Sunday, August 31, 2008


THEY’LL EAT ANYTHING: The outrage that is genetically modified organism (GMO) foods is surpassed only by added insults to the injuries perpetrated by Monsanto and other GMO purveyors.

And Kaua`i is the center of the “end of food” universe where the dastardly seeds of the bastardly owned and operated Pioneer and Sygenta are grown

The lack of scientifically verified safety by “federal regulators”- a term that’s all but a joke after 8 years of dismantling- is undebatable. There is none.

Rather they ask others to prove GMO’s are harmful- while rejecting the scientific evidence and ecology-based science that shows the harm- in a direct and absurd assault on the scientific precautionary principle that guides real scientists- as opposed to the pseudo-scientist shills hired by the GMO companies before they go one to work for the US Food and Drug Administration and Department of Agriculture

We’re not just fed foods that have not been proven safe but are forbidden as consumers from finding out we’re eating the stuff by alowing GMO labling.

Even the premise of the industry is horrendous- the destruction of genetic diversity within a crop species alone is reason enough to forbid the ubiquitous spread of a single genetic strains.

But perhaps worse than the potential and real scientifically-based horrors of Frankenfood is the way Monsanto has invaded organic and even just non-GMO-crop-growing farms by not just intentionally destroying the genetic sanctity of their crops but then suing the farmers and taking away their farms after they have invaded them by spewing pollen from neighbors growing GMO crops.

Anyone who has read the papers, magazines and seen the TV reports and documentaries has been outraged by Monsanto’s actions in harassing farmers who want to use the traditional method of saving seeds from their harvest for the next year’s planting.

Monsanto’s agents have been shown stealing some of the crop, analyzing its DNA and claiming the farmers are growing Monsanto’s product after Monsanto conspired to spew their poisonous product on the sustainable, traditional-methodology farms.

When combined with the fact that Monsanto will not allow their GMO products to be replanted, causing farmers to have to buy all their seeds every year, this provides not just a recipe for disaster when the introduction of genetic diversity is eliminated, but insures that, if humans are to “feed the world” as GMO industry giants laughably claim is their goal, they will make money off every bite of food eaten by not just people but the domesticated animals we eat too.

Here on Kaua`i it’s almost impossible to grow corn on the Westside. We spoke to some people yesterday at the stop-GMO booth at the Kaua`i Farm Fair and found out for instance that Grove Farm will not lease ag land to anyone growing non-GMO corn, with a specific ban being part of every lease. Same goes for state controlled land and other ag land owners, especially on he Westside where the GMO seed corn is grown.

But a ray of hope is on the horizon.

The California legislature has passed a model bill that, if signed by the governor, will insure that Monsanto’s attempt to control our food future will, if not end, at least be controlled.

Bill number: AB 541, according to its Legislative Counsel's Digest says

Existing law provides that everyone is generally responsible, not only for the result of his or her willful acts, but also for an injury occasioned to another by his or her want of ordinary care or skill in the management of his or her property or person, except so far as the latter has, willfully or by want of ordinary care, brought the injury upon himself or herself.

This bill would provide a protocol for obtaining and testing a crop sample to determine whether a contract has been breached or a patent on a genetically engineered plant has been infringed by a farmer who is planting, managing, or harvesting a crop, as specified. The bill would provide for agreed or court-ordered sampling, with provisions relating to notice to the parties of sampling and results, protective orders against intentional destruction or damage to crops, and fees for sampling by or under agreement with the Secretary of Food and Agriculture. The bill would provide that a farmer is not liable based on the presence or possession of a patented genetically engineered plant when the farmer did not knowingly buy or otherwise knowingly acquire the genetically engineered plant, acted in good faith and without knowledge of the genetically engineered nature of the plant, and when the genetically engineered plant is detected at a de minimis level, as specified. This bill would limit the applicability of its liability provision, as specified.

This bill would state the intent of the Legislature, as specified, in enacting this act.

That the Hawai`i state legislature could legally pass this bill is certain. It also appears that there is no state law forbidding the institution of this on a county level.

But just ask the local candidates what they would think about a ban on all GMO crops on Kaua`i and you’ll have to search long and hard to find anyone willing to even limit them.

The drumbeat of jobs jobs jobs jobs jobs for the Westside has never been a discriminating one.

The Navy’s missile range that makes us a nuclear target is the biggest Westside employer. The GMO corn seed growing operations- done here only because it would, by GMO proponents own claims, be too ecologically dangerous to do it near major population or farming communities on the mainland- makes sustainable agriculture a joke for the island,.especially on the unproductive-ag-land-rich Westside..

Yet those employed there think that because it puts a roof over their families’ heads and food on their families’ tables it doesn’t matter how horrendous their products are

We’ve asked before how bad it has to be for people to wake up. We’ve asked- not as facetiously as some may assume- whether if these people lived in Germany in the 1940’s they would cling to the jobs at the concentration camps because the economic benefit was too great.

But passing this law here on Kaua`i it isn’t going to happen if we keep electing people whose campaigns are funded by the seed companies and their supporters whose voodoo economic models are way too kow-towing to the wider business community.

Ask this year’s candidates about this bill and the Eco-Roundtable’s proposed ban on all growing of GMO products on the island. Their answers will certainly be indicative of whether they put the public interest over the special and private interests.

Saturday, August 30, 2008


WHO DAT DOG SAY DAT? Beginning today “got windmills?” will no longer be accepting “anonymous” comments due to various factors not the least of which is the abusive nature of some comments.

Although our friend Joan Conrow has chosen to moderate her comments section after having similar problems with “trolls” we’re choosing another method for now. Anyone may comment but only with an “OpenID”. It’s easy to do and takes 30 seconds to register.

We will also be deleting any comments that are abusive of others who comment as well as those that are clearly and intentionally irrelevant to the subject of the column under which they appear or any conversation spurred by it.

Although we’ve been considering doing this for some time now yesterday’s abusive, sexist, personal attacks on others were just the last straw. We will no longer allow the purveying of this type of discourse in our little corner of the internet.

This is an attempt to encourage intelligent, thoughtful conversations and end the trolling in our comment section.

For anyone complaining about censorship or having their “free speech” curtailed we have news for you- you can start your own blog in 30 seconds. Just click on “Create blog” at the top of this page. Then anyone who wants to read what you have to say can read it and those who don’t, won’t have to.

We feel that the elimination of anonymous comments will also serve the purpose of providing the very conversational aspect that a couple of anonymous posters have complained is lost with moderation.

It’s absurd to read an anonymous post from “no one” saying “I” this and “me” that. Who is “I” or “me“? You” aren’t even there.

There is no continuity and so it’s impossible to converse with one particular anonymous poster because there might be a dozen anonymous’. You can’t debate a ghost.

The purpose of any “name withheld” publication is to protect the person from retaliation in the case of whistle blowers- those who are providing information and fear repercussions.

But we haven’t seen one comment here that deserves that kind of protection yet. If that’s the case email us and we will check out your story and perhaps write about it.

Anonymous posting only encourages the leaving of the written equivalent of a flaming bag of poop on the doorstep.

If throwing stink bombs is your juvenile and pathetic attention-grabbing, idea of “fun” and you really need the instant gratification of seeing a your petty, self-centered, irrelevant comments on line, the newspapers “forums” provide just that kind of cyber-place along with dozens just like you to do it with..

Allowing people to directly comment upon and have a conversation about whatever subject we’ve chosen to address each day is what we see as the purpose of even having a comments section. It is not so that abusive immature people can have a place to waste everyone’s time babysitting them... we’re not your mother.

We hope that this move will accommodate the numerous people who have told us they are reluctant to comment because they fear they will be personally attacked when they do.

We’ll see how this “experiment” goes, We are determined to clear out the trolls and stop the abuse of our readers. If people continue to abuse the open ID process there is always moderation.

The Management

Friday, August 29, 2008


HYDROPHOBIC HYSTERIA: We were jolted to consciousness by a rather bizarre news item from the Superferry cheerleaders and advertising beneficiaries at KHNL-TV last evening as they announced that a new pro-Superferry group was being formed on Kaua`i by none other than our very own “nut-case”- crotchety old man Kimo Rosen, who claimed he was pelted with rocks at last week’s Superferry anniversary party.

But it seems those rocks might have come from inside Rosen’s head because he can’t seem to keep his improbable story straight.

Despite his claim that the newspaper “reported it exactly as it happened”, he said something quite different to us in a “hidden” comment the day after we highlighted his un-witnessed charge calling him a “well known nut case”.

In a newspaper article this past Monday reporter Michael Levine wrote of Rosen’s attendance and protest against the partiers who were celebrating and honoring those who turned back the superferry a year before.

Rosen — who said that while event organizers told him he was welcome, others threw rocks at him, cursed him and told him to leave — believes the free market should determine which businesses succeed and which fail.

Well, in criticizing the local paper for their coverage we had this to say about Rosen.

(I)f the poll and editorial wasn’t indicative enough of the unethical behavior at TGI, today’s article on yesterday’s “celebration” in Nawiliwili of the turning back of the HSf one year ago, half the article was taken up with unsubstantiated accusations in an interview with well-known nut-case James “Kimo” Rosen.

Not just was Rosen’s one man counter-demonstration dug up and reported- using half the article to detail his views- his ridiculous, unverified, un-witnessed claim of having had rocks thrown at him was given big play.

