Saturday, July 4, 2015

Sugar and smoke

On Sunday, I blogged about the cane smoke meeting ("Maui Snow job," June 28). One thing that was said there that I didn't mention was a claim that Stop Cane Burning had no intention of shutting down HC&S. But on Wenesday the same group filed suit in 2nd Circuit Environmental Court to shut down the air quality permit system that allows the plantation to burn under restricted conditions.

Which would shut down the plantation.

Lance Collins, the plaintiffs' attorney, told Lee Imada of The Maui News that the suit had been in preparation for a month.

So somebody was lying. Not necessarily Collins, who was not the representative of Stop Cane Burning who made the statement about not intending to shut down HC&S, although he did speak at the meeting without mentioning that he was within less than a week of filing a suit to do just that.

Also not speaking that night was Karen Chun, founder of Stop Cane Burning. She is a named individual plaintiff in the suit, so we can guess she knew on that Thursday that the suit was in the mill.

Let me tell you something about Chun. A few weeks ago, she was running a campaign in favor of shutting down payday lenders on Facebook (and perhaps elsewhere, but that is where I was shown her campaign). Among her claims there was that I had written Rep. Justin Woodson's letter explaining his actions at the Legislature concerning that legislation, a letter published in The Maui News.

She did not ask me whether I wrote it. I don't suppose she asked Woodson, either, since he would have told her I didn't write it. 

A few days later, a mutual friend of mine and Chun's was quizzing me about how payday lending works, and I mentioned that Chun was spreading a lie about me on that topic. She asked if I had contacted Chun.

No, I said, she cannot hurt me and I am used to her trying to harm me. That I considered Chun beneath the consideration of decent people and cared nothing about her, although it angered me that she was also speading tales about other people who might possibly be harmed by her.

My friend asked if I would answer a question from Chun about the letter. Yes, I said. If she wants to know the fact rather than make crap up, I am in the phone book.

 She asked if I would mind if she told Chun I didn't write the letter and would tell her so if she asked me.

I said I didn't care one way or the other. A few days later, she told me she had told Chun I hadn't written the letter and would tell her so if she asked me..

Chun has not called yet. I suspect she is the anonymous author of a new allegation, now in regard to smoke, that I am working in PR for A&B and other developers. It sure sounds like her, and I have learned to recognize her style over the years. (I am not working for any developers and never have.)

If she wants to know whether I am working for A&B, she could ask A&B, or call me. I'm in the book.

Do I care? No, not for myself. But I think people inclined to answer Stop Cane Burning's calls for money or to support its campaign should know about the character of its leader.   

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