Jon Letman


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.

PMRF: Kaua‘i’s biggest bang is out of sight

A look at the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kaua‘i and what the increasing military presence in the Pacific means for Hawai‘i and the world. Read More »

In Search of Real Security, Part Two: Societies, like all living things, need air and light to live
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.
In Search of Real Security, Part One: A closer look at our basic needs in a time of crisis
Above: A Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) vehicle during a Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) military exercise on Kauai in the summer of 2008. Below: An anti-war protest in Lihue in 2008.
Making a list, checking it twice

Life on the federal terrorist watch list Read More »

A threat condition sign at Honolulu Airport. Adapting to heightened security at airports has become a way of life in a post-911 world.
In his own words: Charles Djou—before the win →
Congressman-elect Charles Djou speaks to a reporter at the GOP Convention held in Hawaii earlier this year.
Roving peace protest to circle Garden Island →
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.
Seeing 2020, Part III: Climate change evokes real change in Hawaii’s communities →
Keoni Kealoha of Malama Kauai says, "We've applied a Western economic model over the top of what this place truly is -- the mountains, the water, the soil, but ultimately nature will always prevail."
Seeing 2020, Part II: What role will tourism play in Hawaii’s future? →
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.
Seeing 2020: The next decade on Kauai, Part I →
A view of the Hanalei Valley in Northern Kauai. The Hanalei River runs through the valley and 60 percent of Hawaii's taro is grown in its fields.