Barking dogs and Ross Kagawa

SUBHEAD: There are two important measures on the Kauai County Council agenda this Wednesday.

By Andy Parx on 2 August 2015 for Parx News Daily -

Image above: Incessantly barking dogs can be trained. From (

Testify against - 

Repeal of Incessant Barking Dog Law
Repeal of Kauai Term Limits for Councilmembers
(IB Publisher's comment: the two might be pretty much the same)

Before Wednesday August 5th at 9:00am

email before meeting
or attend Council Meeting and testify
at Historic County Building in Lihue

There are two important measures on the Kauai County Council agenda this Wednesday. One bill, up for final approval, would repeal in its entirety the "incessantly barking dogs" ordinance passed last year after decades of debate. Even though every councilmember agreed that what if anything it really needs is amending, it appears fated for repeal.

The other is a resolution, up for a final vote, that would ask voters if they want to repeal the Kauai County Charter provision for term limits for councilmembers, which passed in a landslide in 2006.

Both are the brain-children of Councilmember Ross Kagawa and during the hours of council and public debate he dominated the discussions of incessant barks, making viewing as painful as any incising bites.

The law is apparently working well despite what can only be described as Ross' always torturous and sometimes tortuous attempts to misrepresent both the facts and the underlying issue.

According to testimony, including that of the Kauai Police Department (KPD), the Prosecuting Attorney (PA) and the Kaua`i Humane Society (KHS)- the latter of which handles the complaints- of 76 original cases filed with KHS since the law was passed last year all but eight have been resolved. almost all by getting dog owners to stop the barking. They all agreed that this has been because the law established "consequences" if owners of incessantly barking dogs do not make use of educational materials provided by the KHS.

None of the cases were linked to any abuse of the dogs, according to KHS.

Although Kagawa repeatedly tried to establish that "100%" of the cases that were adjudicated were found "not guilty." first off that number was exactly TWO- count 'em- TWO. Secondly Kagawa was adamant about not including a third dog-owner that plead "no contest," a plea that is "treated the same as guilty in the eyes of the law."

Five cases are still in the prosecutor's office awaiting processing.

When Councilmembers JoAnn Yukimura and Gary Hooser brought this third case to his attention, Kagawa, at times doing his best Steve McGarrett cum Colombo impression, at other times apparently portraying some sort of comical, tongue-tied, Bizarro-World Perry Mason, resorted to attempting to divine a reason for that no contest plea.

He then simply discarded the case because no one could say exactly why the dog-owner had plead guilty (including the Prosecuting Attorney himself - which Kagawa decided was occasion to verbally "spike the ball"), apparently rejecting the theory that it was because he actually might have been guilty.

Hooser said his operating theory of lawmaking, based on almost two decades as a legislator, including a stint as state Senate Majority Leader, is that the intent of passing a law is not to fine or even jail people. Rather, it's to discourage people from certain behaviors, likening it to establishing a speed limit to slow people down, not as a cash cow.

From the testimony, apparently Ross and the three other members of Council Chair Mel Rapozo's "Tea Party" faction either don't get that or are simply playing politics because they all voted for repeal when the bill passed out of committee almost two weeks ago.

Wednesday's council meeting beings at 8:45 a.m. and will be live-streamed on-line. Bills and Resolutions are generally taken up toward the end of meetings although there is no guarantee that that will be the case.

Hooser has posted a message on Facebook saying:
"I encourage Kauai residents to let all Councilmembers know how you feel about these two issues - repealing the barking dog ordinance and repealing term limits. PLEASE SEND IN YOUR TESTIMONY TODAY TO, before Wednesday August 5, especially on the proposed repeal of Kauai's barking dog ordinance which is scheduled for a final vote that day.

I share the concerns expressed by The Garden Island Newspaper and will be voting against both proposals. Both proposals have been introduced by Councilmember Kagawa and I respect his right to promote his values but disagree strongly with him on the these two issues."


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