Monday, August 31, 2009


HOLY MOLE: Another week, another mystifyingly shallow look at issues from the local newspaper’s editorial board which, we found out this week is comprised of editors Nathan Eagle, Michael Levine and publisher Mark Lewis.

But the content this time has raised not just our hackles but those of Joan Conrow and even Katy Rose who, despite a move back to the mainland to complete her education, has started up a new blog on local issues called, as the now-ubiquitous bumper sticker says, “No Forget Fo’ Go Home”.

Which were the precisely the words shouted during a recent local vs. tourist incident according to the editorial.

As Katy succinctly describes it, the editorial expresses the distinctly mainland- and implicitly extortionate- view of things, telling us all to:

Play nice, children. Be nice to haole tourists, because your survival depends on it.

The article tells the tale of a hapless tourist who refused to pick up a hitch-hiker, and was then called "haole," which sent him crying all the way back to vanilla suburbs, USA, where he joined the swelling ranks of injured white people who have had their vacations ruined by being called names.

The editorial bemoans what “bad publicity” this is for our tourism industry, with all the distinct tin ear for the roots of the incident that a malahini or their local sycophantic supplicants can muster.

The editorial expresses perhaps the attitude that typifies the source of the rage many local people feel, with one of those “if rape is inevitable sit back and enjoy it” type of rants we hear from rich haoles with a western sense of American privilege and entitlement, borne of a wealth-worshipping, individualist culture.

Like it or not, Kaua`i remains exceedingly dependent on a struggling tourism industry to drive its economy and keep its people off of the unemployment rolls and in their homes.

Ah, it’s “like it or lump it” time, eh?

We all know the type. He doesn’t just come over and snap up a bunch of ag land for his McMansion, he isn’t just smug about his “right” to be here because his country “stole, fair and square” the sovereignty of the islands, but he takes every opportunity to let everyone know how much of a bastard he is.

Usually most have enough sense to spew their hate anonymously. Just take a look at all the no-name comments at Conrow’s blog where, though moderation is now in force, a few of these ass-wipes are for some reason still allowed to glom onto Joan’s readership and spew their smug sense of entitlement via anti-kanaka, anti-local-culture rants.

Here’s one from today:

The editorial is right. So what if someone has money for a vacation here - or if you don't enough much money to make yourself happy - be nice anyway! Life is too short.

Here’s a few more just from the past week that are typical whenever Joan writes passionately about the hewa haumia of stolen kanaka maoli rights and the illegal overthrow, annexation and statehood.

--Whine, whine, whine... More "native Hawaiians" feel comfortable and thankful that they are part of the USA than those who don't. There will never be a groundswell of majority opinion otherwise. Dream on, though. It's a free country you live in, after all, and a pretty good welfare system to most of those "disaffected masses".

--Do you really think that if the American masses knew the truth, that it would make any difference?...If so, that's a delusion even greater than a hope for an independent Hawaii.

--Hawaii is a state and will never, ever be allowed to be anything else. Most everybody's OK with that, too.

--So, rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic if it makes you happy, deludes you that such changes are "meaningful" and "progressive" and serve "social justice", makes you happy. I'll just sit here in my first class seat and await the destruction.

Despite the fact that the comments are always “I” this and “me” that they are smart enough to hide exactly who “I” is. But that isn’t necessarily the case for the streams of ugly Americans who are blown in with the tide of daily jets.

Just sit one of these types down at the Tahiti Nui bar, put a few drinks in everyone and see how long before someone cracks ‘em one.

Does anyone wonder why when they amble up to a bar and start in with the “ya know what they ought to do” rants about how dumb the local people are because they didn’t bend over for a resort on the beach or a Superferry spitting thousands of extra cars or about how “they don’t know what’s good for them- they ought to be thanking us.”

The newspaper tries to depict it as some kind of abstraction saying:

Some are chalking such verbal and physical attacks up to incensed idiots simply taking their personal frustrations — with the dire financial outlook or the dilution of Hawaiian culture in a sea of Johnny-come-latelys — out on the nearest target. Others feel they are being wrongfully blamed for the current state of affairs here.

But many if not most of these incidents are the stuff of real, personal, immediate and premeditated provocations.

And worst of all is when they get in your face and then ask “what happened to the Aloha spirit”.

As the editorial ironically put it:

Why can’t we heap aloha on everyone instead of hurling insults at strangers? Why can’t we pick friends instead of fights?...

Reach out to a visitor as you would your neighbor. Offer some useful information without divulging favorite local secrets. When a friend or family member treats another person — any person — harshly or unfairly, step up and tell them to knock it off. That type of regrettable behavior demeans us all

We wouldn’t want to tell “bwana tourista” to knock it off would we? We’re used to being demeaned so what’s one more?

“Why can’t we heap aloha on everyone?” Oh- you must mean the Kauai Visitors Bureau produced bumper-sticker-kine aloha- the one that reads “Aloha- it’s Kauai’s Spirit”.

When akamai island people see that they read “Plantation- it’s Kauai’s Mentality”.

The fact is that these fat blobs of privilege that blew in from the pan-Pacific plastic patch wouldn’t know aloha if it stung ‘em like a jellyfish.

Aloha is when you see a mango tree in someone’s yard and you knock on the door and ask if you can have one from the ground and they not only come out with the picker and pluck you a bag of the bes’ kine- from the tree in the back- but they invite you in for dinner and probably let you marry their daughter.

But aloha is also when you march into the yard and try to take fruit without asking and the same people come out of the house and chase you down the road with shotguns a-blazin’.

The root of aloha is respect. It isn’t about cleaning tourists’ toilets with your tongue for minimum wage and smiling as you say “thank you sir- can I have another?”.

And aloha, like respect is earned.

Friday, August 28, 2009


AS LONG AS THEY CAN: By far the most often violated ethics provision in the document dump provided by reporter Michael Levine- whose article on the $3 million the county has spent on outside attorneys since Jan 2007 appears in today’s print version of the local newspaper and is far more extensive than his preliminary report posted on-line Tuesday night- is of course the oft-flouted section 20.02(d) of the county charter which states that “(n)o officer or employee of the county shall (a)ppear in behalf of private interests before any county board, commission or agency”

Far and away the grand prize winner in the batch with at least 14 violations is Roger M. Caires, the CEO of CLS Hawaii Land Surveying & Mapping who according to the CLS web site

is a life long resident of Kauai. He started this business after retiring from the State of Hawaii, Department of Transportation, with twenty-five (25) years of experience. Mr. Caires leads a team of land surveyors using the latest surveying technologies including the GPS (Global Positioning System), total stations, electronic data collection, and CAD equipment.

According to his disclosure statement Caires sits on the Public Access Open Space and Natural Resources Preservation Fund Commission and his “(c)lients represented before Kauai County Planning Commission during 2008 for subdivision applications” include “Perl Kato, Marilyn Planas, Robert Keown, Rodney Soares, Andrew Baik, Bruce Narramore, Daryl Kaneshiro , Rick Haupt, Kurt Bosshard, Kapaa 382 LLC, Stephen Gatchell, Seatrace Inc., Alan Packer, (and) Kevin P. Hurst.

Caires and his wife Susan C., who apparently also works for CLS, reported a combined income from the company of $31,600.

The Public Access Open Space and Natural Resources Preservation Fund Commission is administratively attached to the planning department and commission which means that, unlike other apparent violations recently exposed Caires serves in the same department as the one he has appeared before.

Is Caires a “bad guy” because he is in violation of the county charter? Probably not.

But should he be serving on a county board or commission while “(a)ppear(ing) in behalf of private interests before any county board, commission or agency”. Certainly not.

Nonetheless, in the upside down, black is white and up is down world of the county’s Board of Ethics (BOE) where the county ordinance can overrule the county charter- and that of the county attorney who can’t seem to provide simple legal advice without jumping down the rabbit hole and that of a mayor who can’t seem to find qualified people to serve among the 99% of the local people who never “(a)ppear in behalf of private interests before any county board, commission or agency”- all in hunky-dory is Lihu`e la-la land.

It is presumably the job of the BOE to review these disclosure forms for conflicts-of-interest. That’s why the charter mandates they be delivered to the BOE. But despite blatant violations such as the ones we detailed yesterday and Wednesday there has never been a conflict of interest charge filed by the BOE itself based on the information provided on any disclosure form... presuming they can even read some of them, another matter the BOE seemingly ignores.

The fact that Caires so cavalierly lists his clients before the planning commission either means he doesn’t read the newspaper or more likely has chosen to drink CA Al Castillo’s Kool-aid. And until someone files suit to force the BOE to follow the charter’s code of ethics the dysfunctional labyrinth of the minotaur will keep filling the crevices of the maze and posting Sergeant Schultz clones at the gates with those who are willing to do what’s wrong as long as they can.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


DESIGNS ON THE DOGHOUSE: The disclosure statements obtained by reporter Michael Levine and posted at the web site of the local newspaper which we discussed yesterday seem to have one thing in common – with a few exceptions each seems to raises questions of potential and real conflict-of-interest to one extent or another.

Though many are familiar by now with the notorious section 20.02(d) of the county charter which states that “(n)o officer or employee of the county shall (a)ppear in behalf of private interests before any county board, commission or agency” fewer are aware of much less controversial section 20.02(c) which states that “(n)o officer or employee of the county shall (a)cquire financial interest in business enterprises which he may be directly involved in official action to be taken by him”.

Which is why today we are looking at the disclosure form for Kaua`i County Director of Planning Ian Costa.

According to Costa’s notarized submission dated July 28, 2009 Costa is the “Owner...Sole Proprietor (and) 100% owner” of “Costa Architectural Design” located at 1104 Kealoha St. in Kapa`a.

This appears to be a direct and irrefutable violation of the county code of ethics, especially since Costa, an architect by education and trade, lists an income of $40,000 from the business.

