Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Musings: War Zones

Catching up on the letters to the editor that I happily ignored while traveling, I see that folks are still busily bashing the proposed dairy.

And I thought, only on Kauai would people reject as poorly-planned a project that has been thousands of dollars and six years in the making, while embracing the concept of turning the long-languishing Kilauea ag park land over to Malama Kauai with absolutely no plan at all, including the most crucial aspect: how to get water.

In defending the “we don't need no stinking plan” approach to the Kilauea ag park, Adam Asquith, a Seagrant agent who grows taro, stated:

It is the limitless analysis, details and planning that will kill a project like this,” Asquith said. “Farming is difficult enough, if you will allow us to get on this land. No extent of further planning and details will improve the success of whoever is on the land.”

Which no doubt explains his own failed business ventures....

Still, I wonder if the anti-dairy folks will take Adam's words to heart and just let the Hawaii Dairy Farm folks farm. On designated important ag lands, no less.

A friend sent me an email about the dairy:

It sounds like a beautiful concept to me, well thought-out and environmentally wonderful.  It should restore soil ruined by sugar cane and provide a source of protein for the island in case the planes and boats stop.  And pesticide-free.  And reducing runoff.  Et cetera! In fact, it sounds like a great idea. Am I missing something?

To which I replied:

Only fear, mistrust and paranoia…

To which he replied:

What a strange sociological phenomenon on this island that when anyone tries to do anything – good, bad or in between – the lunatics rise up in righteous indignation to do whatever they can to stop it?!

Indeed. Which is why I was amused to see this comment from the Lihue Business Association meeting, which was attended by folks who traveled all the way down from the north shore to say no to a dairy that is not even in their back yards:

Diann Hartman, spokeswoman for the nearby Grand Hyatt, questioned whether there were any dairy farms with such a high density of cows to acreage within two miles of the ocean and three of a thriving economic center.

No, but there are hundreds of shopping centers and resorts with a high density of sunscreen-lathered, mai tai-quaffing tourists along the shoreline, wreaking all sorts of unchecked havoc on land, water, culture, access. But shhhh, let's not mention that.

Ag, not tourism, is the bogeyman de jour.

This comment by “bionic dread” said it all:

To some of us, it's another Superferry or GMO field.

Yes. Isn't everything?

I don't know about you, but I'm tired of living in a war zone.

And don't be blaming it on the chem companies or the corporations. We created this “ground zero” victim-aggressor mentality and we can end it. Or we can keep wasting our resources and energy on endless skirmishes that never do address, much less resolve, the bigger issues that face us.


Anonymous said...

Wow Joan, I get more from you than our local newspaper. Popularity of your blog site is growing, which is evident by the comments. Please continue this. even though you get hit by some bad comments. Truth hurts sometimes. Mahalo!

Anonymous said...

Approve the Dairy Plan with the caveat that they need to abate any and all nuisances. They (the dairy owners) need to know clearly that should the smell or run off be a nuisance or endanger the community or environment that they will have to reduce the number of cows, etc. or abate entirely.

We should not be discouraging the dairy or any other type of agriculture.

There was a dairy on the Island before for goodness sake. Does any one remember any problems other than financial?

Live Pono baby

Anonymous said...

Let the Kilauea farmers have a try. The easy part will be to clear the land. The hard part will be who gets what, when, where and why?
If the County left the Kilauea Gym roof in the hands of the community the leaks would have been fixed in a heart beat.
I am sure the Kilauea folks will be OK.
As long as they don't take lessons from the Council. Tim "I hit the Jackpot" Bynum, always talks of the Ag estates and how he is soooooooooo against them....Oh Gee Whiz, Timmy didn't you just sell your own Ag CPR? The 3 Ag experts, Joanne ( who Ag CPR'd Kalihiwai-made milyuns), Gary (developer/real estate agent-made big bucks) and Jackpot Timmy, FORMER Estate Ag CPR owner- what a crew. They wouldn't know a shovel from a spoon.
But I did hear that these 3 are developing a plan to recycle the Koloa Dairy pasture pastries into non-GMO, gluten free frisbees.

Anonymous said...

