie

There’s no need to skip dessert, but by choosing pumpkin pie over pecan pie, you can save over 200 calories. Pecan pie is about 541 calories per slice, and pumpkin is 323 calories. Apple pie is another lower-calorie choice compared with pecan, at 363 calories per slice. If you can’t resist pecan pie (and who could blame you), take a thin slice, or go crustless and eat only the filling. And hold off on the whipped cream!
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Make all these substitutes, and your total calorie savings is 1,179. Hopefully, you won’t miss anything from your 2,546-calorie traditional feast as you enjoy a traditional, simple, delicious 1,367-calorie Thanksgiving dinner.

Lisa Drayer is a nutritionist, an author and a CNN health and nutrition contributor.

Via: CNN


Hawaii News Now: Hawaii hotel workers slated to remain on strike through Thanksgiving

(Source: Hawaii News Now)

November 19, 2018

Hawaii hotel workers slated to remain on strike through Thanksgiving

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – Some 2,700 Hawaii hotel workers are expected to remain on strike through the Thanksgiving holiday.

In a statement, Kyo-ya Hotels & Resorts, said that negotiations with UNITE HERE Local 5 failed to result in a deal and that both sides aren’t slated to return to the bargaining table until Nov. 26.

“We are extremely disappointed that Local 5 leadership rejected our latest offer which would have been the largest increase in compensation for any of the striking markets nationwide,” Kyo-ya said, in the statement.

“Instead of accepting what would have been a fair and generous agreement, Local 5 leadership has elected to keep our employees out of work.”

Kyo-ya said it offered a wage increase and no changes to benefits for all active employees.

But the company did not say how much of a pay increase it was offering.

The Local 5 strike, which began in early October, impacts five hotels operated by Marriott and owned by Kyo-ya: Sheraton Waikiki, The Royal Hawaiian, Westin Moana Surfrider, Sheraton ‪Princess Kaiulani‬ and Sheraton Maui.

The main demand from strikers is the rallying cry: “One job should be enough.”

The strike is the Hawaii hotel industry’s longest work stoppage in nearly 50 years.

Via: Hawaii News Now


Science Daily: Renewable energy is common ground for Democrats and Republicans

(Source: Science Daily)

October 16, 2018

As the battle lines are drawn for next month’s hotly contested midterm elections, some Americans may be comforted to know there is at least one area of common ground for Democrats and Republicans.

Regardless of political standing, age or gender, U.S. voters are in favor of renewable energy, according to research by Christine Horne, professor of sociology at Washington State University.

Horne and Emily Kennedy, a former WSU sociology professor now at the University of British Columbia, are the authors of a new study in the journal Environmental Politics that shows while conservatives and liberals tend to disagree on many environmental issues, they both view the development of solar power and other forms of renewable energy as financially savvy and a step towards self-sufficiency.

The research identifies an area where policymakers on both sides of the aisle could work together. It also could have important implications for utility companies and other businesses involved in the manufacture and sale of renewable energy technologies.

“I think anyone who is paying attention to our current political climate might be interested to see there is an area of common ground,” Horne said. “Marketing renewable energy as a way to be more self-sufficient is a message that would appeal to both liberals and conservatives.”

Bipartisan support for renewables

Support for renewable energy has been growing steadily across the U.S. in recent years. A 2016 study by the Pew Research Center found 83 percent of conservative Republicans and 97 percent of liberal Democrats favor solar farms. Conservative states are also as likely to support renewable energy and energy efficiency policies as liberal states, according to a 2016 study led by researchers at Vanderbilt University.

While support for renewable energy among Democrats is largely thought to stem from environmental concerns, the reasoning behind Republicans’ support is less well understood.

To better understand support for renewable energy among both conservatives and liberals, Horne and Kennedy conducted in-person interviews at the homes of 64 registered Democrats and Republicans across Washington state.

The researchers asked study participants about their views on people who had solar panels or who engaged in other pro-environmental behaviors and their own interest in installing solar panels.

The team also conducted a larger, nationally representative online survey that asked participants about their views of a family in their neighborhood that recently installed solar panels on their home.

Funding for the research was provided by the National Science Foundation and a WSU New Faculty Seed Grant.

Financially wise use of resources

Rather than seeing renewable energy as tightly bound to environmentalism, the study’s conservative respondents were more likely to view it as financially wise and a good use of resources, Horne’s team found.

For instance, Ted, a conservative interviewed in the study, said he thinks very highly of people who have solar panels on their home and assumes they are smart, frugal and self-sufficient. When asked if he thinks these people may be concerned about the environment, Ted responded, “I think if people thought to put solar panels on their roof, they would not think that was helping the environment at all. They would think that was helping them financially, because they’re not paying a power bill.”

Democrats interviewed in the study also viewed renewable energy as financially smart and contributing to self-sufficiency.

