The moon was a perfect half, gleaming in a blue and cloud sky that quickly blushed pink in anticipation of the sun’s arrival, when Koko and I went walking on this sultry morning.
Accompanied by the steady drone of bees, who start work well before the birds, we passed a mango tree heavily laden with small fruits, lychee already turning red in a pasture, a stand of spider lilies, whose fragrant blooms I gathered into a bouquet, a papery yellow jackets’ nest, deserted by its former inhabitants, and two of Koko’s dog friends, who rushed out into the street to greet us.
Returning home, I dug for a while in my yard to accommodate a taro patch that wants to keep expanding, then scanned my neighbor’s newspaper, where an AP story quoted a real estate agent whining that the vog is unraveling her real estate deals in the Big Island’s Ka`u District. It’s hard to have sympathy for realtors, especially those selling land down slope of an active volcano.
I do, however, have a great deal of sympathy for Anahola resident Hale Mawae, who was roughed up by the cops and arrested for trespassing and resisting arrest when he questioned why he couldn’t walk on Hanalei Plantation Road in Princeville, which most people would consider a public road.
So I was glad to read in Andy Parx’s blog that the KKCR Board of Directors, whose staff grossly overreacted and called the cops in the first place, apparently won’t be pressing charges against Hale.
However, I was dismayed by the mealy-mouthed "no mea culpa" letter that the Board sent to prosecuting attorney Craig DeCosta. It states, in part:
On the afternoon of January 3, 2008, the Kauai Police Department responded to a request for KPD’s presence to ensure that KKCR’s facilities, which are located on private property, would not be threatened by any activities that might occur as a result of a “call to action” that was planned by some members of the public at KKCR’s facilities.
In the course of events that followed, one of the members of the public, Mr. Hale Mawae, was arrested. The Kekahu Foundation Board of Directors has no knowledge of the events surrounding Mr. Mawae’s arrest, and has no grounds to offer any opinion on that matter. We do, however, strongly disagree with any assertions that have been made to the effect that the Kekahu Foundation’s Board, management or staff had any hand in the events that transpired between Mr. Mawae and the KPD.
Nonetheless, the Kekahu Foundation Board of Directors does recognize that many of the parties who participated in response to the “call to action” may have believed that they were acting in pursuit of the public interest, and that misinformation and miscommunication may have contributed to the misunderstandings on the part of many parties. Therefore, we believe that it would be in the general interest of the entire community for an amicable resolution to be sought in regard to the events that occurred on January 3. To that end, the Kekahu Foundation Board of Directors wishes to inform you that the Board does not desire to pursue any legal actions to which the Kekahu Foundation might be entitled in connection with the events of January 3, 2008.
No, the management and staff played no role in this at all — except for locking the gate to the KKCR facilities — a violation of FCC regulations — and calling the cops to begin with. It was a gross overreaction on their part, and Hale ended up getting burned.
It’s no small matter when you cause someone to be arrested unnecessarily, which in this case also led to Hale being injured, taunted and harassed by the cops, deprived of his personal property, required to post bail and forced to appear in court, where Judge Trudy cited him for contempt and issued a bench warrant for his arrest, even though he was in the courtroom, because he refused to acknowledge the proceedings of the western court and go stand where he was supposed to.
So after jerking Hale around for a while — the Board could have made this go away months ago — they finally say, “oh, never mind,” without an admission of any culpability, much less a long overdue apology to Hale.
Andy goes on to chronicle in great detail the events at KKCR that surrounded last winter’s suspension of programmers and their subsequent reinstatement. I don’t agree with all his assessments, but the letter from the Board makes it quite clear that it’s business as usual at KKCR, where staff member Donna Lewis, who freaked out, locked the gates and called the cops in advance of any threatening action — I mean, come on!! — was merely reassigned to website duties.
And now we’re being urged, during the current pledge drive, to donate money to the station with the promise that members will have the chance to elect three measly representatives to this dysfunctional Board over the next two years. Gee, what a deal. At this pace, long overdue change is gonna be a long time coming.
That said, I'm still going to call in to give some money during Ka`iulani's show. Boycotting the station, as Andy suggests, merely lets the losers take all.