Monday, March 1, 2010


IS THIS THE PARTY TO WHOM I AM NOT SPEAKING?: Saturday’s Tsunami scare has the county administration on Kaua`i patting themselves on the back and since nothing really happened they can get away with it, although you’ve gotta wonder what they were going to do with all those people- especially tourists- lined up at the road blocks waiting to get back to town if one really hit.

But one of the biggest complaints zipping along the coconut wireless has been the 5:30 a.m. phone call from the county apparently waking up even those who didn’t sign up for the calls as they were urged to do when the system was set up last year.

We know we specifically decided not to sign up figuring the sirens were going to be going off anyway and we’d find out what was going on then if we needed to. In this case we knew before retiring for the night what the siren was for and had even known the ETA of 11-12 o’clock.

So what’s the deal, many are asking? Why the heck were we “notified” when we didn’t “sign up”?

We decided to double check the county web site’s “One Step Notification
Sign Up Now” button- now moved to the top of their home page- only to find that suddenly today the system has apparently been changed from an “opt in” system to one where you are now signed up whether you want to be or not.

That’s right, after most likely receiving many complaints from those in non-inundation zones who would have liked another couple of hours or so of sleep on a Saturday- although the 6 a.m. sirens took care of that, as did the 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. blast including for those in non-inundation areas who got up, checked the news and tried to go back to bed- today (March 1) in order to cover their asses, they posted the following, replacing the “sign up” system with one that signs up all listed phone numbers on the island

In an effort to improve emergency communications, county officials announced today plans to implement Connect-CTY, a mass notification service from Blackboard Connect Inc....

Publicly available primary residential and business phones on Kaua`i will automatically be included in the system. However, residents can opt in to provide their complete information, up to three phone numbers and two email addresses, and indicate if they have a TTY/TDD device.

A community-wide test call will be conducted on Friday, May 1, at 11:45 am to ensure that residents are aware of the Connect-CTY service and can provide their correct phone numbers and email addresses should they not receive the text message.

And under the Frequently Asked Questions it says:

Is my telephone number included in the notification database?

It is our intention and hope that every residence in our community be included in the notification database. To provide contact information, please click on the 'Sign Up Now' button or click

Problem is that it wasn’t done “today” it was obviously done sometime before Saturday without telling anyone and only “announced” today, once they had received complaints.

It’s hard to say whether automatically signing up everyone is the right or wrong thing to do. But that isn’t the point.

Even when trying to do something simple- and arguably advantageous- like move from the widely publicized sign-up system to this one, Mayor Bernard Carvalho’s gang that can’t shoot straight bungles the move pissing people off and then attempting to cover it up by posting an “after the fact” announcement.

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