This morning, walking with the dogs through rosy rain so fine that it appeared as mist floating over the hills, past pig tracks in the mud, grass and weeds uprooted by their rutting, I thought about how it's funny, sometimes, the way things turn out.
Like the way Gary Hooser left the Senate in a failed bid for lieutenant governor, leaving us with Ron Kouchi, who was one of just a few senators in the entire state to vote against same-sex marriage, which Gary championed.
Like the way Scott McFarland, former community outreach specialist for DOW Agrochemical on Kauai, is now the interim CEO for Hawaii Health Systems Inc., which runs Mahelona Hospital, clinics in Kapaa and West Kauai, and Kauai Veterans Memorial Hospital — places where many of the doctors and nurses who support Bill 2491 work.
Like the way the video showing Mayor Bernard Carvalho being mobbed upon announcing his veto of Bill 2491 — presumably posted as a proud portrayal of “people power” — is working instead to generate sympathy for the big guy, as expressed so well by a woman who told me, “I don't really know anything about the issue, but when I saw the video on Facebook, I felt sorry for him. I had compassion for him as a human being, because you could tell he was really hurting. It took a lot of courage to stand up to a crowd like that.”
Like the way Andrea Brower claimed the mayor's “double deception” of vetoing Bill 2491 and releasing the county attorney's opinion tipped the county's hand, without considering this scenario: the opinion reflected weaknesses in the bill that chem corp counsel themselves had pointed out to the county. Because really, Andrea, do you think former state Attorney General Margery Bronster and Paul Alston, who whooped the county's ass at Papaa Bay, need Deputy County Attorney MaunaKea Trask to write their playbook?
And like the way the Hawaii Supreme Court finally took up the case of Prime Minister Henry Noa and other two other members of the Reinstated Hawaiian Nation — convicted of trespassing after occupying Kahoolawe back in 2006 — but only on narrow procedural grounds, without considering the larger issue of Hawaiian sovereignty.
Funny. But no laughing matter.
Joan- you hit several nails on the head.
You could say-Gary did nothing for Kauai as Senator. He did not even build connections that could be useful today. He is a dud.
Kouchi, on the other hand, agree or disagree with his views, is well respected, has power in the Senate and has connections that allow him to open any door and get results. And he will continue to get results after he comes home to Kauai. He builds relationships.
The agricultural/Chemical companies need no help from local the Trask opinion. They could grind Kauai to guava pulp thru four cornered law and especially thru cost of the trial etc.
Again, you are correct, Mayor Carvalhio came off as a compassionate and concerned patient man in the face of an anorexic, malicious and sour faced mob. The mob lost face.
The mob would be better off if they used Barbara Robeson, Karen Dimand or you, Joan Conrow as their spokespersons, you three ladies get respect from the Council, are clear speaking, intelligent and the Council listens. Body language says it all, when the nuts speak the Council goes into a blurry eyed trance.
I totally agree with the lady who saw the video regarding Mayor Carvalho's announcement of his veto before the adverse crowd.
A person with any less heart, soul,courage and conviction would have simply walked away after the first three minutes--the amount of time allowed for giving testimony. The fact that the Mayor stood there, took all that kaka, and tried so hard to answer the allegations, innuendos, epithets and questions speaks to his character and sincerity.
Would any parent allow their children to act like these monsters? Parents, please, don't let your children grow up to be like them. Oh wait, they are them!
Yes, indeed, let the world know--I hope the video goes viral
Joan, could you please explain why Hooser and Bynum were so against releasing the County Attorney's opinion before the vote on 2491 on Oct 17th, instead of trying to help us understand some of the issues better?
11/5, 3:43pm - it's simple. Gary did it for political reasons. For whatever reason, Tim went along with it.
Do you think Hooser would be that manipulative and keep us in the dark? I thought he is the champion of the people and only doing all this for us?
Why didn't the county council amend the bill to cure the deficiencies before they passed it? Were they far too tired and too tired of the drama to continue? it's curious and unusual behavior from the council. Why did JoAnn amend the bill again in the middle of the night after she had already amended the bill? Curious.Have the attorneys reviewed the final bill that was passed out or the original ones? Curious .
