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    1st Annual FilmFreude Honolulu Film Festival–A Celebration of German Cinema–March 1-3, 2024 

    German cinema takes center stage as FilmFreude Honolulu German Film Festival (FFHGFF) proudly announces its inaugural edition, set to captivate audiences from March 1 to 3, 2024. In collaboration with the Honolulu Museum of Art the festival showcases the most exciting new German Films at HOMA’s Doris Duke Theatre, (900 S. Beretania St.)

    FilmFreude Honolulu aims to celebrate and honor new and emerging talents while fostering a dynamic cultural exchange through the captivating medium of German cinema. This year’s festival is generously sponsored by BMW Honolulu, Malao Films, the German Honorary Consul in Honolulu and the German Consulate General in San Francisco.

    The Festival Experience: The magic of German cinema sends the audience into another world, where different thoughts and dreams are forming multifaceted concepts of life from the opposite side of the globe. Visionary directors and rising stars are in this well curated lineup spans feature films and art documentaries.

    All films will be presented in their original German language with English subtitles, ensuring accessibility to a broad audience eager to explore the unique narratives and visual masterpieces crafted by these filmmakers.

    ‘Weekend Rebels’ by Marc Rothemund (Opening Film)

    10-year-old autistic Jason, known for his non-negotiable routines, faces the challenge of choosing a soccer club with his dad Mirco in exchange for adapting at school. Their soccer adventures become a unique bond, helping Mirco understand his special son and embrace unexpected lessons about love.

    Directed by multiple major award winner Marc Rothemund (Sophie Scholl – The Final Days). Florian David Fitz won Bavarian Film Award for Best Actor. A Picture Tree International Release.

    Festival Highlights:

    Dates: March 1-3, 2024
    Venue: Doris Duke Theatre, Honolulu Museum of Art
    Featured Films: ‘Weekend Rebels’ by Marc Rothemund (Opening Film), ‘A Thousand Lines’ by Michael Herbig, ‘Afire’ by Christian Petzold and ‘Anselm’ by Wim Wenders
    Sponsors: BMW Honolulu, Malao, The Curb Kaimuki, Honolulu Museum of Art, Il Gelato, eC3 Hawaii, Honorary Consul of Germany in Honolulu and other valued partners
    Online Presence: Explore the full festival schedule, purchase tickets, and secure all-access passes at

    Tickets: Admission Opening Film (Fri): $20 (With Il Gelato Scoop), Admission Per Film (Sat./Sun): $15, Festival Pass: $80 (All Films + Festival Shirt)
    Join the Conversation: Follow the excitement and engage with FilmFreude Honolulu German Film Festival on social media:
    Hashtags: #FFHGFF #filmfreudehonolulu
    Social Media: Facebook, Instagram
    About FilmFreude Honolulu: FilmFreude Honolulu is a vibrant German Film Festival making its debut in Honolulu in 2024. As a platform for cinematic exploration, the festival invites audiences to embark on a journey through the latest achievements in German cinema. From thought-provoking documentaries to visually stunning feature films, FilmFreude Honolulu offers a captivating snapshot of German-speaking cultures. The festival is honored to include contributions from Austria and Switzerland, further enriching the narrative tapestry.

    FilmFreude Honolulu welcomes all cinema enthusiasts to partake in this unique festival, celebrating the beauty of German culture through the powerful lens of storytelling.

    ‘A Thousand Lines’ by Michael Herbig, ‘Afire’ by Christian Petzold and ‘Anselm’ by Wim Wenders

    Inspired by true events. A gripping and entertaining David vs. Goliath story in our times of fake news and alternative facts. Freelance journalist Juan Romero challenges the acclaimed reporter Lars Bogenius’ cover story, uncovering inconsistencies. Despite facing opposition from the Chronik news magazine’s board, Romero persists in his pursuit of the truth, risking his career, reputation, and family in the process.

    Directed by Michael Herbig. Cast Elyas M’Barek (Juan Romero) and Jonas Nay (Lars Bogenius). A Beta Cinema Release.

    Hawaii needs to avoid massive unemployment tax increase

    By Keli’i Akina

    For Hawaii employers, it’s deja vu all over again.

    Just like they were a year ago at this time, the businesses that provide jobs to the state’s civilian workforce are in danger of having their annual unemployment taxes skyrocket, which, in turn, could cripple Hawaii’s economy just when it is starting to get back on its feet.

    Last year, the tax was supposed to more than triple, until the Legislature finally stepped in to ease the pain. This year it could increase by more than double, from an average of $825 per employee to $1,768.

    The tax is legally required to increase because of all the demands on the unemployment system caused by the coronavirus lockdowns, which at one point saw more than 200,000 Hawaii employees out of work.

    Many of those employees are still out of work, still drawing unemployment wages and still depleting the state’s unemployment fund reserve, as the state’s emergency restrictions on businesses approach possibly their third year.

    When the reserve drops, Hawaii employers are expected to make up the difference.

    Last year, the Legislature passed a law that froze the unemployment tax rate for employers at the Schedule D rate — a slight increase from the pre-lockdowns rate, but far less than the catastrophic Schedule H hike that would have otherwise automatically gone into effect.

    Unfortunately, the bill was little more than a stop-gap, addressing only 2021 and 2022. Now, as 2023 approaches, Hawaii businesses are once again in a pickle.

    Since the lockdowns began, the state has paid out $6.5 billion in jobless claims, leaving the unemployment fund with only $123 million.

    In order to keep the fund up last year, the state funneled $800 million from the federal government into it, then cleared that debt with an equivalent amount of federal relief funds. Still, the fund is still far from the $1.3 billion reserve that is deemed adequate for a year’s unemployment claims.

    Thus, if the Legislature doesn’t intervene again, the state unemployment tax will soar up to Schedule H — the highest rate — for 2023. That’s an increase of 114%, more than enough to affect hiring decisions or prevent struggling businesses from surviving the lockdowns.

    Hawaii was one of the states hit hardest by the coronavirus lockdowns, especially given their effect on tourism. Yet, we’ve seen some positive trends, with the economy growing faster than some predicted, leading to higher state revenues. In fact, the state budget currently has a $3 billion surplus, at least a portion of which could be used to shore up the unemployment fund.

    In a recovering economy, the last thing you want to do is introduce a massive tax hike. Instead, you want to embrace policies that grow the economy. That’s because the state can gain far more in revenues from an economic bump than from trying to wring more tax dollars out of already-strapped Hawaii businesses.

    The Aloha State’s private sector has had to overcome so much in the past two years. Many businesses have had to close their doors forever. Others are barely holding on, hoping that the worst is behind us.

    There are many ways that the Legislature can address this problem. One could be to introduce another rate freeze, to give officials time to reexamine the law and its automatic tax increases.

    What we should not do is levy yet another heavy burden on Hawaii’s businesses and disrupt our state’s economic recovery.

    Keli’i Akina is president and CEO of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii.

    Grief as deep as you Love

    Grief is a complex human emotion. It can produce love, anger, confusion, depression, anxiety, regret—well you get what I am saying.

    Humans seem never prepared and not in the least taught how to cope and resolve grief. Like anger, another confusing human emotion, there are few common sense coping strategies or tactics to deal with the cascade of emotion.

    Grief is as ignored as peace-making—we devalue and sabotage peace-making in our lives.

    Grief, Anger, Jealousy act on humans like a water/mudslide. It seems we can only guess at the onset, where it will go, or how to cope with the sheer force of these emotions. Mostly, we lash out and hurt others in our expression of a fundamental human emotion.

    If I take the meta-view, to look at my life as an observer would, at the thousands of cascading emotional episodes, contemplating the trauma creating the triggers, in the light of the deaths of so many friends, it is clear, what we take for real is not permanent.

    From the perspective of our own death, and the wisdom of our meta-view, our existence is unreal, just as our solid material world is not real, at least in the light of timelessness and eternity.

    Rainbow bridge over Hawaii

    A wonderful poet, Hafiz once spake so, “To take for real that which is ephemeral, is like the ravings of a madman.”

    Yet as I watch those I’ve walked beside, friends, colleagues, citizens, frenemies, who have been around me, pass across the rainbow bridge, I see it as a promise and a warning to be in alignment with your highest purpose, or be in fear and regret.

    Choices are our greatest power

    The warning: Those who seek to “rule” their worlds are distracting you from creating your world through your choices, narrowing your sense-of-power to better manipulate you by their words and decisions.

    The promise: When what you think, say and do are in alignment, there you will find happiness. Happiness and a collaborative co-creative world that benefits the many not the few is a choice. Choose carefully, think focused, visualize the thought forms of what you prefer, and then act to choose it in the material world.

    Align>Ask>Accept>Act>Receive is the promise

    It’s not the journey that crowns you but the end.

    As day turns to night, like flowers, we are here, then gone, so are also our lives in the broad span of time. We are soon forgotten, even if we are famous.

    So, make the most of your one wild and crazy life.

    Robert Kinslow is a coach, consultant, change agent and sustainability expert. Connect with him here or LinkedIn

    SureFire Powerpak

    Mobile video light review

    When it comes to a video light, I used to lug heavy camera gear around to capture the funny, meaningful or downright awesome moments that can spontaneously arise during the days of our lives. Since the cellphone revolution, my camera has become my choice mostly for it’s light weight, flexibility of use and features, and reasonably fast time of operation.

    Let’s say an important moment is emerging, I reach for my cell and in a second or two am ready for the moment to present. Or, perhaps a moment is in full swing, in a few seconds, I’m recording without having lost much of the meaningful moments.

    A serious impediment to night-time photography, recording those “dark moments,” is the cellphone camera itself. Cell cameras are notorious for their poor low-light performance, making low light spontaneity unable to be visually recorded. Also, cell flashlights have limited range and focus. External video lights can be cumbersome and lack flexibility. So, if I’m holding a light and trying to focus/exposure, AND point-n-shoot, frame the image, I’m not going to get optimum results.

    SureFire video light and mobile case
    The video light mounted on a iph6

    FirePak video light

    Along comes the FirePak video light, charger and flashlight. SureFire’s design strategy is simple enough, integrate a phone case with rechargeable storage and 2 high-performance mobile LED lights with enough lumens designed for video for 16:9 video frames in a form factor compatible with multiple sizes of phone cameras. USB and micro-USB ports allow charging your cell phone from the charger, or an included cable can be used to recharge the FirePak video light. SureFire says it has an effective range of up to 50 feet and while the light does travel that far, usable lumens land in the mid-range.

    When I picked up the FirePak for the first time, I was struck by the wedge shape that fit comfortably in my hand. At first, the squished wedge shape looks cumbersome. Pick it up and it feels completely different. If you can imagine a drip coffee cone with the tip cut off and both sides squished flatter into an oval shape, you can imagine the shape of this flashlight. The FirePak slides smoothly under the molded rails of the phone case snapping securely onto a stop that positions the LED lights in two positions with respect to the iPhone camera.

    SureFire video light and mounting case
    Features of the video light and mobile case

    The durable case is built for rugged use (not moisture or water) with a 4-level light switch and distinct illumination levels. Design-wise the features are functional while dramatically expanding your performance—as a video light or a back-up battery.

    LED lights create enough lumens for 16:9 video frames

    When I switched it on, the double LED “eyes”  emitted two blinding rays of light, even at the lowest setting. I wondered when I might use that much light? However, once you turn it on at night, you discover the benefit of blinding light.

    At the highest setting the bulbs create significant heat, so don’t be surprised when you touch it. As an illumination device, there is enough light to do fine work, like reading or repairing, too. A distinct setting for faces for interviews would be a good user feature, just in case you are listening, SureFire?

    It’s kinda tough to steady the cell when the light is installed on the case because of the extra weight and thickness requires your normal hand position to block the LEDs. Your hand size and strength will discover what position is best for you. I had to adjust as shown in the pictures below. It’s quite difficult to switch on/off the light without shaking the image. Shooting vertically is difficult for the same reasons, so you’ll have to learn how to control the frame with two hands.

    SureFire video light
    Normal hand position for mobile recording

    SureFire video light
    You may have to modify your hand position for this video light

    If I were a DP on a film using cell-phone video, and this light, I would make sure there were several on charge at all times. No one wants to wait for your only battery to charge. A question a newbie DP might ask is: How long will one last? So, test your equipment before shoot day, OK?

    Charging the unit

    Charging the unit was problematic, as my first attempts failed, due I believe to a mismatched charger plug. Initially, I began charging the Firepak using a USB port built into a small power strip. After two days, the blinking red light indicated it was not fully charged, though I thought it might be close to fully charged, so I began to charge my cellphone at 5%. I recorded the time and charging rate at 10% intervals but at 57% the FirePak fully discharged and stopped charging the cell battery. I reached out to Rob Kay of Guns and Tech, he suggested using a direct charging plug and trying again. Once I plugged it into a 2A charger direct to the plug, it charged up overnight.

    All in all, this unit is a good buy for those who want to expand their video capabilities to low-night-time conditions. It is small and powerful enough to have in your toolbox, just in case. It is durable and useful for most cellphone recording situations. And, it serves well as a flashlight illuminator during emergencies and when you might need a torch to light your path.

