Monday, November 21, 2016

Musings: It's Time

It's been fascinating to monitor the antis' reaction to Friday's court decision striking down the three flawed Hawaii laws that tried to regulate GMOs and pesticides at the county level.

In a truly Orwellian response, the Center for Food Safety and Maui's SHAKA actually pronounced the rulings “a groundbreaking win” and “precedent-setting.” Right. Like they spent all that time and money just to confirm what the court had previously decided in other cases: 
Rep. Chris Lee, a CFS-endorsed candidate who chairs the state House Committee on Energy and Environmental Protection, came out with a mealy-mouthed statement about how “there’s a middle road that can satisfy everyone that ensures public safety and doesn’t put an undue burden on anyone.”

This from the man who recently released a video regurgiating all the CFS talking points and proclaiming Hawaii CFS Director Ashley Lukens a good friend. Yeah, Chris, we're sure you'll be even-handed as you bootlick CFS.

Earthjustice's Paul Achitoff, despite losing first in District Court and then on appeal to the 9th Circuit Court, still maintains that he knows best, and the three-member appeals panel “misinterpreted Hawaii law.” But then, if Achitoff admits he blew it big time, he can't keep using this issue to raise money.

Defeated Kauai Councilman Gary Hooser used his HAPA group to sic folks on Gov. Ige and demand he implement all the recommendations of the Joint Fact-Finding Group. Never mind that Peter Adler stacked the JFFG with antis, who issued a report that reflected their own biases. And it's clearly time to more closely scrutinize HAPA, which masquerades as an “educational nonprofit” as it actively lobbies and engages in partisan politics.

Hooser also took to his blog to viciously attack columnist Allan Parachini for daring to cast aspersions on the political motivations of Hooser and the late Tim Bynum, who severely polarized Kauai with their Bill 2491. Hooser huffed:

It is fine to express different opinions on issues, but questioning motive and intent is the same as questioning character and integrity.

So then why does Hooser continually question the motives and intentions of officials serving in the state departments of Health and Agriculture, those of us who have supported biotech, Beth Tokioka in agreeing to serve on the Kauai water board, and the citizens who elected Arthur Brun, a Syngenta employee and dedicated community volunteer, to the County Council?

And even if Hooser and Bynum did launch Bill 2491 with good intentions, they quickly fell off the high road when they decided to lie, fear-monger and promote mob action to advance their cause. Their strategy tells us all we need to know about their character and integrity.

Meanwhile, some of the antis are so deep in their echo chambers that they only now discovered Brun has a criminal record — something I covered back in the 2014 election. Rather than admit they weren't paying attention, and it's actually an inspiring story of rehabilitation and redemption, they instead start finger-pointing, which is what the antis do best: 

Gee, Andy. Might want to practice what you preach.... 

And while Friday's ruling made it clear that there is no health risk associated with eating GMOs, the antis ignored that to focus solely on the possible downsides of growing the crops — all of which were long ago recognized by the companies and scientists who developed the crops and the agencies that regulate them. The judges didn't come up with anything new.

Though their responses differed slightly, the antis remain united in their delusion that Hawaii's people and aina are somehow being harmed by these crops. And they all again uttered the false claim that the state has failed to regulate or protect — even as they call, ironically, for more state regulations and protections.

The reality, of course, is quite different. Even the biased JFFG had to admit there was no documented harm to either Hawaii's people or environment from the cultivation of these crops. Not one of the studies conducted to date, even those done by the antis themselves, has detected pesticide residues at anything other than trace levels, far below safe exposure standards.

The state already has announced it plans to soon begin monitoring surface water around agricultural fields, golf courses and urban areas for pesticide residue.

The state DOA has also referred several cases of suspected pesticide misuse to the EPA for further investigation, proving the regulatory process is indeed functioning properly.

And even Hooser, in trying to take credit for these actions, admitted the seed companies are disclosing pesticide use and no longer spraying fields next to schools. 

