Friday, September 12, 2014

Musings: In Other Words

Big changes are ahead for North Shore Kauai now that Jeff Stone has teamed up with a Thai-Chinese billionaire to develop a “low-density resort community” at Princeville to be unveiled early next year.

In other words, there go the mauka lands for more gentleman estates.

As reported by Pacific Business News and the Star-Advertiser — but not The Garden Island — Stone sold 1,103 acres, including the Prince Golf Course, to billionaire Chanchai Ruayrungruang's Reignwood International investment group for $343 million. Stone's Resort Group will retain ownership of 7,100 acres.

Fortunately, like all the other developers who come to Kauai, Ruayrungruang is “excited to be part of the Kauai and Hawaii communities.” Why? Because “[t]he island’s natural beauty is spectacular, and its open countryside translates well to our sustainability goals for our communities.”

In other words, they'll be able to sell the raw land at a large profit for years to come.

But don't worry, they have only the best in mind:

We’re committed to preserving Princeville’s regal heritage and cultural roots,” [Ni Songhua, the London-based head of global investments and acquisitions for Reignwood] said. “We believe that Reignwood’s profound respect for Hawaiian history, along with our green vision for the future, will help to advance the long-term vision of Mr. Stone.”

In other words, they'll keep it upscale, use Hawaiian names for the streets, generate plenty of service jobs for the locals and make a pile of kala. So glad, to use Stone's words, that he found “investors who love our place." Cuz we wouldn't want any of the usual shuck-and-jivers coming in.

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about how Kauai got shucked and jived by Vandana Shiva, whose schtick was revealed by Michael Specter in the New Yorker. And like clockwork, Vandana responded with a 5,000 word rebuttal — published on the obscure Permaculture Research Institute website — in which she trashed Specter and his journalism in the very first paragraph.

In other words, Spector was right on target when he said it's a classic strategy of Shiva and others in the anti-GMO movement to attack and attempt to publicly discredit anyone who dares to disagree with their skewed version of the “truth.” I've experienced it countless times myself, most recently on Tim Bynum's Facebook post, when Lyn McNut, a card-carrying member of the KKCR echo chamber, left a comment: “Stop following Joan. No longer journalism.”

Yes, I magically went from a journalist that Lyn lauded to one no longer worth reading solely because I exposed the deception and bullshit of Gary Hooser, Tim Bynum and the Kauai anti-GMO movement. Now I see similar attacks being levied against Allan Parachini for speaking up. Doncha just love open minds and respect for different points of view?

Which leads me to a comment that Michael Salling left on one of my Facebook posts about the pesticide/GMO debate that is dividing our community:

Exactly what is the middle ground?

It's a good question, and one that should be discussed.

But how do you have such discussions when the anti side is so heavily populated by people like Lyn, who totally shut out anything that differs from their point of view? And folks like Dorothy “Lady Light” Kulick, who leaves newspaper comments urging people to do “WHATEVER IT TAKES” to stop biotech? Or vindictive fanatics like Malama Kauai's Megan Pittsley Fox, who tried to destroy Johnny Gordine's flower business by leaving disparaging reviews on Yelp after he urged the Council to “vote no” on 2491? Or groups like Maui's SHAKA Movement, which blithely promulgates bald-faced lies in their attempts to raise money?

Which leads me to Gary's latest scheme to publicly grandstand and talk stink about big ag on TV before the election, using as a soapbox the Economic Development (Sustainability / Agriculture / Food / Energy) & Intergovernmental Relations Committee he chairs. He has scheduled the following for Oct. 9:

A non-decision making, informational workshop to discuss water issues in Kaua’i’s Puna District which have been raised by the community group Hui Ho’opulapula Na Wai o Puna (“Hui”). The Workshop is being held so that the Committee can become better informed and to engage the community in the broader issue.

For those unfamiliar, the Puna District is the eastside. And of course it's non-decision-making, because the state Water Commission has kuleana over water use and water allocation. This is just an election year dog-and-pony show intended to give Gary another platform. 

It's the exact same scenario as the pesticide/GMO issue: the state won't play their game, so they come knocking at the Council's door and swell-head Gary is happy to open it up. Tim has already said the next big battle will be over water. 

In other words, mundane stuff like landfills and roads and speed limits and feral cats just isn't sexy enough for Councilmen who have basked in the glow of national and state spotlights.

Sadly, most farmers and ditch men won't show up to give these people a reality check so they'll get to make all sorts of unchallenged claims on the TV cameras as Gary nods and looks oh-so-very concerned and promises to do something that he can't if folks just vote him in for another term.


Anonymous said...

Here we go again trying to drag the County into the realm of what is really the States kuleana

Anonymous said...

perfect joan...heres news....FB Zuckerburg supposedly bought Pfluegers whole Pila'a cache and moloa'a ranch. This whole wealthy boys club with so much cash, they can buy it without blinking an eye IS the issue facing Kauais future. No longer a simple fight to keep singular easements open, sustain our islands essence, concern for our overall future.... slow erosion is in overdrive now by investment bankers and developers...Omidyar's Ohana realty group fully erect and salivating with their wait and see to get best results for their Hanalei ridge vision,watching the others get their way. The heart of the community is struggling and none of these dainty little purchases benefit anyone locally(except their throw away reps). all these head fakes dilute the true trauma raping our island. for profit , fuck everyone else. we'll throw in a few new valet jobs,bribe kupuna, and add a 10 car lot for your viewing pleasure to gaze in amazement at our achievement. Tax dramas and gmo fiasco are truly damning us as well. they are pertinent in their context. mind blowing to think that fighting the good fight is for nothing all the while knowing that we have to.

