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Homeless in Hawaii

March 8, 2010

Man sleeping at a bus stop in Kaneohe, March 2010

 

Oahu has a alarming population of homeless.  Hawaii’s high home and rental costs make it difficult for some low income residents to have any other option then living paycheck to paycheck.  With the recession and many job losses many have been forced to become homeless calling public beaches and parks home.   

The statistics show that there are upwards of 10,000 homeless on the island of Oahu alone.  These were the only accurate statistics that I found and they were collected from 2006, so that number today is probably higher.  Currently, on Oahu there are 22 homeless state agencies, 13 emergency homeless shelters, and 36 transitional shelters on the island (see Hawaii Public Housing Authority for more info).  The government is currently in a fiscal crisis and has been cutting many of these types of agencies’ budgets.  That can only mean that the solution to the homeless epidemic is not in the near future.  

A visit to the Leeward coast and Waimanalo Beach Park reminds the rest of us that there is a serious problem among us.  People seem to ignore the homeless tents in Ala Moana Beach Park, which are directly across the street from multi-million dollar real estate.  I don’t have the answers to this never-ending issue, but all I ask is for Oahu residents to be aware, sympathetic, and give to others when you can.

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swellinfo.com = My new favorite surf forecaster

March 6, 2010

I’m still in recovery mode from a wretched cold and have now been out of the water for a week.  A full seven days of no salt water can make a surfer girl go stir crazy, but the gusty winds have made the waves that much less appealing.

These past few days I’ve resorted to wave cams and surf reports to keep me going.  While I love our local surf forecaster, Surf News Network, which provides daily reports for all islands and all four shores as well as a surf hotline that is updated three times a day, my friend Lillian brought a new site to my attention that I like to use when I’m looking for up-to-the-minute/hourly surf updates.

swellinfo.com is my new go-to surf forecaster simply because its reports take swell and wind into account and formulate an easy-to-read simulation of the surf conditions.  I like how the site breaks down different shores by color (green being clean and red being no good) and wave height, and I’ve noticed that the site is updated frequently (at least every 4 hours) to provide visitors with the most accurate information.

While I still head to SNN for surf cams, I’m now a huge fan of Swell Info!  Give it a try!

Dog First Aid & CPR Classes on Oahu

March 5, 2010

 

Brenda and I are dog owners and dog lovers, so when Brenda invited me to take an American Red Cross dog first aid and CPR class I quickly agreed.  Between my family and I we are owners of five dogs.  I have owned dogs throughout my life and have undergone various canine disasters from my dog jumping out of the back of a truck to dog seizures.  I don’t always know what to do in case of a canine emergency, so when the opportunity came up to further educate myself on how to properly administer first aid and CPR to dogs I was all for it.

Brenda and I arrived at Oahu’s American Red Cross Headquarters at 4155 Diamond Head Road early one Saturday morning.  In the class we learned how to recognize an emergency or potentially life threatening condition in dogs such as broken limbs, choking, and cardiac arrest.  We learned how to perform rescue breathing, CPR, administer first aid, and much much more.  We practiced first hand on dummy stuffed dogs and went over each chapter in our Red Cross manual with the help of a friendly video.  Each participant received the American Red Cross Dog First Aid manual and DVD to take home with them.    

This class was very informative and will be a great tool to help me care for my dogs or help others in case a situation occurs before veterinarian care is available.  For those who have dogs I would highly recommend taking this class.  The Oahu American Red Cross currently offers a class on first aid and CPR for dogs and cats for the price of $60.  For information on classes and times visit: www.hawaiiredcross.org .

Cold, windy, crappy surf = Time for REDBOX

March 5, 2010
by

Photo courtesy of frugalways2 (Photobucket)

The surf has been sub-par these days, and everyone’s been complaining about shriveling up from staying dry for so long.  It’s just a part of the waiting game — the inevitable dry spell.  Fortunately for me, this wretched cold/bronchitis came at a great time and I’m so busy with work that surfing is not so much on my brain anyway.

