Thursday, September 18, 2008

Musings: One Year Down

Something set the roosters off about midnight and they never really quieted down after that, and then rats started running around on the roof, apparently using it as an expressway to the fruit-laden strawberry guava tree outside my bedroom window.

So I was a bit bleary, although Koko was perky as ever, when we went walking on this morning with a definite nip in the air. Black-bottomed clouds hung low over Makeleha, but Waialeale — a demure lavender-pink today — was clear, and the entire pastoral landscape was illuminated by that deep golden light characteristic of September, my favorite month of the year.

Ran into both Andy and farmer Jerry along the road, where Andy jogged Jerry’s memory about the earliest inhabitants of the Dragon Building and the conversation morphed into old time union organizers and the Wailua range wars and cattle poisonings of bygone days.

It seemed appropriate to touch on the past, as I’ve been thinking of how today marks the one-year anniversary of this blog. I started it as a sort of cyber clips file and a place to share writings that I hadn’t published elsewhere, as is reflected in the very first post.

Then my mind got to musing, as it is wont to do, and later that day, after listening to a radio program that addressed Gov. Lingle’s pending trip to Kauai to talk about the Superferry, I added a second post, in which I posed the rhetorical question: “Is Lingle the devil, the personification of evil?”

Before I knew it, my blog was being circulated around the state Capitol and Hawaii Superferry officials were complaining to my editors at The Honolulu Advertiser, even dredging up freelance stories I’d written for Sierra magazine years before in an apparent attempt to prove I had too much of an environmental bent to cover the Superferry story.

HSF won that power struggle and I ended up getting pulled off the Superferry story. Contrary to some rumors, I wasn’t fired and the Advertiser said I could continue to write other stories for them, which I declined to do because the pay was too low.

But I went ahead and covered Lingle’s infamous meeting, anyway, and wrote about it without any of the restrictions I would have faced as a mainstream media reporter, including references to Jupiter and Venus.

And Kauai Eclectic was off and running. Btw, Katy Rose reports today that the union guys at the Mobile, Ala. shipyard where Superferry 2 is being built told her it’s due to be launched on Sept. 29 and will start heading our way — pending any unforeseen delays, of course.

While it was initially quite a blow to be pulled off the Superferry story, it turned out, as things often do, to be a blessing in disguise. It’s allowed me to more fully discover and develop my own authentic voice, and that’s a tremendous gift.

It’s also been a real lesson for me in learning to let go of my ego and defensiveness, and the comments have been a total eye-opener into a way of thinking that's very different than mine.

Sometimes it’s been a drag, but mostly it’s been fun, which is why I’ve continued, even though it’s still getting me in trouble. I got several emails and a phone call advising me that there is a warrant out for my arrest stemming from the Naue protest I covered. Attorney Dan Hempey is checking that out for me, so I’ll keep you posted.

In the meantime, I just want to say thanks to everyone for reading and commenting and being a part of Kauai Eclectic.

11 comments:

Katy Rose said...

Thank you, sister, for one year of Kauai Eclectic, the best blog in Hawai'i!

Anonymous said...

"Contrary to some rumors, I wasn’t fired and the Advertiser said I could continue to write other stories for them, which I declined to do because the pay was too low."

Isn't taking someone off their current job and offering them a selection of other jobs with insufficient compensation tantamount to being let go? It’s like they didn’t have the honesty to pink slip you.

Paula said...

Can't believe it's already been one year, Joan! Always a pleasure to read your insightful views. Keep up the good work and do let us know if you've been arrested!

Ed Coll said...

Congratulations Joan! Yes having ones own voice is really to only voice worth having, but unfortunately although many espouse democratic ideals you can get in trouble when "they" don't like what "you" say. The diversity of voices is the foundation of a healthy democratic society and I appreciate yours ;-)

gohomeorgetout said...

Always good reading, anything you write, Joan.

As far as Brescia and these arrest warrants, not only is he not a good neighbor but should be banned from Kauai...going around trying to lock up Hawaiians for upholding the laws and extending that vile controlling need to people who report his misdeeds is toxic. Doesnʻt belong here. Message to Brescia: Go Home, and I donʻt mean anywhere here on this island. Be sure to take your wife with you.

And also regarding Brescia believing he is ʻsomebodyʻ, itʻs time for the table to turn = Brescia should have an arrest warrant issued for him. He is engaging actively in criminal acts.

Larry said...

Congratulations on your one-year anniversary! I've not only enjoyed reading each of your Musings but I have learned from them and your Weekly stories as well. You've also been a connection to the kind of world I used to know before moving to the Big City.

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Firing someone has a monitary downside to the employer that doesn't exist if the employee is put in a position where voluntary resignation is the result.

Anonymous said...

Joan,
Thanks for keeping us all informed. Except for our walks, your blog is the first place I look for insight into what is going on on our island. I don't always agree with your perspective, but you've usually got it just about right. Good luck with that warrant--don't let it get to you! (Easy for me to say.)
I might add that there are LOTS of people who read your blog who you've never heard from. I know because they've asked me if I'm the Andy (your neighbor) that you're always mentioning. Some of them don't even know you, but they love your blog. Aloha, Not Andy Parks

Andy Parx said...

Upon reading your post today someone said to me “Kauai Eclectic should be re-titled ‘The education of Miss Joan Conrow’”.

Shows you what you get for a year of independent journalism in Amerika- they make you a political prisoner....got fascism?

You da bes’ Joan.

Free the Naue 7.

Anonymous said...

By way of congratulations on creating an island of truth in a sea of silliness:

All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.
- Arthur Schopenhauer (philosopher, 1788-1860)

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, but there's nothing left to blog about now.