Jon Letman is a freelance journalist based on Kauai since 2001. Prior to that, he lived and worked in Japan, Israel, Alaska and Washington State. Jon writes for local, national and international print and web publications about culture, society, business, and the natural world, particularly plant life. His stories have been published in Iceland, Finland, Canada, Japan, Russia and the UK in CNN Traveler, Christian Science Monitor and other publications. Despite his penchant for far-flung cold spots (Tibet, Mongolia, Kamchatka), he has made a home with his family on Kauai.
Above: A Kauai farmer, pictured at Kukuiula outdoor market, grows food for local markets. Below: Kauai Fresh green house. Between 2006 and 2010 Hawaii residents receiving emergency food assistance from food banks increased by nearly 40 percent to a total of 14 percent of Hawaii's population. Second from bottom: Kalo loi on Kauai's north shore. Bottom: A Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) vehicle during a Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) military exercise on Kauai in the summer of 2008.
Protesters on Kauai demonstrating against the Iraq war on Kauai, March 2008. A roving demonstration will be held island-wide on Kauai on March 13, 2010, one week before the seventh anniversary of the Iraq war.
Like the slippery steps at Puu Poa on Kauai's north shore, some ask if the future of tourism won't follow the same path. Others are more optimistic that the Island's allure will continue to draw visitors long into the future.