Gov. Abercrombie scored two points yesterday: state Rep. Jessica Wooley agreed to leave her key House Agriculture Committee chairmanship for a job in his cabinet, and a Senate panel advanced his pick for Hawaii Supreme Court — even though the Hawaii State Bar Association deemed Judge Mike Wilson unqualified.
According to the Hawaii Free Press, a Kahuku resident has repeatedly accused Wilson, a Circuit Court judge who previously ran the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, of being part-owner in an illegal vacation rental on Kewalo Bay.
Wooley, an anti-GMO champion in the House, will direct the Office of Environmental Quality Control — a job that Gary Hooser ditched when he was elected to the Kauai County Council. Wooley is married to Earthjustice attorney David Henkin, who made a failed bid for lieutenant governor on a ticket headed by William Aila, current head of DLNR.
As Life of the Land's Henry Curtis reports, Wooley accepted the job despite the ALL CAPS exhortations of Babes Against Biotech, the mouthpiece of the Hawaii anti-GMO contingent. Which tells you pretty much all you to need know about how that movement has crumbled into parody and powerlessness.
Meanwhile, the proposed dairy continues to take cracks, with Surfrider Foundation's Robert Zelkovsky bemoaning possible harm to “the most pristine accessible area on Kauai and possibly in the state.” Pristine? The acreage in question was cultivated in sugar for more than a century, then used as a dairy and is currently in cattle pastures that adjoin land leased by the biotech firms.
He falsely likens it to the Moloaa dairy, though it will use an entirely different model. The Moloaa dairy did have wastewater problems, but it failed primarily because it was upstream of the Papaa Bay “ag” estate of Peter Guber. As a wealthy movie producer and casino owner, Guber had the dough to drag the dairy operators through court for years as he meanwhile closed off a traditional beach access, dug up iwi and installed spotlights that shone into the ocean. So the dairy folded and Guber, after winning a lawsuit to keep the access closed, moved on and sold the property at a fine profit.
Dr. Zelkovsky also previously posted on Facebook:
If Kaua'i govt and business officials want ag on ag land, how about planting FOOD, which we import 90% of ours rather than seed corn and milk cows. 17 million into milk cows could go very far into string beans and broccoli.
First, since when is milk not food? Though Dr. Zelkovsky and others denounce it as human food, lots of people like it and want it. Who are we to say they shouldn't have a local source? And does this mean we shouldn't be growing coffee, flowers, nursery plants, trees, horses, biofuel stock or other non-food crops on ag land? Not to mention TVRs, mansions, the Resonance Project and restaurants.
Second, billionaire Pierre Omidyar isn't offering $17 million for vege farms. He chose to bankroll a dairy primarily because it required a much larger investment than a single farmer could swing.
Third, folks don't seem to understand that one large vegetable farm could swamp the entire Kauai market, and drive all the small guys who supply the farmers' markets out of business. I don't think anyone really wants that. To truly feed ourselves, we need more production of protein and carbohydrates, like ulu, sweet potatoes and taro, all of which have been grown here successfully for centuries.
Meanwhile, the Agribusiness Development Corp., which manages state ag lands, will be leasing 300 acres on the westside to a farmer who plans to grow sweet potatoes. He will be cultivating 30 acres at time, moving around through the fallow seed corn fields. Sweet potatoes use different nutrients than corn, and by moving the potato crop, nematodes won't get established.
The seed companies have long resisted this type of co-existence, which one farmer described as a “crack in the wall, a foot in the door.” If the sweet potato grower can make a go of it, he will become competitive with the seed/chem companies, which could help replace them with local food crops.
I spent some time yesterday with lifelong dairyman and farmer Jerry Ornellas, who lives not far from me. He pointed out the old factory, next to the Kapahi Menehune Mart, where cans were made for the pineapple that was grown and processed here. He also showed me the remnants of several small slaughterhouses. There used to be four within a five-mile radius in the Wailua Homesteads-Kapahi area, all serving folks who were raising their own food.
The region is now primarily residential and gentleman's estates, with small pockets of ranching and farming. I thought of how people today would scream bloody murder if there was a slaughterhouse or a can factory in their neighborhood.
