The Kauai County Council today overrode the mayor's veto of Bill 2491, allowing the pesticide/GMO disclosure measure to become law.
The ordinance is now likely headed to court, where the stakes are high for those of us who value home rule and local control over pesticides. A key issue is pre-emption: whether the state or the county has the right to regulate pesticides.
Councilwoman JoAnn Yukimura, who voted for the bill after amending it heavily, said she thinks “the court will strike it down.” If that happens, she said, “so be it.”
However, if Kauai County loses its legal bid, it could set a precedent that would prohibit any county in Hawaii from regulating pesticide use by the biotech industry. Instead, the state and federal government will hold full sway.
The national response has run the gamut from an opinion piece in Forbes that termed the pending court battle a “legal Armageddon" to the mainland-based Center for Food Safety vowing to defend the law "on behalf of local residents and groups if necessary." It did not say it would represent the county government.
Mason Chock, who was chosen yesterday to complete Nadine Nakamura's Council term, said citizens had expressed “discontent” to him about the process that led to his appointment. The Council, after saying last week it would take the veto override vote without a seventh member, abruptly changed course on Thursday when it became clear it didn't have five votes for an override. Mason said he was assured by council staff the process was legal.
Mason then went on to vote for the override, saying “given the opportunity to make a difference in the health of a child's life, I'm gonna take it.”
Councilman Ross Kagawa told of westside residents who have shared their concerns about serious health problems they believe are caused by pesticides.
“The people here are not the kind to make things up,” he said. “We need to get answers for [them] about what's happening. This bill will not give [them] those answers.” He said that is one reason why he voted against the override.
An environmental and public health safety study is included in the bill, but has to be approved by a resolution, which the Council recently deferred. Mayor Bernard Carvalho said he would be sending the Council a bill next week to allocate funding for the study. The Council, however, has gotten hung up on who should decide the parameters of the study.
It appeared from the mayor's comments that the state and biotech companies will move forward next month with the recently announced "good neighbor" buffer zone and pesticide disclosure program. But the program is entirely voluntary, and much weaker than Bill 2491. However, the new law isn't due to take effect for nine months, and it will be over a year before its pesticide disclosure mechanism kicks in.
The new law does not address the severe dust issues that have been plaguing the westside community for more than a decade, nor does it restrict how much poison may be sprayed on Kauai. Instead, it imposes buffers around parks, schools, medical facilities, homes and streams where the companies can neither use pesticides nor grow crops. Pesticides may be sprayed in roadside buffer zones if signs are posted.
Council Chair Jay Furfaro was concerned about the conflict that erupted around the bill, saying "we need to learn how to deal effectively without damaging relationships in our community."
"I've been bothered by the divisiveness that the issue has expressed in our community," Mason said. "Healing will not occur until we unfold the truth."
The piece in Forbes, and your opinion column here, have failed to mention the representation that stands on our side, ready to defend the County. Yes, it could very well be that we could be defeated, and forced to take a different road. It could also be that we could win given the representation that has vowed to defend the bill, setting a precedence FOR Counties to be able to decide these issues locally. Jo Ann also said that without the legal battle, none of this could be decided or enacted. I appreciate your opinion Joan, and your opportunity to respond and have discourse, but this is one battle that I think NEEDS to be fought, and for the sake of the future of Kauai and the Health of it's people, I pray that in the end, we can set a precedence for others to follow, as we have with the actual creation of a bill that sets human health over corporate profits. Thank you for your column, and we should all pray this bill becomes law, and helps accomplish it's intended purpose.
Thanks for your thoughts, Evan.
I did report the Center for Food Safety "vowed to defend the law "on behalf of local residents and groups if necessary."
But it did not say it would represent the county government.
I have no problem with the issue going to court, and share your hope that it sets a good precedent. My position is that you should go to court with a strong bill, not a weak one.
That would be nice, but there is no way to get a strong bill passed without the proof that a comprehensive study would provide. I feel that the information we can gain in the coming years will provide the people with the conviction they need to pass a County Charter Amendment that is much stronger than the current bill. I think this is why the big companies are so afraid of this bill, and are willing to spend the money to fight it, because it creates a precedence and reduces their influence and power.
