The moon — remarkably bright, although waning — called me out early and then promptly hid, leaving Koko and me to walk in a cloudy world of murky shadows, with a promise of gold and pink around the eastern edges.
At the top of the hill we stood to watch rain squalls in the distance, and a few drops fell on my head, just to remind me we’re all connected, and as we returned, me clutching a fistful of fragrant spider lilies plucked from the roadside, the squalls still marching mauka, up the Wailua Valley, the sun rose and a thick shaft of rainbow formed in the darkest cloud mass and reached faintly for the heavens.
Soon Kauai cops will be reaching for their tasers, according to an article in today’s Garden Island, which reports that a contract has been approved to purchase the immobilizing stun guns. The county plans to buy 20 tasers outfitted with cameras, at a reported cost of $30,000.
I was reading a short piece in the New Yorker the other day about women holding “taser parties” — the modern version of Tupperware parties — in New York, where stun guns can be purchased by civilians. The woman running the party, who previously slept with a knife under her pillow, said she’d been zapped for one second in her rump, just to know what it felt like, and described it as the absolute worst pain she’d ever experienced. Yet here she was selling guns that would zap somebody for 30 seconds to women with no training, but plenty of fear.
Fear was also the reaction of the nene that were subjected to the advances of 7-year-old Lindsey Tresler who “tried to make friends” prior to their release from the pens that held them on Grove Farm land.
According to the Garden Island:
Warren Haruki, Grove Farm’s president, suggested that Lindsey slowly approach the flock of two dozen of the endangered Hawaiian fowl and let them get used to her.
But the nene would have none of that and several of them fluttered into the folds of the shade cloth that covered their pen.
Now why, you might wonder, was a little kid encouraged to approach endangered birds with an eye toward “making friends” when the last thing nene need is to become habituated toward humans, who are one of their primary threats? These are wild birds, after all, not zoo animals or pets, and their survival depends on avoiding humans, with their dogs, cars and unhealthy hand outs.
It’s because little Lindsey is the daughter of a Grove Farm vice-president, and GF is allowing the state DLNR guys to use some of their hand as holding pens for goslings collected at Kauai Lagoons until they’re old enough to be released.
Sure it’s great that GF is doing this, and they make sure we know of their largess under the “no good deed shall go unpromoted” approach that typically characterizes corporate giving, but the encounter had to put state wildlife biologist Thomas Kaiakapu in a bit of tight spot.
Because he and his staff don’t get chummy with the birds and he knows of the dangers nene face when they get friendly with humans, but what could he say when he’s desperate to find release areas near Lihue and Grove Farm owns much of the open land around there?
The whole thing rankled me because it’s yet another example of how a developer, whose sole reason for being is to greatly alter the natural environment, gets to play like they’re the great conservator of our most imperiled creatures.
And sure enough, the Garden Island dutifully reported that the nene release site “is just one of the environmental initiatives it [Grove Farm] undertakes.”
Meanwhile, in the planning room, these same officials sit around and figure out how they can continue their systematic urbanization of central Kauai. If they’re really sincere about their “environmental initiatives,” why don’t they take development of Maha`ulepu off the table?