It seems we want to feed ourselves, just not anywhere we can see, smell or hear agricultural activities.
And I reflected on how I'd stopped by Poipu Beach Park the other day, just to check it out and pass a bit of time between appointments. The stench of cigarettes, fabric softener and sunscreen made me feel sick to my stomach, and I had to walk to the furtherest corner of the park to get upwind of the smells generated by the hordes of tourists happily frolicking there.
Tourism has tremendous impacts that are largely unquantified in Hawaii. The industry consumes massive amounts of water and electricity, generates tons of trash and contributes to the degradation of coastal waters. It's commodified the culture, appropriated beaches, accelerated socio-economic disparities and disrupted the peace with its incessant helicopter, rental car and tour boat activity. It does contribute to the economy, but it also exacts a heavy toll, in terms of infrastructure maintenance.
No one has ever done the calculations to determine whether tourism's economic benefits outweigh its full costs — indeed, the Sierra Club lost its legal bid to require the Hawaii Tourism Authority to conduct an environmental assessment before allocating $114 million to the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau for marketing and promotion. As the New York Times reported in 2000:
''Seven million tourists descend on Hawaii each year, drinking our water, using our electricity, generating sewage and garbage and filling our beaches,'' said Jeff Mikulina, the director of the Sierra Club's Hawaii chapter. ''An environmental assessment would tell us whether Hawaii's physical and natural infrastructure can handle more tourists.''
By 2012, the most recent year for which statistics are available, Hawaii was up to 8,028,744 visitors annually — a 10 percent increase over the previous year. On Kauai, the numbers rose 8.6 percent to 1,211,482 visitors in 2012, and the forecast and push is for ever more growth statewide.
Yet tourism is no longer challenged, or even questioned. Instead, the agriculture that many of us have fought so hard to preserve is reviled as a dirty, toxic, unsustainable industry.
As Hawaii Public Radio's Beth-Ann Kozlovich noted when I joined her on The Conversation this morning, “The worm has turned.”
After swimming at a county park yesterday a tourist stood at the only shower spigot that runs continuously and washed off his dirty shoe for more than 5 minutes. While swimmers use this spigot to shower he just stood there, head down, and let the public water just be pissed away as he meticulously cleaned his shoe. I thought: does he think because he "paid" for his vacation that he can use this public resource with complete disregard for our local environment? I realize this is a small thing but the attitude of entitlement seems to reach out to many who come here. Personally, I am fed up with the "new" Kauai with its estates, declining infrastructure and insane traffic. The bad news? There seems to be no turning back.
It's raining like hell here. Has been for days. I hope that shoe washer's spigot helps drain my front yard of some of the public's water, here on the wettest spot on earth.
I appreciated your comments about tourism's impacts and lack of "calculating to determine whether tourism's economic benefits outweigh its full costs."
I did some research in the same vein about PMRF and wrote a letter to TGI that was printed on 1/27/12.
An exact analysis is impossible because Pentagon spending is so secret. From tax statements we know that Lockheed Martin, lead contractor for the Aegis program, billed the government for $45B in 2010 and that that amounts to a $260 Lockheed Martin tax on every American household, including here on Kaua`i. Raytheon's bill was $25B, and so on down the line of defense contractors.
I couldn't find out how many local residents are employed. It seems reasonable to think the best paying jobs go to the engineers and technicians from someplace else. And for whatever it's worth, Kekaha has the second lowest per family income of all the towns on the island. Environmental impacts and denial of access are other concerns.
So the point of the letter was to suggest that if the cost to the Kaua`i community for having PMRF exist is greater than wages and benefits to local residents, and taking into consideration higher and better uses for the land, would it be better for the community if PMRF just shut down. Kip Goodwin
hey 10:39 -- guess you missed the point, Stupid. why does the dept. of water put out psa's about conserving water use? guess cause you believe the pap about the wettest spot on earth we should just drill into that mother and let it flow. It's your myopic mentality that perpetuates the degradation of the islands. Who cares about tomorrow?
