Evil is now fine for Google

SUBHEAD: The Google corporate code of conduct has been modified. It's no longer "Don't be Evil".

By Jessica Corbett on 21 May 2018 for Common Dreams -
(https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/05/21/evil-fine-now-google-ditches-dont-be-evil-company-code-conduct)


Image above: Illustration of Google as Evil. From original article.

I guess the cognitive dissonance between working on drone weapons-targeting systems and the quaint notice of 'don't be evil' got too loud at Google.

Is Google finally embracing its evil side?

The company has reportedly stripped from its employee code of conduct a section outlining its longtime unofficial motto, "Don't be evil," provoking a swift reaction on social media: "File under: 'Evil is fine now.'" "Glad this question has been settled!" "Google has finally done what was inevitable—abandoned informal commitment to its founding principle."

When the company restructured in 2015, Alphabet—Google's new parent company—was widely condemned for its watered down replacement, "Do the right thing," but Google's maintained the "Don't be evil" language in its official code of conduct. That all changed "sometime in late April or early May," Gizmodo reported Friday, after reviewing archives on the Wayback Machine.
According to a Wayback Machine archive from April 21, 2018, the related section of the code of conduct read:
"Don't be evil." Googlers generally apply those words to how we serve our users. But "Don't be evil" is much more than that. Yes, it's about providing our users unbiased access to information, focusing on their needs and giving them the best products and services that we can. But it's also about doing the right thing more generally—following the law, acting honorably, and treating co-workers with courtesy and respect.
The Google Code of Conduct is one of the ways we put "Don't be evil" into practice. It's built around the recognition that everything we do in connection with our work at Google will be, and should be, measured against the highest possible standards of ethical business conduct. We set the bar that high for practical as well as aspirational reasons: Our commitment to the highest standards helps us hire great people, build great products, and attract loyal users. Trust and mutual respect among employees and users are the foundation of our success, and they are something we need to earn every day.
So please do read the Code, and follow both its spirit and letter, always bearing in mind that each of us has a personal responsibility to incorporate, and to encourage other Googlers to incorporate, the principles of the Code into our work. And if you have a question or ever think that one of your fellow Googlers or the company as a whole may be falling short of our commitment, don’t be silent. We want—and need—to hear from you.
The updated section, visible as early as May 4, reads:
The Google Code of Conduct is one of the ways we put Google's values into practice. It's built around the recognition that everything we do in connection with our work at Google will be, and should be, measured against the highest possible standards of ethical business conduct. We set the bar that high for practical as well as aspirational reasons: Our commitment to the highest standards helps us hire great people, build great products, and attract loyal users. Respect for our users, for the opportunity, and for each other are foundational to our success, and are something we need to support every day.
So please do read the Code and Google's values, and follow both in spirit and letter, always bearing in mind that each of us has a personal responsibility to incorporate, and to encourage other Googlers to incorporate, the principles of the Code and values into our work. And if you have a question or ever think that one of your fellow Googlers or the company as a whole may be falling short of our commitment, don’t be silent. We want—and need—to hear from you.
"Despite this significant change, Google's code of conduct says it has not been updated since April 5, 2018," Gizmodo noted. Additionally, the last sentence of the code is still "And remember... don't be evil, and if you see something that you think isn't right—speak up!"—but without any further context on the phrase and its history at the company.

Critics of Google have long used the phrase as a rallying cry to challenge practices and policies that strike them as "evil," from concerns about what the company does with users' personal data to its increasing contract wrokg with the U.S. military.

Invoking the longtime motto, a dozen employees recently resigned and some 4,000 have signed on to a petition demanding that Google immediately halt its once-secret work on drones for the Pentagon, which was revealed in a pair of reports published earlier this year. Some critics tied the latest move to the drone program by tweeting:
Mike Rundle: 4:53 AM - May 20, 2018 Google removed “don’t be evil” from its Code of Conduct just in time to work on military grade image recognition ML software for a Pentagon tactical drone program. https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2018/05/google-employees-resign-in-protest-of-googlepentagon-drone-program/ 
DHH: 3:28 PM - May 18, 2018 Guess the cognitive dissonance between working on drone weapons-targeting systems and the quaint notice of “don’t be evil” got too loud at Google. https://gizmodo.com/google-removes-nearly-all-mentions-of-dont-be-evil-from-1826153393 
The report about Google's apparent decision to ditch the phrase as a foundational corporate principle was followed by a segment on CBS's "60 Minutes" Sunday that sought to answer the question, "How did Google get so big?" and explore the implications of its power, both for users and other tech companies.

