Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Back from Hawaii: Troubles in Paradise

The Eye wandered back to Bend from Hawaii yesterday and was surprised to find the vegetation looking more lush and tropical in our backyard than

Posted By on Wed, Jun 17, 2009 at 12:33 PM

The Eye wandered back to Bend from Hawaii yesterday and was surprised to find the vegetation looking more lush and tropical in our backyard than it did on Maui, thanks to June's record-busting rainfall.

While Bend was getting soaked the weather in Hawaii was, as usual, terrific - 14 days of sunshine out of 14. And we're talking about REAL days of sunshine, not days on which the sun peeps out from behind the clouds for 15 seconds.

But all is not perfect in paradise. For instance:

Home foreclosure rates remain high throughout the islands, although the number of new foreclosures dipped slightly (by about 6%) from April to May, according to RealtyTrac.

In a belt-tightening move, Gov. Linda Lingle (who has sometimes been referred to as "cunning Lingle" by the editorial page of the Maui News, which doesn't like her very much) wants to make state employees take unpaid furloughs amounting to a pay cut of almost 14%. State employees are not happy.

The City of Honolulu wants to increase vehicle registration fees by 66% over the next couple of years. Motorists in Honolulu are not happy.

Small independent florist shops report a sharp drop in lei sales - 20% to 30% in some cases - which they attribute to the recession and competition from big-box stores like Costco and Wal-Mart.

This is egg-laying season for the protected honu, or green sea turtle, and problems have been reported with people driving trucks over turtle nests, which compacts the sand so the baby turtles are unable to emerge when they hatch. The Pickup-Driving Moron, alas, is a species which is not at all endangered and appears to be thriving in all 50 of the United States.

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