Thursday, August 28, 2014

Musings: Beg and Spend

The ink had barely dried on the judge's order vacating Ordinance 960 when the Center for Food Safety began using it to solicit money.

Though no appeal has been filed, or even announced, CFS Hawaii Director Ashley Lukens seized the opportunity to issue a call for cash. Ironically, the anti-pesticide/GMO appeal sports a photo of Hanalei's herbicide-treated taro fields. Ashley then goes on to claim:
I am confident we stand arm and arm [sic] with the people of Hawaii.

LOL! Oh, are you now?

This line in particular was gag-inducing, especially for a mainland-based organization that only opened a Hawaii office last year:

WE ARE wind-resting ‘a‘ali‘i; no gale can push US over.
Though it references an iconic native plant, the plea links to a donation form with a picture of CFS's Washington, D.C.-based director, Andrew Kimbrell, preparing to snuggle with India's Vandana Shiva. What, they couldn't find even one kanaka to pose?
Councilman Gary Hooser, too, quickly hustled out a hustle for kala, begging folks to send him dough under this whiny, paranoiac plea:

For me personally this election has been the toughest one I have ever been involved in and without a doubt it will get even rougher in the weeks ahead.

The attacks driven by industry bloggers and their legions of anonymous commenter’s increase daily and the negative campaigning, rumor and innuendo is sure to escalate as the General Election draws closer.

They are determined to take me out and I am determined to win :-)

Which “industry bloggers” are those, Gary? I haven't seen any “industry bloggers” taking you on. Just lil ol' me — your disenchanted former supporter — and Joni Kamiya-Rose, the Hawaii farmer's daughter

Gary then goes on to say:

While I will am [sic] running an ole [sic] fashion campaign, knocking on doors and holding signs on the highway, it is critical that I also run an aggressive media campaign to counter that of the opposition. 

My focus will be on the positive vision of the future we hold for our community and on my track record of accomplishment, experience and leadership.

What “accomplishments and leadership” are you referencing, Gary? Exactly what have you done in the past two years — I mean, aside from tearing the community apart, alienating the state, disillusioning young voters, burning your colleagues, undermining Mason Chock's political career, setting back progressive politics and costing the county big bucks on your flawed, ego-driven bill? Oh, and getting your name in the national news?

Gary also writes:

Will the decisions of the future be driven by industry and large land owners or by independent decision makers grounded in community, focused on building a sustainable future and not beholden to any financial special interest?

If you're including yourself in the latter, Gary, you got some 'splaining to do about your connections to Center for Food Safety, Earthjustice and all the special interests you and your HAPA group are catering to. 

Just so it's clear, though, Gary states exactly what folks can expect if they re-elect him:

I am committed to pressing forward via the appeal process, the state legislature and additional County legislative efforts. If our community needs to sue the State of Hawaii to do its job then perhaps that is also an avenue we must pursue.

I'm not sure who you're using as a political advisor, Gary, but I can't imagine many folks are gonna jump on board when all you can promise is single-issue politics and more legal bills. As for suing the state to do it's job, maybe you should've started there. But then, that wouldn't have suited the anti-GMO agenda of CFS and Earthjustice, now would it?

So what has Gary, and his misguided Bill 2491/Ordinance 960, cost the county?

Let's start with legal fees. County records show that $109,888 has been spent to date, with invoices for July and August, when the court hearing was held, still to be submitted. The Council has authorized special counsel expenditures of $210,000.

Next up, police overtime. The July 31 public hearing at the Veterans Center cost $20,153, while the August 5 committee meeting cost $2,513. Another $33,820 was spent for the various special council meetings in October and November related to Bill 2491.

The county has spent $14,266.96 in payroll since May 1 for the Office of Economic Development (OED) compliance specialist who assisted with all the rule-making outreach and meetings and set up the web page and forms that would have been required by the ordinance. Alas, all for naught.

Then there were the hundreds of hours expended by the County Attorney’s Office and OED on researching and drafting the administrative rules, meeting with stakeholders, amending the drafts, planning and conducting the five public outreach meetings that were held in May, amending the drafts again, preparing for and appearing before the Small Business Regulatory Review Board, finalizing the rules for public hearing and preparing for the rules public hearing that was ultimately cancelled.

