It's 3 a.m. in Seoul, but my body has no interest in the digital clock, only its own, which is saying I should be up and not lollygagging in bed. But such is the nature of jet travel, and its inevitable body lag.
I've got a post on my new website that reflects a bit on my initial impressions of Korea. The people are unfailingly polite, and I was reminded again of the Asian-influenced civility that has so sadly been lost on Kauai in the past few years, trampled by the tactics that characterize the mainland-based anti-GMO movement.
But what do they care if the social fabric of Hawaii has been irrevocably rent? They've got an economic and political agenda, and it doesn't have anything to do with supporting communities, despite all their “good neighbor” rhetoric, which they believe should apply only to seed company actions, and never their own.
I happened to stumble upon a piece online that was written by Chuck Ellis, the marketing manager for ABC Research Laboratories, a food testing company. He wondered why there were so many incendiary anti-science and anti-biotech memes on the Internet, and so few pro-science ones. Turns out the pro-science guys are making memes in their limited spare time, while the professional activists — yes, the anti-GMO movement is very well-funded — are paid to churn 'em out frequently and fast.
Yet they are the first to scream “corporate shill” when anyone questions their antics. Ellis' inquiries brought him to Dr. Alison L. Van Eenennaam, director of the Animal Genomics and Biotechnology Program at U.C. Davis, who made this very astute observation about the shill claim:
It’s been used as a way to discredit and silence those sources that have nothing to do with the [biotech] companies. So if you can’t believe your public sector scientists, and you can’t believe the companies, who’s out there speaking about the technology? Just the groups opposed to it. It’s a way to quiet the voices and amplify the spiral of silence…
Eenennaam goes on to say:
“There’s a biotechnology industry, but there is also an activist industry whose business model is fear…The more they can make it an issue to people, the more donations they can make for that activist organization. And so the more fear they can generate, the more funds they can get in.”
Which prompted her to produce this video in response.
I saw that fear-mongering/outrage-provoking formula today in Linda Bothe's mean-spirited rant in The Garden Island, which was full of the usual misinformation — no, Pioneer is not leaving, it just closed one facility, and yes, the seed companies are the only ones keeping ag alive on the westside, including supplying water to taro growers, despite Earthjustice claims to the contrary — and all sorts of judgments about how “good neighbors do not fight for the right to spray poisons near our schools, hospitals and residences” — never mind that the chem companies are neither spraying near those facilities, nor fighting for the right to do so.
Ironically, in Googling Linda's name, I noticed she'd been given — though it does not say by whom — a “civic recognition award” for acts of kindness and compassion, neither of which she displayed with her blasé comment: “I realize job loss is a concern, but as the saying goes 'when one door closes another door opens.'”
The door is about to close on some B&B/homestay/illegal TVR owners who are scrambling to get their applications in before Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. signs the homestay bill that the Council passed last week. As reported by Sam Lee in comments — though never by TGI — the Council did pass the bill that restricts new applications to 10 per year, prohibits homestays in guest houses and requires a special use permit for operations on ag land.
[Correction: TGI did report the Council vote on B&Bs, buried in a story on the budget. And though JoAnn spoke against the bill, she cast no vote, which counts toward the majority under Council rules.]
[Correction: TGI did report the Council vote on B&Bs, buried in a story on the budget. And though JoAnn spoke against the bill, she cast no vote, which counts toward the majority under Council rules.]
Only Councilmembers JoAnn Yukimura and Gary Hooser opposed the bill, with JoAnn seeking to grandfather in all the scofflaws — a patently unfair approach that was used with the TVRs — and Gary opposing any regulation at all. Which caused a friend to wonder why Gary is constantly attacking the seed companies, which actually are doing agriculture, while protecting the gentleman farmer/TVR owners occupying some of the island's best ag land, yet producing nothing but dirty towels and sheets.
In other news unreported by TGI, police officer Darla Abbatiello has settled her EEOC complaint against Kauai County, the one that resulted in the mayor suspending Chief Perry and his top brass, which in turn led to big drama and other legal claims that are still pending. Because the county can never handle personnel matters without blowing hundreds of thousands of dollars on legal fees.
