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Off the News

For Saturday, July 23, 2011

LAST UPDATED: 6:26 p.m. HST, Aug 5, 2011

Will the real Brian Schatz please stand up?

Every famous politician or actor should have a double, shouldn't they? And how easy that would be to achieve if you had a twin from birth — as does our own Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz.

Yes, there's another guy in town who looks much like our lieutenant governor: his brother Stephen, who was appointed just this week to head the state Department of Education's Office of Strategic Reform.

It also was reported this week that Brian Schatz has been in Beijing to build ties with Chinese CEOs in advance of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting here in November. At least we think it was our lieutenant governor in Beijing …

Remember when bees were plentiful?

It sure would be sweet if Hawaii agricultural officials could figure out why honeybees are thriving on Maui and Kauai while disappearing in record numbers almost everywhere else in Hawaii and the nation.

The collapse of honeybee colonies has been worrisome because many agricultural crops depend on the bees for pollination. Fewer bees also means less honey, which is a wonderful food and sweetening agent.

Officially called Colony Collapse Disorder, the phenomenon has been going on for years, yet scientists still are not sure what has been causing it. Suggested reasons include pesticides, pathogens, pests (such as Varroa mites) — even genetically modified crops and cellphone radiation. Whatever the cause — and it could be a combination of factors — it has been distressing to see it happen.

Discovering a cure would be a bee-utiful outcome.

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