When the sun goes down, the fun on the beach is quickly attacked by local police
Dear Editor, Oct 17, 2021
I’m from Chicago and visiting Waikiki for the next few weeks and I’m shocked and appalled at the police here and their treatment of tourists.
There is a mandate stating that groups of 25 or more cannot gather on the beach for to COVID. However, during the day, I’ve noticed that groups of this size are found in most places around Oahu without complications. But when the sun goes down, the fun on the beach is quickly attacked by local police.
There is a new form of entertainment called a silent disco. Local DJs set up a small stand with earphones (cleaned with alcohol, as I witnessed) and participants rent them for $5 for four hours. I thought would try this and for at least 90 minutes I was having a blast for a change in Waikiki! That was until the local police suddenly descended on the beach as though they were busting up a cartel ring. When I protested on behalf of the young people gathered (who in my observation were doing nothing out of the ordinary-no drugs, violence, etc.), there police became rude and thuggish toward me as though I was a criminal!
The bottom line is that to come to Waikiki is an ordeal of proving that you’ve vaccinated or cleared of the Corona virus. Then it’s profoundly expensive when trying to find a restaurant or a place to have a drink. The nightlife is non-existent here and when people try to gather outdoors today, all are treated horribly by “authorities”. My advise to readers is to wait a good 5-10 years for Hawaii to come back to normal because it is far from a 2021 fun travel destination spot.
Julie Moskal, MAEd
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Timber Industry, Big Green all for Wood Pellets
Dear Editor, Oct 15, 2021
It was unfortunate to see a recent opinion article get the basic science wrong on how wood bioenergy technology – when harvested in a sustainable, eco-friendly manner – can help Hawaii reduce its dependence on fossil fuels and continue to lead the fight against climate change.
Recent reports from top climate science experts and international authorities such as the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), UK Committee on Climate Change, US Department of Energy, and the International Energy Agency, have been clear that wood biomass has an important role in decarbonizing the power grid globally. For example, right now the EU’s largest source of renewable energy is wood bioenergy. And just this week, IEA released its World Energy Outlook Report 2021 Report, recognizing that increased use of sustainable bioenergy is a vital part of the world’s transition to net zero.
Top climate leaders including Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, Washington Governor Jay Inslee, and President Biden’s Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack have all recognized a role for this technology both in their home states – such as Vermont – and across the world.
Research from top university experts have found that carbon emissions from wood biomass are actually some 85% lower than that of coal. In the United Kingdom (UK), they been so effective in replacing wood biomass with coal as an energy source that the coal consumption in the UK was reduced to its lowest level in 250 years – since the Industrial Revolution!
Lastly, forest area in the U.S. Southwest – which sustainably sources wood for bioenergy globally – is actually greater today than when the industry first started some 10 years ago, according to federal data. Experts find that strong markets for forest products – which wood biomass makes up just one small part – encourage landowners to grow more trees, not fewer.
Replacing fossil fuels and lowering carbon emissions are and should be among Hawaii’s leading priorities and utilizing wood biomass as part of that energy transition is a smart idea. As this important conversation continues, it must be based on the facts and data.
Executive Director, US Industrial Pellet Association
Related: Wood Pellets? Hawaii 'Green' Energy Scam is Dirtier Than Coal