Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Musings: Deconstructing Dirty Tricks

As the County Council prepares to vote tomorrow on overriding the mayor's veto of pesticide/GMO Bill 2491, the smell of dirty tricks hangs heavily in the air.

I'm talking about the eleventh-hour allegation that former Councilwoman Nadine Nakamura, now the mayor's top aide, orchestrated the bill's take-down with Councilwoman JoAnn Yukumura and county Communications Director Beth Tokioka via text at the marathon Oct. 15 meeting.

The accusation — subject of a post by blogger Andy Parx and memo to the mayor from Councilman Gary Hooser — was made by Kauai newcomer Jennifer Ruggles. Jennifer claims she was sitting behind Beth at the meeting and had an hours-long, unobstructed view of Beth's phone, thus allowing her to document the three women strategizing and “conspiring for a deferral” throughout the 18-hour meeting.

It all sounds very dramatic — until you look at it with a discerning eye.

First, consider the source. Jennifer is a paid political activist with the Pesticide Action Network who just six months ago was stirring up shit on the Big Island. She incorrectly reported in the Oct. 17 PAN blog that the bill was “veto-proof,” and on Friday had a letter in The Garden Island claiming she “recently participated in the democratic process for the first time.”

Jennifer also can be seen in the disturbing video of the mayor's veto, which starts with the camera man accosting Beth and demanding to see the messages on her phone. It is apparent in the video that he doesn't know who Beth is, which makes it highly unlikely Jennifer would have been attuned to the intrigue supposedly playing out on Beth's phone in the Council chambers.

Yet as Andy reports, citing an email from Jennifer:

"I felt concerned because it didn't seem ethical that the person who works most closely with the mayor, who after his presentation revealed the administration's agenda in opposition to the bill, should be lobbying JoAnn Yukimura and conspiring for a deferral with Nadine Nakamura during a public hearing," Ruggles said.

"The lobbying was especially inappropriate because it was happening during public testimony. Beth initiated these conversations disregarding the many people who had slept overnight to have their voice heard."

Let's just take a moment here to dispel the bullshit notion that anyone had to sleep overnight to have their voice heard. The campout was all part of the street theater and the drama.

Then consider the timing. If Jennifer was so deeply alarmed, why did she wait a full month to make her concerns known, which “coincidentally” takes it to the doorstep of the veto vote?

Finally, consider the substance. Andy claims in his post that the text-a-thon reveals:

In essence, Nakamura had set up the bill for veto by crafting and introducing the measures that her future boss would use as a reason to veto the bill.

However, Andy fails to mention that those very same amendments were introduced in committee, where they were supported by Gary Hooser and all the red shirts clamoring for the bill's passage in its amended form.

Andy goes on to claim:

Had the mayor vetoed the bill the day after it passed it would have left plenty of time for Nakamura, who eventually voted for the bill that night, to vote on the override which specifically requires five votes according to the county charter.

Except that's not true. With the six-day notice required by the state Sunshine Law, it would have been virtually impossible to get the override on the agenda in time for Nadine's last Council meeting on Oct. 23. And there's no guarantee she would have overridden it, anyway, when she had moved previously for a deferral.

Andy also claims:


The first irony in all of this, one that  [Councilman Tim] Bynum and Hooser intimated at, is that most of the midnight-hours at the Oct. 15-16 meeting had been spent proposing and passing amendments that were written, researched and insisted upon by Nakamura. 

Except if you actually watch the video of the meeting, you will see that the late-night amendments were introduced by JoAnn and Gary, with Gary and Tim supporting JoAnn's more questionable revisions.

Andy also repeats the spurious smear that Tim made against Nadine, where he accused her of “highly inappropriate and unethical behavior” for expressing her concerns about the challenges she would face implementing the bill as the mayor's managing director.

As someone who has watched the county administration fail to implement the vacation rental bill — even in the totally gutted form that Tim sponsored — I appreciated Nadine's candor in addressing that key issue.