Though the Hawaii anti-GMO movement continues to chant buzzwords like “health” and “protection,” the issue in the Islands has never been about either.

It has always been a movement orchestrated and funded by mainland anti-GMO groups bound and determined to oust the seed companies from Hawaii as a way to disrupt the parent seed production that supports GMO crops around the world.

Along the way, it's tag-teamed with the utopian farm movement, which seeks to replace production agriculture with backyard organic farms — despite the inefficiencies, impracticalities, delusions and environmental ramifications of such an approach.

Hawaii can't afford, socially or economically, for this mainland agenda to further disrupt or distract the state Legislature.

It's time to start healing from the polarization that these groups inflicted on Hawaii to advance their own goals, and begin focusing on the many issues that actually do impact Islanders: affordable housing, substance abuse, education and transportation.


Which means it's time to get the non-farming activists out of agriculture and let the real farmers farm in peace.

41 comments:

Anonymous said...

Kauai's efforts should be directed to education, transportation and substance abuse; with education being at the top of the list. My experience is more education less substance abuse.

Also the minimum wage in Hawaii is embarrassing. It should be raised to $10 per hour. (I'm an employer myself)

Anonymous said...

Piscitelli appears to have a serious comprehension problem. Either that or he is referring to a different court ruling than the rest of us. Where does the ruling say that states and counties can ban GMO crops? The ruling only affirms what most of us already knew, namely that only the state and federal governments can regulate agriculture. He is at least correct that legal precedent has been made (although that precedent was already well-established over the past 200 years) in that any county attempting to pull of what Maui, Kauai and Hawaii tried is doomed to legal failure.

Another fawning GI article on Hooser today. Why don't they talk about his real legacy: his disastrous promotion of failed bill 2491 which divided our community and cost the taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars (contrary to his ridiculous assertion about property taxes); his embarrassment of Kauai by weaseling his way into a Syngenta stockholders meeting in an aloha shirt to berate the company; his constant absence at council meetings so he could promote his personal agenda at the state legislature; his relationship with mainland special interest groups and his own little lobbying organization; his utter lack of support at the polls from the Westside communities he was trying so hard to "protect"; and on and on.

And finally, thanks to Alan Parachini for his right-on GI commentary on the court rulings.

Anonymous said...

Interesting that Hooser, who should know how government works, thinks the governor can use his executive authority to implement the recommendations of the JFFG.

Anonymous said...

Bring it Hooser, keep running, it's fun to see you crack your ass and lose. Tell Dylan to run too, double fun.

Anonymous said...

Ahhh the governor can instruct the SDOA to implement rule making and or Gov has executive authority. Do you think these companies would just blow off the governor if he asked them nicely to comply?

Anonymous said...

a mealy-mouthed statement about how “there’s a middle road that can satisfy everyone that ensures public safety and doesn’t put an undue burden on anyone.”

So what's wrong with that?

And for the love of all that's holy, will you please stop cyberstalking people on FB and posting screen captures? It's just icky.

Joan Conrow said...

It's not "cyber stalking." It's looking at public posts. Odd how that bothers you, but not a politician who is in the pocket of the antis while pretending to represent all.

Anonymous said...

3:03. They already ARE complying.

Anonymous said...

okay, eating gmos are okay for human consumption---Joan, i hope you are eating a lot of it and not relying on organic corn, organic soybeans, hybrid tomatoes.
Guess you are eating the yellow gmo squash too and forget about pure maple syrup, get the one with the high fructose corn syrup. Well, if it's okay for the body, why not go for it. Oh, except for those who have been sick, gotten off of all gmos food and doing well now. What a complicated world this is!

Anonymous said...

Who is the politician in the pocket of the antis? Oh, maybe he/she is representing all on other issues---so many issues to work on---gmos, just one of soooooooooo many. I can't crucify someone who has one issue that disagrees with me cuz he/she may agree with me on 5 other issues.

Joan Conrow said...

