Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Musings: Knowledge and Consent

A night of strange dreams gives way to a new moon morning, the sky bruised purple over Waialeale, delicate fragrance of citrus blossoms wafting from a neighbor's yard, temperature too hot for April. Are we going straight from winter to summer, with no spring?

Has Roland Sagum been “scared straight” after getting busted for rock theft? It's doubtful, given his refusal to accept any responsibility while pleading no contest to reduced theft charges yesterday. It seems rather implausible that he can unequivocally state that the rocks in his wall did not come from a heiau or park, while simultaneously claiming he was unaware that they were even stolen.

And then to make like he would've gone through a trial to prove his innocence, but was worried the process might harm his health. Oh, come on. Jimmy Pfluegler managed to survive a worse ordeal, and he's got nearly 30 years on Sagum.

Speaking of Roland, I got a call from a kanaka friend last night who is upset about construction occurring around Princeville's Pooku heiau, where a five-unit CPR is planned and a concrete driveway is being poured. One house is reportedly slated to be built right next to the ancient site, which is a luakini heiau used for navigational and lua training. Though landowner Jim Fields formed a group to provide cultural oversight of the heiau, of which Roland was a member, my friend, who was also on the group's board, says development decisions were made without knowledge or consent of the full Board. 

While we're on the topic of no knowledge or consent, how exactly did Monsanto gain control of our food supply, given its dirty and dangerous product history? Among Monsanto's dubious contributions to the world are saccharin, PCBs, polystyrene, atom bomb and nuclear weapons, DDT, dioxin, Agent Orange (it actually produced a stronger version than Dow's), petroleum-based fertilizers, RoundUp, aspartame, bovine growth hormone, genetically modified crops and terminator seeds.

When you look at that one company's legacy, you can perhaps understand why so many of us are reluctant to trust the GMO seed companies and their claim that it's all good, no need to worry, no cause for alarm.

It just doesn't ring true when you consider how many of Monsanto's products, which were lauded at the time of development, have since been found to be a scourge against human health and the environment.

On a similar note, Scotts Miracle-Gro recently pled guilty to knowingly selling poisoned birdseed, and lawn and garden care products containing undocumented pesticides, to an unsuspecting public. Seems the company added the pesticides Storcide II and Actellic® 5E, to their wild bird feeds to prevent insects from consuming the products during storage, though neither  is licensed by the EPA for use in bird foods. And it continued to do so even after company employees complained.  It's unclear how many birds died from the tainted feed. Though a judge has not yet imposed penalties, the plea deal suggested a $4 million fine, with Scotts giving an additional $500,000 to help support wildlife study and preservation. 

And in the "who knew?" category, check out this fascinating expose of the mantis shrimp — bright, dark and beautiful. We live in such a fascinating world.


Anonymous said...

wesuAs for Sagum, he will be punished from our Father for stealing the stpnes from our Heia'u's and he will find out what is happening when his world falls down around him... that is all we got to say.

Anonymous said...

Will Joan be pounding Justin Kollar for allowing this political figure to plead to a misdemeanor? Just asking?

Anonymous said...

I'd like some of that bird seed for the chickens and pigeons. Both invasive to the islands.

Anonymous said...

Roland Sagum shoudl have entered into the POHAKU program- pay 200 dollars and get out of jail for free, oh yah no need do community service too, just pencil whip em. Aurai Imua

Anonymous said...

Justin Kollar's office recommended PROBATION for Justin Berry. Can you believe that? Thank God the Judge didn't go with the plea agreement and sentenced this jerk to 5 years in jail. Joan, please look into this.

From the Garden Island newspaper:

LIHU‘E — A 5th Circuit Court judge set aside a plea deal for probation and sentenced a Hanalei man to a five-year prison term Wednesday for crimes related to a rash of North Shore thefts in 2012.

Justin Charles Berry, 28, was sentenced to concurrent five-year terms for second-degree theft and third-degree promotion of a dangerous drug, and a year for first-degree trespassing. It is his first felony conviction after compiling two misdemeanor and seven petty misdemeanor convictions over a decade.

“The court is not following the plea agreement,” Judge Kathleen Watanabe said in court. “At the time the defendant entered the plea he was informed that the court did not have to follow it.”

Anonymous said...

It is such a joke that Joan is asking for an investigator for the County. They already had investigator positions, that weren't filled. Further, after Tim Bynum was prosecuted and other "friends' of the Planning Dept. for TVR violations, the Planning Dept. under the great leadership of Mike Dahilig PROHIBITED his investigators from sending any notice of violations to the OPA. Justin also stated at the debate that he didn't want to prosecute TVR's because he wants to work on them achieving compliance. What a joke Joan. Your biasness is ridiculous. No wonder you were fired from your last job.