Monday, May 19, 2014

Musings: New Beginnings

The chill of early dawn woke me with a shiver, sent me out into a night moving toward day, Venus rising like a smoldering ember in the haze, fog swirling in the pastures beneath the brilliant white light of a fatter-than-half moon, mowed grass sticking wetly to rubber slippered feet as the dogs and I walked east, toward that new beginning.

It's so exciting to see Hokulea and Hikianalia beginning their three-year, 47,000-mile, open-ocean, around-the-world journey, which you can follow on the Polynesian Voyaging Society's website. Few sights are more thrilling than Hokulea at sea, its sails bold red against blue sky and sea.

I once had the honor of spending the night aboard the Hokulea at Nawiliwili, cocooned in a tiny bunk where many had slept before me, lulled by the gentle rocking, awed by the bravery of those who set sail centuries ago, and those who venture out today.

Back on terra firma, Kauai Police Chief Darryl Perry is seeking a brave new beginning, filing papers to run for the County County. The Chief, of course, is no stranger to politics, having already tasted its bitter medicine during his seven years at the helm of KPD — a position that isn't supposed to be politicized, but on Kauai, invariably is.

But if the Chief is elected, which seems quite likely, given his general popularity, he'll be able to engage his longtime political foe — the soon-to-be-re-elected Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr., — on more equal footing. As it is, under the ruling handed down by former Councilman and now Circuit Court Judge Randal Valenciano, the mayor has authority over the chief — a decision still under appeal.

You may recall that issue went to court after the mayor, in a heavy-handed move, suspended the chief without pay for seven days in 2012, citing insubordination. Perry was then placed on paid leave, along with Assistant Chiefs Roy Asher and Ale Quibilan, pending an investigation of a complaint by Officer Darla Abbatiello-Higa.

At the time, Deputy Chief Mike Contrades was in training off-island, so Assistant Chief Mark Begley was put in charge, assisted by his captain, Hank Barriga.

And then, in classic Kauai fashion, things really fell apart. While the department was essentially leaderless, Officer Chris Calio shot and killed Richard “Dickie” Louis, who was unarmed and standing on his rooftop, while a team of some 50 to 60 cops were trying to arrest him. This resulted in Louis' family filing a wrongful death suit against the county.

When the Police Commission ordered the Chief back to work, Begley refused to give him his gun, badge and other gear, reportedly under orders from the county attorney's office. Begley, facing an administrative review for insubordination, took a paid medical leave, along with Barriga. The two haven't worked for some 18 months now.

Meanwhile, Begley, Barriga and Abbatiello-Higa filed complaints, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently found cause that all three had experienced illegal retaliation by KPD.

The dispute is now in its reconciliation phase, with the county, the EEOC and the complainants' attorneys trying to determine what sort of financial settlement should be given to the victims and whether any additional action should be taken against KPD.

If no settlement is reached, EEOC could refer the case to the feds, which is the only entity eligible to sue for a Title 7 violation.

In this situation, like so many others on Kauai, we see a rather insignificant event that could have — and should have — been resolved through mediation mushroom into a big, expensive, destructive, demoralizing mess that ain't over yet.

And why? Politics.

So heck, since he's embroiled already the Chief may as well ditch KPD and sit on the Council. Compared to some of the other candidates — both incumbents and hopefuls — we can at least be assured that he a) understands county government; b) knows the budget process; c) has a record of solid public service; d) isn't prone to long-winded, grandstanding speeches; e) isn't in either the pro- or anti-GMO camp; f) isn't driven by an inflated ego; g) isn't in anybody's pocket; h) does his homework; i) has a high level of intelligence; j) understands the island; and k) knows what's really going down in this community.

Speaking of going down, I just can't see Councilman Tim Bynum winning another term. Heck, he barely squeaked in last time, when he had a bit of sympathy going for him because he was being picked on by then-Prosecutor Shaylene Iseri, who lost her own bid for re-election.

Of course, it's not Tim's fault that Shay was vindictive, or the county blew $750,000 fighting his civil rights lawsuit, only to see its insurance company quickly settle for $290,000. But with voters facing higher fees and taxes and a grim economic picture, his re-election may prove a hard sell.

I think a lot of folks are looking for some fresh faces on the County Council, some new beginnings at the Historic County Building. And for the first time that I can remember, I don't think any of the Council incumbents are a shoo-in, save for Mel Rapozo and Ross Kagawa, which should make for an interesting — and possibly bloody — election season.


