A thin sliver of ghost moon hung low in the faintly bluing sky, just below Venus and just above the gentle blue-green curve of desert foothills. A giant black crow screamed “caw, caw” from its perch on a sagging telephone line as a ray of sun touched the blood-red buds of a miniature rose bush, tumbling from a trellis.
The moon is waning, the summer solstice is behind us, June is nearly over. Time's a ticking.
It's been almost a year since I wrote the 20th — and final — installment in the Abuse Chronicles series, which detailed both the county's abject failure to properly implement the vacation rental law and the lyin' and cheatin' many folks relied upon to secure one of the limited and valuable life-of-the-property TVR certificates.
I've resigned myself to the fact that nothing is going to happen to the perps, even though they falsified records, lied on notarized affidavits and hired local attorneys to smooth it all over. Nothing except a free pass, that is. And nothing is going to happen to the county administrators and workers who blew it, aside from demoting planning director Ian Costa to deputy director of parks.
But something is finally being done to pluck the much-referenced "low-hanging fruit:" rogues who run TVRs with no permits at all. The prosecutor's office has filed charges against such four offenders, with a summons to appear served in at least one case. I wrote just one post — Fallen Fruit Chronicles — to highlighting two egregious offenders, though dozens of unpermitted TVRs exist.
Kauai Prosecutor Justin Kollar was interviewed this past Monday on Hawaii Public Radio's “The Conversation" where host Beth-Ann Kozlovich asked if his office got calls from people reporting illegal TVRs. Justin replied:
We get those calls all the time. We take complaints on a regular basis.
No doubt the planning department does, too, unless people have simply given up in frustration.
So it's obviously a concern with the community, and not just because people chafe at sharing their neighborhoods with a steady stream of tourists. Justin gets it, acknowledging that on the North Shore it's “a public health and public safety issue.”
As in improper sewage treatment facilities, inadequate infrastructure and insufficient disaster response for a remote area in a tsunami zone. All issues that are not being addressed in any meaningful way. Still, I deeply appreciate that Justin is pursuing criminal charges, and I share his hope that it will put other outliers on notice.
When Beth asked Justin how he would “characterize where everyone is in the process right now," from the illegal "legals" to the full-on illegals, he replied:
It will be a problem in the event that something goes wrong and people are unable to get out.
That's when, as Justin noted, the finger-pointing will begin.
Of course, it's just a question of time until denial meets disaster. Tick, tick, tick…..
On that note, here's a link to the original Fresno Bee article on the UC Davis study suggesting women who live near agricultural fields where pesticides are sprayed are at increased risk of having a child with autism.
The risks appear to be increased for women exposed to chlorpyrifos in the second trimester and organophosphates in the third trimester — pesticides used in Kauai seed fields, and elsewhere. The Fresno Bee reports:
Pyrethroids also were associated with autism and developmental delay prior to conception or in the third trimester. Carbamates sprayed nearby while a woman was pregnant were associated with developmental delay, the study said.
Fadipe of the state Department of Pesticide Regulation said scientists in the department had not been able to fully review the UC Davis report, but she said it is a "useful tool for the department to take into consideration."
The study also speaks to the difficulties associated with pinpointing a specific cause:
The report, like others, has shortcomings, Fadipe said. It doesn't provide an accurate sense of whether the exposure actually occurred and whether the exposure resulted in autism.
Researchers said the study has limitations that were unavoidable, including not knowing all of the potential sources of exposure to pesticides from non-agricultural sources, such as on food sources and from residential indoor use of chemicals and outdoor use for pest control.
Still, here's the take-away from senior report author and professor Dr. Irva Hertz-Picciotto:
The process that pesticides use to kill insects "is also a process that is shared with mammals and with human beings, and I think that makes them something we should think twice about exposing ourselves to."
Tick, tick, tick…..