Joanne, Jay, Tim and Mason: you don't have my vote a year from today. Gary, you never had my vote but this reinforces the fact that you're out for yourself and will do anything to get votes including dividing the community. Mel and Ross, nicely done. Appreciate you guys standing your ground in the face of feelings, emotions and half-truths. Facts seemed to have been an inconvenience for the 5 yes voters. Joanne, if you're "so be it" comes to fruition, will you personally reimburse the county for the cost of defending itself? Joan, thank you for covering this. It is a weak bill. It will be challenged. It will cost us, the taxpayers, a lot of money to defend. It will be struck down.
So now. Will the ʻgood neighborʻ still be a good neighbor and voluntarily continue what they promised?
Or - poof- up in smoke?
Jay says "we need to learn how to deal effectively without damaging relationships in our community."
Gee really. If from the beginning Jay had realized that this whole thing was a glorify Gary and Tim strategy, perhaps you could have swayed things a little. Kauai is split, no one wants unregulated herbicides, but many could care less about the workers in AG, landowner rights and cost to the County.
In your wildest dreams could you EVER think it would be necessary for cops to provide protection in a civil meeting? This is new ground. The disrespect, dishonesty together with some big egos has blazed new roads for this island. Be proud, what should have been nipped in the bud will now grow to a tangled thorny tree.
The seed companies may very well not sue. Why should they? The bill is even weaker than the VDA joke.
Council wanted this to go to court. The override was just a punt out of council and Joanne confirmed it. So be it in court when it gets struck down. Now they can get back to council business without people outside and the multi mil $ hole the county will face shortly and that's before litigation. No one won here but council since they don't have to deal with it now.... But good to see Mel stay consistent.
Great Flotilla of Sagginess, Batman.
I just watched some videos of the anti-Pesticide group victory melee. The idea of tourists not coming to Kauai if the pesticide poison covers the land is not a good argument. If the anti-GMO group really want tourists to stop coming to Kauai, put these photos in a travel magazine. Cover up ladies, the blush of youthful beauty and nubile friskiness has long left. Tank tops and drooping (I do mean drooooooooping) necklines do you no small favors. Don't Bogart that joint.
"Mason said he was assured by council staff the process was legal."
Perhaps it was legal but it was both morally and ethically WRONG. For Hooser, Joann and Tim to throw that curse then select Mason instead of the person that finished 8th talk about corruption, the same corruption that the 2491 backers claim the Mayors office is doing. This is all a joke, im over these shameless politicians. They choose Mason because they knew KipuKai was not going to be buddy buddy with their click.
Gary said the big disruption was made by Nadine leaving to work for mayor. How many times did Gary leave his jobs
i asked a question on the yesterday post about; if the state commitment to ask for voluntary stuff will supersede or delay any county action......i watched today and it was said that both would continue ...if the mayor and council agree on the intent of the bill, but disagree on how to get there, i dont quite get the thinking that why not do the two at the same time and strong it from there?aloha Dean
The culprit if the bill is challenged and overturned in court is the selfish person who released the county attorney's opinion. That's the precedent to be set here. Don't release the county attorney's opinion on a bill that had a good chance of becoming, and in fact did become law regardless of your position on the bill.
There is absolutely no argument that releasing the CA was in the best interest of the County. Releasing the CA opinion was the most unethical act committed throughout the entire bill 2491. Personal selfish political gain at the expense of the County as a whole. It was the duty of the County Attorney to advise against that. I don't think he did. To the mayor's credit, at least he inferred (because he never actually answered Gary's question) that it was solely his (Bernard's) decision ... Even though we know that is impossible. The mayor could have thrown Mauna Kea under the bus. Mauna Kea was quick to jump up on this line of questioning to get a recess and save his (Mauna Kea's) ass by coaching the mayor.
And he kept calling Mauna Kea "MY county attorney". He is not HIS attorney, he is the COUNTY'S attorney. He is the Council's attorney. And if he had any part in allowing the CA opinion to be released, he is an incompetent County Attorney.
Carvalho was pathetic, oversimplified answers and rudely interrupting the Council members posing questions in their forum. Carvalho doesn't even know his place in the Council chambers. D.A.
