Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Musings: Surprising, and Not

What a surprise to see Councilmen Gary Hooser and Mason Chock proposing the politically unpalatable — tax hikes within weeks of an election.

But their shell game is to impose tax hikes only on “tourism-focused companies,” according to today's The Garden Island.

They seem to forget that most Kauai residents work in tourism, so it's really just an indirect — some might say dishonest — tax on residents.

If they want to spend more, did it even occur to any of them to seriously consider cutting existing programs, privatizing services that are being performed poorly by the public sector or address waste? Nope. Just hike taxes.
Councilwoman JoAnn Yukimura tried the same thing, introducing two bills before the Primary to raise the vehicle weight tax and fuel tax. They were defeated and she came in eighth — behind Mason, but in front of Gary.

Guess they're all drinking the same Kool-Aid — with disastrous electoral results.

Speaking of Kool-Aid drinkers, back in October 2014, Pat Gegen and other Kauai residents asked the federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry to “perform a Public Health Assessment on the west side of Kauai due to environmental health concerns associated with pesticide use by nearby agricultural operations.”

The petition letter stated that the local communities might be experiencing adverse and abnormally high number of health issues (e.g., congenital heart defects birth defects, respiratory problems, carcinoid syndrome) related to the pesticides being used on genetically modified organisms (GMO)/crops.

But the agency's response was not to the liking of Pat or the other antis, so they never said nuttin' in hopes it would just get buried, or lost. Instead, the agency's response is now posted on the Department of Health website for all the world to see.

The agency looked at reports, environmental sampling results, human health statistical information and even the Joint Fact-Finding report on Kauai agricultural pesticides. And what did it find?

Based upon the information reviewed, ATSDR is not able to demonstrate scientifically whether people near agricultural fields in Kauai west side communities are being exposed to pesticides at levels of health concern. Accordingly, ATSDR will not conduct any addition [sic] public health assessment activities specifically about the pesticide use on the crop fields at Kauai, Hawaii.

Other key findings from the agency:

“Overall, the scientific literature does not provide strong support for an association of human agricultural pesticide exposure with the birth defects of concerns.” 

These include gastroschisis — remember how the antis cravenly used the sad photo of a baby born with its intestines outside its body to promote their cause? — and cardiac defects. The cancer rate is "similar to or lower than that of the rest of the State of Hawaii."

What's more, many of the studies that JFF members Lee Evslin and Doug Wilmore used to claim links between pesticides and westside health problems “have significant limitations” and “mixed conclusions," the agency found. "Household use [of pesticides] or occupational exposure were often found as contributing factors.”

Yet, you don't see any mention of that in the JFF report or its recommendations.

The agency continues:

“It is unlikely that residents of Kauai west side communities are being exposed to pesticides at levels of health concern when they swim in, have contact with, or drink from local streams and rivers.”

Uh, somebody needs to send that to Paul Achitoff over at Earthjustice, so he quits saying shit like the seed company ditches are open sewers of toxic pesticides. Not that he cares about the truth, but just so he knows that we know he's lying.

“Although total volume of pesticides used appear to be greater [than on the U.S. mainland], the opportunity for residents of Kauai west side communities to be exposed to pesticides are probably no different from the U.S. mainland.”

Why? Well, in part:

“Most modern pesticides used on crops tend to degrade fairly rapidly in the enviornment, significantly reducing the possibility that pesticides drifting off of crop lands would accumulate in soil at levels of health concern.”

As for the long-disputed Waimea Canyon Middle School air studies:

"If these results do represent the typical exposures occuring in Waimea, the study results indicate that the local population is not being exposed to pesticides at levels of health concern.”

So if it's unlikely that people are even getting exposed, be it through water, soil or air, then it's equally unlikely that they're suffering health problems. In other words, the antis' fear-mongering claims are a crock.

The agency's letter concludes:

During our review of your request, we did identify a need for providing environmental health education to the local healthcare providers. We will work with the Hawaii Department of Health to provide the local professional healthcare community with an opportunity to learn more about environmental contaminantns and their potential health impacts on local commmunites.”

You mean, like Pat's wife, Marghee Maupin, a nurse who is always making outrageous claims about GMOs, pesticides and health? And Dr. Lee Evslin, who tortured statistics and studies, yet still failed to back up his claim that ag pesticide exposure was harming the health of westsiders?

Curious, how Hooser and the other antis scream for real-time ag pesticide disclosure, supposedly to help health care professionals, but these same professionals aren't even up to speed on how contaminants may impact health. 

