Monday, June 30, 2008


DON’T ALL BARK AT ONCE NOW: As the “Jeopardy!” theme plays for the Kaua`i County Council, the Mayoral Wheel of Fortune has prodded us to emulate the CNN style gossipy coverage of all the dirty speculation based on a dearth of facts.

But even the PBS news’ David Brooks and Mark Shields aren’t about to talk about our beloved rascals so we feel an obligation.

One result of our indulgence in this kind of conjecture is that no matter how reprehensible it is we’re bound to pale in comparison to the prevalent 24-hour a day enterformitactual cable blab-fests where posers wax psychotic about the political motivations and producers try to wedge Angela Jolie and Brad Pitt into the story.

But all this completive conjecture did spur a new notion that sounds like the best theory we’ve heard so far from the upper-case-challenged but always-astute jimmy trujillo.

He asked why Kaipo Asing wouldn’t agree to be a temp mayor and run for council again.

And we gotta admit, it sounds just like the Kaipo we all know and love. No debate, no squealing. no backstabbing, no eyeballs-to-eyeballs-to-eyeballs-to eyeballs...a real done deal.

As we said previously, all that Asing cares about is having this thing be done quickly and quietly. And like any other godfather he will do it himself if he has to.

Then the new Mayor would be either beholden to him or an actual ally giving him both power within the administration and a contract for 50 news episodes of The Kaipo Asing Show.

Asing’s a bit paternalistic way of saying “I know what’s right and I will do what’s best for the community - don’t tell me about the process laws” is a perfect fit here.

But the problem for Asing is that any attempt to talk about it with anyone on the Council, even indirectly, is strictly forbidden under the Sunshine Law having been decided in an actual Hawai`i circuit court case called “Right to Know Committee v. City Council City and County of Honolulu” (thanks to Charley Foster for the ruling).

Even though all councils’ business interactions must be public except for a list of 8 exceptions for executive sessions the law does allow that:

“Two members of a board may discuss between themselves matters relating to official board business to enable them to perform their duties faithfully, as long as no commitment to vote is made or sought...”

The Honolulu Council, while determining and voting upon committee assignments in 2005 decided that meant they could hold serial one-on-one meetings to evade the law since the practice wasn’t specifically prohibited in HRS 92. But by reading all the sections of the Sunshine Law together the court said “no way”..

Here’s the pertinent part of what the appeals court said

Under the open-meetings requirement of the Sunshine Law, "[e]very meeting of all boards(fn5) shall be open to the public and all persons shall be permitted to attend any meeting unless otherwise provided in the constitution or as closed pursuant to sections 92-4 [1993] and 92-5 [Supp. 2006]." HRS § 92-3 (1993) (footnote not in original). This "provision[] requiring open meetings shall be liberally construed" while "provisions providing for exceptions . . . shall be strictly construed against closed meetings." HRS § 92-1.

The open-meetings requirement is not unlimited. See HRS §§ 92-3.1 (Supp. 2006); 92-4; and 92-8 (Supp. 2006). In addition to these exceptions, HRS § 92-2.5 excludes "permitted interactions of members" from the general rule.

§92-2.5 Permitted interactions of members. (a) Two members of a board may discuss between themselves matters relating to official board business to enable them to perform their duties faithfully, as long as no commitment to vote is made or sought and the two members do not constitute a quorum of their board.

(f) Communications, interactions, discussions, investigations, and presentations in this section are not meetings for purposes of this part.

Defendants assert that because HRS § 92-2.5(a) does not limit the number of these one-on-one interactions, nothing "prohibits one-on-one conversations from being serial, that is, after leaving one conversation, a Councilmember [sic] could engage another Council member [sic] in a discussion regarding matters relating to official board business."

Although HRS § 92-2.5(a) does not expressly preclude Council members from engaging in serial one-on-one conversations, HRS § 92-5(b) (Supp. 2006) provides support for concluding that the one-on-one communications used to deliberate on Resolution 05-243 were improper(fn6):

§92-5 Exceptions.
(b) . . . No chance meeting, permitted interaction, or electronic communication shall be used to circumvent the spirit or requirements of [the Sunshine Law] to make a decision or to deliberate toward a decision upon a matter over which the board has supervision, control, jurisdiction, or advisory power.

Stated differently, when the public body engages in conduct that may not violate any of the specific provisions in HRS §§ 92-1 through 92-13 (1993), but nevertheless "circumvents the spirit or requirements" of the Sunshine Law, that conduct is impermissible. We are left with the question of whether the serial one-on-one interactions used to deliberate on Resolution 05-243 "circumvent[ed] the spirit" of the Sunshine Law.

As the Hawaii Supreme Court recently observed:

First, the fundamental starting point for statutory interpretation is the language of the statute itself. Second, where the statutory language is plain and unambiguous, our sole duty is to give effect to its plain and obvious meaning. Third, implicit in the task of statutory construction is our foremost obligation to ascertain and give effect to the intention of the legislature, which is to be obtained primarily from the language contained in the statute itself. Fourth, when there is doubt, doubleness of meaning, or indistinctiveness or uncertainty of an expression used in a statute, an ambiguity exists.
Citizens Against Reckless Dev. v. Zoning Bd. of Appeals of the City and County of Honolulu, 114 Hawaii 184, 193-94, 159 P.3d 143, 152-53 (2007) (quoting Peterson v. Hawaii Elec. Light Co., Inc., 85 Hawaii 322, 327-28, 944 P.2d 1265, 1270-71 (1997), superseded on other grounds by HRS § 269-15.5 (Supp. 1999)).

The phrase "circumvent the spirit" of the Sunshine Law is far from plain and unambiguous. Thus, to ascertain the legislature's intent, this court should turn to the policy declaration in HRS § 92-1. It is the policy of our state that "the formation and conduct of public policy -- the discussions, deliberations, decisions, and action of governmental agencies -- shall be conducted as openly as possible." HRS § 92-1 (emphasis added).

When Council members engaged in a series of one-on-one conversations relating to a particular item of Council business (the council resolution in this case), the spirit of the open meeting requirement was circumvented and the strong policy of having public bodies deliberate and decide its business in view of the public was thwarted and frustrated.

This ruling has been blatantly and consistently been violated by Asing and the Council as can be gleaned from the actual words of councilpersons where examination of many agenda items and their transcripts make it apparent that previous discussion has taken place. they’re even more apparent in the smoking-gun way bills and resolutions are sponsored by multiple members of the Council.

Just watch them. Many times you’ll see an impasse at a Kaua`i Council meeting. No one agrees and chaos not only ensues but brings things to a grinding halt.

The you’ll see on TV Asing say “we’ll take a brief recess” and after a fade out and fade in all of a sudden everyone knows their part, the script is read and everyone has agreed to a determination, although how the pact “happened” without anyone talking about it in secret has to be explained through either ESP or illegal communication..

What you missed if you weren’t there during the “brief recess” is what we used to call the Dance of the Sunshine Law. If you sit in the hall you’ll see a bunch of closed office doors and a flurry of scurrying staff, usually orchestrated by the county clerk, flitting to and fro from office to office with an occasional councilmember transversing the second floor walkway to another’s office or confabing one-one-one in an out of earshot corner.

Even a true one-on-one discussion between two councilmembers regarding who should be the new Mayor doesn’t fall under the two person exemption provision which allows it only “as long as no commitment to vote is made or sought”.

That doesn’t mean it won’t happen- old habits are hard to break. But when they do meet publicly next week it should be obvious if any of these illegal conversations have taken place. If we can prove it it could provide for a true constitutional crisis if all seven are preoccupied in a jail cell.

Well that is the news. Now the rumor behind the headlines

To update: We have heard from front-runner Mel Rapozo who says the specificity of the July 7 date he reported wasn’t “verified ... but it seems logical” so the meeting could be anytime from Monday the 7 to Friday July 11th according to the county’s press release.

We can also report that after a public appearance at the preview of her husband new smash-hit Sundance-destined “Taylor Camp” movie, JoAnn Yukimura was asked privately by various sources about her intentions and they report she has essentially said both she hasn’t decided and that she won’t say until after Baptiste’s service (July 6) .

Despite the diminishment of her popularity among some long time least a couple of long-time inside political observers told us they think she has the inside track in the November Mayoral election.

We will be working on getting comments from Asing and others during this week-long delay with all tips gratefully accepted. But we do wonder whether, if we are actually successful digging out their thoughts, we might be accused of aiding and abetting a serial conversation designed to circumvent the Sunshine Law.

And you thought they’ll be upset if they have to share a cell with just each other...

Sunday, June 29, 2008


NA`ILIOLOLO: We don’t pretend to “get” the municipality of Honolulu. As cites go it’s pretty dismal.

It’s like the anti-Hawai`i- the place where our culture goes to be bastardized as condo-dwelling hordes of migrant western malahini pack in the baggage of their mores and tradition with them to kill it.

It’s sprawled nonsensical traffic is worse to negotiate than Paris and it takes longer to drive across it on its freeway than it does to get from the Bronx to the Battery in NYC.

We’ve always said that if Kaua`i sunk into the ocean and we were court-sentenced to live in a city we’d move, if not to Cleveland, at least to San Francisco before Honolulu.

But living on Kaua`i all the television stations and newspapers apparently think that if it doesn’t bleed it never happened on the neighbor islands so we get an earful of the debates and clashes on O`ahu.

And the most insane has always been their inability to find mass transit solutions, specifically a fixed rail system.