The politician in reference is Rep. Chris Lee. And yes, 3:47, there are so many important and serious issues to work on. Yet he chooses to focus on GMOs,an issue based on fear-mongering and nonsense.

Bradley Choquette said...

From Gary Hooser's blog: "The State Legislature has appropriated $500,000 to support the implementation of the Joint Fact Finding Group recommendations, which largely reflected the provisions contained within Bill 2491, Ordinance 960." Say WHAY????

Anonymous said...

"The report called for $3 million in state funds to allow state agencies to implement the recommendations. The state budget for fiscal 2017, which starts July 1, includes $500,000 for monitoring and studies." http://www.civilbeat.org/2016/05/pesticides-in-hawaii-there-is-a-lot-we-dont-know/

Anonymous said...

Bradley, the funds are to be used by DOA to do further pesticide environmental monitoring, something they were already looking into. Trust Hooser to spin it into a personal success story by implying that the absolutely unwarranted JFFG recommendations/2491 bill mandates would be implemented.

Marjorie Ziegler said...

Rep. Chris Lee is a very good legislator. He works on energy and other issues, such as invasive species. He is approachable, smart, young, and energetic - just the kind of elected official we need. You'd be fortunate to elect someone like him to represent your interests on Kaua'i.

Anonymous said...

so true 6;21 if only people would dig a little' the BS would be less stink

Anonymous said...

and the recommendations were already in place by state, the 500k was for new staff

Dave Smith said...

SHAKA has apparently decided Trumpian is the best approach.

Anonymous said...

nice spin gary

Joan Conrow said...

@10:02. Well, Rep. Lee can't be too smart, Marjorie, or he wouldn't have been suckered in by Ashley Lukens to do the self-interested bidding of Center for Food Safety. As for Kauai, we just defeated a guy (Hooser) who similarly was led astray by CFS. And given the havoc he wreaked, we consider ourselves fortunate to be rid of him.

Anonymous said...

"We just defeated a guy (Hooser)" - by WE I hope you give the rest of us some credit Joan! Many of us work hard in the seed industry on the west side and WE joined forces to beat this guy. You helped of course but your readers are mostly other transplants who don't understand us locals either.

Anonymous said...

500K for state monitoring in 2017 ain't it a little late for the state to hire people to monitor after the fact(s).

Joan Conrow said...

I can't really think of a word more inclusive than "we." I've never presumed to take any credit for Hooser's defeat, much less all, so there's still plenty of glory for you to claim. As for my readers, I've found them to be a mix of locals and transplants. In any case, I'm glad my efforts are on behalf of ag in general, as opposed to people with a serious chip on their shoulder like you.

Anonymous said...

2017????? Come on man/woman!!! 2017!!!!

When did the students suffer from the chemical exposure???

Why didn't the state act then?

This is Monday quarterbacking.

Hooser said he had requested the state to look into the problem many times prior to adopting 2491 but I don't know how true those statements are. If there is truth to that then the state FAILED and that's why a bill was created.

If the state refused a county council members request then the state should be held accountable for their actions or inactions. The court has spoken and dereliction and negligence of duty shall not be accepted after the ruling.

Anonymous said...

2017 so when did 2491 start?

The people asked council members to test and monitor the chemical exposures due to the Waimea canyon school incident.

Council member(s) said they requested the state to look into the matter and was told by the state that they are understaffed and unable to do so.

This is gross negligence by the state of Hawaii. 2491 shows that the state failed its people miserably.

Anonymous said...

"We" defeated Hooser must include Uncle Charlie Iona. He led the charge on the west side and he deserves to have a dinner hosted in his honor for defeating this guy. He even spent his own money on the radio supporting our local candidates. Give us locals the credit we deserve Joan! Stephanie and Uncle Charlie should be remembered in history for this feat and sending the last transplant on the Council home with his tail between his legs.

Bradley Choquette said...

