Thursday, January 19, 2017

Musings: Roses and Thorns

Seems the bloom is off the rose....
Of course, the "con artist" bit is what I've been saying for years now, though Dustin Barca and his gang denounced me for “talking shit” while they rode the cash cow of false glory. Now even they have seen the light.

Well, kind of. Because Dustin still suffers under the delusion that it was a “homegrown movement” and a “revolution.” No, you guys were Center for Food Safety/Earthjustice pawns from the start.

Meanwhile, Dustin's busy shilling for OluKai shoes (click image to enlarge): 
You know he didn't write the promo copy because it contains no random capitalizations and actually makes sense. But no, money hasn't affected his morals.

So Hawaii Dairy Farms has finally submitted its final EIS for the Mahaulepu dairy, which says it will cause no environmental harm. And though Friends of Mahauelepu demanded the document, it has — as expected — summarily denounced it.

This is what happens when you cave in. The antis remain opposed and HDF has hopefully not set an unrealistic precedent by doing an EIS for an agricultural enterprise when it wasn't triggered by the law.

Of course, HDF can afford such exercises because it's bankrolled by Pierre Omidyar's deep pockets via the Ulupono Initiative.

Rabid dairy hater Ronald John, who has written numerous letters to The Garden Island attacking the Mahaulepu proposal and dairies in general, recently claimed that HDF “received a $3.1 million tax write off for the year 2014 alone.”

While I wouldn't put stock in anything John says, it might be interesting for Civil Beat to do a bit of digging into just what sort of tax breaks Omidyar enjoys by funding the utopian ag vision of Ulupono Initiative (as well as his vanity press). Seems a fitting enteprise for a website that claims to be devoted to "in-depth reporting and investigative journalism” — despite never looking critically at the social engineering plans of one of the Islands' wealthiest citizens.

But then, I can understand CB's reluctance to even nibble on, much less bite, the hand that feeds it.

I mean, it's become apparent that Civil Beat “reader rep” Brett Oppegaard is never going to do the expose on Omidyar's role on the editorial board of CB that he addressed in a July 2016 email to me:

You are concerned about CB's potential conflicts of interest. I agree, that is an important topic for me to address (at some point). I am looking into this issue for future columns. It's not that I don't want to touch it; it's a complicated subtopic (within the topic I'm addressing) that is beyond the scope of what I want to deal with in this particular column (which therefore would muddy the theme of the piece), about commenting systems and disclosures of commenters. There's always another column, for something like that. …

Yeah, sure, Brett. Not holding my breath....

While we're talking about rich people, it's interesting to see the different angles taken in reporting the news that Facebook billionaire Mark Zuckerberg is taking quiet title action to gain ownership of some kuleana parcels within the North Shore Kauai land parcel he bought two years ago.

The Star-Advertiser noted that “forcing people to sell land that has been in their families for generations can be off-putting — especially when it’s driven by the sixth-richest person in the world.”

But The Garden Island shared the perspective of Carlos Andrade, whose family owns a share in one of those parcels. As Andrade noted, some of the heirs wouldn't otherwise be able to afford the legal action required to clear, or “quiet,” the outstanding ownership issues on their own, and thus would be precluded from selling and collecting their share of the proceeds.

No doubt the court proceedings will shed more light.

Btw, if you haven't yet seen the wall that fronts his property on Koolau Road, go check it out. It's beautiful and fits right in to the landscape.

Meanwhile, there's been a pesticide incident at Syngenta, which the Hawaii Department of Ag and EPA are investigating. Seems that on Jan. 12, the driver of a van carrying contract workers stopped to consult with the driver of another van, which resulted in him rolling down his window while a spraying operation was occurring in an adjacent field. 

A worker in the van expressed concerned about possible exposure, and sought medical attention. He was given a clean bill of health and returned to work the next day. Syngenta  contacted HDOA, which immediately launched an on-site investigation. EPA officials arrived on Jan. 16 to do their own investigation.

The two agencies have not yet released their findings. But this again underscores that the regulatory system does work, and that enforcement agencies take their roles seriously, with EPA showing up on a federal holiday, no less.  