But through all the many gun loadings and failing to pull the trigger over he past 40 years we never saw it get to the point it’s at now where the advisability of inproving the transit system apparently isn’t based on any kind of urban planning or need but rather on who can accuse the other “side” of being a “whatever” in order to make whichever case they’re trying to make.

It’s the right-wing-nuts from the mainland with the slick-talking Miss Texas supporting the oil companies aligned with the lefty ex-governor, using their big-oil dirty-corporate-money to attack the corrupt, opportunist, archetypical, Hawai`i-hack-politician, scamming to shovel boondoggled taxpayer-money to his cronies from construction-companies by using his huge campaign-war-chest that’s stuffed with the developer’s mainland dollars which scared off all the electoral competition, in order to advertise his attacks... all to the point where the pots and the kettles are so sooted as to be unrecognizable as such.

And that’s just the bickering groups listed in today’s paper.

There’s also the taxi guys and the labor guys and the developer guys and the rent-a-car guys and the good-government guys and the anti-tax guys and the noise-pollution guys and the not-in-my-neighborhood guys and the what-about-my-neighborhood guys and the let’s-vote-on-it guys and the let-the-politicians-decide guys and the let-the-planners-decide guys and the they-do-it-this-way-on-the-mainland guys and the we-don’t-do-things-the-mainland-way guys and the blogger guys and the newspaper guys and the it’s-the-state’s-land guys and the it’s-Hawaiian’s-land guys and the that’s-a-sacred-spot guys and the that’s-our-sacred-train guys and even the we-don’t-know-what-the-heck-we-want-but-we-want-to-scream-about-this-too guys....

See that’s the problem with you haoles. Local people would love to give you sovereign independence and control over your subway if you could just form one group to decide what you all want.... maybe we need an Akaka bill for you..

Saturday, June 28, 2008


YOU CAN’T SMELLTHAT?: Rachel Gehrlein’s rather confused report today in the local paper about Monday’s Charter Commission (CC) meeting reports both a deferral and a “moving forward” of the controversial County Manager proposal being considered,

Thought the article lacks cohesion and continuity, as if written by the specter of Lester Chang, it does characterize and quote CC Chair Jonathan Chun this way:.

Commission Chair Jonathan Chun said he still didn’t see the need for the proposed amendment.

“What is the problem we are trying to solve?” Chun said. “No one, in my mind, has said what the problem is.

"Every time the question is asked, different answers are given, Chun said.

Maybe because so may things are broken and more are breaking all the time so like the procrastinating unhandy homeowner with the house that’s falling apart, every time you ask “what’s the problem” you get “a different answer”

So let’s assume for argument sake the quote and surrounding material is accurate. It brings up an interesting question

Are you friggin insane Jonathan or just a disingenuous liar trying to squelch the measure for some ulterior motive... because we know you’re not an idiot?

We haven’t exactly been on the County Manager conga line ourselves although we are starting to come around with Walter Lewis and Walter Briant’s specific proposal, even though the proposal itself is extremely problematic and poorly written, disregarding the 89 state laws that would have to be changed to accommodate the lack of an administrative “mayor”

But there are no problems with Kaua`i County government and the strong mayor system that makes every department head job a political appointee, Jonathan? Have you seen these bozos? Have you noticed how mayors are eaten alive when they try to get each new “temp” at the helm to get the department “we-bes” (we be here when you got here we be here when you go) to actually do anything differently?

Have you seen these people give what is laughingly called testimony before the council? Or were you just engulfed by “the fog” as they call it when mumbling incompetents who got their job by campaigning or collecting bundles of cash for the mayor try play their shell games.

The game typically goes like this.

Department head: “Oh I can’t answer that, Wendel has to tell you.”

Councilperson: Where’s Wendel?”

“He’s not here today”

“OK we’ll defer to next week and you get Wendel here”

Wendel comes in next week but no Department head and Wendel says “well I have to ask the department head for more information”

“Where’s he?”

“He’s out of town today”

“OK we’ll defer until next week”

Next meeting there’s the department head but no Wendel

“Wendel’s on vacation”

Finally they get Wendel and the department head there on the same day but either
A) They now say Clayton- who isn’t there- has the real information or
B) The department head testifies, then Wendel testifies and then when they want to get back to the department head he’s
1) left for lunch,
2) left for a meeting or
3) taken a plane to Honolulu

And on and on until the council gives up and moves on to the next calamity caused by an incompetent political appointee department head comes up on the agenda.

For god sake look at Ian Costa. He practically invented “the fog” as the unqualified de facto head of Public Works where he caused the grading and grubbing crisis a while back.

As Baptiste’s top bulldog during the campaign the barely-qualified. huge land-owner has taken an already traditionally incompetent Planning Department and driven it into the ground.

He’s got millions appropriated and set aside for unstarted planning studies and development plans and his rubber stamp planners and befuddled and sycophantic Planning Commission can’t even properly deny a permit the one time they try, getting sued for their incompetence to the point where the County Attorneys had to throw up their hands and settle for the worst development possible.

Then there’s- he’s baaaack- the latest whiplash-of-the-revolving-door largess recipient Wally Rezentes Jr. who can’t seem to get the hang of line-item budgeting so he ignores it since the council is still reeling over the “program based budget” system he officiated over during the Kusaka administration.

He quit the first time when the level of corrupt spending got so out of hand the Mayor was leasing luxury cars from her campaign manager at inflated prices and the Council only found out they gave her the money for it when they saw her driving around in it.

The patronage system we have today actually created jobs that didn’t exist for the truly unqualified like Bernard Carvalho. He preeminently glad-handed every voter he could find during Baptiste’s first Mayoral run and cashed in on his football fame to get appointed as a quasi department head in an insane, hybrid cant-decide-what-it-is Community Assistance conglomeration of Public Works, Planning and a couple of other departments. Then the voters created a Parks and Recreation department for him to screw up.

Guess who’s really responsible for the dog path fiasco? Try Bernard whose “task force” apparently just illegally made the pronouncement that the path was now a park (where dogs are illegal), neglecting to follow the state administrative rules law. He’s the same guy who put together the “task force” to put the teen rehab center in the old dog pound near the culturally iconic salt pans in Hanapepe creating a virtual lynch mob when people found out.

And what about the biggest plum of all- the Conventional Hall manager... a do nothing position that pays well and usually employs the mayor’s best buddy to collect perks and kickbacks by doling out favors under an ambiguous rate sheet system that never undergoes any scrutiny because it’s a separate world over there.

We don’t even want to talk about Public Works, the worst mess of all where the Kusaka and then Baptiste couldn’t even find a crony to fill the position for half of each’s administration.

And once they found a young bright and qualified sucker to take the job they beat down poor Donald Fujimoto into another cover-up artist and administration apologist.

He recently refused to answer Council questions regarding the illegal and crumbling Pono Kai sea wall without going into an illegal executive session even though all the illegalities had been thoroughly discussed in open session previously.

Seem like he’s learned well and will probably be moving on through the revolving door as soon as it’s convenient, which should be soon with a new mayor coming on board.

If Jonathan is not seeing the lack of professionalism in this and every administration and the level of corruption within each department as a problem he’d better either take off the rose colored glasses or quit the Charter Commission so we can find someone who has a little firmer grasp on reality.

We’re not saying the county Manager will do anything to change all of this. What it would do is theoretically make the administrative department heads subject to hiring and firing based on whether the job is getting done since the county manager’s job would be similarly held or lost.

Also, although the manager would be beholden to the political whims of the Council, what it would do in essence is put the decision-making out in the open since the Council would have some control over how the money is spent and a little better chance at getting truthful and transparent testimony out of department heads and other administrative personnel.

And it would take some of those secret decision-making sessions and “task forces” that aren’t subject to the sunshine law and put them, if not under it a little closer to it’s umbrella by having their testimony a little more compellable in open session.

But the critics are right in that if we do have “a” county manger system that it be “the” county manager system that is appropriate and acceptable to the people whom it serves.

It will indeed be an upheaval of political culture if not politics itself to have a new governance system.

The proposal from the two Walters is a start but it doesn’t seem ready for prime time and the deadline is a-comin’ well before we can be sure it’s the right one and one that’s even applicable to state laws.

The problems cited in the article as described by various politicians all have to do with this point- fully discussing and vetting the proposal and allowing the Charter Commission to focus on doing the job they are supposed to be doing in studying and vetting systems, compiling data, holding hearings and getting ready to present a full-formed. fully-discussed, fully “right for Kaua`i” proposal for the 2010 election ballot.

It’s time for people like Jonathan to stop feigning ignorance, acknowledge the mess this county’s government is in, much of it due to the patronage system that has evolved under our strong mayoral system.

Jonathan himself has certainly been employed by it long enough to know not only where the bodies are buried but how they got there.

It’s how, not why Jonathan. You’re almost all alone out on that limb. Whether there is a “how” that will be acceptable can only be found if we look for it.

Anyone with your brains knows what the problems are so don’t play dumb with us

Friday, June 27, 2008


PICK O’ THE POUND: Another day of Mayorless limbo another bunch of speculation all of which are based almost solely on a County press release with various reporters and editors attempting to read more into it than was there.

What stands out there is that mum seems to be the word from any of the seven samurai’s ambitions

What is in the release though is that the date for the meeting to replace Bryan Baptiste will not happen until after the memorial service a week from Sunday, July 6.

It says:

“The Kaua`i County Council is expected to hold a special meeting during the week after Mayor Bryan J. Baptiste’s July 6 2008 memorial service... although no date has been set.”