The question is whether Costa “may be directly involved in official action to be taken by him”, noting that he doesn’t have to have actually been involved, only that it is conceivable that he “may be involved”.

And the “action” need not be taken by him, only that he be “involved” in the action.

Presumably if Costa is doing “architectural design” on Kaua`i, his designs are likely to come up before his planning department or, most likely, the planning commission although the disclousre form does not list clients.

Under charter “section 14.05- Powers, Duties and Functions of the Director
The planning director shall:
A. Prepare a general plan and development plans for the improvement and development of the county.
B. Be charged with the administration of the zoning and subdivision ordinance and the regulations adopted thereunder.
C. Prepare zoning and subdivision ordinances, zoning maps and regulations and any amendments or modifications thereto for the council.
D. Consolidate the lists of proposed capital improvements contemplated by the several departments in the order of their priority for the county.
E. Advise the mayor, council and planning commission on matters concerning the planning programs of the county.”

Any one of those functions could have his in a position of being “directly involved in official action” especially B and D.

The planning director serves as the clerk of the planning commission and attends all meeting usually sitting to the left of the chair and advises the chair and commission including whispered asides to the chair on many occasions.

The “administration of the zoning and subdivision ordinance and the regulations adopted thereunder” also involved wide discretionary powers on the part of the director who oversees all planning employees.

Any citizen who thinks that Costa may be guilty of violating the county’s Code of Ethics can file charges with the Board of Ethics (BOE) by contacting Administrator of the Office of Boards and Commissions, John Isobe or the BOE’s Secretary, Barbara Davis by calling 241-4919 (fax 241-5721) or writing them at 4444 Rice St. suite 150 Lihu`e HI. 96766.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


LOVE AT FIRST BITE: After perusing today’s news in the local paper this morning and reading Board of Ethics (BOE) watchdog Horace Stoessel’s description of the latest debacle in the continuing quest for enforcement of charter provision 20.02(d)- examined in excruciating detail in this space including our three part report (see left rail)- we just happened to turn back to the “Kaua`i News” page and scroll down past today’s entries to catch an article seen only in the “previous headlines” section entitled “TOMORROW'S NEWS — $3M requested for special counsel since 2007”.

Apparently reporter Michael Levine’s quest for county documents is bearing fruit and County Attorney Al Castillo is giving up long-sought documents after they were requested by Levine in the name of the local newspaper.

The new, apparently permanent page at the paper’s website shows that Levine received the list of 42 county appropriations for outside council dating back to January 2007 along with the case and amounts for each.

But that list is something anyone could have compiled albeit with a painstaking examination of past agendas and “recap memos” although the latter have just recently been made available.

The big accomplishment is in getting the BOE to give up the actual disclosure statements of various recent applicants for various board and commission members.

In the past the BOE has kept these statements under close wraps and actually edited them and blacked out the potential conflicts of interest that violated 20.02(d) as well as other information calling it “an invasion of privacy” even though they are called “public disclosure documents”.

Although it is certainly not a complete list – they appear under two separate links- a quick run-through shows on first blush a pattern of appearance before other boards and commissions on behalf of private interests on the part of many of the applicants heretofore unreported.

Another pattern is illegible handwriting making many of the documents virtually useless.

But one statement stands out for simply it’s lack of any information- and it’s one that is an all-important link to what happens with huge stacks of county, state and federal taxpayer monies.

Though few will recognize the name Randy Finlay- whose address and phone number are not blacked out as the law requires- anyone who has passed by a road repaving or construction project will recognize the name of the company he owns and runs- Unlimited Construction.

His application to continue to be a member of the Cost Control Commission (CCC) is devoid of any information required and instead lists “no change” on all the information points required to be included when one fills out the form.

But what’s interesting in the fact that he is serving on the CCC when his company has been complicit in one of the biggest-yet underreported rip-offs on the island.

To try to be brief, a few years back- make that more than a decade ago- council “nitpicker” Glen Mickens began to notice that, as he took his daily walks pieces of broken off pavement sat by the side of the road which upon measurement were apparently thinner than the standard and required 1 ½ inches thick.

He made it his quest- one that, despite detailed presentation to the council no one so far seems to want to hear- to inform the council about how not only is the county paying for 1 ½ inch paving and not getting it but that, for some reason no one can adequately explain, on Kaua`i the standard of 90 sq. ft. of asphalt per ton is used while the national standard is 120 sq. ft. per ton to get that 1 ½”.

That means that, if anything, we should be getting roads that are 33% thinker than 1 ½” or 2” thick.

The question is, where is the extra asphalt going- a question the Public Works Department has been unable to answer.

And when Mickens presented the facts for the umpteenth time- as he has to each new council and individually to all new councilmembers over the last decade plus- one of the suggestions has been to have the CCC look into it.

Of course the more basic question is whether someone who bids on tens of millions of dollars worth of county contracts should be serving on a county commission where he might be considering cost savings such as investigating county road repaving methodologies and contracts.

Mickens’ full detailed written testimony before the council from this year’s budget hearings in April is presented at the end of this post for all those who want to fully understand this scam that has been going on for years with the apparent complicity of Unlimited Construction as well as Niu construction which Mickens mentions in his testimony

We’ll be getting out the fine tooth comb in coming days for the other disclosures, as well as filing for the statements for the council, mayor, department heads and their deputies and the rest of the sitting board and commission members covered by the pubic disclosure laws.

In the meantime we welcome you to peruse the current ones and let us know anything you might find missing from the forms or less than apparent conflicts raised by the disclosures.


Glenn Mickens’ Testimony April 2009:

Our code for resurfacing roads as outlined in your Standard Details manual shows a thickness of 1 1/2". Two bids that Ryan was nice enough to give me both show the same specifications---1 1/2".If you will check the Asphalt Paving Job Calculator that all paving contractors use or if you will use simple mathematics, you will see that by using 1 TON of asphalt (AC) to pave 108 square feet, you will get a thickness of 1 1/2".

Yet, if you will refer to the memo I have from public works you will see that we use 1 Ton of AC to pave 90 square feet.

Also a check of the 07-08 Island Wide Resurfacing list will verify that we ARE using this 1 ton of AC to pave 90 square feet. A check of the calculator will show that 1 Ton of AC per 90 square feet will give a thickness of about 1 7/8"

To put this into perspective:
If we pave 1 mile of road using the 1 ton per 90 sq ft. we would use 1056 tons of AC. At today's price of about $200 per ton that cost would be 1056 x $200 or $211,200.

By using the 1 ton of AC to pave 108 sq. ft. (to give the 1 1/2" that code specifies) we would need 880 tons to pave 1 mile or, 880 x $200 = $176,000.

Thus we are spending $35,200 MORE for each mile of road that we pave. Since we have 300 miles of county roads on Kauai that means it is costing the tax payers $10,560,000 more by using the county method over the correct method.

You might argue that we are getting 3/8" more AC put on our roads but the contractors are bidding on 1 1/2" so they would lose money if their bid was for 1 1/2" and they put down 1 7/8". Also, I have picked up pieces of AC from our roads (I walk 4 miles a day over them) and they are less than an inch thick. So not only are we not getting the extra 3/8" we are paying for, we are not even getting the 1 1/2" that be bid specifies.

So, the questions are, (1) why are we using the 1 ton of AC to pave 90 sq ft. instead of the correct 1 ton to pave 108 sq ft.? (2) Where is the extra AC going or where is the money going that is costing us more? (3) Shouldn't the weight ticket at the AC plant and the core samples taken from the roads match the amount of money we are being charged for?

Also for clarity, In the 2 bids that Ryan gave me from Niu and Glover. Glovers bid (cost per ton) on 10 roads went from $268 to $762 or an average of $416 per ton all in the Waimea district, close to their plant. This was for phase 2.
Niu appears to have gotten the bid (both they and Glover for 06-07) for phase 1 on the North Shore. Their bid per ton was for an average of $224 so why this huge difference in the bids that they were awarded.

My next question. Why are we not following the Hawaii Asphalt Paving Industry (HAPI) standards for paving our roads? Both Grace Pacific and Glover are members of HAPI and they abide by their recommended paving methods.

When I spoke to a roads engineer from Glover he told me that he has asked and suggested to Public Works that they use HAPI standards but was told that our county doesn't have the funds to do it that way Thus we are being penny smart and dollar stupid as even if our roads would cost more to originally pave they will last 15 to 20 years (WITHOUT POTHOLES) or deterioration instead of being in the shape they are in now.

In other words when the county issues an RFP they do not specify replacing the old cracked base or putting a leveling course down before the final layer---all HAPI specifications. So why don't we ask for more money in the budget and do the job right with whatever funds we have?

And, if I understood what Ryan told me, we used the 07-08 budget for resurfacing for the 08-09 year and thus, instead of paving more roads with the extra money we got in 07-08 (I believe it was over $3 million) we are actually repaving less since we have less money. I asked this question since I have never seen the budget for 08-09. If I am wrong maybe Ryan can correct me.

At about $200 per ton for AC today and a budget of under 2 million dollars a year, we are only capable of paving about 10 miles of roads. That means it would take 30 years to pave all 300 miles of our county roads plus by using these incorrect methods of paving our roads will only remain a mess.

The shoulders of our paved and repaved roads. In the bid contract it states that the level of the shoulders will be put back to the level of the newly resurfaced road BUT that it will be done by Public Works. Many of our repaved roads have never had the shoulders fixed to these standards and it is a hazard. I have addressed this to PW many times but it still has not been taken care of. .

Striping our roads. I have addressed this to Donald many times and he said that unless the road is at least 20 feet wide it is their POLICY not to stripe them. This "POLICY" should be changed as it is dangerous for vehicles driving at night or in rain not to have a reference point or for opposite driving vehicles to stay on their side of the road. Hauiki road is a good example of this as it was just repaved, is 18' wide and has no stripe.

