The Divide

Country and city have always been different world, as long as cities have existed. The language each uses to describe the other captures this… Hillbilly, city-slicker, redneck, yuppie, hick, the tradition of mutual derision is as old as history.

Windmills and silos in Wasco County, along state route 206
Windmills and silos in Wasco County, along state route 206
This weekend I was borrowing a pickup truck to run yard waste to the county facility. When I started it up a rather annoying radio station began to play. Looking for an alternative I clicked through the presets on the stereo… Country? I can do country.

With a bed full of oleander branches piled higher than the cab and the tarp flapping I was off, with some very country, country music playing. There would be a few loads this Saturday before the county closed the scales at four.

One thing about country music, it is very reliable. Heavy on the guitar, simple melodic lines perfect for driving. The themes are often heavily based on nostalgia and a simple world of country values. The station is one I seldom listen to, KKOA out of Hilo, carrying the programming from ABC Radio’s “Today’s Best Country” satellite feed.

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The TMT Contested Case Winds Down

We are now in March, looking back to October when the TMT contested case began. Five months of hearings endlessly repeating the same details about every aspect of the case.

Yes… My patience has run out long ago.

Retired Judge Riki May Amano
Retired Judge Riki May Amano presides over the TMT contested case hearing
After all that has been said and done it is clear that the actual substance of the case could have been thoroughly discussed in a couple weeks, not five months.

Among the endless hours of testimony there have been occasional moments of fireworks. We have heard wild theories, mangled science, inexcusable ignorance, evidence of unemployment claims fraud, and several very likely incidents of outright perjury by telescope opponents.

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Some Political Observations

Linda Lingle
Former governor and current US Senate candidate Linda Lingle address a crowd at the 2012 Waimea Candidate Forum
I attended the Waimea Candidate Forum yesterday, listening to candidates for local and national offices. A good event, getting to meet and hear what they had to say.

Present were US senate candidate Linda Lingle, state senate candidates Robert Greenwell and Malama Solomon, mayoral candidates Billy Kenoi and Harry Kim, as well as county council candidates Sonny Shimaoka and Margaret Wille.

I did put together a fairly lengthy writeup, but it does not really fit here on Darker View. You can find it posted over at Big Island Chronicle.