Monday, December 21, 2009


INDECISIVE DREAMIN’: We’re not skilled in dream interpretation but you don’t have to be to figure out the one we had last night right after watching the administration and their consultants’ presentation to the council on the “proposed” new dump location in the middle of the island’s most productive ag land in Kalaheo.

In it, we were having coffee with Mayor Bernard Carvalho and, as he blathered on about what a great mayor he was and how, as he said in his last campaign, “it’s all about leadership”, we stopped hearing him speak and suddenly focused on his moving mouth.

And slowly beyond the gums, over the teeth and through the tonsils and adenoids there it was- the slowly emerging image of Beth Tokioka spinning a silk purse out of a sows ear.

OK not really... but it coulda happened.

For those who haven’t watched the meeting yet, what stood out was the amazing backtracking and finally actual denial- done through the mouth of County Engineer Donald Fujimoto- that the “Umi” site had actually been “selected” by the mayor.

This bit of convoluted 180 could only have come from Tokioka in a desperate attempt to quell the outrage that’s built since Carvalho put his stamp of approval on his task force’s site selection, even touting how he had “done it” where other mayors had failed.

Now that the shibai has hit the fan everyone is running for cover, including Bernard who apparently just “supported the recommendation of his task force” but wasn’t really “selecting” anything... in fact. all the other potential sites are still in play.

That came after, upon council questioning, the consultant admitted that

1) They didn’t really know what was going to be effected or usurped at each potential site due to existing uses- all they did was check the tax maps and zoning.

2) No one even asked the land owners what the availability of their property was and

3) The fact that coffee was growing on the Kalaheo site was not part of the information considered in the “scoring” of each site in their supposed “double-blind” site selection process, one purportedly used to avoid any “NIMBY”- “not in my backyard”- conclusions.

But that “double blind” methodology was a complete joke according to one of the participants we spoke to who said that the members would have had to be total idiots to not know what they were scoring and in fact all of them scored the site(s) in the areas they represented the lowest.

In addition of course, as we could have predicted, their report began with the “fact” that no matter how much reuse, recycling and “transshipment” we will need a new landfill.

But as usual the “why” was conveniently skipped.

So, to get out the old baseball bat and deceased equine, they now have moved from totally ignoring the option of shipping out all the crap we ship in, to acknowledging the possibility but claiming they’ve invented some new kind of opala that can’t be “transshipped” to one of those readily available mainland dumps that are just begging for our discards.

In doing so they’ve moved from “why” we can’t ship it out- especially now that “cost” is not a good answer since Honolulu is doing it for less than it’s costing us per ton now- to “what” exactly is that substance that can’t be shipped out?

Watching the session one can’t help but do what councilmembers did- see a string of those little dollar signs with wings flying away as they listed all the hidden costs of just siting a new landfill, much less opening, running and closing one.

Yet for all the council’s concerns, none of them questioned the consultant’s brief “because I said so” premise for why we need a new dump at all, essentially saying that even with a good zero waste, Max-3R program the shipment of the last few drops to the mainland is impossible for some unstated reason and we still need to dig a hole somewhere and bury all the crap we bring in.

If you buy that, well, we have a bike path to sell ya.

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