As Silicon Valley antitrust lawyer Gary Reback explained, "Google is so dominant in search and search advertising that analysts and venture capitalists in Silicon Valley say it's extremely difficult for startups to get funding if their business model requires them to compete with Google for ad revenue."

"If I were starting out today, I would have no shot of building Yelp. That opportunity has been closed off by Google and their approach," said Yelp founder Jeremy Stoppelman. "Because if you provide great content in one of these categories that is lucrative to Google, and seen as potentially threatening, they will snuff you out."

Beyond the consequences for small and startup businesses in the tech industry, there's also an impact on Google users, and internet users more broadly. As Reback put it: "People tell their search engines things they wouldn't even tell their wives.

I mean, it's a very powerful and yet very intimate technology. And that gives the company that controls it a mind-boggling degree of control over our entire society."


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Little Google & the Drones

SUBHEAD: No, it is not an old doo-wop group - it is evil incarnate. People designing robots to kill people.

By Tyler Durden on 14 May 2018 for Zero Hedge -
(https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-05-14/google-employees-revolt-refuse-work-clandestine-ai-drone-project-pentagon)


Image above: The once applied motto of Google "Don't Be Evil" seems to have been lost in a cloud of money. From (https://www.suasnews.com/2018/04/google-employees-petition-against-project-maven/).

[IB Publisher's note: Google (or more accurately Alphabet Corporation) owns Blogger.com which has hosted IslandBreath website posts since 2008. We will see if we can continue that relationship in the future.] 

Around a dozen Google employees have quit and close to 4,000 have signed a petition over the company's involvement in a controversial military pilot program known as "Project Maven," which will use artificial intelligence to speed up analysis of drone footage.
Project Maven, a fast-moving Pentagon project also known as the Algorithmic Warfare Cross-Functional Team (AWCFT), was established in April 2017. Maven’s stated mission is to “accelerate DoD’s integration of big data and machine learning.” In total, the Defense Department spent $7.4 billion on artificial intelligence-related areas in 2017, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The project’s first assignment was to help the Pentagon efficiently process the deluge of video footage collected daily by its aerial drones—an amount of footage so vast that human analysts can’t keep up. - Gizmodo
Project Maven will use machine learning to identify vehicles and other objects from drone footage - with the ultimate goal of enabling the automated detection and identification of objects in up to 38categories - including the ability to track individuals as they come and go from different locations.
Project Maven’s objective, according to Air Force Lt. Gen. John N.T. “Jack” Shanahan, director for Defense Intelligence for Warfighter Support in the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence, “is to turn the enormous volume of data available to DoD into actionable intelligence and insights." -DoD
The internal revolt began shortly after Google revealed its involvement in the project nearly three months ago.
Some Google employees were outraged that the company would offer resources to the military for surveillance technology involved in drone operations, sources said, while others argued that the project raised important ethical questions about the development and use of machine learning. -Gizmodo
The resigned employees cited a range of frustrations, from ethical concerns over the use of AI in a battlefield setting, to larger concerns over Google's overall political decisions.

The disgruntled ex-employees, apparently unaware that Google was seed-funded by the NSA and CIA, have compiled a master document of personal accounts detailing their decisions to leave, which multiple sources have described to Gizmodo.
The employees who are resigning in protest, several of whom discussed their decision to leave with Gizmodo, say that executives have become less transparent with their workforce about controversial business decisions and seem less interested in listening to workers’ objections than they once did. In the case of Maven, Google is helping the Defense Department implement machine learning to classify images gathered by drones. But some employees believe humans, not algorithms, should be responsible for this sensitive and potentially lethal work—and that Google shouldn’t be involved in military work at all.

