Tuesday, January 14, 2014



(PNN- Jan, 14) An email circulated among the leaders of the chemical "farming" industry in Hawai`i reveals an upcoming letter writing campaign to try to take advantage of a recent pro-industry editorial in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser and a secret meeting between industry honchos and trade groups and the newspaper's editorial board.

The email from Hawaii Cattlemen's Council board member and past secretary Alan Gottlieb was addressed to a long list of industry insiders urging them "to ride on this momentum (of the editorial), fast" by "asking for _*all*_ of our members (Farm Bureau, HCC, Papaya, etc) to write a *150 word positive letter to the editor* *_and_* *send them to the commodity leader ~ Johnny Gordines @ *Kauai Flowers [email address omitted] (_*not*_ to newspaper yet). We will *hold those letters and submit slowly to create a _sustained_ effort. *Make sense?" (all SIC)

This email was then re-distributed to Kaua`i Farm Bureau members by it's head Jerry Ornelles who revealed the meeting with the editorial board.

The list of recipients of Gottlieb's email contained one puzzling name amongst the "usual suspects" like Hawai`i Crop Improvement Association attack dog Alicia Maluafiti, chemical factory farmer and the funder of pro-GMO advertising campaigns, Richard Ha, Hawai`i Farm Bureau President Dean Okomoto who was videoed assaulting a woman in the hall outside a hearing on GMO-labeling at last year's legislature , Ornellas, Kaua`i Farm Bureau Vice President Laurie Ho* and Pro-GMO gadfly Joni Rose.

The odd name is that of Gary Baldwin, presumably the same Gary Baldwin that was the founder and former head of the Kaua`i Economic Development Board (KEDB) who left the island in disgrace after it was revealed that he was was wanted for various bunko crimes in Colorado and Arizona. He fled Kaua`i when the news was revealed and is said to have settled in the Northwest. Baldwin had risen from a nobody to become former Mayor Marianne Kuskaka's golden boy, serving on the planning commission and working closely with the Kaua`i Visitor's Bureau while being groomed for political office.

Chris Manfredi, Jason Moniz, Lorie Farrell, Janet Ashman, Brian Miyamoto, Alex Franco, Chris English, Alan Takemoto, Laurie Ho, Eric Tanouye, Eric Weinert, Ross Sibucao and Michael Madamba round out Gottlieb's list of recipients.

The lobbying effort comes on the heels of a lawsuit filed last Friday by the Kaua`i chemical companies Dow-Syngenta and DuPont-Pioneer to try to stop Kaua`i Ordinance 960 (formerly Bill 2491) which requires disclosure of the specific types, dates and times of the use of restricted use pesticides that are used on GMOs and sets up buffer zones around things like schools, hospitals and waterways. It also institutes a study group to look at the effects of the open air experimentation of pesticides and GMOs.

The letter writing campaign will apparently be timed for publication throughout the upcoming legislative session where a handful of legislators- those who head the list of chemical company campaign cash recipients- are reportedly planning on introducing legislation to try to "pre-empt" Kaua`i Ordinance 960 along with a measure passed on Hawai`i Island that bans outdoor experimentation on foods using genetically modified organisms (GMOs), with some exceptions for those already in production like papaya.

Maui has introduced a measure similar to the one that passed on Kaua`i.

Correction: Laurie Ho is the Vice President of the Kaua`i Farm Bureau. She does not work for the state. The above post has been corrected.

Thursday, January 2, 2014


We don't suffer fools gladly as many of you have gleaned And it's no different with the KIUC smart-meter cost-sharing ballot being foisted on members/customers by those who have chosen not to participate in the 21st century non-carbon energy revolution.

Despite what you've heard from some people there's one and only one issue here- who should to pay for the cost of some people "opting out" of the switch to the new meters.

The issue isn't whether they are safe (they are) or whether KIUC is or has ever been a real co-op (it isn't and hasn't) or even whether these is a cost involved in keeping the old meters (there is) or anything else about smart meters themselves. If those who petitioned wanted to do "undo" the boards decision to switch to smart meters, they should have done so- and they didn't.

But now they want us to pay for their choice to "opt out."

If you want the pertinent facts (something those who are critical thinkers and readers will notice is sorely lacking in the much of the writings of the petitioners) about the cost of having kept your "dumb meter" (if you will) and the savings and benefits of having smart meters read the Public Utilities Commission's (PUC) ruling, not from KIUC but courtesy of former long-time North Shore State Representative Mina Morita, the current Chair of the PUC. It examines all the elements that go into the cost of "opting out" of smart meters, giving straight answer to all the conspiracy theories and "what if" conjecture and outright misinformation spread by the anti-smart meter crowd.

The fact is that there is a cost and the people who don't want smart meters want you to pay for their choice. That and that only is what the ballot question is about.

It's like if you have lunch with a bunch of people and everyone orders the chicken. But one person decides that not only does he want the lobster but he wants everyone else to chip in and pay for it. No one is stopping him from having his choice of entree but neither should other have to pay for it. We're as much of a Marxist as the next commie but that's a much larger societal issue that transcends the matter at hand.

If you want others to pay for your lobster, ask us. But don't try to tell us that it's only "fair" that we should pay for it.

It makes no difference whether you like or don't like KIUC or whether you think it's a real co-op or think it's an investor-owned utility in co-op's clothing. If you want to change things at KIUC wake up and join the "nitpickers" who fought the inflated purchase price (not to mention responsibility for the toxic waste dump under the `Ele`ele power plant and have been battling for reform for 15 years. You can read probably at least 50,000 words on the subject of "What's wrong with KIUC this week."

All the crap KIUC has done doesn't matter here. What matters is the issue on the ballot. Don't let a bunch of science-challenged conspiracy theorists make you pay for their tin-foil hats (sorry- couldn’t resist). Vote "yes."