Thursday, October 29, 2015

Musings: Dispelling Rumors

On an island, or perhaps everywhere, some rumors just refuse to die.

Like the ones about Lauren Kagawa, the 27-year-old woman who was found dead in her Puhi driveway back in August 2009. She'd sought a restraining order against her ex-boyfriend, former KPD cop Joseph Bonachita, and I've gotten comments over the years claiming she'd been badly beaten before her death.

Recently, someone left this comment:

After the [Kauai police] Chief said Lauren Kagawa's death was a unattended death by overdose, he lost all credibility.

So I decided to look at the autopsy report myself. The final pathological diagnoses states:

Lauren Kagawa died of a mixed chemical intoxication. There was no evidence of foul play at the scene. At autopsy, there was no evidence of significant bodily injury although some superficial abrasions with drying artifact were noted over the face and neck. A contusion with central laceration was present below the right chin. These injuries were not considered significant or life threatening. Internal examination showed no evidence of significant bodily injury or natural diseases. Hydrocodone levels were in the toxic range. Cyclobenzaprine and Temazepam approached the toxic range. Carisoprodol concentrations were present above the recommended therapeutic level. The manner of death is undetermined.

Don't blame the cops. They can only go by what's in the autopsy report.

Dayne “Aipoalani” Gonsalves, self-proclaimed king of Atooi, has long advised his followers that the kingdom has “diplomatic immunity” that precludes the need to follow some Hawaii state laws, like the ones that require a valid state driver's license and motor vehicle plates. But now that Dayne himself has gotten a driver's license, hopefully those who listened to his bad advice, and ended up with a mess of legal trouble, will realize he steered them wrong.

Despite a full-scale call-to-action and social media blitz, the Babes Against Biotech failed to marshall any crowds to rally against the GMO banana at Tuesday's Board of Agriculture hearing. They started by spreading the rumor that the meeting hadn't been properly noticed, which was false, and then continued to lie, claiming “they [BOA] sped thru public comments right in the beginning and several members of the public were unable to testify.” 

Total BS. Only six people showed to testify in opposition, and they all got a chance to speak. In the end, the Board approved permits to conduct field trials on a banana genetically engineered to resist the bunchy top virus. If all goes well, Hawaii could have a brand new GM product that benefits farmers, not corporations, reduces pesticide use and was developed by the public sector. In other words, another "likable GMO," like the SunUp and Rainbow papaya varieties, which are resistant to the ringspot virus.

A friend who follows the biotech battles, and was surprised at the tepid reaction to a new GMO crop that would have been banned under a Hawaii County law that was overturned by the courts, sent me this email:

Can it be the the anti-GMO movement is losing momentum because they can't hide behind and use the Hawaiians who are busy with nation building and other issues like Maunakea — movements that have no place for them? Can that be why Gary Hooser is trying to align himself with the Aloha Aina movement?

Could be.

Or perhaps the anti-GMO activists are busy on other fronts. They're now badgering Chipolte, which made public relations hay by banning GMO ingredients from its menu, due to concerns about glyphosate use on GE crops, to stop serving meat, now deemed a possible carcinogen, as well. A petition sponsored by “Americans for Science” maintains:

Just as GMOs were removed from most of their menu items because glyphosate is a class 2A carcinogen, pork and beef now need to be removed as well. Given the concerns surrounding red meat, and the herbicide tolerant mutagenic sun flowers used to cook it in, we feel it is particularly important to seek out alternative ingredients.

What's that old saying? Oh yeah: “Give 'em an inch and they'll take a mile.”

And as Congress grapples with the GMO labeling issue, which is rumored to give American consumers the much-ballyhooed right to choose what they eat, I was interested to find this assessment of European labeling by international biotech policy expert Greg Jaffe:

The European Union has mandatory labeling, and food manufacturers use more-expensive, non-engineered ingredients to avoid having to put "genetically modified organisms" on their labels. They fear losing even a small percentage of consumers who are scared off by that phrase (the "organisms" are merely bits of DNA or protein, if they are present at all) or a blacklist campaign. In many countries with mandatory GE labeling, local farmers are not permitted to grow engineered crops, so domestically produced foods are GE-free. [Though GE soy and corn can be imported to feed livestock.]

Imported packaged foods arrive without labels, whether or not they would require labels under that country's law; enforcement of labels on imported packaged foods is non-existent. Mandatory labels have not given consumers a choice between cereal boxes with and without GE-ingredients--just non-GE cereal that costs more to produce and is no safer.

Hmm. So often things just aren't what they're cracked up to be.


Anonymous said...

you are on a roll ms. Joan!!! funny, even dylan hooser on his FB yesterday calls out KSBE, asking where their money is going and why there aren't more schools....sheesh, first of all, dat boy is not of the koko, and it is definitely not his kuleana.

Anonymous said...

Bonachita was a convicted rapist (he raped his sister in law and others) that was arrested with firearms in his possession when he broke into Trey Parker's home threatening to harm Lauren and Trey.

