Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Musings: Tick, Tick, Tick

A thin sliver of ghost moon hung low in the faintly bluing sky, just below Venus and just above the gentle blue-green curve of desert foothills. A giant black crow screamed “caw, caw” from its perch on a sagging telephone line as a ray of sun touched the blood-red buds of a miniature rose bush, tumbling from a trellis.

The moon is waning, the summer solstice is behind us, June is nearly over. Time's a ticking.

It's been almost a year since I wrote the 20th — and final — installment in the Abuse Chronicles series, which detailed both the county's abject failure to properly implement the vacation rental law and the lyin' and cheatin' many folks relied upon to secure one of the limited and valuable life-of-the-property TVR certificates.

I've resigned myself to the fact that nothing is going to happen to the perps, even though they falsified records, lied on notarized affidavits and hired local attorneys to smooth it all over. Nothing except a free pass, that is. And nothing is going to happen to the county administrators and workers who blew it, aside from demoting planning director Ian Costa to deputy director of parks.

But something is finally being done to pluck the much-referenced "low-hanging fruit:" rogues who run TVRs with no permits at all. The prosecutor's office has filed charges against such four offenders, with a summons to appear served in at least one case. I wrote just one post — Fallen Fruit Chronicles — to highlighting two egregious offenders, though dozens of unpermitted TVRs exist.

Kauai Prosecutor Justin Kollar was interviewed this past Monday on Hawaii Public Radio's “The Conversation" where host Beth-Ann Kozlovich asked if his office got calls from people reporting illegal TVRs. Justin replied:

We get those calls all the time. We take complaints on a regular basis.

No doubt the planning department does, too, unless people have simply given up in frustration.

So it's obviously a concern with the community, and not just because people chafe at sharing their neighborhoods with a steady stream of tourists. Justin gets it, acknowledging that on the North Shore it's “a public health and public safety issue.”

As in improper sewage treatment facilities, inadequate infrastructure and insufficient disaster response for a remote area in a tsunami zone. All issues that are not being addressed in any meaningful way. Still, I deeply appreciate that Justin is pursuing criminal charges, and I share his hope that it will put other outliers on notice.

When Beth asked Justin how he would “characterize where everyone is in the process right now," from the illegal "legals" to the full-on illegals, he replied:

It will be a problem in the event that something goes wrong and people are unable to get out.

That's when, as Justin noted, the finger-pointing will begin.

Of course, it's just a question of time until denial meets disaster. Tick, tick, tick…..

On that note, here's a link to the original Fresno Bee article on the UC Davis study suggesting women who live near agricultural fields where pesticides are sprayed are at increased risk of having a child with autism.

The risks appear to be increased for women exposed to chlorpyrifos in the second trimester and organophosphates in the third trimester — pesticides used in Kauai seed fields, and elsewhere. The Fresno Bee reports: 

Pyrethroids also were associated with autism and developmental delay prior to conception or in the third trimester. Carbamates sprayed nearby while a woman was pregnant were associated with developmental delay, the study said.

Fadipe of the state Department of Pesticide Regulation said scientists in the department had not been able to fully review the UC Davis report, but she said it is a "useful tool for the department to take into consideration."

The study also speaks to the difficulties associated with pinpointing a specific cause:

The report, like others, has shortcomings, Fadipe said. It doesn't provide an accurate sense of whether the exposure actually occurred and whether the exposure resulted in autism.

Researchers said the study has limitations that were unavoidable, including not knowing all of the potential sources of exposure to pesticides from non-agricultural sources, such as on food sources and from residential indoor use of chemicals and outdoor use for pest control.

Still, here's the take-away from senior report author and professor Dr. Irva Hertz-Picciotto:

The process that pesticides use to kill insects "is also a process that is shared with mammals and with human beings, and I think that makes them something we should think twice about exposing ourselves to."  

Tick, tick, tick…..


Anonymous said...

hmm, it will be interesting to see who is charged, uber wealthy exploiting a coastline or low-income types trying to make ends meet. Please tell us it is not based on a rice cooker.

Even the president is calling for research on the demise of bees. Kauai's new law may be off, but these poisons keep on killing. Thank you for pointing this study out. I am sure the seed companies will say it is all speculative and not true.

Anonymous said...