These hours consumed the time of the OED director and ag specialist, who could have been working instead on meaningful ag issues, a deputy county attorney and support staff in both offices.

As for the Council Services staff, they also expended hundreds of hours on this bill, with its stressful political theatre and repetitious testimony, in addition to conducting their usual duties. Gary and Councilman Tim Bynum, meanwhile, charged taxpayers $406.40 so they could attend the July 26 Honolulu court hearing on the bill.

And that's not even counting all the time and energy burned by those poor exhausted “red shirts” who begged the Council to pass an illegal bill because they were just too tired to continue the fight to get it right.

So we're at $181,047, with staff time not included and the bills still coming in, and nothing to show for it. Nothing but a legal precedent that confirms what the County Attorney's office had said all along: state law trumps county law. 

Yeah, I know. That's still less than former Prosecutor Shaylene Iseri Carvalho cost the county.

But let's not forget the voters rejected Shay for her costly, narcissistic behavior. 

Please follow me on Twitter @joanconrow

51 comments:

Anonymous said...

Whats up with CFS using the taro fields in all their flyers??? Where is the picture of the GMO corn fields?? Joan thank you for continuing to report on this BS.

Anonymous said...

Why does CFS use pictures of Hanalei's beautiful Taro in their ads to raise money for here when it has nothing to do with the seed companies or the west side or corn?

Anonymous said...

Those most ignorant often speak with the loudest voice and those who know the least are often the most convinced of their understanding.

Ignorance is louder than reason.

Gary Hooser and all the red shirts. Load, ignorant, and completely unreasonable. It's enough to make you sick. Gary is the biggest liar I've ever witnessed. Desperate, manipulative, slimy. I feel violated.

Anonymous said...

We need fresh blood on the council. Fresh ideas, thinking outside the box and those willing to challenge the out-of-control spending by the mayor. It's unfortunate that we don't have a strong opponent for the mayor but at least we can get folks on the council who will challenge the mayor and not simply rubber stamp his bloated budgets. It's also too bad we can't vote out Steve Hunt with his arrogant and out-of-touch methods and approaches. Vote at least for Perry and Brun. Perry will definitely challenge the mayor and Brun will add a fresh perspective to a disenfranchised side of the island. Mel, stop boasting about your vote total. Take is more as a vote against the likes of Hooser, Chock and Bynum. Keep your hard questions to the administration going but let your votes coincide with your rhetoric. Question: Does Jimmy represent Kauai or Oahu? Kawakami, are you warming your seat until your next promotion? Let's see some positive action, folks.

Manawai said...

another great post, Joan! Mahalo!

Yes, re-elect Hooser and Bynum so we can spend hundreds of thousands of dollars more suing the State and anybody else who disagrees with us. After all, it’s free money!! We don’t have to pay for it because the majority of those folks who are supporting us (the Anti’s) don’t pay any taxes or have so much money like expatriate British musicians, they couldn’t care less! So, in effect, the opposition, i.e., the majority of resident taxpayers on Kauai, is paying us to sue themselves. Now that’s pretty cunning.

Anonymous said...

"It was the strawberries- I knew I had 'em with the strawberries."

Anonymous said...

I'm sending Gary money in the form of property taxes that pay his salary and fund his efforts to pass laws that he doesn't care about enforcing. That's more than enough and I'd like a refund.

Dawson said...

Whats up with CFS using the taro fields in all their flyers??? Where is the picture of the GMO corn fields??
------------------------
Why does CFS use pictures of Hanalei's beautiful Taro in their ads to raise money for here when it has nothing to do with the seed companies or the west side or corn?


It's using images to lie, the same way that Hooser and his fellow demagogues use words.

Anonymous said...

Joan, are you watching the tax workshop today? It's hilarious. Tim, Gary, and joann back pedaling like crazy. It's disgusting.

Anonymous said...

Its sick how Jimmy Trujillo is misusing KKCR as a propaganda machine and letting Hooser ask for donations on air. Isn't that a call to action. He said he hoped you were listening Joan. I had to turn it off because it was so unbelievable what Gary was saying. All the lies as usual.

Joan Conrow said...

Thanks for the FYI. I don't listen to KKCR anymore, especially not Jimmy's show. But he is apparently still reading my blog!!

Anonymous said...