That said a peek at Councilperson Mel Rapozo’s blog says the date is in fact set for July 7. We’ve got a request in for clarification from Rapozo.

What is interesting in the County release is this tidbit:

“A team of county officials has been meeting this week to discuss succession issues. The team includes Acting Mayor Gary K. Heu, County Council Chair Bill “Kaipo” Asing, County Attorney Matthew Pyun , County Clerk Peter Nakamura, and staff. Other Councilmembers have not been directly involved in the discussions.”

If true the meetings might not violate the sunshine law as many worried however the word s “directly involved” could indicate that they illegally communicated, as the OIP has ruled you can’t, to avoid the Sunshine Law by “serial communications”

What does peak interest is Asing’s participation. If he indeed were seeking the mayor’s office it would have to be done now with many accusing him of rigging the process by being one who, with his sidekick County Clerk Peter Nakamura, has been meeting with Pyun and Heu.

Does this mean Asing is out of the running? Or does it mean that he doesn’t care about perceptions or what people think? Should he seek the mayor’s job and should any of the process favor him it would certainly be an issue in the fall campaign if any opponent wants to make it one.

But then again Asing’s well known abuses of the Sunshine Law could also be an issue in the fall all of which seems to be further indication Asing is not interested in a job switch.

It should also be noted that in Rapozo’s post he does not mention his own ambitions, which have been reported in the press without anything in writing from the Council’s only blogging member.

But as the clock runs down on the brief Heu administration here’s another morsel on the Mayor’s death and the County Charter succession provisions that might interest or at least amuse.

Had Baptiste passed away one month- or more precisely 27 days- later whomever was selected by the Council would be serving a two-year. four-month plus term.

After describing what many have been reading ubiquitously since Sunday about the vote by the Council, Charter Section 7.04 closes by saying that:

In the event the vacancy occurs later than three (3) days prior to the closing date for filing of nomination papers for the mid-term election, the mayor selected by the council shall continue to serve for the remainder of the term of the person he succeeded

The filing deadline this year is July 22, exactly one month to the day after Baptiste’s passing. The one big problem with this may be that anyone seeking office this November may be forced to make a decision on the 22nd as to whether to run for council or mayor without being able to know all the facts.

If the council takes all of the 30 days they are given to make a choice to fill the Council vacancy caused by the appointment of one of their members to Mayor, that decision would come after the filing deadline.

If the Council decides on July 23 or later someone seeking the open council seat might be undecided as to whether to run for Council or mayor They wouldn’t know whether they would gain the benefits of council incumbency.that would make a run for the Council more tempting.or be rejected by the Council.making a mayoral bid more appealing.

A candidate might be tricked into running for Council thinking they will get the open seat and then be left in the cold. Or told they would not get it, run for Mayor and get appointed to the Council. Or they could think, double think and triple think themselves into a bad decisions.

Any meeting to decide the replacement councilmember must also be scheduled six days before so the council has until July 16 to schedule a July 22 meeting that would allow for a decision before the filing deadline... although they could pull a fast one by deciding at 4:31 p.m. or later since the deadline is 4:30 on the 22nd.

That would leave only nine days between a July 7 Mayoral selection meeting and the agenda filing deadline and if the meeting isn’t held until Friday July 11 only four days.

It’s unknown if any of these considerations were discussed in the closed meetings of Asing, Heu, Pyun Nakamura and other “staff” but these are the kinds of considerations that Asing might be taking advantage of if he is going to seek the crown.

Could a July 22 meeting be in Asing’s plans? With a purposed gaveled recess just before a vote?

Hickory Dickery Dock
Can Asing run out the clock?
The clock struck 4:31
and no one dared run down (stairs to the first floor elections office from the second floor Council Chambers to file because they might miss the vote)
And the elections office was locked.

Thursday, June 26, 2008


A DAY AT THE DOG RACES: With the death of Snow White, the Seven Dwarves of the Kaua`i County Council posturings now outwardly resemble Alphonse and Gaston while in their hearts they plot to succeed the sovereign.

And it seems the play’s the thing in which they’ll capture the crown of the king.

Tragedy or comedy it’s bound to entertain.

The tidbits we got from the paper today include these

Yukimura, who served as mayor from 1988 to 1994, said she agrees the decision should not be rushed.

Bynum said whomever is selected to fill in the interim should allow the mayor’s initiatives currently in the works to proceed and avoid using the position to make dramatic changes.

Iseri-Carvalho, who is running for county prosecutor, has said Asing has seniority and is well-qualified to serve as mayor.

Rapozo has told media outlets that he supports Asing for the job, but is interested in the position if the chair does not want it.

So what does that tell us? That we were probably on the right track in our Tuesday analysis. The fact that JoAnn wants to wait shows she has the ambition but not the votes. She needs time to allow some things to play out and alliances to shift.

Right now they’re all awaiting for Kaipo Asing to pull the trigger or get off the throne. They all have to show deference even though they don’t really have any, like Iseri intimates. Kaipo “ain’t saying” because he wants to be the king maker not the king and more important for him, he wants a done deal more than he wants anyone specific.

That could be JoAnn whom he would probably love to get rid of on the Council because of the exasperatingly long winded and tedious way she has them all looking at their watches as she chops hash, makes hash and rehashes again every point of minutia grilling administration officials and then letting them off the hook. Her rambling “thinking aloud” can make anyone yearn to watch actual sausage-making.

And she knows she doesn’t have the votes now but needs to have the two-two-two alliances we described Tuesday to shift or crumble.

Mel is on the mainland now and returning soon and he doesn’t want to play Hamlet and get home to find out Uncle Kaipo became King already. But no Dane is he because it isn’t revenge he seeks but the crown itself.

Rapozo most likely doesn’t know Asing will say no, or at least doesn’t know for sure but wants to hurry the process and line himself up as the one who wants it most if not deserves it. The current set up favors him if a speedy resolution is in the stars, Horatio.

Bynum isn’t smart enough to be anything but transparent and has always seen himself as the heir apparent- although perhaps not so soon- and has shown it in his persistent support for Batiste regardless of the advisability of the proposal or policy, having ridden Baptiste’s coattails into office in the first place. His vote is first for Kaipo, next for himself and next for whomever tricks him into giving it to them.

With the Shay-Mel and JoAnn-Jay coalitions the tightest alliances the most likely peelable votes are from the Kaipo and Ron partnership, because respect for having done the job of chair is their strongest bond.... and that’s really nothing.

But we can’t forget the bond of hatred. The two of them are the two dominant opposing forces in politics over the last 25 years. Kaipo was the “1” in al those 6-1 votes against all the development Ron-guys crammed through the Council in the 80’s and 90’s.. But just the same they’ll most likely vote the same... if not together.

Another reason Yukimura wants to wait is that she probably thinks that her biggest ally for the last 25 years, Asing, would give her his vote if she asked for it.. Even though she might not be right, in her mind it’s too soon to show her ambition and possibly embarrass Asing or put him on the spot to the point where he will support someone else.

But the big question is how incumbency will help in November and it is really not as clear as most would think. It depends on how hard the succession fight is. If it gets down to using strong-arms and paybacks to pry and peel off votes from coalitions the new mayor will no doubt be getting a televised mouthful of “why haven’t you done- here’s what I would have done” Council meeting programming... round the clock.

And, the temp Mayor won’t be there to defend him or herself. Starting an administration and immediately running for re-election could be a recipe for being jobless on December 1.

Jay Furfaro might have it if he wants it... eventually. He also needs things to evolve because he needs to be seen as a compromise candidate or it will seem like they all agree he’s the best- perhaps the only- administrator among them. If that’s the public perception no one will be able to come back and challenge him in November...or maybe for another 10 years

That could be another reason his “ally” JoAnn wants to wait. If she is seen to be “forced” to vote for him she could come back to back-stab him by opposing him in the fall. She also remembers his years as a Republican Party stalwart.

If it happens fast and as an Asing-brokered done deal and Mel wants it more and doesn’t piss-off or embarrass anyone by begging for it too hard he could probably have it... assuming no one wants to be seen fighting for it that hard.

He’s taken the first step by being the first to publicly declare. Now any challenge is a challenge to him.

But if they don’t want to give Jay the deadly advantage of an incumbency and competency combination and Mel doesn’t grab the ring on the first go around, you just might see the rise of Tim Bynum whom they think could never win in November, if for no other reason than that it’s doubtful Kaua`i would elect a “s-f haole” mayor.

No one expected a mayoral election this year so everyone’s regular plans are being changed in a wink. That means that as each person’s thinking evolves they need to remember that the thinking of the others is in flux too.

Given the sunshine law and established Office of Information Practices (OIP) recommended policy it should be an extremely entertaining summer.

Though there is what OIP calls a “loophole” to allow closed organizational meetings for selection of leadership positions among “councilpersons-elects” who haven’t officially taken office, the OIP “strongly recommends” open meetings in those situations and certainly doesn’t exempt selecting a replacement Mayor from open meeting requirements, a situation which is certainly not specifically listed in the eight exemptions in HRS 92-5(a)

But given the utter disregard for the sunshine law the Kaua`i Council is famous for watch for that Asing brokered done deal to come sooner rather than later.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


CAN’T YOU HEAR THAT WHISTLE?: Tin political ears are often the coin of the realm on Kaua`i. It’s a tradition going back at least as far as Smokey Louie Gonsalves, who in the 50’s purportedly, approximately said “people will know what they think about that when I decide and tell them what they think”.

