Sunday, May 24, 2009

Musings: Desecration in the Hood

The sun was an hour past risen, and climbing fast, when Koko and I arrived at the beach this morning. Our timing was perfect, as evidenced by the puddles and wet sand left by a just-passed squall.

A little bump from the north was breaking on the edge of the reef, whose inside waters were pools of glass, save for the broad swath of sparkle twinkling up at the sun. Every now and then a turtle surfaced, its glistening wet head a ball of floating light.

The beach was broad and smooth, adjoining a reef exposed by the extreme new moon low tide and cloaked in soft shades of rust and moss green. No one was in sight, save for a surfer far to the north and a cluster of net fishermen far to the south.

Ah.

Fortunately, it was a far different day at the beach than the one experienced by a friend on Friday when she went to her favorite neighborhood stretch of sand — which also happens to be where Joe Brescia is building his house and several other luxurious homes are going up.

She goes there often, because she loves the place and also to document ongoing desecration in the hood, whether it’s construction on burial sites, encroachment onto the public shoreline, illegal vacation rentals or what have you.

It’s not a role that is universally appreciated, and on Friday she was harassed by the crew at the Brescia site, where Joe Galante has taken over as contractor. The workers apparently didn’t go through any cultural sensitivity training, with one sporting a tee-shirt that bore the image of a knife-pierced skull.

As you can see from these pictures, they’ve poured more cement and are proceeding on the structure.





Later, she was deemed a “busy body” by a woman who had to move her septic tank mauka after my friend complained to the county and Department of Health about its proximity to the reef.

The woman, an Aussie who has applied for permits for her two lavish vacation rentals under the misnomer of My Bungalow, told my friend she thought people would be grateful that she had “fixed up” the old King house and so “improved” the neighborhood.

She then asked my friend, “Why can’t you go the beach where you live?” — apparently without realizing that the same question could just as easily – and perhaps more appropriately — be posed to her.

Such encounters take some of the pleasure out of a beach walk, but quite frankly, if residents aren’t on it — and willing to speak up — the county and state let all kinds of crap slide through.

Kudos to the couple who spoke up about the pregnant monk seal being shot — the second seal in just over a month — even though they reportedly feared retaliation.

The Advertiser reported that the seal was killed at Pilaa, while The Garden Island’s story declined to name the beach at the request of NOAA officials.

If it was, indeed, Pilaa — a lot of people do not know the proper beach names — it ought to be easy to find the culprit. Just see who has keys to the gate there. Perhaps the offer of a reward would get some folks talking. These things do not happen without other people knowing what went down.

It’s puzzling why someone would do it. Killing an animal for food is one thing, but to kill a rare animal like that for sport is pretty weird and creepy — and another form of desecration in the hood. Let’s just hope there’s only wildlife exterminator out there and that he — you just know it’s gotta be a man — is soon busted.

On a brighter note, my friend Ka`ili said he ran into Mark Barbanell, who earlier prevented him from practicing his indigenous fishing rights at the Wainiha River, and Mark apologized and the two made nice.

While it will still be worthwhile to have someone from Native Hawaiian Legal Corp. come over to give a public talk about gathering rights, it's good that Mark and Kaili worked things out on their own, as two adults living in a very small community.

27 comments:

Dawson said...

"The woman, an Aussie who has applied for permits for her two lavish vacation rentals under the misnomer of My Bungalow, told my friend she thought people would be grateful that she had “fixed up” the old King house and so “improved” the neighborhood.

She then asked my friend, “Why can’t you go the beach where you live?” — apparently without realizing that the same question could just as easily – and perhaps more appropriately — be posed to her."

My land -- go away! ...the motto of the tourist-turned-transplant. Like a weed, the tourist transplant spreads his monoculture as widely as his financial fertilizer allows, choking out the indigenous life forms.

Maybe Monsanto will develop a spray....

darwin_was_pretty_smart said...

that karen diamond lady huh? she needs a new hobby and goes overboard some, but overall its certainly nice of her to take the time to look out after such things...a net good i guess


and RE dead seal...boy i hope they throw the book at em. hopefully it will be a fed investigation


seems your blog might have acted as the key medium (or at least an accelerator) for those two fellows to figure out their river fishing policy. if so, nice small victory; very good


"tourist-turned-transplant"

-- i bet they dont shoot seals tho..

Anonymous said...

I believe there is a $100,00 dollar fine for harming an endangered species. If half went for a reward then they would have the killer in a heart beat.

The man comment was a bit much like saying only men beat their kids.

nowondertheyhateus said...

The man comment was appropo. And Joanʻs license as a writer to say so. I agree with her. It would only be a man ( definitely a lesser one) that would need to kill an animal that way. No hunt, just slaughter...probably showing off. Same with the deer that was shot in Lihue.

The aussie ʻcowʻis a dime a dozen. Just more of the same. Probably got some money from suing someone and ended up here building an obnoxious house, like most of them over here. All ripped someone off in a lawsuit. Just like most americans that canʻt scrape two nickels together unless itʻs a sue job.

Darwinʻs stalker shouldnʻt have mentioned names. Itʻs apparent he has some disdain for a woman with smarts. Hey, he stalks Darwin.