Pot Holes. Code states that pot holes will be cut on a square or rectangular pattern, new 4" of base course put in, and 2" of AC compacted into the hole. All we do now (and have done in my 20 Years on Island) is dump cold mix in the hole (sometimes with water still in it) do not compact it, and it is gone after the next rain. So we waste our time, material, and manpower doing the job wrong----this MUST be changed.

Picking the roads to be resurfaced. There is no methodology as to which roads are to be paved. As long as we only have finite money in the budget for roads repaving and can only do about 10 miles a year, we need to pick the heaviest traveled roads and the ones that are in the worst shape. But this isn't done. As an example Kealia Road was resurfaced in the 05-06 budget year at a cost of $250,800. This road has few homes along it---most of it with none---but it was still repaved. A 2000 acre subdivision is going in at the top of this road but the tax payers shouldn't have to pay the cost of a road that benefits a developer.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


SILENT TREATMENT: It was less than a year ago that you couldn’t pick up a progressive journal without someone asking the questions “where’s the outrage”.

Yet it’s hard to find one these days that hasn’t got it’s head so far up butt of the new administration’s continued genocide in Afghanistan that you see the editor’s face when Obama speaks.

We had to rely on the grapevine to hear about the plans of one of the only constant anti-partisan anti-war protest voices, Cindy Sheehan, to reestablish her “Camp Casey”- which attracted thousands to Crawford, Texas a few presidential summer vacations back galvanizing the anti –war movement- at Martha’s Vineyard where the current-est occupant was busy today playing golf with the “Swiss Bank” USB’s top executive in the US.

Yet the MSM seems oblivious, preferring to slather our screens with happy shiny people hawking Obama ice-cream, beer and t-shirts or replaying the rantings of the handful of wackos at various “I (heart) my Medicate/Keep government out of heath care” rallies, busily earning membership in our “too stupid to live” club.

And is it any wonder that you haven’t heard anything about it with a quote like this from ABC News anchor Charlie Gibson regarding potential ABC coverage of Sheehan’s protest.

“And you look at somebody like (Sheehan) and you think here's somebody who's just trying to find some meaning in her son's death. And you have to be sympathetic to her. Anybody who has given a son to this country has made an enormous sacrifice, and you have to be sympathetic. But enough already.”

Enough already? How about enough of Gibson’s rah rah coverage of the continued occupation of Afghanistan and his building-up of expectations of escalation al la Vietnam/Iraq that are developing with the aid of the corporate networks?

Or as Cindy writes in response:

“Enough already?” Hmmm…I don’t know Charlie Gibson and I don’t pay any attention to his career, but I seem to agree with him on this one: “Enough already.”

Enough with the killing, torturing, wounding and profiting off of the backs of our troops and off of the lives of the people of Iraq-Af-Pak: as our brothers and sisters in Latin America say: “Basta!”

Somehow, I don’t think that this is what Charlie Gibson meant, though. I am sure that he just wants me to go away like most of the rest of the anti-war movement has done under the Obama presidency.

One of the things I hear quite often from people from all over the political spectrum is: “Why don’t you just go away, you’ve had your 15 minutes of fame.”

Yes, that’s exactly what I thought as soon as I heard that my son was killed in the US’s illegal and immoral war in Iraq: “this is a perfect opportunity to get my 15 minutes of fame.” Actually, after I slowly recovered from the shock and horror, the pain always remains, I thought that I had to do everything I can to end this nightmare so other mothers/families wouldn’t have to go through what I was going through and what I am going through.

I certainly am not the anchor of a major network news show, but last time I checked, people are still dying at a heartrending clip in Iraq-Af-Pak.

If my goal was “15 minutes of fame,” I could have gone quietly away a long time ago. I started because I wanted the wars to end, and I will figure I can go away when the wars end…but when is that going to be? In my lifetime, probably not.

I am cutting my writing-staycation short to head to Martha’s Vineyard because I think the new titular head of the empire needs to know that his policies are devastating people as much as the same policies did when Bush was president.

I would rather be able to go away and spend the rest of my life worshipping my grandchildren, writing, reading, resting, and doing humanitarian work where I am needed.

I wish the wars would go away, but they aren’t going away if we the people don’t get more militantly insistent.

Ya Basta, indeed.

Monday, August 24, 2009


(PNN) NEW LANDFILL SITE WILL BE IN KALAHEO: PNN has learned that the new landfill site on Kaua`i- reportedly set to be announced this week- will apparently be the one located just south of Kalaheo’s Brideswood subdivision, according to multiple sources both inside and outside the administration.

The so called Umi site (map) sits on east side of the north-south leg of Halewili Road (the “back road” from Kalaheo to `Ele`ele through Numila by the Kaua`i Coffee plant) about ¾ of a mile from the intersection with Kaumuali`i Highway and was recommended or “selected” by a mayor’s advisory committee originally formed and appointed in February of 2008 by the late Mayor Bryan Baptiste.

“Selected” is in quotes because, although the site was originally supposed to be ranked processed and selected by the committee, instead it apparently only developed the criteria for the rankings and filled out the score sheets which were then processed and completed by the county’s consultant, RM Towill.

The process also wasn’t exactly as open and transparent a process as many expected after reading the original Public Message regarding (the Mayor’s) Advisory Committee which said “all meetings of the Committee will be governed by the State Sunshine Law and will be open for the public to attend and to listen as the Committee conducts its deliberations.”

Instead, according to the minutes of the March 17, 2009 meeting, when the consultant “presented the names of the sites that the committee’s criteria and weighting had ranked as well as their scores and order... (i)t was agreed by the Committee that this information would not be posted until the completion of the Committee’s process.”

And indeed an examination of the minutes of the committee do not reveal the consultants reports or the specific comparative information leading to the selection of the Kalaheo site over the six others that were proposed.

Expectations were so far from actualities that the committee was apparently adamant toward the end that the original “charge” to the committee be amended to indicate the way the process actually occurred after they were cut out of completing the ranking process.

The April 21, 2009 minutes say:

The Committee requested that the wording concerning the Mayor’s charge to the Committee be clarified to better reflect that the task was to develop and weight the criteria which the consultant applied to the sites resulting in the ranking.

That indicates that the consultant RM Towill did not just “facilitate the MACLS with the objective to identify and recommend a site for Kauai’s next Landfill” as the county web site notice from August 13, 2008 reads but actually was the one who applied the criteria that the committee developed and made the final recommendation.

But even more disturbing is what various sources have been saying since the beginning- that the administration came in trying to force the Kekaha site on the committee with the membership “stacked”, some say, to insure that the dump remained in an area right across the highway and adjacent to the county’s only current landfill.

One source with knowledge of the process confirmed what many were saying last year- that the committee was told at the first meeting that "experts" had already made their preliminary studies and had come to the conclusion that the present site in Kekaha was the most favorable, "geographically" and "climatically".

That however was under Mayor Baptiste who, many county observers say, was trying to placate the desire of the current landfill workforce to keep the jobs in the area.

The one caveat on the selection of the Kalaheo site– which was ranked #1 by the consultant with the Kekaha site coming in #2 site and Kipu site in third- is that the administration in the person of the mayor is the one making the final designation since, as the minutes indicate over and over, the committee was only there to make a “recommendation” not a “selection”.

Although our sources agree that the Kalaheo site is the one that will be announced this week by current Mayor Bernard Carvalho, he did have the final say and because he could have changed his mind and selected a different site, nothing is “final” until the announcement is officially made.

The members of the committee- whose names were found nowhere at the county web site except in the meeting minutes- were:

Gary Pacheco, David Sproat, Ted Inouye, George Costa, Mike Curtis, Mary J. Buza-Sims, Jose Bulatao, Jr., Michael V. Layosa, Edward Kawamura, Keith Nitta, Kenny Ishii, Palmer Hafdahl, Glenn Frazier, Diana Simao, Kathleen Hurd;
County DPW: Troy Tanigawa, Emily Ishida;
Consultant: Brian Takeda;
Facilitator: Dee Dee Letts

Saturday, August 22, 2009


ALL EARS: The case of the release of the minutes of the infamous ES 177 Kauai County Council meeting was heard by the Supreme Court of Hawai`i on August 10. We’re still looking for the transcript but for your weekend listening pleasure you may now listen to the entire audio recording in mp3 format.

The ruling is apparently still pending.

For a detailed analysis of and links to the OIP brief see our July 1 post.

Here’s some background from the state judicary web site.

NO. 29059 - Monday, August 10, 2009 - 11 a.m.



OFFICE OF INFORMATION PRACTICES, STATE OF HAWAII; and the Director of the Office of Information Practices, in his official capacity, Defendants-Appellants.(Declaratory Judgment)

Attorney(s) for Petitioners-Defendants-Appellant(s)Paul T. Tsukiyama, Cathy L. Takase and Jennifer Z. Brooks, Office of Information Practices, and Gail Y. Cosgrove and Kunio Kuwabe (Hisaka Yoshida & Cosgrove)

Attorney(s) for Respondents-Plaintiffs-Appellee(s)Honorable Matthew S. K. Pyun, Jr., County Attorney, County of Kauai, and David J. Minkin and Becky T. Chestnut (McCorristion Miller Mukai MacKinnon)

NOTE: Certificate of Recusal by Justice Mark E. Recktenwald, filed 5/15/09.

NOTE: Order assigning Judge Glenn Hara in place of Recktenwald, recused, filed 5/18/09.

NOTE: Oral argument rescheduled from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

COURT: RTYM, CJ; PAN, SRA & JED, JJ, and Circuit Judge Glenn Hara in place of Recktenwald, recused.

