Friday, May 1, 2015

Musings: La-La Land

How does NOAA expect to build momentum for expanding the Hawaiian Island Humpback Whale Sanctuary when it's simultaneously proposing to remove that magnificent mammal from the Endangered Species List?

Sounds like it's time to scale back the sanctuary. There's just no way folks are going to support more federal control over Hawaiian waters, especially on the westside, where PMRF already exerts so much control.

Several folks have told me they want to scale back Kauai County Councilman Gary Hooser's political career. Or in other words, impeach him. 

They do have good cause. 

His publicity stunt in Switzerland caused him to miss two County Council meetings, for which he is nonetheless paid.

Gary also blew off a Council meeting to testify at the Legislature against the nomination of Carelton Ching. That makes a total of three Council meetings that he's missed this term while working directly on behalf of HAPA, his political advocacy group that masquerades as a nonprofit.

Gary has consistently represented himself to the Legislature and other bodies, including the people of Switzerland and the shareholders of Syngenta, as speaking on behalf of the Kauai County Council and even the entire community. He has done this even though he specifically promised that he was visiting Switzerland on behalf of HAPA and would be speaking as an individual citizen.

He's also shown himself to be of questionable moral character because he repeatedly and publicly misrepresents facts and lies outright — all to advance the cause of HAPA.

Unfortunately, Article XXVII of the Kauai County Charter makes it impossible to impeach Hooser, for two reasons:

1. Only elected officials serving four-year terms can be recalled (27.01). Council is a two-year term.

2. Even if politicians in two-year terms could be recalled, removal by recall cannot occur during the first six months of the term in which the recall is conducted (27.09). Gary is now entering his sixth month.

Perhaps it's time for the Charter Review Commission to visit the recall provisions in the Charter and ask the voters whether they'd like the opportunity to impeach Council members who engage in misconduct during their first months in office.

Meanwhile, Walter Lewis is keeping up the call for a city manager/Council form of government as his pal, Glenn Mickens, sings the praises of disgraced County Auditor Ernie Pasion in the newspaper's letters to the editor section.

While I've seen the manager system work well in other municipalities, there's a good reason why it will not succeed here: the County Council. That's the panel that hired Ernie, even though he wasn't qualified, and then bungled his firing, prompting him to file a lawsuit and take home a hefty settlement for spending his term first engaged in political vendettas, and then doing zip.

That debacle cost taxpayers $400,000 in legal fees and $300,000 in a settlement.

So why would anyone in their right mind think the Council would hire a qualified, competent, experienced city manager to run the county— especially one that might challenge them, as a good manager should do? If they couldn't manage an auditor, how could the manage a manager?

It ain't gonna happen, except in the fantasies of Walter Lewis, Ken Taylor, Glenn Mickens and a few others who harken for the good old days on the mainland they left.

But here is a smart move on the part of the Council: picking Jade K. Fountain-Tanigawa as the County Clerk of the County. A resolution appointing her is on the May 6 agenda, and she deserves to be approved.

Also on the May 6 agenda is the second reading of a bill that hasn't gotten much attention. Introduced by Councilman Mason Chock, Bill 2585 calls for slashing the percentage of real property tax revenue that's appropriated to the public access, open space and natural resources preservation fund. Rather than the 1.5 percent approved by voters, just 0.5% would be appropriated.

It's another budget-cutting measure, and it directly impacts the people of Kauai by making it harder to buy or otherwise acquire significant lands for public access and preservation. But then, the commission has never really been taken seriously, which is why it has $5 million just sitting there for acquisition.

Meanwhile, Fern Rosenstiel of Ohana o Kauai took to Civil Beat to tell how she, Gary and Malia Chun had “shared their [fabricated] story” about pesticides with the Swiss:

They are appalled to know that we are only asking for disclosure, so we can know when to shut our windows.

Surely Fern knows that all the companies disclose their pesticide use on the Good Neighbor website. And though it isn't required, they also provide pre-notification of pesticide applications to schools, KVMH and any residents in the area who have signed up for the notification. The only exception to the pre-notification is Pioneer, which isn't allowed to contact residents because some of them are involved in the dust lawsuit against the company.

