Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Musings: If Only

Hanalei River boatyard owner Mike Sheehan apparently follows the adage “revenge is a dish best served cold.” Though it's been 16 years since Mina Morita helped get the tour boats out of the river, for Sheehan, it's payback time.

By all accounts, Sheehan was the one who turned her in for operating unpermitted vacation rentals further up the river — an action that ended with Mina and her husband, Lance Laney, being ordered to pay $31,000 in fines and dismantle two structures.

Now Sheehan's suing the couple and Kauai County, claiming they polluted the river and altered its flow, then conspired with the county to cover it up. Meanwhile, he's also suing the county for shutting down his boatyard. Ah. Yet another person whose big ego is costing the county big money.

It's so sad that Sheehan is wasting his kala on vendetta lawsuits when he could be putting it to a far better use than smearing Mina. And it's equally sad that The Garden Island is so eager to play along and give Mike a platform. But then, Mike's paid boy Terry Lilley is reporter Chris D'Angelo's dive buddy, so he's got a direct line.

In refreshing my memory on Gov. Cayetano's decision to move the Hanalei tour boats to the westside, I was struck by two things: the threatened demise of the industry was a lot of hot air, as it's thriving on the westside; and Mayor Maryanne Kusaka did do at least one good thing in her term when she ordered the boats out of the river. Can you imagine what a zoo Hanalei would be if the boats were still running there?

Speaking of zoos and lawsuits, I hear the county is proposing a $300,000 settlement — $100,000 each with a no-disclosure clause — in the EEOC complaints that police officers Mark Begley, Hank Barriga and Darla Abbatiello brought against Chief Darryl Perry. It all stems from a 2011 incident that, in typical Kauai fashion, spiraled out of control and ended with Mayor Bernard Carvalho suspending the Chief. His subordinates, Begley and Barriga, then fell like dominoes, and have been out on stress leave for more than two years. They reportedly won't be coming back to the department, but Darla has been working all this time.

Meanwhile, deputy county attorney (and former deputy prosecutor) Marc Guyot, who advised both the chief and the mayor, is leaving the county's employ at month's end. He's reportedly shopping for an attorney to represent him in a lawsuit against the county, claiming the chief ruined his reputation. Not that I recall he had one....

And now we've got lifeguards suing the county, too. Maybe The Garden Island's court reporter could do a bit of investigating and report on just how many county workers are embroiled in legal action against their employer. As opposed to, say, writing a lengthy paen to the Waipouli McDonald's…. 

Finally, it's fascinating to see the feral cat control issue taking on the same mainland — perhaps even international — legs as the GMO issue. No doubt PETA and other groups will soon be using it to raise money, with faux journalists piling on. Like Sally Richards, who has a letter to the editor today:

I love Kauai, and I would like to get the details on the lethal culling of cats on the island. It’s very difficult to put my head around this. Actually, I’m stunned. I have contacted PETA and expect to hear back from them soon about the details. I am a Mainland journalist/author and I’d like to tell this story to the rest of the world so they can decided [sic] for themselves how to digest this issue and if they’d like to boycott Kauai, or if they think nothing of it. 

Gee, nothing like starting from a nice, unbiased premise, and securing "the details" from an unbiased, well-informed source.

And here we go again with yet more threats of getting tourists to boycott the island.

If only...

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

I know the county is messed up but it's hard to believe that ALL of these lawsuits have merit. It seems like some people are trying to make a quick buck.

Anonymous said...

Mayor Maryanne Kusaka did do at least one good thing in her term when she ordered the boats out of the river.

She should be in jail for all those lives that perished on the Koloko dam breach.

Speaking of zoos and lawsuits, I hear the county is proposing a $300,000 settlement — $100,000 each with a no-disclosure clause — in the EEOC complaints that police officers Mark Begley, Hank Barriga and Darla Abbatiello brought against Chief Darryl Perry.

Begley got beaten badly by a dirty syndicate undercover cop and suffers from brain damage.

Barriga was an LT for a Beat with nothing but dirty syndicate gang KPD cops.

After all the cover ups (not the unsolved murders but maybe) by KPD officers gone wild by Perry, It was eventually gonna catch up.

Darla's courage against KPD syndicate mafia gang is impressive.

Mayor Bernard Carvalho suspending the Chief.

I don't support the Mayor but what he did was not only the RIGHT thing to do but the only thing that you could do after all of KPD's history and faux IA (internal affairs) investigators.