Anonymous said...

f) isn't driven by an inflated ego;

Just wait and see, like you said could have been minor, ego drove it to this. wait and see...

Anonymous said...

If the EEOC has found that there was retaliation, there is probably more to the story.

Anonymous said...

Arryl Kaneshiro, Darryl Perry, Mel Rapozo, and Ross Kagawa would be the four ideal combination for our Council!

Anonymous said...

Meanwhile, Begley, Barriga and Abbatiello-Higa filed complaints, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently found cause that all three had experienced illegal retaliation by KPD.

If you people don't know what these officers have been victims of retaliation then you people need to read KPD Blue.

Barriga: I have questions about. He was a LT for the most dangerous cops in a BEAT on Kauai and possibly the United States.

Of course, it's not Tim's fault that Shay was vindictive, or the county blew $750,000 fighting his civil rights lawsuit, only to see its insurance company quickly settle for $290,000. But with voters facing higher fees and taxes and a grim economic picture, his re-election may prove a hard sell.

I guess even when she loses she wins. Thanks to Asing, Kaneshiro, Nakamura, Rapozo, Shaylene, and the rest of the GOBAG; they were able to destroy an already tarnished Bynum reputation. Raising taxes, grandfathering in TVR, and helping create Gentleman farms which Kaneshiro gladly ethically violated when he was on council is despicable.

You Joann, Mel, Ross, and Jay has to go and never come back.

Anonymous said...

Chief Perry should run for mayor instead of county council. The timing couldn't be better and the longer he waits, the more likely it is that Nadine will the shoe-in for mayor the next time around. I for one do not want to see the Baptiste/Carvalho legacy of lunacy continue under Nadine.

Chief Perry is the only one out there with the will and acumen to clean house at the county attorneys office, planning department, and department of transportation. And he's extremely popular for good reason - he's a phenomenal guy and incredibly dedicated public servant. He could do so much more good for this community if he sat in the big chair.

Anonymous said... would be the right time for Chief Perry run for the Mayor's seat. He would be most qualified!!

Anonymous said...

ea)He understands about being apart of the GOBAG. F: He was hand picked by some powerful people on Kauai even if they had to ruin others.

b)He knows not to create a reserve force to keep overtime pay at it's minimum. I guess everyone wants to have their cake and eat it too. You hear me KFD (Kauai fishing department). F: for being unable to create a much needed reserve force that would decrease unnecessary overtime pay.

c)You can question his solid record. Just here on Kauai the crime has increased while he was in charge. His undertrained and undereducated officer tased and shot and killed people. This was not only excessive force but should have resulted in criminal charges against those officers. F: for a failure to get KPD accredited. obviously KPD has to change its course and a 2 year degree in criminal justice is a needed minimum requirement for Kauai's police officers.

d)The budget failure has been stated before see b) for reference. F: needs improvement because our county is robbing it's own people.

e)To not take a political stance as a Chief is in your contract but it didn't stop you from coming out full force with a suspicious ally to block decriminalizing marijuana offenses. F: Not being present and voting silent with the majority is a cowardice act. This is an act that has been proven to be a politicians trait.

f)Does not have an inflated ego. I do not think you are speaking of the same person. He's ego rivals his moth ball 1960's wearing suit brother. F: you don't know who you are talking to or talking about narcissistic personality disorder (Jay Furafaro kind).

g)On Kauai, everyone is in somebody's pocket. Ask Bradley Chiba (former police commissioner). N: there is questions with his support and relationship with shaylene. who in their right mind want these kinds of people in public office. Chief has some good in him but there is so many questions around him.

h)He does his homework most of the times. B: there were some hoike meeting where they did not have there reports ready and available. the pohaku debacle was a complete debacle even though he did not testify to council; the officers that did, were laughable. You cannot send ill informed people to represent you and the department at a televised council meeting.