Historically, Google has promoted an open culture that encourages employees to challenge and debate product decisions. But some employees feel that their leadership no longer as attentive to their concerns, leaving them to face the fallout. “Over the last couple of months, I’ve been less and less impressed with the response and the way people’s concerns are being treated and listened to,” one employee who resigned said. -Gizmodo
Ironically, the development of Google's original algorithm at Stanford was partly funded by a joint CIA-NSA program in which founder Sergei Brin created a method to quickly mine large amounts of data stored in databases.
“Google founder Mr. Sergey Brin was partly funded by this program while he was a PhD student at Stanford. He together with his advisor Prof. Jeffrey Ullman and my colleague at MITRE, Dr. Chris Clifton [Mitre’s chief scientist in IT], developed the Query Flocks System which produced solutions for mining large amounts of data stored in databases. I remember visiting Stanford with Dr. Rick Steinheiser from the Intelligence Community and Mr. Brin would rush in on roller blades, give his presentation and rush out. In fact the last time we met in September 1998, Mr. Brin demonstrated to us his search engine which became Google soon after.” -Nafeez Ahmed
In their defense of Project Maven, Google notes that their AI won't actually be used to kill anyone (just help the military ID targets to "service"). That isn't good enough for workers and academics opposed to the use of machine learning in a military application.
In addition to the petition circulating inside Google, the Tech Workers Coalition launched a petition in April demanding that Google abandon its work on Maven and that other major tech companies, including IBM and Amazon, refuse to work with the U.S. Defense Department. -Gizmodo
“We can no longer ignore our industry’s and our technologies’ harmful biases, large-scale breaches of trust, and lack of ethical safeguards,” the petition reads. “These are life and death stakes.”

Over 90 academics in AI, ethics and computer science released an open letter on Monday, calling on Google to end its involvement with Project Maven and support an international treaty which would prohibit the use of autonomous weapons systems.
Peter Asaro and Lucy Suchman, two of the authors of the letter, have testified before the United Nations about autonomous weapons; a third author, Lilly Irani, is a professor of science and a former Google employee.
Google’s contributions to Project Maven could accelerate the development of fully autonomous weapons, Suchman told Gizmodo. Although Google is based in the U.S., it has an obligation to protect its global user base that outweighs its alignment with any single nation’s military, she said. -Gizmodo
“If ethical action on the part of tech companies requires consideration of who might benefit from a technology and who might be harmed, then we can say with certainty that no topic deserves more sober reflection—no technology has higher stakes—than algorithms meant to target and kill at a distance and without public accountability,” the letter states. 
“Google has moved into military work without subjecting itself to public debate or deliberation, either domestically or internationally. While Google regularly decides the future of technology without democratic public engagement, its entry into military technologies casts the problems of private control of information infrastructure into high relief.”

We're sure employees have nothing to worry about and their concerns are overblown - as Google's "Don't be evil" motto prevents them from ever participating in some scary program that could kill more innocent people than a Tesla autopilot.

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Hawaii & US Regime Changes

SUBHEAD: Stephen Kinzer will tell the story of how the United States became an overseas empire.

By Michael Goodwin on 18 May 2018 in Island Breath -
(http://islandbreath.blogspot.com/2018/05/hawaii-us-regime-changes.html)


Image above: Photo of Stephen Kinzer at Brown University. From promotional material.

Stephen Kinzer will tell the story of how the United States became an overseas empire.  His book, Overthrow: America’s Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq, shows how the annexation of Hawaii was the beginning of an era of foreign intervention.

Mr. Kinzer is a current Senior Fellow at the Watson Center for International and Public Affairs at Brown University, as well as the World Affairs columnist for the Boston Globe.

He is a former Foreign Correspondent for the New York Times, and has written several books about U.S. foreign policy.

All programs are subject to change. If you require an auxiliary aid or accommodation due to a disability, please contact the library at least 7 days before the program date.  For a list of upcoming library events, visit www.librarieshawaii.org/events.

WHO:
Mr. Kinzer is a current Senior Fellow at the Watson Center for International and Public Affairs at Brown University.

WHAT:
Lecture on the history of American development into an overseas empire.

WHEN:
May 23, 2018 from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm

WHERE:
Waimea Library
9750 Kaumualii Highwya
Waimea, HI 96796 p

PHONE:
808-338-6848


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Kauai Puna Moku Update

SUBHEAD: Modification to Niumalu and Huleia ahupuaa boundary to provide better access to shoreline.

By Juan Wilson on 19 May 2018 for Island Breath -
(http://islandbreath.blogspot.com/2018/05/kauai-puna-moku-update.html)

http://www.islandbreath.org/hawaiinei/M7Kauai/M7KauaiRasterFile.png
Image above: Detail of change to Kauai moku of Puna Huleia ahupuaa boundary with Niumalu. Click for full map. From (http://www.islandbreath.org/hawaiinei/M7Kauai/M7KauaiRasterFile.png).

After a consultation with Jonathan Jay we have made a modification to the boundary between  Niumalu and Huleia ahupuaa in the moku of Puna on the island of Kauai.  we think a clearer and improved boundary line has been delineated.

