Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Musings: Regrets

Skinny scarlet streaks lined the eastern horizon, staining black clouds pink, when Koko and I went out walking this morning. Though the mornings are still cool, it’s feeling a bit more like spring, with the sky brightening early as the days grow steadily by a minute on either end. Yes!

One has to wonder when the bomb threats that keep closing Kauai schools will end now that the kids have gotten a taste of the power they can wield. First it was Kauai High, then Chiefess Kamakahelei Intermediate and today its King Kaumualii Elementary — the third threat in three days and the fifth in the past two weeks. The threats are obviously perpetrated by kids who have figured out a way to ditch class, but it not only ties up a lot of police time — The Garden Island reports 15-20 officers are required to secure each campus — it creates a major problem for working parents who suddenly find themselves with their kids on their hands.

While we’re on the topic of kids and school, a woman I know recently had to pick up her five-year-old nephew in mid-morning — the mom couldn’t leave work — because he’d been suspended from kindergarten for fighting, an offense that had also prompted a police response. Doesn’t that seem just a little bit extreme?

Since we’re talking about extreme, I was discussing the salaries of Kauai County workers with a Honolulu executive the other day. He was absolutely stunned to learn that department heads are making 100 grand a year, and that Mayor Bernard Carvalho had hired Tommy Contrades for the plum position of managing the county’s Capital Improvement Projects — one of many newly created, highly paid and highly questionable posts.

“And that comes at a time when public workers across the nation are being asked to take, on average, a five percent pay cut,” the executive said. “Doesn’t anyone on Kauai complain?”

Ummm, yes, but they don’t vote the bums out.

Speaking of which, the mayor should be returning tomorrow from his two-week trip to the Philippines. He was accompanied by Kaui Tanaka, yet another of his many aides, economic development director George Costa and two of the county’s electrical inspectors, which put a small crimp in the workings of that division, or rather, the schedules of electrical contractors who depend on timely inspections.

And the purpose of this lengthy, taxpayer supported jaunt? Well, Bernard and George passed out brochures at a travel conference and they distributed some medical stuffs from the Poipu Rotary Club. Oh, and Bernard is quoted in a county press release as saying:

“It’s also a great opportunity for us to explore economic development opportunities for Kauai.”

Like what, exactly? Of all the places in the world, Bernard is looking to the Philippines for economic development opportunities?

In other parts of the world, U.S. warships are edging toward Libya, with American officials making their usual claims about supporting democracy:

"We are going to keep the pressure on Gaddafi until he steps down and allows the people of Libya to express themselves freely and determine their own future," Susan Rice, the US ambassador to the United Nations, told ABC's "Good Morning America".

Yet as Democracy Now! reports,, the U.S. has remained silent while the supposed democracy we fought to create in Iraq cracks down on dissidents, arresting at least 300 and killing an estimated 29 persons who engaged in recent protests.

As Raed Jarrar, an Iraqi American blogger and political analyst reported from Iraq:

Now everyone is talking about two demonstrations that will take place, one next Friday and then one next Monday. Monday will be the first anniversary of the Iraqi election. So they’re calling that day the "Day of National Regret." They’re regretting that they actually gave their votes to these parties that have failed to provide to the Iraqi people.

Hmmm. Do you suppose we could organize a similar demonstration for those who regret voting for Obama and Bernard?

And finally, WikiLeaks, but not its founder, Julian Assange, has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.


Anonymous said...

My child was one of the King K students that missed school today. The school needs a back up plan to hold the kids until they can check the campus and put them back in class.

Anonymous said...


Wisconsin has one of the highest paid public employees in the country and Hawaii, one of the lowest, unless you are an appointed official, then you are making more than most.

Interesting how all of those people got such good paying jobs, while they dollar fund vacancy to keep the regular civil servant jobs open, but no hiring. Meanwhile, more than half of the departments in the county are understaffed.

Hey but our tax dollars pay for all of those county employees to go to PI. They deserved it for their loyal dedication to the County, right? Wonder what the county attorney and the housing director contributed to economic development trip?

Anonymous said...

I'm not surprised with the police response; ever since Columbine, it's a reality. Never thought that it would come to Kauai so soon.

Salaries DO seem to be out of line. The governor makes 117K and the mayor makes 114K. The department heads make way too much also at 100K+. Geez, what is the Salary Commission doing?

I'd like to see the payback from the Philippine junket trip. Seems like a waste.

Anonymous said...

why has the newspaper not report the fines and punishments that will be dealt to the kids and hopefully parents?

Anonymous said...


Wisconsin public employees are the some of the highest paid civil servants in the Country. Hawaii, Kauai in particular, one of the lowest paid civil servants with the highest cost of living.

Anonymous said...

"because he’d been suspended from kindergarten for fighting, an offense that had also prompted a police response. Doesn’t that seem just a little bit extreme?"

Yes! - Compare some 'kindergarteners' that fight and post nasty right here on the comments to this blog, and the cops are nowhere in sight!

Anonymous said...

It might be time for a Revolution.
Some one sent me this link:

But this is nothing new on Kauai i.e. nepotism and cronyism and creating needless position to fit in your buddies on the goes with the job of mayor. Salaries have been adjusted to meet everyone seems to be making more these days. Power and money seems to equal corruption.

People keep voting for the "nice local guy"...but they do nothing but spend our money and pretend to spread Aloha on tax payer money.

Dr Shibai