Some asses got kicked in the KIUC board election today, but unsurprisingly, they weren't the incumbents.
Instead, the “rebel” challengers and smart meter foes trailed badly. The number four contender, Adam Asquith, received just slightly more than half the votes cast for Phil Tacbian, the third-place incumbent. Peter Yukimura and David Iha handily won re-election, coming in first and second, respectively. They will serve three-year terms.
Stu Burley, a former board member, was fifth. Mystery man Dan Erickson came out of nowhere to take sixth. Hopefully he'll run next time, as I was just talking to Kauai Athletic Club co-owner Josh Nations, who said Dan is very smart and really knows his science and energy issues.
Jonathan Jay lost his second bid for the board, taking seventh place, followed by Neal Chantara, a single-issue anti-smart meter candidate. Jimmy Trujillo, who ran on a slate with Jonathan and Adam, took ninth, edging out Chuck Lasker. DQ Jackson was last.
Some 28.5 percent of the KIUC members voted — up from 23 percent last year and significantly higher than the 5 to 7 percent voter turnout typical of utility cooperative elections elsewhere in the nation.
So much for upending the status quo. Apparently members are more engaged, and satisfied, than the KIUC critics thought.
Here's the breakdown:
1. Peter Yukimura 3,590
2. David Iha 3,502
3. Teofilo “Phil” Tacbian 2,971
4. Adam Asquith 1,672
5. Stu Burley 1,475
6. Daniel Erickson 1,450
7. Jonathan Jay 1,140
8. Neal Chantara 1,136
9. Jimmy Trujillo 1,036
10. Chuck Lasker 934
11. DQ Jackson 848
In other news, Circuit Court Judge Greg Nakamura yesterday halted Hawaii County's registration of farmers growing genetically engineered crops.
As reported today by the Hawaii Tribune-Herald:
The order prevents the county from enforcing the registry of genetically modified organisms and disclosing information it has already received, at least for now.
The registry is part of the county’s new law banning the use and testing of modified plants within an open-air environment. Farmers already growing GMO crops are exempted, and those who already use or will use modified crops within the confines of the law must provide such information to the county.
The action came in response to a motion for a temporary restraining order filed on behalf of an unidentified papaya farmer who said the registration/disclosure is “burdensome and intrusive,” conflicts with state and federal law and exposes the farmer to “irreparable harm from vandalism, intimidation, and misappropriation of his trade secrets.”
The request for a preliminary injunction will be heard March 24.
The Hilo-based newspaper went on to report:
Derek Brewer, a GMO opponent who testified several times before the Council, said he was disappointed to see it challenged on such details.
Which underscores the point that the “red-shirt” supporters of our own GMO/pesticide law (Bill 2491/Ordinance 960) have repeatedly failed to grasp: It's not about philosophy. When you're working with laws, details matter.
So it's fascinating that both Earthjustice attorney Paul Achitoff and Paul Towers, media director of Pesticide Action Network, don't actually talk about the law they championed in blog posts they published on Huffington Post Hawaii.
Instead of discussing the merits of the bill he wants to help defend, Achitoff reiterates the stale bit about how it's “beyond shameful” for the chem companies to be suing "paradise." Towers trots out the tired “corporate bullying” schtick.
It's kind of silly to be focusing all this attention on bullying and shame when neither will carry any weight with the federal judge assigned to hear the lawsuit against Ordinance 960. But it helps to divert attention from the law's many poison pills.
And finally, in checking out those blogs I happened to notice that Arianna Huffington is exporting her schlock to Korea. Or as she described it in a breathy dispatch from Seoul:
I'm here for the launch of HuffPost Korea, which marks the 11th country where The Huffington Post's hybrid approach to journalism -- as a hub for original reporting and a blogging platform for a range of voices, both new and established -- is expanding the worldwide conversation.
Lucky them! Now they, too, can be treated to the kind of pap that comprises the unpaid content of Huff Po Hawaii. I can just see the line up: “65 reasons to move to Seoul now” and “the top 10 hostess bars in South Korea" alongside "GMO-Free kimchi" and "eight ancient Buddhist practices to build your bank balance."
If what Arianna serves up is indicative of the "worldwide conversation," we're a far more vacuous species than I thought.