Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Musings: Seriously

Morning arrived with a surprising, though welcome, chill and the joy of seeing Waialeale, fully revealed in all her craggy, weatherbeaten glory, blush first pink, then scarlet, then purple with the rising of the sun.

Not so joyous was seeing a plastic bag stuffed with newsprint in my driveway and discovering that's the new mode of delivery for MidWeek Kauai. It's apparently cheaper than having it go out by mail — if you don't consider the environmental cost of adding tens of thousands of plastic bags to the landscape and landfill each week. Why is it that businesses are barred from giving customers plastic bags, and motorists are prohibited from tossing stuff out their windows, yet Oahu Publishing Inc. is allowed to do both?

Of course, it's not as serious as the U.S. and U.K. preparing to bomb Syria, regardless of what the U.N. says. But don't worry, it won't turn out like Iraq. Because you know, we learned from that debacle. This time, the Pentagon is admitting up front that it can't really control its cruise missiles, so don't be expecting any surgical strikes and do be expecting "collateral damage." Because what better way to punish a government for killing its own civilians than to kill more of its innocents?

Never mind that it remains unclear just who used those chemical weapons. It was supposedly Israel — never the most objective source — that provided “proof” it was Assad's regime. But thus far, no evidence has been publicly disclosed, nor is it likely to be.

Kauai County Al Castillo, as I mentioned previously, is refusing to disclose his opinion that all the improperly approved vacation rentals get to keep their ill-gotten, life-of-the-property permits. Now he's saying he doesn't even have to reveal who the opinion was for. Was it for planning? The mayor? An unsolicited opinion intended to ensure the TVR travesty is never corrected?

We don't know, because on Kauai, our county attorney writes secret opinions for secret clients on the taxpayer's dime.

Of course, it's not as serious as the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, which is steadily leaking radioactive water into the ocean we share. As the Associated Press reports:

[Nuclear Regulatory Authority chairman Shunichi] Tanaka said there is a much larger ongoing problem at the plant: massive amounts of contaminated ground water reaching the sea. But that problem cannot even be rated under the IAEA's International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale because it is unknown exactly how much ground water is escaping, how contaminated it is and what effect it is having on the sea and marine products.

So much, it seems, is unknown. Like the planning department can't even come up with a list of which TVRs it approved for renewals, and which it denied, without spending 15 hours compiling the data. When I asked planning director Mike Dahilig how that could possibly be, he replied:

The TVR renewals for this past cycle have been processed manually. That information is being entered into a database along with other information that continues to be culled from the files through the hand audit process. This database is still in the process of creation, remains incomplete and is not ready to efficiently produce work product at this time.

Gee, you'd think they'd have made a manual list as they were going along, just something for reference, a little cheat sheet, so to speak. And what's the value of a database that can't regurgitate what's just been entered in?

This seems a good time to jeer at the deluded comment by Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. in today's newspaper:

But, like in most things, we on Kauai are setting the standard for how it should be done.”

Now that's serious. Seriously funny, and seriously scary.


Anonymous said...

Then did they process renewals and how? Or are they not renewing until they know which way is up or down? The saga is getting worse.

Anonymous said...

First the sentence, then the facts

Anonymous said...

What does the Office of Information Practices say about Dahilig's refusal to supply that information?


Anonymous said...

I believe that the TvR rackets are so saturated with county, state and federal crimes that if 10-20 concerned citizens would file complaints to the department of justice then proper action would be executed.

If it is left in the hands of Kauai county officials then nothing will be done and more people will die in illegal TVRs.

We now know who some of Kauai county crooks are.

I motion for the removal or resignation of Al Castillo, Costa and Mike Dahilig immediately. Go follow Imai and Gary-out the door!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

So the mayor says Kauai knows how to get things done? I'd like to see who will help him keep getting things done when the COK selects its next Managing Director. Will it be Lenny? Janine? Someone whose company made contributions to the mayor's campaign? We'll see.

Joan Conrow said...

Dear 10:49 Yes, they are processing the renewals even though they still don't know which way is up.

And 11:29, Planning is willing to give me that information, they just wants to charge me $182.50. Initially, Dee Crowell had asked for more time in fulfilling my public records request and said they would pull it together and email it over. When I asked when that might be I was hit with the $182.50 price tag.

Anonymous said...

Vote for anyone but Bernard. The mayor and the council should be seeking Al's resignation. The reality is he's probably protecting both with direction from the mayor to pervert 'sunshine' on a very dark spot in county government.
We were able to vote out one bad attorney. time to get the other out.

Anonymous said...

Hey Joan....are you interested in running for mayor?

Anonymous said...

If Al gave you the opinion he'd be violating his client's right to confidentiality.

Anonymous said...

This administration has to go, or we all go down to the gutter. God help us.

Anonymous said...

you guys need a life.

