Island Life: Can you see me now?

A master of disguise, the peacock flounder (Bothus lunatus) hides in plain sight on the sand next to some coral at Kahalu’u Bay. (Tony Mitchell/Community contributor)

Living sustainably has been called many things over the years

Back in the 1940s, progressive and futuristic farmers were aware of the big mistakes farmers and ranchers had made in the earlier days causing lands to deteriorate. Today, we are still trying to improve our relationship with the environment Terms like sustainable agriculture, integrated pest management, organic farming and permaculture are used by folks concerned about minimizing our negative impact on the planet. We now focus on minimizing our carbon footprint as we experience the effects of global warming.

Island Life: I egret nothing

A cattle egret perches on top of a Norfolk Island Pine in Hualalai Colony in Kona. The Hawaii Board of Agriculture and Forestry introduced cattle egrets to Hawaii in 1959 to help cattle ranchers manage flies. Today, cattle egrets are considered invasive because they eat eggs from nests of native birds. (Elizabeth Weintraub/Community contributor)

VFW announces student essay contests

The Veterans of Foreign Wars Department of Hawaii (VFW-HI) is sponsoring its annual essay contests for eligible public and private school students. The deadline to submit an entry is Oct. 31.

Police to offer virtual car seat safety checks

The Hawaii Police Department will be holding free virtual car seat safety checks from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday as part of National Child Passenger Safety Week, which began Sunday and continues through Saturday.

Mood enhancing drugs nothing new

Coca, opium, marijuana and hundreds of other plants used to alter our perceived reality are nothing new to earlier cultures and civilizations. We often think of mood altering drugs with trepidation but they have been part of the human condition for thousands of years. Marijuana, opium poppies and coca leaf have been used as were certain mushrooms and even the sap of the angel trumpet tree. As in the case of the angel trumpet, it can be also very poisonous so only the shamans of South and Central America might be trusted with its use. Many of the substances derived from these plants are now illegal in some countries due to the possibility of dangerous misuse. In the case of angel trumpet sap, it can easily kill you if ingested. Others are so much a part of our culture that we hardly give them second thought. These include coffee, tea and chocolate.

A job well done: Couple reclaims 6-acre farm in South Kona

When Carolyn Witcover and Debbie Coke bought the lease on a ramshackle coffee farm in South Kona, they knew they had some work to do. Though they were prepared for a steep learning curve and months of hard labor, they were determined to make their farm productive and try to find pleasure in the process.