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EditorialOff the News

Off the News

Will Fourth of July fire fuel ban? Time will tell

The fire that ravaged Kalama Valley on the Fourth is widely seen as a boost for those who support an islandwide fireworks ban. Gary Okino, the City Council sponsor of Bill 34, the latest push to crack down on pyrotechnics, was shown in virtually every fire postmortem delivering an I-told-you-so message.

But history has shown that the momentum for a ban cools along with the brush fire embers. Enthusiasm for a statewide ban reached its low ebb at the state Capitol only two months after the New Year’s blasts and all the ensuing public outrage.

The scary aerial photos showing just how close the flames came to homes on Sunday left an impression — but how indelible, remains to be seen. Proponents of the ban had better keep peppering Honolulu Hale with them, starting now and up through July 14, the Council’s public hearing on the issue.

Happy, happy in Hawaii

Hawaii is the second-happiest state in the nation, according to an analysis of responses by 350,000 people interviewed in 2008. LiveScience.com reports that Utah is No. 1, based on emotional health, physical health, healthy behaviors such as whether a person smokes or exercises, job satisfaction and overall evaluation of their lives.

Hawaii’s ranking could be due to a relaxed culture, University of Illinois psychologist Ed Deiner told LiveScience. com, although he wasn’t involved in the research. He speculated that Utah, Hawaii and third-place Wyoming may just have strong families and social relationships.


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