It's an issue I've been raising since the get-go, which leads me to the underlying flaw of Bill 2491: its sponsor, Gary Hooser. Gary has been far more concerned with gaining personal notoriety as “the people's candidate,” the David that faced down the multinational's Goliath, than in ensuring we have a meaningful bill that works for this county.

Gary wanted all the glory, which is why he failed to consult with Nadine, the Council's top vote-getter, before introducing the bill. Instead, he and Tim, the two weakest members on the panel, were its sole champions. As a result, Gary had to sit back and let Nadine and JoAnn have their way with the bill in committee, because he depended on their votes to move it forward.

Now, with the eviscerated bill barely clinging to life, it's sad to see him resort to dirty tricks for the second time in as many weeks. The first was the fake huhu, fanned by Andrea Brower, over the supposed “one-two punch” of the mayor vetoing the bill and releasing the legal opinion, a ridiculous claim that The Garden Island swallowed hook, line and sinker.

For those of us watching this travesty unfold with growing distaste, tomorrow's vote can't come soon enough.

58 comments:

Anonymous said...

How much the GMO companies payin' you Joan? Hope it's enough to eat.

Joan Conrow said...

My blog and I have no allegiance, paid or otherwise, to anyone.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Joan being paid by the GMO companies. Now I've heard it all.
Joan is just doing what GOOD journalists do. Taking a critical eye to the subject matter. And something DOES stink.
The bill stinks. The original bill was good. The intentions were good. It was the hours and hours of BS and amendments that ruined it.
The loudest supporters of this bill should take a hard look in the mirror, because THEY ruined this chance by not keeping an open mind and seeing a conspiracy around every corner.
The council should have deferred it -- a week -- to clean the thing up. But the loudest squawkers got their way and all the people who supported the bill but not the bull have been screwed.
I hope they rework the bill before they vote and put together a GOOD bill for this county.

Andy Parx said...

1) Jennifer Riggles can NOT be seen accompanying the cameraman because she wasn't with him. She did NOT question Beth Tokioka. As a matter of fact she can be seen leaving the meeting with the mayor after the videographer starts talking about "the woman" who was texting. The videographer asked because everyone had heard about it by then because a number of people present at the meeting witnessed the texting while it was happening. As a matter of fact it was referred to in Facebook posts at the time. I am not in the habit publishing single sourced material unless it is labeled as such.

2) The council has routinely held "special" council meetings throughout this processes so the notion that a veto override had to occur at the last regular meeting on the 23rd is preposterous. Tomorrow's meeting is, in fact a "special" council meeting. There would have been plenty of time to override with Nakamura still on the council had the veto occurred the first day.

4) People slept outside in order to be assured of gaining entry to the meeting where attendance was restricted to those with wristbands.

5) The only amendment introduced and passed in committee was the one that changed the EIS to a self-styled study and dropped the moratorium among other things of that nature. None of the other amendments were even in existence for the committee meeting. Gary and Tim can clearly be seen fighting and sometimes getting the best "compromise" they could in the "midnight massacre" but it would be absurd to say they encouraged the amendments or even agreed with them.

Fern said...

Hi Joan! :) I was actually sitting next to Jennifer in the hearing and she was absolutely taking as many notes as possible about all the texts that Beth was making during the hearing. I watched her with my own eyes.

Anonymous said...

I love it--how the red-shirts are still supporting #2491, and will be out in force again tomorrow supporting the override. Lest they know that their pill has been poisoned?

To override the bill is a lose-lose situation, down the worm hole. Don't you get it? I guess about all you can expect for simplistic zealotry . . .

Anonymous said...