Kauaiians rarely cared in the olden days because the paternalism was so strong that people expected the roguish behavior that recently departed Bryan Baptiste’s father Stan exhibited by running the island as Mayor from a jail cell.

No matter how many times pundits cite “changing demographics”- a code for the exponential increase in the influx of mainlanders- nothing has changed since the first time we heard this during the 1980 elections.

So when Kaua`i Police Department (KPD) Chief Darryl Perry got off on the wrong foot by playing up high-tech abusable cop equipment , jacking up a peaceful sovereignty activist , pledging to “take care of” protesters if the Superferry came back and finally writing a condescending tone-deaf commentary in response to suggestions for instituting community policing techniques, people figured that the anyone upset about the desecration of the burial site at Naue had already been stuck with the proverbial fork.

All that was left was for the cultural defenders occupying the location was to count down the hours to the day of reckoning, scheduled for yesterday at dawn.

It was assumed that this would be the final nail in the coffin, solidifying the impression in the community that this was the official end any illusory “our friends and neighbors on the force” era of policing on Kaua`i and that the interests of money and power were to be protected at the point of a taser and a riot shield.

But they didn’t count on Perry being smarter than the average bear and having a political ear that could serve him well if he ever chooses to exercise it in the electoral arena.

Nothing would have seemed out of the ordinary had he ordered his force to round um up and cart um off in the paddy wagon and give the thumbs up to the construction crew.

Although people would have shaken their heads in disgust we’re used to doing that on Kaua`i. We would have gone on with our lives and perhaps occasionally bemoaned the day that Perry brought us into the era when the department fully served the new plantation bosses as they had enforced the laws made up by lunas since the first commercial sugar cane stalk was plunged into the `aina in Koloa.

No one knows what will happen from here in the courts. Apparently the law Perry cited regarding “desecration (such).that the defendant knows will outrage the sensibilities of persons likely to observe or discover the defendant's action“ has never been court tested, especially as it may conflict with the Burial Council processes.

But the fact that Perry took the chance at angering the all powerful land use lawyer Walton Hong and acknowledged that there are people who Hong and his client know full well have their “sensibilities outraged” speaks as much as the action itself.

It would have been easy for him to say, like the small but growing part of the “haole” crowd - the ones for whom we commonly use the word in conjunction with a certain copulatory adjective- that they’ve been doing this for years so why stop them now.

He could have ignored the obvious desecration of his own people’s culturally iconic bones and no one would have said anything but “well, same as it always was”

Today the progressive, culturally-sensitive haole community is singing Perry’s praises. These are the self-same people who were calling for his job if not head yesterday.

With his action Perry gained a bank-full of political capital in future endeavors. How he spends it could put those that were critical of his previous words and deeds behind the eight-ball for some time to come if he abuses it

Should he seek to spend it allowing the rogue element in KPD to abuse innocent until proven guilty suspects and non-violent activists, the funds could disappear quickly, although he has established enough credit to have a no-minimum-balance account for the time being.

People say Perry’s snatching victory from the jaws of defeat shows that he has a good heart in his chest. Maybe. But what was most useful to him yesterday at Wainiha was the uncommon-for-Kaua`i size of the brain in his head and those uncommonly astute ears.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


THE MASTER’S GONE AWAY: Bryan Baptiste died as he lived- covering up... even his own death..

It all sounded fishy. We suspected “the county” was being, eh, let’s say “less than transparent” about Baptiste’s condition over the past couple of weeks, especially after they didn’t announce his surgery until three days after the operation... which had been supposedly “planned” a week before after “routine medical tests”

Then we found out scanty information at that. As we reported we asked, heck we badgered the County spokesperson to at least reveal how many by-passes he had after she said “definitely did not have a heart attack”.

It just about isn’t possible that someone would go in for “routine tests”- and any tests to determine he needed a quadruple bypass would be anything but “routine”- and come out with a by-pass, even just one. Nowadays the doctors would almost certainly do some angioplasty and/or place some stents before going for a surgical by-pass... unless of course he had already suffered a heart attack, which despite the denial is probably what happened

Bryan most likely did what many people unfortunately do- they cover up the chest pains known as “angina”, sometimes even to themselves until it’s too late and you have four such badly clogged arteries you need them replaced.

The stark truth, not even in hindsight, is that Bryan wasn’t in any shape to survive the surgery but obviously it was his only choice. By the time many people in his state of health have a heart attack- and he had probably at least had a “silent” one before- they have already ignored or covered up their chest pain.

As we reported, a myocardial infraction- the most common type “heart attack”- is defined as tissue death in the heart muscle due to the blockage of a coronary artery. No one has a quadruple bypass without having had this kind of “heart attack”. We’d bet dollars to donuts that if the definitive test were done measuring a rise in cardiac enzymes were released that’s what it would show.

A cardiologist interviewed by KITV said “I’m sort of baffled by this” and that was most likely because the “facts”- or at least the ones the county claimed were facts were the only ones he had access to- didn’t line up with Baptiste’s death.

Grossly overweight, with reportedly uncontrolled diabetes, Baptiste was a walking time bomb as far as his “big heart” was concerned.

We gotta say the Bryan was consistent.

Someone said to us yesterday that we killed him. Well around here it feels like one of those Seineld episodes with Bryan not wanting to reveal the extent of his perilous health being told by doctors not to let his famous temper get the best of him and stay to away from anything that would cause it to explode. Next scene see him in the hospital hiding around the corner to listen to others, as was his habit, and overhearing his press secretary mentioning that that damn Andy Parx won’t play the “swallow every lie whole” game the local press plays so well and was askin’ a lot of medical questions. (SERENITY NOW Bryan, SERENITY NOW).

But once home with the opportunity beckoning withstanding a peek at the internet (what could it hurt?) is too much. Cut to the last scene with poor Bryan slumped over a lap top in a closet with our Saturday “'even on his sick bed’ he’s packing the Ethic Board with Grove Farm cronies” article on the screen. (bah, ba-da-bah, ba-da-bah bass line closing theme plays ).

We’re not sure if we’re relieved or upset that we had originally written “death bed” but decided to go with the facts since he hadn’t, as yet, actually died.

So what does the council do after he dies? First thing they do is violate the sunshine law which prohibits their meeting to “deliberate toward a decision” by holding a meeting with Acting mayor Gary Heu to talk who among them they will choose to succeed him, as the County Charter dictates they must do.

And one of these people is going to be the next Mayor, at least until November.

There’s not one of them that doesn’t want the Mayor’s job if for no other reason just for the power and ego gratification and they’ve been jockeying for that position since 2006.

The exception may be Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho who apparently wants the prosecutor’s job. So guess what- she could be the king maker. And she will pick her to ally Mel who has already jumped into the race according to a quote in today’s Advertiser.

Tim Bynum surprisingly enough could emerge as Mel’s rival only since there is a deep hatred between Tim and the Shay/Mel tag team. JoAnn is not well liked on the council, especially by Shaylene and others who have to sit through her incessant thinking out loud and other sleep inducing activity on the Council as well as her apparent back-stabs in various votes over the last few years. She doesn’t really have a true ally on the council with even Chair Kaipo Asing showing aggravation with her in public, something Asing rarely does no matter how angry he is.

Despite JoAnn’s need for validation by being reelected as Mayor after she took her ’94 defeat personally and so switched from being an activist to a consummate politician, she may be alone on the Council in thinking she should get the job no matter what might happen in November.

The “job” by the way could be a ten year term since anyone appointed and elected to fill the term would be eligible for a full two terms after that despite term limits. Section 7.01 of the Charter enforces term limits by stating “No person shall serve as mayor for more than two consecutive full terms”

So if JoAnn is shut out her vote could also be crucial. .

And that leaves Jay Furfaro as the wild card because as a policy wonk JoAnn knows that he would certainly be the best administrator of the seven after running hotels for many years until his recent “retirement”- although he still technically works for Princeville Corporation as a “consultant” which he says is because of his cultural and historical knowledge.
Jay probably has more brains than the rest of them put together. So if there’s any way politics becomes moot because the support is spread too thin,. he could get the nod because even his “foes” who remember that he “was” a Republican don’t actually actively dislike him personally

Many are talking about Asing having the inside track and being the favorite. But forget that- Asing had enough of that after trying to unseat Mayor Kusaka in ’98 and instead of being the shoo-in everyone saw him as on the day he filed his papers he couldn’t even place second, even though he had been the top vote getter in most of the past Council elections.

The only way Kaipo will take the job is if no one else wants it or he thinks no one else can do it. He’ll tell anyone who will listen that he only ran for Mayor 10 years ago because Kusaka was so awful and her Democratic opponent Mary Thronas was dingy, as everyone found out after watching her try to take on the duties of council chair from ’96-98.

Asing knows by now his forte is not as an administrator but a legislator. He’s got it wired and, in his mid-70’s he’s not about to try to learn new tricks.

As far as Ron Kouchi goes he only wanted to be Mayor because he saw it as an increase of power, not because he thought he’d be especially good at filling the potholes and keeping the lights on.

Hard to say what he learned after being squeaked out by Baptiste in ’02 but the fact that he ran for Council again instead of challenging the incumbent Baptiste in ’06 speaks pages if not volumes.

Plus there’s one important aspect all will have to consider- money.

Councilpeople are technically “part time” and the ridiculously low salary requires outside employment. Ron followed up his loss in ’02 with a lucrative revolving-door job with a big developer which he can keep on the council but would have to give up as Mayor even though technically there’s no law stopping him from having outside employment... although with the proposed demolishment of ethics law coming from the Charter Commission it could make for an interesting line to toe for the next Mayor..