Despite the fact that the place was crawling with cops taking pictures according to those who attended and that Rosen was positioned far away from where the party goers were gathered TGI and the Honolulu Advertiser reported the rock throwing statement unchallenged in an unbelievable example of journalistic malfeasance.

The next day two comments appeared not for that day’s post but on an unrelated one from a week before where Rosen apparently told us the newspaper got it wrong

He first wrote:

I am not lying, rocks were thrown at me, not by the organizers but by locals down by the Marriott, don't call me a liar are blame the garden Island for poor journalism when yours sorely below what i would call journalism.

Calling me a nut case is not appreciated since we have never met, I take total offense at your lack of aloha and journaliast talents.

I will be organizing a huge pro ferry demonstration in the near future. The fun has just begun.God bless & A hui Hou, James "kimo" Rosen

He then went on to say:

sorry for the typos in my first comment.

Calling me "a nut case" and "liar" is not appreciated, what kind of journalist are you? We never even met, I have no idea who you are. You are the liar and nut case, since they say "only the guilty speak." Hope to see on the superferry (sic) in the very near future when the voluptuous "Alakai" is sailing the beautiful waters of Hawaii. James "Kimo" Rosen

P.S. it's people like you that ruin it for the masses.

P.S.S. I was the publisher of Alaska People Magazine for many years before moving to Hawaii and if a writer ever submitted the kind of crap you write, they never would had been published in my publication again, I guess you are blogging since it's the only way a journalist of your nature has a rats chance in hell of being poublished (sic).

We responded:

As to the rock incident Mr. Rosen I didn’t see you run to TGI or the advertiser for a correction and for now I’ll take their word that you claimed protesters threw rocks at you over yours that you made it clear that is wasn’t the protesters.

Mike Levine may have unwittingly been a Superferry shill yesterday but from what I’ve read he’s a damn good reporter and his courts and police coverage is among the best and most accurate I’ve read. And I’d remind you, there were two reporters who identically reported what you said.

As to “nut-case” after reading dozens of your letter to the editor I’m only repeating what dozens of other have said about them and you, including some who have met you.

As to you own journalistic efforts I’m pretty sure I’d never write for any publication over which you had editorial control so forgive me if I’m not drinking salt water beer over your views of my reporting and analysis.

We never saw any correction in the paper and here’s what Rosen says in a letter to the editor today:

The organizers welcomed me with aloha, but others by the harbor threw rocks and profanities at me.

The Garden Island paper reported it exactly as it happened

Well we suspect KHNL has discovered that Rosen is indeed a nut case because the article does not appear on their web site. Rosen also claimed he was going to get his own 6000 names petition together to counter the one supporters gathered and named his “group” something which we didn’t quite catch.

Seems Rosen can’t quite tell the same story twice in a row but that’s not surprising for the prolific letter to the editor writer who has spent his years here- apparently since 2004- complaining about his adopted home and haranguing us with every old man’s lament in the book.

But nut case, Parx? Since Rosen complained and now that he’s certainly made himself even more of a public figure, to be fair we’ll let you be the judge

One of his favorites is “these kids today”. Here’s a sample

What’s wrong with the youth today?...

When I was a child we were taught to respect our elders. Older people went first in buffet lines, young people were taught to give up their seat on the bus to someone older. There used to be an unwritten common courtesy in honor of older adults.

Now everything is for the kids, putting adults in a secondary position ...Children cannot be spanked by their parents since everyone is afraid their kids will report them to human services...The world has let children take control....When I was a kid adults had the control, and now that I am an adult children have control.

Then there’s “noise in his neighborhood

There is a tree trimmer and landscaper who comes into our neighborhood — when they’re not making noise with their high-power chainsaw, weed blowers and oversized sit down mowers — with a need to blast their music. These people come into our neighborhood and play their music at levels that can be heard three houses away. When asking them politely to please turn it down, they get offended. I have even offered to buy Walkmans for these people. These people seem to have a lack of common courtesy. They come into a quiet neighborhood and cannot handle the silence of nature, they blast their music, have oversized power tools and a total lack of respect and common courtesy.

Even clocks

I do not wear a watch and refuse to become part of the cell-phone-digital-time mania that has taken over the world.

My flight was departing at 10:25 a.m. I needed to watch the time and there were no clocks within distance, so I took a stroll, still no clocks. This is an international airport and finding a clock was an act of God. Finally I looked at a flight arrival board and in the smallest numbers was the time.

Try finding a clock at any major shopping center, bar or restaurant anywhere in Hawai`i. It’s no wonder “Hawai`i time” has become synonymous with arriving late. I understand Aloha but still feel the need to look up and see the time.

And seat belts

The national and state campaign of “Click it or Ticket” is strictly implemented for financial reasons. They say they enforce it to help save lives.

Seatbelts have actually taken lives many times, trapping people in their cars and not being able to escape.

Among his other rants are complaints about the word haole,

Referring to somebody as a “haole” (without spirit), is the same as referring to them as a dumb frickin idiot. Any person who uses the word “haole” is a “haole.”

“Haole” is one word that should be deleted from the Hawaiian language.

people who can’t keep secrets

stores that won’t take his deposit bottles back

and the fact that no one is tapping the energy produced by all the treadmill and Stairmaster users in health clubs

Then there’s people worried about invasive species and protecting whales on the superferry saying

For those with the invasive species and whale killing machine theories, I would welcome a debate.

The only invasive species thus far brought on by the Superferry is the leech-sucking attorneys that will do anything for monetary gain and publicity.

...a subject he had written on before saying

The Superferry is a great form of mass transit, so be it if an occasional whale is killed.

There’s people who want to know how long you’ve lived here

people who want to know what you do for a living

people who want you to take your shoes off when you come in

local hotel rates

cafeteria prices at UH

food and restaurant prices

dirty water at beaches

and more complaints about these young whippersnapper and protesting hippies and praises for his supposed silent majority of Superferry supporters than you can wag a finger at.

But lest you think all he does all day is compose letters to complain about whatever self-involved, self-important, selfish little pet peeve he has today- even if he makes them up like the supposed rock throwing incident- he does like one thing.... those dollar and a half Costco hot dogs

All this from a malahini settler who calls himself Kimo.

Oh- and though he reneged, he threatened in one letter to run for public office. With the penchant to exploit public service for personal gain exhibited by most of our local incumbents and challengers we gotta figure he’d fit right in.

Thursday, August 28, 2008


TASTES LIKE IT- GLAD WE DIDN’T STEP IN IT: Well it’s all over but the pooping as the Council reportedly made it official yesterday passing a law saying that the bike path is now the apparently the “Bryan Baptiste Memorial Dogcrap Repository”.

And as Joan Conrow reported this morning, county spokesperson Mary Dauber confirmed what we suspected Tuesday- that Bernard Carvalho will be “sidestepping” the bureaucratic dog pile he created and doing it at taxpayer expense by taking vacation time from the job he will no longer have when he returns.

But in another of those “only on Kaua`i” laws the council passed a provision saying that dog walkers must “visibly carry” a bag to clean up after their pets.

Now presumably owners will somehow be pinning their little plastic bags to their lapels although how to attach them without putting a hole in them might be somewhat of a challenge.

And woe be to the owner who only brings one bag because presumably they must always wear a crap-carrier even after their animal’s done their business.

We just can’t wait for the parade the dog-doody-bedecked citizenry. Perhaps a whole new line of pine-scented-aloha-shirts will spring up as the dog-poop-clad-denizens dance by the dog-poop receptacles in search of another carrying-container for fear of a $500 fine

Why Hilo Hattie’s may offer a free clothes pin with each perfumed mu`umu`u.

Who said the county isn’t creating new jobs.

But speaking of dogshit is there anyone who hasn’t smelled the stench coming out of Denver this week?

In case anyone missed the real story, the Democratic Party has apparently “grown up” when it comes to corporate teat-sucking as attendees lapped up the bribes just like Republicans.

Some of the alternative press such as reporter and “Official Hawai`i Democratic Convention Blogger in Denver” Ian Lind have mentioned the excesses for the privileged such as breakfasts for the Hawai`i delegates “complements” of Lockheed and Boeing.

But sitting through hour after hour of 37 TV channels of breathlessly-identical sycophantic-fluff was getting to be way too much to stomach until last night when a piece from ABC News– a whole three minutes and twenty seconds of it- appeared.

The must-see Brian Ross segment “Money Trail: The Democratic Elite” details how the “Pelosi 100” – those who raised more than $100,000 for the party- were wined and dined in private suites and fancy restaurants, clubs and hotels, day in and day out, throughout the week.

After showing us telescopic lens views through the window of a few of the venues the piece showed how the Denver police joined in the fun by roughing up a segment producer who dared to try to film it from a public sidewalk, replete with a stogie-smoking cop choking the newsman and arresting him for trying to take pictures of those attending one of the corporate sponsored galas.

Finally it juxtaposed the ring of luxury suites at the mentioned-once-every-four-second “Pepsi” Center, sipping champagne and dining on a hot buffet while a Georgia delegate downstairs in the lobby had to buy a $7 hot dog because “it’s all there is”.

But the fact that the Democrats have caught up and taken the lead in the race to sell our government to the highest corporate bidder is but a precipitating factor in explaining why they have gone along with every bit of constitution-shredding, war-mongering, corporate-theft that’s come down the Republican pike since 2001.