Frankly what you are all seeing is just a phsychologically abused populace who has been put through the ringer, and that includes staff like Beth. But, I just want to testify in favor of Beths personality and demeaner, that I find that highly shocking that would be occurring, however, judging by what I actually witnessed, it may be an outside far fetched possibility. I haven't known Fern as long as I have known Beth, But I have also never known either women to be liars either. As said I don't know Jennifer. I have known Gary since he came to kaua'i, and I have known Andy Parks for almost 30 years. I think this issue has made us all a little nuts, and acting and saying things we never would have normally. Which just goes to show, don't open Pandoras box in the first place, and things like this won't happen. I have no idea what will happen tomorrow. But I, like the rest of kaua'i have a life to return to and family issues, work issues, and all of the rest of it to deal with. We voted in Council Members to take care of this stuff so we don't have to. Frankly I will be glad when the bill gets passed tomorrow, and we can all get back to some sort of normalicy on this island. Joan you do a good job, and are provacative, and brave in your blogging. You do make people think about many possibilities. But on this whole thing, we are all utterly exhausted. We need to pass it, and all take a breather, then come together and donate to the Red Cross for releif for the Phillipines. Because that is just the right thing to do. On both counts.

Anonymous said...

Fern admitted on Facebook she never saw the texts.

Chuck Lasker said...

There's the Shill Gambit, Joan! Welcome to the club.

Anonymous said...

Regarding #2491, Shakespeare nailed it: "Much Ado About Nothing."

The operative word in the right to know, is know. The knowledge, or rather lack thereof, of the authors and supporter of the bill is what doomed it from the git go. To blame anyone else for the tribulations, and its likely demise, is classic self-absorption. Indeed, you have met the enemy, and it is you.

Anonymous said...

Yes a poisoned bill and the red shirts still clamored to pass it. Do you think any of them read the amendments?

If the bill was good, i'd be in full support of the veto over ride, but since the bill sucks, hope the council does not override.Mayor, we support your veto and want to work on the problem but not through this poor indefensible version.

Joan Conrow said...

Andy

1) The first video I saw had Jennifer standing next to the cameraman when he was asking Beth about the text.

2) Yes, the Council does hold special meetings but it couldn't have met the sunshine law prior to the Oct. 23 meeting and after that Nadine was pau.

3) People could still testify, even if they didn't have a purple wristband to get into the Council chambers so sleeping outside was NOT required for one's voice to be heard.

4) The amendment moving the bill from Public Works to Economic Development was added in committee, along with many other changes.
http://kauaipiko.blogspot.com/2013/10/bill-2491-morphs.html

Anonymous said...

The bill will pass. I know this makes you guys really really mad. Yanno, when you look at the flow chart of this country, this state and this county there is one box that is filled in first and stands above all of the rest. And that box is filled with the word "Electorate". Not the word, "Corporate". Local people, born and raised have been getting sprayed by crap and breathing in crap for a hundred and fifty years now. They watched their fathers and mothers return, their fathers, uncles and brothers covered in black soaked into their skins, their clothes reeking, spitting out black galagalas, and the moms and older sisters tried to wash it all out of their clothing. I am so sick and tired of hearing how "DDT was sprayed and we were all fine!". Really. Not true. The life expectancy of native Hawaiians is one of the lowest in the state. The rate of cancer for people of Japanese, Filipino, Portuguese, Puerto Rican heritage here, who come from the Era of sugar, and actually worked in those fields have some of the highest cancer, and lung infection rates in the country, and die often and early from these diseases. None of you know what the heck you are talking about. Do you really think real locals are for living like that for the next hundred years? Forever and ever and ever working the corporate fields, of the corporate bosses, putting their bodies and health on the line to grow crops that line the pockets of their bosses? DO you really think that is what the glorious future of kaua'i is all about? Shame. Hewa. I feel sorry for you all. Truly. When I hear you guys call men, women and children, law abiding blue collar working class people idiots, dummies, hippies, terrorists, rude, blah blah blah. That to me is just so offensive. Do you know how bigoted and racist you sound? How juvenile and childish and immature? How completely out of touch with reality? The very reason why this will pass, is because like all things there is justice in truth and the will of the people. Truth will out.

Anonymous said...