Brief description:
Petitioners/Defendants-Appellants Office of Information Practices, State of Hawai`i (OIP) and the Director of OIP, in his official capacity (collectively “OIP”) filed an application for writ of certiorari seeking review of the Intermediate Court of Appeals’ (ICA’s) February 19, 2009 judgment on appeal in support of its January 30, 2009 opinion. The ICA’s opinion affirmed the Circuit Court of the Fifth Circuit’s grant of summary judgment in favor of Respondents-Plaintiffs-Appellees County of Kaua`i, Kaua`i County Council, and Bill “Kaipo” Asing, James Kunane Tokioka, Jay Furfaro, Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho, Daryl W. Kaneshiro, Mel Rapozo, Joann A. Yukimura, and Peter A. Nakamura in their official capacities (collectively “the County”) and ordered that the minutes from a meeting conducted by the Kaua`i County Council on January 20, 2005, identified as Executive Session 177 (ES-177), shall not be disclosed. In its application for writ of certiorari before this court, OIP asserts that the ICA gravely erred in (1) affirming the circuit court’s jurisdiction to hear the Council’s original action under the Sunshine Law, Hawai`i Revised Statutes (HRS) chapter 92, without then limiting its review to determining the applicability of that chapter; (2) not giving effect to the Kauai County Charter’s more restrictive standard for closing a counsel meeting; (3) failing to consider the legislative history indicating that the Legislature intentionally narrowed the attorney-client executive meeting purpose provided by HRS § 92-5(a)(4); and (4) failing to defer to OIP’s interpretation of Sunshine Law provisions under the palpably erroneous standard.

Friday, August 21, 2009


TURN ME ON DEADMEN: We’ve wasted the day pawing over some documents so we’ll keep it brief today (loud cheering and applause).

Rather than our usual Friday rant we thought we’d just present an interesting council rule.

Rule #9 reads:


Any person may petition the Council. Petitions and other matters shall be in writing, with at least the name of the petitioner signed and printed. The petition shall be disposed of by the Chair, including its referral to the proper agenda.

Our reading of this is that any member of the public may actually place any matter on the council agenda.

First of all, it only requires one person to sign it.

But by saying “(t)he petition shall be disposed of by the Chair, including its referral to the proper agenda” the use of the word “shall” is clearly an imperative. And by saying “including its referral to the proper agenda” it continues that imperative by giving one and only one possible “disposition”.

Most attorneys will tell you that if the wording of rules, laws, contracts and such use the word “including” to begin a dependant clause, it is exclusive to the items listed unless it reads “including but not limited to”.

Anyone who ever wished they could add an item to the council’s agenda might want to note Council Rule #9.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


THEY ARE THE EGGMEN: Wednesday’s council meetings was the first in months where discussion of council rules and associated matters weren’t on the agenda with dissident Councilmembers Tim Bynum and Lani Kawahara seemingly trusting that changes are in the works and so the public’s access to information will be radically expanded and the rules will be followed without bizarre or sinister interpretations.

But that trust was belied shortly after the gavel was pounded when government watchdog Rob Abrew continued his battle to have the council follow at least one of its own rules.

When the matter of the agenda came up on the agenda Abrew once again questioned why the council’s agenda again contained an item Communication C-2009-288 that violated council rule 15(b).

Although the state sunshine law calls for all agenda item to be posted six calendar days before the meeting the council has it’s own rule saying that:

All communications to be placed on the agenda must be initialed by the Council Chair and received by the Council or the Office of the County Clerk before 4:30 p.m. on the Friday two weeks preceding the day of the regular or Committee meeting.

The item in question was time stamped” as “received” on Thursday August 13th for the August 19th meeting.

So after laying out the case once again- as he did at the last council meeting where County Attorney Al Castillo had told him and the council the rules were simply “guidelines” that could be chucked in the trash on a whim- asking the council “are we going to pick and choose the ‘guidelines’?” which are followed.

In the past councilmembers- especially Chair Kaipo “il duce” Asing and his right hand man, defender of the realm Darryl Kaneshiro, have been relentless in claiming the council must always follow their rules- especially the one that calls to testimony to be restricted to two three minute segments.

But now that it proves inconvenient the rules are suddenly discretionary.

Kaneshiro started the defense with the old misdirection play claiming he didn’t really see what the problem was since no law was being broken referring to the sunshine law’s six day requirement. But Abrew patiently explained it all over again that that was basically irrelevant to the council rules.

What’s been called “the secret sunshine law”, HRS 92-71, allows counties to strengthen the state laws against closed government.

Then it was old-boy-in-waiting and latest addition to the palace guard Derek Kawakami’s turn to explain away the apparent flouting of the rules. He explained the intent of the rule launching into an explanation of how it was designed to make sure the staff wasn’t inundated at the sunshine law deadline because sometimes “matters come up” at the last moment that must be on the agenda.

Last meeting Kawakami was adamant that the rules were being followed and that there was no need to form an ad hoc committee to review them to come up with any changes at all.

The fact that experts agree that rules should be either followed or changed never came up.

Bynum on the other hand cited a promise to review the rules internally made by the chair and the three other councilmembers who voted down the committee idea.

He countered that “I heard a commitment to address the rules” at the last meeting and “I trust in due time we’ll do that” adding that the problem is that “as written the rule is absolute- that’s something we may want to look at.”

Kawahara agreed that “there is a commitment to look at the rules” and with that the agenda was approved without any action to effectuate any changes.

The council rules are archaic having been written 25 years ago, way before the “information age” and in a barely post-plantation era when dissent was not just unacceptable but could with five votes “suspend without pay for not more than one month any member for disorderly or contemptuous behavior or for personal vilification in its presence.”

No one could watch the last couple of meetings without finding that this description of behavior fit more than one councilmember’s actions.

There are a slew of other eyebrow raisers in the rules along with ones that are never followed.

For instance right off the bat, we’ve been going to inaugural meetings for years and we’ve never heard from any three member “credential committee” called for in Rule 1(a)2. It states that:

The Mayor, as the temporary Chair, shall appoint a credentials committee of not less than three members. The credentials committee shall immediately examine the credentials of the members elected. If a majority of the credentials are in order, the credentials committee shall so report and the oath of office shall be administered to the Councilmembers-elect by some person duly qualified to administer oaths.

Sometime when we feel ambitious we’ll go past the first couple of pages and point out some of the other rules that are either ignored or violated routinely. But just remember that four councilmembers found that the rules are just fine as they are at the last meeting.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


DOESN’T PASS THE SNIFF TEST: Though it took some prodding from PNN to get it posted on-line, an editorial tripping over itself to find a silver lining in KPD Chief Darryl’s Perry’s slap-in-the-face-of-Kaua`i application to become Honolulu’s Police chief was finally posted yesterday.

This Sunday’s editorial in the local newspaper is more striking for what it leaves out than what it says. Although we suspect it was written or at least informed by “somebody please love me” oft-fired, piss-poor reporter Paul Curtis we usually get a response of “it’s a collaborative effort” when we’ve asked in the past about who the editorial scribes are since the paper recently established a once a week editorial voice.

If Curtis’ involvement is not the case then the excuse that the dynamic duo- journalists par excellence Editor Nathan Eagle and Assistant Editor Michael Levine- are newbies and don’t know the history could explain the revisionist history contained, although we’re pretty sure they have read the book “KPD Blue” and many of the reminders of the real history of the department in the last 10 years, as detailed in this space over the past year and a half.

But there really is no excuse for at least three passages that ignore reality and rather provide false premises for sycophantic lapdog hand-licking opinions.

The editorial somehow schizophrenically both criticizes and admonishes Perry for leaving unfinished business after he and his promoters screwed over two chiefs and caused no small amount of pilikila on the force and in the community over the years in revenge for his being passed over for the job twice.

The first paragraph that stands out says:

We are particularly impressed with his community outreach efforts and ability to connect with the people here. From writing a column for us answering your questions to reading at local elementary schools and generally making himself available at any time, Perry has gone above and beyond the call of duty.

The problem is that this “community outreach” has been a top-down, tin-ear attempt to take the community out of the equation in tossing aside the “community policing” programs instituted under Chief George Freitas- whose community policing successes in Richmond CA are noted nationwide- and continued under the short reign of Chief KC Lum.

Instead Perry promoted an “us vs. them” attitude on the force as he sought to bring a big-city style arms buildup to the tiny Kaua`i. He then refused to directly respond community criticism over that and noted incidents of police abuse of power and even brutality- which he pooh-poohed, indeed attacking those who would question his new techniques even twisting arms at the newspaper which fired regular columnist Juan Wilson over such criticisms.

The next paragraph is particularly galling to many on the force and their families and friends.

We continually hear from officers and people on the street how much better the department, historically known for its unstable footing, has been running since his arrival.

We’ll bet you have- since they are the only ones who will dare speak up on the subject. The fact is that many officers we’ve spoken to- especially who were caught on “the other side” in the 10 year battle to secure the job for Perry- tell us they found out early that any criticism or even suggestions would be met with retaliation.

Dissent has largely moved underground and certainly no one is going to tell the newspaper.

Even the “bottom up departmental review”- a review that would allow officers to freely and openly give input on structure, operations and policing methods - that was discussed for years by the police commission has been killed, giving officers who remain unsatisfied with the direction of the department marching orders to shut up and stew in their own juices.

The next two paragraphs are chock-full-o’ contradictions and misinformation

The tumultuous process of selecting a new chief is something we'd be OK not having to endure again for another couple decades if possible.

Then why the pass on leaving us in the lurch only a couple of years after battling for the job, a process we detailed in our editorial on the subject a couple of weeks ago.

Remember how messy things got last time around? Our county is still fighting the Office of Information Practices in the Hawai`i Supreme Court on a matter relating to the dismissal of former Police Chief K.C. Lum.

What a load. Although it came out of a request for minutes of a council meeting regarding a council investigation of the department, the case is really about the county’s ability to tell the OIP to shove it when OIP ruled the minutes of an executive session should be made public.