We know the antis are never going to accept facts that run counter to their ideology and anti-GMO cash flow. But it's time for elected officials to stop pandering to this tiny, loud constituency and wasting money on a wild goose chase.


Anonymous said...

"If they want to spend more, did it even occur to any of them to seriously consider cutting existing programs, privatizing services that are being performed poorly by the public sector or address waste?"


I love you.

Anonymous said...

The Garden Island newspaper is a biased rag. They constantly promote Hooser, Yukimura and Chock, as they did with Furfaro and Bynum. We know the results of the latter duo. I guess we should thank The Garden Island for helping to rid Kauai of the Terrible Three. The people of Kauai will remember these three, and how they colluded to pass 2491, and start the division of this community like no other issue in history. I cannot wait until election day when Kauai can finally start the rebuilding of this community, without the distractions of the Terrible Three.

Anonymous said...

I will accept the fact that many people were mislead and misinformed at the onset of Hooser's 2491 fiasco. Since then, science has proven them wrong. The courts have proven them wrong. So, anyone that spews their garbage today about the health and safety issues of agriculture can no longer be considered misinformed. They are simply liars and domestic terrorists. It is what it is.

Anonymous said...

Anyone running for council that advocates for any sort of tax increases, foe whatever reason, under whatever guise, should not be elected to the council...period!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Just wondering. Would be perfect if the Federal Ninth Court of Appeals renders its verdict just before the general election. We'd finally rid of the 2491 remaining councilmembers - Chock, Hoose, and Yukimura. They have divided our community with their fear-mongering bullshit.

Anonymous said...

Look, they kept asking for someone to do an evaluation. Done! Conclusion, the anti-GMO crowd was wrong wrong wrong. So anyone who still spews this nonsense should be committed to Mahelona Hospital, because something is definitely mentally wrong with them.

Anonymous said...

The community is inherently divided and has been at least since when I moved here in 2000; barking/ hunting dogs, TVRs and VDAs, cockfighting is cultural vs it's cruel, just those at the top of my head . Putting it on 2491 is blatantly ignorant.

Anonymous said...

Yeah raise taxes so they can hire more fucktards in the county family reunion bldg. These people can't make it in the real world so they ask family for county welfare checks. What EBT and section 8 not enough for your 4-6 children with 2-4 different baby daddies or not enough drug money for the boys to lift their trucks and put some bling?

Anonymous said...

Any correlation between haoles moving in and the issues raised by 1:25? For those who were born here and witnessed the changes, it's a plain as the nose on your face. Before it was live and let live. Now it's live like I want you to live or I'm going to complain and sue you. The 2491 thing is particularly egregious because the people who started the trouble knowingly lied from the very first day and continue to do so. If not for 2491, how do you explain the asshole who appears dressed as death?

Anonymous said...

Joan, please let me share this video with you and your comment section is the only way for me to do this. I am not computer savvy nor do I know how to embed a video but I think if you give three minutes of your time to view this hilarious video on Logical thinking, it will bring a smile to your face and I believe so pertinent to what is happening on Kauai........GOOGLE Terence McKenna: The importance of logical thinking published March 18, 2015. It is on the downvids.net site.

Thank you for your courage to bring reason and clarity in your blog.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 1:25pm cited a few issues that have divided the community since he/she moved here in 2000, so dont blame 2491 for the division in the community. Um, do they realize that the complainers who cause the conflict also moved here, just like them.

Anonymous said...

Billions of us two legged critters live on this pretty little blue planet. Yet,,, yet we all can go so low as to who moved where first? My god you assholes....

Fuck us all! Did your parents raise you to be so selfish , or does it come naturaly?

I love Kauai, but we got some serious gettin along issues! I guess that is why I like places with the least amount of people. And folks that mind their own damn business! Being that this is my home, I will fight till the end against divisionary wannabe profits.

Great blog. And some classic commenters that make me feel better about our status in this universe! Thank you Joan

Anonymous said...

It's almost unthinkable to request a tax increase. It's a clear indication of being out of touch and entirely content with the existing waste in government. First deal with the waste (I won't hold my breath). If any politician, including the current mayor, had the courage to look at staffing including overtime there would no longer be a need to raise taxes IF they also took action on their findings. ANYONE who cares to notice sees firsthand there is a lot of waste. As Joan pointed out, there are also things that could be done better and for less money if privatized. I simply can't vote for a politician looking to raise taxes given the current state of affairs. It's unconscionable.

Anonymous said...

the other issues did not divide the community into haole verses local like 2491 did

Anonymous said...

Joan, in your post preceding this one, you say:

"As I've noted about a zillion times, and is clearly stated on the Cornell Alliance for Science website, funding comes from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The Alliance accepts no money from industry."