    Whether you already have a youtube channel, are a budding professional videographer, or just want the firepower to be able to record life’s dark moments, FirePak is an excellent choice for all. You can see the FirePak in action at the manufacturer’s website:

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    GoalZero & Sunjack reviews

    Portable Powerpack Solar panel reviews

    As everyone who lives here knows, Hawaii is no stranger to power outrages. The last big storm that came through knocked power out on the North Shore for half a day, yet that of course would be child’s play, if we got hit by something the magnitude of Iniki or Irma. As we all know, it’s just a matter of time.

    So, how to charge our devices, in this event? Not everyone can afford a gas-powered generator (at least $1000) much less deal with the hassle of storing fuel. There are a few fixes that will at least keep small devices like your phone, pad, flashlight or radio powered up.

    The first option, and the least expensive, is to stock up on batteries. The industry standard for modern flashlights, radios, lanterns, etc is the 18650 Li-Ion battery. Get yourself a battery charger to keep them topped off.

    If you want to charge devices such as tablets, cell phones, etc., you’ll need to get some type of powerbank, essentially a battery with ports that allow you to charge any USB-based device. I’d suggest, opting for a portable solar panel which can assist in charging small devices, and keeping powerbanks topped off. There are a number of them available for backpackers or home users.

    Input: Solar panels with charging cable arrangement. Output: Panel—>Powerpak—>Phone is the correct order

    Goal Zero Venture 30 Solar Kit

    With a little research, I soon came upon the weatherproof GoalZero Zero Venture 30 portable power-bank phone, tablet & solar panel combo. It is a compact kit that includes storage and recharger. The kit is designed for the backpacker or traveler but anyone with charging needs in an emergency can benefit from this system.

    Designed to charge point-of-view cameras, tablets, phones and other USB compatible devices, it’s 28 Wh (3.6V 7800 mAh) rechargeable battery can be coupled with a Nomad 7, 13 or 20-watt solar panel. Together they weigh a little more than 1-½ pounds. Built for travel or backpacking, for home use, it’s a bit under-powered.

    Output kit showing cable types and solar panel chaining feature

    The battery unit has been designed to be weatherproof (light rain not submersion) and shock-proof (moderate impact resistance) and can remember charging profiles of the devices you connect. The battery can be placed into a protective shipping mode designed to avoid self-discharge during periods of storage. For natural disasters, fully charging the battery and then placing it in storage mode for future use, is recommended prior to the event. Such a practice extends battery life significantly. The manufacturer claims “hundreds of life charging cycles” for the battery. The battery has two USB ports each capable of dishing out 2.4A each just like a plug version would. Apple, Android and Windows devices compatible with the output cables above.

    This system included a 7-watt panel. While a standard 2A USB plug-in source can charge the battery in as little as 5 hours, charging times will vary from 16-hours with the 7-watt panel to 6-hours with the 20 watt panel. Priced accordingly, an innovative aspect of this kit is up to 4 solar panels can be chained together via the chaining input port.  Remember, battery and device charging times will depend on both the panels capacity, the angle of the sun to the panels, and the amount of sunlight available in your geographic location.

    Test setup: Input (solar panels) and Output (cable types): Panel—>Powerpak—>Phone is the correct order

    During periods of use, charge the battery fully first, then connect to the battery and charge your devices is the recommended use cycle. And, don’t forget to place the recharger in storage mode before you put it away for future use. Prior to an emergency, I suggest a dry run with the devices you plan to use before the emergency occurs so you understand the limits and capabilities of your Venture 30 Solar panel recharger kit.

    SunJack 14W solar charger with 1o000mAh battery pack retails for $169 and is a good bet for camping or home use.

    Sunjack 14W Portable Solar Charger + Powerbank

    Another solar panel/powerbank combo we tested was the Sunjack 14W Portable Solar Charger + Powerbank.

    The solar charger has four panels and when folded is about the size of an Apple iPad. It folds into a rugged nylon case, which can be quickly unfolded and hung up to face the sun. A mesh pouch on the rear holds the charging port and cables, the devices to be charged, and the battery pack. It has a series of grommets along the edges of the panel so that you can easily attach it to your backpack.

    The panels provide up to 14W of 5 volt USB power under a bright sun ideally producing 2,000mAh every hour. That means you can recharge the powerbank that comes with it in about 4 hours (under a bright Hawaii sun).

    Sunjack’s powerbank includes Qualcomm’s “Quick Charge 3.0” technology, which speeds up charging appreciably if the device on the other end (in this case my phone) also has “Quick Charge” capabilities.

    The panels provide up to 14W of 5 volt USB power under a bright sun ideally producing 2,000mAh every hour. That means you can recharge the powerbank that comes with it in about 4 hours (under a bright Hawaii sun).

    According to the experts I spoke to at 1.5-2Ah is the minimum acceptable usable panel output.

    Otherwise, charging your powerbank, or anything else, will take a full day. The Sunjack 14 W system, which retails for $149 (with the power bank) is a good place to start. You could also consider their 20W kit with 2 lithium battery packs, for $169.

    The Sunjack’s 10,000mAh Advanced Powerbank, which comes with the solar kit (or sells separately for $29) has three ports, the standard USB, the micro USB and the new USB-C. What I really like is that it comes with Qualcomm’s “Quick Charge 3.0” technology. This means if you have a phone or other device that is “quick charge” compatible (such as my Samsung 7) this little unit will charge your device (according to the manufacturer) up to 80% faster.

    A mesh pouch on the rear holds the charging port and cables, the devices to be charged, and the battery pack. (Courtesy Tim Yan photo)

    Whether it’s 80% or 59% faster is anyone’s guess but it’s fast. My cell phone was charged in about 20 minutes. In an emergency situation this could be crucial.

    I’d certainly recommend this nifty little combo from SunJack.

    The takeaway on this piece is the larger solar charging unit you can afford, the better. What’s more, if you can get a combo that comes with a fast-charging powerbank, assuming your devices also have this capability, get one.

    Editor’s Note: Rob Kay contributed to this article

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    Earth Day 2017

    Screen Shot 2017-04-21 at 11.10.37 AMHow many of you remember the first time you saw our Earth? This view of ourselves embedded in a living planet, wrapped in oneness, exploded into our collective consciousness.

    Did you know soon after this view of our whole planet was available to us, the modern global environmental movement was birthed?

    “Once a photograph of the Earth, taken from the outside, is available, a new idea as powerful as any in history will be let loose.” – Sir Fred Hoyle, 1948

    For many Americans, perhaps the entire human population, this picture has sparked a collective shift about our planet. For the first time in history, we saw that we are all on a canoe—one race of islanders afloat in a sea of space.

    This photo was taken from Apollo 8 on Christmas eve 1968 while scouting for a moon landing site. The crew lost radio contact with NASA going around the back of the moon and took this photo when they re-emerged from the dark side of the moon.

    Imagine… as they rounded the moon’s edge, they saw our Earth some 240,000 miles away—glowing in deep blue framed by white clouds—embedded in seemingly empty space. The surface features in the foreground are on the eastern limb of the moon as viewed from our planet.

    Astronauts Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and William Anders had become the first humans to leave Earth orbit, entering lunar orbit on Christmas Eve 1968. In a historic live broadcast that night, the crew took turns reading from the Book of Genesis, closing with a holiday wish from Commander Borman: “We close Screen Shot 2017-04-21 at 11.07.03 AMwith good night, good luck, a Merry Christmas, and God bless all of you—all of you on the good Earth.”

    “You develop an instant global consciousness, a people orientation, an intense dissatisfaction with the state of the world, and a compulsion to do something about it. From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter million miles out and say, ‘Look at that, you son of a bitch.” — Apollo 14 astronaut, Edgar Mitchell

    As a species we had ventured beyond our Earth’s atmosphere into the sea of emptiness around our planet home. It was the first mission to leave Earth orbit and these were the first astronauts to see the Earth as a whole. Now we have the meta-view, a view of ourselves as one system, held together in space with no one to save us and no one more responsible than us for our shared destiny.

    Within 2 years of publication of this perspective, 1970, the modern environmental movement was birthed, the first Earth Day was held, and the Federal Clean Air and Clean Water Acts were passed by a Republican, Richard Nixon, who clearly recognized the values of conservation, of clean air and water to all our people.

    In 1970, with nine staff members and a $125,000 budget, a Washington, D.C.-based group organized the Environmental Teach-in, which would become became the first Earth Day.

 With then senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin as their champion, the staffers brought together volunteers in dozens of cities and college campuses around the country.

    Judy Moody and Denis Hayes on April 22, 1970 with the first Earthday teach-in banner in the background

    Hayes, who had dropped out of Harvard Law School the year before to join Senator Nelson’s project, also chaired the Earth Day anniversary celebrations in 1990 and 2000. 
”[Hayes was] the one who did the unglamorous, wearisome job of starting it up,” Ralph Nader told the New York Times in 1990. “[Hayes] is an orchestrator of environmental events which were national … and now are global.”

    Like Earth, Hawaiian islands are remote and surrounded by a sea that restricts passage, yet, unlike Hawaii, humans do not have ships bringing food or water to Earth. There is no Planet B. We have no other home nor do we have alternative sources of food and water.

    BruceJustinAlGore1999LtrEarth day 1970 celebrations in Hawaii were led by Bruce Justin Miller and his team at University of Hawaii. The events of the first Earth Day, were called the First National Environmental Teach-In. While I do not have any pictures from that day, I ran across this letter written from Al Gore to Bruce and his team in 1999.
    [Click on the pictures to expand them into larger sizes for reading or to download.]

    And, these micro-fiche snippets from Star-Bulletin and Honolulu Advertiser, are illustrative of the energy and interest of folks then. Thanks to Dave Atcheson.

    HonoluluAdvertiser_EarthDay1970In the Honolulu-Advertiser article was an a column advocating green practices. Notice it mentions the UH Earth Day event, and proposes ways for islanders to reduce waste by using reusable bags, making laundry soap, reducing car miles, and eliminating toxic cleaning products, and pesticides, such as DDT, etc.

    Yet, here we are almost 50-years later debating those same ideas, because fossil fuel businesses have such a stranglehold on politics and people, we still cannot believe we can change our behaviors, it seems.StarBulletin04221970

     In the second article from the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, dated April 22, 1970, a prophetic quote from scientist, Dr. J. Murray Mitchell Jr. who said, “…The release of increasing quantities of carbon dioxide and thermal pollution into the atmosphere threatens to change global weather and melt the polar ice, flooding wide areas. Man may begin to notice the change by the end of this century.”

    For many GenX’ers, perhaps even Boomers—ahead of our time—that our society is still _talking_ about changing our behavior, almost 50-years later, reducing our waste and footprint on our only planet—still talking and not doing—induces major depression and climate angst. Yet, it is also the driving force for social improvement of our continued advocacy. As the 50th anniversary approaches of that moment when a picture of our Earth shimmering in space changed us forever, why not get involved with the Earth Day Network?

    Riseup folks, we are much better than we have been programmed to believe! Stand up for the Earth on which you stand.

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    Preparing for the Future of Work

    Future of Work is Here

    Each generation’s ability to advance their own destinies and contribute positively to subsequent generations is dependent on their awareness of how important it is to be future focused. The hourglass of time does not stop running, and it will take all of us, starting now, to imagine and work our way beyond the past we and our ancestors have created, yet where many surprisingly find ourselves stuck.

    Look… the future is coming for you. Can you imagine a future-focused—worst and best-case scenario—a scenario largely dependent upon what we do now?

    Starting with a pragmatic understanding of reality, as it is today—this moment—is crucial to effectively create our dreams in the future. It has been said, if you are anxious, you are focused too much on the future. If you are, regretful or depressed, too much on the past. If you are content, then you are present focused. Too much of one and you are stuck!

    Near Future Scenario
    Anyone Born after 2000 and Today’s High School Students

    man-76196_1920Scenario…The year is 2025. Hawaii, like most of the U.S., has accelerated their shift to a model relying upon extended family groups. College debt has continued to rise and further compromised meager savings; increased long-term debt has become an unsustainable challenge for many parents and students, alike. Little attention has been focused on what courses and degrees will result in work (or jobs) for these youngsters who have grown up in an age of uncertainty. The poor have grown poorer, educational systems have not kept up with emerging market-driven needs and the middle-class, especially has continued to erode. The U.S. world educational ranking grade remains at a “C” – i.e., the bottom of the middle of the pack.

    A different scenario…The year is still 2025.

    Ostock-exchange-911608_1920ur educational institutions have responded to the revolutionary needs of students and provided them with expert guidance as to the set of courses that will ensure their best options in the future. Likewise, college costs have been eased by the inclusion of more virtual courses taught by world-renowned educators who inspire as well as instruct. Targeted technical knowledge, specific skills, flexibility and lifetime learning are now embraced by highly diverse mainstream workers. U.S. world educational rankings have risen to a “B” and we are on our way to an “A” ranking.

