It's the summer solstice, though the cool temps and misty rain hint otherwise, and I marked it by checking out my bees, with the guidance of my bee mentor, Jimmy Trujillo. After the initial trauma of a small hive beetle scare and two attacks by robber bees, it was a relief to find a healthy, pest-free, growing colony.
|My top bar hive shortly after we installed the bees.|
In a time of apparent global unraveling in the social, economic and environmental realms, it's comforting to tune in to those bits of the web that are intact, and functioning well.
If only I could say the same about the highest echelons of the Kauai County government. The more I learn about what's going on behind the scenes — and unfortunately, I can't report it yet — the more I marvel that things are getting done at all. Politics can be a very vicious, and secretive, world.
Or as a friend noted, after reading my post about the many masters that the county attorney's office must serve: the answer isn't five more attorneys. What we need is for all these people to do the right thing and start obeying the law.
Speaking of which, I asked Chief Darryl Perry if it would be possible to educate beat officers about beach accesses around the island, so that cops and the public could be spared the kind of confrontation that occurred when Lance Laney used a blocked access at the old Hanalei Plantation Resort.
The chief said he would take it up with the commanders at their next meeting and let me know.
I was amused/annoyed by one comment left on the follow up post about the landowner agreeing to re-open the access after Lance documented the legal easement:
I wish Lance would try to access the legal county access at Kauapea (formerly known as Benji Garfinkle's). It has been fenced and landscaped off for almost a decade, only open to chosen few rich and famous.
Ummm, why the heck should Lance do it? Folks need to step up and take kuleana for their own neighborhoods, instead of waiting for someone else to push the envelope. Be brave, people! Squeaky wheels get the grease.
Which is why Adam Asquith got what he is terming a permanent opt-out from smart meters — though the Public Utilities Commission could still order one installed — as opposed to the deferral that KIUC is now offering. The utility maintains it's essentially all the same, with KIUC spokesman Jim Kelly telling me, “We've already said we're not going to force a meter on anyone who doesn't want it.”
But Adam says it's different, prompting Mark Naea, who has been leading the charge against smart meters, to file a formal complaint with the PUC and consumer advocate. He alleges that KIUC is discriminating against other co-op members by giving Adam “special treatment.”
I'm not sure if people realize that the PUC approved the smart meter roll out as proposed by KIUC, and the consumer advocate did not express concerns about health or privacy issues.
While we're talking about privacy, I was glad to learn that folks on both sides of the political spectrum are expressing their worries about the government's ramped up use of domestic drones. As the Associated Press reports:
Jeff Landry, a freshman Republican congressman from Louisiana's coastal bayou country, said constituents have stopped him while shopping at Walmart to talk about it.
"There is a distrust amongst the people who have come and discussed this issue with me about our government," Landry said. "It's raising an alarm with the American public."
An American Civil Liberties Union lobbyist, Chris Calabrese, said that when he speaks to audiences about privacy issues generally, drones are what "everybody just perks up over."
There's concern as well among liberal civil liberties advocates that government and private-sector drones will be used to gather information on Americans without their knowledge.
Even if the FAA were to establish privacy rules, it's primarily a safety agency and wouldn't have the expertise or regulatory structure to enforce them, civil liberties advocates said. But no other government agency is addressing the issue, either.
Fear that some drones may be armed has been fueled in part by a county sheriff's office in Texas that used a homeland security grant to buy a $300,000, 50-pound ShadowHawk helicopter drone for its SWAT team. The drone can be equipped with a 40mm grenade launcher and a 12-gauge shotgun. Randy McDaniel, chief deputy with the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office, told The Associated Press earlier this year his office had no plans to arm the drone, but he left open the possibility the agency may decide to adapt the drone to fire tear gas canisters and rubber bullets.
Gee, now isn't that a cheery thought....
Drones are hear to stay. One of my clients is working (secretly) on them on the mainland and everything of course is hush hush.
Science fiction of the past, science fact now and in the future.
Perhaps some hackers can figure out how to stop them from spying on us in the US? But then they would go to jail at Guantanamo.
Yes. Kaupea road used to have 2 beach accesses.....now none. The Rich and Famous rule! Perhaps a mob of people showing up at Benji's house could stir things up and bring the fulminating "abscess" to the surface?