In the 2012 Primary Hooser got 7014 votes or 45% of the 15608 available.
This Primary he got 6642 votes or 34% of the available 19336 votes. That's an absolute loss of 400 votes despite an additional 4700 available votes. Doesn't look like there are a whole lot of fistees out there. Even the bear hugging globetrotting fakers Shiva and Kimbrell aren't likely to reverse that especially if the folks nipping at his and Bynum's heels actually campaign a bit. Go go 'gronomics. There's another crock of kukae. Since when is the researching and breeding of plants and production of seeds not an integral part of producing a product for our consumption? Time to move on without these two hanging on in the caboose for another term.

hawaiifarmersdaughter.com said...

Isn't it amazing that he tries to group both you and I are industry bloggers? It makes us sound more evil and easier to hate I guess. It's not about facts or anything else for that matter. Hooser can continually criticize others and then when it turns on him, it's not okay. Nor is this man ever about educating his followers at all as to the truth of what they just accomplished.

Anonymous said...

Joan- What's wrong with Gary promising litigation? He is standing for what he believes in.
I don't know if CFS can appeal the judges ruling on 960. Can an intervenor appeal?
The County is only 8 or 10 million bucks in the red this yea (depending on which lie you hear). All of the action plans for more revenue via target taxing are just to cover already agreed to "union raises"
The County is flat F*ckin' broke.
Gary and Tim only want anti-Ag laws. Joann is in it to hear her own voice and look very concerned.
Jay has lost hos way, he is a poor leader and lets the Council do as they please. Jay should come out and say what he stands for
Mason speaks, but after a few sentences he is right back where he started, true double speak and jibberish. He is aligned with Hooser, but if he wants to get elected he has to speak for himself.
CFS will get money from the Fisters.
A good question at any Council debate is "should the County appeal or be part of any appeal of 960? How much will agree to spend and where will the money come from?"
The County got of cheap. If Tim's measly little lawsuit cost cost to 1.5 million....just think of the the cost of 960. The County should do a 180 on 960.

kokuaguy said...

79Aloha Joan. Please stop peppering your posts with the distracting (sic) notations unless you want me to back through your posts and pointing out all the ERRATA where (sic) could appear.

kokuaguy said...

When folks read this decision ( http://www.civilbeat.com/2013/12/20704-hawaii-monitor-blacklisted-for-life-by-mayor-hannemann/ ) they'll have a better understanding about the reasons that the legal hired guns ( Bronster, Alston etc. ) for Monsanto and the other chemical companies chose to attack Kauai and its county council in federal court rather than risking the wrath of the Hawaii Supreme Court (SCOTSOH.) The unanimous SCOTSOH ruling in the Hannemann case is unusual because it overturned the decision of the Intermediate Court of Appeals, which was also unanimous in upholding a Circuit Court ruling in favor of the outrageous actions of the Honolulu city government. Hawaii's SC is known for its willingness to take on business interests and to act decisively to protect the environment. Judge Kurren is part of the University of Hawaii / Richardson Law School clique. It's not surprising that he sided with his cronies / peers. I'm sure Judge Kurren knows how likely it is that the federal appellate courts will rule the way New York's highest court did when it upheld a municipality's ban on hydraulic fracturing / FRACKING. Nevertheless, his lifetime status as a federal judge allows him to craft arbitrary decisions the way the SCOTUS did in Bush v. Gore and Citizens United. It's one of the reasons i'd like to see our U.S. Constitution amended to abolish such lifetime appointments. When the founders crafted the Constitution the lifespan of the average man was just over 40 years of age.

kokuaguy said...

hawaiifarmersdaughter.com needs a (sic) or two in her comment as well. Is she an "industry" blogger? If the shoe fits ...

Joan Conrow said...

Dear Kokuaguy -- Since you fancy yourself such a helpful chap, perhaps you could offer to proofread Gary's fundraising appeals, rather than threaten me for properly formatting citations.

As for your "legal analysis," you already discredited yourself in the comments section of Monday's post by rambling on without having read the actual decision.

Oh, and please don't use the word aloha when you don't obviously mean it. It makes you come across like a phony.

Joan Conrow said...

Anonymous 8:15 wrote:

I don't know if CFS can appeal the judges ruling on 960. Can an intervenor appeal?

