Monday, July 13, 2009

Musings: Full Story

The sky was mottled gray when Koko and I went walking in that time between night and day when the streetlights hadn't yet self-extinguished. Roosters, including those living in the valley and in cages across the street, were calling out to one another, and responding, in a sort of round-robin of crowing that began well before we rose and still continues hours later.

A light rain that turned heavier arrived before the sun, blotting it out, save for a yellow streak in the east, followed by a brief rosy glow, as Makaleha and Waialeale huddled beneath thick layers of black clouds that diminished the full story of their grandeur.

I was talking to one of the North Shore boys this weekend and he told me the full story of what really went down in the shooting incident at Haena last week.

Apparently the boys had finished lua practice and were milling around, not easily seen in their black shirts in the darkness, when a van drove up and a guy jumped out “acting all wild” and started messing up cars in the beach parking lot. Some of the cars belonged to the boys, so they caught the guy, gave him dirty lickings, then tossed him in the van and told him not to come back.

But as the boys turned their cars around and prepared to leave, somebody in the van started shooting, and then the van took off and a few of the boys gave chase, throwing rocks at the vehicle, including one that went through the windshield and hit the driver in the chest, causing him to stop and veer off the road. By that time the cops had arrived and they took over from there.

“Did you know the guys?” I asked.

“Nah,” said my friend. “They were fresh off the boat; they shipped their van over from the mainland. People had been complaining about car break-ins, but the cops blamed the locals and the tweakers because the haoles can do no wrong. I asked [name withheld] if the tweakers were doing that shit and he said, ‘no, 90 percent of the stuff that happens, we don’t do, even though everybody blames us.’”

That left me wondering if the same guys were perhaps responsible for the recent rash of car break-ins at my favorite beach. That isn't something that typically happens there. I also couldn’t help but wonder if such incidents — and the community’s response to them, as detailed by my friend — are figured in when determining the ranking of the world’s best islands, seeing as how Kauai is now number four.

Do you suppose the readers of Travel + Leisure magazine, in casting their votes, also consider things like the gallinules that like to feed right along the highway, near the entrance to the Wailua golf course? Each time I pass them I think, wow, that is so cool that Kauai has drive-by endangered birds, but please, don’t come any closer to the highway, and please, don’t anybody pull over right here.

And are the readers swayed by events like Kumu Kehau’s powerful and poignant paina and concert, held last night in Princeville? Do they consider all the work and energy and commitment it takes for a small community to put something like that together? Are they aware that our little island has the state’s highest rate of volunteerism and charitable giving?

But most important, do the readers who ranked us so highly realize that here on Kauai, they can still experience some semblance of the real Hawaii, the one with 10,000 known native species, 90 percent of them found nowhere else in the world, and far too many of them headed toward extinction?

Some know the full story, I’m sure. Others don’t have a clue. They just like Kauai for her beaches, scenery, weather, seclusion. Or worse, what they can get from her.

Hawaii has the highest percentage of millionaires in the nation — defined as a household with $1 million or more in investable or liquid assets, excluding sponsored retirement plans and real estate — and no doubt many of them are looking to gain more wealth here. What else could explain the homes built atop burials and vacation rentals in conservation zones and arrogant attitudes and dubious development schemes?

They likely don’t know, and certainly don’t adhere to, an old Hawaiian saying that last night left me teary-eyed as I reflected on just how far we've drifted from this core value, how much of the full story we're missing:

The land is chief, the humans but a servant.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

i was told by one of the kanaks who was there practicing lua that as they were finishing practice they saw the "tweakers" stealing surfboards from car tops. They gave the thieves a solid beating. The thieves drove away. A few minutes later, the foiled thieves returned with the gun and fired shots in the air as some sort of show of force, whence upon they were "restrained" until the cops came. Their access to a van and a gun make it a little less likely that they were "fresh off the boat".

It is interesting that no one is being charged with assault. That decision (not charging assault) could also be seen as racist (protecting Hawaiians), but it more probably reflects the simple truth that we, on Kauai, really don't like surfboard theft, at all. Take my board, get lickins. Period.

