Friday, April 8, 2016

Musings: Muddled

So today is the last day the Joint Fact Finding Group will accept public comments on its report. Then tomorrow the panel is supposed to review all the comments in one day and amend the report accordingly.

Gee, that sounds like a thoughtful and contemplative process.

Peter Adler, the consultant who managed the JFF process, is profiled in the Star-Advertiser today. He talks about a number of his projects, including this one, which he gives a favorable spin, though most of it would deem it a catastrophe. But what caught my eye was this statement:


We’ve had some early indications that the state is really interested in some of the studies we’ve proposed. We’re a little late for this Legislature, but I think the governor is paying attention to this. Certainly the Kauai legislators are very focused and attentive to this, as are others, because this is really a much larger issue than just Hawaii.

A little late for this session? So was that the intent of this process all along, to drive legislation? And since only the anti groups are seeking that, what does that say about the objectivity of this process? And what's with the "we proposed?" Shouldn't it be "the group?" I mean, since he's supposed to the impartial facilitator and all that.

Moving on to what is clearly another election year ploy, Councilmen Gary Hooser and Mason Chock have proposed an “affordable rental” bill that could turn Lihue into a rabbit warren at best, and a ghetto at worst.

Yes, Hooser and Chock think so highly of renters that they're proposing to let them live in 400-square-foot units in the back of somebody's house on 3,500-square-foot lots in Lihue.

Yeah, pack 'em in like rats.

Now how in the world do they think that kind of density can be achieved “without substantially altering existing neighborhood character?”

And how do they plan to enforce the “no vacation rental” clause when the county has yet to get a handle on the hundreds of illegal TVRs currently in operation?

And won't people in other parts of the island rightly complain that they are being denied an opportunity to increase property values and gain additional income with this gift of increased density being offered only to denizens of Lihue?

Still, it's such a brilliant approach to garnering political support in Lihue, where Chock and Hooser languished in the last election.

Come on, guys. You can do better than this. Put on your thinking caps and come up with some decent affordable rentals — especially on the North Shore — for citizens who have been displaced by the explosion of vacation rentals that you've failed to properly manage.

But at least now the county is trying to clean up the TVR mess, with the Council approving $40,000 to continue funding special counsel for the illegal TVR hearings. The county currently is handling the B&B/homestays appeals itself, and will pick up the TVR caseload in the future.


And yet another media source has weighed in on the conflict around GMOs in Hawaii. It's not the usual hatchet job we're accustomed to, though The Economist blew it when it sent cub reporter Miranda Johnson, who was in way over her head. As a result, she failed to grasp the crux of the story — the pesticide paranoia is the offspring of what is at heart an anti-GMO campaign — and turned out a muddled mess that was filled with errors.

When I see how badly this story has been reported, it really makes me despair about the integrity and credibility of any news source any more. I guess this is what happens when everyone wants free content, and there's no money to train reporters.

41 comments:

Anonymous said...

I noticed one thing in common for all the anti GMO stories they use a beautiful picture of the Kalo Loi in Hanalei, why don't they use a picture of Waimea corn field? Why is it? I noticed on the comments section of Civil Beat, when an astute commenter asked them why they used that picture, the reply was it was just a pretty picture of agriculture, but when they all use the picture of the Kalo that grows in Hanalei, we better start questioning the motives and agenda. If I was a Hanalei kalo farmer, I would be worried And wonder if they really are after all agriculture, including Hanalei.

Anonymous said...

Basically Hooser and Chock is creating a bill to make TVR's in residential areas legal and also let illegal TVR's continue to operate.

It's a scheme to get the wealthy sell out votes and those mainlanders who violate state and county laws because they have extra Benjamin's in their pockets and actually do go out and vote for people with like minded schemes.

We've seen this charade before.

Allan Parachini said...