    Now, today, ask yourself:

    The Playbook for Teens is co-authored by Hawaii Wingman, Carleen MacKay, who is the originator of a series of work-focused playbooks for several generations.
    • Are your children’s schools teaching robotics and new technologies at every age and level – from kindergarten on? Do you know?
    • Are you involved with your children’s teachers – challenging them to advocate for continuous improvement in teaching methodologies?
    • Have you read Playbook for Teens on Amazon? Might you inspire high-schoolers with the real-life stories of people, just a few years older than they are; people who can demonstrate winning game plans that will matter to their own futures.
    • Are you building blocks for future-focused viable careers by helping your children to find opportunities to learn well beyond the classroom walls?

    The future will be determined by what we teach our children today

    Pivot to the Pacific, into YOUR future.

    workforcewingmentaglogoWe are your Wingmen

    Reach out to your favorite wingman—we are multi-generational coaches. You will benefit from our proven 8-Step process. Let us guide you to what you need to know and do in order to advance your career in a time of hyper-shift. We can help you implement a plan that will work for you the day after the day after tomorrow.

    Look us up on LinkedIn:  Carleen MacKay :: Rob Kinslow
    Authors, Speakers, Emergent Workforce Experts

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    What’s your calling?

    What motivates you to get out into the urban world to stand and speak for positive vision of the future?

    My inspiring brother, Blue eyes Tim Kinslow

    In 2007, as he lay in the hospital, his body succumbing to the ravages of chemo and cancer, my younger brother called me out. I was there with about 30 of his family and friends. Tim had been sitting quietly in his bed, propped up, yet with his head lowered, listening to the muffled banter from everyone. I was over at the door, opening and closing it softly so that the sudden sounds would not jar him, as he loved quiet stillness.

    Suddenly, he raised his head, looked me in the eyes from across the room, and asked, “What are you doing over there, Robbie?”

    Continue reading the rest of the story…

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    Future of Work Trends

    Think about five short years from now, UNLESS something radical changes…

    By 2021…

    1. The old will be older and broker and millions, in this fastest aging of U.S. States, will increase dependence upon younger generations amid overburdened social and healthcare systems that are ready to plunge our economy into a state-of-disaster.
    1. Gen “Z” will be out in full force – half won’t be ready and many more will be denied access to specific skills and competencies the future demands. Increased negative economic and societal challenges will increase major differences. In Hawaii, for example, college costs will continue to rise much faster than subsequent wage growth.


    2. Hawaii’s workers will not be in the full-time, “job” workforce. In the private sector, needed skills, competencies and talent will be used when needed, if needed and as often as needed. The race to a safe haven in the public sector will be overtaken by underfunded pensions. Our ability to pay for the last of the “lifetime” jobs, already standing on shaky ground, will be vulnerable to changes you might not want to experience.

    Yet, IF we straighten up and fly right… support our people,

    By 2021…

    1. Old age will be re-defined and Kupuna will be encouraged to continue to contribute to the world of work – well into their 70’s, perhaps 80’s. Likewise, a shift to emerging active aging programs, such as health-focused Blue Zones project, will prove beneficial to all.generation-z_infographic
    1. Gen “Z” will have many more opportunities to learn at modest costs. Much of this learning will be online and will be augmented with the dedicated help of pensioned, older folks who will have the time and interest to actively mentor the most challenged of Gen Z’ers. And, by the way, the youngest among us will also mentor up to help Gen Y, X generations learn what they have to teach.
    1. We will all learn to manage our work lives as our businesses – not as simply jobs! We will embrace lifetime learning, a term that, once-upon-a-time, was simply granted lip service. We will grow our careers, re-align our lives in line with our own changing interests and changing technologies, re-boot old interests and help others to succeed.

    We are your Wingmen

    Look us up on LinkedIn:  Carleen MacKay ::  Rob Kinslow

    The Science of Consciousness & Healing

    I want to share a little-known secret for improving your quality of life, achieving deep healing and radiant health… even living longer… and better.

    stream-1106336_1920(1)It’s not a new super-food.

    It’s not a new yoga practice.

    And, it’s certainly not a new pill…

    It’s your own consciousness.   

    Consciousness is the “x-factor” behind deep healing, radiant health and living a long, productive life — even as you advance into your 60s, 70s, 80s and beyond!

    Yes, health and longevity originate in human consciousness and finds expression in body, mind, heart and soul.

    If you’re curious about WHY this is so and, more importantly, want to discover tools you can use to shape your health and happiness, connect with Dr. Marilyn Schlitz. Marilyn has been at the forefront of fascinating and game-changing work in consciousness research, integrative medicine, longevity and healing. She brings more than 30 years experience and study with leading-edge scientists, healers and shamans.ConsciousnessHealing_intro_skyscraper

    On Saturday, July 23, she will present a fascinating FREE online event: Using the Power of Your Consciousness for Healing: Discover the X-Factor in Creating Radiant Health.

    During this exciting event, you’ll…

    • Receive a more complete picture of how healing really happens through consciousness
    • Discover the power of expectancy in creating pain and discomfort (and what you can do to shift it)
    • Recognize the importance of loving relationships in any healing process
    • Receive insights into the remarkable new findings that show you can consciously influence your genetics, as well as your endocrine and immune system

    I invite you to join me for a mind-expanding hour on how to use the power of your consciousness for health and healing. 

    True holistic health is so much more than managing your weight and cholesterol and hoping for the best… Marilyn will show you how you can work with your consciousness to achieve a quality life. Register here

    be-1358282_1920Using the Power of Your Consciousness for Healing you’ll receive the latest scientific insights that demonstrate the power of your thoughts, emotions and relationships in shaping your health and happiness.

    You’ll also be given simple practices to apply in your daily life.

    If you can’t listen live, you’ll receive a downloadable replay of the event.

    Questions? Answers? More posts by the author.
    If you like my posts—even if you don’t—why not contribute to helping spread the word?
    Thanks in advance for caring and sharing this post on your social media sites.

    Disclosure: The link in this post is an affiliate, which means I receive a small commission if you clicknpick. Affiliate link or not, my promise is to only recommend and link to resources I believe will add value to your life and/or work.


    Let’s talk about the Future of Work

    Enough about the past; let’s talk about the future of work.

    How, when and where will we work? 21stCenturywork

    We are already working full-time, part-time, on-demand, temporarily, once-in-awhile… from home, from our car, a train, plane or automobile and from across town or across the world. We work for free, for a fee, for ourselves, for the good of others, for learning and/or for the fun of it! We gain-share, bargain or are paid an hourly rate.

    The speed of change is accelerating. Within a year or two, few people will ask the question we are asking.

    The more you have to offer the changed market, the more choices you’ll have to work in any – or all – ways we have just highlighted.

    The more you prepare to meet the demands of change, the more adaptable you’ll be. The more you will be able to accommodate swiftly moving life circumstances and interests.

    What are a few of the most recent changes that have affected how, who and where some of us will work in Hawaii in the near future?

    hand-1112469_1920First, take a look at the on-demand world and you’ll soon have help with everything from Spring Cleaning to furniture packing. Haven’t heard about the hundreds of on-demand companies in Hawaii? Take a look at how many home food delivery options are a short 808 call away. Want a glass of wine with your dinner? Google “home wine delivery – Honolulu.” Prepare to see well over 150 home delivery options. Your favorite food and wine will be on your table within 24 to 48 hours.

    These, and many other firms are delivering services and goods in new ways that will affect you—including, how you work, where you might work, or… how you shop!

    The tip of an iceberg of change is floating your way. Keep looking. A new option will emerge tomorrow or the very next day. We’ll keep you posted to many of the changes.

    Speaking of changes… here’s one to watch: reasonably long-term jobs with a good company began to change in the 1970’s and ‘80’s. Such jobs are now only one way of working and if trends are to be believed, also diminishing in numbers.

    The On-Demand, Hyper-Shift, Work from Anywhere Economy is here. Everyone is now a business – including you!

    It’s time to learn how to run You, Inc.
    But, it’s a bad idea to solo,
    at least until you are ready to fly without a wing-man.

    Ask us how we can help you to prepare for a future that matters. Let’s #makeworkbetter, ok?

    Look us up on LinkedIn:  Carleen MacKay :: Rob Kinslow :: Fabian Lewis

    Story of a Freelancer

    Story of a Freelancer
    by Carleen MacKay
    :: Rob Kinslow

    In our April 5th post, we introduced you to the new world of work, to “Freelancers,” or people who work on behalf of organizations when and wherever needed.

    pexels-photoBy 2020, according to a raft of experts, 40%+ of American workers will be “freelancers” in all sectors of the economy. Other experts predict the number may be as high as 50% by 2020.

    Situation: This is the story of a real-life person. Our freelancer is someone who migrated from a dozen years of full-time work where he had been designated the “Employee of the Year” to being laid-off and forced to taste the painful and “Unexpected Freedom” of freelancing.outsource-1345109_1280

    Goal: Although he submitted resumes for numerous full-time editorial and corporate communications positions, the response rate was low to non-existent. He was further encouraged to pursue freelancing by the lack of interest among prospective new employers, who tended to view his extensive experience and knowledge, not as an asset but as a negative option. Especially, when considered against hiring recent college graduates for a fraction of the salary, our story-teller felt he wanted or his experience deserved. He discovered the world of hiring in the new decade is not about experience and capabilities, but about casting ones portfolio within the needs of prospective clients. He learned to explore and market for this new business of freelancing.

    Actions: He undertook face-to-face networking activities, while simultaneously expanding his LinkedIn profile and building a network of 500+ contacts. He accepted freelance opportunities that did not pay well, simply in order to gain experience. He began building a portfolio of work samples.

    As time went by, he became adept at turning in quality work on tight deadlines, which drew the attention of new clients. Soon he landed two or three “anchor clients,” giving him a solid foundation of steady work at a respectable wage which, in turn, led to several large-scale web content projects.

    By the end of his first year as a freelancer, entrepreneur-696966_1920he began to reap the benefit of client recommendations and word-of-mouth referrals.

    Consequences: Our freelancer is now established in a successful freelance business. Not only does he have the comfort of working from home, his daily schedule allows time to play tennis and swim laps at his neighborhood club. He is no longer dependent upon a single company for his earnings, but instead works regularly for a wide range of clients – most of whom he has never met in person and with whom he stays in contact via various online modes of communications.

    Lesson: Our freelancer learned the value of persistence by making strong use of online platforms and staying in touch with prospective clients. She has become adept at establishing his brand, at creating sales documents, at maximizing his profile on LinkedIn as well as at leveraging various social connections online as well as in person. He learned to set boundaries to client requests for uncompensated hours in order to prove his worth. Eagerness to work should not be over-used to extract uncompensated commitments or outcomes.

    Credible experts predict that the workplace may be dominated by Freelancers in the next decade. Here’s a snippet, summarizing these predictions, from Thomas Frey (

    “Virtually any company that cannot find ways to do things more efficiently and reduce costs will not survive. Business colonies are an organic process of matching labor to projects for the exact duration of the contract.  No more, no less.”                                                                                                                        

    Do you want to learn how to Freelance? Ask us for help!

    Look us up on LinkedIn:  Carleen MacKay :: Rob Kinslow

    Would you like to learn about another way to work in the 21st century?

    Look for our next post…

    Questions? Answers? More posts by the author.
    If you like my posts—even if you don’t—why not contribute to helping spread the word?
    Thanks in advance for caring and sharing this post on your social media sites

    Future of Work

    Did you know? The Future of Work is HERE and NOW…

    Jobs are disappearing from the future of work

    The world is saying no to many traditional jobs these days.  Take a look at the truth of Work. Ensure you have a Future of Work

    • No political party can promise you a job. At best, they attempt to create platforms that will encourage business success, thus (presumably) encouraging hiring.

    • No private sector organization will hire you full-time, if you’re not needed full-time.

    • No public sector organization or institution can afford to ignore their enormous pension debts by continuing to hire as they have in the past.

    Layoffs are the future of work

    • No large company is any safer, than any smaller company in terms of providing job security. The Fortune’s 100 companies (the largest employers) have had more than double the number of layoffs than non-Fortune’s 100 companies.

    • No, invention is not a birthright. New technologies have created thousands of new jobs, while causing the loss of thousands.

    Future of Work is YOU

    • No end is in sight for the economic unrest that the world is facing. Economic unrest works for and against “jobs” in this country as elsewhere.

    • If pension-less workers do not continue to work, in some capacity, later in life, our economic system will be challenged to cope.

    • No, we cannot afford to overlook the aging of America. There are millions of Americans age 65 and older. Put this in perspective, in the United States there are more people 65 and older than in each of the entire Canadian and Australian populations. This demographic will double by 2030. More than 30% of the US workforce is 50+ years young.

    • No, the U.S. workforce is no longer competitive in the high-demand areas of mathematics and the sciences. Our children are fragmented into the haves and have-nots; our boomers are under-prepared for new massively disruptive challenges, retirement requirements and longer work lifetimes.