Anonymous said...

wow so you're friend thinks caucasians commit the bulk of the B&Es on island? maybe i read that all wrong. tho its as bad to pre-judge a group as it is to be blind to the (crime) data


"volunteerism and charitable giving"

-- that would make for a great article


"and no doubt many of them are looking to gain more wealth here"

-- eh, sorry - i bet not. there is not that much economic activity here. it was gained elsewhere. now they just live here some

dwps

Joan said...

wow so you're [sic] friend thinks caucasians commit the bulk of the B&Es on island? maybe i read that all wrong.

Yes, you did read that all wrong, because he didn't make any such assertion.

Katy said...

I think folks should be cautious about conflating incidence of crime with incidence of arrest, prosecution, and imprisonment. In other words, the make-up of the prison and jail population is not necessarily an accurate indicator of the distribution of real crime rates across populations.

Anonymous said...

"-- eh, sorry - i bet not. there is not that much economic activity here. it was gained elsewhere. now they just live here some"

eh, sorry, I bet yes. Who do you think was/is driving the real estate market?

Anonymous said...

"you're [sic]"

-- well then my reading comp is as bad as my writing

ill try again:

"I asked [name withheld] if the tweakers were doing that shit and he said, ‘no, 90 percent of the stuff that happens, we don’t do, even though everybody blames us.’”

-- so "name withheld" is a "tweaker"..? and certain crimes are to often unfairly blamed on them?


dwps

Joan said...

-- so "name withheld" is a "tweaker"..? and certain crimes are to [sic] often unfairly blamed on them?

Yes, "name withheld" is a "tweaker" and yes, he maintained that they don't do 90 percent of the illegal stuff they're blamed for.

However, the friend who reported this conversation (see my use of double and single quotation marks in the original post) is neither "name withheld" nor a "tweaker," and he made no assertions about which ethnic group does the bulk of the B&Es.

And just FYI, Caucasians can be "tweakers," too.

nowondertheyhateus said...

Itʻs usually the haoles that commit these crimes but when the locals do it they stand out.

What haoles are really saying is:
If a haole did it he must have had a really good reason or the poor kid got in with some bad characters but the local, well, just did it just because.

Just like the damn military and developers...FOR DECADES theyʻve been blaming fires, gunshots, thefts, you name it on locals and when it finally comes down to it...it was some stupid drunk soldier, some haole brats, military clearing (controlled fires) for training areas or training exercises that set off fires and developers that send in the arsonists months before they decide to develop an area (hey easier than bulldozing and plowing brush right?)

Anonymous said...

Can it get any nuttier then the line of thought.

Anonymous said...

"eh, sorry, I bet yes. Who do you think was/is driving the real estate market?"

-- well hey if you say you have studied the economic data on it i defer to you. i am just saying it seems to me that most of the $1M+ people in HI generated their wealth off island, and then came here. and ya, that causes the local property taxes to go up on the little guy


"Yes, "name withheld" is a "tweaker" and yes, he maintained that they don't do 90 percent of the illegal stuff they're blamed for."

-- actually i find that totally fascinating. thank you


"Itʻs usually the haoles that commit these crimes"

-- not sure what "haoles' means

i do see per 2004 US census HI has the 6th highest crime rate. surprising

anyways, what you want is this:

http://hawaii.gov/ag/cpja/main/rs/Folder.2005-12-05.2910/cih2007/

p 102

seems that caucasians (about 20-25% of HI pop?) are very good at all crimes, and ethnic hawaiians lead the pack as to stealing cars and robbery

they have it for juvy rates too, per race

p 147. seems kauai crime is trending down. very good

so id suggest using the data on p 150 if you want to argue caucasian millionaires drive kauai crime. i myself wonder how much of that is dirt bag penniless hippy pot smokers from CA tho

ps - pg 156: ~60% kauai DUIs are white. rofl

i could think of a few things that influence the report's numbers either way, but this data is a pretty good start


dwps

Lopaka1002 said...

Can somebody please talk straight english and quit reading between the lines of the lines?

I think that's what's wrong with all of us, we keep looking for the deeper meaning. Seriously, the truth is all but before our very faces!

Actions speak way louder than words ever will! So let's all take a deep breath, dig way deeper, and make Kaua'i the best place in the world to live! It's all very attainable, and just over the horizon. We are way ahead of the curve already.

Let's stop useless rhetoric by spewing more useless rhetorc.

While comments that we make are (usually) always constructive, our actions are always the most positive influence.

Live Aloha!

Ps. While we can't stop other people from moving here and changing our culture, we do have the power to educate them and show them how life will be on our island.

