Friday, April 13, 2012

Musings: Pay Attention to the Whispers

It's getting light super early, which is why the dogs and I were out walking at 5:30 a.m., beneath a golden moon swimming through a sea of white murk that I later determined to be fish scale clouds. Waialeale and Makaleha were perfectly clear — the first time in ages — and a band of scarlet hovered at the opposite end of the street, just waiting to stain those fish scales, which it did, eventually, turning the whole sky a golden mauve and causing the mountains to blush.

Let's see....wassup?

Well, Paele's banging around in the cupboard where I keep the pots and pans, hot on the trail of a rat that's in the wall between the kitchen and bathroom, so close, yet tantalizingly out of reach.

And North Korea shot a big piece of toxic trash into the sea, prompting NORAD to proclaim:  "No debris fell on land. At no time were the missile or the resultant debris a threat." How come we never factor marine life into these kinds of statements?

Which brings to mind a Cherokee proverb: ”Pay attention to the whispers so we won’t have to listen to the screams.”

I drove up to the North Shore last evening and was amazed to see, in addition to all the massive road repairs, that Waioli Park in Hanalei still has standing water from the storms. And I'm not sure whether the albezzia trees were cut, or fell down, but for the first time in a long time the waterfall deep in Kalihiwai Valley can be seen from the road.

In Hanalei town, I ran into a farmer friend, one of the first guys to get into organics here, and asked him how it was going and the answer was, not so great. Seems more and more people are growing, which is supposed to be a good thing, except now the market is saturated, or at least, the limited market they have all access to, so it's much harder to sell and they've had to reduce what they plant and some days the demand is high and other days, it's very low, which of course doesn't work out so well with perishables like tropical fruits and veggies.

But we all know that the shelves in Safeway, Times, Big Save and Costco are fully stocked with produce that's flown here, not grown here, while the sunshine markets have turned primarily into tourist attractions, seeing as how most are held during the day when folks are working and they're packed with all that value-added stuff that helps farmers make money, so I'm not knocking it, but how many locals can afford to buy it?

Meanwhile, I've learned that Cultivate Kauai, a cool little enterprise that connected local farmers with the high-end restaurants, had to shut down because they just couldn't make it, which closes off yet another market.

Isn't there some way to have a daily, centrally located, pau hana farmer's market, like in the field by the airport intersection, instead of growing GMO crops there?

Speaking of which, in case you need additional convincing that Roundup is not benign, despite the claims of companies that sell seeds genetically engineered to withstand massive applications of the stuff, check this out:

University of Pittsburgh researchers said the weed killer Roundup, in sub-lethal and environmentally relevant concentrations, caused two species of amphibians to change their shape.

The study is the first to show that a pesticide can induce morphological changes in a vertebrate animal, biological sciences Professor Rick Relyea said in a university release Monday.

"Herbicides are not designed to affect animals, but we are learning that they can have a wide range of surprising effects by altering how hormones work in the bodies of animals.

"This is important because amphibians not only serve as a barometer of the ecosystem's health, but also as an indicator of potential dangers to other species in the food chain, including humans."

Of course Monsanto sought to discredit the National Science Foundation-funded study, but Relyea offered a strong response. 

Do you suppose we could at least stop spraying it along the roadsides here, where we know it's going into streams and ditches that flow into the sea?

Which brings to mind a Cherokee proverb: ”Pay attention to the whispers so we won’t have to listen to the screams.”

While we're on the topic of ditches, mahalo to Brad Parsons for sending along the FERC decision that gives a green light to Pacific Light & Power's Konohiki Hydro project on the Kokee ditch.

As you may recall, or not, that's the same project that our own KIUC, via Free Flow Power, via Clean River Project, greedily tried to grab through a FERC permit, even though locally-owned Pacific Light & Power had already been working on it for some time.

So now KIUC is out and Pacific Light is solidly in, though the whole boondoggle has cost all of us time and money. Strike one for Free Flow Power.

Speaking of KIUC, it's moving ahead with the smart meter rollout in May, according to an "official" news release posted on its website. Members — that's us — will receive a letter a couple of weeks prior to installation, at which time:

If the member decides to defer installation, they do so with the understanding that they will not be receiving the benefits of the smart meter and that KIUC has agreed to defer installation while continuing to analyze the impacts that are caused by members who decide not to receive an advanced meter and how to address those impacts. Members who would like to be placed on the deferred installation list may contact KIUC at 246-4300 to request a deferred installation request form. This deferral program does not reflect a final determination by KIUC regarding advanced meter installations and KIUC may decide to obtain cost recovery for the costs and impacts caused from those members who decide not to receive an advanced meter.

Wonder how many folks will opt out, I mean, “defer installation?”

And finally, I was talking to a charter commission member the other day, who said that Prosecutor Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho testified that 99 percent of attorneys believe Mayor Bernard Carvalho overstepped his authority when he suspended Police Chief Darryl Perry and then put him on leave. 

So why should we change the charter, or spend money on a court decision, when we could just swap out County Attorney Al Castillo for one of those 99 percenters?


Anonymous said...

And in a perfect kauai world, Shay could be county attorney when al leaves.

Anonymous said...

Council: we'd like to ask the county attorney a few questions.
County Attorney: ok everybody but Tim and Joann.
Council: wait a minute, we're the clients
County Attorney: excuse me did you pass the bar? Then shut up and listen.
Joann: I passed the bar
County Attorney: then what the fuck do you need me for? Shut up.
Council: you're rude.
County Attorney: so?

irk said...

while the North Koreans hear the whispers of President Reagan's "star wars defense" weapons once again, we hear the whispers of the heart sea urchins:

Anonymous said...

So how does the recent information on the chemical mixing site in Kilauea effect the property values in the area?

Probably don't want to be paddling up the Kilauea River.

Anonymous said...

Get rid of the current county administration. They're bunch of bullies. Just ask any county civil service employees.

Anonymous said...

the chemicals end up at the Hughes secret beach tourist houses?

Anonymous said...

property values, ask the waimea and kekaha folks who are poisoned by chemicals almost daily.

KamaKele said...

Shay working for Bernard Carvalho? Joan i think u must be high.

Anonymous said...

Where did Joan say that? I think you need to work on your reading comprehension.

KamaKele said...

Hmmm, ur right. Joan I apologize, I'm the one that's high it appears.