I) You cannot argue with his intelligence. He is bright and articulate. His tone of voice is exceptional, unlike others with college degrees that were or are in positions of leadership in the community of Kauai. A: For intelligence but F- for the only thing is who is in his company. Just by associating with Shaylene put questions into a lot of people but to have her in your corner I cannot and will not support a person who is in cahoots with a person voted as the worst boss in America. Shaylene might be your demise.

j) By instilling a curfew and shutting down hanamaulu beach, the chief has positively impacted Kauai for the greater good. Yet, Cell phone infractions (even by his own officers), drug dealer tint(even by his officers family and friends), rise in crime, and the continue of white collar criminals activities has regressed his positive attempts. C: It was a beast that you took on Chief and you did fight valiantly but their ARMY is toxic and it's everywhere.

k) He does know what's going down but is he willing to IDENTIFY the problems and exhaust every resource to SOLVE the problems. F: when you cannot fix the problems in your own department even thought the GANG in KPD is what it is then how will you cure the disease that Kauai's Government body suffers from.

Mayor Carvalho has to GO: I don't think Kauai can afford to feed his family and friends and longer.

Anonymous said...

He can't even keep KPD out of trouble. EEOC complaints, shootings, massive overtime costs, etc.

Anonymous said...

10:02 Bynum is no angel. He SPONSORED the bill to grandfather TVRs on ag land.

Anonymous said...

Chief Perry will be ideal for the Council. He has been good for KPD and for Kauai. Y'all are nuts if you think Chief Perry will pursue some sort of Carvalho bashing while on the Council, he has Kauai's best interests at heart.
The real test is that many of our Council members are a joke. Gary "million fistee" Hooser made no friends in the Senate or in the many State agencies he touched while in State service. Somehow, he has touched a sensitive place with Bynum and Yukimura so their is a weird triad of sorts, Chock is an unknowing part of this menage a trois and Jay just watches flaccidly.
Mention Kauai to any political people on Oahu and their eyes go skyward and they talk about a Council person suing the people. Kauai is a joke to them. Tho', I think they wouldn't have minded if they had gotten the big dough Jackpot Bynum received from the hands of his fellow accommodating Council members.
What the Council needs is attention to the budget and to remember they serve all of Kauai's people, not just the bike riding, goat growing, turnip chewing, gluten free-baser, anti-Ag, anti-Hotel, anti-tourist crowd.
Kauai has regular family oriented working people, too.

Anonymous said...

To solve the METH problem and the hard drugs that these Californicators are bringing and Kauai's drug families; we to push our state legislators for mandatory 10 year first offense 20 year second offense and LIFE in prison or death for third offense. You have a 3 strikes rule so if you don't get it after strike one then you will never get it.

Anonymous said...

A little off topic, but the real fight is the Mayor's race.
Dustin Barca is an incredibly articulate and intelligent person. He is a real challenger and he has a lot of support in the Hooser/Bynum/Yukimura/Furfaro camps.

Anonymous said...

Maybe it's my jaded opinion but the council doesn't need any more nice and friendly local males . They don't accomplish much . Time for some intelligent and creative butt kicking needed . I know Kauai will never elect the people that will solve our problems

Anonymous said...

Dustin? LOL! I whatever you been smoking!

Anonymous said...

Dustin has no shot against the old regime. Chief Perry, however, would likely have more than enough support.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...May 19, 2014 at 10:58 AM

With that said, I would rather vote Perry in as council member than anyone currently serving or candidates Kipu, Iseri, and another Kaneshiro.

Contrades as Police Chief is a scary thought.

Run, run, run for your lives.

Anonymous said...

Anybody who is running for Mayor is just keeping my seat warm. 4 years from now I will be the Mayor of Kauai.

I will clean up the corruption on the Island of Kauai.

There is no way one in forty five people on Kauai will be a county worker. Over 1,500 county employees for 68,000 people on Kauai is outrageous.

I will Rule Kauai like a great King. I will conquer this evil old plantation regime.

No man, woman, or child has accomplished what I have done these handful of years.

I am Legend.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Maybe it's my jaded opinion but the council doesn't need any more nice and friendly local males . They don't accomplish much . Time for some intelligent and creative butt kicking needed . I know Kauai will never elect the people that will solve our problems

May 19, 2014 at 1:28 PM

You are correct in some sense but there is HOPE.

Justin Kollar was voted as Prosecuting Attorney and his team has risen above the grave that the former PA and Deputy PA dug them into. This was an epic battle-David versus Goliath. Most of Kauai was VICTORS in that election.

The Verdict is not yet final but so far the PA is doing a good job.

So for all of those who have LOST HOPE in the POLITICS on Kauai, I say to you "Do not give up, keep the fight on and remember all have HEART" (my next song)

The Legend Continues...

Anonymous said...

It isn't difficult to see whom you wanted, and didn't want.

Anonymous said...

Way to go down deep on Perry.