Yes.

Anonymous said...

In the instant case, if the county does not appeal, there is no law to uphold, it is pau with the county forbidden from enacting it, the CFS would have a hard time going forward without the county as there is no ordinance to uphold. The county should stop the charade now. A poorly written bill that is indefensible has no future in the courts

Anonymous said...

The comments on corruption and trashing the Judge are misplaced, he followed the laws and made his ruling. Politics is what happened at the council, law is what happened in court

Anonymous said...

It's all been sic

Anonymous said...

Some transplant who uses her blog to mock, ridicule and disparage many of those who support regulation of pesticides/ gmo's in the name of transparency shouldn't be telling Kokuaguy or anyone else when to use 'Olelo Hawaii, especially the word aloha of which your blogging does not represent. Stick to what you do best -using your language to stick it where the sun don't shine. Your self righteous indignation over this issue is old. Who appointed you savior of us poor little brownies? We can speak/represent ourselves.

He Hawaii au.

Joan Conrow said...

First, I'm not disparaging anyone who supports pesticide/GMO regulation in the name of transparency, only those who resort to fear, hysteria and bullying — like you — to push an illegal bill. Oh, and also those who are too dumb to realize they're being played as pawns in a mainland/international game that has no aloha — if I may dare use the word — for Hawaii.

What I find old is your inability to argue an issue on its merits without resorting to the tired “you're an f'n haole who has no right to weigh in.” Believe me, I have no desire to speak for any “poor little brownies.”

But you won't get far speaking for yourself so long as you hide behind anonymous.

Anonymous said...

kokuaguy- You may not be an absolute idiot, but you are close to being one.
An Industry Blogger implies that the blogger gets paid by the Seed companies.
You can take yer errata and schticken sie into yeructum.
Why is a lone lady on the little island of Kauai, who was once the bedrock of environmental activism and the darling of the antis, now being publicly targeted by GARY HOOSER. Joan's blog and her words are important, because they are read....Gary, does not like that commentators are ANONYMOUS, welp Gary, the unseen writers do not want to be caught in one of your vendettas....even tho' every County worker you or Tim come into contact with hate your guts and the condescending manner you treat them...you will get no favors from the County workers..you and Tim are pompous ASSES, the true proof of any man is in how he treats others, especially the lowly county workers...the unseen real force in government... Joan was correct in every prediction and analysis of 960.
Bad law made by bad politicians..Joan cares for Kauai and has been consistent in her endeavors to protect the Island. ..Gary and Tim once cared for Kauai, now they care about self promotion and feel they are above the sweat and toil of regular everyday people.

Anonymous said...

Really Joan, you're not? You disparage anyone with a dissenting opinion and I ain't signing my name so you can sling it through the mud like you've done with so many others and get attacked by the trolls in your comment section.I don't need to argue the issue, you have done that to death.

Who made you judge of others you call stupid for believing Gary/Tim? Not all are privy to what you know and believe it or not, not everyone reads your blog. This issue has divided no doubt and it has made you one cynical b*@#h. Your blog use to be uplifting . Now it permeates with ugliness. Bully? Pot calling kettle black.

Anonymous said...

The most corrupt judges in the state of Hawaii is in the Kauai courts.

Gary should stop playing HERO and drop this grandstanding. He should go a different route as in contacting organizations and institutions to sample and test the areas where these RUP's would affect the most.

This would be monies well spent instead of fighting a lost cause.

If you really want results you have to seek professional help and not just fist pumping and golf clapping cheerleaders.

Anonymous said...

Well, at least he didn't call himself "ponoboy" even though the temptation must have been strong!
Pete Antonson

Joan Conrow said...

And who made you the judge of me, Anonymous 1:12? At least I have the courage to stand behind what I say, even as cowardly trolls like you sling mud. '

If you find my blog so distasteful, stop reading it! But don't delude yourself into thinking your nasty anonymous attacks are going to have any impact on what I write. Other than to make me even more determined to keep expressing views that you and a few others are so keen to silence.

Oh, and sorry to disappoint you, but I was cynical well before this issue! LOL!

Anonymous said...