Given the basic journalistic failures of many previous stories on this issue, this one is a comparative breath of fresh air. It is at least balanced and lays the story out dispassionately, without resorting to embrace of the fear campaign that's been going on. It's inarguable that we need more and better information, a basic point the JFFG draft makes that's at least better than what we've been used to. I wish this reporter had realized that the unsaid issue is that the information collected by the JFFG and its analysis should have PRECEDED any legislation. On the buffer zone issue, size matters, not so much on Kauai given the nature of the seed company operations, but if and when Kauai starts to see more crop production agriculture and on other islands now, land committed to buffer zones is land removed from productivity, a point a large Oahu farmer made eloquently in hearings last year. This article, and the discussion general, has gotten too accustomed to referring simply to "buffer zones" without serious reflection on, if they are necessary, what dimensions are actually appropriate

Makaala Kaaumoana said...

Well said. I have pointed this out to many publications. Why use a photograph of a place that has NO GMO.

Anonymous said...

Hooser and Chock have got to go.

Anonymous said...

The conclusions came to by JFF were same conclusions that precipitated 2491 which was lack of data. Need disclosure to get the data so proper studies can be done. Why did we have to wait two years and spend $150,000 to reach same conclusions? Disclosure, buffer zones and testing/studies. Repeat after me.

Anonymous said...

That housing plan has to be the worst idea re housing since the 1950s housing projects. Noisy slums. Is this a backdoor attempt to legalize the Hanamaulu disaster?

Joan Conrow said...

11:42 -- Your mantra is an example of the muddled, steeple-type thinking of the antis. First, there is ample disclosure to determine if any of these substances are going into the environment. Schools and hospitals near the fields are given pre-spraying notification, as are nearby residents who request it. The only reason antis want real time data is so they can start targeting the companies with their vague health complaints. Second, buffer zones already exist, and there's absolutely no evidence that more are needed. Third, testing and studies should be done first. That's the only way to determine if the buffer zones need to expanded or if other measures are warranted.

Anonymous said...

No GMO in hanalei kalo true but they do use round up or as they call it "rodeo"

Anonymous said...

11:42. Did you not notice that the JFFG took everything that 2491 ordered the County of Kauai to do and shifted the responsibility to the State of Hawaii where the EPA devolved its authority to regulate pesticides to begin with. That's why you have to wait. And that's why we, the county tax payers have had to spend way more than your $150,000 for nothing. Repeat after me: In the future when I sign on to some stagy high profile EJ-CFS-SF-HISeed-HAPA-Hooser gambit, I will bestir myself to work a little harder to understand it. Hooser knew, Bynum knew, Furfaro knew, Chock knew, Yukimura knew, and Nakamura knew when they rolled the dice on a yes vote that the odds were against them. Rapozo and Kagawa also knew, but they got it right. Remember their telling you this was a state responsibility.Probably not, you people were too busy screaming. Repeat after me.

Anonymous said...

Many properties in Lihue, Puhi and Hanamaulu have illegal lock-outs. Same is true for the rest of the island.
Da Hooser/Chockster bill is in line with their Matron JoAnn's thinking, of creating an urban hub. Easier for her to cram her buses and bikes down our throats.
A drive-by in many areas and you see 10 cars per house. Lots of people, some family, some illegal room rentals. Anyway. The Planning Czar and his henchman know that the hype of getting your illegal rental certified "Legal" will get many unsuspecting good folks in the area to apply for the permit.
But the hard reality is this...the added septic cost, electrical certifications, off street parking and a myriad of other infractions cited by the BS opinionated County Planning inspectors will make the cost and hassle impossible for most of the unsuspecting owners. Most people don't know what is "legal" or not, but when you get a sharp eyed Dahlig Gun-slinger in your house, you can find yourself with a gazillion violations. Shucks, these baboozes will even cite you for windows, bathroom exhaust fans, plumbing vent pipes, out of whack steps and treads, handrails.....you name it, they will get you. Illegal deck? Carport? Chicken coop permit? Once they are on your property you are screwed.
But by then, these properties are in the system, red marked on the Planning Maps...
Da Hoos and Dum-Dum Mason may be looking for votes, but they are really damaging the poor folks who get lured into this Planning Department scam.
Never never trust anyone from Planning, the Council or government with your property, they will always use it against you. Them thar Planning people have long memories.
And never trust Da Hoos, either, he might just insinuate a Fistee in an uncomfortable painful location.

