Friday, March 28, 2014

Musings: Startling

Returned late yesterday to the Islands, startled by the soft air, the greenness and, as I moved with the masses through the Honolulu and Lihue airports, the perceptible hostility toward haoles — despite, or perhaps because of, the relentless marketing of aloha.

Then this morning, as I returned from a sunrise swim, following a truck with the bumper sticker “nocomekauai” that turned into the Kapaa High parking lot, the lyrics came to me: "Teach your children well…."

The first person I saw in the Honolulu airport was attorney Harold Bronstein, who told me he was in town to represent Mina Morita at today's Board of Land and Natural Resources hearing on the enforcement action — aka political hit — against her Hanalei Valley vacation rental.

It brought to mind a comment left on the blog post I'd written about the questionable timing of this targeted enforcement, and the role of Hanalei boatyard owner Mike Sheehan:

Lance making stink about the pedestrian easement through the Omidyar project last year made him and Mina 8.5 billion enemies.


As you may recall, I published several reports in June 2012 about Lance Laney — Mina's husband — being blocked from using a designated public access through billionaire Pierre Omidyar's proposed Hanalei Ridge development. The subsequent publicity resulted in a re-opening of the long closed access.

Update: Henry Curtis, who writes the Ililani Media blog, gives a report from the BLNR meeting and surprise, surprise, guess who showed up to testify against Mina: Terry Lilley, Sheehan's paid pal. Issue has been continued for 45 days.

Meanwhile, word has it that KCCC warden Neal Wagatsuma is finally being investigated — I initially incorrectly said suspended — following February's filing of two federal lawsuits alleging he subjected female inmates to psychological violence, sexual abuse and sexual humiliation in front of male prisoners, and that public safety officials engaged in retribution against a whistleblower who exposed it.

Let's hope this means the film “Irreversible” — described by the late critic Roger Ebert as “a movie so violent and cruel that most people will find it unwatchable” — will never again be screened in that (or any) jail.

Wagatsuma's accusers maintain his homespun approach to “therapy” included requiring mixed groups of male and female inmates to watch a movie that includes brutally appalling footage. As Ebert wrote in a 2003 review:

The camera looks on unflinchingly as a woman is raped and beaten for several long, unrelenting minutes, and as a man has his face pounded in with a fire extinguisher, in an attack that continues until after he is apparently dead. As I said twice and will repeat again, most people will not want to see the film at all. It is so violent, it shows such cruelty, that it is a test most people will not want to endure.

Unless, of course, it's required by a kinky kook in exchange for the granting of special privileges....

Sorting through my inbox, I found a news release about the creation of a Kauai Chapter of the Young Democrats of Hawaii for folks under age 36. Its leadership — and I use the term loosely — is influenced heavily by the anti-GMO (and, interestingly, pro-tourism) crowd, including communications director Aria Juliet Castillo, who in real life flacks for the Hyatt; treasurer Aaron Rosenstiel, who is married to Fern, leader of the Mana March; secretary Leeona Thompson, a guest service agent at the Kauai Sheraton and “sunny first mate” in boyfriend Dylan Hooser's sunrise shell biz; Makoto Lane, a KCC photojournalism student and anti-GMO Facebooker; and Dylan, who was elected chair.

The release quotes Dylan as saying:

"Exploring economically sustainable solutions [like sunrise shell jewelry, perhaps?] to the challenges facing our island is integral to the decision making process.”

It goes on to state that Dylan is running for the 15th state House District — against fellow Dem Jimmy Tokioka and rabid Republican Steven Yoder — though he has not yet pulled papers.

Dylan appears to have the same tendency to overreach politically as his dad, Gary, who crashed and burned in his ambitious bids for Congress, and Lieutenant Governor. But hey, why shouldn't a guy who has never held any public office and scavenges sunrise shells for a living have a shot at the state house? This is America, after all. Land of equal opportunity and political expertise via cell division.

