Saturday, December 05, 2009


Vermin gone viral

by Larry Geller

It’s hard to believe, but overnight the Chinatown rat video racked up thousands of views and now approaches 17,000. CNN asked for a copy but hasn’t used it yet.

KHON in particular has done a fine job of following this story. Their coverage will help raise awareness among vendors as well as consumers.

Now remember, that video was made possible because the Department of Health is unable to monitor the spread of these creatures or control them.

It will get worse, unless Governor Lingle backs off on decimating the Vector Control branch of the Department of Health. Actually, she should be increasing the staff substantially over what she had. Inspections were once in two years or so (really, no inspections at all), and will now go to one every three or 3 1/2 years, according to news reports.

Lingle is ideologically opposed to raising taxes. The result is deterioration of the safety net and an increase in disease and suffering. A decrease in food safety is a predictable consequence of her refusal to seek relief. The Legislature would need to overcome its fear of increasing taxes in an election year as well.

Despite budget problems, there is no substitute for rigorous inspections to protect Hawaii’s food supply. So far, the rats are winning (that’s a non-partisan statement).


getting government out of the business of education, health, welfare and safety... i never realized how good life was at the turn of the century, that is the 20th century....

Thanks for taking the time to film and post this! The root cause is not the lack of inspectors, it's the filthy, cluttered conditions of the market. The inspector should have mandated the owner clean the premises and get a comprehensive pest control plan in place. A clean, pest-free restaurant or market requires the proprietor to spend money on daily cleaning and maintenance.

Not only LL is ideologically against raising taxes. It is a myth amongst the republicans period. Look how Reagan started this "small government" mess, we are now reaping what has been sown for a long time. First they shut down social services to the weak and mentally challenged, that increased homelessness, then they started chipping away at education, while steadily increasing arms spending, and health and public safety as well as environmental pollutants and consumer or citizen protection, none whatsoever. Not with a republican at the helm. Look how Bush reversed some serious environmental laws that were in place, or the mountain shaving in the Appalachians. The media is complicit in all of this, because as schools eliminated critical thinking skills, the media is no longer uncovering real stories, they are feeding us Tiger Woods and his sex life as evening news. How many people will actually stand up and speak up for more inspections? Come election time, let's see what all this has taught us.

As I recall, even Reagan had a mix of cutting services and raising taxes.

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