We’ll leave listing the crimes to the best candidate running for president, the Green Party candidate Cynthia McKinney, who in 2006 as Georgia Representative to the US House introduced the first Bush-Chaney impeachment motion.

From funding the war to supporting the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act and from supporting the Gitmo gulag to caving on the telecom immunity bill the Democrats have been complicitous and have not just taken impeachment off the table it aided and abetted the Republicans by using their pen hand to support what their mouths bemoan.

How anyone can vote for these swine is beyond us but we suppose people have been eating their horseshit because at least it isn’t dogshit... and doing it for so long it’s beginning to “taste like chicken”

We’ll leave you with McKinney’s article in Counterpunch Magazine yesterday that- in case somehow you forgot- lists the Democratic eight-year efforts as partners-in-crime.


It's Time for Real Change
How the Democrats Helped Bush Hijack the Country


CounterPunch, August 27, 2008

Our country has been hijacked and the Democrats have proven themselves to have been in on the plan. When it came to the Constitution, the Democratic leadership showed us that aiding and abetting illegal spying on us was more important to them than protecting our civil liberties.
When it came to war and occupation, the Democratic leadership showed us that financing an illegal and immoral war, based on lies, was more important to them than the people's desire for peace.

And when the people, hurting from the financial mismanagement of this country, called for accountability for the crimes that have been committed against the people here, against the global community, against nature, itself, the Democratic leadership took impeachment off the table!

Grassroots Democratic Party activists want a livable wage! A "Medicare-for-all" type of health care system, repeal of the Bush tax cuts that have ushered in the greatest income inequality in this country since the Great Depression. But the Democratic Party has shown itself to be incapable of providing even a semblance of the values even of its own activists.

The Democratic Party's national leadership didn't even mention Hurricanes Katrina and Rita survivors in their Congressional agenda for the first 100 days.

The Democratic Party's national leadership gave us the Iran Naval Blockade bill, the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act, and telecom immunity. They continue to fund war and occupation to the tune of $720 million a day while our children graduate from college tens--or even hundreds--of thousands of dollars in debt. Entire cities are going into receivership while the Democratic leadership in Congress gives the Pentagon one half trillion dollars annually with no accountability, no strings attached. That's over and above spending for war.

Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo are the hallmarks of the new U.S. gulag Democrats are helping to create.

They want us to believe that China and Russia are our enemies, in addition to the 60 countries on Dick Cheney's list. They want us to believe that workers, who come to this country to support thier families after Democratic leadership in the country saddl3ed workers with NAFTA, are our enemies. But we are here today to declare that we know who the real enemies are: those false patriots that George Washington warned us of, who wrap themselves in the flag while betraying our values.

We are the true patriots!

We know that the strength of this country lies in the way it countenances dissent. And we are here to dissent. We are not deterred by reports of sleek, new detention facilities or recently-acquired taser guns that kill. For we come to dissent in peace. Indeed, we dissent for peace.

Today, we declare our independence from conformity and "go-along-to-get-along" politics. We declare our willingness to be radical in pursuit of peace and in our hunger for justice. We can see clearly now who the real stickup artists are and that's why we're in Denver!

Our actions here this week begin the disarming of the hijackers. We no longer are afraid. And we won't be deceived. We know that a vote for the Democrats is a vote for more war in Afghanistan and other parts of the world.

But today, we are now free.

Free to stand on the four pillars guiding our political engagement: environmental wisdom, peace, grassroots democratcy, and social justice. And finally, we know our power. We know the power of the people. We know that true power rests in the hands of the people. People who are willing to take a stand.

We need look no further than Haiti, Code, I'voire, Spain, and India to see the power of the people at the ballot box. No further than Brazil, Venezuela, Chile, Argentina, Ecuador, Bolivia, Nicaragua, and Paraguay to know that if they can do it, so can we.

Provided our elections are fair!

And if the Democrats cave in, in the face of fraud, disfranchisement, and theft, then we will be there to demand election integrity!

All over this country, the signs are there. People from New York to Florida, Washington State to California, Colorado to Texas are liberating themselves. We must not stop! Our country is worth it! Let's take our country back! Power to the People!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


DOGGED PERSISTENCE: In an absurdist little drama last Wednesday the Kaua`i County Council finally got County Engineer Donald Fujimoto to admit what everyone has known for a long time- the Pono Kai seawall was illegally constructed and there never have been any permits or exemptions for it.

And he came close to acknowledging his Department of Public Works (DPW) attempts to cover it up by refusing to answer questions about it and asking any investigation be done in secret executive session (ES)..

Fujimoto wouldn’t even admit it all until grilled for 15 minutes in a prosecutorial manner by prosecutor-to-be Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho who finally broke him down and forced the admissions.

The revelation of the illegal construction goes back a couple of years to a council session discussing shoreline certifications for the bike path during which experts told the council of the problems with the seawall and during subsequent meetings where the lack of any permits was revealed.

The seawall was constructed after the Hurricane `Iniki which itself took the council weeks to ascertain due to stonewalling and sketchy answers from Fujimoto and other DPW personal who conveniently couldn’t remember how long it had been there.

Finally pre and post hurricane pictures were shown to the council on a slide projector to clear up the 1993 construction date.

Apparently the story is that DPW engineers decided that in all the post hurricane confusion and “emergency permitting” they could construct a seawall to “protect” Pono Kai with no approval whatsoever.

This was done, according to testimony a couple of years ago, despite a 1993 letter from the Army Corps of engineers warning them that it was highly illegal to build the wall.

Fujimoto was not the county engineer at the time of the construction and did not come to that position until the Baptiste administration.

Yet Fujimoto clung to the story saying that it “may have been intentional or unintentional- I’d like to think it was unintentional”, although how the county engineer who routinely processes permits could have unintentionally constructed an illegal sea wall wasn’t clear.

What is clear is that Pono Kai resort had always been worried about it’s proximity to the ocean and wanted the wall, going back years before the hurricane when it tried and failed to build one but especially so after the hurricane battered the place and severely eroded the shoreline.

Fujimoto’s attempt to put the genie back in the bottle continued with him trying to cover-up the information even as the meeting began.

He started by refusing to talk about it at all in open session- after his request last month for an ES was turned down by Public Works Committee Chair Mel Rapozo- by saying he want to “wait for the EA (environmental assessment) to discuss it”.

An EA is currently being conducted by DPW to determine what the environmental impacts of any action on the sea wall would be

Previously Fujimoto tried to blow smoke and cast the usual fog machine the PWD has been famous for since well before his tenure.

He has claimed that the wall was legal under various erroneous propositions and obfuscations, first saying there were permits then when asked to produce them saying he had an exemption due to the governor’s emergency declaration after the hurricane, neither of which was true.

After badgering he finally admitted that at some point he spoke to Sam Lemmo at the State DLNR who told him it was possible someone had thought there might have been an exemption at the time.

Still Fujimoto refused at first to admit the sea wall was illegally constructed in hopes that it would be able to be repaired.

Under the federal law, as well as a “zero tolerance” for un-permitted construction by the state and county, the sea wall would have to be removed although there could be an exemption federally if the damage of removing it would be greater than leaving it in place..

The sea wall is currently a public nuisance and in horribly dilapidated condition and according to what UH experts Dolan Ebersole and Chip Fletcher told the council is making a mess of the whole Kapa`a shoreline.

Both told the council and Fujimoto two years ago that reconstructing an illegal sea wall was not legal under any circumstances. Yet Fujimoto continues to conduct an EA to fix the wall.

Whether the best scientific path is to remove it, rebuild it or leave it alone is a question no one so far has been able to determine.

Fujimoto adamantly maintained that the EA would answer all the legal questions even though everyone knew it was illegal, at first saying “I can’t say if it was legal or illegal”

But despite repeats of this lies Iseri persisted and finally got the truth out of Fujimoto.

She reviewed Fujimoto’s actions and words in claiming there was a permit and then that they didn’t need one and then that they were going to get an “after the fact” one, before she finally asked “You have no evidence to show this wall is legal?”

Fujimoto finally said “That’s correct.” though still maintaining the EA will address that.

Then Iseri focused in on the EA-legalities claim asking “So the EA will look into all the illegalities?”

Fujimoto said “Yes- it will address the impacts”.

After a lot of back and forth finally, after maintaining more than a half a dozen times in direct answers to direct questions that the EA would look a legal questions Fujimoto admitted it wouldn’t and that the County Attorney will address those.

“I stand corrected” he finally said.

What was astonishing was that a couple of months or so ago when being questioned on the sea wall Fujimoto refused to answer the questions in open session asking the council to place the matter on the their executive session agenda

“Speaking to the County Engineer about DPW’s illegal actions” is not on the list of Sunshine Law exemptions to the open meeting requirements,.

This was despite the fact that about two years ago it was widely discussed by the council and they learned in public session of not just the illegal nature of the wall but of the warning letters from the Army Corps of Engineers saying basically “don’t you dare”..

Councilman Ron Kochi was somewhat bemused by Fujimoto shaking his head and saying “you can’t unring the bell” and headscratchingly pondering what Fujimoto thought he was trying to do.

Finally Chair Rapozo summed it up -somewhat haltingly- by saying “It’s no secret that the wall is illegal. I shouldn’t say illegal- it’s un-permitted”, drawing derisive laughter from those gathered.

Believe it or not the council committee concluded it’s session by making plans to take the public knowledge of the illegal wall into executive session to figure out if Kaua`i County will have to repay the state and possibly the feds who financed the project on Kaua`i County’s assurance that they had the permits or an exemption.

