Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Musings: What Happened?

The sky was just waking up when the dogs and I went out walking. Stars that had been blazing all night were slowly disappearing as their black background began shifting to the faintest shade of blue. Mist rose up from the pasture and drifted into the road, and in the distance stood Waialeale, fully visible, though softened by a purplish haze. The hundreds of fighting roosters, tethered to their little a-frames, let out a continuous roar, and occasionally a dog barked or yelped.

Returning home, yoga released the stiffness that had set in from spending a couple of hours in my garden, which reflects my own expansionist tendencies. As I complete one bed — I'm now up to eight, plus three tiny loi and an herb garden — I'm thinking, where can I dig another? Because there's always something more I want to grow.

And it brought to mind an article I emailed to Farmer Jerry, under the subject heading “whither (wither) goes ag.....” It was entitled college majors that are useless and included the ranking:

Useless Degree #1 - Agriculture; Useless Degree #4 - Animal Science; Useless Degree #5 - Horticulture

Somehow we've come to view growing crops and raising livestock — in other words, creating the raw ingredients that are made into the processed food-like substances we consume — as inconsequential, in the same category as fashion design and theater arts. What happened?

The same question could be asked of the case that involves Councilman Tim Bynum's alleged zoning violation. Information that I had previously received “off the record” was released by The Garden Island today, so we might as well talk about it. I'm referring to an April 7, 2010, email that County Prosecutor Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho sent to former Planning Director Ian Costa:

“We received information to corroborate an anonymous complaint dated March 26, 2010, that was sent to the Planning Department and our office, that Councilmember Tim Bynum was renting out his house, or a portion thereof. Can you let me know if renting out a portion of his residence is illegal given his land status, and what ordinance/statute would he be violating by doing so? Please advise.”

On April 8, 2010, Costa emailed Iseri-Carvalho, responding that Bynum’s residence was permitted as a “single-family” dwelling based on one kitchen.

“If a second kitchen (area used for the preparation of food) is present, then a violation would exist for an illegal ‘multi-family’ dwelling unit,” Costa said in his email.

Now, I found this interesting, because when I attended the Dec. 21, 2011, court hearing on Tim's case, I had a little chat with Deputy Prosector Jake Delaplane about how zoning violations are handled. He said violations are done in tandem with the county attorney's office, with the planning department and county attorney's office typically taking the lead.

So if, as Shay claims in the newspaper's report, her “staff works 60-70 hours each week, and it is 'quite insensitive' to have her staff tied up at a council meeting,” how does she personally have the time to follow up on a zoning complaint about Tim? Wouldn't you think she'd delegate an inquiry like that to an underlying?

Or since the planning department had also received the same “anonymous complaint” — and it's my understanding that it wasn't truly anonymous, but someone who wished to have his/her identify withheld — wouldn't you wait for the planning department to check it out and start the ball rolling?

At the Dec. 21 court hearing, Jake said the prosecutors office wasn't targeting Tim, and some 40 persons accused of CZO violations were arraigned the same day as Tim. “Overall, we're taking a stronger stance with these violations because they haven't been enforced in the past,” he said.

Did Shaylene follow up personally on all of those cases, too? Has she been trying to hunt down the off-island owners of the TVRs that are in violation, so they can be served their summons for violations?

I mean, this can't be the highest priority for an overworked county prosecutor, and it sure makes it look she's gunning for Tim. And while Tim is not one of my favorite people, I'm even less enamored of selective enforcement and political vendettas.


Anonymous said...

Nothing, and I mean nothing leaves that office without her oversight. controlling would be an apropos word

Anonymous said...

When a high level official like Bynum is being investigated, I DO hope the top brass prosecutor is involved. It is much too sensitive not to. In this case, Bynum was handled in a bunch of other violators so no foul there.

Anonymous said...

Kaipo's probably involved. Why does he keep showing up now? OPA being misused for his payback? Hopefully Shay gets her just deserts in the election.
Its one thing to pay back her enemy...another to lie to the press and the people about it.
Why isn't the trespasser being prosecuted?
AG probably should take over.
Yeah put the head of the office on the rice cooker case - that makes sense.

Anonymous said...

There is something very wrong with a Prosecutor taking a case against an enemy based on the word of an anonymous peeping Tom.

Anonymous said...

As a grower of plants I know the value of what I do and when the "empire" as we know it falls, it will be the mahi'ai (farmers) that sustain us and provide for our families.

The industrial food chain is tainted. Food so processed it resembles nothing that comes from nature. Growing food locally for the health of myself and family, and the environment is noble.

Anonymous said...

This is fucking tragic.
Prosecutor: Eh, Mr. Planning Director, is this illegal? He was renting out one room.
Planning Director: Ummm, no, we let anything go on ag land. This is nothing.
Pros: Oh, for real, we cannot nail him for anything?
PD: Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm. (thinks as he routinely reviews 70 page architectural rendering of "barn" and "ag building" with bedrooms that have walk in closets and private bathrooms, and one huge, commercial kitchen, stamping his approval). Gotta have a second kitchen.
Pros: Eh, I think we get 'em. Had one rice cooker!
PD: No, you know, like one stove and oven.
Pros: Ah, fuck that, I just going charge 'em.
PD: OK, do what you like. Eh, check this ag building out. Nice deck, or what?
Pros: Yeah, nice water feature, too.

Anonymous said...

This Prosecutor uses the word "aloha" but it has no meaning for her. She laid Erin Wilson off after 77 days, knowing that she was a single mom who moved here with her young son to take the position in the prosecutor's office. How can the Prosecutor keep showing the council statistics on the rising caseload, and at the same time say that there was not enough work for Erin? And her workload somehow dramatically decreased in those 77 days? Sounds fishy to me. And no aloha.

Joan Conrow said...

Anon. 10:39 -- thanks for the tragicomedy.

Anon: 8:50, no I don't grow yacon, but it sounds tasty. do you have starts?

Anonymous said...

No phone call returned, no email responded to without oversight? Sounds like some major issues, and 17 people in and out since she's taken office.

Replace her.

Thank goodness we don't rely on lawyers to do math, her re cap of the office's success rate is a joke or at least some really bad math.

Anonymous said...

That's why being "anonymous" on these blogs works. You don't want to ruffle Shaylene's feathers!....especially if you are one of "those people".

Dr Shibai

Anonymous said...

there was no other arraignment that day other than Bynum. Don't think there has been any since either. Pros tells andy she never investigate only planning, but now its clear she did. What is the called?

Anonymous said...

Why is everyone picking on Shaylene? She's a virtuous woman, faithful to her husband, dedicated to her job and nurturing towards her employees. You won't find her getting all drunk in public or using the county car and gas for her personal use. She only travels when absolutely necessary. She's the model of decorum, polite, humble and forgiving. You're just jealous because she's so perfect.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 10:55 pm

LMAO -- so funny and right on the money