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Off the News

For Friday, April 15, 2011


Times have changed for the Big Five, big labor


Hawaii was a far different place when Unity House Inc., the nonprofit benefiting union members and retirees, was founded in 1951. Back in that day, the islands were ruled by the Big Five and, two years after a major dock strike, the labor movement had unified.

How the mighty have fallen. There are rumblings of a takeover of Alexander & Baldwin Inc., considered the last standing of the Big Five. Organized labor has persisted but is diminished in power. Now the debt-ridden Unity House has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

It's been a long transition to a new era, though it's anybody's guess exactly what's on the other side.


Anti-obesity campaign good for parents, too


5-2-1-0! Let's go!

Its heart is in the right place — healthily so — so props go to the new childhood anti-obesity campaign launched by the University of Hawaii-Manoa John A. Burns School of Medicine, Hawaii Initiative for Childhood Obesity Research and Education, and others.

The campaign's catchy motto, "Hawaii 5-2-1-0! Let's Go," alludes to advice for a healthier lifestyle: five fruits, roots and vegetables; two hours max of TV or computer time; one hour or more of physical activity; and zero or almost no sugary drinks.

Admirable targets. Good luck, kids.

Now, go challenge your parents or guardians to do the same. In many cases, a child shall lead the way.

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