So ya gotta wonder, is Fern hopelessly out of touch with reality, or simply telling tales?

Her piece prompted a number of comments, including one from Kilauea resident Cyndee Fehring, directed toward a UH researcher:

You sit in the ivory tower of U of H, which is in a cozy relationship with these corporations, while we grow food here ORGANICALLY and in abundance. I'll put up my experience as an organic farmer seeking organic solutions to problems against Syngenta's researchers and your university degrees, any day of the week.

Really? If you're such a successful farmer, then why must you supplement your income with an illegal TVR on ag land? If Kauai folks are growing organic food in abundance, why is nearly everything edible still imported? And do you truly believe that you, as a new hobby farmer, know as much about agriculture as Ph.D. researchers?

Yet another person with an exaggerated sense of self telling tall tales in la-la land.


Anonymous said...

Growing organic food in abundance seems to be a bit of an oxymoron.

Anonymous said...

Watched the video from Switzerland. Gary said he currently "serves" on the Kauaʻi County Council. Yet you claim Gary said he was speaking on "behalf" of the council. Could you please quote where Gary says he is there on "behalf" of the council? "Serving" and "speaking on behalf of" do not have the same meaning. Mahalo

Anonymous said...

Well, there seems to be a glut of kale at the farmers' markets. But even the bugs turn up their probosces at that for dinner.

Joan Conrow said...

8:42. By identifying himself as a council member and lawmaker, and his other uses of we and our, while never saying he was there solely for HAPA, he tried to create the impression he was there in his official capacity when he most certainly was not.

Anonymous said...

I think the council rules state that if you miss two consecutive meetings is grounds for removal by the members.

Anonymous said...

I agree with 8:42. It is a common practice, when introducing oneʻs self, to state what oneʻs current job or position is. If I say that I work for the University Of Hawaiʻi, it does not mean that I am speaking on their behalf. To speak on someoneʻs behalf, it is necessary to say exactly that- for example, " I am here today on the behalf of (Kauaʻi County Council). I do believe you are being misleading by using the term "speaking on behalf of". Anyone who has not watched the video or read the transcript will imagine Gary said something different than he actually said if they only read your words. I think a correction is in order. It is not good reporting to put words into the mouths of others, in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

Joan Conrow your comment at 9:37 Am is the truth.
As far as Gary goes, Fred said it best-
“I'm not upset that you lied to me, I'm upset that from now on I can't believe you.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche

Dawson said...

10:43 AM wrote:
"It is a common practice, when introducing oneʻs self, to state what oneʻs current job or position is. If I say that I work for the University Of Hawaiʻi, it does not mean that I am speaking on their behalf. To speak on someoneʻs behalf, it is necessary to say exactly that..."

Are you seriously that naive, or just playing PR spinmeister for Gary?

It's a common practice of dishonest politicians in general, and Gary Hooser in particular, to lie with a carefully selected combination of facts and omissions.

If Gary were an honest politician, he would proactively, clearly and repeatedly state that he is not speaking for the Council or the people of Kauai, and that in fact he is there representing his own political advocacy group.

Anonymous said...

Please no city manager. We already have enough difficulty with unaccountable county employees given bizarre powers to punish pick and choose their victims based on personal reasons. Letting them answer to an unelected official will mean the public wil mere slaves to government employees.,

Anonymous said...

Would a city manager be subject to employer/employer privacy restrictions? Would the hiring/firing of a city manager be done in executive session? The mayor has a performance review every four years. We also advertise and vote on the qualifications and selection of a replacement mayor if that's what the people voting chooses.

Chuck Lasker said...

Kauai voters put Gary in office, so they deserve him for the full two years. Kauai deserves the consequences of their actions.

Anonymous said...

The problem with the Mayoral system in place now is that some departmental appointees do not have the qualifications to serve or they prove unworthy of the position over time. The Mayor has these people in place and refuses to replace those that can't do the job. He either keeps them in place and has others do the actual work or he moves them to high paying positions where they can't do much damage. Waste of taxpayer monies! If the Manager system improves on this process and in not as political, then we should try it.

