After driving through intersections with traffic signals blacked out by the hours-long, island-wide power failure — marking the second time this week the lights went out at my house — I spent some time beneath the planet- and moon-dotted skies of the westside last night, chatting with people about the downside of living near the seed corn fields.
These weren't hippies, or anti-GMO activists, but locals — folks who were grown here, not flown here, to paraphrase a bumper sticker. And they've watched their quality of life and health deteriorate over the past 12 years as the chemical companies — Dow, Monsanto, BASF, DuPont, they're all here — have ramped up and expanded production.
We're talking kids getting nose bleeds after the fields are sprayed, cancer clusters, headaches, Waimea Valley residents reluctant to grow gardens because they don't want their veggies getting contaminated by drifting pesticides. Even the lovely cooling breeze has become a source of concern, because it carries chemicals into their homes.
The pesticides are really the over-arching issue, because while not all of the fields contain GMO crops, they all do use pesticides. In some of the experimental fields, where they're trying to figure out how much poison can be applied before the herbicide-resistant crop dies, you can well imagine they're using quite a lot. There was also some discussion about Dow's new corn, which has been genetically-engineered to withstand direct application of 2,4-D, a chemical linked to cancer and classified in California as a reproductive and development toxin. And since Kauai is where they conduct their experimental trials, it's quite likely that corn was — or even is — being grown here. Disclosures are not required.
It was kind of stunning driving over to the westside and seeing all the Gay & Robinson fields now planted with the chemical companies' crops, which stretched mauka as far as the eye could see. And we know what happens whenever it rains — all that poison-drenched soil flows into the rivers and sea. Meanwhile, construction is under way on a big new sorting facility for Syngenta at Kekaha and Pioneer/DuPont is talking about expanding.
The folks I chatted with were especially pissed by the puff piece on Pioneer/DuPont that ran on the front page of Sunday's paper. They took it as a slap in the face, an insult, because not only did it perpetuate the usual myths about genetically-modified crops — feeding the world, drought resistant, governed by a sound regulatory system, uh-huh, ya, right — it failed to mention anything about the very real concerns that westside residents have been raising for years.
Speaking of concerns, the KIUC board passed a policy amendment that supposedly dealt with the privacy issues that have been raised about smart meters. It says the utility won't give the data it collects to law enforcement or other agencies without a warrant or subpoena.
But as Ken Taylor noted, before he was shut down by Chair Phil Tacbian, the policy doesn't address hackers. And as this article indicates, it was pretty easy for hackers to get smart meter info from the German firm Discovergy.
I also was interested in this recent report by the Congressional Research Service on the privacy and security implications of smart meters. Among the issues it raises are the increased likelihood of the data being stolen. It also goes into some detail about Fourth Amendment issues, which are still very fuzzy regarding smart meters:
Because smart meters are an emerging technology not yet judicially tested, it is difficult to conclude with certainty how they would be handled under the Fourth Amendment. Further, beyond the possible constitutional implications of smart meters, federal communication and privacy statutes may also apply.
When I talked to taro farmer Adam Asquith about his lawsuit against KIUC, he noted that several law review articles and Congressional reports have been written about smart grid privacy concerns. “This issue will be adjudicated and it may well go all the way to the Supreme Court,” Adam said. “But we shouldn't be the ones spending money on this.”
Yet it looks like we will be, because Adam's injunction is now moving forward....
While we're on the topic of spending money, the County Council today will decide whether to allocate $10,000 for the police commission to hire outside counsel to seek a judicial ruling on whether the mayor can legitimately suspend the police chief, as happened earlier this year.
And that got me wondering just how much this debacle has cost the county. How many hours have highly-paid administrators and attorneys devoted to this issue, rather than more pressing matters? Was there additional overtime being paid at KPD when three top executives were out, or did the work just pile up in their absence?
Although it's not likely that Kauai judges will be especially useful in making the call about whether Mayor Bernard Carvalho acted improperly by suspending the chief, I gotta hand it to the police commissioners for at least challenging his actions. That can't be easy for Commission Chair Charles Iona, who was a big contributor to Bernard's campaign.
And it certainly stands in sharp contrast to the roll over and play dead response of the Planning Commission when the mayor totally usurped the Charter-granted powers of that panel by installing Mike Dahilig as director of the planning department.
So if the Council doesn't kick down the money, then what? Bernard just gets his way because he controls the county attorney's office that told him what he was doing was OK?