The $100,000 fine may have a finders fee or 10% reward attached to it for the apprehension of the coward.

Anonymous said...

I looked at the pics at the mybunglow website. Looks pretty great to me. Who would not like that? Other than those that can't afford it, I suppose...

I wish I had 10 of them spread all over the world.

Anonymous said...

That Bresca house is looking pretty good with the metal beams supporting wood lam beams. I'm sure it will be beautiful once it's done. Prettier than what was there before.

Go Joe!!

Anonymous said...

"The workers apparently didn’t go through any cultural sensitivity training, with one sporting a tee-shirt that bore the image of a knife-pierced skull."

Oh get a life. It's a pirate t-shirt. a skull wearing a bandanna with crossed sabers behind it. Some people will never run out of little nothings to get all worked up and indignant about.

Anonymous said...

The workers should have worn grass skirts and bead necklaces. Drunk coconut milk from the nut during breaks. Had enchiladas with kanaka mole sauce. Had magnetic hula dancer bobble dolls on their truck dashboards.

Now, there's cultural sensitivity!

Anonymous said...

Maybe had a worker knee deep in the ocean shooting fish for lunch with his pneumatic nail gun.

Anonymous said...

Some good humor creeping into the site...

nowondertheyhateus said...

Boring. Typical scared american mindsets. So threatened by the reality of the authority behind cultural protection. And jealous they have no culture to call their own. Run all over the world destroying real culture to feel artificially elevated.

Call it humor but actually your vindictiveness is showing.

Tsk. So typical.

Anonymous said...

Yah, and how's that cultural protection been working out so far?

Anonymous said...

Just google searched...and wondering...is Justin Freemon still around...the guy who cut off a monk seal's head at Pila`a Beach 3 years ago in May 2006?

nowondertheyhateus said...

"Yah, and how's that cultural protection been working out so far?"
May 24, 2009 6:09 PM

Pretty effective Iʻd say. What you havenʻt been paying attention, dumdum? Bresciaʻs losing big bucks. Ha ha good for him. Guess we can put him on the ʻlosersʻ list.

Anonymous said...

He has big bucks to lose and more big bucks behind those. His house is still going up.

He will have lost only if a permanent work stoppage is enforced.

So far, he's winning.

I know a guy in a condo where the board pushed him one step too far. He initiated multiple lawsuits...tied them up in financial knots for years. Caused untold grief. Cost him over $200G, but he didn't care.

You really have to watch out about pissing off super rich people.

Anonymous said...

Bresca's just one case. What about all those nice houses sprouting like flowers on the north shore (and thousands of new housing units on the big island).

In the unlikely event that Bresca cannot complete his house, it would be a battle won by you in a war you will ultimately lose.

Anonymous said...

One man's desecration is another man's paradise. Deep-pocketed people (willing to pay big taxes) with the law on their side and state/county officials making it easy for them to fulfill their dreams is an incredibly difficult, if not impossible, obstacle to overcome OVERALL...not a few isolated cases.

Anonymous said...

Nothing a tsunami can't cure.

Anonymous said...

I don't have a dog in this fight, but I wonder what's going to happen if the future follows the patterns of the past. Maui became like Oahu...Big Island becoming like Maui...Kauai slowly but surely becoming like Maui.

In 25 years, Kauai surely and the BI greatly won't look anything like they do now, just as "now" is greatly different than 25 years ago.

Options for the people choosing to live on Kauai to "get away"...move back to the mainland in the desert or mountain communities? Explore foreign countries in the south pacific or US territory island nations?

It's like the Old West...cowboys surely being pushed out.

Just wondering...

nowondertheyhateus said...

May 25, 2009 8:47 AM

Good idea. To Go Home. Home is where you come from. Got that? So when someone asks where youʻre from, donʻt say Hanalei, Lihue,etc., thatʻs where you reside.

Anonymous said...

"I don't have a dog in this fight"...Michael Vick's new mantra.

Anonymous said...

Those people aren't going "home". They want to live on an Oahu-like or Maui-like island with all the modern conveniences, shopping, etc.

It's the other people who rue the day when development catches up to them. There's nowhere else to go in Hawaii once Kauai becomes Maui. Maybe the more remote places on the Big Island.

Taos, NM? Montana? Alaska?

Where will the psychologically and financially displaced people go?

darwin_was_pretty_smart said...

""I don't have a dog in this fight"...Michael Vick's new mantra."

-- nice one :)


"Yah, and how's that cultural protection been working out so far?"

-- i defer to others on it, but i believe it has been trending positively for a few decades now (take, for example, efforts to preserve the hawaiian language)

Anonymous said...

Preserve the Hawaiian language all you want. It will give some people a new language to swear at the deep pocket developers. Words, no matter what the language other than the wording of legal statute, will never hurt them.

Anonymous said...

I liked that..."psychologically displaced".

Anonymous said...

Hmmm...this person is suffering from psychdisplaciya...only one known cure...

Double meat Whopper with cheese, bacon, extra lettuce, tomato and mayo, large chile-cheese fries, 4 pints of ale while watching commercial-free non-stop running of the whole Terminator series.

Repeat daily until his mind's right.

Justin Freemon said...

No. I'm in Tennessee- where men are free and Christ is LORD.