Sunday, April 21, 2013

Musings: Revelations

I laid in bed for a while in the pale first light of dawn, listening to the shush and patter of a steady gentle rain, the exuberant melodies of shama thrush, hwamei, and I thought, could anything be more beautiful?

Drawn by the island's beauty, visitors are now staying an average of 7.2 days on Kauai, we are told, which gives them plenty of time to get into trouble on land and sea. What's new was this revelation by Councilman Jay Furfaro:

The ocean safety information is making a difference at the hotels, but Furfaro said 62 percent of tragedies occur with people staying at transient vacation rentals.

The county engineer has the authority to close beaches and trails if conditions present a public safety concern, Furfaro said. Queen’s Bath could be closed for six months at a time, he added.

So does this mean that residents will also lose access to trails and beaches that are closed to protect the tourists from themselves? I can't imagine that will go over too well with folks who are already feeling squeezed out of their favorite places by the steady increase in tourists.

And if the county engineer has the authority to close natural areas that present a public safety concern, what about the vacation rentals that have bedrooms on the ground floor, unpermitted boat docks and other such hazards? Or more to the point, doesn't he have authority over the Building Division, which has allowed so many of these violations to occur?

Meanwhile, eastside folks are circulating competing petitions, one calling for the removal of Kapaa Middle School Principal Nathan Aiwohi, who is reportedly on leave, and another supporting his integrity. The issue, it appears, is his leadership style, which is characterized in one petition as “dictatorial, authoritarian” and in the other as an “exemplary model.”

The removal petition, which is signed by Councilwoman Nadine Nakamura, includes such revealing comments as:

This school has outstanding staff and they are constantly being squashed by the principal. His decisions are unnecessary, unrealistic and just ridiculous.

He derives pleasure from bullying students, teachers and parents and is preventing our school's academic progress.

He has been nothing but a source of rudeness and hatred against me and my family for a good six years now, and it's time to put his reign of terror to an end.


And a really sad one from the former band teacher:

The mental and physical toll on me can be documented. I have been diagnosed with PTSD and anxiety disorder due to years of a hostile work environment. I will never be the person I used to be. I will never get my career back. This man has been the ruin of me and the ruin of real music on the East side.

The support petition, which was started by Aiwohi's wife, Leah, and signed by surveyor Dennis Esaki (who was recently given the political plum of a seat on the state Land Use Commission for his work on Gov. Abercrombie's campaign), includes such comments as:

I am very pleased with everything Principal Aiwohi has done for KMS. I do not feel that the absence of PTSA has anything to do with him.

We know Nathan E. 'Aiwohi as a man of integrity, character, and leadership which is demonstrated in both his personal and public life.

He is not one that easily compromises, which takes courage to go against even opposition and to stand up for what he believes is right and best for the people and children he has under his responsibility. He can be quite strict and will stick to the rules and regulations that his position expects him to be...I think they call that integrity

The clash dates back to 2008, and reportedly prompted resignations from the school's PTSA boards in 2011 and 2012. There have also been complaints that he assigned two of the school's best teachers not to the classroom, but to work on accreditation. Other reports contend that staff morale is low and excellent teachers have left the school because of his leadership. Numerous complaints reportedly have been made to Complex Area Superintendent William Arakaki, who in 2011 was given a petition with 200 signatures asking for Aiwohi to be removed from his position at Kapaa Middle School. Aiwohi previously was the principal of Hanalei School.

Moving on, The Garden Island's new editor, Bill Buley, introduces himself in an aptly titled piece, “More than you want to know about me.” In it, he offers this revelation:

I plan to learn about Kaua‘i and study several books, “The Ultimate Kaua‘i Guidebook,” “Best Easy Day hikes Hawai‘i: Kaua‘i,” and “Hawai‘i for Dummies.’”

Ahem. Let's hope he seeks a broader education than will be found in those pages.

Personally, I would have been more interested in learning about his plans for the paper. You know, answers to questions like, are you actually going to edit the reporters' stories? Guide them in some investigative/substantive reportage? Beef up the news content in the paper? Stop running so many verbatim press releases? Publish stories in a more timely fashion? Limit people to no more than one letter to the editor per week?

I guess we'll just have to wait and see. At least he likes dogs.....

Speaking of which, a friend sent me this picture, with the caption:

if only the mayor would perk up and listen like she does


Anonymous said...

It's telling that it was Nathan's wife that initiated the other petition. How many teachers, admin staff, students have signed her petition? Nathan was also at King Kaumualii Elementary a while back and I remember his demeanor as that of unapproachable. That isn't enough to warrant removal but I think with the amount of conflict going on, there should be an indepth investigation by DOE with political favor put aside.

I recently traveled interisland and I have to say that the video in the baggage claim area was easily missed by me. Positioning another screen near the exit would enhance visibility to all. I think a better solution is playing it inflight, and if not the video than an audio message. This way there is a captive audience and visitors staying at hotels and tvrs are informed.

Anonymous said...

It's time for the DOE to address the problem of Nathan Aiwohi. Enough already! Shame on those people putting his job security above the students' needs for a good education.

Anonymous said...

another great report on the real goings on here on Kauai -

truth hurts - and hopefully will help resolve this long term thorn in the public education system.