One pill makes you taller and one pill makes you.....? Joan you are getting blasted by the some of the l'il fistees because you have exposed what a limp wrist this bill has become and correctly pin-pointed the pure political motives by two-faced Gary and estrogen imbued Bynam. Andy (where's my welfare check) Parx is just irritated because of your Blog's success and the respect you have as a journalist in Hawaii.
If the fistees just focused on the bill, how to get the objectives of the bill in practice and educating the citizens on the dangers of pesticides the li'l fistees would have respect.
The fistees have trivialized the process, instead of staying steadfast and unwavering in the pursuit of stopping herbicides. Stick to the issue, educate the people and shut off the rhetoric......The li'l fistees are flailing in the wind.

Anonymous said...

Joan no one can get in without a purple wristband, and you sure as heck can't testify without one. That is their security procedure now, and they enforce it hardcore. Where did you get the idea that people can testify without a wristband? Even the seed company execs have to have one to testify. Perhaps this time around, you should come out, spend the evening tonight at the county building, check things out, get to meet people, find out what's really going on down there, and see for yourself why people are camping out. I am sure it will become completely obvious to you if you do. I mean what Journalist could turn down such a juicy opportunity for a great human interest piece? I know you like the stars, and the sky and the sunsets, and the sunrises. Get to know people, and find out why they are there, what they are sacrificing to be there, and who they are. I think it could be an award winning peice. :D

Anonymous said...

"Andy (where's my welfare check) Parx is just irritated because of your Blog's success and the respect you have as a journalist in Hawaii."

Wow. Andy Parx was a journalist on Kaua'i before you probably ever heard of Kaua'i. Before you put down people with a debilitating physical ailment, that causes them to be wheelchair bound, and the handicapped in general, and offend a huge section of kaua'i with your ignorant statements...do you throw little babies out in the streets to fend for themselves too? You're mean spirited post doesn't make you look credible, or even human. Grow a compassion bone, or get off the human train dude. WOw What nerve. Reveal, who you are, so we can analyze your life and pluck it apart shred by shred? Remember a million little fists, comes together for one big hammer...in the voting booth. And dude, get some anger management. Quick.

Joan Conrow said...

Everyone who wanted to testify was given the opportunity, 3:18, whether they slept outside or not.

Anonymous said...

People camped out to pack the room with red shirts and make it look like everyone supports the bill.

Anonymous said...

I'm not wild about the weakened bill either, Joan, but it's the best this council could do at the present time. A stronger bill did not have the votes necessary to pass with a council more concerned about jobs and not being up to speed on the seriousness of the issue of the poisoning of Kaua'i. What good is a stronger bill if it dies for lack of votes?
As for people camping out.. yes they DID have to. A few meetings back they came very early in the morning to get in line but the biotech workers had beat them by arriving on buses at 4am & lining up for most of the council room chairs, so they were shut out for the most part. The next meeting they vowed to get there earlier so they weren't left out of the council room; first come, first served.
It was a very practical move to spend the night and in no way, theater.
As for Jennifer Ruggles being a Kaua'i 'newcomer', she's not new to Hawai'i Island, she's helped on Sen. Ruderman's campaign and been active on many island issues as an unpaid volunteer - I appreciate her very much, she works hard for Hawai'i.
I don't understand why you've been attacking Gary. Yes, his job is 'politician' but I know he is sincerely concerned about his fellow Kauaians being poisoned and rightly angered by what has been allowed. I think Gary is one of THE BEST 'politicians' in the state and I am very grateful for all he has done.
Maybe the reason he didn't 'consult' with Nadine beforehand was because he had already talked to Tim.. making it a sunshine violation if he talked to Nadine?
As for 'the disturbing video', the only thing I saw that was disturbing on it was watching the mayor sell out the people of Kaua'i. The mild reaction of unhappiness by those assembled was completely understandable in light of the violence being done by these companies, state agencies, and our elected officials.


Anonymous said...

