By In Social Media

Resisting The Cynicism Of Another Election

My mail-in ballot has sat on my desk, unopened, since it arrived a few weeks ago. Even though mail-in ballots have made voting easier and more accessible than ever, turnout for this year’s primary election has so far been lower than in years past. Clearly I’m not alone.

Election seasons are exhausting, if not downright dispiriting. My fellow columnist Denby Fawcett recently pinpointed how the coronavirus pandemic and technology have made political campaigns less personal, and thus duller.

Meeting with a few hundred voters face-to-face risks Covid exposure, and can devour entire days. But a single Instagram post only requires a few minutes of effort – likely from a young campaign volunteer – and it can reach tens of thousands of people, without the candidate having to share the same breath with any of them. In olelo Hawaii, by the way, sharing one’s breath is called “aloha.”

All of that is true and worth noting, but I think there’s a deeper reason behind the sluggish turnout. People are tired of being told this election is the most important one … until the next most important one. We’re disillusioned by the mailbox-to-trashcan pipeline of campaign flyers from candidates who seem less concerned with proposing solutions or clarifying ideas and more interested in creating an image and solidifying power…

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By In Social Media

A Boxing Club For Troubled Youth Gets New Life In Kalihi

In 1977, a 64 year-old Yonoichi Kitagawa was asked in an interview if he would’ve called himself a leader in his Kakaako community growing up. His response: “Well, I would say that I had a lot of fistfights.”

This was more a reflection of how things were in the 1920s, when Hawaii was only a U.S. territory and Kakaako was mostly a community of fishermen and working class people. But it is also an apt description of how Kitagawa came to be a genuine leader in his community whose legacy is still felt now 37 years after his death…

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By In Social Media

746 Words for Max Holloway

Max Holloway always maintained that he approaches each fight like he’s 0-0, but heading into his bout against Calvin Kattar, reality was starker: he was 1-3 in the previous two years, the worst stretch of his incongruously long career. His lone win was a solid yet forgettable decision over a declining Frankie Edgar, easily his least impressive title fight.

It wasn’t just that he lost, or that he lost to the same person twice in a row. It was how he lost. Dustin Poirer matched Holloway’s vaunted pace for five rounds while hitting him with harder shots. Against Alexander Volkonovski, Max was outsmarted and oustruck—words typically reserved for how he wins.

In the Volkonovski rematch, Holloway established a clear two-round lead, and it looked like he was building another vintage avalanche win. But Volkonovski made the adjustments and poured it on late — more Holloway-isms — to scrape by with a split decision W.

Max was getting out-Max’d…

To read the rest of this essay and others, as well as see wonderful accompanying artwork, purchase The Fine Art of Violence Vol. 3 (physical book or ebook)

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By In Social Media

Is There a Way Out of Hawaii’s Housing Crisis?

If you’re thinking about moving to Hawaii, you’re not alone. But transplants shouldn’t necessarily expect a warm welcome. Long simmering tensions about who gets to live on the islands have flared over the past couple of years into a full-blown crisis.

When the pandemic began in 2020, Hawaii’s economy reeled. Tourism crashed, and joblessness skyrocketed. Soon after, remote work combined with the state’s low infection rate beckoned people with means from across the country to move to the islands, while sprawling estates owned by the likes of Jeff Bezos, Larry Ellison, and Mark Zuckerberg continued to metastasize. From the end of 2019 to the start of 2022, the median cost of a single-family home on O‘ahu, where most of the population lives, ballooned from $789,000 to $1.15 million. A quarter of all homes sold in 2021 were purchased by out-of-state buyers, who routinely bid well above the listing price, often without seeing the property in person. Homes are on the market for an average of just 10 days.

But the local housing crisis is nothing new; in many ways, the pandemic merely accelerated trends that started when Hawaii became a state in 1959. The cost of real estate has steadily increased since then, fueled by tropical allure and increased accessibility, with only brief and mild downturns. During the Great Recession, Hawaii’s prices dropped less and rebounded faster than those in most of the rest of the country, the whole thing just a hiccup in the state’s ever-hot housing market…

Read more at Dwell

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By In education, Hawaii

Kids And Teachers Love Summer Vacation, But Does It Make Sense?

It’s common in education circles to discuss what school should and could be. A lot of the pieces of today’s education system have remained in place for a century, while American life has changed drastically around it.

One of the largest variables we can tweak is the schedule of the school year. For most schools in Hawaii, that means rethinking the two-month stretch of summer break…

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