Are you aware that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation owns a half million dollars' worth of Monsanto stock? That means that when the Bill and Melinda Foundation donate to the Cornell Alliance for Science, the Alliance is accepting money from one of Monsanto's most heavy-hitting shareholders. No wonder the bias from Cornell!

Anonymous said...

4:57-That video is a perfect rant; intelligence and humor......FORWARD, EVER FORWARD with respectful discourse. Gary's followers, heed the call and watch this video, then maybe you too will know the difference between "shit and shinola".

Joan Conrow said...

@7:38 -- Like so many of the misinformed, your information is wrong and out of date.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Asset Trust, which manages the Foundation’s endowment assets and is a separate entity from the Foundation, has not held Monsanto stock since 2012. The Alliance wasn't founded until 2014.

And4:57, I also enjoyed and appreciated the video. Thanks for sharing!

Here is the the link so others can easily watch it.

Anonymous said...

I don't live near any of the Syngenta/Dow/Pioneer operations so therefor I should mind my own business right? I'm really trying to not be concerned about whats going on there.... on the other hand I totally understand the mentality of the 'blue shirt' workers and their families who were likely exposed to considerable internal 2491 fear mongering propaganda. That's the power of a paycheck.

Anonymous said...

2491 did moocho damage to the Local/Hoale relationship.
It may be the perception of wealth vs working people or perhaps, the arrogant, nasty, high-nose f*cking attitudes of Da Hoos and his minions.
Mason and JoAnn get away with being highmuckamucks because they look local. Maybe Bananas, but even a Banana gets more leniency than a rich NS newcomer who looks down on locals.
The lies, the deceit, the lack of respect the total BS.
And now Da Hoos wants to raise taxes? Gag me with his old giant coke spoon, enough is enough.
Da Hoos, JoAnn and Mason...Anti PMRF, Anti-Housing, Anti-working people, Anti-jobs.
If you wanna to kill housing, raise taxes and lose jobs vote for these three.

There was a lot of gibberish at the last Council meeting about ancient road plans....but it was JoAnn who put the big Kibosh on Val Knudsen's great plan to link Kapaa and the Tree Tunnel....her famous quote "Oh but I really don't want to see a gas station in the middle of the island" ...Val could have gotten it done...And all the talk about using GF Haul Cane Road as a Kuhio parallel road? No Way, remember the Council of a couple of years back tried to kill GF income with 2491, do you think GF has forgotten? ....these three belong back in Taylor Camp, not in the Council Chambers. They are good for rich drawbridge people who will live here a while and then move back to the mainland....but for the people that live and die on Kauai these three are velly velly bad.
Vote for the local brudahs and maybe Norma Sparks, she gots brains and is a nice lady.

Anonymous said...

Before or After, Before or After, It is now. Where we stay now? Who made us like this. This is what happens when not to smart people listen to people who think they smart. Bullshit is bullshit. No matter how you slice it, it is still Bullshit. The not to smart people believed all the Bullshit because it is their nature to not be smart and listen the people who think they smart. The real problem is what is the "truth" and whether to believe it or not. The truth is what you read in this blog. Can you comprehend this, not to smart people or people who think they smart. This is the now time. Read, read, read, so you don't have to depend on the people who think they smart. So you can think for yourself. Try...

Anonymous said...

Thanks to 4:57 and Joan for the easy link. Come to think of it, the Hooser campaign photo could very well pass for a post conference gathering of pro-bono proctologists from a distant star system preparing to get their noses up other people's ..... Best laugh I've had in the long tawdry 2491 fiasco and a nice summation of shirt antics.

Anonymous said...

2491 wasn't about Haole vs local. The puppet masters (Chem/Bio companies) wanted this divide so they could conquer the undereducated. It's an Art of War tactic.

Divide and rule (or divide and conquer, from Latin dīvide et īmpera) in politics and sociology is gaining and maintaining power by breaking up larger concentrations of power into pieces that individually have less power than the one implementing the strategy. The concept refers to a strategy that breaks up existing power structures, and especially prevents smaller power groups from linking up, causing rivalries and fomenting discord among the people.

Traiano Boccalini cites "divide et impera" in La bilancia politica, 1,136 and 2,225 as a common principle in politics. The use of this technique is meant to empower the sovereign to control subjects, populations, or factions of different interests, who collectively might be able to oppose his rule. Machiavelli identifies a similar application to military strategy, advising in Book VI of The Art of War[1] (Dell'arte della guerra),[2] that a Captain should endeavor with every art to divide the forces of the enemy, either by making him suspicious of his men in whom he trusted, or by giving him cause that he has to separate his forces, and, because of this, become weaker.

