Tag Archives: Dogs

Dogs of April: Part 2

Alvie & PoAlvie and Po used to live next door to us, but now are several blocks away. We sometimes go weeks without seeing them, but managed to connect a couple of times in the last week or so.

Alvie is a Shih Tzu with papers. Po is, well, Po. Both are extremely cute.

And they are here to introduce Part 2 of the April Dogs photo gallery, as promised.

–> Click here to see the rest of the dogs of April.

Dog season in Kaaawa (photos)

Ms. IpoThis is Ms. Ipo, happily fetching a tennis ball found along the beach. She would probably do this for hours, although I have to cut it off after just a few minutes. Ipo and her “sister,” Ms. Emma, are usually our first dogs of the morning.

We’re now entering dog season. Here’s how it works. For at least a third of the year, it’s too dark when we’re out in the morning to get pictures of our canine friends around the neighborhood. If we’re a bit a little late on a given day, maybe. But during the winter, my photos are mainly of the colors of dawn. But everything is starting to change with the season. As the sun comes up earlier every day, the dogs are coming into focus.

There’s a bunch of dogs in today’s Morning Dogs gallery.

–> Click here to see all of today’s Kaaawa dogs.

Presidents’ Day Dogs

Kaaawa caninesTime for the dogs!

And what a pack of dogs we had today on our early walk down to the beach and back.

Buddy and Scarlet, who welcome you to today’s Kaaawa canine photos, live just a block or so from our house, and we see them every morning as we’re on the way home. They are so cute! Buddy twirls in excitement, Scarlet just wants to snuggle. Both are very happy to get treats.

But they are going to be sad to learn that the Yummy Chummies are dead. These are little nuggets made from salmon. They smell and most dogs love them. A friend gave us a big bag, but we were so stingy in offering them up that the last 20% or so has turned into a powdery mess in the bottom of the bag and are going to get thrown away. Too bad! Scarlet and Buddy just LOVE these little things.

–> See all of today’s Kaaawa Morning Dogs!

Wednesday…More back and forth on campaign bills, and greet more Kaaawa morning dogs

Campaign spending issues have drawn lots of interest.

Thanks to Bartman for his comment here yesterday. In case you missed it, he wrote:

You made a significant error in your discussion of the Big Island public funding bill. You wrote:

“But the commission points to a U.S. Supreme Court decision last year that found this kind of equalizing provision to be unconstitutional.”

This is not correct. It was a Federal court in Arizona which made the ruling. As Della Bellatti pointed out at the hearing, three other federal courts have found the equalizing funds mechanism to be constitutional. Neither the Ninth Circuit nor SCOTUS has weighed in yet.

While I usually agree with him, in this case I’ll take issue to some extent.

While the commission testimony did point to the Arizona case, it made clear that the underlying issue was the Supreme Court’s decision in Davis v FEC. Commission testimony is available online, and attaches the Arizona case being cited.

And that Arizona decision notes the Supreme Court cited a Minnesota case finding equalizing unconstitutional “approvingly while ignoring the conflicting opinions entirely.”

This means (to me, at least) that it would mischaracterize the current legal landscape to say simply that there are 3 courts approving of equalizing while just one court is disapproving, as Bartman seems to be saying.

Senator Les Ihara also responded in an email regarding HB 539 and corporate contributions.

It’s no mystery why good government groups want to keep corporations out of elections. The reasons have been stated in a recent US Supreme Court opinion (Federal Election Commission v. Beaumont), and are paraphrased below. The federal law prohibiting corporate contributions to candidates, directly or through a political action committee, is a constitutional law that seeks to:

• counter the appearance and reality of corruption;

• prevent corporate capital from unduly influencing politics and misusing corporate advantages;

• forestall a threat to political integrity from corporate contributions;

• prevent unfair corporate advantage in the political marketplace, such as incurring political debts from legislators;

• limit the use of corporations as conduits for circumventing contribution limits; and

• protect individual corporate funders from having their money used to support political candidates they oppose.

The supreme court also said the federal ban is not unfair to corporations, because individual members of corporations are still free to make their own contributions to candidates and to their company’s PAC (plus corporate PAC may receive donations from their officers, employees, and anyone else).

