Wednesday, January 28, 2009

What to do with Obama's childhood apartment?

... on the National Register of Historic Places places so this would be groundbreaking in many ways," Kiersten Faulkner of Historic Hawaii Foundation said.

Read the whole story...

Monday, January 12, 2009


January 7,2009
Sarah Creachbaum, a 15 -year veteran of the National Park Service (NPS), is the next superintendent of Haleakala National Park on the island of Maui in Hawaii. She replaces Marilyn H. Parris who is retiring January 31.

Creachbaum is expected to move from Guam, where she is superintendent of War in the Pacific National Historical Park and, on Saipan, the American Memorial Park.

“Sarah is committed to working collaboratively with communities, native peoples, and other government agencies,” said NPS Regional Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “She’s an innovative manager who consistently finds thoughtful approaches to extremely complex challenges.”

Creachbaum has served as superintendent at War in the Pacific and American Memorial during a pivotal point in the development of these two World War II areas. She opened a state of the art visitor center on Guam, addressing the complex cultural interaction between the Chamorran, Japanese and military interests. She also championed several educational programs at these parks for the schools on Guam and Saipan.

She arrived on Guam in 2006 and has worked to improve the quality of working life for employees and visitors, while also working with the U.S. Marines on the impact to the park of its anticipated move from Okinawa to Guam.

Prior to her superintendency, she served in the coveted Bevinetto Fellowship, a career development program working for a year each on the Senate Subcommittee on National Parks, chaired by Senator Daniel Akaka, and in the Washington, D.C. office of the NPS.

“I am delighted to be returning to Haleakala,” Creachbaum said in accepting the appointment. “I worked at the park on resource issues in 2003 and am looking forward to working with the community and staff.”

Creachbaum also has worked in Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Saguaro and Grand Canyon National Parks.

She and her family are expected to arrive at Haleakala in mid February.

National Park Service
U.S. Department of the Interior
Pacific West Region
1111 Jackson Street, Suite 700, Oakland, CA 94607-4807
510-817-1320 phone
510-817-1325 fax
Pacific West Region News Release

Friday, January 9, 2009

2009 Nâhelehele Dry Forest Symposium on Big Island -

The dry forests of Hawai`i are fragile habitats that are home to many of the rarest plants in the world. In North Kona, now only remnant patches of the habitat remain, reminding us of the highly diverse community of plants and animals that once dominated the landscape of West Hawai`i.

The Nâhelehele Dry Forest Symposium brings together researchers and conservationists to share their ideas on how to keep dry forest habitats healthy and how to restore them where possible. The primary audience for the symposium is conservation professionals, but there will many presentations and discussions of interest to the general public as well.

This year the conference will emphasize the human impact on Hawaiian dry forests.

Dr. David Burney, Director of Conservation at the National Tropical Botanical Garden will talk about Hawai`i before Humans. Dr. Burney has used paleoecological methods to study the history of tropical dry forests in Africa, Madagascar, the West Indies, and Hawai`i. His research at over a dozen sites in the Hawaiian Islands has helped scientists and conservationists to visualize prehuman Hawaiian environments and their subsequent changes after human arrival. Sabra Kauka, a Hawaiian-studies teacher and ethnobotanist on Kaua`i, will talk about Hawai`i with Humans. She will highlight a nature conservation and cultural preservation project at Nu`alolo Kai on the Na Pali coast of Kaua`i.

Bill Garnett is an Endangered Plant Horticulturalist on Moloka`i who assists Kalaupapa National Historic Park with their rare plant stabilization efforts. For the last 24 years Garnett has worked to prevent the extinction of some of Hawai`i’s most endangered plants and reintroduce them into protected habitat. His talk on Growing a Native Forest will explore the role of gardening and landscaping in native forest restoration.

National Tropical Botanical Garden Director and CEO Chipper Wichman will discuss NTBG’s role in restoring native Hawaiian forests.

Kaho`olawe Island restoration manager Paul Higashino will share planting techniques and lessons learned on this arid and severely eroded island. The native plants on Kaho`olawe were decimated by overgrazing and bombing during and after WWII. The island is now being revegetated with native plant species. A panel of restoration experts from the US Army’s Pohakuloa Training Area will present details of PTA’s endangered species restoration program and work ongoing at their nursery. Many native Hawaiian plants are found within PTA, including eight endangered species.

US Department of Agriculture soils expert David Clausnitzer will talk about the characteristics of soils associated with Hawaiian dry forests and insect specialists will discuss the role of native and introduced insects in Hawaiian dry forests. For the first time in 2009, there will be three hands-on workshops preceding the Symposium. Jill Wagner, coordinator of the Hawai`i Island Native Seed Bank Cooperative, will discuss and show participants how to handle and preserve native seeds. Scot Nelson and J. B. Friday of CTAHR and others will discuss native plant pests and diseases and have plenty of examples of affected plants for participants to examine.

Molokai conservationist Bill Garnett, Pu`u Wa`awa`a Coordinator Mike Donoho, and Kaho`olawe Restoration Manager Paul Higashino will conduct the planting techniques workshop.

Workshops will be held February 26. The Dry Forest Symposium will take place on February 27 from 9 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. at the Outrigger Keauhou Beach Hotel. For registration and information, call The Kohala Center at (808) 887-6411 or go to

Registration for the workshops is $25 each ($15 for the seed workshop). Workshop participation is limited and no registrations will be accepted after February 13th. Conference registration, including lunch, is $50. After February 13th, symposium registration increases to $65. The symposium is a project of Ka`Ahahui `O ka Nâhelehele, a non-profit organization dedicated to dry forest conservation.

Partners in sponsoring this conference are Bishop Museum’s Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden, National Tropical Botanical Garden, The Kohala Center, the Outrigger Keauhou Beach Hotel, and Kamehameha Schools-LAD.

For more information contact Kathy Frost at 325-6885 or
Kathy Frost
73-4388 Pa'iaha StreetKailua Kona, HI 96740-9311
(808) 325-6885

Chinatown's Historic Wing Wo Tai Building Goes Solar

A solar new year for the Conservancy

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Natural Element: The Best NeighborhoodsThere's more to finding a home than finding a house.

Psychology Today: Natural Element: The Best Neighborhoods

By: Jessica Wapner
The neighborhood in which we live can influence all aspects of our lives: physical health, stress levels, happiness, the well-being of our children. What are the key features to look for when choosing a new neighborhood? A host of scientific studies points the way home.

Sticking Together
Social cohesion is a crucial factor in any neighborhood. Do people know one another's names? Is there an active community center? Are there summer street festivals? Studies show that involvement in community activities is associated with fewer behavioral problems among young children. And low social cohesion is associated with both asthma and hypertension.

Building Blocks
The built environment can greatly affect both physical and mental health. Children with easy access to sidewalks, playgrounds, and fields tend to be more active and physically fit. Equally important is having places to go. People walk more when there are commercial establishments nearby. If you're planning a move, look for corner stores or other places you'd like to pop into during an afternoon or evening stroll.

Picture Perfect
A neighborhood's attractiveness is also of supreme importance. Studies confirm that we're more likely to engage in recreational activities when our surroundings are appealing. An aesthetically pleasing environment also reduces stress, so keep an eye out for clean streets and well-maintained buildings.

Green Acres
Living close to nature has all kinds of benefits. The presence of trees is associated with lower rates of domestic violence, other crime, asthma, and stress. Exposure to green spaces also diminishes symptoms of ADHD among children and improves self-discipline and concentration among young girls.

Psychology Today Magazine, Nov/Dec 2008
Last Reviewed 16 Dec 2008
Article ID: 4716
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