Thursday, July 10, 2014

Musings: Getting It Right

Sometimes Councilman Ross Kagawa gets it so right.

Like his comment at yesterday's meeting, when the Council was again considering the Kauai Rising initiative, which the group is trying to pass off as a charter amendment, because fewer signatures are required to get it on the ballot:

Why are we at the Council going to pass the buck to Ricky (Watanabe, the county clerk] and put that pressure on them when it's our job to listen to the county attorney's office and what their work has discovered?

By which he meant the opinion from Deputy County Attorney Mona Clark, who determined the measure is indeed an initiative, and not a charter amendment, which means 20 percent of the registered voters must sign a petition to get it on the ballot, rather than the 5 percent needed for an amendment.

Not only that, but the 18-page document would need substantial revisions in order to become an amendment. And even if that were to happen, Mona said, there would remain the question of whether the altered measure reflected what those who had signed the petition wanted.

Or as Councilwoman JoAnn Yukimura clarified, even if voters approved the ballot measure, it wouldn't take effect, because it's not a charter amendment, it's an initiative.

Yes, and there would be a huge expense involved with this,” Mona said. 

And she wasn't just talking about the inevitable lawsuit from the ag/chem companies it seeks to regulate, “but the ripple effects,” like “county personnel running around developing regulations and all that time would be wasted, in my opinion.” 

Sort of like what we're seeing now with the legally flawed Ordinance 960/Bill 2491.

But Councilman Gary Hooser, proving once again that his desire to please the anti-GMO contingent outweighs any sense of fiscal responsibility or duty to uphold his oath of his office, pushed to move the flawed document forward, anyway.

Let the people decide for themselves if this is a charter amendment or an initiative,” Gary said. “Let them vote it up or down.”

Except as Gary very well knows, or should, the vote itself wouldn't determine that. The legal question would still be decided by the courts, with the county footing the bill to defend Kauai Rising's crappy measure.

Not to mention the costs associated with counting the signatures and printing ballots with an 18-page measure.

It seems Gary has no problem blowing the taxpayer's money if he thinks he may score a few votes in the process. Councilman Tim Bynum also went along, which is to be expected, since he and Gary pander to the same crowd.

But while Tim and Gary had no compunction about supporting a totally bogus measure, Mona made it clear that their duties lie elsewhere.

You have certain obligations as officers of the county,” Mona reminded them. “You have the implied authority to determine whether what you are accepting is correct. You do have a duty to uphold the law.”

Unfortunately, neither Tim nor Gary have the spine to stand up to the people they're sucking up to for re-election. They'd much prefer to kick this dented can down the road, let someone else make the hard call, take the blame. Like County Clerk Ricky Watanabe, who could also reject it as not meeting the requirements of a charter amendment.

What they refused to acknowledge — and The Garden Island never printed, because reporter Chris D'Angelo is embedded with the antis — was Mona's key revelation. 

She said she'd met early on with Kauai Rising to voice her opinion that it was not a proper amendment, and had twice discussed her concerns at length with the group's attorney, Bob Grinpas, “who acknowledged he agreed.”

So the group has apparently known that [it's not a charter amendment] throughout the process and made a decision of some sort to proceed this way, anyway,” Mona said.

In other words, Kauai Rising knew all along they were trying to pass off a dog as a cat. But like so many in the anti-GMO movement — including Tim and Gary — they have no ethical compunctions. Ends justify the means, and all that.

Which is why the group's “leader,” Michael Shooltz, can state such bald-faced lies as Kauai Rising acted in good faith and followed all the guidelines provided by the county — patently false verbiage that Chris, per usual, regurgitated without question or correction in his article.

It's not surprising that Kauai Rising deliberately and intentionally tried to skirt the 20 percent signature requirement, even though advancing their measure to the ballot would put county taxpayers in a costly legal predicament. Irresponsible, narcissistic behavior is typical of fanatics obsessed only with their own point of view.

But for Gary and Tim to go along — with Tim even pushing the county attorney's office to help clean up the mess — is just too much.

Sadly, even though JoAnn appeared, from her questions, to recognize the charade, she cast a cowardly silent vote, which was counted as yes.

So two weeks from now, when Councilman Mel Rapozo is back to break the 3-3 deadlock — yes, Councilmen Jay Furfaro and Mason Chock actually did the right thing and rejected the measure — the issue will come up yet again.

And once again, the Council will say what a shame that Kauai Rising did all that work for nothing, and Shooltz will have a chance to spout more anti-chem pure bullshit, like the wild pigs and goats all have tumors so the hunters can't eat them, and Tim and Gary will be able to pretend like they alone are the true advocates of the people, even as they're sticking it to all the poor schmucks who foot the legal bills.

Fortunately, there are a few members on the Council who are more concerned with getting it right, than advancing their own political careers.