That was a felony offense but since he is a good ol boy and stated that he was just transporting it to a friend then he gets to pay $200 and get out of jail for free.

Kauai's judicial system is as corrupt as third world countries.

Anonymous said...

Don't laugh at the Baby Hoos. Daddy Hoos is training him to keep his yapper shut. Silence is a great tool. He will run and there are many young folks and li'l Fistees who will vote for him.
A haircut, a smile, long sleeves to cover the tatoos, long pants, Aloha Shirt and Bingo! He is in. 2 Council Hoos' a pair of babooze or is the plural, babeeze?
Kauai faces economic peril, high taxes, a threatened GET raise, puka roads, no housing for the elderly, no houses for the younger workers, mind boggling new laws and rules that choke every man woman and child. An endless blather of BS.
If Mel could get this Council to JUST make a peeky-boo into ways to fix the roads, build some houses, develop friendly relationships with big land etc.
Maybe we will have a chance.
We have 4 great Council members. Now all they have to do is the work for the island.
Or maybe next year as Felicia, Baby and Daddy Hoos, Yakkity JoAnn and dumbshit Mason take over...the island will be lost to the rich newcomer, the historical legacies will be lost and woe! to the hunting dogs and their owners.
At least leave a good history Mel. Even with Derick as Mayor and you as Admin Asst, the island will turn into a Northshore Rich Hippie Rambutan-Goatcheese driven, namaste sayin', cop callin' "eek Oh Cops I saw a local man walking across my yard to the beach, he looked mean"--Aw Gawd, poke me eye out with Tim Bynum's rice cooker, I think I am pertneer Lolo.

Anonymous said...

Had it been any other felon or rapist on Kauai that has no ties with Kauai's judical powers, they would have been rubber stamped with felony charges and sent to prison for putting the public in danger.

Anonymous said...

Good job Joan. Was wondering why Hooser had disappeared for a few days from your blog. Nice way to bring him back into the negative light. We love you Joan!

Joan Conrow said...

And thank you, 9:46, for reminding us of the snarky phonies who support him!

Anonymous said...

Yep, 9:27 am. Here we are almost one year later and not even one bandaid on Puhi Road. It's worse than it's ever been. No sign that anything will happen on that disgrace of public property any time soon. Not a peep from the County on what is happening. Promises, promises. Disgusting.

Anonymous said...

That Puhi rd was identified 4 years ago and they spent 5 years for a 3 mile stretch from KCC to the round bldg. 5 YEARS of fraud, waste and abuse.

Anonymous said...

4 lame dicks tied to 1 cock!!! What have they done??? Are you fricking kidding me!!! NOTHING on their watch NOTHING.

I don't even like Gary or Joann and please don't get me started on lil Hooser.

Anonymous said...

"Yep, 9:27 am. Here we are almost one year later and not even one bandaid on Puhi Road. It's worse than it's ever been. No sign that anything will happen on that disgrace of public property any time soon. Not a peep from the County on what is happening. Promises, promises. Disgusting."

maybe that's why mel is open to exploring a 'county manager' style of operations for the administration of the county. it won't hurt to investigate the alternatives to the status quo.

Keith said...

I guess Chipolte will be serving only chicken and tofu, oh wait, soy is probably GMO so tofu is out. I just love it when these uninformed companies paint themselves into a corner they cannot get out of. I bet Chipolte won't even address that recent findings. In fact didn't they get caught in their own game when it was determined that some restaurants was using GMO products? Ha, not so easy as it seems huh?

Anonymous said...

Don't forget that he told the judge that he was drunk and don't remember anything.

A drunk convicted rapist with a gun in his vehicle that was facing a TRO against the victim (that was later found dead one week before the hearing) broke into a house and threatened the TRO complaintant and the owner of the residence and the judge lets him off easy.

Now that's what's wrong with the judicial system on Kauai.

You see why people aren't buying into KPD's version of what occurred.

Anonymous said...

joan sez, "Don't blame the cops. They can only go by what's in the autopsy report."
ms joan, are you giving the cops a pass? or just supporting your friend the chief?

Joan Conrow said...

Neither, 3:16. Just stating the reality of investigations for prosecution.

Anonymous said...

Gotta support the chief otherwise your leads dry up. You and I both know this.

Joan Conrow said...

I hate to disappoint you, conspiracy theorist that you are, but I don't actually get leads from the chief.

Anonymous said...

I know for a fact you do have an open line to the chief. Just reading your blog makes it pretty obvious. Wonder what a UIPA request for email between you and chief would show? Hmmmm

Dawson said...

3:16PM wrote: joan, are you giving the cops a pass? or just supporting your friend the chief?

It's comments like 3:16's that make it clear how deeply the habit of tribal thinking is ingrained into politics. The concept of an independent person's intellectual honesty being their criteria for calling b.s. is incomprehensible to those who think tribally -- a worldview where a journalist cannot criticize the critics of a company without being labeled a shill for the company, and cannot cite the truth of an autopsy report without being suspected of covering for the cops.

