Monday, September 15, 2014

Musings: Not a Stretch

While The Garden Island is busy covering creationism as news and repeating the same old complaints against Hawaii Dairy Farms, it continues to miss major stories impacting large swaths of raw land on Kauai.

It has yet to catch up on the 1,103-acre Princeville sale, and completely missed news that Jimmy Pflueger has sold his 383-acre Pilaa property in advance of a state foreclosure action. The state was preparing to seize the ag land, which lies between Kuhio Highway and the ocean, south of Kilauea, after Pflueger failed to pay a $4 million fine levied after he caused a big mudslide there in 2001.

The Star-Advertiser reports that Pflueger was due to close the deal last Friday. He reportedly sold the land to Koa Kea International LLC, which in turn will convey a portion of it to Pilaa International LLC and West Beach Kauai LLC, which is registered to Honolulu attorney Gino Gabrio. Ironically, Koa Kea means “white coral" — a stark contrast to the reef at Pilaa after it was buried under tons of sediment.

Koa Kea International was registered by Honolulu attorney Wesley Ys Chang on Aug. 14, 2013 and lists one principal, Melange International LLC, a Colorado-based gas and oil exploration company that holds interests in oil and gas fields in North Dakota.

Koa Kea's managers are Gary Stewart, CEO of Melange, Theresa Stewart and Sara Jehn, an architect involved with the Coco Palms restoration. Campaign spending records for 2012 show Gary Stewart contributed to ultra conservative Republican candidates in Colorado and Democrat Tulsi Gabbard in Hawaii.

One has to wonder how long Pflueger — still awaiting sentencing for his role in the 2006 Ka Loko dam break that caused seven deaths — will be allowed to pull these stunts and literally get away with murder. If you're well enough to pull off a multi-million land sale to beat a foreclosure, surely you're well enough to withstand a sentencing hearing.

Meanwhile, in The Garden Island's article on the new dairy, reporter Chris D'Angelo draws an unwarranted conclusion in an apparent attempt to be clever:

Hawaii Dairy Farms’ revised plan for 578 acres in Mahaulepu continues to cause a stink for one South Shore resort and a number of local residents.

Isn't the whole issue, the focus of the lawsuit, whether the dairy actually will cause a stink, or one that either the Hyatt or Poipu residents will notice? At least TGI ran a graphic showing the dairy is 2.5 miles from the Hyatt and 2.3 miles from the closest subdivision. That seems a very long way for a smell to travel. Even the purported fly problem is a bit of a stretch. Consider this, from Penn State:

Flies normally stay within l/2-2 miles of their point of origin, but have been known to travel as far as 20 miles to find food and ovipositional sites.

If they've got plenty of manure at the dairy, why would flies be flying to the Hyatt? Except maybe the food is better.

It was especially bothersome to read this:

Koloa resident Bridget Hammerquist, an outspoken opponent of HDF’s plan and member of local group Friends of Mahaulepu, doesn’t believe it. She says the diary’s quest for profit should not be allowed to trump concerns about health.

Doesn't Bridget realize that HDF is intended to be a demonstration model? Because it is being financed by billionaire Pierre Omidyar's Ulu Pono Initiative, it doesn't have to be bothered with such pesky concerns as making a profit, or even staying out of the red. But those sorts of comments are bandied about to falsely portray this as some sort of evil corporate farm ready to sacrifice the environment to boost its bottom line.

The real meat of the story comes at the end, in the comment from Ulu Pono's Amy Hennesey:

[I]f development cannot coexist with agriculture, Kauai’s farmers, local food industry and, ultimately, families will be the “victims of unfettered growth.”

And with two large parcels of prime Kauai ag land being swooped up for upscale development just last week, that's not a stretch.


Anonymous said...

on target Joan...all the above. glad you're showcasing the pila'a/moloa'a crap. Amazing how one day an offer was made, the next day the money is in. Such shibai with the land acquisitions. I sit in on many "chats" as a fly on the wall and you'd be agast at the hubris thrown around these types. If Ellison had his way, he'd buy our garden isle too and redub it Ellison Kingdom ll. Instead its the other douche's...keep digging and you'll find out who your friendly realtors are that weaseled in...i know you'll find 'em

Anonymous said...

Fazale Rona is a joke!

Shame on TGI for even giving a thought to his BS religious propaganda!

Just because you claim to have studied science, does not mean you get to ignore it for the advancement of your religious views.

in the end....
Science does not give a damn what you think!

Anonymous said...

Prime Ag land? Maybe for a small farm that provides high priced organics, but the land is marginal at best. The former Sugar Barons tried it all with no taxes, cheap labor and free water. Big Sugar didn't even have the Anti-Ag Council to worry about. Their myriad attempts at diversity were a zippo.
Today Tim and Gary alone would be enough to scare off any PROFIT minded farmer. This well covered duo is the darling of wealthy dilettante goat cheesers, kale growers and other elite delicacy providers, but for a real farm that depends on crop yield, weather, consumer fickleness, marketing, transportation, a real labor force (that is on the books) and capital return..this corpulent couple makes a producing farm a no-go.