In previous versions of the Puna plan the Huleia ahupuaa failed to reach the true coastline of Kauai, and thus was landlocked with only Huleia Stream passing out to the ocean between Niumalu and Kipu.

We have also recently added an additional layer of information to Kauai that includes many of the locations and names of significant mountain peaks. This is important to understanding moku and ahupuaa boundaries, especially from a ground's eye perspective.

We have not yet scheduled work on the mountain peaks of other islands. It would likely require weeks of work.

Hawaiinei Land Areas
Available updated downloads for Kauai:
GoogleEarth file .KMZ (15 MB) uploaded 5/19/18
24"x36"Plotfile .PDF (44 MB) uploaded 5/19/18
Hi RezRaster File .PNG (15 MB) uploaded 5/19/18
ArcView GIS files SHP .ZIP (319 KB) uploaded 5/19/18
AutoCAD files DXF .ZIP (2.7 MB)  uploaded  5/19/18  


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Kilauea Volcano

SUBHEAD: USGS says earthquakes and lava fissures could last for months on the Big Island of Hawaii.

By Karin Stranton on 4 May 2018 for Reuters -
(https://www.reuters.com/article/us-hawaii-volcano/earthquakes-lava-fissures-could-last-for-months-on-hawaii-usgs-idUSKBN1I608N)


Image above: Lava advances along a street near a fissure in Leilani Estates, on Kilauea Volcano's lower East Rift Zone, Hawaii, the U.S., May 5, 2018. From original article.

More homes on Hawaii’s Big Island were destroyed on Saturday as eruptions linked to the Kilauea volcano increased, spewing lava into residential areas and forcing nearly 2,000 people to evacuate, officials said.

Scientists forecast more eruptions and more earthquakes, perhaps for months to come, after the southeast corner of the island was rocked by a 6.9 tremor on Friday, the strongest on the island since 1975.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said on Saturday that several new lava fissures had opened in the Leilani Estates subdivision of Puna District, about a dozen miles (19 km) from the volcano. Not all the fissures were still active, it added.

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory said at midday local time on Saturday that “eruptive activity is increasing and is expected to continue.”

Janet Babb, a spokeswoman for the observatory, said by telephone that the eruptions could carry on “for weeks or months.”

Babb said the activity since Thursday is beginning to show similarities to another event in the area in 1955 that lasted for 88 days, when far fewer people lived near the volcano.

Although no significant lava flows have yet formed, additional outbreaks of lava, which can reach temperatures of about 2,100 degrees Fahrenheit (1,150 Celsius), were expected, the Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency said.

The Hawaii Fire Department reported “extremely dangerous air quality conditions due to high levels of sulfur dioxide gas in the evacuation area,” civil defense officials said on Saturday. The gas can cause skin irritations and breathing difficulties.

Ken Smith of Mountain View on the island ran errands on Friday evening on streets usually busy with pre-weekend traffic, “but the roads were totally empty,” he said by telephone. “It felt almost apocalyptic.”

Kilauea, one of the world’s most active volcanoes and one of five on the island, has been in constant eruption for 35 years. Lava flows from the volcano have covered 48 square miles (125 square km), according to the USGS.

Kilauea began spewing lava into residential areas on Thursday after a series of earthquakes over the preceding week. Starting around 11 a.m. on Friday, the island experienced a flurry of earthquakes, culminating in the massive magnitude 6.9 tremor.

No injuries or deaths were reported, but Hawaii Governor David Ige activated the Hawaii National Guard to provide emergency help.

U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii called on federal officials to send help quickly.

Gabbard, a Democrat, in a letter sent Friday, asked Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator William Long to respond to “short- and long-term housing, infrastructure, agriculture, and public health effects to Hawaii Island.”

Gabbard said more than 1,800 residents in Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens have been ordered to leave their homes since Thursday, when public works officials first reported steam and lava erupting from fissures in a road.

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Climate Change "R" Us

SUBHEAD: Climate Change ignores all borders as rain bombs fall on Kauai and the Middle East alike.

By Robert Scribbler on 2 May 2018 for RobertScribbler.com-
(https://robertscribbler.com/2018/05/02/climate-change-ignores-all-borders-as-rain-bombs-fall-on-kauai-and-the-middle-east-alike/)


Image above: Photo of an extreme heavy rainfall event over Phoenix, AZ during 2016. Photo by (Bruce Haffner. From original artilce.