Not that the narrow-minded mindset of tribalism would matter, except it's one of the things that enables demagogues and dictators to sell their feel-good pitch to the masses.

And people wonder where the Hoosers, Barcas and Lukenses of life get their power.

Anonymous said...

The roads are under state jurisdiction, the mayor only has jurisdiction for the small county roads.

Joan Conrow said...

Thank you, Dawson.
And 7:33, it would show I contact him to assess the accuracy of information I've received, which is what a journalist is supposed to do. I think the Chief, like a lot of powerful people on Kauai, is more interested in maintaining a good relationship with me than the other way around.

Anonymous said...

"Chief, like a lot of powerful people on Kauai, is more interested I maintaining a good relationship with me than the other way around". Boo! You got them scared shitless Joan. You can take the chief down like you took Shaylene down if he doesn't toe the line. Amazing the power of your poison pen!

Joan Conrow said...

You got them scared shitless Joan.

And apparently you, too, 9:15, since you're posting anonymously!

Anonymous said...

Asst Chief Roy Asher made a statement that the person(s) that dropped of her body was not a person of interest or a suspect(s).

How does he know? Did he question the person(s) in the vehicle that dropped off Lauren Kagawa and left her either dead or to die?

Anonymous said...

8:31 Puhi Rd is a County Road. It is dumb sh*ts like you that let Mel, the Mayor and other do-nothings get away with what they don't do.

Whatisreallyhappeningtous said...

They certainly don't get it from watching fox news.

Anonymous said...

It is unfortunate that the Puhi roadway was not designed for the heavy in weight traffic like the tractor truck trailers with a full load. The type of soil in Puhi differs from other areas. It just couldn't handle the heavy loads of traffic. Maybe it needed mor base course to support the load. Is it the Mayor's fault for the design? Is it the Council's fault for not funding the road improvement sooner. Every tax payer has a say via the Mayor or the County Council. I would like to think that Public Works is doing what they can with the resources on hand. Someone once told me that you cannot make chicken soup with chicken shit.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Good job!

Anonymous said...

It is unfortunate that we do have a do-nothing mayor. He and his cronys in lucrative positions are milking the county dry. We deserve what we got. There is really no opposition in the council. I am disappointed with Mel. He appears to just go with the flow ever since emperor Bernard appointed his brother as the liquor head.

Anonymous said...

The Liquor Director is appointed by the Liquor Commission, just like the Police Chief and Fire Chief are appointed by their respective commissions.

Anonymous said...

We all know on Kauai a person or group of people have influence over others and boards and commissions are just and extension of such.

Anonymous said...

Hi Joan, you don't have to post this if you don't want to. It may come across as a whiny complaint, but I just wanted to say that it's quite unfortunate that the bad apples in the bunch have spoiled it for those who actually want to do a good job, and take pride in what they do. It's also unfortunate that negative attitudes, and people making assumptions and lumping EVERYBODY into the same rotten bunch make the "good ones" feel unappreciated, defeated, and disrespected. I, personally, experience this constantly. While I recognize that many around me don't have the same mentality or work ethic as I do, it's frustrating to be lumped in to that "do-nothing" pool. It would be really nice for people to focus on those who are trying to do the best job they can and maybe throw out a, "hey, great job, you're awesome", rather than, "the people you work with are worthless POS's, so you MUST be a worthless POS too". The way people treat you simply because of WHERE you work, and WHO you work for without regard for the work you actually do is really frustrating. I truly wish people would take a step back and appreciate that. Just because you don't see our faces in the newspaper, or on the video screen at Council doesn't mean we are not striving for change, we just do a little more quietly. Just because we're invisible to you, doesn't mean you're invisible to us. We hear, and read every negative thing that is said, and it wears on us constantly. Comments made, whether facetiously or not, about the tacit acceptance of the "old boy" ways, and covering up and helping out "cronies" will only strengthen the idea that it's okay the way it is because people just accept it and don't care. And if you really, truly DON'T care, then just go away and shut up because those of us who do care, and want to work towards change are getting really tired of being indirectly shit on. Sadly, this is why many people I know who are good, hard-working people have left this employ. Sorry for the rant, but it's getting really tiresome.

Anonymous said...

Sooo...the "person or group of people" influenced the Mayor to hire the Police Chief, who absolutely does NOT go along with every, single thing the Mayor wants. That puts a big dent in your "cronyism" logic, but maybe it's just another grand conspiracy. From what I've seen of the Liquor Director, he knows all the liquor laws and how to properly enforce them, he used to be a Liquor Investigator and was the Acting Director for a while, he does his job well, has a good rapport with liquor license holders, and has always been friendly and professional. So I'm not sure why it's such a surprise that the Liquor Commission would appoint him as the Director.