The maxim divide et impera has been attributed to Philip II of Macedon, and together with the maxim divide ut regnes was utilised by the Roman ruler Caesar and the French emperor Napoleon.

The strategy, but not the phrase, applies in many ancient cases: the example of Gabinius exists, parting the Jewish nation into five conventions, reported by Flavius Josephus in Book I, 169-170 of The Wars of the Jews (De bello Judaico).[3] Strabo also reports in Geography, 8.7.3[4] that the Achaean League was gradually dissolved under the Roman possession of the whole of Macedonia, owing to them not dealing with the several states in the same way, but wishing to preserve some and to destroy others.

Anonymous said...

Slash all the "non-essential" workers and programs that you can find and you're still going to need to raise money to fix the roads. Hooser jumped on Kagawa, Rapozo and Kualii's don't raise taxes bandwagon but the choice is raise taxes or fix the roads. And if not the current taxpayers, then future taxpayers will have to foot an ever increasing bill. Our legislature underfunds state programs so don't look to them for relief. Election years, too wonderful for words.

Joan Conrow said...

@6:07. Wow. That was pretty clever -- though circuitous -- of the chem/bio "puppet masters" to come up with a bill against themselves, then recruit 2 haole Councilmen and their haole followers to support it just so they could create a divide between the locals who work for them and the haoles who pushed 2491.

Come on! You can't possibly blame the chem/bio companies for 2491 or the racial tensions it exacerbated. And the undereducated were conquered by the antis, not the companies.

Anonymous said...

It was actually both the antis and the seed companies manipulating their minions to believe their cause was/is more righteous than the other.

I try to take the middle road on subjects until facts are proven otherwise but until then I see both having valid pro's and con's. The problem is where is the compromising middle ground and how can they achieve this with good health and prosperity and the problem for both is that there is no middle ground.

Anonymous said...

@ 7:36 well perhaps an EZ pass system might help with paying the roads.

Anonymous said...

some council members are getting blasted for proposing various taxes to pay for road repairs. others are getting props for not raising taxes during elections while repairs languish. Why the Council is even involved with this is a mystery. Repairing County roads is the administrations' job, as is how to pay the bill. You know, the mayor, his overpaid assistants and his top of the line $100K department heads. This is their job is to develop the strategy and the means to pay the tab and bring it to the council. The council is fussing and fuming over how to raise funds to do the work, while public works stands around leaning on their shovels. Make them earn their fat paychecks for once.

Anonymous said...

The council should have given a 1-2% raise for all county employees instead of giving the fat cats 10-15% raises. They already making over 80-100K but the guys on the bottom making 24-36K gets screwed with no pay raises. This county is an example of how not to run a county government.

Anonymous said...

there was racial tension between locals and haoles for decades! check out pakalas and the locals dislike for the haole surfers, check out the plantations--the lunas, the big bosses and the immigrants, check out the local rednecks and their treatment of the haoles---this has gone on forever! 2491 being blamed for the tensions is an excuse to perpetuate the divide! There are a lot of locals who were backing 2491, even our beloved kupuna who know how important the aina and their grandchildren are! No go blaming 2491 for haole, local divide!
Check out YOUR heart mind and figure out what is really happening with YOU, why you didn't like 2491---is it the council members who supported it that people call banana, haole and himakamaka, you believe in gmos, you work for the biotech company?

Anonymous said...

12:29. your comment just adds to the divide because you end with accusations and blame. Yes the divide has gone on for a long time. 2491 gave it a focus starting with people putting on red shirts. Check out YOUR own mind and look for another point of view instead of making like you're right.

Anonymous said...

The Truth be told.

Anonymous said...

8:29. Truth be told Bill 2491 is Invalid. It's worth a piece of shit. All who support an Invalid Bill are idiots. What's the use of passing an Invalid bill?

Anonymous said...

If the state won't do any testing then the county has the right to introduce a bill to protect the people and the environment. You dirty Chem/bio slaves are ridiculous and probably believe that cigarettes don't cause cancers, sugar/fructose don't cause diabetes, and the world is flat.

Anonymous said...

This incompetent mayor needs to let go most of his do-nothing appointees to save monies. At the end of his term, the county is morally and financially bankcrupt. What does he care? He's not running for any elected office.

Anonymous said...

@ 6:38
We don't believe the world is flat or cigarettes don't cause cancer or any of that other nonsense you just spouted. The evidence is there, the EPA did a test already and found that the pesticides don't have much of an effect. Do you just project the worst onto people simply because you disagree with them?