Joan - I agree. I gots my house, I gots my money, I gots my dog and I gots my happiness. I don't gots to work.
Let's get rid of tourism, PMRF, Big Ag and all the people.
Then I can really relax and bask in my wonderful karma, the environment will be sound.
It will be shame that all the locals will have to move away. But that's life. They can get a job somewhere else. Kauai is too beautiful to have all these people.
Hooser and Bynum have got it right. Make your money thru real estate and tourism services, government employment and lawsuits and then after the money is in the pocket, stop others from doing business and making money.
Kauai should be for the wealthy, spiritually evolved and environmentally correct. Just don't touch my 6000 sq ft house or my Land Rover.
Kauai County Council and their money.
Jay- Hotel Manager (he was a great boss)- Tourism
Chock- Fire dept,lawsuit, Self development- by product of Tourism taxes
Gary- Real Estate Development, tourist publications, Tax dodge, Government employment- paid by tourism dollars.
Tim- Government employment and lawsuit- Tourism dollars.
Joann- Ag CPRS, land development and government employment
Ross- Government employment
Mel- Government employment
Of course, every council person (except Tim and Gary) has ancestral Hawaii roots in Ag, but so what, do away with Ag anyway.
Ahupuaʻa is an old Hawaiʻi term for a large traditional socioeconomic/ geologic/ climatic subdivision of land. The traditional subdivision system has four hierarchical levels:
Some oral history relates that 'Umi-a-Liloa, son of the great High Chief Liloa, took control of the land and divided it into ahupua'a
The Hawaiians maintained an agricultural system that contained two major classes; irrigated and rain-fed systems. In the irrigated systems the Hawaiians grew mostly taro (kalo) and in the rain-fed systems they grew mostly uala (sweet potatoes), yams, and dryland taro in addition to other small crops. This dryland cultivation was also known as the mala. It also consisted of (Kalo) Taro, (Niu) coconuts, (ʻulu) breadfruit, (Maiʻa) bananas, and (Ko) sugar cane. The Kukui tree was sometimes used as a shade to protect the mala from the sun. Each crop was carefully placed in an area that was most suitable to its needs.
Hawaiians raised dogs, chickens, and pigs that were domesticated. They also made use of personal gardens at their own houses. Water was a very important part of Hawaiian life; it was used not only for fishing, bathing, drinking, and gardening, but also for aquaculture systems in the rivers and at the shore’s edge.
Each ahupuaʻa was ruled by an ali`i or local chief and administered by a konohiki.
The ahupuaʻa consisted most frequently of a slice of an island that went from the top of the local mountain (volcano) to the shore, often following the boundary of a stream drainage. Each ahupuaʻa included a lowland mala (cultivated area) and upland forested region. Ahupuaʻa varied in size depending on the economic means of the location and political divisions of the area. “As the native Hawaiians used the resources within their 'ahupua'a, they practiced aloha (respect), laulima (cooperation), and malama (stewardship) which resulted in a desirable pono (balance)”. The Hawaiians believed that the land, the sea, the clouds and all of nature had a certain interconnectedness which is why they used all of the resources around them to reach the desired balance in life. Sustainability was maintained by the konohiki and kahuna: priests, who restricted the fishing of certain species during specific seasons. They also regulated the gathering of plants. Ahupuaʻa is derived from Hawaiian language ahu, meaning "heap" or "cairn", and puaʻa, pig. The boundary markers for ahupuaʻa were traditionally heaps of stones used to put offers to the island chief, which was often a pig.
Each ahupua’a was divided into smaller sections called ‘ili and the ‘ili were divided into kuleana’s. These were plots of land that were cultivated by the common people. These people paid weekly labor taxes to the land overseer. These taxes went to support the chief. There may have been two reasons for this kind of subdivision:
travel: in many areas of Hawaiʻi, it is easier to travel up- and downstream than from stream valley to stream valley
economy: having all climate zones and economic exploitation zones in each land division ensured that each could be self-sufficient for a large portion of its needs.