Meanwhile, deputy county attorney (and former deputy prosecutor) Marc Guyot, who advised both the chief and the mayor, is leaving the county's employ at month's end.

Guyot should be facing criminal charges for what he did to Kraestafer Pinkerton. The dirty syndicate cops in Koloa should have been federally prosecuted.

Maybe The Garden Island's court reporter could do a bit of investigating and report on just how many county workers are embroiled in legal action against their employer.

The county employees should be held financially accountable for their violations. The taxpayers should not be burden with their unlawful acts. The county should create a county statue that holds those responsible for illegal acts should and not may face the criminal and financial responsibilities, maybe and just maybe the county of Kauai would see less lawsuits if this statue is implemented. The better idea would be to hire ONLY qualified individuals with education (I mean degrees and not I'm in school getting mines) and experience.

The County of Kauai welfare system (county employees that aren't qualified and hired because of nepotism) should be the number 1 concern for the taxpayers.

As opposed to, say, writing a lengthy paen to the Waipouli McDonald's…

It was shut down because of health and OSHA reasons. If you tell you otherwise then they should speak to the whistle blower who called state officials.

I love Kauai, and I would like to get the details on the lethal culling of cats on the island.

Kauai Killing Inhumane Society is a travesty.

Anonymous said...

Sally Richards, I googled her, nothing special. Just another hack looking for an angle.
The county gov, jeez, what a mess! Chief Perry has only been around for a few years. The cesspool of the KPD has been festering for years and is not Perry's doing, although maybe he could have done more to clean it up, and it's not the entire KPD by any means.
Barca's looking better all the time.

Anonymous said...

It's interesting and sad that the feral cat situation is getting attention now, when Kauai Humane Society has been putting down, on average, more than 8 cats per day, 6 days a week, for years. Both ferals and tame pets, neonatal kittens and grown cats, sweet and sour, young and old, they kill more than 8 out of every 10 cats and kittens turned in.

Stop the plans for mass killing of cats? Plans? People, look around you. The mass killing is already here. It's been here for a long time. And it hasn't solved the problem. It hasn't even made it any better.

Mass trapping and putting down cats has never succeeded as a management strategy, not in any study, not on any island or in any mainland area. You don't get enough people together with the will and the resources to make sure they trap every last cat, and every year the numbers increase, so the work just goes on and on.

What has worked? Well, a combination of poisoning, intentional spread of lethal disease, non-humane trapping, and shooting has worked on some small and uninhabited islands (with associated major expenses and decades-long eradication campaigns), but not on larger islands, and not in any area where people live, since people tend to object and interfere with implementation of such obviously inhumane measures.

Trap-neuter-return has also worked, when done on an organized and massive scale, with emphasis on recruiting volunteers to facilitate sterilization surgeries (not to foster, relocate, disease-test, or feed cats, all of which distract and divert resources from the very cost-effective effort of sterilization). But TNR, whether large-scale and effective or small-scale and less effective, doesn't seem to be the direction things are headed these days.

All the evidence we have to date says that the current course of action (or, in-action) will lead to more cats, more deaths at the shelter, more costs, and yet even more cats. Whether it's continuing the current rate of 2,500 cats dying at the hands of KHS per year, every year, or ramping it up to even more, the future looks very bleak, both for the cats and for the wildlife that everyone claims to want to protect.

Anonymous said...

The defendants include County of Kauai, Fire Chief Robert Westerman, Ocean Safety Director Kalani Vierra, Water Safety Officer Supervisor Norman Hunter. They are charged with retaliation and conspiracy, violating the Hawaii Whistleblower Protection Act, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.


The complaint dates back to 2010. Ragasa reported to a supervisor that he observed a KFD employee stealing gas from the county to use in a side business with Vierra. The employee in question was transferred to another station and was not disciplined, the complaint alleges.

In early 2012, Ragasa reported to a supervisor that a KFD employee was using illegal drugs while on duty, and again, the employee was transferred to another station, the complaint alleges. Shortly thereafter Ragasa raised the gas theft issue to Vierra, while reporting that a supervisor was advising lifeguards to falsify time sheets related to training hours.

Emura is represented by Honolulu attorney Roman Amaguin. The complaint stems back to Emura’s order to appear before the County Ethics Board after a co-worker filed a complaint regarding the two supervisors. Emura testified that supervisors ran a private business that conflicted with their official duties and were observed using county fuel and equipment for the business. He also claims that unwarranted reprimands, humiliation, harassment and threats followed.


