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March 31 - McDonalds at Kahala Mall closed today in anticipation of demolition of the building and subsequent reconstruction of a larger multi-store complex. [KHON]

March 30 - Big wave surfer Kai Lenny is on a mission to promote marine environment awareness in Hawaii.  He raced to across the Kaiwi Channel from Molokai to Maunalua Bay by hydrofoil in a record time of 3 hours and 26 minutes. At the end of each leg of the journey he holds a community trash clean up that removes 2 to 3 tons of trash on average.  [HNN]

March 30 - Niu Valley Middle School musicians performed at Carnegie Hall. Billy V. interviews school staff and students regarding the experience. [HNN Video]

March 29 - The Old Waialae Bowl at Kahala Mall, vacant for nine years, will be demolished to make way for a new shopping complex.  McDonalds Corporation will lead the development. Reconstruction is expected to be completed by September. [HNN]

March 28 - The Salvation Army has opened a donation bin at Kalama Valley Shopping Center in Hawaii Kai.  

March 28 - After the suspected theft of the "Little Free Library" from a Kailua neighborhood, a Hawaii Kai family made a nighttime delivery to recreate the popular roadside book stand. [HNN]

March 26 - Work has begun on reducing rockfall hazards along Diamond Head Road. [HNN]

March 25 - Kaiser High School's computer club spent Saturday giving free coding lessons to Koko Head Elementary students and their parents. [HI DOE]

March 25 - An expended military flare prompted the closure of Haunauma Bay for 3 hours.  Visitors were evacuated due to fears the object could be unexploded ordnance. [Star-Advertiser]

March 23 - State sweeps homeless camps on Diamond Head.  [HNN Video]

March 20 - Hele gas has opened at the former Aloha Petroleum Hawaii Kai site in front of the 7-11 at Hahaione Valley's entrance.  Aloha Petroleum will soon begin construction on an Aloha Island Mart at the former Tesoro site next to Hawaii Kai Costco. [PBN] + observation

March 20 - Civil Beat reports on the overuse of emotional support "service animals," providing as an example a woman at Hawaii Kai's Villa Marina condo with two emotional support chickens. [Civil Beat]

March 19 - A 34-year-old motorcyclist died Sunday evening, after slamming into the guard rail along Kalanianaole Highway.  Honolulu Police closed the highway in both directions between Hanauma Bay and Sandy Beach. [KITV]

The Hawaii Kai Carnival returns for this weekend and next along Kalanianaole Highway.
The carnival, located across from the Maunalua Bay parking lot, will run for two consecutive Friday-Sunday weekends, March 17-19 and 24-26. Carnival hours will be 6 p.m.-11 p.m. Fridays, noon-11 p.m. Saturdays and noon-9 p.m. Sundays. [KHON]

March 15 - Firefighters rescued a man stuck in a drainage ditch near the condo complexes on Hawaii Kai Drive [HNN]

March 14 - Niu Valley Middle School Orchestra performed at Carnegie Haii in the midst of a New York blizzard. [HNN]

March 9 - Well-loved Ethel's Grill in Kalihi has opened up a new location at the Oahu Club in Hawaii Kai.  You don't have to be an Oahu Club member to eat there, just sign in and let the front desk know you'll be dining. [Frolic Hawaii]

March 8 - The Honolulu Police Department recently participated in Niu Valley Middle School's career day and posted a picture of their community outreach on Twitter. [Twitter]

March 7 - A tour group from Kaimuki Christian School became the first group to tour the White House under the Trump administration.  One parent, who attended a later tour, also had the chance to see the president during a surprise visit. [KHON]

March 6 - Eighteen year-old photographer fell 90-feet at Spitting Caves in Portlock on March 5; suffered broken bones.  [HNN]

March 5 - Aloha Gas fronting 7-11 has closed.  The Hahaione Valley station closure means that there are only two gas stations remaining in Hawaii Kai, 76 and Chevron, both at Koko Marina Center. 

March 2 - A visitor from South Carolina was rescued from high surf at China Walls in the Portlock area.  After receiving medical attention, he was transported to a local hospital. [Star-Advertiser]

March 1 - Heavy rains and strong winds forced closures throughout Oahu, including at Hawaii Kai Satellite City Hall, where power was temporarily out. [HNN]

March 1 - Police are investigating the death of a 34 year-old man found dead in his car in Waimanalo.  His body was discovered February 28.  There were no signs of foul play. [Star-Advertiser]

February 26 - The fire department rescued an injured 22 year-old spear fisherman from Spitting Caves.  He had fallen 15 feet onto the ledge below.  [KITV]

Senate bill 1313 seeks to require an additional 10 percent of our food be locally sourced.  It's the brainchild of Senator Brickwood Galuteria, whom argues that our state's reliance on food imports imperils residents' safety in times of need.  Granted, with more than 50 percent of our produce and 90 percent of our beef coming from outside the state, we are unique in our reliance of food imports.

But, is this the solution for a real-estate-poor metropolis?  Hawaii's population density consistently ranks in the top quartile of states, and kamaaina's biggest complaint is that children can't stay here after college because there is no affordable housing.

Hawaii Kai prides itself on having farms smack dab in the middle of the suburb.  Me, I'm not a fan.  Then again, I live right in front of one of the farms.  While I enjoy fertile topsoil, I enjoy it much less thrown by tractors onto my windowpanes on a frequent basis.  Truth is, even those farmers are struggling.  They lease their land from Bishop Estate, which is in turn unable to do anything else with the land because of a public perception of "sustainability."  The farmers also have difficulty finding workers to plow and harvest.  A few innovative ones have turned to "farm tours" to extract voluntary help.

Farms in the suburb are all around just a bad idea: a bad fit and an ill use of space.

No one likes a negative view without a positive alternative.  That is why I would propose that Hawaii make a plan for microfarms.  They really are the wave of the future.  They can be placed in garages, rooftops and wherever there is available room.  Granted, you can't raise cows there.  (Given that the Hawaii Farm Bureau has only given its blessing to this bill if all agriculture is included -- like flowers -- I seriously doubt this bill is truly serious about food sustainability anyhow.) But you can raise the most expensive types of greens: those that are easy and quick to grow but have limited shelf life once picked.

Aquaponics lettuceAs it turns out, I've been experimenting with produce sustainability and I think I've reached a pretty good balance.  To get a good idea of what can be accomplished, visit The Aquaponics Place in Waimanalo.  They have an incredible selection of both components and turnkey systems -- and at a good price too.  Hawaii Kai residents only need to drive 10 minutes to get there.  It's on Lukanela Street right behind the feed store off of Mekia Street and Kalanianaole Highway.

So far, I've purchased rockwool and large tubs from them.  They were even kind enough to drill a hole in one of the tubs for me.  I'll post an article about it and my low-maintenance low-cost hydroponic system in the near future.

It seems to me that suburbanites really aren't into gardening. Truthfully, it's a heartbreaking experience.  You toil and till and once the seedlings are looking good, the slugs and snails eat them.  Hydroponics and indoor gardening take the pain out of the gardening.  It also removes the weeding.  And, even in tight spaces, we can find room.  So, Senator Galuteria, if you're listening, I'm not disagreeing that sustainability is a good asset.  I'm just questioning whether a quota on growing and a reliance on old farming methods is the solution.  I also think the Hawaii Farm Bureau's stance on including all agriculture detracts from the overall purpose of the bill.  As a matter of fact, if I were starving, a vaseful of proteas wouldn't console me.

For more on the subject and the inspiration for this post, reference this 2/27 Pacific News article.