Thursday, November 13, 2014

Musings: On This and That

It feels like a little of this, little of that, kind of day. So let's start with some military tidbits, since another Veteran's Day is just behind us and seemingly endless war looms before us.

Yet just 30 percent of Americans aged 17 to 24 are even eligible to become soldiers, with the rest rejected because they have criminal records, insufficient education or are too obese, according to Stars and Stripes. Hmmm. Obesity has some health benefits after all….

America has spent $6 trillion on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, most of it borrowed, and long-term care for the wounded soldiers is expected to hit $1 trillion by 2050. Who benefits? Weapons-makers, big--Pharma, health care providers, military contractors and suppliers, etc., etc. As one former Army colonel put it:

The lowliest 1% go off to war to make the other 1% monufuckingmentally rich.

Closer to home, failed Kauai mayoral candidate Dustin Barca continues to show his ego knows no bounds as he single-handedly wages war against biotech — from the safety of social media:
Whatever it takes? As in, I'm gonna Instagram you into oblivion? Them's big words for a guy who couldn't even muster a majority of votes south of Kilauea.

It looks like the GMO stalemate is likely to continue at the state Legislature, where Sen. Russell Ruderman, a second-term Big Island lawmaker and health food store owner, will square off against Rep. Clift Tsuji, a powerful longterm legislator, as chairs of their respective agricultural committees.

So once again folks will waste time, money and jet fuel in a futile effort to get GMO labeling and moratorium bills passed. But not all is lost. The failed campaigns will allow Center for Food Safety to keep its name in the media and its funding appeals going strong.

And anti-GMO lobbyist Nomi “Babes” Carmona can keep slurping at the activist funding trough, blowing money donated by the earnest and befuddled on her own petty vendettas — like buying up domain names for me, Joni Kamiya-Rose, Chuck Lasker, politicians Malama Solomon and Clarence Nishihara, Monsanto's Fred Perlak and Pioneer's Cindy Goldstein, along with gmogroundzero, gmofreeoahu, omggmowtf and my favorites, boobs against biotech and boobs against biology. Just in case any of us are in doubt....

Continuing on the subject of overblown egos, Gary Hooser was told to pack his bags and beat it after it was discovered he was attending classes at UH law school while getting paid to run the Office of Environmental Quality Control, according to a source in the guv's office. So Gary resigned and was elected — and just recently re-elected — to the Kauai County Council, where he's now running the Hawaii Alliance for Progressive Action — his own private political machine — and still attending law school.

Upon hearing the news, a friend asked, “How'd he get into law school?”

While we're on the topic of the Council, the planning committee yesterday passed the shoreline setback bill without the “bright line” exemption. The building setback for rocky coastlines is now set at 60 feet from the certified shoreline, instead of 40 feet from nowhere. It goes before the full Council next week.

Also going to a vote of the full Council is defeated Councilman Tim Bynum's “agronomics” bill, which would pull all the seed crop acreage — we're talking thousands of acres — out of the ag dedication, so it can be taxed at market value. This is Tim's last chance to attack agriculture, unforeseen consequences — e.g., development into gentleman's estates, more large parcel sales to billionaires — be damned.

And finally, a friend left a message on Facebook: "KIUC seeking lease of water from Kokee ditch."

The lease is on tomorrow's agenda of the Board of Land and Natural Resources. It would give KIUC access to the land to conduct engineering and geotechnical studies for the westside pumped storage project it's been studying for the past year. They held a public meeting about it in Waimea on July 8.

To clarify, it's not a hydro project and it's not a diversion. They're not taking water anywhere, just moving it back and forth in a pipe to generate renewable electricity. As explained in the June issue of KIUC's Currents magazine:

Pumped storage is essentially a huge battery that stores water instead of electrons. It can use solar power to inexpensively pump water uphill to a storage pond during the day, then reuse the same water at night to turn a turbine and create electricity. First developed in Europe in the 1890s, pumped storage is now the most common form of energy storage in the

As an interesting aside, the project would displace some GMO corn being grown under a state lease by Syngenta, proving once again that yes, everything is connected.


Anonymous said...

Maybe with a law degree GH will finally come up with some ideas that aren't illegal and doomed to fail. I guess he's tired of all the young kids being waaaay smarter than him. His ego is too big to listen to advise from anyone younger than him. Yep Gary the younger generation is coming and soon you will be overshadowed and irrelevant. Quick get that law degree. That'll do the trick.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info on KIUC. I was wondering what that was about.

Chuck Lasker said...