    What are you willing to do to win your battle for the Future of Work? Will you find new ways to work? Can you see opportunities embedded within the many threats? Will you dare to do something different than experience dictates?

    Join us now, fasten your space-suits, summon your reserve of courage for there are many, and often better, ways to work beyond the old world of the familiar. Let us tell you the stories of the pioneers of the future who have turned tomorrow’s threats into today’s opportunities!

    Visit us at NewWorkForceHawaii and explore stories of inspiration written just for YOU.

    Or, contact us via our LinkedIn Profiles:

    Carleen MacKay ::  Angelica Lewis :: Fabian Lewis :: Rob Kinslow

    Leadership Learning from the Wheel


    Learning from the Wheel of Life
    Figure 1: Movement Model of Behavior

    Leadership Learning:

    According to my Native heritage, teachings and wisdom, recognition of Our ancestors, who’ve prepared the path of life for us, must be acknowledged. My teachers and mentors inspired me to leadership. Our relationships can include those with those who have gone before and those yet to come. Honoring and acknowledging those on whose shoulders we stand, connecting and communicating with our past and future, are fundamental practices of sustainable development. Me, you, we are all a bridge between the ancestors and those yet to come. Leadership from Learning is key.

    Figure 1 shows how you may exemplify leadership learning. Read more here, or connect with me on LinkedIn

    Why not contribute to helping spread the word?
    Thanks in advance for caring and sharing this post on your social media sites

    Hawaii needs better budgeting for Maui recovery

    By Keli‘i Akina

    Helping our Maui ohana recover from last year’s disastrous wildfires is paramount. But the only way to do that without hiking taxes or going into massive debt is to cut state spending.

    We can rely on federal aid to some extent, but the local share of the expenses is spiraling out of control.

    Keli’i Akina

    Gov. Josh Green’s administration had thought the Lahaina recovery costs would total about $600 million over the next four years. But now it appears that amount will cover only this year.

    Unrelated to Lahaina’s wildfire recovery, consider that the state also is responsible for paying out hundreds of millions of dollars in back wages to state workers who were not given hazard pay during the COVID-19 crisis.

    Ironically, it was only a year ago that state lawmakers had a healthy budget surplus to work with. But then they went on an ill-advised spending spree.

    Even after Gov. Green chipped away $1 billion, total spending still busted through the constitutionally mandated state spending cap by more than $1 billion.

    This year’s budget already was set to exceed that cap again, thanks to higher costs and disappointing revenue projections. But now, with the Lahaina recovery costs moving to center stage, the outlook is even worse.

    For those who suggest taking on more debt is a viable option, I will point out that the state can’t really afford more debt, and debt doesn’t actually balance the budget anyway — it just makes the bill bigger in exchange for delaying the pain.

    As for possibly increasing our taxes, Hawaii already has the nation’s second-highest tax burdenhighest cost of living and highest average housing prices. We’re already taxed to the max and really can’t afford to take on any more, as indicated by our continually declining population and our stagnant economy.

    That leaves budget cuts as our only option. Legislators seem aware of this, and some senators have suggested drawing up contingency plans for 10% to 15% cuts across the board.

    This is something they should have considered long ago, even before the Lahaina disaster. The golden rule of budgeting is that government spending should not outpace the economy, yet between 2013 and 2022, Hawaii’s state budget ballooned by 87% while the private sector increased by only 24%.

    Unfortunately, we can’t change any of that now. But we can start practicing responsible budgeting — especially if we want to make sure we can help our own in times of trouble.

    Foremost, we need to forget increasing our taxes or going deeper into debt. We need to make do with the money we already have, and stick to that plan as much as possible.

    It might sound counterintuitive, but tax cuts could help us out too. There is lots of evidence that lower taxes result in economic growth, and more economic activity means more tax revenue we could use in times of disaster.

    The bottom line is that budget cuts do not mean that Lahaina victims would have to fend for themselves.

    In fact, we need to cut the budget to ensure that we can continue to provide necessary aid — as well as better position ourselves for future emergencies.

    Keli‘i Akina is president and CEO of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii.

    The Department’s Quest to Nullify Evidence

    Every so often, because our Department of Taxation is given the opportunity to recommend legislation to our lawmakers, the Department sponsors some bills to make their administrative lives easier…which sometimes means trampling on taxpayers’ rights.

    One of the Department’s bills before the current Legislature, which has been introduced as HB 2487 and SB 3176, titled “Relating to Tax Enforcement,” is in this category.  What it says is this.  If you are being audited and the auditor asks you for documents or other information, you have 20 days to give it to them.  If you don’t, you “shall be prohibited from introducing the documents or matters in evidence, or otherwise relying upon or utilizing said documents or matters, in any tax appeal or [payment under protest lawsuit] arising from the audit in which the documents or matters were demanded, unless it is shown that the failure is due to reasonable cause and not neglect or refusal.”  In other words, if you don’t give them documents within the 20 days (unless they give you permission to take longer) then they can conceivably assess tax against you based on “best available information,” meaning they can make up a number, and when you appeal to court you won’t be able to prove up the actual facts against them.  The bill applies to income tax, general excise tax, and estate tax.

    What kind of information requests are we talking about?  Well, here are some from an actual audit:

    Please provide the information requested below:

    1. A full description of the Hawaii business activity(s) of XXX and any other affiliated company(s) doing business in Hawaii.  Please include (1) source of income of XXX and other affiliated company(s), (2) business start date in Hawaii, (3) nature of business, (4) type of services performed, (5) location where services are performed, and (6) where the records are kept.
    • Please provide detailed schedules of the gross income earned in Hawaii for each year.  The income should be classified by year and business activity.
    • Property/services imported for resale at retail are taxable at .5% under Section 238-2(2) and Section 238-2.3(2), HRS. Property/services imported for consumption (equipment, supplies, forms, promotional items, displays, etc.) are taxable at 4% (4.5% on or after January 1, 2007) under Section 238-2(3) and Section 238-2.3(3), HRS. The tax is based on the landed value, which includes the cost, insurance, and freight of the property/services.

    Please submit separate schedules of properties imported into Hawaii for consumption and for resale for each year.

    Additional information may be requested as the audit progresses.  Please provide the information requested above by [20 days from the date of this letter].

    Perhaps this request wouldn’t be too bad if the company being audited already had this information in spreadsheets, but if it didn’t and the company needed to create the schedules and spreadsheets, it could be quite a chore to accomplish in 20 days.

    When this bill was heard in House Judiciary, the Department argued, “Many taxpayers ignore the Department’s requests for information or refuse to permit the Department to examine records during an audit.”  Some tax practitioners stepped up with testimony in opposition, and the Tax Foundation of Hawaii provided comments (that weren’t very favorable to the bill).

    Judiciary Chair David Tarnas’ reaction:  “This needs work.”  He deferred the bill indefinitely, effectively killing the House version; the Senate version is still alive and has been assigned to the Judiciary and Ways & Means committees jointly.

    Let the taxpayer beware!  Someone (or, preferably, lots of people) needs to watch out what is happening at the big square building and say what needs to be said.

    Medical Deception: Fake Breast Cancer Study from Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

    In 1995, the world was taken by surprise with the announcement of a study linking the excessive wearing of tight bras with an increased incidence of breast cancer, published in the book, Dressed to Kill: The Link Between Breast Cancer and Bras. We are the authors of this book. 

    As a result of this study, women around the world have been wondering if their bras are harming their breasts. Many stopped wearing bras as a result, and many bra companies have since developed less constrictive designs to avoid the problems caused by tight bras. Studies began to confirm the bra-cancer link.  

    Meanwhile, the bra-cancer link, and the theory of lymphatic impairment and tissue toxification from tight bras, was adamantly resisted by the leaders in the cancer field. The current paradigms of cancer development and treatment do not include lymphatic impairment by tight clothing as a contributing factor. Admitting this factor would upend current cancer theory and practice. 

    Nevertheless, information about the bra-cancer link continued to spread. In response to the progressive public acceptance of this problem with bras, a study was funded in 2014 to essentially discredit the theory. 

    The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center did the study, which was published with great international fanfare and extensive news coverage, announcing that the bra-cancer link is a myth and is refuted once and for all.

    The study is called,Bra Wearing Not Associated with Breast Cancer Risk: A Population-Based Case–Control Study. It was hailed, even by the author of the study, as the last word on this issue. 

    For example, Myth Busted: No link between bras and breast cancer, in USA Today, the author of the study was quoted as saying,

    There is no evidence that wearing a bra increases a woman’s risk of breast cancer,” says Lu Chen, a researcher at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. Chen led the study as part of a broader look at risk factors. She was not surprised, she says, that “there’s just nothing there.”

    As we will show, this statement is false, misleading, and biased, and ten years later it is still being used to discredit the bra-cancer link and discourage interest in further research. It is important for women’s health that this paper needs to be retracted for its errors and biases. 

    Here is an analysis of this paper. 


    The following quotes taken directly from this paper are in italics. This is from the abstract.  

    Bra Wearing Not Associated with Breast Cancer Risk: A Population-Based Case–Control Study

    Despite the widespread use of bras among U.S. women and concerns in the lay media that bra wearing may increase breast cancer risk, there is a scarcity of credible scientific studies addressing this issue. The goal of the study was to evaluate the relationship between various bra-wearing habits and breast cancer risk among postmenopausal women. We conducted a population-based case–control study of breast cancer in the Seattle–Puget Sound metropolitan area that compared 454 invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC) cases and 590 invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC) cases diagnosed between 2000 and 2004 with 469 control women between 55 to 74 years of age. (Emphasis added.)

    Here is error number one. 

    Misleading Title

    Note that the title, and media about this study, do not mention a key and essential feature of this study, which is that it only looks at postmemopausal women, ages 55-75. Results from postmenopausal women have unknown application to premenopausal women. In fact, as will be shown below, this study deliberately excluded premenopausal women, and in the text of the study it is admitted that the findings only apply to postmenopausal women.

    This essential fact should be in the title. Bra Wearing Not Associated With Breast Cancer in Postmenopausal Women. The title implies the results are applicable to all women. Clearly, the title was designed to overstate the issue, a first hint at the bias of this study. Not everyone looks at the study, and sees that the title tells a different story. 

    “Control Women”

    According to the study, the “control women” are age matched with the groups of women with cancer. But what kind of control group is this, really? 

    This study is to look at bra use and cancer incidence in women over 55. That means a control group must exist, not only for age, but also for bra usage and for cancer incidence. Therefore, there must be bra-free women for comparison to women who wear bras, and there must be women who do not have breast cancer to compare with those who have had breast cancer (10-13 years ago). 

    However, this study does not have a bra-free control group. These women are all bra users, as the authors state under Materials and Methods. “There was one participant who reported that she never wore a bra and she was excluded from the analysis. There were seven women who did not currently wear a bra and they were included in our lifetime bra wearing analyses but excluded from the analyses of current bra-wearing habits.” 

    In the Discussion section it explains, “Because bra wearing was ubiquitous among our participants, we were unable to compare risks among women who never wore a bra to those who regularly wore a bra, and instead, our primary comparison was based on average number of hours per day women wore a bra.”

    In addition, the “control women” have not been checked for having breast cancer. They were asked a health history, but were not examined. Hence, an unknown number of these women may have undiagnosed cancer. 

    In summary, this study does not really study the impact of bra usage, since there is no bra-free control group. It does not study how many “control women” have undiagnosed cancer. And many of the participants in this postmenopausal cancer study were premenopausal when diagnosed between 2000 and 2004, and some were not. 

    As the paper continues, we see bias admitted in the study purpose. 


    To our knowledge, the only epidemiologic evidence on bra wearing and breast cancer risk comes from a case–control study published in 1991, which reported a nonstatistically significant two-fold higher risk among premenopausal women who wore a bra versus those who did not, but no elevation in risk was observed for postmenopausal women. Given that questions in the lay media have been raised about breast cancer risk and bra wearing, we evaluated relationships between various aspects of bra wearing and breast cancer risk among postmenopausal women enrolled in a population-based case–control study. (Emphasis added.)

    The 1991 study, called Breast Size, Handedness, and Breast Cancer Incidence, in the European Journal of Cancer, used bra size to estimate breast size, and discovered that bra-free women had half the incidence of breast cancer compared to bra users. Put differently, bra users had a 100% higher incidence of breast cancer compared to bra-free women. The numbers in the study were too small to make this statistically significant, as the Hutchinson authors point out, but it is significant, enough that the 1991 study pointed out this finding in their abstract. “Premenopausal women who do not wear bras had half the risk of breast cancer compared with bra users (P about 0.09).”

    Note that this finding was found for premenopausal women in that study, and not postmenopausal women. Older women did not show a bra-cancer link in the 1991 study. The authors of the Hutchinson study knew that, and designed their study to confirm the negative finding of a bra-cancer link in postmenopausal women, not look at the positive finding of a bra-link in premenopausal women.  

    If you want to study a bra-cancer link, use the group for which this link was positive. 

