Elected AG, Messy Yards, GMOS

Japanese landowner Genshiro Kawamoto | Cindy Ellen Russell/Star- Advertiser photo from Bob Jones

I hope those state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands bad lease policies exposed by the Star-Advertiser and those airport procurement irregularities uncovered by the state auditor will rouse Hawaii’s citizenry to support an elected state attorney general.

Elected ones (in 43 states) usually are ambitious to become governor, so are very quick to investigate misfeasance, especially if the governor prefers hands off. Appointed ones (ours and six others) are unlikely to investigate or embarrass their bosses. Watch if our AG David Louie jumps into this one or says, “I see no evil, hear no evil.”

It’s easy to pass laws. It’s hard to enforce them, even best-of-intentions laws.

My guess is that the city’s “messy yard” and no-beach-smoking laws will fall into an enforcement black hole, and the state ban on smoking in public housing will be the daily laugh at the Honolulu Police Department.

Think about it.

Act 3 is titled: Relating to the Disposal of Weeds, Garbage, Trash and Waste from Property. Up to $5,000 in fines per day. Good intent. But who’s going to be the “decider”? Some city inspector? You know judges will toss that kind of ambiguous measurement out of court.

We know (wink, wink) this law is to nail Japanese landowner Genshiro Kawamoto, who let his properties go to hell and erected ugly cement statues on his Kahala lots. But last time I checked, bad taste was not a crime.

Beach smoking enforcement will be like beach drinking and dog-on-leash enforcement. Police have better things to do than walk the beaches in flipflops. Ever noticed all the unleashed dogs ignored at Kaimana Beach? If we’re going to regulate beach behavior, I’d wish for a way to arrest people who feed the pigeons (aka flying rats) potato chips and bread.

Smoking in your Kuhio Park Terrace condo? Five-O breaks down your door, Steve yells “clear” and Danno slaps on the plastic cuffs. OK, so maybe a neighbor complains. You get a knock on the door, you stub out the cig. Bad smell? Probably drifting in from another unit.

How many yard inspectors and no-beach-smoking police can the city spare to sit and wait to be called in District Court? Any offender who’s ever watched a TV show will plead not guilty and figure the prosecution witness to do an absentee act.

News from the GMO front: Farmers were worried cold, wet weather in the MidWest that delayed corn planting might hurt yield. But commodities company M6 Capital Management says not to worry. “Today’s genetically modified corn seed has changed the dynamics of the corn plant so dramatically that late planting has little correlation to final yield anymore.”

Spouse Denby and I will be interviewed May 28 at 7:30 p.m. on Leslie Wilcox’s Long Story Short on PBS Hawaii. Hope you’ll tune in.