Friday, December 4, 2009

Musings: Growth Industries

I saw the moon rise after dinner in Kapaa, all orange and lined with streaky clouds that gave it the appearance of Saturn, and later woke several times in the night to its bright, interrogating light. But I had nothing to confess save for fragments of vivid dreams.

It was still bright and bold, appearing larger than usual, when Koko and I went walking this morning in a brisk southeast wind that set the albezzia to creaking and made the ironwood moan.

Along the way we ran into my neighbor Andy, who said he thought he’d heard me on the radio yesterday afternoon, but he wasn’t sure, because it didn’t always sound like me, or at least, not the me with whom he’s accustomed to conversing.

It was a lively show, packed with constant calls about the bike path on Wailua Beach and other issues of cultural ignorance and disrespect, such as people piling up rocks along the Kalalau trail and leaving crystals on the heiau at Ke`e. One caller articulated the sentiments of local discontent and despair in the face of Western social, political and cultural constraints so eloquently that all I could do was thank him for sharing, even as I wished I could do something to ease his deep pain.

What he recounted, really, was how the forces of greed, dominance and insensitivity constantly chip away at both Hawaiian and local culture. I often think that if some of the cultural denigrators and land rape apologists really understood, on a feeling level, the resentment and pain that so many Hawaiians and locals carry, perhaps they would change their ways, or at least not be quite so cavalier. But I’m coming to believe that some people will never get it, at least not in this lifetime

Anyway, Kumu Kehau Kekua called in and talked about the cultural significance of Wailua simply by translating the place names for that area. I can’t remember all of them, but one meant “the sand dunes that conceal the bones.” It’s the place names that tell the truth and offer the “proof” of sacredness that the deniers demand, which is why it’s so important to use them and vigorously resist attempts by developers and realtors to make up names, like “Banana Beach” for Naue.

That’s their way of pretending that nothing existed prior to what they created, like the person who once told me that the North Shore was nothing, really, before Realtor John Ferry came in and “made it something,” forgetting, or perhaps never even cognizant of, the families that have lived there for centuries and the intrinsic sacredness of the place itself.

And that leads me to a comment that someone left on yesterday’s post:

Perfect, the hawaiian on Joans radio show just said that all of Kauai is sacred and you can't pick one part over another. There ya go. No doing nothing anywhere. It's all sacred.

I know it was meant to be snide, but here’s my reply: Great, you’re finally getting it. Yes, it is all sacred, so treat it with respect and avoid trashing it with all this willy nilly crap that neither we nor the `aina need, like a $4.2 million plastic bike path on one of the world’s most beautiful white sand beaches.

One caller raised the interesting idea that the path is tied into Homeland Security, creating a means for encircling and accessing the entire island for the purpose of monitoring and controlling its citizenry. (And caller, please correct me if I got that wrong.)

My co-host Caren Diamond observed that it’s part of the county’s desire to turn the island into a giant resort, with all the distinct communities homogenized by virtue of a manicured concrete path.

And that takes us once again to the issue of just how much Kauai should be altered to accommodate the tourists and the wealthy.

As Farmer Jerry noted: “I don’t know what they’re trying to do to this place, just change it some fantasy land where everything is artificial.”

Jerry, who yesterday told me of attending a meeting of the Business Council, said that Sue Kanoho, head of the Kauai Visitor Bureau, got a bit huffy when he suggested that tourism is no longer a growth industry.

Every industry has its peak, he said, recalling how government poured money into sugar in a last ditch effort to keep it alive after it had reached its peak. It still failed.

It seems that’s where we are now with tourism. The Garden Island yesterday reported on the $1 million in “stimulus” money directed to KVB, with both Sue and Councilman Dickie Chang, who originally introduced the bill, gushing about the good results and “return on investment.”

Yet even after reading the article, I remained unclear about exactly what they were.

Right now there’s only one growth industry on Kauai, Jerry said, and that’s selling off land for gentleman’s estates.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

"...even as I wished I could do something to ease his deep pain"

Give me a break. What a bunch of tripe coming from her.

Casey said...

> ... all the distinct communities homogenized by virtue of a manicured concrete path.

Strange that nobody worries about homogenization by the miles of asphalt that already ring the island.

Also, when did the path become a project for tourists? The Kamalani playground and path was locally grown and is used by locals.

Dawson said...

"Give me a break. What a bunch of tripe coming from her."

Kaua'i is infested with hardhearted boneheads -- tourists and residents -- who are militantly insensitive to the pain that Joan is talking about. They are the ones who should give the island a break -- permanently.

Anonymous said...

"One caller raised the interesting idea that the path is tied into Homeland Security, creating a means for encircling and accessing the entire island for the purpose of monitoring and controlling its citizenry. (And caller, please correct me if I got that wrong.)"

Yes, you got it right, Joan. Said it better than I did I believe.

Anyway still trying to research this possibility and expect that if it is true it will be buried; as with the military aspect of the HSF which upon digging into PNAC, provided the declaration that the military needed to finance this kind of project creatively utilizing public sector funds.

I think this is a factor particularly the way it is being forced on everyone especially by Mayor Tokioka, whoops scratch that...I mean Carvalho, his being Hawaiian I had expected him to step up to the plate with some independence and individualistic thinking. Hmm. Disappointment. I will not vote for him again, providing I ever take part in these sham elections again. Gee I do wonder if Peter Nakamura will be around again to ʻprovideʻ the results.