    This reveals a bias and agenda, which is further revealed by a statement from Fred Hutchison about this study. “We werent really surprised,” Chen said. We knew that the biological plausibility of a link between bras and breast cancer was really weak.”

    Bad Data

    This study assessed bra usage through asking questions to women 55-75 years old about details of bra usage since they were teens and until the time they were diagnosed with cancer, or an equivalent age for the “control women”.

    Women were asked a series of structured questions to assess lifetime patterns of bra wearing, including bra cup sizes and band sizes, age at which they started regularly wearing a bra, whether they wore a bra with an underwire, number of hours per day, and number of days per week they wore a bra at different times in their life, and if these patterns ever changed.”

    That’s a lot of recall for 50-60 years of bra usage. Bra styles changed since the early 1940s, when some of the participants were born. Body size also changed. And many women wear the wrong size bra, as the lingerie industry attests. Bra sizing is variable between bra makers and different styles. It is weak evidence when you rely on the memory of women in their 60’s and 70’s to recall the details of their bra usage since puberty. 

    The authors admit this in their Discussion section. “It is important to acknowledge some of the limitations of this study. Data on bra-wearing habits were all self-reported, which are subject to recall bias and/or nondifferential misclassification. 

    However, the authors hedge. “This said, there is no more reliable measure of this exposure other than self-report.” Of course, no evidence is offered to show the reliability of these reports, since you can’t confirm past bra usage for the last 50-60 years.

    We also observed bra-wearing habits to be relatively stable over a woman’s lifetime (e.g., 47.6% of women reported that their bra-wearing habits never changed over their lifetime), which may make the recall task less complex and, thus, improve accuracy in self-reporting these data.”

    This statement makes no sense. If the accuracy of this self-reported data needs improvement, then how can you rely on the accuracy of statements about stable lifetime bra usage habits, which are self-reported? Without objective verification of their past bra usage, you cannot confirm the accuracy of any of their statements.


    To determine whether bra use time was related to cancer incidence, the women were divided into groups depending on time worn. The time categories were very close, making distinctions extremely difficult, especially when this is considered the sole daily bra usage time for women wearing bras for over 50 years. 

    For the lifetime average daily bra usage, the time categories used were 10 hours or less, 10.1 -11.5 hours, 11.6-13.9 hours, and 14 hours or more.  They did not find any statistically significant difference between the cancer groups and the “control women” using this time categorization. 

    Again, note that there is no group of zero hours of bra usage, which would be the control group. 

    Their results mean that in lifetime bra users between 55-75, you cannot tell any statistically significant differences between women who wear bras for 10 hours compared to 11.5 hours, or even compared to 14 hours when it comes to developing breast cancer. Therefore, they conclude, the time each day a bra is worn does not impact breast cancer incidence. 

    This is like studying cigarette smoking in old smokers and looking for a difference in lung cancer incidence, depending on whether they smoked an average of 20 cigarettes each day for 60 years, or 22 cigarettes a day, or 30 cigarettes a day, and not including any non-smokers for comparison, and, upon not finding a statistically significant difference, saying there is no smoking-cancer connection. 

    Of course, if they compared lifetime smokers to lifetime non-smokers, you will see a big difference. Lifetime bra users must also be compared to lifetime bra-free women to have any meaningful comparison. 

    This leads us to a basic problem with this study design and its selection of postmenopausal women. Choosing this group to confirm a negative impact of bras creates another bias that the authors did not admit. 

    Survivor Bias

    What the authors do not acknowledge is the existence of a survivor bias when using older people who have been practicing a lifestyle daily for 50 years or more. Time selects out the more susceptible people, leaving survivors. Studying the survivors will underestimate the hazards of a lifestyle. See survivor bias

    We raised this issue to Fred Hutchinson. When the authors of this study were preparing to announce their findings, we were personally contacted by Fred Hutchinson’s communications department, asking for our response prior to their publishing. They sent us an advanced copy of their study to get our objections so they could address them in their upcoming press release. We asked why they were excluding premenopausal women, when the 1991 study they referenced found a bra-cancer link in younger women. We suggested their design to confirm a negative finding and ignore the positive one reflected a bias and agenda. 

    Fred Hutchinson released a statement soon thereafter, saying, “The Dressed to Kill” authors arent backing down. In an email, Sydney Ross Singer questioned why the Fred Hutch authors studied post-menopausal women rather than pre-menopausal women and said that their conclusion suggests a pro-bra bias.”

    Not at all, said the Fred Hutchs Dr. Christopher Li, an epidemiologist and breast cancer expert in the PHS Division. Li, along with fellow PHS epidemiologist Dr. Kathleen Malone and researcher Chen, used data from a larger study of post-menopausal breast cancer patients because most breast cancers are diagnosed in older women – and they also have the longest lifetime exposure to wearing bras.”

    Their response shows a lack of appreciation for the survivor bias. It also shows that they were working to refute our research. 

    Lastly, under bias, it must be mentioned that, while the authors claimed no conflicts of interest in their study, they do not mention that they are women who wear bras. That’s like having smokers study the harms of smoking. It’s a conflict of interest. 

    Surprising Result

    Despite the apparent design to show no evidence of a bra-cancer link, this study did find a link.  

    (T)here was some suggestion that women who wore an A-cup bra had increased risksof both IDC (OR, 1.9; 95% CI, 1.0–3.6; P = 0.039) and ILC (OR, 1.8; 95% CI, 1.0–3.3; P = 0.057)…” 

    In other words, the proportion of women in the cancer groups wearing A-cup bras was nearly 90% higher than the proportion of women in the “control” group wearing A-cup bras. 

    This statement contradicts the conclusion and title of their paper.

    The authors reported these results on women who wore A-cup bras, but then hedged that, “…neither these trends nor trends for any of the other continuous variables assessed were statistically significant.

    That is not true, as we shall show. 

    Keep in mind that statistical significance tells how reliable the results are. Very significant results can be statistically insignificant. It’s a reflection of the study design, not the situation being studied. 

    A “P” value of less than 0.05 means that you can be 95% confident of the results. A P value of 0.01 means there is a 99% confidence. A P value of 0.1 gives a 90% confidence. 

    In this study, the P value for IDC is 0.039 in A-cup women, which is a P number below 0.05 and is statistically significant. And for ILC, the P number is close, at 0.057.

    Taken together, these cancer groups have a statistically significantly higher rate of A-cup bra users compared to the “control women”. The authors of the study said this was insignificant. 

    Unfortunately, the lack of a bra-free control group, and all the other errors exposed above, make these results meaningless. 

    There was no data given to show how cup size relates to time worn. Any difference, if it is real, would more likely be due to breast size. But who knows with faulty data, even if statistics say it is significant?

    Breast size is considered directly proportional to cancer incidence, with the larger breast having the greater incidence, particularly for postmenopausal women. However, in this study, breasts in A-cups have a higher link to cancer than larger breasts, the opposite of what you would expect from breast size. 

    Could it be that A-cup bras are worn more tightly, perhaps to increase the appearance of cleavage? Tightness of the bras was never considered in this study, which is another major flaw. Comparing time worn without regard to tightness is useless. 

    Tightness Ignored

    The impact of bras is a function of tightness and time worn. It is not just about whether a bra has an underwire or not. Any bra can be worn too tightly. It is also possible that women of different breast and body shapes and sizes may choose to wear bras to different degrees of tightness. Research is needed to study this. 

    But this issue is academic, since the data is based on the recall of senior citizens, with unknown memory abilities, about lifetime bra usage over a 50-60 year period.  And none of them were compared to women of the same age who were bra-free their entire lives. 

    This study is useless, misleading, misinformation, and needs retraction. Currently, it is confusing and misleading the public, doctors, and cancer researchers. 

    Since this study was done there have been numerous studies done internationally which show a bra-cancer link. See resources below for references. 

    Biomechanics research is showing the mechanism for this link, and how tight bras interfere with the lymphatic system to the detriment of immune function, increasing cancer risk.   

    Unfortunately, this poorly designed, biased, uncontrolled study has been elevated to prominence by an advertising campaign that ran stories about this study around the world as the final word on this controversial issue. 

    Indeed, the authors of this paper admit in their funding section that “The costs of publication of this article were defrayed in part by the payment of page charges. This article must therefore be hereby marked advertisement in accordance with 18 U.S.C. Section 1734 solely to indicate this fact.” (Emphasis added.)

    In other words, this study and paper is an advertisement defending bras, and discouraging interest in the bra-cancer link, and has been reported around the world to reassure women about the safety of bras.  

    As the authors conclude, “This is the first study to characterize various bra-wearing habits in relation to breast cancer risk using a rigorous epidemiologic study design. The findings provided reassurance to women that wearing a bra does not seem to increase the risk of the most common histologic types of postmenopausal breast cancer.” (Emphasis added.)

    Note that saying this study is reassuring shows a bias towards bras. Given that this is one study, there is no basis for reassurances to women about the bra-cancer link. The study design makes meaningful results impossible, as the study tries to confirm negative findings. Even if they were valid, the results are also of unknown relevance to premenopausal women, a limitation which is not mentioned in the paper. 

    The authors should have called for further studies that are better designed. Their eagerness to put this issue to rest is clear.

    As new research emerges which supports the bra-cancer link, this one study is still being used to discourage interest, 10 years since its publication. But this study is now in stark contrast to dozens of studies that support a bra-cancer link, all done within the past 10 years.

    It is imperative for women’s health and the prevention of breast cancer that this sham study be retracted and taken out of publication. Research into the causes of breast cancer needs to consider the biomechanical impact of tight bras on the breasts and how that can lead to cancer development. But this Hutchinson study is getting in the way of that research.

    For example, the American Cancer Society is referring to this study when denying the bra-cancer link. “Online and social media rumors and at least one book have suggested that bras cause breast cancer by obstructing lymph flow. There is no scientific or clinical basis for this claim, and a 2014 study of more than 1,500 women found no association between wearing a bra and breast cancer risk.” 

    Note that the limitations of this study are not mentioned by the ACS, such as the absence of a bra-free control group, or that the results from postmenopausal women may not apply to younger, premenopausal women. Omission of this information is misleading. 

    Wikipedia has an entry about our book, Dressed to Kill, which discredits the book and refers to the Hutchinson study as proof that the bra-cancer theory is discredited. “A study conducted by the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center found “no aspect of bra wearing, including bra cup size, recency, average number of hours a day worn, wearing a bra with an underwire, or age first began regularly wearing a bra, was associated with risks” of breast cancer.The study included detailed studies of women’s lifestyle and bra-wearing habits and found no correlation between bra use and cancer.”

    Again, no mention is made of the limitations of this study. Clearly, this study is being misused and misquoted by authoritative sources, making the retraction and removal of this study very important to stop misinformation about this issue. 

    This work was funded by a grant from the National Cancer Institute R01 CA 85913 (to C.I. Li and K.E. Malone)

    It is unfortunate that the public cannot be reimbursed for the taxpayer funds that paid for this flawed, misleading study. 


    This study is misleading the public about this vital issue. This Fred Hutchinson study is part of a medical industry effort to suppress and censor the bra-cancer link. This study should be retracted, and all those involved in its publication and dissemination should be held responsible for the pain, suffering, and deaths caused by keeping this information from women. 

    Clearly, the public cannot trust these cancer industry leaders to give truthful information about breast cancer, or to have the integrity to retract this propagandistic study. 


    References to studies which show a bra-cancer link can be found at

    See also,

    The Biomechanics of Bras and Lymphatics and the Link to Breast Cancer

    Dressed to Kill: The Link Between Breast Cancer and Bras, Second Ed. 

    Tight Clothing Affects Tumor Microenvironment

    What Breast Cancer Inc. Doesn’t Want You to Know about Bras

    Fake Breast Cancer News from the American Cancer Society

    Open Letter- Calls for Retraction of Faulty Breast Cancer Study


    Lu Chen, Division of Public Health Sciences, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, 1100 Fairview Avenue North, Mail Stop M4-C308, Seattle, WA 98109-1024. Phone: 206-667-5028; Fax: 206-667-5948; E-mail: 

    Thomas J. Lynch Jr., MD, President and Director, Fred Hutch, Phone: 206.667.6767, Email:

    American Association for Cancer Research 615 Chestnut Street  |  17th Floor  |  Philadelphia, PA 19106-4404
    ( 855) 744-4667  E-mail:

    Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention Editorial Office American Association for Cancer Research |  Publications Division 615 Chestnut Street  |  17th Floor  |  Philadelphia, PA 19106-4404
    Phone: (215) 440-9300  E-mail:


    Dear Ms Chen, Dr. Lynch Jr.:

    We are writing to expose the need for the retraction of a study published in 2014, in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, due to its significant flaws, biases, and harmful impact on women’s health. 

    The study is called,Bra Wearing Not Associated with Breast Cancer Risk: A Population-Based Case–Control Study. It was conducted at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center by then graduate student, Lu Chen. 

    This study was part of a concerted effort by cancer industry leaders to suppress information about the bra-cancer link.  Misinformation about, and created by, this study spread like a cancer around the world, and still serves as the cancer industry’s excuse for ignoring this vital women’s health issue of tight bras.

