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Mindy Pennybacker
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Entries by Mindy Pennybacker

Sudden Death: Honolulu's Weekly Newspaper

(14) Comments | Posted June 5, 2013 | 5:35 PM

While Hawaii welcomes the news that Huffington Post is coming this fall in a partnership with Civil Beat, we mourn the sudden demise of Honolulu's only independent weekly newspaper, Honolulu Weekly. HW announced today that its June 5-11 issue will be its last.

This, right...

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Green Sleep: Mattress Matters

(7) Comments | Posted April 18, 2013 | 2:42 PM

A reader recently asked, "I'm looking for a green healthy mattress. What do you recommend?"

Because we spend about half our lives in bed, I recommend a mattress made of natural materials and free of chemical treatments. Alas, most conventional mattresses are stuffed with petroleum-based, polyurethane foam that can release,...

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The Best Sunscreens To Use -- And Lose

(8) Comments | Posted June 4, 2011 | 10:25 AM

Because the sun's UV rays are known carcinogens, it's essential to cover up with clothing, hats or an effective sunscreen if you spend more than half an hour outdoors. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the U.S., where one in five of us will...

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Stop Drug-Resisant Staph From Spoiling Your Holiday Roast!

(3) Comments | Posted April 19, 2011 | 2:03 PM

A meat-free diet sounds better than ever, following the latest news about the pervasiveness of drug-resistant staphylococcus bacteria in U.S. meat and poultry. Forty-seven percent of 136 meat and poultry samples from 26 supermarkets in five states contained staph, half of it resistant to antibiotics, in a study...

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Support Bans on the Shark Fin Trade

(4) Comments | Posted April 15, 2011 | 2:49 PM

Time to hold the shark fin soup-for good.

As a surfer in waters that are home to turtles, monk seals and, yes, sharks, whose favorite foods they are, I confess I get nervous at dusk, although the odds reveal no rational basis for my fear. Even "Soul Surfer"...

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There's No "Safe" Plastic, Already!

(8) Comments | Posted April 4, 2011 | 5:39 PM

"All plastic should be labeled as hazardous waste," Captain Charles Moore, discoverer of the "Great Pacific Garbage Patch," said to me the other night at a Surfrider Foundation anti-plastics campaign benefit. At least three new studies about plastic's negative impact on our health and the environment confirm his statement. Moore...

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My GM-Free, Vegan Lunch With Chef Vikram Garg

(6) Comments | Posted March 22, 2011 | 3:09 PM

In Hawaii, birthplace of the genetically modified papaya, a top restaurant launches a GMO-free menu.

There may be no free lunch, but you can have a GMO-free lunch, and I just ate one. True, it's no easy feat in the face of a marketplaces flooded with unlabelled GM (genetically modified)...

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Tsunami Watch, Hawaii in the Dark

(40) Comments | Posted March 11, 2011 | 3:28 AM

It's 11 p.m. HST, and Hawaii has been on tsunami alert for about an hour following the tragic earthquake in Japan. A truck is circling our neighborhood, with a man giving an emergency management message over a loudspeaker: "Extremely dangerous waves are expected at 3 am. Occupants of high-rise...

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Beware of BPA, the Stealth Fat Chemical in Cans

(4) Comments | Posted November 13, 2010 | 4:43 AM

This Thanksgiving, I'd rather have a can of worms than canned food with Bisphenol-A! At least worms make fertile soil. BPA, it appears, just makes us fat and infertile. It's harvest season, so let's eat the fresh whole seasonal foods that are in abundance right now....

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Prop 23: An Oily Blot on the California Ballot

(15) Comments | Posted November 1, 2010 | 5:41 AM

I confess, I'm a Hawaii resident, but if I could, I'd cast an out-of-state vote against California's Prop 23, which is promulgated by out-of-state interests -- namely, a couple of Texas oil refining companies and Koch Industries, a Kansas energy conglomerate. Prop 23 aims to stop implementation of California's Global...

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Waste not: From shark fins to the whole hog

(13) Comments | Posted July 2, 2010 | 7:09 AM

Photography by Kapulani Landgraf, all rights reserved.

Hawaii culture, from food to fine arts, is riffing on its traditions in ironic and often beautiful ways. Tradition stands strong in the Bishop Museum's stunning exhibit of three muscular Ku statues carved from whole tree trunks, sole surviving temple idols...

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A 12-Step program for oil addicts: green grilling, chilling & more

(2) Comments | Posted June 24, 2010 | 4:17 PM

At least consumers can cap our oil! This summer, as Americans anguish over the Gulf gusher, watching BP and the government point fingers while things get worse, we're also doing some navel-gazing--and not just at the beach. We're facing our addiction to the petroleum we consume in fuel and daily...

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Don't let BP sink us: Eight Easy Ways Consumers Can Spare Our Seas

(22) Comments | Posted June 2, 2010 | 4:53 PM

As the author of an optimistic green book who's admittedly felt somewhat challenged since the BP spill, I've been invited to speak to a Surfrider Foundation Hawaii chapter about simple ways we can help protect the seas in our daily lives. Why should individuals bother when...

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Beyond BP: How consumers can help staunch the toxic tide

(8) Comments | Posted May 26, 2010 | 5:49 AM

"Beyond Petroleum" indeed! It's great that, in response to the Gulf oil tragedy, President Obama has reaffirmed his commitment to clean alternative energy sources like solar. It's also time Americans took the wind out of the sails--and sales--of BP, those deep-drilling privateers brandishing their greenwashing slogan....

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Greenwashing: Alice in Wonderland and Organix Shampoo

(6) Comments | Posted March 8, 2010 | 8:32 AM

Although the title character in Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland doesn't get to be a queen, Mia Wasikowski's wild, abundant tresses provided the crowning glory for a natural beauty. Such hair may be attainable for the rest of us, but not by tumbling down a rabbit hole. We know from...

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Coming next: Hawaii Tsunami Tourism

(7) Comments | Posted February 27, 2010 | 10:11 PM

At just before 11 a.m., when the monster tsunami was predicted to hit Hawaiian shorelines, we left our house on foot, joining dozens of other rather unrushed walkers on a hot still day walking uphill to the Diamond Head Cliffs overlooking the sea. From our 60-foot vantage, the ocean's surface...

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Tsunami Prep, Hawaii: "Vertical Evacuation"

(22) Comments | Posted February 27, 2010 | 1:59 PM

At literally the eleventh hour, a.m. Hawaii time, a 12-foot tsunami generated by the massive 8.8 magnitude Chilean earthquake is predicted to strike our seven inhabited isles. First landfall: the Big Island, where 61 people died in 1960 when a tsunami took out Hilo after a magnitude 9.6 Chilean tremblor....

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