Joan is contributing to the well being of Kauai by putting out the rapidly spreading fires of gossip, lies, and ignorance and fear being generated from Gary Hooser and people of like mind to him. She is promoting reason, intelligence, unbiased, accurate, good quality reporting. A lot of people recognize what a huge asset she is. It may seem "negative" or redundant about this issue but she is doing the socially responsible thing by continuing to let Kauai, remind Kauai of the truth. So to those who don't like it, I guess the truth hurts. Keep it up Joan!!! You are very appreciated and very necessary.

And it's my understanding that Joan, like many people who are close to this issue, isn't "pro-GMO". She's just not in the "anti" side. Because the Anti side is so Fuc$Ked up. She, like many, still would like to see the intention of the bill carried through in a legal and pono way. And it will. It already is. Just not by Gary or any of the fisters.

Anonymous said...

kukaiguy- In the past few years Joan has been a large part of Shaylene's demise and the kaputski to TVRs. She had much help from her friends. But her blog brought attention and action to these 2 problems. and many still shiver at the thought of KE wringing them out.
Gary and Tim both regarded her as a real friend and heroine. As the GMO debate grew into a frenzy and many lost rationale, Joan tried to slow down the fistee flood. She knows that once dialog is sacrificed and hysteria takes it place, there would be no good outcome.
I support Shalene and feel the TVR guys got unduly blasted. TVRs are not responsible for high rents. High rents could be laid at JoAnn Yukimura's doorstep with her 3 decades old process of stopping true housing for the people. And Shaylene is a heck of a lady and is fearless. She should have run for council....but I digress.
The next few weeks are important, because each Council candidate must state a position on GMOs. There will be a lot of wiggling. And most candidates will change the subject to roads, buses, taxes and housing as the important topics...the very topics they have avoided as Gary and Tim hijacked the Council.
So kukaiguy- there is much flotsam and jetsoam on Kauai's political beach, and your amigos, Tim and Gary still have a chance to push Kauai further into insolvency, disharmony and their real favorite HIGHER taxes...this effects everyone. re: errata - No corrigendum included in this book length blog post.

Anonymous said...

I was watching the tax workshop on Thursday. While I respect Mel and Ross for looking out for the taxpayers, I think their positions on bringing back the homeowner tax cap is way off base. If a status quo budget with no new hires is going to be increasing by $9 million, according to to the Finance Director, and the cost of restoring the cap is about $3 million, that puts the county is a $12 million hole. I foresee mass layoffs, furloughs, and a further decline to the county's bond rating. I really don't think Mel and Ross did their homework on this and the few individuals that really got hurt without the tax cap probably isn't worth sinking the entire county. If Mel and Ross really are concerned about the size and cost of local government, then why the heck did they approve a new police beat with six new police officers that costs taxpayers over $750,000 a year? I fear you are treading on dangerous ground with a county that seems to be on financial life support. As my grandpa used to say "You can't make butter with a toothpick". Don't expect the mayor to send you a budget that is easily passed. Reducing to core services will mean programs for elderly, housing, transportation, drug treatment, will either be reduced are removed altogether. If you cut the funding so severely, there will be definitely be unintended consequences. On the other hand, maybe these bold actions will force our county to de-unionize. Just don't count of future union endorsements. A $12 million deficit would probably result in somewhere between 200-220 position cuts to balance this shortfall. All I can say is "Good luck with that and be careful not to cut too deep or the patient will die".

Anonymous said...

Joan and the Mayor are two very courageous people who have done more than the collective whole of the rest of us to keep the fistees in check and insure that this ridiculous bill met the death it deserves. I for one am extremely grateful to you both and admire your courage and leadership!

Anonymous said...

Gmo tobacco plants make Zmapp the drug that appears to cure ebola.....is that bad too?

Anonymous said...

1 in every 47 people residing on Kauai is a county employee. That's counting every man, woman, and child out of 70,000 residents.

The budget is over bloated. We are at a $ 70 million dollar increase since this Mayor has taken over 6 years ago. That is more than 60 percent increase.

It took the county over 50 years to build a 120 million dollar budget and this Mayor has increased it by 70 million dollars without anything to show for.

Services??? These people are nothing but bubble gum chewing county welfare recipients. This Nepotism that has created every scheming tax increase is a WAR on the working class (middle class) to support the Mayors dead beat family and friends. These low life's would not be able to get a job without the low standards/no standards that the county has. This who you know and not what you know is a serious PROBLEM.

