The clouds, blue over the mountains, yellow-gray overhead, unleashed rain just as the sun shot broad breams over the horizon, moistening the dogs and me before drifting mauka as a band of black fringe, leaving us with a wide arching rainbow that beckoned us to approach, but remained just out of reach.
Prosecutor Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho, perhaps fearing the growing momentum behind Justin Kollar's campaign could push her bid for re-election out of reach, has apparently resorted to a telephone survey to assess her chance of winning.
Kauai residents reported receiving computer-generated calls from a Washington, D.C.-based phone number, 202-769-0865, that asked a series of yes and no questions, including: Have you lived on Kauai for over 15 years? Have you heard of Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho? Are you going to vote for Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho in the upcoming election? Are you male or female? Are you Caucasian? Are you over 50 years old? Do you make over $70,000 per year? Then there was something about whether the prosecutor should be able to fire an employee, along with a couple of others that escaped recollection.
Oh, and my personal favorite: Do you read blogs on the internet?
Actually, Shay should hope people are reading this blog, because at least then they would get accurate information. Otherwise, you know how things get garbled in the coconut wireless: “Ho, I hear Shay stay stealing county gas.” “Nah, nah, nah, she get busted for having one rice cooker in the carport.”
Speaking of getting busted, even Honolulu media picked up the story about Troy Haruki Hamura facing federal charges for selling unregistered guns and possessing a machine gun. Not only did the guy turn over 19 unregistered guns to federal agents, he has another 10 rifles and 20 handguns that are registered. And he's a postal worker no less.
Yet according to the Star-Advertiser:
The court’s pretrial services recommended releasing Hamura on bond pending a determination of probable cause on the charges. Defense lawyer Keith Shigetomi said Hamura will work in his family’s business. His family runs Hamura Saimin Stand in Lihue.
So a guy who has unregistered guns up the yazoo gets bail, but Roger Christie sits in jail without bond as he awaits trial for running a cannabis ministry. Ya gotta wonder, is Hawaii more tolerant of firearms than marijuana? Or does the Hamura family name have something to do with the postal worker getting the equivalent of 30 lashes with a wet noodle?
I was looking at the June and July grand jury indictments here on Kauai, and of the 13 people named, all but two are facing drug charges. Most of them are for third- and fourth-degree promotion and paraphernalia possession, which means the people are users, not big time dealers. And nearly every day, the paper reports on someone being sent to jail for testing positive for drugs while on parole or probation. This ongoing criminalization of drug use is not only incredibly expensive for taxpayers, but it destroys individuals and their families.
I'd love to see someone in the prosecutor's office who is committed to developing meaningful programs that divert drug users from the criminal justice system and address the root cause of drug use, instead of asking for more and more money to keep prosecuting the failed war on drugs.
In the meantime, I was disappointed to read in the article about the “missing” $1 million in the capital improvement project budget (wtf?) that Mayor Carvalho won't be pursuing the adolescent drug treatment center again this year. It's been like, what, over a decade now? Yup, let's just keep kicking that can down the road.....
Speaking of which, next time you hear the crack of thunder, it's not angels bowling, as I was told as a kid, but the sound of dominoes falling. Seems a Harvard University study published in Science has found that severe summer thunderstorms — the kind we can supposedly expect more of due to global climate change — are threatening the ozone layer, which protects the planet from the sun's ultraviolet rays.
As the The New York Times reports, the water vapor interacts with ozone-destroying chemicals that remain in the atmosphere from CFCs, the refrigerant gases that are now banned, but still linger.
“This problem now is of deep concern to me,” Dr. [James] Anderson, [ atmospheric scientist and lead author of the study] said. “I never would have suspected this.”
Mario J. Molina, a co-recipient of a Nobel Prize for research in the 1970s that uncovered the link between CFCs and damage to the ozone layer, said the study added “one more worry to the changes that society’s making to the chemical composition of the atmosphere.” Dr. Molina, who was not involved in the work, said the concern was “significant ozone depletion at latitudes where there is a lot of population, in contrast to over the poles.
Meanwhile, in another blow against factory farms, an article in Science Now reports that researchers have discovered that vaccines used to prevent viral infections in chickens are apparently making them sick. It seems that two virus strains used in the vaccines may have recombined to form a new, vaccine-resistant virus that is sickening and killing the animals.
It may be too late to reverse global climate change, and its related damage to the seas and ozone layer, but it's certainly not too late to stop raising animals in unhealthy and inhumane industrial-scale settings that harm their health and ours.