Anonymous said...

I find it interesting that with the exception of one teacher (and even that's subject to debate), the very reputable teachers at KMS did NOT sign in favor of Mr. Aiwohi. That speaks volumes!

Anonymous said...

Oh and I like how many people who signed in favor of him never actually sent their own children to KMS during Aiwohi's tenure. It's easy to support him when your own kids' education is not at stake!

Anonymous said...

if this guy has to study a book called Hawaii for Dummies we are in for some seriously poor reporting

Anonymous said...

It is really sad when the editor of our newspaper has no context, basis or history of Kauai, does not know the people, places, language, but somehow is the editor.

Anonymous said...

Leash ?

sharon said...

The petition about Nathan Aiwohi was not only signed by Nadine but started by her. She is courageous and completely accurate in her characterization of him. I have been a parent at the school for the last 5 years, and I can tell you we are counting the days until we are done. Nathan does not believe that encouragement is a legitimate way to reach the students, but rather fear and intimidation. He and his VP Pang have sucked the joy and morale out of the school and of the students by being far more concerned--read obsessed--with the length of the girls shorts than with anything else. They routinely have assemblies that patronize the students about their horrible behavior and attire, and with nothing about the good students. Nothing. No child is praised or encouraged, and the staff is brow-beaten into misery and submission. He may have his strengths, but they are NOT in working with our youth. I daresay that Dennis Esaki and others who signed his favorable petition have no idea what they are talking about. He is a dictatorial, authoritarian bully who is reliving his own childhood of being bullied by now being the aggressor. We have 25 days and counting, and believe me, if I were facing another 1-3 years with him at the helm, we would be homeschooling in a second.

Anonymous said...

Maybe those Lihue folks are in favor of Nathan Aiwohi because they would rather he stay at Kapaa Middle than get moved over to their kids' school. Just sayin'.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like Nathan Aiwohi would be a good candidate to be a KPD good ol boy.

Anonymous said...

5:24 is right. Nathan is much better suited to a career in law enforcement or auditing than education.

Anonymous said...

Any politician who takes education seriously gets my vote every time!

Anonymous said...

Win-win? How about the DOE create the New Century Nathan Aiwohi Charter School? Then all those people who elect to work for him and have him oversee their kids' education can opt for that school. And let the rest of us opt for Kapaa Middle.

Anonymous said...

Looks like kauai eclectic has a new scapegoat to bully. Look for lots of one side "reporting" and no chance for Aiwohi to respond unless he wants to grovel in the comment cesspool.

Anonymous said...

Unless I missed something, both (the petitions for and against Nathan Aiwohi) are in this article. A one- sided article would have only presented one petition. Thank you for the reporting, Joan!

Anonymous said...

Like so many caucasians, TGI's new Editor, Bill Burley, is ecstatic about relocating to Kauai. Bill is excited, and ready to explore this beautiful island.

Problems may come such as Bill targeted, run off the road, and obcenities like, "Go home, fu*kin' haole!!" are thrown at him.

Problems will come when the new editor attempts to build professional relationships with the County of Kauai/SOH, and the "local doors" are slammed in his face. "Either the Island accepts you or spits you out."

Guide books to trails and adventures? Read retired Honolulu Advertiser reporter, Anthony Sommer's book, "KPD Blue."

Then, do some serious research in studies to "Kill Haole Day." Yes, such research exist. Ask around, "Do you know any caucasians who have had their head kicked in, beaten to death, or shot off a roof top by a KPD cop for no apparant reason?

The research lays out what every caucasian needs to know. Then, do what everyone else does--watch your back.

The good news is Bill is not a caucasian female.

Anonymous said...

And the better news is that Bill is not a caucasian female working for Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho!

Anonymous said...

DOE: Aiwohi and Harada where staff are abused, and children left by the wayside.

OPA: Iseri-Carvalo and Delaplane. Iseri-Carvalho reported one of worst prosecutor is US.

Social services for child protection and crisis intervention: Dept. of Child Welfare. Heard Life's Bridges wouldn't "answer" the crisis line for a specific person in emotional and medical crisis. Political. Wielding of single phone a game of power and Russian Roulet.

County of Kauai: Carvalho and Rapozo, Portugese mafia alive and well. Gasoline purchases, and still no island drug/alcohol rehab center for youth.

Kauai Courts and KPD Blue.

Mind boggling.

Follow the "local" and funding trails. Lead to the heads of the snake.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
And the better news is that Bill is not a caucasian female working for Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho!

April 22, 2013 at 9:37 PM

Amen. How much have law suits against Iseri-Carvalho cost tax payers?

Bernard could have built that youth rehab center mentioned x 10 by now, with the money we are forced to doll out in law suits against brats like Shaylene.

Is the complaint by Chief Perry against Bernard going to cost us too?

What a sinful waste of money, and violations of rights. These people just keep going with their spats at tax payers' expense.

Anonymous said...

Let's hope the DOE doesn't follow in the sheepish footsteps of the Catholic Church and just move Aiwohi around from school to school. Effective school administration is clearly not his forte. Time for him to move on and look into a different career before he does more damage and costs the taxpayers more money.

Anonymous said...

Seriously can someone get Aiwohi an application for KPD?