Ugly show at the Cow Palace

SUBHEAD: What did we learn from Hawaii Dairy Farm open house? How guile, disinformation, issue avoidance works.

By Diane de Vries on 27 February 2015 in TGI -

Image above: A herd of cattle pause in the Cow Palace parking lot after their arrival for the 63rd annual Grand National Rodeo, Horse & Stock Show in Daly City, California on Thursday, April 3, 2008. From (

[IB Publisher's note: Been through this on many occasions when the development speculators bring in their consultants to do a smoke-and-mirror show for the "public".  It's all public relations and eye-wash. They are merely there to grease the skids on the next big ugly thing coming our way. This is another mess to blame on Pierre Omidyer.]

I don’t know about the rest of you but Thursday night’s dairy farm meeting at Koloa School cafeteria left me angry, disappointed and completely frustrated.

I went with the hope that some of my concerns would be answered or that I would feel reassured the dairy personnel or their contractor, Group 70 International, had things under control and knew what they were doing. Instead, we received no new information but were asked to break into groups and walk to tables set up around the periphery of the room where we could have our questions “addressed.”

Were they addressed? Not at all. Instead, Group 70 personnel stood with sharpie pens in hand, next to large white note pads and wrote down the questions people were asking. There were no answers at all. In fact, the engineer supposedly responsible for the dairy’s Waste Management Plan (WMP), was not even able to say how many cows would be grazing per paddock. How could he have been the person who “designed the WMP” as the head of Group 70 told the audience?

A copy of the dairy’s current WMP is on That plan specifies the number of acres in each paddock, the herd size and the plan’s design to rotate 105-115 cows per paddock. When asked the question about how many cows HDF plans to graze per acre, the engineer told all who were clustered around that he would have to “look into that.” And so it went.

The only thing that happened was that people with black sharpies wrote down questions to be addressed, hopefully, in the draft Environmental Impact Statement at some future unspecified date.

So no one heard any confirmation of the total cow waste to be produced, how the surrounding streams and nearby ocean are to be protected from contamination by runoff with irrigation or rains or storms, and we heard nothing about how this farm meets any sustainable criteria when the dairy plans to import grain and export the milk to be processed elsewhere by another company before it is fit for consumption by the public somewhere.

The most unsettling aspect of this meeting was the fact that the Group 70 International architects and engineers seemed to be unaware of the concerns people were voicing as they made remarks like, “Oh, you’re concerned about contamination of the drinking water in the Koloa Wells, we’ll write that down.”

As I traveled from station to station watching the faces of so many concerned members of our community I found myself wondering, “Is their ignorance feigned or real?” Neither was comforting.
So folks, I don’t know about everyone else but the reactions I saw and experienced myself, I’d say the night was a complete bust! I invite others to do the same. We need our editor and the public to know.

[IB Publisher's note: Below are three recent letter in the Garden Island on the issue of the HDF Cow Palace.]

Dairy a Risky Proposition

As a frequent visitor to Kauai and the Koloa/Poipu area, we urge the citizens of this beautiful island to really ask the tough questions. We are former natives of Wisconsin, our families have roots there and some are still involved in the dairy business.

We have witnessed firsthand the inception of these huge, futuristic “modern-agriculture” practices to rural communities. This is not advanced thinking, as Susan Fukumoto so aptly stated at the Koloa meeting last Thursday evening.

First, there are thousands and thousands of gallons of waste that has to be dealt with on a daily basis! Where will it go? Will it be spread over unoccupied land in the guise of “fertilizer?” In your back yard? Shipped as sea cargo for the ocean?

Second is the smell. Trust us — our parents still live in their 145-year-old farmhouse and it’s unbearable when the wind shifts to the northeast. Instead of a valuable property that could be sold at a comfortable profit in their golden years, now it doesn’t have a prayer on the real estate market.

These are only two of many, many issues. Kauai would be the loser in this proposal.

Ken and Laurie Hartwig
Mayville, Wisconsin
1 March 2015

Perhaps a Dairy is Not End Goal
Thirty years ago our family was invited to a tour of the Koloa Mill by the manager John Hoxey. We met John at the mill offices. On the wall was a map of the entire area. The map showed all the area under cultivation for sugar from Koloa to Mahaulepu and the amount of rain that each section had annually.