Mauna Kea looked bad too, laughing in the background while he and his copied s--ty opinion got his a-- kicked. Another D.A.
Attorney opinion may be released with permission of the principal. Guess what, the Mayor is the principal.
Stop crying. It is done. What will be will be. Money for nothin' and GMO for free.
Not claiming the "principle" didn't have permission to do it. Just because it's done doesn't mean it wasn't stupid. It was a decision that negatively impacts the County of Kauai and it's citizens. He's the "CEO" as he likes to call himself, and he should be fired.
Already trying to blame mayor for the crappy bill the council wrote and passed TWICE
12:56 Not knowing the little things, makes the nig things difficult-
1. First, highest, or foremost in importance, rank, worth, or degree; chief.
1. One who holds a position of presiding rank, especially the head of an elementary school or high school.
2. A main participant in a situation.
3. A person having a leading or starring role.
1.a fundamental truth or proposition that serves as the foundation for a system of belief or behavior or for a chain of reasoning.
And the principle behind 2491 is lie, whine, screech, threaten, stack the deck and above all make sure you have allies with more self interest and inflated ego than principle. When the first FOI request on the cost of this little sideshow is filed, tallied, reported and the costs roll in from the courts, the County government will look a whole lot different in December 2014, and it will not be the Mayor, CM Rapozo and Kagawa who will be missing. Political shills have come and gone in Hawaii, and the class acts persevere. And We the People actually can tell the difference absent all the the Sturm und Drang without any help from vicious Youtubes, crooked Facebooks, Twitters, salacious websites and all the other nasty little tools of the tools.
I had to laugh at Hooser's questioning the Mayor at the wisdom of releasing the County Attorney opinion. What was Council's wisdom passing a bill that was against the advise given by their legal counsel? Councilmembers should be responsible to pay all the legal costs defending this fiasco. $100K in Police overtime, $20K in Hoike costs, Council staff overtime, and now count costs. Those so-called pro bono attorneys cannot defend the County as only the County Attorney can appoint special counsel and law firms must be on an existing approved list having been vetting by the state procurement process ... yes, if even if there is no fees charged. In addition to the $1 million study, this process will cost the County at least $500K or more to get to possible implementation. Oh, and guess what, if the state legislature decides they want to amend the Hawaii Revised Statues to make this "expressly" preemptive, then "game over man". Above all, this exposed our Councilmembers as a bunch of spineless cowards that are punting this issue to the courts with the knowledge that this will likely get overturned. Only Mel Rapozo had the courage to do what was conveyed as being lawful. It will be nice to see new Councilmembers replacing Hooser, Bynum, Yukimura, and Furfaro when they all realize that the anti-GMO voters are dwarfed by silent majority that are more concerned about the needless costs you've just added to out tax bills. You've been absolutely reckless in your duty to uphold your oath of office. Mel, Ross, and he Mayor will be vindicated when the courts pass judgement on this horribly written law. I just wish we could hold the 5 that passed it accountable for the costs. What is the cost of your pandering for votes? Say, $1.5M divided by 2,000 votes = $750 per voter. I bet Hooser and Bynum start a voter property tax relief program now that they've added so much additional costs with 2491. Politics at its worst.
Does Ross work for Mel? It is always hard to tell who he really is!
The nastiness on this blog from bad seeds is so utterly classless it must be coming from some very evil mean-spirited dirty tricks losers who are trying to wratchet up a media war to extort the biotech cos.
All of this over some fine kind hearted simple eloquent humans merely trying to protect little children and family getting sick from unknown causes on the west side.
How do you even allow these slanderous wretches look at them selves in the mirror?
And why are they anonymous?
The people are left with the results.
It is the people who will pay. Both sides believe in their principles.
The landowners/lessees will deal with the situation. Either way, I hope Kauai politics can go to place of civil discourse, instead of mob actions that swayed the Council to pass a poor bill. Jay should have used his "leadership" to keep some sanity in the process. Gary and Tim are supreme commanders of fear, division, lies and self-serving. Gary and Tim won, hands down and it is these two babooze who should be remembered as responsible for all the consequences.
The nastiness on this blog from bad seeds is so utterly classless it must be coming from some very evil mean-spirited dirty tricks losers who are trying to wratchet up a media war to extort the biotech cos.
