Thursday, April 22, 2010

Musings: Earth to County

The pre-dawn, arriving delightfully early these days, began with a smear of coral in the east and blue swatches among puffs of white in a sky that turned gray as clouds drifted in, filling up the empty spaces. Dawn itself came as a streak of yellow-white light well after Koko and I had returned home from our walk.

It’s Earth Day, the one day set aside each year to remember the source of all those insignificant little things, like food, water and oxygen, that make life a little more pleasant.

Folks pat themselves on the back for driving to an Earth Day event, picking up rubbish in plastic bags, planting a tree raised with chemical fertilizers in a plastic pot. “We’ve made progress,” they proclaim, offering as evidence the fact that LA, even with way more gasoline-sucking cars, has less smog and rivers, though now laden with chemicals from PPCPs — pharmaceuticals and personal care products — don’t burn anymore.

Sure, we’ve got global climate change to content with, but no worries, geoengineering — schemes like fertilizing the ocean, blasting sulfates into the stratosphere, placing nanoparticles of aluminum foil in the sky to reflect sunlight — will save us, and we won’t have to give up a thing. As Pat Mooney, head of the Candada-based ETC group described it on , Democracy Now!:

Well, it really is a massive manipulation of the ecosystems of the planet. It’s a major way of trying to intervene in climate change, to block sunlight or to sequester carbon dioxide in the ocean, to make a change in how the planet will function in response to climate change. I think it’s a terribly dangerous idea. It’s entirely a theoretical idea. And it’s gaining currency, strangely enough, in countries like the United States and the United Kingdom.

And tragically, it’s a bunch of rich guys in rich countries sitting around together, saying, “We can risk the planet. We can make the decision for everybody else. We can put our hand on the thermostat and decide for everybody else what has to be done.”


If that hubris doesn’t offer sufficient indication, the plastic fork and Styrofoam plate lunch box — emblazoned with a happy face and cheery “Have a Nice Day!” — that I picked up along the road this morning, like the cigarette butt I saw thrown from a county water department truck the other day, offer stark evidence of how much we’ve really evolved in the four decades since the first Earth Day was proclaimed.

Speaking of the county, I’ve confirmed from several sources that Waioli Corp. gave it three choices for the Ka`aka`aniu (Larsen’s) Beach access: the county's existing legal access; the middle, or vertical, access that goes down through the rocks; or the lateral access, which runs parallel to the beach. The caveat was the county had to assume liability for whichever access it chose.

The county picked the middle path, and apparently the papers are being drawn up. It’s not a dedicated access, like the one deeded to the county many years ago and now apparently impassable, but an easement.

I know some folks are going to scream, but I think the middle path, which might deter some people, is the best choice for protecting the monk seals and turtles that frequent that beach, and it just may help keep a few hapless tourists from drowning.

My primary concern is that it’s an easement, and not a dedicated access, so there’s always the possibility that it could be revoked.

And then there’s the issue of just who in the community the county consulted before it made such an important decision about a “public” access, and exactly when the county was planning to let folks in on the news.

I wanted to add that this arrangement does not affect the claim regarding the ala loa, or historical trail, which apparently will need to be hashed out directly with Waioli Corp.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

off topic to an extent, but check this:

http://gas2.org/2010/04/21/uk-drivers-plan-mass-protest-over-new-gas-taxes/

Queen's fuel - approx $2.58/gal
Queen's tax - $4.42/gal

='s $7/gal

looks like imperialist england is leading the way on getting people off gas / fuel conservation / alt fuels etc

$7 gas. pretty hard core


dwps

Anonymous said...

"who in the community the county consulted before it made such an important decision about a “public” access"

surveyors and the landowner?

Anonymous said...

"apparently will need to be hashed out directly with Waioli Corp."

nope, guess again, that is a state call on the existance of a trail.

Anonymous said...

"that is a state call on the existance of a trail."

If only it was that easy. At McCloskey's next door there was a long drawn out fight with him over where the trail should go.

Anonymous said...

Here we have dereliction of duty by both the state and the county. They decided the trail , traditional and customary access, the beach, the public, the resource, none of it mattered. Not important to the state, no public hearing necessary, and they gave them permits to fence it off for cattle instead.
It didn't matter to the state how many people clamored for protection of this incredible resource, no public hearing would be held, just a permit granted by "The Dept."
The county had its turn, and failed to protect the resource as well, allowing them to fence off the area under the guise of a SMA minor permit, rather than one that valued the resource apropriately.

Both agencies failed when they allowed the fencing and clearing without requiring a certified shoreline .

The adjoining Moloaa Bay Ranch has an established Na Ala Hele Trail, part of this same Alaloa. This is the time to formally establish this section of it.
There was a great opportunity here to work with Waioli Corp and keep the trail open in perpetuity. Did the county work with Na Ala Hele, the Kilauea Community Association, the Kauai Landtrust, or Trust for public Lands, even their own Open Space Commission? Did they seek community imput and solutions?
Why such failures by the very same administration that has to have access all along wailua Beach. Why to they care about disabled people's access in Wailua, but throw the disabled folks over the cliff here at Larsens?
Bernard, please show some leadership here, invite community solutions. Our beaches and trails need sunshine, please don't quietly negotiate them away.

Anonymous said...

If only it was that easy. At McCloskey's next door there was a long drawn out fight with him over where the trail should go.

But there never was any dispute about the existence of the historic Alaloa

Anonymous said...

"They decided the trail , traditional and customary access, the beach, the public, the resource, none of it mattered."

--back in the 1970's the easement was purchased

--county permitting is before state permitting...

--read the ADA law - and get back to us...for that matter read 183c and 205a -

facts people please check your facts.

can anyone cite the HB that will raise the minor permitting threshold to $250,000. awesome!

Anonymous said...

The 1970 easement was not purchased it was given and it is not the same trail that the county is now accepting.

'facts people please check your facts.'

Anonymous said...

why did the county pay money for it then?

Anonymous said...

"was not purchased"

uh, yes, it was in the late 1970's; you are wrong, wrong, wrong.

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