Misty clouds drape the summit of Makaleha, bees in all three colonies are bringing pollen into their hives via the little saddlebags on their legs — a good sign that all is well — we've got a new moon in Cancer tonight and the ground is saturated from yesterday's lovely rain.
It's always fascinating to me how things can be really fabulous in one place, like my back yard, and totally suck someplace else, like the Midwest, where a friend reports the hay and corn fields are shriveling up in the drought and prolonged 100+-degree heat. Looks like that high fructose corn syrup is gonna be more expensive soon.
Speaking of contrasts, was talking to a guy yesterday who sailed the 62-foot Hokulea into Hanalei Bay this past weekend. He and the rest of the crew were stunned to encounter the 160-foot charter yacht Karima, replete with a helicopter that reportedly has been pissing people off by buzzing around Hanalei town.
He told me the last time they sailed Hokulea into Hanalei, they tied up to what they thought was their mooring spot, until a guy came over all outraged and said it was his. “Usually people are excited to see Hokulea,” he told me, “but not this guy. He wasn't interested in Hawaiian culture. He just wanted us out of there.”
Yeah, cause big money has its own culture.
The County Council, meanwhile, is considering giving 3.49 acres in Puhi for a Philippine Cultural Center, with former Mayor Maryanne Kusaka noting:
Filipinos have supported Kaua‘i 100 percent over many years. “It is time for us to return that to them, and support them.”
Mmmm, which is fine, but what about the Hawaiians? When are we going to support them, instead of arresting people who protest against the disinterment of iwi kupuna for a park toilet? If I recall correctly, the last thing the county did on behalf of Hawaiians was bulldoze their little fishing shacks at Wainiha.
The Puhi land was earmarked for a skateboard park, prompting Councilwoman JoAnn Yukimura to ask where that would be relocated. Oh, just put it over by the youth drug treatment center that's never gonna be built, either.
Hey, I think I've figured out why presenters have outnumbered citizens at the “public safety” meetings now being held around the island — the presenters are getting paid. And for some of the cops, it's OT pay at that. Why should the taxpayers be supporting this thinly veiled campaigning by Prosecutor Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho and Councilman Mel Rapozo?
And why should the taxpayers be supporting Assistant Police Chief Mark Begley, who is currently out on a workman's comp medical claim after siding with the mayor in his pissing match with Chief Perry, but well enough to help out at Justin Kollar's big fundraiser this past Sunday?
Getting back to the public safety meetings, the question remains: how was the Office of Prosecuting Attorney (OPA) able to pay for all those POHAKU giveaways — pens, totes, etc. — yet have no record of any expenditures associated with the program?
Here's another question: how can the office that's in charge of prosecuting those who break the law blatantly thumb its own nose at the law? Yup, for the second time in two months I've had to ask the Office of Information Practices to order OPA to respond to my request for public records. And today's the deadline, Jake.
Moving to a new question, on a different topic, how come warning signs aren't posted at Hanamaulu, Nawiliwili, Waimea, Niumalu and Wainiha streams, when the most recent batch of water samples conducted by Surfrider Kauai shows “high levels of pollution which sometimes extends out to the surfbreak (e.g The Bowl, in Hanalei, Kealia)?” You can see the numbers for yourself here. ugh
While we're on the topic of ugh, it was quite interesting to read some of the comments that accompanied the New York Times' misleadingly headlined article on research that UH marine biologist Paul E. Nachtigall is conducting into how marine mammals respond to noise.
It's a significant question, seeing as how the Navy is making really big noise in the ocean right now during the RIMPAC war games and wants to make a lot more. As the NYT reports:
In May, the Navy disclosed draft environmental impact statements (Atlantic and Pacific operations) that said planned [training] expansions could raise the annual hearing losses among sea mammals to more than one million.
Sigh. Anyway, Nachtigall is making like he could train the animals to essentially plug their ears before they're deafened — if only he could get more money to experiment on enslaved dolphins and a false killer whale named Kina. As three commenters astutely noted:
Dr. Natchigall has been granted approximately 2.6 MM from the Office of Naval Research, 120K from Exxon, and 579K from the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers, i.e. BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Eni, ExxonMobil, North Caspian Oil Company, Shell, Statoil, and Total.
So whaddya bet the Navy, the oil industry, etc. or will use this study to say "hey, it doesn’t matter how much noise we make because the whales can regulate what they hear!"
Kina (false killer whale) is half deaf/half insane after decades of sound torture (aka testing) she had to endure. Hawaii lab has been funded by the Navy for ages, and is responsible for the majority of studies on hearing worldwide, the conflict of interests cannot get any worse than that. The Navy also cites these studies in their applications for sonar use. The timing is not a coincidence either: the Navy is getting several large permits for sonar testing in Hawaii/Cali/East Coast and worldwide.
My sentiments, exactly.
And finally, when are we going to start listening to some sense regarding the “drug wars?”
As an article in Business Insider International reports, in the 11 years since Portugal decriminalized all drugs, the number of addicts has been halved:
Portugal's drug usage rates are now among the lowest of EU member states.
Drug related diseases including STDs and overdoses have been reduced even more than usage rates, which experts believe is the result of the government offering treatment with no threat of legal ramifications to addicts.
In a country like America, which may take the philosophy of criminalization a bit far (more than half of America's federal inmates are in prison on drug convictions), other alternatives must, and to a small degree, are being discussed.
Very, very quietly.