However, unlike their Republican counterparts, the Democrats strongly linked renewable energy with environmental protection, reducing carbon emissions and helping other people.

When asked if she feels responsible for reducing her personal environmental impact, Caitlyn, a Democrat, responded:

“Because I enjoy being out in nature, I think everyone else should be able to enjoy it. I think our kids, and our kids’ kids and everyone should have the same benefits…that we are afforded right now. I think that they should all be afforded that as well, if not even more than we have right now.”


The research helps explain how politically polarized attitudes about the environment can exist alongside bipartisan support for renewable energy. It also suggests that efforts to encourage Republicans to invest in solar may be more effective if they emphasize self-sufficiency.

Via: Science Daily

Science Daily: Urban planning policy contributes to political polarization

(Source: Science Daily)

November 12, 2018

Summary:Urban planning decisions from decades past are likely a contributing factor to the rise of right-wing populism, a new study has found.

Urban planning decisions from decades past are likely a contributing factor to the rise of right-wing populism, a study from the University of Waterloo has found.

The study looked at urban planning and voting data from post-World War Two to 2010 outside Toronto, Canada. It found that development patterns that led to the reliance on the automobiles may also be fueling political attitudes that favour comfort and convenience and resist sustainable development.

“As planners kept building suburbs they created scores of new electoral ridings and suburban voters who predictably voted for politicians and policies catering to their lifestyles,” said Pierre Filion. “This translated into increasing automobile dependence, less land devoted to public space, and the continued cycle of building more suburbs.

“A careful look at the results of the recent mid-term elections in the United States shows the clear ideological division between urban and suburban areas.”

In reviewing the data, the researchers found that the increasing use of the automobile heavily influenced land-use decisions and life-style choices. The combination of automobile dependency and continued urban sprawl normalized economic and cultural norms associated with unsustainable suburban living.

It has also led to many suburbanites resisting calls for change that would impact them personally.

“It’s understandable that people whose recreation and livelihood depends on cars, would be less willing to accept transformative changes that could disproportionately impact their comfort and convenience,” says Filion. “This contributes to a sense of having their values attacked, and could explain some of the waves of right-wing populism in North America.

“It’s something we saw in 2016 as well as the most recent election in Ontario, Canada.”

Via: Science Daily

Star Advertiser: REITs chip in to help Hawaii affordable housing

(Source: Star Advertiser)

November 15, 2018

By: Andrew Gomes

Kahauiki Village (2325 North Nimitz), a plantation style village for homeless families

Some of Hawaii’s biggest commercial real estate owners have established a new charitable campaign to bolster affordable housing in the state.

A group of 13 real estate investment trusts, all based outside the state, have committed giving a combined $455,000 in the first year of a minimum 3-year campaign.

The group is seeking grant applications from local nonprofits that contribute to affordable-­housing growth, and are scheduled to make an initial gift today — a $100,000 award to the aio Foundation’s Kahauiki Village housing project alongside Keehi Lagoon for homeless families with children.

The campaign dubbed The REIT Way Hawaii is being run through the Nareit Foundation, a nonprofit charitable giving organization for the national trade association for real estate investment trusts, or REITs.

Applications are due by Dec. 15 and must be submitted through

The 13 REITs all own property in Hawaii, mostly hotels and shopping centers. They include the owners of Ala Moana Center (Brookfield Properties), International Market Place (Taubman Centers Inc.), Hilton hotels (Park Hotels & Resorts) and Hyatt hotels (Host Hotels & Resorts).

Over the past few years, REITs doing business in Hawaii have been assailed by some traditional local real estate companies as being bad corporate citizens because of their tax status, and the Legislature has entertained but not passed bills that would impose state income taxes on these REITs.

REITs enjoy a federal income tax break that exists because such companies must pass at least 90 percent of their profits to shareholders who then pay taxes on the income in whichever state they live. Nearly every state mirrors the federal tax treatment for state income taxes.


Schuman Aviation Company has announced that Travis Shilling, director of maintenance, has been granted the position of Designated Airworthiness Representative (DAR-T). This designation gives Shilling the authority to issue special flight permits, airworthiness certificates as well as export approvals for a wide variety of aircraft.

Hawaii Medical College has hired Christine Udarbe as their new director of education. Udarbe was previously a state educational director of Student Support Branch at the Office of Curriculum, Instruction and Student Support as well as served as a principal at Maunawili Elementary and Ka‘elepulu Elementary Schools.

Common Cause Hawaii appointed Tony Donnes to their board of directors last month. He is a Honolulu attorney who practiced law at Schlack Ito, where he focused on civil litigation. Donnes also served as a deputy prosecuting attorney for the City and County of Honolulu’s Department of the Prosecuting Attorney.

Via: Star Advertiser