Monday, May 7, 2012

Musings: Coaxing and Stealing

The day began with mynahs loudly squabbling, but their beef was quickly settled by a downpour that silenced all the birds. And as I snuggled back under the covers in the delicious chill of a spring morning, I thought, ahhh, nothing like rain to coax my newly planted seeds into germination.

Judge Lisa Ginoza — the former Superferry lawyer appointed to the Intermediate Court of Appeals by Superferry supporter Linda Lingle — apparently didn't need any coaxing to recuse herself from an upcoming hearing over the use of Kingdom of Atooi badges during protests against the big boat. As you may recall, Circuit Court Judge Kathleen Watanabe ordered the cops to return Kingdom badges to Dayne Gonsalves and Robert Pa, but county Prosecutor Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho is appealing that ruling.

Yes, I know it's hard to believe, but we are now in year five of adjudicating these misdemeanor offenses. I really don't mean to harp on Shay, but the badge case is yet another example of how she is using her office to wage a vendetta at the taxpayer's expense. This time, it's on behalf of her pal Roy Asher, assistant chief at KPD. As I noted back in July 2011, Dayne and Rob are the only two people arrested during the 2007 protests who are still facing charges, and it's because they refuse to capitulate on the badge issue.

But maybe this issue will go all the way to the Hawaii Supreme Court. Regardless of how you might feel about Dayne, Rob or the Kingdom, the core issue here is whether the state will allow kanaka maoli to pursue the nation-building efforts afforded them under the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples that President Obama signed.

Another issue that went all the way to the state Supreme Court, with little practical result, addressed the problem of wealthy coastal landowners deliberately encroaching onto public beaches with intentionally planted vegetation.

Turns out Southern California has the same problem. Except, as the LA Times reported yesterday, except government officials there are actually and actively working to reverse the trend.

The Coastal Commission is authorized to levy fines of $15,000 per day on homeowners who don't rip out there vegetation and irrigation. What's more, city officials in Newport Beach actually erected “public welcome” signs.

"I insisted on those signs being up because I think it's intimidating to the public to see a lawn and a lawn chair and not realize that that's still the public's land," City Manager Dave Kiff said. "And the public has a right to throw a picnic blanket on it and have a picnic."

Wow. Can you imagine officials here taking that kind of pro-public stance?

Or as Charles Lester, executive director of the California Coastal Commission, noted:

"So it requires vigilance, monitoring and action to protect the public's space," he said. "There's always an inherent tension between private and public space on the shoreline."

U no dat. Except here we're just tense because private interests are steadily stealing our public beaches with impunity.

Meanwhile, KIUC officials are trying to steal their way into our hearts with a “trust us” guest editorial that appeared in yesterday's paper. Though signed by all nine board members, I'm assuming it was penned by Jim Kelly, the former editorial page editor for the former Honolulu Advertiser who is the new communications manager for our utility.

I did have to giggle a bit at the complaint about how even the utility's name was garbled in one article printed by The Garden Island. Unfortunately, that's par for the course at TGI. And besides, it seems a small price to pay for the paper otherwise publishing so many KIUC press releases verbatim.

While it's true that people talk a lot of shit about KIUC, and some of it isn't true, it's too easy to blame the blogs, letters to the editor and radio shows for the brown fog of distortion that swirls around the utility. KIUC has put out plenty of its own bullshit, like the one-sided campaign materials in the FERC-hydro election, and the way it tried to make the fight about hydro, when it was really about process.

One can only hope that with a newsman like Jim in the communications office we'll see less gloss and more honest dialogue and timely information. 


Anonymous said...

Tgi can't even take the time to proof misspelled Hawaiian words like kapuna instead of kupuna....please bust out a hawaiian dictionary or go to the online Hawaiian dictionary. This is Hawaii, get the native language right otherwise its just damn laziness and disregard! Sooo tired of reading puff pieces and very little takes me less then 2-3 mins to peruse its pages for something worth reading.

Roy Asher needs to get over himself and Shay needs to prosecute real criminals! Pono is more than a campaign slogan it! You'd think suspension would've humbled Roy's ass and he'd rethink his attitude toward the community he serves!! That includes Kanaka Maoli and Native Americans too!!!!

I wanted to gag on that KIUC letter. Obviously they have a PR problem which they created NOT the public. More transparency and dialogue is needed in order for there to be trust!

Anonymous said...

KIUC is so pathetic that they have to beg for mercy. The sinister acts are starting to awaken the public. Spoil food is being feed to the people of Kauai by Bissell and his soldiers of fortune as Custer did to the american indians. Our elected officials are guilty of rendering a Holocaust on the citizens of Kauai with the principal GMO corporations.

"My fellow Kauaiians, ask not what your county can do for you, ask what you can do for your county of Kauai". "Let every corporation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardshipp, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of LIBERTY". JFK

Anonymous said...

Joan - do you drink before you write? You are increasingly foul and unprofessional.

Anonymous said...

i disagree with the last post, you are getting down to the dirt on this island, and it is contaminated. Thanks for your great reporting and informed content.

Anonymous said...

Foul? Because she used the phrase "talk shit"? That's fucking shocking. Watch the cursing, Joan. Some people are really fucking sensitive about this kind of shit. You wouldn't want to fucking offend anyone.

Anonymous said...

just aloha

Anonymous said...

Joan, you just keep writing and we will just keep reading!

Anonymous said...

There are journalists on Kauai but none work for the Garden Island. Many thanks to Joan.

Anonymous said...

I thought TGI was a tourist newspaper, specifically designed to only make us look like shiny happy people in a land far far away that they long to visit. Who is under the impression that it is a real live NEWSpaper?

Anonymous said...

TGI and KIUC have similaries in their flase representation bestowed upon them.
TGI calls themselves a newspaper but fail at every aspect of being a paper that presents quality news that informs the locale. Its more of a brochure for the tourism industry. "It is the merit of a general to impart good news, and to conceal the truth". Sophocles
KIUC calls themselves a coop but fails at every aspect of the definition of being a coop. The dictatorship worries the public and the false sense of hope for a board that listens to the people is alarming. KIUC is not a coop, it does not respect its customers. Greed for more money destroys the hearts and minds of all men.
"Keep smiling, keep shining knowing that you can always count on me, for sure thats what coops and newsappers are for. For good times and bad times, I'll be by your side forever more. That's what coops and newspapers are for". Diane Warwick

Anonymous said...

I wonder how many of the posts in favor of Joan's diverse vocabulary are actually from Joan?!