P.S. It's 4:35pm Wed.
(paid?) Biotech workers are now lining up at the council building for the 9am meeting. Now do you 'get it'?

Anonymous said...

After all the ring-a-ring-a-roses on #2491, the bill is untenable. To override the veto is merely a feel good for a little while, like getting high. You win the battle, but you lose the war.
The supporters are so self-absorbed that they can't come to understand that the Mayor did them a big favor. They think they will be shoving it back in his face, when in reality, they are cutting off their noses, in spite of their face.
The self-absorption to pass the bill has obliterated the primary issue, which is the safety use of pesticides, not only by the agricultural users, but by all users; the pest control industry, medical industry, tourist industry, and yes, the homeowners.
When you override the Mayor's veto and pass the bill, good luck in getting great cooperation to make meaningful reforms. It'll be ring-a-ring-a-roses time again.

Anonymous said...

Law is reason, free from passion.
Aristotle
Law is passion, free from reason.
Kauai Council

Anonymous said...

It's all theater. Why is Joan attacking Gary? Here's why (from KE on September 17):

The truth is, this bill is very unlikely to ever be enforced. Its sponsor, Councilman Gary Hooser, told me from the start that it would rely on voluntary compliance by the chemical/seed companies. But wait, isn't that what we have now with the state? Isn't voluntary compliance exactly what people believe is inadequate?

Later, when I expressed my dismay to Gary about the polarizing effects of a bill that I saw as essentially meaningless, as in sounds tough but lacks teeth, he tried to ease my concerns.

It doesn't even matter if it's enforced, he told me. All that matters is getting it passed.

Anonymous said...

"Andy Parx was a journalist on Kaua'i before you probably ever heard of Kaua'i."

Taking a journalism class at KCC and writing inane b.s. on a blog does not make one a journalist. And I knew Andy was inane before you or your mommy or daddy knew about Kauai.

Anonymous said...

"The rate of cancer for people of Japanese, Filipino, Portuguese, Puerto Rican heritage here, who come from the Era of sugar, and actually worked in those fields have some of the highest cancer, and lung infection rates in the country, and die often and early from these diseases."

Say what? Where do you get your facts? Out of your okole?

Anonymous said...

If you knew dick about the history of Hawaii, you would know that most of the Japanese and Portuguese left the plantations behind and were replaced by the Filipinos. So you'd have to be studying cancer rates for people who stopped working on plantations several decades ago. But say whatever to make a point. Is that you, Andy?

Anonymous said...

"As for people camping out.. yes they DID have to. A few meetings back they came very early in the morning to get in line but the biotech workers had beat them by arriving on buses at 4am & lining up for most of the council room chairs, so they were shut out for the most part."

Shut out from what? Sitting for hours on end in front of the council waiting to get on TV for their few minutes of fame? Or waving their fists at the council to make sure that the bill passed?

Anonymous said...

7:56 Actually- Joan and Andy do a fine job defining the bill, along with their pertinent infusions.

Anonymous said...

Nadine Joann and Beth, instead of meeting behind closed doors like all good conspiracists, decide to communicate via text to massage the process to get a deferral in front of a room full of people, with Tim sitting on one side of Joann and Gary sitting on the other.

And Jennifer Ruggles favored passing a bill with major amendments that significantly weakened the bill without an opportunity for the public to comment on the amendments because it would have required a deferral.

Ah, democracy.

Anonymous said...


State Develops Voluntary Guidelines for Pesticides Use on Kauai

Posted on Nov 13, 2013 in Main

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Nov. 13, 2013
NR13-15

Agricultural Good Neighbor Program Established

HONOLULU – The Pesticides Branch of the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) has completed voluntary pesticide-use guidelines and established the “Kauai Agricultural Good Neighbor Program” to provide more information and education on pesticide use on the island.

The voluntary pesticide-use guideline will go into effect on Dec. 1, 2013. It will apply to the five agricultural companies mentioned in Kauai County Bill 2491 (Dow AgroSciences, Pioneer, Syngenta, BASF, and Kauai Coffee Company) and assures that adequate buffer zones are in place when restricted-use pesticides (RUP) are applied.