Calling it “a matter relating to the dismissal of former Police Chief K.C. Lum” and. among other things disregarding the race discrimination suit by Lum in the “Hop Sing” fiasco- which is still alive in federal court- is to shift the blame for the debacle from a politically motivated purge by the good old boys to some sort of internal dispute caused by Lum.

The next sentence it the topper:

It's not about breaking commitments to serve Kaua`i. How could he have foreseen that this opportunity would open up? And why should he be asked to turn a blind eye?

How could he have foreseen it? Don’t you guys read the papers? Honolulu Chief Boisse Correa’s five year contract is expiring and he has been hobbled with a bad back which caused him to take a long leave of absence.

Correa hasn’t had a shot in hell of continuing beyond his current tenure and that was a forgone conclusion way before Perry ever set foot at the already-falling-apart brand new police station.

But what’s most distressing is that, despite the “new blood” news department the mysterious editorial board- which we have no doubt includes old-boy-come-lately Publisher Mark Lewis- is exercising the right to distort history and ignore reality just because they’re the only ones on the island who still buys ink by the barrel.

The editorial is a blot on the once revered, then reviled, now revived local newspaper. With this revisionist history and the rehiring of the oft-fired Paul Curtis, it does not bode well for the future of islands’ “newspaper of record”.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


NIPPER’S NEWSHOUND: It will come as no surprise to anyone who has tried to call us between 5:30 and 6:22 p.m. that that we voraciously consume TV news before chomping on anything else, managing to watch all three national network and four local news programs- juggling tapes and skipping commercials and those stupid “Making a Difference” and “Assignment America” non-news “good news” human interest segments- hopefully finishing up by the time PBS news ends at 7:30 p.m. and leaving a half-hour breathing room before the real news with Jon Stewart on The Daily Show at 8.

Not that we believe a word of it- although through triangulation some “facts” may be gleaned- but finding out what drivel the rest of America is seeing and swallowing as a substitute for real in depth coverage helps us understand why most Americans- as well as most denizens of Honolulu- are apparently too stupid to live.

But recently our burden has been diminished significantly ever since earlier this year when local NBC affiliate Channel 8/KHNL abandoned what was the top local news program (how's that for damming with faint praise and/or the soft prejudice of low expectations) for what they bafflingly called “content”- apparently anything that bleeds on camera or they can steal from other news gathering sources.

It’s so bad we often zip right through without stopping.

It allowed the thin gruel of Channel 9/KGMB news to serve as the, shall we say, least objectionable program followed by either the skimpy KHON Channel 2 and the classically inadequate KITV Channel 4 depending on who they fired this week or whether Joe Moore is spewing one of his wing-nut-rants.

That’s why today’s “breaking news” in both Honolulu papers is especially baffling.

According to the Star Bulletin’s version:

KGMB-TV will merge operations with KHNL/KFVE-TV in a deal announced to each station’s staff this morning.

The months-in-the-making arrangement will skirt federal regulations that prohibit single ownership of three TV stations in Honolulu. KGMB is owned by MCG Capital, while both KHNL-TV and KFVE-TV are owned by Raycom Media.

KGMB is the CBS affiliate in the islands while KHNL is the NBC affiliate.
Paul McTear, president and chief executive officer of Raycom, will discuss details of the new shared services agreement with reporters today.

We’ve yet to hear the details but this can’t be good news for news if KGMB is going to do anything but provide more “content” to KHNL as opposed to presenting a watered down version on both stations.

We certainly don’t expect any added coverage of neighbor islands to come out of this- KGMB seems to be the only ones that are even aware we exist and even they rarely if ever have coverage of any significant local stories on Kaua`i, Maui or Hawai`i island.

But the “skirting” of federal regulations can’t bode well for shedding more rather than less light on the notorious Hawai`i government corruption which is already given the shortest of shrifts in Honolulu, not to mention out here in the boonies.

Monday, August 17, 2009


BAG O’ CATS: The gushing over Sunday’s piece by Mayor Bernard Carvalho’s “Five magic words: I don’t need a bag” commentary in the local newspaper- one we suspect was ghost-written by his top aide and mouthpiece Beth Tokioka- flooded cyberspace yesterday.

“Ditto!!” wrote one environmental activist. “To all of us, we ARE making a difference and this mayor is an example of together, we can!! I'm bowled over!!”

Another couldn’t contain herself saying “OMG thank you thank you thank you thank you and thank you!”.

And of course refusing those nasty and often deadly non-biodegradables floating petro-products is something anyone with a cloth bag can and should do as Diana LaBedz letter today reiterates.

But for the politically astute it’s what Carvalho didn’t say that sticks out like a shearwater’s plastic-distended belly- a promise to support and sign the bill set for public hearing on Wednesday that would ban stores from distributing those nasty pollutants.

As a matter of fact for the more cynical among us it might seem like Carvalho is indeed saying that the real solution is not in the legislation introduced by Tim Bynum and Lani Kawahara but solely in people refusing to accept them and instead bringing their own bags.

Yeah- that’ll work... it’s worked so well that despite years of campaigns by groups like LaBenz’s Surfrider Foundation the bags are more ubiquitous and causing more destruction than ever.

Gee, it couldn’t be because businesses who filled Carvalho’s campaign coffers last November are howling over the prospect of spending a few cents more on the biodegradable bags that are now or soon to be required on Maui, in San Francisco and in any growing number of jurisdictions across the country.

The suspicions are well founded. Carvalho recently has been accused of trying to sabotage the curbside recycling part of the county’s solid waste reform efforts using the county’s standard “fire, ready, aim” operating procedure to institute a “pilot” curbside recycling program in Lihu`e despite the fact that there is no materials recovery facility or MRF yet to accommodate the separation of those collected recyclables.

Why? Well that’s because, according to the administrations solid waste coordinator Troy Tanegawa, purchasing the bins with already appropriated monies was “the low hanging fruit” of recycling efforts.

Of course the crop was nowhere near ripe but politically it will provide a good sounding half truth during November 2010 campaign when Carvalho claims he “instituted curbside recycling”.

While the naive and easily duped might at best see it as the usual county incompetence others see it as a cynical attempt to make sure the pilot program fails so the county can build it’s long-desired “silver bullet” incinerator to burn all our rubbish (supposedly for energy) and in addition build a new landfill- two insanities that result from their refusal to hire a “zero waste” consultant and rather go with good old boy’s favorite consultants R.W. Beck that has been behind the failure to properly deal with solid waste on the island for over 20 years now.

We- and Zero Waste Kauai- been proponents of a full curbside recycling preceded by the construction of a MRF, a “hard to recycle good” facility, composting of green waste and other trash stream reduction measures.

We’ve even suggested shipping the small amount of waste that’s left (some say as low as 10% or less although 20-25% is commonly cited) off island where mainland landfills are fighting over who will get Honolulu’s waste.

We’ve even been proponents of a “ship it in, ship it out” law requiring that larger businesses whose products generate huge amounts of waste to deal with the aftermath.

While some say it’s “unethical” to foist our opala on others they forget that we are in a unique situation where all but our green waste is already shipped in and shipping that stuff out is only the fulfillment of the ecosystem we’ve created.

And, despite 15 years of asking, Beck has never done a full cost analysis of shipping trash including all the secondary and even tertiary expenses of our current land filling adventures although this time they have a brief dismissive paragraph in their latest report.

We can “do” zero waste here- as a matter of fact we’re uniquely situated and circumstanced to make it work. But that would take some vision and ability to grasp a changing paradigm for dealing with solid waste- a can of worms that our politically motivated elected officials have kicked down the road for decades.

Watch out for the Trojan Horse- let the mayor know that telling people to “just say no” is an ineffective substitute for banning the non-biodegradable plastic bags entirely by law.

You can do so at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday (8/19) in the council chambers at the historic county building when bill 2321 is up for pubic hearing . If you can’t make it you can email testimony to ... and make sure you email a copy to hizzonnah and let him know you expect him to support and sign the bill when it lands on his desk.

Friday, August 14, 2009


HYDROPHOBIC HYSTERIA: Back during the waning days of the reign of Crawford Texas’ village idiot most of the brain dead, consumerist, greedy, self absorbed Americans figured out what the wise knew in 2000- and Bush’s “popularity” hovered at about 20%.

Most progressives saw this as an encouraging development in that three-in-five of the US’ ditto-headed, brain-dead fat-tubs-of-lard that pass themselves off as human beings had wised up after being been beaten silly for almost eight years due to their own actions at the ballot box.

But really it the most astonishing part of the poll was that there were still 20% of hard core dim-witted knee-jerk “too stupid to live” left tucked away in mega-churches and mini-malls of America the country.

“Who are these people?” we wondered but more importantly “where are they?”

Well we found them this month- the hard core, “don’t confuse me with the facts”, chest-pounding twits- raising gorilla dust at the various health care reform town meetings held recently.

And even though they probably represent only half of those die hard knuckleheads that argued among themselves whether Bush was “a great president or the greatest president”, the media- in their typical “’both’ sides of the issue” coverage- still cling to the notion that this “movement” is really about health care and not just a diminishing clique of white people who see their majority status in the land they stole from brown people slowly disappearing and want to wrest back control of “our” country back from the hands of a black president.

Perhaps the thing that baffles the pea-brained pundits most is where are those 80% of Americans- as polls indicated earlier this year- that demand real health care reform?

Well what the press hasn’t grasped is that those of us who understand that the only form of reform that can demonstrably be launched fully formed- the single payer “Medicare for all” format- gave up on true heath care reform months ago when it was conveniently taken “off the table” by the president and congress.

The noisiest of squeaky wheels have not only gotten the grease they’ve provided the context for lazy, simplistic, easy-answer-seeking reporters to file stories defining the “opposition” as those shrieking drivel in the non-sequitor, talking-point Hannity/ Limbaugh/ Beck echo chamber, as they spew high decibel inanities at their cameras.

