It's been delightful these past few mornings to watch brilliant Venus and the crescent moon dance in the lavender pre-dawn sky. But today Venus pulled ahead as a sliver moon, new tomorrow, struggled to emerge from a cloud bank on the horizon.
If you thought the political dance between Councilman Tim Bynum and former Prosecutor Shaylene Iseri ended when his case against her finally settled, think again. With her allies — Councilmen Ross Kagawa and Mel Rapozo — reluctant to pin the blame on the donkey, they're now focusing on County Attorney Al Castillo's office, which has his enemies — Shay and Councilman Gary Hooser — piling on.
As ably reported in today's The Garden Island, Mel wants to release the Council's executive session minutes on Tim's lawsuit, which I would certainly love to see. Let's hang all the dirty laundry on the line.
Hawaii News Now is doing its part, reporting that Tim will receive more $250,000 — it's actually just under $300,000 — and rehashing some of Shay's previous “highly-publicized misconduct incidents.” The report also noted that “the settlement is significant because prosecutors are usually immune from such lawsuits.” It then quoted Honolulu defense attorney, Victor Bakke, who wasn't involved in the case, as saying:
For the county to give up their immunity defense and settle for a sum of that amount is a good indication that not only did they not have a good case but they would be punished even more.
Another political dance is under way at KIUC, where we're voting on three new members of the Board. If you haven't voted yet, your ballot envelopes are probably glued shut from all the rain, but you can still vote on line or over the phone.
I asked a friend recently who he voted for, and at first he didn't want to say, because he thought I'd get mad, but he finally fessed up: he'd cast his ballot for Jonathan Jay, Adam Asquith and Jimmy Trujillo, whom he characterized as the “three rebels.”
Except they're not, I told him. They're just like the county folks who are wasting our money on frivolous lawsuits and using the process to settle personal grudges. All you have to do is look at their “to do list” for the KIUC Board, where the number one priority is “Create & Hire a new Community Engagement Department.”
Really? Their top priority is to replace community relations director Jim Kelly, one of the best things that ever happened to KIUC? And why? Because he's the only who has had the balls to stand up to those guys and call them on their bullshit, including monopolizing the KKCR airwaves (where all three have programs) with KIUC-bashing.
Btw, the only KIUC candidate who was never invited to be a guest on KKCR was Chuck Lasker, who is hated by the station's “red shirts” for his pro-GMO stance. How's that for fairness and equal time on our "community" radio station? [Update: One of the programmers said she did call him but did not get a response, though he told me he'd received no communication at all.]
One of their other proposals, I told my friend, is to institute free smart-meter opt-outs, even though the members just rejected that. Another goal is solar hot-water on more than 90 percent of all roofs within a decade. Which sounds great, but who is going to pay for that? And how likely is that people who already paid for rooftop solar will want to subsidize that cost, especially when they didn't want to spend even $1 per month to pay for other members' smart-meter opt-out fees?
It'll never fly, my friend acknowledged.
Exactly. But that's the kind of pie-in-the-sky crap they throw out to make themselves look good. Meanwhile, they haven't been attending Board meetings or otherwise doing anything to get akamai should they actually win.
I know they'll never get elected, but I just wanted to make a protest vote against the status quo, my friend said. “You used to be a dreamer, too.”
And I still am, I told him. Only my dream is for people who truly want to serve the people — folks who aren't motivated by ego, pettiness, retribution and revenge.
Finally, we continue on this island to dance around the tough question: what the hell are we gonna do with our ag lands? The proposed new dairy is already getting thrashed, though many of the bashers don't even know exactly what's planned.
I don't know if the dairy can fly, or if it's a good thing. Questions still remain and need to be answered. But it's important to resist these knee-jerk rejections of every agricultural proposal that requires more than an o'o stick and imported bat guano.
Because I'm cynical enough to see Grove Farm — now clearly a land-banking company — going to the state Land Use Commission and saying, hey, we can't make ag fly even on our Important Ag Lands with a project financed by a billionaire who doesn't care if he makes a profit. How the hell do you expect us to make ag work on our other lands? We need to have them reclassified.
We could just end up dancing with developers, instead of dairies. And while new management models may keep the latter from stinking, I'm not convinced the same holds true for the former.