At first I thought you were talking about red shirts. haha
And why are they anonymous?
Why are you?
thll soon be on the ballot and the people will vote for it..we got the four stpry limit passed here and we will NOT let biotech companies poison the people
First County Inspection in the Fields.
-Hey Doctor, I found a big luxury house with all kinds of extra rooms with rice cookers in the bedrooms,all kinds of rentals over there, in a Mauka field.
- Shush Jay, don't worry that is a Ag TVR unit, this is OK on Ag land. We are looking for corn, soy, sunflowers or things that grow. TVRs are wonderful and belong..It is the crops that are illegal and very bad.
Second-degree sexual assault — 12:35 p.m., Thomas Keith Horn, 56, of Kapa‘a (released on bail).
7:36 Gary and state/County jobs-
Gary was just jacking up his retirement which is based on highest pay. The State job paid plenty, he is set and is now just adding years to the best pension plan in USA.
Always follow the money, if they say it isn't about money, it is.
It is always money.
Hi Dean/9:49 pm -- It does sound like both the voluntary program and the new law will move forward together. As you say, that is the strongest approach, especially since the law won't take effect for nine months and it will be well over a year before any disclosure is required under the new law. It will be interesting to see if the biotech companies follow thru with the voluntary program they agreed to now that the bill was passed!
lets get something very celar. seed companies DO NOT OWN ANY LAND HERE. They LEASE the land from the PUBLIC LANDS!. It's our land, you nutjobs! Know your facts! There is no "Illegal taking of property", becasue there is no "taking of property!". These seed cxompanies came here, got our state lands, have that silly BS "Crop Imporvement" BS group rooting for them, and run around claiming "Wah wah wah" everyone is picking on us!. What a joke.l And the behavior of the "empoloyees" that showed up? Well, some of us have recently investigated and found out, that one of them has been sitting in the room, was actually paid to be there jsut to wear a shirt and sit in a seat. He doesnt even work for them. We have recently found out that perhaps dozens opf the guys on the front lawn did NOT work for the seed companies, but were PAID to put on a "proud to be brainless" shirt. We think that the seed companies should come clean, and admit that they used underhanded tactics like this during the issue, and admit just how desperate they were. We watched them, and beat them at their own game every single time. This is a lesson to anyone else that wants to try and come to Kaua'i. Don't mess with Kaua'i. The Mayors Football shirt, showed where his head is at. This isn't a silly football game. This is important adult stuff. When he started ranting about how "This is MY attorney!", and he was YELLING and that went around the world, HOW EMBARASSING for Kaua'i. ALl around the world now, they "Know about our Mayor". Shame. In the grand scheme of things, the good people won. The ones that tried to cheat us, first by removing a councilmember and then crying foul when we tried to put a councilmember back, and consistantly tried to cheat and game the system, LOST. As they will LOSE IN COURT as well. Go ahead. Sue. Make our day.
Sorry to explain the facts / SOME of the AG companies lease State land, SOME are leased on private land. The private lands hold the keys to Kauai's future, let us hope that the landowners do not remember how Tax Cheat Hooser and his li'l boy Bynam took their rights away. When the County goes to the private owners for county needs, it could be a long struggle. Any time a person's rights are taken, realize YOU could be next. The big land owners historically have been pretty good, and given land to the State or County, do your own research and you find what is NOW public land (some of the best and most famous properties on Kauai) was private LAND.
Prediction is very difficult, especially if it's about the future.
Babes for Biotech, Dustin, Jennifer, Fern, Mickey, Jeri, Walter ALL PAID
Who paid them?
Forbes doesn't care about dust being blown all over the westside so fuck Forbes. And good neighbors would use the same methods that construction companies have to follow in controlling dust. Those pesticide/biotech companies are the worst neighbors I've ever heard of.
'lets get something very celar. seed companies DO NOT OWN ANY LAND HERE. They LEASE the land from the PUBLIC LANDS!. It's our land, you nutjobs! Know your facts! There is no "Illegal taking of property", becasue there is no "taking of property!"'. 9:32
Definition of leasehold interest: "A leasehold estate is an ownership of a temporary right to hold land or property in which a lessee or a tenant holds rights of real property by some form of title from a lessor or landlord. Although a tenant does hold rights to real property, a leasehold estate is typically considered personal property."