Darla will get $100,000 and KPD has to undergo training in retaliation and various other EEOC matters. Though Perry took all the heat, it turns out the County’s discrimination policy relating to malicious false reports was in direct contradiction to EEOC retaliation guidelines. Oops...
While we're talking about KPD, I contacted Chief Perry to find out what really went down at the Hanalei Pier last week, prompting the mayor to publicly apologize:
In a nutshell, one of the student victims was involved in some type of confrontation with an intoxicated local teenager and was punched. Chaperones attempted to intercede and were assaulted by other locals who were friends of the teen. It was an ugly scene. The suspects fled in a truck which was later found to be abandoned. Officers are following up with the registered owner. It’s a bad situation when there are angry locals—for whatever reason—mixed in with unsuspecting visitors just trying to enjoy themselves.
And that, folks, is the state of Hanalei to Kee today. Though many will mightily deny it, it's due in no small part to the proliferation of big money TVRs in a confined, remote area that was never supposed to have tourist accommodations and the subsequent squeeze on local residents, creating a sort of land use molotov cocktail, just waiting for a spark.
Joan- The reality is, Kauai is a polite place. Maybe not the extreme public polite civility common in Korea and Japan. But remember, these cultures have deep racial and personal conflicts, once you cut the veneer of casual greetings.
Overall, Kauai still has strangers saying "hello" to each other and even the grunt and eyebrow raise of the too cool to actually talk, surfer-dudes is common. There is a familiarity on this island,
There is relatively little crime on Kauai.
The Hanalei incident will be worked out. Fear and intimidation are wrong. It is a good thing these kids didn't go to Lunada Bay or other California surf spots, that indeed would have been dirty licking.
There have been countless incidents of violence on Kauai that go back way before any TVRs took over the Northshore. The pillars of these Primo Warriors are now older and mellower, but their legacy lives on. All places have altercations. Life is never a smooth walk.
It is news and the people love to yakkity yak about the reasons behind any incident, but maybe the tormenter was drunk an just didn't like the shape of the victim's face. Bad things happen to good people, but it is not an indictment of the island.
It is a good thing that the Mayor made a public apology and that legions of Kauai citizen's jumped to try to make the bad act better thru gifts etc. This positive reaction that try to make the evil better is the real face of Kauai. People helping people.
Except the Council, which contrary to their sworn duty to "serve" the people, is intent on splitting the community, raising taxes and fees and making all aspects of life more complicated. Think of the last few years....anti-Ag laws, no more Tutu renting out a room, bizarre tax rules, a Planning Department that picks and chooses what rules to enforce, the Tim Bynum gift of 300K from the Council and the list goes on and on. WHEN has Kauai ever seen so many Council mishaps in the history of the island?
I am hard pressed to remember. Even past Board of Supervisor doing their duty from a prison cell still had the government working for the people, not working against the people. I say bring back Vidinha, Tony Baptiste, Smokey Louie, Jimmie Tehada and Asing. There were no Bozos then, Today the Council is Bozo City. Big Bozo City. Great Constellations of Bozos Batman, how can so few elected people do so much damage? And to think, our population is only 60,000, maybe 80,000 with the toureye, how can it be so hard? Full Blown Bozo Hoos, Half-a-Bozo JoAnn, Confused Bozo Mason, Bozo-in-learning Arryl, not-a-Bozo Kualii, General Commandant Bozo Rapozo and another not-a-Bozo Kagawa, but Kagawa is just a clown's nose away from joining the circus.
On Kauai it is not the common man who you should fear, it is certain Department Heads and the Council who can put a death grip on your lifestyle.
Those thugs in Hanalei need to get open prison terms. C'mon Chief Perry and Prosecutor Kollar. When you guys gonna realize the NS has a race-based violence problem? You catch one of these assailants and find a prior record for violence, throw away the key. Plenty violence before TVRs, but even with TVRs, there is no excuse for this behavior.