This dairy issue--like other issues--is certainly not like a holsein (black and white).

Yes, there are concerns and problems with the plan/project as it is currently designed. However, there are ways to mitigate these issues to the extent where it may, or may not, be "economically" feasible. . . and yes, it would be wise to do this before, rather than after the current plan is launched. However, lining up on one side or the other will not achieve this, as we have painfully learned.

I am confident that the Hawaii Dairy Farm and Ulupono have competent personnel running the show, that they are doing their due diligence to mitigate concerns, and that the interest and welfare of Kauai is to see that this agricultural endeavor succeeds. To think otherwise is hypocritical and elitist.

Anonymous said...

I am not sure your friend knows all the facts Joan - "....It should restore soil ruined by sugar cane and provide a source of protein for the island in case the planes and boats stop. And pesticide-free. And reducing runoff......" Am I missing something? How will the dairy restore the soil from sugar? If the planes and boats stop we will need to build a processing plant really fast because there isn't one planned for Kauai. The milk will be shipped to Oahu, processed, and shipped back. Pesticide free? last I checked this wasn't going to be organic and they were planning to use GMO corn feed - Seems like plenty of pesticides to me. How will runoff be reduced from current conditions? I wasn't aware there was an existing run-off problem in this area. Please advise!

Lastly, (I will bring it up) who is going to pay more for milk that isn't 100% grass fed or organic? If that isn't important to you then lets face it, buying local likely isn't either. My humble prediction - Dairy project will go bankrupt because all the people who support it buy their milk at Walmart and Costco!

Anonymous said...

8.0 earthquake off Chile

Anonymous said...

Walmart and Costco both sell organic milk. along with Safe way and foodland.
There must be a demand. I buy from all three stores.

I'm looking forward to fresh organic ice cream milk shakes!!
Had them as a child, YUM!

Anonymous said...

April 1, 2014 at 1:42 PM,
Your postulates that organic equals pesticide-free, that corn FEED with GE traits equals pesticides, or that local equals organic evidences an ignorance of agricultural realities that precludes a substantive contribution to this discussion.

Anonymous said...

Re - 1:42 PM's comment

Dairy project will go bankrupt because all the people who support it buy their milk at Walmart and Costco.

If the mainland milk is traversing the U.S., from the processing plants....... It then takes another 7 days via sea to get to Hawaii. From the piers in Hawaii the milk is then trucked to the Walmart's and Costco's.

....... What kind of profits could All the Walmarts and All the Costcos in Hawaii make if they could leave their milk on the shelves 7 days longer?

Anonymous said...

Cows don't eat corn. Never have and never will unless they're forced to. They graze on grass and use their three stomachs to digest it. To deal with the corn they will be given antibiotics to combat the severe problems that develop in their digestive systems. It's what goes on at the massive agribiss feed lots. But that being said, if done right, why not a dairy?

Anonymous said...

I would have you all visit a dairy anywhere ...New Zealand or the mainland and talk to the neighbors. See the cows.

See how they are shipped by trucks, trains and boats. They suffer, they get sick and will suffer getting here from Missouri.

More milk with antibiotics and growth hormones? How healthy is this?

How will the soil be improved? Won't the chemicals in the soil be in the grass and then in the milk?

More cow milk, but higher costs. Shipped to Oahu and back?

Perhaps we need more information like.....what farms have they created in the past that are working, where, and how can we visit them?

Sorry for being a skeptic....but the word "farming" does not mean it will necessarily be good thing for the community.

I would like to see a smaller dairy farm, with sustainable low impact on the environment, and processes its milk on Kauai. That would make more sense.

Less cows? Because there is not enough grass for that many cows on that amount of acreage.

Shall we try it anyway...because it sounds good and perhaps save the land from development?

Otherwise, this is a ruse for something else coming down the line (more hotels?)

The project "sounds good" to the average consumer, but are the plans sound?

I don't get it.

Dr Shibai

Anonymous said...

I agree less cows, maybe 50% of the listed amount at first and if all goes well than the herd can be increased or additional acreage could be acquired. I'm sure Grove Farm has way more acreage than what the project is proposing.

