Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Musings: Need to Know

It's a week of big build-ups and bluster. First Flossie, followed by tomorrow's County Council hearing on the pesticide-GMO bill. The county's even going to offer free shuttle service from the Vidinha Stadium parking lot to the Veteran's Center, since you can't park on Kapule Highway. Well, except during the county fair, when they look the other way.

As the big day nears, mainland environmental groups are drumming up support for Bill 2491 beyond Kauai. Food Democracy Now! is trying to pit the visitor industry against chemical ag with its campaign, which offers this sample verbiage for emails to be sent to the Council:

Hawaii is a beloved tourist destination for more 8 million annual visitors and I’m concerned about the health of local residents and visiting tourists.

As long as they poison paradise, I'm boycotting Hawaii!

Would they also boycott us if they knew about the illegal overthrow, the toxic military installations and live-fire war games, the dirty water, the TVRs with ground floor bedrooms in the flood zone, the racism, the cronyism, the corruption, the poverty, the domestic violence, Hawaiians homeless in their own homelands, the ice epidemic that shameless posturers like state narc Keith Kamita try to cover up by portraying marijuana as the bogeyman instead?


The Pesticide Action Network, meanwhile, has released a new report, Pesticides in Paradise: Kauai Test Fieldsthat expounds on the growing presence of chem companies in Hawaii, as well as the “dirty little secret” of genetic engineering:

Most GE seeds are intentionally designed to drive up pesticide use, boosting market share for pesticide industry products.

Yup. That's why the chem companies started with GE crops that can withstand direct applications of their pesticides, instead of the traits they always like to plug, such as drought-resistance and increased nutrient yield, that will supposedly “feed the world.”

But is there really any glory in trying to feed the world if you can't do it without simultaneously poisoning the environment and harming human health?

The report advises us that the U.S. Department of Ag has approved over 100 new permits for GE field tests in Hawaii in the last few years — more than any place else in the nation — and these test fields are regularly sprayed with restricted use pesticides, including atrazine, paraquat and chlorpyrifos.

As the report notes, the chem companies are occupying pretty much all the available ag land on the westside, where Earthjustice recently filed a petition challenging the century-old Waimea River diversions that deliver water to some of those fields. It was pretty disgusting to see the photos of water being dumped while the river itself is reduced to a trickle.

That alone undermines the claim that these guys are such great stewards of the land they farm.

The Stop Poisoning Paradise site also has a list of restricted use pesticides applied to the GMO seed crops, with links to the product labels. Curiously, the website and report make no reference to Kauai Coffee.

Speaking of labels, I got this from county spokeswoman Beth Tokioka, prompted by last Friday's “Limiting Exposure” post, in which I referenced county workers spraying herbicides at the triangle across from St. Catherine's and Kapaa High:

Joan, I copied your post on herbicide spraying to our Parks and Recreation Department and received the below reply from Parks Maintenance Operations Chief George Ahlgren:

1. This was the Parks Department making this application.
2. The material used was Roundup Pro.  One of the reasons why we prefer to use Roundup is because of its safety to the applicator, the public and the environment.  This product carries a “Caution” label, which is the lowest category of pesticide toxicity.  The range goes from Caution, to Warning, to Danger.  Whenever possible we choose to use pesticides that carry the lowest rating for overall toxicity, and Roundup Pro is one good example.
3. My men have all undergone pesticide training and are familiar with Roundup Pro as one of their ‘tools”.
4. All indications are that my staff followed the pesticide label to the letter, which is the law.  Under personal Protective Equipment (PPE) the Roundup Pro label directs applicators to wear:  “long sleeved shirt and long pants, shoes and socks.”  Gloves and masks are not required by label or by law.  Again, that’s why we prefer this material.
5. The final comment [asking why the site wasn't flagged to warn people of a pesticide application] appears to be directed at what we refer to as the re-entry period.  This is defined as the amount of time following an application when the area should be “off limits”.  Again for Roundup Pro, the label is the law and it simply says to “Keep people and pets off treated areas until the spray solution has dried to prevent transfer of this product onto desirable vegetation.”  By the time my staff finished with the application, loaded up and left the site, the material was dry and safe for re-entry.
6.     When we apply this herbicide (according to label directions) we dilute it to a 1 ½% mixture that is not likely to create odors.

It's great to hear the county is following the label, and thus the law. But what if you're like me, and many other people, who want to know whether herbicide was recently sprayed whether it's dried or not, who aren't convinced that federal pesticide regs are sufficiently stringent to protect environmental and human health? 

Does that mean we're crazy, wacky, anti-science, anti-farming, anti-jobs? Or that we're concerned people who are justifiably suspicious because we have seen the government-industry team repeatedly lie about the safety of a product or practice? 

Is it the purview, the responsibility — heck, the duty—  of local governments to go beyond federal law to address citizen concerns and regional environmental issues?

That's the core issue under debate with Bill 2491, though it's buried beneath a lot of diversionary bullshit. Except we're not talking about one site in Kapaa, but thousands of acres on the westside. And the product isn't Roundup Pro — which I hear is safe enough to drink ;) — but dozens of restricted use pesticides sprayed on fields nearly every day of the week.