Besides, Dylan's already shown us he's got the smarmy politician's slippery grasp of the truth, as evidenced by his anonymous crybaby comments on this blog, frequent letters to the editor and an anti-biotech commentary published on Civil Beat. In it, Dylan sounds like a chip off the old block, echoing Daddy's “shame” terminology along with the undocumented, and even discredited, claims about “unusually high levels of birth defects and certain cancers.”

Dylan goes on to write:

The chemical company executives hired the homeless and down-and-out to hold their places in line while myself and other supporters slept outside in the rain for the same privilege of getting our voices heard.

Uh, sorry, but a friend and I already exposed that supposed homeless place-sitter who saw the light and testified in favor of Bill 2491 as a fraud in an hoax perpetrated by the "red shirts."

Dylan then reveals that he has no sense of irony (or grasp of reality) with the statement:

These companies spent tens of thousands of dollars and threatened, cajoled and lied in their attempts to beat our community down but we won.

Mmm, we ain't won nothin' yet, except the chance to spend millions fighting the world's largest chemical companies in court.

But the real kicker was this:

Attorneys Margery Bronster and Paul Alston representing the largest chemical companies in the world, have decided to sue the people of my community to protect their right to spray poisons next to schools, hospitals and homes.

Really, Dylan? You think that's the crux of the issue?  Did you miss all the other stuff about federal pre-emption, an unconstitutional taking, discrimination? Are you truly that clueless, one of those guys who never read the bill or the complaint? Or are you just going for the politician's simplistic soundbite?

Tokioka is a total dud and good old boy lackey who should be replaced. Still, I can't see as how the poor folks in the 15th District will be getting a better deal with Dylan should he manage to pull off a major miracle and get himself elected.

The overall effect for Kauai, meanwhile, would be yet another powerless rookie getting munched by the big boys in the Lege, who would enjoy nothing more than ostracizing the offspring of a politician who has accumulated a long and powerful list of enemies.

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

About Dylan Hooser you say:
But hey, why shouldn't a guy who has never held any public office and scavenges sunrise shells for a living have a shot at the state house?

Steve Yoder, therapid Republican candidate, has no prior experience or education, is a part-time tour bus driver and (temporarily off the air) KKCR radio volunteer.

Can we please get candidates who are educated and perhaps, dare I ask, experienced and qualified?

Anonymous said...

Joan, welcome home.
1- Mina may have been politically targeted, but her buildings are illegal. Gee whiz, maybe she can sue for preferential enforcement and get a Bynam jackpot. It isn't as if she hasn't been in the forefront of schtickin' her beak into other peoples bidnis.
2- Dylan Hooser does have experience. He has first hand knowledge of the Police and the Kauai Court system. He has also been right at the family table regarding creative tax filings, fistee flying mob manipulations and taking from the public domain for free (the harvest of the poor Sunrise Mollusk). Only in America. Generational slurping at the public trough. Who needs GMO, when this is proof that old-fashioned gene pools can produce hi-breds.

Tokioka, through his calm persona may appear to be a "dud", but he has Kauai's best interests in his heart and soul. He cares about people and as many who have known him since he was a little kid can attest- he is honest.

Anonymous said...

Politics is a game and Tokioka is not the honest little kid you once knew. He's learned how to play with the big boys, fund raising out of state where none of his constituents reside or can afford to attend. Tried as hard as he could to prevent a hearing on GMO labeling last year and again this year, despite public sentiment. Get rid of that sucker.

Anonymous said...

Could the picks be any worse?

Yoder should drop out now and save himself the humiliation; Iʻm assuming heʻll have at least enough intelligence to know when he looks and sounds like a fool????

Tokioka is not honest in fact got some morality issues that should come to light since heʻs in public office.

Dylan Hooser? Garyʻs relative? How old is he? Do you think heʻll have Garyʻs guidance for a long time if elected?

Anonymous said...

Glad you didnt let JT off the hook..

Anonymous said...

Jimmy Tokioka is worse than Dylan. Hands down. Followed the crowd as a council member, never made waves, and then waltzed into the 15th when no one was looking. He doesn't give a crap about Kauai. Never has. I will never forget this quote about Kapaa traffic. First he says it's much better than it was (which is an outright lie) and then says it's not "real traffic" anyway, and that true home has "real traffic." No solutions, just deflection. This is our representative!
http://thegardenisland.com/news/local/trapped-in-traffic/article_d071a6dc-dc8d-11e2-9b10-0019bb2963f4.html?mode=jqm

cira de castillo said...