Anonymous said...

Kaboom! Thank you, Joan, for articulating (exposing) the inarticulateness of the Kauai Rising Charter Amendment (Article XXXIII) charade.

Well done!

Luke Kambic said...

Just got back from a tour of Monsanto's breeding facility on Oahu. I recommend it if you get the chance. Way more interesting than endless discussions founded on hot air.

Anonymous said...

so curious, joan, just what is your position on genetically modified organisms in general and their testing on kauai. as well, wondering about your opinion of full disclosure by the chemical companies on kauai.

Anonymous said...

Gary and Tim are expected to vote for anything that smells anti-Ag.
Joann got this wrong. It is understandable that a couple of Hoales would vote against big-Ag, they do not have any sense of the importance of labor, land and history of Kauai and her people.
Tim is set for life and his feeble re-election campaign only reminds Kauai that he sued the people and took tax payer dollars to feather his own very large nest.
The Hoos could care less about getting re-elected. He has the cushy job as president of an anti-Business/Ag group. Why the Council doesn't call him out on this clear ethical principle, is an enigma. Gary doesn't serve the people of Kauai, he serves mainland anti-ag, anti-GMO, anti-PMRF anti-Hotel masters. Look at his record. He pretends to be a friend of the Unions and the dumb shmoes at the unions, sometimes fall for his obsequious smile, but Gary has NEVER supported the working dudes and dudettes.
Jay should call Gary out on whether he has a conflict on ANY vote regarding Ag, Roads or landfill. Shucks, maybe his new group has a position on feral cats. Commission members don't vote on any potential conflict, geez, even Jackpot Bynum didn't sit in on his lawsuit meeting, even tho' he knew that big bucks were his.
Chock finally,voted outside his brown nose commitment to the Bynum /Hoos duo. Hopefully, Chock will make decisions based on reality and the COST TO the Tax Payer. He might have some good assets, but he has to show that he be a MAN and stands on his own 2 feet, instead of the tripod he has with Hoos/Bynum. Stand up and be counted Mason, let the peeps know what you are all about. Right now, all you are known for is a midnight sleight of hand, that put the County in the largest lawsuit in the County's history. Yep, the one vote you promised the Hoos to get you on the Council and a new life as an important might just lose the job, if Kauai's hardworking regular folks view you as a Hooser tool. And right now, that is all you is....a Hoos tool. Mason, try go Westside and talk to the locals.

Anonymous said...

To everyone who likes a good conspiracy to think about:

Is anyone else starting to wonder if Hooser is undercover working for the Seed/ Chem companies? I saw an old newspaper clipping showing his support of the companies not too long ago. Plus, All his actions to push these crappy amendments and bills through are landing them in court destined to fail and he knows it and doesnt care! He also knows their loss in court will provide these companies with case law that will forever give them strength to continue, unregulated, and the County of Kauai will never be able to take any legal action. Im starting to think that Bernard did have Kauai's best interest in mind when veto-ing the bill to save the county $ in legal fees and protect Kauai from the situation I stated above. Ironically the Mayor is more compassionate and for the people of Kauai than Gary. Now this is a freaky conspiracy worth thinking about.

And if there is no conspiracy, either way, Im sure the seed corn/ chem companies are thrilled by Gary's ego driven stupidity. Hes only doing them a favor. He might as well be working for them.

Anonymous said...

Well said! I wish you run for the Council, Joan!

Anonymous said...

329- Joan would get lots of votes. But, she couldn't get elected because she speaks too clearly and has stepped on many feet.
There is a lot of power in this blog. Anyone who is politically curious reads it. The politicos hate KE. This blog can bring up old forgotten filth that the politicos prefer to leave under the carpet. This blog also clears up some of the real Horse Baloney that goes on right now.

On the other hand, I could never vote for Joan, because she is smart enough that her legislation against GMOS, pesticides (including Roundup), for public housing/transportation, housing the homeless, a transparent Police service, ad infinitem would transform this County into a real Commie paradise.
I love this blog, but people like Joan should never be elected....we need the pandering, spineless, kowtowing numbskulls that we least they can't do much damage. Kauai don't need no smart, effective leaders...especially, one wahine who is not afraid to tell the truth...By telling the truth, Joan has made enemies in the most tranquil places including wealthy, incensed infused, Yoga bending, Fistee fantasists, Hooser loving, Bynum hugging, pot smoking, bee keeping, KKCR listening, Land Rover driving, unkempt hair aficionados , passionate hyperbolic do-gooders and limp wristed, I'm so smart smug faced new comers. Who you going p*ss off next, Joan? Not many left...please keep it up.

Anonymous said...

