In a State of Shark Paranoia

Note this first appeared here on HuffPost Hawaii:

With the recent shark attacks that have happened in the state of Hawaii, there seems to be a state of paranoia going on. I understand folks are afraid of sharks and they are certainly the last thing I would ever want to see in the ocean, however, they are there and there is nothing we can really do to prevent them from being in their ocean.

The State of Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) now has budgeted $186,000 for a two year study that will be lead by Dr. Carl Meyer to study shark movements around Maui.

As a taxpayer, this study sounds ridiculous to me:

“DLNR is paying close attention to the recent series of shark incidents statewide,” said William Aila, DLNR chairperson. “These appear to be random events involving sharks of different species and different sizes. There’s nothing we can yet discern that connects the incidents or provides any sort of explanation.” In 2013, there have been eight incidents, including four within the last month. Four of this year’s incidents occurred on Maui, three on the Big Island, and one on Oahu.

Most of us here in Hawaii understand that there are sharks in the ocean. If you ask the majority of folks who are attacked, getting back into the ocean is often considered one of their number one priorities after healing from their wounds.

Spending $186,000 of our money to basically tell us that yes, there are sharks in the ocean just seems a bit ridiculous to a resident of Hawaii like me. I could see that money going to hire more lifeguards, which would definitely save lives in the future!

Just a bit of trivia, two Universal Studio movie producers, Richard D. Zanuck and David Brown read a novel written by Peter Benchley named “Jaws.” After reading the book, they purchased the movie rights to “Jaws” for only $175,000 and the rest is history.

Senator Hirono Discusses Rebalance to the Pacific with Top Military and Defense Leaders

Senator Mazie K. Hirono, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, met this week with top military and defense leaders and discussed critical military issues including the rebalance to the Pacific, the harmful effects of sequestration, investments in sustainable energy technology and efforts to prevent and prosecute sexual assaults in the military. Hirono met separately with Admiral Harry Harris, who will take over as Commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet in October, and Deborah Lee James, who will serve as Secretary of the Air Force if confirmed.

Hirono with Admiral Harry Harris.

Hirono with Admiral Harry Harris.

“I appreciated the opportunity to get to know Admiral Harris and Ms. James, two outstanding leaders who will play key roles in our national defense,” Hirono said. “Admiral Harris will do an excellent job taking over for Admiral Haney as Commander of the Pacific Fleet and has a deep knowledge of our military’s needs in the Pacific. Ms. James is an extremely knowledgeable and qualified candidate to serve as Secretary of the Air Force, and she would become only the second woman in history to fill that position. I wish her a quick confirmation.”

Hirono was also able to share with Harris and James some of her experiences meeting with Asia-Pacific leaders during her national defense-focused congressional delegation to China, Japan and South Korea.

Admiral Harry Harris is the highest-ranking Japanese-American naval officer. A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Harris has served in every geographic combatant command region and was assigned in 2011 as the assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Hirono with Deborah Lee James.

Hirono with Deborah Lee James.

Deborah Lee James is President of the Technology and Engineering Sector at Science Applications International Corporation. Her professional experience includes a decade as a staff member on the House Armed Services Committee and serving as executive vice president and chief operating officer of Business Executives for National Security. James was nominated by President Obama in August and the Senate Armed Services Committee is expected to vote on her nomination next week.

Headquartered at Oahu’s Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, the U.S. Pacific Fleet plays a critical role in maintaining the security and economic interests of our nation and its allies in the Asia-Pacific Region. The fleet’s command covers 100 million square miles and is supported by approximately 200 marine vessels, nearly 1,100 aircraft and more than 140,000 sailors and civilians.

The U.S. Air Force has a major presence in Hawaii, with more than 9,500 active duty, National Guard and Reserve and civilian personnel.

Big Island Candies Opens New Ala Moana Store

The ever so popular Big Island Candies, has opened a new store at Ala Moana Shopping center on the second level of the mall in the Macy’s Wing.

Photo via Ala Moana Center

Photo via Ala Moana Center