Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Musings: Constructive Criticism

It has come to my attention that Kauai County Councilman Gary Hooser is displeased with me and my blog.

Gary didn't tell of his unhappiness directly. Instead, he expressed it on Facebook while upbraiding a woman who had commented, on my posting of Sunday's blog:

I was waiting for your post. Whole heartedly agree with each word!!

In his reply to her, Gary wrote:

Criticism intended to add value and improve performance is important and yes for some even well intended criticism is difficult to accept. It is the vitriolic and personal denigration that I have issues with. As you know so very well, certain bloggers have personal agenda's to grind. For whatever reason they use their poison pen to spread rumor and innuendo, and to pound on their subjects real or perceived personal shortcomings - with no intention of "improving performance" but only intending to mock, belittle and break down. These bloggers and the anonymous posters they foster are not hopeful that the performance will improve but rather are hopeful the performer will trip and fall so they can jeer loudly and encourage others to join in the mockery of the performer. I think Hilary Clinton coined the phrase, "the politics of personal destruction". This is what is being done here. To say you "Whole heartedly agree with each word!!" only encourages the personal destruction and adds nothing of value toward improving performance, nor is it intended to.

I have a personal opinion but don't personally and publicly attack and denigrate people by name. I welcome help and support via constructive suggestions delivered in a positive spirit."

Hmmm. I could, of course, avoid naming people. But I happen to believe that elected officials, and those seeking public office, should be held accountable, which is hard to do without naming names. Besides, if I were to refer obliquely to “a Councilman with jowls and a paunch” that actually would be a personal attack, and it would also be unclear as to whom exactly I was referring.

So let's just call a spade a spade, shall we?

In truth, I don't want to help or support Gary or his son, Dylan, because I think that as politicians, they're harmful to Kauai. And I don't want to see them trip and fall so I can mock them, but so they'll be defeated, as they deserve to be. Still, I'm happy to offer some constructive suggestions:

First, stop lying. Like, next time you start to utter that hackneyed sound byte about how the chem companies are suing Kauai for the right to spray poison next to schools, bite your tongue. Because you know that's not why they're suing, and you also know they had already created buffer zones around the schools before Bill 2491 was passed.

Second, stop fear-mongering. Instead of repeating anecdotal evidence about birth defects on the westside, why not ask the state Department of Health to update the birth defects registry? Why not use your position as a Councilman to ask the CDC to come in and do a study? Why not actually gather some quantifiable data and take steps to ease the fear of your constituents, rather than inflame it?

Third, be more inclusive. Remember when we were talking and I said it really put the other Councilmembers on the spot when you dumped Bill 2491 in their laps, and you replied, “Do you think I give a shit?” and I said, no, but it would've made the bill stronger if you had worked with others to craft it? And sure enough it split the Council and the community and made a big, ugly mess.

Fourth, when you draft legislation, go for something that has a chance of withstanding a legal challenge, and that can actually be enforced. Yes, I know that you don't care if Bill 2491/Ordinance 960 is enforced, because, as you told me, “all that matters is getting it passed.” Call me old-fashioned, but legality and enforcement do matter. Unless you're only doing it for grandstanding and personal gain. Which leads me to....

Fifth, trim your ego. Yes, I know you loved leading that parade of red shirts — what is it up to now, 100,000? — on Rice Street last summer, hearing chants of “Gar ee, Gar ee” as you stood triumphant on the Council steps and seeing your name in the national news, but it's really not about you. It's about public service, and making Kauai a better place.

Sixth, teach your followers how to build an effective political movement, instead of misleading them into believing all they have to do is wave their fists and post copiously on Facebook. Help them field candidates who have a chance to win, instead of your kid, a high school drop out and a flaky radio show hostess, all of whom are doomed to lose, leaving your followers with nothing but frustration and political disillusionment.

And Baby Hoos, if you run again, try come up with a solid platform instead of using social media ads to malign your opponent. Negative campaigning and preaching to the choir won't get you elected.

