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Preserve Old Hawaii with plants

The annual Bamboo Festival last weekend in Papaikou made me think of our island in the “good old days.” Of course, the concept of the good old days depends on your perspective. I’ll just take it back to the 1950s and ’60s, since those were the days I remember on Oahu and living in Ka‘u. As we drove from Kona through Waimea and on to Hilo, I realized just how special each of our island communities are even after 50 years of change. Each little town or village has its own special charm. Even though there have been major shifts in land use from sugar to forest and orchards, we still have that special charm that makes life good living.

Plan ahead for Arbor Day trees

Hawaii Arbor Day is celebrated on the first Friday of November. Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden has taken part in Arbor Day tree giveaways for the past 15 years. This year’s celebration will last three days, Nov. 7 to 9. One tree per person will be available, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Greenwell Garden visitor center in Captain Cook. All of the trees and shrubs are either native or Polynesian introduced.

Pumpkin Patch Festival returns to HPA

The 23rd annual Pumpkin Patch Festival at Hawaii Preparatory Academy’s upper campus, sponsored by the school’s Ohana Association and Dr. Joan Greco, has been postponed because of Tropical Storm Ana. It will now be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 26.

HPAF presents opera star Peabody Southwell

Hawaii Performing Arts Festival presents mezzo soprano Peabody Southwell, one of America’s most promising young opera stars, in two concerts on Nov. 1 and 2. Val Underwood, pianist and HPAF artistic director, will accompany Southwell in a lively exploration of music and wines from around the world.

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Harvesting tips for tropical fruit

In temperate climates, fall is usually harvest season. In the tropics, crops ripen year-round. For those who want to harvest their fruit at its peak and have it last on the shelf or in transit, specific advice can be helpful.

The second most unfair tax system? Really?

Recently, the online site WalletHub published a 50-state study called “2014’s Most &Least Fair State Tax Systems.” Local media and the Huffington Post, among others, wrote about the study which ranked Hawaii’s tax system 49th out of 50, in the order of fairness. Some candidates for political office pointed to the study as evidence that our tax system is broken and needs to be fixed … perhaps under that candidate’s leadership if elected.