October 20, 2013
Bike to the top Rent your bike at either South Maui Bicycles, 1993 S. Kihei Road, No. 5, Kihei, (808) 874-0068, or Crater Cycles, 358 Papa Place, Suite F1, Kahului, (808) 893-2020. And be sure to rent a convertible so you can easily transport it. Train a lot! Biking up Haleakala is not a ride you can just do, unless you're a triathlete or experienced cyclist. Try Dawson Saddle (near Azusa), which will get you up to 7,900 feet, and Mt. Baldy, a steep 4,600-foot climb. Bring more food and water than you think you'll need, plus cold-weather and rain gear.
October 17, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Yosemite National Park's visitor centers were open. The barricades at the World War II memorial were down. And the Giant Panda Cam was back on. Thousands of federal workers returned to their jobs Thursday after Congress passed and President Obama signed a measure to end the 16-day government shutdown. The public was more than ready. "Within 10 minutes of turning the panda cam back on this morning, we reached capacity," said Pamela Baker-Masson of the National Zoo. But it will take more than unlocking doors and turning on lights before it's business as usual again in the federal bureaucracy.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 17, 2013 |
OAKLAND - After a week of marathon negotiations to avert a Bay Area rail strike that pulled in state lawmakers and federal mediators, it appeared late Thursday that the region was headed for a work stoppage that would affect hundreds of thousands of daily commuters. The breakdown between Bay Area Rapid Transit and its two main unions came after 33 hours of continuous talks and a week of stops and starts. George Cohen, director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, emerged from the California Department of Transportation headquarters here to say his team was flying back to Washington, D.C. "Regrettably, we were not able to bring home the result we all wanted to achieve, a voluntary collective bargaining agreement," said Cohen, who by all accounts helped bridge many gaps between the parties.
October 16, 2013
Re "Budget deal emerging in the Senate," Oct. 15 Democrats must take the high road, move past revenge (a new thought, perhaps?) and work with the Republicans to get our government working again now and into the future. I say this in all sincerity even though the Republicans have brought this calamity on themselves. It's now up to our leaders to set a new tone in Congress and above all not allow a small group of extremists from either party to set the tone that serves no end but their own agenda.
October 16, 2013 |
GENEVA - With both sides desperate for a deal, Iran and six world powers Wednesday hailed a new round of negotiations on Tehran's disputed nuclear program as "substantive and forward looking," and set an accelerated schedule of meetings to determine whether they can find common ground after a decade of stalemate. The discussions, begun at a moment of widespread hope for progress, were described as difficult and tense at times. Yet the Iranians and the global powers agreed on a joint statement that praised each side and signaled a commitment to a diplomatic solution.
October 15, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - President Obama was poised to claim a victory in the shutdown-and-debt showdown with Republicans as Congress worked toward a deal - except, perhaps, on the one demand he wanted most. The president's healthcare law seems likely to emerge unscathed or barely nicked, and he is not offering budget cuts in exchange for a debt limit increase as he did in 2011. But throughout the 15-day government shutdown, Obama has said he is not only trying to resolve this crisis, but to prevent a sequel.
October 15, 2013 |
Mumford & Sons have called it a day (for now) at the top of their game. Avicii is dropping bluegrass into his overcaffeinated EDM. Ed Sheeran is hanging out with Taylor Swift and One Direction. What the heck is going on with mainstream folk music today? Now that we're a few years into the pickin'-and-grinnin' takeover of U.S. top-40, the world's vintage-clad pop acts are figuring out where to go next. The Seattle combo the Head and the Heart opens up a bit on "Let's Be Still," its first since 2009's surprise self-titled hit, proving there is life after banjos for these bands.
October 14, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - After a decade of stalemate, diplomats from Iran, the U.S. and five other nations are about to meet for talks that will provide the clearest evidence yet of whether recent signs of a thaw in relations presage an agreement over Tehran's nuclear ambitions. Iran wants assurances at the talks Tuesday and Wednesday in Geneva that if it plunges into serious negotiations, it might win international approval to enrich uranium. Although uranium enriched at low levels is used to fuel civilian power plants, many nations fear that Iran, despite denials, wants to enrich it to high levels for use in bombs.
October 13, 2013
Re "Syria could be haven for radicals," Oct. 8 That Syria might become an Islamist stronghold, especially if President Bashar Assad falls - which our geniuses in Washington are now worried about - is no news to this layman. We saw this in Libya, Afghanistan, Somalia and Iraq. Washington continues to back the rebels in Syria with blind affirmation of their democratic goals, which are none. Anyone with a brain can see what will happen to Syria if Assad falls. Each and every one of these outposts of civilization need strongman leaders, ruthless as they might be, or else these countries turn into bad news for the West.
October 13, 2013
If you go Ft. Ord National Monument; (831) 394-8314, http://www.blm.gov/ca/hollister. (Currently closed due to the government shutdown.) Ft. Ord Dunes State Park, Beach Range Road, Marina, Calif.; (831) 649-2836, http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=580 , The town of Marina just north of Ft. Ord has a number of chain motels (www.seemonterey.com/hotels/) as well as the luxurious Sanctuary Beach Resort, 3295 Dunes Drive; (877) 944-3863, http://www.thesanctuarybeachresort.com . Junior suites from $219 midweek.