Meanwhile, the Charter Commission is mulling whether voters should be asked to clarify the mayor's powers. Perhaps to help ensure the question doesn't gain traction, Bernard recently appointed two of his people — Carol Sugawa and Jimmy Nishida, his lackey from the planning commission who didn't even bother to attend meetings for the last nine months of his term — to that panel.
Westside Folks should have their blood tested for Liver Function, someone should document the medical problems and compare them to what is known about the side effects of these pesticides....
Then if the results show harm, a large class action suit with National attention should be implemented against the perpetrators
An insulating bushing on a transformer failed and tripped everything, which is not supposed to happen. Only that particular line is supposed to trip. They are investigating why all tripped.
We have to rally support for westside residents. What is happening on the 'aina and consequently in the kai, from Hanapepe to Polihale, is an outrage. I worry about the consequences to all the flora and fauna, marine species and humans alike. We will witness the affects over time, which by then will be too late in some cases. It is our kuleana to malama...
All residents on the Island of Kauai should research these companies. Monsanto under Wikepedias health and environmental issues, should help point the direction for westside residents to pursue civil litigation.
Can you imange how much chemicals have washed through the state after 100 years of sugar production...
Sugar production did not use chemicals 5 days a week. Nor did they own the chemical companies, having unlimited stocks of chemicals that have been removed from use elsewhere, but allowed to use existing stocks up... chemical soup on the westside, nothin like the sugar plantations were, they are testing the poisons here on Kauai, sugar was not ground zero for chemical testing of pesticides, you just can't compare the two. But they do rely on that argument. These people have lived on the west side for a very long time, they did not get sick like this when sugar was grown, even if on the days of cane burning was certainly toxic, but it wasn't burned 5 days a week.
Yes, many chemicals did wash through the state over 100 years of sugar. That's why we need to make sure it doesn't continue into the future with chem seed corn. Enuf already!
West side children getting nosebleeds... guess they have thrown the westside children under the bus. . Sick for life , what a trade off for the corn exported. We are not exporting Aloha, like cindy goldstein said.
Hey, at least Hawai'i will be ready for the complete corporate takeover of the US government. And the military controlled encampments we'll be living in. At lesst we can say it all started here!
Whatʻs Dee Morikawa doing about this criminal activity in her own back yard? We got her in and things CAN turn around. Kauai has a momentum and it wonʻt let up.
Good suggestion about the liver panels and they need to be specific types of testing and send the bills to Monsanto or whateverthefuck cute name they call themselves now.
OK...this does it. Itʻs the fucking laugh of the week:
"Speaking of concerns, the KIUC board passed a policy amendment that supposedly dealt with the privacy issues that have been raised about smart meters. It says the utility won't give the data it collects to law enforcement or other agencies without a warrant or subpoena."
And that is the problem right there; if KIUC says itʻs invalid. And you see the other problem is that the board CHANGES the policy anytime they need to without any formal protocol or consensus by Members.
So, I ask you: What kind of flaky policy promise is that?
Sorry meant to say: "And that is the problem right there; if KIUC says it, then itʻs invalid." Because they are proven liars.
We donʻt TRUST anymore. End of story.
KIUC and The GMO clans are Demons! Kauaiians needs to Exorcise the Demons!
Studies Point to Common Pesticide as a Culprit in Declining Bee Colonies
NY Times Sat 3-31
Residents on the west side of Kauai should read "A power plant, cancer and a small town's fear" by John Seculvado-CNN April 1, 2012. Bring National attention to the fears and concerns of all the GMO toxins affecting the citizens of Kauai. West Side residents get labs and tested NOW!!! Toxins cause Cancer, Cancer Kills=Toxins Kills
Do you know what Dioxn and Arsenic is? Our soils have been Contaminated since the Suger Cane days.
Thanks for all the support starting to come from around the island. Remember the 40 days and 40 nights? What was in the container full of pesticides that floated down the Hanapepe River and into Port Allen?
We also had a container fire last week on the ADC lands across from the mill. What was in that? Those who write the laws are exempt from them. Now I learn, with much sorrow, we have all been feeding our kids flavor enhancers made from human fetuses, Frito Lay, Pepsi Co. Nestles. What is $ worth. It seems nothing is sacred. Look it up if you can handle it. I am feeling the love from around the island. We need all you can give us now. This is insanity, not progress. Science has opened Pandora's box. With enough help maybe we can shut it on Kauai. It will take people, not government. Who stopped the death ferry, who rebuilt the road to Polihale? I say we have a tax revolt, then maybe our officials will pay attention and quit ignoring half the island.
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