By Rich Figel
"Tomorrow there'll be sunshine, and all this darkness past... this train, carries saints and sinners... this train, carries losers and winners...
This train -- dreams will not be thwarted... this train -- faith will be rewarded... this train -- bells of freedom ringing."
- Bruce Springsteen, "Land of Hope and Dreams"
Not gonna gloat, but yes, I felt like my faith in democracy was rewarded. Big Super PAC Money lost in the national races. The Fox News propaganda machine lost. Equal rights for gays won yesterday. The failed War on Drugs approach to criminalizing marijuana also took hits in state initiatives. And locally, rail will move forward. It's called progress, and that scares a lot of folks. Always has, always will.
Yet this is what makes America great. We move forward. Forget what you keep hearing about the status quo being preserved. That's nonsense. The elections proved that if Republicans continue to take the "just say no" obstructionist approach to government, they are doomed for extinction -- nationally and in Hawaii. Honestly, I wish we had a strong two party system because debate can be a good thing. But when one side is being run by Mainland right wing zealots and the local GOP candidates won't denounce them, there really is no choice, is there?
Moving on, got some quick updates related to friends of my Career Changers TV show that we've featured in past episodes.
• Kathy Custer, owner of Keiki Sitters, sold her OBAMA Car with the only Hawaii OBAMA license plates in existence for $10,0000. Which is a bit disappointing since it hit that mark on the first day of bidding and didn't budge, even after it was apparent the President had won a second term. Still, Kathy was happy that the proceeds will allow two young students to continue their college education. (Click here for the back story.)
• On our current CCTV show, we interviewed Dave McClure, founder of 500 Startups, who was here for the Geeks On A Plane event that was part of the Hawaii Food & Wine Festival. Earlier this week, Dave was on the new Bravo series called Start-Ups: Silicon Valley. Two young wannabe hotshots set up a meeting to ask him for $500K to fund their new online venture, and the hungover sister decides to take a nap under the conference room table while waiting for Dave... even though she and her brother know Dave is one of the biggest venture capitalists in the world. Needless to say, Dave is not impressed when he walks in and sees the disheveled young lady crawling out from under the table. It's actually a lousy show that bears little resemblance to what real start-ups go through. Instead, watch our segment on Big Island entrepreneur Darius "Bubs" Monsef to see how he turned a "goofy" idea about rating colors into a multi-million dollar business (here's the CCTV YouTube Channel link).
• I haven't watched this week's delayed Hawaii Five-0 Halloween episode yet, but another friend of the show -- Yvette LaFontaine, owner of the Costume Closet in Kapahulu -- told me she supplied some of the costumes that were used. Here's a segment we did on her for last year's Halloween show.
Lastly, Hurricane Sandy devastated the small town in New Jersey where I grew up -- Union Beach, located next to the Raritan Bay. I saw videos and photos of houses that were torn in half or totally demolished. Nothing was recognizable. I used to get into arguments with intelligent friends back in NJ about whether global warming was real. They scoffed at Al Gore's "Inconvenient Truth" and Republicans denounced climate change as a myth. Well, if you look at his charts for how high the ocean could rise, it matches up with Sandy's path of destruction. Sea level rise will not happen gradually. It will occur in surges, according to scientists.
This is a wake-up siren for Hawaii. I have been arguing for years that the shoreline setback requirements on Oahu are NOT strong enough. People are building too close to the ocean. Yet the Honolulu City Council continues to ignore the reality of climate change and rising sea levels. What happened to Union Beach can happen to my current home town of Kailua and many other parts of Hawaii. When will we learn?
For daily viewing times of Career Changers TV, please visit our website... and for those who oppose rail, why not think about how we can make it better, instead of trying to stop this train called progress. This is a chance to preserve ag lands, decrease carbon emissions from cars, revitalize areas around new terminal stations, and create good paying jobs.
Thank God, the elections are over! Due to incessant spamming, comments are closed. But if you really want to say something, email me and I will post it as long as it's civil.