Anonymous said...

bike path on Wailua Beach = cultural ignorance and disrespect

-- calling bullshit on that one


"One caller raised the interesting idea that the path is tied into Homeland Security, creating a means for encircling and accessing the entire island for the purpose of monitoring and controlling its citizenry. (And caller, please correct me if I got that wrong.)"

-- seriously? damn if that does not reflect something not good

a 70IQ comment on a 100IQ island trying to make its way in a 130IQ world


"Yet even after reading the article, I remained unclear about exactly what they were."

-- the ROI claims are probably dubious, at best. $1M better spent on local food banks ( <--cant always rely on marriott)

Anonymous said...

Carefull with the IQ comments. We are all seeking bliss in our own ways...

Dawson said...

"a 70IQ comment on a 100IQ island trying to make its way in a 130IQ world"

In bordertowns from Farmington to Gallup, from Rapid City to Bishop, you can hear the same contemptuous attitude, deriding native culture and beliefs.

Insensitivity, ignorance, egotism and entitlement: the Four Jackass Riders of the Western Apocalypse.

Anonymous said...

I read the IQ comment as focused on the pretending malahinis.

Cultural cross dressing I believe...

Anonymous said...

"deriding native culture and beliefs. "

-- na, i was deriding moderately frightening and certainly ridiculous comments about the feds eyeballing our little bike path parkway

i mean, dude, DID YOU READ that theory? homeland fricken security? come on..

that deserved to be chastised

otherwise, quite a brain trust you folks are building up over there ;)


dwps

Anonymous said...

"One caller raised the interesting idea that the path is tied into Homeland Security, creating a means for encircling and accessing the entire island for the purpose of monitoring and controlling its citizenry. (And caller, please correct me if I got that wrong.)"

what kind of conspiracy kool aid do you freaking drink. Keep on researching, it will keep you busy in your own cute fantasy world and out of the way of the real one.

Anonymous said...

I read the IQ comment as focused on the pretending malahinis.

Cultural cross dressing I believe...


---excellent.

Anonymous said...

otherwise, quite a brain trust you folks are building up over there ;)


dwps

are you leaving the island?

Anonymous said...

dwps said: "a 70IQ comment on a 100IQ island trying to make its way in a 130IQ world"

calling bullshit on that one:only 2.2% of population has IQ of 130 or higher, dwps apparently not among them.

but on the patronizing asshole scale, he's off the charts

Anonymous said...

I am not convinced the 1,000,000 money for tourism did anything. Especially after I look at the results for Oct. that HTA put out. How did Kauai compare with the other islands in % decrease (not increase) in tourism. That would be the right comparison. I agree with Jerry that tourism is a dead horse...

Anonymous said...

"Give me a break. What a bunch of tripe coming from her."

nobody is forcing you to read this let alone leave a comment. get a life!

Anonymous said...

"i mean, dude, DID YOU READ that theory? homeland fricken security? come on.."

Isnʻt this the same comment we heard about HSFʻs military collaberation?
Until it was deemed true?

Well, dwps and the other one apparently are affixing an IQ of ʻover 70ʻ to themselves. We know thatʻs stretching it...Iʻd go somewhere about 20-30 for them.

Itʻs people like them that have opened the way for worldwide invasion of privacy and
constitutional violations. To NOT consider the possibility that the overriding mandated ʻbikeʻ path might be for HS is validation of the scarcity of brain cells residing inside your head. And the government/private corporations BANK on a flourishing populace such as yourselves.

I wouldnʻt imagine privacy rights, new world order disregard of rule of law would bother people like you; I mean after all, not even the snooping controlling government would be interested in you.

Anonymous said...

Introduction to Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice
By Kären M. Hess, Christine Hess Orthmann


"One recent development for bicycle patrols is homeland security and disaster relief.."

Anonymous said...

"are you leaving the island?"

-- nice one! walked right into that :)


"only 2.2% of population has IQ of 130 or higher"

-- for real? that actually explains alot


"patronizing asshole scale"

-- id take that over the bike path ='s star chamber guy


"scarcity of brain cells residing inside your head"

-- whatever kid


"Introduction to Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice
By Kären M. Hess, Christine Hess Orthmann

"One recent development for bicycle patrols is homeland security and disaster relief.."

-- hope this works:

http://books.google.com/books?id=CdxKm_ypYyMC&pg=PT186&lpg=PT186&dq=%22ecent+development+for+bicycle+patrols+is+homeland+security+and+disaster+relief..%22%22&source=bl&ots=Fob_tt8jkQ&sig=e3hLmGzzGhkuPHoscqL6ANHRzSQ&hl=en&ei=vtUaS7_dOpTatgPpsoH3Bw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CAwQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=&f=false

so you bothered to dig up that site, which is excellent. id welcome thoughts as to that comment being supported by the book excerpt


dwps

Anonymous said...

""...even as I wished I could do something to ease his deep pain"
Give me a break. What a bunch of tripe coming from her."


His pain is quite real. Hers are nothing but crocodile tears.

Dawson said...

"His pain is quite real. Hers are nothing but crocodile tears."

Count on those incapable of empathy to pass fatuous judgment on those who are.