Officers are paid an extra 7k a year for uniform and following the standards on conduct. This is how bad it is here on Kauai, that KPD has to give its officers money to follow the oath they swore and vow to uphold when raising their right hands and pledging this commitment.

But we all know that KPD officers supplement their income through criminal activities so the bonus is to incentivize through money rewards to not commit crimes while serving on KPD. 750K for 6 new cops when you could have 12 reserve cops for same or a lesser amount. These 12 reserve cops would help reduce the over bloated KPD over time pay.

If KPD had those video and audio devices when they were proposed about 10 years ago, some people probably would be alive today and they counting would not have paid for excessive force, wrongful death suits and sexual harassment in the work place or on civilian suits. KPD is slow in learning but at least they try after years of failure.

Let's VOTE for lower taxes and a better overall government. We need to do this by voting out the incumbents and the Mayor. Time to trim the FAT and balance the county's budget. No More Newer Hidden Nickle/Diming Tax Schemes. Hunt needs to be replaced also, he sounds like a politician flip flopping and side stepping questions.

Anonymous said...

Hunt has done a very professional job, admirable in the face of such crap

Anonymous said...

10:11 am --- The Council approves the budget. It's ridiculous to lay it all on the mayor.

Anonymous said...

Save the rich and timeshare owners. Only in an election year.

Anonymous said...

Joan thanx again for all your efforts. You claim to not read TGI anymore , and while I agree with your sentiments, it's all we unfortunately have.
In Sundays edition a very good letter written by Ann Nimitee? was printed and factually states what has occurred on the Westside. You continually refer to seed growing as having same impact as conventional chemical farming. Not even close ....so please in the future to avoid
any confusion please acknowledge this fact to your readers.If not you look like your supporting these deceivers.and don't know the facts, which certainly is not the case as you have explained your position in detail numerous times.

Joan Conrow said...

Dear Anon. You're welcome! However, you have misstated my positions. I always read TGI. In fact I previously noted that Anna Nimitee(anonymity) is a fake name. I don't believe I've ever said the seed companies have the same impact as conventional chem farming. That would be a vast generalization. I have, however, said they are agriculture and shouldn't be taxed differenrly.

Anonymous said...

Joan, I want to share some thoughts property taxes. Without a doubt the property tax structure needs revamping. Tax incentives as we know are a very effective way for government to guide investments into things that can and should yield dividends for everyone's future. Ag dedication is one of the most generous tax incentives the county has to offer. Why is this tax break so generous and so misapplied is a question that needs answers. Some might say they were given to the rich land owners in exchange for political support. I think there may be some truth in that and the way the dedication is weighted gives some support to that idea. We both support changing that weighting.

I think the majority of Kauai voters would agree that tax incentives that help create greater food security and food self sufficiency are needed. The state has that as a goal and provides a strategy paper.
http://files.hawaii.gov/dbedt/op/spb/INCREASED_FOOD_SECURITY_AND_FOOD_SELF_SUFFICIENCY_STRATEGY.pdf

You may recall linking a speech Richard Ha gave to Hawaii State Association of Counties 2014 Annual Conference.
http://hahaha.hamakuasprings.com/2014/06/preparing-for-climate-change-the-overview.html
Richard Ha is a big picture guy that seems very concerned about the hazards looming on the road ahead. "Food security has to do with farmers farming. If the farmers make money, the farmers will farm!"

"This is about food security. The GMO portion of food security is small. This is not about large corporations. It is about local farmers. It is not about organics; we need everybody." He sees this as being under attack much like war: "being a Vietnam vet, where the unspoken rule was we all come back or no one comes back," I think you can see why the Farm Bureau supports the farming of GMOs. They may not have good practices or good crops but they are out there with us and in the Papaya fields they may have helped Hawaii farmers. Ha tips his hat and shows that he understands that GMOs will not prove to be helpful. " Most importantly, this is about pro-science and anti-science. That is why farmers are stepping up. We know that science is self-correcting."
Our civilization has traded resilience for expediency and quick profits. The entire dedication structure seems not to be working to getting more food security. It seems to be a way for large land owners to bank their land at a low cost until they can sell at the highest and best use: urban residential. The amount of tax avoidance due to poorly structured rates and minimal enforcement is likely staggering. Why is the most generous rate given to grazing livestock? I think it may be because that is what the large land banking owners find it the most convenient way to lease the land and pay the least amount of property tax. Why is the county encouraging land banking when it should be incentivizing farmers farming for food self sufficiency and food security?