Aloha Joan - you may not know that Aria was born into the League of Women Voter of Kauai and raised with civic and political sensibility. As a child she had many a night when her mom was working elections into the early hours and has interned in counting centers and worked elections alongside me. She was at the NDC in Denver when Barack Obama accepted the nomination and is a DP 16-2 offiicer for four years. This year as DPVP she lead her precinct thru the DEM caucus including passage of four Resolutions that were voted on at the Kauai DEM Convention. 2014 will be her 2nd State DEM convention as a delgate. She now holds her mothers tourch doing voter registration for the Kauai community. She is an LMU graphic design grad born and raised in Kalaheo and happy to be employed in her field of study and talent as she pays off her student loans. This young woman deserves respect for her accomplishments and encouragement for her civic engagement and recognized for her leadership. Her Ohana is very proud of Aria and she will share her talents with the Young DEM of Kauai and HI.
In your blog you quote "teach your children well" - Aria was Student Journalist of HI and awarded a SPJ Internship during college so your peers saw something in her early on ... Her talents are in layout, design, organization. She comes to her position with the YDEMs not as a Jill come lately rather a much accomplished young woman. Her aunties and I want you to know that...

Anonymous said...

I have never read your blogs and i see why blogs have no power at all You think people care who you are ? teenagers write blogs you seem ridiculous do you really think a blog matters ? sad

Joan Conrow said...

Dear Cira,
You sound very proud of Aria, and with good reason. Thank you for sharing her many accomplishments with all of us.

Anonymous said...

Dylan Hooser is naive, inexperienced and unaccomplished.

Jimmy Tokioka is savvy, experienced and unaccomplished.

Anonymous said...

Aria appears to have the heart credentials and education and to help Kauai politics. It is unfortunate that nepotism and bad behavior give others "name recognition".

The real hammer may have come down on the Dairy. Recently OBAMA has reinforced a commitment to control the outrageous methane that COWS create. Studies show that, One Cow thru flatulence and belching equals the emissions of one to 10 cars. So the dairy is in effect adding 2000 to 20,000 cars to Kauai. I am not much for the E, I, E, I, O mentality of farmers. Why should they think that agricultural land, that is near schools, churches, houses and children should be used for ag purposes? This shows that farmers really don't care about the people. I have lived on the South shore for many years (2009), I come from LA and I have seen the evils of agriculture. Wake up, Kauai, elect environmentally enlightened people like Hooser (he is great) Bynum (he is honest) and now that fine, law abiding youngster Dylan Hooser. Save Kauai before it is too late.
Forget these guys like Tokioka, when I spoke to him he seemed focused on education, housing, traffic and elderly care, not the important issues like keeping Kauai lands free of all activity.

Anonymous said...

Why should they think that agricultural land, that is near schools, churches, houses and children should be used for ag purposes?
Why do you think AG is bad? How much pesticide is used to keep the resorts cockroach and centipede and ant free? How much RUP's are used tenting the never ending houses that are sold ?You have lived here oh so long that you think we don't need to focus on education? it is because of the lack of education that is the biggest problem starting with peeps like you!

Anonymous said...

I think all these young folk deserve respect and encouragement for the civic engagement. We have not had this many YD participating in a long time. If you were at the kauai dem convention, every candidate showed much appreciation and admiration for the YD.

Dyaln has a lot to prove, but not a lot to loose. I give it to him for taking on Tokioka. Let us see what, or if, he has to say about the many other critical issues facing Kauai.

Andy Parx said...

You are so full of shit Joan. I'm not sure where your hateful grudges started nor do I care. What a fuckin' waste of talent has taken place ever since you decided to stop tackling the issues when you became blinded by some petty hatreds of individuals. Sorry to see such journalist skills as yours go to total waste.

Dawson said...

"Sorry to see such journalist skills as yours go to total waste. "

...said the guy who never had any.