In the end, it all comes down to the same thing: We want and need to know.


Anonymous said...

Speaking of TVRs, I wonder if the tourists realize that the ordinance governing their use of TVRs is itself illegal and that the Kauai Council is falling all over themselves trying to eliminate TVRs with no legal basis whatsoever to do so.

Anonymous said...

...or that Joan is so concerned about the well being of Kauai's tourists who stay in TVRs that, in 30 years of walking around the island, she's somehow NEVER spotted a single local family living in the flood zone, or found a single unpermitted addition built by locals!
Gosh, you'd almost think the planning department is only sloppy when it comes to TVR's!

Anonymous said...

"Or what if you're like me...." Yes, its jus like you and your 100 followers who can't accept an explanation if you don't agree with it. Typical. You question the county and their operations. They answer it, but since you don't like the explanation, you bitch about that too. Step out of your perfect world for a minute, and realize that just because you and your out spoken minority don't like something, doesn't mean the county is wrong.

Anonymous said...

Yes Joan, don't you know you should be a good plantation slave and never criticize, question or complain?

Anonymous said...

I am so happy that now some other mainland organizations are coming to assist the poor little people of Kauai. The last thing this island needs is some more shrill voiced, hatchet faced, straggly haired haoles sticking there nose in...........we already have more than our share..........

Anonymous said...

This a trifecta for the anti groups.
1- paragons of virtue Hooser and Bynum get accolades
2- Big land owners and AG get stomped and BEST OF ALL
3- Now the tourist industry (the evilest evil of them all) can be exorcised because of sharing the same physical reality with Chemical companies..........Just think, pretty soon
no more building, no more job and all is wonderful........paradise - sweet paradise

Anonymous said...

Paranoid AND racist. George Zimmerman is alive and well on Kauai.

Anonymous said...

"Step out of your perfect world for a minute, and realize that just because you and your out spoken minority don't like something, doesn't mean the county is wrong."

Yes Joan, just watch the island poisoned with chemicals and keep your mouth shut like the majority.

Dr Shibai

Anonymous said...

Joan, you claim to write "only the real facts" about TVR's, but if one examines these "facts",one finds that they are merely your opinion masquerading as fact. You challenge your critics to come up with "even one instance where my TVR reports did not present the real facts of a case." I'll take up your challenge. Your TVR reports have many references to your belief in the "fact" that it is illegal for a kauai homeowner to claim both a home occupancy exemption AND qualify as a TVR. In fact, even the most minimal research - like looking up the qualifications for the homeowners exemption on the kauai.gov website - would show that a kauai homeowner could easily meet both standards. Despite this, you wrongfully imply that many TVR owners were\are committing tax fraud or TVR fraud. As further proof that this belief of yours was never an actual fact, but only your misinformed personal opinion, consider this: The Kauai Council itself has just this month proposed draft bill #2495, which among other things states that anyone holding a transient vacation rental permit will (in the future!) lose a homeowner’s exemption. Meaning that up to now, there was nothing inherently illegal about claiming BOTH the homeowners exemption and TVR usage. So much for the "facts" that TVR owners are committing fraud.

Chuck Lasker said...

Joan - did you attend the event in Waimea last night, or are you going to the event at Kapaa Elementary School tonight from 6 to 8? I would assume so, as you hate biased reporting as much as I do, I think.

Of course, your continued lie that Bill 2491 is just a transparency bill, just about "the right to know," makes me wonder about your reporting. Bill 2491 would literally end the economic viability of farming on Kauai beyond a few hand-tilled little farms here and there. Transparency is only one small part of the bill. So I ask you to consider adjusting your posts to be more intellectually honest and call the bill what it is - a "GMO company expulsion bill."

P.S. - I never comment anonymously.

Joan Conrow said...

To Anonymous 12:30 pm (aka Gary Fisher of Abuse Chronicles 16?) --

A quick review of the Abuse Chronicles finds just two — #10 & #16 — that include references to the owner claiming the homeowner's exemption. In neither case did I make any claim or inference that it was illegal.

But now I understand the source of so much vitriol, so thanks for outing yourself.

Chuck, thanks for having the balls to use your name. But I really wish you wouldn't mischaracterize my views. I've never maintained that Bill 2491 is "just a transparency bill." I know it's much more than that. I don't think I've ever even used the word transparency in association with the bill. But it is indeed about people wanting to know what the chem companies are doing.

I do plan to attend tonight's meeting, though I doubt I'll be convinced, as you are, that this bill "would literally end the economic viability of farming on Kauai beyond a few hand-tilled little farms." That's fine. We can have different opinions.

As to whether it's a "GMO company expulsion bill," well, that remains to be seen.

Anonymous said...

Joan you forgot to add that their patents on their seeds benefits from their new chem/bio products which in turn helps drive up their pharmaceutical drugs through the roof.

SHOW ME THE MONEY! My family has to eat (cheap). I need a paycheck (don't take away my job). Neva mind uncles and aunties stay sick with cancer and will die at ages 40's-50's (they had long life).