If passed in its current form, HB 539 would preempt an expected Hawaii Supreme Court opinion by clarifying a law the legislative believes is an ambiguous. However, good government activists believe the clarification should be made in favor of citizens, not corporations – by prohibiting corporate campaign contributions. The advocates believe corporations already have too much power, and wonder why they should be allowed even more influence.


I don’t disagree with Ihara’s general viewpoint. I do disagree with his assessment that HB 539 would give corporations “even more influence.”

As I’ve argued earlier, the bill establishes a corporate spending limit of $25,000. Without the bill, they are currently allowed unlimited spending from corporate treasuries. In reality, HB 539 is a step towards the future he and advocates say they want. It doesn’t get us the whole way.

The question becomes: Do you reject a big move in the right direction because it doesn’t get you across the goal line? In my view, you keep the ball moving towards your goal and pick up political allies along the way. Others, apparently, disagree. It’s a matter of political judgement.

Anyway, testimony presented on HB 539 is now available.


Saturday…more on Akaku and its critics, and more morning dogs

After yesterday’s post, I realized that a bit more background is in order to convey the flavor of the latest faceoff between Akaku and the group calling itself Maui Media Lab, and why it sets off some internal alarms.

I wrote a story back in 2003 that included this section describing an interaction between then-Akaku director Sean McLaughlin and Maui developer Everett Dowling, although Dowling’s name wasn’t reported at the time.

Sean McLaughlin on Maui tells a tale of arranging a lunch meeting with an island business leader who he hoped would help underwrite Akakü’s broadcast of a series of candidate forums during last year’s election campaign.

Before McLaughlin could make his pitch, the developer interrupted.

“He says, ‘Before we get started, let me just tell you I hate Akakü,’” McLaughlin recalled. “‘You guys use public funds to give a voice to people who misrepresent my projects. If I could, I would shut you down, I would put you out of business because you are giving a voice to irresponsible people.’”

McLaughlin said he offered a standard response — that the answer to irresponsible speech is even more responsible speech rather than censorship.

But the businessman responded: “Sean, I can buy that [favorable programming]. I don’t need you for that. I need you to not let those people on your station.”

Akakü did not give in, and it isn’t clear from McLaughlin’s telling whether his developer friend ever seriously pushed his attempt to silence critics. But it’s a clear warning of the pressures facing access providers.

Dowling later acknowledged the conversation. And he did get serious two years later, personally lobbying hard for legislation to slash Akaku’s budget. See this Maui News story, or Google “akaku” and “dowling” and browse the results.

That history became more relevant when I sat down and did the first round of basic checks on Maui Media Labs, the outfit that has suddenly challenged Akaku this year.

According to state business registration records, the officers of Maui Media Lab Foundation are part of Maui’s development community. President Duffy Herman and treasurer Tricia Morris are a husband and wife team that own Herman-Morris Enterprises Inc, and its business purpose is described as “MORTGAGE BROKER AND INTERNATIONAL TRADE & REAL ESTATE DEVELOPMENT”. They operate as Premier Mortgage Company.

Media Labs vice-president Dan Goodfellow is an officer of several related construction companies operating under the Goodfellow Brothers name on the West Coast and in Hawaii. Goodfellow’s construction firm has done the site work for Ev Dowling’s Maui developments, among other things.

The technical work is done by the related Maui Media Lab LLC, in which Herman and Sam Epstein are listed as managers.

According to a Maui News story earlier this year:

Most of the programming is supported by businesses who pay for commercial airtime and organizations that provide content to fill their dedicated IPTV channels. But Pulelehua Maui Community Television is entirely free and accessible to everyone who wants to see their content broadcast.

Does this reflect Dowling’s attitude, expressed in the earlier quote as sort of a threat, that the business community can simply buy favorable programming and doesn’t need (and perhaps doesn’t want?) Akaku to get that done?

The backgrounds of the principal players obviously don’t tell the whole story, but they do show clear connections between this latest challenge to Akaku and that small community of developers on Maui, at least some of whom have been keenly unhappy with the open forum that Akaku both provides and encourages.

It’s a context and background the encourages further reporting to get to the real issues.

odd couple

With that said and out of the way for now, things can go to the dogs. Well, in ths particular case, a dog and cat duo. An odd couple, Rhya the Rottweiler and Nemo the cat. A most mellow cat who strolls easily through the dog territory. There are other dogs in today’s offering, so just click on this pair for more.