Jealous much?

;)

Anonymous said...

How much carbon emissions are caused by the planes that Cali whacker transplants fly back and forth to the mainland or all those planes carrying all those tourists? It's ag land. What do you want? Another subdivision filled with rich second home owners?

Joan Conrow said...

Andy, look at your comment for the mirror that it is.

Anonymous said...

It's hilarious to see Andy Parx blogging on Joan's site. I guess since everyone stopped reading his blogs it's the only way to keep his name (and ego) out there. I think Joan is doing a excellent job of covering all kinds of topics, and doesn't take a biased side. She calls it like it is, good or bad. As for Mr. Parx, crawl back into your world of puppets and dolls and make believe conspiracy theories.

Anonymous said...

Is he allowed to take sunrise shells for reselling? I thought you couldn't do that under the law or dlnr rules or whatever. Or does he get a special dispensation because of daddy?

Anonymous said...

Have to say there is something that rings true in Andy' s comment and I'm referring to the petty grudges part. Why do you shoot down the next generation of young people getting involved? I know, I know the whole anti-gmo crowd who fucked us up thing. And who says just because they work in tourism means they like it. It's called limited choices. If there were other options out there, people would make different choices. Long been a fan but dislike your obsession with bashing the Hoosers. And to all you cowards who jump all over Andy, at least he puts his name out there so you can do just that.

Anonymous said...

Sure thing, Andy.

Anonymous said...

Joan calls it like it is good or bad - except morita gets a big ol pass for having an illegal vacation unit. Never thought I'd see the day Joan calls an illegal vacation unit prosecution a political stunt. Well, except for Bynum's illegal rental. I guess maybe there is a pattern.

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:10 - I'm sure Joan can attest to the fact that I'm not Andy but if that's the only comeback you can muster, no biggie.

Anonymous said...

Unlike the anonymous commenters bashing Joan for her critique of the anti-gmoers or bashing Andy's bashers.

Anonymous said...

I love Andy's new look on Facebook, he be so suave and debonair. Andy, you lost whatever blog status you had, by kowtowing to ANY enviro nutjob that harmoniously vibrated your anti-GMO, anti-hotel- anti-everything idears. You lost credibility. But cha look great and are a credit to all old Kauai hippies who never really had an actual yob. Shazaam! What me worry? I may hate the government, but dat ol' Uncle Sam sure do, take care of me. But be strengthened, Andy, the Hoos, he be lovin' you and all dem udders that aren't involved in filthy commerce. Money is bad, but fame is good.

Anonymous said...

Mauna Kea Trask and Marissa Valenciano are also on the board of the YD.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Mauna Kea Trask and Marissa Valenciano are also on the board of the YD.

March 29, 2014 at 8:02 PM

2 syndicate slaves

Anonymous said...

Last comment was posted by a Klansman.

Anonymous said...

Mauna Kea Trask and Marissa Valenciano are also on the board of the YD.

They're are the county reps, they aren't on the board.

Anonymous said...

“Or are you just going for the politician's simplistic soundbite?”

Love it, Joan! When people like Dylan have to resort to lies, character assassination and distortion of the facts, it merely reveals the weakness of their argument.

Anonymous said...

wow-this is rich-Harold Bronstein is representing Mina Morita in her defense of her illegal vacation rental against the DLNR-he was (is) part of the group including Karen Diamond and yourself Joan, that is doing everything to shut down all vacation rentals on the N Shore of Kauai-seriously? what an about turn.....

Anonymous said...

Joan biased opinions are one thing, but when you say that the homeless guy who didn't take the money from the seed companies to hold their CEO's a seat is a hoax then your just straight lying. Why would you need to do that? Im sure you won't approve this post, as you often do not take criticism well; certainly can dish it though!

Joan Conrow said...

Guess you were wrong about it not getting published, just like you were wrong about the "homeless" guy. I researched the guy and discovered he was a pal of the 2491 folks. The bigger question is why are you lying, and why did the red shirts make up that stunt?

Oh, and next time have a few guts and use your name. Because it's my long-standing policy that I don't allow criticism from anonymous chicken shits.