Iseri repeated several times that we needed to “come clean” and maybe they’d let us off the financial hook.

No plans were made to investigate the Public Works Department to uncover what most suspect was collusion by Pono Kai and some in the DPW to pull a fast one after the hurricane by building an illegal sea wall.

It only took 15 years to figure out what happened. We’ll be lucky if after 15 years more we catch the culprits because, as has happened dozes of times before- most notably after the Pflueger-McCloskey “Developers Gone Wild” sessions- the Council refuses to investigate the DPW, arguably the most corrupt county department in the state.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


SIDESTEPPING THE POO PILE: In what can only be called a bizarre move mayoral candidate Bernard Carvalho “has requested a leave of absence from his position pending the outcome of the upcoming elections” according to a county press release.

This comes on the heels of the approval of the “Dog Path” bills in council committee last week and in anticipation of passage this Wednesday at the full council meeting.

Last week the main council debate was about how Parks and Recreation Department head Carvalho was designated to design, implement and administrate a “trail period” to see if dog walking on the dog, er bike, er multi-use, path will harass everyone but the dog owners as many claim

The most important part of that was to be how Carvalho would set up the bill’s convoluted and somewhat wacky rules including having dog walker visibly “wear” the “collection receptacles” for dog poop and then deposit the full ones in nose level receptacles.

Nathan Eagle’s article in the local paper on the contentious final committee session is pretty complete and describes how the council put the onus on Carvalho to design the criteria for what a successful 18 month “trial period” would look like and require that he and his Department observe, record and enforce the laundry list of restrictions on dog walker and the dogs themselves.

Eagle described the results of the meeting saying

The proposed legislation, as it currently stands, would create an 18-month trial period for people to walk their dogs on the county’s Eastside shared-use path on a roughly two-mile stretch from Lihi Park to the picnic shelter nearest Kealia bridge.

It was amended to require the handler to be in command and control of the dog at all times, have no more than two dogs under his control, leave if the dog gets aggressive, visibly carry the necessary instruments required for the removal and disposal of dog feces, pick up and dispose of any and all feces left by the dog, have the dog wear a current dog license tag and use a leash no more than 6 feet in length.

The bill also calls for the county Parks and Recreation Department and a stakeholder committee to develop measurable objectives so the success or failure of the trial period may be determined.

The “stakeholders committee” is one secretly set up and secretly run by Carvalho and, by his admission after a question from a councilmember, contains no one from the general public nor of course any of them opposed to dogs on the path.

But Eagle goes on to describe how the whole thing sits on Carvalho’s broad shoulders.

Carvalho said his department would need 90 to 120 days to pull all the pieces together to be ready to implement the legislation.

He said there are issues relating to the hiring of three new park rangers for enforcement, union concerns regarding hitting dog feces when mowing along the path, signage, maintenance schedules and finalizing with the county attorney a liability-related document pet owners would have to sign when they apply for dog licenses.

“I want to make sure everything is in place before we get this thing moving,” Carvalho said.Carvalho and his department- especially park workers who need to clean up the place- have been understandably opposed to having dogs on the path.

In fact Carvalho was the one who apparently made dogs on the path “illegal” in the first place with an insular decision to call the bike path a “lineal park”.

That supposedly made dogs on the path automatically illegal but was done without the official approval either from the council or through an administrative rule-making process as required by law.

This is in keeping with Carvalho’s secrecy management style and in keeping with that of his mentor, the late mayor Bryan Baptiste and whose penchant for closed-door decision-making was legendary.

Carvalho has taken all things bike path upon himself and organized his private “task force” consisting of a bunch of county insiders and departmental mucky-mucks who have held illegal unannounced and un-agendaed meetings to make decisions about the path.

At the meeting councilmembers grilled Carvalho about how long he needed to set up the criteria, which some councilmembers wanted contained in the bill.

Again, according to Eagle

Bynum questioned the timing, calling the 90 to 120 days “excessive.”

Kouchi said he was hoping the department could be ready in a time frame closer to 60 days. This way the bill could be implemented by November before a newly elected mayor takes office, he said.

“The reality is this is not going to be the most important issue the new mayor is going to have on their plate,” Kouchi said. “If it’s going to be 120 days ... it’s going to be passed on to somebody else.”

Despite what looked almost like he was about to have a conniption fits by mayoral candidate Councilperson Mel Rapozo over the matter even though he and sole prosecutor candidate Shaylene Iseri Carvalho opposed the bills, they advanced with B. Carvalho’s assurance that, although he didn’t like it, he would comply with whatever the law provided for.

(Parenthetically Rapozo also unintentionally pointed out a blatant violation of the sunshine law. during the meeting.

At one point Carvalho was adamant that he needed the 120 days to set up the “trial run”. Then all of a sudden out of the blue, Parks Council Committee Chair Tim Bynum- who introduced the bill and has been it’s chief proponent- called for a “10 minute recess”.

When they came back Rapozo told of what happened during the break describing the gaggle of intimidating council people surrounding Carvalho and trying to arm twist him into saying he could do it more quickly than the 120 days.

The Sunshine Law of Hawai`i strictly outlaws this type of public policy discussion among more than two councilpersons but apparently the secrecy of the Asing reign as council chair continues under the new council regime.)

So after carefully making himself indispensable, Carvalho has now announced that chewing gum and walking at the same time is too much for his pitiful pia mater and so, unlike the other two major candidates, he will take a “leave of absence” from his public service job because obviously administering Parks and Recreation and running for mayor at the same time would be much harder than running while being a council person.

And what the heck is this “leave of absence” business anyway? Only the dismal acumen of Carvalho could come up with this one.

Note that Carvalho isn’t resigning which would make sense since the only two things that can happen is that he will either win or lose the election.

If he wins he’ll be Mayor, not head of the Parks Department. And if he loses he will be out of a job as well with all department heads resigning in a new administration unless they are possibly re-hired by the new mayor.

Either way he’s out of a job Dec 1. But until then he presumably will still be collecting his handsome almost $100,000 a year salary for not working while he campaigns for mayor.

This shows how deep the still waters of Carvalho’s cranial capacity run and probably indicates his future management style should he be elected

When the going gets tough- as it will in the Parks and Recreation Dept. after the dog bills become law tomorrow- Carvalho ditches the process and resulting task upon which he’s insinuated himself and thereby for which he’s made himself indispensable..

All the while still on the government payroll enabling him to have us pay him so he can further litter the island with his obscenely-innumerable yard signs in a redux of Baptiste’s oft-criticized 2000 campaign tactic of plastering the roads with a plethora of posters.

What a public servant.

Now someone else will have to take over making the crucial decisions on the implementation of the new ordinances and the dozens of other responsibilities Carvalho has taken on in forming and designing the administration of a new department created specifically for him to have a good government job.

Because, after all he’s a football hero and so is entitled to whatever he wants whether or not he’s qualified, capable of or deserves it.

We don’t know what he was thinking last Wed at the meeting as opposed to what he was thinking the following Monday. The answer is, most likely he wasn’t.

Perhaps his management style if elected Mayor will be to cross your fingers when you speak and when all else fails, if the job gets too tough take a leave of absence and dump the problems you created in someone else’s lap.

Come to think if it, hasn’t that’s been the MO for the last two administrations? Obviously Carvalho has learned bungling deceit at the feet of the masters.

We can only look forward to more foibles in the next two years than during the last 6 if not 14.

Monday, August 25, 2008


BARKERS AND SHILLS: When we saw the cockamamie intentionally-slanted push-poll in the local paper last week we detailed why we had a little more than a inkling that Adam Harju was now an official member of the United Superferry Military Command.

But Harju has left no doubt that his Garbage Island newspaper- one of the only two newspapers in the state along with the Maui News that wasn’t on the advertising-remunerated Superferry bandwagon- has now become a PR wing of the Hawaii Superferry (HSF).

In an inane editorial Sunday Harju makes up facts out of whole cloth and substitutes HSf and Chamber of Commerce (CofC) PR materials while citing his so-called poll results in an attempt to try to paint a rosy picture in service of HSf service on Kaua`i.

Harju has apparently taken reporter Nathan Eagle off the Superferry beat, substituting malahini Michael Levine, the new police and courts reporter, after Eagle apparently insisted on covering the actualities not the corporate spin regarding the HSf.

In the convoluted rare TGI editorial Harju tries to make the CofC’s case for the HSf’ as a panacea for curing the current downturn- a preposterous proposition to begin with- and cite the current EIS as being sufficient to allow the ferry on Kaua`i.

(I)n the battle to adhere to the state’s evolving environmental assessment process, the company is making strides. The argument from the beginning was nothing more than wanting the company to adhere to the process.

Now, a year later — after a Maui judge halted service in October of 2007, and an October Special Session of the state Legislature allowed service to continue as an Environmental Assessment is conducted — with Belt Collins, the company contracted to carry out the Environmental Impact Statement well into its work, is Kaua`i ready for a return of the Superferry?

The survival of our island’s residents has gone up a notch or two on the priority list over the last year. Unemployment is up, income is down and prices are rising. Will a return of service help ease any of those issues? We may get a chance to find out after the company is claiming a plan to come back after the EIS is complete in the spring of 2009. Is that not what people are concerned about? An EIS?

As Hawaii Superferry learns from its mistakes and attempts to recover from its PR blunder, will the people of Kaua`i forgive them? From the comments of island leaders in today’s front page article, it seems a possibility.