Why? Because the angry mob, fired up by Gary and Tim's "how could you even think of deferring" speeches, would have burned the building down if the Council took more time to deliberate. Pass the bill! Pass the bill! Pass the bill!
That video was disgusting. Unbelievably rude. The guy filming needs a lesson. If someone stuck a camera in my face and started asking to see my phone I would punch him.
The county attorney's opinion -- have you read it? It's word for word from the seed company's mouth. Why would they release it? I have NEVER seen a county attorney opinion released before.
It's an opinion, one obviously written with a bias for the seed companies. There are a dozen other lawyers with a dozen other opinions. That's why they didn't release it -- they didn't agree with it.
And the video reminds me of the Superferry. There were over 1,000 protesters there and 20 acted like jackasses. And guess who got on tv? There are thousands of people on this island who want to see the bill passed who have to work and don't have time to show up and yell at the mayor. There is never an excuse for bad behavior, no matter if you agree with the mayor or not. But those idiots are not representative of all who support the bill.
You need to pay closer attention if you have NEVER seen a county attorney opinion released before.
Here is the real truth. read it and weep, this is a comment posted in the Nov. 5 GI letters comment section.
prentiss posted at 1:37 am on Tue, Nov 5, 2013.
I know this will make lots of the anti-tourist crowd happy. We've been vacationing on Kaua'i at least once a year since 1988 and have grown to love the island. Even bought a condo. We've especially enjoyed the more laid back, relaxed west side and the wonderland of trails in Waimea Canyon. Like many locals, we've witnessed the changes on the west side (and, OK, Po'ipu) over the years and have been concerned. And in recent years we've come back from Polihale to Po'ipu at times with the smell of the chemicals in the air around "Syngenta-land" lingering in our noses. We made our Kaua'i trip plans for this year while 2491 was still under debate. We'd hoped Mayor Carvalho would do the right thing and sign the bill, but for whatever reason he chose to give big-ag free reign over your land, your water, your air. We're still coming to Kaua'i - we've already paid for everything - but have talked about it and this will be our last trip. We'll also put our condo on the market when we leave. Others we've talked to feel the same way. This won't change anything on Kaua'i. You'll still have plenty of tourists, and no one will miss us. We will miss Kaua'i, though, and will leave with much sadness and fond memories of what you all once had. But we figure, hey, if we want to go visit a giant environmental experiment, we'll go visit the Biosphere in Arizona. At least it's not poisoned. Aloha, Kaua'i. And mahalo nui loa!
7:33 AM Can I list your Condo when you leave? I am really really against the chemicals in the air and all that. I am really really good at this real estate selling stuff, and since you have disclosed the reason for selling, the disclosure will be easier. Because I am an expert, I suggest you sell for a really really low low price and get out while the getting is good. Please tell your fellow condo owners that I want to sell their condos too, also for a low low price. These chemicals are very bad, but if we let the buyers know your reasons for selling.....the chemicals and the health issues in the air and water it will be OK. Sell now, sell cheap and disclose. We are sorry to see you go, but I really want to list the Condo. Arizona is a really really neato place, no smog, no crime and the people are really friendly. B'bye, and maybe you can take some of the other intellectually challenged with you..I really want to sell their houses too, I am against all GMO and that kind of stuff, so I am really really good....Like they say - people come and people go, but Kauai people are here forever-
(November 6, 2013 at 6:44 AM) Anonymous I could not agree more. There are a few people who appear to be proud of the video after the mayor veto but I can assure you that they do not represent the majority of the people behind the bill. Even some of the people who were present agree with your statement. There were clearly people trying to settle the crowd. The mayor id not sound so patient when he shouted "I was born and raised" at the crowd as if to suggest the crowd was not. He was pushed but he did lose his temper.
What is the link to the Carvalho post-veto interview?
Joe Norelli, Kauai resident and attorney who spent his entire career as a government attorney for a federal agency, wrote in a letter to the Mayor titled “County Attorney's Position Statement is a Brief in Opposition to Bill 2491”:
"During my career, I have prepared for my superiors and had prepared by my subordinates many legal position papers. The function of such papers is to provide a balanced assessment, pointing out the pros and cons on the legal matter in question, and leaving it to the decision-maker to make the final judgment. The 66-page “confidential” legal position paper you released to the public clearly was intended to advance every conceivable legal argument against Bill 2491, without providing the counter arguments.
