Brief asides


POSTED: Friday, August 21, 2009

Hail to Hasegawa's in Hana

For many who've traveled that harrowing road to Hana, Maui, the switchback trail is only half the fun. The pot at the end of the figurative rainbow is the colorful, wonderfully eclectic Hasegawa General Store, which celebrates its 100th anniversary next year. Sadly the store's family matriarch, Shizuko Hasegawa, won't be there; she died in June and a life celebration was held last week. But the spirit of the beloved “;task master”; who first moved to Hana as a picture bride is sure to live on in every delightfully varied, chockfull aisle.

Right back at you

As a vocal minority continues to spew vitriol over health care at town-hall meetings, at least one lawmaker decided to strike back.

U.S. Rep. Barney Frank let one protester know what he really thinks during a session in Massachusetts this week. “;Ma'am, trying to have a conversation with you would be like trying to argue with a dining room table,”; was among the gems spouted by Frank.

It's about time lawmakers try and take back these meetings, which have turned into media circuses.

Pulling back on tooth fairies

“;Prevention is better than cure”;—so said the Dutch scholar Gerard D. Erasmus. And over the years, Hawaii's public schoolchildren have benefited from various valiant efforts to keep them healthy: Eye-test screenings, lice-detection campaigns, flu shots.

Alas, today's budget crisis will mean the end in November for the state Dental Hygiene Branch, which, among other duties, helped spread the dental-care message to kids in schools. Eleven layoffs and three retirements will mean the branch's demise.

So parents and guardians, listen up: Do your part in bringing down the high tooth-decay rate among Hawaii's children—keep the kids brushing and flossing daily.