The rain, anticipated all weekend, finally arrived last night and lingered, delivering big drops that fell heavy and straight. It ceased about the time that daylight began to appear and Koko and I went out walking amid its lingering mists in grass that soaked my shoes and drenched her belly.
To the east, Haupu and Kalepa were white through the haze, which had turned Waialeale into a ghost mountain, the kind favored by Hollywood, with its penchant for illusion.
One can only wonder what they plan to do with Waiakapalae, the lower wet cave in Haena, where the folks making the latest installment of “Pirates of the Caribbean” want to film for five days in a chamber known as the “Blue Room.”
Some North Shore cultural practitioners have already said no, it’s not appropriate, because it’s a sacred place. But will they prevail against the allure of the “great green god?” Already, when Makaala Kauamoana complained to The Garden Island about how traffic in the town recently was brought to a standstill during filming of “The Descendants,” she was attacked in the comments section and her concerns were dismissed by county Economic Development Director George Costa.
Why? Because of the salad that the movie guys bring. As Costa states:
“Although short-lived, these productions will provide an infusion of capital into our economy, put people to work and have another movie credit to (the) storied list that would make most islands, states and countries envious.”
This is followed by a comment from Janice Polley, location supervisor for Disney Productions, which is doing the “Pirates” flick:
“We want to be good neighbors and do the right thing. We love Kaua‘i and wouldn’t want to do anything that would be disrespectful,” said Polley in Costa’s e-mail.
Now how many times have you heard that line?
I thought it was interesting that writer Paul Curtis identified Costa as a “native Kauaian who grew up in Hanalei.” What has that got to do with anything? Does it mean that because he’s from here, he’s got the right to screw up the place? Or that because he’s from here, we can trust he won’t screw up the place?
Curtis also threw in this little tidbit:
The late Mayor Tony Kunimura once said of those filming on Kaua‘i, “all they leave behind is money.”
Ummm, that’s not exactly true. They also leave behind trash — remember the giant Styrofoam heads that were sitting at the entrance to Aliomanu Estates for the longest time? — and such lasting legacies as the total usurpation of places and their names, as was the case with Makana in “Bali Hai.”
I’m not saying that Kauai should close its doors to the film industry, but is it so unreasonable to expect them to notify the people in Hanalei that they’ll be filming so they can adjust their travel times and route accordingly, and to keep them out of sacred spots and environmentally fragile areas? Must money always be the bottom line?
On that note, The Garden Island is finally reporting the real reason why the county ended up with the 138-acre parcel that lies between the Lihue Airport and the sea: it had no development value.
The land given to the county at one point was supposed to be developed as an upscale golf course, according to County Clerk Peter Nakamura.
[Councilman Dickie] Chang, however, said the location wasn’t suitable for a golf course because of the constant hovering of helicopters and airplane landings and takeoffs. “If they built a golf course it wouldn’t be successful,” he said.
Eventually the shared use path will go through the property, and now it will be easier to build it when the time comes, said [Councilman Tim] Bynum.
So it’s too crappy for golfers, but good enough for the public because we enjoy recreating beneath “the constant hovering of helicopters and airplane landings and takeoffs?” Thanks, guys.
While we’re on the topic of the Path, I got an email sent around by Mr. Path, Thomas Noyes:
Based on park users' overwhelming endorsement for allowing responsible dog walking on all of Kauai's existing and future multi-use path systems, as documented in the survey conducted under the direction of the Department of Parks and Recreation, the Kauai Path board of directors supports responsible dog walking on all of Ke Ala Hele Makalae and future path systems. (Note: this is not an endorsement of allowing dogs in all the County parks--only on the multi-use path systems as defined in the current ordinance, and expanded to all the paths as expressed in the bill now under consideration.)
Now how can you say it’s OK to let dogs only on lateral county parks, but not those with other configurations?
On the one hand, we’ve got the county pushing a new vacation rental bill because it fears lawsuits if ag land owners are excluded and scrambling to revise the farm worker housing bill because it fears lawsuits if CPR owners are excluded. Yet on the other hand, it’s considering a bill that excludes people with dogs from all but one small section of one county park.
What is the legal justification? And what, really, is the big deal with leashed dogs in public places? Yesterday, I got an email from one of my sisters, who is vacationing in Vienna:
You'd like Vienna, people bring their dogs everywhere with them, including cafes and on the tram, train etc. They have to wear muzzles on the transportation but they don't seem to object.
I noticed the same thing when I traveled through Great Britain. Dogs were welcome everywhere, and I didn’t observe any doo doo or attacks. Surely we can ease up a bit, too. Or must dog owners, like the landowners who have the county jumping through hoops, threaten to sue to get the county’s attention?