Joan Conrow said...

They are starting with 880 cows.

Anonymous said...

Will they use Roundup? Will this be certified Organic? Will they have environmental testing? Will these Cows receive anti-biotics? There are many holistic and natural ways to treat Cows. They should pave the roads, these roads are really dusty.
We have our "rights". The Council is on a good track to save Kauai from industrial farms. We must save the island. We need action.
I hope that Hooser and Bynum take a real close look at this dairy.

Anonymous said...


watch out what you wish for ...

Anonymous said...

It's ag land. They don't need approval from the county for a dairy.

Anonymous said...

8:31 Where have you been? The Hoos and Jackpot Bynum have insinuated themselves into what Ag is. There can't be Ag unless it meets their definition and approval. Of course, Jackpot Bynum's personal Ag estate with illegal rental was OK. And don't fergit, Jackpot's love of Ag TVR resort mini-hotels. The times, they are a changin'.
Ag is what these 2 say Ag is.
The Hoos (and his shadow, Jackpot Bynum) can manipulate basic laws/rules/regs to their own purpose.
Jay, Chock and Yukimura will follow their lead. What happened to Jay anyway, he used to be a manly man? Now he seems to be a mere wisp of a feller.

Anonymous said...

Maybe they should put the dairy in Princeville and the resort in Mahaulepu. Make everybody happy!

Anonymous said...

Hey 9:02 you need to get some health practitioner to check the level of bile in your system. Methinks the bile has clogged the arteries that deliver common courtesy and respect we commenters need to practice.

Let's have sensible and creative ideas as we take advantage of free discourse for all.

If you feel strongly about an issue, come up with credible information and most of all: solutions!

Anonymous said...

Agreed. 9:02 get over it. You sound like the feud the judge wrote about. Do a liver cleanse. Maybe stop drinking too.

Anonymous said...

April 1, 2014 at 5:32 PM
Walmart and Costco both sell organic milk. along with Safe way and foodland.
There must be a demand. I buy from all three stores.

I'm looking forward to fresh organic ice cream milk shakes!!
Had them as a child, YUM!

You will be looking forward many many years because this milk is not going to be organic, LOL "Joan's informed few"

The organic milk at Walmart and Costco and Safeway will be cheaper than the gmo fed milk shipped to Oahu and shipped back - how long will that take btw?

Anonymous said...

2 pm -- You don't know how much the milk will cost.

Anonymous said...

I think 880 cows is very do-able.

Anonymous said...

I recognize that corporations and politicians are often guilty of lying to us. But I think the Ulupono group is actually working toward the betterment of Kauai and the state. Omidyar seems to be the only "job creator" from the 1% who is actually trying to create jobs.

Sure, the dairy is only 15 jobs, but for the 15 people who want to work on a farm and not clear tables, it is a "good job".

I don't understand why the Hanalei Ridge looks so much better with a stand of ironwoods (an invasive weed by the way) that hides the wreck of previous developmental failures is so much better than Ulupono's proposed development. How jaded and selfish.

Anonymous said...

Russia will not import GMO products, the country’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said, adding that the nation has enough space and resources to produce organic food.

Moscow has no reason to encourage the production of genetically modified products or import them into the country, Medvedev told a congress of deputies from rural settlements on Saturday.

“If the Americans like to eat GMO products, let them eat it then. We don’t need to do that; we have enough space and opportunities to produce organic food,” he said.

Anonymous said...

do you really believe costco and walmart milk is organic??

Anonymous said...

That article is from 2012

Anonymous said...

I will gladly take the dairy farm and cows, over the potential alternative of seeing that area developed in the same manner that major portions of Poipu and Koloa have been in recent years....condominiums and exclusive sub-divisions.
All one hears is the mantra of grow and eat local, and when an entity makes a serious attempt to do just that, they are met with resistance...what hypocrisy.
Concerns regarding the environmental impact of the proposed dairy (excrement, flies, odor) pales in comparison to what has already been done on the south side.
Many against the project live in condominiums and exclusive sub-divisions in the area, yet are blind to the impact on the aina they themselves have directly attributed too...even greater hypocrisy.