Saturday, March 8, 2014

Musings: Kick It

Some asses got kicked in the KIUC board election today, but unsurprisingly, they weren't the incumbents.

Instead, the “rebel” challengers and smart meter foes trailed badly. The number four contender, Adam Asquith, received just slightly more than half the votes cast for Phil Tacbian, the third-place incumbent. Peter Yukimura and David Iha handily won re-election, coming in first and second, respectively. They will serve three-year terms.

Stu Burley, a former board member, was fifth. Mystery man Dan Erickson came out of nowhere to take sixth. Hopefully he'll run next time, as I was just talking to Kauai Athletic Club co-owner Josh Nations, who said Dan is very smart and really knows his science and energy issues.

Jonathan Jay lost his second bid for the board, taking seventh place, followed by Neal Chantara, a single-issue anti-smart meter candidate. Jimmy Trujillo, who ran on a slate with Jonathan and Adam, took ninth, edging out Chuck Lasker. DQ Jackson was last.

Some 28.5 percent of the KIUC members voted — up from 23 percent last year and significantly higher than the 5 to 7 percent voter turnout typical of utility cooperative elections elsewhere in the nation. 

So much for upending the status quo. Apparently members are more engaged, and satisfied, than the KIUC critics thought. 

Here's the breakdown:
1. Peter Yukimura 3,590
2. David Iha 3,502
3. Teofilo “Phil” Tacbian 2,971
4. Adam Asquith 1,672
5. Stu Burley 1,475
6. Daniel Erickson 1,450
7. Jonathan Jay 1,140
8. Neal Chantara 1,136
9. Jimmy Trujillo 1,036
10. Chuck Lasker 934
11. DQ Jackson 848
In other news, Circuit Court Judge Greg Nakamura yesterday halted Hawaii County's registration of farmers growing genetically engineered crops.

As reported today by the Hawaii Tribune-Herald:

The order prevents the county from enforcing the registry of genetically modified organisms and disclosing information it has already received, at least for now.

The registry is part of the county’s new law banning the use and testing of modified plants within an open-air environment. Farmers already growing GMO crops are exempted, and those who already use or will use modified crops within the confines of the law must provide such information to the county.

The action came in response to a motion for a temporary restraining order filed on behalf of an unidentified papaya farmer who said the registration/disclosure is “burdensome and intrusive,” conflicts with state and federal law and exposes the farmer to “irreparable harm from vandalism, intimidation, and misappropriation of his trade secrets.”

The request for a preliminary injunction will be heard March 24.

The Hilo-based newspaper went on to report:

Derek Brewer, a GMO opponent who testified several times before the Council, said he was disappointed to see it challenged on such details.

Which underscores the point that the “red-shirt” supporters of our own GMO/pesticide law (Bill 2491/Ordinance 960) have repeatedly failed to grasp: It's not about philosophy. When you're working with laws, details matter.

So it's fascinating that both Earthjustice attorney Paul Achitoff and Paul Towers, media director of Pesticide Action Network, don't actually talk about the law they championed in blog posts they published on Huffington Post Hawaii.

Instead of discussing the merits of the bill he wants to help defend, Achitoff reiterates the stale bit about how it's “beyond shameful” for the chem companies to be suing "paradise." Towers trots out the tired “corporate bullying” schtick.

It's kind of silly to be focusing all this attention on bullying and shame when neither will carry any weight with the federal judge assigned to hear the lawsuit against Ordinance 960. But it helps to divert attention from the law's many poison pills.

And finally, in checking out those blogs I happened to notice that Arianna Huffington is exporting her schlock to Korea. Or as she described it in a breathy dispatch from Seoul:

I'm here for the launch of HuffPost Korea, which marks the 11th country where The Huffington Post's hybrid approach to journalism -- as a hub for original reporting and a blogging platform for a range of voices, both new and established -- is expanding the worldwide conversation.

Lucky them! Now they, too, can be treated to the kind of pap that comprises the unpaid content of Huff Po Hawaii. I can just see the line up: “65 reasons to move to Seoul now” and “the top 10 hostess bars in South Korea"  alongside "GMO-Free kimchi" and "eight ancient Buddhist practices to build your bank balance."

If what Arianna serves up is indicative of the "worldwide conversation," we're a far more vacuous species than I thought.


Anonymous said...

The most interesting question is did KIUC send voting ballots to all members? did they even send the 3K people who have analog meters ballots?

They didn't send our analog meter home a ballot.

When KIUC was installing the smart meters, we told them more than 5 times that we didn't want a smart meter and KIUC kept on coming trying to install a smart meter. We had to take action to halt their attempts to undermine our decision and put the smart meter without our knowledge.

Maybe next election KIUC will send us our voting ballot.

Joan Conrow said...

Are you sure you're actually a member of the co-op?

It's not something that happens automatically when you get service. You have to actually join the co-op, as I learned personally.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to the KIUC three highest vote getters.

Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

Joan is right as far as I know, you need to join the co-op and the meter has to be in your name.

Anonymous said...

I believe there is also an opt-out to being a member. You should call KIUC if you

1. Paid your $10 member fee.
2. Did not opt-out of the member program.
3. Your meter is in your name.

Note: One vote one member. Only the person whose name is identified with the meter can be a member/ voting member.

Andy Parx said...