Anonymous said...

"...show them how life will be on our island." ?

Who are YOU (plural) to be telling THEM "how life will be" on YOUR island?

Life will be any way the one living it wants it to be. If that will be a mainland lifestyle rather than "going native", so be it.

No one tells anyone anything except existing laws.

Lopaka1002 said...

Humm--

To Anonymouslly

Either reading is not YOUR strongest virtue, or YOUR English class was passed over for YOUR daily marathon Monopoly extravaganza. I could care less!

What will be will be. WE all live life on this island. Every breath is valublel, and WE all share the air. It's called "HA". If YOUR going to share OUR air, feel it,learn it! if you intend to call HAWAII your home this is your first lesson.

Pronouns are a very important ingredient in OUR language. Unless WE all work together to change the plight of OUR own desriny, WE will all suffer the wrath of OUR future. Thus I call YOUR attention to YOUR following statement


Life will be any way the one living it wants it to be. If that will be a mainland lifestyle rather than "going native", so be it.


Man!, is this ever the quote that SCREAMS ME! ME! ME!, MINE! MINE! MINE! What a sad state of mind. My heart goes out to you my brother, YOU have far reaching issues that I hope will not go uncured. MY blessings to you, and I hope you're able to obtain help for your problem. This cancerous type of statement reflects the absolute contempt some of our current residents have for our Aina. It has absolutley no place in the House WE call HAWAII


For WE all live on an island, and WE all depend on each other no matter how many fences you have! For One only needs to go through a hurricane to realize that fact, and sadly enough WE'RE all sure will see another one. WE will all help each other out and WE will ALL survive.

As I stated in my previous post, WE need to stop saying ME, MINE, MY, and start thinking of OUR destiny, and claim it for OUR own!


Now maybe WE can get over ourselves and do something positive.

Tear down YOUR fences and help your neighbor!!!, And by the way learn YOU'RE pronouns! They have a strong influence on people.

OH!! and if you're going to critizise people, than at least have the cajones to state your name, orherwise you're just another rhetoric picker with no ACTION only a pen running out of ink.

This island has so many riches, ALL available for the naked eye.Do yourself a favor and enjoy a sunrise. As for Wall Steet , as we know it, It is a self functioning delusion. Ir will suffer it's own demise

So let's all work togethet, and make Kaua'i the best place to live, and be an example to the rest of the world!


IF YOU CAN'T HELP OUT ANY OTHR WAY, PLEASE HELP US IN KOKEE. WE COULD REALLY USE YOUR HELP ON THE MOUNTAIN.


ALOHA And Best Wishes!


BOB KELLER


PS. Oh, IF YOU don't like our lifestyle here in Hawaii, and YOU feel the strong urge to permeate us wirh mainland KRAP!!, please feel free to

GITT!!!!

Otherwise WE will consider your contribution to this post as a way for us to all move forward and call a spade a spade, realign, and move foreward for the betterment of OUR island.

For WE all have rhe ability to learn from each other, and learn the proper use of PRONOUNS.

OURS

Anonymous said...

Get a grip! You sound like everyone on a Hawaiian island is in a lifeboat. This isn't a tiny atol in the Pacific populated with a few hundred primitive natives who must coordinate to survive.

I may be on this island with you, but we certainly don't share any common destiny. Hawaii is merely an extension of the mainland, part of America, and will always be dependent on it.

I'm more dependent on chain stores and internet buying than whatever like-minded group of people that could be loosely defined as "you".

That's how the majority of the current population want it to be.
We don't want a "survivor Hawaii" mindset.

I'm 110% for military expansion here as well. They represent the first or second largest employer in the state...the state itself rounding out the top 2.

The first nuclear sub named "Hawaii" is coming here for her home base...great! The Univ of Hawaii has given its OK on the expanded telescopes on Mauna Kea....fantastic!!

("cultural practitioners", my ass!)

You may have a "we're all in it together" lifeboat mentality, but not me, nor many, many others.

Anonymous said...

"Hawaii is merely an extension of the mainland, part of America, and will always be dependent on it.

I'm more dependent on chain stores and internet buying than whatever like-minded group of people that could be loosely defined as'you'."

uck-that's one sad human being. Hope they get better some day. In the meantime I think it would be much better if they moved somewhere else.