Thai Princess Arrives in Hawaii

Her Royal Highness, Princess Chulaborn Mahidol, the youngest daughter of Their Majesties King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Queen Sirikit of Thailand, is arriving on the Island of Hawaii today.

She is a guest speaker at a medical conference being held this week at the Hilton Waikola Village in Kohala.

The princess, who also is a doctor and professor, will be accompanied by the Ambassador of Thailand to the United States, Kittiphong na Ranong.

“The Hawaii Island Thai community and all those that love and respect Thailand and the Thai Royal family, extend their very best wishes and Aloha to Her Royal Highness and welcome her to our island,” said island resident Robert Gowan.

Feds Make Cars More Expensive

The price of your next car just went up, thanks to new fuel economy standards, says Diane Katz:

The official proposal unveiled last week—all 893 pages—by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) calls for a fleet-wide fuel economy average of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. (The 2011 standard is 27.3 miles per gallon.) However, each manufacturer’s actual average would vary based on their vehicle mix. Every model would be assigned an individual standard based on its “footprint,” a formula that factors its wheelbase and track dimensions. Fines are levied for vehicles that do not meet the standard.

The government pegs the cost of compliance at $8.5 billion annually, on average, with wide variation between the early and latter years. This translates into a spike in sticker prices of at least $2,000–$2,800, according to official projections, which typically run lower than industry estimates.

That is hardly a prescription for reviving a moribund auto industry. According to Edmunds.com, auto sales declined 41 percent from a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 15.72 million in December 2007 to a low of 9.32 million in February 2009. Based on the current pace of recovery, auto sales for 2011 are expected to total 12.9 million—a decline of 17.9 percent from the onset of the recession. [Internal citations omitted.]

More: “CAFE Standards: Fleet-Wide Regulations Costly and Unwarranted,” The Heritage Foundation, November 28, 2011.

Thousands of Americans waiting for a blood marrow donation to treat their cancers or other genetic disorders got a ray of hope Thursday, when the Court of Appeals for the U.S. Ninth Circuit ruled that federal law does not prohibit compensation for blood marrow donations.
They can thank the Institute for Justice for bringing the case.“Every year, nearly 3,000 Americans die because they cannot find a matching bone marrow donor, but the federal government has made it illegal to do the one thing that will make finding donors easier: paying them,” said Jeff Rowes, lead attorney on the case for the Institute for Justice.
“Today’s decision will put a stop to this irrational prohibition, and it could save thousands of lives in the process.”The government had argued that compensation for marrow donations, like compensation for organ transplants, is prohibited by the National Organ Transplant Act. The court disagreed, ruling that the law’s prohibition on compensation for marrow donations applies only when doctors remove the spongy tissue from inside the bones, not when marrow cells are taken out of a donor’s bloodstream through his arm in a manner much like giving blood. That’s the most common way donations are made.
The ruling means that groups like the nonprofit MoreMarrowDonors.org can launch pilot programs to offer compensation for marrow donations.
MoreMarrowDonors.org plans to offer bone marrow donors $3,000 in the form of scholarships, housing allowances, or gifts to charities selected by the donor. Compensation will now be legal within the boundaries of the Ninth Circuit, which includes Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and various other U.S. territories. To learn more about the case, check out the IJ press release.
Wyland

Wyland’s DIRTY OIL Helps Raise Money for Spill Clean Up

Wyland Records has created its first music video featuring legendary blues man Taj Mahal and Rod Piazza with the original song entitled “Dirty Oil.”

Wyland, a Hawaii artist who has been called “the finest environmental artist in the world,” said in an email that “Blues Planet explores a new genre of ‘Global Blues’ that spotlights his passion for conservation through the blues sounds of Memphis, New Orleans, and the Mississippi Delta.”

Download the song “Dirty Oil” via iTunes and 100 percent of the profits will benefit National Wildlife Federation® efforts to help Gulf wildlife, waters, and communities recover from the BP oil spill disaster, Wyland said.

 

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