The weaponization of weather language has long been a topic of some controversy in the meteorological press. Peace-loving people the world over rightly try to communicate in a manner that discourages violent conflict. And the term ‘rain bomb’ has taken quite a lot of flak from those with thus-stated good intentions.

However, whether or not the language itself bristles with perceived warlike phrases, the weather itself is steadily being weaponized against everyone and everything living on the face of planet Earth by the greenhouse gasses fossil fuel related industries and technologies continue pumping into the air.

Rainfall Records Shattered in the World’s Wettest Place
For the Kauai event, the Washington Post reports that 49.69 inches of rain accumulated at the Waipa rain gauge on Kauai in just one 24-hour period.

Though Kauai is the rainiest place on Earth — receiving some 400 inches per year — this single day rainfall was far in excess of even that soggy norm. In total, it amounted to about one and a half months of precipitation for the world’s wettest location falling in just one day.

The previous all-time record for single day rainfall in the U.S. occurred in 1979 in Alvin, Texas during Tropical Storm Claudette. This storm dumped 43 inches over a 24-hour period. The recent Kauai event shattered this record. And it involved no tropical cyclone — just historically high moisture levels over the Pacific colliding with unstable air masses streaming down from the north.

In this case, warming ocean surfaces are generating higher levels of evaporation which in turn are feeding extreme thunderstorms all across the Pacific and over adjacent land masses.
“The flooding on Kauai is consistent with an extreme rainfall that comes with a warmer atmosphere. Just recognize that we’re moving into a new climate, and our communities are scaled and built for a climate that no longer exists.
The present record Kauai event has been classified as a 1 in 100 year instance in the context of past climatology. But given present conditions and ever-increasing Earth surface temperatures, this new record may fall within a decade or less as the atmosphere continues to load more moisture and as evaporation and extreme precipitation events steadily increase. 


Image above: Pickup trucks washed into the wreckage at the mouth of the Hanalei River on the north shore of Kauai. Photo by Lace Andersonin Hawaii News Now.

Middle East Hammered by Extremes of Drought and Storm
Half a world away, the Middle East is seeing its own series of weather and climate shocks. The nations of Egypt, Jordan, Yemen, Lebanon, Syria, and Saudi Arabia have been experiencing widespread and long term drought.

[IB Publisher's note: A Pakistani City Hit 122.4 Degrees In April, Probably Setting A World Record. See (https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/pakistan-april-heat-temp-world-record_us_5aec96e5e4b041fd2d267113)]

This drought has, as with the recent Central U.S. event, in large part been driven by rising temperatures. Evaporation plays its role here too as lands dry out more swiftly when temperatures rise.

However, with climate change, you can never discount the hard swing back to heavy rain despite prolonged drying as weather chaos ensues. Such was the situation during the recent week as an intense weather disturbance crossed the Mediterranean and entered the Middle East on April 26th and 27th.

The colder air mass tapped high levels of moisture bleeding off the, again, much warmer than normal sea surfaces in the Med. It then dumped this moisture in the form of extreme precipitation over the Middle East.

In Israel, the resulting flash floods swept away ten teenagers as street flooding that was described as ‘epic’ ran through the country’s cities. Waters over-topped sidewalks and rushed into homes and businesses as the heavens unleashed.

One to two inch per hour rainfall rates were reported. Meanwhile, in Syria, heavy hail pelted down.

Jordan and Egypt were also inundated — with many streets described as impassable due to flood waters. The leading edge of cooler air kicked up a massive haboob — which spread its immense cloud of dust over Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. Over recent days, the stormy pattern continued. Heavy rains overtook parts of Yemen — forcing a dam to burst and washing away dozens of homes and farms. 

Two More in a Lengthening Tally
These two events are just the most recent affairs in a much larger and far more widespread pattern of ramping extreme global weather events. Events that will continue to proliferate so long as the world continues to warm. This is the state of affairs that continued fossil fuel burning has brought about.

The rain bombs are hanging, enlarging, above us. They are waiting to fall. And the politically-charged denials of their chief manufacturers — oil, gas, and coal — only make the situation worse for us all.

See also:
Ea O Ka AIna: Kauai Northshore Update 5/1/18
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Primitive Technologies

SUBHEAD: Videos on how to build the foundation of a civilization by hand with Stone Age technology.

By Juan Wilson on 2 May 2018 for Island Breath -
(http://islandbreath.blogspot.com/2018/05/primitive-technologies.html)


Image above: A mud house with tiled roof and a hot air duct heating system. From ().

I have to thank Katie Young, from Olehena, Kauai for making me aware of the Primitive Technology YouTube channel.

