Monday, January 30, 2012

Musings: Fringe Fights

What a delight to wake to the sound of twittering, chirping, singing birds, creating a harmonious impromptu symphony that roused me from dreams and sent the dogs and me out into a warm, damp morning that was just turning orange around the edges.

Forget the news; the real action has been playing out overhead in the darkness the last few evenings, with a waxing moon first dancing with Venus low on the horizon, then cozying up midway between Venus and Jupiter, and last night finally snuggling close to Jupiter, not far from the constellation of Makalii. Simply stunning.

Enroute to a meeting with Planning Director Mike Dahilig on Friday morning — which will be covered in another post — I saw a good-sized group clustered around the Moikeha building, where the police commission was meeting. They were members of the Oklevueha Native American Church of Kauai, and in protest of the cop's December raid on their Church, which resulted in the peyote they use as sacrament being confiscated, they were holding signs with messages like “”let us pray” and “set our buttons free.”

Afterward, I spoke with Shane Johnson, the minister, as well as some Church members who said they were not allowed into the police commission meeting, which is public, so I'm not sure how that was justified. Their numbers certainly didn't exceed the capacity of the room.

I looked at the documentation that Shane had, and I can understand why they were under the impression that local government considered them legit, and thus protected from peyote busts. They have a certificate of good standing from the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs that shows they were incorporated as a nonprofit under the laws of Hawaii, with a declaration from the main church in Utah that establishes them as a branch and states peyote is central to their religion, as well as a General Excise license.

Plus as Shane noted, “We're signed up with the mayor's recycling program. It's not like we're trying to hide anything.”

At any rate, the commissioners said they didn't have the authority to return the peyote, although they would investigate allegations of police wrongdoings from Church members, which will take at least a month. And if you look at the commission's agenda, you will see that a great number of citizen complaints against cops are dropped because of insufficient evidence. In other words, unless you've got the incident on video, like LeBeau Lagmay’s Tasering, you're pretty much screwed.

“We're not trying to attack the police force,” Shane said. “We're just trying to keep from being attacked.”

After the meeting, as a uniformed cop stood by watching just in case whatevah, Church members joined hands, said a prayer and sang a song, and the leaders were anointed with hemp oil. They then went to say hi to the mayor, or more accurately, stand in the foyer beneath his office. Their next plan is to visit the prosecutor, though they might want to make an appointment as she could be out campaigning, I mean, educating seniors about scams and the like.

Meanwhile, the American Civil Liberties Union has filed a complaint letter against Maui County, citing concerns that cops violated the First Amendment rights of Occupy Wall Street Maui protestors during a week-long demonstration outside the Kihei facilities of Monsanto, the epitome of the evil corporation.

According to a report from Maui Now:

The ACLU letter, dated on Tuesday, January 24, 2012, alleges OWSM members were threatened with trespass and instructed to leave the site after sunset because of safety concerns.

“[T]here is evidence to suggest that the county is singling out the Occupy protesters for harassment based on the content of their speech.”

The cops also reportedly turned away porta-potties that OWSM had rented, prompting Deputy Corporation Counsel Moana M. Lutey to state in a reply to the ACLU:

“In terms of the portable toilet permit, this cannot be construed as an act of harassment by MPD. If a permit was denied, I do not know who would have denied it. There is no provision in the County Code for the issuance of a portable toilet permit. As a result, no county agency could have denied the permit.”

So the cops were just going rogue?

I loved Monsanto's response:

“This is a legal and safety matter outside of our purview, so we respectfully defer to county and state authorities.”

Really? Then I guess they wouldn't mind if local government started cracking down on safety issues related to their poison-laden GMO cultivation practices, which is one big reason why the OWSM guys were out there in the first place.


Anonymous said...

While making not big ICE busts on this island, a group that is openly using (legally....perhaps)is busted.

Hippies and old baby boomers hassled at Taro Patch events....

Don't the cops have real crimes to the murder of women on this island.

How about all the drug dealing (ICE) at the end of Kahuna road every day?

ICE is king on this island and the cops might be in

Dr Shibai

Anonymous said...

there's ice dealing at both ends of Kahuna and da chicken fights in between.

Anonymous said...

Monsanto and Syngenta...nice pair of world polluters creating diseases that drive up health care costs.

Lets have them pay for our medical care system!

From: ACRES. USA / January Issue 2012

"Dangerous Effects of Atrazine on Humans"

"As the (underfunded and politically influenced) EPA reconsiders the science on Atrazine (Syngenta product), new findings highlight the link between low level exposure to the nation's most widely used herbicide and adverse human health effects, including cancer, and altered hormones"

"Atrazine is found more often than any other pesticide in groundwater---almost 95% (WTF?!) of US ground water contains the chemical."

(Will Obama go after Big CHEM/AG?...Ron Paul Would Go?)

"....Syngenta continues to influence scientific analysis of the chemical, down playing evidence showing that atrazine is harmful."

"The weed killer is one of the most widely used pesticides in the US...and the World."

"More than 76 million pounds are used in the US each year, mostly on Midwest corn fields."

This corn is used to feed the animals we eat: chickens, eggs, pork, beef, dairy....and to make corn chips and tortillas....and possibly, corn on the cob?

Dr Shibai

Anonymous said...

"More than 76 million pounds are used in the US each year, mostly on Midwest corn fields."

and used right here on the corn testing fields that are scarily increasing here on Kauai. A chemical cocktail is routinely being sprayed affecting the children and people of Kekaha and Waimea. The biggest multinational pesticide companies are testing their products right here.

Anonymous said...

Corporations are just people expressing themselves. Just you don't try the same. People, people who need people...

Anonymous said...

KPD suspends Asher...
"hahaha you ain't got nothing hahaha you ain't got nothing" -Roy Asher


Joan Conrow said...

I just emailed the Chief and he said Roy Asher was not suspended.