The corporate media refuse to think through why there is seemingly little of no support for the “single payer is off the table” non-reform that we’ve been offered.

With their Hobson’s choice loaded-question, in true corporate governance bought-and-paid-for style, it’s just a matter of how much they will allow the insurance industry to continue to screw us in the butt, essentially asking us whether we want our sh-t sandwich on white or wheat.

And they expect us to enthusiastically show up and fight the “keep the government away from my Medicare” crazies for, at best, a kinder gentler insurance industry (yeah, that’ll happen).

The fact is, unless you’re still one of those among the delusionally naive Obama-as-messiah sycophantic minions- a group whose numbers are shrinking daily as they meet the new boss’ war-mongering corporate-kow-towing style- you’ve given up on the centrist Democratic Party’s “bend-over” opposition to the slack-jawed, wing-nut creationist, gun-toting Republicans.

The ribbon placed on the repackaging of the old-boss is but an illusion that we who’ve long since rejected the duopoly warned of when, as always, Tweedledum ran against Tweedledumber.

Health care reform is dead. It died when all the members of congress decided we couldn’t have the only reform that would and could be fair, affordable and cover everyone as we detailed last month because the other 534 corporate lackeys had been bought off by the insurance and pharmaceutical companies.

Don’t expect us to stand up and defend the insult to our intelligence that the Democrats are trying to substitute for basic human right to heath care we all want deserve and could have had.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


UGLY: About a week or so ago we received an email from talented and beloved kama`aina Bobbee Downs describing an horrific sexual assault that she recently endured in her home at Kalepa Village.

Then today we received another saying it had happened again to someone else in Kelepa.

We are posting both the original followed by today’s letter below.


Dear Friends,

This note is intended to inform and create female partnerships on Kaua`i in combating sexual violence, and I suppose to debunk the myth that age is a particular factor in sexual abuse, which occurs anytime a perpetrator does anything of a sexual nature (verbal or physical) without the expressed consent of the victim or victims.

Early this morning, around 4:30 am, I awoke with a man standing over me touching me in the genital area. I SHOUTED at him to stop, and then he placed one strong hand on my chest, pushing me into the bed, and said, "no.” I continued to shout and SCREAM, which actually woke-up the baby next door, who started crying…and then he left! He didn’t bolt or run, he just walked quietly out and down the stairs.

I always keep my phone by my bed, but I couldn’t find it – he had hidden it under the bed. When I did find it I called 911 and the response team was here within 5 minutes. Another unit was immediately out looking for the perp, and actually did locate someone, but my description wasn’t close enough to hold him. A short time later the detectives also arrived and re-questioned me, hoping I could add some detail about hair, clothing, etc., but I had only focused on his face, which I have now sketched and given to them, since the two sketch artists with KPD had have retired.

He had also taken the time to go through my purse, stealing money, and went through several drawers in my dresser, plus he had completely rolled all of the bedding to one-side of my king-size bed. I live on the 2nd floor, the buildings are very well-lit, we have on-site police patrol, and my neighbors headboard is probably no more than 15 feet from mine, yet she didn’t actually hear me yelling…thank God for the baby!

Anyway, the number one error I made was in not closing & locking my front door, instead I left it open, with only the screen door locked. I’ve been doing that for years…but times have changed on Kaua`i.

Kalepa is a safe place to live, and the on-site KPD policeman patrols the complex-but he can’t see through walls! I also mistakenly thought that when one reaches a certain point-in-life you have some immunity. Untrue.

Here are some facts about sexual violence:

1 of every 6 American women and 1 of every 33 American men has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape.
Nearly 7 in 10 rape and sexual assault victims know their attacker. (I ABSOLUTELY have seen this man, either walking in the area, or maybe at 7-11, which is why I was so focused on his face…I was trying to place him!)
Acquaintance rape and date rape are more common than left-handedness, heart attacks or alcoholism. Rape and sexual assault are the least reported violent crime.

So, this man is out there, and he is pretty damned bold, potentially violent, and a threat to all of us. He is 5’7-5’9, medium build, medium skin tone, and neither Caucasian, Black, or Japanese, has medium to dark brown hair, slightly wavy, and worn back from his face, he has no facial hair, brown eyes, and though I only heard one word, he seemed to have a deep voice.

The KPD were excellent in all ways, asking the tough questions gently, giving me advice, offering services, doing a complete dusting of all possible surfaces, even giving me personal cell phone numbers to call. Jen & Joel were here in minutes, and as of an hour ago, I have a new roommate for awhile - Manapua the terrifying Boston Terrier has come to visit.

I don’t know when I’ll feel safe again, but I am taking back my power via a deadbolt, a dog, and a determination to not be ashamed to tell this story. We all need to be aware, even on Kaua`i

Please feel free to forward this to any friends or family who may benefit - especially women living alone or alone with small children.

Aloha, Bobbee



I am so sorry to report yet ANOTHER break-in (sliding glass door unlocked because the victim unexpectedly fell asleep watching TV.) She woke up with him on top of her, trying to take her clothes off!! This woman is in her 40's and tough as nails - she fought like a gladiator and got him off her and running out the door. It is possible that in this case the police will be able to collect DNA, and fingerprints.

She and I met this morning to compare notes - she didn't see his face, but he fits my description, and he used the same voice saying "no, no" trying to quiet her. I am going to show her my sketch later today, as I have to redraw it because I didn't make a copy of the 1st one I gave to the police.

So how did I learn about this episode, which happened at 2am Monday morning? Was there a flyer on my door? As of today, Thursday, NO information has put out by the management because the woman hadn't specifically asked them to, although she is doing so this afternoon. I heard about it from a neighbor last night, and I was immediately right back to where I was when it happened to me!

Again, please forward this on, the more people looking and watching, AND alerting friends or family at Kalepa Village the better. He is NOT a worker here, nor do I think he lives here...but he is entirely comfortable...there have been seven attempts over the last year or so, where he has been scared away. However he is definitely escalating, and gains more courage and power every time he ISN'T caught.

I believe the KPD are doing their job, and I don't want to become a vigilante or hinder their work in any way, but I am working on putting together a safety seminar, and Neighborhood Watch program. And again I reiterate, Kalepa Village is a well-run, safe place to live - this guy just has practiced here enough times to continue to terrorize the single woman who live alone here (over 70 of us, all ages.)

Here is the description again, with a bit more specific information than before:
He is 5’6-5’10, medium build, medium skin tone, and tends to look Filipino, though I believe he is probably a combination of ethnicities

He has medium to dark brown hair, slightly wavy, and worn back from his face with a short tight ponytail

He has no facial hair, brown eyes, and though I only heard one word, "no, no" he seemed to have a deep voice

He is very strong

He fits in anywhere, he is neat, clean, (no odor), and doesn't seem to be high or 'hopped' up. He walks among us everyday, he is someone you would NEVER think of as a perpetrator.

Thank all of you who have sent your kind words and good wishes, they definitely have helped me regain my sense of self. My move from victim to survivor was quick because I found a 'voice' through all of you who have passed this on. Please continue to do so, and there is no need to omit my name or telephone number. There are more than one of these perpetrator's out there, and we need to relearn and rethink the safety precautions we take. We need to reclaim Kaua`i's gentle lifestyle!

Aloha, Bobbee Downs

Ma ka hana ka ‘ike.
In working one learns.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


REALLY BIG SHOE: Thousands have read the PNN Investigative Report: KKCR- A Study In Brown And White that’s been linked on our right rail since we completed it a year ago April.

We detailed what local people refer to as “haole radio in Princeville” and the institutionalized often race-based bias and clique-ism perpetuated by the “settler” North Shore community that almost exclusively populates their airwaves and how it has served to send a “keep out” message to the wider local community.

We focused on and critiqued the station’s lack the local public affairs programming that is normally the hallmark of “community radio” across the country, which at KKCR was essentially limited to two (now three) hour-and-a-half “call-in” sessions a week with hosts that are generally clueless as to local government politics and other local issues.

We explained how music had dominated the station since a takeover-by-theft by music industry shills in the early days of the station- as PNN reported on 1999 in our “Parxist Conspiracy” TV Newsmagazine- and how not only had nothing changed but that music programming had become a bastion of “vanity radio” with programmers vehemently defending their fiefdoms against any incursion by local public affairs programming.

We told of how over the years kama`aina and local people with the experience, knowledge and talent to produce local public affairs programs have been driven away instead of encouraged to share their knowledge and experience, through a programming system designed to reward those who volunteer with a music program after performing menial office work with the sufficient sycophantic zeal.

Since then a promised apology with a “give us another chance” message for the decade of exclusion never came and not only has nothing changed but, with the hiring of a prominent music industry promoter as the new station manager, the “all music, all the time” format has flourished with almost no additional local pubic affairs programming.

While some of the faces have rotated in and out of the limited general local public affairs slots the number of hours per week has remained the same with the exception of the addition of an extra hour and a half in the 4-5:30 p.m. slot on Monday’s to supplement the Tuesday and Thursday slots at that time.

That’s not including of course a few weekend cultural programming slots as well as some essentially business promotional slots here and there- ones the station points to often as public affairs. Even most those have been virtually unexpanded over the last couple of years.

But despite the lack of any measurable progress PNN has remained silent so as to allow the station to prove itself. Yet the issues still bubble up throughout the community and those who had tried to share their talents and were rebuffed from the front door of KKCR- after being told they had to come, some from as far as Kekaha, and clean the bathrooms for days before being “considered”- tell us they haven’t heard from anyone at the station to tell them things have changed or to ask them to share their knowledge and experience on KKCR’s airwaves.

That may have something to do with why KKCR has apparently added insult to injury with their new roving “‘Be Heard’ Town Hall Meetings”, the first of which is scheduled for its tonight and called “The Current Economic Downturn on Kaua`i - How You, Your Family, and Friends Are Coping"

Note- it’s “you” not “we”.