Well, this fellow Shooltz has slapped more lipstick on pigs than Macy stocks in its flagship store cosmetic department: anti-Superferry, anti-smart meters(cost $65K), 2491/960 (cost $110K and climbing fast with huge exposure) and now his magnus opus, Chapter 22-23 the bill for an ordinance masquerading as a charter amendment so these wackos can get it on the ballot by collecting only 2,000 rather than 8000 signatures. It's flat out contemptible deceit but at least three Council members see it for what it is despite the antics generated by the Tim & Gary Shell Game. Even the part that might have been a charter amendment is so offensive to the separation of powers doctrine, that only some really cynical people would put it forward as a viable amendment. At this point, I'd think that WE THE (REAL) PEOPLE have had enough of this nattering nanny of never ending negativity and his Council lickspittles.

Anonymous said...

All a person needs to get elected is the support of the people. Joan Conrow could do it without help from any of the "good ole boys" whose feet she stepped on. I really do wish she would do it. And use her blog to communicate with her constituents.

Anonymous said...

Watching the council meeting, some are in an alternate universe. Shooltz made a big mistake when he sold the initive as a charter amendment and once again the supporters look stupid, like they cannot tell a dog from a cat. You cannot say it is a cat when it is a dog and expect the county to say, um yes, pretty cat, let's adopt you.
So the people are led astray by a leader who has either other goals or other plans, because he probably isn't that stupid. The followers bought the goal of no pesticides in paradise, easy to sell. but you cannot accomplish that with the wrong vehicle.
I must need some kool aid, or more coffee.

Anonymous said...

I will vote for Ross because he took a stand, I will not vote for JoAnn because she has no balls and voted silent even though she knew it was not a charter amendment.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if the supporter of Kauai Rising ever think about the implications of what they ask for. If the opposing side, the seed corn people, wrote an imitative, called it a charter amendment and then told the county to pass it anyway, the Kauai rising people would be up in arms calling foul. And if the county accepted the wrong petition, they would call it collusion.
Now go one step further to what Tim is asking for and it is for the county to give legal advice to the Kauai rising group and even rewrite the petition. Now turn that around, the seed company writes an overreaching bill and instead of rejecting it, the county rewrites it, again would be called foul and collusion. I expect the council to reject initiatives that are called charter amendments and I expect Michael Shooltz to do a better job as leader if he expects to succeed. But Joan as you often point out, true pesticide reform does not seem to be in the picture.

Anonymous said...

Ross is looking better and better, we do not expect our council to pass initiatives disguised as charter amendments. Tim and Gary have lost all credibility. Does Tim take meds that are affecting his mind?

Anonymous said...

6:50 am --- You are so right!!

Anonymous said...

6:50 am: nailed it. And Mason Chock has courage. He wants to regulate the chemical companies and his supporters no doubt favor the petition but he did what he thought was right. Sad to say that his colleagues think more about the politics.

Anonymous said...

6:50 Mason's courage was taking the crow bar and prying himself from the tight suction he has with Jackpot Bynum and Fistee Hooser. I heard the swoosh in Kokee. Let's see if he can continue to do what's right for Kauai and not just puppet for the one issue zealots.
He is still only known as Hooser's boychick.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Joan for the information. Perhaps you could do us all a favor. It is interesting to read about failures, mistakes and misguided efforts to protect the public and the environment from various poisons which contaminate the land, water, air, and impact the health of humans, animals, fish, birds and insects. This blog tries to show us how proposed laws, amendments and processes are flawed.
You would do the community a very valuable service by offering us positive and productive solutions to the serious problems we are facing here. How would you suggest the public go about getting the chemical companies to keep their poisons out of their neighbors homes and breathing space, out of the rivers, oceans and drinking water, out of the soil, air and out of the bodies of humans and other life?
I think it is easy to criticize others for their failures and misguided attempts to protect us all from poisons. It is a little harder to to actually offer positive and workable solutions. So Joan, what would you suggest we do to get the chemical companies to contain their poisons so that they do not escape into the environment and into the public domain? Mahalo.

Anonymous said...

Mona Clark said, “You have the implied authority to determine whether what you are accepting is correct. You do have a duty to uphold the law.”
"Implied authority"? Sounds more like a (contestable) term of art rather than the rule of law. Why is the law not explicit? Seems "suggestions" become "required" and "shall" can sometimes mean "may". Elected officials do have a duty to uphold the law (if they know what the law is) but legal advice is just that --ADVICE unless advice now means "mandatory".

Anonymous said...

July 11, 2014 at 10:10 AM,
Welcome to Kauai! You may be interested to know about studies released over the last year from the Department of Agriculture, Department of Health and the University of Hawaii that show levels of pesticides in the environment to be far below even the most stringent levels of concern. Isn’t that great! Apparently, the regulatory agencies are already doing a decent job of protecting us from poisons. And the companies are apparently being responsible businesses and taking care of the land and communities (e.g. their employees) just as you (and we all) wish. So now we can concentrate on all the other poison releasers.