And there’s always the fact that Ron would be the obvious choice for Chair when and if Kaipo gives it up and might just see that as the carrot that complements and accommodates his financial situation.

It all depends on what’s important to Ron- money or power. Look for money to win out because Joy likes nice things and he’s got kids to put through college although when taking about Ron’s ego and quest for power, never count it out.

It’s possible if he wants it enough, it’s his because Shay and Mel genuinely like him and depend on his process expertise as an alternative to Asing’s posturings. And that would make for a Jay vs. Ron race for that last vote, although Ron isn’t likely to get it from Kaipo or JoAnn who considered him the devil incarnate through the 80’s and 90’s

And if the fighting gets hot and heavy and there could be a two-two-two split with Shay-Mel, the JoAnn-Jay and Kaipo-Ron (imagine that) pairings.

Which is why Tim could slip right in. He’s so dumb normally no one would want to see him as Mayor. But this is the seat of Bryan Baptiste we’re talking about, who perhaps wasn’t the most vapid person in elective office on Kaua`i the last two years only because of Bynum’s presence.

Plus, if these guys have to sit there with him for another two years it would probably drive them right up a wall so what better way to pull off their own legislative agenda’s than to kick him upstairs.

If JoAnn or Jay can’t get any more votes for either of themselves, they might be more willing to see it this way. So if Tim can peel off one of the “two Chairs”, Ron or Kaipo, it could happen for him.

Kaipo though has probably had enough of dumb guys after six years of Baptiste and 10 years sitting with him on the Council. He actually acts in what he thinks is the best interest of the community, even though that recipe usually involves one cup of secrecy two cups of paternalism and a few splashes of arrogance and ego.

Once that’s all over the clock, starts to run on the 30 days the Council will have to replace whomever moves up to the Mayor’s slot. Derrick Kawakami is a political skein and a rich good old boy by birth and predilection and that may be what they all would be looking for, all else being corruptly equal. He’s shown he can be a stuffed shirt shill for developers just like them, what with his with his old-paradigm-worshipping work for KIUC.

But they may dig deeper and go back to Darryl Kaneshiro. And Gary Heu is certainly the only Baptiste administration official with any respect at all around the Historic County Building, their testimonials to Baptiste recently notwithstanding.

And who knows? If familiarity hasn’t bred contempt Glenn Mickens name could come up if for no other reason than that would stop him from keeping an eye on them from the outside by making him an insider. They call him the 8th councilmember anyway and he knows more about the process the issues and needed legislation than anyone who’s not on the Council. Don’t hold your breath Glenn.

Whomever it is will serve for only a few months and we don’t see councilmembers really wanting a new climber like Derrick get a leg up because he most likely has designs on and might usurp some of their power and might even gain enough strength to move up and leave one of them in eighth place in November.

Darryl would be content to be the same as he was on the council- a reliable vote with the majority. And he could well be on the ballot anyway in November and slip in due to the now two vacancies.

Being on the council early isn’t going to give Darryl any more votes in November because he’s already a known council product. Plus he’s never really sought to “move up” either into council leadership or the mayor’s seat or the legislature so he would be a safe choice for them.
Gary’s political alliances are a mystery, at least to us, but having been the right arm of a Republican mayor may nix his chances with an all Democratic Council.
We need to all keep an eye on them though and make sure that any and all discussions take place publicly. But look for apparent done deals cropping up when they convene open meetings to discuss it. We guarantee it since they’re already apparently broke the law when more than two of them met behind closed doors Monday morning to discuss some preliminaries..
And we thought it was going to be a dull local election season.

Monday, June 23, 2008



As this article is published- at 5 p.m. on June 23, 2008- the second “illegal” secretive meeting of “Kaua`i Community Radio” KKCR-FM’s “Strategic Planning Committee”(SPC) is convening.

As PNN reported the first of two planned secret-agenda meetings took place in mid-May with an insular group of members of the Board, staff and the Community Advisory Board (CAB) that excluded members the community from either membership or participation.

What is KKCR’s Strategic Planning Committee? Well we know now what it’s not .

It’s not a response to the events we detailed in our April 27 investigative report, “ KKCR: A Study in Brown and White”.

PNN’s investigation was presented after the failure of the Kekahu Foundations (the governing board of KKCR) and its Personnel Committee to follow through on their promise to address the issues of "institutional" racism made last January after the previously detailed arbitrary and capricious decision making of staff and the Board of Directors (BOD) during the incidents surrounding the firing and reinstatement of “the KKCR 3”.

Nor was it originally designed to deal with the long-standing repercussions of the theft of the voting rights of the members in 1996 and the institution of the LA music industry’s just about all-music format with no local public affairs programming except for a couple of hand selected programmers taking calls for a few hours a week in a decidedly and directedly non-controversial format.

As a matter of fact, word leaked out of the first SPC meeting that governance issues were “off the table” for the SPC and that they were even considering trying to create and support “other projects” than KKCR.

Most people think the SPC is all a show or worse, an effort to consolidate power and dismiss any attempt to turn KKCR back into the real community voice and free speech platform it was originally founded to be.

Katy Rose, one of the fired programmers who has since been reinstated says she tried, along with many other members of the public, to be allowed onto the SPC without success.

(Clarification/Correction: During Board and CAB meetings Katy rose learned that no members of the public were permitted on the SPC and so did never requested membership.)

She says that “rather than making the deep, structural changes necessary to open up the station to the broader community of local, working-class people and their everyday concerns, we'll end up with window-dressing and token gestures”. from the SPC

And Rose isn’t alone. Literally hundreds of people we’ve spoken to in the community just don’t care to bang their heads against the wall anymore. And though the third SPC meeting is going to be “open to the public” most people have heard that there will be at best token public input and they assume that, as usual at KKCR Board of Directors’ (BOD) meetings, their testimony will be brief and ignored.

Rose says perhaps the strategic planning process should have been based on “participation and concerns of the great many people on Kaua`i who do not see themselves reflected in the programming and structure of the station as it is.

“Without the vigorous participation in decision-making by the very people left out of the process now - and out of KKCR generally - ideas for change will more than likely
reflect the interests of the current gate-keepers”, says Rose “and we can generally expect ’more of the same’."

It’s hard to say what will happen his evening.. But there’s one person who says she is going to make sure full public participation and the discussion of governance issues will be on the table at tonight’s meeting.

And fortunately for anyone who cares about KKCR reclaiming the community radio mantle the paid convener and organizer of the “project” will be Roxanne MacDougall the top organizational consultant and “facilitator” on Kaua`i.

MacDougall, whose responsibilities have included facilitating everything from the Kaua`i General Plan to strategic-planning and group-goal-seeking sessions for both for profit and not-for-profit corporations, has a plan... if the honchos and the dissidents don’t mess it up.

MacDougal has told PNN that the process- which she describes in an essay accompanying this article- will have the SPC establish subcommittees called “strategic groups” each dealing with a specific area of strategic planning. And, although the SPC will determine the set up in secret, at the next meeting which will be open to the public any member of the public can actually join one of these sub-groups as “full participatory members”.

And, she told PNN, issues of governance will in fact be “on the table”.

In the statement MacDougall prepared exclusively for PNN she attempts to address many of the question we asked regarding the SPC and to justify secret agenda and closed nature of the meetings and the reasons for the insularity of the group.

MacDougall wrote:

As of today, June 17, we have completed the formation of the planning team, which consists of 6 board members, the former board president who had been very involved in initiating strategic planning, 4 staff, 2 CAB representatives and 2 programmer/volunteer representatives. In my 20 years’ experience as a consultant, I have found that 15 is an
optimal size for a planning team.

Typically, non-profit strategic planning is done by the board of directors, who are required to approve the plan as part of their governance duties, and the executive director/manager. Usually, input from constituents is solicited in various ways. By having the CAB and programmers/volunteer representatives on our planning team, we have direct input from these groups, while their representatives are charged with keeping them informed and relaying their input. Having as many board members participate as are available to make the commitment to the planning process, which is quite a commitment of time and energy, assists in having the majority of the board present for key discussions and decisions, to directly hear non-board representatives’ points of view, etc. Some have expressed concern that the Planning Team is dominated by the board, but the reality is that the more they know about how the plan was crafted, the more they participate in consensus, the better informed the board is when they review the plan for approval.

But it was unclear whether theses strategic groups would include interested members of the public as full participatory members or whether the public would just be relegated to the peanut gallery to “give input” at some point.

MacDougall wrote

Once the Strategy Groups get started, the Planning Team will hold three sessions in which each Strategy Group reports on its progress. These meetings will be open to the public and there will be time on the agenda, after all reports are heard, for public comment and questions. A draft plan will then be created, and presented to all the board members, CAB and programmer/volunteers. Feedback will be received and
the draft fine tuned. A public meeting will then be held where additional input will be received before a final plan is submitted to the board for approval.

The essay lays out the process in detail but what distressed many like Rose- and even member of the SPC like BOD member Marj Dente and her husband CAB President Fred who were founders of the Kekahu foundation and KKCR and have fought to reclaim the station for 12 years- was the ambiguous nature and possible obfuscation of the point of whether the public will be excluded entirely except for the token ignored “testimony”, which is usually used to protect insularly-formed groups of privileged people to allow them to consolidate their power and actually ignore those giving input.

We’ve seen this kind of imprecision of words lead to false assumptions before so we twice asked about whether, after all the secrecy was over and the SPC’s secret agenda meetings identified goals and formed the groups around them- no matter how unscrupulous and illegal the process to get to that point was- would the public be able to be full participatory members of those subcommittees which are to prepare reports for the SPC?

