Fall 2016: September 26th Issue 3

Letter from the Editor In Chief

Aloha Mai Kakou

September is almost over – how the hell did that happen?
Time is a funny concept…

While some may already be planning their Halloween costumes, I bet that far too many of us are stuck in a mid-semester rut of midterm studying, term paper brainstorming, and all the other icky stuff us college students hate to deal with, but need to do anyway. (As a cynic might suggest, that’s pretty much the meaning of life.) In spite of that, I’m sure many of you have also witnessed plenty of positive developments occur throughout the past month of school. For me, this positivity took hold when I met some wonderful people with a passion for sharing their voice, and those of other students and community members, through journalism. As a result, I’m pleased to add six new members to our team at Ke Kalahea; I’m already confident in their abilities, but also quite eager to watch these budding student-journalists learn and grow on the job.

In terms of what’s hot and trending here in Hawai‘i, all things green and eco-related appear to remain in vogue. Though the environment has been a perennial concern of Hawai‘i residents for many years, such a statement has taken on new meaning these past few weeks. First, there was the World Conservation Congress - sponsored by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) - which was held earlier this month in Honolulu, the first time in the 68-year history of the organization that the U.S. has hosted a session. Among the guest list of speakers included our governor, David Ige, as well as our president, Mr. Obama himself. The president was in town for a few reasons – not the least of which was for visiting the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. Obama recently announced the monument’s expansion; totaling nearly 600,000 square miles, this is now the largest protected area of space on the planet.

One of our new writers, Gina, gets valuable insight on Hawai‘i’s environmental plight from Athline Clark, the woman directly responsible for administering such a massive and critical monument. From Gina’s story, we gain an informed understanding of the importance of our ‘āina and kai. Amplifying the relevance of environmental issues, another new writer, Nicholas, documents the push to halt the Dakota Access Pipeline; protesters assert this pipeline is a grave offense not only to Mother Earth, but to the rights and sovereignty of Native Americans with ancestral ties to the land, on which the completed pipeline would sit. The protests drew increased scrutiny as Dr. Jill Stein, the Green Party’s presidential nominee, was threatened with arrest by local authorities after vandalizing construction equipment at the site of the pipeline. It should go without saying that when someone running for president is almost arrested, that’s going to make news!

Speaking of politics, tonight marks a new chapter in the 2016 presidential election: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, the Democratic and Republican nominees, respectively, will go head to head for the first of three debates, to be televised nationally. Though modern conventional wisdom suggests that presidential debates have little impact, if any, on the outcome of the election itself, 2016 has already proven itself to be a year like no other. If one of these candidates does superbly – or, on the other hand, has an epic “fail” moment - this just might be what swing voters use to make up their minds. Either way, my eyes will be glued to the TV screen. (Then again, I’m a sad political junkie with no life.) May the best person win… or God help us all.

Mahalo Nui,

Brian Wild

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