@ jj8:02 didn't the joint JFFG do chemical testing and they couldn't find anything? I know the state testing of water ways hasn't found anything above EPA limits. Home

Joan Conrow said...

@7:49', 7:52 and 8:02 -- Typical antis, never satisfied, always unreasonable. They want something done but when state goes to do it they whine that it didn't happen earlier. Uh, hello... the state can't turn back the hands of time.

This is why the state and county must not cater to the antis. Like spoiled brats, they'll never be happy.

As for 8:38 -- Are you really that insecure? Nobody is trying to take any credit from the locals. Go host a dinner for Uncle Charlie instead of whining on my blog about "transplants."

Anonymous said...

8:02 The State and University of Hawaii did do an investigation. They did a presentation to the Council and stated that they believe that the odor was caused by the "stink weed". You and Bynum and Hooser may disagree but these are the facts presented by experts of the "State" which has the jurisdiction to oversee it's Schools and Agricultural practices as a whole. It's typical Haole, Hippie, Know more than anybody else, lying, North Shore attitudes to come up with your own conclusions and expect the County to agree with you or else you "mob threat". Go F-yourself, the bullshit needs to stop. Hooser is gone, go F-yourself too, you are a piece of shit.

Anonymous said...

I was born and raised on Kauai and I am neither for or against GMO but you have to follow standards and protocols.

If the seed company had caused an accidental exposure then they needed to own up to it. The same way they did when their employees suffered the same side effects and paid an OSHA fine.

You running your keyboard thug go f yourself language does nothing but validates how sheep are herded on Kauai. The wealthy takes advantage on both sides and laughs at all of your emotional discourse and ineptitudes.

I hope you don't have any kids and if you do then you must seriously consider to revoke the possibility of creating such off bred that you display.

Keep it Kauai It

Anonymous said...

"Human Nature" = When things happen for the good , everyone wants credit for it. That is "we". When things happen for the bad, no-one takes credit for it. We all voted for our candidates. Some won, some did not. What the fuck you going do about it. Pau the election. Accept it and STFU. Blame the Governor who controls the State. The Governor who cut jobs and had furlough Fridays. The State finally getting to fill the positions that were cut. Who said, "the sky is falling"? Blame the right people ...........

Anonymous said...

Look in the mirror 10:57

Anonymous said...

10:57 wtf you talking about, the State did follow up with an investigation and report? So did Syngenta? No locals I know talk about Sheep herding? No spraying from Seed companies affect the Northshore Mobs like Barca and Felicia! What us westsiders gotta learn from them, we not akamai enough for you? You guys are all clowns.

Anonymous said...

You dummies on the west side should be sprayed upon. The cleansing of stupid people on Kauai starts there. North shore for life!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Wow, wow, wow, stupid cow. 1:03pm - are you trying to restart something that you probably won't finish. Are you certainly sure "North shore for life!"? Something tells me you are going to end up on the west end of the island and then what? Who says North shore wants you? We all are on "Kauai" so we are all in this together. You must be a dummie too. Heard that it takes one to know one. BTW, we don't yell out Westside United like how you accused us when the NS guy got clocked by the WS guy. We don't go looking for trouble like how you NS people do. You NS people even cause trouble for other NS people. How is that? That is fucked up.

Anonymous said...

This guy gets an award for answering the questions that the county is telling him to tell you guys on tgi. Him and Alan Paranchini gets praises from this Kauai administration. Holy shit this is classic anemos has taken ova the farm.



Jerome Freitas recognized as ‘Protector of Kauai’

Jenna Carpenter - The Garden Island Updated: 14 hours ago

LIHUE — When it comes to public safety on Kauai, Jerome Freitas is relentless.

Felicia Alongi Cowden said...

You exhaust me, Joan. Why not post my real statement? Is it because you are avoiding the main point that I was making?

Why do you even care about what I thinK?