The voluntary guidelines are in addition to federal guidelines established by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

“The department used existing federal worker protection standards and increased buffer zones to provide extra protection for residents in areas surrounding these farming operations,” said HDOA Deputy Scott Enright. “We will also be requesting that the Legislature establish 10 additional inspector and pesticide education positions statewide in this upcoming legislative session.”

Under the Kauai Agricultural Good Neighbor Program, neighbors who are located nearest to the farm operations will be the primary focus of continuing outreach efforts to provide information on pesticide use and to discuss any concerns.

Under the Voluntary RUP Notice section of the program, the guidelines will register schools, hospitals and medical clinics that are within 1,000 feet of the farming operations so they may receive a weekly schedule of any planned RUP application near their property. Registered entities will also be notified at least 24 hours in advance should there be any change in the weekly RUP application schedule.

The guidelines also require a 100-foot buffer zone between application areas and schools, medical facilities and residential properties, unless the EPA regulations are stricter. By law, all requirements found on the pesticide label must be followed.

The companies are also required to file a monthly report on RUP use with HDOA’s Pesticides Branch. The report will be available for public viewing at the state’s Open Data portal: https://data.hawaii.gov

The program will be assessed after one year.

Anonymous said...

Now, let's chase that down the wormhole . . .

Anonymous said...

Kirby Kester said at the hearings that they are willing to agree voluntarily but if it is a matter of law then that is another thing.

The county is a political subdivision of the State of Hawaii and exists by statute. The idea that counties can set laws for pesticide use is ground breaking and that is my guess why it doesn't matter what kind of law is passed the question of can the County make laws governing pesticide use will be determined in the court. My guess is that if this is true the seed companies will do their unlimited best to stop this from happening meaning that the county will need to defend this law. Will the Non Government Organizations foot the bill to defend the county or do real property taxpayers pay the bill.

Will a super majority let their egos force our county tax payers to be liable for a bill that the seed companies and the State has made unnecessary to make a point of law?

Anonymous said...

What about the dust? The biggest hole in the bill is the dust. So stupid.

Anonymous said...

Fugitive dust is covered by the grading and grubbing ordinance and is administered by Public Works. Ag entities must file an exemption from the grading and grubbing ordinance that is signed off by the county public works. Dust is clearly under County jurisdiction and is administered by the County. I believe that the Council is using exactly that reasoning and expanding dust to pesticides and hence 2491.

Clayton Kubo's dust problem should be addressed through the grading and grubbing ordinance. Mitigation should be addressed in the Conservation plan that the County has to sign off on. When the County signs off on the conservation plan there is an exemption to the grading and grubbing ordinance.

Then who enforces the Conservation Plan once the County signs off? I don't know!

It is clearly within the Council and the Administrations kuleana to deal with fugitive dust.

Will mitigating the dust mitigate the drift from the pesticides?

Maybe the Council should look at what they can do then being led around the field by the nose!

Anonymous said...

Why is there so much dust if the grading and grubbing ordinance covers it? If dust is clearly the county problem and they can't deal with it how will they do with pesticides?

Anonymous said...

Kauai...the land of people crazier than shit house rats.

What a fucking zoo. Glad I chuckle at the antics from afar.

Anonymous said...

so now its a crime to text during a meeting. who the heck cares if they were texting? if the texts were SOOOOOO damning why not publish EXACTLY what the texts say jennifer instead of tack on some broad statement of corruption. how much do you get paid again to stir up shit? and then fern says on fb she didn't see them and then posts here she did. i still stand by it when i say the reds are hysterics and out of control. what a bunch of lunatics. btw, can i have my tax money back for the stupid march you guys didn't pay for AND for the welfare you collect on a monthly basis????

Anonymous said...