Seventh, think about the consequences of your actions. Yeah, you promoted the hell out of yourself, but you also created a political climate that is giving Grove Farm a grip on the Council so they can rezone to their heart's content. But then, that might help your real estate buddies, right?

Eighth, be transparent. Who is funding the HAPA group you lead, and what is their agenda for the island? What is your relationship with Center for Food Safety, Earthjustice and Pesticide Action Network?

Ninth, be yourself. Like don't change Realtor to “entrepreneur” on your bio.

Tenth, don't try to shut up or shut down the people who know the truth about you and speak it. Because it only makes them ever more determined to shine the light on the darkness. 

And that, Gary, is my only agenda.

61 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow. I see that you have been taking notes. Thank you for putting Gary in his place. At least you use facts to back up your statements. And offer possible solutions to bringing this island back together.

On another note, any info on the Bynum exec session posted on tomorrow's agenda? Is it because of his pencil throwing incident a few meetings ago where he got upset with Joann and stormed out after flipping his pencil towards her.

Anonymous said...

Give em girl!!!!

Joan Conrow said...

I do know that Tim's antics prompted another Councilmember to file a hostile workplace complaint, which may well explain why the Council is having an exec session to consider sanctions against him.

Anonymous said...

Well done, Joan! Mirror to the jowls!

Anonymous said...

I wonder how much it is costing the County to enforce 2491? They've hired someone as a liaison of sorts, had some community meetings and on Aug. 26th another hearing. County government has grown too much in the past 8 years. Creating two new departments, Parks and Receeation and Human Resourses, as well as expanding the Solid Waste Division; has cost taxpayers a lot. I consider myself middle class and yet I'm struggling to pay the sewer, water, electric and trash fees, oh and the vehicle registration fees, higher license fees, safety checks...and it goes on and on. How can I pay my mortgage? Yikes, I need another job soon.

Anonymous said...

In most other instances I might disagree with the way you’re using your blog. Nevertheless, it’s your blog, your opinion and your right to free speech. I agree that Gary is in a different category as a politician and should be more open to criticism. Further, I don’t like Gary’s politics or methods of dividing the island for what seems to be personal gain. It’s too bad he’s going to get back on the council. In addition, it’s sad to see that nothing will really change on the council. More taxes, more grove farm power, more of the same meaning less money, land and affordability for the people. Are the people of Kauai ever going to wake up? We continue to vote last names and recognizable names over issues and actual substance. Frustrating.

Dawson said...

"...it's really not about you. It's about public service..."

Sadly, that's the one concept that egoist politicians like Gary cannot grasp.

Anonymous said...

Joan, Thank you so much for exposing Gary and the truth and reminding us again. I also, Whole heartedly agree with each word!!

Gary, Thank you so much for joining in the conversation and giving Joan the opportunity to once again clarify to the people of Kauai why your destructive for Kauai. Its a great reminder. Time to take some responsibility and stop blaming everyone else.

To Everyone, don't fall for Gary's convoluted plea for "feel sorry for me, Im just trying to save Kauai from evil" pity votes. He is only out for himself even at the expense of Kauai's people. He has taken measures to personally attack and ruin peoples careers who have tried to stop his madness. He needs to be defeated before he does more damage. He has spun out of control and so has Temper Tantrum Tim. Because of Gary and Tim, and the lawsuits they created, Kauai county may soon be facing bankruptcy for the first time ever! This is not the fault of the Mayor, or the Lawyers, or the seed co's who they blame for everything! Take some responsibility GARY.

ps. Lets also not forget that Jay, Mason, Joanne, and Tim contributed to this mess. They need to be held accountable as well. Id love to see them take some responsibility. Time to start working hard to earn the "silent majority" of Kauai's respect back. Or get ready to get voted out.

And to the "Silent Majority" time to stop being so silent. We need to take responsibility too. We are also to blame for not speaking up. Obviously we cant rely on the council member to make the right decisions. Lets never let something like this happen again.