The civility of Hawaii is by no means entirely a Japanese influenced matter although they surely are an important part . .the missionaries taught it early on in schools and churches. Hawaiians also had a culture which was already accepting of civility and discouraged open argument within family. Schools such as Kamehameha, Iolani, Punahou, St Louis, MidPac, Hawaii Prep, and Sacred Hearts all taught it as did the English Standard schools.,Plantations demanded it within the fields, camps and stores., Thus we all did it, much like 12.21 opined.
I know right where I would like a closing door to hit Linda, Gary, and JoAnne.
Joan - once again u are correct. The root of the problem is rich people spending their money! Disgusting!!
Monsanto Co. is prepared to pay a $2 billion break-up fee should its $45 billion takeover bid for Syngenta AG fail as it presses to jumpstart talks on combining its leading franchise for genetically modified seeds with the world’s largest maker of agricultural chemicals.
The funny thing is when I went to L&I to file a retaliation complaint, those dummies acted and said they never saw a EEOC.
I was like yeah right dummies!!! Retaliation and attacks against county and state workers on Kauai has been going on for far too long and with the recent 10 or so cases costing the county millions and they don't know a dam thing. Fricking Inbreds.
One of the clerks had the audacity to bitch at me for filing a complaint against a coworker who has retaliated against me and attacked me in many ways. He has even committed criminal acts that aren't in the EEOC but will come up in a civil matter if he doesn't learn him some.
Kauai is definitely a third world country. Fuck the Kauai Mafia!!! Yah Heard Me Slaves??? Run Tell Dat.
12:21 furfaro and Bynum were the two biggest bozos of all. At least they are gone, the voters are now identifying the bozos and actually doing something about it. Next one, Hooser, yukimura, and chock are adious amigos.
Joan, TGI did cover the B&B cap/ guest house change after it was approved in committee, and covered it again when it was approved by the full council. I read both stories in the paper.
I enjoy reading your blog, but it bothers me when you say things that are blatantly false. It seems you should issue a correction.
You're right, 10:37. I found the final Council vote on the B&B bill buried in a TGI story on the budget, and have corrected my post accordingly.
Aside from her unsubstantiated and groundless accusations, Linda Bothe's position (indeed, the entire local anti-GMO position) in her letter to the editor can be summed up in two historical phrases:
1) Let them eat cake
2) We had to destroy the village in order to save it
7:01 PM and 1:46 PM- Careful what you wish for. Right now our Council Chair is a former police officer who, it has been reported in "Kauai Blues" by Antony Somers, condoned sexual abuse inside a police station. It defies logic that he was ever elected to public office, but I suppose it reflects the makeup of the Kauai electorate. Mr. Rapozo appears to have formed a coalition, a voting bloc as it were, with three other Council Members who appear not willing to challenge him on any issue. That's just fine and dandy if you agree with all of what Mel believes, but good luck if one day you find yourself on the other side of his agenda. Now that he has made the possibility of a homestay in guest house illegal, why doesn't he introduce legislation to allow kitchens in these $100k guest houses, which now, by law, have no real purpose, so that they can be used for long-term rentals and help alleviate our affordable housing shortage? Possibly because neither he, nor any of his friends or family, own a guest house...
Yes, I'm certain the drunk local who punched a child at the Hanalei pier would be a man of peace if only the $5M beachfront properties in Haena could revert back to "workforce housing" and come down in price to something he could afford - say, $200k or so. No doubt that would solve of all of the issues that might otherwise have caused him to assault a child - no girlfriend troubles, no lack of high-end jobs in the Hanalei area, no self-esteem issues from poor grades at school, no alcohol or drug issues. Yes, all would be fine for this young man of character - if only the spark from the TVR match hadn't been lit. My, the power of TVR's to wreck the otherwise idyllic life of a local.
As I said, many will mightily deny it. The explosion of TVRs, and the subsequent gentrification, displacement of locals and massive influx of tourism, have all worked together to exacerbate socio-economic problems in the area.