In typical “white man’s burden” style the announcements themselves are instructive of the division between the KKCR elite and the community rabble, with a tone of “we grand magnanimous ‘owners’ of the airwaves are deigning to come out to give voice to ‘you’ and your problems”.

Here’s how they begin the tone-deaf promotion on their web site:

Rather than come to KKCR, let KKCR come to you!

In other words, we’ve blocked you from the front door so come around the back door.

Next they say:

For years, KKCR has invited callers and guests to its studio to express viewpoints, opinions, concerns, and ideas on a wide range of topics. Now, KKCR has decided to come to you -- the community -- by launching a series of town hall meetings near your neighborhood.

Exactly right- instead of those with the “viewpoints, opinions, concerns, and ideas” hosting community based programs “we” have invited “you” to have a couple of well controlled minutes on “our” airwaves.
Instead of trying to hold a conversation “among us”, in the community radio model, the KKCR honchos dreamed up this attempt to answer criticism by making it clear that they see it in terms of “us” at the station and “you”- the great unwashed, mostly dark skinned people, at large.

The fact that they throw in the line:

It is important that our focus is "bottom up" and "grass roots" rather than "top down"

doesn’t make it true.

The rest of the narrative treats the community as if they have nothing better to do but come down and tell their tales of woe to others, something that is culturally abhorrent to most local people who “feel shame” at having to expose their woes- economic or otherwise- to others at all, much less in such a public manner.

Then, as if to deny their grassroots claims, they actually have the nerve to dictate the topics:

A Partial List of Questions To Be Asked During The Meetings:- How has the current economic climate affected you as individuals?- How has the current economic climate affected your local neighborhoods?- What are the sources and causes of the issues?- What would you like to see done to fix the issues?(emphasis added)
No one who has any connection to local working class people would come up with this- anyway, anyone really feeling the economic pinch is probably working three partime jobs and has little time to come and make the idle rich of Princeville feel like they’re doing something by allowing us to gripe about how we feel about being poor working schlubs.

To put it in the terms of “race” that were apparent a year ago January and upon which we based our report, “now that we stopped you brown people from crossing the threshold of our whites-only bastion we will allow you on the air through the servants entrance.

“So come out and we’ll stick our microphone in your face so you can speak on a topic that’s not of local making and control- and one of our choosing”... one that anyone who knew and understood the local culture would know would be seen as being designed to bring indignity and humiliation to anyone who participates.

We can’t imagine anyone showing up for these “open mikes”. The publicity- other than on KKCR- has been almost non-existent and there is nothing to draw people there- no speakers, no “program”, not even a local MC and- the biggest slap in the face of local culture of all- no pupus.

Uh, Mister Haole Guy... when we get together here, we like eat.

A year-and-a-half after the KKCR debacle nothing has changed. Despite the claim that, in the words of one KKCR official, “things are changing already” nothing has changed on the air. General local public affairs programming is still limited for the most part to the same faces, in the same two- now three- public affairs time slots as they have been for a decade or more.

And there’s no indication that anyone at KKCR plans to expand them, even after completing a “strategic plan” that did nothing to really address concerns raised in January ’08.

The one recent bright spot is that experienced local news reporter Joan Conrow has managed to elbow her way into one of those regular slots on a irregular basis. But in true KKCR fashion, we hear from KKCR insiders that she had to battle (and have someone on the inside battle for her) to be allowed to get a foot in the door and that happened only with a promise from her- one that was opposed by the vanity radio gang because she hadn’t done it before appearing on air- that she will answer telephones and do things like “stuff envelopes” at some future date.

We’ve pretty much given up on KKCR but when we heard about this “let’s let the local people bitch on the air” forum and asked around with some the people to whom we had spoken for our investigative report, we felt compelled to report their reaction to the “grumble and make humbug” meetings.

It’s only what we’d expect from a corporate-controlled bastion of institutionalized racism like KKCR that, despite being confronted with their own shortcomings, refused to change their tune and apologize as a first step toward ending their system of exclusion and follow that with a concerted attempt to open public affairs programming by reserving more slots for it and seeking out and recruiting those with the knowledge of local government and politics and the talent to do it on-air... all without having to kiss someone's ass and join the vanity radio clique to do it.

We do want to say that this is not about us. We are at the point where, after offering to produce local public affairs programming for 15 years- most recently earlier this year- we’re not willing to continue to bang our head against that wall.

It’s about the literally dozens of knowledgeable and well spoken advocates and activists we’ve heard from on Kaua`i who have been actively denied access to the community radio airwaves because the KKCR “advertisers”- or as they euphemistically call them “underwriters”- don’t want “controversy”.

If at this point KKCR opens up a bunch of slots and gets down on their knees and begs them to produce programming, we’ll get down on ours and salute the flying pigs.

Monday, August 10, 2009


WHEN DARRYL COMES MARCHIN’ HOME: Prominent Kaua`i attorney Warren Perry is suing his brother, Kaua`i Police chief Darryl Perry for defamation in a real head-scratchier for those who followed Perry’s path to the top cop job according to an article in today’s Honolulu Advertiser.

Seems that, according to Warren’s lawsuit in 5th Circuit court on Kaua`i

Darryl Perry, Eugene Perry, Antone Perez Perry and others filed a groundless complaint with the Hawai`i Office of Disciplinary Council accusing him of concealing the fact that he used insurance settlement money to make repairs to a Perry family estate home in Lawai, Kaua`i, that was damaged by Hurricane Iwa in 1982 and Hurricane Iniki in 1992.

In his lawsuit against Darryl and the other Perry brothers, Warren Perry claimed the "frivolous ODC" complaint was leaked to the Kaua`i County Council in 2007, ruining his chances of becoming Kaua'i's (sic) county attorney.

Warren Perry said he had to decline a second offer, in 2008, to become county attorney because of the allegations contained in the ODC complaint.

The lawsuit came to light when Allstate Insurance Co. filed a case in U.S. District Court saying “that it should not have to pay the legal costs of Kaua`i Police Chief Darryl D. Perry in defending himself in a defamation lawsuit” according to the article.

During the KPD scandals in the early to mid ‘00’s--

...from Darryl Perry’s bitter defeat by KC Lum for the Chief’s job, opened up specifically for Perry when Mayor Marianne Kusaka forced Chief George Freitas out by buying him off with a huge “settlement” after he beat her trumped up charges,

...through the attempted and failed removal of Police Commissioner Leon “Angus” Gonsalves for making racist remarks about Lum (calling him “Hop Sing”), a feigned attempt forced by public pressure upon the late Mayor Bryan Baptiste and the county council,

...through the Ethics Board “trials”- many say on Perry’s behalf- of Police Commission Chair Michael Ching and Co-Chair Carol Furtado on phony charges of favoritism toward Lum, with allegations filed by Council Chair Kaipo Asing, who, although he filed the complaint on county council letterhead avoided a “trial” of his own on ethics charges by claiming he made a “mistake” in using council stationary and was actually filing as a private citizen, the hiring of Perry after Ching and Furtado were gone from the commission and Lum was forced to resign to keep his pension when County Director of Finance- now Grove Farm VP in charge of lobbying the county- Mike Tressler threatened to illegally withdraw Lum’s contract,

-- Warren Perry was reportedly and observably one of the main operatives pulling the behind-the-scenes strings locally to insure his brother got, not just the job but revenge on those who opposed him.

Much of this is described in detail in the book KPD Blue, serialized here at Parx News Daily (linked on the right rail).

So it seems odd that Warren would be suing Darryl or that Darryl would have filed a disciplinary action against Warren after Warren had apparently been one of his main benefactors in obtaining the job of KPD Chief.

The only clue, if true, might come from an unsubstantial claim made in the comments section of the article.

And it’s a big “if”.

“LocalKineStyle”- who like others making comments on the article supporting Perry “registered” to comment at the Advertiser site only today- said in “fake pidgin”:

One thing else. Da chief neva file the ODC the complaint, one of ths sistas when do that.

How the commenter would know that if he or she isn’t party to the suit is unclear since OCA complaints are confidential unless and until a disciplinary action is taken..

Warren Perry is a long-time active member of the Republican Party, and a long time leader in the Royal Society of Kamehameha who served in the county attorney’s (CA) office more than a decade ago. New CA Al Castillo, a Democrat, was hired this year by the current all-Democratic mayor and council.

Warren’s name did not come up publicly either this year or when former Judge Matthew Pyun replaced Lani Nakazawa as the CA after Baptiste- a Republican- was re-elected and while two Republicans- both since turned Democrats (Jimmy Tokioka and Jay Furfaro)- served on the council.

It is not stated in the article exactly who “leaked” the OCA complaint to the council or if the council actually saw the document or were simply “informed” of it but, although it was never done publicly, it was presumably Darryl and/or one of the others named in Warren’s lawsuit who “told” them.

PNN will try to get hold of the lawsuit filings and, if possible, find out more about the ODC complaint but for now it certainly seems to indicate a falling out between Darryl and his family- to whom, he stated, he wanted to be closer when giving reasons for returning to Kaua`i... and whom he would seemingly be abandoning by moving back to Honolulu to take the Chief position at HPD, a job for which he applied a week or so back.

It remains speculative as to whether the suit has anything directly to do with Darryl Perry’s sudden “jilting of Kaua`i” after publicly indicating upon taking the Kaua`i job that he was home to stay until his retirement.

Friday, August 7, 2009


ACHTUNG AHMADINASING: Democracy took it’s lumps at Wednesday’s council meeting as the first real votes on specific resolutions were squelched by the now well-defined majority which used every trick in the book to avoid taking actions to resolve simplest of issues brought forward by reform Councilmembers Tim Bynum and Lani Kawahara.