Joan- You are correct. Nothing will come of TVR perceived or actual violations.
The government continues to stack up laws, rules and regs and there is no effectual enforcement.
Nobody in the TVR world is making a fortune, except maybe the few owners who bought when prices were low.
The fact is that no one, especially the County Council and average Joe Citizen have a f**King clue on what capitalization or money is.
The new farmers will find out. As they get stacked up by rules, regs, insurance costs and other mandates. They will need money or a handout.
Making money is perceived to be a bad thing, but it is pretty hard to get your medical marijuana, gluten-free shampoo, happy harmonics earth gel or any of life's other essentials with out dough.
Everything cost money, Unfortunately our Council and many citizens feel it is OK to use other people's money....oh the world owes me a living.
Justin is nice guy, but it is easier to go after a a good Father who exercises a little discipline, than a hard nosed TVR owner. The TVR owner has teeth.
The STATE/FEDS are the big hammer in any environmental claim...whether cesspools on the North Shore or Autism in on the West Side. The recent Honolulu Magazine cover shows one doctor who with one phone call to DOH had an industry shut down....if a claim is real, the State will move. Remember, the State is run by a bunch of left wing Koo KooKoo berries that are all biting at a chance to get Big Ag, Big Biz or anything that will show them as the "good guys"...
To all the County Guys out there...Hawaii Life Real Estate company is advertising Barca for Mayor on their facebook....h'mmm better hurry up and process those Hawaii Life Subdivisions that are in be given 'em their entitlements before Dustin is Mayor and stops all subdivisions. just sayin'.

Anonymous said...

Its "The Conversation" not the "conservation"

Zero Seven

Anonymous said...

"I've resigned myself to the fact that nothing is going to happen to the perps, even though they falsified records, lied on notarized affidavits and hired local attorneys to smooth it all over.... And nothing is going to happen to the county administrators and workers who blew it."
Welcome to Kauai -- Where the Criminals Rule the Roost

Anonymous said...

"Its" is "It's"

Anonymous said...

Hawaii Life is supporting Dustin cause they know they will get everything from him, dummy, that is how it works, they be waiting to see if Dustin makes it until they file for those subdivisions.

Anonymous said...

Hawaii Life's Realators are the highest paid and the company makes millions. Why would these professionals support Barca 1:24......You seem to know whatcha be a talkin' about.

Anonymous said...

The Feds should have set a precedence and sent Imai Aiu and Costa to federal prison like they're going to do with Chiba. The white collar TVR tax evasion is a serious state and federal offense, let alone a county crime.

I believe that the Feds should look into the planning dept and investigate collusion and financial records. I guarantee that there are paper and money trails on these unethical citizens.

The POWERS on Kauai strengthen their belief that they are untouchables when the Feds let these SCUM get away with crimes. Start sending their wives and children to federal prison for tax evasion and then lets see what happens.

Anonymous said...

I don't see anything about Barca on Hawaii life's Facebook page.

Anonymous said...

Joan, I like that it appears that you are not giving pesticide use a total pass as some Anti's would like to brand you, but that the County Council took valid concerns and dealt with them in a wholly incompetent and ill-connived manner. They should have undertaken studies first to determine IF the seed companies were breaking existing regulations and IF any material pesticide drift was occurring. But unfortunately, the County decided the seed companies were guilty until proven innocent (that should have done that with Bynum's illegal land activities) and will now pay, NO WE TAXPAYERS WILL PAY, the price for it in long drawn out legal battles. Millions of dollars down the drain all the promote Hooser and Bynum's status as anti-GMO World Advocates. In fact Bynum and Hooser could care less about what we the people of Kauai must shoulder with our already heavy tax burden and concerns about our health are false and based on hysterical falsehoods of which they are fully aware. B&H are the worst kind of poluli9sts.

Anonymous said...

It probably took a year because Justin Kollar is at the office even less than Shaylene was.

Anonymous said...

441 The power of Kauai Eclectic......the Barca campaign poster was taken off the Hawaii Life facebook.
Now they are twice blessed, to have given and now to have taken back.......absolute land pimps.
Not bad Joan, a simple comment by one of your readers and the largest real estate company responds.....oh by the way, the two big pro Barca real estate companies are also the companies that have divied up the north shore and sold the TVRs....good job BHai and hypocrisy at all.

Anonymous said...

For some Barca is another Obama,
but would you put your tax dollars into "da Mayor"....
...or hope for "Yes We Can" get rid of the GMO pesticide polluters of land, water, air, and people's minds.

Hope keeps the "dream" alive.

Hope might not be real, but its better than the status quo.

Dr Shibai

Anonymous said...

False hope, and/or pinning one's hopes on a false prophet, can be even more dangerous than the status quo.

The mayor, be it Bernard or Dustin, does not have the power to rid the island of the seed companies.

Anonymous said...

4:51 No one, the council, the mayor, the Governor or the President has the power to "rid" the island of the seed companies. They have RIGHTS.
There may a some chance that all County/State/Fed laws can align to control GMO (not likely) and spraying certain chemicals.
Fact. Seed companies will be here as long as they want.
They are Farmers, they are doing Ag, the land is zoned Ag. They are legally using all proper procedures.
Fistee vendetta taxing may take place, doubtful. The sheer ridiculousness of determining an "ultimate consumer" compounded with the percentage of land required to get Ag designation allows a lot of flexibility for farmers.
Regular old Cattle ranching and their flatulence etc was the the big Buggy-A-Boo of the former fistee group of lettuce chompin' NS rich it's seed, next maybe you...Any government action you allow against any citizen can be used against you....even if you are in a section 8 house and a chewin' on foodstamps... the Council can target you...Surfboards last for a thousand million years, surfing causes skin cancer and surfers are considered to be stupid, (fiberglass is bad) maybe ban surfboards and surfing.