As previously reported, according to KKCR’s bylaws the meeting of the SPC is required to be open to the public and non-profit organization are required by law to adhere to their own by-laws.

Surprisingly our suspicions that the answer would be “no” to public participation were not borne out. In a supplement to her essay MacDougall told PNN:

The interested public, who can attend the meetings, will be full participating members of the groups. The groups will work together to determine which are the priority goals to support each key strategy. They will then work together on objectives and action plans. So, everybody gets to work on coming to agreement on goals, as well as really thinking through what it is going to take to achieve that goal. The Strategy Groups present their findings and recommendations to the Planning Team. There will likely be a couple of Planning Team members in each group, so they will have been privy to the discussions. The Planning Team pulls together the draft plan, gets various levels of feedback, as I described before, and the plan is submitted to the board of directors for approval. That is the governance process.

Everything one could possibly want to know about the process from MacDougall’s perspective is laid out in the essay, the good the bad and the ugly.

What has been remarkable is MacDougall’s tenacity and apparent integrity in putting together the project, which is financed through a $5000 grant from something called the Hawaii Community Foundation a Honolulu philanthropic non profit run by skeins of Henry P. Baldwin of “Alexander And” fame.

MacDougall has told PNN that if she feels the SPC members are just going through the motions and have a preconceived outcome she will not sign off on the results.

The grant, according to the Dentes, was to pay for MacDougall’s services and was recently finalized through the efforts of one of the more crooked BOD members, Ex- President Harvey Cohen.

Cohen has been the top defender of the realm for many years and along with Station Manager Gwen Palagi conspired to promote Palagi’s bar at the Princeville Airport over the KKCR airwaves with Cohen acting as both her business agent and head of the BOD which promoted policies to allow the same blatant commercialization of KKCR that the so-called dissidents have been trying to eliminate.

Palagi is reportedly leaving her position as Station Manager in December and a search is on for a successor. It is unknown whether the new manager will be promoted from within or whether a true experienced community radio professional will get the job but Fred Dente says he is hoping to expand the search to the mainland to find someone who knows what Community Radio is all about.

MacDougall did make one thing clear. The time and energy commitment to the strategic groups- and for the SPC as a whole- is of primacy. People who serve on these subcommittees will be expected to attend all meetings and engulf themselves in the work. She assures us though that at least two members of the SPC will serve on each group if a plethora of members of the community do miraculously come to the initial meeting and pledge to participate.

According to MacDougall a big PR push will be done to let people in the community know about the opportunity to participate in the strategy groups. But the question is whether this will be enough to convince those who have stopped banging their heads against the stonewall of racism, classism cliqueism at KKCR to come back and give the all-white bastion one last chance to serve the community.

Many dozens in the community of articulate and experienced activists, journalists and others have told tales of having such a bad experiences when they sought to be able to acquire an on air local public affairs spot on KKCR’s supposed “free speech soap box” that no one bothers to try anymore.

And their stories have spread to all their friends and neighbors. Some people are going to be more resistant to trusting anyone at KKCR than others but almost all will have to be asked- if not begged- to get involved.

This has become the most intractable problem at the station. It is why the staff and BOD have had zero success in trying involving non-whites and others who have been rejected due to the so-called “controversial” nature of their views..

Despite- or perhaps because of- the BOD and staff’s half-hearted, disingenuous and occasional attempts to ask local people to participate many feel that the only way to regain (or gain for the first time) the trust of the community would be to have the BOD and Staff admit to taking the wrong direction until now and promise to reverse the way they have been doing business, if not apologize to the community for excluding them in the past.....and do it over and over and over, every hour on the KKCR airwaves and in newspapers and other media outlets until people believe them.

Then and only people say will anyone even think about trying one more time.

And, of course that would have to go along with an immediate expansion of public affairs programming slots with more to come as people come back.. Right now there are no local public affairs slots and only “music” programs are available and that is linked to volunteering to answer phones and “stuff envelopes” rather than the talent and ability to produce a public affair program.

And many say of course that all that must be accompanied by the re-enfranchisement of the members in voting for all of the Directors, not just “one as an experiment” as was recently implemented by the BOD in order to “deal with” long-time demands for democratic reforms without actually having to change anything substantive.

Recently, even after the charges of racism in January, the BOD ignored the publicly stated availability of now-retired, local commercial talk-radio programmer Jimmy Torio- an outspoken no-nonsense leader in the Anahola Hawaiian Community- to sit on the BOD when a vacancy appeared. But they not only selected another white Princeville business associate of some board members named John Gordon instead, they made him President at his first meeting.

Even worse PNN was able to track a false rumor from multiple independent sources of an imminent indictment for some vague sort of criminal activity by Torio and track it back to board and staff members who apparently tried to slander Torio through this anonymous whispering campaign- all so they wound have an excuse not to chose him for the open BOD position.

What will happen with the SPC or for the matter KKCR in general is anyone’s guess. For that matter it’s anyone’s guess whether those who want to use the SPC to further sweep KKCR’s almost total dearth of local community based public affairs programming under the rug will say “no” to the public actually being able to participate fully in interacting with them without some ring-kissing ceremony.

Other than two or three, all PSC members have a history of trying to perpetuate what may call the PBA-CWG the “Princeville Business Association of Connected White Guys”- aka, the Kekahu BOD and their staff.. Many question what the staff is even doing on the SPC, seeing it as a conflict of interest.

So will the sub-groups be open to the public? MacDougall says yes but this is reportedly news to many PSC members. And if they are will anyone bother to show up to that first meeting and volunteer to participate? That remains to be seen. And will those participatory requirements apply to the public and SPC members equally? %They certainly should according to MacDougall

Maybe we’ll find out soon but for now it all depends on what happens tonight.

Fred Dente, with his wife Marj actually wrote the original democratic bylaws that were fraudulently stolen and replaced by current and perennial BOD member Richard Fernandez and ex- BOD member Jon Scott who established the KKCR self perpetuating “junta"-style governance in 1996 as reported by PNN in 1999 in a “Parxist conspiracy” television report.

And PSC member and CAB President Fred Dente says “basically everything’s up for discussion or I won’t participate”

We’ll see if anyone decides to participate and if they do whether they will get anywhere or just get another whuppin’ from the massahs at what’s known as “da haole radio station in Princeville”.

But even if they try by participating in the groups and fail to get the reforms they seek to be implemented by the PCS and BOD they will have a platform and someone paid to take notes and will be able to submit a report that will record and officially document for and through KKCR what’s required before KKCR can be called a true community radio station..


The following is the essay from consultant and facilitator Roxanne MacDougall referred to in the article above.

Kekahu Foundation/KKCR Community Radio Strategic Plan

Update from Roxanne MacDougall, consultant

In September of 2007, I was approached by the Kekahu Foundation Board of Directors to submit a proposal for strategic planning. My proposal was accepted and application was made for grant funding to support my work. The grant was not approved. Later in the Fall, I decided to go ahead and begin the work after the first of the year. In January, I worked with the board and station manager to clarify the planning process we would use, which is fully described on the KKCR website, I attended a Community Advisory Board meeting where I presented the planning process and responded to questions and comments.

A second grant application was submitted and the Board received notice that it was approved a few weeks ago. The scope of work has turned out to be more complex than I anticipated, but I am honored to be able to lead this process and contribute to the foundation, station and community. At the 10th anniversary of the Kekahu Foundation and KKCR, it is clearly time for a shared vision and clear direction to bring the board, staff programmers/volunteers, Community Advisory Board, underwriters, members, listeners and greater Kaua`i Community together, working toward common goals and outcomes.

In December, the suspension of three programmers occurred. While the timing made it appear that the strategic plan was in response to this situation, in fact it was not.

Additionally, since the strategic planning won’t be completed until this fall and will be focused on longer term strategies and action plans, it is not the best vehicle for resolving an immediate issue. However, planning involves assessment of current reality. We just completed a planning survey process which reached out to all the constituents described above, and I am currently compiling the results of the surveys. Any feedback regarding issues and potential improvements that come to light as a result of the situation with the three programmers will be included with all the other feedback in the report and will help to guide the content of the vision and plan.

As of today, June 17, we have completed the formation of the planning team, which consists of 6 board members, the former board president who had been very involved in initiating strategic planning, 4 staff, 2 CAB representatives and 2 programmer/volunteer representatives. In my 20 years’ experience as a consultant, I have found that 15 is an
optimal size for a planning team.

Typically, non-profit strategic planning is done by the board of directors, who are required to approve the plan as part of their governance duties, and the executive director/manager. Usually, input from constituents is solicited in various ways. By having the CAB and programmers/volunteer representatives on our planning team, we have direct input from these groups, while their representatives are charged with keeping them informed and relaying their input. Having as many board members participate as are available to make the commitment to the planning process, which is quite a commitment of time and energy, assists in having the majority of the board present for key discussions and decisions, to directly hear non-board representatives’ points of view, etc. Some have expressed concern that the Planning Team is dominated by the board, but the reality is that the more they know about how the plan was crafted, the more they participate in consensus, the better informed the board is when they review the plan for approval.

The Planning Team held an evening pre-planning session to establish how they could best work together. Plan content was not discussed. They will soon be having two back-to-back sessions to begin the formation of a vision and key strategies, that will serve as starting points for input from all constituents. I have found that this is the most efficient way to launch discussion and input from a large constituent base.

