i L i n d

Ian Lind • Now online daily from Old Kahala

i L i n d header image 1

Sign of the times: UH offers “active shooter” training

October 8th, 2015 · 6 Comments

The University of Hawaii’s flagship Manoa campus is now offering “Active Shooter Awareness & Response Training” to interested faculty, staff or student groups on the campus.

According to an announcement distributed on Wednesday, participants in the the 2-hour sessions will:

– Learn about various active shooter situations

– Discuss measures and options that can be taken to reduce the
likelihood of victimization

– Learn what to expect when DPS and law enforcement arrive on

– Engage with DPS staff to learn about campus safety

More advice is given on the campus’ Department of Public Safety website.

The short version: “When an active shooter is in your vicinity…Run, Hide, Fight

One problem that’s obvious off the bat is that there’s a disconnect between the straight forward advice offered and the realities of the Manoa campus.

For example, one key piece of advice is to hide and lock the door if an active shooter is believed to be in the area.

But I’m told that many, perhaps most UH classrooms can’t be locked from the inside. And those walls of glass windows on the ground floors aren’t designed for security.

You can see that there’s going to be an emerging field of security-conscious architecture for gun-crazed society.

→ 6 CommentsTags: Education · Planning

Throwback Thursday: The back yard, then and now

October 8th, 2015 · 1 Comment

It’s that time again.

And, speaking of time…Here are a couple of photos of me in the back yard of our family’s home in Kahala, separated by, oh, perhaps 60 years.

I’m dating the top photo in about 1955. It looks like the mango tree behind me, to the right, had just been radically pruned, or else was having a serious health issue. I’m guessing the former.

The second photo is a selfie taken yesterday. The same tree is behind me. Obviously, it has thrived over the years.

The house has changed. We replaced the ground level lanai with a deck at the same level as the floor of the house, so that you can just step outside from the living room. It’s pretty seamless. We also eliminated the roof over the lanai, which allows more light into the house. We’re happy with both changes.

And, in both time periods, it’s a nice place to be.

As usual, click on either photo to see a larger version.



→ 1 CommentTags: History · Photographs

Another morning at low tide (Photos)

October 7th, 2015 · 1 Comment

It was low tide when we started our walk this morning a bit before dawn.

It was far from crowded, but we weren’t the only people enjoying the beach between Waialae Beach Park and Wailupe at low tide. There was lots of sand in spots where, at high tide, you can’t get by without getting your feet wet.

And we’re slowly meeting some of the regular dogs on the beach in the morning. First meet the dogs, then learn their names, then connect with their people. It worked in Kaaawa, and we’re applying that lesson here on the east side of the island as well.

Early morning on the beach

Early morning on the beach

→ 1 CommentTags: Kahala · Photographs

Shoot the moon

October 7th, 2015 · 3 Comments

NASA has created a huge online treasure trove of archival photos from its Apollo missions and associated training exercises. The more than 8,400 high-resolution photos are now publicly available on Flickr.

You’ll be able to kill quite a lot of spare time browsing through the many albums from different Apollo projects. Many routine, some amazing.

You might also want to check out the Apollo Lunar Surface Journal, which follows the six pairs of astronauts who made it to the moon’s surface between 1969 and 1972.

Good stuff!

→ 3 CommentsTags: History · Photographs

“Ring of Steel”: Understanding Hawaii’s militarized past and its impact on the present

October 6th, 2015 · 4 Comments

The trial in a lawsuit against the State of Hawaii over its stewardship of nearly 23,000 acres of land leased to the Department of Defense as part of the Pohakuloa Training Area on the Big Island wrapped up at the end of last week. The case, which proceeded without a jury, took only four days. Attorneys for both sides were given until October 16 to file their proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law, and a decision by Circuit Court Judge Gary Chang will follow.

At issue is a lease of the area by the state for use for military training, and whether the state has done enough to enforce provisions requiring the clean-up of unexploded bullets and bombs following training exercises. The lawsuit seeks to block the state from extending the lease beyond its 2029 expiration.

The Hawaii Independent published a good review of the issues prior to the trial (“Ching v. Ail?: protecting public trust lands at P?hakuloa“).

Of course, this wasn’t a garden variety lease. It was a gun-to-your-head lease signed by the state government not long after Hawaii became a state. In the decades before statehood, land was often taken for military purposes through executive orders signed by the president or the territorial governor. These post-statehood leases were, in part, an effort by the state to retain at least theoretical control of the land, and preserve the future potential to return the area to civilian use.

Here’s part of what I wrote after the lawsuit was filed last year.

There’s a long history here. Leading up to WWII, and during the years Hawaii was under martial law, the military basically took control of any lands that it might be able to use. Sometimes the land was “set aside” for military use by presidential or gubernatorial executive orders. In the post WWII years, there was pushback from the territorial government which wanted to reclaim control of public lands. During that period and up through statehood, many federally controlled lands were converted to leases of fixed duration that required the military to clean up and return the lands in their original condition.

Of course, that’s been routinely violated over the years in many places, Waikane Valley, Kahoolawe, and Pohakuloa among them. The additional issue of the presence of depleted uranium at Pohakuloa and its potential affects on health have become public issues in the past several years as well.

During that post-WWII period, it’s my impression that local Republican leaders took stronger action to reassert local control over military-held land than the emerging Democratic Party. Why? Because Democrats saw the development of the defense industry as a way to break the political control of the plantation elite, an alternative to the plantation economy.

If you’re interested in how Hawaii’s history has shaped these contemporary issues, you might be interested in this article I wrote back in the mid-1980s (“Ring of Steel: Notes on the militarization of Hawaii“). It appeared in the 1984-85 issue of the journal, Social Process in Hawaii (the complete issue can be viewed here).

→ 4 CommentsTags: Court · History · Politics