Either you requested that it be prepared in that manner or your legal staff did you a grave disservice. In either case, the people of Kauai have been denied a fair assessment of the legal merits of the Bill."
Denise Antolini, Environmental Attorney and University of Hawaii Law Professor, stated that the County Attorney opinion:
“...provides a confusing, overly cramped, and dated view of the legal issues...The Opinion should provide an in-depth analysis of how the Hawai‘i Supreme Court, with its strong legal history in favor of environmental protection, would view the legal issues in the event of a challenge by industry today, given how much more is known now about the risks involved and the increasing recognition of the precautionary principle. Instead, the Opinion provides excessively long cut-and-paste passages from basic legal treatises and endless citations without analysis or references to current or secondary legal sources on point.”
Commenting on the Mayor’s decision, Earthjustice Attorney Paul Achitoff told Civil Beat:
"It gave him more political cover. But that is self-interested. That is saying, 'I'm putting my own political career ahead of the interest of the county,' which is now in an awkward position because if this veto is overridden and the industry sues you have this document out there that the county now has to deal with in litigation."
Given the Mayor’s duties to protect the County, Joe Norelli said he was “appalled by the process by which this veto was accomplished.”
Dated view of legal issues? The memo cites the Hawaii Pesticides Law. Has that been repealed? Have the Hawaii Supreme Court cases cited in the memo been reversed? I have yet to see a case that says that the court should consider environmental or health concerns when determining if preemption applies.
"The function of such papers is to provide a balanced assessment, pointing out the pros and cons on the legal matter in question, and leaving it to the decision-maker to make the final judgment."
Shouldn't an attorney advise a client that a proposal may be illegal? What if the council passed a bill that said people can't move to Kauai? Should the memo merely point out the pros and cons of prohibiting such movement? Clearly, it would be in the best interests of the environment if such a law was passed and that appears to be the standard by which these Monday morning quarterbacks judge the validity of the bill.
"The Opinion should provide an in-depth analysis of how the Hawai‘i Supreme Court, with its strong legal history in favor of environmental protection, would view the legal issues in the event of a challenge by industry today, given how much more is known now about the risks involved and the increasing recognition of the precautionary principle."
Does the precautionary principle apply if the County is not authorized to regulate pesticides or GMOs? Why don't these legal eagles sue the State for violating its public trust obligation when implementing the Hawaii Pesticide Law, Air Pollution Control Law, Water Pollution Control Law or any of the other laws that they must believe are being violated by the pesticide companies? Instead, they harp on the County to regulate activities that are clearly beyond County's expertise and may be beyond the County's authority, regardless of what they claim.
To the poster of November 6, 2013 at 6:44 AM:
You have NEVER seen a county attorney opinion released? REALLY?? You have not being paying attention. If you did, you would have seen Bynum CONSTANTLY advocate for the release of ALL opinions. He always makes a speech of how HE always pushed for the release of ALL opinions. Of course, now we know that he only meant opinions that he agreed with. What a hypocrite.
To all of you Monday morning quarterbacks who only watch the highlights: that video is out of context. I'll bet none of you were there. Yes, the mayor has a pained look on his face. He chose to stand with the blazing sun in his eyes in front of a crowd of people he had just popped in the berries. The video did not show the big Hawaiian fella in the blue jump suit who got in Bernard's face and asked him to come to Waimea Valley to his house next time his baby was having a seizure. A courageous move to go step in front of that crowd, yes, but don't leave out the other adjectives. JC, your condescension was a stretch regarding the movements reaction to the released CA opinion. You make it look as if it was a subjective matter; this is not a soap opera of personalities. How orthodox is it to release a confidential attorney's opinion?
The video was taken and posted by a "red shirt." Why did he create something not in context if he's on your side?
maybe this was one of Joan's insidious "plants" from the mulinationals (see her blog today)
Intentionally making Bernard a sympathetic figure and being offensive to those without a strong opinion either way about the bill? That's brilliant. Evil, but brilliant.
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