Anonymous said...

Fistees best bet is to turn the tourism industry against the chem companies. Look at what's happening with the dairy. Newbies (tourists who end up moving here) whining about cows on ag land.

Anonymous said...

For years Monsanto has claimed that glyphosate, the key active ingredient in its Round Up brand of herbicide is "safe" because the human body excretes it.

But.....a pilot study by Moms Across America and Sustainable Pulse demonstrated how Round Up accumulates in human breast tissue and then the milk passing on the toxin to babies.

American women's breast milk was found to be 760 to 1,500 TIMES higher than what is considered safe by the European Drinking Water Directive (which sets limits on pesticides).

But the EPA has just raised the limits of the allowable residue of glyphosate in human food because it believes (without studies) that it is not bio-accumulative.

Anonymous said...

No Barca
Da wrong tree
Vote Ber-nee!

Luke Kambic said...

"The process that pesticides use to kill insects "is also a process that is shared with mammals and with human beings"

That's true, but incomplete. Pyrethroids are chemical siblings of pyrethrin, the natural insecticide found in chrysanthemums that is used in organic farming. The mechanism of action of the natural compound is identical to its synthetic derivatives, and mammalian acute toxicity is generally similar. In all cases, the gap between mammalian and insect LD50s (mg/kg) spans many orders of magnitude, thanks to differences in metabolic systems. The synthetics are more popular with farmers because they're less expensive and have greater photostability.

Anon at 8:59, if you get a chance, take a gander at the German government's review of glyphosate that was published last year.

Anonymous said...

With Barca throwin' blows and Bynum throwin' pencils, ain't no one safe.

Anonymous said...

The truth is Bernard will be re-elected. There are no real candidates in the field.

Please look at ALL of their amassed qualifications. I believe that the only qualifications that Bernard has are that he has been doing the job. This, by no means, he should be re-elected but the truth is he will be.

Deal with it. Or look at this way, four more years for the FEDS to investigate and prosecute the white collar criminals he has been protecting.

Anonymous said...

Luke, you may want to take a gander to this link for another opinion.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Shibai,
Indeed. Because a graduate of Punahou, Columbia University and Harvard Law School who served in the Illinois legislature and the US Senate is equivalent to a High School drop-out who was kicked off the surfing tour and has a so-so career as MMA fighter.

I assume the comment that pesticides kill insects via "...a process that is shared with mammals" refers to the biological reality that insects and mammals have similar pathways. While true, as Luke Kambic already pointed out, that is only part of the story. Another example to his would be anthranilic diamides, a class which bind to ryanodine receptors in both insects and mammals. However, they have >500 times more affinity to insect receptors than mammalian ones (1), which you could roughly interpret as meaning they are 500 times less toxic to people. Note also that some plants make an alkaloid that binds to these same receptors, which show that the idea that we can live in a toxin free world is naive because toxins are natural.

This is not to say that we shouldn’t be seeking to reduce the toxicity and amount of pesticides we intentionally release. Thus, indiscriminate chemistries, like organophosphates (of which chlorpyrifos is one), have been banned or highly restricted. But before we get all self-righteous about agricultural users, I submit that in the roach motels I bought at Home Depot over the weekend, the active ingredient is chlorpyrifos.

1. Cordova D, et al. 2006. Pesticide Biochemistry and Physiology. 84(3): 196-214.

Anonymous said...

Since gossip, the Garden Island and Kauai Eclectic are the 3 leading sources of Kauai news.
Bee swarms invade. Hospitals on the brink of bankruptcy and wealthy Council member has a conniption fit.
I suggest, that the Council reach out to the State for Bee investigations and find out why so many bees are swarming, have the Council get money to save actual life saving jobs at the West Side hospital system and in particular, get Jackpot Tim some "aggression/anger management"
And get off the vendetta against the farmers and Roundup.

Thank you Dr. Monty, a good program, simple, effective and saves many lives. Monty and his many men who do the floats are real heros. Thank you.
Between the cops making the Wailua stretch speed limit at 40 mph and Dr. Monty, more lives are saved then all the antics of the Council for decades....C'mon Council get back to basics, shut the namby pambys up...this means Hooser, Jackpot and Chock, Jay and Joann are halfway nambys. Of course Joann went up many notches when she controlled Bynum's flubbering emotions as she sent him over the edge...Good job, Joann, I think.

Anonymous said...

This post was refreshingly informational and objective. Thank you for revisiting your roots.

Anonymous said...

white collar criminals AKA HGEA members - they are way too well protected (unfortunately) but the FEDS still don't look to kindly on the clearly unethical behavior prevalent in both the building division and planning department - where money buys permits.