The END GAME is that all the money in the world is not going to save the dead people, people dying from cancers, children suffering through adulthood with allergies, sickness, and diseases attributed to these chem/bio test sites.

Kauai will be a superfund site that will be uninhabitable!

Anonymous said...

Joan, did you or did you not state as a fact in your Abuse Chronicles # 20 that "In December 2012, Realtor Roberta Haas sold the house for $1.9 million to California-based Tenir LLC, whose principals are Krouse and his wife."

Please post for all concerned with the truth and the veracity of your postings your source for this statement.

Good Luck!

Tenir LLC

Joan Conrow said...

Yes, I did state it, but at the moment, I can't locate the source for it.

If it's wrong, I'm happy to correct it. County tax records do list Irene Krouse as an owner.

Oh, and good luck to you, too, when those really monster north swells come rolling in each winter.

Anonymous said...

heres the link to the county tax records...


aloha Dean

Anonymous said...

The State can test the air, water and soil in and around the fields where pesticides are applied now. Dickie Chang got the state to test Lydgate Pond. This is of greater importance to the people of Kauai and the State. But to ask the county to take this on? They can't even test Lydgate.

Anonymous said...

July 30, 2013 at 10:18 AM:
Come see the outspoken ╩╗minority╩╗ tomorrow.

Poison is toxic, why do we need to "prove" a well-known fact?

Anonymous said...

Abuse Chronicles #20
Still flipping....

12/30/2004 TRANSD $0 DOC 04-264828
KROUSE, CLIFFORD T, H/W(Joint Tenancy)
KROUSE, I C, H/W(Joint Tenancy)

3/2/2005 TRANSD $0 DOC 05-041999
MAAS, CRAIG H, Trustee(Tenants in Severalty)

CRAIG H MAAS REVOCABLE TRUST, Revocable Trust(Tenants in Severalty)

12/28/2012 QD $1,000 DOC 47450712
KROUSE, CLIFFORD T, H/W(Joint Tenancy)
KROUSE, I C, H/W(Joint Tenancy)

12/28/2012 DEED $1,900,000 DOC 47450713
TENIR LLC, A Company or Corporation(Tenants in Severalty)

7/1/2013 DEED $1,900,000 DOC 49300059
F&A KLEINBUB FAMILY LIMITED PARTNERSHIP, Partnership(Tenants in Severalty)

7/11/2013 QD $1,000 DOC 49400695
SWAYING PALMS KAUAI VENTURE LP, Partnership(Tenants in Severalty)

Anonymous said...

Watch how GMO VIPs will get to testify before the rest of the useless eaters. That will tell you everything.

Anonymous said...

Would they also boycott us if they knew about the illegal overthrow (some of them), the toxic military installations and live-fire war games (probably not unless it was close to their hotel), the dirty water (maybe), the TVRs with ground floor bedrooms in the flood zone (don't think so), the racism (umm, no-see Zimmerman-Martin), the cronyism (doubt it), the corruption (just like back home), the poverty (again, just like back home), the domestic violence (ditto), Hawaiians homeless in their own homelands (no, this country has a history of "assimilating" native populations), the ice epidemic that shameless posturers like state narc Keith Kamita try to cover up by portraying marijuana as the bogeyman instead (meth is bad on the mainland. I watch Breaking Bad). But they may be persuaded to stay away by not wanting to breath pesticide laden air or drink pesticide contaminated water.

Anonymous said...

I have to laugh at your mention of the "illegal overthrow". That is what the British Empire was saying about the colonists or what any past governing entity says when the people decide to change their system of government. I don't think very many tourists give a rat's ass about what happened politically in Hawaii 150 years ago.

Anonymous said...

I don't think very many folks here today, locals or transplants, care much about "what happened politically in Hawaii 150 years ago". I do think they care more about GMOs and the health risks associated with pesticides.

Dawson said...

> I don't think very many tourists give a rat's ass about what happened politically in Hawaii 150 years ago. <


At some point of critical information mass, the mainland mainstream media will see the story value in connecting 150 years of dots in a line that leads to "Paradise Lost." When it becomes popular perception that an entire island has jumped the shark, whole masses of tourists, always self-interested in finding better deals, will find them.

At which point you Defenders of Business as Usual can bend over and kiss your Status Quo goodbye.

Think it can't happen, and in fact isn't already revving up to happen? Then you don't understand the thin threads of popular perception that hold together the fabric of tourism -- an industry where the big players can drop you as fast as they found you.

Anonymous said...

For the record, its been 120 years since the overthrow of 1893, 115 yrs since the bogus "annexation" and 54 years since a statehood vote that failed to include independence as required. My great-great grandfathers were Royalists who supported the Monarchy, one who helped shipped guns to the revolutionaries. To put it in a historical perspective, not that long ago. Tourists don't give a rats ass because they don't know. Not something taught in the history books. Both the Biotech industry and Tourism have participated in the disenfranchisement of Kanaka Hawaii and I don't buy the strategy of pitting one against the other.

Anonymous said...

Roundup is not safe to drink because of the surfactants. However, the active ingredient, glyphosate, reportedly is...unless you are a plant. Though I wouldn't recommend doing so.