Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Musings: Crimes and Punishment

Who woulda thunk Judge Randal Valenciano was such a softie?

Hapless addicts, downtrodden kanaka, repentant repeat offenders — none of them faze him. But let “Diamond” Eddie Ben-Dor come a-cryin' and a-whinin' about how the big bad county was nailing him with civil and criminal penalties for his illegal vacation rental and the tiny tyrant got all a-tremble with indignation.

Why it's “an injustice” to ding poor Eddie twice, the judge sniffed. It's “extortion” to demand criminal and civil fines for a misdemeanor zoning violation stemming from Eddie's illegal TVR on Weke Road in Hanalei.

Oh, my, such a dreadful hardship for a diamond merchant/developer who was renting his place for $5,800 per week in the low season.

But since Eddie pled no contest, the judge had to do something. So yesterday morning he ordered Eddie to pay $1,055 in criminal fines and court fees, then turned around and ordered the county to return the $2,000 civil fine that Eddie had already paid.

WTF? The county finally grows a pair and with the help of Prosecutor Justin Kollar starts taking a tough stance on serious scofflaws who never even bothered to get a TVR permit. But rather than support them — or better yet, set a strong example by sending Eddie's ass to jail — Valenciano hangs the county and OPA out to dry.

And then later that day, the judge rescinded his order to make the county repay the civil fine it had collected. He offered no explanation for his reversal. So Eddie was fined a total of $3,055 for operating illegally for years.

Eddie, who conveniently was living under a rock during the years that the TVR permitting process was under way, claimed he thought his TVR was permitted. He also claimed he pulled his website and stopped operating once he got the planning department's cease and desist. But as I previously reported, his TVR was still listed on Flipkey last August 14 — after he had been charged with the misdemeanor offense — and booked right through the Christmas holidays.

What's more the four-bedroom, three-bath, sleeps-12 TVR was billed as having two full kitchens and two living rooms, and offered as a multi-family rental, which is also illegal. As its ad stated:

The house can also be broken into smaller private suites to fit parties of all sizes.” The full house rents for $5,800/week during the low season, while the Plumeria, Gardenia and Hibiscus suites average $2,000 per week.

Now Eddie's trying to get that illegal multi-family TVR approved as a B&B instead. The county properly turned him down, but he appealed to the planning commission. I'll report on that after I have a chance to watch yesterday's commission hearing.

Meanwhile, Charter Commission nominee Allan Parachini was raked over the coals in The Garden Island today by "reporter" Chris D'Angelo. Splashy top of the fold coverage, no less.

And why? Because failed Council candidate Felicia Cowden, who praised Chris on Facebook for covering Bill 2491 in a style favorable to the anti-GMO red-shirts, doesn't like Allan.

Mmmm, who gives a rip what Felicia thinks? Is that worthy of a story that claims "some say" when only one disgruntled person does? Especially since she wrote her own nasty letter to the editor, which is printed today under a headline that inexplicably describes him as a "recent arrival," even though her letter makes no reference to that. 

When was the last time you saw any TGI coverage of commission nominees, much less 30 inches worth?

Felicia dug up some old, discredited dirt, which Chris rehashed, in a pathetic attempt to tarnish Allan's character.

She then moved on to his true sins: He — gasp — criticized her Council campaign and the anti-GMO movement. And in the lock-step world of the red-shirts, anyone who is not 100% with them is obviously in the employ of the seed companies, if not the Devil.

Except Allan isn't.

Felicia claimed Allan's “alignment with Kauai’s chemical seed industry has been clear with his championing the industry while disparaging the concerned citizens with false presumptive statements — as fact — in our newspaper.“ You know. Like what she just did to him.

In the article, Felicia is quoted as saying Allan has  “shown strong alignment with the companies seeking to suppress public participation in the democratic process.”

Once again, this underscores the myopic thinking of the “red shirts,” who believe that successfully suing to challenge a flawed law is somehow undermining the democratic process.

No. It's called following the rule of law, which is part and parcel of the democratic process.

Here's the real reason why Felicia doesn't want Allan: She knows she doesn't have a prayer of getting elected unless the Charter Commission approves Council districts, and she can't count on Allan to make that happen.

So she went crying to Chris, who obliged her with a hatchet job on poor Allan, who dares to be an independent thinker on an island of red-shirted sheeple.

Now aren't you glad you didn't vote Felicia onto the Council?

But watch Councilman Gary Hooser pick up her rallying cry.

Because stunted minds think alike.


Anonymous said...

Ben-Diamond-Dor should be slammed. Home Stay? With a bunch of whiny daughters and a venomous Mother all in chime. What is a homestay? It quacks li' a is a duck. It's a TVR.
Clear violation. The Planning Commission can show teeth, but sometimes they roll over and show a soft furry side.
Hopefully the good natured and fine leader, the Chair of the Planning commission will snap a whip a little and get some of the whack-a-doos on the Commission to DENY the Ben-Dors.....if they gots to sell the place. So be it.
I do like their cute lawyer tho'.
Felicia, to many of us is a newcomer as well. A whacky new-comer. A smart whacky newcomer who made gobs of kala selling tourist shit and then takes the Gary Hooser mantra of being against the very businesses that put rice in their bowls....liars, hypocrites and unicorns.
Alan seems to be OK....anyone who wants to serve on a Commission is a little lolo, anyway.....all work, much abuse and NO appreciation. Commission work is complicated and needs real commitment.

