Thursday, March 9, 2017

Musings: Breaking, Faking News

Today, there was good news: The House gave the antis a serious slap down in sending HB 790 — the anti-GMO bill masquerading as pesticide regulation — back to committee. And that means it's dead for the session — unless the antis resort to non-transparent dirty tricks, like the gut and replace tactic that led to the organic farming tax credit being passed last session.

Though Hawaii Center for Food Safety tried to shrug off the loss to “chem company influence,” the blame lies squarely on the antis' own shoulders. They pushed a poorly written, wildly overreaching bill that got small farmers legitimately riled up.

In future, Ashley Lukens and Gary Hooser might want to avoid gloating “we won” quite so early in the session. Because it ain't over until the governor signs it until law.

And there was also some WTF? news: The Environmental Protection Agency is actually going to investigate Earthjustice's totally bogus claim that the state Department of Agriculure and Agribusiness Development Corp. are discriminating against Native Hawaiians on Kauai and Molokai by leasing land to the seed companies, which are then supposedly poisoning them with pesticides.

Its decision has nothing to do with whether the claim has any merit, and was based solely on the fact that a written complaint was filed within 180 days of an alleged violation. But Earthjustice gets to use it to make big hay and headlines: EPA OPENS CIVIL RIGHTS INVESTIGATION OVER PESTICIDE USE IN HAWAI`I.

Though The Garden Island billed it as “breaking news,” it was actually just a regurgitation of the Earthjustice press release, replete with its poster child, Malia Chun, again using her poor kids to advance her deceptive agenda. Malia is still clinging to the claim that hair samples showed her kids had 32 pesticides. Except the pesticides found in the highest concentrations come from home use consumer products, not agriculture. And hair tests are dubious, anyway.

It's actually kind of amusing to see EJ claiming the seed industry's agricultural practices are discriminating against Hawaiians and violate their civil rights, considering how many kanaka gladly work for those companies

And I giggled a bit when I read Earthjustice actor attorney Paul Achitoff self-righteously sputter: “The spraying of toxic chemicals on and near Hawaii’s affluent neighborhoods would not be tolerated.”

Who the hell does he think is engaging the services of the pest control companies, and buying expensive homes near golf courses? And let's not forget that streams in the toney Honolulu neighborhood of Manoa had the highest pesticide levels in the state. Heck, the affluent neighborhoods are spraying toxic chemicals on themselves.

Mostly, though, it's sad to see the EPA wasting federal dollars – and soon state money, as the DOA and ADC respond to the investigation — to indulge Earthjustice's anti-GMO agenda. This is exactly the sort of overreaching action — triggered, ironically, by self-serving, self-styled “progressives” — that feeds calls to gut the EPA.

Speaking of the EPA, I was a bit shocked to hear Dr. Timur Durrani — one of the speakers at the Saturday's Children's Environmental Health Symposium, sponsored by the EPA and state Department of Health — first say that he likes to refer people to the EPA and CDC websites for good information. 

And then claim, in response to a radio interview question from HPR's Beth-Ann Kozlovich:

The U.S. has a different approach [than Europe] which says, we will use these products [pesticides] or chemicals and if it's deemed they're unsafe, we'll do some research, and then maybe we'll pull them from the market.

Uh, I guess Dr. Durrani has never himself actually visited the EPA website. Because if he had, he'd see there's a very clear and rigorous process for testing and registering pesticides — before they're allowed on the market. As the website states:

In evaluating a pesticide registration application, we assess a wide variety of potential human health and environmental effects associated with use of the product. The company that wants to produce the pesticide must provide data from studies  that comply with our testing guidelines.

We develop risk assessments that evaluate the potential for:

• Harm to humans, wildlife, fish, and plants, including endangered species and non-target organisms.
• Contamination of surface water or ground water from leaching, runoff, and spray drift.
• Potential human risks range from short-term toxicity to long-term effects such as cancer and reproductive system disorders.

We also evaluate and approve the language that appears on each pesticide label to ensure the directions for use and safety measures are appropriate to any potential risk. Following label directions is required by law and is necessary to ensure safe use.

So is Dr. Durrani misinformed, ignorant or just talking shit? In any case, it doesn't bode well for his billing as an “expert” at a taxpayer-funded symposium. And it's unfortunate that Beth-Ann isn't sufficiently informed about her interview topic to call out that kind of falsehood, instead of allowing her listeners to be misled.

Of course, health care professionals have their own biases and agendas, as was uncomfortably evident at last Monday's pesticide poisoning educational meeting on Kauai. The nurses and hospital staff who attended were openly anti-ag — very vocal and not pleased to hear the speaker say, among other things, that nearly all pesticide exposure cases are due to home pesticide use.

Attendees were informed that suspected pesticide poisonings should be reported to Poison Control, which would then inform DOH. This prompted anti-GMO activist and nurse Marghee Maupin to announce that she had tried calling both DOH and the state DOA pesticide inspector, but they refused to take her calls, including one about a comatose patient. 

Marghee continued to badmouth both agencies and their personnel until the affected parties — DOH toxicologist Barbara Brooks and DOA inspector Ann Kam — apparently couldn't take any more of her bullshit. They stood up and said Marghee was not telling the truth, and had never called them.

And that, folks, is how we get so much fake news. It all starts with fakes. 

48 comments:

Allan Parachini said...

Where to start? As I understand it, in the past few days a number of House members had, apparently, actually read the bill and came to understand what the major elements and some of the stealth provisions actually said. This took longer than it should have, but nevertheless the House leadership is to be commended for eventually killing the bill. The fact that the bill died by re-referral to committee suggests that members didn't want to vote against a bill that, seemingly, regulated "poison" pesticides. That's more testimony to the success the antis have had with a propaganda campaign based largely on deception that they have now waged for four years. But killing the bill ye sending it back to committee is a good outcome, no matter what. It gives the side of rationality another few months to continue to make the progress we have.

As I look at the landscape in Washington and the increasingly hostile and surreal climate created by the Trump administration, I'm mystified at why and how Earth Justice is crowing about the EPA exercising a statutory requirement and not throwing itself entirely into the battle to avoid having the EPA eliminated or so compromised that its work becomes meaningless. That's why the priorities of the anti- groups here are to obscene.

HAPA depicts itself as a "progressive" organization and I'm sure most of the people who support it believe that of themselves. But how is it that any progressive organization could not realize that the immediate crisis is the continued existence of the so-called Trump administration, especially now that Hawaii has taken the lead in litigating this most recent Muslim ban? That's where ALL of us should be focused right now.

Anonymous said...

Joan, why do you say EJ claims are "bogus"? Simply because you don't like EJ? And the EPA? The EPA is in bed with Hooser and ashley also? I have a hard time believing Hooser is that influential. A bit of a reach don't you think?

Joan Conrow said...

I characterized the claims as bogus because they aren't substantiated by facts, with the dubious hair samplings of the "victim" but one indication.

As for the rest of your comment, that's your conjecture, not mine.

Anonymous said...

Have you actually seen EJ complaint Joan? Is there a linked copy of the complaint detailing EJ allegations?

Anonymous said...

Anti-GMO crusaders like Marghee Maupin should be booted out of the medical community. She's obsessed and dangerous; she thinks everyone who's ill is a victim of pesticide poisoning. Amazing no one has died from her misdiagnosis and her refusal to get her patients the treatment they need for what's really wrong with them. No one yet.

Joan Conrow said...

@7:31 Of course I've read it.
http://earthjustice.org/sites/default/files/files/Complaint_0.pdf

Dee Morikawa said...

I like Allan, wonder where to start. I have just exposed myself to the Public about my position on HB790, through the local newspaper and wouldn't you know, I get ridiculed through comments and social media, not to mention the terrible phone calls and threats. Elected officials don't want to expose their positions, on this issue, because of this. I don't even look at Facebook anymore, because it hurts. After working for the County for 35 plus years, I chose this path because I wanted to help my community with policy and funding that would make for a better lifestyle. When I first introduced the disclosure bill in 2013, I was the hero, except that it wasn't good enough to this group. I'm glad that the good neighbor program was developed and that the study came out and I felt that here forward we could start to establish policy that would be workable by the Departments involved. I, unlike Mr. Hooser, do not believe in shoving policy at entities that cannot accomplish it. I dig deep within myself and ask, do I want to do this...then I realize that if I don't, who will fight against these fear-mongering people. Joan, in this time of my life, I should be comfortably retired and enjoying the rest of my life here on earth, and not literally stressing myself to death. I tell, my legislative colleagues the same thing, but in return I get encouragement and support. I spearheaded the death of this bill, not them, so please don't throw any ridicule or retaliation to any of them, especially Rep. Nakamura. It was me, so just stop already. I know many of them read your blog, and hope they will wake up and realize that they are more detrimental to our community, in their pursuit of something that is not scientifically proven. Today, the Garden Island wrote an article and misquoted me by referring to Child and Family Service, instead of Center for Food Safety, because I responded with CFS in my e-mail. You can bet I'll be totally ridiculed for that. Thank you Joan for your Blog, and your efforts to reveal fact over fiction, truth over lies. Mahalo and have a great weekend.

Anonymous said...

Chemleaders rejoice your leaders are paying everybody off. The Chem cartel is like a cult now.

Joan Conrow said...

Thanks for your heart-felt comment, Dee, and also for exposing the really ugly tactics involved. You don't deserve that sort of treatment. Thanks for standing up for what's right. Have a great weekend yourself!

As for 7:06, thanks for the morning laugh! Try look in the mirror for a change, instead of projecting.

Anonymous said...

Rep. Morikawa,

I am so sorry that you are now a victim of these mean-spirited and irrational people! Please know that you have many supporters and that we respect you for doing the right thing, in spite of the retribution you knew you would face. Normal people don't act the way these anti people do and they have been threatening and intimidating our community for far too long.

For years now, I had hoped that a legislator or other leader would call them out on their tactics, especially the personal attacks that are ripping our community apart, but no one has.

I'm embarrassed that I don't even feel safe putting my name on this comment because I'm afraid for myself, my family, and my job. They are vicious. Thank you and Joan for your courage.

Anonymous said...

Gary H00ser should have stuck it out in the Senate instead of running for the Lieutenant Governor Office. He could have been instrumental to implement all he is fighting for right now. He knew he would not have a chance for that office and yet he still ran. He just did not want to be a Senator. Today he chose to cast stones with other pe0ples m0nies. Did he disclose himself? I heard what goes around comes around.

Anonymous said...

There are many real issues that need attention. Hooser and his gang continue to lead us further down the rabbit hole. What a waste of time and money.

Bradley Choquette said...

What are the chances of sb 778 SD1 (pesticide buffer zone bill) passing the house and getting signed by the governor?

Anonymous said...

Representative Morikawa, thank you for taking a stand, and for your public service. Do not despair the negativity. As evidenced by the recent (Kauai) election, such vitriol represents the minority of the vocal minority. You could have easily waffled, but you took a bold stand after much soul searching and unraveling fact from fiction. If only our other representatives and senator would be so brave, it may well turn the tide on this ugly divisiveness.

The silent majority on Kauai clearly supports you, so stay strong and stand tall. You go grrl!

Allan Parachini said...

Dee, I'm terribly disappointed that the anti-s have come after you like this. You have comported yourself heroically in the truest sense of the word. I am familiar with threats, demonization on social media and the like because I have made no secret of my views on GMOs and the pesticide red herring. Success in issue areas like this is cummulative and sometimes in odd ways. I think this is one of those occasions. People have come to realize--albeit agonizingly slowly--that the campaign by Hooser, CFS, etc. has been about power politics, threats and falsehoods, with a huge dose of fear mixed in. And I think people are increasingly offended that they have been used this way. Please keep up your good work. Please do.

Anonymous said...

Yes Rep Dee, the silent majority loves to eat pesticide laden produce that taste bland cause flavor suffers when genes are replaced/added. Absolutely love those tasteless strawberries and tomatoes especially. Keep up the good reporting work Ms Joan (I bet you really like it when they refer to you as Ms. Joan lol)

Joan Conrow said...

@12:10. Sorry to intrude on your rant with actual facts, but there are no GMO strawberries and tomatoes.

Anonymous said...

12:10 If you have doubts about the silent majority, just ask Hooser, Mason, or Yukimura, no can ask Bynum, they know this ain't no bullshit. You damn hippie haoles all need cracks!

Anonymous said...

Dee. You can sleep at night knowing you do the work of representing your constituents with heart, humility, hard work and and dignity unlike Hooser, Lukens, Di Pietro, Chock, the Kimbrells, Achitoff and some others who have piled dissembling bullshit as high as Kawaikini on this island. They represent little beyond their own immediate self interest at our expense and offer nothing in return besides more bullshit filled snark sandwiches. Here's hoping Hooser happy dances off to Haiku forever.

Anonymous said...

Geev 'em, Joan!!

Anonymous said...

I think child Protective Services should start an investigation on Malia Chun for her horrific treatment of allowing her children to be exposed to household pesticides. I am aghast in fear that her children are in great danger under her care. Call the police, have the CPS go in quickly and forcefully to remove the children and take samples all through the house to determine how she is poisoning her own children. I am so distraught that this could happen. Then we need to create a buffer zone around where the pesticides are stored and used. And every time she uses the pesticides she should notify the police, CPS, her neighbors, and the children's schools so they can monitor the children for unusual activity. Also she should take the children into the doctor for testing at least twice a week just to be sure. What, what did you say.......too much. Eh.. I am just following Ashley's and Gary's lead.

Unknown said...

Ashley better watch out that her bosses don't pick up on her inadequacy as a lobbyist. So far she is really batting zero on any of the anti-GMO things her and her merry band have put forward at, first, the county and then the State level.

On K-Street in Washington, she'd be fired a long time ago before this year's Legislative session. But in Hawaii - she just keeps on flowing...wonder why?

Anonymous said...

Who else would do that sleazy, lying job?

Oh yeah, there's always Hooser.

Anonymous said...

"unless the antis resort to non-transparent dirty tricks, like the gut and replace tactic that led to the organic farming tax credit being passed last session."

A couple of things.

Neither the "antis" nor the chemical companies can gut-and-replace. It's the legislators playing these games and using these reprehensible tactics.

And in the interest of "transparency," can you tell us who it was who voted to kill this bill? That should be easy to do, since they were "transparent" and not resorting to "dirty tricks."

Joan Conrow said...

@6:39
This bill was recommitted by a unanimous "aye" vote.

Anonymous said...

Lucky for the legislature that they didn't have to sit through hours of testimony and spend thousands of dollars to have the bill shot down in court. These activists should be at the airport holding signs bitching about climate change and how the Republicans are f****** us.

Anonymous said...

Marghee, Malia Chun, Fern, Hooser, are all shit crumbs. F-ing liars who have and continue to cause a huge ugly rift in our once peaceful community. Then only way we can get our peace back is to kick the 3 haoles off this island back to where they came from. Malia can live in shame looking at herself in the mirror, she look healthy to me!

Anonymous said...

There's plenty more haoles like them on Kauai, and Maui, too. And plenty more moving over every day.

Anonymous said...

Haole or no Haole..2491 sucked the good out of many people.
It regurgitated the ol' "Fuck those Haoles" attitude that always simmers.
But then again, get plenny Haoles like Alan Parrachini who look like, ack like and be like one Fistee. But somehow turns up as a pro Ag guy...?? WTF?
Alan, again it can be said...shut up, for every step you take forward, when you open yo' mout you be just like any ol' dipshit NS Fistee. It is a thin line.
And 10:40Am...yep, you got it. Our Council and Mayor and Planning Department and Tax Department etc. are making it easy for Mainland folks to come over. No houses for the locals, but moocho at 900K and up. It will get worse.
Mel guys and Mayor Bernard don't have F*cking clue on what to do. They let Mike Dahilig make building impossible unless you gots big bucks and Mel doesn't allow ANY density on existing lots. The Council with a stroke of a pen can add hundreds of building sites that can be used for local housing. But poor Mel and Dum Dum Bernard don't care about the local families. Dahilig is smart...he could advise these two Pocho dummies how to create good clean homesites, but Mike is too busy lawyerizing and dreaming of bikepaths, tree-lined winding streets with Louie Louie Vitton shops. Form Base Zoning? Gag me with the new General Plan...all horseshit.
And the locals will suffer and the locals will pay $28000 rents and the the Council will just raise taxes and 4 generations per household will be the new Kauai norm.
And this year the Council will again raise taxes and ......so what? There is no accountability and worse yet NO shame. Mel... if you got off your pension seeking ass, you could get some density and there could be some $200K lots and some decent homes.
Methinks even the grand old babe of "no houses for the locals" JoAnn could be titty wrenched into supporting some increased density for local housing. It is really very simple.
Aloha Nui- Braddah Pidot Babooze

Anonymous said...

Locals are always complaining about houses. If they are so important to them then why don't they take care of the ones they already have?

Anonymous said...

I don't know why everything is put on that dipshit Melvin. That little troll ain't done nothing good in his life. He's done a lot of bad shit though. The county council is a joke they fooled the residents with the density bill then changed it for only their friends and families to build homes in the Lihue area. You people keep on tling yourselves that it's all the haoles fault but all I see on the county council is stupid fucking locals who don't give two shits bout nobody else but themselves and their pals. It's the Bernard fucked up mentality. He has more than doubled the county employee family reunion bldg and still they can't even clean the public bathrooms and maintain public areas but everyone is getting phat checks at the county of Kauai.

Anonymous said...

omg braddah pidot babooze nailed it. all the joan-y moaning about fistees is just proxy grumbling for the real issue - locals displaced by rich haoles aided by complicit local government.

Anonymous said...

7:51 Spot on.
Density and housing in COMPLETE control of the Council. Complete control. They let the planning director run wild. He is not for Kauai people. Planning Director is just making Kauai a cute little place....so that when he applies for Big Jobs in Big Cities, he has a proven track record of tree lined streets, bike paths, nice coffee shoppes and no locals. Those big cities don't want no locals either, just rich folks.
He applies consistently for jobs in other places. Kauai is just his proving ground.
And Mel lets him get away with it.
Not blame...just facts.
Maybe my grand kids can get a cushy County job? Big pay, no accountability, big pension and complete medical care. Just watch Mel raise the taxes this year...No leadership.
So after Mike Dahilg takes thousands of County hours to get a "free" Fed TIGER grant...he can make Rice Street a 2 lane, tree lined Rodeo Drive. His friends at the Beer Pub and Coffee House (newcomers) benefit, but the locals going to work will suffer with more traffic. Cutting 4 lanes to 2 lanes really doesn't solve any traffic woes...lolo.

Anonymous said...


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Posted: Thursday, March 9, 2017 12:00 am
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Good deed with bitter taste
Let me start with a big, big mahalo nui for the Poipu Beach Rotary Club for painting the tables and pavilions at Salt Pond Beach Park recently (TGI, March 3). The park which has been one of the most neglected parks on our island, badly needed the repairs and repainting, but the county always had other priorities. The Rotary clubs do a lot of good deeds for the community and we are proud of them.
Why is the bitter taste then? We, Native Hawaiians who go every day to this park to relax and walaau after work wanted to fix and repaint the tables and the pavilions at Salt Pond Beach Park. Last year, we have proposed to the Parks and Recreation Department to do this job free at our time if the county provides the paint and the tools. We even made plans who would volunteer and when.
We also have talented artists who would have painted the pictures of Hawaiian fishes on the wall of the main pavilion and a different marine animal’s picture on every pavilion for easier identification. The county did not respond. They dragged their feet and finally they did not approve our proposal of voluntary beautification of the park under their management.
Why? Perhaps it would have been shameful for the county that simple working people, whose rightful property this land is, could do a beautiful job that the county neglected. The voluntary job was approved for the Rotarians though. Is the sweat and tears of Native Hawaiians are not as valuable as that of the Rotarians? Apparently not.
The fact is that whenever we placed carefully designed stickers on the pavilion walls asking the visitors and the locals in Hawaiian and English to keep the park clean, next day the county have them removed. When at the entrance of the park we installed a beautifully designed sign donated by visitors with a message asking the people in English and Hawaiian to keep the park clean, next day the county sent out a work crew to remove and confiscate that too.
What kind of aloha is this to the people of the island? This land belongs to us, Hawaiians, and the county doesn’t even allow us to take care of it and be proud of that!
Ryan Kamala, Makaweli

Anonymous said...

