Tuesday, March 24, 2015


Everyone complains about the recent rampant over-development in the Kapa`a "Coconut Coast" corridor on Kaua`i with at least three new resorts already in the pipeline, all approved in willy-nilly fashion by the Kaua`i Planning Commission (PC)... with more slated for approval soon.

And tomorrow (Wednesday 3/25) at 8:30 a.m. people can try to do something about it.

On the Kaua`i County Council agenda is a nomination which, long-time observers say, will likely make things worse.

The nominee is Kimo M. Keawe, a resort and hotel owner who has spent his entire life in management in the resort industry. But the crazy part is that, if approved, he would fill one of two legally-mandated "Environmental" slots on the commission- an area in which Keawe apparently has no experience or credentials.

His "interview" with the council will take place at 8:30 a.m. with the vote scheduled to come up later in the day.

Keawe retired late last year after what the local Kaua`i newspaper described in January as "a four-decade legacy in resort management starting with Coco Palms in the 1970s." The paper said that "over the years he managed and owned several more, including the Hotel Molokai, before serving as manager of The Cliffs at Princeville for the past 14 years.

The environment never came up in the "talk story" interview with the closest description being that he is "an outdoorsman and spent all my off time hunting and fishing."

He is a huge proponent of time shares penning an article in "Time Share Today" in May 2013 entitled "The Cliffs at Princeville- A Self Managed Success Story."

In the 90's Kaua`i Kaua`i voters approved a County Charter Amendment that called for the seven Planning Commission slots to be filled by two each from the environmental, business and labor communities with one position remaining "at-large." But the amendment didn't specify how that requirement would be enforced or even define those three terms. And the council and the commission has failed to pass legislation or rules to give any guidance.

This has allowed people like Keawe- with absolutely no credentials as an environmentalist- to fill those slots.

If you're one of those who complains about the planning commission's recent decisions- especially the approval of Coco Palms and other new resorts in the traffic nightmare of the Kapa`a corridor- show up tomorrow at the council meeting at the historic county building in Lihu`e and ask the council to enforce the charter and reject Keawe. And ask Mayor Bernard Carvalho to nominate a real environmentalist to the commission. Or you can email testimony to counciltestimony@kauai,gov with the subject line "Oppose Keawe nomination for Environmental Planning Co9mmission slot."

The meeting will be live streamed.

Thursday, March 5, 2015


In "The Liar's Paradox" episode of the TV program Star Trek Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock use logic to kill the android by telling it that "everything 'Harry' says is a lie" after which "Harry" tells the android "I am lying."

Smoke begins coming out of the robot's ears as he says "You say you are lying, but if everything you say is a lie, then you are telling the truth, but you cannot tell the truth because everything you say is a lie, but you lie... You tell the truth but you cannot for you lie... illogical! Illogical! Please explain! You are human. Only humans can explain their behavior! Please explain!"

That's sort of how most of us feel when hearing that the international chemical companies in Hawai`i are okay with "voluntarily disclosing" the dates, locations and types of highly toxic "Restricted Use Pesticides (RUPs)" they use in their open-air, biotech experiments but oppose a bill under consideration in the state legislature that would make mandatory the disclosure of that information.

Although they also oppose establishing buffer zones and other health and safety related measures- including allowing the counties to effectively regulate them after the well-documented failures of the state's Departments of Health and Agriculture to do so- let's just focus in on disclosure.

Now what possible reason could there be for their opposition to establishing a law requiring them to do what they claim they are already doing out of the goodness of their black little hearts?

Well in today's local Kaua`i newspaper Paul Oshiro, spokesman for Alexander and Baldwin condescendingly said that "(b)y imposing these mandatory pesticide disclosure requirements without accompanying public education on federal and state pesticide oversight and regulation, this may result in an increase in the number of inquiries, complaints, and non-science based comments and concerns.”

Education? It's been over 60 years since Rachael Carson published the book "Silent Spring," which, according to Wikipedia was "an environmental science book (that) documented the detrimental effects on the environment—particularly on birds—of the indiscriminate use of pesticides. Carson accused the chemical industry of spreading disinformation and public officials of accepting industry claims unquestioningly."

Apparently there are still people who do actually need education. But it's not we androids.

Let's suppose the legislature in all their wisdom decided that "voluntarily disclosing" that you have a valid drivers' license and registration in your possession is all you need when you get pulled over and asked to produce them.

"Oh, s'okay," Keone Bulai tells the officer. "I no like hand 'em ovah. No huhu- I get 'em already."

"Alright- be on your way. The law says that's enough for me," says the officer. "I'm sure glad the legislature made producing documentation voluntary because otherwise it could result in an increase in the number of inquiries, complaints, and non-science based comments and concerns."

So why would Keone refuse to produce his papers but be okay volunteering the information that he has them? Well, it might be because he knows his rights and is simply exercising them because he can. And we don't want to cast aspersions of Mr Bulai's character but his status as a constitutional scholar aside, the only other reason we can think of is because HE IS LYING THROUGH HIS TEETH.

And they wonder why many think the chemical companies are shall we say, being something less than truthful under the voluntary "Good Neighbor" program originally designed to provide political cover to Kaua`i Mayor Bernard Carvalho and the island's contingent of state legislators in their opposition to passage of a local Kaua`i ordinance that established mandatory disclosure (and buffer zones) until it was vetoed by the mayor, overridden by the council and then struck down by a federal judge.

The stream coming out of our ears is, like the android presented with the Liar's Paradox, the result of being unable to process claims like "pesticides are safe," "we always follow the law," "no one is getting sick or injured" and, our favorite, "it's just science you Luddite."

The truth is that it doesn't take a scientist to understand that RUPs are chemicals that are so dangerous that they are not available without special federal licensing and are to be used only after reading, understanding (often by people for whom English is, at best, a second language) and complying with a virtual book-length set of instructions for their use. Or to understand that those directions include a zero tolerance for the pesticides escaping the boundaries of the property upon which they are sprayed- some bordering on schools, hospitals, homes and waterways- in areas where high-speed, swirling winds can pick up without warning.

It certainly doesn't take a scientist to notice the smoke coming out of our ears or for us to know when we're being lied to.