    Fred Hutchinson extensively publicized this flawed study as part of a public relations effort to discredit the bra-cancer link. The Fred Hutch press release shows an extreme bias. 

    The chosen title for this paper in itself is misleading. It implies the study looked at all women. Actually, it only looked at postmenopausal women, ages 55-75, so the results have unknown application to premenopausal women. Generalizing the results to all women in the title is obviously misleading and false.  

    Studies which are done on postmenopausal women should indicate that in the title.

    This biased title portends other problems. Here is a brief explanation of just some of the other flaws and biases in this “study”.

    The Study

    This 2014 study compared the incidence of breast cancer in women ages 55-75, all of whom wore bras all their lives. The cancer groups included women with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (IDC) and invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC), diagnosed between 2000-2004. These women were compared to lifetime bra-users of comparable age who do not (yet) have cancer. 

    Despite the widespread use of bras among U.S. women and concerns in the lay media that bra wearing may increase breast cancer risk, there is a scarcity of credible scientific studies addressing this issue. The goal of the study was to evaluate the relationship between various bra-wearing habits and breast cancer risk among postmenopausal women. We conducted a population-based case–control study of breast cancer in the Seattle–Puget Sound metropolitan area that compared 454 invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC) cases and 590 invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC) cases diagnosed between 2000 and 2004 with 469 control women between 55 to 74 years of age. (Emphasis added.)

    The Errors

    1. “Control Women”

    The “control women” are age matched with the groups of women with cancer. But what kind of control group is this, really? 

    This study looks at bra use and cancer incidence in women over 55. That means a control group must exist, not only for age, but also for bra usage and for cancer incidence. Therefore, there must be bra-free women for comparison to women who wear bras.  And there must be women who do not have breast cancer to compared with those who have had breast cancer (10-13 years ago). 

    However, this study does not have a bra-free control group. These women are all bra users, as the authors state under Materials and Methods. 

    There was one participant who reported that she never wore a bra and she was excluded from the analysis. There were seven women who did not currently wear a bra and they were included in our lifetime bra wearing analyses but excluded from the analyses of current bra-wearing habits.” 

    In the Discussion section it explains, 

    Because bra wearing was ubiquitous among our participants, we were unable to compare risks among women who never wore a bra to those who regularly wore a bra, and instead, our primary comparison was based on average number of hours per day women wore a bra.”

    In addition, the “control women” have not been checked for having breast cancer. They were asked a health history, but were not examined. Hence, an unknown number of these women may have undiagnosed cancer, especially given their age. 

    This should already invalidate this study. You cannot determine the impact of bra usage on breast cancer incidence without a baseline of bra-free women. That is the purpose of having a control group. 

    2. Using Postmenopausal Women 

    The design of this study deliberately tries to confirm a negative finding, not a positive finding, which only a biased study would do.

    To our knowledge, the only epidemiologic evidence on bra wearing and breast cancer risk comes from a case–control study published in 1991, which reported a nonstatistically significant two-fold higher risk among premenopausal women who wore a bra versus those who did not, but no elevation in risk was observed for postmenopausal women. Given that questions in the lay media have been raised about breast cancer risk and bra wearing, we evaluated relationships between various aspects of bra wearing and breast cancer risk among postmenopausal women enrolled in a population-based case–control study. (Emphasis added.)

    In other words, the authors wanted to confirm the negative results in older women that showed no link, instead of confirming the positive results in younger women for whom there was a link. Hmmm. Obviously, the goal was to show a case where bras do not cause breast cancer, instead of looking for cases where tight bras do cause breast cancer. 

    So the goal was to attack a theory, not find a cause and cure of breast cancer. Let’s be clear about that, since donors to Fred Hutch may want to know this. 

    By the way, another thing Lu Chen didn’t mention in the paper is that lifestyle research on old people creates a survivor bias. Time selects out the more susceptible people, leaving survivors. Studying the survivors will underestimate the hazards of a lifestyle. See survivor bias

    3. Ignoring Tightness

    To determine whether the amount of time a bra is use daily is related to cancer incidence, the women were divided into groups depending on time worn. However, nothing was done to assess tightness!

    The issue of bras, which Lu Chen et al should know, is their tightness. The compression and constriction of the lymphatics is the problem, and the impact gets worse with the amount of time this is done. But you need to know the tightness to understand the significance of time. Wearing bras of different tightness for the same amount of time will have different impacts. Again, this needs to be compared to bra-free women who have never been constricted or compressed by bra usage, as a proper control group. 

    4. Recall Problems

    Another problem is that the study relied on subject recall. Unfortunately, the recall of senior citizens, (of unknown and untested memory abilities), about lifetime bra usage over a period of 50-60 years, is unreliable. Bra styles have changed over that time, too. And sizing is different between bra companies and styles, so wearing the same size in different bra styles and brands does not indicate the same tightness. This is true for all bras, with and without underwire.

    So this study doesn’t really test the bra-cancer theory. It ignores bra-free women, and ignores bra tightness. And the results are skewed by older age, which also puts the quality of the data in question. 

    Why conduct and publish such poor research?

    5. Conflict of Interest 

    The authors claimed no conflicts of interest in their study. However, there are two conflicts that should have been admitted.

    First, the researchers were themselves bra users. This should have been disclosed. That’s like having smokers study the harms of smoking. The women doing this study had a personal investment in seeing negative results. They clearly think bras are safe or they would not wear them. This creates a bias and personal conflict of interest. 

    Second, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center gets donations from a 5K Bra Dash, which is a fundraising event conducted by the organization Wings of Karen.“100% of the proceeds benefit breast cancer research locally through the partnership of UW Medicine, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.”

    How ironic to use bras to raise funds for research into the harms caused by bras. 

    Fortunately, the cancer cartel does not control all research around the world, just most of it.  Since this sham study was published 10 years ago, there have been dozens of studies done internationally which show a significant bra-cancer link, including biomechanics research on bras and the lymphatics. 

    We believe the fatal flaws of this study, its blatant biases, the conflict of interest of the authors and of Fred Hutchison, and the negative impact this study is having on research into this important issue, demands immediate retraction of this study. 

    History will judge the medical resistance to this issue as a case of medical corruption. 

    Do you want to be on the correct side of history, or part of the problem?

    Lu Chen, it is not too late to retract your paper. Do a better study where you don’t know the results before you begin. And choose a title that is honest and not misleading. 

    Dr. Lynch, it’s no shame for Fred Hutch to retract papers. Even Harvard does it. 

    Editor and publisher, please show integrity. You are spreading misinformation. 

    We are sharing this letter with the world, which is watching. 


    Sydney Ross Singer and Soma Grismaijer

    Medical Anthropologists

    The ConAm Returns Again

    Back in 2018, we as voters were inundated with impassioned arguments on both sides of a proposed constitutional amendment (“ConAm” for short).  The amendment would have given the State the power to impose a surcharge on real property tax, ostensibly to fund teacher pay raises.

    The Hawaii Supreme Court voided the ballot question associated with the ConAm as vague and misleading in City & County of Honolulu v. State of Hawaii, 143 Haw. 455 (2018).

    It’s now another election year.  A bill to put forth a similar ConAm, HB 1537, is advancing in the House.

    Have the proponents of education funding learned their lesson from 2018?  We wonder about that.

    The ballot question that the Hawaii Supreme Court found confusing in 2018 read:  “Shall the legislature be authorized to establish, as provided by law, a surcharge on investment real property to be used to support public education?”

    The ballot question in HB 1537 is:  “Shall the legislature increase funding for public education for all of Hawaii’s children and adults by establishing, as provided by law, a surcharge on residential investment property valued at $3,000,000 or greater, excluding a homeowner’s primary residence?”

    In 2018, our supreme court stated that proposed constitutional amendments and their corresponding ballot questions are required to be phrased in clear language that is not likely to deceive or mislead voters as to their nature and effect.  The court complained:

    [To] fully appreciate the scope of the proposed change, a voter would need to know that the Hawai‘i Constitution provides independent taxing power to the counties; that the constitution currently allows only the counties to tax real property to the exclusion of all other government entities; and that the proposed amendment would make an exception to this exclusive authority of the counties by granting the State concurrent authority to tax what is presumably a subset of real property. None of this information is conveyed by the ballot question, which is instead likely to leave the average lay voter with the false impression that a vote in favor of the amendment would allow investment real property to be taxed in the first instance.

    Yes, there are differences between the 2018 proposed ballot question and the current one.  The 2018 question spoke of surcharging “investment real property,” while the current one talks about “residential investment property, valued at $3,000,000 or greater, excluding a homeowner’s primary residence.”

    In neither case does the ballot question mention the word “tax.”  Maybe in 2018 voters could figure out that a real property tax was being contemplated because that year’s question expressly referred to real property.  This year’s question does not even mention “real” property, so voters could be faced with a “surcharge,” whatever that means, on “residential investment property” which perhaps could be mobile homes or even shares of stock in Hilton or Marriott.  In that respect, the ballot question is even more vague than in 2018.

    And how does the current language answer the supreme court’s complaint that the ballot question fails to mention the county’s exclusive authority to tax realty and that the proposal would alter it?  The short answer is that it doesn’t.

    And finally, how do we even know whether the money raised by this surcharge is even going to be used for education?  Even if it is all sent to DOE, there would be nothing to prevent the legislature from shorting DOE in the regular budget now that it has an independent source of funding.

    The Counties all oppose the bill.  For one thing, the counties’ bond holders (creditors) would be upset if the counties lost control over their primary source of repayment.  If this bill passes, then, look for the battle lines to be drawn the same as last time.  If the Hawaii Supreme Court is going to follow its precedent, the future of this measure looks bleak unless major changes are made to it.

    Good housing reform bills making headway at Legislature

    Photo by Charley Myers

    By Keli‘i Akina

    It’s really wonderful to finally see so many Hawaii policymakers trying to do something about Hawaii’s soul-crushing housing shortage.

    We are awash with both state and county proposals intended to help solve the problem, and 2024 could be one of the best years yet in terms of enacting new laws aimed at facilitating more homebuilding in Hawaii.

    In fact, I’m told that popular reading at the Legislature right now is the policy brief “How to facilitate more homebuilding in Hawaii” by my Grassroot Institute of Hawaii colleague Jonathan Helton, which recommends many small tweaks to Hawaii’s zoning and permitting rules that together could make a big dent in Hawaii’s housing crisis.

    Keli’i Akina

    The point is that streamlining Hawaii’s excessive housing-related regulations would make it easier for homebuilders to do what they do best — build more houses.

    But not all the housing proposals we’ve been hearing about are on the right track. They include banning “outside buyers”; taxing so-called empty homes; imposing rent controls; launching “social housing” projects; and banning or at least heavily taxing short-term rentals.

    The intentions behind these ideas might be good, but good intentions are not sufficient. Any remedies we pursue need to be workable and legal, with proven results.

    Perhaps getting the most publicity lately has been the idea that we should ban out-of-state residents from buying homes in Hawaii — or at least punish them through higher taxes.

    First of all, neither approach is constitutional and both would be unlikely to withstand legal challenge. Yet, surprisingly, some of their proponents don’t seem to care about that, claiming it’s just the right thing to do.

    But that’s not entirely true. Let’s not lose sight of the fact that lawmakers have a responsibility to the public, and wasting time and money on unconstitutional or impossible proposals violates that public trust.

    Second, rigorous research shows that out-of-state residents do not have a statistically significant impact on Hawaii’s home prices anyway, so keeping them out of the Hawaii housing market would do little if anything to increase the supply of homes for even existing Hawaii residents.

    As for the rest of the flawed proposals, briefly, taxing so-called empty homes wouldn’t add much inventory; rent controls likely would backfire; massive social housing projects would drain our state coffers; and going after short-term rentals — as some lawmakers already are doing — risks destroying income and employment opportunities for Hawaii residents while also lowering visitor arrivals and cutting off a significant source of tax revenues.

    I could speak further about these issues, but we are all better served by putting our energy toward discussing measures that will actually address the root cause of Hawaii’s housing crisis — excessive regulations.

    Evidence from municipalities around the nation shows that cutting back red tape leads to more homebuilding and lower housing prices. Indeed, just today, NPR reported that “changing zoning rules to allow more housing” is “the hottest trend in U.S cities.”

    Reporter Laurel Wamsley said cities in the lead include Minneapolis, Houston and Tysons, Va., all of which “have built a lot of housing in the last few years and, accordingly, have seen rents stabilize while wages continue to rise, in contrast with much of the country.”

    Meanwhile, Wamsley said, Milwaukee, New York City and Columbus, Ohio, are all undertaking reform of their codes, and “smaller cities are winning accolades for their zoning changes too, including Walla Walla, Wash., and South Bend, Indiana.”

    Wamsley even quoted Nolan Gray, research director at California YIMBY and author of the book “Arbitrary Lines: How Zoning Broke the American City and How to Fix It,” whom the Grassroot Institute brought out to Hawaii early last year to talk about zoning reform.

