Wednesday, June 08, 2011


The world according to Jay Fidell

By Henry Curtis

Jay Fidell is a tax attorney who organized a group of tech evangelists dedicated to the promotion of tech, science and globalism. He first came to Hawai`i as a Coast Guard lawyer and a Judge Advocate General. Jay Fidell  founded ThinkTech Hawai‘i in 2000, produced ThinkTech for Hawaii Public Radio (2000-08) and then becaue a producer for `Olelo and writing for the Honolulu Advertiser.

Jay Fidell was appointed by Gov. Lingle to serve on the Board of Directors of the High Technology Development Corporation (2003-07). According to Follow the Money, he has made only one political donation, that of $200 to Linda Lingle in 2004.

On Development (August 14, 2005): “A 45-acre subdivision application has been filed by landowner Laumaka, LLC …Henry Eng, the director of the city Department of Planning and Permitting … said that this application would be treated on a "ministerial" basis, imparting that he might very well approve what could be a sprawling subdivision on the mountainside, even while completely ignoring the problems we reported to him …

Why would the city consider accommodating the developer-builder involved, when it has done nothing to accommodate the residents affected? That is putting the cart before the horse. [] The neighborhood is not so much proud these days as it is concerned and angry. Some 300 protest signs have sprung up on front lawns throughout the neighborhood. Protest petitions signed by more than 1,000 people have been submitted to Eng. Dozens and dozens of letters of concern have been sent to his office. But none of this has yielded any meaningful response or action. Is anyone listening?”

On Development (April 16, 2006): "The bottom line is that the infrastructure of Nuuanu Valley continues to deteriorate, effectively abandoned by the city, as so many other neighborhoods, notwithstanding the huge tax revenues the city is getting from high property taxes; the city is ignoring the requests of Nuuanu residents for information and involvement in processes that directly affect them and put them demonstrably at risk of life and limb. And on top of all that, the city has adopted a policy that affirmatively punishes those who would complain about such treatment by denying consideration of any bill they would support ...

There must be a wake-up call when the members of the City Council -- with the exception of Rod Tam, who has been quite helpful -- and the city administration are at such great odds with, and so unresponsive to, the community they have sworn to serve. More than that, this series of events is an intolerable and continuing outrage to the residents involved. Perhaps these public officials feel they are immune to the wishes and welfare of the community. Not so. Let's remember them well, and what they have done and failed to do at this critical and undeniably tragic intersection, and let's throw them out of office at first opportunity."

On Rail (May 24, 2011): "Rail has been in the paper plenty lately, and after years of controversy it’s becoming even more controversial. ...Many people feel there has been a hoodwinking, and that had there been a proper discussion we would never had gone down this road. In any event, rail is not going anywhere without serious and continuing controversy, on the procurement and contracting issues, on the condemnation issues and, of course, on the basic question of whether to go ahead. ...

Why is it that this big bad project has gone so far and we have spent so many tens of millions digging a hole in the sand? The confusion has gone widespread. Why can’t we do better on a project so large? The answer: because it is so large. Ten billion does have a way of gathering flies. …The bright side is that these emerging controversies could also awaken a sleeping public, and that once aroused that public will put the brakes on runaway rail. We can hope, can’t we?"

Activism (April 25, 2010): "Activism is an industry dedicated not to building things, but stopping them. As others, activists have to pay for office space, staff, lawyers and PR. To pay their bills, they have to identify with causes. Old causes are old hat — they need fresh controversies to raise fresh money. No cause, no protest, no money. ...We can’t run a state if we take our signals from those who are opposed to virtually everything. We need to know science and do critical thinking. We need someone to regularly investigate the facts and inform an unwary public. ... In Hawai’i, it’s been politically incorrect to argue with activists. If the majority cares about our future, they’ll have to speak out. Democracy is more than anti-policy imposed by a militant few."

Activism (April 5, 2009): "Superferry was killed by a handful of activists whose motivations were not necessarily environmental. ... no business can survive if it must spend all its time struggling with bureaucracy and activists. ...Because an entrepreneur follows the rules doesn't mean the activists won't attack him anyway. Once targeted, you get the full monty. Things become distorted and desperate. If you have no upstairs access, you're at the mercy of the bureaucracy, which freezes in the headlights. That being the case, activists can stop any project they like."

Activism (February 6, 2011): "Increasingly, there are those who systematically oppose anything that smacks of progress: the ferry, the 30-meter telescope, genetically modified crops, even clean energy. We cannot allow Hawaii to become a killing field for progress, with legislators kowtowing to a handful of ill-informed activists."

Activism (September 28, 2010): "Despite the huge benefits of tech farming, it’ll be years before we get it together, to say nothing of all the delays and frustrations we’ll have with water fights, GMO fights and land use fights."

Big Wind (December 5, 2010): "It's a great day to build a wind farm on Lanai. Actually, every day is a great day to build a wind farm on Lanai. ...Wind on Lanai is a visionary plan long held by David Murdock, owner of Castle & Cooke. ...But things get twisted in the world of protest. First, protesters protested for clean energy. Now, new protesters protest against it. Can they please talk with the old protesters? We can't have one generation of protesters protesting against what the previous protesters supported."

Nuclear (May 24, 2008): "The Italians are resuming nuclear power as a way to deal with the energy crisis. …If they can do it, so can we."

# # #

Henry Curtis


"The Italians are resuming nuclear power as a way to deal with the energy crisis. …If they can do it, so can we."

If Jay had any brains the first question he would be asking the Italians is how they plan to deal with the nuclear waste. The answer would be interesting since no one in the world has a reasonable answer to that question, beside burying it in someone else's back yard.

"Superferry was killed by a handful of activists whose motivations were not necessarily environmental"

Jay clearly never rode the SuperFerry during the winter months when thirty foot swells are the norm. The smell of vomit along with that sinking feeling that the SuperFerry was never going to make land made for less that full trips. The SuperFerry was losing money hand over foot because it was only comfortable to ride during the calmer summer months. I wanted the SuperFerry to succeed. The Molokai channel didn't agree.

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