Anonymous said...

4:46 I'm no fan of Hooser, Bynum, Shooltz and the rest but you are just like them, full of shit. Here's what the study said:

The pilot study of pesticide occurrence in surface water and sediments is limited in scope and is not adequate to represent exposure and harm to human health and the environment. Data collected will not be a representative sample of pesticide occurrence throughout the year, and may not capture pesticides applied outside the sampling period. The pilot study will not be able to evaluate variability in pesticide residues found in surface water and sediments. Samples will not be collected during high flow storm events, therefore, insecticides and other pesticides which are primarily transported to surface waters through storm runoff may not be detected.

In other words, the study acknowledged that it is a pilot study and is in no way establishes the "levels of pesticides in the environment to be far below even the most stringent levels of concern." You must be a chem company douche.

Anonymous said...

So now we can concentrate on all the other poison releasers.
You mean like the kine used on golf courses or on vacation rentals every single month and on urban landscapes and every house that gets treated for termite before sale?

Anonymous said...

IRT anonymous 10:10 AM

I think it's really funny that you ask Joan to suggest solutions to imagined problems which have zero basis in fact.

Anonymous said...

Mel and Gary should both learn from Ross when he says, "it's our job to listen to the county attorney's office and what their work has discovered."

Anonymous said...

July 11, 2014 at 5:45 PM,
4:46 here. Your original post (I am assuming you are also July 11, 2014 at 10:10 AM) contains a postulate that the seed companies are releasing chemicals “into the environment and the public domain”. Let’s take that as a hypothesis and the myriad investigations into pesticides in our air, soil and water as tests of that hypothesis. If the poisoning was as widespread and flagrant as you seem to suppose, then even these imperfect studies should have detected evidence of that. Given that these studies have instead failed to find data supporting your hypothesis, it fails. I don’t need to be a “chem company douche” to conclude that containment is already effective, just someone who paid attention in high school science class.

Anonymous said...

Wrong assumption, 4:46. I didn't post at 10:10. I don't know if there is widespread and flagrant poisoning. What I do know is that the State of Hawaii, charged with enforcing the Pesticide, Air Pollution Control, Water Pollution and Nonpoint Source Pollution Management and Control laws, has done a poor job with respect to the administration of these laws as they apply to the chem companies on Kauai. Here's a statement from the "study" that you rely on: "The State of Hawaii has no ongoing stream monitoring program for pesticides and consequently there is very little information available to evaluate whether current pesticide use practices are resulting in off-site movement of pesticides into state waters." In other words, the State doesn't even know if "containment is already effective". Yet you can conclude, with your high school science background, that all is well. Maybe you're not a chem company douche, but you should have paid as much attention in your fifth grade reading class as you did in your high school science class.

Anonymous said...

9:12....BULLSIT!! Why don't you hire a firm and test for Pesticides yourself! You seem to know more about what the State is not doing!

Anonymous said...


Joan could be electable if she had some help from the good old boys and girls who's toes she treaded lightly on. But that would make her part of the team. Is she willing to be part of a team or just a playa. That's the question.

Anonymous said...

July 12, 2014 at 9:12 AM,
All datasets have limitations and it is important to understand them so that one does not make unsupported claims. That does not mean, however, that the data are useless. And, keep in mind that “very little information” does not mean “no information”. So while the State may not have a perfect dataset, the data it does have are still relevant. As stated earlier (you must have missed it since you fail to deal with it), if the poisoning was as widespread as you claim, then the multiple studies done to date should have found something. They did, after all, find higher levels in urban Honolulu. But I sense you are discussing on a different plane. You appear to know that the poisoning is occurring so I doubt that data contradicting that claim bothers you much…or maybe it does, which is why you are here. Whatever. My question is: how do you know this? Is God telling you? Also, are you a prosecutor? “Your Honor, I know that the state has failed to produce any evidence linking the accused to the crime nor has the state identified a victim. But we know the accused is guilty.”

Anonymous said...

12:20, what part of "I don't know if there is widespread and flagrant poisoning" do you not understand? Also, the State's acknowledgment that "there is very little information available to evaluate whether current pesticide use practices are resulting in off-site movement of pesticides into state waters" has more credibility than your assertion that "the multiple studies done to date should have found something". Either you are a chem company douche misconstruing my comments and the State's lack of data or you are incapable of understanding plain English.

Anonymous said...

Sure--listen to the county attorney--if what she says plays along with your agenda! How naïve can you all be!

Anonymous said...

Yeah listen to Mona, what does she know? Let an imitative initiative go on the ballet as a charter amendment, then the county can spend a zillion dollars defending a clearly illegal thingamajig.
Better to stop it now, as it leads nowhere, like the song, Nowhere man.