I normally don’t agree with you, but I do agree with you 100% on this most recent post. What the general public does not understand is that you can’t just attack this bill and say “just pass the bill so we can start something…just pass the bill so we can make history…never mind the repercussions, just pass the bill because the people that don’t understand the legislative process say to pass the bill”. GOOD legislation doesn’t work like that. There isn't even an enforcement plan!!!!

What the council should do is defer action on the bill or kill it, approve the Resolution for the EPHIS, and IF the EPHIS does in fact determine that pesticides is the MAIN cause for the cancer, bloody noses, etc. on the west side, THEN approve an amended version of the bill MINUS GMOs just like how the State just developed this program minus GMO. If the bill is approved, the EPHIS is done, and in fact it’s the people’s lifestyles, medication they are taking, or some other unknown cause for the cancer, do you have ANY IDEA what the seed companies could then do? Remember now, Kaua‘i’s Westside has the lowest cancer rate in the State. And when cancer is being addressed, what type of cancer is it? I know A LOT of people that have cancer from smoking, excessive drinking, and medication on the Westside. Just saying…

The cry here is “disclosure disclosure”, well guess what, if the Council approves the Resolution for the EPHIS, the amounts will be disclosed ANYWAY in order to do the study. Gary’s claims that they can’t do the EPHIS without disclosure is grand standing, the County WILL get the amounts during the EPHIS plain and simple.

In addition, the issue of GMOs has no place in this bill! It is a completely different issue. If you don’t want to eat GMO and are anti-GMO, don’t take medication, don’t smoke pot, don’t fill your tank with gas, and most of all, DON’T EAT THE DAMN THING! GMO consumption is a totally PERSONAL CHOICE.

Wake up Kaua‘i, you bitch and moan about the government passing bad laws but then you support 2491, which, if you actually read the County attorney opinion, is a BAD LAW. And yes, Joan, you are absolutely right in that Mr. Trask’s opinion did not disclose anything that the seed companies ALREADY KNOW. So for Gary and Tim to claim they are transparent and pound their fists for every other opinion to be released EXCEPT this one is quite questionable don't you think?

Andrea, Tim, Gary, and these other attorneys claim that the County’s cards are on the table now?? Really? A non-USA Ph.D. candidate Andrea? You should be smart enough to know then that with Bronster at the helm, the released opinion is just scratching the surface and the seed companies are working double time to compile anything and everything that will support their defenses. Margery Bronster was the mastermind behind the investigation that exposed the Kamehameha Schools Board of Trustees fraud!! She’s no joke, she’s the real deal!! So get off the horse that “oh nooo the County’s cards are on the table”.

If the “people” in fact do support this bill 110%, then the people should be ready to SUPPORT a money bill for millions of dollars to be used for the EPHIS, special counsel fees (the county would need to hire attorneys that specialize in RUPs, etc.), KPD, prosecutors, and the office of economic development, in addition to everyone’s taxes being raised to pay for this. Oh wait, half of the 4000 people that marched and cost the county in excess of $10k (my damn tax paying money) don’t even work and are on welfare using my tax money to buy their GMO pot.

Write on Joan, write on!

Anonymous said...

Joan, I can't believe you still feel obligated to blog on these issues when all you get are a bunch of sheep-minded medakas that say crap about what you write. You don't need the aggravation and stress, you're way better than this.

Anonymous said...

As Gary stated, all that matters is that it passes, for good reason. One might be to have this on the books? Instead of us relying on their dictates?

Anonymous said...

9:04 a.m. You took all the words right out of my mouth.

Russell Ruderman said...

I have no idea what happened in this exchange, but I will say that Jennifer Ruggles has the highest personal integrity, and I will swear by that. The phrase "stirring up shit on the Big Island" is nonsense. She is a respected activist with clear morals and the best intent. I worked with her closely on my own campaign, on the GMO issue, and other issues here on the Big Island. No one here, including we who have known her for years, would believe the 'stir up shit' allegation. I am shocked and saddened by this accusation, by someone who clearly does not know her.