Joan, are you serious when you say how "easy" it should be to "manually" compile ALL the statistics for ALL the tvr renewals etc? you ask ANYONE that has had to fulfill statistics compilation BY HAND, WHILE still serving the community and the many other duties required on a daily basis - IT'S A LOT OF HARD WORK AND IT CAN'T BE DONE IN A FEW MONTHS. get real and get realistic. just because they're not getting you the information at your speed, because you seem to have such a full time job yourself, don't knock on the clerks working MANUALLY to compile these statistics because the administration doesn't want to give them money for a REAL database system.

remember now, it's not just you asking for information, EVERY SINGLE councilmember has their own wish list of the type of data they want...

think about it. honestly think about it. i'm not saying the tvr debacle should be swept under the rug...but after watching the council meetings, at least they're progressively providing numbers...that's all

Anonymous said...

Didn't the council inform the planning dept that they would fund any help needed to help sort out this mess? Did Mike ask for any short term hire?

Anonymous said...

The County will keep you safe from pesticides. Seriously.

Anonymous said...

Do your JOB!!!

Its plain and simple these non qualified family cronies with county clerk jobs don't even know how to create a simple spreadsheet database to keep track of these phony applications.

Probably don't even know how to zip file them and email it let alone use a fax machine.

Total dysfunction in some of our county departments is the result of Nepotism. You can find perfect examples in our parks and recs, county trans, human resources, planning dept, BOE, and other numerous failed so called leaders and managers.

Remember to Vote out these Clowns before they turn the old big save into their free breakfast/lunch/dinner buffet food court.

Get to WORK!!!

Anonymous said...

The County of Kauai is a reflection of a Mexican border town. It is full of coca rachas.

Anonymous said...

Flying into the 21st century? Really? Last time I checked they can't even digitalize the zoning maps and post them on the web, one has to physically go to the planning department.

Morons that will only go kicking and screaming into the future like tantraum crying children.

Joan Conrow said...

Dear 9:05,

I'm not knocking the clerks who are doing data entry.

I'm knocking Mike, because he — with the help of the county attorney — is trying to make this process as opaque as possible so these bogus TVRs get renewed without any opportunity for the public to review or challenge the decisions.

As 9:31 noted, the council offered Mike money for short-term hires. He could have had this data base up a long time ago. But the longer he drags it out, the easier it becomes to sweep it all under the rug.

Anonymous said...

why are you making this all about you and what you want?
Leave the Planning Department alone so they can get their job done-every time they have to take time out of their day to gather information for you and your other activist friends it takes away from what they are being paid to do-besides why would they bend over backwards to help you when all that you want to do is kick them in the okole-

Anonymous said...

""why are you making this all about you and what you want?
Leave the Planning Department alone so they can get their job done-""

We ALL want ACCOUNTABILITY...we pay your salary, and you have proven not to have any....just another self serving government bureaucracy!

Dr Shibai

Anonymous said...

The TVR mess is going to be a cover up like the gas theft, Koloko Dam, unsolved murders, county furloughs, Serial Killer, Kauai court sexual harassments and the rest of the Rackets that they get away with.

They know how to push things slowly under the rug.

Anonymous said...

that's the problem, they are not doing the job they are paid to do, or they would have that list and not just for you. total cover up.

Anonymous said...

Mike and Al know there is only one person they are obliged to please and that is Bernard. Screw the Council, the taxpayers and everyone else.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure they want to be completely correct in everything when they get the info out there for the public-because god forbid there is one even small mistake- which those of you that are making it your "job" to blow way out of proportion in your quest to shut down all TVR's are hoping for-
good lord isn't there something more important in your lives to focus on?

Anonymous said...

Basically you're saying that if you have money then you should be able to do whateva u like.

Illegal TVR owners should pay hefty fines and sent to prison. No more turning the cheek and letting the Plueghers of this world get away with crimes and negligible manslaughter.

Anonymous said...

Negligible manslaughter is the biggest problem on this island.

Anonymous said...

"I'm sure they want to be completely correct in everything when they get the info out there for the public-because god forbid there is one even small mistake- which those of you that are making it your "job" to blow way out of proportion in your quest to shut down all TVR's are hoping for-
good lord isn't there something more important in your lives to focus on?"

For many locals, turning Kauai into a playground for the rich and famous with all its accompanying impacts to environment, mauka/makai access, destruction of fishing grounds, loss of community, sky rocketing property values and the resulting disparity between the haves and have-nots is a quality of life issue with multiple repercussions. This impacts all of us in a multitude of ways but most especially kanaka who are removed more and more from access to land and resources. County officials like Mike Dahlig and Al Castillo continue to throw obstacles in the path of accountability, transparency and resolution. The public out cry over this negligence is justifiable and warranted! If not for Joan's TVR Abuse Chronicles, I don't think there would be any incentive to fix this. I have a life and I care about it being a better quality one for my grandchildren's future.