Anonymous said...

to the sensible people of Kauai not involved in the gmo issue:


Anonymous said...

So what's the latest with CocoPalms? Construction fence partially up, opportunity fire that didn't burn fast enough and the eyesore remains. Wish the Hoos and Timmy would get as worked up over this item that is an embarrasment to the island. Elvis left the building long time ago........

Anonymous said...

I don't think Zuckerburg or the Red Bull distributors will be doing any GMO farming.
Say bye bye to any access. Say Hello to the most iron clad property security mechanisms known to man.
Gary, Tim, Mason and JoAnn can sleep well, now.

Anonymous said...

and how does a blog allow a comment that says a councilman should be put down like a sick dog?

Joan Conrow said...

Because I took it metaphorically y and not literally.

Anonymous said...

I hope the Chinese guy can bring back a really good Chinese restaurant like the old Dragon Inn that was in Kapaa. Instead of those garbage number 1 Chinese knock off restaurants.

How about a Great China Buffet?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
and how does a blog allow a comment that says a councilman should be put down like a sick dog?

September 12, 2014 at 4:45 PM
Blogger Joan Conrow said...
Because I took it metaphorically y and not literally.

jaja too funny joan!
bee the change you want to see in the world!

Joan Conrow said...

@9:14 pm

Yes, Jimmy Trujillo, that's good advice. You might look to look carefully at the vindictive, dishonest, ugly, deceptive beehavior you bee modeling. Unless, of course, you are simply trying to perpetuate the world we already have.

Anonymous said...

Deaths from malnutrition last year....3,000,000
Deaths from GMO crops in the last .20 years...0
Lives saved by GMO crops in the last 20 years ...1,000,000,000

Anonymous said...

Malama Kauai now has the county ok "stewarding" the 75 acre Ag park in Kilauea.

With Ms Fox as "Director of Operations" and Andrea Brower as a Board member, I'm sure the applicants for the five "conventional" farm plots will get fair and objective treatment...NOT!
Any conventional applicants please document your interaction with Malama Kauai for possible legal action on the grounds of prejudicial and illegal discrimination.
Dan Hempey, also on the board will be happy to adjudicate these disputes I’m sure.

With Malama Kauai “stewarding” this public ag park I doubt any conventional ag will take place.
As exemplified by Ms Fox's vendetta against a small conventional flower grower who had the audacity to question the legality and fairness of "the bill" Their acceptance of conventional ag's existence is only to secure ownership of the project with its ultimate exclusion in mind due to their personal agendas, not the public good as a whole.
Malama Kauai created by internet millionaire Chris Jaeb and now also partly supported by internet millionaires Bill and Joan Porter have embraced a radical progressive movement that really runs counter to their wealthy entitled positions. They live on a new age "higher plane".
Too bad that doesn't include providing decent housing,sanitation and health care for the squatter/worker/lessees that subsist on their acreage, and also in Moloaa.
If the "Chem" companies treated their workers the same way as these “Organic Heroes" treated theirs, the injunctions and outrage would fly.
Workers living in substandard conditions subsisting on public welfare and food banks, that is the new model of counterculture ag on Kauai. Any cases of Hep 3 or E-coli poisoning lately?
Never mind the tax, labor, housing and social security violations, they are on a higher plane not subject to the laws and regulations of regular society.
Oh and if a "worker" housing unit is built, it may just be rented by the night to a visitor and the workers will stay under the tents and tarps.

What a joke!
They stand on the shoulders of conventional ag and gmo production, who provide the bulk of all foods consumed, who if didn't exist, the shortages and pandemonium that would ensue would quickly use up the ten bushels of $5/bunch kale or turnips sold at the various farmers markets that are the standard examples put forward as "food security”.
The ideologues have their theories and solutions but these don't exist in the real world.
In theory, theory and practice are the same,
in practice they are not.
These Ag ideologues like Megan Fox, Andrea Brower and Jimmy Trujillo are supported by Government, Grant or Non-Profit sinecures funded by wealthy millionaires or the public payroll
Nice work if you can get it.
Too bad an acre of organic non gmo taro won’t pay even your wireless bill let alone car payment or rent, but someone else should be doing it…..
Leading by example, creating a profitable organic ag enterprise that can pay a living wage in the “real world" and then your theories might be more credible.
The "progressive" anti chem/gmo movement has gone from logical positivism to new age religiosity personified by Vendanta Shiva.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the elusive "middle ground," Kauai can take some measure of pride in being the first island to showcase a middle-ground solution: the Kauai Agricultural Good Neighbor program. The big farms wisely agreed to address concerns expressed by many in the community and accept buffer zones, report what pesticides they are using and when, and alert neighbors who opt in for notification about when spraying will take place. And for additional transparency, the farms agreed to post the information on the State DOA website. This is a program that should be codified at the state level, which should please all those with legitimate concerns, although nothing will please the organic-or-nothing group.

Anonymous said...

Isn't Lyn McNutt a high level administrator at Kauai Community College who handles all the federal grant funding that covers things like Jimmy Trujillo and who knows what else? Now wouldn't that be an interesting investigation into whether federal grant money is being used to promote their anti-GMO / anti-science ideology instead of actual education...