It’s true that the New York Times is failing, and that much of the copy is fed to the editors by corporate and government sources. But the Times also contains news and information you’ll find nowhere else. For example… Pierre Omidyar, the founder of eBay, wants to create a dairy farm on the island of Kauai, island of Oligarchs. Excerpts from Stephanie Strom’s report”
“He is one of many tech billionaires who have established a presence in Hawaii, which is only a five-hour flight from Silicon Valley. Others include Larry Ellison, Oracle’s co-founder, who bought all but a tiny amount of the island of Lanai and turned it into a resort — investing millions, but frustrating some islanders by driving up rents — and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, who was called a “neocolonialist” after he sued some locals over beachfront land he bought. (He dropped the suits.)
Omidyar’s stated goal is “to decrease the island-state’s heavy reliance on imported milk, while using sustainable agriculture practices. (The dairy will nonetheless still have to import feed for its animals.)
Opponents fear manure —90 lbs per cow per day— will contaminate the drinking water and that flies and smells will drive away tourists.
“Residents point out that one drinking-water well supplying the neighborhoods of Poipu and Koloa is within 700 feet of the pastures where the cows will graze, and other wells are within 1,200 feet.”
…The dairy plans to eventually have 2,000 cows on the property.
… Mr. Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, are the latest of the tech titans to establish a toehold here, buying 700 acres on Kauai for a reported $100 million. In January, after public outcry, they dropped eight lawsuits they had brought against dozens of people who have claims to parcels of land within their estate dating back to the mid-1800s.
Omidyar… tends to keep a low profile. The couple has a private security staff that includes former Secret Service and State Department officers, and they keep a private plane at the ready at Honolulu Airport, which Mr. Omidyar has said is so that the family can escape a disaster quickly.”
He has also devoted $250 million to building a media business that includes online publications like The Intercept and Civil Beat, based in Honolulu, which tend to keep a weather eye on government and its secrets…
Recently, the state department of health fined Big Island Dairy $25,000 for illegally allowing animal waste to flow into local water supplies. The tiny town of O’okala sits below the 2,500 acre Big Island Dairy, and its residents had long complained to the state about bad smells and wastewater in the gulches and waterways that run through their yards and streets on the way to the ocean.
Last September, heavy rains led to flooding in O’okala, and some residents found themselves up to their ankles in wastewater carried down the mountain. They posted videos to YouTube documenting the experience and wrote letters to state officials. “Older people have told me they have a hard time eating dinner because of the smell, and homeowners have gotten E. coli and staph infections,” said Valerie Poindexter, who represents the neighborhood on the Hawai’i County Council.
Why dairy cows, Pierre? Why not a small herd of water buffalo to make mozzarella? Isn’t Kauai semi-tropical? Ask Jeremy Scahill to investigate this dairy plan and “Always do the right thing.”