I am not sure what the best way to structure the dedication is but should it not be by giving the highest incentives to the people willing and able to make the highest investments per acre toward providing real food for our island? Things like greenhouses and orchards, and yes dairies require much more investment than having one steer on three acres. I think we should make it too expensive for large land holders to just keep holding. Maybe some proof by the payment of state excise tax divided by the number of acres could be used to get the incentive more focused. Perhaps giving a flat rate to farmers just starting that may have no income in the first years, would make it easier for new farmer to become productive. The non payment of state excise tax could be an effective standard of disqualification for dedication and a way of moving the agronomic companies to find other locations or pay a larger share Perhaps a grace period of five years or a sliding scale could be considered?

Anonymous said...

I'm a parched sponge soaking up your dribblings. Its fun to binge into similiar blogs as yours, internet wide. You are one of thousands "fighting the good fight" as you see.
I love your self appointed purge as a thoughtful kind community advocate. And mostly how anyone biting on you is back slapped. While so many salute you and others accost, i question whats beckoning you to this level of hubris? theres no reckoning in this for you. and why on Kauai? why not showcase your smug brilliance in palm springs or malibu where butt pats carry more weight? I went to a local "meet up"in princeville headed by newcomer strategizers and the topic of concern was "so many damn pigs" running around the golf courses. How do "we" rid "our" poor island of them? maybe "we" pay "locals" a fee and collect a tax to offset "our" budget deficits. No concern for anything else. I have witnesses with similiar jaws on the ground . similiar to you and others... newcomers advocating best device for my home and heritage. I chuckle at such implied concern from those without attachment to anything other than their immediate created view plane and nothing can sway otherwise.
I look forward to your further dialogue...mahalo

Joan Conrow said...

Dear Sponge,
Perhaps you could squeeze out a donation since you get so much entertainment from my blog! Be careful hanging out in Princeville. Get lots of pesticides up there, you know!

Anonymous said...

sponge here...no hangin in Princeville...thats for the golf crazed. Just a quickie for nonsense gathering,never again.I soak my days with hard work, ocean recreate, raising family,donate to various causes, ...BTW, Whada ya need Joan? is that how you survive on donations? its fine if so...
i'll squeeze out and treat you to lunch in hanalei anytime...

Joan Conrow said...

Thanks, Sponge, I'll keep that in mind! No, I don't live on donations. That's just mad money. I write the blog for the same reason you seem to read it. It 's entertaining, fun and I enjoy shaping the dialogue and providing a forum for folks on Kauai where media is so limited. Thanks for reading !

Manawai said...

Anonymous August 30, 2014 at 6:12 AM said, “I foresee mass layoffs, furloughs, and a further decline to the county's bond rating.”


Actually it will help our bond ratings. Bond ratings are dependent upon fiscal propriety. Spending more than you receive is fiscally irresponsible, unsustainable and, therefore, will hurt the bond rating. Spending only what one receives and including in the budget a program to reserve funds for off-balance sheet liabilities like county retirement plans and medical obligations, will make our ratings strong.

Manawai said...

1396

Manawai said...

390Anonymous August 30, 2014 at 6:12 AM said, “I foresee mass layoffs, furloughs, and a further decline to the county's bond rating.”


