It's fascinating, the diverse things that cross my desk, infiltrate my consciousness.
Like the motion filed by Craig DeCosta and Dan Hempey, seeking to have charges dismissed against their client, the Kauai police officer who ran over a stricken pedestrian while rushing to his aid.
As I previously reported, Officer Irvin Magayanes was charged with one count of negligent homicide in the second degree for the traffic death of Michael Sheehan Kocher Jr. The 19-year-old Kocher reportedly was walking in the eastbound lane of Kaumualii Highway on Jan. 3, 2015, when he was hit by a car. Kocher was lying in the road, but alive, when a police car driven by Magayanes reportedly struck him and killed him while responding to the call for help.
In their motion, DeCosta and Hempey cite a police investigation that determined Kocher was not legally in the highway, and was wearing dark clothing, when he was hit by a car driven by Alan Yamagata, who was not charged. They note:
According to the police reports, Mr. Kocher tried to get up and out of the middle of the road after he was struck, but bystanders held him down and kept him there, laying in the east-bound lane of Kuhio Highway. None of the bystanders engaged any emergency flashing lights on their vehicles or set any flares to warn oncoming traffic of the person lying in the east-bound lane of the highway.
Instead the bystanders covered him with a dark blanket or a tarp.
En route to where he was dispatched, [Magayanes] saw something dark in the road, like a tarp or a blanket. He swerved to avoid it, but it was too late. His police vehicle struck Mr. Kocher, who was lying in the middle of the eastbound lane of the highway, covered in the dark blanket or tarp.
Based on the police car's GPS, investigators determined that Magayanes was driving 19-24 mph over the speed limit, but “concluded that the same result would have happened, even if the officer was going 50 MPH.”
Defense attorneys argue there is no evidence that Magayanes acted with “gross negligence” at the time of the incident, or that his alleged speeding was “unjustified.” As they noted:
Indeed, society’s basic understanding that police officers should speed to the aid of the public during emergency calls is enshrined in law.
They further argue that Kocher, who had a blood alcohol level nearly twice the legal limit, does not meet the definition of a “vulnerable user“ because he was illegally in the highway.
A hearing on the motion to dismiss has been set for 8 a.m., Dec. 1 before Judge Randal Valenciano.
One thing's clear: it was a tragedy all around.
On a much lighter note, I had to laugh at this comment on TGI's article about Councilman KipuKai Kualii's revamped noise ordinance:
I would be so thankful if the dog barking ordinance went back into effect. The dogs in Hanapepe have gotten extremely noisy ever since the Ordinance was dropped.
Such clever dogs, to understand not only that the ordinance had been rescinded, but that they could bark with impunity as a result.
The question now is whether KipuKai also has the guts to address the guys who house hundreds of fighting roosters, making a cacophonous racket day and night.
Speaking of dogs, folks are banking on the novelty factor of Kauai mutts to find mainland owners for dogs that are unwanted here. On the one hand, it's great if they're adopted. On the other, let's not pretend this transfer program is actually saving canine lives. For every poi dog that's adopted, a mainland stray is not. Still, I did chuckle a bit when TGI reported:
Cassidy, a former resident of the Kauai Humane Society, was about to begin a 2,500-mile trip to Marin County, California, where he would more than likely soon be placed with a home.
Now if only Marin County would reclaim some its transplanted residents, who are bound and determined to re-create the Bay Area on Kauai.
In skimming Brittany Lyte's ridiculously long and gushy paean to the late Bill Porter, I noticed this interesting tidbit:
Another of Bill and Joan’s philanthropic endeavors on Wai Koa Plantation is Kauai Fresh Farms, which specializes in supplying the island with produce that’s organic and local. The farm grows lettuce, kale, tomatoes, cucumbers and basil in state-of-the-art hydroponic greenhouses.
So this is what it takes to produce organic, local veggies on Kauai? A wealthy patron? And it's so weird that people reject GMOs as “unnatural,” but blithely consume food that has never seen soil or sunlight, just because it's labeled “organic.”
Which reminds me of a recent poll that determined 87 percent of voters think political candidates should have a basic understanding science. And 77 percent of Americans believe public policies should be based on the best available science.
Wow, what a concept. The public actually prefers science to propaganda — provided they can tell the difference. Of course, that spells trouble for woo-woo candidates like Felicia Cowden, Gary Hooser and Dustin Barca.
Speaking of the latter, Barca was quoted in “Tracks, the Surfer's Bible,” as saying this about GMOs (while also recounting his numerous fist fights):
"They’re splicing the genes with the chemicals they make, into the genes of the plants. Bugs will eat it and they will die instantly and they will be weed resistant, but after two years what they don’t tell people is that it creates super weeds. So now they have to make even heavier chemical resistant crops.
“What a biotoxin does is it kills a bug. When a bug eats a plant and the biotoxic gene, they pretty much implode and poop their whole stomach out and die right there. Basically, we’re giant bugs.”
Uh, speak for yourself, Dustin. The rest of us are clearly mammals.
It's hard to know whether this kind of gibberish is the result of drugs, repetitive brain injury, skipping school to surf or just plain stupidity.
Which brings me to a comment recently left on an old post about that scientifically-challenged “scientist” Terry Lilley, with his wild claims about military chemtrails and microwaves killing the North Shore reefs. As opposed to, say, runoff from the cesspools of the sleeps-12 oceanfront vacation rentals. Posted under the apt pseudonym Stay In School Kauai, it stated:
Wow. I have been on Kauai for 3 years now. At first, as a home owner in the conservation district, I did not like what I was reading on your blog. Now you have become the lone voice of reason and common sense on an otherwise dimly lit and misinformed community on Kauai. It is not that you just hear these wild tales on Terry Lilly's facebook page (aka the guy that literally lives in a van down by the river) it is that you hear them in conversations on the beach, talking story to your neighbors and from otherwise well educated friends.
Keep up the great work. I implore all of the people that read this to do some homework, read about science and come up with your own ideas and conclusions.
The keywords here are homework, read, science — before coming up with ideas and conclusions.