The sky was just waking up when the dogs and I went out walking. Stars that had been blazing all night were slowly disappearing as their black background began shifting to the faintest shade of blue. Mist rose up from the pasture and drifted into the road, and in the distance stood Waialeale, fully visible, though softened by a purplish haze. The hundreds of fighting roosters, tethered to their little a-frames, let out a continuous roar, and occasionally a dog barked or yelped.
Returning home, yoga released the stiffness that had set in from spending a couple of hours in my garden, which reflects my own expansionist tendencies. As I complete one bed — I'm now up to eight, plus three tiny loi and an herb garden — I'm thinking, where can I dig another? Because there's always something more I want to grow.
And it brought to mind an article I emailed to Farmer Jerry, under the subject heading “whither (wither) goes ag.....” It was entitled college majors that are useless and included the ranking:
Useless Degree #1 - Agriculture; Useless Degree #4 - Animal Science; Useless Degree #5 - Horticulture
Somehow we've come to view growing crops and raising livestock — in other words, creating the raw ingredients that are made into the processed food-like substances we consume — as inconsequential, in the same category as fashion design and theater arts. What happened?
The same question could be asked of the case that involves Councilman Tim Bynum's alleged zoning violation. Information that I had previously received “off the record” was released by The Garden Island today, so we might as well talk about it. I'm referring to an April 7, 2010, email that County Prosecutor Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho sent to former Planning Director Ian Costa:
“We received information to corroborate an anonymous complaint dated March 26, 2010, that was sent to the Planning Department and our office, that Councilmember Tim Bynum was renting out his house, or a portion thereof. Can you let me know if renting out a portion of his residence is illegal given his land status, and what ordinance/statute would he be violating by doing so? Please advise.”
On April 8, 2010, Costa emailed Iseri-Carvalho, responding that Bynum’s residence was permitted as a “single-family” dwelling based on one kitchen.
“If a second kitchen (area used for the preparation of food) is present, then a violation would exist for an illegal ‘multi-family’ dwelling unit,” Costa said in his email.
Now, I found this interesting, because when I attended the Dec. 21, 2011, court hearing on Tim's case, I had a little chat with Deputy Prosector Jake Delaplane about how zoning violations are handled. He said violations are done in tandem with the county attorney's office, with the planning department and county attorney's office typically taking the lead.
So if, as Shay claims in the newspaper's report, her “staff works 60-70 hours each week, and it is 'quite insensitive' to have her staff tied up at a council meeting,” how does she personally have the time to follow up on a zoning complaint about Tim? Wouldn't you think she'd delegate an inquiry like that to an underlying?
Or since the planning department had also received the same “anonymous complaint” — and it's my understanding that it wasn't truly anonymous, but someone who wished to have his/her identify withheld — wouldn't you wait for the planning department to check it out and start the ball rolling?
At the Dec. 21 court hearing, Jake said the prosecutors office wasn't targeting Tim, and some 40 persons accused of CZO violations were arraigned the same day as Tim. “Overall, we're taking a stronger stance with these violations because they haven't been enforced in the past,” he said.
Did Shaylene follow up personally on all of those cases, too? Has she been trying to hunt down the off-island owners of the TVRs that are in violation, so they can be served their summons for violations?
I mean, this can't be the highest priority for an overworked county prosecutor, and it sure makes it look she's gunning for Tim. And while Tim is not one of my favorite people, I'm even less enamored of selective enforcement and political vendettas.