What a bunch of malarkey Joan. Paul has written extensively on all the legal aspects of preemption and the other legal issues and also testified extensively on two occasions before the council detailing the lack of preemption at both the national and state level. To complain he didn't address the legal aspects in a piece for HuffPo is like complaining that you didn't write about Vacation Rentals today. Oh- and you didn't lambast Gary and Tim today so I guess we can ignore whatever else you wrote.
Take it from the master- I know you're just learning but if you're going to be a Rabid Reporter you need to stop using such convoluted and outlandish reasoning.

Anonymous said...

your line-up lines are hilarious

Anonymous said...

I remember Andy Parx playing with star wars toys on public access tv making like they were council members. Thats how kauai blogged before the internet. What a dork.

Joan Conrow said...

I might have missed it, but other than his request for intervention, which was not widely circulated, I haven't seen Paul write anything that addresses how the bill will stand up to the lawsuit that has been filed, which goes well beyond pre-emption. That's what's at issue now.

Anonymous said...

I think this pretty well demonstrates that the loud mouths that like to speak for "the people of Kauai" don't actually do.

Anonymous said...

Andy Parx- Lawsuits are fought on merits, not wishes and rainbows.
The lawsuit will cost Kauai millions, embarrass the fistees, embolden the poor locals whom y'all tried to lord it over.
Common sense will prevail. C'mon taking a couple thousand of AG acres out of ANY ag production as a Buffer?
2000 acres times 4K loss of income per acre times three years till settlement is $24 mill in damages, plus atty fees. I guess that is OK with some, but not for the workers and taxpayers that will be stuck with the cost. Gee Whiz, Batman, sure sounds like about 25% of the entire Kauai budget.

Anonymous said...

Dear Andy, Got news flash for you, flash, I read Joan, flash, I agree Joan does great research, flash, I think you are a buffoon and get most things wrong, so it seems you are egotistical to the max to think Joan would try to copy your rabid reporter. She is not rabid, she is a good investigative reporter, unlike your rabid self.

Anonymous said...

Hey Jonathon Jay quotes in the GI that he will find other ways to impact KIUC, geez, JJ you should have said improve, but maybe you were honest, impact, not help or improve, good thing the voters voted him soundly down. What's your trip boy?

Anonymous said...

Andy telling Joan not to use convoluted and outlandish reasoning is akin to an alcoholic giving a lecture on abstention.

Anonymous said...

Yhea because everyone whose a member voted in this in this election right? Saying this vote shows anything is bogus. All it shows is the apathy of most people. It doesn't represent those who rent and utilities are included in that rent, or slumlords who get owner occupied home loans, keep the utilities in their names to prove occupancy but collect from their tenants and keep member refunds for themselves. There's a large percentage of the population that has no say in the direction the Co-op takes. Frankly, as a local I'm tired of the same old network of good old boys controlling everything. I don't care how many generations you have lived here. New ideas, new minds are needed. Who says that only the same old people know what is best for the rest of us all of the time? Sometimes locals get so stuck in protecting their territory they can't see the forest for the trees.

Chuck Lasker said...

Dan Erickson is indeed a brilliant man with maybe the most knowledge about alternative energy on Kauai. He also seems sincerely interested in helping Kauai. He works for KCC, but I'm hoping KIUC hires him as some form of consultant as soon as possible. I believe he would be more beneficial in operations instead of governance.

I wasn't surprised the three incumbents won - it's the Kauai way. I was surprised Adam Asquith, the guy who is suing KIUC and promised not to follow the laws regulating board members during our board candidate orientation, got 4th. He has been a visible, positive environmental influence on Kauai for a while, though, so that matters.

Overall it's been an interesting learning process. DQ and I need to buy each other drinks! :)

Also, your predictions about HuffPo Korea are hilarious.

Anonymous said...

12:11. It's up to the candidates to get people excited enough to vote. I agree new ideas can be good but who in that line up had great new ideas AND the ability to follow thru? Nobody that's why the same old guys got elected.

Anonymous said...

The incumbents got re-elected because they are well-connected and have name recognition, not because they are any better than the other candidates or that their ideas and management practices are innovative. They have an advantage for the above mentioned reasons and low voter turn-out seals the deal.

Joan Conrow said...

Well, then the people who want to unseat them have to campaign hard and get oiut the vote. The anti/smart meter candidates didn't even get the 3.000 opt-outs to vote. Less whining and more campaigning might help.

Anonymous said...

Good ideas are fine- and also plentiful. But when the top three candidates get 1400 votes more than the next six combined and 54% of the votes cast, perhaps people are also looking at what they have done over their careers and in their communities. These aren't lightweights, activists, or flighty media hogs like we have on other boards. They do quiet, solid and reliable work. Why shouldn't they get a lot of votes?

Anonymous said...

Sorry, Andy Parx- There is no comparison between your history of "social commentary" on Kauai and Joan's articles or blog. You were never taken seriously. The county meetings you attended and bloviated BS was taken as a joke by county commissions or council. An uncomfortable sideshow.
When Joan schpeaks, the politicos listen. Substance over antics.
Plus she writes gooder.

Anonymous said...

Andy Parx comment " take it from the master"....... declaring himself the master? The master of comedy maybe.

Anonymous said...

I do believe you've been called ugly by a toad! (re: 2014.03.08-20:24)

Anonymous said...

Mina with a TVR? Oh no.

irk said...

andy phux is trying to bait u with his comments
at which he is a master(baiter)