Socio-ecenomic problems may be part of the issue but the greater issue is that too many of the native Hawaiian locals on the north shore are racists who feel they have a right to steal/tax and beat on the tourists and haloes. Racism is not a economic issue as much it is failure of parenting, schools and Kauai's criminal justice system which has been traditionally lax in prosecuting these types of hate crimes and individuals. Oh and let's not forget the parks department and their culpability. Black Pot is their private little weekend play area.
There is always going to be economic inequality, there is always going to be someone "displaced" from a job or from housing, because, well, other people have more marketable skills that get them better paying jobs, which can drive up housing prices and displace others. In the 1970's, white kids in Detroit went out looking to beat up anyone who looked Asian, because imported Japanese cars were taking jobs from Detroit's auto workers. Joan, would you have said, hey, look at all this soci-economic inequality being caused by Toyota and Honda, that's it, no more foreign cars?
Yes, if we got rid of tourists and TVR's, perhaps that would solve someone's hurt feelings of inferiority in the short term. But it might cause a lot of other unforeseeable problems. Increased poverty, for one.
Then again, sometimes people just like to get drunk and beat up people smaller than themselves.
Why must you go to extremes? I've never said get rid of all tourists or TVRs. It's a question of balance, and that's totally lacking on the NS.
I think it's wrong of the writer of this blog to write about a violent assault without attaching blame to the attackers. You wrote that TVR owners were to to blame. By not holding the attackers responsible for their conduct, you imply that they are blameless or only to be blamed a wee little bit.
No, I never said TVR owners are to blame. Clearly fault lies with the attackers. But there are reasons for the social unrest on the NS and TVRs are a big part of it.
Did i get this right? The County allowed thousands of homes to build guest houses but not the County says its illegal to use them for long-term guests (no kitchen) and its now illegal to use for short-term guests also - so they are only good for sitting empty and when you mother in law visits?
I agree with you Joan that scaling back the number of TVRs would be a good thing but I doubt it will do much to change the behavior of bad actors.
Well, if all 150 or so TVR's from Hanalei to Tunnels were no longer TVR's, probably most would simply become second homes for wealthy mainlanders. Therefore I can't imagine that outlawing these TVR's would suddenly reduce socio-economic tensions, since most of these homes would still be unnafordable for locals. Whatever tensions there are would continue. Then what? Pass a law that says no wealthy mainlanders can own second homes on Kauai' North Shore?
@228 yes, and your mother in law has to leave the guest house to use the kitchen in your house to stew her hatred.
Think of your guest house as a more of a decoration.
I would like to thank the author of this blog. I've written more than a few comments through the years that are critical of a number of author's opinions which I know are strongly held, yet my comments always get published, and I appreciate the author's fairmindedness in doing so. Thank you.
Gotta scratch some political backs. Give fish for their fundraisers. You know how these guys roll.
how can anyone with an ounce common sense agree what happened to Kailua and Hanalei is a good thing ? no balance, just greed.
How can anyone believe the article that says 20 locals got out of a truck and beat them up, zero proof of the claim, what no video, no cell phone picture, no brains to remember a license plate number if not a paper and pencil? This seems like a bit of the story is fabricated or missing. Don't be so quick to judge without the facts. It is completely unbelievable that no one got a license plate number as the 20 peole piled out of and back into their spaceship. And as troubled the North shore may be, seems something missing from the story.
I laugh at 9:59, the council may not vote the way you like, but Mel does not have a faction and the votes don't come down like dat. We have a council that identifies(correctly) with the local voters and people who live here and our values. Gary/ not so and JoAnn is lost in space or somewhere far far far away, so she only counts for making the meetings incredably frustrating and long. And again, we thank Gary and his actions for the current council makeup which made the island residents aware they better speak up.
The council is run well under Mel's superb leadership.
The county's HR/Personnel department is run by idiots. Expect more EEOCC complaints.
6:54 is right. During dinner, the 60-year old escort cunningly crafted a plan with the other escorts, along with the 14-year olds, told them they would watch a sunset at the Hanalie pier, then punch themselves in the faces, spit on the female escort, and blame it all on the poor locals. Oh yeah, and swear a bunch of 14-year olds to total secrecy not to expose the insidious conspiracy for the rest of their lives. Thanks 6:54 - how come the rest of us aren't smart enough to see this "story" as simply another conspiracy against locals???