Anonymous said...

TGI and Cowden unleash the red shirt mafia to attack Parachini. Sweet.

Anonymous said...

A $3,000 fine is a slap on the wrist to Eddie Ben-Dor.

Anonymous said...

Leave that poor rich man alone. He's suffered enough.

Anonymous said...

What do we really expect from a divorce attorney, former councilman and now a dirty corrupt Judge?

Anonymous said...

Will ANYONE with integrity please step up and volunteer to be a judge, council member, run the planning department, where a badge or any other county position? Judge is too much title for the boy V.

Anonymous said...

Gee Joan, I wonder how you always seem to find the dirt on all the antis. You must have spys everywhere or you're a psychic. Or you just listen to the rumour mill or a fly on the wall. Revenge is a bitch.

Anonymous said...

Judge Valenciano is a good judge. He may have been a little soft on the money penalties in this case, but overall Judge Randall is fair and comprehensive.
Most of the County Department heads and the apparatchiks under them are smart people. They work under the metal heel of rules and regs.
BTW, for all the no-no to Alan P on the Charter Commish, there ain't no money, it is purely volunteer (only a little gas money), the work is stupefying, reams of papers, laws, rules, regs and the consistent prodding of a hundred pushy know-it-all citizens. A thank-less no-can win assignment.
If the whiners want to be on a Commission, throw your name up to the Mayor. The County needs applicants. After your first week on any commission any whiner will shut up, it is real work, Real free service, with the risk of getting blasted by the munchkins that don't agree with you.
Felicia can also put her name up, but the Unicorn must stay home (unless it is a "comfort animal"), she can ask Andy Parx for the ins and outs on gaming the welfare and social system, he can guide you on the Unicorn rules.

Anonymous said...

Soon we will all need to submit a list of approved people we are allowed to let into our homes.

Unknown said...

I just wrote a letter to the editor, Joan like anyone else can. It is as true to say Parachini's viewpoints align with the seed industry as it to say that mine don't. The question I raised was about temperament, balance and knowledge of the community for this important position. It is up to the paper to decide how to title the letter and at what level of importance they assign to the message. I have no influence over what the editor might consider worthy of the front page. ~ felicia

Joan Conrow said...

No Felicia, that's not true. He has his views. You are the claiming they are aligned with the seed companies. And you are the last person to be passing judgment on balance since you have none.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who believes Valenciano is a good judge is mistaken by his soft nature.

He disgraces an honorable position by committing criminal acts. He suppresses evidence, witnesses, and white noises critical testimony. He not only violates constitutional rights. He does it in travesty.

Court cases in Valenciano's court is not fair. Cases are being sold out in back room chamber deals. Appeals are being sabotaged for Quid pro quo.

Valenciano is a disgrace as a Judge. He is not morally worthy to hold such an important honored position.

Anonymous said...

Was Councilman Hooser present at the Council meeting yesterday?

Joan Conrow said...


Anonymous said...

Wait...head spins. 360 degrees. Ok, whew. I just simply cannot keep up anymore.

So if it is remotely minutely by like a spiders web thread somehow attributable back to anyone that even remotely had any ties to a 2491 supporter anywhere at any time for any reason, or who goes against even minutely out of order in any way shape or form, even if it is a separation of like oh say a million degrees against anyone who is GM0 seed company in any way shape or form ....we have a cage-match?

Have I got that right?

Just tryin to keep up, sorry.

Anonymous said...

Eddie does own a pretty good size hale and because he will never, ever be allowed to vacation rental it, here's a suggestion;
Eddie, you claim to be such a caring dude. Why not dedicate your old home to the young people of Kauai?

Everyone knows we need some kind of drug treatment center for our youth. We could have one small kine place right there in Hanalei!
It's a great idea. Maybe North Shore folks would actually move up a notch in the eyes of the rest of the island!
Not so sure how our visitors (or realtors, hahaha) or neighbors, would feel about it...
But hey, maybe that's the way we could get our long term rentals back! Visitors would be too scared to stay on Weke or anywhere near the Palms......
but you KNOW our young recovering addicts would be stoked!
Wow Eddie, what a great guy!

Anonymous said...

Aloha Joan,
Finally! A drug rehab/halfway house for our young people AND it would be right across from the Hanalei Pavilion! Thanks Eddie Ben Dor, you are one awesomely generous Haole!!!
Hope this hits da coconut wireless, wiki wiki!
Mele Kalikimaka!

Anonymous said...

There is already a drug treatment facility in Hanalei. The poi grinder at Hanalei Poi. That is why their poi is a little crunchy, and gives you a little kick like a starchy energy drink. Kinda nice not having so many tweakers around. Thanks Hanalei Poi!