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Can, No Can: Making Changes, Hawaiian-Style

Fred Hemmings

Softcover, 108 pp.

In this provocative book, longtime Hawaii state senator and world champion surfer Fred Hemmings offers a calabash full of ideas for the future of the Islands, including a sprinkling of "random thoughts" and yes-or-no options from a local boy's perspective. Is the Aloha State on the right track? You decide! As locals are fond of saying: If can, can. If no can, no can!

"A dear friend, Chubby Mitchell, was a graceful surfer and a man of aloha," Hemmings explains. "Whenever I'd get frustrated by something, he would look at me and say, 'Freddie, if can, can. If no can, no can.' All these years later, I surmise that this pragmatic outlook on life contributed significantly to the aloha of bygone days."

Can, No Can! Making Changes, Hawaiian-Style is a lively compilation of Hemmings's essays, letters, legislation, statements to the press and news clips spanning the years, including hot-button items still as relevant today as they were then. Says Hemmings, "I always have believed that there are good solutions to Hawaii's problems and that there's usually a better way to do things. Unfortunately, we in the Islands get caught up in the dilemma expressed by, of all people, Albert Einstein, in the mid-20th century. To paraphrase Einstein, 'Doing the same thing and expecting different results defines insanity.' Maybe it is time to do some things differently in Hawaii."

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