There will always be those who want no return of service and will equate the Superferry with a killing machine and anyone who gets near one a stormtrooper of corporate greed, but maybe, just maybe, it will lift some economic burden. If the environmental conditions are met, there should be no reason we can not find out.

Nowhere in TGI- or for that matter other papers- does the real information on the current EIS appear: the info that it is isn’t a real EIS as we’ve come to know them.

It is a watered down pseudo-version of one, based not on long standing National Environmental Protection act (NEPA) and state HEPA standards but one substituting a version detailed in the special legislation in Act 2 passed by the legislature last year that apparently does not contain the full identification of environmental, cultural and social impacts nor full plans for mitigation.

People who have demanded an “EIS First” are just beginning to find out that the Belt-Collins EIS is not going to address their concerns and mitigate them as a normal EIS does.

And, judging by the way they collected supposed community “input” that TGI cites it won’t even consider all the issues.

The words “public hearing” and “community input” were never heard in the very limited publicity before the never-identified-as-such “scoping meetings” last year which were billed and conducted as informational meetings.

No public speakers and no direct questions were permitted. As a matter of fact testimony was not permitted to be filed electronically, an absurdity in these days when public testimony via email is ubiquitous.

And if the poll and editorial wasn’t indicative enough of the unethical behavior at TGI, today’s article on yesterday’s “celebration” in Nawiliwili of the turning back of the HSf one year ago, half the article was taken up with unsubstantiated accusations in an interview with well-known nut-case James “Kimo” Rosen.

Not just was Rosen’s one man counter-demonstration dug up and reported- using half the article to detail his views- his ridiculous, unverified, un-witnessed claim of having had rocks thrown at him was given big play.

Despite the fact that the place was crawling with cops taking pictures according to those who attended and that Rosen was positioned far away from where the party goers were gathered TGI and the Honolulu Advertiser reported the rock throwing statement unchallenged in an unbelievable example of journalistic malfeasance.

Even though this kind of crap journalism is common these days when the paper is on a mission, we tend to doubt that if we made the claim Tom Fargo threw rocks at us it would have been plastered on the front page of the biggest newspaper in the state and the only local one.

The only decent coverage in the state today was, as usual, that of Tom Finnegan in the Honolulu Star Bulletin. He reported on what actually happened, not what some malahini right wing nut made up, as Levine in TGI and Diana Leone in the Honolulu Advertiser did..

But perhaps the worst attempt to misrepresent the community’s feelings on the issue by digging up some proponents who have deluded themselves into planning to line their pockets with Superferry trips to Kaua`i, was Sunday’s TGI front page article headlined “Superferry officials talk of possible return”

First Levine interviewed Tom Fargo quoting him as saying

“I’m really looking toward the future,” Tom Fargo, president and chief executive officer of Hawai`i Superferry, said in a Friday phone interview with The Garden Island. “My sense is that people would like to find a way forward. I’m always optimistic.”

Then he turns to the CofC, reporting

“Clearly the majority of our members are for the Superferry,” said Kaua`i Chamber of Commerce President Randy Francisco. “We also have members who are not for the ferry, but we understand their issues, which are related to the EIS, or some who just don’t want it.”

As we predicted last week, TGI used their ill-designed “poll” to try to say everyone loves the Ferry- or at least a majority. The poll as we detailed gave one “yes” choice, one “no” choice and three choices that were interpreted as “yes” answers, despite the fact those answering them could have been giving a qualified “no”

True to predictions the article said

A Web poll conducted by The Garden Island shows that 39 percent of votes were cast in favor of the Superferry’s presumably immediate return to Kaua`i; 11 percent more support a return to Kaua`i while an Environmental Impact Statement is conducted; 17 percent endorse a return only after an EIS is completed; and 5 percent recommend further outreach to the people of Kaua`i by Superferry officials.

Some 28 percent of votes were cast for an option saying the ferry should never return to Kaua`i.

Of course now the cheerleaders at the advertising beneficiaries at the Advertiser are claiming it’s 50% in favor and Fargo is now claiming a majority according to Leone’s article which feeds the self perpetuating fact-ignoring spin efforts of HSF and TGI by saying:

A recent nonscientific online poll in the Garden Island newspaper found that 50 percent of respondents favor the Superferry returning to Kaua`i; 17 percent want a return only after an EIS is completed; 5 percent recommend further outreach to the people of Kaua`i by Superferry officials; and 28 percent don't want the ferry on Kaua`i under any circumstances.

Fargo said he interprets that poll as "2-to-1 in favor of the Superferry returning" at some point. He didn't address ongoing court appeals by Maui and Kaua`i groups opposing the ferry.

And check out this little bit of spin from Levine, Harju’s and Lewis’ new Superferry shill.

Kaua`i resident Richard Hoeppner, who was central in last year’s protest and is organizing today’s “Ferry Free Kaua`i” anniversary celebration in Nawiliwili Park, agrees that the environmental review is critical.

“I would totally welcome them (the Superferry) with open arms if they completed an independent EIS. I never said anything like ‘sink the ferry,’” Hoeppner said Friday. “I tried to take the high road and said they should follow the law. Find out your environmental impact on our island and then come back, but not before.”

First he pulls a quote that says “I would totally welcome the Superferry” from Hoeppner and then links his objections to the EIS.

But he leaves out the fact that Hoeppner has been one of those shouting from the rooftops that the current EIS is not a valid or independent one, something the mainstream press has absolutely ignored but has been one of the main points opponent have been making for months.

We’d like to see Leone and Levine claim that Hoeppner didn’t try to make this the focal point of his interview. Then we’d know that they are not just biased shills but liars too.

And of course the choice of quotes allows Levine to continue by saying

For his part, Fargo agrees, at least when it comes to Kaua`i.

“The state just completed the rapid risk assessment that takes a look at our compliance with all of the environmental laws and processes,” he said. “It came out very positive, and I think it’ll be good when we have the EIS done because the EIS will reflect a lot of the same things as the rapid risk assessment.”

This report regurgitates unchallenged the HSf spin on the report, which actually found horribly lax standards and inspections of the ferry on it’s Maui trips as we detailed in the same piece in which we critiqued the poll, including some hair raising numbers from Maui Tomorrow’s Irene Bowie.

This is a new low in the junk reporting the Garbage Island has been known for since 1982. It’s a deliberate effort to cash in on the Superferry advertising dollars the Honolulu newspapers are rolling in by misrepresenting the issues and the pulse of the community.

Apparently Harju and publisher Mark Lewis know who’s buttering their bread. We would be willing to bet dollars to donuts that TGI was well represented in a meeting on August 4th that was not reported in TGI but was mentioned in Leone’s Advertiser article where, she says:

Adm. Thomas Fargo, president of the Hawaii Superferry, confirmed to The Advertiser Friday that he met Aug. 4 with business leaders and elected officials on Kaua`i to present information about how Superferry operations have been going between O`ahu and Maui.
"We will continue to answer questions and talk story" over coming months, Fargo said, "to get as much information (about Superferry operations) in front of leadership and of people as we possibly can."

We had no illusions when Harju flew in to take over TGI that he was at all interested in making it into a paper that represented the people on the island rather than the business community.

The trend in newspapers these day is in that direction. But like all of his predecessors over the past 25 years, even since “the people’s editor” Jean Holmes retired, he has taken the paper to new depths of ethical depravity in journalism.

It’s about time people all call out TGI and call out their prime advertisers. We need to put the economic hurt on them and shatter the visions of dollar signs that cause them to publish unrepentant advertiser supported spin.

Perhaps a boycott is in order. We don’t expect any real journalism at TGI but at least we don’t have to give them our money.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

KPD Blue, Chapters 1 & 2

(The following is the premiere of Chapters 1&2 of a new book, due out soon, by former Honolulu Star Bulletin reporter Anthony Sommer, as detailed yesterday. Look for future excerpts from Parx News Net’s “got windmills?”)

KPD Blue
A Decade of Racism, Sexism, and Political Corruption in (and all around) the Kauai Police Department

by Anthony Sommer
Copyright © 2008 Anthony Sommer
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 1-4392-0346-6
ISBN-13: 9781439203460
Visit to order additional copies.


Chapter 1: The Lap Dancer

“She was on her hands and knees and she was crawling towards me like a cat, licking her lips.

“Then she got up to me. I was seated on a chair and I had my legs spread and she came up between my legs, and she cupped her breasts and she squeezed them together and had my crotch – right around my crotch area.

“Then she pulled her panties to the side, exposed her vagina, and then she started to gyrate on my lap, rubbing her vagina on my crotch area.”

That’s Officer Alfredo Villanueva of the Honolulu Police Department describing Monica Alves during the trial of Carl Irvin Richie, charged with promoting prostitution and racketeering through his business, Fanta-See Express.

More than a decade later on Kauai, what happened that night, which became known as the “Lap Dancing Incident,” casts its long shadow over the Kauai Police Department: The 10-year political war for the control of the KPD can be traced back to that single incident.

On one side: Two reform police chiefs trying to make the KPD more professional and modern and diverse.

Opposing them: A cabal of entrenched middle managers clinging to the KPD’s longtime reputation as a gang of thugs in blue with no respect for the rule of law.

On that night of September 16, 1995, Villanueva and his partner, Officer Jensen Okagawa, were on loan to the KPD from the Honolulu Police Department. Kauai is so small it is very hard for local police to operate undercover without being identified.