Allan Parachini said...

I'm tempted to exclaim: You go, girl! Last weekend's primary offered definitive proof that the people of Kauai don't appreciate single-issue politicians because none of us lives a single issue life. It was exacerbated by Mr. Barca being inarticulate, uninformed, unaware of how government works and not terribly bright to begin with. Mr. Hooser's motives have, unfortunately, been all too apparent from the beginning of the 2491 fight. Even after his own lawyers warned him how vulnerable this bill was to court attack, he pressed on with it anyway, precisely because the ultimate outcome mattered now a whit to him. He knew this was a poorly drafted and ill conceived piece of legislation, but he saw it as creating a big time political payoff, regardless of the consequences for Kauai County. He was interested feathering his cap by being the champion of what he thought was the people's only concern. Mr. Hooser, you misjudged everything. Your ego is showing.

Allan Parachini
Kilauea

Anonymous said...

If the Bynum pencil throwing incident is going to executive session than Joan Yukimura should be investigated for tactful ways to incite anger in Tim.

It was clear Joan had an agenda and she played it to perfection. She acted nonchalant in interrupting another council members testimony on every paragraph he tried to speak of.

Joan was doing what people do when they want to irritate and incite someone. She's one smart cookie but she's done. She should never serve in public office again.

Why hasn't the county council invoke a executive session on Nadine and investigate her advancement and doubling her pay from 50k to 100k , from county council to county admin. Isn't Jay Furafaro a more qualified person for Nadine's promotional position? I guess some people are the chosen seeds and others are just seethes.

Joan Conrow said...

It 's JoAnn Yukumura, not Joan. And there's nothing to investigate re: Nadine. She got promoted to a better paying job for which she is amply qualified.

Casey Law said...

*drops mic*

Anonymous said...

Yes, investigate Joann for questioning Tim. Such shameful behavior on her part. She should bow down and lick his feet instead of expressing a different opinion.

Anonymous said...

So much hate. So much anger almost every day.

Do you realize that your blog has become so one-sided and poisonous?

You live in arguably one of the most beautiful places on earth and it appears from your blog that you have so much contempt for it and virtually everything that is done on it.

“Anger is unpleasant but seductive. In an interview with Bill Moyer, Pema Chodron says that anger has a hook. “There's something delicious about finding fault with something,” she said. Especially when our egos are involved (which is nearly always the case), we may protect our anger. We justify it and even feed it.

Wisdom teaches that anger is never justified, however. Our practice is to cultivate metta, a loving kindness toward all beings that is free of selfish attachment. “All beings” includes the guy who just cut you off at the exit ramp, the co-worker who takes credit for your ideas, and even someone close and trusted who betrays you.” (or the politician you think has wronged you).

“For this reason, when we become angry we must take great care not to act on our anger to hurt others. We must also take care not to hang on to our anger and give it a place to live and grow.”


Please go back to your lovely words about nature and animals and leave your contempt of all things "man" behind.

Surely there must be some things on/in/about Kauai you love. Let us hear about them; please. I am sure the outcome will be pleasant.

Is it possible that your blog (even unintentionally) is causing others to be just as angered and enraged? Is it possible that your blog is causing depression and hopelessness abut island life on Kauai. Your commenters sure seem so.


Let us hear about the beauty in your life, your neighbors, your freinds and of the island.

Namaste and Mahalo.

Anonymous said...

Tim Whinem takes every opportunity to make people believe that he is a victim. Grow a pair and take your licks like a man.

Anonymous said...

Well said Joan! For the record, Bynum needs to goooo...

Anonymous said...

Joan Conrow would have won a seat on the council this year guaranteed. She has a platform, something many newcomers are missing. Keep it up Joan, you have blasted all incumbents when they mess up. No one spared. Hooser and Bynum dug their own graves, they just don't know it. Come November, they will.

Anonymous said...

Nice try- nice lie. He was talking about Andrew Walden... but I suppose it's al about you these days Joan.

