Cliff loved puzzles and was a puzzle himself. He was challenging; running you through a series of innocuous questions inevitably leading to a conclusion he hand-picked for you. Cliff had many confusing personas; the unassailable hero dentist, the community builder, the mischief-prone Rotarian, and the relentless, obnoxious contrarian. He remarked that his favorite compliment came from Mayor Billy Kenoi as Cliff walked in, “you see that guy,” said Billy, “he’s a son of a bitch but he gets things done.” Cliff highly valued both descriptions. Nevertheless, Cliff was truly pleasurable company.
When someone relinquished a bull python snake earlier this week under the State Department of Agriculture’s amnesty program, it again highlighted how species like snakes can further imperil Hawaii’s already critically endangered forest and seabirds. The populations of several species are so low, that experts working in the field fear they could go extinct within the next five-to-10 years. They’d join a sobering list of 23 endemic Hawaii birds that have gone extinct, gone forever, in the last 200 years or so.