Rule over an ahupuaʻa was given out by the ruling chief to subordinate members of the aliʻi. On the larger mountains of Maui and Hawaiʻi, smaller ahupuaʻa extended up to about 6,000-8,000 feet elevation, while the higher elevations of an entire district would be included within a single large ahupuaʻa. These ahupuaʻa, such as Kaʻohe, Keauhou, Kapāpala, Keaʻau, Keʻanae, Puʻu Waʻawaʻa, and Humuʻula, were highly valued both for their size and because they allowed control over items obtainable only from high-elevation areas, such as high-quality stone for tools and ʻuaʻu (Hawaiian Petrel) chicks. They were given to high-ranking ʻaliʻi, or often retained by the high chief personally
I learned it from Hawaiian history class
'Ua'u almost extinct, fine for unspayed dogs so can't raise puppies, the haoles want the pigs trapped and moved but not killed, tourists want the chickens exterminated, bananas all got bunchy top virus, coconuts cut down for Longs, sugar cane pau, taro too much work, streams diverted, never gonna get agreement on who gets to be chief.
plenty of calls outs in this one blurb. Mr Guber was a peice of work. No different than Kauapea crew Garfinkle and Strong families, encapsulating themselves on their ag dedicated bluff top gated parcels with huge houses not "homes" after lawyer teams finessed the rights to block access trails we used for generations. Always wonder how much money went to plannng dept. or how many threats it took to sway the power brokers to block beach access, and NOONE complained. At least one of their teammates,Ms Hughes, is out of the picture after going under water with her corrupt endeavors. And why is the newest haole Danny Erico allowed to build a private pool smack dab in Hanalei without permits? Noone calling him out. He wanted "in" on the Hanalei ridge development yet Ohana realty shut him down, now hes a concerned citizen of opposition? plenty of money with no local roots, does nothing of value except electro mobile around the town...ongoing ever present money figures doing what they will with our aina.
Milk money is just the latest waste of a produced tagline "its good for you"...same old song and dance my friends...being told whats best for the masses. it ain't lactose. Wait, we've got Ross and Sports authority coming yippee...thats better! $10.40/hour and managers making 28k a year...that'll allow me to buy and extra half gallon a month thank you Pierre. we are fortunate as always to have such caring haoles living amongst us
Did Pierre tell you thats why he chose to do a dairy?
"Tourism has tremendous impacts that are largely unquantified in Hawaii. The industry consumes massive amounts of water and electricity, generates tons of trash and contributes to the degradation of coastal waters. It's commodified the culture, appropriated beaches, accelerated socio-economic disparities and disrupted the peace with its incessant helicopter, rental car and tour boat activity. It does contribute to the economy, but it also exacts a heavy toll, in terms of infrastructure maintenance."
That quote should be printed in 6-foot-high Helvetica on giant billboards at every airport in the state. It should be posted in every hotel room and printed on the back of every restaurant menu. Like the mandatory disclaimers on pharmaceutical ads, its warning about the side effects of tourism should appear everywhere tourism is promoted, solicited and sold.
Maybe, someday, it could convince the sunscreen-drenched, fabric-softened, glee-grabbing tourists who use Hawaii as a combination sandbox and cat litter box that they are enabling an industry that is ultimately as extractive and destructive as strip mining.
You have quite the way with words, Dawson!
To 6:45: No, I haven't spoken with PO directly. That's what one of his reps told me.
March 7, 2014 at 10:14 AM wrote: "After swimming at a county park yesterday a tourist stood at the only shower spigot that runs continuously and washed off his dirty shoe for more than 5 minutes. While swimmers use this spigot to shower he just stood there, head down, and let the public water just be pissed away as he meticulously cleaned his shoe. I thought: does he think because he "paid" for his vacation that he can use this public resource with complete disregard for our local environment? I realize this is a small thing but the attitude of entitlement seems to reach out to many who come here...."
What you witnessed wasn't at all a small thing, it was a poster of the entitlement that is at the core of what the tourism industry sells.
The essence of the pitch is that You are the most important person; the destination is Your personal playground; the locals are Your entertainers, servants and colorful backdrop.
In every ad, in every brochure, the come-on is You.
