Sunday, April 13, 2008

Musings: Grab Bag

The sky was gray and darker gray when Koko and I went walking, but the rising sun revealed it to be much more than that, first gilding the towering cumulus in shimmering gold and then tinting a few wisps pink. As more light filled the sky, I saw, in patches, a backdrop of blue, and upon it, puffballs and fish scales in silvery white, and then atop that, roaming bands of charcoal-colored clouds driven by the winds into a pile-up in the southwest, where surely it was raining.

And just as the sky is all mixed up today, here's a grab bag of stuffs for Sunday.

On his blog Hawaii Standard, Ikaika Hussey has followed up on my Friday post about possible shenanigans in the ”ceded lands” settlement bill with an observation that such maneuverings could violate legislative conference rules. He’s got a call in to Rep. Kirk Caldwell, and says he’ll post a follow up if he gets a response.

Hussey also posts a couple of interesting youtube videos, including one about the resistance of Guam women leaders to the American military buildup — did you know that by 2014, the U.S. plans to spend $10 billion to move 8,000 Marines and their 9,000 dependents to Guam, increasing its presence there by more than three-fold? — and another on Ho`i I Ka Pono, “a movement to restore the balance, abundance and sacredness of Molokai,” where the residents have fought off resort development and cruise ships.

Not so Kauai, where we’ve got choke — literally and figuratively — cruise ships coming into Nawiliwili. Got an email from Gary Craft on Thursday night’s meeting between Niumalu residents and Holland America on new technology to “scrub” smokestack emissions. He wrote:

Unfortunately they didn't even discuss/would not respond to changing to a cleaner fuel as an interim measure. We are happy with Holland America obviously rising to the challenge of future inevitable requirements of cleaner emissions from ships but we are still concerned for present conditions in our valley.

Since the so-called “bunker fuel” bill to ease air pollution in the harbor is stalling out at the Lege, citizens are planning direct action instead. Gary writes:

Our next efforts will be directed toward enlightening NCL passengers/clientele as to the impacts of their choice of cruise line by way of an informative picket at the harbor gate. Hopefully this action will exert pressure on NCL and the other cruise lines to switch to cleaner fuel while berthed in Nawiliwili.

Dick Mayer sent along a link to a New York Times article about the threat that speeding ships pose to whales.

And to end on a humorous note, the Garden Island has a letter from Mayor Baptiste defending his new community outreach efforts:

Every appointed person on our cabinet will be motivated to be part of their respective community meetings. After all, we are also members of the communities we live in. We will reach out to you and listen, and together, we will make our communities stronger.

I believe that in order to provide improved services to the public, we must continue to do community outreach. Yes, it is a higher belief. Yes, it is a higher standard. Yes, it is a new way.

It’s a change from “business as usual,” whereby decisionmakers garner public input by determining the date, time and location that is convenient to them and say to the public, “Attend our public hearing; let me know what you think.”

I can’t wait to see how he motivates his appointees to hang with the community. Can you imagine Planning Director Ian Costa going along with this, much less the county attorney? Hee hee Thanks for the laugh, Bryan.


Anonymous said...

Stand in Solidarity with Niumalu Residents who want NCL to switch to cleaner
burning fuels. Volunteer to help organize if can. Please come and join for
'informative Picket' in May.aloha aina,...........jimmy t

scott majerus will be hosting the KKCR (91.9fm) public affairs program
kauai soapbox on tuesday @ 4-530pm and will review the (4.10.08)Austal USA
interview w/ Jonathan Jay, Jimmy Trujillo and Katy Rose. if you missed last
thursday's interview with current and former Austal USA employees download
it at :

Sent: Sunday, April 13, 2008 1:37 PM
Subject: NCL Informative Picket

> Aloha
> The “Informative Picket” is scheduled for Thursday, May 22 from 7 AM to
> 7 PM, at the pier 2 gate (the Thursday before Memorial Day, marking the
> beginning of summer)…. NCL Pride of America is scheduled to arrive at
> pier 2 that morning (the boat will be leaving at 12 noon the next day,
> Friday)… Pre-Picket meeting is schedule for 6 AM (sharp) at Niumalu
> Beach Park (located behind the harbor, just passed the one-lane bridge).
> Show-up when you can, morning or afternoon… We need volunteers for
> support, signage, honkers, flyers, drinks and pupu’s…. Volunteers,
> please send me an email at
> The ultimate goal is to pressure NCL to burn cleaner fuel while in
> Nawiliwili Harbor to reduce pollution of Niumalu Valley.
> The goal for Thursday is “Bad Public Exposure for NCL”…
> 1. We will be handing out informative Flyers…see attached
> 2. We will try and get newspaper and TV coverage…
> Ideally, we would like to see “Stop NCL Dirty Boat” on national TV, but
> we will settle for The Garden Island, Advertiser and StarBulletin and
> perhaps a little local TV.
> NCL is the only cruise line that does not support burning cleaner fuel
> to reduce pollution while in Nawiliwili Harbor….
> Remember, be nice to the tourist… We want them on our-side. The flyer
> will be asking them to choose another cruise line (Carnival, Princess,
> Holland, etc) on their next vacation - to support cleaner air.
> Lastly, we will be “honking” the boat. The road is just 20 yards from
> the NCL boat. So the concept is to pollute NCL with sound just as NCL
> pollutes the Niumalu Valley with SO2 and Particulate Matter from their
> smoke stack. It could get a little noisy, so, we’ll have an ample supply
> of ear plugs….
> -don

Anonymous said...

Mahalo Joan for supporting the Niumalu Residents struggle for clean air. We will be @ the pier May 22 @ 7am to let NCL pasengers know how the NCL president (Alan Yamamoto) feels about our health-
"will affect bottom line..." I plan to return after work also when the passengers are coming and going a lot. gary craft