John Kauai said...

While I agree Jane that the studies should come first, the lack of data and the resistance to providing that data, means that regulations will be promulgated based on "best fear". (or should that be "most fear"?) There are "charlatans" out there, but I do not agree that Huber or Hayes are in that group. Unfortunately, when guys like Huber and Hayes raise warning flags that are ignored or pooh-poohed. There may be studies that "prove" them wrong, but unless they accept them, I'm not willing to no longer listen to them. One must also recognize that one side may be talking apples while the other side is oranges.

I wish this "disagreement" were as obvious to me as the "smart meter crisis". (Just in case you're wondering, I fully supported the deployment, which does not mean that there are no harmful effects from too much EM radiation, just that the incremental increase from smart meters was so small compared to background and other sources, if was hardly measurable. Which -may- be the case with the pesticide application on the West Side.)

Speaking of laptops... surely everyone recognizes they are infinitely more dangerous than smart meters -- especially when they are sitting on your lap. :^>

Anonymous said...

We would like to know when they spray the Kalo with pesticides in Hanalei and it's well known that they use them. Just not in experimental combinations as the chemical companies. The photo is appropriate.

Anonymous said...

It never stops. Now they want to know when every field is sprayed. Next they will be telling you what you can use in your yard.

Anonymous said...

"Come on, guys. You can do better than this. Put on your thinking caps and come up with some decent affordable rentals "

How about instead of tearing down and slamming Hooser and Chock and other people on your "If they like something, I'm against it" list, why don't YOU propose some solutions.

We all know if if Gary Hooser tried to cure cancer, you'd take cancer's side.

Anonymous said...

6:11, maybe you would like to disclose when the kalo fields are sprayed, more probably you would like to develop that land, rather than grow food on it. I take it you never took care of Loi kalo, you could never grow all the kalo without using herbicides on the banks of the fields. But more importantly, is the fact that urban uses use more herbicides and pesticides than agricultural use. Golf courses use 10 times the amount of pesticides than regular agricultural uses. Yes, you can grow a small amount of taro organically , but really it is not your place to put a picture of Hanalei and say you want to know what they are spraying on it, when the whole campaign and articles are on corn, not kalo. Or is it really about getting rid of the traditional crops like kalo too. Would like to see how many aloha aina Warriors would agree with you or would you lose your Hawaiian friends in this battle were you to tell them the truth that you want to end the growing of
Kalo. Do you have any idea how much hard work it is to produce Kalo. If facts matter at all to you, more pesticides are used in developed places like Princeville than anywhere, growing zilch.

Anonymous said...

6:11, who is we?

Anonymous said...

And 6:11, inquiring minds want to know every time you use the toilet and despoil Kauai. Give me a break, inquiring minds want to know every time a house is tented, with poisonous gases used, inquiring minds want to know every time Mokihana is called to any residence, hotel , business or vacation rental to spray, inquiring minds want to know if you are a breatharian? Inquiring minds want to know why you only care about the pesticide use on agriculture lands,but the rest and most of the pesticides that are used for structural uses, like right in people's houses, is OK with you? Inquiring minds want to know where you came from and what kind of land uses go on there?

Anonymous said...

Actually, I do know how to maintain one Loi but have zero interest in developing that land lol! I'm JUST a parent of a 3rd and 5th grader at Hanalei school. And this issue for myself and many of our friends has been severely over looked in this island wide pesticide dispute. I like know what/when they spray the golf course as well! Those go totally unregulated and are known for RUP use but oh no lets not upset the north shore golfers! And I know it glows downstream to the ocean with the hundreds of golf balls I've picked out of that dead reef myself.