What was really interesting was all the roads that were on the map. Mr. Hoxey explained that it was Grove Farm’s 50-year plan for development of Mahaulepu. The map was about 10 to 15 years old at that

Now why would a man (Pierre Omidyar), who is a developer of high-end resorts, Hanalai Plantation Resort, want a dairy? Is the long-term goal really a dairy?

Kathie Bedwell
Koloa, Kauai
28 February 2015

Dairy Farm History Raises Questions Regarding HDF

Does HDF want to consider relocating their eventual 2,000 dairy cow herd now, before having to move it later? The history of milking cow dairies on Kauai is one of relocating here and there until they all moved off the island of Kauai.

In 1905, Mr. HP Faye started the Waimea Dairy as a part of his Waimea Sugar Mill Co. His in-laws had a dairy in Moloa’a prior to his marriage. He suggested to the Lindsay family they relocate their dairy to Waimea, which they did. Over many years, Waimea Dairy flourished through the late 1960s when the milk was delivered by milkmen as far as Hanalei. The dairy herd was about 278 milking cows.

As a young teenager, through high school, I worked many dairy hours. We mulched sugar cane tops and mixed this with pineapple bran skins that were dried. We even picked keawe-tree beans as school kids during World War II for 10 cents a burlap bag! There was no “milk-flo” feed coming during the war. Keawe-tree beans kept cows cleaner, along with sugar-cane tops and pineapple bran.

Waimea Dairy was always very careful about cleanliness of the cows, pastures and pasteurizing plant. Near the end of 1969, the Faye family faced a required major expense to update the pasteurizing plant. The decision was made to accept an offer from MeadowGold Milk Co. of Honolulu. They would buy the herd, take over operations, and lease the facilities.

All went well until MeadowGold stopped control of nauseous odor and biting flies. Waimea Sugar Mill Co. closed operations and Kikiaola Land Co. then owned the Waimea Dairy facility. After Hurricane Iniki, Kikiaola converted the many sugar plantation homes into the Waimea Plantation Cottages. Now came the problem of dairy causing a problem with guests at the Waimea Plantation Cottages; a resort. Kind of like HDF being near the Hyatt Resort, hey?

As a result, Kikiaola evicted MeadowGold, who then moved their dairy to Moloaa; not to process milk, but to produce milk from the cow herd and send to Honolulu for processing and selling. It was not very long that the local residents of Moloaa managed to evict MeadowGold, claiming bad odors and dirty runoff that polluted Moloaa Bay.

This begs the question: Why not relocate the HDF now? There are many parcels that should not result in eventual eviction. Example: Kahili Mountain area. This location is away from residential complainers and business ventures. The special New Zealand grass will flourish there. The higher the elevation, the better the growth. The soil is more porous and less likely to generate major runoffs.

Surely, Mr. Case and his 16,000 acres of former Grove Farm lands can find a more suitable location that is still “ag” than historical Mahaulepu. I rest my case.

Alan Faye
Princeville, Kauai
26 February 2015

See also:

Ea O Ka Aina: Another Pierre Omidyer Screwup 2/24/15 
Ken Silverstein resigns from Omidyer's First Look Media, slams company's 'Incompetence'.

Ea O Ka Aina: Hawaii Dairy Farm Factsheet 10/11/14
HDF's sole owner is Pierre Omidyar, through his venture capital company Ulu'pono Initiative.

Ea O Ka Aina: The Hail Mary Pass 8/27/14
Pierre Omidyar, the founder of Ebay who has his telescopic sights set on Kauai.

Ea O Ka Aina: Omidyar - NSA - Snowden 12/17/13
Pierre Omidyar's PayPal corporation said to be implicated in withheld NSA documents.

Ea O Ka Aina: Beach Blockage Push Back 6/8/12
Montage Resorts, an ultra luxury hotel developer owned by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar.

Ea O Ka Aina: Preserving What's Left 1/15/12
Billioniare Pierre Omidyar  to develop an uberluxe sites along the the Hanalei River ridge.

Ea O Ka Aina: Hawaii's Farm Future 9/27/10
Speakers such as Kyle Datta, a founding partner with Pierre and Pam Omidyar's Ulupono Initiative


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