Joan Conrow said...

That is such BS. It was posted in direct response to the woman's comment on my Facebook post and their exchange included my name.

To borrow your phrase, nice try -- nice lie.

Anonymous said...

12:23 pm who the hell is Andrew Walden? Owner of Walden Bookstore? Nudist on the North Shore? Organic Farmer?

Anonymous said...

Another spot on commentary by Joan. Thank you for never being intimidated by those who would like to stifle your voice. We need more strong, intelligent people like you on Kauai.

Anonymous said...

Is it possible that your blog (even unintentionally) is causing others to be just as angered and enraged? Is it possible that your blog is causing depression and hopelessness abut island life on Kauai. Your commenters sure seem so.

August 12, 2014 at 10:42 AM

The Kauai Syndicate Mafia Home Grown Terrorists GOBAG is trying to assassinate someone as we speak. They have been trying to assassinate this person like Aurero Moore.

Anonymous said...

Keep sticking the needles in the right holes, Joan. Kaua'i needs to hear.

Anonymous said...

"Is it possible that your blog (even unintentionally) is causing others to be just as angered and enraged?"

Get real...we've been upset by all the political shenanigans long before Joan started blasting the red shirt ideologues. We are pleased that someone is speaking the truth!

Anonymous said...

9:38 'If the Bynum pencil throwing incident is going to executive session than Joan Yukimura should be investigated for tactful ways to incite anger in Tim.'

This comment screams loudly of someone who blames a woman when a man chooses to hit or abuse her, after all it's her fault because she made him mad.

No one is responsible for someone loosing their temper and acting childish or aggressive except the person that chooses to lose their self control. Grow up and choose to take responsibility for your actions. All humans posses free will to choose how they respond in any situation. It is ridiculous to see our council throw tantrums when someone disagrees with them.

As far as Joan's blog inciting anger, just listen to KKCR or read some of our fine council and mayoral candidates FB pages then talk about inciting anger. One thing Joan's blog includes that seems to be frequently missing from other said sources are actual real life facts!

Anonymous said...

Accurate portrayal of Gary Hooser.
Gary may have his faults, but he is the most powerful person on the Council. He gets what he wants.
The Council passed the anti-Ag law. Gary was influential enough to hand pick MASON Chock to assure passage of the bill.
Ross and Mel, I guess can see thru the baloney. Jay FURFARO must be enchanted by Gary, because he also is part of the Anti-Ag mess. Gary has power and most of the Council, and especially Jay, are under his spell.
Gary was smart in promoting the health scare. Cancer and deformed babies graphically impact everyone. Now everything is blamed on Ag. All Ag discussion is shut down. No facts, no truth to his health claims, but now all Ag will now be suspect.
But, bottom line, the locals are pissed. It is more of the same big mouth Haoles telling people how for live.
BTW, Arryl Kaneshiro is an educated hard working young man. He comes from a true farming family and will do whats right for Kauai.

Anonymous said...

Inspiring and spot-on. We need more strong and articulate voices who expose opportunistic politicians that aspire to solve fake problems while taking the credit for solving...well, nothing - and dividing the community in the process. All on our dime. It's far easier than solving real, legitimate problems. They do this while promoting their own pathetic political careers and advancing their minority, Utopian, cult-like ideologies and personal agendas. Joan, my hat is deservedly off to you for taking Mr Hooser to task. You have separated the wo-men from the boys.

Chuck Lasker said...

If you disagree with these folks it's hate. If they attack you personally and insult you, it's justified and pono. LOL

Anonymous said...