Actually Kaupea used to have three accesses according to the same brochure that Lance apparently used. When I asked about the middle one in the 90's I was told by planning that(get this) it was a "misprint"- how you "misprint" an access trail on a map.
That's a good one, Andy.
I seem to recall the access through Benji's was offered to the county, which turned it down as too steep and treacherous, and thus a liability concern. So perhaps the mob should focus its attention on county decision-makers who made that call?
I want to know what secrets you are working on...get some of those idiots fired!
Let the cat out of the bag.
We all should know how poorly the Mayor manages the county's money, his department heads, and personnel picks.
Pathetic. Beyond pity for the residents of the land and the overseeers who control it.
In the 90's Mayor Maryanne Kusaka refused to get the county take over dozens of established accesses that had been "traditional"- or file for prescriptive rights to access to them, broadly claiming "liability." The real reason was most were political contributors and personal "friends"- contributors to her personal charity... we're talking the Hughes', Garfinkle, Pfleuger, McCloskey and many other large land owners who wanted to keep their private beaches and mountain accesses. The policy continues today...
Welcome to the United States of Dystopia! The rich will be walled off and the rest of us indentured to them for life. Access? That's the rich's right to their Swiss accounts and to their favorite politicians who do their bidding.
Works for me, cause I'm inside the wall.
Isn't that the way it is now, except the wall isn't physical, but socio-economic.
Either way, your analysis is correct and the right thing to do is to get on the right side of the wall.
Like the police chief said to Decker in Blade Runner: "Either you're one of us or or you're the little people."
I don't want to be, and thankfully am not, one of the "little people".
Your mileage may vary.
Tyrell's head was squashed like a grapefruit by the replicant. Guess he was on the wrong side of wall after all.
Guess so. Oh, well...
Can't escape death and disease regardless of your address.
Tomorrow is promised to no one.
But, today, and all the future "today's" I get, I'm livin' large!
I'm ok with the rest of it.
ps - I may just outlive you, 'cause I can buy as much of "the best healthcare money can buy" that I will ever need. Can you?
Maybe some day I'll get some trailer-trash kid's kidney or something...wouldn't that be funny!
After all, you can't take it with you, but you can use it to forestall the day when you have to give it up.
Must be getting close if you gotta think about prolonging life with someone else's body parts. Cling tight!
Being 65 and hoping to hit 85 with no lifestyle changes. Docs say it's more than probable.
If you're an organ donor and die first, I just might get some of you if I needed it!! Wouldn't that be ironic??
My gramps said the last twenty are like a blink of an eye. Cling tight, granny.
Time does seem to move faster as one gets older. That's why I say whatever shit I feel like and don't give a damn.
Nothing gives a person more of a sense of freedom then when one decides it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks.
Doesn't even matter what you think.
No, it doesn't.
Did I hurt your feelings? Guess it matters what anonymous commenters think. Don't worry, the hurt will pass when you do, which will be sooner than you think.
I doubt it. I will live long as prosper and continue to poke a stick into my various personal ant farms.
It's always been fun to rouse the rabble.
"He looked like sixty five when he died."
Twenty more years if you're lucky and maybe you won't look your age.
I'll take that in a NY minute.
You have no choice, although a little nip and tuck may make for a better looking corpse.
Cremation for me.
Ashes to ashes, dust to dust...I've had a hell of a ride wielding greed and lust.
And it's nearly over, except for the home, where the nurses wipe the drool and flip over every so often.
Maybe our beds will be together. We can talk over the "good old days".
Doubt it. Maybe you'd be next to my gramps and I could buzz the orderly to change your diaper.
Yah...he and I could talk about what grabastic grandchildren we have.
Only problem is you don't have kids. Maybe you'll be delusional and have imaginary grandchildren. Something for you to look forward to as senility kicks in.
I have 2 kids, actually. Both in their mid 40's and wildly successful in their chosen professions. I have 3 grandchildren as well.
My apology. I was referring to the old guy with no kids who doesn't give a damn about the future, unless dementia or schizophrenia has taken hold and you're one (or two) and the same.
Could be anybody.
Whatever it takes to stir the pot.
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