These sessions will also begin the process of setting up the Strategy Groups. Each key strategy will be addressed by a group of people, open to all who are interested, who will meet several times to determine the key goals, objectives and action plans that will be components of the overall plan. Much of this session will deal with the logistics of forming the Strategy Groups. Invitations to participate will be disseminated via KKCR, email lists and other media, not the least of which will be word of mouth.

Once the Strategy Groups get started, the Planning Team will hold three sessions in which each Strategy Group reports on its progress. These meetings will be open to the public and there will be time on the agenda, after all reports are heard, for public comment and questions. A draft plan will then be created, and presented to all the board members, CAB and programmer/volunteers. Feedback will be received and the draft fine tuned. A public meeting will then be held where additional input will be received before a final plan is submitted to the board for approval.

There are truly many issues and opportunities for the foundation and the station, as trite as this may sound. Some issues are long-standing and some people feel hopeless about the potential for positive change. I truly believe, and have experienced, that if people focus on the core values they have in common (in this case, a love and passion for KKCR and community radio), start seeing each other as well-intended people with different points of view and not as enemies, and on a shared vision as the beacon to guide them, holding an intent to work together for the highest good of all, seeming miracles can happen. Empowerment lies in being creators, not victims, no matter how a strong a case
can be made by any side for being a victim. It simply is a very dis-empowered stance to take in life, and rarely gets us what we desire.

Author Richard Bach said “Fight for your limitations, and they are yours”. If we focus on what we don’t want, that becomes our vision and that is what is most likely to keep occurring. I advocate forming a vision of a desired future, and being vision-led, not threat driven. Intention is everything. Thought does create. I can’t always explain how, but I have seen many wonderful, positive changes occur for individuals and organizations over the years. This is my wish and intention for the Kekahu Foundation and KKCR.

Sunday, June 22, 2008


HYENA HYSTERIA: Well we’re working on a piece (of something) for tomorrow and just have time for a homework assignment.

Watch the Council Committee meeting regarding the “dog path”. tonight (at 7) and this week on Ho`ike ch 53.

You gotta see this. Watch the total humiliation of Thomas Noyes’ over his, Bryan Baptiste’s, Bernard Carvalho’s and Tim Bynum’s “multi-use-path” lie and the rest of the delusion under which they and Thomas live .

Watch Noyes melt down, becoming a babbling blithering idiot right before you eyes when he has no information to support his contentions while Mel Rapozo-who is chocked full of the documents and facts- picks to sheds his unsubstantiated contentions over what the path was, is, isn’t and wasn’t.

And you may also be amused by Mel’s excoriation of Dr. Rhodes over her persistent mis-informative screeds regarding liability and her admission that she was wrong, which for some reason no one is reporting.

Don’t miss it- Mel’s part is about an hour and a half in but the rest is priceless too.

There may be a pop quiz. Dismissed.

Saturday, June 21, 2008


MARKING THEIR TERRITORY: Even from a sick bed Mayor Bryan Baptiste never forgets that his prime directive is to grease the skids of cronyism and maintain and bolster Grove Farm’s positioning within County government.

The utter lack of any ethics on the Kaua`i Ethics Board has been a well- mined cesspool for months ever since Grove Farm honcho Mark Hubbard and other clueless Board members decided that no one has to follow the ethics laws anymore because it would make it hard for Hubbard and others on the Board to personally violate the clear laws that forbid them from representing their company before the County while serving on a board or commission.

Chair Hubbard’s Board actually cleared Attorney Jonathan Chun of double-dealing, influence-peddling, conflict-of-interest type charges after Chun successfully lobbied for months before the Council for the Board of Realtors while Chairing the Charter Commission.

Now at Hubbard’s request the quid pro quo is working it’s magic as the Charter Commission is considering chucking the ethics laws in the ocean if Chun can slip it by first the Commissions and then the unsuspecting voters this November.

For those who might have missed it we’ve covered one two three four five times in the past six months the shameless ways Board members have refused with impunity to enforce the laws because the only remedy to the Ethics Board members’ own ethics violations is, quite conveniently, to go before the Ethics Board. We’ve highlighted the take by the local newspaper’s last columnist standing Walter Lewis, and government watchdog extraordinaire Horace Stoessel through essays published printed here and in the paper.

And we covered the revolving door and pick a pack of pickled posers hierarchy of the corrupt corporate revolving door.

Now this week we get news that Baptiste has submitted the name of a potential new member of the Ethics Board which is up which is for Council approval. And guess what? It’s just happens to be the wife of a former Finance Department Director who took a ride half-way through the County’s revolving door to become a Grove Farm Vice President a while back.

Toward the end of the agenda for next Wednesday’s Council meeting is this little tidbit.

Resolution No. 2008-29, RESOLUTION CONFIRMING MAYORAL APPOINTMENT TO THE BOARD OF ETHICS (Christiane Nakea-Tresler-First Term)

For those who may not recognize the name she is the wife of former Finance Director Mike Tressler who turned five years of government work into essentially a lobbying job as Grove Farm’s VP in charge of development.

Tressler- the “other” football star in Baptiste’s hui of half-wits and hubris- was a key sycophant in some of the shady book cooking that led to charges of overspending at KPD and was the one who conveniently used a provision allowing him as Finance Director, to nullify contracts, to cancel the employment contract of former Police Chief KC Lum while he was under fire from all sides for not being Darryl Perry.

And he did it despite the fact that the law specifically excludes personnel contracts from his purview. Tressler was also a key supporter and campaign worker on Baptiste’s first run for Mayor.

Did we expect anything else from Baptiste?. Certainly not. Nor do we expect anyone to show up to object when the Council approves her without a peep? Yeah, right.

Even if they hold an interview it won’t be televised because they have to leave more grip and grin time to give all those awards and certificates to every sewing circle, book review and timing association and embarrass every kid on every team that ever came in higher than eight place in a nine team league and cablecast it all with full captioning... all the while putting the kibosh on TV for prospective commissioners and board members and budget hearing every year... a problem that was not apparently remedied in this year’s budget despite promises to the contrary.

After having all their solicitors and supplicants cleared of ethics violations the Council and Mayor know who butters their bread and if they can stack the Ethics Board with those who won’t find their abominable ethics unacceptable they’ve got a get out of jail free card to play plantation monopoly and make sure they’re allowed to slip Grove Farm’s new development plan into the County’s General Plan, as they’ve planned.

Come on guys- at least make a genuine attempt to obscure what you’re doing- make our work a little more challenging.

Friday, June 20, 2008


BAD BREATH IN DOGS: Well wha’d ya expect?

Did anyone really think The Garbage Island newspaper was ever going to go back to the Jean Holmes era?

Any vestige of pretense at being a relevant voice of the community was obliterated with the news of the firing of columnist Juan Wilson and the squelching of the only real community voice in what has traditionally been the luna’s mouthpiece.

Now we’re down to one local voice in the paper, Walter Lewis’s “on one hand, on the other hand; pardon me for bringing this up” style weekly bland-ishment against taxes and government secrecy and lack of ethics, which apparently doesn’t bother anyone since government has been successfully forestalling and stonewalling these matters for many years.

We actually deluded ourselves into thinking, for the briefest of periods a year and a half back, that the then-new Editor Adam Harju’s lip-service to good journalism and providing a “community voice” might actually be genuine and he’s interested in having a lively, respected newspaper on Kaua`i.

We certainly didn’t expect that any one of PNN’s half dozen “on spec” articles would see the pages of TGI but we didn’t expect the blunt answer from the real luna- Publisher Mark Lewis- saying “if we print that we’d never have another advertiser”.

Admittedly submitting a scathing, researched critique of Derrick Kawakami’s Big Save’s employee salary and policies, comparing them disfavorably to even Wal-Mart at the time was not going to endear us to the receptacle of most of Big Save’s advertising dollars. And it didn’t help that it was at a time when Kawakami was financing if not leading the anti big box legislation fight to stop the Walton’s from putting in a competing supermarket.

You can bet that Wilson wasn’t fired for the content of the columns as far as Harju and even Lewis were concerned. And you can bet that Lewis and Harju did get a slew of phone calls from advertisers complaining about the columns.

We have asked some questions of Harju and Lewis via email but do not expect a comment so we’re really not about to wait longer for one here. They might seem a bit rhetorical but the questions we just had to ask:

Why was Juan Wilson fired?

Did you receive complaints from government officials and/or advertisers? If so what did they say and did you act on those complaints?

Why is there so little local commentary in TGI?

How many people have asked to have regular columns?

What is the criteria for allowing people to have columns and how did Wilson violate those standards?

Do advertisers have any say whatsoever over the content of TGI, either news or opinion?

As of press time, there has been no reply.

While the quality of reporting has improved in many cases a bizzillion percent under Harju the papers is still a modern version of the elitist business community rag that Charlie Fern paternalistically maintained until he handed over the reins to an egalitarian woman from Maryland, Jean Holmes, in the 60’s

Being a mainlander she was taken aback at the, even by pre-civil rights movement standards, racist backwards attitude of Fern and the plantation bosses and as soon as Fern retired completely she started doing things like giving non-whites names in the paper instead of referring to them as “Mr. Wilcox’s Filipino gardener” or a “A Japanese laborer for Lihu`e Plantation”.

And she also actually reported on the various crimes of the bosses, starting with the Leadership homes scandal, through the Billy Fernandez boondoggles and published articles regarding the Nawiliwili Tenants Association and Nukoli`i community uprisings, allowing issues to be fully aired with- gasp- letter to the editor from anyone and everyone.