10:42. If you want serenity and namaste and all that go read Walden Pond again and suck up to Pema Chodron some more, whoever that is. When a bunch of shysters try to gull us with all manner of caca cooked up in the witch cauldrons of the likes of Jeffrey Smith, the Kimbrells, Vandana Shiva and other shady flakes, it shouldn't be a surprise a lot of us are pissed off and showed it at the polls. We aren't stupid and we take our governance seriously enough to deeply resent the behavior of the posturing fistee leaders and their fistee followers. They made a very poor ethical and factual case for themselves so far as I can see- and I looked hard. I don’t hate these people. I just want them as far from the engines of government as my vote can put them. And I value Joan’s hard work, sense of integrity and commentary very much more than your views on esoteric Buddhist practices. You are nevertheless entitled to your views as much as I am to mine. Excelsior!

hawaiifarmersdaughter.com said...

Funny how these politicians demand transparency and disclosure but can't even reciprocate when it comes to their side. It's no surprise that now they are feeling attacked when you question them, for questioning their "facts" and "evidence" is against the rules apparently. These people are the first ones to cry out they want what's pono but can't seem to figure it out themselves what it really means.

Anonymous said...

Bynum gets mad and flies a pencil accidentally. K saw it..
Another council member actually filed a complaint? Over that? For real? That's politics gone mad. My tax money is being spent on a them discussing a complaint about an angry pencil slip? FU for wasting my to money on this.

I detest Bynum, but whoever complained about this is wasting public resources and just lost my vote. Who was it?

Manawai said...

Why do we allow the north shore people to load up the council? Like other islands and in most other elections, I think we need to have all sides of the island represented. I think we need a charter amendment to accomplish this. Not an ordinance as some try to do, but a proper charter amendment. I think if we were to have it on this November's ballot, it would certainly pass.

Anonymous said...

Joan, while I wholeheartedly agree with everything you've cited in your blog, I fear Gary Hooser has a loyal cult following that feel he can do no wrong and will blindly vote him back into Council. And, if those followers are no enough to carry him in the general election, then he'll simply just buy the remaining votes by raiding the balance of the county reserve ... yes, the very same fund that Gary just recently stated was too precious to fully fund the the County employee's retirement health benefits (short-funded by $1.5 million)... to give tax relief to homeowners that received tax increases. Nevermind other taxpayers have been carrying a disproportional share of the taxes for years. Nevermind more homeowners got decreases and increases. Let's just give back all their money and reinstate the cap, bringing us back to a system of "winners and loser". Does having no scruples and backing out of your commitments warrant a Board of Ethics review? I guess not. There's even an alternative word for someone having no scruples ... it's "politician". Sadly, I think Kauai is stuck with this carpetbagger and snake oil salesman, at least unil his inflated ego thinks he can seek an elevated post. Hooser for Governor! Please, anything to get him off Kauai and keep him from further destroying our once tight-knit community. Kauai really deserves better.

Anonymous said...

10:04
Throwing stuff pencils, arms and stomping out of meetings should not be tolerated. A public apology is in order and the Council is remiss if they do not demand this from Bynum. It is must be kept civil. maybe requesting a mental evaluation is,in order.
If I throw anything at work I would lose my job and maybe be arrested for terroristic threatening.

Anonymous said...

Re 10:04, I believes it's the third time that Bynam was cited for inappropriate aggressions in the workplace. If it continues to escalate we will be in the same situation as the 3 police officers who have file suits against the department. There's more than Council members in those meetings. If Tim has a problem with anger management it needs to be corrected now before someone actually gets hurt. If his actions were such at any private sector employment he would be unemployed.

Anonymous said...

Spot on Joan. And for those of you who think you know anything about Bynum, he has 6 hostile work environment complaints against him and it's about time he gets called on his violent behavior and tantrums. You don't know what he is capable of until you have to work with him everyday.

Anonymous said...

You hit the nail on the head with this one Joan!

Anonymous said...

Such overreaction to Bynum's behavior. Just make him sit in the corner and write "I will not throw a pencil" ten times. Works for first graders.

Anonymous said...

Any bets as to whether or not Bynum will need special counsel to be paid for by the taxpayers to defend him.

Anonymous said...

All wars are wasteful especially civil wars which is what Hooser and Bynam started supported by Nakamura, Yukimura, Furfaro and Chock anyone of whom could have ended it if they had the courage to do so. Instead we ended up with deeply divided community who's wounds are not going to heal any time soon.