Anonymous said...

Love it Joan.

Just love your work.

Anonymous said...

You heard it hear first!

Joan Conrow, truth-seeker, fact-finder extraordinaire.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Shoes? What on earth are you posting this for? Shoes? Try as hard as I might, can find nothing, absolutely no reason at all, for adding those shoes to the post. With all the important issues we face today on our island, how trite can we get?

Anonymous said...

@12:40 what I got out of it is that Dustin is a hypocrite because he's a corporate schill no better than those he rallies against. According to Bloomberg:

OluKai LLC engages in the design and manufacture of footwear in the United States. It offers sandals and shoes. The company sells its products through retailers, distributors, and stores, as well as online stores. OluKai LLC was founded in 2005 and is based in Irvine, California.
It's CEO is James L Harris. Mr. James L. Harris, also known as Jim, is Operating Partner at CenterOak Partners LLC. Mr. Harris serves as Chief Executive Officer and Managing Partner at OluKai LLC. He serves as Founding Member at ICA Fund Good Jobs, Inc. Mr. Harris served as President and Partner at Huneeus Vintners LLC. He served as Associate of Kohlberg & Company, L.L.C. Previously, and Mr. Harris was the Managing Director of Artisan Confections Company. In this role, he was responsible for the formation of Artisan and the integrations of both Scharffen Berger and Joseph Schmidt Confections. Before joining Hershey in 2005, Mr. Harris was Chief Executive Officer for Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker and was responsible for structuring the sale of Scharffen Berger to Hershey.?He serves as Chairman at ICA Fund Good Jobs, Inc. Mr. Harris serves on the Board of Directors of Southern Tide. He is an active angel investor and member of the board of directors of several organizations including Winebow, Marine Layer, Numi Tea, Tcho Chocolates, Fork-in-the-Road Foods, and Inner City Advisors.

Just interesting that Dustin always seems to get easily fooled by corporate interests. He Shilled for cfs for an ego boost and now he's a spokesman for a California shoe company that's as Hawaiian as he is. He he ha ha ho ho.

Anonymous said...

Actually, if you read the whole story, the Star-Advertiser quotes extensively from Andrade regarding why he's helping Zuckerberg.

Anonymous said...

@12:40 Almost all of us are hypocrites, myself included. Why don't you and Joan take the time spent researching Dustin's hypocrisy and spend it researching those in power on Kaua'i and exposing their hypocrisies? Mayor, council members, department heads, etc? They have a much greater effect on us than Dustin does due to the nature of their positions. The vendetta against Barca and Hooser promoted by Joan has been going on for years. Neither of them currently have important positions of power. Todays blog and your comment really bring to life that old saying,"beating a dead horse"!

Anonymous said...

Zuckerber is doing two separate actions but combining them into one pleading. First, he’s doing a “quiet title” action which merely asks the court to rule on who owns the property. It has nothing to do with transfer of ownership. The second action is a “partition by sale” which does normally end up in the transfer of ownership via public auction; a right all fractional owners possesses. Zuckerberg has purchased fractional interests in all these properties which enables him to initiate the partition by sale. It takes only one owner to start it. It is this second action that some people don’t like. But it’s interesting to note that all of the owners who have come forward so far are not against Z’s actions.

Bye bye said...

No mention of this final night of freedom ?

Anonymous said...

So workers cannot roll their windows down without being exposed to drift? So they have special filters in their airfonditioners? What about those folks driving down road at polihale? Thought that shit is not supposed to drift?

Joan Conrow said...

@8:45. First, it has yet to be determined if there was exposure. As I noted, the worker was given a clean bill of health and the investigation has not yet produced any findings. Second, they were within the fields, not driving down a public road.

@5:06. What interested me is the split in the antiGMO ranks. Like so many movements built around frauds and narcissists, it is turning on itself. As always you are free to start your own blog if you want to read something else, but I'll write about what I choose.

Unknown said...

I wonder if Dustin Barca is going to get blacklisted like t Matty? If so, that's kinda sad because he is one of the few that has actual farming experience.

