Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Musings: A Bit of Snarling

Rain book-ended the dawn, falling when the sky was dark, save for a mere smudge of red on the horizon, then departing, then returning when the sun was already up and trying hard to shine. In between, Koko and I went walking, splashing through the rivulets that run alongside the pavement, tromping through the wet grass, hearing the drip of drops from the leaves. Though Makaleha’s summit was socked in with white clouds, two falls could be seen streaking down her green face, following an ancient course worn in the rock.

Before long, we ran into my neighbor Andy, walking his dog, as well as his daughter’s, and after a bit of snarling — between the dogs, not us — that was eased by the distribution of biscuits all around — again, between the dogs, not us — we continued on together.

Andy mentioned he’d asked a neighbor, who is sporting large Bobby Bunda for LG signs in her yard, if she was related to the guy. Turns out they’re first cousins. That just might explain the presence of his signs in other Kauai yards.

“Soon the election will be over,” I said to Andy, and he nodded wearily, indicating I’m not the only one having a hard time getting excited about Saturday’s (yawn) election. “And then maybe some of the signs will come down.”

And maybe some of the mailings and emails and phone calls and sign holdings will stop. Please.

Aside from Gary Hooser’s bid for LG — he’s emerged as a true candidate of the people, getting enough grassroots support (small contributions totaling $50,000) to qualify for matching public funds — the 2010 election is a snore. We’re certainly not in for any surprises in the local races. Even without The Garden Island’s unscientific poll, it’s pretty obvious that the “new” Council will comprise a lot of familiar faces: Derek Kawakami, Jay Furfaro, Kaipo Asing, JoAnn Yukimura, Mel Rapozo, Tim Bynum and Nadine Nakamura.

Let’s face it: despite all the bitching and moaning that goes on about the Council, a majority of voters seem to like what they've got. And while I hear Rolf Bieber’s a nice guy, his recent email about chemtrails over Kapaa isn’t likely to build his credibility or expand his following.

A friend said that after reading about Mufi Hannemann and Neil Abercrombie, Duke Aiona is starting to look like a viable candidate. In my opinion, they’re all junk. Mufi is a sleaze ball (which makes you wonder about Bernard Carvalho’s endorsement of him), Duke’s a dud and Neil is a career politician whose best moment may have been 40 years ago when he passed around mimeographed flyers on the UH campus calling for the legalization of marijuana.

But any of the three will be a step up from Lingle, whose latest bit of hypocrisy is ordering a financial review on the rail project:

Lingle released a statement Monday saying she has a legal responsibility to ensure that the project's environmental impact report complies with state law.

She says she also has a fiduciary responsibility to determine what it could cost taxpayers.

Funny, how she wasn’t similarly compelled to conduct such a review of the Hawaii Superferry, which would have saved the state considerable angst and tens of millions of dollars.

While we’re speaking of reviews, I’ve been receiving some emails from folks who are pissed about the state Department of Health’s planned site visit to Sunrise Capital’s Kekaha shrimp farm Thursday morning. It seems it’s an invitation-only event, even though the farm’s request for a permit related to its plans to discharge its waste into the ocean is at stake.

According to the email sent to eight of the 12 invitees (the others apparently were notified by mail):

[T]he DOH has had to limit the number of guests that may be invited to the facility, and therefore is inviting only those 12 persons which the DOH has considered to have submitted comments on the public notice Draft NPDES permit that are substantive in nature.

As one person noted in an email to me:

This is totally amazing pandering to the business. [DOH] limits visit to those who submitted "substantial" comments although we do not know what the criteria were to decide what was substantial.

In its report today, The Garden Island noted that 167 comments were submitted during the public review of the permit application, with many expressing serious concern over the proposal.

Wow. Does that mean the other 155 comments have been disregarded as fluff, their authors deemed unworthy of further consideration? And what does that say about how state and other agencies typically respond to public comments and testimony?

If you ever get the feeling that your voice doesn’t count, and isn’t being heard, well, I'm sorry to break the news, but you’re probably right.


Anonymous said...

Gary is the only reason to go to the polls on Saturday.

Anonymous said...

No, Mufi would be worse than Lingle.

Re: "But any of the three will be a step up from Lingle, whose latest bit of hypocrisy is ordering a financial review on the rail project"

Anonymous said...

No Walaau on the Council? Vote Dickie Chang! He's a good guy.

Anonymous said...


Dickie never even reported his A&B contribution received in June 2010. Yeah, check it.

Dickie's on the bubble. A good showing by Nadine and Kipukai and Wala'au is OUTTA THERE.