But for those of you just dying for some activity, there’s not a whole lot I can tell you other than to sit tight and watch a movie or two.  The Movie Museum is playing a good selection of films leading up to the Oscars this Sunday.  (I’m really crossing my fingers that “The Hurt Locker” gets a gold dude), or if you’re in a real pinch and prefer snuggling up on your own couch with some kettle corn, then I would highly suggest renting a movie for just a dollar via REDBOX, located at all Safeways on the island.

I discovered Redbox last year and now I rarely rent movies any other way.  These convenient little DVD jukeboxes don’t require membership and have a more limited selection of movies, but there are still some goodies available.  Last night, I watched “Paranormal Activity” and was pleased with the budget flick.  Other decent movies like Zombieland, Inglorious Basterds, and The Hurt Locker were all available.

Can-O-Worms

March 3, 2010

I am so excited that I finally graduated my worm bin to the Can-O-Worms!  The Can-O-Worms is a sophisticated  tray system for waste management using earthworms.  After about a year and a half my worm colony has multiplied in size.  My tiny worm bin graduated to a worm tub and now my worm tub is ready for the Can-O-Worms.  In my last post “Spread the Worm,” Recycle with Earthworms I explained how worms can process all our organic wastes and turn it into vermicast a nutrient rich, odorless, pathogen-free, organic soil amendment used for fertilizing plants. 

I purchased my Can-O-Worms from Mindy Jaffe at her King Street shop called  Waikiki Worm Company.  The entire Can-O-Worms with 1 pound of worms is $345 and without the worms just $195.  This stacking tray system at capacity can process 2-3 pounds of organic wastes a day, hold thousands of worms, and produce pounds of vermicast all without getting your hands dirty.  If handled properly the worm composting causes no odors and is very easy to maintain.   

My new Can-O-Worms

Become part of the solution by helping the enviroment in a natural way.  For more information on the Can-O-Worms visit: www.can-o-worms.com or contact Mindy Jaffe at www.waikikiworm.com .

Half Price Deals & Fresh Cafe

March 2, 2010

Back in January I wrote about some cool local discounts offered online, and my friend Chelsea brought another site to my attention that’s worth mentioning.

95.5 The Fish, a local radio station, offers half price deals via their website, and this week they are offering five $10 certificates to the hip new Fresh Cafe in Kaka’ako.

I made my first half price purchase for a Dream Dinners certificate and just received it in the mail.  I just made my Fresh Cafe purchase 10 minutes ago, and there are about 80 deals left!

I have yet to make it to the Fresh Cafe, but it’s generated enough buzz that I plan on heading there soon — as in this week.  Its hours are unbeatable (they’re open from 7 a.m. til 1:30 a.m. Mondays – Thursdays), and their bagels are supposedly some of the best in town.

The Hawaiian Humane Society Dog Hiking Group

March 1, 2010

Kyra and Taryn at Manana Trail w/ beagles

Every last Saturday of the month the Hawaiian Humane Society’s Paws on the Path hiking club meets and explores Oahu’s pet friendly hiking trails.  The hikes generally average three miles long and can take about two hours to complete.  All dogs must remain on a leash throughout the hike.  Hikers are advised to bring along poop bags, water, and snacks for people and dogs.  This club is great for dog lovers and their dogs to exercise, socialize, and enjoy the beautiful trails of Oahu.

Meeting times are 8:30 am and the hike starts at 8:45 am.  Here is the list of their monthly hikes:

January – Makapu’u Light House

February – Old Pali Road

March – Maunawili Gulch Trail

April – Waimano Valley

 May – Kaunala

 June – Manana Trail

July – Maunawili Golf Trail

August – Likeke Trail

September – Aiea Loop Trail

October – Waimano Ridge

November – Maunawili Ditch

December – Peacock Flats

For more information call 808.356.2217 or visit http://www.hawaiianhumane.org/ .