Has Barca conceded yet? Has he called to congratulate Mayor Carvalho, as is expected of people who have any class at all?

Anonymous said...

As if facts matter: As someone involved in the UH Enviro law program I know for a fact that Gary applied for and was accepted into the UH Law School part time evening program just as any other student would (lsats and all)and his departure from the OEQC stemmed from his unwillingness to support the Abercrombie admins anti environment and pro development policies. Going to school at night to further your area of expertise should be applauded. Joan I am so disappointed in you. Your dislike of Gary has totally corrupted your good judgment as a person.

Joan Conrow said...

Dear Anonymous,
Of course facts matter. Do you also know for a fact Gary wasn't doing school work during work time? And if he was canned because of his "unwillingness to support Abercrombie's anti environment and pro development policies," does that mean Jessica Wooley, his successor, was willing?

Anonymous said...

The US military is responsible for the freedom for us to sit comfortably in our dry, warm and well lit rooms and blog away and say what we please. Freedom has a cost and the men and women who lay their lives down for our country are real heroes.
We should all thank them in our thoughts everyday.

Anonymous said...

I am trying to remember if that was the standing room only water meeting that I attended in Waimea about a year ago, where people were not at all happy about it? Would like to know more about it, it sounds like a good deal, if it isn't impacting the regular water availability, as as far as i know the water situation is pretty bad, as far as quality and taste and color.

As for buying up web domains, I was not quite clear what that was all about? Can you write a little more about that? They are creating domain names that say boobs against Biotech?

Thanks. I must be getting really ancient since I seem to need clarifications! Just want to understand better. Also, let's pack that meeting next week and make sure they keep those setbacks.

Anonymous said...

All it mean is that KIUC's profits will grow.

It's great that KIUC is getting off oil addiction and leaning more towards renewable energy but when is the savings going to be pass down to the rate payers?

$0.47 per kwh is 4 times the national average.

The pump storage and photovoltaic is a better, cleaner, safer and will not create pollution and harm the environment and air quality like the burning tree smoke stack power plant in the Knutzen gap.

Jim Kelly said...

Re 5:40 question. The meeting in Waimea was on July 8, 2014 and there were about 40 people there. Plenty of seats were open.
Re 5:44 statements. KIUC is a nonprofit cooperative. Any money left at the end of the year is returned to members.
Rates this month are 38 cents, not 47.
Jim Kelly
Communications manager, KIUC

Anonymous said...

Jim Kelly

What about the tree burning smoke stack, what is the plan on that?

What will the air quality be like when the tree burning smoke stack is operational?

What is the pollution index?

What kinds of harmful effects will it cause to the land, air, water, and the mercury emissions, Other air toxins, sulfur and nitrogen dioxide?

What about the health effects of the thousands o people living downwind from the smog producing smoke stacks?

Smog and soot pollution creates premature deaths, heart attacks, acute bronchitis, aggregated asthma, and many sick days.

Is KIUC, green energy, and EPA going to protect kauai and it's communities with clean air act and the air pollution rule?

Jim Kelly said...

Here's a link to a project overview from the company that's building the plant, Green Energy Team.
The plant's emissions will be far below emissions from the existing power plants on Kauai and will displace 3.7 million gallons of oil that are now being burned annually to make electricity.

Anonymous said...

@ 3:29 "As if facts mater" Gary is not currently enrolled in law school, get off his nuts. He may have the option to re enroll but he hasn't been there since he dropped out, whatever the reason. The relevant issue is that his statement creates a false impression which is buttressed by his lies of omission. He doesn't know it yet but this is the kind of movie style lawyering that real professional ethics prohibits. But he wouldn't know that because apparently he dropped out before taking professional conduct.

No matter though, this is Kauai where because of people like him and their fans like you, anyone can be anything they claim! Gary can be a law student, Dustin can be hawaiian, Fern can be a scientist, Saul can be a farmer, Nomi can be a babe and Terry Liley can be a marine biologist. Have I missed anyone? Gaurans bo barrens. All I know is that theres measles on the North Shore! WtF! Right on for not vaccinating your keiki. The minute any of you die from small pox then you will know what its like to be hawaiian.

Watchdog said...

Joan, do you also know for a fact that Bynum didn't have a rice cooker in his family room? Also, what does Hooser have to do with his successor on a board? Maybe the successor thought she could do things better or differently. Anon 3:29 presented some verifiable information and assumes the best of intentions. You provide no further evidence, your original comment "told to pack his bags and beat it" was uncharitable and unjournalistic, and you assume bad intentions on Hooser's part. I'm glad you share some scuttlebutt with us, but please no vendettas.

