Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Musings: Why, Oh Why?

Why is Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. encouraging Kauai County employees to contribute to an organization that defrauded the state and federal government, inflates the number of people it serves, has no public accountability and engages in business practices that cost it the support of the Kauai United Way?

You'd think he'd be keeping his distance from such dubious folks. Yet there he is, on the front page of The Garden Island, exhorting county workers to pungle up ever more for the Kauai Independent Food Bank:

We encourage 100 percent participation from all employees, and a challenge to each department to increase its contribution by 20 percent from last year.

I exposed and documented the many lies and misdeeds of the KIFB last October, and the mayor was aware of it well before then. So why does Bernard actively and publicly continue to support this sleazy nonprofit — and in his official capacity, while on the public dime, no less?

If county workers — and anyone else — truly want to help the many hungry folks on Kauai, they should be giving their food and money to the fully legit Hawaii Foodbank –Kauai Branch. Like Larry Bowman of Falko Partners did, donating $50,000 upon the recommendation of Shawn Smith.

Curiously, the mayor never showed for a scheduled photo session when HFB-Kauai conducted its county food drive last fall. So why does Bernard use his position to help a corrupt organization, but not a legitimate one?

Why is Gary Hooser lobbying for state legislation using county letterhead, county resources and his official position as a County Councilman? Most recently, he submitted testimony supporting SB 677, which gives Hawaii mayors the authority to fire the police chief. Gary wrote:

My testimony is submitted in my capacity as the Public Safety Committee Chair and as an individual Councilmember on the Kaua'i County Council.

Really? When did the public safety committee vet this bill and decide to support it? What gives Gary the authority to act unilaterally on behalf of the Council?

Chief Darryl Perry didn't use county stationery to submit his testimony, nor did Police Commissioner Charles Iona, and Perry wrote as a private citizen, not as chief.

But then, they obviously have more integrity than Gary, who goes on to write:

As a Councilmember, I am keenly aware and frequently frustrated by the underlying question of "who is in charge?"

Not you, Gary. That much is clear.

As I've previously reported, Gary has used county resources and his official position to lobby on behalf of at least two state bills — HB 1514 and SB 793 — that are also supported by the Hawaii Alliance for Progressive Action, which he heads. Now that is way too cozy.

And in its plug for the Vandana Shiva Home Rule Tour of 2015, Farming 4 Change prominently features a quote from Gary — and a link to his County Council page — that makes it sound like he's speaking on behalf of the Council:

People are literally getting sick from the intensive pesticide spraying. So on Kauai, we started meeting in living rooms, then more and more people got involved. And we started working on this bill and put in before the council. The council voted, we passed it, the mayor vetoed, then we overrode the veto. It came from the heart of the community.

Why aren't there any County Council rules specifically prohibiting such actions, for those with no sense of propriety and ethics to self-regulate their behavior?

Why does the “visions and goals” section of the South Kauai Community Plan contain bullshit like:

Poipu will be a world-class, sustainable resort destination, serving reidents and visitors alike, developed responsibly, with clean, healthy beaches and ocean environments, welcoming parks, and preserved heritage resources, all well-connected and accessible to everyone

when it obviously already isn't that, and never will be? Sustainable? Hahahaha. Responsible development that has already been wiped out by two hurricanes, and rebuilt? Preserved heritage resources? You mean, like the stuff in the Hyatt lobby? The sacred sites covered with condos? The iwi dug up with the sand used to make concrete for more hotels?

Considering the mess with vacation rentals, why hasn't The Garden Island given any coverage to a bill regulating home stays, which is up for a public hearing before the planning commission agenda today? 

And why doesn't the online version of the Planning Commission agenda link to documents, as the Council agenda does, so that people can know wtf is going on? 

Why, oh why? Just wondering.... 


Anonymous said...

Help support Hawaii senate bill 389 and KILL Hawaii senate bill 677.

Anonymous said...

So why does Bernard use his position to help a corrupt organization

They his friends.

Anonymous said...

Joan, please run for office. We need more people like you to 'clean up' this mess. Help before it gets worse

Anonymous said...

Yawn. Do you have ANYTHING positive to contribute? How many times a week do you smile? I mean, really smile at something other than the misfortunes of others?

Joan Conrow said...

There you go with that projecting again!

Unknown said...