One of the problems with this issue is that some of the people commenting haven't been around the block enough times. Do some homework before you call someone else a nutjob.
joan.....the comment section to your blog seems to be deteriorating day by day, all under the guise of "Anonymous"...have you ever considered requiring names??
Point was, when you lease state land to a company that is public land, which falls under the public rights to know anything and everything that you are doing on that land. And if we don't like it, we can tell you to get the hell off of it. Cuz its ours, and not yours. Are you trying to say, that state lands leased to companies, are now somehow private lands, and that they can do anything they want on it? Sorry, but you are wrong. In the case of public lands leased to seed companies, all activities on those lands are the states fault if they allow it, and it is deemed harmful to anyone.
Hence, the people's lawsuits in part will be aimed at agencies that knowingly leased public lands to entities that were doing harm to the people on those lands.
Further, for all you you guys that keep saying how "These companies have been here for decades and operating safely", Syngenta just moved here earlier this year.
As for Joan asking people to reveal their names, posters to this blog know that "Show a name", means you open yourself up to harassment, not by Joan, of course who has the utmost in integrity, but to others who will just harass the crap out of you. Joan protects her blog posters no matter what side of the issue they may be on, because she truly does have personal integrity.
If Joan required a name of blog posters, the blog post section would be mostly empty.
Do you really think I want to put my name to blog posts that will expose me to all kinds of hacking and harassment opportunities from people who don't like what I post? I think not. Joan does the right thing.
i think requiring names would be a very good idea for your blog comments. It could effectively diminish some of the nastier comments from all sides if people understood they had to be more accountable for the statements they make.
Joan-Please, keep your blog comments as they are. Your blog's anonymous comments are entertaining, provoking and many times accurate. The people who want political exposure or affirmation are free to publish their names. Your blog is a well read vehicle for many to get facts, opinions, humor and fantasy.
It is a good cross section of Kauai.
We believe everything on the internet is fact. Signed-
Fidel Castro,Barry Goldwater and Golda Meir
Agree this is good entertainment during NFL commercial breaks. Why does it not surprise me there is so much crying in so many bowls of General Mills Corn Flakes this morning?
Same team who spent 70M to defeat labeling bills in Cali and Wash could not buy this one. Reason: public could not be fed an IV of misinformation thru their boob tubes. On Kauai, people actually talk to each other.
"This is a lesson to anyone else that wants to try and come to Kaua'i. Don't mess with Kaua'i."
Too late. Pesticide/biotech companies have been around for a while and aina rapists like the realtors and developers have been around longer. Where you been?
Yep- Perfect Kauai. Kauai Electic being a well read blog, is no good. Now the perennials who don't like anything that is popular, want to change to their "idea" of how things really should be. It is simple, if you want your name printed, you can keep your name printed.
Thank you Joan, for YOUR blog.
They didn't have to buy Kauai vote. There plan is to smash our weak law in court.
They didn't have to buy Kauai vote. There plan is to smash our weak law in court.yes, the easiest and quickest way to achieve preemption. All going as orchestrated.
This BILL has been a journey, SOOO many haters... First and foremost are the REAL people on the west side affected by the poisons, their testimonies are REAL and so is their PAIN. COME ON folks this is a serious issue!!!! WHY JOAnn took the moratorium out and watered the bill down..IDK @her.. This initiative should be on the ballot and let the people vote! The Mayor, da $$$$, corruption, his legacy, ??? ...The plantation mentality has damaged the aina n goes waayy back. All @ da money! Nothing HAWAIIAN about that.. The *^&% REALTORS should rot in hell for the irrepairable damage they have done here on Kauai, on every level n continue, esp north shore, they are as bad as biotech. Its gross watching those hippocrites point fingers. I'm sick of paying taxes to defend political puppets,enough already. We need more like Mason, and the young activists," who will protect what they Love!" Thats ALOHA! this gives hope...IMUA
Anything coming from Al Castillo's office is tainted and influenced by his boss the Mayor. He has offered opinions in the past that are tailored to his boss's agenda, most recently in regards to tvrs. You can't put a price on an involved public which after all, pay for government. I'm happy to see my tax dollars go for this over just about anything else.
