Stat Counter

A Valley Isle reportage. Shoot first, write later.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Da Maui Klink

Did you know there is a prison on Maui?

The Maui County Community Correctional Center is just such a place.  Located in Wailuku near Maui Police Department Headquarters, The Maui News, and Maui Memorial Hospital, this is Maui's "prison."

The interesting thing about the penal system not only on Maui, but for Hawaii in general is the fact that the Aloha state sends nearly half of its inmates - over 1,800 in 2005 - to privately-run Mainland facilities because of the reduced cost.  It costs $105 per day to keep a prisoner in a Hawaii state-run prison versus $58 for the private Mainland version.  

Why is Hawaii sending its "problems" away to the Mainland?  Not only are we sending our prisoners away from home, but Hawaii also ships 100,000 tons of trash a year to Washington State from Honolulu!  Who knows what our inmates are picking up and learning in Mainland prisons, which they will undoubtedly bring back and incorporate into the culture of the Islands.  

In 2008, Governor Linda Lingle of Hawaii approved $9 million to design a new Maui prison in Pu'unene to hold 843 inmates.  Hopes are that the new prison will be completed by 2012 to the tune of $219 million.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Human French Fries

Frankly, I'm not one to hang out at the beach.  Don't get me wrong, I love the ocean and the beach as long as I'm doing something in and on it like freediving or playing volleyball, or anything actually, but to just lay out or sit on a towel or chair and zone out, well, that's just not for me thank you very much.  Laying at the beach, for me, is akin to slathering myself with olive oil, setting the oven to 425 F, and roasting for 45 minutes.  I need to do something at the beach if I stand any chance of staying longer than 3 minutes.  I was at various North Shore beaches today and took some shots.  There was actually a very attractive girl sunbathing topless, but hey, I didn't shoot her because she looked right at me the entire time I walked by.  I couldn't help but look at her too! :)

The image below illustrates what happens when you set your white balance to auto and let the camera decide what it thinks is the best setting.  It chose tungsten!  Welcome to the blue planet!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A Royal Portrait In A Parking Lot

Queen Lili'oukalani was the last ruling monarch of Hawaii, whose rule ended in 1893.

In a parking lot in Makawao behind the Stopwatch Restaurant, there is a painted image of the Queen on a building wall.  After looking at this image, I realized the source of inspiration for the artist.  Clearly the painter wanted their work seen, so here you go - great job.  How long did it take?

For more info:  Lilioukalani

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Maui Roller Girls

What do you get when you take a bunch of youngish, estrogen-fueled women, shod them in roller skates, and make them chase each other around an oval track whilst ramming each other?  Well, all you need to add is baby oil and... I mean uh, you get Roller Derby of course!  Dubbed "Clash of the Islands," yesterday's roller derby bout pitted Oahu's Mischevils (in black) against Maui's own Crazy 808's (in white).

I remember when these girls were struggling to find practice space on Maui a couple years ago, going from parking lot to parking lot.  With names like "Go!ShiShi," "Nun Chuck," and "Yo Mama Bin Laden," it was a pleasure to watch these chicks get themselves dizzy.

The girls with the stars on their helmets are the "jammers" and score points.

For more info on Maui Roller Derby:

Maui Roller Girls Facebook

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Last Days Of A Honu

Honu means "turtle" in Hawaiian, and this particular honu was beached at Kanaha Beach the same day I took the pics of the kiteboarders in my previous post.  Now, from my experience, I never see turtles on shore on Maui, and as far as I know, Green Sea turtles only come ashore rarely, and mostly to lay eggs.  Furthermore, Maui is not the prime nesting grounds for these gentle giants, which are the French Frigate Shoals located in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands - 500 miles northwest of Maui.

So what is this honu doing on the beach?  Well, unfortunately, this turtle looked like it was dying - rather, it beached itself knowing it was going to die.  If you look at the following photos, pay attention to the areas of soft tissue around the mouth and neck of the turtle and you will see tumor-like growths.  These "warts" are the result of a virus which causes fibropapilloma tumors that shorten a turtle's lifespan considerably.  Scientists don't know what actually causes these growths, but the most common theory I've heard blames all the pesticides, fertilizers and chemicals that run-off golf courses and manicured landscapes, as well as leach from wastewater injection wells - all of which abound on Maui.

 The hard part was looking into the turtle's blinking eyes (the effect is multiplied peering through a telephoto lens) knowing that it wasn't dead yet, but on its way.  Somehow I wished I could just put it out of its misery, but they are "protected" after all.  I actually thought about calling the DLNR - Dept of Land and Natural Resources - but what in all reality could they have done?

For more info on the fibropapilloma disease:

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Kanaha Kiters

Besides Hookipa, Kanaha Beach, located near the airport, is another kiteboarding and windsurfing gathering hole.  From beginner to pro, local to foreigner, you will see myriad of kite boarders along these longs stretches of large-grained sand beaches.  If you take a kiteboarding lesson, chances are you will have it here at Kanaha.

I think kiting is so incredible due to the amount of AIR one can achieve!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Central Park Activities

Thank goodness for Central Park. Without this carefully designed and manicured outlet for physical and emotional energy, I think New Yorkers would truly go insane.  Given the enormity of the park in relation to the size of Manhattan island, the park seems quite small to serve the CURRENT number of City inhabitants versus the population of New York when the Park was completed in 1863.

How does one deal with this disparity?  Structure, rules, and control.  For example, god forbid you run clockwise around the reservoir instead of counter-clockwise.  New Yorkers will tell you how they feel and they will let you know right away.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Bumper Cars

Physical space is obviously at a premium if you live in the City, especially if you have a car.  I've heard the waitlists to get a permanent parking spot in a garage is years long and crazy pricey, so if you can park on the sidewalk, and hopefully near your apartment, then you're golden and good to go.  However, with a very little amount of curb space available at any one time, people park VERY close to one another.  Add to the mix everyone all trying to parallel park amongst backed up traffic and you get scenarios such as this:

I know that part of a car is called its bumper, but come on, that kind of close contact has got to leave a mark.  What to do?  Necessity being the mother of invention, I've observed two kinds of solutions.  All appear to simply exist as a barrier, but the devices were prevalent enough to indicate their worth.  Enter the Bumper Badger and Bully, respectively:

Whoever invented these bumper bumpers is a freakin' genius.  For more info:
Bumper Bully
Bumper Badger