Anonymous said...

The first suggested managerial qualifications a couple election cycles ago made it clear that one, it was pushed be the Princeville crowd, and two that no local had the qualifications. I can just see another useless mainlanders bring in all these experts to lord it over us peasants who happen to live all our lives in their paradise. One more of Joanne's, Bernard's , or Hoosiers useless experts and we will go bankrupt. Something this county is on its way to doing anyway all on its own.

Anonymous said...

When Lorin Pang does anti-GMO testimony he ALWAYS says he works for Maui dept of health but he is speaking as an individual. Something Gary does NOT do.

Anonymous said...

JoAnn is the expert on bringing in absolutely useless her East Coast Planning Director she appointed. He was a bigger Communist than our current Apparatchik Mike Dahlig.
Between JoAnn, Mike and Da Hoos all property rights will be taken. Local housing will consist of BS Apartments and say bye-bye to simple single family residences.
Da Hoos and JoAnn cater purely to the NS wealthy "I got mine" so you can't have yours crowd.
But at least we will be able to take the bus from our Government subsidized cracker box apartments.
But then again, watching JoAnn try to get the concept of "farming" on her Kilauea Ag park is astonishing. How many stupefied expressions can one person make? And The Kilauea Ag Park is JoAnn's baby....30 years in the making and there still ain't no water, gots plenty trash, old cars and and not a tomato. papaya or legume in sight. I betcha JoAnn will insist that the farmers who get a plot must grow, non-GMO, pesticide free products. And the farms will be be worked by "cash only" day laborers, sporting dread locks and marrywanna medical cards. JoAnn, there ain't no money in farming...unless the land, insurance and water are free. Your NS millionaire hipsters who do a little gardening doth not maketh an economical model.

Anonymous said...

General Hertog as Kauai's county manager.

Does anyone second this motion?

Manuahi said...

The thing with JoAnn is that she appeals to the old time low information voter. Tutu's who don't read blogs or listen to public hearings or haven't the knowledge or intelligence to critically listen to all the nice platitudes that Joann spouts. JoAnn puts on a good show for these less than with it voters who vote for her year after year because she speaks quietly, seems kindly and is Japanese. What they totally miss is Joann's own ignorance and strong anti-business (plantation labor) thinking. She is an attorney that is clueless about financing and economics. This is the problem when attorney's are elected to office. Like our community organizer President who is a total failure at every single thing he has tried to accomplish. No one can point to anything he has done successfully and JoAnn follows closely in his footsteps. I'm sure she's already forgiven "Hawaii's Favorite Son"" for not putting his library here. You, the majority of Hawaii's people are so humble and so forgiving when screwed. That's why we have crappy people in office.

Anonymous said...

So true, manuahi

Culturally and by custom, Hawaii's people are not forward or confrontational. This humble quietness has often been interpreted as acquiescence; in many instances to the detriment of the people.

When controversial issues come up, we look to our officials who we voted into office for help. Most of these people were raised here and are thought to share the same values.

Unfortunately, our faith seems to be misplaced.

Anonymous said...

I haven't read the entire post and I need to comment. PMRF has Limited legal standing in the County of Kauai. PMRF is a Concurrent Jurisdiction with State laws trumping Federal Laws. There is no Federal magistrate or Court in our County. All Federal Law Enforcment operate under County and State laws to include Arrest. This is why the Supper Ferry failed. The U.S. Coast Guard could not enforce Federal Port Laws and the canoes and surfers were not braking State or County laws by being in the harbor. This is why the people of Kauai can surf at Majors Bay but in Oahu you would be arrested if you got with in a mile of Marine base Kaneohe by sea. PMRF has to follow State Law and the law says no one can block beach access. I say good luck to federal Wildlife Officers enforcing a Whale Sanctuary. I heard they want DOCARE to do enforcement but state laws give the right to fish or Gathering Rights. All that is left is County Enforcement and they have no Navy.
Waimea Boy