Wikipedia says:
Primitive Technology is a YouTube channel run by and starring John Plant. Based in Far North Queensland, Australia, the series demonstrates the process of making tools and buildings using only materials found in the wild. Created in May 2015, the channel has gained over 7.6 million subscribers and garnered over 500 million views as of April 2018.
The site consists, today, over 75 videos demonstrating the creation of several categories of Stone Age technology using only what can found on/in the ground and from the plants of a semitropical forest.
The categories include (opens in new window):
"Pyrotechnology"
"Shelter"
"Food & Agriculture"
"Tools & Machines"
"Weaving & Fiber"
"Weapons"
The videos are remarkable in many ways. They have no narrative, comments, subtitles, graphics or musical soundtrack. They consist only of one young ingenious man taking what what he can gather  by hand from the ground and the plants that grow out of the ground. This consists of stone, clay, algae, branches, fiber, leaves, seeds, etc.

From what he gathers he makes all alone the tools to construct much of not only what would is needed to survive in the wilderness, but what would be needed to begin and maintain a civilization; including shelter and food.  Beyond that he demonstrates building a termite clay kiln capable of firing river clay into roof tiles and even a water powered hammer that can autonomously pulverize things without assistance.

These films are well edited to show the necessary steps to achieve surprisingly sophisticated results with only visual cues and the sounds of the tools working and the ambient sounds of the forest itself. Remarkable!



Video above: building a kiln out of mud for firing tiles and bowls. From (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZGFTmK6Yk4).


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Kauai Northshore update

SUBHEAD: There is pressure on all local news sources to say nothing negative about impact on tourism.

By Neal Chantara on 1 May 2018 in Island Breath-
(http://islandbreath.blogspot.com/2018/05/kauai-norhshore-update.html)


Image above: An upscale north shore raised residential structure "totaled" after being knocked off its foundation from flood waters eroding the earth around the column footings. Note half the yard looks like a putting green and half is a washed out gully. Photo by Jamm Aquino. From (http://www.staradvertiser.com/2018/04/16/photo-galleries/photos-aftermath-kauai-flooding/).

We are high and dry, but many did get wet. Mold and the high levels of contaminate in the flood waters (the water is actually "black water" from sewage, gas and oil from vehicles, etc) are making homes unlivable.

 Some people aren't aware of the danger and are simply throwing out furniture and planning to move back in.

I've been a designer and builder of healthy homes. I know better and have been researching what to do for wood that has been contaminated by these types of flood waters.

But what is so heartening is, the outpouring of support on this island. Differences have been put aside. So many volunteers. The federal and state agencies won't deal in any food other than non-perishables.

The locals with boats coordinated with locals with farms or money to buy apples, etc and a supply line of fresh food is going out to the island past Hanalei.

I spoke at length with a friend living way out there yesterday. People are picking up their trash at the road edge. Each house was delivered 5 gallons of gas. There's a free thrift store for clothes.

I was told the Hanalei Court House has more boots available than a big box store. The Hanalei Colony Resort, beyond the landslides, has been offering free breakfasts and dinners.

My friend said people are saying they are eating better now than before the flood.

Now one lane is open to emergency vehicles only. She said people out there can sign up the night before and a shuttle that leaves at 6am goes out. It will return at 6pm.

We continue to do our 2 mile walks at a couple beaches around here. They still stink. The beaches of the north shore are too contaminated to be in. However a friend said he heard the mayor on the local radio say he had a letter from the Dept of Health giving the OK to swim again!

The tourist bureau is under so much pressure. Business has really fallen off. Our daughter is a fashion designer supplying clothing to Chanterelle Couture, with four island stores and a couple on Oahu

One of Chanterelle's store owners told her that the entire week was 60% less business than normal.
Her two stores are on the other side of the island from the storm damage.

 A friend of ours, who is managing forty-two vacation rentals, had a call from a mainland person who had a booking in a place unaffected by the flood for next October - they wanted to cancel.

There is pressure on every news source in all of Hawaii not to say anything negative as so many mainland people do not differentiate between islands or part of islands and Hawaii.

They seem to think of Hawaii as one small state rather than small islands widely separated.

Many organizations have organized to help. I went by one Hanalei church with a sign out front "Free Water, Clothing, Food". There is a group of volunteers fixing homes for free.

So that's a quick update of the island news, but the real place to focus is on the Aloha.

See also:
Ea O Ka Aina: Storm damage on Kauai 4/24/18

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