The pair of HPD vice officers posed as construction contractors who had just finished a job on Kauai and were having a party at a rented condominium.

Outside was the KPD intelligence squad waiting for a signal from Villanueva to raid the condo and arrest Richie and the women. The two undercover officers wore wires and their conversations with Richie and the women were recorded.

Shortly after 8 p.m., Richie arrived at the condo and handed Villanueva a written contract for three women to perform for one hour in return for $750.

The undercover officers paid Richie $750. He departed and soon returned with stereo equipment and three women: Alves, Riaana Hernandez and Fania Hicks. A fourth woman, Tina Silva, assisted Ritchie.

The two undercover officers testified all three of the women danced, originally topless and later naked, around the room and took turns sitting in the laps of and taking tips from the “customers.” Richie collected all the tips from the women.

At one point, Monica Alves, whose role would become much more important later that night, sat naked on Villanueva’s lap.

Then Alves did the same for Okagawa, who testified in Richie’s trial:

“In this—in this, um, point in her routine, uh, she was completely naked and she sat on my lap with her back facing toward me and, uh, she started grinding her vagina on to the crotch of my pants, simulating sexual intercourse and then, uh, she leaned back on my chest and then grabbed both my hands and placed them on her breasts.

“I removed my hands and then she grabbed them again.”

During a break between dance sessions, Villanueva approached Richie.

“I told him that my partner was interested in one of the girls, and I told him – described her, and I said that I think she was introduced as Monique (the name Monica Alves was using that night).

“I told him that – well, he asked what they wanted to do and I asked him if they could disappear for a little while, that he wanted to have sex with her in the bedroom. I turned and looked at my partner and smiled at him.
“Then, he (Richie) turned his back on me and he told me that it’s going to cost me an extra $225.

“Officer Okagawa also told him, yeah, that he was interested in Monique and he wanted to have sex with her.

That’s when he (Richie) told us it would have to be after the performance and it had to be a private showing.”

At the end of the performance, the officers gave the signal and KPD officers entered the condominium and arrested Richie and the four women.

Records seized by KPD showed Richie had conducted 80 similar performances on Kauai.

On Feb. 19, 1996, a jury found Richie guilty of promoting prostitution and racketeering. He was sentenced to five years on the prostitution charge and a concurrent 10 years for racketeering.

On June 25, 1998, the Hawaii Supreme Court ruled Richie could not be convicted of two crimes involving the same act. The racketeering conviction was overturned and his sentence reduced to five years for promoting prostitution.

Chapter 2: KPD’s Finest

Richie and the four women were taken to the main police station in Lihue, a ramshackle and rambling one-story structure wedged between the ancient state courthouse and Wilcox Elementary School.

Both the police station and the courthouse have since been replaced by modern structures but the people working inside – and, more importantly, the cultures -- haven’t changed.

The four women were strip-searched by a woman KPD officer, Darla Abbatiello. Alves later testified that officer Randy Machado said he wanted to conduct the strip search but Abbatiello refused to allow him to do so.

Randy Machado was tried in November 1996, on charges of destroying evidence and sexually molesting Alves. He was the only one of the officers charged with a crime to stand trial.

After she was searched, Alves testified, four of the KPD officers involved in the sting operation took Alves to the watch sergeant’s office.

Also present—and the only one wearing a police uniform although the plain clothes undercover officers were carrying guns and badges, was the watch sergeant—Sgt. Mel Rapozo.

Monica Alves

Before the search, Machado went up to Abbatiello, a fashion model before she became a cop, and asked the of­ficer “regarding her breasts and my breasts and whether my breasts were real and whether her breasts were real,” Alves testified at Machado’s trial.

Alves testified Rapozo did not participate in what happened next, but he was in the office the entire time, smiling and laughing and making comments and doing nothing to stop the other officers.

Alves said Randy Machado closed the office door, which led outside to a parking lot.
The officers first put a KPD uniform hat on Alves’ head, she testified. At this point, she was still handcuffed.

“Randy Machado said he wanted to see my breasts. He unbuttoned it (her dress),” Alves said.

“I was scared to object to anything from that point on. I asked: ‘Are you guys trying to set me up?’” Alves testified.

She said one of the officers took a Polaroid camera and some film out of a locker in the office and began taking pictures.

Alves testified at this time she was still wearing a bra and g-string panties.

“Randy Machado grabbed my breasts and my private area. I told him to stop.

“He said he thought my breasts were beautiful and they were real and told the others to come and check them out,” she told the court.

At that point, she testified, Machado picked Alves up. He sat in a chair and placed Alves on his lap and spread her legs with his legs, fondling her breasts and vaginal area while pictures were taken.

“I went along without screaming or crying out because I was scared,” Alves testified.

“They can do anything they want, anywhere they want because they’re cops,” she testified. “In other words, they could kill me there if they wanted to and they actually thought they could get away with it and that they’d done this before.

“They could maybe say I tried to hurt them and have me hurt. He (Machado) made it very clear to me that – you know what? – He could have people hurt and it’s just as simple as that in his position. That he could have people hurt,” Alves told the court.

Alves said Machado then picked her up again and bent her over the arm of an office chair, pulled her panties to the side and explored her vaginal area.

“He said he thought it was beautiful and invited the others to take a look,” she said.
Then Machado looked closely at her vagina. “He said I still had miles to go.”

Alves testified Machado picked her up again, placed her on the watch sergeant’s desk and removed her handcuffs.

Rapozo, the watch sergeant, watched and did nothing to stop Machado.

“He asked me to do my crawl. He said he had seen it in my show,” Alves said.

She said she couldn’t crawl on the desk but “posed in a crawling position” while the officers took more pictures.

The KPD officers then allowed Alves to dress. When she was clothed, she testified, Machado grabbed her again from behind.

“He started grinding his penis on my buttocks. I felt it,” Alves said. Both she and Machado were wearing clothes at that time.

“He said he didn’t know how he was going to explain to his wife how he came all over himself,” Alves testified.

The KPD released Alves “pending investigation” shortly before dawn.

KPD Sgt. Clinton Bettencourt, who testified Alves sometimes served as an informant for him, gave Alves a ride home to her husband and two children.

The sergeant testified that she told him very briefly about what happened and gave a description of Randy Machado but he didn’t ask Alves any questions.

“She was crying. I didn’t want to push it,” Bettencourt explained to the court.

The sergeant testified he did not ask any questions of other police officers when he returned to the police station and did not report what Alves told him.

Willie Ihu told a similar tale from the witness stand. He saw no evil, but he didn’t look very hard.

Ihu was a sergeant in 1995 and was the second in command of the sting operation that nabbed Monica Alves.

In the trial of Randall Machado, Ihu testified that Machado came to Ihu’s office about 1:30 a.m. and told him, “Willie, you better go look in the back. Some of the girls are running around. Some of them may be naked. Some of the guys are taking their pictures.” He also told Ihu the officers were fondling the women.

Machado did not tell Ihu he was the main culprit. What he was attempting to do, of course, was lay down a smoke screen to cover up what he had done.

Ihu said he went back where the women were being held in a lunch room, saw that all of them were dressed and then went back to his office.

Ihu admitted he didn’t ask any of the women or any of the officers any questions.
Ihu didn’t get involved and wasn’t disciplined.

Machado’s defense attorney, Bill Feldhacker, presented a very different story.

Feldhacker introduced a statement from one of the dancers, Fania Hicks, who said she saw Alves go into the watch sergeant’s office with the officers and she saw Alves removing her own clothes and crawl on the table.

Hicks said it was Alves who closed the door to the office, not any of the officers.
Kelly Lau, a cousin of Alves’s, testified Alves had been with her the afternoon before the sting operation. She said Alves at that time was drunk and under the influence of crystal meth.

At 4 a.m., after Alves had been released, Lau said she received a telephone call from Alves, who said she was home alone and she wanted Lau to come over to her house and party. Lau said she brought four people with her, but none of them testified to substantiate her story.

Lau said that, at Alves’ house, Alves was topless and wearing a G-string and taking drugs. Lau testified Alves told her that she had voluntarily not only put on a police hat but also a police shirt, gun belt and baton and posed for pictures.

“She was bragging about it,” Alau said. “She thought it was a joke.”

In his closing argument, Feldhacker conceded his client Machado had told police internal investigators: “I know it was wrong. I know it was unethical.”

But he said Machado repeatedly denied Alves had been forced to do anything.
And Feldhacker argued Alves wasn’t acting out of fear.

“She wasn’t afraid of police officers,” Feldhacker told the court. “She’s learned long ago how to manipulate them in a sexual way.”

Fifth Circuit Court Judge George Masuoka found Randy Machado guilty of destroying evidence: The photos, which he had run through a shredder in the KPD Records Section.

But the judge tossed out the charges against all the officers that they had molested Alves.

Masuoka called the officers’ actions “wrong, immoral, unethical and, last, but not least, stupid,” but he ruled prosecutors were unable to prove that the officers took sexual liberties with Alves against her will.

Masuoka said Alves’ testimony was inconsistent with statements she had previously made. Lau’s testimony was suspect, Masuoka said. But the question of reasonable doubt remained and that was enough for acquittal on the sexual assault charge.

“Under the circumstances, the state has not met the burden of proving Ms. Alves did not consent. The state has not proven coercion,” the judge said.

The three charges of sexual abuse against Machado fell into a loophole in Hawaii law.