Joan Conrow said...

I know for a fact Bynum DID have a rice cooker in his family room, though I'm not sure why you brought it up. That was not the issue. It was whether a rice cooker constituted a kitchen.
The "verifiable" info Anon brought up was never in question. The rest --why GH left his job-- was Anon's opinion. His successor matters as a way to disprove that opinion because she was hailed as a darling of the environmentalists. Would GH have found the guv's policies unbearable, but not she? Unlikely. As for "pack his bags," I should've used quotes because that's how it was told to me. What "further evidence" should I provide to counter the opinion of an insulting Anonymous commenter? They were lucky to even get a response. Seems you and 3:29 are the ones assuming the worst of me because you're so unwilling to see the truth about Hooser.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it illegal to buy a private citizens name as a domain?

Manawai said...

November 13, 2014 at 5:44 PM said:
"It's great that KIUC is getting off oil addiction and leaning more towards renewable energy but when is the savings going to be pass down to the rate payers?"

I think the sad reality of it is that we cannot expect to bring our costs down with green power, but only to keep them from going up further in the future. It's not the cost of oil that's killing us. It's the cost structure of KIUC. Leveraged financing adds a lot of cost to already expensive projects. Isn't the Waimea thing to cost between 50 & 60 million? And I think we can assume that it will come in well over budget as these things usually do. At $60 mil the financing itself will cost 3 to 4 million dollars a year spread over 30 yrs to repay.

Anonymous said...

The governors chief of staff is Bruce Coppa the former head of PRP, the Pacific Resource Partnership. PRP is an unholy alliance between the carpenters Union and large contractors. During Gary's term as OEQC Director the gov and Bruce were attempting to pass Bills exempting state construction projects from Chapter 343 (EIS law). The director of Oeqc job is to administer Chapter 343 and protect the environment. Gary opposed these Bills and most were defeated. I know. I was there testifying alongside him as were all environmental advocates. I am not quite sure why this blog seems intent on tearing him down but I do know his history as an advocate for the environment statewide has been strong, effective and consistent. And yes, given the same circumstances Jessica Wooley would have done the same thing. Thankfully Bruce Coppa and the governor dropped the push for broad across the board exemptions. Not sure what Gary did to piss you off but the two of you should kiss and make up. Lol

Joan Conrow said...

You're convenient ally missing the point, 6:58. The issue is not Gary's environmental creds, but his misuse of taxpayer money and trust by attending classes during work time.

Go back and read my past posts, and today's post, and you'll get a sense of why Gary is on my radar. But first take off your ideological blinders.

Anonymous said...

The costs does not necessarily come out from the KIUC's coop.

The green energy smoke stack power plant was funded by overseas secret investors and majority of the 100 million + project came from the federal government.

The photovoltaic is all private investments done by a person(s) or a company selling renewable energy to KIUC at a lower cost.

There were companies willing to have purchase agreements with KIUC for hydro generated power but KIUC refused to do a 20 yr purchase agreement like they did with the smoke stack power plant in the knutzen gap.

Why didn't KIUC agree to a purchase agrrent of renewable energy from this company like it has with photovoltaic and the smoke stack wood burning smog plant is unknown.

I do agree with the way KIUC is structured aof how it will not reduce out electricity rates to like 10 years ago when it was $0.23 to $0.26 per kwhr.

Anonymous said...

"Misuse of taxpayer money..." Joan you are a deceitful fraud of a hack blogger. You know Gary only went to school at night, part time but you block this info from readers. Shame on you.

Joan Conrow said...

I know nothing of the sort and I'm not blocking anything from readers. Anon 3:29 said GH enrolled in evening classes but did not reply when I asked if they knew for a fact he hadn't used work time for school. Sorry, but I trust my own source more than an anonymous commenter, especially one who is so uncivil and nasty. Shame on you!

Anonymous said...

especially one who is so uncivil and nasty. Shame on you!


Anonymous said...

Mahalo for bringing my message to more people!! Through social media I will bring thousands in unity for positive solutions! Watch! Sorry you lost hope Joan.... Negative and bitter is no way to live life. I randomly found this and could only laugh.... No need comment back. God bless you. Aloha Dustin Barca

Joan Conrow said...

I see you haven't lost any of your grandiosity, Dustin. Too bad you still haven't held up the mirror to view your negativity and bitterness (which I lampoon in other posts, so keep looking). Because you're right -- that's no way to live.