    In our own backyard, some of the bills at the Legislature that would accomplish such reform include:

    >> HB1630 and SB3202, both of which would facilitate the creation of smaller, more affordable “starter” or “missing middle” homes.

    >> HB2090 and SB2948, both of which would make it easier to convert office buildings into homes and generally allow more residences in commercial zones.

    These proposals would respect the constitutional right of owners to modify and build on their properties without undue government interference — and most important, they feature tried-and-true methods of creating more housing without burdening taxpayers.

    They also are nonpartisan, so you can support them whether you are a Republican, a Democrat, a Green or a Libertarian.

    The right thing to do is promote policies that will actually result in more housing — and make Hawaii a better place where we all can thrive and prosper.

    Keli‘i Akina is president and CEO of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii.

    The Biomechanics of Bras and Lymphatics and the Link to Breast Cancer

    Sydney Ross Singer, Medical Anthropologist


    All biological systems operate in the same physical universe as all other matter, and the same principles of physics that apply to the stars, planets, moons, mountains, missiles, also apply to eyes, brains, muscles, nerves, and cells. This means you can apply physics to the human body to understand how it works, and what we do to our bodies that stop them from working properly.

    Mechanics is a branch of physics that deals with the physics of bodies, including our bodies, and the forces that work on them, such as pressure, torque, tension, adhesion, compression, constriction, and other physical impacts on the body. Biomechanics is the field that examines these physical forces in the context of biological systems. 

    Biomechanic research into the structure and function of the tissues of the body and how they physically work have led to some important discoveries regarding the lymphatic system. The mechanical forces involved in the operation of the lymphatic system have been poorly understood, and new research has shown that how wearing tight bras can cause breast cancer by compressing the lymphatic system in the breasts.

    The link between breast cancer and bras was first publicized in 1995, when my wife and I performed the world’s first study specifically examining the bra-cancer link. We interviewed over 4700 women, half of whom had breast cancer, about their past attitudes and behaviors regarding bra usage, including tightness and time worn daily, and found a significant link with breast cancer incidence. 

    The theory for this link was that tight bras interfere with the lymphatic drainage in the breasts. The lymphatics are easily compressed and are responsible for lymph fluid drainage from the tissues, removing toxins, tissue debris, and waste products from cellular metabolism. The lymphatics also serve as the circulatory pathway of the immune system. Tiny lymphatic capillaries transport lymph from the tissues through lymph nodes, which serve as immune sentinels looking for infections and developing cancer cells. Ultimately, the lymph fluid returns to the bloodstream. 

    The circulation of the body depends on blood and lymph being free to flow unobstructed. When the lymphatics are not able to flow properly, the lymph fluid backs up, causing lymphedema. This results in tissue congestion with lymph fluid, which can lead to swelling, pain, and more.

    The lymphatic system does not have the same type of internal pressure as the bloodstream, which has a heart. The lymphatics originate in the tissue spaces, and has been thought to passively drain, usually against gravity, to the lymph nodes. For example, the breasts mostly drain their lymph up to the armpit, or axillary, lymph nodes. 

    How does lymph go against gravity with no pressure?

    The secret is that the lymphatics have one-way valves to keep fluid going in the right direction. When force is applied to the lymphatics by nearby muscles and from body movement, fluid is compressed inside the tiny lymphatic vessels, and the one-way valves propel the lymph to the next section. 

    Recently, however, it has been discovered that the sections between the valves have thin muscle cells surrounding them that contract, making it a lymphatic pump. This has been called the intrinsic mechanism for lymphatic pumping, while external forces are called extrinsic mechanisms. Most research today is focused on this intrinsic pump, since it can potentially be affected by drugs.

    As explained in an article in the journal Biology, Lymphatic Vessels and Their Surroundings: How Local Physical Factors Affect Lymph Flow

    Lymphatic vessels drain and propel lymph by exploiting external forces that surrounding tissues exert upon vessel walls (extrinsic mechanism) and by using active, rhythmic contractions of lymphatic muscle cells embedded in the vessel wall of collecting lymphatics (intrinsic mechanism). Future research could take advantage of the recent discoveries on the molecular mechanisms and stimuli that can increase the lymphatic intrinsic pumping and use them to develop new drugs or aimed physical stimuli that could increase in the long term, the lymph drainage from areas of the body subjected to lymphedema.”

    In the journal Lymphedema, the article, Biomechanics of the Lymphatic Circulation, states, 

    The biomechanical nature of the lymphatic system plays a central role in all of its functions. Its ability to generate active pumping is key in fluid balance, as demonstrated by disruptions of the various pumping components that result in primary and acquired lymphedema. There are also serious implications for immune function if lymphatic transport is disabled. In this chapter, we present the basic biomechanical concepts necessary to understand lymphatic pumping function and discuss recent research on some of its specific components.” (Emphasis added.)

    From these and other reviews and studies, it is clear that lymphatic impairment is immune impairment. This means increased incidence of cancer, since the immune system cannot properly fight developing cancer cells when the lymphatics are not properly moving lymph. Lymphedema, therefore, increases cancer incidence, along with the incidence of infections and other problems that cannot be adequately addressed by the immune system.

    This was emphasized in the article, Lymph stasis promotes tumor growth, in the Journal of Dermatological Science.  Lymph stasis is related to lymphedema, and is stagnant lymph resulting from impaired lymph flow. 

    (T)hese findings come as no surprise to us who for a long time have been aware that alterations in regional lymphatic flow may produce dysregulation in skin immune function and consequent oncogenesis. In fact, since 2002, our team has held the view that lymphedematous areas are immunologically vulnerable sites for the development of neoplasms as well as infections and immune-mediated diseases. In recent years, increasing evidence has confirmed this assumption.”

    The journal Nature has an article, Biomechanical control of lymphatic vessel physiology and functions, which says, 

    Until recently, the traditional pathology associated with malfunctions in lymphatics was lymphedema. However, with increasing research on lymphatics, novel functional roles of the lymphatic vasculature in diseases have been discovered. As such, the number of human diseases or disorders associated with lymphatic defects has increased, and inflammatory bowel diseases, eye diseases, neurological disorders, obesity, and cardiovascular diseases are now included. These new findings imply that restoring optimal lymphatic function may be a promising nonconventional strategy to managing these diseases. Thus, a deeper understanding of the mechanisms regulating lymphatic physiology and functions will be useful for the design of such an approach.” (Emphasis added.)

    This means that it is important to make sure your lymphatics are functioning properly. And when it comes to the breasts, we must ask whether wearing bras interferes with lymphatic flow. 

    Biomechanics have studied the bra and its impact on the breasts, especially for sports bras.  Their goal is to provide external support for the breasts to minimize movement without compression. As explained in the article, Mechanical analysis of breast–bra interaction for sports bra design, in the journal Materials Today Communication, 

    Sports bras which are usually tight-fit and made of elastic materials are used to provide firm support to the breast and reduce the displacement. It is classified into two main types. Compression bras flatten the two breasts together against the chest wall to reduce the force momentum of the breast mass to the thorax. Encapsulation bras have two full-coverage cups to encircle the breast boundaries with individual support for the two separated breasts. The tension caused by stretched bra fabrics provides the breast support through compression, the cup pad even strengthen (sic) the support through interaction with the breast. However, if such interaction is too strong, it causes another problem, pressure discomfort. Comfortable brassieres should suppress movements of the breast as far as possible with minimum clothing pressure. Even if the brassiere fits the breast perfectly, however, the clothing pressure differs among subjects because of individual differences in the breast shape.” (Emphasis added.)

    The article, A study to evaluate pressure distribution of different sports bras, in the Journal of Engineered Fibers and Fabrics, states, 

    The pressure from the bra is among the most critical factors that affect the wearer’s health and comfort. The pressure of a sports bra on the wearer can irritate the skin and decrease blood flow when the pressure value of the bra is greater than the human’s tolerance limit. For this reason, the device used to measure the pressure of the bra on the human body should be very accurate and human­ friendly.

    Many bra designers focus on biomechanical issues, as shown in this 2021 article in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, entitled, A Digital-Based Healthy Bra Top Design That Promotes the Physical Activity of New Senior Women by Applying an Optimal Pressure. It explains the problem they are trying to solve with a new bra for older women. 

    Bra use can reduce physiological and physical functions because of clothing pressure, which can be a problem for new senior women starting to lose physical function. The present study presents a bra top design development method for promoting new senior women’s physical activity by identifying problems related to bras’ effects on women’s health and minimizing clothing pressure.”

    The article continues, 

    According to previous studies that examined the effects of bra use-related clothing pressure on the physiological response of the human body, bra straps and wires were the biggest contributors to clothing pressure; furthermore, wearing a bra that compresses the breast area for a long period of time puts placed pressure on the heart and affected blood circulation and lymph flow, as the bra surrounds the breast horizontally, it interferes with breathing and the circulation of lymph and blood flow. Furthermore, studies have found that it stiffens surrounding muscles and causes neck and back pain. Previous studies have suggested that the clothing pressure was relatively high in compression-style sports bra tops with reinforced motion function, thus involving a high risk of causing physiological disorders when worn for long periods.”

    The bra industry clearly knows about these hazards of bras, which may explain the recent trend towards looser models, and women opting to be bra-free. 

    This makes sense of the numerous studies that show the tighter and longer the bra is worn the higher the risk of breast cancer rises. My research, the 1991-93 US Bra and Breast Cancer Study, published in the book, Dressed to Kill, found that bra-free women have about the same risk of breast cancer as men, while the tighter and longer the bra is worn the higher the risk rises, to over 100 times higher for a 24/7 bra user compared to a bra-free woman. 

    The 2015 study, Comparative study of breast cancer risk factors at Kenyatta National Hospital and the Nairobi Hospital, in the Journal of African Cancer, found that, 

    Women who wore brassieres all the time, even when in bed were significantly associated with breast cancer occurrence as compared with those who never wore brassieres, or those whom only did so on important occasions (p<0.001). The wearing of brassieres, particularly underwire types or those that fit tightly, has been proposed to increase the risk of breast cancer. Singer and Grismaijer published their report in the book called ‘Dressed to Kill’, which describes a study they conducted. They reasoned that brassieres cause physical constriction that reduce lymphatic circulation, resulting in the retention of carcinogenic toxins. Unfortunately their work was never accepted for publication, and to date, there have been no scientifically valid studies that support the claim that brassieres may be associated with breast cancer occurrence. Ours does. To add to their theory, carcinogens released from blocked lymphatics may cause epigenetic changes impacting on cellular downstream signaling that may culminate in cancer.”

    A 2016 study in the Journal of Oncology Research and Treatment, entitled, Wearing a Tight Bra for Many Hours a Day is Associated with Increased Risk of Breast Cancer, found that, 

    This study demonstrated a correlation between wearing a tight bra for several hours per day and an increased risk of developing breast cancer….The bra is the only article of clothing that tightens the whole organ that it covers, and the repetitive and chronic direct trauma of this garment pressing all quadrants of the breast could lead to disease through the radial scars…The system of lymphatic vessels has been called an “information superhighway” because lymph contains a wealth of information about local inflammatory conditions in upstream drainage fields. Bras and other external tight clothing can impede flow, cutting off lymphatic drainage so that toxic chemicals are trapped in the breast.”

    In 2016, the World Journal of Meta-Analysis, the article, Brassiere wearing and breast cancer risk: A systematic review and meta-analysis, found 12 case controlled studies on bras and breast cancer and concluded, “the meta-analysis shows statistically significant findings to support the association between brassiere wearing during sleep and breast cancer risk.”

    Clearly, tight clothing that interferes with the lymphatics can cause disease, including cancer. Bra bioengineers know this. But what about the lymphatics bioengineers? They are more focused on finding ways to impact the intrinsic pumping of the lymphatics, and don’t really focus on the extrinsic factors. 

    As quoted above in the Biology article, “Future research could take advantage of the recent discoveries on the molecular mechanisms and stimuli that can increase the lymphatic intrinsic pumping and use them to develop new drugs or aimed physical stimuli that could increase in the long term, the lymph drainage from areas of the body subjected to lymphedema.” That’s where the money is. Come up with some drug or machine that can treat lymphedema by altering the lymphatic muscles that pump lymph. 

    The problem is that you cannot ignore extrinsic factors, like tight bras, when studying lymphatic flow. Intrinsic lymphatic pumping muscles will have a hard time pumping against compression from bras. These scientists studying lymphatics often cut a lymph vessel out of the body and test it in some apparatus; or they study lymphatics of non-human animals who don’t wear clothing. They seem oblivious to the factor of tight clothing, which is especially bad when considering breast lymphatics. You cannot study women’s breasts without knowing how long and how tightly they have been compressed into the chest by a bra.