Anonymous said...

Zuckerberg is doing the Title transfers correctly.
Others have bought a 1/200 share and then force a partition sale. The partition "notices" via GI and other papers the forthcoming action. Most owner/heirs do not have any idea of what is up, unless they read the papers and can understand the Notice to Quiet Title. There was no real title search.None of the other 199 owners show up and the 1/200 owner, usually a smart rich person gets the land at the County Courthouse via auction...for peanuts.
Zuck is paying out big bucks to research title and is actually trying to notify the owners. It is hard because most are dead and their heirs are hard to the Andrade/Rapozo tiltle. How many Rapozos are there that came thru Hawaii? 10,000.
Mr Andrade is respected. The Zuck us doing the right thing.
Those Kuleanas were a problem for Pfluger and Kirkwood (Joe Palooka), the long time owners of the 2 properties that Zuck bought.
There a perhaps 2 kuleanas that could go for sky high limits....y'know that Realtor's property. Now, how that Realtor got the property at Pilaa is ANOTHER story.

Anonymous said...

The first articles and reports regarding the Zuck's lawsuit were very poorly written with a lot of absent or misleading information. I truly believe that quality, well rounded, bipartisan news and investigating reporting is almost nonexistent. There are so many avenues for "news" reporting that any Tom, Dick or Jane can release a story. There is almost no accountability or fact checking, and a reporter was only as good as his or her word. Incorrect stories were redacted or corrected, "partisan news" wasn't news at all, it was labeled as "opinion pieces". Most importantly, shitty reporters never made the news. It's a problem everywhere... local, state, national news, it doesn't seem to matter. Too much garbage to sift through. I personally spend just as much time verifying and fact checking a story as I do just reading it.

Joan Conrow said...

No, 3:16, I don't. But I imagine we'll hear more as Barca titled his piece "round 1."

Anonymous said...

One thing I learned was to tell the truth because your truth will never change. However, whenever you BS,you will have to remember what you said and who you said to. Apparently, too much BS has been said and one is pissed off.

Anonymous said...

That movement is the gift that keeps on giving. At least they have the right level of government this time.

Anonymous said...

Congress and the President will gut those needless labor and environmental laws so we can be competitive with countries that have child labor and air so clean that you can see it while you breath.

Anonymous said...

Zuckerberg filed 8 complaints against 8 kuleanas. Some of those complaints are for quiet title only and not for partition. In those cases he would not pay anyone. He is lying when he claims he wants to pay everyone for their interests.

Anonymous said...

You have to quiet title to figure the owners before you partition. If uncle Carlos is working with Zuckerberg then this is an ohana matter so unless you're in the ohana you should be quiet.

Anonymous said...

Again, some complaints are for partition and quiet title. Some are for quiet title only. Those won't result in a payoff to anyone. Don't lie to us. We're not stupid

Anonymous said...

You don't have to quiet title to figure out who the owners are. Who told you that? Zuckerberg?

Anonymous said...

Hey proponents of alternative facts here's the law
§669-1 Object of action [quiet title]. (a) Action may be brought by any person against another person who claims, or who may claim adversely to the plaintiff, an estate or interest in real property, for the purpose of determining the adverse claim.
§669-2 Defendants; unknown persons. (a) Any person may be made a defendant in the action who has or claims, or may claim, an interest in the property adverse to the plaintiff, or who is a necessary party to a complete determination or settlement of the issues involved therein.
(b) Unknown persons may be made parties as provided by the rules of court, if:
(1) It shall be shown by the complaint that there are or may be persons unknown, claiming by, through, or under any named person; or

(2) Other facts shall be shown by the complaint giving rise to an actual controversy between plaintiff and persons unidentified or whose names are unknown.

Who told you that you didn't need to quiet title when trying to determine the claimants to various kuleana parcels before you partition? Barca?

Anonymous said...

Some of the complaints Zuck filed are for adverse possession. Meaning no payment to anyone. Explain that, Mr Disinformation agent.

Anonymous said...

What are the case numbers for those cases? Forgive me if I don't take your word for it.