Joan, a dd this to the one sided effort by our local government to screw residents. Just today, our Planning Director proposed to the Commission that "Homestays" be allowed in residential areas. Isn't a Homestay a TVR or a B&B by another name? What doesn't our head planner, of all people, not understand about keeping visitor accommodations out of the neighborhoods and within the VDA?

Joan Conrow said...

Here we go again, Sam, with another influx of TVRs that didn't get permitted the first time and are now coming in as home stays. So much for the VDA.

Anonymous said...

I have been watching the planning commission and planning director for some time now. I am totally convinced that the director and his henchmen are actively working to "level" the Oahu misery by turning Kauai into another Oahu. Aren't both he and henchman Hull both from there? Correct me if I am wrong, but every decision they make runs counter to the traditional Kauai we once loved. It's almost as if they are plants for the money-rules set. Just my observation.

Anonymous said...

Change the VDA

Anonymous said...

So we are already submerged in people who have arrived here late in life having paid dues elsewhere and now we have to finance their retirement or cushy lifestyles by permitting "Homestays" in our neighborhoods? Shades of the Ben Dovers isn't it? Sounds like one more way to drive long time residents out of their neighborhoods. Do we actually pay these people to screw us or are we missing something? Perhaps the Planning Commission can explain this to us dummies.

Anonymous said...


Howz about a post about "Homestays"? Everyone living in a neighborhood on this island should be interested and potentially concerned. If this flys, the smoke issue will look small by comparison.

Anonymous said...

The Princeville Shuttle: cost 150K for a 3 month operation. Taxi drivers in Kauai are lucky to take home 3K a month before taxes, licenses, and fees.

Anonymous said...

Homestays and use permits outside of the VDA in residential neighborhoods are part of the General Plan. It is renting out a room in your house. The planning director is right in this one.

Anonymous said...

B&B Inns are different from B&B homestays (both are called "B&B") and some may confuse the two............. The B&B Inns may be a problem, not the homestays, IMHO.

From the 2005 County CZO Update: (online)

Currently, the CZO does not provide a definition of “B&B.” The term “bed and breakfast” can be used to describe a wide variety of accommodations. Therefore, when crafting a definition, it is important to define the term precisely in the zoning code. The American Bed and Breakfast Association (ABBA) differentiates between bed-and-breakfast homestays and bed-and-breakfast inns. According to the ABBA, B&B homestay is a private, owner-occupied residence with one to three guest rooms. The B&B homestay is subordinate and incidental to the main residential use of the building. A B&B inn is operated primarily as a business, even though the owner may live on the premises. B&B inns typically have four to 20 guest rooms."

Anonymous said...

We agree with what you're saying, Sam Lee.
But right now, we're all just so sick to our stomachs, we can't respond.

Anonymous said...

I too was surprised to see the mayor endorsing the Independent food bank after your expose. Does he accept the same corruption in his cabinet?

Anonymous said...

Property rights vs homestays?
I am personally against Homestays Sammy Lee says it well - This is a TVR in disguise.
If the problem is noise in the neighborhoods, why not the Bynum law of ALL TVRS are OK in Ag?
Whatever Foodbank gets donations, it is a good thing....the more the merrier.

Joan Conrow said...

"Whatever Foodbank gets donations, it is a good thing....the more the merrier."

This comment shows a real ignorance about how things work. Because the Kauai Independent Food Bank has an overly large staff and inefficient building, monetary donations are siphoned off to pay wages and electric bills, rather than provide food to the needy. And the food is distributed to agencies that aren't really legit, like the Puuwai canoe club, rather than to people who actually need it.

Anonymous said...

thanks for clarification about what "home stay" will allow; 1 - 3 rooms to be rented to visitors in an owner occupied house. semantics aside, if anyone believes the impact of home stay will be any different than a TVR or B&B in terms of foot traffic, vehicular traffic, parking, burden on infrastructure, crowding, the loss of "neighborhood", etc, etc, guess again. see this for what it is; another attempt to get visitor stays in to our neighborhoods. considering recent approvals for 100s of visitor accommodations around the island, you'd think they'd leave the residents some place to call their own

Joan Conrow said...

Take a look at Wednesday's blog post, which details the proposed home stay ordinance:


Anonymous said...

Thanks Joan

Just did. Another brilliant idea from our Planners. Good for the tourists. Bad for the locals, as usual.