Koko and I were blanketed by a celestial patchwork of stars, white clouds and waning moon when we went walking, then dawn stirred and the quilt was reversed to a pattern of gray clouds and blue sky.
Ran into farmer Jerry along the road, who told me, when I asked why the Upper Kapahi Reservoir is so low, that the East Kauai Water Users Cooperative is draining it for repairs. It’s just one of many reservoirs on the island that need fixing, and fortunately some state monies came through to help the Coop — which actually provides water for farming — with the cost.
I asked him about Councilman Ron Kouchi’s comment, in killing the ag subdivision moratorium bill, that we don’t even know how much ag land is needed to feed the island.
“Every bit of it,” was Jerry’s reply.
However, Grove Farm apparently thinks it can be done with 1,000 acres it’s putting into orchards and taro. I had to wonder, if they think they can feed the island with that amount of land, does that mean they’ll be seeking the go-ahead to develop the rest of the 40,000 acres — much of it ag land — they own on Kauai?
It seems Rodney Haraguchi, the largest taro grower on Kauai, will be cultivating the Grove Farm taro lands. He already depleted the land he leases in Hanalei Valley land through intensive cultivation. Now he dumps chemical fertilizer on his fields five times over the 14-month growing period — with the excess flowing into the Hanalei River — and imports Micronesians to do the field work.
You know, just the kind of farming model we want to perpetuate elsewhere on the island.
Why can’t we get small farmers back on the land with long-term leases or better yet, affordable farm lots where they can also build a home?
A friend called yesterday to say she was disappointed to see Councilmembers JoAnn Yukimura and Tim Bynum getting praise for supporting the ag subdivision moratorium, when they were such obstructionists in the vacation rental bill, especially as it related to vacation rentals on ag land.
It’s true. Those two were a total washout on the vacation rental bill, while Councilmembers Shaylene Iseri-Carvalho and Mel Rapozo, performed well on that issue, then helped kill the ag subdivision moratorium.
What do these guys actually stand for?
What bothered me most about Shaylene’s and Mel’s stance on the moratorium is they thought it was an important issue, but didn’t like what the mayor had introduced. But rather than try and fix it, they killed it entirely.
"Maybe we could challenge them to come up with a really good bill,” suggested my friend, ever hopeful, even after decades in the land use political trenches.
Maybe. But earlier, I’d run into another friend who had what is perhaps a better solution.
“Let’s get rid of all seven of those clowns,” he said. “We need a new circus.”