Anonymous said...

9 am -- What would you do even if you knew? Do you know enough to know how much is too much? Or are you afraid of any amount?

Anonymous said...

#1 I'm from Indiana (not that I'm interested in playing guess who in the "anti gmo movement" while you all remain anonymous). The basis for my concern about pedticide exposure goes back to the loss of the last 2 members of my family to kidney cancer (1 a corn farmer, 1 a golf course groundskeeper dead in their 40s). And to the diseases my family believes stemmed from exposure. You see, those MOST vulnerable to pesticide exposure in the US are the children who grow up in the home of a parent who works occupationally with 'cides and that comes from the much quoted American Association of Pediatrics study. What would I do? I'd ask them politely not to spray during school hours. Because even in the 80s and 90s we were brought inside and windows were CLOSED when our fam would spray because it was well known even then to protect kids from direct impact. That didnt keep us from soaking in the agrichemical drainage ditches I mean creeks all summer.

Anonymous said...

400 feet for a single person is big enough. I live in a slightly bigger studio and I ain't suffering. It's clean and dry. I have a tv, small sound system for tunes. Just don't buy a lot of things to clutter up the place and you'll be fine.

John Kauai said...

FWIW: Living next to Kauai Coffee we get calls multiple times a week on what is going to be sprayed and where. It is kind of useless information because it is really general (vs specific) still it isn't as if we are going to do anything differently. OTOH, I had no idea that they would spray so often.

in the end, I prefer knowing to not knowing. Kind of like I think I'd rather my Doctor tell me I have cancer than keep it a secret. (Perhaps a hyperbolic way of expressing the sentiment I admit, but can't think of a better way to express the sentiment at the moment.)

Anonymous said...

4-9@6:29, Your cancer hypothetical is about what I'd expect fron a Hooser-Chock partisan. Try something like: if Gary Hooser said "Trust me", you'd grab your wallet. Damned right I would.

Anonymous said...

Joan have you considered doing more writing on the GI on the guest section. I've seen a bunch of really bad opinions that does not make decent sense. This section can also lock out commenting.

GI has how much readers? Your blog has how much readers? GI + JC readers = more exposure to more readers of these hypocritical anti's. Just saying.

Anonymous said...

9:20
Why should Ms Joan bring her talents to the GI.
She has a following. She would enhance GI with no benefit to her.
Now, IF GI offered some Big Dough to Ms Joan....then it would be OK.
A standing article, once a week at 1000$ to 2000$ per article/week may be fair.
It will put 50 to 100 K in Ms Joan's pocket, it gives GI some needed content and create some reader frenzy.
However, the GI has a deeply complicated and loving relationship with Da Hoos. They would have to ask Da Hoos if is OK for Joan to be involved with the GI. It is unlikely Da Hoos will grant this, so the GI will continue as Da Hoos' singular broadcast mechanism. It is also said that Da Hoos' minions out of HAPA or any of his pathetic obsequious campaign strategies will get moocho Pages and important placement in the GI.
The GI is a joke. How can an island with average house prices at 600K, highly skilled workforce, a premier world-wide destination have such a pathetic, do nothing paper.

The GI is suitable for outhouse use/birdcage liner/ garden mulch and not much else.
Charlie Fern is rolling in his grave. Georgia Mossman is apoplectic amd Jean Holmes shakes her head in disbelief. A County icon, a good paper gone to waste.

Anonymous said...

How can you say such terrible things bout The Garden Island News-stupor?

Anonymous said...

TGI has been garbage since Kendyce Manguchei, Nathan "coward" Eagle, and that other scrub left.

The latter two left for Omindyr's propaganda "Hawaii civil beat".

Anonymous said...

Another syndicate slave bites the dust: TGI obituary. Family of a rapist pig and another pig who ran over a 19 yr kid and will be freed like Hilario.

KARMA hoohz #BlkNaniHuntah

Sam Lee said...