Actually it will help our bond ratings. Bond ratings are dependent upon fiscal propriety. Spending more than you receive is irresponsible, unsustainable and, therefore, will hurt the bond rating. Spending only what one receives or less and including in the budget a program to reserve funds for off-balance sheet liabilities like county retirement plans and medical obligations, will make our ratings strong.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 10:15 AM – You obviously are a newcomer and have no clue about Kauai’s history and the history of ag dedications. These ten to twenty year dedications for lower taxes were around before you were probably born. It was never about food sustainability (a new word). One never gave a thought to today’s improbable fear of the island being cut off from mainland food imports. That all arose along with the thing no one talks about anymore….peak oil. Peak oil that was going to make shipping food and goods from the mainland uneconomical. It was the beginning of fear on Kauai, the emotion brought to us by the quickly arriving malahini. Ag dedication were enacted long before that to preserve farming, farm jobs and the open space. Ag is an industry that provides people with livelihoods yet preserves our rural setting and vistas. Ag land back then was cheap often selling for its property tax value. Ranching happened to be then, as it is now, a very low profit (if any) venture. Farming and ranching were identified long ago as industries that the people of Kauai wanted to foster and these dedications were supported by all. I find it jocular that so some folks are willing to read into these dedications all sorts of backroom deals and graft. No so. It was a logical way to maintain green and it worked well for a long time until pineapple and sugar became too expensive to grow here profitably. To think it was all about corruption, merely shows that you’ve been watching too much TV were everyone is crooked, but you of course. It also reveals how you think.
Ag lands were controlled by the State. The State wanted to enable the development of smaller ag parcels so that less than wealthy farmers could purchase ten or so acres and make a viable farm. The problem was caused by the County road blocking all development. Joann Yukimura remembers this a she was right up there in front in this movement to halt all development. Consequently, State law to create ag subdivisions, which provided for the farmer to be able to build his residence on his farm, became the only viable method to subdivide large ag parcels and to build homes, i.e. residential development. But since the subdivided parcels were large and Kauai was becoming the “in” place to move for wealthy second home buyers and retirees who drove up land prices, these ag subdivisions were/are unaffordable for normal folks. That’s what happens when you stifle growth; when demand is not met by supply. And everyone who has moved here from elsewhere and bought an expensive home has exacerbated this problem created by the County.
Don’t go blaming farm dedications for the County’s fiscal problems. It’s need for more and more cash is caused mainly by expanding services, over-generous employee benefits and the over staffing of departments with slow-moving under-educated employees who regard their jobs as entitlements and not something to be continually earned. That’s the bad side of government unions and the politicians who curry their favor by granting excessive compensation. Welcome to Kauai’s own little Big Government.

Anonymous said...

Joan -
Joan - I didn't call you a "f'n haole" I called you a transplant. A word your fans here like to throw around as the only ones who supported 2491, turning it into a transplant vs local issue. I spoke to the implication that a transplant of white privilege can have a voice while kanaka are marginalized and ignored thus voiceless. If transplants like yourself sympathize with the plight of Kanaka Maoli, think about how transplants who move/live here continue to perpetuate the situation of disenfranchisement by their very presence.

As much as you criticize Gary and Tim for getting caught up in the hero worshipping by their supporters, I see similarities with your fans here. Most dissenting views get biting, nasty replies by you and criticized when posting anonymously. Your supporters make nasty attacks anonymously but are not called out in the same way by you. I take it you read TGI not because it's a great read but as one more perspective of what is happening on Kauai. I read your blog off and on for same reason. I read it less and less because of your obsession over maligning Gary and all the “antis”. Your fans call it a "voice of reason" and jump on the Gary/anti's bashing band-wagon. It feels more like a personal vendetta against the man. I don't support everything he has done but I dislike what looks like self-righteous “I told you so” mentality.

Of late, your blog in my opinion feeds the very divide you write about. I don’t arrogantly think I can “silence your voice” nor does it matter to me if my commentary motivates you even more to continue. I voiced my mana'o like everyone else that comments here. If you don’t appreciate the “nastiness” of my comments, think about the way you come across as ridiculing and nasty at times, and all the ugly comments that follow by some of your pro-gmo supporters of which you say not a word. I was always told if you can’t take it, don’t give it.

He Hawaii au.

Joan Conrow said...

Oh, please don't play the pity card that "kanaka are marginalized and thus voiceless." Have you ever been to a public hearing? We all know the words of one kanaka carry more weight than the words of a dozen transplants. It just irks you that I have a platform while you hide behind Anonymous. My readership has nothing to do with my supposed "white privilege." It's because I do my homework, have established credibility over years of reporting and am willing to speak up, even though I take plenty of hits.

Which leads me to the nastiness of your comments, which you justify with "if you can't take it then don't give it." Believe me, I can take it. It just always seemed so cowardly and wrong for someone to attack me under cover of anonymity when I'm taking hits precisely because I'm not afraid to use my name.

Let me leave you this, and it will be the end of our discussion: Try use your voice, and you won't be voiceless.