The total lack of rationality and recognition of reality was striking. The meeting served as a coming out party for good-old-boy-in-waiting Prince Derek Kawakami who, with established defender of the realm Darryl Kaneshiro, flanked-in-phalanx the besieged Chair Kaipo Asing with a feigned rhetorical “problem?... what problem” blindness topped with a flourish of “that’s my story and I’m sticking to it”.

Everyone knew there’d be trouble as soon as the resolution to form an ad hoc committee to study and propose changes to the council rules was read and Kaneshiro quickly moved to receive- meaning kill- the resolution before Bynum or Kawahara could move to approve it.

After Bynum tried to briefly detail the problems he and Kawahara have had with the rules- especially rule 10(c) pertaining to placing items on the agenda- it quickly degenerated into a series of misdirections and silly personal attacks from Kawakami, Kaneshiro and Asing himself.

Although it was the ad hoc committee resolution that was on the table Kawakami started the distractions by saying that there was no need for a clarification of 10(c) because another rule- 15(c)- allowed placement if items on the agenda by a council 2/3 vote.

Of course that had failed to be enough to do the trick when Bynum tried to get an item on the agenda on June 3.

That started the whole thing. Not only that but of course the real issue is that councilmembers should have the right to introduce any item with or without support from four other members.

Yet that was to become a rallying cry when the actual resolution to clarify rule 10(c) came up later on the agenda.

The first silliness came from the reliably clueless Councilmember Dickie Change who attacked Bynum by saying that at the June 3 meeting, when County Attorney (CA) Al Castillo stifled discussion of the non-agendaed item as a sunshine law violation, councilmember Jay Furfaro had moved to defer the matter but no one seconded it

“I was shocked no one seconded it” Chang said using hindsight to tell Bynum he had the opportunity to put it on a future agenda right there even though the motive for the request for deferral was unknown at that moment- and because a motion for deferral ends discussion.

Chang seemingly either forget or wasn’t aware that as a councilmember he could have seconded it himself.

The mouth, if not brain-engaged Chang then indicated that he was now going to oppose the resolution that he co-introduced with Furfaro saying it wasn’t really “the 360” it appeared to be, forgetting to stop ay 180 and indicating that the audience wasn’t the only one getting dizzy with all the spinning.

Then it was time for Asing to issue the first of his lip-service repetitions of a statement he made on July 22nd saying that “the chair does not have absolute power” despite the fact that he had exercised such by routinely stopping Bynum and other members from placing matters on the agenda- something Bynum has documented at his web site with the actual memos sent to Asing.

“Pay attention to what I say, not what I do” Asing had admitted refusing to place matters on the agenda while denying it in the same breath at the 22nd – as PNN reported last week- and again later during Wednesday’s meeting.

Asing glared at Bynum and called Bynum’s well documented problems with agenda placement “manufactured problems” stating with palms raised “I don’t understand- where did it come from?”.

Next Kawahara made a statement that would be butchered, misquoted and used to attack her by Kaneshiro and Kawakami later in the meeting, saying to Asing that changes in the rules “that were actually brought up to you in the six months I’ve been here” but were not given a place on the agenda.

During the discussion of the rule change itself Kaneshiro would be adamant in heatedly accusing Kawahara over and over of lying by saying she personally had sent memos asking to introduce measures even though she said no such thing.

But the issue of the ad hoc committee was what was actually on the table and there were real problems with the idea- problems that became clear when one of the proposed members, former council chair Ron Kouchi, spoke.

After saying he might have a “perceived conflict of interest” since his employer has a bill coming up on the council’s agenda, he pointed out that the committee would need council staff time and therefore have to direct staff- something he said non-members would have all sorts of difficulty doing.

He said in the past such committees and “task forces’ always had one or two councilmembers to direct staff.

That led to some discussion by Kaneshiro and others regarding the possibility of putting a resolution on a future agenda to form a committee with up to the two councilmembers- the number sunshine law allows to communicate on council matters- to study the rules although there was no real commitment to do so.

The resolution was then "received" by a 4-3 vote with Furfaro- if not Chang- supporting his own resolution along with Bynum and Kawahara.

But the show was just beginning and after lunch the fireworks were lit when the actual rule change resolution- one to clarify that rule 10(c) couldn’t be used by the chair to keep items off the agenda indefinitely - came to the floor.

The change seemed simple and straightforward enough but again Kaneshiro quickly moved to receive and kill the resolution and it was quickly seconded by Kawakami as the script apparently called for.

Kawakami again brought up rule 15(c) repeatedly calling it an “alternative mechanism” for placing things on the agenda even though the measure would then require a 2/3 vote to go foreword.

Bynum tried to calmly explain- as if anyone could forget- all the hassle he had when he tried to get something on the agenda that way and Kawahara reiterated that a 2/3 vote certainly was a “different level” of support that needed to be met and wasn’t “equal” to the simple rule 10(c) which guarantees councilmembers the basic right of a representative in a democracy- to introduce measures for the agenda.

Then it was Kawakami’s time to shine and show his stuff to any good old boys who might have doubted his ability to get down and dirty by defending Asing and the status quo- a very important skill in their eyes and a trial by fire that many sycophants have had to endure to be accepted into the club.

He and Kaneshiro then lit into Kawahara over and over with the ‘you said you had submitted things for the agenda” which of course she didn’t say- and was of course a distraction from the self evident story that has been told over and over about Bynum’s well documented two and a half year quest for democracy... one that everyone had witnessed since June 3 when the two month plus circus of attempting to get the rule change on the agenda began.

Bynum then tried to refocus back on the issue at hand reading the rules and trying to again briefly recap the hassles he’s had even trying to get something on the agenda, even through the 2/3 vote method.

He then called for Castillo to come up so he could ask him if it’s even possible to use the 15)c) “alternative mechanism” since it was Castillo who had said everything he tried to do on June 3 violated the sunshine law because it wasn’t on the agenda- a catch-22 PNN has described in detail over the past couple of months .

Bynum asked simply “can a councilmember make a motion to put something on a future agenda”.

But Castillo hemmed and hawed and eventually refused to answer him, even reverting back to the bad old days of former CA’s who requested everything be put in writing, saying he needed a “specific set of facts” to “make a ruling”.

Then it was time for Asing to repeat his “the chair does not have absolute power” line adding “I don’t believe one person should have that power”.

And of course Kaneshiro, Kawakami and Chang agreed with that and praised Asing for saying- if not doing- it. They also agreed that there was no problem since the chair had said it so it must be true.

And why change the rule if there was no problem they reasoned, acting as if the last two months had never happened and they hadn’t read the documents or heard the testimony.

That was when Asing had his own meltdown trying to say that he had never blocked anything from the agenda at the same time as admitting it had happened quite a few times.

Some of the back and forth exchanges were priceless. At one point Bynum asked Asing “didn’t you tell me you wouldn’t put (a resolution) on the agenda”.

Asing screamed “no!” before giving an excuse as to why he didn’t put it on the agenda.

Another time Asing denied blocking Bynum’s Po`ipu Beach Erosion Study bill which, at the July 22nd meeting, Asing had admitted he had blocked.

And when Bynum finally asked Asing if he had blocked the very resolution that was on the table- the one Bynum and Kawahara had fought for two months to get placed on the agenda- Asing, after having debated for ten minutes, finally said “I’m not going to get into a debate”.

In previous meetings former councilpersons JoAnn Yukimura and Mel Rapozo had testified that they also had the experience of having bills refused agenda placement but when Bynum tried to say that, Asing yelled “that’s an accusation”- something that made no sense (of course it was) and something he’s done before when cornered.

First Asing countered the Yukimura denial by talking about a bill that she wanted to introduce that, he said, had not been “cleared by the county attorney” and admitting that he blocked the bill- vowing he’d do it again if it hadn’t been run by the CA.

But Bynum said that he had forgotten about that bill but what he was really talking about was that Yukimura had tried to introduce a resolution opposing the Superferry coming to Kaua`i without an EIS and Asing refused to put it on the agenda because it was “too controversial”.

That caused the clueless Chang to agree with Asing’s decision saying “I can see the reason why the chair would not put that on the agenda” mentioning the controversy in the community at the time and citing the convention hall debacle with the governor being shouted down.

All this of course should have been enough to indicate that the rules needed clarification but led by Kawakami the three “D’s”- Derek, Dickie and Darryl- each said they personally had never had any problem placing matters on the agenda so there didn’t seem to be any problem with the rules.

Finally, in the ultimate “are you going to believe me or your lyin’ eyes” statement, Kawakami said told the council that “nothing (in the rules) gives the chair that kind of power (to refuse agenda placement)... the rules in place, properly applied, work just fine”, completely ignoring that the rules had very apparently not been “properly applied” and the resolution sought to clarify them so they would be.

Finally to no one’s surprise despite the fact that, as Bynum said, “there has been a problem- that’s as clear as a bell”, the resolution was “received” by a 4-3 vote with Furfaro joining Bynum and Kawahara in voting against the move to kill the rule change and Kaipo and the three D’s standing together in the same majority that put Asing in the council chair last December.

In case we haven’t done a good enough job in conveying the “through the looking glass” tone of the whole meeting, we’ve taken the opportunity sum it up with a re-write of the psychedelic Carrollian favorite, “White Rabbit” by the Jefferson Airplane.


One bill makes him shudder and
Another makes you bawl
And the one the chair initials
Don’t do anything at all.
Ask Peter when he’s 10 feet tall.

And if you go chasing minutes
And you see them in the hall
Tell ‘em a reso-toting Minotaur
Has told you, “you’ve got gall”
Call Dickie when he was just small,

When men who rule on ethics
Get up and tell you they don’t know
And you’ve just missed weeks of email
And your mind can’t grasp it all
Ask Kaipo- I think he’ll know

When logic and proportion
Are received and, now they’re dead
And Darryl’s shredding Roberts
And Derek’s knocking head’s

Remember what the old boys said
Stay in bed
We’re all in bed