    Bra manufacturers know this. That’s why there are now several bra patents discussing the impact of bras on the lymphatics. For example, a 2012 patent for a Breast Saver: And ergonomic dynamic bra with combo cups, claims,

    “Tight fitting bras restrict and compress the lymphatic system in the breast.The Lymphatic system is responsible for  flushing out bodily wastes and toxins and this could become impeded with compression.  Thus the lymph nodes, acupressure points, and the circulatory pathways in the breast and armpit areas, may be restricted and prevented from doing their job by tight fitting bras, and may result in toxins to accumulate in the breast tissue.”

    It’s time for the bioengineers to get together with the doctors and cancer experts and discuss how bras impair the lymphatic system and increase cancer incidence. Currently, the cancer industry is stonewalling this issue. For example, the American Cancer Society claims the link between breast cancer and bras is unfounded

    Online and social media rumors and at least one book have suggested that bras cause breast cancer by obstructing lymph flow. There is no scientific or clinical basis for this claim, and a 2014 study of more than 1,500 women found no association between wearing a bra and breast cancer risk.”

    Apparently, the ACS has not seen any of the research mentioned in this article. 

    And the study they suggest does not support the bra-cancer link was done deliberately biased and flawed. The study was published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers, and Prevention, and was entitled, Bra Wearing Not Associated with Breast Cancer Risk: A Population-Based Case–Control Study. It states, 

    There has been some suggestion in the lay media that bra wearing may be a risk factor for breast cancer based on the potential for bras to impede lymph circulation and drainage and thus interfere with the process of waste and toxin removal. However, there is a scarcity of credible scientific studies addressing this issue. To our knowledge, the only epidemiologic (sic) evidence on bra wearing and breast cancer risk comes from a case–control study published in 1991, which reported a nonstatistically significant two-fold higher risk among premenopausal women who wore a bra versus those who did not, but no elevation in risk was observed for postmenopausal women. Given that questions in the lay media have been raised about breast cancer risk and bra wearing, we evaluated relationships between various aspects of bra wearing and breast cancer risk among postmenopausal women enrolled in a population-based case–control study.” (Emphasis added.)

    This study is interesting because it reveals a bias. The quote above from this study referenced another study, from 1991, which found decreased breast cancer risk in bra-free women. That study, in the European Journal of Cancer, was entitled, Breast size, handedness and breast cancer risk. It found that breast size did not affect cancer incidence in premenopausal women, but did in postmenopausal women. However, lower cancer rates for bra-free women only seemed to show in the premenopausal group, not the postmenopausal group. The researchers were not looking for a bra-cancer link, and only used bra size as an estimate of breast size. They could not explain their finding of 100% higher risk for breast cancer in bra users compared to bra-free women. And their proposed explanation was illogical. 

    Premenopausal women who do not wear bras had half the risk of breast cancer compared with bra users (P about 0.09), possibly because they are thinner and likely to have smaller breasts. Among bra users, larger cup size was associated with an increased risk of breast cancer (P about 0.026), although the association was found only among postmenopausal women and was accounted for, in part, by obesity.” (Emphasis added.)

    Note that breast size is only a slight risk factor for older women, not for younger women. But their proposed guess for their findings in young women who were bra-free and had lower breast cancer rates was that they were likely to have smaller breasts. But breast size did not affect cancer rates for younger women, so this cannot be the answer. 

    Interestingly, the study above that referenced this study and did not find a bra-cancer link decided in their study design to only look at postmenopausal women, for whom the 1991 study found no bra effect. Why test the negative result seen in postmenopausal women and not the positive result seen in younger women? If you want to study a bra-cancer link, why not use the group for which this link was positive? 

    Making matters worse, this 2014 study of postmenopausal bra users excluded any bra-free women, so there was no control group for comparison. 

    Because bra wearing was ubiquitous among our participants, we were unable to compare risks among women who never wore a bra to those who regularly wore a bra, and instead, our primary comparison was based on average number of hours per day women wore a bra.”

    One can only speculate as to why the American Cancer Society would discourage research into the bra-cancer link, and only cite biased research without giving its limitations while ignoring other studies which show a link. They certainly seem invested in the status quo, and in biochemical and not biomechanical solutions. 

    Women have a right to know that the bra they are dutifully wearing has the potential to harm their breasts and overall health, so they can make informed choices regarding bra usage. Society has become more accepting of women choosing comfort over fashion, and being comfortably bra-free is now popular, especially among younger women. It is hoped that this trend continues, and that the medical industry examine the evidence presented in this paper that shows the vital need of addressing the biomechanical impact of tight clothing on breasts and the rest of the body, on cancer development, and on overall health. 

    Any tight clothing, including Ace bandages and other compression devices, any garment sold for “support”, will be tight by design, and interfere with the lymphatics. The body cannot fight infection or heal when the lymphatics are impaired. It’s time to stop creating that impairment with tight clothing, and let the lymph circulate.


    Underlines above are all hyperlinks to articles. In addition to the above, here are some resources. 

    Breast Biomechanics: What Do We Really Know?

    Biomechanics of Breast Support for Active Women

    Sports Bra Pressure: Effect on Body Skin Temperature and Wear Comfort

    Mechanical analysis of breast–bra interaction for sports bra design

    Biomechanical control of lymphatic vessel physiology and functions

    Lymphatic anatomy and biomechanics

    Shaka Law to Designate Official State Gesture Set for Critical Senate Hearing

    HONOLULU (February 13, 2024)—A bill to officially designate the shaka as Hawaii’s state gesture must pass its second committee hearing on Thursday, Feb. 15 in order to progress to a floor vote before the full state Senate.

    Testimony for Senate Bill 3312 must be submitted via the Hawaii State Capitol website by 3 p.m. tomorrow, (Valentines Day), Feb. 14.

    Its counterpart in the state House, House Bill 2736, passed the House Committee on Culture, Arts, & International Affairs (CAI) on Feb. 7 in a unanimous 5-0 vote after drawing unanimously supportive testimony. In the House, it will next go before the House Committee on Judiciary & Hawaiian Affairs.

    The bill aims to formally adopt the shaka as a symbol of the aloha spirit and Hawaii’s diverse culture. Its passage would also help secure Hawaii’s claim as the birthplace of the iconic hand gesture. According to the bill, “As the shaka is now used around the world, this Act ensures that Hawaii retains recognition as the birthplace of the shaka.”

    In testimony supporting the bill, Honolulu resident Steve Sue stated: “While multiple origin theories exist from Hawaii Island, Maui, Molokai, and Oahu, all theories have the shaka developing within the State of Hawaiʻi.” 

    Sue, who is producing a documentary on the history of the shaka, argued that designating it as the official state gesture would “memorialize Hawaiʻi as the place of the shakaʻs origin” and “protect the shaka as part of Hawaiʻiʻs cultural heritage.” Sue also noted that the shaka is an important economic asset of Hawaii saying, “I challenge anyone to walk into an ABC store and try not to see a shaka.”

    67 individuals and organizations submitted testimony in support of the bill for the CAI hearing, but each hearing requires a new set of submissions. Of greatest interest is testimony from Hawaiian civic groups, cultural practitioners, educators, and business owners.

    “This is not just a feel-good measure—Nevada, as the ‘ninth island,’ has pondered adopting the shaka in the past, and California with its surfer culture could also make a claim,” Sue explains. “You only need to look at the many Hawaii products and brands that feature the shaka to see the value that needs to be preserved for our people.” Sue also noted, “there are 24 other official Hawaii State symbols including the Hawaiian flag, nene, hibiscus, and kalo, but none say ‘aloha’ and ‘Hawaii’ as much as the Shaka.”

    “While Shaka represents the idealistic melting pot image of Hawaii, it’s also perhaps the best symbolic manifestation of the principle of aloha,” adds Ryan Ozawa, a native Hawaiian and associate producer on the documentary. “It’s a universally warm and positive signal that could help reinforce Hawaiian values as worthy of global embrace.”

    Here are excerpts from testimony submitted to the House (which can be reviewed online here).

    • “The ‘Shaka’ sign is a very special gesture that is an automatic expression of our Aloha for each other.” – Wendy Nagaishi  
    • “It protects the Shaka as a tool of aloha.” – Tammy Yamada
    • “This simple yet powerful hand gesture has become synonymous with the warmth and friendliness of the people of Hawai’i.” – Emari Hunn
    • “It is a sign of aloha which I would like to see maintained to highlight to all others and to remind ourselves on these islands to live aloha.” – Johanna Tokunaga

    # # #

    About Project Shaka

    In 1986, a year after Aunty Pilahi’s passing, the State of Hawaii enacted The Aloha Spirit Law that memorialized Aunty’s definition of aloha and required State of Hawai’i residents to share aloha. While the law has proven difficult to enforce, Project Shaka seeks to uphold the concept through leveraging the Shaka as a tool to share and activate aloha. As a movement, Project Shaka is premised and anchored by the film, “Shaka, A Story of Aloha,” a feature-length documentary on the origin, meanings, and uses of the Shaka. The story shows that Hawai’i was not initially paradise. It was rough. It was tough. Resources were limited. But through the philosophy of aloha, paradise was built from grit, determination, cooperation, and unity. Project Shaka is a program of ID8, a Hawaii 501(C)(3) nonprofit.

    About the Shaka Documentary

    “Shaka, A Story of Aloha” is a feature-length documentary produced by ID8, a 501(C)(3) Hawaii nonprofit. First-funded by Kamehameha Schools, the film features original songs by music director Henry Kapono, is executive produced by Bryan Spicer and Steve Sue, is written/produced by Steve Sue, and directed by Hawaiian film director Alex Boccheiri. Media is invited to download trailer and behind-the-scenes photos on the Press Kit page at

    About ID8

    Founded in 2012, ID8 grew from a lemonade stand contest into a Hawaii-based 501(C)(3) that fosters ideation and expression to create positive impacts. This means inspiring, bringing hope, and uniting people to share happiness, fulfillment, and aloha. For more information, visit

    Common sense wins in debate over fate of cryptocurrency in Hawaii


    By Keli‘i Akina

    What a nice surprise it was this week when I learned that the state Division of Financial Institutions had quietly decided to let cryptocurrency companies operate freely in Hawaii, just as they can most everywhere else.

    This is an incredible win for economic freedom in our state, which isn’t known for cutting red tape.

    Keli’i Akina

    Specifically, the DFI has decided that cryptocurrency exchanges in Hawaii do not have to comply with the state’s money transmitter law, which had required the exchanges to hold cash reserves equal to their digital assets.

    This “double reserve” requirement — imposed on the companies in 2014 — meant that crypto exchanges such as Coinbase or Binance needed to have millions or even billions of dollars in cash on hand to match the value of their existing bitcoin, ethereum and other digital currency holdings.

    The result was that many crypto companies abandoned Hawaii, leaving most Hawaii residents out of the bitcoin boom.

    That is when my colleagues and I at the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii became involved in the issue. We worked to educate the public and lawmakers about the double reserve requirement and why it should not apply to crypto companies.

    At first, it was tough going. Many people still don’t know what a bitcoin is or understand how it works. But interest in crypto has grown over time, and Hawaii officials and lawmakers started rethinking the state’s crypto policies.

    In 2020, the Division of Financial Institutions and Hawai‘i Technology and Development Corp. launched the Digital Currency Innovation Lab that allowed a select group of crypto companies to operate in Hawaii without being subject to the double reserve requirement.

    As that so-called sandbox was set to expire in June 2022, we saw a series of bills introduced in the Legislature that would have let all crypto companies operate freely in Hawaii.

    On the other hand, we also saw bills such as the 88-page tome proposed by the DFI that would have severely micromanaged cryptocurrency companies to the point of removing any incentive for them to operate in Hawaii, if they couldn’t stay in the sandbox.

    Ultimately, legislators didn’t come to an agreement on the issue, so the DFI extended the sandbox for another two years.

    Last year, the Legislature approved a slightly revised version of that 2022 bill [the DFI proposal], but Gov. Josh Green, thank goodness, wisely vetoed it.

    This year, with the sandbox set to expire in June and no promising crypto bills left in play at the Legislature, we were left wondering what our officials’ next move might be.

    Well, we got our answer earlier this week when we found out that Gov. Green’s administration had unceremoniously ruled the Digital Currency Innovation Lab a success and would be allowing all cryptocurrency companies to operate freely in Hawaii beginning in July.

    In a Jan. 25 news release, the Office of the Governor said the crypto sandbox had demonstrated that the business “did not align with the concept” of the state’s money transmitters law, and that “the companies will be able to continue transaction activity as an unregulated business” — though subject still to “any applicable federal licensing or registration requirements.”

    In short, common sense won. As a result, Hawaii has gone from being one of the worst states in the country for crypto to being one of the best.

    I would like to think that the Grassroot Institute played a role in this wonderful turn of events. For years, we stood firm at the Legislature against unreasonable regulations on cryptocurrency, offering in-depth research and careful reasoning to make our case.

    And now it appears that Gov. Green’s administration decided our views were right all along, for which I am grateful.

    Deregulating cryptocurrency in Hawaii is a huge win, and I hope it’s a sign that our government officials have become more open to supporting policies that will promote investment, prosperity and economic freedom in our state.

    Keli‘i Akina is president and CEO of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii.