Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Musings: Rubbed the Wrong Way

I was surprised to see so many stars out when Koko and I went walking this morning, considering that just minutes before I got out of bed a rain squall blew through. But I kept an eye on the clouds that were building in the northeast, and got home just before it started raining again.

It was cold enough to prompt me to crawl back under the covers for a few more winks and dreams — and even colder when I got up for up good. Still, given reports of ice storms and snow from friends and family in America, I can’t complain about our little nip in the air.

It’s going to be interesting to see what kind of heat Gov. Lingle feels today on her first visit back to Kauai since she stood before a hostile, booing crowd for several hours on Sept. 20.

This time, she’ll be safely ensconced in a meeting room at the ResortQuest at Makaiwa, where Kauai Humane Society supporters will be paying to hear her speak about pet issues. It remains unclear just who in the Society decided to invite her. But that decision prompted plans for a demonstration at the resort this morning and at least a few annoyed emails to KHS Executive Director Dr. Becky Rhoades from folks who question the guv’s animal friendly credentials.

One email I saw likened the invite to asking Hitler to address a group of Jews, while another noted: “Linda Lingle is not worthy of Humane Society honors. She has proven herself willing to slaughter whales and their calves by her non-stop promotion of the Superferry, a private enterprise for which she has illegally allowed an exemption of the Supreme Court's ruling to require an Environmental Impact Statement.

Dr. Becky sent critics this canned response:

“Dear Kauai Resident,

The upcoming Kauai Humane Society annual membership meeting is closed to the public and not an appropriate forum for your protests.

Governor Lingle has been invited to address our membership in regards to several State laws recently passed providing better protection for our pets: the passage of Hawaii's first pet cruelty law that provides for felony-level punishment; a new law that requires owners to pay for care of animals in protective custody; a new law that welcomes pets to emergency shelters for people so that owners do not have to abandon their pets in a natural disaster.

Kauai Humane Society believes these are major victories for animals. And we respectfully ask that you respect the animals that will benefit from these victories, our organization, our event and our guests.”

Needless to say, her reply rubbed more than a few folks the wrong way, and I imagine they’ll be there at the resort to keep pushing Lingle for “EIS first!” I hope to check it out if I get my story done in time.

I was rubbed the wrong way by the revelation that Kauila Clark, appointed to serve on the Superferry oversight committee, actually blessed the vessel before it sailed. The connection was made in a comment on yesterday’s post, and followed up today by Ian Lind, who raises the question of whether Clark was paid by Hawaii Superferry for his various services.

(Lind also reports a bit of Superferry gossip, to which I will add unverified reports that Superferry encountered some engine troubles — water in its fuel line — during its practice run to Maui yesterday. I saw nothing about it in Maui News and Star-Bulletin accounts of the voyage, however.)

It seems that of all the cultural practitioners in Hawaii, Rep. Calvin Say could have come up with one who wasn’t already so closely linked to Hawaii Superferry. That’s the sort of thing that further erodes the public’s confidence in what is already widely perceived as a bogus process that began when the state exempted Superferry from an environmental review.

And they're still making such exemptions for projects that have obvious environmental impacts, as I note in a Honolulu Weekly piece on Bill Cowern's plan to grow albizia for biofuel for Kauai Island Utility Cooperative. It was published last week, but just came on line today.

Somehow the state and the guv still don't seem to understand it's meddling with the process that really rubs citizens the wrong way. Or maybe they do understand, and simply don't care.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How did Linda Lingle's reception go today?