But after her retirement in the early 80’s the paper got back to it’s roots with the next editor rejecting any and all news that the new plantation bosses in the hotel and resort industry wouldn’t like.

The editor in the 80’s Julia Neal actually told us that the job of the newspaper was to “smooth things over between government and business and the community, not create or report on conflict” which ended our local newspaper career after one article regarding a bait and switch scam by the organizers of the County Fair.

Apparently nothing has changed and Harju- the current occupant- will insure that because he is probably tired of being “on the circuit” as journalists refer to it, moving from small paper to small paper to slightly bigger paper, working their way up from reporter to editor and trying to break into the “big time”, leaving after their good journalism has worn out it’s welcome among advertises and government officials.

Harju apparently loves surfing so is that much more willing to throw integrity and the community under the bus.

Wha’d ya expect. Juan can still be read at Island Breath. Lewis and Harju don’t deserve him.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


Yesterday’s piece from top Honolulu Advertiser investigative reporter Derrick DePledege's was a definitive wrap on the work of so many brilliant and persistent people in breaking this story of the military boondoggle aspects of the Hawai`i Superferry (HSf).

Those “several activists who oppose the project have been fixated on Superferry's military connections”, as Derrick said, are some of the most brilliant and persistent story-chasers around.

If it weren’t for them he might never have written or even recognized the story of the years of lies from HSf executives, denying any and all connections with the military.

The same people continue as Derrick said, be “fixate on... rais(ing) suspicions about whether it can be commercially profitable” too.

Heroic diggers and documenters like Brad Parsons, Dick Meyer, Larry Geller, Joan Conrow and Doug White have continued to dig out documents and document the digs. And they’ll be there to dig up the next absurdity through their obsessional penchant for uncovering the obvious.

Maybe the Advertiser will cover that financial story after it happens. They’re too busy right now collecting HSf’s ad revenue to point out the obvious... although DePledge’s mentioning Dick Meyer’s “preparing to leave” theory is on the right track. It’s surprising Derrick’s editor let him get that one in.

Yes. As fellow-fiaxators we are fastidiously yet felicitously focused on our fellows’ compulsively-consumed, fanatical infatuation with fact-finding and document digging- sometimes in the face of total lack of recognition of the story by anyone in the Hawaii Corporate press...

Except for poor Derrick.... I’d like to give him credit for a sense of humor on this one.

Oh, and in case you think the cat still isn’t out of the bag, HSf mouthpiece Lori Abe has a press release about her new “sales team” including “Passenger Sales Manager Ward...Yamashiro (who) is responsible for contracting and servicing of all leisure travel and government accounts. This includes overseeing the company’s wholesalers (U.S. inbound, Hawai‘i, and Japanese), travel agencies, corporate, government, and military accounts.”

“Hi this is Admiral Bullschiester. I’ll tell ya how much we’ve got if you tell me how much is mine Yamashiro”

“Well we here at the Superferry Military sales division salute you Admiral- or should I say Mister Bullschiester as of your retirement next Thursday. I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today, Popeye..

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


FIGHTING ALL WHO ROB OR PLUNDER: One of the more bizarre stories of the week was the report that Aloha Air is “auctioning off” it’s lawsuit against go! airline as part of it’s bankruptcy proceedings.

How exactly this would work is up for grabs as the article in yesterday’s Honolulu Advertiser doesn’t get into those specifics. But it seems that there is a disconnect with the basic premise of lawsuits.

Normally in a civil lawsuit you have an aggrieved party suing whomever actually and personally, well, aggrieved them. As Judge Wopner taught us, they’re called the plaintiffs and defendants.

And it’s pretty well established that you can’t sue unless you are the one who lost something to someone else illegally. Joe can’t sue Sam after Irving slipped in Sam’s driveway. Irving has to do that.

The article says “(l)egal experts say that the sale of a company's legal claims, especially in a bankruptcy case, is not unusual. What is unusual is the size of the claims and the cost of litigating Aloha's lawsuit.”.

But that issue aside, the way the deal is going down if just plain baffling.

With a starting bid of $10 million being set for what could be, like Hawaiian’s original suit, a $173 million payout- or maybe more like the $80 million as the verdict called for or at least the $52.5 million Hawaiian got when it settled with go!- it sounds like a bargain.

But while Aloha's largest investor, a company named Yucaipa Cos. is being allowed to bid without securing the bid there is another potential bidder- go!’s parent company Mesa Air

Aloha’s suit is based on the same basic complaint as Hawaiian’s. And the payout could be more since they allegedly (for now) actually drove them out of business due to what were called unfair business practices in the Hawaiian case.

And if the verdict in the Hawaiian Air suit is any kind of indicator of success for Aloha’s suit then Mesa’s purchase of the lawsuit for as low as $11 million, would be rewarding them for their illegal actions to the tune of perhaps as much as $200 million when you add up the value lost in all the actual amounts that creditors and others are “out” over Aloha’s collapse and bankruptcy

Pretty good deal. go! gets to stay in business and have only one competitor- with whom they apparently are already colluding to increase process and split the market- and all they have to pay is the $52.5 million for the Hawaiian suit and another $11 million for the Aloha suit.

The only potential fly in the ointment we can see for Mesa then would be whether the bankruptcy judge could or would order Mesa to go ahead and follow though with the current October court date for the suit and pursue the action so as to satisfy the collection of the full value of the lawsuit and order some money to go to the outstanding creditors.

But that sounds pretty far fetched although what isn’t in this case.?

A winning bid by Mesa would apparently be a fait accompli. With the purported intentional preplanned ousting of Aloha- which is what the suit alleges- accomplished, go! can move into Aloha’s niche and the entire price for essentially obtaining Aloha Airlines- without its debts- would be $63.5 million.

Pretty good for a market that produced hundreds of millions in profits per company when there were only two competitors and, if fuel surcharges become common, could once again produce those earnings.

How high will Yucaipa Cos. go? The article reports that Aloha left town owing them more than $106 million according to the bankruptcy judge. So the question is where the diminishing return point is for both Yucaipa and Mesa.

We’ll leave that to their financial experts to figure out but we don’t expect Yucaipa to throw good money after bad, especially since a $200 or even $100 million judgment could put Mesa into bankruptcy and leave Yucaipa in line with the creditors there as well as at Aloha.

And with Mesa’s history showing them to be anything but conservative in the way they put their business at risk in return for huge profits who know how high they might go... maybe even higher than they can really prudently afford to, what with the word “prudent” and “Mesa” not often used in the same sentence.

Sweet- how do we get one of these deals. This may be the only chess game in history to be won after sacrificing the king.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


SICK PUPPY YIELDS NEW TOP DOG: It’s a sickness. While it’s not unique to Kaua`i government it is certainly standard operating procedure here, especially in the administration- the seeming mandate for secrecy and cover-up of anything and everything either consequential or mundane that happens around the Round Building

It was typified again yesterday with the news from the County that there was an apparent seven-day cover-up of the diagnosis of the need for heart by-pass surgery for Mayor Bryan Baptiste and a three day cover-up of the actual surgery.

While everyone wishes the Mayor a speedy recovery, one has to wonder why such news which could effect all sorts of public policy was delayed this way.

We do know that for at least three days Administrative Assistant Gary Heu, an un-elected appointed official, was promoted “pro tem” to the job of top decision maker in the county without anyone knowing.

If a governor or president had done something like this we can just imagine the outrage. Should it be any different here? .

Did Baptiste actually suffer a heart attack- even a mild one- something that many times proceeds a heart by-pass operation? According to medical text books, a myocardial infarction- also known as a “heart attack”- is the blockage of one or more arteries in the heart and any subsequent tissue death. It can be minor enough that the patient isn’t even aware of it other than the chest pain or “angina” that usually accompanies coronary artery disease. Usually the only way to absolutely confirm a “heart attack” took place is by a test for an elevation of cardiac enzymes.

Did Baptiste suffer a heart attack or not? Since apparently no other reporters asked the question directly we asked the County’s Public Information Officer (PIO) about it via email today.

According to Baptiste’s spokesperson Mary Daubert “(t)he Mayor did not ‘suffer a heart attack’”.

We are requesting they obtain a statement to that effect from Baptiste’s doctor and are asking whether the Mayor will release test results to show his enzymes weren’t elevated and did not suffer a heart attack.

We also asked how many bypasses were performed, something also not reported in the County’s short press release nor in the article in the local or two Honolulu newspapers but certainly information that would indicate the seriousness of the Mayor’s heart disease both currently and in the future.

Daubert did not respond to that question

We also asked about the “lag time” between the events and the release of the information to the public.

Daubert told us “We provided information as we deemed appropriate” indicating any withholding of information was purposeful.

Whether or not there was any urgency for public disclosure or were any actual events effected by this typical lack of transparency is not the point. The fact remains that the top elected official is incapacitated by a severe medial condition- one that often causes death- there is a new Mayor in charge as least temporarily and no one tells the people who supposedly depend on their Mayor being “in charge” 24 hours a day.

We deserve to know who is making decisions for the County. What if a natural disaster had taken place? Would we have the same confidence in Heu as Baptiste? Even if so shouldn’t we know “who’s in charge.”

Perhaps the most distressing thing is that Baptiste himself doesn’t think it’s important enough for the public to be informed... or maybe didn’t even think of it... or, more likely maybe he is so used to keeping everything he does secret that this was just one more routine situation where the immediate impulse is toward secrecy and lack of transparency once again carries the day.