If a state corrections officer had sexually touched an inmate, with our without consent, the crime would be a felony.

But the law did not extend to county police officers and arrested suspects who consent to or who are forced to have sex with the cops who operate the temporary holding cells at the police stations.

The statute since has been amended to include prisoners being held by police officers. But it was not on the books at the time of Alves’s arrest, the judge noted.

“It should not be permitted and it should be a felony, whether with or without consent,” Masuoka said. “This conduct should not be accepted or tolerated in our community.”

And in a not-at-all subtle hint to Police Chief George Freitas to take stern disciplinary action, Masuoka added: “I believe the chief should get the message.”

Chief Freitas did and fired the officers.

But the SHOPO, the State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers, the police union, stood in his way.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1:
The Lap Dancer
Chapter 2
KPD’s Finest
Chapter 3:
Chapter 4
Kauai Style
Chapter 5:
Maryanne Kusaka
Chapter 6
Lisa Fisher
Chapter 7
Elaine Schaefer
Chapter 8:
The Serial Killer
Chapter 9:
Officer Nelson Gabriel
Chapter 10
George Freitas
Chapter 11
A New Mayor
Chapter 12:
Bryan Baptiste
Chapter 13:
Kaipo Asing
Chapter 14
A Stampede to the Courthouse
Part I: Jackie Tokashiki versus KPD
Chapter 15
A Stampede to the Courthouse
Part II: Mark Begley versus KPD
Chapter 16:
A Stampede to the Courthouse
Part III: Alvin Seto versus KPD
Chapter 17
Former Police Chief George Freitas
Chapter 18:
The Short Reign of Acting Chief Willie Ihu
Chapter 19:
A Stampede to the Courthouse
Part IV: Darla Abbatiello versus KPD
Chapter 20:
Hop Sing
Chapter 21
The Ethics Board and Michael Ching
Chapter 22:
Tail Gunner Mel
Chapter 23
KPD Time Bomb
Chapter 24
The Return of K.C. Lum
Chapter 25:
After the Purge is Over
Chapter 26
What Boddah You?
Regarding Sources
About the Author

Table of Contents

Chapter 1:
The Lap Dancer
Chapter 2
KPD’s Finest
Chapter 3:
Chapter 4
Kauai Style
Chapter 5:
Maryanne Kusaka
Chapter 6
Lisa Fisher
Chapter 7
Elaine Schaefer
Chapter 8:
The Serial Killer
Chapter 9:
Officer Nelson Gabriel
Chapter 10
George Freitas
Chapter 11
A New Mayor
Chapter 12:
Bryan Baptiste
Chapter 13:
Kaipo Asing
Chapter 14
A Stampede to the Courthouse
Part I: Jackie Tokashiki versus KPD
Chapter 15
A Stampede to the Courthouse
Part II: Mark Begley versus KPD
Chapter 16:
A Stampede to the Courthouse
Part III: Alvin Seto versus KPD
Chapter 17
Former Police Chief George Freitas
Chapter 18:
The Short Reign of Acting Chief Willie Ihu
Chapter 19:
A Stampede to the Courthouse
Part IV: Darla Abbatiello versus KPD
Chapter 20:
Hop Sing
Chapter 21
The Ethics Board and Michael Ching
Chapter 22:
Tail Gunner Mel
Chapter 23
KPD Time Bomb
Chapter 24
The Return of K.C. Lum
Chapter 25:
After the Purge is Over
Chapter 26
What Boddah You?
Regarding Sources
About the Author

Saturday, August 23, 2008


BYE BYE BLUE, YOU BAD DOG YOU: On September 16, 1995 they held a little party at Kaua`i Police Department (KPD) headquarters that spurred 13 years of headlines and a slew of lawsuits, scandals and racial slurs, resulting in machination that haunt not just the department but all of Kaua`i politics today.

Many have heard all sorts of stories, yarns, rumors and spin as to the “KPD Follies”, then and since. But a new book by retired Kaua`i Bureau Chief for the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, newspaper reporter Anthony Sommer, promises to expose the true story of two police chiefs, two mayors, a handful of police commissioners, more than a dozen plaintiffs, twice as many defendants and a host of other assorted and sordid characters of questionable character.

“KPD Blue” is due out in early September and promises to document the real stories of, not just “The Lap Dancer” incident but the resulting political witch-hunt which cost two police chiefs their jobs and led to the political rise of Councilman, Mayoral candidate and former KPD Sgt. Mel Rapozo.

We’re honored to be able to present excerpts from Sommer’s book subtitled “A Decade Of Racism, Sexism And Political Corruption In (And All Around) The Kauai Police Department”.

Starting tomorrow Parx News Net will debut the first two chapters., “The Lap Dancer” and “KPD’s Finest”, with others to come in the near future.

In tomorrow’s excerpt we first meet “Tail Gunner Mel”, as the title of Chapter 22 refers to him.

Rapozo was not just in the room in uniform the entire time but was “smiling, laughing and making comments and doing nothing to stop” Officer Randy Machado who was busy molesting Monica Alves after she was arrested for prostitution,

Sommer is certainly an authority on corruption in Kaua`i government after covering Kaua`i politics for both The Garden Island and The Honolulu Star-Bulletin newspapers. He returned to Arizona when his reporting led to trumped up terroristic threatening charges from Kaua`i county officials.

That led to his wrongful termination by- and subsequent handsome settlement from- the Star Bulletin.

The charges, which were laughed out of the prosecutor’s office, came when Sommer “threatened” Deputy County Attorney Carmen Wong with publication of another of his news stories exposing county council and other county government malpractice, malfeasance and sleaze.

Wong then claimed she was physically threatened and she and other Kaua`i officials complained to Sommer’s editor Frank Bridgewater causing Sommer’s illegal firing..

While Wong herself has disappeared from the public eye her name has become a verb used to this day to describe the process by which county officials use their position to intimidate whistle-blowers and critics. The ploy is now known among political insiders as being “Carmen Wonged”

Look for the first two chapters of KPD Blue in this space tomorrow more excerpts in the near future at Parx News Net’s ”got windmills?”

Friday, August 22, 2008


OVER THE BOUNDING MANGE: The full court press is on to try to force the Superferry up our a... er, down our throats again and despite widespread opposition they’re not only not giving up but if Kaua`i isn’t adamant they may not take our no for an answer.

Some of the most inane rantings are along the lines of “take a look at how great things have turned out on Maui- they love the Superferry and there are no problems”..

Here’s a typical letter to the editor in the local paper today from one Deborah Kaiu of Pu‘unene, Maui She says

I would like to see the Hawaii Superferry return to Kaua`i for several reasons:

• The cost is lower than the airlines.

• The beauty of the untouched land.

• Not having to rent a car and pay the highway tax, cost of insurance and gas.


Because my car is already insured. I already paid for my tax on my car which includes the use of the highway, and my car will go the weekend with the gas I will Superferry with...

So people, aloha the Superferry. You can do so much with their service, and for those who don’t want it don’t use it. I did though, see many protesters on the Superferry with us, and their opinion changed as 125,000-plus have used it and the numbers will continue to soar even if it doesn’t service Kaua`i.

Aloha the Superferry? Why so you can use our roads without paying taxes to maintain them by filling up before you leave? So you can bring all your “stuff” and leave your garbage for our landfill? Why so you can “touch”- read:, trample and abuse- “the beauty of the untouched land” and not pay for the infrastructure to get you there?

Well maybe we should ask those on Maui who are paying attention, not those who think that the money-losing temporarily cheap fares are reason enough to sacrifice our future and stick our children with the resulting infrastructurally indebted nightmare.

One of those paying attention on Maui is Irene Bowie Executive Director of Maui Tomorrow and if anyone wants to find out what a Kaua`i would look like with a superhighway to Honolulu take a gander at her testimony to the Superferry Oversight Task Force meeting that met in Honolulu, Wednesday.

After reminding them of “the travesty that ACT 2 is” she goes on to detail all of the broken promises of oversight that the law supposedly insured.

Then she shared the real details saying:

Issues such as an undercarriage pressure-wash system, which now seems difficult, would have been required and some type of system would have been created (in enforcement rather than suspension of environmental laws).

Listening to Admiral Fargo state that night vision goggles, radar, and “bow-mounted cameras” are currently in the research and development stage is not acceptable. I stood before this Task Force in February of this year and told you that the technology was not adequate at this time yet HSF continued to state through last year’s whale season that those technologies would ensure safety for humpbacks during evening transits. Now, with two months before the first whales begin arriving in Hawaiian waters, Admiral Fargo says it will take more time… again, this is not acceptable in regards to an endangered and federally protected species. The only mitigation for this issue is reduced speeds, down to 10k, when traveling after dark.

And lastly, to hear DOCARE’s report on inspections and findings, I am discouraged by the number of natural resources being taken from Maui on a regular basis. To have over 400 lbs. of reef fish taken from Maui waters in a one month period is astounding; Maui fishermen are currently working to educate our community on the need to fish for invasive species rather than native species so that our reefs have a chance to become healthy again. Fish such as uhu are important not only for the health of the reef but also in the creation of sand for our disappearing beaches. The people of Maui treasure our cultural and natural resources and greater effort must be made to stop this plunder. Forty nine pounds of opihi in one month and another 75 lbs. the following month; over 250 lbs. of limu in a month; how long will these natural resources remain for our community and what studies have been done to examine this situation?

