Monday, May 14, 2012

Musings: On This and That

Brilliant Venus has slipped into a cloud patch, the crickets are chirping and three times this evening I heard the wheezing honk-bray of the Newell's shearwaters — the adults coming in to nest. Crews have been working to underground the utility lines at Kealia, so hopefully soon the birds will have one less death trap to navigate. When I drive by the construction and see all the guys working, I wonder if the “buck the fird” folks realize the `A`o are providing jobs for their family and friends.

Workers at Makaweli Poi in Waimea are looking at losing their jobs — and westside taro farmers an important market for their crop — because the mill is scheduled to shut down on May 24. Hiipoi LLC, a corporate arm of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, owns the mill and says it's losing money. But staff and farmers say it's more complicated than that.... At any rate, folks are concerned, and they'll be meeting at 7 Tuesday night at the West Kaua'i Technology & Visitor Center. Others will be addressing the OHA board,which just so happens to be meeting in Lihue Wednesday night. It sure would be sad to see the community lose that resource.

Meanwhile, I've gotten multiple confirmations of reports that defendants trying to enroll in Prosecutor Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho's troubled POHAKU program are being told it's “suspended” and “on hold.” So not sure what's happening there, or how it will affect people who have already paid the $200 and are waiting to take the class. But certainly something is happening there or the program would be functioning as usual.

And I found it interesting that Sen. Daniel Inouye got Hawaii a $128,585 grant to aid the protection of Hawaiian monk seals and green sea turtle, just as his one-time protege, WESPAC director Kitty Simonds, is orchestrating a move to delist the honu. That could signal the delisting proposal is dead in the water, so to speak.

I spent the better part of a beautiful day trapped in the courthouse being reminded that the wheels of justice move ever-so-slowly. I, like the 40-odd other people there, had been summoned for jury duty. So we all kind of laughed when the instructional DVD thanked us for being willing to cooperate. I'm not sure l'd call it willing when you're threatened with a possible bench warrant and contempt charges if you don't show. And we laughed again when they said don't be insulted if you aren't chosen.

The judge was Randal Valenciano, and I raised an eyebrow when he told us that after 9-11 people had joined the military to serve our nation and someone could quite possibly have lost their life for our right to serve on a jury. I was like, huh? You actually believe that waging war in Iraq and Afghanistan — and the associated secret prisons, torture, Guantanamo, secret drone strikes, President-ordered assassinations of American citizens who have never been charged with a crime, Patriot Act and NDAA — has enhanced the rule of law in America? But when you're the judge you can say whatever you want.

Still, Randal seemed in his element, and he was in good spirits, which helped to keep the often tedious proceedings entertaining.  My number was never called, so I was excused. But as I watched people getting selected, saw their earnest desire to be fair and open-minded, to serve,  two thoughts came to mind: humans aren't complete sheeples yet, and we've got to find a way to get average every day people more involved in their government, as in a much more direct form of democracy.


Anonymous said...

OHA has zillions of dollars, shame on them for wanting to close the mill. Is it because Waimea's water is polluted from the pesticides used there by the Big Five(Dupont/syngenta,monsanto, Basf, Pioneer Hi Bred, ? Or has OHA been offered $$$$$ money by the chemseed companies to abandon tradition agricultural in the valley ? With 29 people on one street in Waimea having cancer, what's up with the flagrant poisoning of the westsiders and the land and water there? From reading GI too, it seems OHA hired Bryna Storch to close the mill? Why on earth would she take a job description like that?
Eat your poi and shut up

Anonymous said...

Joan, please keep asking questions about POHAKU! We need to know.

Anonymous said...

Who were the attorneys? How'd they do?

Anonymous said...

Everyone hates attorneys; until they need one and then they are your best friends.

Anonymous said...

"With 29 people on one street in Waimea having cancer"


If so, our council ought to be demanding an investigation, NOW. Spending all our money investigating if shall means may, if mayor trumps chief, if prosecutor is a criminal, if councilman ate rice in the wrong room, and 29 people on one street have cancer and nothing being done?

It must be 1984.

Anonymous said...

There was a courageous Dr that wrote a letter to the TGI Editor a month or so ago. Identifying this huge problem, but this is Kauai so there's nothing to see here, just move along. Healthy young males are sick because the Deadly Toxins flow to the sea, Surfs Up and so is Cancer. Shibai and Bachi these GMO companies, at least they give a few jobs some would say.

Anonymous said...

The general public needs to know that Shay refuses to provide answers to the County Council about Pohaku. Just hashing it out in this blog isn't enough. How to get Oahu media involved?

Anonymous said...

You can call the breaking news hotlines on any tv station and provide them with the facts or information about the POHAKU debacle.They will more than likely contact the county and prosecutors office and ask them info. These offices will tell lies and threaten the news stations with lawsuits to cover up the money laundering and grand theft by the OPA. It's worth to try to get attention on this, actually call the AG and FBI and file a citizens complaint.

Anonymous said...

Jury duty should be directly linked to state issued identification.

That way - every citizen with a state ID could have the privilege of serving on a jury, rather than only those people who register to vote.

Anonymous said...


Get out and vote people!

Every new resident should get a welcome basket from their realtor and it should include a voter registration form!!!!

and a short summary of the current elected officials might help motivate them.

Anonymous said...

AG + Shay = <3