Sharks, A Ticket, Diets And Taxes

Bob Jones
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Wednesday - August 11, 2005
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I’m no fan of humans manipulating captive animals for moneymaking purposes. I don’t approve of dolphins in tanks or pools so people can swim with them or watch them do tricks.

I do think we need to give a little slack to some in-the-wild interaction between humans and the lower-downs on the food chain.

I’ve visited the mountain gorillas of Rwanda and those guided tours seemed to work well between the apes and the humans. The money went to gorilla-preservation programs.

I’ve watched a turtle laying eggs at night on a beach in Costa Rica. We were quiet and the guide used a red light the turtle could not see.

I’ve observed African animals from a respectful distance in the Serengeti National Park and wetland birds from a blind at the James Campbell National Wildlife Refuge on Oahu.

Now comes the issue of shark visits, specifically Joe Pavsek’s North Shore Shark Adventures out of the Haleiwa boat harbor. I’ve been on that, too.

Joe started in state waters, well off Haleiwa but within our three mile limit, chumming the water and letting tourists with snorkels get in a cage and see sharks close up. The state got nervous about shark chumming, so Joe moved out into federal exclusive economic zone waters.

The place he uses has had sandbar and Galapagos sharks for as long as anyone can remember because it’s near a buoy used by crab fishermen. They toss rejects into the water, and sharks learned to show up for the leavings.

Joe doesn’t fall under any regulation, yet, in the open ocean.

But there are always bitchers and complainers.

At least one fisherman says he sees sharks where before there were none. He says the sharks scare off the fish.

Well, guy, how about moving a couple of hundred yards away? It’s a big ocean.

The Fisheries Council is spending $43,000 for a study.

Who needs to worry about sandbar and Galapagos sharks? Tigers are something else, but they don’t seem to be attracted by the chumming. They literally have bigger fish to fry.

So we’re not talking about any danger to the shark tourists and certainly not to passing fishermen in their boats. Nor are any sharks being lured anywhere near shore.

There must be some other agenda there. Maybe somebody’s cousin wishes he’d thought of the shark viewing tours first but Joe’s got it sewed up.

I guess Joe could move out 201 miles and be beyond state and federal grasp, but that’s one helluva long boat ride!

I wrote several weeks ago about a 61-year-old Waikiki resident, Ted, who was ticketed by an HPD patrolman for crossing a street against the red light.

Ted has heart problems, had chest pains while walking, and was dashing to his nearby condo to get his nitroglycerin tablets. The policeman made him stand there 15 minutes while a citation was written.

Here’s Act II. On the citation, the cop assigned a court date of June 26 — a Sunday when there’s no court. So Ted had to go to court to get a new court date. On June 29, the judge dismissed the charge.

Americans are really weird. They jumped on the Atkins diet. Restaurants and food makers quickly changed their menus and their marketing to stress meat, cheese and eggs and zero carbohydrates. Doctors and nutritionists raised many alarms. Then Dr. Atkins fell over dead.

Americans jumped off the Atkins diet.

Now the Atkins diet company has gone into bankruptcy.

Ask your fad-dieting friends what they’re doing now.

Maybe the grapefruit diet will make a comeback and I can score on citrus futures.

The .5 percent increase in the excise tax won’t raise enough money to complete a rail transit system. We’ll need more. People are steamed about property taxes already.

Anybody considered asking the Legislature to OK an optional county income tax as our main revenue source?

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