Remember the students getting sick at Waimea Canyon School? It didn't happen only once! The State, County didn't do anything until later when the County put in $50,000 for a study. The state does the study 6 years later---by this time, Syngenta has moved their fields away from the school--the state tests the air, but no soil or water tests. They do a lot of lab work on the stink weed and conclude that the stink weed was the culprit. Geez, are we that stupid! The teachers, some parents and the kids know it wasn't the stink weed---it couldn't have been, the kids and teachers were too ill to think it was the stink weed. Dept. of Ag. goes on to say that the stink weed is prevalent all the way to Mana. We don't trust the state! (Mel knows, he was part of alloting the $ to the state). All these years Waimea never received help from the state, that's why we had to get our own attorneys. WE DON'T TRUST THE STATE. mAYOR Carvalho is a nice guy and wants to help, but to me, he is naive to think the state will step it up---how's the stinkin voluntary plan---makes my head sore and my body weak!!!!!
@9:32 am: So you didn't like the Mayor's polo shirt, but we should take the pro-2491 joker screaming profanities in the skull mask costume seriously? Give me a break.
I don't trust the county attorneys, they have made too many mistakes and cost the county too much $. How many attorneys does the county employ? Mistake on my part, i don't trust several of them, not all of them. Remember the debate about the meaning for "shall" and "may". My grandkids know the difference between those two words! Joan, what would a strong bill be? And would it have passed through the Council. The person i am most disappointed and upset at is Nakamura----whoa, she left her people in the Council hanging. i would have much respect for her if she had finished the business before leaving---maybe she had to, but the situation was too important for her to go when she did!
Yes, let's not have anonymous blog comments - and we shouldn't have anonymous election ballots either. By the logic of some blog posters, it will make voters "more accountable" if everyone knows who they voted for. After all, the validity of any opinion or facts can't really be judged on their own merits - they're only valid if we know who is expressing them.
Damn, if you require names, Tim and Gary won't be able to post anymore.
All opinions are valid, in that there are limitless ways to perceive the same thing.
how about everyone register with an identity whether it be your real name or created. At least then a responder to an opinion could be addressed to a name rather than a time. Also would prevent one person from submitting redundant opinions pretending to be multiple people.
Healing will not occur until we unfold the truth...that' right CM Chock. The truth? You should have told the truth about your sister being a red shirt and the only reason why you were interested in being on the council. Should have conflicted out of that vote! How can you be trusted?
geez, give it a rest. go munch some roundup ready fritos and swash em down with some bt corn fructose soda; somebodys gotta be patriotic and keep this economy going
who is chock's sister?
Mason Chock should have asked for a deferral so that he could do his due diligence and listen to the 50+ hours of testimony, 1000 of pages of testimony and the council's legal opinion and mayor's opinion. The council had until November 30 to vote on the override. That would have been ethically the correct thing to do.
i am sure he was keeping up with all that was going on!
Mason Chock's sister is Malia Chun, one of the most inspirational Hawaiians I know. Mason and his Ohana truly embody the hawaiian spirit, and Kaua'i is very lucky to have him on the county council. Malia also lives on Hawaiian home lands in kekaha, which borders GMO fields. Some weeks these companies spray 7 days a week including Sundays. You can see them spraying from her yard. Malia and her daughters have all developed asthma since living in Kekaha.
All this talk about leased public and private lands, makes me think of an analogy: renters v. homeowners. I am not a smoker, but I know that a lot of renters cannot smoke in their apartments and homes.
While we can regulate this, it's ironic that there are people who are so passionately defending not the right to spray restricted use pesticides on leased land that may affect the water table and remain in the soil when they leave, BUT the right to have that "unknowingly" drift onto the neighbors causing health problems. I wish it were cigarette secondhand smoke, not Restricted Use Pesticides that was drifting over. Maybe we could get more police action on that. Those companies didn't even offer solutions nor pay for hospital tabs.
As far as Babes for Biotech, Dustin, Jennifer, Fern, Mickey, Jeri, Walter being paid to do this, it sure would be nice if they were. With all the big money they are up against, it would be nice to have people who could get some compensation for their time, efforts and good works.
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