They used to grew a lot of corn for the Moloaa dairy in Kilauea. Maybe they could do it again.
Sometimes tourists do stupid things. Just think the five minutes washing shoes gives extra time to the thief breaking into his car.
Maybe I am missing something as far as tourism goes. There are more tips swept off Waikiki tables in a week than all of AG income for the year.
There are hundreds of thousands of people dependent on tourist money in Hawaii. It is by far the cleanest business there is, except for tech.
And there will be no tech in Hawaii until there are better schools.
I think Joan, your commentators that are anti-tourism are either elitists or inexperienced and have no concept of social-economics.
Gee Whilikers, a new army of fisters, no dairy, no hotel, no PMRF, no Ag..just leave Kauai to a few rich haoles playing farmer on their Ag estates.
8:29 We all serve somebody.
Dr. Zelkovsky's letter to the editor was a prime example of how the emotional correctness gripping Kauai is distracting us from constructive public discussions and policies. Why isn't the local chapter of Surfrider agitating for sewage treatment systems for our communities? The lack of such has crystal clear impact on near shore water quality. Instead, they spend their political energy on issues tangential to the core mission like GE crops and the dairy. With the three Doctors at the helm, it is interesting that they show so little interest in data. Perhaps surfing is not their only recreational activity.
I caught the second half of your interview on HPR. You did great.
Spoken by a uninformed person "They used to grew a lot of corn for the Moloaa dairy in Kilauea. Maybe they could do it again."
The cows were fed pineapple tops because that was what was abundant here, unfortunately the pineapples had been heavily sprayed with a pesticide called Heptachlor, a persistent pesticide, that poisoned the milk, eventually they had to dump the milk because of the contamination. Feeding corn to cows is not natural, that is not what a cow normally eats. Moloaa and most of the organic farms are on toxic legacy lands that were and still are contaminated with pesticides from the previous heavy use.
The produce in Moloaa should be tested to see if it contains residues from the persistent pesticides used in the past. This paradise has been saturated in pesticides for a long time.
11:44 Surfers are more known for pot smoking analysis and large egos rather than herbicide/kukai scientific meanderings.
However, cultural anthropologists have discovered that perhaps surfers have created a new language. It consists of -eyebrow talk,- by different eyebrow raising techniques, Surfers can say "howzit, brah" "see ya' dude" and "don't dare surf here" the eyebrow manipulations are interspersed with various forehead furrows and lip smirking. Of course more sophisticated communication does include verbal intercourse IE "Far out, awesome, Oooweee , I got my Medical Marijuana card and Hide your stash, here comes a narc."
Hey 7:34, Rob Zelkovsky is a member of Surfrider but is not a surfer. Your comment proves that you don't need to be a pot smoking surfer to be a dumbass.
The Heptaclhor contamination was on Oahu. The Moloaa dairy cows were not fed pineapple tops.
Just a point of correction. The cattle were never fed pineapple tops. The tops were extremely valuable to the farmers for replanting. The tops were removed by the farmers and only the pineapples were sent to the canneries. The skin from the pineapple was cubed and dried, bagged and sold to the ranchers as Pineapple Bran.
The pineapple ripens much quicker when the top is removed, so in today's market if the pineapples are sold whole in stores the tops are left on.
Heptachlor contamination here in Moloaa too
9:27am is correct
The Moloaa dairy cows were fed corn silage that was grown in Kilauea on the north side along Kilauea Rd. The corn was shredded and covered and stored in a huge trench just south of the Highway in Kilauea.
Please wash your feet tourist or otherwise. Muddy toes are disgusting LoL
Re 2:18 pm
Mr Erico can dig his swimming pool in the bowels of Hanalei sewers. Yuk!
It seems reasonable to think the best paying jobs go to the engineers and technicians from someplace else.
There are actually quite a few local engineers and technicians trying to make a living out at PMRF. True that there are more in other areas of this nation, but you can blame part of that on the high cost of living on Kauai.
I couldn't continue living in paradise and caring for my keiki with the unpredictable funding provided to PMRF, so had to move to the mainland, but a day doesn't go by that I don't miss the 'aina.
Post a Comment