Anonymous said...

Forget his pencil tantrums. In watching the video of that meeting, what I'm surprised no one has mentioned is inability to retain his train of thought if he's interrupted. I think he has some sort of attention deficit problem. Plus, one would think that if he knows he has this problem (which he disclosed at the meeting), he would write his point down so he could stay on track. I hate to say it, but I think Bynum has some sort of retardation besides his anger issues.

Anonymous said...

Enough with the war analogies. You insult the veterans and soldiers with your bullshit.

Anonymous said...

I don't expect politicians to be perfect human beings. We all have our faults. Most of ours are not generally televised. What I do expect them to do is to serve the average citizen's interests not their own. My biggest issue with county government is that it is too damn big. It should be stripped down to deliver core services and the county payroll should be trimmed. There is way too much nepotism and jobs awarded as political favors.

Anonymous said...

Ms. Joan, I thought that you are on the same side of the fence as Gary, JoAnn, Tim and Mason. As far as opinions on GMO, Herbicide, Hotels, PMRF and TVRs. Isn't it better to stick together? So we can have change? Gary may have a couple of very small deficiencies, but to throw the whole baby out with the bath water is not good.

Joan Conrow said...

Gary's dishonesty, grand-standing, ego-driven politics, fear-mongering and opportunistic behavior are not "small deficiences," in my opinion , but fatal flaws. As for being on the same side, Tim is the one who introduced the bill allowing TVRs on ag land and none of them have done anything to actually reduce herbicide use, only to make certain companies report it. So no, I don't feel any change is likely from perpetuating the status quo.

Anonymous said...

Manawai,
Which council members live on the North Shore?

Manawai said...

Sorry. Should have said north and east shores. Only one, Ross Kagawa, is from the west side; none from the south shore. The point being that the west side is under represented on the Council.

Anonymous said...

Like the content Joan, just not the tone.

I think its time you get back to the island, walk along Kahuna Road, relax, and soak in the aloha of your home.

Joan Conrow said...

Oh, do you now? LOL!!!

Btw, I've encountered a helluva lot more true "aloha" on the mainland than is being expressed on Kauai of late.

Anonymous said...

Manawai,
Which council members live on the North Shore? I'd really like to know.
Mahalo.

Anonymous said...

no councilmembers live on the north shore. Jay and his family are from the north shore. The council represent the whole island with districting not being considered. Tim and Gary are from America, Ross the west side, JoAnn, Lihue, Mason east side...

Anonymous said...

Core services? Tell that to Hooser. He wants to pass laws and doesn't even care if they're enforced. He'll set up a Department of Non-enforceable laws and staff it with finger pointers who will blame Joan for his failings.

Anonymous said...

Rross is not from the westside! He use to be, he now lives in Lihue! He is definitely not from the west!!!!

Anonymous said...

12:18 Take off your red shirt and shave those underarms

Anonymous said...

you can take the westside bra out of the west, but you can't take the westside side out of the man! you go git'um Ross, saddle up them hosses.

Anonymous said...

Remember when we were talking and I said it really put the other Councilmembers on the spot when you dumped Bill 2491 in their laps, and you replied, “Do you think I give a shit?”

That's the quote of the year.

Anonymous said...

Mel filed the complaint against Tim.

Anonymous said...

@12:18 and what about you, are you from the mainland and been living on Kaua'i for like 2 years now?

Anonymous said...

Good for Mel

Anonymous said...

I'm Gary "don't give a shit" Hooser and I approve this message.

Anonymous said...

@12:18 if Ross used to live on the west side and lives in Lihue now he is still "from" the west side. No matter where he lives in the future he will always be FROM west side. Just like you. You may live on Kauai now but you are FROM .... (Fill in the blank). Just a bit if advise to all you just moved here folks, when someone asks where your from they aren't asking where you live now. It's where did you come from before you moved here one or five or ten years ago. Your welcome!