After ridiculing the customer satisfaction surveys she lists five items that she asks the task force to “consider” – five matters that are an eye-opener when you consider they are what’s not happening now. She asked:

1) We request a report on the total cost to Hawaii taxpayers for:

1) Inspections/costs for Dept. of Ag and DOCARE staffing
DOT lawsuits and appeals

2) Oversight Task Force costs, i.e., inter-island transportation, etc.

3) Preparation for Environmental Impact Statement

4) Barges/tugs to assist HSF

5) Any other costs incurred

We ask that this information be put into a document that is released to the public

2) We would like to know what plan is in place after December 2008 when the Oversight Task Force concludes. What is in place for inspections on the Big Island when service begins in 2009? Will DOCARE and Dept. of Ag be involved? We suggest a user fee be added to HSF ticket price to provide for needed DOCARE and Dept. of Ag staffing.

3) An update on Hawaii Superferry’s incidental take permit process and whale avoidance plan for Winter/08-09. Will the HSF’s “whale season” be abbreviated as it was last year or run concurrent with the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale Sanctuary’s accepted season?

4) We strongly request that DOCARE continue regular inspections at Kahului Harbor until December of 2008 rather than moving to random inspections with HSF staff taking over the process.

5) DOCARE’s regular reports are the only comprehensive assessment of items being transported by this new form of inter-island transportation. We need continued information to make educated decisions on procedures needed, not only for Maui, but also for the Big Island as the 2nd vessel comes on-line in 2009.
We ask for a more fair distribution of the remaining OTF meetings between Oahu and Maui as many members of the Maui community have comments but are unable to attend off-island meetings.

Bowie’s Maui Tomorrow is famous among many on Kaua`i for understating the problems and last year she and Maui Tomorrow were criticized here and on Maui for their style of making overly polite “objections” to the Superferry.

Some say this allowed the legislature to water down the conditions that allowed the Superferry to run in violation of federal NEPA laws if not actually causing an acquiescence to Superferry travel to Maui without an EIS in the first place by discouraging the type of non-violent civil disobedience in which people of Kaua`i engaged.

But she does discuss how even the light-duty restrictions aren’t being followed and makes it clear what just some of the costs to Kaua`i would be- costs ignored by many candidates for Kaua`i County Council if today’s newspaper review of a recent forum are accurate

It’s particularly galling that the pressure is on to allow the big bad boat to serve Kaua`i in light of the fact that the infamously inadequate “conditions” that were supposed to insure compliance with all the things that might have been uncovered, considered and “mitigated” in a legitimate EIS, aren’t even being followed.

With all that who is it that’s actually shocked that it isn’t working on Maui?

This all comes on the heels of a report that the recent Dept. of Transpiration “Risk Assessment” that found multiple areas where the Superferry was in violation of the agreement to the 40 extremely lax and watered down to begin with “conditions” contained in the special session legislative “fix” of “Act 2”

According to a KGMB news report- the only media we can find that even covered the report’s release-

The 200-thousand dollar risk assessment found that out of 40 categories, the Superferry did poorly in three areas.

First, 23-percent of vehicles were not inspected for banned agricultural items. That covers everything from plants and seeds, to rocks and coral.

They also need to improve inspections of car wheel wells. Also, many muddy vehicles were allowed. That D.O.T. says that could be risky because seeds and other things could be in the soil.

Finally, the assessment says the Superferry needs to screen more passengers. It found 17-percent of those without vehicles were not asked if they were carrying prohibited items.

Finally also in the news recently were all the “125,000th passenger” puff- pieces that were plastered all over the corporate media. But Harry Eagar of Maui news was apparently the only one who got the number of voyages right listing them at 486 while the rest accepted the Superferry’s PR number of “over 400”.

This caused someone calling himself MauiJim to do the math and post it in the comments to Eagars’ article, saying

125,000 pax at about $50 a head = $6 mil in revenue. 30k cars at $60 = 1.8 mil revenue. 20% more for commercial is another 1.5 mil. Just over $9 mil total. The ferry burns 1900 gph, 3h per trip, $4 per gallon...that comes to an appalling $20,000 each way in fuel costs!!! Times 486 trips = 10 mil in fuel!!! based on their own numbers they haven't even made fuel costs. The only people benefiting from the superferry are the oil companies!

So next time you hear a candidate who’s a Superferry supporter sing it’s praises you’d better ask them to get out their personal checkbook because if they don’t count on paying for it themselves, we on Kaua`i might have to..

Thursday, August 21, 2008


DID I SAY WOOF?- I MEANT ARF: If yesterday’s “whither the Superferry” so-called poll on the local paper’s web site isn’t the most poorly designed survey ever devised it’s certainly in contention for the title

Laughably asking five non-mutually exclusive options and using wording that seems to have been measuring the pulse of last year they asked.

A year after the the (sic) Hawaii Superferry was turned away from the harbor at Nawiliwili in late-August 2007, I strongly believe:

It should return to Kauai and resume service.

An EIS should be completed before it returns to service on Kauai.

It should never return.

It should return to service on Kauai while an EIS is conducted.

Superferry officials should reach out to the people of Kauai to determine if a return to Kauai will occur

“I strongly believe”? Is that supposed to be a question? Are we talking about UFO’s landing on the Sleeping Giant or Bigfoot living in Kalalau? Might just as well ask if you believe the earth is flat or if global warming is going to kill us all.

Are we being asked if we “believe in” the Superferry? The tooth fairy wants equal time.

But the choices themselves are mind bogglingly inane and biased toward approval- some kind of approval- any kind of approval....pu-leeeeze approve of me..

We get the feeling some sleaze-ball salesman is asking us “Whadda I gotta do to sell you this boat?”

The push-poll shows at best a true misunderstanding of the issues if not malintent on the part of Editor Adam Harju or, more likely, Publisher Mark Lewis.

The first problem is that there are five answers possible and most people would not be satisfied with only one answer.

Pollsters know- and crooked pollsters count on the fact that- when confused by that kind “pick only one” type of question people will choose something in the middle. Give people four ways to give a qualified answer and one to say give an absolute answer, their response is much more likely to be one of the qualified ones.

In this case since there is only one “no” and it’s an “absolutely no, never, nunca, don’t talk tome anymore about it” answer, people are more likely to pick on of the other softer alternatives even if it doesn’t really express their opinion.

And the EIS statements don’t even ask the relevant question- will the EIS be an honest one and even if it is will the mitigations cited actually mitigate anything?.

How about asking “if the Superferry contributes $100 million to improve the infrastructure needed on Kaua`i to support it would you consider allowing it?” Now there’s a question.

But rather they “ask” “An EIS should be completed before it returns to service on Kauai”.

It’s an option that is completely inappropriate. It might have been a question that was valid a year ago but now is really ridiculous since there’s an EIS being done right now. It just gives people another chance to give a qualified “yes”.

Same with “It should return to service on Kauai while an EIS is conducted.” It’s almost done. Again it’s a question that might have been relevant a year ago.

The fact is that the EIS is almost done. At least ask if you trust the current EIS.. If one is following the issues- as you’d presume people at the local newspaper were doing- you’d think they’d be able to ask the right questions about the EIS.

But there will be an EIS done pretty soon so the issue is really idiotic to ask about. All it does is to provide more ways for people to give a qualified yes.

And what is this “resume service” and “return” business?. They actually came once, over a year ago and were kicked out. That may technically qualify as a “resumption of service” but somehow the concept doesn’t quite seem applicable here. Should we invite that guy who broke in to our house last year to return and resume robbing us?

Then there’s the most ridiculous choice of all “Superferry officials should reach out to the people of Kauai to determine if a return to Kauai will occur”.

It presumes that there’s someone to talk to that will somehow “determine” something. Are they searching for someone to join the Lingle’s “Unified command”?...or maybe someone who, when they say “come on in”, will cause us all to head slap ourselves and say “what were we thinking- now that you’re talked to Keone we’re all for it”.

At best any answer like this is useless information . Garbage in garbage out. At worst it gives people a way to say yes while they think they’re saying no.

A real poll would quite obviously have had two choices Do you favor Superferry service to Kaua`i after the EIS- Yes or No.

Only someone with an ulterior motive would run a slap-in-the-face poll like this, “unscientific” as it is.

Let’s get real here- this reeks of some kind of whishy-washy if not duplicitous poll most likely dictated by what the newspaper thinks it needs to do to get more of that Superferry advertising money..

Oh, no one is saying Harju got a call from Fargo or Lehman dangling dollars in exchange for a push-poll like this although a call from someone from Lingle’s United Command might not be too far fetched. But the paper certainly know who’s been buttering the bread of the Honolulu papers and don’t need dance instructions to march to the beat of that drummer.

What’s astonishing is that they think that no one will notice as they try to split the “yes” vote into four categories providing four ways for people to say yes even if they really want to say no.

It’s like asking someone “do you hate broccoli?” and then when the person- who really does hate broccoli- says “well, no, I don’t actually HATE broccoli” the pollster say “oh good- another person who loves broccoli”

And the Superferry people will take it- anything even mimicking a positive direction is good enough for them considering no one wants the boat or the issue over here except the few who will get to stuff even more money in their pockets at our expense... “any port in a storm” so to speak.

Most of the rest of us on Kaua`i “strongly believe” that the Superferry “should return to Kauai and resume service” to Kaua`i as soon as we can ice skate on the plains of Mana.