Local restaurants would love to buy local, but when you can get 3 times the amount at 1/2 the price thru Esaki's or Costco, there is no competition. Some restaurants will buy some token amounts, but the consumer will decide based on his pocket book.
T'would be better to get out of the mindset that Kauai will be sustainable. The cost of electricity, water, insurance and yes Timmy and Gary, government intervention and TAXES all make Ag difficult at best. Even if you don't got no lease payment for the zero land cost, a real farm is a tough row to hoe.
The Plueger lands, Falko land, Moloaa Bay and other North shore parcels are all destined to be estates.
Shucks Ma'am, even anti-GMO's golden boy, billionaire Bill Porter's land at the former Guava Farm is already CPR'd.....get rid of the sustainable dream, it is lost.
Teach your kids how to mow lawns, kiss okole and bow down very low to a whacky Council that passes laws faster than an Omidyar bovine passes gas.

Anonymous said...

Great post, Joan!

The creationism issue is particularly germane with the Governor's race in Hawaii. Real scary possibility that we could very well become relegated to a Kansas or a Texas regarding separation of church and state.

Regarding the dairy issue, it would be helpful for people to learn more about the progressive pasture management system which is being proposed. It is based on the Savory Intensive Grazing (Cell) System:

Kuilani Sodaro wrote a brilliant article in the HSA (5/7/14) regarding "exporting externalities."

An externality is a consequence of living and/or of being. We, humans, are externalities. If we choose not to raise our own food, then we will need to go to Costco (or wherever) to purchase it - we are essentially "exporting" or passing off our need to grow it, by importing it, all they while trying to talk the sustainability talk. If we do not want the big seed companies here, then we should somehow find 20 or 50 or a thousand little organic farms to take it over. Wow, what a great solution! Or, we could just develop it!

Problem is that those who talk the most seem to be the least knowledgeable. Try a little more critical thinking - less demagoguery - to find some constructive solutions, rather than existing in a little bubble.

Here's some creationism for you: God was very cleaver in proportioning out body parts for smart mammals like us (for very good reason), such as two ears and one mouth.

Anonymous said...

OMGGMO when really all the prime agriculture lands are being bought up.Shhhhh, those are our friends selling the land.

Anonymous said...

So Jeff Stones mistress, self proclaimed "go to girl", and hawaii life real estate sales person is a big supporter of Barca, Hooser, Bynum, chock... You get the picture and was present at a few of the 2491 hearings, making sure to hug all the "spotlight" politicians. She's Another example of a hypocritical self righteous "anti GMO"/ pro development, middle aged woman seeking significance, who parades her ideals around in the name of being Hawaiian, for God, the environment, and so on. A middle aged version of a pro-Ho or groupie I guess.

Anyways, Just trying to connect the dots. It seems that the anti-GMO group, just like Stones side dish, is pro high end development? Just like Hooser and Bynum and the rest of them? And why? I'm seeing a trend. But why? Can someone enlighten me?

I would think that if your anti GMO because of pesticides and water issues that you would also be anti high end development since it is also bad land management. It's been proven that residential uses pesticides heavily and they all use enormous amounts of water for landscaping which doesn't provide food for the island (which is one of the issues the antis have with seed corn).

Coincidence? Conspiracy? Or just hypocrisy?

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't anybody ever point out the fact that Ferring had illegal dwellings in the flood zone and had his own children living in them?

Anonymous said...

I'm afraid the stink can travel 20 + miles if the winds are right. Ask any one down wind of the Greely CO feedlots on a NE wind day.

But cows are still better then more people!

Anonymous said...

How much does a tourist stink, most are coated in toxic sunscreen, toxic mosquito repellent,perfumed, and smell like Tide or other laundry detergent. I'll take the raw smell of cattle any day!

Anonymous said...

When did the dairy become a feed lot? That's quite magical as they have entirely different densities. I've driven by feed lots in CA and they do stink. I owned land next to the former Meadow Gold Dairy in Moloa'a and while it smelled close up, the smell dissipated at a fairly close distance and certainly did not carry a distance of two miles away.

Anonymous said...

Here's some fun facts:

Garden Island:
1.They didn't report on land transfers because there's no story. Land transfers are boring and don't effect daily lives like school education. Creationism is a national topic.


1. Nothing about "an offer was made then it sold" is true. NOTHING! Do some research.
2. Joan have you actually seen Pilaa? According to a recent EA the reef is actually one of the healthiest in the state. Its showing no sign of damage from the flood. That's a tough pill to swallow I bet.
3. The County of Kauai is actually legally liable for the dam too. So if your going to bring up somebody getting away with manslaughter (NOT MURDER) it needs to be about how the County was able to dodge that bullet. Its a very interesting story actually.
4. The poor Ferrings should never have gone through what they did. However, they were illegally living in that valley. Just like the County of Kauai they are not sharing in the responsibility.
5. The Stewarts are actually really good people and love Kauai AND ITS PEOPLE. Shouldn't you be happy Pfluger sold the land, AND that he sold it to private land owners, not developers?

Dairy Farm:

1. Im too tired to even start on this. FACT CHECK!

Freedom of speech is great but its only effective if its the truth.