China And Hawaii’s Sandalwood

Don Chapman
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May 10, 2006
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News that China just signed a deal with Borneo to clearcut miles and miles of pristine forests - at least 4 million acres - to fuel China’s need for timber reminds me of Hawaii’s experience with China during the monarchy period. Hard to believe now, but the Ko’olau and the mountains of our other islands once grew thick with fragrant sandalwood. Just as in Borneo, Chinese agents came in and signed a deal with the kingdom to harvest and ship sandal-wood to China. The result: About the only sandalwood trees left in Hawaii today are at the former Sandalwood Golf Course on Maui, which recently changed its name to Kahili ...

Why should this matter to us in Hawaii today: According to a New York Times report, this area is known as the “lungs of the world” because forests help counterbalance the greenhouse effect ...


And much of the once nearly endless forests of Asia have already been logged, often illegally. So just as the Earth appears to be heating up, we remove nature’s counterbalance ...

Sobering conclusion: If the 1900s were the “American century,” I can’t help feeling this is the Chinese century, for better or worse ...

Unless it becomes Iran’s century ...

Competition for the Worst Local TV Commercial of the Year is stiff again this year, but it will be tough to beat HMSA’s “You Old Bag.” Shot at Waialae CC, it targets only private country club members, apparently? Or former members of the PGA Tour? The hot plot: When an older gentleman is pulled back to the golf course - by a talking golf bag - to get some exercise, he hits his ball in the water and two young women walk past making rude comments. So failure and insults are supposed to inspire people to get out and active? ...

Dog Chapman: Eh, cuz
Dog Chapman: Eh, cuz

With the wedding of Dog Chapman and Beth Smith coming up May 20 at Waikoloa, I’ve been asked again recently if the bounty hunter and I are related. Not sure, but we think so. Both Dog and I have Chapman kinfolk in the panhandle of Texas, and there aren’t a lot of people of any name out there ...

You can see the family resemblance, right? ...

Another 15 seconds of fame for Gary Andersen of Honolulu, who last Wednesday had his e-mail read by Bill O’Reilly on The Factor . My old friend Gary was quoting Theodore Roosevelt, who in 1907 said: “In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person’s becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American ... There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn’t an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag ... We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language ... and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people.”

You may also know Gary by his artist’s nom de plume, Cosmio Propellor ...


Mentioned last week that our rotten winter-spring weather seriously cut into my UH baseball season. But so too did the scheduling gurus of the Western Athletic Conference. With the Rainbows’ last two weekend series being played on the Mainland, the season for UH fans ended way prematurely on April 30 ...

I’m not big on conspiracy theories, which some local fans have been arguing about on KKEA, but I do believe in idiot theories ...

So I ask the question again: Is the WAC really the best conference we can play in? ...

I’ve encountered some strange management decisions in my working career - which started at age 9 picking strawberries and green beans in the fields of Oregon’s Willamette Valley - but this one takes the cake. According to a Star-Bulletin wire report, a 53-year-old Fresno woman was awarded $1.7 million because her superviser at a security company spanked her with a paddle in front of other employees - in what was supposed to be a team-building exercise ...

Go figgah ...

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