Water safety officer sues KFD: Posted: Tuesday, July 22, 2014 1:00 am Tom LaVenture - The Garden Island

A few year back firefighters were using the fire departments boat to go fishing near Niihau.

It looks like the same fire fighters retaliating against life guards.

Weatherman, Vierra, and Hunter should be relieved of their duties, Fired, or forced to retire. When someone raises concerns that coworkers are committing criminal acts and there are facts to support the claims, then the supervisors do not act appropriately and worst part is that they retaliate against the person who raises concerns of criminal activities.

Why is the police, prosecuting attorney, county council, state and county officials not doing their JOB by arresting, prosecuting, and Firing these criminals in uniform.

We have known that over 14K gallons of county Gas was stolen and that's around $70K of stolen county property in one year of an audit. That is Class C felonies.

Where is the Publics Outrage for these kinds of behaviors. I guess it is accepted and the thing to do in Kauai.

Everyone on Kauai should go to the refueling stations and demand FREE gas!

I guess you people believe that KPD are only the syndicate mafia slaves on Kauai. Well let's introduce you to Kauai Fishing department (KFD) syndicate mafia slaves.

Oh and don't ACT like you all didn't know.

Anonymous said...

Please keep in mind that feral cats are not the only ones contributing to the killing of native birds and other small wildlife. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve encountered numerous different “owned” cats (unless ferals have suddenly decided to begin accessorizing with collars) skulking around my yard, which is surrounded by trees and full of wildlife. I’ve had a few spray my porch area with urine, presumably because they smell my indoor cat, and even cause damage to things in our outdoor spaces. Not sure if these wandering kitties are fixed, but if they’re spraying, they’re most likely not. I realize the feral cat population is out of control, but let’s not forget about the pet owners that allow their cats to roam freely without regard for sensitive wildlife or other peoples’ property.

Anonymous said...

Is Michael Sheehan Mark Sheehan's relative? Mark Sheehan is the SHAKA anti-gmo guy on Maui. Curious...

Anonymous said...

Joan, your hatred of tourists is ridiculous.

Joan Conrow said...

I don't hate tourists or anyone. I do, however, think the ratio of tourists to residents is way out of whack and exceeds the carrying capacity of the island.

Anonymous said...

I love tourists until they decide to move here.

Anonymous said...

Manhattan Island, NYC. 23 square miles and only 1.63 million inhabitants.

Kauai Island - 562 square miles. Population 67,000 plus tourists.

Yes definitely exceeding our carrying capacity.

Anonymous said...

Manhattan Island covered in concrete and high rises. Where do they dump their garbage? Certainly not on Manhattan Island.

Anonymous said...

Same with its sewage. Manhattan Island clearly exceeds its carrying capacity and has to "export" its sewage and garbage.

Luke Evslin said...

@ 12:13

Density is not equal to carrying capacity. If the entire world were condensed to the density of NYC, we could all fit in the state of Texas, yet, living the lifestyle of the average American we would need four planets to sustain us.

If every inch of Kaua'i were biologically productive for human beings (including housing, infrastructure, agriculture, renewable energy production, forest for Co2 Sequestration, etc), and if our aim is self sufficiency, and if we continue to live the lives of the average US citizen (4 hectares per person), then the carrying capacity of Kaua'i is 36,000 people.

I think we've exceeded that.

Anonymous said...


Right on Mike Sheehan.
It is about time someone tries to get justice. Our leaders, Bynum, Hooser, Mina and Yukimura make money on real estate etc. and try to stop anyone else. Hypocrites, one and all.
I am happy to see another mainland crazy is getting involved in Kauai issues, enter the Cat lady. The more the merrier.
The lifeguards who have their toes in the sand are the heroes...the supervisors did diddly when they were alerted on the gas scam....it pays to have friends in high places and even better to have High friends in high places.

Anonymous said...

Mina is one of the few honest and good politicians. She doesn't deserve this.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous Anonymous said...
Manhattan Island covered in concrete and high rises. Where do they dump their garbage?
Until very recently, they dumped the garbage in the ocean.

Anonymous said...

Sheehan wants justice?

Anonymous said...

Joan dislikes anyone with money, including tourists

Anonymous said...

I love rich tourists who go home.

Anonymous said...

Re 121:pm

Since when does the average us citizen own 4 hectares, 10 acres. Based on one fourth acre per citizen which is still quite large, if we use your formula Kauai's carrying capacity should be 144,000 people.

Anonymous said...

Sorry missed a zero, 1,440,000 people