This week's biggest news was about the County prevailing in a contested case hearing concerning a illegal north shore TVR; a decision with potentially wide impact for the island. The GI did publish the story in today's edition ; at the bottom of Page 7. Taking precedence on page 1 was a housekeeping story about KPD's plan to restructure the department (to save on overtime) and a report about a traffic accident fronting the Lihue McDonalds. ??????

Best Wishes, Sam

Anonymous said...

I'm not asking her to write for them. I'm implying for her to keep the GI honest as a credible write as a guest commenter. With no counter comments.

Anonymous said...

I don't know about you, but I click on Kauaieclectic before I click on the garden island , and while I look at the newspaper once, I look at KE many times a day to catch up on the comments.

John Kauai said...


Here's a "positive" GMO story combined with a Reef story.

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/04/18/a-radical-attempt-to-save-the-reefs-and-forests

Anonymous said...

Affluenza

Anonymous said...

Sam, your perspective may be getting skewed by your zeal. A minor hearing on a zoning case that is headed to court for years to come is hardly more important news than a tragic death in Lihue. There are many, many more families impacted by this tragedy than by single decision by a hearing officer. I know, "save Poipu" and all, but you sort of minimized a families worst possible pain with your analysis, and hopefully they are not readers.

I'm all for super aggressive enforcement on illegal TVR and B&B, but I also think, dare I say it, that just like they did for TVR, B&B's that were operating forever with the county even helping them put rack cards in the airport, ought to have an opportunity for grandfathering rights. IMHO, if they enforced on the TVR's alone and got rid of ALL of the illegal ones (maybe by threatening legal action against co-conspirator VRBO) all of this would become a non-issue on Kauai fast, and we could get on with building more housing on the island for those of use who stay here.

John Kauai said...

Well, this is sad:
http://www.civilbeat.com/2016/04/seed-industry-reps-quit-kauai-pesticide-fact-finding-group/

Anonymous said...

Well John come lately to Kauai. Welcome to Our world! Is the picture coming in a little more clear to you! (not a question). I know 5 of the players very well. I see their points of views. I don't agree with the views but I respect their views. Fact Finding Peter! NOT! Johnny come lately to Kauai, what you say now to the supposedly fair fact finding fiddling report. let's go back to the blog on what you notice at the public meeting.
I would like to express some sympathy for the two "industry reps" on the JFFG. They were assigned an extremely difficult (ultimately losing) task that I can imagine no one else from DuPont et. al. wanted. The "office politics" involved in passing on this "hot potato" must have been intriguing and I can imagine 'cut throat'. They had very credible resume(S) with more chances to offer FACTS. Lastly, why are you sad! you saw what the facts that were presented.


Anonymous said...

Grandfathering is reserved for legal uses, no can grandfather in an illegal business. No matter what you call it.

Anonymous said...

It didn't work like that. The two seed company employees were hand picked AS INDIVIDUALS by Peter Adler for the appearance of balance, as was the UH member, who has also resigned. They were specifically NOT chosen to represent the company or the industry (reference the group Charter of Commitments).

Sarah was picked by Peter because he wrongly thought she'd be easy to bully; she's mild-mannered, soft spoken, and sweet.

Gerardo was chosen by Peter because it's easier to squash any disagreement coming from a guy who speaks English as a second language.

Anonymous said...

Some COUNCIL MEMBERS are missing the point on AFFORDABLE HOUSING. The public outcry for affordable housing is based on people needing homes, especially first time home buyers. The formula is simple but for some reason what the public wants has been misconstrued to mean, lets pump out some ghetto rentals in people's back yards on a 5000 square foot lot. Kudos to the council for keeping the B&B's and Vaction Rentals in the VDA, but this free for all rental dwelling being proposed would provide a monster loop hole to the law.

Anonymous said...

Chock and Hooser, what about us guys on west side? why only Lihue? we like some gravy too. good for some, good for all. Lihue going look like Hanamaulu without pinoy boys.