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Dodder Fodder – Commentary by Syd Singer

Commentary by Syd Singer:

How far are we willing to go to protect “native” species? Would you be willing to put your body on the line? If there was a native Hawaiian tapeworm, would you be willing to serve as its host? If it was an endangered Hawaiian tapeworm, you may be able to get a government grant to become critical habitat for the parasite. Nobody would be able to touch you without a permit or an environmental assessment.

WANTED: HUMAN HOSTS FOR NATIVE HAWAIIAN TAPEWORMS: Is There Any Limit To The Invasive Species Agenda? (Syd Singer)

Actually, there is a native Hawaiian parasite of plants, called dodder (Cuscuta sandwichiana), that hangs from trees and shrubs and smothers them to death and sucks out their juices. The dodder drapes over its host with its green and orange-tan filaments like a net, until all you see is the dodder. Large areas of trees, including o’hia, are destroyed by dodder.

This can create a dilemma for native species advocates. If the dodder is growing on a native tree, such as the o’hia, do you let it kill the tree, or do you kill the dodder?

I suppose the answer to that depends on whether you value the o’hia more than the dodder. But given the political correctness to protect native ecosystems, environmental managers may have trouble deciding on which native species to save, the resource or the parasite. After all, parasites are a normal and necessary part of the environment. All ecosystems need predators, parasites, competition, and all the rest for the cycle of life and death to go round.

But what if the tree the dodder is smothering is nonnative? Let’s say the native dodder is growing on a nonnative ornamental bush, such as rose bush, or a nonnative fruit or ornamental tree, such as a mango or lychee. Should we kill the native dodder or let it kill its nonnative host?

According to the nativists, the answer is clear. The native parasite must prevail.

Now this may seem odd to anyone who does not share the nativists’ bias. We all have some sympathy for endangered species. And some of us extend that sympathy to nonendangered native species. But there is more to consider than nativity…

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Pacific Aviation Museum Calls for Volunteers… Hangar 79 Open to General Public

Media Release:

Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor which recently opened its second WWII hangar for visitors to explore has issued a call for volunteers to help the growing destination in its expansion. The Museum, recently rated “one of the Top 10 Aviation Attractions” nationally by TripAdvisor, has several areas for nonpaid volunteers interested in history and aviation.

In front of the P-40 in Hangar 79, Pacific Aviation Museum Mechanics Arnold Kanehiro, Randy Lum, and Mel Chow. With Carey Tagawa, 2nd from right

Docents and greeters are needed, along with restoration crewmembers who can work on aircraft alongside experienced mechanics. Flight simulator air bosses who teach guests how to fly virtually are also requested. With many additional volunteer opportunities in Museum operations, administration, education, and special events, there is something for everyone. No experience is necessary and the Museum provides volunteers with the education and skills needed.

Volunteers receive many benefits: They work hands-on with aircraft, meet and talk story with veterans and experienced pilots and mechanics, receive free admission to the Museum and to the other Pearl Harbor Historic Sites, receive discounts at the Museum gift shop, free admission to all Hangar Talks and lectures, an annual “Volunteer Appreciation” party, and more.

Please contact Volunteer Coordinator Loretta Fung for more information and a volunteer application at 808-441-1008 or Tours@PacificAviationMuseum.org. Volunteers must be at least 18 years of age or partnered with a parent. The Museum will provide documentation for service hours.

Pacific Aviation Museum is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization which depends on its volunteers, members, and support from donations. 808/441-1000; www.PacificAviationMuseum.org

Queens’ MarketPlace Welcomes Ocean Sports to New Location

Media Release:

Ocean Sports, popular provider of beach activities and sea-going adventures, announces its sixth and newest location at Queens’ MarketPlace in Waikoloa Beach Resort, with a soft opening Monday, January 17, 2011.  The new shop will feature interactive marine life displays, logo items and island souvenirs, reservations and check-in desk for the company’s Whale Watch, Snorkel and Sunset Sails.

Founded in 1981, Ocean Sports had humble beginnings as a single card table on the beach at ‘Anaeho‘omalu Bay.  Today, it is the Big Island’s #1 ocean recreation company, providing professional beach concession and swimming pool services to seven major resort properties on the Kohala Coast and an educational Whale Center in Kawaihae Village.

The company motto, “Every day is an adventure,” is experienced by guests daily on Black Sand Snorkel Sails, Champagne Sunset Sails, and seasonal Whale Watch excursions aboard three luxurious catamarans. Ocean Sports also offers private charters, weddings-at-sea and glass-bottom boat adventures.  Not just a provider of fun and recreation, Ocean Sports helps educate visitors and residents about Hawaii’s fragile marine environment.

“Ocean Sports is an exciting addition to Queens’ Marketplace and will make lifetime memories for so many,” said Sales and Operations Manager Margo Mau Bunnell. “This central check-in location will serve customers from around the island and will help to make ocean activities more accessible to all.  Visitors and residents, from keiki to kupuna, can come to this new location to learn more about the ocean, check out all Ocean Sports’ activities, make their reservations on the spot and pick up souvenirs and gifts to take home. We are very happy to have them join our Queens’ MarketPlace ‘ohana.

The new Ocean Sports shop will be open 7 days a week, 9:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Free parking and shuttle service for passengers provided.  For reservations, call (808) 886-6666, or visit www.hawaiioceansports.com.  For more information about the new store, visit www.WaikoloaBeachResort.com or call 886-8822.

An Awesome Weekend at the Best Resort in Hawaii… The Hilton Waikoloa Village

As many of you may know by now that I spent the weekend at the Hilton Waikoloa Village and had a blast!

Out in the lagoon

Long before they sponsored my blog I have always thought they were the best resort in Hawaii.

This weekend with the three day weekend we planned our vacation to maximize our time at the resort so that we could get in as much pool time as possible!

If you look closely you can see a hot tub in the cave pool

We arrived on Saturday morning and took a boat to our requested room on the ground floor of the Lagoon Tower.

Our favorite mode of transportation at the resort

I wanted to be close to the dolphins and I had requested a ground floor room but didn’t realize that the Cabana rooms did not have carpet in them…

Nice room... it's just that we like carpeting so our kid can play on the ground

….so we asked for a room change and they were more then accommodating.

The nice thing about the room change was that they actually gave us an even better view of the dolphins then we had at the previous room.

A room with a "Dolphin View"

And on the other side of our room we had a great view of the lagoon where the fish and birds were at.

The back side of our hotel room

We really didn’t spend much time in the room so it didn’t really matter in the long run.   Maybe when my son gets a bit older I’ll treat him to the Dolphin Quest program they have.

Interacting with Dolphins

My wife spent more time at the pools…

Another part of the cave pool

and the lagoons with the two boys…

The Salt Water Lagoon

… While I spent part of the weekend watching football and running around the property taking pictures of cool things that interested me.

A grass hut

On Sunday, we went to the Legends of the Pacific Luau which I’ll be blogging about when I have a bit more time.

Poster for the luau

On Monday I got to go on a “Back Door Tour” of the Waikoloa which I will also be blogging about later.

The Back of the House Tour

I’m stoked that I have a sponsorship with them and that I’m able to take my wife and son on little “Staycations” every once in a while at a fairly reasonable price.

Inside the front lobby