Anonymous said...

A recent ruling by the Ninth Circuit Court has just blown the lid off of gun control in Hawaii. This is the BIG issue coming down the pike and it is going to make TVR's and fisties look like mosquitos. The rules are about to change so that almost anyone (instead of no one) will be able to get a concealed weapons permit in Hawaii.

This is why Senator Shatz is running ads on gun control. All of our elected officials should be making this new 2nd amendment ruling and how to deal with what is coming as their top priority.

Anonymous said...

"Though the county elections office was unable to confirm if Perry would be allowed to serve as police chief during the elections process by press time, Perry and other county officials said he would likely be required to resign only if he is elected."

So, what kind of job of being Chief of the KPD is Perry going to be able to do while he is running for elected office?

Anonymous said...

officeholders can unfairly leverage their present position against other candidates, while retaining that position as a fallback

Anonymous said...

Will not having a concealed weapons permit stop a crook from using one to commit a crime?

Anonymous said...

Chief Perry should run for mayor if not city council. He is the best thing ever happened for the Kauai people. Forget Carvalho who imho, should be on the tv show The biggest loser. Begley, Barriga, and the bitch can kiss my okole. Kauai people need to wake the #@۩ up.

Anonymous said...

Joan, are you covering the goings on at the OPA since Justin took over? The most recent mistrial was a travesty. A terminated deputy that will result in a lawsuit. Another deputy (assigned to prosecute traffic cases) arrested for DUI, then arrested again for driving without a license. Several deputies leaving the office for greener pastures. The excessive travel by Justin. Just wondering if you will give Justin the same scrutiny as you did with the former prosecutor.

Anonymous said...

It's always smart to call the female who was retaliated against for reporting sexual harassment a bitch.
Cave dwellers.

Anonymous said...

Sure, other recent goings on at OPA include one of the island's best litigators (Jennifer Winn) rejoining the OPA team, two pieces of significant domestic violence legislation being passed in two years (thanks to the rebuilding of working relationships with Honolulu), a total absence of union grievances, restored confidence in the office from the public, and a stable core of career prosecutors such as the office has never before seen.

Anonymous said...

Perry will continue to be one of the better mainstays in a shoddy local government, no matter what office he ultimately takes.

If you ask me, his wife Solette would probably be the best choice for mayor. She's one of the most grounded and intelligent people around.

Anonymous said...

"Meanwhile, Begley, Barriga and Abbatiello-Higa filed complaints, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently found cause that all three had experienced illegal retaliation by KPD."

By KPD, did the EEOC mean Chief Perry?

Anonymous said...

That is a good question. EEOC finds retaliation at KPD. What is that about?

Anonymous said...

@ May 19, 2014 at 3:08 PM

What is the issue with law abiding individuals owning and legally.
Our constitution protects that right and state that it shall not be infringed, but our legislators and police chiefs take it upon themselves to break there oaths to uphold the constitution.
We should be able to defend ourselves, its our right.

Anonymous said...

EEOC investigation finds illegal retaliation by Chief Perry and Shaylene. Two narcissistic politicians who will probably be elected.

Anonymous said...

Latest Hawaii County election office drama: defamation lawsuit
By Keoki Kerr

He filed the suits on behalf of Pat Nakamoto and Shyla Ayau. Nakamoto, a 25-year clerk's office employee, was election office administrator until Kawauchi fired her and three other employees in January 2012. Ayau was a senior elections clerk in the elections division of the clerk's office, where she had worked for more than seven years before being terminated.

Hong said their firing was based on the county's sloppy, biased investigation that claimed Nakamoto knew about alcohol being consumed and stored at a Hilo warehouse leased by the county to store election equipment and supplies.

Hong said the events were thank-you parties for election workers held in 2008 and 2010 and approved by previous county clerks at the warehouse site, which sits on private property.

Ayau "felt so ashamed about what was going on in the media that she actually moved, she fled. She's now living on Kauai, taking a temporary, lower paying job," Hong added. Ayau now works at the Kauai County Clerk's office as a temporary elections clerk, he said.

Is this Councilman Mason Chock babby momma?

What else are they involved in? hope not stuff like what Chiba was involved in but you never know here on Kauai.

I hope that not going be do this at Kauai's elections office. Especially in this years very important election.

We all know how Kauai's county workers and also some state workers on Kauai like to party with drugs, sex, and alcohol in public with no shame.