Anonymous said...

In certain boardrooms, activists stir up shit that affects their bottom line. Thank you, on behalf of the nonshareholders who breathe the air or drink the water or eat the fish and limu and salt to Joan and Jennifer.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for that character reference, Mr. Ruderman. It comes at a critical time because what Jennifer added is at the heart of the issue right now.
For her observation to be discredited so quickly is a disservice.
I donʻt know her but I leaned toward believing that what she said made sense. A whole lot of sense and I also think it should definitely be taken to another level.

Joan Conrow said...

If Jennifer has such high character, why did she write a letter to the editor claiming this was her first participation in the democratic process when, by Russell's admission, she has been involved in politics for some time? She made quite a big deal out of how the Council should consider how their actions would affect someone going through the process for the first time.

Also, what about the timing? Why did she wait a month to make her accusations if she was so deeply concerned? That to me is the fishiest bit of it.

But Jennifer is just a small fish. This is really about Gary's character.

Anonymous said...

And Sol, Fern, the Cabebes, all those Waimea and Kekaha residents who are at ground zero and spoke out, and those who spoke from the heart, mahalo. What's up with the state that people gotta sue just to breath clean air at home? Isn't that why we have a department of health? Governor Abercombies bullshit ploy is ridiculous. Propose rules and tell your people to enforce the law vigorously instead of this voluntary compliance nonsense. Otherwise, stop with the last minute influence the council announcement crap. It's sickening.

Anonymous said...

Agreed 8:15 PM.

Anonymous said...

Well I guess if we are going to be sticklers for sincerity and bullshit we should do it on both sides?

Anonymous said...

Jennifer, being new to Kauai, took time to consider what happened and how to disclose it. You know what was funny was the guy who got money to save space for the pesticide/biotech side. Busted!

Anonymous said...

Yes, 8:41 p.m. let's start with those sincere folks who don't give a damn if their dust is blowing into Waimea Valley or the bullshit that the people who are most impacted by these "ag" operations have to go through just to learn what restricted use pesticides are being applied in fields adjacent to their homes.

Anonymous said...

If you work for biotech, you don't need to camp out. The corporations run the government. Biotech get first row and time slots to testify.

Anonymous said...

That's crap. All red in front row and behind camera.

Anonymous said...

Biotech gives Abercombie his marching orders, like when to issue press releases to manipulate the council.

Anonymous said...

Who was Nomi Carmoma texting all during yesterday's meeting? Gary and Tim? Show us your texts Nomi.

Anonymous said...

Donʻt show your ignorance so blatantly, 8:41 AM.
Nomi Carmoma is not a government official.

Anonymous said...

You are the ignorant one. It's ANY communication to a council member during a public hearing.

Anonymous said...

9:35 AM is absolutely right! ANYONE can influence the council duh!!!

Anonymous said...

Before we had cellphone service and laptops on kauai, council members would regularly leave the room to "take calls" on the phone, or just watch the proceedings on the tv sets in the back. And sometimes people would drift out and "informally meet" with them. I kinda miss the old days.

Now, I see all of the council members texting, and on laptops, and phones all the time. Who knows what is going on with everyone's texts? frankly I am fine with letting this one lie down for now. Lets just show up tomorrow watch the bill become law, have a great party, and then continue to support the rest of the process.

As for the idiots that wrongfully assume that half of the Marchers are on welfare, um yeah, sure what do you consider welfare? A lot of working class and working families do get some sort of assistance, here. And your point is? People work and still get assistance you know.

You must be extremely well off to not need any. Lucky you. Most local people aren't that lucky. Why do you think the march needed to happen on a Sunday to get that many people out? If everyone was unemployed as you claim, then any day of the week could have gotten that many people. It was held on a Sunday, so that families could come out together, because most people are working.

You sure are ignorant buffoons aren't you? Well when one scrapes the bottom of the barrel, its no wonder the stinkiest fish rise to the top