Here is my statement that I openly made:

Allan Parachiniʻs editorial in the Garden Island was yet again an opportunity to flaunt his ignorance of the issue of the pesticide disclosure ordinances. He kicks sand in the face of two good councilmen, one deceased the same day as this court judgement. Please remember that Allan is a little more than a tool of the industry and did not even live here at the time. He is very much new to the island and raking up mud to sling around needlessly. This opinion was unnecessarily hurtful and shirks the most important reflection on the pesticide disclosure movement. Councilmen Tim Bynum and Gary Hooser did not create the fever of emotion around the pesticide concern on the island; they responded to an overwhelming well-spring of concern from the community. As a kkcr programmer for a show managing community concerns, this issue was fomenting well before either councilmen got involved. The young generation were sounding the alarm of distress as more and more babies were being born with special needs. The grandmaʻs were joining the chorus of distress as they have watched their families combat and die from a crazy amount of cancer. This concern was vivid well before Gary and Tim stepped in to help. They had the courage to work with the community frightened of the industry to create a public pathway to addressing the concern. There were many angry threats from the westside makua generation to burn the fields and worse. Talk of violence was vibrant. Gary and Tim were forces of calm. When 5% of the population, of all demographics, are willing to march with their babies and grandparents in both strollers and wheelchairs in the dumping rain and the blazing sun; this is more than political manipulation for personal gain. With all due respect to the accused policy-makers, they simply donʻt have that kind of charisma to whip up such passions. Tim and Gary were calming violence and showing true leadership in the best way they could create as the state legislators were unwilling to step in. The accusation that these men wanted to create a problem is not consistent with the pattern of positive ordinances and projects focused on solutions that these men have put forth. Allanʻs ignorance is a disservice to the very real pain of the people who are scared for their health and it shames the newspaperʻs credibility.

Joan Conrow said...

You left your comment on the wrong post, Felicia. I didn't print your statement from
the newspaper because it's too long. But it does prove me right that you are the queen of disinformation and revisionist history. There was no fervor around this issue until Gary and Tim, aided by KKCR, whipped it up. You were an active fear-mongerer in this whole issue. Even now you're still falsely claiming an elevated rate of birth defects and cancer, both of which are false. Gary wasn't a peace-maker. He was an agitator rallying his "little fists." You and your pal Hooser have a serious problem with lying. Right down to your assertion that TGI has any credibility to strain!

Bradley Choquette said...

My guess is Felicia cut and pasted her comment without bothering herself with actually reading your Blog Joan.... That further proves how close minded antis are about differing opinions. That being said, it would be a breath of fresh air to have Felicia take a tour of Monsanto's seed farm. In lieu of that, she could watch videos of the Monsanto Seed operation on Bronson Kaahui's Youtube channel. However, I know full well she will do neither; because, it's easier to make up the needed facts as they wage tier war on modern agriculture. Even when presented with evidence contrary to their claim of rampant sickness, they still tow the company line, and believe those lies are a matter of cold hard facts.

That truly sickens me.... It also pisses off other farmers and it's creating a backlash that is going to hinder their cause... That's why you will continue to see the rise of bloggers like FarmBabe, Nurse loves Farmer, SciBabe, We Love GMOs and Vaccines, Iowa meets Hawaii and The Hawaii Farmer's Daughter... The tide is turning and it's not in the Antis favor. HR1559 is just the beginning.

Anonymous said...

Why is that shysters becoming judges become paragons of virtue? Why then death and failed re-election bid make Bynum and Hooser so? The proceedings of 2491 prove otherwise. Both were rabble-rousing agitators who conspired with Furfaro and Yukimura to appoint Chock to have a super majority to override the mayor's veto.

Hooser's Hawaii Center for Food Safety has paraded bullshit, fear-mongering speakers against biotechnology, catering to the scientific illiterates on this island. He is owned by outside interests as indicated the huge amount of campaign funds raised on his behalf. He continues to mouth off their lies and innuendos. This island is better off without him on the council.

Anonymous said...

You talking something about not too many people know so your message is specific and you are a specific person of interest.