Ryan Kamala
That is shameful. The way around it is to start a formal club, say Hoaloha o Salt Pond or something. Meet with the Mayor or Wally Rezentes Jr and get the ball rolling. I really like the idea of the fish murals with Hawaiian names.
Let me share one experience we had in another park. We also could only get limited County participation, so the canoe club just went and did it all themselves. Repaired the Bar B Qs, painted, mowed, and even bought some plastic garbage cans. It wasn't instantaneous, but it was appreciated. The use for birthday parties went up immediately as did camp permits.

Anonymous said...

Get use to it! County subsidies the golf courses for a few people at -1,000,000-2,000,000 dollars in the red a year and the bus costs the tax payers -2,000,000-3,000,000 in the red a year. If you people don't like it then move somewhere else where they ain't stealing money from taxpayers. Check on all the ovuii/dui charges on the county bus/van drivers and you people would cry laugh or just plain cry.

Anonymous said...

The temporary wailua bridge cost $50,000,000 yes 50 million for a temporary bridge. It's use was not intended as a permanent bridge and I don't know how the county and state got away with it and why didnt the corp of engineers QA the federally funded scheme. $50,000,000 temporary bridge will be replaced as soon as they can secure $100,000,000 in another scheme.

Wailua #DaTruth

ask anybody who knows the deal was dirty from the start and people's lives are in danger because of the temp not permanent bridge was not made for what it is being used for.

Anonymous said...

5:10 a lot of locals and haoles golf at Wailua! I know, I golf. You want to fix the subsidy? Everyone knows the answer, punch drunk Ian Costa needs to be replaced. We need a golf course manager that actually knows what to do, not a lifetime county worker. And the subsidy was stated in the newspaper as $1.2 million so don't exaggerate, the bus subsidy is $8 million. And to 1:02 you think council and mayor is easy job, go for it, we all tired of hearing your bullshit, put your name out there or you "chicken". What exactly are your solutions to affordable housing? If you do have the answer, I'll vote for you, but I know you don't cause you full of shit.

Anonymous said...

Lol, the owners of the brewpub and coffee shop have done more to bring life and vitality to downtown than anyone else in decades. God forbid that people (and yes, locals do go to both establishments) have a place to get coffee, lunch, or a beer at pau hana time. Guess they shoulda just left those places vacant and useless like everyone else did.

Anonymous said...

Other parks and recreation facilities do not pay for play. Examples are: tennis courts, soccer fields, football fields, baseball fields, etc. Purposely left out softball fields because a few have been adopted by the seniors. But, like all pavilions, electricity, maintenance, and supplies are provided by the county. Golf courses are the only one that requires "fee to play".

Anonymous said...

Is that you, Ross?

Anonymous said...

@8:17 AM, Mar 13. Nope, just one that can see reality, unlike you. Parks & Rec has a budget like any department. Sad thing about the revenues generated by Wailua golf course is that all revenues go back to the county's general fund where it is re-allocated by the council. The parks & rec department exists for health, enjoyment, well-being of all on this island. As such, the department cannot balance its budget for all and show a profit. Would you be amenable to paying a fee for services on all its facilities? Think before making irrational statements.

Anonymous said...

My solution is not the county of Kauai's scheme to buy at market price then sell to their family members at a reduced price. This is being proposed right now by investors and contractors with the incompetent county council, Mayor and his admin.

Housing problem fix??? Easy: you ever heard of supply and demand? And you call yourself a county councilman and educator?

I teach you any and every time.

Anonymous said...

How would you know the budgets if you aren't a county employee?

Anonymous said...

supply and denand is your big solution? Wow I feel dumber just listening to you say that

Anonymous said...

Speaking of Toxic Dumps, does anybody have any current information on the old Kekaha mill?

Anonymous said...

Says the person who spelled demand denand.

You can't even spell a word correctly after being given the correct spelling and you think you so smat? Yeah You hahaha

Anonymous said...

10:18 The County budget has been on the website for years.