Mel is an excellent leader and like Ross he is for the locals all the way!
ross and mel have guts, know where they came from and fearlessly standup for island people. remember the GMO meetings? no on the fence politics from these guys. we appreciate you, plenty. can't say the same for a couple of the others. our mayor could use a reminder about where he came from too. definitely a fence rider.
Love thou thy tourists. Loud and disrespectful they may be, thou shalt turneth another cheek and smile at all thou visitors. No matter the endless hordes, thou must remain a placemat at which to be used for endless entertainment. Be thou a happy Hawaiian, tap dance, hula and all other manners of friendly exhibition is your only allowance. You are not entitled to anger! Do not laugh when newcomers complain of crowds!
Mel has made it all about locals versus..
Mel and Ross know that locals vote and white folk don't. They will play the "we need to protect the locals" card over and over so long as it keeps working for them.
Mel and Ross know who butters their bread - which is more than can be said for others. they know their constituency and stand up for them. smart politics. same game hooser and yukimura play catering to the whiteys.
How come you are so quick to judge "locals" as guilty, for all you know it was a group from elsewhere because zero evidence like a car model and license plate, descriptions besides scary locals.No, not saying they punched themselves or spit on themselves, just saying we don;t have actions like that usually until 2 in the morning when alcohol... It is fishy and must be another side to the story of the schoolkids and the 20 perps.
June 10 - 5:32, whether it was locals or not, and whatever the circumstances, there is no justification for an adult punching an 8th grader. If you've ever been in any kind of stressful situation, you would know that things like getting a license plate number are not a priority when you're scared and worried about your well being, and that of the people you're taking care of. I'm sure that there is more to the story, and perhaps is was blown out of proportion, but the other parties can just as easily come forward and explain what really happened if what was reported is not true. Being born and raised here, and spending the better part of my youth with the "wrong" crowd has given me first hand experience with situations like this (being on the side of the aggressors). It doesn't take alcohol for people to act up and get stupid and aggressive, and as we've clearly seen in recent times, the drug problem that is so prevalent here has people assaulting others and robbing homes in broad daylight. So the "alcohol" and the "2 in the morning" reasoning doesn't make it fishy.
June 9, 2015 at 7:01 AM - You are so right on with that!
June 9, 2015 at 7:01 AM - I'm a local haole and we both know it was locals. The only transplants who do that sort of thing are crazy semi-homeless loner types and they don't travel in packs.
Mel and Ross would not be afraid to speak the truth. This was obviously smart aleck punk haole kids who deserved to catch dirty lickings for disrespecting the locals. The deserved what they got and should go back where they belong.
locals don't travel in packs either and i do not know it was locals or true and neither do you, i agree we need more facts. And that no other people nearby saw anything is suspect as there are both local people and tourists around the pier at sunset.Not saying the person who was punched would get the license plate, but the rest of them, unless they are idiots. I don't buy the trembling kids were too afraid to notice the make or color of the vehicle, it must have been a scene if 20 people came out of a truck and that in itself is unbelievable and more unbelievable without evidence.
so much local hatred being expressed, seems our haole commenters think like the police do on the mainland and shoot to kill the black folks as they must be guilty. What being local automatically makes one guilty to you all?
Kollar probably won't because hate crimes.
Mel and Ross and Darryl each are the ones who could most likely do something about the racism problem that is worsening on Kauai. Will they?
Are you kidding? Mel and Ross will just fan the flames and get a kick out of doing it.
2:12pm you must have been one of those Kollar let go to make a comment like that. Since when did you become an expert at what Kollar has or hasn't done for this island?
He has not prosecuted a hate crime.
We've successfully prosecuted a number of racially-motivated crimes over the past three years. I take them very seriously and so does my staff.
We're also the only county regularly reporting hate crime prosecutions to the Attorney General. You can see the reports here: http://ag.hawaii.gov/cpja/rs/
If the police make any arrests relating to the incident in Hanalei we will certainly give them all due attention in an expeditious fashion.
Have a great weekend.
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